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Part Two

_Verily He Who is the Day-star of Truth and Revealer of the
Supreme Being holdeth, for all time, undisputed sovereignty over
all that is in heaven and on earth, though no man be found on
earth to obey Him. He verily is independent of all earthly
dominion, though He be utterly destitute. Thus We reveal unto thee
the mysteries of the Cause of God, and bestow upon thee the gems
of divine wisdom, that haply thou mayest soar on the wings of
renunciation to those heights that are veiled from the eyes of

The significance and essential purpose underlying these words is to reveal
and demonstrate unto the pure in heart and the sanctified in spirit that
they Who are the Luminaries of truth and the Mirrors reflecting the light
of divine Unity, in whatever age and cycle they are sent down from their
invisible habitations of ancient glory unto this world, to educate the
souls of men and endue with grace all created things, are invariably
endowed with an all-compelling power, and invested with invincible
sovereignty. For these hidden Gems, these concealed and invisible
Treasures, in themselves manifest and vindicate the reality of these holy
words: Verily God doeth whatsoever He willeth, and ordaineth whatsoever
He pleaseth.

To every discerning and illumined heart it is evident that God, the
unknowable Essence, the divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every
human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress
and regress. Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately
recount His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery.
He is and hath ever been veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence,
and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men.
No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision; He is the Subtile,
the All-Perceiving.(71) No tie of direct intercourse can possibly bind
Him to His creatures. He standeth exalted beyond and above all separation
and union, all proximity and remoteness. No sign can indicate His presence
or His absence; inasmuch as by a word of His command all that are in
heaven and on earth have come to exist, and by His wish, which is the
Primal Will itself, all have stepped out of utter nothingness into the
realm of being, the world of the visible.

Gracious God! How could there be conceived any existing relationship or
possible connection between His Word and they that are created of it? The
verse: God would have you beware of Himself(72) unmistakably beareth
witness to the reality of Our argument, and the words: God was alone;
there was none else besides Him are a sure testimony of its truth. All
the Prophets of God and their chosen Ones, all the divines, the sages, and
the wise of every generation, unanimously recognize their inability to
attain unto the comprehension of that Quintessence of all truth, and
confess their incapacity to grasp Him, Who is the inmost Reality of all

The door of the knowledge of the Ancient of Days being thus closed in the
face of all beings, the Source of infinite grace, according to His saying:
His grace hath transcended all things; My grace hath encompassed them
all hath caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the
realm of the spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made
manifest unto all men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries
of the unchangeable Being, and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable
Essence. These sanctified Mirrors, these Day-springs of ancient glory are
one and all the Exponents on earth of Him Who is the central Orb of the
universe, its Essence and ultimate Purpose. From Him proceed their
knowledge and power; from Him is derived their sovereignty. The beauty of
their countenance is but a reflection of His image, and their revelation a
sign of His deathless glory. They are the Treasuries of divine knowledge,
and the Repositories of celestial wisdom. Through them is transmitted a
grace that is infinite, and by them is revealed the light that can never
fade. Even as He hath said: There is no distinction whatsoever between
Thee and them; except that they are Thy servants, and are created of
Thee. This is the significance of the tradition: I am He, Himself, and
He is I, myself.

The traditions and sayings that bear direct reference to Our theme are
divers and manifold; We have refrained from quoting them for the sake of
brevity. Nay, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth is a
direct evidence of the revelation within it of the attributes and names of
God, inasmuch as within every atom are enshrined the signs that bear
eloquent testimony to the revelation of that most great Light. Methinks,
but for the potency of that revelation, no being could ever exist. How
resplendent the luminaries of knowledge that shine in an atom, and how
vast the oceans of wisdom that surge within a drop! To a supreme degree is
this true of man, who, among all created things, hath been invested with
the robe of such gifts, and hath been singled out for the glory of such
distinction. For in him are potentially revealed all the attributes and
names of God to a degree that no other created being hath excelled or
surpassed. All these names and attributes are applicable to him. Even as
He hath said: Man is My mystery, and I am his mystery. Manifold are the
verses that have been repeatedly revealed in all the heavenly Books and
the holy Scriptures, expressive of this most subtle and lofty theme. Even
as He hath revealed: We will surely show them Our signs in the world and
within themselves.(73) Again He saith: And also in your own selves: will
ye not then behold the signs of God?(74) And yet again He revealeth: And
be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to
forget their own selves.(75) In this connection, He Who is the eternal
King--may the souls of all that dwell within the mystic Tabernacle be a
sacrifice unto Him--hath spoken: He hath known God who hath known

I swear by God, O esteemed and honoured friend! Shouldst thou ponder these
words in thine heart, thou wilt of a certainty find the doors of divine
wisdom and infinite knowledge flung open before thy face.

From that which hath been said it becometh evident that all things, in
their inmost reality, testify to the revelation of the names and
attributes of God within them. Each according to its capacity, indicateth,
and is expressive of, the knowledge of God. So potent and universal is
this revelation, that it hath encompassed all things, visible and
invisible. Thus hath He revealed: Hath aught else save Thee a power of
revelation which is not possessed by Thee, that it could have manifested
Thee? Blind is the eye which doth not perceive Thee. Likewise, hath the
eternal King spoken: No thing have I perceived, except that I perceived
God within it, God before it, or God after it. Also in the tradition of
Kumayl it is written: Behold, a light hath shone forth out of the Morn of
eternity, and lo! its waves have penetrated the inmost reality of all
men. Man, the noblest and most perfect of all created things, excelleth
them all in the intensity of this revelation, and is a fuller expression
of its glory. And of all men, the most accomplished, the most
distinguished and the most excellent are the Manifestations of the Sun of
Truth. Nay, all else besides these Manifestations, live by the operation
of their Will, and move and have their being through the outpourings of
their grace. But for Thee, I would have not created the heavens. Nay,
all in their holy presence fade into utter nothingness, and are a thing
forgotten. Human tongue can never befittingly sing their praise, and human
speech can never unfold their mystery. These Tabernacles of holiness,
these primal Mirrors which reflect the light of unfading glory, are but
expressions of Him Who is the Invisible of the Invisibles. By the
revelation of these gems of divine virtue all the names and attributes of
God, such as knowledge and power, sovereignty and dominion, mercy and
wisdom, glory, bounty and grace, are made manifest.

