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

'ilm al-yaqin
Knowledge of Certainty

('Ilm al Yaqin). There are three stages of Certainty - ''llm al Yaqin (The Knowledge of Certainty), 'Ayn al Yaqin (The Eye of Certainty) and Haqq al yaqin (The Truth of Certainty). When considering this triad the Knowledge of Certainty occupies the first stage. It could be likened to hearing the description of a fire. It is followed by the Eye of Certainty, which is like actually seeing the light of the flames of that fire. Finally there is the Truth of Certainty which is being consumed by the flames of that blazing fire. Haqq al yaqin is the final stage in the ascent before attaining Real Islam. The seven levels of knowledge through which the traveller must pass are Islam; Iman; Ihsan; 'Ilm al Yaqin; 'Ayn al Yaqin; Haqq al Yaqin and Islam. (Surrender, Faith, Perfection, Knowledge of Certainty, The Eye of Certainty, The Truth of Certainty and Total Surrender and Submission).

See also: Annihilation Going up Travelling
(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.
('Uruj). This is the ascent of the traveller from the Causal World to the World of Similitudes, then to the World of Spirits, then to the Reality of Muhammad and, ultimately, through the Grace of Allah, to the Essence Itself.
(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.

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