The Republic of Rumi: A Novel of Reality
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The Republic of Rumi: a Novel of Reality

Chapter 12

The Divine Vicegerency


By Khurram Ali Shafique

“Education of the self has three phases,” says Iqbal. “They are (a) obedience; (b) self-control; and (c) Divine Vicegerency.”

Phase I: Obedience

The camel goes in the desert without food and water, looking happier than its rider. One shouldn’t disobey rules if one wishes to overcome obstacles.

Phase II: Self-Control

A rider requires some art in order to tame the camel, or else the beast would prefer going its own way.

Proclamation of faith, prayer, fasting, pilgrimage and almsgiving are the five “pillars” of Islam that are meant to help the believers tame the beast in them so that they may have an easy ride.

Phase III: Divine Vicegerency

The Divine Vicegerent is adept with mysteries of parts and the whole.

“A hundred worlds like this world of parts and wholes spring up like roses from the seed of this person’s imagination,” says Iqbal. “When that bold cavalier seizes the reins, the steed of Time gallops faster. The whole world is atoned and saved by the grandeur of such a person, receiving a new explanation of Life and a new interpretation of this dream.”

DISCUSS

  • In what ways does the imagination of the Divine Vicegerent seem to be connected with the secret of Time?
  • What elements in this chapter may be connected with Joseph?
  • Which of the clues of Joseph do not appear in this chapter?

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The basic tenets of Islam are interpreted here from the perspective of three stages in the training of the self.
Persian text