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Abstract:
A collection of dream narratives and poetry from a variety of sources.
Notes:
This compilation is far from complete, e.g. it is missing the visions Hand of the Cause William Sears had as a youth in which he saw 'Abdu'l-Baha. [E. H-I.]

Dreams mentioned in Bahá'í Literature

compiled by Eric Hadley-Ives.
1999

I Dream'd In A Dream.

I dream'd in a dream I saw a city invincible to the attacks of the whole of the rest of the earth,
I dream'd that was the new city of Friends,
Nothing was greater there than the quality of robust love, it led the rest,
It was seen every hour in the actions of the men of that city,
And in all their looks and words.
    Walt Whitman
Day and night, while confined in that dungeon, We meditated upon the deeds, the condition, and the conduct of the Babis, wondering what could have led a people so high-minded, so noble, and of such intelligence, to perpetrate such an audacious and outrageous act against the person of His Majesty. This Wronged One, thereupon, decided to arise, after His release from prison, and undertake, with the utmost vigor, the task of regenerating this people.


One night, in a dream, these exalted words were heard on every side: "Verily, We shall render Thee victorious by Thyself and by Thy Pen. Grieve Thou not for that which hath befallen Thee, neither be Thou afraid, for Thou art in safety. Erelong will God raise up the treasures of the earth--men who will aid Thee through Thyself and through Thy Name, wherewith God hath revived the hearts of such as have recognized Him."
    Epistle to the Son of the Wolf , p.20-21
In one of His writings revealed in the year '60 A.H., the Bab declares the following: "The spirit of prayer which animates My soul is the direct consequence of a dream which I had in the year before the declaration of My Mission. In My vision I saw the head of the Imam Husayn, the Siyyidu'-sh-Shuhada', which was hanging on a tree. Drops of blood dripped profusely from His lacerated throat. With feelings of unsurpassed delight, I approached that tree and, stretching forth My hands, gathered a few drops of that sacred blood, and drank them devoutly. When I awoke, I felt that the Spirit of God had permeated and taken possession of My soul. My heart was thrilled with the joy of His Divine presence, and the mysteries of His Revelation were unfolded before My eyes in all their glory."
    From The Dawn Breakers Nabil's Narrative, page 253.
Among the Prophets was Abraham, the Friend of God. Ere He manifested Himself, Nimrod dreamed a dream. Thereupon, he summoned the soothsayers, who informed him of the rise of a star in the heaven. Likewise, there appeared a herald who announced throughout the land the coming of Abraham.
    Kitab-i-Iqan pages 62-63. -Gleanings, p. 63
When Bahá'u'lláh was still a child, the Vazir, His father, dreamed a dream. Bahá'u'lláh appeared to him swimming in a vast, limitless ocean. His body shone upon the waters with a radiance that illumined the sea. Around His head, which could distinctly be seen above the waters, there radiated, in all directions, His long, jet-black locks, floating in great profusion above the waves. As he dreamed, a multitude of fishes gathered round Him, each holding fast to the extremity of one hair. Fascinated by the effulgence of His face, they followed Him in whatever direction He swam. Great as was their number, and however firmly they clung to His locks, not one single hair seemed to have been detached from His head, nor did the least injury affect His person. Free and unrestrained, He moved above the waters and they all followed Him.

The Vazir, greatly impressed by this dream, summoned a soothsayer, who had achieved fame in that region, and asked him to interpret it for him. This man, as if inspired by a premonition of the future glory of Bahá'u'lláh, declared: "The limitless ocean that you have seen in your dream, O Vazir, is none other than the world of being. Single-handed and alone, your son will achieve supreme ascendancy over it. Wherever He may please, He will proceed unhindered. No one will resist His march, no one will hinder His progress. The multitude of fishes signifies the turmoil which He will arouse amidst the peoples and kindreds of the earth. Around Him will they gather, and to Him will they cling. Assured of the unfailing protection of the Almighty, this tumult will never harm His person, nor will His loneliness upon the sea of life endanger His safety."

That soothsayer was subsequently taken to see Bahá'u'lláh. He looked intently upon His face, and examined carefully His features. He was charmed by His appearance, and extolled every trait of His countenance. Every expression in that face revealed to his eyes a sign of His concealed glory. So great was his admiration, and so profuse his praise of Bahá'u'lláh, that the Vazir, from that day, became even more passionately devoted to his son. The words spoken by that soothsayer served to fortify his hopes and confidence in Him.
    Dawn Breakers, Nabil's Narrative. pp. 119-120
"When Bahá'u'lláh was a child of five or six years, He dreamt that he was in a garden where huge birds were flying overhead and attacking Him, but they could not harm Him; then he went to bathe in the sea, and there he was attacked by fishes, but they too could cause Him no injury. Bahá'u'lláh related this strange dream to His father, and Mirza Buzurg sent for a man who claimed to interpret dreams. After making his calculations, he told Mirza Buzurg that the expanse of the sea was this world in its entirety, and the birds and fishes were the peoples of the world assailing his Son, because He would promulgate something of vital importance related to the minds of men. But they would be powerless to harm Him, for He would triumph over them all to achieve a momentous matter.
    From Bahá'u'lláh The King of Glory by H.M. Balyuzi, page 19.

The mujtahid Mirza Muhammad Taqiy-i-Nuri had two dreams about Bahá'u'lláh.

Later on, when Bahá'u'lláh had departed, the mujtahid related to his disciples two of his recent dreams, the circumstances of which he believed were of the utmost significance. "In my first dream," he said, "I was standing in the midst of a vast concourse of people, all of whom seemed to be pointing to a certain house in which they said the Sahibu'z- Zaman dwelt. Frantic with joy, I hastened in my dream to attain His presence. When I reached the house, I was, to my great surprise, refused admittance. ''The promised one,' I was informed, 'is engaged in private conversation with another Person. Access to them is strictly forbidden.' From the guards who were standing beside the door, I gathered that that Person was none other than Bahá'u'lláh. "In my second dream," the mujtahid continued, "I found myself in a place where I beheld around me a number of coffers, each of which, it was stated, belonged to Bahá'u'lláh. As I opened them, I found them to be filled with books. Every word and letter recorded in these books was set with the most exquisite jewels. Their radiance dazzled me. I was so overpowered by their brilliance that I awoke suddenly from my dream."
    Dawn Breakers, Nabil's Narrative. p. 111.

Another account of one of the dreams of Mirza Muhammad Taqiy-i-Nuri.

"At another time, Shaykh Muhammad-Taqi [a famous mujtahid distantly related to Bahá'u'lláh's family] had a dream of coming upon a room filled with trunks, which, he was told, belonged to Bahá'u'lláh. On opening one of them, he found it packed with books, and all the lines of those books studded with gems, the brilliance of which awakened him, he said.
    From Bahá'u'lláh The King of Glory by H.M. Balyuzi, page 22.
In truth, from the age of twelve until I stood in the Most Holy Presence, I had many dreams which are worth hearing-which can make one heedful, so that when one is subjected to difficulties and trials he may be able to bear them patiently. He will know that there is a wisdom hidden behind the mystic veil, and he will not become sorrow-stricken or dejected. . . .
    Munirih Khanum: Memoirs and Letters, pages 1-2.
When the believers dispersed from Niyala in groups, each taking a different route, the inhabitants of Niyala followed them and martyred whoever they could lay their hands on. My brother and I and several other people continued on our way [after the attack], when suddenly my brother was overcome with a feeling of great weakness. We arrived at a ruined caravanserai, and here we spent the night. My brother died there, and the other friends, fearing attack by our enemies, each crept away in some direction during the night. So, only I and my brother's corpse remained. In the morning, I left the caravanserai and stood bewildered and confused at the roadside, wondering how to go about burying my brother and how to save my own skin from the enemies.

Suddenly, I saw a women coming toward me from a distance. When she reached me she asked: "Who are you and why are you standing here?"

I told her: "My brother died in this caravanserai last night, and I am at a loss as to how to go about burying him."

