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


Purified One. The name Sufi applies to the man or woman who has purified his heart through the Remembrance of Allah, travelled the Path of Return to Allah, and arrived at True Knowledge. There are many seekers of Wisdom and Truth, but only the Realized One whose search was solely for Allah, deserves the name Sufi. Yet paradoxically, the one deserving of the name would never deem himself worthy of such an honour. Because he has attained such a high degree in his Knowledge of Allah he knows, with Certainty, that 'the slave is the slave and the Lord is the Lord'.

See also: Beautiful Model Bereft Independence Needy One who aspires People of blame Poor Pretender Remembrance of Allah Saints Seeker Servitude Slave Spiritual courtesy Spiritual Guide Those in the middle
(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".
(Miskin). Poor and utterly and totally bereft. This miskin is the slave who is at the absolute extremity of need of Allah. He has been stripped of everything and exists purely to manifest the All-Comprehensive Name 'Allah'.
(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.
(Miskin). Needy, poor and utterly and totally bereft. The 'miskin' is the slave who is at the absolute extremity of need of Allah. He has been stripped of everything and exists purely to manifest the All-Comprehensive Name 'Allah'.
(Al Malamatiyya). These are the Perfect Ones. Their exteriors never disclose the reality of their interiors. They are those who know and are not known. Al malamatiyya are Allah's perfect slaves, Allah's perfect lovers, Allah's perfect knowers. They manifest His All-Comprehensive Name 'Allah', without a trace of Lordship. Allah has placed their 'blaming self' over them as a protection against self-conceit or satisfaction. They are the greatest of the Sufis. They are in constant submission and surrender to the Will of Allah. A Murshid (Spiritual Guide) who is one of the malamatiyya is the perfect Murshid and his murids often attain to Manliness. The Master of the cosmos, the Best of Creation, Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace), who is a Malamatiyya, is their Master.
(Al Fuqara). The indigents or the poor. This term refers to the spiritual poverty of travellers on the Sufi Path. These travelling murids who are in need of their Spiritual Guide or Murshid, display their poverty towards him, and in so doing, they make firm his poverty towards Allah.
(Mutsawwif). The one who pretends to have mystic knowledge. Through such pretence the mutsawwif becomes a danger to himself and others. While being held firmly in the grip of his own lower self, this pretender alleges that he can guide others to their Higher Self. The seeker must be on the alert when searching for an authentic Spiritual Guide. When the actions and words of the mutsawwif are weighed in the Scale of the Sacred Law and when his conduct is measured against the 'beautiful model' of the Holy Prophet Muhammad it is easy to discern that he is a fraud.
(Dhikrullah). Invocation of Allah through one of His Names or through His Words. The perfect dhikrullah, in which Allah becomes the seeing, the hearing, the speaking, the grasping of the one who remembers, is attained when every atom of the dhakir's being is absorbed and annihilated in the Remembrance of Allah. The dhakir becomes internally unified with the Absolute. Only then does Allah sit totally with the one who remembers Allah.
(Murid). The one who desires Allah. The murid is the seeker of Reality who is under the direction of a Spiritual Guide (Murshid). He has entered the company of those who concentrate upon Allah through the Remembrance of His Most Holy Name 'Allah'.
('Ubada). Servitude and bondage. This is the fulfilment and consummation of slavehood ('ubudiyya) when the slave loses himself in the Will of his Lord. 'Ubada is 'the Nearness of obligatory works' which is one of the four stations of Perfection. To realize 'ubuda is to be gifted with a very high degree of Knowledge of Allah. To know that 'the slave is the slave and the Lord is the Lord' is the supreme form of spiritual courtesy towards Allah. The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the Beloved of Allah and His Chosen One. No one is more perfect than him. No one can attain to his Knowledge. Yet Allah says in The Qur'an, "Glory be to Him Who carried His slave by night" (17:1). The slave is in bondage ('ubuda). Bondage is Perfection. Bondage is Knowledge.
('Abd). The slave (and worshipper) is the one who is in a state of total and utter submission to the Will of Allah. After having been annihilated in Allah where all duality vanished and distinctions were erased, he returns to creation with perfect courtesy and with the Truth of Certainty that 'the Lord is the Lord and the slave is the slave'. When 'abd is translated as 'servant' it carries the implication that the servant can leave the service of his Master, if he so desires. However, the 'slave' is in total bondage, being utterly dependent upon his Master. All buying and selling transactions have been terminated. The slave belongs to Allah, completely, perfectly and unconditionally.
(Adab) is spiritual courtesy and gracious behaviour of the Path and perfect refinement of words and deeds. Adab is giving each thing and each moment its proper due. The science of the higher teaching is based upon adab, which encompasses all of human life. It extends from right behaviour with regard to the Sacred Law (Shari'a), right behaviour with one's fellow travellers, proper conduct towards the teaching and one's teacher, and reaches to unceasing spiritual courtesy to Allah Himself. The proper courtesy towards the Law is to stay within its boundaries, the proper conduct with regards to good actions is to complete the action and disconnect from it. Adab with regard to the Real is knowing what belongs to oneself and what belongs to Allah. Each moment and each situation has it's own adab. It has been said that the higher teaching is all adab and the greater your understanding and implementation of proper conduct is, the higher you are in the teaching.
(Murshid/Shaykh/Pir). The Murshid is a True Inheritor of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). After having been taken to the Divine Presence during his ascension the slave has been returned, by Allah, to the creation to guide and perfect the still imperfect ones. He was taken up as a slave and returned as a slave and Murshid. The qualities of an authentic Murshid are those of his own Master and Teacher, the Holy Prophet himself. The sacred connection between a Murshid and his murids was established in Pre-Eternity and continues into Eternity. Because of the Murshid's own spiritual attainments his murids have the possibility of becoming travellers. The perfect Murshid is of The People of Blame and his murids sometimes also attain Perfection. For the murid, the Murshid is one of the 'signs on the horizons', the outward of his own inward. What he sees in the mirror of his Murshid is a reflection of what is within his own self. He may also see within the Murshid the good qualities and excellent character traits which are yet latent in himself.
(Mutawassitun). Those travellers who are in the middle of the Path. They are the ones who experience exile, though it is not yet the exile of the advanced ones. al mutawassitun are struggling and striving, sometimes seeing only Allah, sometimes seeing the 'other'.

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