Taiyabi Ismaili

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Ṭayyibīyyah/Ṭayyibī fiqh or Mustā‘līyyah/Mustā‘lī fiqh is a fiqh system associted with the Mustā‘lī branch of Ismailism that split with the Fatimid supporting Hafizi branch by believing Taiyab abi al-Qasim was the rightful Imam. They are the surviving branch of the Mustaali and have split into Dawoodi Bohra, Sulaimani Bohra, and Alavi Bohra.

History[edit]

The Tayyibiyah. After breaking with the Fatimid teaching hierarchy, the Tayyibiyah in the Yemen recognized the Sulayhid queen as the hujjah of the concealed imam Al-Tayyib; with her backing they set up an independent teaching hierarchy headed by a daee mutlaq (“unrestricted summoner”) whose spiritual authority since her death in 1138 has been supreme. The second daee mutlaq, Ibrahim Al-Hamidi (1151–1162), became the real founder of the tayyibi esoteric doctrine, which he elaborated especially in his Kitab kanz Al-walad (Book of the child’s treasure). The position remained in his family until 1209, when it passed to Ali ibn Muhammad of the Banu Al-Walid Al-Anf family, which held it for more than three centuries with only two interruptions. The political power of the Yemenite daees reached a peak during the long incumbency of Idris Imad Al-Din ibn Al-Hasan, the nineteenth daee mutlaq (1428–1468). He is also the author of a seven-volume history of the Ismaili imams, Kitab uyun Al-akhbar (Book of choice stories) and of a two-volume history of the Yemenite daees, Kitab nuzhat Al-akhbar (Book of story and entertainment), as well as works of esoteric doctrine and religious controversy. While the Yemenite daees had been able to act relatively freely with the backing or protection of various rulers during the early centuries, they usually faced hostility from the Zaydi imams and in the sixteenth century suffered relentless persecution. In 1539 the twenty-third daee mutlaq appointed an Indian, Yusuf ibn Sulayman, as his successor, evidently in recognition of the growing importance of the Indian tayyii community. Yusuf came to reside in the Yemen, but after his death in 1566 his successor, also Indian, transferred the headquarters to Gujarat in India.

Doctrines. The Tayyibiyah preserved a large portion of the Fatimid religious literature and generally maintained the traditions of Fatimid doctrine more closely than the Nizariyah. Thus the Tayyibi daees always insisted on the equal importance of the z ahir and batin aspects of religion, strict compliance with the religious law and esoteric teaching. Qadi Al-Numan’s Da' a'im Al-Islam has remained the authoritative codex of Tayyibi law and ritual to the present. In the esoteric doctrine, however, there were some innovations which gave the Tayyibi gnosis its distinctive character. The Rasa'il Ikhwan Al-Safa'were accepted as the work of one of the pre-Fatimid hidden imams and were frequently quoted and interpreted.

The cosmological system of Al-Kirmani with its ten higher Intellects replaced that of Al-Nasafi predominant in the Fatimid age. Ibrahim Al-Hamidi changed its abstract rational nature by introducing a myth that Henry Corbin has called the Ismaili “drama in heaven.” According to it, the Second and Third Intellects emanating from the First Intellect became rivals for the second rank. When the Second Intellect attained his rightful position by his superior effort, the Third Intellect failed to recognize his precedence; in punishment for his haughty insubordination he fell from the third rank behind the remaining seven Intellects and, after repenting, became stabilized as the Tenth Intellect and demiurge (mudabbir). The lower world was produced out of the spiritual forms (suwar) that had also refused to recognize the superior rank of the Second Intellect, and out of the darkness generated by this sin. The Tenth Intellect, who is also called the spiritual Adam, strives to regain his original rank by summoning the fallen spiritual forms to repentance.

The first representative of his summons (da'wah) on earth was the first and universal Adam, the owner of the body of the world of origination (sahib Al-juththah Al-ibdaeeyah), or higher spiritual world. He is distinguished from the partial Adam who opened the present age of concealment (satr), in which the truth is hidden under the exterior of the prophetic messages and laws. After his passing the first Adam rose to the horizon of the Tenth Intellect and took his place, while the Tenth Intellect rose in rank. Likewise after the passing of the Qaim of each prophetic cycle, that being rises and takes the place of the Tenth Intellect, who thus gradually reaches the Second Intellect.

