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15. The Adversaries

After having given the definition of the "people of order," I shall proceed to
the description of the adversaries. They are divided into two classes: the
unbelievers and the hypocrites (dissemblers). The hypocrites [Fol. 16v.] are
worse than unbelievers, because the last-mentioned are called the men who
preserve the same attitude in the presence as well as the absence (of the
believers), and do not make an appearance of accepting the instruction of the
teacher of this community, denying it, however, in secret. The believers thus
may keep themselves safe from their intrigues, being warned by the statements
which they (the unbelievers) make in the presence of the instructor. They will
not fail in practising all sort of hostile actions in their power, but at the same
time they will not keep their real intentions secret so that the believers can take
their precautions. A poet says:-

A faithful dog is much better than a brother who is a dissembler.
In another poem it is said:-
Be either a plain unbeliever or a faithful believer.
In another place it is said:-
Rather be a (complete) unbeliever, than a dissembler.

Another verse:-

Be either a Negro from Zanzibar, or a pure believer,
Be either quite hard as a stone or as absolutely soft as wax.
This is the exposition of the (real) properties of the Imam, the "people of
unity," the "people of order" and the adversaries, explained in a language
understood by everybody in order that the common people may more easily
learn about it and not remain without their share in its benefit.
By the golry of His Essence!
A dog which is trained, becomes alert and swift,
And when it acquires a (mystic) knowledge, shares the company of the Seven Ephesians.
The dog that is trained, abandons mischief
And chases in the groves only lawful game.


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