Questions and Answers: Part 2, the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa
سئل كمُيل بن زياد النخعي عن علي عليه السّلام "يا اميرالمؤمنين ما الحقيقة؟"
فقال عليه السّلام "ما لك والحقيقة؟"
فقال "او لستُ صاحب سرّك؟"
قال عليه السّلام "بلى ولكن يرشح عليك ما يطفح مني"
فقال "ما الحقيقة؟"
قال عليه السّلام "كشف سبحات الجلال من غير اشارة"
فقال زدني بياناً
قال عليه السّلام "محو الموهوم و صحو المعلوم"
فقال زدني بياناً
قال عليه السّلام "هتك الستر لِغلبة السرّ"
فقال زدني بياناً
قال عليه السّلام "جذب الاحدية لِصفة التّوحيد"
فقال زدني بياناً
قال عليه السّلام "نورٌ اشرق من صبح الازل فَيلوحُ على هياكل التّوحيد آثاره"
فقال زدني بياناً
قال عليه السّلام "فاطف السّراج فقد طلع الصّبح!"
Another of the refrains across your work has been the Hadith Kumayl, which on more than one occasion you indicated was the pinnacle of Shi'i esotericism, and at another offered it up as the lens through which one could best begin to contextualize the Babi dispensation. I'm not embarrassed to say that I find it somewhat inscrutable on the surface. Is there a commentary, or a cypher, or some sort of exegesis upon the hadith available and accessible to English readers?
Firstly, I should probably mention here that five independent commentaries on the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa[i] were already offered by myself in English: the first being a sub-commentary within LDM; the second within my 2008 commentary on the calligram of the Greatest Name;[ii] two by way of prayer (with the first prayer being part of text of the Greatest Name commentary)[iii] and another within an unpublished work circulated among the FSO. Below, after the introductory comments and general orientation around the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa in its Bābī trajectory, a short sixth commentary by way of correspondence will also be offered here as well.
Now, indeed the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa is enigmatically inscrutable, and as it should be to the non-initiate, precisely because it is an initiating discourse pointing to a higher reality of things. Given this, there are no fast, easy, cut and dry approaches to it; nor should there be. Intensely spiritual and elevated esoteric truths such as this –- and especially those highly elevated esoteric and spiritual truths articulated by the Infallibles (ع) -- are not supposed to give their secrets away to just anyone, particularly as with this piece we are in the presence of exactly what the sixth Imām (ع) indicates when he says, “Verily Our Cause is the Real Truth and the Truth of the Real Truth, and it is the Manifest and the Hidden, and the Hidden of the Hidden, and it is a Secret and the Secret of the Secret, and a secreted Secret, and a Secret concealed by yet another Secret” (in بصائر الدّرجات).[iv] As such rather than finding easy answers to its enigmas, one must necessarily struggle in its pathways of meaning, as it were. Instead the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa should be continuously reflected and meditated upon, and for a lifetime if necessary, as a sort of conceptual dhikr (mantra). I have spent twenty-eight years (28) now, as of this writing, reflecting and meditating daily upon it -- and in recent years using both my own prayers cited below in their original Arabic composition to that end.
This is so because the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa, when approached with the correct attitude or adab, can function as the entryway into the universe of High Imamology and the realization of the Imām-of-ones-being, i.e. the ʿaql (i.e. the Hiero-Intelligence/Nexal Consciousness). This is also why it has elicited such a substantial commentary tradition over nearly twelve-eleven centuries now and why it functioned as such a pivotally important meditative item and referential point to both Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsāʾī as well as the Bāb. As I have said many times, the entire esoteric tradition of Islam with all of its highest insights is encapsulated within the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa, not to mention that all of the secrets of wayfaring upon the path to the All-High are contained within it as well. As such the range and scope of its possible interpretations are truly limitless and without end, with each interpretation hued, coloured and nuanced by the given standpoint of the interpreter at the time of their interpretation and with consideration to their given state (حال) and station (مقام) at the specific moment of interpretation, since no divine self-disclosure (تجلّي) in an authentic situs of knowledge (العلم) ever repeats itself, as “each day He/It is in a [new] state” (كُلَّ يَوْمٍ هُوَ فِي شَأْنٍ) (Qurʾān 55:29). In other words, there can never be a definitive, all-encompassing interpretation of it offered by any human. If not scripture, then the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa is certainly a treasured proof-text to every genuine Shiʿi gnostic of whatever approach or tendency, especially (and whatever opinion the naysayers may hold of it) as it comes directly from the first Imām (ع) himself. Without exaggeration, to me at least, to truly know (maʿrifa) and love (ḥubb) the Eternal Imām (i.e. the Primal Will) is to know and realize the depthless truths of the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa, for it is a literal gift from the celestial heavens that will not cease to give of itself to the one who properly, sincerely and earnestly engages with it and struggles in its pathways of endless meaning; and I have certainly not found anything better that orients a subject to the Orient of Light as powerfully and as authentically as it does.
