Notes to Aqdas, Sentence #384

Notes from the Authorized Translation

171. the "mystery of the Great Reversal in the Sign of the Sovereign" # 157
Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i (1753-1831), who was the founder of the Shaykhi School and the first of the "twin luminaries that heralded the advent of the Faith of the Bab", prophesied that at the appearance of the Promised One all things would be reversed, the last would be first, the first last. Baha'u'llah in one of His Tablets refers to the "symbol and allusion" of the "mystery of the Great Reversal in the Sign of the Sovereign". He states: "Through this reversal He hath caused the exalted to be abased and the abased to be exalted", and He recalls that "in the days of Jesus, it was those who were distinguished for their learning, the men of letters and religion, who denied Him, whilst humble fishermen made haste to gain admittance into the Kingdom" (see also note 172). For additional information about Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i see The Dawn-Breakers, chapters 1 and 10.

172. the "Six" raised up by virtue of this "Upright Alif" # 157
In his writings, Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i placed great emphasis on the Arabic letter "Vav". In The Dawn-Breakers, Nabil states that this letter "symbolized for the Bab the advent of a new cycle of Divine Revelation, and has since been alluded to by Baha'u'llah in the Kitab-i-Aqdas in such passages as `the mystery of the Great Reversal' and `the Sign of the Sovereign'".

The name for the letter "Vav" consists of three letters: Vav, Alif, Vav. According to the abjad reckoning, the numerical value of each of these letters is 6, 1 and 6 respectively. Shoghi Effendi in a letter written on his behalf to one of the believers in the East provides an interpretation of this verse of the Aqdas. He states that the "Upright Alif" refers to the advent of the Bab. The first letter with its value of six, which comes before the Alif, is a symbol of earlier Dispensations and Manifestations which predate the Bab, while the third letter, which also has a numerical value of six, stands for Baha'u'llah's supreme Revelation which was made manifest after the Alif.

Anton Haddad's Notes

The sign of the Rais, chief, means the power of the chief rulers, divines, and learned who have had perfect control over the people of the earth during the past ages and decades, but in this manifestation, affairs shall be changed, their banners reversed and the power will be taken out of their hands and given to the faithful believers of God, who will inherit the earth. Ess-Sit- Tat, means the number six (6) which corresponds to the Abjad quotation. In spelling the letter "Waw" (Arabic alphabet), according to the Abjad quotation the letter "Waw" is composed of three letters, two Waws and one Alef, the numerical value of which is thirteen (13), corresponding to the value of ahad (one) who is God. This means, "Blessed is the one who confesses the oneness of God" The vertical Alef (1) is the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, signifying Baha'o'llah the manifestation of God in whose person the confession of His oneness became manifest and exalted: altogether, this means, "Blessed is the one who is strengthened by God to confess and believe in His manifestation, Baha'o'llah" This refers to the very words as pronounced by Sheikh Ahmad El Ahsai, (an Arab) and his disciple Seyyid Kazim (Persian) regarding the appearances of El-Mahdi. Both of them have preached to the people of His nigh appearance and thus they prepared the way before Him. They are famous and their writings are greatly honored and respected by the people.

Earl Elder's Notes

3. It is said that someone who is here called "the Chief" asked a question about the coming of the Hidden Imam of the Shi'ites. He was answered by Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i, the Shaykhi leader, in an enigma. It is to this reply that Baha'u'llah alludes. An alif, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, is placed between two waws, the one to the left being upside down [This is shown in Arabic script in parenthesis]. The, Numerical value of waw is six. Then the waw to the right of alif indicates the six great manifestations before Baha'u'llah, namely Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. The waw to the left, which is inverted, indicates the six manifestations which will follow. And what is the alif? The numerical value of alif is one, and that indicates the One, who is God. So Baha'u'llah as the Greatest Manifestation stands between the two groups of six, and is himself The One. And He it is who raised up the Six.

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