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01. The Manifestation of the Imam and His Hujjat

Firstly I begin to discuss the recognition of the Imam, which is as follows, so
that thou mayest to know. (By the name of) Imam is called a man whi at one
time may be (directly) know in his own person, and at another time through
(the guidance of) his Hujjat. It is possible to recognise him (directly) only on
the day of the "Sabbath of the faith." and it has to be known that every "day of
the faith" is equal to one thousand years of this world (so that) a week of the
Religion lasts seven thousand years. In these seven days the "day of the faith"
is only one, not more, and the other six are the "night of the faith." This "day
of the Religion" is called Saturday and on this day the Sun of the Faith, the
Imam, becomes manifested. This is the reason why it is said : "All the (Divine)
commandments will pass, but that about Saturday will remain." [Fol.2]. The
other six days are called the "night of the faith," and the reason for this is that
at that time the law (shari'at) of the prophets is a veil (hijab) of the Imam just
as the night is the veil of the sun in this world. But as there is the moon which
takes the place of the sun when it is hidden, so there is Hujjat, who takes the
place of the Imam when he is not manifest, in order that his slaves, i.e., the
"people of order", could recognise him with (the help of) the light of his
"Proof's" teaching.

It is also to be understood that in the six thousand years of the "night of the
faith" the Imam also becomes manifest occasionally. But these his
manifestations are not ma'nawi, i.e., those in which he appears in his full glory,
and the knowledge of him, in his real essence, cannot be attained. Just as on
the contrary in the millennium of Saturday he can be recognised with his real
nature because on that day his manifestation is complete.[1] Therefore in these
six thousand years he cannot be recognised. So the [Fol. 2v] great Ra'is says
(in his poetry):

The manifestation (of the Imam is a mystery.
Do not associate it with any (ordinary) person,
Because for the believer who is passing through the Resurrection (qiyamat) it
is immaterial whether he is absent or present.[2]


[1] The terms shakli, idafi and ma'nawi, in application to the idea of the zuhur are here the
same as in the Rawdatu't-taslim. These ideas substantially differ from those of
the Fatimid time where the zuhur of the Imam is his appearance to the world in
the capacity of the ideal theocratic ruler. It is interesting to note that here the
term satr, opposite to zuhur,does not appear at all.

[2] The poetical quotations which appear in this opuscule have, as a rule,
suffered so much in transcription by ignorant scribes that the meaning of some
passages remains quite obscure. In some of these the prosody is not only badly
violated, but ocasionally simply disregarded. Mard-I Qiyamat may also be a
poetical expression for the Qa'im (the term which does not appear here). I
must confess that the meaning of this bayt is not clear to me.

But it would be absurd (to think) that he will leave the "chosen of the order"
(khassan-I tarattub) without the possibility of recogtnising him; for the purpose
of their acquiring this knowledge the world was created. If he should leave
them so, -which God forbid ! - he would be ungenerous. Therefore inevitably
a moon must exist in this night (of faith) which would remain perpetually
manifest in its real nature. Any one who will not attain the knowledge during
the time when the moon appears in its real essence, how should he acquire (this
knowledge) at the time when the sun is manifest in a form which gives no
light? Just as a poet says:-
If to-day no benefit is derived from a complete manifestation (of the Hujjat),
Of what use will be to-morrow a bodily manifestation (of the Imam)?

In another place the poet says:-
The complete manifestation (of the Hujjat) whose propaganda is at work,
Will not be greater or smaller than what it actually should

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