The Point and the Letter "B" in the theology of the writings of the Bab (d. 1850) and Baha'-Allah (d. 1892). Pt. II.

 

The Alphabetical Locus as the Diacritical Point (Nuqta) of the Letter "B" in the theology of the writings of the Bab (d. 1850) and Baha'-Allah (d. 1892) . Pt. II.

Stephen Lambden UC Merced

IN PROGRESS - Last updated 19-07-2019

 

The Alphabetical Locus as the Diacritical Point (Nuqta) of the Letter "B" in the theology of the writings of the Bab (d. 1850) and Baha'-Allah (d. 1892) . Pt. II.

Stephen Lambden UC Merced

IN PROGRESS - Last updated 19-07-2019

Nuqtah (the Point/Dot) in the Theology, Claims and Titles of Sayyid `Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Bab (d. 1850 CE).

“I am the Primal Point (al-nuqtah) from which have been generated all created things… I am the Countenance of God (wajh Allah) Whose splendor can never be obscured, the light of God (nur) whose radiance can never fade...

The Bab, `Epistle to Muhammad Shah' from Chihriq, Arabic text in SWB : 14, lines 4-5; trans. in SWB:12; see also `Epistle to Muhammad Shah' from Maku, cited Shoghi Effendi in The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, XX).

The word Nuqṭah as the Generative Locus or Point of Reality is used as a title expressive of an elevated prophetological claim in the writings of the Bab. It is often linked with the adjectival (Arabic) awwal meaning First or Primordial as Shoghi Effendi often preferred in his translation style.

Extracts from the Khutba prefacing the Tafsīr Sūrat al-Baqara (Commentary upon the Surah of the Cow = Q.II)

Trans. Stephen N. Lambden UCMerced.

In progress - last revised and updated 19-7-2019

[I]

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

[1] Praised be to God Who manifested himself (tajalla) unto the spheres of existent Being (al‑mumkināt) through the ornament of the disengaged Point (bi‑ṭaraz al‑nuqṭat al‑mumfaṣilat) sprung out of the Abyss of Origination (lujjat al‑ibdā’) unto, in and towards Existent Being... [3] Through it He created Dual modality (zawjiyya) and He created "I‑ness" [Individuality] (al‑aniyya). [4] And the Divine Will (al‑mashiyya) was mentioned through the Dhikr of the Eternal [Cosmic] alphabet, (bi‑dhikr al‑handasah al‑azaliyya) which is other than God. [5] And it, it is indeed (fa‑hiya hiya) the Primordial Eternity (al‑azaliyya al‑awwaliyya) without termination of eternality. [6] Nay rather! It, it is [indeed] the Dawning Place of the Sun of the Divine Oneness (shams al‑ahadiyya) glistening forth from the Eternal Perpetuity (al‑ṣamadāniyya al‑bāqiyya) through the Eternity of the Divine Ipseity (bi‑baqā’ al‑huwiyya) [which is] of the Empyreal domain (al‑jabarūtiyya).

[II]

[1] So Oh! Truly wondrous Ornament (fa‑ya na`ma al‑ṭarāz) of the snow‑white [letter] "A" (alif al‑bayḍā’) coming into being subsequent to the [primordial phenomenon of the] differentiated Point [itself sprung] out of the Creative Reality. [2] Thus, it, it is indeed of the Ornament of Bahā’ ("Glory‑Beauty") (al‑ṭarāz al‑bahā’) in the Pillar of Laudation (rukn al‑thanā’)! [3] Then indeed it, it is assuredly the yellow Ornament (al‑ṭarāz al‑safrā’) in the snow‑white Pillar (rukn al‑baydā’)! [4] Wherefore indeed it, it is the Ornament of Origination (al‑ṭarāz al‑badā’) in the green Pillar (rukn al‑khuḍrā’)! [5] Then [also] it is assuredly the Ornament of Origination (al‑ṭarāz al‑badā’) in the Logos-Soul [Persona] of the Crimson Pillar (fī nafs al‑ḥamrā’)! [6] Shouldst thou say Crimson (al‑ḥamrā’) then would it be ornamented [coloured as] yellow through the [effect of the] snow‑white (al‑safrā’ bi’l‑bayḍā’) [reality]. [7] And shouldst thou say green (al‑khuḍrā’) it would [indeed] be ornamented [coloured as] snow‑white (al‑bayḍā’) through the [effect of] the crimson (bi’l‑ḥamrā’) [reality].

[III]

[1] So Oh! Blessed be this [Reality] for it, it is [the power] of pre-eternal reddenning (muḥammirat azaliyya), the [power] of perpetual whitening (mubayyiḍat ṣamadiyya), [the] originative greenness (mukhaḍḍirat a[i]badiyya) and the [power] of heavenly yellowing (muṣaffirat malakūtiyya). [2] Again, It, it is assuredly the reiteration of the Point in the outstretched [letter] "A" through the pre‑existent creative Power. And "no God is there except Him"...

(INBMC 69/II:2‑3).

Nuqţa in the Tafsīr Sūrat al-baqara (Q.II), Dhu’l-Qadah 1259/nov-Dec 1843- completed Pt,1 Jan-Feb 1844.

The Tafsīr Sūrat al-baqara of the Bab dates in part from before his May 22nd 1844 declaration before Mulla Husayn Buhrū’ī (d. 1849). In some mss. It has an important loosely six page Khuţba (“Discourse”) which contains five important centrally cosmologically important uses of the word Nuqtā. It is at the end of this preliminary Khuţba that there is a dream-vision of the Bab in which the passing and successorship of the then Shaykhī leader Sayyid Kazim al-Husaynī al-Rashtī (d.1259/1843) was symbolically expressed by the piecemeal – (Ar.) dharrat an dharrat an - deconstruction of the arḍ al-muqaddas (the “Sacred Land” including, KARBALA and/or Sayyid Kazim Rashti in Karbala, his house-or person) and its consonant materialization and translocation to SHIRAZ, the birthlace-residence-person of the Bab. In illustration of the Nuqţa the following extracts or references of the Bab – personal Lambden trans. INBMC 60:1-6 :

[I]

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

[1] Praised be to God Who manifested himself (tajalla) unto the spheres of existent Being (al‑mumkināt) through the ornament of the disengaged Point (bi‑ṭaraz al‑nuqṭat al‑munfaṣilat) sprung out of the Abyss of Origination (lujjat al‑ibdā’) unto, in and towards Existent Being...

p.2 [X] So it, it is (fa-hiya hiya) indeed the First-Genesis of the Dhikr by virtue of the One Remembering (dhākir), no God is there except Him. Then Praised be unto God Who originated all existence (al-mawjūdāt) through the ornament of the Hidden [letter] Alif (“A”), standing upright within itself (nafsihā). By means thereof was originated, through the causuality of the Nuqţa which preceded it (the A), the essential locus of the aforementioned Divine Will (bi-dhātiyyat al-mashiyyat) …

p.2 [3] Through it He completed Dual modality (zawjiyya) and He created "I‑ness" [Singularity-Individuality] (al‑aniyya). [4] And the Divine Will (al‑mashiyya) was mentioned through the Dhikr of the Eternal [Cosmic] alphabet, (bi‑dhikr al‑handasah al‑azaliyya) which is side from God / except God” (illa Allāh).

[5] And it, it is indeed (fa‑hiya hiya) the Primordial Eternity (al‑azaliyya al‑awwaliyya) without termination of eternality. [6] Nay rather! It, it is [indeed] the Dawning Place of the Sun of the Divine Oneness (shams al‑ahadiyya) glistening forth from the Eternal Perpetuity (al‑ṣamadāniyya al‑bāqiyya) through the Eternity of the Divine Ipseity (bi‑baqā’ al‑huwiyya) [which is] of the Empyreal domain (al‑jabarūtiyya).

