'`Abdu'lláh: The father of the Prophet. He belonged to the family of Háshim, the noblest tribe of the Quraish section of the Arabian race, directly descended from Ishmael.
'`Abdu'lláh-i-Ubayy: A prominent opponent of Muhammad; called "the prince of hypocrites."
Abraham: See Genesis 11-25; Some Answered Questions, pp. 14-16. Scholars give 2100 B.C.-2000 B.C. as his dates. Regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the Friend of God, the Father of the Faithful. [Index]
Abú-'Abdi'lláh: Designation of the sixth Imám, Ja'far-i-Sádiq (the Veridical), great-grandson of al-Husayn. Died A.D. 765, poisoned by Mansúr, the 'Abbásid Caliph. [Index]
Abú 'Amir: An opponent of Muhammad; a monk.
Abú-Jahl: Literally, "the Father of folly"; so styled by the Muslims. An implacable enemy of the Prophet. [Index]
'Alí: the son-in-law of the Prophet, the first of the twelve Imáms.
Alif, Lám, Mím: These and other disconnected letters appear at the head of twenty-nine surahs of the Qur'án.
Al-Medina: Literally, "the city," so called as giving shelter to Muhammad: formerly Yathrib. The burial place of Muhammad; second only to Mecca in sanctity.
Amalekites: Expelled in early times from Babylonia, they spread through Arabia to Palestine and Syria and as far as Egypt, to which they gave several of its Pharaohs.
Athím: Sinner. [Index]
'Aválim: A compilation of Shí'ih traditions. [Index]
Báb: The Qá'im and Mihdí of Islám, and the Forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh. (Birth of the Báb; October 20, 1819; His Martyrdom: July 9, 1850). [Index]
Bahá: Literally, "glory,""Splendor," referring to Bahá'u'lláh (Mirzá Husayn 'Alí) who had not yet declared Himself but had been already designated by this title.
Bahá'u'lláh: The Founder of the Bahá'í Faith, the title being recorded in the Persian Bayán of the Báb and meaning the Glory, the Light, and the Splendor of God. (Birth of Bahá'u'lláh: November 12, 1817; His death: May 29, 1892). [Index]
Baní-Háshim: The family to which Muhammad belonged. [Index]
Bayán: The Bayán (Exposition) is the chief doctrinal work of the Báb. It is described in God Passes By (pp. 24-25) as a "monumental repository of the laws and precepts of the new Dispensation and the treasury enshrining most of the Báb's references and tributes to, as well as His warning regarding, 'Him Whom God will make manifest'. . . . this Book, of about eight thousand verses, occupying a pivotal position in Bábí literature, should be regarded primarily as a eulogy of the Promised One rather than a code of laws and ordinances designed to be a permanent guide to future generations." The Báb also wrote "the smaller and less weighty Arabic Bayán." [Index]
Bihár: Reference to Shí'ih tradition.
Biháru'l-Anvár: A compilation of Shí'ih traditions. [Index]
Caiaphas: The Jewish high priest who presided at the court which tried and condemned Jesus.
Cain and Abel: The two sons of Adam and Eve. See Genesis 4 and Qur'án, surah 5.
Caliphs: Literally, "successors: or "viceregents." The Shí'ihs hold that the successors of the Prophet must be
Cherubim: In the Bible the Cherubim appear as distinct from the angels who are Jehovah's messengers, while the cherubim are found where God is personally present: e.g. "And he [God] rode upon a cherub." (Psalms 18: 10). Figures of Cherubim were wrought into the hangings of the Holy of Holies and were represented above the Mercy Seat within. In later tradition, the Cherubim were included among the nine orders of angels.
Copt: The Copts were descendants of the ancient Egyptian stock. They were unbelievers in the time of Moses. The Septs were the tribes of Israel.
Crimson Pillar: An allusion to the Religion of Bahá'u'lláh, crimsoned with the blood of martyrs.
Divine Elixir: Symbolic reference to the Elixir of the alchemists, that was supposed to transform base metals into gold.
Fátimih: The daughter of Muhammad and Khadíjih. She married 'Ali, the cousin of Muhammad, and had three sons. One died in infancy and from the other two, Hasan and Husayn, are descended the posterity of the Prophet known as Siyyids.
