The Passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

by Shoghi Effendi and Lady Blomfield

originally published Haifa: Rosenfeld Brothers, 1922

later edition London Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 196?
27 Rutland Gate, London, S.W.7.

Printed in Great Britain by the Gildengate Press,
51b Catton Grove Road, Norwich.


It is well known that the loved ones of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in every part of the world are anxiously waiting to receive some details of the closing events of his unique and wonderful life. For this reason the present account is being written.

We have now come to realize that the Master knew the day and hour when, his mission on earth being finished, he would return to the shelter of heaven. He was, however, careful that his family should not have any premonition of the coming sorrow. It seemed as though their eyes were veiled by him, with his ever-loving consideration for his dear ones, that they should not see the significance of certain dreams and other signs of the culminating event. This they now realize was his thought for them, in order that their strength might be preserved to face the great ordeal when it should arrive, that they should not be devitalized by anguish of mind in its anticipation.

Out of the many signs of the approach of the hour when he could say of his work on earth: "It is finished," the following two dreams seem remarkable. Less than eight weeks before his passing the Master related this to his family:

"I seemed to be standing within a great Mosque, in the inmost shrine, facing the Quiblih (that Point of Adoration where-unto the worshippers turn, as in a Christian church to the East) in the place of the Imám himself. I became aware that a large number of people were flocking into the Mosque; more and yet more crowded in, taking their places in rows behind me, until there was a vast multitude. As I stood I raised loudly the 'Call to Prayer.' Suddenly the thought came to me to go forth from the Mosque.

When I found myself outside I said within myself, 'For what reason came I forth, not having led the prayer? But it matters not; now that I have uttered the Call to Prayer, the vast multitude will of themselves chant the prayer.'" 

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When the Master had passed away, his family pondered over this dream and interpreted it thus:

He had called that same vast multitude - all peoples, all religions, all races, all nations and all kingdoms - to Unity and Peace, to universal Love and Brotherhood; and having called them, he returned to God the Beloved, at whose command he had raised the Majestic Call, had given the Divine Message. This same multitude - the peoples, religions, races, nations and kingdoms - would continue the WORK to which 'Abdu'l-Bahá had called them, and would of themselves press forward to its accomplishment.

A few weeks after the preceding dream the Master came in from the solitary room in the garden, which he had occupied of late, and said:

"I dreamed a dream and behold the Blessed Beauty, (Bahá'u'lláh) came and said unto me, "Destroy this room!"

The family, who had been wishing that he would come and sleep in the house, not being happy that he should be alone at night, exclaimed, " Yes Master, we think your dream means that you should leave that room and come into the house." When he heard this from us, he smiled meaningly as though not agreeing with our interpretation. Afterwards we understood that by the "room" was meant the temple of his body.

A month before his last hour, Doctor Sulayman Rafat Bey, a Turkish friend, who was a guest in the house, received a telegram telling him of the sudden death of his brother. 'Abdu'l-Bahá speaking words of comfort to him, whispered, "Sorrow not, for he is only transferred from this plane to a higher one; I too shall soon be trans- ferred, for my days are numbered." Then patting him gently on the shoulder, he looked him in the face and said, "And it will be in the days that are shortly to come."

In the same week he revealed a Tablet to America, in which is the following prayer:

Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá! (0 Thou the Glory of Glories) I have renounced the world and the people thereof, and am heartbroken and sorely afflicted because of the unfaithful. In the cage of this world, I flutter even as a frightened bird, and yearn every day to take my flight unto Thy Kingdom. 

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Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá! Make me to drink of the cup of sacrifice and set me free. Relieve me from these woes and trials, from these afflictions and troubles. Thou art He that aideth, that succoureth, that protecteth, that stretcheth forth the hand of help."...

On the last Friday morning of his stay on earth (November 25th) he said to his daughters: "The wedding of Khusraw must take place today. If you are too much occupied, I myself will make the necessary preparations, for it must take place this day." (Khusraw is one of the favoured and trusted servants of the Master's Household).

'Abdu'l-Bahá attended the noonday prayer at the Mosque. When he came out he found the poor waiting for the alms, which it was his custom to give every Friday. This day, as usual, he stood, in spite of very great fatigue, whilst he gave a coin to every one with his own hands.

After lunch he dictated some Tablets, his last ones, to Rúhí Effendi.. When he had rested he walked in the garden. He seemed to be in a deep reverie.

His good and faithful servant, Ismá'il-Áqá, relates the following:

"Some time, about twenty days before my Master passed away I was near the garden when I heard him summon an old believer saying:

'Come with me that we may admire together the beauty of the garden. Behold, what the spirit of devotion is able to achieve! This flourishing place was, a few years ago, but a heap of stones, and now it is verdant with foliage and flowers. My desire is that after I am gone the loved ones may all arise to serve the Divine Cause and, please God, so it shall be. Ere long men will arise who shall bring life to the world.'...

"A few days after this he said: 'I am so fatigued! The hour is come when I must leave everything and take my flight. I am too weary to walk.' Then he said: 'It was during the closing days of the Blessed Beauty, when I was engaged in gathering together his papers, which were strewn over the sofa in his writing chamber at Bahjí that He turned to me and said, "It is of no use to gather them, I must leave them and flee away."

'I also have finished my work, I can do nothing more, therefore must I leave it and take my departure.' 

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"Three days before his ascension whilst seated in the garden, he called me and said, 'I am sick with fatigue. Bring two of your oranges for me that I may eat them for your sake.' This I did, and he having eaten them turned to me, saying 'Have you any of your sweet lemons? He bade me fetch a few .... Whilst I was plucking them, he came over to the tree, saying, 'Nay, but I must gather them with my own hands.'

Having eaten of the fruit he turned to me and asked 'Do you desire anything more? ' Then with a pathetic gesture of his hands, he touchingly, emphatically and deliberately said:

'Now it is finished, it is finished!'

These significant word's penetrated my very soul. I felt each time he uttered them as if a knife were struck into my heart. I understood his meaning but never dreamed his end was so nigh."


It was Ismá'il-Áqá who had been the Master's gardener for well nigh thirty years who, in the first week after his bereavement, driven by hopeless grief, quietly disposed of all his belongings, made his will, went to the Master's sister and craved her pardon for any misdeeds he had committed. He then delivered the key of the garden to a trusted servant of the Household and, taking with him means whereby to end his life at his beloved Master's Tomb, walked up the Mountain to that sacred place, three times circled round it and would have succeeded in taking his life had it not been for the opportune arrival of a friend, who reached him in time to prevent the accomplishment of his tragic intention.


Later in the evening of Friday he blessed the bride and bride- groom who had just been married. He spoke impressively to them. "Khusraw," he said, "you have spent your childhood and youth in the service of this house; it is my hope that you will grow old under the same roof, ever and always serving God."

During the evening he attended the usual meeting of the friends in his own audience chamber. 

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In the morning of Saturday, November 26th, he arose early, came to the tea room and had some tea. He asked for the fur-lined coat which had belonged to Bahá'u'lláh. He often put on this coat when he was cold or did not feel well, he so loved it. He then withdrew to his room, lay down on his bed and said, "Cover me up. I am very cold. Last night I did not sleep well, I felt cold. This is serious, it is the beginning."

After more blankets had been put on, he asked for the fur coat he had taken off to be placed over him. That day he was rather feverish. In the evening his temperature rose still higher, but during the night the fever left him. After midnight he asked for some tea.

On Sunday morning (November 27th) he said: "I am quite well and will get up as usual and have tea with you in the tea room." After he had dressed he was persuaded to remain on the sofa in his room.

In the afternoon he sent all the friends up to the Tomb of the Báb, where on the occasion of the anniversary of the declaration of the Covenant a feast was being held, offered by a Parsi pilgrim who had lately arrived from India.

At four in the afternoon, being on the sofa in his room he said: "Ask my sister and all the family to come and have tea with me."

After tea the Mufti of Haifa and the head of the Municipality, with another visitor, were received by him. They remained about an hour. He spoke to them about Bahá'u'lláh, related to them his second dream, showed them extraordinary kindness and even more than his usual courtesy. He then bade them farewell, walking with them to the outer door in spite of their pleading that he should remain resting on his sofa. He then received a visit from the head of the police, an Englishman, who, too, had his share of the Master's gracious kindness. To him he gave some silk hand-woven Persian handkerchiefs, which he very greatly appreciated.

His four sons-in-law and Rúhí Effendi came to him after returning from the gathering on the mountain. They said to him: "The giver of the feast was unhappy because you were not there." He said unto them:

"But I was there, though my body was absent, my spirit was there in your midst. I was present with the friends at the Tomb. The friends must not attach any importance to the absence of my body. 

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In spirit I am, and shall always be, with the friends, even though I be far away."

The same evening he asked after the health of every member of the Household, of the pilgrims and of the friends in Haifa. "Very good, very good " he said when told that none were ill. This was his very last utterance concerning his friends.

At eight in the evening he retired to bed after taking a little nourishment, saying: "I am quite well."

He told all the family to go to bed and rest. Two of his daughters however stayed with him. That night the Master had gone to sleep very calmly, quite free from fever. He awoke about 1.15 a.m., got up and walked across to a table where he drank some water. He took off an outer night garment, saying: "I am too warm." He went back to bed and when his daughter Rúhá Khánum, later on, approached, she found him lying peacefully and, as he looked into her face, he asked her to lift up the net curtains, saying:

"I have difficulty in breathing, give me more air." Some rose water was brought of which he drank, sitting up in bed to do so, without any help. He again lay down, and as some food was offered him, he remarked in a clear and distinct voice:

"You wish me to take some food, and I am going?" He gave them a beautiful look. His face was so calm, his expression so serene, they thought him asleep.

He had gone from the gaze of his loved ones!

The eyes that had always looked out with loving-kindness upon humanity, whether friends or foes, were now closed. The hands that had ever been stretched forth to give alms to the poor and the needy, the halt and the maimed, the blind, the orphan and the widow, had now finished their labour. The feet that, with untiring zeal, had gone upon the ceaseless errands of the Lord of Compassion were now at rest. The lips that had so eloquently championed the cause of the suffering sons of men, were now hushed in silence. The heart that had so powerfully throbbed with wondrous love for the children of God was now stilled. His glorious spirit had passed from the life of earth, from the persecutions of the enemies of righteousness, from the storm and stress of well nigh eighty years of indefatigable toil for the good of others. 

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His long martyrdom was ended!

Whilst yet the gloom of their bereavement was hanging darkly over the disconsolate ladies of the Household, a grand-daughter of the Master had a wondrous dream of him; he was speaking with his beloved sister, the Greatest Holy Leaf, in the very room where, in the early hours of the day, it was the custom of the ladies to assemble in his presence, chanting the morning prayers, and to take their morning tea. He turned to her and said: " Wherefore are ye all perturbed, why lament and be sorrowful? With you all I am well pleased. For a long time have I desired to join my Father, the Blessed Beauty. I was ever beseeching Him to take me to His Rose-garden above, and now that my prayer is granted, how happy, how joyous, how rested I am. Therefore grieve not."

He then counselled them in many ways, exhorting them to follow at all times the commandments of Bahá'u'lláh.

Early on Monday morning November 28th the news of this sudden calamity had spread over the city, causing an unprecedented stir and tumult, and filling all hearts with unutterable grief.

The next morning, Tuesday November 29th, the funeral took place; a funeral the like of which Haifa, nay Palestine itself, had surely never seen; so deep was the feeling that brought so many thousands of mourners together, representative of so many religions, races and tongues.

The High Commissioner of Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, the Governor of Jerusalem, the Governor of Phoenicia, the Chief Officials of the Government, the Consuls of the various countries, resident in Haifa, the heads of the various religious communities, the notables of Palestine, Jews, Christians, Moslems, Druses, Egyptians, Greeks, Turks, Kurds, and a host of his American, European and native friends, men, women and children, both of high and low degree, all, about ten thousand in number, mourning the loss of their Beloved One.

This impressive, triumphal procession was headed by a guard of honour, consisting of the City Constabulary Force, followed by the Boy Scouts of the Moslem and Christian communities holding aloft their banners, a company of Moslem choristers chanting their verses from the Qur'án, the chiefs of the Moslem community headed by the 

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Mufti, a number of Christian priests, Latin, Greek and Anglican, all preceding the sacred coffin, upraised on the shoulders of his loved ones. Immediately behind it came the members of his family, next to them walked the British High Commissioner, the Governor of Jerusalem, and the Governor of Phoenicia. After them came the Consuls and the notables of the land, followed by the vast multitude of those who reverenced and loved him.

On this day there was no cloud in the sky, nor any sound in all the town and surrounding country through which they went, save only the soft, slow, rhythmic chanting of Islám in the Call to Prayer, or the convulsed sobbing moan of those helpless ones, bewailing the loss of their one friend, who had protected them in all their difficulties and sorrows, whose generous bounty had saved them and their little ones from starvation through the terrible years of the "Great Woe."

"0 God, my God!" the people wailed with one accord, "Our father has left us, our father has left us!"

0 the wonder of that great throng! Peoples of every religion and race and colour, united in heart through the Manifestation of Servitude in the life-long work of 'Abdu'l-Bahá!

As they slowly wended their way up Mount Carmel, the Vineyard of God, the casket appeared in the distance to be borne aloft by invisible hands, so high above the heads of the people was it carried. After two hours walking, they reached the garden of the Tomb of the Báb. Tenderly was the sacred coffin placed upon a plain table covered with a fair white linen cloth. As the vast concourse pressed round the Tabernacle of his body, waiting to be laid in its resting place, within the vault, next to that of the Báb, representatives of the various denominations, Moslems, Christians and Jews, all hearts being ablaze with fervent-love of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, some on the impulse of the moment, others prepared, raised their voices in eulogy and regret, paying their last homage of farewell to their loved one. So united were they in their acclamation of him, as the wise educator and reconciler of the human race in this perplexed and sorrowful age, that there seemed to be nothing left for the Bahá'ís to say.

The following are extracts from some of the speeches delivered on that memorable occasion. 

