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

an-nafy al-mumathala
Negation of Likeness

(Nafy al Mumathala). The negation of likeness. This is the profession of Allah's Incomparability. "Nothing is like unto Him" (The Qur'an 42:11).

See also: Awe Holy dread Incomparability Majesty Names of Majesty Similarity Unseen
(Haybah). The awe or reverential fear experienced by the slave when faced by the Incomparability of Allah, His Majesty and Transcendence, His Inaccessibility, Magnificence and Power. Such a state of godfearingness ensures that the slave will keep himself within the bounds of perfect spiritual courtesy towards his Lord, clinging to his own slavehood/servitude. With regards to haybah and uns (intimacy), Hujwiri says in his Kashful Mahjub, "Allah annihilates the selves of those who love Him by revealing His Majesty and endows their hearts with everlasting life by revealing His Beauty".
(Khashya). This is the type of terror and awe and dread which brings man near to Allah. It is the awe of Allah's Majesty, His Incomparability and Utter Unknowableness.
(Tanzih). Incomparability or Transcendence or Unknowableness or Remoteness. Tanzih is to declare that Allah transcends every quality or attribute possessed by His creatures. The word tanzih derives from the word nazzaha, which means to keep something away from anything contaminating or impure. The rational faculty declares Allah's Incomparability, but this is only half of the Absolute Truth, because Allah has both Transcendence and Similarity (tashbih). Allah says in The Qur'an, "Nothing is like Unto Him" (42:11). This is Allah's Incomparability (tanzih). But the same verse continues, "and He is the all-Hearing, the all-Seeing". This is Allah's Similarity (tashbih). The Absolute Truth is Allah's Incomparability and His Similarity. The 'knowers through Him' know Allah through Allah, by combining the declaration of His Incomparability (tanzih) with the affirmation of His Similarity (tashbih). Allah as the Essence Itself is Utterly Incomparable, while Similarity is attributed to Allah as the Divinity.
(Jalal). The Divine Majesty. Jalal indicates Allah's Incomparability. His Qualities of Majesty include His Transcendence, His Inaccessibilty, His Magnificence, His Tremendousness. Awe is experienced when the heart is overwhelmed by jalal.
(Asma Jalaliyyah). These Names relate to Allah's Incomparability and are demanded by the very fact of Allah's Being and our nonexistence. The Names of Majesty include such Names as The Tremendous (al 'Azim), The Overpowering (al Qahhar). When the traveller is under the influence of a spiritual state in which a Name of Majesty dominates he is utterly overwhelmed.
(Tashbih) is to declare that a certain similarity can be found between Allah and His creation. This tashbih is through Allah as Possessor of the Names. The isthmus is the ontological locus of tashbih. The word tashbih derives from shabbaha which means to make or consider something similar to some other thing. The sensory and imaginative faculties demand, by their very essences, to see Allah, in contrast to the rational faculty which declares Allah's Incomparability. The 'knowers through Him' never limit or constrain Allah. They declare Allah's Incomparability (tanzih) and Similarity (tashbih), and this is the Absolute Truth. He/not He.
(Ghayb). The Mystery or the Non-Manifested or the Unseen. The Unknowable or the Mystery of Mysteries. The hadith, "Nothing is like Him" refers to al ghayb. It is His Incomparability. It is all that is beyond reach of our vision. Al ghayb is all that Allah veils from you because of you, not because of Him. To attain to 'The Unseen', the slave and lover is told, 'Leave aside your self and come!' And, when he obeys, it is Allah Who Sees Allah.

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