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Abstract:
A partial provisional translation of the Persian Bayan.
Notes:
This translation has been proofread and spellchecked, but appears to have been translated or typed in somewhat of a hurry and may contain errors.

See also a list of Questions and Answers on the Persian Bayán, Nicolas' French translation of The Persian Bayan, and Peter Terry's Summary and Themes of the Persian Bayán.


The Persian Bayan:
Partial translation

by The Báb

translated by Denis MacEoin.
originally written as "Bayán-i-Farsí" in Persian.
Contents
  1. Exordium
  2. hid 1, Báb 1
  3. hid 1, Báb 2
  4. hid 1, Báb 3
  5. hid 2, Báb 1
  6. hid 2, Báb 2
  7. hid 2, Báb 3
  8. hid 2, Báb 4
  9. hid 2, Báb 5
  10. hid 2, Báb 6
  11. hid 2, Báb 7
  12. hid 2, Báb 8
  13. hid 2, Báb 9
  14. hid 2, Báb 10
  15. hid 2, Báb 11
  16. References


Exordium

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

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

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

   No beginning is there for Him save in His own primacy, and no end is there for Him save in His own finality. And all things have acquired their essences according to what He has ordained or shall ordain within them through His own Essence, and they have taken on reality through His Being. Through It God began the creation of all things, and through It He will return the creation of all things to Himself. All the beautiful names have existed for Its sake, and it is for Its sake that they continue to exist. The depths of His Essence are sanctified from all names and descriptions, and the purity of His Reality is lifted up above every splendour and every exaltation, and His naked Essence is far above any inaccessibility or altitude. He is the First, but He cannot be known as such; He is the Last, but He cannot be adequately described as such; He is the Outward, but He cannot be characterized as such; He is the Inward, but He cannot be grasped as such.

   And He is the first to believe in Him Whom God Shall Manifest (man yuzhiruhu’lláh), and He is the first to have believed in him who has appeared. He is a single thing, through whose creation all things are created, and through whose sustenance all things are sustained, and through whose death the death of all things is manifested, and through whose life the life of all things is manifested, and through whose resurrection the resurrection of all things is manifested.

   The eye of creation has never seen nor shall it ever see anything like Him, whether in the past or in the future. He is the Name of the Essence ( ism al-huwiyya ) and the Face of Lordship that resides within the shadow of the Countenance of Divinity and gives token of the sovereignty of the Divine Singleness. If I only knew that all things might taste His love, I would not even mention the Fire, for Hell was created in its essence according to what is within it and what is upon it, for the sole reason that it did not bow down before Him. Otherwise, were all things to taste His love, they would be light created from light within light unto light upon light. God guides to His light whomever He wishes, and God lifts up to His light whomever He wills. He is the One Who begins and the One to Whom all things return in the end.

   He it is for Whom God, the One, the Single, through the manifestation of His own Self, created seventeen persons who were brought into being before the creation of all other things, out of His own Person. He then caused the sign of their recognition to reside in the realities of all beings, in order that all things might bear witness in their inmost essences to the truth that He is the primal Unity, the One who lives for all eternity. He has not commanded anyone among the contingent beings other than to know its own self and the singleness of the depths of its own reality. For all others but Him are nothing but His creatures, brought into being through His command. Both creation and command belong to Him, in the past and in the future. He is Lord of all the worlds.

   Wherefore, let it not be concealed from anyone who looks on these words that God has caused the creation of the Qur’án to return on the Day of Judgement through the manifestation of His own Self upon that Day. Whereupon, He has created all things freshly, as if they had all just been brought into existence at that very instant For all that has ever been created was for the Day of the appearance of God, for He it is in which all things reach their end, and He it is in Whom they achieve their destiny. After He manifested Himself through the appearance of the signs of His power, there can be no doubt at all that all things have reached the Divine Presence in that state of perfection which they are capable of attaining. God, may He be praised and glorified, has created the Primal Will once more, and through It He has created all things. And, since all things have been mentioned in a new creation, this is a proof that His creation has neither beginning nor end. Wherefore, there has never been a situation in which God was Lord and there were no created beings to worship Him. God has existed eternally in the exaltation of His Holiness, and all others have existed in the degradation of their own limitations.

   The beginning of the creation of all things at this instant, which is a Friday, has taken place through the words God has uttered. His Holiness, the Lord of Glory, brought this new creation into being through His own decree and caused it to rest beneath His shadow in order that it may return to Him. For there can be no doubt that God brings that creation into existence and then makes it return to Himself. God, indeed, is powerful over all things. He structured the creation of all things according to the number of 'All Things', through the decrees which He caused to come down from the court of His holiness and which He caused to shine forth from the sun of His own bounty, in order that all things, through the mention of all things, might reach a state of perfection for the sake of the manifestation of the next resurrection, so that He might reward each thing with the reward due to all things. If this reward should turn out to be that of rejection, it will be part of His justice; if it should turn out to be that of acceptance, that will be on account of His grace, for His knowledge of all things before the existence of all things is identical to His knowledge of them after their coming into being; and His power over all things before their creation is the same as His power over them after their creation. From all eternity, God has possessed knowledge of all things and power over them. To Him belong the most beautiful names, both before and after; all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth and all that lies between them recites His praise. No god is there but He, the Powerful, the Beloved. Behold with the eyes of certitude how the gates of the religion of the Bayán have been arranged according to the number of All Things. In the shadow of each gate, by God’s permission, the angels that belong to the heavens and to the earth and to all that lies between, are bowing down, praising, sanctifying, glorifying, and magnifying Him, as they carry out their tasks on His behalf. On the day of the appearance of God, which is the appearance of the Point of the Bayán, all things shall return to Him when it draws to its close. And if blessed individuals to the number of All Things should return to Him, the fruit of all things will have been manifested in His presence. Blessed be he that is raised up on the Day of Resurrection before God, for God will welcome him from one of the gates of all things, inasmuch as he is the essence of that soul to which anyone who has believed in the Bayán shall return, on account of what he has performed in that gate. Wherefore, listen to that, then hasten, then hasten, then hasten, then hasten, for God is the swiftest of reckoners.

   If all the gates of all things should not appear before Him, then He will decree the return of the creation of the Bayán, and will fold up in His hand all the heavens that have been lifted up within it, just as in the Qur’án a multiplicity of gates without number were rendered even more numerous before those who believed in Him, and yet at the moment when God decreed the return of the creation of the Qur’án, there was no-one in His presence but a single individual, who becomes one of the gates of the decree of the Remembrance before Him. Thus God performs whatever He wishes and decrees whatever He desires. He shall not be asked of His doings, but all shall be asked of all that they do.

   At the moment when the creation of the Qur’án returned and the creation of all things in the Bayán commenced, the dwelling-place of the Point, who is the Manifestation of Lordship, was upon the Land of the name Basit. Whereupon, the heavens that had been raised up in the Qur’án were all folded up and returned to the Primal Point. None bears witness to that but God and he that is with Him, although He did not send down in the Qur’án any subject more important than that of the resurrection and its revelation. God is the Reckoner of the number of souls who had believed in the religion of the Qur’án. And at the moment of return, out of all these souls, there was only one soul in God’s presence, who became the number of All Things; and the creation of all things took place in a second creation at the command of God, the Exalted. Wherefore, watch over your souls, O people of the Bayán, lest you be veiled from God your Lord, though you desire day and night to sanctify yourselves.


hid 1, Báb 1

   In the first chapter of the number of All Things, the decree which God - praised be He and glorified - has rendered obligatory is the declaration: 'there is no god but God, truly, truly'. Wherefore, the whole of the Bayán shall return to this declaration, and the appearance of a new creation shall take place from it. The recognition of this declaration is conditional on recognition of the Point of the Bayán, which God has made the essence of the Letters of the Seven. Whoever realizes that he is the Point of the Qur’án in his end and the Point of the Bayán in his beginning, and that he is the Primal Will that exists in its own self, through whose decree all things are created and in whom they subsist, his essence has borne witness to the singleness of his Lord. But whoever has not believed in him is rejected and shall enter the fire. What fire is further removed than he who has not believed in him? And he who has believed shall enter into affirmation. What paradise is more exalted than the one who believes in him? It is a declaration that has praised and magnified and extolled and sanctified and glorified its Lord at morn and eventide.

   Regard not this declaration except as you look upon the sun in the heavens, and regard not him who believes in him except as you regard the mirror. Indeed, whosoever believes in the essence of the Letters of the Seven, his inner being shall be given assistance by one of the names of God, praised be He and glorified, and his outer being shall be a leaf among the leaves of the Tree of Affirmation. All things return to this one thing, and all things are created through this one thing. This one thing shall be, in the next resurrection, none other than he whom God shall manifest, who, in every degree, utters the words, 'Verily, I am God, no god is there beside Me, the Lord of all things. All save Me is my creation. Wherefore, O My Creation, worship Me!' And know that he is the mirror of God, from whom the mirror of the physical universe (mulk ) is rendered luminous, which is made up of the Letters of the Living. In him none can be seen except God Himself. Whoever in the Bayán utters the declaration, 'there is no god but God', turns towards God through him, for his creation began in him and to him his creation shall return.

   The fruit of this knowledge is that, at the time of the appearance of him whom God shall manifest, you should not say, 'we say "there is no god but God" and this is the basis of religion'. For what you say is but a reflection from his sun, which has shone forth in his first manifestation. He is more worthy of this declaration in his own self than are the realities of all created things, for if the mirror should say 'the sun is in me', it is evident to the sun that it is but its reflection speaking.

   O creation of the Bayán, we have caused you to know the exaltation of your existence in the declaration of your Lord, that you may not be veiled by the truth from him whom God shall manifest on the Day of Resurrection. That of which you speak resembles its appearance in your hearts and that concerning which he speaks. That it is to which God has borne witness in Himself, that there is no god but He, the Preserver, the Self-Subsistent. In this day, whoever in the Qur’án should utter this declaration, which is the essence of the faith, it cannot be doubted that he shall have uttered what Muhammad, the Messenger of God, uttered before this. The sun of this declaration was in his (Muhammad’s) heart, and its reflection shone forth in those who utter (that declaration) today. Wherefore, it returns to him in his second appearance, which is the appearance of the Point of the Bayán, not in his first appearance, for in his first revelation the tree of oneness had not been raised up in the realities of created beings. Now that one thousand two hundred and seventy years have passed, this tree has reached the stage of fruition. Everyone in whom there is a reflection of that sun of the Point of the Qur’án, which is identical with the Point of the Bayán, must needs be manifested before him.

   I have used as an example the highest declaration, upon which the faith of all men depends. The beginning of faith is confirmed through its utterance, and all speak it at the moment of death and finally return to it. Wherefore, the reflections of the mirrors return only to that in which they had their origin. If the mirror should remove that portion of the sun’s reflection that lies within it, it will return to it [the sun], for that is where it had its inception. Both its return and its going back exist in nothing but the limitation imposed upon it by being nothing more than a mirror.

   Since the exaltation of the word of the Qur’án in former times and the elevation of the word of the Bayán after it may be considered thus when face to face with the Sun of Reality, what is the state of those matters that are derived from that word, matters such as the recognition of God’s names, or those of the Prophet, the Imáms of Guidance, the Gates of Guidance, as well as secondary questions without number or end? Anyone who has been veiled by one of these things from the reality that isn the source of his existence, and unto which it returns, should he belong to the Tree of Affirmation and should the sign of his oneness be a token of the Sun, well and good; but, God forbid, should it not be a token of it, he would be unworthy of any mention.

