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The Great and Exalted has a manifestation in His own form for all eternity in this world.... He has made a man noble with that form, and all the prophets and friends of God have indicated a man who would be the Great and Exalted among people in the form of a man....This world from the core of the earth to the zenith of the heaven of heavens is one body.... And the same power which appears in the sun and moon and stars...is in a black stone and darkness. But it is necessary to see. And one must treat all opposites analogously.... The divine light first shines from the heavens and (also) rises from the core of the earth. The heavens are called “fathers” and the four humors (hot, cold, dry, and moist) are called “mothers”: minerals, plants, and animals are called “offspring.”

—from the works of Ibn Hawshab al-Kufi.

Ibn Hawshab al-Kufi (circa A.D. 266) was an Islamic theologian, missionary, and a “Sevener” — one who believes that God has appointed only seven imams after the death of Mohammad, and that the seventh was the last. The Seveners are also known as Ismailis, based on their acceptance of Isma’il ibn Jafar as the appointed spiritual successor to Ja’far al-Sadiq; as opposed to the Twelvers, who accept Musa al-Kadhim, Isma’il’s younger brother, as the true imam. Hawshab was most renowned for spreading Ismailism in Yemen in his lifetime.

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