On 16th November, 1870, Mr. Shchapoff, a Russian squire, the narrator, came home from a visit to a country town, Iletski, and found his family in some disarray. There lived with him his mother and his wife's mother, ladies of about sixty-nine,... Read more of The Dancing Devil at Scary Stories.caInformational Site Network Informational


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Dost Thou Imagine O Minister Of The _sh_ah

Dost thou imagine, O Minister of the _Sh_ah in the City (Constantinople),
that I hold within My grasp the ultimate destiny of the Cause of God?
Thinkest thou that My imprisonment, or the shame I have been made to
suffer, or even My death and utter annihilation, can deflect its course?
Wretched is what thou hast imagined in thine heart! Thou art indeed of
them that walk after the vain imaginings which their hearts devise. No God
is there but Him. Powerful is He to manifest His Cause, and to exalt His
testimony, and to establish whatsoever is His Will, and to elevate it to
so eminent a position that neither thine own hands, nor the hands of them
that have turned away from Him, can ever touch or harm it.

Dost thou believe thou hast the power to frustrate His Will, to hinder Him
from executing His judgment, or to deter Him from exercising His
sovereignty? Pretendest thou that aught in the heavens or in the earth can
resist His Faith? No, by Him Who is the Eternal Truth! Nothing whatsoever
in the whole of creation can thwart His Purpose. Cast away, therefore, the
mere conceit thou dost follow, for mere conceit can never take the place
of truth. Be thou of them that have truly repented and returned to God,
the God Who hath created thee, Who hath nourished thee, and made thee a
minister among them that profess thy faith.

Know thou, moreover, that He it is Who hath, by His own behest, created
all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. How can, then,
the thing that hath been created at His bidding prevail against Him? High
is God exalted above what ye imagine about Him, ye people of malice! If
this Cause be of God, no man can prevail against it; and if it be not of
God, the divines amongst you, and they that follow their corrupt desires
and such as have rebelled against Him will surely suffice to overpower it.

Hast thou not heard what a man of the family of Pharaoh, a believer, hath
said of old, and which God recounted unto His Apostle, Whom He hath chosen
above all human beings, and entrusted with His Message, and made the
source of His mercy unto all them that dwell on earth? He said, and He,
verily, speaketh the truth: "Will ye slay a man because he saith my Lord
is God, when he hath already come to you with proofs of his mission? And
if he be a liar, on him will be his lie, but if he be a man of truth, part
at least of what he threateneth will fall upon you." This is what God hath
revealed unto His Well-Beloved One, in His unerring Book.

And yet, ye have failed to incline your ears unto His bidding, have
disregarded His law, have rejected His counsel as recorded in His Book,
and have been of them that have strayed far from Him. How many those who,
every year, and every month, have because of you been put to death! How
manifold the injustices ye have perpetrated--injustices the like of which
the eye of creation hath not seen, which no chronicler hath ever recorded!
How numerous the babes and sucklings who were made orphans, and the
fathers who lost their sons, because of your cruelty, O ye unjust doers!
How oft hath a sister pined away and mourned over her brother, and how oft
hath a wife lamented after her husband and sole sustainer!

Your iniquity waxed greater and greater until ye slew Him Who had never
taken His eyes away from the face of God, the Most Exalted, the Most
Great. Would that ye had put Him to death after the manner men are wont to
put one another to death! Ye slew Him, however, in such circumstances as
no man hath ever witnessed. The heavens wept sore over Him, and the souls
of them who are nigh unto God cried out for His affliction. Was He not a
Scion of your Prophet's ancient House? Had not His fame as a direct
descendant of the Apostle been spread abroad amongst you? Why, then, did
ye inflict upon Him what no man, however far ye may look back, hath
inflicted upon another? By God! The eye of creation hath never beheld your
like. Ye slay Him Who is a Scion of your Prophet's House, and rejoice and
make merry while seated on your seats of honor! Ye utter your imprecations
against them who were before you, and who have perpetrated what ye have
perpetrated, and remain yourselves all the time unaware of your

Be fair in your judgment. Did they whom you curse, upon whom ye invoke
evil, act differently from yourselves? Have they not slain the descendant
of their Prophet as ye have slain the descendant of your own? Is not your
conduct similar to their conduct? Wherefore, then, claim ye to be
different from them, O ye sowers of dissension amongst men?

