Ishraqat (splendours)





This is the Epistle of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting



He is God, exalted is He, the Lord of wisdom and utterance.



PRAISE be unto God, incomparable in majesty, power and beauty, peerless in

glory, might and grandeur; too high is He for human imaginations to

comprehend Him or for any peer or equal to be ascribed unto Him. He hath

clearly set forth His straight Path in words and utterances of highest

eloquence. Verily He is the All-Possessing, the Most Exalted. When He

purposed to call the new creation into being, He sent forth the Manifest

and Luminous Point from the horizon of His Will; it passed through every

sign and manifested itself in every form until it reached the zenith, as

bidden by God, the Lord of all men.



This Point is the focal centre of the circle of Names and marketh the

culmination of the manifestations of Letters in the world of creation.

Through it have appeared indications of the impenetrable Mystery, the

adorned Symbol, He Who standeth revealed in the Most Great Name--a Name

which is recorded in the luminous Tablet and is inscribed in the holy, the

blessed, the snow-white Scroll. And when the Point was joined to the

second Letter(25) which appeareth in the beginning of the Mathani,(26) it

traversed the heavens of exposition and utterance. Then the eternal Light

of God shed its radiance, flared up in the midmost heart of the firmament

of testimony and produced two Luminaries. Glorified be the Merciful One,

unto Whom no allusion can be made, Whom no expression can define, nor any

assertion reveal, nor any evidence describe. He is in truth the Ordainer,

the All-Bountiful, both in the beginning and in the end. And He provided

for them protectors and defenders from among the hosts of power and might.

Verily, He is the Help in Peril, the Mighty, the Unconstrained.



The preamble of this Epistle is being revealed twice, even as was the

Mathani(27)



Praise be unto God Who hath manifested the Point, hath unfolded therefrom

the knowledge of all things, whether of the past or of the future--a Point

He hath chosen to be the Herald of His Name and the Harbinger of His Great

Revelation which hath caused the limbs of all mankind to quake and the

splendour of His light to shine forth above the horizon of the world.

Verily, this is the Point which God hath ordained to be an ocean of light

for the sincere among His servants and a flame of fire to the froward

amidst His creatures and the impious among His people--they who bartered

away the gift of God for unbelief, and the celestial food for hypocrisy,

and led their associates to a wretched abode. These are the people who

have manifested sedition throughout the world and have violated His

Covenant on the Day when the immortal Being mounted His throne and the

Crier raised His Voice from the haven of security and peace in the holy

Vale.



O followers of the Bayan! Fear ye the All-Merciful. This is the One Who

hath been glorified by Muhammad, the Apostle of God, and before Him by the

Spirit(28) and yet before Him by the One Who discoursed with God.(29) This

is the Point of the Bayan calling aloud before the Throne, saying: 'By the

righteousness of God, ye have been created to glorify this Most Great

Announcement, this Perfect Way which lay hid within the souls of the

Prophets, which was treasured in the hearts of the chosen ones of God and

was written down by the glorious Pen of your Lord, the Possessor of

Names.'



Say: Die in your wrath, O malicious ones! Verily He Whose knowledge

nothing escapeth hath appeared. He Who hath caused the countenance of

divine knowledge to be wreathed in smiles is come. Through Him the kingdom

of utterance is embellished, every receptive soul hath set his face

towards the Lord of Revelations, everyone resting on his knees hath stood

up, and every indolent one hath rushed forth to attain the Sinai of

assurance. This is the Day that God hath ordained to be a blessing unto

the righteous, a retribution for the wicked, a bounty for the faithful and

a fury of His wrath for the faithless and the froward. Verily He hath been

made manifest, invested by God with invincible sovereignty. He hath

revealed that wherewith naught on the earth or in the heavens can compare.



Fear ye the All-Merciful, O people of the Bayan, and commit not that which

the followers of the Qur'an have committed--they who in the daytime and in

the night season professed belief in the Faith of God, yet when the Lord

of all men did appear, turned aside from Him and pronounced so cruel a

sentence against Him that, on the Day of Return, the Mother Book sorely

bewailed His plight. Call ye to mind and ponder upon their deeds and

words, their stations and merits and the things they brought to pass when

He Who conversed on Sinai unloosed His tongue, when there was a blast on

the Trumpet, whereupon all that are in heaven and on earth swooned away

except such as are reckoned among the letters of affirmation.



O people of the Bayan! Abandon your idle fancies and vain imaginings, then

with the eye of fairness look at the Dayspring of His Revelation and

consider the things He hath manifested, the words He hath divinely

revealed and the sufferings that have befallen Him at the hands of His

enemies. He is the One Who hath willingly accepted every manner of

tribulation for the proclamation of His Cause and the exaltation of His

Word. At one time He suffered imprisonment in the land of Ta (Tihran), at

another in the land of Mim (Mazindaran), then once again in the former

land, for the sake of the Cause of God, the Maker of the heavens. In His

love for the Cause of God, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful, He was

subjected there to chains and fetters.



O people of the Bayan! Have ye forgotten My exhortations, which My Pen

hath revealed and My tongue hath uttered? Have ye bartered away My

certitude in exchange for your idle fancies and My Way for your selfish

desires? Have ye cast away the precepts of God and His remembrance and

have ye forsaken His laws and ordinances? Fear ye God and abandon vain

imaginings to the begetters thereof and leave superstitions to the

devisers thereof and misgivings to the breeders thereof. Advance ye then

with radiant faces and stainless hearts towards the horizon above which

the Day-Star of certitude shineth resplendent at the bidding of God, the

Lord of Revelations.



Praise be unto God Who hath made the Most Great Infallibility the shield

for the temple of His Cause in the realm of creation, and hath assigned

unto no one a share of this lofty and sublime station--a station which is a

vesture which the fingers of transcendent power have woven for His august

Self. It befitteth no one except Him Who is seated upon the mighty throne

of 'He doeth what He pleaseth'. Whoso accepteth and recognizeth that which

is written down at this moment by the Pen of Glory is indeed reckoned in

the Book of God, the Lord of the beginning and the end, among the

exponents of divine unity, they that uphold the concept of the oneness of

God.



