The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
Annihilation in the Messenger
(Fana fi Rasul). Annihilation in the Messenger, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). 'No one will meet Allah before meeting the Prophet'. After annihilation into the Self of the Murshid, the seeker journeys, through the Infinite Grace of Allah, to the next annihilation, which is Fana fi Rasul - annihilation in the Messenger. At this point the seeker is pervaded by an overwhelming love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This is a love which is greater than anything he has yet experienced. The Holy Prophet becomes dearer to him than life itself.
(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".
(Hubb). Love is the motivating force of Allah's Self-disclosure which is His creation of the creation. This is indicated in the Hadith Qudsi "I was a Hidden treasure and I loved to be known and so I created the creation". It is this love (Hubb) which motivates the lover (Muhibb) to turn towards the Beloved (Mahbub) with a total turning.
(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.
(Salawat). Blessings and benedictions and salutations. Salawat refer most particularly to the blessings which the Muslim calls down upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). "Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation." (The Qur'an 33:56). The forms of the salawat are numerous, varying from short and concise prayers through to the profoundly mystical litanies of the great Masters of the higher teaching. And, just as the forms are many, so too are the levels of meaning contained within each salawat. These start from merely saying the salawat on the lips, without any awareness of the Holy Prophet, through to the visualizations of his blessed presence, his light, his essence and ultimately his Reality. Through the Grace of Allah the lover-slave-knower will then understand the words of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, 'I am Ahmad without the 'M''. This is a stage of utter bewilderment. The lover knows that Muhammad al Mustapha is the very ecstasy within his breast. He knows that Muhammad al Mustapha is Absolute Beauty and Absolute Perfection. In perceiving this Reality of Muhammad the lover becomes silent. How does he now approach the Beloved of Allah?