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Title: Gems of Divine Mysteries
Author: Bahá'u'lláh, 1817-1892
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Gems of Divine Mysteries


by Bahá’u’lláh



Edition 1, (June 23, 2005)



                           BAHA’I TERMS OF USE


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                                 CONTENTS


Baha’i Terms of Use
Introduction
Gems of Divine Mystery



                              [Frontispiece]

      The first page of the Javáhiru’l-Asrár, with an added note in
                          Bahá’u’lláh’s own hand



Javáhiru’l-Asrár

Bahá’í World Centre

BAHÁ’Í WORLD CENTRE COPYRIGHT ©
2002 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED



INTRODUCTION


The decade-long exile of Bahá’u’lláh in ‘Iráq began under the harshest of
conditions and at the lowest ebb in the fortunes of the Bábí Faith. It
witnessed, however, the gradual crystallization of those potent spiritual
forces which were to culminate in the declaration of His world-embracing
mission in 1863. In the course of these years, and from the city of
Ba_gh_dád, there radiated, Shoghi Effendi writes, “wave after wave, a
power, a radiance and a glory which insensibly reanimated a languishing
Faith, sorely-stricken, sinking into obscurity, threatened with oblivion.
From it were diffused, day and night, and with ever-increasing energy, the
first emanations of a Revelation which, in its scope, its copiousness, its
driving force and the volume and variety of its literature, was destined
to excel that of the Báb Himself.”(1)

Among these early effusions of the Pen of Glory is a lengthy Arabic
epistle known as the Javáhiru’l-Asrár, meaning literally the “gems” or
“essences” of mysteries. A number of themes it enunciates are also
elaborated in Persian—through different revelatory modes—in the Seven
Valleys and the Book of Certitude, those two immortal volumes which Shoghi
Effendi has characterized, respectively, as Bahá’u’lláh’s greatest
mystical composition and His pre-eminent doctrinal work. Undoubtedly the
Gems of Divine Mysteries figures among those “Tablets revealed in the
Arabic tongue” which were referred to in the latter volume.(2)

One of the central themes of the book, Bahá’u’lláh indicates, is that of
“transformation”, meaning here the return of the Promised One in a
different human guise. Indeed, in a prefatory note written above the
opening lines of the original manuscript, Bahá’u’lláh states:

This treatise was written in reply to a seeker who had asked how the
promised Mihdí could have become transformed into ‘Alí-Muḥammad (the Báb).
The opportunity provided by this question was seized to elaborate on a
number of subjects, all of which are of use and benefit both to them that
seek and to those who have attained, could ye perceive with the eye of
divine virtue.

The seeker alluded to in the above passage was Siyyid Yúsuf-i-Sihdihí
Iṣfáhání, who at the time was residing in Karbilá. His questions were
presented to Bahá’u’lláh through an intermediary, and this Tablet was
revealed in response on the same day.

A number of other important themes are addressed in this work as well: the
cause of the rejection of the Prophets of the past; the danger of a
literal reading of scripture; the meaning of the signs and portents of the
Bible concerning the advent of the new Manifestation; the continuity of
divine revelation; intimations of Bahá’u’lláh’s own approaching
declaration; the significance of such symbolic terms as “the Day of
Judgement”, “the Resurrection”, “attainment to the Divine Presence”, and
“life and death”; and the stages of the spiritual quest through “the
Garden of Search”, “the City of Love and Rapture”, “the City of Divine
Unity”, “the Garden of Wonderment”, “the City of Absolute Nothingness”,
“the City of Immortality”, and “the City that hath no name or
description”.

The publication of Gems of Divine Mysteries is one of the projects
undertaken in fulfilment of the Five Year Plan goal, announced in April
2001, of “enriching the translations into English from the Holy Texts”.
The volume will further deepen the Western reader’s appreciation of a
period infused with potentiality and described by Shoghi Effendi as “the
vernal years of Bahá’u’lláh’s ministry”, and assist the students of His
Revelation in gaining a more profound insight into its gradual unfoldment.



GEMS OF DIVINE MYSTERY


    The essence of the divine mysteries in the journeys of ascent set
    forth for those who long to draw nigh unto God, the Almighty, the
    Ever-Forgiving—blessed be the righteous that quaff from these
    crystal streams!


                    HE IS THE EXALTED, THE MOST HIGH!

1 O thou who treadest the path of justice and beholdest the countenance of
mercy! Thine epistle was received, thy question was noted, and the sweet
accents of thy soul were heard from the inmost chambers of thy heart.
Whereupon the clouds of the Divine Will were raised to rain upon thee the
outpourings of heavenly wisdom, to divest thee of all that thou hadst
acquired aforetime, to draw thee from the realms of contradiction unto the
retreats of oneness, and to lead thee to the sacred streams of His Law.
Perchance thou mayest quaff therefrom, repose therein, quench thy thirst,
refresh thy soul, and be numbered with those whom the light of God hath
guided aright in this day.

2 Encompassed as I am at this time by the dogs of the earth and the beasts
of every land, concealed as I remain in the hidden habitation of Mine
inner Being, forbidden as I may be from divulging that which God hath
bestowed upon Me of the wonders of His knowledge, the gems of His wisdom,
and the tokens of His power, yet am I loath to frustrate the hopes of one
who hath approached the sanctuary of grandeur, sought to enter within the
precincts of eternity, and aspired to soar in the immensity of this
creation at the dawning of the divine decree. I shall therefore relate
unto thee certain truths from among those which God hath vouchsafed unto
Me, this only to the extent that souls can bear and minds endure, lest the
malicious raise a clamour or the dissemblers hoist their banners. I
implore God to graciously aid Me in this, for unto such as beseech Him, He
is the All-Bounteous, and of those who show mercy, He is the Most
Merciful.

3 Know then that it behoveth thine eminence to ponder from the outset
these questions in thy heart: What hath prompted the divers peoples and
kindreds of the earth to reject the Apostles whom God hath sent unto them
in His might and power, whom He hath raised up to exalt His Cause and
ordained to be the Lamps of eternity within the Niche of His oneness? For
what reason have the people turned aside from them, disputed about them,
risen against and contended with them? On what grounds have they refused
to acknowledge their apostleship and authority, nay, denied their truth
and reviled their persons, even slaying or banishing them?

4 O thou who hast set foot in the wilderness of knowledge and taken abode
within the ark of wisdom! Not until thou hast grasped the mysteries
concealed in that which We shall relate unto thee canst thou hope to
attain to the stations of faith and certitude in the Cause of God and in
those who are the Manifestations of His Cause, the Daysprings of His
Command, the Treasuries of His revelation, and the Repositories of His
knowledge. Shouldst thou fail in this, thou wouldst be numbered with them
that have not striven for the Cause of God, nor inhaled the fragrance of
faith from the raiment of certitude, nor scaled the heights of the divine
unity, nor yet recognized the stations of divine singleness within the
Embodiments of praise and the Essences of sanctity.

5 Strive then, O My brother, to apprehend this matter, that the veils may
be lifted from the face of thy heart and that thou mayest be reckoned
among them whom God hath graced with such penetrating vision as to behold
the most subtle realities of His dominion, to fathom the mysteries of His
kingdom, to perceive the signs of His transcendent Essence in this mortal
world, and to attain a station wherein one seeth no distinction amongst
His creatures and findeth no flaw in the creation of the heavens and the
earth.(3)

6 Now that the discourse hath reached this exalted and intractable theme
and touched upon this sublime and impenetrable mystery, know that the
Christian and Jewish peoples have not grasped the intent of the words of
God and the promises He hath made to them in His Book, and have therefore
denied His Cause, turned aside from His Prophets, and rejected His proofs.
Had they but fixed their gaze upon the testimony of God itself, had they
refused to follow in the footsteps of the abject and foolish among their
leaders and divines, they would doubtless have attained to the repository
of guidance and the treasury of virtue, and quaffed from the crystal
waters of life eternal in the city of the All-Merciful, in the garden of
the All-Glorious, and within the inner reality of His paradise. But as
they have refused to see with the eyes wherewith God hath endowed them,
and desired things other than that which He in His mercy had desired for
them, they have strayed far from the retreats of nearness, have been
deprived of the living waters of reunion and the wellspring of His grace,
and have lain as dead within the shrouds of their own selves.

7 Through the power of God and His might, I shall now relate certain
passages revealed in the Books of old, and mention some of the signs
heralding the appearance of the Manifestations of God in the sanctified
persons of His chosen Ones, that thou mayest recognize the Dayspring of
this everlasting morn and behold this Fire that blazeth in the Tree which
is neither of the East nor of the West.(4) Perchance thine eyes may be
opened upon attaining the presence of thy Lord and thy heart partake of
the blessings concealed within these hidden treasuries. Render thanks then
unto God, Who hath singled thee out for this grace and Who hath numbered
thee with them that are assured of meeting their Lord.

8 This is the text of that which was revealed aforetime in the first
Gospel, according to Matthew, regarding the signs that must needs herald
the advent of the One Who shall come after Him. He saith: “And woe unto
them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days...”,(5)
until the mystic Dove, singing in the midmost heart of eternity, and the
celestial Bird, warbling upon the Divine Lote-Tree, saith: “Immediately
after the oppression of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon
shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the
powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of
the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth
mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven
with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great
sound of a trumpet.”(6)

9 In the second Gospel, according to Mark, the Dove of holiness speaketh
in such terms: “For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not
from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time,
neither shall be.”(7) And it singeth later with the same melodies as
before, without change or alteration. God, verily, is a witness unto the
truth of My words.