The woman said, "Do not worry about this, for I have come to perform this very service. Last night I dreamt that her holiness Fatimih Zahra, upon her be peace, said to me, 'One of my children has died in this caravanserai. You must go tomorrow and bury him.' Now, I have come to fulfil her command. . .
    Told by Mirza Muhammad 'Ali, the father of Munirih Khanum in Munirih Khanum: Memoirs and Letters, pages 15-16.
. . . Finally, one night I came down from the roof in a bad temper and found myself very depressed. That night I dreamed I was walking in a wilderness, and someone was following me. Suddenly he caught up with me, and I saw that he was riding a horse. He asked, "Why are you afraid? Come, climb up behind me and I will take you wherever you want to go." He helped me mount and asked: "What is your desire?"

I said, "I beg God to give me two wings, so I can fly."

The rider took hold of me and helped me up. Suddenly, I realized that I had two wings and was flying. I flew for some time until I reached a vast arena full of people. I saw a high pulpit on which the Prophet Muhammad stood. All the prophets and messengers were seated there. At that moment, I turned into a dove. I flew up and settled in one of the niches on the pulpit.

The Prophet placed a necklace around my neck and I flew away to unseen places that no words can describe. There I saw people in a state of prayer, among them my mother. I gave her the necklace and flew away again.

Then, I awoke. I was exhilarated and began to cry. My poor mother came to me to find out what was wrong. All that day I felt strange. After that, on most nights I would dream that I was soaring. And I was extremely happy because I knew that dreams of flying are good omens.
    Munirih Khanum: Memoirs and Letters, pages 21-22.
One night I dreamt that Fatimih Zahra had come to our house to propose that one of us marry her son. My sister and I went forward with joy and delight to welcome her. She arose and kissed me on the forehead. In my dream, I understood she had selected me. I awoke in the morning exhilarated, and yet modesty forbade me from telling my dream to anyone. ON that very day at noon, the Bab's mother came to our house. My sister and I went to greet her in the same way we had done in my dream. She arose and kissed me on the forehead and held me in her arms, then she left. My older sister told me that she had come to ask for my hand, and I said, "O, how fortunate I am!" I related the dream I had had and said, "This dream has brought joy to my heart."
    Khadijih Bagum quoted by Munirih Khanum in Munirih Khanum: Memoirs and Letters, page 32.
I dreamt that I was walking in a vast wilderness. A pearl necklace that I was wearing suddenly broke, and all the pearls fell to the ground. With a heavy heart, I started to pick them up. Then I suddenly saw that each pearl was growing until it became the size of an egg or even larger. Some had joined together. They sparkled and shone so much that they illuminated the wilderness. It was so beautiful and pleasing that the words of the Bab recorded in the Persian Bayan came to mind: "Endeavor ye, to present every unique and precious object to him who God shall make manifest." I told myself that it would be good to take these pearls and present them to the Blessed Beauty when I attained his presence. A container appeared, and I placed the pearls in it and lifted it onto my head.

In a loud voice I called, "O Thou whom God shall make manifest! O Thou whom God shall make manifest!" After proceeding for some time, I saw that a branch had grown out of the middle of the container. It seemed to be guiding me to the holy land by alternately rising and prostrating. As it did so, a melodious voice could be heard coming from the branch, intoning "Allah-u-Akbar! Allah-u-Azam! Allah-u-Abha!" I joined in with this glorification and praise.

My moans and exclamations in my sleep were so loud that my brother, Sayyid Yahya, awoke and roused me saying, "Sister, sister, what has happened to you that you moan and cry out so much?"

I told him of my dream, but I could not describe it adequately. Right then and there, I wrote down all that had occurred in my dream and sent it to my mother in Isfahan.
    Munirih Khanum: Memoirs and Letters, pages 39-40.
ON THE eve of the Bab's arrival at Kashan, Haji Mirza Jani, surnamed Parpa, a noted resident of that city, dreamed that he was standing at a late hour in the afternoon at the gate of Attar, one of the gates of the city, when his eyes suddenly beheld the Bab on horseback wearing, instead of His customary turban, the kulah usually worn by the merchants of Persia. Before Him, as well as behind Him, marched a number of horsemen into whose custody He seemed to have been delivered. As they approached the gate, the Bab saluted him and said: "Haji Mirza Jani, We are to be your Guest for three nights. Prepare yourself to receive Us."

When he awoke, the vividness of his dream convinced him of the reality of his vision. This unexpected apparition constituted in his eyes a providential warning which he felt it his duty to heed and observe. He accordingly set out to prepare his house for the reception of the Visitor, and to provide whatever seemed necessary for His comfort. As soon as he had completed the preliminary arrangements for the banquet which he had decided to offer the Bab that night, Haji Mirza Jani proceeded to the gate of Attar, and there waited for the signs of the Bab's expected arrival. At the appointed hour, as he was scanning the horizon, he descried in the distance what seemed to him a company of horsemen approaching the gate of the city. As he hastened to meet them, his eyes recognised the Bab surrounded by His escort dressed in the same clothes and wearing the same expression as he had seen the night before in his dream. Haji Mirza Jani joyously approached Him and bent to kiss His stirrups. The Bab prevented him, saying: "We are to be your Guest for three nights. To-morrow is the day of Naw-Ruz; we shall celebrate it together in your home." Muhammad Big, who had been riding close to the Bab, thought Him to be an intimate acquaintance of Haji Mirza Jani. Turning to him, he said: "I am ready to abide by whatever is the desire of the Siyyid-i-Bab. I would ask you, however, to obtain the approval of my colleague who shares with me the charge of conducting the Siyyid-i- Bab to Tihran." Haji Mirza Jani submitted his request and was met with a flat refusal. "I decline your suggestion," he was told. "I have been most emphatically instructed not to allow this youth to enter any city until his arrival at the capital. I have been particularly commanded to spend the night outside the gate of the city, to break my march at the hour of sunset, and to resume it the next day at the hour of dawn. I cannot depart from the orders that have been given to me." This gave rise to a heated altercation which was eventually settled in favour of Muhammad Big, who succeeded in inducing his opponent to deliver the Bab into the custody of Haji Mirza Jani with the express understanding that on the third morning he should safely deliver back his Guest into their hands. Haji Mirza Jani, who had intended to invite to his home the entire escort of the Bab, was advised by Him to abandon this intention. "No one but you," He urged, "should accompany Me to your home." Haji Mirza Jani requested to be allowed to defray the expense of the horsemen's three days' stay in Kashan. "It is unnecessary," observed the Bab; "but for My will, nothing whatever could have induced them to deliver Me into your hands. All things lie prisoned within the grasp of His might. Nothing is impossible to Him. He removes every difficulty and surmounts every obstacle." The horsemen were lodged in a caravanserai in the immediate neighbourhood of the gate of the city. Muhammad Big, following the instructions of the Bab, accompanied Him until they drew near the house of Haji Mirza Jani. Having ascertained the actual situation of the house, he returned and joined his companions.
    Dawn Breakers, Nabil's Narrative. pp. 218-219

Many dreams from Bahá'í History are reported in Memorials of the Faithful and Nabil's Narrative.

A dream concerning Hand of the Cause Mulla Ali- Akbar.

I loved him very much, for he was delightful to converse with, and as a companion second to none. One night, not long ago, I saw him in the world of dreams. Although his frame had always been massive, in the dream world he appeared larger and more corpulent than ever. It seemed as if he had returned from a journey. I said to him, "Jinab, you have grown good and stout." "Yes," he answered, "praise be to God! I have been in places where the air was fresh and sweet, and the water crystal pure; the landscapes were beautiful to look upon, the foods delectable. It all agreed with me, of course, so I am stronger than ever now, and I have recovered the zest of my early youth. The breaths of the All-Merciful blew over me and all my time was spent in telling of God. I have been setting forth His proofs, and teaching His Faith." (The meaning of teaching the Faith in the next world is spreading the sweet savors of holiness; that action is the same as teaching.) We spoke together a little more, and then some people arrived and he disappeared.
    Memorials of the Faithful, p. 12

Muhammad-Sadiq, one of four brothers who lived together in a house in Baghdad near Bahá'u'lláh, dreams of his days with Bahá'u'lláh.

