An Insight into the Twentieth Century
In Answer to Mr Jamal Safari
The Divine Sage
Haaj Abdorreza Khan Ebrahimi
Meanings of some Arabic words and terms used in this book:
God is used for Allah which literally translates from Arabic as ‘The God’. It is also used where the direct Farsi word ‘Khoda’ had been used in the original text.
The word ‘Shaykh’ has many meanings, but in this topic it refers to a Wise Learned Elder. Its plural is Mashayekh.
Imam: Means Leader - This title in this work relates to ‘Leader of the Faithful Ali-IbnAbutaleb and his eleven descendents.” Not to be confused with ‘imam’, which usually means the person who leads prayers.
Hadith: These are the reports and accounts of acts and or sayings of the Holy Prophet and the 12 Imams – his Household - (May the ever-lasting Peace be with them and their followers).
Household: This refers to the Household of Prophet Mohammad, his daughter Fatemeh and cousin and son-in-law Ali – the Commander of the Faithful – and their eleven descendants.
EthnaAshar in Arabic means 12 and those who believe in the 12 Imams are called EthnaAshari or 12-Imami.
Shaykhi School is a name given to the followers of Shaykh Ahmad Ahsaie and Haaj Seyyed Kaazem Rashti (May the Lord Exalt their status) and Haaj Mohammmad Karim Khan Kermani and those ‘Learned’ elders who have followed him.
The major distinction of this school is that all teachings are primarily based on Hadith of the acts and sayings of the Holy Prophet Mohammad and his Household – May they be in everlasting Peace.
Khalif: Khalif or Khalifah is used in the Holy Quran to mean Viceroy or God’s Representative on Earth. The key issue is in italic below. (38:26) "O Dawud! We have indeed appointed you as a Viceroy on the earth, therefore judge among mankind with the truth, and do not follow your desires, for it will lead you astray from Allah’s path; indeed for those who stray away from Allah’s path there is a severe punishment, because they forgot the Day of Reckoning."
Khilafat: Is the Office or Rule by a Khalif.
khalif:> A title used by Muslim rulers through the ages.
P.B.U.H. = Peace and Praise of God be upon him and his Household. Always used after a mention of the Holy Prophet Mohammad.
A.S. = Peace be upon him – Always used after one of the Holy Imams.
Hojjat: More usually, means proof or evidence and guide. However, with regards to the 12th Imam (A.S.) it means The Person Confirmed by God. He is therefore also called Hazrat Hojjat or his Eminence the Confirmed.
Soul & Spirit:
In Hebrew ‘Soul’ is ‘Rauach’ and in Arabic it is ‘Rooh’. Soul is what is given to us at 4 months term in the womb. This is made up of many levels of spirits which may be at various stages of dominance .
The first is the ‘jamadi’ or mineral spirit which covers the things that are lifeless. Then we have the ‘nabati’ or vegetal spirit which motivates all vegetation and then we have the ‘heyvani’ or animal spirit which causes animation. Then there is the Rational Spirit and so on.
Table of contents of “Nazari Be Gharne Bistom” (An Insight into the 20th Century) in answer to Mr. Jamal Safari from Germany
|Mr. Safari has written: I want to choose a religion and faith for myself||2
|Mr. Safari has written: In to-day’s world nothing may be accepted blindly and without good evidence and reason.||2|
|Mr. Safari has written: With this purpose in mind, I started researching and at the moment I am studying Shaikhiism. I have read three books so far that have condemned Shakhiism. They even called them agents of colonialism, but I can not accept the views of the authors.||12|
|Mr. Safari has written: I am sure that you can kindly send me a book, giving the truth and considering Shaikhiism as the right path.||16|
|Mr. Safari has written: Please describe your views about Iran of today and the world in the twentieth century. This is very important for me.||18|
In the name of God, The Compassionate, The Merciful
With thanks to God and greetings to his chosen servants.
And then, I, God’s humble servant, Abdolrreza son of Abolghassem son of Zainol-Aabedin, received a letter from one of our fellow Iranians who resides in Germany by the name of Mr. Jamal Safari. It contains some questions about the distinguished Shaykhi school of Islam.
At first I wanted to write a brief answer but then thought that the answer would be beneficial to many others who would want to research and study about religion. So I decided to write a more extensive answer in the hope that it would benefit the inquirer and others like him.
I will quote the exact questions and then offer the answer – “and there is no power and no strength other than God’s.” و لا حول و لا قوة الا بالله
Mr. Safari has written: I want to choose a religion and faith for myself.
You have made a very good decision that would help you attain salvation. God’s religion at the present time is ‘Islam’. The preceding religions such as Judaism and Christianity were rightful at their own times and their prophets who had been sent by God were also rightful, and the last one of the prophets was our Prophet Mohammad, son of Abdullah (PBUH), whose religion is the last religion sent by God and his book is the last book sent by God. What he has called ‘Halaal’ (permitted to use, eat and do) is ‘Halaal’ until the Day of Resurrection, and what he has made ‘Haraam’ (not permitted to use, eat or do) is ‘Haraam’ until the Day of Resurrection.
Prophet Mohammad has informed that his followers would divide into seventy three sects, but that only one of them is ‘rightful’ and that is the just sect of ‘Esna Asharieh’ (believing in and followers of twelve Imams or successors to the Prophet) and the rest would have gone astray. The ‘Esna Asharieh’ believe that after the Prophet, his rightful successor was Commander of the Faithful (Amir-al-Momenin) Imam Ali (A.S.) and after him his eleven descendants who were Imams (leaders) of Moslems and the eleventh (the last) is in concealment and when the time is right and God decides, he will reveal himself and will bring justice to all.
So, if you want to choose a religion, then God's religion is 'Islam' and the rightful belief is that of the followers of 12 Imams - 'Esna Asharieh'.
Mr. Safari has written: “In to-day’s world nothing may be accepted blindly and without good evidence and reason.”
In response, it is evident that this has been true at all times or eras. One should never accept anything without good reason. And God considers reason as a sign and of the truth. He has said in his book: “Produce your proof if you are truthful” - (27:64) قل هاتوا برهانكم ان كنتم صادقين
God has given man wisdom by which he can understand the major concepts and that wisdom is his inner guide and what leads him to the righteous path.
God has chosen some people as his proof or evidence (Hojjat) who guide people on minor issues of religion. After understanding the major concepts and generalities, we must recognize these people (Hojjats) by their qualities and with God’s guidance be able to recognise them by our physical senses and then learn from them about minor concepts and issues since common people's intelligence is not perfect and they cannot understand minor issues. As a proof, look at people and see how they differ on details of issues. One likes what another despises. This is because one or perhaps both have defective wisdoms. Actually to ensure that we do not make mistakes, we need to compare our intelligence with that of a person with perfect wisdom. But as wisdom for the soul is like eyes for the body, major concepts may be understood even with an impaired wisdom without making a mistake.
Some people have good eye sight and others not. Now consider two persons, one having good eyesight and the other weak eyes both looking at a hill from a distance. The hill is enormous and both of them can see it. But small details like rocks or shrubs are easily seen by the person with good eyesight whereas the one with weak eyes cannot see all of these details; he may only see the large rocks or shrubs. A person with even weaker eyes will not be able to see any of minor details at all.
Now, important issues of the world such as the necessity of there being a creator for the world are evident for those with weak or strong understanding. Because it does not take much brain power to reason that as a building necessitates the existence of a builder, therefore this world being so big and so well-organized must also have a creator and it has not created itself. And looking at the order and wisdom in the world it can be reasoned that the builder of the world is Knowledgeable, Mighty, Wise and has not created all this on a whim.
So all intelligent beings can understand the above, and infer that God has had a purpose for creating mankind, of which they are initially unaware. Therefore, the Mighty Creator knowing that man was created initially ignorant - because that is how He created him – must somehow advise the mankind what His wishes are.
But since people’s senses are not suitable for taking orders directly from the Creator, they must be told in a physical manner, by a person like themselves who can speak to them, and must have a body they can see, and who must be so perfect in his creation and so wise to realize God’s commands and to notify others and tell them about God’s orders.
Obviously, minerals, plants and animals cannot perform this task as they are lower than people in understanding and besides, none of these groups can talk. Then undeniably this envoy must be a person like us. But as some people are honest and others tell lies, this person may have falsely claimed to be the Creator’s envoy. Since God wants people to receive the true word, therefore he must give this envoy certain evidence with which people may recognize him and believe him. It must be evident that he has a much higher intelligence than others and certain ability to perceive God’s commands. And because of his connection to God's Command, he would have such powers that no one else has.
Nevertheless he must be confirmed by God and if he is not a true messenger, then God must dishonour and disgrace him. The confirmed envoy is called ‘a prophet’ – one who brings us the commands of God and who conveys our prayers to God.
Now by reason of wisdom, even with imperfect wisdom, two general issues can be understood:
• There is a God who is Wise and Mighty and who has not created us in vain.
• To guide us to the purpose for which he has created us, he must send a prophet who is aware of God’s commands and what God has forbidden and who is also confirmed by certain signs.
But what the prophet’s name, his whereabouts or his looks would be, these are not things that can be realized by those with imperfect intelligence and so we must be patient until he introduces himself to us.
Therefore, by our wisdom we realize these two issues and we set them as the basis of our religious beliefs. Then we start researching to see if the results that we have achieved through reasoning have really taken place, and whether such people have really appeared in the world.
Through research we find out that indeed such people have stood and claimed to be God’s envoys, or prophets, have shown miracles and other signs which prove their righteousness. They have also been confirmed by God. He could have disgraced them but he did not, and many people gathered around and complied with them.
