Shafique N. Virani, “The Days of Creation in the Thought of Nasir

Transcription

Shafique N. Virani, “The Days of Creation in the Thought of Nasir
Shafique N. Virani, “The Days of Creation in the Thought of Nasir Khusraw,” Nasir Khusraw: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow,
Sarfaroz Niyozov and Ramazon Nazariev (eds.), Khujand, Tajikistan: Noshir Publications, 2004, 74-83.
Shafique N. Virani, “The Days of Creation in the Thought of Nasir Khusraw,” in
Nasir Khusraw: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, ed. Sarfaroz Niyozov and
Ramazon Nazariev, Khujand, Tajikistan: Noshir Publications, 2004, 74-83.
www.shafiquevirani.org
lla~\)i)\HlllrO"H TaLJ.{\11{\0TH HCMOHJ1H
The Institute of Ismaili Studies
AKa.r.eMHHH Y.riYMH 1."JYMXJ'PHH To~HKHCTOH
Academy of Sciences of Republic of Tajikistan
Nasir Khusraw: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow
Mypammu6on ea My~appuponu MaCbyJZ:
General Editors :
X~au.r.
CaptJ>apo3 Hue3oB Ba
PaMa3ou Ha3apueB
Sarfaroz Niyozov and
Ramazon N azariev
2005
Hampuem <<llomup»
Khujand 2005
Publishing House "Noshir"
Shafique N. Virani, “The Days of Creation in the Thought of Nasir Khusraw,” in Nasir Khusraw: Yesterday, Today,
Tomorrow, ed. Sarfaroz Niyozov and Ramazon Nazariev, Khujand, Tajikistan: Noshir Publications, 2004, 74-83.
www.shafiquevirani.org
. 1.'.
t
The Days of Cre atio n in the Tho ugh t of Nas ir Khu sraw 1
Shaf ique N. Vira ni
·
.Lo! Your Lord is God Who created the heavens and the earth in
six days.
ThenHeascendedihe Throne... (Qur'an 7:54) ·
AndG od blessed the seventh day and made it holy... (Genesis 2:3).
The Abrahan1ic faiths share a belief in the completion of creat
ion in six days~
with the seventh day, or Sabbath, having a hallowed aUra of parti
cular veneration and
sanctity. Reflecting on this notion, the prominent Ismaili dign
itary,
Din Shirazi, observes that the exoteric expositors of this doctr al-Mu'ayyad fi'line are completely
befuddled in their explanations of it. By confounding scnptural
statements which, in
his view, are clearly symbolic, with crude speculations abou
t the creation of the
physical universe in six tWenty-four hoUr periods, they have comp
letely misunderstood
the sacred texts.· Al-Mu'ayyad reasons that time itself is mark
ed by the movement of
the celestial spheres, with the rising and setting of the sun indic
ating to human beings
the passing of the days. Now, if creation had yet to occur, if God
had
sun, the earth and the planetary bodies, how then could these verse yet to fashion the
s refer to the passage
of time, as it is conventionally understood? The sage is even
less impressed by·those
who claim, citing a Qur' anic verse, that ·the creation of the heay
ens and the earth takes
God six ·days, each spanning a thousand years. 3 Certainly,
he opines, the Creator,
whose power is infmite, is not limited by time in his creation; as
he says in the Qur'an,
.'Ours is but a single Command, like the twinkling of an eye'.
(54:50)? There ~\}St
74
he asserts, and it is the place
therefore be a deeper meaning to the six days of creat4ion,
.
. ...
of ta 'wil, of esoteric exegesis, to unveil that meaning.
ad's ·colleague Nasir
. In his masterpiece of ta 'wil, the Wajh-i din, al-Mu'ayy
eneutics of this tradition as
Khusraw expounds on the ideas behind the spiritual henn
·
·
· follows:
commenced the creation of
It is mentioned in the traditions that God, may He be exalted,
ay. The impo1t of this
Saturd
on
the world on Sunday, completed it on Friday and rested
All have accepted it
time.
:tradition has been hidden from the people since the dawn of
Sabbath and do not work
according to the capacity of their intellects. The Jews revere the
are that when the Prophets
on it because God rested on this day. However, they are unaw
of God, six Prophets would
said this, they meant people to know that, by the Command
th came, he would not
·come to this world to command people to work When the seven
rs. They called it the
labou
their
for
command in this manner. Rathe5 r, he would reward them
.
.
Sabbath and declared it sacred.
the creation of the
Thus, according to the ta 'wil, these days do not concern
ual casinos, a creation that
physical universe. They refer to the creation of a spirit
of the week, Sunday, and
commenced with Adam, who represented the first day
sented Monday, Tuesday,
continued with Noah, Abral1am, Moses and Jesus, who repre
is represented by Friday,
Wednesday and Thursday respectivelgr. Muhammad, who
the last and fmal day, which
brought this creation to its completion. Yet, to come was
nt for the co1nmm1dment
would consummate the entire spiritUal creation; a day not 1nea
ution. This· was the. Sabbath,
of work, but rather for the allocation of rewa7rd and retrib
.
