The Khuṭba al-dhikriyya ("The Sermon of the Dhikr-Remembrance")

The Khuṭba al-dhikriyya

("The Sermon of the Dhikr-Remembrance") 

a component of the Ṣaḥīfa al-Radāwiyya ("The Favored [Riḍā'id] Treatise"), written 15th Muḥarram 1262 AH =  13th January 1846 CE.


Introduction and Notes - In progress.

Stephen Lambden UC-Merced 2009

Last modified 22-09-2016.

The early Khuṭba al-dhikriyya or "The Sermon of the Dhikr-Remembrance" also known as the Ṣaḥīfa al-Radāwiyya or (loosely) "The [eighth Imam] Riḍā'id Treatise" was written in the  middle of the first month of the Islamic year 1262 or on the 15th Muḥarram 1262 AH which corresponds to 13th January 1846 CE.  This important early work, the Khuṭba al-dhikriyya ("The Sermon of the Remembrance") of the Bāb is framed in the context of an imamologically numbered categorization of his early works named after the fourteen immaculate ones (chaharda ma`sum); namely, Muhammad, his daughter Fāṭima and the Twelver  Imams. The latter may be  chronologically or successively listed along with their titles as (1) Muhammad also entitled Aḥmad (cf. Q.  and numerous hadith) [d. 632 CE] (2) Imam `Alī  [ibn Abi Ṭālib d. 40/661] (3) Imam Ḥasan [d. C. 49/669-70](4) Imam Ḥusayn [d. 61/680](5) Imam `Alī Zayn al-Abidin [d. c..95 /713 ] (5) Imam Muhammad al-Baqir [d.c. 126 /743] (6) Imam Ja`far al-Ṣādiq [d. c. 148/765] (7) Imam Mūsā [d. 183/799] (8) Imam `Alī  al-Riḍā' [d. 203/818] (9) Imam Muhammad Taqi [d. 220/835] (10) Imam `Alī  al-Hadi, al-Naqī (the Pure One) [d. 254/868] (11) Imam Ḥasan al-`Askarī [d. 260/874] (12) Imam Muhammad al-Mahdī  [disappeared 260/874].  The pleroma of these fourteen imami worthies are indicative of fourteen writings of the Bab which are all explicitly said to date between 1260 and the 15th Muḥarram 1262 AH (= 13th January 1846 CE) [1844 and early 1846] when this work was composed. Though MacEoin following Nicholas and an errant note in Browne Coll. Ms. F 8 wrongly refers to this work as the Risāla-yi dhahbiyya (see Sources, p. 53 App. IV P. 207) although he gives all its fourteen component writings a very useful, insightful and generally accurate analysis (ibid, pp. 53-55). 

Fn. The actual Risāla Dhahabiyya ("The Golden Treatise") of the Bab written for Mulla Jawād Viliyānī in 1847 CE can apparently be found in (1) INBMC  53:157-180; (2) INBMC  86:70-98.

The following are among the extant mss.  ands printed citations of the Khuṭba al-dhikriyya

  • 1) Add
  • (2) Add

  • (3) Browne Coll. F. 8 pp.  Add-Add.  Wrongly identified in this compilation transcribed by Mīrzā Muṣṭafā as the Risāla-yi dhahabiyya following Nicholas, Seyyed `Ali Mohammed, n. p.59 and tentatively accepted by MacEoin, Sources,  Appendix IV p. 207,  cf. 195, 245.

  • (5) Add

  • (6)

  • (7)

  • Partial citation of the Arabic text in Afnan, `Ahd-i a`lā, (Oxford: Oneworld, 2000) pp. 472-3 fn. 2 (cf. page 445). .


The Khuṭba al-Dhikriyya of the Bab

Translation Stephen Lambden

[Prescript of the Bāb]

"The sixth  Ṣaḥīfa  (Treatise) among  the Sermons (khuṭab) which are  organized according to fourteen khuṭbas (Sermons).

The First Khutba: This khuṭba [al-Dhikriyya] ("Sermon of the Dhikr-Remembrance") was indeed generated in [setting forth] everything that was inscribed in that Book (dhalik al-kitāb) to the end that all might be numbered among the witnesses unto that Book."