10 And in the third Gospel, according to Luke, it is recorded: “There
shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the
earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
and the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son
of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things
begin to come to pass, know that the kingdom of God hath drawn nigh.”(8)

11 And in the fourth Gospel, according to John, it is recorded: “But when
the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the
Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
and ye also shall bear witness.”(9) And elsewhere He saith: “But the
Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name,
he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance,
whatsoever I have said unto you.” (10) And: “But now I go my way to him
that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? But because I
have said these things unto you...”(11) And yet again: “Nevertheless I
tell you the truth: It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go
not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will
send him unto you.” (12) And: “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is
come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself;
but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you
things to come.” (13)

12 Such is the text of the verses revealed in the past. By Him besides
Whom there is none other God, I have chosen to be brief, for were I to
recount all the words that have been sent down unto the Prophets of God
from the realm of His supernal glory and the kingdom of His sovereign
might, all the pages and tablets of the world would not suffice to exhaust
My theme. References similar to those mentioned, nay even more sublime and
exalted, have been made in all the Books and Scriptures of old. Should it
be My wish to recount all that hath been revealed in the past, I would
most certainly be able to do so by virtue of that which God hath bestowed
upon Me of the wonders of His knowledge and power. I have, however,
contented Myself with that which was mentioned, lest thou become wearied
in thy journey or feel inclined to turn back, or lest thou be overtaken by
sadness and sorrow and overcome with despondency, trouble and fatigue.

13 Be fair in thy judgement and reflect upon these exalted utterances.
Inquire, then, of those who lay claim to knowledge without a proof or
testimony from God, and who remain heedless of these days wherein the Orb
of knowledge and wisdom hath dawned above the horizon of Divinity,
rendering unto each his due and assigning unto all their rank and measure,
as to what they can say concerning these allusions. Verily, their meaning
hath bewildered the minds of men, and that which they conceal of the
consummate wisdom and latent knowledge of God even the most sanctified
souls have been powerless to uncover.

14 Should they say: “These words are indeed from God, and have no
interpretation other than their outward meaning”, then what objection can
they raise against the unbelievers among the people of the Book? For when
the latter saw the aforementioned passages in their Scriptures and heard
the literal interpretations of their divines, they refused to recognize
God in those who are the Manifestations of His unity, the Exponents of His
singleness, and the Embodiments of His sanctity, and failed to believe in
them and submit to their authority. The reason was that they did not see
the sun darken, or the stars of heaven fall to the ground, or the angels
visibly descend upon the earth, and hence they contended with the Prophets
and Messengers of God. Nay, inasmuch as they found them at variance with
their own faith and creed, they hurled against them such accusations of
imposture, folly, waywardness, and misbelief as I am ashamed to recount.
Refer to the Qur’án, that thou mayest find mention of all this and be of
them that understand its meaning. Even to this day do these people await
the appearance of that which they have learned from their doctors and
imbibed from their divines. Thus do they say: “When shall these signs be
made manifest, that we may believe?” But if this be the case, how could ye
refute their arguments, invalidate their proofs, and challenge them
concerning their faith and their understanding of their Books and the
sayings of their leaders?

15 And should they reply: “The Books that are in the hands of this people,
which they call the Gospel and attribute to Jesus, the Son of Mary, have
not been revealed by God and proceed not from the Manifestations of His
Self”, then this would imply a cessation in the abounding grace of Him Who
is the Source of all grace. If so, God’s testimony to His servants would
have remained incomplete and His favour proven imperfect. His mercy would
not have shone resplendent, nor would His grace have overshadowed all. For
if at the ascension of Jesus His Book had likewise ascended unto heaven,
then how could God reprove and chastise the people on the Day of
Resurrection, as hath been written by the Imáms of the Faith and affirmed
by its illustrious divines?

16 Ponder then in thine heart: Matters being such as thou dost witness,
and as We also witness, where canst thou flee, and with whom shalt thou
take refuge? Unto whom wilt thou turn thy gaze? In what land shalt thou
dwell and upon what seat shalt thou abide? In what path shalt thou tread
and at what hour wilt thou find repose? What shall become of thee in the
end? Where shalt thou secure the cord of thy faith and fasten the tie of
thine obedience? By Him Who revealeth Himself in His oneness and Whose own
Self beareth witness to His unity! Should there be ignited in thy heart
the burning brand of the love of God, thou wouldst seek neither rest nor
composure, neither laughter nor repose, but wouldst hasten to scale the
highest summits in the realms of divine nearness, sanctity, and beauty.
Thou wouldst lament as a soul bereaved and weep as a heart filled with
longing. Nor wouldst thou repair to thy home and abode unless God would
lay bare before thee His Cause.

17 O thou who hast soared to the realm of guidance and ascended to the
kingdom of virtue! Shouldst thou desire to apprehend these celestial
allusions, to witness the mysteries of divine knowledge, and to become
acquainted with His all-encompassing Word, then it behoveth thine eminence
to inquire into these and other questions pertaining to thine origin and
ultimate goal from those whom God hath made to be the Wellspring of His
knowledge, the Heaven of His wisdom, and the Ark of His mysteries. For
were it not for those effulgent Lights that shine above the horizon of His
Essence, the people would know not their left hand from their right, how
much less could they scale the heights of the inner realities or probe the
depths of their subtleties! We beseech God therefore to immerse us in
these surging seas, to grace us with the presence of these life-bearing
breezes, and to cause us to abide in these divine and lofty precincts.
Perchance we may divest ourselves of all that we have taken from each
other and strip ourselves of such borrowed garments as we have stolen from
our fellow men, that He may attire us instead with the robe of His mercy
and the raiment of His guidance, and admit us into the city of knowledge.

18 Whosoever entereth this city will comprehend every science before
probing into its mysteries and will acquire from the leaves of its trees a
knowledge and wisdom encompassing such mysteries of divine lordship as are
enshrined within the treasuries of creation. Glorified be God, its Creator
and Fashioner, above all that He hath brought forth and ordained therein!
By God, the Sovereign Protector, the Self-Subsisting, the Almighty! Were I
to unveil to thine eyes the gates of this city, which have been fashioned
by the right hand of might and power, thou wouldst behold that which none
before thee hath ever beheld, and wouldst witness that which no other soul
hath ever witnessed. Thou wouldst apprehend the most obscure signs and the
most abstruse allusions, and wouldst clearly behold the mysteries of the
beginning in the point of the end. All matters would be made easy unto
thee, fire would be turned into light, knowledge and blessings, and thou
wouldst abide in safety within the court of holiness.

19 Bereft, however, of the essence of the mysteries of His wisdom, which
We have imparted unto thee beneath the veils of these blessed and
soul-stirring words, thou wouldst fail to attain unto even a sprinkling of
the oceans of divine knowledge or the crystal streams of divine power, and
wouldst be recorded in the Mother Book, through the Pen of oneness and by
the Finger of God, amongst the ignorant. Nor wouldst thou be able to grasp
a single word of the Book or a single utterance of the Kindred of God(14)
concerning the mysteries of the beginning and the end.

20 O thou whom We have outwardly never met, yet whom We inwardly cherish
in Our heart! Be fair in thy judgement and present thyself before Him Who
seeth and knoweth thee, even if thou seest and knowest Him not: Can any
soul be found to elucidate these words with such convincing arguments,
clear testimonies, and unmistakable allusions as to appease the heart of
the seeker and relieve the soul of the listener? Nay, by the One in Whose
hand is My soul! Unto none is given to quaff even a dewdrop thereof unless
he entereth within this city, a city whose foundations rest upon mountains
of crimson-coloured ruby, whose walls are hewn of the chrysolite of divine
unity, whose gates are made of the diamonds of immortality, and whose
earth sheddeth the fragrance of divine bounty.

21 Having imparted unto thee, beneath countless veils of concealment,
certain hidden mysteries, We now return to Our elucidation of the Books of
old, that perchance thy feet may not slip and thou mayest receive with
complete certitude the portion which We shall bestow upon thee of the
billowing oceans of life in the realm of the names and attributes of God.

22 It is recorded in all the Books of the Gospel that He Who is the
Spirit(15) spoke in words of pure light unto His disciples, saying: “Know
that heaven and earth may pass away, but my words shall never pass
away.”(16) As is clear and evident to thine eminence, these words
outwardly mean that the Books of the Gospel will remain in the hands of
people till the end of the world, that their laws shall not be abrogated,
that their testimony shall not be abolished, and that all that hath been
enjoined, prescribed, or ordained therein shall endure forever.

23 O My brother! Sanctify thy heart, illumine thy soul, and sharpen thy
sight, that thou mayest perceive the sweet accents of the Birds of Heaven
and the melodies of the Doves of Holiness warbling in the Kingdom of
eternity, and perchance apprehend the inner meaning of these utterances
and their hidden mysteries. For otherwise, wert thou to interpret these
words according to their outward meaning, thou couldst never prove the
truth of the Cause of Him Who came after Jesus, nor silence the opponents,
nor prevail over the contending disbelievers. For the Christian divines
use this verse to prove that the Gospel shall never be abrogated and that,
even if all the signs recorded in their Books were fulfilled and the
Promised One appeared, He would have no recourse but to rule the people
according to the ordinances of the Gospel. They contend that if He were to
manifest all the signs indicated in the Books, but decree aught besides
that which Jesus had decreed, they would neither acknowledge nor follow
Him, so clear and self-evident is this matter in their sight.

24 Thou canst indeed hear the learned and the foolish amongst the people
voice the same objections in this day, saying: “The sun hath not risen
from the West, nor hath the Crier cried out betwixt earth and heaven.
Water hath not inundated certain lands; the Dajjál(17) hath not appeared;
Súfyání(18) hath not arisen; nor hath the Temple been witnessed in the
sun.” I heard, with Mine own ears, one of their divines proclaim: “Should
all these signs come to pass and the long-awaited Qá’im appear, and should
He ordain, with respect to even our secondary laws, aught beyond that
which hath been revealed in the Qur’án, we would assuredly charge Him with
imposture, put Him to death, and refuse forever to acknowledge Him”, and
other statements such as these deniers make. And all this, when the Day of
Resurrection hath been ushered in, and the Trumpet hath been sounded, and
all the denizens of earth and heaven have been gathered together, and the
Balance hath been appointed, and the Bridge hath been laid, and the Verses
have been sent down, and the Sun hath shone forth, and the stars have been
blotted out, and the souls have been raised to life, and the breath of the
Spirit hath blown, and the angels have been arrayed in ranks, and Paradise
hath been brought nigh, and Hell made to blaze! These things have all come
to pass, and yet to this day not a single one of these people hath
recognized them! They all lie as dead within their own shrouds, save those
who have believed and repaired unto God, who rejoice in this day in His
celestial paradise, and who tread the path of His good-pleasure.