   For how often did those individuals who associated themselves with the Qur’án issue decrees contrary to what God had revealed. This was mentioned with respect to their realities, not with regard to what is connected to the realities; for whatever connects itself to anything but God will return to the reality of that thing. And since its reality is not a token of God, it is not mentioned in His presence. But whatever is connected to true realities will return to them. If they are signs (naturally) situated within the mirrors of their own hearts and not (artificially) placed there, they will return to their own seats in the beginning and at the end. Since the sun has been shining from eternity, those mirrors have at all times been tokens of it; God’s grace has never been interrupted under any conditions, nor shall it ever come to an end.

   Whosoever says: 'God, God is my Lord, and I associate no-one with my Lord. The Essence of the Letters of the Seven is the Gate of God [bab Alláh], and I do not believe in any gate other than him'; (whoever says this) and believes in the one God shall manifest, such a man has attained to this first gate of the first unity. Blessed be they who have attained to the bounty of a mighty day, the day on which all shall bring themselves into the presence of God, their Lord.


hid 1, Báb 2

The Second Chapter of the First Unity

   The substance of this chapter is that Muhammad and the manifestations of his self have returned to the world. They were the first servants who presented themselves before God on the Day of Judgement and who, after confessing to His singleness, brought the verses of His Gate to all men. And God made them Imáms, according to His promise in the Qur’án: 'We desire to show Our bounty unto them that have been brought low upon the earth, and to make them Imáms and to render them the inheritors'.

   By that same proof whereby the prophethood of Muhammad was established in days gone by, his return to the world has been made clear in the eyes of God and those who possess knowledge. That proof consists of the verses of God, verses whose like cannot be produced by all who dwell on the earth. There can be no doubt that the honour of the servant consists in affirming the singleness of his Lord, in recognizing Him, in confessing to His justice, in obedience to Him, and in (obtaining) His good-pleasure. Nor is there any doubt that these holy souls attained to the essence of all exaltation and grandeur before all other men. For any being endowed with spirit who reflects will see no glory in anything except in the good- pleasure of God. There can be no doubt that they were the first lights to bow down before God, to accept the verses that had been sent down upon His Gate, and to spread them abroad among men. There is no exaltation higher than this in the world of creation, than for man’s heart to show the way to God, and for him to never to be veiled from his Beloved, even for so much as a ninth of a ninth of a tenth of a tenth of a ninth part.

   For whatever any soul may perform during its lifetime, it seeks for nothing but the good-pleasure of God, since that is the ultimate goal to which all things aspire. Nor can there be any doubt but that God’s good- pleasure is no revealed in anything but the contentment of that individual to whom God has given His proof. Nor can there be any doubt that these holy lights were content with God’s good-pleasure before anything else came into existence. This is the highest exaltation, above all other exaltation, and the most splendid elevation, above all other elevation. No doubt is there that their return in the second revelation is mightier in God’s sight that their first appearance in days gone by.

   In this day, the station of the Imám (wilaya ) is established by the very same thing that established the station of the Prophet in former days, even though the manifestation of the Point of the Bayán is absolutely identical with that of Muhammad, which has been brought back to life. Nevertheless, since he has appeared in the (form of the) revelation of God Himself, all the names beneath his shadow are God’s tokens, for he is the First and the Last, the Outward and the Inward, and the Beautiful Names belong to him. In this dispensation (kur ), God has singled out their names as the Letters of the Living, for there were fourteen holy souls, as well as the hidden and guarded name, which is known by the names of the Four Gates, or the Lights of the Throne, or the Bearers of Creation, Sustenance, Death, and Life. All of these together form the number of 'the Living' (hayy ), who were the nearest of the Names to God.

   All others were guided by their guidance, for God started the creation of the Bayán through them, and through them He shall cause it to return. They were the lights that bowed themselves down from all eternity before God’s Throne, and they are still there in prostration. In every revelation, they have been known to God by a (different) name, and in every revelation their physical names have been altered. But the names of their real selves, which are God’s tokens, which are manifest in their hearts, and without which they would be unable to present themselves before God in the nearness of their realities, have ever been and continue to be (exactly the same). God possesses Names infinite and without end, but all things have been illumined by these names, for all things are guided by their guidance. Within the hearts of these names, nothing but God can be seen; indeed, within the heart of any believer whatsoever, be it man or woman, nothing can be seen but that name through which the heart receives assistance from God, and in that name nothing can be seen but God and God alone, except that creation and command are His, in the past and in the future. No God is there save He, the Living, the Self-Subsisting. Every soul who has been a believer in Muhammad or in someone other than him, has returned in his shadow. Each one shall have his reward for what he has done. God is witness over all things.


hid 1, Báb 3

The Third Chapter of the First Unity

   Concerning this, that ‘Alí has returned to the world, together with those who believed in him and those who believed in someone else. He was the second to believe in the Point, after the Letter Sin. The Fourth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that Fatimah has returned to the life of the world, with those who believed in her, and those who believed in someone else. The Fifth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that Hasan has returned to the life of the world, with those who believed in him, and those who believed in someone else. The Sixth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that Husayn has returned to the life of the world, with those who believed in him, and those who believed in someone else. The Seventh Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that ‘Alí ibn al-Husayn has returned to the life of the world, with those who believed in him, and those who believed in someone else. The Eighth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that Muhammad ibn ‘Alí has returned to the life of the world, with those who believed in him, and those who believed in someone else. The Ninth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that Ja'far ibn Muhammad has returned to the life of the world, with those who believed in him, and those who believed in someone else. The Tenth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that Musa ibn Ja'far has returned to the life of the world, with those who believed in him, and those who believed in someone else. The Eleventh Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that ‘Alí ibn Musa has returned to the life of the world, with those who believed in him, and those who believed in someone else. The Twelfth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that Muhammad ibn ‘Alí has returned to the life of the world, with those who believed in him, and those who believed in someone else. The Thirteenth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that ‘Alí ibn Muhammad has returned to the life of the world, with those who believed in him, and those who believed in someone else. The Fourteenth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that Hasan ibn ‘Alí has returned to the life of the world, with those who believed in him, and those who believed in someone else. The Fifteenth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that His Holiness the Proof has appeared with signs and explanations in the revelation of the Point of the Bayán, which is identical to the revelation of the Point of the Qur’án, although the Point of the Bayán was mentioned in the first place and that of the Qur’án in the second, while the revelation of His Holiness was mentioned in the fifteenth chapter.

   The hidden meaning of this is that the Point, in the station of absolute nakedness, which is the pure revelation of God, in which it manifests itself as God [in person], was mentioned in the first station; and in the station of determination, which is the Primal Will, it was mentioned in the second station; and in the station of rising up above all souls, which is the special privilege of the fourteenth revelation, it was mentioned in the fifteenth station.

   But the Point itself has ever been and shall ever be in the station of primacy, and is more worthy of the mention of all names than are the names themselves. For example, when the name of divinity exists, there also exists that of lordship and all the (other names), despite the fact that appearance in the name of divinity has always been and shall always be mentioned in the station of the Point. The likenesses of all the names appear in the elevation of their own places.

   Wherefore, He is the First at the same time that He is the Last, and He is the Hidden at the same time He is the Manifest, and He it is Who is mentioned by every name at the same time as He is not mentioned by any name. No god is there but He, the One Who arises, the Self-Subsisting. The Sixteenth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that the First Gate has returned to the world with every one who believed in him, whether truly or not. The Seventeenth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that the Second Gate has returned to the world with every one who believed in him, whether truly or not. The Eighteenth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that the Third Gate has returned to the world with every one who believed in him, whether truly or not. The Nineteenth Chapter of the First Unity Concerning this, that the Fourth Gate has returned to the world with every one who believed in him, whether truly or not.


hid 2, Báb 1

The First Chapter of the Second Unity

   In explanation of the recognition of the Proof and the Evidence The substance of this chapter is that God, the Knowing, glorified be His station, sends down His Proof in every dispensation according to whatever is the highest degree of exaltation wherein the people of that dispensation pride themselves. Thus, for example, in the time when the Qur’án was sent down, all prided themselves in eloquent speech. God, therefore, revealed the Qur’án in the highest degree of eloquence and made it the miracle of His Prophet. In the Qur’án, God has not established the truth of His Prophet or of the religion of Islám by any means other than its verses, which are the mightiest of explanations.

   The proof of their might is that all men speak using the letters of the alphabet, whereas God, the Knowing, sent down the words of the Qur’án in such a manner that, if all that are on earth were to gather together, desiring to produce a single verse with which to confront the verses of the Qur’án, they would be unable to do so and would all remain powerless.

   The hidden reason for this is that God sent down the Qur’án from the Tree of His Will, which is the Reality of Muhammad, by the Prophet’s own tongue. That inaccessible Tree does no cause a single word to descend unless it takes the spirit from it at the moment of its descent. Thus, for, example, should He reveal the words We have originated that creation through a command from Our own Self. We are, indeed, powerful over all things, the mention of 'origination' refers to whatever may be called by the name of 'all things'; for none save God can encompass all things, in that His Word is the protector of all things, and by it all things are originated.

   It is the same if God should reveal the words We shall cause that creation to return, as a promise binding upon Us; We are, indeed, Mighty over all things, for, at the time of their revelation, the spirits of the return of all things are taken away in the manifestation of this verse, in order that they may appear before God on the Day of Resurrection, that the return of all things may be rendered true. None but God is capable of achieving this, for whatever God utters from the Tree of Reality, the true self of that thing is brought into being. Should it be non-paradisical, it will become a letter of negation; but if it should be one of the letters of paradise, it will become a letter of affirmation. For the Word of God is true.

   Wherefore was it revealed previously that 'hell is a reality, and paradise is a reality'. The explanation of the creation of the spirit of the word 'reality' has been given in its proper place.

   Whoever ponders upon that will see with certainty that the true spirits are realized in their essences through the appearance of the Primal Point in the verses of God within the realities of the souls and the horizons, as was mentioned by God before this in the Qur’án, in the verse We shall show them Our signs in the horizons and in their souls, that it may be made clear to them that He is the Truth. So long as anyone fails to behold the inner reality of all things, which is the spirit of his own heart, he shall not attain to an understanding of the holy words the word of God is the truth, since it is by the (mere) mention of the word that the reality is realized within the inner being of the thing. This refers to God alone, exalted and glorified be He, for none but He is a creator of anything, or a sustainer of anything, or a slayer of anything, or a vivifier of anything.

   Any word through which, in the realm of His dominion, negation is negated or affirmation affirmed, will be resurrected in the shadow of whatever He has sent down of His verses. Nay, those words are not in their essences anything but what is manifested from the manifestations of God’s verses and His words. For, at the moment when God mentions a believer, his creation takes place through the medium of that act of mentioning. And at the moment when He sends down the non-paradisical letters, the creation of their spirits takes place through the medium of that revelation. This is the secret behind the fact that God’s verses are a proof for all created things, and that they are the mightiest of explanations and the greatest of revelations affirming His power and His knowledge.

   No doubt is there that, in the dispensation of the Point of the Bayán, the intellectuals prided themselves on the science of divine unity, the subtleties of gnosis, and the exalted matters taught by the Imáms. For this reason, God, the Knowing, placed the proof [of the Báb], like that of the Prophet of God, within the verses themselves. There streamed forth from his tongue words concerning the exaltation of divine unity and the elevation of divine singleness, before which everyone possessed of the spirit of oneness bowed down, except for those who has failed to comprehend that concerning which he had spoken about with his Beloved. And limitless philosophical and scientific explanations appeared from him, whose number is known and understood by God alone.

   The Sun of Reality is, in itself, the director of the affairs of all contingent beings, from the elevation of its own understanding; and yet, through the words and verses that God has placed within it, it draws all things to the light of its own utterances. Does He have a peer, that He may be comprehended? Or a rival, that He may be described through him? Or a likeness, that he may be compared to it? Or a partner, that He may be associated with him? Or a resemblance, that He may be likened to it? Exalted be He above that, in the height of exaltation. For nothing may be seen in Him but God, and we are all His worshippers.

