Re: 40,000 `Ulama

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Posted by Brett Zamir ( on September 27, 2003 at 00:56:47:

In Reply to: 40,000 `Ulama posted by Naziri on September 26, 2003 at 22:01:51:

I apologize if you have already come across the following:

One account states that the Bab changed the number to 4,000 ( ).

Another account at states that the Báb changed it to 40 and that His questioner then claimed that the saying was instead by Muhyi 'l-Din ibn `Arabi (which even if the latter were true--whether or not the anecdote was correctly related--would not preclude the saying, I presume, from also having been an Islamic tradition).

However, as is (I feel) well-argued at (the section titled "answers", paragraphs 5-7), the accuracy in these accounts--accounts by His enemies--as to the responses of the Báb are in many cases highly questionable. Moreover, the Bahá'í Faith has prohibited believers from accepting any oral traditions as binding accounts, let alone those by its avowed enemies/chief persecutors. Do you know of an authoritative Bahá'í/Bábí source which maintains that this was indeed an Islamic tradition?

Although the following references to Islamic traditions do not refer to a specific number of ulama rejecting Him, they might still be of interest.

1) the last paragraph at

2) From :

"Furthermore, in the Arba'in which is a compilation of Shi'ah Tradition it is recorded:

"Out of Bani-Hashim there shall come forth a Youth Who shall reveal new laws. He shall summon the people unto Him, but none will heed His call. Most of His enemies will be the divines [i.e. religious leaders]. His bidding they will not obey, but will protest saying: 'This is contrary to that which hath been handed down unto us by the Imams of the Faith.

"Imam Sadiq is also recorded to have said:

"There shall appear a Youth from Bani-Hashim, Who will bid the people plight fealty unto Him. His Book will be a new Book, unto which He shall summon the people to pledge their faith. Stern is His Revelation unto the Arab. If ye hear it about Him, hasten unto Him."

3) "Momen locates such traditions in Majlisí's Bihár al-anwár and in Shaykh al-Mufíd's Kitáb aI-irshád" (at )

I am by no means any kind of authority on this subject, but hopefully some of this information may be of some relevance to you.

best wishes,
Brett Zamir

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