From all this it was proven to us that prophets such as Moses, Jesus, and Mohammad son of Abdullah, God’s everlasting peace be upon them, were all righteous and sent by God.
And we see that the last of them in addition to all other miracles and signs that he showed to substantiate his status as a Prophet, has also brought a book called the Holy ‘Quraan’.
He said that the ‘Quraan’ is the Word of God and a miracle in itself and that no one can bring anything like it. After almost fourteen hundred years no one has been able to bring anything like it. In the ‘Quraan’ we find mention of the past prophets and Prophet Mohammed’s own miracles. No one at the time denied these. A few called them sorcery, but none have denied the fact that nobody has been able to bring anything like the Quraan.
There is no reason to regard his miracles were acts of sorcery and those who have made such claims have made them without any proof. Had they been acts of sorcery then God would have discredited them – yet we see that nothing was done. Besides, his everlasting miracle the ‘Quraan’ is at hand and despite their best efforts, all his Arabic speaking enemies have not been able to bring anything like it in the past fourteen hundred years. Considering all the above points, we can be certain as to the veracity of his words and that he is indeed a prophet sent by God.
The religion he brought abrogated all other religions and he is the last of all the prophets – that is to say prophethood terminates with him. His religion is the last of all religions. Although all the previous prophets were sent by God the duration of legitimacy of their religion ended by the advent of the next prophet and whoever knowingly remained a follower of the former prophet was on the wrong path because he renounced the righteousness of the latter prophet. So actually he disobeyed God and so his actions are invalid.
On the basis of this prelude and line of reasoning, two of the principles of religion are proven to us: first that there is a ‘God’ and the second that he has sent a Prophet named ‘Mohammad son of Abdullah’, (PBUH) who is God’s spokesman and informs us of His edicts and what He has forbidden.
So we accept whatever attributes of God such as Justice, Ability, Knowledge, Dominance and all the innumerable others that he has told us about, whether we can prove them or not. And if we find something that does not agree with our intellect we must renounce our own intelligence and follow his words and believe them because we cannot trust our imperfect intelligence to understand all the details. By experience we note that we can not quite understand some worldly issues, such as sciences and exoteric matters that some others understand and we even make mistakes in these subjects.
So we realize that if we are likely to misunderstand apparent realities of the world let alone esoteric matters, then the safest way would be to set aside our own intellect and accept God’s Prophet who has perfect understanding and intellect, and experiences God’s revelations. So whatever he has reported to us of esoteric matters such the Day of Resurrection, Heaven, Hell, reward and punishment, and religious obligations we accept unconditionally. If we understand any one of them, we thank God who gave us enough intelligence, and if we do not understand any others, we accept and believe them and pray to God to strengthen our intelligence and open our mind’s eye to comprehend better. Following this line of reasoning we conclude that our duty is to follow God’s book and His Prophet’s statements.
Now if we look at God’s book we see that although God has said that ‘everything’ is mentioned in this book, it is a small book and we do not find ‘everything’ in it. The size of the book attests to the fact that it cannot contain all the injunctions and matters of the world. So certainly everything is not apparent but it is in the Quraan and only God and those who are resolute in its deeper knowledge know the allegories. When we look and find ourselves unable to understand everything directly from the Quraan, we realize that God’s book alone does not suffice us today and we cannot get all the answers to our questions from it. We cannot even find the fine details of mandates which are stated in the Quraan.
For example we read in the Quraan that we must perform daily prayers but it is not clear how it should be done and how many ‘Rakats’ (one unit of prayer consisting of three positions: standing, bowing, and placing the forehead on the ground) are there in each prayer and what must be said during each ‘Rakat’, etc. Therefore, the only solution is to refer to the Prophet’s words because only he knows the real meaning of everything. As we do not understand these things, other likes of us do not understand them either, and if they make a statement on any such issues, it is not certain that they have understood it correctly. So there is no good reason for us to follow someone whose understanding of the Quraan’s meanings is imperfect like our own and who shares our lack of knowledge of God’s wishes.
So our only solution would be to refer to the Prophet’s instructions, which is called convention (Sonnat). However, we note that after his appointment as Prophet, the Prophet only lived for 23 years. The first 13 years were spent mostly on being away from his home with very few followers. Then he migrated to Medina (from Mecca) where he spent most of his last ten years fighting wars with heathens which is claimed by some historians to have been some eighty battles, or on average one every 45 days which leaves very little time to teach all commandments for all the people and rules to last until the Day of Judgment.
It is said that there are no more than 4000 hadiths from the Prophet (PBUH) in our hands and it is obvious that these are not sufficient to answer all the religious questions. We must recognize that the Prophet of God, who has said that his religion will remain till the Day of Judgment, has not given all the rules and instructions and also the Book of God that he has left for us, covers all the generalities and instructions, but we cannot understand much of it – So what instructions has he left for his followers?
So we must find out what we must do and how this religion is supposed to remain “The Religion’ till the kingdom come: God’s book is brief and we do not find all the answers in it, there are not enough tidings left to suffice, then what are the people to do?
Therefore, we must refer to his instructions and if we do not find our answer there, then we will be justified to doubt his prophethood. Because when someone claims that his religion must remain till the end of time and that he is a messenger of God but does not dictate all the rules during his life and does not tell his people what they should do after him, then he cannot be considered to be wise, let alone God’s messenger.
But in referring to his speeches we find that this is not the case and he has not neglected to guide his people as to what to do after him, and that he has delivered God’s commands faultlessly and has fully proclaimed his prophethood. Close to the end of his days, when returning from his last pilgrimage to Mecca, he called for the people who were on the pilgrimage along with him, said to be about one hundred thousand, to gather at a place called ‘Ghadire Khom’ (غديرخم). At that place he mentioned all these problems and said that Ali (son of AbuTaleb) is the interpreter of God’s book and the guide for people to God after the Prophet was gone.
The Prophet said: “Be aware that the prohibited and permitted things are more than I can count or explain for you and tell you to do this and do not do that. But I was commanded to take your pledge of allegiance of whatever I have brought to you from God regarding to Ali and the acceptance of what I have told you about Ali, the leader of the believers, and the Imams (A.S.) who will come after him (Imam=leader). O group of people, think and understand God’s signs and revelations and manifestations and do not follow the allegories. So herewith I swear to God that no one can explain what it forbids, or clarify its interpretation better than this person whose hand I am holding.” He mentioned in the same sermon, “Whenever God commanded or forbade me so I commanded Ali and forbade him and he knows all the commands and what has been forbidden by the Almighty God, so listen to and obey him.”
He added in the same sermon: “O flock of people, the Almighty God has ordered me to install Ali amongst you to be a Standard, an Imam, my successor and executor of my will - and that to choose him my brother and my minister. Whoever I am his lord, then this Ali is his lord. O God, love and cherish whoever cherishes him, assist whoever assists him and be the enemy of whoever is his enemy”.
It is quoted from Ibn Maghazeli, a Sunni scholar, that after this sermon Omar son of Khattab (who became the second khalif), addressed Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, and said: “Hail unto you O son of Abu-Taleb, you became my master and the master of any righteous man or woman.” Then Prophet Mohammed received a revelation where God said: “Today I perfected your religion and completed my bounty upon you and approved Islam to be your religion.” (5:3) اليوم اكملت لكم دينكم و اتممت عليكم نعمتي و رضيت لكم الاسلام دينا
The ‘Hadith of Ghadire Khom’ is one of hundreds of hadiths from the Prophet in which he has talked about the succession of Ali, Amir-al-Momenin (the Commander of the Faithful). This hadith is reported by both Shiite and Sunnis alike.
It is reported from Ibn Shahr Ashoob that there are over a thousand books, by Shiite and Sunnis, by writers of old or the more recent ones, in which this hadith has been mentioned through a variety of reporters; a number of books which are now at hand such as Abghat-ol-Anvar الانوار عبقات that include a number of volumes and Ghayat-ol-Maram المرام غاية which is a great book and all of them are assigned to this hadith by different reporters, both Shiite and Sunnis, also in different wordings.
So no doubt remains for a just person that the Prophet has not left his people in abeyance and has introduced his successor to them with the action that perfected God’s religion and gained God’s satisfaction. So we see that as wisdom requires that the Prophet must have a successor who knows God’s commands, reports show that indeed this has happened and by combining these two principles we realize that the successor of the Prophet is his holiness the Commander of the Faithful - Ali son of AbuTalib, God’s Peace be upon him.
On the other hand we notice that other persons who have also claimed such a position were disgraced by God and the invalidity of their claim became obvious to everyone. For example the first one who gathered the people and called himself ‘khalif’ (the viceroy) was Abu Bakr, who did not have any evidence for being the khalif after the prophet, whereas God has said that evidence is the sign of telling the truth. He says in his book: “Bring forward your proof if you are truthful.” (2:111 & 27:64) قل هاتوا برهانكم ان كنتم صادقين
But he did not have any proof so he was not truthful. He only reported a hadith from the Prophet in his defence which said: “My followers will not gather and agree on corruption”. Even this would not help because there was no unanimity amongst Muslims on him as being khalif.
On the other hand, the Prophet had mentioned in so many hadiths about the eminence of Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, that forced Abu Bakr to admit this fact and he himself was heard to have said from the pulpit many times: "Leave me to myself, leave me to myself, I am not the best of you while Ali is amongst you.” Now if he were truthful why did he take priority over Ali, and if he was lying what kind of khalif was he?
