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


(Ta'ah). The one who wants to know Reality must strive in all his acts of obedience until Allah becomes his hearing, his seeing and all of his other faculties. Obedience to, and supreme respect of, the Sacred Law is essential from the outset on the Spiritual Journey and throughout the entire life of the knower and lover of Allah. The degree of the murid's obedience towards the Murshid clearly indicates the intensity of his sincerity and yearning for Allah. "Obey Allah and obey the Messenger" (The Qur'an 4:59) and "He who obeys the Messenger obeys Allah" (The Qur'an 4:80). Such true obedience is a Divine Gift and a Grace of Allah to His slave. Obedience is initially motivated by fear of punishment, but ultimately it is through pure, unconditional and selfless love of Allah and His Beloved Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace).

See also: Actions Fear Passionate love of Allah Perfection Seeker Servitude Slave Spiritual courtesy Spiritual Guide Trust
(Af'al). Human actions or deeds. Allah created man, but to what extent did He create man's actions and works? This question of free will and predestination should not be a major concern to the traveller to Allah. He must occupy his time and devote his efforts towards purifying his intentions and actions so that they conform to those of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, who is our Beautiful Model. In following him and striving to emulate his actions and deeds man will attain to felicity. Predestination is a secret of Allah which He only reveals to the most perfect Knowers.
(Khawf). Fear acts as a warning of something terrifying in the future. In the initial stages of the Spiritual Journey the murid experiences great fear of the treachery of his own self, and also the fear of falling short of his Murshid's directions. However, when this fear is complimented with hope the murid finds the courage and the strength with which to attack the inner enemies. Fear of Allah leads to Knowledge of Allah which opens into Love of Allah. The lover who has found Allah fears losing Allah. Such a fear may overcome the lover who has found Allah in ecstasy during the sama'.
('Ishq). Intense, overflowing and passionate love of Allah. Some say that 'ishq cannot arise without actual vision of the Beloved. 'Ishq is the highest stage before absorption in Allah. It is as rare as the red sulphur. It burns away everything of the lover ('Ashiq) transforming him into the beloved. After annihilation in Allah and absorption in Allah, where all is blindness and there is no longer any vision, the lover is separated from the Beloved and his 'ishq burns afresh. Passionate love of Allah is without limit.
(Ihsan). Excellence or perfection or sanctifying virtue or spiritual beauty. Ihsan has three degrees: 1).To do the good that should be done with one's property, words, acts and states. 2). To worship with total presence like one was actually seeing one's Lord. 3). To contemplate Allah in all things, at all times and always. Perfection is the third rung on the seven-runged ladder of Knowledge. These seven levels are Islam, Iman; Ihsan; 'Ilm al yaqin; 'Ayn al yaqin; Haqq al yaqin; Islam. (Surrender, Faith, Perfection, Knowledge of Certainty, The Eye of Certainty, The Truth of Certainty and Total Surrender and Submission).
(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.
(Amanat). The Trust was offered to the heavens and the earth, but they refused to carry it, but mankind accepted the Trust. The Trust is to act as a locus of manifestation of the All-Comprehensive Name 'Allah'. The Perfect Man is the one who fulfills this Trust and in so doing becomes worthy of being Allah's representative on this earth.

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