The Language of the Future
Sufi Terminology
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi


(Iltidhadh) refers to the pleasure (ladhadha) which is experienced in the encounter between lover and Beloved. Allah jealously guards and protects His lovers. Part of this jealousy is Allah's keeping the lovers at a distance from Himself, for a time, so that the pleasure of encounter will be intensified.

See also: Absence Companionship Encounter Spiritual courtesy of companionship Unceasing companionship
(Ghaybah). This indicates the heart's absence from knowledge of what is happening in human situations because the senses are totally occupied with what is influencing them. Absence also refers to the manner in which the Beloved keeps Himself absent from the lover. This absence is for the sake of imparting knowledge and teaching courtesy in love.
(Suhba). This term applies most specifically to the spiritual relationship which exists between the Murshid and his murid. The basis of such companionship is mystical conversation and communion, both of which intensify as the murid's heart becomes purified under the Murshid's guidance. It is a profound mutual love based on the Pure Love of Allah.
(Liqa'). This term indicates an encounter such as that between the lover and the Beloved. The pleasure of such an encounter is far greater than the pleasure of unceasing companionship, because the heart overflows with love and longing during separation. Allah keeps His Friends at a distance so that the bliss of encounter shall be intensified for them.
(Adab al suhba). This is the mutual respect and gracious behaviour which exists between the Murshid and his murid. The murid needs the Murshid who needs the murid! The Murshid's adab towards the murid springs from his own intrinsic need of Allah. The Murshid's awareness and knowledge of his own need of Allah continually increases. This awareness is strengthened when he regards the murid's need of Allah (through the Murshid.) The murid's adab towards the Murshid becomes more refined as he travels the Path. With the opening of his inner-eye he is able to see the reality of his Murshid and such a 'seeing' necessarily brings with it a beautiful adab.
(Istishab). The intensity of yearning and longing for the absent Beloved increases the bliss of meeting Allah. The traveller who has unceasing companionship with the Murshid runs the risk of falling into a familiarity which may lead to disrespect. Even though Allah holds His lovers close to Himself through His jealousy for them, He keeps them distanced from Himself for a time in order to teach them courtesy in Love.

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