   In this dispensation, God, the Knowing, has bestowed his verses and explanations upon the Point of the Bayán, and made him the exalted Proof for all things. Should all that are on earth gather together, they would be unable to produce a single verse like the verses which God has caused to flow from his tongue. Everyone possessed of spirit who considers with the eye of certitude will see that these verses are not within the capacity of a human being, but are, on the contrary, attributable solely to God, the One, the Single, He Who causes them to flow upon the tongue of anyone He pleases. He has never caused such verses to flow, nor will He ever make them flow, from anyone but the Point of the Divine Will, for He it is Who has despatched every Messenger and sent down every holy book.

   If this had been something that could have been manifested by the power of a human being, someone would have brought forth a verse from the time of the revelation of the Qur’án until the time of the revelation of the Bayán - a period of one thousand, two hundred, and seventy years. But, even though all men desired to extinguish God’s word with the exaltation of their own power, they were powerless and were incapable of doing so.

   In this day, if anyone ponders closely, he will certainly see that, from the beginning of the revelation of the Bayán to this moment, those who have confessed to the evidentiary nature of the verses, and who have carried them to all men, have been the proofs of God. Although it was not evident that they were proofs, the exaltation of their understanding is not hidden from anyone. For the lowliest student of the late Siyyid trod underfoot the most exalted of the scholars and philosophers upon the face of the earth. There can be no doubt in the mind of anyone concerning the elevation of the piety of those men who have recognized the evidentiary nature of the verses, whether they belonged to this school or not.

   This is mentioned only in view of the weakness of men. Otherwise, the testimony borne by God can never be compared with that of all that are on earth. And there can be no doubt but that the testimony of God is only manifested through the testimony of that individual whom He makes His Proof. The testimony of the verses themselves is sufficient proof of the inadequacy of all that are on earth, for this is a proof that will remain constant on the part of God until the Day of Resurrection.

   Should anyone consider the revelation of this Tree, he will without doubt testify to the exaltation of the cause of God, inasmuch as, for someone of twenty-four years of age and devoid of those branches of learning in which others are well-versed, to receive verses in this manner, with neither thought nor hesitation, and to write one thousand verses of devotions in the space of five hours, without lifting his pen from the page, and to reveal Quranic commentaries and scientific treatises in the highest degrees of gnosis and divine unity, when the divines and philosophers have confessed their inability to comprehend these matters, is unquestionably entirely the work of God. To what a degree do scholars who, from the beginning to the end of their lives, have exercised independent reasoning, take care over the writing of a single line of Arabic; yet, when all is said and done, their words are not fit to be mentioned.

   All of this is for the sake of providing evidence to men. Otherwise, God’s cause is too glorious and too exalted to be recognized through anything but itself. Indeed, all other things are themselves recognized through it. I swear by the essence of God, Who was and is alone in His singleness, that His words are brighter than the light of the sun at mid-day, and the words of those who have been guided by the exaltation of His guidance, should they attain to the highest rank of knowledge and understanding, are like the stars in the night.

   Nay, I ask forgiveness of God for such a suggestion. How can the ocean of eternity be grasped through the ocean of temporal existence, and how can the mention of the First be known through the mention of limitations? Praised be God and exalted be He above all the references that are made to Him within the kingdom of the earth and the heavens. All such references have been made with regard for the limited degrees of created things. Otherwise, this is what will be advanced as a proof on the Day of Resurrection (to come), just as the same proof was advanced in this Resurrection. When God asked by the tongue of His Tongue, 'Whose Book is the Qur’án?', all those who believed in it said. 'it is the Book of God'. They were then asked, 'can you see any difference between the Qur’án and the Bayán?', and those possessed of hearts replied, 'No, by God! Both are from God. None but those possessed of clear vision shall take heed.'

   God, the Knowing, then revealed these words: 'The first (of these two books) was My word sent down by the tongue of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, and the second is My word sent down by the tongue of the Essence of the Seven Letters, the Gate of God. Whosoever has believed in the first has no choice but to believe in the second, if he wishes to remain constant in faith. He must either believe in these verses or render his own reality and his own deeds valueless, as on the day when nothing was mentioned before God.' He then revealed the following: 'O My creatures, you strive to the full extent of your ability from the beginning to the end of your lives in order to attain to My good-pleasure. If you perform any secondary act, it is because I Myself revealed it in My Book. And if you have believed in the Imáms of Guidance, or have sought nearness to Me by visiting their graves, it is because their names have been sent down in cipher in the Qur’án.

   'If you testify to the prophethood of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, it is because he was My Messenger. And if you circumambulate the Ka‘bah, it is because I called it My House. And if you hold the Qur’án in esteem, it is because it is My Word. Whatever action a man performs, even though he be of the community of Adam (the first Prophet), it is necessarily performed because of his relationship to Me, as he has understood within himself. Yet now he has become veiled, and has imagined things that are contrary to reality, and has failed to recognize My subsequent manifestations. For there is nothing whatever whose decree does not return to this human temple, which has been created at My command. And that temple returns by decrees until it reaches My Prophet. And My Prophet is only confirmed by a Book sent down on Him and a Proof granted unto him.

   'Today, which is the Day of My revelation, in which I have appeared in person - and this mention of "in person" is like the mention of the word "Ka’bah", which I called "My House"; otherwise, My Essence has neither beginning nor end, manifestation nor concealment - yes, today, whatever returns to this personage who recites My verses on My behalf, shall return to Me. And whatever fails to return to him, shall not return to Me. This is My appearance in My own person and My concealment in My own Essence. For anything else is impossible in the realm of contingent being, nor can anything more exalted than this be expressed in words.

   'How veiled you are, O creatures, that all of you imagine you enjoy My good-pleasure, through your relationship to me in your own places. Yet the Sign that is My token and that recites by My permission the verses of My power, whose treasuries are his true nature, you have unjustly placed upon a mountain, none of whose inhabitants is fit to be spoken of. With him - that is to say, with Me - there is only one other person , who is one of the Letters of the Living of My Book, and in front of him - that is to say, in front of Me - there burns in the night but a single lamp. Yet in the seats that by degrees return to him, innumerable lamps are shining, while all that are on earth, who were created for his sake, enjoy his benefits, although they are veiled from him to the extent of a single lamp.

   'Thus do I bear witness in this day against My creatures, for the testimony of any other than Myself counts for nothing in My sight. There is no higher paradise for My creatures than that they should appear before Me and believe in My verses. Nor is any hellfire fiercer than the veiling of these creatures from the manifestation of My self or their failure to believe in My verses. If you should ask how he speaks on My behalf - do you not behold My verses? Are you no ashamed to repeat what you said in former days concerning My Book (the Qur’án)? And yet you have seen that My Book was confirmed and that today you are all believers in Me because of it. You shall soon see that your glory would reside in your belief in these verses, but today, when the demonstration of faith would benefit your souls, you have remained veiled by what neither benefits nor harms.

   'No harm has befallen, nor can any befall the manifestation of My self. Any harm that has befallen and that shall befall (him) shall (in reality) return to your own souls. Have pity on yourselves, and soar into that heaven wherein you imagine My good-pleasure resides. While My good-pleasure has been realized through that proof whereby the religion of all men is confirmed, you have remained veiled by them that associate themselves with the Qur’án. I swear by My own holy Essence that there is no higher paradise for these creatures than my revelation and My verses, no is there any hellfire fiercer than being veiled from Me and My verses.

   'If you should say, "our failure has not been demonstrated conclusively to us," why don't you travel the earth from East to West (and see the evidence)? And yet these words of Mine are meaningless, for in this day the truth of all that is on earth is referred back to the decree of Islám. So, if the eloquent among (the people of) this decree have failed, it proves that all other men must have failed as well.

   'If they should say, "We have not failed", why do they not produce a single verse resembling Our verses, out of innate capacity, and not through study or by stealing from one another? Although they ought to reveal whatever lies within them, alongside each and every truth, to the same degree demonstrated by the magicians in Moses’s day, yet, God be praised, from the beginning of the revelation till now, not even that much has been manifested by the learned men of this religion. They themselves claim that they are soaring in the heights of God’s good-pleasure, whereas they are, in fact, veiled from that which confirms God through the verses of His power. This alone is sufficient to disgrace the divines of Islám, that, with respect to Islám, they show forth the learning of that faith, yet remain veiled from him whose word is its confirmation.

   'Had they been content with their own condition of being wrapped in veils; had they done injustice to no other souls; and had they not decreed things that had not been sent down in the Qur’án - they would have cast nobody but themselves into hell. But both they and those that have considered them the learned ones of Islám, indeed all men, have been and still are veiled from God’s revelation. Yet the punishment of these others shall fall upon them too. Had they pondered upon the verses of God, they would have recognized their own powerlessness, and, in that case, neither the king of Islám nor they that dwelt beneath his shadow would have been content to be veiled from the truth, for the glory of all men resides in following the truth. Had the divines not caused them to go astray, matters would not have reached this point, for there can be no doubt that, in the end, God shall manifest the truth unto all men through His proof.

   'Thus, in this day, should someone who associates himself with Islám, whether he be a state official of a divine, wish to confirm the evidentiary nature of the verses, he may do so in the twinkling of an eye. For, if he possesses the power to do so, he is capable of summoning all the divines together (in one place) and saying to them: "I remained veiled from him who is the Possessor of Verses, on account of your decrees. Now let the matter be put to the test: either you should produce a book yourselves, to compare with his verses. Or, if you are incapable of doing so, you should be content with the following verse, written in this connection: Praise be to Thee, O my God! You are the King of Kings. You grant dominion to anyone you wish, and you take it away from anyone you wish. You glorify anyone you wish, and you abase anyone you wish. You make victorious anyone you wish, and you bring defeat on anyone you wish. You bestow wealth on anyone you wish, and you cast into poverty anyone you wish. You make manifest anyone you wish to anyone you wish. In your grasp is the kingdom of all things. You create whatever you wish by your command. You are, indeed, All-Knowing, Mighty, and Powerful.

   'Speak as he has spoken, by your innate nature. And write as he has written, without hesitation and without lifting your pen from the page. But, if you cannot do so, that proves that what you have done was done unjustly, and that the Possessor of these verses is a truth from God. There is no doubt that God has sent these verses down on him, just as he sent them down (previously) on His Prophet. Verses like these have now been spread about among men to the number of one hundred thousand, apart from his epistles and prayers, or his scientific and philosophical treatises. Within the space of five hours, one thousand verses are revealed by him, or else he dictates the verses of God as fast as the scribe beside him can write them down. You may use this as a basis on which to calculate just how many of his writings would have been distributed by now, had he been given the liberty to do so.

   'If you should say that these verses are not, in themselves, any sort of proof, take a look at the Qur’án. Were it the case that God demanded anything but the verses (of that book) as a means of proving the prophethood of His Messenger, then you might well hesitate when it comes to these verses. But, on the contrary, God revealed the following words:

   Only those who have disbelieved in Him dispute God’s verses. Do not let their sudden fortune in the land catch you out. The people of Noah and then the Confederates cried 'lies!' before them; and every people plotted against its prophet in order to take violent hold of him, and they disputed (with him) by means of falsehood, hoping that they might refute the truth. So, I laid hold of them, and how great was My punishment! Thus was the truth of the Word of your Lord brought home to those who did not believe. They are now residing in hell.

   'And He has also revealed the following verse, regarding the self- sufficiency of the Book: Is it not enough for them that We have sent the Book down upon you, that it may be recited to them? It contains a mercy, as well as a warning for people who believe. Since God has testified that the self-sufficiency of the Book consists in the verses in and of themselves, how can anyone say that the evidentiary nature of the Book is not an adequate proof of its truth?

