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Siyyid Al Muammad Shrz, the Bb (d. 1850)

(Courtesy o the !ay" #ommu"ity)






















$%our"ey &ith me u"to the 'i(i"e )hro"e*



Siyyid Al Muammad Shrz, the !+, o" the ars
operativa o the ,li-ir




.. /ahid Azal























Whosoever knows their Self, knows their Imm, who is their Lord!

00 Shay1h0!+ reiteratio" o the 'el2hi# ma-im (ours)


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I am the Philosophers Stone from which has ushed forth !welve Sprins!

00 Al ("hu#ba al$Ba%n 0 m% trans.)


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/e are, +y 3od, the Most !eautiul .ames &ithout &hom 3od does "ot a##e2t a"y a#tio" o 4is
ser(a"ts e-#e2t throu5h 6ur 5"osis7

00 %aar al08di9 (#. :+" !+;ya, "&tb al$!aw'&d, bb al$nawdir 0 m% trans.)

)he ollo&i"5 2ie#e #o"stitutes a #om2a"io" arti#le to our 2re(ious o"e 2u+lished i" this
<our"al.
1
:t is also a re(ised (ersio" o a" arti#le &e mea"t to 2u+lish some&here i" =011 +ut
i"stead &ithdre& rom its ori5i"ally 2la""ed (e"ue a"d the" sel02u+lished i" its irst,
rou5h drat o"li"e. !esides mi"or #orre#tio"s a"d some issues o 2roo0readi"5, style,
tra"sliteratio" a"d i-ed reere"#es, there are (ery sli5ht diere"#es o em2hases +et&ee"
this 2ie#e a"d the earlier o"e. )hat said, other tha" a e& "e#essary asides, the histori#al
a"d 2aradi5mati# disti"#tio"s +et&ee" !+ism, the reli5io" o the !ay", a"d !ah>ism
already #o(ered &ill "ot +e re2eated here. 4ere i"stead &e &ill +e dis#ussi"5 the !+>s
theoso2hi#al al#hemy, a 2ers2e#ti(e that may illumi"ate u2o" a e& themes #o(ered i" the
arti#le o" 8u+0i0Azal.
)his theoso2hi#al al#hemy o the !+>s, &e &ould ar5ue, has as its o#us the
s2iritual 2ere#tio" o the soul o the i"itiated +elie(er &ithi" the meta2hysi#al reality o
the :mm? the :mm &ho simulta"eously a#ts as +oth the i"itiati"5 5uide o the initiated
believer (mumin) i"to the 5reater mysteries as &ell as +ei"5 the ultimate 5oal o the opus
itsel. /e &ill also se(eral times +e tou#hi"5 o" the 9uestio" o the Imm$of$ones$bein
=
that
is li"1ed to this o(erall 9uestio", oeri"5 a some&hat more i"essed a"d "ua"#ed
i"ter2retatio" o its u"derlyi"5 mea"i"5 tha" &hat has +ee" oered i" re#e"t years +y

1
$Invokin the Seven Worlds( )n acrostic pra%er b% *&r+ ,a'% -.r& /ub'$i$)+al,* i" L01)2( 3ournal of the 4reative
Imaination, @olume A, %u"e =01B.
=
Cor a 2o2ular treatme"t o the Imm$of$ones$bein, see Deter Eam+or" /ilso">s Scandal( 5ssa%s in Islamic 2eres%
(!roo1ly"? Auto"omedia, 1F88). /e #autio" our reader rom ta1i"5 this do#tri"e i" the u"i"essed &ay it has
+ee" 2rese"ted i" some 2o2ular sour#es lately as #o"#lusi(e. Cor #om2arati(e 2ur2oses, the o"ly "o"0Shi a"d
"o"0:slami# sour#e that may e"umerate this #ore esoteri# tea#hi"5 o the :mms G &ith some o2a#ities o" the
Shi side still "eedi"5 to +e u"2a#1ed 0 may +e #o"sidered to +e the Doima"dres o the Cor2us 4ermeti#um.
some 2o2ular literature? a" idea, althou5h e-2li#itly Alam;t :sml i" its #oi"a5e, is
already late"t &ithi" the esoteri# tea#hi"5s o the :mms o )&el(er Shism a"d later i"
the !+. /e hold that the su+<e#t o Shite al#hemy 0 a"d the soteriolo5y u"der5irdi"5 it
to5ether &ith the esoteri# meta2hysi#s i"ormi"5 that 0 is ultimately i"se2ara+le rom a"
ade9uate u"dersta"di"5 o &hat this &hole idea e(e" mea"s. /e also su55est that this
"otio" i" "o &ay, sha2e or ma""er im2lies the tra"sormatio" o the +ase, #o"#u2is#e"t
e5o 6ua the +ase, #o"#u2is#e"t e5o i"to the :mmH "or do em2ty de#laratio"s as to the
attai"me"t o its status &ithout the re9uisite i"itiatio" a"d the adde"dum s2iritual
&ayari"5 (sul.k) G the a#tual e"5a5eme"t i" the al#hemi#al opus manum 0 ma1e it so.
Iather it e"tails the 2ro5ressi(e stri22i"5 a"d erasure o the +ase, #o"#u2is#e"t e5o
&herei" the soul i"ally +e#omes the ,ter"al :mm>s 2ere#t mirror a"d 2la#e o re2ose.
Additio"ally the "otio"s o the :mm0o0o"es0+ei"5 a"d that o the 4iero0:"telli5e"#e (7a6l)
B

G a"d he"#e the ,ter"al :mm G are i"se2ara+le o"es. :" the meta2hysi#al di#tio" o !+ism
this is all reerred to as the Drimal /ill (mash&a al$.l). )his &ill +e o"e o our 5uidi"5 motis
throu5hout this 2ie#e.
:" this 2rese"t arti#le here &e &ill, irst, oer a s#hemati# +io5ra2hy o the !+
himsel. )he" &e &ill 2rese"t a #omme"tary o" the 2olar moti 5uidi"5 the i""er i"te"tio"
o our mai" tra"slated 2ie#e (i.e. a +rie res2o"se +y the !+ o" the ars operativa) to5ether
&ith some rele(a"t #omme"ts re5ardi"5 the 2la#e o ematria. )his is ollo&ed +y a"
e-e5esis o" the sym+olism o the al#hemi#al as#e"sio" as it relates to our item to5ether
&ith some tra"slatio"s rom the !+>s Book of the 8ive 9rades a"d the" i"al #omme"tary o"
the #o"#ludi"5 i"te"tio" o the 2ie#e. Ater this &e &ill detail the t&o MSS. used i" our
semi0#riti#al tra"slatio" a"d oer some remar1s attem2ti"5 to lo#ate a timeli"e or the
&or1 +eore su+mitti"5 a" a""otated tra"slatio" o the te-t itsel.
A
A ta+le #a" +e ou"d
ater&ards that s#hematizes the irst 2art o the o2eratio" i"di#ated +y the !+ i" the irst
e& 2assa5es o its irst 2ara5ra2h (1 11 10 00 0J JJ J). Cor this &e are i"de+ted to A.4.A. o the 'i5ital
6##ult Ma"us#ri2ts Ei+rary or shari"5 &ith us e-am2les o similar models ou"d i" earlier
authors &here+y &e &ere the" a+le to #om2are 2ossi+le layouts i" order to i"ally 5ra2h
our ta+le.

)he ! )he ! )he ! )he ! + + + +

Siyyid Al Muammad Shrz
5
(+. 18=0
J
G d. 1850)H 1"o&" to 2osterity as the Bb (Kate> or
Kthreshold>), a"d 2er his o&" desi5"atio" (amo"5 se(eral other titles)
L
as the 5ssence of the

B
)he do#tri"e as tau5ht i" the :mm akhbr #or2us +e5i""i"5 &ith the amous o2e"i"5 'd&th o al$7a6l wa al$
:ahl i" Mulay">s KBook of the 2iero$Intellience and inorance> ("itb al$7)6l wa al$3ahl) o his al$"f&H see es2e#ially as
&ell Mohammad Ali Amir0Moezzi>s !he ;ivine 9uide in 5arl% Shi7ism( !he Sources of 5sotericism in Islam tra"s. 'a(id
Strei5ht (Al+a"y? )he State N"i(ersity o .e& Oor1 Dress, 1FFB) #h2. 1, es2. J01B a"d passim.
A
)he title o the 2ie#e deri(es rom its si-tee"th 2assa5e (see +elo&).
5
/e reer to the sour#es listed i" "J o our 2re(ious arti#le.
J
)his date is +ased o" the 1
st
o Muarram 1=BJ A4 (F 6#to+er 18=0 C,) dati"5 o the !+>s +irthday held +y the
!ay"s as the o"e #orre#t rather tha" the 1
st
o Muarram 1=B5 A4 (=0 6#to+er 181F) #ited +y the !ah>s, see
,.3. !ro&"e ) !ravellers -arrative Written to Illustrate the 5pisode of the Bb (Cam+rid5e? Cam+rid5e N"i(ersity
Dress, 18F1), @olume =, .ote C? ==10=.
Seven Letters (dht 'ur.f al$saba7a)H
8
&as a" :ra"ia" s#io" o the house o the Dro2het o :slam
(i.e. a Ksi%%id>) &ho at the ri2e a5e o t&e"ty0our, i" the middle o the "i"etee"th #e"tury,
u"leashed o"e o the most mome"tous (yet simulta"eously most tra5i#) e2isodes i"
mo(eme"ts #laimi"5 #hiliasti# 5"osti# ulilme"t a"d re"e&al i" the history o Shite :slam
si"#e the .iPr :sm>l :mm Qassa" :: al dhikrihi salm had li1e&ise u"derta1e" a similar
missio" i" his 6&%ma 2ro#lamatio" at Alam;t i" 11JA C,? e(e"ts o stri1i"5 resem+la"#e
a"d similarly meeti"5 a tra5i# e"d, al+eit "ot as i"te"se, dramati# or &ide ra"5i"5 i" the
si"5ularity o their ier#ely (iole"t d<nouement as !+ism>s. 'uri"5 the si- year 2eriod o his
mi"istry rom May =B
rd
18AA i" Shrz to his e-e#utio" or heresy i" )a+rz o" %uly 8
th
1850,
the !+ +e#ame or ma"y thousa"ds o his ollo&ers i" :r9 a"d :ra" the o#us o i"te"se
adoratio" a"d, at o"#e, the literal mouth2ie#e o the 4idde" :mm o the A5eH the" the
:mm o the A5e or the =esurrector (al$6im) i" 2erso"H a"d i"ally a "e& )heo2ha"y or
ma"iestatio" o the 'i(i"ity (ma>har allh) i" his o&" ri5ht 2ro#laimi"5 the alto5ether
a+ro5atio" o the (at the time 1=L0 year)
F
dis2e"satio"al aeon o :slam a"d &ith it the
i"au5uratio" o the #y#le o the !ay" (e-2ositio"). Seei"5 himsel i" the same
theophanoloical lea5ue as (a"d e(e" 5reater tha") the A+rahami# messe"5er0la&5i(ers &ho
had 2re#eded him 0 su#h as A+raham, Moses, %esus a"d Muammad 0 this !ay"i# #y#le &as
deemed +y him to last or a duratio" o a"y&here rom +et&ee" 1511 to =001 years <ust as
the :slami# dis2e"satio" had itsel lasted i" this s#heme or 1=L0 years.
10


L
:"#ludi"5 =emembrance (dhikr), the Proof of 9od ('u::atullh), the Primal Point (nu6#at al$.l) a"d the Supreme Lord
(rabb al$a7l), to "ame a e&.
8
4e #laimed this title, o" its i"itial le(el, +e#ause his 5i(e" "ame Al Muammad #o"tai"s a total o se(e"
letters i" Ara+i# (i.e. . , , , ) that i" its ab:ad "umeri#al (alue as =0= is e9ui(ale"t to rabb (lord). 6"e o the
lesser 1"o&" reaso"s &hy the !+ used this title i" its s2e#ii# 2hrasi"5 to de"ote himsel is +e#ause it i"di#ates
the se(e" i"de2e"de"t si5ils o the #alli5ram o the 3reatest .ame (ism al$a7>am), "amely? . )his
sym+ol #o"stitutes the su2reme o##ult0ma5i#al #i2her i" the :slami# esoteri# traditio" a"d is +elie(ed to ha(e
+ee" ori5i"ally tra"smitted +y the irst :mm Al, see 3eor5es A"a&ati Le nom supr?me de dieu (Ism )llh al$
)7+am) i" )tti del III 4onresso di Studi )rabi e Islamici (Ia(ello 10J Se2tem+er 1FJJ) 1FJL? L058. Cor e-am2le, the
2hrasi"5 dht 'ur.f al$saba7a #a" itsel +e ou"d i" reere"#e to these se(e" si5ils i" ma"y :slami# o##ult ma"uals
o r.'n& &hite ma5i# (i.e. the literature o the 7ul.m har&baR7ul.m khaf&%a) that dis#uss it at le"5th, es2e#ially i"
al0!;", +e#ause the ollo&i"5 se(e" Ara+i# letters are i"di#ated as re2rese"ti"5 it. . , _ . (+ei"5 that
they are those se(e" letters that do "ot a22ear i" al$fti'a, the irst #ha2ter o the Sur>").
F
)he !+ re#1o"i"5 o the #omme"#eme"t o the :slami# era +e5i"s as o the Kcall> o Muammad (bith7at), that
is, rom his irst e"#ou"ter &ith the Ar#ha"5el 3a+riel o" Mou"t Qir a"d the Ie(elatio" o the irst surh o the
Sur>" (al$7ala6, Kthe 4lot>, i.e. the FJ
th
#ha2ter), a"d "ot rom the #omme"#eme"t o the hi:r& #ale"dar, &hi#h is
te" years su+se9ue"t to that e(e"t.
10
)he !ay", i" tur", is to +e a+ro5ated (or fulfilled) ater this 2eriod i" the !+ messia"i# i5ure 2e whom 9od
shall make *anifest (man %u>hiruhuLlh) i" a #y#le o 2ro5ressi(ely e"dless theo2ha"olo5i#al ma"iestatio"s that,
2er the !+>s "o(el 5loss o" the #o"#e2t o the Kresurrection> (6&%ma), &ill "e(er a#tually #ease, i.e. e"dless
6&%mt. 4o&e(er, des2ite the #laim o the !ah>s 2ut or&ard o" +ehal o their ou"der Bahullh, i" the
do#tri"e o the !+ himsel the i"terre5"um 2eriod +et&ee" these Kma"iestatio"s> (>uh.rt) G 5lossed as dawr
al$la%l (the #y#le o "i5ht) G is to last or this a22ro-imately le"5thy 2eriod o +et&ee" 1511 to =001 years, a"d
the te-ts are 9uite e-2li#it o" this 2oi"t. Cor e-am2le, i" N"ity =, 3ate 1L o the Persian Ba%n, the !+ states, $:
4e &hom 3od shall ma1e Ma"iest a22ears i" the "um+er h&%th TU 1511V a"d all e"ter therei", "o"e shall
remai" i" the ire To re<e#tio"V. : it tarries till Tthe "um+erV mustahth TU =001V, all shall e"ter therei", a"d
"o"e shall remai" i" the ire To re<e#tio"V, as all shall +e tra"si5urated i"to his Ei5ht@,* (my tra"s.)H a"d N"ity
B, 3ate 15, $.o"e 1"o&eth the time o the ma"iestatio" other tha" 3od. /he"soe(er it shall ta1e 2la#e, all must
'ramati#ally +e5i""i"5 his 2u+li# #areer as messiah02ro2het o" May =B, 18AA, &ith
a #omme"tary (tafA&r) o" the t&elth s.rh o the Sur>", 1"o&" as the Kbest of stories> (a'san
al$6iAAA, i.e. %ose2h)H "amely, the Ba%%.m al$)sm (the KPeerless>, K)risen> or KSelf$Subsistent
-ames>)H he (erita+ly 2rodu#ed a "e& Sur>" i" his o&" ri5ht #o"sisti"5 o 2re#isely 111
s.rhs, #om2lete &ith dis#o""e#ted letters o2e"i"5 ma"y o the #ha2ters a"d all the
#hara#teristi# s#ri2tural rerai"s, tur"s o 2hraseolo5y, im2erious to"e, 5rammati#al
a"omalies, so"orous elli2ti#al am+i5uities, te-tual a"d "arrati(al 2arallelisms, a"d
5e"erally aty2i#al li"5uisti# stylisms ty2i#al o the hi5h #lassi#al orms, di#tio" a"d
e-e#utio" o the Ara+i# o the Ders2i#uous !oo1? #laimed +y the !oo1 itsel (a"d 2er the
i"imita+ility, 7i:C+ al$6urn, ar5ume"t) that "o"e #a" 2rodu#e a si"5le (erse the li1e thereo.
.ot e(e" the Qur; ou"der CaWl>ullh Astar+d>s (d. 1BFA)
11
Dersia" 3vidn -mih$i$"ab&r
()he 3reat !oo1 o ,ter"ity) had dared rea#h su#h harro&i"5ly dizzyi"5 hei5hts o "o+le
a"d su+lime auda#ityH a"d this, rom a mere t&e"ty0our year old mem+er o the mer#ha"t
#lass &ith "o semi"ary or ad(a"#ed s#holasti# reli5ious trai"i"5 &hatsoe(er. Oet the la#1 o
the author>s ormal edu#atio" &as 2re#isely 2art o the a22eal he &as ma1i"5 re5ardi"5 his
i""ate, u"lear"ed 1"o&led5e (7ilm fi#r&) a"d so e(ide"#e that su#h (ersi#al0si5"s (%t) &ere
issui"5 rom the same &ells2ri"5 sour#es o i"s2iratio" (or =evelation) as the Sur>">s.
As su#h &hat 4amid 'a+ashi says o the t&elth #e"tury :ra"ia" Sui i#o"o#last
Ay">ul0SuWt 4amad" (d. 11B1) is e(e" more true o the !+, that he +ro1e $Xthe
i"terdi#tory motis o his i"herited sa#red order to the su+(ersi(e 2oi"t o "o retur".*
1=