And when ye took away His life, one of His followers arose to avenge His
death. He was unknown of men, and the design he had conceived was
unnoticed by any one. Eventually he committed what had been preordained.
It behoveth you, therefore, to attach blame to no one except to
yourselves, for the things ye have committed, if ye but judge fairly. Who
is there on the whole earth who hath done what ye have done? None, by Him
Who is the Lord of all worlds!

All the rulers and kings of the earth honor and revere the descendants of
their Prophets and holy men, could ye but perceive it. Ye, on the other
hand, are responsible for such acts as no man hath, at any time,
performed. Your misdeeds have caused every understanding heart to be
consumed with grief. And yet, ye have remained sunk in your heedlessness,
and failed to realize the wickedness of your actions.

Ye have persisted in your waywardness until ye rose up against Us, though
We had committed nothing to justify your enmity. Fear ye not God Who hath
created you, and fashioned you, and caused you to attain your strength,
and joined you with them that have resigned themselves to Him (Muslims)?
How long will ye persist in your waywardness? How long will ye refuse to
reflect? How long ere ye shake off your slumber and are roused from your
heedlessness? How long will ye remain unaware of the truth?

Ponder in thine heart. Did ye, notwithstanding your behavior and the
things your hands have wrought, succeed in quenching the fire of God or in
putting out the light of His Revelation--a light that hath enveloped with
its brightness them that are immersed in the billowing oceans of
immortality, and hath attracted the souls of such as truly believe in and
uphold His unity? Know ye not that the Hand of God is over your hands,
that His irrevocable Decree transcendeth all your devices, that He is
supreme over His servants, that He is equal to His Purpose, that He doth
what He wisheth, that He shall not be asked of whatever He willeth, that
He ordaineth what He pleaseth, that He is the Most Powerful, the Almighty?
If ye believe this to be the truth, wherefore, then, will ye not cease
from troubling and be at peace with yourselves?

Ye perpetrate every day a fresh injustice, and treat Me as ye treated Me
in times past, though I never attempted to meddle with your affairs. At no
time have I opposed you, neither have I rebelled against your laws. Behold
how ye have, at the last, made Me a prisoner in this far-off land! Know
for a certainty, however, that whatever your hands or the hands of the
infidels have wrought will never, as they never did of old, change the
Cause of God or alter His ways.

Give heed to My warning, ye people of Persia! If I be slain at your hands,
God will assuredly raise up one who will fill the seat made vacant through
My death, for such is God's method carried into effect of old, and no
change can ye find in God's method of dealing. Seek ye to put out God's
light that shineth upon His earth? Averse is God from what ye desire. He
shall perfect His light, albeit ye abhor it in the secret of your hearts.

Pause for but a little while and reflect, O Minister, and be fair in thy
judgment. What is it that We have committed that could justify thee in
having slandered Us unto the King's Ministers, in following thy desires,
in perverting the truth, and in uttering thy calumnies against Us? We have
never met each other except when We met thee in thy father's house, in the
days when the martyrdom of Imam Husayn was being commemorated. On those
occasions no one could have the chance of making known to others his views
and beliefs in conversation or in discourse. Thou wilt bear witness to the
truth of My words, if thou be of the truthful. I have frequented no other
gatherings in which thou couldst have learned My mind or in which any
other could have done so. How, then, didst thou pronounce thy verdict
against Me, when thou hadst not heard My testimony from Mine own lips?
Hast thou not heard what God, exalted be His glory, hath said: "Say not to
every one who meeteth you with a greeting, 'Thou art not a believer'."
"Thrust not away those who cry to their Lord at morn and even, craving to
behold His face." Thou hast indeed forsaken what the Book of God hath
prescribed, and yet thou deemest thyself to be a believer!

