| Home | Home Mosaic | Guestbook | Email | Page 1 | Page 2 | Page 3 | Children's Page | Contents | Search | What's New | Life and Lectures of Al Muayyad fid-din al Shirazi Majalis-ul Muayyadiya - by Al Muayyad fid-din ShiraziEdited by Jawad Muscati and A. M. Moulvi. Karachi:
Ismailia Assoc. Pakistan, 1950. 183 pp.
Contents Lectures 1 through 20 of the Majlis - (Lectures Coming soon!)
A Short sketch of the Life of Syedna Al-Muayyad-Fid-Din Al-Shirazi, Head Missionary of the Ismaili Sect
In history this chief "daa'ee" is known as Al-Muayyad-fid-din. Throughout the Missionary works of the Ismailis he mentioned as Syedna Al-Muayyad Fid-Din. We cannot trace the date when and who first gave him the title of Al-Muayyad Fid-Din. But, however, Abu Khalijar, one of the kings of the Al-Bawahi dynasty who died in the year 440 A.H. (1048 A.D.) in his correspondence with the ‘daa'ee' addresses him as "Our Sheikh, our support and our guide Al-Muayyad-fid-din". Abul-ala-Mu'arree a well known poet and philosopher, also, in correspondence with the ‘daa'ee' addresses him as ‘Al-Muayya-fid-din'. In one of his letters to the ‘daa'ee' he says: "The first thing with which I open my letter is the praise of our revered Chief Al-Muayyad-fid-din." This letter was written to him in course of a correspondence which had passed between him and Al-Muarree, in the year 449 A.H. (2057 A.D.) over the heated debate between the two. His student, Nasir Khusroo, a well known philosopher and traveller of this period also addresses him as ‘Al-Muayyad-fid-din'. In one of the poems he says, "O Nasir, God has opened a new world of wisdom for you through the teaching of Khwaja Al-Muayyad.' Ibnul-Maisar in his historical works refers to him in the following terms: "In the year 448 A.H. (1056 A.D.) The Vizier Al-Yazuree equipped Al-Muayyad-fid-din with money and material and sent him to help Abul-Harisul-Basasir against the Turkooman." Ibnul-Manjab also speaks of him in his "Miratul-Zaman 'the mirror of the time' as 'Al-Muayyad-fid-din'."
His full name was Hibtullah bin Musa bin Daud-as-Salmani. He is believed to have descended from Salman Farsi. His position before the Imam of the time was as high as that of Salman before the Prophet and the Wasi. In one of his poems he says: "Had I lived in the days of the Prophet, my position before him would have been, in no way less important than that of Salman. He would have said to me in unequivocal terms, 'you are a member of my family'."
His father and his great-grand-father were all well accomplished missionaries. They were all Ismailis and had served its cause to the best of their abilities. Muayyad had written several poems on his devotion to the Imam of his time. In one of his poems he says, "I wish I should get a chance to offer my life as a sacrifice for you, O my Lord. My fore-fathers and myself have been living in comforts under your patronage and we have never swerved an inch from our devotion to you". In some of his letters addressed to Vizier of Abu Kalijar, Al-Muayyad says, "My father lived in this very province in which I am living now. He followed the very same creed which I am following now. He commanded the influence with the vazier of his time. He was held in high esteem by him. He never stood in need of knocking at the doors of others. He suffered no humiliation at the hands of the door-keepers. He never visited the minister at the residence which you are occupying now. On the contrary, Abu-Ghalib al-Wastee with all the pomp and pride and power of the Prime Minister was often seen visiting my father at his house to pay his respects to him".
This letter reveals to us that his father was a top ranking missionary. He commanded great respect at Shiraz. Even the high dignatories of State visited him at his house to pay their respects to him.
HIS BIRTH PLACE
It is difficult to determine the exact date of his birth. Roughly speaking he was born somewhere towards the middle of the end of the year 390 A.H. (999 A.D.) In the city of Shiraz. We know next to nothing of his educational career. Very likely he was educated by his father, a learned divine of the Ismaili Faith. After he completed his education his missionary instinct seems to have prompted him to enter into controversies with the anti-Ismaili theologians. His poems show that not only he was not tolerated by the non-Ismailis but was systematically persecuted by them in the worst possible manner. Al-Muayyad was a man of great conviction. He put up with their tormentations with patience and came out of the ordeal with success.
In 499 A.H. (1105A.D.) his wheel of fortune began to change. He received rapid promotions in the job of the ‘daa'ee' which he seemed to have inherited from his father. His services were recognized and he was appointed the head-Missionary at Shiraz and the ‘hujjat' for the whole of Persia.
His chequered career is full of adventures and full of excitement. His career as the head missionary of the Ismailis is an important chapter not only in the history of Egypt but in the whole history of Islam during the fifth century of the Hijri era.
In his autobiography he tells that in 429 A.H. (1037 A.D.) he intended to head the prayer of Idd-ul Fitr. According to his calculations the Idd was due one day before the expected date of the non-Ismailis. They started a rumour that Al-Muayyad wanted to celebrate the Idd one day earlier in order to proclaim Caliph Al-Mustansirbillah to the spiritual leadership of the Muslims. The rumour spread like wildfire in the city and the Ismailis being under the impression that the life of Al-Muayyad was in danger rushed to him to find out the true state of affairs. When the Idd-day arrived his followers poured in from all possible directions and he led the prayers and after it he delivered his usual sermon to the congregation and nothing untoward happened. But, however, on the third day the vizier Adil sent for him and advised him to leave the country. He pointed out to him that the King Abu Kalijar was in rage. The non-Ismaili Ulama had prejudiced him to such an extent that there was every likelihood of his issuing a sentence of death against him. Al-Muayyad said that he had no secular advantage in his staying at Shiraz. His stay there was for no other consideration than the interest he took in his religion and in the spiritual advancement of his followers. However, he promised the vizier that he would think over the matter and would try to follow his advice. He went home and brooded the whole night over his lot. He did not know where to go and how to leave the country when all the roads were blocked by his enemies who were lying in wait for him. Next morning he saw the vizier and told him that he would rather stick to Shiraz to be killed or forced out of it in fetters than leave it and be killed on the way by some vagabond. He left it to the vizier either to decide one of these alternative courses for him or to allow him to stay in Shiraz some time till he was able to arrange for the expenses of the journey and his departure from the city un-noticed by his opponents. The vizier consented to the last suggestion and permitted him to stay on provided he did not extend his stay for over a week.
Al-Muayyad agreed to this and said to the vizier, "If you permit me I shall like to reveal you something which I do not think proper to conceal from you." The vizier said, "Go on with it". Al-Muayyad said, "You know very well the respect that I command with the Delamis. They are so intimately connected with me and they have so much confidence in me that one of them quarrels with his wife at night he informs me in the morning of the nature of his quarrels and seek my advice in the matter. When they come to know of my forced flight from Shiraz they are sure to create troubles and take to violence. In that case I hope I shall not be held responsible for what their troubles may entail." The vizier asked him to close his doors against his visitors during this week. Al-Muayyad promised to do so and accordingly he did not allow anybody to see him. But all the same the Ismailis came to know of everything of what had happened to their leader. They discussed the matter among themselves and gathered together in a place known as "Suq-ul-davab" in Shiraz. They gave vent to their wrath against the king and threatened to rise a revolt in defence of their faith and their great leader. The king was frightened by the news and he ordered the vizier to lose no time in setting the matter right. The vizier at once sent for the Qazi and the Police Officer and threatened them that if any harm occured to the Ismailis he would order both the officers to be killed outright and properties to be confiscated. After issuing this threat to the officers he sent for the leaders of the Ismailis to enquire into their grievances which had prompted them to rise in revolt. They said that their principal grievance was due to the order of the vizier for the deportation of their Sheikh. The vizier categorically denied their charge and said that the Sheikh was too respectable a person to be deported or maltreated. With asuurances for the safe stay of their Sheikh in Shiraz he persuaded them to disperse. Side by side with this he permitted Al-Muayyad to open his doors to his followers and receive them as usual.
