The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Tafriqa). Separation or dispersion. Tafriqa is a state when the mystic becomes conscious of himself as an individual and returns to himself after the ecstasy of intoxication with the Beloved. The highest degree of knowing Allah is the combining of gatheredness (or union) with separation.
(Fana'). Self-annihilation or self-effacement or dissolution or passing away from self. Through being joined to Allah, the Real; man is annihilated from himself - the 'limited existence' of the traveller is overpowered by the 'absolute existence' of Allah, so that the traveller becomes unaware of his own self and the creation. Fana' is the last stage on the ascent to Allah. When travelling to the Source, the seeker passes through different levels of fana', each of which brings him closer to his Goal. There are hundreds, even thousands, of fana's. Every time a form of ignorance is removed to be replaced by knowledge, the murid has experienced fana'. He has tasted the annihilation of an ignorance. And, every moment of existence is in fact a moment which is pregnant with its own particular knowledge. So, for the aware one, each moment can be a fana'. However, within the higher teaching of Tasawwuf there are three major types of fana', through which the murid must travel if he is to reach the Absolute. These are Annihilation in the Murshid/Spiritual Guide, Annihilation in the Messenger and Annihilation in Allah.
(Wajd). These are the states which come upon the heart unexpectedly. They annihilate it from witnessing itself and others. Ecstasy is the descent of immense spiritual energy upon the slave. It overwhelms the senses, causing extreme physical reactions. Ecstasy is true when body, mind and heart are overcome by this descent. Wajd may manifest as intense joy, when Allah's Beauty dominates, or as intense grief, when His Majesty dominates. It is during the spiritual concert that the lover may experience ecstasy and more ecstasy. Ecstasy is a gift of Allah's Grace upon His lover. Without these gifts of wajd the lover would be unable to bear the intensity of longing and love contained within his heart.
(Ayn al Kafur). The Fountain of Camphor in Paradise from which the slaves of Allah drink directly. Camphor overwhelms and whoever enters into it becomes totally absorbed and one with the camphor. 'The Fountain of Camphor is the 'place' of annihilation (fana'), intoxication (sukr) and Divine Love ('ishq). The Fire of Divine Love ('ishq) turns into the Light of Divine Knowledge (ma'rifa) and the lover ('ashiq) is then also the knower ('arif) and is in perfect balance.
(Jam' u tafriqa). Jam' is collectedness and tafriqa is separation. Tafriqa is a state when the mystic becomes conscious of himself as an individual and returns to himself after the ecstasy of intoxication with the Beloved. The highest degree of knowledge (Ma'rifa) is the combining of union (Jam') with separation (Tafriqa). Gatheredness in separation is the very truth.
(Sukr) is spiritual intoxication. It is an absence from self-awareness brought about through a powerful spiritual influence such as immersion in the Remembrance of Allah, finding Allah within the spiritual concert, or the glance of a friend of Allah. It is the overflowing of Love of Allah within the heart and ultimately annihilation in Allah. Those who drink from the Fountain of Camphor drink of an intoxicating Divine wine. They become one with the camphor. The great friends of Allah are those whose inner reality is kept secret. They are in a condition of equilibrium and balance. They are inwardly intoxicated and outwardly sober . But, the lover cannot drink from the Supreme Fountain, before drinking of the Fountain of Camphor. He must become intoxicated and then return to sobriety. Without sobriety he would never relish the overwhelming Beauty of his intoxication (sukr).
('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.
(Sahw) is returning to oneself after having been absent from oneself while intoxicated with the Divine Beloved. The one in the state of sahw is considered to be of greater spiritual maturity than the one in the state of intoxication. The Supreme Fountain is the place of sobriety after intoxication, abiding after annihilation, Divine Knowledge after Divine Love,. but all is One and all are the Beloved. 'None shall drink of Tasnim who has not first drunk from Kafur'. The great Sufi, one of the People of Blame, is inwardly intoxicated and outwardly sober. No one knows his spiritual condition.
(Sama'). The spiritual concert or 'audition' or 'listening'. This term refers specifically to the Sufi gatherings where music and song are employed as a means of opening the heart to inrushes of knowledge and awareness. During the spritual concert, the listener may experience ecstasy and find Allah, The Real within that ecstasy. However, before true ecstasy can be experienced the listener must be spiritually mature, having been prepared through discipline and perpetual Remembrance of Allah. Without this initial contraction of spiritual endeavour the expansion of ecstasy will not be real. The Spiritual Concert is not suitable for the novice. True Sama' is a bird which flies from Allah to Allah. Allah is the singer and Allah is the hearer. At this Divine Feast the singer and the hearer become One.
(Tasnim). The Supreme Fountain in Paradise from which flows the Pure Wine sealed with musk. Those who are brought near drink from Tasnim. Tasnim is the place of sobriety after intoxication, abiding after annihilation, Divine Knowledge after Divine Love. But all is One and all are the Beloved. 'None shall drink of the Supreme Fountain who has not first drunk from the Fountain of Camphor'.
(Muqarrabun). Those who are brought close or near to Allah and are His favoured friends. Al muqarrabun are those perfect slaves who know that 'the Lord is the Lord and the slave is the slave'. They have beautiful moral courtesy with Allah, never overstepping the limits of their own limitedness and slavehood. Their love of and devotion to Allah is total. They see nothing but Allah. They see Allah before, in, with and after the creation. They are the pure followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). They endeavour always to emulate his perfection and in so doing they cling to their own slavehood as he did. For all of this Allah draws them nearer to Himself in each moment. Their Bliss is never-ending because they dwell perpetually in His Presence. They are the People of Solitude. His perfect slaves and lovers and knowers. He guards them through His jealousy for them. They are not known except by those who also are brought near.
(Jam' al Jam'). Gathering of the gathering. Jam' al jam' is the experience of union devoid of all distinctions, even of the idea of being one with Allah. This is the station of 'Two Bows' Length', the station of Perfection which is attained only by the greatest Perfect Men, who are the Prophets and the great saints. The Gathering of the gathering is also known as 'The Station of Great Glory'.
This is also Unity in Multiplicity. Annihilation in totality in Allah – in the Presence of the Divine Beauty. This is the opposite of farq (separation). This is Unity without separation. To gather that which belongs to Allah within you and surrender all of it to Him is real surrender. In the cosmos, there is nothing but Allah, His Names and His attributes. In short, this is called jama’. When we say jam’, it is the centre of multiplicity.