4ere i" this irst o his &or1s 2u+li#ized &as the most radi#al le5a#y, as &ell as the most ar0
rea#hi"5 o te"de"#ies, i" )&el(er Shi>ite esoteri#ism a"d 5"osis #o"(er5ed i"to a si"5le
point a"d i" #o"summate ("ay, dramati#) dis2layH a"d so, thereore, e2itomized a"d

testiy to its truth a"d 5i(e tha"1s u"to 3od, althou5h +y 4is 5ra#ious +ou"ty it is ho2ed that 4e &ill a22ear till
the time o mustahth TU=001V &herei" the &ord o 3od may +e ele(ated. A"d the Droo is the si5", or 4is (ery
+ei"5 2ro(es 4im, &hilst 4e #a""ot +e 1"o&" +y &hat is +e"eath 4is ra"1. 3lory +e to 3od a+o(e &hat is
attri+uted to 4im* (my tra"s.) 3i(e" this, the !ah> #laim that the !+ had 2redi#ted the #omi"5 o the !+
messia"i# i5ure i" the 2erso" o their ou"der a"d i" the year "i"e o the !ay" #y#le (#orres2o"di"5 to
18JBRJA i" the 2ro2er yearly re#1o"i"5 +e5i""i"5 as o Mar#h 1850 or 185=RB +y the re#1o"i"5 o the years o
the ma"iestatio" rom 18AA) is "ot +or"e out +y a si"5le te-t, a"d es2e#ially "ot i" the Ara+i# !ay" &here they
#laim this o##urs as 2er the #ry2ti# 2hrase $after a while* (ba7da '&n) &hose ab:ad "umeri#al (alue is 1AA redu#i"5
i" its :afr to F. )hat said, duri"5 the #y#le o this i"terre5"um +et&ee" ma"iestatio"s i""umera+le di(i"e
mirrors a"d 5uides are to arise 5uidi"5 the aithul (or Ki"itiates>) +et&ee" the t&o 2eriods. )o 9uote Ma#,oi",
$Xor our u"dersta"di"5 o su+se9ue"t e(e"tsXthe hierar#hi#al system o $mirrors* (mirDt), $5lasses*
(bul.ri%%t), $5uides*(adillD), a"d $&it"esses* (shuhadD) de(elo2ed +y the !+ i" his later /riti"5s Tis o
2aramou"t im2orta"#eV. )his is "ot, i" the stri#t se"se, a" or5a"ized system o hierar#hi#al 5rades si"#e the
terms i"(ol(ed are, to a lar5e de5ree, mutually i"ter#ha"5ea+le a"d im2re#isely used i" the te-ts. .e(ertheless,
hierar#hy is #ertai"ly i"(ol(ed i" the #o"#e2t, a"d there are i"di#atio"s that dei"ite roles &ere e"(isa5ed or
i"di(iduals e-er#isi"5 the u"#tio"s asso#iated &ith the titles. :" this res2e#t, !+ do#tri"e oers a #lear
#o"ti"uatio" o the Shii theory o Eu::i%%a, &hi#h is e-te"ded, "ot o"ly to the 2ro2het a"d the :mms or their
e9ui(ale"ts, +ut to other 5rades o a loose hierar#hy as &ell,* #. !he *essiah of Shira+ (Eeide"? ,.%. !rill, =00F),
BAJ.
11
See Shahrzad !ashir>s 8a+lallah )starabadi and the 2urufis (6-ord? 6"e&orld Du+li#atio"s, =00F).
1=
C. !ruth and -arrative( !he 0ntimel% !houhts of 7)%nul$BuFt )l$2amadn& (Ii#hmo"d Surrey? Curzo" Dress,
1FFF), 5.
personified, i" the !+ himsel.
1B
/ithi" days ater #om2osi"5 the i"itial #ha2ters o the
Ba%%.m al$)sm o" the 2rom2ti"5 o his emi"e"t 5uest a"d (isitor, the se"ior Shay1h
#leri# Mull Qusay" !ushr;> (d. 18AF)
1A
(i.e. his irst +elie(er, awwal man mana, reerred to
thereater as the K9ate of the 9ate>, Bb al$Bb), si-tee" other i"di(iduals i" 2erso" as &ell
soo" 2aid their alle5ia"#es to the !+ as his irst +elie(ers (&ith o"e i" a+se"tia, totalli"5
se(e"tee"), thus #o"stituti"5 the Eetters o the Ei(i"5 ('ur.f al$'a%%).
15
Der the neoplatoni+in
ra"1i"5 system o !+ism, the Eetters o the Ei(i"5, to5ether &ith the !+ himsel, made u2
the hierar#hy o the Cirst N"ity (al$w'id al$awwalG o All0)hi"5s (kullu$sha%).
1J

Ater the ormatio" o this i"itial hierar#hy o the !+ e##lesia, i" early Se2tem+er
18AA the !+ set out or the 'a:: 2il5rima5e to Me##a a##om2a"ied +y the i"al mem+er o it
Mull Muammad Al !rur;sh Budd.s (d. 18AF).
1L
)here he had made his #laims 2u+li#,
&riti"5 assorted e2istles to (arious reli5ious leaders, i"#ludi"5 the shar&ff o Me##a as &ell
as other di5"itaries. Ietur"i"5 to :ra" i" MayR%u"e 18A5, a"d as the mo(eme"t &as
e-2a"di"5 &ith e-2o"e"tial s2eedH "ot to me"tio" as the im2a#t o his i"itial #laims &ere
&rea1i"5 some ha(o# amo"5 Shi aithul i" :r9 a"d :ra"H he &as arrested +y authorities i"
the 2ort #ity o !ushihr a"d es#orted +y armed 5uard +a#1 to Shraz &here he &as 2la#ed
u"der house arrest a"d soo" #om2elled to ma1e a 2u+li# retra#tio" o his #laims. 'uri"5
this 2eriod o his house arrest i" Shraz, thro"5s o (isitors lo#1ed to the #ity a"d &ritte"
#orres2o"de"#es +et&ee" the !+ a"d (arious reli5ious i5ures #ir#ulated +a#1 a"d orth
rom all o(er the Shi #e"ters.
A #holera e2idemi# i" Cars 2ro(i"#e duri"5 the mo"th o Se2tem+er 18AJ
#om2elled the !+ to ta1e li5ht rom Shraz to :sah" &here he ou"d +rie 2atro"a5e
u"der its a5ei"5 2ro(i"#ial 5o(er"or Ma"u#hihr Mh" Mutamid0'a&lih, the 3eor5ia", a"d
&here i"itially he &as, at irst, e(e" a(oura+ly re#ei(ed +y a e& "ota+le reli5ious
di5"itaries. )here attem2ti"5 to see1 a" audie"#e &ith the S<r mo"ar#h Muammad Shh

1B
Cor the massi(e #o"tro(ersy this &or1 made o" its diusio" +y the !+ emissary i" :r9 a"d its re#e2tio" +y
+oth reli5ious #ir#les a"d 6ttoma" se#ular authorities, see Moo<a" Mome">s $!he !rial of *ulla 7)li Bastami( )
4ombined Sunni$Shi7i 8atwa aainst the Bb,* i" 3ournal of the British Institute of Persian Studies, 1F8=, =0? 11B0ABH II,
==00B8.
1A
See '. Ma#,oi">s e"try i" 5Ir (#ited i" our 2re(ious 2ie#e).
15
)his is +e#ause ei5htee" is the ab:ad "umeri#al (alue o 'a%% (li(i"5, ali(e). )hey &ere li1e&ise reerred to as
the Abi6.n (the 2re#eders), &hi#h is a term ta1e" dire#tly rom )&el(er Shi es#hatolo5i#al reere"#es.
1J
)he ull 2leroma o All0)hi"5s (kullu$sha%) #o"sists o BJ1 i" total (1F - 1F). )he "um+er 1F itsel is #o"sidered
the most sa#red "um+er i" !+ismH it is the u"dame"tal u"it ela+orati"5 the Dersia" !ay" as &ell as the
!ay" #ale"dar o 1F mo"ths a"d 1F days. )he &ords w'id (o"e, u"ity) a"d wu:.d (+ei"5, e-iste"#e) #orres2o"d
to it i" ab:ad "umerolo5y. Amo"5 the reaso"s &hy this "um+er is held sa#red is +e#ause the bismillh
+e"edi#tio" #o"tai"s 2re#isely "i"etee" letters i" total a"d so the Cirst N"ity is held here to +e the i"sta"tiated
2erso"ii#atio"s o these letters &ho are the" held to re2rese"t the #o"#ourse o the theo2ha"i# 2erso"s o the
Courtee" :"alli+les (i.e. Muammad, CYima a"d the )&el(e :mms) to5ether &ith the our 5ates (or, inter alia,
the our Ar#ha"5els o the )hro"e( Isfr&lRIa2hael, *&k&lRMi#hael, I+r&lRAzrael a"d 3ibr&lR3a+riel) a"d the
Drimal /ill (mash& al$.l) &ho has 5e"erated the 2re#edi"5 a"d &ho is re2rese"ted +y the letter b (.) a"d its
2oi"t (nu6#a)H see Dersia" Ba%n, N"ity 1, a"d also A++as Ama"at =esurrection and =enewal, (:tha#a? Cor"ell
N"i(ersity Dress, 1F8FH re2ri"ted, Eos A"5eles? Malimat Dress, =005),1880FBH see as &ell 4e"ry Cor+i">s $!he
Science of the Balance and 4orrespondences between Worlds in Islamic 9nosis accordin to the work of Ea%dar )muli, H
thI
JK
th

