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M. Do you believe there is a Paradise, or Hell?
K. The place near good man, is Paradise; near a bad one, is Hell.
M. Do you know Yazid?
K. No, but Jamsheed, who was a good man. In his time men lived to the age orseven hundred years.
M. What is your opinion of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
K. The faith of Abraham, is our faith.
M. Is it true that fire cannot hurt you?
K. If prepared by one of our denomination, in our assembly, fire is changed into a rose, by breathing upon it. Seven words by us suffice, to make the mountains shake, and this room divide.
M. What is your opinion of Adam?
K. Adam was the picture of God.
M. Have you sacrifices?
K. All our worship consists in sacrifices of sheep, oil and rice.
M. Whose coming do you expect?
K. In Ali, Jesus and Mohde will be united. Two years since, a child was born at Ispahan: on the day he was born, he said to his parents, "Carry me to Mecca, for I am Jesus, and in fourteen years more, I shall take possession of the earth: and the whole world shall have one religion and one book, even the book of Jesus. All men shall be brothers; every one shall marry his own sister; but before that time, war shall take place with Russia, and the Ali Ullahe shall join the Russians, and Jesus shall reside atSultaneah. near Casween. Before my open appearance, for I am Jesus, (the child continued) the Russians will have taken Persia, with the assistance of the Ali Ullahe." This same child predicted pestilence and earthquake; but whosoever drinketh milk mixed with wine shall never die.
M. Where is the cradle of the Ali Ullahe?
K. Shahr Zor, near Senaa.
M. What do you think about the resurrection of the dead?
K. He that is one with Jesus, shall never die; for the believer in Jesus or Ali, is one with those identical persons.
M. Do you believe in witchcraft?
K. We believe witchcraft to be a lie; every man of God can perform miracles. There are four sciences in the world: Seemea, a book, with the letters of which one can perform miracles. Leemea, a book, which, wherever it is placed, renders serpents harmless. Keemea, a science, by which an old man can be made young. Khnfa, a science, by which one can make one's self invisible.
M. Perform a miracle in my presence.
K. A perfect man only can perform one.
M. Have you circumcision?
K. Merely to please the Mohammedans; for Jesus abolished circumcision.
M. Do you believe the crucifixion of Jesus?
K. No; we believe that Jesus went from Mecca to heaven.
M. What is your opinion respecting the deluge?
K. We have heard of it; but it is not in the revealed records of the Ali Ullahe, who have existed before the creation of the world.
31. You told me that you are buried by the Mussulmans; why do you say then, that you do not die?
K. We call this in our language, "Hatam," i. e. going from one place to another. If he is buried in one place, he rises in another."
M. What is your opinion concerning the transmigration of souls?
K. One who has done bad actions, passes into a beast. Balool, the brother of a Khaleef, had a brother who was transformed into a mule.f The Khaleef wanted to kill the mule. Balool said, "Do not kill it, but pray that it may become good." The Khaleef prayed seven years, and the mule became a man again. Beasts are the Hell of bad men.
M. What are your customs in regard to marriage?
K. We give presents to the parents of the daughter. We take only one wife.
M. Do you intermarry with other sects?
K. With Armenians only; for Armenians believe the divinity of Jesus, one and the same person with Ali.
M. Have you Prophets?
K. WTe have no message-bearer of God, but every man of prayer is a Prophet. God is One, who has four witnesses: the first witness is called Awl-Yaar; (the first friend.) The second is Akher-Yaar, (the last friend.) The third, Kerm Khowandekar, (the noble of God.) The fourth, Resa David, the reception of David.
M. Who was David?
K. David created himself, he is always alive.
M. Was Ali married?
K. He had neither father, mother, nor wife.
M.. What day of the week is considered by you as sacred?
M. Do you make proselytes, and how?
K. He that will be received, must offer sacrifices, and give a feast to the Dervishes. Dervishes of all sects are Ali Ullahe.
M. How is adultery punished?
K. The Ali Ullahe has every thing in common; wife, money and food.
This was the substance of my conversations with Kosor; but I had conversations afterwards with several other persons of the sect of Ali Ullahe, all of whom I found, on examination, agreed in the statements made by Kosor.
SILLE SULTAN, PRINCE GOVERNOR OF TEHERAUN.
