The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
Fountain of Camphor
(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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
('Ishq). Intense, overflowing and passionate love of Allah. Some say that 'ishq cannot arise without actual vision of the Beloved. 'Ishq is the highest stage before absorption in Allah. It is as rare as the red sulphur. It burns away everything of the lover ('Ashiq) transforming him into the beloved. After annihilation in Allah and absorption in Allah, where all is blindness and there is no longer any vision, the lover is separated from the Beloved and his 'ishq burns afresh. Passionate love of Allah is without limit.
(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.
('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.
(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.
(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'.