March 8, 2017

Dalá’il-i-Sab’ih (The Seven Proofs) – by the Báb

[The Dala'il-i-Sab'ih (Seven Proofs), the most important of the polemical works of the Báb, was revealed during that same period [Mah-Ku]. Remarkably lucid, admirable in its precision, original in conception, unanswerable in its argument, this work, apart from the many and divers proofs of His mission which it adduces, is noteworthy for the blame it assigns to the "seven powerful sovereigns ruling the world" in His day, as well as for the manner in which it stresses the responsibilities, and censures the conduct, of the Christian divines of a former age who, had they recognized the truth of Muhammad's mission, He contends, would have been followed by the mass of their co-religionists. (Shoghi Effendi, 'God Passes By')]

-- Provisional English translation from the French of Nicolas – by Peter Terry

In the Name of God, the Only Unique, the Only Unique. [60] Praises be to God, for there is none other God but He, the Only Unique, the Only Unique. All splendor [61] comes from God, upon the 'Man Yuzhiruhu'llah' [62] and upon His Apostles even until the eternity of eternities.

And following:

We have examined the letter which was written to us: if one were to desire a detailed explanation of the proofs establishing the truth of this Manifestation [63], this one [such an explanation] would be too long and the tablets of the world of existence and of possibilities [64] would not be sufficient for this. [65]

But, the essence of this discourse and the pearl of this aim [66] are that there never has been and there is now no doubt that the Eternal God has always been immovable in the Loftiness of His Divinity, in the sublimity of His Pure Attributes, and that He will remain always in the Splendor and the immutability of His Infinite Grandeur. Nothing has known Him as He should be known and the praises which have been made of Him have remained below Him. He is Pure of all names, Free from all semblances. [67] Everything is known to Him and His Grandeur resides in this that He remains unknown to all. His Creation has never had a commencement and will never have an end as then there would have been or there would be a necessary stoppage to [interruption in] His kindnesses. [68] All the times that it has been found useful in this world of Possibilities [69], He has sent Prophets and has made descend from the Heaven the Books of the Law: He will do so again when the need will make itself felt. [70]

February 20, 2017

Lawh-i Haqqu’n-Nas (Tablet of the Right of the People) - by Baha’u’llah

-- Provisional Translation by Mehran Ghasempour

In the Name of God, the Beneficient, the Merciful

Praise be to God Who fulfilled what He revealed to all His Prophets and Messengers and gave to all the tidings of His days. And of them is the Day which He promised us in His Mighty Book through His saying, exalted be His dominion: on that day "God will enrich everyone out of His abundance." [Qur’an 4:130] And this, truly, is our Day, when I behold Him enriching all who enter in His shadow from the abundance of His knowledge and command, inasmuch as on this Day He hath placed the reins of knowledge in the grasp of His lowliest servant and in the possession of His most insignificant subject who hath held fast to the cord of His Love in the days of His manifestation.

And praise be to God who inspireth whom He wisheth with the hosts of His revelation and "casteth the light of His knowledge into the heart of whom He willeth." [Islamic Hadíth] There is no God but Him Who is manifest through the manifestation of His own Self, inasmuch as there remains no veil for Him but the light of His Beauty, and no cloud but the abundance of His manifestation.

Blessing and peace be upon the noblest of His Chosen Ones, and the most distinguished of His creation, and upon His kindred, and upon His family, and upon His saints who stood firm in His Cause and continued steadfast in His love.

January 18, 2017

Risáliy-i-Síyásíyyih (A Treatise on Statesmanship) – by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, 1893

-- provisional translation
He is God

Praise and benediction are owed to the pure Lord, who made the appearance of the sacred perfections of the human realm the foundation for his creation. Thus might the invisible Essence become visible in the court of perception by means of modalities, effects, laws, deeds, essences and mysteries. And thus might the lights of the reality of the saying, “I was a hidden treasure and loved to be known” become apparent from the dawning-place of the morn of vision.

