CHAPTER FIVE
THE INNER SIGNIFICANCES
TABLET OF WISDOM
277In His Name, the Originator, the All-knowing, the Wise!
This is a Book which the Merciful hath caused to descend from the Kingdom of His utterances.
It is indeed the spirit of life to whosoever is in the realm of creation. Exalted is God, the Lord of the people of existence.
In this great Tablet He mentioneth him who is mentioning His Lord; verily he is En-nabell (Muhammad).
O thou Muhammad; hear the voice which is raised from the highest region of greatness and from the lofty Sadrat elevated upon the land of Zaafaran, “that there is no God but Me, the Omniscient, the Wise.”
278Be as the blowing wind of the Merciful to the trees of the created world, and rear them up in the name of thy Lord, the Equitable, the Learned One. Verily, we desire to mention unto thee that which will be commemorated by all people that they may cast away what they have and turn their faces unto God the Lord of the sincere. Verily, we admonish the servants in these days wherein the face of justice has become clouded with dust, the cheeks of ignorance brightened and illumined, the shame of the mind manifested, repose and faithfulness have disappeared, while calamities and afflictions have prevailed, covenants have been violated and promises broken. In these days people have become ignorant, unable to distinguish between that which opens their eyes, and that which blinds them, that which leads them astray, and that which guides them into the right path.
279O people, shun vice and adopt virtue, be perfect examples unto people, and become a monitor whereby mankind is preached to and admonished.
280He who arises with steadfastness to serve the cause of God must be a manifestation of wisdom, striving to remove ignorance from amongst human beings.
281Say! Let your word be one and agree in your opinions and make your mornings preferable to your evenings and the morrow better than yesterday. The merit of man depends upon his service and perfection and not upon the ornaments of riches, and wealth. Let your words be free from falsehood and lust, and your actions sanctified and above suspicion and pure from hypocrisy.
282Say! Spend not the wealth of your precious lives on lustful desires and do not confine things only to your private interests, but bestow when you have and be patient when you have not. Distress is followed by affluence and confusion by clearness. Shun mendacity and slothfulness and take hold of that whereby the people will be profited, whether young or old, aged or widows.
283Say, beware of sowing the tares of discord among the creatures or the thorns of doubts and suspicions in the pure and brilliant hearts.
284Say, O beloved of God, commit not that which will disturb the clearness of the pure water of love or sever the perfumed ties of friendship.
285By my life, you are created for love and affection and not for hatred and obstinacy.
286Boast not of love to your own people but of love to your fellow creatures. Glory not in loving your homes but in loving the whole world.
287Let your eye be chaste, your hand faithful, your tongue truthful, and your heart instructed. Abase not the glorious station of the learned and do not belittle the honor of the chief men who justly judge amongst you.
288Let equity be your army, reason your arms, and pardon and forgiveness your character and nature. By my life, it grieved me to hear of the sorrows thou hast mentioned. Regard not the people and their actions; but look to the truth and His dominion, verily He shall mention thee in that which was the origin of the gladness of the world.
289Drink the pure water of pleasure from the cup of the utterances of the day-spring of the Manifestation, who remembers thee in this strong fort. Spare not any effort within thy power to establish the truth with wisdom and explanations, and destroy falsehood from amidst the creatures, thus doth the dawning-place of knowledge command you from this brilliant horizon.
290O thou utterer of My Name! Consider the people and what they have done in My Days; we have revealed to one of the Emirs that which made all the living on the earth impotent to produce the like and we asked him to confront us with the savants of this age in order to make manifest unto him the proof of God, His argument, His greatness and His authority. We did not desire in that anything save pure goodness; but, verily he has committed that which made the denizens of the cities of equity and justice lament. Thus it was judged between Me and him—verily thy Lord is the controller, the informed one.
291The case being as thou seest, how could it be possible for the Divine Bird to fly away in the atmosphere of explanations, after his foremost feather have been broken by the stones of suspicions and hatred and He was imprisoned in a cave built of shining rock. By God, the people are indeed great oppressors.
292Referring to that which thou hast mentioned regarding the beginning of creation, know that this is a matter which differs in proportion to the difference of minds and visions—shouldst thou say “Be and it is” it would be right. Shouldst thou say the same as recorded in the Holy Books, verily there will be no doubt about it; because it has been caused to descend on the part of God, the Lord of the worlds. Verily, it was as hidden treasure and this is a state which could not be interpreted by any interpretation or explained by any explanation. In another place it is said, “My desire to be known made me create.”
293The Truth was, and creation has been under His shadow since the beginning which has no beginning; but this was preceded by the priority which has no priority, and by the Cause that could not be known by the learned knowers.
294That which is in existence was before but not in the condition wherein it is seen today. The worlds were formed through the force emanating from the re-action of the active and passive principles; although the worlds are always the same, nevertheless they change constantly. Thus doth this Instructor who is greater than this great structure (creation) inform thee.
295Verily, the actor and the acted upon were created by the unresisted Word of God, which is indeed the cause of creation, and aught beside His Word was created and caused.
296Verily, thy Lord is the explainer, the wise. Then know that the Word of God (exalted and glorified is He!), is far superior to what is comprehended by the senses; because it does not belong to the nature nor essence, rather it is sanctified from the known elements and free from comprehended and high rudiments. It became manifest without an utterance made, or a voice breathed. It is the command of God, the protector against all the worlds.
297Verily, the Word of God has never ceased to descend upon the world. It is the overflowing, the greatest bounty, which was the cause of abundance. It is the being which is sanctified from what was and is. Verily, we do not desire to explain the particulars of this condition, because the ears of the objectors are stretched out that they may hear that whereat they would object to God, the protector, the self-existent. Being unable to comprehend, through the mysteries of science and wisdom, that which hath appeared from the day-spring of the Light of Unity, they therefore object and make a clamour. But the fact is that they object to that which they know themselves and not to that which was expounded by the Expounder, and predicted by the Truth, the knower of the seen and the unseen.
298All of their objections will return upon themselves, but by thy life, they do not understand this.
299It is an indisputable fact that there is nothing without an origin, as there is no building without a builder. This is indeed that cause which hath preceded existence which is advanced with the embroidered garment of priority though subject to renovation and production at all times, and under all circumstances; exalted is the Wise who hath created this great and noble structure.
300Look at the world and ponder over it. Verily, it will reflect to you the book of its very self, and that which is recorded therein by the pen of thy Lord, the maker, the informed.
301That book will show thee that which is therein and upon and will distinctly give thee such explanation that will make thee independent of any other eloquent explainer.
302Say, nature, with the whole of its being, is nothing but the manifestation of My Name, the maker, the creator, but its manifestations may differ through a certain cause of causes, which differences are indeed signs to those who perceive. Nature is the manifestation of the will of God in the apparent world. Verily, it is the preordination on the part of One, the predestinator and omniscient. Should it be said that nature is the Divine Primal Will, manifested in the created world, no one has the right to object to that, for a great power is ordained therein of which the limit and essence could not be comprehended by the people of the world. Verily, the clear sighted cannot see in it aught save the transfiguration of My Name, the creator. Say, this is a state to which corruption has no access. This is a being which made nature confounded regarding His appearance, His proofs and His effulgence, which encompassed the worlds.
303It does not become thee to have regard either to the former things or the latter; but speak of this Day and that which hath appeared therein; verily it sufficeth the whole world.
304Verily, all explanation and indications concerning such questions, will only tend to cool the warmth of being and for this reason it becometh thee only to utter in this Day that which will enkindle the hearts, and make the bodies of the advancing fly upward. He who believes today in this new creation and beholds the impregnable Truth as being the guardian and protector over it, verily he is of the people of vision before this greatest Outlook; to this the discerning and confident bear witness. Walk above the world by the power of the Greatest Name that thou mayest see the secrets of pre-existence and know that which none know of. Verily, thy Lord is the upholder, the wise, the all-knowing. Be as an artery pulsating in the body of the created world that, through the heat produced by the motion, the hearts of the hesitators will be quickened. Thou hast associated with Me and seen the sun of the heaven of My wisdom, and the surges of the sea of My utterances when we were behind seventy thousand barriers of light. Verily, thy Lord is the faithful, the perfect. Blessed is He who attains unto the overflowing bounty of this sea in the days of his Lord, the bounteous, the wise one.
305When we were in ‘Iráq, in the house of one known as El-Majeed, we have pointed out to thee the mysteries of nature, its origin, and the cause; but after we left the house, our utterances became only confined to “verily there is no God but Me, the forgiver, the generous.”
306Be the deliverer of the cause of God in such wise that through thine utterances, the tree will be set on fire and made to utter, “Verily, there is no God but Me, the Mighty, the Unconstrained.”
307Say, the Bayán is an essence which seeks penetration and uniformity,—the former is dependent on thinness, and thinness belongs to the empty and clear hearts; and the latter state is dependent on being blended with wisdom which we have revealed in the Books and Tablets.
308Reflect on that which was caused to descend from the heaven of the will of God, the bountiful, that thou mayest know what we have desired in the depth of the verses.
309Verily, those who have denied God and adhered unto nature as nature is, are indeed void of both sciences and wisdom,—are they not of the erring?
310Verily, those people have never attained unto the highest station or unto the utmost desire; accordingly their eyes were shut and their thoughts varied. Had it not been for that, the chiefs of the people would have confessed in God and acknowledged His dominion; to this will bear witness thy Lord, the protector, the self-existent. And when the eyes of the people of the East became satiated and gratified through the arts, crafts and industries of the people of the West, they adhered to the effects and neglected the cause and the originator.
311However, those who were they day-springs of wisdom had never denied the causer, the maker, and the creator of the origin of such a progress and advancement; verily thy God knoweth, but the majority of the people do not know.
312Under the circumstances it will be advisable to mention in this Tablet some of the words of the wise people and savants for the sake of God, the ruler of names, that through such words the eyes of the servants may be opened and they may thus believe that He is the maker, the potent, the originator, the producer, the all-knowing, the wise.
313Although it is at present considered that the savants of today have been the most important element and factor in the influence and progress of arts and sciences, yet, if with a discerning eye such matters are examined and investigated, it will positively appear that the great part of knowledge and arts was taken from the seers of old, who were indeed the means of laying the solid foundation of wisdom, facilitating its building up, and strengthening its basis; thus does thy Lord the ancient inform thee.
314Not only that, but also the ancients had received their sciences from the prophets who were the day-springs of the divine wisdom and the manifestations of the heavenly mysteries.
315From among the people some have attained unto the pure and clear water of their utterances, and others have only drunk the sediments of the cup; every one receiving his share according to his own capacity,—verily He is the equitable, the wise.
316Empedocles who was famous in wisdom was a contemporary of David. Pythagoras was a contemporary of Solomon the son of David. Both received wisdom from the source of wisdom (Solomon). Pythagoras was the one who thought that he had heard the rustling sound of the Ark and thus attained unto the station of authority. Thus doth thy Lord, if He will, detail every matter; verily He is the omniscient, the encompasser.
317Verily, the foundation and origin of wisdom were the prophets themselves; but the inner significances and mysteries of wisdom became diversified according to the differences of vision and reasoning powers of people.
318We will inform thee of a report of a day whereon one of the prophets hath spoken among the people of that of which He was taught of the powerful,—verily thy Lord is the inspirer, the mighty, the impregnable. When the springs of wisdom and utterances had gushed forth from the source of His explanations, and the exhilaration of the wine of knowledge had taken possession of those who were standing at His door, they said, “Now we are filled with the spirit.” From among the people were some who had accepted this statements and various utterances and thus they became leaders followed by others. Verily, should we wish to mention their names and give all that concerns them in full detail it would take a long time and cause us to deviate from the intended point in view— verily thy Lord is the wise, the all-knowing.
319And from amongst them some others have drunk the sealed wine which was opened by the key of the tongue if the day-spring of the signs of thy Lord, the mighty, the bounteous.
320Say, philosophers have never denied the Ancient; rather the majority of them passed from this life in deep grief because of not knowing Him, as was testified by some of them. Verily, thy Lord is the informer, the learned one.
321Consider Hippocrates! He was one of the greatest philosophers, and yet he believed in God and acknowledged His dominion! After him came Socrates. He was a wise, virtuous and devout man. He devoted his life to developing spirituality—admonishing the people to shun passion and lust; setting aside the seductions of the world, he secluded himself in a cave in the mountain, and prohibited the people from worshipping idols. He taught them the way of the Merciful, until at the ignorant ones assailed him, took him and slew him in a prison. Thus doth also the swift pen relate to thee what a clean and acute sight that man had in philosophy! Verily, he was the master of philosophy and a very wise man.
322We do indeed testify that he was the “Knight of Wisdom” to which he became a steady and permanent servant, thus rendering a more important service than any other philosopher. He was an able man, and had a thorough knowledge of all the sciences of that day, as known amongst the people, and also of that which was hidden and beyond the limit of their knowledge. He had, as it were, a sip of this Greatest Sea when it overflowed with this pure and brilliant water. He is the one who became acquainted with the specific and uniform nature which controls the world and which, in the order of things, bears the same relation as does the spirit to the body of man. On these transcendent problems he gave special comments, which, if the savants of today were asked to demonstrate, they would prove incapable even in comprehending: Verily, thy Lord speaketh the truth, but the majority of the people do not understand.
323After Socrates came the divine Plato. Verily, he was the disciple of Socrates and he sat on the chair of wisdom after him. He confessed his faith in God and His signs, which are the guardians over what man was and is.
324Then came Aristotle, the famous wise man. He was the one who discovered the theory of motion. All of these were of the chiefs and leaders of the people, and all of them confessed God and acknowledged the Ancient in whose grasp the reins of science were held.
325I will also mention unto thee that which was said by Pliny, who, in his Natural History, was conversant with what Kikmat (the father of wisdom, Socrates) had said regarding the mysteries of creation. Thus all may become assured of what We have revealed unto thee in this illustrious Tablet, which, if pressed with the hands of justice and knowledge, would give vent to the Spirit of Life for the quickening of whosoever is in the contingent world. Blessed is he who swims in this sea and praises his God, the mighty, the beloved.
326The fragrance of inspiration hath been diffused from the Verses of thy Lord, in such a manner that they could not be ignored by any one save by him who is deprived of hearing, sight, reason, and all human senses. Verily, thy Lord testifieth but the people do not know or understand. He was the one who said, “I am Pliny, the wise, the performer of miracles and charms.” He is the one by whom arts and sciences were spread, such as were not produced by others. He was the one who ascended to the heights of humility and supplication. Hearken unto that which he said in his prayers before the Independent, the Exalted; “I arise between the hands of my Lord, mentioning His favors and bounties, and describing Him as He describeth Himself, that I may be a mercy and guidance to those who accept my words.” He also continues saying: “O Lord, thou art God, and there is no God but thee. Thou art the creator, and there is no creator but thee. Strengthen me and uphold thou me, for my heart is trembling, my limbs are shivering, my mind is lost, and my reason is extinguished. Therefore, give me power, and let my tongue speak that I may utter that which is wisdom. Thou art the Omniscient, the Wise, the Ancient, the Compassionate.” Verily, he was the sage who became conversant with the mysteries of creation, and of the signs and token which were hidden in the Tablets of Hermes.