25 Veiled as they remain within their own selves, the generality of the
people have failed to perceive the sweet accents of holiness, inhale the
fragrance of mercy, or seek guidance, as bidden by God, from those who are
the custodians of the Scriptures. He proclaimeth, and His word, verily, is
the truth: “Ask ye, therefore, of them that have the custody of the
Scriptures, if ye know it not.”(19) Nay rather, they have turned aside
from them and followed instead the Sámirí(20) of their own idle fancies.
Thus have they strayed far from the mercy of their Lord and failed to
attain unto His Beauty in the day of His presence. For no sooner had He
come unto them with a sign and a testimony from God than the same people
who had eagerly awaited the day of His Revelation, who had called upon Him
in the daytime and in the night season, who had implored Him to gather
them together in His presence and to grant that they may lay down their
lives in His path, be led aright by His guidance and illumined by His
light—this very people condemned and reviled Him, and inflicted upon Him
such cruelties as transcend both My capacity to tell and thine ability to
hear them. My very pen crieth out at this moment and the ink weepeth sore
and groaneth. By God! Wert thou to hearken with thine inner ear, thou
wouldst in truth hear the lamentations of the denizens of heaven; and wert
thou to remove the veil from before thine eyes, thou wouldst behold the
Maids of Heaven overcome and the holy souls overwhelmed, beating upon
their faces and fallen upon the dust.

26 Alas, alas, for that which befell Him Who was the Manifestation of the
Self of God, and for that which He and His loved ones were made to suffer!
The people inflicted upon them what no soul hath ever inflicted upon
another, and what no infidel hath wrought against a believer or suffered
at his hand. Alas, alas! That immortal Being sat upon the darksome dust,
the Holy Spirit lamented in the retreats of glory, the pillars of the
Throne crumbled in the exalted dominion, the joy of the world was changed
into sorrow in the crimson land, and the voice of the Nightingale was
silenced in the golden realm. Woe betide them for what their hands have
wrought and for what they have committed!

27 Hearken then unto that which the Bird of Heaven uttered, in the
sweetest and most wondrous accents, and in the most perfect and exalted
melodies, concerning them—an utterance that shall fill them with remorse
from now unto “the day when mankind shall stand before the Lord of the
worlds”: “Although they had before prayed for victory over those who
believed not, yet when there came unto them He of Whom they had knowledge,
they disbelieved in Him. The curse of God on the infidels!”(21) Such
indeed are their condition and attainments in their vain and empty life.
Erelong shall they be cast into the fire of affliction and find none to
help or succour them.

28 Be not veiled by aught that hath been revealed in the Qur’án, or by
what thou hast learned from the works of those Suns of immaculacy and
Moons of majesty,(22) regarding the perversion of the Texts by the
fanatical or their alteration by their corruptors. By these statements
only certain specific and clearly indicated passages are intended. In
spite of My weakness and poverty, I would assuredly be able, should I so
desire, to expound these passages unto thine eminence. But this would
divert us from our purpose and lead us astray from the outstretched path.
It would immerse us in limited allusions and distract us from that which
is beloved in the court of the All-Praised.

29 O thou who art mentioned in this outspread roll and who, amidst the
gloomy darkness that now prevaileth, hast been illumined by the splendours
of the sacred Mount in the Sinai of divine Revelation! Cleanse thy heart
from every blasphemous whispering and evil allusion thou hast heard in the
past, that thou mayest inhale the sweet savours of eternity from the
Joseph of faithfulness, gain admittance into the celestial Egypt, and
perceive the fragrances of enlightenment from this resplendent and
luminous Tablet, a Tablet wherein the Pen hath inscribed the ancient
mysteries of the names of His Lord, the Exalted, the Most High. Perchance
thou mayest be recorded in the holy Tablets among them that are well
assured.

30 O thou who art standing before My Throne and yet remain unaware
thereof! Know thou that whoso seeketh to scale the summits of the divine
mysteries must needs strive to the utmost of his power and capacity for
his Faith, that the pathway of guidance may be made clear unto him. And
should he encounter One Who layeth claim to a Cause from God, and Who
holdeth from His Lord a testimony beyond the power of men to produce, he
must needs follow Him in all that He pleaseth to proclaim, command and
ordain, even were He to decree the sea to be land, or to pronounce earth
to be heaven, or that the former lieth above the latter or below it, or to
ordain any change or transformation, for He, verily, is aware of the
celestial mysteries, the unseen subtleties, and the ordinances of God.

31 Were the peoples of every nation to observe that which hath been
mentioned, the matter would be made simple unto them, and such words and
allusions would not withhold them from the Ocean of the names and
attributes of God. And had the people known this truth, they would not
have denied God’s favours, nor would they have risen against, contended
with, and rejected His Prophets. Similar passages are also to be found in
the Qur’án, should the matter be carefully examined.

32 Know, moreover, that it is through such words that God proveth His
servants and sifteth them, separating the believer from the infidel, the
detached from the worldly, the pious from the profligate, the doer of good
from the worker of iniquity, and so forth. Thus hath the Dove of holiness
proclaimed: “Do men think when they say ‘We believe’ they shall be let
alone and not be put to proof?”(23)

33 It behoveth him who is a wayfarer in the path of God and a wanderer in
His way to detach himself from all who are in the heavens and on the
earth. He must renounce all save God, that perchance the portals of mercy
may be unlocked before his face and the breezes of providence may waft
over him. And when he hath inscribed upon his soul that which We have
vouchsafed unto him of the quintessence of inner meaning and explanation,
he will fathom all the secrets of these allusions, and God shall bestow
upon his heart a divine tranquillity and cause him to be of them that are
at peace with themselves. In like manner wilt thou comprehend the meaning
of all the ambiguous verses that have been sent down concerning the
question thou didst ask of this Servant Who abideth upon the seat of
abasement, Who walketh upon the earth as an exile with none to befriend,
comfort, aid, or assist Him, Who hath placed His whole trust in God, and
Who proclaimeth at all times: “Verily we are God’s, and to Him shall we
return.” (24)

34 Know thou that the passages that We have called “ambiguous” appear as
such only in the eyes of them that have failed to soar above the horizon
of guidance and to reach the heights of knowledge in the retreats of
grace. For otherwise, unto them that have recognized the Repositories of
divine Revelation and beheld through His inspiration the mysteries of
divine authority, all the verses of God are perspicuous and all His
allusions are clear. Such men discern the inner mysteries that have been
clothed in the garment of words as clearly as ye perceive the heat of the
sun or the wetness of water, nay even more distinctly. Immeasurably
exalted is God above our praise of His loved ones, and beyond their praise
of Him!

35 Now that We have reached this most excellent theme and attained such
lofty heights by virtue of that which hath flowed from this Pen through
the incomparable favours of God, the Exalted, the Most High, it is Our
wish to disclose unto thee certain stations in the wayfarer’s journey
towards his Creator. Perchance all that thine eminence hath desired may be
revealed unto thee, that the proof may be made complete and the blessing
abundant.

36 Know thou of a truth that the seeker must, at the beginning of his
quest for God, enter the Garden of Search. In this journey it behoveth the
wayfarer to detach himself from all save God and to close his eyes to all
that is in the heavens and on the earth. There must not linger in his
heart either the hate or the love of any soul, to the extent that they
would hinder him from attaining the habitation of the celestial Beauty. He
must sanctify his soul from the veils of glory and refrain from boasting
of such worldly vanities, outward knowledge, or other gifts as God may
have bestowed upon him. He must search after the truth to the utmost of
his ability and exertion, that God may guide him in the paths of His
favour and the ways of His mercy. For He, verily, is the best of helpers
unto His servants. He saith, and He verily speaketh the truth: “Whoso
maketh efforts for Us, in Our ways shall We assuredly guide him.” (25) And
furthermore: “Fear God and God will give you knowledge.” (26)

37 In this journey the seeker becometh witness to a myriad changes and
transformations, confluences and divergences. He beholdeth the wonders of
Divinity in the mysteries of creation and discovereth the paths of
guidance and the ways of His Lord. Such is the station reached by them
that search after God, and such are the heights attained by those who
hasten unto Him.

38 When once the seeker hath ascended unto this station, he will enter the
City of Love and Rapture, whereupon the winds of love will blow and the
breezes of the spirit will waft. In this station the seeker is so overcome
by the ecstasies of yearning and the fragrances of longing that he
discerneth not his left from his right, nor doth he distinguish land from
sea or desert from mountain. At every moment he burneth with the fire of
longing and is consumed by the onslaught of separation in this world. He
speedeth through the Párán of love and traverseth the Horeb of rapture.
Now he laugheth, now he weepeth sore; now he reposeth in peace, now he
trembleth in fear. Nothing can alarm him, naught can thwart his purpose,
and no law can restrain him. He standeth ready to obey whatsoever His Lord
should please to decree as to his beginning and his end. With every breath
he layeth down his life and offereth up his soul. He bareth his breast to
meet the darts of the enemy and raiseth his head to greet the sword of
destiny; nay rather, he kisseth the hand of his would-be murderer and
surrendereth his all. He yieldeth up spirit, soul, and body in the path of
his Lord, and yet he doeth so by the leave of his Beloved and not of his
own whim and desire. Thou findest him chill in the fire and dry in the
sea, abiding in every land and treading every path. Whosoever toucheth him
in this state will perceive the heat of his love. He walketh the heights
of detachment and traverseth the vale of renunciation. His eyes are ever
expectant to witness the wonders of God’s mercy and eager to behold the
splendours of His beauty. Blessed indeed are they that have attained unto
such a station, for this is the station of the ardent lovers and the
enraptured souls.

