Memoirs of Mr. Hempher, The British Spy To The Middle East
Our Great Britain is very vast. The sun rises over its seas, and sets, again, below its seas. Our State is relatively weak yet in its colonies in India, China and Middle East. These countries are not entirely under our domination. However, we have been carrying on a very active and successful policy in these places. We shall be in full possession of all of them very soon. Two things are of importance:
1- To try to retain the places we have already obtained;
2- To try to take possession of those places we have not obtained yet.
The Ministry of Colonies assigned a commission from each of the colonies for the execution of these two tasks. As soon as I entered the Ministry of Colonies, the Minister put his trust in me and appointed me the administrator of the company of East India. Outwardly it was a company of trade. But its real task was to search for ways of taking control of the very vast lands of India.
Our government was not at all nervous about India. India was a country where people from various nationalities, speaking different languages, and having contrasting interests lived together. Nor were we afraid of China. For the religions dominant in China were Buddhism and Confucianism, neither of which was much of a threat. Both of them were dead religions that instituted no concern for life and which were no more than forms of addresses. For this reason, the people living in these two countries were hardly likely to have any feelings of patriotism. These two countries did not worry us, the British government. Yet the events that might occur later were not out of consideration for us. Therefore, we were designing long term plans to wage discord, ignorance, poverty, and even diseases in these countries. We were imitating the customs and traditions of these two countries, thus easily concealing our intentions.
What frazzled our nerves most was the Islamic countries. We had already made some agreements, all of which were to our advantage, with the Sick Man (the Ottoman Empire). Experienced members of the Ministry of Colonies predicted that this sick man would pass away in less than a century. In addition, we had made some secret agreements with the Iranian government and placed in these two countries statesmen whom we had made masons. Such corruptions as bribery, incompetent administration and inadequate religious education, which in its turn led to busying with pretty women and consequently to neglect of duty, broke the backbones of these two countries. In spite of all these, we were anxious that our activities should not yield the results we expected, for reasons I am going to cite below:
1- Muslims are extremely devoted to Islam. Every individual Muslims is as strongly attached to Islam as a priest or monk to Christianity, if not more. As it is known, priests and monks would rather die than give up Christianity. The most dangerous of such people are the Shiites in Iran. For they put down people who are not Shiites as disbelievers and foul people. Christians are like noxious dirt according to Shiites. Naturally, one would do one 's best to get rid of dirt. I once asked a Shiite this: Why do you look on Christians as such? The answer I was given was this: "The Prophet of Islam was a very wise person. He put Christians under a spiritual oppression in order to make them find the right way by joining Allah 's religion, Islam. As a matter of fact, it is a State policy to keep a person found dangerous under a spiritual oppression until he pledges obedience. The dirt I am speaking about is not material; it is a spiritual oppression which is not peculiar to Christians alone. It involves Sunnites and all disbelievers. Even our ancient Magian Iranian ancestors are foul according to Shiites."
I said to him: "Well! Sunnites and Christians believe in Allah, in Prophets, and in the Judgment Day, too; why should they be foul, then?" He replied, "They are foul for two reasons: They impute mendacity to our Prophet, Hadrat Muhammad may Allah protect us against such an act! (1)* And we, in response to this atrocious imputation, follow the rule expressed in the saying, If a person torments you, you can torment him in return ', and say to them: 'You are foul. ' Second; Christians make offensive allegations about the Prophets of Allah. For instance, they say: Isaa (Jesus)
'alaihis-salaam ' would take (hard) drinks. Because he was accursed, he was crucified."
In consternation, I said to the man that Christians did not say so. "Yes, they do," was the answer, "and you don 't know. It is written so in the Holy Bible." I became quite. For the man was right in the first respect, if not in the second respect. I did not want to continue the dispute any longer. Otherwise they might be suspicious of me in an Islamic attire as I was. I therefore avoided such disputes.
2- Islam was once a religion of administration and authority. And Muslims were respected. It would be difficult to tell these respectable people that they are slaves now. Nor would it be possible to falsify the Islamic history and say to Muslims: The honor and respect you obtained at one time was the result of some (favorable) conditions. Those days are gone now, and they will never come back.
3- We were very anxious that the Ottomans and Iranians might notice our plots and foil them. Despite the fact that these two States had already been debilitated considerably, we still did not feel certain because they had a central government with property, weaponry, and authority.
4- We were extremely uneasy about the Islamic scholars. For the scholars of Istanbul and Al-adh-har, the Iraqi and Damascene scholars were insurmountable obstacles in front of our purposes. For they were the kind of people who would never compromise their principles to the tiniest extent because they had turned against the transient pleasures and adornments of the world and fixed their eyes on the Paradise promised by Qur 'aan al-kereem. The people followed them. Even the Sultan was afraid of them. Sunnites were not so strongly adherent to scholars as were Shiites. For Shiites did not read books; they only recognized scholars, and did not show due respect to the Sultan. Sunnites, on the other hand, read books, and respected scholars and the Sultan.
We therefore prepared a series of conferences. Yet each time we tried we saw with disappointment that the road was closed for us. The reports we received from our spies were always frustrating, and the conferences came to naught. We did not give up hope, though. For we are the sort of people who have developed the habit of taking a deep breath and being patient.
The Minister himself, the highest priestly orders, and a few specialists attended one of our conferences. There were twenty of us. Our conference lasted three hours, and the final session was closed without reaching a fruitful conclusion. Yet a priest said, "Do not worry! For the Messiah and his companions obtained authority only after a persecution that lasted three hundred years. It is hoped that, from the world of the unknown, he will cast an eye on us and grant us the good luck of evicting the unbelievers, (he means Muslims), from their centers, be it three hundred years later. With a strong belief and long-term patience, we must arm ourselves! In order to obtain authority, we must take possession of all sorts of media, try all possible methods. We must try to spread Christianity among Muslims. It will be good for us to realize our goal, even if it will be after centuries. For fathers work for their children."
A conference was held, and diplomats and religious men from Russia and France as well as from England attended. I was very lucky. I, too, attended because I and the Minister were in very good terms. In the conference, plans of breaking Muslims into groups and making them abandon their faith and bringing them round to belief (Christianizing them) like in Spain was discussed. Yet the conclusions reached were not as had been expected. I have written all the talks held in that conference in my book "Ilaa Melekoot-il-Meseeh."
It is difficult to suddenly uproot a tree that has sent out its roots to the depths of the earth. But we must make hardships easy and overcome them. Christianity came to spread. Our Lord the Messiah promised us this. The bad conditions that the east and the west were in, helped Muhammad. Those conditions being gone, have taken away the nuisances (he means Islam) that accompanied them. We observe with pleasure today that the situation has changed completely. As a result of great works and endeavors of our ministry and other Christian governments Muslims are on the decline now. Christians, on the other hand, are gaining ascendancy. It is time we retook the places we lost throughout centuries. The powerful State of Great Britain pioneers this blessed task [of annihilating Islam].
In the Hijree year 1122, C.E. 1710, the Minister of Colonies sent me to Egypt, Iraq, Hidjaz and Istanbul to act as a spy and to obtain information necessary and sufficient for the breaking up of Muslims. The Ministry appointed nine more people, full of agility and courage, for the same mission and at the same time. In addition to the money, information and maps we would need, we were given a list containing names of statesmen, scholars, and chiefs of tribes. I can never forget! When I said farewell to the secretary, he said, "The future of our State is dependent on your success. Therefore you should exert your utmost energy."
I set out on a voyage to Istanbul, the center of the Islamic caliphate. Besides my primary duty, I was to learn very well Turkish, the native language of the Muslims being there. I had already learned in London a considerable amount of Turkish, Arabic (the language of the Qur 'aan) and Persian, the Iranian language. Yet learning a language was quite different from speaking that language like its native speakers. While the former skill can be acquired in a matter of a few years, the latter requires a duration of time several times as long as this. I had to learn Turkish with all its subtleties lest the people should suspect me.
I was not anxious that they should suspect me. For Muslims are tolerant, open-hearted, benevolent, as they have learnt from their Prophet Muhammad 'alai-his-salaam '. They are not skeptical like us. After all, at that time the Turkish government did not have an organization to arrest spies.
After a very tiresome voyage I arrived in Istanbul. I said my name was Muhammad and began to go to the mosque, Muslims ' temple. I liked the way Muslims observed discipline, cleanliness and obedience. For a moment I said to myself: Why are we fighting these innocent people? Is this what our Lord the Messiah advised us? But I at once recovered from this diabolical [!] thought, and decided to carry out my duty in the best manner.
In Istanbul I met an old scholar named "Ahmed Efendi." With his elegant manners, open-heartedness, spiritual limpidity, and benevolence, none of our religious men I had seen could have equalled him. This person endeavored day and night to make himself like the Prophet Muhammad. According to him, Muhammad was the most perfect, the highest man. Whenever he mentioned his name his eyes would become wet. I must have been very lucky, for he did not even ask who I was or where I was from. He would address me as "Muhammad Efendi." He would answer my questions and treat me with tenderness and with compassion. For he considered me a guest who had come to Istanbul to work in Turkey and to live in the shadow of the Khaleefa, the representative of the Prophet Muhammad. Indeed, this was the pretext I used to stay in Istanbul.One day I said to Ahmed Efendi: "My parents are dead. I don 't have any brothers or sisters, and I haven 't inherited any property. I came to the center of Islam to work for a living and to learn Qur 'aan al-kereem and the Sunnat, that is, to earn both my worldly needs and my life in the Hereafter." He was very delighted with these words of mine, and said, "You deserve to be respected for these three reasons." I am writing down exactly what he said:
"1- You are a Muslim. All Muslims are brothers.
2- You are a guest. Rasoolullah 'sall-allaahu alaihi wa sallam ' declared: 'Offer kind hospitality to your guests! '
3- You want to work. There is a hadeeth-i shereef stating that 'a person who works is beloved to Allah. ' "
These words pleased me very much. I said to myself, "Would that there were such bright truths in Christianity, too! It 's a shame there aren 't any." What surprised me was the fact that Islam, such a noble religion as it was, was being degenerated in the hands of these conceited people who were quite unaware of what was going on in life.
I said to Ahmed Efendi that I wanted to learn Qur 'aan al-kereem. He replied that he would teach me with pleasure, and began to teach me (Faatiha soora). He would explain the meanings as we read. I had great difficulty pronouncing some words. In two years ' time I read through the whole Qur 'aan al-kereem. Before each lesson he would make ablution himself and also command me to make ablution. He would sit towards the qibla (Ka 'ba) and then begin teaching.
What Muslims call ablution consisted of a series of washings, as follows:
1) Washing the face;
2) Washing the right arm from fingers to elbows;
3) Washing the left arm from fingers to elbows;
4) Making Masah of (moistening both hands and rubbing them gently on) the head, backs of ears, (back of) neck;
5) Washing both feet.
Having to use the miswaak vexed me very much. "Miswaak" is a twig with which they (Muslims) clean their mouth and teeth. I thought this piece of wood was harmful for the mouth and teeth. Sometimes it would hurt my mouth and cause bleeding. Yet I had to use it. For, according to them, using the "miswaak" was a muakkad sunnat of the Prophet. They said this wood was very useful. Indeed, the bleeding of my teeth came to an end. And the foul breath that I had till that time, and which most British people have, was gone.
During my stay in Istanbul I spent the nights in a room I had rented from a man responsible for the service in a mosque. This servant 's name was "Marwaan Efendi". Marwaan is the name of one of the Sahaaba (Companions) of the Prophet Muhammad. The servant was a very nervous man. He would boast about his name and tell me that if I should have a son in the future I should "name him Marwaan, because Marwaan is one of Islam 's greatest warriors."
"Marwaan Efendi" would prepare the evening dinner. I would not go to work on Friday, a holiday for Muslims. On the other days of the week I worked for a carpenter named Khaalid, being paid on a weekly basis. Because I worked part time, from morning till noon, that is, he would give me half the wage he gave the other employees. This carpenter would spend much of his free time telling about the virtues of "Khaalid bin Waleed." Khaalid bin Waleed, one of the Sahaaba of the Prophet Muhammad, is a great mujaahid (a warrior for Islam). He accomplished various Islamic conquests. Yet his (Khaalid bin Waleed 's) dismissal from office by 'Umar bin Hattaab during the latter 's caliphate chafed the carpenter 's heart.
"Khaalid", the carpenter for whom I worked, was an immoral and extremely neurotic person. He somehow trusted me very much. I do not know why, but perhaps it was because I always obeyed him. He ignored the Sharee 'at (Islaam 's commandments) in his secret manners. Yet when he was with his friends he would display obedience to the commandments of the Sharee 'at. He would attend the Friday prayers, but I am not sure about the other (daily) prayers.
