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QA. XXV [25] Sūrat al-Khātam (The Surah of the Seal) on Qur'ān 12:24

QAYYŪM AL-ASMĀ' 

Part  XXV

[25]

 سورة الخاتم

  Sūrat al-Khātam

(The Surah of the Seal or Ringstone)

on

Qur'ān 12:24

Translation Stephen N. Lambden

1982-2022 - last uploaded 01-02-2022.

[1]

بسم اللّه الرّحمن الرّحيم

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate

[2]َ

"For she desired him; and he would have taken her, but that he saw the proof of his Lord. So was it, that We might turn away from him evil and abomination; he was one of Our devoted servants." (Q. 12: 24 trans. Arberry). 

[3] 

المعس

a-l-m-`-s

[Abjad 1+ 30+ 40+ 70+ 90 = 231]

[4] We did indeed send down this Book (al-kitab) upon Our servant (`abd) [the Bab] for such as believe in God and in His lofty ones (awliya') to the end that they might instruct the  righteous ones [persons upright] (al-salihat) before God, the Elevated (al-aliyy), the One Praised (al-mahmud an), in the ways of the Bab (subul al-bab). [5] We have indeed sent unto thee some "good-news" (bushra') [cf. Q. 12: 19b], confirmatory (musaddiq an) of that which is with thee and for such as, in very Truth, preceeded thee  ...

[6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

[X]

O people of the Earth!

Thou shalt not swear by the Mightiest Name (al-ism al-akbar)  ...

 

 

 

There exists a key paragraph within the 25th Sūrat al-Khātam (the Sūrah of the Seal [or Ringstone]’ on Q. 12: 24 (cf. Q. 24:35) of his mid. 1844 Tafsīr Sūrat Yūsuf, Qayyum al-asma;. Here the Bab exegetically rewrites or recreates the qur’anic Sūrat al-Fajr. [1] 

[1] On other important uses of the word fajr (“Dawntime”) elsewhere in the Qayyum al-asmā’ see QA       ; Sūrat al-Ru’yā (“The Surah of the Vision”, QA 44 in INBMC III: 81); QA etc This bold new, neo-Qur’anic paragraph has the Bab, speaking with the voice of God, proclaim:

O Qurrat al-`Ayn! (`Solace of Mine Eyes’, the Bab)

[X]Thou art indeed the Dawn (al-fajr) following the night (al-layl) of the 10th of the sacred month, `Ashurā’! [1] And thou art thus the “uneven” (al-watr) [the 11 after 10th of Muḥarram] [2]  after the two prostrations (al-raka`atayn) [3] through the doubling (مشفع, al-mashf`) [4] [the two “b”s in Bāb, see Q. 89:3a]. And God evidently made the future Destiny (القدر, al-qadr) [of everything] to be generated through this variant renewal (qadda) as set forth in the Archetypal [Mother] Book (umm al-kitab). And thou were indeed the [new] “Day” (al-yawm) after the [setting] “Night” (al-layl) in the Mother Book (umm al-kitāb)! Assuredly were thou something inscribed nigh the theophanic Fire (al-nār).  

[x] Say: I [the Bab] am indeed, with the permission of God, the Active Governing Agent (al-fā`il) betwixt the Dual Points (al-nuqṭatayn) one expressive of the two Beginnings (al-awwalayn) and from the two Realities Firmly Positioned (al-markūzayn); [also]  one expressive of the dual End-Times (al-ākhirayn). And I am the [Theophanic] Fire within the Upright (Arabic) Letter “A” (alif) between the two Oceans (al-baḥrayn). [5]

[X] I did indeed, with the permission of God, drown Pharoah, `Ad and Thamūd  (see Q. 89:5ff) in one of the twin bays (waḥid al-khalījayn)" [6] (QA, XXV [25] INBMC III: 42; see Arabic original text immediately above).   

_________

[1] `Ashurā (the tenth) indicates the 10th of the sacred first month of Muharram when Imam Ḥusayn was martyred in Karbala (Iraq) in the year 61 AH or 680 CE. The advent of the Bab was born out of the 10th as the first  11th (an odd number). As the spiritual "return" of Imam Husayn, martyred on the 10th of Muharram and from May 22nd 1844 coming again with the mystical dawning of the 11th or with name of God the "11" (after the even number 10), the mystery of the divine declaration Huwa ("He is" [= abjad 11], God).

