On the Strewing of Fragrant Herbs, culled from the Gardens of the Far-sighted of the Path of Salvation and of the Pre­eminent Occupants of the Tribunals of Saintship.

[Note.—Before reading this chapter the student is advised to go care­fully through Introduction (V).]

The Lord of the circle (of Sufis) Junaid,—may his tomb be sanctified, says: The maxims of the learned in science and divinity are a strong armament of the forces of God the Most High in the Kingdom of every heart, inasmuch as by them are put to flight the clouds of (evil) designs with the enemies of (i.e., namely) lust and passion.

When the attack of lust and passion, which are of the army of Satan, becomes close upon the heart of the God-worshipping man, what else except the armies of the maxims of the Sufis has the power to overthrow those robbers?

God the Highest (thus) addresses his prophet,—may the peace and salutation of God be upon him: I narrate to you the stories of the prophets, so that I may thereby render vigorous your intellect.

When with a sincere intention you create an image in your mind, put life into it by blowing therein the clarion of the spirit of the divine (i e, infusing their noble spirit therein); and if your mind convulses on account of the im­pulses of nature, purify (and enlighten) it by the gloss of the maxims of great men. [Note.—The first line alludes to one of the miracles of Jesus, that of reviving dead bodies by blowing his spirit therein.]

The Pir of Heràt has (thus) advised his intimates: Remember some maxims of all Pirs, and if you cannot do this, (at least) remember their names, so that you may be benefited (thereby), [lit., you may have a quota (of their goodness and good fortune).]

He you are from whose name doth radiate all love, and from whose history and epistle streameth forth love. Every one who passes by your lane becomes a lover; verily love floweth down from your door and terrace.

It is a tradition that God the Most High on the morning of resurrection asks the slave, (who is) ashamed of his poverty and destitution, (i.e., the sinful slave who brings with him no stock of piety) : Did you know such and such a scholar or divine in such and such a street? The slave answers : Yes, I did know him. Then God proclaims : I pardon you for him. [Note.—The mere fact of knowing a saint is efficacious enough to secure salvation from the fire of hell. Sa'di says:

Shanidam ke dar ruz-i-u'mid-o-bim,
Badàn rà be nikàn bebakhshad karim.

The dignity that I attain by praising your lovers is greater than this that I may put my step of devotion on the stages of Union. Imprinted are on my heart the names of the mendicants at your door : sufficient is the seal of (your) acceptance for the book of my actions. For muqàmàt-i-wasul, vide Introduction (V). The last line refers to the ‘books of account’ written down by angels, sitting on the shoulders of men in this world and taking down their good and evil actions. These will be produced on the day of judgment.

I. Seri Saqti had ordered Junaid to do some work, which Junaid performed to his satisfaction. Saqti threw at him a piece of paper, in which it was written : I shed tears of blood (for God); how can I conceal from you why I have both eyes weeping? However much my heart is happy from Union, I have a hundred brands thereon (arising) from the fear of separation (which I anticipate from now).

Junaid also says: One day I entered the house of Seri. He was repeating this couplet and was weeping:

Let my night be long or short, I am never disengaged either day-time or night-time from lamentations and sighs (on account of my burning for divine love).

II. They asked Hallàj: Who is a (real) disciple? He replied: He is a (real) disciple who, from the very com­mencement, makes His Majesty God the goal of (all) his projects, and till he unites with Him, he is pacified by nothing, nor is he inclined towards (the company of) anybody else.

For you have we traversed the land and the sea, crossed the plain and cleaved the mountain. We have turned away our face from all (temptations) that we met with (and were not daunted by any obstacles) so that we have obtained access to the sanctuary of your Union.

III. The Sufi Abu Hàsham has said: To uproot a moun­tain from its foundation with the point of a needle is easier than to eradicate the vileness of pride from the heart.

Do not boast of absence of pride (from your heart), because it is more (imperceptibly) hidden (in you) than an ant's footmark on a black stone in a dark night; and do not think it easy to take it out from inside, because easier than this is to dig up a mountain from the earth by means of a needle.

IV. Zulnun went to the Shaikhs of the West for (the solu­tion of) a problem. They asked him: Why have you come here? If you have come (here) to learn ancient and modern science, this is not at all practicable: the Creator knows that all. And if you have come here in search of Him, He was there whence you walked the first step, (i.e, whence you started).

