The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
Life of the Senses
(Hayat ash Sha'ur). . This is the highest state of realiation of Allah. It is the seventh sense through which the entire body is spiritualised within Allah. It is the state of 'seeing without eyes' and 'hearing without ears' and 'speaking without a tongue', etc. All of the senses are activated and become operative through one sense alone. For example, when 'seeing' one also 'hears' and 'feels'through the faculty of sight. Allah 'Sees' without Eyes. Allah 'Hears' without Ears. Allah 'Speaks' without a 'Tongue'. The Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) indicated this Ultimate Life of the Senses when he said, "I see the same from my back as I see from my front". Hayat ash-sha'ur is the highest level of abiding. All of the senses are Allah's.
(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.
(Hubb al Fara'id). Through purity of intention and sincerity of action man is brought nearer and nearer to Allah. In the Journey towards the station of Perfection known as 'The Nearness of obligatory works' the motivation is from the Beloved, Allah. In this station the Divine Attraction takes priority over travelling.
(Hubb an Nawafil). Through purity of intention and sincerity of action man is brought nearer and nearer to Allah. This beautiful 'approaching' results from the mutual love and affinity (Munasaba) which exists between Allah and His lover (Muhibb). In the Journey towards the station of Perfection known as 'the Nearness of supererogatory works' travelling takes priority over Divine Attraction (Jadhba).
(Qurb). Proximity or nearness to Allah. Qurb is the reality of the Station of Perfection, 'Two Bows' Length'. It is the limit of the slave's ascent before annihilation in Allah. One of the bewilderments of the Journey is that through having knowledge of his distance from Allah the slave is actually brought near. Slavehood indicates this distance which brings nearness. The slave must cling to perfect courtesy by honouring and respecting the Truth that, 'the slave remains the slave and the Lord remains the Lord'.
(Qurb al fara'id) is the second lowest of the four stations of Perfection. The slave who performs the obligatory works attains this proximity. While retaining his own properties his reality is annihilated in Allah. Allah manifests Himself with His Name, the Outward, so that the lover remains hidden within Allah. The subject and agent is Allah and the lover's hidden presence is manifested by his becoming Allah's faculties. The lover becomes the Beloved's sight, hearing . . .
(Qurb an-nawafil) is the lowest of the four stations of Perfection. The slave who performs the supererogatory works attains this proximity. While retaining his own reality he is completely dominated by Allah's Oneness and becomes qualified by His Attributes. Allah manifests Himself with His Name, the Inward, so that He remains hidden within the lover. The agent and subject is the lover and Allah's Presence within him is manifested by Allah becoming the lover's faculties. The Beloved becomes the lover's sight, voice etc.
(Ihsan). Excellence or perfection or sanctifying virtue or spiritual beauty. Ihsan has three degrees: 1).To do the good that should be done with one's property, words, acts and states. 2). To worship with total presence like one was actually seeing one's Lord. 3). To contemplate Allah in all things, at all times and always. Perfection is the third rung on the seven-runged ladder of Knowledge. These seven levels are Islam, Iman; Ihsan; 'Ilm al yaqin; 'Ayn al yaqin; Haqq al yaqin; Islam. (Surrender, Faith, Perfection, Knowledge of Certainty, The Eye of Certainty, The Truth of Certainty and Total Surrender and Submission).
(Al Insan al Kamil). He is the viceregent of Allah, through whom Allah contemplates His Own Name-derived Perfection. The Perfect Man has actualized the divine form and in carrying the Trust has fulfilled his reason for being. It is through the Perfect Man that Allah enters the world. Al Insan al Kamil is also one of the names given to the Supreme Isthmus. Man consists of a body and a spirit which governs it. The cosmos also consists of a body and a spirit which governs it. Its spirit is the Perfect Man. Without him the cosmos is likened to a discarded body.
(Dhikrullah). Invocation of Allah through one of His Names or through His Words. The perfect dhikrullah, in which Allah becomes the seeing, the hearing, the speaking, the grasping of the one who remembers, is attained when every atom of the dhakir's being is absorbed and annihilated in the Remembrance of Allah. The dhakir becomes internally unified with the Absolute. Only then does Allah sit totally with the one who remembers Allah.
(Nafs). The ego or the self or the soul. The nafs is that dimension of man which stands between the spirit which is light, and the physical body which is darkness. The spiritual struggle or combat is waged against the downward-pulling tendencies of the nafs which seduce the heart away from Allah. The nafs is also the domain of imagination. Allah is within our own selves, yet we do not see Allah. The work of the higher teaching is directed towards transforming the 'Lower Self' into the Higher 'Perfect Self' and 'seeing' Allah everywhere. There are seven stages of the self, seven postures in the ritual prayer, seven verses or 'signs' in the opening chapter of The Qur'an, and seven levels of knowledge, all of which are finely interconnected.
Shaykh Mahmoud Taha of Sudan writes concerning the self: "This soul is immortal in essence despite the changes that befall it through different forms and at different times and places. At no time does the soul cease its quest for immortality - to be immortal in form as it is in essence. This story is . . . the story of every human being. However, we all have forgotten it. By 'forgetting' it is meant that it settled at the bottom of the unconscious and was then covered by a thick layer of illusions and fears that we inherited from the times of ignorance and superstition. There is no way that we can achieve our happiness unless we break through this thick layer. . . which prevents the forms of the unconscious to be reflected in the mirror of the conscious and hence reveal the greater truth, the truth of truths that is shrouded by the veils of light. This long story that flows from the unconscious is made of the same stuff as that of dreams. The Qur'an is made out of the same stuff. It was brought into existence only to remind us of our extraordinary story. He who remembers it will acquire knowledge beyond which there is no ignorance and an immortality beyond which there is no perishing".
('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.
(Mujahadah). The spiritual struggle and endeavour against the passions and downward-pulling tendencies of the lower self. Mujahadah is the ceaseless combat called the Greater Holy War. The war is fought with the celestial weapons of the Remembrance of Allah. The mature ones of the Path, those who 'know Allah', say that mujahadah is child's play! The real work of Men is Divine Knowledge.