These attributes of God are not and have never been vouchsafed specially
unto certain Prophets, and withheld from others. Nay, all the Prophets of
God, His well-favoured, His holy, and chosen Messengers, are, without
exception, the bearers of His names, and the embodiments of His
attributes. They only differ in the intensity of their revelation, and the
comparative potency of their light. Even as He hath revealed: Some of the
Apostles We have caused to excel the others.(76) It hath therefore become
manifest and evident that within the tabernacles of these Prophets and
chosen Ones of God the light of His infinite names and exalted attributes
hath been reflected, even though the light of some of these attributes may
or may not be outwardly revealed from these luminous Temples to the eyes
of men. That a certain attribute of God hath not been outwardly manifested
by these Essences of Detachment doth in no wise imply that they Who are
the Daysprings of God's attributes and the Treasuries of His holy names
did not actually possess it. Therefore, these illuminated Souls, these
beauteous Countenances have, each and every one of them, been endowed with
all the attributes of God, such as sovereignty, dominion, and the like,
even though to outward seeming they be shorn of all earthly majesty. To
every discerning eye this is evident and manifest; it requireth neither
proof nor evidence.

Yea, inasmuch as the peoples of the world have failed to seek from the
luminous and crystal Springs of divine knowledge the inner meaning of
God's holy words, they therefore have languished, stricken and sore
athirst, in the vale of idle fancy and waywardness. They have strayed far
from the fresh and thirst-subduing waters, and gathered round the salt
that burneth bitterly. Concerning them, the Dove of Eternity hath spoken:
And if they see the path of righteousness, they will not take it for
their path; but if they see the path of error, for their path will they
take it. This, because they treated Our signs as lies, and were heedless
of them.(77)

To this testifieth that which hath been witnessed in this wondrous and
exalted Dispensation. Myriads of holy verses have descended from the
heaven of might and grace, yet no one hath turned thereunto, nor ceased to
cling to those words of men, not one letter of which they that have spoken
them comprehend. For this reason the people have doubted incontestable
truths, such as these, and caused themselves to be deprived of the Ridvan
of divine knowledge, and the eternal meads of celestial wisdom.

And now, to resume Our argument concerning the question: Why is it that
the sovereignty of the Qa'im, affirmed in the text of recorded traditions,
and handed down by the shining stars of the Muhammadan Dispensation, hath
not in the least been made manifest? Nay, the contrary hath come to pass.
Have not His disciples and companions been afflicted of men? Are they not
still the victims of the fierce opposition of their enemies? Are they not
today leading the life of abased and impotent mortals? Yea, the
sovereignty attributed to the Qa'im and spoken of in the scriptures, is a
reality, the truth of which none can doubt. This sovereignty, however, is
not the sovereignty which the minds of men have falsely imagined.
Moreover, the Prophets of old, each and every one, whenever announcing to
the people of their day the advent of the coming Revelation, have
invariably and specifically referred to that sovereignty with which the
promised Manifestation must needs be invested. This is attested by the
records of the scriptures of the past. This sovereignty hath not been
solely and exclusively attributed to the Qa'im. Nay rather, the attribute
of sovereignty and all other names and attributes of God have been and
will ever be vouchsafed unto all the Manifestations of God, before and
after Him, inasmuch as these Manifestations, as it hath already been
explained, are the Embodiments of the attributes of God, the Invisible,
and the Revealers of the divine mysteries.

Furthermore, by sovereignty is meant the all-encompassing, all-pervading
power which is inherently exercised by the Qa'im whether or not He appear
to the world clothed in the majesty of earthly dominion. This is solely
dependent upon the will and pleasure of the Qa'im Himself. You will
readily recognize that the terms sovereignty, wealth, life, death,
judgment and resurrection, spoken of by the scriptures of old, are not
what this generation hath conceived and vainly imagined. Nay, by
sovereignty is meant that sovereignty which in every dispensation resideth
within, and is exercised by, the person of the Manifestation, the Day-star
of Truth. That sovereignty is the spiritual ascendancy which He exerciseth
to the fullest degree over all that is in heaven and on earth, and which
in due time revealeth itself to the world in direct proportion to its
capacity and spiritual receptiveness, even as the sovereignty of Muhammad,
the Messenger of God, is today apparent and manifest amongst the people.
You are well aware of what befell His Faith in the early days of His
dispensation. What woeful sufferings did the hand of the infidel and
erring, the divines of that age and their associates, inflict upon that
spiritual Essence, that most pure and holy Being! How abundant the thorns
and briars which they have strewn over His path! It is evident that
wretched generation, in their wicked and satanic fancy, regarded every
injury to that immortal Being as a means to the attainment of an abiding
felicity; inasmuch as the recognized divines of that age, such as
'Abdu'llah-i-Ubayy, Abu-'Amir, the hermit, Ka'b-Ibn-i-Ashraf, and
Nadr-Ibn-i-Harith, all treated Him as an impostor, and pronounced Him a
lunatic and a calumniator. Such sore accusations they brought against Him
that in recounting them God forbiddeth the ink to flow, Our pen to move,
or the page to bear them. These malicious imputations provoked the people
to arise and torment Him. And how fierce that torment if the divines of
the age be its chief instigators, if they denounce Him to their followers,
cast Him out from their midst, and declare Him a miscreant! Hath not the
same befallen this Servant, and been witnessed by all?

For this reason did Muhammad cry out: No Prophet of God hath suffered
such harm as I have suffered. And in the Qur'an are recorded all the
calumnies and reproaches uttered against Him, as well as all the
afflictions which He suffered. Refer ye thereunto, that haply ye may be
informed of that which hath befallen His Revelation. So grievous was His
plight, that for a time all ceased to hold intercourse with Him and His
companions. Whoever associated with Him fell a victim to the relentless
cruelty of His enemies.

We shall cite in this connection only one verse of that Book. Shouldst
thou observe it with a discerning eye, thou wilt, all the remaining days
of thy life, lament and bewail the injury of Muhammad, that wronged and
oppressed Messenger of God. That verse was revealed at a time when
Muhammad languished weary and sorrowful beneath the weight of the
opposition of the people, and of their unceasing torture. In the midst of
His agony, the Voice of Gabriel, calling from the Sadratu'l-Muntaha, was
heard saying: But if their opposition be grievous to Thee--if Thou canst,
seek out an opening into the earth or a ladder into heaven.(78) The
implication of this utterance is that His case had no remedy, that they
would not withhold their hands from Him unless He should hide Himself
beneath the depths of the earth, or take His flight unto heaven.

Consider, how great is the change today! Behold, how many are the
Sovereigns who bow the knee before His name! How numerous the nations and
kingdoms who have sought the shelter of His shadow, who bear allegiance to
His Faith, and pride themselves therein! From the pulpit-top there
ascendeth today the words of praise which, in utter lowliness, glorify His
blessed name; and from the heights of minarets there resoundeth the call
that summoneth the concourse of His people to adore Him. Even those Kings
of the earth who have refused to embrace His Faith and to put off the
garment of unbelief, none the less confess and acknowledge the greatness
and overpowering majesty of that Day-star of loving kindness. Such is His
earthly sovereignty, the evidences of which thou dost on every side
behold. This sovereignty must needs be revealed and established either in
the lifetime of every Manifestation of God or after His ascension unto His
true habitation in the realms above. What thou dost witness today is but a
confirmation of this truth. That spiritual ascendency, however, which is
primarily intended, resideth within, and revolveth around Them from
eternity even unto eternity. It can never for a moment be divorced from
Them. Its dominion hath encompassed all that is in heaven and on earth.