When the stream of words reached this stage, the sweet savours of true

knowledge were shed abroad and the day-star of divine unity shone forth

above the horizon of His holy utterance. Blessed is he whom His Call hath

attracted to the summit of glory, who hath drawn nigh to the ultimate

Purpose, and who hath recognized through the shrill voice of My Pen of

Glory that which the Lord of this world and of the next hath willed. Whoso

faileth to quaff the choice wine which We have unsealed through the

potency of Our Name, the All-Compelling, shall be unable to discern the

splendours of the light of divine unity or to grasp the essential purpose

underlying the Scriptures of God, the Lord of heaven and earth, the

sovereign Ruler of this world and of the world to come. Such a man shall

be accounted among the faithless in the Book of God, the All-Knowing, the

All-Informed.



O thou honoured enquirer!(30) We bear witness that thou didst firmly

adhere unto seemly patience during the days when the Pen was held back

from movement and the Tongue hesitated to set forth an explanation

regarding the wondrous sign, the Most Great Infallibility. Thou hast asked

this Wronged One to remove for thee its veils and coverings, to elucidate

its mystery and character, its state and position, its excellence,

sublimity and exaltation. By the life of God! Were We to unveil the pearls

of testimony which lie hid within the shells of the ocean of knowledge and

assurance or to let the beauties of divine mystery which are hidden within

the chambers of utterance in the Paradise of true understanding, step out

of their habitation, then from every direction violent commotion would

arise among the leaders of religion and thou wouldst witness the people of

God held fast in the teeth of such wolves as have denied God both in the

beginning and in the end. Therefore We restrained the Pen for a

considerable lapse of time in accordance with divine wisdom and for the

sake of protecting the faithful from those who have bartered away heavenly

blessings for disbelief and have chosen for their people the abode of

perdition.(31)



O thou seeker who art gifted with keen insight. I swear by Him Who

attracted the Concourse on High through the potency of His most sublime

Word! Verily, the birds abiding within the domains of My Kingdom and the

doves dwelling in the rose-garden of My wisdom utter such melodies and

warblings as are inscrutable to all but God, the Lord of the kingdoms of

earth and heaven; and were these melodies to be revealed even to an extent

smaller than a needle's eye, the people of tyranny would utter such

calumnies as none among former generations hath ever uttered, and would

commit such deeds as no one in past ages and centuries hath ever

committed. They have rejected the bounty of God and His proofs and have

repudiated the testimony of God and His signs. They have gone astray and

have caused the people to go astray, yet perceive it not. They worship

vain imaginings but know it not. They have taken idle fancies for their

lords and have neglected God, yet understand not. They have abandoned the

most great Ocean and are hastening towards the pool, but comprehend not.

They follow their own idle fancies while turning aside from God, the Help

in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.



Say, by the righteousness of God! The All-Merciful is come invested with

power and sovereignty. Through His power the foundations of religions have

quaked and the Nightingale of Utterance hath warbled its melody upon the

highest branch of true understanding. Verily, He Who was hidden in the

knowledge of God and is mentioned in the Holy Scriptures hath appeared.

Say, this is the Day when the Speaker on Sinai hath mounted the throne of

Revelation and the people have stood before the Lord of the worlds. This

is the Day wherein the earth hath told out her tidings and hath laid bare

her treasures; when the oceans have brought forth their pearls and the

divine Lote-Tree its fruit; when the Sun hath shed its radiance and the

Moons have diffused their lights, and the Heavens have revealed their

stars, and the Hour its signs, and the Resurrection its dreadful majesty;

when the pens have unloosed their outpourings and the spirits have laid

bare their mysteries. Blessed is the man who recognizeth Him and attaineth

His presence, and woe betide such as deny Him and turn aside from Him. I

beseech God to aid His servants to return unto Him. Verily He is the

Pardoner, the Forgiving, the Merciful.



O thou who hast set thy face towards the Realm on High and hast quaffed My

sealed wine from the hand of bounteousness! Know thou that the term

'Infallibility' hath numerous meanings and divers stations. In one sense

it is applicable to the One Whom God hath made immune from error.

Similarly it is applied to every soul whom God hath guarded against sin,

transgression, rebellion, impiety, disbelief and the like. However, the

Most Great Infallibility is confined to the One Whose station is

immeasurably exalted beyond ordinances or prohibitions and is sanctified

from errors and omissions. Indeed He is a Light which is not followed by

darkness and a Truth not overtaken by error. Were He to pronounce water to

be wine or heaven to be earth or light to be fire, He speaketh the truth

and no doubt would there be about it; and unto no one is given the right

to question His authority or to say why or wherefore. Whosoever raiseth

objections will be numbered with the froward in the Book of God, the Lord

of the worlds. 'Verily He shall not be asked of His doings but all others

shall be asked of their doings.'(32) He is come from the invisible heaven,

bearing the banner 'He doeth whatsoever He willeth' and is accompanied by

hosts of power and authority while it is the duty of all besides Him to

strictly observe whatever laws and ordinances have been enjoined upon

them, and should anyone deviate therefrom, even to the extent of a hair's

breadth, his work would be brought to naught.



Consider thou and call to mind the time when Muhammad appeared. He said,

and His word is the truth: 'Pilgrimage to the House(33) is a service due

to God.'(34) And likewise are the daily prayer, fasting, and the laws

which shone forth above the horizon of the Book of God, the Lord of the

World and the true Educator of the peoples and kindreds of the earth. It

is incumbent upon everyone to obey Him in whatsoever God hath ordained;

and whosoever denieth Him hath disbelieved in God, in His verses, in His

Messengers and in His Books. Were He to pronounce right to be wrong or

denial to be belief, He speaketh the truth as bidden by God. This is a

station wherein sins or trespasses neither exist nor are mentioned.

Consider thou the blessed, the divinely-revealed verse in which pilgrimage

to the House is enjoined upon everyone. It devolved upon those invested

with authority after Him(35) to observe whatever had been prescribed unto

them in the Book. Unto no one is given the right to deviate from the laws

and ordinances of God. Whoso deviateth therefrom is reckoned with the

trespassers in the Book of God, the Lord of the Mighty Throne.



O thou who hast fixed thy gaze upon the Dawning-Place of the Cause of God!