centur%,* i" !emple and 4ontemplation (Eo"do"? Ioutled5e Z Me5a" Daul, 1F8J), 5501B1.
1L
See Ma#,oi">s e"try i" 5Ir (#ited i" our 2re(ious 2ie#e).
(d. 18AF) i" the #a2ital )ehr"H u2o" the death o Ma"u#hihr Mh" i" Ce+ruary 18AL, a fatwa
#alli"5 or the !+>s death +y the more #o"ser(ati(e 7ulam o the #ity o22osed to his #laims
or#ed him to lee :sah" headi"5 or the #a2ital u"der es#ort 2ro(ided +y its "e&
2ro(i"#ial 5o(er"or. 6" the outs1irts o )ehr" he &as i"ter#e2ted o" the orders o the
2rime mi"ister 4<< Mrz A9s (d. 18AF), &ho "o& +e#ame the !+>s #hie S<r e"emy
a"d sym+oli#ally emer5ed or the !+s &hat Mra"shh (d. 1A08) had +ee" #e"turies earlier
to CaWl>ullh Astar+d (d. 1BFA) a"d the Qur;s G vi+L a"ti#hrist (da::l).
Ceari"5 the !+>s i"lue"#e o" the im2ressio"a+le mo"ar#h should he e"ter the
#a2ital a"d o+tai" a" audie"#e, 4<< Mrz A9s "o& redire#ted him u"der hea(ier es#ort
to the "orther" to&" o M1; o" the Azer+ai<"0Iussia" +order &here he &as to remai"
rom %uly 18AL to May 18A8. A22rehe"si(e o the !+>s 5ro&i"5 i"lue"#e a"d 2o2ularity,
a"d &hat this mea"t or the Muslim su+<e#ts o the em2ire>s +orders &ith :ra", the Iussia"
mi"ister i" )ehr" "e-t dema"ded the 2rime mi"ister relo#ate the !+ to the remote to&"
o Chihr9 "ear Nr;mya &here he &as the" 2la#ed u"der stri#t #o"i"eme"t. Soo" ater his
arri(al i" Chihr9 he &as +riely +rou5ht to )a+rz &here a 1a"5aroo #ourt, #om2osed o the
the" #ro&" 2ri"#e .[irudd" Mrz a"d 2romi"e"t 7ulam>, attem2ted "ot so mu#h to
as#ertai" the "ature o his #laims +ut to 2u+li#ly humiliate him.
18
)his ar#i#al trial o the
!+ &as to e"d &ith the !+>s +asti"ado a"d a i#titious letter ma"ua#tured +y o"e o its
#hie 2residers #laimi"5 the !+ had retra#ted his #laims.
/ith the !+ u2risi"5s i" Mza"dar" u"der&ay &ith (iole"t ero#ity as o the
summer o 18A8H this, ollo&i"5 the !adasht 5atheri"5 &here the to2 !+ leadershi2 had
ormally a""ou"#ed the 6&%ma a"d the e"d o the :slami# shar&7a a"d its dis2e"satio"H the
death o Muammad Shh a"d the a##essio" o .[irudd" Shh to the S<r thro"e i"
Se2tem+er 18A8 #o"(i"#ed authorities that the !+ had to +e 2ut to death. Ar5ua+ly the
i"itial tide o these u2risi"5s 2re(e"ted them rom doi"5 so earlierH +ut ater the
Mza"dar" !+ u2risi"5 at Shay1h \a+ars &as +rutally #rushed, &ith all o its leaders a"d
most o its 2arti#i2a"ts massa#redH a"d &ith other u2risi"5s "o& emer5i"5 i" its stead &ith
5reater ero#ity a"d s2readi"5 to Oazd the" .ayrz i" #e"tral :ra" the" shortly ater that to
]a"<" i" Azer+ai<a" as &ellH authorities a#ted s&itly a"d so i" the early summer o 1850
the !+ &as summarily +rou5ht rom Chihr9 +a#1 to )a+rz &here, to5ether &ith a
dis#i2le, he &as 2u+li#ly e-e#uted +y iri"5 s9uad at "oo" o" %uly 8
th
1850 i" the #ity>s
military +arra#1s. 4a(i"5 +ee" ormally a22oi"ted to su##eed him some mo"ths +eore, the
"i"etee" year old Mrz Oay .;r 8u+0i0Azal "o& emer5ed as the !+>s le5atee, Mirror
a"d su##essor a"d so the su2reme 2o"ti o the "as#e"t !+ e##lesia.
1F


/e should "ote here that the year 18AA (#orres2o"di"5 to the hi:r& 1=J0) &as
2re#isely o"e0thousa"d years rom the #omme"#eme"t o the 6##ultatio" (ha%ba) o the
)&elth, a"d i"al, ithn 7ashar& :mm Muammad i+" Qassa" al0As1ar^ (+. 8JF C,) i" =J0 A4

18
See Ma#,oi">s $!he !rial of the Bb( Shi7ite MrthodoN% confronts its mirror imae* i" !he *essiah of Shir+, A0F050.
1F
See our 2re(ious arti#le. 4ere &e &ould li1e to ma1e a #orre#tio" to o"e o the #itatio"s i" the "otes o our
2re(ious 2ie#e. :" "=A &e said that S.M. .a+a(i0Iaza(i Ioha"i>s !r&kh$i$8ir6i$i$Bb&i dar Bahdd a+ JOPH t JOHQ
(N"2u+lished dissertatio"? )ehr", =01B) &as a" MA thesis rom )ehr" N"i(ersity. :t is i" a#t rom Shahd
!ihisht N"i(ersity a"d "ot )ehr" N"i(ersity.
(8LA C,). )he 5e"eral si5"ii#a"#e o this a#t alo"e should "ot +e lost si5ht o i" a"y o(erall
assessme"t re5ardi"5 the i"itial 2oliti#al su##esses o !+ism, as it u"ders#ores the a#t that
messia"i# er(our, s2e#ulatio", "ot to me"tio" e-2e#tatio", &as rie at the time throu5hout
the area.
=0
:t may also to some e-te"t 2ossi+ly e-2lai" its ultimate 2oliti#al ailure as &ell.
!e that as it may, a"d as Ma#,oi" has 9uite ri5htly 2oi"ted out,
=1
the sheer 2rodi5ious
out2ut o #om2ositio"s let +y the !+ duri"5 this short si- year 2eriod o his mi"istry 0
totalli"5 some $ity (olumes, ea#h o o"e hu"dred 2a5es &ith te" &ords to the li"e a"d
t&e"ty li"es to the 2a5e* +y o"e estimate (Sources, 15) 0 2erha2s #o"stitutes o"e o the most
i"teresti"5 #or2us o &riti"5s a(aila+le i" the history o #hiliasti# se#taria" mo(eme"ts i"
:slami#ateH or else&here, or that matter.

)he Dolar Moti, the S#ie"#e o the Eetters )he Dolar Moti, the S#ie"#e o the Eetters )he Dolar Moti, the S#ie"#e o the Eetters )he Dolar Moti, the S#ie"#e o the Eetters a"d a"d a"d a"d the Al#hemi#al the Al#hemi#al the Al#hemi#al the Al#hemi#al A AA As#e"sio" s#e"sio" s#e"sio" s#e"sio"

/e &ill "o& tur" to a dis#ussio" o the 2olar moti a"imati"5 the i""er i"te"tio" +ehi"d
our mai" 2ie#e +y the !+ (tra"slated +elo&) a"d ho& this i"orms the o(erall situation o
its al#hemi#al "arrati(e, +eore reiterati"5 a e& 2oi"ts o" the s#ie"#e o the letters, ater
&hi#h &e &ill tou#h u2o" the sym+olism o the al#hemi#al as#e"sio" i" our 2ie#e. /e &ill
state rom the +e5i""i"5 o this "e-t dis#ussio" that &hat is detailed +elo& is rele#ti(e o
the 5reater do#tri"al rame&or1 that has +ee" #lassiied as 4i5h :mamolo5y.
==
)his 4i5h
:mamolo5y, or its 2art, #a" ar5ua+ly +e lo#ated &ithi" sour#es a"d tra"smissio"s mu#h
older G a"d #loser to the 2eriod o :slam>s irst #e"turies 0 tha" similar s#hemes ou"d mu#h
later o", su#h as the theoso2hi#al Suism o i5ures li1e :+" Ara+ (d. 1=A0) a"d his s#hool.
)hat said, the s2e#ii# 2oi"ts o de2arture, "ot to me"tio" the 9ualiied hue, this
2ers2e#ti(e ta1es here is rom start to i"ish o"es that si"5ularly i"orm !+ism a"d the
earlier Shay1h s#hool.
=B


Crom the (ery outset o the 5reater Shite traditio", the irst :mm Al i+" A+
\li+>s (d. JJ1) &ell 1"o&" ma-im that $al#hemy is the sister o 2ro2he#y* &as to +e ta1e"
9uite a#utely +y all o our Shi>ite spirituals as o"e o se(eral 2i(oti"5 a"d 5uidi"5 leitmotis
o Shite 5"osis a"d esoteri#ism tout court. !esides this amous stateme"t, there are
#ou"tless others li1e it, su#h as the :mm>s homily o the tra"smuted ire (al$nr al$

=0
)he &hole irst 2art o Ama"at>s =esurrection and =enewal, 22. BB0105, ser(es as a" i"stru#ti(e 2rimer i" that
re5ard.
=1
:" Sources for 5arl% Babi ;octrine and 2istor%( ) Surve% (Eeide"? ,.%. !rill, 1FF=), he"#eorth Sources.
==
)he +est i"trodu#tio" o" the su+<e#t remai"s Mohammad Ali Amir0Moezzi>s !he ;ivine 9uide in 5arl% Shi7ism(
!he Sources of 5sotericism in IslamH see as &ell )odd Ea&so">s $!he ;awnin Places of the Lihts of 4ertaint% in the
;ivine Secrets 4onnected with the 4ommander of the 8aithful b% =a:ab Bursi,* i" !he Leac% of *edieval Persian Sufism ed.
Eeo"ard Ee&isoh" (Eo"do"? Mha"i9ah0i0.imatullahi Du+li#atio"s, 1FF=H re02ri"ted 6-ord? 6"e&orld
Du+li#atio"s, 1FFF), =J10=LJ.
=B
Cor the Shay1h s#hool, see 4e"ry Cor+i">s 2istor% of Islamic Philosoph% (Eo"do" a"d .e& Oor1? Me5a" Daul
:"ter"atio"al a"d the :"stitute o :sml Studies, 1FFB), B5=0J, a"d 5n islam iranien )spect spirituels et
philosophi6ues( !ome I1 LRcole dIspahan, LRcole sha%khie, Le ;ou+Seme ImTm (Daris? 3allimard, 1FLB), =050B00H a"d
+elo&.
mu'arra6) that is ou"d i" the "hu#ba al$Ba%n (Sermo" o the ,-2ositio"),
=A
o"e o the t&o
most &idely re5arded e"i5mati# sermo"s attri+uted to the Comma"der o the Caithul,
&herei" theopathic stateme"ts a+ou"d
=5
0 ma"y o them +ei"5 o a disti"#tly al#hemi#al
la(our. )his homily, i" tur", &as to amously +e#ome a to2i# o #omme"tary +y the
ourtee"th #e"tury Shite al#hemist al0%alda1,
=J
to "ame +ut o"ly o"e o its ma"y emi"e"t
#omme"tators. :"deed rom the (ery +e5i""i"5 o this s2e#ii# traditio">s 5e"eral
treatme"t o the arcana, the 2olar0a-ial 2ositio" o the :mms G "ay, the Deo2le o the
4ouse (ahl al$ba%t) i" e"tirety 0 suuses it &herei" to a 5reat e-te"t the motis o sear#h a"d
re#o5"itio" o the :mm a"d the opus a"d #reatio" o the Most 3reat ,li-ir (iks&r al$a7>am) G
other&ise 1"o&" as the Sto"e (al$'a:ar) 0 may +e said o" ma"y le(els to +e sy"#hro"ous
dis#oursesH that is, "arrati(es "e#essarily i"ter2e"etrati"5 ea#h other.
Crom this (a"ta5e 2oi"t o 4i5h :mamolo5y, thereore, the stress laid i" the esoteri#
tea#hi"5s o the :mms o" the realizatio" o the Ktrue reliion> (d&n al$'a66 U ma7arifa, 5"osis)H
&hi#h they de"ote li1e&ise &ith the term the Kpure reliion> (d&n al$khliA)H &ith the noesis o
the 4iero0:"telli5e"#e (7a6l)H
=L
+ei"5 the a#tual realizatio"
=8
(ta'6&6, ta'a6u66) o the i"itiati#
1"o&led5e (the tra"smitted 7ilm o the :mm) as su#h, a"d he"#e the realizatio" o &hat i"
the Alam;t .iPr :sml do#tri"e su2er+ly 5ets termed the Imm$of$ones$beinH
=F

#o"stitutes the o(erall si5"ii#a"#e o the ars operativa i" Shite al#hemy. :" this
2ers2e#ti(e, the Person o the :mmH that is, the 4elestial Personalit% &ho sta"ds as the @eil o
Ei5ht, &ho is +oth the master 2residi"5 o(er 2aradise as &ell as hell,
B0
a"d &ho is the
S2ea1i"5 !oo1 (kitb al$n#i6)H a"d the Dhiloso2her>s Sto"e are o"e a"d the same +e#ause as
the )heo2ha"y par eNcellence the :mm sta"ds at the limit (the 'add) at &hi#h the
coincidentia oppositorum o##urs.
B1
)his may +e o"e &ay a Shite al#hemi#al 5loss, a taw&l, o"
Sur>" A1?5B may +e u"derstood.
B=
!ut, e(e" more e-2li#itly, it is ho& the e"i5mati#
stateme"t +y the Comma"der o the Caithul 2ro2erly #omme"#i"5 the dis#ourse o the

=A
See Muammad i+" Mam;d 'ihdr Shrz>s Shar'$i$"hu#ba al$Ba%n, ".d., ".2.H see also Cor+i">s a2ro2os
remar1s re5ardi"5 al0%alda1, the Sermon of the 5Nposition a"d the e9ui(ale"#y o al#hemy &ith 'ikma
(theoso2hi#al &isdom) i" 2istor% of Islamic Philosoph%, BB10=.
=5
)he other +ei"5 the Sermon Between the !wo 9ulfs (khu#ba al$#atan:&%%a).
=J
See 4e"ry Cor+i" )lchimie comme art hi<rati6ue, ed. Dierre Eory (Daris? E>4er"e, 1F8J), B1H AJ0AL.
=L
See "B a+o(e.
=8
:" itsel #o"sidered a di(i"e +ou"ty (ni7ma) rather tha" a#9uired throu5h 2erso"al eort or a#9uisitio" (kasb).
=F
/e "ote the ollo&i"5 khabar rom %aar re#orded i" Mulay">s al$"f&? $3od has 2la#ed t&o 1i"ds o authority
o(er huma"s. )he a22are"t a"d ma"iest (>hir) authority a"d the i"ter"al a"d hidde" (b#in) authority. )he
2ro2hets a"d messe"5ers are the a22are"t a"d ma"iest authorities, a"d 4iero0:"telli5e"#e T7a6l U "ousV is the
hidde" (b#in) a"d i"ter"al authority,* 4 1=, Ch. 1.
B0
6"e amous 'ad&th i" Ma<lis>s Bi'r al$)nwr ()he 6#ea"s o the Ei5hts) is "oted or #hara#terizi"5 Al +y the
a22ellatio" . .. .. (the master o 2aradise a"d the ire), see htt2?RRshia+oo1.+lo5a.#omR2ost0F.as2-
(a##essed =A A2ril =011).
B1
Cor+i"? lUImam comme ma+har est bien la limite T partir de la6uelle prennent naissance les couples de termes
antith<ti6ues ()here is "o dou+t, the :mam as di(i"e ma"iestatio", is the limit at &hi#h the (arious 2airs o
a"titheti#al terms are +or", tra"s. )odd Ea&so" ), #. 4oincidentia Mppositorum in the Ba%%um al$)sma( the terms
VPointW Xnu6taG, VPoleW X6utbG, V4enterW Xmarka+G and the "hutba al$!atan:i%a 6##asio"al Da2ers i" Shay1hi, !a+i a"d
!aha>i Studies, 40!ahai? @ol.5, .o.1, %a"uary, =001.
B=
Soon shall we show them Mur sins in the hori+ons Xf&l$f6G and in themselves Xwa f& anfusihimG until it become manifest
X%ataba%%anaG to them that, veril%, it is the =eal !ruth Xal$'a66G, my tra"s.
Sermo" !et&ee" the )&o 3uls (khu#ba al$ta#an:&%a) must, i" our o2i"io", +e u"derstood? $I
am the Mne standin between the !wo 9ulfs YandZ I am the Mne observant over the two Wests and the
two 5astsX*
BB
3i(e" this, the :mm is here the opus as &ell as its eli-irRlapis, its 2atie"t a"d
its a#tor, the alpha a"d the omea, &hereore %aar 2ro#laims, $veril% Mur 4ause is the =eal
!ruth and the =ealit% of the !ruth, and it is the *anifest and the 2idden, and the 2idden of the
2idden, and it is a *%ster% and the 5nima of that *%ster%, and it is a secreted Secret, and a YhihZ
*%ster% concealed within another SecretX*
BA

