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

La ilaha il Allah
There is no god other than Allah

(La ilaha il Allah). These words which form the first part of the Islamic Testimony of Faith could be paraphrased as 'there is no reality, only Reality' or 'there is no truth, only Truth' or 'there is no love, only Love'. The phrase is the supreme declaration of Unity. "There is no god" (La ilaha) is the negation of everything that is other-than-Allah while "only Allah" (il Allah) is the affirmation that there is only Allah. Through the dhikr of "La ilaha il Allah" the one who remembers uses the word of negation - 'la' - to sweep away all of the inner debris which is defiling his heart, the Sacred Centre. Ultimately, by the Grace of Allah, the phrase "La ilaha il Allah" is replaced by the Word of the Essence Itself - Allah. Everything other-than-Allah has been negated. Allah is affirmed. There is no divinity save the sole Divinity. The Principle insofar as It excludes and annuls the illusory World, while at the same time affirming the unique and supreme Reality. The mystery of Negation and of Affirmation of Reality (Nafy wal Ithbat).

See also: Affirmation Allah Heart Negation One who remembers Testimony of Faith Unity of Allah
(Ithbat). Affirmation or confirmation of the slave's existence after his effacement in the Oneness of Allah. Ithbat may also indicate an affirmation after a negation, the supreme example of which is "There is no god other than Allah". Ithbat may indicate the solid establishment of the principles of service of Allah.
God. The Principle insofar as It includes all of its possible aspects. The mystery of Divinity. This is the Supreme Name. The Name 'Allah' indicates both the Face of the Divinity which is turned towards His creation and the Face of the Unknowable Essence Itself which is Eternally turned away from creation. Allah is the All-Comprehensive Name which contains every Divine Name. This Name alone stands for Allah as He is in Himself. The Supreme Name 'Allah' may be the Greatest Name. It leaves out nothing whatsoever of the Reality that is Allah. Allah is the innermost reality or the meaning of everything manifest and non-manifest. Allah Alone is the Goal. Yet, Allah is Absolute and Infinite. Therefore the Goal always lies ahead of the travellers. They never reach It because It has no End. The Journey of return to Allah is a Journey of bewilderment in Bewilderment. The people of the Holy land of Mecca; the birthplace of the Beloved Prophet of Allah, Muhammad Ahmad al Mustapha, salutations, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him in every breath we take and in every blink of the eye we make; came to him in the beginning of his calling and said 'Tell us, who is your God?'. The revelation descended upon the Holy Prophet to answer this complex and powerful question "Qul Huwa Allahu Ahad, Allahu Samad, Lam yalid wa lam yulad, wa lam yakun lahu kufuwan Ahad". (In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate, Say: He is the One Unique Allah: God the Eternal, The Uncaused Cause of all that Exists.. He begets not, nor is He begotten; and there is nothing that could be compared unto Him (The Qur'an 112)
(Qalb). The human heart is the place of constant change and fluctuation. It is the supra-rational organ of intuition where the Transcendent Realities enter into contact with man. The heart is the isthmus between this world and the next. The battlefield of the Greater Holy War is the heart. This is where the downward-pulling lower self is confronted by the yearning spirit. The battle is fought between these two adversaries in order for one to take possession of the precious heart of man. Under the misguidance of the Misguider, the lower self wants the heart to plummet to the depths of ignorance. However, the spirit, which is from Allah, exerts a powerful attraction upon the heart, as it endeavours to guide it towards Knowledge of Allah. The greater the purification of the heart the more receptive it is to this irresistible attraction of the celestial spirit. The heart is the sanctified centre of man because it is the place which contains Allah. Keeping watch over the heart is part of the spiritual struggle of the Journey of Return. Those well-advanced along the Path never allow any intruders to enter their sanctified hearts. The heart of the Perfect Man is the Divine Throne around which circle the spiritual realities.
(Nafy) is the negation of the fancy of the existence of the 'other'. The supreme example of nafy is the First Declaration of Faith - There is no god other than Allah (La ilaha ill Allah). "There is no god" (la ilaha) forms the negation and "only Allah" (illa'llah) forms the affirmation. This is Unity.
(Dhakir). The one who remembers Allah. The dhakir is precious to Allah Who created man only so that he would worship and know Allah. The one who turns, with an utter turning, towards fulfilling his reason for being, has been given the greatest gift from Allah Almighty.
(Shahadah). The witnessing or testimony or word. The supreme witnessing that defines Unity is the Islamic Testimony of Faith (Shahadah). 'There is no god other than Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah'.
(Tawhid). The Declaration of Allah's Unity, 'There is no god other than Allah' is the very pivot of Islam. Knowledge of the Declaration of Allah's Unity is a light. Yet, Allah Himself is the affirmation of His Unity. Within the higher teaching all existence is One. The Sufis and the Verifiers have realized Allah's Unity within themselves. In itself, the Unity of Allah is divided into four categories. Unity of Actions, Unity of Attributes, Unity of the Names and Unity of the Essence. And "Allah created you and whatever actions you do" (Holy Qur'an 37:96).

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