I was introduced to the Prince Governor of Teheraun, whose name is Ali Khan Shad Zadeh, with the title of Sille Sultan, i. e. Shadow of the King. I stated to His Royal Highness the object
* I found the same opinion existing among the people of Tibet, when I was at Cashmeer.
t The transmigration of souls into the bodies of beasts, is believed even among the Abyssinian Christians, and by the Jews in general. of my journeyings and wanderings in that part of the world; he seemed to take an interest in the cause.
SHEAH, FOLLOWERS OF ALL
Sir Robert Porter, Sir Gore Ousely, and others, have already explained the difference between the Sheah, i. e. the followers of Ali, and the Sunnee, or followers of Omar; I therefore need not repeat it. All the Persians are Sheah; they acknowledge twelve Imams, or successors of the Prophet, viz. Ali, who is buried at Koofa.* Hassan, Ali's son, buried at Medina. Hussein, Ali's son, killed by Yazid, the son of Moawia, buried at Kerbelay. tkyn Alabedeen, who was poisoned, and buried at Medina. Mohammed Baker, buried at Medina. Imaam Jaafar Sadeh, buried at Medina. Moosa Kasem, at Kasemeyn. Imam Mesa, killed by the son of Haroon Rasheed, and buried at Meshed in Khorossaun. Imam Mohammed Takee, buried at Kasemeyn. Imam Mi Nakee, buried at Suromorah. Saheb Azzemaun, (Lord of the age:) the Hadees of the Sheah affirm, that he is still alive; that he disappeared in the same manner as Enoch and Elijah, and shall return in the fulness of time, as the great Mohde, i. e. Conductor of true believers. Imam Hassan Askeree, buried at Suromorah, near Bagdad.
Besides the Sunnee and Sheah, there is at Muscat a sect of Mussulmans called Kharegee, who say that Ali had apostatized from the faith of Islam; they therefore curse Ali, as the Sheah do Omar.
Aug. 22.—Mullah Mohammed, a Mohammedan from Boostan in Khorossaun, was sent to me by order of the Mujtehedf of Teheraun, to enquire whether it was true, that I came to Persia for the purpose of disputing about religion with the Mussulmans; if such was the case, he advised me to desist, as it might occasion a popular excitement.
I called to-day on Khosroe Khan. He asked me whether it was true, that Judah, the son of Jacob, had possessed such strength in his hair, that he would have been able to kill all the Egyptians with one single hair of his head, and that this strength of Juhah's hair had frightened Joseph to such a degree, that he made himself known to his brethren. Khosroe had learned this fable from the Jews. I observed in Palestine and in the deserts of Mesopotamia, that the Jews and Christians frequently entertain the Arabs in the deserts, sitting down with them under their tents, amusing them with legends of this kind; and in Persia, where they are
* Mazaur, in the kingdom of Bokhara, claims likewise this honour; the inhabitants of Mazaur and Bokhara call him Shake d, i. e. King of men. .
+ Mujtehed is the title of the chief Ecclesiastic of the Sheah Mussulmans, and means, "One who fights for the true faith."
greatly persecuted, yet in spite of this, many a curious Khan, especially such a man as Khosroe Khan, will desire Jews and Christians to amuse him with histories of their Saints. I frequently saw grave Turks, and Arab merchants, sitting in the desert near a Jew, listening to him with attention, while he was telling them of the beauty of Joseph, the miraculous power of Moses, and the legend of the ascent to heaven accomplished by him: and at other times, attending to the history of Heyk or Abgar, related by an Armenian, smoking his pipe at the same time. Hence may easily be traced the reason, why the Koran abounds with legends taken from the Talmud. Many a journey the Pseudo-Prophet must have made with Jews from Yemen, and many a time must he have listened to wonderful stories from a Jew, about the wisdom of Solomon: how that wise monarch knew the language of the beasts of the field, and of the fowls under heaven; and many a time he must have sat (as the history of the Arabians leads us to suspect) together with Baheera the Monk, and heard the accounts of the cures performed by Christ the Lord, and of the preaching of John the Baptist.
