This article attempts to describe and place in context two of the earliest writings of the Báb. Both writings are commentaries on the Qur’án. The earliest of these, a commentary on the Chapter of the Cow, was written before the Báb made his claim to be the Promised One; the second is the famous Qayyúm al-Asmá or Commentary on the Chapter of Joseph. Apart from pointing out the dramatic differences in style and content between these two commentaries, the article offers some observations on the nature of these contents, the history of the ideas put forth, and their relationship to Shí‘í Islam and the thought of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsá’í and Siyyid Kázim Rashtí.
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Copyright © 1990 Todd Lawson