The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Tawalla). This term signifies the slave's returning to himself after being with Allah. After annihilation in Allah the slave is returned to himself and to the creation. Were he to remain with Allah the slave would be constantly 'mad-in-Allah'. Such a condition is not that of the Perfect Ones who 'turn away', and are returned, in order to perfect the still imperfect ones. After performing the pilgrimage to Holy Mecca the slave turns away and returns to Holy Medina. He is turning away from Mecca and facing Medina. If the slave is to remain in 'this world' he must turn away from the Overpowering Majesty of Mecca. His human condition demands and needs the Sheer Beauty of Medina. However, were it not for Sacred Medina he would never ever have made the journey to Sacred Mecca. So, there really is no turning away, for "Which ever way you turn there is the Face of Allah" (The Qur'an 2:115). This is abiding after annihilation.
(Baqa ba'da-l fana). Eternity or perpetuity after extinction. This is abiding after passing away. The knower abides in Allah and yet goes out towards creation with love, generosity, honour and dignity. Abiding after annihilation is for the Perfect Man who has work to do in the world with guiding and perfecting the still imperfect ones. If there is no work to be done Allah keeps His slave with Himself in the Station of stations.
This is the celestial name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). Ahmad is 'the most praiseworthy of those who praise Allah'. His praise, which is none other than The Qur'an, is the complete and most elevated of all praises. All praises are gathered together in his praise. When he was asked, "Are you the One?" the Holy Prophet answered, "No! I am Ahmad without the M". On his Ascension to the Divine Presence he heard the words, "Stop, Oh Muhammad, your Lord is praising you". Before this stage he was 'the most praiseworthy of those who praise Allah'. Then he became 'the praised one'.
(Fana'). Self-annihilation or self-effacement or dissolution or passing away from self. Through being joined to Allah, the Real; man is annihilated from himself - the 'limited existence' of the traveller is overpowered by the 'absolute existence' of Allah, so that the traveller becomes unaware of his own self and the creation. Fana' is the last stage on the ascent to Allah. When travelling to the Source, the seeker passes through different levels of fana', each of which brings him closer to his Goal. There are hundreds, even thousands, of fana's. Every time a form of ignorance is removed to be replaced by knowledge, the murid has experienced fana'. He has tasted the annihilation of an ignorance. And, every moment of existence is in fact a moment which is pregnant with its own particular knowledge. So, for the aware one, each moment can be a fana'. However, within the higher teaching of Tasawwuf there are three major types of fana', through which the murid must travel if he is to reach the Absolute. These are Annihilation in the Murshid/Spiritual Guide, Annihilation in the Messenger and Annihilation in Allah.
(Uswa hasana). The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the beautiful model. Through his perfect example man is given the means of drawing closer, and yet closer, to Allah. The degrees of such nearness depend upon the manner and attitude in which one follows the beautiful model. Those who love Allah and His Messenger more than anything, more than life itself, are the slaves who follow Muhammad al Mustapha in their outer lives and in their inner realities. To approach Allah, the slave must first meet the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This meeting is a Mystery. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, the beautiful model, becomes the slave's inner reality through the unveiling of the Reality of Muhammad. The hadith says, "Who has seen me has seen Allah".
(Jamal). Beauty is comprised of the characteristics of mercy and graciousness (altaf) from the Divine Presence. Beauty (Jamal) is opposite Majesty (Jalal). Perfection (Kamal) embraces all opposition. When the heart is overwhelmed by jamal then intimacy (Uns) is experienced.
(Habibullah). This blessed name is proper only to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). No one reaches Allah by being a lover, only by being the Beloved, and it is for this very reason that 'No one will meet Allah before meeting the Prophet'. The lover must be annihilated in the Beloved of Allah, (fana' fi-rasul) before attaining annihilation in Allah (fana' fillah).
(Qadam ar Rasul). The Qadam Rasul, a sacred relic, is the impression or trace left on a rock by the footprint of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). Not only does an immense spiritual energy, or baraka, emanate from the qadam rasul, but the mere sight of it may exert an exceedingly powerful effect upon the viewer. The trace of the sacred footprint acts as a reminder that, while being the Glory of the Universe and the Beloved of Allah, the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha nonetheless was a man who walked upon this earth. His spiritual family, those who strive in the Way of Allah and remember Allah much, desire always to follow precisely in the footsteps of Allah's Beloved, and hope to meet him at the Spring of Abundance in Paradise.
(Ana Ahmad bila mim). When the Holy Prophet Muhammad was asked, 'Are you Ahad?' he said, "No! I am Ahmad without the 'M" (Ana Ahmad bila mim). Ahmad - M = Ahad. Ahad is 'The One'. Within these words are indications of the Mystery of Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). Outwardly he is limited, slave and created, but his inner reality is the One (Ahad) and the Real (Haqq).
(Majdhub). He is the one who is under the influence of Divine Attraction (jadhba). The power of this Attraction brings about spiritual intoxication (sukr) and indifference to all that is 'other-than-Allah'. In being drawn towards Allah the majdhub experiences excessive ecstasy. The Divine Attraction can descend with great force during the 'spiritual audition' (sama') when the hearer becomes thoroughly intoxicated by his yearning and love of Allah.
(Jalal). The Divine Majesty. Jalal indicates Allah's Incomparability. His Qualities of Majesty include His Transcendence, His Inaccessibilty, His Magnificence, His Tremendousness. Awe is experienced when the heart is overwhelmed by jalal.
