On Fana

God, the Exalted, says:

كُلُّ شَيْءٍ هَالِكٌ إِلَّا وَجْهَهُ

“Everything is to perish except His Face.” (28:88)

In wahdah there is no wayfarer or wayfaring, way and destination, search, seeker, and the sought, and everything perishes except His Face. This matter has neither an affirmation and its explanation, nor a negation and its explanation; for affirmation and negation are opposites and duality is the source of multiplicity.

Here there is neither negation nor affirmation, neither negation of negation nor affirmation of affirmation, neither negation of affirmation nor affirmation of negation. And this is called land' (annihilation), for the return of creation is by land' even as its origin was from `adam (non-existence):

كَمَا بَدَأَكُمْ تَعُودُونَ…

“As He brought you into being, so shall you return.” (7:29)

The term fana' has a meaning that is coextensive with multiplicity:

كُلُّ مَنْ عَلَيْهَا فَانٍ وَيَبْقَىٰ وَجْهُ رَبِّكَ ذُو الْجَلَالِ وَالْإِكْرَامِ

“Everyone that is thereon will perish and there remaineth the Face of thy Lord, the All-majestic, the All-generous.” (55:26-27).

This is not the sense of fana' [meant here], for it is beyond anything that can be said, imagined, and intellected:

إِلَيْهِ يُرْجَعُ الْأَمْرُ كُلُّهُ…

“To Him reverts the matter in its entirety.” (11:123)

This is what we wished to proffer in this brief discourse, which concludes here.

والسلام على من اتبع الهدى, سبحان ربك رب العزة عما يصفون, والسلام على المرسلين, والحمد لله رب العالمين, والصلاة والسلام على سيدنا محمد وآله الطاهرين الطيبين الذين هم نقلوا من أصلاب الطاهرين إلى أرحام المطهرات والذين أذهب الله عنهم الرجس وطهرهم تطهيرا

(Peace be upon him who follows guidance. Thy Lord, the Lord of Honour, is above what they ascribe to Him, and peace be upon the Messengers, and praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, and peace and benedictions be upon our master, Muhammad, and the pure and immaculate ones of his Household, who (prior to their birth) were carried from pure loins to pure wombs, and from whom God has kept away all impurity and purified them with a thorough purification.)