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Notes:
Mirrored with permission from irfancolloquia.org/u/momen_akka.

Akka Traditions (hadith) in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

by Moojan Momen

published in Lights of Irfan, Volume 4, pages 167-178
Wilmette, IL: Irfan Colloquia, 2003
Following the PDF, below, see also a draft of this article in HTML.







Towards the end of the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Bahá'u'lláh quotes a number of Traditions of the prophet Muhammad regarding the city of Akka. I list and number these below in the order that they appear in the text and giving Shoghi Effendi's translation:
In this connection it hath been deemed necessary to mention such traditions as have been recorded regarding the blessed and honored city of Akka, that haply thou mayest, O Hadi, seek a path unto the Truth, and a road leading unto God.

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.

The following hath been recorded concerning the merits of Akka, and of the sea, and of Aynu'l-Baqar (The Spring of the Cow) which is in Akka:

1. Abdu'l-'Aziz, son of Abdu'-Salam, hath related unto us that the Prophet - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon him - hath said: "Akka is a city in Syria to which God hath shown His special mercy."

2. Ibn-i-Mas'ud - may God be pleased with him - hath stated: "The Prophet - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - hath said: 'Of all shores the best is the shore of Askelon, and Akka is, verily, better than Askelon, and the merit of Akka above that of Askelon and all other shores is as the merit of Muhammad above that of all other Prophets. I bring you tidings of a city betwixt two mountains in Syria, in the middle of a meadow, which is called Akka. Verily, he that entereth therein, longing for it and eager to visit it, God will forgive his sins, both of the past and of the future. And he that departeth from it, other than as a pilgrim, God will not bless his departure. In it is a spring called the Spring of the Cow. Whoso drinketh a draught therefrom, God will fill his heart with light, and will protect him from the most great terror on the Day of Resurrection.'"

3. Anas, son of Malik - may God be pleased with him - hath said: "The Apostle of God - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - hath said: 'By the shore of the sea is a city, suspended beneath the Throne, and named Akka. He that dwelleth therein, firm and expecting a reward from God - exalted be He - God will write down for him, until the Day of Resurrection, the recompense of such as have been patient, and have stood up, and knelt down, and prostrated themselves, before Him.'"

4. And He - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - hath said: "I announce unto you a city, on the shores of the sea, white, whose whiteness is pleasing unto God - exalted be He! It is called Akka. He that hath been bitten by one of its fleas is better, in the estimation of God, than he who hath received a grievous blow in the path of God. And he that raiseth therein the call to prayer, his voice will be lifted up unto Paradise. And he that remaineth therein for seven days in the face of the enemy, God will gather him with Khidr - peace be upon Him - and God will protect him from the most great terror on the Day of Resurrection."

5. And He - may the blessings of God, - exalted be He - and His salutations be upon Him - hath said: "There are kings and princes in Paradise. The poor of Akka are the kings of Paradise and the princes thereof. A month in Akka is better than a thousand years elsewhere."

6. The Apostle of God - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - is reported to have said: "Blessed the man that hath visited Akka, and blessed he that hath visited the visitor of Akka. Blessed the one that hath drunk from the Spring of the Cow and washed in its waters, for the black-eyed damsels quaff the camphor in Paradise, which hath come from the Spring of the Cow, and from the Spring of Salvan (Siloam), and the Well of Zamzam. Well is it with him that hath drunk from these springs, and washed in their waters, for God hath forbidden the fire of hell to touch him and his body on the Day of Resurrection."

7. The Prophet - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - is stated to have said: "In Akka are works of supererogation and acts which are beneficial, which God vouchsafed specially unto whomsoever He pleaseth. And he that saith in Akka: 'Glorified be God, and praise be unto God, and there is none other God but God, and most great is God, and there is no power nor strength except in God, the Exalted, the Mighty,' God will write down for him a thousand good deeds, and blot out from him a thousand evil deeds, and will uplift him a thousand grades in Paradise, and will forgive him his transgressions. And whoso saith in Akka: 'I beg forgiveness of God,' God will forgive all his trespasses. And he that remembereth God in Akka at morn and at eventide, in the night-season and at dawn, is better in the sight of God than he who beareth swords, spears and arms in the path of God - exalted be He!"

