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From `Ubudiyya (Servitude) to Huwiyya (the Divine Ipseity) : Select further claims and titles of Baha'-Allah.

At Baha'-Allah's dictation -

Scribal shorthand or 'revelation Writing'

 بهاء الله‎‎

"The Glory of God".

From `Ubudiyya (Servitude) to Huwiyya (the Divine Ipseity) : Select further claims and titles of Baha'-Allah within his Persian and Arabic Writings.

Stephen Lambden UC Merced. 2017.

In progress - under revision and completion

Last uploaded and partially supplemented- 27-06-2020.


"The Youth".

The Youth - Fata  Ghulam ...

Fata (pl.    ), Ghulam in the Qur'an

The Islamic Background.

Abu 'Abdu'l-Rahman Muhammad ibn al-Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn Musa ibn Khalid ibn Salim ibn Rawia al-Sulami (b. Nishapur,  936/325 = d. Nishapur 512/1021

Ibn al-`Arabi

The " Fata Youth" in al-Gutuhat al-Makkiyya (The Meccan Openings/ Revelations)


The Bab as the Youth

Qayyum al-asma'

QA. LXXVI [76] Sūrat al-waraqa (The Surah of the Leaf) on Qur'ān 12:75, verse 19:

[17] O Solace of the Eyes!

The people shall ask thee  about Dhī'l [Dhu'l]-Qarnayn  ("The One Possessed of Two Horns [Eras]"). Say [in reply]: `Yea! By my Lord! I am the King of the two Originations  (malik al-bad'ayn)  in the two horns [eras, dominions] (al-qarnayn). [18] I am the  elevated Possessor of an Era [Horn] [dhu'l qarn]  in the two bodies (al-jismayn)... [19] We verily, established him [Dhu'l-Qarnayn = the Bāb] in the land  and We, in very truth, bestowed a letter [of the alphabet] from the name of the Dhikr upon this Arabian Youth  (al-ghulam al-`arabī = the Bāb)  such that the ways and means to all ends became his.

 Baha'-Allah as the Fata and Ghulam

Lawh-i Subhana ya Hu ...

[21] O Concourse of Gnostic initiates! (malā' al-irfān)! Rejoice within thine inner realities for era of Renunciation  ( al-hijrān) is terminated, certitude (al-īqān)  is realized and the Beauty of the Youth (jamāl al-ghulām)  hath beamed forth with an holy ornament (bi-taraz al-quds) in a Paradise of matchless name (firdaws ism makīn).

Lawh-i Nasir - GWB :  LIII: O Náṣir, O My servant! God, the Eternal…

O Náṣir, O My servant! God, the Eternal Truth, beareth Me witness. The Celestial Youth hath, in this Day, raised above the heads of men the glorious Chalice of Immortality, and is standing expectant upon His seat, wondering what eye will recognize His glory, and what arm will, unhesitatingly, be stretched forth to seize the Cup from His snow-white Hand and drain it. Only a few have as yet quaffed from this peerless, this soft-flowing grace of the Ancient King. These occupy the loftiest mansions of Paradise, and are firmly established upon the seats of authority. By the righteousness of God! Neither the mirrors of His glory, nor the revealers of His names, nor any created thing, that hath been or will ever be, can ever [108] excel them, if ye be of them that comprehend this truth,


Joseph the Youth and the Bab and Baha'Allah.

Lawh-i Ghulam al-khuld (The Tablet of the Youth of Paradise).

In his Lawh-i Baha' (early 1866), an important Tablet of the Edirne period, Baha'-Allah dwells upon his suffering  from his Babi opponents and likens his fate to that of Joseph. He echoes the Tafsir Surat Yusuf or Qayyum al-asma' of the Bab when he speaks of "the beauty of Baha"' (jamal al-baha') being cast into the bottomless pit (ghayabat al-jubb, see Q. 12:5 + QA XI 61:17) and come to advise Khatun Jan(?) to the effect that she should send the "caravan of the theophanic cloud (siyyarat al- 'ama') (cf. Q. 12:9] that he must be rescued from the "pit'' through the lowering down of the "bucket of fidelity". He will then shine resplendant in all the worlds (cited Ganj-i shayigan, 41+ INBA 35:70). He also states, "The All-Beauteous Joseph crieth out at the time when he hath been cast beneath the talons of the wolf and he shall assuredly seek assistance from his lovers perchance one [of them] shall arise for his protection  and be such as contribute to victory" (Lawh-i baha' INBA Vol. 35:71).

