From جناب بهاء Jināb-i Bahā' (`His eminence the Glory) to Bahā’-Allāh (The Glory of God).

 

الاسم الأعظم

An overview on the Mightiest Name of God (al-ism al-a`zam) in Islamic Literatures and in the Bābī and Bahā’ī  Sacred writings. Notes frm pre-2010.

August 1992 rev. 2012 May 2014. Under revision and reformatting - 26-08-2016.

 

The Significance of the Mightiest Name of God in Islamic Literatures

and in the Bābī and Bahā’ī  Sacred writings.

بهاء

Part V

The Bābī-Bahā’ī Messianic Theology of the Arabic word Bahā’ with some notes on its semantic field and linguistic history in the light of its status for Bahā’īs as the Quintessence of the Greastest Name of God.

 “O Peoples of the world! He Who is the Most Great Name (al-ism al-a`ẓam) is come, on the part of the Ancient King” (Bahā'-Allāh, ESW:128)

“Let your joy be the joy born of My Most Great Name (ismī al-a`ẓam), a Name that bringeth rapture to the heart, and filleth with ecstasy the minds of all who have drawn nigh unto God” (Bahā'-Allāh , Aqdas 38, para. 31)

1.0 Introduction

 This chapter is an attempt to explore some linguistic, historical and theological aspects of the Arabic word بهاء bahā' which is viewed by Bahā'īs as the quintessence of the الاسم الأعظم , al-ism al-a`ẓam, the Mightiest or Greatest Name of God 1  one form of which they regard as the (Arabic) title الله بهاء = Bahā’-Allāh (= Bahā’u’llāh) which  could be correctly translated in several different ways; e.g, the Glory-Splendor-Radiance-Beauty of God though modern Bahā’īs, following the preference of `Abd al-Bahā’ and Shoghi Effendi, translate `the Glory of God’ where ‘glory’ is expressive of the divine radiance and splendor personified in the person of Mīrzā Ḥusayn `Alī Nūrī (b. Tehran [Iran] 1817, d. Acre [Palestine] 1892 CE) who adopted the title Jinab-I Bahā’ (His eminence the Splendour), and subsequently Bahā’-Allāh, while a follower of the Bāb around the time of the conference of Badasht in 1848 CE (so Zarandī, Tarīkh, XXX in Dawn-Breakers,    ). This title Bahā’-Allāh thus basically indicates a radiant divine theophany, a divine Manifestation attended and personified as a supernatural radiance, emanating light, splendor and beauty.

 [1] This phrase is sometimes written اسم الله الاعظم ,  ism Allāh al-a`ẓam = "the Greatest [Mightiest] Name of God. In Persian it is often succinctly written and translitered  اسم اعظم, ism-i a`ẓam

The linguistic history, semantic field and multifarious occurrences of the word bahā’ in Arabic and Persian Islamic literatures has yet to be systematically researched. Bahā’ is a word which does not occur in the Qur'ān and is not among the traditional ninety nine al-asmā' al-ḥusnā, the "most beautiful names" of God (see Qur'ān 7:179). For this and other reasons it is declared something "hidden". The Arabic word Bahā’ was not at all, however,  unknown prior to the 19th century messianic era of Mirza Ḥusayn `Alī Nūrī (1817-1892) who adopted the title Bahā’u'llāh (= Bahā’-Allāh). He regarded this Arabic genitive phrase Bahā’ + Allāh (= The Splendour of God) as the Greatest or Mightiest Name of God (al-ism al-a`ẓam). Its opening, pre-genitive Arabic word بهاء Bahā’ was viewed theologically as the quintessence of this All-Powerful  Name of God. It's explicit identification with this “Greatest Name of God" had not previously been stated or made explicit in any messianic or theological senses.

The founder of the Bahā’ī religion with the elevated title Bahā’-Allāh or Bahā’ullāh as it normally translitereated by his followers, the Bahā’is, believed that this secret had previously been intimated by Prophets, sages and illumined souls and that this was evidenced in their writings. Intimations of it could be found. For example,  in such Abrahamic sacred writings as the Bible and the Qur’ān. That the word Bahā’ was or might be viewed as the long-secreted Mightiest Name of God was not, however, widely acknowledged or stated though for Bahā’is therte are a few Isl;amic and other traditions that hint at this identification.  Its position as the secret of the one hundredth Name of God completing or fulfilling the traditional Islamic ninety-nine al-asmā’ al-ḥusnā , (Most beautiful Names of God). Bahā’ is often alluded to in Bahā’u'llāh's writings or scriptural Tablets (alwāḥ) as both the "Hidden Name" and the "Greatest Name".

 At this point it Might be reiterated  that the word  بهاء bahā' and other related words derved from its trilateral Arabic root  (= b+h+w/y) have occurred many thousands of times throughout the Islāmic centuries. In this chapter some of these occurences will be surveyed. The Arabic noun itself, for example, is found as a component of Islamic honorific titles applied to eminent Muslims. Hundreds of Muslims of status have been designated "Bahā' al-Dīn", the "Glory/Splendour of religion" among them Bahā' al-Dīn Walad of Balkh (d. 1230 CE), meaning "the splendour/glory of religion from Balkh" which was the title of the father of Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī (1207-1273 CE), famed author of the `Persian Qur'ān’ or `Persian Bible’, the Mathnavī. The founder of the Naqshbandīyyah Sufī order was referred to as Bahā' al-Dīn Muhammad Naqshband (d.1389 CE.) (See further  Appendix XX).

From  جناب بهاء  Jināb-i Bahā' (`His eminence the Glory)  to Bahā’-Allāh (The Glory of God): Mīrzā Ḥusayn `Alī Nūrī and theophanological titles utilizing bahā'.

According to Muhammad Nabīl Zarandī (d. 1892 CE) it was at the 1848 Bābī conference of Badasht (in Khurāsān, Irān) that Mīrzā Ḥusayn `Alī Nūrī (1817-1892), the founder of the Bahā'ī religion and a one-time leading Bābī, bestowed upon each of the eighty-one (81 = 9X9) participants, a new name. He himself, to quote the Tārīkh-i Zarandī (= the History of Mullā Muhammad [=Nabīl] Zarandī, d. 1308/ 1892), known in its partial translation (by Shoghi Effendi) as The Dawn-Breakers, "was henceforth designated by the name of Bahā" (Dawnbreakers, 211).

Bahā’-Allāh thus, from very early on (1848 or earlier), whilst outwardly a leading Bābī or to some a Sufi dervish sometimes used the epithet or title (Jināb-i-) بهاء (His eminence) Bahā' as a personal designation or proper name. It shall be illustrated below that this word bahā’ was a term of considerable importance in pre-Bahā’ī Islamic and Bābī and related religious literatures. On occasion it occurred in contexts which had, or came to be interpreted as having, prophetic, messianic, import.

 Using Sufi language in the eighth or ninth couplet of his very early revelation, the nineteen or more couplet Rashḥ-i `amā' ("The Sprinkling of the Divine Cloud", Tehran late 1852 CE), Bahā’-Allāh probably alludes to his power of revelation when he states that a "cup of honey" poureth forth out of the "vermilion lips of Bahā'" (cf. couplets 10 [11] & 18 [19], Mā'idih 4:184-6). Again, in the early Lawḥ-i kull al-ta`ām ("Tablet of All Food" c. 1853/4) he refers to the "fire of love" surging in his heart, "in the heart of al-Bahā'"; and also to the "dove of sorrow" in the "breast of al-Bahā'" (see Mā'idih 4:265f). In hundreds of subsequent Tablets, whether communicated in Ottoman Iraq, Turkey or Palestine, there occurs the use of Bahā' as a proper name. In the "Fire Tablet" (Qad [Lawḥ]-i Iḥtarāq al-mukhlisūn (c. 1870), for example, we read:

"Bahā is drowning in a sea of tribulation: Where is the Ark of Thy salvation, O Saviour of the worlds?" (A  Selection of Bahā'ī Prayers, 99).

It is thus that in certain of his letters the Guardian of the Bahā’ī religion Shoghi Effendi (d.1957)  indicated that the "Arabic term Bahā" is "the name of Bahā’-Allāh" (Directives, No. 86 p. 33).

Bahā’-Allāh taught that he came in the station of subordinate divinity and represented the Godhead in the worlds of creation. The word he used to designate his divine Logos, Reality, huwiyya (Ipseity, Identity) or "Logos-Self" (Ar. nafs) was the Arabic word bahā'. In the following letter, Shoghi Effendi summed up the theological significance of the word Bahā', "By Greatest Name [= Bahā’ / Bahā’-Allāh] is meant that Bahā’-Allāh has appeared in God's Greatest Name, in other words, that He is the Supreme Manifestation of God" (cited Lights, 1551).

 Various derivatives of bahā, it should be noted at this stage, are significant in Bābī-Bahā'ī scripture. The superlative form of bahā' ("[radiant] splendour/glory") is abhā, signifying `most' or `all-glorious' and is viewed, among other things, as a title of Bahā’-Allāh (God Passes By, 97). Additionally in numerous Bahā'ī texts this word is often linked with the term malakut ("kingdom") such that (Per.) malakūt-i  abhā came to be one of the Bahā’ī terms indicative of the celestial, spiritual world, the realms of the afterlife. The feminine Bahīyyih ("Beautiful", "Luminous", "Radiant", "Splendid") is also derived from the same root letters as bahā' (see below). This word again has numerous senses and contexts in Arabic and Bābī-Bahā’ī literatures but became the title given to Bahā’-Allāh's daughter Fāṭima, Bahīyyih Khānūm, (1846-1932 CE).

The laqab or honorific title adopted by Mīrzā Ḥusayn `Alī Nūrī was thus بهاء bahā’ or جناب بهاء = Jināb-i Bahā’ meaning `His eminence the [Divine] Glory-Splendour’. 7 In later years especially in alwāḥ (scriptural Tablets) of the mid to late Acre (=`Akkā’) or West Galilean period (1868-1892 CE), this title was expressed more fully theologically as    بهاء الله Bahā’-Allāh, the Glory-Beauty-Splendor of God. This latter title follows an early Islamic pattern. Grammatically, it is a genitive construction made up of the two closely linked words, [1] بهاء = bahā' and [2] الله = Allāh. = God [5] It thus signifies "The Glory-Beauty or Splendour of God". Its pattern is just the same as such phrases as Ḍiyā'-Allāh (= "the Radiance of God") and Dhikr-Allāh (= "The Remembrance of God") which can also be personal names adopoted in the Middle East and elsewhere.

[7] On the laqab tashrīfī (honorific title) in Islam see Schimmel, Islamic Names, 12-13,50ff.

In a certain sense, moreover, Bahā’-Allāh is a double greatest name. A good many Islamic writers follow traditions in which the designation of God, الله Allāh is reckoned the greatest name. Bahā’-Allāh himself, at one point in his Tafsīr ḥurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`a ("Commentary on the Disconnected Letters [of the Qur'ān]" c. 1857?), explains the letter "A" (alif; the first of the qur'ānic disconnected letters) relative to its being the herald of the greatest name, Allāh (Mā'ida, IV:67).

 For Bahā'īs the word بهاء Bahā' is an extremely powerful and theologically significant word. As a proper name it designates the one they consider God's Universal Manifestation (Per. maẓhar-i kulliyya). In this new age it refers to the nafs, the "Logos-Self" of God. In esoteric and poetical writings it is said to have been communicated in secret to Moses on the mystic Sinai (For some details see Lambden, The Sinaitic Mysteries…). According to tradition partial knowledge of this Mightiest Name of God bestowed supernatural, miraculous powers upon the prophets and Messengers of Israel and upon other ancient sages. For Bahā’īs it is the name of the "Father" who is the spiritual "return" of Christ. By virtue of its power, Bahā'-Allāh has intimated, Christ, the "Son", was raised from the “dead”, the body of his religion revivified at the time of his crucifixion or after “three days” of the religious eras of (1) Christianity, (2) Islam and (3) the religion of the Bāb (d. 1850CE).   

Bahā’ī theology and intimiations of the  word بهاء  Bahā’ in the sacred literatures and prophetology of the Pre-Islamic era.

 Following various statements of Bahā’-Allah and `Abd al-Bahā’ Bahā’ī apologists have found many intimations of the person and title of bahā’/ Bahā’-Allāh or cognates in various world scriptural languages, in Islamic and pre-Islamic sacred writings; including, for example, various books of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament as well as associated Israelite-Abrahamic literatures. Allusions to the person and titles of Bahā’-Allāh have likewise been foiund in Hindu, Zoroastrian and Buddhist scriptures and related sacred literatures.  One example of this in the developed forms of the alpha-beta (= “A”-“B”) logion in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Of particularly important for Bahā’īs are the Islamic versions of child Jesus expounding the alphabet or the basmala and the significance of the  letter “B” as Bahā’-Allāh,            

A well-known and much cited Islamic tradition ascribed to the prophet Muhammad himself has it that Jesus interpreted the (prepositional) letter “B” (ب ) meaning "In" of the basmala  (= بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم In the Name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate”) as indicating Bahā’-Allāh. The words, "In" and "the Glory of God" both commence with the letter "B". Various Islamic Tafsīr (exegetical) writings and Qiṣaṣ al-anbiya’ (Stories of the Prophets) literatures and related writings contain traditions (ḥadīth) attributed to the Prophet Muhammad or the twelver (or other) Imams recording versions of the story of Jesus’ first day at school. Jesus interacts with his schoolteacher when the meaning of the alphabet is raised. In many traditions the child Jesus is asked to expound the letter ب “B” or the first and other  letters of the Islamic  basmala. He states that this first letter of the basmala   indicates bahā’-Allāh, ( = the Glory-Splendour-Beauty of God).  The following are a few examples from key Tafsīr literatures.

The Tafsir and Tarikh of Muhammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (d. 310/922).

