chapter  XLVI
23 Pages

On the risings of the Qarmatis [Carmathians] and Batinis and their evil doctrines (may Allab curse them)

I The ongm of the Qarmati religion was as follows. 1 Ja'far as-Sadiq (may Allah be pleased with him) had a son whose name was Isma'il; he died before his father leaving a son named Muhammad; and this Muhammad lived until the time of Harun ar-Rashid. Now one of the Zubairis2 falsely suggested to Harun ar-Rashid that [Musa ibn] Ja'far as-Sadiq3 was plotting a revolt and preaching in secret with the intention of seizing the caliphate. Harun ar-Rashid brought [Musa ibn] Ja'far from Medina to Baghdad and put him in prison, and during this confinement he died, and was buried in the cemetery of the Quraish. Now this Muhammad had a certain Hijazi page called Mubarak, and he was calligrapher in the fine script known as muqarmat; for this reason he used to be called Qarmatwaih. This Mubarak had a friend in the city of Ahvaz whose name was 'Abd-Allah ibn Maimun alQaddah. The latter was one day sitting with him in private and said, 'Your master Muhammad ibn Isma'il was my friend and he told me secrets which he did not tell you or anyone else.' Mubarak was deceived and impatient to know what they were. Then 'AbdAllah ibn Maimun made Mubarak swear not to disclose what he was going to tell him except to persons fit to hear it. He then made several statements, introducing obscure words from the language of the imams, mixed up with sayings of the naturalists and utterances of the philosophers, and consisting largely of mention of The Messenger and talk of prophets and angels, the tablet and pen, and heaven and the throne. After that they parted; Mubarak went towards Kufa, and 'Abd-Allah to Kuhistan of 'Iraq; and they sought to win over the people of the Shi'a.