PRIMACY (ijtihād*)

The profound and judicious had perceived, from the dawning of the Shāhinshāh's personality, that he was the epitome of the volumes of perfection and had recognized him as akin to the spirit of holiness and as a gatherer of wisdom of the Divine school. From the beginning of the flashings of his intelligence up to his being seated on the throne of the Caliphate, and from the commencement of his daily-increasing fortune, those who could read the forehead of circumstance and were acquainted with mysteries, received fresh consolation; and, while congratulating themselves on their per­spicacity, they redoubled their supplications and thanksgivings. Inasmuch as the increase of temporal duties had thrown a veil over his world-illuminating spiritual beauty, it was not every one who could bring far-sighted intelligence to the point of understanding His Majesty, and there was a brisk market of inappreciation. Especially this was so with paper-worshipping scholiasts, sunk in the mire of routine, and recognizing no knowledge except the garnering of old materials and market-worn beads of small value and writings in black and white on ancient folios which had been fabricated by servile decorators.

Without indulging in the excessive panegyrics of professional encomiasts, verbal lapidaries* who sell words at the rate of precious stones, whoever casts a glance at the great diurnal of events, or looks with honest eyes into this jewelled volume, knows that those glorious works (Akbar's) are above human comprehension, and that they furnish a splendid* spectacle to readers of the lines of the fore­head. From the time that chooser of one-ness, adorner of multiplicity, turned his attention to scientific subjects, and to the varied pur­suits of mankind, and when, by removing some of his veils, he allowed his profundity and farsightedness to deck the bridal chamber of manifestation, he scattered from his ocean heart such sublime words concerning the mysteries of vision and piety, and the apices of theory and practice, that the scorched hearts of instruction's fur­nace fell into amazement, and the crew of the schools sank into the abode of astonishment. It is not the case (dāstān) with revelation and vision that holy thoughts, lofty genius, sublime energy acquire by learning and experience clearness of heart, step by step. Such is the case* with the erudite and eloquent. To them these things come not without the alloy of effort. But those who by happy fortune obtain in the Academy of God the marks of things Divine and human without any intermediary, peruse the documents of Primary Reason and the Astrolabe of the heaven of holiness. It was fitting that 269 formalists who dwell within the four walls of routine should enter the defiles of amazement, and that the mental foot of the superficial and short-sighted should stumble, that the wide space of ignorance and little vision should be filled, and that the dustbin of their inward darkness should discharge black waters. Those who did not under­stand the case imagined that the whole life-time of the sovereign had been spent in study, while many in their blackheartedness and per­versity plunged into the saline waste of envy, and were spiritually and physically ruined. A few, by a happy star and auspicious disposition, were guided to the forum of enlightenment and satisfied their eyes and their ears. Some open-eyed* ones who for many years had painfully striven in the quest of knowledge, and were now watching in justice's portico held a meeting to expound* the mystery, and after exchanging many extraordinary experiences, they all joined in saying, “It is the glory of the holy spirit which has come to the kindling point. On this day the light of saintship is casting a ray on his inner soul. It is from the right thinking of the world's lord that this great rank has been bestowed on him. Or has he in the pure temple of privacy kept burning the lamp of study, and now by the goodness of God is he exhibiting it? Or is it the result of magic and enchantment that the drum of enlightenment beats high and that the wondrous workings have shown themselves?”

Those who have by dint of auspiciousness and a happy star aban­doned the following of routine, and opened the eyes of vision, and kindled the lamp of understanding, recognized the unique one of horizons as the leader (peshwā) of the spiritual world, and rubbed off the rust of astonishment. Nay, a set stained with the dust of routine (taqlīd) received a whisper of just appreciation by virtue of ancient records* and took the road of right thinking. “When the matted-haired of the desert of vagabondage, and the heavy-footed* ones of the abode of vertigo, obtain such high rank in fortune's divan, why should we be astonished at the success of a just and right-thinking king?” By the guidance of an open-browed fortune they became believers and made an active market for the new institutions (Āīn).