The eldest brother, Muhammad-Sadiq, accompanied Bahá'u'lláh from Iraq to Constantinople, and from there to Adrianople, where he lived happily for some time, close to his Lord. He was humble, long-suffering, thankful; there was always a smile on his lips; he was light of heart, and his soul was in love with Bahá'u'lláh. Later he was given leave to return to Iraq, for his family was there, and he remained in that city for a while, dreaming and remembering.
    Memorials of the Faithful p.78

Tahirih, a Letter of the Living, dreams of the Bab.

One night when it was getting along toward dawn she laid her head on her pillow, lost all awareness of this earthly life, and dreamed a dream; in her vision a youth, a Siyyid, wearing a black cloak and a green turban, appeared to her in the heavens; he was standing in the air, reciting verses and praying with his hands upraised. At once, she memorized one of those verses, and wrote it down in her notebook when she awoke. After the Bab had declared His mission, and His first book, "The Best of Stories," was circulated, Tahirih was reading a section of the text one day, and she came upon that same verse, which she had noted down from the dream. Instantly offering thanks, she fell to her knees and bowed her forehead to the ground, convinced that the Bab's message was truth.
    Memorials of the Faithful p.194

Ibn-i-Alusi, mufti of Baghdad, has a dream concerning Tahirih.

On a certain day the mufti related one of his dreams, and asked her to tell him what it meant. He said: "In my dream I saw the Shi'ih ulamas arriving at the holy tomb of Imam Husayn, the Prince of Martyrs. They took away the barrier that encloses the tomb, and they broke open the resplendent grave, so that the immaculate body lay revealed to their gaze. They sought to take up the holy form, but I cast myself down on the corpse and I warded them off." Tahirih answered: "This is the meaning of your dream: you are about to deliver me from the hands of the Shi'ih divines." "I too had interpreted it thus," said Ibn-i-Alusi.
    pp. 195-196 Memorials of the Faithful.

A shepherd tells Siyyid Kazim about his dream, and Siyyid Kazim is pleased to learn of his approaching death.

Standing beneath the shade of a palm which faced the masjid, he joined the congregation, and had just concluded his devotions when an Arab suddenly appeared, approached the Siyyid, and embraced him. "Three days ago," he said, "I was shepherding my flock in this adjoining pasture, when sleep suddenly fell upon me. In my dream I saw Muhammad, the Apostle of God, who addressed me in these words: 'Give ear, O shepherd, to My words, and treasure them within your heart. For these words of Mine are the trust of God which I commit to your keeping. If you be faithful to them, great will be your reward. If you neglect them, grievous retribution will befall you. Hear Me; this is the trust with which I charge you: Stay within the precincts of the Masjid-i- Baratha. On the third day after this dream, a scion of My house, Siyyid Kazim by name, will, accompanied by his friends and companions, alight, at the hour of noon, beneath the shadow of the palm in the vicinity of the masjid. There he will offer his prayer. As soon as your eyes fall upon him, seek his presence and convey to him My loving greetings. Tell him, from Me: "Rejoice, for the hour of your departure is at hand. When you shall have performed your visits in Kazimayn and shall have returned to Karbila, there, three days after your return, on the day of Arafih [December 31, 1843], you will wing your flight to Me. Soon after shall He who is the Truth be made manifest. Then shall the world be illuminated by the light of His face." A smile wreathed the countenance of Siyyid Kazim upon the completion of the description of the dream related by that shepherd. He said: "Of the truth of the dream which you have dreamt there is no doubt." His companions were sorely grieved. Turning to them, he said: "Is not your love for me for the sake of that true One whose advent we all await? Would you not wish me to die, that the promised One may be revealed?" This episode, in its entirety, has been related to me by no less than ten persons, all of whom were present on that occasion, and who testified to its accuracy. And yet many of those who witnessed with their own eyes such marvellous signs have rejected the Truth and repudiated His Message!
    pp. 44-45 of Nabil's Narrative, The Dawn Breakers.
According to the "Memorials of the Faithful" (pp. 291-8), Tahirih had two sons and one daughter, none of whom recognised the truth of the Cause. Such was the degree of her knowledge and attainment, that her father, Haji Mulla Salih often expressed his regret in the following terms: "Would that she had been a boy for he would have shed illumination upon my household, and would have succeeded me!" She became acquainted with the writings of Shaykh Ahmad while staying in the home of her cousin, Mulla Javad, from whose library she borrowed these books, and took them over to her home. Her father raised violent objections to her action and, in his heated discussions with her, denounced and criticised the teachings of Shaykh Ahmad. Tahirih refused to heed the counsels of her father, and engaged in secret correspondence with Siyyid Kazim, who conferred upon her the name of "Qurratu'l-'Ayn." The title of "Tahirih" was first associated with her name while she was staying in Badasht, and was subsequently approved by the Bab. From Qazvin she left for Karbila, hoping to meet Siyyid Kazim, but arrived too late, the Siyyid having passed away ten days before her arrival. She joined the companions of the departed leader, and spent her time in prayer and meditation, eagerly expecting the appearance of Him whose advent Siyyid Kazim had foretold. While in that city, she dreamed a dream. A youth, a Siyyid, wearing a black cloak and a green turban, appeared to her in the heavens, who with upraised hands was reciting certain verses, one of which she noted down in her book. She awoke from her dream greatly impressed by her strange experience. When, later on, a copy of the "Ahsanu'l-Qisas," the Bab's commentary on the Surih of Joseph, reached her, she, to her intense delight, discovered that same verse which she had heard in her dream in that book. That discovery assured her of the truth of the Message which the Author of that work had proclaimed. She herself undertook the translation of the "Ahsanu'l-Qisas" into Persian, and exerted the utmost effort for its spread and interpretation. For three months her house in Karbila was besieged by the guards whom the Governor had appointed to watch and prevent her from associating with the people. From Karbila she proceeded to Baghdad, and lived for a time the house of Shaykh Muhammad-i-Shibl, from which place she transferred her residence to another quarter, and was eventually taken to the home of the Mufti, where she stayed for about three months.
    From a footnote on page 81 of Nabil's Narrative.

Mulla Aliy-i-Bastami sets out to Najaf and Karbila on the Bab's instructions and soon meets Abdu'l-Vahhab who relates a dream.

No sooner were these words uttered than Mulla Ali arose from his seat and set out to prosecute his mission. At about a farsang's distance from Shiraz he was overtaken by a youth who, flushed with excitement, impatiently asked to speak to him. His name was Abdu'l-Vahhab. "I beseech you," he tearfully entreated Mulla Ali, "to allow me to accompany you on your journey. Perplexities oppress my heart; I pray you to guide my steps in the way of Truth. Last night, in my dream, I heard the crier announce in the market-street of Shiraz the appearance of the Imam Ali, the Commander of the Faithful. He called to the multitude: 'Arise and seek him. Behold, he plucks out of the burning fire charters of liberty and is distributing them to the people. Hasten to him, for whoever receives them from his hands will be secure from penal suffering, and whoever fails to obtain them from him, will be bereft of the blessings of Paradise.' Immediately I heard the voice of the crier, I arose and, abandoning my shop, ran across the market-street of Vakil to a place where my eyes beheld you standing and distributing those same charters to the people. To everyone who approached to receive them from your hands, you would whisper in his ear a few words which instantly caused him to flee in consternation and exclaim: 'Woe betide me, for I am deprived of the blessings of Ali and his kindred! Ah, miserable me, that I am accounted among the outcast and fallen!' I awoke from my dream and, immersed in an ocean of thought, regained my shop. Suddenly I saw you pass, accompanied by a man who wore a turban, and who was conversing with you. I sprang from my seat and, impelled by a power which I could not repress, ran to overtake you. To my utter amazement, I found you standing upon the very site which I had witnessed in my dream, engaged in the recital of traditions and verses. Standing aside, at a distance, I kept watching you, wholly unobserved by you and your friend. I heard the man whom you were addressing, impetuously protest: 'Easier is it for me to be devoured by the flames of hell than to acknowledge the truth of your words, the weight of which mountains are unable to sustain!' To his contemptuous rejection you returned this answer: 'Were all the universe to repudiate His truth, it could never tarnish the unsullied purity of His robe of grandeur.' Departing from him, you directed your steps towards the gate of Kaziran. I continued to follow you until I reached this place." Mulla Ali tried to appease his troubled heart and to persuade him to return to his shop and resume his daily work. "Your association with me," he urged, "would involve me in difficulties. Return to Shiraz and rest assured, for you are accounted of the people of salvation. Far be it from the justice of God to withhold from so ardent and devoted a seeker the cup of His grace, or to deprive a soul so athirst from the billowing ocean of His Revelation."
    See Nabil's Narrative, pp. 87-88.