Know thou for a certainty that the Will of God is not limited by the

standards of the people, and God doth not tread in their ways. Rather is

it incumbent upon everyone to firmly adhere to God's straight Path. Were

He to pronounce the right to be the left or the south to be the north, He

speaketh the truth and there is no doubt of it. Verily He is to be praised

in His acts and to be obeyed in His behests. He hath no associate in His

judgement nor any helper in His sovereignty. He doeth whatsoever He

willeth and ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth. Know thou moreover that all

else besides Him have been created through the potency of a word from His

presence, while of themselves they have no motion nor stillness, except at

His bidding and by His leave.



O thou who soarest in the atmosphere of love and fellowship and hast fixed

thy gaze upon the light of the countenance of thy Lord, the King of

creation! Render thanks unto God, inasmuch as He hath unravelled for thee

that which was hidden and enshrined in His knowledge so that everyone may

become aware that within His realm of supreme infallibility He hath not

taken a partner nor a counsellor unto Himself. He is in truth the

Dayspring of divine precepts and commandments and the Fountainhead of

knowledge and wisdom, while all else besides Him are but His subjects and

under His rule, and He is the supreme Ruler, the Ordainer, the

All-Knowing, the All-Informed.



As to thyself, whenever thou art enraptured by the vitalizing breaths of

the revealed verses and art carried away by the pure, life-giving water

proffered by the hand of the bounty of thy Lord, the sovereign Ruler of

the Day of Resurrection, lift up thy voice and say:



O my God! O my God! I yield Thee thanks that Thou hast directed me towards

Thyself, hast guided me unto Thy horizon, hast clearly set forth for me

Thy Path, hast revealed to me Thy testimony and enabled me to set my face

towards Thee, while most of the doctors and divines among Thy servants

together with such as follow them have, without the least proof or

evidence from Thee, turned away from Thee. Blessing be unto Thee, O Lord

of Names, and glory be unto Thee, O Creator of the heavens, inasmuch as

Thou hast, through the power of Thy Name, the Self-Subsisting, given me to

drink of Thy sealed wine, hast caused me to draw nigh unto Thee and hast

enabled me to recognize the Dayspring of Thine utterance, the

Manifestation of Thy signs, the Fountainhead of Thy laws and commandments

and the Source of Thy wisdom and bestowals. Blessed is the land that hath

been ennobled by Thy footsteps, wherein the throne of Thy sovereignty is

established and the fragrance of Thy raiment is diffused. By Thy glory and

majesty, by Thy might and power, I desire not my sight save to behold Thy

beauty, nor my hearing save to hearken to Thy call and Thy verses.



O my God! O my God! Debar not the eyes from that for which Thou hast

created them, nor the faces from turning to Thy horizon, or from paying

homage at the portals of Thy majesty, or from appearing in the presence of

Thy throne, or from bowing down before the splendours of the Day-Star of

Thy bounty.



I am the one, O Lord, whose heart and soul, whose limbs, whose inner and

outer tongue testify to Thy unity and Thy oneness, and bear witness that

Thou art God and that there is no God but Thee. Thou didst bring mankind

into being to know Thee and to serve Thy Cause, that their station might

thereby be elevated upon Thine earth and their souls be uplifted by virtue

of the things Thou hast revealed in Thy Scriptures, Thy Books and Thy

Tablets. Yet no sooner didst Thou manifest Thyself and reveal Thy signs

than they turned away from Thee and repudiated Thee and rejected that

which Thou didst unveil before their eyes through the potency of Thy might

and Thy power. They rose up to inflict harm upon Thee, to extinguish Thy

light and to put out the flame that blazeth in Thy Burning Bush. Their

iniquity waxed so grievous that they conspired to shed Thy blood and to

violate Thy honour. And likewise acted he(36) whom Thou hadst nurtured

with the hand of Thy loving-kindness, hadst protected from the mischief of

the rebellious among Thy creatures and the froward amidst Thy servants,

and whom Thou hadst set the task of writing Thy holy verses before Thy

throne.



Alas! Alas! for the things he perpetrated in Thy days to such an extent

that he violated Thy Covenant and Thy Testament, rejected Thy holy Writ,

rose up in rebellion and committed that which caused the denizens of Thy

Kingdom to lament. Then no sooner had he found his hopes shattered and had

perceived the odour of utter failure than he raised his voice and gave

tongue to that which caused Thy chosen ones, who are nigh unto Thee, and

the inmates of the pavilion of glory, to be lost in bewilderment.



Thou seest me, O my God, writhing in anguish upon the dust, like unto a

fish. Deliver me, have mercy upon me, O Thou Whose aid is invoked by all

men, O Thou within Whose grasp lie the reins of power over all men and

women. Whenever I ponder my grievous shortcomings and my great trespasses,

despair assaileth me from every direction, and whenever I pause to

meditate upon the ocean of Thy bounteousness and the heaven of Thy grace

and the day-star of Thy tender compassion, I inhale the fragrance of hope

diffused from right and left, from north and south, as if every created

thing imparteth unto me the joyous tidings that the clouds of the heaven

of Thy mercy will pour down their rain upon me. By Thy might, O Thou Who

art the Mainstay of the sincere ones and the Desire of them that enjoy

near access unto Thee! Thy manifold favours and blessings and the

revelations of Thy grace and loving-kindness have truly emboldened me.

How, otherwise, can utter nothingness magnify the Name of Him Who hath, by

a word, brought creation into being, and how can an evanescent creature

extol Him Who hath demonstrated that no description can ever express Him

and no word of praise magnify His glory? He hath from everlasting been

immeasurably exalted above the understanding of His creatures and

sanctified from the conceptions of His servants.



O Lord! Thou beholdest this lifeless one before Thy face; suffer him,

through Thy generosity and bountiful favour, not to be deprived of the

chalice of immortal life. And Thou seest this afflicted one standing

before Thy throne; turn him not away from the ocean of Thy healing. I

entreat Thee to enable me at all times and under all conditions to

remember Thee, to magnify Thy Name and to serve Thy Cause, though I am

well aware that whatever proceedeth from a servant cannot transcend the

limitations of his soul, nor beseem Thy Lordship, nor be worthy of the

court of Thy glory and Thy majesty.



Thy might beareth me witness! Were it not to celebrate Thy praise, my

tongue would be of no use to me, and were it not for the sake of rendering

service to Thee, my existence would avail me not. But for the pleasure of

beholding the splendours of Thy realm of glory, why should I cherish

sight? And but for the joy of giving ear to Thy most sweet voice, of what

use is hearing?



