Glorified is He before Whom all the dwellers of earth and heaven bow down in adoration and unto Whom all men turn in supplication. He is the One Who holdeth in His grasp the mighty kingdom of all created things and unto Him shall all return. He is the One Who revealeth whatsoever He willeth and by His injunction “Be Thou” all things have come into being.
This is an epistle from the letter Thá1 unto Him Who will be made manifest through the power of Truth—He Who is the All-Glorious, the Best-Beloved—to affirm that all created things as well as myself bear witness for all time that there is none other God but Thee, the Omnipotent, the Self-Subsisting; that Thou art God, there is no God besides Thee and that all men shall be raised up to life through Thee.
From all eternity I have indeed recognized Thee and unto all eternity will ever do so through Thine Own Self and not through anyone else besides Thee. Verily Thou art the Source of all knowledge, the Omniscient. From everlasting I have besought and unto everlasting will beseech forgiveness for my limited understanding of Thee, aware as I am that there is no God but Thee, the All-Glorious, the Almighty.
I beg of Thee, O my Best-Beloved, to pardon me and those who earnestly seek to promote Thy Cause; Thou art indeed the One Who forgiveth the sins of all mankind. And in this second year of my Revelation—a Revelation which took place at Thy behest—I bear witness that Thou art the Most Manifest, the Omnipotent, the Ever-Abiding; that of all things that exist on earth and in the heavens nothing whatsoever can frustrate Thy purpose and that Thou art the Knower of all things and the Lord of might and majesty.
Verily, we have believed in Thee and in Thy signs ere the dawn of Thy Manifestation, and in Thee are we all well assured. Verily, we have believed in Thee and in Thy signs after the fulfillment of Thy Manifestation, and in Thee do we all believe. Verily, we have believed in Thee and in Thy signs at the hour of Thy Manifestation and bear witness that through Thine injunction “Be Thou” all things have been created.
Every Manifestation is but a revelation of Thine Own Self, with each of Whom we have truly appeared and we bow down in adoration before Thee. Thou hast been, O my Best-Beloved, and shalt ever be my witness throughout bygone times and in the days to come. Verily, Thou art the All-Powerful, the Ever-Faithful, the Omnipotent.
I have testified to Thy oneness through Thine Own Self before the dwellers of the heavens and the earth, bearing witness that, verily, Thou art the All-Glorious, the Best-Beloved. I have attained the recognition of Thee through Thine Own Self before the dwellers of the heavens and the earth, bearing witness that Thou art in truth the Almighty, the All-Praised. I have glorified Thy Name through Thine Own Self before the dwellers of the heavens and the earth, bearing witness that Thou art indeed the Lord of power, He Who is the Most Manifest. I have exalted Thy holiness through Thine Own Self before the dwellers of the heavens and the earth, bearing witness that in truth Thou art the Most Sanctified, the Most Holy. I have praised Thy sanctity through Thine Own Self before the dwellers of the heavens and the earth, bearing witness that Thou art indeed the Indescribable, the Inaccessible, the Immeasurably Glorified. I have extolled Thine overpowering majesty through Thine Own Self before the dwellers of the heavens and the earth, bearing witness that, verily, Thou and Thou alone art the Lord of might, the Eternal One, the Ancient of Days.
May the glances of Him Whom God shall make manifest illumine this letter at the primary school.1
He is God, no God is there but Him, the Almighty, the Best-Beloved. All that are in the heavens and on the earth and whatever lieth between them are His. Verily He is the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.
This is a letter from God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, unto God, the Almighty, the Best-Beloved, to affirm that the Bayán and such as bear allegiance to it are but a present from me unto Thee and to express my undoubting faith that there is no God but Thee, that the kingdoms of Creation and Revelation are Thine, that no one can attain anything save by Thy power and that He Whom Thou hast raised up is but Thy servant and Thy Testimony. I, indeed, beg to address Him Whom God shall make manifest, by Thy leave in these words: “Shouldst Thou dismiss the entire company of the followers of the Bayán in the Day of the Latter Resurrection by a mere sign of Thy finger even while still a suckling babe, Thou wouldst indeed be praised in Thy indication. And though no doubt is there about it, do Thou grant a respite of nineteen years as a token of Thy favor so that those who have embraced this Cause may be graciously rewarded by Thee. Thou art verily the Lord of grace abounding. Thou dost indeed suffice every created thing and causest it to be independent of all things, while nothing in the heavens or on the earth or that which lieth between them can ever suffice Thee.”
Lauded and glorified is He Who is the sovereign Lord of the kingdoms of heaven and earth and whatever is between them. Say, verily unto Him shall all return, and He is the One Who guideth at His Own behest whomsoever He pleaseth. Say, all men beseech His blessings and He is supreme over all created things. He is indeed the All-Glorious, the Mighty, the Well-Beloved.
