al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-saghīra / al-kabira : The two Imami Shi`i Comprehensive Visitation Tablets and those of the Bab.

زيارة   

The two major al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-saghīra / al-kabira :

The two Imami Shi`i Comprehensive Visitation Tablets and those of the Bab.  

Stephen Lambden UCMerced.

In progress - last uploaded 18-01-2017.

The Bab wrote quite a number of Ziyara texts or Tablets of Visitation to the sacred shrines of the Imams and others, See the many Ziyāra (sacred Visitation) writings of the Bāb collected in INBA mss.  6007C (there is a list of titles in MacEoin, Sources, `Appendix Six’ p. 210) and INBA. 5014C. Among these writings is the al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a laylat al-jum`a  of the Bāb for the weekly Friday night devotionals or prayer gatherings (see INBA ms. 6007C pp. 52-63).

 Among the earliest writings of the Bab (1844-5 or perhaps earlier) are his two al-Ziyārat or visitation Tablets; [1] the Ziyārat al-jāmi`a  al-saghīra, the lesser or shorter `Tablet of Visitation`, and ]2] the Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-kabira, the greater,  longer, larger or comprehensive `Tablet of Visitation`. These two Arabic devotional writings have elements in common with their Shi`i archetypes, most notably the Imami Shi`i al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-kabīra, of great importance in Shi`ism and in Shaykhism. Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i' wrote a lengthy, detailed, phrase by phrase  commentary thereon.  Fora  full, complete translation of this lengthy Imami Shi`i  al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-kabīra attributed to the 10th Imam `Ali al-Hadi (d. 254/ 868), with an introduction and notes upon the bulky commentary of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i (d. 1826) see the Shaykhism page on this website, especially http://hurqalya.ucmerced.edu/node/94

Manuscripts of the two Ziyara texts of the Bab are uncommon. MacEoin. in his seminal `The Sources for Early Bābī Doctrine and History: A Survey, (E. J. Brill, 1992), seems be unaware of anything but a single ms. of the shorter Ziyara of the Bab (= INBA 6003C :148-159 ( cf. though the several known mss. of Pt.I of the Risala Furu al-`Adliyya)  and  around five manuscripts  of the Longer Ziyara text of the Bab (see Sources p. 99, 202) MacEoin does not provide first or last lines of either of the Ziyara texts of the Bab. Several further mss. of these two writings of the Bab are known to the present writer, including that found in the Baqir Naraqi ms. now located in the Majlis Library in Tehran (see the PDfs posted on this Website). Some details about these two Ziyara (Visitation) texts and extracts in translation will be referred to below.

It is important to note at this point, that the sixth directive of the 1845 Khasa'il-i sab`ah of the Bab (see trans. below) most likely  stipulates the frequent recitation of the highy imamocentric  Shi`i al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-kabīra attributed to the 10th Imam. The Bab's own two Ziyarat texts discussed here (there are many more) are very probably written early examples or expressions of proto-Babi revelations. This generally  in line with but a times transcending - orthodox Shi`i norms.  The two al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-saghira /kabīra may be seen as  examples of the renewed ultra-piety of the Bab, expressive of his intense devotion towards the Shi`i holy family (Muhammad+ Fatima +the 12 Imams) at any of whose fourteen resting places these texts might be appropriately recited ( along, that is, with the performance of the ritual observances spelled out by the Bab).  

The following Notes are largely extracts from an unpublished and lengthy commentary on the 1845 Khasa'il-i Sab`ah (The Treatise of the Seven Directives) of the Bab slightly altered for this context. For further details see the translations sections on the main Haykal page on this website.

Select Abbreviations for writings of the Bab referred to below:

  • KS = Khasa'il-i Sab`ah = `The Treatise of the Seven Directives'. Numbers added such as KS6 indicate the specific directive referred to. Thus, KS6 = sixth directive of the Khasa'il-i Sab`ah.
  • ZJS = al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-saghīra = `The Shi`i Lesser Visitation Tablet or that of the Bab'.
  • ZJK = al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-kabīra =  `The Shi`i Greater Visitation Tablet or that of of the Bab'.

The two twelver Shi`i and two al-Ziyāra al-jāmi'a al-saghira/al-kabira  works of the Bab and directive six of the Khasa'il-i sab`ah.

An image of a recent printing of the commentary al-Aḥsā’ī  on the Shī`ī   Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra and the opening lines of the identically titled work of the Bāb (from Tehran: Majlis Lib, ms.).