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The Moslem voicing the sentiments of his co-religionists spoke as follows:

"0 concourse of Arabians and Persians! Whom are ye bewailing? Is it he who but yesterday was great in his life and is today in his death greater still? Shed no tears for the one that hath departed to the world of Eternity, but weep over the passing of Virtue and Wisdom, of Knowledge and Generosity. Lament for yourselves, for yours is the loss, whilst he, your lost one, is but a revered Wayfarer, stepping from your mortal world into the everlasting Home. Weep one hour for the sake of him who, for well nigh eighty years, hath wept for you! Look to your right, look to your left, look East and look West and behold, what glory and greatness have vanished! What a pillar of peace hath crumbled! What eloquent lips are hushed! Alas! In the tribulation there is no heart but aches with anguish, no eye but is filled with tears. Woe unto the poor, for lo! goodness hath departed from them; woe unto the orphans, for their loving father is no more with them! Could the life of Sir 'Abdu'l-Bahá 'Abbás have been redeemed by the sacrifices of many a precious soul, they of a certainty would gladly have offered up their lives for his life. But Fate hath otherwise ordained. Every destiny is predetermined and none can change the Divine Decree. What am I to set forth the achievements of this leader of mankind? They are too glorious to be praised, too many to recount. Suffice it to say, that he has left in every heart the most profound impression, on every tongue most wondrous praise. And he that leaveth a memory so lovely, so im- perishable, he, indeed, is not dead. Be solaced then, 0 ye people of Bahá! Endure and be patient; for no man, be he of the East or of the West, can ever comfort you, nay he himself is even in greater need of consolation."

The Christian then came forward and thus spoke:

"I weep for the world, in that my Lord hath died; others there are who, like unto me, weep the death of their Lord ... 0 bitter is the anguish caused by this heart-rending calamity! It is not only our country's loss but a world affliction ... He hath lived for well-nigh eighty years the life of the Messengers and Apostles of God. He hath educated the souls of men, hath been benevolent unto them, hath led them to the Way of Truth. Thus he raised his people to the pinnacle of glory, and great shall be his reward from God, the 

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reward of the righteous! Hear me 0 people! 'Abbás is not dead, neither hath the light of Bahá been extinguished! Nay, nay! this light shall shine with everlasting splendour. The Lamp of Bahá, 'Abbás, hath lived a goodly life, hath manifested in himself the true life of the Spirit. And now he is gathered to glory, a pure angel, richly robed in benevolent deeds, noble in his precious virtues. Fellow Christians! Truly ye are bearing the mortal remains of this ever lamented one to his last resting place, yet know of a certainty that your 'Abbás will live forever in spirit amongst you, through his deeds, his words, his virtues and all the essence of his life. We say farewell to the material body of our 'Abbás, and his material body vanisheth from our gaze, but his reality, our spiritual 'Abbás, will never leave our minds, our thoughts, our hearts, our tongues.

"0 great revered Sleeper! Thou hast been good to us, thou hast guided us, thou hast taught us, thou hast lived amongst us greatly, with the full meaning of greatness, thou hast made us proud of thy deeds and of thy words. Thou hast raised the Orient to the summit of glory, hast shown loving kindness to the people, trained them in righteousness, and hast striven to the end, till thou hast won the crown of glory. Rest thou happily under the shadow of the mercy of the Lord thy God, and He verily, shall well reward thee."

Yet another Moslem, the Mufti of Haifa, spoke as follows:

"I do not wish to exaggerate in my eulogy of this great one, for his ready and helping hand in the service of mankind and the beautiful and wondrous story of his life, spent in doing that which is right and good, none can deny, save him whose heart is blinded ...

"0 thou revered voyager! Thou hast lived greatly and hast died greatly! This great funeral procession is but a glorious proof of thy greatness in thy life and in thy death. But 0 thou whom we have lost! Thou leader of men, generous and benevolent! To whom shall the poor now look? Who shall care for the hungry and the desolate, the widow and the orphan?

"May the Lord inspire all thy household and thy kindred with patience in this grievous calamity, and immerse thee in the ocean of His grace and mercy! He verily, is the prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God." 

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The Jew when his turn came, paid his tribute in these words:

"Dans un siècle de positivisme exagéré et de matérialisme effréné, il est étormant et rare de trouver un philosophe de grande envergure tel que le regretté 'Abdu'l-Bahá 'Abbás parler à notre coeur, à nos sentiments et surtout chercher à éduquer notre âme en nous inculquant les principes les plus beaux, reconnus comme étant la base de toute religion et de toute morale pure. Par ses écrits, par sa parole, par ses entreliens familiers comme par ses colloques célèbres avec les plus cultivés et les fervents adeptes des théories sectaires, il a su persuader, il a pu toujours convairicre. Les exemples vivants sont d'un autre pouvoir. Sa vie privée et publique était un exemple de dévouement et d'oubli de soi pour le bonheur des autres ....

"Sa philosophie est simple, direz; vous, mais elle est grande par cette même simplicité, étant conforme au caractére humain qui perd de sa beauté lorsqu'il se trouve faussé par les préjugés et les superstitions ... 'Abbás est mort à Caiffa, en Palestine, la Terre Sacrée qui a produit les prophètes. Devenue stérile et abandonnée depuis tant de siècles elle ressucite de nouveau et commence à reprendre son rang, et sa renommée primitive. Nous ne sommes pas les seuls à pleurer ce prophète, nous ne sommes pas les seuls à le glorifier. En Europe, en Amérique, que dis-je, dans tout pays habité par des hommes conscients de leur mission dans ce bas monde assoiffé de justice sociale, de fraternité, on le pleurera aussi.. Il est mort après avoir souffert du despotisme, du fanatisme et de l'intolérance. Acre, la Bastille turque, lui a servi de prison pendant des dizaines d'années. Bagdad la capitale Abbasside a été aussi sa prison et celle de son père. La Perse, ancien berceau de la Philosophic douce et divine, a chassé ses enfants qui ont conçu leurs idées chez; elle. Ne voit-on pas là une volonté divine et une préférence marquée pour la Terre Promise qui était et sera le berceau de toutes les idées généreuses et nobles? Celui qui laisse après lui un passé aussi glorieux n'est pas mort. Celui qui a écrit d'aussi beaux principes a agrandi sa famille parmi tons ses lecteurs et a passé à la postérité, couronné par l'immortalité."(1)

The nine speakers having delivered their funeral orations, then came the moment when the casket which held the pearl of loving servitude passed slowly and triumphantly into its simple, hallowed resting place. 

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0 the infinite pathos! that the beloved feet should no longer tread this earth! That the presence which inspired such devotion and reverence should be withdrawn! Of the many and diverse journals that throughout the East and West have given in their columns accounts of this momentous event, the following stand as foremost among them:

"Le Temps," the leading French paper, in its issue of December 19th, 1921, under the title 'Un Conciliateur' (a peace maker), portrays graphically the life of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the following being some of its extracts:

"Un prophète vient de mourir en Palestine. Il se nommait Abdoul Baha, et il était fils de Bahaou'llah, qui créa le bahaisme, religion 'unifiée' qui n'est autre que le babisme qu'avait observé le Comte de Gobineau. Le Bab, Messie du Babisme, se proposait modestement de régénerer la Perse, ce qui lui couta la vie, en 1850. Bahaou'llah et son fils Abdoul Baha, "l'esclave de son père," n'ambitionnaient pas moins que la régéneration du monde. Paris a connu Abdoul Baha. Ce viellard magnifique et débonnaire répandit parmi nous la parole sainte il y a quelque dix ans. Il était vêtu d'une simple robe vert olive et coiffé d'un turban blanc ... Sa parole était douce et berceuse, comme une litanie. On l'écoutait avee un plaisir recueilli, encore qu'on ne le comprit point; car il parlait en persan .... Le bahaisme, c'est en somme la religion de la charité et de la simplicité. C'est en même temps, amalgamés, le judaisme, le chiristianisme, le protestantisme, et la libre pensée. Abdoul Baha se réclamait de Zoroastre, de Moise, de Mahomet et de Jésus. Peut-étre jugerez vous que cette unification est à la fois trop nombreuse et confuse. C'est qu'on ne comprend rien aux choses sacrées si l'on n'est inspiré par la foi .... Sous le turban blanc ses yeux reflétaient l'intelligence et la bonté. Il était paternel, affectueux et simple. Son pouvoir, semblait-il, lui venait de ce qu'il savait aimer les hommes et savait so faire aimer d'eux. Appelé à témoigner de l'excellence de cette religion naïve et pure, nous pûmes honnêtement confesser notre foi par cette formule Que les religions sont belles quand elles no sont pas encore."(2)

The "Morning Post," two days after his passing, among other highly favourable comments, concluded its report of the Movement 

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in the following words:

"The venerated Baha'u'llah died in 1892 and the mantle of his religions insight fell on his son Abdul' Baha, when, after forty years of prison life, Turkish constitutional changes permitted him to visit England, France and America. His persistent messages as to the divine origin and unity of mankind were as impressive as the Messenger himself. He possessed singular courtesy. At his table Buddhist and Mohammedan, Hindu and Zoroastrian, Jew and Christian, sat in amity. 'Creatures,' he said, 'were created through love; let them live in peace and amity.'

The "New York World" of December 1, 1921 published the following:

"Never before 'Abdu'l Bahá did the leader of an Oriental religious movement visit the United States .... As recently as June of this year a special correspondent of "The World" who visited this seer thus described him: 'Having once looked upon 'Abdu'l Baha, his personality is indelibly impressed upon the mind: the majestic venerable figure clad in the flowing aba, his head crowned with a turban white as his head and hair; the piercing deep set eyes whose glances shake the heart; the smile that pours its sweetness over all.'

Even in the twilight of his life 'Abdu'l Baha took the liveliest interest in world affairs. When General Allenby swept up the coast from Egypt he went for counsel first to 'Abdu'l Baha. When Zionists arrived in their Promised Land they sought 'Abdu'l Baha for advice. For Palestine he had the brightest hopes. 'Abdu'l Baha believed that Bolshevism would prove an admonition to the irreligious world.

He taught the equality of man and woman, saying: 'The world of humanity has two wings, man and woman. If one wing is weak, then the bird cannot fly' ...

"The Times of India" in its issue of January 1922, opens one of its editorial articles as follows:

"In more normal times than the present the death of 'Abdu'l Baha, which was sorrowfully referred to at the Bahai Conference in Bombay, would have stiffed the feelings of many who, without belonging to the Bahai brotherhood, sympathize with its tenets and 

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admire the life-work of those who founded it. As it is we have learned almost by chance of this great religious leader's death, but that fact need not prevent our turning aside from politics and the turmoil of current events to consider what this man did and what he aimed at."

Sketching then in brief an account of the History of the Movement it concludes as follows:

"It is not for us now to judge whether the purity, the mysticism and the exalted ideas of Bahaism will continue unchanged after the loss of the great leader, or to speculate on whether Bahaism will some day become a force in the world as great or greater than Christianity or Islam, but we would pay a tribute to the memory of a man who wielded a vast influence for good, and who, if he was destined to see many of his ideas seemingly shattered in the world war, remained true to his convictions and to his belief in the possibility of a reign of peace and love, and who, far more effectively than Tolstoi, showed the West that, religion is a vital force that can never be disregarded."

Out of the vast number of telegrams and cables of condolence that have poured in, these may be mentioned:

His Britannic Majesty's Secretary of State for the Colonies, Mr. Winston Churchill, telegraphing to His Excellency the High Commissioner for Palestine, desires him to convey to the Bahai Community, on behalf of His Majesty's Government, their sympathy and condolence on the death of Sir 'Abdu'l Bahá 'Abbas K.B.E.

On behalf of the Executive Board of the Bahá'í American Convention, this message of condolence has been received:

"He doeth whatsoever He willeth. Hearts weep at most great tribulation. American friends send through Unity Board radiant love, boundless sympathy, devotion. Standing steadfast, conscious of his unceasing presence and nearness."

Viscount Allenby, the High Commissioner for Egypt, has wired the following message, through the intermediary of His Excellency the High Commissioner for Palestine dated November 29th, 1921: "Please convey to the relatives of the late Sir 'Abdu'l Baha 'Abbas Effendi and to the Bahai community my sincere sympathy in the loss of their revered leader." 

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The loved ones in Germany assure the Greatest Holy Leaf of their fidelity in these terms:

"All believers deeply moved by irrevocable loss of our Master's precious life. We pray for heavenly protection of Holy Cause and promise faithfulness and obedience to Centre of Covenant."

An official message forwarded by the Council of Ministers in Baghdad, and dated December 8th, 1921, reads as follows:

His highness Sayed Abdurrahman, the Prime Minister, desires to extend his sympathy to the family of His Holiness 'Abdu'l Baha in their bereavement."

The Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force sent through His Excellency the High Commissioner for Palestine these words of sympathy:

"General Congreve begs that you will convey his deepest sympathy to the family of the late Sir 'Abbas al-Bahai."

The Theosophical Society in London communicated as follows with one of the followers of the Faith in Haifa:

"For the Holy Family Theosophical Society send affectionate thoughts."

One of the foremost figures in the little and hallowed town of Nazareth wired the following"

With the profoundest sorrow and regret we condole with you on the occasion of the setting of the Day-Star of the East. We are of God, and to Him we shall return."

The thousands of Bahá'ís in Teheran, the capital of Persia, remembering their Western brethren and sisters in London assure them of their steadfast faith in these words: "Light of Covenant transferred from eye to heart. Day of teaching, of union, of self sacrifice."

And lastly, one of the distinguished figures in the academic life of the University of Oxford, a renowned professor and an accomplished scholar, whose knowledge of the Cause stands foremost among that of his colleagues, in the message of condolence written on behalf of himself and wife, expresses himself as follows: 

[page 17]

"The passing beyond the veil into fuller life must be specially wonderful and blessed for one, who has always fixed his thoughts on high and striven to lead an exalted life here below."

On the seventh day after the passing of the Master, corn was distributed in his name to about a thousand poor of Haifa, irrespective of race or religion, to whom he had always been a friend and a protector. Their grief at losing the "Father of the Poor" was extremely pathetic. In the first seven days also from fifty to a hundred poor were daily fed at the Master's house, in the very place where it had been his custom to give alms to them.

On the fortieth day there was a memorial feast, given to over six hundred of the people of Haifa, Acre and the surrounding parts of Palestine and Syria, people of various religions, races and colour. More than a hundred of the poor were also fed on this day. The Governor of Phoenicia, many other officials and some Europeans were present.

The feast was entirely arranged by the members of the Master's household. The long tables were decorated with trailing branches of Bougainvilliers. Its lovely purple blooms mingled with the white narcissus, and with the large dishes of golden oranges out of the beloved Master's garden made a picture of loveliness in those spacious lofty rooms, whose only other decoration was the gorgeous yet subdued colouring of rare Persian rugs. No useless trivial ornaments marred the extreme dignity of simplicity.

