Appendix 5: Extracts from Usul al-Kafi from Wafi, to Digest Doctrines of Shia Faith
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
1. As light is essential to decipher physical bodies, so is “Reason” necessary to visualize “Spiritualism,” and as with power of light depends distinction of objects so with the degree of developed reason, Truth thereof, which is perfect in Divine Lights, is realized by the rest, following in their wake. This is Divine Gift and needs to be prayed for, from Divinity, as with it, he makes up for his past failings and keeps himself awake in the future, and it is the only gap between belief and unbelief, it is wealth of the faithful, as with it is gained Divine Proximity, the goal of man.
2. This perfected by Divine Knowledge, which is a Science and an Art and is compulsory to be acquired by every man, to the extent of requirements of daily life, against legal provision which is destined and he shall ne depart until he has it, unless he hurries with illegal earnings, thus reducing the legal grant and making himself liable to account on Reckoning Day.
3. As this Divine Knowledge is reposed in Divine Lights, their implicit following, without any mental reservation, is essential for salvation. It consists of: 1. Realisation of Deity as Creator of the Universe, His attributes, as per declaration of Divine Lights, 2. man’s relation unto him, 3. what is desired of man by his Creator, 4. what is not desired of man by his Creator.
4. This Divine Knowledge is revealed in (1) Divine Text, (2 Prophets traditions, (3) their (1 and 2 exposition by his authorized successors, Divine Lights, along with their instructions to deducing problems not traceable from (1, 2, 3), following them during their absence, without tampering with the expositions by insertions and eliminations, misinterpretations or disputations, as per individual capacity, directly or indirectly, and disregard to which will render them liable. There are not many ways by which the Supreme can be reached.
5. God’s existence could be declared due to Divine Gift of reason which was perfected in Mohammad and his Infallible Family (peace be upon them) who first owned allegiance unto Him, upon which Mohammad was termed City of Divine Knowledge, various gates whereof were referred to his Infallible Family. they thus became torch bearers to Divine Knowledge, regarding His attributes, without which Divine Proximity, admission to Paradise was a “myth.” They are guardians of Islam, i.e. Divine Kingdom, for which allegiance unto them was exacted in Spiritual Universe, to which angels were asked to bear testimony.
6. Minimum knowledge of His attributes (for Proximity) which are inseparable and immutable from His Entity (which is unfathomable) is: relating to His Being, (1) Indispensable to Creation, (2) Absolute Domination over Creation, (3) Omniscience, (4) Omnipotence, (5) Omnipresence, (6) Being Eternal, (7) Matchless in all respects, (8) Incomprehensible, (9) Self-sufficient, (10) Invisible. The contradictory attributes of His Creation are denied unto Him, viz.: (1) Body, (2) Form, (3) Change, (4) Complexity, (5) Partnership, (6) Dependence, (7) transmigration, and (8) Ignorance. When Deity is so realized, is He truly worshipped as a “Unique Provenance,” although Reason admits of His existence but cannot claim perception?
7. Of His practical creatable attributes, founded on perfect justice and ultimate philosophy, which brought about the “cosmos” the first is “Will represented in Mohammad and his infallible family,” followed by choice, which is rigid, as compared to flexibility in human acts. As a result of “result will” emerged “Asma” which may be deemed in the case of Mohammad and his Family ancillary creators of Arsh, Kursi, Souls, and God being Supreme (Rab ul-Arbab) (absolute attributes in His Entity and Asma-ul-Husna for the Infalliable), as expositors of the absolute attributes, most conspicuous of which is (Bada) which maintains the most obedient of His creatures in constant awe of Him and saves the most sinful vagabond from sinking into despair. It has a scathing effect on Doctrine of Fatalist and is exercisable until the final sanction, there being seven stages before emerging into existence for every being on earth or heavens, viz: (1) Will, (2) Choice, (3) Destiny, (4) Decree, (5) Execution, (6) Message (Record), (7) Approval.
8. By providing necessary energy for action and reason to distinguish between right and wrong and by reinforcing a host of army, on either side, distinctly pointing paths to paradise and perdition, and transmitting commands through authentic messengers on Action and Refrainment, trial to which man was destined to be subjected to, he starts when he is made capable of standing under provision of: (1) open passage for execution, (2) given health, (3) physical organs, (4) presence of source of trial from God. When examination starts two contradictory influences play their part, viz: (1) from God, reminding him of His Commands without forcing or setting free absolutely – rather in between) and (2) devil’s persistent misgivings ordering to derogate Divine Commands holding our false hopes.
In the case of failure to comply with Divine Commands His claim to condemn vices and appreciation of virtues is sound. Thus a sinner is culpable of misuse of Divine Gifts, and stands charged with having disregarded Divine Commands and the virtuous has to thank Him for providing occasion to righteously use them by not leaving to his fate, though all these events, before occurrence, were within Divine Knowledge, latter had no effective hand in influencing them is obvious, except for man’s society of the evil for the former and for the latter’s Divine Remembrance. Thus, in spite of creation of means, which, by human misuse, became violent and not ever letting occasion where his freewill to have its own way, and not keeping him ignorant of right and wrong, and acquainting him with Divine Laws, which permit him to follow his way and bar him to follow passion, He has rendered His position indisputable, unquestionable, impregnable and at the same time made man a master, within a limited range, and held him liable to his vagrant, unwarranted actions.
Thus, with gift of reason which is the first gate of capacity to seek Truth and by appealing to it, in manifestation of His creation, He got His existence recognized, and by sending His authentic messengers, which is a second gate of capacity of Divine Text the third gate thereto are declared into him, His attributes personal and active, thus opening an approach to His Proximity to be gained by due observance of Commands and Refrainment, holding endowment holder of knowledge and wealth to partake with his ill-fated relations with humility, as a mark of thanksgiving which opens the fourth gate, and progressive march in this direction, can be made by regularly self-controlling and beseeching unto Him for developing this gift (Reason),by extricating self from worldly cares, to capacitate Divine Light to shine with increasing intensity through piety. Thus virtuous intensions and acts develop angelic features and vice versa, which finally accompany him in his grave to be a source of permanent pleasure or pain.