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The Call of the Divine Beloved

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Notes

  • 1 Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (trans. Shoghi Effendi, Wilmette, IL: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988), p. 15.

  • 2 Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 22.

  • 3 God Passes By (Wilmette, IL: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1974, 2018 printing), pp. 192–93.

  • 4 God Passes By, p. 216.

  • 5 God Passes By, pp. 217 and 220.

  • 6 From a previously untranslated Tablet.

  • 7 Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, CLI, ¶ 2.

  • 8 “‘Amá’ is defined as an extremely thin and subtle cloud, seen and then not seen. For shouldst thou gaze with the utmost care, thou wouldst discern something, but as soon as thou dost look again, it ceaseth to be seen. For this reason, in the usage of mystics who seek after truth, ‘Amá’ signifieth the Universal Reality without individuations as such, for these individuations exist in the mode of uncompounded simplicity and oneness and are not differentiated from the Divine Essence. Thus they are individuated and not individuated. This is the station alluded to by the terms Aḥadíyyih [Absolute Oneness] and ‘Amá’. This is the station of the “Hidden Treasure” mentioned in the Ḥadíth. The divine attributes, therefore, are individuations that exist in the Essence but are not differentiated therefrom. They are seen and then not seen. This, in brief, is what is meant by ‘Amá’.” (From a previously untranslated Tablet of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.)

  • 9 The Manifestation of God.

  • 10 Qur’án 6:103.

  • 11 Aḥmad, Muḥammad, and Maḥmúd are names and titles of the Prophet derived from the verb “to praise”, “to extol”.

  • 12 Qur’án 17:110.

  • 13 Cf. Qur’án 76:1.

  • 14 Literally, “in the garden of Ghawthíyyih”. The Risáliy-i-Ghawthíyyih is a mystical treatise by ‘Abdu’l-Qádir-i-Gílání (ca. 1077–1166). The sentence that follows is a quotation from this work.

  • 15 Qur’án 2:282, 16:69.

  • 16 Qur’án 20:47.

  • 17 ‘Aṭṭár (ca. 1119–1230) in his Manṭiqu’ṭ-Ṭayr (The Conference of the Birds) has elaborated seven valleys through which the birds pass in search of their king. Bahá’u’lláh refers to ‘Aṭṭár’s scheme of the valleys. Rúmí (1207–1273) alludes to the “seven cities of love” crossed by ‘Aṭṭár.

  • 18 Qur’án 29:69.

  • 19 Majnún means “madman”. This is the title of the celebrated lover of ancient Persian and Arabian lore whose beloved was Laylí. Symbolizing true human love bordering on the divine, the story has been the theme of many Persian romantic poems, most famously that of Niẓámí, written in 1188.

  • 20 Arabic proverb.

  • 21 A reference to the Islamic profession of faith: “No God is there but God, and Muḥammad is the Messenger of God.”

  • 22 Saná’í (ca. 1045–1131).

  • 23 Saná’í.

  • 24 Qur’án 50:30.

  • 25 Rúmí.

  • 26 An allusion to the Ḥadíth in which God is said to address the Prophet Muhammad in these words: “But for Thee, I would not have created the spheres.”

  • 27 From a poem of Bahá’u’lláh.

  • 28 Hátif-i-Iṣfahání (d.1783).

  • 29 Qur’án 67:3.

  • 30 Qur’án 41:53.

  • 31 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 32 Shaykh Abú Ismá‘íl ‘Abdu’lláh Anṣárí of Hirát (1006–1089), a Ṣúfí master, poet, and scholar.

  • 33 Qur’án 1:6.

  • 34 Rúmí.

  • 35 Qur’án 2:156.

  • 36 Qur’án 4:78.

  • 37 Qur’án 18:39.

  • 38 The Prophet Muḥammad.

  • 39 Rúmí.

  • 40 Qur’án 16:61.

  • 41 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 42 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 43 Qur’án 83:28.

  • 44 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 45 From a prayer of Imám ‘Alí.

  • 46 “But for Thee” refers to the Ḥadíth quoted in note 26. “We have failed to know Thee” alludes to a prayer attributed to Muḥammad that says, “We have not known Thee, O God, as Thou oughtest to be known.” “Or even closer” alludes to Qur’án 53:9.

  • 47 Sa‘dí (ca. 1213–1292), author of the Gulistán and other poetical works.

  • 48 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 49 Rúmí; a reference to Qur’án 18:71.

  • 50 Qur’án 57:3.

  • 51 Rúmí.

  • 52 This refers to Bahá’u’lláh Himself, Who had not yet declared His mission.