Al-Muayyad resumed his activities as usual but fearing lest the anti-Ismaili propaganda should assume a violent form he took a precautionary measure of shifting his important books and records to some unknown place and left his fate in the hands of Providence. Being frightened by the news that the non-Ismailis had plotted to murder him, he made arrangements for his flight to Ahwaz where he intended to stay for sometime till the return of normal conditions in Shiraz. In the meantime Al-Muayyad came to know that the king, Abu Kalijar had decided to visit Ahwaz. He thought it safe to join the convoy of the king on his journey to Ahwaz. He came to know of his intentions and gave Muayyad the surprise of his life by ordering him not to join his convoy. Al-Muayyad was enraged and he protested to the vizier against this unexpected order of the king. The vizier very politely informed the Sheikh that the king did not like to see Al-Muayyad or even hear his name. Unfortunately, Al-Muayyad had already announced to his followers his intended departure with the convoy of the king. The result was that a very large number of his admirers being under impression that their Sheikh was with the convoy, had left Shiraz for joining the convoy out of respect for their Head. Thus, Al-Muayyad was left alone in the midst of his enemies. He was in a fix. However, he got welcome news that a caravan was ready to leave for Basa, a small village at a distance of four days journey from Shiraz. A fairly large number of Ismailis lived in this village. This attracted Al-Muayyad who availed himself of this opportunity. He rushed to the caravan and on his arrival at Basa he received a warm welcome from his followers. With the help and advice of Al-Muayyad they built a mosque for the Ismailis who had no mosque there before. He led the congregational prayers in this mosque and delivered his daily sermons to the Ismails. The non-Ismaili residents of Basa were surprised to notice the tremondous sway which Al-Muayyad held over the Delamites who were reputed to be the most uncontrollable class of people. They looked upon Al-Muayyad as a magician. For, in their opinion his conquest of this uncontrollable element was in no way less mysterious than the conquest of ‘jins' by Solomon.
AL-MUAYYAD AND ABU KALIJAR
Al-Muayyad happened to return to Shiraz at the same time when Abu Kalijar had arrived from Ahwaz. But he was not in the proper frame of his mind. His fear had not subsided yet. One day Al-Muayyad went outside the city of Shiraz in advance to receive a Delami friend of his who was expected to be in the caravan which was bound for Shiraz. When he reached the caravan, he happened to meet a courtier of the king. He took the opportunity to inform him of the maltreatment he had received at the hands of the king. He gave the details of his grievances and requested him to bring then to the notice of the king and solicit him to consider his case and treat him with justice and fairness. Just as he was talking to the courtier a servant of the king told the courtier that he was wanted by the king. Before he saw the king the servant had run to the king and informed him that he had seen the courtier engaged in a friendly conversation with Al-Muayyad. When the courtier appeared before the king he asked him to tell him what Al-Muayyad had told him. The courtier said without any reservation what Al-Muayyad had asked him to communicate to the king. On hearing this the king despatched the courtier with the instruction to be delivered to Al-Muayyad in private. The courtier saw him in a lonley place and delivered to him the message that Al-Muayyad was an agitator intending to create trouble for the king and that he wanted to recite the Khutba in the name of his Imam Al-Mustansirbillah, on the occasion of Idd prayer and that if he should desist from his activities the king would shower his favours on him.
Al-Muayyad listened to the message and exhorted the messenger to carry to the king the following reply: "Sir, the Faith I am preaching and practicing is not a new one. I am not the founder of this faith. The office I am holding is a centuries-old institution. Numerous Kings and Sultans in the past knew it and witnessed its progress. Had it been a cause of mischief the children of Bu-waih would not have tolerated it. On the contrary, several kings of this dynasty followed and died in this faith. But my enemies have misrepresented the matter to you. You have been misled by the slanderers who poison your ears against me. If you want to know the truth, I appeal to you to investigate the matter. Go through the history of this faith. Loik at the attitude of your fore-fathers to this faith. Most of them, may God shower His blessings on them, were good Ismailis. With regard to the allegation that I intend to read the Khutba in the name of the Imam - Al-Mustansirbillah, there is no such thing in my mind. I am waiting for the day when the truth will dawn on you and you yourself will order that the Khutba should be read in the name of the Imam."
He prevailed upon the courtier to influence the king in his favour and persuade him to give Al-Muayyad a chance to present his case before him. The courtier promised to do his best to help Al-Muayyad. After this Al-Muayyad wrote a very well-worded letter to the king who was much pleased with the choice of his words and his fine logic. He at once issued orders to the vizier that Al-Muayyad should not be disturbed in his missionary work and that he should be allowed to carry out his activities as usual, without letting the public know that the king had given him the necessary permission.
Thus, by force of his logic and the wonderful power of expression he was able to win the sympathy of the king and secure his stay at Shiraz. His movements were free. He could preach as he liked. But he was not satisfied with this much success. His ambition was not only to win the sympathy of the king and secure his safe stay but to convert him to a regular Ismaili. The king had heard a lot about Al-Muayyad but he had never seen him before.
One day Al-Muayyad came to know that the king was going out for hunting. He went ahead of the king and stood on the way to meet him. When he saw the king approaching, he got down from his horse and greeted him in a very attractive manner. The king was glad to learn that he was the person who was much talked about. The king treated him with respect and ordered that a horse should be offered to him to ride on. On his return from his shooting excursion he found Al-Muayyad waiting for him on the way. The king said to Al-Muayyad, "You are welcome to see me at the palace whenever you like." Al-Muayyad was much pleased and paid repeated visits to the king who grew very fond of him. His visits had a very satisfactory effect on the king. He was so much charmed by Al-Muayyad's learned talk that he asked him to challenge the opponents of his faith in a form of a debate. "This", he said, "will give him the opportunity to go through their arguments." Al-Muayyad complied with the king's order and refuted the arguments of his opponents with effective success and proved the truth of his faith by reason and revelation. When the king went through the controversies, he was convinced and said to Al-Muayyad, "I entrust my soul and my faith to you. I accept your belief. I approve of all that you preach and practice." By these words he embraced the Ismaili Faith and recognised the Fatimide mission tacitly.
After this the king and Al-Muayyad agreed to meet every Thursday evening to study the Ismaili fundamentals. On these occassions the king put his difficulties before Al-Muayyad who solved them to his satisfaction. The king was much pleased by the way in which his difficulties were solved. He apologised to Al-Muayyad for the wrong that he had done to him and recanted his old opinion. He said that he was glad to see that after all he was led by Al-Muayyad to the right path.
Al-Muayyad used to open his discourses with recitation from the Holy Qur'an and then they discussed points from the book, "Daemul Islam" of Qazi Nu'maan. He concluded his talk with the praise and prayer for the Fatimide Caliph, Al-Mustansirbillah and then with the prayer for the king, Abu Kalijar. Al-Muayyad regularly kept up his discourses with the king who became a great admirer of him. When Al-Muayyd found that the king had assimilated his teachings to a great extent, he started his campaign against drinking and licentiousness. He wanted to eradicate this bad habit from the king. But his lectures to the king on these subjects excited the wrath of the king's associates who began to intrigue against Al-Muayyad with a view to retain their hold on the king. They were shocked to find that the king was so much impressed by this Ismaili missionary that he gave up drinking and all evil habits and began to live a pious life. They could no longer have the king in their midst at their indulgences in drinking and other vices. They were very jealous of Al-Muayyad and were bent upon denouncing him to the king. They ran down the Ismaili doctrines, and painted them in the worst possible colours before the king. They made virulent attacks against Al-Muayyad and his faith. They left no stone unturned in dislodging him from his elevated position. They used all possible tricks and treacheries and told all sorts of lies against him. The king was tired of this and spoke of all these things to Al-Muayyad in the presence of his courtiers. Al-Muayyad was forced to defend his right cause and the king was convinced that his associates were Al-Muayyad's open enemies and that they wanted to continue his indulgence in drinking and his living a vicious life.
With all this the courtiers did not spare Al-Muayyad and made the worst possible attacks on his religion. Al-Muayyad getting tired of all this addressed the king as follows: "Neither your pleasure nor your displeasure has left me secure in my place. When you were displeased with me without trying to know me and with no positive proofs against me you were after my blood. In those days I spent sleepless nights. I was terribly afraid of your power and your impulsiveness. When God eased the situtation for me by rousing you from sleep and you came in my contact I did for you by showing the right path what your father had not done to you. With all this I am not secure. Your associates have still persistently been harming me by playing all sorts of tricks to poison you against me."
An address of this type made by Al-Muayyad to the king gave the courtiers an additional weapon against the Ismaili missionary. The pointed out to the king that the tone of his talk was an open insult to him. None else could have had the audacity to address the king in this manner. "No king", they said, "in the past was ever addressed in this fashion." Thus they went on poisoning the king's ears until he got excited and stopped his weekly meetings with Al-Muayyad. Al-Muayyad apologised to him and wrote to him a poem of a great literary value in which he vituperated the courtiers in a masterly style. This took place in 443 A.H. (1041 A.D.) The year in which the vizier Adil who was an Ismaili at heart and he used to hide his faith from the public, died and Abu-Mansur-Hibtullahe-bin Ahmed known as "Muhazzaabuddolah" was appointed in his place.