Also after him, Omar claimed to be khalif. He claimed that Abu Bakr had chosen him as the next khalif. This is also unacceptable because Abu-Bakr himself claimed to have been chosen by the people, what gave him the right to appoint a khalif for the Muslims? Who had given him such authority? Certainly he received no revelation from God. The Prophet had neither chosen him as khalif nor given him permission to choose the next khalif. Also even if the nation did have the right to choose the next khalif, where had they given him such authority? After Omar made sure that he was khalif, he climbed the pulpit and said: “The pledge of allegiance with Abu Bakr had been an error and a thoughtless action a ‘felteh’ and anyone who repeats it will be condemned to death.” If pledging allegiance with the first khalif was an error according to the second khalif who himself was chosen by the first one, and whoever paid such allegiance should be executed, then what right did he have to choose the second one?
Now if Omar is right, then his own and Abu Bakr’s khalifate would be invalid. And if he is telling lies, then lying is not acceptable from God’s khalif on Earth. Omar is also reported to have said from the pulpit: “I have a devil in me which possesses me. Any time it turns me awry, you straighten me out. And any time I committed an error, correct me.” Now what kind of khalif is this who is a plaything of his devil - and who pleads to the followers to straighten him out?
And also the next khalif, ‘Othman’ claimed khalifate through a baseless ruling. Omar picked out six persons to choose a new khalif after him and he told a guard to kill all six of them if they did not agree on a successor. Now what right did Omar have to make such a ruling? What gave him the right to decide on killing all the six in case of an undecided committee? What right did the person who had stated that the pledge of allegiance with Abu Bakr was an error and because he himself was chosen by Abu Bakr, had refuted both Abu Bakr's and his own khalifate, have to choose a Calif for Moslems in this bizarre way? All this aside, Othman was very cruel and encroached on people’s possessions so Muslims rebelled against him and killed him.
Now actions and statements of these khalifs are all witness to the invalidity of their dictums. And that is how God disgraced them. But Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, who was chosen to succeed the Prophet by God’s revelation, had no claims of faults or shortcomings against him by anybody; on the contrary, his behaviour was a model not only for Muslims but also for the wise. There is not the least indication of the invalidity of his position as Khalif and Imam.
Now wisdom and hadith prove that the Prophet must have a successor, and by hadith it was proven to us that the Prophet installed Ali, the Commander of the Faithful as his successor and Khalif and Ali himself declared that he was the true Successor, and no proof was brought forward to invalidate his claim to Khalifate. God approved him and revealed the invalidity of the other claims to Khalifate. Any impartial person would agree that after the Prophet, Ali is the true Successor and after him, as stated by the Prophet, his eleven descendants, one after another, would be Khalifs, till the last one who is alive and for some reasons unknown to us is concealed and in waiting.
Actually as one who is the ‘evidence’ of God on earth, the fact that he is alive is one of the most important proofs for the twelve-Imam Shiite, that they are on the right path. This is because we notice that Sunnis have no khalif - not even an ‘invalid’ one. Also the other Shiite beside the 12-Imami Shiites do not have an Imam (leader) who is alive. They have to admit that now-a-days there is no mediator between God and the people, that the contact is broken and there is no path to God. But the 12-Imam Shiite who believe that the twelfth Imam is alive, consider themselves seen and heard by him. They are certain that he safeguards the religion. They practise their religion with knowledge, belief, and assurance of his safeguard. The only people in the world who are on the right track are these people - And so by this line of reasoning, the third principle of our religion which is ‘Recognition of the Imams’ is proven. Again we see that all this is true: The Prophet has been, but he has departed, his eleven successors have also deceased and the twelfth is in concealment and none of us can reach them - so what must we do?
If these people were sent by God to inform us of his commands, and if this religion is ‘The Religion’ until the Day of Resurrection, certainly our duty should have been made clear for the period in which we live, and we should not have been left on our own. So we refer to their statements and hadith and we find out that they have clearly told us what to do. The 12th Imam (Hazrat Hojjat) has written in a letter that: “… about the incidents that occur, refer to the reporters of our hadith who have been confirmed by me and I have been confirmed by God. الوسائل ج18 ص101
اما الحوادث الواقعة فارجعوا فيها الي رواة حديثنا فانهم حجتي عليكم و انا حجة الله
From this text we understand summarily that we must refer to the reporters of the hadith. But the matter is still not very clear. Should anyone who opens a book and reads us a hadith to be considered as one who has been confirmed by the Imam, or are there any other special conditions?
By researching more we come across another letter by Hazrat Hojjat which states:
“There is no justification for any of our friends to bring doubt upon himself or others about the hadith that our confidants report. These people are confirmed by us and we have chosen them as our allies by conveying our secrets to them so that they can convey it to our friends.”
لا عذر لاحد من موالينا في التشكيك فيما يرويه عنا ثقاتنا قد عرفوا بانا نفاوضهم سرّنا و نحمّلهم اياه اليهم
This shows that we should only take from reporters who are reliable and trustworthy. And again by exploring the hadith we find a statement from the eleventh Imam Hassan Askari (A.S.), which states: “… of theologians, whoever can control his ‘inner self’, protect his religion, oppose his whims, and be obedient to his Lord, then people are to follow him. And these are just a few of Shia theologians and not all of them.”
فاما من كان من الفقهاء صائناً لنفسه حافظا لدينه مخالفا علي هواه مطيعاً لامر مولاه فعلي العوام ان يقلدوه و ذلك لايكون الا بعض فقهاء الشيعة لا جميعهم
This shows that the person we must follow is not only a truthful reporter but also must practise what he preaches. He must prevent his ‘inner self’ from disobeying the Imam, must be really religious and a believer, and must protect his religion. He must not obey his whims but must oppose them, and has to be obedient of his Imam’s commands. The warning at the end tells us that not anyone who dresses as a theologian has these qualities. Only a few have these qualities, not all, and following those who have these qualities is a must and obligatory. All Shiite consent to the fidelity of these three hadith and follow them. There is no doubt that during the concealment of the 12th Imam this is the order of the day. So our duty is summarily clear and we must search for such a person.
Now about such a person - it is clear that he is not an idolater and must be monotheist. He is not a Jew or Christian either, most certainly he must be found amongst Muslims. He is not a Sunni because they do not believe in our Imams. So it is limited to 12-Imami Shiites. He cannot be ignorant, because it is knowledge that we seek and the ignorant does not have it. So he is amongst the learned and the omniscient. Naturally those who do not have the above qualities are excluded. There remains only a few who are known for their knowledge of the hadith, and their exercising them, and obeying Imams, without being self-opinionated.
Still we may suspect the probability of feigning and hypocrisy and that they may not be what they appear. They may not really have these qualities but for the love of money, or rank, or other worldly and material motivations pretend to have these qualities and in reality they are lying. They do not try to understand God’s or the Prophet’s words correctly and preach us. Actually because of lack of piety they may fake a hadith to satisfy their worldly interests and tell us something which is untrue or unjust. Here we have to pray to God to help us. He has promised in his book that he will assert the truth and invalidate the untrue. It is God’s word: “Those who strive in Us - We will certainly guide them to our Paths”
(29:69) الذين جاهدوا فينا لنهدينهم سبلنا
Those learned theologians whom the Imam described in his letter are the path to God. If a person seeks them with good intentions, of course God will introduce them to him. On the other hand God will discredit those who claim deceitfully, and will reveal their lies to the diligent believer.
This is the proof of God’s confirmation which is the strongest foothold for a person. This is the only way one may acquire assurance, otherwise nothing in the world may deliver assurance. And as you may have noted, we proved and confirmed Prophethood and Imamate by this same line of reasoning. This line of reasoning is for those whose understanding is above the laity, because common people base their confidence in the causes, yet those with higher understanding base their confidence on the source of all causes (God).
You should use this line of reasoning to gain assurance. As you have noticed we used it to find the principles of the religion and that they are:
First - The recognition of God and admitting that he is Almighty.
Second - The recognition of the Prophet and knowing that the Prophet for this era is Mohammad, son of Abdullah, (PBUH). There will be no prophet after him.
Third - The recognition of ‘his successors’– the twelve Imams. Fourth - The recognition of the truthful reporters of the hadith and the pious theologians that live at every age and God will introduce them to whoever is diligently seeking such persons.
All the rest of religious issues are subdivisions or branches of the above principles. These must be taken from the reporters of hadith. We must have faith in these and carry out their instructions.
Mr. Safari has written: With this purpose in mind, I started researching and at the moment I am studying Shaykhism. I have read three books so far that have condemned Shakhism. They even called them agents of colonialism, but I cannot accept the views of the authors.
Of course you have chosen the method of a wise person. One should study and research about matters and neither accept nor reject without good reason, and not just base such decisions on hearsay. That is why although you have read three books denouncing the Shaykhi School, you have not formed an opinion and are waiting to hear the other side’s case to make a judgment, which is a very admirable approach.
But Shaykhism, which you have mentioned, is not a particular religion. The Shaykhi School is exactly twelve-Imam Shiism. This name was given by others because we follow the great theologian, the late Shaykh Ahmad Ahsaii, may God elevate his position, so they called us Shaykhi. And in fact we are very happy to be related to an obedient friend amongst the friends of Prophet Mohammad and his Household (PBUH). Our advantage over others would be that our religious sages have written much more than others about the virtues and status of Prophet Mohammad and his Household.
