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He-ness or it-ness; means “identity” in modern Arabic. In classical Islamic philosophy it functioned as a technical term designating a thing's ability to subsist on its own or to take on existence. It also signaled something's essential identity as opposed to its quiddity (mahiyyah). In mystical thought the term differentiated the identity of the divine being from the “I-ness” (aniyyah) of the mystic's ego.

Subjects: Islam.

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