Kitáb-i-Aqdas (part 1)

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This etext is based on:

"The Kitáb-i-Aqdas" by Bahá'u'lláh"

 

Bahá'í World Centre

Copyright (c) 1992 by the Universal House of Justice

Copyright under the Berne Convention

All Rights Reserved

ISBN 0-85398-999-0

Availability of this etext in no way modifies the copyright status of the above publication.

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vii

PREFACE

 

In 1953 Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith,

included as one of the goals of his Ten Year Plan the

preparation of a Synopsis and Codification of the Laws and

Ordinances of the Kitab-i-Aqdas as an essential prelude to

its translation. He himself worked on the codification, but

had not finished it when he died in 1957. The task was

continued on the basis of his work, and the resulting

volume was released in 1973. That publication included, in

addition to the Synopsis and Codification itself and explanatory

notes, a compilation of the passages from the Kitab-i-Aqdas

which had already been translated by Shoghi Effendi

and published in various books. The Synopsis and Codification

covered the text of both the Kitab-i-Aqdas and the

Questions and Answers which constitutes an appendix to

the Aqdas. In 1986 the Universal House of Justice decided

that the time had come when the preparation of an English

translation of the complete text of the Most Holy Book was

both possible and essential and made its accomplishment a

goal of the Six Year Plan 1986-1992. Its publication in

English will be followed by translations in other languages.

It has been recognized that the Kitab-i-Aqdas, being

Sacred Scripture, should be presented in a form which can

be read with ease and inspiration, uncluttered with the

footnotes and index numbers that are common in scholarly

texts. Nonetheless, to assist the reader in following the flow

of the text and its changing themes, paragraph divisions

have been added--such divisions not being common in

works of Arabic literature--and these paragraphs have then

 

viii

 

been numbered for ease of access and indexing, as well as for

uniformity of reference in all the languages in which the

work will be published.

Following the text of the Aqdas is a brief compilation

of Writings of Baha'u'llah which are supplementary to the

Most Holy Book, and a translation of the Questions and

Answers published here for the first time.

Shoghi Effendi had stated that the English translation

of the Aqdas should be "copiously annotated". The policy

followed in preparing the notes has been to concentrate on

those points which might strike a non-Arabic-speaking

reader as obscure or which, for various reasons, require

elucidation or background information. They are not

intended to be a comprehensive commentary on the text

beyond these fundamental requirements.

The notes, which are placed following the Synopsis

and Codification, are numbered sequentially. Each is preceded

by a quotation of the passage to which it relates, and

indicates the number of the paragraph in which this

appears. This facilitates cross-reference between the text and

the notes, while making it possible for readers to study the

notes without repeatedly consulting the text, if they so

prefer. It is hoped in this way to meet the needs of readers of

a wide range of backgrounds and interests.

The index provides a guide to subjects in all sections of

the volume.

The significance and character of the Kitab-i-Aqdas

and the range of subjects it contains have been graphically

depicted by Shoghi Effendi in his history of the first Baha'i

century entitled God Passes By. As an assistance to the

reader, these passages are provided in the section that

immediately follows the introduction. The Synopsis and

Codification, which is republished in this volume, serves as

another aid for obtaining an overview of the Book. <p1>

 

INTRODUCTION

 

This year, the 149th of the Baha'i era, marks the Centenary

of the Ascension of Baha'u'llah, Bearer of the universal

Revelation of God destined to lead humanity to its collective

coming of age. That this occasion should be

observed by a community of believers representing a cross-section

of the entire human race and established, in the

course of a century and a half, in the most remote corners of

the globe, is a token of the forces of unity released by

Baha'u'llah's advent. A further testimony to the operation of

these same forces can be seen in the extent to which

Baha'u'llah's vision has prefigured contemporary human

experience in so many of its aspects. It is a propitious

moment for the publication of this first authorized

translation into English of the Mother Book of His

Revelation, His "Most Holy Book", the Book in which He

sets forth the Laws of God for a Dispensation destined to

endure for no less than a thousand years.

Of the more than one hundred volumes comprising the

sacred Writings of Baha'u'llah, the Kitab-i-Aqdas is of

unique importance. "To build anew the whole world" is the

claim and challenge of His Message, and the Kitab-i-Aqdas

is the Charter of the future world civilization that

Baha'u'llah has come to raise up. Its provisions rest squarely

on the foundation established by past religions, for, in the

words of Baha'u'llah, "This is the changeless Faith of God,

eternal in the past, eternal in the future." In this Revelation the

concepts of the past are brought to a new level of

understanding, and the social laws, changed to suit the age <p2>

now dawning, are designed to carry humanity forward into

a world civilization the splendours of which can as yet be

scarcely imagined.

In its affirmation of the validity of the great religions

of the past, the Kitab-i-Aqdas reiterates those eternal truths

enunciated by all the Divine Messengers: the unity of God,

love of one's neighbour, and the moral purpose of earthly

life. At the same time it removes those elements of past

religious codes that now constitute obstacles to the emerging

unification of the world and the reconstruction of

human society.

The Law of God for this Dispensation addresses the

needs of the entire human family. There are laws in the

Kitab-i-Aqdas which are directed primarily to the members

of a specific section of humanity and can be immediately

understood by them but which, at first reading, may be

obscure to people of a different culture. Such, for example,

is the law prohibiting the confession of sins to a fellow

human being which, though understandable by those of

Christian background, may puzzle others. Many laws relate

to those of past Dispensations, especially the two most

recent ones, those of Muhammad and the Bab embodied in

the Qur'an and the Bayan. Nevertheless, although certain

ordinances of the Aqdas have such a focused reference, they

also have universal implications. Through His Law,

Baha'u'llah gradually unveils the significance of the new

levels of knowledge and behaviour to which the peoples of

the world are being called. He embeds His precepts in a

setting of spiritual commentary, keeping ever before the

mind of the reader the principle that these laws, no matter

the subject with which they deal, serve the manifold

purposes of bringing tranquillity to human society, raising

the standard of human behaviour, increasing the range of

human understanding, and spiritualizing the life of each

and all. Throughout, it is the relationship of the individual

soul to God and the fulfilment of its spiritual destiny that is <p3>

the ultimate aim of the laws of religion. "Think not", is

Baha'u'llah's own assertion, "that We have revealed unto you a

mere code of laws. Nay, rather, We have unsealed the choice Wine

with the fingers of might and power." His Book of Laws is His

"weightiest testimony unto all people, and the proof of the All-Merciful

unto all who are in heaven and all who are on earth".

An introduction to the spiritual universe unveiled in

the Kitab-i-Aqdas would fail in its purpose if it did not

acquaint the reader with the interpretive and legislative

institutions that Baha'u'llah has indissolubly linked with

the system of law thus revealed. At the foundation of this

guidance lies the unique role which Baha'u'llah's Writings

--indeed the text of the Kitab-i-Aqdas itself--confer on

His eldest son, Abdu'l-Baha. This unique figure is at once

the Exemplar of the pattern of life taught by His Father, the

divinely inspired authoritative Interpreter of His Teachings

and the Centre and Pivot of the Covenant which the Author

of the Baha'i Revelation made with all who recognize Him.

The twenty-nine years of Abdu'l-Baha's ministry endowed

the Baha'i world with a luminous body of commentary that

opens multiple vistas of understanding on His Father's

purpose.

In His Will and Testament Abdu'l-Baha conferred the

mantle of Guardian of the Cause and infallible Interpreter of

its teachings upon His eldest grandson, Shoghi Effendi, and

confirmed the authority and guarantee of divine guidance

decreed by Baha'u'llah for the Universal House of Justice

on all matters "which have not outwardly been revealed in

the Book". The Guardianship and the Universal House of

Justice can thus be seen to be, in the words of Shoghi

Effendi, the "Twin Successors" of Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha.

They are the supreme institutions of the Administrative

Order which was founded and anticipated in the Kitab-i-Aqdas

and elaborated by Abdu'l-Baha in His Will.

During the thirty-six years of his ministry, Shoghi

Effendi raised up the structure of elected Spiritual Assemblies-- <p4>

the Houses of Justice referred to in the Kitab-i-Aqdas,

now in their embryonic stage--and with their collaboration

initiated the systematic implementation of the Divine Plan

that Abdu'l-Baha had laid out for the diffusion of the Faith

throughout the world. He also set in motion, on the basis of

the strong administrative structure that had been established,

the processes which were an essential preparation for

the election of the Universal House of Justice. This body,

which came into existence in April 1963, is elected through

secret ballot and plurality vote in a three-stage election by

adult Baha'is throughout the world. The revealed Word of

Baha'u'llah, together with the interpretations and expositions

of the Centre of the Covenant and the Guardian of the

Cause, constitute the binding terms of reference of the

Universal House of Justice and are its bedrock foundation.

As to the laws themselves, a careful scrutiny discloses

that they govern three areas: the individual's relationship to

God, physical and spiritual matters which benefit the

individual directly, and relations among individuals and

between the individual and society. They can be grouped

under the following headings: prayer and fasting; laws of

personal status governing marriage, divorce and inheritance;

a range of other laws, ordinances and prohibitions, as

well as exhortations; and the abrogation of specific laws and

ordinances of previous Dispensations. A salient characteristic

is their brevity. They constitute the kernel of a vast

range of law that will arise in centuries to come. This

elaboration of the law will be enacted by the Universal

House of Justice under the authority conferred upon it by

Baha'u'llah Himself. In one of His Tablets Abdu'l-Baha

elucidates this principle:

 

Those matters of major importance which constitute the

foundation of the Law of God are explicitly recorded in the

Text, but subsidiary laws are left to the House of Justice. The

wisdom of this is that the times never remain the same, for <p5>

 

change is a necessary quality and an essential attribute of this

world, and of time and place. Therefore the House of Justice

will take action accordingly...

Briefly, this is the wisdom of referring the laws of

society to the House of Justice. In the religion of Islam,

similarly, not every ordinance was explicitly revealed; nay

not a tenth part of a tenth part was included in the Text;

although all matters of major importance were specifically

referred to, there were undoubtedly thousands of laws which

were unspecified. These were devised by the divines of a later

age according to the laws of Islamic jurisprudence, and

individual divines made conflicting deductions from the

original revealed ordinances. All these were enforced. Today

this process of deduction is the right of the body of the House of

Justice, and the deductions and conclusions of individual

learned men have no authority, unless they are endorsed by the

House of Justice. The difference is precisely this, that from the

conclusions and endorsements of the body of the House of

Justice whose members are elected by and known to the

worldwide Baha'i community, no differences will arise;

whereas the conclusions of individual divines and scholars

would definitely lead to differences, and result in schism,

division, and dispersion. The oneness of the Word would be

destroyed, the unity of the Faith would disappear, and the

edifice of the Faith of God would be shaken.

 

Although the Universal House of Justice is explicitly

authorized to change or repeal its own legislation as

conditions change, thus providing Baha'i law with an

essential element of flexibility, it cannot abrogate or change

any of the laws which are explicitly laid down in the sacred

Text.

The society for which certain of the laws of the Aqdas

are designed will come only gradually into being, and

Baha'u'llah has provided for the progressive application of

Baha'i law: <p6>

 

Indeed, the laws of God are like unto the ocean and the

children of men as fish, did they but know it. However, in

observing them one must exercise tact and wisdom... Since

most people are feeble and far-removed from the purpose of

God, therefore one must observe tact and prudence under all

conditions, so that nothing might happen that could cause

disturbance and dissension or raise clamour among the

heedless. Verily, His bounty hath surpassed the whole

universe and His bestowals encompassed all that dwell on

earth. One must guide mankind to the ocean of true

understanding in a spirit of love and tolerance. The Kitab-i-Aqdas

itself beareth eloquent testimony to the loving

providence of God.

 

The principle governing this progressive application

was enunciated in a letter written on behalf of Shoghi

Effendi to a National Spiritual Assembly in 1935:

 

The laws revealed by Baha'u'llah in the Aqdas

are, whenever practicable and not in direct conflict

with the Civil Law of the land, absolutely binding on

every believer or Baha'i institution whether in the East

or in the West. Certain ... laws should be regarded

by all believers as universally and vitally applicable at

the present time. Others have been formulated in

anticipation of a state of society destined to emerge

from the chaotic conditions that prevail today...

What has not been formulated in the Aqdas, in

addition to matters of detail and of secondary

importance arising out of the application of the laws

already formulated by Baha'u'llah, will have to be

enacted by the Universal House of Justice. This body

can supplement but never invalidate or modify in the

least degree what has already been formulated by

Baha'u'llah. Nor has the Guardian any right whatsoever

to lessen the binding effect much less to <p7>

 

abrogate the provisions of so fundamental and sacred a

Book.

 

The number of laws binding on Baha'is is not increased

by the publication of this translation. When it is deemed

timely, the Baha'i community will be advised which

additional laws are binding upon believers, and any

guidance or supplementary legislation necessary for their

application will be provided.

In general, the laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas are stated

succinctly. An example of this conciseness can be seen in the

fact that many are expressed only as they apply to a man,

but it is apparent from the Guardian's writings that, where

Baha'u'llah has given a law as between a man and a woman,

it applies mutatis mutandis between a woman and a man

unless the context makes this impossible. For example, the

text of the Kitab-i-Aqdas forbids a man to marry his father's

wife (i.e. his stepmother), and the Guardian has indicated

that likewise a woman is forbidden to marry her stepfather.

This understanding of the implications of the Law has far-reaching

effects in light of the fundamental Baha'i principle

of the equality of the sexes, and should be borne in mind

when the sacred Text is studied. That men and women

differ from one another in certain characteristics and

functions is an inescapable fact of nature and makes possible

their complementary roles in certain areas of the life of

society; but it is significant that Abdu'l-Baha has stated

that in this Dispensation "Equality of men and women, except

in some negligible instances, has been fully and categorically

announced."

Mention has already been made of the intimate

relationship between the Kitab-i-Aqdas and the Holy Books

of previous Dispensations. Especially close is the relationship

to the Bayan, the Book of Laws revealed by the Bab. It

is elucidated in the following excerpts from letters written

on behalf of the Guardian: <p8>

 

Shoghi Effendi feels that the unity of the Baha'i

Revelation as one complete whole embracing the Faith

of the Bab should be emphasized... The Faith of the

Bab should not be divorced from that of Baha'u'llah.

Though the teachings of the Bayan have been

abrogated and superseded by the laws of the Aqdas, yet

due to the fact that the Bab considered Himself as the

Forerunner of Baha'u'llah, we would regard His

Dispensation together with that of Baha'u'llah as

forming one entity, the former being introductory to

the advent of the latter.

 

The Bab states that His laws are provisional and

depend upon the acceptance of the future Manifestation.

This is why in the Book of Aqdas Baha'u'llah

sanctions some of the laws found in the Bayan,

modifies others and sets aside many.