One of the most important early Sunnī Tafsīr works registering the abovementioned  tradition is the massive and highly important Qur’ān Commentary (tafsīr) entitled Jāmi’ al-bayān ‘an ta‘wīl āy al-Qur ‘ān (The Comprehensive Exposition of the interprertation of the verses of the Qur’ān) of Abū Ja‘far Muhammad b. Jarīr al-Ṭabarī (d. 310/922). In the course of commenting on the بسم bism ([first letter = b] ═ “In the Name of”) of the basmala of the Sūrat al-fatiḥah (Surah of the Opening = Q.1) the following tradition is related through a long list of authorities ending with Abī Sa`īd going back to the Prophet Muhammad himself:

حدثنا به إسماعيـل بن الفضل، قال: حدثنا إبراهيـم بن العلاء بن الضحاك، قال: حدثنا إسماعيـل بن عياش، عن إسماعيـل بن يحيى عن ابن أبـي ملـيكة، عمن حدثه عن ابن مسعود، ومسعر بن كدام، عن عطية، عن أبـي سعيد، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم:

  إن عِيسى ابْنَ مَرْيَـمَ أسْلَـمَتْهُ أُمُّهُ إلـى الكُتَّابِ لِـيُعَلِّـمَهُ، فَقالَ لَهُ الـمُعَلِّـمُ: اكْتُبْ بِسْمِ فَقَالَ له عِيسَى: وَما بِسْمِ؟ فَقالَ لَهُ الـمُعَلِّـمُ: ما أدْرِي فَقالَ عِيسىَ: البـاءُ: بَهاءُ اللَّهِ، وَالسِّينُ: سَناؤُهُ، وَالـمِيـمُ: مَـمْلَكَتُهُ    

He said, the Messenger of God [Muhammad] said, `Jesus, the Son of Mary was taken by his mother [Mary] unto the Teacher (al-kuttāb) that he [the teacher] might instruct him [Jesus]. So he [the teacher] said to him, `Read bism [“In the Name]!’ Jesus replied to him and said, `And what is bism ?’ The Teacher replied to him and said, `I do not know’. So Jesus said, `The [first letter] “b” (al-bā’) is Bahā’-Allāh (the Splendour of God); the [second letter] “s” (al-sīn) is His Radiance (sanā’) and the [third letter] “m” (al-mīm) is His sovereignty (mamlakat).

Having cited this prophetic tradition al-Ṭabarī dismissively doubts its veracity, fearing that it is something "erroneous" (ghalat an) transmitted from the unreliable narrators (muḥaddith).  He fears that it is an erronous hadith expounding the first letters of the basmala (B-S-M) in a childlike fashion expressing the`Book of the Letters of Abjad' ....

فأخشى أن يكون غلطاً من الـمـحدث، وأن يكون أراد: «ب س م»، علـى سبـيـل ما يعلـم الـمبتدى من الصبـيان فـي الكتاب حروفَ أبـي جاد. فغلط بذلك، فوصله فقال: «بسم» لأنه لا معنى لهذا التأويـل إذا تُلـي «بسم الله الرحمن الرحيـم» علـى ما يتلوه القارىء فـي كتاب الله، لاستـحالة معناه عن الـمفهوم به عند جميع

Towards the beginning of his Tarikh al-Rusul wa'l-muluk

Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyuṭī

A Few Tradition from the twelver Imams

In Shī`ī literatures it is often the sixth Shī'ī Imām, Ja`far al-Ṣādiq (d.765 CE) who states that the child Jesus, explained the first letter, the letter "B" of the basmala, to his bewildered schoolteacher, in terms of "The letter "B" signifiying Bahā’-Allāh". One of the most important early Shī`i Qur'ān Commentaries is the Tafsir of Abi al-Ḥasan `Alī ibn Ibrāhīm al-Qummi (d. / ). In its comments on the basmalah (of Q. 1:1a) following a long and complex isnad (see below) tracing the hadith back though a certain Abi Baṣīr it is stated that Ja`far al-Ṣādiq said:

" I say regarding the Tafsir of the بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم (Bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahmin (In the Name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate ...... (long isnad).... [relayed] from Abi Baṣīr from Abi `Abd-Allah (= Ja`far al-Sadiq), He said, "I asked him about the Tafsir of the بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم (bismillah al-Rahman al-Rahmin) and he [Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq] said, " The [letter] "B" (bā') is Bahā’-Allāh ("the Glory of God"), the [letter] "s" (sīn) is Sanā'-Allāh ("the Brightness of God") while the [letter] "M" (mīm) is the Mulk-Allāh ("the Dominion of God") and Allāh is [is indicative of] the God of everything. "The Merciful" الرحمن is [pertinent to] the totality of His creatures and "the Compassionate" الرحيم [pertains to] such as are specifically believers (al-mu'minīn)...". 

Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsā'ī (d. 1826) on the basmala, B and Bahā' in his Tafsir Surat al-Tawhid.

The fountainhead of al-Shaykhiyya (Shaykhism), of the Shaykhi school of Shi`i Islam (see further below), Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsā'ī (d. 1826) in his Tafsīr sūrat al-tawhīd (Commentary on the Sūra of the Divine Unity) quotes Imām Ja`far al-Ṣādiq in exposition of the letters of the basmala; with an alternative explanation of the letter "M" as majd (Radiance) which is normally mulk (Dominion, see above)

"I [Shaykh Ahmad] say that the reality of the Surat al-Tawhid (= Q. 112) relative to its befitting exposition has many facets such that our level of knowledge proves incapable of penetrating its depth... it is relayed from Imam al-Sadiq -- upon him be peace --- that "The [letter] "B" (al-bā') is Bahā’-Allāh ("the Glory of God"), the [letter] "s" (al-sīn) is Sanā'-Allāh ("the Brightness of God") and the [letter] "m" (al-mīm) is the Majd-Allāh ("the Radiance of God")". It is [normally] relayed [in the tradition] that it [the letter "m"] is the Mulk-Allāh (Dominion of God) for [in reality] this corresponds to His (God's) Logos-Self (nafs) for such is indeed possessed of Bahā'' (Glory...) which is the [reality of the Divine] Splendor (al-ḍiyā'). And the intention of this is what precipitated His-its [the Logos-Self's] Genesis (ibtidā') from existence by means of the Divine Will (min al-wujūd bi-mashiyyatihi). It [the Logos-Self, etc] is allusive of the Universal Intellect (al-`aql al-kullī) as is indicated through His [God's]-- exalted be He-- [qur'anic] saying, مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ "The likeness of His Light is as [light streaming from] a Niche (mishkat) containing a Lamp (al-miṣbāḥ), etc." (=Q. 24:35a) as well as what is before it of the Masters ( ) or of Intellect generated Existence (?) (al-wujud al-`aqliyya).... ADD (T-Tawhid, 3-4).

`Abdu'l-Bahā' in his Arabic commentary on the Basmala printed in the compilation Makātib-i ḥadrat-i `Abdu'l-Bahā' (Vol.1: 46) [15]) also cites this tradition from Ja`far al-Ṣādiq. ADD TEXT HERE

Another tradition from the sixth Imam Ja`far al-Sadiq (d. c. 148/765) is worth citing at this point:

 بباء البهاء الإبتداء اللهم إني آسألك  بالفقال و فيه الاسم الأعظم،  تدعو به كل صباح وهو على حروف المعجم   

"And in it is the Mightiest [Greatest] Name [of God]. Every morning thou should supplicate thereby for it is in line with the [supplication of the] letters of the alphabet [as expressed in], "O my God! I beseech Thee through the [letter] "A" of الإبتداء ( al-ibtidā' ), the Genesis, and the [letter] "B" of البهاء =( al-bahā') the Splendor-Beauty".

This statement highlights the Islamic affirmation of the supreme power of the Mightiest Name of God

The radiant Divine Glory motif and the Greatest Name of God: Some intimations and Baha’i Interpretations of Abrahamic, pre-islamic Scripture

The Arabic word bahā' is not directly or fully contained in pre-Bābī sacred scripture; not in the Hebrew Bible (tawrat), Greek [Aramaic] Gospel[s] (injīl) or Arabic Qur'ān. As noted, the noun bahā' is composed of three or four letters -: [1] "B", [2] "H", [3] "A" and, counting the final letter hamza, [4] = ء. The numerical (abjad) value of bahā' is nine: 2+5+1+1 = 9; a "sacred number" symbolic of perfection as the highest numerical integer {6} and corresponding to the "First Man", Adam ("A" = 1 + "D" = 4 + "M" = 40: total = 45 = 1 + 2+ 3+ 4+ 5+ 6+ 7+ 8+ 9). Similarly, the Bāb corresponds to the "First Woman", "Eve". These observations seem to have first been made by Bahā' al-Din al-`Amili (d. Isfahan 1031/1622), known as Shaykh Bahā'i in his Khulasat al-Hisab ("The Quintessence of Calculations") over 400 years ago, was adapted by `Abd al-Bahā' in his explanation of the deeper, numerological senses of the words Bāb and Bahā'.

According to certain Tablets of `Abdu'l-Bahā, most notably his well-known Tablet in explanation of the Greatest Name symbol (which was very probably designed by `Abdu'l-Bahā himself) addressed to a Bahā'ī resident in Paris (see Ma'idah, 2:100-103), Bahā’-Allāh and the Bāb may be considered the new "Adam" and "Eve" (respectively). The word Bāb has a numerical (abjad) value of 5. The sum of its integers is 15 : 1+2+3+4+5 = 15. Fifteen is also the numerical (abjad) value of "Eve" (Arabic, ḥawā). These numerical statements then, echo those made by Bahā' al-Bahā' al-Dīn al-`Āmilī, Shaykh Bahā'ī (d. Isfahan 1031/1622) in his famous mathematical treatise Khulāṣat al-ḥisāb [al-Bahā'iyya] ("Summa of Arithmetic") which includes some gnostic or esoteric type material (cf. Bausani, 1981: ADD).

The twin Manifestations of God in this eschatological age are viewed as the "parents" of a new spiritual humanity. In certain Tablets Bahā’-Allāh indicated His "Self" by means of the first two letters of the greatest name, Bahā'; that is, "B" and "H". In the colophon at the close of the Kitāb-i-Īqān, for example, we read, "Thus hath it been revealed aforetime.. Revealed by the "Bā" and the "Hā" (trans. Shoghi Effendi, 164). While the earlier Tablet of the Disconnected Letters also contains such a self-designation when it refers to this writing as a "Book" from "B" before "H" (Mā'idih 4:52), the fourth line of the Lawḥ-i nāqūs ("Tablet of the Bell", 1863 CE) allludes to it when there is a command to the "Angel of Light" (malak al-nūr) to blow in the eschatological "Trumpet" (al-ṭūr) in view of the new theophany in which the letter "H" rides upon a mighty pre-existent letter "B".

Bahā’-Allāh has stated that various portions or "letters" of the word Bahā' as the greatest name are contained in pre-Bābī Holy Books. In past religious dispensations there was a progressive disclosure of "letters" of various forms or conceptions of the greatest name. Certain traditions attributed to the Shī`ī Imāms (rooted in Jewish notions) allocate "letters" of a 73 letter greatest name to past sages, prophets or Manifestations of God -- reckoning that one of the "letters" remained hidden (73-1=72). In some lists, Adam received 25 letters, Noah 25, Abraham 8, Moses 4 and Jesus 2 (Majlisī, Biḥār.. 11:68). Certain writings of the Bāb and Bahā’-Allāh reflect such traditions.

Drawing on Qur'ān 21:78f and (probably also) those Shī`ī traditions (aḥadīth) which reckon that certain of the Israelite prophets received a few letters of knowledge or of the greatest name of God the Bāb, in Qayyūm al-asmā' LIX explains how David and Solomon were inspired with two letters of the "greatest word" (kalimat al-akbar) adding that Dhu'l- Nun (= Jonah), Idris (= Enoch), Ishmael and Dhu'l-Kifl (Job or Ezekiel?) were in darkness until they testified to the truth of the "point of the Gate" (nuqtat al-bāb) or the Bab.

In his Tafsīr laylat al-qadr ("Commentary on the Sūra of the `Night of Power'", Qur'ān 97) the Bāb refers to 3, 4, and 5 portions of one of the forms of the greatest name existing in the Pentateuch (tawrat), Gospel[s] (injīl) and Qur'ān (respectively; see INBMC 69:17). Similarly, in a Tablet commenting on the basmala {8} and first verse of the Qur'ānic Sūra of the Pen (Sūra 68), Bahā’-Allāh mentions that God divulged something (a "letter"/ "word" harf an) of the "Greatest Name" Bahā' in every dispensation. In the Islamic dispensation, He states, it is alluded to through the letter "B" (bā'; the first letter of the basmala see below) and in the Gospels (injīl) through the word Ab (= "Father") -- which, in the Arabic Bible, contains two of the letters of Bahā' ("A" & "B"). Bahā' is clearly intimated in Bābī Scripture, the Bayān. It is representative of the Self (nafs) of God in this, the Bahā'ī dispensation (see INBMC 56:25).

In a Persian Tablet Bahā’-Allāh states that in past ages the greatest name (Bahā') was hidden in the "knowledge of God" but recorded or intimated in the scrolls of past Messengers of God (suhuf al-mursalīn see Iqtidārāt, 275). In one of the Hidden Words (Kalimāt-i maknūnih, Persian No.77; revealed some five years prior to his declaration in 1863) Bahā’-Allāh mystically intimated the manifestation and power of the greatest name, Bahā', (see below) through the disclosure of its first two letters! (i.e. "Bā" and "Hā"). {9} In hundreds of subsequent Tablets the power and importance of the word Bahā' is spelled out.

Intimations of بهاء Bahā’ in the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament)

The word bahā' seems to have no precise equivalent or cognate in Biblical Hebrew. Theologically, it is represented by the Hebrew word kabôd = `radiant glory'. Translated into Biblical Hebrew the title بهاء الله = Bahā’-Allāh would be כְּבוד יְהוָה = (Heb.) Kabôd YHWH [`Adonai]. Bahā'-Allāh himself and several early Bahā’ī apologists found intimations of this title in several verses in the book of Isaiah. They were thought to predict the manifestation of the person of Bahā’-Allāh as a theophanic incarnation of the radiance of the divine "glory". This "gloty" was also thought to be evident in the believing Bahā'ī follower. There follows the Hebrew (MT), Arabic (Van Dyck) and English translations (AV = KJV) of Isaiah 40:5 then Isaiah 60:1,2b and 5 which are cited by Bahā'-Allah himself in this connection:

וְנִגְלָ֖ה כְּבֹ֣וד יְהוָ֑ה וְרָא֤וּ כָל־בָּשָׂר֙ יַחְדָּ֔ו כִּ֛י פִּ֥י יְהוָ֖ה דִּבֵּֽר׃

فيعلن مجد الرب ويراه كل بشر جميعا لان فم الرب تكلم

"And the glory of the Lord (Heb. kabôd YHWH = Ar. majd al-rabb = Bahā'-Allāh) shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it" (Isaiah 40:5).

