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خطبة الطتنجية/التطنجية 

The Sermon of the Gulf ascribed to `Ali ibn Abi Talib (d. 40/661).

PART 2  


Stephen Lambden 2007 + Under revision 2015.

  PDf.  خطبة الطتنجية /التطنجية  Khuṭbat al-Ṭutunjiyya :

  • Add Select mss. and printed texts...
  • Rajab al-Bursi (d. c. 814 /1411), Mashāriq anwār al-yāqīn... (Beirut: Dar al-Andalus), 1978, 166-172) : TTNJ.pdf
  • Hajj Shaykh `Ali al-Yazdi al-Hā'irī (d. 1333/ 1915), Ilzām al-nāṣib fi ithbāt al-ḥujjat al-al-ghā'ib ( vol. II:    :
  • Sayyid Kāẓim Rashtī (d.1259/1843), Sharḥ khuṭbat al-ṭutunjiyya.. (Incomplete) :

The  خطبة الطتنجية /التطنجية  Khuṭbat al-Ṭutunjiyya or Khuṭbat al-Taṭanjiyya (= Kh-T : spelling and pointing uncertain), only loosely and inadequately translated as "The Sermon of the Gulf",  is an Arabic sermon, discourse or oration ascribed to the first Shi`i Imam `Ali ibn Abi Ṭālib (d. 40/661). It is not found in the well-known compilation of around 400 sermons (and other materials) ascribed to Imam `Ali entitled  Nahj al-Balāgha (The Path of Eloquence) compiled in about 400/1009-10  by Sharīf al-Radī ibn al-Ḥusayn al-Mūsawī (d.406/1015) or in other well-known collections of materials attributed to Imam `Alī. The Kh-T has been infrequently published in the original although it can be found, however, along with the allegedly Kufa delivered Khuṭbat al-Bayān ( Sermon of the Exposition) also ascribed to Imam `Alī in volume two of the Ilzām al-nāṣib fi ithbāt al-ḥujjat al-al-ghā'ib  (5th ed. Beirut: Mu'assat al-A`lā, 1404/1984) of  Hajj Shaykh `Ali al-Yazdi al-Hā'irī (d. 1333/ 1915).  

Very little studied and seldom commented upon in any language, the Kh-T is a challenging, magisterial oration containing important religious doctrines relating to Shi`i walāya (on one level Imam centered "divine providence")  and high imamology as well, for example,  as important Islamo-biblical or Isrā'īliyyāt themes or motifs. Detailed academic analysis of the vocabulary, dating,  style, Islamo-biblical / Isrā'iliyyāt dimensions  and theology-cosmology-imamology of the Kh-T has yet to be befittingly accomplished though Corbin (Annuaire,1969-70) and Lawson (Ph.d., 1987, Pt. ii Chap. 3) (see bibliography below)  have made important contributions. The varied history of the Imami Shī`ī status of the "Sermon of the Gulf"  in the light of  streams of orthodox Shī`ī  thought asserting its heterodoxy or ghuluww  ("extremist") nature is also lacking. There is no critical edition of the KH-T and no full exposition of its key position in al-Shaykhiyya (Shaykhism) and the sacred writings of the Bābī and Bahā'ī religions. It is hoped that the following notes will make a tentative contribution to this somewhat neglected subject.

A few years ago I posted a revised translation of a partial rendering the  khuṭbat al-ṭutunjiyya  of Imam `Alī  by Khazah Fananapazir and myself on the Bahā'ī list serve Talisman.  More recently as will be seen below, I have retranslated this still speculative rendering (Oct., 2005) though it will be frequently corrected and updated on this Website (below). The Arabic text of the Kh-T will also gradually being added  alongside the translation as it is printed in the  recent edition of the Mashāriq anwār al-yāqīn  (Beirut: Dar al-Andalus, nd [199?]) of   Rajab al-Bursi (d. c. 814 /1411). In due course this will be semi-critically assessed in the light of  the text utilized by the second major Shaykhi leader Sayyid Kāẓim Rashtī (d.1259/1843) as printed in his lengthy though incomplete Sharḥ khuṭbat al-ṭutunjiyya  (= Sh-Kh-T) (Commentary on the Sermon of the Gulf"). This later text in its seminal 1270/1853-4 lithograph edition (cf. its Kuwait printed 3 volume reprint) is obviously related to mss. text(s) of the  Mashāriq of al-Bursi which is referred to on its very first page. Select critical notes and exegetical comments will in due course (2005-6) also be added  as an appendix to the translation of the Kh-T detailed below. Therein the textual readings will be commented upon and the position of the second Shaykhi leader  regarding the Sh-Kh-T will be succinctly and selectively noted. .


In academic sessions on this  Kh-T in the late 1960s the French Iranist Henry Corbin (1903-1978) noted that the earliest known occurrence of the Khuṭbat al-taṭanjiyya (he preferred this spelling and pointing) in Shi`i literatures was in one of the works of the 12th century Shi`i thinker Muhammad Ibn Shahrāshūb al-Māzandarānī (d. c. 588/1192), best known as the author of the Ma`ālim al-`ulamā' ("Characteristics of the Divines") and Manāqib āl Abī Ṭālib  ("Byways of the Abī  Ṭālib Family"). As noted the Kh-T is also found in a compilation of sometimes arcane and esoteric writings ascribed to Imam `Ali by Rajab al-Bursi a few details about which have been set down on the introductory webpage.




