By His Holiness
Muhammad Hasan Salih ‘Ali Shah
A Brief Biography of the Late Master
A summary of the
by His Eminence Hajj S. H. Tabandah
Anger and Desire
by Hajj Sayyid Hibatullah Jadhbi
Recitation of the Qur’an
Recommended Acts (Mustahabbat)
Anger and Suppressing One’s Anger
Asking God for Proper Guidance
Reliance upon God(Tawakkul)
and Taking a Seat
Giving Little, Asking Much and
Association With the God
Kindness and Compassion
Attaching Importance to Commands and
Respecting the Honorable
to God (Inaba)
Observation (Muraqaba) and
Self - Examination (Muhasaba)
Ritual Purification (Taharat)
and Manners of Companionship
the Religious Scholars
Being Free from Want, Expectation and
Talk and Action
upon the Prophet (Salawat)
Insulting and Cursing
as a Good Omen
Keeping the Secrets
Combining of Shari ‘at and tariqat
Will and Testament
Descendants of the Prophet
The Holly War (Jihad)
of the Secrets
Life of the Honorable Author
Courage and Aspiration
The Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj)
Desire, Chastity, Greed, Torpor
The Ritual Prayer (Namaz)
Sects of Islam
Good to Parents
Doing Good to Parents, Loyalty
Early Dawn (Sahar)
of the “Bonds of Family Relationships”
Right of People and Paying
the Good and Forbidding
of the immortality of the Spirit, In corporeality of the Soul, and the Next
The Qutbs of the
Ni’matullahi Sultan ‘Ali Shahi Gunabadi Order
The Great Master, the Most Gracious, Hajj
Tabandah, Rida ‘Ali Shah
In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
And He who befriends the Righteous
Praise be to Allah, the One.
And infinite greetings be upon the spirit of our Prophet, Muhammad Mustafa (may
Allah bless him and his Descendants and grand them peace) and his honorable
The illustrious treatise of Pand-i Salih (Salih’s
Advice), recorded by the eloquent words of my Honorable spiritual and corporeal
father, His Eminence Mr. Hajj Muhammad Hasan Salih ‘Ali Shah ( may his esteemed
grave be sanctified ), contains general rules for the fuqara of the Ni‘matullahi Order. It is the best as the most
compendious and most comprehensive book of
[religious] instruction, being short and brief; it is all-inclusive and
nothing has been left out. Its greatness and comprehensiveness and the eminence
of its author has been admitted and acknowledged by friends and enemies as well
as relatives and other people. It has been printed several times so far and has
been dedicated to those who requested to have it.
It was not until recently
that the honorable brother Mr. Hajj Muhammad Ridakhani, who is one of the sincerest and kindest of fuqara and an educated man, quite
familiar with the English language, has requested that it be translated into English
so that those Muslims who know English and even non-Muslims might enjoy it.
This faqir (i.e. the writer) agreed to his request. Later, he referred to
some of his friends who are versed in the English language to achieve accuracy
and to prevent any mistake that might have transpired in the translation of
some of the words or phrases. Thus, when the translation was compared with the
original text, all confirmed the near as possible accuracy of the translation.
Afterwards, Mr. Hajj Ridakhani requested permission to proceed with its
publication, which was agreed to.
I pray the merciful God that his efforts in the
propagation of the rules of this Holy Religion (i.e. Islam) and Shi’ite faith and the Gnostic (irfani) truths may be accepted and that
the rewards of both worlds be granted to him.
May God help him and all of us to succeed, and through
Him may affairs prosper!
Faqir Sultan Husayn Tabandah Gunabadi,
18th Dhihajja 1405 A.H.L., the holy day of
the ‘Id (festival) of Ghadir
corresponding to the 13th Shahriwar 1364 A.H.S. (4th
The Most Venerable Hajj Sayyid Hibatullah Jadhbi
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate
The illustrious and
holy treatise of Salih’s Advice, written by His Eminence the pillar (qutb) of
Gnostics (‘urafa) and the most righteous of believers Mr. Hajj Shaykh Muhammad
Hasan Salih ‘Ali Shah (may God sanctify his grave),
provides the briefest collection containing the essence of
all social, moral, and religious duties and obligations ever written in
some followers of the glorious order of the Ni’matullahi Sultan ‘Ali Shahi who
live out of Iran; that is, in India, Pakistan, and some other Islamic countries
as well as in Europe and the United States of America where they do not speak
Persian. Therefore, in order that all Muslims of the world, even those who do
not speak Persian, might enjoy the above-mentioned epistle, it was requested
that it be translated into English which is to a certain extent an
international language. For this reason, His Eminence the pillar (qutb) of
Gnostics (‘urafa) Mr. Hajj Sultan Husayn Tabandah, Rida ‘Ali Shah (may our
souls be sacrificed for him)
agreed to this request, and our and our honorable and
learned brother Mr. Hajj Muhammad Ridakhani (may his assistance last for ever),
who has been learning English for a number of years for this purpose and has
been learning English for a number of years for this purpose and has been granted
certificates from several language centers, undertook to do this duty and duly
began to translate it.
thorough study of its newly translated English version by several experts in
the English language and their confirming of the near as possible accuracy of
the translation, it was printed and is now available to those who have a desire
for it. Our dear brethren might inform Mr. Hajj Ridakhani of any deficiencies
which they may find in the translation, so that it might be improved in the
I implore God that all brethren may
succeed in performing the commandments mentioned in this book, and pray for the
reward of both worlds for the honorable translator.
May I be as
dust trampled under the feet of fuqara
of the Ni’matullahi Sultan ‘Ali Shahi Order!
*Most regretfully, during the
publication of this book, his eminence passed away on the 29th of
Jumadi ath-thani 1405 A.H.L. corresponding to the 22nd of March 1985
(may his grave be sanctified).
The Life of the Honorable Author
Holiness, the pillar (qutb) of the
Gnostics and the trusted Master, Mr. Hajj Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Salih ‘Ali Shah
(may his grave be sanctified), the vicegerent
(khalifa) and son of His Holiness Nour ‘Ali Shah the Second, son of His
Holiness Sultan ‘Ali Shah the Martyr (may their graves be fragrant), was born
on the 8th Dhu’l-hijjah 1308 A.H.L. corresponding to the 24th
Tir 1270 A. H. S. (1891A.D.).
At an early
age he began to learn reading and writing. After studying the Holy Qur’an and
the Persian texts, he began to study Arabic. He learned the ancient customary
sciences under the direction of his honorable grandfather, his eminent father
as well as the appropriate masters in Bayducht (a village near Gunabad situated
in the northeast of Iran).
A.H.L., after the martyrdom of his honorable grandfather, he proceeded to
Tehran and by the order of his father traveled to Isfahan for the completion of
A.H.L. (1910 A.D.), he returned to Tehran and went to the presence of his
honorable father, who was in Tehran at that time, and became authorized by his
father to hold the position of leader of the “congregational ritual prayer.” On
the 11th Rabi’ath-thani 1329 A.H.L., he was honored with the
spiritual title of “Salih ‘Ali Shah” to direct and guide the seekers (taliban) of the Truth. In Ramadan 1330
A.H.L. (1912 AD.), his honorable father, appointed him to be the successor and
vicegerent (khalifa). In the same year,
by the order of his honorable father, he traveled to Mecca for pilgrimage. He
returned to Gunabad in 1331 A. H. L.
Gracious Holiness, like his honorable father, was continuously troubled by the
opponents who incited people and tormented him.
martyrdom of his noble father in the 15th Rabi’al-awwal 1337 A. H.
L. ( 1918 A.D.) he succeeded him and sat on the throne of guidance by his order
and last will and testament. He began by guiding the seekers and travelers
(salikan) and assisting people and looking after their affairs as well as
performing other charitable deeds. He made a few journeys both inside and
outside Iran including several pilgrimages to the “Holy Shrines” (at Baghdad,
Karbala, and Najaf) and the sacred places in Syria and Jordan. In Rajab 1373 A.
H. L. or 1332 A. H. S. (1954 A.D.), owing to a serious illness, he traveled to
Tehran and by the strict orders of physicians and at the insistence of his
friends and God’s approval proceeded to Switzerland for a surgical operation.
After staying there in one of the hospitals for two months and a half, he
returned directly to Tehran and stayed there for some time in order to gain a
complete recovery. In the winter of the same year, he returned to Gunabad and
thereafter made three trips for visiting the “Holly Shrines” and Mecca the
blessed and Medina the radiant in 1375, 1380, and 1385 A. H. L.
he would spend his time mostly in guidance of the seekers (taliban), training of the “travelers upon the Path” (salikin), aiding the needy, and
performing charitable deeds such as repairing the mosques, digging subterranean
canals and reservoirs. He also occupied himself with repairing the building of
the sacred tomb of his honorable grandfather and constructing buildings such as
hospitals and clinics for public welfare. At the same time he was busy in
farming and cultivating by which means he earned his livelihood. His works for
public welfare can still be found in all the villages of Gunabad where there is
no place in which the traces of his charitable deeds are not seen.
afternoons, he would often spend his time in teaching Bayan Assa’ada (a
commentary of the Holy Qur’an).
summer of 1345 A. H. S., he became ill several times and for some time was
confined to bed; although upon the slightest sign of recovery, he would leave
his bed to alleviate the anxieties of fuqara.
early month of Rabi’ath-thani 1386 A. H. L. (1966 A.D.), he was taken ill again
but after two or three days he had apparently recovered from his illness. On
Wednesday the 8th Rabi’ath-thani 1386 A. H. L. (1966 A.D.) a sudden
change appeared in the condition of his health and physicians from Gunabad gave
him medical treatment. In the middle of the same night, at the time of the call
(adhan) to morning ritual prayer, his
condition again changed and his holy spirit flew to the “Holy World” (Thursday,
the 9th Rabi’ath-thani 1386 corresponding to the 6th
Murdad 1345 A. H. S. and (1966 A.D.) Thus his children were left fatherless,
his relatives without guardian, and the community of fuqara, shi’ites, and Muslims became mournful.
body received such a glorified escorting, the like of which was quite
unprecedented. He was buried next to his honorable grandfather, and so a world
of gnosis (irfan) and knowledge
disappeared under the dark earth (may his sacred grave be sanctified).
Holiness had married in 1329 A. H. L. the daughter of his uncle, Mulla Muhammad
Sadr al-Ulama, and left eight children including one girl. The eldest is his
Eminence Hajj Sultan Husayn Tabandah, Rida ‘Ali Shah, who by his father’s
decree became his vicegerent (khalifa)
A Brief Biography
of the Late Master,
Eminence Hajj Sultan Husayn
Tabandah, Rida ‘Ali Shah
most High Holiness Hajj Sultan Husayn Tabandah, entitled Rida ‘Ali Shah, who is
the late leader of the Order of the Ni’matullahi Sultan ‘Ali Shahi, was born on
the 28th Dhu’l-hijjah 1332 A.H.L., corresponding to the 25th
Aban 1293 A.H.S. (1914 A.D.). He is the honorable son of His Eminence Hajj
Shaykh Muhammad Hasan Salih ‘Ali Shah (may his grave be sanctified).
his childhood, he began reading and writing; later on he learned the rudiments
of Arabic and Persian literature. Then he studied the literary and “transmitted
(naqli) sciences” with his honorable
father, and other local teachers. In 1350 A. H. L., by the order of his father,
he set out for Isfahan to complete his education. There for five years, he
studied jurisprudence (fiqh) and its
principles (usul), theosophy (hikmat), and the other Islamic intellectual (‘aqli) and transmitted (naqli) sciences and obtained the ijazah (written authorization) for
narrating the Traditions (Ahadith). Meanwhile, he obtained comprehensive
knowledge of other sciences such as ethics, logic, mathematics, astronomy,
traditional medicine, history, and the occult sciences. Later on he returned to
Tehran and entered the “College of intellectual and transmitted Sciences”, were
he received his B. A. in 1358 A. H. L. He returned to Gunabad
In the same year and under the shadow of the
training and protection of his gracious father, began to exercise
self-discipline, spiritual struggle (mujahadah)
with the lower soul (nafs),
purification of the soul, and refinement of the spirit.
Sha’ban 1369 (1950 A.D.), after completion of the seven spiritual journeys of
the Path, he succeeded in obtaining an authorization for leading the
“congregational ritual prayer” and inspiring (talqin) the lingual litanies (awrad)
and invocations (adhkar). On the 11th
of Dhul-qa’da in the same year, he was honored with the spiritual title of
“Rida ‘Ali” to guide the seekers (taliban)
and assist and direct the qualified novices. In Dhul-qa’da 1379 A. H. L. (1960
A.D.), he was appointed to be the successor and vicegerent (khalifa) of his
gracious father with the spiritual title of “Rida ‘Ali Shah.”
Holiness has made several journeys to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Arabic
countries and succeeded in pilgrimage to Jerusalem. In 1373 A. H. L. (1954
A.D.), he accompanied his father, who traveled to Europe for medical treatment,
and visited some European countries. He also made several journeys to visit
Ka’ba, the tomb of the Holy Prophet (may God cover him in glory and give him
peace), as well as the tombs of the Imams (peace be upon them).
of his journeys, he was very interested in visiting the jurisprudents (‘Ulama) and religious authorities. On one
of his journeys to Najaf, after holding lengthy discussions about some
difficult points of jurisprudence, he obtained
a formal authorization for practicing
he used to live in Tehran, his real residence was in Bayducht. There he was
usually engaged in attending to the affairs of fuqara and in completing the construction of the building of the
illuminated tombs of his honorable great grandfather and his gracious father.
the afternoons, as his father did before him, he usually thought Bayan Assa’ada in a plain and comprehensive
language and with necessary explanations of the Gnostic truths, spiritual
instructions and advice.
mornings, he would spend a few hours for meeting fuqara, receiving visitors, and looking after his own
and others’ affairs.
earned his livelihood by farming and raising domestic animals and strictly
forbade others to beg, to be a burden to society, or to be idle. He was quite
disgusted with those who were addicted to unlawful habits and did not admit
them to his presence.
Rabi al-Awwal 1413, 18 Shahrivar 1371, September 9, 1992 his most holy
graciousness passed from the corporeal world to be united with his Beloved. He
was buried in Gunabad beside his esteemed father; may they rest in Peace. He
has been succeeded by his son, Mawlana Hajj ‘Ali Tabandah, Mahbub ‘Ali Shah.
Gracious Holiness has written many books, some of which have been reprinted
several times. They are as follows:
1. A Theophany of the Truth: On the Mysteries of the Tragedy of the
2. A Treatise on Hypnotism.
3. A Biography of Khwajih ‘Abdullah Ansari.
4. Niyaz-I Tajalli: A Translation of Abu Hamza Thumali’s
5. The Philosophy of Plotinus.
6. The Genius of Knowledge and Gnosis in Fourteenth Century
(A.H.L.): A Biography of the Late Hajj Mulla Sultan Muhammad Gunabadi, Sultan
7. Memories of a Pilgrimage to Mecca.
8. Treatise on the Removal of Doubts.
9. A Guide to Happiness.
10. A Religious Commentary on the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights (translated into English under the title of A Muslim Commentary on…).
11. From Gunabad to Geneva.
12. The History and Geography of Gunabad.
13. Notes from Visits to Arabic countries.
14. A visit to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
15. The Holy Qur’an and the Three Mysterious Gnostic Stories.
16. Ten Lectures.
17. A Short History of the Fourteen Innocents.
18. The Three Radiant Gems of the Most Blessed Sea of the Divine
19. Progression and Transubstantial Motion (unpublished).
20. The Philosophy of Averroes (unpublished).
In the Name of Allah, the Merciful,
Upon Whom I rely and in whom
is all My Hope
be, with praise most pure, to the One Who owns all things, to the One Who by
His radiance brings to being everything, to the One most worthy of worship, most
worthy of all blessings, to the Almighty One, Who knows and sees all things, to
Whom all shall return and from Whom all have come. He is the Beneficent, Who at
every stage of being grants every fitting need of every individual. He is the
Merciful, Who opens the door for His servants to the road leading back to Him,
to the highest road, the path of servitude to Him, the path shown by His
prophets, And the best of the blessings He has granted to us is to have chosen
us to follow the prophet of the end of time.
O Kind God!
We boast of servitude to You, for we have seized hold of the rope You have
extended to us. Grant us success through the guidance of Your beloved prophet
and pure servant Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah, Peace and Blessings of Allah to him
and to his progeny. Grant us the success of turning our faces toward You and of
complying with the orders of Your Prophet. Grant us success through the
illumination of our hearts with friendship (walayat)
and obedience to the heirs to Your esteemed Prophet’s legacy (awsiya).
supplication for success to the Beneficent God, at the request of some of the
wayfarers in the Murtadawi way and travellers in the Ni’matullahi Sultan
‘Alitshahi Order, this poor helpless servant of the dervishes, Muhammad Hasan
Gunabadi, who has been honored in the way (tariqat)
with the title Salih ‘Ali Shah, has undertaken to write this letter of
instructions to remind our spiritual brethren of duties pertaining to Islam and
faith. Consideration of the following points has aided in the writing of this
For some time now an increasing number of letters with many questions have been
arriving from seekers (taliban) and
novices among the brethren, especially from those who live in places where
authorized shaykhs are not readily avialable to them, and where they do not
frequent the knowledgeable veteran fugara
and they are not aware of the books of the gnostics (‘urafa) or such books are not readily available. They also have
asked about precepts of outward form and precepts of inward meaning; and I have
written answers to them. However, since the answer to each letter cannot be written in great detail,
and since these replies inform none but those who sent the questions, the same
questions are often repeated, and so the answers must also be repeated.