ק֥וּמִי אֹ֖ורִי כִּ֣י בָ֣א אֹורֵ֑ךְ וּכְבֹ֥וד יְהוָ֖ה עָלַ֥יִךְ זָרָֽח ...

וְעָלַ֙יִךְ֙ יִזְרַ֣ח יְהוָ֔ה וּכְבֹודֹ֖ו עָלַ֥יִךְ יֵרָאֶֽה...

אָ֤ז תִּרְאִי֙ וְנָהַ֔רְתְּ...

"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord (kabôd YHWH) has risen upon you ... the Lord (YHWH) will arise upon you, and his glory (kabôd) will be seen upon you.. Then shall you see and be radiant..." (Isaiah 60:1, 2b; 5a).

Many other Biblical texts contain references to the kabôd ("glory") or kabôd YHWH ("Glory of the Lord"). Probably alluding to Bahā’-Allāh, Ezekiel described the "Glory of God" in the form of a man (Ezek 1:26; see also Ezekiel chapters 1, Ch 10 & 43:1ff cf. Daniel 7). [10] Israel Abrahams (1858-1924), Reader in Rabbinic and Talmudic Literature at Cambridge University, in the second of his three lectures on The Glory of God (entitled `Messianic' and delivered in the U.S.A. in the spring of 1924), among other interesting observations, wrote,

"The expectation that the divine Glory will be made splendidly manifest with the coming of the Kingship of God is not only a natural hope, it is also a solid foundation for optimism." (p.42).

That kabôd ("glory") is of paramount eschatological (`latter day') importance in the Hebrew Bible prompted Arthur M. Ramsey (1906-1988; Archbishop of Canterbury, 1961-74, and one-time (regius) professor of Divinity at Cambridge (and Durham, UK) to write,

"one day Israel will have the vision of the kabôd of her God, whether by His dwelling with man upon the stage of history or by the coming of a new heaven and a new earth bathed in the light of the divine radiance... No reader of the Old Testament would believe that there was a coming of the Kingdom and of the Messianic age which did not include a manifestation of the glory..." (Ramsey, The Glory.. 18,37).

The theophanic secrets of the Divine Glory (kabôd) have been, and are, a matter of central importance in Jewish mysticism. So too the mysteries of the tetragrammaton (`four lettered word', which occurs some 6,823 times in the Hebrew Bible), = YHWH (trans. "Lord"; also loosely transliterated, "Yahweh", "Jehovah"). It is the personal name of the Biblical God of Moses. Bahā’-Allāh claimed to be a manifestation of the God, the Lord Who is YHWH (see Lambden, Sinaitic Mysteries 154f); the very radiance of His Presence, His divine "Glory". Qabbalistically speaking or in the light of Jewish mysticism, the first two letters of the divine name YHWH (the "Y" and the "H") correspond to the first two letters of the word Bahā' ( the "B" and the "H"). Quite frequent in the Hebrew Bible is a short form of YHWH composed of its first two consonants Y and H read Yāh. The well-known exclamation Hallelujah (Heb. Hallelûyāh) meaning `Praised be Yāh [God]' uses this abbreviated form of the Divine Designation. The two letter abbreviated form of Bahā' and this two letter form of the Hebrew name of God coincide. According to various mystics the first of their two letters ("Y and "B") were considered the "Primal Point" from which certain dimensions of existence sprang forth. [11]

Jewish traditions have it that in the "last days" the radiant eschatological "glory" of the (symbolic) "First Man" or `first couple' would be regained (cf. Gen 3:21). The new humanity will, it is predicted in numerous texts, be "clothed" in the primordial "glory" . This, symbolically speaking, the `first couple' lost at the time of the "fall". A variety of religious traditions reckon that primordial conditions will again be experienced in the new, messianic age of paradise. For Bahá'ís the emergent "new heaven and earth" is radiant with the "glory" of the divine presence reflected in the renewed status of the first couple in the new Eden of the age of Paradise (cf. Lambden, `From Fig-Leaves to Fingernails').

Intimations of Bahā’ in the New Testament and Christian literatures..

The Arabic word bahā' obviously does not occur directly in the Greek New Testament. Its theological equivalent is the Greek word doxa = radiant "glory" which translates the Hebrew kabôd (in one sense also, radiant "glory"). [12] Some millennial or more old (early medieval, probably pre-9th century CE?) Christian uses of the word bahā' can be found in various medieval (or earlier, perhaps pre-Islamic) Arabic writings. In, for example, Arabic recensions of an originally Syriac work, The Book of the Cave of Treasures (Me'ârath Gazzê, original Syriac c. 4th cent. CE?; see Bezold, Die Schatzöhle), ; namely, in the "Book of the Rolls" (Kitāb al-majāll). [13] This work includes an account of the story of Adam and Eve. Reference is made to the First Man's pre-fall "mighty glory" (bahā' al-aīm, Bezold Vol. 2:14); his "wondrous glory" (al-bahā' al-`ajīb, Gibson, Apocrypha, 6). According to the "Book of the Rolls" the first couple were both clothed in glory and "splendour" (bahā')" (Gibson, 7). [14]

The Arabic word bahā' is, however, found at certain points in Arabic versions of the New Testament and in other Arabic writings. A good example occurs in Revelation 21:23 where John of Patmos predicts,

"And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God (= Bahā’-Allāh) is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb."

In one of his Tablets to a Jewish Bahā'ī, Bahā’-Allāh cites this verse in Arabic exactly as it was printed in the London 1858 (1671) edition of the William Watts Arabic Bible for the Eastern Churches.

It has been noted that Bahā’-Allāh associated the word "Father" with the "greatest name". Several verses of the Gospels speak of the return of Christ "in the glory of his Father" (Matt. 16:27 Mark 8:38 cf. Luke 9:26). Both the words "glory" (Greek doxa) and "Father" (Greek patār, Hebrew Bible 'Ab, Arabic Bible Āb) could be regarded as alluding to the "Greatest Name" Bahā'. In the New Testament the word "Father" occurs over 200 times -- as opposed to around 15 times (as 'Ab) for "God" in the Hebrew Bible. It is found in the two versions of the so-called `Lord's Prayer' (see Luke 11:3-4 & Matt. 6:9-13). This prayer begins: "Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come..". The "Father" referred to here is primarily the Godhead but could also be understood to refer to Bahā’-Allāh Who has ever existed (in his pre-existent Reality) in the "heaven" of the Will of God. The "hallowed be thy name" verse might be understood to be an allusion to the "glory" of the "Greatest Name" Bahā'; to One whose kingdom has been long awaited by Christians expecting the return of Christ in the glory of the "Father".

Numerous Christians have written volumes upon the subject of the multi-faceted Biblical concept of the "Glory"/ the "Glory of God". Christ's return "in the glory of the Father" has been meditated upon, prayed for, and variously interpreted for many centuries. Some have focused upon the mystery of the Biblical "glory" (kabôd / doxa) or related expressions of the Divine splendour. A somewhat eccentric Protestant Christian example of this, is the Rev. H. A. Edwards' pamphlet, The Glory of the Lord, An Investigation into the significance of the Shekinah [= "Glorious Dwelling"] Presence, the Reasons for its Withdrawal and the Prophecies Concerning its Future Return. More recent and much more important volumes have been written which contain valuable information about the glorious Divine Presence in history and eschatology; about the Kabôd and the Doxa. Details cannot be gone into here. It must suffice to quote a few sentences from the entry DOXA ("Glory") in Rahner and Vorgrimler's (Catholic) Concise Theological Dictionary,

"In principle, man has already acquired a share in God's eschatological [end time] doxa through the self-communication of God to man which has occurred in Christ (the bestowal of the Spirit..).. but, under this soteriological aspect, that doxa is still essentially a hidden thing, to be revealed only when the sufferings of this age are over (Rom 18:18)." (Concise, 136).

The Arabic word majd, which can also be translated by (radiant) "glory", is the word which renders doxa ("glory") in certain Arabic translations of the New Testament. In the Kitáb-i Íqán and in other Tablets, Bahá'u'lláh quotes those New Testament verses which predict the return of Christ in "glory" (doxa) (see Mark 13:26, Matthew 24:30, Luke 21:27 cf. Mark 8:38; Matthew 16:27; Luke 9:26). Here (Greek) doxa ("glory") is usually rendered in Arabic Bibles by majd ("glory"). It is thus the case that many references in Bahá'u'lláh's Tablets to his coming with great "glory" (majd) allude to his being the return of Christ "in the glory (majd = doxa) of the Father" (For some details see Lambden, `In the glory of the Father', unpublished essay).

 dead", the "body" of his religion revived and revitalized.

  2.0 The Word بهاء , Bahā’ in select Islamic religious and other literary texts

The linguistic history, semantic field and multifarious occurrences of the word bahā' in Arabic and Persian Islamic literatures have yet to be systematically researched. It is a word which does not occur in the Qur'ān and is not among the traditional ninety nine "most beautiful names" of God (al-asmā' al-ḥusnā ; see Qur'ān 7:179). It is thus considered "hidden". The Arabic word بهاء, bahā' was not unknown prior to the advent of Bahā’-Allāh. The explicit identification of بهاء as the "Greatest Name", however, despite Islāmic traditions which indicate this, was not widely recognized. As the secret of the hundredth name of God, Bahā' is often alluded to in Bahā’-Allāh's Tablets as the "Hidden Name" and the "Greatest Name".

Du`ā al-Jawshan al-kabir of the Prophet Muhammad

Tradition, furthermore, has it that the "Greatest Name" was said to be contained in the Prophet Muhammad's Du`ā al-Jawshan al-kabār ("Greater Supplication of Jawshan"). In this prayer God is addressed as One possessed of Bahā’ ("Glory" ) (see Qummi Mafātih, 131ff). It is likewise reckoned that Imam Ja`far al-Ṣādiq stated that the "Greatest Name" is contained in the so-called Du`ā umm Dawud ("Supplication of the Mother of David") towards the beginning of which we read, "Unto Thee [God] be Bahā’ ("Glory").." (Qummi , Mafātih, 199).


Rūzbihān Baqlī Shirazi (d.1209) and a ḥadith ascribed to the Prophet

An interesting occurrence of the word bahā’ in association with the rose is to be found in a prophetic hadith ("tradition") attributed to Muhammad as cited by the outstanding love-mystic and gnostic, Shaykh Rūzbihān Baqlī Shirazi (d.1209). In his مشرب الارواح Mashrab al-arwāḥ ("The Tavern of Souls") and elsewhere (e.g. Sharḥ-i shaṭṭḥiyyāt = "Commentary upon the Ecstatic Locutions") the Prophet Muhammad reckons the gul-i surkh ("red rose") a manifestation of the bahā’-i khudā, "The Glory-Beauty of God" a phrase could be seen as a Persian translation of Bahā'-Allāh :

هرگاه حق بخواهد كسى را در عشق مونس خود قرار دهد ، انوار بهاء جمال خودرا به او مى نما ياند تا به تمام بسنديده ها عاشق شود . پیامبرعليه ا لسلام فرمود : گل سرخ از بهاء خدا است، هركه می خواهد بهاء خدا نظرکند بايد به گل سرخ بنگرد عارف گفت : ديدن بهاء جا يگاه انس وانبساط است *

"Whenever the One True God (ḥaqq) wishes to adopt someone as his loving intimate, He shows that person the lights of the Glory of His Own Beauty (anwār-i bahā'-i jamāl-i khūd-rā), so that the person is enraptured with everything beautiful. The Prophet [Muhammad] said,"The red rose (gul-i surkh) is [a token] of God's Glory-Beauty (az bahā’-i khudā). Whoever wishes to contemplate the Glory-Beauty of God (bahā'-i khudā), let him behold the Rose (gul-i surkh)." The mystic knower (`ārif) said: "The vision of the Glory-Beauty [of God] (bahā') takes place through intimacy (uns) and interior openness [delight] (inbisāṭ)" (trans. Lambden from Mashrab al-arwāḥ, 262; see also Henri Corbin, See Rūzbihān Baqlī, Mashrab al-arwāḥ (ed. Nazif M. Hoca Istanbul, 1974) p.262, Cf. English trans. Nurbaksh, Sufi Symbolism 4:19. See also Rūzbihān Baqlī (ed. and trans. Henri Corbin), Commentaire.. (Sharḥ-i Shaṭṭḥāt), paragraph 265).

Commenting on this tradition in her Mystical Dimensions of Islam.. Annemarie Schimmel, writes, "It was Rūzbihān Baqlī who highlighted the prophetic tradition according to which Muhammad declared the red rose to be the manifestation of God's glory ([bahā’'] B 265). He thus gave the rose loved by poets throughout the world the sanction of religious experience; his vision of God is a vision of clouds of roses, the divine presence fulgent as a marvelous red rose. Since this flower reveals divine beauty and glory most perfectly, the nightingale, symbol of the longing soul, is once and forever bound to love it and the numberless roses and nightingales in Persian and Turkish poetry take on, wittingly or unwittingly, this metaphysical connotation of soul-bird and divine rose." (p.299).

