The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(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".
(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.
(Shawq). Intense longing and yearning for the Beloved. Shawq is a yearning to behold the Beloved, and a longing for nearness to the Beloved, and a longing for union with the Beloved, and an intense longing for increase in perpetual longing. It is said that breath is a movement of yearning towards the Beloved and within the breathing enjoyment is experienced. The breathing of the ecstatic who is under the pull of the Divine Attraction bears witness to this.
The Reality of shawq is that the luminous fire takes over the heart and there is no medicine for it except for meeting of the Beloved. The intense fire in the heart comes about because of the separation between the one who desires and the One who is desired. When the meeting takes place, the fire of longing will be extinguished. In the state of secretness, what increases is the witnessing of the Beloved, and shawq has no place there. One of the lovers of Allah said 'Do you desire Allah?' he answered 'No', because you only desire that which is absent from you and my Beloved is always present with me. The unification of this factor is in the unification of the spiritual resolve towards Allah and the continous journeying to Him - that is 'To worship Allah like you see Him, and if you do not see Him, be certain that He sees you'. He is with you in the present moment, for this reason, you do not desire Him, because you are with Him. Shawq is he need of the heart to meet the Beloved.
('Ishq). Intense, overflowing and passionate love of Allah. Some say that 'ishq cannot arise without actual vision of the Beloved. 'Ishq is the highest stage before absorption in Allah. It is as rare as the red sulphur. It burns away everything of the lover ('Ashiq) transforming him into the beloved. After annihilation in Allah and absorption in Allah, where all is blindness and there is no longer any vision, the lover is separated from the Beloved and his 'ishq burns afresh. Passionate love of Allah is without limit.
(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.
(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'.
(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.