This new vizier hated Al-Muayyad and his faith. He was afraid lest Al-Muayyad by coming in contact with the king should be appointed to the post of minister for which he knew, Al-Muayyad had been the most qualified a person. The vizier always looked at things from material point of view and thought everybody like himself was hankering after material gains and therefore Al-Muayyad became his eye-sore. The vizier's hostility with Al-Muayyad strengthened the hands of the courtiers, who, one and all, moved heaven and earth to entrap Al-Muayyad and bring him to disgrace.
Al-Muayyad left Shiraz and stayed in an old mosque which was in a dilapidated condition. It was a favourite haunt of the "Sufees". He rebuilt this mosque and wrote on its arch the names of the Prophet and Imams one after another upto Al-Mustansirbillah, the Imam of the time, in golden letters. He asked all the Daylamite Ismailis to offer their Jumma prayers in the mosque where 'Khutba' was being recited in the name of Al-Mustansar-billah. Al-Muayyad asked twenty of his Daylamite admirers to give the prayer cry from the top of the mosque with "Haye-ala-khairil-amal". This created a sensation and a sort of confusion in the city. All the Ismailis rushed to their own mosques to say their prayer. This state of affairs continued every Friday and the inquisitive people began to say all sorts of things. "Who did this? How he did it? Why he did it?" were the common topics of the day.
Al-Muayyad refers to this in one of his ‘Qasidas' in which he says, "Ask the land of Ahwaz about my doings there. Every brick of its walls will tell you what I did there."
Thus the city of Ahwaz was in great excitement. Ibnul-Mushtaree Abul Hasan Abdul Wahab bin Mansur-al-Shafae, happened to be the Qazi in charge Khuzistan and Farsi. He wrote to Abbaside Caliph Al-Qaem at Baghdad bemoaning the loss of his power at Ahwaz. He asked the Khalifa to ask Abu-Kalijar to arrest Al-Muayyad. He further suggested that he should give a threat to Abu-Kalijar that if he did not hand over Al-Muayyad to the messenger of Khalifa he will be severly dealt with.
Al-Muayyad came to know of all that was being plotted against him. Just at the time when this matter was being talked about by the people, Ibnul-Maslama the messenger of the Abaside Caliph arrived at Basra to see Abu Kalijar. The people began to gossip about the cause of his arrival. Ibnul-Muslama fearing lest the followers of Al-Muayyad should harm him, played a trick to disguise his identity. He influenced one of the local chiefs to write to Al-Muayyad to the effect that Ibnul-Maslama was misrepresented to him by the idle-talkers. The chief accordingly tried to impress on Al-Muayyad that he had not come to Basra to arrest him but to look after the personal estate of the Caliph. But, Al-Muayyad would not be easily misled. He saw through the trick of Ibnul-Maslama and understood the whole plot. He knew very well that the wicked courtiers of Abu Kalijar were seriously planning to make full use of this golden opportunity to bring him to trouble. Hence, Al-Muayyad thought it wise to go back to Shiraz. The king knew that the cat was out of the bag, therefore, he took particular care not to excite the Daylamite Ismailis, just at the time when Ibnul-Maslama, the messenger of the Caliph was on his way to Shiraz.
To afford the king an opportunity of arresting Al-Muayyad without rousing the wrath of the Daylamite Ismailis, one of his courtiers suggested to him that he should organize a debate between Al-Muayyad and Sharif Alavi. He further suggested that some mischievous people should be kept ready to interrupt Al-Muayyad during the course of his debate to make him lose the thread of his thought. He thus would lose his temper and violate the laws of debates. "This", he said, " will run against Al-Muayyad and justify his opponent, to disgrace him, while the Daylamite Ismailis being influenced by the piety and lineage of Sharif Alavi, will not interfere."
The king approved of this suggestion and invited Al-Muayyad to enter into a debate with the Alavi. It happened to be the beginning of the month of Ramazan. Al-Muayyad accepted the invitation and as a preliminary to the debate said to the Alavi, "I have been trying to defend Alawees and strengthened their hold on people, which you, inspite of your being an Alavee have been playing into the hands of the enemies of Alawees and are prepared to debate with one who is the supporter and defender of their doctrines." The king stopped them from reprimanding one another and expressed a desire that they should carry on the debate on whether the first of the month of Ramazan was to be decided by the visibility of the moon as according to the general opinion of the Sunni divines or by the astronomical calculations of the Fatimides. They carried on a heated debate on this point. Each one of them did his best to prove his point of view. They made a full display of science and learning in trying to defeat each other. In the meantime the courtiers applied themselves to their premeditated plan and tried their best to interrupt Al-Muayyad and to excite him. They used all possible measures to put him out. But, Al-Muayyad upset their scheme by remaining calm, cool and collected. He vindicated his point by the force of logic and his marvelous power of argumentation. He proved more than a match for his opponent Alawee whom he let stand at bay. The king and all those that were present there, including the enemies of Al-Muayyad began to laugh at Alawee. The courtiers failed in their conspiracy. But, with all this, their anger against Al-Muayyad did not subside. On the contrary they became his bitter enemies and they started ther anti-Muayyad machinations with re-doubled vigor. They tried to impress upon the king that Al-Muayyad had excited all his Daylamite Ismailis against courtiers of the king. They complained that they were being abused by them at open meetings. The king, Abu Kalijar was in a fix. He did not know what to do. He was very anxious to please Abaside Caliph by handing over Al-Muayyad to his messenger, but at the same time his conscience began to prick him. He feared God and he could not make up his mind to arrest Al-Muayyad who had committed no crime. He knew very well that he was a pious missionary who was doing his best to lead the people to the path of righteousness. He had very nearly decided in his mind to protect Al-Muayyad but worldly considerations preponderated over his religious feelings and blinded hm. Ultimately he decided to please the Abaside Caliph by carrying out his instructions in his dealings with Al-Muayyad. His decision leaked out and created a great sensation in Shiraz. Every one began to talk of Al-Muayyad. His enemies rejoiced at the news and wrote letters to their friends in cities and villages congratulating them on the fact that the king had changed his views about Al-Muayyad and had done him to death.
Al-Muayyad himself heard one man saying to another that not only Muayyad was done to death but even the horse he rode was cut to pieces. The man who heard this jumped with joy and said to the one who gave him the news, "give me your hand that I may kiss it." The man said, "bring your chest near my chest and let us rub them against each other so that the the hearts enclosed within them may blossom over the news that the dark clouds have disappeared from the firmament of Islam and the Muslims."
The king Abu Kalijar was in the habit of attending the Juma prayers at the Jam-e-mosque every Friday in the month of Ramazan. The courtiers got the opportunity of striking Al-Muayyad the last arrows in their quivers. They gathered a large number of people from the city who bore grudge against Al-Muayyad. They asked them to stand in rows from the gate of the house of the king up to the gate of the mosque and raise their voices one and all thanking the king, on his way to the mosque. For purging Islam of the plague of Al-Muayyad.
Al-Muayyad says, "On Friday I heard from my house the shouts of people. I cannot compare the tumult to anything else than what one can imagine on the blowing of the Trumphet on the day of Resurrection. I knew that the swords were ready to cut me to pieces and the fire was ready to burn down my house. I entrusted my affairs to God and sat in my house contented with what might befall me as a result of my love for the Ahl-e Bait, may the greeting of God be on them. I may forget all other tormentations that I have suffered but I can never forget my painful experience on this occasion.
After the prayers the king wrote a letter to Al-Muayyad asking him to leave Shiraz for his safety's sake and go wherever he liked. Two days after he sent to Al-Muayyad the very letter which he had received from the Abaside Caliph. It was full threats and attacks on the geneology of the Fatimides. "Their propaganda" it said, "was always carried on in the past with secrecy. None has so far the courage to carry on his pro-Fatimide activities as openly as Al-Muayyad does. Hand over Al-Muayyad to my meessenger. If you cannot do it I shall seek the help of Tugrel Beg, the Turkoman chief in the matter." Al-Muayyad gave a serious thought to the advice of the king to leave the city. But, in the meantime, one of the courtiers advised the king to force Al-Muayyad to stay in his house. "If you allow him to go out", he said, "the Daylimites will get excited and will create trouble." The king acting on his advice asked Al-Muayyad to stay at home and wait for his further orders.
After a few days Ibnul-Maslama, the messenger of the Caliph arrived at Shiraz and delivered the Caliph's presents to Abu Kalijar. Side by side he sent a note to Al-Muayyad saying, "If you abondon your faith and renounce the opinion you hold, Abaside Caliph will be pleased with you and you will be allowed to maintain your high position in the court of Abu Kalijar." In reply to this Al-Muayyad wrote, "In whatever I do I am prompted by nothing else the love for my faith. It is my firm belief that God's pleasure lies in the faith I follow. With regard to my position with the king or the prospect of my receiving the reward from him I am not in the least attracted. I am not the seeker of wordly wealth. I wish you worldly prosperity. As far as I am concerned, if you cut me to pieces or burn me alive I shall not abandon my faith."
