Ponder a while upon the verses concerning the Divine Presence, which have been sent down in the Qur’án by Him Who is the Lord of the kingdom of names, perchance thou mayest discover the Straight Path, and be made an instrument for the guidance of His creatures. Such a one as thou must needs in this day arise to serve this Cause. The abasement of this Wronged One as well as thy glory shall both pass away. Strive thou, that haply thou mayest achieve a deed the fragrance of which shall never fade from the earth. Concerning the Divine Presence there hath been sent down what no denier hath been or is now able to refute or repudiate. He—blessed and exalted be He—saith: “It is God Who hath reared the heavens without pillars thou canst behold; then mounted His throne, and imposed laws on the sun and moon: each traveleth to its appointed goal. He ordereth all things. He maketh His signs clear, that ye may have firm faith in the Presence of your Lord.” He also saith: “To him who hopeth to attain the Presence of God, the set time of God will surely come. And He is the Hearer, the Knower.” And further He—exalted be He—saith: “As for those who believe not in the signs of God, or that they shall ever attain His Presence, these of My mercy shall despair, and these doth a grievous chastisement await.” And likewise He saith: “And they say, ‘What! when we shall have lain hidden in the earth, shall we become a new creation?’ Yea, they deny that they shall attain the Presence of their Lord.” And likewise He saith: “They truly doubt the Presence of their Lord. He, verily, overshadoweth all things.” And likewise He saith: “Verily, they who hope not to attain Our Presence, and find their satisfaction in this world’s life, and rest on it, and who of Our signs are heedless—these! their abode the fire, in recompense of their deeds!” And likewise He saith: “But when Our clear signs are recited to them, they who look not forward to attain Our Presence, say, ‘Bring a different Qur’án from this, or make some change in it.’ Say: It is not for Me to change it as Mine own soul prompteth. I follow only what is revealed to Me: verily, I fear, if I rebel against My Lord, the punishment of a great day.” And likewise He saith: “Then gave We the Book to Moses—complete for Him who should do right, and a decision for all matters, and a guidance, and a mercy, that they might believe in the Presence of their Lord.” And likewise he saith: “They are those who believe not in the signs of the Lord, or that they shall ever attain His Presence. Vain, therefore, are their works; and no weight will We allow them on the Day of Resurrection. This shall be their reward—Hell. Because they were unbelievers, and treated My signs and My Apostles with scorn.” And likewise He saith: “Hath the history of Moses reached thee? When He saw a fire, and said to His family, ‘Tarry ye here, for I perceive a fire; haply I may bring you a brand from it, or find at the fire a guide.’ And when He came to it, He was called to, ‘O Moses! Verily, I am Thy Lord; therefore pull off Thy shoes, for Thou art in the holy vale of Towa. And I have chosen Thee; hearken then to what shall be revealed. Verily, I am God, there is no God but Me. Therefore, worship Me.’” And likewise He saith: “Have they not considered within themselves that God hath not created the heavens and the earth and all that is between them but for a serious end, and for a fixed term? But truly most men believe not that they shall attain the Presence of their Lord.” And likewise He saith: “What! Have they no thought that they shall be raised again for the Great Day, the Day when mankind shall stand before the Lord of the worlds?” And likewise He saith: “We heretofore gave the Book to Moses. Have thou no doubt as to His attaining Our Presence.” And He saith: “Aye! But when the earth shall be crushed with crushing, crushing, and thy Lord shall come and the angels rank on rank.” And likewise He saith: “Fain would they put out the light of God with their mouths! But though the infidels hate it, God will perfect His light.” And likewise He saith: “And when Moses had fulfilled the term, and was journeying with His family, He perceived a fire on the mountain side. He said to His family: ‘Wait ye, for I perceive a fire, haply I may bring you tidings from it, or a brand from the fire to warm you.’ And when He came up to it, a Voice cried to Him out of the Bush from the right side of the Vale in the sacred Spot: ‘O Moses, I truly am God, the Lord of the worlds!’”
In all the Divine Books the promise of the Divine Presence hath been explicitly recorded. By this Presence is meant the Presence of Him Who is the Dayspring of the signs, and the Dawning-Place of the clear tokens, and the Manifestation of the Excellent Names, and the Source of the attributes, of the true God, exalted be His glory. God in His Essence and in His own Self hath ever been unseen, inaccessible, and unknowable. By Presence, therefore, is meant the Presence of the One Who is His Vicegerent amongst men. He, moreover, hath never had, nor hath He, any peer or likeness. For were He to have any peer or likeness, how could it then be demonstrated that His being is exalted above, and His essence sanctified from, all comparison and likeness? Briefly, there hath been revealed in the Kitáb-i-Íqán (Book of Certitude) concerning the Presence and Revelation of God that which will suffice the fair-minded. We beseech Him—exalted be He—to aid every one to become the essence of truthfulness, and to draw nigh unto Him. He, verily, is the Lord of strength and power. No God is there but Him, the All-Hearing, the Lord of Utterance, the Almighty, the All-Praised.
O thou who art reputed for thy learning! Bid men to do that which is praiseworthy, and be not of such as tarry. Observe thou with a keen eye. The Sun of Truth shineth resplendently, at the bidding of the Lord of the kingdom of utterance, and the King of the heaven of knowledge, above the horizon of the prison-city of ‘Akká. Repudiation hath not veiled it, and ten thousand hosts arrayed against it were powerless to withhold it from shining. Thou canst excuse thyself no longer. Either thou must recognize it, or—God forbid—arise and deny all the Prophets!
Reflect, O Shaykh, upon the Shí‘ih sect. How many the edifices which they reared with the hands of idle fancies and vain imaginings, and how numerous the cities which they built! At length those vain imaginings were converted into bullets and aimed at Him Who is the Prince of the world. Not one single soul among the leaders of that sect acknowledged Him in the Day of His Revelation! Whenever His blessed name was mentioned, all would say: “May God hasten the joy His coming will bring!” On the day of the Revelation of that Sun of Truth, however, all, as hath been observed, have exclaimed, saying: “May God hasten His chastisement!” He Who was the Essence of being and Lord of the seen and unseen they suspended, and committed what made the Tablet to weep, and the Pen to groan, and the cries of the sincere to break forth, and the tears of the favored ones to flow.
Meditate, O Shaykh, and be fair in what thou sayest. The followers of Shaykh-i-Ahsá’í (Shaykh Aḥmad) have, by the aid of God, apprehended that which was veiled from the comprehension of others, and of which they remained deprived. Briefly, in every age and century differences have arisen in the days of the manifestation of the Daysprings of Revelation, and the Dawning-Places of inspiration, and the Repositories of Divine knowledge, differences which have been caused and provoked by lying and impious souls. To expatiate on this is not permissible. Thou art thyself better acquainted and more familiar with the idle fancies of the superstitious and the vain imaginings of the doubters.
In this day, this Wronged One requesteth thee and the other divines who have drunk of the cup of the knowledge of God, and are illumined by the shining words of the Daystar of Justice, to appoint some person, without informing any one, and despatch him to these regions, and enable him to remain a while in the island of Cyprus, and associate with Mírzá Yaḥyá, perchance he may become aware of the fundamentals of this Faith and of the source of the Divine laws and commandments.
Wert thou to ponder a while, thou wouldst bear witness unto the wisdom, and the power, and the sovereignty of God, exalted be His glory. The few who were unaware of this Cause, and had not met Us, have spoken in such a manner that all things, and those souls who are well assured, pleased, and pleasing unto God, have testified unto the imposture of these heedless ones. Wert thou now to exert thyself, the truth of this Cause would be made apparent unto mankind, and the people would be delivered from this grievous and oppressive darkness. Who else but Bahá can speak forth before the face of men, and who else but He can have the power to pronounce that which He was bidden by God, the Lord of Hosts?
This heedless one hath now clung to the practice of Rawdih-khání (traditional lamentation for the Imám Ḥusayn). He—I swear by God—is in evident error. For it is the belief of this people that during the Revelation of the Qá’im, the Imáms—may the peace of God be upon them—have arisen from their sepulchres. This verily is the truth, and no doubt is there about it. We beseech God to bestow upon the superstitious a portion of the living waters of certitude which are streaming from the wellspring of the Most Sublime Pen, that all may attain unto that which becometh these days.
O Shaykh! While hemmed in by tribulations this Wronged One is occupied in setting down these words. On every side the flame of oppression and tyranny can be discerned. On the one hand, tidings have reached Us that Our loved ones have been arrested in the land of Tá (Ṭihrán) and this notwithstanding that the sun, and the moon, and the land, and the sea all testify that this people are adorned with the adornment of fidelity, and have clung and will cling to naught except that which can ensure the exaltation of the government, and the maintenance of order within the nation, and the tranquillity of the people.
O Shaykh! We have time and again stated that for a number of years We have extended Our aid unto His Majesty the Sháh. For years no untoward incident hath occurred in Persia. The reins of the stirrers of sedition among various sects were held firmly in the grasp of power. None hath transgressed his limits. By God! This people have never been, nor are they now, inclined to mischief. Their hearts are illumined with the light of the fear of God, and adorned with the adornment of His love. Their concern hath ever been and now is for the betterment of the world. Their purpose is to obliterate differences, and quench the flame of hatred and enmity, so that the whole earth may come to be viewed as one country.