8. The Apostle of God - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - hath also said: "He that looketh upon the sea at eventide, and saith: 'God is Most Great!' at sunset, God will forgive his sins, though they be heaped as piles of sand. And he that counteth forty waves, while repeating: 'God is Most Great!' - exalted be He - God will forgive his sins, both past and future."

9. The Apostle of God - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - hath said: "He that looketh upon the sea a full night is better than he who passeth two whole months betwixt the Rukn and the Maqam. And he that hath been brought up on the shores of the sea is better than he that hath been brought up elsewhere. And he that lieth on the shore is as he that standeth elsewhere."

Verily, the Apostle of God - may the blessings of God, exalted be He, and His salutations be upon Him - hath spoken the truth. (Bahá'u'lláh: Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pages 177-181)


In my book Islam and the Bahá'í Faith, I have quoted a number of these Traditions which appear also in Epistle to the Son of the Wolf about Akka. While I was writing the book I did a considerable amount of research to try to locate the source of these traditions. Unfortunately Muhammad 'Ali Faizi in his commentary on the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf which is named La'ali-yi Dirakhshan comments on the contents of these Traditions without giving ay opinion on the source of them (Tihran, 123 B.E., pp. 379-87).

There were several factors indicating that the source of these Traditions was a work entitled Fada'il ash-Sham wa Dimashq by a Syrian scholar Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali ibn Muhammad ar-Ruba'i al-Maliki, known as Ibn Abi'l-Hawl, who died in 444Ah/1052AD. Ar-Ruba'i himself was a well-respected scholar resident in Damascus who had travelled to various parts of the Islamic world including Egypt and Mecca and had collected Traditions in these places. He is relied upon by many later authors including Ibn 'Asakir in his History of Damascus. The indications for this identification were as follows:
1. The Iraqi Bahá'í scholar Ahmad Hamdi Al-Muhammad (Ad-Dalil wa'l-Irshad, 3rd printing, Matabi' al-Bayan, Beirut, 1966, pp. 166-9) quotes several of these Traditions and identifies the source as "Fada'il 'Akka wa Asqalan" from the book "Fada'il ash-Sham wa Dimashq by Abu'l-Hasan ar-Ruba'i" (p. 167).

2. The Iranian Bahá'í scholar Hisam Noghabai (Bisharat Kutub Asmani, 2nd edition, privately printed, pp. 183-6) quotes several of these Traditions and states that they are from Fada'il 'Akka wa Asqalan of Ibn Abi'l-Hawl" (p. 183).

3. I made enquiries from the Bahá'í World Centre to see if they had a copy of this work by ar-Ruba'i and they sent a copy of a photocopy that they had received from Habibu'llah Derakhshani. It appears to be a manuscript or lithograph. On the first page is the title and author Kitab Fada'il ash-Sham wa Dimashq compiled by Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali ibn Muhammad ibn Shuja' ar-Ruba'i al-Maliki, known as Ibn Abi'l-Hawl, from the oral transmission of Abu'l-Hasan 'Ali ibn Ahmad ibn Zuhayr al-Maliki. On the following sheets all of the Traditions that Bahá'u'lláh quotes appear (except the first) and they appear almost in the same order as in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. There are minor textual variations (see analysis of this at the end of this paper). On looking at the photocopies, however, it becomes clear that Mr Derakhshani had taken the title page and one further page from the work and then gone straight on to the pages relating to Akka which occupy pp. 3-23 and then he has added the final page. He has numbered these consecutively but it is clear they are not consecutive.

