The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Idhn). Permission of one in authority. It is always the higher authority that gives permission to that which is lower. Therefore within the Spiritual Path this permission always comes from The Highest Authority - Allah. Permission (idhn) for the murid to undertake spiritual practices is given by his Murshid. In reality this permission descends from Allah Almighty through His Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) and then into the hearts of the Noble Mashayekh of the Spiritual Paths. It is this Supreme Permission that permeates the spiritual practices and infuses them with their powerful barakah.
(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.
(Nafas). Breath or instant. Nafas is the indivisible moment in which every existent in the cosmos undergoes a new creation. The spiritual energy (barakah) of the Sufi Path is transmitted on the breath of the Murshid. It is only through receiving the bay'ah, the Pledge of Initiation, face-to-face from the Murshid that the full power of this Divine Breath can start working within the murid. The Murshid, who himself has received this transmission of the breath from his own Murshid, then passes the breath to his murids. Contemplation upon his own breath can bring the murid to knowledge of 'the renewal of creation in each instant'.
(Ahl al Tariqa/Ahl al Tasawwuf). The people of the higher teachings of Islam. They follow the path (tariqa) which was set down by the Prophets of Allah and perfected by the Holy Prophet Muhammad. They are the ones who have turned towards Allah through the Remembrance of His Most Holy Name 'Allah'. Their efforts and struggles are directed inwards to purification and transformation of the self. They are the travellers from the lower self to the Higher Self.
(Murid). The one who desires Allah. The murid is the seeker of Reality who is under the direction of a Spiritual Guide (Murshid). He has entered the company of those who concentrate upon Allah through the Remembrance of His Most Holy Name 'Allah'.
(Barakah) is a subtle spiritual energy which flows through everything, but is strongest within the human. The more purified the human becomes, the greater the flow of barakah. Overpowering barakah can be experienced in sacred places, in sacred art and in sanctified people, all of which are theophanies, revealing and manifesting the Divinity - here on earth.
(Murshid/Shaykh/Pir). The Murshid is a True Inheritor of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). After having been taken to the Divine Presence during his ascension the slave has been returned, by Allah, to the creation to guide and perfect the still imperfect ones. He was taken up as a slave and returned as a slave and Murshid. The qualities of an authentic Murshid are those of his own Master and Teacher, the Holy Prophet himself. The sacred connection between a Murshid and his murids was established in Pre-Eternity and continues into Eternity. Because of the Murshid's own spiritual attainments his murids have the possibility of becoming travellers. The perfect Murshid is of The People of Blame and his murids sometimes also attain Perfection.
For the murid, the Murshid is one of the 'signs on the horizons', the outward of his own inward. What he sees in the mirror of his Murshid is a reflection of what is within his own self. He may also see within the Murshid the good qualities and excellent character traits which are yet latent in himself.
(Awrad). This is the spiritual work undertaken by the murid with the direct permission of his Murshid. The awrad consists of units of dhikr, in the form of repetition of Divine Names, Qur'anic verses and sacred litanies. Within tariqa it is the actual doing of the awrad which results in a gradual and beautiful inner transformation. However the degree of spiritual transformation depends, firstly and ultimately upon the Grace of Allah, but also upon the purity of intention and sincerity of the murid. The Murshid distributes the awrad, but it is the murid who is required to do the awrad.
(Tawfiq). Divine Aid or success. In reality all noble and valuable works are the result of Divine Aid because 'there is no success except with Allah' . It is Divine Aid that enables the traveller to take each step of the Spiritual Journey. Without Allah we can do nothing.
(Suluk) is travelling or Wayfaring. Suluk is journeying along the Spiritual Path of Return to the Source. It is the methodical travelling, through the states and stations, under the direction of a Spiritual Master (Shaykh, Murshid). The one who travels is the salik. The advance of the slave towards Allah is really the advance of Allah towards His slave. "Verily, I desire them more than they desire Me" says the beautiful Hadith Qudsi.