   'If someone should repeat what the people of former days said about the verses, there are two possibilities. It may be that he is not setting out to establish the truth at all; in that case, no proof will have any effect on him whatsoever, just as God has revealed: If they saw every sign they would not believe in one of them or, again, Those against whom the Word of your Lord has come to pass will never believe, not even if every sign reached them, until they catch sight of the severe punishment (that awaits them).

   'If, on the other hand, he merely wants to be cautious in matters of religion - something which is quite understandable - than, in what statement will they believe, if not in God and His verses? Either such a person should come in person and ask whatever he wants about any subject, to be answered in the form of verses, so that he may hear for himself how the Source does not hesitate and does not compose artificially and does not consciously the order of the words he writes. Or he should send someone else, in order to sit with him [i.e. the Báb] for an hour and write down whatever he recites of God’s verses, after which he may ponder on them until it is clear to him that they have not been put together by conscious thought or deliberate ordering of words, one after the other. If this had taken place from the beginning of the Islámic faith until the present day, it would have occurred with respect to the Qur’án, and from the beginning of this revelation until today someone would have challenged me in precisely this way.

   'Should someone criticize my use of vocalization or textual readings or Arabic grammar, I would reject their criticism. For such (grammatical) rules are based on the verses, not vice versa. It cannot be doubted that he has rejected for himself all such rules and the learning that is based on them. Indeed, in the eyes of thinking people, no proof is greater than being ignorant of such rules, when ignorance is combined with the ability to reveal such words and verses as these. This is because the fruit of these sciences is (real) understanding of God’s Book, although it is quite unnecessary for the Tree on which the Book of God in person has alighted to have the slightest knowledge of them.

   'On the contrary, all the grammatical rules and the systems of vocalization are established by what God has revealed. How many individuals there are who have acquired every conceivable form of learning, even though their faith (in God) is established through their faith in His verses, since the fruit of learning is to know the laws of God and nothing else, provided such knowledge is combined with conformity to His good-pleasure. For, if the sciences (of Arabic grammar and syntax) were capable of bearing fruit purely by themselves, there would be more experts in that field among the Arabs than among the (Persian-speaking) Iranians, wherever the fact is that the former lack any real distinction in this area. Indeed, distinction consists in obtaining God’s good-pleasure, in knowing the nature of divine unity, and in dwelling beneath the shadow of His obedience and good-pleasure.

   'There is no doubt that whatever they accomplish between Him and themselves, they have no aim other than to make themselves pleasing to Him. And yet few are aware of His good-pleasure, with the exception of those who are informed of the good-pleasure of him who is His Proof [i.e. the Báb]. In this day, God’s good-pleasure is confined to that of His Proof and of them who dwell in his shadow. Although other men imagine they are guided, yet whatever God bears witness to endures, whereas whatever is done by those who do not follow the divine command will become as nothing.

   'In the same way that mention is still made in this day of those people who called the Qur’án a lie in the early days of Islám, including Christian monks and the eloquent among the Arabs, in this day the mention of those who are shut out as though by a veil will also endure. Today, no-one can perform a more profitable action for himself than to look justly on the verses of the Bayán, so he may see the truth of God with the eye of certainty and may not remain veiled from the presence of the manifestation, whose presence is equivalent to the presence of God, and whose good-pleasure is God’s good-pleasure. For all men have been created to this end, even as God has revealed: God it is Who has raised up the heavens without visible pillars, then seated Himself upon the Throne, and ....... the sun and the moon, that each of them may run to an appointed decree. He controls the affair and makes clear the verses, that you may be sure of meeting your Lord (Qur’án ). No doubt is there that any mirror that should be placed in front of the sun will light up (with its reflection); otherwise the sun itself rises and sets again.

   'The glory of all beings lies in their attainment to the fruit of their own existence - and that is for them to reach God’s presence and to have faith in His verses. Otherwise, anything is worthless in itself. It is this very tree that planted the tree of the Qur’án in the hearts of mankind for the sake of this day; today all men pride themselves in it and glory in their relationship to it - yet they are doing what they are doing. This is the meaning of the words: No power nor strength is there save in God (Qur’án ) in the holy religion; otherwise, if men were to divest themselves of this relationship - a relationship which actually has no reality - they would not have as much as the strength of a housefly. This is sufficient disgrace for those who are shut out as though by a veil, who commit what they commit by asserting this (spurious) relationship to Him, and who, instead of attaining to the fruit of their existence - which in this day means coming to his assistance [nusrat-i-amr ] - have failed to help him at all.

   'Indeed, they are not content with their failure to render him aid, for had they been content with that, this Tree would never have been placed upon this mountain. God is sufficient for all His servants. He shall issue a decisive decree, and His decree is that self-same decree that has been made manifest at this moment in these words, that shall distinguish until the Day of Resurrection between them that have turned towards Him and them that have failed to do so. Whatsoever things God decrees shall come to pass. He is the Best of Helpers and the Best of Protectors, the Best of Guardians and the Best of Judges.'


hid 2, Báb 2

The Second Chapter of the Second Unity

   Concerning this, that none shall comprehend fully what God has sent down in the Bayán, except those whom He wishes The substance of this chapter is that no-one shall grasp what God has revealed in the Bayán except him whom He shall manifest or him to whom He has given knowledge. This is just like the Tree from which the Bayán sprang forth [i.e. the Qur’án], for, were all the oceans of the heavens and the earth to become ink and were all things pens and all souls enumerators, even then they would be unable to provide an adequate interpretation of a single word from among all the words of the Bayán, for God has created neither a beginning nor an ending for any of His words.

   None is permitted to interpret what God has sent down in the Bayán, other than to relate all the letters of paradise to him whom God shall manifest or to his Letters of the Living, and all the letters of hellfire to the gates of his inferno. For all the letters of paradise shall be resurrected beneath his shadow while all the letters of hell shall be raised up again in the shadow of rejection. What has gone before resembles what is yet to come: there is no alteration in the Cause of God, just as what preceded what went before resembles what shall follow that which is yet to come.

   The whole Qur’án was one hundred and fourteen suras, and every six suras were sent down according to the exaltation of the station of each letter of the letter 'In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate' [Bism Alláh al-Rahman al-Rahim ]. Thus, the first six suras were from the Point and the last six from the mim [?], and all the letters of paradise return unto these nineteen manifestations, while the letters of hell return to the nineteen manifestations of the gates of hell, just as all the gates of hell return to their first gate, in the same manner that all the gates of paradise return to their first gate - for all of them are joined together in the phrase 'No god is there but God' (la ilaha illa 'lláh ]: whatever belongs to the letters of hell is connected to the (words of) rejection [i.e. la ilaha ], and whatever belongs to the letters of paradise is connected to the (words of) affirmation [i.e. illa 'lláh ]. All the letters of hell in the Qur’án were extinguished in the shadow of the first gate of hell, and all the letters of paradise in the Qur’án endured in the shadow of the word of affirmation. Thus does God cause to perish whatever He wills and thus does He cause to endure whatever He wishes. He, indeed, is Powerful, Mighty, and Strong.

   It is not permissible to interpret the Bayán other than in accordance with the interpretation given by its Tree [i.e. the Báb]. All its goodly words may be fittingly applied to the lights of the hearts of them that believe in it, while all its letters of hell may be construed as referring to the realities of those who do not believe in it.

   The Bayán has ever been and ever will be like the soul of a man who is alive; and all its letters of light and fire provide explanations of (what is in) the horizons and the souls of men. Thus, in this day, whoever wishes to make distinction [tamyiz dahad ] is able to do so, since this is the day of the appearance of God; but once the Tree has been uprooted [i.e. after the Báb’s death] no-one shall be able to distinguish (matters) in accordance with their reality, other than in the outward sense. He in whom the limits of God are no numbered [?] belongs to the letters of paradise, and he in whom they are numbered belongs to the letters of hell, that God may cause all created things to rejoice in that through the appearance of His own Self on the Day of Resurrection. Wherefore, the Point of the Bayán shall not decree at its end according to what was decreed at its beginning. Whoso believes in it is one of the letters of paradise. And whoso does no believe in it is one of the letters of hell. God shall distinguish in truth between them both. He, indeed, is the best of distinguishers.

   Matters have reached the point where there shall be no further mention of the letters of hell, except in the pages of the Book. The Tree of Negation imagines itself to be one of the Letters of Paradise and curses itself, all the time unaware that it is doing so. (Things shall continue like this) until the Sun of Truth rises up; at that moment, his lack of true faith shall be revealed, for whoever lives during that resurrection shall see things with the eye of certitude. This is similar to the way in which all men in this day say 'we are believers in God and in the verses of the Qur’án', whereas the Tree of Truth who actually sent the Qur’án down, dwells on this mountain with only a single companion.

   Thus, at the time of the reappearance of the Sun of Truth, its realities have been uncovered and the veils that concealed it have been raised. Men who have had no thought other than to obtain the good-pleasure of God have issued decrees for actions that the pen is ashamed to mention, all directed against the Treasury of the divine good-pleasure, through whom alone God’s good-pleasure is shown to men. Wherefore, O men of insight, take heed and fear God’s command.


hid 2, Báb 3

The Third Chapter of the Second Unity

   In explanation of what is in the Bayán, there being within it the decree of all things.

   The substance of this chapter is that God provides two proofs for all men: the divine verses and the individual to whom those verses are revealed. The first proof endures and remains visible until the Day of resurrection, whereas the second is only manifest as long as the period of revelation lasts; during the period of concealment he is a proof unto all things while remaining known to no-one.

   From the time of the setting of the sun, he has witnesses who guide men unto the abiding proof, which is the word of God [Bayán], so that they may act as proofs through his utterance until the day of his reappearance. But woe to them if, when he appears to them again, they should be veiled from the one for whom they acted as proofs. Even so, in this day, the divines have regarded themselves as arbitrators (hakam ) on behalf of the Imám, according to the words of one of the Imáms: consider whosoever relates our traditions ; and they attribute to themselves unworthy names. Yet, if they were sincere in what they say, they would not have been veiled from the one through whose word both the Imámate and the rank of Prophet have been confirmed. But, since they saw that the appearance of the truth conflicted with their position - according to the relationship which they themselves have decreed and which they have assigned to themselves - they went so far as to issue a decree against God, even though God has not revealed in the Qur’án anything more terrible than the one who was mentioned by the verses of God and yet turned aside from them.

   No doubt is there that the verses of God are verses that shine forth from this Tree, for the Eternal Essence has ever existed in His state of singleness, whereas the verses are a matter for creativity, which is the work of the Primal Will, in whom none can be seen save God alone. Although, in his day men do not look upon the verses of God, yet before long these same verses shall be recited in the most exalted manner and Bayáns worth one thousand mithqals of gold shall be written; men shall pride themselves thereon and regard themselves as related to God.

   In the same way, the Qur’án was revealed over a period of twenty-three years, yet there was no-one to write down the original text, until the Prince of the Believers wrote it on the shoulder blades of sheep and other available tablets (alwah-i mumkina), as is mentioned in the Tradition of the Cloak. And today one may see how innumerable Qur’áns are written, in values ranging from one thousand thousand (alf alf) to one thousand dinars, just as printed copies at this price are in the possession of most people. This is the limit of created beings (hadd-i khalq) in the eyes of God.

   No doubt is there that God has made distinctions between all things in the most high degree, according to the abiding proof. Whosoever should say that there is something whose decree has not been revealed in the Bayán according to its proper state and station, such a man has, without any shadow of a doubt, failed to believe in it. For all things fall into one or two categories : they are either mentioned in the category of rejection or in that of affirmation. Whatever God does not like returns to the former and whatever He likes returns to the latter. Every false name is mentioned in the first, and every true name in the second. This is the pivot round which all things form in the Bayán. Whoever testifies unto that, let him also bear witness that we have not neglected anything therein. God, indeed, encompasses all things.