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

 [1] Praise be to God Who created the Watery Expanse (al-mā') through the Mystery of Origination (bi-sirr al-inshā') [2] and lifted up the Divine Throne (al-`arsh) above the Watery Expanse (al-mā') though the instrumentality of  Realization (bi-sha`an al-imḍā'). [3] And He sent down the verses (al-āyāt) from the sphere of the Theophanic Cloud (al-`amā') by means of the Effusions of the Divine Accomplishment (bi-jaryān al-qiḍā') [4] and He differentiated what was what ordained in Mount Sinai (ṭūr sīnā') consonant with the directive of Laudation (bi-ḥukm al-thanā') [5] and He actualized what was ordained through the Divine Glory (bi'l-bahā') by virtue of the required offences (dhubān al-iqtidā'). [6] So praise be unto Him and Exalted be He for He dispatched the sent Messengers (al-rusul) are conveyers of Glad-tidings (mubashshirīn) and as Warners [heralds] (mundhirīn) save that they do not serve anything except Him. [7] And He placed betwixt the hands of every one of them a measure of His Power (sha`n an min qudratihi) which all, aside from Him, are incapable of producing its like to the end that the Truth might be established through His Words (bi-kalimāt) and error nullified by virtue of His verses (āyāt). 

Add Here 

 [The Four Books]

  • The First  is the Kitāb al-Aḥmadiyya (The `Ahmadī  Book) which is a Commentary (sharḥ) upon a  the first portion (juz') of the Qur'an and a Commentary upon th Surat al-Ḥamd (`the Surah of  Praise' = Q. surah 1  al-Fatiha, "the Opening")."

  • "The Second   is the Kitāb al-`Alawiyya (The `Alīd  Book) wherein He set forth seven hundred  clearly delineated] (muḥkamat) surahs every one of which contained seven hundred verses."

  • "The Third  is the Kitāb al-Ḥasaniyya (The Ḥasanid Book) wherein He set forth fifty clearly delineated  (muḥkamat) writings [books -letters] (kitab an) with victorious verses (bi'l-āyāt al-qāhira). "

  • "The Fourth is the Kitāb al-Ḥusayniyya ("The Ḥusaynid Book") which is the Commentary upon the Surah of Joseph (Sharḥ Sūrat Yūsuf = Tafsīr Sūrat Yūsuf = Qayyūm al-asmā') -- upon him be peace -- which is divided up into one hundred and eleven firmly established [clearly delineated] (muḥkamat) surahs. Every one of them is made up of forty two verses. These constitute a sufficient [messianic] testimony unto whomsoever exists upon the earth or lieth beneath the Divine Throne (al-`arsh)."

 [The Ten Ṣaḥīfas [or pl. Ṣuḥuf]

  • "The Fifth  is the  Ṣaḥīfa al-Fāṭimiyya ("The Fāṭimid Scroll-Treatise" ) which is sectioned up according to fourteen chapters [gates] (bābs) setting down twelve month by month (shahr an) modes of activity (a`māl) as accords with the Book of God (fī kitāb Allāh)."  Most likely is the Ṣaḥīfa a`māl al-sana ("Treatise detailing the [Ritual-Devotional] Acts of the Year").

  • The Sixth  is the Ṣaḥīfa al-`Alawiyya (The `Alīd Scroll-Treatise" )
  • The Seventh  is the Ṣaḥīfa al-Bāqiriyya  (The Scroll-Treatise of  )

  • The Sixth  is the Ṣaḥīfa al-Ja`fariyya (The Scroll-Treatise of al-Ja`far [the sixth Imam])

  • The Seventh  is the  Ṣaḥīfa al-Musawiyya  (The Scroll-Treatise of al-Mūsā [the seventh Imam]).

  • The Eighth is the  Ṣaḥīfa al-Raḍāwiyya   (The Scroll-Treatise al-Rida [the Favored Eighth Imam]).

  • The Ninth is the Ṣaḥīfa al-Jawādiyya (The Scroll-Treatise al-Jawād, the       )

  • The Tenth is the Ṣaḥīfa al-Hādiyya  ("The Scroll-Treatise of al-Hādi the Guide) . This is unknown and unidentified.

  • The Eleventh is the Ṣaḥīfa al- (The Scroll-Treatise )

  • The Twelfth is the  Ṣaḥīfa al-  (The Scroll-Treatise  )

  • The Thirteenth is the  Ṣaḥīfa al-`Askariyya  (The Scroll-Treatise   ). This is unknown and unidentified.