The following is an evidence of the sovereignty exercised by Muhammad, the
Day-star of Truth. Hast thou not heard how with one single verse He hath
sundered light from darkness, the righteous from the ungodly, and the
believing from the infidel? All the signs and allusions concerning the Day
of Judgment, which thou hast heard, such as the raising of the dead, the
Day of Reckoning, the Last Judgment, and others have been made manifest
through the revelation of that verse. These revealed words were a blessing
to the righteous who on hearing them exclaimed: O God our Lord, we have
heard, and obeyed. They were a curse to the people of iniquity who, on
hearing them affirmed: We have heard and rebelled. Those words, sharp as
the sword of God, have separated the faithful from the infidel, and
severed father from son. Thou hast surely witnessed how they that have
confessed their faith in Him and they that rejected Him have warred
against each other, and sought one another's property. How many fathers
have turned away from their sons; how many lovers have shunned their
beloved! So mercilessly trenchant was this wondrous sword of God that it
cleft asunder every relationship! On the other hand, consider the welding
power of His Word. Observe, how those in whose midst the Satan of self had
for years sown the seeds of malice and hate became so fused and blended
through their allegiance to this wondrous and transcendent Revelation that
it seemed as if they had sprung from the same loins. Such is the binding
force of the Word of God, which uniteth the hearts of them that have
renounced all else but Him, who have believed in His signs, and quaffed
from the Hand of glory the Kawthar of God's holy grace. Furthermore, how
numerous are those peoples of divers beliefs, of conflicting creeds, and
opposing temperaments, who, through the reviving fragrance of the Divine
springtime, breathing from the Ridvan of God, have been arrayed with the
new robe of divine Unity, and have drunk from the cup of His singleness!

This is the significance of the well-known words: The wolf and the lamb
shall feed together.(79) Behold the ignorance and folly of those who,
like the nations of old, are still expecting to witness the time when
these beasts will feed together in one pasture! Such is their low estate.
Methinks, never have their lips touched the cup of understanding, neither
have their feet trodden the path of justice. Besides, of what profit would
it be to the world were such a thing to take place? How well hath He
spoken concerning them: Hearts have they, with which they understand not,
and eyes have they with which they see not!(80)

Consider how with this one verse which hath descended from the heaven of
the Will of God, the world and all that is therein have been brought to a
reckoning with Him. Whosoever acknowledged His truth and turned unto Him,
his good works outweighed his misdeeds, and all his sins were remitted and
forgiven. Thereby is the truth of these words concerning Him made
manifest: Swift is He in reckoning. Thus God turneth iniquity into
righteousness, were ye to explore the realms of divine knowledge, and
fathom the mysteries of His wisdom. In like manner, whosoever partook of
the cup of love, obtained his portion of the ocean of eternal grace and of
the showers of everlasting mercy, and entered into the life of faith--the
heavenly and everlasting life. But he that turned away from that cup was
condemned to eternal death. By the terms life and death, spoken of in
the scriptures, is intended the life of faith and the death of unbelief.
The generality of the people, owing to their failure to grasp the meaning
of these words, rejected and despised the person of the Manifestation,
deprived themselves of the light of His divine guidance, and refused to
follow the example of that immortal Beauty.

When the light of Qur'anic Revelation was kindled within the chamber of
Muhammad's holy heart, He passed upon the people the verdict of the Last
Day, the verdict of resurrection, of judgment, of life, and of death.
Thereupon the standards of revolt were hoisted, and the doors of derision
opened. Thus hath He, the Spirit of God, recorded, as spoken by the
infidels: And if thou shouldst say, 'After death ye shall surely be
raised again,' the infidels will certainly exclaim, 'This is nothing but
manifest sorcery.'(81) Again He speaketh: If ever thou dost marvel,
marvellous surely is their saying, 'What! When we have become dust, shall
we be restored in a new creation?'(82) Thus, in another passage, He
wrathfully exclaimeth: Are We wearied out with the first creation? Yet
are they in doubt with regard to a new creation!(83)

As the commentators of the Qur'an and they that follow the letter thereof
misapprehended the inner meaning of the words of God and failed to grasp
their essential purpose, they sought to demonstrate that, according to the
rules of grammar, whenever the term idha (meaning if or when)
precedeth the past tense, it invariably hath reference to the future.
Later, they were sore perplexed in attempting to explain those verses of
the Book wherein that term did not actually occur. Even as He hath
revealed: And there was a blast on the trumpet,--lo! it is the threatened
Day! And every soul is summoned to a reckoning,--with him an impeller and a
witness.(84) In explaining this and similar verses, they have in some
cases argued that the term idha is implied. In other instances, they
have idly contended that whereas the Day of Judgment is inevitable, it
hath therefore been referred to as an event not of the future but of the
past. How vain their sophistry! How grievous their blindness! They refuse
to recognize the trumpet-blast which so explicitly in this text was
sounded through the revelation of Muhammad. They deprive themselves of the
regenerating Spirit of God that breathed into it, and foolishly expect to
hear the trumpet-sound of the Seraph of God who is but one of His
servants! Hath not the Seraph himself, the angel of the Judgment Day, and
his like been ordained by Muhammad's own utterance? Say: What! Will ye
give that which is for your good in exchange for that which is evil?
Wretched is that which ye have falsely exchanged! Surely ye are a people,
evil, in grievous loss.

Nay, by trumpet is meant the trumpet-call of Muhammad's Revelation,
which was sounded in the heart of the universe, and by resurrection is
meant His own rise to proclaim the Cause of God. He bade the erring and
wayward arise and speed out of the sepulchres of their bodies, arrayed
them with the beauteous robe of faith, and quickened them with the breath
of a new and wondrous life. Thus at the hour when Muhammad, that divine
Beauty, purposed to unveil one of the mysteries hidden in the symbolic
terms resurrection, judgment, paradise, and hell, Gabriel, the
Voice of Inspiration, was heard saying: Erelong will they wag their heads
at Thee, and say, 'When shall this be?' Say: 'Perchance it is nigh.'(85)
The implications of this verse alone suffice the peoples of the world,
were they to ponder it in their hearts.

Gracious God! How far have that people strayed from the way of God!
Although the Day of Resurrection was ushered in through the Revelation of
Muhammad, although His light and tokens had encompassed the earth and all
that is therein, yet that people derided Him, gave themselves up to those
idols which the divines of that age, in their vain and idle fancy, had
conceived, and deprived themselves of the light of heavenly grace and of
the showers of divine mercy. Yea, the abject beetle can never scent the
fragrance of holiness, and the bat of darkness can never face the
splendour of the sun.