39 And when this stage of the journey is completed and the wayfarer hath
soared beyond this lofty station, he entereth the City of Divine Unity,
and the garden of oneness, and the court of detachment. In this plane the
seeker casteth away all signs, allusions, veils, and words, and beholdeth
all things with an eye illumined by the effulgent lights which God Himself
hath shed upon him. In his journey he seeth all differences return to a
single word and all allusions culminate in a single point. Unto this
beareth witness he who sailed upon the ark of fire and followed the inmost
path to the pinnacle of glory in the realm of immortality: “Knowledge is
one point, which the foolish have multiplied.”(27) This is the station
that hath been alluded to in the tradition: “I am He, Himself, and He is
I, Myself, except that I am that I am, and He is that He is.”(28)

40 In this station, were He Who is the Embodiment of the End to say:
“Verily, I am the Point of the Beginning”, He would indeed be speaking the
truth. And were He to say: “I am other than Him”, this would be equally
true. Likewise, were He to proclaim: “Verily, I am the Lord of heaven and
earth”, or “the King of kings”, or “the Lord of the realm above”, or
Muhammad, or ‘Alí, or their descendants, or aught else, He would indeed be
proclaiming the truth of God. He, verily, ruleth over all created things
and standeth supreme above all besides Him. Hast thou not heard what hath
been said aforetime: “Muhammad is our first, Muhammad our last, Muhammad
our all”? And elsewhere: “They all proceed from the same Light”?

41 In this station the truth of the unity of God and of the signs of His
sanctity is established. Thou shalt indeed see them all rising above the
bosom of God’s might and embraced in the arms of His mercy; nor can any
distinction be made between His bosom and His arms. To speak of change or
transformation in this plane would be sheer blasphemy and utter impiety,
for this is the station wherein the light of divine unity shineth forth,
and the truth of His oneness is expressed, and the splendours of the
everlasting Morn are reflected in lofty and faithful mirrors. By God! Were
I to reveal the full measure of that which He hath ordained for this
station, the souls of men would depart from their bodies, the inner
realities of all things would be shaken in their foundations, they that
dwell within the realms of creation would be dumbfounded, and those who
move in the lands of allusion would fade into utter nothingness.

42 Hast thou not heard: “No change is there in God’s creation”?(29) Hast
thou not read: “No change canst thou find in God’s mode of dealing”?(30)
Hast thou not borne witness to the truth: “No difference wilt thou see in
the creation of the God of Mercy”? (31) Yea, by My Lord! They that dwell
within this Ocean, they that ride upon this Ark, witness no change in the
creation of God and behold no differences upon His earth. And if God’s
creation be not prone to change and alteration, how then could they who
are the Manifestations of His own Being be subject to it? Immeasurably
exalted is God above all that we may conceive of the Revealers of His
Cause, and immensely glorified is He beyond all that they may mention in
His regard!

43

  Great God! This sea had laid up lustrous pearls in store;
  The wind hath raised a wave that casteth them ashore.
  So put away thy robe and drown thyself therein,
  And cease to boast of skill: it serveth thee no more!

44 If thou be of the inmates of this city within the ocean of divine
unity, thou wilt view all the Prophets and Messengers of God as one soul
and one body, as one light and one spirit, in such wise that the first
among them would be last and the last would be first. For they have all
arisen to proclaim His Cause and have established the laws of divine
wisdom. They are, one and all, the Manifestations of His Self, the
Repositories of His might, the Treasuries of His Revelation, the
Dawning-Places of His splendour, and the Daysprings of His light. Through
them are manifested the signs of sanctity in the realities of all things
and the tokens of oneness in the essences of all beings. Through them are
revealed the elements of glorification in the heavenly realities and the
exponents of praise in the eternal essences. From them hath all creation
proceeded and unto them shall return all that hath been mentioned. And
since in their inmost Beings they are the same Luminaries and the
self-same Mysteries, thou shouldst view their outward conditions in the
same light, that thou mayest recognize them all as one Being, nay, find
them united in their words, speech, and utterance.

45 Wert thou to consider in this station the last of them to be the first,
or conversely, thou wouldst indeed be speaking the truth, as hath been
ordained by Him Who is the Wellspring of Divinity and the Source of
Lordship: “Say: Call upon God or call upon the All-Merciful: by
whichsoever name ye will, invoke him, for He hath most excellent
names.”(32) For they are all the Manifestations of the name of God, the
Dawning-Places of His attributes, the Repositories of His might, and the
Focal Points of His sovereignty, whilst God—magnified be His might and
glory—is in His Essence sanctified above all names and exalted beyond even
the loftiest attributes. Consider likewise the evidences of divine
omnipotence both in their Souls and in their human Temples, that thine
heart may be assured and that thou mayest be of them that speed through
the realms of His nearness.

46 I shall restate here My theme, that perchance this may assist thee in
recognizing thy Creator. Know thou that God—exalted and glorified be
He—doth in no wise manifest His inmost Essence and Reality. From time
immemorial He hath been veiled in the eternity of His Essence and
concealed in the infinitude of His own Being. And when He purposed to
manifest His beauty in the kingdom of names and to reveal His glory in the
realm of attributes, He brought forth His Prophets from the invisible
plane to the visible, that His name “the Manifest” might be distinguished
from “the Hidden” and His name “the Last” might be discerned from “the
First”, and that there may be fulfilled the words: “He is the First and
the Last; the Seen and the Hidden; and He knoweth all things!”(33) Thus
hath He revealed these most excellent names and most exalted words in the
Manifestations of His Self and the Mirrors of His Being.

47 It is therefore established that all names and attributes return unto
these sublime and sanctified Luminaries. Indeed, all names are to be found
in their names, and all attributes can be seen in their attributes. Viewed
in this light, if thou wert to call them by all the names of God, this
would be true, as all these names are one and the same as their own Being.
Comprehend then the intent of these words, and guard it within the
tabernacle of thy heart, that thou mayest recognize the implications of
thine inquiry, fulfil them according to that which God hath ordained for
thee, and thus be numbered with those who have attained unto His purpose.

48 All that thou hast heard regarding Muhammad the son of Hasan(34)—may
the souls of all that are immersed in the oceans of the spirit be offered
up for His sake—is true beyond the shadow of a doubt, and we all verily
bear allegiance unto Him. But the Imáms of the Faith have fixed His abode
in the city of Jábulqá,(35) which they have depicted in strange and
marvellous signs. To interpret this city according to the literal meaning
of the tradition would indeed prove impossible, nor can such a city ever
be found. Wert thou to search the uttermost corners of the earth, nay
probe its length and breadth for as long as God’s eternity hath lasted and
His sovereignty will endure, thou wouldst never find a city such as they
have described, for the entirety of the earth could neither contain nor
encompass it. If thou wouldst lead Me unto this city, I could assuredly
lead thee unto this holy Being, Whom the people have conceived according
to what they possess and not to that which pertaineth unto Him! Since this
is not in thy power, thou hast no recourse but to interpret symbolically
the accounts and traditions that have been reported from these luminous
souls. And, as such an interpretation is needed for the traditions
pertaining to the aforementioned city, so too is it required for this holy
Being. When thou hast understood this interpretation, thou shalt no longer
stand in need of “transformation” or aught else.

49 Know then that, inasmuch as all the Prophets are but one and the same
soul, spirit, name, and attribute, thou must likewise see them all as
bearing the name Muhammad and as being the son of Hasan, as having
appeared from the Jábulqá of God’s power and from the Jábulsá of His
mercy. For by Jábulqá is meant none other than the treasure-houses of
eternity in the all-highest heaven and the cities of the unseen in the
supernal realm. We bear witness that Muhammad, the son of Hasan, was
indeed in Jábulqá and appeared therefrom. Likewise, He Whom God shall make
manifest abideth in that city until such time as God will have established
Him upon the seat of His sovereignty. We, verily, acknowledge this truth
and bear allegiance unto each and every one of them. We have chosen here
to be brief in our elucidation of the meanings of Jábulqá, but if thou be
of them that truly believe, thou shalt indeed comprehend all the true
meanings of the mysteries enshrined within these Tablets.

50 But as to Him Who appeared in the year sixty, He standeth in need of
neither transformation nor interpretation, for His name was Muhammad, and
He was a descendent of the Imáms of the Faith. Thus it can be truly said
of Him that He was the son of Hasan, as is undoubtedly clear and evident
unto thine eminence. Nay, He it is Who fashioned that name and created it
for Himself, were ye to observe with the eye of God.

51 It is Our wish at this juncture to digress from Our theme to recount
that which befell the Point of the Qur’án,(36) and to extol His
remembrance, that perchance thou mayest gain into all things an insight
born of Him Who is the Almighty, the Incomparable.

52 Consider and reflect upon His days, when God raised Him up to promote
His Cause and to stand as the representative of His own Self. Witness how
He was assailed, denied, and denounced by all; how, when He set foot in
the streets and marketplaces, the people derided Him, wagged their heads
at Him, and laughed Him to scorn; how at every moment they sought to slay
Him. Such were their doings that the earth in all its vastness was
straitened for Him, the Concourse on High bewailed His plight, the
foundations of existence were reduced to nothingness, and the eyes of the
well-favoured denizens of His Kingdom wept sore over Him. Indeed, so
grievous were the afflictions which the infidels and the wicked showered
upon Him that no faithful soul can bear to hear them.

53 If these wayward souls had indeed paused to reflect upon their conduct,
recognized the sweet melodies of that Mystic Dove singing upon the twigs
of this snow-white Tree, embraced that which God had revealed unto and
bestowed upon them, and discovered the fruits of the Tree of God upon its
branches, wherefore then did they reject and denounce Him? Had they not
lifted their heads to the heavens to implore His appearance? Had they not
besought God at every moment to honour them with His Beauty and sustain
them through His presence?

54 But as they failed to recognize the accents of God and the divine
mysteries and holy allusions enshrined in that which flowed from the
tongue of Muhammad, and as they neglected to examine the matter in their
own hearts, and followed instead those priests of error who have hindered
the progress of the people in past dispensations and who will continue to
do so in future cycles, they were thus veiled from the divine purpose,
failed to quaff from the celestial streams, and deprived themselves of the
presence of God, the Manifestation of His Essence, and the Dayspring of
His eternity. Thus did they wander in the paths of delusion and the ways
of heedlessness, and return to their abode in that fire which feedeth on
their own souls. These, verily, are numbered with the infidels whose names
have been inscribed by the Pen of God in His holy Book. Nor have they ever
found, or will ever find, a friend or helper.

