Throughout His ministry, The Báb wrote many epistles addressed to theologians and seminary students. Among the writings of The Báb, there are two works known as the “Kitábu’l-‘Ulamá” or the “Epistle to the ‘Ulamá”, one which was revealed shortly after His return from the Arabian Peninsula to Iran and is the subject of this presentation.
This work, like many other epistles from the early period of The Báb’s ministry, is in the mode of divine verses and is in Arabic. We will attempt to provide brief historical background on developments in the world of Shí’ism prior to the inception of The Báb’s ministry and discuss the features of this epistle. Among the major themes of this work are the the subtlety of The Báb’s claims to a station greater than representing the hidden twelfth Imam, and the question of intertextuality between His writings and the Qur’án.