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6. Nasir's Rank in the Hierarchy.

In his poems Nasir uses the takhallus, or pen name, Hujjat or Hujjat-i Khurasan, and this has been universally accepted as the proof of his occupying such rank in the hierarchy. On may find in every work on his biography that in Egypt he was appointed as hujjat of Khorasan. As many of such universally accepted facts this seems to be based on a misunderstanding.

The functions of the hujjat in the Fatimid propaganda organization form one of the most impenetrable mysteries for the student. It seems that no work clearly defines them. We do not even know whether the hujjat resided in his province, or in Cairo, directing the affairs in his see from thence. No names of hujjats have been preserved in Ismaili historical books, or rather no cases have been recorded in which it is stated that so-and-so wa a hujjat. The title of Sayyid-na Hamid'd-din al-Kirmani, hujjatu'l-'Iraqayn, may be simply a honorific surname.

The territory of Khorasan during the early Saljuq period comprised Khorasan as it is now, and included the North-Western part of what is now Afghanistan. We do not know whether the Fatimids had such a poet as the hujjat of Khorasan, and whether he resided in of its cities. It is, however, obvious that Nasir-i Khusraw, a comparatively new convert, a man without much experience, compromised in the eyes of the local government, and, in addition, trapped in a remote corner on the fringe of the province, was hardly suitable for such a part. As to his pen-name in his poems, it would be much more reasonable to suggest that it was simply a crude device to put a suggestion to the headquarters, an indirect prayer tot he Imam for such an appointment. It would be extraordinary for him to think that he could look after the affairs of his see from his "prison" in Yumgan. If he could have escaped from there, it is strange that he had not done so much earlier. In such a case we are entitled to think that his "detention" in Yumgan was not so much due to danger from his enemies as to orders from Cairo, and that his qasidas, continually fiddling in a plaintive tone on his sufferings, loneliness, old age, and many other similar matters, were all intended to propitiate his masters and make them change their decision. Judging from the fact that he died in Yumgan, we may infer that he never succeeded in receiving that coveted gesture. So far as I could make out after years of inquires and asking specialist in Ismaili religious literature, Nasir-i Khusraw's name is never mentioned in Fatimid literature and his works simply do not exist in it, though probably this is because they are in Persian.