Praise and glorification are also due to the complete individual reality of the great one, who is the sun of the reality of the divine world, the most great luminary of the human realm, the center of the divine self-disclosure, and the dawning-place of the attributes of the one true Lord. By means of his appearance, the secret of “thus I created the creation, so that I might be known” became a reality. “And thou beholdest the earth blackened, then, when We send down water upon it, it quivers, and swells, and puts forth herbs of every joyous kind.” (1)

In these days and times, events contrary to all religious laws and destructive of both human society and of the divine foundation have occurred as a result of the actions of some ignorant, unwise insurgents and fomenters of turmoil. They made the perspicuous divine religion a pretext, and by their sedition and clamor they have brought shame upon the people of Iran before the nations of the world, whether they be friends or strangers. Praise be to God! They claim to be shepherds, but they bear the characteristics of wolves. They read the Qur’an, but they desire to behave like rapacious beasts. They have a human form, but they approve of bestial conduct. “When it is said to them, ‘Do not corruption in the land,’ they say, ‘We are only ones that put things right.’ Truly, they are the workers of corruption but they are not aware.”(2) It has therefore become imperative that a brief discourse be delivered concerning the foundation stone of the divine religion, and to alert the friends to be wise and awake.

November 23, 2016

The Poem of Rashh-i-'Amá (The Mist of Unknown) – Revealed in the Siyah-Chal

-- provisional translation by Ramin Neshati

Our charm bids waft the Mist of Unknown
Mystery of fidelity thus flows from Our tone

The east wind, musk-laden, from Cathay (2) whirls
Its scent so sweet streams forth from Our curls

The ornamented sun from the True One hath risen
Mystery of reality from Our (3) visage doth blazon

The sea of purity roars from waves of rapture (4)
This gift bestowed from His essence (5) We capture

Love's treasures lie hid in the bosom of Fars (6)
Out this treasure-trove Pearls of Fidelity pours

Delight of wine evinced when All (7) was manifested
To songs of providence (8) this Sublime Token attested

A blast on the trumpet, the attraction divine
These two in one blow flow from the Exalted Clime

Confessed Our face to the cycle of: "I am He"
Baha (9) is brimming with the epoch of: "He is He" (10)

The river of life shimmers in the closet (11) of the heart
This sweet wine the ruby lips of Baha doth part

August 18, 2016

An Epistle of the Báb to Sultan Abdu’l-Majíd

-- provisional translation by Necati Alkan with assistance from Khazeh Fananapazir

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Praise be to Him Who hath sent the Book unto whosoever He willeth among His servants. Verily, there is none other God beside Him, the All-Possessing, the All-Praised. In His grasp He holdeth the kingdom of all things. Nothing escapeth His knowledge. There is none other God beside Him. Say: Him do all worship.

Verily, this Book is a command from God unto all who are on earth. Issue forth from your cities for the Covenant of the Remnant of God, the living, the undoubted Leader [Imám]. He is indeed the Book wherein there is no doubt, sent down from the presence of His Servant ‘Alí, the All-Wise.

And He, verily, is ‘Alí, the All-Wise, the Path of God in the heavens and on the earth. He calls the people to the Straight Path at the bidding of thy Lord. He verily is the Mystery of the heavens, Who commands from the Presence of the Remnant of God, the true and undoubted Leader. He, verily, is the Light from the right side of the Mount Sinai in the Book of thy Lord. There is no God but Me. Say: Him do they all fear.

Read the Book of thy Lord, O Majíd, through the command of thy Lord in the preserved Book. Know thou that God hath knowledge of all things in the heavens and on the earth, and that thou art concerning the verdict passed on the messenger [Bastámí, one of the Letters of the Living], possessed of great wrongdoing. Fear God, O thou man! For today no place is there for anyone to flee except he believeth in the signs of God and is accounted among those who worship Him.

