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

Obedient One

(Muti'). The obedient one. He is the one who fulfills the Qur'anic injunction, "He who obeys the Messenger obeys Allah".

See also: Annihilation in the Messenger Annihilation in the Spiritual Guide Boy Follower One who is obeyed Slave
(Fana fi Rasul). Annihilation in the Messenger, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). 'No one will meet Allah before meeting the Prophet'. After annihilation into the Self of the Murshid, the seeker journeys, through the Infinite Grace of Allah, to the next annihilation, which is Fana fi Rasul - annihilation in the Messenger. At this point the seeker is pervaded by an overwhelming love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This is a love which is greater than anything he has yet experienced. The Holy Prophet becomes dearer to him than life itself.
(Fana fil Murshid/Shaykh). Fallen man cannot, by his own resources, reach Annihilation in Allah.. He requires a Spiritual Guide, a Murshid, who is a pure receptacle for the Divine Outpouring which emanates from the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This Outpouring comes through his Teaching, and from the Divine Book of Allah, the Qur'an, which contains all the mysteries of life and which was brought to all of creation by the Holy Prophet. Annihilation in the Spiritual Guide occurs when this Teaching of the Prophet Muhammad, which is passed on by the Murshid, enters the murid's heart and becomes firmly established. The murid becomes absorbed by the Teaching, through constant meditation and contemplation of Allah. What is the meaning of Annihilation in one’s Spiritual Guide? We would have to say that the seeker will be absorbed. This is far beyond the way of respect, honouring the wishes of and following the teaching of the Murshid; which is the normal standard in any field of life when we are learning a trade, regardless of what that trade is. In the higher teaching, Fana fil Murshid is a very serious and powerful experience and is one of the keys to developing the higher stages of awareness. The murid, besides the standard way of feeling the Murshid’s presence and keeping his thoughts on the Murshid - in his contemplations may experience the engulfing of himself by the Murshid through certain powerful conditions. Literally, he feels that he is within the physical body of the Murshid. It is not sentimental thinking or respect or being obedient to the requests of the Murshid, but there is a powerful link – as the saying goes “Ruhi ruhaak ya Ruhi”. The two become one. The murid, in his spiritual practices, will experience that he is within the Murshid to the highest degree, so that even when looking in the mirror, he may experience that he is looking with the eyes of the Murshid. This is a brief indication to the meaning of fana fil Murshid. This experience opens the door to the realities of the Holy Prophet and the accessibilities to the Universal Man, or you could say, The Reality of Muhammad. This transition is very necessary - if one does not experience this; to a certain degree he will always be alienating himself from a part of the teaching - this overpowering experience of Fana fil Murshid.
(Tabi'). This term refers to the one who is a follower of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). A follower strives to emulate his perfect and beautiful character. A friend of Allah is always a follower (tabi') of the Prophet Muhammad and is never independent of his guidance. To be a true tabi' is to be greatly blessed. To be utterly dependent upon our Master, Sayyiduna Muhammad, is a gift from Allah.
(Muta'). This term indicates the supreme controller of the universe who is the viceregent of Allah. The muta' is equated with the Reality of Muhammad. Allah says in The Qur'an, "He who obeys the Messenger obeys Allah". Were it not for the muta' everything would disappear.
('Abd). The slave (and worshipper) is the one who is in a state of total and utter submission to the Will of Allah. After having been annihilated in Allah where all duality vanished and distinctions were erased, he returns to creation with perfect courtesy and with the Truth of Certainty that 'the Lord is the Lord and the slave is the slave'. When 'abd is translated as 'servant' it carries the implication that the servant can leave the service of his Master, if he so desires. However, the 'slave' is in total bondage, being utterly dependent upon his Master. All buying and selling transactions have been terminated. The slave belongs to Allah, completely, perfectly and unconditionally.

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