This is an epistle from the letter Thá unto him who is the First Believer. Bear thou witness that verily He is I, Myself, the Sovereign, the Omnipotent. He is the One Who ordaineth life and death and unto Him shall all return. Indeed there is none other God but Him and all men bow down in adoration before Him. Verily Thy Lord, God, shall presently recompense every one as He ordaineth, even swifter than uttering the words “Be thou, and it is.”
God hath in truth testified in His Book and so also have testified the company of His angels, His Messengers and those endued with divine knowledge, that thou hast believed in God and in His signs and that everyone is guided aright by virtue of thy guidance. This is indeed a boundless grace which God, the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsisting, hath graciously conferred upon thee aforetime and will confer hereafter. And since thou didst believe in God before the creation, He hath in truth, at His own behest, raised thee up in every Revelation. There is no God but Him, the Sovereign Protector, the All-Glorious.
Say: All matters must be referred to the Book of God; I am indeed the First to believe in God and in His signs; I am the One Who divulgeth and proclaimeth the Truth and I have been invested with every excellent title of God, the Mighty, the Incomparable. Verily I have attained the Day of the First Manifestation and by the bidding of the Lord and as a token of His grace, I shall attain the Day of the Latter Manifestation. There is no God but Him and at the appointed hour everyone shall bow down unto Him in adoration.
I render thanks and yield praise unto God for having been chosen by Him as the Exponent of His Cause in bygone days and in the days to come; there is none other God save Him, the Glorified, the All-Praised, the Ever-Abiding. Whatever is in the heavens and on the earth is His and through Him are we guided aright.
The substance wherewith God hath created Me is not the clay out of which others have been formed. He hath conferred upon Me that which the worldly-wise can never comprehend, nor the faithful discover.… I am one of the sustaining pillars of the Primal Word of God. Whosoever hath recognized Me hath known all that is true and right and hath attained all that is good and seemly, and whosoever hath failed to recognize Me hath turned away from all that is true and right and hath succumbed to everything evil and unseemly.
I swear by the righteousness of Thy Lord, the Lord of all created things, the Lord of all the worlds! Were a man to rear in this world as many edifices as possible and worship God through every virtuous deed which God’s knowledge embraceth, and attain the presence of the Lord, and were he, even to a measure less than that which is accountable before God, to bear in his heart a trace of malice towards Me, all his deeds would be reduced to naught and he would be deprived of the glances of God’s favor, become the object of His wrath and assuredly perish. For God hath ordained that all the good things which lie in the treasury of His knowledge shall be attained through obedience unto Me, and every fire recorded in His Book, through disobedience unto Me. Methinks in this day and from this station I behold all those who cherish My love and follow My behest abiding within the mansions of Paradise, and the entire company of Mine adversaries consigned to the lowest depths of hellfire.
By My life! But for the obligation to acknowledge the Cause of Him Who is the Testimony of God … I would not have announced this unto thee.… All the keys of heaven God hath chosen to place on My right hand, and all the keys of hell on My left.…
I am the Primal Point from which have been generated all created things. I am the Countenance of God Whose splendor can never be obscured, the Light of God Whose radiance can never fade. Whoso recognizeth Me, assurance and all good are in store for him, and whoso faileth to recognize Me, infernal fire and all evil await him.…
I swear by God, the Peerless, the Incomparable, the True One: for no other reason hath He—the supreme Testimony of God—invested Me with clear signs and tokens than that all men may be enabled to submit to His Cause.
By the righteousness of Him Who is the Absolute Truth, were the veil to be lifted, thou wouldst witness on this earthly plane all men sorely afflicted with the fire of the wrath of God, a fire fiercer and greater than the fire of hell, with the exception of those who have sought shelter beneath the shade of the tree of My love. For they in very truth are the blissful.…
God beareth Me witness, I was not a man of learning, for I was trained as a merchant. In the year sixty1 God graciously infused my soul with the conclusive evidences and weighty knowledge which characterize Him Who is the Testimony of God—may peace be upon Him—until finally in that year I proclaimed God’s hidden Cause and unveiled its well-guarded Pillar, in such wise that no one could refute it. “That he who should perish might perish with a clear proof before him and he who should live might live by clear proof.”2
In that same year [year 60] I dispatched a messenger and a book unto thee, that thou mightest act towards the Cause of Him Who is the Testimony of God as befitteth the station of thy sovereignty. But inasmuch as dark, dreadful and dire calamity had been irrevocably ordained by the Will of God, the book was not submitted to thy presence, through the intervention of such as regard themselves the well-wishers of the government. Up to the present, when nearly four years have passed, they have not duly presented it to Your Majesty. However, now that the fateful hour is drawing nigh, and because it is a matter of faith, not a worldly concern, therefore I have given thee a glimpse of what hath transpired.