327Verily, we do not desire to mention more than we have: rather we say that which the Spirit hath imparted to us, “There is no God but He, the All-knowing, the Mighty, the Protector, and Powerful and Extolled.”
328By my life! This is a day wherein the Sadrat doth not desire but to utter to the world, “There is no God but Me, the Peerless, the Informed.” Had it not been for My love unto thee, I would not have mentioned what is herein. Know, therefore, this station! Then keep it as thou keepest thine own eyes and be grateful.
329Thou, indeed, knowest that we have never read the books of the people, or ever become conversant with what they know of science. But whenever we wish to mention anything concerning the utterances of the learned and wise,—that which is in existence and that which books and tablets contain, become manifest before the face of thy Lord in a clear Tablet. Thus we see and then write what we see. Verily, His knowledge encompasseth the heavens and earth. This is a Tablet wherein is written by the Hidden Pen the science of what was and is, and of which there has been no interpreter save my wonderful tongue.
330As to what My heart is and the concerns thereof, God hath assuredly made it free from all conceptions of the learned and pure from all utterances of the sages. Verily, it speaketh of God alone. The tongue of greatness bears witness thereof in this clear Book.
331Say, O people of the earth! Beware lest the mention of wisdom withhold you from the Day-spring and the Dawning-place thereof. Cling to your Lord, the protector, the wise! Verily, we have ordained unto every land a destiny, unto every hour a fate; unto every utterance a time, unto every circumstance a word. Consider the case of Greece! Verily, we made it the center of wisdom for a long period. But when the time of its end came, its throne became leveled, its tongue dumb, its lamp extinct, and its standard reversed. Thus we give and take away. Verily, thy Lord is the taker, the giver, the mighty, the potent.
332We have committed to the charge of every land the Sun of Knowledge so that when the time comes, from it will beam a command on the part of God, the all-knowing, the wise. Should we wish to enumerate unto thee every tract of land in the earth, and that which is therein and what has appeared out of it, verily, we are able to do so; for the knowledge of thy Lord hath indeed encompassed the earth and heavens.
333Then know that the ancients have produced that which the modern sages have not produced. Among the former was Martos who invented a machine to convey sounds a distance of sixty miles. Not only he, but also others have discovered many wonderful things such as the people of this never saw. Verily, thy Lord maketh to appear in every country that which He desireth, as a wisdom on His part. He is indeed the controller, the wise!
334He who is a true philosopher, never denies God and His authority which is the protection against all the world. In truth some sages have produced that which the people have profited by, and we have upheld them by a command on our part. Verily, we are able to do this! Beware, O ye my beloved, lest ye deny the supremacy of my sages, the servants whom God hath made the day-springs of His name, the creator amidst the worlds! Make an effort that from you may appear arts and the things whereby everyone, whether young or old, may profit. Verily, we are quit of the foolish and ignorant ones who think that wisdom is confined to speaking of desires and passions or to turning away from God, the Lord of the worlds, as we hear the same today declared by those who are heedless.
335Say, the beginning of wisdom and knowledge and its origin, is to confess and acknowledge that which God has made manifest—because through it, order has been firmly established and thus become a coat of mail for the preservation of the body of the world. Ponder over this, that ye may know what was uttered by My supreme pen in this magnificent Tablet!
336Say, everything that relates to order or rule, of which ye debate and discuss, has been derived from every word of the words which have been revealed by the Might of His utterance, who is the potent, the impregnable.
337Thus we have related unto thee that which will gladden thy heart and console thine eye, that thou mayest arise with steadfastness to serve the cause amongst the people of the world.
338Say, praise be to God, O God, My God! I ask Thee, by Thy Name, whereby the light of wisdom hath shone forth when the atmosphere of His utterances has moved amongst the creatures, to strengthen me by Thy powers, and make me commemorate Thy name in the midst of Thy servants.
O God, I have turned my face unto Thee, cutting myself from aught beside thee, and taking hold of the hem of Thy garment and of Thy bounty. Cause me, therefore, to utter that which will draw the minds and make the souls and spirits soar upwards. Then uphold me in Thy cause, in such wise that I may not be hindered either by the influence of the oppressors, or by the power of the unbelievers of the inhabitants of Thy kingdom. Make me as a lamp in the midst of Thy realm which will guide all those in whose hearts the light of Thy knowledge doth exist, and in whom Thy love is planted. Verily, thou art the powerful over that which thou willest, and in Thy grasp is the kingdom of creation.
There is no God but Thee.
TABLET OF JOSEPH
339O Joseph! My demonstration was brought to its fullness and completion for all that are in Heaven and on earth, before I made myself known, because it appeared with such wonderful condition that no one could find any way to delay or oppose.
340Meditate upon the nations of former ages, and why they were excluded from approaching the shore of God, and prevented from the beauty of the eternal majesty. If thou lookest with clear insight thou wilt perceive that all are deprived of the bounty of God, on account of the veils of words, imaginations, and invented proofs. In the day of God, though the beauty of God was like the sun in the heaven, shining and radiating, still they were veiled on account of their superstitions and imaginations. Notwithstanding they were commanded in all the Tablets not to cling to anything between earth and heaven in the time of the Manifestation, but to adhere only to the root of the Cause and that which is manifested through Him, yet they deviated from the right path, and adhered to the idea that the way to know God (who is exalted and holy above all), depends upon believing and disbelieving the people. Woe upon them! Being remote (from God) because of their willingness to know God through that which is beside Him! This is impossible, because the ancient essence is known by Himself and all things which are known are made possible through that which flows from the Pen of His command. Exalted is He! That He should be known through that which is beside Him is impossible, because, verily all else beside Him was created as thou art.
341In this day all those on earth and in heaven, are viewed (by God) as being in one region. Every soul which is cut wholly from all else save Him and soaring to the heaven of knowing Himself (God), that soul is and will be of those who are faithful to God and is of His saints even though he should not be known by others. And he who denies (or rejects) will be considered as one of the lowest of the creatures in the sight of God, even if he is of the chiefs among the people; because God (exalted is His mention!) hath never been and never shall be related or attributed to any one of the creatures.
342All (people) were created alike by the (the blow of the) breath of His command, and the loftiness, exaltation and debasement appeared among the people after they had been created.
343Every soul who accepts the word of God while hearing it, verily he is of the inhabitants of the supreme kingdom and of the confirmed ones in the paradise of Abhá, and those who do not are mentioned as the people of Hades.
344In this day, if any one desires to be in relationship with the tree of the Cause, he must withdraw himself from all that is in heaven and on earth, and advance toward the great aspect (God) with a pure and shining heart and a sanctified soul.
345Now, if any soul desire to know God (exalted is His Majesty!) through other means, he will never succeed, and will never understand; because all beside Him are limited with the (evident) limitations of possibilities and are brought unto existence by (His) power of creation.
346Through that which is created and limited the Essence of the Ancient was not and never will be known.
347Hear the Lordly commandments and the tones of the eternal holiness, and turn from the left hand of uncertainty and superstition to the right hand of assurance; ponder carefully with thine insight upon the manifestations of God and the conditions of eternal holiness; cleanse the eye from unsatisfying views, that thou mayest see the manifestations of the majestic oneness in everything; purify thine ear from the saying of all the people, that thou mayest hear the holy and God-like tones from all directions and sanctify thy heart from the confused worldly allusions of the past, that thou mayest perceive the plain, direct, wonderful words revealed, and victoriously succeed to the stream of eternal holiness and the pure wine which has no likeness. This is the command of JAMAL EL QUEDAM (The beauty of the ancient) to thee.
348Concerning what thou hast asked about the (beginning of the) creation (its) end, assembling, resurrection, path, paradise and fire, know verily that all are true and that there is no doubt about them, and he who is faithful and has clear insight can see with his inward and outward eyes all these ranks and stations in every time, because, such an one will be, in any time, neither prevented from the bounty, nor excluded from what he wishes.
349If thou soarest unto the heaven of goodly bounty, thou shalt see the sign of God manifested in all manner of things brought into existence in every time, whether of the past or the future; because, verily, the bounty of God hath never been nor ever will be specialized in any one thing.
350The explanation of what God intended by the (words) assembling, resurrection, paradise, fire, etc., which are mentioned in the divine Tablets, is found only and especially at the time of the Manifestation; for example, at the time of the Manifestation the tongue of God utters the Word, and through the Word, which comes forth from His mouth, the paradise, fire, assembling, resurrection, path and all that thou hast asked, and that which thou hast not, will be disclosed and manifested.
351Every soul who sincerely accepts the Word of God, hath verily passed through the (right) path and succeeded in approaching the paradise of (God’s) pleasure, and hath assembled with those who are near to God,—the chosen ones.
352He, in the presence of God, will be considered as one of the inhabitants of the Paradise and of the confirmed ones of the Supreme Kingdom; and every soul that rejects is in fire and considered as one of those who are in relationship with denial and Sejjin (Hades) and assembled in the shadow of the polytheists.
353That which has (just) been mentioned, represents all these stations which in the time of the Manifestation appear through the Word.
354But the souls who succeed in attaining the pleasure of God and believing in His cause, will gain the reward of their deeds in the world to come, after their spirits leave their bodies; because all seen things in their world are not ready (nor able) to bear more than that (which has been given to them).
355Though the worlds of God are circulating around this world, yet for each soul in any of these worlds (there is) a fixed and pre-ordained command.
356Do not think (or imagine) that anything mentioned in the Books of God is false and foolish; verily God is exalted above all that.
357I swear by the sun of the horizon of the meanings, that there are for ever and ever many divine paradises which have no equal nor comparisons.
358In (this) the first life the meaning of paradise is pleasing God, and entering His Cause!
359But after departing from this world the faithful ones will enter into paradises which have no likeness, and enjoy winning graces which are beyond comprehension: verily those paradises are the fruits of their deeds which they have accomplished in this world.
360Dost thou not see that if any one of God’s creatures serves the other, or performs work for him, he receives his reward and compensation for it? Then how can it be said that the All-generous commandeth His creatures (to do according to) His ordinances and after that excludeth them from His Mercy?
361Praised is He, and praised is He above that; exalted is He, and exalted is He above what the creatures imagine about Him!
362In this day, all those ranks (asked about) are witnessed; therefore, blessed is the soul who victoriously succeedeth in attaining the Paradise of Abhá, which is, was and ever will be supreme of all paradises.
363If purified ears and matured souls shall be found, then continually will be mentioned that which is from the wonderful bounty of God; that all may be purified and emptied of all that they perceived, understood or witnessed; and advance toward the highest aspect.
364But of what benefit is this! since through all the training of the point of the Bayán (the souls of all beside Him be a sacrifice for Him!), these creatures have not progressed from the seed to the first station of the embryo; therefore, when will they reach the condition of the body? And beside all these there are several stations which have not been mentioned. Woe upon those who changed the grace of God that was bestowed upon them, so that by their being in existence, the heaven of meanings was prevented from mentioning them (the stations), and their conditions!
365Thus ponder carefully upon the conditions of these creatures and be one of their witnesses.
366The paradise and fire in the apparent life, were and will ever be, the acceptance and the rejection; and after the ascension of the spirit, there are paradises which have no equal and also fire which has no likeness, which are the fruit of the deeds of the advancer and the opposer, who will be in such condition; but no soul understood or ever will understand these stations save God.
367And for the faithful one (the believer) many stations were created, above what was heard; this is from the wonderful gifts of God, which are prepared in the Paradise of everlasting majesty. In the same way stations were created for the denier, of eternal and everlasting torment beyond what was heard.
368Hereby we bear witness, that the path is lifted up in truth, the balance is laid in Justice, the manifestation assembled, the hidden issues disclosed, the clarion pealed, the trumpet sounded, the fire burst forth, the paradise approached nearer, the proclaimer announced, the heavens rolled together as a scroll, the ground leveled, the breeze of God wafted, the Spirit of God sent, the beauteous damsels adorned, the youths beautified, the mansions assured, the securities of the upper apartments (of Paradise) inlaid with precious stones, the waters overflowed, the fruits hung low, the fruits plucked, the texts revealed, the deeds of the deniers effaced, the deeds of the advancers confirmed, the Tablet which kept in Heaven manifested in truth, the written Tablet pronounced with authority, and the Desired One of all existence, the beloved of all creatures, the worshipped of those on earth and in heaven, hath been manifested in the temple of a Youth, with the tongue of everything declares, “Verily, blessed is God, the creator of the creatures.”
369O my servant! O Joseph! hear the tones of God, and do not compare this day with any other day, neither the wonderful sweet words of God with any other words; look to the apparent matters with thine own eye, and do not follow any one in knowing the great and brilliant Orb.
370In this day, the beloved of God must not hesitate or delay an instant in teaching the Cause of the manifestation; and reconciling words to the religion of majestic oneness; because, verily, in this day, to the soul who is the cause of guidance to another soul the recompense of a martyr in the way of God will be assuredly recorded by the pen of the Cause for his deed.
371This is from the bounty of God unto thee. Do according to what thou hast been commanded and do not be of those who tarry.
372And El-Bahá is upon thee and upon those who are with thee, if thou art steadfast in this sublime and most exalted Cause.
TABLET OF THE MANIFESTATION
373In the name of God! The Most Holy, the All-knowing! The Mighty!
374O thou who art gazing toward the direction of God and submerged in His Nearness and Good-pleasure!
375Know thou that, verily, the “Manifestation” is not composed of the four elements (earth, fire, air and water), nay, rather, He is the Mystery of Oneness, of the Ancient Identity, the Eternal Essence and the Unknowable Reality, and that, verily, He can never be known by any other save Himself. Therefore, one can never realize that He hath appeared from any of the four elements, or from any of the substances mentioned by the tongues of philosophers, or from any of the four expressions of nature, such as heat, cold, dry and wet, inasmuch as all these are created by His command and will, which has ever been and shall ever be separate and apart from all else; even as He is now, in truth, on the throne of excellence and in revealed verses unto thee, which are creative in kindling the fire of Love within thy heart.
376Is there anything endowed with utterance in the world that may be able to speak with Him? Or any revealer to arise with Him in His Cause? Or any existing to claim the existence for himself? No, by thy Lord, the clement! All are evanescent and as nothingness! Were one to be known by any beside Him, it would never be proven to have its essence sanctified from any similitude, its identity purified from likeness and its singleness from any created appearance.
377He is a sea upon which no one can sail, inasmuch as all that thou mayest see in heaven and earth is created by His Word.
378By Myself, the True One! Were His servants to know Him as He is to be known, they would all sever themselves from everything, and would make themselves subject to Him, their King, and the sultans would abandon their crowns and hasten toward His direction in the path of His good-pleasure; but since He was hidden from them, they have fixed their gaze upon others beside, and are flying with the wings of eagles, in the sky of their superstitions and imaginations.
379Testify thou with thine essence, then with thyself, and then with thy tongue, that, verily, there is no God but He! No other save Himself can know Him, and no one can ever approach Him! Verily, He is not a Manifestation in Himself, but rather He is a Manifestation in His Identity, and this is what We have mentioned to thee in the Divine Mystery, and in the Eternal Essence.
