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About the Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys

(excerpted from the Bibliography for the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh: 1853-63
consult original bibliography for key to abbreviations and further information)


Name of Tablet Brief notes Primary Sources Secondary sources: first key
texts, then supplementary texts
Overviews of this period 1853-63, Tablets in both Arabic and Persian Many of these works haven't been authoritatively translated Brief mention by Baha'u'llah of this period Epistle to the Son of the Wold 22; overview God Passes By 120-24, 137; Revelation of Baha'u'llah vol. 1 in toto; Baha'u'llah: King of Glory 115-22

Overviews of this period can be found in John Hatcher Ocean of His Words 77-80; Peter Smith The Babi and Baha'i Religions 62-65; Juan Cole "Baha'u'llah and the Naqshbandi Sufis" in From Iran East to West: Studies in Babi and Baha'i History vol. 2; Kamran Ekbal "The Zoroastrian Heritage of the 'Maid of Heaven'" in Scripture and Revelation 131
Four Valleys (Chihar-Vadi) late Baghdad, 1858-1862. Persian. Addressee Shaykh Abdu'r-Rahman of Karkuk AQA3 140-157. Trans. by Gail & Khan published in numerous forms. A partial academic prov. trans. by Juan Cole posted Irfan Nov/Dec 96 exists. mentions God Passes By 120-22 and 140; brief mention in Baha'u'llah: King of Glory 163; discussion Revelation of Baha'u'llah vol.1 104; mention of recipient Rev. Baha'u'llah vol. 1 62

Julio Savi explores themes of Tablet in "Will, Knowledge, and Love as Explained in Baha'u'llah's Four Valleys" in the Journal of Baha'i Studies 6:1 (1994), available online at bahai-library.com/ articles/jbs.6-1.savi.html; overview of history Bijan Ma'sumian "Bahá'u'lláh's Seclusion in Kurdistan" in Deepen magazine, available online at http://bahai-library.com/ articles/kurdistan.masumian.html; John Walbridge discusses these in Sacred Acts, Sacred Space, Sacred Time, 157-158 and 288; David Langness meditates on the Tablet in "Mystical Content and Symbology of Baha'u'llah's Four Valleys," available online at http://bahai-library.com/ essays/four.valleys.html; passing mentions Jack McLean Dimensions of Spirituality 7-8; Zaid Lundberg Bahá'í Apocalypticism: The Concept of Progressive Revelation, available only online at bahai-library.com/ theses/apocalyptic/apocalypticism.05.html; see also student papers on Tablet at bahai-library.com/ students
Seven Valleys (Haft-Vadi) late Baghdad, 1858-1862. Persian. Written in response to questions of Muhyi'd-Din, Shaykh Numerous published trans. see Collins; trans. of Excordium by Stephen Lambden, with occasional notes, Pt. 01 BSB 6:2-3 (26-74). AQA3 92-137; INBA35. French trans. by Dreyfus and Chirazi bound with Les Paroles cachées contains additional excordium; French transl. by Dreyfus Oeuvre1 1923. First translated into English by Ali Kuli Khan in 1906 and reprinted frequently. A revised trans. published in 1945, done by Khan and his daughter Marzieh Gail, is to this day the standard trans. Hippolyte Dreyfus also trans. it into French directly from the Persian a year before Kuli Khan's English version, in 1905, with Julie Chanler then re-translating it from the French into English in 1936 mention in Promulgation of Universal Peace 244, God Passes By 140; mention of meaning of "guardian" Unfolding Destiny 453; Discussed Baha'u'llah: King of Glory 161-63; mentioned ibid. 139; discussion Rev. Baha'u'llah vol.1 96-104; mentioned ibid 151; Rev. Baha'u'llah vol. 2 26, Rev. Baha'u'llah vol. 4 142, 181

Complete treatment in Stephen Lambden "The Seven Valleys of Baha'u'llah: A Provisional Translation with Occasional Notes, pt. 1," in Baha'i Studies Bulletin 6:2-3 (Feb. 1992) 26-74, continued in Baha'i Studies Bulletin 6:4-7:2 (1992) 129-34 and John Walbridge Sacred Acts 150-157 and 287-288; discussion of the Valleys of Love and Knowledge in B. Hoff Conow The Baha'i Teachings 122-24; brief notes on the Valley of Nothingness Rodney Clarken "Absolute Poverty and Utter Nothingness" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 8:1 (1997) 30, 40; passing mentions in John Hatcher Ocean of His Words 87, 103-107, 134-135, 194-201; Peter Smith The Babi and Baha'i Religions 64, 81; Stephen Lambden "Paraclete, Ahmad and the Comforter" in Scripture and Revelation 89; Jack McLean "Prolegomena to a Baha'i Theology" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 5:1 (1992) 54-55; Julio Savi "Will, Knowledge, and Love as Explained in Baha'u'llah's Four Valleys" in the Journal of Baha'i Studies 6:1 (1994), available online at bahai-library.com/ articles/jbs.6-1.savi.html; relation of Seven Valleys to Attar's Conference of the Birds Michael Sours "Immanence and Transcendence in Divine Scripture" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 5:2 (1992) 16-18 and notes; detailed discussion of symbolic relations between Attar's Conference and Seven Valleys Christopher Buck "A Symbolic Profile of the Baha'i Faith" Journal of Baha'i Studies 8:4 (1998) 26-30; comments on mystic knowledge Jack McLean "The Knowledge of God: An Essay on Baha'i Epistemology" in World Order 12:3 (1978) 50-52; see also student papers on Tablet at bahai-library.com/ students

Discussions of mysticism, many with passing references to the Seven Valleys, in Glenn Shook Mysticism, Science, and Revelation; Farnaz Ma'sumian "Mysticism and the Baha'i Faith" in Deepen, 6.3 (1995), available online at bahai-library.com/ articles/mysticism.masumian.html; Moojan Momen "The Psychology of Mysticism and its Relationship to the Baha'i Faith" in Baha'i Studies Bulletin 2.4 (1984); William S. Hatcher "Myths, Models, and Mysticism" in Logic and Logos: Essays on Science, Religion, and Philosophy; Jack McLean Dimensions of Spirituality 8, 82-88, 130, 244

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