Khasa'il-i Sab`ah  directive six (= KS6) stipulates the recitation of al-Ziyāra al-jāmi'a (the `Comprehensive Visitation Prayer’), for devotional purposes or for direct or indirect pious engagement at the shrine(s) of Muhammad, Fāṭima or any other of the twelver Imams. Two of the best known comprehensive devotions in twelver Shī`ism are the shorter al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-saghīra (= ZKS) and the longer al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-kabīra (= ZJK). Exactly similarly titled, though considerably textually different, are double Arabic al-Ziyāra al-jāmi'a texts exist which derive from the Bāb himself. In this connection he echoes or parallels Shi`i imamological piety expressed in a devotional manner.

The four Ziyāra texts - Two Shi`i from the 6/8th and 10th Imams and two Babi.from the Bab himself. 

Though it is veru  likely that KS6 (citeed above) refers to the longer Shī`ī ZJK (see below). A few details will thus be registered here about this and its shorter Shī`ī version as well as the ZJS and ZJK of the Bāb himself.

The al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-saghīra of the 8th Imam `Ali al-Rida' (b. Medina, 148/766 - d. Tus, 203/819).

[1] The Imami Shī`ī al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-saghīra  (ZJS).

 The  shorter or lesser comprehensive Ziyārat text recited at the shrines of the holy family or twelver imams exists within Kulaynī’s supplement to his al-Uṣūl min al-Kāfī  known as al-Furū` min al-kāfī (see  below) as well as within numerous other Ziyāra sources such as the early Kāmil al-ziyārāt (The Perfection of the Ziyāras) of Ibn Qulūya al-Qummī, (d.367/977),  the Man lā yaḥḍuru-hu al-faqīḥ and `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā’ of Ibn Bābuwayh (d. 381/991) and al-Ṭūsī’s Tahdbīb al-aḥkām. Inaddition this text can be found in many more recent Shī`ī devotional compilations auch as `Abbās al-Qummī’s well-known Mafātīḥ al-jinān (for some details see bib. below). The ZJS is usually held to have been transmitted by the the 8th Imam `Alī al-Riḍā’ (see for details Ibn Qulūya al-Qummī, Kāmil al-Ziyāra, p. 523, fn.1 and `Abbās al-Qummī, Mafatīḥ, p. 619). Its chain of transmission is set forth, for example, in the following manner in the Tahdbīb al-aḥkam  of al-Tūsī  : "Muhammad ibn Ya`qub [transmitted] from Muhammad ibn Yahya from Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn Yahya from Harun ibn Muslim from `Ali ibn Hassan who said, "[Imam] al-Rida' was asked about approaching the shrine (qabr) of Abi al-Hasan. He therefore replied, "You should perform blessings of peace in the mosques around about and do likewise in all surrounding regions" ( al-Tūsī, Tahdbīb al-aḥkam, (1 vol. ed.) Bk. VI. Sect. 47 No.1, pp.1073-4)..  

Among other sources the Man lā yaḥḍuru-hu al-faqīḥ of Ibn Bābuwayh similarly records a few preliminaries prior to the recitation of the ZJS. In this work its author records that asked about visitation to the shrine of the 7th Imam Musa al-Kazim,  the eighth Imam `Ali al-Rida'  suggested that the devotee should utter blessings of the prayer now known as the ZJS in the mosques surrounding his shrine. 

Translation of the al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-saghīra  (ZJS).

Arabic text as cited  al-Tūsī, Tahdbīb al-aḥkam,p.1074

The Imami Shī`ī ZJS is a fairly brief Arabic text. It commences with eleven imamological beatitudes or taslīm sentences (`May peace be upon ,,,’) and a few others of an ethical nature completed by with more sentences of blessing upon Muhammad and his family including the Imams, It may be translated from Tahdbīb al-aḥkam,p.1074  as follows :

  • Peace be upon the legatees (awliyā’) of God and His purified ones (aṣfiyā’)!
  • Peace be upon the trustees (amnā’) of God and His beloved ones (aḥibbā’)!
  • Peace be upon the helpers (anṣār) of God and His leaders (khulafā’)!
  • Peace be upon the axis (maḥall) of the gnosis of God (ma`rifat Allāh)!
  • Peace be upon the the abodes of the Dhikr Allah (Remembrance of God)!
  • Peace be upon the elucidators of the  command and the prohibition of God (muzhiri amr Allah wa nahyihi)!
  • Peace be upon the summonors unto God (du`at ila Allah)!
  • Peace be upon  such as are established regarding the good pleasure of God (mardat Allah)!
  • Peace be upon such as are sincerely inclined respecting obedience yowards God.
  • Peace be upon such as are guides (al-adilla') towards God!
  • Peace be upon those whose loyalty is expressive of the Loyalty of God [Himself] (wala Allah) and  whose enemies are indeed the enemies of God!

