Writings and Teachings of the Bab
The second stage of his writings, the philosophical stage, is defined by philosophical and metaphysical discussions beginning with the writing of his first major Persian work, Epistle of Justice (Sahifiyi ‘Adliyyih) around January 1846. This Persian work is a discussion of the fundamental principles of religion. (Saiedi Gate ch. 9) Another work of the Bab with similar title, Epistle of Justice: The Branches (Sahifiyi Furu’i ‘Adliyyih) is written in the first stage and before the Epistle of Justice. During this stage the Bab wrote two works on the interpretation of the letter H (Tafsiri Ha’, and Tafsiri Sirri Ha’) which unveil both the truth of reality and his own truth through the symbolism of the letter H, denoting God or He (Huva). His Tablet to Mirza Sa’id explains three complex theological issues about the unity of existence, eternality and origination of the world, and emergence of plurality out of the absolute One. A famous work among the numerous texts of this stage is Epistle on the Proofs of the Prophethood of Muhammad (Ithbati Nubuvvati Khassih) which was written in honor of the governor of Isfahan. Treatise on Singing (Risalih fi al-Ghina’) is another work that is written in Isfahan. This stage witnesses a number of significant interpretive works as well. Commentary on the Surih of Kawthar, and Commentary on the Surih of Va’l- ‘Asr are the most famous examples. The third stage of his writings, the legislative stage, comprises the last years of his life when he was imprisoned in Maku and Chihriq, beginning in April 1847 and ending in July 1850. (Saiedi Gate Part III) These writings formally abrogate the laws of Islam, proclaim the inception of a new divine revelation, and define the Bab as a Manifestation of God who is the return of the truth of all past prophets. In addition to numerous small or medium size tablets, at this stage he produces many works that their size exceeds 500 pages. Two of these works contain close to 3000 pages. The Book of Divine Names (Kitab al- Asma’) consists of 361 chapters, each dealing with one of the names of God, each chapter consisting of four modes of revelation. This is a mystical encyclopedia of divine names where all humans become reflections and manifestations of various names of God. Humans are asked to lead a life which would realize the divine revelation within them. The other work of the Bab, The Book of Recompense (Kitab al- Jiza’) represents the judgment of God in this Day of Resurrection, offering divine favours to the believers. Various aspects of spiritual truth are presented as the reward of the believers in the heaven of the revelation of the Bab. But the most important texts of this third stage are the Persian Bayan and the Arabic Bayan. The Persian Bayan is the most explicit elaboration of the Bab’s religion. It contains the laws of the new dispensation. As the Bab emphasizes in this book, his laws are symbols and reflections of spiritual and mystical principles. (Persian Bayan 8:11) It is the crystal water of divine unity that is running through all these diverse laws. Although these laws are binding, the real imperative is not the literal law but rather the spiritual meaning and purpose that are symbolized by it: the recognition of Him Whom God shall make manifest in his next revelation. Arabic Bayan, written in the mode of divine verses, contain the laws, whereas the Persian Bayan explains the meaning of those commands. It seems that Persian Bayan is the first major work of the Bab through which the announcement of the inception of a new religion is explicated. In the first chapter of the Persian Bayan, the Bab refers to that day, a Friday, and that moment of writing as the beginning of the abrogation of Islam. 9Persian Bayan 1:1) Arabic Bayan consists of eleven sections, each section consisting of nineteen chapters or gates. The Persian Bayan consists of nine sections each consisting of nineteen chapters, with the exception of the ninth section that ends with chapter ten. The word used by the Bab for section is vahid which means one or unity. However, the numerical value of the word Vahid is equal to nineteen (V=6, A=1, H=8, D=4).
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