The Bab - The Questions of Mirza Muhammad Zavarih
The Reply of the Bab
The Questions of Mirza Muhammad Zavarih [Zawara]
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 As for what thou did ask regarding the clarification of the issue of pre-existence (al-qidam) and the origination [genesis] of things (al-ḥuduth).  There is no doubt that the pre-existence of the eternal Divine Essence (dhāt al-azal) is by virtue of His Own Self (nafsihi) for His Eternity (azal) was His Essence (al-dhāt).  There was nothing alongside Him other than He, until, that it, He decreed the distinguishing feature of His pre-existence (al-qidam).  The divine Names and Attributes became detached from the Court of His Holiness and the [emanated] traces (āthār) were prevented from ascending unto the level (maqām) of His divine Grandeur.  Wherefore is everything that testifieth unto Him, His Own creation.  And He is the One Who informs His servants.
 Thus does it derive from the alphabetical trace which is the generative script (khaṭṭ al-ibdā`a) and the specific nature of the invention (ni`at al-ikhtir`).  He, verily, is supremely glorious and far greater than One capable of being characterized by His creatures or described by His servants.  Praise be He and exalted be He above what can be described.  Thus, when the existence of the pre-existent divine Essence (dhat al-qidam) was established, it was through the existence of His Own Logos-Self (nafs) and [through] nothing that was separated from it.  [Imam] `Alī alluded unto this [when he said],
"O thou the establishment of whose Essence
is by virtue of His [Own] Essence (dhātihi bi-dhātihi)".
 The existence of origination (al-ḥuduth) was in consequence through the Creative Logos-Self (nafs al-ibadiyya)
Among them is the level of exterior Eternity (azal al-ẓāhir) within the primal Remembrance
(al-dhikr al-awwal) and the exterior Pre-existence (al-qidam al-ẓāhir) as it relates to the station of the Divine Activity (al-maqām al-fi'l). This is the station which God made in the beginning (al-ibdā`a) for the station of the gnosis of the testimony (ma`rifat al-istidlāl) regarding the Eternity of His Essence (azal dhātihi) and His Pre-existence (qidamihi). Wherefore hath he said,
"I am the master of secondary [momentary] eternality (azaliyya al-thanawiyya).
And he [also] said in description of the Messenger of God in the Sermon of the Day of Gathering and the Ditch (khuṭba yawm al-jami`a wa'l-ghadīr),
`And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger whom He singled out from the midmost-heart of Pre-existence (bubūḥat al-qidam), one unique above the remainder of the peoples.... and the likeness of His rising up is [the realization of] the station of His Logos-Self (maqām nafsihi)
Among them is the level of beginningless eternity (rutbat al-sarmad) which is the station of the appearance of the Divine Activity (maqām ẓuhūr al-fi`l) for which there is no beginning except by virtue of His Logos-Self (nafsihi) [XX] And there is also the level of the eternal continuance of time (rutbat al-dahr). [X] Again there is the level of the duration of Time (rutbat al-zamān)....