4. I discovered that a manuscript of Fada'il ash-Sham wa Dimashq by ar-Ruba'i existed in the library of Nur Ahmadiyya Madrassa attached to the al-Jazzar Mosque in Akka - see 'Abdu'llah Mukhlis, "Majmu' Nadir" in La Revue de l'Academie Arabe, vol. 10, no. 9-10 (Sept. - Oct. 1930), pp. 577-83. This would give a means for Bahá'u'lláh to have had access to the work.


Of course the final piece of evidence that would be needed would be to locate a copy of ar-Ruba'i's Fada'il ash-Sham wa Dimashq in order to confirm that the relevant Traditions are indeed in that book. This proved difficult. The current published version of the book (4th ed., Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islami, 1405) does not have these Traditions but turns out, on closer examination, to be extracts from the Fada'il ash-Sham wa Dimashq, an abbreviated version of the book by Shaykh Muhammad Nasir ad-Din al-Albani. I tried to obtain an older 1951 publication of the book which is mentioned in the introduction to the above edition, but was unable to obtain a copy despite making enquiries from book-dealers in Lebanon and elsewhere.

Manuscripts of this work appeared to be equally difficult to locate. Various manuscripts that exist are of other abbreviated versions of this work. Three manuscripts in Germany are of Burhan ad-Din Ibrahim ibn Taj ad-Din 'Abd ar-Rahman al-Fazari's abridgement of this work (Brockelmann, Geschichte, p. 331 - copies in Berlin, no. 6074, Gotha, no. 54/21, Tubingen Wetzst, no. 26/2; see also W. Ahlwardt, Verzeichniss der Arabischer Handschriften der Koniglicher Bibliotek zu Berlin, Berlin: A. Asher & Co, 1893, vol. 15, p. 391, no. 6074). The only definite manuscripts of the work that I was able to locate were described in the following two publications:
  1. The manuscript in the Nur Ahmadiyya Madrassa attached to the al-Jazzar Mosque in Akka - see above

  2. A copy in the library of the Aya Sophia mosque in Istanbul, mss no. 3340/1 - described in Felix Tauer, "Geographisches aus den Stambuler Bibliotheken (Arabische Handschriften)", Archiv Orientalni, vol. 6 (1934), pp. 95-6.


Unfortunately, access to neither of these manuscripts was available immediately. It was at this point that I needed to come to a decision about the source of these Traditions for publication in my book, Islam and the Bahá'í Faith. I decided to identify the source of the Traditions as Fada'il ash-Sham wa Dimashq by ar-Ruba'i. Since the Haifa photocopies were very clearly written and there was an elaborate title page, I identified this as pages from a "an old lithographed edition of this work that does not show a date of publication and has no page numbers." This proved an unfortunate decision as even before the book was published, but too late to make any alteration in the text, I discovered that my conclusions were erroneous. A closer reading of some of the material that I had as well as some new material revealed several pieces of information that contradicted my conclusions:
  1. I found that the photocopy document sent to Haifa by Mr Derakhshani contained two dates when the author had heard these Traditions. The writer states that he heard these Traditions from Baha ad-Din Abu Muhammad al-Qasim ibn Abu'l-Qasim 'Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn Hibatullah ibn 'Abdu'llah ash-Shafi'i in Damascus in 581 and 585. Since these dates were more than a century after the death of ar-Ruba'i in 444AH/1052AD, it would appear to rule out the latter as the author.

  2. I was informed by Necati Alkan that a copy of a printed version of ar-Ruba'i's book was in the SOAS library. I went there and found that this was the older 1951 edition (ed. S. Munajjid, Matbu'at al-Jami' al-'Ilmi al-'Arabi bi Dimashq, Damascus) and appeared to be the complete text and did not contain a section with these Akka Traditions in it. This book gave a third location for a manuscript of this work - the Dar al-Kutub az-Zahiriyya in Damascus.

