The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Sajda pl. Sujud). The sajda, which is the culminating position in the ritual prayer, is the supreme symbol of humility, surrender and unconditional love of Allah. The slave and worshipper is annihilated in the One. When the heart prostrates, it never again rises from that prostration. Within each cycle of the prayer there are two prostrations. The first sajda symbolizes the Self at Peace and the fourth stage of knowledge, Knowledge of Certainty. The second sajda symbolizes the Well-pleasing Self and the sixth stage of knowledge, the Truth of Certainty. Through the Infinite Grace of Allah the lover may arrive at the Noble, Sacred Sanctuary. This the Noble Prophet Muhammad himself (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). The lover-slave prostrates before the Noble Sanctuary who is his sole means of attaining the Divine Presence.
(Fana'). Self-annihilation or self-effacement or dissolution or passing away from self. Through being joined to Allah, the Real; man is annihilated from himself - the 'limited existence' of the traveller is overpowered by the 'absolute existence' of Allah, so that the traveller becomes unaware of his own self and the creation. Fana' is the last stage on the ascent to Allah. When travelling to the Source, the seeker passes through different levels of fana', each of which brings him closer to his Goal. There are hundreds, even thousands, of fana's. Every time a form of ignorance is removed to be replaced by knowledge, the murid has experienced fana'. He has tasted the annihilation of an ignorance. And, every moment of existence is in fact a moment which is pregnant with its own particular knowledge. So, for the aware one, each moment can be a fana'. However, within the higher teaching of Tasawwuf there are three major types of fana', through which the murid must travel if he is to reach the Absolute. These are Annihilation in the Murshid/Spiritual Guide, Annihilation in the Messenger and Annihilation in Allah.
(Habibullah). This blessed name is proper only to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). No one reaches Allah by being a lover, only by being the Beloved, and it is for this very reason that 'No one will meet Allah before meeting the Prophet'. The lover must be annihilated in the Beloved of Allah, (fana' fi-rasul) before attaining annihilation in Allah (fana' fillah).
(Uswa hasana). The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the beautiful model. Through his perfect example man is given the means of drawing closer, and yet closer, to Allah. The degrees of such nearness depend upon the manner and attitude in which one follows the beautiful model. Those who love Allah and His Messenger more than anything, more than life itself, are the slaves who follow Muhammad al Mustapha in their outer lives and in their inner realities. To approach Allah, the slave must first meet the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This meeting is a Mystery. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, the beautiful model, becomes the slave's inner reality through the unveiling of the Reality of Muhammad. The hadith says, "Who has seen me has seen Allah".
('Ilm al Yaqin). There are three stages of Certainty - ''llm al Yaqin (The Knowledge of Certainty), 'Ayn al Yaqin (The Eye of Certainty) and Haqq al yaqin (The Truth of Certainty). When considering this triad the Knowledge of Certainty occupies the first stage. It could be likened to hearing the description of a fire. It is followed by the Eye of Certainty, which is like actually seeing the light of the flames of that fire. Finally there is the Truth of Certainty which is being consumed by the flames of that blazing fire. Haqq al yaqin is the final stage in the ascent before attaining Real Islam. The seven levels of knowledge through which the traveller must pass are Islam; Iman; Ihsan; 'Ilm al Yaqin; 'Ayn al Yaqin; Haqq al Yaqin and Islam. (Surrender, Faith, Perfection, Knowledge of Certainty, The Eye of Certainty, The Truth of Certainty and Total Surrender and Submission).
(Wasila) indicates the means through which man can come close to Allah. "Seek the means of approach to Him" (The Qur'an 5:35). The one and only wasila is the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). There is no other means to ascend from the physical realm to the Divine Presence. The seeker traverses the first stages of the Journey of Return to Allah with the direct aid and under the protection of his Murshid. These are the stages of spiritual struggle, ascetic discipline and abstinence. Through the Grace of Allah the murid may attain to annihilation in the Murshid. But, no one will meet Allah before meeting the Prophet. The murid can advance no further towards Allah Almighty unless he travels with the wasila. The lover does not reach Allah through being a lover. He only reaches Allah through being the Beloved of Allah, and there is only one Beloved of Allah and that is Muhammad al Mustapha. The only way up is within him. Because the Reality of Muhammad has been unveiled to the slaves and true followers of the Master Muhammad, they are drowned and annihilated in him.
(The stairs to ascend to the top floor) Using the means - 'by the baraka of. . . '
(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.
(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'.
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.
The Distributor. The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is The Distributor. The Light of Muhammad is from the Light of Allah and all of creation is from Muhammad's Light. He is the Master and Teacher of all of creation to whom he distributes his Light. And Light is Knowledge. The Holy Prophet prayed, "O! Allah, make me into Light!" and he also prayed, "My Lord! increase me in Knowledge". Each one of the Masters of the higher teaching, who are his Inheritors and spiritual family, receive directly from him their portion of Divine Knowledge. They, in their turn, distribute their portion amongst their murids. If the murid advances beyond annihilation in his Murshid to annihilation in the Messenger, he too will receive his portion of Divine Knowledge directly from Qasim, the Distributor, the Holy Prophet himself.
(Haqq al Yaqin). There are three stages of Certainty 'Ilm al Yaqin (The Knowledge of Certainty), 'Ayn al yaqin (The Eye of Certainty) and Haqq al Yaqin (The Truth of Certainty). When considering this triad the Truth of Certainty could be likened to being consumed by the flames of a blazing fire after the two preliminary stages of 'Ilm al Yaqin (merely hearing a description of that fire) and 'Ayn al Yaqin (actually seeing the light of the flames of a fire). Haqq al Yaqin is the final stage in the ascent before attaining Real Islam. The seven levels of knowledge through which the traveller (Salik) must pass are Islam; Iman; Ihsan; 'Ilm al Yaqin; 'Ayn al Yaqin; Haqq al Yaqin and Islam. (Surrender, Faith, Perfection, Knowledge of Certainty, The Eye of Certainty, The Truth of Certainty and Total Surrender and Submission).