55 Had these souls but clung steadfastly to the Handle of God manifested
in the Person of Muhammad, had they turned wholly unto God and cast aside
all that they had learned from their divines, He would assuredly have
guided them through His grace and acquainted them with the sacred truths
that are enshrined within His imperishable utterances. For far be it from
His greatness and His glory that He should turn away a seeker at His door,
cast aside from His Threshold one who hath set his hopes on Him, reject
one who hath sought the shelter of His shade, deprive one who hath held
fast to the hem of His mercy, or condemn to remoteness the poor one who
hath found the river of His riches. But as these people failed to turn
wholly unto God, and to hold fast to the hem of His all-pervading mercy at
the appearance of the Daystar of Truth, they passed out from under the
shadow of guidance and entered the city of error. Thus did they become
corrupt and corrupt the people. Thus did they err and lead the people into
error. And thus were they recorded among the oppressors in the books of
heaven.

56 Now that this evanescent One hath reached this exalted point in the
exposition of the inner mysteries, the reason for the denial of these
uncouth souls will be described briefly, that it may serve as a testimony
unto them that are endued with understanding and insight, and be a token
of My favour unto the concourse of the faithful.

57 Know then that when Muhammad, the Point of the Qur’án and the Light of
the All-Glorious, came with perspicuous verses and luminous proofs
manifested in such signs as are beyond the power of all existence to
produce, He bade all men follow this lofty and outstretched Path in
accordance with the precepts that He had brought from God. Whoso
acknowledged Him, recognized the signs of God in His inmost Being, and saw
in His beauty the changeless beauty of God, the decree of “resurrection”,
“ingathering”, “life”, and “paradise” was passed upon him. For he who had
believed in God and in the Manifestation of His beauty was raised from the
grave of heedlessness, gathered together in the sacred ground of the
heart, quickened to the life of faith and certitude, and admitted into the
paradise of the divine presence. What paradise can be loftier than this,
what ingathering mightier, and what resurrection greater? Indeed, should a
soul be acquainted with these mysteries, he would grasp that which none
other hath fathomed.

58 Know then that the paradise that appeareth in the day of God surpasseth
every other paradise and excelleth the realities of Heaven. For when
God—blessed and glorified is He—sealed the station of prophethood in the
person of Him Who was His Friend, His Chosen One, and His Treasure amongst
His creatures, as hath been revealed from the Kingdom of glory: “but He is
the Apostle of God and the Seal of the Prophets”,(37) He promised all men
that they shall attain unto His own presence in the Day of Resurrection.
In this He meant to emphasize the greatness of the Revelation to come, as
it hath indeed been manifested through the power of truth. And there is of
a certainty no paradise greater than this, nor station higher, should ye
reflect upon the verses of the Qur’án. Blessed be he who knoweth of a
certainty that he shall attain unto the presence of God on that day when
His Beauty shall be made manifest.

59 Were I to recount all the verses that have been revealed in connection
with this exalted theme, it would weary the reader and divert Us from Our
purpose. The following verse shall therefore suffice Us; may thine eyes be
solaced therewith, and mayest thou attain unto that which hath been
treasured and concealed therein: “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 travelleth 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.”(38)

60 Ponder then, O My friend, the words “firm faith” that have been
mentioned in this verse. It saith that the heavens and the earth, the
throne, the sun and the moon, all have been created to the end that His
servants may have unswerving faith in His presence in His days. By the
righteousness of God! Contemplate, O My brother, the greatness of this
station, and behold the condition of the people in these days, fleeing
from the Countenance of God and His Beauty “as though they were affrighted
asses”.(39) Wert thou to reflect upon that which We have revealed unto
thee, thou wouldst undoubtedly grasp Our purpose in this utterance and
discover that which We have desired to impart unto thee within this
paradise. Perchance thine eyes may rejoice in beholding it, thine ears
take delight in hearing that which is recited therein, thy soul be
enthralled by recognizing it, thy heart illumined by comprehending it, and
thy spirit gladdened by the fragrant breezes that waft therefrom. Haply
thou mayest attain unto the pinnacle of divine grace and abide within the
Ridván of transcendent holiness.

61 He, however, who denied God in His Truth, who turned his back upon Him
and rebelled, who disbelieved and made mischief, the verdict of “impiety”,
“blasphemy”, “death”, and “fire” was passed upon him. For, what blasphemy
is greater than to turn unto the manifestations of Satan, to follow the
doctors of oblivion and the people of rebellion? What impiety is more
grievous than to deny the Lord on the day when faith itself is renewed and
regenerated by God, the Almighty, the Beneficent? What death is more
wretched than to flee from the Source of everlasting life? What fire is
fiercer on the Day of Reckoning than that of remoteness from the divine
Beauty and the celestial Glory?

62 These were the very words and utterances used by the pagan Arabs living
in the days of Muhammad to dispute with and pronounce judgement against
Him. They said: “Those who believed in Muhammad dwelt in our midst and
associated with us day and night. When did they die and when were they
raised again to life?” Hearken unto that which was revealed in reply: “If
ever thou dost marvel, marvellous surely is their saying, ‘What! When we
have become dust and mouldering bones, shall we be restored in a new
creation?’”(40) And in another passage: “And if thou shouldst say, ‘After
death ye shall surely be raised again’, the infidels will certainly
exclaim, ‘This is naught but palpable sorcery.’”(41) Thus did they mock
and deride Him, for they had read in their Books and heard from their
divines the terms “life” and “death”, and understood them as this
elemental life and physical death, and hence when they found not that
which their vain imaginings and their false and wicked minds had
conceived, they hoisted the banners of discord and the standards of
sedition and kindled the flame of war. God, however, quenched it through
the power of His might, as thou seest again in this day with these
infidels and evil-doers.

63 At this hour, when the sweet savours of attraction have wafted over Me
from the everlasting city, when transports of yearning have seized Me from
the land of splendours at the dawning of the Daystar of the worlds above
the horizon of ‘Iráq, and the sweet melodies of Ḥijáz have brought to Mine
ears the mysteries of separation, I have purposed to relate unto thine
eminence a portion of that which the Mystic Dove hath warbled in the
midmost heart of Paradise as to the true meaning of life and death, though
the task be impossible. For were I to interpret these words for thee as it
hath been inscribed in the Guarded Tablets, all the books and pages of the
world could not contain it, nor could the souls of men bear its weight. I
shall nonetheless mention that which beseemeth this day and age, that it
might serve as a guidance unto whosoever desireth to gain admittance into
the retreats of glory in the realms above, to hearken unto the melodies of
the spirit intoned by this divine and mystic bird, and to be numbered with
those who have severed themselves from all save God and who in this day
rejoice in the presence of their Lord.

64 Know then that “life” hath a twofold meaning. The first pertaineth to
the appearance of man in an elemental body, and is as manifest to thine
eminence and to others as the midday sun. This life cometh to an end with
physical death, which is a God-ordained and inescapable reality. That
life, however, which is mentioned in the Books of the Prophets and the
Chosen Ones of God is the life of knowledge; that is to say, the servant’s
recognition of the sign of the splendours wherewith He Who is the Source
of all splendour hath Himself invested him, and his certitude of attaining
unto the presence of God through the Manifestations of His Cause. This is
that blessed and everlasting life that perisheth not: whosoever is
quickened thereby shall never die, but will endure as long as His Lord and
Creator will endure.

65 The first life, which pertaineth to the elemental body, will come to an
end, as hath been revealed by God: “Every soul shall taste of death.”(42)
But the second life, which ariseth from the knowledge of God, knoweth no
death, as hath been revealed aforetime: “Him will We surely quicken to a
blessed life.”(43) And in another passage concerning the martyrs: “Nay,
they are alive and sustained by their Lord.”(44) And from the Traditions:
“He who is a true believer liveth both in this world and in the world to
come.”(45) Numerous examples of similar words are to be found in the Books
of God and of the Embodiments of His justice. For the sake of brevity,
however, We have contented Ourself with the above passages.

66 O My brother! Forsake thine own desires, turn thy face unto thy Lord,
and walk not in the footsteps of those who have taken their corrupt
inclinations for their god, that perchance thou mayest find shelter in the
heart of existence, beneath the redeeming shadow of Him Who traineth all
names and attributes. For they who turn away from their Lord in this day
are in truth accounted amongst the dead, though to outward seeming they
may walk upon the earth, amongst the deaf, though they may hear, and
amongst the blind, though they may see, as hath been clearly stated by Him
Who is the Lord of the Day of Reckoning: “Hearts have they with which they
understand not, and eyes have they with which they see not....”(46) They
walk the edge of a treacherous bank and tread the brink of a fiery
abyss.(47) They partake not of the billows of this surging and
treasure-laden Ocean, but disport themselves with their own idle words.

67 In this connection We will relate unto thee that which was revealed of
old concerning “life”, that perchance it may turn thee away from the
promptings of self, deliver thee from the narrow confines of thy prison in
this gloomy plane, and aid thee to become of them that are guided aright
in the darkness of this world.

68 He saith, and He, verily, speaketh the truth: “Shall the dead whom We
have quickened, and for whom We have ordained a light whereby he may walk
amongst men, be like him whose likeness is in the darkness, whence he will
not come forth?”(48) This verse was revealed with respect to Ḥamzih and
Abú-Jahl, the former of whom was a believer whilst the latter disbelieved.
Most of the pagan leaders mocked and derided it, were agitated, and
clamoured: “How did Ḥamzih die? And how was he restored to his former
life?” Were ye to examine carefully the verses of God, ye would find many
such statements recorded in the Book.

69 Would that pure and stainless hearts could be found, that I might
impart unto them a sprinkling from the oceans of knowledge which My Lord
hath bestowed upon Me, so that they may soar in the heavens even as they
walk upon the earth and speed over the waters even as they course the
land, and that they may take up their souls in their hands and lay them
down in the path of their Creator. Howbeit, leave hath not been granted to
divulge this mighty secret. Indeed, it hath been from everlasting a
mystery enshrined within the treasuries of His power and a secret
concealed within the repositories of His might, lest His faithful servants
forsake their own lives in the hope of attaining this most great station
in the realms of eternity. Nor shall they who wander in this oppressive
darkness ever attain unto it.

