Part XLIV (44)
("The Surah of the Dream")
Stephen N. Lambden 1982-2014
The forty-fourth part of my provisional translation of the Qayyūm al-asmā’ (= QA) of the Bāb (mid. 1844/1260) with selected notes was begun in the early 1980s and is now being revised and corrected. I have not translated from a critical edition but consulted several good mss. The versification of the surahs is sometimes uncertain. The Bāb himself stated that there should be forty-two verses in each surah of the QA as accords with the abjad numerical value of lī meaning "before me" in Q. 12:4b (Ar. لي = l + ī = 30+10= 40) and another two representative of "the sun and the moon" (40+2 = 42). This figure is explicitly confirmed in the Bāb's Khuṭba al-dhikriyya (" The Sermon of the Remembrance") where it is stated in the context of an imamologically numbered categorization of the early works (dating from 1260-1262 AH):
"The Fourth [revelational categorization] is the Ḥusaynid Book (kitāb al-ḥusayniyya) 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)..." (cited Afnan 2000: 472; cf. 445).
The same 42 mode of surah versification of the QA., is evident in certain mss. of this work; most notably the early 1261 (QA ms. 1261) Muhammad Mahdī ibn Karbalā'ī, mss. where QA1 and 2 (and other surah headings) have the following words after the surah title and in between the basmala, wa hiya ithnā' [tāni] wa arba`ūn "and it [the Surah] has forty two verses". Yet, having said this, QA 44
QA 44 is entitled سورة الرّؤياء `The Surah of the Dream' or the `Surah of the Dream-Vision' (sūrat al-ruyā'). The word رّؤياء Ruyā' here signifies a "dream" though this word is often used by the Bāb and Bahā'-Allāh for a vision. It is given this title because in this Surah the Bab comments on the interpretation of the dream of Pharoah, the king (al-malik) about seven fat cows (al-baqarāt), and seven lean ones (`ajā'if) devouring them as well as seven green and withered ears of wheat or corn.