Haji Abdu'l-Majid, the father of Abdu'l-Vahhab beat Mulla Aliy-i-Bastami, but Mulla Ali warned him that Abdu'l-Majid would live to understand and regret this action. Here Abdu'l-Majid tells how his son's dream affected him

"On our way back to Shiraz, my son related to me the dream he had dreamt. A feeling of profound regret gradually seized me. The blamelessness of Mulla Ali was vindicated in my eyes, and the memory of my cruelty to him continued long to oppress my soul. Its bitterness lingered in my heart until the time when I felt obliged to transfer my residence from Shiraz to Baghdad. From Baghdad I moved to Kazimayn, where Abdu'l-Vahhab established his business. A strange mystery brooded over his youthful face. He seemed to be concealing from me a secret which appeared to have transformed his life. And when, in the year 1267 A.H. [1850-51], Bahá'u'lláh journeyed to Iraq and visited Kazimayn, Abdu'l-Vahhab fell immediately under the spell of His charm and pledged his undying devotion to Him. A few years later, when my son had suffered martyrdom in Tihran and Bahá'u'lláh had been exiled to Baghdad, He, with infinite loving-kindness and mercy, awakened me from the sleep of heedlessness, and Himself taught me the message of the New Day, washing away with the waters of Divine forgiveness the stains of that cruel act."
    Nabil's Narrative p. 90
The night before his arrival at Mah-Ku, which was the eve of the fourth Naw-Ruz after the declaration of the Mission of the Bab, and which fell in that year, the year 1264 A.H., [1848 A.D.] on the thirteenth of the month of Rabi'u'th-Thani, Ali Khan dreamed a dream. "In my sleep," he thus relates his story, "I was startled by the sudden intelligence that Muhammad, the Prophet of God, was soon to arrive at Mah-Ku, that He was to proceed directly to the castle in order to visit the Bab and to offer Him His congratulations on the advent of the Naw-Ruz festival. In my dream, I ran out to meet Him, eager to extend to so holy a Visitor the expression of my humble welcome. In a state of indescribable gladness, I hastened on foot in the direction of the river, and as I reached the bridge, which lay at a distance of a maydan from the town of Mah- Ku, I saw two men advancing towards me. I thought one of them to be the Prophet Himself, while the other who walked behind Him I supposed to be one of His distinguished companions. I hastened to throw myself at His feet, and was bending to kiss the hem of His robe, when I suddenly awoke. A great joy had flooded my soul. I felt as if Paradise itself, with all its delights, had been crowded into my heart. Convinced of the reality of my vision, I performed my ablutions, offered my prayer, arrayed myself in my richest attire, anointed myself with perfume, and proceeded to the spot where, the night before in my dream, I had gazed upon the countenance of the Prophet. I had instructed my attendants to saddle three of my best and swiftest steeds and to conduct them immediately to the bridge. The sun had just risen when, alone and unescorted, I walked out of the town of Mah-Ku in the direction of the river. As I approached the bridge, I discovered, with a throb of wonder, the two men whom I had seen in my dream walking one behind the other, and advancing towards me. Instinctively I fell at the feet of the one whom I believed to be the Prophet, and devoutly kissed them. I begged Him and His companion to mount the horses which I had prepared for their entry into Mah-Ku. 'Nay,' was His reply, 'I have vowed to accomplish the whole of my journey on foot. I will walk to the summit of this mountain and will there visit your Prisoner.'"

This strange experience of Ali Khan brought about a deepening of reverence in his attitude towards the Bab. His faith in the potency of His Revelation became even greater, and his devotion to Him was vastly increased.
    Dawn Breakers, Nabil's Narrative. pp. 256-257

Yahya Khan, the man in charge of the Bab in Chihriq, allows Babis to gather.

They would prostrate themselves on the ground and seek to refresh their souls with remembrance of Him. To one another they would freely relate the wonders of His power and glory, and would recount such dreams as bore witness to the creative power of His influence. To no one would Yahya Khan refuse admittance to the castle.
    Dawn Breakers, Nabil's Narrative. p. 302
It came to pass at that time that a prominent official of high literary ability, Mirza Asadu'llah, who was later surnamed Dayyan by the Bab and whose vehement denunciations of His Message had baffled those who had endeavoured to convert him, dreamed a dream. When he awoke, he determined not to recount it to anyone, and, fixing his choice on two verses of the Qur'an, he addressed the following request to the Bab: "I have conceived three definite things in my mind. I request you to reveal to me their nature." Mirza Muhammad-'Ali was asked to submit this written request to the Bab. A few days later, he received a reply penned in the Bab's handwriting, in which He set forth in their entirety the circumstances of that dream and revealed a the exact texts of those verses. The accuracy of that reply brought about a sudden conversion. Though unused to walking, Mirza Asadu'llah hastened on foot along that steep and stony path which led from Khuy to the castle. His friends tried to induce him to proceed on horseback to Chihriq, but he refused their offer. His meeting with the Bab confirmed him in his belief and excited that fiery ardour which he continued to manifest to the end of his life.
    Dawn Breakers, Nabil's Narrative. pp. 303-304.
The night preceding their arrival, the guardian of the shrine dreamed that the Siyyidu'sh-Shuhada', the Imam Husayn, had arrived at Shaykh Tabarsi, accompanied by no less than seventy-two warriors and a large number or his companions. He dreamed that they tarried in that spot, engaged in the most heroic of battles, triumphing in every encounter over the forces of the enemy, and that the Prophet of God, Himself, arrived one night and joined that blessed company. When Mulla Husayn arrived on the following day, the guardian immediately recognised him as the hero he had seen in his vision, threw himself at his feet, and kissed them devoutly. Mulla Husayn invited him to be seated by his side, and heard him relate his story. "All that you have witnessed," he assured the keeper of the shrine, "will come to pass. Those glorious scenes will again be enacted before your eyes." That servant threw in his lot eventually with the heroic defenders of the fort and fell a martyr within its walls. The night preceding their arrival, the guardian of the shrine dreamed that the Siyyidu'sh-Shuhada', the Imam Husayn, had arrived at Shaykh Tabarsi, accompanied by no less than seventy-two warriors and a large number or his companions. He dreamed that they tarried in that spot, engaged in the most heroic of battles, triumphing in every encounter over the forces of the enemy, and that the Prophet of God, Himself, arrived one night and joined that blessed company. When Mulla Husayn arrived on the following day, the guardian immediately recognised him as the hero he had seen in his vision, threw himself at his feet, and kissed them devoutly. Mulla Husayn invited him to be seated by his side, and heard him relate his story. "All that you have witnessed," he assured the keeper of the shrine, "will come to pass. Those glorious scenes will again be enacted before your eyes." That servant threw in his lot eventually with the heroic defenders of the fort and fell a martyr within its walls.
    Dawn Breakers, Nabil's Narrative. pp. 345-345

Mir Muhammad-'Ali dreamed that his sons Siyyid Ahmad and Mir Abu'l-Qasim would meet the Bab and die as martyrs.

