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

makr nafsi
Deception of the ego

(Makr Nafsi). The deception of the ego. This deception is one of the greatest of barriers on the Path to Perfection. The downward-pulling tendencies of the lower-self (nafs) ceaselessly endeavour to exercise their power over the slave. The self is man's greatest enemy. It is a venomous snake and a cunning and treacherous adversary which will stoop to lying, deception, cajolery and flattery to coax the slave away from his Lord.

See also: Chain Concentration Greater Holy War Remembrance of Allah Self Satan
(Muraqabah). This term applies to the vigilant concentration, with all the power of mind and thought and imagination, and the examination through which the slave carefully keeps guard over himself. During his muraqabah the slave observes how Allah becomes manifest both in the cosmos and within himself.
(Jihad al Akbar). This is the constant and vigilant inner warfare against ignorance, the passions and the vices of the lower self which drag man downwards away from Allah. It is the real struggle against the inner enemies, the inner unbelievers and the inner tyrants. The celestial weapon used in the Greater Holy War is the Remembrance of Allah.
(Dhikrullah). Invocation of Allah through one of His Names or through His Words. The perfect dhikrullah, in which Allah becomes the seeing, the hearing, the speaking, the grasping of the one who remembers, is attained when every atom of the dhakir's being is absorbed and annihilated in the Remembrance of Allah. The dhakir becomes internally unified with the Absolute. Only then does Allah sit totally with the one who remembers Allah.
(Nafs). The ego or the self or the soul. The nafs is that dimension of man which stands between the spirit which is light, and the physical body which is darkness. The spiritual struggle or combat is waged against the downward-pulling tendencies of the nafs which seduce the heart away from Allah. The nafs is also the domain of imagination. Allah is within our own selves, yet we do not see Allah. The work of the higher teaching is directed towards transforming the 'Lower Self' into the Higher 'Perfect Self' and 'seeing' Allah everywhere. There are seven stages of the self, seven postures in the ritual prayer, seven verses or 'signs' in the opening chapter of The Qur'an, and seven levels of knowledge, all of which are finely interconnected. Shaykh Mahmoud Taha of Sudan writes concerning the self: "This soul is immortal in essence despite the changes that befall it through different forms and at different times and places. At no time does the soul cease its quest for immortality - to be immortal in form as it is in essence. This story is . . . the story of every human being. However, we all have forgotten it. By 'forgetting' it is meant that it settled at the bottom of the unconscious and was then covered by a thick layer of illusions and fears that we inherited from the times of ignorance and superstition. There is no way that we can achieve our happiness unless we break through this thick layer. . . which prevents the forms of the unconscious to be reflected in the mirror of the conscious and hence reveal the greater truth, the truth of truths that is shrouded by the veils of light. This long story that flows from the unconscious is made of the same stuff as that of dreams. The Qur'an is made out of the same stuff. It was brought into existence only to remind us of our extraordinary story. He who remembers it will acquire knowledge beyond which there is no ignorance and an immortality beyond which there is no perishing".
(Iblis). This is the personal name of Satan (shaytan). Symbolically Iblis is the fancy of 'otherness' from Allah.

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