Translation, Stephen N. Lambden

Revised 2007-8 + 2015 (in progress).

The text translated and reproduced below is basically that printed in Rajab al-Bursi's Mashariq anwar al-yaqin... (Beirut: Dar al-Andalus, 166-172). Select critical notes will be found in the endnotes below.



الحمد لله الذى فتق الاجواء وخرق الهواء وعلق الارجاء واضاء الضياء واحيى الموتى وامات الاحياء

[1] Praise be to God Who hath cleft the firmaments asunder (cf. Q 21:30), split up the atmosphere, suspended the margins of the heavens (Q. 69:17), caused the solar luminary [sun] (ḍiyā')  to shine  forth, quickened the dead and made the living to die.


احمده حمداًَ سطع فارفع وشعشع فلمعحمداًَ  يتصاعد في السماء ارساله ويذهب في الجو اعتداله

[2] I render Him such praise as rises resplendent, a praise at once radiant  then brilliant, a praise which, on being communicated, ascends  unto heaven  and which, in its directness, traverses the celestial sphere


يخلق السماوات بلا  دعائم واقامها بغير قوائم

He created the heavens without pillars and set them upright without supports (cf. Q. 13:2; 31:10).


 وزينها بالكواكب المضيئات وحبس في الجو سحائب مكفهرات 

[4] Then He adorned them with radiant stars [constellations] (al-kawākib al-muḍi`āt) and caused many a dusky cloud (sahā'ib mukfahirrat) to be restrained in the celestial sphere


يخلق البحار والجبال على تلاطم تيار رفيق رئيق فتق رتجاها * فتغطمطت امواجها  


[5] He created the oceans and the mountains  upon dashing, surging, concomitant, flowing waves. He tore their floodgates asunder such that  their waves formed a vast billowing sea.



 احمده وله الحمد،

 I give praise unto Him to Whom all praise is due.


 واشد ان لا إله إلا هوواشهد أن محمدأ عبده ورسوله

I testify that there is no God except Him and I bear witness that Muhammad  is His servant and His Messenger


، انتجبه من البحبوحة العليا، وأرسله في العرب

and that God chose him from the supreme pivotal region (buhbūḥat al-ulyā')  and sent Him unto the Arab peoples.


  وابعثه هاديآ مهديآ  حلا حلا طلسميا

 He dispatched him [Muhammad]  as a rightly guided (hādī) Guide for others (mahdi),  one most agreeable of talismanic disposition (tilasmī  an).


فأقام الدلائل، وختم الرسائل بصر به السلمين

So he [Muhammad] lifted up the Proofs and sealed the sent Messengers (al-rasā'il) (cf. Q. 33:40) such that Muslims obtained insight through him.


، واظهر به الدين، صلى الله عليه وآله الطاهرين

Through Him [Muhammad] (may the salutation of God be upon Him and His pure family) did God cause His religion to be made manifest.



ايها الناس انيبوا الى شيعتى  والتزموا بيعتي

O People! turn ye repentantly unto my party  (shi`ah, Shī`ī Islam) and adhere to a pledge of fealty unto me!


وواظبوا على الدين بحسن اليقين،

And be persistent in religion  (al-dīn)  with the excellence of certainty (bi-ḥusn al-yaqīn).


وتمسكوا بوصي نبيكم الذي به نجاتكم،

Adhere steadfastly to the successor  [legatee] (waṣī) of your Prophet  (nabī,)  [Muhammad] through whom is your salvation  (najāt).


 وبحبه يوم الحثسر منجاتكم

By virtue of his love, on the [eschatological] Day of Assembling  (yawn al-hashr),  is your safe haven.



فأنا الامل والمأمول

I am the hope and I am the One hoped for (cf. Q. 15:3; 18:46).


انا الواقف على الطتنجين

 I am the one who is stationed over the two Gulfs (wāqif `alā al-ṭutunjayn)


انا الناظرالي المغربين والمشرقين

I am the one who beholds the "two Easts" and the "two Wests" (al-maghribayn wa'l-mashriqayn) (cf. Q. 55:17).


رأيت (رحمة) الله والفردوس * رأي العين

With the vision of mine own eyes did I see [the Mercy of ] God  ([raḥmat] Allāh ) and Paradise (al-firdaws).(cf. Q.18:107; 23:11)


وهو في البحرالسابع يجري في الفلك في زخاخيره النجوم والحبك

Such is within the seventh Ocean which flows in the celestial sphere; within its brimming oceanic expanse are the stars and their orbits (al-hubuk, cf. Q. 51:7).


و رأيت العرض ملتفة كالتفاف الثوب القصور

I saw the earth wrapped up as if by an enveloping garment, though an inadequate robe.


و هي في خزف من التطنج الايمن مما يلي المشرق والتطنجان

It was within something earthen ware [clay] (khazaf) from the right-hand Gulf (min al-tuṭunj al-ayman) which faces the East (al-mashriq) and towards the twin Gulfs (al-tuṭunjayn). 


   الخليجان من الماء كأنهما أيسارتطنجين

which are the twin Bays of  Water [the Watery Expanse]  (khalijān min al-mā')  that seem to incline to the left of the twin Gulfs (al-tuṭunjayn).



وأما المتولي دائرتها وما أفردوس 

Now as for the Supreme Guide  [walī] (mutawallī )  over their Cosmic Circle (dā'ira) and what constitutes Paradise.


وما هم فيه إلا كالخاتم في الاصبع  

[Bear in mind that to Imam `Ali] There is naught therein save what is as the likeness of a signet ring upon a finger (khātam fi iṣba`) [of God]!


