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The Bab - The Questions of Mirza Muhammad Zavarih


The Reply of the Bab


The Questions of Mirza Muhammad Zavarih [Zawara]






 [1] As for what thou did ask  regarding the clarification of the issue of pre-existence (al-qidam)  and the origination [genesis] of things (al-ḥuduth). [2] There is no doubt that the pre-existence of the eternal Divine Essence  (dhāt al-azal) is by virtue of  His Own Self  (nafsihi)  for His Eternity (azal) was His Essence (al-dhāt). [3]  There was nothing alongside Him other than He,  until, that it, He decreed the distinguishing feature  of His pre-existence  (al-qidam).  [4]  The divine Names and Attributes became detached from the Court of His Holiness and the [emanated] traces (āthār)  were prevented  from ascending unto the level (maqām) of His  divine Grandeur. [5]  Wherefore is everything that testifieth unto Him, His Own creation.  [6] And He is the One Who informs His servants.


[1] Thus does it derive from the  alphabetical trace which is the generative script  (khaṭṭ al-ibdā`a) and the specific nature of the invention (ni`at al-ikhtir`). [2]  He, verily, is supremely glorious and far greater than One capable of being characterized  by His creatures or described by His servants.  [3]  Praise be He and exalted be He  above what can be described.  [4] Thus, when the existence of  the pre-existent divine Essence  (dhat al-qidam) was established,  it was through the existence of His Own Logos-Self (nafs)  and [through] nothing that was separated from it. [5] [Imam] `Alī alluded unto this [when he said],

"O thou the establishment of whose Essence  

is  by virtue of His [Own] Essence  (dhātihi bi-dhātihi)".

[6] The existence of origination (al-ḥuduth)  was in consequence through the Creative Logos-Self  (nafs al-ibadiyya)





Among them is the level of exterior Eternity (azal al-ẓāhir) within the primal Remembrance

(al-dhikr al-awwal) and the exterior Pre-existence (al-qidam al-ẓāhir) as it relates to the station of the Divine Activity  (al-maqām al-fi'l).  This is the station which God made in the beginning (al-ibdā`a)  for the station of the gnosis of the testimony (ma`rifat al-istidlāl) regarding the Eternity of His Essence  (azal dhātihi)  and His Pre-existence (qidamihi). Wherefore hath he said,

"I am the master of secondary [momentary] eternality (azaliyya al-thanawiyya).

And he [also] said in description of the Messenger of God  in the Sermon of the Day of Gathering and the Ditch (khuṭba yawm al-jami`a wa'l-ghadīr),

`And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger whom He singled out from the midmost-heart of Pre-existence  (bubūḥat al-qidam), one unique above the remainder of the peoples.... and the likeness of His rising up is [the realization of] the station of His Logos-Self  (maqām nafsihi)


Among them is the level of beginningless eternity (rutbat al-sarmad) which is the station of the appearance of the Divine Activity (maqām ẓuhūr al-fi`l) for which there is no beginning except by virtue of His Logos-Self (nafsihi) [XX] And there is also the level of the eternal continuance of time (rutbat al-dahr). [X] Again there is the level of the duration of Time  (rutbat al-zamān)....