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The Beginning of the Book.

Some devotees of the true Imam and Lord of that source of life, the guardian of the community of the Grandfather from the evil wrought by the devils in corporeal form, inquired about the human soul: did it exist before it was born in a (human) body, [3] or not? Why has it appeared in human body? Where shall it go after the separation from that body, and what will then happen to it? What should be (the right) belief concerning the oneness of God (tawhid)? What should they know of the spiritual and material elements (hudud-i latif wa kathif) of the universe, in order that the soul, after its separation from the body, should attain a reward? Is it those basic principles (hudud) of the creation which are the object of our worship? Why should the Command of God (i.e. the Creative Volition, amr) deserve worship, for attainment of the reward (thawab), while neither does any advantage accrue to God from worship, nor any loss from disobedience?

We shall answer these question in the most concise manner in order that it may not be difficult for them to acquire (ba-yad giriftan) that knowledge, and that every one may be able to study (ma'lim-i khwish gardanidan) at any time. We have found that it is sufficient to answer here only those questions which have been put to us above, and we have given to this book the title the Book of Enlightenment (Rawshana'i nama), because its contents are intended to bring light to dark minds, and remove the rust of ignorance from all hearts.

We have divided this treatise [4] into six chapters (fasl), arranging the material in such a way that it will be easy to find each of those subjects. We pray God to help us in this, through the intercession of the Lord of the Truth, the Sun of the World of Religion , the Imam of mankind, praying God for assistance, Ma'add Abu Tamim (i.e. al-Mustansir bi'l-lah), the Commander of the Faithful (Amiru'l- mu'minin)! The Glory of God be upon him so long as the world is at work, so long as the skies rotate, and there is space and those who occupy it! Wa's-salam!

The first chapter (p.4) on the recognition of the Oneness of God.

The second chapter (p.13) on the Word (Kalima).

The third chapter (p.23) on the Universal Soul (Nafs-i Kull) and its work (junbish).

The fourth chapter (p.30) on the origin of the human soul, endowed with reason (ba aql).

The fifth chapter (p.48) on the necessity of the esistence ofa Natiq, an Asasand and Imam.

The sixth chapter (p.59) on reward and punishment (after death), and an explanation of these.

(Note. The headings of the chapters as given here sometimes differ in wording from the headings in the tests itself.)