(U.S., 1989 pocket-size ed.)
     Filename: KI.ZIP (FN)
     Filedate: 11-19-93

               PART ONE



     No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of true understanding
except he be detached from all that is in heaven and
on earth. Sanctify your souls, O ye peoples of the world, that
haply ye may attain that station which God hath destined for
you and enter thus the tabernacle which, according to the dispensations
of Providence, hath been raised in the firmament
of the &Bayan.

     THE essence of these words is this: they that
tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the
wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all
that is earthly--their ears from idle talk, their
minds from vain imaginings, their hearts from
worldly affections, their eyes from that which perisheth.
They should put their trust in God, and,
holding fast unto Him, follow in His way. Then
will they be made worthy of the effulgent glories
of the sun of divine knowledge and understanding,
and become the recipients of a grace that is infinite
and unseen, inasmuch as man can never hope to attain
unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can
never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge

and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality,
nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and
favour, unless and until he ceases to regard the
words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for
the true understanding and recognition of God and
His Prophets.
     Consider the past. How many, both high and
low, have, at all times, yearningly awaited the advent
of the Manifestations of God in the sanctified
persons of His chosen Ones. How often have they
expected His coming, how frequently have they
prayed that the breeze of divine mercy might blow,
and the promised Beauty step forth from behind
the veil of concealment, and be made manifest to
all the world. And whensoever the portals of grace
did open, and the clouds of divine bounty did
rain upon mankind, and the light of the Unseen
did shine above the horizon of celestial might,
they all denied Him, and turned away from His
face--the face of God Himself. Refer ye, to
verify this truth, to that which hath been recorded
in every sacred Book.
     Ponder for a moment, and reflect upon that
which hath been the cause of such denial on the

part of those who have searched with such earnestness
and longing. Their attack hath been more
fierce than tongue or pen can describe. Not one
single Manifestation of Holiness hath appeared
but He was afflicted by the denials, the repudiation,
and the vehement opposition of the people
around Him. Thus it hath been revealed: "O the
misery of men! No Messenger cometh unto them
but they laugh Him to scorn."+F1 Again He saith:
"Each nation hath plotted darkly against their
Messenger to lay violent hold on Him, and
disputed with vain words to invalidate the
     In like manner, those words that have streamed
forth from the source of power and descended
from the heaven of glory are innumerable and
beyond the ordinary comprehension of man. To
them that are possessed of true understanding and
insight the &Surah of &Hud surely sufficeth. Ponder
a while those holy words in your heart, and, with
utter detachment, strive to grasp their meaning.
Examine the wondrous behaviour of the Prophets,
and recall the defamations and denials uttered by

+F1 &Qur'an 36:30.
+F2 &Qur'an 40:5.

the children of negation and falsehood, perchance
you may cause the bird of the human heart to wing
its flight away from the abodes of heedlessness and
doubt unto the nest of faith and certainty, and
drink deep from the pure waters of ancient wisdom,
and partake of the fruit of the tree of divine
knowledge. Such is the share of the pure in heart
of the bread that hath descended from the realms
of eternity and holiness.
     Should you acquaint yourself with the indignities
heaped upon the Prophets of God, and apprehend
the true causes of the objections voiced by
their oppressors, you will surely appreciate the
significance of their position. Moreover, the more
closely you observe the denials of those who have
opposed the Manifestations of the divine attributes,
the firmer will be your faith in the Cause of God.
Accordingly, a brief mention will be made in this
Tablet of divers accounts relative to the Prophets
of God, that they may demonstrate the truth that
throughout all ages and centuries the Manifestations
of power and glory have been subjected to
such heinous cruelties that no pen dare describe
them. Perchance this may enable a few to cease to
be perturbed by the clamour and protestations

of the divines and the foolish of this age, and
cause them to strengthen their confidence and certainty.
     Among the Prophets was Noah. For nine hundred
and fifty years He prayerfully exhorted His
people and summoned them to the haven of security
and peace. None, however, heeded His call.
Each day they inflicted on His blessed person such
pain and suffering that no one believed He could
survive. How frequently they denied Him, how
malevolently they hinted their suspicion against
Him! Thus it hath been revealed: "And as often
as a company of His people passed by Him, they
derided Him. To them He said: `Though ye scoff
at us now, we will scoff at you hereafter even as
ye scoff at us. In the end ye shall know.'"+F1 Long
afterward, He several times promised victory to
His companions and fixed the hour thereof. But
when the hour struck, the divine promise was not
fulfilled. This caused a few among the small number
of His followers to turn away from Him, and
to this testify the records of the best-known books.
These you must certainly have perused; if not, undoubtedly
you will. Finally, as stated in books and

+F1 &Qur'an 11:38.

traditions, there remained with Him only forty or
seventy-two of His followers. At last from the
depth of His being He cried aloud: "Lord! Leave
not upon the land a single dweller from among
the unbelievers."+F1
     And now, consider and reflect a moment upon
the waywardness of this people. What could have
been the reason for such denial and avoidance on
their part? What could have induced them to refuse
to put off the garment of denial, and to adorn
themselves with the robe of acceptance? Moreover,
what could have caused the nonfulfilment of the
divine promise which led the seekers to reject that
which they had accepted? Meditate profoundly,
that the secret of things unseen may be revealed
unto you, that you may inhale the sweetness of a
spiritual and imperishable fragrance, and that you
may acknowledge the truth that from time immemorial
even unto eternity the Almighty hath tried,
and will continue to try, His servants, so that light
may be distinguished from darkness, truth from
falsehood, right from wrong, guidance from error,
happiness from misery, and roses from thorns.
Even as He hath revealed: "Do men think when

+F1 &Qur'an 71:26.

they say `We believe' they shall be let alone and
not be put to proof?"+F1
     And after Noah the light of the countenance of
&Hud shone forth above the horizon of creation.
For well-nigh seven hundred years, according to
the sayings of men, He exhorted the people to
turn their faces and draw nearer unto the &Ridvan
of the divine presence. What showers of afflictions
rained upon Him, until at last His adjurations
bore the fruit of increased rebelliousness, and His
assiduous endeavours resulted in the wilful blindness
of His people. "And their unbelief shall only
increase for the unbelievers their own perdition."+F2
     And after Him there appeared from the &Ridvan
of the Eternal, the Invisible, the holy person of
&Salih, Who again summoned the people to the
river of everlasting life. For over a hundred years
He admonished them to hold fast unto the commandments
of God and eschew that which is forbidden.
His admonitions, however, yielded no
fruit, and His pleading proved of no avail. Several
times He retired and lived in seclusion. All
this, although that eternal Beauty was summoning

+F1 &Qur'an 29:2.
+F2 &Qur'an 35:39.

the people to no other than the city of God. Even
as it is revealed: "And unto the tribe of &Thamud
We sent their brother &Salih. `O my people,' said
He, `Worship God, ye have none other God beside
Him....' They made reply: `O &Salih, our
hopes were fixed on thee until now; forbiddest
thou us to worship that which our fathers worshipped?
Truly we misdoubt that whereunto thou
callest us as suspicious.'"+F1 All this proved fruitless,
until at last there went up a great cry, and all
fell into utter perdition.
     Later, the beauty of the countenance of the
Friend of God+F2 appeared from behind the veil,
and another standard of divine guidance was
hoisted. He invited the people of the earth to the
light of righteousness. The more passionately He
exhorted them, the fiercer waxed the envy and
waywardness of the people, except those who
wholly detached themselves from all save God,
and ascended on the wings of certainty to the station
which God hath exalted beyond the comprehension
of men. It is well known what a host of
enemies besieged Him, until at last the fires of
envy and rebellion were kindled against Him.

+F1 &Qur'an 11:61, 62.
+F2 Abraham.

And after the episode of the fire came to pass, He,
the lamp of God amongst men, was, as recorded
in all books and chronicles, expelled from His
     And when His day was ended, there came the
turn of Moses. Armed with the rod of celestial
dominion, adorned with the white hand of divine
knowledge, and proceeding from the &Paran of the
love of God, and wielding the serpent of power and
everlasting majesty, He shone forth from the Sinai
of light upon the world. He summoned all the
peoples and kindreds of the earth to the kingdom
of eternity, and invited them to partake of the
fruit of the tree of faithfulness. Surely you are
aware of the fierce opposition of Pharaoh and his
people, and of the stones of idle fancy which the
hands of infidels cast upon that blessed Tree. So
much so that Pharaoh and his people finally arose
and exerted their utmost endeavor to extinguish
with the waters of falsehood and denial the fire of
that sacred Tree, oblivious of the truth that no
earthly water can quench the flame of divine wisdom,
nor mortal blasts extinguish the lamp of everlasting
dominion. Nay, rather, such water cannot
but intensify the burning of the flame, and such

blasts cannot but ensure the preservation of the
lamp, were ye to observe with the eye of discernment,
and walk in the way of God's holy will and
pleasure. How well hath a believer of the kindred
of Pharaoh, whose story is recounted by the
All-Glorious in His Book revealed unto His beloved
One, observed: "And a man of the family
of Pharaoh who was a believer and concealed his
faith said: `Will ye slay a man because he saith
my Lord is God, when He hath already come to
you with signs from your Lord? If he be a liar,
on him will be his lie, but if he be a man of
truth, part of what he threateneth will fall upon
you. In truth God guideth not him who is a transgressor,
a liar.'"+F1 Finally, so great was their
iniquity that this self-same believer was put to a
shameful death. "The curse of God be upon the
people of tyranny."+F2
     And now, ponder upon these things. What could
have caused such contention and conflict? Why is
it that the advent of every true Manifestation of
God hath been accompanied by such strife and
tumult, by such tyranny and upheaval? This notwithstanding
the fact that all the Prophets of God,

+F1 &Qur'an 40:28.
+F2 &Qur'an 11:21.

whenever made manifest unto the peoples of the
world, have invariably foretold the coming of yet
another Prophet after them, and have established
such signs as would herald the advent of the future
Dispensation. To this the records of all sacred
books bear witness. Why then is it that despite the
expectation of men in their quest of the Manifestations
of Holiness, and in spite of the signs recorded
in the sacred books, such acts of violence, of oppression
and cruelty, should have been perpetrated in
every age and cycle against all the Prophets and
chosen Ones of God? Even as He hath revealed:
"As oft as an Apostle cometh unto you with that
which your souls desire not, ye swell with pride,
accusing some of being impostors and slaying
     Reflect, what could have been the motive for
such deeds? What could have prompted such behaviour
towards the Revealers of the beauty of the
All-Glorious? Whatever in days gone by hath been
the cause of the denial and opposition of those
people hath now led to the perversity of the people
of this age. To maintain that the testimony of
Providence was incomplete, that it hath therefore

+F1 &Qur'an 2:87.

been the cause of the denial of the people, is but
open blasphemy. How far from the grace of the
All-Bountiful and from His loving providence
and tender mercies it is to single out a soul from
amongst all men for the guidance of His creatures,
and, on one hand, to withhold from Him the full
measure of His divine testimony, and, on the other,
inflict severe retribution on His people for having
turned away from His chosen One! Nay, the manifold
bounties of the Lord of all beings have, at all
times, through the Manifestations of His divine
Essence, encompassed the earth and all that dwell
therein. Not for a moment hath His grace been
withheld, nor have the showers of His loving-kindness
ceased to rain upon mankind. Consequently,
such behaviour can be attributed to naught
save the petty-mindedness of such souls as tread
the valley of arrogance and pride, are lost in the
wilds of remoteness, walk in the ways of their idle
fancy, and follow the dictates of the leaders of
their faith. Their chief concern is mere opposition;
their sole desire is to ignore the truth. Unto every
discerning observer it is evident and manifest that
had these people in the days of each of the Manifestations
of the Sun of Truth sanctified their eyes,
their ears, and their hearts from whatever they

had seen, heard, and felt, they surely would not
have been deprived of beholding the beauty of
God, nor strayed far from the habitations of glory.
But having weighed the testimony of God by the
standard of their own knowledge, gleaned from
the teachings of the leaders of their faith, and
found it at variance with their limited understanding,
they arose to perpetrate such unseemly acts.
     Leaders of religion, in every age, have hindered
their people from attaining the shores of eternal
salvation, inasmuch as they held the reins of authority
in their mighty grasp. Some for the lust of
leadership, others through want of knowledge and
understanding, have been the cause of the deprivation
of the people. By their sanction and authority,
every Prophet of God hath drunk from the chalice
of sacrifice, and winged His flight unto the heights
of glory. What unspeakable cruelties they that
have occupied the seats of authority and learning
have inflicted upon the true Monarchs of the
world, those Gems of divine virtue! Content with
a transitory dominion, they have deprived themselves
of an everlasting sovereignty. Thus, their
eyes beheld not the light of the countenance of the
Well-Beloved, nor did their ears hearken unto the

sweet melodies of the Bird of Desire. For this reason,
in all sacred books mention hath been made of
the divines of every age. Thus He saith: "O people
of the Book! Why disbelieve the signs of God to
which ye yourselves have been witnesses?"+F1 And
also He saith: "O people of the Book! Why clothe
ye the truth with falsehood? Why wittingly hide
the truth?"+F2 Again, He saith: "Say, O people of
the Book! Why repel believers from the way of
God?"+F3 It is evident that by the "people of the
Book," who have repelled their fellow-men from
the straight path of God, is meant none other than
the divines of that age, whose names and character
have been revealed in the sacred books, and alluded
to in the verses and traditions recorded therein,
were you to observe with the eye of God.
     With fixed and steady gaze, born of the unerring
eye of God, scan for a while the horizon of divine
knowledge, and contemplate those words of perfection
which the Eternal hath revealed, that haply
the mysteries of divine wisdom, hidden ere now
beneath the veil of glory and treasured within the
tabernacle of His grace, may be made manifest

+F1 &Qur'an 3:70.
+F2 &Qur'an 3:71.
+F3 &Qur'an 3:99.

unto you. The denials and protestations of these
leaders of religion have, in the main, been due to
their lack of knowledge and understanding. Those
words uttered by the Revealers of the beauty of
the one true God, setting forth the signs that should
herald the advent of the Manifestation to come,
they never understood nor fathomed. Hence they
raised the standard of revolt, and stirred up mischief
and sedition. It is obvious and manifest that
the true meaning of the utterances of the Birds of
Eternity is revealed to none except those that manifest
the Eternal Being, and the melodies of the
Nightingale of Holiness can reach no ear save that
of the denizens of the everlasting realm. The Copt
of tyranny can never partake of the cup touched
by the lips of the Sept of justice, and the Pharaoh
of unbelief can never hope to recognize the hand
of the Moses of truth. Even as He saith: "None
knoweth the meaning thereof except God and them
that are well-grounded in knowledge."+F1 And yet,
they have sought the interpretation of the Book
from those that are wrapt in veils, and have refused
to seek enlightenment from the fountain-head
of knowledge.
     And when the days of Moses were ended, and

+F1 &Qur'an 3:7.

the light of Jesus, shining forth from the dayspring
of the Spirit, encompassed the world, all the
people of Israel arose in protest against Him.
They clamoured that He Whose advent the Bible
had foretold must needs promulgate and fulfil the
laws of Moses, whereas this youthful Nazarene,
who laid claim to the station of the divine Messiah,
had annulled the law of divorce and of the sabbath
day--the most weighty of all the laws of Moses.
Moreover, what of the signs of the Manifestation
yet to come? These people of Israel are even unto
the present day still expecting that Manifestation
which the Bible hath foretold! How many Manifestations
of Holiness, how many Revealers of the
light everlasting, have appeared since the time of
Moses, and yet Israel, wrapt in the densest veils of
satanic fancy and false imaginings, is still expectant
that the idol of her own handiwork will appear
with such signs as she herself hath conceived!
Thus hath God laid hold of them for their sins,
hath extinguished in them the spirit of faith, and
tormented them with the flames of the nethermost
fire. And this for no other reason except that Israel
refused to apprehend the meaning of such words as
have been revealed in the Bible concerning the
signs of the coming Revelation. As she never

grasped their true significance, and, to outward
seeming, such events never came to pass, she, therefore,
remained deprived of recognizing the beauty
of Jesus and of beholding the face of God. And
they still await His coming! From time immemorial
even unto this day, all the kindreds and peoples
of the earth have clung to such fanciful and unseemly
thoughts, and thus have deprived themselves
of the clear waters streaming from the
springs of purity and holiness.
     In unfolding these mysteries, We have, in Our
former Tablets which were addressed to a friend
in the melodious language of &Hijaz, cited a few
of the verses revealed unto the Prophets of old.
And now, responding to your request, We again
shall cite, in these pages, those same verses, uttered
this time in the wondrous accents of &Iraq, that
haply the sore athirst in the wilds of remoteness
may attain unto the ocean of the divine presence,
and they that languish in the wastes of separation
be led unto the home of eternal reunion. Thus the
mists of error may be dispelled, and the all-resplendent
light of divine guidance dawn forth above
the horizon of human hearts. In God We put Our
trust, and to Him We cry for help, that haply
there may flow from this pen that which shall

quicken the souls of men, that they may all arise
from their beds of heedlessness and hearken unto
the rustling of the leaves of Paradise, from the
tree which the hand of divine power hath, by the
permission of God, planted in the &Ridvan of the
     To them that are endowed with understanding,
it is clear and manifest that when the fire of the
love of Jesus consumed the veils of Jewish limitations,
and His authority was made apparent and
partially enforced, He the Revealer of the unseen
Beauty, addressing one day His disciples, referred
unto His passing, and, kindling in their hearts the
fire of bereavement, said unto them: "I go away
and come again unto you." And in another place
He said: "I go and another will come Who will
tell you all that I have not told you, and will fulfil
all that I have said." Both these sayings have but
one meaning, were you to ponder upon the Manifestations
of the Unity of God with divine insight.
     Every discerning observer will recognize that in
the Dispensation of the &Qur'an both the Book and
the Cause of Jesus were confirmed. As to the matter
of names, &Muhammad, Himself, declared: "I

am Jesus." He recognized the truth of the signs,
prophecies, and words of Jesus, and testified that
they were all of God. In this sense, neither the
person of Jesus nor His writings hath differed
from that of &Muhammad and of His holy Book,
inasmuch as both have championed the Cause of
God, uttered His praise, and revealed His commandments.
Thus it is that Jesus, Himself, declared:
"I go away and come again unto you."
Consider the sun. Were it to say now, "I am the sun
of yesterday," it would speak the truth. And
should it, bearing the sequence of time in mind,
claim to be other than that sun, it still would speak
the truth. In like manner, if it be said that all the
days are but one and the same, it is correct and
true. And if it be said, with respect to their particular
names and designations, that they differ,
that again is true. For though they are the same,
yet one doth recognize in each a separate designation,
a specific attribute, a particular character.
Conceive accordingly the distinction, variation,
and unity characteristic of the various Manifestations
of holiness, that thou mayest comprehend the
allusions made by the creator of all names and attributes
to the mysteries of distinction and unity,
and discover the answer to thy question as to why

that everlasting Beauty should have, at sundry
times, called Himself by different names and titles.
     Afterwards, the companions and disciples of
Jesus asked Him concerning those signs that must
needs signalize the return of His manifestation.
When, they asked, shall these things be? Several
times they questioned that peerless Beauty, and,
every time He made reply, He set forth a special
sign that should herald the advent of the promised
Dispensation. To this testify the records of the four
     This wronged One will cite but one of these instances,
thus conferring upon mankind, for the
sake of God, such bounties as are yet concealed
within the treasury of the hidden and sacred Tree,
that haply mortal men may not remain deprived
of their share of the immortal fruit, and attain to a
dewdrop of the waters of everlasting life which,
from &Baghdad, the "Abode of Peace," are being
vouchsafed unto all mankind. We ask for neither
meed nor reward. "We nourish your souls for the
sake of God; we seek from you neither recompense
nor thanks."+F1 This is the food that conferreth everlasting

+F1 &Qur'an 76:9.

life upon the pure in heart and the illumined
in spirit. This is the bread of which it is
said: "Lord, send down upon us Thy bread from
heaven."+F1 This bread shall never be withheld from
them that deserve it, nor can it ever be exhausted.
It groweth everlastingly from the tree of grace; it
descendeth at all seasons from the heavens of justice
and mercy. Even as He saith: "Seest thou not
to what God likeneth a good word? To a good
tree; its root firmly fixed, and its branches reaching
unto heaven: yielding its fruit in all seasons."+F2
     O the pity! that man should deprive himself of
this goodly gift, this imperishable bounty, this
everlasting life. It behooveth him to prize this food
that cometh from heaven, that perchance, through
the wondrous favours of the Sun of Truth, the
dead may be brought to life, and withered souls
be quickened by the infinite Spirit. Make haste, O
my brother, that while there is yet time our lips
may taste of the immortal draught, for the breeze
of life, now blowing from the city of the Well-Beloved,
cannot last, and the streaming river of holy
utterance must needs be stilled, and the portals of
the &Ridvan cannot for ever remain open. The day

+F1 &Qur'an 5:117.
+F2 &Qur'an 14:24.

will surely come when the Nightingale of Paradise
will have winged its flight away from its earthly
abode unto its heavenly nest. Then will its melody
be heard no more, and the beauty of the rose cease
to shine. Seize the time, therefore, ere the glory of
the divine springtime hath spent itself, and the
Bird of Eternity ceased to warble its melody, that
thy inner hearing may not be deprived of
hearkening unto its call. This is My counsel unto
thee and unto the beloved of God. Whosoever
wisheth, let him turn thereunto; whosoever wisheth,
let him turn away. God, verily, is independent
of him and of that which he may see and witness.
     These are the melodies, sung by Jesus, Son of
Mary, in accents of majestic power in the &Ridvan
of the Gospel, revealing those signs that must needs
herald the advent of the Manifestation after Him.
In the first Gospel according to Matthew it is
recorded: And when they asked Jesus concerning
the signs of His coming, He said unto them: "Immediately
after the oppression+F1 of those days shall
the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give
her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and
the powers of the earth shall be shaken: and then

+F1 The Greek word used (Thlipsis) has two meanings: pressure
+F1 and oppression.

shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:
and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,
and they shall see the Son of man coming in the
clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And
he shall send his angels with a great sound of a
trumpet."+F1 Rendered into the Persian tongue,+F2 the
purport of these words is as follows: When the
oppression and afflictions that are to befall mankind
will have come to pass, then shall the sun
be withheld from shining, the moon from giving
light, the stars of heaven shall fall upon the earth,
and the pillars of the earth shall quake. At that
time, the signs of the Son of man shall appear in
heaven, that is, the promised Beauty and Substance
of life shall, when these signs have appeared, step
forth out of the realm of the invisible into the visible
world. And He saith: at that time, all the
peoples and kindreds that dwell on earth shall bewail
and lament, and they shall see that divine
Beauty coming from heaven, riding upon the
clouds with power, grandeur, and magnificence,
sending His angels with a great sound of a trumpet.
Similarly, in the three other Gospels, according
to Luke, Mark, and John, the same statements

+F1 Matthew 24:29-31.
+F2 The passage is quoted by &Baha'u'llah in Arabic and interpreted
+F2 in Persian.

are recorded. As We have referred at length to
these in Our Tablets revealed in the Arabic tongue,
We have made no mention of them in these
pages, and have confined Ourselves to but one
     Inasmuch as the Christian divines have failed
to apprehend the meaning of these words, and did
not recognize their object and purpose, and have
clung to the literal interpretation of the words of
Jesus, they therefore became deprived of the
streaming grace of the &Muhammadan Revelation
and its showering bounties. The ignorant among
the Christian community, following the example
of the leaders of their faith, were likewise prevented
from beholding the beauty of the King of
glory, inasmuch as those signs which were to accompany
the dawn of the sun of the &Muhammadan
Dispensation did not actually come to pass. Thus,
ages have passed and centuries rolled away, and
that most pure Spirit hath repaired unto the retreats
of its ancient sovereignty. Once more hath
the eternal Spirit breathed into the mystic trumpet,
and caused the dead to speed out of their sepulchres
of heedlessness and error unto the realm of
guidance and grace. And yet, that expectant community

still crieth out: When shall these things be?
When shall the promised One, the object of our
expectation, be made manifest, that we may arise
for the triumph of His Cause, that we may sacrifice
our substance for His sake, that we may offer
up our lives in His path? In like manner, have such
false imaginings caused other communities to stray
from the &Kawthar of the infinite mercy of Providence,
and to be busied with their own idle
     Beside this passage, there is yet another verse
in the Gospel wherein He saith: "Heaven and
earth shall pass away: but My words shall not
pass away."+F1 Thus it is that the adherents of Jesus
maintained that the law of the Gospel shall never
be annulled, and that whensoever the promised
Beauty is made manifest and all the signs are revealed,
He must needs re-affirm and establish the
law proclaimed in the Gospel, so that there may
remain in the world no faith but His faith. This is
their fundamental belief. And their conviction is
such that were a person to be made manifest with
all the promised signs and to promulgate that
which is contrary to the letter of the law of the Gospel,

+F1 Luke 21:33.

