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QA. XVIII [18] Sūrat al-Ṣirāṭ (The Surah of the Straight Path) on Qur'ān 12: 17



   سورة الصراط  

  Sūrat al-Ṣirāṭ

The Surah of the Straight Path) 


Qur'ān 12:17

Translation Stephen N. Lambden, UC Merced, CA., USA.

1982-2020 - Last updated 19-03-2020+ 31-03-2024.


بسم اللّه الرّحمن الرّحيم

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate



" They said, 'Father, we went running races, and left Joseph behind with our things; so the wolf ate him. But thou wouldst never believe us, though we spoke truly.' (Q. 12: 17 trans. Arberry). 



K-H-Y-`- S [Ṣ]

[Abjad = 20+5+10+70+ 90 [60] = 165 /195]

[4]  Praised be to God who, in very Truth, created the heavens and the earth. And the wisdom of these two [realms of being]  derive from the Point of the Letter "B" (nuqtat al-ba') at the centre of the Theophanic Fire nigh the Bab   [5]  We sent down upon thee [the Bab], in very Truth, this expository (tibyan an) Book (al-kitab). [6] And We, we indeed made, with the permission of God, the True One, thy sign (aya) to be this Book (al-kitab), in Truth, in very Truth ordained as accords with the sealed (makhtum an) decree of the Book (al-kitab). [7] Should the people gather together they would prove incapable of producing the likeness of even a single letter thereof. This even if, as accords with the Truth, they should be seen to vie with one another. [8]  God is He who, no God is there save Him, the Living (al-hayy), the Worshipped (al-ma`bud), the Pre-Existent [Ancient of Days]. And He is God who hath ever been All-Knowing of every thing (kull shay'). [9] They [the people] shall never attain any knowledge of the Book (al-Kitab) except to the degree that the Dhikr (Remembrance) hath willed as also accords with whatsoever We hath willed. And God hath ever been Powerful over every thing (kull shay').

[10] God hath indeed created for thee a Path ( al-sirat), lovingly directed (mawdud an) towards this Bab (Gate). And He hath decreed for thee a Mountain (jabal an) in Truth, in very Truth, raised aloft (marfu` an). [11] God hath desired that He enable thee to come forth, in Truth, in very Truth,  from the tyrannical darkness (al-zulumat) bearing witness (mashhud an) unto the Book (al-kitab). [12] This to the end that thou might seek out His Bounty (fadl)  despite thy being, contrary to the Truth, against him, in [a state of] destitution (makhdhuk an) [cf. Q. 17:22], [13]  Yet  did they ask pardon of God, thy Lord who, no God is there except Him, the True One (al-haqq). They will indeed find God compassionate (rahim an) when [they are] in deep repentance (tawwab an) regarding [their negative attitude] towards the Bab.

[14]  He is the One who sent forth from heaven unto thee, in very Truth, celestial water (al-ma'), torrential rain (midar an) from the Bab [cf. Q. 6:6; 11:52; 71:11], [15] He is the One who caused  to come forth for thee from this thy earth orchards [gardens] full of loveliness  (hada'iq dhat ibhaj [bahjah]) [Q. 27:60 cf. 78:32; 80:30]  and of diverse colours (alwan). This through His Power (qudrat) for He hath ever been Powerful over every thing (kull shay'). [16] This to the end that thou might be aware that thy Lord, the All-Merciful, hath ever been All-Knowing of everything (kull shay').  [17] There is nothing that is hidden away (gha'ib) in the heavens or upon the earth but that  He deposited it within this Book (al-kitab), concealed about this Bab (Gate).

[18] Wherefore did God predict for thee the Day of Resurrection (yawm al-qiyama) through the tongue of the Dhikr (Remembrance), [a prediction] contrary to what thou art aware with thy secret thughts (sara'ir) [cf. Q. 86:9] and thy public attestations (jihar an). [19] It/He was, in Truth, in very Truth, singled out (makhsus an) [or All-Surrounding of, muhit an] above everything (kull shay').  [20] God will obliterate whatsoever He willeth and He will confirm [whatsoever He Willeth] for God made the Dhikr (Remembrance) to be concealed (mastur an) nigh the theophanic Fire (hawl al-nar) in the Mother [Archetypal] Book (umm al-kitab). 

[21] Such as acted according to the wilaya (Imami guidance) of the [Shi`i] Family of God (al Allah), the True One (al-haqq) will assuredly be guided within their own selves to act mindfully at the direction of the Dhikr Allah (Remembrance of God). [22] On the contrary, those who seek after wickedness (al-ithm) in the path of [the pre-Islamic idol or false God] al-Taghut  [طاغوت; cf. Q. 4:51ff. etc], God hath ordained that their deeds, this Day of Resurrection (yawm al-qiyama),  befit a weighing out at a fixed time such that for them is a massive fiery conflagration (nar an kabir an) in the very hellish abyss of the Ark (qa`ar al-tabut). [23] God will surely witness their deeds layed bare (hasarat) before themselves, like mere particles of dust floating in the air (haba') [cf. Q. 25:23; 56:6], ufolded [spread abroad] (manshur an) upon the earth. [24] They are [deeds] like unto a miraj [vapour] (sarab) in a desert, enduring (baqiyyat), which the thirsty (al-zam'an) [tyrannical = al-zalamat] imagines to be water (ma' an) [see Q. 24:39] though, when he moves towards it, he discovers nothing! [25] And they similarly discover their deeds within Gehenna to be piercing fire upon fire (nar an `ala nar hadid an). [26] Such is the compensatory retribution (jaza') of those who acted dishonestly regrading Our True verses, persons wretched (shaqiyy an) indeed.