I would have breakfast in the shop. After work I would go to the mosque for noon prayer and would stay there till afternoon prayer. After the afternoon prayer I would go to Ahmed Efendi 's place, where he would teach me such lessons as (reading) Qur 'aan al-kereem, Arabic and Turkish languages for two hours. Every Friday I would give him my weekly earnings because he taught me very well. Indeed, he taught me very well how to read Qur 'aan al-kereem, requirements of the Islamic religion and the subtleties of Arabic and Turkish languages.
When "Ahmed Efendi" knew that I was single, he wanted to marry me to one of his daughters. I refused his offer. But he insisted, saying that marriage is a sunnat of the Prophet 's and the Prophet had stated that "A person who turns away from my sunnat is not with me." Apprehending that this event might put an end to our personal dealings, I had to lie to him, saying that I lacked sexual power. Thus I ensured the continuance of our acquaintance and friendship.
When my two-year stay in Istanbul was over, I told "Ahmed Efendi" I wanted to go back home. He said, "No, don 't go. Why are you going? You can find anything you might look for in Istanbul. Allaahu ta 'aalaa has given both the religion and the world at the same time in this city. You say that your parents are dead and you have no brothers or sisters. Why don 't you settle down in Istanbul?..." "Ahmed Efendi" had formed a compulsive dependence upon my company. For this reason he did not want to part company with me and insisted that I should make my home in Istanbul. But my patriotic sense of duty compelled me to go back to London, to deliver a detailed report concerning the center of the caliphate, and to take new orders.
Throughout my stay in Istanbul I sent reports of my observations monthly to the Ministry of Colonies. I remember asking in one of my reports what I was to do should the person I was working for ask me to practice sodomy with him. The reply was: You can do it if it will help you attain your goal. I was very much indignant over this answer. I felt as if the whole world had fallen down on my head. I already knew that this vicious deed was very common in England. Yet it had never occurred to me that my superiors would command me to commit it. What could I do? I had no other way than to empty the drug to the dregs. So I kept quiet and went on with my duty.
As I said farewell to "Ahmed Efendi", his eyes became wet and he said to me, "My son! May Allaahu ta 'aalaa be with you! If you should come back to Istanbul and see that I am dead, remember me. Say the (soora) Faatiha for my soul! We will meet on the Judgment Day in front of 'Rasoolullah '." Indeed, I felt very sad, too; so much so that I shed warm tears. However, my sense of duty was naturally stronger.
My friends had returned to London before I did and they had already received new commands from the Ministry. I, too, was given new commands upon returning. Unfortunately, only six of us were back.
One of the other four people, the secretary said, had become a Muslim and remained in Egypt. Yet the secretary was still glad because, he said, he (the person who had remained in Egypt) had not betrayed any secrets. The second one had gone to Russia and remained there. He was Russian in origin. The secretary was very sorry about him, not because he had gone back to his homeland, but because perhaps he had been spying on the Ministry of Colonies for Russia and had gone back home because his mission had been over. The third one, as the secretary related, had died of plague in a town named "Imara" in the neighborhood of Baghdaad. The fourth person had been traced by the Ministry up to the city of San 'aa in the Yemen and they had received his reports for one year, and thereafter his reporting had come to an end and no trail of him had been found despite all sorts of efforts. The Ministry put down the disappearance of these four men as a catastrophe. For we are a nation with great duties versus a small population. We therefore do very fine calculations on every man.
After a few of my reports, the secretary held a meeting to scrutinize the reports given by four of us. When my friends submitted their reports pertaining to their tasks, I, too, submitted my report. They took some notes from my report. The Minister, the secretary, and some of those who attended the meeting praised my work. Nevertheless I was the third best. The first grade was won by my friend "George Belcoude", and "Henry Fanse" was the second best.
I had doubtlessly been greatly successful in learning Turkish and Arabic languages, the Qur 'aan and the Sharee 'at. Yet I had not managed to prepare for the Ministry a report revealing the weak aspects of the Ottoman Empire. After the two-hour meeting, the secretary asked me the reason for my failure. I said, "My essential duty was to learn languages and the Qur 'aan and the Sharee 'at. I could not spare time for anything in addition. But I shall please you this time if you trust me." The secretary said I was certainly successful but he wished I had won the first grade. (And he went
on): "O Hempher, your next mission comprises these two tasks:
1- To discover Muslims ' weak points and the points through which we can enter their bodies and disjoin their limbs. Indeed, this is the way to beat the enemy.
2- The moment you have detected these points and done what I have told you to, [in other words, when you manage to sow discord among Muslims and set them at loggerheads with one another], you will be the most successful agent and earn a medal from the Ministry."
I stayed in London for six months. I married my paternal first cousin, "Maria Shvay". At that time I was 22 years old, and she was 23. "Maria Shvay was a very pretty girl, with average intelligence and an ordinary cultural background. The happiest and the most cheerful days of my life were those that I spent with her. My wife was pregnant. We were expecting our new guest, when I received the message containing the order that I should leave for Iraq.
Receiving this order at a time while I was awaiting the birth of my son made me sad. However, the importance I attached to my country, doubled with my ambition to attain fame by being chosen the best one among my colleagues, was above my emotions as a husband and as a father. So I accepted the task without hesitation. My wife wanted me to postpone the mission till after the child 's birth. Yet I ignored what she said. We were both weeping as we said farewell to each other. My wife said, "Don 't stop writing to me! I shall write you letters about our new home, which is as valuable as gold." These words of hers stirred up storms in my heart. I almost cancelled the travel. Yet I managed to take control of my emotions. Extending my farewell to her, I left for the ministry to receive the final instructions.
Six months later I found myself in the city of Basra, Iraq. The city people were partly Sunnite and partly Shiite. Basra was a city of tribes with a mixed population of Arabs, Persians and a relatively small number of Christians. It was the first time in my life that I met with the Persians. By the way, let me touch upon Shi 'ism and Sunnism.
Shiites say that they follow 'Alee bin Aboo Taalib, who was the husband of Muhammad 's 'alaihis-salaam ' daughter Faatima and at the same time Muhammad 's 'alaihis-salaam ' paternal first cousin. They say that Muhammad 'alaihis- salaam ' appointed Alee, and the twelve imaams, 'Alee 's descendants to succeed him as the Khaleefa.
In my opinion, the Shi 'ees are right in the matter pertaining to the caliphate of 'Alee, Hasan, and Huseyn. For, as far as I understand from the Islamic history, Alee was a person with the distinguished and high qualifications required for caliphate. Nor do I find it alien for Muhammad 'alaihis-salaam ' to have appointed Hasan and Huseyn as Khaleefas. What makes me suspect, however, is Muhammad 's 'alaihis-salaam ' having appointed Huseyn 's son and eight of his grandsons as Khaleefas. For Huseyn was a child at Muhammad 's 'alaihis-salaam ' death. How did he know he would have eight grandsons. If Muhammad 'alaihis-salaam ' was really a Prophet, it was possible for him to know the future by being informed by Allaahu ta 'aalaa, as the Messiah had divined about the future. Yet Muhammad 's 'alaihis-salaam '
Prophethood is a matter of doubt to us Christians.
Muslims say that "There are many proofs for Muhammad 's 'alaihis-salaam ' Prophethood. One of them is the Qur 'aan (Koran)." I have read the Qur 'aan. Indeed, it is a very high book. It is even higher than the Torah (Taurah) and the Bible. For it contains principles, regulations, moral rules, etc.
It has been a wonder to me how an illiterate person such as Muhammad 'alaihis-salaam ' could have brought such a lofty book, and how could he have had all those moral, intellectual and personal qualifications which could not be possessed even by a man who has read and travelled very much. I wonder if these facts were the proofs for Muhammad 's 'alaihis-salaam ' Prophethood?
I always made observations and research in order to elicit the truth about Muhammad 's 'alaihis-salaam ' Prophethood. Once I brought out my interest to a priest in London. His answer was fanatical and obdurate, and was not convincing at all. I asked Ahmed Efendi several times when I was in Turkey, yet I did not receive a satisfactory answer from him, either. To tell the truth, I avoided asking Ahmed Efendi questions directly related to the matter lest they should become suspicious about my espionage.
I think very much of Muhammad 'alaihis-salaam '. No doubt, he is one of Allah 's Prophets about whom we have read in books. Yet, being a Christian, I have not believed in his Prophethood yet. It is doubtless that he was very much superior to geniuses.
The Sunnites, on the other hand, say that "After the Prophet 's passing away, Muslims considered Aboo Bekr and 'Umar and 'Uthmaan and 'Alee suitable for the caliphate."
Controversies of this sort exist in all religions, most abundantly in Christianity. Since both 'Umar and 'Alee are dead today, maintaining these controversies would serve no useful purpose. To me, if Muslims are reasonable, they should think of today, not of those very old days.
One day in the Ministry of Colonies I made a reference to the difference between the Sunnites and the Shiites, saying, "If Muslims knew something about life, they would resolve this Shiite-Sunnite difference among themselves and come together." Someone interrupted me and remonstrated, "Your duty is to provoke this difference, not to think of how to bring Muslims together."
Before I set out for my travel to Iraq, the secretary said, "O Hempher, you should know that there has been natural differences among human beings since God created Abel and Cain. These controversies shall continue until the return of the Messiah. So is the case with racial, tribal, territorial, national, and religious controversies.
"Your duty this time is to diagnose these controversies well and to report to the ministry. The more successful you are in aggravating the differences among Muslims the greater will be your service to England.
"We, the English people, have to make mischief and arouse schism in all our colonies in order that we may live in welfare and luxury. Only by means of such instigations will we be able to demolish the Ottoman Empire. Otherwise, how could a nation with a small population bring another nation with a greater population under its sway? Look for the mouth of the chasm with all your might, and get in as soon as you find it. You should know that the Ottoman and Iranian Empires have reached the nadir of their lives. Therefore, your first duty is to instigate the people against the administration! History has shown that 'The source of all sorts of revolutions is public rebellions. ' When the unity of
Muslims is broken and the common sympathy among them is impaired, their forces will be dissolved and thus we shall
easily destroy them."
When I arrived in Basra, I settled in a mosque. The imaam of the mosque was a Sunnite person of Arabic origin named Shaikh 'Umar Taaee. When I met him I began to chat with him. Yet he suspected me at the very beginning and subjected me to a shower of questions. I managed to survive this dangerous chat as follows: "I am from Turkey 's Igdir region. I was a disciple of Ahmed Efendi of Istanbul. I worked for a carpenter named Khaali (Haalid)." I gave him some information about Turkey, which I had acquired during my stay there. Also, I said a few sentences in Turkish. The imam made an eye signal to one of the people there and asked him if I spoke Turkish correctly. The answer was positive. Having convinced the imaam, I was very happy. Yet I was wrong. For a few days later, I saw to my disappointment that the imam suspected that I was a Turkish spy. Afterwards, I found out that there was some disagreement and hostility between him and the governor appointed by the (Ottoman) Sultan.
Having been compelled to leave Shaikh 'Umar Efendi 's mosque, I rented a room in an inn for travelers and foreigners and moved there. The owner of the inn was an idiot named Murshid Efendi. Every morning he would disturb me by knocking hard at my door to wake me up as soon as the adhaan for morning prayer was called. I had to obey him. So I would get up and perform the morning prayer. Then he would say, "You shall read Qur 'aan-al kereem after morning prayer." When I told him that it was not fard (an act commanded by Islam) to read Qur 'aan al-kereem and asked him why he should insist so much, he would answer, "Sleeping at this time of day will bring poverty and misfortune to the inn and the inmates." I had to carry out this command of his. For he said otherwise he would send me out of the inn. Therefore, as soon as the adhaan was called, I would perform morning prayer and then read Qur 'aan al-kereem for one hour.
One day Murshid Efendi came to me and said, "Since you rented this room misfortunes have been befalling me. I put it down to your ominousness. For you are single. Being single (unmarried) portends ill omen. You shall either get married or leave the inn." I told him I did not have property enough to get married. I could not tell him what I had told Ahmed Efendi. For Murshid Efendi was the kind of person who would undress me and examine my genitals to see whether I was telling the truth.
When I said so, Murshid Efendi reproved me, saying, "What a weak belief you have! Haven 't you read Allah 's aayat purporting, If they are poor, Allaahu ta 'aalaa will make them rich with His kindness '?" I was stupefied. At last I said, "All right, I shall get married. But are you ready to provide the necessary money? Or can you find a girl who will cost me little?"