On the other hand, the officials of the Persian Embassy in the Great City (Constantinople) are energetically and assiduously seeking to exterminate these wronged ones. They desire one thing, and God desireth another. Consider now what hath befallen the trusted ones of God in every land. At one time they have been accused of theft and larceny; at another they have been calumniated in a manner without parallel in this world. Answer thou fairly. What could be the results and consequences, in foreign countries, of the accusation of theft brought by the Persian Embassy against its own subjects? If this Wronged One was ashamed, it was not because of the humiliation it brought this servant, but rather because of the shame of its becoming known to the Ambassadors of foreign countries how incompetent and lacking in understanding are several eminent officials of the Persian Embassy. “Flingest thou thy calumnies into the face of Them Whom the one true God hath made the Trustees of the treasures of His seventh sphere?” Briefly, instead of seeking, as they should, through Him Who occupieth this sublime station, to attain unto the most exalted ranks, and to obtain His advice, they have exerted themselves and are striving their utmost to put out His light. However, according to what hath been reported, His Excellency the Ambassador Mu’ínu’l-Mulk, Mírzá Muḥsin Khán—may God assist him—was, at that time, absent from Constantinople. Such things have happened because it was believed that His Majesty the Sháh of Persia—may the All-Merciful assist him—was angry with them that have attained and revolve round the Sanctuary of Wisdom. God well knoweth and testifieth that this Wronged One hath, at all times, been cleaving fast unto whatever would be conducive to the glory of both the government and the people. God, verily, is sufficient Witness.
Describing the people of Bahá, the Most Sublime Pen hath sent down these words: “These, verily, are men who if they come to cities of pure gold will consider them not; and if they meet the fairest and most comely of women will turn aside.” Thus hath it been sent down by the Most Sublime Pen for the people of Bahá, on the part of Him Who is the Counsellor, the Omniscient. In the concluding passages of the Tablet to His Majesty the Emperor of Paris (Napoleon III) these exalted words have been revealed: “Exultest thou over the treasures thou dost possess, knowing they shall perish? Rejoicest thou in that thou rulest a span of earth, when the whole world, in the estimation of the people of Bahá, is worth as much as the black in the eye of a dead ant? Abandon it unto such as have set their affections upon it, and turn thou unto Him Who is the Desire of the world.”
God alone—exalted be His glory—is cognizant of the things which befell this Wronged One. Every day bringeth a fresh report of stories current against Us at the Embassy in Constantinople. Gracious God! The sole aim of their machinations is to bring about the extermination of this servant. They are, however, oblivious of the fact that abasement in the path of God is My true glory. In the newspapers the following hath been recorded: “Touching the fraudulent dealings of some of the exiles of ‘Akká, and the excesses committed by them against several people, etc.…” Unto them who are the exponents of justice and the daysprings of equity the intention of the writer is evident and his purpose clear. Briefly, he arose and inflicted upon Me divers tribulations, and treated Me with injustice and cruelty. By God! This Wronged One would not barter this place of exile for the Most Sublime Habitation. In the estimation of men of insight whatsoever befalleth in the path of God is manifest glory and a supreme attainment. Already We have said: “Glory to Thee, O my God! But for the tribulations which are sustained in Thy path, how could Thy true lovers be recognized; and were it not for the trials which are borne for love of Thee, how could the station of such as yearn for Thee be revealed?”
Such abasement hath been inflicted that each day they spread fresh calumnies. This Wronged One, however, cleaveth to seemly patience. Would that His Majesty the Sháh of Persia would ask for a report of the things which befell Us in Constantinople, that he might become fully acquainted with the true facts. O Sháh! I adjure thee by thy Lord, the God of Mercy, to look into this matter with the eye of fairness. Is there to be found a just man who will judge in this day according to that which God hath sent down in His Book? Where is the fair-minded person who will equitably consider what hath been perpetrated against Us without any clear token or proof?
O Shaykh! Ponder the behavior of men. The inmates of the cities of knowledge and wisdom are sore perplexed asking themselves why it is that the Shí‘ih sect, which regarded itself as the most learned, the most righteous, and the most pious of all the peoples of the world, hath turned aside in the Day of His Revelation, and hath shown a cruelty such as hath never been experienced. It is incumbent upon thee to reflect a while. From the inception of this sect until the present day how great hath been the number of the divines that have appeared, none of whom became cognizant of the nature of this Revelation. What could have been the cause of this waywardness? Were We to mention it, their limbs would cleave asunder. It is necessary for them to meditate, to meditate for a thousand thousand years, that haply they may attain unto a sprinkling from the ocean of knowledge, and discover the things whereof they are oblivious in this day.
I was walking in the Land of Tá (Ṭihrán)—the dayspring of the signs of thy Lord—when lo, I heard the lamentation of the pulpits and the voice of their supplication unto God, blessed and glorified be He. They cried out and said: “O God of the world and Lord of the nations! Thou beholdest our state and the things which have befallen us by reason of the cruelty of Thy servants. Thou hast created us and revealed us for Thy glorification and praise. Thou dost now hear what the wayward proclaim upon us in Thy days. By Thy might! Our souls are melted and our limbs are trembling. Alas, alas! Would that we had never been created and revealed by Thee!”
The hearts of them that enjoy near access to God are consumed by these words, and from them the cries of such as are devoted to Him are raised. Time and again have We, for the sake of God, admonished the distinguished divines, and summoned them unto the Most Sublime Horizon, that perchance they might, in the days of His Revelation, obtain their portion of the ocean of the utterance of Him Who is the Desire of the world, and remain not utterly deprived thereof.
In most of Our Tablets this most weighty exhortation hath been sent down from the heaven of His all-encompassing mercy. We said: “O concourse of rulers and divines! Incline your ears unto the Voice calling from the horizon of ‘Akká. Verily, it aideth you to proceed aright, and draweth you nigh unto Him, and directeth your steps towards the station which God hath made the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Dawning-Place of His splendors. O peoples of the world! He Who is the Most Great Name is come, on the part of the Ancient King, and hath announced unto men this Revelation which lay hid in His knowledge, and was preserved in the treasury of His protection, and was written down by the Most Sublime Pen in the Books of God, the Lord of Lords. O people of Shín (Shíráz)! Have ye forgotten My loving-kindness and My mercy that have surpassed all created things, and which proceeded from God Who layeth low the necks of men?”
In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book) the following hath been revealed: “Say: O leaders of religion! Weigh not the Book of God with such standards and sciences as are current amongst you, for the Book itself is the unerring Balance established amongst men. In this most perfect Balance whatsoever the peoples and kindreds possess must be weighed, while the measure of its weight should be tested according to its own standard, did ye but know it. The eye of My loving-kindness weepeth sore over you, inasmuch as ye have failed to recognize the One upon Whom ye have been calling in the daytime and in the night season, at even and at morn. Advance, O people, with snow-white faces and radiant hearts, unto the blest and crimson Spot, wherein the Tree beyond which there is no passing is calling: ‘Verily, there is none other God beside Me, the Omnipotent Protector, the Self-Subsisting!’ O ye leaders of religion in Persia! Who is the man amongst you that can rival Me in vision or insight? Where is he to be found that dareth to claim to be My equal in utterance or wisdom? No, by My Lord, the All-Merciful! All on the earth shall pass away; and this is the face of your Lord, the Almighty, the Well-Beloved. We have decreed, O people, that the highest and last end of all learning be the recognition of Him Who is the Object of all knowledge; and yet behold how ye have allowed your learning to shut you out, as by a veil, from Him Who is the Dayspring of this Light, through Whom every hidden thing hath been revealed. Say: This, verily, is the heaven in which the Mother Book is treasured, could ye but comprehend it. He it is Who hath caused the Rock to shout, and the Burning Bush to lift up its voice upon the Mount rising above the Holy Land, and proclaim: ‘The Kingdom is God’s, the sovereign Lord of all, the All-Powerful, the Loving!’ We have not entered any school, nor read any of your dissertations. Incline your ears to the words of this unlettered One, wherewith He summoneth you unto God, the Ever-Abiding. Better is this for you than all the treasures of the earth, could ye but comprehend it. Whoso interpreteth what hath been sent down from the heaven of Revelation, and altereth its evident meaning, he, verily, is of them that have perverted the Sublime Word of God, and is of the lost ones in the Lucid Book.”
Thereupon We heard the groaning of the true Faith, and said unto it: “Wherefore, O true Faith, do I hear Thee cry out in the night season, and groan in the daytime, and utter Thy lamentations at daybreak?” She made reply: “O Prince of the world that standest revealed in the Most Great Name! The heedless ones have hamstrung Thy white She-Camel, and caused Thy Crimson Ark to founder, and wished to put out Thy Light, and to veil the face of Thy Cause. Wherefore hath the voice of My lamentation been lifted up, as well as the voice of the lamentation of all created things, and yet the people are for the most part unaware.” The true Faith hath laid fast hold, in this day, on the hem of Our bounty, and circleth about Our Person.
O Shaykh! Enter thou My presence, that thou mayest behold what the eye of the universe hath never beheld, and hear that which the ear of the whole creation hath never heard, that haply thou mayest free thyself from the mire of vague fancies, and set thy face towards the Most Sublime Station, wherein this Wronged One calleth aloud: “The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the All-Praised!” We fain would hope that through thine exertions the wings of men may be sanctified from the mire of self and desire, and be made worthy to soar in the atmosphere of God’s love. Wings that are besmirched with mire can never soar. Unto this testify they who are the exponents of justice and equity, and yet the people are in evident doubt.
O Shaykh! Protests have been voiced against Us from every side—protests such as Our pen craveth pardon for setting down. Nevertheless, by reason of Our great mercy, We have replied unto them, in accordance with the understanding of men, that haply they may be delivered from the fire of negation and denial, and become illumined with the light of affirmation and acceptance. Equity is rarely to be found, and justice hath ceased to exist.
