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Bab KK-Kirmani

An early Epistle of the Bāb to Ḥajji Mirza Muhammad Kārim Khān Kirmānī (d.1871 CE) as cited in Kirman's own Risāla al-Shihāb al-thāqib fī  rajm al-nawāṣib ("The Piercing Thunderbolt for the Stoning of the Enemies").

The short Arabic epistle of the Bāb delivered in his own handwriting  to Ḥajji Mirza Muhammad Kārim Khān Kirmānī  is  translated here as it is reproduced in Kirmani's anti-Babi work al-Shihāb al-thāqib fī  rajm al-nawāṣib ("The Piercing Thunderbolt for the Stoning of the Enemies") which was  completed  by this (first Kirmani) Shaykhī leader on  21st Safar 1265 / 16th January 1849.  It can be found, for example,  in the edition of this work published in  Kirman at the Ṣa`adat Press (no date -- 1960s + /1970s?), pp. 25- 27 and would appear to be much earlier than Kirmani's writing of the al-Shihāb al-thāqib  itself most likely his very first epistle to Muhammad Karim Khan of 1261/1845. .This epistle of the Bab was apparently delivered by Muhammad `Alī Barfurushī, Quddūs,  ("the Most Holy"), the 18th Letter of the Living. In the Kirman 1353 Sh. /1974-75 edition of this work the letter of the Bāb is also reproduced on pp. 25-7. The text as cited here and the translation remain very provisional and will be in need of further proof reading and correction.

PDfs of two 20th century Kirmani Shaykhi printings of the al-Shihāb al-thāqib fī  rajm al-nawāṣib ("The Piercing Thunderbolt for the Stoning of the Enemies") of Karim Khan Kirmani : 

        This  short Arabic letter of the Bāb begins in distinctly neo-qur'anic fashion with the basmala followed by the three isolated letters A-L-M which occur before several surahs of the Qur'an. In cryptic language the letter  identifies itself as something revealed from on high, as a communication from the occulted or hidden Dhikr, the messianic "Remembrance of Thy Lord" unto the Bāb who is alluded to as the "Crimson Leaf at the right-hand side of  Snow-white Ocean". This letter in other words derives from the Hidden Imam (= the Dhikr) via the Bāb who stands within a supernatural realm as the "Crimson Leaf" [or "Page" / "Bird"] (ورقة الحمراء = waraqat al-ḥamrā').  As the earthly representative of the hidden Imam he stands at the right hand side of the supernal Cosmic Ocean from which divine revelation may flow down to earth through appropriate channels.

The Letter of the Bāb to Ḥajji Mirza Muhammad Kārim Khān Kirmānī

Translation Stephen N. Lambden UCMerced

2009 - under revision 2015.


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate



Alif-Lam-Mim = A-L-M


 ذكر ربكم للورقة الحمراء عن يمين بحر الابيض لا اله الا هو

[Revealed from] The Dhikr (Remembrance) of thy Lord unto the Crimson Leaf at the right-hand side of  the snow-white Ocean. God, no God is there save Him.


  قل اياى

 فاخرجون اقراء كتاب ربك ثم اسجد لأمره و انه لا اله الا هو

Say:  O hearken ye! 

Then Emerge ye and recite the Book of thy Lord! Then fall prostrate before His Cause. God, no God is there save Him.


 قل اياى

  فاسمعون ان اتبع ما اوحى اليك من كتاب ربك لا اله الا هو

Say: O hearken ye!

Then listen and follow what He has caused to be revealed unto thee from the Book of thy Lord. God, no God is there save Him.


 قل اياى

 فاشهدون شهد الله انه لا اله الا هو العزيز القديم


Say: O hearken ye!

Bear ye witness unto the testimony of God.  He, verily, no God is there except Him, the Mighty, the Powerful.


 اشهد لله في ذلك الكتاب ثم لخلقه كما قد احب الله لعبده انه لا اله الا هو الغنى العليم

Testify before God regarding [the truth of] that Book then before His creatures even as the most beloved of God have done before His servants. He, verily, no God is there except Him, the Independent, the All-Knowing.


 و لقد نزلنا كتاباً من قبل لمن على الارض ان ادخلوا الباب سجداً لعلكم تفلحون  

We did indeed send down a Book aforetime [the Qayyūm al-asmā'?]  unto whomsoever are upon the earth to the end that they might enter [the religion of] the [Bāb] Gate (al-bāb) prostrating. This  perchance you might be successful.


ان الذين اتبعوا آياتنا بالعدل فاولئك هم السابقون و ان الذين اتبعوا اهوائهم فاولئك هم الظالمون و ان آية من آياتنا يعدل في كتاب الله آيات الاولين

Such as have followed Our verses in justice  are indeed numbered among the Forerunners (al-sābiqūn) but such as follow their base passions are numbered among the tyrannical. If but one verse from among Our verses finds a just place in the Book of God then such are [all] accounted  [sound] verses of the primary-first ones (āyāt al-awwalīn).


 و ما من بعد كل الخلق من حجج الله ليسئلون   لو اجتمع الانس على أن يأتوا بمثل ذلك الكتاب الذي نزلنا الآن اليك  لن يستطيعن و لن يقدرن

And should enquiries be made whatsoever is [revealed] subsequent to all creation is also  from the [messianic] Ḥujjat-Allāh (Proof of God). If the people should gather together for this purpose, that they produce the likeness of this Book which We, this very moment, send down for you,  they would never be able to accomplish this nor bring it to realization.