I swear by God! Shouldst thou know the things which in the space of these four years have befallen Me at the hands of thy people and thine army, thou wouldst hold thy breath from fear of God, unless thou wouldst rise to obey the Cause of Him Who is the Testimony of God and make amends for thy shortcomings and failure.
While I was in Shíráz the indignities which befell Me at the hands of its wicked and depraved Governor waxed so grievous that if thou wert acquainted with but a tithe thereof, thou wouldst deal him retributive justice. For as a result of his unmitigated oppression, thy royal court hath become, until the Day of Resurrection, the object of the wrath of God. Moreover, his indulgence in alcohol had grown so excessive that he was never sober enough to make a sound judgment. Therefore, disquieted, I was obliged to set out from Shíráz with the aim of attaining the enlightened and exalted court of Your Majesty. The Mu‘tamidu’d-Dawlih then became aware of the truth of the Cause and manifested exemplary servitude and devotion to His chosen ones. When some of the ignorant people in his city arose to stir up sedition, he defended the divine Truth by affording Me protection for a while in the privacy of the Governor’s residence. At length, having attained the good-pleasure of God, he repaired to his habitation in the all-highest Paradise. May God reward him graciously.…
Following his ascension to the eternal Kingdom, the vicious Gurgín, resorting to all manner of treachery, false oaths and coercion, sent Me away from Iṣfahán with an escort of five guards on a journey which lasted seven days, without providing the barest necessities for My travel (Alas! Alas! for the things which have touched Me!), until eventually Your Majesty’s order came, instructing Me to proceed to Máh-Kú.…
I swear by the Most Great Lord! Wert thou to be told in what place I dwell, the first person to have mercy on Me would be thyself. In the heart of a mountain is a fortress [Máh-Kú] … the inmates of which are confined to two guards and four dogs. Picture, then, My plight.… I swear by the truth of God! Were he who hath been willing to treat Me in such a manner to know Who it is Whom he hath so treated, he, verily, would never in his life be happy. Nay—I, verily, acquaint thee with the truth of the matter—it is as if he hath imprisoned all the Prophets, and all the men of truth and all the chosen ones.…
When this decree was made known unto Me, I wrote to him who administereth the affairs of the kingdom, saying: “Put Me to death, I adjure thee by God, and send My head wherever thou pleasest. For surely an innocent person such as I cannot reconcile himself to being consigned to a place reserved for criminals and let his life continue.” My plea remained unanswered. Evidently His Excellency the Ḥájí, is not fully aware of the truth of our Cause. It would be far more heinous a deed to sadden the hearts of the faithful, whether men or women, than to lay waste the sacred House of God.
Verily, the One True God beareth Me witness that in this Day I am the true mystic Fane of God, and the Essence of all good. He who doeth good unto Me, it is as if he doeth good unto God, His angels and the entire company of His loved ones. He who doeth evil unto Me, it is as if he doeth evil unto God and His chosen ones. Nay, too exalted is the station of God and of His loved ones for any person’s good or evil deed to reach their holy threshold. Whatever reacheth Me is ordained to reach Me; and that which hath come unto Me, to him who giveth will it revert. By the One in Whose hand is My soul, he hath cast no one but himself into prison. For assuredly whatsoever God hath decreed for Me shall come to pass and naught else save that which God hath ordained for us shall ever touch us. Woe betide him from whose hands floweth evil, and blessed the man from whose hands floweth good. Unto no one do I take My plaint save to God; for He is the best of judges. Every state of adversity or bliss is from Him alone, and He is the All-Powerful, the Almighty.
In brief, I hold within My grasp whatsoever any man might wish of the good of this world and of the next. Were I to remove the veil, all would recognize Me as their Best-Beloved, and no one would deny Me. Let not this assertion astound Your Majesty; inasmuch as a true believer in the unity of God who keepeth his eyes directed towards Him alone will regard aught else but Him as utter nothingness. I swear by God! I seek no earthly goods from thee, be it as much as a mustard seed. Indeed, to possess anything of this world or of the next would, in My estimation, be tantamount to open blasphemy. For it ill beseemeth the believer in the unity of God to turn his gaze to aught else, much less to hold it in his possession. I know of a certainty that since I have God, the Ever-Living, the Adored One, I am the possessor of all things, visible and invisible.…
In this mountain I have remained alone, and have come to such a pass that none of those gone before Me have suffered what I have suffered, nor any transgressor endured what I have endured! I render praise unto God and yet again praise Him. I find Myself free from sorrow, inasmuch as I abide within the good-pleasure of My Lord and Master. Methinks I am in the all-highest Paradise, rejoicing at My communion with God, the Most Great. Verily this is a bounty which God hath conferred upon Me; and He is the Lord of unbounded blessings.
I swear by the truth of God! Wert thou to know that which I know, thou wouldst forgo the sovereignty of this world and of the next, that thou mightest attain My good-pleasure, through thine obedience unto the True One.… Wert thou to refuse, the Lord of the world would raise up one who would exalt His Cause, and the Command of God would, verily, be carried into effect.
