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Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem

ALLAHUMMA SALLI ALA SAYYIDINA MUHAMMADIW WA ABLIGHUL WASILATA AD DARAJATAR RAFI' ATAL JANNAH.

Assalamu 'Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu

FANA (SPIRITUAL EXTINCTION)

It is important to know that there are three types of Fana. Every person's exper ience differs from others. A Saalik may achieve nothing from the world of Baqa ( Eternal Existence) if he does not successfully complete all 3 stages of Fana. Si nce the subject of Fana and Baqa are very intense and intricate, therefore it wi ll not be possible for me to fully explain it in this concise book. Nevertheless , I feel it important to briefly explain the subject of Fana because one cannot achieve spiritual tranquillity without it. Furthermore, it inculcates strength a nd encouragement in the heart of the Mureed to accomplish the stations of Sulook . Thus, I will briefly explain the three types of Fana.

FIRST FANA

This stage is known as Fana-fish-Sheikh. This means that a disciple (Mureed) eng rosses himself so deeply in the thought of his Murshid that he completely forget s his own existence. This is the first step of spiritual extinction. Whatever he sees here, will be nothing but the vision of his Sheikh. Thus, he finds himself at all times in the presence of his Sheikh. In other words, the disciple totall y forgets his existence and regards his Murshid's existence as his own. The move ments of his body will be regarded as that of the Murshid s. Therefore, at all tim es, consider that the movements of his body are in total control of his Murshid, that is, the body of the Mureed actually becomes the body of the Murshid. The M ureed must realise that none other than his Murshid understands the concept of h is physical existence. Therefore, the Mureed must also behave accordingly. In th is stage, the Murshid is in total control of his existence.

SECOND FANA

This is the station of Fana-fir-Rasool. In this mystical stage, the sacred lumin ous face of the Noble Prophet (Salla Allahu ta'ala 'alayhi wa Sallam) r is alway s in front of him. This sanctified vision will then guide him in every avenue of life. Whatever Divine experiences and visions experienced by the Saalik in this station, is considered as the blessings of Sayyidul Alameen r.Never at any time think that My Spiritual status has been elevated therefore, I am receiving these Divine blessings .

The station of Fana-fir-Rasool is achieved by the virtues of Fana-fish-Sheikh. F irst, the Mureed becomes Fana (extinct) in his Sheikh while his Sheikh is Fana i n Sayyiduna Rasoolullah r. Thus, it becomes easy for the Saalik to achieve the s tation of Fana-fir-Rasool. This is because the Sheikh is a medium (Waseela) betw een the Mureed and Sayyiduna Rasoolullah r.

THIRD FANA

The third Fana is called Fana-fillah. When the Saalik reaches the last stages of Fana-Fillah he then enters the kingdom of Baqa. When the great Mystic, Sheikh Ju naid Al-Baghdadi t reached this stage, he said: For forty years I was speaking to Almighty Allah I and the people thought that I was speaking to them . Many Distin guished Awliya of Allah made similar statements.

The station of Fana-fillah is so great that after acquiring it, the Saalik becom es aware of the secrets of Tauheed (Unique Oneness of Allah I). Thus, he is clea nsed from all impurities and thoughts of Shirk (Polytheism).

A Saalik must seriously consider all these rules before he sets foot on the path of Sulook. Firstly, he must purify his heart and tongue from all forms of sins and thereafter tread steadfastly on this spiritual path. It is important for the Saalik to have Imaan (faith) like the preceding noble Awliya concerning the Ble ssings of Paradise, the Punishment of Hell, the Virgins and Palaces of Jannah an d all other Bounties of Almighty Allah I. All these realities are mentioned in t he Holy Quraan, Sunnah of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah r and traditions of the exalted Sahaba and predecessors.