As su#h the dis#ourse +y the !+ +elo& #a" o" ma"y 2arallel le(els +e 5lossed as a"
i"(itatio" to its re#i2ie"t #oded i" al#hemi#al #i2her to +elie(e i" his #ause (amr) as the
)rue :mm a"d 'i(i"e 3uide 6ua the Dhiloso2her>s Sto"eRthe Most 3reat ,li-ir? a"
i"(itatio" &herei" the i""er sym+oli# reality a"d statio" o the !+ himsel is u"(eiled
throu5h su#h #i2hers to his i"terlo#utor &ithi" a dis#ourse a+out the ars operativa. )his is,
ho&e(er, "ot to +e ta1e" i" either a"y #ate5ori#al se"se or as a mere meta2hori# dis#ourse
#ou#hed i" the la"5ua5e o al#hemi#al lourishes. :"stead the dis#ourse is to +e ta1e" o"
as#e"di"5 s#ales a"d u2o" a" a"a5o5i#al ladder o e(er e-2a"di"5 mea"i"5s e"5a5i"5
sym+oli# alle5ory 6ua the ars operativa that #a""ot +e #ommu"i#ated i" a"y other &ay.
3i(e" this, &e &ould su55est that the sta5es (or theo2ha"i# se9ue"#es, rather) o Al>s
'ad&t' al$'a6&6a +e 1e2t irmly i" mi"d here as #ommu"i#ati(e o the u"oldi"5 tra<e#tories
o the a"a5o5i#al le(els o as#e"t a#utely 2rese"t i" our te-t. 4ere it is, as it &ere, the !+>s
$disclosure of the ma:esties of lorification (sub.ht al$:all) without indication*
B5
to his addressee
throu5h &hi#h the sta5es o the 2ro#ess
BJ
&ill ultimately #ulmi"ate or this i"terlo#utor,
should he asse"t, i" the e-ti"5uishi"5 o the lam2 o his o&" 2artial i"telle#t u2o" the
a22rehe"sio" o the arise" 'a&" o the N"i(ersal :"telle#t, the Drimal Doi"t, &hi#h here is
the !+ himsel as the Ma"iest :mm? the Ma"iest :mm &ho is the )heo2ha"y par
eNcellence a"d so the e2i2ha"y o the coincidentia oppositorum made ma"iest to our
i"terlo#utor.
BL
)his +e#omes, the", the (erita+le #reatio" o the eli-irRlapis $in the hori+ons
and in the selves* as the realizatio" o the V=eal !ruthIthe !rul% =eal* (al$'a66), i.e. the [uh.r
(di(i"e ma"iestatio"Ra22eara"#e). :" other &ords, or the i"itiated 2ro5e"y o Adam a"d
,(e, it is throu5h, +y a"d i" the :mm &herei" the palinenesis o##urs, si"#e the :mm is the
soul>s 2ere#t mirror (mirt) 0 literally its locus amoenus, its 2la#e o re2ose
B8
0 &ho u"#tio"s
as its (erita+le sym+oli# athanor that accomplishes its tra"smutatio".

BB
My tra"s. .ote the #o"#e2t o the Watcher(s) (&r&n) i" the !oo1 o 'a"iel as a #i2her i"di#ati"5 3od>s a"5els as
$&at#hul* or $(i5ila"t se"ti"els, * htt2?RR&&&.a+u."+.#aRCoursesR.e&)estame"tR4e+re&sRA"5els.htm
(retrei(ed =A A2ril =011)H or a" Ara+i# te-t o the Sermo" !et&ee" the )&o 3uls, see A22e"di- :: o Ea&so">s
2a2er a+o(e.
BA
C. 8ar al0Summ, Basir al$;ara:t (!eirut? ".d.), 1=?5F.
B5
:.e. the irst theo2ha"i# se9ue"#e o the 'ad&th al$'a6&6a.
BJ
See our "=5 i" the 2re(ious arti#le.
BL
Cor a 5e"eral dis#ussio" o this 2oi"t i" its early !+ tra<e#tory, see )odd Ea&so", $!he Structure of 5Nistence in
the BbUs !afsir and the Perfect *an *otif,* Studia Iranica, 1FF=? 810FF.
B8
.ote the sym+olism o the )ree (sha:ara) G 2arti#ularly the )ree o Ieality (sha:aratul$'a6&6a) 0 as o"e
i"di#ati(e o the embodified ("ot Kem+odied>) )heo2ha"y 6ua the ,ter"al :mm i" the &riti"5s o the !+. :" the
#o"te-t o :slami#0!+ esoteri#ism a"d 5"osis, embodiment U 'ul.l (i"#ar"atio") &hereas embodification U
ta:all&R>uh.r (theo2ha"yRma"iestatio").
Eet us a"alyse the matter urther a"d rom &ithi" our o&" te-t.
BF
)he !+ +e5i"s
the se#o"d 2ara5ra2h o the dis#ourse +y stati"5 that $9od has not created an%thin without
also fashionin within it a letter ('arf) of the eliNir in accordance with its stationIeNistential rank*
(ma6m) (1A 1A 1A 1A0 00 015 15 15 15). 4ere this dis#losure is #i2heri#ally iterati(e o the meta2hysi#al a#tuality
o the Dre0,ter"al Co(e"a"t o )last (Sur>", L?1L=, al$)7rf, Kthe 4ei5hts>)
A0
&here+y in illo
tempore the 2re0#reatio"al late"#y o the #olle#ti(e multitude o the eidaic (Dlato"i# :deal0
Ar#hety2e) orm0su+sta"#es (:awhar&%t) 0 &hi#h is a"other &ay o sayi"5 the eNistential
particles (dharr&%t) 0 o the 2ro5e"y o Adam a"d ,(e are dramaturicall% assem+led u2o" the
atemporal 2la"es o 5atheri"5 (mash'ar) G that is, i" the +amn (time) o dahr
(duratio"less"ess 2er2etuity) 0 to +ear &it"ess &ithi" themsel(es en toto a"d i" the
2rese"#e o the 'i(i"e as to the disti"#ti(e"ess, the si"5ular u"i9ue"ess (fardn&%a), o their
Eord (i.e. $Am : "ot your Eord_,* alastu bi$rabbikum, to &hi#h the #olle#ti(e res2o"se is, $yes,
&e testiy Tthat )hou art7V,* bala shahadn)H this, so that u2o" the 'ay o Iesurre#tio" (%awm
al$6&%ma) G &hi#h i" its !+ 2arla"#e e-2li#itly de"otes the [uh.r itsel G they may "ot
the" #laim to ha(e +ee" u"a&are or heedless o their o&" e-iste"tially situated 2re0
#reatio"al (fi#r&) airmatio" (ibid. our 2ara2hrase). :" its Shite0!+ 5loss the Eord (rabb), o
#ourse, here sta"ds or the :mm a"d "ot or the 9odhead per se, si"#e i" :ts utter, remote
tra"s#e"de"#e (tan+&h) :t sta"ds &ell +eyo"d all thi"5s a"d so #a" dis2e"se &ith su#h triles
as re9uiri"5 either the asse"t or the de"ial o :ts #reatio". )hereore, to 2ut it a"other &ay,
the :mm is &hat is here mea"t i" Sur>" 5B?1B as the sidratul$muntah (the Eote0)ree o the
arthest limit, that 2ro2erly mar1s the +ou"dary o the se(e"th hea(e"), a"d so here the ars
operativa a"d soteriolo5y are i"tri"si#ally li"1ed s#hemes thus ma1i"5 o the Shite0!+
opus a 5e"erally sal(ii# u"derta1i"5.
.o& the e-iste"tial mar1 o this 2rimordial asse"t to the Eordshi2 (rub.b&%a) o the
:mm is the letter (the 'arf) +y &hi#h ea#h i"di(idual mem+er o the 2ro5e"y o Adam a"d
,(e 0 2ast, 2rese"t a"d uture 0 is #reati(ely i"sta"tiated +e#ause it is ea#h o"e>s 2rime(al,
2re0#reatio"al individuation (the 2redetermi"ed fi#r&%a o ea#h thi"5, its ta6d&r) i" the Dre0
,ter"al (a+al&) di(i"e matri-. )he i""er mystery (sirr) o ea#h letter, i" tur", is its eliNiric
reality ('a6&6a iks&r&%a) G +ut #o"ti"5e"t u2o" its a#tualizatio" i" the horizo"tally situated
s2atiotem2oral mu"da"e 0 to &hi#h its realizatio" is ultimately li"1ed a"d de2e"de"t via its
airmatio" (ithbt) o the Celestial Derso" o the :mm (U the mea"i"5 o the ill allhReNcept
9od o the shahada) that, the", is the 1ey (mift') G its o&" individuated #i2her, as it &ere 0 to

BF
)he "e-t t&o 2ara5ra2hs is our o&" summarized 2ara2hrase o 1ey se#tio"s o the !+>s #omme"tary o" the
s.rah o the Co& (al0!a9ara), his irst e-te"si(e &or1 2rior to his de#laratio" i" 18AA, &hi#h &e hold as the
edii#e o his e"tire meta2hysi#al system. Cor the te-t o this #omme"tary, see, htt2?RR&&&.h0
"et.or5R`+ahaiRare2ri"tR+a+RS0]Rta+a9R+a9arah.htm (a##essed =1 Mar#h =011).
A0
:t should +e "oted that amo"5 the titles or the :mms is the men of the 2eihts (ri:l al$a7rf) &here+y this
&hole surh, a"d this (erse s2e#ii#ally a"d the su+se9ue"t, is said to reer to them. :" his #omme"tary o" the
#alli5ram o the 3reatest .ame, Siyyid MPim Iasht (d. 18ABRA_) a22lies this title to the :mms &hilst
#orres2o"di"5 ea#h o the si5ils o the 3reatest .ame to them as &ell. Cor a te-t o Siyyid MPim Iasht>s
#omme"tary, see htt2?RR&&&.s#ri+d.#omRdo#R5==F5B1ARIashti0Sharh0:sm0Allah0al0A0zam (a##essed A A2ril
=011) (&e are 5rateul to Droessor Ea&so" or ma1i"5 the MS. .. . o this im2orta"t &or1 a(aila+le to us).
its eli#ity (fal'), its 2ali"5e"esis, i" the a22rehe"sio" o the :mm0o0o"es0+ei"5H
A1
&hi#h
is, the realizatio" o the 4iero0:"telli5e"#e (vi+. the 7a6l as the a#tualizatio" o the :mm>s
7ilm). :" Suhra&ard>s di#tio", this is the realizatio" o o"e>s Dere#t .ature (#iba7 al$tamm),
the s%+%% (i.e. the ]oroastria" %a+ata), "amely, the malak.t& a"5eli#0dou+leH there+y ma1i"5
o the ,ter"al :mm here the Celestial Eord o the s2e#ies (rabb al$naw7) 2residi"5 o(er the
2ro5e"y o Adam a"d ,(e. )his, the", is o"e o the mea"i"5s +ehi"d Al>s reiteratio" o the
'el2hi# ma-im, $whosoever knows their Self, knows their Lord*
A=
5i(e" that the Sel (nafs, anima)
here 6ua the :mm0o0o"es0+ei"5 is i" all #ases the ,ter"al :mm, the 76l (4iero0
:"telli5e"#e).
AB
As su#h to those amo"5st their i"itiated 5"osti# ade2ts (i.e. the mumin&n, the
true, i"itiati# +elie(ers) &ho ha(e truly 1"o&" 0 that is, noetici+ed 0 their Eord, the ,ter"al
:mm is +oth the a2otheosis o their souls &ithi" the tra"smuti"5 2ro#ess o their
i"di(idual palineneses (their arise" 'a&"
AA
) (sol) as &ell as the u"i9ue (fard&), i"di(iduated
sophianit%, the f#im&%a, that "o& #elestially des#e"ds u2o" them as a result
A5
a"d so atta#hes
itsel he"#eorth as the 2erma"e"t mar1 (luna), its (esti5ial si5"ature or si5" (Calma)H
+e#ause this is the eli-iri# reality "o& a#tualized, &hi#h is the 7a%n al$fud (the ,ye or
:"telli5e"#e o the 4eart) actuated (o" fud, see our "ote +elo&).
AJ


4a(i"5 u"2a#1ed a+o(e &hat the i""er thrust o the e-2li#itly al#hemi#al se#tio" o
our treatise is mea"t to #o"(ey, let us "o& ma1e a e& more 2erti"e"t #omme"ts a+out the
s#ie"#e o the letters (7ilm al$'ur.f) itsel a"d its relatio" to the Art. :" his *u6adimma the
ourtee"th #e"tury Muslim so#iolo5ist a"d historio5ra2her :+" Mhald;" says o it?