Whosoever knoweth them hath indeed known God! And whomsoever is ignorant of them is indeed ignorant of God! And whomsoever seeketh refuge with them hath surely sought refuge in God! And whomsoever forsaketh them forsaketh God Himself, Exalted and Glorified be He.

And I bear witness that I am peacefully disposed (silm) towards whomsoever is peacefully disposed towards Thee and at war (harb) with whomsoever wageth war against Thee. A believer am I in thy secret (sirr) and thy public persona (`alaniyya). Graciously in this respect to I  entrust everything to Thee. May God curse the enemies of the [Shi`i] family of Muhammad be they of the jinn or humankind for I free myself from them for the sake of Go. And may the peace of God be upon Muhammad and his [Shi`i] family". (Trans. Lambden from al-Tūsī, Tahdbīb al-aḥkam, (1 vol. ed.) Bk. VI. Sect. 47 No.1, pp.1074.cf..Ibn Bābuwayh, Man lā yaḥḍuru-hu al-faqīḥ, no. 3214 p.419).

The devotional uttering of the ZJS should suffice for or supplement all twelver Ziyāra devotionals and include prayers for Muhammad or his family (āl), and the Imams, etc., who should each, when appropriate, be specifically named.

Select Printed texts of the al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-saghīra  (ZJS):

`Alī al-Riḍā’, Abū al-Ḥasan `Alī ibn Mūsā, the eighth Imam (d. 203/818)

  • al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-saghīra, in al-Kulaynī, in al-Uṣūl min al-kāfī, vol. IV (= al- Furū` min al-kāfī), p. 579.
  • al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-saghīra, in Ibn-Qulūya Kāmil al-ziyārāt, (ed. 1417/1996), pp. 522-3.
  • al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-saghīra, in Ibn Bābawayh, Man lā yaḥḍuru-hu al-faqīḥ (1 vol. ed.), Kitāb al-ziyārāt, no. 3214, p. 419.
  • al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-saghīra, in Ibn Bābawayh, `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā’, (2 vol. ed.)  Beirut: Mu`assat al-A`lamī li’l-Maṭbū`āt, 1404/1983, Vol. 1 p. 304.
  • al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-saghīra in al-Tūsī, Tahdbīb al-aḥkam, (1 vol. ed.) Bk. VI. Sect. 47 No.1, pp.1073-4.
  • al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-saghīra in al-Qummī, Mafatīḥ al-jinān [1427/2006], p.719.

See below on the ZJK  for details of the printed texts mentioned in these sources.

The al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-kabīra of the 10th Imam `Ali ibn Muhammad al-Naqi,  al-Hadi (b. Medina, 214/829 -  d. Samarra, 254/868).

 

[2]

The Imami Shī`ī al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-kabīra (ZJK).

I

[1]

Peace be upon you, 

O people of the House of the Prophet!

(ahl bayt al-nubuwwa)

[2] You [Imams+] are embodiments of the sent message (mawḍi` al-risālat), [3] loci for the circumambulatory visitation of the angels (mukhtalaf al-malā'ikat), [4] and the locale for the realization of divine revelation (mahbiṭ al- waḥy) [5] You are lodestones of the Divine Mercy (ma`din al-raḥmat), [6] treasuries of knowledge (khazā'in al-`ilm) [7] and uttermost apexes of fortitude (muntahā al-ḥilm). [8] You are the foundational bases of generosity (uṣūl al-karam), [9] leaders of the peoples [nations, religious comunities] (qādat al-umam), [10] and saintly patrons of the divine Bounty (awliyā' al-na`im). [11] You are the foundational bases of pious virtue (`anāsir al-abrār), [12] buttresses of the excellences [excellent ones] (da`ā'im al-akhyar)  [13] and directors of the servants [of God] (sāsat al-`ibād). [14] You are pillars of the nations (arkān al-bilād), [15] gates to secure faith (abwāb al-aymān) [16] and trustees of the All-Merciful (umanā' al-rahman). [17] You are the progeny of the prophets (sulālat al-nabiyyin), [18] the quintessence of the sent Messengers (safwat al-mursalin) [19] and kinfolk [of the household] of the excellent one of the Lord of all the worlds (`itrat khayrat al-rabb al-`ālamin = Muhammad). [20] May the Mercy of God (rahmat Allah) and His Blessings be upon thee.(Opening paragraph of the ZJK trans. Lambden). For the full Lambden translation see