 ، ولقد رأيت الشمس عند غروبها وهي كالطاير المنصرف إلي وكره،

For I [Imam `Ali] did indeed see the Sun  nigh its setting place and it was even as a bird seeking its nest!


        لولا اصطكاك رأس افردوس واختلاط التطنجين وصريرالفلك يسمع من السماوات والأرض رميم حميم دخولها في الماء الأسود وهي العين الحمئة

[Indeed!] If it were not for the reverberation of  the summit of Paradise, the confluence of the  twin Gulfs (ikhtilaṭ al- tuṭunjayn), and the shrill sound [music] of the celestial sphere (sarīr al-falak), all that are in the heavens and the earth would hearken unto the dissipation of [solar] heat (ramīm al-ḥamīm) attendant upon the descent of the Sun into the black  watery Abyss [Expanse] (al-mā' al-aswad) which is  [nothing but] the muddy wellspring (al-`ayn al-ḥami`a)  (cf. Q.18:86 [84]).



 ولقد علمت من عجائب خلق الله ما لا يعلمه إلا الله

I (Imam`Alī)  know of the wonders of the creation of God what none knows except God.


وعرفت ما كان وما يكون وما كان في الذر الأول مع من تقدم من آدم الأول

And I am aware of what hath been and what will be, as well as what transpired at the time of the primordial particles (lit. `atoms' al-dharr al-awwal)  with such as preceded the first Adam (ādam al-awwal; cf.Q.7:172).


،ولقد كشف لي فعرفت ،وعلمني ربي فتعلمت ، ألا فعوا ولا تضجوا

It was assuredly disclosed for Me such that I became truly aware for my Lord taught Me and I thus inform thee lest incapacity set in.


ولا ترتجّوا

So do not raise a clamor or be tongue-tied.


 فلولا خوفي عليكم أن تقولوا جن أو إرتد لأخبرتكم بما كانوا وما انتم فيه وما تلقونه إلى يوم القيامة

Were it not for my fear that you would start making reference to  insanity (the jinn)  or `apostasy', I would assuredly announce unto you the condition persons were in, and your part therein as well as what you shall encounter up till the Day of Resurrection (yawn al-qiyāma).


 علم أوعز إليّ فعلمت

Such knowledge was entrusted unto Me  wherefore have I taught.


،ولقد ستر علمه عن جميع النبيين إلا صاحب شريعتكم هذا صلوات الله عليه وآله

And this knowledge was concealed from all the prophets (al-nabbiyin) except that is, the bearer of this [Islamic] Law  (shari`a) of thine (= Muhammad),  peace be upon Him and His family.


فعلمّني علمه وعلمتّه علمي

He taught me His knowledge and I taught Him my knowledge.


ألا وأنّا نحن النّذر الأولى، ونحن نذر الآخرة والأولى،ونذر كل زمان وآوان

We, verily, are the initial Warning (al-nadhr al-awwali);  the Warning about the hereafter  and the primordial era, (al-nadhr al-akhira wa'l-awwali)  as well as the Warning for every time and season (al-nadhr kull zamān wa awan).


  وبنا هلك من هلك،وبنا نجى من نجى

Through Us will perish such as are to perish and through Us  is saved such as are to obtain salvation.


فلا تستطيعوا ذلك فينا،

And you [people] shall not be able to carry out that  ability which is [especially focused] in Us.


 فوالذي فلق الحبة ، وبرأ النسمة، وتفرد بالجبروت والعظمة , لقد سخرت لي الرياح والهواء والطير , وأعرضت علي، الدنيا  فأعرضت عنها ، أنا كاب الدنيا لوجهها فحنى , متى يلحق بي اللواحق ، لقد علمت ما فوق الفردوس الاعلى ، وما تحت السابعة السفلى , وما في السماوات العلى , وما بينهما وما تحت الثرى ، كل ذلك علم إحاطة لا علم أخبار

[1]  By He Who causes the seed to germinate (falaq al-habbat) [See Q. 6:95)! Who initiates the breeze, Who stands matchless before the realm of Divine Grandeur and Might (al-jabarut wa'l-`aimat). [2] The winds, the atmosphere, and the birds are assuredly subjected to Us. [3] The world mundane was presented to me but I turned away from it. [4] I overturned the world (al-dunyā')  and,  prostrate before Me, it was inclined in my direction. [5] When is it then,  that the dependencies (al-lawahiq) will overcome Me (?) [6]  I know what is beyond the supreme Paradise (al-firdaws al-a`la') and that which is beneath the lowest abyss (`lowest seventh', al-sab`at al-sufli) as well as what is in the elevated heavens what is between them and what is beneath the earth [7] All this knowledge is of the all-embracing kind, not merely traditional knowledge


أقسم برب العرش العظيم ،

لو شئت أخبرتتم بابائكم وأسلافكم أين كانوا وممن كانوا وأين هم الآن وما صاروا إليه , فكم من أكل منكم لحم أخيه , وشارب برأس أبيه , وهو يشتاقه ويرتجيه , هيهات هيهات  , إذا كشف المستور , وحصل ما في الصدور , وعلم أين الضمير ,   وأيم الله لقد كوزتم  كوزات , وكررتم كرات , وكم بين كرة وكرة من آية وآيات , ما بين مقتول و ميت , فبعض في حواصل الطيور , وبعض في بطون الوحش , والناس ما بين ماض وزاج  و رايح و غاد ،


I swear by the Lord of the Mighty Throne!

