Islamo-Biblica in the Hadīth qudsī (lit. `Sacred Hadīth’, `Divine Saying’) Traditions and Literatures ..

Islamo-Biblica in ḥadīth qudsī  (lit. `Sacred Hadīth’, `Divine Saying’) Traditions and Literatures

Stephen Lambden UCMerced.

In progress 1980s+2017.

The ḥadīth qudsī are an important category of  extra‑qur’ānic revelations found in canonical ḥadīth  collections, in early ṣuhuf   collections and in many Sufi writings. They are very highly regarded in both Sunnī and Shī`ī Islam. Numerous compilations and commentaries upon these ḥadīth  were made from early times right up into the Safavid period (1501‑1722 CE) and beyond (Graham,1977 App. A). Among the influential Shī`ī collections is that written in 1056/1645 by al‑Ḥurr al‑`Āmilī (1104 /1693) entitled   al‑Jawāhir al‑saniyyah fī’l‑aḥādith al‑qudsiyya (The Essences of the Splendours in the Sacred Traditions) which sets down from a wide range of Shī`ī sources over one hundred pages of sacred traditions communicated by God between the time of Adam and that of Jesus (al‑Jawāhir, 9‑117). Most compilations of ḥadīth qudsī   include directives and statements which God allegedly communicated to pre‑Islamic figures and sometimes also to Muhammad and the Imams. The ḥadīth qudsī are closely related to and are often distillations of the Biblical or Islamo-Biblical (loosely, Isrā ’iliyyāt)  traditions.  Two examples from a Sunnī and a Shī`ī sources are:

I heard the Apostle of God say, relating from his Lord: "`Those who love one another in God (mutaḥābbun fi Allāh)  shall be upon platforms of light (manābir min nūr)  in the shadow of the [Divine] Throne on a day in which there shall be no shade except His [its] shade’" (Ibn Ḥanbal, Musnad  V:239; Ibn `Arabī, Mishkat, 22. Graham, 1977:144).

... O Jesus! Commemorate me within thy Self and I shall commemorate thee in Myself. And bring Me to remembrance in the gathering of thy devotees, in the meeting of the good among the concourse of the children of Adam (al‑ādamiyyīn)  (al‑Ḥurr al‑Āmilī, al‑Jawāhir, 108).

The  ḥadīth qudsī  in the writings of the Bāb and Baha-Allah.

The  ḥadīth qudsī  were very influential upon the Bāb and Baha-Allah.  In his early Kitab al‑rūḥ (Book of the Spirit, 1261/1845?) and Kitab. al‑fihrist (1261/ 1845) the Bāb explicitly cites as a sacred utterance of God (al‑ḥadīth al‑qudsī) the famous Sufi tradition known as the ḥadīth al‑nawāfil  (ḥadīth  of supererogatory works) (K. al‑rūḥ  64‑5).  In this ḥadīth  the servant is represented as so assiduously  engaging in devotions (al‑nawā’fil) and drawing nigh unto God that God himself loves that servant to the degree that he becomes the "ear wherewith he hears", etc. (Fihrist, 343,  cf. Nasr, IS1:108‑9).

 With respect to Baha-Allah and ḥadīth qudsī   it is clear that his Kalimāt‑i maknūnih  (Hidden Words) is essentially a collection of Sufi‑type, pre‑Bābī divine wisdom. Over 150 brief Arabic and Persian  divine sayings consist of utterances largely cast in the literary form evident in many key ḥadīth qudsī commencing  yā ibn al‑insān   ("O son of Man" ) at root a Semitic‑Aramaic  phrase (cf. Jesus’ `Son of Man’ sayings) which introduces numerous Islamic ḥadīth qudsī.  Initially from around 1858 CE entitled the ṣāḥifa‑yi Fāṭimiyya   (The Scroll of Fāṭimah)  then a decade or so later coming to be entitled the `Hidden Words’ by BA* himself, this compilation is  basically modeled upon collections of the ḥadīth qudsī  so cherished and much cited by Sufis. Occasionally echoing Gospel sayings the Hidden Words are introduced by Baha-Allah as a distillation of pre‑Bābī divine inspiration:

This is that which was sent down [from God, nuzzila) from the omnipotent realm (jabarūt al‑`izza) through the Tongue of Power and Might unto the prophets of the past (`alā al‑nabiyyūn min qabl)... ( HW. Ar., 32). 

These words seem to refer to Islamic ḥadīth qudsī  traditions. As far as the form and content of Baha-Allah’s  Hidden Words  goes, items within the Arabic of the kalimat‑i maknūna  can be profitably compared and contrasted with ḥadīth qudsī  found many Islamic sources including the section of Majlisi’s Persian  Ḥayāt al‑qulūb (The Life of Hearts) where Islamicate versions of beatitudes, woes  and other sayings ascribed to Jesus are recorded (Majlisī, Hayat, 2:1160‑1175).

