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Part X. (23) Ezra - `Uzair ; (24) Luqmān and (25) Dhū’l-Qarnayn,,,

 

 

 

Part X. 

(23)  Ezra (Heb.)   XXX  `Ezrā’, - `Uzair ;  (24) Luqmān and  (25) Dhū’l-Qarnayn (Possessed of Two Horns) - Alexander the Great - with associated sacred Books.

Stephen Lambden, UC Merced.

In progress 08-03-2022, Revised from a recension of the 1980s PhD- 2002,

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23. `Uzair,          N (=? Heb. <     , `ezrā’), Ezra, a Qur'anic Nabi , Prophet.

He is he biblical sage and scribal priest of the Archaemenian monarch Artaxerxes I (fl. late 5th cent. BCE? early 2nd Temple Period). He led some exiled Jews from Babylon back to Jerusalem and is believed to have been the post-exilic restorer of the Mosaic Law (Ezra; 4 Ezra). Ezra is only mentioned in Q. 9:30 (cf.
Q. 2:259) which probably records the opinion of Medinan Jews that he was the ibn Allāh (Son of God; so Ayoub, 1986). The issue of Ezra’s "sonship" is several times mentioned and contested by the Bāb. BA* and AB* rarely refer to Ezra save in connection with his role as restorer of the text of the Torah.

Ezra as the ibn Allāh (Son of God) in Islamic Sources

 

 

Ezra as the ibn Allāh (Son of God) in Babi-Baha'i Sources

 

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24. Luqmān two or threetimes  in the Q.  a Nabi,  an unknown figure (Q. 31 [title]; 31:12-13 [x2])

Traditionally in Islamic sources  Luqmān is a son of Ād, a wise and pious sage and one al-mu`ammar, ("one long-lived"), a venerable Aesop-like sage or teller of fables.

Luqmān in the Qur'an and Islamic Sources.

 

 

 

Luqmān in Babi-Baha'i Sources

Associated with the Islamic wisdom tradition, he occasionally figures in this role [57] in Bābī- Bahā’ī primary sources. In the Valley of ḥayra ("Wonderment ") of his mystical Haft Vadī (Seven Valleys, 1858 CE), BA* cites a saying of Luqman whom he says had "drunk from the wellspring of ḥikmat and tasted of the waters of mercy" (SV: 34-35). As far as I am aware this is the only substantial reference to Luqman in Bābī- Bahā’ī primary sources.

 

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25. Dhū’l-Qarnayn X  ,  Y + ([trad.] N?), `Possessed of two horns’

He is three times mentioned in the sūrah of the Cave (18:82-98 only).

 

 

 

 

Though this is not at all certain, various Syriac and many post-qur’ānic Islamic sources apply this epithet to Alexander the Great (III of Macedon, 356 -323 BCE). Islamic sources make many identifications of Dhu’l-Qarnayn including for example, al-Khiḍr (the `Verdent’) and (in certain Shī`ī sources) `Alī b. Abī Ṭālib (d.40 /661) (Majlisī,Biḥar 2 12:172ff; Mittwoch, SEI:76). AB* repeats this latter identification with `Alī but finds ramzī, a cipher or esoteric sense in every aspect of his scriptural story which he classifies as existing in verses mutashābihāt ("needing interpretation"; Tablet to Jināb-iNushābādī in Ma’idih 2:42-3).

According to Q.18:94 Dhu’l-Qarnayn built a barrier to protect the people from the (ultimately eschatological) ravages of Ya’jūj and Ma’jūj (`Gog and Magog’, cf. Q. 21:96, Ezek.38-39; Rev.20:8). Both the Bāb and BA* interpreted the qur’ānic story Dhū’l-Qarnayn and mystically applied this epiphet to themselves. In QA 76 the Bāb exegetically rewrites, in waḥy, (revelation mode) parts of the story of Dhu'l-Qarnayn (Q. 18:83ff). As the
eschatological Imam `Alī, the Bāb in various ways identified himself with Dhū’l-Qarnayn. It was in this imamological persona that he made various abstruse dualistic pronouncements regarding his theological station. In dialogue with God he at one point in QA 76 writes,

O Solace of the Eye[s]! The people shall ask thee about Dhī'l [Dhu'l]-Qarnayn.
Say [then in reply]: `Yea! By my Lord!
I am indeed the King of the two Originations (malik al-bad'ayn) in the two horns [eras, dominions?] (al-qarnayn).
I am the elevated possessor of a Horn [Dhu'l Qarn] in the two bodies (alismayn).
I am the Sinaitic Fire in the two cosmic Waters (al-mā'ayn).
I am the cosmic Water (al-ma') in the two [Sinaitic] Fires (al-nārayn).
So hearken unto my call from these two [Sinaitic] Mounts (al-ṭūrayn). ..

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.....

In his early Edirne-Adrianople period Lawḥ-i Sayyāḥ ("Tablet to the Traveller" c.1864 CE?), Baha'u'llah similarly seems to rewrite with reference to his theophany aspects of the story of Dhū’l-Qarnayn At one time Baha'u'llah also identified "Gog and Magog" with his dual latter-day Bābī antagonists Mīrzā Yaḥyā Nūrī (his half-brother) and Sayyid Muhammad Isfāhānī, subsequently considered antichrists of the Bābī-Baha'i era (Ma’idih 4:99, cf.146).