8th Fatemi Imaam Maulaana Abdullaah il-Mastoor (as) ascended and glorified his son Imaam Ahmad il-Mastoor (as) to the rank of Imaamat in his last days. He died in the year 212 A.H. on the mountain of Misyaaf. Imaam Abdullaah il-Mastoor (as) left this Daar ul-Faani (abode of destruction) and transcended to ‘Aalam-e-Malakoot (universe of angels) in the Heavens. Imaam Ahmad il-Mastoor (as) (198 – 289 A.H.) is the second of the “Kholafaa” (the second septenary of A'immat-e-Taahereen (as)) and he is in the place of second Naatiq of his time as Maulaana Nooh (as) was during his time. His Laqab (title) is ‘At-Taqi' and Kunyat (agnomen) is ‘Abul Hasan' . Maulaana Abdullaah bin Maymoon was his Hujjat. His forefathers the 2nd Fatemi Imaam Saiyed ush-Shohadaa Maulaana Husain bin Ameer ul-Mumineen ‘Ali (as) was the second of the Atimma (the first septenary of A'immat-e-Taahereen (as)). Imaam Ahmad il-Mastoor (as) compiled 53 Rasaa'il (epistles) popularly known as “Rasaa'il Ikhwaan us-Safaa wa Khullaan il-Wafaa” (Epistles of Brethren of Purity and Loyal Companions) – which encompasses four disciplines of knowledge namely, Riyaaziyaat (mathematics), Tabi'eeyaat (physics and natural science), Nafsaaniyaat (psychology) and Naamusiyaatil Ilaahiyaat (Shari'at of Allaah). They deal with the need to acquire knowledge, have sound opinions, to develop a noble character and ethical conduct, practical sciences, juridical sciences such as Qur'anic and Hadees studies as well as their commentaries and interpretations, philosophic or prophetic sciences i.e. the sciences of faith whose aim is to guide the soul to its original purity.
He compiled 53 epistles which are based on the fact that, the numerical value (‘adad) of his name “Ahmad” is 53. In his compilation he has included knowledge of various disciplines like numerology, geometry, astronomy. He has encompassed the three basic branches of knowledge namely physical science, linguistics and knowledge of various faiths and creed. He has strengthened the foundation of Shari'at. He has established strong connection between the soul (rooh) and the Heavens (jinaan). His work is well known among the Arabs and non-Arabs alike.
The Fatemi Imaamat was under seclusion (istitaar) during the time of our A'immat-e-Mastooreen (as). Only Du'aat ul-Balaagh (aq) knew the whereabouts of Imaam (as) and they used to act in accordance with the Imaami Farmaan . During this time Al-Mamoon bin Haroon Rasheed (813 – 833 A.D., 7 th Abbasid caliph) was ruling Baghdad. He established Bayt ul-Hikmat (house of wisdom) in Baghdad. He invited all the famous astrologers and historians to his palace and offered them huge reward in the lieu of altering and modifying the basic principles of Shari'at and to render it futile. His evil and wicked mind went to the extent of doubting the credibility of the Qur'an. He ordered them to import the theories of Greek Philosophers and merge them with the Shari'at to give it a philosophical hue. He thought of revealing the astronomical concepts and established the knowledge of the same. He asserted that the concept of Mabda' wal Ma'aad (extra-temporal origin and return – eschatology) is based on the astronomical principles. He also negated belief of Hisaab (reckoning) , ‘Iqaab (infliction of punishment) , Sawaab (reward) and proclaimed that the Shari'at of Rasoolullaah (saws) had no base of its own. He also justified his doings and said that he was not committing any sin in correcting something. He presumed that whatever he was doing was to avenge the killings of the people of Quraysh at the time of Rasoolullaah (saws).
Imaam Ahmad il-Mastoor (as) compiled 53 epistles when he came to know about the foul intentions of Mamoon. The pages of Rasaa'il were displayed publicly in the mosques through the strong network of Du'aat. It was proved and established in the Rasaa'il that Shari'at of Allaah bestowed upon us by Rasoolullaah (saws) and expounded by the Taweel of Qur'an was too far a destiny for the philosophy to grasp it. In no time, the Rasaa'il gained immense popularity and fame in the Arab world and was considered as an ‘Encyclopedia'. This proved the truthfulness of Qur'an and the words of Rasoolullaah (saws) that Fatemi Imaamat – the divinely guided A'immat-e-Taahereen (as) and its progeny will remain on the face of this earth till the Qayaamat (the day of reckoning). Verily the earth will never exist without them. When Mamoon came across these epistles he was left spellbound and awestruck. Same was the state of his shoddy and poor astronomers and historians when they read the Rasaa'il. Mamoon then commanded them to find something which was not explained in the Rasaa'il. After reading all the Rasaa'il they came to the conclusion that ‘Ilm ul-Majisti (study of complex motions of stars and planetary paths) was missing. But this task of finding the errors in the Rasaa'il was too mundane than accepting the fact that the succession of A'immat-e-Fatemeen (as) is still existent in this world. To quench his thirst of finding the Imaam (as) he tailored another plan. He called all the judges and magistrates from nearby places and ordered them study about who is the real heir of the land of “Fidak” (the land gifted by Rasoolullaah (saws) to Maulaatana Faatemah (as)). They jointly passed the judgment and declared that only the progeny of Maulaatana Faatemah (as) is the real heir to the land of Fidak. Mamoon also disclosed the fact how Abu Bakr and Umar usurped the rights of inheritance of Maulaatana Faatemah (as). He declared that they both were tyrants.
