A Traveler's Narrative

page 60

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[Previous Page] correspondence?" Then the Royal Command was issued that their Reverences the learned doctors and honorable and accomplished divines should write a reply to that epistle. But when the most expert doctors of the capital became aware of the contents of the letter they ordained: "That this person, without regarding [the fact] that he is at variance with the Perspicuous Religion, is a meddler with custom and creed, and a troubler of kings and emperors. Therefore to eradicate, subdue, repress, and repel [this sect] is one of the requirements of the Well-established Path, and indeed the chief of obligations."

This answer was not approved before the [Royal] Presence, for the contents of this epistle had no obvious discordance with the Law or with reason, and did not meddle with political or administrative matters, nor interfere with or attack the Throne of Sovereignty. They ought, therefore, to have discussed the real points at issue, and to have written clearly and explicitly such an answer as would have caused the disappearance of doubts and the solution of difficulties, and would have become a fulcrum for discussion to all.

Now of this epistle sundry passages shall be set forth in writing to conduce to a better understanding [of the matter] by all people. At the beginning of the epistle was a striking passage in the Arabic language [treating] of questions of faith and assurance; the sacrifice of life in the way of the Beloved; the state of resignation and contentment; the multiplicity of misfortunes, calamities, hardships, and afflictions; and falling under suspicion of seditiousness through the machinations of foes; the establishment of His innocence in the presence of His Majesty the King; the repudiation of seditious persons and disavowal of the rebellious party; the conditions of sincere belief in the verses of the Qur'án; the needfulness of godly virtues, distinction from all other creatures in this transitory abode, obedience to the commandments, and avoidance of things prohibited; the evidence of divine support in the affair [Next Page]

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