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

  • E. G. Browne

The occasion of the Bab's writing this Commentary is thus described in the Tárikh-i-Jadid (BBP. 5, f. 106a; Or. 2942, ff. 103a–103b):

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page 638 note 1 ḳKur'án, ciii.

page 638 note 2 ḳKur'án, cviii.

page 639 note 1 The humble tone of this passage, as well as the absence of all claim to infallibility, is very noteworthy, and in itself stamps the work as one belonging to the earlier period.

page 641 note 1 the Báb appears to denote himself. The term (in this sense) occurs commonly in his earlier writings. See supra, p. 303 n. 1.

page 641 note 2 MS. , an evident error.

page 642 note 1 Allusion seems to be made to Mullá Ḥuseyn of Bushraweyh, who is elsewhere called , etc.

page 642 note 2 Cf. a passage from the Násikhu't-Tawáríkh cited at p. 227 of T.N. ii.

page 643 note 1 Literally “by natural disposition,” i.e. without laborious effort or study.

page 647 note 1 Allusion may be here made to ḳurratu'l-'Ayn, who was originally of the Sheykhí sect (see T.N. vol. ii, p. 310, and p. 342, n. 1).

page 647 note 2 Hájí Seyyid Káẓim of Resht and his predecessor Sheykh Ahmad of Aḥsá are of course alluded to.

page 647 note 3 Here also seems to mean the Báb himself. Cf. p. 303 supra.

page 648 note 1 This passage is especially noteworthy. Cf. Traveller's Narrative, vol. i, pp. 3–4; vol. ii, pp. 3–4.

page 649 note 1 Ch. 19 appears to be missing, though included in the table of contents at the end. It should deal with the name .

page 650 note 1 Dorn writes (p. 248, loc. cit.): “Ich theile im Anhang II den Anfang mit, und kann bloss hinzufügen, dass über die Echtheit der Handschrift in so fern kein Zweifel obwalten kann, als sie unmittelbar von.dem Secretär des Bab selbst, welcher diesen Koran nach dem Vorsagen seines Herrn und Meisters niedergeschrieben haben wollte, herstammt. Er hatte sie aus seinem Gefängniss zu Tebris in europäische Hände gelangen lassen. Die Verantwortlichkeit für den Inhalt also ruht auf dem genannten Secretär.”

page 651 note 1 Monday, Sha'bán 17th, A.H. 1302 = Monday, June 1st, A.D. 1885. The Bábí date given in this colophon offers several difficulties, and is evidently computed from a fixed point other than that used by the Behá'is (See T.N. vol. ii, p. 425). The cyphers at the end of the colophon appear to represent in some cabbalistic fashion the scribe's name.

page 654 note 1 sic in index and text, but written with final in the prayer at the end of the volume.

page 658 note 1 Names overlined and placed in parentheses are in the original written in red over the line.

page 658 note 2 One name appears to be missing from this Vḥid.

page 664 note 1 The title of Abbás Efendí. See B. i, p. 518; and T.N., vol. ii, index, s.v. 'Abbás Efendí.

page 665 note 1 See T.N., vol. ii, p. 170, and p. 412 et seq.; and vol. i, p. 211.

page 665 note 2 See pp. 442–3 supra.

page 665 note 3 i.e. the Bábís, who commonly call themselves by this name.

page 665 note 4 See pp. 318 and 442–3 supra.

page 666 note 1 See the description of the MS. next following. A MS. of the Hidden Words had been promised to me, but, as it was not ready when this letter was written, the present MS. was sent instead.

page 667 note 1 i.e. Behá'u'lláh.

page 668 note 1 By lughat-i-fuṣ-há (“the most eloquent language”) Arabic is meant, and by lughat-i-nawrá (“the most luminous languagé”) Persian, as was explained in a letter addressed to me by one of Behá's sons, of which a portion is translated in the latter part of note 1 on p. 123 of the second volume of my Traveller's Narrative.

page 672 note 1 i.e. Behá'u'lláh.

page 682 note 1 i.e. the circumstances of the Báb's ‘manifestation’ and the internecine strife which subsequently arose within the sect.

page 684 note 1 Ḳur'án, vii, 69; xii, 40; liii, 23.

page 684 note 2 See p. 447 supra.