This terrible butchery had hardly been concluded when three of the companions of Quddus, who were residents of Sang-Sar, were ushered into the presence of the prince. One of them was Siyyid Ahmad, whose father, Mir Muhammad-'Ali, a devoted admirer of Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i, had been a man of great learning and distinguished merit. He, accompanied by this same Siyyid Ahmad and his brother, Mir Abu'l-Qasim, who met his death the very night on which Mulla Husayn was slain, had departed for Karbila in the year preceding the declaration of the Bab, with the intention of introducing his two sons to Siyyid Kazim. Ere his arrival, the siyyid had departed this life. He immediately determined to leave for Najaf. While in that city, the Prophet Muhammad one night appeared to him in a dream, bidding the Imam Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, announce to him that after his death both his sons, Siyyid Ahmad and Mir Abu'l-Qasim, would attain the presence of the promised Qa'im and would each suffer martyrdom in His path. As soon as he awoke, he called for his son Siyyid Ahmad and acquainted him with his will and last wishes. On the seventh day after that dream he died.
    Dawn Breakers, Nabil's Narrative. p. 406
"We were awakened one night, ere break of day, by Mirza Abdu'l- Vahhab-i-Shirazi, who was bound with Us to the same chains. He had left Kazimayn and followed Us to Tihran, where he was arrested and thrown into prison. He asked Us whether We were awake, and proceeded to relate to Us his dream. 'I have this night,' he said, 'been soaring into a space of infinite vastness and beauty. I seemed to be uplifted on wings that carried me wherever I desired to go. A feeling of rapturous delight filled my soul. I flew in the midst of that immensity with a swiftness and ease that I cannot describe.' 'To-day,' We replied, 'it will be your turn to sacrifice yourself for this Cause. May you remain firm and steadfast to the end. You will then find yourself soaring in that same limitless space of which you dreamed, traversing with the same ease and swiftness the realm of immortal sovereignty, and gazing with that same rapture upon the Infinite Horizon.'

"That morning saw the gaoler again enter Our cell and call out the name of Abdu'l-Vahhab. Throwing off his chains, he sprang to his feet, embraced each of his fellow-prisoners, and, taking Us into his arms, pressed Us lovingly to his heart. That moment We discovered that he had no shoes to wear We gave him Our own, and, speaking a last word of encouragement and cheer, sent him forth to the scene of his martyrdom. Later on, his executioner came to Us, praising in glowing language the spirit which that youth had shown.

How thankful We were to God for this testimony which the executioner himself had given!"
    Nabil quoting Bahá'u'lláh on page 633 of Nabil's Narrative.
Siyyid Kazim, in his book entitled "Dalilu'l-Mutahayyirin," writes as follows: "Our master, one night, saw the Imam Hasan; upon him may the blessing of God rest! His Holiness put in his mouth his blessed tongue. From the adorable saliva of His Holiness he drew forth the sciences and the assistance of God. To the taste it was sweeter even than honey, more perfumed than the musk. It was also quite warm. When he came to himself and wakened from his dream, he inwardly radiated the light of divine contemplation; his soul overflowed with the blessings of God and became entirely severed from everything save God.
    Page 1, Note 3 in Dawn Breakers
"The Shah felt his good will and respect for the Shaykh grow increasingly from day to day. He felt obliged to obey him and would have considered it an act of blasphemy to oppose him. However, at this time, a succession of earthquakes occurred in Rayy and many were destroyed.

"The Shah had a dream in which it was revealed to him that, if Shaykh Ahmad had not been there, the entire city would have been destroyed and all the inhabitants killed. He awakened terrified and his faith in the Shaykh grew apace."
    (A. L. M. Nicolas' "Essai sur le Shaykhisme," I, p. 21.) Page 12, Note 1 in Dawn Breakers. See Emily McBride Perigord, Translation Of The French Foot-Notes Of The Dawn-Breakers
"As to thy question concerning the worlds of God. Know thou of a truth that the worlds of God are countless in their number, and infinite in their range. None can reckon or comprehend them except God, the All- Knowing, the All-Wise. Consider thy state when asleep. Verily, I say, this phenomenon is the most mysterious of the signs of God amongst men, were they to ponder it in their hearts. Behold how the thing which thou hast seen in thy dream is, after a considerable lapse of time, fully realized. Had the world in which thou didst find thyself in thy dream been identical with the world in which thou livest, it would have been necessary for the event occurring in that dream to have transpired in this world at the very moment of its occurrence. Were it so, you yourself would have borne witness unto it. This being not the case, however, it must necessarily follow that the world in which thou livest is different and apart from that which thou hast experienced in thy dream. This latter world hath neither beginning nor end. It would be true if thou were wert to contend that this same world is, as decreed by the All-Glorious and Almighty God, within thy proper self and is wrapped up within thee. It would equally be true to maintain that thy spirit, having transcended the limitations of sleep and having stripped itself of all earthly attachment, hath, by the act of God, been made to traverse a realm which lieth hidden in the innermost reality of this world. Verily I say, the creation of God embraceth worlds besides this world, and creatures apart from these creatures. In each of these worlds He hath ordained things which none can search except Himself, the All-Searching, the All-Wise. Do thou meditate on that which We have revealed unto thee, that thou mayest discover the purpose of God, thy Lord, and the Lord of all worlds..."
    This is from the Suriy-i-Vafa, found in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas pages 187-188. Also LXXIX. in Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh
In several of Our Tablets We have referred to this theme, and have set forth the various stages in the development of the soul. Verily I say, the human soul is exalted above all egress and regress. It is still, and yet it soareth; it moveth, and yet it is still. It is, in itself, a testimony that beareth witness to the existence of a world that is contingent, as well as to the reality of a world that hath neither beginning nor end. Behold how the dream thou hast dreamed is, after the lapse of many years, re- enacted before thine eyes. Consider how strange is the mystery of the world that appeareth to thee in thy dream. Ponder in thine heart upon the unsearchable wisdom of God, and meditate on its manifold revelations....
    -Gleanings, p. 162
"In prayer there is a mingling of station, a mingling of condition. Pray for them as they pray for you! When you do not know it, and are in a receptive attitude, they are able to make suggestions to you, if you are in difficulty. This sometimes happens in sleep; but there is no phenomenal intercourse! That which seems like phenomenal intercourse has another explanation." The questioner exclaimed; "But I have heard a voice!" Abdu'l-Bahá said: "Yes, that is possible; we hear voices clearly in dreams. It is not with the physical ear that you heard; the spirit of those that have passed on are freed from sense-life, and do not use physical means. It is not possible to put these great matters into human words; the language of man is the language of children, and man's explanation often leads astray."
    from 'Abdu'l-Bahá in London p.96. Evidently given in answer to the question a friend asked: "How should one look forward to death?"
Often a man makes up his mind positively about a matter; for instance he determines to undertake a journey. Then he thinks it over, that is, he consults his inner reality and finally concludes that he will give up his journey. What has happened? Why did he abandon his original purpose? It is evident that he has consulted his inner reality which expresses to him the disadvantages of such a journey, therefore he defers to that reality and changes his original intention.

Furthermore man sees in the world of dreams. He travels in the East, he travels in the West, although his body is stationary, his body is here. It is that reality in him which makes the journey while the body sleeps. There is no doubt that a reality exists other than the outward, physical reality. Again for instance a person is dead, is buried in the ground. Afterward you see him in the world of dreams and speak with him although his body is interred in the earth. Who is the person you see in your dreams, talk to and who also speaks with you? This again proves that there is another reality different from the physical one which dies and is buried. Thus it is certain that in man there is a reality which is not the physical body. Sometimes the body becomes weak but that other reality is in its own normal state. The body goes to sleep, becomes as one dead but that reality is moving about, comprehending things, expressing them and is even conscious of itself.
    - 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The Promulgation of Universal Peace pp. 465-466. Also found in Foundations of World Unity
The visions of the Prophets are not dreams; no, they are spiritual discoveries and have reality. They say, for example: "I saw a person in a certain form, and I said such a thing, and he gave such an answer." This vision is in the world of wakefulness, and not in that of sleep. Nay, it is a spiritual discovery. ...

