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


(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.

See also: Absence Companionship Distance from Allah Jealousy 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.
(Bu'd). Distance from Allah. There can be two aspects to bu'd. One is the distance which comes about through forgetfulness of, or even disbelief in, Allah. Such a distance is Hell in this life and in the Hereafter. The other distance is in fact a profoundly sweet distance. It occurs when the slave truly knows, through unveiling, that 'the slave remains the slave and the Lord remains the Lord'. Such a distance as this is one of the means by which the slave attains nearness to Allah. And nearness to Allah is Paradise here and now.
(Ghayrah). There is a jealousy for the sake of the truth which is directed towards the overstepping of limits. And there is a jealousy which is the concealment of inner and outer secrets. The Jealousy of Allah is His tenaciousness in holding His friends (awliya) who are His precious possessions.
(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.

Go Back