The ZJK was transmitted by Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Abū al-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Ḥusayn ibn Mūsā al-Qummī, well-known as Ibn Bābuwayh or Shaykh al-Ṣadūq (“the Righteous Shaykh”) (d. 381/9991-2). This Ziyāra text is found in his major al-Fiqh works, Man lā yahḍuru-hu al-faqīḥ  ("For whomsoever is without access to a [Shi`i] lawyer”) and the Tahdhīb al-aḥkām  (“The Rectification of Judgments”) as well as his `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā’  (“Glimpses into the Traditions of al-Riḍā’”) a compilation of Shī`ī materials at times associated with the eighth Imam,`Alī al-Riḍā’ (d. 203/818), see `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā’ vol. 1 pp. 305-310 and on this work refer GAL I: 200; Tehrānī, Dhari'a XV, 375, no. 2367; al-Amīn, `Ayān al-shi`a, II:16). The Arabic text of the Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra via the tenth Imam `Alī al-Hādī.  It can also be found in numerous later Shī`ī devotional compilations such as the well-known Mafātīḥ al-jinān of Ḥajjī Shaykh `Abbās Qummī (for details see bib. below). Some Islamic and western scholars have doubted the antiquity of this longer Ziyāra text though strongly imamological Shī`ī thinkers such as al-Aḥsā’ī, argue vehemently for its veracity by a close examination of its chains of transmission and by giving weight to literary style and to allegedly supernatural, visionary, considerations. It is declared in al-Aḥsā’ī in his Sharḥ al-ziyāra to be “the most perfect (akmal) of Ziyāras as well as their most beautiful (aḥsan) (see the opening pages of the Sharḥ al-ziyāra… esp. vol.1 pp. 28-33).

There is little doubt that the above Ziyāra is most likely alluded to in KS6. It was of great magnitude for the Bāb as it was for his major predecessor Shaykḥ Aḥmad ibn Zayn al-Dīn al-Aḥsā’ī (d.1241/1826), who, in 1234/1815, wrote a lengthy commentary of almost 1,500 pages upon almost every phrase of this highly imamocentric devotional text (Kirmānī, Fihrist, 226). The ZJK was transmitted by Abū Jaʿfar Muḥammad ibn Abū al-Ḥasan ʿAlī ibn Ḥusayn ibn Mūsā al-Qummī, well-known as Ibn Bābuwayh or Shaykh al-Ṣadūq (“the Righteous Shaykh”) (d. 381/9991-2). This Ziyāra text is found in his major al-Fiqh works, Man lā yahḍuru-hu al-faqīḥ ("For whomsoever is without access to a lawyer”) and the Tahdhīb al-aḥkām  (“The Rectification of Judgments”) as well as his `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā’  (“Glimpses into the Traditions of al-Riḍā’”) a compilation of Shī`ī materials at times associated with the eighth Imam,`Alī al-Riḍā’ (d. 203/818). Certain of these sources record that a certain Mūsā Ibn `Abd-Allāh al-Nakhā`ī held that the tenth Imam, `Alī al-Hādī (d. Samarra, Iraq c. 254/868), known as al-Naqī (`the Pure One’), relayed the following conversation:

`Teach me O son of the Messenger of God [Muhammad](i.e. Imam `Alī al-Hādī) an utterance that is eloquent (bāligh an) and perfect (kāmil an) since I have to depart alone away from you’.

            After detailed preliminary ritual directives,[9] the opening paragraph of this major comprehensive Shī`ī Ziyāra text opens as follows: 

Peace be upon you, O people of the House of the Prophet [Muhammad]! locus of the sent messengers (mawḍi` al-risālat), visiting domain of the angels (mukhtalaf al-malā'ikat), scene of the descent  of divine revelation (mahbiṭ al-waḥy), mine of divine mercy (ma`din al-raḥmat), treasury of knowledge (khazā'in al-`ilm), uttermost apex of fortitude (muntahā al-ḥilm) and of the foundational bases of nobility (uṣūl al-karīm) (From al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra, trans. Lambden as cited in al-Ṭūsī  - for a complete translation of this longer Ziyara refer to the Shaykhi page on this website.

The Arabic Ziyārat jami`a al-kabīra has been printed many times, both independently and in numerous Shī`ī devotional compendia.

Select Printed texts

The Arabic text of the  Ziyārat jami`a al-kabīra has been printed many times, both independently and in numerous Shī`ī devotional compendia. Note the following examples,

`Alī al-Hādī, Abū al-Ḥasan `Alī ibn Muhammad, the tenth Imam (d. 254/ 868).

  • al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra in Ibn Bābawayh, Man lā yaḥḍuru-hu al-faqīḥ (1 vol. ed), Kitāb al-ziyārāt, no. 3215, pp. 419-422.
  • al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra in Ibn Bābawayh, `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā’, vol. 1 pp. 305-310, 2 vol.ed.  Beirut: Mu`assat al-A`lamī li’l-Maṭbū`āt, 1404/1983,
  • al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra  in al-Tūsī, Tahdbīb al-aḥkam, Bk. VI. Sect. 46 No.1, pp.1070-1073
  • al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra in Kaf`amī, al-Balad al-amīn (1418/1997), pp. 418-424.
  • al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra in al-Qummī, Mafātīḥ al-jinān (1427/2006), pp. 620-628.

