'Abd, 'Ibad, 'Abid
Adaptation from Maqalat-e Shams
(Discourses of Shams-e Tabrizi)
“There are two friends for Divine Beloved (Allah), and no
matter how much you search, you will never find them on the left hand
side of the Divine Presence, they are both on the right hand side.
(Dara: When two people face you, you see one on the right and one on
the left hand side, if they are one behind the other, on the same side,
you can only see one! Right-hand side means pious cleansed beautiful)
that is vaster than cosmos, more expansive, more subtle and
more resplendent, why/how could this heart be constricted due to some
thoughts or whispers of desires to become like a tight prison?
To make the orchards of this universe into a prison, how can it be
justified—like unto a larva spinning a cocoon, the saliva of the
thoughts, whispering lusts and blameworthy imaginings, spun around
one’s self, imprisoned in the midst and thus suffocating!
We (Ibad) are those who turn the prisons into verdant orchards! And
since our jail is indeed an orchard, then what could be our orchard?
I have never grappled with any of the Prophet’s Hadith except: The
world is the Mu’min's (Believer’s) jail; since I see no prison! I say:
Where is the jail?
Well, he (the Prophet) did not say that ‘the world is the prison for
the Ibad (Servants)’, instead he phrased ‘jail for the believers
Ibad are another Qaum (Collective).”
الجامع الصغير لجلال الدين السيوطي
المجلد الثالث >> فصل: في المحلى
بأل من حرف الدال
4276 - الدنيا سجن المؤمن وسنته، فإذا
فارق الحياة فارق السجن والسنة
["السنة" (بفتح السين والنون): القحط
التخريج (مفصلا): أحمد في مسنده
والطبراني في الكبير وأبو نعيم في الحلية والحاكم في المستدرك عن ابن عمرو
تصحيح السيوطي: صحيح
The doings of an obligated person, deeds that go against his desires as
aggrandizements for his Lord.
Fulfillment of the covenant, observing (not crossing) the (legal)
boundaries, ascent for what is present, patience for what is absent.
هو فعل المكلف على خلاف هوى نفسه
الوفاء بالعهود، وحفظ الحدود، والرضا
بالموجود، والصبر على المفقود.
(Based upon Lisan Al-Arab)
There are two plural forms for the ‘Abd (Servant), ‘Ibad and ‘Abid.
‘Ibad is general while ‘Ibiday is highly specialized i.e. those ‘Abid
(Exclusive Servants) born into servitude:
The Prophet was asked: Who are these Ibiday around you O Muhammad?
Meaning the Faqirs (Sufi Paupers in perpetual Dhikr
and worship) residing upon the stone patio of Prophet’s house (Ahl
‘Abid is the particularized and exclusive collective of Ibad (Servants)
who never experienced to be other than the servant of Allah i.e. like
unto a child born into servitude in a household, never seen anything
from outside other than this service. Of course the Ibad (Servants)
have been on and off, seen and experienced serving other than Allan in
لسان العرب ابن
Composite derivations of the word Abd is used for the load carrying
livestock i.e. Mu’abbad; the animal’s back is chafed and thus lost the
natural hair and skin texture, no longer suitable for carrying load
thus forsaken; Abd as a servant of Allah serves
Allah with such verve and endures the throes of any load for any
duration and thus forsaken by humans and devils who no longer can place
any load of shameful acts and evil behavior and speech on his back!
قالوا: رجل عَبْدٌ، ولكنه استُعمل استعمال الأَسماء، والجمع أَعْبُد
وعَبِيد مثل كَلْبٍ وكَليبٍ، وهو جَمْع عَزيزٌ، وعِبادٌ وعُبُدٌ مثل سَقْف
وخص بعضهم بالعِبِدَّى العَبيدَ الذين وُلِدوا في المِلْك،
وفي حديث عامر بن الطفيل: أَنه قال للنبي، صلى الله عليه وسلم: ما
هذه العِبِدَّى حوْلَك يا محمد? أَراد فقَراءَ أَهل الصُّفَّة، وكانوا
يقولون اتَّبَعَه الأَرذلون.