  • The Fourteenth is the  Ṣaḥīfa al-Hujjatiyya (The Scroll-Treatise of the Hujjat, the Proof)


DMacEoin   writes - this wll be corrected

"This symbolism reccurs in the Bab's thought at this period, notably in numerous early works divided into fourteen sections. As a result, titles do not appear in this work as they would elsewhere. Fortunately, the Bab gives a brief description of each one, enabling the reader ta identify most of them. The four books are: 1. Kitab al-Al]madiyya. This is desceibed as a work 'in explanation of the first juz' of the Qur'an'. It may, therefore, be readily identified as the tafsIr on the Surat al-baqara, a commentary which, as we have noted, is carried exactly to the end of the firstjuz' (v. 141 of the Egyptian text), and which includes a preliminary tafsIr on the preceding chapter of the Qur'an, the Surat al-ftitil]a.37 It seems no coincidence that this work is listed flest, since it was finished in Mubarram 1260, the date at which this list commences. The implication is, of course, that the rest of the list is chronological. That is not the case, however. 2. Kitab al-`Alawiyya. Desribed as a book 'in seven hundred suras, each consisting of seven verses', this is clearly the Kitab al-rill], a work referred to by Subh-i Azal as the Kitab-i haftsad sura or 'Book of Seven Hundred Suras'. 38 3. Kitab al-Ifasaniyya. 1 am uncertain as ta the identity of this work. It is desceibed as 'containing flfty letters (kutub)', and 1 would conjecture that it represents a collection of letters similar to if not identical with the group of thirty-eight letters listed in the Kitab al-fihrist, together, perhaps, with the ten prayers written in reply to questions from different individuals also mentioned there. 4. Kitiib al-Ifusayniyya. Desceibed as a commentary on the Sura Yusuf, this is obviously the Qayyum al-asma'.

The ten suḥuf are as follows:

2. Ṣaḥīfa al-`Alawiyya. 'A collection of fourteen prayers in answer to ninety-two questions' posed on his return from the hajj. This could include the ten prayers listed at the end of the Kitab al-fihrist, assuming they are not already counted in the 'Kitab al-Hasaniyya' .
3. Ṣaḥīfa a/-Baqiriyya. 'A treatise in fourteen chapters in explanation of the letters of the basmala': this would seem to he the tafsTr on the basmala listed in the Kitab al-fihrist.
4. Ṣaḥīfa al-Ja`fariyya. This is described as 'a treatise in fourteen chapters in explanation of his prayer in the days of the occultation (ghayba)'. No Ṣaḥīfa of this description is mentioned in the Kitiib al-fihrist or any of the standard sources; but a reference to a commentary in fourteen abwab on the Du`a al-ghayba may be found in a letter in the hand of Sayyid Yahya Darabi, in which he writes about some of the writings of the Bab seen by him.40 The Bab himself refers to such a work in his Ṣaḥīfa-yi `adliyya. 41 When we look at it in more detail later, it will be clear that, neglected though it has been, this commentary is actually a work of considerable importance.
5. Ṣaḥīfa al-Musawiyya. This is 'a treatise in fourteen chapters (abwab) in reply to two individuals, sent down in the land of the two sanctuaries (ard al-haramayn)'. It is possible that this may he the Sahifa bayna 'l-haramayn even though it states in the opening passage of that work that it was written for only one individual (MIrza Muhit  KirmanI). Strictly speaking, the Ṣaḥīfa bayna ' I-haramayn is not arranged in fourteen abwab. The Cambridge copy has seven ayiit, with one bab each, rather oddly arranged as follows: albab al-awwal min al-iiya al-ü/ii; a/-bab a/-thiïnl min al-iiya a/-thiïniyya, and so on. However, in view of the facts that no other work of this description is mentioned in the Kitiib al-fihrist and that the SahTfa bayna 'l-l)aramayn does not seem to meet the description of any other work in the Risiila-yi dhahabiyya, I  think we are obliged to identify this Ṣaḥīfa with it for the present.
6. Ṣaḥīfa al-Raḍawiyya. This work in fourteen chapters 'on the books written by him' must he none other than the Kitāb al-fihrist. At another point

39 Cf. Kashani, Nuqlat al-kaf, p. 179.
40 Letter quoted Mllzandarllnl, Zuhur al-Haqq, vol.3, p. 472.
41 p. 34.
in the present work, mention is made of the above Ṣaḥīfa, stating that it contains a detailed account of the books stolen from the Bab while on pilgrimage - and just such an account does occur in the Kitab al-fihrist. For a discussion of how the Ṣaḥīfa al-Ra4awiyya and the Ṣaḥīfa-yi dhahabiyya came ta he confused, see Appendix Four.
7. Ṣaḥīfa al·Jawadiyya. This is described as 'a treatise in fourteen chapters in reply to fourteen questions on the world of the