[2] This may indicate that the Bab is al-watr (or witr), the one beyond singularity or `evenness' namely, the `odd-numbered' (= 11, two odd number ones). This also as he incarnates the new messianic, variant eschatological “Dawn”. In various Sunnī and Shī`ī traditions and Tafsīr works, it should also be mentioned, the one “odd” (al-watr) is sometimes reckoned to be God himself. Add `Q 89:6-10 + TB below ?  Worth noting here is the fact that in the  Ziyārat-Nāmah (Prayer of Visitation) for himself and the `Letters of the Living’, the Bab sets forth no less than 202 - the abjad numerical value of his parentally bestowed name `Alī (abjad numerical value 110), Muḥammad (abjad numerical value = 92) - Divine Names or Attributes in their superlative forms. Included as no. 172 is awtar (the superlative of watr, “odd” or “uneven”) meaning (loosely) “Supremely uneven / Ultra-One”) (see INBMC 6007C: 260, trans Lambden on H*, see bib.).  The name of God al-watr also occurs elsewhere in the writings of the Bab. It is found, for example,  in his K. Pan sha`n where watr (or watranin the Arabic accusative) meaning the “Uneven” or “Odd” numbered occurs within a  string of twenty or so key attributes of the Deity  (Kitab-i panj sha’n. XII.3, printed edition, p. 422). 

[3] There is, of course an odd letter “a” (abjad 1) and two “even letter “B”s in the title Bāb clearly referred to a few lines below. These the two prostrations (al-raka`atayn) may well also indicate the two “even”, “prostrate” letter “B”s (abjad two, an even numer) in the Arabic –Persian word for Bāb or باب . There are two “prostrate” or flattened lines in the two letter b’s of the word Bāb (see further below).

[4] This doubling (مشفع, al-mashf`) most likely indicates the numerical multiplication or repetition of the letter “B” in the word Bāb (= each “B” having an abjad numerical value of 2)

[5] Cf the two wave-like or wavy lines suggestive of an ocean or oceans above the subdot or nuqṭah point ( .) in the orthographic form of the two letter “B”s ( ب + ب ) in the word Bāb (باب). The allusion is also to the upright Arabic letter “a” in the middle of the word Bāb! 

[6] There is allusion here to the twin Gulfs (ṭutunjayn) or bays (khalijayn) as Sayyid Kāẓim Rashtī interpreted them"gulfs" or ithmuses, spoken about by Imam `Ali in his Khuṭba al-Tutunjiyya (The Oration of the Twin Gulfs, see Rajab al-Bursi, Mashariq anwar al-yaqin fi asrar Amir al-Muminin, 1987 pp. 166-170). This text  has been interpreted by the twin founders of al-Shaykhiyya (the Shaykhī, movement within Shī`ī Islam), Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsā’ī (d.1241/1826) and Sayyid Kāẓim al-Ḥusaynī al-Rashtī (d. Karbalah 1250/1843). It was a Khuṭbah (a literary oration, loosely “sermon”) often cited and mystically interpreted by the Bab (for details see Lambden H* website and bib.  below). One of these two cosmic “gulfs” was associated by the Bab with the realm of ungodliness, the zone of “hell” (see, for example, the Bab,  ADD REF trans. Lambden H* website; see bib.).

The last verse [X] from QA 25 has to do with the Bab’s symbolic destruction of evil ways and powers symbolically embodied in the person of Pharoah, the enemy of Moses, and of the ancient, wayward peoples of `Ad and Thamūd both of whom are condemned in the Qur’ān  (see Kassis, Concordance, index). These peoples are all mentioned in verses six to ten in the Qur’anic Sūrat al-Fajr, as is their corruption (Q. 89 verses 10-12 etc), cited at the commencement of this chapter. [1 =15] In the new Muḥarram events of the birth and declaration of the Bab, the forces of ungodliness and corruption will be bypassed and transcended by the spirit engendered by the new religion of the Bab.


 

[11] [12] [13] [14] [16] [17] [19] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42]

SWB : 51.

"Are ye wickedly scheming, according to your selfish fancies, an evil plot against Him Who is the Most Great Remembrance of God? By the righteousness of God, all who are in the heaven and on earth and whatsoever lieth between them are regarded in My sight even as a spider’s web, [Q.52:6]  and verily God beareth witness unto all things. Indeed they will not lay plots but against themselves. God hath caused this Remembrance to be, in very truth, independent of all the dwellers of earth and heaven." Chapter XXV.