After reflecting for a while, Murshid Efendi said, "I don 't care! Either get married by the beginning of Rajab month, or leave the inn." There were only twenty-five days before the beginning of the month of Rajab.
Incidentally, let me mention the Arabic months; Muharram, Safar, Rabi 'ul-awwal, Rabi 'ul-aakhir, Jemaaziy-ul-awwal, Jemaaziy-ul-aakhir, Rajab, Sha 'baan, Ramadaan, Shawwaal, Zilqa 'da, Zilhijja. Their months are neither more than thirty days, nor below twenty-nine. They are based on lunar calculations.
Taking a job as an assistant to a carpenter, I left Murshid Efendi 's inn. We made an agreement on a very low wage, but my lodging and food were to be at the employer 's expense. I moved my belongings to the carpenter 's shop well before the month of Rajab. The carpenter was a manly person. He treated me as if I were his son. He was a Shiite from Khorassan, Iran, and his name was Abd-ur- Ridaa. Taking the advantage of his company, I began to learn Persian. Every afternoon Iranian Shiites would meet at his place and talk on various subjects from politics to economy. Most often than not they would speak ill of their own government and also of the Khaleefa in Istanbul. Whenever a stranger came in they would change the subject and begin to talk on personal matters.
They trusted me very much. However, as I found out later on, they though I was an Azerbaijani because I spokeTurkish.
From time to time a young man would call at our carpenter 's shop. His attirement was that of a student doing scientific research, and he understood Arabic, Persian, and Turkish. His name was Muhammad bin Abd-ul-wahhaab Najdee. This youngster was an extremely rude and very nervous person. While abusing the Ottoman government very much, he would never speak ill of the Iranian government. The common ground which made him and the shop-owner Abd-ur-Ridaa so friendly was that both were inimical towards the Khaleefa in Istanbul. But how was it possible that this young man, who was a Sunnee, understood Persian and was friends with Abd-ur-Ridaa, who was a Shi 'ee? In this city Sunnites pretended to be friendly and even brotherly with Shiites. Most of the city 's inhabitants understood both Arabic and Persian. And most people understood Turkish as well.
Muhammad of Najd was a Sunnee outwardly. Although most Sunnites censured Shiites, in fact, they say that Shiites are disbelievers this man never would revile Shiites. According to Muhammad of Najd, there was no reason for Sunnites to adapt themselves to one of the four madh-habs; he would say, "Allah 's Book does not contain any evidence pertaining to these madh-habs." He purposefully ignored the aayet-i-kereemas in this subject and slighted the hadeeth-i-shereefs.
Concerning the matter of four madh-habs: A century after the death of their Prophet Muhammad 'alaihis- salaam ', four scholars came forward from among Sunnite Muslims: Aboo Haneefa, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Maalik bin Anas, and Muhammad bin Idris Shaafi 'ee. Some Khaleefas forced the Sunnites to imitate one of these four scholars. They said no one except these four scholars could do ijtihaad in Qur 'aan al-kereem or in the Sunna. This movement closed the gates of knowledge and understanding to Muslims. This prohibition of ijtihaad is considered to have been the reason for Islam 's standstill.
Shiites exploited these erroneous statements to promulgate their sect. The number of Shiites was smaller than one- tenth that of Sunnites. But now they have increased and become equal with Sunnites in number. This result is natural. For ijtihaad is like a weapon. It will improve Islam 's fiqh and renovate the understanding of Qur 'aan al- kereem and Sunna. Prohibition of ijtihaad, on the other hand, is like a rotten weapon. It will confine the madh-hab within a certain framework. And this, in its turn, means to close the gates of inference and to disregard the time 's requirements. If your weapon is rotten and your enemy is perfect, you are doomed to be beaten by your enemy sooner or later. I think, the clever ones of the Sunnites will reopen the gate of ijtihaad in future. If they do not do this, they will become the minority and the Shiites will receive a majority in a few centuries.
[However, the imams (leaders) of the four madh-habs hold the same creed, the same belief. There is no difference among them. Their difference is only in worships. And this, in turn, is a facility for Muslims. The Shiites, on the other hand, parted into twelve sects, thus becoming a rotten weapon. There is detailed information in this respect in the book Milal wa Nihal].
The arrogant youngster, Muhammad of Najd, would follow his nafs (his sensuous desires) in understanding the Qur 'aan and the Sunna. He would completely ignore the views of scholars, not only those of the scholars of his time and the leaders of the four madh-habs, but also those of the notable Sahaabees such as Aboo Bakr and 'Umar. Whenever he came across a Koranic (Qur 'aan) verse which he thought was contradictory with the views of those people, he would say, "The Prophet said: I have left the Qur 'aan and the Sunna for you. ' He did not say, I have left the Qur 'aan, the Sunna, the Sahaaba, and the imaams of madh-habs for you. ' Therefore, the thing which is fard is to follow the Qur 'aan and the Sunna no matter how contrary they may seem to be to the views of the madh-habs or to the statements of the Sahaaba and scholars."
During a dinner conversation at Abd-ur-Ridaa 's place, the following dispute took place between Muhammad of Najd and a guest from Kum, a Shiite scholar named Shaikh Jawad:
Shaikh Jawad. Since you accept that 'Alee was a mujtahid, why don 't you follow him like Shiites?
Muhammad of Najd Alee is no different from 'Umar or other Sahaabees. His statements cannot be of a documentary capacity. Only the Qur 'aan and the Sunna are authentic documents. [The fact is that statements made by any of the As-haab-i kiraam are of a documentary capacity. Our Prophet commanded us to follow any one of them].
Shaikh Jawaad Since our Prophet said, "I am the city of knowledge, and 'Alee is its gate," shouldn 't there be difference between 'Alee and the other Sahaaba?
Muhammad of Najd, If 'Alee 's statements were of a documentary capacity, would not the Prophet have said, "I have left you the Qur 'aan, the Sunna, and 'Alee"?
Shaikh Jawaad Yes, we can assume that he (the Prophet) said so. For the stated in a hadeeth-i-shereef, "I leave
(behind me) Allah 's Book and my Ahl-i-Bayt." And 'Alee, in his turn, is the greatest member of the Ahl-i-Bayt. Muhammad of Najd denied that the Prophet had said so.
Shaikh Jawaad confuted Muhammad of Najd with convincing proofs.
However, Muhammad of Najd objected to this and said, "You assert that the Prophet said, I leave you Allah 's Book and my Ahl-i-Bayt." Then, what has become of the Prophet 's Sunna?"
Shaikh Jawad. The Sunna of the Messenger of Allah is the explanation of the Qur 'aan. The Messenger of Allah said, "I leave (you) Allah 's Book and my Ahl-i-Bayt." The phrase 'Allah 's Book ' includes the 'Sunna ', which is an explanation of the former.
Muhammad of Najd. Inasmuch as the statements of the Ahl-i-Bayt are the explanations of the Qur 'aan, why should it be necessary to explain it by hadeeths?
Shaikh Jawaad When hadrat Prophet passed away, his Ummat (Muslims) considered that there should be an explanation of the Qur 'aan which would satisfy the time 's requirements. It was for this reason that hadrat Prophet commanded his Ummat to follow the Qur 'aan, which is the original, and his Ahl-i-Bayt, who were to explain the Qur 'aan in a manner to satisfy the time 's requirements.
I liked this dispute very much. Muhammad of Najd was motionless in front of Shaikh Jawaad, like a house-sparrow in the hands of a hunter.
Muhammad of Najd was the sort I had been looking for. For his scorn for the time 's scholars, his slighting even the (earliest) four Khaleefas, his having an independent view in understanding the Qur 'aan and the Sunna were his most vulnerable points to hunt and obtain him. So different this conceited youngster was from that Ahmed Efendi who had taught me in Istanbul! That scholar, like his predecessors, was reminiscent of a mountain. No power would be able to move him. Whenever he mentioned the name of Aboo Haneefa, he would stand up, go and make ablution. Whenever he meant to hold the book of Hadeeth named Bukhaaree, he would, again, make ablution. The Sunnees trust this book very much.
Muhammad of Najd, on the other hand, disdained Aboo Haneefa very much. He would say, "I know better than Aboo Haneefa did." In addition, according to him, half of the book of Bukhaaree was wrong.
[As I was translating these confessions of Hempher 's into Turkish, I remembered the following event: I was a teacher in a high school. During a lesson one of my students asked, "Sir, if a Muslim is killed in a war, will he become a martyr?" "Yes, he will," I said. "Did the Prophet say so?" "Yes, he did." "Will he become a martyr if he is drowned in sea, too?" "Yes," was my answer. "And in this case he will attain more thawaab." Then he asked, "Will he become a martyr if he falls down from an aeroplane?" "Yes, he will," I said. "Did our Prophet state these, too?" "Yes, he did." Upon this, he smiled in a triumphant air and said, "Sir! Were there aeroplanes in those days?" My answer to him was as follows: "My son! Our Prophet has ninety-nine names. Each of his names stands for a beautiful attribute he was endowed with. One of his names is Jaami 'ul-kalim. He would state many facts in one word. For example, he said, 'He who falls from a height will become a martyr. ' " The child admitted this answer of mine with admiration and gratitude. By the same token, Qur 'aan al-kereem and hadeeth-i-shereefs contain many words, rules, commandments and prohibitions each of which denotes various other meanings. The scientific work carried on to explore these meanings and to apply the right ones to the right cases, is called Ijtihaad. Performing ijtihaad requires having profound knowledge. For this reason, the Sunnees prohibited ignorant people from doing ijtihaad. This does not mean to prohibit ijtihaad. After the fourth century of the Hegiral Era, no scholars were educated so highly as to reach the
grade of an absolute mujtahid [scholar profoundly learned (enough to perform ijtihaad)]; therefore, no one performed
ijtihad, which in turn naturally meant the closure of the gates of ijtihaad. Towards the end of the world, Isaa (Jesus)
'alaihis-salaam ' shall descend from heaven and Mahdee (the expected Islamic hero) shall appear; these people shall perform ijtihaad.
Our Prophet 'sall-allaahu alaihi wa sallam ' stated, "After me Muslims shall part into seventy-three groups. Only one of these groups shall enter Paradise." When he was asked who were to be in that group, he answered, "Those who adapt themselves to me and my Ashaab." In another hadeeth-i-shereef he stated, "My As-haab are like celestial stars. You will attain hidaayat if you follow any one of them!" In other words, he said, "You will attain the way leading to Paradise." A Jew of Yemen, Abdullah bin Saba, by name, instigated hostility against the As-haab among Muslims. Those ignorant people who believed this Jew and bore enmity against the As-haab were called Shi 'ee (Shiite). And people who obeyed the hadeeth-shereefs, loved and followed the As-haab-i-kiraam were called Sunnee (Sunnite).]
I established a very intimate friendship with Muhammad bin Abd-ul-wahhaab of Najd. I launched a campaign of praising him everywhere. One day I said to him: "You are greater than 'Umar and 'Alee. If the Prophet were alive now, he would appoint you as his Khaleefa instead of them. I expect that Islam will be renovated and improved in your hands. You are the only scholar who will spread Islam all over the world."
Muhammad the son of Abd-ul-wahhaab and I decided to make a new interpretation of the Qur 'aan; this new interpretation was to reflect only our points of view and would be entirely contrary to those explanations made by the Sahaaba, by the imaams of madh-habs and by the mufassirs (deeply learned scholars specialized in the explanation of the Qur 'aan). We were reading the Qur 'aan and talking on some of the aayats. My purpose in doing this was to
mislead Muhammad. After all, he was trying to present himself as a revolutionist and would therefore accept my views and ideas with pleasure so that I should trust him all the more.
On one occasion I said to him, "Jihaad (fighting, struggling for Islam) is not fard."
He protested, "Why shouldn 't it be despite Allah 's commandment, 'Make war against unbelievers. '?"
I said, "Then why didn 't the Prophet make war against the munaafiqs despite Allah 's commandment, 'Make Jihaad against unbelievers and munaafiqs." [On the other hand, it is written in Mawaahibu ladunniyya that twenty- seven Jihaads were performed against unbelievers. Their swords are exhibited in Istanbul 's museums. Munaafiqs would pretend to be Muslims. They would perform namaaz with the Messenger of Allah in the Masjeed-i- Nabawee during the days. Rasoolullah 'sall-allaahu alaihi wasallam ' knew them. Yet he did not say, " You are a munaafiq," to any of
them. If he had made war against them and killed them, people would say, "Muhammad 'alaihis- salaam ' killed people
who believed in him." Therefore he made verbal Jihaad against them. For Jihaad, which is fard, is performed with one 's body and/or with one 's property and/or with one 's speech. The aayat-i-kareema quoted above commands to perform Jihaad against unbelievers. It does not define the type of the Jihaad to be performed. For Jihaad against unbelievers must be performed by fighting, and Jihaad against munaafiqs is to be performed by preaching and advice. This aayat-i-kereema covers these types of Jihaad].