[II]

[1] So Oh! Truly wondrous Ornament (fa‑ya na`ma al‑ṭarāz) of the snow‑white [letter] "A" (alif al‑bayḍā’) coming into being subsequent to the [primordial phenomenon of the] differentiated Point [itself sprung] out of the Creative Reality.

[2] Thus, it, it is indeed of the Ornament of Bahā’ ("Glory‑Beauty") (al‑ṭarāz al‑bahā’) in the Pillar of Laudation (rukn al‑thanā’)!

[3] Then indeed it, it is assuredly the Yellow Ornament (al‑ṭarāz al‑safrā’) in the snow‑white Pillar (rukn al‑baydā’)!

[4] Wherefore indeed it, it is the Ornament of Origination (al‑ṭarāz al‑badā’) in the Green Pillar (rukn al‑khuḍrā’)!

[5] Then [also] it is assuredly the Ornament of Origination (al‑ṭarāz al‑badā’) in the Logos-Soul [Persona] of the Crimson Pillar (fī nafs al‑ḥamrā’)!

[6] Shouldst thou say Crimson (al‑ḥamrā’) then would it be ornamented [coloured as] yellow through the [effect of the] snow‑white (al‑safrā’ bi’l‑bayḍā’) [reality].

[7] And shouldst thou say green (al‑khuḍrā’) it would [indeed] be ornamented [coloured as] snow‑white (al‑bayḍā’) through the [effect of] the crimson (bi’l‑ḥamrā’) [reality].

[III]

  1. [1] So Oh! Blessed be this [Reality] for it, it is (hya hiya) [the power] of pre-eternal reddenning (muḥammirat azaliyya), the [power] of perpetual whitening (mubayyiḍat ṣamadiyya), [the] originative greenness (mukhaḍḍirat a[i]badiyya) and the [power] of heavenly yellowing (muṣaffirat malakūtiyya). [2] Again, It, it is assuredly the reiteration of the Nuqţa-Point in the outstretched [letter] "A" through the pre‑existent creative Power. And "no God is there except Him” Then Praised be unto God who disclosed His Glory (tajallī) [revealed Himself] unto all existent Being through the Ornament of the isolated, disengaged Letter B (ţaraz al-bā’ al-būniyya al-munfasilat) through the pliable letter “A” (al-alif al-liniyya) circumambulating around the Nuqţa-Point of Proto-Genesis (nuqţat al-abdā’iyya), [revealed Himself] unto it, in it and towards it…

 

Qayyum al-asma' (The Self-Subsisting One among the Divine Names).

From the Tafsir Surat Yusuf or Qayyum al-asma' (= QA).

The word Nuqţa (Point) occurs over 125 times (around 127 or 134 times) in the 111 Sūrahs of the 300-400 page Qayyum al-asma'. It is found on every 2-3 pages, often in theologically weighty gentive expressions and sometimes in closely knit groups. The word Nuqtah (Point) as an alphabetical, cosmic or theophhanic locus is frequent in the Qayyum al-asma' . It if often found in such genitive constructs as :

  • Nuqtat al-nar (the Point of the Theophanic Fire),
  • Nuqtat al-ma' (the Point of the Cosmic Water).
  • Nuqtat al-Bab (The Point of the Gate)
  • Nuqtat al-Awwali (the Primordial [first] Point)
  • Nuqtat al-
  • Nuqtat al-
  • cf. Nuqtat al-Furqan (the Point of the Criterion / the Qur'an) which is indicative of Muhammad (e.g. KPS: ).

In the opening Surat al-mulk (Surah of the Dominion, QA1) there is a call to be humbly prostrate before God and/ or the Bab in order that good deeds may be acceptable before God. This after the example of the humbly prostrate line of the Letter "B" as contrasted with its developed form, the upright letter Alif, "A". The diacritical nuqta, point or subdot of the letter B is generative of the upright letter A and the flattened or "prostrate" shape of the letter B ( ). In Arabic the first letter of the alphabet has an upright form ( ) whike that of the letter B above its dot is an almost horizontal letter shape. The gateway of the divine theophany is appropriately focused in the [Sinaitic] Fire (al-nār) conjoined as the Point [Locus] of the [Cosmic] Water (nuqṭat al-mā') which is the source of all life. These twin theophanic realities are apparently prostrate before God, pending the actualization of the new generative nuqtah command of God in eschatological times. This is expressed as the ultimacy of the coming to pass of the new era with the revelation of the QA in mid. 1260/1844, 1,000 years or so after the occultation of the 12th Imam, the (alleged) son of 11th Imam Hasan al-Askari went into hiding or occultation:

فاسجد و اقترب فانّ النّار فی نقطة الماء للّه الحقّ قد كان ساجداً علی الارض بالحقّ مشهوداً

[19] God will not accept from anyone any deed except from one who arrives at the Gate, through the Gate (al-bāb bi'l-bāb = Q.12:XX) prostrate before God, the Ancient and praiseworthy in the vicinity of the Gate. [20/1] God hath, in very truth given thee permission [to accomplish this]! So be prostrate and draw nigh, for the [Sinaitic] Fire (al-nār) in the Point [Locus] of [Cosmic] Water (nuqṭat al-mā') is evidently, in very truth, prostrate upon the earth before God, the True One" (QA1:19f).

After the occurrence of nuqṭat al-mā' in verse 20 [21] of the opening Surat al-mulk (Surah of the Dominion, QA1) the next occurence of nuqta is found in verse 33 of the third Surat al-īmān (The Surah of Security; or سورة المباهله Sūrat al-mubāhalah, The Surah of the Mutual Execration; so the Browne Ms. F21 (XX) on Qur'ān 12:2 where we read :

God hath assuredly taught you [the Bāb] the knowledge of the Book (`ilm al-kitāb) from the Furqān [= Q.] the Injīl, the Tawrāt, the Zabūr and what preceded them of the Ṣuḥuf (pre-Mosaic scripture) and with your Lord were you concealed and suspended above the Gate of the Point (bāb al-nuqṭa) of the letter “B” (al-bā') (QA III:11).

This statement is a rewrite Qur'ān 3:48 which reads: "And He (God) will teach him (Jesus) the Book (al-kitāb), the Wisdom (ḥikmat), the Tawrat and the Injīl", The Bab represents himself as one existing in concealment above the Gate of the Point (bāb al-nuqṭa) of the letter “B” (al-bā').

 

In the 3rd Sūrat al-ayman the Bab writes

It is not until the twelfth Sūrat al-`Āshūrā' (Surah of the Tenth [of Muharram]) that we find the third cryptic use of the term nuqtah. It is here connected to, or symbolically associated with, the motif of the Sinaitic Fire of the Divine Theophany representing the locus and central point of the manifestation of God. The nuqtah in the QA is also the now intimated locus of the person of the messianic Dhikr (Remembrance) who is closely associated with the eschatoloical person of the Bab himself. The Bab as the Dhikr is a messianic persona or a celestial intermediary with whom God can be communicated (see below and esp. QA XIV:1ff). .

God did indeed explain His Mystery (sirr) betwixt the Mount (al-tur) [Sinai] and the Point of [the Sinaitic] Fire (nuqtat al-nar) though He made no mention of anything but he who brought the Dhikr (Remembrance) from before the Bab (Gate), earnestly supplicating (raghib an) unto God, the One Praisewrthy (al-hamid)" QA. XII : [23].

[27] God, verily, concealed the [eschatological] time period [passage] (marr) of His servant in the Pivot [Axis] of the [Sinaitic] Fire (qutb al-nar), and [likewise] from this Book (al-kitab) for God so stipulated [this] with respect to the knowledge of the unseen (`ilm al-ghayb), regarding, that is, its [remaining a] secreted mystery (min sirrihi al-mustasirr) pertaining to the Mystery inscribed in the vicinity of the Mystery (`ala al-sirr hawl al-sirr mastur an). [28] The All-Merciful will support (n-f-q) thee, in Truth, in very Truth, in the dissimulation of Our Cause (kitman amrina).

