Revelation of Mystery (Kashf al Mahjub)

The Sayyaris

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Chapter XIV (z1)

The Sayyaris

They are the followers of Abu al-Abbas Sayyari, the Imam of Merv. He was learned in all the sciences and associated with Abu Bakr Wasti. Even today he has many companions and followers in Nasa and Merv. None of the sects of Sufism is in its original form except his, because Nasa and Merv have never been without the leadership of this sect and are religiously maintaining the doctrine of their founder. His disciples and followers from Nasa and Merv carried out interesting discussion through correspondence and I have seen part of it at Merv; it is very fine. Their common topic was jama جمع (union) and tafriq تفريق (separation). These words are common to all scientists and are in use in every branch of learning. Every group uses these words as means of rendering their explanations indelible, but in each case they bear different meanings. Thus, in arithmetic jama denotes addition and tafriq subtraction of numbers. In grammar jama is the agreement of words in derivation. Similarly, the Islamic jurisprudent takes the meanings of jama as analogy and of tafriq they mean text or jama is the text and tafriq is analogy. In divinity jama denotes the essential and the formal attributes of Allah. But the Sufis do not use these terms in any of the significations which I have mentioned. Now, I will explain the meaning attached to them by Sufis and the various opinions of the Sheikhs on this subject.

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