  • 53 Qur’án 4:130.

  • 54 Cf. ‘Aṭṭár.

  • 55 Ibn-i-Fáriḍ (1181–1235).

  • 56 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 57 Cf. Qur’án 50:21.

  • 58 Saná’í.

  • 59 The Prophet Muḥammad.

  • 60 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 61 Rúmí.

  • 62 Qur’án 9:51.

  • 63 Rúmí.

  • 64 Qur’án 76:5.

  • 65 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 66 Qur’án 28:88.

  • 67 Qur’án 15:21.

  • 68 Hátif-i-Iṣfahání.

  • 69 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 70 Attributed to Rúmí.

  • 71 A reference to two Ṣúfí concepts. The doctrine of the unity of existence is commonly ascribed to Ibnu’l-Arabí (1165–1240), that of the unity of appearance to Aḥmad Sirhindí (1564–1624). See ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, chapter 82.

  • 72 Qur’án 17:79. A reference to the station of the Manifestation of God.

  • 73 “The word ‘Guardian’ in the Seven Valleys has no connection with the Bahá’í Guardianship.” (From a letter dated 8 January 1949 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi.)

  • 74 Qur’án 2:90.

  • 75 Rúmí.

  • 76 Ibn-i-Fáriḍ.

  • 77 In what follows, Bahá’u’lláh interprets the meaning of each of the five letters comprising the word “sparrow” (gunjishk) in Persian.

  • 78 The recipient of this Tablet was Mírzá Hádí Qazvíní.

  • 79 Allusions to the Muslim profession of faith. See note 21.

  • 80 The Báb.

  • 81 An allusion to Bahá’u’lláh’s approaching declaration.

  • 82 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 83 Rúmí.

  • 84 Qur’án 76:5.

  • 85 Qur’án 21:69.

  • 86 Qur’án 67:3.

  • 87 Rúmí.

  • 88 Rúmí.

  • 89 Rúmí.

  • 90 Qur’án 4:78–79.

  • 91 A reference to the three levels of certitude in the Islamic mystical tradition.

  • 92 Qur’án 39:53.

  • 93 Cf. Qur’án 37:173.

  • 94 See note 71.

  • 95 Rúmí. Bahá’u’lláh is here comparing Shaykh ‘Abdu’r-Raḥmán, the recipient of the Tablet, with Ḥusámu’d-Dín Chalabí, to whom Rúmí dedicated his Mathnaví. Ḥusámu’d-Dín means “sword of faith”.

  • 96 Sa‘dí.

  • 97 Qur’án 41:30.

  • 98 Qur’án 11:112.

  • 99 Sa‘dí.

  • 100 Sa‘dí.

  • 101 Rúmí.

  • 102 From a prayer attributed to Imám ‘Alí.

  • 103 Cf. Rúmí. Here Rúmí tells a story of four evil birds which, when put to death, changed into four birds of goodness. The allegory refers to subduing evil qualities and replacing them with good.

  • 104 Qur’án 89: 29–30.

  • 105 Cf. Qur’án 41:53.

  • 106 Qur’án 17:14.

  • 107 Famed writers on grammar and rhetoric.

  • 108 Rúmí.

  • 109 Qur’án 59:19.

  • 110 Qur’án 18:17.

  • 111 Qur’án 24:37.

  • 112 Qur’án 2:282.

  • 113 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 114 Qur’án 83:26.

  • 115 Qur’án 2:156.

  • 116 Rúmí.

  • 117 Qur’án 21:27.

  • 118 Sa‘dí.

  • 119 Rúmí. A reference to the Cyclic Theory of Avicenna (Abu-‘Alí Síná [980–1037]).

  • 120 Rúmí

  • 121 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 122 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 123 Rúmí.

  • 124 An intimation of Bahá’u’lláh’s imminent Manifestation.

  • 125 Rúmí.

  • 126 Qur’án 76:13.

  • 127 A famous adage cited in many Islamic sources.

  • 128 Qur’án 55:29.

  • 129 Cf. Qur’án 6:79.

  • 130 Qur’án 6:75.

  • 131 Rúmí.

  • 132 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 133 From a Ḥadíth.

  • 134 See the Seven Valleys, ¶ 44.

  • 135 Cf. Qur’án 35:43, 48:23.

  • 136 Qur’án 4:166.

  • 137 Cf. Qur’án 7:143.

  • 138 Rúmí. Shams-i-Tabríz was the Ṣúfí who exerted a powerful influence on Rúmí, diverting his attention from science to mysticism. A great part of Rúmí’s works are dedicated to him.

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