  3. A closer reading of the above article by Felix Tauer on the Istanbul manuscript revealed that this manuscript was in a compilation manuscript with several other works. Ar-Ruba'i's Fada'il ash-Sham wa Dimashq was the first item (fol. 1-83) and the seventh work in the compilation was named as Fada'il 'Akka wa 'Asqalan (fol. 215-225). The opening and closing words of the volume as given by Tauer correspond exactly with the Derakhshani photocopy. Tauer gives no indication of the author of this piece and since the other items in the compilation are by various authors or anonymous, there is no contextual evidence in the compilation for authorship. The whole compilation was written out in Dhu'l Qa'da 921 AH by a certain 'Abd al-Rahman as-Salihi ibn Muhammad in the Ummayad Mosque [in Damascus].


This seemed sufficient evidence to be now certain that the Fada'il 'Akka wa 'Asqalan was a separate work composed about 140 years after ar-Ruba'i's Fada'il ash-Sham wa Dimashq and therefore certainly not by ar-Ruba'i himself. A further reading of the Derakhshani photocopies revealed that they were most likely actual copies of the Aya Sophia manuscript described by Tauer. This for the following reasons:
  1. On the front page of the Derakhshani photocopies, there was some writing in the top left hand corner. It looks somewhat like two capital Fs followed by the Arabic numeral 40. I now realised that this was probably the number 3340, which of course is the number of the Aya Sophia manuscript described by Tauer.

  2. Tauer describes what is written on the title page of the manuscript and it accords exactly with the Derakhshani photocopies.

  3. Tauer describes what is written at the end of the compilation - i.e. that it was written in Dhu'l Qa'da 921 AH by a certain 'Abd al-Rahman as-Salihi ibn Muhammad in the Ummayad Mosque [in Damascus] - and this corresponds exactly to the last page of the Derakhshani photocopies.


Thus we may be reasonably certain that the Derakhshani photocopies are copied from the Aya Sophia mss. no. 3340. I also learned that the Derakhshani photocopies were a small booklet that had been published in Tihran, but I was unabale to discover who had published it.

It was obviously now necessary to try to ascertain the authorship of the Fada'il 'Akka wa 'Asqalan. The opening words of the work state that these Traditions were heard from al-Hafiz Baha ad-Din Abu Muhammad al-Qasim ibn Abu'l-Qasim 'Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn Hibatullah ibn 'Abdullah ash-Shafi'i in 581 and 585 in Damascus and that he heard them from Abu al-Barakat al-Khidr ibn Shibl al-faqih.

Baha ad-Din Abu Muhammad al-Qasim ibn Abu'l-Qasim 'Ali ibn al-Hasan ibn Hibatullah ibn 'Abdullah ash-Shafi'i can be identified as the son of the much more famous Ibn 'Asakir, who is described as the leading compiler of Traditions of his age ("imam ahl al-hadith fi zamanihi", 'Abd al-Qadir an-Na'imi, ad-Darus fi Tarikh al-Madaris, Matbu'at al-Jami' al-'Ilmi al-'Arabi bi Dimashq, vol. 1, 1367/1948, p. 100). He was the author of the very well known, Tarikh Dimashq (History of Damascus), the first part of which contains a compilation of prophetic Traditions relating to Syria in general and Damascus in particular (much of which comes from ar-Ruba'i's Fada'il ash-Sham wa Dimashq as noted above). Baha ad-Din al-Qasim ibn 'Asakir himself was born in 527. He was a prominent scholar of his generation and known as being reliable as a compiler of Traditions. He succeeded his father as the head of the college, Dar al-Hadith an-Nuriyya on the latter's death in 571. He gave lectures on his father's History of Damascus and himself compiled a book of Traditions relating to Jerusalem and the Masjid al-Aqsa called al-Muqtaa fi Fada'il al-Masjid al-Aqsa. He died in 600 AH. (Biographical information from 'Abd al-Qadir an-Na'imi, ad-Darus fi Tarikh al-Madaris, Matbu'at al-Jami' al-'Ilmi al-'Arabi bi Dimashq, vol. 1, 1367/1948, p. 100-3.)