In the Lawh-i ruh (c. mid 1866), AQA 4:126

"Say: By God this Youth (al-ghu/am) was cast into the well of envy (bi'r al-hasad) and hatred (wa'l-baghda') . O would that there were a traveller (sayyarat) of his bucket perchance thereby th Sun of His Beauty might radiate forth from the Horizon of this well (a/-bi'r) the depth of which is that between the heaven and the earth" ibid. p. 130
" .. O Beloved of God .. Say, 'O Lord! This is the Joseph of Eternity (yusuf a/-baqa') . He was cast beneath the talons of the wolves of hatred (dhi'ab al-baghda') .. "ibid. p. 131

ln a prayer: "O Lord! Aid him (= Baha') with the hosts of thy Cause then lift him up from this pit (al-jubb) the depth of which none can attain ... " ibid. p. 136
"Say: O People! Commemorate this Beauty who was cast in the well of darkness (bi'r alza/ma') ibid 136
Refers to himself as "the Joseph of the Bayan" (yusuf al-bayan) ibid, 153.


The Manifestation of God mazhar-i ilahi

Suprisingly little has been written about the Islamic and centrally important Bābī- Bahā’ī concept of maẓhariyya,  the doctrine of the person, concept and theology of the maẓhar- i ilāhī  ("Divine theophany", "Manifestation of God").

It was out of the abovementioned nexus of Islamic prophetological, imamological and theophanological Sufi and Sh ī`ī- Shaykhī concepts, that the terminology and many aspect of  the  Bābī-  Bahā’ī  doctrine  of  the  mazhar-i  ilāhī      evolved.  The  Bāb  personified  the mashiyya (Primal Will) and made it, as the maẓhar-i ilāhī (Manifestation of God), the centerpiece of his theology. It was is by virtue of the mashiyya (Divine Will), that God made himself indirectly known to his creation through the maẓhar  of His own nafs , the Logos-Self which is the maẓhar ilāhī (The Manifestation of God).

In Bābī- Bahā’ī usage ẓuhūr indicates the divine tajallī (theophany, divine self-revelation) of God through his maẓhar (theophanic manifestation) unto the worlds of creation. The study of the background of the centrally important maẓhariyya (theophanological) doctrines within the Bābī- Bahā’ī religious universe of discourse, to some degree illustrates how aspects of Bābī- Bahā’ī doctrine evolved out of heterodox Shī`īsm in a similar way to the emergence of Christianity from sectarian Judaisms. Only a few notes pertinent to this can be set down here (cf. MacEoin, maẓhar, EI2 VI:952-3).

Deriving from the triliteral Arabic root ẓ- h-r which may verbally indicate `to appear’, `be manifest’, the straightforward sense the Arabic noun of place maẓhar (pl. maẓāhir cf. ẓāhir, `apparent’, `visible’ `outer’, `exterior’)    is a `place of appearance’. It may also be indicative of an `outward expression’ or  `mode of apparition’, and thus additionally indicate a `manifestation’ or `theophany’ (Corbin, 1972, IV:518, index). In his The Sufi Path of Knowledge Chittick prefers to translate maẓhar, "locus of manifestation" (Chittick, 1989:89). The term maẓhar   has a long history and rich semantic field in a multitude of texts expressive, for example, of the mediatory position of the prophets and imams as loci of divine  realities.  Murata has  stated that  many  "cosmologists  employ  terms  like  ẓuhūr (manifestation) and tajallī  (self-disclosure) to explain the relationship of the world to God" (Murata,1992:11). Maẓhar is a term that lies at the heart of certain prophet-ological and imamological speculations within Islamic philosophy and theology. It is found within the writings of numerous exponents of Shī`ī Islamic mysticism, theosophy and gnosis. In early Shī’ī Khaṭṭabī [Nusayrī) gnosis, for example,  the pentadic "Five Companions of the Mantle" (Muhammad, Fāṭim[a], `Alī, Ḥasan and Ḥusayn) represented by the initial letters of their names, become "Names" or "Principles" as well as tajalliyat (`theophanies’) and maẓāhir (manifestations) of the "Light" (Corbin, [1974] 1998:186-7).

