The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Imtihan). This is the fear, grief, contraction and awe coming from Allah and entering into the hearts of His friends. The affliction which affects both the heart and the body of the friend is considered to be a more honourable and exalted condition than imtihan.
(Bala). The friends of Allah are visited by many sicknesses and tribulations. Affliction refers to bodily illnesses and diverse troubles. It is Allah's favour to His friends. They love only Allah and see only Allah, so whatever comes from Allah is good. On the Day of Alast when the sons of Adam answered "Yes" to the Divine Address of "Am I not your Lord?", the Lovers of Allah answered 'Bala', which means both 'Yes' and 'Affliction'.
(Awliya). The friends of Allah. These are His Saints. Their knowledge is not derived from reflection. Allah has purified them of that type of knowledge. They possess the opening of unveiling through Allah, the Real, Himself. The awliya are those with unbroken awareness of Allah. These Perfect Men have attained to the highest of all human degrees.
('Ubada). Servitude and bondage. This is the fulfilment and consummation of slavehood ('ubudiyya) when the slave loses himself in the Will of his Lord. 'Ubada is 'the Nearness of obligatory works' which is one of the four stations of Perfection. To realize 'ubuda is to be gifted with a very high degree of Knowledge of Allah. To know that 'the slave is the slave and the Lord is the Lord' is the supreme form of spiritual courtesy towards Allah. The Holy Prophet Muhammad al Mustapha (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) is the Beloved of Allah and His Chosen One. No one is more perfect than him. No one can attain to his Knowledge. Yet Allah says in The Qur'an, "Glory be to Him Who carried His slave by night" (17:1). The slave is in bondage ('ubuda). Bondage is Perfection. Bondage is Knowledge.