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


(Tadbir). Governing or arranging. The spirit governs the body in two ways. Firstly in a manner which is intrinsic and of its very essence, and secondly in a manner which must be acquired through spiritual maturity and conscious effort. The spirit governs the body by directing it in the Path of self perfection. To attain to Knowledge of Allah the slave is required to abandon the governing and arranging of things for himself.

See also: Great Man Lord Perfect Man Physical body Slave Small world Spirit
(Insan Kabir). This term is applied to the universe, the macrocosm. The signs of Allah are on the horizons, in the macrocosm, and within ourselves, the microcosm. The universe is the great man (Insan Kabir) and man is the small world or universe ('Alam Saghir).
(Maula). The Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) said, "Whose lord I am, his lord is Ali".
(Al Insan al Kamil). He is the viceregent of Allah, through whom Allah contemplates His Own Name-derived Perfection. The Perfect Man has actualized the divine form and in carrying the Trust has fulfilled his reason for being. It is through the Perfect Man that Allah enters the world. Al Insan al Kamil is also one of the names given to the Supreme Isthmus. Man consists of a body and a spirit which governs it. The cosmos also consists of a body and a spirit which governs it. Its spirit is the Perfect Man. Without him the cosmos is likened to a discarded body.
(Jism). Man consists of a body and a spirit which governs that body. In being referred to as 'the great man' the cosmos is also a body containing a spirit which governs it. The spirit of the cosmos is the Perfect Man. The bodies of the Prophets of Allah (Peace be upon them) and His friends are not material bodies, but spiritual bodies. Their physical bodies are encased within their spiritual bodies, yet, this reality is not perceived by those who are spiritually blind, those whose inner eye has not been opened. It is said, 'If the reality of the Sufi was to be unveiled he would be worshipped'.
('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.
('Alam saghir) contains all the worlds in latent form. This world is Man himself.
(Ruh). The Ruh is that centre within man which is attracted and drawn back to its Source. The spirit endeavours to pull the heart towards Allah, while the lower self exerts a downward pull on the heart. The human spirit is also Allah's Spirit because Allah breathed His Spirit into man. In being both 'uncreated' and 'created' the Ruh makes its descent. On the Night of Power, "Therein descend the angels and the Spirit, by Allah's permission" (Qur'an 97:4). The 'uncreated' spirit is equated with the Reality of Muhammad and the 'created' spirit extends from the Divine Throne down to the Perfect Man. The Ruh cannot be seen except by the man who has outstripped 'both the worlds'. The spirit is neither within nor without the body, neither detached from it or attached to it. It is both within and without, detached and attached. The luminosity which radiates from a man depends upon the degree of activity of his Ruh.

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