Among others, these perspicuous verses have, in answer to certain individuals, been sent down from the Kingdom of Divine knowledge: “O thou who hast set thy face towards the splendors of My Countenance! Vague fancies have encompassed the dwellers of the earth and debarred them from turning towards the Horizon of Certitude, and its brightness, and its manifestations and its lights. Vain imaginings have withheld them from Him Who is the Self-Subsisting. They speak as prompted by their own caprices, and understand not. Among them are those who have said: ‘Have the verses been sent down?’ Say: ‘Yea, by Him Who is the Lord of the heavens!’ ‘Hath the Hour come?’ ‘Nay, more; it hath passed, by Him Who is the Revealer of clear tokens! Verily, the Inevitable is come, and He, the True One, hath appeared with proof and testimony. The Plain is disclosed, and mankind is sore vexed and fearful. Earthquakes have broken loose, and the tribes have lamented, for fear of God, the Lord of Strength, the All-Compelling.’ Say: ‘The stunning trumpet blast hath been loudly raised, and the Day is God’s, the One, the Unconstrained.’ ‘Hath the Catastrophe come to pass?’ Say: ‘Yea, by the Lord of Lords!’ ‘Is the Resurrection come?’ ‘Nay, more; He Who is the Self-Subsisting hath appeared with the Kingdom of His signs.’ ‘Seest thou men laid low?’ ‘Yea, by my Lord, the Exalted, the Most High!’ ‘Have the tree-stumps been uprooted?’ ‘Yea, more; the mountains have been scattered in dust; by Him the Lord of attributes!’ They say: ‘Where is Paradise, and where is Hell?’ Say: ‘The one is reunion with Me; the other thine own self, O thou who dost associate a partner with God and doubtest.’ They say: ‘We see not the Balance.’ Say: ‘Surely, by my Lord, the God of Mercy! None can see it except such as are endued with insight.’ ‘Have the stars fallen?’ Say: ‘Yea, when He Who is the Self-Subsisting dwelt in the Land of Mystery (Adrianople). Take heed, ye who are endued with discernment!’ All the signs appeared when We drew forth the Hand of Power from the bosom of majesty and might. Verily, the Crier hath cried out, when the promised time came, and they that have recognized the splendors of Sinai have swooned away in the wilderness of hesitation, before the awful majesty of thy Lord, the Lord of creation. The trumpet asketh: ‘Hath the Bugle been sounded?’ Say: ‘Yea, by the King of Revelation!, when He mounted the throne of His Name, the All-Merciful.’ Darkness hath been chased away by the dawning-light of the mercy of thy Lord, the Source of all light. The breeze of the All-Merciful hath wafted, and the souls have been quickened in the tombs of their bodies. Thus hath the decree been fulfilled by God, the Mighty, the Beneficent. They that have gone astray have said: ‘When were the heavens cleft asunder?’ Say: ‘While ye lay in the graves of waywardness and error.’ Among the heedless is he who rubbeth his eyes, and looketh to the right and to the left. Say: ‘Blinded art thou. No refuge hast thou to flee to.’ And among them is he who saith: ‘Have men been gathered together?’ Say: ‘Yea, by my Lord!, whilst thou didst lie in the cradle of idle fancies.’ And among them is he who saith: ‘Hath the Book been sent down through the power of the true Faith?’ Say: ‘The true Faith itself is astounded. Fear ye, O ye men of understanding heart!’ And among them is he who saith: ‘Have I been assembled with others, blind?’ Say: ‘Yea, by Him that rideth upon the clouds!’ Paradise is decked with mystic roses, and hell hath been made to blaze with the fire of the impious. Say: ‘The light hath shone forth from the horizon of Revelation, and the whole earth hath been illumined at the coming of Him Who is the Lord of the Day of the Covenant!’ The doubters have perished, whilst he that turned, guided by the light of assurance, unto the Dayspring of Certitude hath prospered. Blessed art thou, who hast fixed thy gaze upon Me, for this Tablet which hath been sent down for thee—a Tablet which causeth the souls of men to soar. Commit it to memory, and recite it. By My life! It is a door to the mercy of thy Lord. Well is it with him that reciteth it at eventide and at dawn. We, verily, hear thy praise of this Cause, through which the mountain of knowledge was crushed, and men’s feet have slipped. My glory be upon thee and upon whomsoever hath turned unto the Almighty, the All-Bounteous. The Tablet is ended, but the theme is unexhausted. Be patient, for thy Lord is patient.”
These are verses We sent down previously, soon after Our arrival in the prison-city of ‘Akká, and We have sent them unto thee, that thou mayest be acquainted with what their lying tongues have spoken, when Our Cause came unto them with might and sovereignty. The foundations of idle fancies have trembled, and the heaven of vain imaginings hath been cleft asunder, and yet the people are in doubt and in contention with Him. They have denied the testimony of God and His proof, after He came from the heaven of power with the kingdom of His signs. They have cast away what had been prescribed, and perpetrated what had been forbidden them in the Book. They have abandoned their God, and clung unto their desires. They truly have strayed and are in error. They read the verses and deny them. They behold the clear tokens and turn aside. They truly are lost in strange doubt.
We have admonished Our loved ones to fear God, a fear which is the fountain-head of all goodly deeds and virtues. It is the commander of the hosts of justice in the city of Bahá. Happy the man that hath entered the shadow of its luminous standard, and laid fast hold thereon. He, verily, is of the Companions of the Crimson Ark, which hath been mentioned in the Qayyúm-i-Asmá.
Say: O people of God! Adorn your temples with the adornment of trustworthiness and piety. Help, then, your Lord with the hosts of goodly deeds and a praiseworthy character. We have forbidden you dissension and conflict in My Books, and My Scriptures, and My Scrolls, and My Tablets, and have wished thereby naught else save your exaltation and advancement. Unto this testify the heavens and the stars thereof, and the sun and the radiance thereof, and the trees and the leaves thereof, and the seas and the waves thereof, and the earth and the treasures thereof. We pray God to assist His loved ones, and aid them in that which beseemeth them in this blest, this mighty, and wondrous station.
Further, in another Tablet, We have said: “O thou who hast fixed thy gaze upon My countenance! Admonish men to fear God. By God! This fear is the chief commander of the army of thy Lord. Its hosts are a praiseworthy character and goodly deeds. Through it have the cities of men’s hearts been opened throughout the ages and centuries, and the standards of ascendancy and triumph raised above all other standards.”
“We will now mention unto thee Trustworthiness and the station thereof in the estimation of God, thy Lord, the Lord of the Mighty Throne. One day of days We repaired unto Our Green Island. Upon Our arrival, We beheld its streams flowing, and its trees luxuriant, and the sunlight playing in their midst. Turning Our face to the right, We beheld what the pen is powerless to describe; nor can it set forth that which the eye of the Lord of Mankind witnessed in that most sanctified, that most sublime, that blest, and most exalted Spot. Turning, then, to the left We gazed on one of the Beauties of the Most Sublime Paradise, standing on a pillar of light, and calling aloud saying: ‘O inmates of earth and heaven! Behold ye My beauty, and My radiance, and My revelation, and My effulgence. By God, the True One! I am Trustworthiness and the revelation thereof, and the beauty thereof. I will recompense whosoever will cleave unto Me, and recognize My rank and station, and hold fast unto My hem. I am the most great ornament of the people of Bahá, and the vesture of glory unto all who are in the kingdom of creation. I am the supreme instrument for the prosperity of the world, and the horizon of assurance unto all beings.’ Thus have We sent down for thee that which will draw men nigh unto the Lord of creation.”
This Wronged One hath, at all times, summoned the peoples of the world unto that which will exalt them, and draw them nigh unto God. From the Most Sublime Horizon there hath shone forth that which leaveth no room unto any one for vacillation, repudiation or denial. The wayward, however, have failed to profit therefrom; nay, it shall only increase their loss.
O Shaykh! It is incumbent upon the divines to unite with His Majesty, the Sháh—may God assist him—and to cleave day and night unto that which will exalt the station of both the government and the nation. This people are assiduously occupied in enlightening the souls of men and in rehabilitating their condition. Unto this testifieth that which hath been sent down by the Most Sublime Pen in this lucid Tablet. How often have things been simple and easy of accomplishment, and yet most men have been heedless, and busied themselves with that which wasteth their time!
One day, while in Constantinople, Kamál Páshá visited this Wronged One. Our conversation turned upon topics profitable unto man. He said that he had learned several languages. In reply We observed: “You have wasted your life. It beseemeth you and the other officials of the Government to convene a gathering and choose one of the divers languages, and likewise one of the existing scripts, or else to create a new language and a new script to be taught children in schools throughout the world. They would, in this way, be acquiring only two languages, one their own native tongue, the other the language in which all the peoples of the world would converse. Were men to take fast hold on that which hath been mentioned, the whole earth would come to be regarded as one country, and the people would be relieved and freed from the necessity of acquiring and teaching different languages.” When in Our presence, he acquiesced, and even evinced great joy and complete satisfaction. We then told him to lay this matter before the officials and ministers of the Government, in order that it might be put into effect throughout the different countries. However, although he often returned to see Us after this, he never again referred to this subject, although that which had been suggested is conducive to the concord and the unity of the peoples of the world.
We fain would hope that the Persian Government will adopt it and carry it out. At present, a new language and a new script have been devised. If thou desirest, We will communicate them to thee. Our purpose is that all men may cleave unto that which will reduce unnecessary labor and exertion, so that their days may be befittingly spent and ended. God, verily, is the Helper, the Knower, the Ordainer, the Omniscient.
God willing, Persia may be adorned with, and attain unto, that whereof she hath thus far been deprived. Say: “O Sháh! Exert thyself so that all the peoples of the world may be illumined with the effulgent splendors of the sun of thy justice. The eyes of this Wronged One are turned towards naught save trustworthiness, truthfulness, purity, and all that profiteth men.” Regard Him not as a traitor. Glorified art Thou, O my God, and my Master, and my Mainstay! Aid Thou His Majesty the Sháh to execute Thy laws and Thy commandments, and show forth Thy justice among Thy servants. Thou art, verily, the All-Bounteous, the Lord of grace abounding, the Almighty, the All-Powerful. The Cause of God hath come as a token of His grace. Happy are they who act; happy are they who understand; happy the man that hath clung unto the truth, detached from all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth.