.
or Lord of the Resurrection (qa 'im-i qiyama).
on that day for those who
People await the advent of the Sabbath, for there will be repose
fulfilment of (the Prophets')
have recognised the reality of these days and who laboured in
physical world and know
command and with knowledge. Those who toil physically in this
row in·the
ing of this with their souls today will be rewarded for it tomor
the esoteric meall
.
8
·
.
,.
spiritual world.
.
cycles of
great
d the
1be days of creation, in Ismaili thought, were considere
the dense world of earthly
prophecy. God 's memling in these verses concerned not
religion. In the former, the
phenomena, but a world of far greater import, that of
latter, it is marked by the
movement of the celestial spheres marks time, while in the
ban-i adwar). The structure
coming of God 's messengers, the lords of the cycles (sahi
to the Ismaili savants. This
of these cycles of prophecy· was· of tremendous interest·
cycles, the days of creation,
paper will explore Nasir Khusraw's exposition of these
and their consummation in the advent of the Sabbath.
.
.
parts, one spiritual and
·To our author, the world of religion is composed of two
and space, consists of the
one physical. The spiritual world, which is beyo nd time.
lower, physical world m1d
Universal Intellect and the Universal Soul. It precedes this
d are called into 'existence
its temporal cycles~. The two ~eat angels of the spiritual worl
ls in the physical world are
from nothing and are simple. . Paralleling these two ange
n)and the Foundation (of
the natiqs and the·asas, the Enunciator (ofth e divine revelatio
are six, the qa 'im being the
its esoteric interpretation)Y The nqtiqs, of whom there
75 .
.seventh, are the lords of the major cycles, or what may be referred to as the greater
days. These days are themselves divided into seven days, the minor cycles, which are
the cycles of the Imams. 10 The periods are sometimes differentiated by referring to the
major cycle o.f the natiq as dawr, while referring to the minor cycle of the Imam as
ruzgar or zamana. 12 Nasir Khusraw's predecessor, Abl;L Ya'qub al-Sijistani, traces six
imams between every two natiqs, but states that in the period of the sixth natiq, there
will be numerous imams tmtil the coming of the lord qfthe ·Sabbath, the qa 'im. 13 In
this regard, he must haye had in mind the well-known prophetic tradition, equally cited
by, Nasir, 'If there were to remain of time but a single day, God would prolong that day
until there would come a man from among my descendants who would fill the earth
14
with equity and justice even as it has been filled with oppression and ir~justice.' That
final day, which is prolonged until the coming of the qa 'im, is the day ofMuhanm1ad.
Each of the seven lords of the major cycles is a link between thespiritual world
and the physical world. Their bodies are earthly, but their subtle spirits belong to the
celestial realm. It is tlu·ough their subtle spirits that they accept the bounties of that
realm, and through their physical bodies that they convey these bounties to the physical
world. However, Nasir asserts human· speech can never capture the reality of the
· · · ·
· ·
spiritual world, but can only hint at it. 15 .
In the minor cycle, the Imam and his hujjat, or proof, are the parallels of the natiq
and the asas in the major cycle. Hence, in ta 'wil, the symbols associated with the natiq
and·the·asas in the major cycle are often related equally to the Imam and the huJ]at in
the minor cycle. Nasir Khusraw's ta 'wil of the adhan, or call to prayer, may be taken
as an example. When proclaiming the adhan, the muezzin turns his face to the right
while armouncing 'come to prayer' (hayya 'ala- 'l-salat) ·and turns his face to the left
while annmmcing 'come to salvation' (hayya 'ala 'l-jalah). According to Nasir, the
right hand signifies the natiq and the left, the asas. Similarly, the right hand signifies
the hnam and the left, the hujjat. By saying 'come to prayer' and turning his face to
the right, the muezzin indicates, 'you should accept the natiq and the in1am who are the
lords of the zahir, the exoteric, by performing the exoteric prayer.' By saying 'come to
salvation' and turning his face to the left, the muezzin indicates, 'by listening to the
knowledge of r~ality (haqiq_at)'" lou should accept the asas and the hujjat, who are the
.
·
lords ofthe batzn, the esotenc.' 1
Nasir Khusraw explains that just as· the human body is sustained by the four
elements, earth, air, fire and water, the human soul is nourished by the four hadds, or
spiritual dignitaries, the Universal Intellect, the Universal Soul, the natiq and the asas.
·Two of the fom· elements, air and fire, are subtle, while tWo, earth and water, are· dense.
Similarly, two of these hadds, the Intellect and the Soul, are spiritual, while tWo, the
natiq and the asas, are physical. With respect to _the body these latter two are human
17
beings, but with respect to intellect and soul, they are archangels. As in a day tl1e
brightness of the moon succeeds that of the Sun, in the major cycle the natiq is
represented by the sun and the asas by the moon, while in the minor cycle the Imam is
represented by the sun and the hujjat by the moon. 18 · · .
. · The Universal Intellect, the Univers~ Soul,jadd,fath rutd khayal, also kriown as
19
the Pen, the Tablet, Serapbiel, Michael and Gabriel, are the five spiritual hadds who
are eternal and unchanging~ · They are ontologically beyond the world of cycles.