Such things have come to pass in the days of every Manifestation of God.
Even as Jesus said: Ye must be born again.(86) Again He saith: 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.(87) The purport of these words is that whosoever
in every dispensation is born of the Spirit and is quickened by the breath
of the Manifestation of Holiness, he verily is of those that have attained
unto life and resurrection and have entered into the paradise of the
love of God. And whosoever is not of them, is condemned to death and
deprivation, to the fire of unbelief, and to the wrath of God. In
all the scriptures, the books and chronicles, the sentence of death, of
fire, of blindness, of want of understanding and hearing, hath been
pronounced against those whose lips have tasted not the ethereal cup of
true knowledge, and whose hearts have been deprived of the grace of the
holy Spirit in their day. Even as it hath been previously recorded:
Hearts have they with which they understand not.(88)

In another passage of the Gospel it is written: And it came to pass that
on a certain day the father of one of the disciples of Jesus had died.
That disciple reporting the death of his father unto Jesus, asked for
leave to go and bury him. Whereupon, Jesus, that Essence of Detachment,
answered and said: Let the dead bury their dead.(89)

In like manner, two of the people of Kufih went to 'Ali, the Commander of
the Faithful. One owned a house and wished to sell it; the other was to be
the purchaser. They had agreed that this transaction should be effected
and the contract be written with the knowledge of 'Ali. He, the exponent
of the law of God, addressing the scribe, said: Write thou: 'A dead man
hath bought from another dead man a house. That house is bounded by four
limits. One extendeth toward the tomb, the other to the vault of the
grave, the third to the Sirat, the fourth to either Paradise or hell.'
Reflect, had these two souls been quickened by the trumpet-call of 'Ali,
had they risen from the grave of error by the power of his love, the
judgment of death would certainly not have been pronounced against them.

In every age and century, the purpose of the Prophets of God and their
chosen ones hath been no other but to affirm the spiritual significance of
the terms life, resurrection, and judgment. If one will ponder but
for a while this utterance of 'Ali in his heart, one will surely discover
all mysteries hidden in the terms grave, tomb, sirat, paradise and
hell. But oh! how strange and pitiful! Behold, all the people are
imprisoned within the tomb of self, and lie buried beneath the nethermost
depths of worldly desire! Wert thou to attain to but a dewdrop of the
crystal waters of divine knowledge, thou wouldst readily realize that true
life is not the life of the flesh but the life of the spirit. For the life
of the flesh is common to both men and animals, whereas the life of the
spirit is possessed only by the pure in heart who have quaffed from the
ocean of faith and partaken of the fruit of certitude. This life knoweth
no death, and this existence is crowned by immortality. Even as it hath
been said: He who is a true believer liveth both in this world and in the
world to come.

If by life be meant this earthly life, it is evident that death must
needs overtake it.

Similarly, the records of all the scriptures bear witness to this lofty
truth and this most exalted word. Moreover, this verse of the Qur'an,
revealed concerning Hamzih, the Prince of Martyrs,(90) and Abu-Jahl, is
a luminous evidence and sure testimony of the truth of Our saying: Shall
the dead, whom We have quickened, and for whom We have ordained a light
whereby he may walk among men, be like him, whose likeness is in the
darkness, whence he will not come forth?(91) This verse descended from
the heaven of the Primal Will at a time when Hamzih had already been
invested with the sacred mantle of faith, and Abu-Jahl had waxed
relentless in his opposition and unbelief. From the Wellspring of
omnipotence and the Source of eternal holiness, there came the judgment
that conferred everlasting life upon Hamzih, and condemned Abu-Jahl to
eternal damnation. This was the signal that caused the fires of unbelief
to glow with the hottest flame in the heart of the infidels, and provoked
them openly to repudiate His truth. They loudly clamoured: When did
Hamzih die? When was he risen? At what hour was such a life conferred upon
him? As they understood not the significance of these noble sayings, nor
sought enlightenment from the recognized expounders of the Faith, that
these might confer a sprinkling of the Kawthar of divine knowledge upon
them, therefore such fires of mischief were kindled amongst men.

Thou dost witness today how, notwithstanding the radiant splendour of the
Sun of divine knowledge, all the people, whether high or low, have clung
to the ways of those abject manifestations of the Prince of Darkness. They
continually appeal to them for aid in unraveling the intricacies of their
Faith, and, owing to lack of knowledge, they make such replies as can in
no wise damage their fame and fortune. It is evident that these souls,
vile and miserable as the beetle itself, have had no portion of the
musk-laden breeze of eternity, and have never entered the Ridvan of
heavenly delight. How, therefore, can they impart unto others the
imperishable fragrance of holiness? Such is their way, and such will it
remain for ever. Only those will attain to the knowledge of the Word of
God that have turned unto Him, and repudiated the manifestations of Satan.
Thus God hath reaffirmed the law of the day of His Revelation, and
inscribed it with the pen of power upon the mystic Tablet hidden beneath
the veil of celestial glory. Wert thou to heed these words, wert thou to
ponder their outward and inner meaning in thy heart, thou wouldst seize
the significance of all the abstruse problems which, in this day, have
become insuperable barriers between men and the knowledge of the Day of
Judgment. Then wilt thou have no more questions to perplex thee. We fain
would hope that, God willing, thou wilt not return, deprived and still
athirst, from the shores of the ocean of divine mercy, nor come back
destitute from the imperishable Sanctuary of thy heart's desire. Let it
now be seen what thy search and endeavours will achieve.

To resume: Our purpose in setting forth these truths hath been to
demonstrate the sovereignty of Him Who is the King of kings. Be fair: Is
this sovereignty which, through the utterance of one Word, hath manifested
such pervading influence, ascendancy, and awful majesty, is this
sovereignty superior, or is the worldly dominion of these kings of the
earth who, despite their solicitude for their subjects and their help of
the poor, are assured only of an outward and fleeting allegiance, while in
the hearts of men they inspire neither affection nor respect? Hath not
that sovereignty, through the potency of one word, subdued, quickened, and
revitalized the whole world? What! Can the lowly dust compare with Him Who
is the Lord of Lords? What tongue dare utter the immensity of difference
that lieth between them? Nay, all comparison falleth short in attaining
the hallowed sanctuary of His sovereignty. Were man to reflect, he would
surely perceive that even the servant of His threshold ruleth over all
created things! This hath already been witnessed, and will in future be
made manifest.

