(Hayawaniyyah). Creation is a hierarchy. Each entity has its own level which indicates its position within that hierarchy. The animals occupy their own level and in so doing they fulfil and complete all the requirements demanded by that level of manifestation. Man was created to become the locus of manifestation for the All-Comprehensive Name 'Allah'. He has been given the choice to return to Allah either as a 'human being' who has fulfilled his 'reason for being' or as a mere human who has the qualities of an animal. In this latter case he may be described by the word hayawaniyah - animality, because he has fallen beneath his own hierarchical level.
(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).
(Nafs). The ego or the self or the soul. The nafs is that dimension of man which stands between the spirit which is light, and the physical body which is darkness. The spiritual struggle or combat is waged against the downward-pulling tendencies of the nafs which seduce the heart away from Allah. The nafs is also the domain of imagination. Allah is within our own selves, yet we do not see Allah. The work of the higher teaching is directed towards transforming the 'Lower Self' into the Higher 'Perfect Self' and 'seeing' Allah everywhere. There are seven stages of the self, seven postures in the ritual prayer, seven verses or 'signs' in the opening chapter of The Qur'an, and seven levels of knowledge, all of which are finely interconnected.
Shaykh Mahmoud Taha of Sudan writes concerning the self: "This soul is immortal in essence despite the changes that befall it through different forms and at different times and places. At no time does the soul cease its quest for immortality - to be immortal in form as it is in essence. This story is . . . the story of every human being. However, we all have forgotten it. By 'forgetting' it is meant that it settled at the bottom of the unconscious and was then covered by a thick layer of illusions and fears that we inherited from the times of ignorance and superstition. There is no way that we can achieve our happiness unless we break through this thick layer. . . which prevents the forms of the unconscious to be reflected in the mirror of the conscious and hence reveal the greater truth, the truth of truths that is shrouded by the veils of light. This long story that flows from the unconscious is made of the same stuff as that of dreams. The Qur'an is made out of the same stuff. It was brought into existence only to remind us of our extraordinary story. He who remembers it will acquire knowledge beyond which there is no ignorance and an immortality beyond which there is no perishing".
(Lata'if). This term generally refers to the subtle essences (or centres) in the body. The cleansing of the subtle centres forms the spiritual struggle of the Path. The cleansing of each separate latifah marks a stage in the Journey of Return. Lata'if also defines the subtleties within the being of the knower and lover of Allah. The mystical vision during the spiritual concert prepares a thousand of these lata'if within the ecstatic.