O Shaykh! Seek thou the shore of the Most Great Ocean, and enter, then, the Crimson Ark which God hath ordained in the Qayyúm-i-Asmá for the people of Bahá. Verily, it passeth over land and sea. He that entereth therein is saved, and he that turneth aside perisheth. Shouldst thou enter therein and attain unto it, set thy face towards the Kaaba of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, and say: “O my God! I beseech Thee by Thy most glorious light, and all Thy lights are verily glorious.” Thereupon, will the doors of the Kingdom be flung wide before thy face, and thou wilt behold what eyes have never beheld, and hear what ears have never heard. This Wronged One exhorteth thee as He hath exhorted thee before, and hath never had any wish for thee save that thou shouldst enter the ocean of the unity of God, the Lord of the worlds. This is the day whereon all created things cry out, and announce unto men this Revelation, through which hath appeared what was concealed and preserved in the knowledge of God, the Mighty, the All-Praised.
O Shaykh! Thou hast heard the sweet melodies of the Doves of Utterance cooing on the boughs of the Lote-Tree of knowledge. Hearken, now, unto the notes of the Birds of Wisdom upraised in the Most Sublime Paradise. They verily will acquaint thee with things of which thou wert wholly unaware. Give ear unto that which the Tongue of Might and Power hath spoken in the Books of God, the Desire of every understanding heart. At this moment a Voice was raised from the Lote-Tree beyond which there is no passing, in the heart of the Most Sublime Paradise, bidding Me relate unto thee that which hath been sent down in the Books and Tablets, and the things spoken by My Forerunner, Who laid down His life for this Great Announcement, this Straight Path. He hath said—and He, verily, speaketh the truth: “I have written down in My mention of Him these gem-like words: ‘No allusion of Mine can allude unto Him, neither anything mentioned in the Bayán.’” And further, He—exalted and glorified be He—saith, concerning this most mighty Revelation, this Great Announcement: “Exalted and glorified is He above the power of any one to reveal Him except Himself, or the description of any of His creatures. I Myself am but the first servant to believe in Him and in His signs, and to partake of the sweet savors of His words from the first-fruits of the Paradise of His knowledge. Yea, by His glory! He is the Truth. There is none other God but Him. All have arisen at His bidding.” Such are the words sung by the Dove of Truth on the boughs of the Divine Lote-Tree. Well is it with him that hath given ear unto its Voice, and quaffed from the oceans of Divine utterance that lie concealed in each of these words. In another connection hath the Voice of the Bayán called aloud from the loftiest branches. He saith—blessed and glorified be He: “In the year nine ye will attain unto all good.” On another occasion He saith: “In the year nine ye will attain unto the Presence of God.” These melodies, uttered by the Birds of the cities of Knowledge, conform with that which hath been sent down by the All-Merciful in the Qur’án. Blessed are the men of insight; blessed they that attain thereunto.
O Shaykh! I swear by God! The River of Mercy floweth, and the Ocean of Utterance surgeth, and the Sun of Revelation shineth forth resplendent. With a detached heart, and a dilated breast, and an utterly truthful tongue, recite thou these sublime words that have been revealed by My Forerunner—the Primal Point. He saith—glorified be His utterance—addressing his honor, ‘Aẓím: “This, verily, is the thing We promised thee, ere the moment We answered thy call. Wait thou until nine will have elapsed from the time of the Bayán. Then exclaim: ‘Blessed, therefore, be God, the most excellent of Makers!’ Say: This, verily, is an Announcement which none except God hath comprehended. Ye, however, will be unaware on that day.” In the year nine this Most Great Revelation arose and shone forth brightly above the horizon of the Will of God. None can deny it save he who is heedless and doubteth. We pray God to aid His servants to return unto Him, and beg forgiveness for the things they committed in this vain life. He, verily, is the Forgiving, the Pardoner, the All-Merciful. In another connection He saith: “I am the first servant to believe in Him, and in His signs.” In like manner, in the Persian Bayán, He saith: “He, verily, is the One Who, under all conditions, proclaimeth: ‘I, in very truth, am God!’” and so on—blessed and glorified be He. That which is meant by Divinity and Godhead hath previously been stated. We have in truth rent the veils asunder and disclosed that which will draw men nigh unto God, Who layeth low the necks of men. Happy the man that hath attained unto justice and equity in this Grace that hath encompassed all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth, as bidden by God, the Lord of the worlds.
O Shaykh! Hearken unto the melodies of the Gospel with the ear of fairness. He saith—glorified be His utterance—prophesying the things that are to come: “But of that Day and Hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father.” By Father in this connection is meant God—exalted be His glory. He, verily, is the True Educator, and the Spiritual Teacher.
Joel saith: “For the Day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?” Firstly, in the sublime utterance set forth in the Gospel He saith that none is aware of the time of the Revelation, that none knoweth it except God, the All-Knowing, Who is cognizant of all. Secondly, He setteth forth the greatness of the Revelation. Likewise, in the Qur’án He saith: “Of what ask they of one another? Of the Great Announcement.” This is the Announcement, the greatness of which hath been mentioned in most of the Books of old and of more recent times. This is the Announcement that hath caused the limbs of mankind to quake, except such as God, the Protector, the Helper, the Succorer, hath willed to exempt. Men have indeed with their own eyes witnessed how all men and all things have been thrown into confusion and been sore perplexed, save those whom God hath chosen to exempt.
O Shaykh! Great is the Cause, and great the Announcement! Patiently and calmly ponder thou upon the resplendent signs and the sublime words, and all that hath been revealed in these days, that haply thou mayest fathom the mysteries that are hid in the Books, and mayest strive to guide His servants. Hearken with thine inner ear unto the Voice of Jeremiah, Who saith: “Oh, for great is that Day, and it hath no equal.” Wert thou to observe with the eye of fairness, thou wouldst perceive the greatness of the Day. Incline thine ear unto the Voice of this All-Knowing Counsellor, and suffer not thyself to be deprived of the mercy that hath surpassed all created things, visible and invisible. Lend an ear unto the song of David. He saith: “Who will bring me into the Strong City?” The Strong City is ‘Akká, which hath been named the Most Great Prison, and which possesseth a fortress and mighty ramparts.
O Shaykh! Peruse that which Isaiah hath spoken in His Book. He saith: “Get thee up into the high mountain, O Zion, that bringest good tidings; lift up Thy Voice with strength, O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings. Lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah: ‘Behold your God! Behold the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him.’” This Day all the signs have appeared. A Great City hath descended from heaven, and Zion trembleth and exulteth with joy at the Revelation of God, for it hath heard the Voice of God on every side. This Day Jerusalem hath attained unto a new Evangel, for in the stead of the sycamore standeth the cedar. Jerusalem is the place of pilgrimage for all the peoples of the world, and hath been named the Holy City. Together with Zion and Palestine, they are all included within these regions. Wherefore, hath it been said: “Blessed is the man that hath migrated to ‘Akká.”
Amos saith: “The Lord will roar from Zion, and utter His Voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.” Carmel, in the Book of God, hath been designated as the Hill of God, and His Vineyard. It is here that, by the grace of the Lord of Revelation, the Tabernacle of Glory hath been raised. Happy are they that attain thereunto; happy they that set their faces towards it. And likewise He saith: “Our God will come, and He will not be silent.”
O Shaykh! Reflect upon these words addressed by Him Who is the Desire of the world to Amos. He saith: “Prepare to meet thy God, O Israel, for, lo, He that formeth the mountains and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, the Lord, the God of Hosts, is His name.” He saith that He maketh the morning darkness. By this is meant that if, at the time of the Manifestation of Him Who conversed on Sinai anyone were to regard himself as the true morn, he will, through the might and power of God, be turned into darkness. He truly is the false dawn, though believing himself to be the true one. Woe unto him, and woe unto such as follow him without a clear token from God, the Lord of the worlds.
Isaiah saith: “The Lord alone shall be exalted in that Day.” Concerning the greatness of the Revelation He saith: “Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty.” And in another connection He saith: “The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the Lord, and the splendor of our God.”
These passages stand in need of no commentary. They are shining and manifest as the sun, and glowing and luminous as light itself. Every fair-minded person is led, by the fragrance of these words, unto the garden of understanding, and attaineth unto that from which most men are veiled and debarred. Say: Fear God, O people, and follow not the doubts of such as shout aloud, who have broken the Covenant of God and His Testament, and denied His mercy that hath preceded all that are in the heavens and all that are on earth.
And likewise, He saith: “Say to them that are of a fearful heart: be strong, fear not, behold your God.” This blessed verse is a proof of the greatness of the Revelation, and of the greatness of the Cause, inasmuch as the blast of the trumpet must needs spread confusion throughout the world, and fear and trembling amongst all men. Well is it with him who hath been illumined with the light of trust and detachment. The tribulations of that Day will not hinder or alarm him. Thus hath the Tongue of Utterance spoken, as bidden by Him Who is the All-Merciful. He, verily, is the Strong, the All-Powerful, the All-Subduing, the Almighty. It is now incumbent upon them who are endowed with a hearing ear and a seeing eye to ponder these sublime words, in each of which the oceans of inner meaning and explanation are hidden, that haply the words uttered by Him Who is the Lord of Revelation may enable His servants to attain, with the utmost joy and radiance, unto the Supreme Goal and Most Sublime Summit—the dawning-place of this Voice.
O Shaykh! Wert thou to perceive, be it less than a needle’s eye, the breaths of Mine utterance, thou wouldst abandon the world and all that is therein, and wouldst set thy face towards the lights of the countenance of the Desired One. Briefly, in the sayings of Him Who is the Spirit (Jesus) unnumbered significances lie concealed. Unto many things did He refer, but as He found none possessed of a hearing ear or a seeing eye He chose to conceal most of these things. Even as He saith: “But ye cannot bear them now.” That Dawning-Place of Revelation saith that on that Day He Who is the Promised One will reveal the things which are to come. Accordingly in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, and in the Tablets to the Kings, and in the Lawḥ-i-Ra’ís, and in the Lawḥ-i-Fu’ád, most of the things which have come to pass on this earth have been announced and prophesied by the Most Sublime Pen.