70 O My brother! At every juncture We have restated Our theme, that all
that hath been recorded in these verses may, by the leave of God, be made
clear unto thee, and that thou mayest become independent of those who are
plunged in the darkness of self and who tread the valley of arrogance and
pride, and be of them that move within the paradise of everlasting life.

71 Say: O people! The Tree of Life hath verily been planted in the heart
of the heavenly paradise and bestoweth life in every direction. How can ye
fail to perceive and recognize it? It will in truth aid thee to grasp all
that this well-assured Soul hath disclosed unto thee of the essence of the
divine mysteries. The Dove of holiness warbleth in the heaven of
immortality and admonisheth thee to array thyself with a new vesture,
wrought of steel to shield thee from the shafts of doubt concealed in the
allusions of men, saying: “Except a man be born of water and of the
Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the
flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not
that I said unto thee, ye must be born again.”(49)

72 Wing then thy flight unto this divine Tree and partake of its fruits.
Gather up that which hath fallen therefrom and guard it faithfully.
Meditate then upon the utterance of one of the Prophets as He intimated to
the souls of men, through veiled allusions and hidden symbols, the
glad-tidings of the One Who was to come after Him, that thou mayest know
of a certainty that their words are inscrutable to all save those who are
endued with an understanding heart. He saith: “His eyes were as a flame of
fire”, and “brass-like were His feet”, and “out of His mouth goeth a
two-edged sword”.(50) How could these words be literally interpreted? Were
anyone to appear with all these signs, he would assuredly not be human.
And how could any soul seek his company? Nay, should he appear in one
city, even the inhabitants of the next would flee from him, nor would any
soul dare approach him! Yet, shouldst thou reflect upon these statements,
thou wouldst find them to be of such surpassing eloquence and clarity as
to mark the loftiest heights of utterance and the epitome of wisdom.
Methinks it is from them that the suns of eloquence have appeared and the
stars of clarity have dawned forth and shone resplendent.

73 Behold, then, the foolish ones of bygone times and those who, in this
day, await the advent of such a being! Nor would they ever bear allegiance
unto him except that he appear in the aforementioned form. And as such a
being will never appear, so too will they never believe. Such indeed is
the measure of the understanding of these perverse and ungodly souls! How
could those who fail to understand the most evident of the evident and the
most manifest of the manifest ever apprehend the abstruse realities of the
divine precepts and the essence of the mysteries of His everlasting
wisdom?

74 I shall now briefly explain the true meaning of this utterance, that
thou mayest discover its hidden mysteries and be of them that perceive.
Examine then and judge aright that which We shall reveal unto thee, that
haply thou mayest be accounted in the sight of God amongst those who are
fair-minded in these matters.

75 Know then that He who uttered these words in the realms of glory meant
to describe the attributes of the One Who is to come in such veiled and
enigmatic terms as to elude the understanding of the people of error. Now,
when He saith: “His eyes were as a flame of fire”, He alludeth but to the
keenness of sight and acuteness of vision of the Promised One, Who with
His eyes burneth away every veil and covering, maketh known the eternal
mysteries in the contingent world, and distinguisheth the faces that are
obscured with the dust of hell from those that shine with the light of
paradise.(51) Were His eyes not made of the blazing fire of God, how could
He consume every veil and burn away all that the people possess? How could
He behold the signs of God in the Kingdom of His names and in the world of
creation? How could He see all things with the all-perceiving eye of God?
Thus have we conferred upon Him a penetrating vision in this day. Would
that ye believe in the verses of God! For, indeed, what fire is fiercer
than this flame that shineth in the Sinai of His eyes, whereby He
consumeth all that hath veiled the peoples of the world? Immeasurably
exalted shall God remain above all that hath been revealed in His unerring
Tablets concerning the mysteries of the beginning and the end until that
day when the Crier will cry out, the day whereon we shall all return unto
Him.

76 As to the words “brass-like were His feet”, by this is meant His
constancy upon hearing the call of God that commandeth Him: “Be thou
steadfast as thou hast been bidden.”(52) He shall so persevere in the
Cause of God, and evince such firmness in the path of His might, that even
if all the powers of earth and heaven were to deny Him, He would not waver
in the proclamation of His Cause, nor flee from His command in the
promulgation of His Laws. Nay rather, He will stand as firm as the highest
mountains and the loftiest peaks. He will remain immovable in His
obedience to God and steadfast in revealing His Cause and proclaiming His
Word. No obstacle will hinder Him, nor will the censure of the froward
deter Him or the repudiation of the infidels cause Him to waver. All the
hatred, the rejection, the iniquity, and the unbelief that He witnesseth
serve but to strengthen His love for God, to augment the yearning of His
heart, to heighten the exultation of His soul, and to fill His breast with
passionate devotion. Hast thou ever seen in this world brass stronger, or
blade sharper, or mountain more unyielding than this? He shall verily
stand upon His feet to confront all the inhabitants of the earth, and will
fear no one, notwithstanding that which, as thou well knowest, the people
are wont to commit. Glory be to God, Who hath established Him and called
Him forth! Potent is God to do what He pleaseth. He, in truth, is the Help
in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

77 And further He saith: “Out of his mouth goeth a two-edged sword.” Know
thou that since the sword is an instrument that divideth and cleaveth
asunder, and since there proceedeth from the mouth of the Prophets and the
Chosen Ones of God that which separateth the believer from the infidel and
the lover from the beloved, this term hath been so employed, and apart
from this dividing and separating no other meaning is intended. Thus, when
He Who is the Primal Point and the eternal Sun desireth, by the leave of
God, to gather together all creation, to raise them up from the graves of
their own selves, and to divide them one from another, He shall pronounce
but one verse from Him, and this verse will distinguish truth from error
from this day unto the Day of Resurrection. What sword is sharper than
this heavenly sword, what blade more trenchant than this incorruptible
steel that severeth every tie and separateth thereby the believer from the
infidel, father from son, brother from sister, and lover from beloved?(53)
For whoso believeth in that which hath been revealed unto him is a true
believer and whoso turneth away is an infidel, and such an irrevocable
separation occurreth between them that they will cease to consort and
associate with each other in this world. And so it is between father and
son, for should the son believe and the father deny, they will be severed
and forever dissociated from each other. Nay rather, thou witnesseth how
the son slayeth the father and the father the son. Consider in the same
light all that We have explained and related unto thee.

78 Wert thou to behold all things with the eye of discernment, thou
wouldst indeed see that this divine sword doth cleave asunder generations.
Would that ye could understand it! All this is by virtue of the word of
separation that is manifested on the Day of Judgement and Separation, were
the people to take heed in the days of their Lord. Nay, couldst thou but
sharpen thy sight and refine thy heart, thou wouldst witness that all the
material swords which in every day and age have slain the infidels and
waged war against the impious proceed from this divine and invisible
sword. Open then thine eyes, that thou mayest behold all that We have
revealed to thee and attain unto that which none other hath attained. We
verily exclaim: “Praise be to God, He Who is the Lord of the Day of
Reckoning!”(54)

79 Yea, inasmuch as these people have failed to acquire true knowledge
from its source and wellspring, and from the ocean of fresh and
soft-flowing waters that stream, by the leave of God, through hearts that
are pure and stainless, they have been veiled from that which God hath
intended by those words and allusions and have remained confined within
the prison of their own selves.

80 We render thanks unto God for that which He hath bestowed upon us of
His grace. He it is Who hath caused us to be assured of the truth of His
Faith—a Faith which the combined forces of earth and heaven are powerless
to resist. He it is Who hath enabled us to acknowledge Him in the day of
His presence, to testify unto Him Whom God shall make manifest in the
latter Resurrection, and to be among them that have believed in Him ere
His appearance, that His favour may be made complete unto us and unto all
mankind.

81 But hear, O My brother, My plaint against them that claim to be
associated with God and with the Manifestations of His knowledge, and yet
follow their corrupt inclinations, consume the substance of their
neighbour, are given to wine, commit murder, defraud and slander each
other, hurl calumnies against God, and are wont to speak falsely. The
people attribute all these deeds unto Us, whilst their perpetrators remain
shameless before God. They cast aside that which He hath enjoined upon
them and commit that which He hath forbidden. Yet it behoveth the people
of truth that the signs of humility should shine upon their faces, that
the light of sanctity should radiate from their countenances, that they
should walk upon the earth as though they were in the presence of God and
distinguish themselves in their deeds from all the dwellers of the earth.
Such must be their state that their eyes should behold the evidences of
His might, their tongues and hearts make mention of His name, their feet
be set towards the lands of His nearness, and their hands take fast hold
upon His precepts. And were they to pass through a valley of pure gold and
mines of precious silver, they should regard them as wholly unworthy of
their attention.

82 These people, however, have turned aside from all this and placed
instead their affections upon that which accordeth with their own corrupt
inclinations. Thus do they roam in the wilderness of arrogance and pride.
I bear witness at this moment that God is wholly quit of them, and
likewise are We. We beseech God to suffer Us not to associate with them
either in this life or in the life to come. He, verily, is the Eternal
Truth. No God is there but Him, and His might is equal to all things.

83 Quaff then, O My brother, from the living waters that We have caused to
flow in the oceans of these words. Methinks the seas of grandeur are
surging within them, and the gems of divine virtue are shining within and
upon them. Divest then thyself of that which debarreth thee from this
fathomless crimson sea, and to the cry of “In the name of God and by His
grace!” immerse thyself therein. Let the fear of no one dismay thee. Trust
in the Lord, thy God, for He is sufficient unto whosoever trusteth in Him.
He, verily, shall protect thee, and in Him shalt thou abide in safety.

