The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
la ilaha illa'l-'ishq
There is no god, only Love
(La ilaha illa 'Ishq). The great lovers of Allah use these words in an attempt to express their witnessing of love ('Ishq) as the motivating power behind everything. The Passionate lover ('Ashiq) who is thoroughly drowned in love during the Spiritual Concert has attained to a station of ineffable and inexpressible sweetness. Every atom of his being bears witness to this all-pervading Love. He has tasted, drunk and been intoxicated by the drink of passionate love ('Ishq) and he knows that 'La ilaha illa 'Ishq'. The one who has not tasted, does not know.
(Shawq). Intense longing and yearning for the Beloved. Shawq is a yearning to behold the Beloved, and a longing for nearness to the Beloved, and a longing for union with the Beloved, and an intense longing for increase in perpetual longing. It is said that breath is a movement of yearning towards the Beloved and within the breathing enjoyment is experienced. The breathing of the ecstatic who is under the pull of the Divine Attraction bears witness to this.
The Reality of shawq is that the luminous fire takes over the heart and there is no medicine for it except for meeting of the Beloved. The intense fire in the heart comes about because of the separation between the one who desires and the One who is desired. When the meeting takes place, the fire of longing will be extinguished. In the state of secretness, what increases is the witnessing of the Beloved, and shawq has no place there. One of the lovers of Allah said 'Do you desire Allah?' he answered 'No', because you only desire that which is absent from you and my Beloved is always present with me. The unification of this factor is in the unification of the spiritual resolve towards Allah and the continous journeying to Him - that is 'To worship Allah like you see Him, and if you do not see Him, be certain that He sees you'. He is with you in the present moment, for this reason, you do not desire Him, because you are with Him. Shawq is he need of the heart to meet the Beloved.
('Ashiq). Lover. The 'ashiq is the one who searches for Allah with intense yearning and longing, never allowing himself rest in his pursuit of the Beloved. The perfect lover of Allah loves Allah in every Self-disclosure.
('Ishq). Intense, overflowing and passionate love of Allah. Some say that 'ishq cannot arise without actual vision of the Beloved. 'Ishq is the highest stage before absorption in Allah. It is as rare as the red sulphur. It burns away everything of the lover ('Ashiq) transforming him into the beloved. After annihilation in Allah and absorption in Allah, where all is blindness and there is no longer any vision, the lover is separated from the Beloved and his 'ishq burns afresh. Passionate love of Allah is without limit.
(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.
(Halawa). When Allah opens the doors of His Loving-Kindness to the heart of His lover that heart becomes infused with joy and is overwhelmed by inexpressible sweetness. This is the opening of sweetness (Futuh al Halawa).