Despite what thou hast done I entertain--and to this God is My witness--no
ill-will against thee, nor against any one, though from thee and others We
receive such hurt as no believer in the unity of God can sustain. My cause
is in the hand of none except God, and My trust is in no one else but Him.
Erelong shall your days pass away, as shall pass away the days of those
who now, with flagrant pride, vaunt themselves over their neighbor. Soon
shall ye be gathered together in the presence of God, and shall be asked
of your doings, and shall be repaid for what your hands have wrought, and
wretched the abode of the wicked doers!

By God! Wert thou to realize what thou hast done, thou wouldst surely weep
sore over thyself, and wouldst flee for refuge to God, and wouldst pine
away and mourn all the days of thy life, till God will have forgiven thee,
for He, verily, is the Most Generous, the All-Bountiful. Thou wilt,
however, persist, till the hour of thy death, in thy heedlessness,
inasmuch as thou hast, with all thine heart, thy soul and inmost being,
busied thyself with the vanities of the world. Thou shalt, after thy
departure, discover what We have revealed unto thee, and shalt find all
thy doings recorded in the Book wherein the works of all them that dwell
on earth, be they greater or less than the weight of an atom, are noted
down. Heed, therefore, My counsel, and hearken thou, with the hearing of
thine heart, unto My speech, and be not careless of My words, nor be of
them that reject My truth. Glory not in the things that have been given
thee. Set before thine eyes what hath been revealed in the Book of God,
the Help in Peril, the All-Glorious: "And when they had forgotten their
warnings, We set open to them the gates of all things," even as We did set
open to thee and to thy like the gates of this earth and the ornaments
thereof. Wait thou, therefore, for what hath been promised in the latter
part of this holy verse, for this is a promise from Him Who is the
Almighty, the All-Wise--a promise that will not prove untrue.

I know not the path ye have chosen and which ye tread, O congregation of
My ill-wishers! We summon you to God, We remind you of His Day, We
announce unto you tidings of your reunion with Him, We draw you nigh unto
His court, and send down upon you tokens of His wondrous wisdom, and yet
lo, behold how ye reject Us, how ye condemn Us, through the things which
your lying mouths have uttered, as an infidel, how ye devise your devices
against Us! And when We manifest unto you what God hath, through His
bountiful favor, bestowed upon Us, ye say, "It is but plain magic." The
same words were spoken by the generations that were before you and were
what you are, did ye but perceive it. Ye have thereby deprived yourselves
of the bounty of God and of His grace, and shall never obtain them till
the day when God will have judged between Us and you, and He, verily, is
the best of Judges.

Certain ones among you have said: "He it is Who hath laid claim to be
God." By God! This is a gross calumny. I am but a servant of God Who hath
believed in Him and in His signs, and in His Prophets and in His angels.
My tongue, and My heart, and My inner and My outer being testify that
there is no God but Him, that all others have been created by His behest,
and been fashioned through the operation of His Will. There is none other
God but Him, the Creator, the Raiser from the dead, the Quickener, the
Slayer. I am He that telleth abroad the favors with which God hath,
through His bounty, favored Me. If this be My transgression, then I am
truly the first of the transgressors. I and My kindred are at your mercy.
Do ye as ye please, and be not of them that hesitate, that I might return
to God My Lord, and reach the place where I can no longer behold your
faces. This, indeed, is My dearest wish, My most ardent desire. Of My
state God is, verily, sufficiently informed, observant.