Ere this I thought you to be far from me, (and) enter­tained the idea that you were at the final point of my travels; now that I have found you I know that He you are, whom I left behind at the very starting place.

V. The Pir of Heràt says: He accompanies His seeker, and, taking hold of his hand, hastens in search of Himself. [Note.—God is everywhere and with everybody, and it is foolish to go and search for Him in distant places.]

He, whose name or trace I have neither known nor found, drags me after himself by taking hold of my hand. He is my hand and my foot: wherever He goes I (only) advance, striking my feet and waving my hands.

VI. Fazail A'yàz says: I worship God the most Holy and most High on account of Love, because I cannot have the patience of not worshipping Him. Some of his company asked him: Who is a vile person? He replied: He who adores God through fear of (hell) and hope (of heaven). They inquired: How do you adore him? He replied: His Love and His Friendship keep me up in His service and devotion.

How can the killing agony of Love remain (shut up) within the dark earth (constituting human body), since this fire (of Love) has been kindled (in us) from His luminous soul? How can the lover shake off the collar of His fealty from his neck, since, like the ring—dove, this (His) collar has grown on his neck (i.e, when he is born with His Love in­herent in him)?

O Beloved! I cannot (bear to) be away from your door: I cannot be content with paradise and the Huris. This my head is (prostrate) at your door by the Law of Love, and not with any mercenary motive. What can I do when I cannot be patient (when) away from this door? Vide Introduction (V).

VII. Ma'ruf Karkhi has said: The Sufi is a (mere) guest in this world; (any) exaction by the guest from the host is a molestation, because the guest can only be an expectant of urbanity and not an extortioner thereof, (i e., the guest at the most can expect, never demand, any act of kindness from the host).

I am your guest in the rank of (your) devotees; I am waiting and pleased with anything that comes from you I have cast hopeful eyes at the table of your generosity: I am waiting for your bounty and not demanding it.

VIII. They asked Bàyazid: What is Sunnat and what is Farz? He replied: Sunnat consists in abandoning the world, and Farz consists in associating with God.

O you who question me on the Sunnat and Farz of the faith of the masters of ecstasy, (know that) Sunnat consists in turning away one's face from the world, (and) Farz consists in drawing oneself near the Lord!

IX. Shabali, being disturbed in mind, was removed to a hospital, where a crowd went to see him. He asked: Who are you? They replied: your friends. He lifted a stone and attacked them, (whereupon) all ran way. He (then) said: Come back, O pretenders! because friends do not run away from friends to avert the stone of their in­iquity!

He is a friend who, the more he is detested, the more loving becomes, and the foundation of whose love grows more stable, if he is pelted by his friend with a thousand stones of molestation.

It is also related of him that once upon a time he fell ill. The Khalifeh sent a Christian physician for his cure. He asked (Shabali): What is the craving of your heart? He replied: That you may become a Moslem. He inquired: If I become a Moslem, will you be well and get up from your sick-bed? He replied: Yes. Then Shabali made an exposition of the Faith and the physician professed it?? Shabali thereupon rose up from his bed and no sign of illness was left in him. Both of them then went together to the Khalifeh and related their story. The Khalifeh replied: I thought I had sent a physi­cian to a patient, (while) I (now find that I) had sent a patient himself to a physician.

That person, who is sick from an attack of love, re­cognizes his physician in the face (or meeting) of the Friend. When the divine physician strides near his head, the former cures this (worldy) doctor (and brings him to his senses) from the disease of (worldly) intoxication.

X. Sohl A'bdullàh Tustari says: Despair of that man, whose spirit is clogged early in the morning with (this thought): What shall I eat (to-day)?

Expect not the principle of vigilance from that man whose imagination, when he wakes up early in the morning from sleep, soars not beyond (anxieties for food). Despair of that man who, no sooner he takes out his hands from the rug and puts his legs out of the bed, than he takes them to the tray and the table.

XI. Abu Sa'yd Kharràz says: In the commencement of my discipleship I was closely watching my time (i. e., was very staunch in devotion). One day I entered a desert and was walking there, when I heard the voice of something (proceeding) from my rear. I restrained my heart from pay­ing attention thereto, and my eyes from looking towards that direction. It was coming nearer till it came close to me. I found that two big savage beasts (or lions) had jumped on my back. I looked not at them when they jumped up nor when they alighted.

