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Allah and the Nur of Allah
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swamidada



Joined: 18 Nov 2018
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
swamidada wrote:

and even Imam never claimed he is god because he is not, though he mostly said I am link.
In the Qasida that I quoted, Imam Nizar says:

'Ta neest sadaf qaabil-i dur qatr na-rizam
but in reality I am both the encompassing ocean and the source of vision'

What is that if not God?


You quoted first line and disappeared second line.
You have given wrong meaning of the line you mentioned. I don't know IIS taught Farsi language course when you were there. If they had not, they must introduce Farsi language course beside Arabic. Plenty of Ismaili literature is available in Farsi.
The couplet Imam Nizar said is;

TA NEEST SADAF QABIL DURR QATRAH NA REEZAM
TA NEEST CHAMAN LAAIQ E GUL RASHAH NABARAM

Meaning:
Till oyster is not able for (to make) pearl, I do not put drop (of water) in it.
Till garden is not able for (to produce) flowers I do not give moisture to it.

But such kind of statements are available by many sufis and saints. I consider this couplet related to spiritualism.
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 6061

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 5:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just looking at a National Geographic documentary, on TV, called The Story of God.

In their showing, they interviewed a Jew Rabbi who was explaining the first line of the Torah in its "batin", kabalistic aspect. He said that people translate the first verse as In the beginning, Gd created the Heaven and the earth.

He then asked this question: In the begining of what?

Then he explained that actually the translation was wrong. The right translation was, according to the Kabal, "In the beginning, God was created with the Heavens and the Earth"

Now this is something we can relate to in the concept of God beyond God , and the concept of He who is above all else (including above "Allah") and of course Light upon Light.

Something highly unusual that I wanted to share here. A must see series that opens the mind!
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20926

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 6:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamidada wrote:

The couplet Imam Nizar said is;

TA NEEST SADAF QABIL DURR QATRAH NA REEZAM
TA NEEST CHAMAN LAAIQ E GUL RASHAH NABARAM

Meaning:
Till oyster is not able for (to make) pearl, I do not put drop (of water) in it.
Till garden is not able for (to produce) flowers I do not give moisture to it.

But such kind of statements are available by many sufis and saints. I consider this couplet related to spiritualism.
This is not what the Qasida says. It says:

Gar pastam-u gar raay haqeeram na chuna nam
Unless an oyster is ready for the pearl, I do not cause a drop

Kaz raahi jalaali nasab-akbar zi kibaaram
unless the garden is worthy of a flower, I do not provide it with moisture

You have misquoted the Qasida. Read it carefully!
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swamidada



Joined: 18 Nov 2018
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kabalah is a sufi tariqah in Judaism as Islam has many sufi tariqas.
Rabbi asked; In the beginning what? Every jew will say YHWH or Elohim. The Islamic versions according to me are YA HUWA and Allahuma. In Hebrew Bible Elohim occurs around 2500 times with different variants.
Allah (or any name according to any religion) is the sole owner of universe, there isn't any other god who claimed he is above Allah. God beyond God is nothing, He who is above all else means, He is the Supreme. Quran says; LAISA KA MISLI SHAI. There is no comparison of Allah in universe. He is beyond comprehension as Imam said. Regarding Noorun ala Noor, Rumi said:

PIDAR NOOR WA PISAR NOOR HAST MASHHUR
AZ EEN FAHIM KUN NOORUN ALA NOOR
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swamidada



Joined: 18 Nov 2018
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
swamidada wrote:

The couplet Imam Nizar said is;

TA NEEST SADAF QABIL DURR QATRAH NA REEZAM
TA NEEST CHAMAN LAAIQ E GUL RASHAH NABARAM

Meaning:
Till oyster is not able for (to make) pearl, I do not put drop (of water) in it.
Till garden is not able for (to produce) flowers I do not give moisture to it.

But such kind of statements are available by many sufis and saints. I consider this couplet related to spiritualism.
This is not what the Qasida says. It says:

Gar pastam-u gar raay haqeeram na chuna nam
Unless an oyster is ready for the pearl, I do not cause a drop

Kaz raahi jalaali nasab-akbar zi kibaaram
unless the garden is worthy of a flower, I do not provide it with moisture

You have misquoted the Qasida. Read it carefully!



I have not misquoted the Qasidah but you have adopted the wrong meaning given by Jollygul/qasidas without paying attention. Before posting you should have verified the meaning.