In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas the following hath been revealed: “O Land of Tá (Ṭihrán)! Let nothing grieve thee, for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind. He shall, if it be His Will, bless thy throne with one who will rule with justice, who will gather together the flock of God which the wolves have scattered. Such a ruler will, with joy and gladness, turn his face towards, and extend his favors unto, the people of Bahá. He indeed is accounted in the sight of God, as a jewel among men. Upon him rest forever the glory of God, and the glory of all that dwell in the kingdom of His revelation.” These verses were revealed previously. Now, however, the following verse hath been sent down: “O God, my God! Bahá beseecheth Thee and imploreth Thee, by the lights of Thy countenance and the billows of the ocean of Thy Revelation, and the effulgent splendors of the Sun of Thine utterance, to aid the Sháh to be fair and equitable. If it be Thy wish, bless Thou, through him, the throne of authority and sovereignty. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. There is none other God but Thee, Who hearest, Who art ready to answer.” “Rejoice with great joy, O Land of Tá (Ṭihrán), for God hath made thee the dayspring of His light, inasmuch as within thee was born the Manifestation of His glory. Be thou glad for this name that hath been conferred upon thee—a name through which the Daystar of grace hath shed its splendor, through which both earth and heaven have been illumined. Erelong will the state of affairs within thee be changed, and the reins of power fall into the hands of the people. Verily, thy Lord is the All-Knowing. His authority embraceth all things. Rest thou assured in the gracious favor of thy Lord. The eye of His loving-kindness shall everlastingly be directed towards thee. The day is approaching when thy agitation will have been transmuted into peace and quiet calm. Thus hath it been decreed in the Wondrous Book.”
And likewise, in the Lawḥ-i-Fu’ád, and in the Tablet of the King of Paris (Napoleon III), and in other Tablets, there hath been revealed that which will lead every fair-minded person to testify unto the power, and the majesty, and the wisdom of God—exalted be His glory. Were men to observe with the eye of justice, they would be made aware of the secret of this blessed verse: “Neither is there a thing green or sere, but it is noted in a distinct writing,” and would comprehend it. On this day, however, men’s repudiation of the truth hath prevented them from understanding what hath been sent down in truth by Him Who is the Revealer, the Ancient of Days. Gracious God! Perspicuous signs have appeared on every side, and yet men are, for the most part, deprived of the privilege of beholding and of comprehending them. We beseech God to bestow His aid, that all men may recognize the pearls that lie hid within the shells of the Most Great Ocean, and exclaim: “Praised be Thou, O God of the world!”
O concourse of the fair-minded! Observe and reflect upon the billows of the ocean of the utterance and knowledge of God, so that ye may testify with your inner and outer tongues that with Him is the knowledge of all that is in the Book. Nothing escapeth His knowledge. He, verily, hath manifested that which was hidden, when He, upon His return, mounted the throne of the Bayán. All that hath been sent down hath and will come to pass, word for word, upon earth. No possibility is left for anyone either to turn aside or protest. As fairness, however, is disgraced and concealed, most men speak as prompted by their own idle fancies.
O God, my God! Debar not Thy servants from turning their faces towards the light of certitude, that hath dawned above the horizon of Thy will, and suffer them not to be deprived, O my God, of the oceans of Thy signs. They, O my Lord, are Thy servants in Thy cities, and Thy slaves in Thy lands. If Thou hast not mercy upon them, who, then, will show them mercy? Take Thou, O my God, the hands of such as have been drowned in the sea of idle fancies, and deliver them by Thy power and Thy sovereignty. Save them, then, with the arms of Thy might. Powerful art Thou to do what Thou willest, and in Thy right hand are the reins of all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth.
In like manner, the Primal Point saith: “Behold ye Him with His own eyes. Were ye to behold Him with the eyes of another, ye would never recognize and know Him.” This referreth to naught else except this Most Great Revelation. Well is it with them that judge fairly. And likewise, He saith: “The year-old germ that holdeth within itself the potentialities of the Revelation that is to come is endowed with a potency superior to the combined forces of the whole of the Bayán.” These glad-tidings of the Bayán and of the Books of former times have been repeatedly mentioned under divers names in numerous books, that perchance men might judge equitably that which hath arisen and shone forth above the horizon of the will of God, the Lord of the Mighty Throne.
O Shaykh! Tell the people of the Bayán: “Ponder ye these blessed words. He saith: ‘The whole of the Bayán is only a leaf amongst the leaves of His Paradise.’ Be fair, O people, and be not of such as are accounted as lost in the Book of God, the Lord of the worlds.” The blessed Lote-Tree standeth, in this day, before thy face, laden with heavenly, with new and wondrous fruits. Gaze on it, detached from all else save it. Thus hath the Tongue of might and power spoken at this Spot which God hath adorned with the footsteps of His Most Great Name and Mighty Announcement.
And likewise, He saith: “Ere nine will have elapsed from the inception of this Cause, the realities of the created things will not be made manifest. All that thou hast as yet seen is but the stage from the moist germ until We clothed it with flesh. Be patient, until thou beholdest a new creation. Say: ‘Blessed, therefore, be God, the most excellent of Makers!’” And likewise, He hath said regarding the power of this Revelation: “Lawful is it for Him Whom God will make manifest to reject him who is greatest on earth, inasmuch as such a one is but a creature in His grasp, and all things adore Him. After Ḥin (68) a Cause shall be given unto you which ye shall come to know.” And also He saith: “Know thou with absolute certainty, and through the firmly established and most irrevocable decree, that He—exalted be His glory, and magnified be His might, and sanctified be His holiness, and glorified be His grandeur, and lauded be His ways, maketh each thing to be known through its own self; who then can know Him through any one except Himself?” And further, He saith—exalted and glorified be He: “Beware, beware lest, in the days of His Revelation, the Váḥid of the Bayán (eighteen Letters of the Living) shut thee out as by a veil from Him, inasmuch as this Váḥid is but a creature in His sight. And beware, beware that the words sent down in the Bayán shut thee not out as by a veil from Him.” And again, He—exalted be He—saith: “Look not upon Him with any eye except His own. For whosoever looketh upon Him with His eye, will recognize Him; otherwise he will be veiled from Him. Shouldst thou seek God and His Presence, seek thou Him and gaze upon Him.” And likewise, He saith: “Better is it for thee to recite but one of the verses of Him Whom God shall make manifest than to set down the whole of the Bayán, for on that Day that one verse can save thee, whereas the entire Bayán cannot save thee.”
Say: O people of the Bayán! Be fair, be fair; and again, be fair, be fair. Be ye not of them who have made mention of the Manifestation of the Cause of God in the daytime and in the night season, and who, when He, through His grace, appeared, and when the Horizon of Revelation was illumined, pronounced against Him such a judgment as hath provoked the lamentations of the inmates of the Kingdom and of the Realm of Glory, and of such as have circled about the will of God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
Meditate upon these sublime words. He saith: “I, verily, am a believer in Him, and in His Faith, and in His Book, and in His Testimonies, and in His Ways, and in all that proceedeth from Him concerning them. I glory in My kinship with Him, and pride Myself on My belief in Him.” And likewise, He saith: “O congregation of the Bayán and all who are therein! Recognize ye the limits imposed upon you, for such a One as the Point of the Bayán Himself hath believed in Him Whom God shall make manifest, before all things were created. Therein, verily, do I glory before all who are in the kingdom of heaven and earth.” By God! All the atoms of the universe groan and lament at the cruelty perpetrated by the froward among the people of the Bayán. Whither are gone they who are endued with insight and hearing? We beseech God—blessed and glorified be He—to summon them and exhort them unto that which will profit them, and withhold them from that which will harm them. He, in truth, is the Strong, the All-Subduing, the Almighty.
And likewise, He saith: “Suffer not yourselves to be shut out as by a veil from God after He hath revealed Himself. For all that hath been exalted in the Bayán is but as a ring upon My hand, and I Myself am, verily, but a ring upon the hand of Him Whom God shall make manifest—glorified be His mention! He turneth it as He pleaseth, for whatsoever He pleaseth, and through whatsoever He pleaseth. He, verily, is the Help in Peril, the Most High.” And likewise, He saith: “Were He to make of every one on earth a Prophet, all would, in very truth, be accounted as Prophets in the sight of God.” And likewise, He saith: “In the day of the revelation of Him Whom God shall make manifest all that dwell on earth will be equal in His estimation. Whomsoever He ordaineth as a Prophet, he, verily, hath been a Prophet from the beginning that hath no beginning, and will thus remain until the end that hath no end, inasmuch as this is an act of God. And whosoever is made a Vicegerent by Him, shall be a Vicegerent in all the worlds, for this is an act of God. For the will of God can in no wise be revealed except through His will, nor His wish be manifested save through His wish. He, verily, is the All-Conquering, the All-Powerful, the All-Highest.”
Briefly, in every instance He hath stated that which is conducive to the conversion, the advancement, the exaltation, and the guidance of men. A few unfair ones, however, have become a veil, and an insurmountable barrier, and debarred the people from turning towards the lights of His Countenance. We pray God to cast them out by His sovereignty, and seize on them with His seizing power. He, verily, is the Lord of Strength, the Mighty, the All-Wise.
And likewise, He saith: “He—glorified be His mention—resembleth the sun. Were unnumbered mirrors to be placed before it, each would, according to its capacity, reflect the splendor of that sun, and were none to be placed before it, it would still continue to rise and set, and the mirrors alone would be veiled from its light. I, verily, have not fallen short of My duty to admonish that people, and to devise means whereby they may turn towards God, their Lord, and believe in God, their Creator. If, on the day of His Revelation, all that are on earth bear Him allegiance, Mine inmost being will rejoice, inasmuch as all will have attained the summit of their existence, and will have been brought face to face with their Beloved, and will have recognized, to the fullest extent attainable in the world of being, the splendor of Him Who is the Desire of their hearts. If not, My soul will indeed be saddened. I truly have nurtured all things for this purpose. How, then, can anyone be veiled from Him? For this have I called upon God, and will continue to call upon Him. He, verily, is nigh, ready to answer.”