Paralleling these five spiritual beings in the physical world are the natiq, the asas, the
76
Thes e are the five physical hadds, who se status
1
to these five spiritual and
continues in ever y cycle, or day? It was in reference
the divine m~ssage] from the
physical entities that the. Prop het22said, 'I recei ved it [i.e.
s are the recipients of ta 'yid,
five and conveyed it to the five. ' The five earthly hadd
'ulwi), while the ranks belo w
or spiritual inspiration, from the celestial hadds (hudud-i
licentiates) and the mustajibs
them, i.e. the da 'i, the greater and lesser ma 'dhuns (the
inspiration and are thus the·
(initiates), do not have · access to this direct spiritual
3
e, of the rank belo w it. The
recipients of ta 'wil? Every rank acts as the Imam , or guid
the ma 'dhun, the hujjat
ma 'dhunis the imam of the mustajibs, the da 'i is the Imam of
rund ersta nds the Qur' anic
is the Imam of the da 'i and soon . It is in this light that Nasi
anki nd throu gh their Imam '
dictum, 'The day whe n we shall summ on all hum
.
.
(17:71)?4
ion has a quintessence
Abu Ya'q ub al-Sijistani explains that everything in creat
, the rational animal or
(maghz). Amo ng animals, the quintessence is the hum an being
g form having appeared in
. natiq-i zinda. He is the fruit of all creation; every proceedin
distinguishing characteristic of
anticipation .of his advent. As reaso ned spee ch is the
gs in the course of a cycle
humankind, the thoughts entmciated by hum an bein
, whic h is hidden in the mille
resemble milk that may be churned to prod uce cream
is besto wed upon a single
The summ a of these subtle thoughts is give n a form and
nce of all hum an reason. This
individual, who cari give voic e to the cream or quintesse
The words of the prop het
individual is the one invested with the prophetic mission.
his word s are palatable to them,
implant themselves in the hearts of his people, beca use
5
Nasi r Khu sraw explains, the
as tl1ey represent the pinnacle of hum an wisd om? As
the Universal Intellect, so that
prophet received a comp lete share of know ledg e from
, intellects of hum an beings
he wou ld be able to convey to the innate, but incomplete
6
ction ? Unlike other hum an
· that whic h they lacked, and henc e bring them to perfe
an reason, but is inspired by
beings, the prop het is not dependent on deficient hum
7
Universal Intellect? . .
the
by
red
inspi
is
tum
in
who
t,'
spiri
ed
tnist
'the
iel,
Gabr
ed by the ta 'yid, the
As mentioned above, the lords of the cycles are distinguish
Soul tl1rough }add, fath and
spiritual inspiration that they receive from the Universal
symbol of the Universal
khayal. In Nasi r Khu sraw 's ta 'wil, the evening pray er is a
prayer, there are six sunn at'
Soul .. 1fte r the farida or obligatory porti on of this
28
inspires the six natiqs unde r him, so
rak 'ats. This signifies that the Universal Soul
9
, the afternoon prayer is the
that they may conv ey his light to the peop le? Similarly
This is because the natiq is
symbol of the natiq. In Arabic, it is know n as zuhr.
the trilateral root, za ', ha ', ,;a ',
charged with bringing the zahir (a word derived from
the people. Furthermore, the
:which is also the root of zuhr), the exoteric revelation, to
is, the advent of tl1e current
time of this prayer com men ces six hour s after sunrise; That
the passing away of six Imam s from the cycle of Jes'us,
natiq, Muhammad, com es after
.
. ·
· ·
30
. .
·
who was the sun of his cycle.
ble the days of the week,
. In relation tq each other, the lords of the cycles resem
day and the qa 'im being the
each succeeding the next, with Ada m being the first
imam s or lords of ta 'wil. In
Sabbath. However, betw een every two natiqs are six
ys that occur in the cycle of
relation to the lords of ta 'wil, the natiqs were like the Frida
1
mu 'a, the day of assembly or
seve n days ? In Arabic, Friday is know n as yawm al-ju
munity assemble in one place.
gathering, because on that day all the people of the coni
i 0 and the hujjat.
. imam, the bab (gate
?
.
.
.
77
Similarly, the Friday prayer signifies the natiq, because the nati~ is the seventh imam,
who gathers within himself the ranks of his six predecessors. Bef9re reaching his
position, the natiq first passes through the ranks of mustajib, ma 'dhun, da 'i, hujjat etc.,
finally attaining the station of a nabi, or prophet. 33 · ·
The natiqs are the lords of the revelation (tanzi[), who convey the light of the
Uruversal Soul in a physical form, i.e. the parables and symbols of the holy books. But
each of the natiqs has a wasi, a legatee, who begets a line of imams. These imams are
charged with the ta 'wil, the spiritual interpretation of these parables and symbols back
to their primordial form as pure light. Hence, Nasir Khusraw explains, when God
speal<s of the Prophets in Qur'an 35:25, he speal<S in the plural. This is because the
tanzil, the exoteric revelation, may tal<:e different forms. However, when he speaks in
the same verse of the imams, the lords of ta 'wil, addressing ·them as the Luminous
Book, he uses the singular. This is because the meaning of all the revelations is one,
regardless of the variety in their modes of expression?4 Adatn's wasi was Seth,
Noah's was Shem, Abraham 's was Ishtnael, Moses' was Aaron, Jesus' was Simon
Peter and Muha.rrnhad's was 'Ali? 6
·
. ·
. .
.