In the 3rd Sūrat al-ayman the Bab writes

و انّ اللّه قد علّمك علم الكتب من الفرقان و الانجيل و التّورية والزّبور و ماورائها من الصّحف و انّك قد كنت عند ربّك علی باب النّقطة من البإء

المستور موقوفاً ه

God taught thee the knowledge of the Book as expressed in the Furqan, the Injil, the Torah, the Zabur, and whatsoever preceded them of the [Abrahamic] Scrolls (suḥuf) (scrolls). Thou indeed were, furthermore, nigh thy Lord, presiding (mawqūf an) over of the Gate of the Point (bāb al-nuqta), by virtue of the concealed letter B (al-bā’).

God hath assuredly taught you [the Bāb] the knowledge of the Book (`ilm al-kitāb) from the Furqān [= Q.] the Injīl, the Tawrāt, the Zabūr and what preceded them of the Ṣuḥuf (pre-Mosaic scripture) and with your Lord were you concealed and suspended above the Gate of the Point (bāb al-nuqṭa) of the letter B (al-bā') (QA III:11).1

This exegetical rewrite of Qur'ān 3:48 is based upon or rooted in :

"And He (God) will teach him (Jesus) the Book (al-kitāb), the Wisdom (ḥikmat), the Tawrat and the Injīl".

Towads the beginning of the ninth or tenth Sūrat al-sirr / al-`amā’ the Bab states: = see https://hurqalya.ucmerced.edu/node/113

اللّه قد انزل الكتاب فيه تبيان كلّ شیء رحمة و بشری لعبادنا

ممّن كان بذكر (+اللّه) العلیّ بالحقّ علی علم الكتاب بصيراً ه اذ قالوا حروف لا

اله الّا اللّه و (+و) انّ يوسف احبّ الی ابينا منّا قد سبق من علم اللّه حرفاً

مستسرّا بالسّرّ مقنعا (مقنّعاً) علی السّرّ محتجباً فی السّطر غائبا فی سرّ

المستسرّ مرتفعاً عمّا فی ايدينا و ايدی العالمين جميعاً

و هو اللّه قد كان بكلّ شیء محيطاً ه و هو اللّه قد اراد فی مستسرّ السّرّ علی سرّ السّطرعلی نقطة البإ (الباب) تأويلاً ه

[13] God assuredly intended that the concealment of the mystery beyond the secret of the [alphabetical] line (al-saṭr), is the interior sense (ta`wīl an) of the [reality surrounding the person of the] Point of the Gate [Bāb] (nuqṭat al-bāb). [14] He [God] in very truth, established the associates of the Bāb (al-ajnabā' min al-bāb) [ the occulted Imams] to be ones, in very truth, manifest as the [celestial] Heights (al-a`rāf; cf. Q. 7:46,48).

HERE

 

 

In the 93rd Sūrah of the QA for example he writes:

 

I am indeed, in very truth, the [Diacritical] Point [al-nuqṭa] dyed crimson al-muḥamara) (QA 93: 373).

 

Nuqṭa (Point) related claims are everywhere in the Bayāns and many other writings of the Bāb. The P. Bayan includes many dimensions of a complex theology of the revelational nuqṭa (e.g. P. Bayan, III.12, 89ff).

 

Qayyum al-asma', Surat al-Kitab (The Surah of the Book), LXXIX (79)

يا اهل العرش

اسمعوا ندائی من هذا الذّكر نقطة الباء الّذی قد كان حول النّار مشهوداً

O people of the Celestial Throne!

Hearken ye unto My Call from this [messianic] Remembrance (al-dhikr), the Point of the Letter "B" (nuqtat al-ba') made manifest about the [theophanic, Sinaitic] Fire (al-nar)! He is indeed the Arabian Youth (fata al-`arabi) concealed in the Mother [Archetypal] Book (umm al-kitab) about the [theophanic, Sinaitic] Fire (al-nar)! God did indeed, in very Truth, inspire (w-h-y-) Me [ the Bab] in the House of the Ka`ba (in Mecca) [to proclaim]. "I am God! No God is there except I myself". I [God] fashioned thee [the Bab] for Myself and I chose the Dhikr (Remembrance) for thy Self ... (QA 79:321; EBG ms. FXX, 272).

Qayyum al-asma', Surat al-Zawwal (The Surah of the Declining Sun), LXX (80)

فاستمع لما يوحی اليك من ربّك من نقطة النّار بما قد احكم اللّه علی مركز المدير رفيعاًانّه لا اله الّا هو مولی المؤمنين و هو اللّه كان عليماً قديماً

So hearken ye unto that which He hath revealed unto thee from thy Lord, from the the Point (nuqtat al-ba') of the letter "B" within the Point of the [theophanic, Sinaitic] Fire (nuqtat al-nar)! (QA 80:32X; EBG ms. FXX p. 273).

From a Commentary on a verse of [the verse of] Light (nur).

The Bab wrote a number of commentaries upon the celebrated `Light Verse' (Q. 24:35) of the Qur'an or a number of verses within this surah of the Qur'an. In the following extract from one such medium length work, the Bab has it that the religion of Islam "returned" to its original generative nuqtah at the time of his theophany and pending his eschatological unveiling of his new (again) nuqtah generated religion.

Thus was the Primordial Tree (shajarat al-awwal) made manifest at the Genesis of the Eschatological Creation (al-khalq al-akhira). Wherefore did the [Islamic] Cause (al-amr) [of God] return unto the Primordial Point (nuqtat al-awwal)! This is the meaning of the saying of the Prophet [Muhammad], "Islam will return strange [obscure, hidden] (gharib) just as it began [obscure, hidden, strange]. And it is this [Babi] religious Cause (al-amr) and nothing else besides. Indeed! the Qa'im (messianic Ariser = the Bab) is the [latter day] manifestation of Muhammad!" (the Bab, from Item 27 in EGB ms F. 21 (9),`Tafsir ayat-i mubaraka-yi nur (Commentary on the blessed Light verse, Q.24: 35) [pp. 155-171] p. 166).

Nuqţa in the Khuţba `ilm al-ḥurūf (The Discourse of the Science of Letters).

The Khuṭba on the `ilm al-ḥuruf

("The gnosis of the Letters"). Translated from INBMC 91: 30-36; also INBMC 67: 228-233. This work of the Bab commences as follows:

(I)

بسم لله الرحمن الرحيم

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

[1] Praised be to God Who hath enabled the gnosis of His Essence to be realized through His verses which express theophanic self-disclosure (al-mutajalliyya) within the grandeur of the inmost heart (`izz al-fū'ād), though without hint of either anthropomorphism (tashbiyya) or differentiation (tafrīq) [within the hypostatsis-personna of the Godhead]. [2] This such that all might bear witness within the Locus of the Divine Bounty (maq`ad al-faḍl) unto the ordered Handiwork of their Creator in the citadel of Reunion (maq`ad al-waṣl). No God is there except Him.

[3] He generated the likeness of Divine Oneness (al-aḥadiyya) within the realities of Creation (haqā'iq al-khalq) though devoid of even the similitude of any depiction [of His Reality] or any hint of possible description [thereof], to the end that created things might, on every level, realize that the ordinance of Lordship exists within the Temple of servitude (hukm al-rububiyya fī haykal al-`ubudiyya) [for there is indeed] no God, except Him. [4] He indeed originated the Manifestations of Comprehensiveness (maẓāhir al-jam`) within every singularity (tafrīq) though without any description of [His] Essential Reality (ni`at al-jawhariyya) and without any form of disclosure [of His Reality] (sūrat al-`arḍiyya) to the end that He might impress certainty upon every atom of existence [when] confronted with the Countenance of the One Worshipped [God] (alma`bud) at [the moment of] the perception of union (bi-tatriyyat al-wasl) [exists only] at the very limit of [disclosure from the sphere of] the Divine Names (ḥadd al-asmā'iyya) for such is [nothing other than] the semblance of existence (ni`at al-wujūdiyya), for , there is no God is there other than Him.

