The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Sijjin) is the body of clay which traps the yearning spirit. During the sama' the hearer may reach ecstasy. At such a moment his spirit escapes and returns to the celestial spheres. Having once experienced this freedom of flight, the lover then runs out to meet ecstasy half way.
(Hayrah). Bewilderment, perplexity or wonderment. Hayrah indicates a moment of utter perplexity, when the mind ceases to function, unable as it is to resolve or find an answer to a particular spiritual impasse. At such a blessed time, for it is by the Grace of Allah that such bewilderment was reached, the murid must attempt not to panic or give up. Out of this knot of bewilderment a spiritual reality is given the opportunity to unravel and reveal itself in shattering clarity. The Ultimate bewilderment is that possessed by the knowers and lovers of Allah. They are utterly bewildered because they have found Allah and in finding Allah they know that He is Unknowable yet in each moment they are opened to a fresh and new Knowledge of Allah! 'So, Glory be to Allah Who is known only through the fact that He is not known!'
(Wajd). These are the states which come upon the heart unexpectedly. They annihilate it from witnessing itself and others. Ecstasy is the descent of immense spiritual energy upon the slave. It overwhelms the senses, causing extreme physical reactions. Ecstasy is true when body, mind and heart are overcome by this descent. Wajd may manifest as intense joy, when Allah's Beauty dominates, or as intense grief, when His Majesty dominates. It is during the spiritual concert that the lover may experience ecstasy and more ecstasy. Ecstasy is a gift of Allah's Grace upon His lover. Without these gifts of wajd the lover would be unable to bear the intensity of longing and love contained within his heart.
('Aql). The intellect or the faculty of reason. The word 'aql derives from 'iqal which means fetter. The intellect fetters man and it also puts its hooks into him, preventing him from making the final stages of the ascent. On the ascension to Allah (mi'raj) there is a point which is indicated by the term 'The Lote tree of the Uttermost Boundary'. It marks the 'place' where reason (the fetter) must be left behind. From this point onwards the traveller journeys with passionate love, yearning and bewilderment. On the Ascension of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) it was at the Lote tree of the Uttermost Boundary that his companion, the Archangel Gabriel (Peace be upon him) stopped through fear of being annihilated. This station of fear is the highest point to which the intellect can attain.
(Tawajud). Inviting ecstasy or 'rushing out to meet ecstasy half way'. The spiritual concert is one of the most powerful means through which ecstasy may be invited. The lover of Allah always contains an inner movement of yearning towards Allah. When Allah keeps His lover at a distance, this inner movement may be very slight. In his longing to be with his Beloved the lover of Allah will use all the available means to 'find' Allah again. This is tawajud. The hadith says, "Weep, and if ye weep not, then try to weep".
(Faqd). Losing. There is an agitation and bewilderment experienced by the lover when he 'loses' Allah after having 'found' Allah. During the 'spiritual audition' (sama') the lover of Allah may 'find' Allah when he is overwhelmed by ecstasy. After the sama', when his ecstasy has passed, he is filled with dread and bewilderment. He is no longer drowning in that Infinite Sweetness of the Beloved. He feels that he has 'lost' Allah.
(Ruh). The Ruh is that centre within man which is attracted and drawn back to its Source. The spirit endeavours to pull the heart towards Allah, while the lower self exerts a downward pull on the heart. The human spirit is also Allah's Spirit because Allah breathed His Spirit into man. In being both 'uncreated' and 'created' the Ruh makes its descent. On the Night of Power, "Therein descend the angels and the Spirit, by Allah's permission" (Qur'an 97:4). The 'uncreated' spirit is equated with the Reality of Muhammad and the 'created' spirit extends from the Divine Throne down to the Perfect Man. The Ruh cannot be seen except by the man who has outstripped 'both the worlds'. The spirit is neither within nor without the body, neither detached from it or attached to it. It is both within and without, detached and attached. The luminosity which radiates from a man depends upon the degree of activity of his Ruh.
(Sama'). The spiritual concert or 'audition' or 'listening'. This term refers specifically to the Sufi gatherings where music and song are employed as a means of opening the heart to inrushes of knowledge and awareness. During the spritual concert, the listener may experience ecstasy and find Allah, The Real within that ecstasy. However, before true ecstasy can be experienced the listener must be spiritually mature, having been prepared through discipline and perpetual Remembrance of Allah. Without this initial contraction of spiritual endeavour the expansion of ecstasy will not be real. The Spiritual Concert is not suitable for the novice. True Sama' is a bird which flies from Allah to Allah. Allah is the singer and Allah is the hearer. At this Divine Feast the singer and the hearer become One.
(Qawwal). During the 'spiritual concert' (sama') the qawwal may be the means through which the hearer finds Allah in ecstasy. When this occurs it is true sama' because sama' is a bird which flies from Allah to Allah - Allah is the singer and Allah is the hearer. The barakah surrounding and emanating from the qawwal and his musicians is extremely potent. Its effect upon an audience can be profound even when the members of that audience are ignorant of, and oblivious to, the reality within the singer and the music. For the one who has been prepared and purified, through spiritual struggle and the Remembrance of Allah, the speech of the qawwal can send his heart soaring towards the spiritual realm, where a thousand subtleties and delicacies are opened to him.