Therefore, I have resolved to write on those topics pertaining to the various
questions which have been posed in as much detail as is possible in such a
letter, so that it might be generally applicable and useful to all. The answers
to the remaining questions must be sought from the lips of those who tread the
Some of the novice fuqara or others
hear words from certain friends or from those who are against Faqr and many a time, without
investigating, it happens that they fall into doubt.
They read in the
books of gnostics the mysteries of the Path, which are perceptions of the heart
and Divine inspirations, or they have heard about them from the men of the Path
but have not understand them and have thus considered the mysteries to be
nothing more than mere words and utterances or certain acts [as performed by
the fugara]. They have not even
referred to the books by the Saints, nor do they ask the learned men about
them. They have read and heard about them but, supposing them to be mere
religious differences or suchlike, their problems have remained unsolved.
Sometimes it happens that they are caught in the snare of blasphemous beliefs
or indecent acts, or are inclined to think poorly of the righteous. Therefore,
the necessary explanations will be given in this letter, [some] explicitly and
[others] implicitly, so that the answers to their problems will be clearly
A group of those unfamiliar with the stages of Faqr and gnosticism, especially in our time, have not carefully
considered the gist of the subject and have not looked into the meaning of the
words of the gnostics. Besides, they have not read their books, although, thank
God, they have frequently been printed and made available; or they might have
read them but have interpreted and distorted the words as they wished and
misrepresented them to the people. Moreover, some opponents, out of hostility
and obstinacy, in order to give a false account and to create opposition, try
to assert that Faqr or dervishhood – which is a following of
the prophets and the Saints, the uniting of form and spirit, having one’s heart
with the Beloved while having one’s hands busy work, and being kind and sincere
to all creatures – is a new claim. They try to represent Faqr to certain people as a form of idleness and shamelessness; as
being a burden to society; as not being bound to the rules (adab) of religion and the laws; as not
observing the manners of religiousness; and as opposing civilization. They do
this so as to humiliate Faqr before
all groups, so that some seekers (talibin)
might consider their words true and believe in them and thus be led astray from
Therefore, a brief
account of the beliefs and practices [of fuqara]
was deemed necessary to be given as a reminder.
Some of the seekers of the Path of those who have passed along the Path, on
hearing that [walking on] the Path (tariqat)
is to refine one’s morals, have considered refinement through knowledge and learning,
as written in the ethical books, sufficient; or have considered morals, which
are “fixed habits of the soul”, by nothing more than their practical effects
and good relationship. For this reason, Islamic ethics in its gnostic sense
will also be pointed out briefly so that it might be of help.
Since fuqara consider it their duty
to be related at all times to the living, religious scholar (‘alim) and gnosic (‘arif) of their time and to renew their Covenat (‘ahd) [with them] and to inquire of them
about their duties, some of them do not pay attention even to the minor details
or do not understand the general instructions or they consider them to be
insufficient or by way of precaution and assurance, they ask about even the
Some of them fall into another error by
considering dervishhood as nothing
more than oral litanies (awrad) and
invocations (adhkar), resorting to
them as a means of furthering their worldly affairs. Or they make use of
litanies and invacations – which are actually amorous whisperings to the
Beloved and the declaration of helplessness and nothingness before the Throne
of the Almighty which should be performed with absolute heartfelt attention –
as a means to fulfil their worldly desires. They resort to the outward appearance
of the words, thereby thinking to solve their problems. They should become
aware of this negligence.
There are others who
according to the saying “Is religion anything but love?”2
assume that mere love is sufficient and, knowingly or
unknowingly, fail to be attentive to the performance of good deeds. They do not
rightly observe the dos and don’ts which are required for the protection of the
state of [spiritual] love and Relationship as well as the watering of Faith.
They are not aware even of some of the outward manners (adab) and are therefore not very attentive to them.
Besides, it so
happened that some friends requested me, in order to make such people aware [of
them], to write a brief and comprehensive instruction, so that one might carry
it on his person and frequently refer to it, because books are read less for
their detailed descriptions and are easily forgotten.
Therefore, I have
compiled with their wishes and have collected a summary of the instructions of
the Saints of the past, which have often been written down in books and I have
put them down briefly and enumeratively. Since it is a letter of advice and
instruction rather than a book, I present it to the brethren as Salih’s Advice. I hope to succeed in
writing The Commentary of Salihiya in
a few volumes in the future, and I hope to present it to the readers.
As most of them have
neither a knowledge of Arablic nor an acquintance with the technical terms and
important gnostic subjects. I have written this letter in simple, none technical Farsi. I have pointed out,
briefly and for the use of all, what they should almost always know, which are
general religious duties or are things of which whose good or evil is
understand by any [normal] intelligence and need only a reminder. I have
explained [in more detail] things that are less taken into consideration
whereas close attention should be paid to them, however unimportant they might
And, first of all, I
insist that the Friends should try to learn the manners (adab) and rules (ahkam)
of the Divine Law (shar’), the
learning of which has natural priority over the manners (adab) of the Path, and the manners of the Path are for animating
and adorning them and have priority over the rules of the Divine Law in terms
of honor. They should learn about them,
as much as a Muslim needs or requires, from their source in order that they
might know their Islamic duties.
And for increasing
their insight into affairs related to Faqr,
they might refer in general to the detailed books written by the gnostics and
chiefly to the books by this faqir’s
honorable grandfather, the late Sultan ‘Ali Shah the Martyr, and my deceased
honorable father, Nour ‘Ali Shah the Second (may their graves be sanctified),
which are full of truths and replete with advice.
In fact, they should
consider this letter both a complementary chapter and a summary of those books
and a description of the Promise and Covenant (‘ahd) made [with God], which under certain circumstances has been
added to them and their allusions have been thus clarified.
I hope the Faithful will become aware of
the attributes and morals concerning Faith and will not consider the mere
relationship [with the Master] sufficient, that they will endeavor to travel
along the Path so that they might not fall behind, and that they will be always
ashamed of their failure and rebuke the self (nafs).
Although there are some exceptions to what
has been written, however general it might be, and every general [regulation]
has its particular [exception] and a duty might change in special cases,
commandments have been made for prevailing cases. But rare cases require
special instructions and orders which can be understood only by intelligent
In Islam and as regards Faith, women and
men, according to Holy verse3, are equal and religious sisters are
charged with religious duties like those of the brethren. But since women are
equal to men with respect to Faith, and should endeavor in the same way, I
shall address the brethren in general and have in view the subtle essence (latifa) of Faith.
I resort to the spirits of the Saints of
religion and thus expect my brethren to study this letter frequently, which
care and thought, and to regard it with love and show an interest in it and act
according to it. They should not make the failure of another believer a pretext
[for disobeying], but should strive, as far as possible, to be a true bearer of
the title of faqir, which is, in
other words, another name for servant.
In fact, revolutions and changes in the
world, ass are manifest everywhere, should also affect us, and we should wake
up and avail ourselves of every opportunity. Although there is no room for
parties, sectarianism, and involvement in worldly affairs in Faqr and servitude; nevertheless, the
believer should be clever, have foresight, value peace, and give thanks to God.
And whenever obstacles are few, he should endeavor to pay attention [to
religious duties] and to act according to them. And he should not fail to
remove religious doubts and disagreements. May the Kind God grant my brethren
and me success!
Man’s privilege over other
animals is his reason and far-seeing thought. A child from the very first day
of his birth is similar to other animals but with the growth of the body, his
power of thought also develops and his foresight increases.
out from what is known to him or from what he has seen and heard that which was
formerly unknown to him as well as discovering the works and influences of
in embellishing and grooming his corporeal body and attends to its requisites
both internal and external. The more he employs his mind, the better
requirements that are provided, the better he will progress.
evident that gradually he begins to find out the effects and the mysteries of
the world of creation, and makes inventions and creates arts and techniques for
the benefit of his fellow-creatures.
not, however, limit himself to this alone; nor devote all his thought to the
outer life; nor use up all his endeavors for his body and its requirements
which is mortal; rather, he should awaken and ponder on this:
Where have I come from and for what purpose?
Where am I to go, and where shall my home be?
Proofs of the Immortality of the Spirit,
Incorporeality of the Soul, and
the Next World
And from the
limitation of the body and material things and their transformations, from the
gradual and complete annihilation of the body, from the unceasing burning of
the innate search and passion for worldly desires, from the pursuit of wishes
and the longing for that which he has lost, he will be brought to realize that
this unending agitation of thought is not restricted to the world and that
human reality is something other than this body. Rather, that which controls
the [human] faculties and organs and remains unchanged throughout all the
transformations of the body and is single despite the plurality of its
faculties and is strange to all despite its familiarity with them and is the
knowing, the seeing, and the powerful in the body and is enduring and single in
spite of the unawareness of the body and the heedlessness of imagination and
throughout childhood, youth, and old age as well as during happiness and
unhappiness, corpulence and leanness, illness and health and to which are
attributed thought and reason is called “soul” or “spirit”, it is the reality
and the personality of man and is neither corporeal nor perceptible. The heart
and the center of thinking are the intermediaries between spirit and body and
spirit dominates over the heart and the heart dominates over the body.
therefore, not entangle the spirit constantly in the well and prison of the
body with illusion (wahima); rather,
the body should be illuminated through the heart with the light of spirit.
And one’s truth should not be sacrificed
to the world, but one should attend somewhat to one’s own self and discover
that the effects, words, thoughts, and deeds which are with us throughout life
and even unto death are perceptible, but are not found in the body. Therefore,
as they are kept on the tablet of the spirit, they remain non perished and stay
with the spirit forever, even after natural death and complete annihilation of
the body, which during lifetime is also in the process of perishing.
lives without the body when asleep, and becomes happy or sad after waking up
due to the states and the occurrences that he has undergone [during his sleep],
and if he has had a good or a bad dream, whether he wants to or not, he will
feel the happiness or unhappiness arising from it after waking up and later on
he will see the effects or [the realization of] the dream itself; in the same
way, our deeds will accompany us and will bring about ease or torture after
death. We should, therefore, give thought to the comfort of the hereafter.
cannot find its way there by itself: hence we have to seek for a path and a
guide in order to arrive there. As the prophets and the Saints have already
passed along the Path, have experienced its troubles, have gained a knowledge
of the provisions for the Path, have been commissioned to awaken [people], and
have indicated the right and the wrong way, we should, therefore, seek to
comply with their orders. The birth of such far-sightedness is the beginning of
journeying towards God.
search and desire intensifies, if the believer resolves to correct himself, and
if he realizes that he will not attain his Goal by mere outward religiousness
or by merely professing to be religious by enacting the outward appearance of
religion and that he cannot travel along the Path simply by the writings and
the instructions of the Guide and that a Path with endless dangers and
innumerable highwaymen should be traveled with a guide and a weapon, he will
begin to do research or to investigate in order that he might find out the
explicit decree (nass) of the
Predecessors, who have been clear-sighted and well-informed and whose words he
considers to be the truth. This decree is the only means by which the Guide can
be recognized and is also conjoined with the [divine] effect.
then adhere [to the Guide] with insight and with good belief, and surrender
himself like Moses in his following of Khidr. Such adherence is called, in
Gnostic usage and terminology, the “beginning of the journey”.
afterwards, in accordance with the orders that he has received, pass along the
Path with the steps of an aspirant. And without any objection or doubt, he
should maintain his steadfastness in his inspirations (halat-I warida),
removing himself from temptations by using the remembrance (dhikr) [of God] as a weapon, and be
always in the state of meditation (fikr).
take thought of the end, not cling only to outward appearance, and as long as
he lives, should not take the grip of his heart from the skirt of the Pir (i.e. should cling to him). He
should also turn his face in the direction (wijha)
of the Divine Order and consider showing reverence to him likewise as that paid
to God and comply with what pleases him. Doing so is praiseworthy, though blind
imitation (taqlid) founded on an unstable basis is blameworthy.
should for the attainment of [spiritual] luminosity and insight
-- which brings about a state of powerlessness
and indigence – increase his recourses (tawassul)
[to the Pir], regarding them as
coming from the beams of the Pir’s
[spiritual] attention, lest he should fall into the abyss of boastfulness. For
the dangers of self-conceit, obstinacy, and pride are the great dangers of the
Faith is the attachment
of the spirit to the Origin and the dwelling in thought upon the Beginning and
the End as well as the great Divine Dignity (namus) and the Divine Trust. Therefore, it should be well protected
and appreciated and be kept free of impurities. We should make efforts so that
we might be endowed with the name of Faqr
and Faith, by which we are called, and might be distinguished by goodness so
that these names might be true of us.
make every endeavor to protect the “Primal Covenant” (ahd-I azali) – which has been engraved on the tablet of the
spirit’s primordial nature (fitrat)
and which is affirmed by intellect, but has been forgotten in this world by the
deceptions of the lower soul (nafs) –
after renewing it though the “Prescriptive Covenant” (ahd-I taklifi).
should with God’s Grace avoid heedlessness (ghaflat) and comply with the
conditions of the Allegiance (bay‘at) and set them before us when taking
action, always keeping in mind the essence of the instructions which is included
in these three phrases: servitude to God, compassion for and benevolence to all
people, and service to and humility before religious brethren. So we should act
according to them and measure our deeds by them, and with good thoughts, good
words, and good deeds respond to the call of the Saints for help and their
invitation: “who will be my helpers unto Allah?”5
should seek to reach the Destination and take the deeds of the deceased as a
pattern and not yield to disappointment, which is tantamount to infidelity
(kufr), and walk [along the Path] with firm intention.
The heart (dil) is the Divine Treasure House and a place
for the outpouring of Divine Grace. The center of the domain of the body is the
heart which is always [wavering] between satanic temptation and angelic
inspiration. We should observe the heart, for whatever dominates the heart will
also dominate organs and faculties.
attachment to the world is a trap for the spirit and is the source of all sin,
we should, under the direction [of the spiritual Guide], turn our hearts to the
Unseen (ghayb ). We should then turn
its face from our Unseen to the Absolute Unseen so that the dispersal of
thoughts and temptations might be removed, our cares and grieves become one,
our souls become purified, blameworthy qualities which are born out of
attachment to the world are purged and replaced by praiseworthy ones, and
intimacy with the remembrance (dhikr)
of God might be gradually increased. Thus, the door which has been unlocked by
God might be opened and the heart become a home for the Beloved.
(dhikr) of God makes the heart
humble, the body meek, the morals pure, and deeds praiseworthy. Remembrance of
God by a servant, which is in turn a sign of the remembrance of the servant by
God and of necessity involves His remembrance, will ultimately set man free
from the “imaginary existence” and lead him to the “real existence”. For as
long as there is egotism, there can be no worship of God.
of God as directed [by the spiritual guide] should be attended to in all our
situations and dealings so that its effects might also appear in our deeds and daily
life and be left in the world afterwards as a memorial.
been given extra emphasis aseptically in certain cases, such as at the time of
eating. [It has been said:] “Eat of that over which the name of Allah has been
mentioned”.6 Although this [verse] has been interpreted in connection
with slaughtering, its meaning is general. Remembrance of God while eating
increases our pleasure and, by the direction of the fervor [of the body] and
spirit towards inward being (Batin),
food digests more easily and as long as that food stays with the body, it is
tantamount to remembering God and benefit is more easily attained.
instance is at the time of sexual intercourse, for a child who is conceived
while God is remembered becomes perfect in his nature as well as faithful,
righteous, and intelligent.
instance is at the time of sleeping when our attention is drawn towards the
“Unseen World”, because if the believer goes to sleep while remembering God, he
will be as one who is remembering [God] during his sleep and whatever he
dreams, be it the emergence of his spiritual state or some outer occurrence,
such dreams would be true dreams.
instance is at the beginning of waking up, when he is in the state of returning
to this world and his attention is directed towards his physical faculties and
members. By remembering God on this day not only his success increases but also
his [worldly] affairs will improve.
And at the
time of waking up, he should direct his attention (tawajjuh) towards the Origin (God) and [His] Manifestation, have
recourse (tawassul) to the light of
the “Fourteen Innocents”7 and
hope for the coming of relief to his heart and for religious and worldly
improvement from God. Since whatever is committed to memory at the instant of
going to bed and waking up will remain safe, the spirit will get used to the
remembering of God at these two instants and will be attentive [to Him]. Thus,
as far as possible, he should not fail to remember God for a single moment so
that he might remember the religious beliefs at the instant of death.
And he should not
spend time without meditation (fikr),
but rather he should begin a [spiritual] journey, mounted on the steed of
meditation, in order to find out the realities of the world and, through the
aperture of his own Unseen, direct his attention to the “Absolute Unseen”,
waiting for relief (faraj) to come to
his spirit; as it is said: “There is no relief for a believer unless he meets
And he should seek Mawla – who is with every particle and
every heart will find a way to Him. He has a mind to bestow training and favor,
especially upon the hearts of the Faithful
-- He should seek him in his own heart until he finds Him, so that he
might be able to recognize Him as He appears outwardly and be attracted [to
Him] by way of homogeneity.
expectation (intizar) in his heart,
which should be accompanied by the expectation outwardly, together with his
actions which should conform to Mawla’s
satisfaction, he becomes worthy to be one of the connected-with-victory attendants
of the “Support (Qa’im) of the
Descendants of Muhammad”9 (may
God bless him). Thus, there appears in him the preparedness for companionship.
