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


('Ibada). Worship and service of Allah with absolute obedience and love. Man was created in order to 'know' Allah. Therefore the essential meaning of worship is Knowledge of Allah. Allah says in The Qur'an, "I created jinn and men only to worship (know) Me" (51:56). The Holy Prophet Muhammad said, "Perfection is to worship (know) Allah like you see Him". Worship should penetrate every aspect of a man's existence. The rites and rituals of Islam are the outer forms containing the inner meanings which will enable the worshipper to become a knower.

See also: Divine knowledge Form Knower Meanings Perfection Slave Trust
(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.
(Sura). The outer form of an entity or thing is what conceals its inner meaning. Revelation is the outer form whose meaning is Allah's Knowledge of Himself and His creation. Tearing away the veil of form to reveal the meaning within is the work of the higher teaching. The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) prayed, 'Oh, Allah, show me things as they are in their reality'.
('Alim). The one who knows. This term derives from the word 'knowledge' ('ilm). Usually it refers to the exoteric scholars, though sometimes 'alim is used in reference to 'those who know Allah'. The 'one who knows' is the one whom Allah causes to witness his godhead (uluhiyyah) and His Essence. No states manifest to him, knowledge is his condition.
(Ma'ana). Everything in creation has an outward form. These forms are the manifestations of their essential inner meanings. The meaning of everything is Allah. Within imagination all meanings become clothed in substratum and take on form. No meaning is able to hold itself back from imagination.
(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).
('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.
(Amanat). The Trust was offered to the heavens and the earth, but they refused to carry it, but mankind accepted the Trust. The Trust is to act as a locus of manifestation of the All-Comprehensive Name 'Allah'. The Perfect Man is the one who fulfills this Trust and in so doing becomes worthy of being Allah's representative on this earth.

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