Ibn Bābuwayh, Muhammad ibn `Alī ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Qummī (d. Rayy, 381/991-2).

  • Man lā yaḥḍuru-hu al-faqīḥ (1 vol. ed). Beirut: Mu`assat al-A`lā lil-Maṭbū`āt [= Allami Library] 1426/2005.
  • `Uyūn akhbār al-Riḍā’, 2 vol.ed.  Beirut: Mu`assat al-A`lamī li’l-Maṭbū`āt, 1404/1983.

al-Ṭūsī, Muhammad ibn al-Ḥusayn  ( d. 460/1076).

  • Tahdhīb al-aḥkām (one vol. ed) Beirut: Mu`assat al-A`lā lil-Maṭbū`āt [= Allami Library] 1426/2005. Esp.  Pt. VI = Kitab al-Mazār, Sect., XVI = Faṣl al-Ziyāra.

al-Kaf`amī, [al-`Āmilī], Shaykh Taqī al-Dīn ( d. 900/1494-5).

  • Balad al-amīn wa’l-dir` al-ḥaṣīn. Beirut: Mu`assasat al-A`lamī, 1418/1997.

al-Qummī, Hajjī Shaykh `Abbās (d. 1319/1901).

  • Mafātīḥ al-Jinān. Beirut: Mu`assat al-a`lamī li’l-maṭbū`āt, 1427/2006.

On the work al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra’ see GAL I: 200; Tehrānī, Dhari'a XV, 375, no. 2367; al-Amīn, `Ayān al-shi`a, II:16). The Arabic text of the Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra via the tenth Imam `Alī al-Hādī and others, can also be found in numerous later Shī`ī devotional compilations such as the well-known Mafātīḥ al-jinān of Ḥajjī Shaykh `Abbās Qumī. Some Islamic and western scholars doubt the antiquity of this longer Ziyāra text though strongly imamological Shī`ī thinkers such as al-Aḥsā’ī, argue vehemently for its veracity by a close examination of its chains of transmission, also giving weight to other literary and supernatural, visionary, considerations. It is declared in al-Aḥsā’ī’s Sharḥ al-ziyāra to be “the most perfect (akmal) of Ziyāras as well as their most beautiful (aḥsan) (see the opening pages of the Sharḥ al-ziyāra… esp. vol.1 pp. 28-33). In the Kirmān: Maṭba'at al-Sa'ādat, 1355-6 Sh./1976-7 4 vol. edition of the Commentary of al-Ahsa'i, there are a total of 1476 pages. This work of al-Aḥsā’ī has been printed at least ten times between the 1850s (1st lithograph ed. 1267/1851?) and the several recent, 21st century printings in Beirut and elsewhere. Many regard the Sharh al-Ziyāra of al-Ahsa'i as his most omportant work.

The al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-saghīra of the Bāb.

Opening lines from the Tehran Majlis Baqir Naraqi ms.

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

I bear witness that there is no God except God alone. There can be no doubt about this. And I testify that Muhammad is indeed His servant, and His Messenger (rasul). O my God!  May peace be upon Muhammad and the family of Muhammmad. And may peace be upon them. O family of God and the Mercy of God and His Blessing ....

The concluding lines of the al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-saghīra of the Bāb (Majlis ms. unpaginated) are as follows:.

 

... O prople of the Divine Bounty (ahl al-fadl)! Thou art  related to Him [him] by virtue of the  Divine Power (al-qudrat) and the sphere of al-Jabarut, the realm of Divine Might. Wherefore when I utter the words `Thou art Husayn, Husayn in every possible mode' (fi kull al-sha'n)'  and` Praised be unto God' (subhan Allah) thy existence is  way beyond whatsoever anyone might [confidently] describe. Then praised be unto God, the Lord of all the worlds (translated from the unpaginated Tehran Majlis ms.)

Extant mss. al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-saghīra of the Bāb.

At this point I shall note the following two ms.

  • [1]One `separate' ms. is listed by MacEoin : Tehran INBA 5006C "page 2 line 29 top left corner " (Sources, p.203)
  • [2] Another complete example is found towards the beginning of the Majlis ms, of Baqir Naraqi (see PDf. on the `Haykal' page on this website).

Texts may also occur as Pt.I  of the Arabic Risala Furu al-`Adliyya of the Bab  (see MacEoin Sources 196).

  • INBA 3006C: 148-82 -Persian Trans. only
  • INBA 5010C : 82-166 - Arabic text + Persian trans.
  • INBA 6011C : 81-130 - Persian trans. only.