Gabriel: The highest of all the angels, the Holy Spirit. It is his duty to write down the decrees of God; through him the Qur'án was revealed to Muhammad. [Index]
Há: The letter H, the number of which is 5, and which is sometimes used as a symbol of Bahá'u'lláh: see Four Valleys, p. 56 n.
Hájí Mírzá Karím Khan: A pretender to knowledge, author of a book "Guidance to the Ignorant" ("Irshádu'l-'Avám"), whose works perished with him.
Herod: Herod I ("The Great"). An Idumaean by race, but brought up a Jew. He was appointed by the Roman Senate in 40 B.C. as King of Judea. He rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem.
Hijáz: a region in southwestern Arabia which may be considered the holy land of the Muslims since it contains the sacred cities of Medina and Mecca and many other places connected with the history of Muhammad. The "language of Hijáz" is Arabic.
Húd: A prophet sent to the tribe of 'Ad. He was descended from Noah and is referred to in the Qur'áan in súrih 7:63-70; súrih 11:52-63; and in súrih 26:123-139. [Index]
Husayn: The third Imám. Son of 'Alí and Fátimih. [Index]
Ibn-i-Súríyá: A learned Jewish Rabbi at the time of Muhammad. [Index]
Imám 'Alí: the cousin and first disciple of Muhammad; husband of Muhammad's daughter, Fátimih; and through his son Husayn, ancestor of Siyyid 'Alí Muhammad, the Báb. [Index]
'Imrán: The father of Moses and Aaron; Qur'án, súrih 3:30 and Bible, Exodus 6:20. [Index]
'Iráq: Part of the Turkish Empire in 1862 when this book was revealed. Now an Arab Kingdom with Baghdád as its capital.
Joseph: The son of Jacob, and in the Qur'án an inspired Prophet. [Index]
Ka'b-Ibn-i-Ashraf: conspired with the Prophet's arch-enemy, Abu-Sufyán, to compass the Prophet's death.
Ka'bih: Literally, a "cube." The cube-like building in
Káfí: An important collection of Shí'ih traditions, Jábir being the authority for the quotation given on p. 245. [Index]
Karbilá: A city about 55 miles southwest of Baghdád on the Euphrates.
Karim: Honorable. [Index]
Kawthar: A river of Paradise from which all the others flow. Part of its waters are led into a great lake on the shores of which the souls of the faithful rest when they have crossed the terrible bridge which is laid over the midst of Hell.
Khaybar: The name of a famous oasis, and of its principal settlement, near Medina, where signficant events in the ministry of Muhammad took place.
Kúfih: A city on the west bank of the Euphrates, which has now entirely disappeared.
Letters of Unity: Apostles of the Prophet.
Leviathan: An unidentified aquatic monster; whale or serpent.
Magi: A caste of priests and sages among the ancient Persians. [Index]
Manifestation: The nature of a prophet of the Manifestation of God is thus described in Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh (pp. 66-67): "Since there can be no tie or direct intercourse to bind the one true God with His creation, and no resemblance whatever can exist between the transient and the Eternal, the contingent and the Absolute, He hath ordained that in every age and dispensation a pure and stainless soul be made manifest in the kingdoms of earth and heaven. . . . These Essences of Detachment, these resplendent Realities are the channels of God's all-pervasive grace. Led by the light of unfailing guidance, and invested with supreme sovereignty, they are commissioned to use the
Mecca: The Capital of Arabia, the birthplace of Muhammad, the site of the Ka'bih, and the most sacred city of Islám.
Midian: A city and district on the Red Sea, southeast of Mt. Sinai, occupied by the descendants of Midian, some of Abraham and Keturah. Qur'án, súrih 7:83.
"Mi'ráj": The night journey of Muhammad with Gabriel.
Moses: One of the six great prophets, according to the Muhammadans. See Exodus 4:16, where God says to Moses: "thou shalt be to him instead of God"; and Exodus 7:1: "I have made thee a god unto Pharaoh." Moses led the exodus from Egypt, which is now dated about 1440 B.C. [Index]
Mufaddal: Reference to Shí'ih tradition.
Muhammad: The Prophet of Islám and Revealer of the Qur'án. Born August A.D. 570. Declared His Mission A.D. 613. Fled to Medina A.D. 622. See Some Answered Questions, pp. 22-29. Foretold by Moses, Deut. 18:15; by St. John the Divine, Rev. 11 (see Some Answered Questions, p. 53 ff.) [Index]
Mullá 'Abd'l-Kháliq-i-Yazdí: At first a Jewish priest, he accepted Islám, joined the Shaykhí School and was converted by Mullá Husayn to the Bábí Faith.
