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

Order by: Arabic English



(Isma'il). The Prophet Ishmael (Peace be upon him) through whose Word descended the Elevated Wisdom (al hikmat al 'aliyyah).

ism 'alam
Proper Name

(Ism 'Alam). Through the immense spiritual courtesy and respect in which the Name 'Allah' is held by the Great Ones, they do not derive His Proper Name from the same root as 'ilah (god) or uluhiyya (Divinity). The Ism 'Alam 'Allah' denotes The Essenc...

al-ism al-a'zam
Greatest Name

(Ism al A'tham). Some of the friends of Allah say that the Greatest Name is kept hidden, while others say it is 'Ya Hayy! Ya Qayyum!' (Oh, the Living! Oh, the Ever Self-Subsisting!) and others consider it to be the Name 'Allah'. The Name 'Allah' is ...

ism dhat
Name of the Essence

(Ism Dhat). This is the Name 'Allah'.

al-ism al-jami'
All Comprehensive Name

(Al Ism al Jami'). 'Allah' is the All Comprehensive Name because it gathers into itself all of the Divine Names.

Night Journey

(Isra). This is first stage of the Spiritual Journey where the traveller (salik) travels in the universe itself, gaining knowledge from everything he encounters. Only after this journey has been completed can the traveller begin his ascent (mi'raj) ...


(Isti'dad) is closely connected to receptivity (infi'al). It is the readiness to receive what Allah Wills to send. This 'preparedness' was established in Pre-eternity through the Most Holy Emanation (Al Fayd al Aqdas) which gave the preparedness to ...

isti'dad al-mahall
Preparedness of the locus

(Isti'dad al Mahall). The preparedness of the locus (or place) of Self-disclosure or manifestation, to receive the Light from Allah. The purest and most prepared locus is the Perfect Man through whom Allah enters the earthly realm.

Reasoning and demonstration

(Istidlal) is the lower of the two ways leading to knowledge of Allah. The higher way is that of the friends of Allah; i.e. unveiling, tasting, opening, insight and witnessing.

Seeking forgiveness from Allah

(Istighfar) is a necessary part of preparation for true prayer. It is an act of devotion which should never be abandoned, regardless of one's knowedge, spiritual visions, acts of abstinence, etc. 'The slave remains the slave and the Lord remains the ...

Seeking to be drowned

(Istighraq). Such drowning can be within the verses of the Qur'an, within the Self of the Murshid, within the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace), all of which are various drownings before being drowned in Alla...

Allah's Observance of His Own Perfection

(Istijla). The Perfect Man is the mirror in which Allah observes His Own Perfection.


(Istilah). Each science has its own unique terminology through which the people of that science communicate with each other. The newcomer to that science must be taught the terminology which is relevant to his field of study. Tasawwuf, the Science o...


(Istilam) is an passionate upheaval of love (walah). It comes upon the heart and completely overpowers it. In being reduced to such a ruin the lover of Allah experiences immense agitation. No sleep for his eyes. No rest for his limbs. Within the rui...


(Istiqamat) is spiritual steadfastness in the face of all events, be they manifestations of Divine Beauty or Divine Majesty.