Gar pastam-u gar raay haqeeram na chuna nam
Unless an oyster is ready for the pearl, I do not cause a drop

Kaz raahi jalaali nasab-akbar zi kibaaram
unless the garden is worthy of a flower, I do not provide it with moisture
-------------------------------------------------
The correct meaning is:

TA NEEST SADAF QABIL DURR QATRAH NA REEZAM
TA NEEST CHAMAN LAAIQ E GUL RASHAH NABARAM

Meaning:
Till oyster is not able for (to make) pearl, I do not put drop (of water) in it.
Till garden is not able for (to produce) flowers I do not give moisture to it.

GAR PASTUM U GAR RAAYI HAQEERUM NA CHUNANUM
KAZ RAAH E JALAAL E NASAB E AKBAR ZE KABAARUM

Translation:
Though apparently I look weak and of short height but in reality I am not.
In my revered majestic family I am the one who is the greatest (superior).
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20926

PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

swamidada wrote:

-------------------------------------------------
The correct meaning is:

TA NEEST SADAF QABIL DURR QATRAH NA REEZAM
TA NEEST CHAMAN LAAIQ E GUL RASHAH NABARAM

Meaning:
Till oyster is not able for (to make) pearl, I do not put drop (of water) in it.
Till garden is not able for (to produce) flowers I do not give moisture to it.

GAR PASTUM U GAR RAAYI HAQEERUM NA CHUNANUM
KAZ RAAH E JALAAL E NASAB E AKBAR ZE KABAARUM

Translation:
Though apparently I look weak and of short height but in reality I am not.
In my revered majestic family I am the one who is the greatest (superior).
OK I accept that there has been a misplacement of the translation in the jollygul.com for the 4 lines. However that was a digression. The following verses that I quoted which refer to the Imam as the Ocean are still valid, aren't they?

Baa aanke ba tablu aalam-u izzu waqaaram
I am the soul which is seen, only by one in thousands, I appear to be a drop

Ta neest sadaf qaabil-i dur qatr na-rizam
but in reality I am both the encompassing ocean and the source of vision
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swamidada



Joined: 18 Nov 2018
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
swamidada wrote:

-------------------------------------------------
The correct meaning is:

TA NEEST SADAF QABIL DURR QATRAH NA REEZAM
TA NEEST CHAMAN LAAIQ E GUL RASHAH NABARAM

Meaning:
Till oyster is not able for (to make) pearl, I do not put drop (of water) in it.
Till garden is not able for (to produce) flowers I do not give moisture to it.

GAR PASTUM U GAR RAAYI HAQEERUM NA CHUNANUM
KAZ RAAH E JALAAL E NASAB E AKBAR ZE KABAARUM

Translation:
Though apparently I look weak and of short height but in reality I am not.
In my revered majestic family I am the one who is the greatest (superior).
OK I accept that there has been a misplacement of the translation in the jollygul.com for the 4 lines. However that was a digression. The following verses that I quoted which refer to the Imam as the Ocean are still valid, aren't they?

Baa aanke ba tablu aalam-u izzu waqaaram
I am the soul which is seen, only by one in thousands, I appear to be a drop

Ta neest sadaf qaabil-i dur qatr na-rizam
but in reality I am both the encompassing ocean and the source of vision


MAI(N) TEENU SAMJHWAA(N) KI......
Again you have mentioned the wrong meanings of following two lines.

Baa aanke ba tablu aalam-u izzu waqaaram
I am the soul which is seen, only by one in thousands, I appear to be a drop

Ta neest sadaf qaabil-i dur qatr na-rizam
but in reality I am both the encompassing ocean and the source of vision
(wrong meaning, there is no mention of ocean or vision)

The couplet reads:
DAR MUNSAB FARMAN DAHI WA JAAH WA NIJAABAT
BA AA(N)KE BITABAL WA ALAM WA AZZU WAQAARUM
(you have mentioned second line only omitting first with wrong meaning)

Translation:
(Because of spiritual) rank, command, nobility, and reverence
I have my banner, with dignity, respect, reputation and splendor
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20926

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2019 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recognition of the Imam: Realizing the “Ali Allah” Reality
By Shafeen Ali

Article at:

https://shafeenali.com/recognition/
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swamidada



Joined: 18 Nov 2018
Posts: 240

PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:
Recognition of the Imam: Realizing the “Ali Allah” Reality
By Shafeen Ali

Article at:

https://shafeenali.com/recognition/


Are there any thorns in my comments on Shafeen's article posted by kmaherali. If kmaherali's post stays there why not mine. This is called act of balance. There are contradictions in Shafeen's article. Let me post again.