He announced to the people that whoever the progeny of Maulaatana Faatemah (as) is should come to me and surely I will hand over the inheritance of the land of Fidak to him. All this was a game being played by him, so that if Fatemi Imaam (as) comes to him for the inheritance of the Fidak land, he would kill him and extinguish the Noor (glory) of Fatemi Imaamat. To his misfortune, Ali Razaa (765 – 818 A.D., the 8 th Imaam of Isnaa Ashari sect – also called as Ali bin Moosa Kaazim) who pronounced himself to be Fatemi Imaam and from the progeny of Maulaatana Faatemah (as) arrived in the palace of Mamoon. He saluted and greeted him and honored him to the highest rank of his hierarchy. He put Ali Razaa on test by asking few questions of Taweel and Hikmat. He then brought a copy of Rasaa'il in front of Ali Razaa and asked him, ‘Have you compiled this?' In reality, Ali Razaa did not know anything about the book and he denied that he had compiled it. The real face of Mamoon emerged out when he compelled Ali Razaa to accept that he has compiled the Rasaa'il. Helplessly, he surrendered. This proved the presumption of Mamoon that if Ali Razaa has accepted about the thing which he has never done then surely he will sell off himself in return of money. Mamoon announced that Ali Razaa is the true Fatemi Imaam and ordered his followers to take Misaaq of him.
Da'i ul-Balaagh Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) was present when all this commotion was going on in the palace of Mamoon. He came to Imaam Ahmad il-Mastoor (as) and conveyed everything to him. He said to the Imaam that, if you give me Razaa (permission) to go in the palace of Mamoon then I would prove the fallacy and dishonesty of Ali Razaa in front of him. I would substantiate the fact that, Ali Razaa had usurped the rank of Fatemi A'immat-e-Taahereen (as) just like Abu Bakr and Umar had seized the rank of Maulaana Ali (as).
Imaam Ahmad il-Mastoor (as) gave permission to Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) to go in the palace of Mamoon. Imaam cautioned the Da'i not to reveal any truth or news about him to Mamoon. He instructed Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) to exercise care and attention in each step. He said his last words to the Da'i that, Mamoon is the enemy of Rasoolullaah (saws) and Aal-e-Faatemah (as) (progeny of Maulaatana Faatemah (as)).
Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) appeared in the assembly of Mamoon. By the grace of Allaah and the guidance from Imaam uz-Zamaan (as) he started reciting the Rasaa'il on the tip of his tongue. On seeing this, Mamoon was flabbergasted and amazed. He greeted Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq), honored him with gifts and compliments. He ordered his assembly members to vacate the hall of the palace. This was rather an uncommon thing which he did because it was his habit to argue with the guest in front of his companions and used to prove him wrong and laugh on him publicly. Mamoon asked him, ‘Are you waliyun ne'mat (the favor of wali – Imaam)? To which the Da'i replied, ‘No', I am the Baab (door) to Imaam uz-Zamaan (as). Mamoon started asking him questions of Taweel and Hikmat. Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) answered the questions in the words of Imaam uz-Zamaan (as), which lead to formation of vortex of thoughts in Mamoon's mind that, if the Baab of Imaam (as) is so magnificent and splendid in the character then how would Imaam uz-Zamaan (as) be!!!
As it is quoted in the Rasaa'il that, the door to its knowledge is the acceptance and faith in Ahl ul-Bayt (as) and only he whose heart is glorified with this faith, will be able to understand and comprehend it. A'immat-e-Taahereen (as) has said that,
“Ilmona sa'bun mustas'abun, laa yahmelohu illa nabiyun mursalun au malakun moqarrabun au muminun imtahanallaaho qalbahu bil imaan.”
‘Our knowledge is difficult and challenging, it cannot be carried (understood) except by Nabiyullaah and cherished angels (A'immat-e-Taahereen (as)) and mumin whose soul have been tested by Allaah with imaan (faith of Ahl ul-Bayt (as)).
Maulaana ‘Ali (as) has said about the Fazeelat (significance, importance) of Naatiq ul-Qur'an Ahl ul-Bayt (as) and Taweel of the Shari'at of Allaah that,
“Zaaherohu ‘amalun maujoobun, wa baatenohu ‘ilmun mahjoobun, wa howa ‘indanaa ma'loomun maktoobun.”
‘Its Zahir (evident, open i.e. Shari'at) is obligatory and its Baatin (hidden i.e. A'immat-e-Taahereen (as)) is under veil and it is known (safe in our hearts) and written (Qur'an) to us.'