As for the vast commentary literature that this item has spawned over the centuries: Recently during the past few years a publication was put out from Iran by Sayyid Maḥmūd Ṭāherī entitled The Embellished Goblet (جام مرصع) (Qum: intishārāt-i-āyāt-i-ishrāq, 1394 solar/2015 CE) which is inclusive of twenty-seven (27) of the shorter commentaries on this item translated by Ṭāherī into Persian from Arabic, beginning with the commentary of ʿAllāmih Ḥillī (d. 1325 CE/726 AH) and concluding with Ḥājj Mullā Ḥādī Sabzvārī’s (d. 1873 CE/1289 AH). However, these twenty-seven commentaries are by no means a complete, exhaustive tally of all the commentaries ever penned on the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa; nor for that matter was ʿAllāmih Ḥillī the first to ever comment on it either. But it was certainly refreshing to see a contemporary hawzavī of Qum include one of the commentaries of Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsāʾī in it, i.e. the shorter commentary from his aforementioned Sharḥ al-Zīyāra Jāmiʿ al-Kabīra (the Commentary on the Greater Visitation Prayer for the Imāms) (336-40). That aside, references to the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa can be found literally everywhere in the vast literature of the mystical tradition of Islam, and in virtually all of its branches and tendencies; and (beyond mere references or even quasi-commentaries in either prose or verse) I have counted well over one-hundred and eighty-nine (189) proper independent commentaries on it -- and I am certain there are bound to be far, far more than even that number among names we have never heard of -- with the longest presently known commentary being that of Mullā ʿAbdu’llāh Zunūzī (d. 1841 CE/1257 AH) which was written during the early nineteenth century and is entitled The Majestic Lights (انوار جليّه). This text was edited by the late Siyyid Jalāluddīn Āshtīyānī (d. 2005) during the 1970s and published by the Tehran branch of McGill-Queens University in 1974. This last mentioned commentary by Zunūzī is edited at 383 pages of text and is a specific commentary from the Avicennan-Illuminationist/Akbarian-Ṣadrian speculative gnosis (ʿirfān-i-naẓarī) perspective of the Shiʿi seminary (hawza). Beyond traditional commentaries, the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa also continues to act during contemporary times as the source and subject of numerous graduate and post-graduate university theses, dissertations, monographs as well as countless scholarly articles in Iran.
In English Dwight M. Donaldson penned a somewhat problematic journal article about it in The Moslem World Volume 28, Issue 3 (July 1938), 249-57, entitled ‘Al-Kumail: A Companion of the Secret’[v] much of whose sourcing (and the commentary around the sourcing) should not be taken at face value. A good discussion around it can be found in the first volume of Henry Corbin’s En islam iranien, which if you read French I encourage you to look at since it is presently the best, most reliable source on the subject in any Western language.[vi] I would also look at Bahāʾī scholar Stephen Lambden’s work on it online.[vii] A publication was announced during the last decade by the Ismāʿīlī Institute in London, co-authored by Bruce Wannell and Herman Landolt, and entitled A Tradition of Esoteric Commentary: Imām ʿAlī’s Ḥadīth al-ḥaqīqa; but nothing has yet appeared and it is not likely that it will any time soon either. Rezā-Shāh Kāzemī (even though he offers a full chapter on another discourse addressed to Kumayl by Imām ʿAlī) briefly touches on it on a single page of his Justice and Remembrance: Introducing the Spirituality of Imām ʿAlī (London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2006), 170.[viii]
Which brings me to the following, it would appear that for all their pretences to being immersed in all facets of the esoteric tradition(s) of Islam, the Guénonian as well as the Schuonian neo-Traditionalists have generally shied away from offering either any substantial scholarly treatments or original commentaries of their own on this pivotally important item of the esoteric tradition of Islam. My personal view on this reticence and timidity by the neo-Traditionalists is because the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa is by and large sealed to them and also due in large measure to this piece’s quite intimate connection to esoteric Shiʿism -- and especially during the past two hundred years to the Shaykhī school and Bābism particularly --- not to mention that the Islam of the neo-Traditionalist school (for all their claims to universalism and the philosophia perennis, and whatever the original national and confessional pedigree of one of their eminent contemporary figures) has frankly always been quite acutely sectarian in a specifically Sunnī mould, and so they do not appear to be really all that interested in it and so generally keep their distance from this diadem of Islamic esotericism offered by Imām ʿAlī (ع). When engaging with Islamic esotericism and not the Indian Vedanta, most of the central figures of the neo-Traditionalist school appear to have been much more interested in making an idol of Ibn ʿArabī –- but a sanitized Ibn ʿArabī after their own predilections instead of the real thing[ix] -– than to earnestly engage with Imām ʿAlī’s (ع) Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa which, without any exaggeration, veritably contains by inference and allusion the sum total of all the loftiest insights and highest metaphysical speculations by the Great Andalusian Master and within just six short stanzas or (as I specifically label them) ‘theophanic sequences’. But whither can one find those seasoned, fair minded and realized gnostics to truly grasp and comprehend this truism?