Through the grace of God nothing can frustrate My purpose, and I am fully conscious of that which God hath bestowed upon Me as a token of His favor. If it were My will, I would disclose to Your Majesty all things; but I have not done this, nor will I do it, that the Truth may be distinguished from aught else beside it, and this prophecy uttered by the Imám Báqir—may peace rest upon Him—be fully realized: “What must needs befall us in Ádhirbáyján is inevitable and without parallel. When this happeneth, rest ye in your homes and remain patient as we have remained patient. As soon as the Mover moveth make ye haste to attain unto Him, even though ye have to crawl over the snow.”
He is the One Who on the Day of Severing shall pass judgment through the power of Truth; indeed no God is there besides Him, the Peerless, the All-Compelling, the Exalted. He is the One Who holdeth within His grasp the kingdom of all created things; there is none other God but Him, the Single, the Incomparable, the Ever-Abiding, the Inaccessible, the Most Great.
At this moment I testify unto God, even as He testified unto Himself before the creation of all things: Verily there is no God save Him, the All-Glorious, the All-Wise. And I bear witness unto whatsoever He hath fashioned or will fashion, even as He Himself, in the majesty of His glory, hath borne witness: No God is there but Him, the Peerless, the Self-Subsisting, the Most Wondrous.
In God, Who is the Lord of all created things, have I placed My whole trust. There is no God but Him, the Peerless, the Most Exalted. Unto Him have I resigned Myself and into His hands have I committed all My affairs. No God is there besides Him, the supreme Ruler, the resplendent Truth. Indeed all-sufficient is He for Me; independently of all things doth He suffice, while nothing in the heavens or in the earth but Him sufficeth. He, in very truth, is the Self-Subsisting, the Most Severe.
Praise be unto Him Who at this very moment perceiveth in this remote prison the goal of My desire. He is the One Who beareth witness unto Me at all times and beholdeth Me ere the inception of “after Ḥín.”1
Thou pridest thyself in the things thou dost possess, yet no believer in God and in His signs, nor any righteous man would ever deign to regard them. This mortal life is like unto the carcass of a dog, around which none would gather, nor would any partake thereof, except those who gainsay the life hereafter. Verily it is incumbent upon thee to become a true believer in God, the All-Possessing, the Almighty, and to turn away from the one who guideth thee into the torment of hellfire.
I have been waiting awhile that perchance thou wouldst take heed and be rightly guided. How canst thou answer God on the day which is near at hand—the day whereon witnesses will stand forth to testify in the presence of thy Lord, the Lord of all the worlds?
By the righteousness of Him Who hath called thee into being and unto Whom erelong thou shalt return, if thou remainest, at the moment of death, a disbeliever in the signs of thy Lord thou shalt surely enter the gates of hell, and none of the deeds thy hands have wrought will profit thee, nor shalt thou find a patron nor anyone to plead for thee. Fear thou God and pride not thyself on thine earthly possessions, inasmuch as what God doth possess is better for them that tread the path of righteousness.
Verily in this Day all that dwell on earth are the servants of God. As to those who truly believe in God and are well assured in the signs revealed by Him, perchance He will graciously forgive them the things their hands have committed, and will grant them admission into the precincts of His mercy. He, in truth, is the Ever-Forgiving, the Compassionate. But the verdict of divine chastisement is pronounced against those who have turned away disdainfully from Me and have repudiated the conclusive proofs and the unerring Book with which God hath invested Me, and on the Day of Severing they shall find no protector or helper.
I swear by Him Who createth all beings and unto Whom all shall return, if anyone at the hour of death beareth hatred towards Me or disputeth the clear tokens wherewith I have been invested, then naught but afflictive torment shall be his lot. On that day no ransom will be accepted, nor will any intercession be permitted, unless God so please. Verily He is the All-Compelling, the All-Glorious; and no God is there other than Him, the sovereign Ruler, the Almighty, the Most Severe.
If thou rejoicest in My imprisonment, woe then unto thee for the grievous torment which will soon overtake thee. Indeed God hath permitted no one to pass unfair judgment, and if thou wouldst fain do so, then soon shalt thou learn.
From the first day that I cautioned thee not to wax proud before God until the present time, four years have elapsed, and during this space naught have I witnessed, either from thee or from thy soldiers, except dire oppression and disdainful arrogance. Methinks thou dost imagine that I wish to gain some paltry substance from this earthly life. Nay, by the righteousness of My Lord! In the estimation of them that have fixed their eyes upon the merciful Lord, the riches of the world and its trappings are worth as much as the eye of a dead body, nay even less. Far from His glory be what they associate with Him!… I seek patience only in God. Verily He is the best protector and the best helper. No refuge do I seek save God. Verily He is the guardian and the best supporter.…
I swear by the glory of God, My Lord, the Most Exalted, the Most Great, He assuredly, as is divinely ordained, will make His Cause shine resplendent, while there will be no helper for the unjust. If thou hast any scheme, produce thy scheme. Indeed every revelation of authority proceedeth from God. In Him do I trust and unto Him do I turn.