   There is no condition in which God has not decreed for the silent book a speaking book. The latter would not exist but for the former, nor would the former exist but for the latter. He that does not transgress what is in the silent book, he is the speaking book. And the speaking book is he whom God shall manifest, unto whom all things return. If any man should refrain from passing beyond the limits set down in the Bayán, he is a servant who has obeyed him and who is a witness on his behalf before his appearance. But when he appears, faith shall be removed from all who possess it, save whomsoever believes in him. And if faith be cut off, how will testimony remain for men that are witnesses? For bearing witness is itself but an offshoot of faith. Wherefore, fear God, O witnesses, lest you should pass judgement against your Lord, even as they that are witnesses on behalf of the Qur’án passed judgement against me. Whoever passes judgement against me has but passed judgement against God his Lord. For such as here, God has but a ninth of a ninth of a tenth of a tenth of a goodly mention. Such are the transgressors.


hid 2, Báb 4

The Fourth Chapter of the Second Unity

   In explanation of the mention of the Letters of Paradise and the Letters of Hell. The substance of this chapter is that God has not sent down any letter other than with its own spirit, which is connected to it. It is for this reason that the believer rejoices in the mention of paradise and the good-pleasure of God, but is depressed by the mention of hell and God’s displeasure. And this is to such a degree that you might say the first (mention) is a cause of pleasure and the second a cause of pain.

   All the words that God has sent down in the Bayán fall into two categories : They either belong to the words of paradise or to those of hell. The spirits of the former are in paradise, while those of the latter are in the fire. All the letters of hell return to the phrase 'there is no God', whereas all the letters of paradise return to the words ’save Him'. In the same way, all the letters of hell originated from the first phrase, whereas all the letters of paradise had their origin in the second. From eternity, the former have been raised up in the highest seats of paradise, while the latter have disappeared beneath the dust.

   Similarly, if in this day someone should look upon the origin of the Tree of the Qur’án, he shall behold with certainty how the five letters of negation disappeared beneath the dust - these being the first, second, third, fourth and fifth. And how the five letters that lead unto affirmation were raised up in the highest place in paradise, these being Muhammad, ‘Alí, Fatimah, Hasan, and Husayn.

   When the five words of fire are broken down into their separate letters, they are nineteen, as God has revealed: 'Over it are nineteen' (Qur’án 74:30). In the same way, when the letters of the five names are split up, they make up the number of unity (i.e. 19). Just as the letters of hell return to this word, so do all the letters of paradise return to the word of affirmation.

   God, the Knowing, has created negation and decreed the fire for it, and He has created affirmation and decreed paradise for it. For negation does not give any indication of Him, whereas affirmation does. This refers to the bring into being of negation and affirmation within the natural realm (takwin); their existence in the realm of religion (tadwin) is on the same basis.

   Whatever branched out from the word of negation has on the Day of Resurrection, returned unto it. All the letters of hell, together with the spirits attached to them, have been raised up in the shadow of that same word. In like manner, all that has branched out from the word of affirmation has, on the Day of Resurrection, returned into it, and all the letters of paradise and the spirits attached to them have been raised up in its shadow. Whatever individual has entered into negation, shall remain in the divine fire until the day of him whom God shall manifest. But whoever has dwelt in the shadow of affirmation shall remain in the divine paradise until the day of him whom God shall manifest.

   The exaltation of the servant consists in paying heed to what branches forth from these two words, how the one is endlessly made as nothing, and how the other is endlessly raised up. The proof of God is the same for both, for His verses are made clear to both. The manifestations of negation having failed to accept them, they have been rejected, and the manifestations of affirmation having accepted them, they have been brought to dwell in the shadow of affirmation. No fire is fiercer than a manifestation of the word of negation, nor is any paradise greater than a manifestation of affirmation, for the letters of hell circle about the former, while the letters of paradise turn around the latter until all shall return to him whom God shall manifest on the day of his appearance. Those that accept him shall belong to paradise, and if not, to hell. Blessed be he that clings to the cord of God and relies upon his Lord, that he may not enter into hell, but may come into paradise by his Lord’s permission. That, indeed, is the mighty grace.

   It is for this reason that, when a servant recites the letter of paradise he is made content, for their spirits attach themselves unto him. This is the highest paradise of them that render God’s praise, them that sanctify Him, them that proclaim His unity, them that magnify Him, and them that extol His greatness. But if a servant should recite the letters of hell, he wishes for God’s justice to descend upon them, for their spirits may attach themselves to him. He must take refuge at such times in God, glorified be His name, that he may be protected from their spirits. For everyone whom God in the Qur’án has promised paradise on the Day of Resurrection, He has caused to return to the tree of His love, which is the highest of the ranks of paradise, where they may attain unto His good-pleasure and take delight in conferring to His singleness. Whereas everyone whom God has promised hell, He has caused to return to the word of negation, wherein they have tasted their punishment, for there is no torment greater than to be shut out as by a veil from God and from faith in Him. But there is no paradise greater than belief in God and His verses.

   Should anyone possessed of insight behold, he will see how the people of paradise have preceded the rest into heaven, even though their food was no more than the leaf of a tree; whereas the people of hell have entered therein by their own consent, bringing with them those things (shu'un) in which they benefited from the word of negation, in which they pride themselves, and by which they are tormented in the fire, although they are unaware of that. Even as God has revealed: 'they eat a fire within their own interiors'. (Qur’án) In this way, the letters of hell return to their own spirits, while the letters of paradise return to theirs.

   There is no-one but that, should he mention the letter of paradise, the spirits of the angels connected to them shall at that moment, gaze upon him and bless him on behalf of God. But when someone mentions the letters of hell, should he do so out of love for them, the spirits of the satans of hell shall gaze upon him. If he does not seek refuge with God, they shall bring upon him whatever they are capable of, even if it be only a perturbation of the heart. But if he should seek refuge with God, and invoke his anger against them, they shall be unable to find any faith into him, nor shall they be able to have his faith even to the extent of nine ninths of ten tenths of a grain of mustard-seed.

   Yet, it is as if I can see that the letters of negation shall, at the time of the appearance of him whom God shall manifest, seek refuge in negation, even though they are themselves its very source. At that time, none shall provide them with refuge from their own hell save he whom God shall manifest. For, at the moment when a servant says 'I take refuge with God', if he does not enter within the religion of the Bayán, he shall not be granted refuge from hell. Nay, he shall not pronounce those words except through his entry into the faith, even as those individuals who have not entered into faith in the Qur’án do not say it. For taking refuge with God means taking refuge with His proof. Whoever believed in Muhammad before this was granted refuge from the fire of God. Although the letters of hell themselves say these very words, it is of no benefit to them, for they do not seek refuge with the Proof, an account of what God has revealed in the Qur’án : 'He who does not believe in God' (48:13) and joined to the word that follows it . And yet he reads the words themselves while failing to take heed of them. In the same way, at the beginning of Islám, this phrase was interpreted as meaning the second, yet while he read the entire Qur’án, the manifestation of the sign of divinity was ‘Alí, the Prince of the Believers. If he had taken refuge in him, he would have been saved from the words that follow it.

   Thus it is that, until the day of him whom God shall manifest, all will seek refuge with God and with the Point of the Bayán, but when that day comes it shall not be of any benefit to them, for on that day taking refuge with God will mean taking refuge with him (whom he shall manifest), and taking refuge with the Point of the Bayán will be the same. Even as, from the beginning of the appearance of this tree, all have uttered the words 'I seek refuge with God', and yet they are dwelling in the midst of hell, save those whom God has willed, who have recognised the manifestation of His name and, having taken refuge with him, have been preserved from the absolute fire.

   Otherwise, everyone says these word unnumbered times every day, and yet here can be no salvation for him, for God has associated the taking of refuge with him with seeking refuge in His Messenger, and linked his latter with seeking refuge [p. 27] in his Successors , and linked this again with seeking refuge in the Gates of his Successors . The first of these is of absolutely no benefit without the last, nor is the outward of any use without the inward. For taking refuge in the Messenger is identical to taking refuge in God, and seeking refuge with the Imám is identical to seeking refuge with the Messenger, and taking refuge in the Gates is identical to taking refuge in the Imáms. In this day, whoever enters into the Bayán shall be granted refuge from hell, just as the letters of the Gospel were not granted refuge from it unless they entered the letters of the Qur’án. The letters of paradise from among the letters of the Bayán shall remain in heaven until the day of him whom God shall manifest, while its letters of hell shall be in their own stations. When his day comes, whoever enters into his book shall be saved from the fire, or else his continuing in the Bayán shall prove of no benefit to him whatsoever, just as remaining in the Gospel was of no benefit to the letters thereof after the revelation of the Qur’án; and the same was true of the letters of the Qur’án after the revelation of the Bayán. And the letters of paradise shall progress in the highest exaltation unto whatsoever God desires. And the letters of hell shall be rejected to the limit of their non-existence. Blessed be he that gives his heart nourishment from the letters of paradise. And should the letter of hell be mentioned, let him take refuge with God, his Lord, who shall render him sinless. They that make mention must, of necessity, refer to them, but the mention of them shall not harm them. Even so did they that believed in the Qur’án mention them that had been given the earth before them. Thus does God make clear the signs that you may be confident in the verses of God.


hid 2, Báb 5

The Fifth Gate of the Second Unity

   Concerning this, that every good name sent down by God in the Bayán refers to him whom God shall manifest, in the primary reality, and every evil name sent down by God in the Bayán refers to him who shall in that day be the Letter of Negation confronting him, in the primary reality.

   The substance of this chapter is that every goodly name that has been sent down in the Bayán refers to him whom God shall manifest, in the primary reality. Then, in the secondary reality, it refers to the first to believe in him, and so on until the furthest limits of existence. Thus, where the earth has been mentioned, the meaning is the earth of his person, and so on down until it reaches the earth of dust which is related to him and wherever he dwells, which constitutes the highest chamber of paradise in the Book of God. In the same manner is this true of every evil name, that has been sent down in it (the Bayán). In the primary reality, it refers to the tree that has been rejected before him. And if there should be a mention of 'earth' [p.28] in a context relating to hell, its meaning is the earth of his person, and so on down until it reaches the earth of dust which is his abode, which is the uttermost limit of hell, in the earth of hell, even though there should rest upon it a throne of glory.

   In the same way, whatever goodly mention was sent down by God in the Qu'ran, in its primary reality it is a reference to the Messenger of God, whereas every inauspicious mention is a reference to the first Negation, which stood face to face with the first Affirmation. If there was any mention of the earth of paradise, it was a reference to his person, and so on down to the earth of dust which was the abode of his physical body. All of these things refer back to the Qá’im of the Family of Muhammad, on whom be peace, for whatever goodly mention there may be in the Qur’án is a reference to him in the primary reality, even as in the Bayán such mention is interpreted as him whom God shall manifest. And whatever ill mention was revealed in the Qur’án, even though it was just a reference to the earth, was a reference to the earth of the person of him who was the first to fail to recognise him. In the same manner that this was realised in the Qur’án, so it has been confirmed before God in the Bayán. Whatever goodly name resides in the knowledge of God is a reference in the primary reality to the Point of the Will, and its opposite refers to him who did not recognise him.

   In this manner, whatever mention has been made of the earth within the realm of existence returns in this day to the Point of the Bayán, so that it may descend from the earth of the heart to the earth of the spirit, and from the earth of the spirit to the earth of the soul (nafs), and from the earth of the soul to the earth of the body (jasad), and from the earth of the body unto all things, the nearer relating to the nearer, until it finally reaches that earth situated above the mountain, which is but three feet by four: this is, at this moment the essence of all the physical earths. If the place whereupon he sits should be altered, then the situation would likewise alter (in this respect), until he should dwell where there is no alteration.

