(1) Station (pl. maqamat). Used by Sufis to refer to the stages or degrees along the path to illumination. The goal of the path is personal experience of divine reality. A maqam is a stage that can be achieved through human effort, as opposed to hal (grace), which is a gift from God. The stages are to be achieved through the guidance and authority of a shaykh. The number and order of maqamat vary from order to order. The term also refers to physical locations where a saint has revealed his occasional presence, typically a tomb, which is then developed into a shrine and serves as a location for communication with that saint. (2) A system of pitch organization in traditional Arabic music for creating melodies and improvisation within a scale. The beginning, end, and main notes of a musical suite are determined by the maqam.
See also Hal