Hast thou heard anyone of old passing a judgment similar to the one thou didst contrive or like unto that whereto thou didst give thine assent? Woe then unto the oppressors! Both thine intentions and the manner in which thou dealest with the people clearly demonstrate thine infidelity towards God, hence He hath ordained a severe chastisement for thee. Verily I seek patience only in God, and Him do I regard as the goal of My desire. This signifieth that I have the undoubted Truth on My side.
If thou art not apprehensive that the truth might be revealed and the works of the ungodly be brought to naught, why summonest thou not the divines of the land, and then summon Me, so that I may confound them forthwith, even as those disbelievers whom I have previously confounded? This is My sure testimony unto thee and unto them, if they speak the truth. Summon thou all of them. Should they then be able to utter words like unto this, thou wouldst know that their cause is worthy of attention. Nay, by the righteousness of My Lord! They are bereft of power, nor are they endued with perception. They professed faith in the past without understanding its significance, then later they repudiated the Truth; for they are devoid of discernment.
If thou hast decided to shed My blood, wherefore dost thou delay? Thou art now endowed with power and authority. For Me it will prove an infinite bounty conferred by God, while for thee and for them that would commit such an act it will amount to a chastisement meted out by Him.
How great the blessedness that would await Me, wert thou to pass a verdict such as this; and what immense joy would be Mine, shouldst thou agree to do this! This is a bounty which God hath reserved for them that enjoy near access to His court. Give then thy leave and wait no longer. In truth, mighty is thy Lord, the Avenger.
Art thou not ashamed in the presence of God for consenting to the consignment to a fortress of Him Who is the Testimony of God, and His being made captive in the hands of the faithless? Woe betide thee and them who rejoice at this moment in inflicting so dire a humiliation upon Me.…
I swear by Him Who hath called Me into being, I can discover no trace of sinfulness in Myself, nor have I followed aught but the Truth; and unto Me God is sufficient witness. Fie upon the world and its people and upon those who take delight in earthly riches, while oblivious of the life to come.
Were the veil to be removed from thine eye thou wouldst crawl unto Me on thy breast, even through the snow, from fear of the chastisement of God which is swift and near at hand. By the righteousness of Him Who hath created thee, wert thou to be acquainted with that which hath transpired during thy reign, thou wouldst wish not to have issued from thy father’s loins, but rather to have passed into oblivion. However, that which God, thy Lord, had ordained hath presently come to pass, and woe betide the oppressors in this day.
Methinks thou hast not perused the unerring Book. If thou art satisfied with thine own way and dost not wish to follow the Truth, then to Me be My way and to thee thine. If thou aidest Me not, why dost thou seek to abase Me? Verily, God is the hearer of the suppliant, and in Him all things find their highest consummation, both in this world and in the world to come.
Far from the glory of God, the Lord of heaven and earth, the Lord of creation, be that which is affirmed of Him by the peoples of the world, except by such as faithfully observe His precepts. May the peace of God rest upon the sincere among His servants.
This is an Epistle from Him Who is the true, the undoubted Leader. Herein is revealed the law of all things for those who fain would heed His Call or wish to be reckoned among them that are guided aright. Herein is enshrined the law of all things for such as would bear witness to the Revelation of thy Lord in accordance with this clear balance. Verily the ordinances of God concerning all things were formerly set forth in eloquent Arabic. Indeed those whose souls have been created through the splendor of the light of thy Lord recognize the Truth and are numbered with such as faithfully obey the One True God and are well assured.…
O Muḥammad! The Decree of thy Lord was fulfilled four years ago; and ever since the inception of the Cause of thy Lord I have warned thee to fear God and not to be of the ignorant. I dispatched a messenger unto thee with a truly resplendent Tablet, but the followers of the devil turned him away disdainfully and interposed themselves between him and thee. They expelled him from the land whereof thou art the undisputed sovereign. Thus hath the good of this world and of the next escaped thee, unless thou submit to the commandment ordained by God and be of them that are rightly guided.
On My return from the sacred House of God1 I sent thee a Message similar to, nay even greater than the one I had previously sent unto thee. Indeed God is the best protector and witness. I dispatched a messenger unto thee with epistles revealed by Me, that thou mightest obey the command of God and not be of them that have repudiated the Truth. The oppressor, however, committed a thing the like of which no one would commit, not even any of the wicked, nor anyone among the vile wrong-doers.…
The tribulations which I have suffered in this land, no one of old hath suffered. Verily unto God shall revert the whole affair, and He in truth is the best protector and is cognizant of all. The things which have, from the first day till now, befallen Me at the hand of thy people are but the work of Satan.2 Ever since the Cause of thy Lord hath appeared none of thy deeds hath been acceptable, and thou hast been lost in palpable error while all thou couldst see appeared to thee as deeds performed for the sake of thy Lord. In truth thy day is nigh at hand and thou shalt be questioned concerning all this, and assuredly God is not heedless of the deeds of the wicked.
