Surat al-Dhikr of the Qayyúm al-Asmá' (chapter 108):
A provisional translation and commentary

By Moojan Momen

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #62
Centre for Bahá'í Studies: Acuto, Italy
July 8–12, 2005
(see list of papers from #62)

    In this paper a preliminary and highly provisional attempt is made to understand and translate a Surah of the Qayyum al-Asma, the first book that the Báb revealed after His declaration in 1844. The 108th Surah, which is called the Surah of Mulk (Sovereignty), is typical of the rest of the Qayyum al-Asma in its structure; it uses the same rhymes and alliterative patterns; it uses the same imagery; and its use of the Qur'an is similar. It has however a number of particular features that are of special interest. From the historical point of view, there is evidence in this Surah that it at least was written after the pilgrimage of the Báb to Mecca, thus opening up the interesting question of how much of this book was written before and how much after the Báb's pilgrimage. There is also a verse at the end which the present author would like to tentatively suggest should be understood to be onomatopoeic; in other words that it should be experienced rather than understood.

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