they must assuredly renounce him, refuse to
submit to his law, declare him an infidel, and laugh
him to scorn. This is proved by that which came
to pass when the sun of the &Muhammadan Revelation
was revealed. Had they sought with a humble
mind from the Manifestations of God in every
Dispensation the true meaning of these words revealed
in the sacred books--words the misapprehension
of which hath caused men to be deprived
of the recognition of the &Sadratu'l-Muntaha, the
ultimate Purpose--they surely would have been
guided to the light of the Sun of Truth, and would
have discovered the mysteries of divine knowledge
and wisdom.
     This servant will now share with thee a dewdrop
out of the fathomless ocean of the truths treasured
in these holy words, that haply discerning hearts
may comprehend all the allusions and the implications
of the utterances of the Manifestations of
Holiness, so that the overpowering majesty of the
Word of God may not prevent them from attaining
unto the ocean of His names and attributes, nor
deprive them of recognizing the Lamp of God
which is the seat of the revelation of His glorified

     As to the words--"Immediately after the oppression
of those days"--they refer to the time when
men shall become oppressed and afflicted, the time
when the lingering traces of the Sun of Truth and
the fruit of the Tree of knowledge and wisdom
will have vanished from the midst of men, when
the reins of mankind will have fallen into the grasp
of the foolish and ignorant, when the portals of
divine unity and understanding--the essential and
highest purpose in creation--will have been closed,
when certain knowledge will have given way to
idle fancy, and corruption will have usurped the
station of righteousness. Such a condition as this
is witnessed in this day when the reins of every
community have fallen into the grasp of foolish
leaders, who lead after their own whims and desire.
On their tongue the mention of God hath become
an empty name; in their midst His holy
Word a dead letter. Such is the sway of their desires,
that the lamp of conscience and reason hath
been quenched in their hearts, and this although the
fingers of divine power have unlocked the portals
of the knowledge of God, and the light of divine
knowledge and heavenly grace hath illumined and
inspired the essence of all created things, in such
wise that in each and every thing a door of knowledge

hath been opened, and within every atom
traces of the sun hath been made manifest. And yet,
in spite of all these manifold revelations of divine
knowledge, which have encompassed the world,
they still vainly imagine the door of knowledge to
be closed, and the showers of mercy to be stilled.
Clinging unto idle fancy, they have strayed far
from the &Urvatu'l-Vuthqa of divine knowledge.
Their hearts seem not to be inclined to knowledge
and the door thereof, neither think they of its
manifestations, inasmuch as in idle fancy they have
found the door that leadeth unto earthly riches,
whereas in the manifestation of the Revealer of
knowledge they find naught but the call to self-sacrifice.
They therefore naturally hold fast unto
the former, and flee from the latter. Though they
recognize in their hearts the Law of God to be one
and the same, yet from every direction they issue
a new command, and in every season proclaim a
fresh decree. No two are found to agree on one and
the same law, for they seek no God but their own
desire, and tread no path but the path of error. In
leadership they have recognized the ultimate object
of their endeavour, and account pride and
haughtiness as the highest attainments of their
heart's desire. They have placed their sordid machinations

above the divine decree, have renounced
resignation unto the will of God, busied themselves
with selfish calculation, and walked in the way of
the hypocrite. With all their power and strength
they strive to secure themselves in their petty pursuits,
fearful lest the least discredit undermine
their authority or blemish the display of their
magnificence. Were the eye to be anointed and illumined
with the collyrium of the knowledge of
God, it would surely discover that a number of
voracious beasts have gathered and preyed upon
the carrion of the souls of men.
     What "oppression" is greater than that which
hath been recounted? What "oppression" is more
grievous than that a soul seeking the truth, and
wishing to attain unto the knowledge of God,
should know not where to go for it and from whom
to seek it? For opinions have sorely differed, and
the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied.
This "oppression" is the essential feature of
every Revelation. Unless it cometh to pass, the Sun
of Truth will not be made manifest. For the break
of the morn of divine guidance must needs follow
the darkness of the night of error. For this reason,
in all chronicles and traditions reference hath been

made unto these things, namely that iniquity shall
cover the surface of the earth and darkness shall
envelop mankind. As the traditions referred to are
well known, and as the purpose of this servant is
to be brief, He will refrain from quoting the text
of these traditions.
     Were this "oppression" (which literally meaneth
pressure) to be interpreted that the earth is to
become contracted, or were men's idle fancy to
conceive similar calamities to befall mankind, it is
clear and manifest that no such happenings can
ever come to pass. They will assuredly protest
that this pre-requisite of divine revelation hath not
been made manifest. Such hath been and still is
their contention. Whereas, by "oppression" is
meant the want of capacity to acquire spiritual
knowledge and apprehend the Word of God. By
it is meant that when the Day-star of Truth hath
set, and the mirrors that reflect His light have departed,
mankind will become afflicted with "oppression"
and hardship, knowing not whither to
turn for guidance. Thus We instruct thee in the
interpretation of the traditions, and reveal unto
thee the mysteries of divine wisdom, that haply
thou mayest comprehend the meaning thereof, and

be of them that have quaffed the cup of divine
knowledge and understanding.
     And now, concerning His words--"The sun
shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give
light, and the stars shall fall from heaven." By the
terms "sun" and "moon," mentioned in the writings
of the Prophets of God, is not meant solely the
sun and moon of the visible universe. Nay rather,
manifold are the meanings they have intended for
these terms. In every instance they have attached
to them a particular significance. Thus, by the
"sun" in one sense is meant those Suns of Truth
Who rise from the dayspring of ancient glory, and
fill the world with a liberal effusion of grace from
on high. These Suns of Truth are the universal
Manifestations of God in the worlds of His attributes
and names. Even as the visible sun that assisteth,
as decreed by God, the true One, the
Adored, in the development of all earthly things,
such as the trees, the fruits, and colours thereof,
the minerals of the earth, and all that may be witnessed
in the world of creation, so do the divine
Luminaries, by their loving care and educative influence,
cause the trees of divine unity, the fruits of
His oneness, the leaves of detachment, the blossoms
of knowledge and certitude, and the myrtles of

wisdom and utterance, to exist and be made manifest.
Thus it is that through the rise of these Luminaries
of God the world is made new, the waters
of everlasting life stream forth, the billows of loving-kindness
surge, the clouds of grace are gathered,
and the breeze of bounty bloweth upon all
created things. It is the warmth that these Luminaries
of God generate, and the undying fires they
kindle, which cause the light of the love of God to
burn fiercely in the heart of humanity. It is
through the abundant grace of these Symbols of
Detachment that the Spirit of life everlasting is
breathed into the bodies of the dead. Assuredly
the visible sun is but a sign of the splendour of that
Day-star of Truth, that Sun Which can never have
a peer, a likeness, or rival. Through Him all
things live, move, and have their being. Through
His grace they are made manifest, and unto Him
they all return. From Him all things have sprung,
and unto the treasuries of His revelation they all
have repaired. From Him all created things did
proceed, and to the depositories of His law they
did revert.
     That these divine Luminaries seem to be confined
at times to specific designations and attributes,

as you have observed and are now observing,
is due solely to the imperfect and limited comprehension
of certain minds. Otherwise, they have
been at all times, and will through eternity continue
to be, exalted above every praising name, and
sanctified from every descriptive attribute. The
quintessence of every name can hope for no access
unto their court of holiness, and the highest and
purest of all attributes can never approach their
kingdom of glory. Immeasurably high are the
Prophets of God exalted above the comprehension
of men, who can never know them except by their
own Selves. Far be it from His glory that His
chosen Ones should be magnified by any other than
their own persons. Glorified are they above the
praise of men; exalted are they above human understanding!
     The term "suns" hath many a time been applied
in the writings of the "immaculate Souls" unto the
Prophets of God, those luminous Emblems of Detachment.
Among those writings are the following
words recorded in the "Prayer of Nudbih":+F1
"Whither are gone the resplendent Suns? Whereunto
have departed those shining Moons and

+F1 "Lamentation" attributed to the Twelfth &Imam.

sparkling Stars?" Thus, it hath become evident
that the terms "sun," "moon," and "stars" primarily
signify the Prophets of God, the saints, and
their companions, those Luminaries, the light of
Whose knowledge hath shed illumination upon the
worlds of the visible and the invisible.
     In another sense, by these terms is intended the
divines of the former Dispensation, who live in
the days of the subsequent Revelations, and who
hold the reins of religion in their grasp. If these
divines be illumined by the light of the latter Revelation
they will be acceptable unto God, and will
shine with a light everlasting. Otherwise, they will
be declared as darkened, even though to outward
seeming they be leaders of men, inasmuch as belief
and unbelief, guidance and error, felicity and misery,
light and darkness, are all dependent upon the
sanction of Him Who is the Day-star of Truth.
Whosoever among the divines of every age receiveth,
in the Day of Reckoning, the testimony of faith
from the Source of true knowledge, he verily becometh
the recipient of learning, of divine favour,
and of the light of true understanding. Otherwise,
he is branded as guilty of folly, denial, blasphemy,
and oppression.

     It is evident and manifest unto every discerning
observer that even as the light of the star fadeth
before the effulgent splendour of the sun, so doth
the luminary of earthly knowledge, of wisdom,
and understanding vanish into nothingness when
brought face to face with the resplendent glories
of the Sun of Truth, the Day-star of divine enlightenment.
     That the term "sun" hath been applied to the
leaders of religion is due to their lofty position,
their fame, and renown. Such are the universally
recognized divines of every age, who speak with
authority, and whose fame is securely established.
If they be in the likeness of the Sun of Truth, they
will surely be accounted as the most exalted of all
luminaries; otherwise, they are to be recognized as
the focal centres of hellish fire. Even as He saith:
"Verily, the sun and the moon are both condemned
to the torment of infernal fire."+F1 You are no doubt
familiar with the interpretation of the term "sun"
and "moon" mentioned in this verse; no need therefore
to refer unto it. And whosoever is of the element
of this "sun" and "moon", that is, followeth
the example of these leaders in setting his face

+F1 &Qur'an 55:5.

towards falsehood and in turning away from the
truth he undoubtedly cometh out of infernal
gloom and returneth thereunto.
     And now, O seeker, it behooveth us firmly to
cling unto the &Urvatu'l-Vuthqa, that perchance
we may leave behind the darksome night of error,
and embrace the dawning light of divine guidance.
Shall we not flee from the face of denial, and seek
the sheltering shadow of certitude? Shall we not
free ourselves from the horror of satanic gloom,
and hasten towards the rising light of the heavenly
Beauty? In such wise, we bestow upon you the
fruit of the Tree of divine knowledge, that ye may
gladly and joyously abide in the &Ridvan of divine
     In another sense, by the terms `sun', `moon', and
`stars' are meant such laws and teachings as have
been established and proclaimed in every Dispensation,
such as the laws of prayer and fasting.
These have, according to the law of the &Qur'an,
been regarded, when the beauty of the Prophet
&Muhammad had passed beyond the veil, as the
most fundamental and binding laws of His dispensation.
To this testify the texts of the traditions and
chronicles, which, on account of their being widely

known, need not be referred to here. Nay rather,
in every Dispensation the law concerning prayer
hath been emphasized and universally enforced.
To this testify the recorded traditions ascribed
to the lights that have emanated from the Day-star
of Truth, the essence of the Prophet &Muhammad.
     The traditions established the fact that in all
Dispensations the law of prayer hath constituted a
fundamental element of the Revelation of all the
Prophets of God--a law the form and the manner
of which hath been adapted to the varying requirements
of every age. Inasmuch as every subsequent
Revelation hath abolished the manners,
habits, and teachings that have been clearly, specifically,
and firmly established by the former Dispensation,
these have accordingly been symbolically
expressed in terms of `sun' and `moon'. "That
He might prove you, which of you excel in
     Moreover, in the traditions the terms "sun" and
"moon" have been applied to prayer and fasting,
even as it is said: "Fasting is illumination, prayer
is light." One day, a well-known divine came to

+F1 &Qur'an 67:2.

visit Us. While We were conversing with him, he
referred to the above-quoted tradition. He said:
"Inasmuch as fasting causeth the heat of the body
to increase, it hath therefore been likened unto the
light of the sun; and as the prayer of the night-season
refresheth man, it hath been compared unto
the radiance of the moon." Thereupon We realized
that that poor man had not been favoured with a
single drop of the ocean of true understanding, and
had strayed far from the burning Bush of divine
wisdom. We then politely observed to him saying:
"The interpretation your honour hath given to this
tradition is the one current amongst the people.
Could it not be interpreted differently?" He asked
Us: "What could it be?" We made reply: "&Muhammad,
the Seal of the Prophets, and the most
distinguished of God's chosen Ones, hath likened
the Dispensation of the &Qur'an unto heaven, by
reason of its loftiness, its paramount influence, its
majesty, and the fact that it comprehendeth all religions.
And as the sun and moon constitute the
brightest and most prominent luminaries in the
heavens, similarly in the heaven of the religion of
God two shining orbs have been ordained--fasting
and prayer. `&Islam is heaven; fasting is its sun,
prayer, its moon.'"

     This is the purpose underlying the symbolic
words of the Manifestations of God. Consequently,
the application of the terms "sun" and "moon" to
the things already mentioned hath been demonstrated
and justified by the text of the sacred verses
and the recorded traditions. Hence, it is clear and
manifest that by the words "the sun shall be darkened,
and the moon shall not give her light, and
the stars shall fall from heaven" is intended the
waywardness of the divines, and the annulment of
laws firmly established by divine Revelation, all
of which, in symbolic language, have been foreshadowed
by the Manifestation of God. None except
the righteous shall partake of this cup, none
but the godly can share therein. "The righteous
shall drink of a cup tempered at the camphor
     It is unquestionable that in every succeeding
Revelation the "sun" and "moon" of the teachings,
laws, commandments, and prohibitions which
have been established in the preceding Dispensation,
and which have overshadowed the people of
that age, become darkened, that is, are exhausted,
and cease to exert their influence. Consider now,

+F1 &Qur'an 76:5.

had the people of the Gospel recognized the meaning
of the symbolic terms "sun" and "moon," had
they sought, unlike the froward and perverse, enlightenment
from Him Who is the Revealer of
divine knowledge, they would have surely comprehended
the purpose of these terms, and would
not have become afflicted and oppressed by the
darkness of their selfish desires. Yea, but since they
have failed to acquire true knowledge from its very
Source, they have perished in the perilous vale of
waywardness and misbelief. They still have not
awakened to perceive that all the signs foretold
have been made manifest, that the promised Sun
hath risen above the horizon of divine Revelation,
and that the "sun" and "moon" of the teachings,
the laws, and learning of a former Dispensation
have darkened and set.
     And now, with fixed gaze and steady wings
enter thou the way of certitude and truth. "Say:
It is God; then leave them to entertain themselves
with their cavilings."+F1 Thus, wilt thou be accounted
of those companions of whom He saith:
"They that say `Our Lord is God,' and continue
steadfast in His way, upon them, verily, shall the

+F1 &Qur'an 6:91.

angels descend."+F1 Then shalt thou witness all these
mysteries with thine own eyes.
     O my brother! Take thou the step of the spirit,
so that, swift as the twinkling of an eye, thou mayest
flash through the wilds of remoteness and bereavement,
attain the &Ridvan of everlasting reunion,
and in one breath commune with the
heavenly Spirits. For with human feet thou canst
never hope to traverse these immeasurable distances,
nor attain thy goal. Peace be upon him
whom the light of truth guideth unto all truth, and
who, in the name of God, standeth in the path of
His Cause, upon the shore of true understanding.
     This is the meaning of the sacred verse: "But
nay! I swear by the Lord of the Easts and the
Wests,"+F2 inasmuch as the "Suns" referred to have
each their own particular rising and setting place.
And as the commentators of the &Qur'an have failed
to grasp the symbolic meaning of these "Suns,"
they therefore were at pains to interpret the above-quoted
verse. Some of them maintained that owing
to the fact that the sun each day rises from a different

+F1 &Qur'an 41:30.
+F2 &Qur'an 70:40.

point, the terms "easts" and "wests" have been
mentioned in the plural. Others have written that
by this verse the four seasons of the year are intended,
inasmuch as the dawning and setting
points of the sun vary with the change of the seasons.
Such is the depth of their understanding!
None the less, they persist in imputing error and
folly to those Gems of knowledge, those irreproachable
and purest Symbols of wisdom.
     In like manner, strive thou to comprehend from
these lucid, these powerful, conclusive, and unequivocal
statements the meaning of the "cleaving
of the heaven"--one of the signs that must needs
herald the coming of the last Hour, the Day of
Resurrection. As He hath said: "When the heaven
shall be cloven asunder."+F1 By "heaven" is meant
the heaven of divine Revelation, which is elevated
with every Manifestation, and rent asunder with
every subsequent one. By "cloven asunder" is
meant that the former Dispensation is superseded
and annulled. I swear by God! That this heaven
being cloven asunder is, to the discerning, an act
mightier than the cleaving of the skies! Ponder a
while. That a divine Revelation which for years

+F1 &Qur'an 82:1.

hath been securely established; beneath whose
shadow all who have embraced it have been reared
and nurtured; by the light of whose law generations
of men have been disciplined; the excellency
of whose word men have heard recounted by their
fathers; in such wise that human eye hath beheld
naught but the pervading influence of its grace,
and mortal ear hath heard naught but the resounding
majesty of its command--what act is mightier
than that such a Revelation should, by the power
of God, be "cloven asunder" and be abolished at
the appearance of one soul? Reflect, is this a mightier
act than that which these abject and foolish
men have imagined the "cleaving of the heaven"
to mean?
     Moreover, consider the hardships and the bitterness
of the lives of those Revealers of the divine
Beauty. Reflect, how single-handed and alone they
faced the world and all its peoples, and promulgated
the Law of God! No matter how severe
the persecutions inflicted upon those holy, those
precious, and tender Souls, they still remained,
in the plenitude of their power, patient, and,
despite their ascendancy, they suffered and endured.

     In like manner, endeavour to comprehend the
meaning of the "changing of the earth." Know
thou, that upon whatever hearts the bountiful
showers of mercy, raining from the "heaven" of
divine Revelation, have fallen, the earth of those
hearts hath verily been changed into the earth of
divine knowledge and wisdom. What myrtles of
unity hath the soil of their hearts produced! What
blossoms of true knowledge and wisdom hath their
illumined bosoms yielded! Were the earth of their
hearts to remain unchanged, how could such souls
who have not been taught one letter, have seen no
teacher, and entered no school, utter such words
and display such knowledge as none can apprehend?
Methinks they have been moulded from
the clay of infinite knowledge, and kneaded with
the water of divine wisdom. Therefore, hath it
been said: "Knowledge is a light which God casteth
into the heart of whomsoever He willeth." It is
this kind of knowledge which is and hath ever
been praiseworthy, and not the limited knowledge
that hath sprung forth from veiled and obscured
minds. This limited knowledge they even stealthily
borrow one from the other, and vainly pride
themselves therein!

     Would that the hearts of men could be cleansed
from these man-made limitations and obscure
thoughts imposed upon them! haply they may be
illumined by the light of the Sun of true knowledge,
and comprehend the mysteries of divine wisdom.
Consider now, were the parched and barren
soil of these hearts to remain unchanged, how
could they ever become the Recipients of the revelation
of the mysteries of God, and the Revealers
of the divine Essence? Thus hath He said: "On
the day when the earth shall be changed into another
     The breeze of the bounty of the King of creation
hath caused even the physical earth to be changed,
were ye to ponder in your hearts the mysteries of
divine Revelation.
     And now, comprehend the meaning of this
verse: "The whole earth shall on the Resurrection
Day be but His handful, and in His right hand
shall the heavens be folded together. Praise be to
Him! and high be He uplifted above the partners
they join with him!"+F2 And now, be fair in thy
judgment. Were this verse to have the meaning
which men suppose it to have, of what profit, one

+F1 &Qur'an 14:48.
+F2 &Qur'an 39:67.

may ask, could it be to man? Moreover, it is evident
and manifest that no such hand as could be
seen by human eye could accomplish such deeds,
or could possibly be ascribed to the exalted Essence
of the one true God. Nay, to acknowledge
such a thing is naught but sheer blasphemy, an
utter perversion of the truth. And should it be supposed
that by this verse are meant the Manifestations
of God, Who will be called upon, on the Day
of Judgment, to perform such deeds, this too seemeth
far from the truth, and is surely of no profit. On
the contrary, by the term "earth" is meant the
earth of understanding and knowledge, and by
"heavens" the heavens of divine Revelation. Reflect
thou, how, in one hand, He hath, by His
mighty grasp, turned the earth of knowledge and
understanding, previously unfolded, into a mere
handful, and, on the other, spread out a new and
highly exalted earth in the hearts of men, thus
causing the freshest and loveliest blossoms, and
the mightiest and loftiest trees to spring forth from
the illumined bosom of man.
     In like manner, reflect how the elevated heavens
of the Dispensations of the past have, in the right
hand of power, been folded together, how the

heavens of divine Revelation have been raised by
the command of God, and been adorned by the
sun, the moon, and stars of His wondrous commandments.
Such are the mysteries of the Word of
God, which have been unveiled and made manifest,
that haply thou mayest apprehend the morning
light of divine guidance, mayest quench, by
the power of reliance and renunciation, the lamp
of idle fancy, of vain imaginings, of hesitation, and
doubt, and mayest kindle, in the inmost chamber
of thine heart, the new-born light of divine knowledge
and certitude.
     Know verily that the purpose underlying all
these symbolic terms and abstruse allusions, which
emanate from the Revealers of God's holy Cause,
hath been to test and prove the peoples of the
world; that thereby the earth of the pure and illuminated
hearts may be known from the perishable
and barren soil. From time immemorial such
hath been the way of God amidst His creatures,
and to this testify the records of the sacred books.
     And likewise, reflect upon the revealed verse
concerning the "Qiblih."+F1 When &Muhammad,

+F1 The direction toward which the face must be turned when
+F1 praying.

the Sun of Prophethood, had fled from the dayspring
of &Batha+F1 unto &Yathrib,+F2 He continued to
turn His face, while praying, unto Jerusalem, the
holy city, until the time when the Jews began to
utter unseemly words against Him--words which
if mentioned would ill befit these pages and would
weary the reader. &Muhammad strongly resented
these words. Whilst, wrapt in meditation and wonder,
He was gazing toward heaven, He heard the
kindly Voice of Gabriel, saying: "We behold Thee
from above, turning Thy face to heaven; but We
will have Thee turn to a Qiblih which shall please
Thee."+F3 On a subsequent day, when the Prophet,
together with His companions, was offering the
noontide prayer, and had already performed two
of the prescribed &Rik'ats,+F4 the Voice of Gabriel
was heard again: "Turn Thou Thy face towards
the sacred Mosque."+F5,+F6 In the midst of that same
prayer, &Muhammad suddenly turned His face
away from Jerusalem and faced the &Ka'bih.
Whereupon, a profound dismay seized suddenly
the companions of the Prophet. Their faith was

+F1 Mecca.
+F2 Medina.
+F3 &Qur'an 2:144.
+F4 Prostrations.
+F5 At Mecca.
+F6 &Qur'an 2:149.

shaken severely. So great was their alarm, that
many of them, discontinuing their prayer, apostatized
their faith. Verily, God caused not this turmoil
but to test and prove His servants. Otherwise,
He, the ideal King, could easily have left the Qiblih
unchanged, and could have caused Jerusalem to
remain the Point of Adoration unto His Dispensation,
thereby withholding not from that holy city
the distinction of acceptance which had been conferred
upon it.
     None of the many Prophets sent down, since
Moses was made manifest, as Messengers of the
Word of God, such as David, Jesus, and others
among the more exalted Manifestations who have
appeared during the intervening period between
the Revelations of Moses and &Muhammad, ever
altered the law of the Qiblih. These Messengers of
the Lord of creation have, one and all, directed
their peoples to turn unto the same direction. In
the eyes of God, the ideal King, all the places of
the earth are one and the same, excepting that
place which, in the days of His Manifestations, He
doth appoint for a particular purpose. Even as He
hath revealed: "The East and West are God's:
therefore whichever way ye turn, there is the face

of God."+F1 Notwithstanding the truth of these
facts, why should the Qiblih have been changed,
thus casting such dismay amongst the people, causing
the companions of the Prophet to waver, and
throwing so great a confusion into their midst?
Yea, such things as throw consternation into the
hearts of all men come to pass only that each soul
may be tested by the touchstone of God, that the
true may be known and distinguished from the
false. Thus hath He revealed after the breach
amongst the people: "We did not appoint that
which Thou wouldst have to be the Qiblih, but
that We might know him who followeth the
Apostle from him who turneth on his heels."+F2
"Affrighted asses fleeing from a lion."+F3
     Were you to ponder, but for a while, these utterances
in your heart, you would surely find the portals
of understanding unlocked before your face,
and would behold all knowledge and the mysteries
thereof unveiled before your eyes. Such things take
place only that the souls of men may develop and
be delivered from the prison-cage of self and desire.
Otherwise, that ideal King hath, throughout

+F1 &Qur'an 2:115.
+F2 &Qur'an 2:143.
+F3 &Qur'an 74:50.