If I so wished I could inform you of your forefathers (aba') and predecessors (`ancestors', aslaf):  [2] including, where they were, from whom they were; where they are now and how they came to be where they are! [3] How many of you are imbibing [eating] the substance [flesh] of his brother and drinking at  the [fountain-] head of his father (sharib bi-ra's abihi; see Q.18:26) and yet longs for him [the father] and wishes to be with him!

        [4] O how preposterous! And O how preposterous! Again, O how preposterous! [5] When what is hidden be disclosed, what is concealed in the breasts come to pass and it become known whither conscience roams. [6] I swear by God! you will assuredly have been assembled in groups and been many times returned. [6] And how many are those who, between successive returns (karra wa karra) constitute the multiplicity of signs (aya wa ayat)  differentiating between such as have been slain [martyred] and those who have passed away (maqtul wa mayyit).  [7] For some there are in the craw of birds (hawasil al-tuyur) and those that are in the insides of beasts (batun al-wahsh) as well as humanity between those that have passed away  and those implicit in marital intercourse or between coming and going.


 ولو كشف لكم ما كان مني في القديم الأول , وما يكون  مني في الآخرة ا لرأيتم عجائب مستعظمات،  وأموراً مستعجبات ، وصنايع وإحاطات ،  أنا صاحب الخلق الأول قبل نوح الأول ، ولو علم ما كان بين آدم ونوح من عجائب اصطنعتها  ، وأمم أهلكتها ، فحق عليهم القول  ، فبئس ما كانوا يفعلون


Were I to disclose for thee what I have accomplished from the first Aeon (al-qadim al-awwal) and what is to be realized by myself in the hereafter (al-akhira), you wouldst assuredly behold stupendous wonders astonishing affairs and well-preserved handiworks. [2] I am the Master of the first Creation (al-khalq al-awwal)  before the first Noah. [3] And were I to instruct thee as to what took place between Adam and Noah  (of the wondrous events that I wrought and of the nations that I caused to perish)  the truth of the statement,  "evil is that which they were about" would be confirmed.


. أنا صاحب الطوفان الأول ،

 I am the Master of the first [two] Flood[s] (al-tufan al-awwal;  Q. 7:133).


، أنا صاحب الطوفان الثاني ،

 I am the Master of the second [two] Flood[s] (al-tufan al-thani;  Q. 29:14).


، أنا صاحب سيل العرم ،

I am the Master of the Deluge of `Iram (cf. Q. 34:16).


أنا صاحب الأسرار المكونات ،

I am the Master of the Hidden Mysteries


 أنا صاحب عاد والجنات ،

I am the Master of `Ad and the Gardens (cf. Q.44:25).


 ، أنا صاحب ثمود والآيات،

 I am the Master of Thamud and its Signs (al-āyāt)

 أنا مدمرها ، أنا مزلزلها ، أنا مرجعها

[10] I am their Leveler [11]  I am their Destroyer [12] I am their Agent of Return. 

 ، أنا مهلكها ، أنا مدبرها ، أنا بابيها ،

[13] I am their Agent of Destruction (muhlik-hā)  [14]  I am their Annihilator  (mudabbir-hā) [15] I am their gateway (bābī-hā) [?]. 

 انا داحيها ، انا مميتها ، انا محييها،

[16]  I am their Flattener (daḥi-hā)  [17] I am their Agent of Death (mumayyit) [18] I am their Bringer to Life (muḥayyi-hā)

 انا الاول ، انا الآخر  

[19] I am the First (al-awwal)  [20] I am the Last (al-akhira).

 انا الظاهر انا الباطن

[21] I am the Manifest [22] l am the Hidden (cf. Q.57:3).


 انا مع الكور قبل الكور

I am with the Cycle which was before  any Cycle began (al-kawr qabl al-kawr).


 او مع الدور قبل الدور

or [I was one] with the Dispensation  before any Dispensation commenced (al-dawr qabl al-dawr).


 انا مع القلم قبل القلم

I was with the Pen (al-qalam) before the Pen  (al-qalam).


 انا مع اللوح قبل اللوح

I was with the Tablet (lawḥ) prior to the Tablet (lawḥ). 


 انا صاحب الازلية الاولية

I am the Master of the First  Pre-Eternity (al-azaliya al-awwaliyya).


 انا صاحب جابلقا وجابرسا

I am the Master of [the celestial realms of] Jābulqā and Jārbarsā.


 انا صاحب الر فوف ويهرم  

I am the Master of the Elevated Sphere and of  Bahram [Mars]


 ان مدبر العالم الأول حين لا سماؤكم هذه ولا غبراؤكم

I am the Ruler of the First World (al-`ālam al-awwal)

which existed when there was neither this your heaven nor this your earth.



 قال : فقام اليه ابن  صويرمة

Ibn Ṣawīrma [?] came nigh and said to him [Imam `Ali]:

فقال : أنت أنت يا أمير المؤمنين

"Thou art assuredly what thou art, O  Amīr al-Muminīn" (Commander of the Faithful)!