Countless cycles of manifestation (kashf) and concealment alternate in succession until the great resurrection (qiyamat Al-qiyamat) that consummates the megacycle (alkawr Al-azam) lasting 360,000 times 360,000 years. The soul of every believer is joined on the initiation to the esoteric truth by a point of light; this is the believer’s spiritual soul, which grows as the believer advances in knowledge. After physical death the light rises to join the soul of the holder of the rank (hadd) above the believer in the hierarchy. Jointly they continue to rise until the souls of all the faithful are gathered in the light temple (haykal nurani) in the shape of a human being which constitutes the form of the Qaim (surah qa'imiyah) of the cycle, which then rises to the horizon of the Tenth Intellect. The souls of the unbelievers remain joined to their bodies, which are dissolved into inorganic matter and further transformed into descending orders of harmful creatures and substances. Depending on the gravity of their sins they may eventually rise again through ascending forms of life and as human beings may accept the summons to repentance or end up in torment lasting the duration of the megacycle.

Indian communities. The Tayyibiyah in India are commonly known as the Bohoras. There are, however, also Sunni and some Hindu Bohoras; they are mostly engaged in agriculture, while the Ismaili Bohoras are generally merchants. The origins of the Tayyibi community in Gujarat go back to the time before the Tayyibi schism. According to the traditional account an Arab daee sent from the Yemen arrived in the region of Cambay with two Indian assistants in 1068. The Ismaili community founded by him, though led by local walis, always maintained close commercial as well as religious ties with the Yemen and was controlled by the Yemenite teaching hierarchy. It naturally followed the Yemenite community at the time of the schism. From Cambay the community spread to other cities, in particular Patan, Sidhpur, and Ahmadabad. In the first half of the fifteenth century the Ismailiyyah were repeatedly exposed to persecution by the Sunni sultans of Gujarat, and after a contested succession to the leadership of the Bohora community, a large section, known as the Jafariyah, seceded and converted to Sunnism.

After its transfer from the Yemen in 1566, the residence of the daee mutlaq remained in India. The succession to the twenty-sixth daee mutlaq, Daud ibn Ajabshah (d. 1591), was disputed. In India Daud Burhan Al-Din ibn Qut bshah was recognized by the great majority as the twenty-seventh daee mutlaq. However, Daud ibn Ajabshah’s deputy in the Yemen, Sulayman ibn Hasan, a grandson of the first Indian daee mutlaq Yusuf ibn Sulayman, also claimed to have been the designated successor and after a few years he came to India to press his case. Although he found little support, the dispute was not resolved and resulted in the permanent split of the Daudi and Sulaymani factions recognizing separate lines of daees.

The leadership of the Sulaymaniyah, whose Indian community was small, reverted back to the Yemen with the succession of the thirtieth daee mutlaq, Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Fahd Al-Makrami, in 1677. Since then the position of daee mutlaq has remained in various branches of the Makrami family except for the time of the forty-sixth daee, an Indian. The Makrami daees usually resided in Badr in Najran. With the backing of the tribe of the Banu Yam they ruled Najran independently and at times extended their sway over other parts of the Yemen and Arabia until the incorporation of Najran into Saudi Arabia in 1934. The peak of their power was in the time of the thirty-third daee mutlaq, Ismail ibn Hibat Allah (1747–1770), who defeated the Wahhabiyah in Najd and invaded hadramawt. He is also known as the author of an esoteric Qur'an commentary, virtually the only religious work of a Sulaymani author published so far. Since Najran came under Saudi rule, the religious activity of the daees and their followers has been severely restricted. In the Yemen the Sulaymaniyah are found chiefly in the region of Manakha and the haraz mountains. In India they live mainly in Baroda, Ahmadabad, and Hyderabad and are guided by a representative (mansub) of the daee mutlaq residing in Baroda.

The daees of the Daudiyah, who constitute the great majority of the Tayyibiyah in India, have continued to reside there. All of them have been Indians except the thirtieth daee mutlaq, Ali Shams Al-Din (1621–1631), a descendant of the Yemenite daee Idris EImad Al-Din. The community was generally allowed to develop freely although there was another wave of persecution under the emperor Awrangzib (1635–1707), who put the thirty-second daee mutlaq, Qutb Al-Din ibn Daud, to death in 1646 and imprisoned his successor. The residence of the Daudi daee mutlaq is now in Bombay, where the largest concentration of Bohoras is found. Outside Gujarat, Daudi Bohoras live in Maharashtra, Rajasthan, in many of the big cities of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Burma, and the East Africa. In the Yemen the Daudi community is concentrated in the Haraz mountains.