Comments:

Following are the Farman of MSMS:
In every time Imam has something new to reveal.
You should obey the Farmans of the Imam of the time.
My Farmans in years to come will be QUITE DIFFERENT FROM THE PRESENT ONES.The whole world will change, therefore you should obey the Farmans of the Imam of the time.
As the time changes so do the Farmans change.

In 1950 MSMS himself replaced the sentence Ali Sahi Allah to Aliyyullah in Dua. He also issued a Farman; " I have made this change with my hands and this Dua is for the jamaits of India, Pakistan, and African jamaits".

The meaning of Aliyyullah in Dua meaning books is " Ali is from Allah", published by ITREBs and this meaning is given on instructions from Imam of the time.

Shafeen wrote:
Why is the “Ali Allah” reality a key to the recognition of the Imam?

Reply:
None of our Imams claimed to be Allah.

Shafeen wrote:
Who or What is the Imam in relation to God?
Imam Ja’far al-Sadiq (A.S.), our 5th Imam:
“We are the gates of God. … He who approaches Him through us is brought near Him. … He who turns away from us goes astray.”

Reply:
Imam Jafar said," We are the gates of Allah ", Imam has used the words 'gates of Allah'. It does not imply 'We are Allah' as Imam said.


Shfeen wrote:
The answer lies in the concept of “mazhar” which in Arabic literally means that which makes something “batin”, hidden, “zahir”, apparent or manifest. When God breathes His spirit (ruh) into Adam, God makes Himself “zahir”, apparent or manifest, through Adam. Adam is, therefore, a “mazhar” of God. Adam is also a “wasilah”, a “means of approach” or a vessel, through which, God makes Himself known. When the angels were asked to prostrate to Adam, they were not prostrating to the body of Adam; they were prostrating to the batin, which that body, made zahir, the spirit of God, within Adam. In other words, the Imam, in every age and time, fulfills the nature and purpose of Adam as mentioned in the Qur’an, to be the mazhar and khalifa of God on earth.

Reply:
Here comes the contradiction. You wrote, Adam is MAZHAR OF ALLAH, Adam is WASILAH, MEANS OF APPROACH, KHALIFAH it shows you are talking about INTERCESSOR.
Please read the meaning of Dua given by Imam where the word 'BI HAQQI' which means Wasilah, Tufail, or in the name of Allah, is used 5 times.

Shafeen wrote:
In this age and time, it is our 49th hereditary Imam, Mawlana Hazir Imam Shah Karim al-Hussaini (A.S.), who, as per our faith, is the mazhar, witness or proof of God on earth, and God’s khalifa, bearing the Nur, as he himself has said:
Since my grandfather, the last Aga Khan, died, I have been the bearer of the “Nur” a word which means ‘The Light’. The Nur has been handed down in direct descent from the Prophet.

Reply:
Here again Shafeen is contradicting his assertion that Imam is GOD. The words used are, mazhar, wittness or proof of God.
Noor of who? Obviously that is Noor of ALLAH. Two different entities.

Shafeen wrote:
Alternatively, what we currently recite in our Du’a and Tasbihs, “Aliyyullah”, written in Arabic as Aliyyullah_graphic, is grammatically a genitive case called iDafa, and translates to “Ali of Allah”. Making the substitution for “Ali” based on the above, “Aliyyullah” also means “Nur of Allah”. The genitive case implied in “Ali Allah” is made explicit in Arabic through “Aliyyullah”, with the meaning remaining the same, “Nur of Allah”.

Reply:
In the phrase Aliyyullah there is no mention of noor in this phrase. Ali means High, Exalted and Noor means light. Imam has not used the words Noorullah in Dua.

Shafeen wrote:
This is the esoteric significance of the word “Sahi” in the saying “Ali Sahi Allah”, also from the old Ismaili Du’a, with the word “Sahi” representing “direct”. Direct indicates that there is no “intercessor”, no “go between”, no step, no stair, between Ali and Allah. If Allah is completely transcendent and if Ali is in “direct” contact with Allah, this, then, makes Ali the means (“wasilah”, as mentioned in the last section) from, and to, Allah. Two necessary truths must also follow.

Reply:
Again contradict. Shafeen wrote,"...then makes Ali the means "Wasilah" from and to Allah. Two necessary Truths.
Two necessary truths shows two different entities and Ali is Wasilah from and to Allah does not imply Ali is Allah.

Dua is foundation of Ismaili Tariqah, one must learn and follow the meaning of Dua.
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sheri



Joined: 11 Mar 2004
Posts: 260

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So anyone has figured out "What Nur is?"