May 12, 2016

Lawh-i-Yawm-i-Shahádat-i-Hadrat-i-A'lá (Tablet Concerning the Day of the Martyrdom of His Holiness the Báb) – by ‘Abdu’l-Baha

[Original Tablet published in ‘Ayyam-i-Tis'ih (The Nine Days), pages 187-88]

-- provisional translation by Khazeh Fananapazir

O thou honoured 'Alí Akbar! [1]
This day is the day of the Martyrdom of His Holiness, the Exalted One, may our heart be sacrificed for His sanctified blood.
This Day is the day in which this "Sun of Truth" concealed itself behind the clouds of providence.
This Day is the day in which this luminous Orb did set!
This Day is the day in which that Body, pure and without blemish or spot fell upon and rolled onto the blood soaked earth
This Day is the day in which His chest and His heart, immaculate and pure like unto a spotless mirror, was riddled by thousands of bullets!
This Day is the day in which that "Divine Lamp" became severed from Its physical frame!
This Day is the day in which the cries and lamentations of the Concourse on high are raised
This Day is the day in which the inhabitants of the Kingdom of God weep and moan, the eyes in tears and their hearts torn!
(Source: Baha’i Library Online)
[1] Mullá 'Alí-Akbar-i-Shahmirzadí, known as Hají Akhund, one of the four Hands of the Cause appointed by Bahá'u'lláh.

March 19, 2016

Tablet of Visitation for the Mother of Baha’u’llah – by Baha’u’llah

--provisional translation by Baharieh Rouhani-Ma’ani

The most honoured, esteemed and respected mother.

He is God! 

Praised be Thou O Lord, My God! This is My mother who hath acknowledged Thy oneness, confessed Thy unity, attained the honour of meeting Thy Manifestations in Thy days, reached the station of recognition and entered the tabernacle of Heaven, for she loved Thyself and Thy Servant and held fast to the cord of Thy love through the sanctified Temples of Thy Sovereignty. 

I beseech Thee, therefore, O My God, to grant her the honour of beholding Thy Beauty, and vouchsafe unto her the gift of Thy Presence. Give her to drink then from the ocean of Thy mercy and the chalice of Thy forgiveness. Make her to dwell, O My God, in the precincts of Thy mercy in the Heaven of eternity. Grant her to hear Thy holy melodies that she may cast the veil from her head in her eagerness to meet Thee and speed through the domains of Thy nearness and union.

Thou art verily powerful over all that Thou desirest, and Thou art verily the Mighty, the Most Luminous.
(Included in ‘Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees’, by Baharieh Rouhani-Ma’ani; approved by the Baha’i World Center)

February 7, 2016

Lawh-i-Náqús (Tablet of the Bell) -- (Tablet of the Feast of Ridván) - by Bahá'u'lláh

--provisional translation by Ali-Kuli Khan and Marzieh Gail

He is the Almighty Lord!

Lo, this is the garden of Paradise wherein is raised the Voice of God, the Dominant, the Strong; Here do the immaculate Maids of Heaven dwell, they whom no eye hath seen save only God's, the Sanctified, the Well-Beloved; Herein the eternal nightingale singeth on the bough of the sacred Lote-Tree a song that bedazzaleth the minds, and herein are the needy led to the haven of wealth, and all men guided to the Word of God; verily this is a manifest truth.

[Here is the song that the nightingale singeth;]

In Thy Name that is God,

Thou art verily God!

O sacred Monk, ring out the bells, for the day of God hath come, and the Beauty of the All-Glorious is established on the holy, shining throne.
Glory to Thee, O God, O Thou who art God,
O Thou who alone art God!

O prophet of wisdom, Hud, beat thou upon thy drum, in the name of the Lord, the Precious, the Bountiful, for the Temple of Holiness is seated upon His high, unapproachable throne.
Glory to Thee, O God, O Thou who art God,
O Thou who alone art God!

O Thou beauty of eternity, pluck with the fingers of the spirit at the strings of Thy lute that is wondrous and Holy, for the Heavenly Beauty hath come in His garment of glimmering silk.
Glory to Thee, O God, O Thou who art God,
O Thou who alone art God!

October 11, 2015

Lawh-i Kullu't-Ta'am: Tablet of All Food - by Bahá'u'lláh

-- provisional translation

He is Supremely Powerful in accomplishing that which He willeth through a command on His part. And He is God, Powerful over all things.