eternity, been in His Essence independent of the
comprehension of all beings, and will continue, for
ever, in His own Being to be exalted above the
adoration of every soul. A single breeze of His
affluence doth suffice to adorn all mankind with the
robe of wealth; and one drop out of the ocean of
His bountiful grace is enough to confer upon all
beings the glory of everlasting life. But inasmuch
as the divine Purpose hath decreed that the true
should be known from the false, and the sun from
the shadow, He hath, therefore, in every season
sent down upon mankind the showers of tests from
His realm of glory.
     Were men to meditate upon the lives of the
Prophets of old, so easily would they come to
know and understand the ways of these Prophets
that they would cease to be veiled by such deeds
and words as are contrary to their own worldly desires,
and thus consume every intervening veil with
the fire burning in the Bush of divine knowledge,
and abide secure upon the throne of peace and certitude.
For instance, consider Moses, son of &Imran,
one of the exalted Prophets and Author of a
divinely-revealed Book. Whilst passing, one day,
through the market, in His early days, ere His

ministry was proclaimed, He saw two men engaged
in fighting. One of them asked the help of Moses
against his opponent. Whereupon, Moses intervened
and slew him. To this testifieth the record
of the sacred Book. Should the details be cited,
they will lengthen and interrupt the course of the
argument. The report of this incident spread
throughout the city, and Moses was full of fear,
as is witnessed by the text of the Book. And when
the warning: "O Moses! of a truth, the chiefs take
counsel to slay Thee"+F1 reached His ears, He went
forth from the city, and sojourned in Midian in
the service of Shoeb. While returning, Moses entered
the holy vale, situate in the wilderness of
Sinai, and there beheld the vision of the King of
glory from the "Tree that belongeth neither to the
East nor to the West."+F2 There He heard the soul-stirring
Voice of the Spirit speaking from out of
the kindled Fire, bidding Him to shed upon Pharaonic
souls the light of divine guidance; so that,
liberating them from the shadows of the valley of
self and desire, He might enable them to attain
the meads of heavenly delight, and delivering
them, through the &Salsabil of renunciation, from
the bewilderment of remoteness, cause them to enter

+F1 &Qur'an 28:20.
+F2 &Qur'an 24:35.

the peaceful city of the divine presence. When
Moses came unto Pharaoh and delivered unto him,
as bidden by God, the divine Message, Pharaoh
spoke insultingly saying: "Art thou not he that
committed murder, and became an infidel?" Thus
recounted the Lord of majesty as having been said
by Pharaoh unto Moses: "What a deed is that
which Thou hast done! Thou art one of the ungrateful.
He said: `I did it indeed, and I was one
of those who erred. And I fled from you when I
feared you, but My Lord hath given Me wisdom,
and hath made Me one of His Apostles.'"+F1
     And now ponder in thy heart the commotion
which God stirreth up. Reflect upon the strange
and manifold trials with which He doth test His
servants. Consider how He hath suddenly chosen
from among His servants, and entrusted with the
exalted mission of divine guidance Him Who was
known as guilty of homicide, Who, Himself, had
acknowledged His cruelty, and Who for well-nigh
thirty years had, in the eyes of the world, been
reared in the home of Pharaoh and been nourished
at his table. Was not God, the omnipotent King,
able to withhold the hand of Moses from murder,

+F1 &Qur'an 26:19.

so that manslaughter should not be attributed unto
Him, causing bewilderment and aversion among
the people?
     Likewise, reflect upon the state and condition of
Mary. So deep was the perplexity of that most
beauteous countenance, so grievous her case, that
she bitterly regretted she had ever been born. To
this beareth witness the text of the sacred verse
wherein it is mentioned that after Mary had given
birth to Jesus, she bemoaned her plight and cried
out: "O would that I had died ere this, and been
a thing forgotten, forgotten quite!"+F1 I swear by
God! Such lamenting consumeth the heart and
shaketh the being. Such consternation of soul, such
despondency, could have been caused by no other
than the censure of the enemy and the cavilings
of the infidel and perverse. Reflect, what answer
could Mary have given to the people around her?
How could she claim that a Babe Whose father
was unknown had been conceived of the Holy
Ghost? Therefore did Mary, that veiled and immortal
Countenance, take up her Child and return
unto her home. No sooner had the eyes of the
people fallen upon her than they raised their voice

+F1 &Qur'an 19:22.

saying: "O sister of Aaron! Thy father was not
a man of wickedness, nor unchaste thy mother."+F1
     And now, meditate upon this most great convulsion,
this grievous test. Notwithstanding all
these things, God conferred upon that essence of
the Spirit, Who was known amongst the people as
fatherless, the glory of Prophethood, and made
Him His testimony unto all that are in heaven and
on earth.
     Behold how contrary are the ways of the Manifestations
of God, as ordained by the King of creation,
to the ways and desires of men! As thou
comest to comprehend the essence of these divine
mysteries, thou wilt grasp the purpose of God, the
divine Charmer, the Best-Beloved. Thou wilt regard
the words and the deeds of that almighty
Sovereign as one and the same; in such wise that
whatsoever thou dost behold in His deeds, the
same wilt thou find in His sayings, and whatsoever
thou dost read in His sayings, that wilt thou recognize
in His deeds. Thus it is that outwardly such
deeds and words are the fire of vengeance unto the
wicked, and inwardly the waters of mercy unto the
righteous. Were the eye of the heart to open, it

+F1 &Qur'an 19:28.

would surely perceive that the words revealed
from the heaven of the will of God are at one with,
and the same as, the deeds that have emanated from
the Kingdom of divine power.
     And now, take heed, O brother! If such things
be revealed in this Dispensation, and such incidents
come to pass, at the present time, what would the
people do? I swear by Him Who is the true Educator
of mankind and the Revealer of the Word of
God that the people would instantly and unquestionably
pronounce Him an infidel and would
sentence Him to death. How far are they from
hearkening unto the voice that declareth: Lo! a
Jesus hath appeared out of the breath of the Holy
Ghost, and a Moses summoned to a divinely-appointed
task! Were a myriad voices to be raised, no
ear would listen if We said that upon a fatherless
Child hath been conferred the mission of Prophethood,
or that a murderer hath brought from the
flame of the burning Bush the message of "Verily,
verily, I am God!"
     If the eye of justice be opened, it will readily
recognize, in the light of that which hath been
mentioned, that He, Who is the Cause and ultimate
Purpose of all these things, is made manifest in this

day. Though similar events have not occurred in
this Dispensation, yet the people still cling to such
vain imaginings as are cherished by the reprobate.
How grievous the charges brought against Him!
How severe the persecutions inflicted upon Him--
charges and persecutions the like of which men
have neither seen nor heard!
     Great God! When the stream of utterance
reached this stage, We beheld, and lo! the sweet
savours of God were being wafted from the dayspring
of Revelation, and the morning breeze was
blowing out of the Sheba of the Eternal. Its tidings
rejoiced anew the heart, and imparted immeasurable
gladness to the soul. It made all things
new, and brought unnumbered and inestimable
gifts from the unknowable Friend. The robe of
human praise can never hope to match Its noble
stature, and Its shining figure the mantle of utterance
can never fit. Without word It unfoldeth the
inner mysteries, and without speech It revealeth
the secrets of the divine sayings. It teacheth lamentation
and moaning to the nightingales warbling
upon the bough of remoteness and bereavement,
instructeth them in the art of love's ways, and
showeth them the secret of heart-surrender. To the

flowers of the &Ridvan of heavenly reunion It revealeth
the endearments of the impassioned lover,
and unveileth the charm of the fair. Upon the
anemones of the garden of love It bestoweth the
mysteries of truth, and within the breasts of lovers
It entrusteth the symbols of the innermost subtleties.
At this hour, so liberal is the outpouring of
Its grace that the holy Spirit itself is envious! It
hath imparted to the drop the waves of the sea, and
endowed the mote with the splendour of the sun.
So great are the overflowings of Its bounty that the
foulest beetle hath sought the perfume of the musk,
and the bat the light of the sun. It hath quickened
the dead with the breath of life, and caused them to
speed out of the sepulchres of their mortal bodies.
It hath established the ignorant upon the seats of
learning, and elevated the oppressor to the throne
of justice.
     The universe is pregnant with these manifold
bounties, awaiting the hour when the effects of Its
unseen gifts will be made manifest in this world,
when the languishing and sore athirst will attain
the living &Kawthar of their Well-Beloved, and the
erring wanderer, lost in the wilds of remoteness
and nothingness, will enter the tabernacle of life,

and attain reunion with his heart's desire. In the
soil of whose heart will these holy seeds germinate?
From the garden of whose soul will the blossoms
of the invisible realities spring forth? Verily, I
say, so fierce is the blaze of the Bush of love, burning
in the Sinai of the heart, that the streaming
waters of holy utterance can never quench its flame.
Oceans can never allay this Leviathan's burning
thirst, and this Phoenix of the undying fire can
abide nowhere save in the glow of the countenance
of the Well-Beloved. Therefore, O brother! kindle
with the oil of wisdom the lamp of the spirit within
the innermost chamber of thy heart, and guard
it with the globe of understanding, that the breath
of the infidel may extinguish not its flame nor dim
its brightness. Thus have We illuminated the
heavens of utterance with the splendours of the Sun
of divine wisdom and understanding, that thy
heart may find peace, that thou mayest be of those
who, on the wings of certitude, have soared unto
the heaven of the love of their Lord, the All-Merciful.
     And now, concerning His words: "And then
shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven."
By these words it is meant that when the sun of

the heavenly teachings hath been eclipsed, the stars
of the divinely-established laws have fallen, and
the moon of true knowledge--the educator of mankind--
hath been obscured; when the standards of
guidance and felicity have been reversed, and the
morn of truth and righteousness hath sunk in night,
then shall the sign of the Son of man appear in
heaven. By "heaven" is meant the visible heaven,
inasmuch as when the hour draweth nigh on which
the Day-star of the heaven of justice shall be made
manifest, and the Ark of divine guidance shall sail
upon the sea of glory, a star will appear in the
heaven, heralding unto its people the advent of
that most great light. In like manner, in the invisible
heaven a star shall be made manifest who,
unto the peoples of the earth, shall act as a harbinger
of the break of that true and exalted Morn.
These twofold signs, in the visible and the invisible
heaven, have announced the Revelation of each of
the Prophets of God, as is commonly believed.
     Among the Prophets was Abraham, the Friend
of God. Ere He manifested Himself, Nimrod
dreamed a dream. Thereupon, he summoned the
soothsayers, who informed him of the rise of a star
in the heaven. Likewise, there appeared a herald

who announced throughout the land the coming of
     After Him came Moses, He Who held converse
with God. The soothsayers of His time warned
Pharaoh in these terms: "A star hath risen in the
heaven, and lo! it foreshadoweth the conception of
a Child Who holdeth your fate and the fate of
your people in His hand." In like manner, there
appeared a sage who, in the darkness of the night,
brought tidings of joy unto the people of Israel,
imparting consolation to their souls, and assurance
to their hearts. To this testify the records of the
sacred books. Were the details to be mentioned,
this epistle would swell into a book. Moreover, it
is not Our wish to relate the stories of the days that
are past. God is Our witness that what We even
now mention is due solely to Our tender affection
for thee, that haply the poor of the earth may attain
the shores of the sea of wealth, the ignorant be
led unto the ocean of divine knowledge, and
they that thirst for understanding partake of
the &Salsabil of divine wisdom. Otherwise, this
servant regardeth the consideration of such
records a grave mistake and a grievous transgression.

     In like manner, when the hour of the Revelation
of Jesus drew nigh, a few of the Magi, aware that
the star of Jesus had appeared in heaven, sought
and followed it, till they came unto the city which
was the seat of the Kingdom of Herod. The sway
of his sovereignty in those days embraced the whole
of that land.
     These Magi said: "Where is He that is born
King of the Jews? for we have seen His star
in the east and are come to worship Him!"+F1
When they had searched, they found out that in
Bethlehem, in the land of Judea, the Child had
been born. This was the sign that was manifested
in the visible heaven. As to the sign in the invisible
heaven--the heaven of divine knowledge and understanding--
it was &Yahya, son of Zachariah, who
gave unto the people the tidings of the Manifestation
of Jesus. Even as He hath revealed: "God
announceth &Yahya to thee, who shall bear witness
unto the Word from God, and a great one and
chaste."+F2 By the term "Word" is meant Jesus,
Whose coming &Yahya foretold. Moreover, in the
heavenly Scriptures it is written: "John the Baptist
was preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and

+F1 Matthew 2:2.
+F2 &Qur'an 3:39.

saying, Repent ye: for the Kingdom of heaven is
at hand."+F1 By John is meant &Yahya.
     Likewise, ere the beauty of &Muhammad was unveiled,
the signs of the visible heaven were made
manifest. As to the signs of the invisible heaven,
there appeared four men who successively announced
unto the people the joyful tidings of the
rise of that divine Luminary. &Ruz-bih, later named
&Salman, was honoured by being in their service.
As the end of one of these approached, he would
send &Ruz-bih unto the other, until the fourth who,
feeling his death to be nigh, addressed &Ruz-bih
saying: "O &Ruz-bih! when thou hast taken up my
body and buried it, go to &Hijaz for there the Day-star
of &Muhammad will arise. Happy art thou, for
thou shalt behold His face!"
     And now concerning this wondrous and most
exalted Cause. Know thou verily that many an astronomer
hath announced the appearance of its
star in the visible heaven. Likewise, there appeared
on earth &Ahmad and &Kazim,+F2 those twin resplendent
lights--may God sanctify their resting-place!

+F1 Matthew 3:1-2.
+F2 &Shaykh &Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i and Siyyid &Kazim-i-Rashti.

     From all that We have stated it hath become
clear and manifest that before the revelation of
each of the Mirrors reflecting the divine Essence,
the signs heralding their advent must needs be revealed
in the visible heaven as well as in the invisible,
wherein is the seat of the sun of knowledge, of
the moon of wisdom, and of the stars of understanding
and utterance. The sign of the invisible
heaven must needs be revealed in the person of
that perfect man who, before each Manifestation
appeareth, educateth, and prepareth the souls of
men for the advent of the divine Luminary, the
Light of the unity of God amongst men.
     And now, with reference to His words: "And
then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and
they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds
of heaven with power and great glory." These
words signify that in those days men will lament
the loss of the Sun of the divine beauty, of the
Moon of knowledge, and of the Stars of divine
wisdom. Thereupon, they will behold the countenance
of the promised One, the adored Beauty, descending
from heaven and riding upon the clouds.
By this is meant that the divine Beauty will be
made manifest from the heaven of the will of God,

and will appear in the form of the human temple.
The term "heaven" denoteth loftiness and exaltation,
inasmuch as it is the seat of the revelation of
those Manifestations of Holiness, the Day-springs
of ancient glory. These ancient Beings, though
delivered from the womb of their mother, have in
reality descended from the heaven of the will of
God. Though they be dwelling on this earth, yet
their true habitations are the retreats of glory in
the realms above. Whilst walking amongst mortals,
they soar in the heaven of the divine presence.
Without feet they tread the path of the spirit, and
without wings they rise unto the exalted heights of
divine unity. With every fleeting breath they cover
the immensity of space, and at every moment traverse
the kingdoms of the visible and the invisible.
Upon their thrones is written: "Nothing whatsoever
keepeth Him from being occupied with any
other thing;" and on their seats is inscribed: "Verily,
His ways differ every day."+F1 They are sent
forth through the transcendent power of the Ancient
of Days, and are raised up by the exalted will
of God, the most mighty King. This is what is
meant by the words: "coming in the clouds of

+F1 &Qur'an 55:29.

     In the utterances of the divine Luminaries the
term "heaven" hath been applied to many and divers
things; such as the "heaven of Command,"
the "heaven of Will," the "heaven of the divine
Purpose," the "heaven of divine Knowledge," the
"heaven of Certitude," the "heaven of Utterance,"
the "heaven of Revelation," the "heaven of Concealment,"
and the like. In every instance, He hath
given the term "heaven" a special meaning, the significance
of which is revealed to none save those
that have been initiated into the divine mysteries,
and have drunk from the chalice of immortal life.
For example, He saith: "The heaven hath sustenance
for you, and it containeth that which you are
promised;"+F1 whereas it is the earth that yieldeth
such sustenance. Likewise, it hath been said: "The
names come down from heaven;" whereas they
proceed out of the mouth of men. Wert thou to
cleanse the mirror of thy heart from the dust of
malice, thou wouldst apprehend the meaning of
the symbolic terms revealed by the all-embracing
Word of God made manifest in every Dispensation,
and wouldst discover the mysteries of divine
knowledge. Not, however, until thou consumest
with the flame of utter detachment those veils of

+F1 &Qur'an 51:22.

idle learning, that are current amongst men, canst
thou behold the resplendent morn of true knowledge.
     Know verily that Knowledge is of two kinds:
Divine and Satanic. The one welleth out from the
fountain of divine inspiration; the other is but a
reflection of vain and obscure thoughts. The source
of the former is God Himself; the motive-force of
the latter the whisperings of selfish desire. The one
is guided by the principle: "Fear ye God; God
will teach you;"+F1 the other is but a confirmation of
the truth: "Knowledge is the most grievous veil
between man and his Creator." The former bringeth
forth the fruit of patience, of longing desire, of
true understanding, and love; whilst the latter
can yield naught but arrogance, vainglory and
conceit. From the sayings of those Masters of holy
utterance, Who have expounded the meaning of
true knowledge, the odour of these dark teachings,
which have obscured the world, can in no wise be
detected. The tree of such teachings can yield no
result except iniquity and rebellion, and beareth no
fruit but hatred and envy. Its fruit is deadly poison;
its shadow a consuming fire. How well hath
it been said: "Cling unto the robe of the Desire of

+F1 &Qur'an 2:282.

thy heart, and put thou away all shame; bid the
worldlywise be gone, however great their name."
     The heart must needs therefore be cleansed from
the idle sayings of men, and sanctified from every
earthly affection, so that it may discover the hidden
meaning of divine inspiration, and become the
treasury of the mysteries of divine knowledge.
Thus hath it been said: "He that treadeth the snow-white
Path, and followeth in the footsteps of the
Crimson Pillar, shall never attain unto his abode
unless his hands are empty of those worldly things
cherished by men." This is the prime requisite of
whosoever treadeth this path. Ponder thereon, that,
with eyes unveiled, thou mayest perceive the truth
of these words.
     We have digressed from the purpose of Our argument,
although whatsoever is mentioned serveth
only to confirm Our purpose. By God! however
great Our desire to be brief, yet We feel We cannot
restrain Our pen. Notwithstanding all that
We have mentioned, how innumerable are the
pearls which have remained unpierced in the shell
of Our heart! How many the &huris of inner meaning
that are as yet concealed within the chambers
of divine wisdom! None hath yet approached

them;--&huris, "whom no man nor spirit hath
touched before."+F1 Notwithstanding all that hath
been said, it seemeth as if not one letter of Our
purpose hath been uttered, nor a single sign divulged
concerning Our object. When will a faithful
seeker be found who will don the garb of pilgrimage,
attain the &Ka'bih of the heart's desire,
and, without ear or tongue, discover the mysteries
of divine utterance?
     By these luminous, these conclusive, and lucid
statements, the meaning of "heaven" in the aforementioned
verse hath thus been made clear and
evident. And now regarding His words, that the
Son of man shall "come in the clouds of heaven."
By the term "clouds" is meant those things that are
contrary to the ways and desires of men. Even as
He hath revealed in the verse already quoted: "As
oft as an Apostle cometh unto you with that which
your souls desire not, ye swell with pride, accusing
some of being impostors and slaying others."+F2
These "clouds" signify, in one sense, the annulment
of laws, the abrogation of former Dispensations,
the repeal of rituals and customs current

+F1 &Qur'an 55:56.
+F2 &Qur'an 2:87.

amongst men, the exalting of the illiterate faithful
above the learned opposers of the Faith. In another
sense, they mean the appearance of that immortal
Beauty in the image of mortal man, with such human
limitations as eating and drinking, poverty
and riches, glory and abasement, sleeping and waking,
and such other things as cast doubt in the
minds of men, and cause them to turn away. All
such veils are symbolically referred to as "clouds."
     These are the "clouds" that cause the heavens of
the knowledge and understanding of all that dwell
on earth to be cloven asunder. Even as He hath revealed:
"On that day shall the heaven be cloven
by the clouds."+F1 Even as the clouds prevent the
eyes of men from beholding the sun, so do these
things hinder the souls of men from recognizing
the light of the divine Luminary. To this beareth
witness that which hath proceeded out of the
mouth of the unbelievers as revealed in the sacred
Book: "And they have said: `What manner of
apostle is this? He eateth food, and walketh the
streets. Unless an angel be sent down and take part
in His warnings, we will not believe.'"+F2 Other

+F1 &Qur'an 25:25.
+F2 &Qur'an 25:7.

Prophets, similarly, have been subject to poverty
and afflictions, to hunger, and to the ills and
chances of this world. As these holy Persons were
subject to such needs and wants, the people were,
consequently, lost in the wilds of misgivings and
doubts, and were afflicted with bewilderment and
perplexity. How, they wondered, could such a person
be sent down from God, assert His ascendancy
over all the peoples and kindreds of the earth, and
claim Himself to be the goal of all creation,--
even as He hath said: "But for Thee, I would not
have created all that are in heaven and on earth,"
--and yet be subject to such trivial things? You
must undoubtedly have been informed of the tribulations,
the poverty, the ills, and the degradation
that have befallen every Prophet of God and His
companions. You must have heard how the heads
of their followers were sent as presents unto different
cities, how grievously they were hindered
from that whereunto they were commanded. Each
and every one of them fell a prey to the hands of
the enemies of His Cause, and had to suffer whatsoever
they decreed.
     It is evident that the changes brought about in
every Dispensation constitute the dark clouds that

intervene between the eye of man's understanding
and the divine Luminary which shineth forth from
the dayspring of the divine Essence. Consider how
men for generations have been blindly imitating
their fathers, and have been trained according to
such ways and manners as have been laid down by
the dictates of their Faith. Were these men, therefore,
to discover suddenly that a Man, Who hath
been living in their midst, Who, with respect to
every human limitation, hath been their equal, had
risen to abolish every established principle imposed
by their Faith--principles by which for
centuries they have been disciplined, and every
opposer and denier of which they have come to regard
as infidel, profligate and wicked,--they would
of a certainty be veiled and hindered from
acknowledging His truth. Such things are as
"clouds" that veil the eyes of those whose inner
being hath not tasted the &Salsabil of detachment,
nor drunk from the &Kawthar of the knowledge of
God. Such men, when acquainted with these circumstances,
become so veiled that without the least
question, they pronounce the Manifestation of God
an infidel, and sentence Him to death. You must
have heard of such things taking place all down
the ages, and are now observing them in these days.

     It behooveth us, therefore, to make the utmost
endeavour, that, by God's invisible assistance, these
dark veils, these clouds of Heaven-sent trials, may
not hinder us from beholding the beauty of His
shining Countenance, and that we may recognize
Him only by His own Self. And should we ask for
a testimony of His truth, we should content ourselves
with one, and only one; that thereby we may
attain unto Him Who is the Fountain-head of infinite
grace, and in Whose presence all the world's
abundance fadeth into nothingness, that we may
cease to cavil at Him every day and to cleave unto
our own idle fancy.
     Gracious God! Notwithstanding the warning
which, in marvelously symbolic language and
subtle allusions, hath been uttered in days past, and
which was intended to awaken the peoples of the
world and to prevent them from being deprived of
their share of the billowing ocean of God's grace,
yet such things as have already been witnessed have
come to pass! Reference to these things hath also
been made in the &Qur'an, as witnessed by this
verse: "What can such expect but that God should
come down to them overshadowed with clouds?"+F1

+F1 &Qur'an 2:210.