[5] He generated through the Might of His Power in the leaves of the Sinaitic Tree (waraqat al-shajarat al-sīnā') the forms of the creative generation (ṣuwar al-ibdā') and whatsoever came to be therein to the end that all of the servants (al-`ibād) draw out of it every letter (kull al-ḥarf) which is a token (ḥukm) of whatsoever was deposited in the Qur'ān. And no one hath encompassed the knowledge of the All-Merciful, except God, [no God is there] except Him. [6] He indeed created through the Locus-Point of the [Alphabetical] Script (fi'l-nuqṭa al-khaṭṭ) the science of the letters (`ilm al-ḥurūf) and all things besides. This that any soul might give utterance and declare something of the handiwork of God (ṣan` Allāh) [7] and envision in a [Logos-]Point (nuqṭa) He Who decreed that which God created in the Primordial Tree (shajarat al-awwal). No God is there except Him.

II

[1] We have indeed this day have observed a person in the boat [ark] (safinat) [with a] love of the science of the letters and their culmination [fulfilment /eschaton] (ḥubb `ilm al-ḥurūf wa akhiratihā). Subsequently he had enquired about the mode of their appointed time (ḥukm ajalihā) as observable phenomena (bi'l-`iyān). [2] So it was desired that We dispatch a resolution (ḥukm an ) [of the enquiry] from the Point of the Bayān (nuqṭat al-bayān), from the Point of the science of the letters (nuqṭat `ilm al-ḥurūf) [= the Bab] and their culmination (akhirati-hā). This that the observers of their reading (tilāwatihā) might bear witness unto the judgment of the Tree upon the [Sinaitic] Mount (hukm shajarat `alā al-ṭūr), no God is there except Him. [3] And [that they may] realize that their likeness is even as the activity of causative agents (al-`amilūn), save that is, when the thread of resplendent light (al-khayt al-ḍiwā') is set in motion through the crimson Light (al-nūr al-hamrā'). [4] At this the Sinaitic dwellers [lit. `mountites'] (al-ṭūriyyūn) among the denizens of the Theophanic Cloud (`ahl al-`amā') are assuredly made to swoon away and the proponents of Divine oneness (al-mawḥidūn) at the horizon of heaven (ufq al-samā') bear witness unto the rising up of the snow-white thread (khayt al-bayḍā') from the black horizon (ufq al-sawdā').

[5] Has not the Dawn time (al-subḥ) broken through the Light of Glory (nūr al-jalāl) therein? [6] Say: Yea! By my Lord! that We might indeed deliver unto thee the universe of the science of the letters (`alam `ilm al-ḥurūf) and their culmination [eschaton] (akhirati-hā). [7] There is nothing that lieth outside of His knowledge. And We have indeed distinguished all things (kulli shay') in a Book Preserved (kitāb ḥafīẓ).

(III)

[1] With respect to this Point (al-nuqṭa) the intellects of the philosophers of old (hukamā' min qabl) are bewildered and the `ulama (divines) of subsequent times have gone astray. This until all became well-aware of the weakness of their `ulama' and gained solace on account of its establishment in justice through the family of God for whomsoever they will for they [the Imams] do not will save God Himself hath willed. And God hath ever been Powerful over all things. [2] Is it not the case that this science [of the letters] (`ilm) is the sister of prophethood in the Temple of Lordship (ukht al-nubuwwa fi'l-haykal al-rubūbiyya) as well as an aspect of servitude in the Temple of the Divine Oneness (ni`at min al-`ubudiyya fi haykal al-aḥadiyya). [3] And no soul can encompass the knowledge of this science save such as God Himself, the Mighty, the Wise, doth will. [4] Wherefore does humankind (al-insān) cry out through the Dove [Bird] (al-warqa'), "Fear ye God! This is indeed the Path (al-sulk) so CHECK THIS. [5] There hath sprinkled forth from the billowing sea of God (ṭamaṭam Allāh) the Bayan (Exposition) and many multitudes of creatures have drowned therein. [6] And with the permission of God I shall proceed with respect to it, [disclosing] but the merest shadow for none is aware of [the extent of] its magnitude save God. And Glorified be God above that which they suppose.

(IV)

[1] So O thou Onlooker! Examine carefully, refine the gaze and blind thine eyes! so as to render delicate the sensitive feelings (al-raqā'iq) then be restrained over reality generating mi`rāj journeys (ma`arij alhaqā'iq) and cast forth what in in thy right hand and in what is thy left of the subtle allusions about things intricate (ishārāt al-daqā'iq). [2] Then rise up upon the Path (al-sirat) and know that for this science (`ilm) are seven foundations (uṣūl). [3] It is not possible for anyone to draw out of this ocean even those waves which constitute but a drop of the Cosmic Watery Expanse (al-ma'), save, that is, subsequent to attaining into its gnosis (ma`rifat) and a state of certitude regarding it. [4] Know then [something of] the reality of the Point (al-nuqṭa) in its very genesis (fi awwaliha) and the [nature of] the luminous Letters (huruf al-nuraniyya) as well as those of darkness (al-zullmaniyya) with respect to their ultimacy (akhiriha) and the knowledge of their modes of activity on every level (wajh).

(V)

[5] And [know also that] the science of the letter ه "H" (al-ha') is realized through a counting of successive numbers [through gematria: 5 = 1-2-3-4-5] (`ind adha al-a`dād). [6] Then the [letter] و "W" (al-wāw) is realized through numerical calculation [5+1=6= abjad wāw] (fī `adad al-ḥisāb) for He decreed the days (al-ayyām) and their measure (nisba) relative to the seven stars (al-kawākib al-sab`a). [7] Such is the decree of God relative to the science of the Point (`ilm al-nuqṭa) since the inmost heart (al-fū'ād) [of the Bab] hath, in very truth, envisioned and the inmost heart (al-fū'ād) lieth not about what it seeth (cf. Q.53:11).

[8] Such is a sprinkling [of knowledge] derived from what was taken from the Greatest [Āqā Sayyid] Ja`far [ibn Abī Ishāq Kashfi Darābī] (d.1267/1850-1) (Ja`far al-akbar). Take ye then, through the power of God (bi-quwwat Allāh), what hath been cast upon thee and be numbered among the thankful. ....

[VIII]

[10] So O Thou Onlooker! If thou did know what is alluded to therein thou would reckon that the result would accord with the wisdom of the knowledge of the Point (ḥukm `ilm al-nuqṭa) and its consequent realities [alphabetical "sisters"] (ukht). [11] Such is the wisdom which I cast unto thee regarding the dual dimensions of the [word] Bāb (ithnayn al-bāb) [= its 2 letter ب "B" s] resulting from the seven letters [ this duality باب = B+B with "a" is expressed as Bab = `Ali + Muhammad = 3+4 = 7 letters].

Tafsīr Ṣūrat al-Ḥamd or al-Fātiha (`The Opening’, Q.1).

