Posted by Jonah on June 26, 2101 at 15:18:26:
In Reply to: Knowledge is 27 letters posted by anon on June 26, 2101 at 13:18:34:
This is a great topic. I'm pretty sure that Mirza Abu'l-Fadl Gulpaygani discusses it in an essay in "Miracles and Metaphors" or "Letters and Essays," but I'm on the road right now and can't tell you exactly where. In the meantime, here's a brief discussion of this by Robert Stockman from a Wilmette Institute course:
"...I thought that Baha'u'llah had revealed ALL in His Revelation, I don't know something I read in the Kitab-i-Iqan, something about all the 21 letters of Knowledge had been revealed. But, now I read not all has been disclosed to mankind. Could someone enlighten me to the difference in these two references?..."
In the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah Shoghi Effendi quotes a prophecy about the 27 letters of knowledge, 2 of which had been revealed to mankind by previous messengers, and the Qa'im (here, the Bab) will reveal the other 25. You will find this in World Order of Baha'u'llah, page 125 in the section on the Bab. The 27 letters refers to the Arabic alphabet (which has 27 letters, excluding the vowel Alif) which here symbolizes all knowledge.
Taherzadeh refers to a different prophecy by Baha'u'llah Himself, that of the three letters in His name (Baha has three different letters in Arabic, b, h, and a) He had revealed two of them. The letters again symbolize all knowledge.
Superficially these two statements contradict, but not at a symbolic level, where they are meant to be understood. One prophecy looks backward at the relationship between the Bab and previous revelations, stressing the Bab's greatness. The other looks forward, to describe the relationship between Baha'u'llah's revelation and future ones, stressing Baha'u'llah's greatness. If you want to reconcile them I suppose you could say that each letter Baha'u'llah reveals is equal to a hundred the Bab reveals. The word "letter" is being used in a different symbolic way between the two statements.
-- Rob Stockman
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