A number of the divines, who hold firmly to the
letter of the Word of God, have come to regard
this verse as one of the signs of that expected resurrection
which is born of their idle fancy. This,
notwithstanding the fact that similar references
have been made in most of the heavenly Books,
and have been recorded in all the passages
connected with the signs of the coming Manifestation.
     Likewise, He saith: "On the day when the
heaven shall give out a palpable smoke, which shall
enshroud mankind: this will be an afflictive torment."+F1
The All-Glorious hath decreed these very
things, that are contrary to the desires of wicked
men, to be the touchstone and standard whereby
He proveth His servants, that the just may be
known from the wicked, and the faithful distinguished
from the infidel. The symbolic term
"smoke" denotes grave dissensions, the abrogation
and demolition of recognized standards, and the
utter destruction of their narrow-minded exponents.
What smoke more dense and overpowering
than the one which hath now enshrouded all the
peoples of the world, which hath become a torment

+F1 &Qur'an 44:10.

unto them, and from which they hopelessly fail to
deliver themselves, however much they strive?
So fierce is this fire of self burning within them,
that at every moment they seem to be afflicted with
fresh torments. The more they are told that this
wondrous Cause of God, this Revelation from the
Most High, hath been made manifest to all mankind,
and is waxing greater and stronger every day,
the fiercer groweth the blaze of the fire in their
hearts. The more they observe the indomitable
strength, the sublime renunciation, the unwavering
constancy of God's holy companions, who, by the
aid of God, are growing nobler and more glorious
every day, the deeper the dismay which ravageth
their souls. In these days, praise be to God, the
power of His Word hath obtained such ascendancy
over men, that they dare breathe no word. Were
they to encounter one of the companions of God
who, if he could, would, freely and joyously, offer
up ten thousand lives as a sacrifice for his Beloved,
so great would be their fear, that they forthwith
would profess their faith in Him, whilst privily
they would vilify and execrate His name! Even as
He hath revealed: "And when they meet you, they
say, `We believe'; but when they are apart, they
bite their fingers' ends at you, out of wrath. Say:

`Die in your wrath!' God truly knoweth the very
recesses of your breasts."+F1
     Ere long, thine eyes will behold the standards of
divine power unfurled throughout all regions, and
the signs of His triumphant might and sovereignty
manifest in every land. As most of the divines have
failed to apprehend the meaning of these verses,
and have not grasped the significance of the Day
of Resurrection, they therefore have foolishly interpreted
these verses according to their idle and
faulty conception. The one true God is My witness!
Little perception is required to enable them
to gather from the symbolic language of these two
verses all that We have purposed to propound, and
thus to attain, through the grace of the All-Merciful,
the resplendent morn of certitude. Such are the
strains of celestial melody which the immortal
Bird of Heaven, warbling upon the Sadrih of
&Baha, poureth out upon thee, that, by the permission
of God, thou mayest tread the path of divine
knowledge and wisdom.
     And now, concerning His words: "And He shall
send His angels...." By "angels" is meant those
who, reinforced by the power of the spirit, have

+F1 &Qur'an 3:119.

consumed, with the fire of the love of God, all human
traits and limitations, and have clothed themselves
with the attributes of the most exalted Beings
and of the Cherubim. That holy man, &Sadiq,+F1
in his eulogy of the Cherubim, saith: "There stand
a company of our &fellow-Shi'ihs behind the
Throne." Divers and manifold are the interpretations
of the words "behind the Throne." In one
sense, they indicate that no true &Shi'ihs exist.
Even as he hath said in another passage: "A true
believer is likened unto the philosopher's stone."
Addressing subsequently his listener, he saith:
"Hast thou ever seen the philosopher's stone?" Reflect,
how this symbolic language, more eloquent
than any speech, however direct, testifieth to the
non-existence of a true believer. Such is the testimony
of &Sadiq. And now consider, how unfair and
numerous are those who, although they themselves
have failed to inhale the fragrance of belief, have
condemned as infidels those by whose word belief
itself is recognized and established.
     And now, inasmuch as these holy beings have
sanctified themselves from every human limitation,
have become endowed with the attributes of the

+F1 The sixth &Imam of the &Shi'ihs.

spiritual, and have been adorned with the noble
traits of the blessed, they therefore have been designated
as "angels." Such is the meaning of these
verses, every word of which hath been expounded
by the aid of the most lucid texts, the most convincing
arguments, and the best established evidences.
     As the adherents of Jesus have never understood
the hidden meaning of these words, and as the
signs which they and the leaders of their Faith
have expected have failed to appear, they therefore
refused to acknowledge, even until now, the
truth of those Manifestations of Holiness that have
since the days of Jesus been made manifest. They
have thus deprived themselves of the outpourings
of God's holy grace, and of the wonders of His
divine utterance. Such is their low estate in this,
the Day of Resurrection! They have even failed to
perceive that were the signs of the Manifestation
of God in every age to appear in the visible realm
in accordance with the text of established traditions,
none could possibly deny or turn away, nor
would the blessed be distinguished from the miserable,
and the transgressor from the God-fearing.
Judge fairly: Were the prophecies recorded in the

Gospel to be literally fulfilled; were Jesus, Son of
Mary, accompanied by angels, to descend from the
visible heaven upon the clouds; who would dare to
disbelieve, who would dare to reject the truth, and
wax disdainful? Nay, such consternation would
immediately seize all the dwellers of the earth that
no soul would feel able to utter a word, much less
to reject or accept the truth. It was owing to their
misunderstanding of these truths that many a
Christian divine hath objected to &Muhammad,
and voiced his protest in such words: "If Thou art
in truth the promised Prophet, why then art Thou
not accompanied by those angels our sacred Books
foretold, and which must needs descend with the
promised Beauty to assist Him in His Revelation
and act as warners unto His people?" Even as the
All-Glorious hath recorded their statement: "Why
hath not an angel been sent down to him, so that
he should have been a warner with Him?"+F1
     Such objections and differences have persisted
in every age and century. The people have always
busied themselves with such specious discourses,
vainly protesting: "Wherefore hath not this or that
sign appeared?" Such ills befell them only because

+F1 &Qur'an 25:7.

they have clung to the ways of the divines of the
age in which they lived, and blindly imitated them
in accepting or denying these Essences of Detachment,
these holy and divine Beings. These leaders,
owing to their immersion in selfish desires, and
their pursuit of transitory and sordid things, have
regarded these divine Luminaries as being opposed
to the standards of their knowledge and understanding,
and the opponents of their ways and
judgments. As they have literally interpreted the
Word of God, and the sayings and traditions of
the Letters of Unity, and expounded them according
to their own deficient understanding, they have
therefore deprived themselves and all their people
of the bountiful showers of the grace and mercies
of God. And yet they bear witness to this well-known
tradition: "Verily Our Word is abstruse,
bewilderingly abstruse." In another instance, it is
said: "Our Cause is sorely trying, highly perplexing;
none can bear it except a favorite of heaven,
or an inspired Prophet, or he whose faith God
hath tested." These leaders of religion admit that
none of these three specified conditions is applicable
to them. The first two conditions are manifestly
beyond their reach; as to the third, it is evident
that at no time have they been proof against

those tests that have been sent by God, and that
when the divine Touchstone appeared, they have
shown themselves to be naught but dross.
     Great God! Notwithstanding their acceptance
of the truth of this tradition, these divines who are
still doubtful of, and dispute about, the theological
obscurities of their faith, yet claim to be the
exponents of the subtleties of the law of God, and
the expounders of the essential mysteries of His
holy Word. They confidently assert that such traditions
as indicate the advent of the expected
&Qa'im have not yet been fulfilled, whilst they themselves
have failed to inhale the fragrance of the
meaning of these traditions, and are still oblivious
of the fact that all the signs foretold have come to
pass, that the way of God's holy Cause hath been
revealed, and the concourse of the faithful, swift as
lightning, are, even now, passing upon that way,
whilst these foolish divines wait expecting to witness
the signs foretold. Say, O ye foolish ones!
Wait ye even as those before you are waiting!
     Were they to be questioned concerning those
signs that must needs herald the revelation and rise
of the sun of the &Muhammadan Dispensation, to
which We have already referred, none of which

have been literally fulfilled, and were it to be said
to them: "Wherefore have ye rejected the claims
advanced by Christians and the peoples of other
faiths and regard them as infidels," knowing not
what answer to give, they will reply: "These Books
have been corrupted and are not, and never have
been, of God." Reflect: the words of the verses
themselves eloquently testify to the truth that they
are of God. A similar verse hath been also revealed
in the &Qur'an, were ye of them that comprehend.
Verily I say, throughout all this period they have
utterly failed to comprehend what is meant by corrupting
the text.
     Yea, in the writings and utterances of the Mirrors
reflecting the sun of the &Muhammadan Dispensation
mention hath been made of "Modification
by the exalted beings" and "alteration by the
disdainful." Such passages, however, refer only to
particular cases. Among them is the story of &Ibn-i-Suriya.
When the people of &Khaybar asked the
focal center of the &Muhammadan Revelation concerning
the penalty of adultery committed between
a married man and a married woman, &Muhammad
answered and said: "The law of God is death
by stoning." Whereupon they protested saying:

"No such law hath been revealed in the Pentateuch."
&Muhammad answered and said: "Whom
do ye regard among your rabbis as being a recognized
authority and having a sure knowledge of
the truth?" They agreed upon &Ibn-i-Suriya. Thereupon
&Muhammad summoned him and said: "I
adjure thee by God Who clove the sea for you,
caused manna to descend upon you, and the cloud
to overshadow you, Who delivered you from Pharaoh
and his people, and exalted you above all human
beings, to tell us what Moses hath decreed
concerning adultery between a married man and a
married woman." He made reply: "O &Muhammad!
death by stoning is the law." &Muhammad observed:
"Why is it then that this law is annulled
and hath ceased to operate among the Jews?" He
answered and said: "When Nebuchadnezzar delivered
Jerusalem to the flames, and put the Jews
to death, only a few survived. The divines of that
age, considering the extremely limited number of
the Jews, and the multitude of the Amalekites,
took counsel together, and came to the conclusion
that were they to enforce the law of the Pentateuch,
every survivor who hath been delivered from the
hand of Nebuchadnezzar would have to be put to
death according to the verdict of the Book. Owing

to such considerations, they totally repealed the
penalty of death." Meanwhile Gabriel inspired
&Muhammad's illumined heart with these words:
"They pervert the text of the Word of God."+F1
     This is one of the instances that have been referred
to. Verily by "perverting" the text is not
meant that which these foolish and abject souls
have fancied, even as some maintain that Jewish
and Christian divines have effaced from the Book
such verses as extol and magnify the countenance
of &Muhammad, and instead thereof have inserted
the contrary. How utterly vain and false are these
words! Can a man who believeth in a book, and
deemeth it to be inspired by God, mutilate it?
Moreover, the Pentateuch had been spread over
the surface of the earth, and was not confined
to Mecca and Medina, so that they could privily
corrupt and pervert its text. Nay, rather, by corruption
of the text is meant that in which all Muslim
divines are engaged today, that is the interpretation
of God's holy Book in accordance with their
idle imaginings and vain desires. And as the Jews,
in the time of &Muhammad, interpreted those verses
of the Pentateuch, that referred to His Manifestation,

+F1 &Qur'an 4:45.

after their own fancy, and refused to be satisfied
with His holy utterance, the charge of "perverting"
the text was therefore pronounced against
them. Likewise, it is clear, how in this day, the
people of the &Qur'an have perverted the text of
God's holy Book, concerning the signs of the expected
Manifestation, and interpreted it according
to their inclination and desires.
     In yet another instance, He saith: "A part of
them heard the Word of God, and then, after they
had understood it, distorted it, and knew that they
did so."+F1 This verse, too, doth indicate that the
meaning of the Word of God hath been perverted,
not that the actual words have been effaced. To the
truth of this testify they that are sound of mind.
     Again in another instance, He saith: "Woe unto
those who, with their own hands, transcribe the
Book corruptly, and then say: `This is from God,'
that they may sell it for some mean price."+F2 This
verse was revealed with reference to the divines
and leaders of the Jewish Faith. These divines, in
order to please the rich, acquire worldly emoluments,
and give vent to their envy and misbelief,

+F1 &Qur'an 2:75.
+F2 &Qur'an 2:79.

wrote a number of treatises, refuting the claims of
&Muhammad, supporting their arguments with such
evidences as it would be improper to mention, and
claimed that these arguments were derived from
the text of the Pentateuch.
     The same may be witnessed today. Consider
how abundant are the denunciations written by the
foolish divines of this age against this most wondrous
Cause! How vain their imaginings that these
calumnies are in conformity with the verses of
God's sacred Book, and in consonance with the utterances
of men of discernment!
     Our purpose in relating these things is to warn
you that were they to maintain that those verses
wherein the signs referred to in the Gospel are
mentioned have been perverted, were they to reject
them, and cling instead to other verses and traditions,
you should know that their words were
utter falsehood and sheer calumny. Yea "corruption"
of the text, in the sense We have referred to,
hath been actually effected in particular instances.
A few of these We have mentioned, that it may
become manifest to every discerning observer that
unto a few untutored holy Men hath been given
the mastery of human learning, so that the malevolent

opposer may cease to contend that a certain
verse doth indicate "corruption" of the text, and
insinuate that We, through lack of knowledge,
have made mention of such things. Moreover, most
of the verses that indicate "corruption" of the text
have been revealed with reference to the Jewish
people, were ye to explore the isles of &Qur'anic
     We have also heard a number of the foolish of
the earth assert that the genuine text of the heavenly
Gospel doth not exist amongst the Christians,
that it hath ascended unto heaven. How grievously
they have erred! How oblivious of the fact that
such a statement imputeth the gravest injustice and
tyranny to a gracious and loving Providence! How
could God, when once the Day-star of the beauty
of Jesus had disappeared from the sight of His
people, and ascended unto the fourth heaven, cause
His holy Book, His most great testimony amongst
His creatures, to disappear also? What would be
left to that people to cling to from the setting of
the day-star of Jesus until the rise of the sun of
the &Muhammadan Dispensation? What law could
be their stay and guide? How could such people be
made the victims of the avenging wrath of God,

the omnipotent Avenger? How could they be afflicted
with the scourge of chastisement by the
heavenly King? Above all, how could the flow of
the grace of the All-Bountiful be stayed? How
could the ocean of His tender mercies be stilled?
We take refuge with God, from that which His
creatures have fancied about Him! Exalted is He
above their comprehension!
     Dear friend! Now when the light of God's everlasting
Morn is breaking; when the radiance of
His holy words: "God is the light of the heavens
and of the earth"+F1 is shedding illumination upon
all mankind; when the inviolability of His tabernacle
is being proclaimed by His sacred utterance:
"God hath willed to perfect His light;"+F2 and the
Hand of omnipotence, bearing His testimony: "In
His grasp He holdeth the kingdom of all things,"
is being outstretched unto all the peoples and kindreds
of the earth; it behooveth us to gird up the
loins of endeavour, that haply, by the grace and
bounty of God, we may enter the celestial City:
"Verily, we are God's," and abide within the exalted
habitation: "And unto Him we do return."

+F1 &Qur'an 24:35.
+F2 &Qur'an 9:33.

It is incumbent upon thee, by the permission of
God, to cleanse the eye of thine heart from the
things of the world, that thou mayest realize the
infinitude of divine knowledge, and mayest behold
Truth so clearly that thou wilt need no proof to
demonstrate His reality, nor any evidence to bear
witness unto His testimony.
     O affectionate seeker! Shouldst thou soar in the
holy realm of the spirit, thou wouldst recognize
God manifest and exalted above all things, in such
wise that thine eyes would behold none else but
Him. "God was alone; there was none else besides
Him." So lofty is this station that no testimony
can bear it witness, neither evidence do justice
to its truth. Wert thou to explore the sacred
domain of truth, thou wilt find that all things are
known only by the light of His recognition, that
He hath ever been, and will continue for ever to
be, known through Himself. And if thou dwellest
in the land of testimony, content thyself with that
which He, Himself, hath revealed: "Is it not
enough for them that We have sent down unto
Thee the Book?"+F1 This is the testimony which He,
Himself, hath ordained; greater proof than this

+F1 &Qur'an 29:51

there is none, nor ever will be: "This proof is
His Word; His own Self, the testimony of His
     And now, We beseech the people of the &Bayan,
all the learned, the sages, the divines, and witnesses
amongst them, not to forget the wishes and admonitions
revealed in their Book. Let them, at all
times, fix their gaze upon the essentials of His
Cause, lest when He, Who is the Quintessence of
truth, the inmost Reality of all things, the Source
of all light, is made manifest, they cling unto certain
passages of the Book, and inflict upon Him
that which was inflicted in the Dispensation of the
&Qur'an. For, verily, powerful is He, the King of
divine might, to extinguish with one letter of His
wondrous words, the breath of life in the whole of
the &Bayan and the people thereof, and with one
letter bestow upon them a new and everlasting life,
and cause them to arise and speed out of the
sepulchres of their vain and selfish desires. Take
heed, and be watchful; and remember that all
things have their consummation in belief in Him,
in attainment unto His day, and in the realization
of His divine presence. "There is no piety in turning
your faces toward the east or toward the west,

but he is pious who believeth in God and the Last
Day."+F1 Give ear, O people of the &Bayan, unto the
truth whereunto We have admonished you, that
haply ye may seek the shelter of the shadow extended,
in the Day of God, upon all mankind.

+F1 &Qur'an 2:176.

               END OF PART ONE


                   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 men.

     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."+F1 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

+F1 &Qur'an 6:103.

between His Word and they that are created of
it? The verse: "God would have you beware of
Himself"+F1 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 things.
     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

+F1 &Qur'an 3:28.

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."+F1
Again He saith: "And also in your own selves:
will ye not then behold the signs of God?"+F2 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."+F3 In this connection,
He Who is the eternal King--may the souls
of all that dwell within the mystic Tabernacle be

+F1 &Qur'an 41:53.
+F2 &Qur'an 51:21.
+F3 &Qur'an 59:19.

a sacrifice unto Him--hath spoken: "He hath
known God who hath known himself."
     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."+F1 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.

+F1 &Qur'an 2:253.

     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
     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

+F1 &Qur'an 7:145.

divine knowledge, and the eternal meads of celestial
     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
     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."+F1
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

+F1 &Qur'an 6:35.

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
     This is the significance of the well-known words:
"The wolf and the lamb shall feed together."+F1 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!"+F2
     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

+F1 Isaiah 65:25.
+F2 &Qur'an 7:178.

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.'"+F1 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?'"+F2 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!"+F3
     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

+F1 &Qur'an 11:7.
+F2 &Qur'an 13:5.
+F3 &Qur'an 50:15.

him an impeller and a witness."+F1 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.

+F1 &Qur'an 50:20.

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.'"+F1 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

+F1 &Qur'an 17:51.

bat of darkness can never face the splendour of the
     Such things have come to pass in the days of
every Manifestation of God. Even as Jesus said:
"Ye must be born again."+F1 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."+F2 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.

+F1 John 3:7.
+F2 John 3:5-6.

Even as it hath been previously recorded: "Hearts
have they with which they understand not."+F1
     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."+F2
     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

+F1 &Qur'an 7:178.
+F2 Luke 9:60.

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,"+F1
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?"+F2 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

+F1 Title of the uncle of &Muhammad.
+F2 &Qur'an 6:122.

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
     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
     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 Him!

     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."+F1
"Fain would they put out God's light with their
mouths: But God hath willed to perfect His light,
albeit the infidels abhor it."+F2 "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!"+F3
     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

+F1 &Qur'an 37:173.
+F2 &Qur'an 9:33.
+F3 &Qur'an 11:18.

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
     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
     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."+F1 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

+F1 &Qur'an 35:15.

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."+F1 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

+F1 Cf. Luke 5:18-26.

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!"+F1 "As Thou livest, O &Muhammad!
they are seized by the frenzy of their
vain fancies."+F2
     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

+F1 &Qur'an 6:91.
+F2 &Qur'an 15:72.

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!"+F1 "The hand of
God is above their hands."+F2
     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

+F1 &Qur'an 5:64.
+F2 &Qur'an 48:10.

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."+F1 Also He saith:
"They who bear in mind that they shall attain unto
the Presence of their Lord, and that unto Him

+F1 &Qur'an 29:23.

shall they return."+F1 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!'"+F2 In yet
another instance He revealeth: "Let him then who
hopeth to attain the presence of his Lord work a
righteous work."+F3 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."+F4
     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

+F1 &Qur'an 2:46.
+F2 &Qur'an 2:249.
+F3 &Qur'an 18:111.
+F4 &Qur'an 13:2.

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"+F1 is eloquent testimony thereto;
and "We noted all things and wrote them
down,"+F2 a faithful witness thereof. Now, if by

+F1 &Qur'an 17:44.
+F2 &Qur'an 78:29.

"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."+F1 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
     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

+F1 &Qur'an 57:3.

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,"+F1
--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

+F1 &Qur'an 2:210.

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
     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."+F1 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,

+F1 &Qur'an 28:5.

"What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm:
for with Him is the Source of Revelation."+F1
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

+F1 &Qur'an 13:41.

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."+F1 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

+F1 &Qur'an 3:183.

of truth."+F1 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.

+F1 &Qur'an 3:182.

     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!"+F1 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

+F1 &Qur'an 2:89.

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 from the one
Cup of the love of God, and all partake of the
fruit of the same Tree of Oneness. These Manifestations
of God have each a twofold station. One is
the station of pure abstraction and essential unity.
In this respect, if thou callest them all by one
name, and dost ascribe to them the same attribute,
thou hast not erred from the truth. Even as He
hath revealed: "No distinction do We make
between any of His Messengers!"+F1 For they one
and all summon the people of the earth to acknowledge
the Unity of God, and herald unto them the
&Kawthar of an infinite grace and bounty. They are
all invested with the robe of Prophethood, and
honoured with the mantle of glory. Thus hath

+F1 &Qur'an 2:285.

&Muhammad, the Point of the &Qur'an, revealed: "I
am all the Prophets." Likewise, He saith: "I am
the first Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus." Similar
statements have been made by &Ali. Sayings such
as this, which indicate the essential unity of those
Exponents of Oneness, have also emanated from
the Channels of God's immortal utterance, and the
Treasuries of the gems of divine knowledge,
and have been recorded in the scriptures. These
Countenances are the recipients of the Divine
Command, and the day-springs of His Revelation.
This Revelation is exalted above the veils of plurality
and the exigencies of number. Thus He saith:
"Our Cause is but one."+F1 Inasmuch as the Cause
is one and the same, the Exponents thereof also
must needs be one and the same. Likewise, the
&Imams of the &Muhammadan Faith, those lamps of
certitude, have said: "&Muhammad is our first,
&Muhammad our last, &Muhammad our all."
     It is clear and evident to thee that all the Prophets
are the Temples of the Cause of God, Who
have appeared clothed in divers attire. If thou wilt
observe with discriminating eyes, thou wilt behold
them all abiding in the same tabernacle, soaring

+F1 &Qur'an 54:50.

in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne,
uttering the same speech, and proclaiming the
same Faith. Such is the unity of those Essences of
being, those Luminaries of infinite and immeasurable
splendour. Wherefore, should one of these
Manifestations of Holiness proclaim saying: "I
am the return of all the Prophets," He verily
speaketh the truth. In like manner, in every subsequent
Revelation, the return of the former Revelation
is a fact, the truth of which is firmly established.
Inasmuch as the return of the Prophets of
God, as attested by verses and traditions, hath been
conclusively demonstrated, the return of their
chosen ones also is therefore definitely proven.
This return is too manifest in itself to require any
evidence or proof. For instance, consider that
among the Prophets was Noah. When He was invested
with the robe of Prophethood, and was
moved by the Spirit of God to arise and proclaim
His Cause, whoever believed in Him and acknowledged
His Faith, was endowed with the grace of a
new life. Of him it could be truly said that he was
reborn and revived, inasmuch as previous to his
belief in God and his acceptance of His Manifestation,
he had set his affections on the things of the
world, such as attachment to earthly goods, to

wife, children, food, drink, and the like, so much
so that in the day-time and in the night season his
one concern had been to amass riches and procure
for himself the means of enjoyment and pleasure.
Aside from these things, before his partaking of
the reviving waters of faith, he had been so
wedded to the traditions of his forefathers, and so
passionately devoted to the observance of their
customs and laws, that he would have preferred to
suffer death rather than violate one letter of those
superstitious forms and manners current amongst
his people. Even as the people have cried: "Verily
we found our fathers with a faith, and verily, in
their footsteps we follow."+F1
     These same people, though wrapt in all these
veils of limitation, and despite the restraint of such
observances, as soon as they drank the immortal
draught of faith, from the cup of certitude, at the
hand of the Manifestation of the All-Glorious,
were so transformed that they would renounce for
His sake their kindred, their substance, their lives,
their beliefs, yea, all else save God! So overpowering
was their yearning for God, so uplifting their
transports of ecstatic delight, that the world and

+F1 &Qur'an 43:22.

all that is therein faded before their eyes into
nothingness. Have not this people exemplified the
mysteries of "rebirth" and "return"? Hath it not
been witnessed that these same people, ere they
were endued with the new and wondrous grace of
God, sought through innumerable devices, to
ensure the protection of their lives against destruction?
Would not a thorn fill them with terror, and
the sight of a fox put them to flight? But once having
been honoured with God's supreme distinction,
and having been vouchsafed His bountiful
grace, they would, if they were able, have freely
offered up ten thousand lives in His path! Nay,
their blessed souls, contemptuous of the cage of
their bodies, would yearn for deliverance. A single
warrior of that host would face and fight a multitude!
And yet, how could they, but for the transformation
wrought in their lives, be capable of
manifesting such deeds which are contrary to the
ways of men and incompatible with their worldly
     It is evident that nothing short of this mystic
transformation could cause such spirit and behaviour,
so utterly unlike their previous habits and
manners, to be made manifest in the world of

being. For their agitation was turned into peace,
their doubt into certitude, their timidity into courage.
Such is the potency of the Divine Elixir,
which, swift as the twinkling of an eye, transmuteth
the souls of men!
     For instance, consider the substance of copper.
Were it to be protected in its own mine from becoming
solidified, it would, within the space of
seventy years, attain to the state of gold. There are
some, however, who maintain that copper itself is
gold, which by becoming solidified is in a diseased
condition, and hath not therefore reached its own
     Be that as it may, the real elixir will, in one
instant, cause the substance of copper to attain the
state of gold, and will traverse the seventy-year
stages in a single moment. Could this gold be
called copper? Could it be claimed that it hath not
attained the state of gold, whilst the touch-stone is
at hand to assay it and distinguish it from copper?
     Likewise, these souls, through the potency of the
Divine Elixir, traverse, in the twinkling of an eye,
the world of dust and advance into the realm of
holiness; and with one step cover the earth of limitations
and reach the domain of the Placeless. It

behooveth thee to exert thine utmost to attain unto
this Elixir which, in one fleeting breath, causeth
the west of ignorance to reach the east of knowledge,
illuminates the darkness of night with the
resplendence of the morn, guideth the wanderer in
the wilderness of doubt to the well-spring of the
Divine Presence and Fount of certitude, and conferreth
upon mortal souls the honour of acceptance
into the &Ridvan of immortality. Now, could this
gold be thought to be copper, these people could
likewise be thought to be the same as before they
were endowed with faith.
     O brother, behold how the inner mysteries of
"rebirth," of "return," and of "resurrection" have
each, through these all-sufficing, these unanswerable,
and conclusive utterances, been unveiled and
unravelled before thine eyes. God grant that
through His gracious and invisible assistance, thou
mayest divest thy body and soul of the old garment,
and array thyself with the new and imperishable
     Therefore, those who in every subsequent Dispensation
preceded the rest of mankind in embracing
the Faith of God, who quaffed the clear
waters of knowledge at the hand of the divine
Beauty, and attained the loftiest summits of faith

and certitude, these can be regarded, in name, in
reality, in deeds, in words, and in rank, as the "return"
of those who in a former Dispensation had
achieved similar distinctions. For whatsoever the
people of a former Dispensation have manifested,
the same hath been shown by the people of this
latter generation. Consider the rose: whether it
blossometh in the East or in the West, it is none
the less a rose. For what mattereth in this respect is
not the outward shape and form of the rose, but
rather the smell and fragrance which it doth
     Purge thy sight, therefore, from all earthly limitations,
that thou mayest behold them all as the
bearers of one Name, the exponents of one Cause,
the manifestations of one Self, and the revealers of
one Truth, and that thou mayest apprehend the
mystic "return" of the Words of God as unfolded
by these utterances. Reflect for a while upon the
behaviour of the companions of the &Muhammadan
Dispensation. Consider how, through the reviving
breath of &Muhammad, they were cleansed from
the defilements of earthly vanities, were delivered
from selfish desires, and were detached from all
else but Him. Behold how they preceded all the

peoples of the earth in attaining unto His holy
Presence--the Presence of God Himself--how
they renounced the world and all that is therein,
and sacrificed freely and joyously their lives at the
feet of that Manifestation of the All-Glorious.
And now, observe the "return" of the self-same
determination, the self-same constancy and renunciation,
manifested by the companions of the Point
of the &Bayan.+F1 Thou hast witnessed how these companions
have, through the wonders of the grace of
the Lord of Lords, hoisted the standards of sublime
renunciation upon the inaccessible heights of
glory. These Lights have proceeded from but one
Source, and these fruits are the fruits of one Tree.
Thou canst discern neither difference nor distinction
among them. All this is by the grace of God!
On whom He will, He bestoweth His grace.
Please God, that we avoid the land of denial, and
advance into the ocean of acceptance, so that we
may perceive, with an eye purged from all conflicting
elements, the worlds of unity and diversity,
of variation and oneness, of limitation and detachment,
and wing our flight unto the highest and innermost
sanctuary of the inner meaning of the
Word of God.