I do not know which books you have read that have repudiated Shaykhis or who their authors were, but I can say of which level and groups of people they are. But first I must write an introduction so that the root of the issues is understood. God’s Wisdom and Justice dictate that people be guided by prophets and hojjats (guides), but they are free to accept or repudiate them. They are empowered to choose freely whether they want guidanceor deviation and their freedom of choice has not been taken away from them.
The wars that some of the prophets, such as Moses or Mohammad, were involved in took place primarily so that people could hear about the words of God. When that was accomplished people were left to themselves to choose freely. The prophets were after the true belief and heartfelt willingness and approval and not just apparent submission under duress.
The proof of this is in the Quraan where it says: “There is no coercion about religion and guidance has been clarified from deviation and can be recognized.” (2:256)
لا اكراه في الدين قد تبين الرشد من الغي
That is why the Prophet on his death bed advised Ali to sit at home and not to raise his sword. The Prophet said: “Ali is like the Kaaba (the black cubical building in God’s Mosque in Mecca towards which Moslems pray) that is why the people should go to him and not Ali to them.”
That is why he tolerated the hypocrites and did not expose and disgrace them. In this way he did not negate their right to choose freely and also made use of their multitude for Islam to show strength in numbers and to spread the word of God in the world so everyone would hear it. This gave infidels a chance to safely practise their wrong choice under the shield of Islam and so God’s evidence was shown to them and God’s justice became apparent. This is mentioned in Quraan:
“We aid them all, those people and those people, and God’s grant is not denied anyone.” (17:20)
كلاً نمدّ هؤلاء و هؤلاء من عطاء ربك و ماكان عطاء ربك محظورا
This is the reason why God gave the Devil the opportunity so that whoever prefers his seductions, is seduced. If God wanted otherwise, he could have annihilated him. Or the Prophet would have banished the hypocrites and would not allow them to undermine Islam while under its aegis. The companions of the Prophet were not all good people as the Sunnis claim. Most of them were hypocrites and God had forewarned the prophet in the ‘Hypocrites’ Surah of Quraan: 63:1-2
“Then the hypocrites came to you and swore that you are God’s prophet and God know you are His Prophet. And God swears that the hypocrites are lying. They have used their oaths as shields and suppress God’s path and it is bad what they are doing.”
إِذَا جَاءَكَ الْمُنَافِقُونَ قَالُوا نَشْهَدُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُ اللَّـهِ وَاللَّـهُ يَعْلَمُ إِنَّكَ لَرَسُولُهُ وَاللَّـهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ لَكَاذِبُونَ
Then the hypocrites came to you and swore that you are God’s prophet and God knows you are his prophet, and God swears that they are lying.
اتَّخَذُوا أَيْمَانَهُمْ جُنَّةً فَصَدُّوا عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّـهِ ۚ إِنَّهُمْ سَاءَ مَا كَانُوا يَعْمَلُونَ
They have made their oaths a screen (for their misdeeds): thus they obstruct (men) from the Path of Allah: truly evil are their deeds.
And this is the real meaning of the hypocrite: Someone who states something which is contrary to his heart’s belief. And such people have always existed amongst Muslims - they are the Devil’s fifth column that has infiltrated God’s religion. And it was seen clearly how these hypocrites showed their hidden intentions after the Prophet’s demise by usurping the rights of true believers, harassing and hurting them.
So not everyone who claims being a Muslim is really a Muslim nor those who proclaim belief are really believers. It is probable that they are hypocrites and actually feel enmity towards Prophet Mohammad's Household. And there are, in all probability, hypocrites among Shiites too.
We even have reports indicating the existence of such hypocrites. We have had people who lived at the same time as one Imam who then denied the next Imam. There is a hadith by Omar son of Yazid who reports: “I entered the presence of Imam Jaafar Sadegh (A.S.) and he spoke extensively praising the Shiite.” Then he said, “There will be a group of Shiites who are worse than ‘Nasebs’ (a person who has the enmity of the Shia purely because of the Shia’s beliefs.).” I said, “Do they not claim your friendship and stay away from your enemies?” He said yes. So I asked him to identify them to me. He said, “They are a group who will be tested by ‘Zaid’ and by ‘Musa’.”
Evidently the Imam meant the ‘Zaidis’ who believe that Zaid is the real Imam, and ‘Fathis’ who took Abdullah Aftah, Imam's son, after Imam Sadegh, (A.S.), and after the demise of Imam Jaafar Sadegh, did not accept his son Musa, as the next Imam.
It is reported from Imam Sadegh, (A.S.), that "Regarding us, people are divided into three groups: One group befriended us, since they are awaiting the appearance of the twelfth Imam in the hope of material gains. So they repeated and protected our hadith but had shortcomings in their actions. So God will drive them towards the fire.
Another group befriended us. They heard our word and acted upon it in order to receive favours and benefits from people and make a living. But God will fill their stomachs with fire and they will feel thirst and hunger all the time.
The third group befriended us and protected our word; they obeyed our instructions and did not oppose our actions, so they are of us and we are of them." It is also reported from the same Imam defining different kinds of reporters of their hadith where he said, “And a group of them are our enemies (‘naseby’). They cannot contradict us openly so they try and learn some of the true knowledge from us and because of that, they are deemed legitimate and respected by our Shiite. They are despised by our enemies. But they add much falsehood to the true hadith, something that we detest but our faithful followers thinking that they are all from us accept all of them and therefore not only these people have gone astray but also have led others astray too.
These people are more harmful to the Shiite laity than Yazid’s army was to Imam Husain (A.S.) and his companions. Yazid’s army took lives and possessions of Imam Husain and his companions and that would elevate the latter in their spiritual position for what they suffered. But these imposters try to look like us by favouring us and showing hostility towards our enemies, cause uncertainty amongst our followers and so mislead and deny them the chance of embracing righteousness. Nevertheless when God sees someone who truly wants to protect his religion and venerates his Imam (A.S.), God will not leave him to himself to face these deceiving heretics but sends a faithful person to guide him on the right path. God helps him to accept the guidance offered by the faithful guide and so gives him the best benefits of the two worlds while eternal damnation awaits the person who misled him.
I mentioned these reports to inform you that there are all sorts of hypocrites among those who call themselves Shiites - who in the name of Shiism reject Shiism. So you should not be deceived by the mere appearance of their claims and as was mentioned at the end of the above hadith - Whoever truly wishes to protect his religion and venerate his Imam, God will not let him be deceived by the hypocrites and will guide him via His true believers, and gives him the opportunity to be saved. As I mentioned before, this is all based on relying on substantiation and confirmation by God and we must pray to him to guide us. And God will carry out his promise and guide us.
I will send you a few books written by our Mashayekh in rebuttal of those who have criticized the Shaykhi School. I hope that you would study them without any prejudice. And I hope that God would show you the truth clearly. Since you have not mentioned the names of the three books you have read and I do not know the criticisms mentioned in them, I cannot answer them specifically but they are usually of a specific type, and the more recent abusers have learnt from their predecessors and simply re-recite and rewrite the same things.
I hope that you will find all the answers in the books that I will be sending you, except the one that they have invented lately, to which you pointed, about Shaykhis cooperating with colonialists, which was fabricated by Khalesi Zadeh in one of his writings. Surprisingly he mentions at the same place that he has no historical document to substantiate this claim. Yet it is a sad joke that unscrupulous authors quote this baseless claim and accept it and state it as a fact. I saw in a book called “Colonialism’s Mercenaries in Religious Attire” where the author had written extensively on the subject and the author’s only proof was based on KhalesiZadeh’s fabrications.
He was actually an enemy of Prophet Mohammad and his Household. He denied their virtues to the point that he had prohibited mentioning the name of Ali, the Commander of Faithful, in Azaan (the call to prayer recited aloud before daily prayers.). But since God has promised to disgrace the liars, he also mentions in his book that the late Seyyed Kazem Rashti was a citizen of Vladivostok, and was a Russian spy. But by referring to Encyclopaedia Britannica it was found out that the city of Vladivostok was built 20 years after the demise of Seyyed Kazem Rashti. Now you can use this example as a yardstick to check their other claims.
Moreover it is hard to think of a good reason for British and Russian governments to hire the erudite and send them to Iran to write nearly nine hundred and fifty books in various sciences such as theosophy, jurisprudence, mathematics, natural sciences, chemistry, physics and to spend their lives in promoting Islam and reporting the virtues of Prophet Mohammad and his Household. Men who spent their lives inviting Muslims to brotherhood and friendship towards each other. Men who never interfered in governmental matters, or who did not take one tiny step to benefit the foreigners. On the contrary they have written books against them as my eminent great grandfather the late Hajj Mohammad Karim Khan, may God raise his status in Heaven, wrote an expansive book called ‘Nasserieh’, at the request of Nasser-ad-Din Shah, King at a time when the British had anchored at the Port of Boushehr and had landed troops.
That book is about fighting the enemies of Islam and the outcome of the domination of foreigners. There is another book repudiating Christian missionaries, who worked in Iran to expand the influence of their governments and also the promotion of Christianity in Iran. I wonder what benefit such hypothetical spies would have for Russia and Britain. Any rational person who reads the book “Colonialism’s Mercenaries in Religious Attire” would realize that it is a pack of lies and that the writer’s motive had been personal enmity and also to profit from the sale of the book. At the request of one of our friends I have written an answer to that book and God willing, we shall print it and perhaps you might read it too.
Mr. Safari has written: I am sure that you can kindly send me a book, which states the truth and considers Shaykhism as the right path.