He said, "The Prophet made Jihaad against them with his speech."
I said, "Is the Jihaad which is fard (commanded), the one which is to be done with one 's speech?" He said, "Rasoolullah made war against the unbelievers."
I said, "The Prophet made war against the unbelievers in order to defend himself. For the unbelievers intended to kill him."
He nodded.At another time I said to him, "Mut 'a nikaah is permissible." He objected, "No, it is not."
I said, "Allah declares, In return for the use you make of them, give them the mehr you have decided upon '."
He said, " 'Umar prohibited two examples of mut 'a practice existent in his time and said he would punish anyone who practiced it."
I said, "You both say that you are superior to 'Umar and follow him. In addition, 'Umar said he prohibited it though he knew that the Prophet had permitted it. Why do you leave aside the Prophet 's word and obey 'Umar 's word?"
He did not answer. I knew that he was convinced.
I sensed that Muhammad of Najd desired a woman at that moment; he was single. I said to him, "Come on, let us each get a woman by mut 'a nikaah. We will have a good time with them. He accepted with a nod. This was a great opportunity for me, so I promised to find a woman for him to amuse himself. My aim was to ally the timidity he had about people. But he stated it a condition that the matter be kept as a secret between us and that the woman not even be told what his name was. I hurriedly went to the Christian women who had been sent forth by the Ministry of Colonies with the task of seducing the Muslim youth there. I explained the matter to one of them. She accepted to help, so I gave her the nickname Safiyya. I took Muhammad of Najd to her house. Safiyya was at home, alone. We made a one-week marriage contract for Muhammad of Najd, who gave the woman some gold in the name of "Mehr." Thus we began to mislead Muhammad of Najd, Safiyya from within, and I from without.
Muhammad of Najd was thoroughly in Safiyya 's hands now. Besides, he had tasted the pleasure of disobeying the commandments of the Sharee 'at under the pretext of freedom of ijtihaad and ideas.
The third day of the mut 'a nikaah I had a long dispute with him over that hard drinks were not haraam (forbidden by Islam). Although he quoted many aayats and hadeeths showing that it was haraam to have hard drinks, I cancelled all of them and finally said, "It is a fact that Yezeed and the Umayyad and Abbasid Khaleefas had hard drinks. Were they all miscreant people and you are the only adherent of the right way? They doubtless knew the Qur 'aan and the Sunna better than you do. They inferred from the Qur 'aan and the Sunna that the hard drink is makrooh, not haraam. Also, it is written in Jewish and Christian books that alcohol is mubaah (permitted). All religions are Allah 's commandments. In fact, according to a narrative, 'Umar had hard drinks until the revelation of the aayat, 'You haveall given it up, haven 't you?" If it had been haraam, the Prophet would have chastised him. Since the Prophet did not punish him, hard drink is halaal." [The fact is that 'Umar 'radiy-allaahu anh ' used to take hard drinks before they were made haraam. He never drank after the prohibition was declared. If some of the Umayyad and Abbasid Khaleefas took alcoholic drinks, this would not show that drinks with alcohol are makrooh. It would show that they were sinners, that they committed haraam. For the aayat-i-kereema quoted by the spy, as well as other aayat-i-kereemas and hadeeth-i-shereefs, shows that drinks with alcohol are haraam. It is stated in Riyaad-un-naasiheen, "Formerly it was permissible to drink wine. Hadrat 'Umar, Sa 'd ibni Waqqas, and some other Sahaabees used to drink wine. Later the two hundred and nineteenth aayat of Baqara soora was revealed to declare that it was a grave sin. Sometime later the forty-second aayat of Nisaa soora was revealed and it was declared, 'Do not approach the namaaz when you are drunk! '" Eventually, the ninety-third aayat of Maaida soora came and wine was made haraam. It was stated as follows in hadeeth-i- shereefs: "If something would intoxicate in case it were taken in a large amount, it is haraam to take it even in a small amount." and "Wine is the gravest of sins." and "Do not make friends with a person who drinks wine! Do not attend his funeral (when he dies)! Do not form a matrimonial relationship with him!" and "Drinking wine is like worshipping idols." and "May Allaahu ta 'aalaa curse him who drinks wine, sells it, makes it, or gives it."]
Muhammad of Najd said, "According to some narratives, 'Umar drank alcoholic spirits after mixing it with water and said it was not haraam unless it had an intoxicating effect. 'Umar 's view is correct, for it is declared in the Qur 'aan,
'The devil wants to stir up enmity and grudge among you and to keep you from doing dhikr of Allah and from namaaz by means of drinks and gambling. You will give these up now, won 't you? ' Alcoholic spirits will not cause the sins defined in the aayat when it does not intoxicate. Therefore, hard drinks are not haraam when they don 't have an intoxicating effect."
I told Safiyya about this dispute we had on drinks and instructed her to make him drink a very strong spirit. Afterwards, she said, "I did as you said and made him drink. He danced and united with me several times that night." From them on Safiyya and I completely took control of Muhammad of Najd. In our farewell talk the Minister of Colonies had said to me, "We captured Spain from the disbelievers [he means Muslims] by means of alcohol and fornication. Let us take all our lands back by using these two great forces again." Now I know how true a statement it was.
One day I broached the topic of fasting to Muhammad of Najd: "It is stated in the Qur 'aan, 'Your fasting is more auspicious for you. ' It is not stated that fasting is fard (a plain commandment). Then, fasting is sunna, not fard, in theIslamic religion." He protested and said, "Are you trying to lead me out of my faith?" I replied, "One 's faith consists of the purity of one 's heart, the salvation of one 's soul, and not committing a transgression against others ' rights. Did not the Prophet state, 'Faith is love '? Did not Allah declare in Qur 'aan al-kereem, 'Worship thine Rab (Allah) until yaqeen comes to thee? Then, when one has attained yaqeen pertaining to Allah and the Day of Judgement and beautified one 's heart and purified one 's deeds, one will become the most virtuous of mankind." He shook his head in reply to these words of mine.
Once I said to him, "Namaaz is not fard." "How is it not fard?" "Allah declares in the Qur 'aan, 'Perform namaaz to remember Me. ' Then, the aim of namaaz is to remember Allah. Therefore, you might as well remember Allah without performing namaaz."
He said, "Yes. I have heard that some people do dhikr of Allah instead of performing namaaz. ' I was very much pleased with this statement of his. I tried hard to develop this notion and capture his heart. Then I noticed that he did not attach much importance to namaaz and was performing it quite sporadically. He was very negligent especially
with the morning prayer. For I would keep him from going to bed by talking with him until midnight. So he would be too exhausted to get up for morning prayer.
I began to pull down the shawl of belief slowly off the shoulders of Muhammad of Najd. One day I wanted to dispute with him about the Prophet, too. "From now on, if you talk with me on these topics, our relation will be spoilt and I shall put an end to my friendship with you." Upon this I gave up speaking about the Prophet for fear of ruining all my endeavors once and for all.
I advised him to pursue a course quite different from those of Sunnites and Shiites. He favored this idea of mine. For he was a conceited person. Thanks to Safiyya, I put an halter on him.
On one occasion I said, "I have heard that the Prophet made his As-haab brothers to one another. Is it true?" Upon his positive reply, I wanted to know if this Islamic rule was temporary or permanent. He explained, "It is permanent. For the Prophet Muhammad 's halaal is halaal till the end of the world, and his haraam is haraam till the end of the world." Then I offered him to be my brother. So we were brothers.
From that day on I never left him alone. We were together even in his travels. He was very important for me. For the tree that I had planted and grown, spending the most valuable days of my youth, was now beginning to yield its fruit.
I was sending monthly reports to the Ministry of Colonies in London. The answers I received were very encouraging and reassuring. Muhammad of Najd was following the path I had drawn for him.
My duty was to imbue him with feelings of independence, freedom and skepticism. I always praised him, saying that a brilliant future was awaiting him.
One day I fabricated the following dream: "Last night I dreamed of our Prophet. I addressed him with the attributes I had learnt from hodjas. He was seated on a dais. Around him were scholars that I did not know. You entered. Your face was as bright as haloes. You walked towards the Prophet, and when you were close enough the Prophet stood up and kissed between your both eyes. He said, 'You are my namesake, the heir to my knowledge, my deputy in worldly and religious matters. ' You said, 'O Messenger of Allah! I am afraid to explain my knowledge to people. ' 'You are the greatest. Don 't be afraid, ' replied the Prophet."
Muhammad bin Abd-ul-Wahhaab was wild with joy when he heard the dream. He asked several times if what I had told him was true, and received a positive answer each time he asked. Finally he was sure I had told him the truth. I think, from then on, he was resolved to publicize the ideas I had imbued him with and to establish a new sect.
It was on one of those days when Muhammad of Najd and I had become very intimate friends that I received a message from London ordering me to leave for the cities of Kerbelaa and Najaf, the two most popular Shiite centers of knowledge and spirituality. So I had to put an end to my company with Muhammad of Najd and leave Basra. Yet I was happy because I was sure that this ignorant and morally depraved man was going to establish a new sect, which in turn would demolish Islam from within, and that I was the composer of the heretical tenets of this new sect.
'Alee, the fourth Khaleefa of the Sunnites, and the first one according to the Shiites, was buried in Najaf. The city of Koofa, which was a distance of one fersah (league), i.e., an hour 's walk from Najaf, was the capital of 'Alee 's caliphate. When 'Alee was killed, his sons Hasan and Huseyn buried him outside Koofa at a place called Najaf today. In the course of time, Najaf began to grow, while Koofa gradually fell into decay. The Shiite men of religion came together in Najaf. Houses, markets, madrasas (Islamic schools and universities) were built.
The Khaleefa in Istanbul was kind and generous to them for the following reasons:
1- The Shiite administration in Iran was supporting the Shiites. The Khaleefa 's interfering with them would cause tension between the states, which in turn could lead to warfare.
2- The inhabitants of Najaf included a number of armed tribes supporting the Shiites. Although they did not havemuch significance in terms of weaponry and organization, it would be unwise for the Khaleefa to run the risk of getting into trouble with them.
3- The Shiites in Najaf had authority over the Shiites all over the world, particularly those in Africa and India. If the
Khaleefa disturbed them, all the Shiites would rise against him.
Huseyn bin 'Alee, the Prophet 's grandson, i.e., his daughter Faatima 's son, was martyred in Kerbelaa. The people of Iraq had sent for Huseyn in Medina and invited him to Iraq to elect him their Khaleefa. Huseyn and his family were in the territory called Kerbelaa when the Iraqis gave up their former intention and, acting upon the order given by Yazeed bin Muaawiya, the Umayyad Khaleefa living in Damascus, set out with the intention of arresting him. Huseyn and his family put up a heroic last-ditch fight against the Iraqi army. The battle ended in their death, so the Iraqi army was the winning side. Since that day, the Shiites have accepted Kerbelaa as their spiritual center, so that Shiites from all over the world come here and form such a huge crowd that our religion of Christianity does not have a likeness to it.
Kerbelaa, a Shiite city, contains Shiite madrasas. This city and Najaf support each other. Upon receiving the order to go to these two cities, I left Basra for Baghdad, and thence to a city named 'Hulla ' situated alongside the Euphrates.
The Tigris and Euphrates come from Turkey, cut through Iraq, and flow into the Persian Gulf. Iraq 's agriculture and welfare are due to these two rivers.
When I was back in London, I proposed to the Ministry of Colonies that a project could be drawn up to change the beds of these two rivers in order to make Iraq accept our proposals. When the water was cut off, Iraq would have to satisfy our demands.
From Hulla to Najaf I travelled in the guise of an Azerbaijani tradesman. Establishing close friendships with Shiite men of religion, I began to mislead them. I joined their circles of religious instruction. I saw that they did not study science like the Sunnites, nor did they have the beautiful moral qualities possessed by the Sunnites. For example:
1- They were extremely inimical towards the Ottoman State. For they were Shiites and the Turks were Sunnites. They said that the Sunnites were disbelievers.
2- The Shiite scholars were entirely absorbed in religious teachings and had very little interest in worldly knowledge, as was the case with priests during the period of standstill in our history.