+F1 The &Bab.

     From these statements therefore it hath been
made evident and manifest that should a Soul in
the "End that knoweth no end" be made manifest,
and arise to proclaim and uphold a Cause which in
"the Beginning that hath no beginning" another
Soul had proclaimed and upheld, it can be truly
declared of Him Who is the Last and of Him
Who was the First that they are one and the same,
inasmuch as both are the Exponents of one and the
same Cause. For this reason, hath the Point of the
&Bayan--may the life of all else but Him be His
sacrifice!--likened the Manifestations of God unto
the sun which, though it rise from the "Beginning
that hath no beginning" until the "End that
knoweth no end," is none the less the same sun.
Now, wert thou to say, that this sun is the former
sun, thou speakest the truth; and if thou sayest
that this sun is the "return" of that sun, thou also
speakest the truth. Likewise, from this statement it
is made evident that the term "last" is applicable
to the "first," and the term "first" applicable to the
"last;" inasmuch as both the "first" and the "last"
have risen to proclaim one and the same Faith.
     Notwithstanding the obviousness of this theme,
in the eyes of those that have quaffed the wine of

knowledge and certitude, yet how many are those
who, through failure to understand its meaning,
have allowed the term "Seal of the Prophets" to
obscure their understanding, and deprive them of
the grace of all His manifold bounties! Hath not
&Muhammad, Himself, declared: "I am all the
Prophets?" Hath He not said as We have already
mentioned: "I am Adam, Noah, Moses, and
Jesus?" Why should &Muhammad, that immortal
Beauty, Who hath said: "I am the first Adam" be
incapable of saying also: "I am the last Adam"?
For even as He regarded Himself to be the "First
of the Prophets"--that is Adam--in like manner,
the "Seal of the Prophets" is also applicable unto
that Divine Beauty. It is admittedly obvious
that being the "First of the Prophets," He likewise
is their "Seal."
     The mystery of this theme hath, in this Dispensation,
been a sore test unto all mankind. Behold,
how many are those who, clinging unto these
words, have disbelieved Him Who is their true
Revealer. What, We ask, could this people presume
the terms "first" and "last"--when referring
to God--glorified be His Name!--to mean? If
they maintain that these terms bear reference to

this material universe, how could it be possible,
when the visible order of things is still manifestly
existing? Nay, in this instance, by "first" is meant
no other than the "last" and by "last" no other than
the "first."
     Even as in the "Beginning that hath no beginnings"
the term "last" is truly applicable unto
Him who is the Educator of the visible and of the
invisible, in like manner, are the terms "first" and
"last" applicable unto His Manifestations. They
are at the same time the Exponents of both the
"first" and the "last." Whilst established upon the
seat of the "first," they occupy the throne of the
"last." Were a discerning eye to be found, it will
readily perceive that the exponents of the "first"
and the "last," of the "manifest" and the "hidden,"
of the "beginning" and the "seal" are none other
than these holy Beings, these Essences of Detachment,
these divine Souls. And wert thou to soar in
the holy realm of "God was alone, there was none
else besides Him," thou wilt find in that Court all
these names utterly non-existent and completely
forgotten. Then will thine eyes no longer be obscured
by these veils, these terms, and allusions.
How ethereal and lofty is this station, unto which

even Gabriel, unshepherded, can never attain, and
the Bird of Heaven, unassisted, can never reach!
     And, now, strive thou to comprehend the meaning
of this saying of &Ali, the Commander of the
Faithful: "Piercing the veils of glory, unaided."
Among these "veils of glory" are the divines and
doctors living in the days of the Manifestation of
God, who, because of their want of discernment
and their love and eagerness for leadership, have
failed to submit to the Cause of God, nay, have
even refused to incline their ears unto the divine
Melody. "They have thrust their fingers into their
ears."+F1 And the people also, utterly ignoring God
and taking them for their masters, have placed
themselves unreservedly under the authority of
these pompous and hypocritical leaders, for they
have no sight, no hearing, no heart, of their own to
distinguish truth from falsehood.
     Notwithstanding the divinely-inspired admonitions
of all the Prophets, the Saints, and Chosen
ones of God, enjoining the people to see with their
own eyes and hear with their own ears, they have
disdainfully rejected their counsels and have
blindly followed, and will continue to follow, the

+F1 &Qur'an 2:19.

leaders of their Faith. Should a poor and obscure
person, destitute of the attire of men of learning,
address them saying: "Follow ye, O people!
the Messengers of God,"+F1 they would, greatly surprised
at such a statement, reply: "What! Meanest
thou that all these divines, all these exponents of
learning, with all their authority, their pomp and
pageantry, have erred, and failed to distinguish
truth from falsehood? Dost thou, and people like
thyself, pretend to have comprehended that which
they have not understood?" If numbers and excellence
of apparel be regarded as the criterions of
learning and truth, the peoples of a bygone age,
whom those of today have never surpassed in
numbers, magnificence and power, should certainly
be accounted a superior and worthier
     It is clear and evident that whenever the Manifestations
of Holiness were revealed, the divines of
their day have hindered the people from attaining
unto the way of truth. To this testify the records of
all the scriptures and heavenly books. Not one
Prophet of God was made manifest Who did not
fall a victim to the relentless hate, to the denunciation,

+F1 &Qur'an 36:20.

denial, and execration of the clerics of His
day! Woe unto them for the iniquities their hands
have formerly wrought! Woe unto them for that
which they are now doing! What veils of glory
more grievous than these embodiments of error!
By the righteousness of God! to pierce such veils
is the mightiest of all acts, and to rend them
asunder the most meritorious of all deeds! May
God assist us and assist you, O concourse of the
Spirit! that perchance ye may in the time of His
Manifestation be graciously aided to perform
such deeds, and may in His days attain unto the
Presence of God.
     Furthermore, among the "veils of glory" are
such terms as the "Seal of the Prophets" and the
like, the removal of which is a supreme achievement
in the sight of these base-born and erring
souls. All, by reason of these mysterious sayings,
these grievous "veils of glory," have been hindered
from beholding the light of truth. Have they not
heard the melody of that bird of Heaven,+F1 uttering
this mystery: "A thousand &Fatimihs I have
espoused, all of whom were the daughters of &Muhammad,
Son of &Abdu'llah, the `Seal of the

+F1 &Imam &Ali.

Prophets?'" Behold, how many are the mysteries
that lie as yet unravelled within the tabernacle of
the knowledge of God, and how numerous the
gems of His wisdom that are still concealed in His
inviolable treasuries! Shouldest thou ponder this
in thine heart, thou wouldst realize that His
handiwork knoweth neither beginning nor end.
The domain of His decree is too vast for the
tongue of mortals to describe, or for the bird of the
human mind to traverse; and the dispensations of
His providence are too mysterious for the mind of
man to comprehend. His creation no end hath
overtaken, and it hath ever existed from the "Beginning
that hath no beginning"; and the Manifestations
of His Beauty no beginning hath beheld,
and they will continue to the "End that knoweth
no end." Ponder this utterance in thine heart, and
reflect how it is applicable unto all these holy
     Likewise, strive thou to comprehend the meaning
of the melody of that eternal beauty, &Husayn,
son of &Ali, who, addressing &Salman, spoke words
such as these: "I was with a thousand Adams, the
interval between each and the next Adam was fifty
thousand years, and to each one of these I declared

the Successorship conferred upon my father." He
then recounteth certain details, until he saith: "I
have fought one thousand battles in the path of
God, the least and most insignificant of which was
like the battle of &Khaybar, in which battle my
father fought and contended against the infidels."
Endeavour now to apprehend from these two traditions
the mysteries of "end," "return," and "creation
without beginning or end."
     O my beloved! Immeasurably exalted is the
celestial Melody above the strivings of human ear
to hear or mind to grasp its mystery! How can the
helpless ant step into the court of the All-Glorious?
And yet, feeble souls, through lack of understanding,
reject these abstruse utterances, and question
the truth of such traditions. Nay, none can
comprehend them save those that are possessed of
an understanding heart. Say, He is that End for
Whom no end in all the universe can be imagined,
and for Whom no beginning in the world of creation
can be conceived. Behold, O concourse of the
earth, the splendours of the End, revealed in the
Manifestations of the Beginning!
     How strange! These people with one hand cling
to those verses of the &Qur'an and those traditions

of the people of certitude which they have found
to accord with their inclinations and interests, and
with the other reject those which are contrary to
their selfish desires. "Believe ye then part of the
Book, and deny part?"+F1 How could ye judge that
which ye understand not? Even as the Lord of
being hath in His unerring Book, after speaking of
the "Seal" in His exalted utterance: "&Muhammad
is the Apostle of God and the Seal of the Prophets,"+F2
hath revealed unto all people the promise
of "attainment unto the divine Presence." To this
attainment to the presence of the immortal King
testify the verses of the Book, some of which We
have already mentioned. The one true God is My
witness! Nothing more exalted or more explicit
than "attainment unto the divine Presence" hath
been revealed in the &Qur'an. Well is it with him
that hath attained thereunto, in the day wherein
most of the people, even as ye witness, have turned
away therefrom.
     And yet, through the mystery of the former
verse, they have turned away from the grace promised
by the latter, despite the fact that "attainment
unto the divine Presence" in the "Day of Resurrection"

+F1 &Qur'an 2:85.
+F2 &Qur'an 33:40.

is explicitly stated in the Book. It
hath been demonstrated and definitely established,
through clear evidences, that by "Resurrection" is
meant the rise of the Manifestation of God to proclaim
His Cause, and by "attainment unto the
divine Presence" is meant attainment unto the
presence of His Beauty in the person of His Manifestation.
For verily, "No vision taketh in Him,
but He taketh in all vision."+F1 Notwithstanding all
these indubitable facts and lucid statements, they
have foolishly clung to the term "seal," and remained
utterly deprived of the recognition of Him
Who is the Revealer of both the Seal and the Beginning,
in the day of His presence. "If God
should chastise men for their perverse doings, He
would not leave upon the earth a moving thing!
But to an appointed time doth He respite them."+F2
But apart from all these things, had this people
attained unto a drop of the crystal streams flowing
from the words: "God doeth whatsoever He willeth,
and ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth," they
would not have raised any unseemly cavils, such as
these, against the focal Center of His Revelation.
The Cause of God, all deeds and words, are held

+F1 &Qur'an 6:103.
+F2 &Qur'an 16:61.

within the grasp of His power. "All things lie
imprisoned within the hollow of His mighty
Hand; all things are easy and possible unto Him."
He accomplisheth whatsoever He willeth, and
doeth all that He desireth. "Whoso sayeth `why' or
`wherefore' hath spoken blasphemy!" Were these
people to shake off the slumber of negligence and
realize that which their hands have wrought, they
would surely perish, and would of their own
accord cast themselves into fire--their end and real
abode. Have they not heard that which He hath
revealed: "He shall not be asked of His doings?"+F1
In the light of these utterances, how can man be so
bold as to question Him, and busy himself with
idle sayings?
     Gracious God! So great is the folly and perversity
of the people, that they have turned their
face toward their own thoughts and desires, and
have turned their back upon the knowledge and
will of God--hallowed and glorified be His name!
     Be fair: Were these people to acknowledge the
truth of these luminous words and holy allusions,
and recognize God as "Him that doeth whatsoever
He pleaseth," how could they continue to cleave

+F1 &Qur'an 21:23.

unto these glaring absurdities? Nay, with all their
soul, they would accept and submit to whatsoever
He saith. I swear by God! But for the divine
Decree, and the inscrutable dispensations of Providence,
the earth itself would have utterly destroyed
all this people! "He will, however, respite
them until the appointed time of a known day."
     Twelve hundred and eighty years have passed
since the dawn of the &Muhammadan Dispensation,
and with every break of day, these blind and
ignoble people have recited their &Qur'an, and yet
have failed to grasp one letter of that Book! Again
and again they read those verses which clearly testify
to the reality of these holy themes, and bear
witness to the truth of the Manifestations of eternal
Glory, and still apprehend not their purpose.
They have even failed to realize, all this time,
that, in every age, the reading of the scriptures
and holy books is for no other purpose except to
enable the reader to apprehend their meaning and
unravel their innermost mysteries. Otherwise reading,
without understanding, is of no abiding profit
unto man.
     And it came to pass that on a certain day a needy
man came to visit this Soul, craving for the ocean

of His knowledge. While conversing with him,
mention was made concerning the signs of the Day
of Judgment, Resurrection, Revival, and Reckoning.
He urged Us to explain how, in this wondrous
Dispensation, the peoples of the world were
brought to a reckoning, when none were made
aware of it. Thereupon, We imparted unto him,
according to the measure of his capacity and understanding,
certain truths of Science and ancient
Wisdom. We then asked him saying: "Hast thou
not read the &Qur'an, and art thou not aware of this
blessed verse: `On that day shall neither man nor
spirit be asked of his Sin?'+F1 Dost thou not realize
that by `asking' is not meant asking by tongue or
speech, even as the verse itself doth indicate and
prove? For afterward it is said: `By their countenance
shall the sinners be known, and they shall
be seized by their forelocks and their feet.'"+F2
     Thus the peoples of the world are judged by
their countenance. By it, their misbelief, their
faith, and their iniquity are all made manifest.
Even as it is evident in this day how the people
of error are, by their countenance, known and distinguished

+F1 &Qur'an 55:39.
+F2 &Qur'an 55:41.

from the followers of divine Guidance.
Were these people, wholly for the sake of
God and with no desire but His good-pleasure, to
ponder the verses of the Book in their heart, they
would of a certainty find whatsoever they seek. In
its verses would they find revealed and manifest all
the things, be they great or small, that have come
to pass in this Dispensation. They would even recognize
in them references unto the departure of
the Manifestations of the names and attributes of
God from out their native land; to the opposition
and disdainful arrogance of government and
people; and to the dwelling and establishment of
the Universal Manifestation in an appointed and
specially designated land. No man, however, can
comprehend this except he who is possessed of an
understanding heart.
     We seal Our theme with that which was formerly
revealed unto &Muhammad that the seal
thereof may shed the fragrance of that holy musk
which leadeth men unto the &Ridvan of unfading
splendour. He said, and His Word is the truth:
"And God calleth to the Abode of Peace;+F1 and
He guideth whom He will into the right way."+F2

+F1 &Baghdad.
+F2 &Qur'an 10:25.

"For them is an Abode of Peace with their Lord!
and He shall be their Protector because of their
works."+F1 This He hath revealed that His grace
may encompass the world. Praise be to God, the
Lord of all being!
     We have variously and repeatedly set forth
the meaning of every theme, that perchance every
soul, whether high or low, may obtain, according
to his measure and capacity, his share and portion
thereof. Should he be unable to comprehend a certain
argument, he may, thus, by referring unto
another, attain his purpose. "That all sorts of men
may know where to quench their thirst."
     By God! This Bird of Heaven, now dwelling
upon the dust, can, besides these melodies, utter a
myriad songs, and is able, apart from these utterances,
to unfold innumerable mysteries. Every
single note of its unpronounced utterances is immeasurably
exalted above all that hath already
been revealed, and immensely glorified beyond
that which hath streamed from this Pen. Let the
future disclose the hour when the Brides of inner
meaning will, as decreed by the Will of God,
hasten forth, unveiled, out of their mystic mansions,

+F1 &Qur'an 6:127.

and manifest themselves in the ancient realm
of being. Nothing whatsoever is possible without
His permission; no power can endure save through
His power, and there is none other God but He.
His is the world of creation, and His the Cause of
God. All proclaim His Revelation, and all unfold
the mysteries of His Spirit.
     We have already in the foregoing pages assigned
two stations unto each of the Luminaries arising
from the Daysprings of eternal holiness. One of
these stations, the station of essential unity, We
have already explained. "No distinction do We
make between any of them."+F1 The other is the
station of distinction, and pertaineth to the world
of creation and to the limitations thereof. In this
respect, each Manifestation of God hath a distinct
individuality, a definitely prescribed mission, a
predestined Revelation, and specially designated
limitations. Each one of them is known by a different
name, is characterized by a special attribute,
fulfils a definite Mission, and is entrusted with a
particular Revelation. Even as He saith: "Some of
the Apostles We have caused to excel the others.
To some God hath spoken, some He hath raised
and exalted. And to Jesus, Son of Mary, We gave

+F1 &Qur'an 2:136.

manifest signs, and We strengthened Him with the
Holy Spirit."+F1
     It is because of this difference in their station
and mission that the words and utterances flowing
from these Well-springs of divine knowledge
appear to diverge and differ. Otherwise, in the
eyes of them that are initiated into the mysteries
of divine wisdom, all their utterances are in reality
but the expressions of one Truth. As most of the
people have failed to appreciate those stations to
which We have referred, they therefore feel perplexed
and dismayed at the varying utterances pronounced
by Manifestations that are essentially one
and the same.
     It hath ever been evident that all these divergences
of utterance are attributable to differences
of station. Thus, viewed from the standpoint of
their oneness and sublime detachment, the attributes
of Godhead, Divinity, Supreme Singleness,
and Inmost Essence, have been and are applicable
to those Essences of being, inasmuch as they all
abide on the throne of divine Revelation, and are
established upon the seat of divine Concealment.
Through their appearance the Revelation of God

+F1 &Qur'an 2:253.

is made manifest, and by their countenance the
Beauty of God is revealed. Thus it is that the
accents of God Himself have been heard uttered
by these Manifestations of the divine Being.
     Viewed in the light of their second station--the
station of distinction, differentiation, temporal
limitations, characteristics and standards,--they
manifest absolute servitude, utter destitution
and complete self-effacement. Even as He saith:
"I am the servant of God.+F1 I am but a man like you."+F2
     From these incontrovertible and fully demonstrated
statements strive thou to apprehend the
meaning of the questions thou hast asked, that thou
mayest become steadfast in the Faith of God, and
not be dismayed by the divergences in the utterances
of His Prophets and Chosen Ones.
     Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations
of God to declare: "I am God!" He verily speaketh
the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto.
For it hath been repeatedly demonstrated that
through their Revelation, their attributes and
names, the Revelation of God, His name and His
attributes, are made manifest in the world. Thus,
He hath revealed: "Those shafts were God's, not

+F1 &Qur'an 19:31.
+F2 &Qur'an 18:110.

Thine!"+F1 And also He saith: "In truth, they who
plighted fealty unto thee, really plighted that
fealty unto God."+F2 And were any of them to voice
the utterance: "I am the Messenger of God," He
also speaketh the truth, the indubitable truth. Even
as He saith: "&Muhammad is not the father of any
man among you, but He is the Messenger of
God."+F3 Viewed in this light, they are all but Messengers
of that ideal King, that unchangeable Essence.
And were they all to proclaim: "I am the
Seal of the Prophets," they verily utter but the
truth, beyond the faintest shadow of doubt. For
they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit,
one being, one revelation. They are all the manifestation
of the "Beginning" and the "End," the
"First" and the "Last," the "Seen" and "Hidden"
--all of which pertain to Him Who is the innermost
Spirit of Spirits and eternal Essence of Essences.
And were they to say: "We are the servants
of God," this also is a manifest and indisputable
fact. For they have been made manifest in the
uttermost state of servitude, a servitude the like of
which no man can possibly attain. Thus in moments
in which these Essences of being were deeply

+F1 &Qur'an 8:17.
+F2 &Qur'an 48:10.
+F3 &Qur'an 33:40.

immersed beneath the oceans of ancient and everlasting
holiness, or when they soared to the loftiest
summits of divine mysteries, they claimed their
utterance to be the Voice of divinity, the Call of
God Himself. Were the eye of discernment to be
opened, it would recognize that in this very state,
they have considered themselves utterly effaced
and non-existent in the face of Him Who is the
All-Pervading, the Incorruptible. Methinks, they
have regarded themselves as utter nothingness, and
deemed their mention in that Court an act of blasphemy.
For the slightest whispering of self,
within such a Court, is an evidence of self-assertion
and independent existence. In the eyes of them that
have attained unto that Court, such a suggestion is
itself a grievous transgression. How much more
grievous would it be, were aught else to be mentioned
in that Presence, were man's heart, his
tongue, his mind, or his soul, to be busied with
anyone but the Well-Beloved, were his eyes to behold
any countenance other than His beauty, were
his ear to be inclined to any melody but His voice,
and were his feet to tread any way but His way.
     In this day the breeze of God is wafted, and His
Spirit hath pervaded all things. Such is the outpouring

of His grace that the pen is stilled and the
tongue is speechless.
     By virtue of this station, they have claimed for
themselves the Voice of Divinity and the like,
whilst by virtue of their station of Messengership,
they have declared themselves the Messengers of
God. In every instance they have voiced an utterance
that would conform to the requirements of
the occasion, and have ascribed all these declarations
to Themselves, declarations ranging from the
realm of divine Revelation to the realm of creation,
and from the domain of Divinity even unto
the domain of earthly existence. Thus it is that
whatsoever be their utterance, whether it pertain
to the realm of Divinity, Lordship, Prophethood,
Messengership, Guardianship, Apostleship or
Servitude, all is true, beyond the shadow of a
doubt. Therefore, these sayings which We have
quoted in support of Our argument must be attentively
considered, that the divergent utterances of
the Manifestations of the Unseen and Daysprings
of Holiness may cease to agitate the soul and perplex
the mind.
     Those words uttered by the Luminaries of
Truth must needs be pondered, and should their

significance be not grasped, enlightenment should
be sought from the Trustees of the depositories of
Knowledge, that these may expound their meaning,
and unravel their mystery. For it behooveth no
man to interpret the holy words according to his
own imperfect understanding, nor, having found
them to be contrary to his inclination and desires,
to reject and repudiate their truth. For such, today,
is the manner of the divines and doctors of
the age, who occupy the seats of knowledge and
learning, and who have named ignorance knowledge,
and called oppression justice. Were these to
ask the Light of Truth concerning those images
which their idle fancy hath carved, and were they
to find His answer inconsistent with their own conceptions
and their own understanding of the Book,
they would assuredly denounce Him Who is the
Mine and Wellhead of all Knowledge as the very
negation of understanding. Such things have happened
in every age.
     For instance, when &Muhammad, the Lord of
being, was questioned concerning the new moons,
He, as bidden by God, made reply: "They are
periods appointed unto men."+F1 Thereupon, they

+F1 &Qur'an 2:189.

that heard Him denounced Him as an ignorant
     Likewise, in the verse concerning the "Spirit,"
He saith: "And they will ask Thee of the Spirit.
Say, `the Spirit proceedeth at My Lord's command.'"+F1
As soon as &Muhammad's answer was
given, they all clamorously protested, saying: "Lo!
an ignorant man who knoweth not what the Spirit
is, calleth Himself the Revealer of divine Knowledge!"
And now behold the divines of the age who,
because of their being honoured by His name, and
finding that their fathers have acknowledged His
Revelation, have blindly submitted to His truth.
Observe, were this people today to receive such
answers in reply to such questionings, they would
unhesitatingly reject and denounce them--nay,
they would again utter the self-same cavils, even as
they have uttered them in this day. All this, notwithstanding
the fact that these Essences of being
are immensely exalted above such fanciful images,
and are immeasurably glorified beyond all these
vain sayings and above the comprehension of every
understanding heart. Their so-called learning,
when compared with that Knowledge, is utter
falsehood, and all their understanding naught but

+F1 &Qur'an 17:85.

blatant error. Nay, whatsoever proceedeth from
these Mines of divine Wisdom and these Treasuries
of eternal knowledge is truth, and naught
else but the truth. The saying: "Knowledge is
one point, which the foolish have multiplied"
is a proof of Our argument, and the tradition:
"Knowledge is a light which God sheddeth into
the heart of whomsoever He willeth" a confirmation
of Our statement.
     Inasmuch as they have not apprehended the
meaning of Knowledge, and have called by that
name those images fashioned by their own fancy
and which have sprung from the embodiments of
ignorance, they therefore have inflicted upon the
Source of Knowledge that which thou hast heard
and witnessed.
     For instance, a certain man,+F1 reputed for his
learning and attainments, and accounting himself
as one of the pre-eminent leaders of his people,
hath in his book denounced and vilified all the exponents
of true learning. This is made abundantly
clear by his explicit statements as well as by his
allusions throughout his book. As We had frequently
heard about him, We purposed to read

+F1 &Haji &Mirza &Karim &Khan.

some of his works. Although We never felt disposed
to peruse other peoples' writings, yet as
some had questioned Us concerning him, We felt
it necessary to refer to his books, in order that We
might answer Our questioners with knowledge
and understanding. His works, in the Arabic
tongue, were, however, not available, until one day
a certain man informed Us that one of his compositions,
entitled &Irshadu'l-'Avam,+F1 could be
found in this city. From this title We perceived
the odour of conceit and vainglory, inasmuch as he
hath imagined himself a learned man and regarded
the rest of the people ignorant. His worth
was in fact made known by the very title he had
chosen for his book. It became evident that its
author was following the path of self and desire,
and was lost in the wilderness of ignorance and
folly. Methinks, he had forgotten the well-known
tradition which sayeth: "Knowledge is all that is
knowable; and might and power, all creation."
Notwithstanding, We sent for the book, and kept it
with Us a few days. It was probably referred to
twice. The second time, We accidentally came
upon the story of the "&Mi'raj"+F2 of &Muhammad, of

+F1 "Guidance unto the ignorant."
+F2 Ascent.