It would appear that the compiler of the Fada'il 'Akka wa 'Asqalan was a student of Baha ad-Din al-Qasim ibn 'Asakir who heard these particular Traditions from him during the years 581 and 585 in Damascus. Interestingly, we know that Baha ad-Din al-Qasim visited 'Akka and taught some classes there in 586. This is because there is a record of one of his students Badhal ibn Abi al-Mu'ammar at-Tabrizi taking notes of his teaching his father's book in 'Akka that year (Tarikh Madina Dimashq, ed. Salah ad-Din al-Munjid, Matbu'at al-Jami' al-'Ilmi al-'Arabi bi Dimashq, Damascus, 1371/1951, vol. 1, p. 629).

The period of time in which Fada'il 'Akka wa 'Asqalan was written was a time in which there was a great deal of activity in the compiling of traditions about particular cities and regions. These compilations of prophetic Traditions were often compiled under the name "Fada'il . . .", which can be translated as "The Excellences of . . ." These volumes would consist of Traditions of the prophet Muhammad regarding that city and sometimes also material relating to shrines and sacred sites there, companions of the Prophet who are buried there and famous 'ulama who have lived there. Baha ad-Din al-Qasim ibn 'Asakir himself as we have noted compiled such a work on Jerusalem - al-Muqtaa fi Fada'il al-Masjid al-Aqsa. His father included such material in the first part of his History of Damascus. Several of Baha ad-Din al-Qasim ibn 'Asakir's students also compiled such works and any of these could also have been the compiler of Fada'il 'Akka wa 'Asqalan (these students are based on the list given in an-Na'imi, ad-Darus fi Tarikh al-Madaris, vol. 1, p. 103):
Diya ad-Din Muhammad ibn 'Abdu'l-Wahid al-Maqdisi (d. 643) wrote Fada'il ash-Sham on Damascus (Khayr ad-Din Zirikli, al-A'lam, 2nd ed., Cairo, 1954-9, 10 vols, vol. 7, p. 134; Brockelmann, Supplement, vol. 1, p.690)

Abu al-Muwahhib al-Hasan ibn Hibatullah Sasri ar-Ruba'i wrote Fada'il Bayt al-Muqaddas about Jerusalem (Zirikli, al-A'lam, vol. 2, p. 304)

'Abd al-Qadir ibn 'Abdullah ar-Ruhawi (d. 612) wrote a compilation of forty traditions (Zirikli, al-A'lam, vol. 4, p. 165)


Among others who are known to have been students of Baha ad-Din al-Qasim ibn 'Asakir and therefore possible compilers of Fada'il 'Akka wa 'Asqalan are:
Zayn al-'Umana Abu al-Barakat al-Hasan ibn Muhammad ibn 'Asakir (d. 627), a cousin of Baha ad-Din al-Qasim and his successor as head of the Dar al-Hadith an-Nuriyya (an-Na'imi, ad-Darus fi Tarikh al-Madaris, vol. 1, pp. 104-5).

Taj ad-Din 'Abd al-Wahhab ibn Zayn al-Umana (d. 660), son of the previous scholar and his successor as head of the Dar al-Hadith an-Nuriyya. (an-Na'imi, ad-Darus fi Tarikh al-Madaris, vol. 1, pp. 106-6. His brother 'Abdu'llah Nizam ad-Din wrote Fada'il al-Quds on Jerusalem, Brockelmann Supplement vol. 1, p. 568)

Yusuf ibn Khalil ibn Qaraja (d. 648, Zirikli, al-A'lam, vol. 7, p. 253-4)


