Khalwah in most Sufi traditions means retreat or withdrawal from the world. For us this practice is an all-night silent vigil under the guidance of either Sidi or one of his muqaddam. This sacred offering is a means of walking deeply and letting go of old thought forms and patterns of the nafs.

The Sufis have always done many of their sacred traditions in the evening after sunset and in the darkest part of the night, considered the time when the dunya or the physical world is most settled down. Thus the unseen world is more unveiled and accessible. We do most of our khalwahs traditionally after Salat al-Magrhib and continue until the early morning hours.

The usual practice is a specific number of rounds of the daily Wird, the traditional Shadhuli practice using the masbaha beads. The leader determines the number of rounds based on the preparedness of the group, and this number usually varies between 500 and 2000 rounds of each of the three Arabic chants of our practice. Between each chant, we do two rak‘ah of Salah. Usually we do a half to one hour of remembrance with the eyes open looking at the written name of Allah, then a half to one hour of remembrance with the eyes closed.