This is but one of the meanings of the spiritual sovereignty which We have
set forth in accordance with the capacity and receptiveness of the people.
For He, the Mover of all beings, that glorified Countenance, is the source
of such potencies as neither this wronged One can reveal, nor this
unworthy people comprehend. Immensely exalted is He above men's praise of
His sovereignty; glorified is He beyond that which they attribute unto

And now, ponder this in thine heart: Were sovereignty to mean earthly
sovereignty and worldly dominion, were it to imply the subjection and
external allegiance of all the peoples and kindreds of the earth--whereby
His loved ones should be exalted and be made to live in peace, and His
enemies be abased and tormented--such form of sovereignty would not be true
of God Himself, the Source of all dominion, Whose majesty and power all
things testify. For, dost thou not witness how the generality of mankind
is under the sway of His enemies? Have they not all turned away from the
path of His good-pleasure? Have they not done that which He hath
forbidden, and left undone, nay repudiated and opposed, those things which
He hath commanded? Have not His friends ever been the victims of the
tyranny of His foes? All these things are more obvious than even the
splendour of the noon-tide sun.

Know, therefore, O questioning seeker, that earthly sovereignty is of no
worth, nor will it ever be, in the eyes of God and His chosen Ones.
Moreover, if ascendency and dominion be interpreted to mean earthly
supremacy and temporal power, how impossible will it be for thee to
explain these verses: And verily Our host shall conquer.(92) Fain would
they put out God's light with their mouths: But God hath willed to perfect
His light, albeit the infidels abhor it.(93) He is the Dominant, above
all things. Similarly, most of the Qur'an testifieth to this truth.

Were the idle contention of these foolish and despicable souls to be true,
they would have none other alternative than to reject all these holy
utterances and heavenly allusions. For no warrior could be found on earth
more excellent and nearer to God than Husayn, son of 'Ali, so peerless and
incomparable was he. There was none to equal or to match him in the
world. Yet, thou must have heard what befell him. God's malison on the
head of the people of tyranny!(94)

Were the verse And verily Our host shall conquer to be literally
interpreted, it is evident that it would in no wise be applicable to the
chosen Ones of God and His hosts, inasmuch as Husayn, whose heroism was
manifest as the sun, crushed and subjugated, quaffed at last the cup of
martyrdom in Karbila, the land of Taff. Similarly, the sacred verse Fain
would they put out God's light with their mouths: But God hath willed to
perfect His light, albeit the infidels abhor it. Were it to be literally
interpreted it would never correspond with the truth. For in every age the
light of God hath, to outward seeming, been quenched by the peoples of the
earth, and the Lamps of God extinguished by them. How then could the
ascendancy of the sovereignty of these Lamps be explained? What could the
potency of God's will to perfect His light signify? As hath already been
witnessed, so great was the enmity of the infidels, that none of these
divine Luminaries ever found a place for shelter, or tasted of the cup of
tranquillity. So heavily were they oppressed, that the least of men
inflicted upon these Essences of being whatsoever he listed. These
sufferings have been observed and measured by the people. How, therefore,
can such people be capable of understanding and expounding these words of
God, these verses of everlasting glory?

But the purpose of these verses is not what they have imagined. Nay, the
terms ascendancy, power, and authority imply a totally different
station and meaning. For instance, consider the pervading power of those
drops of the blood of Husayn which besprinkled the earth. What ascendancy
and influence hath the dust itself, through the sacredness and potency of
that blood, exercised over the bodies and souls of men! So much so, that
he who sought deliverance from his ills, was healed by touching the dust
of that holy ground, and whosoever, wishing to protect his property,
treasured with absolute faith and understanding, a little of that holy
earth within his house, safeguarded all his possessions. These are the
outward manifestations of its potency. And were We to recount its hidden
virtues they would assuredly say: He verily hath considered the dust to
be the Lord of Lords, and hath utterly forsaken the Faith of God.

Furthermore, call to mind the shameful circumstances that have attended
the martyrdom of Husayn. Reflect upon his loneliness, how, to outer
seeming, none could be found to aid him, none to take up his body and bury
it. And yet, behold how numerous, in this day, are those who from the
uttermost corners of the earth don the garb of pilgrimage, seeking the
site of his martyrdom, that there they may lay their heads upon the
threshold of his shrine! Such is the ascendancy and power of God! Such is
the glory of His dominion and majesty!

Think not that because these things have come to pass after Husayn's
martyrdom, therefore all this glory hath been of no profit unto him. For
that holy soul is immortal, liveth the life of God, and abideth within the
retreats of celestial glory upon the Sadrih of heavenly reunion. These
Essences of being are the shining Exemplars of sacrifice. They have
offered, and will continue to offer up their lives, their substance, their
souls, their spirit, their all, in the path of the Well-Beloved. By them,
no station, however exalted, could be more dearly cherished. For lovers
have no desire but the good-pleasure of their Beloved, and have no aim
except reunion with Him.

Should We wish to impart unto thee a glimmer of the mysteries of Husayn's
martyrdom, and reveal unto thee the fruits thereof, these pages could
never suffice, nor exhaust their meaning. Our hope is that, God willing,
the breeze of mercy may blow, and the divine Springtime clothe the tree of
being with the robe of a new life; so that we may discover the mysteries
of divine Wisdom, and, through His providence, be made independent of the
knowledge of all things. We have, as yet, descried none but a handful of
souls, destitute of all renown, who have attained unto this station. Let
the future disclose what the Judgment of God will ordain, and the
Tabernacle of His decree reveal. In such wise We recount unto thee the
wonders of the Cause of God, and pour out into thine ears the strains of
heavenly melody, that haply thou mayest attain unto the station of true
knowledge, and partake of the fruit thereof. Therefore, know thou of a
certainty that these Luminaries of heavenly majesty, though their dwelling
be in the dust, yet their true habitation is the seat of glory in the
realms above. Though bereft of all earthly possessions, yet they soar in
the realms of immeasurable riches. And whilst sore tried in the grip of
the enemy, they are seated on the right hand of power and celestial
dominion. Amidst the darkness of their abasement there shineth upon them
the light of unfading glory, and upon their helplessness are showered the
tokens of an invincible sovereignty.

Thus Jesus, Son of Mary, whilst seated one day and speaking in the strain
of the Holy Spirit, uttered words such as these: O people! My food is the
grass of the field, wherewith I satisfy my hunger. My bed is the dust, my
lamp in the night the light of the moon, and my steed my own feet. Behold,
who on earth is richer than I? By the righteousness of God! Thousands of
treasures circle round this poverty, and a myriad kingdoms of glory yearn
for such abasement! Shouldst thou attain to a drop of the ocean of the
inner meaning of these words, thou wouldst surely forsake the world and
all that is therein, and, as the Phoenix wouldst consume thyself in the
flames of the undying Fire.