Imagine thyself to be under the eye of God, O Minister! If thou seest Him
not, He, in truth, clearly seeth thee. Observe, and judge fairly Our
Cause. What is it that We have committed that could have induced thee to
rise up against Us, and to slander Us to the people, if thou be of them
who are just? We departed out of Tihran, at the bidding of the King, and,
by his leave, transferred Our residence to 'Iraq. If I had transgressed
against him, why, then, did he release Me? And if I were innocent of
guilt, wherefore did ye afflict Us with such tribulation as none among
them that profess your faith hath suffered? Hath any of Mine acts, after
Mine arrival in 'Iraq, been such as to subvert the authority of the
government? Who is it that can be said to have detected any thing
reprehensible in Our behavior? Enquire for thyself of its people, that
thou mayest be of them who have discerned the truth.

For eleven years We dwelt in that land, until the Minister representing
thy government arrived, whose name Our pen is loth to mention, who was
given to wine, who followed his lusts, and committed wickedness, and was
corrupt and corrupted 'Iraq. To this will bear witness most of the
inhabitants of Ba_gh_dad, wert thou to inquire of them, and be of such as
seek the truth. He it was who wrongfully seized the substance of his
fellow-men, who forsook all the commandments of God, and perpetrated
whatever God had forbidden. Eventually, he, following his desires, rose up
against Us, and walked in the ways of the unjust. He accused Us, in his
letter to thee, and thou didst believe him and followed in his way,
without seeking any proof or trustworthy evidence from him. Thou didst ask
for no explanation, nor didst thou attempt either to investigate or
ascertain the matter, that the truth might be distinguished from falsehood
in thy sight, and that thou mightest be clear in thy discernment. Find out
for thyself the sort of man he was by asking those Ministers who were, at
that time, in 'Iraq, as well as the Governor of the City (Ba_gh_dad) and
its high Counsellor, that the truth may be revealed to thee, and that thou
mayest be of the well-informed.

God is Our witness! We have, under no circumstances, opposed either him,
or others. We observed, under all conditions, the precepts of God, and
were never one of those that wrought disorders. To this he himself doth
testify. His intention was to lay hold on Us, and send Us back to Persia,
that he might thereby exalt his fame and reputation. Thou hast committed
the same crime, and for the self-same purpose. Ye both are of equal grade
in the sight of God, the sovereign Lord of all, the All-Knowing.

It is not Our purpose in addressing to thee these words to lighten the
burden of Our woe, or to induce thee to intercede for Us with any one. No,
by Him Who is the Lord of all worlds! We have set forth the whole matter
before thee, that perchance thou might realize what thou hast done, might
desist from inflicting on others the hurt thou hast inflicted on Us, and
might be of them that have truly repented to God, Who created thee and
created all things, and might act with discernment in the future. Better
is this for thee than all thou dost possess, than thy ministry whose days
are numbered.

Beware lest thou be led to connive at injustice. Set thy heart firmly upon
justice, and alter not the Cause of God, and be of them whose eyes are
directed towards the things that have been revealed in His Book. Follow
not, under any condition, the promptings of thine evil desires. Keep thou
the law of God, thy Lord, the Beneficent, the Ancient of Days. Thou shalt
most certainly return to dust, and shalt perish like all the things in
which thou takest delight. This is what the Tongue of truth and glory hath

Rememberest thou not God's warning uttered in times past, that thou mayest
be of them that heed His warning? He said, and He, verily, speaketh the
truth: "From it (earth) have We created you, and unto it will We return
you, and out of it will We bring you forth a second time." This is what
God ordained unto all them that dwell on earth, be they high or low. It
behoveth not, therefore, him who was created from dust, who will return
unto it, and will again be brought forth out of it, to swell with pride
before God, and before His loved ones, to proudly scorn them, and be
filled with disdainful arrogance. Nay, rather it behoveth thee and those
like thee to submit yourselves to them Who are the Manifestations of the
unity of God, and to defer humbly to the faithful, who have forsaken their
all for the sake of God, and have detached themselves from the things
which engross men's attention, and lead them astray from the path of God,
the All-Glorious, the All-Praised. Thus do We send down upon you that
which shall profit you and profit them that have placed their whole trust
and confidence in their Lord.

Next: Hearken O King (sultan 'abdu'l-'aziz)

Previous: Behold The Disturbances Which For Many A

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