The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Zawiyyah). The transmission of the Divine Wisdom which flows from the Murshid to his murids traditionally takes place in a space or room or building, which is set aside specifically for that sacred purpose. Such a place is called a zawiyyah, which literally means 'corner'. The necessity for such a special place is self evident. The Murshid, upon whom so many murids depend to learn of the signs of the Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace), needs to make himself available to them as much as possible. And, this meeting place, frequented as it is by numerous spiritual people, will rapidly develop into a site of highly concentrated barakah. An ideal zawiyyah contains not only its own mosque, or room selected for prayer and gatherings of dhikr, but also larger meeting rooms for the sharing of food, both earthly and celestial. Small chambers for murids to enter spiritual retreat is of paramount importance, where the Murshid supervises and watches over individual murids as they undergo arduous and demanding periods of seclusion. It is during such times that immense advances are made along the Spiritual Path. Just as Allah Almighty chooses to elevate certain people amongst His creation, by filling their hearts with pure love of Allah and turning them towards His remembrance, so too does Allah elevate certain pieces of His earth. Such sites are destined to become Holy places, where mosques are built, zawiyyahs are erected or where sanctified people live in His Remembrance. The barakah which accumulates around and emanates from these parts of Allah's vast earth eventually attracts the pious believers and yearning lovers of Allah. These places become Sacred visiting places.
(Halqa). This is the spiritual gathering in which the members of a tariqa devote themselves to the Remembrance of Allah (Dhikrullah). Each 'one who remembers' becomes like a link in a circular chain. Immense spiritual energy (Barakah) can be attracted to the circle during such a collective dhikr. Allah says in a Hadith Qudsi "I am in My slave's opinion of Me. I am with him when he remembers Me. If he remembers Me in himself, I remember him in Myself; if he remembers me in a gathering (assembly), I remember him in a higher gathering". Individual dhikr is inconceivably powerful, containing as it does all that is necessary to transform the lower self of the dhakir into his Higher Self. When Lovers of Allah gather with the sole intention of Remembering Allah, then the spiritual energy emanating from the vocalised dhikr can have astounding reverberations in the physical and spiritual domains. An outsider entering such a gathering can experience near-suffocation due to the change in the atmosphere under the influence of the dhikr. Healing can take place also. The spirits of earlier Masters of the Path may join such a gathering. The vibrations, set up by the mention of one of the Beautiful Names of Allah, echo inwardly towards the Heart and outwardly towards the manifest realm. The spiritual energy emanating from the Circle is great when it is being 'directed' by one of the Inheritors of the Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). The Pure Heart of such a Man attracts to itself a highly concentrated spiritual energy of the most blessed nature.
(Suhba). This term applies most specifically to the spiritual relationship which exists between the Murshid and his murid. The basis of such companionship is mystical conversation and communion, both of which intensify as the murid's heart becomes purified under the Murshid's guidance. It is a profound mutual love based on the Pure Love of Allah.
(Dhikrullah). Invocation of Allah through one of His Names or through His Words. The perfect dhikrullah, in which Allah becomes the seeing, the hearing, the speaking, the grasping of the one who remembers, is attained when every atom of the dhakir's being is absorbed and annihilated in the Remembrance of Allah. The dhakir becomes internally unified with the Absolute. Only then does Allah sit totally with the one who remembers Allah.
(Khalwa). The spiritual retreat and seclusion. Initially seclusion is undertaken by physically withdrawing from those outside disturbances which have the potential of distracting one in his contemplation of Allah's Names and Attributes. Ultimately this withdrawal becomes purely spiritual when the heart is in a state of perpetual presence with Allah . Then the lover of Allah is with his Beloved at all times, regardless of the external conditions within which he is situated. Seclusion is the conversation of one's secret awareness with Allah. This is known as 'Khalwa fi Jalwa' (Seclusion within society) - as you are in a private state of seclusion with Allah while going about your everyday activities.
(Murid). The one who desires Allah. The murid is the seeker of Reality who is under the direction of a Spiritual Guide (Murshid). He has entered the company of those who concentrate upon Allah through the Remembrance of His Most Holy Name 'Allah'.
(Adab al suhba). This is the mutual respect and gracious behaviour which exists between the Murshid and his murid. The murid needs the Murshid who needs the murid! The Murshid's adab towards the murid springs from his own intrinsic need of Allah. The Murshid's awareness and knowledge of his own need of Allah continually increases. This awareness is strengthened when he regards the murid's need of Allah (through the Murshid.) The murid's adab towards the Murshid becomes more refined as he travels the Path. With the opening of his inner-eye he is able to see the reality of his Murshid and such a 'seeing' necessarily brings with it a beautiful adab.
(Barakah) is a subtle spiritual energy which flows through everything, but is strongest within the human. The more purified the human becomes, the greater the flow of barakah. Overpowering barakah can be experienced in sacred places, in sacred art and in sanctified people, all of which are theophanies, revealing and manifesting the Divinity - here on earth.
(Murshid/Shaykh/Pir). The Murshid is a True Inheritor of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). After having been taken to the Divine Presence during his ascension the slave has been returned, by Allah, to the creation to guide and perfect the still imperfect ones. He was taken up as a slave and returned as a slave and Murshid. The qualities of an authentic Murshid are those of his own Master and Teacher, the Holy Prophet himself. The sacred connection between a Murshid and his murids was established in Pre-Eternity and continues into Eternity. Because of the Murshid's own spiritual attainments his murids have the possibility of becoming travellers. The perfect Murshid is of The People of Blame and his murids sometimes also attain Perfection.
For the murid, the Murshid is one of the 'signs on the horizons', the outward of his own inward. What he sees in the mirror of his Murshid is a reflection of what is within his own self. He may also see within the Murshid the good qualities and excellent character traits which are yet latent in himself.
(Ziyarat). Because the sacred tombs of the Sufi saints are sites abounding in barakah, they become visiting places for both devotees and the pious believers who seek to benefit from the spiritual power and grace of these exalted lovers of Allah. After completing his pilgrimage to the House of Allah, the Sacred Sanctuary, the slave visits Medina, the City of Light, the resting-place of Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). The slave has prostrated before the Haram as Sharif, has been annihilated at this 'place'. His body rises from this prostration yet his heart never rises again. Then he visits Medina. The Noble, Sacred Sanctuary is the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha. Medina is the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha. He prostrates before the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafa and then he turns away and visits the Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustafa. The Holy Prophet said, "I am Ahmad without the 'M'". Having seen the Pure Radiance of the Reality of Muhammad the slave-lover-knower visits the Beloved of Allah. Mecca-Medina. Allah-Muhammad. Lord-slave.