3- They were quite unaware of Islam 's inner essence and sublime character, nor did they have the smallest notion of the time 's scientific and technical improvements.
I said to myself: What a wretched sort of people these Shiites are. They are sound asleep when the whole world is awake. One day a flood will come and take them all away. Several times I attempted to entice them to revolt against the Khaleefa. Unfortunately, no one would even listen to me. Some of them laughed at me as though I had told them to destroy the earth. For they looked on the Khaleefa as a fortress impossible to capture. According to them, they would get rid of the caliphate with the advent of the promised Mahdi.
According to them, Mahdi was their twelfth imaam, who was a descendant of Islam 's Prophet and who disappeared in the Hijree year 255. They believed he was still alive and would one day reappear and rescue the world from this state of utter cruelty and injustice, filling it with justice.
It is consternating! How come these Shiite people believe in these superstitions! It was like the superstitious doctrine, "Jesus Christ will come back and fill the world with justice," held by our Christians.
One day I said to one of them: "Isn 't it fard for you to prevent injustice like the Islamic Prophet did?" His reply was: "He managed to prevent injustice because Allah helped him." When I said, "It is written in the Qur 'aan, If you help Allah 's religion, He will help you in return. ' "If you revolt against the torture of your shaahs, Allah will help you" He answered, "You are a tradesman. These are scientific matters. You cannot understand this."
The mausoleum of Alee the Emeer-ul-mu 'mineen was profusely decorated. It had a splendid yard, a gold-covered dome, and two tall minarets. Every day great numbers of Shiites visited this mausoleum. They performed namaaz in jamaa 'at in it. Every visitor first stooped in front of the threshold, kissed it, and then greeted the grave. They asked for permission and then entered. The mausoleum had a vast yard, which contained numerous rooms for men of religion and visitors.
There were two mausoleums similar to that of 'Alee 's in Kerbelaa. One of them belonged to Huseyn and the other belonged his brother Abbaas, who had been martyred with him in Kerbelaa. In Kerbelaa the Shiites repeated the same practices as they did in Najaf. The climate of Kerbelaa was better than that of Najaf. It was surrounded with graceful orchards and lovely brooks.
During my mission to Iraq I met with a scene that gave relief to my heart. Some events heralded the end of the Ottoman Empire. For one thing, the governor appointed by the administration in Istanbul was an uneducated and cruel person. He acted as he wished. The people did not like him. The Sunnites were uneasy because the governor restricted their freedom and did not value them, and the Shiites felt indignant over being governed by a Turk while among them there were sayyeds and shareefs, the Prophet 's descendants, who would have been a much better choice for governorship.
The Shiites were in an utterly woebegone situation. They lived in squalid and dilapidated environments. The roads were not safe. Highwaymen always awaited caravans, and attacked whenever they saw that there were no soldiers escorting them. For this reason, convoys would not set out unless the government would appoint a detachment to escort them.
The Shiite tribes were mostly warlike with one another. They killed and plundered one another daily. Ignorance and illiteracy were dreadfully widespread. This state of the Shiites reminded me of the time when Europe had been under an ecclesiastical invasion. With the exclusion of the religious leaders living in Najaf and Kerbelaa and a small minority, who were their votaries, not even one out of every thousand Shiites knew how to read or write.
The economy had collapsed entirely, and the people were suffering utter poverty. The administrative system was quite out of order. The Shiites committed treasons against the government.
The State and the people viewed each other with suspicion. As a result, there was no mutual aid between them. The Shiite religious leaders, totally given to vituperating the Sunnites, had already relinquished knowledge; business, religious and worldly alike.
I stayed in Kerbelaa and in Najaf for four months. I suffered a very serious illness in Najaf. I felt so bad that I completely gave up hope of recovery. My illness lasted three weeks. I went to a doctor. He gave me a prescription. Using the medicine, I began to recover. Throughout my illness I stayed in an underground room. Because I was ill, my host prepared my medicine and food in return for an insignificant sum of money and expected great thawaab for serving me. For I was, so to speak, a visitor of 'Alee the Emeer-ul-mu 'mineen. The doctor advised me to have only chicken broth during the first few days. Later on he permitted me to eat chicken as well. The third week I had rice soup. After becoming well again I left for Baghdad. I prepared a report of one hundred pages on my observations in
Najaf, Hulla, and Baghdad and while on the way. I submitted the report to the Baghdad representative of the Ministry of Colonies. I waited for the Ministry 's order on whether I should remain in Iraq or return to London.
I wished to go back to London. For I had been abroad for a long time. I missed my homeland and my family. Especially, I wanted to see my son Rasputin, who had been born after my departure. For this reason, I appended to my report a petition for permission to return to London for a short time at least. I wanted to give an oral report of impressions about my three years ' mission in Iraq and to get some rest in the meantime. The Iraq representative of the Ministry advised me not to call on him often lest I should arouse suspicion. He also advised to rent a room in one of the inns alongside the Tigris River, and said, "I shall inform you of the Ministry 's answer when we receive the mail from London." During my stay in Baghdad I observed the spiritual distance between Istanbul, the capital of the caliphate, and Baghdad.
When I left Basra for Kerbelaa and Najaf, I was very much anxious that Muhammad of Najd would swerve from the direction I had led him. For he was an extremely unstable and nervous person. I feared that the aims I had built upon him might be spoilt.
As I left him he was thinking of going to Istanbul. I did my best to dissuade him from the notion. I said, "I am very anxious that when you go there you may make a statement whereby they will pronounce you a heretic and kill you."
My apprehension was quite the other way round. I was anxious that upon going there he should meet profound scholars capable of setting his fallacies right and converting him to the Sunnee creed and thus all my dreams should come to naught. For there was knowledge and Islam 's beautiful morality in Istanbul.
When I found out that Muhammad of Najd did not want to stay in Basra, I recommended that he go to Isfahan and Sheeraaz. For these two cities were lovely. And their inhabitants were Shiites. And Shiites, in their turn, could not possibly influence Muhammad of Najd. For Shiites were inefficient in knowledge and ethics. Thus I made it certain that he would not change the course I had charted for him.
As we parted I said to him, "Do you believe in Taqiyya?" "Yes, I do," he replied. "The unbelievers arrested one of the Sahaaba and tormented him and killed his parents. Upon this he made Taqiyya, that is, he said openly that he was a polytheist. (When he came back and said what had happened), the Prophet did not reproach him at all." I advised him, "When you live among the Shiites, make Taqiyya; do not tell them that you are Sunnee lest they become a nuisance for you. Utilize their country and scholars! Learn their customs and traditions. For they are ignorant and stubborn people."
As I left, I gave him some money as zakaat. Zakaat is an Islamic tax collected in order to be dealt out to the needy people. In addition, I gave him a saddled animal as a present. So we parted.
After my departure I lost contact with him. This made me utterly uneasy. When we parted we decided that both of us were to return to Basra and whichever party was back first and did not find the other party was to write a letter and leave it with Abd-ur-Reedaa.
I stayed in Baghdad for a time. Then, receiving the message ordering me to return to London, I left. In London, I talked with the secretary and some officials of the Ministry. I told them of my activities and observations during my long mission. They rejoiced greatly at the information I gave about Iraq and said that they were pleased. On the other hand, Safiyya, the girl friend of Muhammad of Najd, sent a report agreeing with mine. I found out also that throughout my mission I had been followed by men from the Ministry. These men also sent reports concurrent with the reports I had sent and with the account I had given to the secretary.
The secretary made an appointment for me to meet the Minister. When I visited the Minister, he met me in a manner that he had not shown towards me upon my arrival from Istanbul. I knew that I occupied an exceptional place in his heart now.
The minister was very pleased to know that I had obtained Muhammad of Najd. "He is a weapon our Ministry has been looking for. Give him all sorts of promises. It would be worth while if you spent all your time indoctrinating him," he said. When I said, "I have been anxious about Muhammad of Najd. He may have changed his mind," he replied, "Don 't worry. He has not given up the ideas he had when you left him. The spies of our Ministry met him in Isfahan and reported to our Ministry that he had not changed." I said to myself, "How could Muhammad of Najd reveal his secrets to a stranger?" I did not dare to ask this question to the Minister. However, when I met Muhammad of Najd later, I found out that in Isfahan a man named Abd-ul-kereem had met him and ferreted out his secrets by saying, "I am Shaikh Muhammad 's [meaning me] brother. He told me all that he knew about you."
Muhammad of Najd said to me, "Safiyya went with me to Isfahan and we cohabited with mut 'a nikaah for two more months. Abd-ul-kereem accompanied me to Sheeraaz and found me a woman named Asiya, who was prettier and more attractive than Safiyya. Making mut 'a nikaah with that woman, I spent the most delightful moments of my life with her."
I found out later that Abd-ul-kereem was a Christian agent living in the Jelfa district of Isfahan and working for the Ministry. And Asiya, a Jewess living in Sheeraaz, was another agent for the Ministry. All four of us coordinated to train Muhammad of Najd in such a way that in future he would do what was excepted from him in the best way.
When I related the events in the presence of the Minister, the secretary, and two other members of the Ministry whom I did not know, the Minister said to me, "You have deserved to receive the greatest award of the Ministry. For you are the best one among the most significant agents of the ministry. The secretary will tell you some State secrets, which will help you in your mission."
Then they gave me a ten-day leave during which I could see my family. So I went home right away and spent some of my sweetest moments with my son, who resembled me very much. My son spoke a few words, and walked so elegantly that I felt as if he were a piece from my own body. I spent this ten-day leave so cheerfully, so happily. I felt as if I were going to fly from joy. It was such a great pleasure to be back home, to be with my family. During this ten- day leave I visited my old paternal aunt, who loved me very much. It was wise of me to visit my paternal aunt. For
she passed away after my departure for my third mission. I felt so sad about her decease.
This ten-day leave elapsed as fast as an hour. Whereas cheerful days such as these go by as quickly as an hour, days of grief seem to take centuries. I remembered the days when I had suffered that illness in Najaf. Those days of affliction had seemed like years to me.
When I went to the Ministry to receive new orders, I met the secretary with this cheerful face and tall stature. He shook my hand so warmly that his affection was perceptible. He said to me, "With the command of our minister and the committee in charge of Colonies, I shall tell you two State secrets. Later you will benefit very much from these two secrets. No one except a couple of confidential people know these two secrets."
Holding my hand, he took me to a room in the Ministry. I met with something very attractive in this room. Ten men were sitting around a round table. The first man was in the guise of the Ottoman Emperor. He spoke Turkish and English. The second one was dressed in the attire of the Shaikh-ul-islaam (Chief of Islamic Matters) in Istanbul. The third one was dressed in an attirement identical with that of the Shah of Iran. The fourth one was in the attire of the vizier in the Iranian palace. The fifth one was dressed like the great scholar leading the Shiites in Najaf. The last three of these people spoke Persian and English. Each of these five people had a clerk sitting beside him to write down whatever they would say. These clerks were imparting to the five men the information collected by spies about their archetypes in Istanbul, Iran, and Najaf.
The secretary said, "These five people represent the five people there. In order to know what their archetypes think, we have educated and trained these people exactly like their archetypes. We intimate the information we have obtained about their originals in Istanbul, Teheran and Najaf to these men. And these men, in their turn, imagine themselves to be their originals in those places. Then we ask them and they answer us. We have determined that the answers given by these people are seventy-percent agreeable with the answers that their originals would give.
"If you like, you may ask questions for assessment. You have already met the scholar of Najaf." I replied in the affirmative, for I had met the great Shiite scholar in Najaf and asked him about some matters. Now I approached his copy and said, "Dear teacher, would it be permissible for us to wage war against the government because it is Sunnee and fanatical?" He reflected for a while, and said, "No, it is not permissible for us to wage war against the government because it is Sunnee. For all Muslims are brothers. We could declare war on them (Sunnite Muslims) only if they perpetrated cruelty and persecution on the Ummat (Muslims). And even in this case we would observe the principles
of Amr-i-bi-l-ma 'roof and Nahy-i-ani-l-munkar. We would stop interfering with them as soon as they stopped their persecution."
I said, "Dear teacher, may I have your opinion concerning the matter that Jews and Christians are foul?" "Yes, they are foul," he said. "It is necessary to keep away from them." When I asked the reason why, he replied, "It is done so in retaliation for an insult. For they look on us as disbelievers and deny our Prophet Muhammad 'alaihis-salaam '. We therefore retaliate for this." I said to him, "Dear teacher, isn 't cleanliness an issue of eemaan? Despite this fact, the avenues and streets around the Sahn-i-shareef [the area surrounding hadrat 'Alee 's mausoleum] are not clean. Even the madrasas, which are the places of knowledge, cannot be said to be clean." He replied, "Yes, it is true; cleanliness is from eemaan. Yet it cannot be helped because the Shiites are negligent over cleanliness."
