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


(Nafy) is the negation of the fancy of the existence of the 'other'. The supreme example of nafy is the First Declaration of Faith - There is no god other than Allah (La ilaha ill Allah). "There is no god" (la ilaha) forms the negation and "only Allah" (illa'llah) forms the affirmation. This is Unity.

See also: Attributes of Majesty Effacement in affirmation Other There is no god other than Allah Unity of Allah
(Nu'ut al Jalal). These are the Attributes which are required by the profession of Incomparability and negation of likeness.
(Mahw fi Ithbat). Obliteration in affirmation. The lover is completely at the behest of Allah. He is effaced in his affirmation. He does not desire anything other than what is desired for him. He is the object of the act not the Agent. His affirmation lies in the fact that the Sacred Law was prescribed for him. He never ceases to follow this prescription. His effacement within that affirmation lies in Allah's words, "Allah created you and what you do" (Qur'an 37:96) and "Nothing of the command belongs to you" (The Qur'an 3:128). The lover is the locus within which affairs take place.
(Ghayr). The 'other'. Allah is the Name that stands for the Unknowable Essence and also the Name that stands for the Divinity. The 'face' of the Unknowable Essence is turned away from creation, but the 'face' of the Divinity is turned towards us. Allah, as the Divinity, demands the existence of the 'other'. His Names bear witness to this reality in that The Powerful (al Qadir) demands the 'other' as an object of power (maqdur). Yet, in Reality, the 'other' is 'He/not He' ('Huwa/la Huwa').
(La ilaha il Allah). These words which form the first part of the Islamic Testimony of Faith could be paraphrased as 'there is no reality, only Reality' or 'there is no truth, only Truth' or 'there is no love, only Love'. The phrase is the supreme declaration of Unity. "There is no god" (La ilaha) is the negation of everything that is other-than-Allah while "only Allah" (il Allah) is the affirmation that there is only Allah. Through the dhikr of "La ilaha il Allah" the one who remembers uses the word of negation - 'la' - to sweep away all of the inner debris which is defiling his heart, the Sacred Centre. Ultimately, by the Grace of Allah, the phrase "La ilaha il Allah" is replaced by the Word of the Essence Itself - Allah. Everything other-than-Allah has been negated. Allah is affirmed. There is no divinity save the sole Divinity. The Principle insofar as It excludes and annuls the illusory World, while at the same time affirming the unique and supreme Reality. The mystery of Negation and of Affirmation of Reality (Nafy wal Ithbat).
(Tawhid). The Declaration of Allah's Unity, 'There is no god other than Allah' is the very pivot of Islam. Knowledge of the Declaration of Allah's Unity is a light. Yet, Allah Himself is the affirmation of His Unity. Within the higher teaching all existence is One. The Sufis and the Verifiers have realized Allah's Unity within themselves. In itself, the Unity of Allah is divided into four categories. Unity of Actions, Unity of Attributes, Unity of the Names and Unity of the Essence. And "Allah created you and whatever actions you do" (Holy Qur'an 37:96).

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