Be that as it may, if one can theophanologically contextualize the six years of the Bāb’s ministry from May 1844 to July 1850 then these six years are the veritable spatiotemporal manifestation that is the theophanic dramaturgy of the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa as if it literally came to life as an animated narrative from the bāṭin to the ẓāhir telling itself within the space of dunyā. And this is precisely how the Bāb himself and all of the early Bābīs conceptualized it as well. In a countless number of his works, and from the earliest stages too, either overtly or by an implied parallelism, the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa acts as a kind of referential refrain (like a chorus to a musical symphony, if you would) throughout the Bāb’s writings. The early Bābī hiero-history by Hājjī Mīrzā Jānī Kāshānī (d. 1852), The Book of the Point of Kāf (kitāb-i-nuqṭat’ul-kāf),[x] is literally strewn and littered with continuous references to it from its opening to closing pages. As a counterweight and juxtaposition to the sanitized, heavily redacted and re-imagined Bahāʾī hagiography he had just translated, E.G. Browne (d. 1926) translated some of Kāshānī’s hiero-history in an epitome as the second appendix to his translation of Mīrzā Ḥusayn Hamadānī’s New History (tarīkh-i-jadīd) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1893), 327-396 (see esp. 330).[xi] You will see the constant references to the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa even in this shortened epitome of the kitāb-i-nuqṭat’ul-kāf by Browne (also see his translator’s introduction for your own general edification, vii.-lii.; and also look at Browne’s actual English introduction to his edition of the kitāb-i-nuqṭat’ul-kāf itself which begins from the back of the edition in the linked PDF, xiii.-xcv.).
Now to map out this Bābī theophanic dramaturgy of the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa in its unfolding years, which elsewhere is explicitly mapped out by the Bāb himself (but up to only the fifth theophanic sequence) in his Seven Proofs (دلائل سبعة):[xii]
(i.) (كشف سبحات الجلال من غير اشارة) “The Disclosure of the Majesties of Glorification without indication” represents the first year (1260-61 AH/1844-5 CE) of the Bāb’s ministry with his declaration and acceptance by Mullā Ḥusayn Bushrūʾī (d. 1849), the bāb al-bāb, and the “revelation” of his first major public work, the Commentary on the Sūrah of Joseph (12) (تفسير سورة اليوسف), the “Best of Stories” (احسن القصص), the Peerless Names (قيّوم الاسماء);[xiii] the composition of the eighteen Letters of the Living (حروف الحيّ), i.e. his first eighteen disciples; and the Bāb and the 18th disciple Mullā Muḥammad ʿAlī Bārfurūshī Quddūs’ hājj journey together to Mecca and Medīna where at the Kaʿba apparently the Bāb also made some kind of public proclamation. In his own independent commentary on the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa,[xiv] regarding this theophanic sequence, the Bāb states “…the ‘glorifications’ are the pure veils [of absoluteness] (حجب البحت) and the unadulterated/transcendental Hidden Cloud of Unknowing (عماء الصّرف); and this is the station of the Names and the Attributes whereby ‘ [the divine] Majesty’ represents the station of the Named [i.e. God] from which all attributes are negated…” (150/PDF 2b) (my trans.)