Praise be to God Who hath caused Oceans of Light to surge in the Divine Fiery Water; excited the Letters of the Dispensation (huruf al-zuhur) in the Incomparable, Beclouded Point and made the Hidden Mount to revolve about the Firmament of the Theophany, the Concealed Self, the Focal Centre of Eternality. He caused the Lordly Point to circle round the Most-Splendid, All-Enduring Ornament to the end, that all might testify that He is the True One; no God is there save Him. He, verily, is the Incomparable, the One, the Eternal, Who neither begetteth nor is begotten. He can never be likened to any single thing. And He, God, is the Majestic, the All-Compelling.

Praise be to God Who hath caused the Fiery Depths to overflow from the Purified, Sanctified Temple and made the Beauteous Deep to sprinkle forth refined, glorious Dewdrops. He hath attracted the Countenances characterised by the letter "H" (al-ha') through the unique, eternal melodies and enabled the Light-filled Dove to sing forth with warblings timeless and everlasting. This, to the end, that all might become aware that He is the True One; there is none other God besides Him, the Beneficent, the Almighty Who cannot be described by aught save His Essence or characterised by aught save His Eminence. He, verily, is the All-Powerful, the Wrathful.

Praise be to God Who hath caused the Light to circle round the twin Mounts of His Light and made the Light to revolve around the twin Spheres of His Light. He hath caused the Light to beam forth in the Loci of His Light and made the Light to be retained in the Repositories of His Light. He hath also caused the Light to scintillate through the impulses of His Light and made the Light to shine resplendent in the Countenances of His Light. Praise God! Praised be God! Worthy of praise is He Who establisheth His Own worth, for besides Him there is none other.

September 30, 2015

Tablet of Visitation for Quddús – by the Báb

-- provisional translation

(Originally written as "Ziyarat-Namih-i-Mullá Muhammad ‘Alí-i-Barfurushí")

In the Name of God, the Most Inaccessible, the Most Holy!

Holy, holy, holy (quddus, quddus, quddus)! The glory from God, no other God is there but He, rest upon thy heart and the heart of whomsoever is in thy heart, and upon thy spirit and the spirit of whomsoever is in thy spirit, and upon thy soul and whomsoever is in thy soul, and upon thy body and whomsoever is in thy body. Then, the exaltation from God rest upon thy heart and the heart of whomsoever hath been created from the light of thy praise, and upon thy spirit and whomsoever hath been created from the spirit of thy benediction, and upon thy soul and whomsoever hath been created from the soul of thy unification, and upon thy body and whomsoever hath been created from the light of thy glorification. Thou hast been raised up, nor is there above thee anyone possessed of exaltation like unto thee; thou hast come near, nor is there anyone possessed of proximity like unto thine.

All created things have given praise in unison out of the essence of thy praise, and all atoms have rendered glorification out of the camphor of thy glorification, and all the psychic entities have extolled the oneness of God in unison out of the substance of thine extolling of His unity, and all the individual realities have lauded the greatness of God in unison out of the absolute reality of thy glorification of His greatness. All render praise unto God through thee, and all sanctify God through thee, and all extol God's singleness through thee, and all magnify God through thee. So great hath been thine affliction that the afflictions of all created things are cut off from any connection with it; the calamity that hath overwhelmed thee hath reached so high a station that no other calamity of any created thing may be mentioned in the same breath as it.

August 2, 2015

Sharh Wahdat al-Wujud (Tablet on the Unity of Existence) – by ‘Abdu’l-Baha

 -- provisional translation

He is God!

Those pre-eminent Sufis who founded the doctrine of the "unity of existence" [wahdat al-wujud] never intended by this term the universally predicated existence which is conceived by the mind. For such an existence is but an accident among others occurring in association with the realities of things. That is to say, these realities are the substance [jawhar], whereas that existence which is conceived by the mind, the universally predicated existence, is but an accident associated with them.