Do you know who is a Sufi free from the stain of (possessing) a divided mind? It is he who aims at sincerity in this hypocritical palace (of the world), and who does not sever the bond of his secret with the Beloved, (even) supposing that he is beset on one side by a wolf and on the other by a leopard.[ Note.—The real Sufi ought not to be confounded in his contem­plation by anything however dreadful or painful.]

And he has also observed: He, who thinks that he will reach (God) by his efforts, has (only) taken ridiculous pains: and whoever imagines that he will reach (Him) without efforts has (only) traversed the path of (his own) desire; because not everybody who ran caught onagers, but he (only) could catch onagers, who ran (after them).

Everybody has not gained by his pains the treasure of Union, and this is strange that nobody has met with this treasure without pains. Not every person who ran after the onager caught it, but that man (only) can capture it who runs after it. Vide Introduction (V). Predestination.

XII. Abul Hasn Nuri says: No mortal, from whom God hides himself, can reach Him by any skill whatever. Vide Introduction (V).

When our Beloved does not show her face from under the veil, nobody can remove the veil from Her. Where the Lustre (of God) manifests itself for show, there is no fear if even the whole world is veiled (in darkness).

XIII. Abu Bakr Wàsati says: He, who says, ‘I am near (God)’ is (really) away (from Him), and he, who says, ‘I am away (from Him),’ is enveloped in His Existence owing to his own non-existence. Vide Introduction (V). The Doctrine of fanà.

If any body says: ‘I am near the Soul of the World,’ this pre­tension of proximity arises owing to the (real) distance (between him and God); and if he says ‘I am away from Him,’ this (apparent) distance of his arises because he is concealed in the veil of His proximity.

XIV. Abul Hasn Kavsaji has said: In this world nothing is more unpleasant than a friend, whose friendship is for some interested motive or for (the expectation of some) return.

Nobody in the world is meaner than the lover, who demands redress for (and complains of) the separation of the friend, or desires to stay (for self-gratification) at the door of his Union, because he entertains desires from the friend not (desiring) the friend himself, (i.e., instead of desiring the friend himself, he desires the pleasure of friendship). Vide Intro­duction (V).

XV. Bu A'li Daqqàq says: In the latter part of my life I was afflicted with so much pain, that every day I used to go to the terrace, turn my face towards the sun and address it as follows: O you wanderer over the country! How were you to-day? How did you do to-day? And when you were moving round the earth did you anywhere meet with a person so sharply afflicted (like me), and have you obtained any information anywhere from those upset with this occur­rence (of love)? I spoke like words till the sun set.

O Sun, like whom is none so world-wandering! You have brought me as a present (this my distraction) from your wandering, (i. e., I am as distracted and wandering in mind as you)! Whom did you see to-day who, on the path of love, had dust (of distraction) on his face and pain in his heart?

XVI. Shaikh Abul Hasn Kherqàni one day asked his in­timates: Which is the best thing? They replied: O Shaikh! You tell us that. He said: The heart, which at all times befriends Him (by remembering Him).

I possess a little heart which, in spite of a thousand fancies that it has, records nothing on the tablet of the inside excepting your remembrance. It is so fully seized with your remembrance that within it no space is left to contain any other thing (or any other idea).

XVII. Shaik Abu Sa'yd Abul Khair was asked: What is tasavvaf (i.e., sufism)? He replied: What (worldly ideas) you have in the head, you must put aside; what (worldly possessions) you have in the hand, you must give away; and you should not be startled by anything that comes to you (in the shape of sud­den misfortunes, &c.,).

If you want to escape from your own (sinful) self by pro­fessing Sufism, you should lay aside from your head lust and passion: that thing, which you have in the hand, give away from your hand; suffer a hundred blows of calamity and that without being perturbed.

XVIII. Adham has said: Manliness is this that you should forgive your fellow-brethren for the errors, which they commit, and you should not deal with them in such a way that you may be (afterwards) obliged to seek their pardon.

Manliness consists in two things, O you young man! I tell you that; listen to me (attentively) so that I may (be inclined to) tell that nicely. The first is this that you should forgive your friends (even) though a hundred faults proce­ed from them in one single moment. The second is that at no time should proceed from you such an action as may compel you to ask for their forgiveness.

