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TB Surat al-Jawad

Sūrat al-Jawad (The Surah of the Preserver) of Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri, Baha'-Allah.

Introduction, Translation and Commentary.

Stephen Lambden. UCMerced. August-September 2015.

Last updated 26-08-2015.

Introductory Notes

The titled Sūrat al-Jawad (The Surah of the Preserver) is a two-three page Arabic scriptural Tablet of the Adrianople-Edirne period. It opens according to the above unpublished ms. with the following statement setting forth its title :

This is the Surat al-Jawad. It was assuredly sent down [revealed] from the Empyrean of  the Calamitous Stress (jabarut al-shiddad).

The phrase here (read as)  jabarut al-saddad meaning something like "the Jabarut (Empyrean) which is Apposite" seems not to make good sense. A better reading might be jabarut al-shiddad meaning (loosely) "the Empyrean of  the Calamatous Stress (jabarut al-shiddad)". This latter reading would make better sense especially as it might pertain to the period surrounding the break with Mirza Yahya Nuri (c.1846-1912) which has been characterized as the "days of stress".The words jabarut and shiddad both have connotations of a time or phenomenon which is severe, powerful, intense, stressful or calamitous.The break with Mirza Yahya Nuri  and his Azali followers during the mid Adrianople-Edirne period (c. 1866) was one of the most profoundly calamitous periods for Baha'-Allah and the emergent Baha'i phenomenon. It marked the split with middle Babism centered upon the leadership role of Mirza Yahya, the initial nominee of the Bab who was the half-brother of Baha'-Allah.

We consequently have the following "He is" prefix :

"He is the Beloved One (al-habib), the One Treasured Up [Hidden] (al-makhzun)".

This prefix might indicate that Baha'-Allah saw himself as the true Beloved One though one enwapped or hidden  in the veil of the messianic secret. Next Baha'-Allah exhorts the recipient to "Mention of Name of thy Lord, His servant Jawad, who hath come to faith and been guided aright". The Jawad referred to here could indicate a large number of followers of the Bab. Among them the Babi-Baha'i Hajji Mirza Muhammad Jawad Qazvini (18XX=19XX) who, after the passing of Baha'-Allah in 1892, sided with his younger son Mirza Muhamnmad `Ali, the half-brother of `Abd al-Baha'.




Stephen Lambden 2015.

This is the Surat al-Jawad.

It was assuredly sent down [revealed] from the Empyrean of the Calamitous Stress (jabarut al-shiddad).

 "He is the Beloved One (al-habib), the One Treasured Up [Hidden] (al-makhzun)".


[1] Make mention of the Name of thy Lord, His servant Jawad, who came to faith and was one guided aright. And he was one established in His [Babi-Baha'i] Cause (al-amr) on the [eschatological] Day in which even the footsteps of the mystic knowers (al-`arifin) were made to slip, [2] for they disbelieved in God, their Lord, the Lord of the era to come and of times primordial (rabb al-akhira wa'l-ula). [3] So hearken ye unto that which he hath revealed for thee regarding the partition [division] of the horizons [of reality] (shatr al-afaq). [4] This perchance thou might be attracted by the Breezes of Divine Inspiration (nafahat al-wahy) regarding the possibility of a cleaving asunder (mumkin al-ishtiyaq) [5] and thou might draw nigh unto the [reality of the] covenantal authorization (withaq) regarding the establishment [enthronement] (muqarrar) of thy Lord, the Glorious, the All-Glorious (al-bahiyy al-abha).


[1] We have indeed bestowed Our favour upon thee [Jawad] time after time then again during these latter days [of the eschatological era] (marrat al-ukhra)