 

In the commentary, the Bab dwells upon the three letter, opening word bism (“In the Name” Q. 1:1b) of the nineteen letter basmala (first letter “b”). Typical of his exegesis he makes mention of the al-nuqṭa, the diacritical dot or “Point” () at the base of the first letter “B” of the basmala. The Bab further comments upon the elided or hidden letter alif (“A”) [hidden] in the bism (“In the Name) as an expression of the Unseen (al-ghayb).68 He adds that the [first] letter ”B” (al-bā’) [of the bism] is an allusion unto [His] Lordship (rubūbiyya) above everything. Its second letter “s” (al-sīn) alludes to His immanence or repose (sakīnah) which is agreeable relative to His existing in servitude (al-`ubūdiyya) through the concomitant “Glory of His Lordship” (jalāl al-rubūbiyya). The “m” (al-mīm) is an allusion to the Glory of God (majd Allāh) which was Self-revealed (tajallī) unto Him and through Him for God made this “Glory” (majd) expressive of His own Logos-Self (nafs) in that “Sanctified Temple” (haykal al-muqaddas) and the “Luminous Countenance” (tal`at al-munawwar).

The Bab continues to explain that the Greatest Name (al-ism al-a`ẓam) [of God] is he who is hidden between the “B” and the “S” in the world of the Unseen (`alam al-ghayb), this hidden Letter “A” who is found between the two diacritical dots or points (al-nuqṭatayn) of the two letter “b”s in the word bāb, “gate”. This is allusive of the Bab himself as the locus [the letter A] of the servant (ḥarf al-`abd) and the manifestation of the Point (al-nuqṭa) between the two alphabetical shapes (the letter “A” stands between two letter “B”s in the word Bāb) (T. Ḥamd, 69:134).

Nuqţa in the Persian and Arabic Bayāns (c.1848-9)

  1. massive amount of nuqta theology informs the quite lengthy, roughly 328 pages, of the 1848 Persian Bayan of the Bab. Altogether, the word nuqta occurs approximately XXX times. Its initial six-page exordium, or theological prolegomenon, contains eight occurrences of the word nuqta. The first identifying the day of the theophany of God, with the manifestation or the nuqta-yi Bayan (1.1.3). The second occurrence also indicative of the theological status of the Bab identifies the nuqta with the mazhar rububiya, the eschatological divine theophany (1.1.4). This latter identification continues by associating the Bab as the return (rāji‘ shud) of the nuqta-yi avval (Primal Point) (ibid). Muhammad as the nuqtat al-qur’an (Point of the Qur’an) is, furthermore, identified with the nuqtat al-bayan (Point of the Bayan) in both primordial and eschatological times. The Point of the Bayan, furthermore, is also identified as the mashiyat al-avvaliyat (the Primal Will of God), and associated with the nafs or persona of God, standing upright (qā’imihi bi-nafsiha). The final reference in the exordium again identifies the latter-day theophany (zuhur-i ukhra) with the theophany of the Point of the Bayan (zuhur-i nuqta-yi Bayan). Finally, in this opening section of the Bayan, the “sun of the point of the Furqan” (shams-i nuqta-yi furqan) is said to be the essence of the nuqta-yi bayan (‘ayn-i nuqta-yi bayan).

In Persian Bayan 1.2.7, the Bab again associates the appearance of the nuqta-yi bayan with the prophet Muhammad, whose name is here clearly given. In the imamological section of 1.3ff., Imam ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 40/661), the first Imam and fourth caliph, who is also referred to as thani man amana bi-al-nuqta (the second to believe in the nuqta) (1.1.8).

In Persian Bayan 1.15, reference is made to the appearance of hazrat-i hujjat (his holiness the Proof [the twelfth imam]), with ayat (verses) and bayyinat (explanations) through the manifestation of the point of the bayan (zuhur-i nuqta-yi bayan). Once again, referred to as the theophany of the point of the furqan, though

  • differentiated. As the nuqta, the Bab is said to be in the station of maqam-i tujjarad, which is the sirf (SRF) of the theophany of God, who has appeared with the name of uluhiyyah (divinity). On the first level, furthermore, he has appeared in the station of ta‘ayyin, which is the primal will of God (mashiyat-i avvaliyah). Then again, there is the station of qa‘imiyyat above every nafs…
  • In the station of the nuqta, and whatsoever is like unto it among the divine names… (1.15f 9-10).

Persian Bayan Wahid II

  • The Bab uses the title nuqta-yi Bayan in 2.1.12, in the cycle of the nuqta-yi bayan.
  • 2.1.12: “and in this cycle, the God of the world, through the point of the Bayan, has given forth verses and explanations.”
  • Reference to the nuqtat-i mashiyat: 2.1.12
  • 2.2.20: On the deep meanings of the term bayan: here the Bab refers to various elevated letters or their essence and refers to the Qur’an as having 114 surahs and each letter being reflected in the basmala. The first six surahs are the genesis of the nuqta, while another six are expressive of its omega. (cf. 2.4.26)
  • 2.5.28 on myh as the locus of the names in the Bayan: Here, there is reference to the primordial reality of the point of the mashiyya (haqiqat-i avvaliya-yi nuqtah-yi mashiyyah) cf. ibid (dar fass-i nuqta ast).
  • 2.8.36: reference to Bab as nuqta-yi bayan, as also on pages 35 and 37
  • In 2.8.39, the station of the mashiyya is equated with the station of the nuqta-yi bayan.
  • 2.9.41 on the grave (qabr): the nuqta-yi bayan is again referred to as the manifestation of divinity, mazhar-i uluhiyyat.
  • 2.9.44 again equates the mashiyyat with the nuqta-yi bayan
  • 2.11.45 on the angels in the tomb: Title again used is nuqta-yi bayan
  • 2.12.46 on the resurrection: Title again used is nuqta-yi bayan,
  • 2.12.47 nuqta-yi haqiqat.
  • 2.13.50: again refers to the nuqta-yi haqiqat, refers to the mashiyya as the nuqta and identifies Imam ‘Ali as the nuqta-yi Qur’an. SEE
  • 2.13.50 (again): the expression nuqta-yi avvaliya
  • 2.15.54: the phrase “nuqta-yi haqiqat”
  • 2.15.56: nuqta-yi haqiqat
  • 2.15.57: nuqta-yi mashiyyat and nuqta-yi Qur’an
  • 2.16.58: nuqta + nuqta-yi furqan + nuqta-yi bayan
  • 2.16.59: nuqta + nuqta-yi vujud
  • 2.16.61: nuqta x 2
  • 2.16.62: nuqtat al-bayan
  • 2.16.63: Here, the Bab refers to himself as the nuqta-yi ulya and ukhra.
  • 2.17.66: nuqta al-haqiqat + nuqta-yi bayan.
  • 2.17.67: there are some important references to the nuqta-yi ba in the bayan in the context of the discussion of realms of hell.
  • 2.17. In 2.17.68, reference is made to the Bayan being something that returns to the first one who uttered baly (yeah, verily), viewed as a confirmation of the nuqta-yi haqiqat. Bab = nuqta-yi bayan; reference to the zuhur-i nuqta-yi bayan, and the zuhur-i nuqta-yi furqan.
  • 2.17.69: The first or primordial point (nuqta-yi avval) is said to be evident as the ayat Allah
  • 2.17.70: Bab =nuqta-yi bayan.

The bab-i avval-i jannat, the first gate of paradise, is the point (nuqta) of the fard (= notch, decree, command) of kun.

  • 2.17.72: Bab=nuqta-yi bayan.
  • 2.19.73: Bab=nuqta-yi bayan x2.

Persian Bayan Wahid III

  • 3.1.74: Bab= nuqta-yi haqiqat-i kull shay
  • 3.7.81 associates the eschatological liqa (Allah) with the nuqta-yi haqiqat who is the mashiyat-i avvaliya.
  • 3.8.82f: on the macrocosmic alam al-akbar fi al-bayan: “In the beginning (dar bada’), all rose up through the nuqta, and all of the bayan was a differentiation of the nuqta.
  • 3.8.84: reference to the nuqta-yi bayan=the Bab before the era of the nuqta-yi furqan. “nuqta-yi bayan bi-aynihi zuhur-i nuqta-yi furqan ast.
  • 3.8.85: reference to Bab as the nuqta-yi bayan x2.
  • 3.8.86: reference to the jud-i nuqta-yi haqiqat.

