The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Salah). To bless or to pray. "Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O you who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation." (The Qur'an 33:56). These salutations are the manifestation of Allah's Glory upon His Beloved, through which the Divine Radiance is poured forth upon the Holy Prophet, taking him to the Divine Presence.
(Salam). In the salutations on the Prophet (salawat), greetings of Peace (salam) are given to the Holy Prophet Muhammad, after the invocation of Blessing. This is to confer stability and safety upon Allah's Beloved after the manifestation of Divine Glory has been poured forth upon him, May the Blessings of Allah be upon him and Peace. Peace cannot be secured in the land until all the disruptive elements have been subdued. Without the struggle of the Greater Holy War, man's body, self, heart and spirit cannot live in peace.
(Salat) refers particularly to the ritual prayer. It is a connection between the slave and his Lord. The ritual ablution which precedes the salat symbolizes the separation from the self. The salat itself symbolizes the joining to Allah. The seven bodily postures of the ritual prayer are symbols of the stages on the Spiritual Journey of Return to the Source and also the seven levels of knowledge through which the traveller (salik) passes on his ascent. As 'the one who performs the prayer' (musalli) approaches closer to Allah, the more profound and intense is his salat. The Holy Prophet Muhammad said, "The prayer without you is better than seventy". As his heart is purified through spiritual struggle and the Remembrance of Allah, and as he journeys along the Path of Return, the traveller leaves his lower-self behind. Initially the Divine Light radiates into the heart of the musalli-salik. Gradually this Light increases and spreads, and eventually, through the Infinite Grace of Allah, it infuses and permeates every atom of his being. Then does he pray a prayer which is without himself, because 'None worships Allah but Allah'.
(Salawat). Blessings and benedictions and salutations. Salawat refer most particularly to the blessings which the Muslim calls down upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). "Allah and His angels shower blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! Ask blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation." (The Qur'an 33:56). The forms of the salawat are numerous, varying from short and concise prayers through to the profoundly mystical litanies of the great Masters of the higher teaching. And, just as the forms are many, so too are the levels of meaning contained within each salawat. These start from merely saying the salawat on the lips, without any awareness of the Holy Prophet, through to the visualizations of his blessed presence, his light, his essence and ultimately his Reality. Through the Grace of Allah the lover-slave-knower will then understand the words of the Holy Prophet Muhammad, 'I am Ahmad without the 'M''. This is a stage of utter bewilderment. The lover knows that Muhammad al Mustapha is the very ecstasy within his breast. He knows that Muhammad al Mustapha is Absolute Beauty and Absolute Perfection. In perceiving this Reality of Muhammad the lover becomes silent. How does he now approach the Beloved of Allah?