(Wasila) indicates the means through which man can come close to Allah. "Seek the means of approach to Him" (The Qur'an 5:35). The one and only wasila is the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). There is no other means to ascend from the physical realm to the Divine Presence. The seeker traverses the first stages of the Journey of Return to Allah with the direct aid and under the protection of his Murshid. These are the stages of spiritual struggle, ascetic discipline and abstinence. Through the Grace of Allah the murid may attain to annihilation in the Murshid. But, no one will meet Allah before meeting the Prophet. The murid can advance no further towards Allah Almighty unless he travels with the wasila. The lover does not reach Allah through being a lover. He only reaches Allah through being the Beloved of Allah, and there is only one Beloved of Allah and that is Muhammad al Mustapha. The only way up is within him. Because the Reality of Muhammad has been unveiled to the slaves and true followers of the Master Muhammad, they are drowned and annihilated in him.
(The stairs to ascend to the top floor) Using the means - 'by the baraka of. . . '
(Rasulllah). The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). Through the radiant light of the Messenger, Allah sends to mankind the message of His Own Pure Light. "Allah took a handful of His Light and said, 'Be Muhammad!'. And it was". Each and every incoming thought, whether praiseworthy or blameworthy, is a 'messenger' from Allah. Through constantly keeping watch over his heart the knower is never unmindful of these messengers. Allah says in The Qur'an, "Now there has come unto you a Messenger from amongst your own selves" (The Qur'an 9:128). The lover, slave and knower of Allah is also the lover, slave and knower of the Messenger of Allah (Rasulullah), the Beloved of Allah, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). Once you know Allah, then you will know who Muhammad really is! The ecstasy within the breast of this lover-slave-knower is the Messenger of Allah (Rasulullah). He is the messenger who will take him back to Allah.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the Glory of the Universe, the Best of Creation, the Seal of the Prophets and the friend of those who truly love him. He is from the Light of Allah and all of existence is from his light. He is the key to unlock the Mystery of Existence and he is also the treasure of Existence. He is the key to Allah's Mercy and the key to Paradise. Muhammad al Mustapha is the niche and the goal of the wayfaring lover and the burning rapture within his breast. He is the Beloved of Allah. He owns the Banner of Praise and the Station of Glory. Outwardly he is the Perfect Slave and inwardly he is The One. When the Reality of Muhammad has been unveiled to the lover his heart prostrates before the sheer beauty of this most Noble Sanctuary.
The Chosen One. The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the Chosen One of Allah. From Pre-Eternity he was chosen to be the one through whom the Hidden Treasure would become manifest. From Pre-Eternity he was chosen to be the Beloved of Allah. From Pre-Eternity he was chosen to be the Glory of the Universe and the Best of Creation and the Perfect Man. In being a Prophet when Adam was still between water and clay he was chosen to have Firstness. In being the Seal of the Prophets, the one to deliver the perfected religion to humanity, he was chosen to have Lastness. Allah chose to give him two of His Own Most Beautiful Names - The All-Clement (ar-Rauf) and The All-Compassionate (ar-Rahim). In following in the footsteps of Muhammad al Mustapha, in clinging to him and loving him more than life itself, the slaves of Allah are brought near and drink the wine of Divine Love.
(Hajj). Pilgrimage to the Sacred Mosque, the House of Allah, at the Centre of Mecca. Hajj is the Ultimate Journey to Knowledge of Allah Who dwells in the secret centre of the human heart. Here the treasury of spiritual realities is to be discovered. The pilgrim travels to the Sacred Centre mounted on his spiritual resolve, his overwhelming love and his yearning for the Beloved. Mecca is the place of the House of Allah, where the slave stands alone before his Lord. Mecca is total inwardness and bewilderment. Mecca is Reality. After performing the hajj go to the grave of the Chosen One (Mustapha). After realising The Unity of Allah, after being annihilated in Oneness, return to the Muhammadan Presence, because, once you know Allah, then you will know who Rasulullah is! Visit Holy Mecca and then visit Holy Medina.
The Islamic pilgrimage is one of the ethics of the Sufis. It is the goal that they try to achieve. The pilgrimage of the Sufi is in a whole other category from that of the ordinary Muslim. As far as the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, most perform it once in a lifetime, following the method of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Of those who perform the pilgrimage numerous times, many choose to live in the neighbourhood of Mecca and maintain the highest adab and spiritual practices in order to remain there. The real pilgrimage in Sufi terminology is the continuation of seeking nearness to Allah.
(Sajda pl. Sujud). The sajda, which is the culminating position in the ritual prayer, is the supreme symbol of humility, surrender and unconditional love of Allah. The slave and worshipper is annihilated in the One. When the heart prostrates, it never again rises from that prostration. Within each cycle of the prayer there are two prostrations. The first sajda symbolizes the Self at Peace and the fourth stage of knowledge, Knowledge of Certainty. The second sajda symbolizes the Well-pleasing Self and the sixth stage of knowledge, the Truth of Certainty. Through the Infinite Grace of Allah the lover may arrive at the Noble, Sacred Sanctuary. This the Noble Prophet Muhammad himself (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). The lover-slave prostrates before the Noble Sanctuary who is his sole means of attaining the Divine Presence.
(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)
('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.