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

Friend of Allah

(Wali). He is a Sufi saint. He is the one whom Allah has chosen as His friend. The wali is under Allah's dome, and nobody knows him except Allah. If any among the commonality declares war upon one of Allah's friends, then does Allah declare war upon that person.

See also: Affliction Follower Fountain of Camphor Friends of Allah Generosity Life of the Senses Lover Man People of blame People of the Essence Phoenix Possessor of the Secret Prophecy-Earned Prophet Prophethood Revelation Sainthood Slave Supreme Fountain Trial Verifiers
(Bala). The friends of Allah are visited by many sicknesses and tribulations. Affliction refers to bodily illnesses and diverse troubles. It is Allah's favour to His friends. They love only Allah and see only Allah, so whatever comes from Allah is good. On the Day of Alast when the sons of Adam answered "Yes" to the Divine Address of "Am I not your Lord?", the Lovers of Allah answered 'Bala', which means both 'Yes' and 'Affliction'.
(Tabi'). This term refers to the one who is a follower of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). A follower strives to emulate his perfect and beautiful character. A friend of Allah is always a follower (tabi') of the Prophet Muhammad and is never independent of his guidance. To be a true tabi' is to be greatly blessed. To be utterly dependent upon our Master, Sayyiduna Muhammad, is a gift from Allah.
(Ayn al Kafur). The Fountain of Camphor in Paradise from which the slaves of Allah drink directly. Camphor overwhelms and whoever enters into it becomes totally absorbed and one with the camphor. 'The Fountain of Camphor is the 'place' of annihilation (fana'), intoxication (sukr) and Divine Love ('ishq). The Fire of Divine Love ('ishq) turns into the Light of Divine Knowledge (ma'rifa) and the lover ('ashiq) is then also the knower ('arif) and is in perfect balance.
(Awliya). The friends of Allah. These are His Saints. Their knowledge is not derived from reflection. Allah has purified them of that type of knowledge. They possess the opening of unveiling through Allah, the Real, Himself. The awliya are those with unbroken awareness of Allah. These Perfect Men have attained to the highest of all human degrees.
(Karam). Within qawwali music and mystical poetry the lover often complains to, and pleads with his Beloved to be true to His Attribute of Generosity. Sitting bereft and wretched in the dust of the Beloved's street, the lover impatiently waits, with patience, unexpectantly watching, with expectancy, for a glance, a message, a mere hint of the Beloved's generosity. And because generosity is one of the noble character traits of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace), it has become the code of behaviour for his true followers and slaves, and is exemplified by the heroic generosity or chivalry known as futuwwah. On a personal level, generosity is to give of the material world to those who are in need of it and going forward towards Allah because of your need of Him.
(Hayat ash Sha'ur). . This is the highest state of realiation of Allah. It is the seventh sense through which the entire body is spiritualised within Allah. It is the state of 'seeing without eyes' and 'hearing without ears' and 'speaking without a tongue', etc. All of the senses are activated and become operative through one sense alone. For example, when 'seeing' one also 'hears' and 'feels'through the faculty of sight. Allah 'Sees' without Eyes. Allah 'Hears' without Ears. Allah 'Speaks' without a 'Tongue'. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) indicated this Ultimate Life of the Senses when he said, "I see the same from my back as I see from my front". Hayat ash-sha'ur is the highest level of abiding. All of the senses are Allah's.
(Muhibb) This Name may be applied to Allah Himself when considering His slave to be His beloved, or it may be applied to the slave himself whose Beloved is Allah. In reality there is only one Beloved of Allah and that is the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) and it is only through being annihilated in him that the lover of Allah may be transformed into the beloved of Allah. The lover (Muhibb) is the one who is enraptured by Allah's Beauty in contrast to the knower ('Arif) who remains in sobriety in the face of all of Allah's Self-disclosures (Tajalli). The knower who is also a lover is in a state of Perfection (Kamal) being inwardly intoxicated and outwardly sober. Such a friend (Wali) has attained perfect balance and harmony. He is the Perfect Man.
(Bashar). Bashar is 'man made of flesh' or mankind. Bashar alludes to the 'tenderness' (al mubasharah) with which Allah kneaded man between His Two Hands; "I am about to create man (bashar)... " (The Qur'an 15:28).
(Al Malamatiyya). These are the Perfect Ones. Their exteriors never disclose the reality of their interiors. They are those who know and are not known. Al malamatiyya are Allah's perfect slaves, Allah's perfect lovers, Allah's perfect knowers. They manifest His All-Comprehensive Name 'Allah', without a trace of Lordship. Allah has placed their 'blaming self' over them as a protection against self-conceit or satisfaction. They are the greatest of the Sufis. They are in constant submission and surrender to the Will of Allah. A Murshid (Spiritual Guide) who is one of the malamatiyya is the perfect Murshid and his murids often attain to Manliness. The Master of the cosmos, the Best of Creation, Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace), who is a Malamatiyya, is their Master.
