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00. Translation

In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate.
(This is) a Note [1] on the recognition of the Imam who is the hypostasis
(mazhar) [2] of the Divine creative act (amr); the Hujjat, (his) "proof" who is
the hypostasis of the Universal Reason ( aql-I kull); da'I, "the preacher";
ma'dhun-I akbar, the "senior licensee" (to preach); ma'dhun-I asghar, the
"junior licensee," [3] and mustajib, the "neophyte" (lit. "asking questions," one
who has the right to ask questions concerning the religion, and of course,
receive correct answers), who all are the hypostasis of the Universal Soul
(nafs-I kull); and ahl-I tadadd, the "opponents" (or adversaries of the religion)
who are the hypostasis of the Universal Body (jism-I kull.)


[1] The term fasl, originally meaning section, chapter, division (in a book), in Ismaili
literature is used since the earliest times in the sense of apparrently "small
book," pamphlet, note. In this sense it is already in use at the beginning of the
fourth/tenth century, in the works of Abu Hatim ar-Razi. I have collected
many instances of the use of this term in my "Rise of the Fatimids," p.299;
"Guide to Ismaili Literature," p.101; and, especially in application to Persia, in
the "Kalam-I Pir," p. xxix.

[2] The author's philosophical terminology is rather primitive and inaccurate,
as may be seen almost on every page. A literal rendering of the terms which he
uses would render his work very obscure. I therefore apologise for rendering
these nearer to the intended sense rather than to the philological derivation.

[3] I may recall the fact that Ismaili ideas of the hierarchy were always
fluctuating in the course of history, being adjusted to the requirements of the
moment and circumstances, either in the way of the expansion of the number of
the ranks, or contraction of this. The ma'dhun was an assistant of the da'I,
probably being appointed from amongst the more intelligent and devout new
converts in the community. His duties were those of a preacher and instructor
of others.

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