(The Surah of the Theophanic Cloud)
on Qur'ān 12:9
Trans Stephen N. Lambden, UCMerced.
1983-2016. Last slightly revised 12-09-2020.
بسم اللّه الرّحمن الرّحيم
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate
اقْتُلُوا يُوسُفَ أَوِ اطْرَحُوهُ أَرْضًا يَخْلُ لَكُمْ وَجْهُ أَبِيكُم وَتَكُونُوا مِنْ بَعْدِهِ قَوْمًا صَالِحِينَ
"[One of the brothers of Joseph said] Kill ye Joseph! or banish him to [another] land then the face (wajh `favour’) of your father [Jacob] will be clearly directed towards you [brothers], and after that be ye a righteous people (qawm an ṣāliḥīn )" (Q.12:9).
Alif-Lām-Mīm-Ghayn (= A-L- M-` [Gh]).
 The Most Great Remembrance of God (dhikr Allāh al-akbar) is One praised through the Remembrance of Our Lord the Exalted.  So praised be He Who sent down the Book, just as He hath willed, in accordance with that which He hath willed. He, God, is powerful over all things.  When thou will something it is naught save the like of that which We have willed. And God is witness unto all things.
 We, verily, bestowed Our bounty upon Joseph and his brothers through manifest signs expressive of the mystery (sirr) of that Mighty Gate (al-bāb).  This whereupon they [Joseph's brothers] said: `Would you veil the sign of Joseph which God placed among you to the end that, in very truth, you become capable men on earth,  or banish him to the land of the divine unicity (ard al-aḥadiyya) in order that the face of your father be clearly directed towards you? And after that be a pure people in the dominion by virtue of the concealed mystery' (Q 2:9).  Yet God, is verily, is the One Who manifested a person from among ourselves [Joseph] . And We, verily, made him a noble Herald of good-tidings [a man]. We, indeed, made the heavens and the earth to be signs for Our servants. And God is witness unto all things.
 God will assuredly enable you to see His mighty signs from the seat of truthfulness (maq`ad al-ṣidq) through, in very truth, Our servant [the Bāb].  We, verily, sent down the verses which are in the ancient Scrolls (ṣuḥuf) and God is, in very truth, well-informed about His verses and about the Remembrance (al-dhikr).  We, verily will show you the signs in the horizons and in your selves in order that you might bear witness that He is the True One (cf. Q. 41:53)  God, verily, made the Path for such as shall be questioned about the Gate (al-bāb) in the presence of their Lord.
 And God, verily, sent down this Book upon His servant [the Bāb] in order that he might, in very truth, and by Our leave, bear witness unto all the worlds.  He verily, hath enumerated in that Book all that God sent down upon all the Prophets and righteous ones, in very truth, in all the [divinely revealed] tablets (al-alwāḥ).  We relinquished Our Providence unto you in that you abandoned a concealed letter [= Joseph = “H” = Husayn =the Bab] of the Book of God expressive of the shrouded mystery.  The people have lied to the effect that they to some degree outstripped Us in obedience to the All-Merciful. And God, verily, is witness unto all things.
 We, verily, shall manifest Our servant unto you in a Theophanic Cloud of Light (`amā' min nūr); unto that is, such as watch out for [the advent of the] Remembrance of God (dhikr Allāh), the True One, in the morning and in the evening.  God hath made such [watchful] persons to be clear-sighted regarding His Pure Religion and upright upon the True Path.
 Among the people are those who say, `We have believed in God and in His Most Great Remembrance (dhikr allah al-akbar).  And God is, in very truth, clear-sighted with respect to his [true] servants.'  In reality they disbelieved with their tongues after they attained certainty for themselves.  And God, verily, taught their selves: `You [pl.] are newly avowed disbelievers in God, the Exalted.'  Erelong, by the leave of God, the Exalted, shall hell-fire and its rock encompass them in the vale of the blazing hell (wadd al-jaḥīm).  Such indeed shall be your punishment [recompense] (jazā') from God for you are reckoned hypocrites in the Upright Religion of God. God, verily, is witness of that which you know.
O ye people!
Were ye not given news of those who lived before you and, in very truth, warned of the terrible punishment of the All-Merciful?  Did We not promise you a Garden of God, its magnitude comparable to the magnitude of the heaven and of the earth, prepared for such of Our pure servants as believe in the Exalted Remembrance of God (dhikr Allāh)?  Therein, in very truth, you shall, by Our leave, have whatever your souls desire that is excellent and fresh (cf. Q 41:31b).  So praised be He Who, no God is there except Him, the Lord like unto Whom there is not a single thing. And God, in very truth, is One worshipped.
 We, verily, by the leave of God, gave you warning about a Remembrance (dhikr) for you are forbidden to relate to him outside of the Truth [?].  So supplicate the Remembrance of God (dhikr Allāh), the True One, by petitioning the Gate (al-bāb) and being, in very truth, repentant before God, the True One.  By the Lord of Heaven! God, in very truth, decreed that your sustenance be an allotted portion sent down in this Heaven.  What is it with you that you do not relinquish your base passions when it is the case that the Truth which is Great hath come unto you from the presence of God, the Exalted?  He [God] is the One Who hath decreed that the sun be a [source of] splendour and that the moon be a light so that you might, in very truth, seek of His bounty the enjoyment of worldly provision (`ar al-mā ta` min al-ḥayawat; cf. Q.10:5) which is praiseworthy.  God, verily, decreed that the Abode of the Hereafter be for such as desire God and His servant according to the Extended Path of the Upright Trace (al-khaṭṭ al-qā'im) in the vicinity of the [Sinaitic] Fire.
 Know, O servants of God! that your Lord Who is God, the True One, hath conveyed His [messianic] Proof (ḥujjat) unto you, for you, in very truth, were observant of God and of His signs.  The [true] believers are such as desire naught within themselves save, in very truth, the All-Merciful and His Remembrance, the Beloved One.  On account of the Mighty Cause (amr al-`azīm), the wondrous mystery of the All-Splendid One (sirr al-jalīl) about that which you hide and that which you reveal (sirrakum wa jahrakum; cf Q.6:3) hath been brought [into the open] by God.  Through His religious Cause (amr) God will teach you such information as none prior to Him were, in very truth, able to penetrate.  He is the One Who sent down from heaven purified, blessed Water upon the earth.  And He is the One Who created man from Water then assuredly made him capable of consanguinity and affinity (nasab an wa sihr an; `blood relationship and marriage'; Q. 25:48,54).