Arabic text being corrected

 فقال : انا انا لا إله  الا الله ربي ورب الخلائق اجمعين ، له الخلق والأمر، الذي دبر الأمور بحكته ، وقامت السماوات والأرض بقدرته لا كافي بضعيخ، يقول الا تهسمعون إلى ما يدعيه اين ابي طالب في نفسه لا وبالامس تكفهر عليه عسا وات اهل الشام فلا يخرج اليها ، وباعث عد وا.واهيم ) لاقتلن اهل الشام بكم قتلات واي قتلات ) وحقي وعخامتي لاقتلن اهل الشام بكم قتلات واي ةتلات ) ولا.قتلن اهل صفين بكل قتلة سببا قتلة ) والاردن إلى كل مسلم حيوة جديدة ا والامان إليه صاحبه وقاةله ) الى ان يشفى غليل صدري منه ) ولاقتلن بعيار .ن ياسر واويس القرني الف قتيل اولى يقال لا وكيف واين ومن وانى وحتى ا فكيف إذا رايتم صاحب الشام ينشر بالمناشير ) ويقطع بالمساطير ) ثم لاذيقنه الين العقاب ) إلا فأبشروا ، فإلى. يرد امر الخلق غدأ بأمر ربي ) فلا يستعظم ما قات .ا فانا اعطيا علم المنايا واليلاوالتأويل والتنزيل ، وقل الخطاب وعلم النوازلوالوقايع والبلاا ) فلا يقرب عنا شيأني بهذا واشار الى الحسين ( ع ) قد تار نوره بين عليه ) فا.حضره لوقته .كين طويل پزلزلها ويخسفها ا وفاز معه ا اءومنون في كل مكان ) وام النه لو شد، ت سميتهم رجلا رجلا اسمائهم واسماء آبامهم فهم يتناسلون من اصلاب الرجال وارحام النساء) الى يوم الوقت المعلوم

[2] `Alī responded [and said]: "I am! Indeed I am! There is none other God but God who is my Lord and the Lord of all created things. [3]  Unto Him belongs the creation and the command (al-khalq wa'l-amr). [4] He it is Who, through His Wisdom, all affairs are directed and Who, through His power, upraises the heavens and the earth." [5] Methinks the weak ones amongst you are saying, `Do you pay heed  unto what  Ibn `Abī Ṭālib (= Imam `Alī) proclaims about himself? [6] For not so long ago,  it was he whom the military forces of the Syrians overshadowed.  And he would not go out to engage them though [a certain] Muhammad and Ibrahim were sent out!' [7] Now, assuredly shall I [Imam `Alī] fight the Syrians with you, killing, in other words, slaughtering (qatlat wa ay qatlat)! [8] By my truthfulness and my standing!  I shall undoubtedly fight the people of Syria, killing, in other words, slaughtering (qatlat wa ay qatlat)!  [9] And I shall assuredly fight the people of Siffin with all slaughter, seventy-fold slaughter  (bi-kull qaṭla sab`in qatla) !  [10]  And I shall assuredly bring new life  unto every one resigned  [who is Muslim]. [11] I shall assuredly give deliverance to both the commander and his fighter until that thirst for justice which is within my breast be allayed. [12]  I shall fight a myriad engagements for `Ammār Yāsir  and for Uways al-Qaranī [both d. Siffīn 657 CE].  [13] Let none say when? How? and in what manner?  and with whose assistance? A leader [military chief', awwali]  shall exclaim,  `No!', `How!', `Where?', `When?',  `A fitting time!', `Till when?'  

        [14] How then shall it be when you shall see  the commander of Syria announcing proclamations and cutting off rulers? [15]  Then shall we assuredly make him to taste a painful retribution. [16] Rejoice then! for on the morrow, through the decree of my Lord, will the command of all creation (amr al-khalq) revert to me.  [17]  Let not what I say seem presumptuous  for I have been vouchsafed the knowledge of deadly fate and tribulation (`ilm al-manaya wa'l-balaya), of [mystical] exegesis, revelation (ta`wīl wa'l-tanzil), and decisive discourse  (faṣl al-khiṭāb);  the knowledge of calamities, battles and catastrophes.  [18] From us there is not a single thing hidden! [19] Relative to this one -- and he indicated [Imam] Ḥusayn (peace be upon him) --  the brightness [Light] (nūr) which is between his eyes  has been unleashed [avenged?].  [20]  I shall be present with him for a long while,  when convulsions will shake the earth and the moon be eclipsed; when the faithful believers will rise up against him [Ḥusayn] from every dwelling place.  [21] I swear by God!  If I so wished I would let you hearken unto their names, one by one, every man among them; both their names and the names of their  forefathers. They will be begotten through the loins of men and the wombs of women until the Day whose time is promised  (yawm al-waqt al-ma`lum; cf. Q. 15:38?).



Then he [`Alī] said:

"O Jabir! Thou art with the True One (al-ḥaqq) and shall, henceforth, be with Him. And in Him shall thou pass away. 

[2] O Jabir! When the [summoning] Bell  (al-nāqūs) shall toll! [3] When the nightmare shall constrain!  (kabasa al-kābūs) [4] When a buffalo (al-jāmūs) shall speak out! [5] Oh! nigh are these wonders, wonders indeed!