Indeed a listing of more than fifty names of students of Baha ad-Din al-Qasim could be compiled from the lists of those attending his lectures (see lists in Ibn 'Asakir Tarikh Madina Dimashq, see for example vol. 1, pp. 627-717)

The following is a comparison between the Traditions given in Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (illuminated ed. Hofheim-Langenhain, 1982) and the Traditions given in the Aya Sophia manuscript:

Description of the Tradition Epistle to the Son of the Wolf Fada'il 'Akka wa 'Asqalan
A lengthy tradition with a lengthy chain of transmission beginning: "They will meet in the depth ('amq) of 'Akka, and they fight one another and they will be in fear of one another . . ." Not present Present, p. 3-5
A lengthy tradition with a lengthy chain of transmission beginning: "God will have a banquet of the flesh of the Byzantines on the plains of Akka . . ." Not present Present, p. 5-6
Abdu'l-'Aziz, son of Abdu'-Salam, hath related unto us that the Prophet - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon him - hath said: "Akka is a city in Syria to which God hath shown His special mercy." Present, p. 115 Not present
Ibn-i-Mas'ud - may God be pleased with him - hath stated: "The Prophet - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - hath said: 'Of all shores the best is the shore of Askelon, and Akka is, verily, better than Askelon, and the merit of Akka above that of Askelon and all other shores is as the merit of Muhammad above that of all other Prophets. Present, p. 115 Present, pp. 6-7, but without "Ibn-i-Mas'ud - may God be pleased with him - hath stated" and with the following changes: begins: "The Messenger of God . . ." and ends: ". . . and Akka is, verily, better than it, and the merit of Akka above that of other shores is as my merit above that of the Prophets."
I bring you tidings of a city betwixt two mountains in Syria, in the middle of a meadow, which is called Akka. Verily, he that entereth therein, longing for it and eager to visit it, God will forgive his sins, both of the past and of the future. And he that departeth from it, other than as a pilgrim, God will not bless his departure. In it is a spring called the Spring of the Cow. Whoso drinketh a draught therefrom, God will fill his heart with light, and will protect him from the most great terror on the Day of Resurrection. Present p. 115







raghiban

(Longing for it)

ghayr za'ir

lam yabarak Allah lahu

Inna fiha 'aynan yuqal lahu

qalbahu
Present, pp. 7-8 with long isnad ending: "Anas, son of Malik - may God be pleased with him - hath said: 'The Apostle of God - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - hath said: "a city betwixt two mountains, upon the sea, which is called . . ."

raghbatan

and omits wa fi ziyaratiha (and eager to visit it).
raghbatan 'an-ha.

lam yubarak lahu

Wa biha 'aynun tusammi

ends: will fill his heart (batnahu) with light and he who pours forth its waters upon himself, will remain pure until the Day of Resurrection.
Anas, son of Malik - may God be pleased with him - hath said: "The Apostle of God - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - hath said: 'By the shore of the sea is a city, suspended beneath the Throne, and named Akka. He that dwelleth therein, firm and expecting a reward from God - exalted be He - God will write down for him, until the Day of Resurrection, the recompense of such as have been patient, and have stood up, and knelt down, and prostrated themselves, before Him.'"


tahta saq al-'arsh

ihtasaban

thawab

al-qa'imin wa'l-raki'in wa'l-sajidin
Omits isnad but has this at beginning of previous Tradition.