The Du`a al-ḥujub ("The Supplication of the Veils") cited in the Muhaj al-da`wāt.. ("Lifeblood of the Supplications") of Ibn Tāwūs (d. 1266 CE)

The Muhaj al-da`wāt.. ("Lifeblood of the Supplications...") is a compilation of prayers attributed to the Prophet Muhammad and the Twelver Imams compiled by Radi al-Din ibn Tāwūs (1193-1266 CE). Within it is an Arabic prayer attributed to the Prophet Muhammad which came to be entitled Du`a al-ḥujub ("The Supplication of the Veils"). It contains the following line which associates the word bahā’ with the Sinaitic theophany

واسألك بالاسماء التې تجيلت بها للكليم (موسى) على الجبل العظيم فلما بدا شعاع نورالحجب من بهاء العظمة خرت الجبال متدكدكة لعظمتك و جلالك و هيبتك و خوفا من سطوتك راهبة منك فلا اله إلا انت فلا اله إلا انت فلا اله إلا انت *

"I beseech Thee [God] by the Names (al-asmā') through which Thou didst manifest Thy glory (tajallayta) before the Speaker (al-kalām, Moses) upon the mighty mountain [Sinai]. So when radiant beams were generated from the Light of the Veils [of Light hiding the Divinity] through the Bahā’ ("Splendour") of the Divine Grandeur (al-`azimat) the mountain was levelled in pieces, before, that is, Thy Grandeur, Thy Magnitude (jalāl) and Thy Awesome Tremendum (haiba). And such was out of fear before Thy Gravitas (saṭwat) which exudes dreadful terror from Thee. There is indeed no God save Thee. Indeed there is no God save Thee. Indeed there is no God save Thee." (cf. Qur'ān 7:143).

Bahā’u'llāh, it will be recalled, mystically identified himself with the Divine Being Who conversed with Moses on the Sinai of inner realization. Relative to Bābī-Bahā’ī scripture the use of the word Bahā’ ("splendour/glory") here for the divine theophany upon Sinai, is prophetically significant (see below). It is of interest that in one of his writings the Bāb identified the "Greatest Name" with the Divine Reality which appeared to Moses on Sinai (INBA. MS 6003C 173-188). Indeed, in his Qayyum all-asmā sura 77 he also reckoned the vehicle of this Divine manifestation the "Light of Bahā’" (cf. below).

2.1 The word Bahā’ in select traditions of the twelver Shi`i Imams.

ADD HERE

The Khuṭba al-ṭutuniyīya (The Sermon of the Gulf) ascribed to Imam `Ali (40/661).

A variety of Bābī and Bahā'ī scriptural sources have been influenced by an Arabic oration attributed to Imām `Alī (d.656) which is said to have been delivered between Kufah and Medina and is known as Khutba al-ṭutuniyīya [taṭanjiya] (loosely, "The Sermon of the Gulf") (cf Lambden, Sinaitic 84-5, 160). It was very highly regarded and quite frequently cited or alluded to by the first two Shaykhī leaders and by the Bāb and Bahā’-Allāh. Towards the end of this Khutba reference is made to the latter-day sign of the miraculous transformation of the pebbles [gravel] of Najaf (near Kūfa in Iraq; the site of the shrine of Imām `Alī) into precious jewels (jawhar an). These treasures, which God will scatter under the feet of the true believers, will render other precious stones relatively valueless. This unparalleled sign is associated with the radiant, confirmatory manifestation of the Divine ḍiyā' ("splendour") and bahā ("glory") (Bursī, Mashāriq, 169).

See Further: 

Supplication of Imam Ḥusayn on the 9th Day of `Arafa...

In the concluding section of a Du`a ("Supplication") of Imam Ḥusayn (d.61/680) uttered on the pilgrimage `Day of `Arafa' (9th of Dhu'l‑Hijja (see Tehrani, al‑Dharia 4:193) as recorded in (an apparently unique recension) in the Kitāb al‑bilad al‑amin ("The Book of the Secure Land") of al‑Kaf`ami we read:

"And Thou [God] made Thyself known to all things such that not a single thing was left in ignorance of Thee. Thou made Thyself known unto me [Imam Husayn] in everything such that I visioned Thee outwardly in all things (fa‑ra'aytuka zahir an li‑kulli shay'). And Thou was One Apparent unto everything (zahir an li‑kulli shay in; cf. Q. )!
O the One Who seated Himself through His Mercifulness (istawa bi‑rahmaniyyatihi) (cf. Q. 20:5; 53:6) such that the [Heavenly] Throne (al‑arsh) became concealed in His Being (`Essence' ghayb an fi dhatihi); Thou didst annihilate the traces through the traces (al‑āthār bi'l‑āthār) and didst obliterate the externalities (al‑aghyār) by means of the circumferences of the [heavenly] spheres of the Lights (bi‑muāāt aflāk al‑anwār).

O the One Who art veiled in the Pavilions of His Throne (surādiqāt al‑`arsh) beyond the perception of the eyes.

O the One Whose theophany was realized (tajallā cf. Q. 7:143) through the perfection of His Bahā' [Splendor-Beauty] (bi‑kamāl bahā'ihi)! Thereby was His Grandeur (`azamat) established through His being enthroned (min al‑istiwā'). How then can Thou become hidden when thou art One Evident (zāhir cf. Q. )? Or how can Thou become concealed when Thou art the Overseer (al‑raqāb al‑zāir)?

Thou indeed art One Powerful over all things. And praised be unto God in Himself alone" (al‑Qummi, Mafatih, 343).

The Divine theophany is here realized bi‑kamāl bahā'ihi. It takes place through the "perfection" or fullness of His bahā' " ("Splendor-Beauty"). Perhaps it is the Sinaitic theophany which is realized through the perfection of the His divine Bahā' as is also the case in various scriptural writings of the Bab amd Bahā'-Allah. The Siniatic theophany is associated with a manifestation of the Bahā' of God.

The Du`ā al-bahā' ("The Supplication of Glory-Beauty") or Ramadan Dawn Prayer (Du`ā al-saḥar ).

The traditions of the Twelver Shi`i Imams are viewed positively and often cited by the Bāb and Bahā’u'llāh. Among the most important occurrences of the word bahā’ in Shi`i Islāmic literatures is in an Arabic invocatory prayer attributed to Imam Muhammad al-Bāqir (677-732 CE) the fifth of the Twelver Shi`i Imams. The eighth Shi`i Imam, `Ali al-Riḍā' (d. 818 CE.), who transmitted this prayer, reckoned that it contained the "Greatest Name" of God (al-ism al-a`zam). It is a prayer to be recited at dawn (Du`ā Sahar), during Ramadan the Muslim month of fasting. The word bahā or a derivative of the same root occurs five times within it's opening lines;

دُعاء البَهَاء

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ بَهَائِكَ بِأَبْهَاهُ وَكُلُّ بَهَائِكَ بَهِيٌّ، اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ بِبَهَائِكَ كُلِّهِ

O my God!

I beseech Thee by Thy Bahā' (Splendor) at its most Splendid (abhā')

for all Thy Splendor (bahā') is truly resplendent (bahiyy).

I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the fullness of Thy Splendor (bahā').

Alternatively:

"O my God!

I beseech Thee by thy Bahā ' in its supreme splendour (abhā') for all Thy bahā ' is truly luminous (bahīyy).

I, verily, O my God, beseech Thee by the fullness of Thy bahā!"

The first line of the Dawn Prayer of Muhammad al-Baqir (text and trans above) contains no less than five forms derived from the same triliteral root from which the verbal noun bahā' and the superlative abhā (All-Glorious) are derived. Bahā'-Allāh drew attention to this in one of his Tablets.

This alliterative Arabic prayer continues in like manner, substituting the word bahā' and its derivatives with all the other of the 19 divine Attributes utilized by the Bāb in the Bābī-Bahā'ī calendar -- first set forth in the (Bāb's) Kitāb al-asmā' ("Book of Names" c.1849) and later ratified by Bahā'u'll āh in the Kitāb-i-Aqdas ("Most Holy Book" c. 1873). The scheme of names within it, directly or indirectly, lies behind a good many Bābī-Bahā'ī scriptural uses of bahā' -- frequently, for example, in the Bāb's Kitāb-i-panj sha'n ("The Book of the Five Grades"). It is quoted in the (Persian) Dalā'il-i-Sab`a ("The Seven Proofs" c. 1848/9?) where its first five lines are regarded as an allusion to the Prophet Muhammad and the other "people of the cloak" (ahl al-kisā' see Qur'ā n 33:32; namely,`Ali, Fātima, Hasan and Ḥusayn; see pp. 58-9).

The following passage from the Bāb's writings is closely related to the above quoted Dawn Prayer and to the Bābī messiah Man yuzhiruhu'llāh ("Him Whom God shall make manifest" = Bahā’-Allāh);

"The glory of Him Whom God shall manifest is immeasurably above every other glory, and His majesty is far above every other majesty. His beauty excelleth every other embodiment of beauty, and His grandeur immensely exceedeth every other manifestation of grandeur. Every light paleth before the radiance of His light, and every other exponent of mercy falleth short before the tokens of His mercy. Every other perfection is as naught in face of His consummate perfection, and every other display of might is as nothing before His absolute might. His names are superior to all other names. His good‑pleasure taketh precedence over any other expression of good‑pleasure. His pre‑eminent exaltation is far above the reach of every other symbol of exaltation. The splendour of His appearance far surpasseth that of any other appearance. His divine concealment is far more profound than any other conceal ment. His loftiness is immeasurably above every other loftiness. His gracious favour is unequalled by any other evidence of favour. His power transcendeth every power. His sovereignty is invincible in the face of every other sovereignty. His celestial dominion is exalted far above every other dominion. His knowledge pervadeth all created things, and His consummate power extendeth over all beings." (SWB:I57 tr. text 110-111).

There exists an Arabic prayer of Bahā’-Allāh -- headed "In the name of God, the All-Glorious (al-Abhā)" -- which opens with reference to the Shī`ī Dawn Prayer, the first line of which it subsequently quotes. By means of this Dawn Prayer, God had been supplicated, Bahā’-Allāh meditates, by the tongue of His Messengers (rusul), beseeched through the "tongues of those who are nigh unto God". All, in fact, were commanded to recite it at dawntimes for it contains the "Greatest Name" and is a protection against being veiled from that Name (Bahā') which is the "ornament" of God's "Self". (see AQA, Majmū`a-yi munājāt 45-46). [22]

An untitled Tablet of Bahā'-Allāh identifying and celebrating the word Bahā' in the Du`ā al-saḥar with himself as the Greatest Name of God.

بسمي الذي به اشرق نور البيان من أفق الامكان

يا أيها الناظر الى الوجه والمذكور لدى العرش ا مروز لسان برهان درملكوت البيان باين كلمهء مباركهء عليا،

،اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ بَهَائِكَ بِأَبْهَاهُ وَكُلُّ بَهَائِكَ بَهِيٌّ

هذا اسم الله الاعظم الذي اخبر به حجة الله و برهانه ، لعمري ما ظهر ذكر ولا بيان اصرح من ذلك طوبى، للمنصفين،

هدا اسم ارتعدت منه فرائص المشركين واطمئنت به افئدة المقربين، أقبل وقل الملك والملكوت فى فبضة قدرة الله و رب العالمين

الذي لم تمنعه الصفوف ولا اقوى جنود العالم يفعل ما يشاء ويحكم ما يريد وهو العزيز الحميد.

In My Name through which the Light of Exposition (nūr al-bayān) hath radiated forth from the Horizon of Possibility (ufq al-imkān).

O Thou who gazest towards the Countenance and are one mentioned before the Throne! Today the Tongue of the Proof in the Kingdom of Exposition (malakūt al-bayān) giveth utterance to this Elevated, Blessed, Word (kalimat-i mubāraka-i `ulyā') :

"O my God! I beseech Thee by Thy Bahā' (Splendor) at its most Splendid (abhā') for all Thy Splendor (bahā') is truly resplendent (bahiyy)..."

This is the Greatest Name of God (ism Allāh al-a`ẓam) which was announced by the proof of God (hujjat Allāh) and His evidence [the messianic Imam]. By My Life! There hath not appeared either any mention (dhikr) nor any evidence (bayān) more lucid (aṣraḥ) than this. Blessed then be such demand justice (ṭubā li'l-munṣifiyyin)! This is a Name through which the limbs of the unbelievers (farā'iṣ al-mushrikīn) hath been made to quake and whereby the hearts of those who are nigh unto God (afida al-muqarrabīn) hath been made tranqil. So draw ye nigh and say: `The Kingdom and the Kingdom of God (al-mulk wa'l-malakūt) are in the grasp of the power of God, the Lord of all the worlds! He it is whom the [ military] ranks (al-ṣufūf) cannot hold back nor the powers of the hosts of the world (junūd al-`alam) overpower him. He doeth whatsoever He willeth and ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth for He is One Mighty, Praiseworthy" (trans. Lambden from Behmardi, ed. La`ali-yi Ḥikmah II:183).

The above cited and translated scriptural Tablet of Baha'-Allah clearly identified the words baha' in the Dawn Prayer with the Mightiest or Greatest Name of God (ism Allāh al-a`ẓam). ADD HERE

In many of his Arabic and Persian scriptural Tablets (alwāḥ) Bahā’-Allāh cites or partially cites the opening lines of the Ramadan Du`a al-Sahar often utilizing its terminology in benedictions upon Babi-Bahā'i persons. In an untitled Persian Tablet headed `He is the Powerful, the Transcendent, the Sanctified, the Exalted, the All-Glorious, a benediction is uttered upon the young Bahā'i martyr Āqā Buzūrg-i Khurasānī (executed 1871 CE) who was entitled Badī` ("Wonderful") in which the slightly modified phrase (the 2nd person suffix and the bi are omitted) `alay-hu min kull bahā' abha-hu ("upon him be all the Bahā' at its Most Splendid (abhā)

هو المقتدر المتعالی المقدس العلی الابهی

و اينكه مرقوم داشته بوديد كه در محبت اللّه انفاق جان محبوبتراست يا ذكر حق بحكمت و بيان لعمراللّه

ان الثانی لخير چه كه بعد از شهادت جناب بديع عليه من كل بهاء ابهاه كل را بحكمت امر فرمودند

Certain passages within his Tablets addressed to the key Bahā'i entitled Samandar , for example, quote sections of the first line of the Dawn Prayer Referring to Samandar Baha’u’llah states,

if the substance of this letter were sent to the beloved of the inmost heart of his eminence Samandar, may the fire of divine love be upon him, through all of the Bahā' (Glory) at its Most Splendid (abhā-hu) ... (Ayat-i bayyinat, No. 152 pp.[318-9], 319)

Tablet to Mīrzā `Abbās of Astarābād

In a Persian Tablet to Mīrzā `Abbās of Astarābād sometimes referred to as the Lawḥ ism-i-a`ẓam ("Tablet of the Greatest Name") Bahā’-Allāh quotes from the beginning of the above quoted Dawn Prayer and observes that the "people of al-Furqān" (= Muslims) have not heeded the fact that the "greatest name" was said to be contained within it; indeed, at its very beginning! (refer Mā'idah, 4: 22-23 cf. ibid, 7:97). For details see:

http://www.hurqalya.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/BAHA'-ALLAH/l-%60Abbas%20Astara...

