Allama Farkhruddin Razi

According to "Jamiut Tawarikh" (pp. 170-3), the Sunni theologian Fakhruddin Razi (543-606/1149-1209), in his lectures to theological students in Ray harshly reviled the Ismailis. He used to say in his lectures that, "This is against the Islam. May God curse and disgrace them." Hearing such unbearable words, a fidai was sent from Alamut to have it stopped. There he enrolled himself as a student, and attended Fakhruddin's lectures daily for seven months, until he found an opportunity of seeing him alone in his room. The fidaibrandished a dagger and menaced him. Fakhruddin jumped aside, and said: "What do you want?" The fidai replied: "I want to slit your belly from the breast to the navel, because you have cursed us from the pulpit at each mention." After a tussle, the fidai hurled him to the floor and sat on his chest with his poniard at his throat. The terrified theologian promised to repent, and to refrain from such attacks in future. The fidai allowed him to be persuaded, and accepting a solemn undertaking from Fakhruddin to mend his ways, produced a bag containing 365 gold dinars with two Yamenite garments, being the first payment of a pension that the Imam granted for him, and assured him for a similar amount of grant for every year if he kept his promise. Henceforth, Fakhruddin Razi took good care to avoid expressions offensive to the Ismailis. One of his students, noting this change, asked, why he no longer assailed the Ismailis. The theologian replied: "It is not advisable to curse the Ismailis, for they have both weighty and trenchant arguments." It may be noted that Fakhruddin Razi had truly changed his attitude, and condemned one Sunni theologian, who tried to refute the Ismaili doctrines with fanatical and ill-informed abuse, and praised another for correctly citing an Ismaili text. His point, of course, was that the theological controversy must be based on correct information and an intelligent understanding of an opponent's point of view. Farkhruddin Razi received the annual grant from Alamut for five years through Rais Muzaffar until he was in Ray.

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