Fearing, lest he should fall into the hands of Ibnul-Maslama he left Shiraz. Although he was out of the clutches of Ibnul-Maslama, he was not secure from the intrigues of his opponents and the sudden rise of the ignorant people against him particularly when they were given to understand that the king had become the enemy of Al-Muayyad. For nearly seven months Al-Muayyad lived in an atmosphere of fear and terror. He could neither eat his food with ease nor sleep an undisturbed sleep. His position became very critical.
Abu Kalijar decided to go for a change to Ahwaz along with his army. Al-Muayyad saw that in the absence of the king and his army his stay in Shiraz would not be safe. Fearing lest his opponents should do him harm in the absence of the king he tried to accompany the king but could not get the chance. He left the city unnoticed and gave his own people to understand that he was travelling with the king's party in disguise and told others that he was going to stay in Shiraz and was sending his travelling kit along with his servant to Ahwaz.
He left the country in disguise and took with him two slaves who were not known much to the people. He went by some unusual route and at every stage he hired a new riding animal. When he found the route impassable by the animal, he had to walk. He suffered all sorts of hardships and he had to put up with the severest cold in the valleys. Very often he came across people who would abuse Al-Muayyad and attribute all sorts of evils to him. Little did they know that the same Al-Muayyad whom they were abusing was in their midst. He remained silent. He knew well that if he uttered anything in his defence they would pounce upon him and would make short work of him.
Under these difficulties he managed to reach Janabah. It happened to be a rainy day. He enetered a mosque and took shelter there. Here someone who happened to be one of his disciples recognised him and offered to place his personal services, his property and everything that he could call his own at his disposal. Al-Muayyad thanked him for his offer and asked him not to reveal his identity. A minute latter an Alawee came and said to him, "You appear to be Al-Muayyad. I have seen you at Ahwaz when you were building a mosque there." Al-Muayyad said, "I am not the person whom you are referring to. I know nothing of this mosque. I passed Ahwaz on my way but I did not stay there." The Alawee said, "people have been saying that you are Al-Muayyad." Al-Muayyad replied, "I have heard the name of this gentleman. He is reported to have great influence over the Daylimites, but I have never seen him. Some people do resemble one another and sometime one man is mistaken for another." The Alawee said, "Some people have advised the governor of Janabah to arrest you." He had almost made up his mind to stop you from moving further. It was I who advised the governor not to touch you." The Alawee was followed by a third person who said to Al-Muayyad, "People have been saying all sorts of things about you. Some say that you are the Zaheeruddin of Basra. You have absconded from the jail and are going in disguise to Basra. Others say that you are Al-Muayyad." Al-Muayyad said, "I am none of the two. I am an Alawee traveller." He then asked him to hire a donkey for he wanted to resume his journey forthwith. After a short while the man brought a donkey-man without the animal. The donkey-man promised to bring the donkey next morning. Since the donkey-man did not return at the appointed time Al-Muayyad thought that the governor must have prevented him from providing him the donkey. While he was thus thinking the donkey-man appeared with the donkey and Al-Muayyad hurried up and left the city immediately.
He took full one month to reach Ahwaz. Since he had to avoid the familiar route, his journey was tedious and troublesome. He reached Ahwaz long before the king, Abu Kalijar, who had broken his journey on the way to rest at some recreation spots. He had spent nearly a month in the village of Saboor. On his arrival to Ahwaz the king learnd that Al-Muayyad had left Shiraz in disguise along with his retinue. Fearing the consequence of this, the king spread his C.I.D. officers in the tents of Dalamites to find out Al-Muayyad and ordered them to identify every veiled person and carry out the search very carefully.
When Al-Muayyad reached Ahwaz he discarded the disguise and met his admirers and acquaintances. The king came to know that Al-Muayyad had arrived at Ahwaz where a large number of people had gathered around him. He was very much enraged at his impudence and his courtiers who were the bitterest enemies of Al-Muayyad got once again an opportunity to fall upon their enemy. They began, therefore, to fan the king's flames of anger against Al-Muayyad by pointing out to him that he had thought lightly of his orders and had defied him by leaving Shiraz for Ahwaz and that he took unnecessary pride in his Dalamite followers and had purposely preceded the king at Ahwaz in order to instigate them to rise in revolt against the king. When the king heard this his prejudice increased and he made a vow to take full revenge from Al-Muayyad. Al-Muayyad had some friends in the retinue of the king who informed him of the king's prejudice and his resolve to harm him and advised him to leave Ahwaz at once and go to Hillah of Mansur bin-el-Husain, one of the allies of Abu Kalijar. They thought that if for some time if he kept away from the sight of the king his anger would subside.
Al-Muayyad accordingly left for Hillah-ul-Mansur bi Husain who treated him with much respect and asked him about his welfare. Al-Muayyad narrated the whole account of Abu Kalijar's dealings with him.
Mansur promised him that he would do his best to influence the king in his favour. Had it not been for the death of Abu Tahir-al-Buwehi, the king of Baghdad, which made the situation more complicated. Mansur would have succeeded in his efforts. Abu Kalijar aspired to replace his cousin Abu-Tahir in becomming the king of Baghdad. He knew very well that he could not achieve his objective unless the Abaside Caliph was pleased with him. The Caliph being deadly against Al-Muayyad, the chance of compromise between the latter and Abu Kalijar became remote.
Consequently, Al-Muayyad stayed at the Hillah for a period of seven months. He got disgusted with the place and made up his mind to go back to Ahwaz caring little about the consequences. He revealed this to the chief of Hillah and the matter circulated amongst the people. Abu kalijar having come to know that, wrote a letter to Al-Mansur saying, "You know Al-Muayyad well. Ever since Al-Muayyad has left Ahwaz the Daylamites are harassing us under false protests. They are excited over the fate of Al-Muayyad, their Shiekh. Our desire to get Baghdad added to our charge cannot be fulfilled without the goodwill of the Abaside Caliph. If he comes to know that this man is staying with us under our protection, he will naturally be prejudiced against us and we shall lose the chance. It has come to our noticce that he is going back to Ahwaz. If he reaches there he will create for us a lot of trouble."
Al-Muayyad came to know of this letter but he paid no heed to it and resolved once and for all to leave for Ahwaz in disguise or otherwise. In the meantime he came to know that Imam Al-Mustansir-billah had sent robes of honour and other gifts to Karwah bin Muqallid the chief of Moosal and Koofa and Ambar. He thought it wise to go to Moosal and meet Karwah. He revealed his intention to Mansur-bin al-Husain who approved of his plan and provided him with his requirements for the journey.
Al-Muayyad left for Moosal where he expected much help from the chief of his missionary activities. But the Amir was a whimsical fellow. He was not a man of determination. In his inclination to the Abaside or the Fatimides he was always guided by monetary consideration. If he was bribed by the Abaside, he propped up their cause. If he received gifts from the Fatimides he supported them and allowed the Khutba to be recited in their name. When Al-Muayyad found in the chief a faithless and weak minded person he left him beating about the bush and proceeded to Egypt, the seat of his spiritual leader, to quench his thirst by having a look at the face of his Imam and thereby getting his soul illumined.
Map of the Middle East (click)
AL-MUAYYAD IN EGYPT
Al-Muayyad left for Egypt full of hope and full of fear. He was hopeful because he had services to his credit. At the same time he was afraid of the intrigues of the ministers and the courtiers who usually would not allow any man of learning to see the Imam directly unless he complied to their dictates and acknowledged their superiority.
He reached Egypt and experienced all that he had been afraid of. He was not allowed to see the Imam. He saw the minister Fallahee, who, however, accorded him a warm welcome and arranged for him a house to stay in. Al-Muayyad has given the description of this house in the following words: "They put me up in some sort of a house with some sort of furniture suited for middle-class people." Al-Muayyad came to know from those around him that Abu-Saed-al-Tastaree was all in all in the state. He therefore went to see him the next day. Tastaree was very pleased to meet Al-Muayyad and gave him valuable gifts and robes of honour. Later on he paid a visit to Qasim bin Abdul Azib bin Mohammad bin No'maan who was the Qazi and the ‘daa-ee' of the place. He does not seem to have welcomed his visits. For the'daa-ee' knew well that Al-Muayyad was far more competent in the profession of ‘Dawat' than the ‘daa-ee' himself. Hence it was in his interest to keep Al-Muayyad away from Egypt.
