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COLLECTIONPublished articles
TITLEThe Báb's Epistle on the Spiritual Journey towards God
AUTHOR 1Todd Lawson
TITLE_PARENTLights of Irfan
PUB_THISIrfan Colloquia
ABSTRACTA preliminary translation and discussion of the Bab's Risála fi's-Sulúk, one of his earliest extant compositions. It provides a brief discussion of the mystic quest, and sheds light on the Báb's relationship to the Shaykhi movement and to Sayyid Kázim.
NOTES Presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #30, Louhelen Bahá'í School (October 6-8, 2000). Republished in The Bahá'í Faith and the World's Religions, ed. Moojan Momen (George Ronald, 2005); see lawson_babs_epistle_2005.pdf.

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TAGS* Báb, Writings of; - Interfaith dialogue; - Islam; God; Hadith; Imam Ali; Imams; Journey (spiritual); Kumayl, Hadith of; Mysticism; Quran; Risala fis-Suluk (Journey towards God); Spirituality

One of the earliest, if not the earliest, extant compositions of the Báb is a brief discussion of the mystic quest, entitled Risála fi's-Sulúk. This work is extremely important for the light it sheds on the Báb's relationship to the Shaykhi movement and to Siyyid Kázim in particular. It was written well before two other early works (Tafsír súrat al-Baqara and Tafsír súrat Yásuf/Qayyum al-Asmá). However, the concerns and topics of this earlier work continue to appear in the Báb's later writings. The discussion will highlight the Qur’ánic verses and the Hadíth that form the basis of the Báb's teaching about the mystic quest in this Epistle, together with some thoughts on the nature of the teaching itself. A preliminary translation will be offered of the entire text and, it is hoped, improved upon by fellow conference attendees.
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