380As to the bodies, verily, they are as thrones for His Manifestation, of which no one is informed save Himself. These bodies, although they have appeared in the world of creation, in the temple in which ye have been informed of them (Moses, Jesus, etc.), yet were ye to gaze upon them with the eye of reality and innate consciousness, ye would testify that although they are created from the elements, yet they are sanctified from them to such an extent that there is no similitude between them.
381Consider the diamond—can the stone be compared to it? Thus hath appeared in the Bayán, from the presence of thy Lord, the mighty, the powerful, the potentate! Were they not to be their temples, the bodies of His servants would not have been created. Wert thou minutely to consider, thou wouldst find that, verily, all in heaven and earth are created from their outward temples, and that all of the worlds of thy Lord seek help from the appearance of the Manifestation of God, the protector, the self-subsistent!
382In every world, He appears according to the capacity of that world. For example, in the world of spirits He manifests Himself to them and appears unto them with the signs of Spirit. So, likewise, in bodies, in the world of names and attributes; and in the worlds which are not known to any save God. All of these worlds have their position from this Manifestation. He appears unto them in His form, so that He, their Lord, may direct them, and draw them nearer to the seat of His Command, and cause them to attain to that which was ordained for them. As His Reality is not known, so likewise all that is related to Him is not known, except to a certain degree.
383Think over thine own identity. Would it not consist in the expression and order of the five senses? Otherwise the limbs would become inactive; the eye would never see, the ear would never hear, the tongue would never speak, the hand would never grasp and the form would never move,—although He sways and rules over all, for God has made the use of all dependent upon Him. Yet He sees through the eye, hears through the ear, and speaks by the tongue. Wert thou to reflect upon this, thou wouldst find even this to be His Guidance in such manner that His dignity is not defective through these attachments and instruments.
384Consider a goldsmith; verily, he makes a ring, and although he is its maker, yet he adorns his finger with it. Likewise God the Exalted, appears in the clothing of the creatures. This is through His favor, so that His servants may not flee from Him, but that they may approach Him and rest in His Presence, hear His wonderful melodies and be benefited by that which proceeds from His mouth, and by that which He reveals unto them from the heaven of His Will. There is wisdom in this. Wert thou to reflect upon it with the duration of God, thou wouldst discover at every moment that which thou hadst not found before.
385Verily, were God the exalted to appear in His (proper) grade and form, and in a manner befitting His Station, no one could ever approach Him or endure to be near Him.
386For example, consider the throne, the seat and the chair. All of these are made by certain of His creatures, through the confirmation which descends upon them from the heavens of His grace and the clouds of His bounty. He establishes Himself upon them. Before He is seated no one knows them, or considers them important, for they find them simply articles made by their own hands; but when He is established upon them every relation is cut from them and they become the Throne of the Merciful God, and the realities of all things that are created in heaven revolve around them. Then only the most discerning, the most perceiving of the perceiving, can realize their value.
387Every one who is endowed with a clear insight will behold that They (the Manifestations) were created before the creation of heaven and earth, and that this has ever been the Throne of the Merciful, and will forever be as it was; that there is no relation, connection, similarity or reference between that Throne and all else save it, and that all things testify with their inmost tongue; “Verily, these (bodies) are the Thrones of the Merciful One.” They have no like in creation, nor any equal in the world of emanation. From their elements all have appeared in such wise that thou wilt find that, verily, from their Fire the fire hath appeared in the universe and hath spoken in the Blessed Branch of Unity, in the lofty Sinai of Moses the Interlocutor, and that from their Waters thou findest every soul living and immortal. So, likewise, after this manner, consider its other elements; but with manifest certainty. This was the mention of the place whereon He was established. How much above this, then, will be the station of His Chair, and that upon which He stands? (The prophets.) All that which We have revealed and mentioned unto thee in this Tablet is according to the language of the people of creation; otherwise, by the One in the grasp of whose power are all things, verily, We have utterances concerning this station such as are not befitting to mention in these days, during which the people have differed, and have cast the Lord of Lords behind them, and have made an idol by the hands of lust, and have circled around it and become of those who are attached to it.
388Blessed art thou for that which God hath desired for thee, because thou hast walked in the path of His good-pleasure until thou hast presented thyself before His Face, the shining, the radiant!
389His Manifestation for His creatures has ever been through His creatures, just as He manifested Himself unto thee in truth, and delivered thee from the depths of the suggestions of those who have denied God and have striven with Himself, and at every moment have taken for themselves other gods than God, and are of the people of oppression and error in the Manifest Book of Might. Wert thou to be submerged in the sea of power and might thou wouldst surely know, verily, God, who is wonderful to make even one of these things made by Him, to be the maker of all that which He desires. There is no God but He, the Powerful, the Mighty! Every power is in this, wert thou to reflect! Every grace is in it, wert thou of those who perceive! I beg of God to manifest His Cause in all countries, and that the servants may attain such a position that He may explain to them that which He desires, without veiling or concealment; that He may teach them the wonders of His knowledge and provide them with the fruits of the tree of His grace and beneficence, and that all may become affluent through His affluence, and that all may become powerful through His power, the impregnable, the high and inaccessible!
390By the One, through whose command all are moved, had I found the people as We created them, I would have opened a door of doors of mercy and inner significances, so that they would behold all the mysteries with their eyes, and subdue all lands through the names of their Lord. But thou beholdest the creatures, and hearest that which proceeds from their mouths; therefore the bounty is restrained, except so many of its drops as thou hast discovered. Verily, thy Lord witnesseth and is well informed thereof. Were We to manifest Ourselves more than that which We have manifested, dogs and deniers would surround Us.
391Thus hath the Cock of the Throne crowed and the Dove cooed. Beware, that thou mayest be of the thankful. Praise be unto God, the Lord of the creatures!
DISCOURSE OF THE TEMPLE
392This is the Súrah of the Temple which God has made the mirror of His Names between the earth and heaven and the sign of His remembrances among the people of the world.
393He is the Wonderful, the Most Glorious!
Glory be to Him who hath caused the signs to descend to those who perceive!
Glory be to Him who hath caused the signs to descend to those who understand!
Glory be to Him who guideth whomsoever He wisheth to His path! Say, verily, it is the path of God to those who are in heaven and on earth: Blessed are they who hasten toward it.
Glory be to Him who hath caused signs to descend to those who know!
Glory be to Him who speaketh from the might of command, and who is not known to any save his noble servants.
Glory be to Him who elevateth whom He willeth to the heaven of bounty, and bringeth down that which He pleaseth to a predetermined measure.
Blessed is He who doeth what He pleaseth by a command on His part; verily He is the True One, the knower of secrets and unseen things.
Blessed is He who giveth by inspiration to whom He willeth that which He wisheth through His hidden and irresistible command.
Blessed is He who assisteth whom He pleaseth by the hosts of the unseen; verily He is the doer of that which He willeth, and He is the Mighty, the Self-existing!
Blessed is He who strengtheneth whom He pleaseth by the dominion of His Power, and confirmeth whom He wisheth to accomplish what He willeth; Blessed are they who know!
Blessed is He who hath ordained to everything a measure decreed in a hidden Tablet!
Blessed is He who hath caused to descend upon His servant that by reason of which all the hearts and minds will be enlightened.
Blessed is He who hath cause to descend upon His servant, that kind of calamity, whereby the hearts of those who rested inside the awnings of eternity, were burned (with anguish); then also the hearts of those who are near!
Blessed is He who hath caused to descend upon His servant, from the cloud of fate, the arrows of disaster—and still He findeth Me in supreme patience.
Blessed is He who hath ordained to His servant that which was not ordained to any other one of His servants: Verily, He is the One, the Mighty, the Self-subsistent.
Blessed is He who hath caused to descend upon His servant, from the clouds of the detestation of those who closed their eyes and feigned to take no notice, the spears of the irreversible decree—and still He sees Him offering great thanks.
Blessed is He who hath cause to descend upon His servant that which equals the weight of the earth and the heaven, for which We indeed praise Him; and of this no one is cognizant save those who understand.
Glory be to Him who hath placed His Beauty under the claws of the rancour of the immoral; verily We are contented with that, and no one can comprehend this save the discerning.
Glory be to Him who hath entrusted el-Huseyn1 amongst the factions of the enemies while at all times, the spears of hatred and ill-treatment were brought upon His body; verily We thank Him for all He hath decreed upon His servant, the sad, the distressed.
1 Bahá’u’lláh.
394But when I saw myself at the culmination of calamity, I heard, from above my head, the most wonderful and melodious voice, and when I turned I witnessed a Maiden of the celebration of the Name of my Lord, suspended in the air on a level with my head. I saw her, that she was indeed rejoicing within herself as though the embroidered garment of pleasure was manifesting itself upon her face, and the brightness of the Merciful was apparent upon her cheeks, and between the earth and heaven she was uttering a call, by which all the hearts and minds will be drawn, and at the same time, gladdening all the limbs of my internal and external being, with glad-tidings that made my soul rejoice, and those of the noble servants. Then, with her finger, she pointed to my head, and addressed all those in heaven and earth, saying: “By God, This is indeed the Beloved of the universe, but ye do not understand! This is the Beauty of God among you, and His Dominion within you, if ye are of those who know! This is the Mystery of God, His Treasure, the Command of God, and His Glory, to those who are in the Kingdom of power and creation—were ye of those who reason! This is the One whose meeting will be longed for by all those who dwell in the everlasting spiritual world, and who have taken a station for themselves in the tents of El-Abhá—while ye yourselves are turned away from His Beauty!
“O people of the Bayán! Should ye not assist Him, God will assist Him by the hosts of earth and heaven and those of the Unseen, through His Command which is ‘Be’ and it is! And He will send forth by His Will certain people who are unknown to any one but Himself, the Protector, the Self- existent, and purify them from the stain or surmise and passion, and elevate them to the rank of sanctity, and by them He will cause to appear the traces of the Glory of His Kingdom on earth: thus was it decreed on the part of God, the Mighty, the Beloved!”
395O people of the Bayán; do ye deny the One for whose meeting ye were created, and still ye are of those who sit in your place and rejoice? Do ye object to Him, the one hair of whose head is, before God, better than all there is in heaven and earth—and still do ye scoff at Him?
396O people of the Bayán! Show forth that which ye have, that I may know by what proof ye have believed in the manifestation of the command of God in the past, and today by what evidence do ye magnify yourselves?
397By the One who hath created Me from the Light of His Beauty, I have never found among the neglectful, one of such negligence, or among the ignorant, one of such ignorance, as ye are.
398Ye take as an evidence of your belief in God, the Tablets which ye have in your possession, but when the signs came down and the Lamp gave light, ye denied the One through whose Pen all matters were decreed in a preserved Tablet. Do ye read the signs and deny their originator and revealer? Thus hath God seized your sight as a punishment for your actions—were ye of those who perceive! Do ye write the verses at even-tide and dawn, and from the One who caused them to descend ye conceal yourselves? And today the Supreme Assembly will see you in the mischief of your deeds and disavow you whilst ye are of those who do not hear—and the one will ask, and then another: “What do these ignorant people say, and in what vale do they rest? Do they close their eyes, while yet they see?” By God, O people, the inhabitants of the Cities of Names became perplexed by your actions, and still in the barren valley ye are bewildered, and do not perceive.
399O Thou Supreme Pen! Hear the voice of Thy Lord from the divine Lote-Tree in the brilliant spot of unity, that thou mayest find thyself in exhilaration and cheerfulness by the melodious voice of Thy Lord, the Merciful, and be sanctified from all sorrows through the strong fragrance which was diffused from the region of My Name, the Pardoner; then, from this Temple, send the Temples of Unity to speak in the Kingdom of Creation, of their Lord, the Supreme, the Most Glorious, and be of those who obtain light by the lights of their Lord. Verily, We have ordained this Temple the beginning of the existence of the new creation, that each one may become convinced that I am indeed able to do what I wish, by merely saying, “Be” and it is. By the shadow of each letter of the letters of this Temple, We will send forth people whose number is not known to any save God, the Protector, the Self-existent; and from it (the Temple) God shall create certain people who will not be veiled by the illusions of those who acted wrongfully against God, and they will drink, at all times, the pure water of life: Verily, are not they of those who are successful?
400They are those servants who have stations themselves in the shadow of the mercy of their Lord, and were not prevented by the preventors; and in their faces the brightness of the Merciful is manifested, and from their hearts the mention of My hidden and Mighty Name is heard: they are those whose lips when opened in praising their Lord, all, whosoever is in earth and heaven, will praise with them—though there are but few people who do hear—and when they mention their Creator, all things will mention with them the same: Thus God hath preferred them to all creation, but indeed the people do not know. They move around the command of God just as the shadow moveth around the sun.
401Open your eyes, O people of the Bayán, that ye may witness!—and by the movement of these people all things will move, and by their quiescence all things will rest—were ye of those who believe: By them the people of unity have come to the Koblat of the Horizons (The Manifestation) and calmness and forbearance became manifest amongst the good, and through them the earth was stationed, and the clouds gave out rain, and the table of knowledge was descended from the heaven of bounty—were ye of those who understand: These people are the keepers of the command of God on earth, protecting its beauty against the dust of surmise and suspicion; they do not fear for themselves, but will sacrifice themselves in the Cause of God, for the hope of meeting the Beloved who hath appeared by this Name, the Mighty, the Able, the Precious, the Holy.
402O Thou this Temple, arise by Thyself with an affair, whereby the contingent beings will arise; then assist Thy God with that which we have given Thee of power and might! Beware not to fear in a day whereupon all things do fear. Be the Manifestation of My Name, the Protector, the Self-existent.
403Render Thy Lord victorious by that which is within Thy Power, and do not look to the creatures and that which comes from their mouths, save as to the voice of an insect in an endless and boundless valley. Drink the pure water of life in My Name, the Merciful, then give to drink to those who are near (to God) of the people of this rank, that which will make them cut themselves from the Names, and cause them to enter into this blessed and extended shadow.
404O this Temple, We have assembled by Thee all the things, and that which was created in the earth and heaven, and asked them of that by reason of which We administered the oath upon them in the beginning of eternity: Lo! We found the majority of them possessed of dull tongues and glazed eyes, and the minority of bright faces and voluble tongues—and out of these, We have sent forth a creation of what was and is: thus hath God kept their faces aloof from turning to the polytheists, and made them dwell in the shadow of the Lote Tree of Himself; and thus He hath brought down upon them a calmness and strengthened them with the hosts of the seen and the unseen.
405O Thou, the Eye of this Temple! Look not to the heaven and what is therein, nor to the earth and whatsoever is thereupon; verily We created Thee for My Beauty—Lo, this is It! Look as it pleaseth Thee and prevent not Thine eye from the Beauty of Thy Lord, the Precious, the Beloved. Through Thee We shall send forth Iron Eyes and everseeing sight whereby they shall see the signs of their Creator, and turn away their eyes from that which the worldly wise have comprehended. Through Thee We give the power of sight to whomsoever We please, and seize those who were prevented from this bounty. Verily, are they not drinking from the cups of imagination and they know not?
