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

Order by: Arabic English



(Nabi). A Prophet is a friend of Allah (Wali) who possesses unique knowledge of the Unseen Worlds. Allah has sent 124,000 Prophets to humanity to show them the Way of Returning to Allah. The Prophets are under the Command of Allah to invite people to...


(Nadamat). Contrition or penitence or remorse. The hadith says, "Penitence is the act of returning".


(Nafas). Breath or instant. Nafas is the indivisible moment in which every existent in the cosmos undergoes a new creation. The spiritual energy (barakah) of the Sufi Path is transmitted on the breath of the Murshid. It is only through receiving the ...

nafas ar-rahman
Breath of the All Merciful

(Nafas ar-Rahman). The Breath of the All Merciful. This exceedingly beautiful term indicates the evanescent nature of existence in its state of constant change and renewal. It is the Supreme Isthmus and the very substance of the universe is the Breat...

Supererogatory work

(Nafila -pl. Nawafil). The supererogatory works (nawafil) are derived from the obligatory works which are their roots. A nafila is an act of worship and service through which the slave draws ever-closer to his Lord. Mankind is the supererogatory wor...


(Nafkh). The breathing or blowing through which the cosmos came into existence. And this breathing is Allah's. Divine Inspiration (Ilham) descends upon the slave through this nafkh. The 'blowing in' is never ending.


(Nafl). Nafl is something in excess of what is expected. It is a booty, bounty or gift.


(Nafs). The ego or the self or the soul. The nafs is that dimension of man which stands between the spirit which is light, and the physical body which is darkness. The spiritual struggle or combat is waged against the downward-pulling tendencies of t...

nafs al-ammara
Self - Commanding

(Nafs al Ammarra). 'The self which commands'. The Qur'an refers to this self, "The (human) soul is certainly prone to evil" (12:53). This self resides in the world of the senses and is dominated by earthly desires and passions. The initial struggle i...

nafs al-haywaniyya
Self - Animal

(Nafs al Hayawaniyya). The animal self. This is the lowest self. It is man cast down to the "lowest of the low". The animal self is totally obedient to the base natural impulses. The one who is dominated by the animal self is unfit for spiritual end...

nafs al-ilahiyyah
Self - Divine

(Nafs al Ilahiyyah). The Divine Self is Allah as He is with His Qualities of Life, Knowledge, Power, Will, Hearing, Sight and Speech.

nafs al-kamila
Self - Perfect

(Nafs al Kamila). The Perfect Self. The Qur'an refers to this Self, "Enter then, among My slaves. Enter into My Garden" (89:29,30). This is the final stage in the development of the self to the Self. It is the stage of Real Islam when the slave is i...

al-nafs al-kulliya
Universal Soul

(Nafs al Kulliya). The Universal Soul which stands below the First Intellect and represents the receptive dimension of the spiritual world.

nafs al-lawwama
Self - Blaming

(Nafs al Lawwama). The Self that Blames.The Qur'an refers to this Self, "And I do call to witness the self that blames" (75:2). This Self is conscious of its own imperfections. Its journeying is for Allah. The Blaming Self is equated with the second ...

nafs al-mulhamma
Self - Inspired

(Nafs al Mulhamma) is the Inspired Self. The Qur'an refers to this Self, "By the Self and the proportion and order given to it" (91:7). This Self has turned away from wrong action and is able to discern that which will take it to felicity. It journey...