FANA-FILLAH — THE NIRVANA STATE
This vacuum is also divine; it is not of Illusion but it is of Reality. In this first stage of fana the super-consciousness of God, in the man state as man, experiences the "passing-away-in" the absolute vacuum state of the original God-Is state, and is thus conscious now only of absolute vacuum.
As has already been said, this same absolute vacuum state is also established in the everyday sound sleep state of a normal man where the limited ego or "I," mind, energy, body and the worlds also vanish and the consciousness remains dormant.
The only difference, which truly makes a world of difference, between the absolute vacuum state of the everyday sound sleep state of man and the experience of the absolute vacuum in the first stage of fana is, that although the same absolute vacuum is established also in fana, yet in fana the consciousness no longer remains dormant. In this stage it is fully and completely matured consciousness, now actually experiencing the very same absolute vacuum state as the original state of God.
The experience of the first stage of fana is of the nirvana state.
Nirvana is that state where apparently "God Is Not." This is the only state where "God Is Not" and "Consciousness Is." This experience of the first stage of fana is what Buddha emphasized, but later on it was misinterpreted as Buddha having emphasized that there was no God. The reality, however, is that God Is; but in the absolute vacuum state of the first stage of fana only consciousness remains, experiencing absolute vacuum.
As it can never happen for God not to exist, in the state of nirvana God plays the part of consciousness itself, which consciousness is sometimes termed super-consciousness or mahachaitanya.
GOD SPEAKS, 1st Indian ed, 2001, pp. 216-217
1973 Sufism Reoriented, inc.