Alas! Alas! I know not, O my God, my Mainstay, my heart's Desire, whether

Thou hast ordained for me that which shall bring solace to mine eyes,

gladden my bosom and rejoice my heart, or whether Thine irrevocable

decree, O King of eternity and the sovereign Lord of all nations, will

debar me from presenting myself before Thy throne. I swear by Thy glory

and majesty and by Thy dominion and power, the darkness of my remoteness

from Thee hath destroyed me. What hath become of the light of Thy

nearness, O Desire of every understanding heart? The tormenting agony of

separation from Thee hath consumed me. Where is the effulgent light of Thy

reunion, O Well-Beloved of such as are wholly devoted to Thee?



Thou seest, O my God, what hath befallen me in Thy Path at the hand of

those who have denied Thy Truth, have violated Thy Covenant, cavilled at

Thy signs, rejected the blessings Thou didst vouchsafe, disbelieved the

verses Thou didst send down and have refused to acknowledge the testimony

Thou didst fulfil.



O Lord! The tongue of my tongue and the heart of my heart and the spirit

of my spirit and my outward and inmost beings bear witness to Thy unity

and Thy oneness, Thy power and Thine omnipotence, Thy grandeur and Thy

sovereignty, and attest Thy glory, loftiness and authority. I testify that

Thou art God and that there is none other God besides Thee. From

everlasting Thou hast been a treasure hidden from the sight and minds of

men and shalt continue to remain the same for ever and ever. The powers of

earth can never frustrate Thee, nor can the might of the nations alarm

Thee. Thou art the One Who hath unlocked the door of knowledge before the

faces of Thy servants that they may recognize Him Who is the Day-Star of

Thy Revelation, the Dawning-Place of Thy signs, the Heaven of Thy

manifestation and the Sun of Thy divine beauty. In Thy holy Books, in Thy

Scriptures and Thy Scrolls Thou hast promised all the peoples of the world

that Thou Thyself shalt appear and shalt remove the veils of glory from

Thy face, even as Thou didst announce in Thy words unto Thy Friend(37)

through Whom the Day-Star of Revelation shone brightly above the horizon

of Hijaz, and the dawning light of divine Truth shed its radiance among

all men, proclaiming: 'The Day when mankind shall stand before the Lord of

the worlds.'(38) And before Muhammad Thou didst impart this glad-tiding

unto Him Who conversed with Thee,(39) saying: 'Bring forth thy people from

the darkness into the light and remind them of the days of God.'(40)

Moreover Thou didst proclaim this truth unto the Spirit(41) and unto Thy

Prophets and Thy Messengers, whether of the remote or more recent past. If

all that which Thou hast sent down in glorification of this Most Great

Remembrance, this Great Announcement, were to stream forth from the

wellspring of Thy most august Pen, the inmates of the cities of knowledge

and understanding would be dumbfounded, except such as Thou wouldst

deliver through the potency of Thy might and wouldst protect as a token of

Thy bountiful favour and Thy grace. I bear witness that Thou hast in truth

fulfilled Thy pledge and hast made manifest the One Whose advent was

foretold by Thy Prophets, Thy chosen ones and by them that serve Thee. He

hath come from the heaven of glory and power, bearing the banners of Thy

signs and the standards of Thy testimonies. Through the potency of Thine

indomitable power and strength, He stood up before the faces of all men

and summoned all mankind to the summit of transcendent glory and unto the

all-highest Horizon, in such wise that neither the oppression of the

ecclesiastics nor the onslaught of the rulers was able to deter Him. He

arose with inflexible resolve and, unloosing His tongue, proclaimed in

ringing tones: 'He Who is the All-Bountiful is come, riding aloft on the

clouds. Advance, O people of the earth, with shining faces and radiant

hearts!'



Great indeed is the blessedness of him who attaineth Thy presence,

drinketh the wine of reunion proffered by the hand of Thy bounteousness,

inhaleth the fragrance of Thy signs, unlooseth his tongue in celebrating

Thy praise, soareth high in Thy heavens, is carried away by the sweetness

of Thy Voice, gaineth admittance into the most exalted Paradise and

attaineth the station of revelation and vision before the throne of Thy

majesty.



I beg of Thee by the Most Great Infallibility which Thou hast chosen to be

the dayspring of Thy Revelation, and by Thy most sublime Word through

whose potency Thou didst call the creation into being and didst reveal Thy

Cause, and by this Name which hath caused all other names to groan aloud

and the limbs of the sages to quake, I beg of Thee to make me detached

from all else save Thee, in such wise that I may move not but in

conformity with the good-pleasure of Thy Will, and speak not except at the

bidding of Thy Purpose, and hear naught save the words of Thy praise and

Thy glorification.



I magnify Thy Name, O my God, and offer thanksgiving unto Thee, O my

Desire, inasmuch as Thou hast enabled me to clearly perceive Thy straight

Path, hast unveiled Thy Great Announcement before mine eyes and hast aided

me to set my face towards the Dayspring of Thy Revelation and the

Fountainhead of Thy Cause, whilst Thy servants and Thy people turned away

from Thee. I entreat Thee, O Lord of the Kingdom of eternity, by the

shrill voice of the Pen of Glory, and by the Burning Fire which calleth

aloud from the verdant Tree, and by the Ark which Thou hast specially

chosen for the people of Baha, to grant that I may remain steadfast in my

love for Thee, be well pleased with whatsoever Thou hast prescribed for me

in Thy Book and may stand firm in Thy service and in the service of Thy

loved ones. Graciously assist then Thy servants, O my God, to do that

which will serve to exalt Thy Cause and will enable them to observe

whatsoever Thou hast revealed in Thy Book.



Verily Thou art the Lord of Strength, Thou art potent to ordain whatsoever

Thou willest and within Thy grasp Thou holdest the reins of all created

things. No God is there but Thee, the All-Powerful, the All-Knowing, the

All-Wise.



O Jalil! We have unveiled to thine eyes the sea and the waves thereof, the

sun and the radiance thereof, the heavens and the stars thereof, the

shells and the pearls thereof. Render thou thanks unto God for so great a

bounty, so gracious a favour that hath pervaded the whole world.



O thou who hast set thy face towards the splendours of My Countenance!

