The Language of the Future
Sufi Terminology
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi

One who aspires to spiritual knowledge

(Mutasawwif). He is the one who aspires to reach high spiritual knowledge. The one who aspires is not the one who has attained. The one who aspires is not the purified knower (Sufi). The one who aspires must put himself under the direction of a Spiritual Guide (Murshid, Pir, Shaykh) in order to struggle and strive for the necessary purity which precipitates Divine Knowledge. The one who has attained is under the immediate direction of Allah and His Messenger. The channels to his heart have been cleared of all debris allowing the Light from the Divinity to enter unimpeded.

See also: Annihilation Boy Knowers of Allah People of blame Seeker Spiritual Guide Spiritual Struggle Sufi Those who are brought near Traveller
(Fana'). Self-annihilation or self-effacement or dissolution or passing away from self. Through being joined to Allah, the Real; man is annihilated from himself - the 'limited existence' of the traveller is overpowered by the 'absolute existence' of Allah, so that the traveller becomes unaware of his own self and the creation. Fana' is the last stage on the ascent to Allah. When travelling to the Source, the seeker passes through different levels of fana', each of which brings him closer to his Goal. There are hundreds, even thousands, of fana's. Every time a form of ignorance is removed to be replaced by knowledge, the murid has experienced fana'. He has tasted the annihilation of an ignorance. And, every moment of existence is in fact a moment which is pregnant with its own particular knowledge. So, for the aware one, each moment can be a fana'. However, within the higher teaching of Tasawwuf  there are three major types of fana', through which the murid must travel if he is to reach the Absolute. These are Annihilation in the Murshid/Spiritual Guide, Annihilation in the Messenger and Annihilation in Allah.
(Al 'Arifin/'Urufa). They see and recognize Allah wherever they look. The knowers are bewildered. But this is not the bewilderment of being lost, rather it is the bewilderment of having found Allah. They know that He cannot be known. The knowers are nothing because they are everything.
(Al Malamatiyya). These are the Perfect Ones. Their exteriors never disclose the reality of their interiors. They are those who know and are not known. Al malamatiyya are Allah's perfect slaves, Allah's perfect lovers, Allah's perfect knowers. They manifest His All-Comprehensive Name 'Allah', without a trace of Lordship. Allah has placed their 'blaming self' over them as a protection against self-conceit or satisfaction. They are the greatest of the Sufis. They are in constant submission and surrender to the Will of Allah. A Murshid (Spiritual Guide) who is one of the malamatiyya is the perfect Murshid and his murids often attain to Manliness. The Master of the cosmos, the Best of Creation, Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace), who is a Malamatiyya, is their Master.
(Murid). The one who desires Allah. The murid is the seeker of Reality who is under the direction of a Spiritual Guide (Murshid). He has entered the company of those who concentrate upon Allah through the Remembrance of His Most Holy Name 'Allah'.
(Murshid/Shaykh/Pir). The Murshid is a True Inheritor of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). After having been taken to the Divine Presence during his ascension the slave has been returned, by Allah, to the creation to guide and perfect the still imperfect ones. He was taken up as a slave and returned as a slave and Murshid. The qualities of an authentic Murshid are those of his own Master and Teacher, the Holy Prophet himself. The sacred connection between a Murshid and his murids was established in Pre-Eternity and continues into Eternity. Because of the Murshid's own spiritual attainments his murids have the possibility of becoming travellers. The perfect Murshid is of The People of Blame and his murids sometimes also attain Perfection. For the murid, the Murshid is one of the 'signs on the horizons', the outward of his own inward. What he sees in the mirror of his Murshid is a reflection of what is within his own self. He may also see within the Murshid the good qualities and excellent character traits which are yet latent in himself.
(Mujahadah). The spiritual struggle and endeavour against the passions and downward-pulling tendencies of the lower self. Mujahadah is the ceaseless combat called the Greater Holy War. The war is fought with the celestial weapons of the Remembrance of Allah. The mature ones of the Path, those who 'know Allah', say that mujahadah is child's play! The real work of Men is Divine Knowledge.
Purified One. The name Sufi applies to the man or woman who has purified his heart through the Remembrance of Allah, travelled the Path of Return to Allah, and arrived at True Knowledge. There are many seekers of Wisdom and Truth, but only the Realized One whose search was solely for Allah, deserves the name Sufi. Yet paradoxically, the one deserving of the name would never deem himself worthy of such an honour. Because he has attained such a high degree in his Knowledge of Allah he knows, with Certainty, that 'the slave is the slave and the Lord is the Lord'.
(Muqarrabun). Those who are brought close or near to Allah and are His favoured friends. Al muqarrabun are those perfect slaves who know that 'the Lord is the Lord and the slave is the slave'. They have beautiful moral courtesy with Allah, never overstepping the limits of their own limitedness and slavehood. Their love of and devotion to Allah is total. They see nothing but Allah. They see Allah before, in, with and after the creation. They are the pure followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). They endeavour always to emulate his perfection and in so doing they cling to their own slavehood as he did. For all of this Allah draws them nearer to Himself in each moment. Their Bliss is never-ending because they dwell perpetually in His Presence. They are the People of Solitude. His perfect slaves and lovers and knowers. He guards them through His jealousy for them. They are not known except by those who also are brought near.
(Musaffir) is the traveller (salik) who understands invisible things through the analogy of visible ones, thereby swimming from the shore of this world to the further shore.

Go Back