Dost thou imagine him whom thou hast appointed Chancellor in thy kingdom to be the best leader and the best supporter? Nay, I swear by thy Lord. He will bring thee into grievous trouble by reason of that which Satan instilleth in his heart, and verily, he himself is Satan. He comprehendeth not a single letter from the Book of God and is seized with fear by reason of that which his hands have wrought. Fain would he extinguish the light which thy Lord hath kindled, so that the old impiety which is concealed in his inner being may not be revealed. Hadst thou not appointed him as thy Chancellor no one would have paid him the slightest attention. Indeed in the estimation of the people he is naught but manifest darkness.…
Fear thou God and suffer not thy soul to be chastised beyond that with which it hath already been tormented; for erelong thou shalt pass away and shalt declare thyself clear of the devil whom thou hast appointed as thy Chancellor, saying: “O would that I had not taken the devil as my Chancellor, nor appointed an impostor as my guide and adviser.”
Why dost thou burden thy soul with that which is far more abject than the deeds of Pharaoh, and still callest thyself one of the faithful? How dost thou peruse the verses of the Qur’án, while thou art of the unjust? Never would the Jews, nor the Christians nor any such people as have rejected the truth consent to inflict wrongs upon the son of their Prophet’s daughter. Woe betide thee, for the day of chastisement is approaching. Dost thou not dread the wrath of thy Lord, the Almighty, the Lord of the heavens, the Lord of all worlds? Indeed these manifest verses are conclusive testimony for those who seek true guidance.
I have no desire to seize thy property, even to the extent of a grain of mustard, nor do I wish to occupy thy position. If thou followest Me not, then unto thee be the things thou dost possess, and unto Me the land of unfailing security. If thou obeyest Me not, wherefore dost thou look disdainfully upon Me and seek to treat Me with sore injustice? Verily, behold My habitation—a lofty mountain wherein no one dwelleth. Woe betide them that wrongfully do injustice to people, and unjustly and deceitfully usurp the property of the believers in violation of His lucid Book; whereas I, Who, in very truth, am the rightful Sovereign of all men, designated by the true, the undeniable Leader, would never infringe on the integrity of the substance of the people, were it to the extent of a grain of mustard, nor would I treat them unjustly. Rather would I consort with them even as one of themselves, and I would be their witness.
That which devolveth upon Me is but to mention the Book of thy Lord and to deliver this clear Message. If thou wishest to enter the gates of Paradise, lo, they are open before thy face and no harm can reach Me from anyone. Every missive which up till now I have directed unto thee and unto the custodian of thy affairs hath been but a token of My bounty to you both, that perchance ye may grow anxious about the day which is nigh at hand. Nevertheless from the moment ye waxed disdainful, divine judgment was passed upon you in the Book of God, for in truth ye both have denied your Lord and are numbered with them that will perish.… This is indeed My last reminder unto you, and I shall make no mention of you hereafter, nor shall I make any remark other than affirming you as infidels.
Unto God do I commit Mine affair and yours, and He verily is the best Judge. Were ye to return, however, ye would be granted whatever ye desire of earthly possessions and of the ineffable delights of the life to come, and ye would inherit such glorious might and majesty as your minds can scarce conceive in this mortal life. But if ye fail to return then upon ye shall be your transgressions.
Ye cannot alter the things which the Almighty hath prescribed unto Me. Naught shall touch Me besides that which God, My Lord, hath preordained for Me. In Him have I placed My whole trust and upon Him do the faithful place their complete reliance.
Bear Thou witness unto Me, O Lord. By sending forth this resplendent Epistle I shall have proclaimed Thy Verses unto both of them and shall have fulfilled Thy Testimony for them. I am well pleased to lay down My life in Thy path and erelong to return to Thy presence. Unto Thee be praise in the heavens and on the earth. Deal with them according to Thy decree. In truth Thou art the best protector and helper.
I beg forgiveness of Thee, O My Lord, for that which I have uttered in Thy Epistle, and I repent unto Thee. I am but one of Thy servants who give praise to Thee. Glorified art Thou; no God is there but Thee. In Thee have I placed My whole trust and of Thee do I beg pardon for being a suppliant at Thy door.
Sanctified is God thy Lord, the Lord of the Mighty Throne, from that which the people wrongfully and without the guidance of His lucid Book, affirm of Him. Peace be upon them that beseech forgiveness from God thy Lord, saying: “Verily, praise be unto God, the Lord of the worlds.”