For example, if tomorrow two sons of the Imam claim that they are the next Imam after him - and you have to choose - there is no Will - there is no official declaration. How will you know which one is the right Imam? How will you recognize who actually has the Nur?

This scenario has occurred a few times in the history of Imamat.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
Posts: 20926

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course every Ismaili knows what Nur is. It is the Light by virtue of which the Imam guides his murids. In this sense he has all encompassing knowledge of the past present and the future.

There is no way he can leave this world without a Will in this present day and age!

What is reported about history does not reflect the reality of what took place. The Imams have always indicated who the next Imam would be before leaving the world. They know exactly when and how they will depart.
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Admin



Joined: 06 Jan 2003
Posts: 6061

PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2019 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sheri wrote:
For example, if tomorrow two sons of the Imam claim that they are the next Imam after him - and you have to choose - there is no Will - there is no official declaration. How will you know which one is the right Imam?


Obviously this can not happen now, there are interviews where Imam has confirmed that he knows wh the next Imam is. The problem would not be that there is no Will, the problem could be that there are more than one Will.

However your concerns are right because in the past, things where not very clear, here is one event described in one of the Wiki sites:

The Hadith of the pen and paper refers to an event where the Islamic prophet Muhammad expressed a wish to write something down shortly before his death, but was refused and insulted by Umar. The hadith is referenced in both Shia and Sunni traditions,[1] and the event has been called "one of the most hideous scenes in the history of Islam

It is reported that Muhammad asked for writing materials to write a statement that would prevent the Muslim nation from going astray forever. Umar replied, insulting Muhammad by saying, "Stop! He is speaking in delirium.
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njessani



Joined: 02 Jun 2019
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Sheri has a good point. So many divisions in Shia Islam are due to fights between two male offsprings claiming Imammat after demise of their father.

This chart shows the schisms:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Shia_Islam#/media/File:Branch_of_Shi%27a_Islam.png

It would be interesting to know how Ismailis would figure out whom to follow if this were to happen today.
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Admin



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Posts: 6061

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

njessani wrote:
I think Sheri has a good point. So many divisions in Shia Islam are due to fights between two male offsprings claiming Imammat after demise of their father.


This thread is not for discussing genealogies.

Discuss this on:

http://www.ismaili.net/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=9116&highlight=genealogies+imams
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njessani



Joined: 02 Jun 2019
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My comment was to highlight that during the 1400 years there have been many schisms between two brothers for the Imammat that have led to many divisions in Shia Islam.

The most recent one happened when Ismailism was at its peak during the Fatimid era after the death of Al Mustansir Billah. In that era, the Imams were at the peak of authority, paper & pen existed - the situation was much favorable to minimize schism than versus today. So I was just trying to highlight that the possibility of it happening again cannot be discounted.

I feel that the question about how you would decide between two male offsprings who claim Imammat is valid. I am also curious to hear other people's opinion of how they would handle such a situation if it were to occur in our lifetimes.

I replied here because the discussion was taking place in this thread. If you want, I can re-post this comment in the thread you have advised. Please let me know if you want me to move it. Thanks.
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think first of all we have to accept that whatever is reported about history hundreds of years ago may not reflect what actually took place in reality.

For example today the Imam is involved in a lot of activities, which considered from the perspective of history hundred years hence would be considered as insignificant. There are a lot of communal matters which will never be reported in history 100 years hence.

In the case of succession of Imamat, the Imams have always made it clear to his murids who the next Imam would be, although this may not be reported in history. Hence as far as the Jamat is concerned, it would be quite clear to them who the next Imam will be.

The kinds of divisions that have been reported in history had their foundations even before the death of the Imams. These kind of divisions are not apparent today. The Nurani family are united and are working together.

When the 48th Imam passed away the whole family was present when the will was read out.

The events after the death of the 48th Imam are described in Willi Frischauer's,
The Aga Khans on page 207 of the online version at:

http://ismaili.net/heritage/files/The%20Aga%20Khans%20--%20OCR-1_Part3.pdf
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njessani



Joined: 02 Jun 2019
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think you are answering the question "whether a schism will occur in the future or not." I don't think that is Sheri's question.

I think Sheri had already laid the premise that a schism has taken place, and 2 male offsprings are claiming Imammat. How does a Ismaili decide which one is the right Imam?

For example, let's assume that you were present at the time when Imam Al-Mustansir Billah died. You are standing in the crowd and Al-Mustali is being crowned as the next Fatimid Caliph and Imam. Everyone is celebrating the new Imam Al-Mustali, there is happiness, hymns are being recited, food and sweets are being distributed, and a very joyous moment is taking place. Your family is fully indulged in the celebrations and so are you.