84 Know thou, moreover, that in this most hallowed and resplendent city
thou shalt find the wayfarer to be lowly before all men and humble before
all things. For naught doth he behold save that he perceiveth God therein.
He beholdeth the effulgent glories of God in the lights of His Revelation
that have encompassed the Sinai of creation. In this station the wayfarer
must not claim the seat of honour in any gathering or walk before others
in the desire to vaunt and exalt himself. Rather must he regard himself as
standing at all times in the presence of his Lord. He must not wish for
anyone that which he doth not wish for himself, nor speak that which he
would not bear to hear spoken by another, nor yet desire for any soul that
which he would not have desired for himself. It befitteth him, rather, to
walk upon the earth with undeviating steps in the kingdom of His new
creation.

85 Know, however, that the seeker, at the outset of his journey,
witnesseth change and transformation, as hath already been mentioned. This
is undoubtedly the truth, as hath been revealed concerning those days: “On
the day when the earth shall be changed into another earth.”(55) These are
indeed days the like of which no mortal eye hath ever seen. Blessed is he
that attaineth thereunto and realizeth their full worth. “We had sent
Moses with Our signs, saying unto him: ‘Bring forth thy people from
darkness into light and remind them of the days of God.’”(56) And these
are in truth the days of God, could ye but know it.

86 In this station, all changing and varying realities are manifest before
thee. Whosoever denieth this truth hath verily turned aside from the Cause
of God, rebelled against His rule, and gainsaid His sovereignty. For it is
indeed within the power of Him Who changeth the earth into another earth
to transform all that dwell and move thereon. Wherefore marvel not at how
He turneth darkness into light, light into darkness, ignorance into
knowledge, error into guidance, death into life, and life into death. It
is in this station that the law of transformation taketh effect. Ponder
thereon, if thou be of them that tread this path, that all thou didst ask
of this owly One may be made plain unto thee and that thou mayest abide
within the tabernacle of this guidance. For He doeth whatsoever He willeth
and ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth. Nor shall He be asked of His doings,
whilst all men will be asked of their every deed.(57)

87 O My brother! In this stage, which marketh the beginning of the
journey, thou shalt behold divers stations and differing signs, even as
was mentioned in connection with the City of Search. All these hold true
in their respective planes. It behoveth thine eminence in this station to
consider each created thing in its own place, neither abasing nor exalting
its true rank. For instance, if thou wert to reduce the unseen world to
the realm of creation, this would be an act of sheer blasphemy, and the
converse would likewise be the essence of impiety. Wert thou, however, to
describe the unseen world and the realm of creation within their own
stations, this would be the undoubted truth. In other words, wert thou to
witness any transformation in the realm of the divine unity, no greater
sin could be conceived in all creation, but wert thou to consider
transformation in its own place and understand it accordingly, no harm
could befall thee.

88 By My Lord! Notwithstanding all that We have revealed unto thee of the
mysteries of utterance and the degrees of exposition, methinks I have
spoken not a single letter of the ocean of God’s hidden knowledge and the
essence of His inscrutable wisdom. God willing, this We shall erelong
accomplish in its appointed time. He verily, remembereth all things in
their own place, and we, in truth, all yield praise unto Him.

89 Know thou, moreover, that the bird that taketh flight in the atmosphere
of the realm on high will never be able to soar unto the heaven of
transcendent holiness, nor taste of the fruits which God hath brought
forth therein, nor quaff from the streams which He hath caused to flow in
its midst. And were it to partake but a drop thereof, it would perish
forthwith. Even as thou dost witness in these days with regard to those
who profess allegiance unto Us, and yet perform such deeds, utter such
words, and advance such claims as they have. Methinks they lie as dead
within their own veils.

90 Comprehend, in like manner, every station, sign, and allusion, that
thou mayest perceive all things in their own place and consider all
matters in their proper light. For in this station, the City of Divine
Unity, are to be found those who have entered within the ark of divine
guidance and journeyed through the heights of divine unity. Thou shalt
behold the lights of beauty upon their faces and the mysteries of glory in
their human temples. Thou shalt perceive the musk-laden fragrance of their
words and behold the signs of His sovereignty in all their ways and
doings. Nor wilt thou be veiled by the deeds of them that have failed to
quaff from the crystal springs or to attain unto the cities of holiness,
and who follow their selfish desires and spread disorder in the land, all
the while believing themselves to be guided aright. It is indeed of them
that it hath been said: “These are the abject and foolish, who follow
every clamorous impostor and who bend with every changing wind.”(58) The
stages of this journey, station, and abode are clear and manifest to thee
and require no further explanation.

91 Know then that all thou hast heard and witnessed that Daystar of Truth,
the Primal Point, ascribe to Himself from the designations of former times
is only on account of the weakness of men and the scheme of the world of
creation. Otherwise, all names and attributes revolve round His Essence
and circle about the threshold of His sanctuary. For He it is Who traineth
all names, revealeth all attributes, conferreth life upon all beings,
proclaimeth the divine verses, and arrayeth the heavenly signs. Nay,
shouldst thou gaze with thine inner eye, thou wouldst find that all save
Him fade into utter nothingness and are as a thing forgotten in His holy
presence. “God was alone; there was none else besides Him. He remaineth
now what He hath ever been.” Since it hath been established that
God—hallowed and glorified be He!—was alone and there was none besides
Him, how can the law of change and transformation apply here? Shouldst
thou reflect upon that which We have disclosed unto thee, the daystar of
guidance would shine resplendent before thee in this everlasting morn, and
thou wouldst be numbered therein with the pious.

92 Know, moreover, that all that We have mentioned concerning these
journeys is intended for none but the elect amongst the righteous. And
shouldst thou spur on the charger of the spirit and traverse the meads of
heaven, thou wouldst complete all these journeys and discover every
mystery in less than the twinkling of an eye.

93 O My brother! If thou be a champion of this arena, speed within the
lands of certitude, that thy soul may be delivered in this day from the
bondage of misbelief, and that thou mayest perceive the sweet savours that
waft from this garden. Verily, the perfume-laden breezes that carry the
fragrance of this city blow over all regions. Forfeit not thy portion
thereof and be not of the heedless. How well hath it been said:

94

  His fragrant breaths diffused in Eastern lands could well
  To sick ones in the West restore their sense of smell!(59)

95 After this heavenly journey and mystical ascent the wayfarer will enter
within the Garden of Wonderment. Were I to disclose unto thee the reality
of this station, thou wouldst lament and bewail the plight of this Servant
Who remaineth in the hands of these infidels, Who hath grown perplexed at
his plight, and is lost in bewilderment in this fathomless ocean. They
conspire each day to put Me to death, and seek at every hour to banish Me
from this land, even as they banished Me from another land. Yet this
Servant standeth ready before them, awaiting whatsoever the Almighty hath
ordained and decreed for Us. Nor do I fear any soul, encompassed as We may
be by such trials and tribulations as are inflicted by the wicked and the
malicious and surrounded at this hour by a myriad woes and sorrows.
“Noah’s flood is but the measure of the tears I have shed, and Abraham’s
fire an ebullition of My soul. Jacob’s grief is but a reflection of My
sorrows, and Job’s afflictions a fraction of My calamity.”(60)

96 Were I to recount unto thine eminence the dire adversities that have
befallen Me, thou wouldst be so grieved as to forsake the mention of all
things and to forget thyself and all that the Lord hath created on earth.
But as this is not Our wish, I have concealed the revelation of the divine
decree in the heart of Bahá and veiled it from the eyes of all that move
in the realm of creation, that it may lay hid within the tabernacle of the
Unseen until such time as God will have revealed its secret. “Naught in
the heavens or on the earth can escape His knowledge, and He, verily,
perceiveth all things.”(61)

97 As We have digressed from Our theme, let Us leave aside these allusions
and return to Our discussion of this city. Verily, whoso entereth therein
shall be saved, and whoso turneth aside therefrom will assuredly perish.

98 O thou who art mentioned in these Tablets! Know thou that he who
embarketh upon this journey will marvel at the signs of the power of God
and the wondrous evidences of His handiwork. Bewilderment will seize him
from every side, even as hath been attested by that Essence of immortality
from the Concourse on high: “Increase My wonder and amazement at Thee, O
God!”(62) Well hath it been said:

99

  I knew not what amazement was
    Until I made Thy love my cause.
  O how amazing would it be
    If I were not amazed by Thee!(63)

100 In this valley the wayfarers stray and perish ere they attain their
final abode. Gracious God! So immense is this valley, so vast this city in
the kingdom of creation, that it seemeth to have neither beginning nor
end. How great the blessedness of him who completeth his journey therein
and who traverseth, through the assistance of God, the hallowed soil of
this heavenly city, a city in which the favoured ones of God and the pure
in heart are overcome with wonder and awe. And We say: “Praise be to God,
the Lord of the worlds.”

101 And should the servant ascend to even loftier heights, quit this
mortal world of dust, and seek to ascend unto the celestial abode, he will
then pass from this city into the City of Absolute Nothingness, that is,
of dying to self and living in God. In this station, this most exalted
habitation, this journey of utter self-effacement, the wayfarer forgetteth
his soul, spirit, body, and very being, immerseth himself in the sea of
nothingness, and liveth on earth as one unworthy of mention. Nor will one
find any sign of his existence, for he hath vanished from the realm of the
visible and attained unto the heights of self-abnegation.

102 Were We to recount the mysteries of this city, the dominions of the
hearts of men would be laid to waste in the intensity of their longing for
this mighty station. For this is the station wherein the effulgent glories
of the Beloved are revealed to the sincere lover and the resplendent
lights of the Friend are cast upon the severed heart that is devoted to
Him.

103 How can a true lover continue to exist when once the effulgent glories
of the Beloved are revealed? How can the shadow endure when once the sun
hath shone forth? How can a devoted heart have any being before the
existence of the Object of its devotion? Nay, by the One in Whose hand is
my soul! In this station, the seeker’s complete surrender and utter
effacement before his Creator will be such that, were he to search the
East and the West, and traverse land, sea, mountain and plain, he would
find no trace of his own self or of any other soul.

