The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
Boy or slave
(Ghulam). The traveller who has attained to annihilation in the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace), becomes permeated with an extremely high degree of love, honour and respect for the Beloved of Allah. A new knowledge is unveiled to him. He sees, with his inner-eye, that in truth he is a 'slave' of the Holy Prophet Muhammad himself. The Prophet is now dearer and more precious to him than his own existence. From this point onwards he may refer to himself as the 'Ghulam' (boy or slave) of Muhammad. His journeying now is ineffably sweet.
(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.
(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".
(Habibullah). This blessed name is proper only to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). No one reaches Allah by being a lover, only by being the Beloved, and it is for this very reason that 'No one will meet Allah before meeting the Prophet'. The lover must be annihilated in the Beloved of Allah, (fana' fi-rasul) before attaining annihilation in Allah (fana' fillah).
(Tabi'). This term refers to the one who is a follower of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). A follower strives to emulate his perfect and beautiful character. A friend of Allah is always a follower (tabi') of the Prophet Muhammad and is never independent of his guidance. To be a true tabi' is to be greatly blessed. To be utterly dependent upon our Master, Sayyiduna Muhammad, is a gift from Allah.
(Qadam ar Rasul). The Qadam Rasul, a sacred relic, is the impression or trace left on a rock by the footprint of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). Not only does an immense spiritual energy, or baraka, emanate from the qadam rasul, but the mere sight of it may exert an exceedingly powerful effect upon the viewer. The trace of the sacred footprint acts as a reminder that, while being the Glory of the Universe and the Beloved of Allah, the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha nonetheless was a man who walked upon this earth. His spiritual family, those who strive in the Way of Allah and remember Allah much, desire always to follow precisely in the footsteps of Allah's Beloved, and hope to meet him at the Spring of Abundance in Paradise.
(Sultan). The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the sultan of all of humanity, but only those who love him with an unconditional love know that he is King.
(Sayyiduna). The Master of the lovers and knowers of Allah is the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). They are the slaves of Muhammad the Chosen One, whose noble title is Sayyiduna Muhammad - our Master Muhammad.
The Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the Glory of the Universe, the Best of Creation, the Seal of the Prophets and the friend of those who truly love him. He is from the Light of Allah and all of existence is from his light. He is the key to unlock the Mystery of Existence and he is also the treasure of Existence. He is the key to Allah's Mercy and the key to Paradise. Muhammad al Mustapha is the niche and the goal of the wayfaring lover and the burning rapture within his breast. He is the Beloved of Allah. He owns the Banner of Praise and the Station of Glory. Outwardly he is the Perfect Slave and inwardly he is The One. When the Reality of Muhammad has been unveiled to the lover his heart prostrates before the sheer beauty of this most Noble Sanctuary.
The Chosen One. The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the Chosen One of Allah. From Pre-Eternity he was chosen to be the one through whom the Hidden Treasure would become manifest. From Pre-Eternity he was chosen to be the Beloved of Allah. From Pre-Eternity he was chosen to be the Glory of the Universe and the Best of Creation and the Perfect Man. In being a Prophet when Adam was still between water and clay he was chosen to have Firstness. In being the Seal of the Prophets, the one to deliver the perfected religion to humanity, he was chosen to have Lastness. Allah chose to give him two of His Own Most Beautiful Names - The All-Clement (ar-Rauf) and The All-Compassionate (ar-Rahim). In following in the footsteps of Muhammad al Mustapha, in clinging to him and loving him more than life itself, the slaves of Allah are brought near and drink the wine of Divine Love.
(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?
(Halawa). When Allah opens the doors of His Loving-Kindness to the heart of His lover that heart becomes infused with joy and is overwhelmed by inexpressible sweetness. This is the opening of sweetness (Futuh al Halawa).