·
·
Every Prophet, wasi and Imam has twelve hl4jats, who are what are sometimes
called the htgjats of the day. One among the twelve hl4jats of the prophet is his wasi,
one of the wasi, twelve huJ}ats is an imam, and one of the imam's twelve hujjats will
be his future successor. 35 It is through this lens that our author understands the tradition
ofthe Prophet, 'the Month ofRamad an (shahr ramadan) is one of God's names.'. As
the prophets, awsiya' (pl. of wasi) and imams of the religious hierarchy are the· 'munes
ofGod,' i.e. those through whom God is .recognised, the month of Ramadan must refer
to a hierarch? 7 The word for month, shahr, also means renown, so this hierarch is one
who is well known to God. The Qur'an states, 'The Month of Ramadan in which was
revealed the Qur' an, a guidance for mankind, and clear proofs of the guidance and the
Criterion [of right and wrong]' (2:185). Accordingly, this hierarch is the one in whom
God revealed the Qur'an, and who removes the ambiguity of the Holy Book's
parables. He is thus none other than the wasi, 'Ali, the lord of the ta 'wil. Hence, the
asas or wasi holds a position arr1ong the twelve hujjats parallel to that held by the
tnonth of Ran1adan among the twelve months. 38
.
·
.
In his cycle, the natiq appoints one hadd, the asas,· who is the fooodatioq ofilie
esoteric interpretation. · The asas then appoints seven hadds, the seven Imams who will
be the lords of the 1ninor cycle. Every imam appoints one imam, ·who win·. be his
successor. 39 The imams succeed each other like the days of the week. Just as the days
of the week have twenty-four hours, the imams have twenty-four hu}jats. Twelve of
these are huJ}ats of the day, and represent the exoteric or zahir, while twelve ate
htgjats of the night, and represent the esoteric, or batin.'4° The Imam dispatches the
twelve hujjats of the day to the twelve clitnes, which are known in Ismaili parlance as
the jaziras, or islands. 41 It is through these twelve hujjats that the light of tawhid, of
God's unity, reaches the world. 42 Each of these twelve hujjats has thirty da 'is, just as
each of the twelve months has thirty days. 43 Nasir also distinguishes a special class of
four hujjats, who are never separated from the imam. People must go through the
mediation of these hujjats to receive a word from the imam, just as pilgrims who wish
to reach the holy sanctuaiy, the Ka'ba, must pass through one of its four miqats, or
entranceways, and don the ihram, the pilgrimage garb symbolising the assumption of a
78
44
consecrated state.
by the qa 'im, comes the lahiq
d
rne
ve
go
,
cle
cy
th
en
sev
the
of
· ·· . Before the advent
fjat of an Imam is generally his
45
h11
the
as
,
hy
ort
tew
no
is
is
Th
nt of the
· or huJjat of the qa 'im.
ver, is the harbinger of the adve
we
ho
,
'im
qa
the
of
t
jja
hu
e
better tha n a
contemporary. Th
ht of power (laylat al-qadr) is
nig
e
'Th
,
rse
ve
nic
r'a
Qu
e
Sabbath. Th
indicates that his knowledge is
d
an
,
him
46
to
er
ref
to
d
sai
is
their rank is one.
thousand months' (97:3),
ly,
ve
cti
lle
co
e,
urs
co
of
h
ug
ams, tho
and he
superior to that of a thousand im
the qa 'im to be his khalifas,
of
s
sor
ces
suc
the
rs
de
nsi
co
nt cycle of
47
It seems that Nasir
Thus, he explains that the curre
.
on
cti
fun
s
thi
to
k
ran
l
cia
.·assigns a spe
a ',o r the imams, and that of
liy
aw
e
th
of
t
tha
rts
pa
o
tw
of
am,
Muhammad 48is composed
es obliquely to the seventh im
ud
all
o
als
he
e,
tim
e
sam
At the
is
the khalifas.
a, although the name of this im am
am
qiy
of
k
ran
the
g
vin
ha
l,
a'i
,
Muhammad b. Ism. d 49
.
1'
..
.
.
ne
ntw
me
not exp11c1t y
nic verse, 'Lo! Your lord is
r'a
Qu
n
ow
kn
llwe
the
in
e
on
e ... '
The reference to the thr
ys; then he ascended the Thron
da
six
in
th
ear
the
d
an
s
en
av
Go d's
God who created the he
qa'im, who is Go d's throne.
the
of
lic
bo
sym
as
sir
Na
by
-i.qiyama,
(7:54) is interpreted
command regarding the qa 'im
his
of
t
en
film
ful
the
is
e
on
thr
sitting upon the
s context that50God declares,·
thi
in
is
It
s.
day
six
the
of
·
).
who appears after the passing
- the One, the Subduer!' (40: 16
d's
Go
?
ay
tod
om
gd
kin
the
the
is
'Whose
s generated by the activity 51of
wa
rld
wo
the
,
aw
usr
Kh
sir
. The
According to Na
birth to a perfect child, the qa'im
ing
giv
of
se
rpo
pu
e
sol
the
Universal Soul for
s:
birthing process of human being
Qur'an descdbes six stages in the
of clay
We created man of an extraction
eptacle secure
rec
a
, in
then we set him, a drop (of spenn) p a clot
then we created of the dro
then we created of the clot a tissue
then we created of the tissue bones
then we clothed the bones in flesh
t of creators! (23:12-14).