 It is the Tehran Majlis Library manuscripts of the ZJS and ZJK (in Tehran: Majlis Library ms. No. 12448 unpaginated) that has been consulted (with other manuscripts) in preparation of this paper  In his Sources MacEoin registers details of very few other manuscripts of the al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-saghīra (e.g. Tehran, INBA 5006C). He does not, however, cite its opening or closing lines and asserts its position as the first chapter of the  Risāla furū` al-'adliyya  of the Bāb (see p. 203). This needs to be confirmed.

The Bāb wrote a considerable number (perhaps twenty or more) Ziyāra or sacred visitation texts for twelver Shī`ī and other worthies and notables as well as certain of his major followers, some of whom were martyred before he himself suffered this fate in July 1850.[1] The lesser or shorter ZJS of the Bāb differs considerably from its Shī`ī counterpart and, though rare, is extant in several mamuscripts.[2] It is about four pages long; each page being of 15 lines in the Tehran Majlis ms. It is thus several times the length of its Shī`ī counterpart. The date of the composition of the probably very early (1843-4?), Ziyārat al-jami'a al-saghira and al-kabīra of the Bāb, is currently unknown (cf. MacEoin, Sources, pp. 45-6; Amanat, Resurrection, p.138). It is not mentioned in the Kitāb al-fihrist (Book of the Index) of the Bāb (precisely dated at 21st June 1845) though neither is the KS itself which is, as noted, probably to be dated slightly earlier than this work.

            The ZJS of the Bāb is considerably shorter than his(roughly) twenty-five page longer  ZJK (see below). It opens with the standard Islamic basmala and continues with a verse of testimony, then various beatitudes upon the Prophet and the Imams, incorporating a few of the clusters of qur’ānic isolated letters prefixed to the reference to the Shī`ī family (āl) of God: 

O my God!

May blessings be upon Muhammad and the [Shī`ī] family of Muhammad. Peace be upon thee O [Shī`ī] family of God (āl Allāh), and the Mercy of God and His Blessings (barakāt)! Peace be upon thee O [Shī`ī] family of Ṭ-S-M (=Ṭāʾ-Sīn-Mīm, Q. 28:1, abjad = 109) and the Mercy of God and His Blessings (barakāt)! Peace be upon you O [Shī`ī] family of Ṭ-H (=Ṭāʾ-Hāʾ, Q. 20:1, abjad = 16) and the Mercy of God and His Blessings (barakāt)! [3] Peace be upon you O [Shī`ī] family of Y-S (= Yāʾ-Sīn, Q. 36:1, abjad = 70) and the Mercy of God and His Blessings (barakāt)! (Tehran: Majlis Library ms. No. 12448 unpaginated [pp. 141-2]).

In summary, the shorter al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a of the Bāb has deeply esoteric and theological dimensions to its high imamological beatitudes and evocations. The Imams become the loci of the sevenfold unitative nexus of cosmological Reality.

The al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-kabīra (ZJK) of the Bāb.

Opening lines from the Tehran Majlis Baqir Naraqi ms.

In His Name,

the One Hidden (al-maknun), the One Benevolent (al-ra'uf), the Compassionate (al-rahmin).

Praised be to God, the Lord of all the worlds. And may prayerful devotion [peace] (al-salat) be upon Muhammad, the Messenger of God, and the Seal of the Prophets (khatam al-nabiyyin). May peace (al-salam) be upon the [Shi`i] family of Gof and the family of the Messenger of God as well as upon the family of the family of God for God hath willed and desired that there be no God except Him, the Ultimately Real [True One] (al-Haqq), the One  Clearly Evident (al-mubin). And now ...

The concluding lines of the al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-kabīra of the Bāb (Majlis ms. unpaginated) are as follows:.

Add translation here.

Mss. of al-Ziyārat al-jāmi`a al-kabīra (ZJK) of the Bāb are listed by MacEoin (Sources, 202):

  • (1) Cambridge, Browne F.22 (item 1).
  • (2) Tehran, INBA 6003C, pp. 132-45 (incomplete)
  • (3)  Tehran, INBA 6009C, pp. 173-219 (incomplete; dated 1267/1851)
  • (4)  Iran, INBMC 50: 1-72
  • (5). Russia (?), Kažem Beg copy. (MacEoin, Sources, 202)/

Additionally we may note

  • (6) Tehran, Majlis Library ms.  (cited above and PDf. on this website).