Nizar is being labelled as an impostor Imam who wants to usurp the rightful Imam Al-Mustali. Nizar is thrown in prison and executed in front of everyone. People are rejoicing that the impostor has been executed and the rightful Imam Al-Mustali has taken his rightful seat. You are a part of all these celebrations.

How will you figure out that Al-Mustali may not be the rightful heir and that you should follow Nizar (we know in hindsight that Al-Mustali line was a dead-end)?
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are two kinds of recognition of the Imam: the external zaheri one and the internal batini one. In the former case, the recognition is by zaheri means - through the declaration of the will and the related issues. The latter is through spiritual elevation. Those murids who through Ibadat have had the strengthened link with the Imam will have a clear recognition as to who the actual Imam is. They could never be misled. The link between a murid and the Imam does not break at the transition to a new Imam.

I have heard that Bhachibai Tejpar actually experienced the transition from Imam MSMS to HazarImam Shah Karim.

During the Fatimid period there were held special majalis for those who were involved in the esoteric aspects of faith. These individuals would have recognized the real Imam even though they were no in position to do anything about it being the minority.
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njessani



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To build on the example, let's say the celebrations for crowning Al-Mustali are over and now you are sitting in the special majalis with 500 other murids. You and other murids are doing their Ibadat envisioning the new Imam Al-Mustali during your bandagi.

What will you "experience" from a baitini perspective that will make you decide that Al-Mustali is not the right Imam?

Did Bhachibai Tejpar have a vision and saw the face of Shah Karim? Did a voice speak to him telling him its Shah Karim? What do you think that "experience" entails?
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

njessani wrote:
To build on the example, let's say the celebrations for crowning Al-Mustali are over and now you are sitting in the special majalis with 500 other murids. You and other murids are doing their Ibadat envisioning the new Imam Al-Mustali during your bandagi.

What will you "experience" from a baitini perspective that will make you decide that Al-Mustali is not the right Imam?

Did Bhachibai Tejpar have a vision and saw the face of Shah Karim? Did a voice speak to him telling him its Shah Karim? What do you think that "experience" entails?
Mystical experiences of all kinds are possible depending upon the individuals background and understanding. The Imam can appear as a vision. The angelic voices can chant who the actual Imam is. The Imam himself could send message to the Jamaat through trusted Dai's. The bottom line is that the real murids are never left misguided.

These kind of aspects are not recorded in history.
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njessani



Joined: 02 Jun 2019
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm guessing that these mystical experiences could be similar to the direct contact with reality mentioned by IMSM in his memoirs as follows:

"Roumi and Hafiz, the great Persian poets, have told us, each in his different way, that some men are born with such natural spiritual capacities and possibilities of development that they have direct experience of that great love, that allembracing, all-consuming love, which direct contact with reality gives to the human soul."

Why are these mystical experiences not mentioned in Ismaili literature?

Have you had any such mystical experiences with angelic voices, angels or mystical vision?
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 1:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a granth (long form of a ginan) called Brahm Prakash. It mentions the mystical states that one may experience in ibadat from verses 61 to 75.

There was a service launched recently wherein there is synchronized translations with the recitation. It can be accessed at:

https://www.jollygul.com/brahm-prakash/

There are 3 podcasts giving the introduction and some important aspects of the granth in the same website.
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njessani



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is common knowledge that these kinds of mystical experiences occur in pretty much all religions and also with atheists.

Some links that relate the experiences:

https://www.friendsjournal.org/mystical-experience/
https://www.religiousforums.com/threads/religious-experience-versus-mystical-experience.158251/
https://www.religiousforums.com/threads/experiencing-shiva.158285/

It is to be noted that in each of these experiences the mystic (subject) is coming into union with the object. The object in the links above has been the ocean, mountains, music, Jesus, Krishna, Shiva, Brahman (out of body experiences), Ultimate Reality - Tao beliefs (out of body experiences), God/Allah (out of body experience). There is no shortage of these mystical experiences on Earth and all require meditation on the object or visualizing the state that you intend to achieve.

Interestingly, as per your quoted Ginan above, Ismailism also teaches that by meditating on the Bol you will merge into the Nur. Now obviously every child since childhood has been taught that the Imam is the bearer of the Nur. So subconsciously you are mediating on the Imam as the object. Spending enough time in mediation should typically lead to a state where you see yourself merging into the Imam.

Given that mystics from other religions have similar experiences, I think if you spend enough time mediating on any object with the thought of becoming one with that object, your mind will achieve that state. Based on the common occurrence of these mystical experiences, I think it is more that you are encouraging your mind to create these experiences rather than it originating from a higher source.