 

Just as the Bayan had been revealed by the Bab at

about the mid-point of His Ministry, Baha'u'llah revealed

the Kitab-i-Aqdas around 1873, some twenty years after He

had received, in the Siyah-Chal of Tihran, the intimation of

His Revelation. In one of His Tablets He indicates that even

after its revelation the Aqdas was withheld by Him for some

time before it was sent to the friends in Iran. Thereafter, as

Shoghi Effendi has related:

 

The formulation by Baha'u'llah, in His Kitab-i-Aqdas,

of the fundamental laws of His Dispensation was

followed, as His Mission drew to a close, by the

enunciation of certain precepts and principles which lie

at the very core of His Faith, by the reaffirmation of

truths He had previously proclaimed, by the elaboration

and elucidation of some of the laws He had already

laid down, by the revelation of further prophecies and

warnings, and by the establishment of subsidiary

ordinances designed to supplement the provisions <p9>

 

of His Most Holy Book. These were recorded in unnumbered

Tablets, which He continued to reveal until

the last days of His earthly life...

 

Among such works is the Questions and Answers, a

compilation made by Zaynu'l-Muqarrabin, the most eminent

of the transcribers of Baha'u'llah's Writings. Consisting

of answers revealed by Baha'u'llah to questions put to

Him by various believers, it constitutes an invaluable

appendix to the Kitab-i-Aqdas. In 1978 the most noteworthy

of the other Tablets of this nature were published in

English as a compilation entitled Tablets of Baha'u'llah

revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas.

Some years after the revelation of the Kitab-i-Aqdas,

Baha'u'llah had manuscript copies sent to Baha'is in Iran,

and in the year 1308 A.H. (1890-91 A.D.), towards the end

of His life, He arranged for the publication of the original

Arabic text of the Book in Bombay.

A word should be said about the style of language in

which the Kitab-i-Aqdas has been rendered into English.

Baha'u'llah enjoyed a superb mastery of Arabic, and

preferred to use it in those Tablets and other Writings

where its precision of meaning was particularly appropriate

to the exposition of basic principle. Beyond the choice of

language itself, however, the style employed is of an exalted

and emotive character, immensely compelling, particularly

to those familiar with the great literary tradition out of

which it arose. In taking up his task of translation, Shoghi

Effendi faced the challenge of finding an English style which

would not only faithfully convey the exactness of the text's

meaning, but would also evoke in the reader the spirit of

meditative reverence which is a distinguishing feature of

response to the original. The form of expression he selected,

reminiscent of the style used by the seventeenth-century

translators of the Bible, captures the elevated mode of <p10>

Baha'u'llah's Arabic, while remaining accessible to the

contemporary reader. His translations, moreover, are

illumined by his uniquely inspired understanding of the

purport and implications of the originals.

Although both Arabic and English are languages with

rich vocabularies and varied modes of expression, their

forms differ widely from one another. The Arabic of the

Kitab-i-Aqdas is marked by intense concentration and

terseness of expression. It is a characteristic of this style that

if a connotation is obvious it should not be explicitly stated.

This presents a problem for a reader whose cultural,

religious and literary background is entirely different from

that of Arabic. A literal translation of a passage which is

clear in the Arabic could be obscure in English. It therefore

becomes necessary to include in the English translation of

such passages that element of the Arabic sentence which is

obviously implicit in the original. At the same time, it is

vital to avoid extrapolating this process to the point where it

would add unjustifiably to the original or limit its meaning.

Striking the right balance between beauty and clarity of

expression on the one hand, and literalness on the other, is

one of the major issues with which the translators have had

to grapple and which has caused repeated reconsideration of

the rendering of certain passages. Another major issue is the

legal implication of certain Arabic terms which have a range

of meanings different from those of similar terms in

English.

Sacred Scripture clearly requires especial care and

faithfulness in translation. This is supremely important in

the case of a Book of Laws, where it is vital that the reader

not be misled or drawn into fruitless disputation. As had

been foreseen, the translation of the Most Holy Book has

been a work of the utmost difficulty, requiring consultation

with experts in many lands. Since some one third of the

text had already been translated by Shoghi Effendi, it

was necessary to strive for three qualities in the translation <p11>

of the remaining passages: accuracy of meaning, beauty of

English, and conformity of style with that used by Shoghi

Effendi.

We are now satisfied that the translation has reached a

point where it represents an acceptable rendering of the

original. Nevertheless, it will undoubtedly give rise to

questions and suggestions which may shed further light on

its content. We are profoundly grateful for the assiduous

and meticulous labours of the members of the Committees

whom we commissioned to prepare and review this

translation of the Aqdas and to compose the annotations.

We are confident that this first authorized English edition of

the Kitab-i-Aqdas will enable its readers to obtain at least

an inkling of the splendour of the Mother Book of the Baha'i

Dispensation.

Our world has entered the dark heart of an age of

fundamental change beyond anything in all of its tumultuous

history. Its peoples, of whatever race, nation, or

religion, are being challenged to subordinate all lesser

loyalties and limiting identities to their oneness as citizens

of a single planetary homeland. In Baha'u'llah's words: "The

well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable

unless and until its unity is firmly established." May the

publication of this translation of the Kitab-i-Aqdas lend a

fresh impulse to the realization of this universal vision,

opening vistas of a worldwide regeneration.

 

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE <p12>

 

A DESCRIPTION OF THE

KITAB-I-AQDAS

BY SHOGHI EFFENDI

 

TAKEN FROM GOD PASSES BY, HIS HISTORY

OF THE FIRST BAHA'I CENTURY

 

Unique and stupendous as was this Proclamation, it proved

to be but a prelude to a still mightier revelation of the

creative power of its Author, and to what may well rank as

the most signal act of His ministry--the promulgation of

the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Alluded to in the Kitab-i-Iqan, the

principal repository of that Law which the Prophet Isaiah

had anticipated, and which the writer of the Apocalypse had

described as the "new heaven" and the "new earth", as "the

Tabernacle of God", as the "Holy City", as the "Bride", the

"New Jerusalem coming down from God", this "Most Holy

Book", whose provisions must remain inviolate for no less

than a thousand years, and whose system will embrace the

entire planet, may well be regarded as the brightest

emanation of the mind of Baha'u'llah, as the Mother Book

of His Dispensation, and the Charter of His New World

Order.

Revealed soon after Baha'u'llah had been transferred to

the house of Udi Khammar (circa 1873), at a time when He

was still encompassed by the tribulations that had afflicted

Him, through the acts committed by His enemies and the

professed adherents of His Faith, this Book, this treasury

enshrining the priceless gems of His Revelation, stands out,

by virtue of the principles it inculcates, the administrative <p13>

institutions it ordains and the function with which it invests

the appointed Successor of its Author, unique and

incomparable among the world's sacred Scriptures. For,

unlike the Old Testament and the Holy Books which

preceded it, in which the actual precepts uttered by the

Prophet Himself are non-existent; unlike the Gospels, in

which the few sayings attributed to Jesus Christ afford no

clear guidance regarding the future administration of the

affairs of His Faith; unlike even the Qur'an which, though

explicit in the laws and ordinances formulated by the

Apostle of God, is silent on the all-important subject of the

succession, the Kitab-i-Aqdas, revealed from first to last by

the Author of the Dispensation Himself, not only preserves

for posterity the basic laws and ordinances on which the

fabric of His future World Order must rest, but ordains, in

addition to the function of interpretation which it confers

upon His Successor, the necessary institutions through

which the integrity and unity of His Faith can alone be

safeguarded.

In this Charter of the future world civilization its

Author--at once the Judge, the Lawgiver, the Unifier and

Redeemer of mankind--announces to the kings of the earth

the promulgation of the "Most Great Law"; pronounces

them to be His vassals; proclaims Himself the "King of

Kings"; disclaims any intention of laying hands on their

kingdoms; reserves for Himself the right to "seize and possess

the hearts of men"; warns the world's ecclesiastical leaders not

to weigh the "Book of God" with such standards as are

current amongst them; and affirms that the Book itself is

the "Unerring Balance" established amongst men. In it He

formally ordains the institution of the "House of Justice",

defines its functions, fixes its revenues, and designates its

members as the "Men of Justice", the "Deputies of God", the

"Trustees of the All-Merciful"; alludes to the future Centre of

His Covenant, and invests Him with the right of

interpreting His holy Writ; anticipates by implication the <p14>

institution of Guardianship; bears witness to the revolutionizing

effect of His World Order; enunciates the doctrine of

the "Most Great Infallibility" of the Manifestation of God;

asserts this infallibility to be the inherent and exclusive

right of the Prophet; and rules out the possibility of the

appearance of another Manifestation ere the lapse of at least

one thousand years.

In this Book He, moreover, prescribes the obligatory

prayers; designates the time and period of fasting; prohibits

congregational prayer except for the dead; fixes the Qiblih;

institutes the Huququ'llah (Right of God); formulates the

law of inheritance; ordains the institution of the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar;

establishes the Nineteen Day Feast, the Baha'i

festivals and the Intercalary Days; abolishes the institution

of priesthood; prohibits slavery, asceticism, mendicancy,

monasticism, penance, the use of pulpits and the kissing of

hands; prescribes monogamy; condemns cruelty to animals,

idleness and sloth, backbiting and calumny; censures

divorce; interdicts gambling, the use of opium, wine and

other intoxicating drinks; specifies the punishments for

murder, arson, adultery and theft; stresses the importance of

marriage and lays down its essential conditions; imposes the

obligation of engaging in some trade or profession, exalting

such occupation to the rank of worship; emphasizes the

necessity of providing the means for the education of

children; and lays upon every person the duty of writing a

testament and of strict obedience to one's government.

Apart from these provisions Baha'u'llah exhorts His

followers to consort, with amity and concord and without

discrimination, with the adherents of all religions; warns

them to guard against fanaticism, sedition, pride, dispute

and contention; inculcates upon them immaculate cleanliness,

strict truthfulness, spotless chastity, trustworthiness,

hospitality, fidelity, courtesy, forbearance, justice and

fairness; counsels them to be "even as the fingers of one hand

and the limbs of one body"; calls upon them to arise and serve <p15>

His Cause; and assures them of His undoubted aid. He,

furthermore, dwells upon the instability of human affairs;

declares that true liberty consists in man's submission to

His commandments; cautions them not to be indulgent in

carrying out His statutes; prescribes the twin inseparable

duties of recognizing the "Dayspring of God's Revelation" and

of observing all the ordinances revealed by Him, neither of

which, He affirms, is acceptable without the other.

The significant summons issued to the Presidents of

the Republics of the American continent to seize their

opportunity in the Day of God and to champion the cause of

justice; the injunction to the members of parliaments

throughout the world, urging the adoption of a universal

script and language; His warnings to William I, the

conqueror of Napoleon III; the reproof He administers to

Francis Joseph, the Emperor of Austria; His reference to "the

lamentations of Berlin" in His apostrophe to "the banks of the

Rhine"; His condemnation of "the throne of tyranny"

established in Constantinople, and His prediction of the

extinction of its "outward splendour" and of the tribulations

destined to overtake its inhabitants; the words of cheer and

comfort He addresses to His native city, assuring her that

God had chosen her to be "the source of the joy of all

mankind"; His prophecy that "the voice of the heroes of

Khurasan" will be raised in glorification of their Lord; His

assertion that men "endued with mighty valour" will be raised

up in Kirman who will make mention of Him; and finally,

His magnanimous assurance to a perfidious brother who had

afflicted Him with such anguish, that an "ever-forgiving, all-bounteous"

God would forgive him his iniquities were he

only to repent--all these further enrich the contents of a

Book designated by its Author as "the source of true felicity",

as the "Unerring Balance", as the "Straight Path" and as the

"quickener of mankind".

The laws and ordinances that constitute the major

theme of this Book, Baha'u'llah, moreover, has specifically <p16>

characterized as "the breath of life unto all created things", as

"the mightiest stronghold", as the "fruits" of His "Tree", as

"the highest means for the maintenance of order in the world and

the security of its peoples", as "the lamps of His wisdom and

loving-providence", as "the sweet-smelling savour of His garment",

and the "keys" of His "mercy" to His creatures. "This Book",

He Himself testifies, "is a heaven which We have adorned with

the stars of Our commandments and prohibitions." "Blessed the

man", He, moreover, has stated, "who will read it, and ponder

the verses sent down in it by God, the Lord of Power, the

Almighty. Say, O men! Take hold of it with the hand of

resignation... By My life! It hath been sent down in a manner

that amazeth the minds of men. Verily, it is My weightiest

testimony unto all people, and the proof of the All-Merciful unto

all who are in heaven and all who are on earth." And again:

"Blessed the palate that savoureth its sweetness, and the perceiving

eye that recognizeth that which is treasured therein, and the

understanding heart that comprehendeth its allusions and mysteries.

By God! Such is the majesty of what hath been revealed

therein, and so tremendous the revelation of its veiled allusions that

the loins of utterance shake when attempting their description."

And finally: "In such a manner hath the Kitab-i-Aqdas been

revealed that it attracteth and embraceth all the divinely appointed

Dispensations. Blessed those who peruse it! Blessed those who

apprehend it! Blessed those who meditate upon it! Blessed those who

ponder its meaning! So vast is its range that it hath encompassed

all men ere their recognition of it. Erelong will its sovereign power,

its pervasive influence and the greatness of its might be manifested

on earth." <p17>

 

THE KITAB-I-AQDAS <p18>

 

[THIS PAGE IS INTENTIONALLY BLANK.] <p19>

IN THE NAME OF HIM WHO

IS THE SUPREME RULER

OVER ALL THAT HATH BEEN

AND ALL THAT IS TO BE

1

The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is

the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of

His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who

representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His

Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this

duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived

thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of

every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who

reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of

transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him

Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are

inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other.

Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of

Divine inspiration.

2

They whom God hath endued with insight will

readily recognize that the precepts laid down by God

constitute the highest means for the maintenance of

order in the world and the security of its peoples. He

that turneth away from them is accounted among the

abject and foolish. We, verily, have commanded you to

refuse the dictates of your evil passions and corrupt <p20>

desires, and not to transgress the bounds which the Pen

of the Most High hath fixed, for these are the breath of

life unto all created things. The seas of Divine wisdom

and Divine utterance have risen under the breath of the

breeze of the All-Merciful. Hasten to drink your fill, O

men of understanding! They that have violated the

Covenant of God by breaking His commandments, and

have turned back on their heels, these have erred

grievously in the sight of God, the All-Possessing, the

Most High.

3

O ye peoples of the world! Know assuredly that

My commandments are the lamps of My loving

providence among My servants, and the keys of My

mercy for My creatures. Thus hath it been sent down

from the heaven of the Will of your Lord, the Lord of

Revelation. Were any man to taste the sweetness of the

words which the lips of the All-Merciful have willed to

utter, he would, though the treasures of the earth be in

his possession, renounce them one and all, that he

might vindicate the truth of even one of His

commandments, shining above the Dayspring of His

bountiful care and loving-kindness.

