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On effulgences, essence, and unity of existence.
According to Dr. Muhammad Afnán, this epistle of about 17 pages was written in the year 1262 A.H. and was addressed to Mírzá Abu’l-Qásim, known as Mírzá Bábá, the leader of the Dhahabiyyah Sufi group of Shíráz. This translation is based on the text reproduced in Vahíd Rafatí’s article “The Ideas of Ibn ‘Arabí in the Bahá'í Writings” (Mahbúb-i-‘Ālam, pp. 141-142). [-K.B.]

See also A Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá Explaining Three Verses in the Lawh-i-Hikmat.

Excerpts from the Risáliy-i-Dhahabiyyih

by The Báb

translated by Keven Brown.
The majority of the philosophers, whether the Illuminationists, the Peripatetics, the followers of Mullá Ṣadrá, or the theosophers, have erred in their explanation of this station. They have confused the effulgences (tajalliyát) of the creative act with the Essence of God, and consequently they have adhered to the false proposition about the necessity of the fixed archetypes being in the Essence in order to establish His knowledge. Gracious God! Similarly, they have supported the doctrine of the uncompounded reality in order to establish the causality of the Essence, and the connection between the Essence, actions, and attributes, and the theory of the unity of existence between the Creator and the created. Verily, all of this is pure blasphemy in the opinion of the family of God, the Imáms of justice, for God hath ever been knowing without His knowledge requiring the existence of an object of knowledge. Likewise, He hath ever been living without His life requiring the existence of another besides Himself.

In truth, the Essence is not connected with anything, for the cause of contingent things is His creating (san'), which is the Will (mashiyyat) that God created by and through itself without a fire touching it from the Essence. God created the existents through this Will, and it hath ever indicated its own self and pointed to its own being. There is no sign which points to God’s essence in the contingent realm, for His being barreth His creatures from knowing Him, and His essence preventeth His servants from understanding Him. Verily, the relation of the Will to God is like the relation of House [the Ka'ba] to Him; it is a relation of honor for the creative act, not for the Essence, since He is sanctified from having any intimations, relations, indications, signs, stations, effulgences, or fragrances referred to Him. He is as He is by virtue of Himself, and none knoweth Him except Himself.

As for the doctrine of the unity of existence and the statement about the uncompounded reality, their falsity is clear to the people of covenants (ahl al-‘uhúd), for how is it possible to debate about the existence of that which hath never had anything with It except Itself? Nay, all the intimations in the worlds of the Heavenly Court, the All-Highest Dominion, the Kingdom, and in this mortal realm, are the musings of hearts and souls, and the conjectures of imaginations. Every description of God from other than Himself is a falsehood and lie, for what is other than Him was never with Him. Nothing about His station can be described, and there is no existence with Him in addition to His own which would alter the doctrine of His unity. We have expounded the proofs of this in the Book of the Two Alifs [the Tafsír-i-Huwa], where we explained the mysteries of the letter Há in order to disprove the claims of these men. The origin of this doctrine is a chapter of Muhyí’d-Dín (may God delay his punishment) in the Fusús, a chapter which is utter misbelief to the people of insight. Verily, the description of God is through Himself; then followeth the description of the family of God (the salutation of God upon them) and the people of the Bayán. But God hath ordained through His mercy that the highest praise of Him is for man to describe Him by sanctifying Him from all names and attributes.

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