   It is likewise in the shadow of the (letters of) paradise, letter for letter, point for point. This is the most exalted earth of paradise (al-ridwán), and that is the lowest earth of hell; I seek refuge with God from what He does not love, and I beg of Him all that He loves - He, indeed, is the Gracious, the Bountiful.

   The goodly names of the Qur’án from the Prophet onwards gradually shone forth in their degrees in each one of his successors. And it was the same with the names of hell, until the highest exaltation of the earth of paradise attained to the place of the martyrdom of the Prince of Martyrs (Husayn), while the lowest earth of hell reached the place of the dominion of him that opposed him (Yazíd). Thus was it decreed by God. And thus is His decree put into operation in the manifestation of each one of the proofs of God.

   In this day, all the goodly names are, in the primary reality, contained in the person of the Point, even the mention of the earth, which was used as an analogy. And in the second reality, they are contained in the letter Sin, and so on to the furthest limit of existence. Wherefore, fear God, O you people, all of you together.


hid 2, Báb 6

The Sixth Gate of the Second Unity

   Concerning this, that the Bayán is the balance on the part of God until the day of him whom He shall manifest. Whoever follows him is light, and whosoever turns away from him is fire. The substance of this chapter is that the Bayán is the balance of God until the Day of Resurrection, which is the day of him whom God shall manifest. Whoso acts in accordance with whatsoever is therein is in paradise and he shall be resurrected beneath the shadow of Affirmation and the letters of Paradise. But whoso turns aside, be it even to the extent of a grain of barley is in hell and shall be resurrected beneath the shadow of Negation.

   This same concept was likewise made manifest in the Qur’án, for in numerous places God has revealed that whoso decrees other than what God has sent down is an infidel (kafir). Whatever returns to that word belongs to its degrees. The decree of someone who transgresses the decree of God is thus. How, then, shall he be should he transgress against the very person of God’s own appearance? For God has revealed : 'I have not created jinn and men but that they should worship Me.'

   No doubt is there that obedience is unacceptable except through obedience to the Proof of God. Had that not been so, then the deeds of them that showed enmity towards the People of the House would have been mentioned before God, whereas in this day, all decree that none should worship them, nor have their deeds borne any fruit. In this way, the non- Shi'is today act in accordance with the decrees of the Qur’án, whereas, since they have turned aside from the Imámate (vilayat), these deeds are worthless in the sight of God.

   But today there are few who act in accordance with the balance of the Qur’án, indeed one can only see men whom God has willed (so to act). And if there should be such a person, if he fails to enter within the balance of the Bayán, then his piety shall not be of the least benefit to him, even as the piety of the monks of the Gospel (alif) did not benefit them when they clung to it as their balance on the appearance of the Messenger of God. Had they acted according to the balance of the Qu'ran, such decrees would not have been issued concerning the tree of truth. 'The heavens might almost cleave apart [at that minhu omitted], and the earth split asunder, and the mountains collapse in tiny pieces' (19:90). Their hearts are harder than these mountains, for they are not at all affected.

   There is no paradise more exalted in the eyes of God than to be in His good-pleasure [p.30]. Praised be He that, in this day, this bounty is restricted to the people of the Bayán. Hereafter, whoso does not transgress its limits shall remain in this bounty until the day of him whom God shall manifest. But if - I seek refuge with God - he should turn aside, he shall have harmed only his own self. God is independent of all the worlds. At the beginning of his revelation, the whole of the Bayán is (simply) obedience to him and to none other, in the same way that the whole religion of the day of the Gospel at the time of the appearance of the Prophet of God was to follow him and not to remain in one’s own balance. For, in that case, the decree of falsehood would be passed against remaining therein. Whosoever is guided, (he is guided) for his own self; and whoever remains, remains veiled, that rests upon his own self. God is independent of all the worlds.


hid 2, Báb 7

The Seventh Gate of the Second Unity

   Concerning the explanation of the Day of Resurrection. The substance of this chapter is that the meaning of 'the Day of Resurrection' is the day of the appearance of the Tree of Reality. It is clear that none of the adherents of the Shí’ih sect have understood (the meaning of) the Day of Resurrection. On the contrary, they have all vainly imagined something that possesses no reality in the eyes of God. The meaning of 'the Day of Resurrection' in the sight of God and in the terminology of the people of truth is that, from the moment of the appearance of the Tree of Reality in every age and in every name, until the time of its disappearance, constitutes the Day of Resurrection.

   Thus, for example, from the day on which Jesus was sent (by God) until the day of his Ascension was the Resurrection of Moses, for the revelation of God was manifest during that period through the revelation of that Reality, who rewarded by his words everyone who was a believer in Moses and punished by his words everyone who did not believe in him. For whatsoever God had witnessed in that age (of Moses) is what He witnessed in the Gospel. And from the day on which the Messenger of God (Muhammad) was sent until the day of his death ('uruj-i an) was the Resurrection of Jesus, for the Tree of Reality was manifest in the (human) temple of Muhammad, who rewarded all who believed in Jesus and punished by his words all who did not believe in him.

   Similarly, from the time of the appearance of the Tree of the Bayán until its disappearance in the Resurrection of the Messenger of God, which was promised by God in the Qur’án. For it began when two hours and eleven minutes had passed on the night of the fifth of Jumada I of the year one thousand two hundred and sixty (1260), which is the year one thousand two hundred and seventy from the beginning of (Muhammad’s) mission. This was the beginning of the resurrection of the Qur’án, and it will last until the disappearance of the Tree of Reality, [p.31] for, until a thing has attained the stage of perfection, it cannot be resurrected. The perfection of the religion of Islám took until the beginning of the revelation, and from then until the time of disappearance the fruits of the tree of Islám will be manifested, whatever they may be.

   The Resurrection of the Bayán will take place on the appearance of him whom God shall manifest, for today the Bayán is in a state of seed, but at the beginning of the revelation of him whom God shall manifest, the Bayán will be in the final stage of perfection. It will become apparent that the fruits of the trees that were planted are to be plucked, just as the revelation of the Qá’im of the Family of Muhammad is identical to the revelation of the Messenger of God himself; but this does not become apparent except through the plucking of the fruits of Islám from the Quranic verses that were planted in the hearts of men. This plucking of the fruit of Islám consists only in faith in him and affirmation of his truth, and yet the only fruit that has been given has been in the contrary sense.

   He manifested himself in the very heart of Islám, where all declare themselves Muslims through their relationship to him. Yet they have brought him without any right to dwell on the mountain of Mákú. And this despite the fact that, in the Qur’án, God promised all men that the Day of Resurrection would come, for that is a day whereon all shall be presented before God, which means their being presented before the Tree of Reality; and all shall attain to the presence of God, which means his presence. This is because men cannot be presented before the Most Holy Essence, nor is it possible to conceive of entering into its presence. What is possible in terms of presentation and meeting refers to the primal Tree.

   God has established the clay (tin-ra) as His own House (i.e. the Ka‘bah) so that whoever presents himself on the Day of Resurrection before the Tree of Reality shall not regard himself as far removed from admitting that he has been presented before God or from meeting with Him through entering into his presence..

   A ninth of a ninth of a tenth of a tenth of a moment in the Day of Resurrection is better than years spent between resurrections, for the fruit of more years shall be manifested upon the Day of Resurrection. In this way, the fruit of the one thousand two hundred and seventy years of Islám will appear from the beginning of this revelation until its end, which is the beginning of the setting of the Sun of Reality. The fruits of the period from the beginning of this revelation until the revelation of him whom God shall manifest shall return to the next resurrection, which is his appearance.

   O people of the Bayán! Have mercy on yourselves, and do not render worthless your long night when the day of resurrection appears, even as was done by those who remained veiled among the people of the Qur’án. For one thousand two hundred and seventy years they prided themselves on (being believers in) Islám, and yet, when the day came when the fruit was to be plucked, which was the Day of Resurrection, the decree of unbelief in Islám was passed against them [p.32]. They were rendered worthless by this decree until the next resurrection.

   How many individuals have undergone mortification from the beginning of their lives and have striven earnestly for the good pleasure of God, and have taken pride in their dreams if they beheld the Qá’im of the Family of Muhammad in them. And yet, now that he has appeared in the revelation of God, which is the most manifest of revelations, bringing the verses and explanations upon which the religion of Islám is established, they do not present themselves before God, nor do they manifest the fruit of their faith, nor do they arise unto that for which they were created, and they even issue decrees against him through whom they turned to God by night and by day, saying 'Thee do we worship' . If they only contented themselves with that, but they do not. On the contrary, they desire to cause distress unto the Friends of God.

   O people of the Bayán! Do not commit what the people of the Qur’án have committed, in rendering worthless the fruits of your might. If you are believers in the Bayán, at the time of the appearance of his verses say: 'God is our Lord, with whom we associate no-one. This is what God promised us of the manifestation of His own self. We call upon none beside Him.' Obey him in whatever you do, for then you shall have manifested the fruit of the Bayán. If you do not do so, you shall be unworthy of mention before God. Have mercy on yourselves! If you do not arise to aid the manifestation of Lordship, do not, at least, cause him any sadness, for he shall manifest himself much as I manifested myself, and he shall cause the creation of the Bayán to return to life. Yet you have in your hearts considered nothing but (the possibility) of your own faith (in him). Hasten to respond to God and to affirm the truth of his verses, for that will be to respond to him whom God shall manifest and to affirm the truth of his words. Let not yourselves be veiled from your beloved by anything whatsoever, for if a decree should issue forth from his utterance it will last until the Day of Resurrection, and through it the people of paradise shall enjoy its pleasures, while the people of hell shall be tormented in it.

   In this day, which is the Day of Resurrection, the locus of the distinction of (men’s) fate (mahall-i-fasl-i qada) resides upon this mountain. All do what they do, imagining that it is done for his good-pleasure, yet they accept for him what they would not accept for their own selves. Should you enter into a covenant with God that you will not accept for anyone anything but what you would accept for yourselves, maybe in the next resurrection, even if you don't attain to God’s presence, you will not bring sadness upon His sign. [p. 33] It would pass beyond even the benefit of all that believe in the Bayán were you to avoid bringing harm upon him - and yet I know that you will not do so. Even so have I, in this resurrection, passed beyond the benefit of them that believe in the Qur’án, but you have not avoided doing me harm. There is no hell fiercer for you before God than that you should turn through me towards God by night and by day, while decreeing for me what you would no accept for yourselves. God shall judge between me and you in truth. He, indeed, is the best of judges.


hid 2, Báb 8

The Eighth Chapter of the Second Unity.

   In explanation of the reality of death, that it is a reality.

   The substance of this chapter is that there are in the sight of God, unnumbered meanings of "death", which none but He can remunerate. One of these meanings in outward terminology is the death that all men shall taste, which takes place at the time when the spirit is taken away from the human soul. Whatever meaning is given to death before God is true.

   But the "death" to the truth of which all are obliged to testify is not this death which is well known to men, but rather that death in the presence of the tree of reality (which involves dying to) all save him. This death is established only in five degrees : either the phrase there is no God but He (la ilaha illa huwa) or there is no God but I (la ilaha illa ana) or, there is no God but God (la ilaha illa 'lláh), or there is no God but thee (la ilaha illa anta) or, there is no God but He in whom all are confident (la ilaha illa 'lladhi kullun bihi mawqinun). The reality of death is that at the time of the appearance of the Tree Of Oneness, unto whom these five degrees belong, all beings die, whether by negating negation or affirming affirmation. Even if the oceans of the heavens and the earth and what lies between them were to become ink, it would not be sufficient to recount all that lies hidden in this subtle mystery.