The guests received, each and all, the same welcome. There were no "chief places." Here as always in the Master's home, there was no respecting of persons.

After the luncheon the guests came into the large central hall, this also bare of ornament, save only for the portrait of Him they had assembled to honour and some antique Persian tapestries hung upon one wall. Before this was placed a platform from which the speeches were made to the wrapt and silent throng, whose very hearts were listening.

The Governor of Phoenicia, in the course of his address, spoke the following: .... "Most of us here have, I think, a clear picture of Sir 'Abdu'l-Bahá 'Abbás, of his dignified figure walking thoughtfully in our streets, of his courteous and gracious manner, of his kindness, 

[page 18]

of his love for little children and flowers, of his generosity and care for the poor and suffering. So gentle was he, and so simple that, in his presence, one almost forgot that he was also a great teacher and that his writings and his conversations have been a solace and an inspiration to hundreds and thousands of people in the East and in the West." ....

Others who followed spoke in appreciation of the work and life of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The following are only a few extracts from their addresses:

"A voice calling aloud from Teheran, echoed from 'Iraq, sounding in Turkish lands, swaying the Holy Land which hearkened to its melody, and wherein it rose, developed and deepened, till at last its reverberations resounded throughout Egypt, stretched across the seas to the West and thence to the New World.

A voice summoning mankind to love, to unity and to peace; a voice the source whereof, had it been anything but purity of motive, could in no wise have succeeded in sending its waves with the swiftness of lightning throughout the world.

"Hail to 'Abbás, the pride and glory of the East, in an age that has witnessed the rise of knowledge and the fall of prejudice; he who has attained the glorious summit of greatness; he whom the Standards of triumph have hastened to welcome: he whose star arose in Persia, shedding its light upon the minds of men, the signs of which have multiplied in the heaven of glory till it set in full radiance on this our horizon; he whose principles have humbled the peoples and kindreds of the world even as Bahá himself had done before him .... "

"I believe and firmly believe, that he whose loss we now lament, having lived eighty years in this world below counselling the people's of the world with his tongue, guiding them by his pen, setting before them a goodly example by his glorious deeds, has now chosen to lead and guide them by his silence. "

"Let us then in our thoughts and meditations Pay our tribute to him. And though the other day at his door I made you weep, yet now it is my duty to appeal and ask you to forget your sorrow and refrain from lamentation and cease from shedding tears. Truly, Sir 'Abbás departed from us in body, but he ever lives with us in 

[page 19]

his abiding spirit, in his wondrous deeds. Though he has passed away, yet he has left for us a glorious heritage in the wisdom of his counsels, the rectitude of his teachings, the benevolence of his deeds, the example of his precious life, the sublimity of his effort, the power of his will, his patience and fortitude, his steadfastness to the end."

And now finally let us turn to the writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, to his words of farewell, his counsels, his prayers, his appeal and his prediction. His detailed and powerfully written Will and Testament reveals the following words of general counsel to all his friends:

"0 ye beloved of the Lord! In this sacred Dispensation, conflict and contention are in no wise permitted. Every aggressor deprives himself of God's grace. It is incumbent upon everyone to show the utmost love, rectitude of conduct, straightforwardness and sincere kindliness unto all the peoples and kindreds of the world, be they friends or strangers. So intense must be the spirit of love and loving- kindness that the stranger may find himself a friend, the enemy a true brother, no difference whatsoever existing between them.

"For universality is of God and all limitations are earthly.

"Thus man must strive that this reality may manifest virtues and perfections, the light whereof may shine upon everyone. The light of the sun shineth upon all the world and the merciful showers of Divine Providence fall upon all peoples. The vivifying breeze reviveth every living creature, and all beings endued with life obtain their share and portion at His heavenly board. In like manner the affections and loving-kindness of the servants of the One True God must be bountifully and universally extended to all mankind.

Regarding this, restrictions and limitations are in no wise permitted:

"Wherefore, 0 my loving friends! Consort with all the peoples, kindreds and religions of the world with the utmost truthfulness, uprightness, faithfulness, kindliness, good-will and friendliness; that all the world of being may be filled with the holy ecstasy of the grace of Bahá; that ignorance, enmity, hate and rancour may vanish from the world, and the darkness of estrangement amidst the peoples and kindreds of the world may give way to the Light of Unity. Should other peoples and nations be unfaithful to you, show your fidelity unto them; should they be unjust towards you, show justice towards them; should they keep aloof from you, attract them to yourselves; 

[page 20]

should they show their enmity, be friendly towards them; should they poison your lives, sweeten their souls; should they inflict a wound upon you, be a salve to their sores. Such are the attributes of the sincere! Such are the attributes of the truthful!

"0 ye beloved of the Lord! Strive with all your heart to shield the Cause of God from the onslaught of the insincere, for such souls as these cause the straight to become crooked and all benevolent efforts to produce contrary results."

Regarding the afflictions and trials that have befallen him in this world and his desire for martyrdom, 'Abdu'l-Bahá reveals the following:

"0 God, my God! Thou seest this wronged servant of Thine, held fast in the talons of ferocious lions, of ravening wolves, blood- thirsty beasts. Graciously assist me, through my love for Thee, that I may drink deep of the Chalice that brimmeth over with faithfulness to Thee and is filled with Thy bountiful Grace; so that, fallen upon the dust, I may sink prostrate and senseless whilst my vesture is dyed crimson with my blood. This is my wish, my heart's desire, my hope, my pride, my glory. Grant, 0 Lord, my God and my Refuge, that in my last hour, my end may, even as musk, shed its fragrance of glory! I call Thee to witness that no day passeth but that I quaff my fill from this cup, so grievous are the misdeeds -wrought by them that have broken the Covenant, kindled discord, showed their malice, stirred sedition in the land and dishonoured Thee amidst Thy servants. Lord, shield Thou from these Covenant-breakers the mighty stronghold of Thy Faith, and protect Thy secret Sanctuary from the onslaught of the ungodly.

"Thou art in truth, the Mighty, the Powerful, the Gracious, the Strong!"

"Lord! Thou seest all things weeping me, and my kindred rejoicing in my woes. By thy glory, 0 my God! even amongst my enemies, some have lamented my troubles and my distress, and of the envious ones a number have shed tears because of my cares, my exile and my afflictions. They did this because they found naught in me but affection and care, and witnessed naught but kindliness and mercy. As they saw me swept into the flood of tribulation and adversity, and exposed even as a target to the arrows of fate, their hearts were moved with compassion, tears came to their eyes and 

[page 21]

they testified, declaring: "The Lord is our witness; naught have we seen in him but faithfulness, generosity and extreme compassion." The Covenant-breakers, foreboders of evil, waxed fiercer in their rancour, rejoiced as I fell a victim to the most grievous ordeal, bestired themselves against me, and made merry over the heart-rending happenings around me.

"Lord! My cup of woe runneth over, and from all sides blows are fiercely raging upon me. The darts of affliction have compassed me round and, the arrows of distress have rained upon me. Thus tribulation overwhelmed me, and my strength, because of the onslaught of the foeman, became weakness within me, whilst I stood alone and forsaken in the midst of my woes. Lord, have mercy upon me, lift me up unto Thyself and make me to drink from the chalice of martyrdom, for the wide world with all its vastness can no longer contain me. Thou art verily the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Gracious, the All-Bountiful."

He prays for the protection of his friends:

"0 Lord, my God! Assist Thy loved ones to be firm in Thy Faith, to walk in Thy ways, to be steadfast in Thy Cause. Give them Thy grace to withstand the onslaught of self and passion, to follow the light of Divine Guidance. Thou art the Powerful, the Gracious, the Self -Subsisting, the Bestower, the Compassionate, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful!"

For his enemies this is his prayer:

"I call upon Thee, 0 Lord, my God! with my tongue and with all my heart, not to requite them for their cruelty and their wrong deeds, their craft and their mischief, for they are foolish and ignoble, and know not what they do. They discern not good from evil, neither do they distinguish right from wrong, nor justice from injustice. They follow their own desires and walk in the footsteps of the most imperfect and foolish amongst them. 0 my Lord! have mercy upon them, shield them from all afflictions in these troubled times, and grant that all trials and hardships may be the lot of this, Thy servant, that has fallen into this darksome pit. Single me out for every woe and make me a sacrifice for all Thy loved ones! 0 Lord, Most High! May my soul, my life, my being, my spirit, my all, be offered up for them! 0 God, my God, lowly, suppliant and fallen upon my face, I beseech Thee, with all the ardour of my invocation, to pardon whomsoever 

[page 22]

hath hurt me, to forgive him that hath conspired against me and offended me, and to wash away the misdeeds of them that hath wrought injustice upon me. Vouchsafe unto them Thy goodly gifts; give them joy, relieve them from sorrow, grant them peace and prosperity; give them Thy bliss and pour upon them Thy bounty. Thou art the Powerful, the Gracious, the Help in peril, the Self- Subsisting."

Touching the importance of teaching the Cause of God, these are his words:

"0 ye that stand fast in the Covenant! When the hour cometh that this wronged and broken-winged bird will have taken its flight unto the Celestial Concourse, when it will have hastened to the Realm of the Unseen and its mortal frame will have been either lost or hidden neath the dust, it is incumbent upon the Afnán that are stead- fast in the Covenant of God and have branched from the Tree of Holiness; the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God, (the glory of the Lord rest upon them), and all the friends and loved ones, one and all to bestir themselves and arise with heart and soul and in one accord to diffuse the sweet savours of God, to teach His Cause and to promote His Faith. It behoveth them not to rest for a moment, neither to seek repose. They must disperse themselves in every land, pass by every clime and travel throughout all regions. Bestirred, without rest and steadfast to the end, they must raise in every land the triumphant cry, 'Yá Bahá'u'l-Abhá ' (0 Thou the Glory of Glories), must achieve renown in the world wherever they go, must burn brightly even as a torch in every meeting, and must kindle the flame of divine love in every assembly; that the Light of Truth may rise resplendent in the midmost heart of the world, that throughout the East and throughout the West a vast concourse may gather under the shadow of the Word of God, that the-sweet savours of holiness may be diffused, that faces may radiantly shine, that hearts may be filled with the Divine Spirit and souls may heavenly life attain.

"The disciples of Christ forgot themselves and all earthly things, forsook all their cares and belongings, purged themselves of self and passion, and with absolute detachment, scattered far and wide, calling the peoples of the world to the Divine Guidance, till at last they made the world another world, illumined the surface of the earth, and even to their last hour, proved self -sacrificing in the pathway of that 

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Beloved One of God. Finally in various lands they suffered glorious martyrdom. Let them that are men of action follow in their footsteps."

"Whosoever and whatsoever meeting becometh a hindrance to the diffusion of the Light of Faith, let the loved ones give them counsel and say: 'Of all the gifts of God the greatest is the gift of teaching. It draweth unto us the grace of God and is our first obligation. Of such a gift why do we deprive ourselves? Nay, our lives, our goods, our comfort, our rest we offer them all in sacrifice for the Abhá Beauty, and teach the Cause of God. Caution and prudence however, must be observed even as recorded in the Book. The veil must in no wise be suddenly rent asunder.'"

As to the foundation of the faith of the people of Bahá:

"This is the foundation of the faith of the people of Bahá, may my life be offered up for them; His Holiness the Exalted One, the Báb, is the Manifestation of the Unity and Oneness of God and the forerunner of the Ancient Beauty; the Abhá Beauty, (may my life be a sacrifice for his steadfast friends), is the Supreme Manifestation of God and the Day Spring of His Most Divine Essence. All others are servants unto Him and do His bidding. Unto the Most Holy Book every one must turn, and all that is not expressly recorded therein must be referred to the Universal House of Justice. That which this body, whether unanimously, or by a majority, doth carry, that is verily the truth and the purpose of God Himself. Whoso doth deviate therefrom is verily of them that love discord, hath shown forth malice and turned away from the Lord of the Covenant."

Regarding the loyalty of the people of Bahá to sovereign authority and the laws of the country he reveals:

"0 ye beloved of the Lord! It is incumbent upon you to be submissive to all Monarchs that are just, and show your fidelity to every righteous King. Serve ye the Sovereigns of the world with utmost truthfulness and loyalty. Show obedience unto them and be their well-wishers. Without their leave and permission do not meddle with political affairs, for disloyalty to the just Sovereign is disloyalty to God Himself. This is my counsel and the commandment of God unto you. Well is it with them that act accordingly."

He concludes one of the sections of his Testament with this prayer: 

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"0 God, my God! I call Thee, Thy Prophets and Thy Messengers, Thy Saints and Thy Holy Ones, to witness that I have declared conclusively Thy proofs unto Thy loved ones, and set forth clearly all things unto them, that they may watch over Thy Faith, guard Thy straight Path and protect Thy resplendent Law. Thou art verily, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise!"

And now, turning from his Will and Testament to his epistles and Tablets, we read the following, a word of caution, which he reveals in his last general Tablet to his loved ones all over the world:

"0 ye beloved ones! Guard the Cause of God. Let not sweetness of tongue beguile you; nay rather, consider the motive of every soul and ponder over the thought he cherisheth. Be ye then straightway mindful and on your guard. Avoid them and be not aggressive, and turn away from censure and slander. Leave him in the hand of God."

A clear and unmistakable prediction which he made regarding the glorious unfolding of the Cause in the not distant future is forcibly revealed in a letter he wrote whilst under the threat of the Committee of Investigation during the darkest days of his incarceration in Acre:

"Now in the world of being the hand of divine power hath firmly laid the foundations of this all-highest bounty and this wondrous gift. Whatsoever is latent in the innermost of this holy cycle shall gradually appear and be made manifest, for now is but the beginning of its growth and the day-spring of the revelation of its signs. Ere the close of this century and of this age, it shall be made clear and evident how wondrous was that spring-tide and how heavenly was that gift!"

A similar and even more definite utterance, prophesying the rise of the Movement, he makes in a Tablet revealed after the Great War to a Kurdish friend, resident in Egypt. These are his very words:

"Now concerning the verse in Daniel, the interpretation whereof thou didst ask, namely, 'Blessed is he who cometh unto the thousand three hundred and thirty five days.' These days must be reckoned as solar and not lunar years. For according to this calculation a century will have elapsed from the dawn of the Sun of Truth, then will the teachings of God be firmly established upon the earth, and the Divine Light shall flood the world from the East even unto the West. Then, on this day, will the faithful rejoice!" 

