The Language of the Future
Sufi Terminology
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi

Distance from Allah

(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.

See also: Hell Hellfire Hereafter Nearness Paradise Slave Those who are brought near
(Jahannam) is distance (bu'd) from, and forgetfulness of, Allah. Man finds himself in Hell when he imagines that there actually is a real chasm between Allah and himself.
(Nar). The nar is a reality in this life and a reality in the Hereafter. It is experienced in this life when one is in a state of forgetfulness of, and separation from, Allah.
(Akhira). The hereafter is the next life in which are found the Bridge, the Scales, Paradise and Hell. For the traveller on the Spiritual Path the reality of the things and events of the hereafter may be experienced here and now, in this life. Paradise is the mirror of Allah's Absolute Beauty. It is nearness to Allah. Hell is the mirror of His Absolute Majesty and signifies forgetfulness and hence distance from Allah. The degrees of these experiences vary in accordance with the preparedness of the traveller and ultimately through the Grace of Allah.
(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'.
(Al Jannah) is nearness to Allah. There are times in this life when Paradise may be experienced to a very high degree such as when the hearer is overwhelmed by ecstasy during the Spiritual Concert or when the intensity of the spiritual affinity existing between two lovers of Allah actually transports them to the celestial realm. The dhakir who is engaged in the perpetual Remembrance of Allah actually sits in Paradise (Al Jannah) because 'I am sitting with the one who remembers Me'. Paradise is the Divine Presence Itself.
('Abd). The slave (and worshipper) is the one who is in a state of total and utter submission to the Will of Allah. After having been annihilated in Allah where all duality vanished and distinctions were erased, he returns to creation with perfect courtesy and with the Truth of Certainty that 'the Lord is the Lord and the slave is the slave'. When 'abd is translated as 'servant' it carries the implication that the servant can leave the service of his Master, if he so desires. However, the 'slave' is in total bondage, being utterly dependent upon his Master. All buying and selling transactions have been terminated. The slave belongs to Allah, completely, perfectly and unconditionally.
(Muqarrabun). Those who are brought close or near to Allah and are His favoured friends. Al muqarrabun are those perfect slaves who know that 'the Lord is the Lord and the slave is the slave'. They have beautiful moral courtesy with Allah, never overstepping the limits of their own limitedness and slavehood. Their love of and devotion to Allah is total. They see nothing but Allah. They see Allah before, in, with and after the creation. They are the pure followers of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace). They endeavour always to emulate his perfection and in so doing they cling to their own slavehood as he did. For all of this Allah draws them nearer to Himself in each moment. Their Bliss is never-ending because they dwell perpetually in His Presence. They are the People of Solitude. His perfect slaves and lovers and knowers. He guards them through His jealousy for them. They are not known except by those who also are brought near.

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