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


(Tahawwul). Self-transmutation, or to change from one situation to another. Allah is constantly transmuting Himself within His Self-disclosures. The root of this tahawwul is the diversity of the Divine Names. It is only the knower of Allah who sees Allah everywhere and at all times. The Knower never denies Allah in any form, place, time or situation, here or there, ever! His respect for each form, place, time and situation is perfect because it is based upon his knowledge of Allah's Self-transmutation (tahawwul).

See also: Knower of Allah Man of Divine courtesy Man of moral courtesy Names Perfection Slave Spiritual courtesy State Wisdom
('Arif Billah). This Man is the one who has fulfilled his 'reason to be'. He has purified himself in readiness to receive the supreme mystic knowledge which is Knowledge of Allah. It is in knowing Allah that man is drawn closer to Allah. 'The water takes on the colour of its cup'. The clearer the receptacle the greater is its capacity to manifest the Divine.
(Al adib al Ilahi) The man of divine courtesy sees clearly the relationship which exists between Wisdom (hikmah) and the secondary causes (asbab). He is the one who affirms what Allah has affirmed in the place where Allah has affirmed it and in the manner in which He has affirmed it and who negates what Allah has negated in the place where Allah has negated it and in the manner in which Allah has negated it.
(Al Adib). The man of moral courtesy is the one who gives to each thing and to each moment its due. He is a 'knower of the moment' and with this knowledge he puts everything in its right place. The Sufi is al adib.
(Asma). Names. The Names designate permanent 'aspects' of the Essence. Every Name has a meaning and a form. The meaning of every Name is Allah. It is only through the Names, all of which are Allah's, that we have access to Knowledge of Allah. The Divine Names seek the Perfect Man (Insan al Kamil) to be their perfect locus of manifestation. Through their seeking him and their requiring his existence the knower comes to understand the nobility and grandeur of the Perfect Man.
(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).
('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.
(Hikma). Justice ('Adl) is 'putting everything in its proper place'. Wisdom (Hikma), which is closely connected to justice, is 'to act as is proper to each situation'. To be able to act in such a manner it is necessary to have discernment of relationships. Wisdom is the perfect balance of knowledge and practice. It is the sign of the perfect friends of Allah and is possessed, in its highest degree, by the People of Blame (Al Malamatiyya).

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