Al-Muayyad frequentely visited Abu Sa'ed al-Tastaree who made all sorts of promises to him but would fulfil none. He advised him to keep up his dignity, and not to see other Egyptian officers. Tastaree's intention was to keep him with himself and take the fullest advantage of his learning. The officials no sooner came to know of this then they grew jealous of Al-Muayyad and started to prejudice Tastaree's mind against him. They said, "How is that you have taken a liking for this man and have begun to hold him in high esteem. You will never be safe in his company. If you allow him to enter in, he will drive you away. If you allow him to go ahead, he will leave you behind, for his tongue is sharper than yours. His knowledge is deeper than yours. His experience is richer than yours. As a missionary there is no match for him. He is unique in every respect. His stay with you is a signal for danger." Tastaree was much influenced by this talk and he changed his attitude towards Al-Muayyad. Instead of favouring him he began to oppose him.
This broke the heart of Al-Muayyad and filled him with disappointment. He knew he could not stay any longer in Egypt under these circumstances. He decided to leave and informed Tastaree of his intention. Tastaree doubting the veracity of his statement said, "This is the best plan. I shall write letters to the various chiefs on the way to give you every possible help."
When Tastaree was convinced that Al-Muayyaad was resolute he thought the matter again and changed his mind. He stopped him from leaving Egypt. Al-Muayyad was exasperated and could not control his feelings of hatred against Tastaree. He bluntly wrote to him, "I have not come to Egypt for getting money or position. The prompting of my faith has brought me here. I have come to visit the Imam and not the Wazirs and his officials. But, unfortunately, these people stop me from having a look at my Imam and I am now going back disappointed." Tastaree got wild with this note and frightened him with threats. But Al-Muayyad cared little for his threats and for some time he stayed in Egypt, in open hostility with him. The sudden death of Tastaree in the year 439 A.H. (1047 A.D.), gave Al-Muayyad breathing space. He then renewed his endeavours for presenting himself before the holy presence of the Imam. He, therefore, approached the Minister, Fallahee, and sought his help for visiting the Imam which was the height of his ambition and the sole purpose of his trip to Egypt. Fallahee helped him in this and Al-Muayyad was able to pay his respects to the Imam on the last day of Shaban 449 A.H. (1057 A.D.).
Al-Muayyad has given the following description of his visit to the Imam: "I was taken near the place wherefrom I saw the bright light of the Prophethood. My eyes were dazzled by this Light. I shed the tears of joy and felt as if I was looking at the face of the Prophet of God and of the Commander of the Faithful, Ali. I prostrated myself before the one who is the fittest person for the people to bow to him. I wanted to say something but I was awe-struck. I could not move my tongue. I was dumb-founded. When I lifted my head up and gathered my witts someone from amongst those who were present there signalled me to stand up. The Commander of the Faithful, may God perpetuate his kingdom, snubbed the man by saying, "He is not bowing to you. He has not come to visit you." This gave me the courage and I stayed there longer. I tried to speak but my tongue refused to move. People asked me to say what I had to say. I stood mum. The Imam said, "Leave him. Let his fear and awe subside." After this I stood up, took the holy hand of the Imam, placed it on my eyes and on my chest and kissed it and left the place filled with joy."
After visiting the Imam, Al-Muayyad saw the minister, Al-Fallahee and related to him his experience of his visit to the Imam. He requested him to give him more such opportunities to enjoy the sight of the bright Light of the Prophethood. The minister was impressed by his sincerity and appointed him as an officer (usher) at the door of the mother of the Imam in order that he should get ample opportunities to come in close contact with the Imam. Al-Muayyad was much pleased with this appointment. He thought that all worries had come to an end. But unfortunately Yazuri who was all in all, in fear, lest Al-Muayyad's contact with the Imam should diminish his importance, removed Al-Muayyad from the job.
A few months later Al-Fallahee was killed and Abu Barakaat-ul-Jarjarai was appointed in his place. Jarjarai did not get on well with Yazuri. Everyday their relations grew from bad to worse. His relations with Al-Muayyad were equally strained. With the death of Al-Fallahee who was the connecting link between the two, their relationship changed into enmity.
Jarjarai was not in good terms with Abu Ali, the son of Abu Tahir al-Buwaihi. On the death of his father, Abu Ali finding himself insecure in Baghdad arrived in Egypt along with his family and friends. He requested Al-Muayyad to influence the Vazier to protect him. Al-Muayyad managed to get an order from the mother of the Caliph on the minister to the effect that he should give necessary protection to Abu Ali and his party. This incidence and a few more cases of his interference of this type added to the wrath of the Vazier against Al-Muayyad. The following words of Al-Muayyad are typical expression of his bitter experience in life. "I am surprised at my fate. When I open my eyes I see none but my enemies before me. If I turn my face in any direction I find nothing but evil awaiting me." To avoid his clash with Jarjarai, Al-Muayyad decided to leave Egypt. In the meantime Abul Qasim bin Abdul Aziz bin No'maan was removed from the post of the chief ‘Daa-ee', Al-Muayyad had naturally aspired for this job for which he was the best suited. But Jarjarai instead of offering the post to him, offered to his opponent Yazuri with a view to detract him from his constant visits to the mother of the Caliph.
But Yazuri was more than a match for Jarjarai. He accepted this job, and treated it as additional to his original post of private secretary to the mother of the Imam. Al-Muayyad was disappointed and he grew wild over the treacherous conduct of the minister and other dignitaries of the State. When he was making his preparations for his departure from Egypt, Yazuri brought him around and forced him to continue his stay in Egypt.
Al-Muayyad being under the impression that Yazuri was instructed by the Imam or his mother, yielded to his persuasions and changed his mind. Yazuri became more friendly with him and requested him to help him by writing for him the sermons which he was expected to deliver to the public as the chief ‘daa'ee'. Al-Muayyad says, "I was requested by him to make full display of my telents by writing for him the sermons with the best stuff couched in the choicest possible words. This, Yazuri said, will be the test of my sincerity to him. Accordingly I wrote the sermons and he made the name for himself by delivering them at the meetings."
For a period of a little more than a year Al-Muayyad wrote sermons and Yazuri delivered them at the meetings giving the public to understand that they were written by him. His attachment to Yazuri gave him no time for visiting the minister. Jarjarai did not like his indifference to him and began to find out ways and means by which he could turn his friendship with Yazuri into enmity. Al-Muayyad refers to him by saying, "The vazier tried his best to set one of us against another but he did not succeed." Fortunately, in the year 442 A.H.(1050 A.D.) Jarjarai was put into the prison house for some charge and Yazuri was appointed the minister. This time, the people were sure that none but Al-Muayyad would be appointed the Chief Daa'ee. To the great surprise of the public and the bitterest disappointmentt of Al-Muayyad, Qasim bin Abdul Aziz bin No'maan was called back to the job. Al-Muayyad protested to the Vazier who explained to him in an apologetical tone that some old women of the family of No'maan had influenced the mother of the Caliph in the matter. He appeased his anger by holding out hopes to him and making a solemn promise to do something for him. Al-Muayyad was contented and was anxiously waiting for the fulfilment of his promise. But he did nothing for him. All his hopes and promises he had held out to him, evaporated. Al-Muayyad lost his temper and poured his wrath on the letter he wrote to the Vazier. He attacked his sense of justice; he complained of the violation of his pledges and treated his ususal excuse as the tricks of the weak-minded people to justify their stupid action. The Vazier was annoyed with the tone of this letter. Instead of promises, he gave him all sorts of threats, and Al-Muayyad took no notice of his threats. For nearly seven months he did not care to see the Vazier. In the month of Zul-Q'ad of 444 A.H. (1052 A.D.) The Vazier succeeding in putting down the revolt of the Bani Qurah. All important people went to the minister to congratulate him on his success. Al-Muayyad was reluctant to go, but being convinced by his friends that the Vazier's success was the success of the Fatimide Faith, he changed his mind and went to the Vazier to congratulate him.
A few months later Al-Muayyad was appointed the head of the epistolary department with an increase in pay. This improved his financial condition considerably extent. With all this he was not satisfied with the behaviour of the Vazier towards him. In the meantime Al-Qasim bin Abdul Aziz bin No'maan got an attack of paralysis and his son was appointed in this place. This gave Al-Muayyad a shock of his life. This time also his claims were ignored. In the heat of excitement he gave vent to his anger against the Vazier by running him down in his correspondence with him and slandering him in public. The Vazier sent him a message saying, "I have raised your pay from 300 to 1,000 dinars and yet you are ungrateful to me." Al-Muayyad wrote in reply, "If you knew what your words amount to, you would not have written them. By these words you defamed the Lord in the worst possible manner. There are people from the East and West who, compared to me, are nobodies, and are yet rolling in wealth in the State. I do admit that you have given me the job when I was jobless. But if you were to recollect what you have done to me by detaching me from the post of ‘Dawat', you will realise the harm you have done to me is much greater than than the favour you are reminding me of."