The answers given by this man in the Ministry were precisely concurrent with the answers I had received from the Shiite scholar in Najaf. Such accurate identity between this man and the scholar in Najaf amazed me utterly. In addition, this man spoke Persian.
The secretary said, "If you had met the archetypes of the other four personages, you would talk to their imitations now and see how identical they are with their originals." When I said, "I know how the Shaikh-ul-islaam thinks. For Ahmad Efendi, my hodja in Istanbul, gave a detailed description of the Shaikh-ul-islaam to me," the secretary said, "Then you can go ahead and talk with his model."
I went near the Shaikh-ul-islaam 's model and said to him, "Is it fard to obey the Khaleefa?" "Yes, it is waajib," he replied. "It is waajib, as it is fard to obey Allah and the Prophet." When I asked what evidence he had to prove this, he answered, "Didn 't you hear about Janaab-i-Allah 's aayat, 'Obey Allah, His Prophet, and the Ulul amr from among you '?" I said, "Does this mean that Allah commands us to obey the Khaleefa Yazeed, who permitted his army to plunder Medeena and who killed our Prophet 's grandson Huseyn, and Waleed who drank alcoholic spirits?" His answer was this: "My son! Yazeed was the Ameer-ul-mu 'mineen with Allah 's permission. He did not command the killing of Huseyn. Do not believe in the Shiite lies! Read the books well! He made a mistake. Then he made tawba for this (he repented and begged for Allah 's forgiveness and mercy). He was right about his ordering Medina-i-munawwara plundered. For the inhabitants of Medina had become quite unbridled and disobedient. As for Waleed; yes, he was a sinner. It is waajib not to imitate the Khaleefa, but to obey his commandments compatible with the Sharee 'at." I had asked these same questions to my hodja Ahmed Efendi and received identical answers with slight differences. Then I asked the secretary, "What are the ultimate reasons for preparing these models?" He said, "With this method we are assessing the mental capacities of the (Ottoman) Sultan and the Muslim scholars, be they Shi 'ee or Sunnee. We are searching for the measures that will help us cope with them. For instance, if you know what direction the enemy
forces will come from, you will make preparations accordingly, post your forces at suitable positions, and thus rout the enemy. On the other hand, if you aren 't sure about the direction of the enemy assault you will spread your forces here and there in a haphazard way and suffer a defeat. ... By the same token, if you know the evidences Muslims will furnish to prove that their faith, their madh-hab is right, it will be possible for you to prepare the counter-evidences to rebut their evidences and shock their belief with those counter-evidences."
Then he gave me a book of one thousand pages containing the results of the observations and projects carried out by the aforenamed five representative men in areas such as military, finance, education, and religion. He said, "Please read this book and return it to us." I took the book home with me. I read through it with utmost attention during my three-week holiday.
The book was of a wonderful sort. For the important answers and the delicate observations it contained sounded genuine. I think that the answers given by the representative five men were more than seventy percent agreeable with the answers that their archetypes would have given. Indeed, the secretary had said that the answers were seventy percent correct.
Having read the book, I now had more confidence in my State and I knew for certain that the plans for demolishing the Ottoman Empire in time shorter than a century had already been prepared. The secretary also said, "In other similar rooms we have identical tables intended for countries we have been colonizing as well as for those we are planning to colonize." When I asked the secretary where they found such diligent and talented men, he replied, "Our agents all over the world are providing us intelligence continuously. As you see, these representatives are experts in their work. Naturally, if you were furnished with all the information possessed by a particular person, you would be able to think like him and to make the decisions he would make. For you would be his substitute now."
The secretary went on, "So this was the first secret I was ordered by the Ministry to give you.
"I shall tell you the second secret a month later, when you return the book of one thousand pages."
I read the book part by part from the beginning to the end, focusing all my attention on it. It increased my information about the Muhammadans. Now I knew how they thought, what their weaknesses were, what made them powerful, and how to transform their powerful qualities into vulnerable spots.
Muslims ' weak spots as recorded in the book were as follows:
1. The Sunnite-Shiite controversy; the sovereign-people controversy; the Turkish-Iranian controversy; the tribal controversy; and the scholars-states controversy.
2. With very few exceptions, Muslims are ignorant and illiterate.
3. Lack of spirituality, knowledge, and conscience.
4. They have completely ceased from worldly business and are absorbed in matters pertaining to the Hereafter.
5. The emperors are cruel dictators.
6. The roads are unsafe, transportation and travels are sporadic.
7. No precaution is taken against epidemics such as plague and cholera, which kill tens of thousands of people each year; hygiene is altogether ignored.
8. The cities are in ruins, and there is no system of supplying water.
9. The administration is unable to cope with rebels and insurgents, there is a general disorderliness, rules of the
Qur 'aan, of which they are so proud, are almost never put into practice.
10. Economical collapse, poverty, and retrogression.
11. There is not an orderly army, nor adequate weaponry; and the weapons in stock are classical and friable. [Are they unaware of the systematic army established by Orhan Ghaazee, who ascended to the (Ottoman) throne in
726 (C.E. 1326), Yildirim (The Thunderbolt) Baayezeed Khan 's immaculate army, which routed the great army of crusaders in Nighbolu in 799 (C.E. 1399)?]
12. Violation of women 's right.
13. Lack of environmental health and cleanliness(42).
After citing what was considered as Muslims ' vulnerable spots in the paragraphs paraphrased above, the book advised to cause Muslims to remain oblivious of the material and spiritual superiority of their faith, Islam. Then, it gave the following information about Islam:
1. Islam commands unity and cooperation and prohibits disunion. It is stated in the Qur 'aan, "Hold fast to Allah 's rope altogether."
2. Islam commands being educated and being conscious. It is stated in the Qur 'aan, "Travel on the earth."
3. Islam commands to acquire knowledge. It is stated in a hadeeth, "Learning knowledge is fard for every Muslim, male and female alike."
4. Islam commands to work for the world. It is stated in the Qur 'aan, "Some of them: O our Allah! Allot to us whatever is beautiful both in the world and in the Hereafter."
5. Islam commands consultation. It is stated in the Qur 'aan, "Their deeds are (done) upon consultation among themselves."
6. Islam commands to build roads. It is stated in the Qur 'aan, "Walk on the earth."
7. Islam commands Muslims to maintain their health. It is stated in a hadeeth, "Knowledge is (made up) of four (parts): 1) The knowledge of Fiqh for the maintenance of faith; 2) The knowledge of Medicine for the maintenance of health; 3) The knowledge of Sarf and Nahw (Arabic grammar) for the maintenance of language; 4) The knowledge of Astronomy so as to be aware of the times."
8. Islam commands development. It is stated in the Qur 'aan, "Allah created everything on the earth for you."
9. Islam commands orderliness. It is stated in the Qur 'aan, "Everything is based on calculations, orders."
10. Islam commands to be strong economically. It is stated in a hadeeth. "Work for your world as though you would never die. And work for your hereafter as if you were going to die tomorrow."
11. Islam commands to establish an army equipped with powerful weapons. It is stated in the Qur 'aan, "Prepare as many forces as you can against them."
12. Islam commands to observe women 's rights and to value them. It is stated in the Qur 'aan, "As men legally have (rights) over women, so women have rights over them."
13. Islam commands cleanliness. It is stated in a hadeeth, "Cleanliness is from eemaan." The book recommended to degenerate and to impair the following power sources:
1. 1- Islam has negated racial, lingual, traditional, conventional, and national bigotry.
2. Interest, profiteering, fornication, alcoholic spirits, and pork are forbidden.
3. Muslims are firmly adherent to their 'Ulamaa (religious scholars).
4. Most of the Sunnee Muslims accept the Khaleefa as the Prophet 's representative. They believe that it is fard to show him the same respect as must be shown to Allah and the Prophet.
5. Jihaad is fard.
6. According to the Shee 'ee Muslims, all non-Muslims and Sunnee Muslims are foul people.
7. All Muslims believe that Islam is the only true religion.
8. Most Muslims believe that it is fard to expel the Jews and Christians from the Arab peninsula.
9. They perform their worships, (such as namaaz, fast, hajj...), in the most beautiful way.
10. The Shi 'ee Muslims believe that it is Haraam (forbidden) to build churches in Muslim countries.
11. Muslims hold fast to the principles of the Islamic belief.
12. The Shi 'ee Muslims consider it fard to give one-fifth of the Humus, i.e. booties taken in Holy War, to the
13. Muslims raise their children with such education that they are not likely to abandon the way followed by their ancestors.
14. Muslim women cover themselves so well that mischief can by no means act on them.
15. Muslims make namaaz in jamaa 'at, which brings them together five times daily.
16. Because the Prophet 's grave and those of Alee and other pious Muslims are sacred according to them, they assemble at these places.
17. There are a number of people descending from the Prophet, [who are called Sayyeds and Shereefs]; these people who remind of the Prophet and who keep Him always remain alive in the eyes of Muslims.
18. When Muslims assemble, preachers consolidate their eemaan and motivate them to do pious acts.
19. It is fard to perform Amr-i-bi-l-ma 'roof [Advising piety] and nahy-i-ani-l-munkar [admonishing against wrongdoing].
20. It is sunnat to marry more than one women in order to contribute to the increase of Muslim population.
21. Converting one person to Islam is more valuable to a Muslim than possessing the whole world.
22. The hadeeth, "If a person opens an auspicious way, he will attain the thawaabs of people who follow that way as well as the thawaab for having attained it," is well known among Muslims.
23. Muslims hold the Qur 'aan and hadeeths in very profound reverence. They believe that obeying these sources is the only way of attaining Paradise.
The book recommends to vitiate Muslims ' staunch spots and to popularize their weaknesses, and it prescribed the methods for accomplishing this.
It advised the following steps for popularizing their vulnerable spots:
1. Establish controversies by inducing animosity among disputing groups, inoculating mistrust, and by publishing literature to further incite controversies.
2. Obstruct schooling and publications, and burn literature whenever possible. Make sure that Muslim children remain ignorant by casting various aspersions on religious authorities and thus preventing Muslim parents from sending their children to religious schools. [This British method has been very harmful to Islam].
3. Praise Paradise in their presence and convince them that they need not work for a worldly life. Enlarge the circles of Tasawwuf. Keep them in an unconscious state by encouraging them to read books advising Zuhd, such as Ihyaa-ul- 'uloom-id-deen, by Ghazaalee, Mesnevee, by Mawlaanaa, and various books written by Muhyiddeen Arabee.
4. Wheedle the emperors into cruelty and dictatorship by the following demagogic falsifications: You are Allah 's shadows on the earth. In fact, Aboo Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthmaan, 'Alee, Umayyads and Abbasids came to seize power by sheer force and the sword, and each of them was a sovereign. For example, Aboo Bakr assumed power with the help of 'Umar 's sword and by setting fire to the houses of those who would not obey him, such as Faatima 's house. And 'Umar became Khaleefa upon Aboo Bakr 's commendation. 'Uthmaan, on the other hand, became the president with 'Umar 's order. As for 'Alee; he became head of the State by an election held among bandits. Muaawiya assumed power by the sword. Then, in the time of the Umayyads, sovereignty was turned into an inheritance transferred through paternal chain. So was the case with the Abbasids. These are the evidences for the fact that in Islam sovereignty is a form of dictatorship.
5. Delete death penalty for homicide from the penal code. [Death punishment is the only deterrent to homicide and banditry. Anarchy and banditry cannot be prevented without death penalty]. Hinder the administration in punishing highwaymen and robbers. Make sure that traveling is unsafe by supporting and arming them.
6. We can make them lead an unhealthy life with the following scheme: Everything is dependent on Allah 's foreordination. Medical treatment will have no role in restoring health. Does not Allah say in the Qur 'aan, "My Rab (Allah) makes me eat and drink. He cures me when I am ill. He alone will kill me and then resurrect me." Then, no one will recover from an illness or escape death outside Allah 's will.
7. Make the following statements for encouraging cruelty: Islam is a religion of worship. It has no interest in State matters. Therefore, Muhammad and his Khaleefas did not have any ministers or laws.
8. Economic decline is a natural consequence of the injurious activities advised so far. We can add to the atrophy by rotting the crops, sinking the trade ships, setting fire to the market places, destroying dams and barrages and thus leaving agricultural areas and industrial centers under water, and finally by contaminating their networks of drinking water.
