The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Yas). The state of utter hopelessness which is experienced during contraction. When the lover is contracted, having 'lost' his vision of the Beloved, his hopelessness is acute. And, even though he knows, with certainty, that this is merely a temporary loss of the Beloved, his entire being is nevertheless pervaded by an intense sorrow.
(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.
(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.
(Uns) is a spiritual state in which the heart becomes permeated by Love and contemplates the Beauty of Allah and His Gentleness, Mercy and Forgiveness. The state of intimacy is ineffably sweet and indescribable. It may descend upon the listener at the 'spiritual concert' causing him to fall into an ecstasy in which he finds Allah. The People of hearing experience this intimacy because they hear only Allah, at all times and in all sounds. During the Journey the traveller may initially experience brief periods of such intimacy. But through the Grace of Allah, after much journeying and purification and after many unveilings and tastings, the lover will always feel close to Allah, even when Allah keeps him at a distance!
(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".
(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.
(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'.
(Walah). The passionate upheaval of extreme ecstasy. This upheaval occurs when the heart is utterly overwhelmed with love of Allah. Love such as this is pure, total and unconditional. This love does not differentiate between the Beloved's harshness and His Loving-kindness. Opposites are joined within the walah. The ecstatic does not even see the Beloved. He is blinded to everything because he has been joined to the Beloved.
(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.