The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
('Eid). Festival or feast day. For the lover of Allah this festival is the recurrent celebration of the arrival of the Beloved. When Allah enters the courtyard of His lover's heart that moment is the moment of bliss. The hunger, thirst, pain and ordeal all evaporate and disappear with that first waft of the delicate fragrances from the approach of the Beloved. The Sufis also regard hardships as feast days, because such trials cause the lover to cling even more desperately to the Beloved. In each hardship or trial they see only the Hand of the Beloved, the First Cause - Allah.
(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.
('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.
(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.
(Ibtila). In being subjected to trial and affliction (Bala') the Sufi gains more Knowledge of Allah, Who is the First Cause. When hard times come the Sufi has a feast day, because he sees beyond the trial to Allah Himself. He sees beyond the contraction to The One Who Contracts. For ordinary man there can be a negative side to his assuming the traits of the Divine Names. In manifesting such Names as the Slayer, the Avenger or the Terrible-in-Punishment, man faces a trial (ibtila).