The Tafsīr Sūrat wa'l-`Aṣr of the Bab.
The Qur'anic Surah of `By the Afternoon [Declining Day]', Q. 103.
" [I swear] by the `Aṣr !
Indeed mankind is in a state of loss
 Except those who believe and do good works,  and exhort one another to truth (bi'l-haqq) and exhort one another to endurance (al-sabr)" (Q. 103).
The Tafsir Surat wa'l-`Asr (Surah of the Afternoon) of the Bāb.
Mss. Printed texts and Translation.
Stephen Lambden UCMerced.
198X - in progress 2015.
Written early on durng his stay in Isfahan for the Imam Jum`ah, Mir Sayyid Muhammad Sultan al-`Ulama', Khatunabadi, several important mss. of this important Qur'an Commentary of the Bab are known. MacEoin in his Sources (p.202) lists ten:
Tafsir surat wa'l-`asr
- 1. Cambridge, Browne F.9 60
- 3. Paris, BN 6531(dated 1911, in the hand of Ridvan `Ali) 61
- 4. Haifa, IBA (i) (possibly in the hand of Zayn al-Muqarribln)
- 5. Haifa, IBA (ii) (in the hand of Zayn al-Muqarribln) 62
- 6. Haifa, IBA (iii) 63
- 7. Tehran, INBA 6010C, pp. 95-198 = INBMC 14:105-208.
- 8. Tehran, INBA 7009C, pp. 5-130
- 9. Iran, INBMC 40, pp. 6-80
- 10. Iran, INBMC 69, pp. 21-119
MacEoin Notes 60-63.
60. In the Cambridge and British Library texts, the tafsir is followed by a doxology on Faiima, entitled the Tasbih Fatima. It is unclear whether or not this short work is connected to the tafsir. Such a tasbih is not mentioned elsewhere, but a short piece entitled Tasbih-i `Ali is found in INBA 5014C, pp. 2S3-S7.
61. Together with the KalimlJt-i mutafarriqa of Subb-i Azal. 62. With other works 63. With other works.
The Tafsir Surat wa'l-`Asr (Surah of the Afternoon) of the Bab commences:
Arabic text from INBMC 40:6ff.
Translation with select notes and transliteration.
Stephen Lambden 1980s-2017.
In progress - 20-01-2017.
In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.
Praised be to God Who divuged Himself before all realms of Existence through the tokens of His wondrous directives (athar abda`ihi) in the Kingdom of the Command and of Creation (malakut al-amr wa'l-khalq). This to the end that He might illuminate the Essences of the Realities of all spheres of Existence (jawhariyyat haqa'iq al-mawjudat) through the illuminative potencies of the verses of the Divine Realm (ayat al-lahut), by virtue, that is, of the glorious transfiguration of the realms of being (kaynuniyyat) expressive of levels of abstraction (mujarradat) through the verses of the Realm of the Kingdom (ayat al-malakut). At this all may thus testify unto the totality of the realms of the command (muqamat al-amr) and unto the finality of the seal (ghayat al-khatm) (cf. Q. 33:40). God Himself doth indeed bear witness unto His Logos-Self, through His [Own] Logos-Self (li-nafs-ihi, bi-nafsihi), for an eternity of eternities, for there is no God except Him. For evermore was all else save Him bereft of existence
"Then regarding the 20th letter which is [the letter] ...
"Then regarding the 21st letter which is [the letter] ...
"Then regarding the 22nd letter which is [the letter] ...
"Then regarding the 23nd letter which is the letter "L" (al-lām).:
In his Tafsīr Sura wa’l-`aṣr (" Commentary on the Surah of `By the Afternoon [Declining Day]', Q. 103) the Bab makes an interesting and instructive interpretation of the Lawḥ al-Ḥafīz or Lawḥ al-Mahfuz when commenting on letter twenty-three, namely the letter "L" (al-lām). :
"Then regarding the 23rd letter which is [the letter] "L" (al-lām).
-  It signifieth on this level al-lawḥ al-a`ẓam (the Most Great Tablet) in which exist all modalities (al-shu’ūn).
-  Then [additionally it] signifieth the lawḥ al-amr (Tablet of the Command) for God did not send down [reveal] a single thing except He had it penned therein.
-  Then [additionally it] signifies the Lawḥ al-Ḥafīz ("Preserved Tablet") which indicates the actions [deeds] of the totality of all the creatures such as have been encompassed in the knowledge of God.
-  Then [additionally it] signifieth the Lawḥ which God hath assuredly created through the knowledge of `Azrā’īl [Azrael, `The Angel of Death', cf. Q. 32:11] through the constriction of all who are possessed of a spirit [soul] (bi-qaby rūḥ kull dhiya rūḥ). For he gazeth upon it [Lawḥ] at every moment. And he followeth the amr (Cause-command) of His Lord in accordance with what hath been stipulated, with the permissionof God -- exalted and glorified be He -- in the dictates (aḥkam) of that Lawḥ".
In the commentary iof the Bab, the lawh mahfuz (Preserved Tablet) is presented as the "Greatest Tablet" (al-lawḥ al-akbar). This work of the Bab reflects Islamic esoteric traditions, as well, most notably, as the sometimes arcane Khuṭba al-ṭutunjiyya (The Sermon of the Gulf) ascribed to Imam `Ali (d.40/661), an oration which both Sayyid Kazim Rashti as well as the Bab and Bahā’-Allāh, regarded very highly.
"Then regarding the 24th letter which is [the letter] ...
"Then regarding the 25th letter which is [the letter] ...
"Then regarding the 26th letter which is [the letter] ...
"Then regarding the 27th letter which is [the letter] ...
"Then regarding the 28th letter which is [the letter] ...
"Then regarding the 29th letter which is [the letter] ...
"Then regarding the 39th letter which is [the letter] ...