Mullá 'Alíy-i-Baraqání: Uncle of Táhirih, one of the most learned and famous members of the Shaykhí community. Being converted to the Bábí Faith, he became in Tihrán one of its most earnest and able expositors.
Mullá 'Alíy-i-Bastámí: One of the Letters of the Living. Sent on a special mission by the Báb from Shíráz in 1844, he became the first to suffer and to lay down his life in the path of this new Faith.
Mullá Husayn: The first to believe in the Báb, the first "Letter of the Living," the "Bábu'l-Báb" #151; meaning "the Gate of the Gate," a title given him by the Báb. Born in 1813, he was for nine years a student of Siyyid Kázim and for five a follower of the Báb. He was martyred at the fort of ShaykhTabarsí, on February 2, 1849. [Index]
Mullá Mihdíy-i-Khu'i: A close companion of Bahá'u'lláh and tutor to the children of his household. Martyred at Tabarsí.
Mullá Muhammad 'Alíy-i-Zanjání: Surnamed Hujjat. "One of the ablest and most formidable champions of the Faith" (God Passes By, p. 44), the leader of the Bábís in what Lord Curzon called "the terrific siege and slaughter" they suffered at Zanján where he with 1800 fellow disciples was martyred.
Mullá N'imatu'lláh-i-Mázindarání: A Bábí martyred at Shaykh Tabarsí.
Mullá Yúsuf-i-Ardibílí: A "Letter of the Living," martyred at Shaykh Tabarsí.
Mustagháth: Literally, "He who is invoked." Referring to the appearance of Bahá'ul'láh at the time announced by the Báb. [Index]
Nadr-Ibn-i-Hárith: An opponent of Muhammad.
Nebuchadnezzar: King of Babylon. In 599 B.C. he captured Jerusalem, and in 588 he destroyed the city and removed most of the inhabitants to Chaldea.
Nimrod: In Muhammadan commentaries represented as the persecutor of Abraham. [Index]
Noah: A prophet to whom Muhammadans give the title of the "Prophet of God," see Gen. 6:10 and Qur'án, súrihs 11:71, for an account of his life and of the Flood. [Index]
Nudbih, Prayer of: A "Lamentation" of the Imám 'Alí. [Index]
Párán: Párán is a mountain range north of Sinai and south of Seir; all are sacred as places of revelation. Teman lies in northwest Edam, not far from Párán. See Habukuk 3:3. Moses himself uses "Párán" with special reference to Muhammad and "Seir" to Jesus Christ: "And he said: The Lord came from Sinai and rose up from Seir unto them; he shined forth from Mount Párán and He came with ten thousand of saints; from His right hand went a fiery law for them." (Deut. 33:2). Here Moses foretells the coming of three revelations and three prophets after himself, the last being Bahá'u'llah. Ishmael (Gen. 21, 21) founded the Arabian peoples in Párán.
Pentateuch: Literally, "the fivefold volume," referring to the first five books of the Bible. [Index]
Pharaoh: The common title of the kings of Egypt. The Pharaoh of the oppression is usually held to be Ramesis II (about 1340 B.C.), and his son and successor Merenptah, the Pharaoh of the Exodus, but this is highly uncertain and the birth of Moses is dated as early as 1520 B.C. [Index]
Philosopher's Stone: An imaginary substance which the alchemists formerly sought as a means of converting baser metals into gold.
Phoenix: A bird fabled to exist single, to be consumed by fire by its own act, and to rise again from its ashes.
Primal Will: "The first thing which emanated from God is that universal reality. . . which the people of Bahá call 'the First Will.'" (Some Answered Questions, p. 237)
Qá'im: The promised one of Islám. [Index]
Qiblih: The direction in which the face must be turned in prayer. Qur'an, súrih 2:136-145, establishes Mecca as the Qiblih for Muslims. [Index]
Quintessence: An imagined fifth "essence of heaven" in addition to the four elements of earth: hence, the last or highest essence of anything.