He was so moved by the knowledge of Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) that he gave Misaaq to Imaam uz-Zamaan (as) on the hands of Saiyedna. Such was the extent of submissiveness shown by him that he conceded that all of his previous Caliphs were on falsehood and tyrants and also that Fatemi A'immat-e-Taahereen (as) are the only Hujjat of Allaah. Mamoon then continued asking him questions in between regarding whereabouts of Imaam uz-Zamaan (as), but it was the smart and astute way of answering his questions that led him no where, every time. Mamoon expressed his wish to Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) that I want to hand over my empire and kingdom to Imaam uz-Zamaan (as) as he is the Wali and Hujjat of Allaah. I want to declare that he is our real Khaleefah and not me. When Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) departed from the palace of Mamoon, he handed over numerous gifts and conveyed compliments to Imaam Ahmad il-Mastoor (as). Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) was moved by the proposal of Mamoon. He was eager to meet the Imaam and talk about the proposal of Mamoon. Eventually his wish was granted and he narrated word to word what happened in the palace of Mamoon. Imaam Ahmad il-Mastoor (as) broke his silence and replied to the Saiyedna that, “Mamoon can never bow down to the truth. He is the enemy of Rasoolullaah (saws) and Aal-e-Faatemah (as). O my Da'i, whatever I say is from Allaah and Rasoolullaah (saws) and my words will never be faithless and incorrect. He has carried you away in his words and he has taken disadvantage of your innocence. If you want to know the exactitude and honesty of my words then go again in the palace of Mamoon and declare yourself as Imaam uz-Zamaan (as). Certainly he will behead you…. may Allaah keep your life in peace!”
Keeping the words of Imaam Ahmad il-Mastoor (as) in his mind, Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) again went to the palace of Mamoon. On his arrival in the palace, Mamoon welcomed him and greeted with gifts and hadiyaat . He ascended him to his throne and asked him about the proposal which he offered earlier. Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) declared to him that, ‘I am Imaam uz-Zamaan (as). I did not disclose this secret to you because I wanted to test your faith and belief. Now since you have decided to give me Misaaq and hand over your kingdom and land of ‘ Fidak' to Fatemi A'immate Taahereen (as), I have divulged this reality in front of you.'
When Mamoon heard these words of Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) he ordered his soldiers to come forward and behead him assuming him as Imaam uz-Zamaan (as). When Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) saw this he recollected the words of Imaam Ahmad il-Mastoor(as) and the moment he was about to be beheaded, he said loudly lifting his hands that,
“Sadaqa waliyona amba'ni annaka minaz zaalemeen.”
‘My Maulaa said the truth, you are among the tyrants.'
In this way Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) was martyred by Mamoon in his palace. It was clearly conveyed to Mamoon by the last words of Saiyedna Tirmeezi (aq) that indeed, he was not the Imaam and the real Imaam uz-Zamaan (as) was some one else to which he could never ever reach in his lifetime. All his attempts of knowing the whereabouts of Imaam uz-Zamaan (as), his name and who really compiled Rasaa'il – went in vain. He was then convinced that no force or power in this world could ever extinguish the divine and heavenly glory of Fatemi Imaamat of Allaah. He now felt that Ali Razaa to who he had decreed to the rank of Khaleefah – was of no use to him and eventually Mamoon poisoned him in his palace itself. Imaam Ahmad il-Mastoor (as) exercised more caution about the secrecy of his identity after this incident.
Kitaab Zahr ul-Ma'aani by Saiyedna Idrees Imaaduddin bin Hasan(aq).
The book was completed by Saiyedna Idrees ‘Imaaduddin (aq) in the year 838 AH - 1435 AD. It is regarded among the finest and most exhaustive compendia of medieval Isma'ili literature in general and esoteric principles inparticular. Saiyedna (aq) attempts here to bring together the teachings and ideas formulated over a period of six centuries by Isma'ili Du'aat namely, Saiyedna Abu Haatim ar-Raazi (aq), Saiyedna Abu Ya'qoob as-Sijistaani (aq), Saiyedna Ahmad Hameeduddin Kirmaani (aq), Saiyedna Qaazi No'maan bin Mohammad (aq), Saiyedna Ja'far bin Mansoor il-Yemen (aq), Saiyedna Abul Barakaat (aq) and Saiyedna Mo'aiyed fid-Deen ash-Sheeraazi (aq). The book divided into 21 chapters, centres around four main topics: theology (Naamusiyat il-Ilaahiyat) , cosmology (‘Ilm ul-Aflaak) , anthropology (physical sciences) and eschatology (Mabda' wal Ma'aad) .
Kitaab Saraa'ir un-Notaqaa and Kitaab Asraar un-Notaqaa by Saiyedna Ja'far bin Mansoor il-Yemen (aq).
Kitaab Oyoon ul-Akhbaar by Saiyedna Idrees Imaaduddin bin Hasan (aq).
Kitaab Muntaze ul-Akhbaar by Shaikh Qutbuddin bin Sulaimaanji.
Kitaab Riyaaz ul-Jinaan by Shaikh Sharafali Sidhpuri.