   The essence of the matter is that who so possesses no will but the will of him who God shall manifest, and no volition but his volition, and no destiny but his destiny, and no fate but his fate, and no premition but his premition, ["premition" does not appear to be a real word; I'm not sure what the translator intended. -J.W., 2010] and no time appointed but his time appointed and no book but his book, such a man has at that moment understood the meaning of death. For his will is the essence of the will of God, and his volition the essence of the volition of God, and his destiny the essence of the destiny of God, and his fate the essence of the fate of God, and his premition the essence of the premition of God, and his appointed time the essence of the appointed time of God, [p.34] and his book the essence of the book of God.

   Likewise, in the case of the point of the Bayán, who so died testified that death is a reality otherwise what he had read of the Qur’án and of prayers would have been on no benefit to him. How many individuals said that death was a reality, and yet their wills were not his will, so that they became worthless and the falsity of their words was made manifest in the sight of God. And so it continued until it reached the degree of the book, so that his book, which is identical to the book of God, was sent down upon those individuals who regarded themselves as the most learned of their age. The pen is ashamed to mention what they committed, and yet by night and by day they said death is a reality and acted in accordance with his previous book and proclaimed themselves as believers in the face of Islám, and expended their knowledge, and took hold of whatever God had decreed for him in the Qur’án, through the relationship which they claimed for themselves (with God?), but which had, in fact, been severed. And all the time their very breaths were not lawful for them, for they did not draw them out of faith in God. Such is the fruit of knowledge of the book of God that is not accompanied by action. As they understood (the meaning of) death, they were not of opposed their own confession, for they confess that it is a reality, yet remained veiled from the conditions of him through whom that reality is itself made real. This is that very death that benefits all men upon the day of resurrection and afterwards in the interworld (Barzakh), until the reappearance of the Son of Reality. The term "interworld" refers to (the period) between two revelations and not to the popular meaning related to the condition of men after their physical death. This latter (i.e. their fate after death) is not a matter (the knowledge of which) has been imposed on men as a duty (by God), for, after their deaths, God alone knows what shall be their destiny but they are obliged to know that in which they believe. Should anyone voyage upon the ocean of death, he shall become wondrous things that are neither number nor end. Thus, for example, had someone died in the days of the messenger of God, he would have beheld all the conditions relating to who so did not believe in Muhammed: from the world of pure abstraction (tajarrut) to that of limitation (tahaddud), they are nothing but absolute negation and the essence of hell fire. (And he would have beheld) all the conditions relating to who so believed in the Muhammad : from the world of pure abstraction to the furthest limits of (the realm of) limitation, they are the conditions of the Tree of Affirmation and the Paradise of Prophet hood. The first of these was not dead but the second was but because the second had not died he had passed into nothingness within negation, whereas, since the second had died, he had endured in affirmation. So, in this day there has been manifested the fruit of the deaths of them that believe [p.35] in the degree to which they mention is loved by God and by his creation that believes in him. All the believers in this day originate from the multiplication of such as them. (Also manifest) is the fruit of the failure of the unbelievers to die, in that no mention whatever is made of them. And should the numbers be multiplied, those who would be thus produced would not be pleased with such a relationship and would even declare themselves free of any connection with them. Or, in this day, should they utter falsehoods against the primal tree their very words shall seek to be free of them and shall demand God’s punishment upon them.

   When, in the year 1270 (i.e. 1260), just as the Tree of Reality had advanced so had they (the unbelievers) become lower and even more severe (in their disbelief). But, since the manifestations have become numerous, only the Proof that is manifested (directly) on the part of God is able to distinguish between them, for he recognises all things in their own places and should he wish to distinguish between an atom of hell and an atom of paradise, he is able to do so.

   Should unworthy thoughts concerning the point of the Bayán enter the mind of anyone, at that very instant he shall not be decreed as dead. The matter is as delicate as that - nay, it is even more delicate. None shall take heed save they that are possessed of insight.

   The signification of death is valid from the essence of the exultation of God’s singleness down to the furthest degree of limitation, to such an extent that, should someone find a letter "B" or an "A" should have been written, and should he proceed to remove the "B" and write the word correctly such an action is a deed of the angel of death for he is manifest in it but if he leaves things as they are, the letter "B" shall cease loosely, call upon God, its Lord, saying : "take my spirit from me and cause me to live". And, if God should wish to answer its prayer, he shall inspire one of his holy ones to take from the letter its spirit as a "B" ( ) and to give it the spirit of an "A" ( ) whereupon it will be possible to read the word for before that its meaning had been altered. Thus, after the word "Alláh", the word "A‘zam" (greater) requires an "A", but, if it is written with a "B" the meaning will not be apparent. The same holds true in every general and every particular interest as the people of insight are aware.

   Even if there were to be found on this paper a tiny mention of non whiteness, were you to erase it that would be a death wherein would lie the life of this tablet. In its own degree, this is the same as removing from a man’s soul something that causes harm to his faith. Should someone who does not believe in God possess a tablet, he who says "I am dead" must be dead to it, nor should he pay any attention to it, for it belongs to the degrees of hellfire and rests therein. But if he should behold a tablet in the possession of one who believes in God, [p.36] he must preserve it as he preserves his own self, or it belongs to the degrees of light. This is a matter of which, at the same moment that it is more manifest than any revelation, is more hidden than any concealment.

   Who so understands death is eternally dead in the presence of God, for he wishes only what God wishes, and that is to die in the presence of the point of the Bayán, for that which God wills may only be manifested through his will. This is the reality of death unto who so has desired to die in God. God is not created in the world of existence anything more glorious than death with him.

   All believe that their will is the will of him whom God shall manifest, but when he appears they will not remain faithful to their love and to their word. In the same way, those w ho believed in the Qur’án convince themselves that, if Muhammad were to return to this world, they would not respond to his words by saying "why" or "wherefore". But he did return in a more exultant manner than that of his first appearance which was his "second creation" ( ) [I don't know why there are empty parentheses here and in the next paragraphs; possibly Arabic script was embedded in the original document. -J.W., 2010] after his "first creation", whereupon all who said "Muhammad is the messenger of God" remained veiled from him and failed to believe in him. They did not even accept for him what they accept for their own selves concerning their relationship to Islám. Had they accepted even that, they would not have committed what they committed, for that is what no Muslim would accept for another Muslim. This is the state of men in the eyes of God.

   His prophet hood is confirmed in this day are the same things whereby it was confirmed previously and yet all were unveiled from him. The number of those who relate themselves to his faith can't be computed, and yet when he returns the believed in him only those whom God willed, until there appeared what appeared. For them that had failed to recognise him, there is no hell fiercer than their condition of being veiled from him who made Islám their religion and mainly for Qur’án their book. There is no honour for anyone in the next life unless he has attained to the presence of his Lord and spread abroad his messages and detached himself from all but him, so far as he was able. This is an honour whereon all pride themselves.

   If someone should say "we did not recognise him at the beginning of his revelation", it will be replied that "it has been confirmed before all men that he was the first to respond in the world of pre-existence (fi ’l-dharr), when God said unto him "Am I not your Lord?" and he replied "Yes. Praised be thee. No God is there but thee; thou, indeed, art the Lord of all worlds"'. And if they should say 'we did not recognise the revelation of God', (it would be pointed out that) the Qur’án, which is the book of God, and which all declare in this day to be the book of God, is in the possession of all men. As soon as they heard or saw the verses of God have been revealed by a certain person, no doubt or uncertainty remained for the possessors of intellect that that individual was the manifest of person of God and that the previous verses had been (revealed) by him, even if the later verses were his. [p. 37]

   The first to respond is the first of created beings, even as was said in the past, that the first to respond was Muhammad, who was the first to be created. So all in this day confess that, if they say that the response took place in the world of pre-existence, this is that same world, for the realm above the throne of heaven is identical to the earth on which the manifestation of God dwells. From eternity God has regarded his nearness to his creation and his distance from them as being the same. No single thing is nearer to him than any other thing, nor is anything further removed from him than any other, whether it be the throne that rests above the heavens, as the possessors of fantasies claim, or the dwelling place of the tree that speaks forth on behalf of God. This belief [that some are nearer and some further] is pure fancy and imagination. In the terminology of them that dwell among the concourse of reality, the meaning (of the throne) is that same place of revelation [i.e. the body of the manifestation]. In the same way, all say, when they perform the pilgrimage to (the shrinal) the Prince of Martyrs [Husayn], those words that are written in the tradition : "who so visits Husayn with a full understanding, it is as if he has visited God upon his throne". It is manifest to the possessors of intelligence that that is the very locus of the throne of God, and that he is the throne of Muhammad, the messenger of God. It is as if no-one has been observed to progress beyond the world of limitations.

   Whatever is heard concerning all the worlds is realised within this world. Thus, for example, the Prince of Believers (‘Alí), on whom be peace, became the first to believe in Muhammad within this world. This is an evidence that he was a believer in all the worlds. All these latter are made real beneath the shadow of this world and to manifest here before them that are possessed of intelligence. Blessed be he who beholds all things in their reality and does not imagine a fanciful matter that has no reality in the eyes of God or of them that possess intelligence. The outward appearance of the divine essence has ever been and ever shall be identical with its concealment and its concealment identical with its outward appearance. Whatever is mentioned concerning the "appearance" of God (Zuhur Alláh) refers to the Tree of Reality, which is a token of none but him. That is a tree which has been and is responsible for sending forth all the divine messengers and causing all the books to descend. He has been and ever shall be the throne of God’s revelation and concealment in the world of creation. In every age, God has manifested him in accordance with his own desire, just as at the time of the revelation of the Qur’án, he revealed his power through the manifestation of Muhammad. Likewise, at the time of the revelation of the Bayán, he revealed his power through the point of the Bayán, and he shall affirm his religion through him whom he shall manifest at the time of his appearance, as he wishes, for what he wishes, unto what he wishes.

   He it is [p.38] who has been with all things, although nothing has been with him; and he it is who is within nothing nor is he above anything, nor is he with anything. What has been mentioned concerning his seating himself upon the throne (Qur’án ) refers to the seating of his manifestation of his power, and not this physical throne which is a chair or a seat set above the earth or the crystalline sphere (falak-i atlas) or the sphere of the throne within the heavens.

   He has been and ever shall be without beginning or end, and none has known or every shall know him, for all save him have been created by his command and shall be created thereby. He is exalted above every mention and station, and sanctified above every description and likeness. Nothing can comprehend him, but he comprehends all things. ( ) [don't know why empty parentheses here. -J.W., 2010] Indeed, the words nothing can comprehend him refer to the mirror of his revelation, which is he whom he shall manifest. [or "whom he manifests".] He is too glorious and too exalted for any indicator to point towards him.

   He whom he shall manifest is the first being whom he created, and any mention of his Heart refers to his heart. Both he and his heart were created by him from all eternity, God was Lord with none over whom to exercise his Lordship; from eternity God was a divinity with none to worship him as such; from eternity, God was powerful, was none over whom to exercise his power; from eternity, God was knowing, with none whom he might know; from eternity God was single, with none to be numerated besides him. These last words, "from eternity, God was single, with to be enumerated besides him" apply to the time when, in the revelation of him whom God shall manifest the number of unity (i.e. 19) will have placed a faith in him and made their hearts tokens of his singleness (wahdaniyyat) - none shall be enumerated save them. All (other) names and attributes are the same. Do not gaze upon the limitations, for from all eternity, God was single.