(ii.) (محو الموهوم و صحو المعلوم) “The negation of all speculation and the realization of what can be realized” represents the second year of the Bāb’s ministry (1261-2 AH/1845-6 CE) wherein the Bāb returned from the hājj journey; was arrested en route to Shīrāz in Bushihr; was brought back to Shīrāz under escort; placed under house arrest by its governor and then publicly made to recant his claim to bābīyat (i.e. gateship and exclusive deputyship to the Hidden Twelfth Imām) at the Masjid al-Wakīl; then ordering his disciples to destroy all copies of his Commentary on the Sūrah of Joseph and to exercise the discipline of the arcane (taqīya) until further notice; whereby in this period a less bold, or “less transcendental” (as Browne characterizes it), and somewhat more orthodox doctrine was set forth that would not antagonize mainstream Shiʿi religious sensibilities. In his commentary on the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa, regarding this theophanic sequence, the Bāb states “…the ‘negation of all speculation’ denotes ‘the glorifications’ (السّبحات) and the ‘realization of what can be realized’ is ‘the [divine] Majesty’ (الجلال), and this is the singular reality (الحقيقة الواحدة) but with [its] expressed locutions [occurring instead] within [the world of] multiplicity (كثرة)…” (my trans.) (ibid.)
(iii.) (هتك السّتر لغلبة السرّ) “The nullificative annihilation of the secret by the victorious rending of the veil off the mystery of the secret” represents the third year of the Bāb’s ministry (1262-3 AH/1846-7 CE) wherein, following the outbreak of a cholera epidemic, the Bāb fled Shīrāz, first, to Isfahān, briefly finding patronage and protection under its Georgian governor Manūchehr Khān Gurjī Muʿtamid al-Dawlih (d. 1847); but after Manūchehr Khān Gurjī’s death in early 1847, the new governor instead handed the Bāb over to an imperial escort ordered by the premier (and Bābī antichrist) Hājjī Mīrzā Āqāsī (d. 1848) who had the Bāb diverted from his route to the capital Tehrān to imperial banishment instead at a mountain fortress in the Western Azerbāijānī town of Mākū (which the Bāb dubbed جبال الباسط). This is also the year wherein the Bāb outright declared himself to be the Mahdī and Twelfth Imām (ع) in person.[xv] In his commentary on the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa, regarding this theophanic sequence, the Bāb states “…and the primary and secondary meaning/signification of this is that whosoever has apprehended it, apprehended it, and whosoever is ignorant of it, is ignorant of it (عرفها من عرفها و جهلها من جهلها)…” (my trans.) (ibid., 151/3a)
(iv.) (جذب الاحدية لصفة التوحيد) “The attraction of the Divine Oneness by the attributive apprehension of the Divine Unicity” represents the fourth year of the Bāb’s ministry (1263-4 AH/1847-8 CE) and marks the “revelation” of both the Arabic and Persian Bayāns at Mākū and the elevation of the Bāb’s own claims from maḥdawīya to divinity (and it was here when the Bāb first began using for himself the title “the Primal Point” نقطة الاولى). This is also the year when Qurra’t’ul-ʿAyn was expelled by Ottoman authorities from the Shīʿi shrine center of the ʿAtabāt in Irāq back to Irān; the year when the Badasht conference in Māzāndārān occurred (i.e. the Bābī dramaturgy of Alamūt) wherein the assembled Bābīs under the leadership of Qurra’t’ul-ʿAyn and Quddūs made their public proclamation claiming the end of the exoteric dispensation of Islam; the beginning of the Qājār state versus Bābī showdown/armed conflict at the fort of Shaykh Ṭabarsī led by Mullā Ḥusayn Bushrūʾī and Quddūs following the conference of Badasht; and the independent theophanic claims advanced by Quddūs during the siege of Shaykh Ṭabarsī as the Qāʾim (Ariser). In his commentary on the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa, regarding this theophanic sequence, the Bāb states, “…O Kumayl, the Exclusive Oneness (الاحدية) is your magnetizing attraction (جاذبك) towards the Divine Unicity (الى التّوحيد) because your visionary witnessing (مشاهدك) is in/by God (بالله), disclosing therein the coverings and the veils; and the Reality of the Majesty is in the primal [station], the Known is in the second, the Secret in the third, and the Exclusive Oneness in the fourth…”(my trans.) (ibid.)