The terms ẓāhir, ẓuhūr, maẓhar are frequently used and important within the theologically loaded writings of Ibn al-`Arabī and of persons falling within his  `school’ (Chittick, 1988:201-221, 470 [index ẓuhūr, etc]; 1989:16, 478 index ẓuhūr etc). Within the writings of Ibn al-`Arabī maẓhar is a theological term rooted in the exegesis of Q. 57:3, "He [God] is the ẓāhir (Manifest) and the bāṭin (Nonmanifest) (Chittick, 1989:89; cf. Futūḥāt III:484-5). For the Great Shaykh ẓuhūr is used of the tajallī, the divine `self-disclosure’ or the `manifestation’ of God. For him maẓhar can indicate the locus of a particular divine Name (s) and/or Attribute (asmā’ wa’l-ṣifāt).

For Ibn al-`Arabī the terms ẓāhir / ẓuhūr / maẓhar have an important place in Islamic thought ( Chittick, 1988:201-221, 470 [index ẓuhūr, etc]; 1989:16, 478 index ẓuhūr etc). Maẓhar is a frequently used theological term rooted in the exegesis of Q. 57:3, "He [God] is the ẓāhir  (Manifest) and the bāṭin (Nonmanifest) (Chittick, 1989:89). At one point in the Futūḥāt it is written, "God is the ẓāhir (Manifest) who is witnessed by the eyes and the bāṭin (Nonmanifest) who is witnessed by the intellects (al-`uqūl)" (Fut. III:484-5). In his The Sufi Path of Knowledge Chittick prefers to translate maẓhar "locus of manifestation" (Chittick, 1989:89). For Ibn al-`Arabī ẓuhūr  is especially used of the self-manifestation of God which is his tajallī (self-disclosure).

Among the many disciples of the "Great Shaykh" who have made fairly frequent use of maẓhar as a theophanological  technical term was, for example, Ibn al-`Arabī’s son-in-law Ṣadr al-Dīn Q ūnawī (d.673/1274). His Kitab al-fukūk, (The Book of Unravellings) represents itself as a `key to the mysteries’ of Ibn `Arabī’s Fuṣuṣ al-ḥikam (Bezels of Wisdom). In his exposition of the section revolving around the prophet Ismā’īl (here no. 7) and the implications of prophets being maẓāhir  of the divine Names,  Qunawi (commenting on Q.29:27a) categorically states "Every prophet is a maẓhar of one of the divine Names (ism min al-asmā’) (K. al-fukūk, 209). The same is also stated in the section devoted to Muhammad: "every nabī is a maẓhar of one of the Names of the Divine Reality (ism min asmā’ al-ḥaqq; ibid, 310). In the section on Shu`ayb it is stated that Moses’  education (tarbiyat) was initially taught by means of this Arab prophet. It was such that Moses’ āyāt (verses, signs) were according to the dictates of the "outer Name" (aḥkām al-ism al-ẓāhir). When God desired the perfection of Moses he sent him to Khiḍr who is said to be a maẓhar (manifestation) of the hidden [Inner, Non-Manifest] Name (al-ism al-bāṭin). (Qunawī, al-Fukūk, 251).

In his influential Mashāriq anwar al-yaqin fi asrar Amir al-Mu'minin  compiled Rajab al-Bursī (d.c.814/1411), this learned mystically, imamologically inclined compiler,  set down much of relevance to this topic of mazhariyya including a section dealing with the anbiyā’ (prophets) as maẓāhir asmā’ Allāh ("manifestations of the Names of God"). They are all maẓhar ism kullī (`manifestations of a universal [divine] Name = Allāh) whose sharī`a (law) is likewise universal. All the prophets and messengers (nabī + rasūl) are reckoned as archetypally revolving around the following seven figures, (1) Adam, (2) Enoch, (3) Abraham, (4) Jospeh, (5) Moses (6) Aaron and (7) Jesus. Among other things each prophet is associated with a particular divine Name. While Enoch, for example, is described as a maẓhar of the divine name al-ḥayy (`the Living), Joseph is the maẓhar of the divine name al-murīd (Disciple) associated with jamīl (Beauty). Beyond them Muhammad is the maẓhar of the comprehensive divine Name (al-ism al-jāmi`) Allāh as well as the maẓhar of the (supernal) Lights (al-anwār) (Mashāriq, 32-3).