XIX. Bushr Hàfi,—may the mercy of God be upon him, was asked by his disciple: When I get a piece of bread I do not know with what meat to eat it. He observed: Remember the boon of health and consider that to be your meat (and relish).

When an indigent person puts before himself a piece of dry bread in order to nourish his life by that bread (and save it) from the teeth of poverty, and when his appetite craves at that time some relish, no sauce is so relishing as the conscious­ness of health.

XX. Shafiq-i-Balkhi has said: Abstain from the com­pany of the rich, because when your heart is attached to them, and when you rejoice at their charity, you adopt as your patron some body other than God.

If you encounter a rich man, do not attach yourself to him for the sake of food. Do not regard a miser as your surety (against starvation); do not adopt a liberated slave as your God.

XXI. Yusuf Abul Hasn has said: All virtues are in that house, the key whereof is humility and lowliness of mind, and all vices reside in that house, the key whereof is wealth and egotism.

All virtues are collected in one house and there is no key thereof except lowliness of mind. On the same supposition, all evils are in one house, and to it the one key is wealth and egotism, Be on alert! Take precaution that you do not slip away from that path of goodness, and not expose yourself to the contingency of the perils of evil.

XXII. Samnun Muhhab has said: Never will the love of God be pure in a man till he attributes obscenity to the whole world, (and regards it as quite an ugly affair).

If the love of Eternal Beauty takes root in your heart, you will never cast an eye of hope on the Huris of paradise. How can the love of Eternal Beauty be granted to you unless you charge the horizons with ugliness, (and regard them as objects of abuse)? Vide Introduction (V). Sufism.

XXIII. Abu Bakr Warràq has said: If you ask Cove­tousness who its father is, it will say: Doubt with regard to the predestinations of God; and if you ask it what its profes­sion is, it will say: Embarrassment in the misery of disappoint ment.

If you ask Covetousness who its father is, it will reply: Doubts in the (absolute) powers (and dispensations) of God; and if you ask it what its occupation is, it will reply: Pining over the sorrows of life's disappointment.

XXIV. Shaikh Bu A'li Rudbàri has said: The most dreary of all prisons is association with opposites (i.e., uncon­genial persons). [Note. To the Sufi the world and all it contents are quite strangers. He knows not anything but God.]

Although to great men every place, where union with the friend is hopeless, (where there is no scent of union), is a prison, yet to the zealous lover, no prison is more pining than the company of strangers, (i e., of worldly men and those not initiated into the mysteries of love).

XXV. Abràhim Khawàs has said: Do not take pains in search of that which has been (meted out to you as being) deemed sufficient for you on the day of Eternal Distri­bution, (when the fate of all things was ascertained), and that is your daily food; and do not waste, (i.e., neglect) that, which has been required from you as your share (lit., sufficiency), and that is implicit obedience to divine commandments regarding positive enjoinments and prohibitions.

Your livelihood has been meted out to you on the day of eternity, how long will you go distracted (in search) after that livelihood? Your life's (only) utility (and beneficial aim and object) is to serve God; do not turn away your head from the principle of (this) service. Vide Introduction (V). Pre­destination .

XXVI. Saikh Abul A'bbàs Qassàb saw a dervish, who was mending his garment, and who re-opened every seam, which did not go right, and sewed it again. The Shaikh observed: This garment is perhaps your idol!

That Sufi, whose trade is to sew patches, does well if he sews his poverty with long stitches, (i.e., it is quite ho­nourable for him, if he goes on adding patches at random to glory in his poverty). But if his hand moves by the impulses of nature (i.e., self-gratification regarding his richness and pomp), every stitch of his is an idol and the thread of infidelity.

XXVII. Khazrami has said: That (person) is a Sufi who, when he is (once) dead regarding the existence of (the impulses of) nature, never reverts thereto, according to (the maxim): “The dead cannot be revived;” and after that, when he has (once) become worthy of spiritual existence and eternity after (self) annihilation, he does not become mortal again (and alive to the impulses of nature). Vide Introduc­tion (V). The doctrine of fanà.

Happy is he who, when he has (once) become annihilated regarding profane love, does not revert to this original existence. Thereafter when he has once got existence from the capital of (God's) Grace (i. e., got an eternal existence), the door of extinction is eternally shut against him (i.e., he becomes eternal evermore).