Eet it +e 1"o&" to youXthat the s#ie"#e o letters is a" im2orta"t s#ie"#e. )he
s#holar &ho 1"o&s it #omes to 1"o& thi"5s that he &ould "ot +e a+le to 1"o&
&ith the hel2 o a"y other s#ie"#e i" the &orld. )he 2ra#ti#e o the s#ie"#e o
(letter ma5i#) re9uires #ertai" #o"ditio"s. /ith its hel2, the s#holar may dis#o(er
the se#rets o #reatio" a"d the i""er &or1i"5s o "ature. )hus, he lear"s the t&o

A1
)he :mm &ho is the a"ima, soul or Sel (nafs) o o"e>s +ei"5 i" the reality o di(i"e airmatio" +ut "ot i" the
"e5atio" (l ilha) that is the e5oi#, #o"#u2is#e"t sel or the mere e5oi# sel0i"di(iduatio" (&hi#h is still "ot the
s2iritual i"di(iduatio" o the Sel).
A=
)he !+>s o&" #omme"tary o" this amous 'ad&th i"sta"#es this 2oi"t e-2li#itly.
AB
3ua"o"? $Xi"soar as it is a bse#o"d +irthb, i"itiatio" is u"dame"tally "othi"5 other tha" the ba#tualizatio"b i"
the huma" +ei"5 o the (ery 2ri"#i2le &hi#h, i" u"i(ersal ma"iestatio", a22ears as the Ueternal )vataraUX*
Perspectives on Initiation (4illsdale? So2hia Dere""is, =001), =FF.
AA
Der the mea"i"5 o the i"al theo2ha"i# se9ue"#e o the 'ad&th al0ha6&6a.
A5
.ote the #o"#e2t o the Mazdea" farrRc(ar"ah (the li5ht o 5lory), es2. as outli"ed +y 4e"ry Cor+i" i" Spiritual
Bod% and 4elestial 5arth( 8rom *a+daean Iran to Shiite Iran, tra"s. .a"#y Dearso", (Dri"#eto"? !olli"5e" Series cC:,
Dri"#eto" N"i(ersity Dress, 1FLL), B050.
AJ
A2art rom &hat is stated +elo&, &e should 2oi"t out that e(erythi"5 that a##rues i" the dei"itio" o 7a%n al$
6alb (eye o the heart) i" Sui 5lossaries is a22li#a+le to fud a"d more so i" its Shay1h0!+ de"otatio". )his is
es2e#ially em2hasized 5i(e" that its em2loyme"t i" Sur>" 5B?11 s2e#ii#ally ollo&s, a"d is <u-ta2osed, +y
K(isio">, "amely, the Dro2het>s o&". 3i(e" this, &e &ill say that fud, the :"telli5e"#e o the 4eart, the 4iero0
:"telli5e"#e a"d the :mm0o0o"e>s0+ei"5 are sy"o"ymous a"d thorou5hly i"ter#ha"5ea+le terms.
results o 2hiloso2hy, &hi#h are letter ma5i# a"d its sister (al#hemy). )he (eil o
the u"1"o&" is lited or him. 4e thus lear"s the se#ret re#esses o the heartX
AL


More re#e"tly tha" :+" Mhald;", i" !he Science of the Letters
A8
Ie"a 3ua"o" 2oi5"a"tly
ma1es the #o""e#tio" +et&ee" the Ied Sul2hur (al$kibr&t al$a'mar), the s#ie"#e o the letters
a"d its assimilatio" to the ars operativa 5e"erally s2ea1i"5. 4e #o"#ludes his essay +y
o+ser(i"5?

:" a#t, these t&o s#ie"#es Ti.e. the s#ie"#e o letters a"d al#hemyV, &he"
u"derstood i" de2th, are i" reality o"e a"d the sameH a"d that &hi#h +oth o
them e-2ress u"der (ery diere"t a22eara"#es is "othi"5 more tha" the (ery
2ro#ess o i"itiatio" itsel &hi#h, moreo(er, ri5orously re2rodu#es the
#osmo5o"i# 2ro#ess, i"asmu#h as the total realisatio" o the 2ossi+ilities o a
+ei"5 is "e#essarily +rou5ht a+out +y 2assi"5 throu5h the same 2hases as that o
u"i(ersal ,-iste"#e (ibidLG

4ere 3ua"o" has hi5hli5hted the esse"tial a#ility o this s#ie"#e>s a22li#atio" i" the
2ra#ti#e o the arcana, es2e#ially &he" im2lyi"5 ho& it mirrors (e(e" Ka#ilitates>) the ste2s
o" the ladder o the soul>s as#e"t throu5h the le(els o !ei"5. )he !+ restates the issue
e(e" more e-2li#itly, a"d o" a 2ra#ti#al le(el e(e" e"<oi"s the 2ra#ti#e o the s#ie"#e o
letters u2o" all his +elie(ers as a #or"ersto"e o the !ay" #reed,
AF
ma1i"5 it o"e o the
e-oteri# 2illars o the "e& !ay" shar&7a G or more 2re#isely, a'km (ordi"a"#es). :" the
se#tio" 1"o&" as Kthe tablet reardin the letters> (law'$i$'ur.ft) o the late Book of the 8ive
9rades, i" mu#h more au5me"ted ashio", the !+ e#hoes the last 2art o 3ua"o">s 2oi"t, as
&ell as deli"eati"5 the 5reater !ay" meta2hysi#al 2ers2e#ti(e o" it, stati"5?

XAmo"5 the +ou"ties that the Drese"#e o N"#ha"5a+lea"ess ('aFrat$i$lam %a+al)
Ti.e. 3odV has +esto&ed u2o" the Doi"t o the !ay" is the 1"o&led5e o all thi"5s
i" a si"5le Sel (nafs$i$whid) so that he may +ehold 5e"erated e-iste"#e (takw&n)
&ithi" the &orld o the letters (7lam$i$'ur.f) &ith the eye o #ertai"ty (a%n$i$
%a6&n)H a"d this is a 2ere#t 2roo u"to all <ust li1e the (ersi#al0si5"s (%t)H a"d it
&as T#o"#ealedV amo"5 the hidde" treasuries (makh+.n) o the 'i(i"e 1"o&led5e
(7ilm$i$ilh&) that &as "ot re(ealed u"til "o&, or it is more treme"dous (aC++) tha"
a"y other 1"o&led5e. All the TholyV !oo1s &ill +e re(ealed Ti" the utureV, a"d it is
rom this 1"o&led5e that the Cause o $%our 9od, who is Mne 9od,* (Sur>" 1J?==)

AL
)ra"s. Cra"z Iose"thal, #h2.J? Dd (ersio" (".2., ".d.), J81.
A8
:" 8undamental S%mbols( !he 0niversal Lanuae of Sacred Science ed. Z #om2. Mi#hel @alsa", tra"s. Al(i" Moore
%"r., re(i. Marti" Ei"5s (6-ord? Sui"ta ,sse"tia, 1FF5), BA0B8.
AF
$But strive in the "nowlede of the Letters, and 4on:unctions of the -umbers of 9odUs -ames, and 4on:unctions of like
words, and 4on:unctions of like Writins in their proper place\ for Permission hath been accorded for each person to arrane
the order of the Ba%n in such wise as appeareth sweetest\ for thouh it appear after a thousand fashions, %et do all return to
the Soul of the Ba%n,* N"ity B, 3ate 1J, tra"s. ,.3. !ro&"e i" Summar% of the Persian Ba%an i" Selections from the
Writins of 5L9L Browne on the Babi and Bahai =eliions, ed. Moo<a" Mome" (6-ord? 3eor5e Io"ald, 1F8L), B1J.
has TalreadyV +ee" re(ealed Ti" the 2astV. :" the !ay" the ma"iestatio"s o ea#h
lordshi2 Tsu+sistV u"der the shado& o this (erse &ithi" the 5ates o 2aradise a"d
li1e&ise i" this ma""er &ithi" the ire, &hi#h $over it is nineteen* (Sur>" LA?B0).
A"d the !ay" has arise" &ithi" the &ords o e-alted"ess (kalimt$i$7i++&%a) to
su#h a" e-te"t that, 3od &illi"5, &ithi" Tthe #y#le o theV !ay" TitselV it Ti.e. the
s#ie"#e o the lettersV shall rea#h its mode o #om2letio" a"d utmost 2ere#tio".
:" short, all thi"5s (kullu$sha%) "e(er all outside Tthe 2ur(ie&V o the t&e"ty0
ei5ht letters To the Ara+i# al2ha+etV, a"d i" this ma""er the 5e"erated e-iste"#e
o all thi"5s is Tli1e&iseV "e(er outside To the 2ur(ie&V o the mea"i"5 o these
lettersH a"d the )ruly Ieal ('a66), 5loriied +e 4e a"d 4i5h, has assem+led these
letters &ithi" ele(e" de5rees o :t>s 1"o&led5eH
50
a"d rom the )alisma"i#0)em2le
(ha%kal) o the Drimal /ill (mash&%at$i$avval&%a), &hi#h is the Cirst 4uma" (insn$i$
awwal), T:tV has determi"ed the out&ard TormV o this )alisma"i#0)em2le to +e
Tthe letterV h () a"d its i"terior to +e Tthe letterV ww ()H a"d it has ashio"ed
ei5htee" )alisma"i#0)em2les u"der the shado& o this )alisma"i#0)em2le &ithi"
the o#ea" o Tdi(i"eV "amesH a"d it #a""ot +e#ome t&e"ty +e#ause the utmost
limit o the Tdi(i"eV "ames is the Tdi(i"eV "ame the Aid :"(o1ed (mustahth
U =001)H a"d #o"sider that i" the Tei5htee"V )alisma"i#0)em2les this matter
shall +e #o"#lusi(ely 2ro(e" &ithi" the most 2ere#t rame&or1. A"d the
diusio" o the re(elatio" o this 1"o&led5e o the )alisma"i#0)em2les is "au5ht
+ut or the sa1e o Testa+lishi"5V #o"#lusi(e demo"stratio"s or the 3uides o the
!ay" or Tthe sa1e o all &ho areV other tha" them Ti.e. the "o"0+elie(ers, i.e.
awwm,
51
the 5e"eralityV (AAJ0L, my tra"s.)
5=
X

,arlier i" the same the +oo1, dire#tly s2ea1i"5 to al#hemy, the !+ states?

X)he s#ie"#e o the ,li-ir is li1e the #reatio" o all thi"5s Ti.e. the #osmo5e"esisV.
:t is "ot 2ossi+le or it to ha(e a +e5i""i"5 or a" e"d, a"d "o o"e may 5ras2 the
5rades a"d statio"s o its limits other tha" 3od, or all ha(e arise" +y the
#auseR#omma"d (amr) o 3od7 @erily &ithi" the Tthe a#me oV the i"terior reality
o this Tal#hemi#alV s#ie"#e is Tou"dV 3od T&ho is #o"#ealedV &ithi" the Ti"i"iteV
(eils o holi"ess ('u:ub al$6uds). A"d &he"soe(er a"yo"e rom amo"5st 4is

50
As Ma#,oi" has #orre#tly 5lossed, these are the ele(e" de5rees #orres2o"di"5 to the sum o the letters . a"d
that i"sta"#es h.w&%a. /here he has erred, is i" 5lossi"5 h.w&%a as Ke-iste"#e> (wu:.d) &ithout urther
#omme"tary si"#e h.w&%a re2rese"ts the mystery o the di(i"e ipseit% that is strictu sensu "e#essarily +eyo"d
wu:.d i" !+ meta2hysi#s, &hi#h 2ro2erly +elo"5s to the realm o the Drimal /ill. /hat the !+ has i"di#ated
here, &hi#h is immediately made a22are"t i" the ollo&i"5 #lause, is that these ele(e" de5rees re2rese"ti"5 the
ipseit% are the mirrors to the Drimal /ill &ho re2rese"ts the ipseit%. :" other &ords, the Drimal /ill, as the
ema"ated i"sta"tiatio" o the ipseit%, mirror>s it G "ot that it is it. )he lar5er ema"atio"ist s#heme here is
a22are"t. Ma#,oi">s error is +oth sema"ti# a"d i"atte"tio" to the su+tleties a"d #ate5ories i"ormi"5 the lar5er
meta2hysi#s here.
51
/hom i" the la"5ua5e o :mm esoteri#ism re2rese"t the "o"0i"itiates.
5=
)his is our o&" tra"slatio" that Ma#,oi" 2artially 2ro(ides i" his $-ineteen 4entur% Babi !alismans,W Studia
Islamica, 1ARi, (1F85)? 8BH "o& i" !he *essiah of Shira+, 5AB0A.
ser(a"ts hath #ome u2o" this Tal#hemi#al s#ie"#eV, it hath +ee" +y the
#omma"dR#ause o 3od that they e"5a5e i" it Ti.e. the ars operativaV (hum bi$
amriLlhi %a7mal.n) (BBJ, my tra"s.)

.o& i" our 2ie#e +elo& the !+ +e5i"s his short dis#ourse +y oeri"5 a set o
i"stru#tio"s to his i"terlo#utor that the" 2ro2erly sets the sta5e or the ars operativa o the
opus itsel. /hile some may 2er#ei(e the details o these t&o 2ara5ra2hs as addressi"5 t&o
#om2letely se2arate 9uestio"s, i" reality they are "ot. All as2e#ts o the dis#ussio", rom
+e5i""i"5 to e"d, are i"terli"1ed &ithi" a lar5er "e-us o #orres2o"de"#es +e#ause ea#h
2hase +uilds u2o" the "e-t &ithi" the sta5es o the i"itiati# <our"ey, all the &ay to the i"al
2ali"5e"esis. 4e says, $take at the head of ever% ten the first letter and calculate it b% the first
element of 8ire around the name of 9od Cthe 4onstrictor\ and in the second element of )ir around the
name of 9od Cthe Livin\ and in the third element of Water around the name of 9od Cthe =evivifier\
and in the fourth element of 5arth around the name of 9od the C!aker of Life>X* (1 11 10 00 0A AA A). )hese our
di(i"e "ames a"d their s2e#ii# #orres2o"de"#es to the our eleme"ts as detailed +y the
!+ (i.e. Cire, Air, /ater a"d ,arth)H the se(e"old di(isio" a"d 2la#eme"t o the t&e"ty0
ei5ht letters a##ordi"5 to the #orres2o"di"5 eleme"tH the #al#ulatio" that ollo&s a"d the
meditatio" that e"sues as a resultH determi"es the o2erati(e +ala"#es (mawa+&n) that the"
resol(es the 2re#ise astrolo5i#al e9uili+riums a"d #osmi# sym2athies that the" allo&s the
i"terlo#utor 6ua as2ira"t his e"#ou"ter &ith the 3reat So(erei5" A"5el (malak al$kab&r) &ho
&ill re(eal to him the #orre#t 1eys to his al#hemi#al as#e"sio" G (iz. the talismanic$lunettes
or ma5i#al #i2hers, the o##ult 2e"s (a6lm).
5B
)his i" tur" &ill the" 5uide his soul 2ast the
su+lu"ary realm, the li5ht +eyo"d the #osmi# #ry2t, a"d o(er to the 6rie"t o Ei5ht
(mashri6 al$n.r), rom the locus o &hi#h he &ill "e-t <our"ey to the 'i(i"e )hro"e (7arsh)
&here he &ill +e (re0)u"ited &ith the ,ter"al :mm &ithi" the a22er#e2tio" o those
(isio"ary to2o5ra2hies o the mundus imainalis (7lam al$mithl) laid out i" the se#o"d
2ara5ra2h.
4ere, &ith the di(i"e assista"#e issui"5 rom the ,ter"al :mm, he &ill 5o +eyo"d
the )hro"e itsel a"d there+y +e#ome a""ihilated &ithi" the reality o the 3reatest .ame
(ism al$a7+am) that &ill #o"stri#t his +ei"5 (6abF) &ithi" :tsel throu5h the +ur"i"5 Celestial
Cire &hi#h &ill the" o2e" him u2, a"d so u"ite him urther, &ith the &aystatio"s (man+il)
o the 5reater multi(ersal e-2a"ses o !ei"5 G i.e. the Drimal /ill. :" this situs he &ill +ehold
the theo2ha"y o the e-iste"tial Si"> rele#ted to him rom the ipseital statio"s o the
,-#lusi(e 6"e"ess (a'ad&%a) &herei" the retorta o his sol (animus) is <oi"ed &ith G that is,
alls i"to 2la#e u2o" the rim o 0 the alem+i# o his luna (anima). )he ruit o the Si"iati#

