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

Ascension to the Divine Presence

(Mi'raj). This is the highest ascent of the slave towards Allah. It is the ascent from multiplicity, through the Divine Presences back to Unity . Mi'raj refers most especially to the ascension of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). He is the beautiful model and all who truly love him desire to follow him to the Divine Presence.

See also: Annihilation in the Messenger Ascent of composition Beautiful Model Divine Presences Intellect Lote Tree of the Uttermost Boundary Multiplicity Night of the Ascension People of the Essence Silence Slave Unity
(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.
('Uruj at tarkib).The supra-formal spiritual ascent of composition (which is actually a descent), during which man journeys from inward non-manifestation within the Knowledge of Allah to outward manifestation within the world. Man's Return Journey to Allah is the spiritual ascent of decomposition.
(Uswa hasana). The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the beautiful model. Through his perfect example man is given the means of drawing closer, and yet closer, to Allah. The degrees of such nearness depend upon the manner and attitude in which one follows the beautiful model. Those who love Allah and His Messenger more than anything, more than life itself, are the slaves who follow Muhammad al Mustapha in their outer lives and in their inner realities. To approach Allah, the slave must first meet the Holy Prophet Muhammad. This meeting is a Mystery. The Holy Prophet Muhammad, the beautiful model, becomes the slave's inner reality through the unveiling of the Reality of Muhammad. The hadith says, "Who has seen me has seen Allah".
(Al Hadarat). These are the five universal planes, levels of existence or finding, or worlds of Entified Being. 1. The World of the Essence (dhat), The World of the Absolute Non-manifestation (al ghayb al mutlaq), or the Mystery of Mysteries (ghayb al ghayb). 2. The World of the Spirits which includes the First Intellect. 3. The Central World which is the Perfect Man himself, who is the isthmus between the two higher Worlds (i.e. the Essence and the Spirits) and the two lower Worlds (i.e. the Corporeal Bodies and the Imagination). 4. The World of similitude and Imagination. 5. The World of Corporeal Bodies, which is the plane of the senses and sensible experience. Man travels through these Five Presences as he descends from inward non-manifestation within Allah's Knowledge to outward manifestation within the world, and his Journey of Return (mi'raj) is an ascent back through these Five Presences.
('Aql). The intellect or the faculty of reason. The word 'aql derives from 'iqal which means fetter. The intellect fetters man and it also puts its hooks into him, preventing him from making the final stages of the ascent. On the ascension to Allah (mi'raj) there is a point which is indicated by the term 'The Lote tree of the Uttermost Boundary'. It marks the 'place' where reason (the fetter) must be left behind. From this point onwards the traveller journeys with passionate love, yearning and bewilderment. On the Ascension of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) it was at the Lote tree of the Uttermost Boundary that his companion, the Archangel Gabriel (Peace be upon him) stopped through fear of being annihilated. This station of fear is the highest point to which the intellect can attain.
(Al Sidrat al Muntaha). This tree marks the boundary of the intellect. It is located at the extreme verge of the created universe. Beyond it is nothing but the Pure Selfhood.
(Kathra). The One descends and becomes many. Unity separates into multiplicity. The Name 'Allah' contains many Beautiful and Divine Names. The many take us back to the One. Multiplicity takes us back to Unity. The Beautiful Names take us back to Allah.
(Laylat al Mi'raj). The Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace), the slave of Allah ('Abdullah), was 'taken' to the Divine Presence on this 'night'. The word 'night' indicates that moment which is outside of time when Muhammad al Mustapha was blindfolded to everything that is other-than-Allah. In this timeless moment he was in a state of utter Unity . He had realized the Unity of Time, Unity of Place and Unity of Essence. In this state of inner unity he was 'taken' to the Divine Presence. He did not 'go' of his own accord, but was 'chosen' to be 'taken' on this 'night'. The Holy Prophet is the Beautiful Model and his Ascension is the ascension par excellence. By following in his footsteps the yearning lovers and devoted followers and bereft slaves hope to follow him to the Divine Presence. The chosen one (al Mustapha) is the Slave and he is also the Beloved of Allah. No one meets Allah by being a lover, only by being the Beloved. The Night of Ascension, the Night when man ascends to the Divine Presence, corresponds to the Night of Power when the Spirit descends to man.
(Al Dhatiyun). 'Those who have realised the Essence' are the slaves of Allah who drink directly from the Fountain of Camphor in Paradise. They are the People of Solitude of the Absolute Essence. Their love of Allah, being total and utter, remains constant in the face of opposites, because for them the opposites are joined. There is only Unity. There is only Allah as He is in Himself.
(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.
('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.

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