Declaration of 21 February 1995
His Excellency Hajj Ali Tabandeh Mahboub Ali Shah
This is the third reminder of this faqir to the wayfarers of the Ni‘matullahi Sultan Alishahi Order. What does the repetition of words and advice in the world of faqr show? A blind heart or inattention to the advisor?
1. To continue negligence in the way of faqr is ingratitude for its blessing, which is irreplaceable, and to repeat negligence is an obstacle to mercy. Who does not know what will happen eventually to one who closes his eyes to the lamp of the leader of the caravan?
2. The instructors of faqr, like all gardeners, plant the sapling of faith, and care for it until its flowers can be picked. They think of nothing but this.
3. Gardeners water. By their ability to absorb through their roots the flowers also should pay heed to the sufferings of the gardener. Do our worldly desires not trample the sufferings of the gardener?
4. The gardener is commanded to garden, and insight and knowledge of this have been given to him. It is not fair to request something of him that is not his duty. How excellent the (Prophet) has said, “You are better aware of your worldly affairs than I.”
5. The seed of a plant that is not planted in the ground still has the capacity to be planted and nourished; however, if it is planted in the ground, but is not nourished, the earth will rot it and destroy it.
6. Who does not know what fate lies ahead for the corrupted seed and the withered tree. Can it be planted in another field? Seeds are not sown in planted ground. Unless the heart is purified of the love of the world, it will not become the place for the love of mawla.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
7. The world is the farm for the other world.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> I wonder at those who, while they know that if they nourish the seed of faith with the water of love, and train it with righteous works, it will grow from the depths of the earth to the summit of the sky, and that one seed will produce between one hundred and seven hundred fruits,<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]> yet fall short and prevent its growth with the brambles of negligence.
Finally, I hope that those who have come close to this order for the sake of wealth or position or a comfortable life will take a good look at their own selves and will not blacken their report cards any more, and that they may know that their sufferings are worthless and that they cause trouble for the gardener.
It is as plain as day from the seed We planted
That we are the damned, not the folk of heaven.<![if !supportFootnotes]><![endif]>
‘Ayd Fitr A.H.L. 1416
Faqir Hajj ‘Ali Tabandeh Mahbub Alishah
[signed and signeted]
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> The word mawli is derived from wali, meaning friend or guardian, and is used to designate the Lord, Master, and especially Imam ‘Ali.
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> This is a hadith attributed to the Prophet (s).
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> This refers to the following verse of the Qur’in: (The similitude of those who spend their wealth in the path of God is the similitude of a grain of corn that grows seven ears, in each ear of which are a hundred grains; and verily God gives manifold increase to whosoever He wills, and God is omniscient, all knowing.) (2:261).
<![if !supportFootnotes]> <![endif]> This is a couplet from Sa‘adi.