(Al Dhatiyun). 'Those who have realised the Essence' are the slaves of Allah who drink directly from the Fountain of Camphor in Paradise. They are the People of Solitude of the Absolute Essence. Their love of Allah, being total and utter, remains constant in the face of opposites, because for them the opposites are joined. There is only Unity. There is only Allah as He is in Himself.
(Anqa/Simurgh). The mythical griffon or phoenix which dwells on Mount Qaf. It is the greatest of birds and lives at the world's end. It symbolizes the wind in and with which Allah spiritually opens the material bodies of the world. It is a symbol of the spirit of the saint or the saint himself. Like this legendary bird which is purely a name without a form, al 'Anqa sometimes represents the primordial dust through which everything becomes manifest.
(Sahib al sirr). Such a man is the friend of Allah who has torn through the veils and has found that secret which cannot be revealed. 'If the reality of the Sufi was to be unveiled he would be worshipped'.
(Nubuwwat al Muktasabah). Earned or acquired prophecy. This type of acquired prophecy is the prophecy possessed by the Great Sufis.
(Nabi). A Prophet is a friend of Allah (Wali) who possesses unique knowledge of the Unseen Worlds. Allah has sent 124,000 Prophets to humanity to show them the Way of Returning to Allah. The Prophets are under the Command of Allah to invite people to their particular way (or religion). The teachings of these religions are varied in keeping with the different peoples to whom they were directed, yet the Source of all is One, Allah. Each Prophet and each religion reveals a specific Face of the Absolute. Muhammad the Chosen One is the Final Prophet of Allah - May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace. The universal message which he delivered is the perfect and complete religion. It is for all of humanity, not being limited exclusively to one group of people.
(Wahy) is specific to the Prophets of Allah. It is the descent of the angel of Revelation upon the hearing and the heart of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah. Wahy was terminated with the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). He is the Seal of the Prophets and the Seal of the Messengers. Revelation is experienced by the friends of Allah but it is not the same revelation (wahy) as that which descends upon a Prophet or a Messenger. Such a revelation descends into the heart of a friend but his hearing does not define the speech and his imagination does not give it form. The hadith says, "Nothing remains of prophecy but heralding visions". The Word of Allah descends firstly as revelation, secondly as inspiration and thirdly as incoming thoughts.
(Wilayah/Walayah). Wilayah is the sainthood of the great friends of Allah (awliya). It is a Divine gift and the height of human perfection. The distinguishing mark and basis of sainthood is gnosis, not holiness or piety. The friend upon whom sainthood is bestowed has no choice in this. All is the Grace of Allah. The degree of his Knowledge of Allah, through which his sainthood descended, is also a gift from Allah. Wilayah is privacy with Allah. This privacy is indicated in the words of Muhammad al Mustapha, may the Salutations of Allah be upon him and peace, "There is a time for me with Allah, in which neither the nearest angel nor a sent Prophet is contained". Wilayah is 'seeing Allah through Allah'. The Friends of Allah, those upon whom wilayah has been bestowed, open up what the Prophets left closed. They are the mouthpieces of the Prophets. Through them the fragrant musk and the sweet honey of the Teaching of the Holy Prophet Muhammad continues to fill the world. Within wilayah there is an hierarchical order at whose peak is the Pole.
('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.
(Tasnim). The Supreme Fountain in Paradise from which flows the Pure Wine sealed with musk. Those who are brought near drink from Tasnim. Tasnim is the place of sobriety after intoxication, abiding after annihilation, Divine Knowledge after Divine Love. But all is One and all are the Beloved. 'None shall drink of the Supreme Fountain who has not first drunk from the Fountain of Camphor'.
(Ibtila). In being subjected to trial and affliction (Bala') the Sufi gains more Knowledge of Allah, Who is the First Cause. When hard times come the Sufi has a feast day, because he sees beyond the trial to Allah Himself. He sees beyond the contraction to The One Who Contracts. For ordinary man there can be a negative side to his assuming the traits of the Divine Names. In manifesting such Names as the Slayer, the Avenger or the Terrible-in-Punishment, man faces a trial (ibtila).
(Al Muhaqqiqun). These great ones form the highest category of friends of Allah. They follow no one's authority because in themselves they have verified and realized [through unveiling and finding], the truth and reality of all things which is Allah, the Real. They are also known as'The People of Unveiling and Finding'.

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