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This website is in the process of being setup to share old, current and ongoing work in the fields of Biblical, Islamic, Shī`ī-Shaykhī and Bābī-Bahā'ī Studies. It will replace my now dated, and removed, unavailable, UK+USA based site (... A few links from this old, provisional site were originally carried over to these new UCMerced webpages. Here and there are unlinked graphics and URLs originating in the old site; these will, in due course, be revised and replaced. From 2021 many new links and PDfs will be corrected and uploaded. From summer 2021 this website will be partly reorganized as much of it has become difficult to navigate; a self-contained search engine will also be added.

None of the UCMerced webpages, translations or other materials posted on this site, represent official views of UCMerced or of the Baha'i religion and its institutions. Everything here is an expression of my personal, fallible academic researches. Much of it remains provisional notes pending future publication though webpages may be cited and referenced as: 

Stephen Lambden, UC Merced, Hurqalya Website ( : Appropriate webpage(s) + date accessed.

Many of the text files to be posted here are written with Unicode fonts (e.g. Arial Unicode MS, Times New Roman, etc) which exist within many (especially Microsoft) operating systems and font collections. These fonts exist in numerous varieties and are generally compatible with each other.  Their use makes visible the academic transliterations used on this Website including, for example, Arabic, Persian and the biblical languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek) as well as that of key scriptural languages of key major world religions and less well-knwn movements. For the academic transliteration used here, the Unicode font should contain: Basic Latin; Latin-1; Latin Extended-A; Latin Extended-B and Latin extended Additional. For Arabic and Persian and certain of the scriptural languages (Hebrew and Greek, etc) this Website often makes use of an expanded Unicode version of Times New Roman.

Set forth on this Website are papers, notes, bibliographies and English translations from Arabic, Persian and other sometimes scriptural languages of Islamic, Shī`ī -Shaykhī and Bābī-Bahā'ī primary, secondary and other sources, some dating as far back as 1976. Many are distinctly provisional in the sense of being constantly subject to revision and correction. In this connection I would be delighted to receive critical suggestions for improvement, preferably communicated by email to my UC-Merced email address = Previously published papers will be set forth in PDf., sometimes along with updated, expanded or corrected web versions.  

Syzygy: A Journal of Bābī-Bahā'ī Studies

In addition to the Web publishing of revised versions of portions of my work, the now 30 year old periodical Bahā'ī Studies Bulletin   (BSB) will gradually be revised and re-published here. At some stage in the future (perhaps from 2021) it is hoped that this or a related site will also update my other ongoing periodical project   entitled Syzygy: A Journal of Bābī-Bahā'ī Studies. This latter journal will be primarily concerned with the philological, textual, academic analysis, study and translation of Bābī-Bahā’ī primary scriptural sources along with historical issues associated therewith.

For such as might wonder, Hūrqalyā (Arabic هورقليا = h-w-r-q-l-y-a [sic.], pointing uncertain) is a seven letter Arabic transliterated loanword probably originating in an Islamic context with Shihāb al-Dīn Yaḥyā Suhrawardī (d. [executed] Aleppo 587/1191) who is viewed as the founder of the Ishrāqī or Illuminationist school of Islamic philosophy. I have a lengthy paper in press (due 2021 after a ten year blockage!) which argues that etymologically and conceptually this word (to simplify) derives (probably as orally transmitted with a supplementary adjective) from a Hebrew (הָרָקִיעַ, hā-rāqîa`), Aramaic-Syriac or Mandaic form of   רָקִיעַ rāqîa`, a  word which is often indicative of a luminous, firmament or interworld spanning or linking "heaven" and "earth". As the subject of most of the material on this website has to do with the intellectual history of religious concepts, the use of `Hurqalya Publications' was thought to be appropriate. 

From mid.-late 2021 Zoom rooted powerpoint papers and introductory presentations will be selectively posted on this site.

Notice of Select Recent Additions: 2020-2021. 