9. Accustom statesmen to such indulgences as [sex, sports,] alcohol, gambling, corruption which cause sedition and intriguing, and spending the State property for their personal advantages. Encourage the civil servants to do things of this sort and reward those who serve us in this way. Then the book added the following advice: The British spies assigned this duty must be protected secretly or openly, and no expense must be spared to rescue the ones arrested by Muslims.
10. Popularize all sorts of interest. For interest not only ruins national economy, but also accustoms Muslims to disobeying the Koranic rules. Once a person has violated one article of law, it will be easy for him to violate the other articles, too. They must be told that "interest is haraam when in multiples, for it is stated in the Qur 'aan,
'Do not receive interest in multiples. 'Therefore, not every form of interest is haraam." [The pay-off time of a loan must not be appointed in advance. Any extra payment agreed on (at the time of lending) is interest. This type of interest is a grave sin, be the extra payment stipulated worth only a dirham. If it is stipulated that the same amount (borrowed) must be repaid after a certain time, this is interest according to the Hanafee madh- hab. In sales on credit, time of repayment must be appointed; yet if the debtor cannot pay off at the appointed time and the time is protracted and an extra payment is stipulated, this kind of interest is called Mudaa 'af. The aayat-i-kareema quoted above states this type of interest in trade].
11. Spread false charges of atrocity against scholars, cast sordid aspersions against them and thus alienate Muslims from them. We shall disguise some of our spies as them. Then we shall have them commit squalid deeds. Thus they will be confused with scholars and every scholar will be looked upon with suspicion. It is a must to infiltrate these spies into Al-Az-har, Istanbul, Najaf, and Kerbelaa. We shall open schools, colleges for estranging Muslims from scholars. In these schools we shall educate Byzantine, Greek and Armenian children and bring them up as the enemies of Muslims. As for Muslim children; we shall imbue them with the conviction that their ancestors were ignorant people. In order to make these children hostile towards Khaleefas, scholars, and statesmen, we shall tell them about their errors and convince them that they were busy with their
sensuous pleasures, that Khaleefas spent their time having fun with concubines, that they misused the people 's property, that they did not obey the Prophet in anything they did.
12. In order to spread the calumniation that Islam abhors womankind, we shall quote the aayat, "Men are dominant over women," and the hadeeth, "The woman is an evil altogether."
13. Dirtiness is the result of lack of water. Therefore, we must deter the increasing of the water supplies under various schemes.
The book advised the following steps for destroying Muslims ' strongholds:
1. Induce such chauvinistic devotions as racism and nationalism among Muslims so as to retract their attention towards their pre-Islamic heroisms. Rejuvenate the Pharaoh period in Egypt, the Magi period in Iran, the Babylonian period in Iraq, the Attila and Dzengiz era[tyrannisms] in the Ottomans. [They contained a long list on this subject].
2. The following vices must be done secretly or publicly: Alcoholic spirits, gambling, fornication, pork, [and fights among sports clubs.] In doing this, Christians, Jews, Magians, and other non-Muslims living in Muslim countries
should be utilized to a maximum, and those who work for this purpose should be awarded high salaries by the treasury department of the Ministry of the Commonwealth.
3. Sow suspicion among them concerning Jihaad; convince them that Jihaad was a temporary commandment and that it has been outdated.
4. Dispel the notion that "disbelievers are foul" from the hearts of Shiites. Quote the Koranic verse, "As the food of those given a (heavenly) Book is halaal for you, so is your food halaal for them," and tell them that the Prophet had a Jewish wife named Safiyya and a Christian wife named Maariya and that the Prophet 's wives were not
foul at all.
5. Imbue Muslims with the belief that "what the Prophet meant by Islam ' was 'a perfect religion ' and therefore this religion could be Judaism or Christianity as well as Islam." Substantiate this with the following reasoning: The Qur 'aan gives the name 'Muslim ' to members of all religions. For instance, it quotes the Prophet Joseph (Yoosuf
'alaihis-salaam ') as having invoked, "Kill me as a Muslim," and the Prophets Ibraaheem and Ismaa 'eel as having prayed, "O our Rab (Allah)! Make us Muslims for Yourself and make a Muslim people for Yourself from among our offspring,"and the Prophet Ya 'qoob as having said to his sons, "Die only and only as Muslims."
6. Repeat frequently that it is not haraam to build churches, that the Prophet and his Khaleefas did not demolish them, that on the contrary they respected them, that the Qur 'aan states, "If Allah had not dispelled some people by means of others, monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques wherein Allah 's name is mentioned very much would have been annihilated (by now)," that Islam respects temples, that it does not demolish them, and that it prevents those who would otherwise demolish them.
7. Confuse Muslims about the hadeeths, "Deport the Jews from the Arabic Peninsula," and, "Two religions cannot coexist on the Arabic peninsula." Say that "If these two hadeeths were true, the Prophet would not have had a Jew wife and a Christian one. Nor would he have made an agreement with the Najran Christians."
8. Try to hamper Muslims in their worships and make them falter about the usefulness of worships by saying that "Allah does not need men 's worships." Prevent them from their worship of Hajj as well as from any sort of worship that will bring them together. Likewise, try to obstruct construction of mosques, mausoleums and madrasas and the restoration of Ka 'ba.
9. Mystify the Shiites about the rule that one-fifth of the ghaneema property taken from the enemy in combat is to be given to the 'Ulamaa and explain that this one-fifth belongs to the ghaneema property taken from (Daar- ul-harb) and that it has nothing to do with commercial earnings. Then add that "Humus (the one-fifth mentioned above) is to be given to the Prophet or to the Khaleefa, not to the 'Ulamaa. For the 'Ulamaa are given houses, palaces, animals, and orchards. Therefore, it is not permissible to give them the (Humus)."
10. Insert heresies into Muslims ' creedal tenets and then criticize Islam for being a religion of terror. Assert that Muslim countries are retrogressive and that they have undergone shocks, thus impairing their adherence to Islam. [On the other hand, Muslims established the greatest and the most civilized empire of the world. They declined as their adherence to Islam deteriorated].
11. Very important! Alienate children from their fathers, thus depriving them of their elders ' education. We shall educate them. Consequently, the moment children have parted from their fathers ' education, there will no longer be any possibility for them to maintain contact with their belief, faith, or religious scholars.
12. Provoke the womenfolk to get rid of their traditional covers. Fabricate such falsifications as "Covering is not a genuine Islamic commandment. It is a tradition established in the time of the Abbasids. Formerly, other people would see the Prophet 's wives and women would join all sorts of social activities." After stripping the woman of her traditional cover, tempt the youth towards her and cause indecencies between them! This is a very
effective method for annihilating Islam. First use non-Muslim women for this purpose. In the course of time the
Muslim woman will automatically degenerate and will begin to follow their example.
13. Exploit every opportunity to put an end to performing namaaz in jamaa 'at by casting aspersions on the imaams in mosques, by revealing their mistakes, and by sowing discord and adversity between them and the jamaa 'ats
(groups of Muslims) who perform their daily prayers of namaaz behind them.
14. Say that all mausoleums must be demolished to the ground, that they did not exist in the Prophet 's time. In addition, deter Muslims from visiting the graves of Prophets, Khaleefas and pious Muslims by arising doubts about visiting graves. For instance say, "The Prophet was buried by his mother and Aboo Bekr and 'Umar were buried in the cemetery called Baakee '. 'Uthmaan 's grave is unknown. Huseyn 's head was buried at (a place called) Hannana. It is not known where his body was buried. The graves in Kaazimiyya belong to two caliphs. They do not belong to Kaazim and Jawaad, two descendants of the Prophet. As to the one in Tus (city); that grave belongs to Haarun, not to Ridaa, a member of the Ahl-i-Bayt (the Prophet 's Family). The graves in Samerra belong to the Abbasids. They do not belong to Haadee, Askeree, and Mahdee, members of the Ahl-i- Bayt. As it is fard to demolish all the mausoleums and domes in Muslim countries, so is it a must to bulldoze the cemetery called Baakee '."
15. Make people feel skeptical about the fact that Sayyeds are the Prophet 's descendants. Mix Sayyeds with other people by making non-Sayyeds wear black and green turbans. Thus people will be perplexed in this matter and will consequently begin to distrust Sayyeds. Strip religious authorities and Sayyeds of their turbans so that the Prophetic pedigree will be lost and religious authorities will not be respected any more.
16. Say that it is fard to demolish the places where Shiites mourn, that this practice is a heresy and aberration.
People should be prevented from visiting those places, the number of preachers should be decreased and taxes should be levied on preachers and owners of the places for mourning.
17. Under the pretext of love of freedom, convince all Muslims that "Everyone is free to do whatever he likes. It is not fard to perform Amr-i-bi-l-ma 'roof and Nahy-i-anil-munkar or to teach the Islamic principles." [On the contrary, it is fard to learn and teach Islam. It is a Muslim 's first duty]. In addition, imbue them with this conviction: "Christians are to remain in their own faith (Christianity) and Jews are to abide by theirs (Judaism). No one will enter another person 's heart. Amr-i-ma 'roof and Nahy-i-anil-munkar are the Khaleefa 's duties."
18. In order to impede Muslims from increasing in number, births must be limited and polygamy must be prohibited. Marriage must be subjected to restrictions. For instance, it must be said that an Arab cannot marry an Iranian, an Iranian cannot marry an Arab, a Turk cannot marry an Arab.
19. Make sure to stop Islamic propagations and conversions to Islam. Broadcast the conception that Islam is a religion peculiar to the Arabs only. As an evidence for this, put forward the Qur 'aanic verse which reads, "This is a Dhikr for thee and thine people."
20. Pious institutions must be restricted and confined to the State monopoly, to the extent that individuals must be unable to establish madrasas or other similar pious institutions. 21- Arouse doubts as to the authenticity of the Qur 'aan in Muslims ' minds; publish Koranic translations containing excisions, additions, and interpolations, and then say, "The Qur 'aan has been defiled. Its copies are incongruous. A verse one of them contains does not exist in another." Excise the verses insulting Jews, Christians and all other non-Muslims and those commanding Jihaad, Amr-i-bi-l-ma 'roof and Nahy-i-anil munkar.Translate the Qur 'aan into other languages such as Turkish, Persian, Indian, thus to prevent Arabic from being learned and read outside Arabic countries, and again, prevent the (Ad-haan), (Namaaz), and (Duaa) from being done in Arabic outside Arabic countries.
Likewise, Muslims will be made to feel doubts about hadeeths. The translations, criticisms and interpolations planned for the Qur 'aan should be applied to hadeeths as well.
When I read through the book, which was entitled How Can We Demolish Islam, I found it really excellent. It was a peerless guide for the studies I was going to carry on. When I returned the book to the secretary and told him that it afforded me great pleasure to read it, he said, "You can be sure that you are not alone in this field. We have lots of men doing the same job as you have been carrying on. Our Ministry has assigned over five thousand men to this mission. The Ministry is considering increasing this number to one hundred thousand. When we reach this number we shall have brought all Muslims under our sway and obtained all Muslim countries."
Sometime later the secretary said: "Good news to you! Our Ministry needs one century at the most to realize this program. We may not live to see those happy days, but our children will. What a beautiful saying this is: I have eaten what others sowed. So I am sowing for others. ' When the British manage this they will have pleased the whole Christian world and will have rescued them from a twelve-century-old nuisance."
The secretary went on as follows: "The crusading expeditions which continued for centuries were of no use. Nor can the Mongols [armies of Dzengiz] be said to have done anything to extirpate Islam. For their work was sudden, unsystematic, and ungrounded. They carried on military expeditions so as to reveal their enmity. Consequently, they became tired in a short time. But now our valuable administrators are trying to demolish Islam by means of a very subtle plan and a long-range patience. We must use military force, too. Yet this should be the final phase, that is, after we have completely consumed Islam, after we have hammered it from all directions and rendered it into a miserable state from which it will never recover again and fight against us." The secretary 's final words were these: "Our superiors in Istanbul must have been very wise and intelligent. They executed our plan precisely. What did they do? They mixed with the Muhammadans and opened madrasas for their children. They built churches. They were perfectly successful in popularizing alcoholic spirits, gambling, indecencies, and breaking them into groups by means of instigation [and football clubs.] They aroused doubts in the minds of young Muslims. They inserted controversies and oppositions into their governments. They spread mischief everywhere. They depraved administrators, directors, and statesmen by filling their houses with Christian women. With activities of this sort they broke their forces,
shocked their adherence to their faith, corrupted them morally, and disrupted their unity and communication. Now the time has come to commence a sudden war and extirpate Islam."
