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The Sufi who sets out to seek God calls himself a ‘traveler’ (salik); he advances by slow ‘stages’ (maqamat) along a ‘path’ (tariqat) to the goal of union with Reality (fana fi ’I-Haqq). The first place in every list of ‘stages’ is occupied by repentance (tawbat). This is the Muslim term for ‘conversion,’ and marks the beginning of a new life. Any Muhammadan director of souls would tell his pupils that to think humbly and remorsefully of one’s sins is a sovereign remedy against spiritual pride, but he himself might very well believe that real repentance consists in forgetting everything except God.