O sherif!… All thy life thou hast accorded worship unto Us, but when We manifested Ourself unto thee, thou didst desist from bearing witness unto Our Remembrance, and from affirming that He is indeed the Most Exalted, the Sovereign Truth, the All-Glorious. Thus hath Thy Lord put thee to proof in the Day of Resurrection. Verily He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
For hadst thou uttered “Here am I” at the time We sent thee the Book, We would have admitted thee to the company of such of Our servants as truly believe, and would have graciously praised thee in Our Book, until the Day when all men shall appear before Us for judgment. This is in truth far more advantageous unto thee than all the acts of worship thou hast performed for thy Lord during all thy life, nay, from the beginning that hath no beginning. Assuredly this is what would have served and will ever serve thy best interests. Verily We are cognizant of all things. Yet notwithstanding that We had called thee into being for the purpose of attaining Our presence in the Day of Resurrection, thou didst shut thyself out from Us without any reason or explicit Writ; whereas hadst thou been among such as are endowed with the knowledge of the Bayán, thou wouldst have, at the sight of the Book, testified forthwith that there is no God but Him, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, and wouldst have affirmed that He Who hath revealed the Qur’án, hath likewise revealed this Book, that every word of it is from God, and unto it we all bear allegiance.
However, that which was preordained hath come to pass. Shouldst thou return unto Us while revelation still continueth through Us, We shall transform thy fire into light. Truly We are powerful over all things. But if thou failest in this task, thou shalt find no way open to thee other than to embrace the Cause of God and to implore that the matter of thine allegiance be brought to the attention of Him Whom God shall make manifest, that He may graciously enable thee to prosper and cause thy fire to be transformed into light. This is that which hath been sent down unto Us. Should this not come to pass, whatever We have set down shall remain binding and irrevocably decreed by God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, and We shall therefore banish thee from Our presence as a token of justice on Our part. Verily we are equitable in Our judgment.
Thy vision is obscured by the belief that divine revelation ended with the coming of Muḥammad, and unto this We have borne witness in Our first epistle. Indeed, He Who hath revealed verses unto Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, hath likewise revealed verses unto ‘Alí-Muḥammad. For who else but God can reveal to a man such clear and manifest verses as overpower all the learned? Since thou hast acknowledged the revelation of Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, then there is no other way open before thee but to testify that whatever is revealed by the Primal Point hath also proceeded from God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Is it not true that the Qur’án hath been sent down from God and that all men are powerless before its revelation? Likewise these words have also been revealed by God, if thou dost but perceive. What is there in the Bayán which keepeth thee back from recognizing these verses as being sent forth by God, the Inaccessible, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious?
The essence of these words is this: Were We to bring thee to a reckoning, thou wouldst prove thyself empty-handed; We in truth know all things. Hadst thou uttered “yea” on hearing the Words of God, thou wouldst have been seen to have been worshipping God from the beginning that hath no beginning until the present day, never to have disobeyed Him, not even for the twinkling of an eye. Yet, neither the upright deeds thou hast wrought during all thy life, nor the exertions thou didst make to banish every thought from thy heart save that of the good-pleasure of God, none of these did in truth profit thee, not even to the extent of a grain of mustard seed, inasmuch as thou didst veil thyself from God and tarried behind at the time of His manifestation.
Verily all the divines in the land of Káf [Kúfih] shall, even as thyself, be asked by God: “Is it not strange that a Messenger should have come to you with a Book, and ye, while confessing your powerlessness, refused to follow the Faith of God which He had brought, and ye persisted in your disbelief?” Therefore unto thee shall be assigned the fire which was meant for those who turned away from God in that land, inasmuch as thou art their leader; would that thou might be of them who heed.
Hadst thou faithfully obeyed the Decree of God, all the inhabitants of thy land would have followed thee, and would have themselves entered into the celestial Paradise, content with the good-pleasure of God forevermore. However, on that day thou shalt wish that God had not created thee.
Thou hast set thyself up as one of the learned in the Faith of Islám, that thou mightest save the believers, yet thou didst cause thy followers to descend into the fire, for when the verses of God were sent forth thou didst deprive thyself therefrom and yet reckoned thyself to be of the righteous.… Nay, by the life of Him Whom God shall make manifest! Neither thou nor anyone among His servants can produce the slightest proof, while God shineth resplendent above His creatures and through the power of His behest standeth supreme over all that dwell in the kingdoms of heaven and earth and in whatever lieth between them. Verily He is potent over all created things.
