Oriental Mysticism (3)
THE SAINTLY AND PROPHETIC OFFICES DEFINED.
MOHAMMED said, "The first thing which God created Duplicate function of the Primal Element. was my soul," and again, "My soul was the Primal Element;" the two therefore are identical.
Now the Primal Element, it has been already stated, has two functions, namely, that of receiving from God, and that of conveying to the world. The first is called the Saintly, the second is called the Prophetic, and is the manifestation of the other. But as it has been shewn that the Primal Element and Mohammed are identical, it follows that these offices are both vested in him. The Sufis, therefore, believe that Mohammed was a prophet before the creation, and that he holds the office still, although he has left the world; and this opinion is in conformity with his own words, "I was a prophet while Adam was yet betwixt Earth and Clay," and again, "There is no prophet after me."
Sheikh Sa’ad uddin Hamawí, who has been before In whom vested. quoted, says that each of the functions of the Primal
[paragraph continues] Element requires an exponent. The exponent of the Prophetic function was Mohammed, and he is the Seal of the Prophets. Mehdí the last of the Imáms. The exponent of the Saintly function is Mehdí, the last of the Imams 1, who is yet to come. Up to the present time the Prophetic Office has been manifested, and assumed a definite form, and the particulars thereof are known; the particulars of the Saintly Office cannot become known, nor can it assume a definite form till the appearance of Mehdí, who will be the saint (Welí), as Mohammed was the Prophet (Nebí).
Hitherto the discussions in the schools have been concerning the duties imposed by prophecy, and the particulars of the revelation introduced by it; on the appearance of Mehdí Prophecy, will have been completed, and the era of Saintship commenced. When the duties and particulars of this are known, they will form the subject of discussion until this era also shall have been completed by the appearance of the Day of Resurrection. Then shall the faithful behold the Lord face to face, according to the promise, "Verily, ye shall behold your Lord on the Day of Resurrection, even as ye behold the Sun and the Moon."
44:1 Also called Sahibû’zzemán, "The Lord of Time." He is to be the sovereign of the world, to bear the name of Mohammed, and introduce the Millennium. Many religious enthusiasts of the Muslems have claimed to be the Sahibû’zzemán, amongst them Ali Mohammed, alias Báb el Islám (the door of Islamism), who founded the sect of the Babis in Persia during the present century. A history of the movement is given by Mirza Kazem-Beg in the Journal Asiatique, No. 26. Paris, 1866.