...Among spiritual souls there are spiritual understandings, discoveries, a communion which is purified from imagination and fancy, an association which is sanctified from time and place. So it is written in the Gospel that on Mount Tabor, Moses and Elias came to Christ, and it is evident that this was not a material meeting. It was a spiritual condition. ...

...[Communications such as] these are real, and produce wonderful effects in the minds and thoughts of men, and cause their hearts to be attracted.
    -- Some Answered Questions, pp. 290, 291, 292. (cited also in Esselmont's Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, page 193.)


As in a dream one talks with a friend while the mouth is silent, so is it in the conversation of the spirit. A man may converse with the ego within him saying: "May I do this? Would it be advisable for me to do this work?" Such as this is conversation with the higher self.
    'Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 179
Consider man while in the state of sleep; it is evident that all his parts and members are at a standstill, are functionless. His eye does not see, his ear does not hear, his feet and hands are motionless; but, nevertheless, he does see in the world of dreams, he does hear, he speaks, he walks, he may even fly in an airplane. Therefore, it becomes evident that though the body be dead, yet the spirit is alive and permanent. Nay, the perceptions may be keener when man's body is asleep, the flight may be higher, the hearing may be more acute; all the functions are there, and yet the body is at a standstill. Hence, it is proof that there is a spirit in the man, and in this spirit there is no distinction as to whether the body be asleep or absolutely dead and dependent. The spirit is not incapacitated by these conditions; it is not bereft of its existence; it is not bereft of its perfections. The proofs are many, innumerable.
    Promulgation of Universal Peace, Page 243. Abdu'l-Bahá gave this lecture on 24 July 1912 to Theosophical Society in Boston, Massachusetts.
Sometimes the body sleeps, the eyes do not see, the ears do not hear, the members cease to act, every function is as inactive as death; nevertheless, the spirit sees, hears and soars on high. For it is possessed of these faculties which operate without the instrumentality of the body. In the world of thought it sees without eyes, hears without ears and travels without the motion of foot. Without physical force it exercises every function. This makes it evident that during sleep the spirit is alive though the body is as dead. In the world of dreams the body becomes absolutely passive, but the spirit still functions actively, possessed of all susceptibilities. This leads to the conclusion that the life of the spirit is neither conditional nor dependent upon the life of the body. At most it can be said that the body is a mere garment utilized by the spirit. If that garment be destroyed, the wearer is not affected but is, in fact, protected.

    Promulgation of Universal Peace, Page 259. 'Abdu'l-Bahá gave this lecture on July 16th, 1912 at Green Acre, Eliot, Maine.


Second, consider the world of dreams, wherein the body of man is immovable, seemingly dead, not subject to sensation; the eyes do not see, the ears do not hear nor the tongue speak. But the spirit of man is not asleep; it sees, hears, moves, perceives and discovers realities. Therefore, it is evident that the spirit of man is not affected by the change or condition of the body. Even though the material body should die, the spirit continues eternally alive, just as it exists and functions in the inert body in the realm of dreams. That is to say, the spirit is immortal and will continue its existence after the destruction of the body.
    pages 306-307 Promulgation of Universal Peace. Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. William Sutherland Maxwell, in Montreal, Canada on September 1st 1912.
"A few days before the arrival of the Commission of Enquiry 'Abdu'l- Baha had a dream which He related to the Bahá'ís. He dreamt that a ship sailed into the bay of Haifa, and birds resembling dynamite flew inland from it. The people of 'Akka were terrified, and he stood among them, calm and collected, watching these birds. They circled and circled over the town and then went back whence they had come. There was no explosion. 'Abdu'l- Baha said that danger loomed, but it would pass and no harm would result.
    'Abdu'l-Bahá by H.M. Balyuzi, page 119.
Out of the many signs of the approach of the hour when he could say of his work on earth: 'It is finished', the following two dreams seem remarkable. Less than eight weeks before his passing the Master related this to his family:

'I seemed to be standing within a great Mosque . . . in the place of the Imam himself. I became aware that a large number of people were flocking into the Mosque; more and yet more crowded in, taking their places in rows behind me, until there was a vast multitude. As I stood I raised loudly the "Call to Prayer". Suddenly the thought came to me to go forth from the Mosque.

'When I found myself outside I said within myself, "For what reason came I forth, not having led the prayer? But it matters not; now that I have uttered the Call to Prayer, the vast multitude will of themselves chant the prayer. . ."'

A few weeks after the preceding dream the Master come in from the solitary room in the garden, which he had occupied of late, and said:

'I dreamed a dream and behold the Blessed Beauty . . . came and said unto me, "Destroy this room!"'

The family, who had been wishing that he would come and sleep in the house, not being happy that he should be alone at night, exclaimed, 'Yes Master, we think your dream means that you should leave that room and come into the house.' When he heard this from us, he smiled meaningly as though not agreeing with our interpretation. Afterwards we understood that by the 'room' was meant the temple of his body.
    'Abdu'l-Bahá by H.M. Balyuzi, pages 457-458.
The letter thou hast enclosed was perused. When man's soul is rarified and cleansed, spiritual links are established, and from these bonds sensations felt by the heart are produced. The human heart resembleth a mirror. When this is purified human hearts are attuned and reflect one another, and thus spiritual emotions are generated. This is like the world of dreams when man is detached from things which are tangible and experienceth those of the spirit. What amazing laws operate, and what remarkable discoveries are made! And it may even be that detailed communications are registered...
    Page 108 of Selections from the Writings of 'Abdul-Baha. (a letter to someone in Chicago, perhaps Corrine True?)
As for that mighty solar orb which thou didst behold in thy dream, that was the Promised One, and its spreading rays were His bounties, and the translucent surface of the mass of water signifieth hearts that are undefiled and pure, while the surging waves denote the great excitement of those hearts and the fact that they were shaken and deeply moved, that is, the waves are the stirrings of the spirit and holy intimations of the soul. Praise thou God that in the world of the dream thou hast witnessed such disclosures.
    Pages 179-180. Selections from the Writings of 'Abdul- Baha.
The other manifestation of the powers and actions of the spirit is without instruments and organs. For example, in the state of sleep without eyes it sees; without an ear it hears; without a tongue it speaks; without feet it runs. Briefly, these actions are beyond the means of instruments and organs. How often it happens that it sees a dream in the world of sleep, and its signification becomes apparent two years afterward in corresponding events. In the same way, how many times it happens that a question which one cannot solve in the world of wakefulness is solved in the world of dreams. In wakefulness the eye sees only for a short distance, but in dreams he who is in the East sees the West. Awake he sees the present; in sleep he sees the future. In wakefulness, by means of rapid transit, at the most he can travel only eighty miles an hour; in sleep, in the twinkling of an eye, he traverses the East and West. For the spirit travels in two different ways: without means, which is spiritual traveling; and with means, which is material traveling: as birds which fly, and those which are carried.

In the time of sleep this body is as though dead; it does not see nor hear; it does not feel; it has no consciousness, no perception--that is to say, the powers of man have become inactive, but the spirit lives and subsists. Nay, its penetration is increased, its flight is higher, and its intelligence is greater. To consider that after the death of the body the spirit perishes is like imagining that a bird in a cage will be destroyed if the cage is broken, though the bird has nothing to fear from the destruction of the cage. Our body is like the cage, and the spirit is like the bird. We see that without the cage this bird flies in the world of sleep; therefore, if the cage becomes broken, the bird will continue and exist. Its feelings will be even more powerful, its perceptions greater, and its happiness increased. In truth, from hell it reaches a paradise of delights because for the thankful birds there is no paradise greater than freedom from the cage. That is why with utmost joy and happiness the martyrs hasten to the plain of sacrifice.
    'Abdu'l-Bahá. Some Answered Questions pp. 227-228. Also in Bahá'í World Faith p. 326
Furthermore, this immortal human soul is endowed with two means of perception: One is effected through instrumentality; the other, independently. For instance, the soul sees through the instrumentality of the eye, hears with the ear, smells through the nostrils and grasps objects with the hands. These are the actions or operations of the soul through instruments. But in the world of dreams the soul sees when the eyes are closed. The man is seemingly dead, lies there as dead; the ears do not hear, yet he hears. The body lies there, but he-that is, the soul-travels, sees, observes. All the instruments of the body are inactive, all the functions seemingly useless. Notwithstanding this, there is an immediate and vivid perception by the soul. Exhilaration is experienced. The soul journeys, perceives, senses. It often happens that a man in a state of wakefulness has not been able to accomplish the solution of a problem, and when he goes to sleep, he will reach that solution in a dream. How often it has happened that he has dreamed, even as the prophets have dreamed, of the future; and events which have thus been foreshadowed have come to pass literally.

