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

sidrat al-muntaha
Lote Tree of the Uttermost Boundary

(Al Sidrat al Muntaha). This tree marks the boundary of the intellect. It is located at the extreme verge of the created universe. Beyond it is nothing but the Pure Selfhood.

See also: Gabriel God-given Green cushion Heavenly Steed 'He-ness' Intellect Intelligible Night of the Ascension Presence of Angels Unity of Essence, Unity of Place Unity of Time
(Jibreel) The Archangel Gabriel (Peace be upon him), through whom the Final Revelation, The Qur'an, descended into the heart of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). His station is the borderland between The Angelic Realm and World of Dominion. Due to the fixed stations which the angels occupy, Jibreel could travel no further than the 'Lote Tree of the Uttermost Boundary' (Sidrat al Muntaha), through fear of being burned up.
(Ladunni). 'God-given' refers to that type of knowledge which was given to the Prophet al Khidr (Peace be upon him). This knowledge comes directly from the Presence of Allah. It does not come through research, reflection or reason. Ladunni is that direct knowledge of the friends of Allah which arrives through tasting and unveiling and is given to them by Allah.
(Rafraf). A green cloth (or cushion) of intense light which descended to the Holy Prophet Muhammad on his Ascension. Upon this rafraf he was pulled up for the last stage of the ascent to the Divine Throne in the Divine Presence. May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace.
(Buraq). The Heavenly Steed upon which the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) made his Night Journey and Ascension. Buraq is the steed of Divine Attraction and overwhelming love and longing (shawq) which carries the Lover to the Divine Presence. The provision on this Journey is Consciousness of Allah.
(Ma'qul). Intelligible, logical, reasonable, explainable. That which is conceived by the reason ('aql). On the Journey of Return the traveller reaches a point which is indicated by the name 'The Lote Tree of the Uttermost Boundary' where there is no longer anything that he could refer to as intelligible (ma'qul). Reason (al 'aql) and all things which can be conceived by it (ma'qul) must be left behind if the slave is amongst the chosen ones who are destined to be taken to the Divine Presence.
(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.
(Hadarat al Malakut). This Presence is sometimes referred to as the Second Determination, 'The Lote Tree of the Uttermost Boundary' (Sidrat al Muntaha) and the World of Imagination ('Alam al Khayal.)
(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.

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