Within the Kalimat-i Maknūnih   (Hidden Words) of Mullā Muḥsin Fayḍ al-Kāshānī (d.1090/1679), another Shī`ī thinker much influenced by  Ibn al-`Arabī, is  a  theologically oriented section (kalimat) about the significance of al-ẓuhūr (the Manifest) and al-maẓhar (the Manifestation). Within this section it is stated that "the manifestations of the True One (maẓāhir al-ḥaqq) is something independent (muṭlaqa) since the maẓhar-i ilāhī is in that locale as something [independently] evident (ẓāhir) and manifest (maẓhar) (manifest)" (Kalimat, 114-5). Another section concerns the ultimacy of the of the theophany  of  the Ultimate Reality  (ẓuhūr al-ḥaqq).  Relative to the maẓāhir (Manifestations) this is said to be by means of the Divine Names (al-asmā’ al-ilāhiyya). The Manifestation of the Name of Allāh (mazḥar ism Allāh) is identified as the person of the al-insān al-kāmil (The Perfect Man [Human]). The perfection of the name Allāh is evident in the manifestation  of  the Universal Perfect Human (maẓhar-i jāmi`-yi insān-i kāmil).

Similar examples could be gleaned from numerous other philosopher-theologians of the school of Ibn al-`Arabī and the `School of Isfahan’ and elsewhere. The first Safavid ruler Shāh Ismā’īl (d.930/1524), for example, a Sufi Shaykh and one time head of the Qizilbash, made use of maẓhar in certain of his Turkish, distinctly (neo-) ghuluww (extremist),   high imamological and theophanologically oriented poems. Apparently referring to himself he states in one poem (no. 259), "A man (ādam) has become a maẓhar of the ḥaqq ( Ultimately Real).. My Beauty is a maẓhar of Our God (jamālī maẓhar ilāhhum...) (Minorsaky, 1942: 1039a-1040a,194). Additionally, it should be noted that the famed al-insān al-kāmīl.. (The Perfect Human) of the Shī`ite Sufī `Abd al-Karīm al-Jilī (d. c.832/1428), contains a section dealing with the divine Names al-jalāl (The Majestic) where it is stated that for every divine Name and Attribute there is an athar, a mode, locus or trace-impression which is a maẓhar of divine jamāl (Beauty) or jalāl (Majesty). (New ed, 97).

Baha'-Allah’s    uses    of    maẓhar    are    numerous    and    generally    fall     into    the  theological - theophanological pattern set in the writings of the Bāb. His apophatic theology of the maẓhar-i ilāhī (Manifestation of God) , like that of the Bāb, categorically bypassed the potentially pantheistic waḥdat al-wujūd ("oneness of being") speculations of  Ibn al-`Arabī (not his terminology) and his devotees (see Baha'-Allah Haft vādī, AQA 3:XX/ tr. Seven Valleys, 39-40). The Unmanifest Godhead ever remains unknowably beyond number, gender and all limitations. He/She/It, the absolute Godhead, is only indirectly manifested through the maẓhar ilāhī who, as the (subordinate) "God", makes the `Wholly Other’ directly-indirectly "knowable" to human beings. Scriptural (Q. + Bible) statements about God actually have apophatic significance or only disclose something about his Will or His knowable, mediatory theophanic manifestations.

As a theological term central to Bābī- Bahā’ī usage maẓhar, precludes any hint of ḥulūl, the `incarnation’ of the absolute Divine Essence (dhāt al-dhāt). The  divine intermediary maẓhar-i ilāhī (Divine Theophany, Manifestation) does not manifest the hidden, incomprehensible Deity the dhāt    or dhāt al-dhāt.  Rather, it is the totality of the (created) divine Names and Attributes (al-asmā’ wa’l-ṣifāt) that are exhibited in his Logos-nafs or "Person". They are manifested by any given maẓhar-i ilāhī but only according to human capacity at a given point in history and for a divinely ordained era in time (ẓuhūr = " theophanological dispensation"). The Bahā’ī prophet’s notion of tawḥid (the Divine Oneness) is focussed on the non-ontological, spiritual "oneness" of the nafs (Logos-like`Self’) of the major founder Prophets of religion who are manifestations of the totality of the Divine Names and attributes. They indirectly make the incomprehensible God known through the partial maẓhar  or disclosure of the knowable Divine Will (Baha'-Allah, Lawḥ-i madinat al-tawḥīd ).