HIS (AL-MUAYYAD'S) DEALING WITH BASASIRI
Willingly or unwillingly Al-Muayyad continued to work in his new job like others. In the meantime it was brought to his notice that Tughral Beg had made a truce with Byzantine and had conquered the city of Ray. Moreover, he learnt that Byzantine had entered into an agreement with the Saljuqs to conquer the Fatimide territories in Syria and other places. This was the time for Al-Muayyad to use his brains. He made the best display of his talents to save the Fatimide countries from falling into the hands of their enemies. He corresponded in Persian with Al-Kindree, the Minister of Tughral Beg, persuading him to abandon his aggressive scheme. Similarly he corresponded with every other important person who he thought was in league with the Saljuqs. He did his best by this sort of correspondence to win their sympathy and support for the Fatimides. His intention was to kill two birds with one stone by this correspondence. On one hand he thought he would bring them round to the Fatimide side, on the other hand he expected that this correspondence with these people would create suspicion in the minds of the Abaside Caliph against them and would ultimately end in the loss of his confidence in Tughral Beg and his party. Tughral Beg occupied Iraq and the Khutba was read in his name in Baghdad in the year 447 A.H. (1055 A.D.). Having learned that the Saljuqs were nearing Baghdad, Al-Basasiri fled away from there.
Al-Muayyad in consultation with the important officers of the State decided to correspond with Al-Basasiri on the point and informed him and his friends that the Fatimides were ready to help him against the Saljuqs, with men, money and the war material. After despatching these letters to the persons concerned, Al-Muayyad left for Hijaz for pilgrimage. On his return from the pilgrimage he came to know that his messengar had died on the way and his letters were not delivered to Al-Basasiri. He wrote other letters which reached Al-Basasiri, who agreed to work for the Fatimide cause with the greatest pleasure. The Fatimides decided to send the money and the war material which they had promised to Al-Basasiri.
The Vazier Yazuri thought this was the golden opportunity to get rid of Al-Muayyad. Very cleverly he asked Al-Muayyad to inform him as to who would be suitable to carry the money and material to Al-Basasiri. Al-Muayyad saw through this trick and outwitted him by evading all his enquiries. The Vazier was forced to tell him in clear terms that the Imam himself had desired that Al-Muayyad should lead the party. The Vazier thought that when Al-Muayyad knew that he was being sent by the Imam he would never disobey his orders. But Al-Muayyad did not believe the Vazier and knew for certain that the Imam had never issued these instructions. When the Vazier noticed that the trick did not succeed with Al-Muayyad, he changed his tactics and took to persuasion. He appealed to him in the name of the State, in the name of the Muslims and in the name of the Imam to go as the head of the party. He said, "We beg of you to help us on this occasion. The State, the Muslims and Islam itself are in need of you. It is upto you to help us at the time of need." Al-Muayyad laughed at the tone of his talk and said, "Thank God. I never knew that I was an important person of this magnitude. I never knew that I would one day be addressed in such endearing terms by the Minister of the State."
After Al-Muayyad yielded to the entreaties of the Vazier and said, "I accept the job on condition that I should not be blamed in case I do not succeed in my mission". The Vazier said, "Rest assured that if such a thing happens, no one will blame you." He was advised to put on the uniform of the minister. He said, "I would rather prefer the humble garment of a religious divine." He led the party and the people were surprised to hear that a "mullah" of the type of Al-Muayyad was put in charge of a political affair which was fraught with danger, a scheme to overthrow the Abasides. They were wondering how a man who knew nothing of war tactics was leading the party with no army and yet with confidence in his ability and the money and the robes of honour he was carrying for important chiefs to win their sympathy and support.
Al-Muayyad was instructed to recruit 3,000 men from amongst the ‘Kalbis' and go with them to Rehba. He was strictly warned not to meddle with Ibne-Saleh of Halab. Al-Muayyad thought over these instructions and took a different view of the situation. Contrary to the instructions he had received from the Vazier, he thought it proper to meet Ibne-Saleh and not to tap the ‘Kalbis'. When he arrived at Damascus, before seeing Ibne-Saleh personally and delivering him the gift from the Fatimide Caliph, he wrote to him a letter explaining to him the purpose of his visit. He informed Vazier Yazuri that he had given up the idea of meeting the ‘Kalbis' and that he had decided to approach Ibne-Saleh for help. Yazuri sent him a threatening letter asking him not to disobey his orders. He (Al-Muayyad) did not care of this threat and prolonged his stay at Damascus. Yazuri wrote another letter in an equally threatening tone ordering him to to hurry up and not to visit Aleppo to negotiate with Ibne-Saleh. Al-Muayyad paid no heed to this threat. He was eagerly waiting for the return of Ibne-Saleh to Aleppo from his fight with Maneeu-bin Sabeeb-al-Namiree al-Riqqa. On his return from his fight Ibne-Saleh in reply to the letter of Al-Muayyad promised to meet him at Rustaan.
Al-Muayyad sent his men with gifts in advance and he himself stayed behind intending to travel all alone unattended by any of his servants. This removed the suspicion of Ibne-Saleh who imposed full confidence in Al-Muayyad and gave him a pledge for serving the cause of Fatimides. Al-Muayyad and Ibne-Saleh left Maaratun-No'maan where they met the principal officers of the Baghdad army of Basasiri. Since it had taken Al-Muayyad very long to carry the gifts to the Fatimide Caliph to Basasiri, his men, anxious to know what had happened, had left Rahba to meet Al-Muayyad on the way. When they met him they were convinced of his sincerity and they all left for Aleppo. Here, Al-Muayyad, took from them all the oath of allegiance to the Caliph Al-Mustansar and delivered to Ibne-Saleh the robes of honour and the gifts. They left Aleppo for Rahba to meet Basasiri. On the way he received a letter from Nasruddowlah Ahmed bin Marwan, the chief of Mayafarqueen and Dayar-e-Bakr saying, "I have left the side of Tughral Beg whom I have found to be oppressive and mischievous. I shall be pleased to help you." Al-Muayyad welcomed his sympathy and support and asked him to recite the Khutba in the name of the Fatimide Caliph, Al-Mustansar-billah and at the same time contact the Caliph in Egypt. Al-Muayyad wrote a series of letters to almost all the neighbouring chiefs persuading them to help the Fatimide Caliph and never to yeild to Tughral Beg.
DEPARTURE TO REHBA TO MEET BASASIRI
Al-Muayyad left for Rehba to meet Basasiri who along with his army had left about two stages from his place to meet him in advance. Al-Muayyad gives a vivid description of his meeting Basasiri in the following words: "We met Abul Haris Basasiri, along with his army at two stages from Rehba. When they arranged their armies in the rows and we arranged ours, the right wing of the army reached the mountains and the left wing reached the Euphrates. Our bugles created a terrific noise in the atmosphere. Our different colours of the flags looked like a rainbow. We entered Rehba and proceeded to the bank of Euphrates, where we pitched our tents. Our army was a combination of all sorts of people. There were amongst them highway robbers, dacoits and bandits from all over the adjoining territories. There were Turks, Kurds and Iranis of various types and greedy soldiers."
Al-Muayyad took an oath of allegiance from all their chiefs and gave them the rare Fatimide gifts, the like of which had never been seen before. He gave money to every party. Some were satisfied with their share and others began to grumble. Most of them showed signs of dissatisfaction and asked for greater favours. Al-Muayyad tried to satisfy them in the best possible manner. When his soothing expression did not succeed with them, he got wild and said that he would be glad if they revoke their oath of allegiance to the Imam and have nothing to do with him. The people came to their senses and they renewed their pledges with apology. After some days he gave the gifts to Basasiri and read to the people his pledge to the Fatimide Caliph.
In the meanwhile Al-Muayyad came to know that Dabis bin Mazeedul-Asadi and Quraishi bin Badran al Aqilee had made an offer of allegiance to Tughral Beg on condition that he should protect their countries from the looting of the armies. But Tughral Beg would not guarantee them unless everyone of them kept one of his sons as hostage. This irritated Dabis and Aqilee who dissociated themselves from Tughral Beg. Al-Muayyad availied himself of this opportunity and wrote a letter to Ibne Mazeed advising him to join him. Ibne Mazeed rushed to Al-Muayyad on certain stipulations every one of which he had to accept. After this Mazeed wanted to test the ability of Al-Muayyad as a religious divine. He instigated the learned divines who had accompanied him to enter into religious dsiscussion with Al-Muayyad. When they found him more than a match for them, they began to put him such silly qiestions as to what he would do after the completion of the conquest of Baghdad. All this revealed to Al-Muayyad that their allegiance was not based on conviction and that their loyalty was not for the cause of the Fatimide Caliph but for monetary considerations.