يا عباد اللّه

O Servants of God!

Know ye that the Hujjat-Allah (Proof of God) hath ever been one Eloquent (baligh an) through this Bab (Gate) within the Mother [Archetypal] Book (umm al-kitab) [cf. Q. 4:63]. God did not make, in Truth, in very Truth, the elevated (marfu` an) command of the Dhikr (Remembrance) to be other than Our Command (amr).  


يا اهل العلم

O People of Learning (ahl al-`ilm)!

Fear ye God! with respect to the Dhikr (Remembrance) for God will instruct thee, in Truth, in very Truth,  through the tongue of the Dhikr (Remembrance) regarding the wondrous inner exegesis [interpretation] (ta'wil) of the Book (al-kitab). [29] God hath indeed sent down the verses (ayat) in that Book (dhalik al-kitab) perchance the people might be witness of Our verses in that Book. [30] We, verily, send down the Cause [Command] (al-amr) upon Our servant [the Bab] since he was, in Truth, in very Truth, universally present (jami` an) in the Mother [Archetypal] Book (umm al-kitab). [31] He was indeed, in very Truth, the servant of God (`abd Allah) situated upon the Upright Path (al-sirat al-qayyim) with Justice (bi'l-qist), especially straight (mustaqim an) nigh the Theophanic Fire (hawl al-nar).


يا ايّها النّاس

O Thou People!

The Cause (al-amr) hath indeed come unto thee, in Truth, in very Truth, from the All-Merciful, wondrous (badi`) about the Theophanic Fire (al-nar). [33] God hath not desired in this thy Day anything other than the  Dhikr (Remembrance), in Truth, in very Truth, His beloved servant [the Bab] (`abd ... habib an). [34] So fear ye God regarding the Day which was newly established (jadid an) in the Mother [Archetypal] Book (umm al-kitab).

  [35] God hath indeed informed the believers (al-mu'minin) of the decree (hukm) regarding the brothers of Joseph [Q.12:17a] after the return (al-ruju`) from the land of the Divine Unicity (ard al-wahidiyya) in the light of what they committed against Joseph. God hath indeed ever been aware of every thing. [36] So when they returned [from the wilderness- Midian], in very Truth,  they said "O our father [Jacob-Israel], we indeed went down running races (dhahab-na nastabiq) in the land of the theophanic cloud (ard al-`ama')  [37] and we abandoned Joseph with [to guard] the goods of the Divine Oneness (mata` al-ahadiyya) from Our Lord  who, no God is there except Him [cf. "behind with our things" Q,12:17b]. [38] So the onlookers (al-nazirin) [the "brothers"]  consumed ["ate"] him [Joseph] by means of allusive disclosures about him (al-isharat `alay-hi) in the abyss of generation [genesis, innovation]  (lujjat al-bad`/ al-bid`). Wherefore were they designated with the name of "the wolf" (bi-ism al-dhi`b maktub an).

[39] Thus did the [twelve] letters [brothers / Imams] of "There is no God but God" (la ilaha illa Allah)" say unto  [Imam] `Ali [ = the Bab or `Aliyy, the Exalted One] in the land of the theophanic cloud (ard al-`ama'),  "But thou wouldst never believe us" [ و ما انت بمؤمن لنا = Q. 12: 17b] regarding the prostration (bi'l-sujud) "even though we" [ و لو كنّا  = Q. 12: 17b], in Truth in very Truth, in praiseworthy fashion (mahmud an), had born witness.  [40] Such is Reality [Truth / True One] (haqq) from God, our Lord [Master] (mawla) since God had  ordained the prostration [adoration] of the stars (sajdat al-nujum) before [Imam] Husayn, above the dust [of the earth] (fawq al-turab) as ordained nigh the Theophanic Fire (al-nar) according to the decree the Bab. [41]  And We, we were indeed righteous (sadiqin) [cf. Q. 12:17b kunna sadiqin] about our testimony [martyrdom] (fi shahadati-na) according to the secret mystery of the Divine Oneness (sirr al-ahadiyya), in Truth in very Truth, regarding [Imam] Husayn, And sufficient in God is that which, in Truth, in very Truth, was testified to [witnessed] (shahid an) by Our Logos-Self (bi-nafsina). [42] And God knoweth what is in the heavens and what is upon the earth and He is the All-Merciful upon the Divine Throne (al-rahman `ala al-`arsh). He indeed hath ever been, in very Truth, One of Rectitude (sawa') regarding all the worlds. 

Select Notes and Comments

Stephen Lambden,