The substance of Hadj Nemat's reflections is the authentic beliefs of the Ahl-e Haqq, and his perspective and interpretation of them open up new spiritual horizons for the reader. From his viewpoint, the spiritual journey is a quest for the "Truth" (Haqq) in every sense of that word: God, rectitude, integrity, justice, and reality. According to Hadj Nemat, the purpose of observing rituals, prayers, ascetic practices, charity, and in general all religious and moral precepts is to reach the ultimate level, meaning the "Truth." For it is at this level that one perceives the true essence of things as they really are and derives pleasure from the acquisition of self-knowledge and the understanding and absorption of divine light. Thus, the whole of Hadj Nemat's life, thought, and works were devoted to the conviction that Truth can be contemplated, perceived, practiced, and attained.
Renouncing the World
From the time Hadj Nemat underwent his spiritual transformation and realized his spiritual rank and mission to guide and bear witness, he devoted his entire life to fulfilling this objective. In doing so, he completely renounced all earthly attachments and aligned every aspect of his life with his spiritual goal. We also observe that he instilled this same approach in his dervishes. He constantly counseled them to forgo the riches and pleasures of the world and asked that they dedicate themselves to spirituality, repress their material motivations and attachments, and devote themselves entirely to their souls. He himself structured his life around forty-day periods of fasting, solitary worship and contemplation (and on occasion group prayers), spiritual teaching, pilgrimages, and the constant practice of charity, all in accordance with the four basic pillars of the Ahl-e Haqq:purity, rectitude, self-effacement, and self-abnegation. Among adherents of the Ahl-e Haqq, these pillars must constantly be observed in one's material and spiritual affairs, in one's interactions with the outside world and others, as well as between one's own body and soul.
A Resolute Faith
The quest for divine attributes in all their dimensions constitutes another of the axes of Hadj Nemat's life and works. According to his son Ostad Elahi, the strength of his faith was one of the most prominent aspects of his personality:
Even from an external perspective, everything about my father was exceptional. Despite the lack of a master, he possessed that much spiritual power and piety … and his faith, what faith! Anything he sought from God and willed would be granted to him. He had such strong willpower, such confidence in God!
What emanated from his personality was a sincere and resolute faith in the theophany. Like most mystics, he did not address an abstract God that was invisible and inaudible, but rather directed his attention toward the divine Face of his own era. Hadj Nemat deemed his spiritual mission to derive from a theophany that had been introduced as the "Lord of the Age" (Saheb-e Zaman).
In the performance of his spiritual work, especially in his prayers and ascetic practices, Hadj Nemat focused not only on spiritual purification and advancement, but also on the end of times insofar as he was tasked with preparing the spiritual grounds for the appearance of the divine manifestation, or the Savior of humanity. From his standpoint, this manifestation would end the reign of darkness and oppression in the world and establish justice and equality. He therefore firmly believed that the spiritual effort to lay the groundwork for the appearance of the Savior and the establishment of a pure faith was an essential imperative.
It should be added, however, that Hadj Nemat's interest in the Lord of the Age was focused purely on its most spiritual dimension and was devoid of any political or social motivations. Moreover, even if one is not focused on the physical manifestation of this theophany, a seeker should still investigate and search for the Essence that is the initiator of these necessary and fundamental spiritual transformations.
Charity as a Way of Life
Hadj Nemat descends from a lineage in which the practice of charity occupies a central role. From his perspective, the soul comes into this world to prepare for its eternal life in the other world, and its provisions in that other world are the benevolent and charitable acts it performs in this world. Thus, good deeds performed on the basis of faith in the divine source constitute the principal wealth that remains for the soul and will be used to determine its ultimate destiny. The transformation in Hadj Nemat's perception following his illumination led him to renounce his comfortable material life and to donate the majority of the income from his lands to the poor and indigent. Whether in times of abundance or in hardship and famine, numerous people would come to him in need. Except for those instances when he was engaged in private contemplation, he was ready to receive everyone and alleviate their troubles, whether they sought physical cures or spiritual healing. He believed in beneficence and charity, in any shape or form, toward each and every individual. He advocated for receiving the indigent, helping the willing, and praying for the salvation of humankind, as well as bearing witness to the truth and guiding those seeking the truth. In this respect, he perceived tolerance in religious matters as a self-evident duty.
The principle of successive lives constitutes a fundamental pillar in the Ahl-e Haqq doctrine. This concept, however, differs considerably from the theory of transmigration in several respects, the two most important being: (1) that the soul experiences various lives in order to grow and develop, but the number of these lives is limited to a finite period; and (2) that the ascending curve of successive lives proceeds from minerals to plants, from plants to animals, and ultimately from animals to human-animals, without the possibility of any regression during this process.
In the works of Hadj Nemat, emphasis is placed on the return of the spiritual ranks during different eras. That is, the essence of each of the archangels manifests in the form of saints and prophets in various eras, such that the earth is never devoid of divine guidance. This cyclical return of the essences led Hadj Nemat to believe that the religions not only originate from a unique God, but that they were revealed by these same spiritual ranks in different forms.
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