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

qurb al-fara'id
Nearness of Obligatory Works

(Qurb al fara'id) is the second lowest of the four stations of Perfection. The slave who performs the obligatory works attains this proximity. While retaining his own properties his reality is annihilated in Allah. Allah manifests Himself with His Name, the Outward, so that the lover remains hidden within Allah. The subject and agent is Allah and the lover's hidden presence is manifested by his becoming Allah's faculties. The lover becomes the Beloved's sight, hearing . . .

See also: Compulsion Free choice Nearness Object of an act Obligatory works Obliteration Perfection Red Sulphur Senses Speech Standing for the prayer Those who are brought near
(Idtirar). Compulsion (as opposed to free choice). The angels are servants of Allah, but only by compulsion. Man is a servant of Allah by compulsion (idtirar) through his obligatory works and he is a servant by free choice (ikhtiyar) through his supererogatory works.
(Ikhtiyar). Free choice or spontaneity (as opposed to compulsion). The angels are servants of Allah only by compulsion. They have no choice. Man is a servant of Allah by compulsion through his obligatory works and he is a servant of Allah by free choice through his supererogatory works. And he has been given the free choice as to which Path of Return he takes to his Origin. The 'Arif, the knower of Allah, is the one who knows the present moment and therefore knows that Allah IS the moment. Allah gives to such a knower free choice and spontaneous (ikhtiyar) knowledge in each instant and in each breath. This slave, knower and lover takes his knowledge directly from al Hayy, the Living. He drinks from the Water of Life which is ever fresh and ever renewed.
(Qurb). Proximity or nearness to Allah. Qurb is the reality of the Station of Perfection, 'Two Bows' Length'. It is the limit of the slave's ascent before annihilation in Allah. One of the bewilderments of the Journey is that through having knowledge of his distance from Allah the slave is actually brought near. Slavehood indicates this distance which brings nearness. The slave must cling to perfect courtesy by honouring and respecting the Truth that, 'the slave remains the slave and the Lord remains the Lord'.
(Maf'ul). The object of an act (not the agent of the act). The Lover of Allah, through whom Allah sees, hears, speaks, walks and grasps is the object of the act and Allah is the True Agent.
(Fara'id) are those acts which are to be performed or avoided and which Allah has made incumbent and unequivocally necessary for His slaves.
(Mahq). Obliteration indicates the obliteration and annihilation of the slave's being in the Essence of Allah.
(Ihsan). Excellence or perfection or sanctifying virtue or spiritual beauty. Ihsan has three degrees: 1).To do the good that should be done with one's property, words, acts and states. 2). To worship with total presence like one was actually seeing one's Lord. 3). To contemplate Allah in all things, at all times and always. Perfection is the third rung on the seven-runged ladder of Knowledge. These seven levels are Islam, Iman; Ihsan; 'Ilm al yaqin; 'Ayn al yaqin; Haqq al yaqin; Islam. (Surrender, Faith, Perfection, Knowledge of Certainty, The Eye of Certainty, The Truth of Certainty and Total Surrender and Submission).
(Kibrit Ahmar). This term is used to indicate a highly personal spiritual realization or a vision of great rarity. The Red Sulphur is the sought-after and rare working principle which turns base metal into gold. Finding one's Spiritual Guide/Murshid is often referred to as 'finding the red sulphur'. Finding the hidden treasure within one's own secret is the Red Sulphur. Finding the Red Sulphur is rare, yet some of the great friends of Allah have found it in abundance! The universal meaning of Sulphur is the Divine Command.
(Hiss). The faculty of sensation or the domain of the senses. The senses act as a veil over Reality and it for this reason that the lover of Allah supplicates to have his senses removed! But, because man has been placed within the domain of the senses he has been given the means to purify his senses and draw closer to his Lord. Through the Remembrance of Allah the veil over his senses may be removed to reveal the Reality of those senses. When immersed in the dhikr his senses may be burned away and replaced by Allah. The Hadith Qudsi says, "... Then, when I love him, I am his hearing through which he hears, his sight through which he sees, his hand through which he grasps and his foot through which he walks".
(Kalam) is speech or words. The Source, Allah, is the Great Silence. In the process of descent, the Supreme Silence is firstly qualified with letters which then appear as words. The words become a sentence or sign which then appears as a form or book. The world is a book and the human is a book. In these two books we can read the signs of Allah, "on the horizons and within ourselves", which will enable us to ascend, and dwell once again, in the Great Silence.
(Iqamat as-Salat). Standing for the obligatory prayer. At such a time all Supererogatory acts of worship are forbidden.
(Muqarrabun). Those who are brought close or near to Allah and are His favoured friends. Al muqarrabun are those perfect slaves who know that 'the Lord is the Lord and the slave is the slave'. They have beautiful moral courtesy with Allah, never overstepping the limits of their own limitedness and slavehood. Their love of and devotion to Allah is total. They see nothing but Allah. They see Allah before, in, with and after the creation. They are the pure followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). They endeavour always to emulate his perfection and in so doing they cling to their own slavehood as he did. For all of this Allah draws them nearer to Himself in each moment. Their Bliss is never-ending because they dwell perpetually in His Presence. They are the People of Solitude. His perfect slaves and lovers and knowers. He guards them through His jealousy for them. They are not known except by those who also are brought near.

Go Back