Identifies the nuqta-yi bayan with the mashiyat-i avvaliya in every dispensation and the nafs (Logos Self persona) of MYA at the moment of his theophany, with the permission of his lord.

  • 3.9.86f: concerns the first verse of the Bayan, or its basmala. Bab=nuqta-yi bayan
  • 3.10.87 refers to the manifestation of the nuqta-yi bayan, associating it with the Pleroma of everything (kull dar u ast u ast) (2x!) This because it is related to the ba of the basmala, since this bā’ is a proof of him.
  • 3.10.88: refers to everything having its limit as nuqta-yi…everything relative to its self-generated limitation through the point returns to the essence of the point…all are mirrors of the fard “notch” of kun. And the point is the shams-i sama.
  • 3.11.89: This section has to do with the fact that all the subtleties of the letters are generated through the nuqta, its “inner spirits” reflecting the nuqta-yi haqiqat. In the Qur’an, this is Muhammad, the Messenger of God, and in the Bayan, the dhat-i huruf-i sab‘ (essence of the seven letters). In the dispensation of MYA, it is the divine reality (haqiqat-i ilahiya) and the lordly realm of being (kaynuniyat-i rabbaniya) + kafuriyya (camphorated), jawhariyya (quintessential), sazijiyya (pristinely pure), mujarrad (isolated), as expressive of the shams-i haqiqat relative to its ḍiya (radiant splendor).

Persian Bayān III.12 Four dense pages.

  • III.12.89-92 “The misl-i nuqţa (likeness of the nuqta) is as the likeness of the sun.” And the likeness of the rest of the letters (huruf) is even as the likeness of mirrors nigh unto it. Everything that is in the basmala is in the point (nuqta). And whoso sayeth God (Allah), God my Lord, about whom there is no doubt, actually my lord alone such is indeed the Dhikr Allah, since such hath been stipulated in the point (nuqta).
  • Ibid Per. “The intention of this Bab is that the Dhikr of the Nuqţa-yi kaynūniyya (Point of Beingness”) is the Mashiyyat-i avvaliyya (Primordial Will). If in the station of the Bismillāh al-amna` al-aqdas is expressed the exaltation of God al-amna` al-aqdas … If the bā’ is disengaged (munfasillat) there can still come about the beginning of the its manifestaton through the Letter of the `Ayn (generative Wellspring/Essence). That is to say, this is evident relative to the difference between kull shay’ (the “Pleroma”) and a transcendent Pleroma-kull shay’ (farq bi-kull shay’ wa `alā kull shay’). This is the mystery of the Utterance (kalām) of Amīr al-Mu’minīn [ `Alī, the Commander of the Faithful): “I am the Nuqţa beneath the letter B (takht al-bā’)

THE ARABIC BAYAN

 

 

 

 

 

Bahā’-Allāh as the Nuqṭa or Nuqṭat-i Avvaliyya (Primal Point).

The title Nuqṭah and its extended forms have an important theology in the writings of the Baha'-Allah : A few examples Stephen Lambden, trans. 1980s or later.

From early on Baha’u’llah dwelt on the symbolic senses of the alphabetical Nuqtah or “Point” as a symbol of the genesis of creation and revelation. He also identifies himself with the Bāb by speaking of himself as the Nuqṭah, the “Person” of his predecessor, and his “return” as the new manifestation of the first Point or Point of Reality.

Pre- or early Kurdistan period (1854-6) `Tablet of All Food’ (Lawḥ-i kull al-Ṭa'ām c.1853/4).

Extracts from the `Tablet of All Food’ (Lawḥ-i kull al-Ṭa'ām.

Ah ! Alas! Then Ah ! Alas!

lf the Primal Point [the Bab] were alive in these days and witnessed My grief he would assuredly, at all times, comfort Me [Baha'u'llah] , treat Me tenderly, and fill Me with ardent joy. At every moment would he strengthen Me.

So Ah! Alas!

Would that I had died after him [the Bāb d. 1850 CE], before these days [early 1850s CE], or were one quite forgotten, consigned to oblivion.

Say: O Thou Concourse!

Comfort me! Do not calumniate Me or hasten My affair for I am a servant who hath believed in God and in His signs [or verses], and there doth not remain of My days except a few. God, My Lord, is sufficient protector against you since he sufficeth Me and sufficeth he whom he desired aforetime. Sufficient is the careful account of His own Seif. Lord! Pour out patience upon Me and make Me victorious over the disbelieving peoples who do not cry out except in accordance with their own delusions or move except as their idle fancies prompt them. Say: It is not for you to ask why it is this way for you neither comprehend nor understand. ... Say: 'This is the Point (al-nuqta) from which the Words of God were realized and the sacred, pristine Scriptures (ṣahā'if quds tajrād) and mighty, preserved Tablets (alwāh) made manifest'.
Say: '[He is / I am assuredly] the Word of God (kalimat Allāh) from which the Points were manifested and unto which they are caused to return. Then it is also by virtue of this [the Points/ the Word] that [things] come to pass at an appointed time'.

Commentary on the basmala and Qur'an 68:1: "N" (Nūn). By the Pen!"

Uncertain date 1860s?

In the Name of God, the Radiantly Splendid, the All-Glorious.

Praised be to God Who made the Point (al-nuqṭa) to be outstretched within the Book of Origination (Kitāb al-ibda`a), an Ornament (ṭaraz) through which is the Genesis of Creativity. From it He differentiated the knowledge (`ilm) of what hath been and what will come to pass. He made it to be a manifestation of the mysteries (maẓhar al-asrār) of what distinguished the [Arabic letter] “K” and the [Arabic letter] “N” (="Be!")! He ennobled it [the Point]

The intention of the allusive letter "N" (nūn) [in Qur’ān ] is the name Muhammad which We previously expounded as signifying the "Fish". It, verily, circleth around the Point which is [a dot placed] at its centre. This is the sign that al-nubuwwa ("Prophethood") which circleth around the Point (= the Bāb) which God made to be the origin of the creation of the Bayān and the theophany of the Cause of the All-Merciful" (INBMC 56:2X).

The Lawḥ-i Sayyāḥ "Tablet of the Traveller"

The Lawḥ-i Sayyāḥ "Tablet of the Traveler" or "Courier" is also known (for reasons that are nor clear) as the Sūrat al-widād ("The Sura the Love"). It is to be dated to the early Edirne [Adrianople] period (c.1864/5?),

Say:`This is the Point (al-nuqṭa) from which the Words of God were realized and the sacred, pristine scriptures (ṣaḥā'if quds tajrād) and mighty, preserved Tablets (alwāḥ `izz ḥafīẓ) made manifest'. `[He is assuredly] the Word of God (kalimat Allāh) from which the Points were manifested and unto which they are caused to return. Then it is also by virtue of them [ Word / the Points] that things come to pass at an appointed time'.

Say: `The Proof (al-burhān) was made manifest from this [Word of God = the Point(s)] in all the eras and the Words of God were completed as was His Proof (ḥujjat) unto all the worlds'. Say: `Should He manifest but a single letter it would assuredly be utterly novel relative to all that hath been mentioned in the created domain throughout an eternity of eternities (fī azal al-āzāl) and compared to all that hath streamed forth from the [Divine] Pen (al-qalam) within mighty, perspicuous Tablets' (alwāḥ `izz mubīn).

Extract from the `Sūrat al-Ism’ ( The Surah of the Name) of Baha’u’llah.