4

Say: From My laws the sweet-smelling savour of

My garment can be smelled, and by their aid the

standards of Victory will be planted upon the highest

peaks. The Tongue of My power hath, from the heaven

of My omnipotent glory, addressed to My creation

these words: "Observe My commandments, for the love

of My beauty." Happy is the lover that hath inhaled the

divine fragrance of his Best-Beloved from these words,

laden with the perfume of a grace which no tongue can <p21>

describe. By My life! He who hath drunk the choice

wine of fairness from the hands of My bountiful favour

will circle around My commandments that shine above

the Dayspring of My creation.

5

Think not that We have revealed unto you a mere

code of laws. Nay, rather, We have unsealed the choice

Wine with the fingers of might and power. To this

beareth witness that which the Pen of Revelation hath

revealed. Meditate upon this, O men of insight!

6

We have enjoined obligatory prayer upon you,

with nine rak'ahs, to be offered at noon and in the

morning and the evening unto God, the Revealer of

Verses. We have relieved you of a greater number, as a

command in the Book of God. He, verily, is the

Ordainer, the Omnipotent, the Unrestrained. When ye

desire to perform this prayer, turn ye towards the Court

of My Most Holy Presence, this Hallowed Spot that

God hath made the Centre round which circle the

Concourse on High, and which He hath decreed to be

the Point of Adoration for the denizens of the Cities of

Eternity, and the Source of Command unto all that are

in heaven and on earth; and when the Sun of Truth and

Utterance shall set, turn your faces towards the Spot

that We have ordained for you. He, verily, is Almighty

and Omniscient.

7

Everything that is hath come to be through His

irresistible decree. Whenever My laws appear like the

sun in the heaven of Mine utterance, they must be

faithfully obeyed by all, though My decree be such as to

cause the heaven of every religion to be cleft asunder.

He doeth what He pleaseth. He chooseth, and none <p22>

may question His choice. Whatsoever He, the Well-Beloved,

ordaineth, the same is, verily, beloved. To

this He Who is the Lord of all creation beareth Me

witness. Whoso hath inhaled the sweet fragrance of the

All-Merciful, and recognized the Source of this

utterance, will welcome with his own eyes the shafts of

the enemy, that he may establish the truth of the laws

of God amongst men. Well is it with him that hath

turned thereunto, and apprehended the meaning of His

decisive decree.

8

We have set forth the details of obligatory prayer

in another Tablet. Blessed is he who observeth that

whereunto he hath been bidden by Him Who ruleth

over all mankind. In the Prayer for the Dead six specific

passages have been sent down by God, the Revealer of

Verses. Let one who is able to read recite that which

hath been revealed to precede these passages; and as for

him who is unable, God hath relieved him of this

requirement. He, of a truth, is the Mighty, the

Pardoner.

9

Hair doth not invalidate your prayer, nor aught

from which the spirit hath departed, such as bones and

the like. Ye are free to wear the fur of the sable as ye

would that of the beaver, the squirrel, and other

animals; the prohibition of its use hath stemmed, not

from the Qur'an, but from the misconceptions of the

divines. He, verily, is the All-Glorious, the All-Knowing.

10

We have commanded you to pray and fast from

the beginning of maturity; this is ordained by God,

your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers. He hath <p23>

exempted from this those who are weak from illness or

age, as a bounty from His Presence, and He is the

Forgiving, the Generous. God hath granted you leave

to prostrate yourselves on any surface that is clean, for

We have removed in this regard the limitation that had

been laid down in the Book; God, indeed, hath

knowledge of that whereof ye know naught. Let him

that findeth no water for ablution repeat five times the

words "In the Name of God, the Most Pure, the Most

Pure", and then proceed to his devotions. Such is the

command of the Lord of all worlds. In regions where

the days and nights grow long, let times of prayer be

gauged by clocks and other instruments that mark the

passage of the hours. He, verily, is the Expounder, the

Wise.

11

We have absolved you from the requirement of

performing the Prayer of the Signs. On the appearance

of fearful natural events call ye to mind the might and

majesty of your Lord, He Who heareth and seeth all,

and say "Dominion is God's, the Lord of the seen and

the unseen, the Lord of creation".

12

It hath been ordained that obligatory prayer is to

be performed by each of you individually. Save in the

Prayer for the Dead, the practice of congregational

prayer hath been annulled. He, of a truth, is the

Ordainer, the All-Wise.

13

God hath exempted women who are in their

courses from obligatory prayer and fasting. Let them,

instead, after performance of their ablutions, give

praise unto God, repeating ninety-five times between

the noon of one day and the next "Glorified be God, the <p24>

Lord of Splendour and Beauty". Thus hath it been

decreed in the Book, if ye be of them that comprehend.

14

When travelling, if ye should stop and rest in

some safe spot, perform ye--men and women alike--a

single prostration in place of each unsaid Obligatory

Prayer, and while prostrating say "Glorified be God,

the Lord of Might and Majesty, of Grace and Bounty".

Whoso is unable to do this, let him say only "Glorified

be God"; this shall assuredly suffice him. He is, of a

truth, the all-sufficing, the ever-abiding, the forgiving,

compassionate God. Upon completing your

prostrations, seat yourselves cross-legged--men and

women alike--and eighteen times repeat "Glorified be

God, the Lord of the kingdoms of earth and heaven".

Thus doth the Lord make plain the ways of truth and

guidance, ways that lead to one way, which is this

Straight Path. Render thanks unto God for this most

gracious favour; offer praise unto Him for this bounty

that hath encompassed the heavens and the earth; extol

Him for this mercy that hath pervaded all creation.

15

Say: God hath made My hidden love the key to the

Treasure; would that ye might perceive it! But for the

key, the Treasure would to all eternity have remained

concealed; would that ye might believe it! Say: This

is the Source of Revelation, the Dawning-place

of Splendour, Whose brightness hath illumined the

horizons of the world. Would that ye might understand!

This is, verily, that fixed Decree through which

every irrevocable decree hath been established.

16

O Pen of the Most High! Say: O people of the

world! We have enjoined upon you fasting during a <p25>

brief period, and at its close have designated for you

Naw-Ruz as a feast. Thus hath the Day-Star of

Utterance shone forth above the horizon of the Book as

decreed by Him Who is the Lord of the beginning and

the end. Let the days in excess of the months be placed

before the month of fasting. We have ordained that

these, amid all nights and days, shall be the manifestations

of the letter Ha, and thus they have not been

bounded by the limits of the year and its months. It

behoveth the people of Baha, throughout these days, to

provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and,

beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and

exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His

praise and magnify His Name; and when they end

--these days of giving that precede the season of

restraint--let them enter upon the Fast. Thus hath it

been ordained by Him Who is the Lord of all mankind.

The traveller, the ailing, those who are with child or

giving suck, are not bound by the Fast; they have been

exempted by God as a token of His grace. He, verily, is

the Almighty, the Most Generous.

17

These are the ordinances of God that have been set

down in the Books and Tablets by His Most Exalted

Pen. Hold ye fast unto His statutes and commandments,

and be not of those who, following their idle

fancies and vain imaginings, have clung to the

standards fixed by their own selves, and cast behind

their backs the standards laid down by God. Abstain

from food and drink from sunrise to sundown, and

beware lest desire deprive you of this grace that is

appointed in the Book. <p26>

 

18

It hath been ordained that every believer in God,

the Lord of Judgement, shall, each day, having washed

his hands and then his face, seat himself and, turning

unto God, repeat "Allah-u-Abha" ninety-five times.

Such was the decree of the Maker of the Heavens when,

with majesty and power, He established Himself upon

the thrones of His Names. Perform ye, likewise,

ablutions for the Obligatory Prayer; this is the

command of God, the Incomparable, the Unrestrained.

19

Ye have been forbidden to commit murder or

adultery, or to engage in backbiting or calumny; shun

ye, then, what hath been prohibited in the holy Books

and Tablets.

20

We have divided inheritance into seven categories:

to the children, We have allotted nine parts comprising

five hundred and forty shares; to the wife, eight parts

comprising four hundred and eighty shares; to the

father, seven parts comprising four hundred and twenty

shares; to the mother, six parts comprising three

hundred and sixty shares; to the brothers, five parts or

three hundred shares; to the sisters, four parts or two

hundred and forty shares; and to the teachers, three

parts or one hundred and eighty shares. Such was the

ordinance of My Forerunner, He Who extolleth My

Name in the night season and at the break of day.

When We heard the clamour of the children as yet

unborn, We doubled their share and decreased those of

the rest. He, of a truth, hath power to ordain

whatsoever He desireth, and He doeth as He pleaseth

by virtue of His sovereign might.

21

Should the deceased leave no offspring, their share <p27>

shall revert to the House of Justice, to be expended by

the Trustees of the All-Merciful on the orphaned and

widowed, and on whatsoever will bring benefit to the

generality of the people, that all may give thanks unto

their Lord, the All-Gracious, the Pardoner.

22

Should the deceased leave offspring, but none of

the other categories of heirs that have been specified in

the Book, they shall receive two thirds of the

inheritance and the remaining third shall revert to the

House of Justice. Such is the command which hath

been given, in majesty and glory, by Him Who is the

All-Possessing, the Most High.

23

If the deceased should leave none of the specified

heirs, but have among his relatives nephews and nieces,

whether on his brother's or his sister's side, two thirds

of the inheritance shall pass to them; or, lacking these,

to his uncles and aunts on both his father's and his

mother's side, and after them to their sons and

daughters. The remaining third of the inheritance

shall, in any case, revert to the Seat of Justice. Thus

hath it been laid down in the Book by Him Who ruleth

over all men.

24

Should the deceased be survived by none of those

whose names have been recorded by the Pen of the Most

High, his estate shall, in its entirety, revert to the

aforementioned Seat that it may be expended on that

which is prescribed by God. He, verily, is the

Ordainer, the Omnipotent.

25

We have assigned the residence and personal

clothing of the deceased to the male, not female, <p28>

offspring, nor to the other heirs. He, verily, is the

Munificent, the All-Bountiful.

26

Should the son of the deceased have passed away in

the days of his father and have left children, they will

inherit their father's share, as prescribed in the Book of

God. Divide ye their share amongst them with perfect

justice. Thus have the billows of the Ocean of

Utterance surged, casting forth the pearls of the laws

decreed by the Lord of all mankind.

27

If the deceased should leave children who are

under age, their share of the inheritance must be

entrusted to a reliable individual, or to a company, that

it may be invested on their behalf in trade and business

until they come of age. The trustee should be assigned

a due share of the profit that hath accrued to it from

being thus employed.

28

Division of the estate should take place only after

the Huququ'llah hath been paid, any debts have been

settled, the expenses of the funeral and burial defrayed,

and such provision made that the deceased may be

carried to his resting-place with dignity and honour.

Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is Lord of the

beginning and the end.

29

Say: This is that hidden knowledge which shall

never change, since its beginning is with nine, the

symbol that betokeneth the concealed and manifest,

the inviolable and unapproachably exalted Name. As

for what We have appropriated to the children, this is a

bounty conferred on them by God, that they may

render thanks unto their Lord, the Compassionate, the <p29>

Merciful. These, verily, are the Laws of God; transgress

them not at the prompting of your base and selfish

desires. Observe ye the injunctions laid upon you by

Him Who is the Dawning-place of Utterance. The

sincere among His servants will regard the precepts set

forth by God as the Water of Life to the followers of

every faith, and the Lamp of wisdom and loving

providence to all the denizens of earth and heaven.

30

The Lord hath ordained that in every city a House

of Justice be established wherein shall gather counsellors

to the number of Baha, and should it exceed this

number it doth not matter. They should consider

themselves as entering the Court of the presence of

God, the Exalted, the Most High, and as beholding

Him Who is the Unseen. It behoveth them to be the

trusted ones of the Merciful among men and to regard

themselves as the guardians appointed of God for all

that dwell on earth. It is incumbent upon them to take

counsel together and to have regard for the interests of

the servants of God, for His sake, even as they regard

their own interests, and to choose that which is meet

and seemly. Thus hath the Lord your God commanded

you. Beware lest ye put away that which is clearly

revealed in His Tablet. Fear God, O ye that perceive.

31

O people of the world! Build ye houses of worship

throughout the lands in the name of Him Who is the

Lord of all religions. Make them as perfect as is possible

in the world of being, and adorn them with that which

befitteth them, not with images and effigies. Then,

with radiance and joy, celebrate therein the praise of

your Lord, the Most Compassionate. Verily, by His <p30>

remembrance the eye is cheered and the heart is filled

with light.

32

The Lord hath ordained that those of you who are

able shall make pilgrimage to the sacred House, and

from this He hath exempted women as a mercy on His

part. He, of a truth, is the All-Bountiful, the Most

Generous.

33

O people of Baha! It is incumbent upon each one

of you to engage in some occupation--such as a craft, a

trade or the like. We have exalted your engagement in

such work to the rank of worship of the one true God.

Reflect, O people, on the grace and blessings of your

Lord, and yield Him thanks at eventide and dawn.

Waste not your hours in idleness and sloth, but occupy

yourselves with what will profit you and others. Thus

hath it been decreed in this Tablet from whose horizon

hath shone the day-star of wisdom and utterance. The

most despised of men in the sight of God are they who

sit and beg. Hold ye fast unto the cord of means and

place your trust in God, the Provider of all means.

34

The kissing of hands hath been forbidden in the

Book. This practice is prohibited by God, the Lord of

glory and command. To none is it permitted to seek

absolution from another soul; let repentance be between

yourselves and God. He, verily, is the Pardoner, the

Bounteous, the Gracious, the One Who absolveth the

repentant.

35

O ye servants of the Merciful One! Arise to serve

the Cause of God, in such wise that the cares and

sorrows caused by them that have disbelieved in the

Dayspring of the Signs of God may not afflict you. At <p31>

the time when the Promise was fulfilled and the

Promised One made manifest, differences have

appeared amongst the kindreds of the earth and each

people hath followed its own fancy and idle imaginings.

36

Amongst the people is he who seateth himself

amid the sandals by the door whilst coveting in his

heart the seat of honour. Say: What manner of man art

thou, O vain and heedless one, who wouldst appear as

other than thou art? And among the people is he who

layeth claim to inner knowledge, and still deeper

knowledge concealed within this knowledge. Say:

Thou speakest false! By God! What thou dost possess is

naught but husks which We have left to thee as bones

are left to dogs. By the righteousness of the one true

God! Were anyone to wash the feet of all mankind, and

were he to worship God in the forests, valleys, and

mountains, upon high hills and lofty peaks, to leave no

rock or tree, no clod of earth, but was a witness to his

worship--yet, should the fragrance of My good

pleasure not be inhaled from him, his works would

never be acceptable unto God. Thus hath it been

decreed by Him Who is the Lord of all. How many a

man hath secluded himself in the climes of India,

denied himself the things that God hath decreed as

lawful, imposed upon himself austerities and mortifications,

and hath not been remembered by God, the

Revealer of Verses. Make not your deeds as snares

wherewith to entrap the object of your aspiration, and

deprive not yourselves of this Ultimate Objective for

which have ever yearned all such as have drawn nigh <p32>

unto God. Say: The very life of all deeds is My good

pleasure, and all things depend upon Mine acceptance.

