Rituals and Tradition


Formation of the Order
Principle Beliefs and Convictions
Rituals and Tradition
The Three day Fasting
Other Traditions


Spiritual Households

    According to A.H. dogma the mission of Jebra’il is the eternal master (pir) for all those who seek the Truth. At the time of Soltan Sohak this member of the seven spiritual ranks (Haftan) was incarnated in the body of Benyamin who never chose to marry and thus had no direct biological descendant to succeed him. To provide for the continuity of the Order, Soltan Sohak established seven Spiritual Households, khandans, to act as descendants of Benyamin. This privilege, Soltan further ruled, would remain in their family for future generations. Subsequently four other Households were also formed and thus a total of eleven Khandans were formed. The head of each Khandan, called “say-yed” is considered the spiritual leader of the community and is normally present during the ceremonies attended by the followers. They also have access to the sacred narratives referred to as “Kalam”. Although A.H. is really an institution of Brotherhood and all followers are considered ideological family members regardless of their Khandan affiliation, yet there has always been a rivalry between say-yeds over the expansion of their leadership authority. According to an A.H. tradition, members of Khandans refrain from marrying the followers. This is due to a tradition that Say-yeds are seen as spiritual parents of the commoners.


Formal Affiliation (Sar sepordan)

    Anyone who wants to be formally known as A.H. must officially join the Order. Such affiliation is called “Sar sepordan“ which literally means, “entrusting the head”, implying the desire and willingness to, wholeheartedly, dedicating one’s life to principles of the stage of Haqiqat. All followers of A.H. believe that by such affiliation a person is, in effect, committing himself to the original covenant between God and the eternal master (Jebra-il) which was also renewed during Soltan Sohah, when Jebra-il was incarnated as Pir Benyamin. As the Sey-yeds are considered spiritual descendants of Benyamin, one would, therefore, have to join one of the Khandans and promise obedience to the Say- yed and accept him as his Pir who would, then, guide the new voyager through the stage of Haqiqat. The ritual for the affiliation ceremony is highly emotional and overwhelming, more so than baptizing in Christianity, and has remained practically unchanged for centuries. Once a baby is born to an A.H. family the ceremony must be performed as soon as possible and not later than a year. By so doing the relation between a say-yed and commoner families extend over generations. This master-disciple relationship which is called “pir-moridi” is considered a strong spiritual bondage and involves specific obligations and responsibilities.


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