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Art. IX.—Catalogue and Description of 27 Bábí Manuscripts

  • E. G. Browne

To my second paper on the Báabís in the J.R.A.S. for 1889 I added an Appendix (App. IV, pp. 1000–1008), wherein I briefly described some of the chief Bábí works of which I had obtained MSS. in Persia, arranging these according to their authorship and the date of their composition, where these could be determined. Of the MSS. themselves (some of which were of composite character) I gave no description. This I now regard as an error of judgement, since, for many reasons (and chiefly that in the future, when they shall pass into other hands, there may be no difficulty in identifying them), it is desirable that their contents should be clearly and succinctly stated. This defect in my previous work I now propose to remedy; but I should not perhaps have done so were it not that since the year 1889 I have acquired a considerable number of new MSS. from authentic sources, a description of which may facilitate the identification of Bábí MSS. in other collections. To each of these MSS. I shall now give a distinctive press-mark, which shall be inscribed on the title-page, and which shall serve for its future identification. The whole class I denote by the letters BB (the first B indicating that they are Bábí MSS., the second that they form part of my collection).

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page 434 note 1 I believe that Behá has or had more than three sons, but these are all that I have seen or coriesponded with.

page 437 note 1 BBP. 1. om. bene.

page 442 note 1 The passage in question actually occurs on pp. 321–2 (ff. 162b–163a) of my MS.

page 442 note 2 In my MS. these words occur on f. 3b, 1. 10.

page 445 note 1 I had in my letter expressed the same opinion which I advanced in B. ii (loc. cit.), viz. that the Báb wrote it before the Manifestation.

page 447 note 1 Sc. at the hands of the followers of Behá. Ṣubḥ-i-Ezel often complained that the Behá'ís had tampered with the Báb's writings to give colour to their own doctrines and views, and was always careful to guard himself by this or some similar expression from giving an unqualified guarantee to any book which he had not himself seen.

page 448 note 1 MS. .

page 453 note 1 See Persian Beyán, Váḥid vi, ch. i, and T.N. vol. ii, pp. 344–346.

page 453 note 2 Translated at pp. 343–4 of T.N. ii.

page 453 note 3 i.e. the Ḳur'án.

page 463 note 1 MS. which is doubtless a mere slip.

page 467 note 1 MS. but this appears to be a mistake.

page 478 note 1 Here, as elsewhere (B. ii, p. 997), Waḥid probably stands as equivalent to Yaḥyá (i.e. Ṣubḥ-i-Ezel).

page 478 note 2 This affords another instance of Count Gobineau's extraordinary accuracy in all that he states concerning the Bábí literature and doctrines. See Religions et Philosophies, p. 332.

page 482 note 1 Gobineau says well Relig. et Phihs., p. 316) in speaking of the Bábí conception of the Divine Nature: —“En un mot, soufys, guèbres sémitisés,—c'est à dire tous les guèbres depuis les Sassanides,—et avant eux l'Orient tout entier, ont confessé et chéri et cherché ce dieu-là depuis que la science a commencé dans ces contrées.”

page 484 note 1 Cf. p. 447, n. 1 supra.

page 484 note 2 i.e. Mullá Muḥammád ‘Ali of Bárfurésh, who suffered martyrdom at his native place in the summer of 1849 after the fall of Sheykh Ṭabarsí. See Gobineau, , Rel. et Phil., pp. 230–2.

page 484 note 3 First published in Europe in the original Arabic, with a Persian, translation, and Latin glossary and notes, by ProfessorStickel, (Jena, 1834).

page 487 note 1 The handwriting of the MS. suddenly changes at the top of this page (i.e. for this piece and the last 7 lines of the preceding one) from naskh nim-shikasté.

page 494 note 1 My correspondent did not mention the name of this person, but I have no doubt in my own mind as to who is meant.

page 494 note 2 The persecution of Si-dih is alluded to. See my Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii., pp. 406–410.

page 499 note 1 Here, without break or hiatus, begins the Commentary on the Sú;ratu'l-Baḳara. The commentary on the first verse extends to f. 8a, so I must needs content myself with giving the first few lines only.

1 Throughout this article I employ, in referring to my previous writings on the Bábís, and to those of Baron Rosen, the abbreviations already explained at the beginning of my last article (J.R.A.S. for April, 1892, pp. 259–260), which is itself denoted by the abbreviation B. iii, just as this article will in future be referred to as B. iv.

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Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society
  • ISSN: 1356-1863
  • EISSN: 1474-0591
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-the-royal-asiatic-society
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