[6] When the Fire (al-nār) shall be ignited in my sight! [7] When the banner of the house of `Uthmān (al-rāyat al-`uthmāniya)  shall appear in the black wadi (bi-wādī al-sawdā').[8] When Baṣra shall be divided in conflict, some gaining ascendancy over others  and each faction pursuing the other! [9] When the armies of Khurāsān  [in Persia]  shall begin to move,  and when Shu`ayb ibn Ṣāliḥ al-Tamīmī shall succeed  in the interior of Ṭāliqān and Sa'īd al-Susī (of Shusha)  be acknowledged  leader in Khuzistan. [10] And when banner shall be held aloft  by Kurdish Amalekites,  [11]  the Arabs gain ascendancy over the territories of Armenia and the Slavs  (bilād al-arman wa saqallāb) [12] and Heraclius (Byzantine Emperor 610-641 cf. Q 15:38)  submit to Constantinople before the [longstanding] patriarchs of  Sinan (?) (li-baṭāriqa sīnān),


فتوقعوا ظهور مكلم موسی من الشجره علی الطور

then anticipate ye the theophany of the Speaker  who conversed with Moses  (ẓuhūr mukallim mūsā) from the Tree upon the Mount [Sinai]  (min al-shajarat `ala al-ṭūr)  for He shall assuredly be outwardly unveiled and publicly celebrated.


Oh! How many a wondrous sign I do not seek to mention and how many indications have I left undivulged for I cannot find a single soul who can bear them.



I am the one who ordered Iblīs [= Diabolos = Satan] to bow down [before Adam]! For I am the one who, by the command of God,  chastised him [Satan] and his hosts for pride and high-handed jealousy.


انا رافع ادريس مكاناً علياً

I am the One Who raised up Idrīs  (Enoch) to a lofty place (Q. 19:57).


انا منطق عيسى فى المهد صبياً

I am the Agent whereby the infant Jesus was enabled to speak in the cradle!


انا مدين الميادن و واضع الارض

I am the flattener [Midian] of the valleys (madyan al-madāyīn) and the one who sets the earth in order  (cf. Isa.xxxx ).


I am the one who has divided the earth into five parts: a fifth land, a fifth sea, a fifth mountains, a fifth regions populated and a fifth regions desolate.


انا خرقت القازم من الترجيموخرقت العقيم من الحيم

I am the One who tore asunder Clysma (near the Red Sea) from Tarjīm; and split apart `Aqīm  from al-Ḥim.


I cleft everything asunder from everything else; some persons  from others!


انا طيرثا

I am Ṭ-Y-R-TH-A


انا جانبوثا

I am  J-A-N-B-W-TH-A


انا الباحلون

I am the [?] A-L-B-A-R-Ḥ-L-U-N


انا عليوثوثا

 I am the Truth


(= Greek. Έγç..[ή] άλήθgια = ego eimi  aletheia   = John 14:6a).


اناالمسترق علىالبحارفي نواليم الزحارعندالبيار، حتـى  يخرج لي ما اعد لي فيه من اخيل والرجل،

I am one carried aloft above the Oceans on the crests of of the swelling seas  unto the cultivated lands until there emerges  for me what is allotted for me therein of  horses and soldiers.


، فخذ ، ما أحببت، وأترك ما أردت

Take then what you desire and abandon what you wish.



ثم اسلم إلى عـمار بن ياسر اثـني عشر الف أدهم على أدهم، منها محب  لله ولرسوله مع كل واحـد اثني عثسر كتيبة   لا يعلم عددها إلا الله  ،

Then he [Imam `Alī] handed over to  `Ammār ibn Yāsir twelve thousand black-colored mounts [horses]  (among them one beloved of God and his Messenger),  every one of whom had twelve thousand  [supportive angelic] battalions [and] none knows their number except God!


ألا فابشروا، فانـتم نعم الاخوان ، إلا وان لكم بعد حين طرفة تعامون بها بعض البيان

[Then `Alī addressed them saying]

 'So why do you not rejoice? For you are among the favored brethren (na`am al-ikhwān). In due course there shall appear  a [twinkling] novelty (al-ṭurfa) [star?]  on account of which you shall come to realize aspects of this [matter] clearly (al-bayān).


تنكشف لكم صنايع البرهان عند طلوع بهرام و كيوان علىدقائق الافتران

[This when] there shall be disclosed for you wondrous evidences in demonstrative Proof (sanā'i` al-burhān) when Mars (al-baḥrām) and Saturn (al-kaiwān) shall rise up in a precisely concurrent astronomical conjunction (`alā daqā'iq al-iqtirān)


فعندما تتواتر الهزات والزلازل

Nigh this [there shall also be] successive tremors and earthquakes (al-hazzāt wa'l-zalā'zil)


 وتقبل  مرايات من شاطـئ  جيحون الى بيداء بابل،

and there shall come to pass ostentatious hypocrisy [dissimilation] (murāyāt) from the Shore of the river Oxus  (shāṭī` al-jayḥūn) as far as the desert of Babylon (baydā' al-bābīl).  



[Imam `Ali then said:]

انا مبرج الابراج

I am the zodiacal locus of the constellations  (mubraj al-abrāj);


وعاقد الرياح،

[I am] the Controller of the winds [weather] (`āqid al-riyāḥ)


ومفتح الافراج

[I am] the Opener of the  breach (mufattiḥ al-afrāj);


وباسط العجاج،

[I am] the  Mollifier of the fearful cry (bāsiṭ al-`ajjāj);


 انا صاحب الطور

I am the Lord of the [Sinaitic] Mount (ṣāḥib al-ṭūr);


انا ذلك النور الظاهر،

I am that [Sinaitic] Light made manifest (al-nūr al-ẓāhir);


انا ذلك البرهان الباهر،

I am that Evidence dazzlingly resplendent (al-burhān al-bāhir);


 وانما كشف  لموسـى  سقص من شقص الذر من المثقال و كل ذلك بعلم من الله ذي الجلال

Such was indeed disclosed before Moses; Persona after Persona,  the merest mote expressive of the [Divine] Gravitas (shiqṣ min shiqṣ al-dhārr min mithqāl) In totality this [theophany] was through that knowledge which cometh from God, the Lord of Awesome Glory (dhū'l-jalāl).