Omits "By the shore of the sea"

tahta 'arsh allah 'azza wa jalla

muhtasaban

ajr

al-qa'imin ar-rukka' as-sujud
And He - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - hath said: "I announce unto you a city, on the shores of the sea, white, whose whiteness is pleasing unto God - exalted be He! It is called Akka. He that hath been bitten by one of its fleas is better, in the estimation of God, than he who hath received a grievous blow in the path of God. And he that raiseth therein the call to prayer, his voice will be lifted up unto Paradise. And he that remaineth therein for seven days in the face of the enemy, God will gather him with Khidr - peace be upon Him - and God will protect him from the most great terror on the Day of Resurrection." Present, p. 116



hasan baydiha 'ind Allah

wa inna man qarasahu barquthun min baraqithihi


adhdhana
Present, p. 9-10. Begins: "The Messenger of God . . . hath said: 'A city, on the . . .'"

hasanan 'ind Allah

qarasat al-barquth fiha

is equivalent to a spear wound (ta'na as-sinan) in the path of God Almighty . He who glorifies God (kabbara) there, God will grant him to reinforce his voice. And he who takes up a sword, aiming it at the vainglory of the enemy, God Almighty will gather him up with my brother my brother Khidr - peace be upon him - and God will protect him from the most great terror
God will build a house of light for the one who has seen the site of the martyrs of 'Akka, And it was said: where is the site. He said: Between two mountains in th midst of a plain - that is to say between Mount Carmel and Mount Jubayl Not present Present, p. 10
And He - may the blessings of God, - exalted be He - and His salutations be upon Him - hath said: "There are kings and princes in Paradise. The poor of Akka are the kings of Paradise and the princes thereof. A month in Akka is better than a thousand years elsewhere." Present, p. 116, but much abbreviated Present, p. 11-12. 'Umar ibn al-Khattab addressed Ka'b al-Ahbar, saying to him: I bring you good news, O Abu Ishaq! When you enter Syria and meet the people of 'Akka, help them for they are the ones who will be looked to on the Day of Resurrection. O Abu Ishaq! I heard the Messenger of Allah (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say that there will be kings and princes at the Last Days, and the poor of 'Akka and Askalon will be the kings and princes of the Last Days.
'Uthman ibn 'Afan (may God be pleased with him) said: To keep watch for one night in 'Akka is better than one thousand nights of waking and days of fasting (elsewhere). Not present Present, pp. 12-13, with a long isnad
'A'ishah, the mother of the believers (may God be pleased with her) said that the Messenger of God had said: He who keeps watch for three nights in Akka has the reward of keeping watch for one year Not present Present, p.13, with a long isnad
The Apostle of God - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - is reported to have said: "Blessed the man that hath visited Akka, and blessed he that hath visited the visitor of Akka.

Blessed the one that hath drunk from the Spring of the Cow and washed in its waters, for the black-eyed damsels quaff the camphor in Paradise, which hath come from the Spring of the Cow, and from the Spring of Salvan (Siloam), and the Well of Zamzam. Well is it with him that hath drunk from these springs, and washed in their waters, for God hath forbidden the fire of hell to touch him and his body on the Day of Resurrection."
Present, p. 116







part of same Tradition as previous
Present but much later in the order, pp. 21-22. Verb used throughout is ray' (see) rather than zar (visit)





separate Tradition:

I heard the Messenger of God saying that he who drinks from the Spring of the Cow and he who washes (in water) from it and from the Spring of Salwan which is in Jerusalem and from the Spring of Zamzam which is in Mecca, God will protect his body from (Hell-)fire.


A separate statement within a lengthy Tradition preceding this on p. 21 states: "black-eyed damsels quaff the camphor of Paradise, which is in a spring named the Spring of the Cow which is in Akka"
The Prophet - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - is stated to have said: "In Akka are works of supererogation and acts which are beneficial, which God vouchsafed specially unto whomsoever He pleaseth.

And he that saith in Akka: 'Glorified be God, and praise be unto God, and there is none other God but God, and most great is God, and there is no power nor strength except in God, the Exalted, the Mighty,' God will write down for him a thousand good deeds, and blot out from him a thousand evil deeds, and will uplift him a thousand grades in Paradise, and will forgive him his transgressions. And whoso saith in Akka: 'I beg forgiveness of God,' God will forgive all his trespasses.