Lawḥ-i ibn-i-Dhi'b ("The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf", c. 1891 CE)

In his last major work the Lawḥ-i ibn-i-Dhi'b ("The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf" c. 1891 CE) Bahā’-Allāh refers to the Dawn Prayer. He exhorts Shaykh Muhammad Taqī Najafī (d.1914), should he enter the "Crimson Ark" (become a Bahā'ī), to face the "Kaaba of God" (Bahā’-Allāh) and recite the opening line of the Shī'ī Dawn Prayer (cited above). Were this to be carried out, He promises, even the "doors of the Kingdom" would be "flung wide" open before the face of the "son of the Wolf". This anti-Bahā'ī cleric did not read this prayer as directed; he never became a Bahā'ī.

Commentaries on the Dawn Prayer for Ramadan

Among those Muslims who wrote a commentary on this Dawn Prayer but remained both anti-Bābī/Bahā'ī was the third head of the Kirmānī Shaykhis, Ḥājjī Mīrzā Muhammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī (d. 1288 AH/1871 CE). In his Arabic Treatise in Commentary upon the Dawn Prayer (written 1274 AH/1857 CE) he records the tradition that it contained the "Greatest Name". [23] Karīm Khān equates bahā' in its opening line with the synonym ḥusn (= `beauty, excellence, etc) and goes on to explain that "the bahā' of God (bahā' Allāh) signifies the first of the HERE CORRECT Khān regarded the Bahā' of God as the primordial cosmological Reality. He was aware of the exegetical traditions and of their linguistic and theological import but remained heedless and antagonistic towards the Bābī and Bahā'ī religions until he passed away in 1871 CE.

See further :http://www.hurqalya.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/03-Biblical-islam-BBst/dawnP.htm

The following paragraph introduces the Du'a al-saḥār in Kitāb Zad al-ma'ād: ("Knapsack for the Eschaton") of Muhammad Baqir Majlisī' (d. 1111/1699-1700)

As for the worthy, greatly respected supplication (du'a)[al-saḥār] it has been related that his highness [ the tenth] Imam [`Ali al-] Riḍā [d. 203/818] stated that this is a supplication that his highness [the fourth] Imam Muhammad Bāqir [d. c. 126/743] would recite in the mornings. He would say that if people knew the greatness ('azimat) of this supplication before God, the speed with which it would [enable the devotee to] be answered, they would certainly kill each other with swords in order to obtain it And if I took an oath that the ism Allāh aI-a`ẓam (Mightiest Name of God) is in this prayer, I would be stating the truth. Thus, when you recite this supplication, recite it with all concentration and humility and keep it hidden from other than his people [i.e. non-Shi'is]... (Majlisī, K. Zad, mss. folio 63b).

The prayer translated above is ascribed to the fifth Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (d. c.126/743). It exists in several versions. and is recited by Shi`i Muslims at dawn times during the fasting month of Ramadan.

This Du'a al-saḥār was very precious to the Bāb who quoted or re-revealed it numerous times in his Kitab-i Panj Sha`n (Book of the Five Grades) and Kitab al-asmā’ (Book of Names). His naming of the months of the Babi-Bahā'ī year is closely related to the divine attributes found within this and related versions of the Dawn Prayer or Du`a yawm al-mubahilah (Supplication for the Day of Mutual Execration) which begins in an identical fashion. Bahā'-Allāh several times commented upon the Du'a al-saḥār and frequently alluded to it. Certain passages within his Tablets addressed to Samandar (e.g. Ayat-i bayyinat, No. 152 see below), for example, quote sections of the first line of this prayer . Referring to Samandar in one Tablet Baha’u’llah says,

if the substance of this letter were sent to the beloved of the inmost heart of his eminence Samandar, may the fire of divine love be upon him, through all of the Bahā' (glory) at its most splendid (abha-hu) ... (Ayat-i bayyinat, No. 152 pp.[318-9], 319)

The Du`ā' yawm al-mubāhala ("Supplication for the Day of Mutual Execration").

The Du`ā' yawm al-mubāhala ("Supplication for the Day of Mutual Execration") is a devotional supplication paralleling and closely related to the Du`ā' al-saḥar (Dawn supplication) of Imam Muhammad al-Bāqir (transmitted by Imām Ridā'; see Mafātīḥ 351). Their opening lines are identical. A version of it is contained in al-Qummī's Mafātīḥ al-jinān ( 351-355). Therein it is stated that it was transmitted from Ja`far al-Ṣādiq (marwiyā `an al-Ṣādiq; ibid). The original transcript mss. (naskh) of this supplication contains numerous textual variants; the naskh ("version") of the Shaykh (al-Ṭā'ifa, Muhammad b. Ḥasan al-Ṭūsī, d.460/1067) differing from that of the Sayyid as it exists in his 'Ad`iya asār Ramaḍān (p.237). The version printed in al-Qummī follows that of the al-Ṭūsī in his al-Miṣbāḥ : (p.351).

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ بَهَائِكَ بِأَبْهَاهُوَكُلُّ بَهَائِكَ بَهِيٌّ،

اللَّهُمَّ إِنِّي

 أَسْأَلُكَ بِبَهَائِكَ كُلِّهِ

O my God! I beseech Thee by Thy Bahā' ("Beauty-Splendor") in its utmost Glory (abhā') for all Thy Beauty (bahā') is truly brilliant (bahiyy); I, verily, O my God! beseech Thee by the fullness of Thy splendor (bahā').

See further: http://www.hurqalya.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/03-Biblical-islam-BBst/mubahala...

Raḍī al-Dīn ibn Ṭāwūs (1193-1266 CE).

The The Muhaj al-da`wāt.. ("Lifeblood of the Supplications...") is a compilation of prayers attributed to the Prophet Muhammad and the Twelver Imāms compiled by Raḍī al-Dīn ibn Ṭāwūs (1193-1266 CE). Within it is an Arabic prayer attributed to the Prophet Muhammad which came to be entitled Du`a al-ḥujub ("The Supplication of the Veils"). [18] This `Prayer of the Veils' has been transmitted in various recensions by, among others, Muhammad Bāqir Majlisī the compiler of the Shī`ī encyclopedia The Ocean of Lights (Bihār al-Anwār) and Bahā’ al-Din al-`Amili, Shaykh Bahā’ī (see below) who includes it in his Kashkūl or ("The Begging Bowl"). Some Muslim scholars have doubted its authenticity. The fourth leader of the Shaykhis, Hajī Zayn al-`Abidīn Khān Kirmānī (1859-1941 CE) wrote an over 300 page commentary on it in which its authenticity is discussed (see his Sharḥ du`a al-ḥujub, p.6ff.). The Du`a al-ḥujub contains the following line which associates the word بهاء bahā' with the Sinaitic theophany [19]:

واسألك بالاسماء التې تجيلت بها للكليم (موسى) على الجبل العظيم فلما بدا شعاع نورالحجب من بهاء العظمة خرت الجبال متدكدكة لعظمتك و جلالك و هيبتك و خوفا من سطوتك راهبة منك فلا اله إلا انت فلا اله إلا انت فلا اله إلا انت *

"I beseech Thee [God] by the Names (al-asmā') through which Thou didst manifest Thy glory (tajallayta) before the Speaker (al-kalām, Moses) upon the mighty mountain [Sinai]. So when radiant beams were generated from the Light of the Veils [of Light hiding the Divinity] through the Bahā’ ("Splendour") of the Divine Grandeur (al-`azimat) the mountain was levelled in pieces, before, that is, Thy Grandeur, Thy Magnitude (jalāl) and Thy Awesome Tremendum (haiba). And such was out of fear before Thy Gravitas (saṭwat) which exudes dreadful terror from Thee. There is indeed no God save Thee. Indeed there is no God save Thee. Indeed there is no God save Thee." (cf. Qur'ān 7:143).

Bahā’u'llāh, it will be recalled, mystically identified himself with the Divine Being Who conversed with Moses on the Sinai of inner realization. Relative to Bābī-Bahā’ī scripture the use of the word Bahā’ ("splendour/glory") here for the divine theophany upon Sinai, is prophetically significant (see below). It is of interest that in one of his writings the Bāb identified the "Greatest Name" with the Divine Reality which appeared to Moses on Sinai (INBA. MS 6003C 173-188). Indeed, in his Qayyum all-asmā sura 77 he also reckoned the vehicle of this Divine manifestation the "Light of Bahā’" (cf. below). [20]

Bahā’-Allāh, it will be recalled, mystically identified himself with the Divine Being Who conversed with Moses on the Sinai of inner realization. Relative to Bābī-Bahā'ī scripture the use of the word bahā' ("splendour/glory") here for the divine theophany upon Sinai, is prophetically significant (see below). It is of interest that in one of his writings the Bāb identified the "Greatest Name" with the Divine Reality which appeared to Moses on Sinai (INBA. MS 6003C 173-188). Indeed, in his Qayyūm al-asmā sūra LXXVII (77) he also reckoned the vehicle of this Divine manifestation the "Light of Bahā'" (cf. below).

Tradition, furthermore, has it that Imām Ḥusayn related that the "Greatest Name" was said to be contained in the Prophet Muhammad's Du`ā al-Jawshan al-kabīr ("Greater Supplication of Jawshan"). In this prayer God is addressed as One possessed of bahā' ("Glory"; see Qummī Mafātīh, 131ff) -- it is likewise reckoned that Imām Ja`far al-Ṣādiq had it that the "Greatest Name" is contained in the so-called Du`ā Umm Dawūd ("Supplication of the Mother of David") near the beginning of which we read, "Unto Thee [God] be Bahā' ("Glory").." (Qummī , Mafātīh 199).

The Ramadan Supplication of the Celestial Pavilions

Possibly based on and echoing the Dawn Prayer of Ramadan is the following spontaneous supererogatory supplication for the month of Ramadan transmitted by Abī `Abd Allāh (Imām Ja`far al-Ṣādiq, d. ADD) as cited in Majlisi's Biḥār al-anwār from al-Iqbāl of Sayyid Raḍī al-Dīn ibn Tāwūs (589/1193-664/1266),

"O my God!

I verily, ask Thee by Thy Name which is inscribed in the pavilion of Glory (surādiq al-majd) and I beseech Thee by Thy Name which is inscribed in the pavilion of Splendour (surādiq al-bahā'). I verily, ask Thee by Thy Name which is inscribed in the pavilion of Grandeur (surādiq al-`azamat) and I beseech Thee by Thy Name which is inscribed in the pavilion of radiance (surādiq al-jalāl). I verily, ask Thee by Thy Name which is inscribed in the pavilion of Might (surādiq al-`izzat) and I beseech Thee by Thy Name which is inscribed in the pavilion of Secrets (surādiq al-sarā'ir) which is Foremost (al-sābībq), Paramount (al-fā'iq), Beauteous (al-ḥusn), and Splendid (al-nayyīr). And by the Lord of the Eight Archangels (al-malā'ikat al-thamāniyyat) and the Lord of the Mighty Celestial Throne (rabb al-`arsh al-`aẓīm)." (Cited Majlisī, Bihar al-anwar 2nd ed. 58:43).

Six celestial pavilions surrounding the Divine are spoken about in this supplication relative to specific Divine attributes. They are occasionally mentioned in Bābī-Bahā'ī scripture.

Select uses of the word بهاء  in Islamic Literatures

01. Islamic book titles incorporating the word bahā' or its derivetives.

Abū Zakariyya' Yaḥyā ibn Ziyād al-Farrā' (d.207/822) and others.

See Sezgin GAS VIII 123-5; Tehrani, Dharī`a IV 298; Kohlberg, A Medieval Muslim Scholar at Work, Ibn Ṭāwūs and his Library (Leiden: Brill, 1992); Carter, CHAL:123ff.

The word bahā', as well as derivatives from the same Arabic root, are also found in the titles of certain Islāmic books and treatises. There existed, for example, a work about language called Kitāb al-Bahā' ("The Book of Bahā' = Glory-Beauty-Splendour") by the celebrated grammarian Abū Zakariyyā' Yayḥā ibn Ziyād [al-Aqa` al-Daylamī], known as al-Farrā' (d. 207/822). On al-Farrā' see for example, Carter, `Arabic Grammar' which is chapter 8 in the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature (CHAL:123ff.). The Kitāb al-Bahā' is listed in the massive Shī`ī bibliography of Āghā Buzurg al-Tehrānī, al-Dharī`a .. (see vol. 3:157 No. 550). According to the Amal al-āmil fi 'ulamā' Jabal 'Âmil, (ed. al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Husaynî, Baghdad: Maktabat al-Andalus, 1385/1965, 2 vols) of Muhammad ibn al-Ḥasan al-Ḥurr al-`Āmilī (d. 1104/1694) another Kitāb al-Bahā' was written by a certain Shaykh al-Khalīl ibn Zafr ibn al-Khalīl al-Assadī (ADD/ADD) (vol. 2:111 No. 313).

The Kitāb al-Bahā' of al-Farrā' is listed in the massive Shī`ī bibliography of Āghā Buzurg al-Tehrānī, al-Dharī`a .. (Vol. 3:157 No. 550) as are a number of others works whose titles are of interest; including three works entitled Risāla al-bahiyya ("The Luminous Treatise")(see ibid, Nos 587f.). Several Shī`ī writers composed books entitled, al-Anwār al-bahīyya ("The Glorious Lights") (for some details see ibid 3:420-1 Nos. 1661-1662 cf. also ). Examples of the Islamic use of bahīyya ("luminous") are numerous. The al-Dharī`a of Aqa Buzurg Tehrānī also lists a number of others works whose titles are of interest; including, three works entitled Risāla al-bahīyya ("The Luminous Treatise"). They deal with various subjects (Nos 587f.) as works of Shaykh Ḥusām al-Dīn ibn Jamāl al-Dīn al-Tarīkhī (17th Century CE; on the Islamic Daily Obligatory Prayer); Sayyid Fatīḥ Mīr Muhammad `Abbās and Shaykh Abī `Alī Muhammad Ismā`īl al-Hā'irī al-Sīnā'ī (d. 1216/1801-2) (al-Dharī`a 3:165-6).