This [expectation] has been, and is still, the best trainer of the Shi’ites.
The Traveler (salik) should be mindful of the
beneficence of the Benefactor (i.e. Mawla)
and be thankful and grateful. He should be, especially, appreciative of the beneficence
of Guidance and Faith and not keep the Mediator of [the Divine] favor (fayz) away from his heart.
Blessing upon the Prophet
Even in the ritual
prayer (namaz), which is servitude to
the Unique God, blessing (salawat)
upon the Prophet (may God bless him and his Descendants and grant them peace)
and his Descendants has been ordered. It is a prescript for recourse (tawassul).
This request for
Blessing is for the presence of the subtle essence (latefa) of Faith which comes from the Prophet and is present in the
hearts of his followers, as well as linking it to the “Muhammadan Truth” (haqiqat-i Muhammadiyah). It is
praiseworthy to remember the Saints, to utter the names of the living Saints
for benediction and recourse, and to resort to them as mediators each day.
Manners of Companionship
Companionship (musahabat) with the Saints or, upon
their orders, with others who have traveled along the Path is one of the pillars
of the “Journey along the Path” (suluk).
It helps the Traveler (salik) with
his traveling (sayr) and is a means
of increasing his knowledge. For companionship with them makes man remember
God; their words increase one’s knowledge and their deeds make
one desire the eternal world. Looking at the “Men of Knowledge” (gnostics) is
considered as a form of worship and approaching them is a blessing, for the
soul is influenced and colored by companions.
not, when in the presence of anyone of them, observe differences in rank, but
should turn his face in the direction (wijha)
of the Divine Command and regard it as a means of obtaining His Grace. However,
in their gathering together in one place, observance of rank and differences in
position should be taken into consideration.
As far as
possible, the believer should cleanse his outward appearance of all impurities,
and adorn his inner being (batin) with the ornaments of Love and sincerity. He
should regard the reality of the Saints as intercessors (shafi’); and, in their presence, increase his attentive observation
(muraqaba), directing his attention (tawajjuh), and concentration of heart
[to God]. When arriving in their presence, he should refrain from showing
manifestation of Love as far as he is able to control himself especially, if
strangers take objection to it. He should not do anything that gives rise to a
pretext for fault-finding and jealousy. Observance of outward manners (adab) is also necessary inasmuch as he
is able to control himself. He should not, for instance, as far as possible,
knock at the door; nor speak in a loud voice; nor take the lead. While sitting,
he should sit, if it is possible, with his face towards them; if it is not
possible, he should sit in such a manner that he might be able to see them. He
should not prolong his sitting, as it causes weariness; unless he has some
business [with them] that necessitates it.
sitting, he should not pay attention to others beyond what is usual and
customary, and certainly not in a way that might make others take objection or
feel dejected. Nor should he sit with his back against anybody, especially if
he is a believer, except in learning sessions or where it is necessary.
be alert to comprehend what he hears and act in accordance with it, and find an
example of what he has heard within himself, for what is said might be [as the
saying goes], “I beat him to frighten you”.
avoid talking with others, especially when it results in distracting attention.
Whispering should also be refrained from, unless it is necessary. And he should
ask whatever he deems necessary, but should not ask too much, and the question
should be intended for acquiring [spiritual] benefit. He should also refrain
from speaking in the middle of their speech.
not mention the bad in others, especially not malign a believer to the Saints (awliya), unless he is asked or
circumstances demand it. In this case he should answer sympathetically and with
musafaha [with them], he should
consider it as a renewal of the Covenant (‘ahd). With an impure heart and
scattered thought it would be mere [false] imitation which makes purity and
serenity (safa) of heart impossible.
In practicing musafaha, he should
take the circumstances into consideration and should follow moderation in order
that he might not trouble them. He should refrain from deeds and words that
might cause disturbance or annoyance and, as far as possible, should not cause
inconvenience [to them] in worldly affairs. But rather, he should appeal to the
inner being (batin) of the Saints for
resolution (himmat) in any affair and
seek assistance from them so that he might attain his Objective as soon as
should pay for the brethren with his heart and his tongue, be benevolent to
them, and wish them progress.
The affair of walayat and the [spiritual] Path (tariqat) refers to the [spiritual] heart
(qalb) and not to the [bodily]
organs. It is related to sirr (the
inner most element of the heart) and not sar
(the head), and has been conveyed from heart to heart. It has not been written
in books and its principles can not be expressed in words. Rather, the more
they are said or written down, the more they become hidden. Since the effect
[it produces] is brought about by the command and order of the Saint (wali), actions based on written words
would be without effect.
of religion should be kept hidden, particularly that which has been ordered to
be concealed and which he has taken upon himself. And he should not give
utterance to whatever is inspired in his heart, be it a spiritual state (halat) or a belief, since he should,
follow the Pir, pass and step beyond
it. Such a state, once passed through, should not be referred to again as a
deeds and actions, the believer should consider the preservation of the
conditions, Faith, lives and wealth of fellow Muslims. He should be cautious
even with the most reliable brethren and not place his burden on the shoulders
of those who have not attained his level, just as Abudhar did not know what was
in Salman’s heart10, for he was not supposed to know
If he perceives
in his heart an inner manifestation from the Saints, he should not give way to
exaggerated statements but should be careful not to disobey them. Such
dissimulation (taqiya) and
concealment are innate in the Saints and are their custom.
control over the desires of the lower soul (nafs)
is mortification, strife, and self-discipline. Domination over the lower soul
as well as perseverance and determination strengthen the will.
brings honor, whereas the opposite which is called divulgence (idha’a) brings about baseness and
weakness of the spirit and a decline in the effect [of walayat].
should have respect for the orders of the Saints. He should refrain from
revealing his secrets to others. Even when it is not necessary, he should in
advance conceal his [social] comings and goings as well as the extent of his
property, thereby preserving his life and possessions.
The situations which call for
dissimulation (taqiya) differ from those
whichdemand fighting the “holy war” (jihad) and “enjoining the good and
forbidding the evil”. These two commands are designed for promoting Islam and
defending all Muslims, and are to be performed under the command [of the
Saints] and at the appropriate time.
Sacrificing one’s self and
dedicating one’s life and wealth in the way of God and to the protection and
promotion of Islam as well as preserving religiousness is different from the
upholding of the Faith, lives, wealth, and honor of the Faithful including
The human being is
composed of all the characteristics attributed to animals but which are more
perfectly created in man in order that he might endeavor, like them, to seek what
is good or bad as well as what is of benefit or of detriment to his body, so
that he might gain in comfort and repel that which might cause damage and pain.
man has the faculty of thought and reason by which he can keep all attributes
at a moderate level, gain domination over his lower soul (nafs), employ them for the advancement of his spirit, and reveal
praiseworthy morals in himself, avoiding those that are blameworthy.
believer should always be attentive to the correction of his soul and the
refinement of his inner morals, because the “spiritual fixed habits”, which
compel man to action, if they be praiseworthy, will produce good deeds and if
they be blameworthy, will produce evil deeds.
have explained these things in detail in their books and have given
instructions about them, by reading moral books, even the Traditions (ahadith) and the Holy Qur’an, a person
cannot gain praiseworthy qualities thereby. For as soon as one head of the
lower soul is struck down, it raises another head.
Thus, the struggle
against the lower soul and Satan should be down resolutely, with the attractive
force of eagerness (shawq) and live
arising from Faith. It should be done by appealing to the inner being (batin) of the Saints and asking their
help as well as by watering the subtle essence (latifa) of walayat, which
is present in the hearts of the Faithful. This subtle essence is the “dignity
of the most supreme spiritual reality of ‘Ali’ (‘alawiyyat-i ‘Ali—peace be
upon him), which draws the believer constantly from the darkness of ignorance
and the world of nature into the light of incorporeality (tajarrud) and Knowledge. And there is no other causative agent in
the world but it: “ La fata illa ‘Ali”
(there is no chevalier spiritually but ‘Ali).
Therefore, within the
Dhulfaqar of invocation (dhikr) and
meditation (fikr), which is granted
to him, he should lay an axe to the root of the lower soul; and so dedicate the
dependence and intimacy of the lower soul; and so dedicate the dependence and
intimacy of his heart to the remembrance (dhikr)
of God that the fondness of the world – which is born out of egotism and
obstinacy and is the root of all sin and the source of all indecency – might
gradually decline. Thus, he might gain domination over the lower soul and be
able to prevent its manifestations until it is non-existent.
Unless such a state
is attained, Mawla’s approval by
which moral virtues are measured will not be achieved. For one’s duties and
behavior differ according to different cases: in one case, He approves of our
being hard and in another case of our
And moderation cannot be determined by Imperfect reason or a low intelligence,
unless the heart becomes the seat of God and the Truth rules over the heart
which of itself rules over the body.
Attentive Observation (Muraqaba)
Self - Examination (Muhasaba)
Therefore, we should
observe our [spiritual] state and deeds, for at every instant of forgetfulness
[of God] the lower soul will raise its head. We should thereby take account of
them before [the Day of] Judgment, and weigh our thoughts, words, and deeds on
the scales of reason and with a measure, which is of Mawla’s consent.
We should also
illuminate our inner being (batin)
with the light of the walayat and
Faith so that good morals, which are the exemplar of Paradise, may appear in us
and that we may be purified from all bad tempers which are the exemplar of the
flames of Hell.
Remembrance of Death
And thinking upon the
world and its destructibility and upon natural death and the mortality of the body
– which can neither be helped nor avoided – and that every thing must be left
behind and passed over and that man must leave the world empty-handed,
gradually empties the heart of the love of the world and turns the thoughts of
man towards provisioning for the Eternal Life and strengthens his remembrance
Since at the instant
of death Truth is revealed to everyone, the remembrance of death fills the
Wayfarer (salik) with longing to meet
Mawla, and the heart will then
naturally be cleansed of wishful desires.
And since the
believer should always attend to himself and visualize his morals and deeds --
while paying regard to his evil-doings and thus regretting such deeds, words,
and thoughts – he will attain the state of repentance (tawba) and returning to God. For the gate of repentance is one of
the gates of Paradise which is open at all times and to everyone.12
And he should drive away
the Devil’s temptations by remembering death, which lies in ambush, as well as
by waiting to meet the Beloved.
Returning to God
He should make the
most of his time and, while recognizing [Mawla’s]
remission and magnanimity, stamp on his lower soul, thereby returning
repentantly to God. This state becomes more intense once his insight develops
and the greatness of the Beloved becomes better known, thus he will raise the
silent amorous prayer of “Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves”13
from the depth of his soul and will utter from his heart, “There is no god but
Thou; glory be to Thee! I was indeed a wrong-doer”.14 The “ontological (takwini) taking off (khal’)
and putting on (lubs)” that is
extinction (fana) of self and
existence (baqa) in God (Haqq), has a
different manifestation and a certain name at every level. On this level, it is
called repentance (tawba) and inaba (returning to God). At another
level its manifestation is called isti’adhi
(taking refuge in God) and bissmillah
(the uttering of “in the name of Allah,
the Merciful, the Compassionate”). The ritual prayer (salat) and the alms-tax (zakat), renouncement (tabarra) and friendship (tawalla), and extinction (fana) and existence (baqa) are all different levels of its
The Wayfarer (salik) who perseveres in being good,
feels abashed of himself and even of his good deeds, let alone his evil- doings.
He feels shame before God (Haqq) that
-- while being favored with His gifts – in His dominion, with His power and
strength, and in His presence, he opposes Him. Moreover, feeling modesty before
people is innate and is one of the praiseworthy qualities.
And the believer lives always in fear of
himself, his deeds, and of Satan’s misleading him. Because of the infinite kindness of the Beloved (to His servants)
and His magnanimity, he makes haste towards Him, regarding himself as inferior
to all others.
He is humble towards
all people whom he regards as God’s creatures, for humility brings about
dignity. Thus, pride and arrogance,
which are the inevitable result of ghaflat
( heedlessness of God ) and are signs of being unaware of one’s self, will not
remain in him. How can he be proud of
himself, if he deliberates on the beginning and the end of his body, and if his
needs for everything as well as his inability to turn even one single hair into
white or black are taken into consideration?
Haughtiness and Hypocrisy
So there will be no
reason to be proud of himself and haughtiness will be despised. The believer does not consider people (khalq) as support that he should rely
on. He pays heed neither to that which
they see or hear, nor to their good or evil words.
Reputation, Kindness and Compassion
On the contrary, he
considers all (people) as works of God (Haqq);
lives them all, and does not bear enmity towards them. He is kind and has compassion on everyone,
especially his inferiors, and deems himself an intermediary and agent,
providing them with service.
And he should not be
hard-hearted, lest he remain unaffected by (other people’s) wretchedness and
entreaty and his sense of pity remain un-awakened.
Rather, he should regard a pain in any individual soul as a
pain in all members [of society].15
Since tawajjuh (attention to God and
invocation make the spirit turn towards the “Higher World,” which is the world of
knowledge, they will bring about a general change in the constitution of his
soul and body and will add to his discernment (farasat) and [power of] deliberation. Thus, he should foresee the
end and weigh up the consequences of his actions from the beginning.
Anger and Desire
One should know that,
in order to attract that which is agreeable and to drive away the disagreeable
things, God has created in man two faculties which act as agents of the faculty
of thought so that they might carry out its orders. They are called the faculty
of desire and faculty of anger.
If these are followed
in moderation, and a middle course is taken, together with reliance upon God
and the “Invisible Direction”, and if they are the orders of the “Divine
Commander” – which is a measure of acceptability and which can not be achieved
without the remembrance of God -- then they would be like two wings for flying
to the “Higher World”.
If they act contrarily and turn their faces towards
this [material] world and their benefit only by adding to bodily comforts, then
they will be like two fetters bound to the legs of the bird of the spirit and
will draw it down to the meanness of nature. So the cur and the pig of man’s
being will become the ruler of his domain.
Courage and Aspiration
And the moderate limit of the faculty of anger is
courage and bravery. In which case, due to the heart’s attentiveness [to God] and
its recognition of Him as the true Agent, the believer will exhibit fixed
determination, great aspiration, and steadfastness along the Path towards the
Objective, without being deviated from the Path by the slightest wind.
And he should show
chivalry (futuwwat), manliness, and
exercise self-sacrifice in the path of God and His Friends. By the order of Mawla, he should not attach any value to
his life, wealth, reputation, or honor. Rather, he should sacrifice the
inferior to the superior; although according to the given order, he should
endeavor to observe all stages. However, he should not tolerate strangers being
present in the sanctum of the Beloved.
The believer should be zealous, lest dust should
lie on the face of the Beloved. If it happens that somebody utters blasphemy,
he should not be offended; rather, he should pass over it peacefully and pay no
heed to it.
Anger and Suppressing
If his anger bursts
into flames, he should keep himself away from violence, which is a kind of
madness. Such a madness, if it be not deeply rooted, will afterwards make him
remorseful and will disappear. When he becomes angry,
he should immediately begin to remember God and perform musafaha with a believer, keeping in
mind that Mawla is present and
watchful. He should suppress his anger and calm it down with the water of
patience. At this time, if he is standing, he should sit down and be silent;
and if he is sitting down, he should stand up and start walking.
And he should try to
forgive, as far as he can, for the Beloved approves of forgiveness; besides, he
himself expects forgiveness from the Beloved. Moreover, he should endeavor to
attain to such a state that he may regard the offenses of both his enemy and
friend as something coming from God for his own training, and may find “There
is no power and no strength save in God”16 within his own being.
So he should even be benevolent to them in
return. And if the faculty of anger acts without restraint, being disobedient
to reason, and is used for removing carnal displeasure, any kind of behavior or
disposition resulting from it will not be admired.
Rashness, Cowardice, Enmity, Grudging
man does not pay heed to obstacles and sacrifices himself, it is rashness or recklessness;
and in case of negligence, it is fear or cowardice. Thus, if someone does wrong
to such a man, he will feel enmity towards or hold a grudge against him, will
exceed his limit, and will behave contrary to what has been ordered.
In this way, he will
do himself and others an injustice and will have no consideration for God’s
So, by finding the
slightest pretext, he will kindle the fire of enmity and will “burn up a
world”, and will eventually surrender to other blameworthy traits. May God
preserve us from the evil of Satan and the “demanding ego” (nafs-i ammara)!
Desire, Chastity, Greed, Torpor
Similarly, if the faculty
of desire in human nature is bound by the shackles of the Divine Order and acts
in obedience to reason and avoids going to extremes and works only to the
extent necessary – as it is ordered by God and the prophets – for the survival
of mankind and the cultivation of the world, it is chastity and continence.
Whereas going to either extreme, which is greed or torpor, is a vice.
And the world is [a
place] for the trial of the believer as well as for his training and the
acquisition of virtue. Therefore, one’s property, wife children, fame,
reputation, and one’s subordinates should be deemed as things entrusted to
one’s custody by God to be well cared for, served, and watched over.
He should consider
apparent causes as a pretext and a means, placing the reliance of his heart
upon God who is all life-bestowing while keeping himself busy with work.
