The Language of the Future
by Murshid F.A. Ali ElSenossi
(Majnun). Madness or being in a state of insanity. The name majnun refers to the lover whose total obsession with the Beloved and yearning for union with her, renders him senseless. The story of Majnun (madness) and Layla (night) is one of the Sufis best-loved symbols of the lover's obsession with the Beloved. During the Night (layla) when the lover is blinded to everything other than the Beloved his yearning and obsession overpower him. Majnun was intoxicated by the name Layla. The lover who has been intoxicated by the Beloved's Name is good for nothing else! It appears to the world that he has lost his wits, but in truth he has become wise. The one who is drowned in the Name 'Allah' has found the red sulphur.
(Wajd). These are the states which come upon the heart unexpectedly. They annihilate it from witnessing itself and others. Ecstasy is the descent of immense spiritual energy upon the slave. It overwhelms the senses, causing extreme physical reactions. Ecstasy is true when body, mind and heart are overcome by this descent. Wajd may manifest as intense joy, when Allah's Beauty dominates, or as intense grief, when His Majesty dominates. It is during the spiritual concert that the lover may experience ecstasy and more ecstasy. Ecstasy is a gift of Allah's Grace upon His lover. Without these gifts of wajd the lover would be unable to bear the intensity of longing and love contained within his heart.
('Aql). The intellect or the faculty of reason. The word 'aql derives from 'iqal which means fetter. The intellect fetters man and it also puts its hooks into him, preventing him from making the final stages of the ascent. On the ascension to Allah (mi'raj) there is a point which is indicated by the term 'The Lote tree of the Uttermost Boundary'. It marks the 'place' where reason (the fetter) must be left behind. From this point onwards the traveller journeys with passionate love, yearning and bewilderment. On the Ascension of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (May the Salutations of Allah be upon him and Peace) it was at the Lote tree of the Uttermost Boundary that his companion, the Archangel Gabriel (Peace be upon him) stopped through fear of being annihilated. This station of fear is the highest point to which the intellect can attain.
(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.
(Dhakir). The one who remembers Allah. The dhakir is precious to Allah Who created man only so that he would worship and know Allah. The one who turns, with an utter turning, towards fulfilling his reason for being, has been given the greatest gift from Allah Almighty.
('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.
(Kibrit Ahmar). This term is used to indicate a highly personal spiritual realization or a vision of great rarity. The Red Sulphur is the sought-after and rare working principle which turns base metal into gold. Finding one's Spiritual Guide/Murshid is often referred to as 'finding the red sulphur'. Finding the hidden treasure within one's own secret is the Red Sulphur. Finding the Red Sulphur is rare, yet some of the great friends of Allah have found it in abundance! The universal meaning of Sulphur is the Divine Command.
(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.
(Jam' al Jam'). Gathering of the gathering. Jam' al jam' is the experience of union devoid of all distinctions, even of the idea of being one with Allah. This is the station of 'Two Bows' Length', the station of Perfection which is attained only by the greatest Perfect Men, who are the Prophets and the great saints. The Gathering of the gathering is also known as 'The Station of Great Glory'.
This is also Unity in Multiplicity. Annihilation in totality in Allah – in the Presence of the Divine Beauty. This is the opposite of farq (separation). This is Unity without separation. To gather that which belongs to Allah within you and surrender all of it to Him is real surrender. In the cosmos, there is nothing but Allah, His Names and His attributes. In short, this is called jama’. When we say jam’, it is the centre of multiplicity.