Several Shī`ī writers composed books entitled, The Glorious Lights (al-Anwār al-bahīyya (for some details see ibid 3:420-1 Nos. 1661-1662). Bahā al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Mukhtārī al-Nā'īnī (d. ca. 1140/1727) wrote a commentary on a grammatical work of Shaykh Bahā'ī (see below) entitled, al-Farā'id al-bahīyya fī Sharḥ al-Fawā'id al-Ṣamadiyya ("The luminous gems in exposition of the `Perpetual Benefits'). Examples of the Islamic use of bahīyya ("luminous") could be greatly multiplied.

It can also be noted here that the great Sunni Qur'an commentator philosopher and theologian Muhammad ibn `Umar, Abū al-Su`ud Muhammad ibn, Muhammad Fakhr al-Dīn (d. 606/1209 ) -- author of the Mafātīḥ al-Ghayb al-mushtahir bi'l-Tafsīr al-kabīr wrote an Arabic work entitled al-Barāhin al-Baha'iyya ("The Bahāī-Glorious-Proofs). Bahā’ al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Muhammad Naqshband (718-791 AH = 1318-1391 CE), the founder of the Naqshbandiyya Sufi order, or one of his disciples composed a litany named after him entitled Awrād-i Bahā'iyya (see art. Algar EI2 VII: 934). The Shi`i writer Ḥasan ibn `Alī ibn Muhammad ibn Ḥasan al-Ṭabarī al-Māzandarānī (d. ADD/ADD) wrote a book on kalām ("theology") entitled Kāmil-i Bahā'ī which might be translated "The Glorious Perfection" or "Radiant Fulfillment"... (Khuda Baksh Lib. 14. No. 1298).

Abū al-Ḥasan `Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummī (d. c. 307/919)

Another early medieval Shi`i Qur'an Commentator Abū al-Ḥasan `Ali ibn Ibrahim al-Qummī (d. c. 307/919) cited in his Tafsir a tradition in which ther word bahā' if found.

  • Tafsīr al-Qummi, ed. al-Sayyid Tayyib al-Musawi al Jaza 'iri, 2 vols. Najaf: Matba'at al-Najaf, 1386/1966..
  • Tafsīr =, Tafsīr, ed. Tayyib al-Mūsāwī al-Jazā'irī, 2 vols., Najaf 1387/1967
  • Tafsīr al-Qummi. Edited by al-Sayyid Ţayyib al-Jazā'irī. 2 vols. Qumm: Mu'assasah Dār al-Kitāb lil-Tibā'ah wa al-Nashr, 1404/1984.
  • Beirut 1991
  • Rawḥ = Rawḥ al-jinān wa-rūḥ al-janān, 12 vols., Tehran I282-7/ 1962-5; 5 vols., Qumm n.d.

Avicenna (d. 1087 CE) and Yaḥyā Suhrawardī (d.1192 CE)

A Persian work entitled Mi`rāj namah ("The Celestial Ascent") is attributed to both Avicenna (d. 1087 CE) and Yaḥyā Suhrawardī (d.1192 CE), the founder of the Illuminationist (Ishrāqī) school. Within it the Arabic word bahā is associated with the Persian farr (which may also signify radiant "glory"). It is stated that the Prophet Muhammad in a pre-visionary state, "between waking and sleep", recounted that "Suddenly Gabriel the Archangel descended in his own form, of such beauty [bahā], of such sacred glory [farr], of such majesty that all my dwelling was illuminated." The same association of bahā and farr occurs in an angelogical context in a subsequent line towards the end of this account of, and mystical commentary upon, the ascent (mi`rāj) of the Arabian Prophet,

"Over against the valley, I saw an angel in meditation, perfect in Majesty, Glory [farr], and Beauty [bahā]."

This angel is stated to have been named Michael, "the greatest of the Angels." (See Corbin, Avicenna.. Ch.IV: 165ff., esp. p.171 + fn.13 and p.175 + fn.25.)See Henri Corbin, Avicenna and the Visionary Recital, Ch.IV "The Recital of the Bird" 14. The Celestial Ascent (Mi`rāj-Nāmah) 165ff esp. p.171 + fn.13 and p.175 + fn.25.

Abū Ḥāmid Muhammad b. Muhammad al-Ţusî, al-Ghazālī ( d. 555 /1111).

In his al-Maqṣad al-Asnā, fi Sharḥ asmā' Allāh al-ḥusnā ("Commentary upon the Most Beautiful Names of God") the philosopher, theologian and mystic Abū Ḥāmid al-Ghazali commenting at one point upon the Divine attribute al-Jalāl (No.42) states

"Everything that is in the world is [expressive of] Beauty (jamāl), Perfection (kamal) Glory (Bahā') and Excellence (ḥasan)." (ed Shehadi, p.127 cf. trans. )

Rashīd al-Dīn Maybudī (d. after 520/1126) and his early Persian Tafsīr work the Kashf al-asrār.

In his lengthy, ten volume (in the classic printing of the 1950s>) commentary entitled Kashf al-Asrār, Rashīd al-Dīn Maybudī explains Qur'ānic verses in terms of their (1) literal meaning, (2) historical and doctrinal background and (3) spiritual signifīcance often exposing Sufī teachings as reflecting the opinions of `Abd-Allāh al-Anṣārī of Herat (396- 1006-1089 CE). His comments on the spiritual senses of the basmala of the Sūrat al-Fatiha includes some interesting statements oriented around the (above cited) hadith in which Jesus interprets the "B" of the basnala as signifying the word Bahā'.

The Third Section on the بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم (Bismillāh al-Raḥman al-Raḥmin (In the Name of God, the Merciful the Compassionate). The [letter] B (al-bā') is bahā'-Allāh and the "s" (al-sīn) is sanā'-Allāh ("The Radiance of God") and the "m" (al-mīm) is mulk-Allāh ("The Dominion of God"). Here there is allusion to the [modes of the] pleasantry of the Godhead (madhāq-i khudawand) for the gnois of the [letter] B (al-bā') of the bism-Allāh is allusive of the "Glory-Beauty of the Divine Oneness" (bahā'-i aḥadiyyat) while the [letter] "s" (al-sīn) is [further allusive of the] "Radiance of the Divine Perpetuity" (sanā'-i ṣamadiyyat) and the [letter] "m" (al-mīm) is "The Dominion of the Divinity" (mulk-i ilāhiyyat).

Alternatively, Bahā' may indicate [the quality of being] Self-Subsistingness (qayyūmī) while sanā' (Radiance) [the quality of] Enduringness (daymūmī) and mulk (Dominion), [the quality of ] Eternality (sarmadī).

Again, alternatively Bahā' may indicate Pre-existence (qadīm), sanā' (Radiance) karīm (Generosity) and mulk (Dominion) [as well as the quality of] `aẓīm (Grandeur).

Then again Bahā' may be associated with [the Divine] Jalāl (Glory), sanā' (Radiance), with [the Divine] Beauty (jamāl) and mulk (Dominion) with [the Divine] Imperishability (bī zawwāl).

Yet again Bahā' may be allusive of the attracted heart (dil-i ribā), sanā' (Radiance) the augmenting love (mihr-i fazā) and mulk (Dominion) of non-finality (bī fanā').

(Maybudi, Tafsir, vol.1: 26-27)

  • تفسير كشف الاسرار
  • Kashf al-asrār wa`uddat al-abrār [The Unveiling of he Mysteries and the Preparation of the Pious], 10. vols ed. `Alī Asghar Ḥikmat. Tehran: Intishārāt Dānishgāhī, 1952-1960.*

`Alī ibn Ahmad (Muḥyī al-Dīn) al-Būnī (d. 632/ 1225 CE)

A stunning, and for some Bahā'īs prophetic, occurrence of the word bahā' in a mystical text, is its use in the work Shams al-ma`ānī ("The Sun of Mystic Meaning") of `Alī ibn Ahmad al-Būnī (d.1225 CE) where some words about a Divine theophany associated with Acre in Palestine are commenting in connection with "the name Bahā' ("Glory/Splendour"). This passage has been cited and translated into Persian by `Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khavari from the Istidlaliyya text entitled Dala'il al-`Irfan of the learned Baha'i apologist Hajji Mirza Haydar `Ali Isfahani (d. Acre 1921):

از جمله شيخ بونی در فصل يازده كتاب شمس المعانی در ذيل شرح اسم بهاء ميفرمايد:

... سوف يشرق الله اشراقا من الوجه البهی الابهی باسم البهاء فی اليوم المطلق و يدخل مرج عكا و يتحد علی من علی الارض كلّها

God will cause a radiant sunbeam (ishrāq an) to shine forth from His splendid (al-bahīyy), all-Glorious (al-abhā') Countenance (al-wajh) with the name of Bahā' (bi-ism al-bahā') on the Universal Day (yawm al-muṭlaq). And He shall enter the meadow [vicinity] (marj) of Acre (Akkā' in Palestine now Israel) and unite all the peoples of the earth" (cited Ishraq Khavari, Raḥiq-i makhtum 1:365-6)

Much better known than al-Būnī's Shams al-ma`ānī is his Kitāb Shams al-ma`ārif wa laṭā'if al-awārif ("The Sun of Gnosis and the Subtleties of the ..") which exists in various recensions and has several times been printed.

Another work of al-Būnī is his his quite lengthy (over 220pp) volume entitled Sharḥ al-jululūtiyya al-kubrā ("Commentary upon the Greatest Reverberating Soundl" [?]) which is printed in the volume Manba` uṣūl al-ḥikma' ("The Fountainhead of the Foundations of Wisdom"; pp. 91-322). This work includes many magic squares and talismans and much on a complex magico-occult level. This text incorporates several graphical and other forms of the Mightiest Name of God associated with Solomon and Imam `Ali (d. 40/661). At one point there is an incantatory text incorporating a "mighty mystery" (al-sirr al-`azīm). It takes the form of a rythmic poetical line in which the word بهاء occurs twice possibly with the meaning "Beauty-Majesty-Glory" causing the bewilderment or astonishment of the poeple. This text which a loose translated reads as follows:

* وأبهتت كل العالمين ببهتت بهاء بهاء الهيبت الناس وأبهتت *

"Let all the worlds be astonished! through an astonishment (bi-bahta) at the Bahā' (Majesty-Beauty-Glory), the Bahā' (Majesty-Beauty-Glory) of the dreadful awe of the people. So be astonished!" (Manba` uṣūl al-ḥikma', 262).

Exactly how بهاء بهاء is to be understood in this magical formula and the wider context is uncertain. One is reminded of Zulaykha's astonishmet at the stunning beauty of Joseph (cf. Q. 12: ADD). It is stated by al-Būnī that after knocking upon his gate or door the above line should be repeated three times by someone who desires to enter into the presence of a Ruling Sovereign (ḥākim). Similar incantatory formulas are given for other specified tasks or to actualize other ends.

`Abu `Abd-Allah Muhammad Ibn al-'Arabī (d. 638/1240), Muḥyī al-Dīn ibn al-`Arabī.

The Great Shaykh, Muḥyī al-Dīn ibn al-`Arabī (1140-1240), in his magnum opus, the lengthy al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya ("Meccan Revelations (Openings") which was partially orally commented upon by Bahā’-Allāh during his two year sojourn in Sulaymāniyya (1854-56) (see GPB: 122), occasionally uses the word bahā' or a related derivative of the same Arabic root. In, for example, Futūḥāt chapter 65, on the `Gnosis of Paradise', there is reference to the appearance of God unto certain inmates of Paradise. In the course of a Divine colloquy, mention is made of such as are angelically clothed with or whose "faces" are radiant with, bahā' ("glory"), jamāl ("beauty") and nūr ("light").

ADD Mi`raj rooted references…

`Abd al-Qadir Jīlānī (d.1165 CE),

In a lengthy prayer (salāt al-kubrā) contained in the volume entitled Fuyūḍāt al-Rabbānī ("Lordly Graces") ascribed to `Abd al-Qadir Jīlānī (d.1165 CE)the founder of the Qadirī Sufi order, the Prophet Muhammad is called al-nūr al-bahīyy ("the luminous or glorious light") (Jīlānī, Fuyūḍāt.. 148).

al-Miqdād ibn `Abdu'llāh al-Ḥillī (d.826/1422-3),

The word bahā' is furthermore, sometimes contained in numerous Islāmic theological, mystical and other literatures. al-Miqdād ibn `Abdu'llāh al-Ḥillī (d.826/1422-3), for example, in the course of discussing the impossibility of an anthropopathic Essence of Divinity -- God's having such emotions as joy and anguish -- in his Irshād al-ṭālibīn ilā nahj al-mustarshidīn ("The Guidance of Seekers unto the Path of Travellers") writes that the "Necessarily Existent" (wājib al-wujūd = God) by virtue of His being "the origin of every perfection and the cause of all bahā' ("glory") and jamāl ("beauty") has the perfection of perfections and the bahā' al-ajmal ("most beauteous glory")." Furthermore, "all bahā' ("glory"), jamāl ("beauty") perfection (kamāl) and rational good are God's, for He is the Beloved One and the One Adored... the Necessarily Existent is He Who is in the acme of kamāl ("perfection"), jamāl ("beauty").

`Abd al-Karīm al-Jīlī (d.c. 832/1428)

The Shī'īte Sufi `Abd al-Karīm al-Jīlī (d.c. 832/1428) in the prolegomenon to his important al-Insān al-kāmil.. ("The Perfect Man..") refers to God as being clothed in both "glory and splendour" (al-majd wa'l-bahā) (see al-Insan vol. 1:4).