Qur'án: The Qur'án (Arabic, "reading"), the holy scriptures of the Muhammadan faith, revealed by Muhammad. The verses are built up into chapters called súrihs. It contains 77,974 words and is slightly longer than the New Testament; it was composed over a period of 21 years. The whole book was not arranged until after the prophet's death, but He is believed to have Himself divided the súrihs and given most of them their present titles. Translation into English by G. Sale (1734) is the most authoritative, but that by J.M. Rodwell (Everyman's Series) is recommended as the best. See also A.J. Arberry, The Koran Interpreted. [Index]
Rayy: An ancient city near which Tihrán was built. [Index]
Ridván: The name of the custodian of Paradise. Bahá'u'lláh uses it to denote Paradise itself.
Rúz-bih: A Persian who embraced Christianity and being told a Prophet was about to arise in Arabia journeyed thither and meeting Muhammad at Koba in His flight to Medina recognized His station and became a Muslim. [Index]
Sádiq: The sixth of the Shí'ih Imáms. [Index]
Sadratu'l Muntahá: The name of a tree planted by the Arabs in ancient times at the end of a road, to serve as
Sadrih: Literally, Branch.
Sálih: An ancient Prophet to the Arabs, mentioned in the Qur'án, súrih 7:71-77. Some commentators identify him with the Sálih of Genesis 11:13. [Index]
Salsabíl: Literally, softly flowing. A fountain of Paradise.
Sámirí: A magician employed by Pharaoh as a rival to Moses. According to Muslims, it was he, not Aaron, who made the golden calf. [Index]
"Seal of the Prophets": One of the titles of Muhammad. [Index]
Shaykh Ahmad: the first of the two forerunners of the Báb, born 1753 A.D., founder of the Shaykhí School and author of 96 books. Died 1831.
Sheba: A town in southern Arabia, referred to in Genesis 10: 28; I Kings 10; II Chronicles 9. Symbolically it stands for a dwelling place, a home.
Shí'ih: The problem of succession divides Islám generally into two schools of opinion. According to one view, represented chiefly by the Shí'ihs, the regency is a spiritual matter determined by the Prophet and by those who so succeed Him. According to the other view, that of the Sunnites, the succession goes by popular choice. The Caliph of the Sunnites is the outward and visible Defender of the Faith. The Shí'ih Imám is divinely ordained and gifted with more than human wisdom and authority.
Shoeb: Priest of Midian (Exodus 2, 16-21). Moses married his daughter; Exodus 18 gives his name as Jethro.
Shíráz: The capital of the Province of Fárs in Persia; the place of the Báb's birth and the scene of His Declaration in 1844.
Sinai: the mountain where God gave the Law to Moses. (Qur'án, súrih 7:139 and Exodus 19).
Siyyid Husayn-i-Turshízí: A mujtahid, one of the Seven Martyrs of Tihrán.
Siyyid Kázim:Chief disciple of Shaykh Ahmad and his successor. Husayn and other distinguished Bábís were among his students. Died December 31, 1843.
Siyyid Yahyá, surnamed Vahíd: A distinguished divine of great learnings who became a Bábí and was martyred after the siege of Nayríz on June 29, 1850, ten days before the death of the Báb. [Index]
Súfís: an order of Muhammadan mystics.
Súrih: A row or course, as of bricks in a wall. A term used exclusively for the chapters of the Qur'án of which there are one hundred and fourteen.
Tablet: A term for a sacred epistle containing a revelation. The giving of the Law to Moses on tables or tablets is mentioned in the Qu'rán, súrih 7:142: "We wrote for him (Moses) upon tables (alwah, pl. of lauh) a monition concerning every matter."
Taff (land of): The plain of Karbilá in which vicinity Imám Husayn was martyred.
Thamúd: A tribe of an ancient Hamitic people, inhabiting the borders of Edom and living in caves. They were nearly exterminated by Chedorlaomer, the Elomite conqueror. The survivors fled to Mt. Seir where they dwelt in the time of Isaac and Jacob.
Traditions: The authoritative record of inspired sayings and acts of the Prophet, in addition to the revelation contained in the Qur'án.
'Urvatu'l-Vuthqa: Literally, "the strongest handle," meaning the Faith of God. [Index]
Yahyá: John the forerunner of Jesus Christ. He was beheaded by Herod.
Yathrib: The ancient name of the city which was changed to Medinat un-Nabi, the City of the Prophet, or shortly Medina, the city par excellence.
Year Sixty: Meaning 1260 A.H., A.D. 1844, the year of the Báb's declaration.
Zaqqúm: A tree in the Infernal Regions. [Index]
Visiting Tablet revealed by the Imám 'Alí. [Index]