The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
Qiff ya Muhammad a lana Rabbika yusalla
Stop, Oh Muhammad, your Lord is praising you
(Qiff ya Muhammad a lana Rabbika yusalla). These words were spoken to the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha on the Night of his Ascension to the Divine Presence, may Allah shower him with His Eternal Salutations and give him Peace. This profoundly beautiful phrase, spoken in the celestial realm, contains innumerable keys to the mystery of the Prophet's reality and to the exaltedness of prayer (Salat) and praise (Salah).
This is the celestial name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). Ahmad is 'the most praiseworthy of those who praise Allah'. His praise, which is none other than The Qur'an, is the complete and most elevated of all praises. All praises are gathered together in his praise. When he was asked, "Are you the One?" the Holy Prophet answered, "No! I am Ahmad without the M". On his Ascension to the Divine Presence he heard the words, "Stop, Oh Muhammad, your Lord is praising you". Before this stage he was 'the most praiseworthy of those who praise Allah'. Then he became 'the praised one'.
('Aql). The intellect or the faculty of reason. The word 'aql derives from 'iqal which means fetter. The intellect fetters man and it also puts its hooks into him, preventing him from making the final stages of the ascent. On the ascension to Allah (mi'raj) there is a point which is indicated by the term 'The Lote tree of the Uttermost Boundary'. It marks the 'place' where reason (the fetter) must be left behind. From this point onwards the traveller journeys with passionate love, yearning and bewilderment. On the Ascension of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) it was at the Lote tree of the Uttermost Boundary that his companion, the Archangel Gabriel (Peace be upon him) stopped through fear of being annihilated. This station of fear is the highest point to which the intellect can attain.
(Laylat al Mi'raj). The Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace), the slave of Allah ('Abdullah), was 'taken' to the Divine Presence on this 'night'. The word 'night' indicates that moment which is outside of time when Muhammad al Mustapha was blindfolded to everything that is other-than-Allah. In this timeless moment he was in a state of utter Unity . He had realized the Unity of Time, Unity of Place and Unity of Essence. In this state of inner unity he was 'taken' to the Divine Presence. He did not 'go' of his own accord, but was 'chosen' to be 'taken' on this 'night'. The Holy Prophet is the Beautiful Model and his Ascension is the ascension par excellence. By following in his footsteps the yearning lovers and devoted followers and bereft slaves hope to follow him to the Divine Presence. The chosen one (al Mustapha) is the Slave and he is also the Beloved of Allah. No one meets Allah by being a lover, only by being the Beloved. The Night of Ascension, the Night when man ascends to the Divine Presence, corresponds to the Night of Power when the Spirit descends to man.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the Glory of the Universe, the Best of Creation, the Seal of the Prophets and the friend of those who truly love him. He is from the Light of Allah and all of existence is from his light. He is the key to unlock the Mystery of Existence and he is also the treasure of Existence. He is the key to Allah's Mercy and the key to Paradise. Muhammad al Mustapha is the niche and the goal of the wayfaring lover and the burning rapture within his breast. He is the Beloved of Allah. He owns the Banner of Praise and the Station of Glory. Outwardly he is the Perfect Slave and inwardly he is The One. When the Reality of Muhammad has been unveiled to the lover his heart prostrates before the sheer beauty of this most Noble Sanctuary.
The Chosen One. The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the Chosen One of Allah. From Pre-Eternity he was chosen to be the one through whom the Hidden Treasure would become manifest. From Pre-Eternity he was chosen to be the Beloved of Allah. From Pre-Eternity he was chosen to be the Glory of the Universe and the Best of Creation and the Perfect Man. In being a Prophet when Adam was still between water and clay he was chosen to have Firstness. In being the Seal of the Prophets, the one to deliver the perfected religion to humanity, he was chosen to have Lastness. Allah chose to give him two of His Own Most Beautiful Names - The All-Clement (ar-Rauf) and The All-Compassionate (ar-Rahim). In following in the footsteps of Muhammad al Mustapha, in clinging to him and loving him more than life itself, the slaves of Allah are brought near and drink the wine of Divine Love.