Whom was spoken: "But for Thee, I would not
have created the spheres." We noticed that he had
enumerated some twenty or more sciences, the
knowledge of which he considered to be essential
for the comprehension of the mystery of the
"&Mi'raj". We gathered from his statements that
unless a man be deeply versed in them all, he can
never attain to a proper understanding of this
transcendent and exalted theme. Among the specified
sciences were the science of metaphysical abstractions,
of alchemy, and natural magic. Such
vain and discarded learnings, this man hath regarded
as the pre-requisites of the understanding
of the sacred and abiding mysteries of divine
     Gracious God! Such is the measure of his understanding.
And yet, behold what cavils and calumnies
he hath heaped upon those Embodiments
of God's infinite knowledge! How well and true
is the saying: "Flingest thou thy calumnies unto
the face of Them Whom the one true God hath
made the Trustees of the treasures of His seventh
sphere?" Not one understanding heart or
mind, not one among the wise and learned, hath
taken notice of these preposterous statements. And
yet, how clear and evident it is to every discerning

heart that this so-called learning is and hath ever
been, rejected by Him Who is the one true God.
How can the knowledge of these sciences, which
are so contemptible in the eyes of the truly learned,
be regarded as essential to the apprehension of the
mysteries of the "&Mi'raj," whilst the Lord of the
"&Mi'raj" Himself was never burdened with a
single letter of these limited and obscure learnings,
and never defiled His radiant heart with any of
these fanciful illusions? How truly hath he said:
"All human attainment moveth upon a lame ass,
whilst Truth, riding upon the wind, darteth across
space." By the righteousness of God! Whoso
desireth to fathom the mystery of this "&Mi'raj,"
and craveth a drop from this ocean, if the mirror
of his heart be already obscured by the dust of
these learnings, he must needs cleanse and purify
it ere the light of this mystery can be reflected
     In this day, they that are submerged beneath the
ocean of ancient Knowledge, and dwell within the
ark of divine wisdom, forbid the people such idle
pursuits. Their shining breasts are, praise be to
God, sanctified from every trace of such learning,
and are exalted above such grievous veils. We have

consumed this densest of all veils, with the fire
of the love of the Beloved--the veil referred to
in the saying: "The most grievous of all veils is
the veil of knowledge." Upon its ashes, We have
reared the tabernacle of divine knowledge. We
have, praise be to God, burned the "veils of glory"
with the fire of the beauty of the Best-Beloved.
We have driven from the human heart all else but
Him Who is the Desire of the world, and glory
therein. We cleave to no knowledge but His
Knowledge, and set our hearts on naught save the
effulgent glories of His light.
     We were surprised exceedingly when We observed
that his one purpose was to make the people
realize that all these learnings were possessed by
him. And yet, I swear by God that not one breath,
blowing from the meads of divine knowledge,
hath ever been wafted upon his soul, nor hath he
ever unravelled a single mystery of ancient wisdom.
Nay, were the meaning of Knowledge ever
to be expounded unto him, dismay would fill his
heart, and his whole being would shake to its
foundation. Notwithstanding his base and senseless
statements, behold to what heights of extravagance
his claims have reached!

     Gracious God! How great is Our amazement at
the way the people have gathered around him,
and have borne allegiance to his person! Content
with transient dust, these people have turned their
face unto it, and cast behind their backs Him Who
is the Lord of Lords. Satisfied with the croaking
of the crow and enamoured with the visage of
the raven, they have renounced the melody of the
nightingale and the charm of the rose. What unspeakable
fallacies the perusal of this pretentious
book hath revealed! They are too unworthy for
any pen to describe, and too base for one moment's
attention. Should a touchstone be found, however,
it would instantly distinguish truth from falsehood,
light from darkness, and sun from shadow.
     Among the sciences which this pretender hath
professed is that of alchemy. We cherish the hope
that either a king or a man of preeminent power
may call upon him to translate this science from
the realm of fancy to the domain of fact and from
the plane of mere pretension to that of actual
achievement. Would that this unlearned and
humble Servant, who never laid any pretension to
such things, nor even regarded them as the criterion
of true knowledge, might undertake the same

task, that thereby the truth might be known and
distinguished from falsehood. But of what avail!
All this generation could offer Us were wounds
from its darts, and the only cup it proffered to
Our lips was the cup of its venom. On our neck
We still bear the scar of chains, and upon Our
body are imprinted the evidences of an unyielding
     And as to this man's attainments, his ignorance,
understanding and belief, behold what the Book
which embraceth all things hath revealed; "Verily,
the tree of &Zaqqum+F1 shall be the food of the
&Athim."+F2 And then follow certain verses, until He
saith: "Taste this, for thou forsooth art the mighty
&Karim!"+F3 Consider how clearly and explicitly he
hath been described in God's incorruptible Book!
This man, moreover, feigning humility, hath in his
own book referred to himself as the "&athim servant":
"&Athim" in the Book of God, mighty among
the common herd, "&Karim" in name!
     Ponder the blessed verse, so that the meaning of
the words: "There is neither a thing green nor sere

+F1 Infernal tree.
+F2 Sinner or sinful. &Qur'an 44:43-44.
+F3 Honourable--&Qur'an 44:49.

but it is noted in the unerring Book,"+F1 may be imprinted
upon the tablet of thy heart. Notwithstanding,
a multitude bear him allegiance. They
have rejected the Moses of knowledge and justice,
and clung to the &Samiri+F2 of ignorance. They have
turned away their eyes from the Day-star of truth
which shineth in the divine and everlasting
heaven, and have utterly ignored its splendour.
     O my brother! A divine Mine only can yield the
gems of divine knowledge, and the fragrance of
the mystic Flower can be inhaled only in the
ideal Garden, and the lilies of ancient wisdom
can blossom nowhere except in the city of a stainless
heart. "In a rich soil, its plants spring forth
abundantly by permission of its Lord, and in that
soil which is bad, they spring forth but scantily."+F3
     Inasmuch as it hath been clearly shown that only
those who are initiated into the divine mysteries
can comprehend the melodies uttered by the Bird
of Heaven, it is therefore incumbent upon every
one to seek enlightenment from the illumined in
heart and from the Treasuries of divine mysteries

+F1 &Qur'an 6:59.
+F2 A magician contemporary with Moses.
+F3 &Qur'an 7:57.

regarding the intricacies of God's Faith and the
abstruse allusions in the utterances of the Day-springs
of Holiness. Thus will these mysteries be
unravelled, not by the aid of acquired learning,
but solely through the assistance of God and the
outpourings of His grace. "Ask ye, therefore, of
them that have the custody of the Scriptures, if ye
know it not."+F1
     But, O my brother, when a true seeker determineth
to take the step of search in the path leading
to the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must,
before all else, cleanse and purify his heart, which
is the seat of the revelation of the inner mysteries
of God, from the obscuring dust of all acquired
knowledge, and the allusions of the embodiments
of satanic fancy. He must purge his breast, which
is the sanctuary of the abiding love of the Beloved,
of every defilement, and sanctify his soul
from all that pertaineth to water and clay, from
all shadowy and ephemeral attachments. He must
so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love
or hate may linger therein, lest that love blindly
incline him to error, or that hate repel him away
from the truth. Even as thou dost witness in this

+F1 &Qur'an 16:43.

day how most of the people, because of such love
and hate, are bereft of the immortal Face, have
strayed far from the Embodiments of the divine
mysteries, and, shepherdless, are roaming through
the wilderness of oblivion and error. That seeker
must at all times put his trust in God, must renounce
the peoples of the earth, detach himself
from the world of dust, and cleave unto Him Who
is the Lord of Lords. He must never seek to exalt
himself above any one, must wash away from the
tablet of his heart every trace of pride and vainglory,
must cling unto patience and resignation,
observe silence, and refrain from idle talk. For the
tongue is a smouldering fire, and excess of speech
a deadly poison. Material fire consumeth the body,
whereas the fire of the tongue devoureth both heart
and soul. The force of the former lasteth but for
a time, whilst the effects of the latter endure a
     That seeker should also regard backbiting as
grievous error, and keep himself aloof from its
dominion, inasmuch as backbiting quencheth the
light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of
the soul. He should be content with little, and
be freed from all inordinate desire. He should

treasure the companionship of those that have renounced
the world, and regard avoidance of boastful
and worldly people a precious benefit. At the
dawn of every day he should commune with God,
and with all his soul persevere in the quest of his
Beloved. He should consume every wayward
thought with the flame of His loving mention, and,
with the swiftness of lightning, pass by all else
save Him. He should succour the dispossessed, and
never withhold his favour from the destitute. He
should show kindness to animals, how much more
unto his fellow-man, to him who is endowed with
the power of utterance. He should not hesitate to
offer up his life for his Beloved, nor allow the censure
of the people to turn him away from the
Truth. He should not wish for others that which
he doth not wish for himself, nor promise that
which he doth not fulfil. With all his heart should
the seeker avoid fellowship with evil doers, and
pray for the remission of their sins. He should forgive
the sinful, and never despise his low estate,
for none knoweth what his own end shall be. How
often hath a sinner, at the hour of death, attained
to the essence of faith, and, quaffing the immortal
draught, hath taken his flight unto the celestial
Concourse. And how often hath a devout believer,

at the hour of his soul's ascension, been so changed
as to fall into the nethermost fire. Our purpose in
revealing these convincing and weighty utterances
is to impress upon the seeker that he should regard
all else beside God as transient, and count all
things save Him, Who is the Object of all adoration,
as utter nothingness.
     These are among the attributes of the exalted,
and constitute the hall-mark of the spiritually-minded.
They have already been mentioned in
connection with the requirements of the wayfarers
that tread the Path of Positive Knowledge. When
the detached wayfarer and sincere seeker hath fulfilled
these essential conditions, then and only then
can he be called a true seeker. Whensoever he hath
fulfilled the conditions implied in the verse:
"Whoso maketh efforts for Us,"+F1 he shall enjoy the
blessing conferred by the words: "In Our ways
shall We assuredly guide him."+F2
     Only when the lamp of search, of earnest striving,
of longing desire, of passionate devotion, of
fervid love, of rapture, and ecstasy, is kindled
within the seeker's heart, and the breeze of His

+F1 &Qur'an 29:69.
+F2 Ibid.

loving-kindness is wafted upon his soul, will the
darkness of error be dispelled, the mists of doubts
and misgivings be dissipated, and the lights of
knowledge and certitude envelop his being. At
that hour will the mystic Herald, bearing the joyful
tidings of the Spirit, shine forth from the City
of God resplendent as the morn, and, through the
trumpet-blast of knowledge, will awaken the
heart, the soul, and the spirit from the slumber of
negligence. Then will the manifold favours and
outpouring grace of the holy and everlasting Spirit
confer such new life upon the seeker that he will
find himself endowed with a new eye, a new ear,
a new heart, and a new mind. He will contemplate
the manifest signs of the universe, and will penetrate
the hidden mysteries of the soul. Gazing with
the eye of God, he will perceive within every
atom a door that leadeth him to the stations of
absolute certitude. He will discover in all things
the mysteries of divine Revelation and the evidences
of an everlasting manifestation.
     I swear by God! Were he that treadeth the
path of guidance and seeketh to scale the heights
of righteousness to attain unto this glorious and
supreme station, he would inhale at a distance of

a thousand leagues the fragrance of God, and
would perceive the resplendent morn of a divine
Guidance rising above the dayspring of all things.
Each and every thing, however small, would be to
him a revelation, leading him to his Beloved, the
Object of his quest. So great shall be the discernment
of this seeker that he will discriminate between
truth and falsehood even as he doth distinguish
the sun from shadow. If in the uttermost
corners of the East the sweet savours of God be
wafted, he will assuredly recognize and inhale
their fragrance, even though he be dwelling in the
uttermost ends of the West. He will likewise
clearly distinguish all the signs of God--His wondrous
utterances, His great works, and mighty
deeds--from the doings, words and ways of men,
even as the jeweller who knoweth the gem from
the stone, or the man who distinguisheth the spring
from autumn and heat from cold. When the channel
of the human soul is cleansed of all worldly
and impeding attachments, it will unfailingly perceive
the breath of the Beloved across immeasurable
distances, and will, led by its perfume, attain
and enter the City of Certitude. Therein he
will discern the wonders of His ancient wisdom,
and will perceive all the hidden teachings from

the rustling leaves of the Tree--which flourisheth
in that City. With both his inner and his outer ear
he will hear from its dust the hymns of glory and
praise ascending unto the Lord of Lords, and with
his inner eye will he discover the mysteries of "return"
and "revival." How unspeakably glorious
are the signs, the tokens, the revelations, and splendours
which He Who is the King of names and attributes
hath destined for that City! The attainment
of this City quencheth thirst without water,
and kindleth the love of God without fire. Within
every blade of grass are enshrined the mysteries
of an inscrutable wisdom, and upon every rose-bush
a myriad nightingales pour out, in blissful
rapture, their melody. Its wondrous tulips unfold
the mystery of the undying Fire in the Burning
Bush, and its sweet savours of holiness breathe
the perfume of the Messianic Spirit. It bestoweth
wealth without gold, and conferreth immortality
without death. In every leaf ineffable delights are
treasured, and within every chamber unnumbered
mysteries lie hidden.
     They that valiantly labour in quest of God's will,
when once they have renounced all else but Him,
will be so attached and wedded to that City that a

moment's separation from it would to them be unthinkable.
They will hearken unto infallible proofs
from the Hyacinth of that assembly, and receive
the surest testimonies from the beauty of its Rose
and the melody of its Nightingale. Once in about
a thousand years shall this City be renewed and
     Wherefore, O my friend, it behooveth Us to
exert the highest endeavour to attain unto that
City, and, by the grace of God and His loving-kindness,
rend asunder the "veils of glory"; so
that, with inflexible steadfastness, we may sacrifice
our drooping souls in the path of the New
Beloved. We should with tearful eyes, fervently
and repeatedly, implore Him to grant us the favour
of that grace. That city is none other than
the Word of God revealed in every age and dispensation.
In the days of Moses it was the Pentateuch;
in the days of Jesus the Gospel; in the days
of &Muhammad the Messenger of God the &Qur'an;
in this day the &Bayan; and in the dispensation of
Him Whom God will make manifest His own
Book--the Book unto which all the Books of former
Dispensations must needs be referred, the
Book which standeth amongst them all transcendent

and supreme. In these cities spiritual sustenance
is bountifully provided, and incorruptible
delights have been ordained. The food they bestow
is the bread of heaven, and the Spirit they impart
is God's imperishable blessing. Upon detached
souls they bestow the gift of Unity, enrich the destitute,
and offer the cup of knowledge unto them
who wander in the wilderness of ignorance. All
the guidance, the blessings, the learning, the understanding,
the faith, and certitude, conferred
upon all that is in heaven and on earth, are hidden
and treasured within these Cities.
     For instance, the &Qur'an was an impregnable
stronghold unto the people of &Muhammad. In His
days, whosoever entered therein, was shielded
from the devilish assaults, the menacing darts, the
soul-devouring doubts, and blasphemous whisperings
of the enemy. Upon him was also bestowed
a portion of the everlasting and goodly fruits--
the fruits of wisdom, from the divine Tree. To
him was given to drink the incorruptible waters
of the river of knowledge, and to taste the wine of
the mysteries of divine Unity.
     All the things that people required in connection
with the Revelation of &Muhammad and His laws

were to be found revealed and manifest in that
&Ridvan of resplendent glory. That Book constitutes
an abiding testimony to its people after
&Muhammad, inasmuch as its decrees are indisputable,
and its promise unfailing. All have been
enjoined to follow the precepts of that Book until
"the year sixty"+F1--the year of the advent of
God's wondrous Manifestation. That Book is the
Book which unfailingly leadeth the seeker unto
the &Ridvan of the divine Presence, and causeth
him that hath forsaken his country and is treading
the seeker's path to enter the Tabernacle of everlasting
reunion. Its guidance can never err, its testimony
no other testimony can excel. All other
traditions, all other books and records, are bereft
of such distinction, inasmuch as both the traditions
and they that have spoken them are confirmed and
proven solely by the text of that Book. Moreover,
the traditions themselves grievously differ, and
their obscurities are manifold.
     &Muhammad, Himself, as the end of His mission
drew nigh, spoke these words: "Verily, I leave
amongst you My twin weighty testimonies: The
Book of God and My Family." Although many

+F1 The year 1260 A.H., the year of the &Bab's Declaration.

traditions had been revealed by that Source of
Prophethood and Mine of divine Guidance, yet
He mentioned only that Book, thereby appointing
it as the mightiest instrument and surest testimony
for the seekers; a guide for the people until the
Day of Resurrection.
     With unswerving vision, with pure heart, and
sanctified spirit, consider attentively what God
hath established as the testimony of guidance for
His people in His Book, which is recognized as
authentic by both the high and lowly. To this testimony
we both, as well as all the peoples of the
world, must cling, that through its light we may
know and distinguish between truth and falsehood,
guidance and error. Inasmuch as &Muhammad hath
confined His testimonies to His Book and to His
Family, and whereas the latter hath passed away,
there remaineth His Book only as His one testimony
amongst the people.
     In the beginning of His Book He saith: "Alif.
&Lam. &Mim. No doubt is there about this Book:
It is a guidance unto the God-fearing."+F1 In the
disconnected letters of the &Qur'an the mysteries of
the divine Essence are enshrined, and within their

+F1 &Qur'an 2:1.

shells the pearls of His Unity are treasured. For
lack of space We do not dwell upon them at this
moment. Outwardly they signify &Muhammad
Himself, Whom God addresseth saying: "O
&Muhammad, there is no doubt nor uncertainty
about this Book which hath been sent down from
the heaven of divine Unity. In it is guidance unto
them that fear God." Consider, how He hath appointed
and decreed this self-same Book, the
&Qur'an, as a guidance unto all that are in heaven
and on earth. He, the divine Being, and unknowable
Essence, hath, Himself, testified that this
Book is, beyond all doubt and uncertainty, the
guide of all mankind until the Day of Resurrection.
And now, We ask, is it fair for this people
to view with doubt and misgiving this most weighty
Testimony, the divine origin of which God hath
proclaimed, and pronounced it to be the embodiment
of truth? Is it fair for them to turn away
from the thing which He hath appointed as the
supreme Instrument of guidance for attainment
unto the loftiest summits of knowledge, and to
seek aught else but that Book? How can they allow
men's absurd and foolish sayings to sow the
seeds of distrust in their minds? How can they
any longer idly contend that a certain person hath

spoken this or that way, or that a certain thing did
not come to pass? Had there been anything conceivable
besides the Book of God which could
prove a more potent instrument and a surer guide
to mankind, would He have failed to reveal it in
that verse?
     It is incumbent upon us not to depart from
God's irresistible injunction and fixed decree, as
revealed in the above-mentioned verse. We should
acknowledge the holy and wondrous Scriptures,
for failing to do this we have failed to acknowledge
the truth of this blessed verse. For it is evident
that whoso hath failed to acknowledge the
truth of the &Qur'an hath in reality failed to acknowledge
the truth of the preceding Scriptures.
This is but the manifest implication of the verse.
Were We to expound its inner meanings and unfold
its hidden mysteries, eternity would never
suffice to exhaust their import, nor would the universe
be capable of hearing them! God verily testifieth
to the truth of Our saying!
     In another passage He likewise saith: "And if
ye be in doubt as to that which We have sent down
to Our Servant, then produce a &Surah like it, and
summon your witnesses, beside God, if ye are men

of truth."+F1 Behold, how lofty is the station, and
how consummate the virtue, of these verses which
He hath declared to be His surest testimony, His
infallible proof, the evidence of His all-subduing
power, and a revelation of the potency of His will.
He, the divine King, hath proclaimed the undisputed
supremacy of the verses of His Book over
all things that testify to His truth. For compared
with all other proofs and tokens, the divinely-revealed
verses shine as the sun, whilst all others are
as stars. To the peoples of the world they are the
abiding testimony, the incontrovertible proof, the
shining light of the ideal King. Their excellence is
unrivalled, their virtue nothing can surpass. They
are the treasury of the divine pearls and the depository
of the divine mysteries. They constitute
the indissoluble Bond, the firm Cord, the &Urvatu'l-Vuthqa,
the inextinguishable Light. Through
them floweth the river of divine knowledge, and
gloweth the fire of His ancient and consummate
wisdom. This is the fire which, in one and the same
moment, kindleth the flame of love in the breasts
of the faithful, and induceth the chill of heedlessness
in the heart of the enemy.
     O friend! It behooveth us not to waive the injunction

+F1 &Qur'an 2:23.

of God, but rather acquiesce and submit
to that which He hath ordained as His divine Testimony.
This verse is too weighty and pregnant an
utterance for this afflicted soul to demonstrate and
expound. God speaketh the truth and leadeth the
way. He, verily, is supreme over all His people;
He is the Mighty, the Beneficent.
     Likewise, He saith: "Such are the verses of
God: with truth do We recite them to Thee. But
in what revelation will they believe, if they reject
God and His verses?"+F1 If thou wilt grasp the implication
of this verse, thou wilt recognize the
truth that no manifestation greater than the
Prophets of God hath ever been revealed, and no
testimony mightier than the testimony of their revealed
verses hath ever appeared upon the
earth. Nay, this testimony no other testimony
can ever excel, except that which the Lord thy
God willeth.
     In another passage He saith: "Woe to every
lying sinner, who heareth the verses of God recited
to him, and then, as though he heard them not,
persisteth in proud disdain! Apprise him of a

+F1 &Qur'an 45:5.

painful punishment."+F1 The implications of this
verse, alone, suffice all that is in heaven and on
earth, were the people to ponder the verses of their
Lord. For thou hearest how in this day the people
disdainfully ignore the divinely-revealed verses,
as though they were the meanest of all things. And
yet, nothing greater than these verses hath ever
appeared, nor will ever be made manifest in the
world! Say unto them: "O heedless people! Ye
repeat what your fathers, in a bygone age, have
said. Whatever fruits they have gathered from the
tree of their faithlessness, the same shall ye gather
also. Ere long shall ye be gathered unto your
fathers, and with them shall ye dwell in hellish
fire. An ill abode! the abode of the people of
     In yet another passage He saith: "And when he
becometh acquainted with any of Our verses he
turneth them to ridicule. There is a shameful punishment
for them!"+F2 The people derisively observed
saying: "Work thou another miracle, and
give us another sign!" One would say: "Make now
a part of the heaven to fall down upon us";+F3 and