Secondly, the Imam is the Universal Intellect (Aql-e-Kul). Based on Ismaili beliefs, all these mystical experiences have to be provided by the Universal Intellect. Why would the Imam=Allah on the one hand provide these mystical experiences to idol worshipers further strengthening their belief in idol worship and on the other hand sending prophets and manifest himself on Earth to be a barrier to idol worship and spread Islam?
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

njessani wrote:
m other religions have similar experiences, I think if you spend enough time mediating on any object with the thought of becoming one with that object, your mind will achieve that state. Based on the common occurrence of these mystical experiences, I think it is more that you are encouraging your mind to create these experiences rather than it originating from a higher source.

Secondly, the Imam is the Universal Intellect (Aql-e-Kul). Based on Ismaili beliefs, all these mystical experiences have to be provided by the Universal Intellect. Why would the Imam=Allah on the one hand provide these mystical experiences to idol worshipers further strengthening their belief in idol worship and on the other hand sending prophets and manifest himself on Earth to be a barrier to idol worship and spread Islam?
Mystical experiences by themselves are not any markers of spiritual progress. They are only markers alluding to the higher existences beyond our normal sensory experiences. They may occur to some and they may not occur to others. In fact there have been many saints who have had the experience of God without having the intermediary mystical experiences. In fact these mystical experiences can indeed mislead some seekers and preoccupy them when in fact the goal is even higher.

This is alluded to in the Ginan: Sakhee Mahapad Keri vaat: http://ismaili.net/heritage/node/23118

In this Ginan Pir Sadardeen describes this visions and mystical experiences but says that they should not be considered as of any significance:

sakhee ettalaa sarve nishaan melyaa neechore
bhaai tethee u(n)chaare desh ke chaddavaa unchaare................6

All the experiences above are to be discarded and not to be given
too much significance as the real destiny of the soul is even higher.
[All the mystical experiences that are elluded to in these verses are
only tentative, as an indication of the extra sensory experience.
However these may not occur in all cases as the final destiny is
even higher and therefore these may confuse some aspirants about
the final experience. People have managed to get the higher and
ultimate experience without these experiences.]

There is a verse from the Qur'an quoted by MSMS in his Memoirs:

Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth; His light is as a niche in which is a lamp, and the lamp is in a glass, the glass is as though it were a glittering star; it is lit from a blessed tree, an Olive neither of east nor of the west, the oil of which would well-nigh give light though no fire touched it,-light upon light;-Allah guides to His light whom He pleases; and Allah strikes out parables for men; and Allah all things doth know.

(CHAPTER XXIV "Light," 35)
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 08 Jun 2019
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

njessani wrote:
I think Sheri has a good point. So many divisions in Shia Islam are due to fights between two male offsprings claiming Imammat after demise of their father.

It would be interesting to know how Ismailis would figure out whom to follow if this were to happen today.


Sheri and jessani's question and concern is valid. I do believe in chain of Imamat from Imam Ali to Imam Karim and believe our Imams are descendants of Prophet Muhammad.
But Historically there are 3 main gaps in which Imams were underground or in hiding because of 'death threats or abductions'. Followers knew not whereabouts of Imams.
First gap of about 100 years from Imam Muhammad bin Ismail to Imam Razi Abdullah.
Second gap of about 60 years from Imam Nizar to Imam Muhatadi.
Third prolonged gap from Imam Shamsuddin Muhammad to Imam Abul Hasanali for about 250/300 years. Even followers knew not the real names of many Imams. These prolonged gaps gave ammo to enemies of Imams to propagate negative and poisonous propaganda which did affected thousands of Ismails and they left Ismaili Tariqah.

Ismailism survived because of the DA'WAT AND PREACHING of Da'is and Pirs. In Central Asia mostly because of Da'i Nasir Khusrow and in subcontinent because of Pir Sadardin and his progeny. Those Pirs and Da'is kept introducing and reminding followers about Imams and their whereabouts. In those days communication between Imams, Pirs, and followers was hard in comparison to modern era. Today communication and messages travel in seconds and Imam is in touch with jamaiti leaders and jamaits directly. It is prerogative of present Imam only to declare his successor through will and through tools of communication that what happened when MSMS appointed present Imam. In past times Da'is and Pirs were informed by Imam of the time who will be the next Imam and that written will had been given to Da'is and Pirs with signature of Imams, beside this the successors were given in writing the will with signature of Imam and elders from Imam's family as witnesses.

