A Book like Quran

Sep 2010
Baha'u'llah in Iqan, narrates a Hadith that Qaim reveals a Book like Quran:

In the “Biḥár” it is recorded: “In our Qá’im there shall be four signs from four Prophets, Moses, Jesus, Joseph, and Muḥammad. The sign from Moses is fear and expectation; from Jesus, that which was spoken of Him; from Joseph, imprisonment and dissimulation; from Muḥammad, the revelation of a Book similar to the Qur’án.”

1. What is the name of this Book?
2. How long it took the Bab to complete it according to history?
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Jun 2015
Can you quote the passage of the Iqan? Por favor.


'In the “Aválím,” an authoritative and well-known book, it is recorded: “A Youth from Baní-Háshim shall be made manifest, Who will reveal a new Book and promulgate a new law;”

'In another passage, it is related of Sádiq, son of Muhammad, that he spoke the following: “There shall appear a Youth from Baní-Háshim, 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 about Him, hasten unto Him.”'

I hope this helps.
Sep 2010
Can you quote the passage of the Iqan? Por favor.
I added that Passage to the first post.

The Hadith that Baha'u'llah refers to, I found in the Shia Book, called Bihar Alanwar, and goes like this:

Imam Muhammad Baqir (a.s.) said

“The master of this matter has aspects like those that four of the prophets have had; an aspect of Musa, one of Jesus Christ, one of Joseph and one of Muhammad (peace be upon them).”
I asked: “Which aspect of Musa (a.s.)?” He said: “Afraid and lying in wait.” I said: “Which one of Jesus Christ (a.s.)?” He said: “It will be said about him (Imam Mahdi) as that has been said about Jesus Christ (a.s.).” I said: “Which of Joseph?” He said: “Prison and disappearance.” I said:
“Which of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.)?” He said: “If he (Imam Mahdi) appears, he will imitate his grandfather, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) but he will unsheathe his sword for eight months, during which there will be commotion, until Allah becomes pleased.” I said: “How will it be known that Allah becomes pleased?” He said: “Allah will put mercy into his (the Imam’s) heart.”

I noticed that, in the way Baha'u'llah narrates the hadith and this version I found in Bihar, it appears there is a difference in the last part.

Baha'u'llah says, the similarity between Qaim and Muhammad is Revellation of a Book similar to Quran, whereas this Hadith in Bihar, states that:

“If he (Imam Mahdi) appears, he will imitate his grandfather, Muhammad (s.a.w.s.) but he will unsheathe his sword for eight months, during which there will be commotion, until Allah becomes pleased.” I said: “How will it be known that Allah becomes pleased?” He said: “Allah will put mercy into his (the Imam’s) heart.”

It seems to me that Baha'u'llah interpreted "imitation from Muhammad" as "Revelation of a Book similar to Quran". The Sword in this Hadith is the symbol of the Tongue of Qaim, which reveals the New Book. Elsewhere, in a Hadith, Muhammad stated, God gives Power of speech to the sword of Qaim.

Another thing I notice in this hadith is a reference to Eight Months.
My initial thought was this would be the Durarion which the Book is revealed.
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Nov 2015
United States

I did a little investigation on this matter a month or so ago, and was greatly aided by my friend and his own study network. I can share some notes that my friend sent me. I will quote from our email correspondence. I apologize for the flood of text, but I'd rather have everything said on record somewhere than try to edit this down to the bare essentials, because I am feeling lazy.

NEAL: Hey ___,

If you have a moment, I would love some tips in researching something.

I was wondering if you have encountered any Baha'i Writings, during your study, that explicitly state that the Bab revealed verses like the Qur'an? I recently realized that I have only ever heard this claim by Baha'is, and have not seen it in the Writings myself. I seem to recall more scholarly sources saying the Bab revealed "a number of verses" greater than the Quran within a few days, and I am wondering if some Baha'is are confusing these statements for claims that the Bab wrote in the same poetic style as the Qur'an.

Please do not trouble yourself

FRIEND: Hey ____,

I wonder if that might not be a specific reference to the Bab's commentary on the Surih of Joseph, known as the Qayyumu'l-Asma. He wrote this book, which is several hundred pages long, in 40 days, and in fact He revealed the first chapter during the night of His declaration to Mulla Husayn. The symbolism represented by the number 40 here is intriguing—the Qur'an was revealed to Muhammad over the course of 40 years. Perhaps that is the connection people are trying to make.