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Confirming and explaining further the hidden meaning of the above mentioned verse he reveals the following in one of his earlier Tablets:

"0 servant of God! The afore-mentioned thousand three hundred and thirty-five years must be reckoned from the day of the flight (Hegira) of His Holiness Muhammad, the Apostle of God, salutations and blessings rest upon Him, at the close of which time the signs of the rise, the glory, the exaltation, the spread of the Word of God throughout the East and the West shall appear."

In one of his last Tablets, counselling the company of the friends of God, he breathes this fresh, encouraging spirit:

"Regard not the person of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, for he will eventually take his leave of you all; nay, fix your gaze upon the Word of God, Should it rise and be exalted, rejoice, be glad and thankful even if 'Abdu'l-Bahá be under a drawn sword, be confined or be cast into bonds. For that which is of transcending importance is the Holy Temple of the Cause of God, and not the mortal frame of 'Abdu'l- Bahá. The loved ones of God must arise with such steadfastness, that should in one moment hundreds of souls, even as 'Abdu'l-Bahá himself, be made a target for the darts of woe, nothing whatsoever shall affect or lessen their firm resolve, their intention, their ardour, their enkindlement, their service to the Cause of God .... This, 0 ye beloved of the Lord, is my counsel and my exhortation unto you. Well is it with him whom the Lord aideth to do even as bidden in this pure and sanctified Tablet."

The circular letter published on the occasion of the Master's departure from this world by the Spiritual Assembly of Teheran, contains extracts of a Tablet revealed fourteen years ago by the pen of the Centre of the Covenant, some of which are the following:

"0 ye my faithful loved ones! Should at any time afflicting events come to pass in the Holy Land, never feel disturbed and agitated; fear not, neither grieve. For whatsoever thing happeneth will cause the Word of God to be exalted and His divine fragrances to be diffused. Make firm your steps and with utmost steadfastness arise to serve His Cause ... The Spirit of God and His glory rest upon him that is firm and steadfast in the Covenant!" 

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Among his utterances regarding his passing away from this world, he assures us as follows:

"Remember whether or not I be on earth, my presence will be with you always."

Again in a Tablet addressed to one of the friends in the United States of America, he depicts the future glory of the Sacred Tree of God whereof he is the Most Great Branch:

"Fear not if this Branch be severed from this material world and cast aside its leaves; nay, the leaves thereof shall flourish, for this Branch will grow after it is cut off from this world below, it shall reach the loftiest pinnacles of glory, and it shall bear such fruits as will perfume the world with their fragrance."

His very last Tablet, graciously revealed for his loved ones in Stuttgart, conveys his reflections upon this transient world, and his counsels to his loved ones that dwell therein:

"0 ye beloved of the Lord! In this mortal world, nothing whatsoever endureth. The peoples of the earth dwell therein and spend a number of days uselessly, ultimately descending neath the dust, repairing to the home of eternal silence, leaving behind them no achievement, no blessing, no result, no fruit. All the days of their life are thus brought to naught. Whereas the children of the Kingdom sow seeds in the fertile soil of Truth, that will eventually spring up and bring forth many a harvest and shall forever bestow upon man- kind its increase and bountiful grace. They shall obtain eternal life, attain unto the imperishable bounty, and shine even as radiant stars in the firmament of the Divine Kingdom. The Glory of Glories rest upon you! "

And now, what appeal more direct, more moving, with which to close this sad yet stirring account of his last days, than these his most touching, most inspiring words?

"Friends! The time is coming when I shall be no longer with you. I have done all that could be done. I have served the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh to the utmost of my ability. I have laboured night and day, all the years of my life. 0 how I long to see the loved ones taking upon themselves the responsibilities of the Cause! Now is the time to proclaim the Kingdom of Bahá! Now is the hour of love and union! This is the day of the spiritual harmony of the loved ones 

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of God! All the resources of my physical strength I have exhausted, and the spirit of my life is the welcome tidings of the unity of the people of Bahá. I am straining my ears toward the East and toward the West, toward the North and toward the South that haply I may hear the songs of love and fellowship chanted in the meetings of the faithful. My days are numbered, and, but for this, there is no joy left unto me. 0 how I yearn to see the friends united even as a string of gleaming peals, as the brilliant Pleiades, as the rays of the sun, as the gazelles of one meadow! "

"The mystic Nightingale is warbling for them all; will they not listen? The Bird of Paradise is singing; will they not heed? The Angel of Abhá is calling to them; will they not hearken? The Herald of the Covenant is pleading; will they not obey?

"Ah me I am waiting, waiting, to hear the joyful tidings that the believers are the very embodiment of sincerity and truthfulness, the incarnation of love and amity, the living symbols of unity and concord. Will they not gladden my heart? Will they not satisfy my yearning? Will they not manifest my wish? Will they not fulfil my heart's desire? Will they not give ear to my call?

"I am waiting, I am patiently waiting."


Prayer revealed by 'ABDU'L-BAHÁ and now recited by his loved ones at his hallowed shrine.

'Abdu'l-Bahá says:

"Whoso reciteth this prayer with lowliness and fervour will bring gladness and joy to the heart of this servant; it will be even as meeting him face to face."


0 God, my God! Lowly and tearful, I raise my suppliant hands to Thee and cover my face in the dust of that Threshold of Thine, exalted above the knowledge of the learned, and the praise of all that glorify Thee. Graciously look upon Thy servant, humble 

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and lowly at Thy door, with the glances of the eye of Thy mercy, and immerse him in the Ocean of Thine eternal grace.

Lord! He is a poor and lowly servant of Thine, enthralled and imploring Thee, captive in Thy hand, praying fervently to Thee, trusting in Thee, in tears before Thy face, calling to Thee and beseeching Thee, saying:

0 Lord, my God! Give me Thy grace to serve Thy loved ones, strengthen me in my servitude to Thee, illumine my brow with the light of adoration in Thy court of holiness, and of prayer to Thy Kingdom of grandeur. Help me to be selfless at the heavenly entrance of Thy gate, and aid me to be detached from all things within Thy holy precincts. Lord! Give me to drink from the chalice of selfless- ness; with its robe clothe me, and in its ocean immerse me. Make me as dust in the pathway of Thy loved ones, and grant that I may offer up my soul for the earth ennobled by the footsteps of Thy chosen ones in Thy Path, 0 Lord of Glory in the Highest!

With this prayer doth Thy servant call Thee, at dawn-tide and in the night-season. Fulfil his heart's desire, 0 Lord! Illumine his heart, gladden his bosom, kindle his light, that he may serve Thy Cause and Thy servants.

Thou art the Bestower, the Pitiful, the Most Bountiful, the Gracious, the Merciful, the Compassionate!

            Sitárih Khánum. (Lady Blomfield)

                        Haifa, Palestine,
                        January, 1922.

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(1) In a century of exaggerated positivism and unbridled materialism, it is astonishing and rare to find a philosopher of great scope, such as the lamented 'Abdu'l-Bahá Abbás, speak to our hearts, to our feelings, and especially seek to educate our soul by inculcating in us the most beautiful principles, which are recognized as being the basis of all religion and of all pure morality. By His Writings, by His spoken Word, by His intimate conversations as well as by His famous dialogues with the most cultivated and the most fervent adepts of sectarian theories, He knew how to persuade; He was always able to win our minds. Living examples have a special power. His private and public life was an example of devotion and of forget- fullness of self for the happiness of others....

His philosophy is simple, you will say, but it is great by that very simplicity, since it is in conformity with human character, which loses some of its beauty when it allows itself to be distorted by prejudices and superstitions.... 'Abbás died in Haifa, Palestine, the Holy Land which produced the prophets. Sterile and abandoned for so many centuries, it is coming back to life and is beginning to recover its rank and its original renown. We are not the only ones to grieve for this prophet; we are not the only ones to testify to His glory. In Europe, in America, yea, in every land inhabited by men conscious of their own mission in this base world, athirst for social justice, for brotherhood, He will be mourned as well. He is dead after suffering from despotism, fanaticism and intolerance. 'Akká, the Turkish Bastille, was His prison for decades. Baghdád, the Abbasid capital, has also been His prison, and that of His Father. Persia, the ancient cradle of gentle and divine philosophy, has driven out her children, who brought forth their ideas within her. May one not see herein a divine will and a marked preference for the Promised Land which was and will be the cradle of all generous and noble ideas? He who leaves after Him so glorious a past is not dead. He who has written such beautiful principles has increased His family among all His readers and has passed to posterity, crowned with immortality.

(2) A prophet has died in Palestine. He was called 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and He was the son of Bahá'u'lláh, who created Bahá'ism, a "unified" religion which is none other than the Bábism which had been observed by Comte de Gobineau. The Báb, the Messiah of Babism, modestly pro- posed the regeneration of Persia, which cost him His life, in 1850. Bahá'u'lláh and His son, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, "the slave of his father," had no lesser goal than the regeneration of the world. Paris has known 'Abdu'l-Bahá. This magnificent friendly old man sowed among us His holy word some ten years ago. He was dressed in a simple olive green robe and wore a white turban.... His speech was sweet and soothing, like a litany. One heard Him with a rapt pleasure, even without understanding Him -- for He spoke in Persian.... Bahá'ism is in essence the religion of love and simplicity. It is at the same time an amalgamation of Judaism, Christianity, Protestantism, and free thought. 'Abdu'l-Bahá appealed to the authority of Zoroaster, Moses, Muhammad, and Jesus. You may feel that this unification is too numerous and too confused. The fact is that one understands nothing about sacred things if one is not inspired by faith.... Under the white turban His eyes mirrored intelligence and goodness. He was fatherly, affectionate and simple. His power, it seemed, came to Him from His ability to love men and make Himself loved by them. When we were called upon to testify to the excellence of this simple and pure religion, we were able honestly to confess our faith, in this formula: "How beautiful religions are when they are not yet [fr = 'encore' ]."


Names of God

Names of God

Compiled by Romane Takkenberg.

Abiding One
All-Glorious Being
All-Glorious Lord
All-Highest Throne
All-Knowing Physician
Ancient and Sovereign Lord of All
Ancient Beauty
Ancient Being
Ancient King
Ancient of Days
Ancient of Everlasting Days
Beginning and End
Beloved of All Things
Beloved of All Worlds
Beloved of Our Hearts
Bird of Desire
Central Orb of the Universe
Concealer of Sins
Creator of All Names
Creator of the Earth and Heaven
Creator of the Heavens
Day Spring
Day Spring of Glory
Day Spring of the Spirit
Day Star
Day Star of Glory
Day Star of Unfading Glory
Daystar of Eternal Guidance
Deathless Beauty
Desire of All Nations
Desire of Every Understanding Heart
Desire of the World
Desired One
Divine and Infallible Physician
Divine Being
Divine Charmer
Divine Countenance
Divine Educator
Divine Essence
Divine King
Divine Ordainer
Divine Presence
Divine Spirit
Educator of All Beings
Essence of All Learning
Essence of Bounty
Essence of Loving Kindness
Eternal Being
Eternal Essence
Eternal Essence of Essences
Eternal King
Eternal Lord
Eternal Truth
Ever-Abiding God
Ever-Abiding Lord
Everlasting Beauty
Everlasting Candle
Everlasting King
Exalted One
Eye of Grandeur
Faithful One
Faithful Spirit
Fashioner of All Created Things
Fashioner of the Heavens
Finger of Holiness
First and Last
Generous One
Glorified Countenance
Glorious One
God of Mercy
Great Being
Great Giver
Hand of Divine Power
Hand of Mercy
Hearts' Desire
Heaven of Generosity
Help in Peril
Highest and Last End
Him Who Causeth the Dawn to Break
Holy of Holies
Ideal King
Immortal Beauty
Immortal King
Incomparable One
Infinite Spirit
Inmost Essence
Innermost Spirit of Spirits
Invisible Essence
Invisible of Invisibles
Invisible One
King of Divine Might
King of Everlasting Days
King of Existance
King of Glory
King of Incomparable Glory
King of Kings
King of Names
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Knower of the Unseen and the Seen
Knower of Things Unseen
Living God
Lode Star
Lord of All Beings
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Lord of All Names
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Lord of Eternity
Lord of Lords
Lord of Mankind
Lord of Men
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Lord of the Exalted Throne
Lord of the Frequented Fane
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Lord of the Kingdom of Utterance
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Lord of Thy Fathers
Lord of Wealth
Lord the Most High
Loved One
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manifest and Sovereign Ruler
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Visible and Invisible
Wise One

Tablet of the Deathless Youth

by Bahá'u'lláh

Translated by John Walbridge.

Originally written as "Lawh-i-Ghulamu'l-Khuld".