[Imam `Alī continued]


انا صاحب جنات الخلود  

I am indeed the Lord of the Paradise of Immortality (ṣāḥib jannat al-khulūd)!


انا  مجري الانهار انهاراًً  من ماء تيار، وانهارا من لبن، وانهارأ من عسل مصفىوانهارا من خمر لذة للشاربين

I am indeed the Dispenser of the rivers (al-anhār) streaming from the billowing Watery Expanse (mā' al-taiyār) including rivers of milk (laban)  and rivers of pure honey (`aṣal), as well as rivers of wine (khamr) procured for the bliss of such as do quaff thereof.   


، انا حجبت جهنم وجعلتها طبقات السعيروسقر الجير و الاخرى عمقيوس اعددها للظالمين

I am the One who overshadowed Gehenna and who made its levels Sa'īr, the blazing inferno and the hellish Saqar of  lime (saqar al-jīr)  then ultimately the uttermost abyss (`amqiyūs) its depths prepared for the iniquitous (ẓālimūn). 


واودعت ذلك كله وادي برهـوت

And all [inmates] of the foregoing [levels of hell] are consigned unto that Vale in Hadramut (wādī al-barhūt).


 وهو والفلق  ورب ما خلق، يخلد فيه الجبت والطاغوت وعبيدهما، ومن كفر بدي الملك والملكوت

Indeed! By He Who is!  By  the Distinguisher [Separator], the Lord Who created! Therein are imprisoned both [the demoniac] Jibt and Ṭāghūt along with such as serve these two [along also with]  whomsoever hath  disbelieved in [God] the Lord of  the Earthly Dominion and of the Eternal Kingdom (dhū'l-mulk wa'l-malakūt).



[Imam `Alī then said:]

I am the Fashioner of the Climes (ṣāni` al-aqālīm) through the command (bi'l-amr) of the All-Wise, the All-Knowing. 


I am the Word (al-kalimat) through which all instructions (al-umur) were completed and the epochs of time (al-duhūr) were stretched out.


I am the One who established the climes (al-aqālīm) as four  and the island peninsulars (al-jazā'ir) as seven.

[4] Thus is the  Southern zone (iqlīm al-junūb) the source of blessings (ma`dan al-barākāt) while the  Northern zone (iqlīm al-shimāl) is the source of  majestic powers (ma`dan al-saṭwāt); [5] The region  of Sheba (iqlīm al-ṣabā) is the source of  earthquakes (ma`dan al-zalāzil) while the region of  the west wind (iqlīm al-dabūr) is the domain of catastrophic events  (ma`dan al-halakāt). [6] Woe then be upon your towns (al-madā'īn) and your great cities (al-amṣār) on account of the tyrannical oppressors (al-ṭughāt) who shall be made manifest! [7] So shall they alter things and  precipitate change. [8] Wherefore shall there be a propensity for severe afflictions (al-shadā'id)  on account of  the rule of eunuchs (dawlat al-khiṣyān) and the dominion of those childish  and of women (malikat al-ṣubyān wa'l-niswān).



Nigh that time there shall be convulsion in all quarters through the summoning  unto all manner of false perversion (al-bāṭil).


How preposterous! How very preposterous! [this shall be]


Yet anticipate you the onset of the supremely great repose (al-farj a`ẓam)  for such will be accepted in troops (fawj an fawj an). [4] Then shall God transform the gravel [pebbles] ( ḥaṣbā') of Najaf  into gemstones (jawhar an ) and place them beneath the footsteps of the believers. [5] Therewith [however] shall  the deviant and the hypocrites transact [false business] so as to nullify  the [high value of] the red ruby (yāqūt al-aḥmar) as well as [that of] pristine pearls and jewels. [6] This circumstance shall be the most evident of the [eschatological] signs (`alāmāt) until there be categorically realized  the [promise of the theophany] of His luminous  Radiance  (ḍiyā'ihi) and the supernal brilliance of His Beauty-Glory  (saṭ` bahā'ihi); [7] [That eschatological Day] there shall [thus] be made manifest whatsoever persons have desired [of the eschat- ological Divine vision?] and you shall be worthy [to attain] that which you consider [especially] beloved. [8] Is this not a  [befitting token] for you of the [coming?] wonders of plentitude  (`ajā'ib al-jamma) and of the [current?] circumstances of misfortune (umūr al-mulmillat)?



O  resemblances of wild asses (ashbāh al-i`thām) and  wild beasts among the cattle (bahā'im al-an`ām)! [2] How will you fare when the banners of the children of Kenan [Cainan] [allied] with `Uthmān ibn  `Anbasat do assuredly take you unawares in the [open spaces]  courtyards of Syria (`irāṣ al-shām)? [3] [fearing that] Consonant therewith is the Patriachate (abuwiyya) and compliant therewith the Umayyads! [4] Preposterous indeed is [the notion] that the truth [of this matter] should be discerned by an Umayyad (umawī) or  an `Adite [enemy] (`adawī) [= one of the tribe of `Adī  son of Sheba?]. (cf. Tabari, Tarikh, 225  trans. Brinner vol. 2: 23; Yakut, Mu`jam al-buldan 4:90)



Then he [Imam `Alī ] -- may the salutations of God be upon him -lamented and said:


Oh! Alas for the community (al-umam)!