  • Qā'imiyya and Beyond - A Proclaimatory Letter of the Bab to Mullā Shaykh AIī Turshīzī entitled `Aẓīm (Mighty), (d. Tehran 1852), KZH III + 2019.
  • A Tablet of the Bab to Muhammad `Ali Barfurushi, Quddus (d.1849). 2019.
  • Qayyūm al-asmā' Surahs I-XXII (1-22) + XXVIII (28), Sūrat al-Qarāba (The Surah of the Kinsfolk); XXIX (29) Sūrat al-Ḥuriyya (The Sūrah of the Maiden); CVIII (108) Sūrat al-Dhikr (The Sūrah of the  Remembrance) etc. Beta versions complete July 2020.
  • Tablet of Bahā'-Allāh about the Hallmarks or Proofs of a future Divine Manifestation. Ma'ida-yi asmani IV: 53-4.
  • Tablet of Bahā'-Allāh entitled Ḥūr-i `Ujāb (The Wondrous Maiden), Arabic and Persian Sections. July 2020-21.
  • Tablet of Baha'-Allah to Mulla Sadiq-i Muqaddas Khurasani or Ism-Allāh al-Asdaq (The Name of God, the Most Holy). Ma'ida-yi asmani IV: 362-4. July 2020.
  • Some Notes on the term Masā'il ("Questions") in the Twelver Shi`i Devotional Texts, the Du`ā' al-saḥar (Dawn supplication), the Du`ā' yawm al-mubāhala ("Supplication for the Day of Mutual Execration") and in select Writings of the Sayyid `Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Bab. July 2020.
  • Some Notes on the Abrahamic pre-history and intertextuality of traditions about the person and name  آسية  (Ar.) Āsiyah, (Per. Āsiyih), the  name of the wife of Bahā’-Allāh (1817-1892) and the mother of `Abdu’l-Bahā’ `Abbās (1844-1921).
  • Khanykov-Dorn / The Bab, Kitab al-asmā' (Book of Names)  an extract from a ms. printed in St. Petersburg, 1864/5, Die Sammlung von Morgenländischen Handschriften.. (pp. 59-69) with an  English translation of Wahid (Unity) XII. 
  • The Ziyarat-Namah for the al-Nuqta (the Point, the Bab) and the Huruf al-Hayy (Letters of the Living). Ms. 6007C 201-211. Arabic text and Translation. July-August, 2020.
  • Revisions to the translation and commentary upon the Rashh-i `amā' and the Lawh-i kull al-ta`ām of Baha'-Allah. September, 2020.
  • Man yuẓhiru-hu Allāh, `Him / The One whom God shall make manifest’ after Man yuẓhiru-hu Allāh in successive future eras. January 2021.
  • A Letter of Fatimah Baraghani, Tahirah, Qurrat al-`Ayn, to Mulla Husayn Bushru'i, Jinab-i Bab al-Bab (The Gate of the Gate), Trans Lambden, 2020-21
  • The Tafsir Sūrat Yūsuf / Qayyūm al asmā’ of the Bāb as the Kitāb al-Ḥusayniyya. A Draft of a paper delivered in Istanbul in 2012. January 2021.
  • The Lawh-i Madinat al-Rida' (Tablet of the City of Radiant Acquiescence) of Baha'-Allah, An Annotated Translation. In Progress.
  • More than a "Magic Shadow-show" : Some Thoughts on Bābī-Bahā’ī  `Meta-Cosmology'. An Annotated PDf and PowerPoint Presentation, January 2021.
  • The Bab  دعای الف Du`a-yi Alf, `The Supplication of the "Thousand"'. January 2021.
  • "Before Abraham was",They were: Explorations of the Doctrine of the Pre-Existence of Muhammad, the Bāb and Bahā'-Allāh. February, 2021.
  • "An Issue betwixt two Perspectives (amr bayn al-amrayn)" and a "Bottomless Sea which none shall ever Fathom" : Some Notes on Fate and Pre-Destination in Islamic and Bābī-Bahā’ī Literatures. March 2021.
  • Bayān, Sa`b Mustasa`b ("Exposition with Clarity and Abstrusity") in Bābī-Bahā’ī Primary Scriptural Sources.
  • The Umm al-Kitāb ("Mother-Archetypal Book") in Abrahamic, Islamic and  Bābī-Bahā’ī Intertextualities.
  • The Tafsīr Sūrat al-Tawhid (The Commentary on the Surah of the Divine Unity) of the Bab. Feb-March 2021. 
  • The Tafsir al-Ha' (Commentary upon the Letter "H") I of the Bab. Feb-March 2021.
  • The Tafsir al-Ha' (Commentary upon the Letter "H") II of the Bab. March 2021.
  • Risāla Dhahabiyya I  ("The Golden Treatise") of the Bab. March 2021..
  • Risāla Dhahabiyya II ("The Golden Treatise") of the Bab. March 2021.
  • The Lawh-i Hirtik [Hartik] (Tablet to Georg David Hardegg) of Baha'-Allah. Revised Translation and Extended Commentary. March 2021.
  • The Lawh-i Hurufat al-Muqatta`ah ("Tablet on the Isolated Letters of the Qur'an") of Baha'-Allah. Revised Translartion and Extended Commentary. March 2021.


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