Kitabu'l-Asmá'

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The Kitabu'l-Asmá' or Book of Divine Names (also known as the Chahar Sha`n (The [Book of the] Four Grades))[1] is a book written by the Báb, the founder of Bábi religion, in Arabic[2] during his imprisonment in Máh-Kú and Chihriq in Iran (1847-1850). With a total volume of more than 3,000 pages, it is the largest revealed scripture in religious history.[3] At least twenty-six manuscripts exist,[1][4] and much of the text has not yet been located.[3] Some extracts are available in English in the volume Selections from the Writings of the Báb.[2]

Contents[edit]

The text is divided in nineteen unities (Vahid) and 361 gates (Báb; chapters).[3] and consists largely of "lengthy variations of invocations of the names of God'.[2] Each name is discussed in four different parts, each part written in a different 'mode of revelation':[5] divine verses, prayers, commentaries, and rational arguments.[6] The 361 chapters symbolize "all things" (Kull-i-Shay’) and the days of the year of the Badi' calendar.[7] Where the materials about the calendar are located in the Kitabu'l-Asmá' is needs further research.[1]

The Báb gives explanations about many divine names and attributes[5] and describes how humanity can be spiritualized by recognizing the Manifestation of God.[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Lambden, Stephen (2018). Kitab al-asma' - The Book of Names.
  2. ^ a b c Smith, Peter (2000). "Names, Book of". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. p. 258. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.
  3. ^ a b c d Saiedi 2008, pp. 36
  4. ^ Denis MacEoin (1992). The Sources for Early Bābī Doctrine and History. Leiden: Brill. pp. 91–92. ISBN 90-04-09462-8.
  5. ^ a b Saiedi 2008, pp. 45
  6. ^ Saiedi 2008, pp. 337
  7. ^ Saiedi 2008, pp. 336

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Online manuscripts (only a fraction of the size of the complete work):