"Tablet of the Traveler"

At this moment the Soul [Person] of the Most Transcendent Point (nuqta-' a`la) is situated (waqif) nigh the Right-Hand side of the All-Glorious Divine Throne (bar yamin-i `arsh-i abha) and uttereth the following luminous, resplendent, blessed, goodly, noble words : "O my Servants! (MAM:177)

Extract from the Lawḥ-i Nuqtah (`Tablet of the Point’) of Baha’u’llah.

The Lawh of the Point. c. 1865-6?

Extract from the `Sūrat al-Fatḥ’ (`The Surah of the Opening’ / for Fatḥ) of Baha’u’llah. Adrianople-Edirne, perhaps c.1865-7.

So recollect, O people! the moment when there came unto you the Revealer of the Bayān [the Bāb] with wondrous, holy verses. At one moment he said, `I am the Gate of Knowledge ( bāb al-`ilm ) … He [subsequently] said, `I am the Primordial Point (nuqṭat al‑awwaliyya)'… I [the divine, primordial Bāb], verily, sent the Prophets ( al-nabiyyīn ) and the sent Messengers ( al-mursalīn) from an eternity of eternities past…

The Lawḥ-i Naṣir

The Tablet to Hajji Muhammad Nasir Qazvini (d. Rasht, 1300/1882-3/8).\, the Lawḥ-I Naṣir (Adrianople-Edirne, c. 1866-7).

The Bab nigh the Divine Throne speaks out : At this moment the Locus [Logos-Soul, Person] of the Most Transcendent Point (nuqta-' a`la) [the Bāb] is situated (waqif) nigh the Right-Hand side of the All-Glorious Divine Throne (bar yamin-i `arsh-i abha) and uttereth the following luminous, resplendent, blessed, goodly, noble words :

Lawḥ-i Ḥajj I : Tablet of Bahā’u’llāh for pilgrimage to the Shiraz located house of the Bāb

I bear witness that the Primal Point [the Bab] our Lord the Exalted, the Most High is, truly, His Manifestation in the realm of the empyrean and His Appearance in the kingdom of the decree and His Dawning-place in the domain of destiny. Through him all created things are brought to life and all existence is renewed and the balance of justice hath been set up upon the station of praiseworthy glory. Through him the Bird of the Throne hath crowed and the Dove of Glory hath warbled and the resurrection of the command hath come to pass and all that lay hidden in the treasuries of hidden glory hath been made manifest (trans MacEoin, Rituals XX under revision by SL).

In his K. Badī` (c. 1868). Bahā’Allāh specifically established a typology between himself and Jesus and between the Bāb and John the Baptist:

By God! The theopahny (ẓuhūr) of the Primal Point [of Reality = the Bāb] and this most wondrous, most splendid theophany [= BA*] is the exact correspondence of the theophany of Yaḥyā ibn Zakariyya (= John the Baptist) and the Spirit of God [= Jesus] (K. Badī`, 114).

This typological parallelism is also spelled out in other alwāḥ of BA*. See especially his Sūrat al-asmā’ (IQ:95ff ). Though the Q. refers to Yaḥyā (John the Baptist) as a nabī (prophet), BA* in his K. Badī` apparently elevates the status of Yahya to that of a rasūl and the herald of a rasūl (= Jesus). This in the light of the fact that both he (BA*) and the Bāb were maẓhar-i ilāhī (= rasūl):

Yaḥya was a nabī (prophet) and a rasūl (envoy-messenger) from God and, moreover, a herald of the forthcoming theophany (ẓuhūr) [of Jesus]. Wherefore did he say, "O people! I announce unto you the glad-tidings of the Kingdom of God and it has assuredly drawn nigh… (K.Badī`,114).

The Bāb's cosmogonical and theophanological statements about the nuqta were thus taken over and adapted by BA * in numerous of his alwāḥ. The origins of creation are related to the realization of the nuqṭa as a primordial, blackened teardrop in his Lawḥ-I Hurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`a (c.1857-8? Māida, IV:50). During the Edirne period in particular he, as the following passage from the Lawḥ-i Sayyāḥ (c. 1271/1864? for Muhammad 'AIī Maḥallatī, Sayyāḥ, the Traveller [d. Cyprus, 1871]) must suffice to illustrate, claimed to be the "Point" as, among other things the spiritual "retum" of the Bāb:

"Say: This is the Point (al-nuqṭa) from which the words of God (kalimat Allāh) were realized, and the sacred, pristine scriptures (saḥāif quds tajrīd) and mighty Preserved Tablets were made manifest" (L. Sayyāḥ, INBMC 36:52 / Haifa ms.1 ).

 

SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY

The Arabic (Ar.) and Persian (Per.) Writings of the Bāb - Primary Sources, manuscript (ms., pl. mss. ) and published,

General and Miscellaneous Abbreviations.

  • BPT = Bahā’ī Publishing Trust (various countries and locations).
  • BSB = Bahá'í Studies Bulletin. Ed. S. Lambden, Newcastle upon Tyne: Hūrqalyā Publications, 1982>.
  • BWC = The Bahā’ī World Centre (Haifa, Israel).
  • DB = Tarīkḥ-i Nabīl-i Zarandī in the irst volume of the recreated history of Shoghi Effendi Rabbanī entitled `The Dawn-Breakers …. (1st ed. 1932?).
  • EGB Coll., = E.G. Browne (1862-1926) Collection largely at the University of Cambridge.
  • EI1-EI3. The three successive editions of the Brill : Leiden … Encyclopaedia of Islam 1st ed. ed. M. Th. Houtsma, et al. E.J. Brill & Luzac & co., 1913-1938. Rep. E.J. Brill: New York..1987. + Supp. Vol. rep.
  • Ibid., 1987. (EI1; 19XX-10XX), 2nd ed. (EI2, 1960>) 3rd ed. (2XXX now ongoing). For general details see
  • EIr. Encyclopaedia Iranica 19XX and now ongloing. Ehsan Yarshater, (ed.) Costa Mesa: Mazda Publishers+ New York: Bibliotheca Persica Press, 1982>
  • INBMC [or INBAMC] = `Iran National Bahā’ī [Archives] Manuscript Collection’, 100 (+ index vols.),Tehran mid. 1970s.This indicates volumes of bound photocopies of Arabic and Persian manuscripts mostly of the writings of the Bāb and Bahā;-Allāh as well as some letters (alwāḥ, `Tablets’) of Abd al-Bahā’ and select other Islamic [Shī`ī - Shaykhī] and Bābī-Bahā’ī secondary sources. The following are among the INBMC vols. Which contain writings of the Bāb : INBMC 1, I4, 29, 40, 43, 50, 53, 58, 60, 64, 67, 69, 80, 82, 86, 9I and 98.
  • K. = Kitāb (book, Letter, Communication…)
  • Kh. = Khutba (= Literary Homily, Oration, Sermon).
  • L. = Lawḥ pl. alwāḥ (scriptural `Tablet’).’
  • Majmu`ah-yi millī-yi maṭbu’at-i amrī (Iranian BPT.).
  • Q. = Qur’ān.
  • QA. = The Qayyūm al-asmā’ of the Bāb. See below under T-Sūra Yūsuf.
  • Sh. = Sharḥ (Commentary).
  • Sources = Denis MacEoin, The Sources for Early Bābī Doctrine and History, A Survey (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1992.
  • T. = Tafsīr (Commentary).

Select Writings of Sayyid `Alī Muhammad Shirazī, the Bāb (1819-1850).

 

Bayān (the revelatory Elucidation/ Exposition)

 

  • P-Bayān = Bayān-i farsī, np. nd. [Tehran, Azali ed. 196?]. c.1847-8. [2] IMBMC 24:1ff ms. dated 1954.
  • Ar- Bayan = al-Bayān al-`arabī. Ḥusaynī, al-Bābiyyūn, 82-107; [2] INBMC 43:1-68. C. 1847-8.