And likewise, He saith: “They will even refuse unto that Tree, which is neither of the East nor of the West, the name believer, for were they so to name Him, they would fail to sadden Him.” Hath thine ear, O world, heard with what helplessness these words were revealed from the dayspring of the will of Him Who is the Dawning-Place of all names? He saith: “I have educated all men, that they may recognize this Revelation, and yet the people of the Bayán refuse to concede even the name believer to that blessed Tree that belongeth neither to the East nor to the West.” Alas, alas, for the things which have befallen Me! By God! There befell Me at the hands of him whom I have nurtured (Mírzá Yaḥyá), by day and by night, what hath caused the Holy Spirit, and the dwellers of the Tabernacle of the Grandeur of God, the Lord of this wondrous Day, to lament.
Likewise, refuting certain disbelievers, He saith: “For none knoweth the time of the Revelation except God. Whenever it appeareth, all must acknowledge the Point of Truth, and render thanks unto God.” They that have turned aside from Me have spoken even as the followers of John (the Baptist) spoke. For they, too, protested against Him Who was the Spirit (Jesus) saying: “The dispensation of John hath not yet ended; wherefore hast thou come?” Now, too, they that have repudiated Us, though they have never known Us and have been at all times ignorant of the fundamentals of this Cause, knowing not from Whom it proceeded or what it signifieth, have spoken that which hath made all created things to sigh and lament. By My life! The mute can never confront the One Who incarnateth in Himself the kingdom of utterance. Fear God, O people, and peruse, then, that which hath been sent down with truth in the eighth Chapter of the sixth Váḥid of the Bayán, and be not of such as have turned aside. He, likewise, hath commanded: “Once every nineteen days this Chapter should be read, that haply they may not be veiled, in the time of the revelation of Him Whom God shall make manifest, by considerations foreign to the verses, which have been, and are still, the weightiest of all proofs and testimonies.”
John, son of Zacharias, said what My Forerunner hath said: “Saying, repent ye, for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He that cometh after Me is mightier than I, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear.” Wherefore, hath My Forerunner, as a sign of submissiveness and humility, said: “The whole of the Bayán is only a leaf amongst the leaves of His Paradise.” And likewise, He saith: “I am the first to adore Him, and pride Myself on My kinship with Him.” And yet, O men, the people of the Bayán have acted in such a manner that Dhi’l-Jawshan, and Ibn-i-Anas, and Asbáhí have sought and still seek refuge with God against such deeds. This Wronged One hath, in the face of all religions, busied Himself day and night with the things that are conducive unto the exaltation of the Cause of God, whereas those men have clung unto that which is the cause of humiliation and injury.
And likewise, He saith: “Recognize Him by His verses. The greater your neglect in seeking to know Him, the more grievously will ye be veiled in fire.” O ye among the people of the Bayán that have turned aside from Me! Ponder upon these most sublime words, that have proceeded from the wellspring of the utterance of Him Who is the Point of Knowledge. Hearken ye, at this moment, unto these words. He saith: “On that Day, the Daystar of Truth will address the people of the Bayán and will recite this Súrih of the Qur’án: ‘Say: O ye unbelievers! I worship not that which ye worship, and ye do not worship that which I worship. I shall never worship that which ye worship, neither will ye worship that which I worship. To you be your religion, to Me My religion.’” Gracious God! Notwithstanding these lucid statements, and these shining and luminous tokens all are occupied with their vain imaginings, and are unaware of, and veiled from, the Desired One. O ye that have gone astray! Awake from the sleep of heedlessness, and give ear unto these words of My Forerunner. He saith: “The tree of affirmation, by turning aside from Him, is accounted as the tree of denial, and the tree of denial, by turning towards Him, is accounted as the tree of affirmation.” And likewise, He saith: “Should anyone lay claim unto a Revelation, and fail to produce any proof, do not protest, and sadden Him not.” Briefly, this Wronged One hath, night and day, been uttering the words: “Say: O ye unbelievers!”, that haply this may be the means of awakening the people, and may adorn them with the adornment of fairness.
And now, meditate upon these words, which diffuse the breath of despair, in His sorrowful invocation unto God, the Lord of the worlds. He saith: “Glorified art Thou, O My God! Bear Thou witness that, through this Book, I have covenanted with all created things concerning the Mission of Him Whom Thou shalt make manifest, ere the covenant concerning Mine own Mission had been established. Sufficient witness art Thou and they that have believed in Thy signs. Thou, verily, sufficest Me. In Thee have I placed My trust, and Thou, verily, takest count of all things.”
In another connection He saith: “O Sun-like Mirrors! Look ye upon the Sun of Truth. Ye, verily, depend upon it, were ye to perceive it. Ye are all as fishes, moving in the waters of the sea, veiling yourselves therefrom, and yet asking what it is on which ye depend.” And likewise, He saith: “I complain unto thee, O Mirror of My generosity, against all the other Mirrors. All look upon Me through their own colors.” These words were sent down from the Source of the Revelation of the All-Bounteous, and were addressed to Siyyid Javád, known as Karbilá’í.
God testifieth, and the world beareth Me witness that this Siyyid stood by this Wronged One, and even wrote a detailed refutation against them that turned aside from Me. Two communications, moreover, in which he hath borne witness unto the Revelation of the True One, and in which the evidences of his turning away from all else but Him, are clear and manifest, have been sent by Us to Ḥaydar-‘Alí. The handwriting of the Siyyid is unmistakable, and is known unto everyone. Our purpose in doing this was that perchance they that have denied Us might attain unto the living waters of acknowledgment, and such as have turned aside be illumined with the light of conversion. God is My witness that this Wronged One hath had no purpose except to convey the Word of God. Blessed are the fair-minded, and woe betide them that have turned aside. They that have turned away from Me have schemed many a time, and acted deceitfully in divers ways. They have, on one occasion, secured a picture of this Siyyid, and pasted it on a sheet with that of others, surmounted by the portrait of Mírzá Yaḥyá. Briefly, they have seized upon every means in order to repudiate the True One. Say: “The True One is come evident as the shining sun; O pity that He should have come into the city of the blind!” The afore-mentioned Siyyid admonished the deniers, and summoned them unto the Most Sublime Horizon, but failed to impress these stones that can take no imprint. Concerning him they have said things against which he sought refuge with God—exalted be His glory. The supplications which he hath sent to this Holy Court are now in Our possession. Happy are the fair-minded.
Ponder now upon the complaint of the Primal Point against the Mirrors, that haply men may be awakened, and may turn from the left hand of idle fancies and imaginings unto the right hand of faith and certitude, and may be made cognizant of that wherefrom they are veiled. It is indeed for the purpose of recognizing this Most Great Cause that they have come out of the world of non-existence into the world of being. And likewise He saith: “Consecrate Thou, O my God, the whole of this Tree unto Him, that from it may be revealed all the fruits created by God within it for Him through Whom God hath willed to reveal all that He pleaseth. By Thy glory! I have not wished that this Tree should ever bear any branch, leaf, or fruit that would fail to bow down before Him, on the day of His Revelation, or refuse to laud Thee through Him, as beseemeth the glory of His all-glorious Revelation, and the sublimity of His most sublime Concealment. And shouldst Thou behold, O my God, any branch, leaf, or fruit upon Me that hath failed to bow down before Him, on the day of His Revelation, cut it off, O My God, from that Tree, for it is not of Me, nor shall it return unto Me.”
O people of the Bayán! I swear by God! This Wronged One hath had no other intention except to manifest the Cause He was commissioned to reveal. Were ye to incline your inner ears unto Him, ye would hear from every limb and member and vein and even from every single hair of this Wronged One that which would stir and enrapture the Concourse on high and the world of creation.
O Hádí! The blind fanaticism of former times hath withheld the hapless creatures from the Straight Path. Meditate on the Shí‘ih sect. For twelve hundred years they have cried “O Qá’im!”, until in the end all pronounced the sentence of His death, and caused Him to suffer martyrdom, notwithstanding their belief in, and their acceptance and acknowledgment of, the True One—exalted be His glory—and of the Seal of the Prophets, and of the Chosen Ones. It is now necessary to reflect a while, that haply that which hath come between the True One and His creatures may be discovered, and the deeds which have been the cause of protest and denial be made known.
O Hádí! We have heard the moaning of the pulpits which, as attested by all, the divines of the age of this Revelation have ascended, and from which they have cursed the True One, and caused such things to befall Him Who is the Essence of Being and His companions as neither the eye nor the ear of the world hath seen or heard. Thou hast now summoned, and art still summoning the people, claiming to be His vicegerent and mirror, despite thine ignorance of this Cause as a result of thy not having been in Our company.
Every one of this people well knoweth that Siyyid Muḥammad was but one of Our servants. In the days when, as requested by the Imperial Ottoman Government, We proceeded to their Capital, he accompanied Us. Subsequently, he committed that which—I swear by God—hath caused the Pen of the Most High to weep and His Tablet to groan. We, therefore, cast him out; whereupon, he joined Mírzá Yaḥyá, and did what no tyrant hath ever done. We abandoned him, and said unto him: “Begone, O heedless one!” After these words had been uttered, he joined the order of the Mawlavis, and remained in their company until the time when We were summoned to depart.
O Hádí! Suffer not thyself to become the instrument for the dissemination of new superstitions, and refuse to set up once again a sect similar to that of the Shí‘ihs. Reflect how great the amount of blood which hath been spilt. Thou amongst others, who hast laid claim to knowledge, and likewise the Shí‘ih divines, have, one and all, in the first and ensuing years, cursed the True One, and decreed that His most holy blood be shed. Fear God, O Hádí! Be not willing that men be again afflicted with the vain imaginings of former times. Fear God, and be not of them that act unjustly. In these days We have heard that thou hast striven to lay hands on and destroy every copy of the Bayán. This Wronged One requesteth thee to renounce, for the sake of God, this intention. Thine intelligence and judgment have never excelled, nor do they now excel, the intelligence and judgment of Him Who is the Prince of the World. God testifieth and beareth Me witness that this Wronged One hath not perused the Bayán, nor been acquainted with its contents. This much, however, is known and is clear and indubitable that He hath ordained the Book of the Bayán to be the foundation of His works. Fear God, and meddle not in matters which far transcend thee. For twelve hundred years they that resemble thee have afflicted the hapless Shí‘ihs in the pit of vain fancies and idle imaginings. Finally, there appeared, on the Day of Judgment things against which the oppressors of old have sought refuge with the True One.