NOW the confusion starts when MSMS in his will induced the words,"......to appoint his successor from amongst any of his male descendants whether they be sons OR remoter issue".
AGAIN same wordings are mentioned in " The Preamble " of Ismaili constitution given by Hazar Imam, I quote:

(C) Succession of Imamat is by way of Nass, it being the absolute prerogative of the Imam of the time to appoint his successor from amongst any of his male descendants whether THEY BE SONS OR REMOTER ISSUE.

The words 'OR REMOTER ISSUE' is confusing, it can't be just one generation gap!
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shivaathervedi



Joined: 08 Jun 2019
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

njessani wrote:


For example, let's assume that you were present at the time when Imam Al-Mustansir Billah died. You are standing in the crowd and Al-Mustali is being crowned as the next Fatimid Caliph and Imam. Everyone is celebrating the new Imam Al-Mustali, there is happiness, hymns are being recited, food and sweets are being distributed, and a very joyous moment is taking place. Your family is fully indulged in the celebrations and so are you.

Nizar is being labelled as an impostor Imam who wants to usurp the rightful Imam Al-Mustali. Nizar is thrown in prison and executed in front of everyone. People are rejoicing that the impostor has been executed and the rightful Imam Al-Mustali has taken his rightful seat. You are a part of all these celebrations.

How will you figure out that Al-Mustali may not be the rightful heir and that you should follow Nizar (we know in hindsight that Al-Mustali line was a dead-end)?


The question asked is tricky.
Let me clarify that Mustali was caliph and not Imam in the beginning, though later on title of Imam was attached with his credentials.
Imam Mustansirbillah had already declared Nizar as Imam before his death. It was conspiracy of Vizir Afzal who wanted Mustali be the next caliph because Mustali was his son in law and very young. Afzal wanted to control the Ismaili Saltanat and rule Egypt at expense of Mustali and he was successful. Many Dai's and elite who were in favor of Imam Nizar according to will of Imam Mustansirbillah were also detained, house arrested or put into jail many executed. Before Imam Nizar claimed the Saltanat, Afzal was quick and captured him and his hundreds of followers, put him in jail where he passed away in 1097 CE after 2 years of Imamat.

Assuming is one thing and ground realities are different. Why in first place the true followers of Imam Nizar should have been part of that ASSUMED celebrations. Historical facts are different than assuming facts.
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njessani



Joined: 02 Jun 2019
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmaherali wrote:

All the experiences above are to be discarded and not to be given
too much significance as the real destiny of the soul is even higher.
[All the mystical experiences that are elluded to in these verses are
only tentative, as an indication of the extra sensory experience.
However these may not occur in all cases as the final destiny is
even higher and therefore these may confuse some aspirants about
the final experience. People have managed to get the higher and
ultimate experience without these experiences.]


I think we are back to where we started as we can't fully rely on mystical experiences. Here is one where this women merged into Light:

"The following is also a merging-with-light experience but it led to an out-of-body experience. The report was sent by an English woman of an experience thirty years in the past, when she was twenty:
I was at a concert with a friend, given by the Hallé orchestra. They were playing the Chorale Symphony (Beethoven) and as I did not know the music well, I retreated into my own thoughts— which were pretty depressing. I prayed to be taken out of the “black pit of my own mind and selfishness” and suddenly, in answer, there was a rush of LIGHT, which surrounded me, lifted me into LIGHT and at the same time seemed to melt my physical being so that LIGHT welled up also from within me, or rather, burst out of me, to meet the LIGHT that was without. With this LIGHT came BLISS, happiness a million times stronger than anything I had ever experienced on earth: and on earth I had been, at times, completely happy. At the same time, I felt a cool breeze playing on me, and within me a whirling sensation and a feeling that I was somehow above myself—my body—but not completely, only a foot or so."

Source: The Mystic Experience: A Descriptive and Comparative Analysis

There are many such experiences with LIGHT if you read this book or find other such experiences on Google.

Since we can't rely on mystical experiences, how else can we figure out who the right Imam.

@shivaathervedi There are around 5-6 popular schism that have occurred in the past. This question applies to all of them.

The one after Zayn al-Abidin is cleaner as both the brothers Muhammad al-Baqir and Zaid lived alongside in peace while both claiming to be the Imam. They both passed the nass test.

The one after Jafar Sadiq is also cleaner as there was no violence and the majority of murids followed Musa-Kadim instead of Ismail. Both passed the nass test.