And he that remembereth God in Akka at morn and at eventide, in the night-season and at dawn, is better in the sight of God than he who beareth swords, spears and arms in the path of God - exalted be He!"
Present, p. 116








Present














Present
First part not present








Present, p. 13

Has only "Glorified be God, and praise be unto God", not "and most great is God, and there is no power nor strength except in God, the Exalted, the Mighty". In each case has alf alf - thousand thousand - i.e. a million.

Has: ". . . will uplift him a thousand thousand grades. He who magnifies (God), God will magnify him, and he who seek forgiveness, God will forgive him.

Not present
The Apostle of God - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - hath also said: "He that looketh upon the sea at eventide, and saith: 'God is Most Great!' at sunset, God will forgive his sins, though they be heaped as piles of sand.

And he that counteth forty waves, while repeating: 'God is Most Great!' - exalted be He - God will forgive his sins, both past and future."
Present, pp. 116-7

'inda az-zawal



mithl raml

same Tradition

adds: Allah after yukabbara

ma taqadama min dhunubihi wa ma ta'akhira
Present, pp. 14-5,

hina tagharabat (?) ash-shams fatakabbara 'inda ghurubiha


akthar min ar-raml

separate Tradition

adds: fi'l-bahr

dhunubihi ma taqadama min min ha wa ma ta'akhira

Adds at the end: wa inna al-amwaj latahta adh-dhunub hattan
The Apostle of God - may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him - hath said: "He that looketh upon the sea a full night is better than he who passeth two whole months betwixt the Rukn and the Maqam.

And he that hath been brought up on the shores of the sea is better than he that hath been brought up elsewhere. And he that lieth on the shore is as he that standeth elsewhere."
Present, p. 117

man nazara fi'l-bahr laylatan kamilatan kana afdal min shahrayn kamilatayn

Present
Present, p. 15-16

man tala'a fi'l-bahr laylatan tamatan kana afdal min 'ibada shahrayn



Not present
Traditions:

- stating that keeping watch by the shore is better that a month of fasting.

- stating that saying "God is most great" once or twice while looking to the sea is better than a spear wound received in the path of God

- he who says "God is most great" while looking to the sea is better than one who travels from east to west upon horseback in the path of God

- no rising by night or fasting by day is equivalent to the guard who says "God is most great" once or twice while looking to the sea

- long Tradition which begins by recounting the station of 'A'ishah and goes say that when 'A'ishah learned that a man was from Akka, she raised her veil and said: "Praise be to God that I have seen one of the people of Paradise." She then asks whether he has drunk from the Spring of the Cow and there then occurs the statement and the Traditions relating to the Spring of the Cow noted above (in a different order in Epistle to the Son of the Wolf). She then says that the Messenger of God said that walking upon the paths of Akka is better than saying prayers in any other mosque and that keeping watch in Akka is as if one received a spear wound in the path of God.
Not present (except as noted) Present, p. 16-23


The above comparison seems to me to indicate that Bahá'u'lláh was indeed quoting from this work but from another manuscript that had differences due to transcription variations. Not only the close resemblance of the text of the Traditions indicates this but also, perhaps more significantly, the fact that the Traditions are almost in exactly the same order in both texts.


It is surprising that Bahá'u'lláh does not cite the much more well-known Tradition "Well is it with him who hath seen Akka" which is recorded in many books including the celebrated geography of Yaqut ibn 'Abdullah in his entry on Akka (Mu'jam al-Buldan, Matba'a as-Sa'ada, Cairo, 1324/1906, vol. 6, p. 206) and in many dictionaries such as the Mukhtar as-Sihah of Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr ar-Razi in the entry under 'ayn kaf kaf (ed. Mahmud Khatir, Cairo: al-Hay'ah al-Misriyyah al-'Ammah li'l-Kitab, 1976, p. 449) and the Lisan al-'Arab of Ibn Manzur, also under 'ayn kaf kaf (Beirut: Dar Sadir, 1956, vol. 10, p. 470).
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