Those sayings in the Koran, although fabulous, are mostly founded on truth; though disfigured, many a saying must have been preserved and related in the desert about Abraham, and that High Priest of the Most High God, Melchizedek, not related in Scripture. It is so beautiful; I admire the affection of the Arabs for their forefathers, and I feel more delight in sitting in the tents of the Arabs, listening to the histories of Ishmael, when a child, how he cried and stamped with his little feet, whilst his mother Hagar at a distance, united her cries with the cries of her thirsty babe, which at last touched the Lord, the most merciful and most pitiful, to such a degree, that he sent the angel, who caused a well of water to spring forth from the same place, where the little babe had stamped his feet: I say, that I delight more in hearing such a tale, than in the dry and chilly speculation of a German or French infidel, with which he awfully impoverishes and not enriches, empties instead of furnishing the minds of the youth of our universities.
I prayed with an eminent person in secret. After prayer, which was directed to our Lord Jesus Christ, he left me in no doubt of his sincerity, with an act not quite consistent with European manners, but expressive of the utmost reverence for his spiritual guide: he literally kissed my feet. I reminded him of the words of our Saviour, "He that denies me before men, him will I deny before my father which is in heaven." He replied, "In the times of our Lord, immediate death was not to be apprehended, for Kings cared not for the different creeds: but now immediate death is certain, and even in those times, St. Paul found it necessary to be a Jew to the Jews, and a Greek to the Greeks." He then added, "my dear Wolff, you shock the Persians, by telling them at once, that Jesus is the Son of God, and that he died for our sins; would it not be better to tell them, "Oh my friends, I am a Dervish of Jewish origin, and returned to Jesus, and am drunk with the love of God, and I wish to know more of God;" but as you are now doing, your life is in danger: they killed the Russian Ambassador in open daylight, and fifty persons with him, on account of the eunuch, Mirza Yakoob, who wanted to profess Christianity openly; and they wanted to kill me, and Manujar Khan.
Calling again upon the Vizier, I had a fine specimen of the manner in which a Mohammedan lawyer defends his Mussulman client. The lawyer with a loud voice said, "My friend is a Mussulman, and says, 'God is God, and Mohammed is the Prophet of God;' he is not a Jew, who says 'God is God, and Moses the word of God.'"
Aug. 28.—Haje Mirza Fasl Ullah, of Sawa, (which place is about 80 miles from Teheraun, and where, according to the Hadees, the sea has been in the time of Mohammed, and was changed by the Prophet into dry land) called on me in the British Embassy, together with Agha Mohammed Hussein of Teheraun, the former is in possession of the controversies of Henry Martyn. He affirms, that the son of Imam Hassan Askeree, who will be the Mohde, is still alive, and residing, though invisibly, upon Jebl Kah, or Jebl Sah* in Arabia; and as soon as he shall make his appearance, one thousand children shall be born of his shoulders; but before his open appearance, Antichrist shall be killed by Jesus. According to the Mohammedans, Antichrist is the son of a Jew, with only one eye, and one hair in his beard; he was born at Medina, in the time of Mohammed, and is at present either at Ghilan or Ispahan; but invisible, until the time appointed shall arrive. After Antichrist, or Dujaal, as the Mohammedans call him, shall have been put to death, Mohde shall make his appearance.
I then explained to them my views respecting the sufferings of Christ, and his glorious manifestation, as King and Priest; also my opinion concerning Antichrist: for to hear the opinions of infidels on these subjects, and not to make them acquainted with the tree of everlasting life, would be a great sin.
Mullah Mohammed of Boostan called on me. He says, that Mohde, who is to appear, performs even now a pilgrimage to Mecca every year; he is seen, but not known. He said, that he was glad to find, that I expect the speedy arrival of the Messiah Jesus; for the signs of the times prove, that Mohde must soon come; a short time previous to which, the Angel Gabriel shall appear upon mount Abokbeys, near Mecca, and upon the Caaba at Mecca; and he shall exclaim, "Come near, for Mohde has appeared." Then there shall be bloodshed; the daughter shall be against her mother, and the city of Koofaf shall be built again.
CONVERSATION WITH THE MUJTEHED.
Aug. 23.—I called on the Mujtehed, whose name is Ameer
* Jebl, is the Arabic word for mountain.
t An ancient ruined city in Arabia, once famous for learning.