Read ye the Tablets that ye may know what hath been

purposed in the Books of God, the All-Glorious, the

Ever-Bounteous. He who attaineth to My love hath

title to a throne of gold, to sit thereon in honour over

all the world; he who is deprived thereof, though he sit

upon the dust, that dust would seek refuge with God,

the Lord of all Religions.

37

Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from

God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a

man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that

He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate

such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt,

forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error,

God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal

mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in

punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise

than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of

God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created

things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies.

Nay, rather, follow the bidding of your Lord, the

Almighty, the All-Wise. Erelong shall clamorous

voices be raised in most lands. Shun them, O My

people, and follow not the iniquitous and evil-hearted.

This is that of which We gave you forewarning when

We were dwelling in Iraq, then later while in the Land

of Mystery, and now from this Resplendent Spot.

38

Be not dismayed, O peoples of the world, when

the day-star of My beauty is set, and the heaven of My

tabernacle is concealed from your eyes. Arise to further <p33>

My Cause, and to exalt My Word amongst men. We

are with you at all times, and shall strengthen you

through the power of truth. We are truly almighty.

Whoso hath recognized Me will arise and serve Me

with such determination that the powers of earth and

heaven shall be unable to defeat his purpose.

39

The peoples of the world are fast asleep. Were they

to wake from their slumber, they would hasten with

eagerness unto God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

They would cast away everything they possess, be it all

the treasures of the earth, that their Lord may

remember them to the extent of addressing to them but

one word. Such is the instruction given you by Him

Who holdeth the knowledge of things hidden, in a

Tablet which the eye of creation hath not seen, and

which is revealed to none except His own Self, the

omnipotent Protector of all worlds. So bewildered are

they in the drunkenness of their evil desires, that they

are powerless to recognize the Lord of all being, Whose

voice calleth aloud from every direction: "There is none

other God but Me, the Mighty, the All-Wise."

40

Say: Rejoice not in the things ye possess; tonight

they are yours, tomorrow others will possess them.

Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing, the

All-Informed. Say: Can ye claim that what ye own is

lasting or secure? Nay! By Myself, the All-Merciful, ye

cannot, if ye be of them who judge fairly. The days of

your life flee away as a breath of wind, and all your

pomp and glory shall be folded up as were the pomp

and glory of those gone before you. Reflect, O people!

What hath become of your bygone days, your lost <p34>

centuries? Happy the days that have been consecrated

to the remembrance of God, and blessed the hours

which have been spent in praise of Him Who is the All-Wise.

By My life! Neither the pomp of the mighty, nor

the wealth of the rich, nor even the ascendancy of the

ungodly will endure. All will perish, at a word from

Him. He, verily, is the All-Powerful, the All-Compelling,

the Almighty. What advantage is there in

the earthly things which men possess? That which shall

profit them, they have utterly neglected. Erelong, they

will awake from their slumber, and find themselves

unable to obtain that which hath escaped them in the

days of their Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised. Did

they but know it, they would renounce their all, that

their names may be mentioned before His throne.

They, verily, are accounted among the dead.

41

Amongst the people is he whose learning hath

made him proud, and who hath been debarred thereby

from recognizing My Name, the Self-Subsisting; who,

when he heareth the tread of sandals following behind

him, waxeth greater in his own esteem than Nimrod.

Say: O rejected one! Where now is his abode? By God,

it is the nethermost fire. Say: O concourse of divines!

Hear ye not the shrill voice of My Most Exalted Pen?

See ye not this Sun that shineth in refulgent splendour

above the All-Glorious Horizon? For how long will ye

worship the idols of your evil passions? Forsake your

vain imaginings, and turn yourselves unto God, your

Everlasting Lord.

42

Endowments dedicated to charity revert to God,

the Revealer of Signs. None hath the right to dispose of <p35>

them without leave from Him Who is the Dawning-place

of Revelation. After Him, this authority shall

pass to the Aghsan, and after them to the House of

Justice--should it be established in the world by

then--that they may use these endowments for the

benefit of the Places which have been exalted in this

Cause, and for whatsoever hath been enjoined upon

them by Him Who is the God of might and power.

Otherwise, the endowments shall revert to the people

of Baha who speak not except by His leave and judge

not save in accordance with what God hath decreed in

this Tablet--lo, they are the champions of victory

betwixt heaven and earth--that they may use them in

the manner that hath been laid down in the Book by

God, the Mighty, the Bountiful.

43

Lament not in your hours of trial, neither rejoice

therein; seek ye the Middle Way which is the

remembrance of Me in your afflictions and reflection

over that which may befall you in future. Thus

informeth you He Who is the Omniscient, He Who is

aware.

44

Shave not your heads; God hath adorned them

with hair, and in this there are signs from the Lord of

creation to those who reflect upon the requirements of

nature. He, verily, is the God of strength and wisdom.

Notwithstanding, it is not seemly to let the hair pass

beyond the limit of the ears. Thus hath it been decreed

by Him Who is the Lord of all worlds.

45

Exile and imprisonment are decreed for the thief,

and, on the third offence, place ye a mark upon his <p36>

brow so that, thus identified, he may not be accepted in

the cities of God and His countries. Beware lest,

through compassion, ye neglect to carry out the

statutes of the religion of God; do that which hath been

bidden you by Him Who is compassionate and

merciful. We school you with the rod of wisdom and

laws, like unto the father who educateth his son, and

this for naught but the protection of your own selves

and the elevation of your stations. By My life, were ye

to discover what We have desired for you in revealing

Our holy laws, ye would offer up your very souls for

this sacred, this mighty, and most exalted Faith.

46

Whoso wisheth to make use of vessels of silver and

gold is at liberty to do so. Take heed lest, when

partaking of food, ye plunge your hands into the

contents of bowls and platters. Adopt ye such usages as

are most in keeping with refinement. He, verily,

desireth to see in you the manners of the inmates of

Paradise in His mighty and most sublime Kingdom.

Hold ye fast unto refinement under all conditions, that

your eyes may be preserved from beholding what is

repugnant both to your own selves and to the dwellers

of Paradise. Should anyone depart therefrom, his deed

shall at that moment be rendered vain; yet should he

have good reason, God will excuse him. He, in truth,

is the Gracious, the Most Bountiful.

47

He Who is the Dawning-place of God's Cause

hath no partner in the Most Great Infallibility. He it is

Who, in the kingdom of creation, is the Manifestation

of "He doeth whatsoever He willeth". God hath

reserved this distinction unto His own Self, and <p37>

ordained for none a share in so sublime and transcendent

a station. This is the Decree of God, concealed ere

now within the veil of impenetrable mystery. We have

disclosed it in this Revelation, and have thereby rent

asunder the veils of such as have failed to recognize that

which the Book of God set forth and who were

numbered with the heedless.

48

Unto every father hath been enjoined the instruction

of his son and daughter in the art of reading and

writing and in all that hath been laid down in the Holy

Tablet. He that putteth away that which is commanded

unto him, the Trustees are then to take from

him that which is required for their instruction if he be

wealthy and, if not, the matter devolveth upon the

House of Justice. Verily have We made it a shelter for

the poor and needy. He that bringeth up his son or the

son of another, it is as though he hath brought up a son

of Mine; upon him rest My glory, My loving-kindness,

My mercy, that have compassed the world.

49

God hath imposed a fine on every adulterer and

adulteress, to be paid to the House of Justice: nine

mithqals of gold, to be doubled if they should repeat

the offence. Such is the penalty which He Who is the

Lord of Names hath assigned them in this world; and in

the world to come He hath ordained for them a

humiliating torment. Should anyone be afflicted by a

sin, it behoveth him to repent thereof and return unto

his Lord. He, verily, granteth forgiveness unto

whomsoever He willeth, and none may question that

which it pleaseth Him to ordain. He is, in truth, the

Ever-Forgiving, the Almighty, the All-Praised. <p38>

 

50

Beware lest ye be hindered by the veils of glory

from partaking of the crystal waters of this living

Fountain. Seize ye the chalice of salvation at this

dawntide in the name of Him Who causeth the day to

break, and drink your fill in praise of Him Who is the

All-Glorious, the Incomparable.

51

We have made it lawful for you to listen to music

and singing. Take heed, however, lest listening thereto

should cause you to overstep the bounds of propriety

and dignity. Let your joy be the joy born of My Most

Great Name, a Name that bringeth rapture to the

heart, and filleth with ecstasy the minds of all who have

drawn nigh unto God. We, verily, have made music

as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may

be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not,

therefore, as wings to self and passion. Truly, We are

loath to see you numbered with the foolish.

52

We have decreed that a third part of all fines shall

go to the Seat of Justice, and We admonish its men to

observe pure justice, that they may expend what is thus

accumulated for such purposes as have been enjoined

upon them by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

O ye Men of Justice! Be ye, in the realm of God,

shepherds unto His sheep and guard them from the

ravening wolves that have appeared in disguise, even as

ye would guard your own sons. Thus exhorteth you the

Counsellor, the Faithful.

53

Should differences arise amongst you over any

matter, refer it to God while the Sun still shineth above

the horizon of this Heaven and, when it hath set, refer

ye to whatsoever hath been sent down by Him. This, <p39>

verily, is sufficient unto the peoples of the world. Say:

Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the

glory of My Presence is withdrawn, and the ocean of

My utterance is stilled. In My presence amongst you

there is a wisdom, and in My absence there is yet

another, inscrutable to all but God, the Incomparable,

the All-Knowing. Verily, We behold you from Our

realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the

triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse

on high and a company of Our favoured angels.

54

O peoples of the earth! God, the Eternal Truth, is

My witness that streams of fresh and soft-flowing

waters have gushed from the rocks through the

sweetness of the words uttered by your Lord, the

Unconstrained; and still ye slumber. Cast away that

which ye possess, and, on the wings of detachment,

soar beyond all created things. Thus biddeth you the

Lord of creation, the movement of Whose Pen hath

revolutionized the soul of mankind.

55

Know ye from what heights your Lord, the All-Glorious,

is calling? Think ye that ye have recognized

the Pen wherewith your Lord, the Lord of all names,

commandeth you? Nay, by My life! Did ye but know

it, ye would renounce the world, and would hasten

with your whole hearts to the presence of the Well-Beloved.

Your spirits would be so transported by His

Word as to throw into commotion the Greater

World--how much more this small and petty one!

Thus have the showers of My bounty been poured down

from the heaven of My loving-kindness, as a token of

My grace, that ye may be of the thankful. <p40>

 

56

The penalties for wounding or striking a person

depend upon the severity of the injury; for each degree

the Lord of Judgement hath prescribed a certain

indemnity. He is, in truth, the Ordainer, the Mighty,

the Most Exalted. We shall, if it be Our Will, set forth

these payments in their just degrees--this is a promise

on Our part, and He, verily, is the Keeper of His

pledge, the Knower of all things.

57

Verily, it is enjoined upon you to offer a feast,

once in every month, though only water be served; for

God hath purposed to bind hearts together, albeit

through both earthly and heavenly means.

58

Beware lest the desires of the flesh and of a corrupt

inclination provoke divisions among you. Be ye as the

fingers of one hand, the members of one body. Thus

counselleth you the Pen of Revelation, if ye be of them

that believe.

59

Consider the mercy of God and His gifts. He

enjoineth upon you that which shall profit you, though

He Himself can well dispense with all creatures. Your

evil doings can never harm Us, neither can your good

works profit Us. We summon you wholly for the sake

of God. To this every man of understanding and

insight will testify.

60

If ye should hunt with beasts or birds of prey,

invoke ye the Name of God when ye send them to

pursue their quarry; for then whatever they catch shall

be lawful unto you, even should ye find it to have died.

He, verily, is the Omniscient, the All-Informed. Take

heed, however, that ye hunt not to excess. Tread ye the

path of justice and equity in all things. Thus biddeth <p41>

you He Who is the Dawning-place of Revelation,

would that ye might comprehend.

61

God hath bidden you to show forth kindliness

towards My kindred, but He hath granted them no

right to the property of others. He, verily, is self-sufficient,

above any need of His creatures.

62

Should anyone intentionally destroy a house by

fire, him also shall ye burn; should anyone deliberately

take another's life, him also shall ye put to death. Take

ye hold of the precepts of God with all your strength

and power, and abandon the ways of the ignorant.

Should ye condemn the arsonist and the murderer to

life imprisonment, it would be permissible according

to the provisions of the Book. He, verily, hath power to

ordain whatsoever He pleaseth.

63

God hath prescribed matrimony unto you. Beware

that ye take not unto yourselves more wives than two.

Whoso contenteth himself with a single partner from

among the maidservants of God, both he and she shall

live in tranquillity. And he who would take into his

service a maid may do so with propriety. Such is the

ordinance which, in truth and justice, hath been

recorded by the Pen of Revelation. Enter into wedlock,

O people, that ye may bring forth one who will make

mention of Me amid My servants. This is My bidding

unto you; hold fast to it as an assistance to yourselves.

64

O people of the world! Follow not the promptings

of the self, for it summoneth insistently to wickedness

and lust; follow, rather, Him Who is the Possessor of all

created things, Who biddeth you to show forth piety,

and manifest the fear of God. He, verily, is independent <p42>

of all His creatures. Take heed not to stir up

mischief in the land after it hath been set in order.

Whoso acteth in this way is not of Us, and We are quit

of him. Such is the command which hath, through the

power of truth, been made manifest from the heaven of

Revelation.

65

It hath been laid down in the Bayan that marriage

is dependent upon the consent of both parties. Desiring

to establish love, unity and harmony amidst Our

servants, We have conditioned it, once the couple's

wish is known, upon the permission of their parents,

lest enmity and rancour should arise amongst them.

And in this We have yet other purposes. Thus hath

Our commandment been ordained.

66

No marriage may be contracted without payment

of a dowry, which hath been fixed for city-dwellers at

nineteen mithqals of pure gold, and for village-dwellers

at the same amount in silver. Whoso wisheth to

increase this sum, it is forbidden him to exceed the

limit of ninety-five mithqals. Thus hath the command

been writ in majesty and power. If he content himself,

however, with a payment of the lowest level, it shall be

better for him according to the Book. God, verily, enricheth

whomsoever He willeth through both heavenly

and earthly means, and He, in truth, hath power over

all things.

67

It hath been decreed by God that, should any one

of His servants intend to travel, he must fix for his wife

a time when he will return home. If he return by the

promised time, he will have obeyed the bidding of his

Lord and shall be numbered by the Pen of His behest <p43>

among the righteous; otherwise, if there be good reason

for delay, he must inform his wife and make the utmost

endeavour to return to her. Should neither of these

eventualities occur, it behoveth her to wait for a period

of nine months, after which there is no impediment to

her taking another husband; but should she wait

longer, God, verily, loveth those women and men who

show forth patience. Obey ye My commandments, and

follow not the ungodly, they who have been reckoned

as sinners in God's Holy Tablet. If, during the period

of her waiting, word should reach her from her

husband, she should choose the course that is praiseworthy.