Reliance upon God
He should deem God the “real causative Agent” and
the provider of daily bread and, with reliance upon God (tawakkul), put real
effort into his wok; that is, “having his hands busy with work and his heart
directed to the Beloved”. For whatever He makes happen is for our own
Submission, Contentment, Thanksgiving
And He is
kinder to us than we are to ourselves. Therefore, we should not only be
submissive to the “ontological and to the prescriptive command” (amr-i- takeini wa taklifi), but we should
also be pleased and content and give thanks for His gifts which are
innumerable; such gifts as our existence, faculties, organs, health, our
security, and so on; and the greatest of all gifts which are Guidance and Faith
and the lives of the prophets and the Saints to guide us:
wind, moon, sun and firmament are in action,
So that you may
obtain a loaf of bread but eat not headlessly.17
Whenever he is blessed with a [real] act of
thanksgiving or performing his duties well, he should be thankful for it.
Who can ever succeed thanking God,
efforts or using words18
Doing Good to
Rather, thanks should be given to the means of any
favor whether real or figurative. The most important of these are the means of
Guidance through the prophets and the Saints, the means of [our material]
creation through our parents, and the means of education through our teachers.
The believer should be loyal to all and not forgetful of anyone
who has done good to him. If he gives somebody his word, he should not break
it; and if he makes a promise, he should keep it and carry it out. He should
consider and give thanks for any blessing bestowed by God, instead of
considering only his own expectations and then being disappointed, because
giving thanks for a favor will increase it.19
He should be content and satisfied with what has
been given to him, without complaining about it. However, praying and wishing
for things are not contradictory to the state of contentment and thankfulness,
and are thus permitted. And he should not in his heart place hope in anyone.
Being Free from Want,
Expectation and Generosity
He should refrain
from wanting, because making a request from someone other than the “One who is
free from want” (God) is base and vile. Expecting anything from anyone like us
is far from abstention which is the ornament of Faqr. Rather, in times of poverty, the believer should be patient.
If God has increased his daily bread, he should, as a sign of gratitude for
such a favor, pay the “rights of God.”20 If some of it is left over, he
should use it to give comfort to his family and donate a part of it for helping
the poor, as all acts of thanks- giving and generosity are the ornaments of
When a believer,
through success granted by God, pays attention to correcting himself and
distinguishes what is good for him from what is bad, he will not sacrifice his
spirit to his body and his body to the world. On the contrary, he needs the
world for preserving his body and his body for attaining perfection of the
He does not exceed a moderate limit in amassing
worldly goods, and does not make effort beyond the extent ordained. Otherwise,
the soul becomes clouded and thus the greedy person will be troubled by this
world before being troubled in the next world. And greed is a key to hardship,
and a greedy person is a slave to world and is always in company in company
In earning his living, the believer should not
exceed the instructions of the Divine Law (shar’), as one’s daily bread is
predetermined and becomes legitimate (halal) or illegitimate (haram) according
to one’s course of action.
Trickery and /cheating
He should not lack in [respect for] humanity, in
fairness, mercy, and manliness; nor should he plan to acquire wealth by
trickery, deceit, cheating, and lying which is Satan’s handiwork. For neither
is its acquisition under our control, nor is its preservation within our power.
should not be attached to his belongings or deem himself the real owner, so
that he might not boast of their acquisition; nor show opposition and become disappointed
and restless at their loss. He should realize that He who has given them, He
Himself has taken them away.
And he should not be
jealous of favors bestowed on others, for God has bestowed His favors upon all
of them. A jealous man is always angry at his fate (qada) and divine Decree (qadar);
he sets himself on fire within, and is always disconsolate. And Faith avoids
jealousy; wealth does not come from anybody but God; and the world is
ephemeral. Thus, there is no reason to be jealous. And the believer should
attend only to himself and not to [the affairs of] others.
The Faithful – whose
faces due to the attachment [to the Mawla]
and to the subtle essence (latifa) of
Faith are directed towards God – are like mirrors with regard to each other and
are the spiritual children of Muhammad (may God bless him and his Descendants
and grant them peace) and ‘Ali (peace be upon him). They are spiritual brethren
to each other whose bodies are different but their spirits are as one. And
according to the Covenant (‘ahd)and
the Promise they have made, service and assistance to the brethren are
requisites for Love and Faith. Doing good to them is considered to be a form of
worship while opposing and doing evil to them is considered as sin.
You should know each
other’s worth and be each other’s service both outwardly and inwardly, and
should strengthen the subtle essence (latifa)
of Faith through it. For making the
heart of a believer happy gives satisfaction to Mawla and will cause tranquillity and progress in [the affairs of]
You should become
pleased by meeting each other and enjoy each other’s words. Meet each other
with a wish for peace and good health and by performing musafaha, and end your meeting by praying, asking forgiveness, and
showing love for each other. For practicing musafaha with a believer without selfish motives is
the same as remembering the “Divine Pledge”, and awakens the friendship that
arises from Faith.
Touching the thumbs
of each other’s hands and joining fingers together for musafaha will incite the human magnetic power and love, and will
illuminate the heart. It will make the dullness of heart, which results from
one’s sins, drop away like the falling of leaves from trees in autumn, and will
calm down lust and anger. However, we should not be content with its external
and habitual form; rather, we should endeavor to invoke its true meaning, that
it might give us the above advantages.
In the presence of
the Saints, salutation should be confined to them and priority should be given
to the spiritual forerunners. The young should have regard for the old, and the
old should treat the young in brotherly manner, holding them equal to
themselves, and should support them. Anyone who is on a [spiritual] higher
level should not blame the one who has not yet attained to such a station (maqam), nor should he try to impose upon
him that which he has perceived. Rather, he should influence him gently and
Faithful’s needs and making their hearts cheerful, pleases Mawla. It will cause Divine Grace to overflow and the Wayfarer (salik) to progress.
Visiting a believer
with a spiritual aim (wijha) and presenting
him with a souvenir or a gift, visiting the sick, escorting the deceased, and
visiting their graves meet with the approval of God and the Saints.
Worldly motives and
perishable desires should not obscure Friendship and hinder service to each other.
Such things could bring about terms or a rift between them. For if two
believers are on bad terms with one another for three days, the aroma of Faith
in them will disappear.
In case of differences
arising, they should, as far as possible, be settled between them, because
whatever we seek by separation could be better achieved by kindness and unity.
intermediary is required, they should seek reconciliation through him, as one
of the duties of all believers is to reconcile their brethren. Once one hears
that a grievance or disagreement exists between two brethren, he should try
that it might not endure but be settled.
Moreover, as far as
possible, one should prevent that which could give rise to such disagreements
between believers, as conflict weakens both of them and all [believers] as
well. If the spending of some money is required, even though it be paid by the
reconciler himself, it is allowable and it is acceptable to God and is approved
of by Him. And between two believers and two lights one should not cause
disconnection and separate them.
They should assist
each other in their affairs unless it causes loss to another believer. In this
case one should observe the rights of both of them. In settling their
differences, if one of them is right, one should assist him and remove the
injustice done to him. In a dubious case, an effort should be made to reconcile
fraternal rights should also be taken into consideration regarding the
descendants of the believers who have passed away, especially if one of them
has left a son. All assistance should be given him so that the good reputation
of his father might be kept alive and that he might take his place.
outward manners, though unimportant in essence – as [it is said:] “Manners drop
between friends”21 – should be considered except in
special sessions of [spiritual] intimacy (uns)
and Faqr, especially if there is a new-comer
or a guest. It is for keeping up appearances and having regard for those who
are still bound to them and also because the attention of most people is
directed towards us.
It is admirable if
dignitaries show [a spirit of] fraternity and equality, and it is well-seeming
if the others hold them in due respect, having regard for outer appearances.
The secrets of the
believer should be kept and his faults should be concealed. If evil things are
said about him, one should kindly remove doubts about him and thus cleanse him
of such slander. And on the assumption that those things are true of him, one
should correct him kindly so that it might not be assumed that the evil-doings
of a believer are done with the approval of the Saints. Meanwhile, one should give
advice to him privately, because evil-doings, in addition to personal loss,
result in defamation of the Saints.
The acts of a
believer should be deemed, as far as possible, to be right. However, if there
is no way of their being justified, we should not divulge or spread them; nor
should it be declared that he is not a believer. And we cannot shun him, unless
an open utterance or an order is expressed by the Saints. Rather, we should
shun his evil deeds [but not he himself], as God in the Holy Qur’an praises or
condemns qualities and deeds but not the persons involved.
And we should not be
credulous of evil things which [are said about believers], as God calls the one
who says evil things about a believer an “unrighteous person”22 (fasiq). However,
if we become aware that his acts are against the approval of God and Mawla, we should advise him privately.
to a believer should be done both openly and secretly, whereas giving advice
should be done only in private so that he might not become despised before the
public and his soul come into conflict with himself. Even though an evil deed
is seen to be done by a believer, backbiting him before anybody, especially the
saints, is blameworthy and it does more harm to the slanderer himself [than to
the believer]. However, if resolving his difficulty can only be achieved in
telling it, and one hopes that [telling] it would have a good result, then
benevolence obliges one to till it, but not before people.
Any business, which
might lead to [questionable] differences, should not be done with a believer so
as not to result in irritation or in the breaking of the friendship, unless one
takes strong measures as if with strangers; and the concessions which are
planned for at the end should be brought forward at the start. There is a
well-known proverb among people which is full of wisdom and says: “Marriage
with relatives and transaction with strangers”.
To annoy, to injure,
to harm, to degrade, to reproach, or to ridicule a believer will cause the loss
of both this world and the Hereafter. Even being heedless of formal manners (adab) such as turning one’s face away
from a believer, turning one’s back to him, sleeping with one’s feet towards
his head, and so on are not permissible as far as they can be avoided.
Interfering in a
business which a believer intends to do in a way that might cause damage to him
is prohibited (haram).
Backbiting a believer
or finding fault with him is a great sin and has been strictly forbidden;
whereas giving advice to him, feeling pity for him, and being benevolent to him
are praiseworthy provided that one finds effective help thereby and that he is
not insulted. Speaking slanderously is worst than backbiting.
Also distrusting a believer,
imputing evil to him, spying into his affairs, exciting sedition and making
mischief between believers, and calling them names arouses the anger of God and
causes Him to withhold His favors.
Situation Involving Accusation
And although shunning
a believer is not allowed; nevertheless, due care should be taken in the
situation and places where one might become an object of accusation through his
fault, but one should not avoid him disrespectfully. Moreover, one should be
careful, lest the wrongdoing of that believer should affect oneself.
Since idleness, being
a burden to society, and having expectations from others are forbidden in the
Ni’matullahi Order and are also disapproved of by God, one should rather
encourage the believers to work, and be of assistance to them in that regard.
Attaching Importance to Commands and
Faith is (askin to)
cultivation, whose crop is harvested at the instant of death an is comfort and
benefit will be revealed after death. This cultivation should be irrigated with
good thoughts, good words, and good deeds so that it might grow and not wither,
and that the believer might perhaps profit from it before natural death by
“voluntary death ”23.
God has determined
goodness and has commanded that of which He approves. Thus, the requisite for attachment [to the Beloved] and faith in
Him is obedience. And whenever a friend
understands what pleases his Friend, he should act in accordance with it, not
to mention His commands and prohibitions.
He should obey automatically, and since this [obedience] is against [the
inclinations of] the lower soul (nafs),
laborious efforts (kulfat) should be
exerted to affect obedience. This is
why it is called “duty” (taklif)24.
Combining of Shari’at and tariqat
should attach great importance to [His] commands and prohibitions and not take
them lightly, and endeavors, as far as he can, to observe both the outward
rules and the Divine Law (shari’at)
and the inward manners(adab) and the
[spiritual] Path (tariqat). These two should not be separated from each
other, for neither of them is effective without the other.
Shari’at deals with the deeds related to
the body and tariqat deals with the
deeds related to the heart. Shari’at is to adorn the outward appearance (zahir) by obedience, while tariqat is to purify the inward being (batin) by praiseworthy morals, love, and
the remembrance of God and to illuminate the heart by knowing Him. Therefore,
these two are like shell and kernel, or word and meaning, or soul and body, or
lamp and light, or drug and its effect .
holding together of the outward (zahir)
and the inward [aspect of religion], or sahri’at
and tariqat has been and is still a
characteristic of the Ni’matullahi Order.
Therefore, one should take due care to observe them, and he who
considers himself nearer [to God] thereby should try harder in complying with
the rules inserted in the Holy Qur’an which are addressed to the Faithful. Even accomplishing worldly affairs such as
earning one’s living, increasing one’s wealth, supporting one’s family, and
taking allowable (halat) pleasure, if
done with the intention of obeying the commands which have been given, would
also be considered as a form of worship.
Islam, precepts are so inclusive that for any affair there is a command or prohibition,
and a Muslim can accomplish all his worldly affairs with the intention of
obeying the [command of] servitude to God.
Recitation of the Qur’an
reciting the Qur’an, which is the Divine commandment and the outer
manifestation of God’s Covenant with His servants, is a general command.
recite it, as far as possible, even a little, every day so that it might remind
us of our servitude and that we might remember the Covenant. We should understand its meaning as far as
we can [in Arabic], and reflect upon it.
And at the beginning of reciting, we should, while being pure and clean,
seek refuge in God from the evilness of Satan’s temptation, lest it should take
root in the heart and distort the Quran’s true meaning.
the Qur’an and directing one’s attention to God and the Divine Covenant are
good even for those who are not able to understand it without referring to its
translation. This has been commanded. Nevertheless, we should not be so absorbed
in its words that we lose its meaning and intention. It is praiseworthy to recite the translation of of the Qur’an, if it has been translated
well - except during the ritual prayer (namaz)
- in order to pay attention to some of the precepts and moral instructions and
earn them, so that we might know at least that what we have is better and
greater than what others claim to have.
The Ritual Prayer (Namaz)
ritual prayer is the pillar of religion.
It is the significant sign of being a Muslim, the turning of a servant
to God, and the gist of all prayers.
Therefore, if it is accepted, all the rest will be accepted and if it is
rejected, all the rest will be rejected.25 It is the first
Islamic precept, and it is more admirable if performed with the community. For the congregating of the Faithful is in
itself a prayer and it is also a blessing and an act of mercy.
believer should not be lazy and should perform particularly the morning and
evening ritual prayers, which are nearer to the form of the “middle namaz” (namaz-i-wusta), as far as he can, in their time. And he should try that his spiritual state (hal) might accord with his words. And his heart should be with the Beloved,
and he should consider Him present. By
the adhan (calling to prayer) and the
iqama (the second call to prayer), he
should prepare himself for making war against lower soul (nafs) and then, by the takbirat
al-ihram (pronouncing the words “God
is great”), should reject everything but Him and pass through the stages of the
Path in accordance with his words [in the prayer] until he presents himself
[before God] and utters the salam
(greeting). He should, of course, know
what he says, to whom he says it, and what he wants.
If he does not attain such a state and does not succeed, he should
consider himself unfit and negligent and reproach his soul (nafs) and bring the state of other
Wayfarers to mind so that he might set his soul in motion with the scourge of
allusions [to the namaz] are fully
detailed in the books of gnostics, especially in the books of the late Sultan
‘Ali Shah the Martyr (may his grave be sanctified).
performing the “supererogatory ritual prayers” (nawafil), he should endeavor meditatively and act in accordance
with His commands and his intention should be aimed only at Mawla.
exerting precision and exploration in the precepts of the ritual prayer, one
should try to recognize the allusions and general instructions which are
inferred from them and to comply with them.
They are such things as: admiration of cleanliness; the blameworthiness
of indisposition [towards duty]; the praiseworthiness of forming congregation
and community; admiration of the cessation of work until noon on Fridays; the
effectiveness of lecture and preaching; observance of charity; concentration of
thoughts and attentiveness (tawajjuh);
observance of household duties - as it is said, “ The mosque of a woman is her
house”,26 - equality and brotherhood;
obedience to the Saints; unity; preventing ourselves and others from cruelty;
observance of hygiene (health care); avoidance of making clothes and dishes of
gold and silver which are required by the public in doing business; lack of
attachment of men to ornamentation although they should be attached to
cleanliness; consideration towards companions and not offending them even by
our having a bad smell; getting relief from the hardships of worldly affairs by
directing one’s attention to God (tawajjuh);
admiration of being awake at early dawn; wishing for the faithful what we wish
for ourselves, as [in the namaz] the
words ihdina (guide us) denote more
than one person.
so are the commands on holding religious celebration - which is inferred from
the “ritual prayer on the two Festivals” (namaz-i
Idayn) and the “Friday ritual prayer” - ; interdicting the permissibility of
slandering the Faithful before God and the Saints, whereas the necessity of
interceding (shafa’at) for them -
which is inferred from the “ritual prayer for the dead” (namaz-i amwat) -; directing
one’s attention to God (tawajjuh) in
any change or revolation - which is inferred from the “ritual prayer of the
Signs” (namaz-i ayat) -; observing
economy and moderation even in consuming water; fearlessness together with
caution - which is inferred from the “ritual prayer of Fear” (namaz-i khawf), and so on all of which
an intelligent Muslim can perceive with careful consideration.
the believer should give attention to each matter so that he might perceive
what the Beloved approves of, and act in accordance with it.