104 Gracious God! But for fear of the Nimrod of tyranny and for the
protection of the Abraham of justice, I would reveal unto thee that which,
wert thou to abandon self and desire, would enable thee to dispense with
aught else and to draw nigh unto this city. Be patient, however, until
such time as God will have proclaimed His Cause. He, verily, rewardeth
beyond measure them that endure with patience.(64) Inhale then the sweet
savours of the spirit from the garment of hidden meanings, and say: “O ye
that are immersed in the ocean of selflessness! Hasten to enter the City
of Immortality, if ye seek to ascend its heights.” And We exclaim: “Verily
we are God’s, and to Him shall we return.”(65)

105 From this most august and exalted station, and from this most sublime
and glorious plane, the seeker entereth the City of Immortality, therein
to abide forever. In this station he beholdeth himself established upon
the throne of independence and the seat of exaltation. Then will he
comprehend the meaning of that which hath been revealed of old concerning
the day “whereon God shall enrich all through His abundance”.(66) Well is
it with them that have attained unto this station and drunk their fill
from this snow-white chalice before this Crimson Pillar.

106 Having, in this journey, immersed himself in the ocean of immortality,
rid his heart from attachment to aught save Him, and attained unto the
loftiest heights of everlasting life, the seeker will see no annihilation
either for himself or for any other soul. He will quaff from the cup of
immortality, tread in its land, soar in its atmosphere, consort with them
that are its embodiments, partake of the imperishable and incorruptible
fruits of the tree of eternity, and be forever accounted, in the lofty
heights of immortality, amongst the denizens of the everlasting realm.

107 All that existeth in this city shall indeed endure and will never
perish. Shouldst thou, by the leave of God, enter this sublime and exalted
garden, thou wouldst find its sun in its noontide glory, never to set,
never to be eclipsed. The same holdeth true of its moon, its firmament,
its stars, trees, and oceans, and of all that pertaineth thereunto or
existeth therein. By Him besides Whom there is none other God! Were I to
recount, from this day unto the end that hath no end, its wondrous
attributes, the love that My heart cherisheth for this hallowed and
everlasting city would never be exhausted. I shall, however, bring My
theme to a close, since time is short and the inquirer impatient, and
since these secrets are not to be openly divulged save by the leave of
God, the Almighty, the All-Compelling.

108 Erelong shall the faithful behold, in the day of the latter
Resurrection, Him Whom God shall make manifest descending with this city
from the heaven of the Unseen, together with a company of His exalted and
favoured angels. Great, therefore, is the blessedness of him that
attaineth unto His presence and beholdeth His countenance. We all, verily,
cherish this hope, and exclaim: “Praise be unto Him, for verily He is the
Eternal Truth, and unto Him do we return!”

109 Know, moreover, that should one who hath attained unto these stations
and embarked upon these journeys fall prey to pride and vainglory, he
would at that very moment come to naught and return to the first step
without realizing it. Indeed, they that seek and yearn after Him in these
journeys are known by this sign, that they humbly defer to those who have
believed in God and in His verses, that they are lowly before those who
have drawn nigh unto Him and unto the Manifestations of His Beauty, and
that they bow in submission to them that are firmly established upon the
lofty heights of the Cause of God and before its majesty.

110 For were they to reach the ultimate object of their quest for God and
their attainment unto Him, they would have but reached that abode which
hath been raised up within their own hearts. How then could they ever hope
to ascend unto such realms as have not been ordained for them or created
for their station? Nay, though they journey from everlasting to
everlasting, they will never attain unto Him Who is the midmost Heart of
existence and the Axis of the entire creation, He on Whose right hand flow
the seas of grandeur, on Whose left stream the rivers of might, and Whose
court none can ever hope to reach, how much less His very abode! For He
dwelleth in the ark of fire, speedeth, in the sphere of fire, through the
ocean of fire, and moveth within the atmosphere of fire. How can he who
hath been fashioned of contrary elements ever enter or even approach this
fire? Were he to do so, he would be instantly consumed.

111 Know, moreover, that should the cord of assistance binding this mighty
Pivot to the dwellers of earth and heaven be severed, they would all
assuredly perish. Great God! How can the lowly dust ever reach unto Him
Who is the Lord of lords? Immeasurably exalted is God above that which
they conceive in their hearts, and immensely glorified is He beyond that
which they attribute to Him.

112 Yea, the seeker reacheth a station wherein that which hath been
ordained for him knoweth no bounds. The fire of love so blazeth in his
heart that it seizeth the reins of constraint from his grasp. At every
moment his love for his Lord increaseth and draweth him nearer unto his
Creator, in such wise that if his Lord be in the east of nearness, and he
dwell in the west of remoteness and possess all that earth and heaven
contain of rubies and gold, he would forsake it all and rush forth to the
land of the Desired One. And shouldst thou find him to be otherwise, know
assuredly that such a man is a lying impostor. We, verily, all belong unto
Him Whom God shall make manifest in the latter Resurrection, and through
Him shall we be raised again to life.

113 In these days, inasmuch as We have lifted not the veils that conceal
the countenance of the Cause of God, nor disclosed unto men the fruits of
these stations which We have been forbidden to describe, thou beholdest
them drunk with heedlessness. Otherwise, were the glory of this station to
be revealed unto men to an extent smaller than a needle’s eye, thou
wouldst witness them gathering before the threshold of divine mercy and
hastening from all sides to the court of nearness in the realms of divine
glory. We have concealed it, however, as mentioned before, that those who
believe may be distinguished from them that deny, and that those who turn
unto God may be discerned from them that turn aside. I verily proclaim:
“There is no power nor strength except in God, the Help in Peril, the
Self-Subsisting.”

114 From this station the wayfarer ascendeth unto a City that hath no name
or description, and whereof one heareth neither sound nor mention. Therein
flow the oceans of eternity, whilst this city itself revolveth round the
seat of eternity. Therein the sun of the Unseen shineth resplendent above
the horizon of the Unseen, a sun that hath its own heavens and its own
moons, which partake of its light and which rise from and set upon the
ocean of the Unseen. Nor can I ever hope to impart even a dewdrop of that
which hath been decreed therein, as none is acquainted with its mysteries
save God, its Creator and Fashioner, and His Manifestations.

115 Know, moreover, that when We undertook to reveal these words and
committed some of them to writing, it was Our intention to elucidate for
thine eminence, in the sweet accents of the blessed and the well-favoured
of God, all that We had previously mentioned of the words of the Prophets
and the sayings of the Messengers. Time, however, was lacking, and the
traveller who came from thy presence was in great haste and eager to
return. Thus have We cut short Our discourse and contented Ourself with
this much, without completing the description of these stages in a seemly
and befitting manner. Indeed, We have omitted the description of major
cities and mighty journeys. Such was the haste of the courier that We even
forsook the mention of the two exalted journeys of Resignation and
Contentment.

116 Yet, should thine eminence reflect upon these brief statements, thou
wouldst assuredly acquire every knowledge, attain unto the Object of all
learning, and exclaim: “Sufficient are these words unto all creation both
visible and invisible!”

117 Even so, should the fire of love burn within thy soul, thou wouldst
ask: “Is there yet any more?” (67) And We say: “Praise be to God, the Lord
of the worlds!”



FOOTNOTES


    1 Shoghi Effendi, _God Passes By_ (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust,
      1974), p. 110.

    2 Bahá’u’lláh, _The Kitáb-i-Íqán _(Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust,
      1994), p. 26.

    3 cf. Qur’án 67:3.

    4 cf. Qur’án 24:35.

    5 Matt. 24:19.

    6 cf. Matt. 24:29–31.

    7 Mark 13:19.

    8 cf. Luke 21:25–28.

    9 John 15:26–27.

   10 John 14:26.

   11 John 16:5–6.

   12 John 16:7.

   13 John 16:13.

   14 The Imáms of _Sh_í’ih Islám.

   15 Jesus.

   16 cf. Matt. 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33.

   17 The Antichrist, who it was believed would appear at the advent of
      the Promised One, to contend with and be ultimately defeated by Him.

   18 Another figure who it was believed would raise the banner of
      rebellion between Mecca and Damascus at the appearance of the
      Promised One.

   19 Qur’án 16:43.

   20 A magician in the court of Pharaoh during the time of Moses.

   21 Qur’án 83:6; 2:89.

   22 The Imáms of _Sh_í’ih Islám.

   23 Qur’án 29:2.

   24 Qur’án 2:156.

   25 Qur’án 29:69.

   26 Qur’án 2:282.

   27 From a Hadí_th_.

   28 ibid.

   29 Qur’án 30:30.

   30 Qur’án 48:23.

   31 Qur’án 67:3.

   32 Qur’án 17:110.

   33 Qur’án 57:3.

   34 The twelfth Imám, Muhammad al-Mahdí, the son of Hasan al-‘Askarí.

   35 According to _Sh_í’ih traditions, the twin cities of Jábulqá and
      Jábulsá are the dwelling place of the Hidden Imám (the Promised
      One), whence He will appear on the Day of Resurrection.

   36 Muhammad.

   37 Qur’án 33:40.

   38 Qur’án 13:2.

   39 Qur’án 74:50.

   40 cf. Qur’án 13:5.

   41 Qur’án 11:7.

   42 Qur’án 3:185.

   43 Qur’án 16:97.

   44 Qur’án 3:169.

   45 From a Hadí_th_.

   46 Qur’án 7:179.

   47 cf. Qur’án 9:109; 3:103.

   48 Qur’án 6:122.

   49 John 3:5–7.

   50 cf. Rev. 1:14–16; 2:18; 19:15.

   51 cf. Qur’án 80:41; 83:24.

   52 Qur’án 11:112.

   53 cf. Luke 12:53.

   54 cf. Qur’án 1:4.

   55 Qur’án 14:48.

   56 Qur’án 14:5.

   57 cf. Qur’án 21:23.

   58 From a saying of Imám ‘Alí.

   59 From the _Díván _of Ibn-i-Fárid.

   60 ibid.

   61 cf. Qur’án 10:61; 34:3.

   62 From a Hadí_th_.

   63 From the _Díván _of Ibn-i-Fárid.

   64 cf. Qur’án 39:10.

   65 Qur’án 2:156.

   66 Qur’án 4:130.

   67 cf. Qur’án 50:30.





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