After the death of the twenty-eighth daee mutlaq, Adam Safi Al-Din, in 1621, a small faction recognized his grandson Ali ibn Ibrahim as his successor and seceded from the majority recognizing Abd Al-Tayyib Zaki Al-Din. The minority became known as Alia Bohoras and have followed a separate line of daees residing in Baroda. Holding that the era of the prophet Muhammad had come to an end, a group of Alias seceded in 1204/1789. Because of their abstention from eating meat they are called Nagoshias (not meat eaters). In 1761 a distinguished Daudi scholar, Hibat Allah ibn Ismail, claimed that he was in contact with the hidden imam, who had appointed him his hujjah and thus made his rank superior to that of daee mutlaq. He and his followers, known as Hibtias, were excommunicated and persecuted by the Daudiyah. Only a few Hibtia families are left in Ujjain. Since the turn of the century a Bohora reform movement has been active. While recognizing the spiritual authority of the daee mutlaq it has sought through court action to restrict his powers of excommunication and his absolute control over community endowments and alms. All of these groups are numerically insignificant.

Upon the death of the 20th Imam Al-Amir(d. AH 526 (1131/1132)), his two year old Child Tayyib (b. AH 524 (1129/1130)) was appointed 21st Imam. As he was not in position to run the dawah, Queen Arwa al-Sulayhi was authorized by Imam Al-Amir to run the matter. The Dai-ul-Mutlaq had now been given absolute authority and made independent from political activity. Because of the Fatimid, the dawat was able to survive even after the fall of the Sulehid Dynasty.[clarification needed]

Da'i Zoeb bin Moosa[edit]

Dai Zoeb bin Moosa used to live in and died in Haus, Yemen. His mazoon was Syedna Khattab bin Hasan. After death of Moulai Abadullah, Zoeb bin Moosa appointed Maulai Yaqoob as the wali ("representative" or "caretaker") of the Fatimid Dawat in India. Moulai Yaqoob was the first person of Indian origin to receive this honour. He was son of Moulai Bharmal, minister of Rajput King Siddhraja Jaya Singha. They all along with minister Moulai Tarmal had honoured Fatimid Dawat along with their fellow citizens on the call of Moulai Abdullah. Moulai Fakhruddin son of Moulai Tarmal was sent to western Rajasthan, India. One Dai after another were continued till 24th Dai Yusuf Najmuddin ibn Sulaiman in Yemen. Due to prosecution by local ruler the Dawat then shifted to India under 25th Dai Jalal bin Hasan.

Sūlaymānī-Dāwūdī split[edit]

In 1592 AD, the Taiyabi broke into two factions in a dispute over who should become the 27th Dai: Dawūd Burhanu d-Dīn Qutb Shāh or Sulayman bin Hassan. The followers of the former, primarily in India, became the Dawoodi, the latter the Sulaymani of Yemen.

At present the largest Taiyabi-descended faction is the Sunni Bohra who had converted to Sunni Islam en masse and the second is the Dawoodi Bohra Dawah whose current leader is disputed due to the 53rd Syedna succession controversy (Dawoodi Bohra). The Sulaimani Bohra are headed by their 52nd Dai, al-Fakhrī ‘Abdullāh ibn Muhammad al-Makrami.

References[edit]

  • The Ismaili, their history and doctrine by Farhad Daftary
  • Religion,learning and science by Young Lathan
  • Medieval Islamic civilisation by Joseph w. Meri, Bacharach
  • Sayyida Hurra: The Isma‘ili Sulayhid Queen of Yemenby Dr Farhad Daftary
  • The Uyun al-akhbar is the most complete text written by an Ismaili/Tayyibi/Dawoodi 19th Dai Sayyedna Idris bin Hasan on the history of the Ismaili community from its origins up to the 12th century CE. period of the Fatimid caliphs al-Mustansir (d. 487 AH / 1094 AD), the time of Musta‘lian rulers including al-Musta‘li (d. 495 AH / 1102 AD) and al-Amir (d. 526 AH / 1132 AD), and then the Tayyibi Ismaili community in Yemen.

External links[edit]