Like its Shī`ī namesake, the lengthier  Ziyāra  visitation text of the Bāb is quite extensive. It occupyies about twenty-five pages of 15 lines per page in the Majlis Lib, ms. (see bib.). It commences with the title followed by a standard glorification of God, then a new rhyming basmala formula. The recitation of this ZJK should be preceeded by some detailed and demanding preparatory ritualistic directives, several of which echo those of its Shī`ī counterpart. They include ablutions (ghuṣl) with seven handfuls of water, dressing in the “best of clothing”, applying “suitable perfume” (al-`iṭr) and uttering a Ka`ba oriented beseeching of “the forgiveness of God, thy Lord, two-hundred and two times”, this number being the abjad numerical value of the divine Name Rabb (“Lord”) and that of the parentally bestowed name of the Bāb (`Alī Muhammad) himself. The devotee should then silently enter the shrine, “move forwards in peaceful repose” until seven walking paces away stand still and say, “I bear witness from my [lowly] position (fī maqāmī) that this is the Throne of the Lord (`arsh al-rabb) for God Himself does so testify through His own Self in such wise as none can ever befittingly estimate. He, verily, no God is there except Him, the Mighty, the All-Wise” (al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`a al-kabīra, Majlis ms. pp.145-6). Further details of this lengthy and sometimes complex Ziyāra text cannot be registered here

            The times for the recitation of the al-Ziyāra al-jāmi'a of KS6 cannot be taken up in detail here. It must suffice to note that the recitation of the Ziyāra referred to in KS6 is quite frequent, being every Friday or at all gatherings (kull jum`a) as well as at the numerous Islamic festivals (`īd) or “on every blessed day (yawm mutabarak) and felicitous night (layl sa`īd)" (KS6). With all its surrounding rituals this is a heavy requirement especially if a longer al-Ziyāra al-jāmi'a text of `Alī al-Hādī or the Bāb himself is intended. Despite the ambiguity of the reference to the al-Ziyāra al-jāmi`  in the Khasa'il-i sab`ah, some Bahā’ī writers are confidently specific about which Ziyāra text is intended in KS6. While, for example, Muhammad `Alī Fayḍī in his biography of the Bāb understands KS6 to refer to an unidentified (Shī`ī or Bābī?) al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-kabīra (Nuqṭa-yi ūlā, 53-54), Ishrāq Khavārī refers to it in as al-Ziyārat al-jāmi'a al-badī`a (`The new [wondrous] Comprehensive Visitation text’) adding expository details (in Persian) making it very likely that he thought this meant a Ziyāra work of the Bāb himself, and most probably the longer text (see Muḥaḍirāt II, p.785-6). MacEoin follows these writers speaking of the lengthier Ziyāra version most probably of the Bāb himself (Sources, p. 62 cf. pp. 45-6), 

 In KS6 we have another example of imamo-centric devotionalism which reinforces the elevated Husayn centered directives so central to the eschatologically charged mind of the Bāb. The probable recital of the longer Shī`ī Ziyarat al-Ja`mi`a  stipulated by the Bāb in KS6, is again centered on the Prophet and his family which includes the twelve Imams. KS5 is focused on devotion to Imam Ḥusayn and KS6 expands and consolidates this deep imamolocentric piety.  

A Note on the Ziyārat al-jāmi`a reference in directive six of the Khasa'il-i Sab`a.

"And the sixth [directive of the new Babi religion] of them involves the recitation of the Ziyārat al-jāmi`a which was originated by him [the tenth Imam `Alī al-Hādī, d. 254/868] -- may blessings and peace be upon him -- with his blessed voice (bi-lafẓihi al-mubāraka), at all gatherings [Fridays] (kull jum`a), at festivals (`īd) and on every blessed day (yawm mutabarak) and felicitous night (layl sa`īd)" (Directive six of the 1845 Khasa'il-i sab`ah of the Bab trans. Lambden).

In KS6 the adjectives al-saghīra (“lesser”, “shorter”) or al-kabīra (“greater”, “longer”) are not present. The Bāb simply refers to al-Ziyāra al-jāmi'a, `The Comprehensive Visitation text’. This leaves KS6 open to four possible devotionalistic identifications : (1) the shorter ZJS, (2) the longer ZJK or twelver Shī`ī version of the al-Ziyāra al-jāmi'a, or, alternatively (3-4) the shorter or longer versions of the Ziyara of the  Bāb himself. [1] Each of these four Ziyāra (visitation) texts, it should be noted here, have various ritual acts and recitations associated with their utterance.

