ISMA'ILI TAIYEBI ‘AQAAID
 
 
 

 

61. Imam (AS) have special deputies or du'aat in different parts of the world, whose duty is to guide people to whom they are sent.

62. One who blindly follows the religion of his ancestors, by tradition, without having ascertained for himself whether it is correct or wrong, is not right. He should know, and act in agreement with the Qur'an and sunnat (traditional practices of the Rasulullah (SAWS)), as taught by the recognized spiritual leaders belonging to the family of the Rasulullah (SAWS) i.e. The Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS). It is equally wrong either to change continually one's religious opinions, or to stick obstinately to the beliefs of one's forefathers, out of intentional conservatism, even when he is not satisfied with them, and does not regard them as reliable.

63. Love (itaa'at) for the sake of Allah, and hatred of all that opposes Him, benefaction (‘ataa) for His sake, and resistance of what is wrong (mana'), are necessary elements of the Deen (piety).

64. Association with the unreliable and impious people (munaafiq) is undesirable. Such munaafiqs are those who ridicule religion, or its priests, outwardly accepting the beliefs of it, but inwardly having no faith in them.

65. In many places in the Qur'an, one finds that Rasulullah (SAWS) preached only belief in One Allah (not mentioning the other points of the creed). Such rudimentary da'wa (ad-da'watul-awwala) was permissible only to Rasulullah (SAWS) himself, at the beginning of his mission, and is no longer sufficient. This primitive formula belongs to the Fitrat, or the innate religious sense of mankind, and is the greatest proof of the truth of the Prophet Hood (nubuwwat).

66. The earlier religious systems (sharaae', pl of shari'at) are all abrogated and replaced by the Shari'at of Rasulullah (SAWS). Such periodical abrogation and renovations (tajdeed) of the revealed religion are an advantage (maslehat) to mankind. The present shari'at has to remain to the Last Day, when Allah will fill the earth with justice and equality as much as it is now filled with oppression and lawlessness.

67. The abrogation of the earlier religious systems is due to the advantages which the wisdom of Allah intends for mankind. When Allah created the world, He sent His prophets with their different systems of law and religion in order to protect the human race against its own destructive and internecine instincts. But in the course of time mankind begins to neglect the injunctions of the Shari'at, chaos is gradually overtaking it, and Allah, in His mercy, sends a new Prophet, to establish a new religious systems in support of the beliefs established and propagated by the earlier Prophets, which abrogates that given by his predecessor.

68. True religion (Deen ul-haqq) is always the lot of only small minority of mankind, as can be proved from the Qur'an. The great majority usually take up various false and mistaken beliefs.

69. The real Deen (piety) and faith are found only in Shi'ism (tashayyu'), just as the real following of the practices (sunnat) of Rasulullah (SAWS), of his commandments, and of the members of his family (Ahl-ul-Bayt (AS)), to whom the Shi'ites are firmly attached in accordance with the order of the Prophet of Allah. The Imams (AS) are the ‘itrat (close relatives), whom Rasulullah (SAWS) left out his deathbed to his followers, together with the Qur'an. No one is equal to them. Rasulullah (SAWS) predicted the splitting up of the Islamic community into seventy three sects after his death; of these only one is that which brings salvation. It is the one which follows Rasulullah (SAWS), and his descendants, who are the Ark of Nooh (AS) giving religious salvation. Rasulullah (SAWS) himself ordered his community to follow Hazrat Ali (AS) and his descendants (zurriyat). Hazrat Ali (AS) is greater than both his sons, Imam Hasan (AS) and Imam Hussain (AS). Walaayat for Hazrat Ali (AS) and love for him and his cause is the greatest religious virtue in Islam.

70. One must do his best to act in accordance with prescriptions of the religion as far as it is within his possibilities. Excess in anything is undesirable, just as trying to achieve the impossible, while sacrificing something that is essential religious duties is unlawful. The ideal attitude of the true Muslim is rigid allegiance to what is prescribed by Allah, and careful discharge of his duties.

71. Life means activity, and the existence of the visible world consists of actions. Every action may be either good or evil, and Allah, surely will either reward or punish it. But such rewards or punishments are awarded after death; this world is not the place for enjoying the first, or permanently suffering from the second.

72. Islam is verbal assertion of one's belonging to the religion of Rasulullah (SAWS) (qawl bil-lesaan), together with the adoption of its psychology, realization that this implies submission (inqiyaad) and obedience (taa'at) to the commandment of professing (shahaadat) all that is prescribed by Rasulullah (SAWS); monotheism, belief in prophet hood; surrender to the ordinance of Allah (tasleem) , abiding by them, giving up opposition to them etc., whether such things please one or displease. One who verbally professes Islam is a Muslim, not a Mu'min. Profession of Islam is the gate by which one enters when seeking for the higher truths which are revealed by the Rasulullah (SAWS). By this gate one enters the system of duties, which make his soul engage in the reflection about the nature of the commandments of Allah, the obligatory character of the prescriptions of the shari'at etc., either explicit (zaahir), or implicit (baatin).