creation- blessed by God, the bes
w
ane
as
him
ed
duc
pro
we
n,
The
s preceding the arrival of the
rallel to the six natiq
who
TI1ese six stages are seen as pa
upon his prede52cessors, but one
ing
low
fol
tiq
na
a
',
on
ati
cre
muezzin
qa 'im, who is 'a ne w
eat Resurrection. When the
Gr
the
of
in
ng
eri
ush
his
in
differs from them
moning humabkind to
lic of the natiq 's sum
bo
sym
is
it
n
ha
ad
53
the
l
cal
to
faces the qibla
la. The afternoon prayer
qib
the
by
ted
en
res
rep
is
o
wh
n,
t,
the Lord of the Resurrectio
ws of things equals their heigh
do
sha
the
en
wh
s
ce
en
mm
co
e of
represents the asas. It
teric (zahir and batin) in the tim
eso
d
an
ric
ote
ex
the
of
lity
ua
ening of
demonstrating the eq
this period represents the weak
of
d
en
the
at
SliD
the
of
g
nin
advent of the
the asas.· The wa
cle· of the asas, and the· coming
cy
the
of
d
en
the
,
tiq
na
the
the zahir of
ich occurs in the middle of the
wh
r,
ye
pra
tr
wi
the
54
by
ted
en
y of
qa 'im. The qa 'im is repres
This symbolises that on the Da
·
rs.
ye
pra
er
oth
the
all
of
ion
t fhe
night after the complet
ng all the physical hadds, excep
uri
no
ho
th
wi
nse
pe
dis
ll
wi
le
oo dn ess · is
Resurrection, pe5op
n tradition of the Prophet, 'G
ow
kn
llwe
a
ing
ret
erp
Int
5
f
Nasir Khtisraw
qa 'im himsel
till the Day of Resurrection,'
s
rse
ho
of
s
ck
elo
for
t
the
in
lill;otted up
nmoning.ofhumankind, will no
sm
the
,
'wa
da
the
t
tha
is
s
thi
ed by
· expla.lns that the ta 'wil of
horses, and the da 'is,· symbolis
the
by
ed
liz
bo
sym
tS,
jja
hu
56
nsists of
be severed frmn the
nifestation. ·The witr prayer co
ma
's
'im
qa
the
of
e
tim
the
their forelocks, till
79
three units or rak'ats, indicatjng that the qa 'im has three ranks, those of prophethood
(nubuwwa), legateeship (wasaya) and restuTection (qiyama). The fact that one of the
rak'ats is recited separately from the other two indicates that the qa'im holds a rank
7
that neither the natiq nor the asas held. 5 Expollllding on .this difference in rank
among the seven days, or lords of the cycles, Nasir Khusraw 58alludes to the Qur'anic
notion of the seven heavens. He explains. that the six plari.ets that are visible to the
naked eye - Satlirn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury and the Moon - are similar in that
they have light However, it is only the seventh, the Sllll itself, which has both light and
heat. Moreover, in the presence of the stm, the other six disappear from view. Such is
59
.
the place of the qa'im among the natiqs.
of sacrifice,60 as well as
festival
the
al-Adha,
'Id
the
The qa 'im is represented by
61
by the prayer recited on tlus occasion. He is the lord of the two worlds, as the inner·
n1eaning of the Divine scriphrre is revealed tl1rough him and he delivers the believers
from the torment of ignorance, extracting symbols from concealment and explai11ing
them. The fact tl1at the expression 'God is Greater' (Allahu akbar) is recited five times
before the festival prayer indicates that dtrring the cycle of the qa'im, the believers
receive benefit directly from the five spiritual hadds, the Universal Intellect, the
62
Universal Soul,jadd,fath and khaya/. Theta 'wil of reciting Allahu akbar before the
festival. prayer is that the divine unity and grandeur of God will be revealed to the
.
.
people through the qa 'im. 63 .
64
The qa 'im is from among the descendants of the asas and represents the
pinnacle and pl.rrpose of. creation. Because .of him, the Universal Soul attains
completion and reaches the rank of the Universal Intellect, leading to the annihilation
of the physical world. 65 This is why, in the sitting prayer after the witr, two rak'ats,
representing the two spiritual hadds, are recited as one. This indicates that the qa 'im
has linked the two spiritual hadds such that there is no ·separation between them.
InNasirKhusraw's view, God accmnplished the creation of the world of religion
in six days, the cycles of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.
However, the Sabbath, the seventh day, will be such that the wise will achieve felicity,
truth will be eternally established, the darkness of ignorance shall be banished in the
66
light of knowledge, 'and the earth shall shimmer in the light of her Lord' (39:69).
However, he points out mindfully, this Qur'anic verse suggests that presently the earth
is enveloped in darkness, or else what would be the point of illuminating it in the
funrre? Surely, he declares, the Qur'an refers not to physical light, which is ablUldant,
but to a spiritual light tl1at will engulf the world of religion at the time of the qa jim's
advent. . But, as he conCludes his discnssion of this matter in his Jami ' al-hikmatayn,
67
·
.
.