At the outset of an untitled writing, Baha'-Allah writes, "The [eschatological] Day cries out announcing, `The manifestation of the Divine Command has assuredly been made manifest (qad ẓahara maẓhar al-amr) (La`ālī al-ḥikma, 1:109 No.170). He composed a number of alwāḥ designated L.-i ẓuhūr (The Tablet of the Theophany [Manifestation]) in which he detailed some theological aspects of the person of the maẓhar-i ilāhī. In one of them he explained  that,

The theophany of the Divine Manifestation (ẓuhūr) is not compounded of the four elements. Nay rather, he is the mystery of the divine oneness (sirr al-aḥadiyya), the Pre-Existent Being (kaynuna al-qidamiyya), the All-Enduring Essence (al-jawhar al-ṣamadiyya) and the Hidden Ipseity (al-huwiyya al-ghaybiyya). He can in no wise be known apart from his own Self. It is not possible for anyone to establish that he was made manifest from the four elements (`anāṣir), from such elements (ustaqusāt = Gk. stoicheion) as are mentioned by the tongue of the practitioners of philosophy (ahl al-ḥikmat), or indeed, from any of the four natures (al-tabai`).  All such as this was created as a result of His Command and through His Will (mashiyya)... In every world he is manifested according to the capacity (bi-isti`dād) of that world. In the world of spirits (`ālam al-arwāḥ), for example, he reveals himself and becomes manifest unto them [the spiritual beings] through the  vestiges  of  the  Spriit (āthār al-rūḥ). So likewise in the world of bodies (ajsā d), in the world of Names and Attributes (al-asmā’ wa’l-ṣifāt) and in other worlds which none comprehends save God. All [of these worlds] derive their good-fortune (naṣīb) from this theophany of the Divine Manifestation (ẓuhūr). Wherefore does he appear unto them according to the requisite form in order that He might guide them unto God, His Lord, and draw them nigh unto the Abode of His Cause (Baha'-Allah, Lawh-i zuhūr, in  Mā’ida-yi asmani, IV:161f).

The Locus of Isma', Moral and Conceptual Infallibility.

Among the special attributes which, from the Bābī- Bahā’ī  viewpoint, are held to apply equally to all divinely comissioned maẓhar-i ilāhī is their being characterized by`Iṣmā`  `immunity from sin’ or `moral infallibility’. This as a result of their special relationship with God who  inspires them with "truth" on various levels. On a conceptual or doctrinal level, the teachings which the mazhar-i ilahi communicates to humankind are deemed pertinent, "infallible" and possessed or numerous significances;  "infallible" of course, when infallibly understood by mature individuals and religious institutions, especially those subject to divine inspiration or guidance.

The religious doctrine of Iṣmā`  ("infallibility") has  has complex roots in the Abrahamic religions and numerous modes of application and interpretation. It was perhaps due to Samaritan (Jewish) influence from the late 2nd/8th century that the principle expressed by the non-qur’ānic terms `iṣmā’  (moral impeccability) and ma`ṣum (immunity from error) early on (first?) came to be applied to the Shi`ī Imams and subsequently to the Prophet Muhammad; as well, on occasion, as other the pre-Islamic prophets and agents of God.

The Islamic doctrine of `iṣmā’ was gradually and in diverse ways incorporated within in both Sunni and Shī`ī Islam. The doctrine of `iṣmā’ is found in the Sunnī Fiqh al-Akbar (Greater Understanding) II (10th cent.) and was earlier championed by various Shī`ī thinkers including Hisham b. al-Ḥakam  (d.179/795). It was championed by numerous Shī`ī thinkers including the Imami  writers  Hisham  b.  al-Ḥakam  (d.179/795).  Ibn  Babūya  (d.381/991)  and  Shaykh al-Mufid (d.412/1022).  Within Shī`īsm the `iṣma  of prophets and the ma`ṣūm  (guarded from sin and error) of the Imams became and has remained an important article of faith. It was affirmed and in various ways integrated in Bābī- Bahā’ī imamology and theophanology. All maẓhar-i ilāhī are considered ma`ṣūm in Bābī- Bahā’ī scripture. For Baha'is, Abrahamic sacred books (Bible and Q.) and Isrā’īlyyāt or Islamo-biblical traditions, can never be interpreted so as to attribute sin and error to the divine Manifestations of God.

Numerous biblical legends and qiṣaṣ al-anbiyā’ narratives as well as doctrinal utterances of past prophets, sages and agents of God are interpreted in Bābī- Bahā’ī texts in line with the doctrines of `iṣma / ma`ṣūm. Major Messengers are pictured as all wise paragons of pious virtue and miraculous power. Texts which contract this are allegorically or non-literally interpreted (see `Abd al-Baha' SAQ III ch. 44). The hermeneutical maintenance of `Iṣma / ma`ṣūm is viewed by Baha'is as a religious touchstone of moral probity, exegetical integrity and historiographical soundness. In Bābī- Bahā’ī exegesis , for example, Adam the maẓhar-Ii ilāhī never sinned by eating the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden (Gen 2-3; Q.2:25; 20:115; cf. Q. 7:19).