He, of a truth, desireth that His servants and

His handmaids should be at peace with one another;

take heed lest ye do aught that may provoke

intransigence amongst you. Thus hath the decree been

fixed and the promise come to pass. If, however, news

should reach her of her husband's death or murder, and be

confirmed by general report, or by the testimony of two

just witnesses, it behoveth her to remain single; then,

upon completion of the fixed number of months, she is

free to adopt the course of her choosing. Such is the

bidding of Him Who is mighty and powerful in His

command.

68

Should resentment or antipathy arise between

husband and wife, he is not to divorce her but to bide

in patience throughout the course of one whole year,

that perchance the fragrance of affection may be

renewed between them. If, upon the completion of this

period, their love hath not returned, it is permissible

for divorce to take place. God's wisdom, verily, hath <p44>

encompassed all things. The Lord hath prohibited, in a

Tablet inscribed by the Pen of His command, the

practice to which ye formerly had recourse when thrice

ye had divorced a woman. This He hath done as a

favour on His part, that ye may be accounted among

the thankful. He who hath divorced his wife may

choose, upon the passing of each month, to remarry her

when there is mutual affection and consent, so long as

she hath not taken another husband. Should she have

wed again, then, by this other union, the separation is

confirmed and the matter is concluded unless, clearly,

her circumstances change. Thus hath the decree been

inscribed with majesty in this glorious Tablet by Him

Who is the Dawning-place of Beauty.

69

If the wife accompany her husband on a journey,

and differences arise between them on the way, he is

required to provide her with her expenses for one whole

year, and either to return her whence she came or to

entrust her, together with the necessaries for her

journey, to a dependable person who is to escort her

home. Thy Lord, verily, ordaineth as He pleaseth, by

virtue of a sovereignty that overshadoweth the peoples

of the earth.

70

Should a woman be divorced in consequence of a

proven act of infidelity, she shall receive no maintenance

during her period of waiting. Thus hath the day-star

of Our commandment shone forth resplendent

from the firmament of justice. Truly, the Lord loveth

union and harmony and abhorreth separation and

divorce. Live ye one with another, O people, in

radiance and joy. By My life! All that are on earth shall <p45>

pass away, while good deeds alone shall endure; to the

truth of My words God doth Himself bear witness.

Compose your differences, O My servants; then heed ye

the admonition of Our Pen of Glory and follow not the

arrogant and wayward.

71

Take heed lest the world beguile you as it beguiled

the people who went before you! Observe ye the

statutes and precepts of your Lord, and walk ye in this

Way which hath been laid out before you in

righteousness and truth. They who eschew iniquity and

error, who adhere to virtue, are, in the sight of the one

true God, among the choicest of His creatures; their

names are extolled by the Concourse of the realms

above, and by those who dwell in this Tabernacle

which hath been raised in the name of God.

72

It is forbidden you to trade in slaves, be they men

or women. It is not for him who is himself a servant to

buy another of God's servants, and this hath been

prohibited in His Holy Tablet. Thus, by His mercy,

hath the commandment been recorded by the Pen of

justice. Let no man exalt himself above another; all are

but bondslaves before the Lord, and all exemplify the

truth that there is none other God but Him. He,

verily, is the All-Wise, Whose wisdom encompasseth

all things.

73

Adorn yourselves with the raiment of goodly

deeds. He whose deeds attain unto God's good pleasure

is assuredly of the people of Baha and is remembered

before His throne. Assist ye the Lord of all creation

with works of righteousness, and also through wisdom

and utterance. Thus, indeed, have ye been commanded <p46>

in most of the Tablets by Him Who is the All-Merciful.

He, truly, is cognizant of what I say. Let

none contend with another, and let no soul slay

another; this, verily, is that which was forbidden you in

a Book that hath lain concealed within the Tabernacle

of glory. What! Would ye kill him whom God hath

quickened, whom He hath endowed with spirit

through a breath from Him? Grievous then would be

your trespass before His throne! Fear God, and lift not

the hand of injustice and oppression to destroy what He

hath Himself raised up; nay, walk ye in the way of

God, the True One. No sooner did the hosts of true

knowledge appear, bearing the standards of Divine

utterance, than the tribes of the religions were put to

flight, save only those who willed to drink from the

stream of everlasting life in a Paradise created by the

breath of the All-Glorious.

74

God hath decreed, in token of His mercy unto His

creatures, that semen is not unclean. Yield thanks unto

Him with joy and radiance, and follow not such as are

remote from the Dawning-place of His nearness. Arise

ye, under all conditions, to render service to the Cause,

for God will assuredly assist you through the power of

His sovereignty which overshadoweth the worlds.

Cleave ye unto the cord of refinement with such

tenacity as to allow no trace of dirt to be seen upon your

garments. Such is the injunction of One Who is

sanctified above all refinement. Whoso falleth short of

this standard with good reason shall incur no blame.

God, verily, is the Forgiving, the Merciful. Wash ye

every soiled thing with water that hath undergone no <p47>

alteration in any one of the three respects; take heed not

to use water that hath been altered through exposure to

the air or to some other agent. Be ye the very essence of

cleanliness amongst mankind. This, truly, is what your

Lord, the Incomparable, the All-Wise, desireth for

you.

75

God hath, likewise, as a bounty from His

presence, abolished the concept of "uncleanness",

whereby divers things and peoples have been held to be

impure. He, of a certainty, is the Ever-Forgiving, the

Most Generous. Verily, all created things were

immersed in the sea of purification when, on that first

day of Ridvan, We shed upon the whole of creation the

splendours of Our most excellent Names and Our most

exalted Attributes. This, verily, is a token of My loving

providence, which hath encompassed all the worlds.

Consort ye then with the followers of all religions, and

proclaim ye the Cause of your Lord, the Most

Compassionate; this is the very crown of deeds, if ye be

of them who understand.

76

God hath enjoined upon you to observe the utmost

cleanliness, to the extent of washing what is soiled

with dust, let alone with hardened dirt and similar

defilement. Fear Him, and be of those who are pure.

Should the garb of anyone be visibly sullied, his prayers

shall not ascend to God, and the celestial Concourse

will turn away from him. Make use of rose-water, and

of pure perfume; this, indeed, is that which God hath

loved from the beginning that hath no beginning, in

order that there may be diffused from you what your

Lord, the Incomparable, the All-Wise, desireth. <p48>

 

77

God hath relieved you of the ordinance laid down

in the Bayan concerning the destruction of books. We

have permitted you to read such sciences as are

profitable unto you, not such as end in idle disputation;

better is this for you, if ye be of them that comprehend.

78

O kings of the earth! He Who is the sovereign

Lord of all is come. The Kingdom is God's, the

omnipotent Protector, the Self-Subsisting. Worship

none but God, and, with radiant hearts, lift up your

faces unto your Lord, the Lord of all names. This is a

Revelation to which whatever ye possess can never be

compared, could ye but know it.

79

We see you rejoicing in that which ye have

amassed for others and shutting out yourselves from the

worlds which naught except My guarded Tablet can

reckon. The treasures ye have laid up have drawn you

far away from your ultimate objective. This ill

beseemeth you, could ye but understand it. Wash from

your hearts all earthly defilements, and hasten to enter

the Kingdom of your Lord, the Creator of earth and

heaven, Who caused the world to tremble and all its

peoples to wail, except them that have renounced all

things and clung to that which the Hidden Tablet hath

ordained.

80

This is the Day in which He Who held converse

with God hath attained the light of the Ancient of

Days, and quaffed the pure waters of reunion from this

Cup that hath caused the seas to swell. Say: By the one

true God! Sinai is circling round the Dayspring of

Revelation, while from the heights of the Kingdom the

Voice of the Spirit of God is heard proclaiming: "Bestir <p49>

yourselves, ye proud ones of the earth, and hasten ye

unto Him." Carmel hath, in this Day, hastened in

longing adoration to attain His court, whilst from the

heart of Zion there cometh the cry: "The promise is

fulfilled. That which had been announced in the holy

Writ of God, the Most Exalted, the Almighty, the

Best-Beloved, is made manifest."

81

O kings of the earth! The Most Great Law hath

been revealed in this Spot, this scene of transcendent

splendour. Every hidden thing hath been brought to

light by virtue of the Will of the Supreme Ordainer,

He Who hath ushered in the Last Hour, through

Whom the Moon hath been cleft, and every irrevocable

decree expounded.

82

Ye are but vassals, O kings of the earth! He Who

is the King of Kings hath appeared, arrayed in His

most wondrous glory, and is summoning you unto

Himself, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Take

heed lest pride deter you from recognizing the Source of

Revelation, lest the things of this world shut you out as

by a veil from Him Who is the Creator of heaven.

Arise, and serve Him Who is the Desire of all nations,

Who hath created you through a word from Him, and

ordained you to be, for all time, the emblems of His

sovereignty.

83

By the righteousness of God! It is not Our wish to

lay hands on your kingdoms. Our mission is to seize

and possess the hearts of men. Upon them the eyes of

Baha are fastened. To this testifieth the Kingdom of

Names, could ye but comprehend it. Whoso followeth

his Lord will renounce the world and all that is therein; <p50>

how much greater, then, must be the detachment of

Him Who holdeth so august a station! Forsake your

palaces, and haste ye to gain admittance into His

Kingdom. This, indeed, will profit you both in this

world and in the next. To this testifieth the Lord of the

realm on high, did ye but know it.

84

How great the blessedness that awaiteth the king

who will arise to aid My Cause in My kingdom, who

will detach himself from all else but Me! Such a king

is numbered with the companions of the Crimson

Ark--the Ark which God hath prepared for the people

of Baha. All must glorify his name, must reverence his

station, and aid him to unlock the cities with the keys

of My Name, the omnipotent Protector of all that

inhabit the visible and invisible kingdoms. Such a king

is the very eye of mankind, the luminous ornament on

the brow of creation, the fountainhead of blessings

unto the whole world. Offer up, O people of Baha,

your substance, nay your very lives, for his assistance.

85

O Emperor of Austria! He Who is the Dayspring

of God's Light dwelt in the prison of Akka at the time

when thou didst set forth to visit the Aqsa Mosque.

Thou passed Him by, and inquired not about Him by

Whom every house is exalted and every lofty gate

unlocked. We, verily, made it a place whereunto the

world should turn, that they might remember Me, and

yet thou hast rejected Him Who is the Object of this

remembrance, when He appeared with the Kingdom of

God, thy Lord and the Lord of the worlds. We have

been with thee at all times, and found thee clinging

unto the Branch and heedless of the Root. Thy Lord, <p51>

verily, is a witness unto what I say. We grieved to see

thee circle round Our Name, whilst unaware of Us,

though We were before thy face. Open thine eyes, that

thou mayest behold this glorious Vision, and recognize

Him Whom thou invokest in the daytime and in the

night season, and gaze on the Light that shineth above

this luminous Horizon.

86

Say: O King of Berlin! Give ear unto the Voice

calling from this manifest Temple: "Verily, there is

none other God but Me, the Everlasting, the Peerless,

the Ancient of Days." Take heed lest pride debar thee

from recognizing the Dayspring of Divine Revelation,

lest earthly desires shut thee out, as by a veil, from the

Lord of the Throne above and of the earth below. Thus

counselleth thee the Pen of the Most High. He, verily,

is the Most Gracious, the All-Bountiful. Do thou

remember the one+F1 whose power transcended thy

power, and whose station excelled thy station. Where

is he? Whither are gone the things he possessed? Take

warning, and be not of them that are fast asleep. He it

was who cast the Tablet of God behind him when We

made known unto him what the hosts of tyranny had

caused Us to suffer. Wherefore, disgrace assailed him

from all sides, and he went down to dust in great loss.

Think deeply, O King, concerning him, and concerning

them who, like unto thee, have conquered cities

and ruled over men. The All-Merciful brought them

down from their palaces to their graves. Be warned, be

of them who reflect.

 

+F1 Napoleon III <p52>

 

87

We have asked nothing from you. For the sake of

God We, verily, exhort you, and will be patient as We

have been patient in that which hath befallen Us at

your hands, O concourse of kings!

88

Hearken ye, O Rulers of America and the

Presidents of the Republics therein, unto that which

the Dove is warbling on the Branch of Eternity: "There

is none other God but Me, the Ever-Abiding, the

Forgiving, the All-Bountiful." Adorn ye the temple of

dominion with the ornament of justice and of the fear

of God, and its head with the crown of the

remembrance of your Lord, the Creator of the heavens.

Thus counselleth you He Who is the Dayspring of

Names, as bidden by Him Who is the All-Knowing,

the All-Wise. The Promised One hath appeared in this

glorified Station, whereat all beings, both seen and

unseen, have rejoiced. Take ye advantage of the Day of

God. Verily, to meet Him is better for you than all that

whereon the sun shineth, could ye but know it. O

concourse of rulers! Give ear unto that which hath been

raised from the Dayspring of Grandeur: "Verily, there

is none other God but Me, the Lord of Utterance, the

All-Knowing." Bind ye the broken with the hands of

justice, and crush the oppressor who flourisheth with

the rod of the commandments of your Lord, the

Ordainer, the All-Wise.

89

O people of Constantinople! Lo, from your midst

We hear the baleful hooting of the owl. Hath the

drunkenness of passion laid hold upon you, or is it that

ye are sunk in heedlessness? O Spot that art situate on

the shores of the two seas! The throne of tyranny hath, <p53>

verily, been established upon thee, and the flame of

hatred hath been kindled within thy bosom, in such

wise that the Concourse on high and they who circle

around the Exalted Throne have wailed and lamented.

We behold in thee the foolish ruling over the wise, and

darkness vaunting itself against the light. Thou art

indeed filled with manifest pride. Hath thine outward

splendour made thee vainglorious? By Him Who is the

Lord of mankind! It shall soon perish, and thy

daughters and thy widows and all the kindreds that

dwell within thee shall lament. Thus informeth thee

the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

90

O banks of the Rhine! We have seen you covered

with gore, inasmuch as the swords of retribution were

drawn against you; and you shall have another turn.

And We hear the lamentations of Berlin, though she be

today in conspicuous glory.

91

Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Ta,+F1 for God

hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all

mankind. He shall, if it be His Will, bless thy throne

with one who will rule with justice, who will gather

together the flock of God which the wolves have

scattered. Such a ruler will, with joy and gladness, turn

his face towards, and extend his favours unto, the

people of Baha. He indeed is accounted in the sight of

God as a jewel among men. Upon him rest forever the

glory of God and the glory of all that dwell in the

kingdom of His revelation.

92

Rejoice with great joy, for God hath made thee

 

+F1 Tihran <p54>

"the Dayspring of His light", inasmuch as within thee

was born the Manifestation of His Glory. Be thou glad

for this name that hath been conferred upon thee--a

name through which the Day-Star of grace hath shed its

splendour, through which both earth and heaven have

been illumined.