'this is a subtle allusion only for the wise. '
I would like to thank Dr Faquir M. Hunzai of The Institute of lsmaili Studies and Dr Taber~
Qutbuddin ofthe University of Chicago, both of whom read a draft ofthls paper and provided invaluable
·
feedback.
2
then
earth;
the
to
heaven
the
from
affair
the
regulates
'He
32:5,
Qur'an
to
is
here
The reference
70:4.
count.'Ct:
you
what
of
years
thousand
a
is
which
of
shall it ascend to him in a day the measure
3
ln this regard, Nasir Khusraw is in full agreement with his predecessor,and is equally critical of
such inteipretations. See .Jami' al-hikmatayn, ed. Hemy Corbin and Muhammad Mo'in, Le Livre
.
.
. · · .
Reunissant les Deux Sagesses (Tehran, 1953), pp. 163-164.
4
Abu Nasr Hibat al-Mu'ayyad fi'l-Din Shirazi, al-Majalis al Mu'ayyadiyya, ed. Hatim Hamid al1
80
tr. JawadMuscati and Khan
Din (Bombay, 1975), vol.l, pp. 358-359, al-Majalis al Mu'ayyadiyya,
yyadfi.d-Din al-Shirazi
Bahadur A M. Moulvi, Life and Lectures of the Grand Missionary al-Mua
·
.
.
·
(Karachi, 1950), pp. 123-124.
5
Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, ed. Gholam-Reza Aavani (Tehran, 1977), p. 65.
, Cyclical Time and
6
Ibid., Nasir Khusraw, Jami' al-hikmatayn, p. 163, p. 165. Cf. Henry Corbin
ofal-Qadi al-Nu'inan's
Jsmaili Gnosis (London and Boston, 1983), p. 97. Yves Marquet discusses some
es d'imams,' Arabica,
heptad
des
propos
a
n
views in this regard in his Yves Marquet, 'Le Qadi Nu'ma
.
·
·
·
XXV· ~1978), pp. 225-232.
h in an
Sabbat
the
with
cation
Nasir vividly depicts the centrality ofthe qa'im and his identifi
(Cairo,
shshab
al-Kha
Yahya
illustration of concentric circles to be found in his Khwan al-ikhwan, ed.
·
.
.
. 1940), 1ss.
Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, p. 65.
9
.
lbid., p. 72. .
10
Rahayish, ed. and trans. Hunzai, Knowledge and Liberation: A
wa
yish
Gusha
w,
Khusra
Nasir
. Cf. Corbin, Cyclical Time
Treatise on Philosophical Theology (London, 1998), p. 58 (ed.), p. 93 (trans.)
·
.
and Jsmaili Gnosis, p.184. ·
so is
and
natiq,
of
11
In the cycle of prophethood, the seventh imam, however, rises to the level
the
to
rises
seventh Imam
more commonly known by this title. Similarly, in the cycle of imamate, the
level of ga'im, and hence is known as such. .
logy, however, is
12
Nasir Khusraw, Wqjh-i din, pp. 13, 127, Khwan al-ikhWan, p. 86. This termino
·
period in these
own
his
giveri
often
is
not static. Cf. Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, pp. 43, 335. The asas
es with that of the natiq.
passage~, though one would assume that his time coincid
amir (Beirut, 1966), p. 193.
'ArifT
ed.
'at,
al-nubu
Jthbat
1.> Abu Ya'qub al-Stjistani,
.
80, Six Chapters or
14
Nasir Khusraw, Rawshana' i-nama, ed. Tahsin Yaziji (Tehran, 1373), p.
, 1949)~ p. 39 (ed.), p. 81
Shishfasl also called Rawshana' i-nama, ed. and trans. Wladimir Ivanow (Leiden
, .
.
.
·
.
(trans.)._ .·
ana'
Rawsh
called
also
fasl
Shish
or
rs
Six Chapte
l:l Nasir Khusraw, Rawshana' i-nama, pp. 76-77,
.
·
·
.
i-nama,pp. 37~38 (ed.), pp. 78-80 (trans.).
1
the ia'wil of ruku' (genuflection
where
8,
157-15
pp.
cf.
149,
p.
din,
Wajh-i
w,
Nasir Khusra
·
and recognition of the hujjat
during ritual prayers) is stated to be recognition ·ofthe asas in the major cycle
of the natiq in the major
in the minor cycle, while that of sujud (prostration) is stated to be recognition
the Imam is the natiq of the
cycle and recognition of the Imam in the minor cycle. One may even say that
ranks of the minor cycle, the
minor cycle. Nasir, in fact, states on p. 188 of this work that among the seven
imam is the sukhan-go, which is Persian for natiq.
17
·.
lbid., pp. 60-61.
'
.·
' ..
'
'
18 Ib'd ·
195
'
.
1 .,pp.