And also after the
ritual prayer, he should, as far as possible, recite the litanies (awrad) and what follows the ritual
prayer (taqibat) with heartfelt
attention (tawajjuh) while grasping
their meanings and in the same place where the ritual prayer is performed. For in what has been commanded is to be
found God’s satisfaction and the training of the soul provided that one
performs it with heartfelt attention (tawajjuh). Moreover, in directing one’s attention [to
God] and in having resource to Him (tawassul),
improvement in the affairs of this world and the next, the lifting of sorrow
and grief, and the resolving of difficulties have been taken into consideration
(du’a), which is calling upon God, is
by the will of the heart (qalb),
whether it is pronounced or not. For willing with the heart, making a vow to
fast or to perform a ritual prayer for a certain work or making a vow to
dedicate [a portion of one’s] property, having recourse to the religious
Masters and asking the intercession of their pure spirits - since God has
allowed them to intercede (shafa’at)
on our behalf - , alms-giving and charity in the name of God, and so forth are
all different stages of supplication.
heartfelt attention (tawajjuh) and
aspiring by a believer are also a form of supplication and it would, of course,
be granted if made with whole-hearted attention and in the state of seeking
deliverance and helplessness which is breaking away from everything but God.
order that he might increase his tawajjuh
(attention to God) and have his heart in one direction, making clean his body
and clothes free of filth and dirt as well as of what belongs to others, purifying
his heart of un-cleanliness, repenting (tawba)
and inaba (returning to God),
[eating] legitimate food, observing the Divine Law (Shar’), not being disheartened, and having a general or a
particular permission have all been commanded.
supplication (du’a) is more suitable
and much nearer to being granted at the time of the outpouring of Divine Mercy,
during the gathering of the Faithful with spiritual intention and when the
Faithful are in a state of intimate conversation [with God]. Especially when the Faithful are in a state
of repentance and in their sessions and circles of invocation, in which cases
God’s Mercy includes all, then one should not be negligent [of
supplication]. And verbal supplication if
raised from the heart, uttered or recited also by mouth and with due attention
so that it might affect the heart and become a spiritual state (hal), would be a true supplication. Recitation of special supplications, if
assuredly received from the Saints, for learning the manner of praying and
intimate conversation with God and the way of [inner] politeness is much
praised. The least to be gained thereby
is the recognition that man should not attend to the outer world instead of his
inner self or deem himself sinless.
Rather, he should always bring his sins to mind, take refuge in God, and
ask Him forgiveness for himself, his brethren, parents, ancestors, and his
children. He should ask God for their
well-being, should remember the deceased and ask forgiveness and mercy for
them, and ask for the supplications of the brethren to be granted.
has permitted the Prophet (may God bless him and his Descendants) to intercede
and has approved of his intercession (shafa’at),
the believer should, at the beginning and at the end of supplication, grasp his
Majesty by the skirt (i.e. appeal to him) and utter the “formula of God’s
blessing upon the prophet” (salawat). And in asking God’s forgiveness (istighfar), mercy, strength, the
granting of wealth and children, abundance and an increase of favors, and
heavenly and earthly blessings have also been promised as well as His
forgiveness27. Therefore, while
supplicating, he should be in the state of asking [God’s] forgiveness and
invoke its formula and not wish for worldly things which are base, and not be
content with low demands to be fulfilled by the Generous One but should leave
them to God, as He manages our chief requirements Himself. And he should not wish for anyone’s misfortune,
because it will bring trouble.
that he finds a [spiritual] state of praying is the time for his prayer to be
granted, and any night that he spends in servitude, the door will be opened to
him and it will become the “Night of Power” (Shab-I-Qadr) for him; nevertheless, his tawajjuh (attention to God) increases and becomes more effective at
those times that have been mentioned and dedicated to the act of
worshipping. Similarly, at those times
when a Saint has succeeded in uniting [with God] or a door has been opened to
the people, our attentiveness (tawajjuh)
would certainly become more perfect.
Early Dawn (Sahar)
And the hours of early dawn, when the
weather is clear and the body is in a state of comfort and the spirit is bright
and pure and he has not yet engaged in worldly affairs, are the best hours of
the day for him to bring his sins to mind and make intimate conversation with
the Generous One who is free from want.
Spiritual and bodily benefits and success in worldly and other-worldly
affairs can be gained abundantly by wakefulness between the “two dawns” (the
true dawn and sunrise). And from among
the days of the week, Friday, and from among the months, Ramadhan is much
favored [as times of prayer].
In Islam, Friday has
been appointed as a festival for Muslims and the “Friday ritual prayer” has
been determined to replace the “noon ritual prayer”. On this occasion people
should gather together; in every village or city a congregation should be
arranged and people should also come from every surrounding district; two
sermons should be delivered in which God and Prophet (may God bless him and his
Descendants) should be praise and glorified and prayers should be said to God;
and general advice and necessary instructions according to circumstance be
given. In Qur’an also one chapter (sura) has been revealed under the name
of “Friday”. Thursday night and Friday
are distinguished and have been dedicated to worship. And from this gathering all kinds of worldly and other-worldly
interests are derived, and it is [a sign of] the splendor of Islam and Muslims
and is a representation of their obedience, unanimity, and unity.
conducting of business and economic development after [Friday ritual] prayer
has been taken into consideration.
Unfortunately, among the Sh’ites during the “Occultation” (ghaybat) less
importance has been given to it so that even its name is not heard nowadays,
and all have been deprived of this grace.
However, fuqara, thank God, have assigned Thursday night and Friday for
worship, religious visits, and services and do not become involved in worldly
affairs until Friday afternoon. And
they have held and still do hold sessions on Thursday nights. This Faqir’s desire (i.e. the author’s) is
also that they should not, as far as they can, give up this admirable habit and
should be present, as far as they can, at the Faqr sessions which are held on Thursday nights.
Sunday night has also
priority over other nights, and it is better, if it is possible, to hold Faqr sessions also on that night; though
religious gathering is always desirable and is admired, provided that it does
not prevent those believers from attending to their business and work and does
not cause trouble.
together of the Faithful with the spiritual aim (wijha) will excite Love and will bring blessing and honor. And the Faqr
sessions should be dedicated to worship and they should be involved in the
remembrance of God and in heartfelt attentiveness to Him (tawajjuh). If an authorized
person is present there the ritual prayer (namaz)
should be performed in congregation.
And the excellence of practicing musafaha
will increase on Friday. Reading the books
of the gnostics, by which the religious matters and true knowledge are called
to mind and taught, is also useful and increases one’s knowledge and
insight. Besides, in meeting each other
[in such sessions], they will be informed about each other and so the
Faithful’s needs will be granted.
The length of sitting
and staying there differs according to circumstances, places, and the spiritual
state of fuqara. However, if they want and are able to stay
with one another until morning or if they want to stay awake until morning,
without troubling anybody, it is most praiseworthy. There is no objection to the presence of the non-brethren in the
general Faqr sessions, even though
they observe nothing but outward manifestations and take mostly no benefit other
than what their eyes see or their ears hear.
But practicing Faqr musafaha
with those who are outside this Order is not allowed.
Fasting has been
commanded in the Divine law (shari’at)
for the training of the soul, habituating it in the practice of obedience,
breaking the carnal desires, decreasing animal powers, purifying of the spirit,
being aware of the conditions of the poor, and for other reasons. It takes place in the month of Ramadan under
certain circumstances and instructions.
And to the extent
that bodily desires are decreased, the [strength of] spirit increases. The healthy condition which has been
promised becomes apparent by fasting28,
whereas indisposition results from changes in the conditions of sleep
and wakefulness [during fasting] and also from gluttony, laziness,
incontinence, sleeping during the two dawns (the true dawn and sunrise), and
Man should not become
so attached to his stomach and genitals that he cannot bear to have his meal,
for instance, one or two hours late, or is terrified of having it late. It is only the temptation of the lower soul
(nafs) and its urges during servitude
and obedience [to God], which should be resisted.
We should make every effort so that the
day and the night of fasting be spent in remembering God and that all organs
and faculties be restrained from opposing the Divine Command and from worldly
The Alma-Tax (Zakat) One-Fifth (Khums)
The alms-tax (zakat), levied on financial incomes, has
been assigned for public use, and one-fifth (khums) of booty and incomes has been assigned to the pilgrims and
the descendants of the Prophet (may God bless him and his Descendants and grant
them peace) and to the Imam and the
needy who are related to them.
And other obligatory
or recommended alms are assigned for decreasing the attachment of the heart to
the world and for turning one’s attention to the true ownership of God
Almighty, exerting control on the earnings or incomes, and for keeping an
account of the expenses or expenditures so that a believer might be able, as
far as possible, to live on his income and not spend more than he receives,
lest he should be encumbered with debts.
Furthermore, blessings have been promised for giving alms29.
And the Giver who
provides the daily bread can decrease or increase it, or bestow it in a way
which cannot be thought of, and can preserve or take it away. Much emphasis has been laid, especially on
paying the fitra (zakat of the breaking of the fast) which
is an expression of servitude and the remembrance of the Allegiance (bay’at), and is a manifestation of the
primordial nature (fitrat) of Faith.
Giving the recommended alms such as giving
a banquet and assisting the Faithful, giving charitable gifts to the poor and
feeding and clothing them, constructing building such as bridges, pools, baths,
mosques, hospitals, schools, and so forth for public welfare - if one can
afford it and with due observance of moderation - is admired by God and people
as well; and it brings about friendship, security, and prevention of troubles
and calamities. And the giving of them
should not be restricted to a certain group; rather, the welfare of all mankind
should be taken into consideration. And
the less outward show of giving without sincerity and the less obligation
involved without any result, the better it will be.
The Pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj)
A pilgrimage to Mecca
(hajj) is obligatory on every Muslim
provided that by traveling to Mecca on a pilgrimage and returning from there,
his normal life will not be disturbed.
Many good results such as training, exploring, increasing intelligence
and experience, blessings, and appreciation of favors will become apparent
after this pilgrimage.
The Holly War (Jihad)
The “greater holy
war” (jihad-i-akbar), which is the struggle
against the lower soul for servitude to God and a detachment from the world, is
obligatory on the Faithful, who should fight against Satan with the arms of
invocation (dhikr) and meditation (fikr) and by appealing to the inward
being (batin) of the Pir for aspiration (himmat). Outward
efforts for the advancement and protection of Islamism, giving one’s property
and life for the sake of the Truth, fighting the “lesser holy war” (jihad-i- asghar) - in cases commanded
by the Imam - with foreign enemies
and fighting with arms are all obligatory on every Muslim. But the “lesser holy war” is not obligatory
on those who are exempt from it.
Likewise, defense against an invader is obligatory at any time that
And learning the
rules of fighting is a requisite, at ant time, for Muslims in general, and
particularly for the Shi’ites who are waiting for the appearance of the Imam (i.e. the Promised Mahdi) and for fighting in the “Holy
War” in the wake of that Exalted One (i.e the Imam).
Enjoining the Good and Forbidding the Evil
Enjoining what is
good (ma’ruf) and forbidding what is
evil (munkar) are two steadfast
pillars and two watchmen of Islam, the commanding of which is the duty only of the
“Masters of the Command” (sahiban-i-amr)
or of those who have come into [spiritual] contact with them, and themselves
have complied with that which is right and have been relieved from the
calamities of the lower soul. These
people have been placed under the protection of God and can realize what is
good or bad for others and accordingly enjoin or forbid them as circumstances
permit and to the extent necessary and as required for their advancement.
These two are, at the appropriate time, the duties
of all Muslims as wishing beneficiaries for the brethren, guiding them in doing
good, accompanying them in doing good and being virtuous, advancing and
protesting the Divine Law, preventing the spread of wickedness, heartfelt
disgust at all evil, and encouraging and assisting them to do good, provided
that they can discriminate between good and evil and know the appropriate time
to do so. It is most important that
they themselves comply with what they say; and, of course, the best way of
enjoining or forbidding, which is generally effective, is by setting an example
through our own way of behaving.
Recommended Acts (Mustahabbat)
precepts and Divine commands which have been mentioned in the Quran or those
given by the Saints, who are the exponents of the Quran, should, as far as
possible, be complied with and one should not be negligent of them, for they
are admired by the Beloved and everything which is admired thus has been called
a “recommended act”30 (mustahabb)
in jurisprudence (fiqh) and should be
performed as far as is possible. And in
most cases, even worldly results are also obtained by their performance.
Ritual Purification (Taharat)
Since a believer is
always remembering God and thus a performer of the ritual prayer, he must,
inasmuch as possible, already have performed the ghusl (the major ritual ablution) and if it was not possible, he
must have performed the wudu ( the
minor ritual ablution); other than these, he must have performed the tayammum (the ritual ablution with dust
and earth). They are protections
against Satan and arms for the holy war (jihad). Especially, in visiting the Faithful and in
religious sessions and while reciting the Qur’an, purification and emitting a
wholesome aroma are praiseworthy.
Likewise, he should make effort to purify the inward being (batin), too.
has been prohibited is that which places a Wayfarer (salik) at a distance from God and makes the heart impure and ties
it to the world. Therefore, he should
refrain from it and give up the fleeting imaginary pleasures in order to attain
He should not contaminate himself by evil
deeds which are not in accordance with the intellect and which offend the
Saints, thereby making him to be repugnant to people and to be defamed; thus
turning him into an object of dislike, while often the effects will remain
Holy Divine Law of Islam, the good (ma’ruf)
and the evil (munkar) have been
specified and the way of avoiding the evil has been prescribed. And they are fully explained in certain
books and all Muslims should mostly be familiar with them. To mention them here will take a long time
and will produce a lengthy book.
And some sins, which often destroy the
state of repentance and become settled in the soul, have been called “deadly”
and severely prohibited in the Qur’an.
Lesser sins are counted as “venial”, the insistence upon which
ultimately overshadows the soul and darkens the heart. These venial sins might be found in all
forms of worship, transactions, and social relationships.
For instance, gambling - which destroys families,
habituates people to idleness, confuses the mind, and which turns friends into
enemies - is an evil action from which a wise man should refrain.
So are the intoxicating drinks by which the reason,
which distinguishes man from other animals and is the source of good qualities
and deeds, becomes feeble. Opium,
Indian hemp, and bhang are also counted as intoxicating [in their effect].
Poverty (Faqr) or dervishhood is the cutting of the attachment of the heart away from
everything but God and the turning of one’s face towards the non-material world
and the having of one’s body with people while keeping the heart aloof from
them. But this is not incompatible with
marriage and taking a wife. Rather,
marriage is an Islamic Tradition (sunnat),
and it keeps the believer safe from numerous dangers and ensures his daily
bread. Thus, if he performs his duty
and tolerates hardships, it will be a preceptor for the Wayfarer (salik).
And solitude is not allowable except in cases of compelling necessity.
In taking a wife, he should not be
concerned only with her property and beauty; even her educational knowledge in
itself is not useful. Rather, he should
take into consideration her inherent nobility, piety, chastity, morals, and
dignity. It is also necessary for him
to be cautious of her not having a contagious disease. Furthermore, he should also take into
consideration her ability to give birth to a child which is required for the
survival of mankind and which is the result of marriage. And
he should, as far as possible, keep himself away from undue formalities
both before and after marriage, for such impediments mostly hinder him from
getting married and later create troubles and impairments.
associating with women, he should behave with kindness and forgiveness and
guide them in accordance with the Saints’ orders so that they might willy-nilly
become aware of their duties helped by his kindness and might act
accordingly. They, too, in turn, should
not exceed their duties.
main objective is the survival of the generation, intemperance in sexual
intercourse is not allowed, for the essential materials for the survival of the
body diminishes and a man’s health become damaged. In this respect, compliance
with the Saint’s orders is preferred.
However, eating legitimate (halal)
food and remembering God [at the time of intercourse] together with the
intention of obeying [Him] are necessary so that in case of the birth of a
child, it might be a good one.
And since the ability to exert justice is
very rare, he, by taking more than one wife, does not get any benefit except
that he puts himself to [undue] trouble; unless he does it out of helplessness
or in case of necessity.
And divorce is
blameworthy before God and people and is unpleasant in the eyes of the Prophet31
(may God bless him and his Descendants) except in cases of necessity. It is better to show forbearance, as far as
he can, towards women when they are unpleasant. Such action is more pleasant than divorce.
And mothers should be
familiar with the necessary rules of motherhood and of hygiene for themselves and
their children from the beginning of pregnancy and during it and after the
delivery of the child and during breast-feeding and their menses. They should
also know about the necessary rules of physical and spiritual training for
The spiritual state
and emotional condition of parents during sexual intercourse will have an
effect on the child. Moreover, their
physical condition and their thoughts will affect the shape, mentality, and
temperament of the child and even its becoming a boy or a girl. Therefore, they should take due care.
Children up to the
age of seven are under the care of their mother and during this period she
teaches them how to speak and act and eat their food properly. Thus, their future is influenced by the
virtue and wisdom of their mother.
After this period, children are mostly under the care of their father
The training of the body and the mind of children, including
their education, is the duty of their parents.
Reading and writing can be deemed necessary for everybody. Even reading foreigners’ books, after
reading our own books and after acquiring clear-sightedness regarding our own
Saints’ commands, is good for everyone in order to increase information,
whereas learning about [religious] beliefs and necessary precepts, to the
extent required, is indispensable to everybody. However, learning the various religious or worldly sciences to
the extent possible, if the necessary means are provided, is considered to be a
virtue and an excellence.
