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Infallibility Decree of 1579
Whereas Hindustan has now become the center of security and peace, and the land of justice and beneficence, a large number of people, especially learned men and lawyers, have immigrated and chosen this country for their home. Now we, the principal ulama, who are not only well versed in the several departments of the law and in the principles of [] jurisprudence, and well acquainted with the edicts which rest on reason or testimony, but are also known for our piety and honest intentions, have duly considered the deep meaning, first, of the verse of the Quran: “Obey God and obey the Prophet, and those who have authority among you”; and secondly, of the genuine tradition: “Surely, the man who is dearest to God on the day of judgment is the imam-i-adil; whosoever obeys the Amir obeys Thee; and whoever rebels against him rebels against Thee” ; and thirdly, of several other proofs based on reasoning or testimony; and we have agreed that the rank of a sultan-i-adil is higher in the eyes of God than the rank of a mujtahid. Further, we declare that the King of Islam, Amir of the Faithful, Shadow of God in the world, Abul Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar Padshah Ghazi (whose kingdom God perpetuate), is a most just, most wise, and a most God-fearing king. Should, therefore, in the future, a religious question come up, regarding which the opinions of the mujtahids are at variance, and His Majesty, in his penetrating understanding and clear wisdom, be inclined to adopt, for the benefit of the nation, and as a political expedient, any of the conflicting opinions, which exist on that point, and issue a decree to that effect, we do hereby agree that such a decree shall be binding on us and on the whole nation.
Further, we declare that should His Majesty think it fit to issue a new order, we and the nation shall likewise be bound by it, provided always that such order be not only in accordance with some verse of the Quran, but also of real benefit to the nation; and further, that any opposition on the part of his subjects to such an order passed by His Majesty shall involve damnation in the world to come, and loss of property and religious privileges in this life.
This document has been written with honest intentions, for the glory of God and the propagation of Islam, and is signed by us, the principal ulama and lawyers, in the month of Rajab of the year nine hundred and eight-seven. [ Abdul Qadir Baudauni, Muntakhab-ut-Tawarikh, trans. by G. S. A. Ranking, W. H. Lowe, and Sir Wolseley Haig (Calcutta, 1884–1925), III, 127]