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


(Qamus). A qamus is a book full of definitions and meanings. Each human is a qamus. When man looks within his own self and contemplates the inner signs and meanings he may come to know Allah. To make the Journey into the self, and through the levels of the Self, is the most serious task to which a man can turn. However, he cannot travel without a guide. Not only is he unable to read the words of the dictionary but he is also unable to understand the definitions of those words. An authentic Spiritual Guide (Murshid) will take him safely to the Sacred Centre. Through verbal expression and symbolic allusion or indications, the Murshid will assist the murid and explain to him the words within his qamus. Whenever a man speaks or writes down what is within himself he is opening up his own qamus for others to read.

See also: Book Form Indications Meanings Seeker Sign Silence Speech Speech with words Speech without words Spiritual Guide Verbal expression
(Kitab) The Great Silence became qualified with letters. The letters formed into words. The words gathered into sentences and the sentences into a book. It is said that each part of every existent thing is a 'letter' of Allah, and each creation is a 'word' of Allah, and each life is a 'sentence' of Allah and each world is a 'book' of Allah. We read the book to gain Knowledge of Allah. The world is a book and the human is a book. In these two books we can read the signs of Allah, 'on the horizons and within ourselves', which will enable us to ascend to the Great Silence once again.
(Sura). The outer form of an entity or thing is what conceals its inner meaning. Revelation is the outer form whose meaning is Allah's Knowledge of Himself and His creation. Tearing away the veil of form to reveal the meaning within is the work of the higher teaching. The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) prayed, 'Oh, Allah, show me things as they are in their reality'.
(Isharah). Symbolic allusions (or hints). The Sufis express themselves through these symbolic allusions thereby communicating with those men who have 'tasted' and recognize their message. Isharah exists in the state of nearness to Allah when the heart is present with Allah, and also when one is distanced from Allah, because in knowing one's distance, one is brought nearer!
(Ma'ana). Everything in creation has an outward form. These forms are the manifestations of their essential inner meanings. The meaning of everything is Allah. Within imagination all meanings become clothed in substratum and take on form. No meaning is able to hold itself back from imagination.
(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'.
('Alama). Sign or omen or mark. The cosmos ('alam) is a sign and a mark ('alama) of Allah. It is a proof of Allah. But a mark denotes only that which is limited, so the cosmos does not denote His Essence, only the knowledge that He exists. Every sign, every mark indicates Allah, but the majority of mankind recognize Allah only in that particular mark or sign in which they have limited Allah. The knower and lover never limit Allah. They recognize Allah in every 'alama.
(Sukun) is silence or stillness. This is the great silent stillness of the Essence to which the hearts of the lovers of Allah yearn to return.
(Kalam) is speech or words. The Source, Allah, is the Great Silence. In the process of descent, the Supreme Silence is firstly qualified with letters which then appear as words. The words become a sentence or sign which then appears as a form or book. The world is a book and the human is a book. In these two books we can read the signs of Allah, "on the horizons and within ourselves", which will enable us to ascend, and dwell once again, in the Great Silence.
(Kalam-i-tafsili). To attain to the Great Silence one must travel the Path laid down by the Prophets of Allah. In the early stages of the Spiritual Journey the traveller's tongue is in lively motion, full of words and questions and opinions. As he traverses the states and stations, ascending from the book, through the sentences, the words and the letters, his Kalam-i-tafsili lessens and his silence increases. Ultimately, awe and love and bewilderment make him speechless. From circumference to Centre. From multiplicity to Unity. From noise to Silence. From self to Self. Kalam-i-tafsili is the stage of separation.
(Kalam-i -dhati). This Speech is Allah's Speech. It is the Speech of the Essence Itself. Kalam-i-dhati is the Speech of the Source and the Source is the Great Silence. The People of the Essence, Allah's perfect slaves who are drowned in the Source Itself, speak in a silent and wordless language. Their spiritual affinity is total because each one of them drinks directly from the Fountain of Camphor in Paradise and has become one with the camphor. When the drop enters the Ocean there is no necessity for words to be spoken. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) said, 'He who knows Allah, his tongue becomes silent'. Kalam-i-dhati is the stage of union. Speech without words (kalam-i-dhati) becomes manifest through Speech with words (kalam-i-tafsili).
(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.
('Ibarah). Many of the Great Masters of the higher teaching have been given the gift called 'Opening of Expression' through which they are able to express highly mystical concepts, visions and seemingly inexpressible spiritual experiences. In some cases it is the murid who gives verbal expression to the subtle allusions through which his own Murshid transmitted the Teaching.

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