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


(Rububiyya). The cosmos has two basic levels which are expressed in various ways - that of the Real and the creation, Independence and poverty, Lordship and slavehood. It is the existence of Lordship which demands slavehood. Lordship is the most exalted level and slavehood is the lowest level. There is nothing more lowly than to be subject to the locus of nothingness and to stand in need of another for one's own existence.

See also: Independence Level Lordliness Man Slavehood Spiritual Poverty Those deeply rooted in knowledge
(Ghina). Independence, wealth and in need of nothing. Allah, as the Essence, is perfectly Independent and in need of nothing. He knows Himself and we know nothing of Allah in His Essence. The essential attribute of creation is poverty (faqr) which is the opposite of wealth (ghina). We are dependent upon, and in need of, Allah. Independence from creation belongs to the Essence from Eternity-without-Beginning. Poverty towards Allah in His Independence belongs to the possible thing in its state of non-existence from Eternity-without-Beginning. Due to the 'renewal of creation in each instant' the entities are constantly poor and needy towards Allah in each instant. Within each smallest duration of time in the cosmos the entities are in utter need and poverty. The knower of Allah knows his essential poverty and Allah's Essential Wealth. He is the true faqir.
(Rabbaniyya). In the perfection of manliness there is a hint of lordliness, but in the essential perfection of slavehood there is no lordliness whatsoever.
(Bashar). Bashar is 'man made of flesh' or mankind. Bashar alludes to the 'tenderness' (al mubasharah) with which Allah kneaded man between His Two Hands; "I am about to create man (bashar)... " (The Qur'an 15:28).
(Ubudiyya). What is slavehood? To leave that which is yours and to be steadfast upon that which you have been commanded. Slavehood is the state of the one who is drawing near to Allah through acts of devotion. 'Ubudiyya is 'the Nearness of supererogatory works' which is the lowest of the four stations of Perfection. The lover-knower-slave of Allah becomes adorned with the attributes of slavehood ('Ubudiyya) and servitude ('Ubuda) after having lost himself in annihilation in Allah. In becoming 'no thing' the slave is returned to the creation with the Perfection of Servitude ('ubuda).
(Faqr). Indigence and spiritual poverty and destitution and neediness. True poverty is to own nothing, not even one's own self. Spiritual Poverty is to 'know' that Allah is the Independent One Who is in need of nothing. Spiritual Poverty is to belong totally and unconditionally to Allah Almighty. This is the station of Union with Allah. Need is an innate condition of human beings - they are always in need of something and as creations of Allah, they are always in need of Him as it says in the Holy Qur'an "O mankind! It is you that have need of Allah. but Allah is the One Free of all wants, worthy of all praise". (35:15). Shaykh Ibn al Husayn al Sulami says that 'true poverty is a secret between Allah and His slave and the truly poor must strive to conceal his condition: therefore, he should be tranquil when in adversity and always refrain from asking people for anything lest he make his state known'.
(Ar Rasikhun fil 'ilm). These are the divine sages who possess correct knowledge of themselves and their Lord and Master, Allah. When their Master, Allah Commands them to do something they occupy themselves totally until the task is achieved. On completing that task they then come under the command of a specific Divine Name. In times of weakness the Divine Name, the Gentle, takes them under its command. When they require help the Divine Name, the Helper, gives them their designated amount of help. And so on with all of the Names, until Allah Calls to them. Then once again they occupy themselves totally with His Command. This is the meaning behind the slave occupying himself with the supererogatory worship and works until he hears the call to the obligatory prayer. At that time all supererogatory works are forbidden. When the Essence Commands him to do a task the slave is forbidden to receive his wages from a Divine Name. Those deeply rooted in knowledge (Ar Rasikhun fil 'ilm) know this!

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