Declaration of 17 January 1997
7 Ramazan 1417
28 Day 1375
17 January 1997
In the Name of God, the Creator of the soul,
The Sage, Creator of speech in language.
Upon the passing of our great Master (Mawla) Hazrat Mahbub ‘Alishah, we have all become saddened. May God grant us the success of being patient and bearing the pain of separation, and may the spirit of that great man find joy and be pleased with us. We beseech the Glorious God that this paltry speck may be successful in the performance of the duties which the great master has assigned to this humble man, and in order to comply with this request, I beg the prayers of you, my brethren, for help and intercession.
The practical instructions that have been written in the epistle, Salih’s Advice, and also the decrees of the past great masters, are to be read repeatedly, referred to constantly and put into practice. In this way, God will be pleased with you, and the success of this humble man will be secured. For the time being, I will repeat some points that have been mentioned.
i. Precepts of the shari‘ah which must be obtained by taqlid (imitation) from a completely qualified mujtahid (expert in Islamic law); and the discernment of such a marja‘ is the duty of every responsible person himself.
ii. Precepts of the tariqah which are to be obtained from the current Master, and instruction in gnosis (‘irfan) is also to be found in the books of the great gnostics (‘urafa).
iii. Personal precepts to be discerned by the person himself, in the sense that God, the Exalted, wants the spiritual powers of His servants to be put into practice, and to be exalted, and since He, the Sublime, has bestowed them, it becomes a duty that aside from the two areas mentioned above one should personally discover one’s responsibilities by one’s own religious thinking and reasoning.
 This proclamation was written on the occasion of the passing away of Hazrat Mahbub ‘Alishah by his successor, Hazrat Majdhub ‘Alishah.
 The Arabic word hijab literally means ‘cover’; the requirement to observe modesty in dress according to Islamic Law, such that in the presence of those outside her immediate family, a woman’s body is to be entirely covered except for the face, hands and feet. [Tr.]
 The word marja‘ literally means “source” and is used for an expert (mujtahid) in matters pertaining to shari‘ah authorized to serve as a model of imitation (taqlid) for non-experts. [Tr.]