'Abd, 'Ibad, 'Abid
Adaptation from Maqalat-e Shams (Discourses of Shams-e Tabrizi)
ISBN 978-964-305-008-5

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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)

The heart 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 (Mu’min)’.

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 والجدب]ـ
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.

التعريفات  الجرجاني 
هو فعل المكلف على خلاف هوى نفسه تعظيماً لربه.

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 Al-Suffa).

‘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 occasions. 

لسان العرب  ابن منظور 
قالوا: رجل عَبْدٌ، ولكنه استُعمل استعمال الأَسماء، والجمع أَعْبُد وعَبِيد مثل كَلْبٍ وكَليبٍ، وهو جَمْع عَزيزٌ، وعِبادٌ وعُبُدٌ مثل سَقْف وسُقُف؛
 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

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! Thus marooned.

While Allah mentioned the word Ibad (Servant) once in the Qur’an in reference to the just treatment, the word Abid (Exclusive Servant) was used multiple times:

40:31. And Allah never wishes injustice for 'Ibad (Servants).

 وَمَا اللَّهُ يُرِيدُ ظُلْمًا لِلْعِبَادِ

3:182, 8:51, 22:10. And Anna Allah never unjust to 'Abid (Specialized Servants who only served Allah).

 وَأَنَّ اللَّهَ لَيْسَ بِظَلَّامٍ لِلْعَبِيدِ

Remark: Anna is used as a vectorial actualizer that brings to contrasting focus (Ta’ayyun) a part of the Panorama of Tauhid (Divine Oneness), for revealing the Surat (Constraints) that 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 لِلْعَبِيدِ

Remark: Ka (You, Yours, 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 لِلْعَبِيدِ

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 of hardships.

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 master.

Lisan Al-Arab
Ibn Manzour
‘Abada is the odoriferous incense burning on fire, ‘Abd is a plant with nice aroma.

لسان العرب  ابن منظور
والعَبَدَةُ: 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 Shayda