XXVIII. Khàje Yusuf Hamdàni was once preaching in the Nizàmiah College of Baghdàd. A famous theologian Abnul Baqà got up and put a question. The Khàje said: Sit down, because I find a smack of infidelity in your words. It may be that you will not die a Moslem by faith. Some time after that that theologian became a Christian and died a Christian by faith.

When you see a man, whose name is taken for religious guidance in the rank of Sufis after that he has cherished in poverty, do not stretch the foot of pretensions up to his very head, O my friend! because by this act of incivility your religion will be wrecked.

XXIX. Khàje A'bdul Khàliq A'jzawàni was one day told by a dervish: If God gives me the (option of) choosing between heaven and hell, I should choose hell, because (the selection of heaven implies (gratification of) passion, while (the selection of) hell implies (the good-will of) God. The Khàje was offended at these words and observed: What has man to do with selection? We go wherever He asks us to go: we be wherever He asks us to be. Vide Introduction (V). Predestination and resignation.

O you, who profess slavery! Do not do (any) work without the choice of your Master. What have slaves to do with option, when the Master has all powers of (election)?

XXX. They asked Khàje A'li Ràmanbati: What is Imàn? He observed: To uproot (the heart from the world) and to join (it with the Creator).

If anybody tells you that Faith consists in disjoining and joining, you ought to approve of that laudable definition. What is the drift of this disjoining and joining? The meaning is to sever the heart from the Creation, and to unite it with the Creator.

XXXI. They asked Bahàuddin Naqshband: How high does your geneology carry you (i.e., how ancient is your family)? He replied: Nobody reaches his destination by (extending) a chain (thereto). [Note.—The oldness and nobility of a family makes not a man noble.]

Truth and purity do not proceed from the garment and the staff (symbolic of Sufism), and from the rosary nothing emits but the smell of hypocrisy! Do not every now and then say how far your geneology carries you, because no person reached his destination by a chain (being extended thereto).

Notes on the First Garden.

Rasul.—When a true believer (mawmin) devotes all his days and nights to prayers, he is called an àbed (a'bd, devotion) or wor­shipper; he becomes a zàhed (zuhd abandoning) or recluse, when he abandons the world and engages himself in contemplation. When he afterwards comes to learn the mysteries of nature and thus know God, he is called an àa'ref, (a'rf knowing), and when he obtains the favour of God and is fortunate enough to be honour­ed with his nearness, he is called a wali or a saint, and a nabi or a prophet, if he gets inspiration, in which state he can per­form karàmàt. If God favours him still more, and gives him any special mission, he is called a rasul, and if actual revelations are given to him, he is called paighamber-i-awlà-al-a'zm, like Jesus, Mahomed and others. The prophets have the power of working mua'jazàt. “The Mahomedans are taught by the Qorán that God, in divers ages of the world, gave revelations of his will in writing to several prophets, the whole and every word of which is absolutely necessary for a true Moslem to be­lieve.” The number of the prophets anbià, who have been sent from time to time by God into this world, amounts to no less than 224,000 or according to some 124,000; among these only 313 were apostles (rasulán) sent with special missions; and 6 only were original law-givers, who received revelations from God and were called paighamberàn-i-awlà-al-a'zm. These are Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Mahomed who is the last of the prophets.

Qayàmat.—According to the Qoràn, on the death of a person, when the corpse is laid into the grave, two angels called Munkir and Nakir, of a terrible appearance, will visit his grave at night (called shab-i-gur), make the body of the person sit upright and question him concerning his faith. If the man has led a pious life, he will be able to answer their questions correctly, and the angels will thereupon suffer the body to rest in the grave in peace till the day of resurrec­tion. But if he is a wicked man, he will fail to answer their questions and the angels will thereupon beat him on the tem­ple with iron maces, press the earth upon him and change his sins into as many dragons and scorpions, which will sting him till the day of resurrection, when he will have to go before God to receive final judgment and retribution.

