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


(Thulm). This term indicates 'putting something in a place that is not worthy to receive it'. Speaking about the divine mysteries to one who is not capable of receiving them is not only a wrongdoing, but also a form of ignorance, spiritual immaturity and even arrogance and pride. The traveller must always strive in his emulation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha, who advises us to speak to people according to their level of understanding.

See also: Darkness Deception Divine knowledge Ignorance Preparedness Self
(Thulmaa). Non-existence or nothingness is pure darkness. Creation is the isthmus between the Light of Allah and the darkness of non-existence.
(Makr). Allah's deception of His servant or the stratagem through which He tests mankind. Allah may give to a man the continuation of Divine favours despite that man's opposition to His command or Allah may grant knowledge to a servant but deprive him of the act of putting it into practice or Allah may grant the practice but deprive man of sincerity. The manifestation of signs or miracles without purpose or limit can also be a sign of Allah's makr. The Sufis are extremely wary of the Divine deception.
(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.
(Jahil). Ignorance, which is only a lack of knowledge, is darkness and darkness is non-existence while knowledge is Light and Light is existence. The Spiritual Journey is an inner transformation from ignorance to Knowledge, from darkness to Light, from non-existence to Existence, from self to Self.
(Isti'dad) is closely connected to receptivity (infi'al). It is the readiness to receive what Allah Wills to send. This 'preparedness' was established in Pre-eternity through the Most Holy Emanation (Al Fayd al Aqdas) which gave the preparedness to the archetype itself.
(Nafs). The ego or the self or the soul. The nafs is that dimension of man which stands between the spirit which is light, and the physical body which is darkness. The spiritual struggle or combat is waged against the downward-pulling tendencies of the nafs which seduce the heart away from Allah. The nafs is also the domain of imagination. Allah is within our own selves, yet we do not see Allah. The work of the higher teaching is directed towards transforming the 'Lower Self' into the Higher 'Perfect Self' and 'seeing' Allah everywhere. There are seven stages of the self, seven postures in the ritual prayer, seven verses or 'signs' in the opening chapter of The Qur'an, and seven levels of knowledge, all of which are finely interconnected. Shaykh Mahmoud Taha of Sudan writes concerning the self: "This soul is immortal in essence despite the changes that befall it through different forms and at different times and places. At no time does the soul cease its quest for immortality - to be immortal in form as it is in essence. This story is . . . the story of every human being. However, we all have forgotten it. By 'forgetting' it is meant that it settled at the bottom of the unconscious and was then covered by a thick layer of illusions and fears that we inherited from the times of ignorance and superstition. There is no way that we can achieve our happiness unless we break through this thick layer. . . which prevents the forms of the unconscious to be reflected in the mirror of the conscious and hence reveal the greater truth, the truth of truths that is shrouded by the veils of light. This long story that flows from the unconscious is made of the same stuff as that of dreams. The Qur'an is made out of the same stuff. It was brought into existence only to remind us of our extraordinary story. He who remembers it will acquire knowledge beyond which there is no ignorance and an immortality beyond which there is no perishing".

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