This is mention of that which was made manifest in the Year Sixty, in the Days of God, the Powerful, the Help in Peril, the Almighty, the Knower.
When the gates of Paradise swung wide and the Holy Youth came forth, lo! in His hand was a serpent plain!
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a gushing spring.
Upon His face a veil woven by the fingers of power and might.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty Name.
Upon His head a crown of beauty, light for the people of every heaven, every earth.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty Cause.
Tresses of spirit hung upon His shoulders, black like musk upon bright and luminous pearls.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a wondrous Cause.
Upon the finger of His right hand, a ring with a pearl of immaculate holiness.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty spirit.
Graven thereon in a hidden and pre-eternal script, "By God, a noble angel is this!" Thereupon, the hearts of the people of eternity cried aloud.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with an ancient light.
Upon his right cheek a mole whereby the faiths of the mystics were shaken. Thereupon the people of the veil of divinity cried aloud!
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty secret.
This pertaineth to that Point from which branched forth all the knowledge of the past and of the present. Thereupon the people of the angelic realm sang aloud.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty knowledge.
This indeed is a knight of the spirit, circling about the Spring of Salsabil. Thereupon a clamor arose from that people nigh the veil of the Kingdom of Might.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with vision mystic and mighty.
He came down from the pavillions of beauty and stood like the Sun at the zenith of heaven, peerless and unique in His beauty.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come bearing great joy.
Thus He stood in the midst of heaven, shining like the noonday Sun at the axis of beauty, His Name mighty! Thereupon a herald proclaimed: "
Rejoice! This is the Beauty of the Unseen, come with a mighty spirit."
A clamor then arose from the hearts of the maids of heaven in their chambers, "Blessed be God, the best of Creators!" Thereupon the dove sang out,
Rejoice! for the eyes of the privy angels have seen none like unto this Deathless Youth."
The gates of Paradise were flung wide yet again, opened with the key of a mighty Name.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty Name.
The Maid of Beauty came forth, dawning like the sun, plain upon the horizon of the morn.
Rejoice! This is the Maid of Glory, come with a mighty beauty.
A brocade she wore, dazzling the minds of the privy angels.
Rejoice! this is the Deathless Maid, come with a mighty grace.
She descended from the chambers of eternity, then She sa ng such a song as to enchant the hearts of the sincere.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Beauty, come with a mighty secret.
She walked in the midst of space, and lo! she let slip a lock of Her hair from beaneath Her luminous veil.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Maid, come with a wondrous spirit.
And by this single lock the people of all the worlds were perfumed. It made the faces of the holy ones to pale, and the hearts of the lovers to bleed.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Maid, come with a mighty perfume.
By God! Whoso shutteth his eyes to Her beauty hath schemed greivously and is in evident falsehood.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Maid, come with a mighty light.
She turned, and with Her turned the inhabitants of both worlds. Rejoice! this is the Deathless Maid, come with a mighty revolution. She advanced until She stood in Her wondrous brocade before that Youth.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Beauty, come wondrous fair.
Then from beneath that veil She brought forth a hennaed hand. Like a ray of sun it was, upon a bright mirror!
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Beauty, come in a fashion mighty.
With fingertips like peerless gems She took the hem of the Youth's veil.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Beauty, come with a mighty glance.
She lifted the veil from off His face--lo! the pillars of the mighty Throne were shaken.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty Cause.
Then the spirit died in the temple of each and every creature.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty Cause.
The robes of the folk of Paradise were rent at this ancient and shining vision.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty light.
Thereupon the Voice of Eternity sounded from behind the veils of cloud, calling in a voice enchanting and fair.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty enchantment.
The Tongue of the Unseen proclaimed from the hidden abode of destiny, "By God! This Youth--the eyes of the ancients did not attain to beholding Him!"
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty Cause.
The maids of holiness cried aloud from their chambers of impenetrable might.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with manifest lordship.
By God! The inhabitants of the all-highest concourse long for the beauty of this Youth!
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty Cause.
Then that Youth raised His head to the concourse of Cherubim.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty spirit.
He spoke a single word, and lo! all who were in the heavens arose with a new spirit.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty trump.
Then with a glance of unparalleled might He looked upon the people of the world.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty glance.
And all who were in creation were raised up by this wondrous glance.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty Cause.
Then with His glance He indicated but a few and returned to His place in the deathless Paradise. This indeed pertaineth to a mighty Cause! Thus spoke the herald of eternity from the cloud-wrapped throne: O ye who wait in the valley of patience and fidelity! O lovers of the air of nearness and eternity!The spiritual Youth, He Who was hid in the treasuries of the Lord's infallibility, hath risen above the horizon of eternity, clad in the robe of divinity and God-like beauty, like unto the sun of reality and the pre-eternal spirit. With the cloak of true being He hath delivered all who are in the heavens and the earth from the worlds of utter nothingess and given them life. From the depths of utter obscurity He hath brought forth into the open court that hidden word upon which depend the spirits of all t he prophets and saints.
When He took that secret word from the realm of pure being and absolute unity and manifested it in the worlds of creation, by that act a breeze of mercy arose, wiping the stench of sin from all things and placing a new robe of forgiveness upon the numberl ess temples of all things and man. Such was the wondrous solicitude with which He surrounded all things that the hidden realities laid up in the storehouses of possibility were made manifest in outward things through the breath of the letters B and E. The seen and the unseen were gathered together within a single cloak, and the mysterious and the manifest united in a single robe. Nothingness itself attained to the kingdom of pre-existence. The essence of mortality attained the realm of eternity.
Therefore, O lovers of His gracious beauty, O ye struck mad by the air night unto His awful throne! This is the season to draw near and find reunion, not a time for talk and argument. If ye be true, the true morn is plain and shinging before you. Free you rselves of self and other--nay, of all that is, of being and non-being, of light and darkness, of abasement and might. Lay aside all vain and idle thoughts; and pure and holy, wander with luminous heart through this spiritual court beneath the shade of th e manifestations of eternal holiness.
O Friends, the eternal wine is flowing! O lovers, the beauty of the Beloved is unveiled! O companions, the fire of the Sinai of love burns bright! Shrug off the burden of love of the world and attachment thereto. Like the bright birds about the Throne, so ar in the atmosphere of divine Ridvan, singing of that home that shall not perish.
Surely the soul ought not to be at all deprived, Nor any fragment of the heart be without the Beloved.
Consider how at every moment the moths of that Yemen of praise burn away their souls about the lamp of the Friend and will not be separated from their Beloved. Would any bird do likewise? God will guide whomsoever He willeth to a path lofty and great. Thu s We rain down upon the people of the cloud-wrapped throne that which will turn them towards the right hand of eternity and enter them into that station raised high in the heaven of holiness.

Tablet of Patience, or Tablet of Job

by Bahá'u'lláh

Translated by Khazeh Fananapazir.
Originally written as "Súrih-i-Sabr, or Lawh-i-Ayyúb".

In 1863, on the first day of His arrival at the garden of Ridvan, Bahá'u'lláh revealed a singularly important Tablet known as Suriy-i Sabr (Surih of Patience), or Lawh-i Ayyub (the Tablet of Job), thus named in memory of one of the survivors of the Nayriz-I holocaust, Haji Muhammad Taqiy-i Nayrizi, surnamed Ayyub. -Ahang Rabbani

          This is the City of Patience. Strive ye to enter it, O concourse of the patient ones! 

          In His name, the Exalted One, He Who is the Most Exalted. 

          This is the remembrance of God in the City of Patience regarding Job, Our servant, Whom We sheltered under the shade of that Holy Tree planted in His heart, to Whom We demonstrated the fire ignited in His Own Essence, and to Whose Self We revealed Our Own Self by His Own Self. We called Job from this sacred Spot whose environs are sanctified with this call, "Verily, He is God, Thy Lord and the Lord of all things. He is All-Powerful over all things, the Self-Subsisting One." When Job's face was illumined by the fire burning in the sacred Tree, We clothed Him with the garment of Prophethood and commanded Him to instruct men in the essence of graciousness and bounty and to invite the people to the holy and beloved Shore. We established Job on earth and caused the waters of divine munificence to descend on Him so that through riches He became independent of all the inhabitants of the earth. We conferred on Him a bounteous fortune and made Him very wealthy in the kingdom. We caused Him to receive a portion of all wealth and strengthened His back with great power. We gave Him sons from his loins and established an exalted station for Him in all the lands.

          Job was amongst His people many years, counseling them with the hidden gems of the knowledge We taught Him, and He reminded His people of the Days of God that were truly to come. He said, "O my people! In truth, oceans of knowledge are contained within the Self of God Who hath arisen to establish justice. Hasten ye therefore that ye may find a way unto it. Verily, the Sun of God's loving kindness continues to shine forth from the midmost zenith and the beauty of the Countenance of God bath appeared from behind the Holy Tabernacles. Attend unto His presence that haply He may bestow upon you portions of His much-loved splendor. The heavens of grandeur are uplifted and have become adorned with constellations of knowledge and wisdom. Thus has God's holy cause dawned forth from the sanctified horizon. O my people! Before Me Messengers came with the divine Word and They all announced unto you that which will turn you towards the exalted and glorious shore. The divinely appointed time hath come upon you and the Lights of God's justice hath shone forth, the Immortal Bird hath sung, the Dove of Revelation has warbled, the clouds of God's illumination have become uplifted, and the oceans of divine bounty have poured forth. O people of the earth! Ye are deprived of all this. Fear ye God, corrupt not the earth of God's wisdom, and hearken unto these words which are descending from the heaven of God's nearness."

          From the beginning that hath no beginning, to the end that hath no end, We have thus counseled Our servants through the tongue of the Messengers, yet all have turned away from God's admonitions and have retreated therefrom save those who have been encompassed by Our loving-kindness. These are the souls who hearkened unto God's call as voiced from behind the hidden veils of glory. They responded to the Summoner unto God with both their inner and outer being and sought attraction through the melodies of the Beloved, attaining unto the stations of guidance. Upon them be the mercy of God, and the salutations of God, Who hath given them what no one knoweth and hath caused them to reach a station that is hidden from the eyes of all creation.

          Ere long will the cause of God be manifested and truth shall be distinguished from falsehood. The standards of guidance will be uplifted and all traces of those who have joined partners with God obliterated. The earth shall be inherited by those servants who are wholly consecrated unto God, have not imbibed the love of the "Calf" in their hearts, and who turn away from those who continue to disbelieve despite clear evidences presented to them. Thus have the fingers of might upon the tablets of light inscribed the divine behest.

          Call to mind Our servant, Job. When He appeared with the standards of wealth in the kingdom of earth, His people were envious of Him, continually defaming Him in their gatherings. All their deeds are preserved in God's secret scrolls. Their vainly imagined that Job summoned people to God merely because He had been granted the treasures of this nether world, although, in fact, Job was sanctified from both their vain beliefs and certain truths, and indeed from all that is in this world. When We purposed to show the signs of the one true God as demonstrated in Job's detachment and reliance, We caused to descend upon Him tribulations from all sides and truly tried Him with many tests.[1] We took His sons from Him and discontinued the bounty We had given Him. Every day We deprived Him of something good; not a day passed but there descended on Job, from the site of divine decree, what hath been written by the Pen of God's will and suffering. Loss engulfed Him as had been ordained by the Mighty, the Self-Subsisting One. We burnt what He had planted by the hands of the angels of God's command and everything was utterly lost. When We had cleansed Him of earthly ornaments and material pollution, and had purified Him of physical possessions, then, as a further test, We caused the angels of divine wrath to blow poisonous air on His skin, making His body weaken, His temple tremble, and His limbs quiver so much that no portion of His being was left uncovered by wounds, and yet, in all these states, His gratitude increased daily. He remained patient and did not complain. We thus accounted Him of those who trust and are patient and grateful.

          Job's people expelled Him from the town where He lived, showing no shame toward God, their Creator. They hurt Job as much as they could, and thus did We deem Him one of the wronged of this world. The portals of wealth were closed to His face and the doors of poverty opened in such wise that several days passed before He could satisfy His intense hunger. Thus was the matter decreed. There remained unto Him no friend or companion and He became alone in the world except for His wife, who believed in God and served Job in all His tribulations. We confirmed her to be His support in all matters. When this companion found her Husband in such a grievous state, she went to her people and asked them for a loaf of bread, but those embodiments of iniquity refused to give her any. In truth, We have registered all things in Our perspicuous Book. As His condition grew extreme, she sought help from the worst of women, but even this woman refused to give a piece of bread until she had taken from Job's wife what she wanted. I swear by God! The pen is ashamed to recall such events, but God is a witness of their deeds. Job's wife came to Him with the bread, but when He saw that her hair cut off, He bewailed in such a way that all the heavens and earth bewailed as well. Said He, "O handmaiden of God! I see thou hath done what is truly not allowed. Why did you permit your hair, an adornment for thy beauty, to be cut off?" Said she, "O Job! The more I asked Thy people for a piece of bread for Thee, the more they refused, until I entered the house of one of the maidservants of God. She also refused to give me bread until she had taken my hair, and this is the bread I have brought before Thy face. In this manner hath she rebelled against God's law. She has truly waxed proud and the matter is finished between her and me. O Job, forgive me and do not punish me for this transgression. I was reduced to an extreme condition because of my concern for Thee. Have mercy on me and forgive me, for Thou art always generous and forgiving."

          What was decreed came to pass and in this wise Job was sorrowful that all heavens would well nigh have cloven asunder and the earth of patience would have been split and the mountain of long suffering would have been reduced to pieces. So he placed his face on the dust and he said. "O my Lord! Suffering has encompassed from all sides and truly Thou art the One Whose mercy has preceded all things. In Thy generosity have compassion on me and be kind to me in Thy bountiful favor, for Thou art compassionate unto Thy servants." And when We heard His call We caused there to flow under his right leg a clear sweet water and We commanded Job to immerse himself in it and to drink therefrom. And when he drank therefrom he became purified of all ailments and was manifest in the most beauteous form. We returned to him all We had taken from him and even more such that We rained on him from the Dominion of wealth what enriched him and made him independent of all earth. We solaced his eyes by the joy of his family and we fulfilled what We had promised the patient ones in all the holy and preserved Tablets. We made good all his affairs and We confirmed him with mighty arm of Our revelation. Thus We raise the submissive ones and thus We cause to perish those who wax proud, they who act wickedly in the land. Thus We accomplish that which We purpose and We fulfill the rewards of the long suffering and We vouchsafe to them generously of Our holy treasures. 

          O peoples of the earth! Be patient and persevering in the path of God and do not sorrow about that which will befall you in these "Days of the Spirit". Soon ye shall see the recompense of the patient ones in the transcendent and holy Garden (Ridvan). In truth God has created a Paradise in the retreats of immortality and has named it "patience". Its name was treasured in the immaculate treasures of God up to the present Day. And in it was ordained what was not ordained in all other gardens and We have at this moment unveiled it for you and caused it to be remembered by you as a mercy on Our part to all the worlds. And in this paradise there are rivers of the providence of God and God has forbidden it from any one except those who have persevered in calamities seeking thereby the good pleasure of God. None shall enter these gardens except such as have not perverted the bounty of God in themselves and flew with the wings of might in the atmosphere of patience. These are they who have been long-suffering in all tribulations and the more the tribulations increased their love for their Lord waxed greater and with their entire being they turned to the exalted and holy One. The ecstasies of desire grew intense in their hearts and the breaths of enthusiasm became great in their being so much so and they gave of their wealth and they gave all that vouchsafed by God to them and in all those states they were grateful to their Lord and they did not seek help from any one and God inscribed the names of the patient ones in His holy and irrevocable tablets.

