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

Unity of Time

(Wahdat-i-zamaniyyah). The slave returns to the 'timeless' Time. This is the beginingless and endless moment in which he is 'no thing' ('la shay'). Only Allah IS. The slave is merely an entity through which Allah Almighty becomes manifest. The slave is at the bidding of his Lord. Before the perfect slave can attain to the Divine Presence he must be in absolute Unity. Without Unity he will never reach Allah because Allah IS Unity. Unity is the combination of three Unities Unity of Essence, Unity of Place and Unity of Time. Unity of Time is the 'timeless' Time which opens into Eternity. Unified Place, Time and Essence are the Divine Silence.

See also: Abiding Annihilation Means Night of the Ascension Servitude Speech with words Speech without words Unity of Essence Unity of Place
(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.
(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. . . '
(Laylat al Mi'raj). The Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace), the slave of Allah ('Abdullah), was 'taken' to the Divine Presence on this 'night'. The word 'night' indicates that moment which is outside of time when Muhammad al Mustapha was blindfolded to everything that is other-than-Allah. In this timeless moment he was in a state of utter Unity . He had realized the Unity of Time, Unity of Place and Unity of Essence. In this state of inner unity he was 'taken' to the Divine Presence. He did not 'go' of his own accord, but was 'chosen' to be 'taken' on this 'night'. The Holy Prophet is the Beautiful Model and his Ascension is the ascension par excellence. By following in his footsteps the yearning lovers and devoted followers and bereft slaves hope to follow him to the Divine Presence. The chosen one (al Mustapha) is the Slave and he is also the Beloved of Allah. No one meets Allah by being a lover, only by being the Beloved. The Night of Ascension, the Night when man ascends to the Divine Presence, corresponds to the Night of Power when the Spirit descends to man.
('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.
(Kalam-i-tafsili). To attain to the Great Silence one must travel the Path laid down by the Prophets of Allah. In the early stages of the Spiritual Journey the traveller's tongue is in lively motion, full of words and questions and opinions. As he traverses the states and stations, ascending from the book, through the sentences, the words and the letters, his Kalam-i-tafsili lessens and his silence increases. Ultimately, awe and love and bewilderment make him speechless. From circumference to Centre. From multiplicity to Unity. From noise to Silence. From self to Self. Kalam-i-tafsili is the stage of separation.
(Kalam-i -dhati). This Speech is Allah's Speech. It is the Speech of the Essence Itself. Kalam-i-dhati is the Speech of the Source and the Source is the Great Silence. The People of the Essence, Allah's perfect slaves who are drowned in the Source Itself, speak in a silent and wordless language. Their spiritual affinity is total because each one of them drinks directly from the Fountain of Camphor in Paradise and has become one with the camphor. When the drop enters the Ocean there is no necessity for words to be spoken. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) said, 'He who knows Allah, his tongue becomes silent'. Kalam-i-dhati is the stage of union. Speech without words (kalam-i-dhati) becomes manifest through Speech with words (kalam-i-tafsili).
(Wahdat-i makaniyyah). To attain to the Divine Presence, to reach Allah Almighty, the slave must be in a state of utter Unity. This Unity is comprised of three Unities Unity of Essence, Unity of Time and Unity of Place. Unity of Place is that 'placeless' Place which opens onto Infinity. 'Here' becomes Infinity. No longer is there the prayer-mat on which the slave is sitting or the bed in which the slave is dreaming. 'Here' is the endless 'There'. Such was the Perfection of Allah's Beloved, Muhammad al Mustapha, on the Night of his Ascension. May Allah Everlastingly shower him with His Salutations and give him Peace.

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