The time of the resurrection is a perfect secret to all but God, but the approach of it will be made known by certain signs, which will precede it. Some of these signs are: (1). The general decay of faith among men. (2). A war with the Turks, accompanied by such distress that men would be willing to die. (3). The sun's rising in the west (as some say it originally did). (4). The appearance of a huge ugly beast, who will demon­strate the vanity of all religions except Islam by speaking Arabic, and mark on the face of all believers the word Mumen (believer), and on the face of all infidels the word Kàfir (infidel). (5). The coming of Masih-al-dajjàl, Antichrist. (6). The descent of Jesus on the earth who will kill Antichrist. (7). The eruption of the tribes of Yàjuj and Màjuj, God and Ma-gog, who will overrun Jerusalem. (8). A smoke which shall fill the whole earth. (9). An eclipse of the moon. (10). The demolition of the Ka'ba by the Ethiopians. (11). The speak­ing of beasts and inanimate things. (12). The blowing of a trumpet, which is the immediate sign. This trumpet will be blown three times. The first blast of it is the blast of conster­nation , on hearing which all creatures in heaven and earth will be filled with terror. The second, called the blast of examina­tion , will kill in an instant all creatures both in heaven and earth except a chosen few whom God will like to spare. The final blast is the blast of resurrection which will be blown by Isra-phil , and which will make dead bodies spring forth from the grave, and go to the judgment—place to receive judgment. God will then appear in the clouds surrounded by angels. An exa­mination will here take place and books, containing the actions of each person, will be given to him. These books are written by two angels called Kàtebain, who sit invisibly on the shoul­ders of each man in this world, the one on the right noting down his good actions, and the other on the left, his bad actions. A balance will be then produced, in which all good and bad actions will be weighed in opposite scales, and exact justice will be given. One scale-pan of this balance hangs in heaven and the other in hell, and it is large enough to contain both heaven and earth. The trial will last no more than while one may milk an ewe.

The righteous ones will then be conducted to heaven and the wicked to hell. The day of resurrection is known by vari­ous names. Rastàkhiz comes from Zend iristá dead, and khiz rising, the day being so called because the dead will rise from their graves: Hashar, assembly, the day being so called because the dead will rise and assemble before God for judgment: Hasáb, account, because the dead will have to render an account of their time in this world &c. The doctrine of resurrection a positive belief in which is obligatory on every faithful, seems to have been borrowed from Zoroastrianism.

Sunnat and Farz.—Sunnat literally means a path or way; a mode of life regulated after the example of the prophet. It means the tradition which records the doing of the prophet, while hadis means the tradition recording his sayings. It is the belief of all Mahomedans that in addition to the revelation contained in the Qoràn, the prophet received wahighair-i-matlu, whereby he was enabled to give authoritative declarations on religious questions either moral, ceremonial or doctrinal. The word hadis is now generally used to denote the vast collection of such of the prophet's sayings and doings as were handed down by one generation to another from the immediate companions of the prophet downwards.

Farz means that duty which is obligatory upon every faith­ful and any omission whereof is a sin.

Shara'.—The word literally means the way, and is defined as the “way or road in the religion of Mahomed which God has established for the guidance of his people both for the worship of God and the duties of life.” Shara' is divided into

(1). I'taqàdàt, embracing the six articles of Belief forming the theoretical part of the Mahomedan religion: (a) Belief in the unity of God; (b) Belief in His angels; (c) Belief in His koobs; (d) Belief in His prophets; (e) Belief in the day of judgment; (f) Belief in His decrees.

(2) Aadàb, comprising moral excellences, humility, resigna­tion, contentment, &c.

(3) I'bàdàt, including (a) Recital of the creed; (b) Prayers; (c) Alms; (d) Fasting; (e) Pilgrimage.

(4) Mua'malàt, comprising various sections of civil juris­prudence, marriage, divorce, dower, &c.

(5) A'qubát, punishments.

That which is lawful is graded into five classes:

(1) Farz, that which is proved beyond all doubt to be en­joined, a denial or omission whereof is a positive sin.

(2) Wàjib, that which is obligatory but about the autho­rity of which there is some doubt.

(3) Sunnat, that wich is recommended as practised by the prophet.

(4) Mustahabb, that which was sometimes done and sometimes omitted by the prophet and his companions.

(5) Mubàh, that which is desirable but not obligatory.

Things unlawful are classified into

(1) Mufsed, a mortal sin.

(2) Haràm, distinctly forbidden.

(3) Makruh, undesirable and contemptible.

Khalif.—The word literally means ‘to leave behind’ and means in common language any successor of Mahomed, who is vested with absolute authority in all matters of state, both civil and religious. The first four immediate succcessors of the prophet are known as khalafà-i-ràshadain. There were in all 56 khalifs, 4 of the house of the prophet, 15 Umayya and 37 A'bbàsaid khalifs.