Rather, what these pre-eminent figures have alluded to is an existence compared to which the realities of all things are mere accidents. By this is intended an existence that is pre-eternal [qadim] whilst all other things are contingent [hadith]. Thus, the existence to which they refer is that ineffable Reality whereby all things are realized, or, in other words, by virtue of which all things subsist, but which itself remaineth self-subsistent above the heavens and the earth.  The words "He is the Ever-Living, the Self-Subsistent" [Qur'an 2:255 and 3:2] bear witness to the truth of this utterance. And since that existence whereby all things are realized is one, there is "unity of existence."

The generality of the Sufis, however, conceive of that ineffable Reality as having resolved itself [hulul] into countless forms, as hath been said:

The sea hath ever been the sea.
And all contingent things its waves and forms
This world resembleth ice, and Thee
Thou art the water at its very source.

In other words, although that ineffable Reality defieth all description, they found themselves obliged to describe it, and hence termed it "existence." In brief, the generality of the Sufis hold that the existence which is above all description and beyond all understanding is like unto the sea, and the realities of all things are even as its waves. Although the waves continually ebb and flow, the sea remaineth ever the same and unchanged.

But in the eyes of the people of Truth, the Baha'is, that unseen and unknowable Being is like unto the sun, which hath dawned above all things and from whose rays all creatures, whether mineral, plant, animal, or human, obtain illumination. That is to say, its effulgent rays shine upon them all and they, in turn, reflect faithfully its light. Thus, if thou dost gaze upon the stone, the earth, the plant, the animal, and man, thou wilt find them one and all to be partaking of the bounty of the sun. In like manner, although the realities of all created things are the recipients of the bounty of the Daystar of Truth, the latter doth not descend from its heights of holiness and sanctity, nor doth it resolve itself into contingent beings. "No thing is there but that it containeth a sign betokening His oneness."[Attributed to Abu'l-'Atahiyah]

June 20, 2015

Lawh-i-Ru’yá’ (Tablet of the Vision) - by Bahá’u’lláh

--provisional translation by Stephen Lambden

In My Name, that warbleth upon the Twigs!

O My Name! Hearken unto My Call which cometh from the precincts of the heavenly Throne that it might enable thee to attain unto the shore of an opulent Ocean; the fathomless deep of which no seeker hath ever attained. And Thy Lord is assuredly One Knowing and Generous. 

We indeed desired to cast Our Bounty upon thee by making mention of that which We visioned. This to the end that thou mayest witness the Luminous World in this nether world of darkness and be firmly assured that for Us there is many a world within this mortal world. Then render thanks unto Thy Lord, the Well-Informed. And if He desired that He might cause the rays of the Sun to appear from a tiny atom or disclose the waves of the ocean from a mere droplet, He is assuredly capable of this; even as He hath enabled the knowledge of what was and what is to emerge from a single Point!

We were enthroned upon the heavenly Throne when there entered a Luminous Maiden clad in a beauteous, snow white robe. Even as the full moon did her brilliant morning light dawn forth from the horizon of heaven. Exalted be God, her Originator, for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

When she untied her face covering veil, the heavens and the earth beamed forth; Pre-Existent Being, by virtue of her Radiant Lights, disclosed theophanic splendor thereon. Exalted be God, her Originator, for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

May 10, 2015

A letter from the Báb to His mother during His pilgrimage, circa 1844-1845

-- provisional translation by Baharieh Rouhani Ma’ani, approved by the Universal House of Justice for inclusion in the book: 'Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees'.

He is God, the Most High!

In the name of God, the Most Merciful of the Merciful! This is a letter written from the port of Mukhá to the honourable mother, may God, the Most Exalted, keep her safe! She is most certainly eager to know about the well-being of her son.

A letter was sent from shihr. I trust God, the Most High, that it hath been illumined with the honour of thy perusal. I explained in the letter sent from Búshihr the details up to Musqal. Surely, it hath been conveyed to thy noble presence.

Praised be God, my health until this day that I arrived in Mukhá hath been good and there hath been no change in my condition. With assistance from God, exalted be He, soon I shall reach the spot where prayers are answered. I will most certainly pray on thy behalf and on behalf of honourable grandmother. Through God's bounty, no ground for doubt exists and refusal cannot be imagined.

