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


(Zawj). On the Spiritual Journey of Return to Allah there are certain moral and spiritual attributes which are paired. It is necessary for these pairs to be experienced and assimilated by the traveller (salik). Such pairs are hope and fear, expansion and contraction, intoxication and sobriety, annihilation and subsistence. Perfection is passing beyond the opposing pairs to that point where 'opposites are joined'.

See also: Abiding in Allah Annihilation Beautiful Model Bringing together of opposites Contraction Fear He brings opposites together Hope Oneness Perfection Sobriety Spiritual Intoxication
(Baqa). Subsistence with Allah for perpetuity. After the stage of annihilation in Allah, Allah either keeps His slave in this Station of stations or He sends him back to the world to perfect the still imperfect ones. Abiding is the slave's return to humanity in the robes of honour. Now he sees Allah established in everything and at all times. Baqa' corresponds to the third and final stage of 'self-annihilation'. This is the condition of the Slave and the Friend.
(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".
(Jam' al Addad). The coincidence or bringing together of opposites. The Name 'Allah' denotes both Essence and Divinity and brings together all the Names.
(Qabd) is the spiritual state of contraction in which the heart is firmly gripped and compressed by Allah, through terror of punishment and blame. It is an intense fear in, and the sharpest experience of, the present moment. Whenever contraction (qabd) occurs it is always followed by expansion.
(Khawf). Fear acts as a warning of something terrifying in the future. In the initial stages of the Spiritual Journey the murid experiences great fear of the treachery of his own self, and also the fear of falling short of his Murshid's directions. However, when this fear is complimented with hope the murid finds the courage and the strength with which to attack the inner enemies. Fear of Allah leads to Knowledge of Allah which opens into Love of Allah. The lover who has found Allah fears losing Allah. Such a fear may overcome the lover who has found Allah in ecstasy during the sama'.
(Jam'uhu al Diddayn). When asked, 'Through what do you know Allah?' one of the Masters answered, 'Through the fact that He brings opposites together'.
(Raja') is the anticipation of Allah's Mercy (which actually surrounds us constantly, but is rarely perceived). During estrangement and separation, the lover is stretched to the extremity in his hope that the Beloved will either 'arrive' or 'speak' or 'approach' or simply just 'glance'. He fears that this separation is permanent, yet he hopes that it is temporary. On the wings of fear and hope the lover ceaselessly pursues the Beloved.
(Wahdaniyya). This is the Oneness of Allah which was witnessed by mankind at the event of the taking of the Covenant in Pre-Eternity. This is the 'place' and 'time' of original faith and it is this original faith with which each child is born. When the slave of Allah attains to the station where 'opposites are joined' he is given the strongest possible knowledge of Oneness (wahdaniyyah). He knows that the entity of the opposite is identical with its opposite.
(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).
(Sahw) is returning to oneself after having been absent from oneself while intoxicated with the Divine Beloved. The one in the state of sahw is considered to be of greater spiritual maturity than the one in the state of intoxication. The Supreme Fountain 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 Tasnim who has not first drunk from Kafur'. The great Sufi, one of the People of Blame, is inwardly intoxicated and outwardly sober. No one knows his spiritual condition.

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