Therefore, we learn that the immortality of the soul, or spirit, is not contingent or dependent upon the so-called immortality of the body, because the body in the quiescent state, in the time of sleep, may be as dead, unconscious, senseless; but the soul, or spirit, is possessed of perceptions, sensations, motion and discovery. Even inspiration and revelation are obtained by it. How many were the prophets who have had marvelous visions of the future while in that state! The spirit, or human soul, is the rider; and the body is only the steed. If anything affects the steed, the rider is not affected by it. The spirit may be likened to the light within the lantern. The body is simply the outer lantern. If the lantern should break, the light is ever the same because the light could shine even without the lantern. The spirit can conduct its affairs without the body. In the world of dreams it is precisely as this light without the chimney glass. It can shine without the glass. The human soul by means of this body can perform its operations, and without the body it can, likewise, have its control. Therefore, if the body be subject to disintegration, the spirit is not affected by these changes or transformations.
    Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp. 416-417. Talk of November 9th 1912 given at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur J. Parsons (1700 Eighteenth Street, NW, Washington, D. C.) Notes by Joseph H. Hannen.
It is through the power of the soul that the mind comprehendeth, imagineth and exerteth its influence, whilst the soul is a power that is free. The mind comprehendeth the abstract by the aid of the concrete, but the soul hath limitless manifestations of its own. The mind is circumscribed, the soul limitless. It is by the aid of such senses as those of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch, that the mind comprehendeth, whereas the soul is free from all agencies. The soul as thou observest, whether it be in sleep or waking, is in motion and ever active. Possibly it may, whilst in a dream, unravel an intricate problem, incapable of solution in the waking state. The mind, moreover, understandeth not whilst the senses have ceased to function, and in the embryonic stage and in early infancy the reasoning power is totally absent, whereas the soul is ever endowed with full strength. In short, the proofs are many that go to show that despite the loss of reason, the power of the soul would still continue to exist. The spirit however possesseth various grades and stations.
    'Abdu'l-Bahá. Tablet to August Forel Pages 8-9 Also Bahá'í World Faith page 337
'Abdu'l-Bahá interprets a woman's dream.

As to that great Sun which thou sawest in a dream: That is His Holiness the Promised One and the lights thereof are His bounties. The surface of the water is transparent body--that is, pure hearts. Its waves are the moving of the hearts, the cheering of the souls-- that is, spiritual feelings and merciful sentiments. Thank tho God for that thou hast had such a revelation in the world of dreams.
    Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, pp. 243-244.

'Abdu'l-Bahá confirms a woman's interpretation of her own dream.

O friend! Although we are weak, yet the confirmations of the Merciful Lord are inexhaustible. Pray thou that the ill-natured become good-natured and the weak become strong.

The dream thou hast seen is in accord with thy interpretation. I hope that Mr. ........ may become the light of the Merciful One and be confirmed and assisted to spread the Cause of God.
    Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, p. 277.
Thank thou God that thou hast stepped into the arena of existence in such a blessed Age and hast opened thine ears and thine eyes in such a Promised Day. The Splendor of the Sun of Truth thou hast beheld and the divine Call thou hast heard. To thine ultimate desire thou hast attained and from the sweetness of the love of God thou hast tasted. Consequently, supplicate ardently for spiritual attraction and ecstacy.

O thou beloved maid-servant of God! If thou art not seeing dreams (and visions), be thou not sad. Thou are going to see, whilst thou art awake. A wakeful eye is acceptable in the Threshold of the Almighty. Therefore, I hope that thou wilt open the eye of thine insight, travel in all the realms of God, see the splendor of the Kingdom and behold the effulgence of the Realm of Might.
    Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, pp. 530-531
O thou who art ablaze with the fire of the Love of God!

As to thy vision that thou wert traveling to Acca in a ship with the maid-servant of God .........: this ship is the ship of the Covenant, which is surrounded by the winds of discord from the people of hypocrisy. Be rejoiced that ye two are preserved and have reached the shore of salvation.

Know thou, verily, the winds of confirmation shall surely surround the Ark of Deliverance, the sails of the covenant shall be unfurled, and it shall reach the shore of the Kingdom of God. Blessed art thou, for thou hast entered this Ark and art saved from afflictions!

As to what thou hast seen in the dream, concerning the letter which reached thee from me, and angels were enclosed in it and they surrounded thee: Know thou verily, that letter is this glorious writing whereby I address thee; and, verily, this is full of angels of confirmation from the Kingdom off God and they will assist thee to serve the Cause of God in the vineyard of God. O thou seeing one!

Know thou, verily, God hath preferred the insight to the sight, because the sight seeth the material things, while the insight apprehendeth the spiritual. the former witnesseth the earthly world, while the latter seeth the world of the Kingdom.
    Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, pp. 604-605
(Question: "What did the vision of a paper signify in my dream?")

Concerning the appearance of a paper in thy dream, before thine eyes, which thou wast unable to read: Thou shalt read it through the permission of God and thou shalt comprehend its meanings. It is a diary of the Word of God and the divine mysteries.
    Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, p. 660
O thou maid-servant of God! Blessed art thou, for the Temple of the Covenant (Abdul-Baha) hath become manifest to thee in a dream with incomparable humility and submission toward God, and that thou hast beheld that countenance overflowing with yearning, attraction and love toward the Beauty of the Almighty. Ere long thou shalt witness a great effect through this observation, whereby the spirit of life will become manifest in thee, which is now flowing in the veins of the contingent beings. Then thou shalt behold that which none have seen! At that time thou shalt fall upon the ground before God the True One, for He hath favored thee with this most great bounty.
    Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, p. 727

A Bahá'í (in Cleveland?) has spiritual dreams.

For a period of time no news hath been outwardly received from thee, but spiritual communications are continual (between us). Thou hast always been remembered and been present here. Though bodily ailments have come upon thee, yet the divine health is always constant and permanent. If thou knewest to what favors thou hast attained and how thou art gazed upon by the eye of the Beauty of Abha, even thy bodily ailments will be removed and merciful glad-tidings will surround thee.

Thou hast asked for permission to come: If the means for a comfortable journey are, in the best manner, arranged and ready for thee, thou art permitted to come here.

That merciful maid-servant (i.e., thyself) seeth some spiritual dreams (or visions). These are, in reality, discoveries of the heart and are spiritual visions. I beg of God that, through the power of insight, thou mayest continually witness the lights of the Kingdom of Abha.
    Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, p. 729

One of the followers of Siyyid Ibrahim claims to have a dream encouraging revolt against Ottoman authorities. Siyyid Kazim encourages rebels to ignore the dream and settle the conflict peacefully.

Fully aware that such intervention on the part of the Siyyid, who had already excited their envy, would serve to enhance his prestige and consolidate his authority, they determined to persuade a number among the foolish and excitable elements of the population to sally forth at night and attack the forces of the enemy. They assured them of victory on the strength of a dream in which one of their members had seen Abbas [Brother of the Imam Husayn], who had charged him to incite his followers to wage holy war against the besiegers and had given him the promise of ultimate success.

