Fana: When the ego gets annihilated

Sufi thought is centred around the two fundamental doctrines of the Transcendent Unity of Being or wahdut al-wujud and the universal or perfect man, al-insan al-kamil. The concept of fana or annihilation of ego is at the very heart of Sufi theosophy.

Among all species, a human being has the potential of evolving to the highest level of consciousness and becoming a siddha or saint, one who has attained spiritual perfection through sadhana. According to S H Nasr: “To become a saint in Islam is to realise all the possibilities of the human state, to become the universal man. The mystic quest is none other than the realisation of this state, which is also union with God, for the universal man is the mirror in which are reflected all the divine names and qualities.”

How to attain the exalted state of ahsan taqwim, of becoming the total of all the divine names and qualities and to rise to the stature of al-insan al-kamil? Sufi mystic Abu Yazid Bistami explained that a seeker could attain to lofty spiritual heights in meditation through fana. […]