Since human beings
have been created to be naturally civilized, they are in need of each
other. Therefore, they should assist
each other and everyone should undertake some work so that he might not become
an idle body and a burden to society.
The believer should rely upon God, show magnanimity, and refrain from
expectation and covetousness. For it is
blameworthy to count on and have reliance upon even the outward reality (zahir) of the Saints. Rather, he should appeal to their inner
And by doing work which is admired by God,
he should make every effort possible and not be content only with learning the
art of his master; but rather, he should always exert curiosity in finding the
unknown and improving his own art. If
he has enough property to live on, he should assist society, even though he
does it by looking after and improving his own property, the accomplishment of
which will provide repose and rest for people.
should keep aloof from begging and theft which are severely prohibited in Islam
and which are the two negative aspects of business, lest they should also
appear in his legitimate (halal) business.
not transgress the instructions given in the Divine Law (shari’at) for
transactions, because the True Owner (i.e. God) does not allow him to take
possession of such property thereby obtained.
In doing business, he should seek God’s satisfaction and should be of
assistance to His servants.
And he should keep
aloof from usury which in particular ha been severely condemned in the Quran32
and is in fact a declaration of war against God and the Prophet. But usury is different from the “contract of
partnership” (mudaraba) and sale
which are allowable.
Some businesses which are prohibited and
which are also unpleasant and disgraceful to people such as butchery, hunting,
and hoarding are obvious in their lack of blessing.
Giving Little, Asking Much and Fairness
And giving short
weight or short measure and charging to excess are blameworthy. Rather, a
believer in all his thoughts, words, and deeds should not sell for too little
or buy for too much, and he should do as he would be done by. This is one of the concepts of fairness.
He should abstain
from what habituates man to idleness and makes him a burden to society, let
alone its perniciousness, such as falling into the habit of attending the
pleasure-seeking parties and of drinking, gambling, playing hermetic magic,
smoking opium and Indian hemp, and so forth.
Because the Islamic precepts are based on working, manliness, and
servitude to God.
Moderation in any
work is praiseworthy so that the body might not become worn-out, the soul might
not get tired, and the physical constitution might not become weak. Working hours should be six to eight hours a
day depending on whether it is mental or physical work, whether it is cold or
hot as well as on the kind of work, one’s physical constitution, and on the
place of work; unless circumstances require it to be otherwise. Laziness is similarly blameworthy and is
destructive to the rights of society.
And being bound to business and work has always been and is still one of
the distinctions of the High Ni’matullahi
Order who in their efforts, thank God, have served and still serve as examples.
And in expenditure, the believer should
practice moderation, for haste or laziness in any work is blameworthy. As it was mentioned before, he should not
let his expenditure exceed his income.
Rather, after saving up a small part of his income, he should divide the
remainder into various parts for spending on his life. This is the true meaning of contentment and
compatibility. But he should not make
life hard for himself when he is able to manage otherwise. Furthermore, in matters of expenditure, a
man should not look at those who have more than he has, for he will always be
dissatisfied. Rather, he should look at those who have less so that he might
always feel content.
All people (khalq) are the resultant effects and
signs of the Truth (Haqq). Therefore, we should, in accordance with the
“Divine Covenant”, be compassionate and kind to all and make efforts so that
the eye of the heart might open and we might recognize all as mirrors for
seeing the Beloved.
Under any condition,
we should not desire evil to others, and we should keep company with and be
benevolent to all mankind. We should be
like a father to little ones, a brother to the young, and a child to the old,
and assist everyone in his work providing that nobody is hurt thereby. And the Faithful, of course, have priority
over others and we should attend on them, love them especially, and be in unity
with them. The Muslims have priority
over the “People of the Book” (ahl-i-kitab)
and the latter, in turn, have priority over others.
In associating with people, the believer
should behave cheerfully, gently, and kindly. Showing a bad temper to anyone is
blameworthy, creates dejection, gives him trouble, and spoils his actions. It also causes pressure of the gravestone
[on the body after death], which is a manifestation of pressure on the heart;
whereas good behavior and cheerfulness produce good results.
Good to Parents
And especially to the
temporal parents, who are the intermediaries for the birth of our earthly
bodies, we should be benevolent and obedient, because from the beginning of the
seed taking shape and during pregnancy, breast-feeding, and childhood until
youth, they have suffered much pain and overlooked their own pleasures for the
sake of their children; and as long as they are alive, their kindness towards
their children is ever-increasing. And
God has commanded that we should do good to our parents secondly to serving Him33. Especially, when they reach old age, we
should not be negligent in nursing them.
Even if they are against religion, then only in religious matters they
should not be followed but we should maintain fair sociability.
of the “Bonds of Family Relationships”
relatives, we should also show kindness according to the degree of their
closeness to us and not let them break up or separate. Rather, we should strengthen their
unity. Because observation of the
“bonds of relationship” increases one’s life-span and property and removes
calamity, whereas keeping away from one’s relatives shortens the life-span.
If there is any
slight friction, it should be prevented so that it might not spread and
increase. Because if a mild complaint
about a brother is not averted, it will certainly be talked about before his
children and will become inherent in them and will result in enmity. And both sides should show forgiveness, and
if they have affection for each other and their relatives, they should set
selfishness aside. For in associating
with anybody we should show tolerance and approach him in his desires. If there is any fault in him, we should try
to remove it gradually with kindness.
And we should not like him in accordance with our own desires, for in
this case we should be left friendless.
Sects of Islam
And in relation to
all sects of Islam, whether Shi’ite
or Sunnite or any others, all of
which are under the flag of one word34 and have the same religion, the same
Prophet, the same book, and one qiblah,
we should maintain an Islamic brotherhood with due consideration for religious
solidarity. And the believers are to be
taken for brethren and the brethren of the Path should be chosen to be served.
the Religious Scholars
And particularly with
regards to the honorable order of the ‘ulama’
(the religious scholars), who are authorized to relate the Traditions (rawayat) and have been appointed to
propagate the religious precepts, also the order of the ‘urafa’ (the gnostics) -
who are authorized in giving insight (dirayat)
and have been appointed to refine men’s souls, discipline morals, and draw the
attention of people towards God - the aspect of their relationship and
representativeness are to be taken into consideration and the aspect (wijha) of their spirituality to be
These two orders are like the two hands of the same person or like the
two departments of the same office and have always been united and have never been
in dispute or in disagreement with each other.
However, disagreement on political grounds was induced at the end of the
reign of the Safawids and the ignorant of both sides were deceived. This very act was one of the causes that led
to the overthrow of the Safawids.
Afterwards, no considerable measures were taken to settle the
differences. But, thank God, there are
no differences among the learned on either side.
And the ‘ulama have acquired knowledge from the Prophet
through intermediaries, and knowledge is the exemplar and inheritance of
prophecy35. The ‘ulama
are the leaders of the Muslims and the representatives of the Saints in
narrating the religious precepts. If,
however, one of them acts in a manner contrary to his duty, speaking ill of his
[religious] title or him is not allowed.
Rather, blame should be aimed at the bad qualities and evil deeds of
individuals. Therefore, insulting the
title of one having [religious] knowledge [as the ‘ulama have] is an evil act.
Descendants of the Prophet
Moreover, we should
have respect for the descendants36 of the Prophet, with whom they are
corporeally related. It is, of course, the descendants’ duty to protect this
respect and maintain the reputation of the Islamic community (millat) by showing magnanimity, piety,
and lack of covetousness.
The Sufi Orders
Similarly, behavior towards
the followers of the Faqr Orders and
those who are apparently related to the [spiritual] Path should be based on
tolerance, religious brotherhood, and the following of similar paths, and we
should keep a good and friendly company with them. Having knowledge of and
confidence in one’s own Path or tenet as well as being firm in following it
compels the showing of kindness towards them, because the name of the Beloved
is also heard by them and they are not in opposition.
But practicing musafaha with other dervishes in our own
way requires a knowledge of their true connection [with the Prophet] ;
therefore, it is not allowed.
We should not speak
ill of the others, for praise and blame should be laid on morals and actions.
Furthermore, we should take [God’s words] into consideration: “And those who
strive in Our [Cause], surely we shall guide them to Our Paths.”37
Above all, we should not speak ill of the leader of any
order, nor should we take the attitude of rejecting the ways of others, as it
brings enmity and increases obstinacy.
Insulting and Cursing
And it is not allowed
to insult or curse anybody, unless it has been expressed explicitly by the Saints
and handed down to us, for it brings disagreement, discord, and
corruption. Besides, we should only
seek denouncement of and estrangement from Satan, the lower soul and its
appearances, and evil deeds by our heart and deeds and secretly; not openly or
by giving utterance. As [in the ritual
prayer] “taking refuge in God from Satan” (isti’adhi)
after takbirat al-ihram (pronouncing
the words Allahu akbar, “God is
great” and before pronouncing the bismillah (in the name of God) is recommended
to be uttered quietly. Then bismillah
is uttered loudly.
And speak favorably
of the deceased and the dead and do not speak ill of them, as you are not aware
of their state at the time of death, unless it is related to us from the
Saints, who are present at that time.
Because only considering someone to be bad, and not speaking ill of him,
is allowed in the words of the Saints.
Respecting the Honorable
Show respect to the
honorable who claim outward respect. Give
due regard according to the degree of rank and do not cause stimulation of envy
and enmity among others.
In speaking to a person, the subject discussed
should be said in words, which are familiar to him and which are to his taste
so that he might not become annoyed and turn away from truth, for man is the
enemy of what he does not understand.
And in answering any
question, if you are assured that your words will have an effect, speak only of
that which you are certain; otherwise, refer the questioner to those who are
wiser. And do not argue about your Way,
as it darkens the heart and reveals [bad] intentions. When a dervish calls
others [to his Way], it should be accomplished with good deeds, praiseworthy qualities,
and sociability; not just with utterances of mouth. Although assisting a seeker [verbally] and helping him to
understand and removing doubt from a person who is in doubt are necessary,
prescribing medicine for a person who feels no pain is without effect and only
increases his bigotry.
Fairness on One’s Words
And bigotry and
unfairness displayed by anyone and at any place is blameworthy, as His Eminence
Mawla [Ali] – peace be upon him – has
said: “Look at what is said, not at who has said it.” And the evil deeds of the
Faithful, more than anything else, keep the people away from the Truth,
although the deeds of the followers should not be taken as a basis for judging
the goodness or badness of the way. However, the expectation of the public is
to see us doing good deeds.
Moreover, by the mere
fact that corruption dominates over our times and environment, we should not
despair and surrender ourselves to the lower soul and evil deeds, as [it is
sail in the Qur’an]: “He who is astray cannot hurt you, if you follow [right]
Pharaoh’s wife could
protect her faith among the Pharaonic. You should also protect yourselves to
the greatest extent possible so that your privilege might be revealed.
Do not pay heed to
the vice of others and do not speak ill of them because of their evil deeds.
Rather, keep away from their wrong-doings and prevent them from such deeds
providing that you can do it in a kind manner.
And if they speak ill of you, which is the result of their ignorance,
reply peacefully and benevolently.
Moreover, if they ever do evil to you, leave them, as far as possible,
to God and even forgive them, for the “Promoter of affairs” ( i.e. God )
Himself looks after our affairs.
And in association with people, keep away from
those by whose evil deeds you might be affected or whom you might become an
object of accusation. Keep away from sessions where they smoke opium, Indian
hemp juice, bhang and so forth; but do not keep away from nor disdain
companionship or association with the poor. through
Association With the God
And in association with
the people of Truth and the servants of God, for the sake of God, do not fear
to be blamed and be not afraid. Behave towards everyone with kindness and
certainty; but you should also keep a wary eye even on your closet friend so
that if he turns out to be the worst enemy, he might not have any pretext for
finding fault with you.
Keeping the Secrets
And, as far as
possible, the believer should not reveal his secrets to anybody, and he should
also keep the secrets of people and not spoil their trust. He should not listen
to slanders about others; neither should he believe nor give effect to them.
For personal motives are plenty and parti-colored; rather, he should be
observant of them. The believer should be trustworthy and treat all people
honestly and truthfully and protect the lives, property, reputation, and honor
Obeying the Law
You should have
respect for public law and obey it and, as far as you can, do not exceed the limits
of your personal duties. Moreover, you should be engaged in your own work and
not involved in political affairs, lest you should be used as a tool and a
pretext for executing the objectives of others. You should not interfere in
other person’s affair either.
The Right of
People and Paying One’s Debts
In doing business and
settling accounts with people, you should be prompt to render accounts and
should keep your promise, as one who is prompt to render accounts is trusted to
share in people’s property.39
And we should repay,
at our earliest convenience, the loan that we have taken and not
leave it until it is demanded, for irresponsibility closes the door of kindness
to us and to others and has made usury more popularized.
If you have been
acquitted on a charge by a court and deem yourself indebted before yourself and
God, you should pay your debt, as [paying] the “right of people” is more
strictly observed than paying the “right of God.” Because if we do not pay the
“right of God,” though it is very strictly observed and belessing has been
promised if we pay it.40 He will waive it and forgive us
if we repent and ask for forgiveness, whereas the “right of people,” unless it
is waived by them, will hardly be forgiven [by God]. If someone owes you and is
unable to pay and if it is impossible for you to overlook it, you should give
him a period of grace. Moreover, it is better to make such an arrangement that
he might be able both to earn his living and to pay his loan.
And you should have
mercy on your inferiors, and their training and education should be done kindly
and gently. We should treat the inferiors in the same way as we ourselves
expect to be treated by our superiors.
The neighbor of your
house or landed property, whoever he might be, should be treated with due consideration,
let alone your partner.
To a stranger,
particularly if he does not have any acquaintance, you should show kindness and
make him feel at home.
You should look after
and comfort on orphan, who is left without a protector, and not treat him
harshly, An ignorant person, who does not know the value of a Man of Knowledge
and has not experienced the enjoyment of the [spiritual] love, should not be treated
harshly. Rather, one should make him understand [the Truth] gently and lead him
to it. The widows who have no family or relatives and the respectable who have
fallen into contempt and the debtors who without being negligent have sustained
a loss and feel shame before their creditors, should be considered and given
mercy. Supplying the needs of Muslims, visiting the sick, assisting the poor
and attending their funerals, visiting graves, consoling the injured, and
helping the weak and the helpless are all requisites of Faith.
between two persons is not allowed, unless when it is in the interests of
religion and has been commanded. And in quoting other people’s words, one
should be careful not to incite any form of sedition.
Tormenting a Muslim
Finding fault with
Muslims and the tormenting of them by a fellow Muslim, from whose hands and
tongue all Muslims should be unassailable, 41 is a grave misdeed. Any form of
mockery, taunt, cursing, gossip, and concealment of truth do not tally with
having Faith. Moreover, a believer should attend to his faults instead of those
Method of Life
A believer should
show foresight in his own and other people’s affairs and should deliberate over
them. He should consult with someone who is wiser than he and thereupon select that
which is in the interests of [his] religion and the world and act accordingly;
for consultation protects a man from slipping.
Asking God for Proper Guidance (Istikhara)
And if he feels
uncertain about doing something and the doubt is not removed after
consultation, he may practice istikhara
(asking God for proper guidance) and thereby ask God to show him the good and
the evil of this affair. Whatever is replied will be to his benefit. Reliance
upon God (tawakkul) and letting
matters take their course is also a kind of istikhara,
for whatever is advisable will happen.
temptations of the lower soul (nafs)
should not keep him away from doing his work, for ornithomancy or taking a
thing as a bad omen is prohibited. And one’s thoughts should not be fettered to
or disturbed by those things whose natural effects are unknown and have not
been confirmed by a Saint, for even giving utterance to them is prohibited, as
it agitates the soul. If such a thought comes into his mind, he should ask
God’s forgiveness (istighfar) and
take refuge in Him and give alms to a needy person, so it will be removed.
Taking as a Good Omen
And taking a thing as
a good omen is admirable, for it strengthens hope, makes resolution firm, and
sets the heart at rest.
And since man is,
from the beginning of his birth until the end of his life, under the influence
of wahima (the faculty of
imagination) and is not even for a single moment relieved from the
image-forming act of wahima and since
the flourishing of the world is achieved by means of wahima, it cannot be totally overcome and by escaping from one
imagined thing (mawhum) he falls into
imagined things are ways and openings to truth. Therefore, he should pay
attention to their origins and their ultimate purpose and find out the meaning
of those which have been related to us from the Saints and take them into
consideration, for they are affected by the strong spirit of the
“Representative of God.”
And some of the
imagined things which conform to natural effects, whether open or hidden, or
which have spiritual effects, or are effective in training people or useful in
giving comfort to them, or without which people neglect to perform their humane
or religious duties, should not be considered mere imagined things. Rather,
they should be regarded as being real according to their different stages.
And those, which are not, so, even if they show
some effects, as the result of the focusing of attention on them by certain
souls, should be termed “imagined things.” Therefore, what has been affirmed by
the Saints and has produced a positive effect should be honored.
There are many
imagined things or proverbs, aimed at ethical instruction or educational
purposes, which should be explored and circulated. And those imagined things which
are common and are proverbial among people of any group, village, or town
should not be disregarded openly as long as they are the subjects of attention.
