The Evolving Clains and Titles of Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri, Baha'-Allah (1817-1892 CE).

The Evolving Clains and Titles of Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri, Baha'-Allah (1817-1892 CE). 

Stephen Lambden UCMerced,

In progress 1980s+ 2017 - 16-03-2017.

Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri was the fourth son of Mirza `Abbas Nuri known as Mirza Bururg (d. 1839) and his second wife Khadijah Khánum  (b.1822 near Takur in the Mazandaran province, d. September 15, 1882)  who were both of Persian Shi`i descent.  The father was a vizier ("governor") to the royal prince Imam-Virdi Mírza, the twelfth son of Fath `Ali Shah (d. Isfahan 1834 r. 1797-1834) the  second Qajar ruler, king, or Shah of Persia. His date of birth was November 12th 1817 and his parentally conferred name was Husayn `Ali.



A few Notes on the claims and titles of founders of religions of the Abrahamic line.



A multitude of books have been written about the claims, titles and divine status of Jesus of Nazareth, the founder of the originally Galilean Jewish movement that became Christianity, now one of the major religions of ther world.


Imamology and the position of the Shi`i Imams

The word imam has a number of meanings in Arabic  one of which is indicative of the successors (up to twelve or so)  who were descendents and members of the foundational ahl al-kisa; or fivefold `people ofthe cloak'; namely, [1] Muhammad, [2] `Ali, [3] Fatima, and her two sons [4] Hasan and [5] the maytyred Husayn. They thus include Muhammad the founder prophet of Islam and his daugher Fatima al-Zahra (the Pure One) and two of her sons believed by Imami Shi`i Muslims to be the first two Imams as successors of the Prophet. As leaders of the Islamic community the first Imam `Ali was succeeded by his son Hasan and then Husayn after whose maryrdom in      ten more successors were designated Imams as leaders of the twelver Shi`i community.

As heads of the Islamic community, these Imams were accorded special titles, powers and levels of infallibility.

`Abd al-Baha' and select titles he accorded his father as founder of the Baha'i religion.

The titles of Baha'-Allah listed by Shoghi Effendi Rabbani (d.1957).

In many of his works and letters Shoghi Effendi had occasion to set down various of the titles assumed by Baha'-Allah over the forty year period of his religious ministry (1852-1892 CE).  The weighty English language centennial summary of Babi-Baha history, from 1844-1944, written by Shoghi Effendi (the grandson of Baha'-Allah and head of the religion he founded from 1921-1957), entitled God Passes By ...  includes an important summary of nineteen or so key titles claimed by Baha'-Allah - as does the slightly later or subsequent Persian synopsis he wrote in Persian.

[0] Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri = میرزا حسین علی نوری‎‎

In  God Passes By, the Baha'i Guardian has it that  his parentally bestwed name Husayn `Ali,  which is distinctly imamological, and thus significant on Islamic religious  lines. Yet this name is both Islamic and Christian in the light of New Testament prophecy contained in the Christian apocalypse, the book of the Revelation of John, the last book in the cannonical New Testament. He thus viewed the  name as being a combination of the names of the third Imam Husayn - viewed by Baha'is as "the most illustrious of the successors of the Apostle of God- the "brightest star" shining in the "crown" mentioned in the Revelation of St. John" [see Rev.     ] (GPB:   ) and of the first Imám `Alí, the Commander of the Faithful [Amir al-Muminin], regarded as "the second of the two "witnesses" extolled in that same Christian Apocalypse, the Book of Revelation" [see Rev.     ] (GPB:  ). 

[01] Baha'-Allah = Baha' + Allah

The  most important title of Husayn `Ali Nuri is  Baha'-Allah. This genitive phrase is a combination of a word indicative of  radiant, splendid or luminous Glory, Baha'  joined with the Semitic-Arabic Islamic designation of the personal Deity, Allah,  meaning "the God" ( al+ilah, the "h" being a feminine ending!). The phrase Baha'-Allah can be seen as a combination of two words which are both viewed as expressions of the  al-ism al-a`zam, the greatest Name of God. For Baha'is as explicitly stated by Baha'-Allah in his Lawh-i hurufat al-muqatta`a and in numerous Islamic traditions and sources, Allah is the surpreme or mightiest Name of God. So too, for Baha'is, the Arabic word Baha'. 

Shoghi Effendi writes, "He was formally designated Bahá'u'lláh, an appellation specifically recorded in the Persian Bayán, signifying at once the glory, the light and the splendor of God" (GPB: XXX).

XX other titles listed in God Passes By. They are, with brief comments and religious roots and Arabic and/ or Persian transliteration :

  • [1] The Most Great Name =  Ar. al-ism al-a`zam Per. ism-i a`zam. This is an Islamic and Babi reference to a supreme, long-secreted Name of God.
  • [2] "The Ancient Beauty" =

This is Per. Jamal-i qidam

  • [3] "The Pen of the Most High"

Per. Qalam-i a`la or "Most Exalted Pen".

  • [4] "The Hidden Name",  Ar. al-ism al-makun
  • [5] "The Preserved Treasure" =  Ar. [kuntu] Kanz an makhfiyy an  or `Hidden Treasure'  ...
  • [6] "He Whom God will make manifest"
  • [7] "Most Great Light" = Ar. al-nur al-a`zam
  • [8] "The All-Highest Horizon" =
  • [9] "The  Most Great Ocean" =
  • [10] "The Supreme Heaven" = 
  • [11] "The Pre-Existent Root" =
  • [12] "Self-Subsistent" = (Ar.)

This title in its original Arabic/Persian is al-Qayyum which, in Qur'anic Arabic, has been translated as "Self-Subsistent" or "Self-Subsisting".

  • [13] "TheDay-Star of the Universe"
  • [14] The "Great Announcement"
  • [15] The Speaker on Sinai = Per. mukallim-i tur/sina'
  • [16] The "Sifter of Men"
  • [17] "The Desire of the Nations"
  • [18] "The Lord of the Covenant"
  • [19] "The Tree beyond which there is no passing" = Ar. sidrat al-muntaha

All of these nineteen titles are rooted in Islamic and or Babi literatures including the Qur'.an, the Bayan and various hadith known with twelver Shi`ism and other Islamic and related communities. Having listed these nineteen titles of Baha'-Allah, Shoghi Effendi continues his God Passes By  as follows:

He derived His descent, on the one hand, from Abraham…and on the other from Zoroaster, as well as from Yazdigird, the last king of the Sásáníyán dynasty. He was moreover a descendant of Jesse, and belonged, through His father, Mírzá Abbás, better known as Mírzá Buzurg--a nobleman closely associated with the ministerial circles of the Court of Fath-`Alí Sháh--to one of the most ancient and renowned families of Mazindarán. (GPB: XXX)".

These lines presuppose various further titles relating to Zoroastrianism and Judaism and their relationship to Baha'-Allah and the religion he founded. It will be convenient to further list and comment upon titles used or applied to Baha'-Allah under the headings indicative of  which religion they most likely derive and from which sacred book or books they might be found.












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