5B
)hat is,

C. =ituals in Babism and Bahaism (Eo"do" a"d .e& Oor1? :.! )auris Du+lishers a"d the Ce"tre o Middle ,aster"
Studies, N"i(ersity o Cam+rid5e, 1FFA), A22e"di- :::, 101. :" this orm a+o(e G the i"de2e"de"t orms
2ro#eedi"5 horizo"tally rom to2 ar0ri5ht to +ottom ar0let 0 they are held +y the !+ to +e the telesmati#
i"sta"tiatio"s o ea#h o the "i"etee" letters o the bismillh.
)ree that &ill emer5e rom this i"itial con:unctio &ithi" himsel G the ruit o &hi#h he &ill
"o& eat G &ill re(eal to him i" that limit the +iur#ated a"imatio" o the mystery o the
'i(i"e Do&er (active, i.e. male U sol U sulur) &ithi" that o the 'i(i"e Dredomi"atio"
(passive, i.e. emale U luna U salt).
As the realizatio" o this mystery is made to all i"to its situsH that is, +e#ome ully
ma"iested into himH the Most 3reat Crimso" 6il emer5es rom the Celestial Si"iati# CireH
&hi#h is the a22eara"#e (ba%n) o the ,ter"al :mm>s 2ro-imate immi"e"#e &ithi" the
horizo"s o his sel as the S2ea1er (n#i6) &ithi" himH at &hi#h 2oi"t our as2ira"t +e#omes
the (ery si5" o 3od $throuhout all the worlds accordin to its Tor Khis>V capacit%* (=1 =1 =1 =1)H "amely,
he has thorou5hly a&o1e" to the realizatio" o the :mm0o0his0+ei"5, the 4iero0
:"telli5e"#e (Ca6l), his o&" di(i"e mystery, that the" e"#om2asses se(e" earths a"d se(e"
hea(e"s &ithi" himH mea"i"5, he is "o& the tra"si5urated )heo2ha"i# Ei5ht (n.r muta:all&)
o the ,ter"al :mm &ithi" the loci o his o&" se(e" meta2hysi#al su+tleties (mash7ir)
5A

+e#ause the ,ter"al :mm is o"e i" him "o& si"#e he has "o urther ide"tity a"y more
other tha" the ,ter"al :mm>sH as he has s&um a#ross the o#ea" o the #orrosi(e &aters,
stri22i"5 all (esti5es o his 2artial e5o i" the 2ro#ess, a"d o(er to its other shores there+y
e-ti"5uishi"5 the lam2 (sir:) o his separative (solve) ide"tity, &hi#h has s&itly 2assed a&ay
i" its illusory su+strates, or the emer5e"#e o that &hi#h is aster tha" the t&i"1li"5 o a"
eye, vi+L the alread%$alwa%s arise" 'a&" o the :mm0o0his0+ei"5 (coaula). So &he" the !+
later states, $Wherefore have we concealed from revealin this secret from the a+e of all those
lookin upon the penetrative metaph%sical subtlet% of diverent contrariness* (=B =B =B =B), he is im2li#itly
i"di#ati"5 this theoso2hi# isomor2hism G i.e. the tra<e#toral de2th that is the e2i2ha"i#
setti"5 2la#eme"t (maw6iC) 0 &hi#h i"orms, the", the #ulmi"atio" o this 2ali"5e"eti#
2ro#ess, vi+. the taaluh (i.e. theosis), that "o"e +ut the realized ade2ts, the theoso2hi# sa5es
(i.e. mumin&n U 'ak&m mutialih), #a" ully #om2rehe"d, let alo"e #ommu"i#ate, &hereore
the 5azes o the 5e"erality are #o"#ealed rom +eholdi"5 it.

)he MSS., Eo#ati"5 the Die#e )he MSS., Eo#ati"5 the Die#e )he MSS., Eo#ati"5 the Die#e )he MSS., Eo#ati"5 the Die#e a"d a"d a"d a"d Semi Semi Semi Semi0 00 0Criti#al Criti#al Criti#al Criti#al )ra"slatio" )ra"slatio" )ra"slatio" )ra"slatio"

)he irst o the t&o MSS. o our treatise +elo& &as o+tai"ed rom amo"5st s#a"s 1i"dly
5i(e" to us +y the &e+master o !aya"i#.#om i" =00L. )he #olle#tio" the 2rese"t &or1 #ame
rom &as sim2ly listed as !oo1 B8 !oo1 B8 !oo1 B8 !oo1 B8 a"d #o"tai"ed orty0our short, i"de2e"de"t treatises a"d
res2o"ses to 9ueries +y the !+. )he 2a2er o the MS. .. . a22ears to +e i" a li5ht 5ree" &ith, i"
total, B1F olio 2a5es (1J0 2a5es o a#tual s#a") &ith +et&ee" ei5htee" to "i"etee" li"es 2er
2a5e. 6ur 2ie#e &as the t&e"ty0"i"th i" the #olle#tio" a"d o##urs i" ull o" 2. F1 o our s#a"
(olio 18108= o the MS.) )he MS. #o"tai"s "o #olo2ho" or a"y other ide"tiiers as to
2ro(e"a"#e or the ide"tity o the s#ri+e a"d its date o #om2letio". /e ha(e desi5"ated this
MS. as !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8. /e "ote that a +ul1 o the items #o"tai"ed i" !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 #a" also +e ou"d i"
other (ersio"s &ithi" the assorted :.!A (:ra"ia" .atio"al !ah> Ar#hi(es) #olle#tio"s.
55


5A
6ther&ise 1"o&" as the la#]if.
55
S2e#ii#ally (olumes A0, 5B a"d JF. Cor these (olumes, see, htt2?RR&&&.h0"et.or5R`+ahaiRi"de-Ral+a+.htm
(a##essed 18 A2ril =011).
)he se#o"d MS. &as o+tai"ed or us i" early A2ril =011 +y the &e+master o the
'i5ital 6##ult Ma"us#ri2ts Ei+rary rom material the" re#e"tly made 2u+li# +y the 'i5ital
Ei+rary o :ra"
5J
a"d mar1ed as MS. 1=AA8. /e ha(e desi5"ated this #olle#tio" as 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8.
6ri5i"ally rom the li+rary o o"e !5hir )ara9 (a"d #atalo5ued as dB8), 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 seems to
ha(e made its &ay at some 2oi"t rom this #olle#tio" i"to the #olle#tio" o the :ra"ia"
.atio"al Ma<lis Ei+rary 0 a"d as the dis2layi"5 stam2 o" the ro"t02ie#e demo"strates 0
sometime duri"5 the Dahla( era (1F=J01FLF C,) &here it &as #atalo5ued as 85LBBR1=1F1.
/hat a22ears to +e some 1i"d o ide"tiier or the s#ri+e (+ut "ot a "ame) a22ears
u"der"eath the ta+le o #o"te"ts (fihrist), +ut it is #om2letely ille5i+le to us i" the s#a" a"d
so &e #a""ot 2ro2erly ma1e it out. )his #om2ilatio" #o"tai"s ourtee" &or1s o the !+
rou5hly #o(eri"5 the 2eriod u2 to the 2oi"t i" 18AL <ust +eore he made his #laim to
Bim&%a a"d i"#ludes the (ery rare (isitatio" 2rayer (+&%ra) or CYima that u"til "o& &as
thou5ht to e-ist i" o"ly a si"5le MS. (2er Sources, FF).
5L
)he s#ri+e does "ot urther ide"tiy
him or hersel o" a"y 2a5e o either its (erso or re#to, "or does heRshe 2ro(ide the date or
their tra"s#ri2tio"H +ut they &ere #ertai"ly a !+ o some des#ri2tio" 5i(e" the 5e"eral
em2loyme"t o laudatory 2raises (i.e. Aalawt, 2e""ed i" red i"1) at the (ery o2e"i"5 o a
"um+er o the items &he" reerri"5 to the !+ as $4is 4oli"ess the Iemem+ra"#e, u2o"
him +e 2ea#e* ('aFrat al$dhikr 7ali%hi al$salm). )he Dd o this MS. is =A= 2a5es i" le"5th G
a"d 5i(e" this, it is dii#ult to as#ertai" &here the a#tual olios o the #o"te"t +e5i", so &e
&ill here #ite the 2a5e "um+ers as 2er the Dd (its ro"t a"d +a#1 +i"di"5 ha(e also +ee"
i"#luded i" the s#a" as 2art o a si"5le ile) 0 &ith its ta+le o #o"te"ts o##urri"5 as o 2. 8
immediately ollo&ed o" the "e-t 2a5e +y the !+>s /a'&fa )7ml al$Sana ()he ,2istle o the
N"derta1i"5s duri"5 the Oear) &ith the te-t o the &hole MS. e"di"5 at 2. =A0. Citee" li"es
2er 2a5e, the +e"edi#tio" o our 2ie#e +e5i"s at the +ottom o 2. =BB &ith the 2ie#e itsel
#o(eri"5 all o 22. =BA0=B5 a"d e"di"5 o" the se#o"d li"e o 2. =BJ. )hat said, the
a22eara"#e o this MS. #om2ilatio" (that i" /ester" a#ademi# 2ri"t, at least, &as alto5ether
u"1"o&") is a (ery im2orta"t i"d or !+ studies, a"d to5ether &ith some o the other
MSS. &e ha(e 5e"erously +ee" 5i(e" +y the :ra"ia" !ay" #ommu"ity o(er the 2ast
de#ade, #halle"5es a e& (i "ot more) o Ma#,oi">s i"di"5s i" Sources that "o& re9uire
some u2date a"d re(isio".
6"ly o"e other MS. o this s2e#ii# 2ie#e is 2rese"tly 1"o&" to us, that +ei"5 :.!MC
JL (:"ter"atio"al !ah> Ma"us#ri2t Colle#tio"s), =0B0A (see Sources ibidL) /e ha(e "either
2erused "or had a##ess to this s2e#ii# MS. Der this MS. Ste2he" Eam+de" 2ro(ides a 2artial
tra"slatio" o the se#o"d hal o the 2ie#e G vi+. our se#o"d 2ara5ra2h, &ith some (ariatio"s
a"d the a22are"t o##urre"#e o a" e-tra #lause i" his tra"slated te-t that does "ot a22ear
to o##ur i" either o"e o ours.
58
/e ha(e ollo&ed Eam+de">s tra"slatio" #losely i" this

5J
)he &hole o this Dd #a" +e ou"d o" S#ri+d, at, htt2?RR&&&.s#ri+d.#omRdo#R5=BF0F0LRAssorted0,arly0
/or1s0o0the0!a+ (a##essed 10 A2ril =011).
5L
/hi#h &e are 2rese"tly i" the 2ro#ess o 2re2ari"5 a tra"slatio" rom our MS.
58
)his 2artial tra"slatio" irst a22eared as $)lchemical 9nosis in Bb&$BahU& Scripture( ) Paper first read at a post$raduate
seminar 0nivL of -ewcastle upon !%ne* (NM), 1F8A, a"d #a" "o& +e ou"d o" his &e+site, at,
htt2?RR&&&.hur9alya.2&2.+lueyo"der.#o.u1R!A4Ae=L0AEEA4R)!0D4:E6S6D4,Ie=LSe=0S)6.,.htm (a##essed ==
A2ril =011).
se#o"d 2ara5ra2h a"d a5ree &ith some o his &ordi"5 +ut "ot &ith ma"y others. All o this
has +ee" i"di#ated i" the "otes. /e should me"tio" that there is a mu#h lo"5er dis#ourse
+y the !+ o" 5ematria a"d al#hemy that e-2a"ds u2o" some o the themes 2rese"ted i"
our 2ie#e +elo&. !ased o" the MSS. :.!MC F1? B00BJ a"d :.!MC JL? ==80=BB 0 "either o"e
&hi#h &e ha(e had a##ess to 0 Eam+de" 2ro(ides a" i"#om2lete ,"5lish tra"slatio" o it o"
his &e+site.
5F
)here is also, o #ourse, the dis#ussio"s o 5ematria a"d al#hemy i" the Dersian
Ba%n a"d the Book of the 8ive 9rades (es2. BBJ05J) 0 s"i22ets o &hi#h &e ha(e 9uoted a+o(e 0
that re2rese"ts the !+>s latest a"d most systemati# thou5hts o" the su+<e#t.
)he #ir#umsta"#es or the #om2ositio" o our 2rese"t 2ie#e +elo& are "ot
sui#ie"tly 1"o&". !ut +ased o" some 2eri2heral e(ide"#e &e may +e a+le to #o"<e#ture as
to rou5hly &hat timeli"e duri"5 the !+>s mi"istry it may ha(e +ee" #om2osed. 6" the
a(aila+le e(ide"#e, the ide"tity o its re#i2ie"t is "early im2ossi+le to determi"e. )hat
stated, the list 2ro(ided +y Ma#,oi" i" Sources (1F0) re5ardi"5 the #o"te"ts o :.!MC JL
2la#es our 2ie#e as the ith item i" +et&ee" a 2ie#e +y the !+ deali"5 &ith the 'a:: a"d o"e
addressi"5 a #ertai" Shay1h Qassa" re5ardi"5 e(e"ts i" :r9 that simulta"eously 2ro(ides
i"stru#tio"s to the Eetters o the Ei(i"5 to 2ro#eed to Mar+al (i" order to assem+le or the
2ossi+le khur.:_)
J0
)hese are res2e#ti(ely the items ( (( (i() i() i() i() a"d ((i) ((i) ((i) ((i) listed i" that #olle#tio" that
a22ear to mai"ly i"#lude &or1s rom the 18AA018A5 2eriod o the 'a:: <our"ey a"d the
retur" to :ra" (late summer 18AA0MayR%u"e 18A5). 6" 2. ==1 o our MS. 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 0 that is,
three items +eore our o&" 2ie#e, as 2er the s#ri+e 0 &e ha(e a res2o"se to a 9uestio" 2ut
+y o"e Muammad :+rhim to the !+. )he item immediately 2re#edi"5 ours, ho&e(er, is
the !+>s &ell 1"o&" early tra#t o" the 1"o&led5e o the u"see" (7ilm al$ha%b), &hi#h is
other&ise a #omme"tary o" a amous 'ad&th +y :mm %aar al08di9 o" the su+<e#t.
J1
So, or
"o&, this &ould elimi"ate the aoreme"tio"ed Muammad :+rhim as its tar5et re#i2ie"t.
Ma#,oi" lo#ates this last #omme"tary o" the 'ad&th +y %aar as +ei"5 o"e #o"tem2ora"eous
&ith the Ba%%.m al$)sm (Sources, 22. 5L08)H that is, May0%u"eR%uly 18AA. 4ere immediately
ollo&i"5 our o&" 2ie#e o" 2. =BJ o 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 is to +e ou"d a 2rayer that #o"#ludes o" 2.
=B8. 6(erall it is "ot a22are"t to us &hat, i a"y, method the s#ri+e has em2loyed i"
#o"stru#ti"5 a #hro"olo5i#al timeli"e o these &or1s i" his #om2ilatio" so that o"e may +e
5lea"ed rom it. Oet most o the ide"tiied &or1s o this #om2ilatio" a22ear to #ome rom
mostly that 18AA05 2eriod.
!ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 #o"ou"ds urther 2ossi+le attem2ts at 2re#ise lo#atio". :t 2la#es our 2ie#e
as the se(e"tee"th item amo"5st a 5rou2 o t&e"ty0our that the s#ri+e has mar1ed as
+ei"5 res2o"ses to a 2resuma+ly #hro"olo5i#al list o 9uestio"s. )he irst o these items
(+e5i""i"5 at olio 1=J) is the !+>s #omme"tary o" Al>s reiteratio" o the 'el2hi# ma-im.