93

Erelong will the state of affairs within thee be

changed, and the reins of power fall into the hands of

the people. Verily, thy Lord is the All-Knowing. His

authority embraceth all things. Rest thou assured in

the gracious favour of thy Lord. The eye of His loving-kindness

shall everlastingly be directed towards thee.

The day is approaching when thy agitation will have

been transmuted into peace and quiet calm. Thus hath

it been decreed in the wondrous Book.

94

O Land of Kha!+F1 We hear from thee the voice of

heroes, raised in glorification of thy Lord, the All-Possessing,

the Most Exalted. Blessed the day on which

the banners of the divine Names shall be upraised in

the kingdom of creation in My Name, the All-Glorious.

On that day the faithful shall rejoice in the

victory of God, and the disbelievers shall lament.

95

None must contend with those who wield

authority over the people; leave unto them that which

is theirs, and direct your attention to men's hearts.

96

O Most Mighty Ocean! Sprinkle upon the nations

that with which Thou hast been charged by Him Who

is the Sovereign of Eternity, and adorn the temples of

all the dwellers of the earth with the vesture of His laws

 

+F1 Khurasan <p55>

through which all hearts will rejoice and all eyes be

brightened.

97

Should anyone acquire one hundred mithqals of

gold, nineteen mithqals thereof are God's and to be

rendered unto Him, the Fashioner of earth and heaven.

Take heed, O people, lest ye deprive yourselves of so

great a bounty. This We have commanded you, though

We are well able to dispense with you and with all who

are in the heavens and on earth; in it there are benefits

and wisdoms beyond the ken of anyone but God, the

Omniscient, the All-Informed. Say: By this means He

hath desired to purify what ye possess and to enable you

to draw nigh unto such stations as none can comprehend

save those whom God hath willed. He, in truth,

is the Beneficent, the Gracious, the Bountiful. O

people! Deal not faithlessly with the Right of God,

nor, without His leave, make free with its disposal.

Thus hath His commandment been established in the

holy Tablets, and in this exalted Book. He who dealeth

faithlessly with God shall in justice meet with

faithlessness himself; he, however, who acteth in

accordance with God's bidding shall receive a blessing

from the heaven of the bounty of his Lord, the

Gracious, the Bestower, the Generous, the Ancient of

Days. He, verily, hath willed for you that which is yet

beyond your knowledge, but which shall be known to

you when, after this fleeting life, your souls soar

heavenwards and the trappings of your earthly joys are

folded up. Thus admonisheth you He in Whose

possession is the Guarded Tablet.

98

Various petitions have come before Our throne <p56>

from the believers, concerning laws from God, the Lord

of the seen and the unseen, the Lord of all worlds. We

have, in consequence, revealed this Holy Tablet and

arrayed it with the mantle of His Law that haply the

people may keep the commandments of their Lord.

Similar requests had been made of Us over several

previous years but We had, in Our wisdom, withheld

Our Pen until, in recent days, letters arrived from a

number of the friends, and We have therefore

responded, through the power of truth, with that

which shall quicken the hearts of men.

99

Say: O leaders of religion! Weigh not the Book of

God with such standards and sciences as are current

amongst you, for the Book itself is the unerring

Balance established amongst men. In this most perfect

Balance whatsoever the peoples and kindreds of the

earth possess must be weighed, while the measure of its

weight should be tested according to its own standard,

did ye but know it.

100

The eye of My loving-kindness weepeth sore over

you, inasmuch as ye have failed to recognize the One

upon Whom ye have been calling in the daytime and in

the night season, at even and at morn. Advance, O

people, with snow-white faces and radiant hearts, unto

the blest and crimson Spot, wherein the Sadratu'l-Muntaha

is calling: "Verily, there is none other God

beside Me, the Omnipotent Protector, the Self-Subsisting!"

101

O ye leaders of religion! Who is the man amongst

you that can rival Me in vision or insight? Where is he

to be found that dareth to claim to be My equal in <p57>

utterance or wisdom? No, by My Lord, the All-Merciful!

All on the earth shall pass away; and this is

the face of your Lord, the Almighty, the Well-Beloved.

102

We have decreed, O people, that the highest and

last end of all learning be the recognition of Him Who

is the Object of all knowledge; and yet, behold how ye

have allowed your learning to shut you out, as by a veil,

from Him Who is the Dayspring of this Light, through

Whom every hidden thing hath been revealed. Could

ye but discover the source whence the splendour of this

utterance is diffused, ye would cast away the peoples of

the world and all that they possess, and would draw

nigh unto this most blessed Seat of glory.

103

Say: This, verily, is the heaven in which the

Mother Book is treasured, could ye but comprehend it.

He it is Who hath caused the Rock to shout, and the

Burning Bush to lift up its voice, upon the Mount

rising above the Holy Land, and proclaim: "The

Kingdom is God's, the sovereign Lord of all, the All-Powerful,

the Loving!"

104

We have not entered any school, nor read any of

your dissertations. Incline your ears to the words of this

unlettered One, wherewith He summoneth you unto

God, the Ever-Abiding. Better is this for you than all

the treasures of the earth, could ye but comprehend it.

105

Whoso interpreteth what hath been sent down

from the heaven of Revelation, and altereth its evident

meaning, he, verily, is of them that have perverted the

Sublime Word of God, and is of the lost ones in the

Lucid Book.

106

It hath been enjoined upon you to pare your nails, <p58>

to bathe yourselves each week in water that covereth

your bodies, and to clean yourselves with whatsoever ye

have formerly employed. Take heed lest through

negligence ye fail to observe that which hath been

prescribed unto you by Him Who is the Incomparable,

the Gracious. Immerse yourselves in clean water; it is

not permissible to bathe yourselves in water that hath

already been used. See that ye approach not the public

pools of Persian baths; whoso maketh his way toward

such baths will smell their fetid odour ere he entereth

therein. Shun them, O people, and be not of those who

ignominiously accept such vileness. In truth, they are

as sinks of foulness and contamination, if ye be of them

that apprehend. Avoid ye likewise the malodorous

pools in the courtyards of Persian homes, and be ye of

the pure and sanctified. Truly, We desire to behold you

as manifestations of paradise on earth, that there may

be diffused from you such fragrance as shall rejoice the

hearts of the favoured of God. If the bather, instead of

entering the water, wash himself by pouring it upon

his body, it shall be better for him and shall absolve

him of the need for bodily immersion. The Lord,

verily, hath willed, as a bounty from His presence, to

make life easier for you that ye may be of those who are

truly thankful.

107

It is forbidden you to wed your fathers' wives. We

shrink, for very shame, from treating of the subject of

boys. Fear ye the Merciful, O peoples of the world!

Commit not that which is forbidden you in Our Holy

Tablet, and be not of those who rove distractedly in the

wilderness of their desires. <p59>

 

108

To none is it permitted to mutter sacred verses

before the public gaze as he walketh in the street or

marketplace; nay rather, if he wish to magnify the

Lord, it behoveth him to do so in such places as have

been erected for this purpose, or in his own home. This

is more in keeping with sincerity and godliness. Thus

hath the sun of Our commandment shone forth above

the horizon of Our utterance. Blessed, then, be those

who do Our bidding.

109

Unto everyone hath been enjoined the writing of a

will. The testator should head this document with the

adornment of the Most Great Name, bear witness

therein unto the oneness of God in the Dayspring of

His Revelation, and make mention, as he may wish, of

that which is praiseworthy, so that it may be a

testimony for him in the kingdoms of Revelation and

Creation and a treasure with his Lord, the Supreme

Protector, the Faithful.

110

All Feasts have attained their consummation in

the two Most Great Festivals, and in the two other

Festivals that fall on the twin days--the first of the

Most Great Festivals being those days whereon the All-Merciful

shed upon the whole of creation the effulgent

glory of His most excellent Names and His most

exalted Attributes, and the second being that day on

which We raised up the One Who announced unto

mankind the glad tidings of this Name, through which

the dead have been resurrected and all who are in the

heavens and on earth have been gathered together.

Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the

Ordainer, the Omniscient. <p60>

 

111

Happy the one who entereth upon the first day of

the month of Baha, the day which God hath

consecrated to this Great Name. And blessed be he who

evidenceth on this day the bounties that God hath

bestowed upon him; he, verily, is of those who show

forth thanks to God through actions betokening the

Lord's munificence which hath encompassed all the

worlds. Say: This day, verily, is the crown of all the

months and the source thereof, the day on which the

breath of life is wafted over all created things. Great is

the blessedness of him who greeteth it with radiance

and joy. We testify that he is, in truth, among those

who are blissful.

112

Say: The Most Great Festival is, indeed, the King

of Festivals. Call ye to mind, O people, the bounty

which God hath conferred upon you. Ye were sunk in

slumber, and lo! He aroused you by the reviving

breezes of His Revelation, and made known unto you

His manifest and undeviating Path.

113

Resort ye, in times of sickness, to competent

physicians; We have not set aside the use of material

means, rather have We confirmed it through this Pen,

which God hath made to be the Dawning-place of His

shining and glorious Cause.

114

God had formerly laid upon each one of the

believers the duty of offering before Our throne

priceless gifts from among his possessions. Now, in

token of Our gracious favour, We have absolved them

of this obligation. He, of a truth, is the Most

Generous, the All-Bountiful. <p61>

 

115

Blessed is he who, at the hour of dawn, centring

his thoughts on God, occupied with His remembrance,

and supplicating His forgiveness, directeth his steps to

the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar and, entering therein, seateth

himself in silence to listen to the verses of God, the

Sovereign, the Mighty, the All-Praised. Say: The

Mashriqu'l-Adhkar is each and every building which

hath been erected in cities and villages for the

celebration of My praise. Such is the name by which it

hath been designated before the throne of glory, were

ye of those who understand.

116

They who recite the verses of the All-Merciful in

the most melodious of tones will perceive in them that

with which the sovereignty of earth and heaven can

never be compared. From them they will inhale the

divine fragrance of My worlds--worlds which today

none can discern save those who have been endowed

with vision through this sublime, this beauteous

Revelation. Say: These verses draw hearts that are pure

unto those spiritual worlds that can neither be

expressed in words nor intimated by allusion. Blessed

be those who hearken.

117

Assist ye, O My people, My chosen servants who

have arisen to make mention of Me among My creatures

and to exalt My Word throughout My realm. These,

truly, are the stars of the heaven of My loving

providence and the lamps of My guidance unto all

mankind. But he whose words conflict with that which

hath been sent down in My Holy Tablets is not of Me.

Beware lest ye follow any impious pretender. These

Tablets are embellished with the seal of Him Who <p62>

causeth the dawn to appear, Who lifteth up His voice

between the heavens and the earth. Lay hold on this

Sure Handle and on the Cord of My mighty and

unassailable Cause.

118

The Lord hath granted leave to whosoever desireth

it that he be instructed in the divers tongues of the

world that he may deliver the Message of the Cause of

God throughout the East and throughout the West,

that he make mention of Him amidst the kindreds and

peoples of the world in such wise that hearts may revive

and the mouldering bone be quickened.

119

It is inadmissible that man, who hath been

endowed with reason, should consume that which

stealeth it away. Nay, rather it behoveth him to

comport himself in a manner worthy of the human

station, and not in accordance with the misdeeds of

every heedless and wavering soul.

120

Adorn your heads with the garlands of trustworthiness

and fidelity, your hearts with the attire of

the fear of God, your tongues with absolute truthfulness,

your bodies with the vesture of courtesy. These

are in truth seemly adornings unto the temple of man,

if ye be of them that reflect. Cling, O ye people of

Baha, to the cord of servitude unto God, the True One,

for thereby your stations shall be made manifest, your

names written and preserved, your ranks raised and

your memory exalted in the Preserved Tablet. Beware

lest the dwellers on earth hinder you from this glorious

and exalted station. Thus have We exhorted you in

most of Our Epistles and now in this, Our Holy

Tablet, above which hath beamed the Day-Star of the <p63>

Laws of the Lord, your God, the Powerful, the All-Wise.

121

When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and

the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces

toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath

branched from this Ancient Root.

122

Consider the pettiness of men's minds. They ask

for that which injureth them, and cast away the thing

that profiteth them. They are, indeed, of those that are

far astray. We find some men desiring liberty, and

priding themselves therein. Such men are in the depths

of ignorance.

123

Liberty must, in the end, lead to sedition, whose

flames none can quench. Thus warneth you He Who is

the Reckoner, the All-Knowing. Know ye that the

embodiment of liberty and its symbol is the animal.

That which beseemeth man is submission unto such

restraints as will protect him from his own ignorance,

and guard him against the harm of the mischief-maker.

Liberty causeth man to overstep the bounds of

propriety, and to infringe on the dignity of his station.

It debaseth him to the level of extreme depravity and

wickedness.

124

Regard men as a flock of sheep that need a

shepherd for their protection. This, verily, is the truth,

the certain truth. We approve of liberty in certain

circumstances, and refuse to sanction it in others. We,

verily, are the All-Knowing.

125

Say: True liberty consisteth in man's submission

unto My commandments, little as ye know it. Were

men to observe that which We have sent down unto <p64>

them from the Heaven of Revelation, they would, of a

certainty, attain unto perfect liberty. Happy is the man

that hath apprehended the Purpose of God in whatever

He hath revealed from the Heaven of His Will that

pervadeth all created things. Say: The liberty that

profiteth you is to be found nowhere except in complete

servitude unto God, the Eternal Truth. Whoso hath

tasted of its sweetness will refuse to barter it for all the

dominion of earth and heaven.

126

In the Bayan it had been forbidden you to ask Us

questions. The Lord hath now relieved you of this

prohibition, that ye may be free to ask what you need

to ask, but not such idle questions as those on which

the men of former times were wont to dwell. Fear God,

and be ye of the righteous! Ask ye that which shall be of

profit to you in the Cause of God and His dominion, for

the portals of His tender compassion have been opened

before all who dwell in heaven and on earth.

127

The number of months in a year, appointed in the

Book of God, is nineteen. Of these the first hath been

adorned with this Name which overshadoweth the

whole of creation.

128

The Lord hath decreed that the dead should be

interred in coffins made of crystal, of hard, resistant

stone, or of wood that is both fine and durable, and that

graven rings should be placed upon their fingers. He,

verily, is the Supreme Ordainer, the One apprised of

all.

129

The inscription on these rings should read, for

men: "Unto God belongeth all that is in the heavens

and on the earth and whatsoever is between them, and <p65>

He, in truth, hath knowledge of all things"; and for

women: "Unto God belongeth the dominion of the

heavens and the earth and whatsoever is between them,

and He, in truth, is potent over all things". These are

the verses that were revealed aforetime, but lo, the

Point of the Bayan now calleth out, exclaiming, "O

Best-Beloved of the worlds! Reveal Thou in their stead

such words as will waft the fragrance of Thy gracious

favours over all mankind. We have announced unto

everyone that one single word from Thee excelleth all

that hath been sent down in the Bayan. Thou, indeed,

hast power to do what pleaseth Thee. Deprive not Thy

servants of the overflowing bounties of the ocean of Thy

mercy! Thou, in truth, art He Whose grace is infinite."