In like manner, it is related that on a certain day, one of the companions
of Sadiq complained of his poverty before him. Whereupon, Sadiq, that
immortal beauty, made reply: Verily thou art rich, and hast drunk the
draught of wealth. That poverty-stricken soul was perplexed at the words
uttered by that luminous countenance, and said: Where are my riches, I
who stand in need of a single coin? Sadiq thereupon observed: Dost thou
not possess our love? He replied: Yea, I possess it, O thou scion of the
Prophet of God! And Sadiq asked him saying: Exchangest thou this love
for one thousand dinars? He answered: Nay, never will I exchange it,
though the world and all that is therein be given me! Then Sadiq
remarked: How can he who possesses such a treasure be called poor?

This poverty and these riches, this abasement and glory, this dominion,
power, and the like, upon which the eyes and hearts of these vain and
foolish souls are set,--all these things fade into utter nothingness in
that Court! Even as He hath said: O men! Ye are but paupers in need of
God; but God is the Rich, the Self-Sufficing.(95) By 'riches' therefore
is meant independence of all else but God, and by 'poverty' the lack of
things that are of God.

Similarly, call thou to mind the day when the Jews, who had surrounded
Jesus, Son of Mary, were pressing Him to confess His claim of being the
Messiah and Prophet of God, so that they might declare Him an infidel and
sentence Him to death. Then, they led Him away, He Who was the Day-star of
the heaven of divine Revelation, unto Pilate and Caiaphas, who was the
leading divine of that age. The chief priests were all assembled in the
palace, also a multitude of people who had gathered to witness His
sufferings, to deride and injure Him. Though they repeatedly questioned
Him, hoping that He would confess His claim, yet Jesus held His peace and
spake not. Finally, an accursed of God arose and, approaching Jesus,
adjured Him saying: Didst thou not claim to be the Divine Messiah? Didst
thou not say, 'I am the King of Kings, My word is the Word of God, and I
am the breaker of the Sabbath day?' Thereupon Jesus lifted up His head
and said: Beholdest thou not the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of
power and might? These were His words, and yet consider how to outward
seeming He was devoid of all power except that inner power which was of
God and which had encompassed all that is in heaven and on earth. How can
I relate all that befell Him after He spoke these words? How shall I
describe their heinous behaviour towards Him? They at last heaped on His
blessed Person such woes that He took His flight unto the fourth Heaven.

It is also recorded in the Gospel according to St. Luke, that on a certain
day Jesus passed by a Jew who was sick of the palsy, and lay upon a couch.
When the Jew saw Him, he recognized Him, and cried out for His help. Jesus
said unto him: Arise from thy bed; thy sins are forgiven thee. Certain
of the Jews, standing by, protested saying: Who can forgive sins, but God
alone? And immediately He perceived their thoughts, Jesus answering said
unto them: Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, arise,
and take up thy bed, and walk; or to say, thy sins are forgiven thee? that
ye may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins.(96)
This is the real sovereignty, and such is the power of God's chosen Ones!
All these things which We have repeatedly mentioned, and the details which
We have cited from divers sources, have no other purpose but to enable
thee to grasp the meaning of the allusions in the utterances of the chosen
Ones of God, lest certain of these utterances cause thy feet to falter and
thy heart to be dismayed.

Thus with steadfast steps we may tread the Path of certitude, that
perchance the breeze that bloweth from the meads of the good-pleasure of
God may waft upon us the sweet savours of divine acceptance, and cause us,
vanishing mortals that we are, to attain unto the Kingdom of everlasting
glory. Then wilt thou comprehend the inner meaning of sovereignty and the
like, spoken of in the traditions and scriptures. Furthermore, it is
already evident and known unto thee that those things to which the Jews
and the Christians have clung, and the cavilings which they heaped upon
the Beauty of Muhammad, the same have in this day been upheld by the
people of the Qur'an, and been witnessed in their denunciations of the
Point of the Bayan--may the souls of all that dwell within the kingdom of
divine Revelations be a sacrifice unto Him! Behold their folly: they utter
the self-same words, uttered by the Jews of old, and know it not! How well
and true are His words concerning them: Leave them to entertain
themselves with their cavilings!(97) As Thou livest, O Muhammad! they
are seized by the frenzy of their vain fancies.(98)

When the Unseen, the Eternal, the divine Essence, caused the Day-star of
Muhammad to rise above the horizon of knowledge, among the cavils which
the Jewish divines raised against Him was that after Moses no Prophet
should be sent of God. Yea, mention hath been made in the scriptures of a
Soul Who must needs be made manifest and Who will advance the Faith, and
promote the interests of the people, of Moses, so that the Law of the
Mosaic Dispensation may encompass the whole earth. Thus hath the King of
eternal glory referred in His Book to the words uttered by those wanderers
in the vale of remoteness and error: 'The hand of God,' say the Jews, 'is
chained up.' Chained up be their own hands! And for that which they have
said, they were accursed. Nay, outstretched are both His hands!(99) The
hand of God is above their hands.(100)

Although the commentators of the Qur'an have related in divers manners the
circumstances attending the revelation of this verse, yet thou shouldst
endeavour to apprehend the purpose thereof. He saith: How false is that
which the Jews have imagined! How can the hand of Him Who is the King in
truth, Who caused the countenance of Moses to be made manifest, and
conferred upon Him the robe of Prophethood--how can the hand of such a One
be chained and fettered? How can He be conceived as powerless to raise up
yet another Messenger after Moses? Behold the absurdity of their saying;
how far it hath strayed from the path of knowledge and understanding!
Observe how in this day also, all these people have occupied themselves
with such foolish absurdities. For over a thousand years they have been
reciting this verse, and unwittingly pronouncing their censure against the
Jews, utterly unaware that they themselves, openly and privily, are
voicing the sentiments and belief of the Jewish people! Thou art surely
aware of their idle contention, that all Revelation is ended, that the
portals of Divine mercy are closed, that from the day-springs of eternal
holiness no sun shall rise again, that the Ocean of everlasting bounty is
forever stilled, and that out of the Tabernacle of ancient glory the
Messengers of God have ceased to be made manifest. Such is the measure of
the understanding of these small-minded, contemptible people. These people
have imagined that the flow of God's all-encompassing grace and plenteous
mercies, the cessation of which no mind can contemplate, has been halted.
From every side they have risen and girded up the loins of tyranny, and
exerted the utmost endeavour to quench with the bitter waters of their
vain fancy the flame of God's burning Bush, oblivious that the globe of
power shall within its own mighty stronghold protect the Lamp of God. The
utter destitution into which this people have fallen doth surely suffice
them, inasmuch as they have been deprived of the recognition of the
essential Purpose and the knowledge of the Mystery and Substance of the
Cause of God. For the highest and most excelling grace bestowed upon men
is the grace of attaining unto the Presence of God and of His
recognition, which has been promised unto all people. This is the utmost
degree of grace vouchsafed unto man by the All-Bountiful, the Ancient of
Days, and the fulness of His absolute bounty upon His creatures. Of this
grace and bounty none of this people hath partaken, neither have they been
honoured with this most exalted distinction. How numerous are those
revealed verses which explicitly bear witness unto this most weighty truth
and exalted Theme! And yet they have rejected it, and, after their own
desire, misconstrued its meaning. Even as He hath revealed: As for those
who believe not in the signs of God, or that they shall ever meet Him,
these of My mercy shall despair, and for them doth a grievous chastisement
await.(101) Also He saith: They who bear in mind that they shall attain
unto the Presence of their Lord, and that unto Him shall they
return.(102) Also in another instance He saith: They who held it as
certain that they must meet God, said, 'How oft, by God's will, hath a
small host vanquished a numerous host!'(103) In yet another instance He
revealeth: Let him then who hopeth to attain the presence of his Lord
work a righteous work.(104) And also He saith: He ordereth all things.
He maketh His signs clear, that ye may have firm faith in attaining the
presence of your Lord.(105)

