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


(Tanaffus). This refers specifically to the Divine Breathing, which is synonymous with the Word of Command "Be!" ("Kun!"). Allah's 'breathing out' is His 'sending out' what was in His Interior to the Exterior by means of the Word "Be!". Allah Himself then comes to exist in the Exterior.

See also: Book Breath Breath of the Merciful Descent of Being Letter Reality of Muhammad Sign Silence Speech
(Kitab) The Great Silence became qualified with letters. The letters formed into words. The words gathered into sentences and the sentences into a book. It is said that each part of every existent thing is a 'letter' of Allah, and each creation is a 'word' of Allah, and each life is a 'sentence' of Allah and each world is a 'book' of Allah. We read the book to gain Knowledge of Allah. The world is a book and the human is a book. In these two books we can read the signs of Allah, 'on the horizons and within ourselves', which will enable us to ascend to the Great Silence once again.
(Nafas). Breath or instant. Nafas is the indivisible moment in which every existent in the cosmos undergoes a new creation. The spiritual energy (barakah) of the Sufi Path is transmitted on the breath of the Murshid. It is only through receiving the bay'ah, the Pledge of Initiation, face-to-face from the Murshid that the full power of this Divine Breath can start working within the murid. The Murshid, who himself has received this transmission of the breath from his own Murshid, then passes the breath to his murids. Contemplation upon his own breath can bring the murid to knowledge of 'the renewal of creation in each instant'.
(Tanazzul/tanzil). The Descent of Being by means of the Divine Revelation. This is the descent of the Absolute from Total Inwardness, through the various degrees, to Outward Manifestation. The beautiful Hadith Qudsi says, "I was a Hidden Treasure and I loved to be known and so I created the creations and through Me they knew me". Man's descent through the Five Presences, from inward non-manifestation within the Knowledge of Allah to outward manifestation within the world, is known as the spiritual ascent of composition ('uruj at-tarkib). His Return Journey back through the Five Presences to Allah, is known as the spiritual ascent of decomposition (mi'raj at-tahlil). The Divine Revelation makes Its Descent (tanazzul) in order for man to ascend along that Pure Radiation of Divine Light back to the Sacred Source. 'Allah took a handful of His Light and said to It 'Be! Muhammad.' And It was'. The descent (tanazzul) of Being is through the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself, through his Reality (al haqiqat al Muhammadiyyah). And the ascent to Being is through the Holy Prophet. Allah Almighty becomes known through His Beloved Prophet Muhammad. May Allah Bless him and give him Eternal Peace.
(Harf). As a letter of the alphabet, harf symbolises the language or expressions with which the Real One addresses His slave. For language to be used there must be two, a duality. There must be the Lord (Rabb) and His slave (Al Abd). The Great Silence is beyond such duality - it is within the Essence Itself.
(Al Haqiqat al Muhammadiyya). This is 'The Reality of realities'. It is the first descent of Being from the Beyond of the Beyond. It is the Station of True Love and the stage of 'Or Nearer'. Just as man is unable to look directly into the physical sun because its brilliance would burn away his sight, so too is he unable to look at the Divine Sun because Its Pure Radiance would burn away his very existence. And just as the sun can only be viewed through a thin covering of cloud, so too the Divine Sun can only be seen through the Greatest Veil which is the Reality of Muhammad. The heart which has been infused with knowledge of The Reality of Muhammad soars to Allah Almighty. It takes the lover on the wings of overwhelming love ('Ishq) and longing (Shawq) to the Divine Presence. When Prophet Noah saw the condition of the flood and he was afraid of the sinking of the ark, he used the intercession of Allah for the safety of the Ark (al Wasila). Allah told him to write on the mast the mixing of the Name of Allah and Muhammad (Alif Mim Lam)
('Alama). Sign or omen or mark. The cosmos ('alam) is a sign and a mark ('alama) of Allah. It is a proof of Allah. But a mark denotes only that which is limited, so the cosmos does not denote His Essence, only the knowledge that He exists. Every sign, every mark indicates Allah, but the majority of mankind recognize Allah only in that particular mark or sign in which they have limited Allah. The knower and lover never limit Allah. They recognize Allah in every 'alama.
(Sukun) is silence or stillness. This is the great silent stillness of the Essence to which the hearts of the lovers of Allah yearn to return.
(Kalam) is speech or words. The Source, Allah, is the Great Silence. In the process of descent, the Supreme Silence is firstly qualified with letters which then appear as words. The words become a sentence or sign which then appears as a form or book. The world is a book and the human is a book. In these two books we can read the signs of Allah, "on the horizons and within ourselves", which will enable us to ascend, and dwell once again, in the Great Silence.

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