5F
htt2?RR&&&.hur9alya.2&2.+lueyo"der.#o.u1R0B0)4,e=0!A!RM4N)!ASe=0!A!R010Mhut+ae=0eJ0ilme=0al0
huru.htm (a##essed == A2ril =011).
J0
Cor details o the !+ khur.: (mille"aria" i"surre#tio") i" the :r9 Shite holy la"d that "e(er tra"s2ired, see
=esurrection and =enewal( !he *akin of the Babi *ovement in Iran, JHKK$^Q, 1FA0LH =1=H B=A05.
J1
)his is the amous 'ad&th al$:arr&%a "arrated +y 8adr &hi#h #a" +e ou"d i" Mulay", (ol. 1 ()ehra", 1BF=R1FL=0
LB), AF50FJ. A##ordi"5 to Sources (2. 58) o"ly $si- sur(i(i"5 ma"us#ri2ts* remai" o the !+>s #omme"tary o"
this 'ad&th. !oth o our MSS. #o"tai" a #o2y o it, "o& i"#reasi"5 this "um+er to ei5ht. More are sure to ollo&, i
they ha(e">t +ee" already si"#e Ma#,oi" irst &rote.
)he item immediately 2re#edi"5 ours (a"d mar1ed the si-tee"th 9uestio", +e5i""i"5 at
olio 1L8) #omme"#es +y addressi"5 9uestio"s o health, si#1"ess a"d ritual 2urity (#'ara)
+eore 2ro#eedi"5 i"to a" a#rosti# 2rayer. :" this last item the s#ri+e a22ears to ha(e
#o"de"sed se(eral shorter 2ie#es i"to o"e. Eam+de" 2ro(ides a te-t o the a#rosti# 2rayer
(+ut &ithout ide"tiyi"5 his MS.) to5ether &ith a" i"#om2lete ,"5lish tra"slatio" o" his
&e+site.
J=
)he item ollo&i"5 ours i" this #olle#tio" is a (ery short 2ie#e #o"sisti"5 o a
si"5le 2ara5ra2h addressi"5 theodi#y a"d si#1"ess (olio 18=0B). As me"tio"ed, our o&"
2ie#e o##urs o" olios 1810=.
)hese issues stated, &e s2e#ulate that our 2ie#e is 5e"erally lo#ated i" the 18A50J
2eriod rom either duri"5 the 'a:: <our"ey or immediately thereater, +ut +eore the !+>s
li5ht rom Shrz to :sah" (late summer 18A50Se2tem+er 18AJ). N"til urther #o"#lusi(e
e(ide"#e #omes to li5ht, or "o& &e te"tati(ely +ase this dati"5, irst, o" the orderi"5 o
:.!MC JL, &hi#h deals &ith &or1s rom that 5e"eral 2eriod o the !+>s mi"istryH a"d,
se#o"d, that the orderi"5 ollo&ed +y 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8>s s#ri+e has 2la#ed this &or1 alo"5side o"e
o the !+>s earliest, "ot to me"tio" the a#t that the ma<ority o the &or1s i" this
#om2ilatio" are s2e#ii#ally rom that 2eriod. /e &ill em2hasize this 2oi"t, ho&e(er, that
this ide"tii#atio" is te"tati(e, at +est, i "ot alto5ether su2eri#ial, +e#ause the 5e"eral
state o 2arate-tual disarray &here !+ MSS. timeli"es are #o"#er"ed is su#h that it ote"
#o"utes ma"y attem2ts 2rese"tly at lo#ati"5 these 2re#isely, let alo"e #o"#lusi(ely
ide"tiyi"5 their re#i2ie"tsH that is, u"less a#tual auto5ra2hs should a22ear someday that
2re#isely date them. /e ho2e this situatio" &ill #ha"5e i" #omi"5 years a"d there are
ho2eul i"di#atio"s at 2rese"t that it mi5ht.

/e ha(e di(ided this semi0#riti#al tra"slatio" i"to "um+ered 2assa5es, +rea1i"5 it
do&" i"to e-a#tly t&e"ty0ei5ht i" total, +asi"5 our 2assa5i"5 u2o" the te-t o !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8.
/here this o##urs, the "um+eri"5 i"di#ates the +e5i""i"5 o ea#h 2assa5e. Ara+i#
tra"sliteratio"s ha(e +ee" 2la#ed i"side rou"d +ra#1ets (), as &ell as italici+ed, &ith
i"sertio"s o "eeded &ordi"5 2la#ed i"side s9uare +ra#1ets TV. All tra"sliteratio"s o di(i"e
"ames a"d attri+utes rom Ara+i#, Eati" &ords or "eolo5isms ha(e +ee" italici+ed. )he
oot"otes i"di#ate the (aria"t readi"5s rom the MSS. a"d oer 5losses. A ta+le #a" +e
ou"d ater the tra"slatio" that s#hematizes the irst 2art o the o2eratio" i"di#ated +y the
!+ i" the irst e& 2assa5es o the irst 2ara5ra2h (1 11 10 00 0J JJ J), a"d &e are i"de+ted to A.4.A. o
the 'i5ital 6##ult Ma"us#ri2ts Ei+rary or shari"5 &ith us e-am2les o similar s#hemes
ou"d i" earlier authors &here+y &e &ere the" a+le to #om2are 2ossi+le layouts i" order to
i"ally 5ra2h our ta+le.





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(te-t) (a##essed =0 A2ril =011).
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(tra"slatio") (a##essed =0 A2ril =011).
Text

:" the .ame o 3od the Com2assio"ate, the Mer#iul7
JB


As or the 9uestio" re5ardi"5 the s#ie"#e o letters (7ilm al$hur.f)? ta1e at
the head o e(ery te" the irst letter T=V T=V T=V T=V a"d #al#ulate it +y the irst
eleme"t o Cire (nr) arou"d the "ame o 3od Kthe 4onstrictor> (al$6biF)H a"d
i" the se#o"d eleme"t o Air (haw) arou"d the "ame o 3od Kthe Livin> (al$
'a%%)H a"d i" the third eleme"t o /ater (m) arou"d the "ame o 3od Kthe
=evivifier> (al$mu'a%%i)H a"d i" the ourth eleme"t o ,arth (turb) TAV TAV TAV TAV
arou"d the "ame o 3od the K!aker of Life> (al$mum&t). )he" multi2ly the te"
letters rom the irst to the ourth a"d rom the third to TJV TJV TJV TJV the se#o"d.
)he" dedu#t se(e" a"d e(aluate +y se(e". Ater&ards ye &ill o+ser(e rom
the t&e"ty0"i"e Tlu"arV ma"sio"s
JA
(man+il), #omme"surate &ith the
s#ie"#e (7ilm) o their astrolo5i#al houses (al$nu:.m), a##ordi"5 to the letter
o Cire, the (aluatio" o T8V T8V T8V T8V CireH a"d Air, the (aluatio" o AirH a"d /ater,
the (aluatio" o /aterH a"d ,arth, the (aluatio" o ,arth. )his is the 2oi"t
o 1"o&led5e a"d its 1ey that you &ill emer5e rom to&ards the 2ath o
the strai5ht li"e (kha##)
J5
o that 5ate. T10V T10V T10V T10V )here ye &ill i"d the 3reat
TSo(erei5"V A"5el (malak al$kab&r),
JJ
or that is the talisma"i# resolutio"
that is Tou"dV i" the +oo1s o the Christia"s the li1e"ess o &hi#h &as "ot
ou"d u"til "o& amo"5st the talismanic$lunettes Ti.e. a6lm, the o##ult
2e"sV. So 2rote#t it &ith a" utmost 2rote#tio"H a"d i T1=V T1=V T1=V T1=V a result does "ot

JB
)he o2e"i"5 +e"edi#tio", the bismillh, does "ot o##ur i" !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 +ut is i"#luded i" 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 (Dd 2. =BB i"al
li"e, that is, the +ottom o the 2a5e 2re#edi"5 the s#a" o the 2a5e dis2layed here). !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 sim2ly has $the
seventeenth 6uestion* (. , ).
JA
)&o s#ri+es i" t&o se2arate MSS. ha(e ,. ... a"d this is #ertai"ly "ote&orthy si"#e the !+ a22ears to +e
&ei5hi"5 i" o" a lo"5sta"di"5 de+ate amo"5 Muslim o##ultists a"d o" the side o the t&elth #e"tury )u"isia"
2olymath o the arcana, Shay1h Amad al0!;" &ho 2ro2osed (that is, i the +e #o"sidered the t&e"ty0"i"th
letter o the Ara+i# al2ha+et, or t&e"ty0ei5hth &he" +e made the t&e"ty0"i"th) the "um+er o lu"ar
ma"sio"s to +e t&e"ty0"i"e, see Shams al$*arif al$".br (the 3reat Su" o 3"oses) (!eirut? *uassasah al$-.r lil$
*a#b.7t, 1A=0R1FFF), 10. )his is usually "ot the #ase &ith some "ota+le o##ult a"d astrolo5i#al te-ts rom the
:slami# east, a"d "either is it the 2ositio" o Dseudo0Ma<rt either i" the PicatriN (h%at al$'ak&m).
J5
:" 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 +ut "ot i" !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8. 6"e has ,.. .. ,,. &hile the other has ,.. ,,. (the strai5ht 2ath)L
JJ
6r K9reat SovereinI"in> (malik al$kab&r). 4o&e(er, &e 2reer readi"5 malak rather tha" mlik sim2ly +e#ause all
su#h o2eratio"s i" the ma"uals o :slami# &hite ma5i# (r.'n&%a), as &ell as i" :slami# al#hemy (al$k&m&%),
usually i"(ol(e a" e"#ou"ter &ith a" A"5el or s2irit 5uardia" (muwwakil) o some ra"1 or des#ri2tio" duri"5 the
a#tual #ourse o a" o2eratio". 6 #ourse it 5oes &ithout sayi"5 that i" this 5e"eral 2ers2e#ti(e ea#h malak
(a"5el) is ote" also re5arded a malik (so(erei5" 1i"5) i" its o&" s2e#ii# domai" &ithi" the 5reater hierar#hy o
its o&" admi"isteri"5 ra"1 a"d statio". /ithout &ishi"5 to #ite #o2ious reere"#es here rom (arious sour#es o"
a"5elolo5y (:slami# or other&ise), &e reer the 5e"eral reader to Cor+i">s most illumi"ati"5 dis#ussio" o this
su+<e#t G a dis#ussio" o" a"5elolo5y that i" our o2i"io" has "ot +ee" su2erseded 0 i" the se#o"d #ha2ter o
)vicenna and the 1isionar% =ecital (Dri"#eto"? Dri"#eto" N"i(ersity Dress, !olli"5e" Series Ec@:, 1FJ8H re2ri"ted
1F88), AJ01==.
ollo&, do "ot +e dismayed "or #o"sider this to +e a set+a#1,
JL
or (erily
i"deed 3od &ill re(eal rom this TailureV the TtrueV talismanic$lunette
a##ordi"5 to the +oo1. A"d "either is there humidity (rutab) "or aridity
(%bis) other tha" &hat has +ee" T1AV T1AV T1AV T1AV re#orded
J8
i" that +oo1.

As or the 9uestio" re5ardi"5 the ,li-ir (iks&r)? u"dersta"d that
JF
3od has
"ot #reated a"ythi"5 &ithout also ashio"i"5 &ithi" it a letter o the ,li-ir
i" a##orda"#e &ith its statio" (ma6m).
L0
As or its hidde" realities
(ha6i6)? T1JV T1JV T1JV T1JV <our"ey &ith me u"to the 'i(i"e )hro"e (7arsh) u"til thou
hast 5o"e +eyo"d it &ith the Tdi(i"eV assista"#e (ou#hsaed u"to thee
Ta"dV u"til ye ha(e &it"essed the Cire o that Most 3reat .ame o 3od (ism
allh al$akbar),
L1
letti"5 it lare u2 &ith a +laze (ashta7alhu) +y the re"di"5 o
the T18V T18V T18V T18V (eil (kashf al$hi:b)
L=
o the i"most subtilised heart$fluN (fud).
LB
)he"