Nasir elaborates on
19
See, for example, Nasir Khusraw, Khwan al-ikhwan, pp. 170-171, where
atayn, p. 109, 138, 155, as
these latter three, and Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, p. 232, 258, Jami' al-hikm
, 2000), p. 116 ff. Cf. Paul
well as AbuYa'qub Sijistani, Kitab al-iftikhar, ed. Ismail K. Poonawala (Beirut
inzHalm, Kosmologie
andHe
119
110,
E. Walker,.Early Philosophical Shiism (Cambridge, 199J), pp. 30,
1978), pp. 67~74,
aden,
(Wiesb
und Heif.<slehre der friihen isma'iliya: eine Studie iiber islamischen Gnosis
·
pp. 206-209, which draws heavily on the.Kitab al-iftikhar.
is often considered the chief
20
He
one.
ting
interes
an
itself
is
bah
the
The question of the role of
prior to the rising of a natiq)
lnrjjat. Nasir explains that each of the siX true Imams (i.e. apparently those
g the command of God in his
has a bah 'who succeeds him in religion and who is unique in accomplishin
ds him in religion' means 'is
'succee
r
whethe
lifetime,' Wajh-i din, p. 148. The question then arises as to
the Imam's offspring.
among
from
be
his successor to the imamate,' in which case the bah would have to
successor or inheritor
the
ered
Of course, this interpretation is not necessarily the case, as the wasi is consid
.
his offspring.
of the Rrophet, without succeeding to hls position as prophet, or being from among
Shish
or
rs
Chapte
21
Nasir Khusraw, Khwan al-ikhwan, p. .174, Rawshana' i~nama, pp. 72-73, Six
din, p. 126, 198Wajh-i
w,
Khusra
Nasir
Cf
(trans.)
fasl also called Rawshana' i-nama, p. 34 (ed.), p.74
lly reserved
genera
term
a
,
adjunct
or
lahiq,
as
to
199 On p. 126, the da 'i seems, unusually, to be referred
the word
that
e
possibl
is
It
da'i.
the
for
tor the hty'jat. The term.Janah, or wing, is more commonly used
the
allow
would
This
place.
hujjat in this passage is a scribal en·or, and that the word bah should take its
(Salt
Wisdom
of
Wellsprings
term lahiq to retain its more trru:litional meaning. Cf. Paul E. Walker, The
r·
81
. . ..
Lake Cicy, 1994), pp. 19, 177, and Walker~ Early Philosophical Shlism, p. 18.
22
Rawshana 'icalled
also
fasl
Nasir Khusraw, Rawshan 'i-nama, p. 73, Six Chapters or Shish
.
·
·~
nama, ~· 35 (ed.), p. 75 (trans.), Khwan al-ikhwan, p. 174. · . · .· · . ·
3
Khusraw,
It :may also be possible that the da 'i receives ta 'yid,. but this is ambiguous. See Nasir
·
. Wajh-i din, pp. 126,198-199, which may be compared with Wajh-i din, p. 247,Rawshana'i-nama, p. 73,
Six Chapters or Shishfasl also called Rawshana'i-nama, p. 35 (ed.), p. 75 (trans.). It must also be kept in
mind that the da 'is themselves are divided into two groups, the limited da 'is and the absolute da 'is, and
this distinction maybe significant in the matter. Nasir Khusraw, ·Wajh-i din, p. 255. Cf Sijistani, Kitab al
·
. ·
·.
.
iftikhar and pp. 224-225.
Rawshana'i
called
also
:1i Nasir Khusraw, Rawshana' i-nama, p. 74, Six Chapters or Shishfasl
.
· ·
· .·
nama, ~· 36 (ed.), pp. 76-77 (trans.).
5
Both
- Abu Ya'qub ai-Sijistani, Kashf al-mahjub, ed. Henry Corbin (Tehran, 1949), pp. 69-70.
Corbin and Landolt read mim, shin, kcif, lam in this passage as mitshkil to ruTive at their translations. While
this is certainly possible, I have preferred the reading mushakkal, which appears to me to suit the context
better. See Abu Ya' qub al-Sijistani, Kashf al-mahjub: Le Devoilement des Chases Cachees, trans. Henry
Corbin (Lagrasse, 1988), pp. 103-104, 'Kashf al-Mahjub: Unveiling of the Hidden,' trans. Hermann
Landolt in An Anthology ofPhilosophy in Persia (Oxford, 2001 ), p. 108.
26
See Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, p. 61.
27
Nasir Khusraw, Zad al-musafirin, ed. Muhammad Badhl ar-Rahman (Berlin, 1341/ [1923]), p.
27, quoting Qur'an26:192-195. Compare, however, Nasir Khusraw's assertion that when the Prophet's
nutq attains its completion upon the achievement of the spiritual mi'raj,·he recognises the Universal Soul
·
.
directlY. and not through intennediaries; Wajh-i din, p. 138.
of the torso from an
bending
a
is A rak'atis a portion of the Muslim prayer ritual that involves
upright ~osition, followed by two prostrations ..
2
NasirKhusraw, Wajh-i din, pp. 169-170.
30
.
Ibid.,pp.171-:172.
31
from
noted
variant
the
to
according
r,
payghamba
for
imam
Ibid., p. 64. Note~ in line 16,read
·
·
manuscript A
32
.
.
Ibid., pp. 186-188.
.
33
.
. ..
Ibid., pp. 186-187.
34
Ibid., p. 64. Nasir understands of the word Imam, described above in relation to his ta 'wil of
Qur'an 17:71 should also be kept in mind in this context. Cf Walker, Early Philosophical Shiism, p. 115.
35
Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, p. 64. Cf Corbin, Cyclical Time and Ismaili Gnosis, p. 184.