Vague fancies have encompassed the dwellers of the earth and debarred them

from turning towards the Horizon of Certitude, and its brightness, and its

manifestations and its lights. Vain imaginings have withheld them from Him

Who is the Self-Subsisting. They speak as prompted by their own caprices,

and understand not. Among them are those who have said: 'Have the verses

been sent down?' Say 'Yea, by Him Who is the Lord of the heavens!' 'Hath

the Hour come?' 'Nay, more; it hath passed, by Him Who is the Revealer of

clear tokens! Verily, the Inevitable is come, and He, the True One, hath

appeared with proof and testimony. The Plain is disclosed, and mankind is

sore vexed and fearful. Earthquakes have broken loose, and the tribes have

lamented, for fear of God, the Lord of Strength, the All-Compelling.' Say:

'The stunning trumpet-blast hath been loudly raised, and the Day is God's,

the One, the Unconstrained.' And they say: 'Hath the Catastrophe come to

pass?' Say: 'Yea, by the Lord of Lords!' 'Is the Resurrection come?' 'Nay,

more; He Who is the Self-Subsisting hath appeared with the Kingdom of His

signs.' 'Seest thou men laid low?' 'Yea, by my Lord, the Most High, the

Most Glorious!' 'Have the tree-stumps been uprooted?' 'Yea, more; the

mountains have been scattered in dust; by Him the Lord of attributes!'

They say: 'Where is Paradise, and where is Hell?' Say: 'The one is reunion

with Me; the other thine own self, O thou who dost associate a partner

with God and doubtest.' They say: 'We see not the Balance.' Say: 'Surely,

by my Lord, the God of Mercy! None can see it except such as are endued

with insight.' They say: 'Have the stars fallen?' Say: 'Yea, when He Who

is the Self-Subsisting dwelt in the Land of Mystery.(42) Take heed, ye who

are endued with discernment!' All the signs appeared when We drew forth

the Hand of Power from the bosom of majesty and might. Verily, the Crier

hath cried out, when the promised time came, and they that have recognized

the splendours of Sinai have swooned away in the wilderness of hesitation,

before the awful majesty of thy Lord, the Lord of creation. The trumpet

asketh: 'Hath the Bugle been sounded?' Say: 'Yea, by the King of

Revelation! when He mounted the throne of His Name, the All-Merciful.'

Darkness hath been chased away by the dawning light of the mercy of thy

Lord, the Source of all light. The breeze of the All-Merciful hath wafted,

and the souls have been quickened in the tombs of their bodies. Thus hath

the decree been fulfilled by God, the Mighty, the Beneficent. They who

reject the truth have said: 'When were the heavens cleft asunder?' Say:

'While ye lay in the graves of waywardness and error.' Among the faithless

is he who rubbeth his eyes, and looketh to the right and to the left. Say:

'Blinded art thou. No refuge hast thou to flee to.' And among them is he

who saith: 'Have men been gathered together?' Say: 'Yea, by My Lord!

whilst thou didst lie in the cradle of idle fancies.' And among them is he

who saith: 'Hath the Book been sent down through the power of the true

Faith?' Say: 'The true Faith itself is astounded. Fear ye, O ye men of

understanding heart!' And among them is he who saith: 'Have I been

assembled with others, blind?' Say: 'Yea, by Him that rideth upon the

clouds!' Paradise is decked with mystic roses, and hell hath been made to

blaze with the fire of the impious. Say: 'The light hath shone forth from

the horizon of Revelation, and the whole earth hath been illumined at the

coming of Him Who is the Lord of the Day of the Covenant!' The doubters

have perished, whilst he that turned, guided by the light of assurance,

unto the Dayspring of Certitude hath prospered. Blessed art thou, who hast

fixed thy gaze upon Me, for this Tablet which hath been sent down for

thee--a Tablet which causeth the souls of men to soar. Commit it to memory,

and recite it. By My life! It is a door to the mercy of thy Lord. Well is

it with him that reciteth it at eventide and at dawn. We, verily, heard

thy praise of this Cause, through which the mountain of knowledge was

crushed, and men's feet have slipped. My glory be upon thee and upon

whomsoever hath turned unto the Almighty, the All-Bounteous. The Tablet is

ended, but the theme is unexhausted. Be patient, for thy Lord is patient.



These are verses We sent down previously, and We have sent them unto thee,

that thou mayest be acquainted with what their lying tongues have spoken,

when God came unto them with might and sovereignty. The foundations of

idle fancies have trembled, and the heaven of vain imaginings hath been

cleft asunder, and yet the people are in doubt and in contention with Him.

They have denied the testimony of God and His proof, after He came from

the heaven of power with the kingdom of His signs. They have cast away

what had been prescribed, and perpetrated what had been forbidden them in

the Book. They have abandoned their God, and clung unto their desires.

They truly have strayed and are in error. They read the verses and deny

them. They behold the clear tokens and turn aside. They truly are lost in

strange doubt.



We have admonished Our loved ones to fear God, a fear which is the

fountainhead of all goodly deeds and virtues. It is the commander of the

hosts of justice in the city of Baha. Happy the man that hath entered the

shadow of its luminous standard, and laid fast hold thereon. He, verily,

is of the Companions of the Crimson Ark, which hath been mentioned in the

Qayyum-i-Asma.



Say: O people of God! Adorn your temples with the adornment of

trustworthiness and piety. Help, then, your Lord with the hosts of goodly

deeds and a praiseworthy character. We have forbidden you dissension and

conflict in My Books, and My Scriptures, and My Scrolls, and My Tablets,

and have wished thereby naught else save your exaltation and advancement.

Unto this testify the heavens and the stars thereof, and the sun and the

radiance thereof, and the trees and the leaves thereof, and the seas and

the waves thereof, and the earth and the treasures thereof. We pray God to

assist His loved ones, and aid them in that which beseemeth them in this

blest, this mighty, and wondrous station. Moreover We beseech Him to

graciously enable those who surround Me to observe that which My Pen of

Glory hath enjoined upon them.



O Jalil! Upon thee be My glory and My loving providence. Verily We have

enjoined the people to do what is meet and seemly and yet they have

committed such things as have caused My heart and My Pen to lament.