(Salat) refers particularly to the ritual prayer. It is a connection between the slave and his Lord. The ritual ablution which precedes the salat symbolizes the separation from the self. The salat itself symbolizes the joining to Allah. The seven bodily postures of the ritual prayer are symbols of the stages on the Spiritual Journey of Return to the Source and also the seven levels of knowledge through which the traveller (salik) passes on his ascent. As 'the one who performs the prayer' (musalli) approaches closer to Allah, the more profound and intense is his salat. The Holy Prophet Muhammad said, "The prayer without you is better than seventy". As his heart is purified through spiritual struggle and the Remembrance of Allah, and as he journeys along the Path of Return, the traveller leaves his lower-self behind. Initially the Divine Light radiates into the heart of the musalli-salik. Gradually this Light increases and spreads, and eventually, through the Infinite Grace of Allah, it infuses and permeates every atom of his being. Then does he pray a prayer which is without himself, because 'None worships Allah but Allah'.
(Al Haqiqat al Muhammadiyya). This is 'The Reality of realities'. It is the first descent of Being from the Beyond of the Beyond. It is the Station of True Love and the stage of 'Or Nearer'. Just as man is unable to look directly into the physical sun because its brilliance would burn away his sight, so too is he unable to look at the Divine Sun because Its Pure Radiance would burn away his very existence. And just as the sun can only be viewed through a thin covering of cloud, so too the Divine Sun can only be seen through the Greatest Veil which is the Reality of Muhammad. The heart which has been infused with knowledge of The Reality of Muhammad soars to Allah Almighty. It takes the lover on the wings of overwhelming love ('Ishq) and longing (Shawq) to the Divine Presence.
When Prophet Noah saw the condition of the flood and he was afraid of the sinking of the ark, he used the intercession of Allah for the safety of the Ark (al Wasila). Allah told him to write on the mast the mixing of the Name of Allah and Muhammad (Alif Mim Lam)
(Salawat). Blessings and benedictions and salutations. Salawat refer most particularly to the blessings which the Muslim calls down upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). "Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation." (The Qur'an 33:56). The forms of the salawat are numerous, varying from short and concise prayers through to the profoundly mystical litanies of the great Masters of the higher teaching. And, just as the forms are many, so too are the levels of meaning contained within each salawat. These start from merely saying the salawat on the lips, without any awareness of the Holy Prophet, through to the visualizations of his blessed presence, his light, his essence and ultimately his Reality. Through the Grace of Allah the lover-slave-knower will then understand the words of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, 'I am Ahmad without the 'M''. This is a stage of utter bewilderment. The lover knows that Muhammad al Mustapha is the very ecstasy within his breast. He knows that Muhammad al Mustapha is Absolute Beauty and Absolute Perfection. In perceiving this Reality of Muhammad the lover becomes silent. How does he now approach the Beloved of Allah?
('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.
(Qaba Qawsayn). This term is also called 'Union of Union', or 'The Gathering of the Gathering'. It signifies one of the highest spiritual stations of Perfection which is attained by the greatest Perfect Men, that is, many of the Prophets of Allah and some of the great saints. This is the stage which immediately precedes absorption in the Source, Allah. It is the closest point that the slave can reach while still remaining the slave. It is that fine and inexpressible dividing line which separates Oneness from multiplicity, the Unseen from the visible, Allah from His slave.
(Wahdat-i makaniyyah). To attain to the Divine Presence, to reach Allah Almighty, the slave must be in a state of utter Unity. This Unity is comprised of three Unities Unity of Essence, Unity of Time and Unity of Place. Unity of Place is that 'placeless' Place which opens onto Infinity. 'Here' becomes Infinity. No longer is there the prayer-mat on which the slave is sitting or the bed in which the slave is dreaming. 'Here' is the endless 'There'. Such was the Perfection of Allah's Beloved, Muhammad al Mustapha, on the Night of his Ascension. May Allah Everlastingly shower him with His Salutations and give him Peace.
(Wahdat-i-zamaniyyah). The slave returns to the 'timeless' Time. This is the beginingless and endless moment in which he is 'no thing' ('la shay'). Only Allah IS. The slave is merely an entity through which Allah Almighty becomes manifest. The slave is at the bidding of his Lord. Before the perfect slave can attain to the Divine Presence he must be in absolute Unity. Without Unity he will never reach Allah because Allah IS Unity. Unity is the combination of three Unities Unity of Essence, Unity of Place and Unity of Time. Unity of Time is the 'timeless' Time which opens into Eternity. Unified Place, Time and Essence are the Divine Silence.