(v.) (نورٌ اشرق من صبح الازل فيلوح على هياكل التوحيد آثاره) “A Light illuminating from the Dawn of Pre-Eternity and shedding its traces upon the tablets of the Talismanic-Temples of Unicity” represents the fifth year of the Bāb’s ministry (1264-5 AH/1848-9 CE) wherein occurred his trial in Tabrīz and, on Russian diplomatic insistence to the central government in Tehrān, his banishment from Mākū to a mountainous prison fortress in a remote part of north-western Azerbāijān known as Chihrīq (which the Bāb dubbed جبال الشّديد). In this year the Bābī insurrection and siege at the fort of Shaykh Ṭabarsī was brutally suppressed by Qājar government troops with the majority of its participants, including its two leaders Mullā Ḥusayn Bushrūʾī and Quddūs, massacred. Most significantly in this year (following the death of Quddūs and “in order to console the believers,” as Hājjī Mīrzā Jānī Kāshānī puts it) was the appearance or “theophanic manifestation” (ظهور) of Mīrzā Yaḥyā Nūrī Ṣubh-i-Azal (the Dawn of Pre-Eternity) (d. 1912) and his appointment as the Bāb’s ‘Mirror’ (مرآت) and ‘vicar/successor’ (وصي).[xvi] In his commentary on the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa, regarding this theophanic sequence, the Bāb states, “…his (i.e. ʿAlī’s) intention, upon Him be peace, is that he (i.e. Kumayl) apprehend the appearance/elucidation (بيان) of the stations of the theophanic manifestation (ظهور) of the [divine] activity (الفعل) and its traces. The Dawn of Pre-Eternity is ʿAlī, upon Him be Peace, and the Sun of Pre-Eternity (الشّمس الازل) is Muḥammad, peace be upon Him, and what pertains to Ḥusayn, upon Him be peace; and what illuminates (اشرق) indicates the Imāms, upon Them be peace, and the Light (النّور) is Fāṭima, upon Her be peace; and the Talismanic-Temples of Unicity (هياكل التّوحيد) indicates the prophets and the inheritors (الانبياء و الاوصياء); and its traces (آثاره) is your station and the station of the Shiʿi (مقامك و مقام الشيعة)…” (my trans.) (ibid.) In his Seven Proofs, the Bāb there corresponds this specific theophanic sequence to the fifth verse of Imām Mūḥammad al-Bāqir’s (ع) Dawn Prayer (دعاء الصحر) (also known as the دعاء البهاء),[xvii] wherein the attribute of Light (نور) is specifically invoked,[xviii] and here he says it relates to “the Prince of Martyrs” (سيّد الشّهداء), i.e. Ḥusayn (ع) (دلائل السّبعة, ibid., 58). Now, Ḥusayn (حسين) in abjad numerology is 128 which when multiplied by two (128 x 2) equals 256 which is نور (light). In the paragraph just above it in the Seven Proofs, the Bāb relates this fifth theophanic sequence of the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa to the fifth year of his ministry, which at the time of writing the Seven Proofs had not as yet occurred (it is generally presumed that the Seven Proofs was composed somewhere around the later part of the fourth year). Here he tells the recipient of this treatise that if he (i.e. the Bāb’s addressee) does not become perturbed or confused in the coming fifth year, he (i.e. the addressee) shall behold the “Light Illuminating from the Dawn of Pre-Eternity” (ibid.)
