Account of the Kádhí Abul-Ulá-Said-’bn-Muhammad and the Master Abú-Bakr-’bn-Muhammad-Mamshád— Heaven be Merciful to him!

The Master Abú-Bakr-’bn-Muhammad-Mam­shád, during the days of the Sultán’s empire, was regarded with the eyes of veneration, highly cele­brated amongst the imáms of Khurásán. His father was an eminent scribe and doctor, a pillar of the monastic life. His son followed his father in the cowl-dress of self-restraint, and abstinence from the pomps of the world, and in living by rule. And when the Amír Nasir-Addín saw the loving ascetism of his comrades and the pure monasticism of his followers he persisted in commending him, and an upright confidence was knit up between them, and he looked at him with the glance of honour and esteem, and regarded highly his regular followers (called Kerámites) so that their market and sale (i. e., their value and honour) reached the sky. Abúl-Fath-Busti would say, with regard to their excellence, “The divinity of divinity is that of Abú-Hanífa alone; the religion of religion is Muhammad-’bn-Kirám.* If I see those who do not believe in Muhammad-’bn-Kirám them I honour not,” or they must believe in another Kirám.*

Now when the army of the Turks came to Khurásán and the Sultán was engaged in the conquest of Múltán they seized Abú-Bakr, because they mistrusted his high attachment to the Sultán and the influence of his followers. And when the standard of the Sultán dawned again (returned) they carried him with them, so that he had no opportunity of deliverance, and came to Nishapúr. This state of things was imputed as a merit and a desert, and he was distinguished by increased reverence, so that his exile and vexation was the cause of peculiar favour. And, in the midst of these affairs, the shame of the followers of novelty and leaders of crime appeared, and filled the people throughout the house of Islám with anxiety, on account of the wicked profession and inclinations of these followers of inward (religion) and heretics. And the Sultán looked upon it as an obligation to unfold this affair, to arrange to bring out this sect (to light). Then the Master Abú-Bakr, from the soundness of his understanding and the acuteness of his conclusions in these matters, was an earnest instrument in seeing to this despicable sect, in cutting off this calamity, and in applying a remedy. And he killed many for this crime; and parties arose of the pious and the wicked, and many perished for truth or for vanity. And, from dread of these besetments, men became averse to the Master Abú-Bakr, and fled; for awe of him was established in the heart of noble and plebeian, and they subsequently declared that under the habit of the Sufi rule, the doctrine of the descendants of Ali (the Shüte) was shown forth. For their sec­taries and populace took men captive, and patched up (filled) their own purses by them, and acquired much wealth from them. And if any one hap­pened, by accident or on purpose, to oppose them they regarded him as related to heretics and evil-doers. Things proceeded thus for a long time, and no one had power to extinguish this tumult or to change this position. But time trains us to change of circumstances and to substitute alterations. Thus affairs had the pledge of times, days, and hours. But every one who would wait patiently for the vicissitudes of time he will behold the proud enslaved in depression and humility, and he will find the enslaved placed under the canopy of peace and repose. And it happened that the Kadhi Abúl-Ulá-Said-’bn-Muhammad, in the year 420,* determined to fulfil the Pilgrimage. He was a most eminent doctor and great scribe of imáms, and from his solid excellence and copious­ness in poetry, expended the days of his precious life in teaching and lecturing, and, from his scien­tific and abundant excellence, had robbed the horns and chiefs of time of the guiding-staff of direction. He was famed for his monastic living, for abstaining from concupiscence and desire, and bodily acts, and for occupying himself in great devotion, and in his stern authority would oppose the decree of kings and sultáns. When he came to Medina he was extremely honoured at the abode of the Khiláfat and seat of Imámship, and, returning therefrom, they gave him a letter to convey to the Sultán, and sent a message through him by word of mouth, upon the affairs of the kingdom. And when he came to the Sultán, to fulfil his commission, the Master Abú-Bakr was in the presence, and a conversation upon the doctrine of Kirám happened between them, and they displayed their confidence in the corporeality (of God) His similarity or resemblance* (to created things) and such of His errors, and their tales about this similarity, their slips of the feet, and their deceptions as the most evident texts, fell sidelong on the Sultán’s mind, who was disgusted with their references and their words. He called the Master Abú-Bakr before him, and