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

Secrets of the spirit

(Asrar i-ruh). Secrets of the spirit. These are the secret things which are intuited by the spirit and of which the heart is not even aware.

See also: Annihilation Heart Spirit Throne Unseen
(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.
(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.
(Ruh). The Ruh is that centre within man which is attracted and drawn back to its Source. The spirit endeavours to pull the heart towards Allah, while the lower self exerts a downward pull on the heart. The human spirit is also Allah's Spirit because Allah breathed His Spirit into man. In being both 'uncreated' and 'created' the Ruh makes its descent. On the Night of Power, "Therein descend the angels and the Spirit, by Allah's permission" (Qur'an 97:4). The 'uncreated' spirit is equated with the Reality of Muhammad and the 'created' spirit extends from the Divine Throne down to the Perfect Man. The Ruh cannot be seen except by the man who has outstripped 'both the worlds'. The spirit is neither within nor without the body, neither detached from it or attached to it. It is both within and without, detached and attached. The luminosity which radiates from a man depends upon the degree of activity of his Ruh.
(Ghayb). The Mystery or the Non-Manifested or the Unseen. The Unknowable or the Mystery of Mysteries. The hadith, "Nothing is like Him" refers to al ghayb. It is His Incomparability. It is all that is beyond reach of our vision. Al ghayb is all that Allah veils from you because of you, not because of Him. To attain to 'The Unseen', the slave and lover is told, 'Leave aside your self and come!' And, when he obeys, it is Allah Who Sees Allah.

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