The Language of the Future
Sufi Terminology
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi


(Qabd) is the spiritual state of contraction in which the heart is firmly gripped and compressed by Allah, through terror of punishment and blame. It is an intense fear in, and the sharpest experience of, the present moment. Whenever contraction (qabd) occurs it is always followed by expansion.

See also: Distance from Allah Expansion Fear Heart Hope Lonliness and Estrangement Majesty Names of Majesty State)
(Bu'd). Distance from Allah. There can be two aspects to bu'd. One is the distance which comes about through forgetfulness of, or even disbelief in, Allah. Such a distance is Hell in this life and in the Hereafter. The other distance is in fact a profoundly sweet distance. It occurs when the slave truly knows, through unveiling, that 'the slave remains the slave and the Lord remains the Lord'. Such a distance as this is one of the means by which the slave attains nearness to Allah. And nearness to Allah is Paradise here and now.
(Bast). An involuntary state of expansion, within the state of unveiling, which engulfs the heart with ineffable joy and love. It results from the Self-disclosure of Allah's Beauty and carries with it a feeling of acceptance, mercy and intimacy with Allah.
(Khawf). Fear acts as a warning of something terrifying in the future. In the initial stages of the Spiritual Journey the murid experiences great fear of the treachery of his own self, and also the fear of falling short of his Murshid's directions. However, when this fear is complimented with hope the murid finds the courage and the strength with which to attack the inner enemies. Fear of Allah leads to Knowledge of Allah which opens into Love of Allah. The lover who has found Allah fears losing Allah. Such a fear may overcome the lover who has found Allah in ecstasy during the sama'.
(Qalb). The human heart is the place of constant change and fluctuation. It is the supra-rational organ of intuition where the Transcendent Realities enter into contact with man. The heart is the isthmus between this world and the next. The battlefield of the Greater Holy War is the heart. This is where the downward-pulling lower self is confronted by the yearning spirit. The battle is fought between these two adversaries in order for one to take possession of the precious heart of man. Under the misguidance of the Misguider, the lower self wants the heart to plummet to the depths of ignorance. However, the spirit, which is from Allah, exerts a powerful attraction upon the heart, as it endeavours to guide it towards Knowledge of Allah. The greater the purification of the heart the more receptive it is to this irresistible attraction of the celestial spirit. The heart is the sanctified centre of man because it is the place which contains Allah. Keeping watch over the heart is part of the spiritual struggle of the Journey of Return. Those well-advanced along the Path never allow any intruders to enter their sanctified hearts. The heart of the Perfect Man is the Divine Throne around which circle the spiritual realities.
(Raja') is the anticipation of Allah's Mercy (which actually surrounds us constantly, but is rarely perceived). During estrangement and separation, the lover is stretched to the extremity in his hope that the Beloved will either 'arrive' or 'speak' or 'approach' or simply just 'glance'. He fears that this separation is permanent, yet he hopes that it is temporary. On the wings of fear and hope the lover ceaselessly pursues the Beloved.
(Jalal). The Divine Majesty. Jalal indicates Allah's Incomparability. His Qualities of Majesty include His Transcendence, His Inaccessibilty, His Magnificence, His Tremendousness. Awe is experienced when the heart is overwhelmed by jalal.
(Asma Jalaliyyah). These Names relate to Allah's Incomparability and are demanded by the very fact of Allah's Being and our nonexistence. The Names of Majesty include such Names as The Tremendous (al 'Azim), The Overpowering (al Qahhar). When the traveller is under the influence of a spiritual state in which a Name of Majesty dominates he is utterly overwhelmed.

Go Back