Having enjoyed the first secret, I was looking forward to knowing the second secret. Eventually one day the secretary explained the second secret he had promised. The second secret was a fifty page scheme prepared for the high ranking officials working in the Ministry for annihilating Islam altogether within a century 's time. The scheme was comprised of fourteen articles. The scheme was closely guarded for fear that it might be obtained by Muslims. The following are the articles of the scheme:
1. We have to form a well-established alliance and an agreement of mutual help with the Russian Tsar in order to invade Bukhaara, Taajikistaan, Armenia, Khorasan and its neighborhood. Again, a sound agreement must be established with Russians in order to invade their neighbor, Turkey.
2. We must establish cooperation with France in demolishing the Islamic world both from within and from without.
3. We must sow very ardent rows and controversies between the Turkish and Iranian governments and emphasize nationalistic and racist feelings in both parties. In addition, all the Muslim tribes, nations and countries neighboring one another must be set against one another. All the religious sects, including the extinct ones, must be recovered and set against one another.
4. Parts from Muslim countries must be handed over to non-Muslim communities. For example, Medina must be given to the Jews, Alexandria to the Christians, Imaara to the Saaiba, Kermanshah to the Nusayriya group, who have divinized 'Alee, Mousul to the Yazeedees, the Iranian gulf to Hindus, Tripoli to the Druzis, Kars to the Alawees, and Masqat to the Khaarijee group. The next step should be to arm these groups so that each of
them will be a thorn on the body of Islam. Their areas must be widened till Islam has collapsed and perished.
5. A schedule must be concocted to divide the Muslim and Ottoman States into, as small as possible, local states that are always at loggerheads with one another. An example of this is today 's India. For the following theory is common: "Break, and you will dominate," and "Break, and you will destroy."
6. It is necessary to adulterate Islam 's essence by adding interpolated religions and sects into it, and this we must devise in such a subtle manner that the religions we are to invent should be compatible with the sensuous tastes and aspirations of the people among whom we are going to spread them. We shall invent four different religions in the Shiite countries:
1. A religion that divinizes hadrat Huseyn;
2. A religion that divinizes Ja 'fer Saadiq;
3. A religion divinizing Mahdi;
4. A religion divinizing Alee Ridaa. The first one is suitable for Kerbelaa, the second one for Isfahaan, the third one for Samarra, and the fourth one for Khoraasaan. In the meantime, we must degenerate the existing four Sunnite madh-habs into four self-standing religions. After doing this, we shall establish an altogether new Islamic sect in Najd, and then instigate bloody rows among all these groups. We shall annihilate the books belonging to the four madh-habs, so that each of these groups will consider themselves to be the only Muslim group and will look on the other groups as heretics that are to be killed.
7. Seeds of mischief and malice, such as fornication, pederasty, alcoholic spirits and gambling, will be scattered among Muslims. Non-Muslims living in the countries concerned will be used for this purpose. A tremendous army of people of this sort is on requisition for the realization of this goal. 8- We should spare no effort to train and educate vicious leaders and cruel commanders in Muslim countries, to bring them into power and thus to pass laws prohibiting obedience to the Sharee 'at (religious injunctions). We should put them to use, to the extent that they should be subservient enough to do whatever the Ministry (of the Commonwealth) asks them to do, and vice versa. Through them we should be able to impose our wishes on Muslims and Muslim countries by using laws as an enforcement. We should establish a social way of life, an atmosphere wherein obeying the Shari 'at will be looked on as a guilt and worshipping as an act of regression. We should trick Muslims into electing their leaders from among non-Muslims. For doing this, we should disguise some of our agents as Islamic authorities and bring them into high positions so that they may execute our wishes.
8. Do your best to prevent the learning of Arabic. Popularize languages other than Arabic, such as Persian, Kurdish, and Pushtu (Pashto). Resuscitate foreign languages in the Arabic countries and popularize the local dialects in order to annihilate literary, eloquent Arabic, which is the language of the Qur 'aan and the Sunna.
9. Placing our men around statesmen, we should gradually make them secretaries of these statesmen and through them we should carry out the desires of the Ministry. The easiest way of doing this is the slave trade: First of all we must adequately train the spies we are to send forth in the guise of slaves and concubines. Then we must sell them to the close relatives of Muslim statesmen, for instance, to their children or wives, or to other people liked or respected by them. These slaves, after we have sold them, will gradually approach the
statesmen. Becoming their mothers and governesses, they will encircle Muslim statesmen like a bracelet girding a wrist.
10. Missionary areas must be widened so as to penetrate into all social classes and vocations, especially into such professions as medicine, engineering, and book-keeping. We must open centers of propaganda and publication under such names as churches, schools, hospitals, libraries and charity institutions in the Islamic countries and spread them far and near. We must distribute millions of Christian book free of charge. We must publish the Christian history and intergovernmental law alongside the Islamic history. We must disguise our spies as monks and nuns and place them in churches and monasteries. We must use them as leaders of Christian movements. These people will at the same time detect all the movements and trends in the Islamic world and report to us instantaneously. We must institute an army of Christians who will, under such names as 'professor ', 'scientist ', and 'researcher ', distort and defile the Islamic history, learn all the facts about Muslims ' ways, behavior, and religious principles, and then destroy all their books and eradicate the Islamic teachings.
11. We must confuse the minds of the Islamic youth, boys and girls alike, and arouse doubts and hesitations in their minds as to Islam. We must completely strip them of their moral values by means of schools, books, magazines [sports clubs, publications, motion pictures, television], and our own agents trained for this job. It is a prerequisite to open clandestine societies to educate and train Jewish, Christian and other non-Muslim youngsters and use them as decoys to trap the Muslim youngsters.
12. Civil wars and insurrections must be provoked; Muslims must always be struggling with one another as well as against non-Muslims so that their energies will be wasted and improvement and unity will be impossible for them. Their mental dynamisms and financial sources must be annihilated. Young and active ones must be done away with. Their orders must be rendered into terror and anarchy.
13. Their economy must be razed in all areas, their sources of income and agricultural areas must be spoilt, their irrigation channels and lines must be devastated and rivers dried up, the people must be made to hate the performance of namaaz and working, and sloth must be made as widespread as possible. Playgrounds must be opened for lazy people. Narcotics and alcoholic spirits must be made common.
[The articles we have cited above were explained very clearly with such aids as maps, pictures and charts]. I thanked the secretary for giving me a copy of this magnificent document.
After a month 's stay in London, I received a message from the Ministry ordering me to go to Iraq to see Muhammad of Najd again. As I was leaving for my mission, the secretary said to me, "Never be negligent about Muhammad of Najd! As it is understood from the reports sent by our spies up until now, Muhammad of Najd is a typical fool very convenient for the realization of our purposes.
"Talk frankly with Muhammad of Najd. Our agents talked with him frankly in Isfahaan, and he accepted our wishes on terms. The terms he stipulated are: He would be supported with adequate property and weaponry to protect himself against states and scholars who would certainly attack him upon his announcing his ideas and views. A principality would be established in his country, be it a small one. The Ministry accepted these terms."
I felt as if I were going to fly from joy when I heard this news. I asked the secretary what I was supposed to do about this. His reply was, "The Ministry has devised a subtle scheme for Muhammad of Najd to carry out, as follows: "1- He is to declare all Muslims as disbelievers and announce that it is halaal to kill them, to seize their property, to violate their chastity, to make their men slaves and their women concubines and to sell them at slave markets.
"2- He is to state that Ka 'ba is an idol and therefore it must be demolished. In order to do away with the worship of hajj, he is to provoke tribes to raid groups of hadjis (Muslim pilgrims), to plunder their belongings and to kill them.
"3- He is to strive to dissuade Muslims from obeying the Khaleefa. He is to provoke them to revolt against him. He is to prepare armies for this purpose. He is to exploit every opportunity to spread the conviction that it is necessary to fight against the notables of Hedjaz and bring disgrace on them.
"4- He is to allege that the mausoleums, domes and sacred places in Muslim countries are idols and polytheistic
milieus and must therefore be demolished. He is to do his best to produce occasions for insulting Prophet Muhammad, his Khaleefas, and all prominent scholars of madh-habs.
"5- He is to do his utmost to encourage insurrections, oppressions and anarchy in Muslim countries.
"6- He is to try to publish a copy of the Qur 'aan interpolated with additions and excisions, as is the case with hadeeths."
After explaining this six-paragraph scheme, the secretary added, "Do not panic at this huge programma. For our duty is to sow the seeds for annihilating Islam. There will come generations to complete this job. The British government has formed it a habit to be patient and to advance step by step. Wasn 't Prophet Muhammad, the performer of the great and bewildering Islamic revolution, a human being after all? And this Muhammad of Najd of ours has promised to accomplish this revolution of ours like his Prophet."
A couple of days later, I took permission from the Minister and the Secretary, bid farewell to my family and friends, and set out for Basra. As I left home my little son said, "Come back soon daddy!" My eyes became wet. I could not conceal my sorrow from my wife. After a tiresome journey I arrived in Basra at night. I went to Abd-ur-Ridaa 's home. He was asleep. He was very pleased when he woke up and saw me. He offered me warm hospitality. I spent the night there. The next morning he said to me, "Muhammad of Najd called on me, left this letter for you, and left." I opened the letter. He wrote the was leaving for his country, Najd, and gave his address there. I at once set out to go there, too. After an extremely onerous journey I arrived there. I found Muhammad of Najd in his home. He had lost a lot of weight. I did not say anything this concerning this to him. Afterwards, I learned that he had gotten married.
We decided between us that he was to tell other people that I was his slave and was back from some place he had sent me. He introduced me as such.
I stayed with Muhammad of Najd for two years. We made a programma to announce his call. Eventually I fomented his resolution in 1143 Hijri [A.D. 1730]. Hence by collecting supporters around himself, he insinuated his call by making covert statements to those who were very close to him. Then, day by day, he expanded his call. I put guards around him in order to protect him against his enemies. I gave them as much property and money as they wanted. Whenever the enemies of Muhammad of Najd wanted to attack him, I inspirited and heartened them. As his call spread wider, the number of his adversaries increased. From time to time he attempted to give up his call, especially when he was overwhelmed by the multitude of the attacks made on him. Yet I never left him alone and always encouraged him. I would say to him, "O Muhammad, the Prophet suffered more persecution than you have so far. You know, this is a way of honor. Like any other revolutionist, you would have to endure some difficulty!"
Enemy attack was likely any moment. I therefore hired spies on his adversaries. Whenever his enemies meant harm to him, the spies would report to me and so I would neutralize their harm. Once I was informed that the enemies were to kill him. I immediately took the precautions to thwart their preparations. When the people (around Muhammad of Najd) heard about this plot of their enemies, they began to hate them all the more. They fell into the trap they had laid.
Muhammad of Najd promised me that he would implement all the six articles of the scheme and added, "For the time being I can execute them only partly." He was right in this word of his. At that time it was impossible for him to carry out all of them.
He found it impossible to have Ka 'ba demolished. And he gave up the idea of announcing that it (Ka 'ba) is an idol. In addition, he refused to publish an interpolated copy of the Qur 'aan. Most of his fears in this respect were from the Shereefs in Mekka and the Istanbul government. He told me that "If we made these two announcements we would be attacked by a powerful army." I accepted his excuse. For he was right. The conditions were not favorable at all.
A couple of years later the Ministry of Commonwealth managed to cajole Muhammad bin Su 'ood, the Ameer of Der 'iyya, into joining our lines. They sent me a messenger to inform me about this and to establish a mutual affection and cooperation between the two Muhammads. For earning Muslims ' hearts and trusts, we exploited our Muhammad of Najd religiously, and Muhammad bin Su 'ood politically. It is an historical fact that states based on religion have
lived longer and have been more powerful and more imposing.
Thus we continuously became more and more powerful. We made Der 'iyya city our capital. And we named our new religion the WAHHABI religion. The Ministry supported and reinforced the Wahhaabee government in an underhanded way. The new government bought eleven British officers, very well learned in the Arabic language and desert warfare, under the name of slaves. We prepared our plans in cooperation with these officers. Both Muhammads followed the way we showed them. When we did not receive any orders from the Ministry we made our own decisions.
We all married girls from tribes. We enjoyed the pleasure of a Muslim wife 's devotion to her husband. Thus we had stronger relations with tribes. Everything goes well now. Our centralization is becoming more and more vigorous each day. Unless an unexpected catastrophe takes place, we shall eat the fruit we have prepared. For we have done whatever is necessary and sown the seeds.