          Truly blessed is the one who arrays himself with the garment of patience and equanimity and who does not change in afflictions and whose footsteps do not slip when the tempests of wrath blow and remains acquiescent at all times and relies on God at all times. I swear by God! Soon will God cause him to be manifested within the canopy of grandeur with a luminous garment which will scintillate like unto the scintillation of light above the spiritual horizon and eyes will be dazzled upon beholding him and above his head there will be a caller from God saying, "This is verily the one who was long suffering for God in the vain and futile world and in all that the unbelievers did unto him. The concourse on high will seek blessing from him and the occupiers of God's pavilions will seek to meet him as well as the holy maidens in the sacred and beautiful tabernacles." So O People of the Bayan! Be patient in these passing days and do not complain that your abject ornaments have been lost and do not bemoan of the afflictive trials that have been ordained in the Mighty Scrolls of God. 

          Further know ye that for all good deeds there is ordained a limited reward in the Book of God with the exception of patience. This is the point that was made by God unto Muhammad, the Apostle of God. "Those who patiently persevere will truly receive a reward without measure."[2] Thus has the Faithful Spirit revealed unto the heart of Muhammad in the Arabian Tongue and thus has it been revealed in all the mighty and new Tablets what has been ordained for the patient ones. Further know ye that God has ordained patience to be the garment of all the Messengers and no Prophet or Messenger has been sent but his temple has been ordained with the robe of patience. Thus has been taken God's Covenant with every Prophet sent by Him. 

          It behoveth in the beginning for the patient person to persevere in himself so that he will withhold himself from all wickedness, evil, and desires, and from all that God has forbidden in His Book and so will his name be inscribed in the Tablets as a patient one. And further he shall be persevering despite the afflictions that shall descend on him in the path of his Fashioner and that he be not shaken when the tempestuous winds of divine decree blow and when the ocean of God's destiny billows in the dominion of His irrevocable Plan and that he remain steadfast in the Faith of God. 

          And further that he should be patient with what the friends of God bring upon him and that he should be forbearing with the believers for the love of God and the pleasure of His Religion. Anticipate ye therefore the Day when the clouds of patience shall be uplifted and the immortal Bird shall warble, and the Peacock of holiness shall be made manifest with the ornament of Revelation in the kingdom of His reunion, and the stammering tongues shall be freed singing the accents of the Nightingale, and the Dove of paradise shall sing betwixt earth and heaven and the Trumpet shall be sounded and bodies of existence shall all be renewed, and the Divine Fire shall be ignited, and God in His transcendent and glorious Beauty shall come in the clouds of the Spirit. Then haste ye to Him O peoples of the earth! And do not heed anything else of this world, and let nothing impede you, and let the affairs of learning should not hinder you and the matters of wisdom should not lock you out haste with all haste to the holy and uplifted Precinct. For if you had been of the patient ones from all eternity but if ye tarry on that Day less than a moment the quality of true patience shall not be yours. This has been revealed by the pen of the Omniscient One.

          Say, O people of the world, fear God in these Days and do not fabricate falsehoods against His Trusted Ones and speak not of what ye have no cognizance. For ye are of the weak ones on earth and of the poor ones[3] in His land so wax not proud in your selves and hurry towards the accepted land of God's will. 

          I swear by God! This nether world shall pass away and all that ye delight in it with it, and the angels of His wrath shall assemble you in the presence of the Mighty and Omnipotent King. And you shall be asked of what you have wrought in your days for naught is left in the heavens or earth but that it is written in the tablets of His Knowledge. Then no one will assist you and none will befriend you and nothing will avail you but what you have planted in the field of your deeds. So be awakened O wicked ones and hearken unto the admonition of this kind Friend who admonishes you for the sake of God and does not want from you either a recompense or thanks. His reward is with the One that has sent Him in truth and has caused to descend on Him verses that the proof may be fulfilled unto all the world. How long will ye repose yourself on the seats of heedlessness and how long shall ye follow that are not but the abject ones moved by others.

          I swear by God! They whom you have taken to be lords beside the One True God do not have names or essences mentionable in the sight of God. Have mercy on yourself and fear God your Fashioner. Return to him that He may forgive your evil deeds and he is truly forgiving unto His servants. 

          Say I swear by God! They to whom you attribute knowledge and have accepted them as your divines they are in the sight of God the worst of men nay the quintessence of evil flees from them. Thus has the matter been inscribed in the scrolls of God's knowledge. We testify that they have not drunk from the fountains of knowledge and they have not attained unto a word of Wisdom and have not become aware of the mysteries of Revelation and have been racing in the land of their selfish desires. Nothing of rejection and denial against a prophet or a successor of a prophet has come to pass except after their permission. Thus has always been their injunction carried out on the Countenances of holiness. 

          Say to them: O ignorant ones! Did We not reveal in the past: "A Day that God shall come in the canopies of clouds."[4] How is it that when He came down in the clouds of Revelation in the Temple of `Ali, you turned away and rejected Him and waxed haughty and brought about your own perdition?[5] Was it not also revealed in your Book: "the Day when Thy Lord comes or certain of the signs of Thy Lord."[6] And when He did come with evident signs wherefore did ye turn away from those signs and veiled yourselves with the veils of self? 

          Say: Verily God is sanctified from coming and descent. For He is Single, Transcendent Whose knowledge encompasses all the heavens and the earth. For He never comes in His Essence nor can He be seen in His Innermost Being and cannot be recognized in His Divine Ipseity and He cannot be comprehended with all His attributes. Thus He that cometh is the Manifestation of His own Self and indeed He did come in the Name of `Ali[7] and ye gathered around Him with the claws of hatred and passed sentence on Him, O concourse of divines, and were not ashamed in the face of Him Who created you and fashioned you. Thus have We[8] taken account of your affair in preserved Tablets of glory. 

          O Ear of Immortal truth! Hearken to what these unbelievers say: God has sealed Prophethood with the coming of His Beloved Muhammad, the Apostle of God, and He shall not raise any one after Him[9] and He has made His own hands chained[10] of disposing grace; the embodiments of sanctity shall never appear after Him; the Lights of grace shall never shine again; bounty is terminated; power has ended; loving-kindness has been consummated; the portals of grace are closed even though the breezes of divine grace are ever blowing from the Ridvan of might. Say: May your own hands be chained and accursed are you in these sayings. Rather His hands are stretched to give bounty to all the heavens and the earth. He will rise with power whoever He wishes and He shall not be asked of his doings. Verily He has power over all things.

          Say: O People of the Qur'an! Ponder ye in the Book that was revealed in truth unto Muhammad in which he sealed Prophethood with the coming of His beloved Prophet until the day of resurrection. But this day is the day of Resurrection whereon God has risen in the Manifestation of His Self but you have become veiled from it just as the peoples before have become veiled on the advent of Muhammad and you have become drowned in the depths of an ocean of ignorance and denial.

          Say: Were ye not promised "attaining the presence of God"[11] in the "Days of God"[12]? But when the Promise did come and the Beauty shone above the Horizon of Glory you turned your gaze away and were resurrected[13] blind in the Plain of resurrection. 

          Say: Was it not revealed in the Qur'an[14], and His word is the Truth: "Thus have We made you a nation intermediate. That ye may be witnesses over the nations, and the Messenger a witness over yourselves."? But you have interpreted this verse according to your desires although at all times you admitted what was also revealed is truth: None knoweth the interpretation thereof except God and they that are firmly grounded in knowledge[15]. Although you are certain of this verse and although you were prevented, yet you have interpreted and expounded the words of God. But you have risen to object to and to deny those "firmly grounded in knowledge." In fact you slay them as you slew them aforetime and are proud of what you perpetrate. Woe unto you and what your hands have wrought and woe unto what you have vain imaginings in the Cause of God in Days that the lights of guidance are manifest at this dawn of knowledge. Ask them then as to how they interpret that which has been revealed from the kingdom of glory unto the Arabian Prophet and what do they say the meaning of Intermediate is. If Prophethood has been sealed with Him how is the Prophet's nation said to be intermediate amongst the nations? In this wise ascertain the limit of their cognizance. It is as though they have never hearkened the melodies of the Divine Nightingale or if they heard it they did not apprehend its purpose and in this manner the testimony of their own Book is completed unto them. This is what the word of all the peoples when the dispensation of each of the Prophets comes. As oft as a Messenger came to them they told that Messenger, "You have not been sent by God and Prophethood was sealed by the previous one." Thus does Satan embellish to their eyes their deeds and words and in this they are far remote from the shores of truth. 

          Tell them then the story of Muhammad when aforetime He came with clear sovereignty. Said He, "These are the verses of God that have been revealed in truth." Do not have discord in the Cause of God but gather on around this glorious and transcendent shore. O people! Look at Me with the eye of God and follow not your desires and be not like those who call God in their days and night but when He came to them they turned away and denied him and were found prostrate upon the idols of their own selves. 

          The Jews said, "By God! This is He who has fabricated a falsehood against God, or He is possessed or He is under a spell." They said, "God has sealed Prophethood with Moses and this command of God is decreed in the Torah. Further the Law of the Torah shall never be abrogated as long as God exists and the One that is to be raised after Moses will arise under the auspices of the Mosaic Law so that he may spread its ordinances amongst all the peoples of the earth and thus has the command of God been revealed from the firmament His Revelation brought down.

          The people of the Gospel spoke like unto them and are waiting from that Day till this. And their position was rejected by God in that which He revealed upon Muhammad in the Arabic tongue in the Sura of the Jinn: "They came to think as ye thought that God would not raise up any one (to Prophethood)."[16] 

          I swear by God! This verse and what is treasured within it suffices all the peoples of the earth should they tread the goodly and honorable path. Say[17]: God hath sent down His Messengers to succeed to Moses and Jesus, and He will continue to do so till `the end that bath no end'; so that His grace may, from the heaven of Divine Bounty be continually vouchsafed to mankind. He doeth what He willeth and He shall not be asked of what He does. Rather all will be asked of all things in the court of divine Justice.

          Hearken then unto what these objectors say and how they have come to think as the servants who were before have thought. Say: I swear by God! Ye are guilty of a misapprehension in this matter. For verily the "Hour" has passed in truth and the "Resurrection" has risen despite you and despite those who are deafened unto divine melodies. Say: Ye speak as the peoples of bygone ages spoke at the time of the Apostle of God and ye are expectant as they were expectant and your footsteps have slipped upon this path which has been outstretched for truth. Ponder ye therefore on the significance of this verse that ye may be nourished from the nourishment of knowledge that is descending from the heaven of holiness in a preordained measure. 

          O Solace of the Eyes of Eternity! Witness what the unbelievers report about this verdant and blessed Tree that is upraised on the musk-laden mount. So high have its Branches grown that They have reached a place hidden beyond the Tabernacles of holiness. And these unbelievers have purposed to cut omits twigs. Say: it is protected in the fortress of God and is guarded in His loving providence and yet God has prevented the hands of the unbelievers and hypocrites from molesting it, such that their hands will never reach it. Soon will God gather under its shade all who are in the kingdom of existence and this is what God has written for His own Self to accomplish and all that has been irrevocable in the Tablets of might written with the Pen of knowledge. 

          O Solace of the Eyes of Beauty! Remind the servants with the remembrances of the spirit in these days and make them hear the immortal melodies that they may come to apprehend in themselves something even for lesser than a moment haply they may not entertain thoughts as the people aforetime thought and that they may have certitude that God is able to send a Messenger at all moments. Say O people of hatred! May you perish in your wrath! This victory has been decreed by the luminous and glorious Pen. Reveal unto them what the Dove of the Spirit has sung in the holy and beloved Ridvan haply they may follow the interpretation of the term "Seal" as was uttered by the Tongue of the Name of God 'Ali, He Who was firmly grounded in knowledge, in His Visitation of the Prophet. He said in truth, "Muhammad the Sealer of what preceded Him and the Initiator of that which was to come[18]." In this was uttered the significance of the term of Seal from that unapproachably holy tongue. Thus did God ordain Him to be the Seal of those Prophets that preceded Him and an Initiator of a series of Messengers to come after Him. 

          In this wise ponder ye in what We have revealed unto you in all truth that ye find a way to the precinct of God's Revelation on the shore of holiness. Be not veiled therefore because of what ye have heard from your divines and ask the questions of religion from him whom God has ordained to be "firmly grounded in knowledge" and from whose countenance resplendent lights are shed. 

          O people! Fear God and take not knowledge from muddied fountains that flow from a source of self and ignorance. Take ye your portion from sweet flowing, unsullied, waters that flow from the right hand of the throne and which God has apportioned for the righteous. 

          O Holy Countenance! Waft unto all existent things what God has vouchsafed in His munificence unto Thee that all things may rise from the sepulchres of their bodies and that they may all be cognizant of that Revelation that has come in all truth. Then send upon all beings musk-laden breezes that have been fragrant from thee from the source of immortality that haply moldering bones may be revived by them and that people may not deprive themselves from this Spirit that has been breathed by this pre-existent, eternal, and timeless Pen and thereby they, endowed with the most beauteous form, may attain resurrection in this holy and blest land. 

          O Pen of Revelation! Thou seest and bearest witness that beings do not seek this outspread bountiful mercy that encompasses all the heavens and the earth and seek not to turn to the Countenance from whom the lights of the Spirit shine forth and by Whom all the Kingdoms of Revelation and creation have become illumined, and Thou art a witness unto all that. These people race in the valley of self and desire and immerse themselves with those who have not attained Thy presence even though Thou hast given them all the glad tidings of this Day by Thy glorious and perspicuous Pen. Thou sayest and Thy word is most sweet in the dominion of eternity. On that day the Cause belongs solely unto God. 

          Thus hath the matter pertaining to this day been inscribed by the Pen of Glory moved by the Finger of Spirit upon the Tablet of glory, and when the day did come to pass and when the hour did come and when the matter was consummated and when the lights of Thy beauty were shining in the midmost part of heaven then all of them rose in opposition to this light which shineth from all the horizons. They veiled themselves with thick veils of faithlessness. In this manner apprehend the position of all the peoples in all the ages namely that despite their waiting and their anticipation of the Days of God, when the time pre-ordained did come to pass they all denied him because of that which Satan had suggested in their hearts and caused themselves to be remote from the shores of holiness. 

          In this Day also you see these unbelievers awaited and they indeed were expectant in all their Days as they were promised by the tongue of Muhammad the Apostle of God. And whenever they heard the name of the Promised One they rose and shouted, "May God hasten by His Advent our deliverance!" And when He appeared in all truth they gainsaid Him, and raised objections to Him, and disputed idly with Him, and imprisoned Him in the midst of mountains, and the hatred of their hearts was not quenched until they perpetrated against Him what caused the hearts of all existence and visible reality to burn, and because of this the foundations of the City of immortality in the divine dominions trembled and the Beauty of the Unseen mourned in His holy and secret domains. 