The Hadith Qudsi 'Kuntu Kanzan Makhfiyan'" (Commentary on the Saying 'I was a Hidden Treasure'...

 

 

Bibliography.

 

The Bab.

  • Add

`Abdu'l-Baha,

  • "Tafsir 'Kuntu Kanzan Makhfiyan'" (Commentary on the Saying 'I was a Hidden Treasure') in Makatib-i Hadrat `Abdu'l-Baha, Vol. 2, Cairo: Matba`at Kurdistan ...

The ḥadīth qudsī  (lit. `Sacred Hadīth’, `Divine Saying’)

 The ḥadīth qudsī are an important category of  extra‑qur’ānic revelations found in canonical ḥadīth  collections, in early ṣuhuf   collections and in many Sufi writings. They are very highly regarded in both Sunnī and Shī`ī Islam. Numerous compilations and commentaries upon these ḥadīth  were made from early times right up into the Safavid period (1501‑1722 CE) and beyond (Graham,1977 App. A). Among the influential Shī`ī collections is that written in 1056/1645 by al‑Ḥurr al‑`Āmilī (1104 /1693) entitled   al‑Jawāhir al‑saniyyah fī’l‑aḥādith al‑qudsiyya (The Essences of the Splendours in the Sacred Traditions) which sets down from a wide range of Shī`ī sources over one hundred pages of sacred traditions communicated by God between the time of Adam and that of Jesus (al‑Jawāhir, 9‑117). Most compilations of ḥadīth qudsī   include directives and statements which God allegedly communicated to pre‑Islamic figures and sometimes also to Muhammad and the Imams. The ḥadīth qudsī are closely related to and are often distillations of the Isrā ’iliyyāt or biblical tradition.  Two examples from a Sunnī and a Shī`ī sources are:

I heard the Apostle of God say, relating from his Lord: "`Those who love one another in God (mutaḥābbun fi Allāh)  shall be upon platforms of light (manābir min nūr)  in the shadow of the [Divine] Throne on a day in which there shall be no shade except His [its] shade’" (Ibn Ḥanbal, Musnad  V:239; Ibn `Arabī, Mishkat, 22. Graham, 1977:144).

... O Jesus! Commemorate me within thy Self and I shall commemorate thee in Myself. And bring Me to remembrance in the gathering of thy devotees, in the meeting of the good among the concourse of the children of Adam (al‑ādamiyyīn)  (al‑Ḥurr al‑Āmilī, al‑Jawāhir, 108).

The  ḥadīth qudsī  were very influential upon the Bāb and BA*.  In his early K. al‑rūḥ (Book of the Spirit, 1261/1845?) and K. al‑Fihrist (1261/ 1845) the Bāb explicitly cites as a sacred utterance of God (al‑ḥadīth al‑qudsī) the famous Sufi tradition known as the ḥadīth al‑nawāfil  (ḥadīth  of supererogatory works) (K. al‑rūḥ  64‑5).  In this ḥadīth  the servant is represented as so assiduously  engaging in devotions (al‑nawā’fil) and drawing nigh unto God that God himself loves that servant to the degree that he becomes the "ear wherewith he hears", etc. (Fihrist, 343,  cf. Nasr, IS1:108‑9).

With respect to BA* and ḥadīth qudsī   it is clear that his Kalimāt‑i maknūnih  (Hidden Words) is essentially a collection of Sufi‑type, pre‑Bābī divine wisdom. Over 150 brief Arabic and Persian  divine sayings consist of utterances largely cast in the literary form evident in many key ḥadīth qudsī commencing  yā ibn al‑insān   ("O son of Man" ) at root a Semitic‑Aramaic  phrase (cf. Jesus’ `Son of Man’ sayings) which introduces numerous Islamic ḥadīth qudsī.  Initially from around 1858 CE entitled the ṣāḥifa‑yi Fāṭimiyya   (The Scroll of Fāṭimah)  then a decade or so later coming to be entitled the `Hidden Words’ by BA* himself, this compilation is  basically modeled upon collections of the ḥadīth qudsī  so cherished and much cited by Sufis. Occasionally echoing Gospel sayings the Hidden Words are introduced by BA* as a distillation of pre‑Bābī divine inspiration:

This is that which was sent down [from God, nuzzila) from the omnipotent realm (jabarūt al‑`izza) through the Tongue of Power and Might unto the prophets of the past (`alā al‑nabiyyūn min qabl)... ( HW. Ar., 32). 

These words seem to refer to Islamic ḥadīth qudsī  traditions. As far as the form and content of BA*’s  Hidden Words  goes, items within the Arabic of the kalimat‑I maknūna  can be profitably compared and contrasted with ḥadīth qudsī  found many Islamic sources including the section of Majlisi’s Persian  Ḥayāt al‑qulūb (The Life of Hearts) where Islamicate versions of beatitudes, woes  and other sayings ascribed to Jesus are recorded (Majlisī, Hayat, 2:1160‑1175).