(vi.) (فاطف السّراج فقد طلع الصّبح) “Extinguish the lamp for the Dawn hath indeed Arisen!” represents the sixth and final year of the Bāb’s ministry (1265-6 AH/1849-50 CE) and is marked by the rise and establishment of the vicegerency (ولاية) of Ṣubh-i-Azal over the Bābīs and the “martyrdom” (or execution) of the Bāb by firing squad in Tabrīz on 8 July 1850.[xix] In his commentary on the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa, regarding this theophanic sequence, the Bāb states, “…the intent here is in this, O Kumayl, that in extinguishing the lamp which your mind, your soul and your spirit treads within the darkness there may dawn upon you the subtilised heart-flux (فؤاد),[xx] for it [i.e. the subtilised heart-flux] is the Dawn (الصّبح)…”
Now, with reference to the previous discussion around Eve (ع) and the divine feminine, let us first briefly examine the esoteric significance of the number six (the number of theophanic sequences to the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa). Because it is the sum and product of its parts (i.e. 1 + 2 + 3 = 6/1 x 2 x 3 = 6), the Pythagoreans and the Platonists considered six to be the perfect number. Generally speaking, in Sufism and esoteric Islam the number six is the number associated with the Perfect Human Being (الانسان الكامل) because the Perfect Human Being has synthesized within themselves the five divine presences (الحضرة الالهية الخمس),[xxi] or the five worlds, with the Perfect Human Being being the sixth as the contemplating mirror to the five. Six is the number of inner houses or interior angles to the pentagram, i.e. the most sacred symbol of the Bayān, to which each house is associated first with God (top center) then Muḥammad (ص) (middle center or heart) then ʿAli (ع) (right) then Fāṭima (ع) (left) then Ḥasan (ع) (bottom right) and finally Ḥusayn (ع) (bottom left).[xxii] These in turn are associated with six specific attributes of God descriptive of the Essence whose combined total letters in Arabic come to nineteen: فرد (Single), حيّ (Alive), قيّوم (Peerless/Self-Subsistent), حكم (Judge), عدل (Just) and قدّوس (Holy). All of these then are referable to the letter wāw و, which is the second letter of the masculine pronoun hūwa هو, which as a letter represents interiority as such and the Divine Name ‘the Hidden’ (الباطن).
Be that as it may, in the Book of Genesis (as well as the Qurʿān) the world is created by God in six days and the book itself begins with six letters in Hebrew, i.e. (בראשית) b’reshit (“in the beginning”). Interestingly enough, some Kabbalists have read these first six letters differently than the conventional reading and derived instead the alternative reading of bara shīth (ברא שית) “He/It created the Six.” In Hebrew gematria (as in the Arabic abjad) six is the numerical value of the letter vav ו and in the first chapter of the Book of Genesis it (as the 22nd letter of the verse) is the letter that binds heaven to earth, the celestial to the terrestrial. In the sephirotic Kabbalah the number six itself has been related by some Kabbalists to the second sephira (or sphere) known as Binah. Now, before proceeding, I pause here briefly to mention that -- although I abandoned the sephirotic system of the Kabbalah of the ten spheres and twenty-two paths for my own system of thirteen spheres and thirty-six pathways over a decade and a half ago -- nevertheless I consider Binah (also known as the Great Mother, Aimma) and not Chokhmah to be the second sphere of the Tree of Life and for pretty much similar reasons as what I earlier asserted regarding the primacy of Eve (ع) over Adam (ع), since “as above, so below.”
So here now, to conclude this section, I offer a brief Kabbalistic commentary by correspondence whereby I will associate each of the six acrostic letters from which the name of Eve (ع) is formed in Hebrew (אם כל חי) (امّ كلّ حيّ) (i.e. “the Mother of All-Living” or “All-Living Mother”) to the six theophanic sequences of the Ḥadīth Kumayl/Ḥadīth al-Ḥaqīqa and leave any further explanations for a future commentary:
i.) א ا (كشف سبحات الجلال من غير اشارة) “The Disclosure of the Majesties of Glorification without indication.”
ii.) ם م (محو الموهوم و صحو المعلوم) “The negation of all speculation and the realization of what can be realized.”
iii.) כ ك (هتك السّتر لغلبة السرّ) “The nullificative annihilation of the secret by the victorious rending of the veil off the mystery of the secret.”
iv.) ל ل (جذب الاحدية لصفة التوحيد) “The attraction of the Divine Oneness by the attributive apprehension of the Divine Unicity.”
v.) ח ح (نورٌ اشرق من صبح الازل فيلوح على هياكل التوحيد آثاره) “A Light illuminating from the Dawn of Pre-Eternity and shedding its traces upon the tablets of the Talismanic-Temples of Unicity.”
vi.) י ي (فاطف السّراج فقد طلع الصّبح) “Extinguish the lamp for the Dawn hath indeed Arisen!”
