Charles Reed Peers.

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according to the estimation of their sins.

Here is a short account of what I have learned from the
speeches of intelligent men of the right faith. It is con-
tained in their books that the first being created was the
spirit of Muhammed: —



On the day of resurrection, heav^en and hell shall be made
ready; the dispersed members shall again form their body
and be reunited; and the soul shall again take possession of
them. Some shall be carried to heaven, others to hell.
The first of mankind who was created was Adam; he was
the father of men; his body was of earth ; Adam was the
father of all bodies, and Muhammed the father of all spirits.



that is : " You raised to the khalifat Abubekr, without
having due sanction for it '^ ; on which account they re-
ceived the title of Navdsdby " enemies, ^^ and each of these
two sects had two names; the one their own, on account
of the part which they took in the appointment of the
khalif, and the other name, which their antagonist or enemy
gave them ; all the companions called themselves the people
of the faith ^ or the people of the Sonnat and farnddt,
w^hile those eighteen persons called them navdseb, " ene-
mies,'' and to themselves they gave the title of fnti?nin^
* believers,'' and Shidhs, "troop," but all the companions
named them Rdf^s, "heretics." Afterward, the religion of



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 329

the Navds^b divided itself into fifty and five sects, and
that of the Ravdf^s into eighteen, as it was said: —



Of these sects, one only is to belong to the people of
salvation, because they profess the right faith, and this
right faith consists in believing the unity, the justice of
God, the dignity of the prophet and of the Imam, and the
resurrection, and in maintaining the truth of each of these
five articles. As God Almighty thinks good to choose one
among his servants, whom he sends as his prophet and
apostle, that he may announce the right way to his subjects
and creatures, he who is sent must be pure of all our ve-
nial and mortal sins ; his word is to be a mediation between
God and man ; and the prophet, who is sent by God, finds
it necessary to choose one like him to fill his place after
him, and this substitute must also be pure of all venial and
mortal sins ; this substitute, or khalif, must choose one who
may take his place after him, so that the center of the face
of the earth may never remain destitute of Imdms; and
that, by the reasoning of wisdom and by his efforts, the
decisions in the law may be preserved right, and the col-
lection of proofs not lose its purity among them. Muham-
med chose Ali, and appointed him his executor and khalif,
and AH, after Muhammed, was the best and wisest of all
prophets of the family; the other Imams (the blessing of God
be upon them!) were his sons; as the first, so were the
last, and at the end they remained the same as they had
been in the begiiming. The number of Imams, according
to the Akhbdr JVabi, ** History of the Prophets,*^ was twelve,
eleven of them passed to the other world, the twelfth is
living forever ; at last he shall appear, and render the world
as full of virtue as it is now full of injustice and tyranny.

They say, that Abubekr, Omar, and Osman, and the
children of Amiah and Abaslah, their companions, usurped
the dignity of Im^ms, on which account they revile them.
Some of them assert that Osm4n burnt some volumes of the
Koran, and threw away some of the surahs, which were in
favor of AH and of his descendants ; of which the follow-
ing is one : —



330 THE DABISTAN



A Surah from the Koran

In the name of the bountiful and merciful God.

O you who have faith, believe in the two lights, Muha7nmed and
Ali, whom we have sent, and who recite our verses to you and put
you on your guard against the chastisement of the great day. These
two lights proceed the one from the other. As to myself, I under-
stand and I know.

Those who fulfill the order of God and of his prophet, such as it
is given to them in the verses of the Koran, those shall enjoy the
gardens of delight. As to those who, after having believed, became
infidels by transgressing their compact, and what the prophet had
stipulated for them, they shall be thrown into hell, because they have
unjustly treated their own souls, and have disobeyed the preaching
prophet. These shall be drenched with hot water.

It is God who illuminated the heavens and the earth, as it was
his pleasure; who made his choice among the angels and prophets;
who placed the latter among the number of believers in the midst of
his creatures. God does what he wills : there is but he, the bounti-
ful and merciful God.

Those who preceded them have already machinated against their
prophets; but I have punished them for their perfidy, and certainly
my punishment is violent and severe. God had already destroyed Ad
and Tamud, on account of their crimes; he made of them an ex-
ample for warning you. Shall you then not fear.?

Because Pharaoh acted tyrannically toward Moses and his brother
Aaron, I drowned him in the waters, as well as those who followed
him, in order that it may serve as a sign for you.

Many among you are prevaricators; but God will assemble them all
on the day of resurrection; and they will not be able to answer when
interrogated by him: certainly, hell is their habitation. God is all-
knowing and wise.

O prophet! my advertisement arrived (at its destination); perhaps
will they act (conformably to it). Those who turned away from
my words have already experienced detriment.

Are they comparable to those who accomplish thy ordinances, and
whom I will reward by the gardens of delight.'' For God is the
Lord of mercy and great rewards.

Ali is of the number of pious; we shall restore him his right on
the day of judgment. We are not ignorant of their intention to de-
fraud him. We have honored him more than all thy family. He and
his race are of the number of sufferers, and certainly their enemy is
the Imam of sinners.

Say to those who became infidels after having believed : " You
have sought after the comforts of the present life, and you have been
eager in the pursuit of them ; but you have forgotten what God and
his prophet have promised you. You have broken the engagements



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 331

which you had taken in a formal manner; yet we quoted to you ex-
amples, in the hope that you would follow the good direction. >>

O prophet, we have sent thee clear verses. Those who were faith-
ful, and attached themselves to them will receive assistance after
thee. Turn away from those who turn away from me. Certainly, he
shall make them appear on the day on which nothing shall avail
them, and when they will have no pity to hope for. Their habita-
tion shall be hell, from which they shall not be removed.

Celebrate the name of thy Lord, and be of the number of his
adorers. We have already sent Moses, and Aaron, and those who
followed them; but they treated Aaron unjustly. Patience is an ex-
cellent virtue. Among them we changed some into apes and hogs;
we cursed them until the day of resurrection. Have patience ; cer-
tainly they shall be punished.

We have gratified thee with an authority equal to that which was
possessed by the messengers who preceded thee, and we have given
thee instructions in their persons. Perhaps mankind will be con-
verted. He who turns away from my command shall be soon called
away by me from this -world. Let them therefore enjoy some time
their impiety. Ask no information concerning the violators of God's
law.

O prophet, we granted thee the power of loading the neck of those
who believed in the strength of a compact which we contract. Be
thou of the number of the grateful.

Certainly. Ali is pious. He passes the night prostrate before God.
He is cautious with respect to another life, and he hopes to merit the
reward of his Lord. Say, will they be treated in the same manner,
they who have acted unjustly, although they knew the chastisement
which I prepare for them .? Chains shall be put on their necks, and
they shall repent of their acts.

We have announced to thee a progeny of just men, who will not
oppose my commands. My bounty and mercy are upon them, living or
dead, until the day of resurrection. My anger is against those who
act tyrannically toward thy posterity ; wicked men who shall suffer
the pain -which they deserve.

As to those who walked upon the road of thy posterity, my mercy
is granted to them, and they shall be safe in the kiosques of para-
dise.



Online LibraryCharles Reed PeersUniversal classics library (Volume 6) → online text (page 30 of 37)