          O Countenance of Glory! Remind the believers and the Concourse of the everlasting what the unbelievers used to utter in the Days commemorating the martyrdom of the Imam Husayn at the hands of the unjust and wicked ones. These people used to recite the verses of Visitation of Husayn every day and would accurse the doers of wrong against Him, so much so that every morning they would recite a hundred times, "O God, curse the first to wrong the just cause of Muhammad and the Family of Muhammad![19]" And when Husayn was resurrected once more in the Holy Land they wronged Him and killed Him and they perpetrated against him what was never done before. In this wise does God separate between truth and falsehood and between light and darkness and reveals to you what will make manifest the deeds of all wrong-doers. 

          Then make mention in the Book, the servant of God, Taqi[20]. He who believed in God on the day when the revelation was resplendent from the dawning place of the spirit. He is the one who assisted his Lord as much as he could when Vahid entered the eastern city of love [i.e. Nayriz]. He said "O my people, in truth the testimony of God has come and the countenance of truth is unveiled." O people of the Qur'an! Haste ye to it and do not turn your back therefrom. O my people! The beauty of God has dawned from the horizon of holiness. The promise is fulfilled. Haste ye to the Ridvan in which his countenance is shining from. Beware that you do not deprive yourselves and your eyes from attaining the presence of God, for this is the day of God which has been ordained to be harsh unto the unbelievers.[21] 

          0 my people! Verily the Book of God has been set and this is the book wherein nothing of the deeds of the peoples of the world is left out from it even to the measure of a tiny pebble[22]. 0 people! Do not become veiled from the beauty of God that has come in the shades of the clouds surrounded by holy angels for this is the way his revelation has been decreed from his throne on high. 

          Remember when Vahid said, "O people, I have come to you bearing a Tablet of spirit from the Bab, the exalted One. O people, do not enter divisions in this Cause of God and answer this caller who calls you with all sincere truthfulness and who discloses for you what will approximate you to the right hand of the Beloved and glorious One. O people, you have been promised in all the tablets to attain the presence of God and this is the day that the beauty of God has been disclosed, the day in which His light has been manifest, the day in which the Summoner[23]is calling you and the day in which the heavens have been cloven asunder with the clouds[24]. Fear ye God and do not close your eyes from the most luminous and holy beauty." 

          This is the day you have been promised through the tongue of the messengers and this way God took a covenant from you in the heaven of pre-existence. Therefore fulfill your own covenant and do not tarry upon the land of misgiving. There is amongst the people one who has been faithful to the call of God and responded the truthful Summoned and there is one that has turned away and rebelled against God. Amongst those who have accepted God is the one named Taqi. He has believed and has been faithful to his promise. He attained the presence of Vahid, he adhered firmly to the most firm handle. He did not divide the word of God. He was faithful to the true religion. He assisted God at all times in whatever way he could, God has placed his name upon the lines of eternity written by the Pen of glory. Suffering and affliction embraced him and he bore in his own soul all manner of afflictions and under those circumstances he was always grateful and ever patient. 

          Those who assist God with their wealth and their lives and who are patient under all conditions of hardship for the purpose of attracting God's good pleasure these are the ones who shall attain victory for all eternity. Such people even if they are killed or burned because they have been created of the spirit shall always soar in the spiritual atmosphere through God's permission. These shall not attend to their bodies in this world and these seek sufferings in the path of God as a sinner seeks forgiveness, as a babe seeks the breast milk given to it by the mercy of God thus does the nightingale remind you with spiritual recollections so that men may detach themselves from their own self, their money and wealth and to return to the holy and clear presence. 

          Days passed until such time as a group of people from the town which God has blessed and whose name has been uplifted in the Tablet from which the Mother Book has been derived gathered around Vahid. These people obeyed the commands of God, circled around his cause, sacrificed their wealth, gave up everything they had of the treasures of this world, and were not frightened of anyone and God is aware of everything. Their hearts were like iron in the aim to render victory to God, no blame from the blamer attached to them, no objection prevented them, rather they were exalted in the cities of God like holy and uplifted ensigns. Matters reached a point that the chieftain of the army of tyranny, he who disbelieved in God and His beauty and turned away from His proofs and was the most wicked man of the earth, heard about Vahid. Unto this bears witness those men who are hidden in the tabernacles of immortality. 

          O people of Nayriz! Thank ye God your creator who vouchsafed His bounty upon you, preferred you upon the peoples of the earth, honored you with attaining His presence, made you aware of His own self, nourished you from the fruits of the Tree of paradise at a time when all were depriving themselves of it. God gave you the bounty of appreciating His Days, God sent you the breezes of holiness and turned you to the right hand of divine unity and enabled you to get close to the holy Vale. Thus does God vouchsafe unto whomever He wishes and He chooses to confer His mercy upon those who have detached themselves of all earthly things. Thus cheer yourselves and pride yourselves over all the peoples of the earth. Know you that God has written your names upon Holy Tablets and has ordained for you a praiseworthy station in paradise. I swear by God! If the station of anyone of you should become clear all the peoples will give their lives in their desire for this station created by the hand of God. But this station is hidden from the eyes of men that the good may be distinguished from the corrupt and thus does God test the people in this world that what is in their hearts may become manifest and you have been a witness to all that. 

          How many servants of God who worshipped God in the days of their life and who would order the people to good and righteousness and would weep over the afflictions of the family of God[25] and who would cast their eyes down when they would recite their prayers and their Tablets of Visitation all these to express their devotion and adoration to the Seat of Sanctity. But when the Truth came to them they turned away and disbelieved in Him until they slew Him with their own hands and were happy in their deeds. Thus does God bring to naught the deeds of those who show pride and will accept the deeds of those who turn solely unto Him, and humble themselves before His countenance and tread the path of His good pleasure. 

          O people of Nayriz! Recall the bounty of God wherewith He has graciously vouchsafed unto you and whereby He has taught you what He has not taught the divines of the earth -- divines who because of the great size of their turbans cannot even walk on earth and when they move it is as if a mountain of hatred moves.

          I swear by God! It behooves you, O friends of God, that you sanctify yourselves from all that ye have been forbidden and thank God in all your days and your nights because He chose you for a bounty from of which others did not have a portion. You must give account of your Lord, your Creator, so that because of you the fragrances of God may be wafted and in this way you may be distinguished from those who have disbelieved and joined partners unto God. Thus does the Nightingale give counsel unto you and teach you the ways of knowledge that you may become steadfast in the religion of God and constant in that religion of love. Fear God and do not dissipate your deeds through negligence and do not impress on God as a favor that they believe in God and the person of His Manifestation. Rather it is God that has conferred the favor on you in that He has assisted you to recognize the Revelation and has shown you the paths of dignity and righteousness and has inspired you with His wondrous and treasured knowledge. 

          Blessed are ye the people of Nayriz in that you are patient in your suffering and afflictions in these times ordained by God and in all you heard with your ears and as all you witnessed soon God will reward you with the best reward and He shall give you what shall be pleasing to your souls and what shall establish your names in his hidden and holy Book. Strive therefore that you do not waste your fortitude with complaints and be ye acquiescent with what God has ordained unto you and what He shalt ordain in the future. For this world and its ornaments and its treasures shall all vanish in less than a moment for there is no permanence in it and you shall attain the presence of the glorious Beloved. Great is your blessedness therefore and those who sacrificed themselves in the days of God for they are of those who soared in the atmosphere of divine love until they reached a place that was forbidden unto those other than them. 

          O holy Pen! Recount what came to pass upon Vahid from the enemies of the self of God so that his affair may be mentioned amongst the Concourse on High in all truth. When he [i.e. Haji Zaynu'l-Abidin Khan, the governor of Nayriz] who disbelieved and waxed wicked and showed pride before God and rebelled against Him sent the armies of unbelief and commanded those armies to kill those people who had no equal or compare in the depth of their belief in God, and when he commanded them to shed the blood of those people whose blood has caused everything to be made pure, he then ordered the multitude to perpetrate what was not revealed in the Book of God for such was his custom and degree. He then arranged that there be two chiefs for the hosts of the enemy, chiefs who had disbelieved in God and in His verses and who had exchanged for their religion this world and who bought for themselves everlasting and permanent deprivation and who were proceeding to face as a result of their tyranny the wrath of God. These two chieftains came with all their armies of disbelief and with all their hosts of wickedness and they surrounded the hosts of God and his loved ones and they are already inscribed in the Mother Book by the Pen of revelation as the most wicked of people. For they waged war against the companions of God, they fought with them, they disputed with them, they engaged in many battles with them, and they did whatever they could to vanquish the hosts of the one true God, but in all these battles God made them to be defeated in the hands of the believers. 

          When they were impotent to defeat the party of God and His loved ones, they engaged in many deliberations and arranged a deception and consulted on their plans until they decided to send to Vahid an envoy with a tongue of falsehood and deception. This envoy of Satan entered the presence of Vahid and said, "O Vahid, you are a descendent of the Prophet Muhammed and we admit that you have the dignity and honor above us and we have not come to antagonize thee but we wish for a reconciliation and we are prepared to hear what you have to tell us and we shall follow what you say and not dispute with that in the smallest way possible. 

          Then Vahid's spiritual utterance started and the Holy Spirit spoke through his tongue and said, "O people! If you accept my honor and dignity and if you admit that I am a descendent of the Prophet of God, why have you attacked me with your armies, why have you encircled our people and why have you turned away from the cause of God and rebelled against him? O people! Fear God. Do not perpetrate mischief in God's earth. Do not abandon the true religion of God behind your backs. Fear God who has created you and nourished you and revealed to you these new and wondrous verses. O people! The world will pass away, your armies will disappear as will also the one who sent you with the intention of oppressing us. Consider what happened to the nations of the past and learn of those affairs that transpired. O people, I am nothing but a servant who has believed in God and in the verses of God that have been revealed through the utterance of 'Ali in truth [i.e. the Bab. If you are not pleased with me, I shall travel away from you towards God as I do not seek anything here. Fear God and do not shed the blood of His lovers; do not take in vain the property of people; do not disbelieve after your claims of belief. These are my counsels unto you, follow my advice and do not deprive yourselves of a revelation that has dawned from the horizon of the spirit. O people, will you kill someone who says my Lord is Gad after he has brought verses whose comprehension is beyond the intelligence of all creation? Have mercy on yourselves and do not follow your selfish desires. You shall soon leave this evanescent world and you shall soon find yourselves in the presence of One Who is omnipotent and self-subsisting. You shall be asked then of what you have done in this world and you shall be requited with all your deeds in this perishing domain. All this has been decreed irrevocably in the Tablets of Glory." 

          Following this there were many envoys and communications between them until they introduced the Book of God, the Qur'an, and pledged a solemn oath on it and sealed it and sent it to Vahid, the beauteous one. In this way they sought to accomplish a deception in the cause of God by pledging by their tongue what was not in their heart for their hatred was like a fire smoldering behind the smoke of deception. They implored Vahid to adorn their tents and assemblies with his coming and they further emphasized all their pledges and covenants although they were recumbent on the couch of self and desire. When the sealed Qur'an, the Book of God, came in front of Vahid he rose and said to his friends, "O people, the promised hour is come, the decrees of God will soon be accomplished, I shall go to them so that what is hidden behind the tabernacles of God's destiny will come to pass", for indeed he was always reliant upon God. 

          Vahid entered amongst the armies of tyranny and the hosts of Satan with a few souls. His enemies rose and welcomed him and gave him honor in their walking and sitting and he stayed with them a few days and in his name they composed a missive to the people of Nayriz that they should separate and that no trouble will await them until they made sure that they were all separated and then the armies of unbelief entered their residence and performed a great deception over them. When they were sure of what they had done they then bespoke their covenant and testament and turned away from the pledge sealed in the Book and it is thus that their names are written in the Books of God as those who are cursed. They took Vahid, they dishonored him, they made his body naked and they perpetrated against that body what causes the eyes of the People of Paradise to shed tears of blood. May God curse such people who cause such oppression and to those who act tyrannically in these days when the Son of Truth is still hidden behind the clouds of holiness. They were not happy in what they had done or how may they had slain or how many of their women they had enslaved or how much of their property they had plundered. In none of these they feared God who was their creator and their Lord rather they used to vie with each other as to how much oppression they laid loose on the believers in accord with what the evil one inspired them but God is a witness of all deeds. 

          Matters reached to this pass that they raised the decapitated heads on arrows and spears and brought these heads to the land which God has honored above all lands for the Merciful One sat on the throne of His great Name.[26] And when they brought these to that city, the inhabitants of the city gathered around them, some inflicted harm in their insults and some stoned them and in these circumstances the denizens of heaven raised the fingers of wonderment and astonishment at what they perpetrated against these luminous beings. After they caused them to enter that city He only knows what befell them for God is the one who has taken account of everything in His gracious and glorious Book. 

          O Thou beauty of the holy One! This is not the first deed the unbelievers perpetrated for in the past they killed Husayn and His companions and they enslaved His family and now they cry over him and lament His events every morning and eve. Say to them O Concourse of the ignorant, did you not seek to establish the truth of Husayn and His companions because they sacrificed themselves and their possessions? Is that not what you commemorate? Why is it them that you attribute unbelief to these holy martyrs for they also sacrificed their possessions and their families in the path of God and these believers also strove in that path until they were all slain in different ways in such wise that no ear has heard and no eye has seen? When it is said to them "Why did you kill those who believed in God and His verses?" they replied, "Because we find them to be unbelievers." 

          Say: by God, your reply is exactly what proceeded from your mouth against all the Prophets and Messengers and you kill them all with the sword of hatred for God comprehends everything. Woe unto you for you disbelieved in all the Messengers of God for you rose to fight all of them and shed their blood unjustly and the Tablets which are concealed testify to your deeds. Tell them, did not God ordain in his Book (the Qur'an) what distinguishes truth and falsehood with His words (yearn for death if you speak the truth[27]? So why have you ascribed falsehood to those whom the Book of God testified to their truth, a Book after which no falsehood comes[28] as this has been sent down in the Tablet. But you are not conscious of this and you have abandoned the Book of God behind you, and you have slain those who yearn for martyrdom in the path of God, and this testifieth your own eyes, your tongue, your heart and beyond all this God is a witness unto this. 