406O Thou, that faculty of Hearing! Purify Thyself from the cry of every forsaken crier; then hear the voice of Thy Lord. Verily, He revealeth unto Thee from the direction of the Throne, that indeed there is no God but Me, the Precious, the Powerful, the Protector, the Self-existent. Through Thee We shall send forth purified Ears that will listen to the Word of God and to that which became manifest from the dawning place of the Revelation, Thy Lord, the Merciful; verily do they not find them melodious, the songstresses from this blessed and laudible place?
407O Thou, the Tongue of this Temple! Verily, We have created Thee in My Name, the Merciful, and taught Thee that which was stored in the Bayán (the revelation) and made Thee to speak for the sake of My great commemoration in the contingent world: Therefore do Thou utter this commemoration (precious and wonderful), and fear thou not from the manifestation of the Satan. Verily, for this Thou wast created by My Command, the Protector, the Self-existent. By Thee We made the tongue utter the revelation of that which was, and by My Dominion We utter of that which is. By Thee We send forth speaking tongues that move with praise in the Supreme Assembly, and amongst the people of creation.
408Thus have the signs descended, and the matter been decreed on the part of the King of Names and Attributes. Verily, thy Lord is the True One and the knower of all the unseen. Verily, nothing can prevent them (tongues) from praising their Creator; and by them all things will rise for the commemoration of the King of Names—verily there is no God but He, the Able, the Mighty, the Beloved.
409The tongues of the commemorators never speak unless reinforced by this Tongue, from this station—but there are few of the people who know. Every one is able to praise his Lord and utter His remembrance, but some of the people understand and remember and some remember but do not understand.
410By God, there is no escape today for you and no refuge for any one save from the Mercy of God on the part of His Bounty—verily He is the Forgiving, the Generous. Say, O people! Set aside that which ye have; then enter into the shadow of thy Lord, the Merciful. This is better for you than that which ye have done or do—fear God and deprive not yourselves from the fragrances of the days of the King of the Names and Attributes and change not the Word of God, nor transpose its meaning— fear God and be of those who are devout. Say, O people! This is the hand of God which has been above your hands—were ye of those who reason.
411Through It We have ordained the good for the heaven and earth in such a manner that no good becomes manifest unless it is produced from IT—thus have We made IT the source and the store of good to all that which has been and will be. Say, all that has flowed in the tablets of the rivers of demonstration and explanation was connected with this Most Great Sea—were ye of those who perceive: And that which was detailed in the books was traced to this Supreme Word which shone from the Mouth of the Will of El-Abhá (the Most Glorious) in this manifestation whereby the mouths of the seen and the unseen were wreathed in smiles. God shall send forth from the sleeves of might the Hands of power and victory, and certain people to assist this Servant, and to cleanse the earth from the impurity of every abandoned polytheist, and they shall arise in favor of this matter, and open the countries in My Name, the Powerful, the Self-existent, and enter their boundaries, and their threats shall overtake all the servants; this is from the strength of God: Verily, His strength is great in favor of justice.
412Verily, He is the encompasser of whosoever is in earth and heaven, and causeth to descend that which He pleaseth to a predetermined measure. Should anyone of those people rise up and confront whatsoever is created in the universe, he would certainly be the conquerer through the victory of Myself. This is from My power, but My people do not know; this is from My dominion, but My creatures do not understand; this is from My command but My servants do not perceive; this is from My victory, but mankind is not grateful, save those whose eyes God has illumined by the light of the knowledge of Himself, and whose hearts He hath made the stores of inspiration, and whose souls the carriers of His command; these are the people who from the garment of His Name, will inhale the fragrances of the Merciful, and at the signs of God they are continually rejoicing, and those people who denied and associated others with God, will have the wrath of God upon them, and to the fire be dragged and in its strata they shall show forth their grief; thus do We classify the signs and explain the truth with evident proofs, hoping that the people will ponder over the traces of their Lord.
413Say, verily, the fates of all things were ordained in this Temple, the treasured, the illustrious, and in IT was stored the science of earth and heaven, and the science of that which was and is, and by the fingers of the skill of thy Lord, was written in this book which the learned were unable to comprehend. He hath created in IT the temples which were not known to any save God—were ye of those who believe.
414Blessed is the one who reads it and ponders over it and is of those who understand. Say, nothing is seen in My temple, but the Temple of God, and in My beauty, but His Beauty, and in My being but His Being, and in Myself but Himself, and in My movement but His Movement, and in My acquiescence but His Acquiescence, and in My pen but His Pen, the Precious, the Praiseworthy.
415Say, there hath not been in My soul but the truth and in Myself nothing could be seen but God. Beware that ye mention not the two signs—all the particles in Myself speak, “verily there is no God but Me, the One, the Single, the Precious, the Beloved”—everlastingly in the spiritual world I was uttering “Verily, I am God and there is no God but Me, the Protector, the Self-existent,” and in the Kingdom of Names I everlastingly utter, “Verily, I am God, there is no God but Me, the Precious, the Beloved.”
416Say, Verily, the Lordship is my Name and for it I have created manifestations in the Kingdom; verily We have been free from them—were ye to bear witness: And the Divinity is my Name, and for it we have made places of rising to encompass all servants and make them worshippers of God—were ye to believe: And thus know all the Names (Prophets)—were ye to know.
417Say, the fecundation of bounty has been wafted over all things in this day and everything has generated and brought forth its own kind, but verily the majority of the people have turned away from it—the trees bring forth the beautiful fruit,—the seas, the brilliant jewels,—man, knowledge and science,—the universe, the transfiguration of the Merciful—and the earth, that which no one comprehendeth, save the True One, the knower of secrets and unseen things.
418Everything shall bring forth its own species. Blessed is the God who is the sender of this bounty, which surrounds all things that have appeared, and all that which is still hidden; thus have we created the beings of this day unequaled, but the majority of mankind do not perceive. Say, if the bounty of God cannot be known as it is, how would it be possible then to know Himself, the Protector, the Self-existent?
419Say, verily, We have caused the signs to descend after nine conditions, each of which is a proof of the dominion of God, the Protector, the Self-existent,—any one of these condition is sufficient to convince whosoever is in heaven and earth, but the majority of the people are heedless. Had We willed We would have revealed the signs after other conditions, whose number could not be reckoned. Say, O people, fear God and do not move your false tongues about that which God doth not like,—be ashamed before the one who formed you through a drop of water as ye do know. Say, verily, We have created whosoever is in the heaven and the earth, after the nature of God. And he who advanceth to this Face will appear in the condition wherein he was created, and he who secludeth himself, will be secluded from this surrounding and hidden bounty. Verily, We did not prevent anything from attaining this bounty, but We created all things equal according to their kind, and propounded to them the fidelity of Our love by a word on Our part; and he who remembereth will escape and believe and be of those who will be saved from the terror of the Day, and he who turneth away will deny God, the Protector, the Self-existent. By the Word, We separated the servants and classified them, verily We are the Separators. Say, the Word of God is not likened unto the words of His creatures; verily it is the king of words, as His Soul is the king of souls, and His Command is the protector over that which was and is.
420Say, O people, we ask a word from you by the Most Great Truth—and we will take God as a witness between us, verily He is the Beloved, the Beneficent;—present yourselves before the Throne of God, then let your speech be unprejudiced and be ye of those who are just. Was God the powerful over His matter, or were ye of those who are powerful? Was He the unconstrained in Himself, as ye say, “verily He doeth that which He pleaseth, nor is asked concerning that which He wisheth,” or, are ye yourselves the unconstrained, and say this word merely be tradition, in the same manner as was said by your fathers, in the times of the messengers? Although He was unconstrained in Himself, He hath shown the manifestation of his command by signs, which are unequaled by anything either in heaven or on the earth,—and he hath appeared after a condition the like of which hath not appeared in creation—just as that of which ye have seen and heard when the Light of the horizons shone forth from the regions of Iraq (Baghdád) with evident dominion. All things return to the signs and these are the signs of God, the King, the Protector, the Precious, the Mighty! Beside these He hath appeared with a Command whereto all the contingent beings have confessed its authority and no one denied this save the iniquitous infidel.
421For the Day of God is He Himself, who hath appeared with the truth and will never be followed by the night, or limited by the remembrance, were ye of those who know.
422O Temple of Holiness! Verily, We have made Thy heart the store of knowledge of that which was and is and the rising place of Our science which We have ordained to the people of the earth and heaven that the beings should be filled abundantly through Thee, and by the wonders of Thy sciences, would attain the knowledge of God, the Able, the Supreme, the Great. Verily, the science which is attributed to Myself was not known to any one, nor will it be known by any soul, neither could it be endured by any one of the world. Should We produce but one word of it all the souls would be disturbed, the supports of all things be destroyed and the feet of the accomplished deviate. We have in Our possession a science of which, should We convey but one word to the beings, every one would be made to believe in the Manifestation of God, and His Knowledge, and be acquainted with the secrets of all sciences, and attain a position whereby they would find themselves able to dispense with the sciences of both the ancients and moderns.
423We have also other sciences of which if We speak but a single letter the people will not be able to hear its mention. Thus we have informed you of the Science of God, the Knower, the Informed. Had We found vessels We would have laid in them the treasures of Knowledge and would have taught them that of which one letter will encompass the whole world.
424O Heart of this Temple! Verily, we have made Thee the rising-place of My science and the manifestation of My wisdom to whosoever is in heaven and on earth. We have made the sciences to appear from Thee and to Thee shall we return them; then they will be sent forth from thee for another occasion as a promise on Our part,—verily We have been the doers. We shall raise up from Thee people of wonderful sciences and powerful arts and will show forth from them that of which the heart of no servant could ever conceive: Thus we give to whomsoever We please that which We please and take from the one whom We desire that which We have given him, and govern by Our command that which We will. Verily, should We, by the sun of Our Providence reveal Ourself upon the mirror of the existing beings in one hour, and take away from them the lights of Our revelation in another hour,—We are indeed able,—and no one dare ask “Why?” or “How?” Verily, We are the doers of that which We please and will not be questioned as to that We have done, and no one doubts this save the doubting infidel.
425Say, Our power cannot be hindered and Our authority shall never be annulled; We elevate whom We please to the glory of might and power; then bring him back, should We will, to the lowest of the low. Do ye think, O people of the earth, if We were to elevate any one to the divine Lote Tree, that My Power and dominion could be prevented from controlling him? No, by Myself, but rather should We please, We will bring him again to the dust in an instant. Look at the tree. We plant it in the garden and water it by the water of Our Providence; and when it becomes of great stature, puts forth green leaves and bears the best fruits, We then send upon it the sweeping wind of command, uproot it and leave it upon the surface of the earth; thus have We been doing and thus will We do with everything—this is from the wonders of Our laws before and after in all things, were ye of those who see. No one can see the wisdom of this save God, the Powerful, the Precious, the Wise! Do ye deny, O people, that which ye see? Woe unto you, O assembly of abnegation: And the One who doth not change is He Himself, the Merciful, the Clement, were ye of those who reflect. Beside Him every one changeth by the will on His part and He is the Almighty, the Precious, the Wise.
426Should We desire to show forth from an atom, suns without beginning and without end, We are indeed able and We can make them all appear in a moment by My command. Should We please to produce from a drop of water the seas of the heaven and earth and from a letter the science of what was and is, we are indeed able—verily it is an easy matter.
427Thus I have been able from the first which has no beginning to the last which has no end; but My creatures became heedless of My power and turned away from My dominion and disputed Me, the Knower and the Wise. Nothing can move between the heaven and earth without My permission and no soul can ascend to the Kingdom without My Command; but My creatures veiled themselves from My power and authority—and were of those who are negligent. Say, nothing can be seen in My manifestation but the manifestation of God—nor in My power but the power of God, were ye of those who know! Say, the maxim of My creatures is likened unto that of the leaves of a tree—they appear and feel themselves independent, but of their root they are neglectful. Thus We propounded a proverb unto Our servants, the wise, perhaps they will elevate themselves from the vegetable degree and attain the station of accomplishment in this confirmed and valid matter. Say, they are likened unto a whale in the water; verily the water is its source of life but it indeed does not know that the source of its life is from the Presence of the Precious, the Wise; it is veiled from it to such an extent that if asked about the water and its qualities, it does not know.
428In like manner in these days do ye see those who deny and associate others with God and adhere to one Name of the Names, but turn away from the One who created these Names; verily we testify that they are of the people of fire. They ask the Sun of that which the shadow hath said, and the Truth of that which the preachers uttered;—were ye of those who bear witness. Say, O people! The sun hath nothing in itself but its effulgence and that which appears from it, and all things beside it are illuminated by its light. Fear God and be not of those who are ignorant. Some of them asked about the light. Say, open thine eyes that thou mayest see the effulgence surrounding the horizons; verily it could be seen by the naked eye—this is a light which hath shone and appeared from the horizon of the dawn of knowledge with evident brightness. Do ye ask the Jews whether the Spirit (Christ) was of a truth from God? Or the idols, whether Muhammad was a Prophet (Messenger)? Or the people of the Qur’án concerning the Reminder (the Báb) of God, the Supreme, the Great?
429Say, O people, set aside that which is in your possession (religious doctrines) at the appearance of this Manifestation and take what ye have been commanded. This is the command of God unto you,—verily He is the best of commanders. By My Beauty, in saying these words it was My aim only to bring the servants nearer to God, the Precious, the Praiseworthy. Beware not to do with Me that which ye have done with My precursor (the Báb) and when the signs of God are descended upon you from the region of My Munificence, do not say that they were not descended upon El-Fitrat, verily El-Fitrat was created by My Words and revolves around Me, were ye of those who believe. Blessed is He who hath found the fragrances of the garment of knowledge from the revelation of His Lord the Merciful; verily they were spread over the universe and by them the contingent world was perfumed. Blessed is the one who scenteth its fragrance and advanceth to God with an enlightened heart.
430O ye assembly of divines! Should ye shun the wine and what resembles it of that which was forbidden you in the Book, it is not a thing to glory over at all, for in practising such habits you will lose your dignity before the people, your affairs will be changed and your shame become manifested; but the glory is in your submissiveness to the word of the truth, and in cutting yourselves secretly and openly from everything besides God, the Powerful, the Able. Blessed is the learned who doth not allow science to intervene as a veil between him and the Known, and when the Self-existent cometh, he advanceth unto Him with a bright face—verily he is of the divines,—by whose wit the people of paradise will be exalted, and by whose lamp whosoever is in heaven and earth will be illuminated. Verily, he is one of the heirs of the Prophets and he who sees him hath seen the truth, and he who advanceth towards him hath advanced to God, the Mighty, the Wise.
431O ye dawning places of science, beware not to be changed in yourselves; because of such a change, most of the servants change; verily this is an oppression on your part upon yourselves—to this will bear witness every informed knower. Ye are likened unto a spring which when changed, all the river branching out from it will be changed; fear God and be of those who are pious.