Those cognisant of the final result of things
Made a new prayer about the sovereign:

“So long as the revolving sphere be full of stars,*
And matter be composed of those two things,
May the Shāh's personality be the world's lamp,
May his cheek be brighter than the moon!”

When the sublime meetings were brightened by the lights of the Unique one of Truth's banquet and of intellectual power, and the luminary of recognition shone for the distant as for the near, the acute and awakened of heart, and the wisdom-choosing seekers after knowledge, who were stayed in various religions and divers paths* of the ancients, and in the winding-back alleys and ruined bye­paths, and were seeking for relief from their confusion,* held a confer­ence* with the blissfully wise and the right-thinking. (They said), “Assuredly if the rank of ‘Ijtihād,’ which is lower than the dignity of a pure soul (nafs-i qadsī), be a dispeller of the darkness of doubts, a wise sovereign shall by choice institutions become the pacifier of disturbed hearts. But* every one does not know the latter, while 270 every one is familiar with the first. It is fitting then that the happy hivers of wisdom should come together and refer the old, heart-gnawing pain to this new physician. The medicine suitable for the age is to address the king by the style of ‘Ijtihād,’ and then to represent to him the confusion of religions and creeds and to beg him to untie the knot.”

When their ideas were brought to the sacred hearing, the world's lord for a while, from his love for a veil, did not accept the proposal, and the enlightened body had to have recourse to entreaty. Inasmuch as the granting of desires forms a part of the laudable character of that circumspect Seer (Akbar) and his profession is that of a Healer, it flashed upon the vision-portico of the farsighted one, the understander of beginnings, the attainer of ends, that to come forth from the position of commander-in-chief of the spiritual world to this office and to apply his mind to it, was, in reality, an adorning of the veil and a choosing of a screen. He therefore rejoiced them by fulfilling their desire. On 20 Shahrīyūr,* Divine month, there was an assemblage of the enlightened, and the thoughts of the wise unanimously agreed upon this, “The world's lord is the Imām of the Time, and the Mujtahid* of the age.” When the rest of mankind accept whatever he selects from out of the contradictions of the ancients, and from the sects upon sects of eloquent truth-seekers, they will gather the Divine favour.” To this statement they attached their seals, and a record of enlightenment was executed. Maulānā 'Abdullah Sultān-pūrī, who had the lofty title of Makhdūm-al-mulk (served by the country), Shaikh Abdu-n-nabī the Ṣadr, who was celebrated as the Shaikh-al-islām, Ghāzī K. Badakhshi, Ḥakīm-almulk, and other great sages signed* and sealed it. Those who were giddy and straying in the desert of doubts, put the bridle of fixity on the neck of discipleship, and the sitters in darkness received the light of certitude. The lamp of knowledge lighted up the interior of ignorance, and distracted hearts received new comfort.

Also at this time the pulpit was honoured by the sky-touching feet of the Shāhinshāh, and the palace of wisdom received a fresh exaltation and a new heaven was revealed to the age. Inasmuch as the endeavour of H.M. is to carry out proper actions where possible, and various good things were accomplished by the exertions of that unique one of the banquet of enlightenment; every choice act which represented itself to his mind, or which he heard of as having been performed by God-worshippers in old times, was regarded by him as a means of pleasing God, and was carried into effect. As at this time it came to his hearing that the guiding Imāms and legitimate Caliphs did not leave worship to others, but took this weighty matter on their own shoulders, he resolved to imitate them in this, and to reap the reward thereof. As the administration of the world and the dispensation of justice are great occupations, he did not indulge in long discourses, but was contented with what was necessary. 271 Several times he distributed enlightenment in the chief mosque of the capital (Fatḥpūr) and the audiences gathered bliss. One of the discourses (Khuba) which my most excellent of brothers, S. Abu-l-Faiẓ Faiẓī, put by his orders into verse was as follows:—