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

Path or Way

(Tariqa) is the narrow and steep Spiritual Path to Reality. The qualified seeker can travel this Path only under the direction of a qualified Spiritual Guide. The name Tariqa is specific to the Islamic Spiritual Path.

See also: Breath One who aspires Permission Pledge of Initiation Pretender Seeker Spiritual Chain Spiritual courtesy of companionship Spiritual Guide Spiritual Journey Traveller Travelling Trust
(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'.
(Idhn). Permission of one in authority. It is always the higher authority that gives permission to that which is lower. Therefore within the Spiritual Path this permission always comes from The Highest Authority - Allah. Permission (idhn) for the murid to undertake spiritual practices is given by his Murshid. In reality this permission descends from Allah Almighty through His Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) and then into the hearts of the Noble Mashayekh of the Spiritual Paths. It is this Supreme Permission that permeates the spiritual practices and infuses them with their powerful barakah.
(Mutsawwif). The one who pretends to have mystic knowledge. Through such pretence the mutsawwif becomes a danger to himself and others. While being held firmly in the grip of his own lower self, this pretender alleges that he can guide others to their Higher Self. The seeker must be on the alert when searching for an authentic Spiritual Guide. When the actions and words of the mutsawwif are weighed in the Scale of the Sacred Law and when his conduct is measured against the 'beautiful model' of the Holy Prophet Muhammad it is easy to discern that he is a fraud.
(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'.
(Silsilat). The Spiritual Chain of each tariqa descends from the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) down to the present-day Shaykh. It is through his attachment to the silsilat that the newly initiated murid has the means to travel to Allah under Divine Protection.
(Adab al suhba). This is the mutual respect and gracious behaviour which exists between the Murshid and his murid. The murid needs the Murshid who needs the murid! The Murshid's adab towards the murid springs from his own intrinsic need of Allah. The Murshid's awareness and knowledge of his own need of Allah continually increases. This awareness is strengthened when he regards the murid's need of Allah (through the Murshid.) The murid's adab towards the Murshid becomes more refined as he travels the Path. With the opening of his inner-eye he is able to see the reality of his Murshid and such a 'seeing' necessarily brings with it a beautiful adab.
(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.
(Safar). This is the Journey from the multiplicity of the periphery to the Unity at the Centre. The safar commences when the heart is turned towards Allah through His Remembrance. Safar is the Spiritual Journey through the various stations, from the self to the Self..
(Musaffir) is the traveller (salik) who understands invisible things through the analogy of visible ones, thereby swimming from the shore of this world to the further shore.
(Suluk) is travelling or Wayfaring. Suluk is journeying along the Spiritual Path of Return to the Source. It is the methodical travelling, through the states and stations, under the direction of a Spiritual Master (Shaykh, Murshid). The one who travels is the salik. The advance of the slave towards Allah is really the advance of Allah towards His slave. "Verily, I desire them more than they desire Me" says the beautiful Hadith Qudsi.
(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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