 و لو كان الجن يمدونهم على الضعف و الله قوي حكيم

And, moreover, if the jinn ("spirits") should overpower them [in their attempt at reveling verses] it would be an exposure of weakness and God is [in reality] One Mighty, Powerful.



 يا محمد  ايها الكريم

 ان اتبع حكم ربك ثم اخرج لعهد بقية الله امام عدل مبين

O Muhammad! 

O thou Karīm [Khān Kirmani]! Follow ye the decree of thy Lord then emerge as accords with the covenant of the [messianic] Baqiyyat-Allāh (Remnant of God), a manifest and just Imam.


هو الذي بيده ملكوت كل شيء و لا يعزب من علمه بعض شيء و انه عند الله في كتاب حفيظ

He is the one, through whose hand is the Kingdom of all things (malakūt kull shay') for no single thing escapes his knowledge.  He is One nigh unto God, [as decreed] in a Preserved Book (kitāb ḥafīẓ).


و ان اليوم فرض لمن على الارض من غربها و شرقها ان يخرجوا من بيتهم مهاجراً الى بلد الذكر لحكم بقية الله امام حي عظيم

 And this Day he ordains that whomsoever is upon earth, whether of  its west or of  its east, should emerge from their houses as helpers (muhājir an) [traveling] unto the country of the Remembrance (al-dhikr) for [the realization of the] directive of the [messianic] Baqiyyat-Allāh (Remembrance of God), an Imam, one Living and Mighty.


ان الذين يبايعون ذكر اسم الله بالعدل انهم يبايعون الله يد الله فوق كل شيء و انه لا اله الا هو  لقوي حميد

Such as do sell out [for a paltry price] the Remembrance of the Name of God (dhikr ism-Allah) [who appears with] justice, do indeed sell out God [for a paltry price] for the Hand of God is above  all things. And He, verily, no God is there except Him, assuredly One Powerful, Praiseworthy.


 و لقد فرضاً في كتاب الملوك  ان اذكروا ذكر الله بعد ذكر بقية الله في الاذان  بانه على صراط الله في كل لوح حفيظ

He indeed has assuredly directed in the Book of the Kings (kitab al-mulūk) that they [the people] should mention the [messianic] Remembrance of God (Dhikr-Allah) after mentioning  the Remnant of God  (Baqiyyat-Allah) in the [adapted Babi] call to prayer (al-adhān). This in that he is indeed reckoned in every Preserved Tablet (lawḥ ḥafīẓ) as one [situated] upon the Path of God (sirat Allah).


 ان ارفع هذا الحكم جهرة و اخرج بنفسك مع الذين اتبعوك في الامر  على الفرس القوي بالآلات المكملة قبل ان يرتد اليك طرفك  و ان ذلك لهو الفوز العظيم

So raise up this directive straightforwardly and emerge forth through your own effort with such as follow thee in the [Babi] Cause (al-amr)  [seated] upon a powerful  steed  (fars al-quwwa), with weapons of requisite perfection (bi'l-ālāt al-makmalat) that he [the hidden Imam] might stipulate for you your [adversary] allotted region (al-ṭarf) [for conquering in holy war] for such will assuredly betoken the mighty accomplishment [of victory].


 و لقد مننا عليك بحكم ربك قبل الناس لتكونن من الناصرين لمكتوب ان اخرج من بيتك و ادع الناس الى دين الله الخالص

And Our Bounty be upon you according to the decree of your Lord before the [other] people such that you  be among the victorious, for such was assuredly  written down [for you aforetime]. So emerge from your house!  and summon the people unto the pure Religion of God (dīn Allāh al-khāliṣ).


  و ارسل بمثل ذلك الكتاب الى شرط الارض من يمينك و الشمائل  و لا تخف في سبيل ربك من احد

So dispatch the likeness of "that Book" [the Qur'an]  unto the corners of the earth, from its right-hand side and its left.  And fear ye not anyone in the Path of God, your Lord.


 فان ذلك فضل الله عليك و الله شهيد عليم و كفى بذلك الكتاب حجة   ذكر اسم ربك لمن في السموات و من في الارض و الله خبير عليم

For such [as We have revealed] is indeed the Bounty of God upon you and God is an all-knowing witness. And sufficient is this epistle [Book] as a Proof of the Remembrance of the Name of thy Lord unto  whomsoever is in the heavens or whomsoever is upon the earth. And God is indeed One Mighty, All-Knowing.



 و لو نشاء لننزل في كل حرف  مثل آيات القرآن و الله قوي عزيز

And if We so willed We could assuredly send down for every [revealed] letter [of the alphabet] the likeness of the verses of the Qur'ān. For God is indeed One Powerful, Mighty.


و سبحان الله ربك رب العرش عما يصفون  و سلام على المهاجرين و الحمد لله رب العالمين

So Praised be unto God, your Lord and Lord of the heavenly Throne,  above what some do [inadequately] describe. And peace be upon the Helpers (muhājirīn) and praise be unto God, the Lord of all the worlds.