As I said before the beliefs of Shaykhis is not anything other than what the Twelve-Imam Shiites believe. As for the criticism directed at us, for the most part they are slanderous and nothing can be found in our books to justify their libellous remarks. The other cases cover issues of disagreement which have always existed amongst scholars and the most important of these are four:
• First is the subject of Resurrection. They slander us that we believe in resurrection of the soul and not the body. God is witness that our Mashayekh have not said such a thing and bodily resurrection is one of the requisites of Islam, and our Mashayekh would never contradict any of the necessities of Islam. They have mentioned in their scientific researches that this physical body does not return on resurrection but that man returns with his ‘original’ body. Some other famous and greatly respected theologians such as Majlessi and Khaje Nassir-Toosi are also of the same belief. Our Mashayekh have offered many intellectual or reported proofs supporting this point. The requirement in Islam is to summarily believe that the body will return and understanding the real nature of it is not a requirement, and if someone expresses an idea somewhat different from the understanding of the common people, it does not necessarily mean that he has deviated from the religion. The characteristics of the ‘Return’ are theoretical and there are fourteen different theories. Our Mashayekh have also expressed their opinion.
• The second point is the matter of virtues of Prophet Mohammad and his Household which has been vastly expounded and mentioned by our Mashayekh. Still, in comparison, they have written less than what Sunni authors have written. It is hard to understand why some, who claim to be Shiites, deny these virtues and show hostility towards those who talk about these virtues, unless we say that these are enemies who are dressed as friends or perhaps through their ignorance they have been deceived by such people.
• Next is acting on a conjecture or guesswork and without proof. Some theologians have claimed that, “At this time irrefutable knowledge of the Imam’s dictums cannot be attained and so we can only make a guess. And since we are theologians if we arrive at a conjecture then that would be God’s decision and we and our followers must obey it without any question.” But Shaykhis do not accept this and believe that the flow of knowledge from Imams is not cut off and irrefutable knowledge of them can be attained. It is important to note that based on more than 70 verses of the Holy Quraan and more than a thousand hadith, acting on a conjecture is forbidden. And this has been discussed extensively in our books. I will send you two books: ‘Ershad-ol-Avam’ (Guidance for the common) by the late Hajj Mohammad-Karim Khan Kermani, which completely covers shaykhi beliefs concerning The Unity of God, the Prophet, Imams, and the recognition of the Shiites and where the topic of Resurrection has also been extensively discussed. The other book is ‘Ejtahad and Taghlid’ (Adjudication and Compliance) - written by my father where it has been shown that to act on the basis of a conjecture is not permitted. I hope that by reading these two books no ambiguity about Shaykhi beliefs would remain for you.
• Another issue is the definition of the ‘Principles of the Religion’ that are wrongly trumped up to excite the laity whereas there is no dissimilarity. The ‘Principles of the Religion’ in the order that they recount them has not been reported from the Imams. Based on their own preference, each theologian has regarded some issues as ‘primary’ principles and some others as secondary. Some have even said the main and only principle is monotheism and the rest are all secondary. Some have counted only three: believing in the one and only God, then the Prophet Mohammed, and then the Imams (the successors). And some have counted five: Believing in unity of God, Justice of God, the Prophet, believing in the Resurrection, and finally the Imams.
Our Mashayekh have said that there are four pillars to the religion: Recognition of God including all of His Attributes; Recognition of God’s Prophet and accepting everything he has brought; Recognition of Imams and accepting their virtues; Recognition of the Shiites and befriending the friends and hostility toward the enemies of Mohammad and his Household, Peace be upon them all.
Their choice does not differ from that of others, however. The pillars that they have mentioned actually embrace the five principles because justice is included in the Attributes of God and Resurrection is included in what the Prophet has brought. The issue of ‘friendship’ and ‘hostility’ is also mentioned by some other theologians.
In short if the purpose is believing these issues, then the ‘Five Principles’ and these four embrace the same things. But if the disagreement is over the terminology, there is no mention of specific words in the hadith that anyone who contradicts them has done wrong. On the other hand if by principles it is meant that not believing any of them necessitates going out of Islam, well this includes the secondary principles too. Surely if someone denies the daily prayers, or the Hajj pilgrimage, or the paying of tithe (one fifth in Islam), or commits hostility towards Shiite brethren and befriends their enemies, then he is out of Islam. Anyway, there is no disagreement about the meanings and the issue was raised just for agitation.
Mr. Safari has written: Please describe your views about Iran of today and the world in the twentieth century. This is very important for me.
Each person looks at the world from a different point of view. If you want to look from my view point you must become familiar with my way of thinking. So by way of a short introduction, the way I see it the people who live on this earth have a material body, same as other physical objects. Behind this body I feel there is a spirit, such as that in all vegetation. Now any ‘vegetal’ trait that they have, comes from their ‘vegetal’ spirit.
For example plants take their food from the ground, they process it in their leaves, use some of it and get rid of some by evaporation or other ways. What they keep is sent to branches causing growth that also makes the tree beautiful with foliage and flowers. Some of the food is used to produce flowers containing male and female organs producing pollens causing insemination thus producing fruits and seeds for reproduction. At times they are awake and active and at other times slow or asleep.
Finally when they get old they discharge more than they take in and their body dwindles and dies. I see these activities in humans, like needing food, water, then sending these to their stomach, digesting them, sending the refined juice to the organs to facilitate their livelihood and growth, and reject the leftovers through kidneys, intestines or perspiration. They also make clothes from plants or other materials and adorn themselves. They produce semen from the food they digest. And by men and women getting together children are bred, and little by little they get old and sick and discharge more than they take in, they lose weight and finally they die. When I see all this I say that this is all the actions of their ‘vegetal’ spirit. I see people who spend all their lives doing only these activities resembling trees that are a little more advanced than other trees but you cannot call them anything else other than trees!
Beyond this ‘vegetal’ spirit, I sense another spirit in humans which is similar to that of animals. All the activities that I see from them that are also found in animals arise from this ‘animal’ spirit. For example I notice that animals hear, see, taste, smell, and touch; they turn to whatever agrees with their nature and turn away from anything that is against their nature. They transgress upon other animals, plants, or even minerals. They drink any water or eat any fodder they find, no matter to whom it belongs. The male animal jumps on any female animal it sees or the ferocious ones tear up the weaker and eat them. As long as no obstacle is in their way or stronger animal has not stopped them, they do anything that their ‘heart’ desires. They behave as their nature calls; some are strong and courageous like lions, so they attack; some are weak and timid like a gazelle, so they flee. Some are deceitful like a fox and get what they want by cheating; and some are harmless and stupid like sheep and become prey for others.
So when I see these traits in humans I associate them to their animal spirit. If some spend their whole life doing just these things, in my opinion, they are animals that can speak and are no different from animals except that they are somewhat smarter, and can manipulate and use their wit to satisfy the desires of their animal, vegetal, and mineral spirits. They can fulfil their desires more fully, such as people who have no second thoughts about what they eat or drink, whether it is water or wine, whether it is lamb or pork, whether it is permissible or not, unless it is too tough to chew. No goods are forbidden to them unless they are out of reach or the owner stops them, otherwise there is no inner force to stop them.
They steal other people’s possessions; if they have power they will confiscate it; or try to win it in a wager, if not by cheating. If he sees a woman, he wants to possess her - if possible with her consent and if not by cheating or by force if he can manage it unless he fears someone stronger. There is no inner force to stop him.
But there are a small number of human beings who have something which is higher than their animal or vegetal spirit, by which they keep these spirits under control. Such a person does not eat forbidden food even when he is hungry and when he has permissible food he eats moderately. He might be poor but does not take the possessions of others. When he sees a woman, although he may have an acute desire, he does not do anything except with his own legal wife. In dealing with those who are weaker than him, he never acts cruelly or seizes their property and always shows great self-control. All these traits point to something in him that is above the animal spirit. This is the ‘rational spirit’ which has sensations and perceptions above animal spirit. It has imagination, thinks, learns, and has understanding.
However, we see two groups among those with a ‘rational spirit’: one which has yielded to its vegetal and animal spirits and uses its rational spirit to strengthen those spirits and their desires. They use their knowledge to gain better food for their vegetal aspect, or providing objects and arms for committing cruel acts and trespasses to strengthen their animal aspect and consequently to be able to commit more cruelty and aggression and exterminate the weak. At times they cheat the young and the gullible and by scientific or economic manoeuvring rob others blind and rule them. If sometimes they control one of their animal traits it is because of another animal trait that they like more. For example they figure that aggression and taking possession of people’s assets may harm their reign so they do not do it in order to solidify their domination. Against their nature, they may even act generously to achieve their main desire which is to rule. Sometimes they waive a small amount to deceive the person and later take a much bigger amount from him. And so on.
But there is another kind of people with rational spirit who do not receive their orders from their vegetal and animal spirits. They receive their orders from an outside source. They use their imagination, knowledge, understanding, and also their animal and vegetal potentials to carry out the orders of that outside source. It does not matter to them if what they do pleases their animal and vegetal spirits. By these outside sources I mean the prophets, and their commands, which forms religion, and the people who carry out their instructions are the faithful believers. I am certain that if you pay attention you will also see the situation in the same way.
Now I must write another introduction for you. What history and the investigations by geologists and archaeologists show us is that at first and for a long while there was only mineral matter on this planet. After many years elementary small plants appeared and gradually they evolved into more developed plants, and for many years there was no living thing on earth except plants. All plants evolved to a more perfect form and then in time degenerated and became extinct. So many plants whose fossils have been found do not exist anymore. There are also some that are found and are flourishing; and there are some that are approaching extinction, such as sycamore trees.