Deluded by this vain promise, they rejected the advice tendered by that wise and judicious counsellor, and arose to execute the designs of their foolish leaders. Siyyid Kazim, who was well aware of the evil influence that actuated that revolt, addressed a detailed and faithful report on the situation to the Turkish commander, who again wrote to Siyyid Kazim and reiterated his appeal for a peaceful settlement of the issue. He, moreover, declared that at a given time he would force the gates of the citadel, and would regard the home of the Siyyid as the only place of refuge for a defeated enemy. This declaration the Siyyid caused to be spread throughout the city. It served only to excite the derision and contempt of the population. When informed of the reception accorded that declaration, the Siyyid remarked: "Verily, that with which they are threatened is for the morning. Is not the morning near?" (Qur'an, 11:81)

At daybreak, the appointed hour, the forces of the enemy bombarded the ramparts of the citadel, demolished its walls, entered the city, and pillaged and massacred a considerable number of its population. Many fled in consternation to the courtyard of the shrine of the Imam Husayn. Others sought refuge in the sanctuary of Abbas. Those who loved and honoured Siyyid Kazim betook themselves to his home. So great was the crowd that hastened to the shelter of his residence, that it was found necessary to appropriate a number of the adjoining houses in order to accommodate the multitude of refugees who pressed at his doors. So vast and excited was the concourse that thronged his house, that when once the tumult had subsided, it was ascertained that no less than twenty- two persons had been trampled to death.

What consternation seized the residents and visitors of the holy city! With what severity did the victors treat their terrified enemy! With what audacity they ignored those sacred rights and prerogatives with which the piety of countless Muslim pilgrims had invested the holy sites of Karbila!
    p. 36 of Nabil's Narrative, The Dawn Breakers.

A mulla of Amul misunderstands his dream.

The leading mulla of the town denounced Us bitterly. 'You have perverted the Faith of Islam,' he cried in his mazindarani dialect, 'and sullied its fame! Last night I saw you in a dream enter the masjid, which was thronged by an eager multitude that had gathered to witness your arrival. As the crowd pressed round you, I beheld, and, lo, the Qa'im was standing in a corner with His gaze fixed upon your countenance, His features betraying great surprise. This dream I regard as evidence of your having deviated from the path of Truth.' We assured him that the expression of surprise on that countenance was a sign of the Qa'im's strong disapproval of the treatment he and his fellow-townsmen had accorded Us. He questioned Us regarding the Mission of the Bab. We informed him that, although We had never met Him face to face, yet We cherished, none the less, a great affection for Him. We expressed Our profound conviction that He had, under no circumstances, acted contrary to the Faith of Islam.

The mulla and his followers, however refused to believe Us, and rejected Our testimony as a perversion of the truth. They eventually placed Us in confinement, and forbade Our friends to meet Us. The acting governor of Amul succeeded in effecting Our release from captivity. Through an opening in the wall that he ordered his men to make, he enabled Us to leave that room, and conducted Us to his house.
    Dawn Breakers, Nabil's Narrative. pp. 461-462.

Part of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's answer to a question: "Some people believe that they achieve spiritual discoveries--that is to say, that they converse with spirits. What kind of communion is this?"

The mind and the thought of man sometimes discover truths, and from this thought and discovery signs and results are produced. This thought has a foundation. But many things come to the mind of man which are like the waves of the sea of imaginations; they have no fruit, and no result comes from them. In the same way, man sees in the world of sleep a vision which becomes exactly realized; at another time, he sees a dream which has absolutely no result.
    'Abdu'l-Bahá. Page 253 in Some Answered Questions.
As to the difference between inspiration and imagination: Inspiration is in conformity with the Divine Texts, but imaginations do not conform therewith. A real, spiritual connection between the True One and the servant is a luminous bounty which causeth an ecstatic (or divine) flame, passion and attraction. When this connection is secured (or realized) such an ecstasy and happiness become manifest in the heart that man doth fly away (with joy) and uttereth melody and song. Just as the soul bringeth the body in motion, so that spiritual bounty and real connection likewise moveth (or cheereth) the human soul.

As to truthful dreams: I beg of God that thy inner eye (insight) may be so opened that thou mayest thyself differentiate between truthful and untruthful dreams.
    Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, p. 195-196
"...That truth is often imparted through dreams no one who is familiar with history, especially religious history, can doubt. At the same time dreams and visions are always coloured and influenced more or less by the mind of the dreamer and we must beware of attaching too much importance to them. The purer and more free from prejudice and desire our hearts and minds become, the more likely is it that our dreams will convey reliable truth, but if we have strong prejudices, personal likings and aversions, bad feelings or evil motives, these will warp and distort any inspirational impression that comes to us.... In many cases dreams have been the means of bringing people to the truth or of confirming them in the Faith. We must strive to become pure in heart and 'free from all save God'. Then our dreams as well as our waking thoughts will become pure and true. We should test impression we get through dreams, visions or inspirations, by comparing them with the revealed Word and seeing whether they are in full harmony therewith."
    This is from Lights of Guidance page 514, the original source is a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, May 16, 1925.
"Briefly, there is no question that visions occasionally do come to individuals, which are true and have significance. On the other hand, this comes to an individual through the grace of God, and not through the exercise of any of the human faculties. It is not a thing which a person should try to develop. When a person endeavors to develop faculties so that they might enjoy visions, dreams etc., actually what they are doing is weakening certain of their spiritual capacities; and thus under such circumstances, dreams and visions have no reality, and ultimately lead to the destruction of the character of the person."
    This is from Lights of Guidance page 515, the original source is a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, dated May 6, 1952, to an individual believer.
As to your moving to another city: Meditate thou, perform the ablution and pray to God before sleeping; and whatever the Merciful One may inspire unto thee at the time of revelation in a dream, that will be consistent with obtaining thy wishes. But the greatest motive for the happiness (or felicity) of that family, both in this world and the next one, is that thy revered husband and thy dear son-in-law should become believers in the lights of the Kingdom which have surrounded all regions at this age of effulgence.
    Tablets of Abdul-Baha Abbas, pp. 629-630

The following are uses of the word "dream" meaning "imagine" or "perceive the future" and not really about dreaming during sleep.

Compared with the eighteenth century the present time is as the dawn after darkness, or as the spring after winter. The world is stirring with new life, thrilling with new ideals and hopes. Things that but a few years ago seemed impossible dreams are now accomplished facts. Others that seemed centuries ahead of us have already become matters of "practical politics." We fly in the air and make voyages under the sea. We send messages around the world with the speed of lightning. Within a few decades we have seen miracles too numerous to mention.
    Esselmont, Bahá'u'lláh in the New Era, p. 4.
When the summons to International Peace is raised by America, all the rest of the world will cry: "Yes, we accept." The nations of every clime will join in adopting the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh, revealed over fifty years ago. In His Epistles He asked the parliaments of the world to send their best and wisest men to an international world parliament that should decide all questions between the peoples and establish peace ... then we shall have the Parliament of Man of which the prophets have dreamed.
    Esselmont, page 243, 'Abdu'l-Bahá At Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 5, 1912
No sooner had Abdu'l-Bahá stepped upon the shores of the European and American continents than our beloved Khanum found herself well-nigh overwhelmed with thrilling messages, each betokening the irresistible advance of the Cause in a manner which, notwithstanding the vast range of her experience, seemed to her almost incredible. The years in which she basked in the sunshine of Abdu'l-Bahá's spiritual victories were, perhaps, among the brightest and happiest of her life. Little did she dream when, as a little girl, she was running about, in the courtyard of her Father's house in Tihran, in the company of Him Whose destiny was to be one day the chosen Centre of God's indestructible Covenant, that such a Brother would be capable of achieving, in realms so distant, and among races so utterly remote, so great and memorable a victory.
    Bahiyya Khanum

Esselmont quotes a Tennyson poem on page 186 of Bahá'u'lláh in the New Era.

In connection with the Mashriqu'l-Adhkar it is interesting to recall Tennyson's lines:
I dreamed
That stone by stone I reared a sacred fane,
A temple, neither Pagoda, Mosque nor Church,
But loftier, simpler, always open-doored
To every breath from heaven, and Truth and Peace
And Love and Justice came and dwelt therein."
    Akbar's Dream, 1892
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