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A Psychology of Early Sufi Sama : Listening and Altered by Kenneth S Avery

By Kenneth S Avery

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Additional info for A Psychology of Early Sufi Sama : Listening and Altered States (Routledgecurzon Sufi Series)

Example text

A lengthy comment attributed to Junayd comes nearest to a definition or lexical equivalent. Junayd considers wajd to be ‘encountering, finding’ (al-mu{Adafa), and he provides an almost philological argument for this by glossing several Qurxanic usages of the root wajada with equivalents from {adafa, form III. Junayd adds that ‘all which the heart encounters of grief or joy, that is wajd. 5–6). Junayd’s concept of wajd is simply ‘what the heart encounters’, whether in terms of emotional attributes (grief or joy), or of intelligible knowledge.

For example, the author speaks of the sudden onset of the trance state: ‘This state is not known before its arrival and there is no familiar habituation with it because of its rapid passing when it occurs, so that it is like a totally instantaneous occurrence. 14–16). The author goes on to speak of the physical effects, loss of control over the movement of one’s limbs, and so on, and the great power and force of the onset. 18). The force and power is so terrible that were it not for God’s grace, the subject would not be able to bear it, and they would lose reason and soul.

Moreover, there are influences from the transcendent world, such 21 SAMFW IN EARLY SUFI LITERATURE as those encountered in words of wisdom, or other samAW, which act subconsciously on one’s heart. The author claims that samAW is not merely beautiful sound to be enjoyed, but is a type of Sikma which can have a powerful and beneficial influence on hearts. 24 A person asks Junayd at what stage one should regard God’s praise and blame as being the same. ’ Junayd gently rebukes this interjector by answering that it is when he knows for certain that he is a created being.

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