The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Dhawq). Taste or direct spiritual experience. This is the first stage of the experience of Allah's Self-disclosure. It is followed by 'drinking' and 'quenching' and sometimes by the final stage 'intoxication'. Those who have tasted know. Those who have not tasted do not know. Without direct tasting there can be no Knowledge of Allah.
(Ma'rifa) is a light which Allah casts into the heart of whomsoever He Wills. This is the true knowledge which comes through unveiling, witnessing and tasting. This knowledge is from Allah, it is not Allah Himself, because He Is Unknowable in His Essence. The triad on the Sufi Path of Return is comprised of Fear, Knowledge and Love. Fear leads to Knowledge which leads to Unconditional Love of Allah. It is said that spiritual struggle is child's play while ma'rifa is men's work.
(Shurb) is the second stage in each station. The first is tasting (dhawq) and the third is quenching (ri). These three stages are experienced in each station before the salik travels onwards to the next station. The lover who drinks the Pure Wine of Divine Love never experiences quenching. His thirst is eternal.
(Ilham). Divine inspiration or effusion. Ilham is an blowing in of the Holy Spirit into the heart of a Prophet or a Friend of Allah. Ilham is distinct from Revelation which is specific only to the Prophets of Allah. The Divine Ilham is the immense spiritual force through which the Friends of Allah speak their words of Wisdom, write their books of Knowledge, sing their songs of Divine Love. Only the purified heart which has been sanctified through the remembrance of Allah is worthy of this inblowing of ilham. The Verified Shaykh can recognise the one into whom it is blown and the work of creative inspiration which results from that inblowing. The Word of Allah descends firstly as Revelation (wahy), secondly as Inspiration (ilham) and thirdly as Incoming Thoughts (khawatir).
(Ri). In the triad of terms connected to direct experience 'quenching' (ri) occupies the third place. The first is 'tasting' and the second is 'drinking'. Every station has its state of 'quenching' (ri), but for the people of 'no station' there is no permanent quenching of this thirst for Allah because Knowledge of Allah is infinite.
(Tajalli) means Allah's unveiling of Himself to His creatures. The Divine Self-disclosures are never repeated and they are never ending. They are the lights of the Unseen which are unveiled to hearts. They are the signs which Allah has placed within ourselves in order that He may be seen. Each tajalli pours more light and still more light upon whomsoever it falls, for Eternity. The mountain of the lower self is blown to pieces in the tajalli of Allah. The differences that occur within the various Sufi orders do not indicate disagreement or argument amongst the Masters. Each human is unique, and each tajalli is utterly unique, therefore no two people ever experience the same tajalli. But, those who have tasted know, and those who have not tasted do not know. Tajalli is beyond words. Tajalli is bewilderment.
(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.