Apprehend now the cry of Him Who is the Point as raised by His utterance. He supplicateth God that if there should appear from this Tree—which is His blessed Self—any fruit, or leaf, or branch that would fail to believe in Him, God should cut it off forthwith. And likewise, He saith: “Should any one make a statement, and fail to support it by any proof, reject him not.” And yet, now, though supported by a hundred books, thou hast rejected Him and rejoicest therein!
Again I repeat, and plead with thee to carefully scrutinize that which hath been revealed. The breezes of utterance in this Revelation are not to be compared with those of former ages. This Wronged One hath been perpetually afflicted, and found no place of safety in which He could peruse either the writings of the Most Exalted One (the Báb) or those of any one else. About two months after Our arrival in ‘Iráq, following the command of His Majesty the Sháh of Persia—may God assist him—Mírzá Yaḥyá joined Us. We said unto him: “In accordance with the Royal command We have been sent unto this place. It is advisable for thee to remain in Persia. We will send Our brother, Mírzá Músá, to some other place. As your names have not been mentioned in the Royal decree, you can arise and render some service.” Subsequently, this Wronged One departed from Baghdád, and for two years withdrew from the world. Upon Our return, We found that he had not left, and had postponed his departure. This Wronged One was greatly saddened. God testifieth and beareth Us witness that We have, at all times, been busied with the propagation of this Cause. Neither chains nor bonds, stocks nor imprisonment, have succeeded in withholding Us from revealing Our Self. In that land We forbad all mischief, and all unseemly and unholy deeds. Day and night We sent forth Our Tablets in every direction. We had no other purpose except to edify the souls of men, and to exalt the blessed Word.
We especially appointed certain ones to collect the writings of the Primal Point. When this was accomplished, We summoned Mírzá Yaḥyá and Mírzá Vahháb-i-Khurásání, known as Mírzá Javád, to meet in a certain place. Conforming with Our instructions, they completed the task of transcribing two copies of the works of the Primal Point. I swear by God! This Wronged One, by reason of His constant association with men, hath not looked at these books, nor gazed with outward eyes on these writings. When We departed, these writings were in the possession of these two persons. It was agreed that Mírzá Yaḥyá should be entrusted with them, and proceed to Persia, and disseminate them throughout that land. This Wronged One proceeded, at the request of the Ministers of the Ottoman Government to their capital. When We arrived in Mosul, We found that Mírzá Yaḥyá had left before Us for that city, and was awaiting Us there. Briefly, the books and writings were left in Baghdád, while he himself proceeded to Constantinople and joined these servants. God beareth now witness unto the things which have touched this Wronged One, for after We had so arduously striven, he (Mírzá Yaḥyá) abandoned the writings and joined the exiles. This Wronged One was, for a long period, overwhelmed by infinite sorrows until such time when, in pursuance of measures of which none but the one true God is aware, We despatched the writings unto another place and another country, owing to the fact that in ‘Iráq all documents must every month be carefully examined, lest they rot and perish. God, however, preserved them and sent them unto a place which He had previously ordained. He, verily, is the Protector, the Succorer.
Wherever this Wronged One went Mírzá Yaḥyá followed Him. Thou art thyself a witness and well knowest that whatever hath been said is the truth. The Siyyid of Iṣfahán, however, surreptitiously duped him. They committed that which caused the greatest consternation. Would that thou wouldst inquire from the officials of the government concerning the conduct of Mírzá Yaḥyá in that land. Aside from all this, I adjure thee by God, the One, the Incomparable, the Lord of Strength, the Most Powerful, to carefully look into the communications addressed in his name to the Primal Point, that thou mayest behold the evidences of Him Who is the Truth as clear as the sun. Likewise, there proceeded from the words of the Point of the Bayán—may the souls of all else but Him be sacrificed for His sake—that which no veil can obscure, and which neither the veils of glory nor the veils interposed by such as have gone astray can hide. The veils have, verily, been rent asunder by the finger of the will of thy Lord, the Strong, the All-Subduing, the All-Powerful. Yea, desperate is the state of such as have calumniated Me and envied Me. Not long ago it was stated that thou hadst ascribed the authorship of the Kitáb-i-Íqán and of other Tablets unto others. I swear by God! This is a grievous injustice. Others are incapable of apprehending their meaning, how much more of revealing them!
Ḥasan-i-Mázindarání was the bearer of seventy Tablets. Upon his death, these were not delivered unto those for whom they were intended, but were entrusted to one of the sisters of this Wronged One, who, for no reason whatever, had turned aside from Me. God knoweth what befell His Tablets. This sister had never lived with Us. I swear by the Sun of Truth that after these things had happened she never saw Mírzá Yaḥyá, and remained unaware of Our Cause, for in those days she had been estranged from Us. She lived in one quarter, and this Wronged One in another. As a token, however, of Our loving-kindness, our affection and mercy, We, a few days prior to Our departure, visited her and her mother, that haply she might quaff from the living waters of faith, and attain unto that which would draw her nigh unto God, in this day. God well knoweth and beareth Me witness, and she herself testifieth, that I had no thought whatsoever except this. Finally, she—God be praised—attained unto this through His grace, and was adorned with the adornment of love. After We were exiled and had departed from ‘Iráq to Constantinople, however, news of her ceased to reach Us. Subsequent to Our separation in the Land of Tá (Ṭihrán), We ceased to meet Mírzá Riḍá-Qulí, Our brother, and no special news reached Us concerning her. In the early days we all lived in one house, which later on was sold at auction, for a negligible sum, and the two brothers, Farmán-Farmá and Hisámu’s-Saltanih, purchased it and divided it between themselves. After this occurred, We separated from Our brother. He established his residence close to the entrance of Masjid-i-Sháh, whilst We lived near the Gate of Shimírán. Thereafter, however, that sister displayed toward Us, for no reason whatever, a hostile attitude. This Wronged One held His peace under all conditions. However, Our late brother Mírzá Muḥammad-Ḥasan’s daughter—upon him be the glory of God and His peace and His mercy—who had been betrothed to the Most Great Branch (‘Abdu’l‑Bahá) was taken by the sister of this Wronged One from Núr to her own house, and from there sent unto another place. Some of Our companions and friends in various places complained against this, as it was a very grievous act, and was disapproved by all the loved ones of God. How strange that Our sister should have taken her to her own house, and then arranged for her to be sent elsewhere! In spite of this, this Wronged One remained, and still remaineth, calm and silent. A word, however, was said in order to tranquilize Our loved ones. God testifieth and beareth Me witness that whatever hath been said was the truth, and was spoken with sincerity. None of Our loved ones, whether in these regions or in that country, could believe Our sister capable of an act so contrary to decency, affection and friendship. After such a thing had occurred, they, recognizing that the way had been barred, conducted themselves in a manner well-known unto thyself and others. It must be evident, therefore, how intense was the grief which this act inflicted upon this Wronged One. Later on, she threw in her lot with Mírzá Yaḥyá. Conflicting reports concerning her are now reaching Us, nor is it clear what she is saying or doing. We beseech God—blessed and glorified be He—to cause her to turn unto Him, and aid her to repent before the door of His grace. He, verily, is the Mighty, the Forgiving; and He is, in truth, the All-Powerful, the Pardoner.
In another connection He, likewise, saith: “Were He to appear this very moment, I would be the first to adore Him, and the first to bow down before Him.” Be fair, O people! The purpose of the Most Exalted One (the Báb) was to insure that the proximity of the Revelation should not withhold men from the Divine and everlasting Law, even as the companions of John (the Baptist) were prevented from acknowledging Him Who is the Spirit (Jesus). Time and again He hath said: “Suffer not the Bayán and all that hath been revealed therein to withhold you from that Essence of Being and Lord of the visible and invisible.” Should any one, considering this binding injunction, cling unto the Bayán, such a one hath, verily, passed out of the shadow of the blessed and exalted Tree. Be fair, O people, and be not of the heedless.
And likewise, He saith: “Let not names shut you out as by a veil from Him Who is their Lord, even the name of Prophet, for such a name is but a creation of His utterance.” And likewise, He, in the seventh chapter of the second Váḥid, saith: “O people of the Bayán! Act not as the people of the Qur’án have acted, for if ye do so, the fruits of your night will come to naught.” And further, He saith—glorified be His mention: “If thou attainest unto His Revelation, and obeyest Him, thou wilt have revealed the fruit of the Bayán; if not, thou art unworthy of mention before God. Take pity upon thyself. If thou aidest not Him Who is the Manifestation of the Lordship of God, be not, then, a cause of sadness unto Him.” And further He saith—magnified be His station: “If thou attainest not unto the Presence of God, grieve not, then, the Sign of God. He will renounce that which can profit them that acknowledge the Bayán, if ye renounce that which can harm Him. I know, however, that ye will refuse to do so.”
O Hádí! Methinks it is by reason of these indubitable utterances that thou hast determined to blot out the Bayán. Give ear unto the voice of this Wronged One, and renounce this oppression that hath made the pillars of the Bayán to tremble. I have been neither in Chihríq nor in Máh-Kú. At the present time statements have been circulated among thy disciples identical with those made by the Shí‘ihs who have said that the Qur’án is unfinished. These people also contend that this Bayán is not the original one. The copy in the handwriting of Siyyid Ḥusayn is extant, as is also the copy in the handwriting of Mírzá Aḥmad.
