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


(Ruku'). The bowing posture of the ritual prayer. The ruku' is the outward bodily symbol of an inner reality. It symbolizes both the traveller's arrival at 'The Self that Blames' and also the second rung (faith) on the ladder towards Knowledge.

See also: Faith Form Meanings Prayer Self-Blaming
(Iman) is to feel secure and safe. Iman is belief, and it is the verbal expression of that belief and it is putting that belief into practice. It is the second rung on the ladder to perfection: verbal surrender (Islam), faith (Iman), perfection (Ihsan), the Knowledge of Certainty ('Ilm al Yaqin), the Eye of Certainty ('Ayn al Yaqin), the Truth of Certainty (Haqq al Yaqin) and Unconditional surrender with Knowledge (Islam).
(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'.
(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.
(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'.

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