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certain prophets the augmented glory of the apostleship; and thus they formed a separate class among prophets. To certain of the apostles he appropriated the superior rank of Declarers of the Divine Precept, and made them people of ordinances—scriptures-appointing unto these the firmly-ratified gift of the most privileged of privileges; lifting them high in the ranks and orders of his favour. Thus, in the first order were the people; next, prophets, whose rank and order of glory is firmly established ; thirdly, the apostles ; fourthly, those of the apostles unto whom the word of their Lord was granted. These are thus honoured for the high order of their knowledge, the acceptable nature of their pious service, and their fair excellence. The first of the Declarers are five;—Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, -all prophets too. Unto each of these was assigned, as an especial mark of distinctive rank, the right of repeating the especial Godpraising word (Subhán). Some of these, as an additional mark of grandeur, received the friendship of God; and some, in addition thereto, the very speech and word of God, as a mark of grand preeminence and especial distinction. But the whole of these concentre in Muhammad, the absolute verity of the whole company—the universality of all the utmost-limit-of-perfection-attainers, and
the divine-precept-deliverers. He is the unique confluence of all new oracles.
Next in grandeur to him is the Lord, the Father of the prophets, Abraham-Al-Khalil. He was made a Perfect Lord and a Supreme Father. In him dwelt the sacred words of Praise and Exaltation. In his book was the mode of specifying and distinctly describing God's supremacy and glory by numerous signs mentioned in articulate words by the Prophet. Immediately after our Lord, as to the right of prophecy, and the garment of especial gifts, follows our Prophet.
Upon them all our prophets and apostles be invoked the abundant harvest of prayer, the kindly growth of peace! God, then, I say, hath manifested the right of using the words of prayer and praise in the Great Book (unto the Prophet-Apostle). This on account of their Venerable Station and their Election as God's Chosen ; for their great power, their glorious gentleness, which exceeds description. Nevertheless, all their wondrous excellence, all the account of their peculiar gifts is surpassed by the glory of Abraham ; for the Almighty says, “God hath taken Abraham as his Friend,” and so on, in about thirty verses; all showing the propriety of men magnifying their Parent and their Imám, and the blessings promised to those who firmly resolve upon obeying the faith of God,
and especially three things therein contained ; viz., The Indispensable Command, the Cheerful Offering, the Choice of Love. The Indispensable Command is a perfect obligation, of confirmed excellence, glory, greatness, and importance, of great rank and authority. The Cheerful Obedience is the performance of that in which there is some doubt or mystery, and is also to show honour and humility in hearing His name, and at hearing accounts of different traditions relating to the Pilgrimage and the Tomb, and a lowering of the voice, and an abstinence from all things prohibited in the Law, as if the Prophet had expressed it in so many letters; also to maintain the fact, that he and all the prophets are still living in their sepulchres; for, truly, none but a fool would deny that the prophets live in their sepulchresma fool, who ought to dread some consequent punishment as a requital from God. The Choice of Love This he performeth who bears witness to his (the Prophet Abraham's) grandeur and glory, and every day sets forth (mentally) on pilgrimage unto him, and represents the figure and similitude of his grandeur and intercession, firmly confiding in the marvellous merit of this noble prophet and merciful father, in those blessings which God hath granted as especial privileges unto himself alone, —the prophecy, the apostleship, the right of ori
ginating a sect, the right of conducting into a road, the word, the prayer, the ministering in front of the congregation, the vicegerency of God, the patriarchate, the intimate friendship, the eternal dwelling, the effectual merit, peace, prosperity, mildness, knowledge, the right belief in clearness and perfection, long life, generosity, accomplishment of wishes, election, safety, calm repose within, greatness without, firmness in the faith, contentment in Islám, &c. &c.
Now, we are informed by a certain writer that the Prophet asserted that Abraham was the best of men, and that whosoever, deeply impressed with the greatness of glory of Abraham, should visit his tomb, should pray in the Mosque, and, turning to the tomb, use another prayer and perform other ceremonies (which the translator omits), repeating them several times, should obtain forgiveness of sins, and the accomplishment of all his wishes. The following prayers are the most effective :-"O my Lord ! O Friend of God! I bear witness that God is the only God, and has no partner, and that thou art the Friend of God;" and “ Peace be upon thee! peace from God, from angels, from prophets, from apostles, from sincere believers, from martyrs, and from confessors; from the people of heaven and earth, O father of the
prophets! O friend of God ! and upon thy son, the
Revealer, the Signet-Muhammad.” Then turning round to our Lady Sarah, let him say, “ Peace be upon ye, O family of the prophets! O mine of apostleship! the mercy also and the blessing of God! By ye may the people of the House be enabled to put off their impurity, and by your purity be rendered pure.” Let the pilgrims do the like unto Isaac and Jacob and their wives, and, after washing his face, repeat the same ceremonies before Abraham's tomb; for all wise and learned men agree that Abraham is the most meritorious agent in prayer, and the very signet of consenting acquiescence from God. Also the Prophet said, upon another occasion, Whoso cannot fulfil all the pilgrimage, let him at least visit Abraham's tomb. A tradition also tells us that if the
way of the pilgrimage be stopped, Abraham's tomb should, however, be visited by pilgrims. Whosoever shall perform the pilgrimage and the prayers at the tombs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Sarah, and Rebecca, and Leah, shall receive forgiveness of sins, and all ample support and prosperity in this world, and a blessed mansion in the next. He shall not return to his own house before the forgiveness of his sins is confirmed; nor shall he depart from this world before he hath seen Abraham the Friend, and hath heard his