Muhammad ibn Ḥusayn al-Āmilī = Bahā' al-Dīn al-Āmilī (b. Baalbeck c.1547, d. Isfāhān 1622 CE).

Perhaps the most famous Bahā' al-Dīn was the Safavid theologian, mystagogue and man of letters, Bahā' al-Dīn Muhammad ibn Ḥusayn al-Āmilī author of around 100 works including a well-known anthology entitled Kashkūl ("Begging-Bowl"). A one time Shaykh al-Islām of Isfāhān appointed by Shāh `Abbās the Great, he adopted the takhalluṣ (pen-name) Shaykh Bahā'ī. [25]

In an untitled Persian Tablet mostly concerned with the exercise of wisdom (hikmat) in proclaiming the Bahā'ī religion and making reference to the supreme martyrdom of Āqā Buzurg Khurasānī known as Badī` ("Wondrous") - who delivered the Tablet of Bahā'-Allāh to Nāṣir al-Dīn Shāh - Bahā'-Allah, refers to "Shaykh Bahā'ī and his poetry" though he does not seem to alot him any exalted station:

و اينكه در اشعار شيخ بهائی مرقوم داشته بوديد اين عبد شهادت ميدهد كه اسراريكه اليوم در وسط آسمان و زمين كشف شده و آن جناب بر آن مطلع گشته صد هزار مثل شيخ مرحوم وفوق فوق آن بان عارف نبوده و مطلع نگشته چنانچه مشاهده نموده ايد كه علمای اعلام چه اوهاماتی در ظهور قائم مجسّم نموده اند و چه مقدار از اوراق لطيفه ممرّده را بذكر ظنونات لا يسمن لا يغنی سياه نموده اند كتب متعدده در اينمقام نوشتهاند و كلمه از آنرا ادراك ننموده اند

"As to what thou hast registered in the poems of Shaykh-i Bahā'ī. This servant (`abd = Bahā'-Allah) giveth testimony (shahādat) to the mysteries (asrār) that are today unveiled throughout the expanse of the heavens and of the earth, as realized by that eminent one (ān jināb) [the addressee]! Indeed, one hundred thousand the like of that late Shaykh [Bahā'i] and many more beyond even that one never did come to realize anything of significance. It is thus the case, as thou have born witness, that the informed `ulamā' either entertain imaginary fancies (awhāmāt) regarding the manifestation of the Qā'im or repeatedly produce numerous specious pages (awrāq-i laṭīfah), thus blackening things in refutation [of the Babi-Bahā'i Cause] by mentioning all manner of fanciful notions (zannunat) that are of no lasting value. Numerous books have been composed regarding these matters from which nothing touching upon true understanding is generated." [Check translation]

Further miscellaneous examples of the use of the word Bahā'

An example of a non-religious, geographical usage, it may be noted that the noun Bahá' indicates "one of the hamlets of the [minor] district of Shahriyār which is an administrative division of Tehran which one had a population of 194" (Dehkhoda, Lughat Námih, entry Bahá' (p.395 drawing upon a Persian Geographical Dictionary).

The word Bahā' in early Shaykhism (al-Shaykhiyya):

Treatises on the significance of the "Greatest Name" are also found in the writings of Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsā'ī (d. 1243/1826 CE) and Sayyid Kāẓim Rashtī (1259/1843). Regarded as the two most important Muslim harbingers of the Bābī-Bahā'ī Faiths (see GPB:97) Bahā'is find statements propetic of the Babi and Bahā'i religions in their writings and here and there find allusions to the importance of the word bahā' or the person of Bahā'-Allah. The fountainhead of al-Shaykhiyya (Shaykhism), of the Shaykhi school of Shi`i Islam (see further below), Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsā'ī (d. 1826) is believed by Bahā'is to have alluded to the date of the advent of Bahā'Allah in a cryptic use of the qur'anic phrase "after a while" (ba`d al-hin). This in that the abjad numerical value of this (hin) is sixty-eight: H= 8 + Y= 10+ N = 60 totals 68 and after 68 is 69 which is seen as an an allusion to the year 1269 AH. This year corresponds to 1852-3 which is the year in which Bahā'-Allah received his prophetic call in the Siyah Chal ("Black Pit") dungeon in Tehran.

In the writings of Shaykh Ahmad ibn Zayn al-Din al-Ahsa'i (d. 1243/1826)

TO BE ADDED

In his Tafsīr sūrat al-tawhīd (Commentary on the Sūra of the Divine Unity) as noted above, Shaykh Ahmad quotes Imām Ja`far al-Ṣādiq in exposition of the letters of the basmala by the child Jesus. He adds an alternative explanation for its third letter "M" aside from the usual mulk (="Dominion"). It is again said to be something indicative of a radiant phenomenon like Bahā' (splendour) and sana' (Brillliance), namely majd (Radiance). al-Ahsa'i also continues to comment on the relationship between Bahā' and Ḍiyā' in the Light of the Logos-Self of God and the Genesis of Reality through the Divine Will:

"I [Shaykh Ahmad] say that the reality of the Surat al-Tawhid (= Q. 112) relative to its befitting exposition has many facets such that our level of knowledge proves incapable of penetrating its depth... it is relayed from Imam al-Sadiq -- upon him be peace --- that "The [letter] "B" (al-bā') is Bahā’-Allāh ("the Glory of God"), the [letter] "s" (al-sīn) is Sanā'-Allāh ("the Brightness of God") and the [letter] "m" (al-mīm) is the Majd-Allāh ("the Radiance of God")". It is [normally] relayed [in the tradition] that it [the letter "m"] is the Mulk-Allah (Dominion of God) for [in reality] this corresponds to His (God's) Logos-Self (nafs) for such is indeed possessed of Bahā'' (Glory...) which is the [reality of the Divine] Splendor (al-ḍiyā'). And the intention of this is what precipitated His-its [the Logos-Self's] Genesis (ibtida') from existence by means of the Divine Will (min al-wujūd bi-mashiyyatihi). It [the Logos-Self, etc] is allusive of the Universal Intellect (al-`aql al-kullī) as is indicated through His [God's]-- exalted be He-- [qur'anic] saying, مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ "The likeness of His Light is as [light streaming from] a Niche (mishkat) containing a Lamp (al-miṣbāḥ), etc." (=Q. 24:35a) as well as what is before it of the Masters ( ) or of Intellect generated Existence (?) (al-wujud al-`aqliyya) .... (T-Tawhid, 3-4).

Sayyid Kāẓim Rashti (d. 1259/1843)

19th centrury lithograph edition of the Sharḥ al-qaṣīda al-lāmiyya of `Abd al-Baqi Afandi [Mawsuli]...

شرح قصيده لاميه عبدالباقى افندى

Sharḥ al-qaṣīda al-lāmiyya `Abd al-Bāqī Effendi [Mawsuli]

Sayyid Kāẓim is reckoned by Bahā'īs to have prophetically alluded to the mystery of the word bahā' in the opening cosmological sentence of his recondite commentary on a poem of `Abd al-Bāqī Afandī al-Mawsulī (d. 1278/1861), the Sharḥ al-qaṣīda al-lāmīya ("Commentary on the Ode Rhyming in the Letter "L")(cf. Lawson, "Remembrance", 43 fn.6.) The Shaykhi bibliographer and leader Kirmānī in his Fihrist (= No. 149 p. 293) states that the original, 16,000 verse mss. is lost but refers to the old lithograph printing which is presumably the very rare ([Tabriz] n. p., 1270/1853). Sayyid Kazim Rashti, in somewhat cryptic fashion, also mentions the "Point" -- which on one level indicates the essence of the hidden letter "B" (cf. the dot of the Arabic/Persian letter "B") -- is related to the letters "H" and "A". For Bahā'īs these letters, in conjunction, indicate or spell the proper noun and greatest name Bahā'. These opening words in the Qasida al-lamiyya have been referred to, for example, by Bahā’-Allāh in a Tablet to Mullā `Ali Bajistānī (see Mā'ida 8:139) This work commences (cf the scan above) as follows: Loosely translated the opening words might be loosely translated,

"Praise be to God Who hath ornamented the brocade of existence with the mystery of differentiation (sirr al-baynūnat) by virtue of the ornament of the emergent Point (irāz al-nuqat al-bāriz) from whence cometh the letter "H" (al-hā') through the letter "A" (bi'l-alif), without filling up (ishbā`) or segregation (inshiqāq)" (see Sharḥ al-qaṣīda, p. 1 also cited `Abdu'l-Bahā’, Makātib 1:41).

At a much later section of the Sharḥ al-qaṣīda (unpaginated) Sayyid Kāẓim, commenting on the exalted status of Mūsā al-Kāẓim (d.799, the seventh Imām) in connection with the divine "Light" mentioned in the Medinan Qur'ānic `Light Verse'(24:35), explains that this "Light" is (on one level) synonymous with the "Radiance" (al-ḍiyā') and the "Glory" (al-bahā). At one point he writes, "the Bahā' ("glory") is al-Diyā' ("Radiance")." In reality it is the "Primordial Light" and the "Greatest, Greatest Name" (al-ism al-a`ẓam al-a`ẓam) through which God created the "heavens and the earth" and whatsoever is therein.

Sayyid Kāẓim on some terms in the al-Khuṭba al-ṭutunjīya ("The Sermon of the Gulf").

Also worth noting here is the fact that Sayyid Kāẓim, commenting on a phrase containing the word "splendour" (Diyā') in al-Khuṭba al-ṭutunjīya ("The Sermon of the Gulf"), attributed to Imām `Alī, identified it with bahā' ("radiant glory") and wrote, "it is the light of lights, the very Light which illuminates the lights". This was alluded to in Jesus' words related by Imām Ja`far al-Ṣādiq, "the "B" (bā') of `In the Name of God the Merciful the Compassionate' (Bismi'llāh al-Ramān al-Rahīm) which is Bahā’-Allāh (see above). This is the bahā', Sayyid Kāẓim adds, which is mentioned in the opening line of the Shī`ī Dawn Prayer (cited above; refer, Sayyid Kāẓim, Sharḥ
al-khuṭbat.. 20).

Some notes on later Shaykhi leaders and thinkers

Kirmānī, Ḥājjī Mīrzā Muhammad Karīm Khān. (d. 1288/ 1871)

Risāla fī shar Du`ā 'al-sahar ("Treatise in Commentary upon the Dawn Prayer"). Kirman: Sa`āda, n.d. This Treatise has been twice printed. Firstly in 1317/ 1899-1900 and secondly in 1351/1932-3. See Kirmānī, Fihirist p.367, No.323.

Among those Muslims who wrote a commentary on this Dawn Prayer but remained both anti-Bābī/Bahā' ī, was the third head of the Kirmānī Shaykhis, Ḥājjī Mīrzā Muhammad Karīm Khān Kirmānī (d. 1288 AH/1871 CE). In his Arabic Treatise in Commentary upon the Dawn Prayer (written 1274 AH/1857 CE) he records the tradition that it contained the "Greatest Name". Karīm Khān equates bahā' in its opening line with the synonym ḥusn (= `beauty, excellence..') and goes on to explain that "the bahā' of God (bahā' Allāh) signifies the first of the tajalliyāt Allāh ("effulgences of God").. higher than which there is nothing else". It is the cause of the emergence of everything other than itself and is "the Essence of Essences". It was by virtue of it that all existence originated for "it is the station of the [first letter] "B" (Bā') of Bismi'llāh.." (Commentary,19).

Though antagonistic to the person of Bahā’-Allāh, Karīm Khān regarded the Bahā' of God as the primordial cosmological Reality. He was aware of the exegetical traditions and of their linguistic and theological import, but remained heedless and antagonistic towards the Bābī and Bahā'ī religions.

Kirmānī, Ḥājjī Zayn al-`Abidīn Khān Kirmānī, [5h Kirmani Shaykhi leader] (1276-1360/1859-1942).

  • Sharḥ du`a al-ḥujub. Kirmān: al-Sa`āda, n.d.

Kirmānī, (Shaykh) Āqā Ḥajjī `Abu'l-Qāsim b. Zayn al-`Ābidīn Khān, [6th Kirmani Shaykhī leader] (1314-1389/1896-1969).

  •  Fihirist kutub mashāyikh `izām. Kirmān: Sa`ādat, n.d. [1976]

Select Bibliography and Abbreviations

`Abd al-Bahā’, (`Abbas Effendi eldest son of Baha’-Allah) (d. 1921 CE).

  • Makātib-i hadrat-i `Abd al-Bahā [= MAB] Vol.1 Cairo, 1910.
  • A Traveller's Narrative... (Trans. by E.G. Browne), A New and Corrected Edition, Wilmette, Illinois: Bahā'ī Publishing Trust, 1980.
  • Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas. [=TAB] Comp. Albert R. Windust. Vol. III Chicago: Bahai Publishing Society, 1919.

Abrahams, Israel.

  • The Glory of God. Humphrey Milford: Oxford University Press, 1925.

al-Aḥsā'ī, Shaykh Aḥmad (d. 1243/ 1826)

  • Tafsīr sūrat al-tawīd (“Commentary on the Sūra of the Divine Unity”)
  • 2nd ed. Kirmān: Maba‘a al-sa‘āda, 1379/1959-60.

Afnān, Dr. Muhammad.

  • Bahā’-Allāh dar āthār-i nuqa-yi bayān, in Mahbūb-i-`Alam.. pp. 209-19.

Afshār, Ḥājjī Mīrzā Muhammad,

  • Baḥr al-`Irfān. n.p. [Bombay / Tihran] n.d.

Albee Mathews, Loulie.

  • Not Every Sea Hath Pearls. 2nd Ed. Happy Camp, California: Naturegraph Publishers, Inc., 1986.

`Andalib Editorial Board of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahā'īs of Canada.

  • Mahbūb-i-`Alam (The Beloved of the World), Commemorative volume for the centenary of the ascension of Bahā’-Allāh, Holy Year 1992-93. Canada: `Andalib Editorial Board of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahā'īs of Canada. n.d. [1992].

The Bāb, Sayyid `Ali Muhammad Shirazi (d. 1850 CE).