Do you not witness  the banners of the children of the [courtly] threshold (`atabat) [= the Umayyads?] with those of the children of  Kenan [= Cainan], the wanderers thrice (sā'irīn  thalāth an); [cf. Gen 5:9f, 1Chr. 1:2] [3] [they are persons] mounted up (al-murtakbīn), constituting a great multitude (jibill an jibill an ). evoking acute fear (khawf shadīd) and  future misery (bu's `atīd).


Oh! Alas for it is surely the time about which you were  promised; we cannot possibly bear those [who come] upon she-camels] (`alā najā'ib) (?) accom- panying them the mounts of the celestial spheres  (marākib al-aflāk). [5] It is as if I [Imam `Alī] am with infidels who assert that [Imam] `Alī himself claims Lordship (al-rabbāniyya)!


Ah alas! Witness you all unto the testimony [of `Alī himself evoked by] your enquiry respecting this [calumny], countering this issue. [7] "`Alī is [not a Lord but] a Light that is created  (nūr  makhlūq), a blessed servant provided for [by God] (`abd marzūq)". [8] Anyone who asserts other than this de facto paradigm (fa`aliyya) shall be accursed of God and be subject to the curse of the such as do utter curses. 



Then he [Imam `Alī] descended [the pulpit] and he said, I  seek refuge in the Lord of  the Dominion and of the Kingdom (al-mulk wa'l-malakūt)! And I seek protection in the Lord of Might and the Empyrean (al-jabarūt)! And I seek abstinence through the Lord of Power and of the Kingdom (al-malakūt) from everything that I fear and  am cautious about!


O people!

None of you should make mention of these words except under circum- stances  disastrous (nāzila) or calamitous (shadda); save that is, when God should sanction the separation of such things from Him.


Then Jabīr commented

`This [circumstance] alone', O Amīr al-Muminīn (Commander of the Faithful)!'


Then he [Imam `Alī] responded,

`Yea! Indeed!' Yet he  added unto this [disclosure] thirteen names. [Evidently the name `Alī  + the other 13 protective names of the 14 immaculate ones, Muhammad + Fāṭima  + the 12 Imams =  14]


So we rallied together then rode away and left.




Select variant readings, notes and commentary  2005-6 -being revised 2015.

 Pararaph I : [5]

يخلق البحار والجبال على تلاطم تيار رفيق رئيقفتق رتجاها * فتغطمت امواجها

* An alternative reading registered in the Dar al-Andalus printing of al-Bursi in fn.1 p. 166 is:    كذا وظاهر  رتاجها  *  

Pararaph II : [4]

 He dispatched him [Muhammad]  as a rightly guided (mahdī) Guide for others (hadi),  one who was a dignified leader, of talismanic disposition (tilismānī).


و هي في خزف من التطنج الايمن مما يلي المشرق والتطنجان

Such is within earthen ware  (khazaf) at the right-hand Gulf (min al-tuṭunj al-ayman)  which faces the East (al-mashriq) and [towards another of ?] the twin Gulfs (al-tuṭunjayn). 

The words   هي في خزف    hiya fi khazaf   translated "Such is within an  earthen ware cleft (khazaf)"  might perhaps be translated "within an earthen ware vessel"... ADD..

It is a phrase reminiscent of Quran 55:14 which,  also on cosmological lines, mentions  the creation of man / humanity from clay ( ṣalṣāl in ), like "potter's clay", perhaps clay ready to be fashioned into shape:

خلق الانسان من صلصال كالفخار

 He created man [humanity] from fermented clay like earthenware  (khalaqa al-insān min ṣalṣāl in k'l-fakhār) 


[1] Nigh that time there shall be convulsion in all quarters through the summoning  unto all manner of false perversion (al-bāṭil). [2]  How preposterous! How very preposterous! [this shall be] [3] Yet you should anticipate the onset of the supremely great repose (al-farj a`ẓam)  for such will be accepted in troops (fawj an fawj an).


بِسْمِ اللهِ الرَّحْمنِ الرَّحِيمِ
إِذَا جَاء نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ

وَرَأَيْتَ النَّاسَ يَدْخُلُونَ فِي دِينِ اللَّهِ أَفْوَاجًا

فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ إِنَّهُ كَانَ تَوَّابًا

(1) When there shall come the victory of God (nasr Allah) and the triumph (al-fatḥ) (2) then you shall see the people entering the religion of God (dīn Allāh) in troops (afwāj an) (3) So glory in the praise of thy Lord and seek His forgiveness for He hath ever been inclined towards.

Select Bibliography.

al-Ahsa'i, Shaykh Ahmad b. Zayn al-Din.


Corbin, Henri,


Fanananapazir, Khazih.


al-Hā'irī, Hajj Shaykh `Ali al-Yazdi  (d. 1333/ 1915)

  • Ilzām al-nāṣib fi ithbāt al-ḥujjat al-al-ghā'ib vol. 2 (5th ed. Beirut: Mu'assat al-A`lā, 1404/1984)  This compilation of Shi`i messianic and apocalyptic materials contains both the Kufa delivered Khutbat al-Bayan (see vol. 2 pp. 232-242) and a recension of the Khutbat al-tutunjiyya (vol. 2 pp. 242-252) perhaps derived from

Lambden, Stephen.


Lawson, B. Todd

Rashti, Sayyid Kazim (d. 1259/1843).

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