Mubarak [1] continues to find life in service. He does what he needs to do with the help of the accompanying religious students.

Convey greetings to everyone. To the sister of Aqa Mirzá Siyyid Hasan, [2] surely the letter I sent from Musqat hath been received and she will also peruse this page.

Kiss the faces of núr-i-chashmán [those who solace the eye] [3]

The sister of Jináb-i Shaykh together with ‘Aqá Siyyid Mirzá... have, praised be God, arrived.

Peace be upon thee, and God's mercy and His blessings.

Dated: The 10th day of the month of Dhí Qa'dih. Praised be God, the Lord of all the worlds.
- (Included in the book: 'Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees', by Baharieh Rouhani Ma’ani)
[1] The Báb’s Ethiopian servant.
[2] Khadíjih Bagum, the wife of the Báb, whose eldest brother was Mirzá Siyyid Hasan.
[3] Núr-i-chashmán is a term used for referring to one’s own children or the children of the family.

February 8, 2015

Risálah fi’s-Sulúk ilá Alláh (The Spiritual Journey towards God) – by the Báb [1]

-- provisional translation by Todd Lawson

“In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate” (Qur’an) [2]

Be steadfast, O seeker of piety, in the station of affirming the divine unity. As God, exalted be He, has said:

“As for those who say ‘our Lord is God’ then continue steadfast, the angels descend upon them saying ‘fear not, nor be grieved, and receive good news of the Garden which ye were promised!’” (Qur’an)

Know ye that “the paths to God are as numerous as the breaths of the creatures” yet, there is “no Soul but One” (Qur’an) and there is no religion but the one religion, and it is the “Cause of God and our Command is but a single Act” (Qur’an)

“So set thou thy face steadily towards the True Faith – the Nature made by God – in which He has made men. There is no altering in God’s creation.” (Qur’an)

Verily, Religion is supported by four pillars:

1) Affirming the divine unity
2) Prophethood
3) Guardianship, and
4) The community of true believers

These are four gates, none of which is of any use without the others.

And all of this is the “Face of God which never perish” (Qur’an). And this is the love of the Family of God which is the same as the love of God. This is the Hidden Treasure to which the Prophet, upon Him and His family be peace, openly alluded when He said: “Above each good is another good until one loves us, and when one loves us there is no good higher.” (Qur’an)

October 20, 2014

The Persian Bayan (the introductory portion) – by the Báb

-- provisional translation

In the Name of God, the Inaccessible, the Most Holy

Praise and sanctification are due to the regal substance of holiness, glory, and majesty, Who has existed eternally and will continue to exist in the being of His own Essence, Who has always been and always will be exalted in His own eternity, far above the comprehension of all things. He did not create the sign of His knowledge within any other being other than by means of the incapacity of all things to know Him; nor did He shine forth upon any other thing other than through His own Self. He has, therefore, always been lifted high above association with any other thing, and He brought all things into existence in order that they might all confess before Him on the Day of Resurrection within the being of their true selves that He has neither peer nor equal, nor rival, nor likeness, nor similitude.

No, He has been and remains alone in the dominion of His own Godhood. He has been and remains glorified in the sovereignty of His own Lordship. Nothing else has ever recognized Him as He deserves to be recognized, nor can anything ever hope to do so, for whatever mention of existence they might apply to Him would itself have already been created by the sovereign power of His own Will, and He Himself would already have shone forth on it with His own Self upon the exalted heights of His Throne. He created the sign of His knowledge within the depths of all things in order that they might be sure that He is the First and the Last, the Manifest and the Hidden, the Creator and the Sustainer, the Powerful and the Knowing, the Hearing and the Seeing, the One Who Buries and the One Who Raises the Dead, the Giver of Life and the Giver of Death, the Mighty and the Inaccessible, the Exalted and the All-Highest. He it is Who has never guided and will never guide anyone unless it be to the exaltation of His glorification and the sublimity of His praise and the inaccessibility of His Oneness and the elevation of His magnification.