I do agree that there will be individuals who from the beginning are loyal to one of the brothers. However, my assumption was more from a perspective of an individual who is not in the inner circles of either of the brothers. For example, there is a devoted murid of Imam Jafar Sadiq - but pretty much goes about their own life. They don't have any close associates with either Ismail or Musa-Kadim. They just pray and mind their own business. Imam Jafar Sadiq dies, and a minority group approaches them saying that Ismail is the right Imam, at the same time a majority group approaches them and says Musa-Kadim is the right Imam. What should this person who was not that close to the Imam's family do? Whom should they choose?

I hope you recognize that most murids are not that close to the Imam's family to know such details. If that was the case then there should be no schism at all because everyone would know before the death of any Imam who the next one will be.
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kmaherali



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PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

njessani wrote:
[
Since we can't rely on mystical experiences, how else can we figure out who the right Imam.

Not all mystical experiences are unreliable. There are some experiences which are very reliable to the extent of convincing individuals to change their faith. MSMS once gave a group vision to 200 Hindus which convinced them that he was the 10th Naklanki Avtaar.

The incidence is described at:

The DARSHAN OF DAS AVTAAR

http://www.ismaili.net/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=344
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njessani



Joined: 02 Jun 2019
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quotes from the Das Avtaar link:

"After a number of SATSANG MULAKATS most of the members of our group, numbering two hundred, were convinced of what the missionaries had said about the DIVINE ASPECT of MOWLANA SULTAN MOHAMED SHAH, who was the FORTY_EIGHTH JOMADHARI NOOR MOWLA MURTAZA ALI (SHRI VISHNU VAR DATAR)."

"After some years following this, good news of Mowlana Sultan Mohammed Shah’s MUBARAK PADHRAMNI was announced and our aspirant group was invited to visit Bombay for HOLY DIDAR. We all readily agreed to go to Bombay."

I think we can acknowledge that there was sufficient training of the brain performed on these converts to instill associations of Imam with the avatar of Vishsu. After years of training the brain to mediate on the Imam as Vishnu, and then being able to physically see the Imam in person, should enlighten most minds that has been engrossed in visualizing the concept. This is exactly how mystical experiences have been possible in all other religions. If you train the mind enough to "see what you want it to see," eventually as the right conditions present themselves, you will have a related vision.

I can also accept that these mystical experience have value - however - they only have value when the object is clearly defined. In your example, the object (Imam) is clearly defined by the missionaries. So the decision is not about which Imam they need to choose, rather it is about "believing" that the Imam is Supreme. You can associate the Imam with Vishnu, with Allah, with anything that has attributes of Superiority and the mind of a person can be trained accordingly.

The question which Sheri raised is not about having a vision of the Imam or recognizing the Imam "when he is clearly defined."

The question is about how you will decide between two Imams if there is a schism. I think the question is quite simple. To further build on the previous example, lets say there are 200 murids that had the vision of Imam Jafar Sadiq via a mystical experience. They have unshakable belief in Imam Jafar Sadiq having had the vision. Now Imam Jafar Sadiq dies, how will the 200 murids decide between Ismail and Musa Kadim?
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kmaherali



Joined: 27 Mar 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

njessani wrote:

I think we can acknowledge that there was sufficient training of the brain performed on these converts to instill associations of Imam with the avatar of Vishsu. After years of training the brain to mediate on the Imam as Vishnu, and then being able to physically see the Imam in person, should enlighten most minds that has been engrossed in visualizing the concept. This is exactly how mystical experiences have been possible in all other religions. If you train the mind enough to "see what you want it to see," eventually as the right conditions present themselves, you will have a related vision.
There was no formal training or meditation involved. They were still Hindus believing in the 9 avtaars. They did not accept Ismailism before the vision. It was only after the vision that they undertook the practice.

Consider another vision provided by MSMS in the Haji Bibi case where judges who had no understanding or training were given a vision of 48 Imams from Prophet Muhammad. This vision was indeed the basis of the proof that MSMS was the direct descendant of the Prophet. The incident is given at:

Haji Bibi Case Incident

http://www.ismaili.net/html/modules.php?op=modload&name=phpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=355

njessani wrote:

The question is about how you will decide between two Imams if there is a schism. I think the question is quite simple. To further build on the previous example, lets say there are 200 murids that had the vision of Imam Jafar Sadiq via a mystical experience. They have unshakable belief in Imam Jafar Sadiq having had the vision. Now Imam Jafar Sadiq dies, how will the 200 murids decide between Ismail and Musa Kadim?
They will be given the vision of Imam Ismail just as they were given vision of Imam Jafar Sadiq. The link between the murid and the Mursheed remains intact. The authentic Noor is manifested to genuine murids.
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