The text of the Ziyāra referred to in KS6 is said to have originated with a very elevated figure possessed of a lafẓihi al-mubāraka, (loosely) a “blessed utterance / voice”. This, almost certainly, is a reference to one of the twelver Imams. Several of these twelver Imams are associated with the authorship or transmission of the ZJS and the ZJK. The shorter ZJS is sometimes linked with the person of the seventh Imam Mūsā al-Kāẓim (d.183/799) or (more frequently) with his son the eighth Imam `Alī al-Ridā’ (d.203/818). The longer ZJK is especially associated with the tenth Imam Muhammad ibn `Alī al-Hādī known as al-Naqī (d. Samarra, 254/868). Having said this it should be noted that various twelver Shī`ī sources themselves exhibit some uncertainty on aspects of authorship issues surrounding these two Shi`i Ziyāra texts discussed here. It would seem most likely then, that the focus of blessing upon the author of “immaculate voice” points to Imam `Alī al-Hādī, the source of the very highly regarded twelver Shī`ī larger comprehensive Ziyārat devotional supplication,

That the one referred to is Imam `Alī al-Hādī is more or less confirmed by the use made by the Bāb of similarly pious expressions such as the use of the taslīm (`alayhi al-salām, `upon him be peace’) after the mention of the name of Imam `Alī (cf. also KS7). Of the many examples, we may note this exression towards the beginning of the Bāb’s commentary on the ḥadith man `arafa nafsa-hu… (`Whoso knows his self…’ in ms. TBA 6006C, 63) and the commencement of the Tafsīr naḥnu wajh-Allāh (`We are the Face of God’ in ibid, p. 69). Perhaps also confirmatory of the comprehensive Ziyāra being that ascribed to Imam `Alī al-Hādī, might be the fact that it follows reference to the Imam Ḥusayn centered devotionalism of KS5 which is also imamologically echoed in KS7 (see below). The longer twelver Shī`ī prayer of visitation transmitted through the tenth Imam `Alī al-Hādī is a (roughly) eight to ten page Ziyara devotional. That of the Bāb is similarly named and about twice as long, with twenty-five or so pages which probably date to sometime between 1843 and 1845.  Six

In partial illustration of the numerous devotional occasions referred to in KS6  we may draw attention to the fact that the Bāb himself composed numerous devotional  compositions for sacred occasions and sacred festivals (pl. a`yād; sing. `īd). This is illustrated in his late 1844 Ṣaḥīfa bayn al-Ḥaramayn and early (pre-June 1845) Ṣaḥīfa makhzūna (or Du`ā-yi ṣaḥīfa) wherein the Bāb himself sets forth devotionals for fourteen or more sacred days and festivals. Among many other occasions, Shī`ī Muslims celebrate, for example, [1] the  `Īd al-Ghadīr, `Festival of Ghadīr Khumm’ (18th Dhū’l-Ḥijja) in celebration of the nomination of Imam `Alī as successor to the Prophet; [2] The celebration of the breaking of the fast of Ramaḍān or `Īd al-Fiṭr (1st Shawwāl) and  [3] the pilgrimage related  `Īd al-Aḍḥā `Feast of the Sacrifice’ (10th of Dhū’l-Ḥijja) and  [4] `Īd al-`Arafa (9th of Dhū’l-Ḥijja) as well as  [5] the  `Īd al-Akbar `The Greatest Festival’ (9th of Rabī` I) in celebration of the commencement of the Imamate of the hidden twelfth Imam.

We may further note here that the Bāb may not have intended that all the preliminary rituals associated with the ZJK be carried out in obedience to the demands of KS6. Rather, this devotional text be recited in a personalistic fashion on the turbat al-Ḥusayniyya (see KS5) and on the numerous sacred occasions that he spells out in KS6.

In the third volume of his bulky commentary on the Shī`ī Ziyārat jāmi`a al-kabīra, it should be noted here, al-Aḥsā’ī devoted more than fifty dense pages to a discussion of the eschatological role and return of Imam Ḥusayn (al-Aḥsā’ī, Sh-Ziyāra, III pp. 48-101). The focus on Ḥusayn in KS5-6 is almost certainly related to the fact that Imam Ḥusayn was expected to return first and transform the world. Early, nascent al-Shaykhiyya (Shaykhism) made much of the return of Imam Ḥusayn and this is mirrored through the close attention given to this Imam in the KS and other early expressions of the religion and claims of the Bāb.

            Having said all this, it is not impossible that one of the Bāb’s own comprehensive Ziyāra (Visitation) texts is intended in the KS6 text. This could be thought to utimately derive from the occulted, hidden Imam himself. This latter possibility, however, seems less likely since the language of KS6 does not contain reference to any specific epithet of the supreme, hidden Imam or to, for example, his titles Dhikr-Allāh (Remnant of God) or Baqiyyat-Allāh (Remnant of God) directly or indiorectly referring to the Bab himself. The Imami Shi`i ZJK was so highly regarded by Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, that the Bab further underlined the centrality of its frequent recitation in his first legalistic faith affirmative work, in the sixth directive of the Khasa'il-i sab`ah.