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


(Qahr). Violence or severity or wrath. It is through His qahr that Allah annihilates the desires and passions of the lower selves of His friends. Through His Majesty this qahr can descend, with immense force, upon the slave. The slave is overwhelmed and filled with awe and fear, but it is that type of fear which brings him closer, and ever-closer to his Lord.

See also: Awe Fear Holy dread Incomparability Names of Majesty Servitude Slave Terror
(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".
(Khawf). Fear acts as a warning of something terrifying in the future. In the initial stages of the Spiritual Journey the murid experiences great fear of the treachery of his own self, and also the fear of falling short of his Murshid's directions. However, when this fear is complimented with hope the murid finds the courage and the strength with which to attack the inner enemies. Fear of Allah leads to Knowledge of Allah which opens into Love of Allah. The lover who has found Allah fears losing Allah. Such a fear may overcome the lover who has found Allah in ecstasy during the sama'.
(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.
(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.
('Ubada). Servitude and bondage. This is the fulfilment and consummation of slavehood ('ubudiyya) when the slave loses himself in the Will of his Lord. 'Ubada is 'the Nearness of obligatory works' which is one of the four stations of Perfection. To realize 'ubuda is to be gifted with a very high degree of Knowledge of Allah. To know that 'the slave is the slave and the Lord is the Lord' is the supreme form of spiritual courtesy towards Allah. The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the Beloved of Allah and His Chosen One. No one is more perfect than him. No one can attain to his Knowledge. Yet Allah says in The Qur'an, "Glory be to Him Who carried His slave by night" (17:1). The slave is in bondage ('ubuda). Bondage is Perfection. Bondage is Knowledge.
('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.
(Rahbah) is the immediate terror of the threat of punishment being realized. It is also the hidden terror of unstable and valueless knowledge and the secret terror that what was known before will become a certainty.

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