The Bahā’ī exegesis of the story of Adam and Eve as explained by `Abd al-Baha' is wholly removed from the sphere of history. The story is symbolic of the plight of humankind in the material world. Adam represents of the rūḥ-i Ādam, the higher "spirit of Adam" (= humanity). Humanity (the first couple) fell from paradise when Eve who represents the nafs-i Ādam, the lower self of humanity,  precipitated a "fall" from spirituality as a result of being enticed bythe "serpent" (= materiality). To eat of the "fruit" of the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" is to be engrossed in the material world by the satanic lower self (`Abd al-Baha', SAQ:92f /tr.122f cf. the explanation, "The Tree (shajarat) [ of the knowledge of good and evil] of his eminence Adam is the reaching out to the [material] world (bulūgh-i a`lam) cited Ma’ida-yi asmani IX:128-9).

Following and expounding Baha-Allah's teachings both his son `Abd al-Baha' and his grandson Shoghi Effendi made the upholding of `iṣmā’   an essential hermeneutical principle. `Abd al-Baha', for example, probably following Islamic exegetical precedent, made lawful the Islamo-biblical notice that Abraham married his half-sister (cousin) or aunt Sarah (cf. Gen.12:10f; Rippin EI2 IX:26-7) by writing,

During the time of the Abrahamic Prophethood it was considered allowable, because of a certain exigency, that a man should marry his aunt, even as Sarah was the sister of Abraham's mother" (AB* PUP: 365)

Baha'-Allah himself claimed (Per.) `ismat-i kubrā (the greatest infallibility ) which he also made applicable to the Bāb and the other maẓhar-i ilāhī as well, to a certain degree, as to other lesser past worthies such as the twelver Imams and various anbiyā’ (prophets) of Israelite history. While supreme theophanies , the maẓāhir-I kulliyya (universal manifestations) like the "Sun" have `iṣmat-i dhātiyya ("essential infallibility") other sanctified individuals and groups like "moons" luminous with divine light, can only evince `iṣmat-i ṣifātiyya ("conferred infallibility") (SAQ. XLV: 129ff/171ff).



"The Ka`bah of God".

The Ka`bah of God

"Set thine heart towards Him Who is the Kaaba of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting" (ESW:  address to Muhammad Taqi Najafi),

For  further details refer to this Hurqalya website at:





"Huwiyya -The "He-ness"/"Divine Ipseity".


al-Huwiyya = as the Ultimate Divine Ipseity,  the Divine Self-Identity, He-She-It-ness and Baha'-Allah, as the mazhar-i ilahi (Manifestation of God), the Divine Theophany as Huwiyya.

 A paragraph from the The Lawh-i Zuhur, the Tablet of Manifestation is worth citing at this point relative to the developed claims of Baha'-Allah.  It is clear from the Lawh-i Zuhur of Baha'-Allah that huwiyya can indicate the mazhar-i ilahi (Manifestation of God) including himself. This important Tablet probably dating to the mid. West Galilean or `Akka (Acre) period, commences by addressing one "who gazeth in the direction of the Godhead (ila shatr Allah)" and continues :

[2] So know thou! that the Manifestation of God (al-ẓūhur) is not compounded of the four [Empedoclean] elements (`anāṣir al-arba`a). [3] Nay, rather, He is the Mystery of the Divine Oneness (sirr al-aḥadiyya), the Pre-existent Being (kaynunat al-qidamiyya), the All-Enduring Essence (al-jawhar al-samadiyya) and the Hidden Ipseity [Self-Identity of the Godhead] (al-huwiyya al-ghaybiyya). [4] He can in no wise be known apart from His Own Self. [5] It is not possible for anyone to establish that He was made manifest from the four elements (`anāṣir) or indeed from such elements (ustuqus[s]āt = στοιχεῖον Gk. stoicheion = Latin elementum) as are mentioned by the tongue of the practitioners of [Graeco-Islamic] philosophy (ahl al-ḥikmat) or, additionally, from any of the four constituent natures (al-taba'i`). [6] Indeed! All such as this was created as a result of His Logos-Command (amr) and through His Divine Will (mashiyya). [7] For all eternity hath He been alone without a single thing proximate to Him. Like unto the time, that is, when the [Be! and] "It is" was, in very truth, realized (yakūn bi'l-ḥaqq) [cf. Q. 2:117]. [8] And when He established Himself upon the Heavenly Throne (al-`arsh) the revealed verses (al-ayat) were sent down unto thee in view of the fact that there was found in thy heart the fire of His love (trans. Lambden).