          Fie on you, for you have shed the blood of people whom the eyes of existence have not seen like them and you have ascribed falsehood after the Book of God testified to their truth and in all this you have followed those who are not prepared to lose an atom of their prestige in the path of God. Their greatest endeavor in this world is to eat of the peoples' property and to sit at the high place in the assemblies of people and in all of this is their sole glory upon the peoples of the world. By God! It is worthy that you should indeed take these evildoers to be your friends and that you should follow them and as a result enter a fire that has been created for these unbelievers. Say to them, by God, if only you could have any awareness in yourselves even less than a moment, you would erase all your books that you have written without God's permission and you would hit your heads and you would flee from your own homes and you would live in mountains and you would feed yourselves only the dust of the earth. 

          Say unto them, the destiny of those who have been martyred is fulfilled and now they are flying in the atmosphere of God's nearness and they are circumambulating His mighty throne and at all times the angels of God's bounty descends upon them and gives them the glad tidings of a glorious station and at every day God reveals to them his ornament that if it should be disclosed to the peoples of the heavens and earth they would all fall down and become stupefied. 

          Say to them: O Concourse of evildoers, do not rejoice in your deeds for you shall soon return to God and you shall face the resurrection in the mighty arena on a day which will result in the quacking of the limbs of all creation. God will then adjudicate against you with his justice because of what your hands have perpetrated against the believers in your worthless times. Nothing will be left of your deeds but it will all be presented to Him and you shall be requited with what your hands have wrought for nothing escapes God's knowledge and He comprehends all things. Soon will these wrongdoers say while sunk in the lowest grades of hellfire would to God that we had not taken these divines to be friends for us. 

          O people of Nayriz! Recall the bounty of God when you were on the edge of unbelief but God redeemed you with his loving kindness and guided you to His name, Vahid. Recall further when you were enemies that God brought harmony in your hearts and united you and uplifted your names and revealed to you verses from the tongue of glory of the well beloved. Recall further when We passed by you with the hosts of our angels when We opened the doors of paradise unto you when you were assembled in that fort. That was the time when the evil one whispered amongst you and caused fear to enter your hearts and it was then that We found some of you trembling and quaking but We forgave those who were trembling as a mercy on our part and upon all peoples. 

          Say: those of your town who have disbelieved are the worst of men as you are the best of men, thus has it been reckoned in the Tablet, which is sealed with the seal of glory. Those people who did not attain the presence of Vahid those who fought with him, disputed idly with him, they have been cursed in both this world and the next and the word of retribution has been enacted against them from the Mighty the Wise One. 

          O friends of God in that city! Take hold firmly the cord of God, then thank him as he has preferred you in all truth and because of His mercy you became steadfast upon the path of holiness. O trees of that city, prostrate yourselves before God, your Creator, as the breezes of the divine springtime wafted over you in this resplendent and divine season. O land of that city, be thankful to God, your Lord, for you are the land changed by God on the day of resurrection and upon you has shone the light of the spirit from the most luminous horizon. O air of that city, make mention of God who has purified you from the dust of self and desire and caused you to be revived and to return back to His old self. 

          O Yahya! Great is your blessedness for you fulfilled the everlasting covenant when the heavens and the earth were created and you took hold of the Book of God with the strength of your sincere belief and turned yourself to the sanctuary of the divine beauty having been moved by the breezes of His day. Therefore, celebrate in the Concourse on High for you have been mentioned in the Tablet to which belongs the spirit of all divine books and beyond the books, the Mother Book that has been protected in the sanctuary of infallibility. Thus does God reward his servants who believe in Him and His verses and He taketh hold of those who act tyrannically on earth. May the malediction of God rest upon the wrong doers. 

          O Solace of the eye of eternity! Change your tone and chant upon the melodies of those nightingales singing in the tabernacle of divine names and in the dominions of divine attributes that the birds of the throne may detach themselves from the dust of themselves, and may therefore turn back to their original homeland which is sanctified beyond transcendence. O Thou Quintessence of truth! Sing and chant with the most beauteous melodies for all the maidens of paradise have come out of their assemblies and their tents of purity that they may hear Your own melody, the melody that has been sung in the pages of God in the book, Qayyumu'l-Asma. Do not deprive these of what they have desired to hear of Thy new and wondrous melodies and loving kindness for Thou art indeed the most generous One in the highest grades of immortality and in truth Thou art indeed the most generous One in the dominion of eternity and Thy Name is well known amongst the concourse on high as the Generous One. 

          O Thou most holy Beauty! The unbelievers do not respite Thee that a breath should be exhaled from Thy chest for as My voice wishes to leave My mouth, they place the hand of hatred over My mouth and yet with all your knowledge of this matter you command Me to raise My call in this atmosphere for Thou art the doer in truth, Thou art the commander in justice. Thou does what Thou wishes and Thou art wise over all things. If Thou hearkenest to the call of Thy servant, if Thou fulfillest his wish then forgive them with the utmost kind word and delicate utterance that those handmaidens of eternity may return to their seats in the crimson and ruby laden chambers.[29] Thou knowest that I have now become afflicted between the unbelievers from two parties and Thou commandest in both Revelations and overseest both Dispensations and Thou art manifest in the Twin garments and Thou art resplendent through the Two Suns and have been mentioned with the Twin Names, possessest the Twin Dawning-places, commandest the secret of the Twin Mysteries in these Two Lines and God is fully aware beyond all this.[30] 

          Thou knowest that I have no fear for Myself rather I have sacrificed Myself, My soul and My spirit on the day that Thou graciously honored Me with Thy presence, the day that Thou made me recognize Thy new beauty and inspired me with the gems of Thy revelation which are shed upon everyone that entereth the shade of thy cause. My fear is that the limbs of they command may fall apart in this great revelation as these envious ones have created divisions on the day that Thou seated thyself upon the throne of existence with they all embracing mercy. Thus have we explained everything in a Tablet that is revealed from the heaven of the divine spirit. 

          O Thou blood soaked Garment[31]! Do not heed the misgivings of mankind rather burn asunder their veils and appear with thy divine ornament amongst earth and heaven and chant of they hidden and treasured melodies born of Thy spirit in these days whereon there has befallen upon the Manifestation of the self of God what the eyes of creation have not seen. O Thou most holy beauty! The Cause is in thy hand and I am not but a humble servant before Thee, commanded by Thee and it is because Thou commanded me to make mention of the most Great Remembrance and of the most Great Treasure. Therefore, thou shouldst order Thy heavenly angels to protect the limbs of the divine throne and the exalted angels to guard the tabernacles of grandeur lest veils of divinity may be torn asunder as a consequence of this call which has been hidden up to now in Thy chest. And yet Glory of the Spirit! Conceal not Thyself behind those veils but appear with the might of God and break the sew the Vessel of Spirit - a Vessel that has been sealed with the Seal of divine protection from the beginning that has no beginning, that perfume-laden fragrances may blow from this Pre-existent Vessel upon all creation so that it may revive all existence with the breath of the Merciful that they may all arise to serve the Cause in this day whereon the Spirit is evidently visible above the dawn of truth. 

          Say: this Tablet enjoins upon you patience on this day of the Great Terror[32] and commands us to be forbear in this Most Great Agitation[33] when this Dove of Hijaz flies from Iraq and sheds upon all contingent beings the fragrances of separation and on the face of heaven appears the color red for thus is the matter decreed in the Mother Book. 

          Say: The Bird of Immortality has flown from the Horizon of Eternity[34] and has purposed the Sheba of the Spirit in the Sinai of holiness so that in the Mirror of divine destiny the commands of His decree may be reflected and this is but one of God's hidden secrets. Say: The Bird of Glory has flown from one branch and has sought the Branch of holiness planted in the land of exile. Say: the Breeze of Divine Unity has dawned from the Abode of Peace [i.e. Baghdad] and has sought to blow over the city of separation as mentioned in the scrolls of divine Revelation. Say: O concourse in the heavens and on earth! Throw ye ashes[35] on your faces and on your heads because the Beauty of God disappears from these near cities and intends to dawn from the horizon of a remote heaven.[36] All this has been decreed in truth and We are thankful to God in that He has caused to descend on Us tribulation after tribulation and at this moment too He rains upon Us from the Clouds of His Decree down-pouring of well-known sorrows. 

          O Thou Quintessence of sorrow! Seal thou the utterance in this remembrance for We have truly become saddened and the Concourse on High have become sorrowful and then make mention of that servant of God who asked of that true and veritable "Great Announcement." Say: I swear by the One True God! That "Announcement" came to pass in the Perspicuous Beauty of 'Ali[37]. But the servants disagreed about it and the divines of this Age objected to Him -- divines who were veiled in the veils of self. And you did recognize the Beauty of God in The Raiment of 'Ali, the Self-Subsisting. And ere long all in the heavens and earth will recognize Him and this was previously inscribed in truth and has been irrevocable with God. And ye shall know of His Announcement at an inevitably approaching time. 

          But O people of the Bayan! Strive with the utmost striving that ye may not disagreed[38] about the Cause of God and be ye as steadfast as the mountain in all truth in such wise that the whisperings of the Evil One may not cause you to slip and that nothing on earth may pervert you. All this is that which the Dove of Revelation counselleth you at the time of departure from `Iraq because of what the hands of unbelievers have wrought. Furthermore know ye, O concourse of chosen ones, that when the Sun sets, the birds of night will move about in the darkness, but you ought not pay heed to them. Rather turn your faces in this well-beloved and holy direction. Beware lest ye follow the "Samiri"[39] in your souls; beware lest ye fall behind the "Calf" when it bleats amongst you. This is my best counsel unto you and unto all created things. You shall hear the call of Samiri after Me and he will summon you to the Evil One. Go ye not therefore to him, rather turn to this Hidden and Glorious Beauty. At this point We address all who are in heaven and on earth from this City that haply all things may attain to what has been ordained for them from the Wise, the Omniscient One. 

          O Moment[40] of time! Be not heedless of this moment that has come in truth during which the breeze of God is blowing from a holy and westerly direction. O Hour[41]! Celebrate this hour that has arisen with thee and recognize this eternal, heavenly and everlasting banquet that has descended from the clouds of holiness and light from the heaven of might in the name of God. O Day! Illumine all existing things in this luminous, effulgent and divine Day that has become manifest from the horizon of Iraq. 

          In this wise We clarify for you the divine verses and We disclose to you the words of the spirit and vouchsafe unto all things what has been ordained in the Book of divine might so that everyone may know the fountain of divine bounty which is following from this Ridvan in all truth. May the spirit be upon you and upon those who have circumambulating and directing themselves in the direction of divine love.

Translator's Footnotes

    [1] Qur'an 20:40. [2] Qur'an 39:10. [3] Qur'an 35:15 and 47:38 [4] Qur'an 2:210. [5] Qur'an 25:18 and 48:12. [6] Qur'an 6:158. [7] The Bab. [8] Qur'an 36:12 and 78:29. [9] Qur'an 40:74 and 72:7. [10] Qur'an 5:64. [11] Qur'an 6:31, 6:154, 10:45, 13:2, 18:110, 29:5, 32:10, 10:7, 10:11, 10:15, 18:105 and 29:23. [12] Qur'an 14:5. [13] Qur'an 20:124. [14] Qur'an 2:143. [15] Qur'an 3:7. [16] Qur'an 72:7. [17] This next verse is translated by Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh 116. [18] This refers to the Tablet of Visitation of the Imam 'Ali addressing the spirit of the Prophet Muhammad, (quoted in the book of Mafatih al Jinan, by Qomi). [19] Such maledictions are found in the Visitations of the Imams, see for example Mafátih al-Jinán of Qummi, "Ziyárat al-Amir Yawmal-Ghadir Alláhummal-'an awwala zálimin zalanu Aala Muhammadin." [20]20 Haji Muhammad Taqi, surnamed Ayyub, God Passes By 130. [21] Qur'an 25:26. [22] Qur'an 25:13 and 4:124. [23] Qur'an 50:41 [24] Qur'an 25:25 [25] The afflictions of the Prophet's grandson, the Imam Husayn. [26] Shiraz. [27] Qur'an 2:94 and 62:6 [28] Qur'an 41:42 [29] Crimson here refers to the Crimson Arc and the color red refers to the realm of divine decree called Qadá. [30] It appears that in this passage there is a reference to the divine handmaidens mentioned in the Bab's revelation of Qayyumu'l-Asma and that these handmaidens came to hear the new melodies revealed by Bahá'u'lláh but then at the end of that revelation He is seeking that these handmaidens return to their tabernacles because at that point Bahá'u'lláh is surrounded by opposition of two parties: the people of Islam and the people of the Bayan. Further there are multiple references to the twin revelations and echoes of "Twin-ness" of many passages of Qayyamal-Asmaa for example in the Sura of Zikr, p. 224, of the Afnan family copy, the Bab reveals: Qul Inni anal-Bahaa ....wa Inni An-al Nazir fi al Mashriqayn ... Nurayn... Turayn...Satrayn (twin lights, twin mounts, etc.) [31]31 There are many references in the Qayyumu'l-Asma' to the blood-soaked Garment. The original story is from the Qur'an 12 where Joseph's blood-soaked garment is brought to his father. In the Bab's writings this brood becomes the blood of the Imam Husayn (Qayyumu'l-Asma 32 and 191). This blood-soaked Garment, according to the Bab, proclaims: "Verily, I am God ..." For Bahá'ís, Bahá'u'lláh represents the spiritual Return of the Imam Husayn. [32] Qur'an 21:103 [33] Qur'an 14:21 [34] Conscious of its many nuances (see Mazandarani, Asraru'l-Athar), 'Ama has been rendered eternity. [35] Qur'an 14:18 [36] Contrasting the "near" Baghdad to the "remote" Adrianople [37] According to Bahá'u'lláh, the "Great Announcement" of Qur'an 78:2, 38:67 and 38:88 is the Bab. [38] "Concerning what are they disputing? Concerning the Great Announcement. About which they cannot agree." Qur'an 78:1-3 [39] Qur'an 20:85-95 references to Mirza Yahya and Siyyid Muhammad Isfahani [40] There are many references to Hin [i.e. moment of time], thus Qur'an 38:88 and 28:15. [41] Nearly fifty references in Qur'an to the Hour; see for example 12:107, 16:77, 18:36, 25:11, 41:17, 43:61, 54:1.