A long time passed until elementary animals such as insects appeared. Eventually more complex animals such as reptiles, birds, and rapacious animals appeared. They have followed the same pattern: evolving to a more perfect form and then declining and finally becoming extinct. This is happening right now as some are evolving and increasing in numbers and some are said to be dwindling in numbers and thus facing extinction such as lions.
And then man appeared on earth. Prehistoric evidence shows that at first they were not smart. Little by little they became smarter. Then primitive crafts were discovered and improved over time. As history shows each generation is smarter and more knowledgeable than the previous. The population is increasing and is still advancing. Compared with the fate of other creatures, man will also reach its pinnacle in numbers and understanding and will eventually die out and become extinct, of course unless God wishes otherwise.
Surprisingly if you look carefully you will see the happenings of the past eons in a short period of time. For example evolution of human perception can be seen in the life span of a child. When it is born its perception is lower than many animals. This corresponds with the primitive men. Then within 30 or 40 years it gets to a point that he learns and understands the most advanced knowledge of modern man and in one year can improve as much as what had been achieved in one of the past centuries. You can see the process of development in the past by watching a man during his lifetime. If you are keen-eyed you can even see the evolution of the world in one man. You see him just as semen when the ‘mineral aspect’ is predominant. Then like a vegetable he draws nutrition from its mother’s blood and by digesting it grows, day by day, until blood and bone appear. After four months, mother's lifeblood will lighten up its unlit and dim delicate soul and his animal aspect awakens.
Then his mineral and animal aspects keep growing until he comes out of his mother’s womb and the first sign of the Rational spirit appears in him. At first consuming the mother’s milk and then later various foods he grows until the age of 25 or 26. His ‘vegetal’ features improve and grow until 40 or 50 when it attains its peak. Then it starts its downfall until it dies. His ‘animal’ element grows alongside his ‘vegetal’ element as ‘fodder’ becomes plentiful and then weakens as the food diminishes. The rational spirit is very weak at the beginning because its food is not like animal food, and it remains weak if that special food is not given to it. This food is spiritual and is the education and coaching that parents and people around offer. And these words are the food for the rational spirit. For example if a child is raised by animals, as has happened, it will not have any spiritual improvement and will become wild like animals. On the other hand if it is raised by a mother and father, their teachings would affect him gradually and it becomes wise and perceptive. The wiser the parents and their friends, the sooner the child will mature and become wise. For example a child who is raised in a large city understands more than a child brought up in villages among simple people. The same difference is with a child brought up in an educated family and one raised by an uneducated family.
At any rate the child matures and leaves his animal state and his rational spirit becomes strong and gains understanding so that the meanings of words affect him. At first he does not have self confidence and obeys what he is told and has no independence. But as he matures he gains self confidence and decides for himself except that he uses his capability towards gaining his animal desires and frivolities. He even disobeys his parents and believes himself smarter; and may even ridicule them. This state peaks during the age of puberty. Past this stage his understanding increases and realizes that his parents were right and starts yielding and obeying until at forty or fifty when his understanding peaks.
Now if he is the type that is attracted to vegetal and animal elements, his seeing and hearing is through them and he embodies himself in them and obeys them. And as the vegetal and animal elements weaken and deteriorate, he loses his power of understanding and dies as those elements do.
But if he looked to an external source for guidance, then as long as this external guide exists, his understanding is also preserved, because he has freed himself from his vegetal, animal, and mineral aspects, and is connected to a higher source. It is like a glass sitting on a table, if the table breaks the glass will fall and break too. But if the glass is tied to the ceiling with a string, the breaking of the table would not affect it and it will not fall and will not break because it is connected to something higher up.
Much has been said and can be said on this premise. In short I wanted to show you how the life history of ‘MAN KIND’ can be observed in one man’s lifespan and by this knowledge the unknown can be deduced.
Back to the history - we notice that once in a while some persons appeared who considered themselves above others. They claimed that they possessed a spirit superior to that of others; just as animals have a spirit that is not found in plants which allows them to do things that plants cannot, like seeing, hearing, tasting, etc, humans also have a spirit that animals do not, which enables them to do things that animals cannot do such as imagining, thinking, learning, inventing, etc.
Now these persons claimed that they have a superior spirit that is not found in other humans and that they can do things that ordinary humans cannot. As it is mentioned repeatedly in history, they did extraordinary things to prove their superiority such as bringing the dead back to life, divination, ordering plants and animals to do things as told and exercising powers on earth and in the sky to degrees that no other man could do. So people acknowledged them and since we have no reason to deny them, we acknowledge them too; because denial requires good reasons.
As we have powers of perception and execution superior to that of animals, there may also be persons who have perceptive powers superior to that of ours. There is no reason why they should not exist but there is good reason why they should exist and such phenomena are mentioned in reports and recorded in history and there are analogies to the truth in their statement. Anyway all those people, living at different times in history have all said the same thing:
“O, human beings, you are heedless of your surroundings. The world is not limited to what you see around you; there are other worlds beyond this physical three-dimensional world, the time and space which you sense. You cannot see them, just as plants cannot see the things around them and are not aware of what you can see.
Similarly we have senses which you do not have. We have a spirit which you do not have, by which we can perceive the invisible worlds. We can do a lot of things that you cannot do. Many things are visible to us but are concealed to you.
Now this great world that you can see and those concealed worlds that we can see, have a God who is Grand and that has created everything - including us, you and all the worlds from nonexistence. Realizing Him in His Essence is impossible for you and us. Except that since we were bestowed with knowledge and an unblemished heart, through revelation God has told us that there is no God except Him and that He is the unquestioned ruler of all worlds. He has also told us and ordered us to inform you that there is no God except him, and that he set up this huge factory to produce intelligent creatures to realize his Majesty and Might, to recognize his Attributes and to serve him.
This is the reason behind creation of the world. But of course, in the process, second rate products also appeared and because of their deficiencies they could not attain their optimum condition. They are actually factory rejects; each of which has stopped at a certain level and all of whom will be finally discarded. All the mineral, vegetal and animal kingdoms at various levels of ability are also ‘partly made’ and have not gone higher than certain degrees – all will be terminated, discarded and returned to earth by God.
And you, the human beings, are at a higher level than these three groups and you do have the aptitude to improve and not to get stuck half way. You can get close to being a perfect human, of which we are perfect examples. The reason for your failure is that you have enslaved yourselves to your mineral, vegetal and animal elements to the point that you are mistaking your humanity for those three and act like them. You are like a rider who has mistaken himself for his mount. When the horse is hungry you think that you are hungry or when the horse is drawn to a mare you think that you have feelings for the mare. Such a rider is unaware of his independence from the horse and that he is not related to the horse. He is negligent of the fact that his food is another kind of food and that his affections lie somewhere else - consequently he has neglected himself and has only been taking care of the horse. It will not be long before he dies of starvation!
Now you have such a problem and the Kind God has sent us to teach and remind you that you are not the horse and that you are supposed to be humans and try to strengthen that dimension of your being and help it to become everlasting. The horse will perish sooner or later. If you want to remain and enjoy the eternal bounties then obey us and follow our instructions, manner and behaviour. As the material substance making up your body is not balanced, we will tell you how to clean and to keep it clean and balanced and to avoid those things which are detrimental to it and contaminations that would throw it out of keel.
And as your material substance becomes more pure and balanced, it will cause your vegetal spirit to become balanced. We will tell you which good drinks and foods to consume to achieve a stable state. And to avoid certain things that cause imbalance. When your vegetal spirit stabilizes then your animal spirit stabilizes and so your rational spirit which rides your animal spirit will become submissive and its insubordinations will end and it will go where you want it to go and not where it desires.
To strengthen your rational spirit you must always pay attention to us and model your intrinsic ethics after ours and comply with our attributes. The sign of your success is that you will love and befriend us. That is because endearment and friendship appears between two beings that are of the same kind or possess the same characteristics. As long as your attention is with the animal spirit you will show animal characteristics and your goals and desires would be animal-like and will not resemble us and so you will not cherish us.
But if you adorn yourselves with our attributes you will become like us and the affection for us will settle in your heart and you will always be heedful of us. We resemble a lamp. The Light of God has appeared in our heart and it is radiating from our existence. When you pay all your attention to us all the time, then the Light of God will enter your heart and lighten it up and you will be adorned with qualities like ours, which are approved by God. If you continue, the Light of God will blend with you so that you will radiate it too.
That Light is the same human spirit that we discussed. The rational spirit that you have is like a lifeless body. It is like fuel which is not alight. If you turn to us the fire that is within us will warm up the fuel of your rational spirit, vaporizes it to a point where you light up spontaneously. Then you will realize that you are born into a new life and that you have senses and feelings above what you have now - You do not have to study blindly like before. You have a vision that lets you see without any teaching. Like a blind person who would study the science of colours for years and in the end would not understand the meaning of colours but would use terminology whose meaning he does not know, but now that your eyes are open you can see and differentiate them all at once. All this is because of that spirit which is the manifestation of the Light of God and all the power is from Him. You then have that power. Whatever you order, will happen. You do not need those old instruments and means. Therefore if you obey us you will become such a perfect being, independent of the animal or vegetal support. By the power of God, if they die you will remain. You will enjoy numerous bounties which you cannot even imagine now. By the power of God you will have everything and you will be able to do anything.”
Instructions of the prophets are their religions. Different parts of religion improve the mineral, the vegetal, the animal and finally the rational spirit. Among these instructions we find remedies for social problems. Looking throughout history shows that each prophet who has come and brought a religion has had some followers. Following their instructions has brought progress and improvement. Some even caused a jump in the intelligence of the people to achieve higher standards of civilization.