This  Arabic term `Huwiyya'  is an abstract word  which  was originally "coined in order to express in Arabic the nuances of Greek philosophy" (Goichon, `Huwiyya' EI2 III:644). It occurs in the so-called `Theology of Aristotle', various writings of Ibn Sinā or Avicenns and in numerous later mystical writers. In Islamic theosophy and mysticism, as well as in numerous Bābī and Bahā'ī texts, huwiyya and its initial the Arabic letter "H" (hā') are sometimes taken to indicate the Divine Essence (al-dhāt) or Hiddenness of God and given a range of  numerological, cosmological and esoteric significances. al-ha' (the Arabic letter "h") is the first letter of the personal pronoun "He/It is" (huwa)  and the last letter in the word Allāh (God) (cf. Schimmel, 1975:270). 

The Arabic third person masculine pronoun huwa  = `He/It [God] is' is many times used of God (Allāh) in the Qur'ān.  An extended form of it, huwiyya  (lit. "He-ness"), indicates the Divine Self Identity or Ipseity. In medieval and later Islamic mysticism, as well as in numerous Bābí and Bahā'í texts, it is used to denote the transcendent Divinity, the exalted Manifestation of God. In his al-Futūḥūt al-Makiyya (“Meccan Revelations “)  and other works, Ibn `Arabí  (d.1270 CE) frequently uses huwiyya   alone or in construct form such as  huwiyya al-aḥadiyya  ("the He-ness of the Divine Oneness"); huwiyya al-ḥaqq  ("The He-ness of the True One"). For the Great Shaykh huwiyya  indicates the Divine Essence: "huwiyya  ("He-ness")... signifies the Unseen Reality (al-haqīqat al-ghaybiyya,;  al-Futūḥāt  II:130); the  "Reality [al-Haqīqat]  in the world of the Unseen" (Iṣṭilāḥāt,  cited al-Jurjānī. 1985:395; cf. Chittick 1989:394). In his Iṣṭilāḥāt  ("A Lexicon of Sufi terminology") Ibn `Arabí also interpreted Hū  ("He") to signify "the Unseen [God] (al-ghayb)  Whom it is not fitting to observe" (cited al-Jurjānī 1985:395).

There is a section on huwiyya ("He-ness", the Divine Ipseity) in the important al-Insān al-kāmil..  ("The Perfect Man..") of `Abd al-Karīm al-Jīlī (d.c. 832/1428). This Persian Shī`īte Sufi writes in this work:

"The Ipseity of the True One (God; huwiyya al-ḥaqq):  this indicates His hiddenness (ghayb),  the manifestation of which is impossible save by means of the totality of the [Divine] Names and Attributes. This since their Reality alludeth unto the interiority of the Divine Uniqueness (bāṭin al-wāḥidīya);  it alludeth unto His Being (kun) and His Essence (dhāt)  by means of His Names and Attributes: `The Ipseity (al-huwiyya)  is the Hiddenness of the Divine Essence which is Uniquely One (wāḥid)...' (Jīlī, 1956 1:96,97).

Not only can the genitive phrase al-huwiyya al-ghaybiyya or  al-huwiyya al-jami`a ("The All Embracing Divine Ipseity") be indicative - as in numerous Islamic sources and the lawh-i qarn of Shoghi Effendi (see URL above) - of the transcendent abstrated Deity, the Unknowable Godhead, but  huwiyya in various phrases can at times also indicate the (Per.)  mazhar-i ilahi  or Manifestation of God as the "Hidden Ipseity" or Self-Identity of the Godhead" (al-huwiyya al-ghaybiyya). God the Ultimate is       and Baha'-Allah is al-huwiyya. 

The eschatological "I am He" (Ana huwa) claim

 Ana ("I am") I myself and Huwa ("He is") He Himself : A tradition of Theological Identity and Isolated Separateness:

The words  انا هو  "I am He" (ana huwa)  and هُوَ هُوَ  "He is He" ( huwa huwa) occur in line 7 of the early, x.1852 CE  qasida of Baha'-Allah, the Rashḥ-i `amā' (The Sprinkling of the Theophanic Cloud). They derive  from various Shī`ī traditions (aḥadīth) expressive of the exalted status or (subordinate) divinity of the Prophet Muhammad and the Imāms. One such high theophanological or imamological tradition, quoted by Bahā’-Allāh in his Jawāhir al-asrār (c.1861 CE) and many other key writings, reads:

لي مع الله حالات انا هو و هو انا الا انا انا و هوهو

  • For myself with God are [various] states [conditions] (halat), I am He (ana huwa) and He is I (huwa ana), except that I am that I am (ana ana) and He is what He is (huwa huwa).
  • "I, verily, am He [God] and He [God] is I [Myself] except that He is He [Himself] and I am I [Myself]" (Jawāhir al-asrār  in AQA 3:36)
  • "Manifold and mysterious is My relationship with God. I am He, Himself, and He is I, Myself, except that I am that I am, and He is that He is“ ( Trans Shoghi Effendi, GWB XXVII).
  • “Manifold are Our relationships with God. At one time We are He Himself, and He is We Ourself at another He is He and We are We" (Bahā’-Allāh,  Lawh-i Shaykh/ESW, 52).
  • "Manifold and mysterious is our relationship with God. I am He Himself and He is I myself except that He is that He is and I am that I am" (see   Jawāhir al-asrār  (late 1850's) AQA 3:36; Kitab-i Iqan XX trans.75;  ESW: 52 trans. XX).

Baha'-Allah quite frequently cited appprovingly the above enigmatic hadith which testifies to the role of the Prophet Muhammad and/or the Imams relative to identity with God while maintaining their own separate self-identity. This since elevated prophets or manifestations of God both mirror or reflect the Deity claiming subordinate theological identity,  though always retaining their separate humanity.

Versions of this hadith are cited by the Bab, Baha'-Allah and  `Abd al-Baha' in  various of their writings. It can be found, among other places, in various Islamic sources  expressing a high theophanological role or status of the twelver Imams, including, for example, the Manāzil al-Sā'irīn (`The Stations of the Wayfarers', completed 475/1082-3) of Khwaja Abu Isma'il Abd-Allah al-Ansari (b. Kohandez [Herat] 1006-d. Herat,1089), and the Kalimāt-i Maknūnah (The Hidden Words) of Muhammad ibn Murtadâ ibn Mahmûd or Mulla Muhsin al-Fayd al-Kashani (b. Kashan, c. 1007/1598 -d. 1091/ 1680). 

In Baha'i sources the imamological hadith is interpreted as an expression of the elevated divine status of the Imams, Prophet Muhammad or the mazahir-i ilahi  (Manifestations of God) as well as a confirmation of  their being human (Makatib-i Hadrat-i `Abd al-Baha' vol. 2:21). In Babi and Baha'i usuage the double "He is" - Huwa Huwa - indicates the high theophanological relationship between God and the Messenger of God as the subordinate or mirrored Godhead. From the Baha'i viewpoint there is an intimate and close relationship between the great Messengers, Prophets or Manifestations of God and the Ultimate Deity. For Baha'is this tradition cannot be taken too literally or lead to a belief in the identity of the Unknowable Deity and the Divine nature of His representative.

The words  انا هو  "I am He" (ana huwa)  and هُوَ هُوَ  "He is He" ( huwa huwa) are found in line 7 of the early c. 1852 CE qasida of Baha'-Allah, the Rashḥ-i `amā' (The Sprinkling of the Theophanic Cloud), are derived from various Shī`ī traditions (aḥadīth) expressive of the exalted status or (subordinate) divinity of the Prophet Muhammad and the Imāms.

For  further details refer to this Hurqalya website at:

Bibliographical Note

  • the Manāzil al-Sā'irīn (`The Stations of the Wayfarers', completed 475/1082-3) of Khwaja Abu Isma'il Abd-Allah al-Ansari (b. Kohandez [Herat] 1006-d. Herat,1089).* Check
  • the Kalimat al-maknuna (The Hidden Words) of al-Fayd al-Kashani,  

For  further details refer to this Hurqalya website at:

al-Haqq = The True One, the Real, The Ultimately Real".

al-Haqq = the True One, the Real, the Ultimately Real.

Gracious God! This is the day whereon the wise should seek the advice of this Wronged One, and ask Him Who is the Truth (     ) what things are conducive to the glory and tranquillity of men" (ESW: XX).

For  further details refer to this Hurqalya website at:

Divinity and Lordship (ulūhiyya, rubūbiyya).

Other Claims to Divinity and Lordship (ulūhiyya, rubūbiyya).

Ot is the Baha'i belef that all pre-destined and comissioned representatives of the unknowable Godhead, the maẓhar ilāhī, are equally divine. They can all legitimately make the claim to (subordinate) divinity by saying , anā Allāh ("`I am God") or the like, though they can never claim to be ontologically identical with the Absolute Divine Essence, the Ultimate Godhead (Baha'-Allah, KI:137/114).