When Al-Muayyad wanted to take the oath of allegiance from Ibne Mazeed and his people, they refused to do so unless the terms of the allegiance were read out to them. They spent a full day in making the alterations to their choice. Al-Muayyad tolerated this with patience, when they exceeded with limits he could not put up with their impertinence any longer, he made up his mind to have nothing to do with Ibne Mazeed. But this important personage amongst the Arabs, the greatest chief of the day, insisted on renewing his allegiance to the Fatimide Caliph. Consequently Al-Muayyad dictated to him the terms of his allegiance and addressed him as "The head of the kings of Arabia, the Sword of the Khalifat and the choice of the Commader of the Faithful." Ibne Mazeed accepted the terms, but he demanded certain concessions, one of which was the separation of his army from the troops of Ibne Saleh. Al-Muayyad was too diplomatic to grant him these concessions. He did his best to bring about reconcialition between Ibne Mazeed and Ibne Saleh but his efforts ended in nothing. The reconciliation looked like the reconciliation between two wild beasts. They were entirely different from each other. Racially and from the religious point of view the gulf between them was unbridgable. With all this, Al-Muayyad spared no pains to bring the two together. But in the long he had to give up the matter as a thankless task. He describes his experience with them in following words: " I used to spend my day and night like the one who is cut off from the caravan and left alone in the desert with nothing in his hands. All the same I used to keep up appearances. I bore my miseries and never allowed any one to know what was in my mind."
Thus, the rivalry amongst the various groups in the army of Basasiri gave the greatest headache to Al-Muayyad. The arrival of the troops of some of the Chiefs of Kalbi from Damascus made matters worse. Al-Muayyad welcomes their arrival but as soon as they reached the place they started grumbling. The troops of the Kalbis and Aqilee had never mixed with the non-Arabs like Turks and Kurds. They refused to move unless the Arab army was completely separated from the non-Arabs. Al-Muayyad did not know what to do with this inflamatory material. He refers to this by saying, "It gave me a severe headache which alone was enough to kill me if I had had no additional trouble."
Somehow or the other, partly by his persuasive tongue and partly by money, Al-Muayyad was able to bring them around. On the tenth of Ramadan 448 A.H. (1056 A.D.) They marched with the rest of the army and Al-Muayyad kept a vigilant watch on their movements. He wrote letters to the surrounding Chiefs for help and influenced his opponents to follow the Ismaili Faith. At a place known as Sanjar his army gained a complete victory over the army of Tughral Beg.
Al-Muayyad informed Egypt of his victory. Obnul-Jawzi says, "Al-Muayyad sent 2,200 heads to Egypt on this occasion". As a result of this victory he was able to enter Musal in the month of Shaban, where Ibne Mazeed influenced him to forgive Quraish bin Badran and bring him to his side by confering on him some robes of honour. His victory and the letters he wrote to the chiefs created a great impression on the minds of the Iraqis. For instance, Mohammad bin-ul Azhan Khafazee wrote to Al-Muayyad that he had established the Fatimide faith at Kufa. Ibne Qaid bin Rehma, the Amir of Basit wrote to him that he had ordered his people to recite the Khutba in the name of the Imam Mustansir and that he had minted the coins with the names of the Fatimide Caliph on them.
This was a great triumph for Al-Muayyad. The defeat of Tughral Beg was dramatic. His letters worked wonders with the Arab Chiefs. They were bent upon crushing the Turkomans and putting an end to the Caliphate of the Abasides. The missionary activities in favour of the Fatimid Caliph were in full swing in Iraq. But his success was not long-lived. Immediately after this, trouble arose in his army, which was composed of conflicting elements. Aqil deserted his army. A large number of his soldiers followed him. When Tughral Beg came to know of this split in the army of Al-Muayyad, he rushed after them. This frightened the people of the surrounding places and particularly the people of Rehba. But he put on a cheerful look and did not let the people know what was in his mind. He describes his state of mind on this occasion in the following words: "I was practically dead. I was expecting trouble from all sides. I had made a resolve not to allow myself to fall in the hands of the enemies. I was ready to die. I was ready to run away to the desert and die of starvation. I would rather allow myself to be cut to pieces than to be taken alive as a prisoner." He segregated himself in a place from where he wrote to Basasiri and other chiefs encouraging them and filling them with hopes. Unfortunately his letters produced no effect. Al-Muayyad was forced to leave for Aleppo where in 442 A.H. (1067 A.D.) he received a letter from Basasiri desiring to meet him at Dair-e-Hafir, a village between Aleppo and Balis. They met here and Basasiri assured Al-Muayyad of his loyalty and both of them chalked out a plan for their future operations.
After this Al-Muayyad returned to Aleppo. Here he leaned that Ibne Saleh had sent a message to the Imam in Egypt requesting him to send one of his chiefs to take charge of Aleppo. In response to his message an army had arrived from Egypt to take charge of the city. Unfortunately, there were in Aleppo people known as ‘Ahdas' who had greater control over the city than Ibne Saleh, its ligitimate chief. They exercised a greater influence over the people than the chief himself. There was an old standing hostility between them and the ‘Maghrabite' soldiers who had arrived from Egypt. They rose in revolt and Ibne Saleh concealed himself for safety in his fort. He advised Al-Muayyad to run away to Aleppo and send the Egyptian army back to Egypt. Al-Muayyad was not a man to run away from danger. He did not like the idea of sending back the army empty handed. He took courage and invited the rebels to hear him. They gathered round him and he charmed them one and all by his address which was couched in the choicest possible words and which was full of sense. They stood dumbfounded and assured him of their loyalty to him. Relying on their assurances he ordered the Egyptian army to enter Aleppo and occupy it.
After a few days Ibrahim bin Yanal pretended to his people that he was negotiating with Basasiri in the interest of Tughral Beg, sent a message to him with a confidential note asking him to see Al-Muayyad and told him that if he was prepared to provide him with necessary funds, he would be ready to revolt against Tughral Beg to establish the Fatimide supremacy in his countries. Al-Basasiri sent the messenger with the note direct to Aleppo. Al-Muayyad naturally welcomed this offer and supplied him with the funds with utmost willingness. He prolonged his stay at Aleppo and began to watch with care the movements of Ibrahim bin Yanal. After this incident whenever he made his mind to leave for Egypt, Basasiri was anxious to accompany him with his army. Al-Muayyad, knowing the rebellious nature of Basasiri's army did not like that by going to Egypt they should create some fresh trouble for the Imam. He did not know what to do in the matter. In the meantime a news came to him that Ibne Yanal had deserted Tughral Beg and was camping with is army at Musal. Al-Muayyad availed himself of this opportunity and ordered Basasiri to go back to Rehba to join Ibne Yanal and he himself left for Egypt.
When he reached the city of Soor, he found that some of the Turkish chiefs of Baghdad had deserted Basasiri and were on their way to Egypt. Fearing lest these rebels should prove a source of trouble to the Imam, he handled them very tactfully and persuaded them to go back and join the army of Basasiri. They left for Rehba and he continued his journey to Egypt. On his way to Egypt, when he reached the place called Bawaqeer, he learnt that the minister, Abu Faraj Abdullah bin Mohammad al-Babli, who had succeeded Yazuree was dismissed in the month of Rabi-ul-awwal of 450 A.H. (1058 A.D.), and Al-Maghrabi was appointed in his place. Thus Maghrabi sent him a message to the effect that he should not proceed to Egypt but go back to Aleppo and stay there and wait for his further instructions. Al-Muayyad was in a fix. He could not decide at once whether he should defy the minister's orders and continue his journey to Egypt or he should go back to Aleppo. He gave a serious thought to the matter and decided to go to Egypt. He received another order similar to the first one insisting on his going back to Aleppo. Al-Muayyad was not effected by this letter. He went on till he received a third letter from the minister of a similar type. This frightened him the most but still Al-Muayyad did not change his mind. He was surprised to find that the official class in Egypt, instead of appreciating his great services and welcoming him to Egypt, were preventing him from entering the capital city of the Fatimides. In order to avoid the chance of receiving some more messages of this type, he changed the usual route and travelled by some unfamiliar tracts in disguise. Finally, he reached Cairo.