Incline thine ear to that which is sent down from the heaven of My Will

and the realm of My good-pleasure. I sorrow not for My captivity, nor for

the things that have befallen Me at the hand of Mine enemies. Nay, My

sorrows are occasioned by those who claim to be related to Me and yet

commit that which causeth the voice of My lamentations to be lifted up and

My tears to flow. We have exhorted them at length in various Tablets and

beseech God to graciously assist them, to enable them to draw nigh unto

Him and to confirm them in that which would bring peace to the hearts and

tranquillity to the souls and would stay their hands from whatsoever

ill-beseemeth His days.



Say, O My loved ones in My lands! Give ye ear unto the counsels of Him Who

admonisheth you for the sake of God. He hath in truth created you, hath

revealed before your eyes that which exalteth you and promoteth your

interests. He hath made known unto you His straight Path and hath

acquainted you with His Great Announcement.



O Jalil! Admonish men to fear God. By God! This fear is the chief

commander of the army of thy Lord. Its hosts are a praiseworthy character

and goodly deeds. Through it have the cities of men's hearts been opened

throughout the ages and centuries, and the standards of ascendancy and

triumph raised above all other standards.



We will now mention unto thee Trustworthiness and the station thereof in

the estimation of God, thy Lord, the Lord of the Mighty Throne. One day of

days We repaired unto Our Green Island. Upon Our arrival, We beheld its

streams flowing, and its trees luxuriant, and the sunlight playing in

their midst. Turning Our face to the right, We beheld what the pen is

powerless to describe; nor can it set forth that which the eye of the Lord

of Mankind witnessed in that most sanctified, that most sublime, that

blest, and most exalted Spot. Turning, then, to the left We gazed on one

of the Beauties of the Most Sublime Paradise, standing on a pillar of

light, and calling aloud saying: 'O inmates of earth and heaven! Behold ye

My beauty, and My radiance, and My revelation, and My effulgence. By God,

the True One! I am Trustworthiness and the revelation thereof, and the

beauty thereof. I will recompense whosoever will cleave unto Me, and

recognize My rank and station, and hold fast unto My hem. I am the most

great ornament of the people of Baha, and the vesture of glory unto all

who are in the kingdom of creation. I am the supreme instrument for the

prosperity of the world, and the horizon of assurance unto all beings.'

Thus have We sent down for thee that which will draw men nigh unto the

Lord of creation.



The Pen of the Most High turneth from the eloquent language(43) to the

luminous one(44) that thou, O Jalil, mayest appreciate the tender mercy of

thy Lord, the Incomparable One and mayest be of them that are truly

grateful.



O thou who hast fixed thy gaze upon the all-glorious Horizon! The Call is

raised but hearing ears are numbered, nay non-existent. This Wronged One

findeth himself in the maw of the serpent, yet He faileth not to make

mention of the loved ones of God. So grievous have been Our sufferings in

these days that the Concourse on High are moved to tears and to

lamentation. Neither the adversities of the world nor the harm inflicted

by its nations could deter Him Who is the King of Eternity from voicing

His summons or frustrate His purpose. When those who had for years been

hiding behind the veils perceived that the horizon of the Cause was

resplendent and that the Word of God was all-pervasive, they rushed forth

and with swords of malice inflicted such harm as no pen can portray nor

any tongue describe.



They that judge with fairness testify that since the early days of the

Cause this Wronged One hath arisen, unveiled and resplendent, before the

faces of kings and commoners, before the rulers and the divines, and hath,

in ringing tones, summoned all men unto the straight Path. He hath had no

helper save His Pen, nor any succourer other than Himself.



Those who are ignorant or heedless of the motivating purpose of the Cause

of God have rebelled against Him. Such men are the foreboders of evil,

whom God hath mentioned in His Book and Tablets and against whose

influence, clamour and deception He hath warned His people. Well is it

with those who, in the face of the remembrance of the Lord of Eternity,

regard the peoples of the world as utter nothingness, as a thing

forgotten, and hold fast to the firm handle of God in such wise that

neither doubts nor insinuations, nor swords, nor cannon could hold them

back or deprive them of His presence. Blessed are the steadfast; blessed

are they that stand firm in His Faith.



In response to thy request the Pen of Glory hath graciously described the

stations and grades of the Most Great Infallibility. The purpose is that

all should know of a certainty that the Seal of the Prophets(45)--may the

souls of all else but Him be offered up for His sake--is without likeness,

peer or partner in His Own station. The Holy Ones(46)--may the blessings of

God be upon them--were created through the potency of His Word, and after

Him they were the most learned and the most distinguished among the people

and abide in the utmost station of servitude. The divine Essence,

sanctified from every comparison and likeness, is established in the

Prophet, and God's inmost Reality, exalted above any peer or partner, is

manifest in Him. This is the station of true unity and of veritable

singleness. The followers of the previous Dispensation grievously failed

to acquire an adequate understanding of this station. The Primal

Point(47)--may the life of all else but Him be offered up for His

sake--saith: 'If the Seal of the Prophets had not uttered the word

Successorship, such a station would not have been created.'



The people aforetime joined partners with God, though they professed

belief in His unity; and although they were the most ignorant amongst men,

they considered themselves the most accomplished. But, as a token of

divine retribution upon those heedless ones, their erroneous beliefs and

pursuits have, in this Day of Judgement, been made clear and evident to

every man of discernment and understanding.



Beseech thou God, the True One, that He may graciously shield the

followers of this Revelation from the idle fancies and corrupt imaginings

of such as belong to the former Faith, and may not deprive them of the

effulgent splendours of the day-star of true unity.



O Jalil! He Whom the world hath wronged now proclaimeth: The light of

Justice is dimmed, and the sun of Equity veiled from sight. The robber

occupieth the seat of the protector and guard, and the position of the

faithful is seized by the traitor. A year ago an oppressor ruled over this

city, and at every instant caused fresh harm. By the righteousness of the

Lord! He wrought that which cast terror into the hearts of men. But to the

Pen of Glory the tyranny of the world hath never been nor will it ever be

a hindrance. In the abundance of Our grace and loving-kindness We have

revealed specially for the rulers and ministers of the world that which is

conducive to safety and protection, tranquillity and peace; haply the

children of men may rest secure from the evils of oppression. He, verily,

is the Protector, the Helper, the Giver of victory. It is incumbent upon

the men of God's House of Justice to fix their gaze by day and by night

upon that which hath shone forth from the Pen of Glory for the training of

peoples, the upbuilding of nations, the protection of man and the

safeguarding of his honour.



