ISMA'ILI TAIYEBI ‘AQAAID
 
 
 

 

46. Obedience (taa'at) to all dictates of the religion is the most important duty of the faithful. Whoever obeys the commandments of the founder of the religion, by complying with them, obeys the order of Allah. Salvation can be attained only through such obedience, which should be complete, in word, action, desire and thought. “Who has obeyed the Rasool has obeyed Allah.”

47. Complete surrendering or submission of oneself (tasleem), and the following of some one (itteba'), are of two kinds, right or wrong. The tasleem of the proper kind is when one entirely submits himself and his own will to the guidance of the religion of the Rasulullah (SAWS), of his commandments (amr), and the command of the Imaams from the house of the Rasulullah (SAWS) (Ahl-ul-Bayt), and unreservedly follows these. The Imaams are the rightful heirs of the Rasulullah (SAWS), possessing his Book, knowing its hidden meaning, and its explanation (taweel). They are the Ahl-uz-Zikr and Ulul Amr after the Rasulullah (SAWS). The faulty form of the tasleem is that in which one submits himself voluntarily to the will of various pretenders, and sees eye to eye with them; or when he simply seeks a higher position or wealth through them, well knowing that they have no real right to pose as religious leaders.

48. The people who really obey Allah and His Rasulullah (SAWS), and are therefore entitled to receive the great reward mentioned in the Qur'an, are those who faithfully keep their covenants, and strictly observe their oath.

49. Whoever breaks his covenant (misaaq) and violates his oath of allegiance, disobeys Allah and His Rasulullah (SAWS), and, by doing so, is cursed and punished by “painful punishment”, mentioned in the Qur'an.

50. The fast of Ramzaan should be started after one actually sees the new moon only in those cases in which he cannot obtain correct information about the date of real (astronomical) beginning of the month. Rasulullah (SAWS) prescribed such way of beginning the fast only to those who live alone, are on a journey, and have no competent teacher at hand who could determine the real date.

51. Miracles of the Rasulullah (SAWS), which he manifested to mankind while establishing his religion (Shari'at), are to be regarded as true and real. They are of three different classes:

1. Supernatural phenomena produced by him.

2. The greatness and sublimity of his teaching (nutq) which no one can imitate.

3. His virtues and excellent qualities (fazaa'il), which he possessed in his capacity of the Perfect Man.

52. Verses of the Qur'an can be abrogated only by other verses of the Qur'an itself. Copies of the Qur'an must be made with great care, lest mistakes creep into religion. The Ahl-ul-Bayt, that is, the Imaams, possess hereditary knowledge of the Qur'an, guarding it against perversion and errors. The Book (Qur'an) was left by the Rasulullah (SAWS) to his followers together with his ‘itrat (Ahl-ul-Bayt; close relatives).

53. The Qur'an contains all the religious knowledge (al uloom-ud-deeniyya), both in letter and spirit (meaning). Philosophy (hikmat), is what is contained in the Qur'an. It contains all that mankind needs to be guided in religion (Shari'at) and in wisdom (‘aql).

54. Shari'at agrees with Hikmat (philosophy) and science. It is not right to maintain that the latter (hikmat and science) are different from religious wisdom. Allah created mankind capable of reasoning and knowing, and it would be absurd to think that He should prescribe a law which is given to them must therefore be based on the same principles of logic as the other forms of human knowledge. Religious prescriptions differ only in so far as they are concerned with the outer (zaahir), or the inner (baatin) meaning of religion, and both are within the competence of reason, because it is applicable both to the physical and spiritual phenomena. The normal man then can only act rightly when his physical vision is helped by mental vision, which is based on reason (‘aql).

55. Religious duties consist of proper actions (a'maal) and necessary knowledge (‘ilm), which are obligatory to every able bodied adult of sound mind. Everyone who has come out of the age of childhood is under an obligation to follow this commandment. They are thus divided in to two categories, those which are connected with the body (badani), and those connected with the mind of intellect (‘aqli). Compliance with the prescriptions of these two classes of duties is rewarded, and their neglect is punished by Allah, from whom nothing is hidden. One cannot take up only practices prescribed in connection with the body, disregarding those which are connected with mental life, and vice versa, because spirit and body cannot exist separately, but depend on each other.

56. Bahs, or investigation, and nazar, or reflection and pondering over religious matters are a way of learning, but only when conducted under a properly qualified teacher. Ideas which cannot be approved of by him are errors. Instruction of qualified teachers is the proper basis of faith and of religious law, when coupled with the infallibility. Every form of excess in religious matters is to be avoided, as also every form of following the methods of ijtehaad (following the opinion of an expert) , ra'y (using common sense in religious matters) , istehsaan (desire to introduce improvement or adjustment of religious practices) , and musa'ada (connections to the lower instincts).

57. It is obligatory to seek knowledge in the religious field. Similarly, it is obligatory to teach, and thus transfer it to others, who are fit and capable of learning, and deserve it. Both these, i.e. learning and teaching are indispensable duties of every Muslim. They are important, both for spread and preservation of the religion, and for progress and betterment of life in general.

58. Religious life forms a system, like a living human body: Rasulullah (SAWS) may be compared with its head, his lieutenant (Hazrat Ali (AS)) resembles its heart, the associates of the latter are like its senses or limbs, its religious acts resemble the movements of the body, etc. Thus if a man has complete faith; and acts in accordance with the prescriptions of Shari'at, his religious life and its progress are sound. But if the balance is upset by attaching more importance either to the baatin (inner) side of the religion, or to the zaahir (outer) side, while the opposite side is neglected, the system ceases to work correctly. Therefore there always must be in the world someone who has the power to keep the balance right by his guidance in religious matters. He is one “whom Allah raised in this world”, and who by his ta'leem, or religious teaching, helps the soul to guard itself from sin. Souls can be easily fall in error without this, straying from the path of obedience to Allah, and descending the path of mischief and neglect of duties. He brings them back to obedience to Allah, thus making them different from those who live in bestial ways.

59. Propaganda of religion, of commandment of what is considered as proper, and of prohibition of what is considered as improper, is the duty of properly qualified persons and nobody else – within the limits of their possibilities. It is the duty of each faithful (mumin) to enjoin what is right, as far as he can, and to prohibit what is wrong within the limits of his possibilities, whether by tongue, by hand, or by heart. Those who are prevented from this by the practice of taqiyya, or by fear of persecutions, may by the mercy of Allah receive their reward. Those who wish to act rightly, but cannot, and do wrong, being conscious of this, injure their faith; they will be punished. This especially applies to those who know how they should act, and who talk mush about this, and yet ultimately do wrong, for consideration of some material advantages.

60. Taweel, or authoritative allegorical interpretation of the Qur'an and religious prescriptions, is indispensable (waajib) for the religion, in all its aspects. This equally refers both to the plain or outer (zaahir) form of the religion, and to the abstract or inner (baatin) form. For instance, one may wonder why certain injunctions of the Shari'at have this or that form, not something different; or why Rasulullah (SAWS), the Prophet was sent to Arabs, and not to any other people. Such questions are answered by the taweel of Hazrat Ali bin Abi Talib (AS). The Prophet, who addressed not a highly cultured people, but Arabs, such as they were at the time, would necessarily speak only about the plain or outer matters connected with the visible world. But every such statement in the Qur'an implies also a reference to the abstract (‘aqliyya), and to the spiritual (ruhaniyya) meaning of it; these require special elucidation, by a qualified person (Hazrat Ali (AS)), who possesses the necessary knowledge.

 
   
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