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

Knowledge or science

('Ilm) is the analytical and indirect knowledge which results from investigation and study. 'Ilm is contrasted with ma'rifa, the direct knowledge which occurs through the experiences of tasting (dhawq), opening (fath) and unveiling (kashf). Generally this term applies to exoteric knowledge, but sometimes it indicates esoteric knowledge as with Knowledge of Certainty ('Ilm al yaqin).

See also: Divine knowledge Existence Inner eye Knowledge of Certainty Opening People of unveiling and finding Tasting Unveiling
(Ma'rifa) is a light which Allah casts into the heart of whomsoever He Wills. This is the true knowledge which comes through unveiling, witnessing and tasting. This knowledge is from Allah, it is not Allah Himself, because He Is Unknowable in His Essence. The triad on the Sufi Path of Return is comprised of Fear, Knowledge and Love. Fear leads to Knowledge which leads to Unconditional Love of Allah. It is said that spiritual struggle is child's play while ma'rifa is men's work.
Wujud - see 'Being'. Kawn - see 'Engendered existence'.
(Basirah). Insight. The basirah is the inner eye which perceives the World of the Unseen. Man's basirah is veiled and covered with a rust which can only be removed through the sincere practising of the Remembrance of Allah. Insight is one of the forms of direct knowledge of Reality.
('Ilm al Yaqin). There are three stages of Certainty - ''llm al Yaqin (The Knowledge of Certainty), 'Ayn al Yaqin (The Eye of Certainty) and Haqq al yaqin (The Truth of Certainty). When considering this triad the Knowledge of Certainty occupies the first stage. It could be likened to hearing the description of a fire. It is followed by the Eye of Certainty, which is like actually seeing the light of the flames of that fire. Finally there is the Truth of Certainty which is being consumed by the flames of that blazing fire. Haqq al yaqin is the final stage in the ascent before attaining Real Islam. The seven levels of knowledge through which the traveller must pass are Islam; Iman; Ihsan; 'Ilm al Yaqin; 'Ayn al Yaqin; Haqq al Yaqin and Islam. (Surrender, Faith, Perfection, Knowledge of Certainty, The Eye of Certainty, The Truth of Certainty and Total Surrender and Submission).
(Fath). This is one of the forms of direct knowledge by which Allah 'opens the door' to the Unseen World. It is the direct knowledge of Allah disclosing Himself to the heart. This 'opening through tasting' is a knowledge which belongs exclusively to the People and the Elect of Allah.
(Ahl al Kashf wal Wujud). These are the knowers. They have passed beyond the veils which stand between themselves and their Lord and they stand perpetually in His Presence.
(Kashf). Unveiling or revelation is one of the types of direct experience through which Knowledge of Reality is unveiled to the heart of the slave and lover. In His Infinite Grace Allah gives His slave and lover a Divine Self-disclosure which not only increases his Knowledge of Allah but also increases his yearning and intense love of Allah. The great Sufis are called The People of Unveiling and Finding. Within the unveiling they find Allah. This unveiling and finding frequently occurs during the spiritual concert. In a moment, when it is perceived through unveiling that 'Allah is the singer and Allah is the hearer', the singer and the hearer become One, disappearing into Allah.

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