432And this is man, when his heart becomes corrupted all the other limbs will be corrupted; so also the tree,—if the roots are corrupted, all the branches, twigs, leaves and fruits will follow the same process: Thus We have propounded proverbs that ye will not veil yourselves by that which ye have, from what was ordained unto you on the part of the Precious, the Generous. Verily, should We take a handful of dust and embroider it with the embroidered garment of the Names,—We are indeed able and this is a bounty of My part upon it and not according to its deserts. Thus hath it descended of a truth from the presence of the abode of the Omniscient.
433The voice of the Merciful was raised, and from behind it the voice of Satan also. Blessed is the one who heareth the voice of God, and turneth to the direction of the Throne, the noble and holy outlook. He who hath in his heart less than a mustard seed of love for anything beside Me, verily he cannot enter My Kingdom, and My proof of this is that whereby the face of the Book of Existence is adorned,—were ye of those who know.
434Say, this day is the day whereon the Most Great Bounty has appeared, and nothing, either in the supremest heaven or in the lowest earth, but utters in My mention and sings in the praise of Myself —were ye of those who hear. O Temple of the Manifestation! Blow thou the horn in My Name: Then, O Temple of the Secrets! Breath thou into the fife in commemoration of thy Lord, the Unconstrained: Then, O Maid of Paradise! Come out of the chambers of the Garden and say to the inhabitants of the universe, “By God, He hath appeared, the Beloved of the world, the Intended of the knowers, the Worshipped of whosoever is in the heaven and the earth and the Adored of the ancients and moderns. Beware of hesitating to accept this Beauty, after the Ruler of Might, Power and Glory hath appeared. Verily, He is the truth and everything besides Him on the part of His servants is annihilated and lost at the appearance of His lights. Hasten to the river of bounty and be of the impatient, and he who hesitates for an instant, God will frustrate his plans and bring him back to the station of overwhelming grief and constraint. Thus how terrible is the residence of those who hesitate!”
TABLET OF AHMAD
435O My servants! The Ancient Beauty commands: Hasten to the shadow of immortality, nearness and mercy, from the shadow of desire, remoteness and heedlessness. Be ye resigned like unto the earth, so that the fragrant, sacred, multicolored myrtles of My Knowledge may grow in the soil of existence. Be ye ablaze like unto fire, so that ye may consume thick veils and quicken and immortalize cold and veiled bodies through the heat of the divine love. Be ye pure like unto air, so that ye may enter the sacred abode of My Friendship.
436O servants! If ye be informed of the wonders of My generosity and grace which I have deposited in yourselves, ye will certainly be cut from all directions, and, seeking to know your own selves, which is identical with knowing Myself, will find yourselves independent of all else save Me, and will see the ocean of My providence and the deep of My beneficence in yourselves, with your outward and inward eye, as manifest and clear as the sun shining from the name of Abhá.
437Do not waste this most wonderful, most holy station through the promptings of fancy and desire and through the falsehood of superstition and blindness. Ye are in likeness as a bird, which, with all joy and fragrance, soars in the utmost security in the cheerful air of the Praised One; then in the imaginary hope of grains, it inclines toward the mud and water of the earth, and, with all eagerness, besmears itself with mud and mire; and when it attempts to re-ascend it finds itself unable and a captive, forasmuch as wings besmeared with water and clay are not capable of flight. At that time, that bird of the exalted heaven finds itself a dweller in the mortal earth.
438Now, O servants, do not besmear your wings with the mire of heedlessness and imagination and the earth of animosity and rancor, that ye may not be deprived and prevented from soaring in the sacred heaven of knowledge.
439O servants, if ye are possessors of insight, enter the city of the seeing; if ye are of the people of hearing, step into the land of the hearing; and if ye are possessors of heart, choose an abode in the fortress of the assured ones; so that in these dark days ye may not be prevented from witnessing the lights of the Beauty of Abhá. For this year is the year of the most mighty purification and the most great tests.
440O servants! Inscribe the exhortations of the Spirit with the pen of resignation and the ink of submission and assurance upon the tablet of the heart and turn thereto in every instant, lest ye neglect a single letter thereof, and advance to the true God with all exertion, turning away from all else save Him. For this is the root of the leaf of command grown upon the Divine Tree!
441This world is a show without reality, and is a non-existence adorned in the form of existence. Do not attach your hearts thereto. Do not sever yourselves from the Creator and be not of those who are heedless!
442Truly, I say, the world is like unto a mirage which has the show of water. The thirsty make abundant efforts in their search, but, when reaching it, remain deprived and portionless. Or, it is like unto the image of a loved one which is destitute of life and soul. When the lover reaches it, he finds it of no worth and value, and finds no gain save great pain and despondency.
443O servants! If in these visible days and this present world matters appear from the realm of decree contrary to your wish, be ye not depressed, for happy and divine days shall come and spiritual worlds of holiness shall become manifest. In all those days and worlds, for you a portion is ordained, a sustenance is determined and a food is established. Ye shall certainly attain to all these, were ye to exchange the garment of mortality for the garment of immortality and enter the station of the Paradise of Abhá, which is the everlasting abode of glorious, sacred souls. All things are a proof of your existence, if ye emerge from the gloomy dust of non-existence. Be not grieved at the hardships of these numbered days, and be not dejected if your outward bodies are destroyed in the path of the Beloved One, for every destruction is followed by a construction and a paradise of rest is concealed in every hardship.
SOUL AND SPIRIT
444Note that the soul, which is common to all the creatures of God, comes into existence after the amalgamations of the matter and their attainment to the degree of maturity; as in the case of the semen, which, after its development into that state which was ordained for it, God then will manifest in it the soul which was therein secluded; verily, thy Lord doeth what He pleaseth and commandeth that which He willeth. As to the soul, which is the one intended, verily, it is sent forth by the Word of God, and it is that which, when kindled by the force of the love of its Lord, will not be quenched, neither by the waters of rain, nor by the seas of the world. It is indeed that kindled fire which is burning in the human Lote Tree, uttering, “Verily, there is no God but He,” and he who heareth its voice is of those who are successful. On leaving the body, God will send it forth after the best form and cause it to enter into a high heaven. Verily, thy Lord is powerful over all things. Know also that the life of man is from the Spirit, and to turn the spirit in one direction, beside the other direction, is indeed from the soul. Reflect upon this which We have expounded unto thee, in order that thou mayest know the Soul of God, who hath come from the dawning place of grace with manifest authority. Know also that the soul hath two wings. If it flieth in the air of love and the consent of God it will be attributed to the Merciful, but if it flieth in the air of lust it will be attributed to Satan. May God protect us and you against it! O assembly of knowers! And if it is kindled by the fire of the love of God it will be the tranquil and pleasing soul, but if it be kindled by the love of lust, it is the passionate soul. Thus have We given unto thee full details that thou mayest be of those who reflect.
445O Supreme Pen! Mention to him who hath turned to his Lord El Abhá, that which will make him independent of the world. Say that the spirit, the mind, the soul, the hearing and the sight are one; but differ by the differentiation of the causes, as in the case of man, to wit: Ye see that whereby man understands, moves, speaks, hears and sees, all of which are through the power of his God in him, but each one in itself differing by the difference of the causes; verily, this is indeed the truth. For example, if all these faculties are turned to the cause of hearing, then the effects of hearing and its results become manifest. And so if they are turned to the cause of sight, another trace and another result will appear. Think of this, that thou mayest reach the intended goal and find thyself independent of that which is mentioned by the people, and be of those who are confident. And thus if turned unto the brain, the head, etc., the manifestations of mind and soul will appear. Verily, thy Lord is the powerful over that which He wisheth. We have expounded all this in the Tablet which We caused to descend in reply to the one who inquired about the explanation of the separate letters (alphabetical characters) as mentioned in the Qur’án. Peruse them that thou mayest know that which was revealed from the might of God, the Precious, the Praiseworthy. We have accordingly used abbreviations in this Tablet. We ask God to enable thee to know from this abbreviation that which could not be accomplished by deliberation and memory, and to make thee to drink from this cup that which is in the seas. Verily, thy Lord is the Benefactor and Owner of the most solid might.
446But concerning that which ye asked about the spirit and its everlastingness after its ascension: Know that it will ascend at the time of its departure until it enters the presence of God in a form which throughout all centuries and times and throughout all circumstances and events of the world will remain unchanged, but will be everlasting as the perpetuity of the Kingdom of God, His Sovereignty, His Power and His Might, and from it will appear the traces of God, His qualities, providences and favors.
447The Pen cannot move at the mentioning of this station as it is in its supremacy and exaltation. The hand of the divine Bounty will cause the spirit to enter into a station which cannot be comprehended by expression, nor be explained by all the creatures of existence. Blessing be upon the spirit who departs from the body purified from the doubts and superstitions of the nations. Verily, it moves in the atmosphere of God’s desire and enters into the supreme paradise. All the angels of the supreme paradise attend and surround it, and it will have fellowship with all the Prophets of God and His saints, and speak with them and tell them what happened to it in the Cause of God, the Lord of the universe.
448If any one could realize what hath been assigned in the Kingdom of God, the Lord of the and the dust, he would immediately yearn with a great longing for that immovable, exalted, holy and most glorious station.
449O ‘Abdu’l Wahal, now listen in the Persian language. My Bahá is upon thee. As you asked about the immortality of the spirit, this Wronged One beareth witness to its eternality; and as to your question about its form, it cannot be described and is not needful to be expressed, but only something need be known. Prophets and Messengers came only to guide the creatures to the straight path of God, and in order that people might be trained. Then at the time of their ascension, with a perfect holiness and separation, and having been cut off from the things of this world, they repair to the Supreme Station. By the Self of God, the rays of those Spirits are the cause of the development of the people and the station of the nations. These are the leaven of existence and the greatest cause of the appearances of divinity and the works of the universe. By them the clouds will shower and the plants of the earth spring up. Not one thing of all the things is without cause, reason and beginning.
450The greatest cause is that the Spirits above us were and are forever equal, and the difference between this earthly kingdom and the other is like the difference between the embryonic world and this world: though, after ascension, it (the spirit) will enter the presence of God in a form suited for eternality and the Kingdom. And this eternality is the eternality of time, not the essential which has reason, but the eternality of the essential has no cause; this is only to God. Blessed are the wise. If you ponder carefully over the actions of the Prophets you will bear witness that there are other worlds besides this. The learned men of the world confess and bear witness to that which has been revealed in the Holy Books, as it has been revealed by the Supreme Pen in the Lawh-i-Hikmát (Tablet of Wisdom).
451Even the naturalists who are simply holding to laws, confessed and wrote that the Prophets were wise men and they said they spoke of the stations of paradise and hell, bliss and torment as a means of educating the people. Now consider well that these wise men held that these Holy Ones—in any time they were, are, or will be found—are the foremost of all.
452Some of those holy Prophets are known to be the wise men and the Messengers of God. Now, all of them, if they believe that the worlds of God are only this world,—would not put themselves in the hand of the enemies and endure such hardships and difficulties as are beyond comparison. If any one with a pure heart and clear intelligence thinks about that which has been revealed from the Supreme Pen, at once with tongue of honesty he will say that now the truth is evident. But what you asked about the resurrection was quite sufficiently revealed in the Kitáb-i-Iqán.2 Blessing be upon the wise.
2 Book of Iqán (Chapter One).
THE SUN OF THE SOUL
453You asked concerning mankind (other than the prophets and saints) whether, after apparent death, they will remain, or perish, and if we say they will remain, then, if the person has insanity or other form of illness, will his feelings and perception cease; and as death is the destruction of the material composition and elements, then how can it be after death the form of personality and feeling will be understood, conceived or apprehended, as the material combination has disintegrated?
454You know that the spirit is permanent and steadfast in its station and the feebleness of the sick person is due to preventing causes. Yet in fact the feebleness will never approach the spirit. For example, when you look at the lighted lamp you find it shining and radiating, but if there is something before it, then the light will be prevented, yet in its sphere it is radiating, but by the means of prevention, its light was kept from shining forth. In the same way with the person, while he is in the diseased condition the manifestation of the power and might of the spirit will be prevented and concealed on account of the means of prevention; but after the spirit leaves the body, it will appear with such power, might and superiority that all ordinary comparison is impossible. The choice, pure and holy spirits are and will be in perfect might and joy. For example, if a lighted lamp is put under an iron lantern its light will never come forth, yet it is shining just the same. Look toward the sun when it is behind the cloud, shining and gleaming in its rank, but owing to the cloud its illumination seems weak. Now suppose that this sun is the human spirit and all other things are body, and that by its light and rays, all the body is lighted and illuminated. This is so when no means of prevention will be found to veil the light. Now the appearance of the sun seems very weak behind the veil when the cloud exists; though the land is illuminated by the light of the sun, yet this light is always weak; but after the cloud passes away, the illuminations are again manifested. In the two cases the sun was the same in its rank; likewise the sun of the souls, which is named, mentioned as, and ever will be called, the spirit.
455And again look to the weakness of the fruit which is in the tree before it comes forth. It is in the tree in such a very weak condition that it cannot be seen, and if any one cuts the tree into pieces, he will never find the minute atom of the fruit, nor the form; but after it comes forth from the tree it will appear with a wonderful, beautiful embroidery and irresistible power, as is seen in the fruit of all trees. Some fruit ripen after they are plucked from the tree.
456Now numerous examples have been mentioned that thou mayest understand what is desired. Compare it with what thou hast asked from God, thy Lord, and the Lord of the creatures.
457God, exalted is His mention, is able to manifest and explain all the boundless sciences, in one of the examples mentioned among the people.
458The Hand of Might is opened for stating every example, and for every word the Hand of Protection is raised, and no one can know that save him whom God willeth. And when the seal of the attar vessel is broken off by the Hand of Might, then the fragrance will be perceived.
459The command is in the grasp of the Hand of God. He bestows and He withholds; He causeth blindness and He openeth the eyes; He doeth as He willeth and commandeth as He wisheth.
TO THE PEOPLE OF BAHÁ
460In the Name of God, the One! Say, O friends! The former lying caused the succeeding Beloved3 to be hanged and martyred by the bullet of opposition. Meditate upon the lying, unfaithful, perfidious souls who were appearing among the people with the pretence of righteousness, faithfulness, devotion and abstinence from what is unlawful, until ye be guarded and saved from the terror of this greater Day.
3 The Báb.
461One of these has mentioned Jabulka and another gave reference to Jabulsa and another lying one put in the minds of the people an imaginary temple and fixed that on the throne of superstition. This unfair one mentioned Nahia Mocaddassah (the holy direction) and another unreasonable one attributed to him many (of his own) utterances. Therefore these false and unpleasant affairs became the cause of killing the King of the City of Unity through complete opposition.
462If the Hand of Godly Power will take away all the veils (of hallucination) you will witness new affairs and hear new, wonderful utterances. Now He speaks one Word, so that it may, perchance, be a fence betwixt the right and the wrong; and the Word is as follows: “Sanctify your ears from what those people say who attribute themselves to the Bayán and deny its Revealer, its King and sender”; as all these veiled souls are merely following the former (veiled) souls. Blessing be upon the eye which looks and perceives. Verily, it is from the most powerful and strongest souls mentioned in the presence of God.