Dala’il Sab`a (The Seven Proofs).

  • P-Dalā’il = Dalā'il-i sab`a. IBA (ii) (? = Nicolas ms.106), 104bff. + n.p. n.d. (Azalī edition [Tehran,196?]) 1-72.
  • Ar-Dala’il = Dalā'il-i sab`ah. np.nd. [Azalī ed. Tehran, 196?] [pp.](alif-nūn); (Haifa) IBA (?) = Nicolas ms.106), 102a--104b.

Kitāb = K (pl. kutub) “Book”, “Letter”, etc

  • K-Asmā’ = Kitāb al-asmā' (“The Book of Names”), INBMC 29. [2] Uncat. ms. Marzieh Gail Coll. Bosch Bahā’ī Library (USA).
  • K-Fihrist = Kitāb al-fihrist (The Book of the Index”) INBA. Ms 6007C: 339-348.
  • K- Haykal = Haykal al-dīn. (The Temple of Religion”) np.nd [Tehran, Azalī ed. 196?].
  • K-Panj-S = Kitāb-i panj sha'n. (“The Book of the Five Modes”), np.nd. [Tehran Azali ed. 196?]
  • K- Rūḥ = Kitāb al-rūḥ [incomplete] (“The Book of the Spirit”), Haifa ms. unpublished [Afnan family ms.]
  • K- `Ulamā’ = Kitāb al-`ulamā' (“Letter to the Learned Ones”) INBMC 67:206-16; Afnan 2000:107-111.

Khuṭba = Kh- (pl. khuṭub) “Literary Discourse [”Oration”].

  • Kh-Ḥuruf = Khuṭba on `ilm al-ḥurūf INBA 91; INBA6004C: 209-213.
  • Kh-Jidda = Khuṭba at Jeddah. INBA 91: 61-81.
  • Kh-Qahriyya =. Khuṭba-yi qahriyya. INBMC 64:127-150.

Risāla = R- (pl. Rasā’il) = Treatise.

  • R-Dhahabiyya = Risāla Dhahabiyya [so MacEoin] cf. Afnān, 2000:449). INBMC 86:70-98.
  • R-Jasad = Risāla fī’l- jasad al-nabī (= Sharḥ kayfiyyat al-mi`rāj), INBMC 69:416-418.
  • R-Nubuwwa = Risāla fī'l-nubuwwa al-khāṣṣa. INBMC 14:385.
  • R-Sulūk = Risāla fī'l-sulūk. TBA., Ms. 6006C: 73-74..
  1. = S- (pl. Ṣuḥuf ) Scroll, Page, Document…
  • S-Haramayn = Ṣaḥīfa bayn al-ḥaramayn. CUL, Browne Or. Ms. F 7(9):1-125; TBA. ms. 6007C, 348-413.
  • S-Ja`fariyya = Sāḥīfa-yi Ja`fariyya. INBMC 98:48-108; INBMC 60:57-154.
  • Shu'ūn-K = Shu`ūn-i khamsa al-fārsī ( Extracts from Persian sectons of the K. Panj sh`an) INBMC 82:78f

Tafsir (pl. Tafāsir) = T- Commentaries on Qur’an texts and Twelver Imamī sacred Traditions (ḥadīth / akhbar).

  • T-Akhi = Tafsīr ḥadīth `allamanī akhī rasūl-Allāh (“Commentary upon the Ḥadīth, `My brother, the Messenger of God’”), INBMC 14:410-417.
  • T-`Amā’ = Tafsīr, ḥadīth al-`amā’ (“Commentary upon the tradition of the `Theophanic Cloud’”). TBA. Ms 6007C:1-16.
  • T-`Aṣr = Tafsīr sūra wa'l-`aṣr (Q. 110), (“Commentary upon the Sūrah of the Afternoon [Era]”) INBMC 69:21-119.
  • Tafsir ayat-i mubaraka-yi nur, "Commentary on the blessed Light verse" [or a verse within it] Item 27 in EGB ms F. 21 (9) pp. 155-171.
  • T-Baqara = Tafsīr sūrat al-baqara (Q. 2) (“Commentary upon the Sūrah of Cow”), INBMC 69: (1ff) 157-294+377-410.
  • T-Basmala = Tafsīr (Ḥurūf ) al-basmala (Commentary upon the [Letters of the] Basmala), TBA ms. 6014C: f. 301-370..
  • T-Ha’ (1) = Tafsīr al-Hā’ (1) (Commentary upon the Letter “H” I), INBMC 14:221-283; INBMC 67:4-52.
  • T-Ha’ (2) = Tafsīr al-Hā’ (2) (Commentary upon the Letter “H” II) INBMC 14:284-320; INBMC 67:53-85
  • T-Hamd = Tafsīr Sūrat al-ḥamd (Q.1) (“Commentary upon the Sūra of Praise”), INBMC 69:120-153.
  • T-Kawthar = Tafsīr Sūrat al-kawthar(“Commentary upon the Sura of the Abundance”), EGB Coll. Ms. Or. F10 [7].
  • T-Laylat = Tafsīr Laylat al-qadr, (Q.97) (“Commentary upon the Sura of the Night of Destiny”), INBMC 69:14--21.
  • T-Kumayl = Tafsīr Ḥadīth Kumayl ibn Ziyād al-Nakhā’ī (Commentary upon the Ḥadīth of Kumayl), INBMC 53:63-8.
  • T-Man `Arafa = Tafsīr ḥadīth man `arafa nafsahu… (“Commentary upon Ḥadīth of `Whoso knoweth himself Knoweth his Lord”) INBMC 14:468-477; [2] INBMC 40:46-53.
  • T-Sura Yūsuf [Q.12] = Qayyum al-asmā’. INBMC 3, an early Mullā Ḥusayn related ms. [2]
  • T-Wajh = Tafsīr Naḥnu wajh Allāh. TBA 6006C: f.69-70; INBMC 53:568.

Other writings

  • Wasiyya = Waṣiyyat-nāmah. INBA 64:95-102; BWC: Haifa Ms. (unpaginated); ADD..

Mīrzā Ḥusayn `Alī Nūrī (1817-1892), entitled Bahā’- Allāh.

 

`Abdu’l-Bahā’ `Abbās (1844-1921).

Shoghi Effendi Rabbani (c.1896-1957), writings and compilations of writings.

  • Dawn = Dawn of a New Day: Messages to India, 1923-1957. New Delhi: BPT. Nd.
  • Directives = Directives from the Guardian. Comp. G. Garrida. New Delhi:BPT.,1973.
  • Dispensation = The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh. London: BPT, 1947.
  • GPB = God Passes By. Wilmette: BPT, 1987.
  • GPB-Per. = God Passes By, Persian tr. N. Mavaddat, = Kitāb-i qarn-i badī`. Dundas, Ontario: rev. ed. 1992.
  • MBW = Messages to the Bahā’ī World, 1950-1957. Wilmette, Illinois: BPT.,1971.

 

19-07-2019

Nuqtah (the Point/Dot) in the Theology, Claims and Titles of Sayyid `Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Bab (d. 1850 CE).

“I am the Primal Point  (al-nuqtah) from which have been generated all created things… I am the Countenance of God (wajh Allah) Whose splendor can never be obscured, the light of God (nur) whose radiance can never fade...

The Bab, `Epistle to Muhammad Shah' from Chihriq, Arabic text in SWB : 14, lines 4-5;  trans. in SWB:12;  see also `Epistle to Muhammad Shah' from Maku, cited Shoghi Effendi in The Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, XX).

The  word Nuqṭah as the Generative Locus or Point of Reality is used as a title expressive of an elevated prophetological claim in the writings of the Bab. It is often linked with the adjectival (Arabic) awwal meaning First or Primordial as Shoghi Effendi often preferred in his translation style.

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03-10-2018