The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
At your service
(Labbayak). These words are on the lips and in the heart of the slave at his time of entry into the Sacred City of Mecca when performing the pilgrimage (Hajj). He is extremely near to Allah at this point in his journey, having been stripped of everything, including his lower self. His prayer, his worship, his service, his living and his dying are now all for Allah. The true slave is in a state of perpetual service, a service which is total, perfect, selfless, knowing and unconditional. On hearing His bereft slave's call of 'labbayak'' Allah swiftly answers with pleasure.
The plain outside Mecca where all pilgrims observe the Day of Standing. "Arafat is Hajj". Arafat represents the time of Divine knowledge and nearness to Allah when the slave stands in the Presence of the Unity of Allah, associating no partner with Allah. At Arafat there is the moment of, "This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you and chosen for you Islam as your religion" (The Qur'an 5:3).
The Sacred Centre in Mecca towards which Muslims face for the ritual prayer, bowing and prostrating before Allah. The Ka'aba is the earthly symbol of the Divine Throne (Al 'Arsh), around which the angels circle and it is a symbol of the sanctified heart of the Perfect Man. The Essence itself.
(Hajj). Pilgrimage to the Sacred Mosque, the House of Allah, at the Centre of Mecca. Hajj is the Ultimate Journey to Knowledge of Allah Who dwells in the secret centre of the human heart. Here the treasury of spiritual realities is to be discovered. The pilgrim travels to the Sacred Centre mounted on his spiritual resolve, his overwhelming love and his yearning for the Beloved. Mecca is the place of the House of Allah, where the slave stands alone before his Lord. Mecca is total inwardness and bewilderment. Mecca is Reality. After performing the hajj go to the grave of the Chosen One (Mustapha). After realising The Unity of Allah, after being annihilated in Oneness, return to the Muhammadan Presence, because, once you know Allah, then you will know who Rasulullah is! Visit Holy Mecca and then visit Holy Medina.
The Islamic pilgrimage is one of the ethics of the Sufis. It is the goal that they try to achieve. The pilgrimage of the Sufi is in a whole other category from that of the ordinary Muslim. As far as the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, most perform it once in a lifetime, following the method of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). Of those who perform the pilgrimage numerous times, many choose to live in the neighbourhood of Mecca and maintain the highest adab and spiritual practices in order to remain there. The real pilgrimage in Sufi terminology is the continuation of seeking nearness to Allah.
(Khidma). Because each existent entity is a servant of Allah it is in service to Allah. Its existence necessitates such service. However, it is only the slave who serves Allah knowingly, totally, perfectly, selflessly and unconditionally. Such service is true service.
('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.
('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.