463Now hear what My Forerunner4 announced before, and His speech is the truth. “The one who is one year old in the Day of His (Bahá’u’lláh’s) manifestation, is greater than all those of the Bayán.” Because of the providence and kindness, these expressions flowed from the pen of the Chosen. Now be watchful and say: “Praise be unto Thee, O God of the creatures!” The party of the Shiites who count themselves the saved and the favored ones, and content their souls that they are the greatest of all the creatures, copied some saying which were continuously handed down that any one who prophesies that the Promised One will be born is an infidel and has no religious faith. So these sayings have been the cause of martyrdom of a great number who were without censure or guilt, until Nukta’ollah (the First Point,—the Báb), (may the souls of all be a ransom to Him!) was born from the lumbar vertebrae of a well-known person in Fárs, and He declared Himself as the Qa‘ím (the Promised One among the Shiites). Immediately those who followed the superstitions and hallucinations were lost. And the Cause appeared to all the creatures like the light of the sun. Yet that party of neglect and rejection deviated and stood steadfast in purpose to kill the Essence of Existence.
4 The Báb.
464O people of Bahá! The Possessor of the names says: “Meditate upon these events that ye may really break the idols of superstitions and imaginations; so that ye may not be engulfed by the new hallucinations to which those of the Bayán who are now avoiders are clinging. Stand steadfast for spreading the Cause with the Godly power and might, and defend the servants from the oppositions of the polytheists, and from the superstitions of the erring and neglected souls, and meditate upon the hidden mysteries.”
465Up to the time of the Manifestations, the people of the Furqán (Qur’án), that is to say, the party of the Shiites, did not understand the Day of God, nor the way of the Manifestation. They seemed to be entirely excluded from the ocean of knowledge and prevented from the lights of the sun of realities. The Cause of God appeared and spread in a way directly opposite to what they perceived and clung to, through their evil thoughts and superstitions; and these simple souls who count themselves among all as the most pious and ascetic of the creatures, stood with (awful) oppression in such a way that the Supreme Concourse and the inhabitants of the cities of the names and the worldly kingdom were all stunned.
466Hereby the Supreme Pen pronounced, as a favor from Him, that ye may know what hath been hidden from you, and observe what was hidden behind the veil, and the deeds of those who wandered in the wilderness of superstitions and hallucinations and decided upon the sentence (of killing) the One who came by the truth from the presence of God, the Almighty, and the Omnipresent.
467O drinker of the pure, sealed wine! The Name of Omnipresence says: “Meditate on the people of the party which counts itself forgiven and saved, that during the appearance of the trial (test) they became of the deeply wicked, transgressive, denying and rejected party; and they were mentioned and recorded in the Godly Book by the Supreme Pen as the appearance of denial. God willing, all the people of Bahá who are mentioned in the Omnipotence of the names as the people of the Red Ark, must appear with such rectitude and uprightness as is suited for the greatest Cause and blessed Day. This day is the day of serving and standing steadfast. If a child will stand uprightly in this Cause, he will be more powerful than all the followers of the Bayán, with the witness of God and the witness of Him who appeared before and announced to the people the great news.”
468In the Tablets which were revealed in ‘Iráq and Ardisherr (the land of mystery, or Adrianople) and Sijan Orzan, the greatest prison of ‘Akká, We have said to all friends and made announcement about the appearance of the croakers (Nakazeen) and the birds of night and the book of the Sejjien (books written against the Cause) and the tablets of fire, that they may stand steadfast in such a way that all the creatures and what they have could not falsify these fixed and established records; and they must be like the mountains, not the leaves which are shaken by the wind and are turned with the slightest breeze. In the same way the All-knowing taught you, and the Knower, the Announced, caused you to know and guided you to the right path.
469Exert your intelligence and with perfect humbleness and submissiveness beg of the Powerful and the Almighty that He may strengthen you in what is adorned by His graciousness; and to make the circumstance favorable to you in the deeds which shall be mentioned of you through the eternity of the Kingdom, in the Book of God everlastingly.
470O beloved! In this Day the door of heaven was opened by the key of the Name of God, and the ocean of liberality is manifested and rolling before all faces, and the sun of providence is shining and gleaming. Do not exclude yourselves; and do not destroy your most precious time by being influenced by the speech of this or that person. Confirm the back of energy! Do your best in training the people of the world. Do not consider that the Cause of God is the cause of opposition, hatred and wrath. The Tongue of Greatness says that what is intended by that which was revealed from the heaven of the Will in this holy and supreme Manifestation is uniting the people in love and friendship towards all.
471The people of Bahá who have drunk of the pure wine of reality must associate with all the world with the perfect spirit of joy and fragrance; and remind them of that which is for the benefit of all. This is the command of the Wronged One to His saints and sincere ones.
472The creatures were created through love, and all are commanded to live in friendship and unity. Now look to this carefully and mention this blessed word which hath shone forth from the horizon of the mouth of the King of Unity.
473Do not allow the opportunity to fall from your grasp; and spend not your time uselessly. I swear by the ocean of Godly knowledge that a moment in these days is more excellent than past centuries and ages; to this beareth witness your Lord, the Chooser, the Generous.
474God willing, may ye burn up the curtains of prevention by the fire of the love of the most Merciful and illumine the hearts by the light of His Face. This Day is the day of this confirmed blessed Word which the Tongue of Unity has uttered before, “Everything is perishable but His Face.”
475This Day is the Day of God and God alone is speaking in it; and none should be mentioned save Him.
476Where are the purified eyes of clear insight? And where are the withdrawn and illuminated hearts? This Day is the day of eyes, ears and hearts. Beg of God that ye may possess these three, that ye may be withdrawn from the veils and sanctified. Because a thine veil—the thinnest—prevents the eye from seeing, the ears from hearing, the heart from understanding.
477Ponder carefully on this Supreme Pen: “O Children of Knowledge! The physical eye will be prevented from seeing the world and what is in it by a very thin lid; then what will be the consequence if the veil of avariciousness covers the eye of the heart?”
478“I was in My Ancient Essence and My Everlasting Being; I foreknew My love in thee; therefore I created thee and laid upon thee My likeness and manifested to thee My Beauty.”
479O people of Bahá! Ye are in homes and the Wronged One is in the greatest prison. While He is immersed in the ocean of trials He mentions every one of you with verses and utterances; that if one letter of these words shines forth in the beings of existence, the word of “Thou art the Beloved” will appear in all in such a way that all may see and read.
480Do not throw from your hands this boundless bounty. And do not be neglectful regarding what happened to this Wronged One and you in the Cause of God. Understand your rank and protect your stations by the Name of God, because the polytheists and repudiating ones and the perfidious ones appeared with the clothes of unity, advancement and truthfulness and they spent the zeal of their envy in misleading the people.
481Verily, your Lord the most Merciful says the truth and announces to you the bounty and guideth you to the right path.
482Leave the ways of the people and count that the paths of the negligent ones are the lost and destroyed paths, and say: verily, He never walks in your paths and never does as ye have done. He hath already appeared and manifested His right path and taught all His true way.
483Blessing be upon the soul who hastened to the ocean of the mercy of His Lord; and the ear which heard the cry of the Supreme Pen; and the eye which saw His wonderful verses and the tongue which pronounced His most beautiful praise.
484Say: Verily, be merciful to yourselves and do not follow those who renounced God and His texts, and repudiated His demonstrations and His proofs and stood steadfast in their avoidance with professed opposition.
485Verily, He (Bahá’u’lláh) in the greatest imprisonment called the kings and the servants to the Greatest Name, who was hidden in the Knowledge of God and mentioned in the Books of the Messengers of God.
486O Beloved! All of you are mentioned in the Books of God always. If some of the saints of God do not succeed in receiving each a special Tablet, they must know confessedly and certainly that their names, advancement and nearness, according to their stations, are mentioned and recorded in the Book from the Supreme Pen.
487Now beg of God assistance that ye may succeed by that which will be the cause and purpose of your mention everlastingly. Verily, He seeth and heareth and He is the Learned, the All-knowing.
488The world is in an evanescent condition, and after a time those who are upon the earth will go to the graves.
489By Him who caused all else to pronounce the praise of Himself, the world and what is witnessed therein, to the one who has clear insight, will never be equal to one word of the Words of God; because it is forever and ever transitory and evanescent; but the Word of God is eternal and everlasting, as the eternality of the names and qualities.
490No wise one will, for the sake of a day or two, give up the everlasting Grace. I say the truth,—the spirit was and is always desiring to purport of the paradise of disclosement and meeting; but the hallucinations and desires which do not appease, preclude it from the kingdom of nearness.
491Ye must burn up the veils with the fire of certainty and with the light of faith illuminate the hearts and minds. Exert your intelligence that ye may drink from the Kawthar of certainty which is ever flowing from the right side of the Godly Throne. The one who will gain this is of the people of eternity mentioned on the Red Page. Praise be to God, the providence of God and His benevolence guide the advanced ones to the right path and cause them to succeed in gaining the greatest donation and greatest gift. Understand the station of yourselves and in every case be awakened, because the misguiders were and are in ambush for the faithful guides. Verily, your Lord, the Merciful, is the All-knowing, the All-wise!
492Is there (seen) any truthful seeker who is excluded from the bounties of the Generous? Or any advancer who desires with perfect righteousness the extreme Place, and was barred from it? No, by the Self of God! If some of the Unitarians (those who believe in the unity of God), the near ones and the sincere do not succeed apparently to what they desire, this is owing to the mystery of the highest wisdom of God. So they must not be saddened, because for everything there is a special fixed time, and when that arrives, it appears in truth from the presence of God, the Lord of the worlds. Be rejoiced, O saints of God and His friends, that My Supreme Pen mentioned you in the night in which the Tongue of Greatness declared, “Verily, there is no God but He, the Assister, the Single, the Generous, the Praiseworthy.”
493Blessing be upon him who succeeds in gaining the great uprightness! Verily, he is from those of the supreme Paradise in the Book of God, the Possessor of the names, the Cleaner of heaven, who appeared with the truth, with evident authority. Beware that the veils of the names deprive ye not from their King, Revealer and Creator,—cling to the robe of the Providence of thy Lord, the most Merciful and adhere to His brilliant train.
He who lives according to what was ordained for him, the Supreme Concourse and those of the supreme Paradise and those who are dwelling under the dome of greatness, will pray for him, by a command from God, the dearest and the praiseworthy.
494So the Wronged One mentioned you, while in the imprisonment of the negligent ones, and taught you what brings you near in every case to God, the powerful, omnipotent, the dearest, the unique. Verily, We command all the wisdom and clear explanation in the Cause of their Lord, the All-merciful, as We commanded them before. Verily, He is the Adviser, the All-faithful. Now here is a Word which We revealed in several Tablets. It is commanded that He who believes in God during this Manifestation, must adhere to it, and be of the confirmed ones, and We prohibit all from what displeases God. And We ordered for them that which will rejoice the hearts of the nations.
495Verily, He is the Compassionate, the Generous. “Associate, O My friends, with all the people of religions with joy and fragrance. Beware that ye make not the Word of God the cause of oppositions or contrast, or for the purpose of causing hatred among you. Say: be sincerely pious toward God, O people of the earth, and be not found among the negligent ones.”
496Verily, He commands you that from which He may find the fragrance of the spirit, if ye are of the wise. El-Bahá is upon you and upon those with you and upon those who love you and serve you and hear from you what was written from the Supreme Pen in this Cause, the assured, the manifested, the perspicuous.
THE MOST GREAT INFALLIBILITY
497This is the Epistle of God, the Protector, the Self-subsistent!
He is God! Exalted is His state, in wisdom and utterance!
Praise be unto God who is single in grandeur, power and beauty, is One in glory, potency and majesty, and who is sanctified above being comprehended by reflection, or having any peer or equal. His right path hath verily been made clear by the most eloquent utterance and speech. Verily, He is the independent, the almighty!
498When He purposed a new creation He sent forth the manifest and luminous Point from the horizon of desire, and the Point went round through every sign, under every form, until it reached the ultimate station, by a command from the presence of God, the Lord of mankind. Verily, it (the Point) is the center of the Circle of Names, the end of the appearances of “letters” in the Kingdom of Emanation. Through it appeared that which indicates the most concealed Mystery, the adorned allegory, the manifest One who is expressive of the Greatest Name in the brilliant Tablet and in the holy, blessed White Epistle.
499And when the Point was united with the second letter which is manifest in the beginning of the “Messani,” the spheres of utterance and significances revolved, the eternal light of God shone forth and stood high upon the heaven of demonstration, and two orbs of light were produced therefrom. Glorified is the Merciful One who cannot be referred to by any allusion, or expressed by any expression, or known by any explication or described by any traces. Verily, He is the Commander, the Bestower—in the Origin and Return!
500And He appointed unto them (i.e., those two orbs) protectors and guardians out of the hosts of power and might. Verily, He is the protector, the mighty, the unconstrained!
501Praise be to God who manifested the Point and sent forth from it the knowledge of what was and is; who made it (the Point) the herald of His Name, the precursor to His most great manifestation, by which the nerves of nations have quivered with fear and the Light has risen from the horizon of the world. Verily, it is that Point which God hath made to be a sea of light for the sincere among His servants and a ball of fire for the deniers among His creatures and the impious among his people—i.e., those who have changed God’s favors, rejected the bread of heaven in their hypocrisy and led their friends to an unhappy dwelling. They are such men who manifested forth hypocrisy in the world and violated the Covenant in the Day wherein the temple of pre-existence is established upon the most great throne. The herald is crying from the “right side of the sacred valley” (saying): O concourse of the Bayán! Fear the clement One! This is the One of whom Muhammad, the Messenger of God, made mention; and before him the Spirit (Christ), and before him the Interlocutor (Moses)! This is the Point of the Bayán who calleth out before the Throne, saying: In Truth, ye have been created for the remembrance of this most great message and this most firm path, which was hidden in the minds of the Prophets, concealed within the breasts of the chosen ones, and written by the Supreme Pen in the Tablets of your Lord, the King of Names!
502Say: Die in your wrath, O ye people of discord! He hath indeed appeared, from whose knowledge naught is concealed, and He because of whom the face of knowledge smiles (with joy) hath come, and by whom the kingdom of utterance is adorned! Every advancer toward God, the King of religions, hath advanced. By Him every sitting one hath risen up and those lying down have hastened to the mount of assurance. This is the Day which God hath made to be a grace unto the pious, a punishment unto the wicked, a mercy unto those who advance and a wrath unto those who deny and turn away! Verily, he hath appeared with a power from His presence and hath revealed that which naught in His heaven and earth can equal! Fear the clement One, O people of the Bayán! and commit not what was wrought by the people of El-Furqán (Qur’án) who professed faith during nights and days, but when the Lord of men came, they denied and disbelieved, until they condemned Him in such injustice, whereat the “Mother-Book” lamented in the (Day of) Return. Remember; then look at their deeds and words, their grades and stations, and at that which proceeded from them when the speaker of the mount spoke, the trumpet was sounded and all in the heavens and earth were stunned—except a number of the “letters” of the Face.