commanded him to unfold the real principles of his followers. He disclaimed adherence to this sect and denied this imputation; but he was for this reason expelled from the Sultán’s establishment: and the Sultán, in the matter of his followers, commanded that a royal supreme decree should be issued to the Nawwábs and magistrates, directing them to seize the superiors of the sect, that if any one of them disclaimed innovation and these vile sayings him they should release, and dismiss him to his position in the college as professor, or to his pulpit. But that if any one should persist in his blindness and errors to expel him from the city and discharge him from his college privileges, and cor­porate rights, persecuting his schismatical course and wicked separatism, and imprisoning his household with him. But the Sultán caressed the Kadhi Abúl-Ulá, and honoured him with a robe worthy of his glorious dignity, so that all marks of outward reverence were paid to him from His Majesty’s sovereignty (Heaven glorify it!) and from regard to the glorious Law drew the two imáms (Othmán and Omar?) to complete authority. The mortification, however, and annoyance of the accusation, respecting his belief of an Incar­nation and the possibility of the Deity assuming similarity, stirred up a tumult in the breast of the Master Abú-Bakr, who sought an opportunity for making an oration and the power of making an apology, and, by various craftinesses, managed that a trial should be ordered to set him right, and, for the purpose of testimonials and evidence, collected together many persons, who were forward ones in the troop of his inclination-seconders and agents for effecting his prosperity and credit. Thus a troop of ugly and ill-conditioned people assembled before the Court. Then the Sultán was enraged, and desired the Kadhi of Kadhis, Abú-Muham­mad-Nasib to be present, and issued an edict to stir up the truth of this affair, and commanded an exposure of this feigning and colouring (doctrine). This Kadhi was remarkable amongst those in the Sultán’s service, for his merits and discrimination, and both on account of his mighty knowledge and his perfect piety had been honoured with the chair of professor and the chief seat of determining doctor (Muftí) at Ghazna. His learning was exalted like a column and his rank for piety so great that the destinies of kingdoms were confided to him. And when he summoned the Kadhi Abúl-Ulá and the Master Abú-Bakr, Abú-Bakr knew that his seat was broken, and that the building of his tower upon that boasting, and obstinacy in those assertions would be the cause of disgrace. He said, therefore, such is the malignity to which our mutual dissensions, respecting learn­ing, and our mutual envy as to rank have arrived! The cause of it amounts to this, that he imputes to me the doctrine of Form, and I declare that he is involved in the heresy of the Mutazilites; and thus both of us have punctured one another with words of malice, quarrelling and anger. Let him be acquitted of this charge, and let him free me from the imputation of this crime. Hereupon several persons present gave their testimony as to the responsibility and regular good conduct of Abú-Bakr, but others cast before the Court the drink of shame and attached the garland of the wreath of disgrace, and so that harsh revelations and savage cross-questionings ensued, and if the awe of His Highness the Sultán had not prevented it, the violent uproar and unpleasant proceedings would have been renewed. But the Kadhi of Kadhis reported all this contest to the ears of the Sultán, in mild terms, and conveyed the represen­tation thereof to the presence, in an agreeable way. And the Amír Nasr-’bn-Nasir-Addín sought an opportunity, and in a diploma expressed a high opinion of the remarkable piety of this Kadhi, and advised the Sultán to examine into the opposition and indignity which had resulted to him in the above affair. The Sultán acknowledged his disinterested remarks, and treated the ill-wishers of the Kadhi Abúl-Ulá with indifference. Thus this Kadhi re­turned to his presidency and reposed in the abode of abundant respect, and declined all squabbling and fighting, and was occupied in the daily wages of devotion and in diffusing the wealth (of religion) well knowing that the residue of life was too precious to be wasted in the service of high-raised desires and malicious words. His two sons, Abúl-Hasan and Abú-Said, were his deputies, and he thus lived in settled comfort and dignity, occupied in arranging learned points and in rectifying, by sight and measure (i. e., by acuteness and judgment) the discussion of questions, so that, instead of vanity, his life attained abundant affluence, as Abú-Busti says (Verse)

“Heaven hath accumulated upon me four things, amongst which are honour and respectability in station, the science of easily swallowing wine, affluent means of enjoyment, and a happy mind.”