For example the Israelites who were destitute and with low degree of perception transcended to high positions under the tutoring of prophet Moses (A.S.), where they even formed great kingdoms. Even those who were not evidently Jewish excelled in thinking and wisdom just by socializing with Jews. And many took to what prophets had brought and accepted them even without understanding their meaning or origin.
Now if you consider Jewish annals unreliable, here is the history of Islam. You see how some people who were uncivilized nomads, who ate lizards and buried their new-born baby girls alive because of total ignorance, and who knew nothing but killing and plundering, or horses and swords, got to a point through the Prophet’s teaching that they managed to defeat big and strong empires such as Iran and Rome.
They also progressed in various fields of science. Europeans who came in contact with them during the crusades learned those sciences, which helped them achieve outstanding progress. It can be said that where they are now is on the basis of those basic sciences that they had acquired from Muslims.
What I am trying to conclude is that it has been the prophets who have caused development and progress of thinking amongst human beings; and their teaching has provided food for their rational soul and strengthened it until people reached where they are now.
It is the same as bringing up a child where the father knows what to teach him at each age. For example during childhood more stress is put on cleanliness, the art of eating, the guidelines of sleeping and getting up and so on and so forth. When the child grows up step by step and his mind develops, he is persuaded to read and write; but he is not forced to understand everything that he is taught.
Then as he gradually grows he is taught social behaviour and good manners and balanced temperament. The more his intelligence grows, the more he is taught higher and higher subjects and topics. Now human beings, at different periods in history, resemble different stages of a child’s life. Their understanding and intelligence grew just like a child’s. So the prophets at each time would speak at a level that people could understand. As people progressed then God would send a prophet to bring a higher level of the religion to preach to them. But people who followed them did not all quite understand what they were being preached.
They were mostly weak and were not really committed - like a six or seven year-old child who listens and obeys his father out of weakness of the soul and mind and not with the strength of commitment. He is shaped the way it is modelled and stays the way it is formed, like bee wax that keeps its form. But if the child is taken to a ‘warm’ environment it will gradually become soft and pliable till it loses its shape. When it becomes warmer still, it melts down and all those shapes that he was made into will disappear and will then acquire the shape of the container it is in, it will take the shape of a cube if in a cubical container and round if in a spherical container exactly like the child who believed his father and his mind took the shape of his father’s mind.
But as its intellect develops it tosses away all those forms and forgets all those instructions but since the ‘wax’ of his rational spirit is placed in his mineral, vegetal, and animal containers, and when his sense of understanding that he had acquired from his father is not rigid anymore and is flowing, it takes the form of the animal and vegetal containers. Then his desires will take the shape of his animal and vegetal desires. And this is the situation of a child close to puberty when it loses all its previous achievements and forms and switches to animal and vegetal desires. It exhibits insolence and does not listen to elders and does not pay heed to its parents and considers itself smarter than them. Now the parents are not happy with this situation, in fact they are very unhappy, but are hopeful that the young person will eventually become wise and put aside the current repulsive behaviour. In fact this behaviour is promising to the parents because this shows the awakening of the intelligence, where the previous obedience was due to lack of understanding and weakness of the spirit.
They are hopeful that soon the rational spirit would become inflamed by the heat of wisdom and this wisdom would dominate its mind and eventually he would put aside all those reprehensible behaviour and become a wise person. Remember the example of the bee’s wax; since our aim was for it to catch fire we would not mind losing all the forms we had given it when it was cold and pliable. We do not feel sorry when it starts to melt and run down into the corners and crevices of the shapeless container since we know that at the end as the temperature goes up, it vaporizes and suddenly ignites and the concealed fire within will appear and become the dominant force. Then this ‘fire’ will be the ruler and by its order all the wax starts vaporizing and going up to a higher status rather than lower.
Now, similarly, people obeyed the prophets in the past because they were in their rigid state and in whatever shape they were placed, they remained the same, and they got used to whatever habit they had acquired. But little by little as the wax of their mind starts warming, softening, and melting and those old shapes and old habits disappear. Because of the natural gravity, their understanding descends and fills their animal and vegetal containers and takes the shape of these containers which are animal and vegetal desires and strengthens them by full force.
But the wise remain hopeful because it will not take long before the understanding loses its rigidity and melts down and soon vaporizes and is ready to be ignited by the fire of wisdom. And as soon as the fire of wisdom appears, this vapour ignites and then wisdom rules. By wisdom’s order they leave the vegetal and animal containers and ascend towards the heavens of wisdom. That is when injustice subsides, darkness disappears, and the world will brighten up. Then the era of the animal rule ends and wisdom starts to reign. That is when animalism will stay at its stations, and needs no orders not to violate each other or act cruelly, when wolf and lamb will live side by side.
Now that you have read this introduction and become familiar with our way of thinking I will answer your question about my opinion of the twentieth century. I consider the world at twentieth century as a child that is approaching the age of puberty. His understanding is increasing and the wax of his understanding is melting. He has had some habits called religion or habits that had reached him indirectly and he has called them other names such as humanity, honour, altruism, and so on – but gradually he will lose all these. His shapeless senses are now more directed towards vegetal and animal natures, taking their shape and also strengthening them. For proof of this you may refer to the statistics of crimes and see that murder, crime and sexual offence are increasing steadily. On the other hand compassion, kindness, friendliness, gratefulness, and other virtues are diminishing steadily. Instead animal nature is getting stronger day by day. Science and intelligence are at the service of these new rulers – the animal traits.
Men are so infatuated with women and desire them that they try to look like them. They lengthen their hair, use make up and wear the same colour and types of clothes. By the same token women try to look and dress like men. They send the adolescents to classes that teach them sexual facts. Among those who are more perverted you find men who choose men as their spouse and similarly women with women. Their statesmen pass special laws for these people. Boys and girls are allowed to mingle, producing countless illegitimate children. Then they try to cure the bad with even worse and legalize abortion. Some others go further and try to look and live like animals and become hippies; letting their hair grow dirty and unkempt, abandoning all human traits and they use alcoholic drinks and narcotics to get rid of the least amount of residual intelligence.
The goal of their scientific endeavours is the desires of animal and vegetal spirits. They study ‘economics’ to obtain more money and more food and also how to loot and empty the pockets of the less intelligent. Industry is directed toward manufacturing more devastating arms and ammunitions in order that some kill others or to scare them and exploit them and take everything they have. They start conflicts between governments so that these governments would have to buy arms to strengthen themselves and consequently parting with their hard earned money and then start killing each other while devastating their joy of life; rendering them needy and destitute so that they can be taken into slavery. If they give gratuitous aids to poorer nations it is effectively to fatten the lamb for the slaughter, because if a nation is extremely poor it has nothing for them to pillage.
They appear to give aid in the name of humanity, but they get it back in multiples through buying the recipients’ raw materials at low prices. But never think that the weak are any better than the strong. They are also slaves of their animal nature and they would do exactly the same if they could. The lion tears up the fox and the fox chokes the chickens. They are all under the rule of their dominant animal nature and all the science and knowledge is at its service.
Conditions in Iran today are the same. Everybody is trying to catch up with the 20th century Western civilization. They mention God and His Prophet but it is only talk and no action. They are galloping to catch up with the ‘civilized’ ones, but by the time they have progressed a mile, those people have moved 100 miles ahead and so will always stay ahead of these and keep them like infatuated slaves.
Being much weaker, these people realize that they cannot catch up with the West’s power and science so they try to make their appearance like theirs. There is not a single obscene act on the other side of the world which does not become fashionable here. If a silly woman wears a certain dress there, here all the respectable women wear it. Any nonsense that is said there is treated like gospel here.
The only wisdom is Western wisdom and similarly civility is Western civility to a point that they do not observe any of their own traditions and national culture. The highest honour for a person is to dress like them and speak without an accent so that he can pass for an American or European. In a country populated by Muslims they buy the most expensive imported alcoholic beverages and pork at prices much higher than beef or lamb and feed them to their guests at extravagant parties.
They try to teach English to their children even before they have learnt their mother tongue. They pay very high fees to enlist their children in schools where only English is spoken - and probably before they finish high school they have not been taken to a mosque or a religious gathering to hear the word of God. Such parents are ready to sell everything they own to send their children to Europe or America for them to become exactly like the Europeans or Americans. This child, if he is smart, will stay there and go into their service, forget his parents, his people, and his country. He will eventually get married there and coveting material wealth will abandon his beliefs, his religion, his nationality and his ethnicity. In short this person who was raised and fed with our bread and water and educated at our people’s expense is given to them on a platter. If on the other hand he was not smart, then he would come back and bring despicable characteristics and customs as gifts. Perhaps just a few of them return while still maintaining their religion and beliefs, also bringing the knowledge they have acquired. They may have the intention of serving their brethren and also the love of the motherland and to start working in this country.
But it is bewildering to see this common weakness of spirit reigning over our new generation which has rendered them worshippers of foreigners and their customs, culture and ethics. They have sacrificed their religion but also their nationality and ethnicity for them. Just as the faithful try to follow religious rules meticulously even if they are alone at home, those people mimic the foreigners meticulously.