503O concourse of the Bayán! Abandon your superstitions and imaginations! Then gaze with the eye of justice unto the horizon of the Manifestation unto that which hath appeared and hath inflicted upon Him. He is the One who hath accepted all calamities for the sake of the declaration of His command and the promotion of His Word. He hath been once imprisoned in Tá (Tihrán), once in Mein (Mázarandán) and then again in Tá, for the sake of the cause of God, the Creator of heaven; during which He hath been in chains and shackles, in longing for the Command of God, the Mighty, the Gracious!
504O concourse of the Bayán! Have ye forgotten My Commandments and that which hath proceeded from My pen and hath been uttered by My tongue? Have ye preferred your suspicions before My certainty and your desires before My way? Have you forsaken the precepts of God and His commemoration and abandoned the ordinances of God and His commands? Fear God! Leave superstitions unto their manifestors, and suppositions unto their sources, and doubts unto their originators. Then advance with shining faces and brilliant hearts toward that horizon from which the Sun of Assurance hath shone, by a command from the presence of God, the King of religions.
505Praise be to God! who hath made the “Most Great Infallibility” a cuirass for the temple of His command, in the kingdom of emanation; and hath decreed for none else any portion from this lofty grade and supreme station! Verily, this (i.e., the Most Great Infallibility) is a mantle spun by the fingers of power for His own exalted self. Verily, this does not become any one except Him who is established upon the Throne of “He doeth whatsoever He willeth.” Whosoever acknowledges and confesses that which is written at this moment by the Supreme Pen is verily of the people of unity and of the followers of singleness, in the Book of God, the King of origin and return.
506And when Our Words reached this point, the fragrance of knowledge wafted and the orb of oneness shone forth from the horizon of the heaven of utterance. Blessed is whosoever is attracted by the voice to the lofty apex and furthermost end and learned from the sound of My Supreme Pen that which is desired by the Lord of this world and the world to come! Verily, he who does not drink from Our sealed choice wine, the seal of which We have broken by Our Name, the self-subsistent, is verily one who has not attained to the lights of Oneness or known the purpose of the Books of God, the Lord of the heaven and earth, the King of the next world and the present one; and such an one is accounted of the polytheists in the Books of God, the knower, the omniscient.
507O thou honorable questioner! We testify that, verily, thou hast adhered to abundant patience in the days wherein the Pen was withheld from flowing and the Tongue from utterance in mention of the “Most Great Infallibility” and the most mighty sign, which thou hast asked this oppressed one to remove for thee its veils and coverings and to explain unto thee its mystery, its grade, its station, its position, its rank, its exaltation and its loftiness.
508By the life of God! Were We to expose the pearls of argument as concealed in the shells of the sea of knowledge and assurance and send forth the faces of significances hidden in the chambers of utterance, in the paradise of knowledge, the clamor of the (religious) doctors would be raised from every direction, and thou wouldst find the people of God in the claws of the wolves who have disbelieved in God, in the origin and return. We did, therefore, restrain the Pen for a long space of time, as a wisdom from the presence of the clement One, and to the intent of protecting Our friends from those who have exchanged the benefit of God for their infidelity and entitled their people to the abode of perdition.
509O thou gazing questioner and O thou whom the Supreme Concourse have attracted unto the exalted Word! For the birds of the realm of My kingdom and for the doves of the garden of My wisdom, there are tunes and melodies, of which none is informed save God, the King of the world of dominion and the empyrean realm. Were there to appear even less than a needle’s eye thereof, the unjust will say that which was not said by the former communities and will commit that which was wrought by none, in all ages and centuries. They have indeed denied the grace of God and His argument, the proof of God and His signs; they have, themselves, erred and have also led the people astray, while they perceive not! They have adopted for themselves imaginations as lords in spite of God, and they understand not! They have abandoned the most great sea, hastening to the pool, and they comprehend not! They follow their own desires, while turning away from God, the protector, the self-subsistent!
510Say: In Truth, the clement One hath come with power and might and through Him the (people of all the) religions have trembled with fear, and the nightingale of utterance hath warbled on the highest branch of knowledge (to wit): He hath indeed appeared who has hidden in the (divine) knowledge and recorded in the Book! Say: This is the Day wherein the Speaker of the Mount is established upon the throne of manifestation, and the people have resurrected before God, the Lord of the creatures! This is the Day the earth hath revealed her news and uncovered her treasures, and the seas their pearls, the Sadrat its fruits, the sun its effulgence, the moons their lights, the heaven its stars, the “hour” its tokens, the resurrection its majesty, the pend their traces and the spirits their arcana. Blessed is whosoever knoweth Him, and woe unto those who denied and turned away from Him! I beg of God to enable His servants to return. Verily, He is the lenient, the forgiver, the merciful!
511O thou who art advancing toward the supreme horizon and drinking My sealed choice wine, from the hands of bestowal! Know thou, verily, there are numerous meanings and divers stations for “Infallibility.” In one sense, the name “Infallibility” is true of one whom God hath guarded against sin, transgression and unbelief, infidelity, polytheism, and the like. But “The Most Great Infallibility” is applied only to One whose station is sanctified above commands and prohibitions and purified from sin and forgetfulness. Verily, He is a light which is not followed by darkness and a rectitude which is proof against error. If He declares water to be wine, or heaven to be earth, or light to be fire, it is true and there is no doubt therein; and no one has the right to oppose Him, or to say “why” or “wherefore”; and he who disputes Him is, verily, of the opposers in the Book of God, the Lord of the creatures! “Verily, no account shall be demanded of Him for what He shall do; but an account shall be demanded of all for all they shall do.”
512Verily, He hath come from the heaven of the unseen, and with Him the standard of “He doeth whatsoever He willeth.” and the hosts of power and authority. As to all else save Him: It is incumbent upon them to cling unto that which He hath commanded—of laws and ordinances; and if one departs from them—even to the extent of a single hair’s breadth—his deed will all go for naught.
513Consider, then remember, when Muhammad, the Messenger of God, came, He said, and His saying is truth: “And (it is a duty) toward God (incumbent on people), to go to visit the House (of Mecca).” The same was the case with prayer, fasting and the ordinances which shone forth from the horizon of the Book of God, the master of the world and the educator of nations. It was incumbent upon all to follow Him in that which was commanded by God; and whosoever denied Him disbelieved in God, in His verses, in His messengers and in His Books. Verily, if He declareth a virtue to be an error, or infidelity to be faith, it is a truth from His presence. This (the Manifestation’s) is a Station wherein no error or sin is found or spoken of.
514Consider the blessed, revealed Verse by which the pilgrimage of the “House” was made obligatory for all. And it was incumbent upon those who arose after Him in the Cause, to practice that whereunto they were commanded in the Book. No one has a right to depart from the ordinances of God and His precepts, and whosoever departs therefrom is verily of the transgressors, in the Book of God, the Lord of the great throne.
515O thou who art gazing toward the horizon of the Cause! Know thou verily the desire of God is never restricted to the limits of the servants; verily He doth not walk in accord with their ways; it is incumbent upon all to hold to His right path. Verily, if He declares the right to be left, or the south to be the north, it is true and there is no doubt therein. Verily, He is to be praised in His deeds and to be obeyed in His command. He hath no associate in His behest and no helper in His power; He doeth whatsoever He willeth, and commandeth whatsoever He desireth!
516Then know thou! All else save Him are but created through a Word from His presence; they have no motion nor quiescence except through His command and permission.
517O thou who art soaring in the atmosphere of love and affection and gazing toward the lights of the face of thy Lord, the King of Origination! Thank thou God, for He hath unfolded unto thee that which was hidden and concealed in the (divine) knowledge; so that all may know that, verily, in the station of “the Most Mighty Infallibility” He hath taken to Himself no associate nor counselor. Verily, He is the dawning-place of commands and ordinances and the source of knowledge and wisdom. All else save Him are subjects and under the command, while He is the ruler, the commander, the knower, the omniscient!
518As to thee: When thou art attracted by the fragrances of the verses of the manifestation and overcome by the pure (wine of the) Kawthar from the hands of the bestowal of thy Lord, the King of the Day of Resurrection, say:
519“O my God! O my God! Praise be unto Thee, for Thou hast directed me unto Thyself, guided me unto Thy horizon, made clear unto me Thy path, manifested unto me Thy proof, and caused me to advance toward Thee while most of Thy servants turned away from Thee such as divine and religious doctors and those who followed them without any evidence on Thy part or argument from Thy presence. Grace be unto Thee, O Thou God of Names, and praise be unto Thee, O Thou creator of heaven! for Thou hast caused me to drink Thy sealed choice wine in Thy Name, the self-subsistent, to draw nigh unto Thee, and to know the day-spring of Thy utterance, the dawning-place of Thy verses, the source of Thy commands and behests and the fount of Thy wisdom and favors.
“Blessed is the land which is honored by Thy footsteps, and upon which the throne of Thy grandeur is established, and in which the fragrance of Thy garment is being diffused! By Thy might, by Thy power, by Thy potency and authority! I wish not the eye except to behold Thy beauty, and I desire not the ear except to hear Thy voice and verses.
“O my God! O my God! Deprive not the eyes from that for which Thou hast created them and the faces from turning unto Thy horizon, standing before the door of Thy grandeur, being present before Thy throne and humble before the effulgences of the lights of the sun of Thy grace! O my Lord! I am the one whose heart, innermost parts, limbs and whose outward and inward tongue have testified to Thy oneness and singleness; and that, verily, thou art God; there is no God but Thee! Thou hast indeed created men to know Thee and to serve Thy Cause, whereby their stations may be exalted in Thy earth and their souls be uplifted through that which Thou hast revealed in Thy epistles, books and tablets. But when Thou made Thyself manifest and revealed Thy verses, they turned away from Thee, denied Thee and disbelieved that which Thou hast shown forth by Thy power and Thy potency. And they arose to persecute Thee, to quench Thy light and to extinguish the fire of Thy Sadrat; and they went so far in oppression as to desire to shed Thy blood and violate Thy honor. Likewise, he whom Thou didst train by the hands of Thy providence and didst protect from the evil of the rebels among Thy creatures and the oppressors among Thy servants, he who was (employed) to write down Thy verses before Thy Throne—alas! alas! for that which he wrought in Thy days; in such wise that he violated Thy Covenant and Testament, denied Thy verses, arose in opposition and committed that whereby the denizens of Thy Kingdom lamented! And when he was disappointed in himself and discovered the odor of loss, he cried and said that whereat the favored among Thy chosen ones and the dwellers of the pavilions of Thy glory were astonished!
“Thou beholdest me, O my God, like unto a fish moving in anguish upon the earth! Deliver me; then have pity on me, O Thou Deliverer! O Thou in whose hand are the reins of all men and women among mankind!
“Whenever I reflect upon my great sins and immense transgressions, despair overtakes me from all sides; and whenever I reflect upon the sea of Thy bestowal, the heaven of Thy bounty and upon the sun of Thy grace, I find the fragrance of hope from the right and the left, from the north and the south, as if all things rejoice me with the rains of the clouds of the heaven of Thy mercy. O Thou support of the sincere ones and Thou Desire of the favored ones! By Thy might! Thy gifts and Thy favors and the appearances of Thy grace and providence have emboldened me; otherwise, how could a non-existent one speak of Him upon whose presence through a word the whole existence has appeared! and how could a lost one describe Him of whom it is proved by argument that, ‘Verily, He cannot be described by description or spoken of by words; He has ever been sanctified beyond the comprehension of His creatures and purified above the knowledge of His servants!’
“O my God! Thou beholdest a dead one before Thy Face, deprive him not from the cup of life in Thy bounty and beneficence; and a sick one before Thy throne, withhold him not from the sea of Thy healing. I beg of Thee to strengthen me under all circumstances to commemorate and praise Thee and to serve Thy Cause; while I know that whatever appears from a servant is restricted to the limits of himself and is not worthy of Thy presence nor befitteth the court of Thy might and grandeur.
“By Thy might! Were it not for to praise Thee my tongue were of no benefit to me, and were it not for to serve Thee my being were of no use to me. And I wish not the eye but to behold the lights of Thy supreme horizon, and I desire not the ear except to hear Thy sweet voice.
“Alas! Alas! O my Lord, my support, my hope! I know not whether Thou hast ordained for me that whereby my eye may be consoled, my breast dilated and my heart rejoiced, or that Thine immutable decree hath prevented me from presenting myself before Thy throne, O Thou king of pre-existence and ruler of nations!
“By Thy might, Thy power, Thy grandeur, Thy dominion! The gloom of remoteness hath smitten me: Where is the light of Thy nearness? O Thou object of the knowing! And the awfulness of separation hath stunned me: Where is the radiance of Thy union? O Thou beloved of the sincere!
“Thou beholdest, O my God, that which hath befallen me in Thy path, on the part of those who have denied Thy truth, violated Thy Covenant, disputed Thy verses and rejected Thy benefit after its appearance and Thy Word after its revelation and Thy proof after its completion!
“O my Lord! The tongue of my tongue, the heart of my heart, the soul of my soul, and my inward and outward being all testify to Thy oneness and singleness, to Thy power and authority, to Thy grandeur and dominion, and to Thy might and exaltation and sovereignty, and to that, verily, Thou art God. There is no God but Thee. Thou hast been everlastingly a treasury concealed from eyes and comprehension and wilt be never-endingly even as Thou hast been from all eternity. Neither hath the power of the world weakened Thee, nor the potency of nations threatened Thee. Thou art He who hath opened the door of knowledge before the face of Thy servants, so that they may know the day-spring of Thy revelation, the dawning place of Thy verses, the heaven of Thy manifestation, the sun of Thy beauty; and (Thou art He) who hath promised all in the earth, in Thy Books, Epistles and Scriptures, concerning the Manifestation of Thyself and the removal of the veils of glory from Thy face. This Thou didst reveal unto Thy Beloved One (Muhammad) by whom the orb of the command dawned from the horizon of Híjáz and the light of truth dawned among the servants, in Thy Words, ‘The Day whereon mankind shall arise before the Lord of the creatures.’ (Qur’án). And before him (Muhammad) Thou didst announce this unto the Interlocutor (Moses) to ‘lead forth Thy people from darkness into light and to remind them of the days of God’ (Qur’án). And, again, Thou didst speak of this (Day) unto the Spirit (Christ) and unto all Thy former and latter Prophets and Messengers. Were there to proceed from the treasuries of Thy Supreme Pen all that Thou hast revealed in the mention of this most great remembrance and this Thy mighty message, all the denizens of the city of knowledge and wisdom would be stunned, except whomsoever Thou hast delivered through Thy potency and protected through Thy bounty and grace.