(אם כל חי) (امّ كلّ حيّ) = 109 = حقاً (truly)
[iii] To wit,
a.) Hū! In the Name of God the Most Praised, the Most Glorified, the Most Holy in the Highest Altitude of the Sanctification of the Glorification of the Holiness of Elevated Sublimity and Transcendence! Say, O Thou Who art the Light of all lights Effusing the Illumination of the Radiance of Thy Being by the blinding Godly Scintillance of the dazzling Divine Brilliance from the Fire of the Morning-Dawn Arisen! O my God, verily I testify at the Throne of the Resplendent Sun of Thy Pre-Eternal Oneness which hath ignited the Manifestations of those flames of holiness glaring the flares of the mirrored rays of the Revelation of the Unity of Thy Glory Self-Disclosing the Theophanic transfigurations of the manifestation of Thy Solitary, Most Singular and Unchanging Face which hath already always annihilated all-things! And O Thou Who art That inhabitant Sovereign of the horizons of my self unveiling the Singularity of Thy perspicuous Reality within the Selves of my horizon! Thou art indeed the Most Manifest and the Most Hidden as the Absolute Manifestation of the Ultimately Hidden! I verily, O my God, testify that Thou art That Who hath left Thy traces imprinted upon the Talismanic-Temples of Thy Unicity by the vestigial signs of the unificating ecstatic attractions of Thy Unicitarianism from a firstness before all firstness unto a lastness after all lastness! O my God, I verily testify at the vision effacing nullificative annihilation of the secret by the victorious rending of the veils off the secreted mysteries of Thy Secret through the apophatic negation of all speculation and the realization of That Realized Reality that is Thee Alone, the Truly Real; for I verily, O my God, testify by the disclosures of the regalitude of Thy Majesties of Glorification without indication from the locus of Thy Post-Eternity to the situs of Thy Everlastingness within the axis of Thy Durationless Perpetuity by the unveilings of Thy Endlessness from a beginning of no beginning unto an end of no end, for Thou art the Godhead and there is no other god but Thee Alone within Thee Alone by Thee Alone from Thee Alone and to Thee Alone, Truly, Truly!
b.) In the Name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful! O God, blessings and salutations be upon Muḥammad and the Family of Muḥammad, the manifestations of Thy Logos-Self and the Greatest Name! Glorified art Thou, O God my God, how Mighty is Thy Singularity and how Mighty are the Majesties of Glorification without indication! No other god is there besides Thee, O God, verily I am among the invokers! Glorified art Thou, O God my God, how Mighty is Thy Life and how Mighty is the apophatic negation of all speculation and the realization of that which can be realized! No other god is there besides Thee, O God, verily I am among the prostrators! Glorified art Thou, O God my God, how Mighty is Thy Peerlessness/Self-Subsistence and how Mighty is the nullificative annihilation of the secret by the victorious rending of the veil off the mystery of the secret! No other god is there besides Thee, O God, verily I am among the thankful! Glorified art Thou, O God my God, how Mighty is Thy Wisdom and how Mighty is the ecstatic attraction of the Divine Exclusive Oneness by the attributive apprehension of the Divine Unicity! No other god is there besides Thee, O God, verily I am among the certain! Glorified art Thou, O God my God, how Mighty is Thy Justice and how Mighty is a Light Illuminating from the Dawn of Pre-Eternity and shedding its traces upon the Talismanic-Temples of Unicity! No other god is there besides Thee, O God, verily I am among the well-secure! Glorified art Thou, O God my God, how Mighty is Thy Holiness and how Mighty is the Dawning of Thy Face! No other god is there besides Thee, O God, verily I am among the faithful believers! And the blessings of God be upon Muḥammad and the Family of Muḥammad, the Pure; and the curses of God be upon all of Their enemies; and praise be unto God, the Lord of all the Worlds!
[iv] إنّ امْرَنا هُوَ الحَقْ و حَقْ الحَقْ و هُوَ الـّظاهِر و الباطِن و باطِن الباطِن و هُوَ سِرّ و سِرّ الـّسِرّ و سِرّ مُستسِرّ و سرّ مُقَنـّع بِالـّسرّ
[vi] http://libgen.io/book/index.php?md5=A2802BEA19696771DB2A57426EA06EF8, see particularly 110-118, 131, 245n., 304 and 309; he also addresses it in Tome II at 15, 75 and 151 http://libgen.io/book/index.php?md5=1A44C81EB140BB231330C896356E8EF6; in Tome III at 179-180 and 187; and in Tome IV only at 408ff and 421ff http://libgen.io/book/index.php?md5=18F0A3507EB9875073E4FB939721EDCA .