This people have repudiated all these verses, that unmistakably testify to
the reality of attainment unto the Divine Presence. No theme hath been
more emphatically asserted in the holy scriptures. Notwithstanding, they
have deprived themselves of this lofty and most exalted rank, this supreme
and glorious station. Some have contended that by attainment unto the
Divine Presence is meant the Revelation of God in the Day of
Resurrection. Should they assert that the Revelation of God signifieth a
Universal Revelation, it is clear and evident that such revelation
already existeth in all things. The truth of this We have already
established, inasmuch as We have demonstrated that all things are the
recipients and revealers of the splendours of that ideal King, and that
the signs of the revelation of that Sun, the Source of all splendour,
exist and are manifest in the mirrors of beings. Nay, were man to gaze
with the eye of divine and spiritual discernment, he will readily
recognize that nothing whatsoever can exist without the revelation of the
splendour of God, the ideal King. Consider how all created things
eloquently testify to the revelation of that inner Light within them.
Behold how within all things the portals of the Ridvan of God are opened,
that seekers may attain the cities of understanding and wisdom, and enter
the gardens of knowledge and power. Within every garden they will behold
the mystic bride of inner meaning enshrined within the chambers of
utterance in the utmost grace and fullest adornment. Most of the verses of
the Qur'an indicate, and bear witness to, this spiritual theme. The verse:
Neither is there aught which doth not celebrate His praise(106) is
eloquent testimony thereto; and We noted all things and wrote them
down,(107) a faithful witness thereof. Now, if by attainment unto the
Presence of God is meant attainment unto the knowledge of such
revelation, it is evident that all men have already attained unto the
presence of the unchangeable Countenance of that peerless King. Why, then,
restrict such revelation to the Day of Resurrection?

And were they to maintain that by divine Presence is meant the Specific
Revelation of God, expressed by certain Sufis as the Most Holy
Outpouring, if this be in the Essence Itself, it is evident that it hath
been eternally in the divine Knowledge. Assuming the truth of this
hypothesis, attainment unto the divine Presence is in this sense
obviously possible to no one, inasmuch as this revelation is confined to
the innermost Essence, unto which no man can attain. The way is barred,
and all seeking rejected. The minds of the favourites of heaven, however
high they soar, can never attain this station, how much less the
understanding of obscured and limited minds.

And were they to say that by divine Presence is meant the Secondary
Revelation of God, interpreted as the Holy Outpouring, this is
admittedly applicable to the world of creation, that is, in the realm of
the primal and original manifestation of God. Such revelation is confined
to His Prophets and chosen Ones, inasmuch as none mightier than they hath
come to exist in the world of being. This truth all recognize, and bear
witness thereto. These Prophets and chosen Ones of God are the recipients
and revealers of all the unchangeable attributes and names of God. They
are the mirrors that truly and faithfully reflect the light of God.
Whatsoever is applicable to them is in reality applicable to God, Himself,
Who is both the Visible and the Invisible. The knowledge of Him, Who is
the Origin of all things, and attainment unto Him, are impossible save
through knowledge of, and attainment unto, these luminous Beings who
proceed from the Sun of Truth. By attaining, therefore, to the presence of
these holy Luminaries, the Presence of God Himself is attained. From
their knowledge, the knowledge of God is revealed, and from the light of
their countenance, the splendour of the Face of God is made manifest.
Through the manifold attributes of these Essences of Detachment, Who are
both the first and the last, the seen and the hidden, it is made evident
that He Who is the Sun of Truth is the First and the Last, the Seen, and
the Hidden.(108) Likewise the other lofty names and exalted attributes of
God. Therefore, whosoever, and in whatever Dispensation, hath recognized
and attained unto the presence of these glorious, these resplendent and
most excellent Luminaries, hath verily attained unto the Presence of God
Himself, and entered the city of eternal and immortal life. Attainment
unto such presence is possible only in the Day of Resurrection, which is
the Day of the rise of God Himself through His all-embracing Revelation.

This is the meaning of the Day of Resurrection, spoken of in all the
scriptures, and announced unto all people. Reflect, can a more precious, a
mightier, and more glorious day than this be conceived, so that man should
willingly forego its grace, and deprive himself of its bounties, which
like unto vernal showers are raining from the heaven of mercy upon all
mankind? Having thus conclusively demonstrated that no day is greater than
this Day, and no revelation more glorious than this Revelation, and having
set forth all these weighty and infallible proofs which no understanding
mind can question, and no man of learning overlook, how can man possibly,
through the idle contention of the people of doubt and fancy, deprive
himself of such a bountiful grace? Have they not heard the well-known
tradition: When the Qa'im riseth, that day is the Day of Resurrection?
In like manner, the Imams, those unquenchable lights of divine guidance,
have interpreted the verse: What can such expect but that God should come
down to them overshadowed with clouds,(109)--a sign which they have
unquestionably regarded as one of the features of the Day of
Resurrection--as referring to Qa'im and His manifestation.

Strive, therefore, O my brother, to grasp the meaning of Resurrection,
and cleanse thine ears from the idle sayings of these rejected people.
Shouldst thou step into the realm of complete detachment, thou wilt
readily testify that no day is mightier than this Day, and that no
resurrection more awful than this Resurrection can ever be conceived. One
righteous work performed in this Day, equalleth all the virtuous acts
which for myriads of centuries men have practised--nay, We ask forgiveness
of God for such a comparison! For verily the reward which such a deed
deserveth is immensely beyond and above the estimate of men. Inasmuch as
these undiscerning and wretched souls have failed to apprehend the true
meaning of Resurrection and of the attainment unto the divine
Presence, they therefore have remained utterly deprived of the grace
thereof. Although the sole and fundamental purpose of all learning, and
the toil and labour thereof, is attainment unto, and the recognition of,
this station, yet they are all immersed in the pursuit of their material
studies. They deny themselves every moment of leisure, and utterly ignore
Him, Who is the Essence of all learning, and the one Object of their
quest! Methinks, their lips have never touched the cup of divine
Knowledge, nor do they seem to have attained even a dewdrop of the showers
of heavenly grace.

