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

wahdat al-wujud
Unity of Being

(Wahdat al wujud/Tawhid aI wujudi). This term carries different meanings. It may indicate 'The Unity of Existence' and 'The Unity of Being' and 'The Oneness of Finding'. At the end of the Path only Allah is found. This is the Unity of Existence, the Oneness of Being, the Oneness of Finding.

See also: Abding Annihilation Beautiful Model Being Bewilderment Divine knowledge Knowers of Allah People of unveiling and finding Perfect Man Self-Perfect Slave Slavehood Spiritual Concert Unity of Being Unity of Witnessing
(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".
(Wujud). Being, existence or finding. When considered as 'being', wujud designates Allah's Own Reality and Essence. When considered as 'existence', wujud designates the things found in the cosmos. When considered as 'finding' wujud designates the subjective experience of finding Allah or having awareness of Allah. The Verifiers and the People of Unveiling and Finding continually and everlastingly find Allah both in the cosmos and within themselves.
(Hayrah). Bewilderment, perplexity or wonderment. Hayrah indicates a moment of utter perplexity, when the mind ceases to function, unable as it is to resolve or find an answer to a particular spiritual impasse. At such a blessed time, for it is by the Grace of Allah that such bewilderment was reached, the murid must attempt not to panic or give up. Out of this knot of bewilderment a spiritual reality is given the opportunity to unravel and reveal itself in shattering clarity. The Ultimate bewilderment is that possessed by the knowers and lovers of Allah. They are utterly bewildered because they have found Allah and in finding Allah they know that He is Unknowable yet in each moment they are opened to a fresh and new Knowledge of Allah! 'So, Glory be to Allah Who is known only through the fact that He is not known!'
(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.
(Al 'Arifin/'Urufa). They see and recognize Allah wherever they look. The knowers are bewildered. But this is not the bewilderment of being lost, rather it is the bewilderment of having found Allah. They know that He cannot be known. The knowers are nothing because they are everything.
(Ahl al Kashf wal Wujud). These are the knowers. They have passed beyond the veils which stand between themselves and their Lord and they stand perpetually in His Presence.
(Al Insan al Kamil). He is the viceregent of Allah, through whom Allah contemplates His Own Name-derived Perfection. The Perfect Man has actualized the divine form and in carrying the Trust has fulfilled his reason for being. It is through the Perfect Man that Allah enters the world. Al Insan al Kamil is also one of the names given to the Supreme Isthmus. Man consists of a body and a spirit which governs it. The cosmos also consists of a body and a spirit which governs it. Its spirit is the Perfect Man. Without him the cosmos is likened to a discarded body.
('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.
(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).
(Sama'). The spiritual concert or 'audition' or 'listening'. This term refers specifically to the Sufi gatherings where music and song are employed as a means of opening the heart to inrushes of knowledge and awareness. During the spritual concert, the listener may experience ecstasy and find Allah, The Real within that ecstasy. However, before true ecstasy can be experienced the listener must be spiritually mature, having been prepared through discipline and perpetual Remembrance of Allah. Without this initial contraction of spiritual endeavour the expansion of ecstasy will not be real. The Spiritual Concert is not suitable for the novice. True Sama' is a bird which flies from Allah to Allah. Allah is the singer and Allah is the hearer. At this Divine Feast the singer and the hearer become One.
(Wahdat al wujud/Tawhid aI wujudi). This term carries different meanings. It may indicate 'The Unity of Existence' and 'The Unity of Being' and 'The Oneness of Finding'. At the end of the Path only Allah is found. This is the Unity of Existence, the Oneness of Being, the Oneness of Finding.
(Wahdat al Shuhud/Tawhid-i shuhudi). This is distinct from the Unity of Finding or Being. The witnessing belongs to the slave, who witnesses Allah's presence to the extent of his capacity, while the finding belongs to Allah, Who is present and finds Himself in all things. The People of Unveiling and Finding are the great Sufis who recognize Allah's Self-disclosure by way of witnessing and finding.

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