For, as a result of the attention paid to them by these souls, they give rise
to some effects. Therefore, one should dissuade people from them and
And in performing
worldly affairs, which are not urgent, the believer should not hasten to accomplish
them beforehand; especially in taking revenge and reprimanding, it is better to
hesitate and delay so that it might not lead him to a feeling of remorse.
Preparations for any form of work should be made beforehand so that when the
time comes, he might not encounter difficulties or make undue haste, for making
haste in doing something before its proper time is not propitious. It is also
not right to make preparations just at the time of doing something.
Furthermore, delay brings disaster too.
and indolence, which result in losing one’s opportunity, is blameworthy. But
when performing and carrying out religious affairs or affairs of great urgency,
haste is praiseworthy. Showing moderation [in the performance of the work],
which is desirable in any affair, is the grasping of the right opportunities;
and one should follow it.
Eating and Drinking
In eating and
drinking, even though the food supplied is lawful (halal) and is taken with the remembrance of God, the believer
should not over-indulge for it makes him unhealthy.
In having sexual intercourse with his lawful wife, he should
not exceed the limits, as it weakens his temperament.
which cannot be omitted, should not exceed the moderate limits. He should not
sleep more than one third of a day and not less than one fourth. And he should
go to sleep with the remembrance of God. Furthermore, immediately after having
a meal, he should neither sleep nor lie on his back.
And he should not be
extravagant with his clothes, nor should he be too Spartan with himself. He
should not be bound to special clothes and should show moderation even in the
size of them. One of the distinctions of the fugara of the Ni’matullahi
Order is this very fact of their not being bound to special clothes. However,
it is necessary for them to keep their clothes neat and clean.
And cleanliness is
praiseworthy in any affair and is encourage in Islam. Instructions have
especially been given to perform the wudu
(the monor ritual ablution), which is a day, and the ghusl (the monor ritual ablution), which is washing the whole body,
whether as an obligatory duty on certain occasions or as a recommended duty on
days of communal gathering such as Fridays and Feasts and when going on a
religious visit. For keeping clean and preventing the spirit from becoming
depressed and in order not to excite disapproval in the Faithful and among
companions, even using pleasant scent has been approved. Similarly, the
trimming of certain hair and protecting and keeping the rest clean in order
that it might not cause disgust has been commanded. Shortening one’s clothes,
taking a bath, paring one’s nails, trimming one’s beard, sweeping and removing
cobwebs have also been ordered.
especially for men, is useful. In our time, because of security and
availability of good roads and means, travelling has been made easy.
The believer should
make sure that he does not content himself with the mere outward experience of
travelling, for the inner and outward [experience of] journeying and visiting
various countries as well as meeting different people and celebrated men will
increase his knowledge and will provide him with education and experience. This
will also provide him with means of trade, prosperity, and recreation and will
prepare the way for him to be acquainted with customs and peoples. Therefore,
as long as the order of life is not broken, travelling is praiseworthy.
Last Will and Testament
And it has been
commanded that once he has determined to make a journey, he should also
remember the journey to death and, thus, make his will and write his testament.
Writing one’s testament is very good at all events and it is not only peculiar
to the sick or the traveler but is auspicious in itself. And since the believer
should have his death in mind, he should also put his worldly affairs in order.
Idle Talk and Action
And a believer should
refrain from idle and useless talk and action, seeking God’s satisfaction in
what he does, and not spoil himself, his life, and his faculties, which are
entrusted to him by God and not keep himself occupied with baubies.
excessive joking is also considered idle; and especially with hot-tempered
persons and with those who cannot take a joke, it is inadmissible. Furthermore,
excessive, loud, and inopportune laughter, especially in the presence of
dignitaries, is also indecent.
Association and Taking a Seat
In associating with
others and attending sessions, the believer should not be bound to sitting in a
special place but should sit wherever accessible with due respect for others.
For confining oneself to sitting in a lower place is similar to confining
oneself to sitting in an upper place, and “down” and “up” are mere imagined
things. Furthermore, he should not be bound by the habit of paying unnecessary
visits; rather, he should do it with the sole intention of visiting out of
Taking on Oath
And he should not
take an oath, even though what he says be true, so that the Friend’s (God’s)
name for worldly affairs. And he should not use religion, as a means of
satisfying his worldly desires, for it is not admissible to get wages even for
religious services, let alone an idle oath or even a false oath.
should be truthful and honest. He should not bear false witness; nor should be
conceal the truth, even though it is detrimental to his own, his parents; or
relatives’ interests, unless it is in the interests of a believer’s Faith or is
for his satisfaction or is for bringing about a reconciliation.
summary of the Faithful’s Attributes
In conclusion, in order
that the attention of the reader may be increased, I shall write, as a summary
of what has been written so far, the attributes and morals of a true believer –
who is more rare than the “red sulphur” (Kibrit
–i ahmar) – all of which are taken
from the words of God, the Prophet, His Eminence Master of Masters (peace be
upon them). In this case repetition is desirable both for emphasizing and for
A believer wishes for
God and seeks God. He has pure intention, a humble heart, and a submissive body.
He does not stretch his foot away from the Path, nor does he slip from it. His
friendship is immaculate and his deeds are free from deceit. He attends to
himself, not to others. He fears only his own self, and others are safe from
him. His observance is out of knowledge, his only benefit is to receive a
lesson; his silence is that of wisdom; and his words are those of truth. He has
knowledge coupled with patience, wisdom with steadfastness, forgiveness with
power, and bravery with kindness and mildness. He feels happy when he does well
to others, feels remorse for his wrongdoing, and fears his own self. He weighs
up the consequences of an action, withstands hardships, and seeks assistance,
in any state and act, in patience and prayer.
He is ready for death
and prepares himself and makes provision for it. He does not waste his precious
life but spends it in doing good, and advises others to do well. His modesty
overcomes lust; his forgiveness overcomes anger; his friendliness overcomes
enmity; and his contentment overcomes greed.
He dresses as people
do, and lives among them but does not attach his heart to them. He hastens to
render servitude to God and does not put off until tomorrow what he can do today.
He is moderate in worldly affairs, and keeps himself away from sin. He does not
harm anybody, does well to anyone who has done him wrong, re-embraces anyone
who has broken off relations with him, and forgives anyone who has deprived him
[of his rights].
He does not beg for
anything from others and does not reject their requests. He does not supplicate
anyone for anything except He who is free from want, and fulfils the need of
the needy. He does not ask for justice but he himself exercises it. He keeps
himself from making errors, always admits himself guilty, and forgives other’s
errors. He is an enemy of oppression and a friend to the oppressed. He is not
offended by the coldness of others.
He does not find
fault with others, accepts people’s excuses, and conceals their faults. He does
not reject at other people’s flattering him and does not grieve over their
slandering him. He sympathizes with the Faithful, that is to say, he feels glad
about their happiness and sad about their troubles, and tries to find, if he
can, a way to help them and to make their hearts happy; otherwise, he asks God
for help. He wishes for others whatever he wishes for himself and considers
good for them whatever he considers good for himself. He does not get impatient
with a believer but gives advice to him in private, and wishes him well both
secretly and openly.
He does not become
happy when the world favors him, nor does he become sad when the favor is
withdrawn. He strengthens his resolution, does not adopt bad habits, does not
repeat his mistakes, does not answer unless he is asked; and, when speaking, he
speaks briefly and weighs up his words, and his deeds bear witness to his
He does not fail in
the management of his life. He refrains from deceit, hypocrisy, and telling
lies. He does not think highly of himself and does not look down on others. He
does not upbraid others, nor does he dispute with them. He does not spend too
much of his time with women, but is kind to them and pleases them. He tries to
give satisfaction to his neighbors, and does not raise his voice. He does not
gossip with other people, and tries to bring about reconciliation among them.
He is fair in judgement and does not treat with anyone unjustly. He does not
laugh shamelessly. He does not make [undue] haste in achieving his affairs. He
does not speak ill of people, honors the memory of the absent, and does not
swear at anybody.
He chooses wise
friends and keeps away from bad companions. He is a friend to the oppressed,
vagrants, and the weak. He keeps company with the dervishes and does not prefer
people’s satisfaction to God’s. He does not fail to aid others with his
possessions, life, and body.
He accepts when
invited and greets his friends when meeting them. He consults others about his affairs
and is not disloyal to people in consultation. He does not take bribes,
although it is not inadmissible to receive remuneration and get reward for his
attention to the contents of this summary and contrasting them with ourselves
and our deeds makes us disappointed, God’s generosity is infinite and His Grace
is boundless; so we should not cease from searching for these attributes, and
that which cannot be totally gained, should not be totally discarded.
you cannot attain His union through your efforts,
strive as much as you can to search for Him.43
We should endeavor to
use these attributes as criteria, and judge our deeds by them. And we should
consider ourselves sinful and our lives spoilt and beg most humbly for
forgiveness from the One Who is free from want.
is best that a servant for his transgressions,
apologies before the Throne of God,
what is worthy of His dignity,
one is able to accomplish.44
I hope He may bestow
upon all Friends the state of servitude and supplication, and make them
successful in accomplishing that which pleases Mawla.
Although I tried hard
to write this letter briefly, I could not control the pen and the letter became
long. For this, I apologize to my Friends.
“And peace be upon him who follows the guidence”45
Dated the “Feast of Scarifice,” 1357 A.H.L. (1939), corresponding
with 11th of Bahman 1317 A.H.S.
to Qur’an, 2:256: “Whosover disbelieves in idols and believes in Allah, has
grasped a firm handhold which will never break.”
saying (hadith) of the sixth Imam.
33:35: “Muslim men and Muslim women, believing men and believing women,…- for
them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a vast reward.”
line of verse attributed to Jalaluddin Rumi, Diwan-I Shms.
the Prophet, his daughter Fatima, his cousin, son-in-law and successor, Imam
‘Ali, and the eleven Imams that follow ‘Ali (peace be upon them).
8. A saying
(hadith) attributed to the prophet.
the Promised Mahdi.
to saying (hadith) of the fourth
Imam: “Had Abudhar known what Salman had in his heart, he would have killed
to Qur’an, 48:29: “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. And those who are with
him are hard against the unbelievers, merciful one to another.”
12. A saying
(hadith) of the Prophet.
to a saying (hadith) of the Prophet:
“Believers, in their friendship and benevolence for one another, are like the
human body: when one part of it is in pain, the other parts also suffer and
become unified in ministering to it.”
saying (hadith) of the Prophet.
line of verse by Sa’di, Gulistan.
verse by Sadi, Gulistan.
to Qur’an, 14:7: “And when your Lord proclaimed, ‘If you give thanks, surely I
will give you more; but if your are thankless, my chastisement is surely
the “right of God,” is meant khums
(one-fifth of booty and incomes) and zakat
(the alms-tax) including fitra (zakat of breaking of one’s fast).
Arabic proverb common in Persian.
to Qur’an, 49:6: “O you who believe! If an unrighteous man (fasiq) comes to you with a tiding, make
clear, lest you afflict a people unwittingly, and then repent of what you have
“voluntory death,” is meant dying of self, shedding all reprehensible
characteristics and reviving he heart with praiseworthy attributes while
maintaining one’s worldly life. Hence the Prophet said: “Die before you die.”
In sufi terminology, it is also called fana.
24. Taklif literally means “burdening” or
“troubling,” and has the same root as kulfat,
“trouble” or “discomfort.”
to saying (hadith) of the Prophet:
“The ritual prayer (salat) is the pillar
of religion. If it is accepted [by God], all the rest will be accepted also;
and if it is rejected, all the rest will be rejected too.”
26. A saying
(hadith) of the Prophet.
is a reference to several similar verses in the Qur’an, including “And O my
people! Ask forgiveness of your Lord, then turn unto Him repentant, He will
cause the sky to rain abundance on you and will add unto you strength to your
strength; and turn not your backs as sinners’ (11:52).
reference to a saying (hadith) of the
Prophet: “Practice fasting so that you may by healthy.”
to Qur’an, 2:261: “The likeness of those who spend their wealth in the way of
Allah is as the likeness of a grain of corn that sprouts seven ears, in every
ear a hundred grains. Allah multiplies unto whom He will; Allah is
All-embracing, All-knowing” and other similar verses.
30. Mustahabb literally means “desirable” or
“will-liked,” and has the same root as hubb,
to a saying (hadith) of the Prophet: “God has not created any lawful thing more
hateful to Him than divorce.”
to Qur’an: 2:278, 279: “O you who believe! Fear you Allah; and give up the
usury that is outstanding, if you are [in truth] believers. But if you do not,
then be warned of war [against you] from Allah and His Messenger.”
to Qur’an, 17:23: “Your Lord has decreed that you serve none but Him, and [that
you show] kindness to parents.”
is the word “There is no god but God”
which is referred to in Qur’an, 3:64: “Say: ‘People of the Book! Come now to a
word common between us an you, that we serve none but Allah, and that we
associate no partners with Him, and do not some of us take others as Lords,
apart from God.’”
to a saying (hadith) of the Prophet:
“Men of knowledge (‘ulama) are the
inheritors of the prophets.”
should be noted in this text that the word “descendants” (with a small d)
refers to those who descended from the Prophet, whereas “Descendants” (with a
capital D) refers only to Fatima and the twelve Imams (peace be upon them). See
also note 7.
Persian proverb with a slightly different wording.
to Qur’an, 30:39: “What you give in alms, seeking Allah’s countenance, those –
they receive recompense manifold.”
to a saying (hadith) of the Prophet: “A
[true] Muslim is one from whose hands and tongue all Muslims are unassailable.”
to Qur’an, 2:153: “O all you have believed, seek you help in patience and
prayer” and also to Qur’an 2:45.
line of verse by Hafiz, Diwan.
verse by Sa’di, Gulistan.
Abudhar and Salman, the two companions of the Holy Prophet.
After the Prophet’s death, they became two of the loyal followers of ‘Ali ibn
Abitalib. The Holy Prophet has said
about Salman: “Salman is of our Household,” P.36.
the “eternal covenant,” the “primal covenant”; referring to the Covenant made
between God and human souls in eternity before man’s coming to this world, when
God addressed human souls and asked them, “Am I not your Lord?’ They said:
‘Yes, we testify’” (Qur’an 7:172), P.27. See also ‘ahd-I taklifi and bay’at.
‘ahd-I taklifi, the
“prescriptive covenant.” It refers to the covenant which a believer makes with
the spiritual Master. This covenant between the believer and the Master which
brings about spiritual attachment to the Master, gives the believer the means
of advancing along the Path. Thus, it is considered as the renewal of the ‘ahd-I azali and is identified with bay’at, P.27.
ahl-I kitab, the “People of
the Book,” i.e. Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, P.76.
‘alwiyyat-I ‘Ali, the
most supreme spiritual reality of Imam ‘Ali, P. 38. See haqiqat-i Muhammadiyah.
amr-I taklifi, the
“prescriptive command.” It refers to the laws set down by God in revelation
which man can obey or disobey according to his own free will, P. 45 Cf. amr-I takwinin.
amr-I takwini, the
“ontological command.” It refers to the laws of creation which all must obey by
the very nature of things. It is referred to in several verses in Qur’an such
as: “His command (amr), when He desires a thing, is to say it ‘Be,’ and it is”
(36:81), P. 45 Cf. amr-I taklifi.
awisiya, plural of wasi meaning one who becomes authorized
after somebody’s death. In the Shi’ite sense of succession, it means “the
Prophet’s legitimate successors,” P.16.
baqa, subsistance; gaining
existence in the Reality of God after total extinction (fana) of one’s deeds and qualities. It is one of the Stations (maqamat) of the “Travelling along the
Path to God” (suluk) which is
achieved after fana, P. 40.
Bayan Assa’ada, a
four-volume “commentary on Qur’an (tafsir)
in Arabic written by His Holiness Hajj Mulla Sultan Muhammand, Sultan ‘Ali
Shah, PP. 7, 11.
bay’at, literally, selling;
giving one’s allegiance. In Islam and particularly in Sufism, it denotes the
believer’s taking the oath of allegiance to the Holy Prophet, the Imams or their rightful successors (awsiya). Thus, it is the rite of
initiation. There are several Qur’anic verses which point to this, such as:
“Verily those who swear allegiance unto you, swear allegiance unto Allah. The
Hand of Allah is above their hands” (48:10), PP.27, 66.
dhikr, remembrance. In Sufism,
the remembrance of God in the heart and invoction of one of His Names as
instructed by the Master. Dhikr is
one of the pillars of the “Travelling along the Path” (suluk) and should be accompanied with fikr, PP. 26, 29, 38, 66.
