The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
People of hearing
(Ahl as-sama'). The people of hearing who hear only Allah within the creatures and the creation. When they listen to the 'spiritual concert', (be it within the sama' or within each moment of existence) it is Allah who they are hearing. They hear Allah in the song of the Sufi singer (qawwal). They hear Allah in the sound of the wind. They hear Allah in the voices of their companions.
(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.
(Qawwal). During the 'spiritual concert' (sama') the qawwal may be the means through which the hearer finds Allah in ecstasy. When this occurs it is true sama' because sama' is a bird which flies from Allah to Allah - Allah is the singer and Allah is the hearer. The barakah surrounding and emanating from the qawwal and his musicians is extremely potent. Its effect upon an audience can be profound even when the members of that audience are ignorant of, and oblivious to, the reality within the singer and the music. For the one who has been prepared and purified, through spiritual struggle and the Remembrance of Allah, the speech of the qawwal can send his heart soaring towards the spiritual realm, where a thousand subtleties and delicacies are opened to him.