Consider, how can he that faileth in the day of God's Revelation to attain
unto the grace of the Divine Presence and to recognize His
Manifestation, be justly called learned, though he may have spent aeons in
the pursuit of knowledge, and acquired all the limited and material
learning of men? It is surely evident that he can in no wise be regarded
as possessed of true knowledge. Whereas, the most unlettered of all men,
if he be honoured with this supreme distinction, he verily is accounted as
one of those divinely-learned men whose knowledge is of God; for such a
man hath attained the acme of knowledge, and hath reached the furthermost
summit of learning.

This station is also one of the signs of the Day of Revelation; even as it
is said: The abased amongst you, He shall exalt; and they that are
exalted, He shall abase. And likewise, He hath revealed in the Qur'an:
And We desire to show favour to those who were brought low in the land,
and to make them spiritual leaders among men, and to make of them Our
heirs.(110) It hath been witnessed in this day how many of the divines,
owing to their rejection of the Truth, have fallen into, and abide within,
the uttermost depths of ignorance, and whose names have been effaced from
the scroll of the glorious and learned. And how many of the ignorant who,
by reason of their acceptance of the Faith, have soared aloft and attained
the high summit of knowledge, and whose names have been inscribed by the
Pen of Power upon the Tablet of divine Knowledge. Thus, What He pleaseth
will God abrogate or confirm: for with Him is the Source of
Revelation.(111) Therefore, it hath been said: To seek evidence, when
the Proof hath been established is but an unseemly act, and to be busied
with the pursuit of knowledge when the Object of all learning hath been
attained is truly blameworthy. Say O people of the earth! Behold this
flamelike Youth that speedeth across the limitless profound of the Spirit,
heralding unto you the tidings: Lo: the Lamp of God is shining, and
summoning you to heed His Cause which, though hidden beneath the veils of
ancient splendour, shineth in the land of 'Iraq above the day-spring of
eternal holiness.

O my friend, were the bird of thy mind to explore the heavens of the
Revelation of the Qur'an, were it to contemplate the realm of divine
knowledge unfolded therein, thou wouldst assuredly find unnumbered doors
of knowledge set open before thee. Thou wouldst certainly recognize that
all these things which have in this day hindered this people from
attaining the shores of the ocean of eternal grace, the same things in the
Muhammadan Dispensation prevented the people of that age from recognizing
that divine Luminary, and from testifying to His truth. Thou wilt also
apprehend the mysteries of return and revelation, and wilt securely
abide within the loftiest chambers of certitude and assurance.

And it came to pass that on a certain day a number of the opponents of
that peerless Beauty, those that had strayed far from God's imperishable
Sanctuary, scornfully spoke these words unto Muhammad: Verily, God hath
entered into a covenant with us that we are not to credit an apostle until
he present us a sacrifice which fire out of heaven shall devour.(112) The
purport of this verse is that God hath covenanted with them that they
should not believe in any messenger unless he work the miracle of Abel and
Cain, that is, offer a sacrifice, and the fire from heaven consume it;
even as they had heard it recounted in the story of Abel, which story is
recorded in the scriptures. To this, Muhammad, answering, said: Already
have Apostles before me come to you with sure testimonies, and with that
of which ye speak. Wherefore slew ye them? Tell me, if ye are men of
truth.(113) And now, be fair; How could those people living in the days
of Muhammad have existed, thousands of years before, in the age of Adam or
other Prophets? Why should Muhammad, that Essence of truthfulness, have
charged the people of His day with the murder of Abel or other Prophets?
Thou hast none other alternative except to regard Muhammad as an impostor
or a fool--which God forbid!--or to maintain that those people of wickedness
were the self-same people who in every age opposed and caviled at the
Prophets and Messengers of God, till they finally caused them all to
suffer martyrdom.

Ponder this in thine heart, that the sweet gales of divine knowledge,
blowing from the meads of mercy, may waft upon thee the fragrance of the
Beloved's utterance, and cause thy soul to attain the Ridvan of
understanding. As the wayward of every age have failed to fathom the
deeper import of these weighty and pregnant utterances, and imagined the
answer of the Prophets of God to be irrelevant to the questions they asked
them, they therefore have attributed ignorance and folly to those Essences
of knowledge and understanding.

Likewise, Muhammad, in another verse, uttereth His protest against the
people of that age. He saith: 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!(114) Reflect how this verse also implieth that the people
living in the days of Muhammad were the same people who in the days of the
Prophets of old contended and fought in order to promote the Faith, and
teach the Cause, of God. And yet, how could the generations living at the
time of Jesus and Moses, and those who lived in the days of Muhammad, be
regarded as being actually one and the same people? Moreover, those whom
they had formerly known were Moses, the Revealer of the Pentateuch, and
Jesus, the Author of the Gospel. Notwithstanding, why did Muhammad say:
When He of Whom they had knowledge came unto them--that is Jesus or
Moses--they disbelieved in Him? Was not Muhammad to outward seeming
called by a different name? Did He not come forth out of a different city?
Did He not speak a different language, and reveal a different Law? How
then can the truth of this verse be established, and its meaning be made

Strive therefore to comprehend the meaning of return which hath been so
explicitly revealed in the Qur'an itself, and which none hath as yet
understood. What sayest thou? If thou sayest that Muhammad was the
return of the Prophets of old, as is witnessed by this verse, His
Companions must likewise be the return of the bygone Companions, even as
the return of the former people is clearly attested by the text of the
above-mentioned verses. And if thou deniest this, thou hast surely
repudiated the truth of the Qur'an, the surest testimony of God unto men.
In like manner, endeavour to grasp the significance of return,
revelation, and resurrection, as witnessed in the days of the
Manifestations of the divine Essence, that thou mayest behold with thine
own eyes the return of the holy souls into sanctified and illumined
bodies, and mayest wash away the dust of ignorance, and cleanse the
darkened self with the waters of mercy flowing from the Source of divine
Knowledge; that perchance thou mayest, through the power of God and the
light of divine guidance, distinguish the Morn of everlasting splendour
from the darksome night of error.

Furthermore, it is evident to thee that the Bearers of the trust of God
are made manifest unto the peoples of the earth as the Exponents of a new
Cause and the Bearers of a new Message. Inasmuch as these Birds of the
Celestial Throne are all sent down from the heaven of the Will of God, and
as they all arise to proclaim His irresistible Faith, they therefore are
regarded as one soul and the same person. For they all drink fro

Previous: Part One

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