Dhulfaqar, the two-edged
sword of ‘Ali (peace be upon him). In Sufism, it designates the invocation (dhikr) and meditation (fikr), P. 38. See also fata.
annihilation; extinction of one’s deeds and attributes in the deeds and attributes
of God. It is one of the stations (maqamat)
of the “Travelling along the Path to God” (suluk),
faqr, literally, poverty;
spiritual poverty. Faqr, dervishhood,
and Sufism are different terms which are used for the same reality. The true meaning
of Faqr (Sufism) and its reality is to “die to oneself” (fana) and to “become resurrected in God” (baqa), an eternal life which is not followed by death. Without
attaining such death and life, one shall not be called faqir or Sufi. Thus, Jesus (peace be upon him) said: “He who is not
born twice shall not penetrate the kingdom of the heavens and the earth” (cf.
st. John, 3:3), PP, 17, 18, 20, 21,27, 46, 52, 63, 64, 70, 79.
fata, a youth, a knight. Fata is used particularly with reference
to a person who has kindness, forgiveness, bravery, and other praiseworthy
qualities. It is said that ‘Ali ibn Abitalib (peace be upon him) was the true fata. He, in the Battle of Uhud, helped
the Holy Prophet while most of the Muslims had left him alone. ‘Ali, in this
battle, fighting with his two-edged sword, Dhulfaqar,
gained a glorious victory and saved the life of the Prophet. At that time, on
the battlefield, an angel called from Heaven: “There is no fata but ‘Ali and no sword but Dhulfaqar,”
fikr, meditation. In Sufism,
it designates directing one’s attention to God’s Name invoked in the heart of
the Traveller (salik) by the
spiritual guide at the time of initiation (bay’at). Fikr is one of the pillars of the “Travelling along the Path” (suluk) and is accompanied with the
remembrance (dhikr) of God, PP. 26,
31, 38, 66.
fuqara, plural of faqir (darvish in Persian). Faqir is
an Arabic word, derived from faqr
(poverty), meaning a “poor man.” In Sufi terminology, it refers to the poor in
spirit and designates the followers of
the Sufi path. According to Qur’an (35:15) “O men, you are the poor in relation
to Allah, and Allah is the Rich, worthy of all praise.” And also when Moses
says: “O my lord, surely I have need of whatever good you send down for me”
(28:24), PP. 1, 2, 7, 11, 16, 17, 18, 63, 88.
carelessness, negligence. It denotes being negligent of the remembrance of God.
And it is said that the source of every evil is the ignorance of God, PP. 27,
referring to the occultation of the twelfth Imam (the Promise Mahdi) who was
born in 256/858. He is the son of the eleventh Imam. After the martyrdom of his
father, he became Imam and, by divine command, went into the “minor
occultation” which lasted about seventy years. Then, in the year 329/939, his
“major occultation” began and will continue as long as God wills it. According
to the Holy Prophet: “he will appear and will fill the earth with equity and
justice when it is filled with oppression and tyranny”. He is usually mentioned
by the titles of the “Support (Qa’im)
of the Descendants of the Prophet,” the “Imam of the Period,” and the “Lord of
the Time,” P. 63.
ghusl, the ritual ablution by
which the whole body is washed, PP. 68, 88.
haqiqat-i Muhammadiyah, the
“Muhammadan Truth.” It signifies the supreme spritual reality of the Holy
Prophet which is identified with the subtle essence of walayat. It is also called alawiyyat-i
‘Ali; because after the Prophet, Imam ‘Ali was the inheritor of this reality
and after him, his successors (awsiya)
inherited it. By virtue of accepting walayat
and through initiation (bay’at), it
will be placed as a seed in the heart of the beliver, P. 32.
himmat, literally, aspiration;
the spiritual will; directing the heart with all its power towards God in order
to obtain a certain purpose for oneself or another. Thus, it is a concentrated
spiritual force in the Master, PP. 34, 66.
Hu, (or Huwa) He; the third person masculine
singular pronoun in Arabic. In Sufi terminology, it refers to the Almighty God.
It should also be noted that the number 121 below Hu means “ya ‘Ali (O
‘Ali). In a certain Arabic alphabet, abjad, the letter are arranged according
to their numerical values. Thus, ya
‘Ali (O ‘Ali) comprises letters the numerical values of which are 10, 1, 70,
30, 10, which add up to 121, P. 15.
Imam, the leader. In its
Shi’te sense, Imam is the one who is
chosen from on high by divine decree (nass)
through the Prophet. Hence he is “free from error and sin” (ma’sum). The Imams (peace by upon them) are the only completely legitimate
successors to the Prophet. The first Imam, ‘Ali, was appointed by the Prophet
himself, and each of the others in turn was appointed by his predecessor
according to divine decree. The last one, the twelfth Imam, is the hidden Imam
who is appear again one day as the promised Mahdi, PP. 65, 67.
inaba, returning, returning to
God; one of the Sufi spiritual states (halat).
It is necessary for the Traveller (salik)
who seeks nearness to God to repent (tawba)
of his evil deeds, return to Him, and ask for forgiveness, P. 40.
istikhara, asking favors or
guidance. In Islam, it refers to a man’s invocation to God when he is undecided
as to whether to do something or not, and seeks guidance for a salutary decision.
Istikhara is usually done through
consulting the Holy Qur’an or by using a rosary, P. 85.
Khal’ and Lubs, khal’ literally
means “to take off” or “to remove” and lubs
means “to put on” or “to wear.” The Almighty God has put the “ontological
taking off and putting on” in the progression of things. This khal’ and lubs is clearly seen in plants, animals, and man. God takes the
imperfect form off them and puts the perfect form on them. This is called the
“ontological taking off and putting on.” Similarly, He has also put taking off
and putting on in “prescriptive duties” – both in the duties pertaining to the
bodily frame (qalib) and in the
duties pertaining to the heart (qalb)
– that one’s duty (taklif) may be in
accordance with one’s creation (takwin),
Khidr (or Khadir), literally, the green (or the green one). A mysterious
prophet whose figure is a very important one in the spiritual hierarchy of
Islam and is closely similar to that of Elias. According to Qur’an (18:60-82),
Moses asks a servant of God (i.e. Khidr)
unto whom God had given His mercy and who had been taught knowledge from His
presence: “Shall I follow you so that
you may teach me, of what you have been taught, right conduct, “ P.26.
kibrit-i ahmar, red
sulphur; another name for elixir, the substance that makes possible the
transmutation of base metals into gold. According to a saying (hadith) by the sixth Imam: “The believer
is rarer and more precious than red sulphur,” P. 91.
Mawla, from the same root as walayat meaning Master, spiritual guide
as well as the Lord, PP. 31, 32, 38, 39, 40, 43, 49, 50, 52, 58, 91, 94.
the Traveller’s accounting of his thoughts and deeds on the Path to God. The
Holy Prophet has said: “take account of your actions before they take account
of you, and weigh yourself before you are weighed, and die before you are
dead,” P. 39.
observation, constant attention: one’s keeping away from all other than God
both inwardly and outwardly, PP. 33, 39.
Murtadawi, related to Murtida, the spiritual title of the
first Imam ‘Ali ibn Abitalib (peace
be upon him). He was the cousin, son-in-low, and the legitimate successor of
the Prophet. The Sunnis consider him the fourth caliph but in the Shi’te view,
he is the successor (wasi) of the
Prophet and his immediate caliph, P. 16.
musafaha, derived from the
word “safh” meaning “joining one’s
hand with another’s.” Musafaha is
also called safa (purity) for its
inciting of love, friendship, and intimacy (uns).
According to a saying (hadith) of the
Prophet: “If two Muslims meet and perform musafaha,
their sins will be forgiven before they separate.” Musafaha takes place between two believers with their right hands
by joining thumbs, fastening their other fingers, and consecutively kissing
each other’s hand, PP. 34, 43, 49, 50, 64, 79.
mustahabb, (Pl. mustahabbat), recommendable, desirable,
admirable. It is said of acts whose performance is not obligatory but is
admired by the Divine Law (Shari’at),
namaz-i amwat, the
“ritual prayer for the dead.” A ritual prayer (namaz) performed for the dead before their burial, P. 59.
namzz-i ayat, the “ritual
prayer of the Signs.” Ayat (plural of
ayat) literally means “signs,” and
this ritual prayer (namaz) is
performed on unusual occasions such as when there is occurrence of earthquake,
severe storm, eclipse of the sun or the moon or thunder and lightning, P. 59.
namaz-i “Idayn, the
“ritual prayer on the two Festivals.” Idayn
literally means two festivals and refers to the two great religious festivals
of Islam: the festival of fitr and
the festival of adha. The festival of
fitr is the festival of the breaking
off the fast and is celebrated on the 1st of the month Shawwal,
after the ending of the month of Ramadan. The festival of adha (meaning sacrifice) is celebrated on the 10th of
the mont Dhul-hijja, after completion of the ceremonies and practices of hajj, P. 59.
namaz-i khawf, the
“ritual prayer of Fear.” A ritual prayer (namaz)
which is held when danger threatens one from enemy, P. 59.
namaz-i wauta, the
“middle prayer:” It is a prayer referred to in Qur’an as follows: “Be you
watchful over the prayer, and the middle prayer” (2:238). Muslim authorities
differ as to which of the prayers it is. According to gnostics (‘urafa), the essence of the middle prayer
is in remembering God in one’s heart which, as it is said in Qur’an (29:45), is
greater than the ritual prayer (namaz):
“And perform the prayer; prayer forbids indecency and dishonour, but verily
remembrance of Allah is greater,” P. 57.
Ni’matullahi, related to His
Highness Nur al-Din Shah Ni’matullah Wali born in 731 A.H.L. (1331 A.D.) and
died in 831 A.H.L. (1428 A.D.). He was one of the greatest Sufi qutbs, PP. 1, 3, 4, 9, 16, 54, 56, 88.
Nour ‘Ali Shah II, His
highness Hajj Mulla ‘Ali Nour ‘Ali Shah II, the eldest son and the successor of
his honourable father His Holiness Sultan ‘Ali Shah. He was in Bayducht (in
Khurasan) on 17th Rabi’ ath-thani 1284 A.H.L.(1867 A.D.) and
martyred on 15th Rabi’ al-awwal 1337 A.H.L. (1918 A.D.) and was
buried in Rayy (near Tehran) in the courtyard of the Imamzadih Hamzeh. His
Holiness was succeeded by his son, His Eminence Hajj Shaykh Muhammad Hassan
Salih ‘Ali Shah. He wrote several books, the most important of which is Salihiya, PP. 5, 20.
Pand-i Salih, “Salih’s Advice.”
Salih is originally and Arabic work
meaning righteous of pious. But in this text, it refers to the spiritual title of
the honorable author in tariqat, i.e.
Salih ‘Ali Shah, PP. 1, 3, 19.
Pir, literally, elder. In
Sufism, it denotes the spiritual master without the assistance of whom the
Traveller (salik) cannot gain union
with God. He is also called shaykh
(English, sheikh) and qutb, PP. 26, 35, 66.
qalb, heart (Persian, dil). The Arabic root from which qalb is
derived has the sense of “turning, revolving, and inverting.” The heart is
called qalb, because it has two
faces. One face of the human heart is turned to the world of spirituality (malakut) and the other face to the world
of materiality (mulk). Thus, it
constantly turns from one world to the other, PP. 29, 35, 60.
qiblah, the direction towards
which Muslims turn during the ritual prayer (salat), namely, towards the Ka’ba in the Masjid-al Haram placed in
Mecca, P. 78.
qutb, literally, pole, axis.
In Sufism, it designates the Guide or the Master. Thus, he is the axis (qutb) around which the spiritual
hierachy (silsila) revolves. He is
also the “axis of his period” on whom the order of the world depends and by
whom it is preserved, PP. 3, 4, 5.
Salihiya, a gnostic book
written, upon the request of His Highness Hajj Muhammad Hassan Salih Ali Shah,
by his father His Highness Hajj Mulla ‘Ali Nour ‘Ali Shah II (may their graves
be sanctified), P. 20
Shab-i Qadr, “the Night of
Power.” Qadr means power, divine
decree, measure, worth, and majesty. Hence Shab-i
Qadr is, according to Qur’an, the night of the descent of the Holy Qur’an
and it is “better than a thousand months; in it the angels and the Spirit
descend” (97:4), P.62.
literally, road, the public road to the watering-place. But in Islam, it refers
to the sacred revealed Law, i.e.. the totality of God’s Commandments relating
to the outer dimension (zahir) of
Islam, PP. 47, 55, 56, 60, 64, 73. Cf. tariqat
Sirr, secret, mystery. In Sufi
terminology, it also denotes one of the seven subtle essences of the heart (qalb). Thus, it is a subtle essence
between the spirit (ruh) and the
acrance (khafi). There are different
descriptions for it, such as: the source of the mysteries of spiritually or
that which is inaccessible to the enticements of the soul (nafs), P. 35.
Sultan ‘Ali Shahi, relating
to His Holiness Hajj Mulla Sultan Muhammad, called “Sultan ‘Ali Shah” (may his
grave be sanctified), the grandfather of the honorable author. He was born in
Baydukht (near Gunabad in Khurasan) on 28th Jumadi al-ula 1251
A.H.L. (1835 A.D.) and martyred on 27th Rabi’ al-awwal 1327 A.H.L.
(1909 A.D.) and was buried there. He became the qutb of the Nimatullahi Order after the death of His Highness
Saadat ‘Ali Shah by his decree. His Holiness wrote several books, the most
important of which is Bayan Assa’ada.
After the branching of the Order, the Ni’matullahi
Sultan ‘Ali Shahi Order became distinguished. Today the Ni’matullahi Sultan ‘Ali Shahi Order is one of the largest Sufi
Orders, PP. 3, 4, 5, 9, 12, 16, 20, 58.
Tabarra, renouncement. In
Shi’ite sense, it means renunciation of the enemies of the Saint, P.40. Cf.
Taqiya, dissimulation. It is
the dissimulation of one’s religion and the hiding of particular religious
practices from the opponents in case of danger. It is also the hiding of words
which are not advisable to be said to others. The sources through which taqiya is practiced by the Shi’ites are the Holy Qur’an and the
sayings (Ahadith) of the Imams (peace be upon them). According to
the Holy Qur’an: “Let not the believers take the unbelievers for their friends,
rather than the believers. Whose does that has no connection with Allah unless
[it be] that you but guard yourselves against them, taking [as it were]
security. Allah warns you that you beware [only] of Him. Unto Allah is the journeying’
(3:28). And it is related from one of the Imams
(peace be upon them): “Practising taqiya
is my religion and it is the religion of my fathers”. Besides, it seems to be
natural for a wise man to practice it, P.36.
Tariqat, literally, road,
private road. In Islamic and particularly in Sufi terminology, it refers to the
inner (batin) dimension of Islam,
i.e. to the deeds which concern the heart. Thus, it is identified with Sufism, Faqr (Dervishhood), PP. 16, 18, 35, 55,
56, Cf. Shariat.
Tawajjuh, attention. In
Sufism, heartfelt attention to God as directed by the Saints. It is the result
of the remembrance of God (dhikr) and
meditation (fihr), PP. 31, 33, 42,
58, 59, 60, 62, 64.
Tawalla, friendship. It is
from the same root as walayat and in
its Shi’ite sense means befriending
the friends of the Saints, P. 40. Cf. Tabarra.
Tayammum, the ritual
ablution performed in certain cases with earth instead of water. It is only
done for the face and hands, P. 68.
(sing. Alim), religious scholars; those
who are expert in the Qur’an, Traditions (Ahadith),
and the Divine Law (shar’iat), PP.11,
18, 78, 79, Cf. ‘urafa.
plural of ‘arif meaning the knower,
the gnostic. In Sufism, the term signifies he who is possessed of direct
knowledge (gnosis or ma’rifat) of God, has attained the spiritual stations, and
possesses spiritual perfection, PP. 3, 4, 18, 78.
proximity, sainthood, friendship, power, and dominion. Thus, it means proximity
to God and friendship with Him. In Qur’an and Qur’anic commentary (tafsir) and Sufi terminology, it refers
to the power of spiritual guidance and the function of initiation (bay’at). The Prophet of Islam, like
other prophets before him, had this power which His Holiness transmitted to his
legitimate successors (awsiya), PP.
16, 35, 38, 39.
Wali, (pl. awliya) friend; friend of God; saint.
Derived from the word walayat, wali means one who has attained
proximity to God and thus has “spiritual dominion and power” (walayat). Hence in Islam and particularly
in Sufism, he is the spiritual Guide, PP. 34, 35.
Wudu, the ritual ablution by
which, as instructed, the hands, face and the arms are washed and the wet hands
are rubbed on the head and the feet. It is one of the acts of worship, PP. 68,
purification, cleaning and progress. It denotes, according to religious
scholars, purification of and increase in one’s property by the giving of a
portion of it to the needy, P. 65.
of the Ni’matullahi Sultan ‘Ali Shahi Gunabadi Order
(Peace be upon them)
Prophet Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah
Imam ‘Ali ibn
‘Ali ibn Husayn Zayn al-‘Abidin
ibn ‘Ali al-Baqir
ibn Muhammad al-Sadiq
Imam Musa ibn
Imam ‘Ali ibn
ibn ‘Ali al-Jawad
Imam ‘Ali ibn
ibn ‘Ali al-‘Askari
ibn al-Hasan al-Mahdi
Shaykhs Abu al-Qasim Junayd
Bakr Salih Barbari
al-Din Muhammad I
al-Din Muhammad II
al-Din Muhammad III
‘Ali Shah Deccani
‘Ali Shah Deccani
‘Ali Shah I
Majdhub ‘Ali Shah
Muhammad Kazim Sa’adat ‘Ali Shah
Mulla Sultan Muhammad Sultan ‘Ali Shah
Mulla ‘Ali Nur ‘Ali Shah II
Muhammad Hasan Salih ‘Ali Shah
Sultan Husayn Tabandah Rida ‘Ali Shah
‘Ali Tabandah Mahbub ‘Ali Shah
Nur ‘Ali Tabandah Majzoub ‘Ali Shah