QA. 76A



OF THE  BĀB Part  LXXVI (76)

 سورة الورقة

Sūrat al-waraqa

(The Surah of the Leaf) 

 on Qur'ān 12:75


Part 76 (LXXVI) of the provisional translation of the Qayyūm al-asmā’ (= QA) of the Bāb (mid. 1844/1260) with brief introduction and selective notes consists of a full versified English translation of the Sūrat al-waraqa (The Surah of the Leaf). This translation was done in the early 1990s though not from any critical edition. The versification of the surahs of the QA is often uncertain. The Bāb himself stated that there should be forty two verses in each surah of the QA as accords with the  abjad  numerical value of lī meaning "before me"  in Q. 12:4b  (Ar. لي  = l + ī = 30+10= 40 +2 for the "Sun" and the "Moon" = 42) though I often cannot always see quite how this figure is arrived at. In QA 76 I very tentatively count 42 verses and retain versification for the sake of reference and commentary.

QA76 opens with the basmala (= QA 76 verse 1) followed by the citation of Q.12:75 (=verse 2 ) upon which it briefly comments in rewritten fashion in the course of the Sūrat al-waraqa (Surah of the Leaf ) . Four isolated letters ḥurufāt al-muqatṭa`āt) constituting verse 3 open the Surah proper, the letters      ه-م-ر-ا  Hā'-Mīm- Rā'-Alif = abjad 249. This succession of  4 letters does not occur in the Q. When conjoined and vowelled the word ḥamrā' meaning (the colour)  "red" or "crimson"  results. Four surahs of the QA have these disconnected letters, QA  34, 56, 57, 76. The importance of the word hamrā' ("crimson")  and of the three other colors which originate in and constitute the spiritual worlds and cosmos   TO BE COMPLETED It is evident from the opening of his Tafsir Surat al-baqara (Commentary on the Surah of the Cow)  that  this dialogue of Imam `Alī

In one of the suras (LXXVI) of his Tafsir surat yusuf (= Qayyum al-asma', mid. 1844 CE) the Bab exegetically rewrote in wahy, ("revelation mode") parts of Qur'an 18:83ff., the story of Dhu'l-Qarnayn ("The One possessed of Two Horns"; traditionally [among others] Alexander the Great [ 356-323 BCE] whom the Bab associates with the messianic Qa'im or himself as [1] `Ali [2] Muhammad (a "two horned" name). In this light it is interesting that in the Khutba al-ṭutunjiyya   ("Sermon of the Gulf") Imam `Alī is said to have claimed many things including, "I am the Bab-Allah (Gate of God) and "I am Dhu'l-Qarnayn" (Bursi, Mashariq, 171,    ).