More surprising are those who consider themselves religious spokesmen but follow the foreigners’ style of interpretation and recommend their style and action as a pattern for their followers to copy. Science is considered their science and logic is their logic. They believe that Islamic rules are limited to those needed to correct the mineral, the vegetal, and the animal traits in us to produce an orderly society which in reality are all prerequisites of acquiring humanity and consequently miss this main purpose. Moreover they claim that ‘the door to the knowledge’ of religious rulings is closed regarding these issues. They have then allowed themselves to become partners of God and the Prophet by putting their own interpretations and suppositions at the same level as God’s instructions, and order people to act according to these suppositions which is a slanderous act against Islam. They claim that Islam as a religion is alive so for new situations new rulings must be devised by the clergy, whose conjecture is the rule of God and people must follow it.
If you think and open up this statement it means that God has not sent rules for modern situations or if he has then the Prophet has failed to deliver and so the clergy have to correct this fault with their imperfect intelligence. The Prophet himself was not permitted to make any ruling on his own without revelation from God and now a clergy’s faulty conjecture without any revelation from God or received knowledge from the holy Prophet is the religious ruling for today’s situation and it is considered the rule of God and so the flaw in religion has been rectified and Islam has so become fresh and alive! I seek refuge from the wrath of God.
Now although there are some seventy Ayahs/verses in the Holy Quraan, citing that acting according to conjecture is blasphemous. Look what these people who have turned to their animal spirit and have turned their back to God and abandoned religion are doing.
Anyhow this is a view of the vanguards of the twentieth century and the developed nations who are the leaders of the developing nations. And this is the state of the people of our country who comply with them and hope to catch up with them.
As I mentioned in the preliminaries, none of these is unexpected but they are the requisites of the natural course of the world. All of these have been mentioned in the Hadith by Prophet and his Household, and these have been described and predicted by them. We are observing a great deal of what they have predicted. They have also mentioned that all of the blessings belong to this era.
This is because the level of people’s intelligence has risen, their level of understanding has increased, and people have gained aptitudes that they did not have before. It would not be long before they will realize that this behaviour would not result in anything other than corruption. They will see its harms clearly. Life will become so unbearable that they will despise what they are doing. They will start looking for a Saviour - someone to save them from this morass. That is when wax of their intelligence will start melting and rise in vapour and become ready to be ignited by the fire of Wisdom. That is when our Saviour, May God Speed, will step out of concealment and introduce and declare himself. Just as if you light a match in a large space which is saturated with gasoline vapour - all of it ignites at once, his appearance will cause the flame of Wisdom, which he represents, to ignite all those spirits which are ready, to become wise and everyone becomes ‘human’ after having been in an animal state.
It is a great change in a plant if an animal spirit occupies it. Now if the spirit of humanity fills the rational spirit, a much greater revolution takes place. For example, seeing and hearing are possible for animals but not for plants, in the same way when people acquire the spirit of humanity they will be able to feel and understand a lot more than they do now. Then they will have obligations appropriate to their human spirit, which they do not have now. At that time the Imam will tell them of their responsibilities. This is what is meant by ‘new order and new book’ mentioned in the hadith which is even difficult for the Arabs to accept.
However, the present religion which was delivered and declared - and all that could be heard and understood by the ears of the rational spirit has been heard – and will remain so and this part will remain unchanged. The ‘new order’ is that part which could not be heard by the ears of this speaking ‘animal’. It must be heard by ‘human’ ears. So as soon as the ‘human’ spirit appears it will hear that voice; the same way that plants cannot see the sun’s light that fills the whole world, the way that animals do - But when the animal spirit appears it can see the light with its animal eyes.
Now the Imam, may God speed his advent, exists and emits God’s Light to people’s hearts but we are blind and our ‘human’ eyes have not yet opened to it. In order to get to that stage we must cleanse our spirit and refine our capabilities to make possible the appearance of that spirit. He has advised people in his letter saying: “Your actions are not concealed from us, so support us through morality, perseverance, piety, and endeavour.” This directive is for purifying and stabilizing the spirit to prepare it for the emergence of human spirit and opening of the ‘truth-seeing’ eye, and the sense of perceiving Him.
If people are the same as they were in the past and have only a superficial recognition of him, like knowing his name and ancestry, his demeanour, bravery, generosity, humbleness, compassion, and other apparent greatnesses, then there would have been no need for such a long concealment. Because God and the Imam who gains his power from God did not have to wait for the proper circumstances to develop so that Imam could appear and exterminate the heathens. This was possible on the first day but he wants humanity to emerge and his mission is to develop and be the mentor of humanity and this is only possible by instructing and coaching - not by force of arms.
You may certainly make an animal refrain from an unacceptable act by threatening it but that does not make it a human. The concealment of Imam should continue until this spirit is developed and appears. The Imam, although concealed from us, is carrying out his responsibility as is evident from his letter where it says:
“We will not leave you to yourselves and will be minding you.”
But this takes time - like training a child to become a worthy engineer. This cannot be done overnight. A tutor must be engaged to teach reading and writing in the first year. Then he must go to higher classes and have higher teachers so that after 12 years he becomes prepared to study engineering under a master. While the student is going through the preparatory years, there is no need for the master engineer to be personally teaching him – other ‘primary and secondary’ teachers would suffice adequately. Of course the master engineer prepares the schedule of lessons and oversees the process being handled by worthy and suitable teachers.
Similarly, the concealment of Imam does not mean that he does not oversee or take care of the realm of Islam, or that he has taken refuge in some place out of fear of the enemy. No, he is diligently doing his duty in instructing and guiding the nation of Islam. The primary teachings are the responsibility of the religion's erudite. As the intelligence and understanding of people increases, higher teachers will take over the task of instructing them.
If we look through the books written by Shiite erudite we will see how year after year and century after century the content of their teachings has risen to higher standards. As I mentioned before, the prophets’ advice is to correct the basics - starting with the mineral spirit then to amend the vegetal spirit, then the animal, the rational spirit, the saintly spirit, and finally to whatever they see fit. All these have been mentioned in their discussions and hadith.
Then at each period the erudite have explained as much as was appropriate to the nation’s state of mind and capabilities. At lower levels they have usually dealt with rules of what is visible or rules for amending the mineral, the vegetal and the animal in us. Now if you look in the religious jurists’ books you can see the purpose of each ruling. For example rules for cleanliness, or uncleanliness, ablution, clothes and dwellings and so on are for amending the visible mineral part. Rules for eating and drinking, halaal and haraam foods (religiously clean and unclean) and so on are to amend the ‘vegetable’ body. Rules for judgment, testifying, various punishments are to harness the animal spirit.
And also the rules for paying alms, religious levy (1/5 of income, comparable to tithe) and those concerning money and property are to maintain a social balance and provide for all social classes. The rules for marriage, divorce, social behaviour and so on are to ease the burdens of survival and socializing and so on. Rules of worshipping and prayers recommended for amending the spirit are only mentioned in the simplest form which the novice can understand; such as how to pronounce different letters in prayers, to narrate loudly or quietly, how to stand, how to bow, how to prostrate in submission, and so on but there is not a word in these books about the inner meanings of the daily prayer - only the apparent manners of prayer are discussed.
But as people’s understanding improved, books started discussing worship for the spirit, ethical behaviour, and the journey toward God. And so a higher level of erudite was commissioned for this, among whom our Shaykhi erudite are counted. They started their teachings 160 years ago and not only have they expounded on the religious rules but also the more advanced rules and procedures for amending the spirit which are all adopted from the God’s Book, the precedents set be the Prophet, and the hadith handed down from the members of the Prophet’s Household (Imams) where they have mentioned and expounded on them in their books, sermons, and classes.
They have written about 950 books of which about eight hundred exist; many of which have been printed and the rest are in the process. There are over 2000 sermons and thousands of class lectures at hand that have been written during the classes or the sermons and we have started printing them.
All these are teachings for the next step in pursuit of the religion: meaning journey toward God and gaining insight into the reality of things, gaining a better perception of God and His attributes, gaining a better perception of the Prophet and the Imams - their virtues and high positions - May God’s blessing be upon him and his Household.
They mostly contain the procedures to prepare and amend the rational spirit to accept the human spirit and also the true perception of the Imams. The presence of the Mashayekh and their teachings is itself a sign of proximity of the advent of the 12th Imam, May God speed. It is like the break of dawn which is a vanguard of the sunrise.
But some narrow-minded clergy who were teaching primary classes, fearing the closure of their classes, denied altogether that there is a higher class. They think that Islam’s teachings, the appointment and sending of the prophets and holy books, and the creation of heaven and earth was all for the sake of teaching a few rules and regulations about women’s monthly habits, or men’s ablutions, or rules concerning trade, and so on!
They think as if one would graduate just by knowing these or that they are the only teachers that there are. They are oblivious to the fact that creation of this fantastic world was not just for these puny goals. The Creator of this world has had a much greater intention and has made and will make the necessary preparations for it. So protesting and denying or excommunicating is of no use except to cause their own loss of respect, as it has happened. This procedure will continue and there is no chance of it reversing. God leads the people to their predestined objective. “God takes the ship where He wants it even if the captain rips his shirt apart!”
We thank God for showing us the right path through the guidance of the erudite: our Mashayekh, and for setting us straight as to where he wants us to go. We will tell the Word of God as much as possible which is a practical prayer for the advent of the concealed Imam. We do not stop at recited prayers only.
I better cut short. I hope that you have understood our way of thinking from what I have written so far. I am sending you a few books to help you perceive our Mashayekh’s words in detail which of course are all taken from the words of Prophet Mohammad and his Household, may God bless them.
God’s praise be on Prophet Mohammad, his Household, and his advocates.
Finished by my hand: AbdulReza son of AbolGhasem, son of ZeinolAbedin, on the morning of Seventh of Rajab, the lunar year 1391 - Saturday 28 August 1971.