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

Science of Divine Knowledge

(Ma'arif). The sciences connected to Divine Knowledge. The ascent from multiplicity to Unity is a journey from wideness to narrowness. Initially the sciences are varied and numerous. Slowly and gradually, little by little, these sciences become few as all extraneous sciences are left behind. As the Knower ascends the only object of knowledge to which his entire being is turned is Allah, the Real. His profound sciences are the ma'arif.

See also: Divine knowledge Knowledge direct from Allah Knowledge of Allah Knowers of Allah Knowledge of Tasting Night of Ascension
(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.
('Ilm Ladunni). Divine (God-given) Knowledge. This is a sacred knowledge which has not come through reflection or consideration but has descended into the heart directly from Allah. 'Ilm ladunni is that knowledge which was given to al Khidr (Peace be upon him).
('Ilm bi Allah). This is the knowledge which is embraced in the heart. The heart is the sacred place where man encounters Allah. The more the heart is polished with the Remembrance of Allah the greater is its capacity to receive Knowledge of Allah.
(Al 'Arifin/'Urufa). They see and recognize Allah wherever they look. The knowers are bewildered. But this is not the bewilderment of being lost, rather it is the bewilderment of having found Allah. They know that He cannot be known. The knowers are nothing because they are everything.
('Ilm ul Dhawq). This Knowledge is specific to the People of the Spiritual Path (Tariqa). It is that knowledge which comes through direct experience. Those who have tasted know. Those who have not tasted tasted do not know.

Go Back