For someone who was only alive for six years after He declared, the Bab revealed a great number of verses. For instance, He wrote a book not too well-known to many English speakers called the Book of Names, or the Kitabu'l-Asma, which is apparently some 3,000 pages long. In his complex study of the Bab's works, entitled Gate of the Heart, Dr. Nader Saiedi calls this book "the largest revealed scripture in religious history" (p. 36). The Bab's other works must span at least several hundred more pages total. A truly prodigious output for such a short-lived dispensation.

I hope that information was helpful. Please let me know if there's anything else I can help you with!

Best wishes,

NEAL: Interesting. So you've never encountered the claim that the Bab's verses match the Qur'an in style?

FRIEND: Whoops, I totally neglected that one—my bad.

There are these two passages from God Passes By:

"With the Báb’s return to Shíráz the initial collision of irreconcilable forces may be said to have commenced. Already the energetic and audacious Mullá ‘Alíy-i-Bastamí, one of the Letters of the Living, “the first to leave the House of God (Shíráz) and the first to suffer for His sake,” who, in the presence of one of the leading exponents of Shí’ah Islám, the far-famed Shaykh Muḥammad Ḥasan, had audaciously asserted that from the pen of his new-found Master within the space of forty-eight hours, verses had streamed that equalled in number those of the Qur’án, which it took its Author twenty-three years to reveal, had been excommunicated, chained, disgraced, imprisoned, and, in all probability, done to death."


"It was this Book [the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá] which the Bábís universally regarded, during almost the entire ministry of the Báb, as the Qur’án of the people of the Bayán"

I haven't found anything substantive yet on the stylistic similarities, but I will do some more digging and get back to you if I find anything.

NEAL: Cool. I think that claim is being pushed by some Baha'i writers online, and is becoming a common belief, but I don't think it is actually reflected in our Writings. I think it might turn away some Muslims who check the Writings expecting to see Qur'anic verse.

FRIEND: Well, I did some more digging and asked some knowledgeable Baha'is if they could share their thoughts on this subject, and I got some really great responses. Rather than flood the body of this email with everything they said, I decided to split it up into a few documents and attach them all here.

I've tried to name the documents descriptively—such that they need little explanation—but to break it down a bit, you've got a story from a contemporary of Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha (Haji Mirza Haydar-‘Ali), an opinion from a Baha'i friend of mine who can read classical Arabic, a scholarly review by a Baha'i of a book (also written by a Baha'i, Todd Lawson, who reads classical Arabic and specializes in the Babi Writings) that deals with this subject, and a reference to this similarity by Baha'u'llah Himself from the Kitab-i-Iqan. Honestly, I think the three Word documents will probably be enough to drive the point home (and, in an effort to save you time, I did my best to highlight the most relevant sections)—but if you want really want to explore the topic in-depth, then you could give the book review (the PDF) a read, too. At only nine pages, it's not terribly long, but it does use a lot of technical and even arcane terminology.

Let me know what you think!
Here is a link to the book review he mentions - Review of Todd Lawson, Gnostic Apocalypse and Islam: Qur

Here is the quote from his Baha'i friend who reads classical Arabic:
In my humble and uneducated view, the answer is a yes and a no. When you read the Arabic Writings of the Bab, especially the QA [Qayyumu’l-Asma], you are struck by two things: one is that the style is evocative of the style of the Good Book [the Qur’an], while at the same time the new, sublime, unique, and wondrous (or badi`) nature of His style of Revelation is also striking. Perhaps the beauty and miracle of The Bab's Writings is that He combines the two contradictory features. His style is unmatched and badi`, while at the same time it is familiar as the voice and tone of the Good Book, and is not weird or strange.
Here is the story from Baha'u'llah's contemporary, with my friend's highlights in bold:

[Haji Mirza] Haydar-Ali capitalized on this similarity, as he explains in The Delight of Hearts:

My father was not a believer. He was a Shaykhí and a follower of Hájí Muhammad Kárím Khán. He was firmly against my Faith and would follow me to many places to voice his opposition to my beliefs. We exchanged some letters, but they did not help. Eventually he left Kírmán in quest of me and found me in the small town of Ná'ín. He hoped that there he would be able to educate and guide me, since most of the people of the town were followers of Kárím Khán.
My father went to the governor of the town, whom he knew personally, and asked for me to be brought to him. I was summoned to the governor's house. But with the assistance of God, I was able to speak in a manner that pleased everyone. They all encouraged me and spoke words of approval. "The grace of Hájí Muhammad Kárím Khán has encircled you and protected you," they said. "He has not allowed you to go astray."
Every morning it was their custom to recite verses from the Qur'án after prayers. It was my honour to recite these verses, and everyone was always pleased to hear those beautiful words. To open the way for our discussion, I began to include verses of the Báb with those from the Qur'án. No one criticized—or even detected that verses other than those from the Qur'án were being chanted. This gave me an opportunity to present my argument to the people in the room, particularly my father.
An uncle of mine, Hájí Muhammad-'Alí, lived in Ná'ín. He was a good friend of mine and knew of my correspondence with my father. So I asked him if he would be willing to hide me and protect me and take me secretly to Isfahán. He accepted, and I prepared to leave.
I went to the hall where my father and the governor and several other people were seated. I sat next to my father and said to him, "Suppose I had been born blind and could not know you by sight. Could I not certainly recognize you by your voice?"
"What is your aim in asking this question?" He responded.
"Let me finish the premise; then you will comprehend the purpose of my question," I replied. "Suppose, again, that you were to go on an extensive trip and return home only after a long time. I shall still know you by your voice and shall naturally run to you. When I receive kindness, compassion, and love, I shall know for certain that the newcomer is my father."
All present agreed, "This is true. It is obvious and understandable."
"Now, here is my question," I continued. "When I chanted the verses of the Qur'án for you, I often included in the texts verses revealed by the Báb. I am sure you recognize the verses of the Prophet Muhammad by His words, tone, and style. Then, why did no one protest? Surely, only because the words revealed by the Báb have the same tone, vigour, and style, and come from the same Source."
This concluded the discussion. I left the hall quickly and made for my uncle's house.

(Abu’l-Qasim Faizi, Stories from the Delight of Hearts: The Memoirs of Haji Mirza Haydar-‘Ali, pp. 3–5)
And here is the verse from the Iqan, with which you are of course familiar, again with the highlighted verse:

There is a hadith on this subject quoted in the [Kitab-i-]Iqan:

How strange! Notwithstanding these explicit and manifest references these people have shunned the Truth. For instance, mention of the sorrows, the imprisonment and afflictions inflicted upon that Essence of divine virtue hath been made in the former traditions. In the "Bihar" it is recorded: "In our Qá'im [the Promised One] there shall be four signs from four Prophets, Moses, Jesus, Joseph, and Muhammad. The sign from Moses, is fear and expectation; from Jesus, that which was spoken of Him; from Joseph, imprisonment and dissimulation; from Muhammad, the revelation of a Book similar to the Qur'án."

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 254)
Hope this is helpful, and again, sorry for the flood.
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Sep 2010
Thank you Neal!

Actually the Bab himself refers in Qayyum alasma, that is the Book Like Quran:

"O people of the city! Ye have disbelieved your Lord. If ye are truly faithful to Muḥammad, the Apostle of God and the Seal of the Prophets, and if ye follow His Book, the Qur’án, which is free from error, then here is the like of it—this Book, which We have, in truth and by the leave of God, sent down unto Our Servant. "

"DOTH it seem strange to the people that We should have revealed the Book to a man from among themselves in order to purge them and give them the good tidings that they shall be rewarded with a sure stance in the presence of their Lord? He indeed beareth witness unto all things…"

But I am not sure what the Bab means here:

"When the verses of this Book are recited to the infidels they say: ‘Give us a book like the Qur’án and make changes in the verses.’ Say: ‘God hath not given Me that I should change them at My pleasure.’ I follow only what is revealed unto Me. Verily, I shall fear My Lord on the Day of Separation, whose advent He hath, in very truth, irrevocably ordained."

Regarding revelation of the Book in 40 days, I am still searching for some Schollarly work on the history of the Book.
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