[xii] See page 58 in the printed edition http://www.h-net.msu.edu/~bahai/areprint/bab/A-F/dalail/dalail.pdf
[xv] The actual proclamation of maḥdawīya can be found in qismatī az alvāh-i-khaṭṭ-i-nuqṭa-i-ūla va āqā ḥusayn-i-kātib (Segments from the tablets in the handwriting of the Primal Point and Āqā Ḥusayn the scribe) (n.p., n.d.), online, http://bayanic.com/showPict.php?id=some (original pagination) 12-13 (digital pagination: 23-4).
[xvi] ...After the martyrdom of Hazrat-i-Kuddús and his companions, the Master was filled with sadness, until such time as the writings of Jenáb-i-Ezel met his gaze, when, through the violence of his delight, he rose up and sat down several times, pouring forth his gratitude to the God whom he worshipped...About forty days after his departure the news of the martyrdom of Hazrat-i-Kuddús came to Jenáb-i-Ezel. I have heard that after receiving this news he suffered for three days from a violent fever, induced by the burning heat of the fire of separation; and that after the three days the signs of holiness (áthár-i-kudsí) appeared in his blessed form and the mystery of the 'Return' was [once more] manifest. This event took place in the fifth year of the Manifestation of the Truth, so that Jenáb-i-Ezel became the blessed Earth of Devotion, and His Holiness 'the Reminder' [i.e. the Báb] appeared as the Heaven of Volition...Now when the letters of Jenáb-i-Ezel came to His Holiness 'the Reminder' [i.e. the Báb] he rejoiced exceedingly, and thenceforth began the decline of the Sun of 'the Reminder' and the rising of the Moon of Ezel. So he [i.e. the Báb] sent his personal effects, such as pen-cases, paper, writings, his own blessed raiment [i.e. his clothing], and his holy rings, according to the Number of the Unity [Váhid = 19], that the outward form might correspond with the inward reality. He also wrote a testamentary deposition, explicitly nominating him [i.e. Ezel] as his successor [Walí], and added, 'Write the eight [unwritten] Váḥids of the Beyán, and, if " He whom God shall manifest" should appear in His power in thy time, abrogate the Beyán; and put into practice that which we shall inspire into thine heart.' Now the mystery of his bestowing his effects on Ezel according to the 'Number of the Unity' is perfectly evident, namely that he intended the inner meaning thereof, that it might be known to all his followers that after himself Ezel should bear the Divine influences. And his object in explicitly nominating him as his successor also was to re-assure the hearts of the weak, so that they might not be bewildered as to his real nature, but that enemies and friends alike might know that there is no intermission in God's grace, and that God's religion is a thing which must be made manifest. And the reason why [the Báb] himself refrained from writing the eight [unwritten] Váḥids of the Beyán, but left them to Ezel, was that all men might know that the Tongue of God is one, and that He in Himself is a sovereign Proof. And what he meant by 'Him whom God should manifest' after himself was Hazrat-i-Ezel and none other than him, for there may not be two ' Points ' at one time. And the secret of the Báb's saying, ' Do thus and thus,' while Ezel was himself also a ' Proof,' was that at this time His Holiness ' the Reminder was the Heaven of Volition, and Ezel was accounted the Earth of Devotion and the product of purified gifts, wherefore was he thus addressed…Mīrzā Ḥusayn Hamadānī New History (Tarīkh-i-Jadīd), (trans.) (ed.) E.G. Browne, Appendix II (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1893), 374; 380-381.
[xix] Or as Hājjī Mīrzā Jānī Kāshānī puts it, “…In short, as soon as the time had come when the ‘Eternal Fruit’ [Thamara-i-Ezeliyyé] had reached maturity, the Red Blossom of Reminder-hood [i.e. the Báb], casting itself from the branch of the Blessed Tree of the Ká’imate (which is ‘neither of the East nor of the West’) to the simoom-wind of the malice of foes, destroyed itself, and prepared to ascend from the outward and visible 'World of Dominion' to the inward realm of the Mystery of Godhead... Mīrzā Ḥusayn Hamadānī New History (Tarīkh-i-Jadīd), 381.
[xx] Which in the system of Shaykhī-Bābī subtle physiology is the highest organ of perception and which Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsāʾī directly associates with existence/being (وجود) itself, see Idris Samawi Hamid in Idris Samawi Hamid The Metaphysics and Cosmology of Process According to Shaykh Aḥmad al-Aḥsāʾī, doctoral dissertation, SUNY-Buffalo (1998), 99, http://walayah.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/Hamid-phd_dissertation-Shaykh_Ahmad.pdf