Enlightenment equals ego death;For millennia this equation has held true..From Shankara's rantings against the ego as a "strong and deadly serpent" to Prophet Muhammad's declaration of a "holy war against the nafs [ego]" to the Zen masters' fierce determination to use any means necessary to break the ego's grip on their students.While the term "ego," meaning "I" in Latin, is obviously a relatively recent addition to the English lexicon, just about every major enlightenment teaching in the world has long held that the highest goal of spiritual and indeed human life lies in the renunciation, rejection and, ultimately, the death of the need to hold on to a separate, self-centered existence.
For the Sufi the fact that His greatest name means “the Nothing” has great significance, because Truth, or God, is experienced as the NothingnessThus, the name Allâh contains the essence of all Sufi teaching: to become nothing, to become annihilated in Him, so that all that remains is His Infinite Emptiness. This is the path of love, it is the cup of wine which is drunk by His lovers. In the words of Rûmî:
Sufi Scholar lee Vaughn described Fana as "This is one of the cornerstones of the Sufi path, and is encapsulated in the saying attributed to the prophet Mohammad, "To die before you die." You see, most people wait until they physically die to go back home to God. But the Sufi, driven by the soul's homesickness, wants to experience going back to God consciously, in this life. And for this you have to go beyond your ego. This is what it means to die before you die"
Fana is about the annihilation of the ego. One great Sufi said, "Between You and me there lingers an 'It is I.' Oh God, through Thy mercy lift this 'It is I' from between us both."
In a poem he recounts;
Abu Yazid al-Bistami approached the Divine Presence and “knocked on the gate”. He was asked, “Who is there?” “I have come, Oh my Lord”, replied Abu Yazid. He was told: “There isn’t any place here for two. Leave your ego behind and come”. When Abu Yazid once again approached the Divine Presence and was asked who it was, he said: “You, oh Lord”.
The "annihilation of the self" (fana fi 'Allah') refers to disregarding everything in this world because of one's love towards God. When a person enters the state of fana it is believed that one is closest to God.
The Qalaba( heart) is sandwiched between the nafs( EGO) and the Rooh(SOUL) The entire objective of annihilation is to destroy the nafs to that Heart can recognise the soul.Sudi's say soul has the spark of divine as in Quran, its mentioned" all souls come rom God".
What has to "die" is this "I" which separates us from God. This is the painful part of the path, because it requires that we surrender our ego and learn to give ourself totally to love. Fana is a long, slow process—it takes time for the ego to surrender, to step aside, to become annihilated.A parallel concept can also be found in Hinduism's identification of Atman (human soul) with Brahman (the impersonal Absolute), the realization of which is the ultimate goal or release from existence and rebirth.
Just as the ultimate goal of the Hindu was unity with the world soul and of the Christian mystic union with God; the ultimate goal of this movement became Fanaa, the dissolution of the ego, and Wusul the meeting and unification of the human soul with Allah in this life.
The nature of fanaa consists of the elimination of evil deeds and lowly attributes of the flesh. In other words, fanaa is abstention from sin and the expulsion from the heart of all love other than the Divine Love; expulsion of greed, lust, desire, vanity, show, etc. In the state of fanaa the reality of the true and only relationship asserts itself in the mind. One realizes and feeds that the only real relationship is with Allah Ta'ala fanaa means to destroy your self. if you destroy your self in the love of Allah then that fanaa will convert into entire life means abdi zindgi. and for that one you have to destroy your will and yourself on the will of Allah.
“And I am closer to man than his jugular vein” QURAN;