page 686 note 1 See B. i, p. 515, and p. 299 supra.

page 687 note 1 The original has .

page 688 note 1 MS., by an obvious slip, .

page 689 note 1 Nineteen special features () are enumerated.

page 689 note 2 Evidently an erroneous transcription of Pythagoras, which name is commonly written in Arabic . The transcriber of this MS., probably unfamiliar with the name, read the initial letter as instead of . This mistake is repeated elsewhere.

page 690 note 1 Seyyid Kázim of Resht is evidently meant.

page 691 note 1 Since the alleged author of this book, A'ḳá Seyyid Jawád of Kerbelá, is here spoken of as “departed,” it is evident that this portion, at least, of the work was not composed by him.

page 691 note 2 One sees from this that the office of one who seeks to reconcile the conflicting claims of the two rival factions is a thankless one!

page 691 note 3 The scribe has omitted to insert the name Mullá Sheykh 'Alí.

page 693 note 1 Probably Sheykh A— himself, who in one of his letters mentioned incidentally that he had visited Acre—a rare thing for an Ezelí to do.

page 694 note 1 Ḳur'án, cix.

page 694 note 2 Ḳur'án, cxiv, 4.

page 694 note 3 Both words = 133.

page 695 note 1 The Ezelís compare Behá to the Golden Calf, to the worship of which Sámirí seduced the Children of Israel. See Ḳur'án vii, 146; xx, 90; and Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 355 and n. 2.

page 695 note 2 Allusion is made to the well-known story of the theft of Solomon's magic ring by one of the demons, who, by its aid, exercised for some time the supreme power.

page 695 note 3 This is regarded throughout the Beyán and by all the Bábís as the “Most Great Name” of God, but according to the Ezelís it belongs properly to Ṣubḥ-i-Ezel. Cf. Traveller's Narrative, vol. ii, p. 353, 1. 11.

page 695 note 4 The translation of this verse I have taken from Bicknell's, Hermanbeautiful and noble rendering of Ḥáfiẓ (London, Trubner and Co., 1875), p. 131.

page 703 note 1 This passage, which gives the date of Behá's “Manifestation” as A.H. 1285 (A.D. 1868), is very important, as affording approximate confirmation of Nabíl's chronology (B. i, p. 626; B. ii, 984, 988, stanza 10), and further evidence against the impossibly early date (A.H. 1269) given by the Traveller's Narrative. See pp. 304–6 supra. It is curious that in two works composed by the Behá'ís within so short a time of one another, and both intended for more or less general circulation, so glaring a discrepancy should have been allowed to appear, more especially as both dates are used evidentially.

page 703 note 2 This passage is also important, as affording further evidence that Kitáb-i-Aḳdas, not Lawḥ-i-Aḳdas, is the correct title of the work alluded to.

page 707 note 1 BBP. 3 and BBP. to read .

page 708 note 1 Cf. n. 2 at the foot of p. 703 supra.

page 709 note 1 A translation of part of this passage will be found quoted at p. 975 of B. ii. It occurs on f. 7b of BBP. 3, and f. 31b of BBP. 4.

page 709 note 2 This passage occurs on f. 10b of BBP. 3, and ff. 38a–38b of BBP. 4.

page 709 note 3 The latter I did not see at Acre, neither did I know where he was, though I heard mention of him. He it was, I believe, who invented the different forms of the Khaṭṭ-i-Badí', or “New Writing.” (See B. i, p. 498.) Of this writing I was unable to obtain a specimen, but I learn from Baron Rosen that M. Toumansky was more fortunate, and that amongst the treasures which he brought back from 'Istiḳábád were the words written in new character.

page 710 note 1 I learn from Baron Eosen that a short paragraph announcing the death of Behá'u'lláh appeared in the Russian newspaper called Le Caucase, published at Tiflis; and that the news was also conveyed to him by Lieutenant Toumanski in a private letter, in which were enclosed copies of Behá'u'lláh's testamentary dispositions () and an elegy on his death by the Bábí poet 'Andalib (Mírzá 'Alí Ashraf of Láhíján). Baron Rosen adds that Behá died on May 16th of this year (1892), but that the news of his decease did not reach 'Ishḳbád till July 5th. The interesting documents forwarded by Lieutenant Toumanski are to appear in the Zapisski.

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