Welcome to F.I.E.L.D.- the First Ismaili Electronic Library and Database. Guests are not required to login during this beta-testing phase

11. The Hujjat's Miraculous Knowledge

Now it is necessary to know what is the sign of his miracle and why he is
manifested in the world (akwan) of the Truth (only). The first reason is as
follows. I begin to explain the sign of his miracle. [Fol. 11v] The Hujjat
necessarily must posess a sign or a miracle which could not be performed as
well by any created or spiritual being. The miracles (in general) are usually of
two kinds. One is that performed by the action of physical power and the
other by (miraculous) knowledge and argument. Each of these kinds can be
imitated, i.e. (an action may be done which is) similar to it but is not the same
in reality.

The miracle which depends on an action of the physical power is called that
which happens in the material world, while the miracle of knowledge and
persuasion appears in the mental sphere. In all beings action and power belong
to their material side which they as well as the Hujjat possess. There could be
no greater power than if a man were to subdue to himself the whole world and
slay all mankind. And he may abide in such condition (of greatness), but a lion
or a snake may kill him although nobody can say that a lion or a snake is better
than that man, they being only animals. And as (a physical miracle) can come
from an animal, (it can happen also from other categories of the material
world), as from a plant in (the power ) of producing fruits, from minerals in
affecting senses, from fire, wind, water, earth (in short) no wonderful and
strange peculiarity of the material qualities or action can be possessed by any
single individual object in the world which cannot [Fol. 12] be shared by

The imitation of the miracle of knowledge can also be shared by many (living
beings). Such are sorcery, incantation, the miracles of the saints, astrologers,
fortune-tellers, "comb-seers,"[1] and so forth, who (also) reveal the secrets of
the created world. Therefore it is clear that the miracle inimitable and the sign
the like of which nobody can produce is the Hujjat's true knowledge which he
possesses for the negation of the un-truth and the establishment of the Truth,
which is (the teaching about) the Imam. And no one who is reasonable and
just can deny it.

This is the miracle which nobody else can perform and this wonderful power
belongs only to the Hujjat. There are also many indications proving that the
knowledge of the Hujjat is the "word of the Truth," and that his miracle is the
same, not a physical action. These indications can be found in the teachings of
the orthodox, which is the "commandment to the common," as well as in the
"secret wisdom," or the teaching of the Truth, which is the "commandment to
the chosen."

There are many verses of the Coran in the "open" (zahir) teachings of the
orthodox (proving this statement). One of them says: "On the prophet
depends only preaching" (V, 99), which means that it is possible to demand
from the prophet, i.e., Gabriel, only this delivery of his message, which is
instruction in the explanation of the doctrine about the unity of the True Lord
(Khudawand-i Haqq), and nothing more.


[1] This is obviously a variety of divination, but I never heard of it in Persia.


There is also a tradition of the Prophet saying: "We made prohibited to . . . but
the right is reverted [Fol. 12v.] . . . [1] their food and drink until they know
their Creator and Lord." It means that to those who have not acquired the
knowledge (of the Imam) even the things are prohibited which are allowed by
the shar'at, but to the "knower" (shinasanda) even that which is prohibited by
the orthodox doctrines is permitted, as (drinking) wine, etc. But this "knower"
is only one, or those who are with him as regards the teaching.[2]
The proofs from the secret doctrines of the Truth are the utterances of the
Hujjats and da'is. First the saying of the Great ra'is:-

The wine which thou drinkest in this world by any body's order,[3]
Consider it in its degree as the "pure drink" of the Coran (LXXVI, 21).
If one drinks it by the order of the "man of the Truth" and gives it to others, it
may be lawful. Therefore how can it be prohibited!

Hakim Nizari says:-
Thou hast not recognised the Imam of thy time and hast not tried to find him.
Then know clearly that gold and property are unlawful to thee.


[1] Two short lacunas in the text.

[2] The theory that such a "knowing" person (Sufic arif, or as here,
shinasanda) may be absolved from the drudgery of going through the
prescribed forms of worship, was always very popular in highly devout circles,
and, as is well-known, was the basis of the sweeping accusations against the
Ismailis. It appears fully developed already before the rise of the Fatimids, as
in the Kitabu'l-Mahsul by an anonymous author, was attacked by Abu Hatim
ar-Razi, defended by Abu Ya'qub as-Sijistani in his Kitabu'n-Nusra, and finally
ruled out by Sayyid-na Hamidu'd-din al-Kirmani in his Kitabu'r-Riyad, as
inconsistent with the official Ismaili doctrine (qanun). It is, therefore,
interesting to note that, probably under the Sufic influence, it has been revived
at such a late period.

[3] Here the expression Kasi, some one, may mean the Hujjat, and the strange
word used to refer to him perhaps depends on the context which is not quoted


Now, if it is impossible to see his actions in their real implications (and) he
cannot be recognised without (the evidence of) a miracle and sign, then what
can be an indication of him except his words? In the majority of books it is
stated in this way: the muhiqq, "revealer of the Truth," i.e. the "word of the
Truth," must be recognised by a "miracle of knowledge." In some other places
[Fol. 13] it is said that it is necessary to hear from the "revealer," i.e., the
Hujjat the "True Word" which is the "word of Truth," which is the Imam.
After this it is necessary to accept his Hujjat. And the purpose of listening to
this "word" is to learn its meaning, which is the negation of the false
affirmation of the (truth of the ) Imam. In the same way in the shari'at the
truth of the formula "There is no deity except Allah," has to be heard from the
revealer of the orthodox doctrines, i.e., Muhammad. The meaning of these
two formulas of the "evidence" (shahadat), of which one is in the shari'at and
the othet haqiqat, is refutaion of the falsehood and affirmation of the Truth.
But in this religion nobody can be recognised as a true believer until he proves
by (proper) arguments and indications (his) negation of the falsehood and
acknowledgement of the Truth, i.e., the Imam. Nobody will consider him a
true believer from the mere fact of his having pronounced the formula (of the
confession) although in the shari'at it is so. And so "the word of the Truth"
cannot be taken as the evidence except on that single occasion.

Back to top