The first Ishraq



When the Day-Star of Wisdom rose above the horizon of God's Holy

Dispensation it voiced this all-glorious utterance: They that are

possessed of wealth and invested with authority and power must show the

profoundest regard for religion. In truth, religion is a radiant light and

an impregnable stronghold for the protection and welfare of the peoples of

the world, for the fear of God impelleth man to hold fast to that which is

good, and shun all evil. Should the lamp of religion be obscured, chaos

and confusion will ensue, and the lights of fairness and justice, of

tranquillity and peace cease to shine. Unto this will bear witness every

man of true understanding.



The second Ishraq



We have enjoined upon all mankind to establish the Most Great Peace--the

surest of all means for the protection of humanity. The sovereigns of the

world should, with one accord, hold fast thereunto, for this is the

supreme instrument that can ensure the security and welfare of all peoples

and nations. They, verily, are the manifestations of the power of God and

the daysprings of His authority. We beseech the Almighty that He may

graciously assist them in that which is conducive to the well-being of

their subjects. A full explanation regarding this matter hath been

previously set forth by the Pen of Glory; well is it with them that act

accordingly.



The third Ishraq



It is incumbent upon everyone to observe God's holy commandments, inasmuch

as they are the wellspring of life unto the world. The heaven of divine

wisdom is illumined with the two luminaries of consultation and compassion

and the canopy of world order is upraised upon the two pillars of reward

and punishment.



The fourth Ishraq



In this Revelation the hosts that can render it victorious are the hosts

of praiseworthy deeds and upright character. The leader and commander of

these hosts hath ever been the fear of God, a fear that encompasseth all

things and reigneth over all things.



The fifth Ishraq



Governments should fully acquaint themselves with the conditions of those

they govern, and confer upon them positions according to desert and merit.

It is enjoined upon every ruler and sovereign to consider this matter with

the utmost care that the traitor may not usurp the position of the

faithful, nor the despoiler rule in the place of the trustworthy. Among

the officials who in the past have governed in this Most Great Prison

some, praise be to God, were adorned with justice, but as to others, We

take refuge with God. We beseech the One true God to guide them one and

all, that haply they may not be deprived of the fruit of faith and

trustworthiness, nor be withheld from the light of equity and justice.



The sixth Ishraq is union and concord amongst the children of men. From

the beginning of time the light of unity hath shed its divine radiance

upon the world, and the greatest means for the promotion of that unity is

for the peoples of the world to understand one another's writing and

speech. In former Epistles We have enjoined upon the Trustees of the House

of Justice either to choose one language from among those now existing or

to adopt a new one, and in like manner to select a common script, both of

which should be taught in all the schools of the world. Thus will the

earth be regarded as one country and one home. The most glorious fruit of

the tree of knowledge is this exalted word: Of one tree are all ye the

fruit, and of one bough the leaves. Let not man glory in this that he

loveth his country, let him rather glory in this that he loveth his kind.

Concerning this We have previously revealed that which is the means of the

reconstruction of the world and the unity of nations. Blessed are they

that attain thereunto. Blessed are they that act accordingly.



The seventh Ishraq



The Pen of Glory counselleth everyone regarding the instruction and

education of children. Behold that which the Will of God hath revealed

upon Our arrival in the Prison City and recorded in the Most Holy

Book.(48) Unto every father hath been enjoined the instruction of his son

and daughter in the art of reading and writing and in all that hath been

laid down in the Holy Tablet. He that putteth away that which is commanded

unto him, the Trustees are then to take from him that which is required

for their instruction, if he be wealthy, and if not the matter devolveth

upon the House of Justice. Verily, have We made it a shelter for the poor

and needy. He that bringeth up his son or the son of another, it is as

though he hath brought up a son of Mine; upon him rest My Glory, My

Loving-Kindness, My Mercy, that have compassed the world.



The eighth Ishraq



This passage, now written by the Pen of Glory, is accounted as part of the

Most Holy Book: The men of God's House of Justice have been charged with

the affairs of the people. They, in truth, are the Trustees of God among

His servants and the daysprings of authority in His countries.



O people of God! That which traineth the world is Justice, for it is

upheld by two pillars, reward and punishment. These two pillars are the

sources of life to the world. Inasmuch as for each day there is a new

problem and for every problem an expedient solution, such affairs should

be referred to the House of Justice that the members thereof may act

according to the needs and requirements of the time. They that, for the

sake of God, arise to serve His Cause, are the recipients of divine

inspiration from the unseen Kingdom. It is incumbent upon all to be

obedient unto them. All matters of State should be referred to the House

of Justice, but acts of worship must be observed according to that which

God hath revealed in His Book.



O people of Baha! Ye are the dawning-places of the love of God and the

daysprings of His loving-kindness. Defile not your tongues with the

cursing and reviling of any soul, and guard your eyes against that which

is not seemly. Set forth that which ye possess. If it be favourably

received, your end is attained; if not, to protest is vain. Leave that

soul to himself and turn unto the Lord, the Protector, the

Self-Subsisting. Be not the cause of grief, much less of discord and

strife. The hope is cherished that ye may obtain true education in the

shelter of the tree of His tender mercies and act in accordance with that

which God desireth. Ye are all the leaves of one tree and the drops of one

ocean.



The ninth Ishraq



The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God's holy Will is

to establish unity and concord amongst the peoples of the world; make it

not the cause of dissension and strife. The religion of God and His divine

law are the most potent instruments and the surest of all means for the

dawning of the light of unity amongst men. The progress of the world, the

development of nations, the tranquillity of peoples, and the peace of all

who dwell on earth are among the principles and ordinances of God.

Religion bestoweth upon man the most precious of all gifts, offereth the

cup of prosperity, imparteth eternal life, and showereth imperishable

benefits upon mankind. It behoveth the chiefs and rulers of the world, and

in particular the Trustees of God's House of Justice, to endeavour to the

utmost of their power to safeguard its position, promote its interests and

exalt its station in the eyes of the world. In like manner it is incumbent

upon them to enquire into the conditions of their subjects and to acquaint

themselves with the affairs and activities of the divers communities in

their dominions. We call upon the manifestations of the power of God--the

sovereigns and rulers on earth--to bestir themselves and do all in their

power that haply they may banish discord from this world and illumine it

with the light of concord.



