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

kibrit ahmar
Red Sulphur

(Kibrit Ahmar). This term is used to indicate a highly personal spiritual realization or a vision of great rarity. The Red Sulphur is the sought-after and rare working principle which turns base metal into gold. Finding one's Spiritual Guide/Murshid is often referred to as 'finding the red sulphur'. Finding the hidden treasure within one's own secret is the Red Sulphur. Finding the Red Sulphur is rare, yet some of the great friends of Allah have found it in abundance! The universal meaning of Sulphur is the Divine Command.

See also: Annihilation in Allah Annihilation in the Messenger Annihilation in the Spiritual Guide Boy Divine command Intimacy Knowers of Allah Love of the Elect Nearness of Obligatory Works Nearness of Supererogatory Works Passionate love of Allah Sesame seed Slave Spiritual Concert
(Fana Fillah). Annihilation in Allah. This is the final stage on the Journey of Return to Allah. The being of the lover is annihilated and absorbed into the Being of the Beloved. From here onwards there is endless travelling with the Infinite unfolding of knowledge from the Essence Itself.
(Fana fi Rasul). Annihilation in the Messenger, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). 'No one will meet Allah before meeting the Prophet'. After annihilation into the Self of the Murshid, the seeker journeys, through the Infinite Grace of Allah, to the next annihilation, which is Fana fi Rasul - annihilation in the Messenger. At this point the seeker is pervaded by an overwhelming love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This is a love which is greater than anything he has yet experienced. The Holy Prophet becomes dearer to him than life itself.
(Fana fil Murshid/Shaykh). Fallen man cannot, by his own resources, reach Annihilation in Allah.. He requires a Spiritual Guide, a Murshid, who is a pure receptacle for the Divine Outpouring which emanates from the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This Outpouring comes through his Teaching, and from the Divine Book of Allah, the Qur'an, which contains all the mysteries of life and which was brought to all of creation by the Holy Prophet. Annihilation in the Spiritual Guide occurs when this Teaching of the Prophet Muhammad, which is passed on by the Murshid, enters the murid's heart and becomes firmly established. The murid becomes absorbed by the Teaching, through constant meditation and contemplation of Allah. What is the meaning of Annihilation in one’s Spiritual Guide? We would have to say that the seeker will be absorbed. This is far beyond the way of respect, honouring the wishes of and following the teaching of the Murshid; which is the normal standard in any field of life when we are learning a trade, regardless of what that trade is. In the higher teaching, Fana fil Murshid is a very serious and powerful experience and is one of the keys to developing the higher stages of awareness. The murid, besides the standard way of feeling the Murshid’s presence and keeping his thoughts on the Murshid - in his contemplations may experience the engulfing of himself by the Murshid through certain powerful conditions. Literally, he feels that he is within the physical body of the Murshid. It is not sentimental thinking or respect or being obedient to the requests of the Murshid, but there is a powerful link – as the saying goes “Ruhi ruhaak ya Ruhi”. The two become one. The murid, in his spiritual practices, will experience that he is within the Murshid to the highest degree, so that even when looking in the mirror, he may experience that he is looking with the eyes of the Murshid. This is a brief indication to the meaning of fana fil Murshid. This experience opens the door to the realities of the Holy Prophet and the accessibilities to the Universal Man, or you could say, The Reality of Muhammad. This transition is very necessary - if one does not experience this; to a certain degree he will always be alienating himself from a part of the teaching - this overpowering experience of Fana fil Murshid.
(Amr/Amr al Ilahi). The Divine Command. This is symbolized by the Word of Creation "Be" ("Kun") through which the entire creation became and becomes and will continue to become manifest.
(Uns) is a spiritual state in which the heart becomes permeated by Love and contemplates the Beauty of Allah and His Gentleness, Mercy and Forgiveness. The state of intimacy is ineffably sweet and indescribable. It may descend upon the listener at the 'spiritual concert' causing him to fall into an ecstasy in which he finds Allah. The People of hearing experience this intimacy because they hear only Allah, at all times and in all sounds. During the Journey the traveller may initially experience brief periods of such intimacy. But through the Grace of Allah, after much journeying and purification and after many unveilings and tastings, the lover will always feel close to Allah, even when Allah keeps him at a distance!
(Al 'Arifin/'Urufa). They see and recognize Allah wherever they look. The knowers are bewildered. But this is not the bewilderment of being lost, rather it is the bewilderment of having found Allah. They know that He cannot be known. The knowers are nothing because they are everything.
(Mahabbati Khass). The love of the Elect whose souls incline in totality to witnessing the Beauty of the Essence. Such love is rare, like the Red Sulphur itself. It is through Allah's Own Love of His Elect that His Elect love Allah unconditionally. Love of the Elect is a love which is without limit, because it is a Pure Love of the Unknowable Essence Itself.
(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.
('Ishq). Intense, overflowing and passionate love of Allah. Some say that 'ishq cannot arise without actual vision of the Beloved. 'Ishq is the highest stage before absorption in Allah. It is as rare as the red sulphur. It burns away everything of the lover ('Ashiq) transforming him into the beloved. After annihilation in Allah and absorption in Allah, where all is blindness and there is no longer any vision, the lover is separated from the Beloved and his 'ishq burns afresh. Passionate love of Allah is without limit.
(Simsimah) indicates a spiritual realization of such subtlety and delicacy that it is beyond verbal expression. It can only be understood, through heart to heart communication, by the one who also has realized that Truth.
('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.
(Sama'). The spiritual concert or 'audition' or 'listening'. This term refers specifically to the Sufi gatherings where music and song are employed as a means of opening the heart to inrushes of knowledge and awareness. During the spritual concert, the listener may experience ecstasy and find Allah, The Real within that ecstasy. However, before true ecstasy can be experienced the listener must be spiritually mature, having been prepared through discipline and perpetual Remembrance of Allah. Without this initial contraction of spiritual endeavour the expansion of ecstasy will not be real. The Spiritual Concert is not suitable for the novice. True Sama' is a bird which flies from Allah to Allah. Allah is the singer and Allah is the hearer. At this Divine Feast the singer and the hearer become One.

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