Behold, We have hearkened to His call, and now fulfil

His wish. He, verily, is the Best-Beloved, the

Answerer of prayers. If the following verse, which hath

at this moment been sent down by God, be engraved

upon the burial-rings of both men and women, it shall

be better for them; We, of a certainty, are the Supreme

Ordainer: "I came forth from God, and return unto

Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast to His

Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate." Thus doth

the Lord single out whomsoever He desireth for a

bounty from His presence. He is, in very truth, the

God of might and power.

130

The Lord hath decreed, moreover, that the

deceased should be enfolded in five sheets of silk or

cotton. For those whose means are limited a single

sheet of either fabric will suffice. Thus hath it been

ordained by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. <p66>

It is forbidden you to transport the body of

the deceased a greater distance than one hour's journey

from the city; rather should it be interred, with

radiance and serenity, in a nearby place.

131

God hath removed the restrictions on travel that

had been imposed in the Bayan. He, verily, is the

Unconstrained; He doeth as He pleaseth and ordaineth

whatsoever He willeth.

132

O peoples of the world! Give ear unto the call of

Him Who is the Lord of Names, Who proclaimeth

unto you from His habitation in the Most Great Prison:

"Verily, no God is there but Me, the Powerful, the

Mighty, the All-Subduing, the Most Exalted, the

Omniscient, the All-Wise." In truth, there is no God

but Him, the Omnipotent Ruler of the worlds. Were it

His Will, He would, through but a single word

proceeding from His presence, lay hold on all

mankind. Beware lest ye hesitate in your acceptance of

this Cause--a Cause before which the Concourse on

high and the dwellers of the Cities of Names have

bowed down. Fear God, and be not of those who are

shut out as by a veil. Burn ye away the veils with the

fire of My love, and dispel ye the mists of vain

imaginings by the power of this Name through which

We have subdued the entire creation.

133

Raise up and exalt the two Houses in the Twin

Hallowed Spots, and the other sites wherein the throne

of your Lord, the All-Merciful, hath been established.

Thus commandeth you the Lord of every understanding

heart.

134

Be watchful lest the concerns and preoccupations <p67>

of this world prevent you from observing that which

hath been enjoined upon you by Him Who is the

Mighty, the Faithful. Be ye the embodiments of such

steadfastness amidst mankind that ye will not be kept

back from God by the doubts of those who disbelieved

in Him when He manifested Himself, invested with a

mighty sovereignty. Take heed lest ye be prevented by

aught that hath been recorded in the Book from

hearkening unto this, the Living Book, Who proclaimeth

the truth: "Verily, there is no God but Me,

the Most Excellent, the All-Praised." Look ye with the

eye of equity upon Him Who hath descended from the

heaven of Divine will and power, and be not of those

who act unjustly.

135

Call then to mind these words which have

streamed forth, in tribute to this Revelation, from the

Pen of Him Who was My Herald, and consider what

the hands of the oppressors have wrought throughout

My days. Truly they are numbered with the lost. He

said: "Should ye attain the presence of Him Whom We

shall make manifest, beseech ye God, in His bounty, to

grant that He might deign to seat Himself upon your

couches, for that act in itself would confer upon you

matchless and surpassing honour. Should He drink a

cup of water in your homes, this would be of greater

consequence for you than your proffering unto every

soul, nay unto every created thing, the water of its very

life. Know this, O ye My servants!"

136

Such are the words with which My Forerunner

hath extolled My Being, could ye but understand.

Whoso reflecteth upon these verses, and realizeth what <p68>

hidden pearls have been enshrined within them, will,

by the righteousness of God, perceive the fragrance of

the All-Merciful wafting from the direction of this

Prison and will, with his whole heart, hasten unto Him

with such ardent longing that the hosts of earth and

heaven would be powerless to deter him. Say: This is a

Revelation around which every proof and testimony

doth circle. Thus hath it been sent down by your Lord,

the God of Mercy, if ye be of them that judge aright.

Say: This is the very soul of all Scriptures which hath

been breathed into the Pen of the Most High, causing

all created beings to be dumbfounded, save only those

who have been enraptured by the gentle breezes of My

loving-kindness and the sweet savours of My bounties

which have pervaded the whole of creation.

137

O people of the Bayan! Fear ye the Most Merciful

and consider what He hath revealed in another passage.

He said: "The Qiblih is indeed He Whom God will

make manifest; whenever He moveth, it moveth, until

He shall come to rest." Thus was it set down by the

Supreme Ordainer when He desired to make mention

of this Most Great Beauty. Meditate on this, O people,

and be not of them that wander distraught in the

wilderness of error. If ye reject Him at the bidding of

your idle fancies, where then is the Qiblih to which ye

will turn, O assemblage of the heedless? Ponder ye this

verse, and judge equitably before God, that haply ye

may glean the pearls of mysteries from the ocean that

surgeth in My Name, the All-Glorious, the Most

High.

138

Let none, in this Day, hold fast to aught save that <p69>

which hath been manifested in this Revelation. Such is

the decree of God, aforetime and hereafter--a decree

wherewith the Scriptures of the Messengers of old have

been adorned. Such is the admonition of the Lord,

aforetime and hereafter--an admonition wherewith the

preamble to the Book of Life hath been embellished,

did ye but perceive it. Such is the commandment of the

Lord, aforetime and hereafter; beware lest ye choose

instead the part of ignominy and abasement. Naught

shall avail you in this Day but God, nor is there any

refuge to flee to save Him, the Omniscient, the All-Wise.

Whoso hath known Me hath known the Goal of

all desire, and whoso hath turned unto Me hath turned

unto the Object of all adoration. Thus hath it been set

forth in the Book, and thus hath it been decreed by

God, the Lord of all worlds. To read but one of the

verses of My Revelation is better than to peruse the

Scriptures of both the former and latter generations.

This is the Utterance of the All-Merciful, would that ye

had ears to hear! Say: This is the essence of knowledge,

did ye but understand.

139

And now consider what hath been revealed in yet

another passage, that perchance ye may forsake your

own concepts and set your faces towards God, the Lord

of being. He+F1 hath said: "It is unlawful to enter into

marriage save with a believer in the Bayan. Should only

one party to a marriage embrace this Cause, his or her

possessions will become unlawful to the other, until

such time as the latter hath converted. This law,

 

+F1 The Bab <p70>

however, will only take effect after the exaltation of the

Cause of Him Whom We shall manifest in truth, or of

that which hath already been made manifest in justice.

Ere this, ye are at liberty to enter into wedlock as ye

wish, that haply by this means ye may exalt the Cause

of God." Thus hath the Nightingale sung with sweet

melody upon the celestial bough, in praise of its Lord,

the All-Merciful. Well is it with them that hearken.

140

O people of the Bayan, I adjure you by your Lord,

the God of mercy, to look with the eye of fairness upon

this utterance which hath been sent down through the

power of truth, and not to be of those who see the

testimony of God yet reject and deny it. They, in

truth, are of those who will assuredly perish. The Point

of the Bayan hath explicitly made mention in this verse

of the exaltation of My Cause before His own Cause;

unto this will testify every just and understanding

mind. As ye can readily witness in this day, its

exaltation is such as none can deny save those whose

eyes are drunken in this mortal life and whom a

humiliating chastisement awaiteth in the life to come.

141

Say: By the righteousness of God! I, verily, am

His+F1 Best-Beloved; and at this moment He listeneth to

these verses descending from the Heaven of Revelation

and bewaileth the wrongs ye have committed in these

days. Fear God, and join not with the aggressor. Say: O

people, should ye choose to disbelieve in Him,+F2 refrain

 

+F1 The Bab's

+F2 Baha'u'llah <p71>

at least from rising up against Him. By God! Sufficient

are the hosts of tyranny that are leagued against Him!

142

Verily, He+F1 revealed certain laws so that, in this

Dispensation, the Pen of the Most High might have no

need to move in aught but the glorification of His own

transcendent Station and His most effulgent Beauty.

Since, however, We have wished to evidence Our

bounty unto you, We have, through the power of

truth, set forth these laws with clarity and mitigated

what We desire you to observe. He, verily, is the

Munificent, the Generous.

143

He+F2 hath previously made known unto you that

which would be uttered by this Dayspring of Divine

wisdom. He said, and He speaketh the truth: "He+F3 is

the One Who will under all conditions proclaim:

'Verily, there is none other God besides Me, the

One, the Incomparable, the Omniscient, the All-Informed.'"

This is a station which God hath assigned

exclusively to this sublime, this unique and wondrous

Revelation. This is a token of His bounteous favour, if

ye be of them who comprehend, and a sign of His

irresistible decree. This is His Most Great Name, His

Most Exalted Word, and the Dayspring of His Most

Excellent Titles, if ye could understand. Nay more,

through Him every Fountainhead, every Dawning-place

of Divine guidance is made manifest. Reflect, O

people, on that which hath been sent down in truth;

ponder thereon, and be not of the transgressors.

 

+F1 The Bab

+F2 The Bab

+F3 Baha'u'llah <p72>

 

144

Consort with all religions with amity and concord,

that they may inhale from you the sweet fragrance of

God. Beware lest amidst men the flame of foolish

ignorance overpower you. All things proceed from God

and unto Him they return. He is the source of all

things and in Him all things are ended.

145

Take heed that ye enter no house in the absence

of its owner, except with his permission. Comport

yourselves with propriety under all conditions, and be

not numbered with the wayward.

146

It hath been enjoined upon you to purify your

means of sustenance and other such things through

payment of Zakat. Thus hath it been prescribed in this

exalted Tablet by Him Who is the Revealer of verses.

We shall, if it be God's will and purpose, set forth

erelong the measure of its assessment. He, verily,

expoundeth whatsoever He desireth by virtue of His

own knowledge, and He, of a truth, is Omniscient and

All-Wise.

147

It is unlawful to beg, and it is forbidden to give to

him who beggeth. All have been enjoined to earn a

living, and as for those who are incapable of doing so, it

is incumbent on the Deputies of God and on the

wealthy to make adequate provision for them. Keep ye

the statutes and commandments of God; nay, guard

them as ye would your very eyes, and be not of those

who suffer grievous loss.

148

Ye have been forbidden in the Book of God to

engage in contention and conflict, to strike another, or

to commit similar acts whereby hearts and souls may be <p73>

saddened. A fine of nineteen mithqals of gold had

formerly been prescribed by Him Who is the Lord of all

mankind for anyone who was the cause of sadness to

another; in this Dispensation, however, He hath

absolved you thereof and exhorteth you to show forth

righteousness and piety. Such is the commandment

which He hath enjoined upon you in this resplendent

Tablet. Wish not for others what ye wish not for

yourselves; fear God, and be not of the prideful. Ye are

all created out of water, and unto dust shall ye return.

Reflect upon the end that awaiteth you, and walk not

in the ways of the oppressor. Give ear unto the verses of

God which He Who is the sacred Lote-Tree reciteth

unto you. They are assuredly the infallible balance,

established by God, the Lord of this world and the

next. Through them the soul of man is caused to wing

its flight towards the Dayspring of Revelation, and the

heart of every true believer is suffused with light. Such

are the laws which God hath enjoined upon you, such

His commandments prescribed unto you in His Holy

Tablet; obey them with joy and gladness, for this is

best for you, did ye but know.

149

Recite ye the verses of God every morn and

eventide. Whoso faileth to recite them hath not been

faithful to the Covenant of God and His Testament,

and whoso turneth away from these holy verses in this

Day is of those who throughout eternity have turned

away from God. Fear ye God, O My servants, one and

all. Pride not yourselves on much reading of the verses

or on a multitude of pious acts by night and day; for

were a man to read a single verse with joy and radiance <p74>

it would be better for him than to read with lassitude

all the Holy Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

Read ye the sacred verses in such measure

that ye be not overcome by languor and despondency.

Lay not upon your souls that which will weary them

and weigh them down, but rather what will lighten

and uplift them, so that they may soar on the wings of

the Divine verses towards the Dawning-place of His

manifest signs; this will draw you nearer to God, did ye

but comprehend.

150

Teach your children the verses revealed from the

heaven of majesty and power, so that, in most

melodious tones, they may recite the Tablets of the All-Merciful

in the alcoves within the Mashriqu'l-Adhkars.

Whoever hath been transported by the rapture born of

adoration for My Name, the Most Compassionate, will

recite the verses of God in such wise as to captivate the

hearts of those yet wrapped in slumber. Well is it with

him who hath quaffed the Mystic Wine of everlasting

life from the utterance of his merciful Lord in My

Name--a Name through which every lofty and

majestic mountain hath been reduced to dust.

151

Ye have been enjoined to renew the furnishings of

your homes after the passing of each nineteen years;

thus hath it been ordained by One Who is Omniscient

and All-Perceiving. He, verily, is desirous of refinement,

both for you yourselves and for all that ye

possess; lay not aside the fear of God and be not of the

negligent. Whoso findeth that his means are insufficient

to this purpose hath been excused by God, the

Ever-Forgiving, the Most Bounteous. <p75>

 

152

Wash your feet once every day in summer, and

once every three days during winter.

153

Should anyone wax angry with you, respond to

him with gentleness; and should anyone upbraid you,

forbear to upbraid him in return, but leave him to

himself and put your trust in God, the omnipotent

Avenger, the Lord of might and justice.

154

Ye have been prohibited from making use of

pulpits. Whoso wisheth to recite unto you the verses of

his Lord, let him sit on a chair placed upon a dais, that

he may make mention of God, his Lord, and the Lord

of all mankind. It is pleasing to God that ye should seat

yourselves on chairs and benches as a mark of honour

for the love ye bear for Him and for the Manifestation

of His glorious and resplendent Cause.

155

Gambling and the use of opium have been

forbidden unto you. Eschew them both, O people, and

be not of those who transgress. Beware of using any

substance that induceth sluggishness and torpor in the

human temple and inflicteth harm upon the body. We,

verily, desire for you naught save what shall profit you,

and to this bear witness all created things, had ye but

ears to hear.

156

Whensoever ye be invited to a banquet or festive

occasion, respond with joy and gladness, and whoever

fulfilleth his promise will be safe from reproof. This is a

Day on which each of God's wise decrees hath been

expounded.

157

Behold, the "mystery of the Great Reversal in the

Sign of the Sovereign" hath now been made manifest.

Well is it with him whom God hath aided to recognize <p76>

the "Six" raised up by virtue of this "Upright Alif";

he, verily, is of those whose faith is true. How many

the outwardly pious who have turned away, and how

many the wayward who have drawn nigh, exclaiming:

"All praise be to Thee, O Thou the Desire of the

worlds!" In truth, it is in the hand of God to give what

He willeth to whomsoever He willeth, and to withhold

what He pleaseth from whomsoever He may wish. He

knoweth the inner secrets of the hearts and the meaning

hidden in a mocker's wink. How many an embodiment

of heedlessness who came unto Us with purity of heart

have We established upon the seat of Our acceptance;

and how many an exponent of wisdom have We in all

justice consigned to the fire. We are, in truth, the One

to judge. He it is Who is the manifestation of "God

doeth whatsoever He pleaseth", and abideth upon the

throne of "He ordaineth whatsoever He chooseth".