“I testify that verily thou hast fulfilled Thy Covenant and sent forth Him whose Manifestation was announced by Thy prophets, Thy chosen ones and Thy servants. Verily, He hath come from the horizon of might and power with the banners of Thy signs, and with the standards of Thy evidences, and He hath arisen before the faces through Thy power and potency and summoned all men unto the exalted apex and supreme horizon in such wise that the injustice of the learned and the majesty of princes have not withheld Him. He hath arisen in the most mighty steadfastness and spoken in the loftiest voice (saying), ‘The giver of gifts hath indeed come, riding on the cloud; advance, O ye people of the earth, with shining faces and illumined hearts!’ Blessed is whosoever attains to Thy meeting, drinks the choice wine of union from the hands of Thy bestowal, discovers the fragrance of Thy verses, speaks in Thy praise, soars in Thy atmosphere, and is overcome by the attraction of Thy utterance, and whom Thou hast caused to enter Thy supreme paradise—the station of revelation and vision—before the throne of Thy grandeur!
“O my Lord! I beg of Thee, by the ‘Most Great Infallibility’ which Thou hast made to be a horizon for Thy Manifestation, and by Thy exalted Word by which the creation was created and the command was made manifest, and by this Name whereby the Names lamented and the nerves of the knowing ones trembled with fear, to make me so severed from all else save Thee that I may not move except by Thy desire, nor speak except by Thy will and hear naught but Thy commemoration and praise.
“Praise be unto Thee, O my God, and thanks be unto Thee, O my hope, for that Thou hast made clear unto me Thy right path, revealed unto me Thy great message, and assisted me to advance toward the day-spring of Thy revelation and the source of Thy command after Thy servants and creatures have denied Him!
“I beg of Thee, O Thou king of the kingdom of immortality! by the sound of Thy supreme pen, and by the fire ablaze and in the service of Thy friends. Then assist Thy servants, O my God, in that by reason of which Thy Cause will be elevated, and to practice what Thou hast revealed in Thy Book. Verily, Thou art the powerful, and the protector of all that Thou willest and in Thy grasp are the reins of all things! There is no God but Thee, the potent, the knower, the wise!”
520O thou Jabeel! We have indeed shown unto thee the sea and its waves, the sun and its effulgence, the heaven and its stars and the shells and their pearls. Thank thou God for this most great favor and for this beneficence which hath pervaded the whole world.
521O thou who art turning toward the light of the Face! Superstitions have indeed encompassed the denizens of the earth and have prevented them from turning unto the horizon of certainty and its effulgence, radiances and lights. Through fanices they are withheld from the self-subsistent One; they speak after their desires and perceive not. Some among them say: “Have the Verses been revealed?” Say: Yea, by the Lord of heavens! “Hath the ‘Hour’ arrived?” Yea,—nay: It hath already gone by—by the Manifestor of Evident Signs! The “Infallible” hath indeed come, and the True One hath become manifest with proof and argument! The “Sahirah” hath become manifest and people are in dread and agitation! The “earthquakes” have indeed come and the multitudes have lamented in fear of God, the powerful, the mighty! Say: “The stunning sound” (of the trumpet) is sounded and the Day belongs to God, the wise, the unconstrained! And they say: “Hath the ‘Catastrophe’ been fulfilled?” Say: Aye, by the Lord of Lords! “Hath the Resurrection been set up?” Yea—nay, even the self-subsistent One (hath arisen) in the kingdom of signs! “Are the people found ‘prostrated’?” Yea, by my Lord, the supreme, the Abhá! “Have the tree-trunks been ‘uprooted’?” Nay, even the mountains are pulled down—by the King of attributes! Then another says: “Where is the ‘Paradise’ and the ‘Hell’?” Say, the former is My Meeting and the latter is thyself, O thou doubting polytheist! They say: “Verily, we do not see the ‘Balance.’“ Say: Aye, by my Lord, the clement, none shall see it except the possessors of insight! They say: “Have the stars fallen?” Say: Aye (they did, when the pre-existent One was in the Land of Mystery (Adrianople)! Be ye therefore admonished, O possessors of sight! All the signs indeed become manifest when We stretched out the hand of power from the bosom of grandeur and omnipotence! The Crier hath indeed called out, for the (Day of) “Promise” hath come, and the dwellers of the (Sinaitic) Mount are stunned in the desert of suspension (of sojourn) because of the Majesty of thy Lord, the king of origination! Then they say: “Hath the trumpet been sounded?” Say: Yea, by the king of manifestation! (It did) when He was seated upon the throne of His Name, the clement! The gloomy darkness hath been illuminated through the dawn of the mercy of thy Lord, the dawning-place of lights. The breeze of the merciful one hath indeed been wafted, and the souls are refreshed in the graves of bodies. Thus hath the matter been decreed on the part of God, the mighty, the bestower!
522Those who disbelieved said: “When did the heaven cleave asunder?” Say: When ye were in the tombs of heedlessness and error. Some other one among the infidels wipes his eyes and gazes at the right and left. Say: Verily, thou hast become blind, and, in this Day, there is no refuge for thee. Still other say: “Have the souls been resurrected?” Say: Aye, by my Lord; when ye were (asleep) in the beds of superstitions! Others say: “Hath the Book been revealed through ‘a creative power’?” Say, verily, even it (i. e. “creative power”) is astonished thereat! Be ye warned, O ye spiritually minded! Again, some say: “Have the blind been restored to sight?” Say; Yea, by the One who rides upon the cloud! Paradise is indeed adorned with the roses of significances, and hell is ablaze with the fire of the wicked! Say: The Light hath indeed risen from the horizon of manifestation, and the regions are illumined, since the king of the Day of the Covenant hath come. Those who have doubted are indeed in loss, but they have gained who advanced with the light of conviction toward the dawning-place of assurance!
523Blessed art thou, O thou gazer! for that We have revealed unto thee this Tablet, by which souls fly (with joy)! Guard it; then read it. By My Life, it is the door of the mercy of thy Lord! Blessed is whosoever reads it at morn and eve!
THE LAW OF LOVE
524Say: O friend! Sleep with your face turned to the Friend, and rest in bed in the thought of the loved One. From flowers inhale the fragrance of the beloved One, and in every fire see the light of the desired One. I swear by the life of the Friend, that if thou smellest the garment of Joseph and enterest the Egypt of the love of God, thou wilt become the mother of all the chosen ones! Then exert thyself in love with thy soul and enter the abode of the beloved One with thy heart. Abandon grief for the world to its people and give no heed to the limited days of this world; be seated on the immortal, everlasting throne, be clad in a divine raiment, drink the wine of love from the cup of the beloved One, become ablaze with the light of love, and sew the robe of love! This is that matter which shall never change! Know thou, therefore, that in every age and dispensation all Divine Ordinances are changed and transformed according to the requirements of the time, except the law of love, which, like unto a fountain, flows always and is never overtaken by change. This is of the wonderful mysteries which God has mentioned for His servants! Verily, He is the merciful, the compassionate!
THE TABLET OF THE VIRGIN
525O My Namesake: Listen to My Call from around My Throne, so that it may summon thee to a Sea which has no boundary and to whose depths no diver has reached. Verily, thy Lord is knowing and generous. Verily, We desired to bestow Our Favor upon thee by mentioning that which We have seen, so that thou mayest realize that We have Worlds within this world, and offer thanks to thy Lord, the All-knowing.
Verily, if He wished He could make the rays of the sun manifest from an atom, and the waves of the sea from a drop. He hath power, as He hath set forth in detail: the knowledge of what was and what will be, out of a point.
Verily, We were seated on the Throne when a luminous Virgin clad in the finest white robe entered. She became like the full moon rising from the horizon of heaven. Exalted be God, her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
When she opened her mouth heaven and earth were illumined as though the Essence of Eternity reflected upon her its light. Exalted be God, her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
She smiled and bent like the stem of a reed in the presence of the Merciful One. Exalted be He who made her manifest. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
Then she walked and moved about without any intention or will upon her part as if the needle of love were attracted by the magnet of the Beauty that shone in front of her. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
She walked while Glory was in attendance upon her and the Kingdom of Beauty was heralded in front of her, praising her matchless beauty, her winning ways and symmetry of form. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
Then We beheld jet-black hair hanging over her white throat, as though day and night embraced each other in this most glorious Station and highest Existence. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
When We observed her face, We found a point hidden under a veil, belonging to unity, shining forth from the horizon of her brow, as though through it the Tablets of the Love of the Merciful in the contingent world, and the volumes of the Lovers in all horizons, were fully explained. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
There was another point upon her breast which spoke of that point. Exalted be the Lord of the Hidden and the Manifest who created her. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
The Temple of God arose and began to walk, and she walked behind, listening to, shaken and attracted by, the Verses of her Lord. Blessed is He who created her. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
Then her joy, her delight and her enthusiasm increased to such a degree that she was changed and swooned. When she recovered her senses she drew near and said: “May my soul be a sacrifice to Thy imprisonment, O Secret of the unseen in the kingdom of creation!” No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
She remained looking at the dawning place of the Throne like one intoxicated and bewildered, until she place her hand about the neck of her Lord and drew Him to her. As she drew nearer We took from her what was revealed in the treasured Red Epistle by My most exalted Pen. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
Then she bowed her head and rested her face upon her two fingers, as though a new moon had come into conjunction with a full moon. Exalted be her creator. No eye hath ever seen any being like unto Her.
At this point she cried and said: “May the whole existence be a sacrifice to Thy afflictions, O King of heaven and earth! How long wilt Thou entrust Thyself to these people in the city of ‘Akká? Go to Thy other Kingdoms, to the stations of that to which the eyes of the people of names have never turned!” Whereupon We smiled.
Learn from this sweet narrative that which We intend to describe of the hidden Secret which is manifest and yet most concealed, O people of wisdom among the companions of My Red Ark. This narrative coincides with the day which is the anniversary of the birth of My Herald, who spoke eloquently of Me and of My Sovereignty, and informed the people of the heaven of My intention, the sea of My will, and the sun of My manifestation. We honored it with another day in which was manifested the Concealed Essence, the treasured Secret, and the preserved Mystery, the One through whom the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Names were shaken with bewilderment and those that are in heaven and earth are stunned, except those whom We secured with Our own authority and power. I am powerful in whatsoever I wish. There is no God but Me, the Knowing, the Wise.
Blessed is he who has inhaled from the fragrance of God in this day which is the dawning point of manifestation and the dayspring of My Name, the Forgiver, and in which the fragrance wafted, the spirit moved, the attraction raised up those who were in their graves, and Mount Sinai cried out: “The Kingdom belongeth to God, the Wise!” and in which ever seeker obtained his desire, every man, knowing God, attained blessings, and every traveler in the way of God found the divine Right Path.
THE HOLY MARINER
526He is the Gracious, the Well-Beloved!
O Holy Mariner! Bid thine Ark of Eternity appear before the Celestial Concourse,
Launch it upon the Ancient Sea in His Name, the most wondrous,
And let the angelic spirits enter, in the name of God, the Most High,
Unmoor it then that it may sail upon the Ocean of Glory,
Haply the dwellers therein may attain the Retreats of Nearness in the Everlasting Realm;
Having reached the Sacred Strand, the shore of the Crimson Seas, Bid them issue forth and attain this ethereal, invisible Station,
A station wherein the Lord hath in the Flame of His Beauty appeared within the deathless Tree;
Wherein the embodiments of His Cause cleansed themselves of self and passion,
Around which the glory of Moses doth circle with the Everlasting Hosts;
Wherein the Hand of God was drawn forth from His Bosom of Grandeur;
Wherein the Ark of the Cause remaineth motionless, even though to its dwellers be declared all Divine Attributes.
O Mariner! Teach them that are within the Ark that which we have taught thee behind the mystic Veil,
Perchance they may not tarry in the Sacred and Snow-white Spot,
But may soar upon the Wings of the Spirit unto that station which the Lord hath exalted above all mention in the worlds below;
May wing through space even as the Favored Birds in the Realm of Eternal Reunion;
May know the mysteries hidden in the Sea of Light.
They passed the grades of worldly limitations and reached that of the Divine Unity, the Centre of Heavenly Guidance;
They have desired to ascend unto that state which the Lord hath ordained to be above their stations
Whereupon the Burning Meteor cast them out from them that abide in the Kingdom of His Presence,
And they heard the Voice of Grandeur raised from behind the Unseen Pavilion upon the Height of Glory,
“O Guardian Angels! Return them to their abodes in the world below,
Inasmuch as they have purposed to rise to that sphere which the wings of the Celestial Dove have never attained,
Whereon the Ship of Fancy standeth still, Which the minds of them that comprehend cannot grasp!” Thereupon the Maid of Heaven looked out from her exalted chamber, And with her brow signed to the Celestial Concourse, Flooding with the light of her countenance the heaven and the earth; And as the Radiance of her Beauty shone upon the people of dust, And all beings were shaken in their mortal graves,
She then raised the call which no ear through all eternity hath ever heard, And thus proclaimed: “By the Lord! He whose heart hath not the fragrance of the love of the Exalted and glorious Arabian Youth, Can in no-wise ascend unto the Glory of the Highest Heaven!” Thereupon she summoned unto herself one maiden from her Handmaidens And commanded her: “Descend into space from the Mansions of Eternity And turn thou unto that which they have concealed in the inmost of their hearts, Shouldst thou inhale the Perfume of the Robe from the Youth that hath been hidden within the Tabernacle of Light by reason of that which the hands of the wicked have wrought, Raise a cry within thyself that all the inmates of the chambers of Paradise that are the embodiments of the Eternal Wealth may understand and hearken; That they may all come down from their everlasting chambers, And kiss their hands and feet for having soared to the heights of faithfulness, Perchance they may find from their Robes the fragrance of the Beloved One!” Thereupon the countenance of the favored damsel beamed above the Celestial Chambers even as the light that shineth from the Face of the Youth above his mortal Temple; She then descended with such an adorning as to illumine the heavens and all that is therein; She bestirred herself and perfumed all things in the Land of Holiness and Grandeur. When she reached that plane she rose to her full height in the mid-most heart of creation and sought to inhale their fragrance at a time that knoweth neither beginning nor end. She found not in them that which she did desire, and this, verily, is but one of His wondrous tales! She then cried aloud, wailed and repaired to her own station within her most lofty Mansion. And then gave utterance to one Mystic Word, whispered privily by her honeyed Tongue, And raised the Call amidst the Celestial Concourse and the Immortal Maids of Heaven: “By the Lord! I found not from these idle claimants the Breeze of Faithfulness! By the Lord! The Youth hath remained lone and forlorn in the land of exile in the hands of the ungodly!” She then uttered within herself such a cry that the Celestial Concourse did shriek and tremble, And she fell upon the dust and gave up the Spirit. It seemeth she was called and hearkened unto Him that summoned her into the Realm on High. Glorified be He that created her out of the Essence of Love in the midmost heart of His exalted Paradise!
(Up to this point between each line is the refrain:
“Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!”)
Thereupon the Maids of Heaven hastened forth from their chambers, upon whose countenance the eye of no dweller in the Highest Paradise had ever gazed,
Glorified be our Lord, the Most High!
They all gathered around her, and lo! they found her body fallen upon the dust.
Glorified be our Lord, the Most High!
And as they beheld her state and comprehended a word of the Tale told by the Youth, they bared their heads, rent their garments asunder, beat upon their faces, forgot their joy, shed tears and smote with their hands upon their cheeks, and this is verily one of the mysterious, grievous afflictions!
Glorified be our Lord, the Most High!