+F1 &Qur'an 45:6.
+F2 &Qur'an 45:8.
+F3 &Qur'an 26:187.

another: "If this be the very truth from before
Thee, rain down stones upon us from heaven."+F1
Even as the people of Israel, in the time of Moses,
bartered away the bread of heaven for the sordid
things of the earth, these people, likewise, sought
to exchange the divinely-revealed verses for their
foul, their vile, and idle desires. In like manner,
thou beholdest in this day that although spiritual
sustenance hath descended from the heaven of
divine mercy, and been showered from the clouds
of His loving kindness, and although the seas of
life, at the behest of the Lord of all being, are
surging within the &Ridvan of the heart, yet these
people, ravenous as the dogs, have gathered
around carrion, and contented themselves with the
stagnant waters of a briny lake. Gracious God!
how strange the way of this people! They clamour
for guidance, although the standards of Him Who
guideth all things are already hoisted. They cleave
to the obscure intricacies of knowledge, when He,
Who is the Object of all knowledge, shineth as the
sun. They see the sun with their own eyes, and yet
question that brilliant Orb as to the proof of its
light. They behold the vernal showers descending
upon them, and yet seek an evidence of that

+F1 &Qur'an 8:32.

bounty. The proof of the sun is the light thereof,
which shineth and envelopeth all things. The evidence
of the shower is the bounty thereof, which
reneweth and investeth the world with the mantle
of life. Yea, the blind can perceive naught from
the sun except its heat, and the arid soil hath no
share of the showers of mercy. "Marvel not if in
the &Qur'an the unbeliever perceiveth naught but
the trace of letters, for in the sun, the blind findeth
naught but heat."
     In another passage He saith: "And when Our
clear verses are recited to them, their only argument
is to say, `Bring back our fathers, if ye speak
the truth!'"+F1 Behold, what foolish evidences they
sought from these Embodiments of an all-encompassing
mercy! They scoffed at the verses, a single
letter of which is greater than the creation of
heavens and earth, and which quickeneth the dead
of the valley of self and desire with the spirit of
faith; and clamoured saying: "Cause our fathers
to speed out of their sepulchres." Such was the
perversity and pride of that people. Each one of
these verses is unto all the peoples of the world
an unfailing testimony and a glorious proof of His
truth. Each of them verily sufficeth all mankind,

+F1 &Qur'an 45:24.

wert thou to meditate upon the verses of God. In
the above-mentioned verse itself pearls of mysteries
lie hidden. Whatever be the ailment, the
remedy it offereth can never fail.
     Heed not the idle contention of those who maintain
that the Book and verses thereof can never
be a testimony unto the common people, inasmuch
as they neither grasp their meaning nor appreciate
their value. And yet, the unfailing testimony
of God to both the East and the West is
none other than the &Qur'an. Were it beyond the
comprehension of men, how could it have been
declared as a universal testimony unto all people?
If their contention be true, none would therefore
be required, nor would it be necessary for them to
know God, inasmuch as the knowledge of the
divine Being transcendeth the knowledge of His
Book, and the common people would not possess
the capacity to comprehend it.
     Such contention is utterly fallacious and inadmissible.
It is actuated solely by arrogance and
pride. Its motive is to lead the people astray from
the &Ridvan of divine good-pleasure and to tighten
the reins of their authority over the people. And
yet, in the sight of God, these common people are

infinitely superior and exalted above their religious
leaders who have turned away from the one
true God. The understanding of His words and
the comprehension of the utterances of the Birds of
Heaven are in no wise dependent upon human
learning. They depend solely upon purity of heart,
chastity of soul, and freedom of spirit. This is
evidenced by those who, today, though without a
single letter of the accepted standards of learning,
are occupying the loftiest seats of knowledge; and
the garden of their hearts is adorned, through the
showers of divine grace, with the roses of wisdom
and the tulips of understanding. Well is it with
the sincere in heart for their share of the light of a
mighty Day!
     And likewise, He saith: "As for those who believe
not in the verses of God, or that they shall
ever meet Him, these of My mercy shall despair,
and these doth a grievous chastisement await."+F1
Also, "And they say, `Shall we then abandon our
gods for a crazed poet?'"+F2 The implication of this
verse is manifest. Behold what they observed after
the verses were revealed. They called Him a poet,
scoffed at the verses of God, and exclaimed saying:

+F1 &Qur'an 29:23.
+F2 &Qur'an 37:36.

"These words of his are but tales of the Ancients!"
By this they meant that those words which
were spoken by the peoples of old &Muhammad
hath compiled and called them the Word of God.
     Likewise, in this day, thou hast heard the people
impute similar charges to this Revelation, saying:
"He hath compiled these words from the words of
old;" or "these words are spurious." Vain and
haughty are their sayings, low their estate and
     After the denials and denunciations which they
uttered, and unto which We have referred, they
protested saying: "No independent Prophet, according
to our Scriptures, should arise after Moses
and Jesus to abolish the Law of divine Revelation.
Nay, he that is to be made manifest must needs
fulfil the Law." Thereupon this verse, indicative
of all the divine themes, and testifying to the
truth that the flow of the grace of the All-Merciful
can never cease, was revealed: "And Joseph
came to you aforetime with clear tokens, but ye
ceased not to doubt of the message with which He
came to you, until, when He died, ye said, `God
will by no means raise up a Messenger after Him.'
Thus God misleadeth him who is the transgressor

the doubter."+F1 Therefore, understand from this
verse and know of a certainty that the people in
every age, clinging to a verse of the Book, have uttered
such vain and absurd sayings, contending
that no Prophet should again be made manifest to
the world. Even as the Christian divines who,
holding fast to the verse of the Gospel to which
We have already referred, have sought to explain
that the law of the Gospel shall at no time be annulled,
and that no independent Prophet shall
again be made manifest, unless He confirmeth the
law of the Gospel. Most of the people have become
afflicted with the same spiritual disease.
     Even as thou dost witness how the people of the
&Qur'an, like unto the people of old, have allowed
the words "Seal of the Prophets" to veil their eyes.
And yet, they themselves testify to this verse:
"None knoweth the interpretation thereof but God
and they that are well-grounded in knowledge."+F2
And when He Who is well-grounded in all knowledge,
He Who is the Mother, the Soul, the Secret,
and the Essence thereof, revealeth that which is
the least contrary to their desire, they bitterly oppose
Him and shamelessly deny Him. These thou

+F1 &Qur'an 40:34.
+F2 &Qur'an 3:7.

hast already heard and witnessed. Such deeds and
words have been solely instigated by leaders of religion,
they that worship no God but their own
desire, who bear allegiance to naught but gold,
who are wrapt in the densest veils of learning, and
who, enmeshed by its obscurities, are lost in the
wilds of error. Even as the Lord of being hath explicitly
declared: "What thinkest thou? He who
hath made a God of his passions, and whom God
causeth to err through a knowledge, and whose
ears and whose heart He hath sealed up, and over
whose sight He hath cast a veil--who, after his
rejection by God, shall guide such a one? Will ye
not then be warned?"+F1
     Although the outward meaning of "Whom God
causeth to err through a knowledge" is what hath
been revealed, yet to Us it signifieth those divines
of the age who have turned away from the Beauty
of God, and who, clinging unto their own learning,
as fashioned by their own fancies and desires,
have denounced God's divine Message and Revelation.
"Say: it is a weighty Message, from which
ye turn aside!"+F2 Likewise, He saith: "And when

+F1 &Qur'an 45:22.
+F2 &Qur'an 38:67.

Our clear verses are recited to them, they say,
`This is merely a man who would fain pervert you
from your father's worship.' And they say, `This
is none other than a forged falsehood.'"+F1
     Give ear unto God's holy Voice, and heed thou
His sweet and immortal melody. Behold how He
hath solemnly warned them that have repudiated
the verses of God, and hath disowned them that
have denied His holy words. Consider how far the
people have strayed from the &Kawthar of the
divine Presence, and how grievous hath been the
faithlessness and arrogance of the spiritually destitute
in the face of that sanctified Beauty. Although
that Essence of lovingkindness and bounty
caused those evanescent beings to step into the
realm of immortality, and guided those destitute
souls to the sacred river of wealth, yet some denounced
Him as "a calumniator of God, the Lord
of all creatures," others accused Him of being
"the one that withholdeth the people from the path
of faith and true belief," and still others declared
Him to be "a lunatic" and the like.
     In like manner, thou observest in this day with
what vile imputations they have assailed that Gem

+F1 &Qur'an 34:43.

of Immortality, and what unspeakable transgressions
they have heaped upon Him Who is the
Source of purity. Although God hath throughout
His Book and in His holy and immortal Tablet
warned them that deny and repudiate the revealed
verses, and hath announced His grace unto them
that accept them, yet behold the unnumbered
cavils they raised against those verses which have
been sent down from the new heaven of God's
eternal holiness! This, notwithstanding the fact
that no eye hath beheld so great an outpouring of
bounty, nor hath any ear heard of such a revelation
of lovingkindness. Such bounty and revelation
have been made manifest, that the revealed verses
seemed as vernal showers raining from the clouds
of the mercy of the All-Bountiful. The Prophets
"endowed with constancy," whose loftiness and
glory shine as the sun, were each honoured with
a Book which all have seen, and the verses of
which have been duly ascertained. Whereas the
verses which have rained from this Cloud of divine
mercy have been so abundant that none hath
yet been able to estimate their number. A score
of volumes are now available. How many
still remain beyond our reach! How many
have been plundered and have fallen into the

hands of the enemy, the fate of which none
     O brother, we should open our eyes, meditate
upon His Word, and seek the sheltering shadow
of the Manifestations of God, that perchance we
may be warned by the unmistakable counsels of
the Book, and give heed to the admonitions recorded
in the holy Tablets; that we may not cavil
at the Revealer of the verses, that we may resign
ourselves wholly to His Cause, and embrace wholeheartedly
His law, that haply we may enter the
court of His mercy, and dwell upon the shore of
His grace. He, verily, is merciful, and forgiving
towards His servants.
     And likewise, He saith: "Say, O people of the
Book! do ye not disavow us only because we believe
in God and in what He hath sent down to
us, and in what He hath sent down aforetime,
and because most of you are doers of ill?"+F1 How
explicitly doth this verse reveal Our purpose, and
how clearly doth it demonstrate the truth of the testimony
of the verses of God! This verse was revealed
at a time when &Islam was assailed by the infidels,

+F1 &Qur'an 5:62.

and its followers were accused of misbelief, when
the Companions of &Muhammad were denounced as
repudiators of God and as followers of a lying sorcerer.
In its early days, when &Islam was still to
outward seeming devoid of authority and power,
the friends of the Prophet, who had turned their
face toward God, wherever they went, were harassed,
persecuted, stoned and vilified. At such a
time this blessed verse was sent down from the
heaven of divine Revelation. It revealed an irrefutable
evidence, and brought the light of an unfailing
guidance. It instructed the companions of
&Muhammad to declare the following unto the infidels
and idolators: "Ye oppress and persecute us,
and yet, what else have we done except that we
have believed in God and in the verses sent down
unto us through the tongue of &Muhammad, and
in those which descended upon the Prophets of
old?" By this is meant that their only guilt was
to have recognized that the new and wondrous
verses of God, which had descended upon &Muhammad,
as well as those which had been revealed
unto the Prophets of old, were all of God, and to
have acknowledged and embraced their truth.
This is the testimony which the divine King hath
taught His servants.

     In view of this, is it fair for this people to
repudiate these newly-revealed verses which have
encompassed both the East and the West, and to
regard themselves as the upholders of true belief?
Should they not rather believe in Him Who hath
revealed these verses? Considering the testimony
which He Himself hath established, how could
He fail to account as true believers them that have
testified to its truth? Far be it from Him that He
should turn away from the gates of His mercy
them that have turned unto and embraced the
truth of the divine verses, or that He should
threaten those that have clung to His sure testimony!
He verily establisheth the truth through
His verses, and confirmeth His Revelation by His
words. He verily is the Powerful, the Help in
peril, the Almighty.
     And likewise, He saith: "And had We sent
down unto Thee a Book written on parchment, and
they had touched it with their hands, the infidels
would surely have said `This is naught but palpable
sorcery.'"+F1 Most of the verses of the &Qur'an
are indicative of this theme. We have, for the sake
of brevity, mentioned only these verses. Consider,

+F1 &Qur'an 6:7.

hath anything else besides the verses been established
in the whole Book, as a standard for the
recognition of the Manifestations of His Beauty,
that the people might cling to, and reject the Manifestations
of God? On the contrary, in every instance,
He hath threatened with fire those that
repudiate and scoff at the verses, as already
     Therefore, should a person arise and bring
forth a myriad verses, discourses, epistles, and
prayers, none of which have been acquired through
learning, what conceivable excuse could justify
those that reject them, and deprive themselves of
the potency of their grace? What answer could
they give when once their soul hath ascended and
departed from its gloomy temple? Could they seek
to justify themselves by saying: "We have clung
to a certain tradition, and not having beheld
the literal fulfilment thereof, we have therefore
raised such cavils against the Embodiments of
divine Revelation, and kept remote from the law
of God?" Hast thou not heard that among the reasons
why certain Prophets have been designated
as Prophets "endowed with constancy" was the
revelation of a Book unto them? And yet, how

could this people be justified in rejecting the Revealer
and Author of so many volumes of verses,
and follow the sayings of him who hath foolishly
sown the seeds of doubt in the hearts of men, and
who, Satan-like, hath risen to lead the people into
the paths of perdition and error? How could they
allow such things to deprive them of the light of
the Sun of divine bounty? Aside from these things,
if these people shun and reject such a divine Soul,
such holy Breath, to whom, We wonder, could
they cling, to whose face besides His Face could
they turn? Yea--"All have a quarter of the
Heavens to which they turn."+F1 We have shown
thee these two ways; walk thou the way thou
choosest. This verily is the truth, and after truth
there remaineth naught but error.
     Amongst the proofs demonstrating the truth of
this Revelation is this, that in every age and Dispensation,
whenever the invisible Essence was revealed
in the person of His Manifestation, certain
souls, obscure and detached from all worldly entanglements,
would seek illumination from the Sun
of Prophethood and Moon of divine guidance, and
would attain unto the divine Presence. For this

+F1 &Qur'an 2:148.

reason, the divines of the age and those possessed
of wealth, would scorn and scoff at these people.
Even as He hath revealed concerning them that
erred: "Then said the chiefs of His people who
believed not, `We see in Thee but a man like ourselves;
and we see not any who have followed
Thee except our meanest ones of hasty judgment,
nor see we any excellence in you above ourselves:
nay, we deem you liars.'"+F1 They caviled at those
holy Manifestations, and protested saying: "None
hath followed you except the abject amongst us,
those who are worthy of no attention." Their aim
was to show that no one amongst the learned, the
wealthy, and the renowned believed in them. By
this and similar proofs they sought to demonstrate
the falsity of Him that speaketh naught but the
     In this most resplendent Dispensation, however,
this most mighty Sovereignty, a number of illumined
divines, of men of consummate learning, of
doctors of mature wisdom, have attained unto His
Court, drunk the cup of His divine Presence, and
been invested with the honour of His most excellent
favour. They have renounced, for the sake of
the Beloved, the world and all that is therein. We

+F1 &Qur'an 11:27.

will mention the names of some of them, that perchance
it may strengthen the faint-hearted, and
encourage the timorous.
     Among them was &Mulla &Husayn, who became
the recipient of the effulgent glory of the Sun of
divine Revelation. But for him, God would not
have been established upon the seat of His mercy,
nor ascended the throne of eternal glory. Among
them also was Siyyid &Yahya, that unique and peerless
figure of his age,

&Mulla &Muhammad &Aliy-i-Zanjani
&Mulla &Aliy-i-Bastami
&Mulla &Sa'id-i-Barfurushi
&Mulla &Ni'matu'llah-i-Mazindarani
&Mulla &Yusuf-i-Ardibili
&Mulla &Mihdiy-i-Khu'i
Siyyid &Husayn-i-Turshizi
&Mulla &Mihdiy-i-Kandi
&Mulla &Baqir
&Mulla &Abdu'l-Khaliq-i-Yazdi
&Mulla &Aliy-i-Baraqani

and others, well nigh four hundred in number,
whose names are all inscribed upon the "Guarded
Tablet" of God.
     All these were guided by the light of that Sun
of divine Revelation, confessed and acknowledged
His truth. Such was their faith, that most of them
renounced their substance and kindred, and

cleaved to the good-pleasure of the All-Glorious.
They laid down their lives for their Well-Beloved,
and surrendered their all in His path. Their
breasts were made targets for the darts of the
enemy, and their heads adorned the spears of the
infidel. No land remained which did not drink
the blood of these embodiments of detachment,
and no sword that did not bruise their necks. Their
deeds, alone, testify to the truth of their words.
Doth not the testimony of these holy souls, who
have so gloriously risen to offer up their lives for
their Beloved that the whole world marvelled at
the manner of their sacrifice, suffice the people of
this day? Is it not sufficient witness against the
faithlessness of those who for a trifle betrayed
their faith, who bartered away immortality for
that which perisheth, who gave up the &Kawthar of
the divine Presence for salty springs, and whose
one aim in life is to usurp the property of others?
Even as thou dost witness how all of them have
busied themselves with the vanities of the world,
and have strayed far from Him Who is the Lord,
the Most High.
     Be fair: Is the testimony of those acceptable and
worthy of attention whose deeds agree with their

words, whose outward behaviour conforms with
their inner life? The mind is bewildered at their
deeds, and the soul marvelleth at their fortitude
and bodily endurance. Or is the testimony of these
faithless souls who breathe naught but the breath
of selfish desire, and who lie imprisoned in the
cage of their idle fancies, acceptable? Like the bats
of darkness, they lift not their heads from their
couch except to pursue the transient things of the
world, and find no rest by night except as they labour
to advance the aims of their sordid life. Immersed
in their selfish schemes, they are oblivious
of the divine Decree. In the day-time they strive
with all their soul after worldly benefits, and in
the night-season their sole occupation is to gratify
their carnal desires. By what law or standard could
men be justified in cleaving to the denials of such
petty-minded souls, and in ignoring the faith of
them that have renounced, for the sake of the good-pleasure
of God, their life, and substance, their
fame and renown, their reputation and honour?
     Were not the happenings of the life of the
"Prince of Martyrs"+F1 regarded as the greatest of
all events, as the supreme evidence of his truth?

+F1 &Imam &Husayn.

Did not the people of old declare those happenings
to be unprecedented? Did they not maintain
that no manifestation of truth hath ever evinced
such constancy, such conspicuous glory? And yet,
that episode of his life, commencing as it did in the
morning, was brought to a close by the middle of
the same day, whereas, these holy lights have, for
eighteen years, heroically endured the showers of
afflictions which, from every side, have rained
upon them. With what love, what devotion, what
exultation and holy rapture, they sacrificed their
lives in the path of the All-Glorious! To the truth
of this all witness. And yet, how can they belittle
this Revelation? Hath any age witnessed such momentous
happenings? If these companions be not
the true strivers after God, who else could be
called by this name? Have these companions been
seekers after power or glory? Have they ever
yearned for riches? Have they cherished any desire
except the good-pleasure of God? If these
companions, with all their marvellous testimonies
and wondrous works, be false, who then is worthy
to claim for himself the truth? I swear by God!
Their very deeds are a sufficient testimony, and an
irrefutable proof unto all the peoples of the earth,
were men to ponder in their hearts the mysteries

of divine Revelation. "And they who act unjustly
shall soon know what lot awaiteth them!"+F1
     Furthermore, the sign of truth and falsehood is
designated and appointed in the Book. By this
divinely-appointed touchstone, the claims and pretensions
of all men must needs be assayed, so that
the truthful may be known and distinguished from
the imposter. This touchstone is no other than this
verse: "Wish for death, if ye are men of truth."+F2
Consider these martyrs of unquestionable sincerity,
to whose truthfulness testifieth the explicit
text of the Book, and all of whom, as thou hast witnessed,
have sacrificed their life, their substance,
their wives, their children, their all, and ascended
unto the loftiest chambers of Paradise. Is it fair
to reject the testimony of these detached and exalted
beings to the truth of this pre-eminent and
glorious Revelation and to regard as acceptable
the denunciations which have been uttered against
this resplendent Light by this faithless people,
who for gold have forsaken their faith, and who
for the sake of leadership have repudiated Him
Who is the First Leader of all mankind? This,

+F1 &Qur'an 26:227.
+F2 &Qur'an 2:94, 62:6.

although their character is now revealed unto all
people who have recognized them as those who
will in no wise relinquish one jot or one tittle of
their temporal authority for the sake of God's holy
Faith, how much less their life, their substance,
and the like.
     Behold how the divine Touchstone hath, according
to the explicit text of the Book, separated and
distinguished the true from the false. Notwithstanding,
they are still oblivious of this truth, and
in the sleep of heedlessness, are pursuing the vanities
of the world, and are occupied with thoughts
of vain and earthly leadership.
     "O Son of Man! Many a day hath passed over
thee whilst thou hast busied thyself with thy fancies
and idle imaginings. How long art thou to
slumber on thy bed? Lift up thine head from
slumber, for the Sun hath risen to the zenith; haply
it may shine upon thee with the light of beauty."
     Let it be known, however, that none of these
doctors and divines to whom we have referred was
invested with the rank and dignity of leadership.
For well-known and influential leaders of religion,
who occupy the seats of authority and exercise

the functions of leadership, can in no wise bear
allegiance to the Revealer of truth, except whomsoever
thy Lord willeth. But for a few, such things
have never come to pass. "And few of My servants
are the thankful."+F1 Even as in this Dispensation,
not one amongst the renowned divines, in the grasp
of whose authority were held the reins of the people,
hath embraced the Faith. Nay, they have
striven against it with such animosity and determination
that no ear hath heard and no eye hath seen
the like.
     The &Bab, the Lord, the most exalted--may the
life of all be a sacrifice unto Him,--hath specifically
revealed an Epistle unto the divines of every
city, wherein He hath fully set forth the character
of the denial and repudiation of each of them.
"Wherefore, take ye good heed ye who are men of
insight!"+F2 By His references to their opposition
He intended to invalidate the objections which the
people of the &Bayan might raise in the day of the
manifestation of "&Mustaghath,"+F3 the day of the
Latter Resurrection, claiming that, whereas in the
Dispensation of the &Bayan a number of divines

+F1 &Qur'an 34:13.
+F2 &Qur'an 59:2.
+F3 He Who is invoked.

have embraced the Faith, in this latter Revelation
none of these hath recognized His claim. His purpose
was to warn the people lest, God forbid, they
cling to such foolish thoughts and deprive themselves
of the divine Beauty. Yea, these divines to
whom We have referred, were mostly unrenowned,
and, by the grace of God they were all purged of
earthly vanities and free from the trappings of
leadership. "Such is the bounty of God; to whom
He will He giveth it."
     Another proof and evidence of the truth of this
Revelation, which amongst all other proofs shineth
as the sun, is the constancy of the eternal
Beauty in proclaiming the Faith of God. Though
young and tender of age, and though the Cause He
revealed was contrary to the desire of all the peoples
of earth, both high and low, rich and poor,
exalted and abased, king and subject, yet He arose
and steadfastly proclaimed it. All have known and
heard this. He was afraid of no one; He was regardless
of consequences. Could such a thing be
made manifest except through the power of a
divine Revelation, and the potency of God's invincible
Will? By the righteousness of God! Were
any one to entertain so great a Revelation in his

heart, the thought of such a declaration would
alone confound him! Were the hearts of all men
to be crowded into his heart, he would still hesitate
to venture upon so awful an enterprise. He
could achieve it only by the permission of God,
only if the channel of his heart were to be linked
with the Source of divine grace, and his soul be
assured of the unfailing sustenance of the Almighty.
To what, We wonder, do they ascribe so
great a daring? Do they accuse Him of folly as
they accused the Prophets of old? Or do they
maintain that His motive was none other than
leadership and the acquisition of earthly riches?
     Gracious God! In His Book, which He hath
entitled "&Qayyumu'l-Asma',"--the first, the greatest
and mightiest of all books--He prophesied
His own martyrdom. In it is this passage: "O
thou Remnant of God! I have sacrificed myself
wholly for Thee; I have accepted curses for Thy
sake; and have yearned for naught but martyrdom
in the path of Thy love. Sufficient Witness
unto me is God, the Exalted, the Protector, the
Ancient of Days!"
     Likewise, in His interpretation of the letter
"&Ha," He craved martyrdom, saying: "Methinks

