Khalwa (Arabic, also khalwat; lit.,
"solitude"; pronounced in Iran, "khalvat";
spelling in Turkish,
halvet): in Sufism, a solitary
retreat, traditionally for 40
days (see "chella"), during which a
disciple does extensive spiritual exercises under the direction of
a sufi master.
A Sufi murid
will enter khalwa under the
direction of a shaykh
for a given
period, sometimes for as long as 40 days, emerging only to pray
and, usually, to discuss dreams, visions and the
like with the shaykh. Once a major element of Sufi practice, khalwa
has become less frequent in recent years.
religious school is known as "a khalwa" in the Sudanese dialect of
Arabic. This reflects the former dominance of Sufism in the
- The Khalwati order (Halveti) of
Sufism derives its name from the term "khalwa".
- The prayer-houses of the Druze are called
khalwaat and are used in place of mosques.
- The Sharia criminal offence of "close
proximity" whereby two unmarried non-relatives of the opposite sex
are apprehended after being found "in compromising positions" by
state religious police. 
- Mevlevi Terms and Definitions