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


(Kitab) The Great Silence became qualified with letters. The letters formed into words. The words gathered into sentences and the sentences into a book. It is said that each part of every existent thing is a 'letter' of Allah, and each creation is a 'word' of Allah, and each life is a 'sentence' of Allah and each world is a 'book' of Allah. We read the book to gain Knowledge of Allah. The world is a book and the human is a book. In these two books we can read the signs of Allah, 'on the horizons and within ourselves', which will enable us to ascend to the Great Silence once again.

See also: Descent Divine knowledge Form Letters Meanings Sign Silence Speech
(Nuzul) is the process by which Pure Being gradually becomes qualified. The term also means to descend or to alight. In the case of a waystation, it is the place where Allah descends (nuzul) to the slave and the slave alights (nuzul) upon Allah.
(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'.
(Huruf). The letters (of the alphabet). The term 'Ilm al Huruf (Science of the letters) is given to a complex science and symbolism which is based on the letters of the Arabic alphabet. 'The science of letters plays an important role in many of the litanies of the various Islamic Spiritual Paths. The repetition of certain combinations of the letters may be used as vehicles to take the murid to higher levels of awareness. Just as the vocalised letters of the alphabet issue from the breath of the human breather so the existent things within the cosmos issue from the Breath of the All Merciful (Nafas ar Rahman). Through the Breath of the All Merciful, Allah emerged from His Essence and the cosmos was made visible through the letters spoken upon this Divine Breath. The place of articulation of the letters within the human breather corresponds to the preparedness of the immutable or fixed entities.
(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.
('Alama). Sign or omen or mark. The cosmos ('alam) is a sign and a mark ('alama) of Allah. It is a proof of Allah. But a mark denotes only that which is limited, so the cosmos does not denote His Essence, only the knowledge that He exists. Every sign, every mark indicates Allah, but the majority of mankind recognize Allah only in that particular mark or sign in which they have limited Allah. The knower and lover never limit Allah. They recognize Allah in every 'alama.
(Sukun) is silence or stillness. This is the great silent stillness of the Essence to which the hearts of the lovers of Allah yearn to return.
(Kalam) is speech or words. The Source, Allah, is the Great Silence. In the process of descent, the Supreme Silence is firstly qualified with letters which then appear as words. The words become a sentence or sign which then appears as a form or book. The world is a book and the human is a book. In these two books we can read the signs of Allah, "on the horizons and within ourselves", which will enable us to ascend, and dwell once again, in the Great Silence.

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