It is incumbent upon everyone to firmly adhere to and observe that which

hath streamed forth from Our Most Exalted Pen. God, the True One, beareth

Me witness, and every atom in existence is moved to testify that such

means as lead to the elevation, the advancement, the education, the

protection and the regeneration of the peoples of the earth have been

clearly set forth by Us and are revealed in the Holy Books and Tablets by

the Pen of Glory.



We entreat God to graciously aid His servants. What this Wronged One doth

expect from everyone is justice and fairness. Let no one be content with

mere hearing; rather doth it behove everyone to ponder that which this

Wronged One hath revealed. I swear by the Day-Star of utterance, shining

above the horizon of the Kingdom of the All-Merciful, had there been any

expounder or speaker discernible, We would not have made Ourself the

object of the censure, ridicule and slander of the people.



Upon Our arrival in 'Iraq We found the Cause of God sunk in deep apathy

and the breeze of divine revelation stilled. Most of the believers were

faint and dispirited, nay utterly lost and dead. Hence there was a second

blast on the Trumpet, whereupon the Tongue of Grandeur uttered these

blessed words: 'We have sounded the Trumpet for the second time.' Thus the

whole world was quickened through the vitalizing breaths of divine

revelation and inspiration.



Certain souls have now sallied forth from behind the veils, intent on

inflicting harm upon this Wronged One. They have hindered and denied the

outpouring of this priceless bounty.



O ye that judge with fairness! If this Cause is to be denied then what

other cause in this world can be vindicated or deemed worthy of

acceptance?



Such as have turned away from the Cause of God are diligently seeking to

collect the Holy Writings of this Revelation; and they have already,

through gestures of friendship, managed to secure certain of these

Writings from those who held them in their possession. Moreover, when they

meet the followers of any religion, they hold themselves out as believers

therein. Say, die ye in your wrath! Verily He hath appeared with so great

an authority that no man of vision, of hearing, of insight, of justice or

of equity can ever deny Him. Unto this beareth witness in this resplendent

Hour the Pen of Him Who is the Ancient of Days.



O Jalil! Upon thee be My glory. We exhort the loved ones of God to perform

good deeds that perchance they may be graciously assisted and may hold

fast to that which hath been sent down from the heaven of His Revelation.

The benefits arising from this divine utterance shall fall upon such as

observe His precepts. We beseech God to enable them to do that which is

pleasing and acceptable unto Him, to grant that they may deal equitably

and may observe justice in this all-compelling Cause, to acquaint them

with His Holy Writings and to direct their steps towards His straight

Path.



Our Exalted Herald--may the life of all else besides Him be offered up for

His sake--hath revealed certain laws. However, in the realm of His

Revelation these laws were made subject to Our sanction, hence this

Wronged One hath put some of them into effect by embodying them in the

Kitab-i-Aqdas in different words. Others We set aside. He holdeth in His

hand the authority. He doeth what He willeth and He ordaineth whatsoever

He pleaseth. He is the Almighty, the All-Praised. There are also

ordinances newly revealed. Blessed are they that attain. Blessed are they

that observe His precepts.



The people of God should make the utmost endeavour that perchance the fire

of hatred and malice which smouldereth in the breasts of kindreds and

peoples may, through the living waters of utterance and the exhortations

of Him Who is the Desire of the world, be quenched and the trees of human

existence may be adorned with wondrous and excellent fruit. He is, in

truth, the Admonisher, the Compassionate, the All-Bountiful.



May the brightness of His glory shining above the horizon of bounty rest

upon you, O people of Baha, upon every one who standeth firm and steadfast

and upon those that are well grounded in the Faith and are endued with

true understanding.



As to thy question concerning interest and profit on gold and silver: Some

years ago the following passage was revealed from the heaven of the

All-Merciful in honour of the one who beareth the name of God, entitled

Zaynu'l-Muqarrabin(49)--upon him be the glory of the Most Glorious.

He--exalted be His Word--saith: Many people stand in need of this. Because

if there were no prospect for gaining interest, the affairs of men would

suffer collapse or dislocation. One can seldom find a person who would

manifest such consideration towards his fellow-man, his countryman or

towards his own brother and would show such tender solicitude for him as

to be well-disposed to grant him a loan on benevolent terms.(50) Therefore

as a token of favour towards men We have prescribed that interest on money

should be treated like other business transactions that are current

amongst men. Thus, now that this lucid commandment hath descended from the

heaven of the Will of God, it is lawful and proper to charge interest on

money, that the people of the world may, in a spirit of amity and

fellowship and with joy and gladness, devotedly engage themselves in

magnifying the Name of Him Who is the Well-Beloved of all mankind. Verily

He ordaineth according to His Own choosing. He hath now made interest on

money lawful, even as He had made it unlawful in the past. Within His

grasp He holdeth the kingdom of authority. He doeth and ordaineth. He is

in truth the Ordainer, the All-Knowing.



Render thou thanks unto thy Lord, O Zaynu'l-Muqarrabin, for this manifest

bounty.



Many ecclesiastics in Persia have, through innumerable designs and

devices, been feeding on illicit gains obtained by usury. They have

contrived ways to give its outward form a fair semblance of lawfulness.

They make a plaything of the laws and ordinances of God, but they

understand not.



However, this is a matter that should be practised with moderation and

fairness. Our Pen of Glory hath, as a token of wisdom and for the

convenience of the people, desisted from laying down its limit.

Nevertheless We exhort the loved ones of God to observe justice and

fairness, and to do that which would prompt the friends of God to evince

tender mercy and compassion towards each other. He is in truth the

Counsellor, the Compassionate, the All-Bountiful. God grant that all men

may be graciously aided to observe that which the Tongue of the One true

God hath uttered. And if they put into practice what We have set forth,

God--exalted be His glory--will assuredly double their portion through the

heaven of His bounty. Verily He is the Generous, the Forgiving, the

Compassionate. Praise be unto God, the Most Exalted, the Most Great.



Nevertheless the conduct of these affairs hath been entrusted to the men

of the House of Justice that they may enforce them according to the

exigencies of the time and the dictates of wisdom.



Once again We exhort all believers to observe justice and fairness and to

show forth love and contentment. They are indeed the people of Baha, the

companions of the Crimson Ark. Upon them be the peace of God, the Lord of

all Names, the Creator of the heavens.





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