Charles Reed Peers.

Universal classics library (Volume 6) online

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and a declaration of his death was written. It is reported,
according to some, that during the khalifat of Manzur,
Ismail was seen in Basra, where a person afflicted with a
malady of the foot w^as cured by means of his prayers.
Mansur asked information from the Imdm, who sent to the
khalif a certificate (of Ismail's death), in which was in-
cluded a letter of the aamil (collector of revenue) of Man-
sur.

They say that, after Ismail followed Muhammed, the son
of Ismail, with whom closed the series of the Shiah Imams,
and after him the Im^ims disappeared ; but no age remains
destitute of conspicuous IrnAms, and when an Imdm has
appeared, he certainly evinces himself as such.

The number of the commands of the Imfims is seven, like
the seven days of the week, the seven heavens, and the
seven planets.* They hold the number of the religious

*The number seven acts a great part in the system of the Ismailahs.
All things, after having attained the septenary number, are at their



SCHOOL OF MANNERS 333

leaders to be twelve, and therein the Iinimlyas have com-
mitted an error, by counting the Im^ms after the leaders, and
these are the Batenian^ ^* interior.*^ These sectaries do not
conform themselves to the evidence of the divine law ; they
declare: "we do not say, God is omnipresent, or not omni-
present, omniscient, or not omniscient, almighty, or not al-
mighty, and so in all attributes ; '^ they maintain further as
a confirmation of the truth, that there is a connection be-
tween God and the other beings, and this is the creed of
the Tashbiak, " assimilators *' ; but from an absolute nega-
tion a connection takes place with non-existences, which is
maintained by the Tdt'il, " indifferent,** and the application
of this thesis to the Lord, the self-existent, leads to the
opinion, that there is no community to be imagined be-
tween the Lord God, self-existent, and other beings. They
also say that the Almighty God is the operator of opposite
effects, and the creator and ruler of conflicting results.
They further set forth, that when the lord Yzed, the most
sublime, bestowed the gift of knowledge upon the inhab-
itants of the world, they called him all-knowing; when he
displayed his power on account of his majesty, they called
him all-mighty: certainly the attribution of knowledge and
power to the being of the most sublime Yzed is founded
upon the belief that he is the giver of knowledge and force.
Moreover they assert that, by a single command, God cre-
ated intelligence, which among all things is perfect, and by
means of perfect intelligence, he brought forth the spirit
which is not perfect; there is a relation between intelligence
and spirit, a relation between the sperm and the child pro-
duced, as w^ell as a relation between the e^^ and the bird,
or a relation between father and son, or husband and wife.
The spirit becomes then desirous of, and longing for the
excellence of perfect intelligence which he derives from ex-
pansion, therefore he feels himself pressed to move out of

end, must undergo a change, and be succeeded by other things. To
the septenaries above mentioned, I shall add seven palms, of which
the height of a man is said to consist, seven climates, and seven seas,
according to the Koran (Sura XXXI. v. 26):



Online LibraryCharles Reed PeersUniversal classics library (Volume 6) → online text (page 31 of 37)