The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
Giving of Knowledge
(Ta'rif). The giving of Divine knowledge may occur through unveiling or within dream-visions or through inspiration. The giving of knowledge (ta'rif) is distinct from the knowledge gained through reflection.
(Ta'rif ilahi). Man is born into ignorance. He does not know why he has been born, what is the purpose of existence, whether his end will be felicitous or wretched. Man is utterly ignorant of Allah's Knowledge of him. Through a Divine bestowal of knowledge he comes to know those things about which he was ignorant.
(Ma'rifa) is a light which Allah casts into the heart of whomsoever He Wills. This is the true knowledge which comes through unveiling, witnessing and tasting. This knowledge is from Allah, it is not Allah Himself, because He Is Unknowable in His Essence. The triad on the Sufi Path of Return is comprised of Fear, Knowledge and Love. Fear leads to Knowledge which leads to Unconditional Love of Allah. It is said that spiritual struggle is child's play while ma'rifa is men's work.
(Ilham). Divine inspiration or effusion. Ilham is an blowing in of the Holy Spirit into the heart of a Prophet or a Friend of Allah. Ilham is distinct from Revelation which is specific only to the Prophets of Allah. The Divine Ilham is the immense spiritual force through which the Friends of Allah speak their words of Wisdom, write their books of Knowledge, sing their songs of Divine Love. Only the purified heart which has been sanctified through the remembrance of Allah is worthy of this inblowing of ilham. The Verified Shaykh can recognise the one into whom it is blown and the work of creative inspiration which results from that inblowing. The Word of Allah descends firstly as Revelation (wahy), secondly as Inspiration (ilham) and thirdly as Incoming Thoughts (khawatir).
(Fikr). Reflection or the power of thought and cogitation. It is the ability to put together the details accumulated by the senses and acquired through the imagination. Fikr is a quality possessed only by man, and even though it is one of the means through which he can obtain knowledge of Allah, ultimately, True Knowledge of the Absolute comes through 'unveiling', 'opening', 'taste', 'insight' and 'witnessing'.
(Kashf). Unveiling or revelation is one of the types of direct experience through which Knowledge of Reality is unveiled to the heart of the slave and lover. In His Infinite Grace Allah gives His slave and lover a Divine Self-disclosure which not only increases his Knowledge of Allah but also increases his yearning and intense love of Allah. The great Sufis are called The People of Unveiling and Finding. Within the unveiling they find Allah. This unveiling and finding frequently occurs during the spiritual concert. In a moment, when it is perceived through unveiling that 'Allah is the singer and Allah is the hearer', the singer and the hearer become One, disappearing into Allah.