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The Persian Bayan:
From A.L.M. Nicolas' French translation

by The Báb

translated by A.L.M. Nicolas and Ismael Velasco.
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Chapter 4

Bayán-i-Farsí
Vahíd IX, Báb II

of

Siyyid 'Alí-Muhammad-i-Shirází

Translated from the French Rendering of

A.L.M. Nicolas

by

Ismael Velasco

With Reference to the Persian Text



Báb II

In which it is ordained that whosever is competent in a script peerless and of surpassing beauty, it is incumbent upon him to pen for God in the course of his life six thousand verses. He must lay down in his will that these verses must be brought before the Sun of Truth, that the Point may bestow, in His mercy, His recompense on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, God is cognisant of all things.

      The substance of this chapter is this: If in the dispensation of the Bayán a scribe be found whose competence is without peer in his day in any of the nineteen prescribed styles, ranging from the all-glorious (Abhá) script even unto the most beauteous writing, it is pleasing unto God that he should set down one thousand lines (bayts) on paper of the highest quality, and beautify it with adornments similarly beyond compare. It will be needful that he layeth down in his will that on the Day of the appearance of Him Whom God shall make manifest, this book shall be offered unto that Tree of Truth, that He might bestow the recompense of His verses. Thus shall he be mentioned among the friends of that Tree.

      Should the scribe lack means to write down thus one thousand lines, it behoveth the Witnesses of the Bayán to defray the costs. If he hath the means to accomplish this himself, it would be more meet and seemly not to pay another for a deed performed for the sake of God.

      The scribe is free to choose among the Points five grades of writing, be it verses, supplications, commentaries, disquisitions on philosophy, or discourses in Persian; and it shall be pleasing whichever one he puteth to paper .

      The fruit of this command is that, if on the Day of Manifestation such a one, and others like him, be found, they may not set their pens in motion save in the works of Him Whom God shall make manifest, since it is prohibited for them to make use of their pens to write down the words of another than Him. Perchance on that Day there may be one who shall act for the sake of God. And this would be worth more than all that might be written in the gloom of the night.

      No style in this Dispensation is more pleasing unto Him Who hath appeared in this Manifestation, than the shikaste script of a man that liveth, and is not among the dead. For the majority of men write well, yet they are dead and not alive, and the beauty of calligraphy is conditioned on the scribe being possessed of life. The similitude of the shikaste script to the naksh style, when both scribes live, is as that of fulfillment to youthfulness. Each thing is beloved of God in its own measure.

      And verily, verily teach your children the best of scripts, the most exalted in your eyes! Perchance it may bring honour unto thee in the presence of God.[1]



Notes

[1] These last two lines in the A.L.M Nicholas translation seemingly do not accord with the original Persian text, and hence they are given in italics (MW's note, June, 2001).
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