Thou hath named thyself ‘Abdu’ṣ-Ṣáḥib [servant of the Lord]. Yet, while God hath, in very truth, made thy Lord manifest, and thou didst set thine eyes upon Him, thou didst not recognize Him, even though thou hadst been called into being by God for the purpose of attaining His presence, didst thou but truly believe in the third verse of the chapter entitled “Thunder.”1
Thou contendest, “How can we recognize Him when we have heard naught but words which fall short of irrefutable proofs?” Yet since thou hast acknowledged and recognized Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, through the Qur’án, how canst thou withhold recognition from Him Who sent thee the Book, despite thy calling thyself “His servant”? Verily He doth exercise undisputed authority over His revelations unto all mankind.
Wert thou to come unto Us while divine revelation is descending upon Us, haply God will change thy fire into light. Verily He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous. Otherwise that which hath been revealed is decisive and final and will be faithfully upheld by all until the Day of Resurrection.… If divine revelation ceaseth, thou shouldst write a petition to Him Whom God shall make manifest, imploring that it be delivered into His presence. Therein thou must beg pardon of thy Lord, turn unto Him in repentance and be of them that are wholly devoted to Him. Perchance God will transform thy fire into light at the next Resurrection. He, of a truth, is the Protector, the Most Exalted, the Ever-Forgiving. Unto Him bow down in worship all that are in the heavens and on the earth and whatever lieth between them; and unto Him shall all return.
We enjoin thee to save thyself and all the inhabitants of that land from the fire, then to enter the peerless and exalted Paradise of His good-pleasure. Otherwise the day is approaching when thou shalt perish and enter the fire, when thou shalt have neither patron nor helper from God. We have taken compassion on thee, as a sign of Our grace, inasmuch as thou hast related thyself unto Us. Verily We are aware of all things. We are cognizant of thy righteous deeds, though they shall avail thee nothing; for the whole object of such righteousness is but recognition of God, thy Lord, and undoubted faith in the Words revealed by Him.
This is an epistle from God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, unto Sulaymán in the land of Masqaṭ, to the right of the Sea. In truth there is none other God but Him, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.… Indeed, were all the inhabitants of heaven and earth and whatever existeth between them to assemble together, they would utterly fail and be powerless to produce such a book, even though We made them masters of eloquence and learning on earth. Since thou dost adduce proofs from the Qur’án, God shall, with proofs from that self-same Book, vindicate Himself in the Bayán. This is none other than a decree of God; He is truly the All-Knowing, the All-Powerful.
If thou art of them that truly believe, thou hast no other alternative than to bear allegiance unto it. This is the Way of God for all the inhabitants of earth and heaven and all that lieth betwixt them. No God is there but Me, the Almighty, the Inaccessible, the Most Exalted.
From this land We then proceeded to the sacred House, and on Our return journey We landed once again at this spot, when We perceived that thou hadst heeded not that which We sent thee, nor art thou of them that truly believe. Although We had created thee to behold Our countenance, and We did actually alight in thy locality, yet thou didst fail to attain the object of thy creation, and this despite thy worshipping God all thy life. Wherefore vain shall be the deeds thou hast wrought, by reason of thy being shut out as by a veil from Our presence and from Our Writings. This is an irrevocable decree ordained by Us. Verily We are equitable in Our judgment.
Hadst thou observed the contents of the Epistle We sent unto thee, it would have been far more profitable to thee than worshipping thy Lord from the beginning that hath no beginning until this day, and indeed more meritorious than proving thyself wholly devoted in thine acts of worship. And hadst thou attained the presence of thy Lord in this land, and been of them that truly believe that the Face of God is beheld in the person of the Primal Point, it would have been far more advantageous than prostrating thyself in adoration from the beginning that hath no beginning until the present time.…
In truth We tested thee and found that thou wert not of them that are endowed with understanding, wherefore We passed upon thee the sentence of negation, as a token of justice from Our presence; and verily We are equitable.
However, shouldst thou return unto Us, We would convert thy negation into affirmation. Verily We are the One Who is of immense bounteousness. But should the Primal Point cease to be with you, then the judgment given in the Words of God shall be final and unalterable and every one will assuredly uphold it.
Wert thou to address a letter to Him Whom God shall make manifest, begging that it be delivered unto His presence, perchance He would graciously forgive thee and, at His behest, turn thy negation into affirmation. He is in truth the All-Bountiful, the Most Generous, He Whose grace is infinite. Otherwise, no way shalt thou find open unto thee and no benefit shalt thou gain from the deeds thou hast wrought, by reason of thy failure to respond “yea, here am I.” Verily We have reduced thee and thy works to naught, as though thou hadst never come into existence nor ever been of them that do good works, that this may serve as a lesson for those unto whom the Bayán is given, that they may take good heed when the sacred Writings of Him Whom God shall make manifest will reach them and perchance, by pondering upon them, may be enabled to save their own souls.
Our grace assuredly pervadeth all that dwell in the kingdoms of earth and heaven and in whatever lieth between them, and beyond them all mankind. However, souls that have shut themselves out as by a veil can never partake of the outpourings of the grace of God.