وبعيرٌ مُعَبَّدٌ: مهنوء بالقَطِران؛ قال طرفة: إِلى أَن تَحامَتْني
العَشِيرَةُ كُلُّها، وأُفْرِدْتُ إِفْرادَ البعيرِ المُعَبَّدِ
قال شمر: المُعَبَّد من الإِبل الذي قد عُمَّ جِلدُه كلُّه بالقَطِران؛
ويقال: المُعَبَّدُ الأَجْرَبُ الذي قد تساقط وَبَرهُ فأُفْرِدَ عن الإِبل
لِيُهْنَأَ، ويقال: هو الذي عَبَّدَه الجَرَبُ أَي ذَلَّلَهُ؛ وقال ابن
مقبل: وضَمَّنْتُ أَرْسانَ الجِيادِ مُعَبَّداً، إِذا ما ضَرَبْنا
رأْسَه لا يُرَنِّحُ
mentioned the word Ibad (Servant) once in the Qur’an in reference to
the just treatment, the word Abid (Exclusive Servant) was used multiple
40:31. And Allah
never wishes injustice for 'Ibad (Servants).
وَمَا اللَّهُ يُرِيدُ
وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَيْسَ
3:182, 8:51, 22:10. And Anna Allah
unjust to 'Abid (Specialized Servants who only served Allah).
Remark: Anna is
used as a vectorial actualizer that brings to contrasting focus (Ta’ayyun) a
part of the Panorama of Tauhid (Divine Oneness),
revealing the Surat (Constraints)
forms and shapes our universe i.e. the Divine Justice. Abid feel
the actualizations of the Anna and view the said clear focus.
41:46. Nor is Ka (your,
Muhammad's) Lord ever unjust to ITs 'Abid (Specialized Servants who
only served Allah).
وَمَا رَبُّكَ بِظَلَّامٍ
Remark: Ka (You,
for Muhammad) is the residual persona of the Prophetic
Presence, prior to his biological formation and after his
biological cessation. Abid ,facing the injustices and torments that
humanity bears, feel this Ka modality of the Prophetic Presence, and
they feel the Nabi (Informer of the Malakut (Spiritual
Realm), Prophet) informing them thus serving them goblets of
cognizance regarding the harshness of the events, free of why-ness.
50:29. and Ana (I) (am not) unjust to 'Abid (Specialized Servants who
only served Allah)
وَمَا أَنَا بِظَلَّامٍ
Remark: Ana (I, Allah as first
person pronoun) is deeply felt by the Abid, in this modality of the
Divine Presence the Abid feel personal attention from Allah in the face
The Mu’min (Believer) vis-à-vis the strong faith does not utter
any statements regarding the injustices and natural disasters that
plagues the world, but his or her heart grilled by the events and he or
she must fight off suggestions of injustice by Allah.
On the contrary, the Abid have no such experiences and their hearts are
not exposed to the doubts and no questions form in their minds, they
are free i.e. marooned and forsaken by all agents of doubts and evil!
Like a slave-child born in the house of a mighty master they served
since their birth and all they know is the feel of serving their master
and no other feelings felt within their hearts against their beloved
‘Abada is the odoriferous incense burning on fire, ‘Abd is a plant with
لسان العرب ابن
صَلاءَةُ الطيِّب. ابن الأَعرابي: العَبْدُ نَبات طَيِّبُ الرائحة؛
‘Abd has the botanical nature of blooming aromatic plants and in
extreme cases like an incense burning upon the flares of trials and
tribulations, only to give out one of the most unique and loveliest
aromas in heavens and earth.
Sometimes a plant must be dried i.e. dead in order for it to burn on
the fire to give off lovely aroma, so are many ‘Abid during their lives
no one senses anything from their direction, but upon their death
universe fills with the aroma of Divine Beauty!
Remark: The name Khidr refers to the greenery of a
persona, for wherever he made Dhikr
green plants sprouted all around him. (Farabi, unfortunately cannot
quote the source)
© 2010-2002, Dara O