I heard a Voice calling in my inmost being: `Do
thou sacrifice the thing which Thou lovest most
in the path of God, even as &Husayn, peace be upon
him, hath offered up his life for My sake.' And
were I not regardful of this inevitable mystery, by
Him, Who hath my being between His hands even
if all the kings of the earth were to be leagued
together they would be powerless to take from me
a single letter, how much less can these servants
who are worthy of no attention, and who verily
are of the outcast... That all may know the degree
of My patience, My resignation, and self-sacrifice
in the path of God."
     Could the Revealer of such utterance be regarded
as walking any way but the way of God,
and as having yearned for aught else except His
good-pleasure? In this very verse there lieth concealed
a breath of detachment, which if it were
to be breathed full upon the world, all beings
would renounce their lives, and sacrifice their
souls. Reflect upon the villainous behaviour of
this generation, and witness their astounding ingratitude.
Observe how they have closed their eyes
to all this glory, and are abjectly pursuing those
foul carcasses from whose bellies ascendeth the cry

of the swallowed substance of the faithful. And
yet, what unseemly calumnies they have hurled
against those Daysprings of Holiness? Thus do
We recount unto thee that which the hands of the
infidels have wrought, they who, in the Day of
Resurrection, have turned their face away from
the divine Presence, whom God hath tormented
with the fire of their own misbelief, and for whom
He hath prepared in the world to come a chastisement
which shall devour both their bodies and
souls. For these have said: "God is powerless, and
His hand of mercy is fettered."
     Steadfastness in the Faith is a sure testimony,
and a glorious evidence of the truth. Even as the
"Seal of the Prophets" hath said: "Two verses
have made Me old." Both these verses are indicative
of constancy in the Cause of God. Even as
He saith: "Be thou steadfast as thou hast been
     And now consider how this Sadrih of the &Ridvan
of God hath, in the prime of youth, risen to
proclaim the Cause of God. Behold what steadfastness
that Beauty of God hath revealed. The
whole world rose to hinder Him, yet it utterly

+F1 &Qur'an 11:113.

failed. The more severe the persecution they inflicted
on that Sadrih of Blessedness, the more
His fervour increased, and the brighter burned
the flame of His love. All this is evident, and none
disputeth its truth. Finally, He surrendered His
soul, and winged His flight unto the realms above.
     And among the evidences of the truth of His
manifestation were the ascendancy, the transcendent
power, and supremacy which He, the Revealer
of being and Manifestation of the Adored,
hath, unaided and alone, revealed throughout the
world. No sooner had that eternal Beauty revealed
Himself in &Shiraz, in the year sixty, and rent
asunder the veil of concealment, than the signs of
the ascendancy, the might, the sovereignty, and
power, emanating from that Essence of Essences
and Sea of Seas, were manifest in every land. So
much so, that from every city there appeared the
signs, the evidences, the tokens, the testimonies of
that divine Luminary. How many were those pure
and kindly hearts which faithfully reflected the
light of that eternal Sun, and how manifold the
emanations of knowledge from that Ocean of divine
wisdom which encompassed all beings! In
every city, all the divines and dignitaries rose to

hinder and repress them, and girded up the loins
of malice, of envy, and tyranny for their suppression.
How great the number of those holy souls,
those essences of justice, who, accused of tyranny,
were put to death! And how many embodiments
of purity, who showed forth naught but true
knowledge and stainless deeds, suffered an agonizing
death! Notwithstanding all this, each of
these holy beings, up to his last moment, breathed
the Name of God, and soared in the realm of submission
and resignation. Such was the potency and
transmuting influence which He exercised over
them, that they ceased to cherish any desire but
His will, and wedded their soul to His remembrance.
     Reflect: Who in this world is able to manifest
such transcendent power, such pervading influence?
All these stainless hearts and sanctified souls
have, with absolute resignation, responded to the
summons of His decree. Instead of complaining,
they rendered thanks unto God, and amidst the
darkness of their anguish they revealed naught
but radiant acquiescence to His will. It is evident
how relentless was the hate, and how bitter the
malice and enmity entertained by all the peoples

of the earth towards these companions. The persecution
and pain they inflicted on these holy and
spiritual beings were regarded by them as means
unto salvation, prosperity, and everlasting success.
Hath the world, since the days of Adam, witnessed
such tumult, such violent commotion? Notwithstanding
all the torture they suffered, and manifold
the afflictions they endured, they became the
object of universal opprobrium and execration.
Methinks patience was revealed only by virtue
of their fortitude, and faithfulness itself was begotten
only by their deeds.
     Do thou ponder these momentous happenings in
thy heart, so that thou mayest apprehend the
greatness of this Revelation, and perceive its stupendous
glory. Then shall the spirit of faith,
through the grace of the Merciful, be breathed
into thy being, and thou shalt be established and
abide upon the seat of certitude. The one God is
My witness! Wert thou to ponder a while, thou
wilt recognize that, apart from all these established
truths and above-mentioned evidences, the repudiation,
cursing, and execration, pronounced by
the people of the earth, are in themselves the
mightiest proof and the surest testimony of the
truth of these heroes of the field of resignation

and detachment. Whenever thou dost meditate
upon the cavils uttered by all the people, be they
divines, learned or ignorant, the firmer and the
more steadfast wilt thou grow in the Faith. For
whatsoever hath come to pass, hath been prophesied
by them who are the Mines of divine knowledge,
and Recipients of God's eternal law.
     Although We did not intend to make mention of
the traditions of a bygone age, yet, because of Our
love for thee, We will cite a few which are applicable
to Our argument. We do not feel their necessity,
however, inasmuch as the things We have already
mentioned suffice the world and all that is
therein. In fact, all the Scriptures and the mysteries
thereof are condensed into this brief account.
So much so, that were a person to ponder it a while
in his heart, he would discover from all that hath
been said the mysteries of the Words of God, and
would apprehend the meaning of whatever hath
been manifested by that ideal King. As the people
differ in their understanding and station, We will
accordingly make mention of a few traditions,
that these may impart constancy to the wavering
soul, and tranquillity to the troubled mind.
Thereby, will the testimony of God unto the people,

both high and low, be complete and perfect.
     Among them is the tradition, "And when the
Standard of Truth is made manifest, the people
of both the East and the West curse it." The wine
of renunciation must needs be quaffed, the lofty
heights of detachment must needs be attained, and
the meditation referred to in the words "One
hour's reflection is preferable to seventy years of
pious worship" must needs be observed, so that the
secret of the wretched behaviour of the people
might be discovered, those people who, despite the
love and yearning for truth which they profess,
curse the followers of Truth when once He hath
been made manifest. To this truth the above-mentioned
tradition beareth witness. It is evident that
the reason for such behaviour is none other than
the annulment of those rules, customs, habits, and
ceremonials to which they have been subjected.
Otherwise, were the Beauty of the Merciful to
comply with those same rules and customs, which
are current amongst the people, and were He to
sanction their observances, such conflict and mischief
would in no wise be made manifest in the
world. This exalted tradition is attested and substantiated

by these words which He hath revealed:
"The day when the Summoner shall summon to a
stern business."+F1
     The divine call of the celestial Herald from beyond
the Veil of Glory, summoning mankind to
renounce utterly all the things to which they
cleave, is repugnant to their desire; and this is
the cause of the bitter trials and violent commotions
which have occurred. Consider the way of the
people. They ignore these well-founded traditions,
all of which have been fulfilled, and cling unto
those of doubtful validity, and ask why these have
not been fulfilled. And yet, those things which to
them were inconceivable have been made manifest.
The signs and tokens of the Truth shine even as
the midday sun, and yet the people are wandering,
aimlessly and perplexedly, in the wilderness of
ignorance and folly. Notwithstanding all the verses
of the &Qur'an, and the recognized traditions,
which are all indicative of a new Faith, a new
Law, and a new Revelation, this generation still
waiteth in expectation of beholding the promised
One who should uphold the Law of the &Muhammadan
Dispensation. The Jews and the

+F1 &Qur'an 54:6.

Christians in like manner uphold the same contention.
     Among the utterances that foreshadow a new
Law and a new Revelation are the passages in the
"Prayer of Nudbih": "Where is He Who is preserved
to renew the ordinances and laws? Where
is He Who hath the authority to transform the
Faith and the followers thereof?" He hath, likewise,
revealed in the &Ziyarat:+F1 "Peace be upon the
Truth made new." &Abu-'Abdi'llah, questioned concerning
the character of the &Mihdi, answered saying:
"He will perform that which &Muhammad,
the Messenger of God, hath performed, and will
demolish whatever hath been before Him even as
the Messenger of God hath demolished the ways
of those that preceded Him."
     Behold, how, notwithstanding these and similar
traditions, they idly contend that the laws formerly
revealed, must in no wise be altered. And yet, is
not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation
in the whole character of mankind, a
transformation that shall manifest itself both outwardly
and inwardly, that shall affect both its
inner life and external conditions? For if the character

+F1 Visiting Tablet revealed by &Ali.

of mankind be not changed, the futility of
God's universal Manifestations would be apparent.
In the "&Avalim," an authoritative and well-known
book, it is recorded: "A Youth from &Bani-Hashim
shall be made manifest, Who will reveal a new
Book and promulgate a new law;" then follow
these words: "Most of His enemies will be the
divines." In another passage, it is related of &Sadiq,
son of &Muhammad, that he spoke the following:
"There shall appear a Youth from &Bani-Hashim,
Who will bid the people plight fealty unto Him.
His Book will be a new Book, unto which He
shall summon the people to pledge their faith.
Stern is His Revelation unto the Arab. If ye hear
about Him, hasten unto Him." How well have
they followed the directions of the &Imams of the
Faith and Lamps of certitude! Although it is
clearly stated: "Were ye to hear that a Youth from
&Bani-Hashim hath appeared, summoning the people
unto a new and Divine Book, and to new and
Divine laws, hasten unto Him," yet have they all
declared that Lord of being an infidel, and pronounced
Him a heretic. They hastened not unto
that &Hashimite Light, that divine Manifestation,
except with drawn swords, and hearts filled with
malice. Moreover, observe how explicitly the enmity

of the divines hath been mentioned in the
books. Notwithstanding all these evident and significant
traditions, all these unmistakable and undisputed
allusions, the people have rejected the immaculate
Essence of knowledge and of holy utterance,
and have turned unto the exponents of rebellion
and error. Despite these recorded traditions
and revealed utterances, they speak only that
which is prompted by their own selfish desires.
And should the Essence of Truth reveal that which
is contrary to their inclinations and desires, they
will straightway denounce Him as an infidel, and
will protest saying: "This is contrary to the sayings
of the &Imams of the Faith and of the resplendent
lights. No such thing hath been provided
by our inviolable Law." Even so in this day
such worthless statements have been and are being
made by these poor mortals.
     And now, consider this other tradition, and observe
how all these things have been foretold. In
"&Arba'in" it is recorded: "Out of &Bani-Hashim
there shall come forth a Youth Who shall reveal
new laws. He shall summon the people unto Him,
but none will heed His call. Most of His enemies
will be the divines. His bidding they will not obey,

but will protest saying: `This is contrary to that
which hath been handed down unto us by the
&Imams of the Faith.'" In this day, all are repeating
these very same words, utterly unaware that
He is established upon the throne of "He doeth
whatsoever He willeth," and abideth upon the seat
of "He ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth."
     No understanding can grasp the nature of His
Revelation, nor can any knowledge comprehend
the full measure of His Faith. All sayings are dependent
upon His sanction, and all things stand
in need of His Cause. All else save Him are created
by His command, and move and have their
being through His law. He is the Revealer of the
divine mysteries, and the Expounder of the hidden
and ancient wisdom. Thus it is related in the
"&Biharu'l-Anvar," the "&Avalim," and the "&Yanbu'"
of &Sadiq, son of &Muhammad, that he spoke
these words: "Knowledge is twenty and seven letters.
All that the Prophets have revealed are two
letters thereof. No man thus far hath known more
than these two letters. But when the &Qa'im shall
arise, He will cause the remaining twenty and five
letters to be made manifest." Consider; He hath
declared Knowledge to consist of twenty and seven

letters, and regarded all the Prophets, from Adam
even unto the "Seal," as Expounders of only two
letters thereof and of having been sent down with
these two letters. He also saith that the &Qa'im will
reveal all the remaining twenty and five letters.
Behold from this utterance how great and lofty
is His station! His rank excelleth that of all the
Prophets, and His Revelation transcendeth the
comprehension and understanding of all their
chosen ones. A Revelation, of which the Prophets
of God, His saints and chosen ones, have either not
been informed, or which, in pursuance of God's
inscrutable Decree, they have not disclosed,--such
a Revelation these mean and depraved people have
sought to measure with their own deficient minds,
their own deficient learning and understanding.
Should it fail to conform to their standards, they
straightway reject it. "Thinkest thou that the
greater part of them hear or understand? They are
even like unto the brutes! yea, they stray even
further from the path!"+F1
     How, We wonder, do they explain the aforementioned
tradition, a tradition which, in unmistakable
terms, foreshadoweth the revelation of

+F1 &Qur'an 25:44.

things inscrutable, and the occurrence of new and
wondrous events in His day? Such marvellous
happenings kindle so great a strife amongst the
people, that all the divines and doctors sentence
Him and His companions to death, and all the
peoples of the earth arise to oppose Him. Even as
it hath been recorded in the "&Kafi," in the tradition
of &Jabir, in the "Tablet of &Fatimih," concerning
the character of the &Qa'im: "He shall manifest
the perfection of Moses, the splendour of Jesus,
and the patience of Job. His chosen ones shall be
abased in His day. Their heads shall be offered
as presents even as the heads of the Turks and the
Daylamites. They shall be slain and burnt. Fear
shall seize them; dismay and alarm shall strike
terror into their hearts. The earth shall be dyed
with their blood. Their womenfolk shall bewail
and lament. These indeed are my friends!" Consider,
not a single letter of this tradition hath remained
unfulfilled. In most of the places their
blessed blood hath been shed; in every city they
have been made captives, have been paraded
throughout the provinces, and some have been
burnt with fire. And yet no one hath paused to reflect
that if the promised &Qa'im should reveal the
law and ordinances of a former Dispensation, why

then should such traditions have been recorded,
and why should there arise such a degree of strife
and conflict that the people should regard the slaying
of these companions as an obligation imposed
upon them, and deem the persecution of these holy
souls as a means of attaining unto the highest
     Moreover, observe how these things that have
come to pass, and the acts which have been perpetrated,
have all been mentioned in former traditions.
Even as it hath been recorded in the
"&Rawdiy-i-Kafi," concerning "&Zawra'." In the
"&Rawdiy-i-Kafi" it is related of &Mu'aviyih, son
of &Vahhab, that &Abu-'Abdi'llah hath spoken:
"Knowest thou &Zawra'?" I said: "May my life be a
sacrifice unto thee! They say it is &Baghdad."
"Nay," he answered. And then added: "Hast thou
entered the city of Rayy?",+F1 to which I made reply:
"Yea, I have entered it." Whereupon, He enquired:
"Didst thou visit the cattle-market?"
"Yea," I answered. He said: "Hast thou seen the
black mountain on the right hand side of the road?
The same is &Zawra'. There shall eighty men, of
the children of certain ones, be slain, all of whom

+F1 Ancient city near which &Tihran is built.

are worthy to be called caliphs." "Who will slay
them?" I asked. He made reply: "The children of
     Such is the condition and fate of His companions
which in former days hath been foretold.
And now observe how, according to this tradition,
&Zawra' is no other but the land of Rayy. In that
place His companions have been with great suffering
put to death, and all these holy beings have
suffered martyrdom at the hand of the Persians,
as recorded in the tradition. This thou hast heard,
and unto it all testify. Wherefore, then, do not
these grovelling, worm-like men pause to meditate
upon these traditions, all of which are manifest
as the sun in its noon-tide glory? For what reason
do they refuse to embrace the Truth, and allow
certain traditions, the significance of which they
have failed to grasp, to withhold them from the
recognition of the Revelation of God and His
Beauty, and to cause them to dwell in the infernal
abyss? Such things are to be attributed to naught
but the faithlessness of the divines and doctors of
the age. Of these, &Sadiq, son of &Muhammad, hath
said: "The religious doctors of that age shall be the
most wicked of the divines beneath the shadow of

heaven. Out of them hath mischief proceeded, and
unto them it shall return."
     We entreat the learned men of the &Bayan not
to follow in such ways, not to inflict, at the time of
&Mustaghath, upon Him Who is the divine Essence,
the heavenly Light, the absolute Eternity, the Beginning
and the End of the Manifestations of the
Invisible, that which hath been inflicted in this
day. We beg them not to depend upon their intellect,
their comprehension and learning, nor to
contend with the Revealer of celestial and infinite
knowledge. And yet, notwithstanding all these admonitions,
We perceive that a one-eyed man, who
himself is the chief of the people, is arising with
the utmost malevolence against Us. We foresee
that in every city people will arise to suppress the
Blessed Beauty, that the companions of that Lord
of being and ultimate Desire of all men will flee
from the face of the oppressor and seek refuge
from him in the wilderness, whilst others will resign
themselves and, with absolute detachment,
will sacrifice their lives in His path. Methinks We
can discern one who is reputed for such devoutness
and piety that men deem it an obligation to obey
him, and to whose command they consider it necessary

to submit, who will arise to assail the very
root of the divine Tree, and endeavour to the uttermost
of his power to resist and oppose Him. Such
is the way of the people!
     We fain would hope that the people of the
&Bayan will be enlightened, will soar in the realm
of the spirit and abide therein, will discern the
Truth, and recognize with the eye of insight dissembling
falsehood. In these days, however, such
odours of jealousy are diffused, that--I swear by
the Educator of all beings, visible and invisible--
from the beginning of the foundation of the world
--though it hath no beginning--until the present
day, such malice, envy, and hate have in no wise
appeared, nor will they ever be witnessed in the
future. For a number of people who have never
inhaled the fragrance of justice, have raised the
standard of sedition, and have leagued themselves
against Us. On every side We witness the menace
of their spears, and in all directions We recognize
the shafts of their arrows. This, although We have
never gloried in any thing, nor did We seek preference
over any soul. To everyone We have been
a most kindly companion, a most forbearing and
affectionate friend. In the company of the poor We

have sought their fellowship, and amidst the exalted
and learned We have been submissive and
resigned. I swear by God, the one true God! grievous
as have been the woes and sufferings which the
hand of the enemy and the people of the Book inflicted
upon Us, yet all these fade into utter nothingness
when compared with that which hath befallen
Us at the hand of those who profess to be
Our friends.
     What more shall We say? The universe, were
it to gaze with the eye of justice, would be incapable
of bearing the weight of this utterance! In
the early days of Our arrival in this land, when
We discerned the signs of impending events, We
decided, ere they happened, to retire. We betook
Ourselves to the wilderness, and there, separated
and alone, led for two years a life of complete
solitude. From Our eyes there rained tears of anguish,
and in Our bleeding heart there surged an
ocean of agonizing pain. Many a night We had
no food for sustenance, and many a day Our body
found no rest. By Him Who hath My being between
His hands! notwithstanding these showers
of afflictions and unceasing calamities, Our soul
was wrapt in blissful joy, and Our whole being

evinced an ineffable gladness. For in Our solitude
We were unaware of the harm or benefit, the
health or ailment, of any soul. Alone, We communed
with Our spirit, oblivious of the world and
all that is therein. We knew not, however, that the
mesh of divine destiny exceedeth the vastest of
mortal conceptions, and the dart of His decree
transcendeth the boldest of human designs. None
can escape the snares He setteth, and no soul can
find release except through submission to His will.
By the righteousness of God! Our withdrawal contemplated
no return, and Our separation hoped for
no reunion. The one object of Our retirement was
to avoid becoming a subject of discord among the
faithful, a source of disturbance unto Our companions,
the means of injury to any soul, or the
cause of sorrow to any heart. Beyond these, We
cherished no other intention, and apart from them,
We had no end in view. And yet, each person
schemed after his own desire, and pursued his own
idle fancy, until the hour when, from the Mystic
Source, there came the summons bidding Us return
whence We came. Surrendering Our will to
His, We submitted to His injunction.
     What pen can recount the things We beheld
upon Our return! Two years have elapsed during

which Our enemies have ceaselessly and assiduously
contrived to exterminate Us, whereunto all
witness. Nevertheless, none amongst the faithful
hath risen to render Us any assistance, nor did any
one feel inclined to help in Our deliverance. Nay,
instead of assisting Us, what showers of continuous
sorrows, their words and deeds have caused to
rain upon Our soul! Amidst them all, We stand,
life in hand, wholly resigned to His will; that
perchance, through God's loving kindness and His
grace, this revealed and manifest Letter may lay
down His life as a sacrifice in the path of the
Primal Point, the most exalted Word. By Him at
Whose bidding the Spirit hath spoken, but for this
yearning of Our soul, We would not, for one moment,
have tarried any longer in this city. "Sufficient
Witness is God unto Us." We conclude Our
argument with the words: "There is no power nor
strength but in God alone." "We are God's, and to
Him shall we return."
     They that have hearts to understand, they that
have quaffed the Wine of love, who have not for
one moment gratified their selfish desires, will behold,
resplendent as the sun in its noon-tide glory,
those tokens, testimonies, and evidences that attest
the truth of this wondrous Revelation, this transcendent

and divine Faith. Reflect, how the people
have rejected the Beauty of God, and have clung
unto their covetous desires. Notwithstanding all
these consummate verses, these unmistakable allusions,
which have been revealed in the "Most
weighty Revelation," the Trust of God amongst
men, and despite these evident traditions, each
more manifest than the most explicit utterance, the
people have ignored and repudiated their truth,
and have held fast to the letter of certain traditions
which, according to their understanding, they
have found inconsistent with their expectations,
and the meaning of which they have failed to
grasp. They have thus shattered every hope, and
deprived themselves of the pure wine of the All-Glorious,
and the clear and incorruptible waters
of the immortal Beauty.
     Consider, that even the year in which that
Quintessence of Light is to be made manifest hath
been specifically recorded in the traditions, yet
they still remain unmindful, nor do they for one
moment cease to pursue their selfish desires. According
to the tradition, &Mufaddal asked &Sadiq
saying: "What of the sign of His manifestation,
O my master?" He made reply: "In the year sixty,

His Cause shall be made manifest, and His Name
shall be proclaimed."
     How strange! Notwithstanding these explicit
and manifest references these people have shunned
the Truth. For instance, mention of the sorrows,
the imprisonment and afflictions inflicted upon that
Essence of divine virtue hath been made in the
former traditions. In the "&Bihar" it is recorded:
"In our &Qa'im there shall be four signs from four
Prophets, Moses, Jesus, Joseph, and &Muhammad.
The sign from Moses, is fear and expectation;
from Jesus, that which was spoken of Him; from
Joseph, imprisonment and dissimulation; from
&Muhammad, the revelation of a Book similar to
the &Qur'an." Notwithstanding such a conclusive
tradition, which in such unmistakable language
hath foreshadowed the happenings of the present
day, none hath been found to heed its prophecy,
and methinks none will do so in the future, except
him whom thy Lord willeth. "God indeed shall
make whom He will to hearken, but We shall not
make those who are in their graves to hearken."
     It is evident unto thee that the Birds of Heaven
and Doves of Eternity speak a twofold language.
One language, the outward language, is devoid of

allusions, is unconcealed and unveiled; that it may
be a guiding lamp and a beaconing light whereby
wayfarers may attain the heights of holiness, and
seekers may advance into the realm of eternal reunion.
Such are the unveiled traditions and the
evident verses already mentioned. The other language
is veiled and concealed, so that whatever
lieth hidden in the heart of the malevolent may be
made manifest and their innermost being be disclosed.
Thus hath &Sadiq, son of &Muhammad,
spoken: "God verily will test them and sift them."
This is the divine standard, this is the Touchstone
of God, wherewith He proveth His servants. None
apprehendeth the meaning of these utterances except
them whose hearts are assured, whose souls
have found favour with God, and whose minds are
detached from all else but Him. In such utterances,
the literal meaning, as generally understood by the
people, is not what hath been intended. Thus it is
recorded: "Every knowledge hath seventy meanings,
of which one only is known amongst the people.
And when the &Qa'im shall arise, He shall reveal
unto men all that which remaineth." He also
saith: "We speak one word, and by it we intend
one and seventy meanings; each one of these meanings
we can explain."

     These things We mention only that the people
may not be dismayed because of certain traditions
and utterances, which have not yet been literally
fulfilled, that they may rather attribute their perplexity
to their own lack of understanding, and not
to the non-fulfilment of the promises in the traditions,
inasmuch as the meaning intended by the
&Imams of the Faith is not known by this people,
as evidenced by the traditions themselves. The people,
therefore, must not allow such utterances to
deprive them of the divine bounties, but should
rather seek enlightenment from them who are the
recognized Expounders thereof, so that the hidden
mysteries may be unravelled, and be made manifest
unto them.
     We perceive none, however, amongst the people
of the earth who, sincerely yearning for the Truth,
seeketh the guidance of the divine Manifestations
concerning the abstruse matters of his Faith. All
are dwellers in the land of oblivion, and all are
followers of the people of wickedness and rebellion.
God will verily do unto them that which
they themselves are doing, and will forget them
even as they have ignored His Presence in His
day. Such is His decree unto those that have

denied Him, and such will it be unto them that
have rejected His signs.

     We conclude Our argument with His words--
exalted is He--"And whoso shall withdraw from
the remembrance of the Merciful, We will chain
a Satan unto him, and he shall be his fast companion."+F1
"And whoso turneth away from My remembrance,
truly his shall be a life of misery."+F2
     Thus hath it been revealed aforetime, were ye
to comprehend.

     Revealed by the "&Ba'" and the "&Ha'."+F3

     Peace be upon him that inclineth his ear unto
the melody of the Mystic Bird calling from the

     Glorified be our Lord, the Most High!

+F1 &Qur'an 43:36.
+F2 &Qur'an 20:124.
+F3 B and H meaning &Baha.