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12. The Reason why the Hujjat can be Manifested in the "Truth" Only

Now, when the miracle and sign of the Hujjat, which are "the word of
Truth,"are explained, one must know why he becomes manifested in the
haqiqat (the eternal Truth) only and why, as every body says, his actions point
out to the fact that he absolutely does not observe the prescriptions of the
shari'at. The reason is that in the beginning of every millennial period, when all
the institutions governing that period are formed [Fol. 13v.], there are, besides
the Hujjat, only three persons (taking part in the establishing of the doctrine),
not more. They are the prophet, the Imam and the orthodox ruler. The prophet
has to appear in the two aspects, kawn, of the religion, because he does not
possess the position of the Hujjat. The Imam must be manifested in the three
worlds (kawn) and the ruler of the orthodox only in the shari'at.

Therefore if the Hujjat should obey the orthodox laws, doubts as to his
preaching (da'wat) of the Truth would arise amongst his followers. And if he
should like to be manifested in the orthodox world (as well as amongst the
believers of the Truth) he would be a sinner, perhaps worse than a sinner. This
is why in the beginning of the period of Muhammad in which we are living, the
Hujjat was Salman, who by no means followed the prescriptions of the shari'at,
but intentionally and in the presence of every body was doing unlawful things.
This is why all the adversaries blamed him.

But the Hadrat-i Amir ( Ali) observed the commandments of the shari'at and
after the death of the Prophet took the oath of allegiance to Abu Bakr,
although he did not allow Salman to do this. When Umar, having grasped the
collar of Ali, was dragging him to swear allegiance, some one of the
adversaries came forth and, turning to Salman, said: "How comes it that the
person about whom thou tellest all these (stories) and to whom thou ascribest
such extraordinary qualities, is now dragged in such humility to take an oath of
allegiance to Abu Bakr?" Salman in reply said: "If he liked [Fol. 14] he
could make this that, and that this," pointing at the same time to the earth and
the sky. But the Amir, having looked upon him angrily, said: "One must not
say everything he knows." But when ( Umar)grasped the collar of Salman
and dragged him with all the Persians[1] to take the oath, the Amir came, freed
him from the hands of Umar, and did not permit this.

The secret why he himself swore was that in the time of Mustafa his religion
(shari'at) had not yer reached everywhere and ( Ali) wished that it should
spread so that the "completer"[2] should not remain in the same condition as
the adversaries, this he thought to be the most important. The plain religion
(shari'at) could not be complete, however, unless he were himself to follow
that "completer" (because otherwise) the adversaries would not follow him
(the "completer"). But as was already explained, the adversaries have to exist,
because, if, being wrong, they should not exist, nobody would know about
their real position. Therefore the "people of order" would remain without their
goal (madar) and merit and would cease to seek for the (true) knowledge. If
therefore it is clear that the adversaries have to exist as well, then without
shari'at which prevents them from their depravity and cruelty, they would not
leave a single man alive [Fol. 14v.], the world would be devastated and there
would be no advantage for the "people of degrees."

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[1] It is worth while noting this legendary development. Indirectly it
corroborates the theory of the Persians, not Badakshani, origin of the work,
because, for the author, the Persians were all shi'ites. Note also that the author
uses the term Farsiyan. This, of course, may be merely an extension of the
surname of Salman, but it is not entirely impossible that for the author the
Persians were chiefly the people of Fars because he himself belonged to that
province.

[2] The expression tamam-kunanda is quite enigmatic. This obviously has
nothing to do with the ancient Ismaili term Mutimm, in the sense of the Imam,
i.e., the persons who brings to completion the mission of the Prophet. Here,
most probably, it means the Khatimu'l-anbiya', i.e., the Prophet himself.

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So Sayyid (Nasir-i Khusraw) says:-

Amongst them there is a handful of the wretched and villains,
Whom a clever man calls the "devilish people."
They are Satan in their deeds although in the shape of men,
Being a hundred degrees lower than a horse, cow or ass.
Their hearts are not awake because they have not soul,
They have nothing to do except to criticise the chosen.
Yes, they exist, this handful of the perverse,
They are the cause of the humility of the world.[1]

This is why the adversaries are (usually) compared to an obstinate mule and the
shari'at to a chain and rope. As an obstinate animal is led along the road with
the help of the rope and chain, so the adversaries can be led by the (proper)
way with the help of the shari'at.

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[1] This is from the Rawshana'i-nama by Nasir-i Khusraw, cf. H. Ethe's
edition in the ZDMG, Vol. 34 (1880), pp. 453-454. The passage refers to the
uncivilised and morally low people in general.

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So it is clear that the shari'at is conductive also to the (common) benefit and
therefore undoubtedly the Imam must manifest himself in it as well. In a
portionof a book[1] it is said that Malik (i.e. Devil) and Ridwan, the symbols
of Hell and Paradise, are self-existent. No, this is wront. They both exist by
him (the Imam), i.e., by his manifestation in the esssence of each.[2] As
Ridwan is paradise and in his hands are the ways of mercy, so Malik is Hell and
he has in his hands the ways of punishment. As, for this reason, the people
make Ridwan [Fol. 15] (in their belief) to take upon himself the protection of
the good, which is (simply the idea of the) kindness of men, so Malik only for
the reason of his wickedness, which (in fact) is the wickedness of men, is
believed to protect the wicked. As Paradise is better for the good, so Hell is
worse for the bad.

It is therefore clear that even the falsehood cannot have an illusory existence by
itself. There are always two principles,[3] Paradise and Hell. The first is
destined for those who deserve it, and the second for the wicked. For the first
the teaching of the chosen is commanded, and for the second the teaching of
the common people. But he (the Imam) acts in accordance with the principles
of both in order that they may exist, although he did not command one of them
to follow the teaching of the other, because their followers may fall in doubt
and abandon their religion, leaving therefore the exoteric and the esoteric
persuasions without their purity. So it is proved undoubtedly that the Hujjat
necessarily must abandon following the teaching of the shari'at.

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[1] It is a strange expression: dar qit'a'i fasli, literally "in a fragment of a
pamphlet." Perhaps here qit'a is used in the technical sense of a special variety
of poem?

[2] This does not mean, of course, that the Imam should manifest himself in
Hell, or realm of evil. The author obviously means that the Imam should also
be connected with the people of plain religion who, as sinners, are bound to go
to hell.

[3] The author uses the term shakhs, person, in a strange sense, just as
mushakhkhas. He apparently wants to emphasise individuality, independent
existence.

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