There are three stages to the perfection of awareness (at the end of which you are no longer aware, it is only Al-llah! who is aware). They are:
Islam - Acceptance and Surrender (to the way of the peace and the love) - Surrender begins with the realization that guidance cannot be and should not be 'self-provided', that it must be sought at the hand of a realized teacher; and acting in accordance with that knowing. At this point, according to your level of Himma (willingness), you will be put into contact with the classical Islamic learning process.
Iman - Correct faith (with experientially verifiable certainty). The perfection of faith is its conversion to certainty (Yaqin) yielding correctness in behavior and knowledge coming from the complete realization of Truth and a deep understanding of the human situation. This process has three phases: Hearing the Truth, Seeing the Truth, and Being the Truth.
`Ilm ul Yaqin - Hearing about a knowledge of which you wish to learn more. The Power of the mind used and developed for the accomplishment of this stage is known in Sanskrit as Dharana (concentration, focus, search, contact, discovery, identification), and the accomplishment is achieved by a combination of pure intent and asking the right questions.
`Ain ul Yaqin - This is the stage of actually doing the work necessary to complete understanding. It requires the development of a sufficiency of dedication, determination and commitment, and a continued use and development of the Powers of Dharana, focus of attention or concentration.
You might notice that the development of each one of these powers of the stages of process requires the use of the entire process - identification, contemplation and comprehension.
Haqq ul Yaqin - Being the Truth. Attainment. Becoming the reality (a
carrier) of this Certainty. Complete comprehension.
Ihsan - Perfect guidance (finished, liberated, able to guide others). Spiritual Liberation implies the perfection of one's understanding of purpose and purity of intention. It does not imply the kind of liberty that supports childish behavior and undisciplined carelessness. This is the holy station of 'Salik al Majdhubi", the contained and sober intoxicated; the Sufi who is the union of the way of the walking (Shari`at - Muhammadun Rasulullah) and the Ultimate Reality (Haqiqat - La ilaha illa 'llah).
The completion of this process of alignment is the ultimate fulfillment and the end of personal desire and hence the end of the ruling power of the perverse ego (both your own and others'), since ego is the defensive aggressive tool constructed for the purpose of attaining personal desire. Personality is thence put to the uses that Al-llah! intended for it in the first place, namely service, friendliness and education.
- Ali Ansari