  • Qayyūm' al-asmā'
  • Dalā’il-I sab‘ah n.p. n.d.
  • Bayān-i farsī n.p. n.d.
  • al-Bayān al-‘arabī n.p. n.d.
  • Kitāb-i panj sha’n n.p. n.d.
  • Kitāb al-asmā'
  • Haykal al-dīn n.p. n.d.

Selections from the Writngs of the Bāb. [=SWB] Haifa: Bahā’ī World Centre, 1976.

Bahā’-Allāh. Mirza Ḥusayn `Ali Nuri (d. 1892 CE).

  • Āthār-i-Qalam-i-a‘lā, majmū‘a-yi munājāt. n.p. [Tehran]: BPT., 128 Badī‘
  • Iqtidārāt va chand Lawḥ-i dīgār [”Powers and a selection of other Tablets”] n.p. [Bombay] 1310 A.H./1892-3 CE.
  • The Kitāb-i-Aqdas. Haifa: Bahā’ī World Centre, 1993.
  • Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. (trans. Shoghi Effendi), Wilmette, Illinois: Bahā’ī Publishing Trust, 1971.
  • Gleanings from the Writings of Bahā’-Allāh. London: BPT., 1949.
  • The Hidden Words. London: Bahā’ī Publishing Trust, 1975.
  • Kitāb-i-Iqān: The Book of Certitude (trans. Shoghi Effendi). London: Bahā'ī Publishing Trust, 1961.
  • MAM = Majmū`a-yi alwā-i-mubāraka harat-i-Bahā’-Allāh. Cairo: 1338 A.H. / [1919-] 1920 CE. Rep. Wilmette, Illinois, 1982.
  • Tablet to `Alī Muhammad Sarrāj in MA 7:4-118.
  • SV = The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys, Trans. by `Alī Kuli Khan assisted by Marzieh Gail Wilmette; 5th ed. Wilmette Ill in. : BPT 1978.
  • TB = Tablets of Bahā’-Allāh revealed after the Kitāb-i-Aqdas, Haifa: Bahā'ī World Centre, 1978.

Bahā' Prayers

  • A Selection of Bahā'ī Prayers and Holy Writings, Penang, Malaysia: Bahā'ī Publishing Trust Committee). 
  • Bahā'ī Prayers. London: BPT., 1975.

 BSB = Bahā'ī Studies Bulletin. ed., Stephen Lambden. Newcastle upon Tyne: 1982>

Bezold, C.,

  • Die Schatzöhle 2 Vols. Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1883-8.

Bosworth, C.E.,

  • Bahā’ al-Dīn al-Āmilī and his Literary Anthologies. (= Journal of Semitic Studies Monograph No. 10 ) University of Manchester, 1989.

al-Bursī, Rajab. (d. ).

  • Mashāriq anwār al-yaqīn fī asrār Amīr al-Mu’minīn. Beirut: Dār al-Andalus, 1978.

Carter, M.G.

  • ‘Arabic Grammar’ (= chapter 8) in the Cambridge History of Arabic Literature. Eds. M.J.L. Young et al. Religion, Learning and Science in the ‘Abbasid Period. Cambridge: CUP, 1990.

Corbin, Henri.

  • Avicenna and the Visionary Recital. Trans. from French by Willard Trask. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1990.

Dehkhodā, `Alī Akbar (ed.).
· Lughat nāmih. Tehran 1325 Sh. / 1946 > entry Bahā' p. 395f.

Dozy, R.

  • Supplément aux Dictionnaires Arabes Vol.1 Leyde: E.J. Brill, 1884).

Edwards, H.A.

  • The Glory of the Lord, An Investigation into the significance of the Shekinah [= "Glorious Dwelling"] Presence, the Reasons for its Withdrawal and the Prophecies Concerning its Future Return. `Being a revised and enlarged edition (with considerable new matter added), of an address delivered in the Central Hall, Westminster, on October 1st, 1934. Published by the author London, 1935.

Faizi [= Fayḍī], `Abu al-Qasim .

  • Explanation of the Symbol of the Greatest Name. New Delhi: Bahā'ī Publishing Trust, n.d.

Fananapazir, Khazeh & Lambden, S.

  • The Tablet of Medicine (Lawḥḥ-i ṭibb) of Bahā'-Allāh: A Provisional Translation with Occasional Notes. BSB 6:4-7:2 pp.18-65.

Garrida, Gertrude

  • (Comp.). Directives from the Guardian. New Delhi: Bahā'ī Publishing Trust, 1973.

Gibson, Margaret D.

  • Apocrypha Arabica. (= Studia Sinaitica 8, contains part of an Arabic recension of the "Book of the Rolls" [Kitā al-majāll]). London: CUP, 1901.

Heggie, James.

  • An Index of Quotations from the Bahā'ī Sacred Writings. Oxford: George Ronald, 1983.

Hornby, Helen

  • (Comp.) Lights of Guidance, A Bahā'ī Reference File2. New Delhi, India: BPT, 1988.

al-Ḥillī, al-Miqdād ibn `Abd-Allāh.

  • Irshād al-ālibīn ilā nahj al-mustarshidīn. Qumm Maṭba`at Sayyid al-Shuhadā', 1405/1984/5.

Ḥusaynī, N. M.

  • Yūsif-i-Bahā dar Qayyūmu'l-Asmā. Dundas, Ontario: Persian Institute for Bahā'ī Studies, 148 BE/1991.

Ibn al-`Arabī, Shaykh Muḥyī al-Dīn.

  • al-Futūḥāt al-Makkiyya. (`The Meccan Revelations [Openings]', 4 Vols.) Beirut: Dār adir n.d. [1968 = Cairo Ed. 1911].

Ibn Manār, Muhammad ibn Muharram.

  • Lisān al-`Arab al-Muḥīt.. Revue et Complete Youssef Khayat Beirut: Dār Lisān al-`Arab Vol. 3 n.d.

INBMC.

  • Iran National Bahā'ī Manuscript Collection. 105 Vols. Privately Published mid 1970's).

`Ishrāq Khāvarī , `Abd al-Ḥamid (d. 1972 CE)

  • (ed.) Mā'idāh-yi āsmānī [= Ma’idih] 9+1 Vols. Tehran: BPT 129 Badī` / 1972-3 CE.
  • Raḥīq-i Makhtūm. [=RM] 2 Vols. Tehran:BPT 130 Badī`/ 1973.
  • Ash`ār-i jināb-i Na'īm va Sharḥ-i ān.. Jannāt-i Na'īm. Vol. 1, 130 Badī`/1973-4.

Jawāhirī, Ghulām-Ḥusayn (ed.),

  • Kullīyāt-i-ash`ār va āthār-i-Fārsī-i-Shaykh Bahā' al-Dīn al-`Āmilī.. Tehran: Kitābfurushī Mamūdī, 1341 Sh./1962 CE.

Jīlānī, `Abd al-Qadir. (d. )

  • Fuyūḍāt al-Rabbānī.. n.p. [Cairo:] Muṣṭāfa al-Bābī al-Ḥalabī, n.d. [1322/1905?].

al-Jīlī, `Abd al-Karīm ibn Ibrāhīm. (d. ).

  • al-Insān al-kāmil fī ma`rifat al-awākhir wa'l-awā'il (2 Vols in 1), Cairo: Muafā al-Bābī al-Ḥalabī, 1375/1956.

al-Kaf‘amī[al-‘Āmilī], ShaykhTaqī al-Dīn.

  • al-Miṣbaḥ ADD. Qum: Manshūrāt al-Raḍī Zāhidī, 1405 AH /1984-5 CE.

Kirmānī, Ḥājjī Mīrzā Muhammad Karīm Khān. (d. 1288/ 1871)

  • Risāla fī shar du`ā' al-sahar ("Treatise in Commentary upon the Dawn Prayer"). Kirman: al-sa`āda, n.d.

Kirmānī, (Shaykh) Āqā Ḥajjī `Abu'l-Qāsim b. Zayn al-`Ābidīn Khān, [6th Kirmani Shaykhi leader] (1314-1389/1896-1969).

  • Fihirist kutub mashāyikh `izām. Kirmān: Sa`ādat, n.d. [1976]

Kirmānī, Ḥājjī Zayn al-`Abidīn Khān Kirmānī, [5h Kirmani Shaykhi leader] (1276-1360/1859-1942).

  • Sharḥ du`a al-ḥujub. Kirmān: al-Sa`āda, n.d.

Lane, Edward, W.
· Arabic English Lexicon 2 Vol. 1. Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society Trust, 1984.

Lewisohn, L.

  • The Legacy of Medieval Persian Sufism London, New York: Khaniqahi Nimatullahi Publications, 1992.

Lambden, Stephen.

  •             This chapter is based upon a rewrite of the above
  • ‘An Episode in the Childhood of the Bāb’ in P. Smith Ed., In Iran, SBBH 3. Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 1986, 1-31.

Lawson, B. Todd.

  • The terms "Remembrance" (dhikr) and "Gate" (bāb) in the Bāb's Commentary on the Sūra of Joseph. in Momen (Ed.) Studies 5 pp. 1-63.

Majlisī, Muhammad Bāqir. (d. 1111/1699-70)

  • Biḥār al-anwār. 2 [110 Vols] Beirut: Mu'assat al-Wafā', 1403/1983.

Maybudī, Rashīd al-Dīn (d. after 520/1126)

  • Kashf al-asrār wa`uddat al-abrār [The Unveiling of he Mysteries and the Preparation of the Pious], 10. vols ed. `Alī Asghar Ḥikmat. Tehran: Intishārāt Dānishgāhī, 1952-1960.*

Momen, Moojan

  • (ed.) Studies in Honour of the Late Hasan M. Balyuzi. (= Studies in the B ābī and Bahā'ī Religions Vol. 5) Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 1988.
  • (ed.) Studies in Honour of the Late Hasan M. Balyuzi. (= Studies in the Bábí and Bahá'í Religions Vol. 5) Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 1988.

Majlisí, Muammad Báqir.

  • Bihár al-Anwár. 2 [110 Vols] Beirut: Mu'assat al-Wafá', 1403/1983.

H. M. Munje.

  • The Whole World is but One Family. New Delhi:BPT. nd.

Anon

  • Mahbúb-i-`Alam (The Beloved of the World), Commemorative volume for the centenary of the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh, Holy Year 1992-93. Canada: `Andalib Editorial Board of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of Canada. n.d. [1992].

Noghabai,H. Bisharát-i-Kutub-i-Ásmání.. n.p.n.d.

Nurbakhsh, Javad. Sufi Symbolism. Vol. 4, London/New York: Khaniqahi-Nimatullahi Publications, 1990.

al-Qummí, Shaykh `Abbas.

  • Mafátí al-Jannán. 3 Beirut: Dar al-Adwá', 1409 AH/ 1989 CE.

Ramsey, Arthur M.

  • The Glory of God and the Transfiguration of Christ. London, New York, Toronto: Longmans Green and Company, 1949

Rahner, K. and Vorgrimler, H.

  • Concise Theological Dictionary. 2 London: Burns & Oates, 1983.

Rashtī, Sayyid Kāẓim (d.1259/1243).

  • Sharh al-qaída al-lámíya. Tabriz: n.d. [1270/1853/4].
  • Sharh al-Khuba al-utunjíya. Tabriz: n.d. [1270/1853/4].

Rúzbihán Baqlí.

  • Commentaire sur les paradoxes des Soufis (Shaḥ-i Shaṭṭihiyyāt). (ed. and trans. Henri Corbin), Tehran/ Paris. 1966.

al-Razi, Abū al-Ḥātim (d. )

  • Tafsīr

Rūzbihān Baqlī.

  • Commentaire sur les paradoxes des Soufis (Shaḥ-i Shaṭṭihiyyāt). (ed. and trans. Henri Corbin), Tehran/ Paris. 1966.

Schimmel, Annemarie.

  • Islamic Names. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1989
  • Mystical Dimensions of Islam University of North Carolina Press. 1975

Shoghi Effendi. (d. 1957)

  • God Passes By. [=GPB] Wilmette, Illinois: BPT, 1974.
  • Lawḥḥ-i qarn [= "Centennial Tablet"] in Tawqī`at-i-Mubarakih Hofheim- Langenhain: Bahā'ī-Verlag, 149 Badī`/1992 pp. 75-271.
  • The Dispensation of Bahā’-Allāh. London: Bahā'ī Publishing Trust, 1947.
  • Tawqī`at-i-Mubārakih. Hofheim-Langenhain: Bahā'ī Verlag, 1992/149.

Steingass, F.,

  • Persian-English Dictionary London, Henley and Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977.

al-Ṭabarī , Abū Ja`far Muhamnmad ibn Jarīr (d. 923)

  • Jāmi‘ al-bayān ‘an ta'wīl āy al-Qur'ān. Dār al-Iḥyā al-Turāth al-`Arabī, Beirut:Lebanon, 14XX/2001.
    The commentary on the Qurān by Abū Ja‘far Muhammad b. Jarīr al-Tabarī; being an abridged translation of Jāmi‘ al-bayān ‘an tawīl āy al-Qurān, with an introduction and notes by J. Cooper ; general editors, W.F. Madelung, A. Jones. London ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1987.

Taherzadeh, Adib (d. 19XX).

  • The Covenant of Bahā’-Allāh. Oxford: George Ronald, 1992.

Tehranī, Shaykh Muhammad Muḥsin, (1293/1876-1380/1970) = Āqā Buzūrg ("Grandfather").

  • al-Dharī`a ilā taānīf al-Shī `a. 26 Vols. Beirut: Dār al-awā', 1403-6/1983-6 The (Baha’i) Research Dept. of the Universal House of Justice ( = UHJ)

Universal House of Justice/Research Dept. (comp.).

  • UHJ. 1970 = Universal House of Justice/Research Dept. (comp.). Extracts from the Guardian's Letters on Spiritualism, Reincarnation and Related Subjects. February 1970.
  • UHJ. 1984 = Universal House of Justice/ Research Dept. (comp.). Bahā'ī Writings on Some Aspects of Health, Healing, Nutrition and Related Matters. April 1984.

Wehr, Hans.

  • · A Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic (ed. J. Milton Cowan), Weisbaden: Otto Harrassowitz, 1979

Zaehner, R.C.

  • The Bhagavad Gītā, with a Commentary based on the Original Sources Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976.