Regardest thou as one wronged he who in this world was never dealt a single blow, and who was continually surrounded by five of the handmaidens of God? And imputest thou unto the True One, Who, from His earliest years until the present day, hath been in the hands of His enemies, and been tormented with the worst afflictions in the world, such charges as the Jews did not ascribe unto Christ? Hearken unto the voice of this Wronged One, and be not of them that are in utter loss.
And, likewise, He saith: “How many the fires which God converteth into light through Him Whom God shall make manifest; and how numerous the lights which are turned into fire through Him! I behold His appearance even as the sun in the midmost heaven, and the disappearance of all even as that of the stars of the night by day.” Hast thou ears, O world, wherewith to hear the voice of the True One, and to judge equitably this Revelation Which, as soon as it appeared, Sinai exclaimed: “He that discoursed upon Me is come with evident signs and resplendent tokens, in spite of every heedless one that hath gone far astray, and of every lying calumniator, who hath wished to quench the light of God with his calumnies, and blot out the signs of God through his malice. They, verily, are of such as have acted unjustly in the Book of God, the Lord of the worlds.”
And likewise, He saith: “The Bayán is from beginning to end the repository of all of His attributes, and the treasury of both His fire and His light.” Great God! The soul is carried away by the fragrance of this utterance, inasmuch as He declareth, with infinite sadness, that which He perceiveth. Likewise, He saith to the Letter of the Living, Mullá Báqir—upon him be the glory of God and His loving-kindness: “Haply thou mayest in eight years, in the day of His Revelation, attain unto His Presence.”
Know thou, O Hádí, and be of them that hearken. Judge thou equitably. The companions of God and the Testimonies of Him Who is the Truth have, for the most part, suffered martyrdom. Thou, however, art still alive. How is it that thou hast been spared? I swear by God! It is because of thy denial, whereas the martyrdom of the blessed souls was due to their confession. Every just and fair-minded person will bear witness unto this, inasmuch as the cause and motive of both are clear and evident as the sun.
And likewise He addresseth Dayyán, who was wronged and suffered martyrdom, saying: “Thou shalt recognize thy worth through the words of Him Whom God shall make manifest.” He, likewise, hath pronounced him to be the third Letter to believe in Him Whom God shall make manifest, through these words: “O thou who art the third Letter to believe in Him Whom God shall make manifest!” And likewise He saith: “Should God, however, be willing, He will make thee known through the words of Him Whom God shall make manifest.” Dayyán, who, according to the words of Him Who is the Point—may the souls of all else but Him be sacrificed for His sake—is the repository of the trust of the one true God—exalted be His glory—and the treasury of the pearls of His knowledge, was made by them to suffer so cruel a martyrdom that the Concourse on high wept and lamented. He it is whom He (the Báb) had taught the hidden and preserved knowledge and entrusted him therewith, through His words: “O thou who art named Dayyán! This is a hidden and preserved Knowledge. We have entrusted it unto thee, and brought it to thee, as a mark of honor from God, inasmuch as the eye of thine heart is pure. Thou wilt appreciate its value, and wilt cherish its excellence. God, verily, hath deigned to bestow upon the Point of the Bayán a hidden and preserved Knowledge, the like of which God hath not sent down prior to this Revelation. More precious is it than any other knowledge in the estimation of God—glorified be He! He, verily, hath made it His testimony, even as He hath made the verses to be His testimony.” This oppressed one, who was the repository of the knowledge of God, together with Mírzá ‘Alí-Akbar, one of the relatives of the Primal Point—upon him be the glory of God and His mercy—and Abu’l-Qásim-i-Káshí and several others suffered martyrdom through the decree pronounced by Mírzá Yaḥyá.
O Hádí! His book which he hath entitled “Mustayqiz” is in thy possession. Read it. Although thou hast seen the book, peruse it again, that haply thou mayest obtain for thyself a lofty seat beneath the canopy of truth.
In like manner, Siyyid Ibráhím, concerning whom these words have flowed from the Pen of the Primal Point—magnified be His utterance: “O thou who art mentioned as My friend in My scriptures, and as My remembrance in My books, next to My scriptures, and as My name in the Bayán”—such a one, together with Dayyán, hath been surnamed by him (Mírzá Yaḥyá) Father of Iniquities and Father of Calamities. Judge thou fairly, how grievous hath been the plight of these oppressed ones, and this notwithstanding that one of them was occupied in serving him, whilst the other was his guest. Briefly, I swear by God, the deeds he committed were such that Our Pen is ashamed to recount.
Reflect a while upon the dishonor inflicted upon the Primal Point. Consider what hath happened. When this Wronged One, after a retirement of two years during which He wandered through the deserts and mountains, returned to Baghdád, as a result of the intervention of a few, who for a long time had sought Him in the wilderness, a certain Mírzá Muḥammad-‘Alí of Rasht came to see Him, and related, before a large gathering of people, that which had been done, affecting the honor of the Báb, which hath truly overwhelmed all lands with sorrow. Great God! How could they have countenanced this most grievous betrayal? Briefly, We beseech God to aid the perpetrator of this deed to repent, and return unto Him. He, verily, is the Helper, the All-Wise.
As to Dayyán—upon him be the glory of God and His mercy—he attained Our presence in accordance with that which had been revealed by the pen of the Primal Point. We pray God to aid the heedless to turn unto Him, and such as have turned aside to direct themselves towards Him, and them that have denied Him to acknowledge this Cause, which, no sooner did it appear than all created things proclaimed: “He that was hidden in the Treasury of Knowledge, and inscribed by the Pen of the Most High in His Books, and His Scriptures, and His Scrolls, and His Tablets, is come!”
In this connection it hath been deemed necessary to mention such traditions as have been recorded regarding the blessed and honored city of ‘Akká, that haply thou mayest, O Hádí, seek a path unto the Truth, and a road leading unto God.
In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
The following hath been recorded concerning the merits of ‘Akká, and of the sea, and of Aynu’l-Baqár (The Spring of the Cow) which is in ‘Akká:
‘Abdu’l-’Aziz, son of ‘Abdu’-Salám, hath related unto us that the Prophet—may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon him—hath said: “‘Akká is a city in Syria to which God hath shown His special mercy.”
Ibn-i-Mas’úd—may God be pleased with him—hath stated: “The Prophet—may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him—hath said: ‘Of all shores the best is the shore of Askelon, and ‘Akká is, verily, better than Askelon, and the merit of ‘Akká above that of Askelon and all other shores is as the merit of Muḥammad above that of all other Prophets. I bring you tidings of a city betwixt two mountains in Syria, in the middle of a meadow, which is called ‘Akká. Verily, he that entereth therein, longing for it and eager to visit it, God will forgive his sins, both of the past and of the future. And he that departeth from it, other than as a pilgrim, God will not bless his departure. In it is a spring called the Spring of the Cow. Whoso drinketh a draught therefrom, God will fill his heart with light, and will protect him from the most great terror on the Day of Resurrection.’”
Anas, son of Malík—may God be pleased with him—hath said: “The Apostle of God—may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him—hath said: ‘By the shore of the sea is a city, suspended beneath the Throne, and named ‘Akká. He that dwelleth therein, firm and expecting a reward from God—exalted be He—God will write down for him, until the Day of Resurrection, the recompense of such as have been patient, and have stood up, and knelt down, and prostrated themselves, before Him.’”
And He—may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him—hath said: “I announce unto you a city, on the shores of the sea, white, whose whiteness is pleasing unto God—exalted be He! It is called ‘Akká. He that hath been bitten by one of its fleas is better, in the estimation of God, than he who hath received a grievous blow in the path of God. And he that raiseth therein the call to prayer, his voice will be lifted up unto Paradise. And he that remaineth therein for seven days in the face of the enemy, God will gather him with Khidr—peace be upon Him—and God will protect him from the most great terror on the Day of Resurrection.” And He—may the blessings of God,—exalted be He—and His salutations be upon Him—hath said: “There are kings and princes in Paradise. The poor of ‘Akká are the kings of Paradise and the princes thereof. A month in ‘Akká is better than a thousand years elsewhere.”
The Apostle of God—may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him—is reported to have said: “Blessed the man that hath visited ‘Akká, and blessed he that hath visited the visitor of ‘Akká. Blessed the one that hath drunk from the Spring of the Cow and washed in its waters, for the black-eyed damsels quaff the camphor in Paradise, which hath come from the Spring of the Cow, and from the Spring of Salván (Siloam), and the Well of Zamzam. Well is it with him that hath drunk from these springs, and washed in their waters, for God hath forbidden the fire of hell to touch him and his body on the Day of Resurrection.”
The Prophet—may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him—is stated to have said: “In ‘Akká are works of supererogation and acts which are beneficial, which God vouchsafed specially unto whomsoever He pleaseth. And he that saith in ‘Akká: ‘Glorified be God, and praise be unto God, and there is none other God but God, and most great is God, and there is no power nor strength except in God, the Exalted, the Mighty,’ God will write down for him a thousand good deeds, and blot out from him a thousand evil deeds, and will uplift him a thousand grades in Paradise, and will forgive him his transgressions. And whoso saith in ‘Akká: ‘I beg forgiveness of God,’ God will forgive all his trespasses. And he that remembereth God in ‘Akká at morn and at eventide, in the night-season and at dawn, is better in the sight of God than he who beareth swords, spears and arms in the path of God—exalted be He!”
The Apostle of God—may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him—hath also said: “He that looketh upon the sea at eventide, and saith: ‘God is Most Great!’ at sunset, God will forgive his sins, though they be heaped as piles of sand. And he that counteth forty waves, while repeating: ‘God is Most Great!’—exalted be He—God will forgive his sins, both past and future.”
The Apostle of God—may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon Him—hath said: “He that looketh upon the sea a full night is better than he who passeth two whole months betwixt the Rukn and the Maqám. And he that hath been brought up on the shores of the sea is better than he that hath been brought up elsewhere. And he that lieth on the shore is as he that standeth elsewhere.”
Verily, the Apostle of God—may the blessings of God, exalted be He, and His salutations be upon Him—hath spoken the truth.