   If you have not attained to servitude concerning this is revelation, you do at least confess to the truth of the first revelation (i.e. of Mohamed), and you behold all names and attributes in the Messenger of God. If you should wish to say He is the King, you will see that there are those in his community who consider themselves his servants, and yet the sovereignty of his own self is exalted above being mentioned in the same breath as this king (Muhammad Sháh?). And if you should wish to say he is powerful, you will behold the possessors of might dwelling beneath the shadow of obedience unto him and priding themselves in the confession that they belong to his community. And yet the power of his own essence is exalted above any connection with this power. And if you should wish to say He is knowing, you will see them that are possessed of knowledge priding themselves on the relationship to him, [p.39] and yet the knowledge that belongs to his essence is exalted above any connection with even the most learned of these scholars. And if you should wish to say He is a judge you will see a great many possessors of judgement who pride themselves on ruling beneath the shadow of his decree. And yet the judgement of his role of nature is exalted above any connection with the manifestations of these judges who rule on his behalf. Look with your own eye in the same manner upon all the names and attributes. At the moment when uncertainties "knowing", there is, nevertheless, none who knows but he. Or if he has power in a certain matter, there is, nevertheless, none with power but he. For in every revelation, that which guides men to that revelation are his conditions. Thus, for example, should you consider from the first revelation, which was that of the first Adam, and to the end which has no end, you will behold nothing possessed of existence save through God nor will you be able to recognise the manifestation of divinity except through the tree of his revelation which is the Primal Will. Nothing else is possible within the contingent realm.

   This is the meaning of the words of the Prince of Martyrs, upon who we peace? "oh my God, I have realised through the diversity of things and the shifting of conditions that your intention with me is to make yourself known to me in all things, that I may not remain ignorant of you in anything." For this is the fruit of the existence of all things that one should regard all things as coming into existence (Qá’im) through the primal will, and that one should not behold at anything art else but the manifestation of God, in accordance with the capacity of the thing which is the bearer of his self revelation. This (difference of capacity) part, the relationship of God’s revelation is the same to any one thing as to another. One kind of revelation consists of the verses of God; and from that same source out of which the divine verse is issued concerning the prophet hood of a prophet, there are also sent down concerning his opponent, according to what is fitting. The relationship of these two revelations to these two things (i.e. the prophet and his opponent) is exactly the same, except that the first belongs to the highest rank of affirmation, whereas the second is of the lowest evasement of negation.

   If you have observed this truth in the revelation of (mere) words, then you shall also behold it realised in the revelation of the actuality. I do not mean to suggest that you can see the essence of God in everything, for that would be impossible, since he, may his mention be praised, is exalted above being contained within anyone thing or being connected with it or preceding it, or following it, or being above it or beneath it. That unto which the quality of being a "thing" may correctly be applied is God’s will (mashiyyat) which subsists through its own self. From all eternity unto all eternity all names have been beneath its shadow, while it itself dwells in the shadow of God.

   The station of the will is that of the point of the Bayán, for there is not manifest within anything ought but [p.40] one of the conditions of his revelation. He who speaks these words does not intend by them that the essence of the (divine) will may be seen in everything, which essence is that of the Messenger of God, but rather that within everything one may see how its quality of being an existent thing is realised through that essence. For example, if someone should expend 1000 mithqals of gold in travelling to the house of God, in such an action nothing may be seen but the command issued by the Messenger of God on God’s behalf. In this same way, if you should ask, "how was the true nature of the gold brought about?" it must refer back to a command, which in its turn refers back to the tree of reality, even though it be in only one of its manifestations.

   For there is nothing which can be termed a "thing" except by being made truly a thing through the will. This latter is self subsistent in God, may he be praised and glorified. It is the circling Kaf (i.e. the first letter of the creative word kun, "be"), which from all eternity revolves about its own self. It has been and is a token of God alone, praised and glorified be he, who possesses the most beautiful names in the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and what lies between them. No God is there but he the mighty, the beloved.

   Every name possesses a referent to which it applies. If, for example, one should say God, praise be he and glorified, then he must have to loci of manifestation which are mentioned before the Primal Will, and which have from all eternity been established as tokens of him and him alone. Blessed be he that sees nothing unless he beholds therein the manifestation of his Lord, who dwells not in anything except through God, who sees nothing but him, and who believes not concerning God what he believes concerning his creatures. For God, praised and glorified be he, is not within anything, nor does he come from anything, nor is he rest upon anything, nor does he go towards anything, nor is he mentioned by anything. All save him are his creatures. None but him may know him in the depth of his being, nor may any other than him extol the oneness of his essence.

   To the extent that you have recognised the will, you have recognised none but its own reality, but to the extent that you have recognised the created beings, you have only recognised the emanations of the will within them. God, praised be he and glorified, cannot be known in his essence, nor can he be comprehended or praised or sanctified. None may find a path under him, unless by reason of his failure to know him, or by coming to dwell within the shadow of his singleness and independence. All things have ever belonged to him in his true nature, his essence, his pure being, his absoluteness, his firstness, his lastness, his outwardness, his inwardness, his purity, and his simplicity. That he is, in the highest degree of the sovereignty of his might, and the brightest elevation of the dominion of his holiness, exalted above all mention and praise and sanctified above all description and exaltation.

   From all eternity God was a divinity, single, unique, eternal, alone, living, mighty, everlasting, unending and trustworthy. He does not take any consort for himself, nor any Son. All save him are his creatures who have been brought into being at his command. [p.41]. He is and ever has been independent of all things in and by himself. How could he not be able to dispense with all but himself when he is independent in and by his essence? And how could he not be independent of all but him? Praised be he and exalted be he as befits the exaltation of his holiness and the elevation of his mention. He is exalted, exalted.


hid 2, Báb 9

[This section is missing -- if anyone has it, please contact us. -J.W.]


hid 2, Báb 10

The Tenth Chapter of the Second Unity

   In Explanation of the Questioning by the Angels in the Grave

   The substance of this chapter is that, on the Day of Resurrection, those who believed in him whom God shall manifest can ask men: "on what have you established your religion?", and they shall reply "upon the evidentiary nature of the Bayán". If, on that day, there are believers in the verses of God, they shall reply to the angels according to the proof which God sent down previously and in which they had been educated. But if not God’s proof shall be complete against them and, since they have not believed, the word "torment" shall be confirmed in their respect. After this, the angels shall return to the presence of God and describe their condition, whereupon, if the all-knowing God responds in affirmation of any man’s faith, he shall cause the verses of mercy to descend upon him. Otherwise (he shall send down) the words of torment. Whatever God reveals shall be applied to that man upon that day. In the same way, whatever the Point of the Bayán sends down concerning anyone shall remain applicable to him until the day of resurrection : the manifestation of negation shall stay in hell, and the manifestation of light in (the state of) affirmation. The former shall be tormented in the non-paradisial letters, while the latter shall dwell forever in God’s mercy, that has been sent down upon the Letters of Paradise. In this there is a grace with which nothing can compare, until the Day of Resurrection.

   Whatever is ordained for someone in this (metaphorical) grave, shall fall to his lot in the physical grave. If he is a believer, his tomb shall be one of the gardens of paradise, and if he is an unbeliever, it shall be among the dwelling places of hell [p.46] even as he was during his lifetime counted among the dead by the possessors of understanding.

   If a believer should sit upon the earth of clay, that place shall become a portion of paradise upon the Day of Resurrection, by the permission of God, praise be he and glorified. Otherwise, it shall become part of the land of hell fire, by the command of God, praised be he and glorified.

   The meaning of the return of the angels to God and the representation under him, is the return unto him whom God shall manifest of them who guide men to him. No path is there and non has there been for anyone to the eternal essence, neither at the beginning nor in the return.

   Praised be God above all that to which the term "thing" may be applied, in the past and the future. Both creation and command are his in the kingdom of the earth and the heavens and all that is between them. No God is there but He, the Mighty, the Exalted.


hid 2, Báb 11

The Eleventh Chapter of the Second Unity

   An Explanation of the Words : "The Resurrection is a Reality"

   The substance of this chapter is that God has created all things according to what he has sent down in his Book, either belonging to the spirits of paradise, which were attached to the Letters or belonging to the spirits of hell, which were attached to their Letters. Whatever may be termed a "thing" shall be raised up on the Day of Resurrection. The Resurrection of each thing shall take place through its being mentioned on that day by him whom God shall manifest, for its original creation also took place through his mention of it, even though it existed in the revelation before his. For example, this crystal cup and saucer which have at this moment been placed before God shall be recreated on the Day of Resurrection in their reality, their essence, their individuality and their quiddity, at the instant when the Tree of Reality utters the words : "this cup and saucer are identical to (the previous cup and saucer)". Whatever cup and saucer these were to apply to shall become identical as he decrees, just as previously they came into existence through the utterance of the Point of the Bayán.

   This example was given within the limits of the mineral realm, so that all might understand (the principal involved) in all the realms of existence. For instance, in this dispensation, the Letters of the Living were ordained by his utterance, and in the resurrection to come he shall raise the same letters to life from whatever individuals he wishes, by his utterance, for nothing but his speech can create a thing in its true nature. Since his word is the word of God, when he speaks the real being of a thing is brought into existence. If that thing should belong to paradise, (it is created) by a mention of the truth, and if it belonged to hell, by mention of falsehood. For all that [p.47] the Messenger of God ordained in the Qur’án existed through God’s verses.

   Even thus, in this day, which is the Day of the Resurrection of the Qur’án, all are raised to life and continue to exist through the divine command, and all the exists upon the face of the earth stands before the face of God. The resurrection of all things has taken place in terms of their essences, and just as the creation of all things occurs through a single individual, so their resurrection takes place through a single individual. At the moment when that single individual is resurrected the resurrection of all things occurs, one thing being raised up after another each in its proper place, even though this takes place at God’s mention when he sends down the resurrection of each thing, when none but he knows of it.

   After this, all bear witness according to God’s testimony, as for example, in the statement that "this is exactly the same place whereon the Primal Will seated itself". He has no beginning, yet to refer to each manifestation in itself is to refer to him, so that this becomes exactly the same place whereon the Messenger of God was seated. This is the inner meaning of what is mentioned in the traditions, to the effect that the Qá’im of the family of Muhammad shall possess all that the prophets (of the past) have possessed, in those places that he decrees. This is because the things that they all possess are derived from him, and whatever he decrees concerning anything, that thing shall be as he decrees. Although at the commencement of Islám, Muhammad ibn ’Abd Alláh appeared in one character and one manner, in this day he has appeared in another character and another manner. But unless someone looks upon the Point of Reality, he will be unable to understand how all things are resurrected in a single individual.

   And yet, if everyone who possesses a spirit would ponder deeply, he would be able to grasp what he is obliged to believe concerning the resurrection until the day of him whom God shall manifest. For whosoever shall return to him shall be raised to life among the Letters of Paradise in the shadow of the Tree of Affirmation. Otherwise he shall be raised to life among the Letters of Hell and shall enter beneath the Tree of Negation. If something has not been mentioned by name as having been raised to life, yet as soon as he utters the words "we have raised all things to life", all shall be resurrected in their proper places, in the shadow of the Single Point. If (the resurrection) is in paradise then (they shall return) to the Tree of Affirmation, if in hell, to the Tree of Negation. Nothing that is in the heavens or in the earth or between them shall escape the knowledge of God. He shall raise all things to life through his commend. He is powerful over all things.

   There shall be no resurrection of the day, in the sense of the coming forth from the physical graves. Rather, the resurrection of all shall occur (in the form of) those that are living in that age. If they belong to paradise, [p.48] they shall be believers, if to hell, they shall be unbelievers. There is no denying that upon the Day of Resurrection, each and every thing shall be raised to life before God, may he be praised and glorified. For God shall originate that creation and then cause it to return. He has decreed the creation of all things, and he shall raise them to life again. God is powerful over all things.


References

Denis MacEoin, Sources for Early Bábi Doctrine and History (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1992), pp. 83-84, passim.

Rosen, Collections Scientifiques, vol. 3, pp. 1-32.

Browne, "The Bábis of Persia II," pp. 918-33.

E.G. Browne, "A Summary of the Persian Bayán," in Momen, Selections from the Writings of E.G. Browne, pp. 316-406.

French trans. A.L.M. Nicolas: Le Beyan Persan, 4 vols. (Paris, 1911-1914).
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