JL
'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 .. . . !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 o"ly has . .
J8
'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 has . &ith a . rather tha" &ith a . as i" !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8. /e disa5ree &ith 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8>s 2hrasi"5 here.
JF
'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 . . !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 . .
L0
6r Ke-iste"tial ra"1>.
L1
'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 has this s2e#ii# 2hrasi"5. !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 sim2ly has ,. , (the Most 3reat .ame). /e ha(e 2reerred this
o"e +e#ause Eam+de" i"di#ates it 2er :.!MC :.!MC :.!MC :.!MC JL JL JL JL. /e "ote this is <ust a"other &ay o sayi"5 the 3reatest .ame.
See a+o(e.
L=
Eam+de">s tra"slatio" has this li"e o the 2assa5e as $to remove the coverin (al$'ib).* .either o"e o our t&o
MSS. has this. :"stead +oth ha(e .. ,. (to re"dRthe re"di"5 o the (eil). Si"#e &e do "ot ha(e a##ess to the
te-t o :.!MC JL &e #a""ot #om2are the dis2arity hereH +ut the ide"ti#al 2hrasi"5 o this li"e i" +oth o our t&o
MSS. should +e "oted or a"y uture #om2ariso"s a"d i" esta+lishi"5 a"y i"al #riti#al te-ts o the ori5i"al
Ara+i# +e#ause this #ha"5es +oth its thrust a"d its su+tle mea"i"5.
LB
8ud is a te#h"i#al term i" the le-i#o" o Shay1h (a"d +y e-te"stio", !+) thou5ht re2lete &ith si5"ii#a"#e
de"oti"5 a mea"i"5 +eyo"d <ust a mere sy"o"ym or Kheart> (6alb). :dris Sama&i Qamid>s 9uite i"si5htul
re"deri"5 o fud as Kheart$fluN> : ha(e 9ualiied urther as Ksubtilised heart$fluN, see !he *etaph%sics and 4osmolo%
of Process )ccordin to Sha%kh )'mad al$)'sU& (!ualo? Dh.'. dissertatio", State N"i(ersity o .e& Oor1 at !ualo,
1FF8), &here he "otes, $Xfud is more s2e#ialized tha" the heart itsel, a"dXa notion of motion or fluN is
fundamental to its meanin (my italics)X&ith Shay1h Amad al0Asb fud is more s2e#ialized tha" the 6alb,* 101.
)hereore, i" its Shay1hG!+ de"otatio" +oth these terms (K6alb> a"d Kfud>) #arry ar more multia#eted a"d
e-2a"ded im2li#atio"s tha" usually assumed o" irst 5la"#e or other&ise 5lea"ed rom the dei"itio"s 2ro(ided
i" Sui te#h"i#al ha"d+oo1s. Shay1h Amad al0As> (d. 18=J), or i"sta"#e, a22ears to ma1e the o(erall
meta2hysi#al u"#tio" o fud simulta"eously #osmolo5i#al as &ell as o"tolo5i#al tur"i"5 fud i"to the
a"imati"5 u"#tio" o KbeinIeNistence> (wu:.d) itsel. :" the (ery Cirst 6+ser(atio" o his 8awid al$Eikm&%a
(Subtilised 2eart$8luNual Mbservations of Wisdom) he states outri5ht that fud is KbeinIeNistence> (a"d as Qam^d
2oi"ts out, he is s2ea1i"5 o wu:.d i" its "o"0delimited a"d u"i(ersal se"se), =LL. )o &it, $!he YsubtilisedZ heart$
fluN is the hihest of all of Yhumanit%sZ loci of conitionL It is the liht of Y9odZ which 2e Ythe ProphetZ Xupon whom be peaceG
mentioned in his dictum( CBeware of the penetration of the faithful\ for YheIsheZ contemplates throuh the liht of 9odL It is
eNistence because eNistence is the hihest orientation of Yhumanit%Z, that is, YitsZ direction in orientation is to YitsZ Lord,
because eNistence does not contemplate itself at all but rather Yit contemplatesZ its Lord\ :ust as essence does not contemplate
its Lord at all but rather Yit contemplatesZ itself* Tsli5htly modiied tra"slatio" rom 4amid>sV. )he s#ri2tural root o
this &ord as a te#h"i#al term, o #ourse, ori5i"ates &ith Sur>" 5B?11 (al$na:m, K!he Star>), i.e. $the TsubtilisedV
heartT0lu-V hath not lied reardin what it hath seen,* &hi#h reers to the Dro2het>s "o#tur"al as#e"sio" (mir:) a"d
his +eholdi"5 o the 'i(i"e Ca#e at $Xtwo bow$lenths or nearer* (6ba 6awsa%ni aw adn) (5B?F). :" li5ht o this, &e
shall oer our s#hematizatio" o the hierar#hy o the su+tle 2hysiolo5y o the heart i" Shay1hism a"d i" !+ism
2la#e the retorta (al$6ar7) u2o" the rim o the alem+i# (amb&6)
LA
a"d ta1e
rom the ruit o the )ree emer5i"5 rom the Mou"t Si">i o the ,-#lusi(e
6"e"ess (#.r al$s&n al$a'ad)
L5
u"to the limit o the T'i(i"eV Do&er (al$
6adr)
LJ
&ithi" the T=0V T=0V T=0V T=0V mystery o the T'i(i"eV Dredomi"atio" (al$
mu6tadir),
LL
a"d allo& it to all
L8
i"to its 2la#e (awAiluh il ma'alih). )here
Ti" that locusV you shall i"d the Most 3reat Crimo" 6il (duhn al$a'mar al$
akbar)
LF
Temer5eV rom this TSi"iati#V Cire (al$nr) more s&itly tha" the
t&i"1li"5 o a" eye (a6rab min lam' al$baAar). :" that situs,
80
T==V T==V T==V T==V to&ards
3od (il allh), you are the (ery si5" o 3od (%at allh)
81
a"d li1e&ise
throu5hout all the &orlds a##ordi"5 to its #a2a#ity (bi$'asbihi)H that is,
u"til the #ulmi"atio" o the matter
8=
(al$amr) u"to Tthe limit oV the
mi"eral &orld (lam al$:amd). T/hereoreV ha(e &e #o"#ealed rom
re(eali"5
8B
(khifn min al$a>hr) Tthis se#retV rom the 5aze o all those

as ollo&s (as#e"di"5)? 1. 1. 1. 1. 6alb (heart) =. =. =. =. b#in (i"terior), B BB B. .. . suwa%d (#ore), A. A. A. A. 'abbat (1er"el), 5. 5. 5. 5. sirr (se#ret) a"d J. J. J. J.
fud (su+tilised heart0lu- U e-iste"#eR+ei"5). )he le(el o fud is the le(el at &hi#h 2er the traditio"s o the
:mms &e #a" s2ea1 o the K2iero$Intellience> (i.e. the Ca6l). 6ur #omme"ts here should also +e #o"te-tualized i"
li5ht o Shay1h Amad al0Asb>s do#tri"e o al#hemy, the dou+le okh_m` a"d the 2hysiolo5y o the
resurre#tio" +ody as detailed i" 4e"ry Cor+i">s Spiritual Bod% and 4elestial 5arth( 8rom *a+dean Iran to Shiite Iran,
1800==1H this, si"#e i the su+tle 2hysiolo5y as detailed +y Shay1h Amad al0Asb +e di(ided i"to a +asi#
ter"ary s#heme (a"d urther au5me"ted) as :ism, :asad a"d r.' &e may the" #orres2o"d 6alb to :ism 1 11 1, b#in to
:ism = == =, suwa%d to :asad 1 11 1, 'abbat to :asad = == =, sirr to r.' 1 11 1 a"d fud to r.' = == =. See Moezzi, passim, a"d es2e#ially
Basir al$;ara:t (the 'e5rees o the A22er#e2tio"s) or the s2e#ial te#h"i#al mea"i"5 o r.' i" the esoteri#
tea#hi"5s o the :mms. :" the Persian Ba%n =?5 the +asi# 9uater"ary s#heme o the su+tle +ody laid out +y the
!+ (i" des#e"di"5 order) is fud (su+tilised heart0lu-), r.' (s2irit), nafs (soul) a"d :ism (+ody). )his should
demo"strate that, li1e Shay1h Amad, the !+ li1e&ise #o"sidered the fud to +e the hi5hest or5a" o
2er#e2tio".
LA
'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 has .,. (Kthe e%es>). 3i(e" the #o"te-t, a"d a22are"tly as ,, also seems to a22ear i" :.!MC JL as
&ell, &e hold !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 as the #orre#t &ordi"5 here.
L5
'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 . ..., . (the *ount Sinai of the 5Nclusive Mneness of the ;ivine PowerI;estin%). /e do">t 1"o&
&hether or "ot the s#ri+e has misread . . (u"to to the limit) or . (the ,-#lusi(e 6"e"ess). .e(ertheless &e
ha(e 1e2t its 2hrasi"5 u2 to . a"d #om+i"ed it &ith !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8>s . . (u"to to the limit), readi"5 the li"e as
!ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 !ay.!B8 has it rom there o"&ards.
LJ
6r K;estin%>.
LL
Der :.!MC :.!MC :.!MC :.!MC JL JL JL JL (a##ordi"5 to Eam+de"), &hi#h has al$6adar fa sirr al$6adr, Eam+de" has re"dered this 2art o the
2assa5e as $Xthe ;ivine Power in Ythe midmost heartZ of the ;ivine ;estin% YPowerZ.* !oth o our mss. mss. mss. mss. ha(e ..

_ .
L8
6r Kpour>.
LF
'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 has misread . (oil) alto5ether a"d +y dro22i"5 the has &ritte" i" i"stead (Kto weep> or Ksih>). As
2er Eam+de", :.!MC JL has .. 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8>s 2hrasi"5 here does "ot ma1e se"se, i" a"y #ase.
80
6ur re"deri"5 or ,. .
81
'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 has . , (Kthou art 9od>). !ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 has . , &hi#h also seems to a22ear i" :.!MC :.!MC :.!MC :.!MC JL JL JL JL. /e ha(e
re2hrased the se9ue"#e o the li"e o the 2assa5e rom the ori5i"al here some&hat. Eam+de" has $In that place
%ou are the ver% bsin of 9odb both before 9od and towards 9od.* /e do">t "e#essarily disa5ree &ith his readi"5.
4o&e(er, u"less there is additio"al &ordi"5 i" :.!MC :.!MC :.!MC :.!MC JL JL JL JL &hi#h is">t i" ours, . (KtoItowards 9od>) sim2ly mea"s
<ust that a"d this 2re#ise 2hrasi"5, &ithout a"y additio"al &ordi"5, o##urs i" +oth o our mss mss mss mss.
8=
,(e" Kcause>or Kcommand>. .amely, the Mpus.
8B
6r Kpresentin>.
#o"tem2lati"5 (lil$n>ir&n) u2o" the 2e"etrati(e Tmeta2hysi#alV su+tlety
8A

o di(er5e"t #o"trari"ess (mash7ar al$aFdd ),
85
T=AV T=AV T=AV T=AV a"d ha(e esta+lished it
there,
8J
i" that lea (wara6a), the se#ret o the t&o T#osmi#V li"es (Aa#ra%n)
#o"tai"ed &ithi" the t&o mysteries To de2thV
8L
(sirra%n) that 2er#ha"#e
someo"e may a22rehe"d itH
88
a"d sui#ie"t is 3od +y the Droo
8F
as &it"ess
to the truth (kaf&%a bi$Llhi bi$l$hu::ati 7ali$l$'a66 shah&dan).
F0
A"d i you truly
#om2rehe"d Tthis aairV, T=JV T=JV T=JV T=JV you &ill +e a+le to u"derta1e the Art o the
,li-ir (sana7 al$iks&r) a"d i" that locus truly 5ras2 the reality o the matter
('a6&6at al$amr).
F1
A"d this is Ta" issueV &ell01"o&" i" the 2rese"#e o o"e
&hom 3od has made to &it"ess the #reatio" o T=8V T=8V T=8V T=8V 4ea(e" a"d earth, a"d
the #reatio" o 4is Loos$Self,
F=
or "o 2o&er a"d "o stre"5th is there sa(e
i" 3od, the Soari"5ly 4i5h, the Mi5hty7
FB
3loriied +e 3od a+o(e &hat is
attri+uted to 4im, a"d 2raised +e 3od, the Eord o all the &orlds7







` `` `







8A
6r Kmark> as Eam+de" has it.
85
Eam+de" has this li"e o the 2assa5e as, $Wherefore have We concealed from the vision of such as a+e towards that
which bears the marks of contrarinessX*
8J
!ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 has it as ,. _ .

. 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 has it as a+o(e. Eam+de" has it as, $have laid it down @there,* &hi#h te"ds to
su22ort the same readi"5 as i" 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 &hi#h is ., .
8L
Der Eam+de".
88
4ere Eam+de" i"#ludes a li"e that does "ot o##ur i" either o"e o our t&o mss. mss. mss. mss. )o &it, $!hus hath 2e tauht 0s
Ythe eliNorial m%steriesZX*
8F
.amely, the !f+ himsel.
F0
'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 'E: 1=AA8 has the #o"<u"#tio" (Kand>) ater . . (sui#ie"t is 3od). !ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 does "ot.
F1
,(e" Krealit% of the cause$command>.
F=
A te#h"i#al term re2lete throu5hout the &riti"5s o the !+ (a"d o"e &ith some :sml #o""otatio"s as &ell)
is nafs allh. Eiterally this de"otes the self, or e(e" anima, o 3od. Ste2he" Eam+de" has #o"siste"tly tra"slated
this term as Loos$Self a"d &e ully #o"#ur &ith his 9uite +eautiul re"deri"5. :" the theo2ha"olo5y o the !+
this term de"otes the di(i"e Kmessener$prophet> (ras.lRnab&), viceerent$providential uide (wal&) a"d leatee (waA&)
as the ma"iestatio" o the Drimal /ill (mash&a al$.l). ,lse&here i" the u"i(erse o :slami# 5"osis this &ould +e
#lassiied as the N"i(ersal :"telle#t (7a6l kull) or Pen (6alam). A #orollary to this term i" the !+>s di#tio" is point
(nu6#a).
FB
!ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 !ay. !B8 does "ot ha(e ,.. (the Mi5hty). !oth MSS. ha(e 2la#ed a shadda o(er the o . (the 4i5h), i.e.

.,
there+y i"te"siyi"5 the te"se.
)a+le o )a+le o )a+le o )a+le o the the the the ,leme"tal, 'i(i"e ,leme"tal, 'i(i"e ,leme"tal, 'i(i"e ,leme"tal, 'i(i"e .ame a"d Eetter #orres2o"de"#es .ame a"d Eetter #orres2o"de"#es .ame a"d Eetter #orres2o"de"#es .ame a"d Eetter #orres2o"de"#es



,arth ,arth ,arth ,arth

/ater /ater /ater /ater


Air Air Air Air

Cire Cire Cire Cire

)he )a1er o Eie )he )a1er o Eie )he )a1er o Eie )he )a1er o Eie
(al$mum&t)

)he Ie(i(iier )he Ie(i(iier )he Ie(i(iier )he Ie(i(iier
(al$mu'a%%i)

)he Ei(i"5 )he Ei(i"5 )he Ei(i"5 )he Ei(i"5
(al$'a%%)

)he Co"stri#tor )he Co"stri#tor )he Co"stri#tor )he Co"stri#tor
(al$6biF)









_







.

,

.





.



.

.



,







,

.



.



.









MS. !ay.!B8 MS. !ay.!B8 MS. !ay.!B8 MS. !ay.!B8



Ms. 'E: 1=AA8 Ms. 'E: 1=AA8 Ms. 'E: 1=AA8 Ms. 'E: 1=AA8





/or1s Cited /or1s Cited /or1s Cited /or1s Cited

Ama"at, A++as. =esurrection and =enewal( !he *akin of the Babi movement in Iran, JHKK$^Q,
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Mulay", )hi9at al0:slam Muammad i+" Oa9;+ al0. 0s.l min al$"f&, )ehr"? 1BF=R1FL=0LB.

Eam+de", Ste2he". $)lchemical 9nosis in Bb&$BahU& Scripture,* A 2a2er irst read at a 2ost0
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