Hadj Nematollah’s teaching method prioritized his son’s spiritual training and did not leave much time for his conventional education. However, the works that remain from Ostad Elahi’s childhood and youth reveal that he had good penmanship and literary skills (especially in poetry), and a sufficient command of theology, philosophy, and religious history. Prior to the passing of his father in 1920, the young Nur Ali often spent his time transcribing his father’s works. Ostad recalls that toward the end of his father’s life, Hadj Nematollah recited The Book of the Kings of Truth in 40 consecutive days as he rapidly transcribed his father’s words. During this time, the depth of his knowledge about the fundamentals of spirituality is clearly evident. It was this same aptitude and perseverance that would later help him to successfully complete the three-year judicial curriculum in only six months, notwithstanding his lack of a formal education.
On the basis of his father’s recommendation Ostad Elahi married a few years before his father passed away, and his first child was born two days after Hadj Nematollah’s departure. After his father’s death, in addition to assuming responsibility for his mother, his two younger sisters, his wife and child, and his inherited lands, he spent most of his time engaged in contemplation as well as occasional ascetic retreats and fasting, writing, research, providing spiritual lessons and guidance to seekers, going on pilgrimages to the shrines of prominent Ahl-e Haqq saints, and compiling his father’s works, including writing commentaries on several of them. One of the most valuable works from this period is his novel and detailed account of creation, which according to Ostad Elahi was the product of a spiritual vision.
Within the first few days after Hadj Nematollah’s passing, all of his adherents viewed the departure of their leader as the end of the spiritual illumination that he had brought, dispersing and abandoning the young Nur Ali to himself. His father’s staunch opponents, who had been frustrated at their inability to pursue their material interests by taking advantage of the locals during Hadj Nematollah’s lifetime, sought to seize this opportunity and decided to eliminate Ostad to prevent him from becoming an obstacle like his father. Convinced that the divine will would come to pass, however, Ostad ignored their repeated threats and refused to flee. Indeed, it did not take long before the page turned in such a way that not only did Ostad’s adherents return and once again gather around him, but even his opponents who had failed in realizing their objective returned to express remorse for what they had done in an attempt to maintain appearances. Henceforth, his adherents and companions would once more benefit from his spiritual knowledge and wisdom, just as they had done during Hadj Nematollah’s time.