The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Ubudiyya). What is slavehood? To leave that which is yours and to be steadfast upon that which you have been commanded. Slavehood is the state of the one who is drawing near to Allah through acts of devotion. 'Ubudiyya is 'the Nearness of supererogatory works' which is the lowest of the four stations of Perfection. The lover-knower-slave of Allah becomes adorned with the attributes of slavehood ('Ubudiyya) and servitude ('Ubuda) after having lost himself in annihilation in Allah. In becoming 'no thing' the slave is returned to the creation with the Perfection of Servitude ('ubuda).
(Tahalli) is to become adorned with the Divine Attributes. However, the most complete and the purest adornment is to be adorned with the attributes of slavehood. Slavehood is that total and complete servitude which contains not the slighest hint of Lordship. The slave, adorned (tahalli) with his own slavehood, sits within his own immutability, which is pure non-existence within the Knowledge of Allah. To be 'no thing' is to be adorned (tahalli) with the perfection of slavehood.
(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".
(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. . . '
(Qurb). Proximity or nearness to Allah. Qurb is the reality of the Station of Perfection, 'Two Bows' Length'. It is the limit of the slave's ascent before annihilation in Allah. One of the bewilderments of the Journey is that through having knowledge of his distance from Allah the slave is actually brought near. Slavehood indicates this distance which brings nearness. The slave must cling to perfect courtesy by honouring and respecting the Truth that, 'the slave remains the slave and the Lord remains the Lord'.
(La Shay). The slave who has 'returned' to Allah has arrived at the place of nonexistence, the place of "Allah is, and nothing is with Him". The slave has returned to his own nothingness within the Knowledge of Allah. Such a slave is destitute (Muflis) of everything other than Allah. He is 'nothing' (La Shay) but the locus of manifestation of Allah. He has 'nothing' of his own. He belongs totally and unconditionally to Allah.
(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).
('Ubada). Servitude and bondage. This is the fulfilment and consummation of slavehood ('ubudiyya) when the slave loses himself in the Will of his Lord. 'Ubada is 'the Nearness of obligatory works' which is one of the four stations of Perfection. To realize 'ubuda is to be gifted with a very high degree of Knowledge of Allah. To know that 'the slave is the slave and the Lord is the Lord' is the supreme form of spiritual courtesy towards Allah. The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the Beloved of Allah and His Chosen One. No one is more perfect than him. No one can attain to his Knowledge. Yet Allah says in The Qur'an, "Glory be to Him Who carried His slave by night" (17:1). The slave is in bondage ('ubuda). Bondage is Perfection. Bondage is Knowledge.
(Qaba Qawsayn). This term is also called 'Union of Union', or 'The Gathering of the Gathering'. It signifies one of the highest spiritual stations of Perfection which is attained by the greatest Perfect Men, that is, many of the Prophets of Allah and some of the great saints. This is the stage which immediately precedes absorption in the Source, Allah. It is the closest point that the slave can reach while still remaining the slave. It is that fine and inexpressible dividing line which separates Oneness from multiplicity, the Unseen from the visible, Allah from His slave.
(Al Khalifah). The viceregent of Allah is the perfected human being who has fulfilled his reason for being. He has carried the Trust which Allah offered to him, the Trust of being the locus of manifestation for the Name 'Allah'. The viceregent is the Perfect Man in whom Allah contemplates His own Name-derived Perfection. No one is called khalifah except through the perfection of the Divine Form within him. It is through His khalifah that Allah enters the world.