158

Blessed is the one who discovereth the fragrance of

inner meanings from the traces of this Pen through

whose movement the breezes of God are wafted over the

entire creation, and through whose stillness the very

essence of tranquillity appeareth in the realm of being.

Glorified be the All-Merciful, the Revealer of so

inestimable a bounty. Say: Because He bore injustice,

justice hath appeared on earth, and because He

accepted abasement, the majesty of God hath shone

forth amidst mankind.

159

It hath been forbidden you to carry arms unless

essential, and permitted you to attire yourselves in silk.

The Lord hath relieved you, as a bounty on His part, of

the restrictions that formerly applied to clothing and to <p77>

the trim of the beard. He, verily, is the Ordainer, the

Omniscient. Let there be naught in your demeanour of

which sound and upright minds would disapprove, and

make not yourselves the playthings of the ignorant.

Well is it with him who hath adorned himself with the

vesture of seemly conduct and a praiseworthy character.

He is assuredly reckoned with those who aid their Lord

through distinctive and outstanding deeds.

160

Promote ye the development of the cities of God

and His countries, and glorify Him therein in the

joyous accents of His well-favoured ones. In truth, the

hearts of men are edified through the power of the

tongue, even as houses and cities are built up by the

hand and other means. We have assigned to every end a

means for its accomplishment; avail yourselves thereof,

and place your trust and confidence in God, the

Omniscient, the All-Wise.

161

Blessed is the man that hath acknowledged his

belief in God and in His signs, and recognized that

"He shall not be asked of His doings". Such a

recognition hath been made by God the ornament of

every belief and its very foundation. Upon it must

depend the acceptance of every goodly deed. Fasten

your eyes upon it, that haply the whisperings of the

rebellious may not cause you to slip.

162

Were He to decree as lawful the thing which from

time immemorial had been forbidden, and forbid that

which had, at all times, been regarded as lawful, to

none is given the right to question His authority.

Whoso will hesitate, though it be for less than a

moment, should be regarded as a transgressor. <p78>

 

163.

Whoso hath not recognized this sublime and

fundamental verity, and hath failed to attain this most

exalted station, the winds of doubt will agitate him,

and the sayings of the infidels will distract his soul. He

that hath acknowledged this principle will be endowed

with the most perfect constancy. All honour to this all-glorious

station, the remembrance of which adorneth

every exalted Tablet. Such is the teaching which God

bestoweth on you, a teaching that will deliver you from

all manner of doubt and perplexity, and enable you to

attain unto salvation in both this world and in the next.

He, verily, is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Bountiful.

He it is Who hath sent forth the Messengers, and sent

down the Books to proclaim "There is none other God

but Me, the Almighty, the All-Wise".

164

O Land of Kaf and Ra!+F1 We, verily, behold thee

in a state displeasing unto God, and see proceeding

from thee that which is inscrutable to anyone save

Him, the Omniscient, the All-Informed; and We

perceive that which secretly and stealthily diffuseth

from thee. With Us is the knowledge of all things,

inscribed in a lucid Tablet. Sorrow not for that which

hath befallen thee. Erelong will God raise up within

thee men endued with mighty valour, who will

magnify My Name with such constancy that neither

will they be deterred by the evil suggestions of the

divines, nor will they be kept back by the insinuations

of the sowers of doubt. With their own eyes will they

behold God, and with their own lives will they render

 

+F1 Kirman <p79>

Him victorious. These, truly, are of those who are

steadfast.

165

O concourse of divines! When My verses were sent

down, and My clear tokens were revealed, We found

you behind the veils. This, verily, is a strange thing.

Ye glory in My Name, yet ye recognized Me not at the

time your Lord, the All-Merciful, appeared amongst

you with proof and testimony. We have rent the veils

asunder. Beware lest ye shut out the people by yet

another veil. Pluck asunder the chains of vain

imaginings, in the name of the Lord of all men, and be

not of the deceitful. Should ye turn unto God and

embrace His Cause, spread not disorder within it, and

measure not the Book of God with your selfish desires.

This, verily, is the counsel of God aforetime and

hereafter, and to this God's witnesses and chosen ones,

yea, each and every one of Us, do solemnly attest.

166

Call ye to mind the shaykh whose name was

Muhammad-Hasan, who ranked among the most

learned divines of his day. When the True One was

made manifest, this shaykh, along with others of his

calling, rejected Him, while a sifter of wheat and

barley accepted Him and turned unto the Lord.

Though he was occupied both night and day in setting

down what he conceived to be the laws and ordinances

of God, yet when He Who is the Unconstrained

appeared, not one letter thereof availed him, or he

would not have turned away from a Countenance that

hath illumined the faces of the well-favoured of the

Lord. Had ye believed in God when He revealed

Himself, the people would not have turned aside from <p80>

Him, nor would the things ye witness today have

befallen Us. Fear God, and be not of the heedless.

167

Beware lest any name debar you from Him Who

is the Possessor of all names, or any word shut you

out from this Remembrance of God, this Source of

Wisdom amongst you. Turn unto God and seek His

protection, O concourse of divines, and make not of

yourselves a veil between Me and My creatures. Thus

doth your Lord admonish you, and command you to be

just, lest your works should come to naught and ye

yourselves be oblivious of your plight. Shall he who

denieth this Cause be able to vindicate the truth of any

cause throughout creation? Nay, by Him Who is the

Fashioner of the universe! Yet the people are wrapped

in a palpable veil. Say: Through this Cause the day-star

of testimony hath dawned, and the luminary of proof

hath shed its radiance upon all that dwell on earth. Fear

God, O men of insight, and be not of those who

disbelieve in Me. Take heed lest the word "Prophet"

withhold you from this Most Great Announcement, or

any reference to "Vicegerency" debar you from the

sovereignty of Him Who is the Vicegerent of God,

which overshadoweth all the worlds. Every name hath

been created by His Word, and every cause is

dependent on His irresistible, His mighty and wondrous

Cause. Say: This is the Day of God, the Day on

which naught shall be mentioned save His own Self,

the omnipotent Protector of all worlds. This is the

Cause that hath made all your superstitions and idols to

tremble.

168

We, verily, see amongst you him who taketh hold <p81>

of the Book of God and citeth from it proofs and

arguments wherewith to repudiate his Lord, even as the

followers of every other Faith sought reasons in their

Holy Books for refuting Him Who is the Help in Peril,

the Self-Subsisting. Say: God, the True One, is My

witness that neither the Scriptures of the world, nor all

the books and writings in existence, shall, in this Day,

avail you aught without this, the Living Book, Who

proclaimeth in the midmost heart of creation: "Verily,

there is none other God but Me, the All-Knowing, the

All-Wise."

169

O concourse of divines! Beware lest ye be the cause

of strife in the land, even as ye were the cause of the

repudiation of the Faith in its early days. Gather the

people around this Word that hath made the pebbles to

cry out: "The Kingdom is God's, the Dawning-place of

all signs!" Thus doth your Lord admonish you, as a

bounty on His part; He, of a truth, is the Ever-Forgiving,

the Most Generous.

170

Call ye to mind Karim, and how, when We

summoned him unto God, he waxed disdainful,

prompted by his own desires; yet We had sent him that

which was a solace to the eye of proof in the world of

being and the fulfilment of God's testimony to all the

denizens of earth and heaven. As a token of the grace of

Him Who is the All-Possessing, the Most High, We

bade him embrace the Truth. But he turned away

until, as an act of justice from God, angels of wrath laid

hold upon him. Unto this We truly were a witness.

171

Tear the veils asunder in such wise that the

inmates of the Kingdom will hear them being rent. <p82>

This is the command of God, in days gone by and for

those to come. Blessed the man that observeth that

whereunto he was bidden, and woe betide the

negligent.

172

We, of a certainty, have had no purpose in this

earthly realm save to make God manifest and to reveal

His sovereignty; sufficient unto Me is God for a

witness. We, of a certainty, have had no intent in the

celestial Kingdom but to exalt His Cause and glorify

His praise; sufficient unto Me is God for a protector.

We, of a certainty, have had no desire in the Dominion

on high except to extol God and what hath been sent

down by Him; sufficient unto Me is God for a helper.

173

Happy are ye, O ye the learned ones in Baha. By

the Lord! Ye are the billows of the Most Mighty Ocean,

the stars of the firmament of Glory, the standards of

triumph waving betwixt earth and heaven. Ye are the

manifestations of steadfastness amidst men and the

daysprings of Divine Utterance to all that dwell on

earth. Well is it with him that turneth unto you, and

woe betide the froward. This day, it behoveth whoso

hath quaffed the Mystic Wine of everlasting life from

the Hands of the loving-kindness of the Lord his God,

the Merciful, to pulsate even as the throbbing artery in

the body of mankind, that through him may be

quickened the world and every crumbling bone.

174

O people of the world! When the Mystic Dove

will have winged its flight from its Sanctuary of Praise

and sought its far-off goal, its hidden habitation, refer

ye whatsoever ye understand not in the Book to Him

Who hath branched from this mighty Stock. <p83>

 

175

O Pen of the Most High! Move Thou upon the

Tablet at the bidding of Thy Lord, the Creator of the

Heavens, and tell of the time when He Who is the

Dayspring of Divine Unity purposed to direct His steps

towards the School of Transcendent Oneness; haply the

pure in heart may gain thereby a glimpse, be it as small

as a needle's eye, of the mysteries of Thy Lord, the

Almighty, the Omniscient, that lie concealed behind

the veils. Say: We, indeed, set foot within the School of

inner meaning and explanation when all created things

were unaware. We saw the words sent down by Him

Who is the All-Merciful, and We accepted the verses of

God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, which He+F1

presented unto Us, and hearkened unto that which He

had solemnly affirmed in the Tablet. This we assuredly

did behold. And We assented to His wish through Our

behest, for truly We are potent to command.

176

O people of the Bayan! We, verily, set foot within

the School of God when ye lay slumbering; and We

perused the Tablet while ye were fast asleep. By the one

true God! We read the Tablet ere it was revealed, while

ye were unaware, and We had perfect knowledge of the

Book when ye were yet unborn. These words are to

your measure, not to God's. To this testifieth that

which is enshrined within His knowledge, if ye be of

them that comprehend; and to this the tongue of the

Almighty doth bear witness, if ye be of those who

understand. I swear by God, were We to lift the veil,

ye would be dumbfounded.

 

+F1 The Bab <p84>

 

177

Take heed that ye dispute not idly concerning the

Almighty and His Cause, for lo! He hath appeared

amongst you invested with a Revelation so great as to

encompass all things, whether of the past or of the

future. Were We to address Our theme by speaking in

the language of the inmates of the Kingdom, We

would say: "In truth, God created that School ere He

created heaven and earth, and We entered it before the

letters B and E were joined and knit together." Such is

the language of Our servants in Our Kingdom;

consider what the tongue of the dwellers of Our exalted

Dominion would utter, for We have taught them Our

knowledge and have revealed to them whatever had lain

hidden in God's wisdom. Imagine then what the

Tongue of Might and Grandeur would utter in His All-Glorious

Abode!

178

This is not a Cause which may be made a

plaything for your idle fancies, nor is it a field for the

foolish and faint of heart. By God, this is the arena of

insight and detachment, of vision and upliftment,

where none may spur on their chargers save the valiant

horsemen of the Merciful, who have severed all

attachment to the world of being. These, truly, are

they that render God victorious on earth, and are the

dawning-places of His sovereign might amidst mankind.

179

Beware lest aught that hath been revealed in the

Bayan should keep you from your Lord, the Most

Compassionate. God is My witness that the Bayan was

sent down for no other purpose than to celebrate My

praise, did ye but know! In it the pure in heart will find <p85>

only the fragrance of My love, only My Name that

overshadoweth all that seeth and is seen. Say: Turn ye,

O people, unto that which hath proceeded from My

Most Exalted Pen. Should ye inhale therefrom the

fragrance of God, set not yourselves against Him, nor

deny yourselves a portion of His gracious favour and

His manifold bestowals. Thus doth your Lord admonish

you; He, verily, is the Counsellor, the Omniscient.

180

Whatsoever ye understand not in the Bayan, ask it

of God, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.

Should He so desire, He will expound for you that

which is revealed therein, and disclose to you the pearls

of Divine knowledge and wisdom that lie concealed

within the ocean of its words. He, verily, is supreme

over all names; no God is there but Him, the Help in

Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

181

The world's equilibrium hath been upset through

the vibrating influence of this most great, this new

World Order. Mankind's ordered life hath been

revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this

wondrous System--the like of which mortal eyes have

never witnessed.

182

Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that

ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of

wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take heed that ye do

not vacillate in your determination to embrace the

truth of this Cause--a Cause through which the

potentialities of the might of God have been revealed,

and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming

with joy, hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless

Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. <p86>

Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath

refused to seek it--verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above

any need of His creatures.

183

Say: This is the infallible Balance which the Hand

of God is holding, in which all who are in the heavens

and all who are on the earth are weighed, and their fate

determined, if ye be of them that believe and recognize

this truth. Say: This is the Most Great Testimony, by

which the validity of every proof throughout the ages

hath been established, would that ye might be assured

thereof. Say: Through it the poor have been enriched,

the learned enlightened, and the seekers enabled to

ascend unto the presence of God. Beware lest ye make

it a cause of dissension amongst you. Be ye as firmly

settled as the immovable mountain in the Cause of your

Lord, the Mighty, the Loving.

184

Say: O source of perversion! Abandon thy wilful

blindness, and speak forth the truth amidst the people.

I swear by God that I have wept for thee to see thee

following thy selfish passions and renouncing Him

Who fashioned thee and brought thee into being. Call

to mind the tender mercy of thy Lord, and remember

how We nurtured thee by day and by night for service

to the Cause. Fear God, and be thou of the truly

repentant. Granted that the people were confused

about thy station, is it conceivable that thou thyself art

similarly confused? Tremble before thy Lord and recall

the days when thou didst stand before Our throne, and

didst write down the verses that We dictated unto

thee--verses sent down by God, the Omnipotent

Protector, the Lord of might and power. Beware lest <p87>

the fire of thy presumptuousness debar thee from

attaining to God's Holy Court. Turn unto Him, and

fear not because of thy deeds. He, in truth, forgiveth

whomsoever He desireth as a bounty on His part; no

God is there but Him, the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Bounteous.

We admonish thee solely for the sake of

God. Shouldst thou accept this counsel, thou wilt have

acted to thine own behoof; and shouldst thou reject it,

thy Lord, verily, can well dispense with thee, and with

all those who, in manifest delusion, have followed thee.

Behold! God hath laid hold on him who led thee astray.

Return unto God, humble, submissive and lowly;

verily, He will put away from thee thy sins, for thy

Lord, of a certainty, is the Forgiving, the Mighty, the

All-Merciful.

185