the Dictionary signifies vicinity (to God), and in the
public circle to be chosen by the people of God, is
evident prophetic mission, and interior faith is incite-
ment to prophecy; the prophet is its faith, and the
incitement of the faith of a saint is the mission of a
prophet, and the faith of an apostle is the comple-
tion of the apostleship. Inspiration takes place
without the intervention of an angel, and revelation
with the intervention of an angel is the revelation
appropriate to the prophet. Inspiration is also
appropriate to him.
The pious Sajan Sajani says, the perfection of
sanctity is the period -of a Mahdi's time; hence all
those among the saints who claimed the dignity of
a Mahdi, were divine. In the same manner as every
ascribed to such a man. According to the Kasheful mahjub, " the reve-
" lations of the veiled being/' composed by Shaikh All Osman BenEUl-
Ali el Ghaznam, there are four thousand saints in the world, walking
separate from each other upon the ways of God. Among these, the first
three hundred are called Akhydr," the best;" the next four hundred
are the Abdal, commonly called " Santons;" after them seven hundred
Ebrar, " just men;" further, four hundred Awtad, " posts or stakes;"
finally, three hundred Nukeba, " chosen." According to the author of
Futuhat-i-Mehlw, " the revelations of Mecca," that is, Mahi-eddin Mu-
hammed, before-mentioned (p. 334, note 1), there exist at any time seven
Abdal, or Saints, who preside the seven terrestrial zones, or climates.
Each of them, in his climate, corresponds to one of the seven prophets
in the following order: Abraham, Moses, Aaron,Edris, Joseph, Jesus, and
Adam, who reside as we have said (see pp. 186-89, notes 2. 1. 1. 2. 3,
1. 2.) in so many heavenly spheres. To the said Ahdal belong the Oweis,
that is the great shaikhs, and pious men who, nourished in the prophet's
lap, are never tainted by age.