73. Faith (imaan) is not only professing (qawl), but also acting in accordance with the prescriptions of the religion (‘amal) , and determination (niyyat) to act accordingly. It is by faith that one can be saved. By faith, one asserts the truth of the mission of the Rasulullah (SAWS). Faith gradually becomes distributed in the limbs of the faithful, so that his movements and actions automatically become in agreement with the principles of obedience to Allah, or prescribed forms of worship. There should not be any discrepancy between word, intention and action. If such discrepancy appears, this indicates that the man is insincere (munaafiq). These three elements of faith depend on each other. In a true mu'min , they are always present. By their union, he attains the state of perfect morality, and lives in full agreement with the injunctions of the revealed religion.

74. Purity (tahaarat) is of two kinds; ritual purity; which is attained through the prescribed purifications by water, or, in its absence, by clean earth; and secondly, internal or spiritual (baatin) purity, which means the purity of heart, its being free from everything unclean, i.e. from all that may defile it by sensuality, which is an evil and Satanical factor. It perverts and defiles all good and ideal desires which Allah inspires into the heart, inducing man to do evil. One can only purify himself from the ordinary cleanliness by ‘real water' (al-maa al-mutlaq) . Similarly, one can only purify himself from spiritual uncleanliness, coming from the doubt and disobedience to Allah, by the ‘water of knowledge' (al-maa al-‘ilm) , which is the knowledge of the real meaning of things, as these are explained by religious teachers, who received this wisdom originally from Hazrat Ali (AS). This wisdom is partly enshrined in the religious books which can be read and understood by those who possess sufficient education and intelligence.

75. Water, by which ritual ablutions can be made, should be beyond doubt (as to its purity). Similarly, spiritual water, by which one's heart can only be purified, should be beyond doubt as to its pure origin. Certainty as to its purity can only be attained when it comes directly from the Rasulullah (SAWS) himself, through Hazrat Ali (AS) and Imam (AS), his successors. One must be perfectly sure as to its not being defiled by arbitrary perversions of interested parties, or by incidental errors from which human mind can never be quite safe, from ijtehaad, qeyaas and ra'y, and all other possible forms of alteration and adulteration.

76. Prayer (salaat) is of two kinds; One is the ordinary prescribed prayer, namaaz, which consists of the recitation of prescribed formulas, accompanied by special genuflexions, prostrations, etc., which are all discussed in details in special books devoted to these matters. All these details are based in the example of the angels and great prophets who introduced different practices in their time. This from of worship, expressed in proper words and movements of the body, belongs to the field of what is called, “the worship by actions”, (al-‘ibaadat ul-‘amaliyyah). The other form of prayers is spiritual; it is not based in high training of the soul and consciousness, and belongs to the sphere of “the worship by knowledge”, (al-‘ibaadat ul-‘ilmiyyah). It is differently described by terms such as ‘attachment' (ittesal) to Allah, or ‘approachment' (taqarrub) to Him, or ‘union' (ittehaad) with Him, or connection with the higher world. It has nothing to do with any fixed formula, or prescribed genuflexions or prostrations, or any special movements of the body. It can only be performed in spirit, by the force of continuous meditation, or by the power of concentration, by persistent effort to preserve spiritual purity, by keeping away from temptations of one's lower self (nafs-e-ammaarah) , abandonment of lust, and exercise of self control (sabr) in the most difficult and unpleasant situations of life, or fatiguing forms of worship. When one masters all this, he has really attained the desired attachment to Allah. He will then become a real ascetic, consciously and rightly following the spirit of religion. He will never lose the virtues which he has acquired, and will always be ready to help others to seek salvation. He will never turn from the path leading to spiritual benefit for the fear of its difficulties, or out of the desire to conceal what he has acquired from others. He will be always kind, generous and magnanimous to all.

77. Paying the zakaat, or religious tax, is obligatory upon every one who possesses a certain minimum of income. Money in the world is similar to the blood in human body. When it accumulates beyond a certain limit, it causes harm to the organism, endangering the health. Therefore it is necessary to adjust the balance regularly, preventing undesirable developments, by contributing a certain share in the income for the purpose of general benefit of the community.

78. Fast, as a religious practice, is introduced in order to imitate the example of the angels, who do not possess human weaknesses and defects. It is obligatory, and has many spiritual advantages in so far as it helps to suppress sensuality. But in addition to fast as abstention from ordinary food and drink, there also is a fast in the spiritual sense which consists in the religious duty of not communicating or teaching any religious matters, on the part of those who do not possess the necessary qualifications, and are not licensed to do this. This inner meaning of the fast is explained in special books.

79. Hajj, or pilgrimage to the sanctuary of Makkah, is obligatory upon all who can afford the expenses it entails. All the rites prescribed for it are important; nothing in it should be neglected or overlooked. There is a great deal of important symbolism in its ceremonies; this is explained in books which specially deal with the question.

80. Religious war (jihaad) is obligatory (waajib) against the people who turn away from religion. When one is called to discharge this duty, he is bound to take it up under the guidance of the right leader (imaam), or under whomsoever the latter chooses and commissions to act on his behalf. If the mu'min loses his life while discharging the duty of jihaad, he acquires special nearness to Allah. Apart from ordinary war for religion, the jihaad can have yet another form. This is the struggle against one's own vices and sensuality which makes him deviate from the right path prescribed by religion. This spiritual war against one's self is only permitted to those who possess the necessary qualifications of ‘ilm and ‘amal, i.e. theoretical education and practical religious training.

 

 
   
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