He saw the minister, Maghrabi, who did not give him the treatment he expected. The one who had turned his nights into days for working for the State, the one who had done all that he could possibly do in carrying on the propaganda for the Fatimides, the one who had dedicated his life to the service of his religion, the one who was a learned divine of a very high order, a great philosopher, a great commander of the army and an astute statesman, should be treated by the minister as an ordinary man! This, very nearly, broke his heart. He was compelled to complain to the Imam in the following verses:
"I swear by God, if you were to place on my head the crown of Kisra, the Eastern monarch; if you were to make me the master of the world by putting in my charge the affairs of all those that are dead and alive and lay a condition that I should not see you for a moment, O my lord, I shall prefer to glance at you to the pomp and dignity of this world. For my being away from your sight will make my head grey in a moment."
These verses of his happened to reach the Imam just at the time when the post of the ‘daa-ee-ud-duat' was lying vacant. The Imam knew that none but Al-Muayyad was suitable for this high post. Without consulting the Vazier, the Imam appointed him to the post and replied his verses by the following verses:
"O you ‘hujjat', who are well known in the world,
O you, who have ascended to the peak of knowledge to which none can climb,
We did not allow you interview for your safety's sake.
The closing of our doors against you was prompted by nothing but fatherly affection for his son."
(Note: You can read the Arabic version (transliteration) and full text of the above discourse at http://www.amaana.org/ISWEB/muayy1.htm)
After all, Al-Muayyad was elevated to the position of ‘Daa-ee-ud-duat' which was highest ambition of his life. He got what he wanted. He was the best suited man for the job. In 450 A.H. (1058 A.D.), the very year of his appointment, news came to Egypt that the Fatimide rule was established at Baghdad and Khutba was being recited in the mosques in the name of the Imam. Al-Muayyad jumped with joy and nothing could give him greater pleasure in life than the news that Al-Basasiri and Ibrahim bin Yanal had succeeded in overthrowing the Abasides and establishing the Fatimide supremacy at Baghdad. This was the crowning success of his efforts. His influence naturally increased with the people and with the Imam. The Vazier, instead of bossing over him began to fear him. After twenty years discharge of his duty as the ‘daa-ee-ud-duat' he died in 470 A.H.(1077 A.D.). His funeral prayers were led by the Imam himself and he was buried in the Al Azhar University of Cairo. He has left behind him a glorious history. His great deeds and his great works have made him immortal in history. To be brief he was the greatest man of his time. His knowledge of Ismailism in particular and Islam in general was unsurpassable. He was an all-round man. Not only was he a great divine, a splendid preacher and a great savant but he was also a politician and a statesman of a superior type. The books that he has left behind are undoubtedly the most authoritative literature on Ismailism. The learned divines of his age who have left for us the treasures of their masterly works on Ismailism were one and all his pupils. Even the great genius of the type of Nasir Khusroo and Hasan bin Sabbah were his pupils. Nasir Khusroo speaks of Al-Muayyad in the following terms:
"O Khusroo, through Kwaja Muayyad,
God has opened the doors of wisdom to you.
When he (Al-Muayyad) stood on the pulpit
to deliver his sermon to the people,
intellect was ashamed of its insignificance.
He turned my dark nights into bright days
by his illuminating arguments.
I picked up a particle from his vast wealth of knowledge and
I found the revolving heaven under my feet.
He showed me in myself both the worlds visible and invisible.
I saw the guardian of paradise who said to me,
‘Lo, I am the pupil of Al-Muayyad'."
As an Ismaili missionary he was unrivalled in his field. He was the ‘daa-ee-ud-duat', the greatest Misionary of the Ismailis. He was always surrounded by the ‘daa-ees' who used to learn from him the mysteries of the mission and the subtleties of the Ismaili Faith. His book, ‘Majalis-ul Muayyadiya' is a treasure-house of secrets of the Ismaili Faith. He was considered to be a supreme master in the mission. Not only he was recognised as such in Egypt, Iraq and Persia but even in Yemen. He never visited Yemen but he was very well-known there through his pupils who had created a great sensation by their learned sermons. There was none there who did not know the name of Al-Muayyad. His authoritative books on Ismailism were the only source of guidance to the ‘daa-ee' there. They had a firm belief that his version on Ismailism was the best and the most authenticated one. In short, he was considered to be the master of the ‘hujjats'.
The author of ‘Kanzul-Walad' says, "Our lord Al-Muayyad is nearest of ‘hudood' to us. He never tells anything which is not accurate. He brushes aside things which are of a doubtful nature. He has the most correct version. He has made crystal clear to us what was said by his predecessors in an allegorical manner. We have four proofs for his ‘hujjatship': his knowledge, his conviction, his wisdom and the announcement of the Imams. The Imam addresses him as follows: "O you the ‘hujjat' well-known in the world and who have ascended to the heights of knowledge which are unclimbable by others". This is the conclusive proof of his being a ‘hujjat' of unfathomable knowledge."
Among the pupils who immortalised his name in Yemen by carrying his works there was Lamak bin Maalik who was the Qazi-ul-Quzzat in the days of Suleyhee; he desrves a special mention. Al-Hasan bin Nooh in his book, ‘Kitab-ul-Azhar' gives the following account of Lamak bin Maalik: "When Sulehee gained complete supremacy over the countries of Yeman and Mecca and the Khutba was recited in the name of Al-Mustansir, the Fatimide Caliph, he sent to the Imam a deputation headed by Lamak bin Maalik, the Qazi-ul-Quzzat, for permission to extend his influence towards Iraq. The Imam, for reasons known to him, detained the deputation and did not allow them to move until Sulehee was killed. Lamak stayed all the while with Al-Muayyad and made the full use of this opportunity by learning from him, the mysteries of the mission. For a period of five years he followed Al-Muayyad like his shadow, and wrote down all that he heard from his master. When Lamak returned to Yeman he was very reluctant to impart to others the knowledge he had acquired from Al-Muayyad. He taught something to ‘daa-e-ul-Mukarram' the son of Sulehee amd to Malakatul-Hurrah, a female ‘daa-ee' and Ahmed bin Qasim and other ‘daa-ees' at Yeman. But he reserved the full knowledge for his son Yahya bin Lamak. He taught him everything what he had learned from Al-Muayyad and prepared him for missionary work of high order. All the Ismaili ‘daa-ees' of this period and the later period speak of Al-Muayyad as ‘Syedna Al-Muayyad, as a mark of respect. His books to this day continue to be counted as the fountain-heads of Ismailism and are read by the greatest ‘daa-ees' of the ‘Tyebbiyah' branch in India and in Yeman. These books are considered to be as the holy scriptures by the Bohras who read them before and after prayers as a ‘Vird', an oft-repeated religious formula.
The author of ‘Uyoonul-Maarif' says, "Al-Muayyad has a large number of books to his credit on Pilgrimage and Traditions. He was the author of many books in Arabic and Persian. ‘Al-Majalis-ul-Muayyediyah' is the most famous of his works. It is a collection of sermons which he had delivered at religious meetings. It is a comprehensive treatise on the Fatimide Faith. There is nothing of the Fatimide Faith which Al-Muayyad has not treated in the course of these sermons. Hatim bin Ibrahim-ul-Hamidee, a ‘daa-ee' of Yeman, placed these sermons together, arranged them subject-wise and published them with the name of ‘Jameat-ul-Haqaiq, encyclopaedia of Ismailism.
We must bear in mind that almost all the books on missionary works, particularly the books written by the missionaries themsekves are known as ‘Al-Majalis'. But from the point of view of the stuff, there is a world of difference between the other ‘majalis' and ‘Majalis-ul-Muayyediyah'. This is the most comprehensive work on the mysteries of the Fatimide mission and the philosophy of the Fatimide Faith. In fact, it is an encyclopaedia of Fatimide Faith.
Al-Muayyad was a prolific writer. His best known works are:-
(2) ‘Eiwan-ul-Muayyad', a collection of poems in praise of the Imams and the doctrines of Faith.
(3) ‘Seeratul-Muayyad', which is his autobiography,
(4) ‘Sarahul-Maad', a treatise on the Day of Resurection,
(5) ‘Al-Eazah watabeer fi Fazle Yoomal Ghadir', a treatise on the elucidation of the affair pertaining to the day of ‘ghadir',
(6) ‘Al-Ibteda wal-Inteha', the beginning and the end,
(7) ‘Taweel-ul-Arwah', a treatise on the souls,
(8) ‘Mahajul-Ibadah', the method of devotion,
(9) ‘Al-Maselet-wal-Jawab'. The questions and answers.
In short, Al-Muayyad was a man of great learning, he was a great ‘daa-ee', a great Philosopher, a pious ‘Momin' and a devout Ismaili. He spent his whole life in devotion to his Faith and the service of the Fatimide Cause.
Contents Lectures 1 through 20 of the Majlis - (Lectures Coming soon!)
Another article on Al Muayyad by Mohamed Adra
Poetry by Al Muayyad
Al Muayyad's protege Nasir Khusraw
Poetry by Nasir Khusraw
History of the Imams
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