Organisation of Mission

It appears that the dawa system after the fall of Alamut was organised systematically in Anjudan period. According to the new system, the Imam was followed by a single hujjat, known as hujjat-i azam (the great proof), who generally resided at headquarters. The hujjat administered the framework of the mission and served as an assistant of the Imam. Next, there was a single category of dai at large, being selected from among the educated classes. The dais remained close in contact with the headquarters. The next lower rank was that of mu'allim (teacher), the head of the mission activities in a particular region. He was appointed by the hujjat. He was further assisted by ma'dhum-i akbar (the senior licentiate), who was empowered to make conversion at his disposal and judgement. Another assistant of the mu'allim was called ma'dhum-i asghar (junior licentiate), who held the lowest rank and could discharge his assignments only on receiving official permission from the mu'allim. The ordinary initiates (murids) were referred to as mustajib (respondent). On acquiring adequate training, a mustajib could be appointed by the mu'allim to the rank of ma'dhum-i asghar. It must be remembered that the aforesaid mission system was enforced in Iran, Badakhshan and Central Asia. In Hind and Sind, the tradition of the vakilhad been retained, corresponding to the office of the mu'allim.

In Central Asia, the ma'dhum-i akbar gradually became known as the pir, and ma'dhum-i asghar was known as khalifa. They stressed on the practice of zikr-i jalli, recitation of the qasida and the esoteric poems of Nasir Khusaro among the new converts.

In addition, the Ismailis held that the true essence of the Imam could be known at least to a few advanced followers in the community, and the hujjator the pir was, indeed, held to be almost the same essence as the Imam. Hence, the hujjat or pir, by virtue of his miraculous knowledge (mu'jiz-i ilmi), knew the true essence of the Imam, and was the revealer of the spiritual truth. Furthermore, the Ismailis recognized three categories of people in the world. Firstly, the opponents of the Imam (ahl-i tadadd). Secondly, the ordinary followers of the Imam (ahl-i tarattub), also known as ahl-i haq, who were also divided into the strong (qawiyan), comprised of the dais, mu'allims and ma'dhums, and the weak (da'ifan), restricted to the ordinary members of the community. Thirdly, the followers of union (ahl-i wahda), also called as the high elite (akhass-i khass).

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