36
Nasir Khusraw, Wajh~i Din, pp. 251-252. Ibn Hawshab 'Mansur al-Yaman', in his Kitab alrushd wa '1-hidaya, generally .refers to the twelve deputies ·of the natiq as the naqibs, though
acknowledging that the wasi is the hujjat of the Prophet. The twelve naqibs of the natiq surrimon
humankind'to follow the exoteric teaching ofthe Prophet, while the twelve hujjats of the mutimm imam
summon humanity to follow his esoteric doctrines. See Ibn Hawshab, Kitab al-rushd wa '1-hidaya, trans.
W. Ivanow, 2nd revised edition ed., Studies in Early Persian Ismailism (Bombay, 1955), pp 33-46. The
same text also refers to the succession of the hujjat to the rank of imam. Cf Nasir Khusraw, Khwan al.
.
.. .
ikhwan• 244, in which the tenn naqib is used in a similar manner.
3
202.
p.
iyya,
al-Mu'ayyad
In this connection, see al-Mu'ayyad fi'd-Din Shirazi, al-Majalis
38
Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, 253-254. Nasir Khusraw furnishes an interesting, though somewhat
enigmatic, example of this in his ta'wil of the Qur'anic story ofJoseph, see Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, pp.
184-185, 252. Cf Ja'far b. Mansur al-Yaman, al-'Alim wa'l-ghulain, ed. and trans. James Winston
MatTis, The Master and the Disciple (London, 200 1), p. 32 (ed.), p. 99 (trans.)
39
·
Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, pp. 346-327.
40
Ibid., pp. 225, 252, 259-260.
41
.
.
..
.
Ibid., pp. 229, 275.
.
.
·
.
42 Ib'd
·.
·
.
.
.
..
I .,p. 331 .
. .
43
(1960),
Ibid., 178. Bayard Dodge, 'The FatimidHierru·chyand Exegesis,' The Muslim World, 50
p. 133, mentions that each hujjat of ajazira has thirty naqibs, each of whom has twenty-four da 'istwelve of the day and twelve of the night. Unfortunately, rio location for this information is specified.
44
Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i Din, p. 264. Ibn Hawshab,too, refers to 'the four sacred luminaries',
.
citing the Qur'anic verse, 'Indeed, the number of months in God's view is twelve- so ordained by him the
.g
82
day he created.the heavens and the earth. Ofthese, four are sacred... ' (IX: 36). See Ibn Hawshab, Kitab
at-rushd wa '1-hidaya, p. 47. This reference to four miqats, rather than the traditional five, is unusuaL alQadi al-Nu'man lists the traditional five, on the authority of the Imam al-Sadiq, see al-QadiAbuHanifa alNu'man b. Muhammad, Daha'im al-lslam, ed. Asaf A.A. Fyzee (Cairo, 1951-1961), p. 297. al-Qadi Abu
Hanifa al-Nu'man b. Muhammad, Ta'wil ad-Daha'im, ed. Muhammad Hasan al-Ajami (Cairo, 19671969), pp. 157-:163 does not shed any further light on the issue, as the ta'wil offered is different from
Nasir's. Cf. A. J. Wensinck, J. Jornier, 'ihram', Encyclopaedia ofIslam. CD-ROM version 1.0 (Leiden,
..
.
1999).
45
NasirKhusraw, Wajh-idin,p.261.
·
46
.
Ibid., pp. 176, 261.
47
.
.
.
176.
153,
pp.
lbid.,
48
Ibid., p. 248, read khulafa' in place of khalqan, as per the variant noted from manuscript A.
49
Ibid., pp. 104-105, Abu Ya'qub Sijistani mentions a similar doctrine in hls hitherto unpublished
·
Kitab al-maqalid, see Walker, Early Philosophical Shiism, p. 140.
50
.
.
Nasir Khusraw, Jami' al-hikmatayn, p.165.
·
51
99pp.
Gnosis,
lsmaili
and
Time
Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, p. 97. See also Corbin, Cyclical
.·
.
.. 100, 113.
52
Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, p. 256. This symbolism is echoed by Abu Ya'qub al- Sijistani; see
· ·
. Walket, Early Philosophical Shiism, p. 141. Cf. Sami Naqib Macrame, The Doctrine of the lsmaili
.
·
·
· (Bei.tu~)972),pp. 31-34.
5
~ Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i Din, pp. 148-149.
.
•
54
lbtd., pp. 172. .
5
~ Ibid., pp. 176.
6
~ Ibid., pp. 276.
7
.
' Ibid., pp. 176.
58
traditional sense and not its modem meaning. .
its
in
here
used
is
The word 'planet', of course,
59
yn, pp. 111-112.
al-hikmata
Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, p. 245, Jami'
60
Nasir Khusraw, Wajh-i din, p.192 .
61
Ibid., p. 152.
.
62
Ibid., p. 193.
63
.
.
.
Ibid., pp. 192-193.
.
64
.
.
.
176.
p.
Ibid.,
65
also called
Shishfasl
or
Chapters
Six
81,
p.
'i-nama,
Ibid., p. 177, Nasir Khusraw, Rawshana
·
·
Rawshana' i-nama, p. 40 (ed.), p. 82 (trans.).·
66
NasirKhusraw, Wajh-idin, pp. 165-166.
67
Nasir Khusraw, Jami' al-hikmatayn, p. 166.
83

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