1995 年 38 巻 1 号 p. 171-183
This paper aims at elucidating how the idea of correspondence between the existent beings in the cosmos was discussed in early Isma'ilism, especially with regard to the doctrine of the seven enunciator-prophets (nutaqa', sdg. natiq). For this purpose we analyze a chapter on the fourth natiq, Moses (Musa), which deals with our subject, from the still unedited text Kitab al-Islah, or The Book of Correction, written by a Neoplatonist-inclined thinker, Abu Hatim al-Razi (d. 322/934-5), as an a attack on his coreligionist Muhammad al-Nasafi (d. 332/942).
According to al-Razi, al-Nasafi holds that the fourth natiq has the perfectness of the number four just as the sun, the fourth astral body, has it. Refuting this, al-Razi asserts that the real holder of the “fourness” (arba'iyah) is the seventh natiq, Qa'im, who discloses the inner meaning of all the sacred laws of his six predecessor-nutaqa'. In order to establish his argument, al-Razi cites some examples of the correspondence between the seven nutaqa' and some beings from the world of nature in the cosmos such as the seven days of the week, the seven parts of the human body and the seven dyeing colours (asbagh): just at each member of these groups in the world of nature takes its role in the development of its own group, each natiq takes his own role in the development of the history of human kind. This implies that in the cases of both nature and the seven nutaqa' the last phase of development is the most perfect. Thus, al-Razi's own argument shows us another example of the early Isma'ilis' utilization of the knowledge of nature and the natural sciences of their time, as is pointed out by P. E. Walker in the case of Abu Ya'qub al-Sijistani. Oun research in the future should seek out other examples of this practice among other Isma'ili thinkers.