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Tablet of the Holy Mariner (Lawh-i-Malláhu'l-Quds):
Study Compilations

by Aziz Mboya

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Chapter 11

"God's Chosen Ones" -- the Prophets of God.

Consider the past. How many, both high and low, have, at all times,
yearningly awaited the advent of the Manifestations of God in the sanctified
persons of His chosen Ones. How often have they expected His coming, how
frequently have they prayed that the breeze of divine mercy might blow, and
the promised Beauty step forth from behind the veil of concealment, and be
made manifest to all the world. And whensoever the portals of grace did
open, and the clouds of divine bounty did rain upon mankind, and the light
of the Unseen did shine above the horizon of celestial might, they all
denied Him, and turned away from His face--the face of God Himself. Refer
ye, to verify this truth, to that which hath been recorded in every sacred
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 4

We made reply: "Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, and the most distinguished
of God's chosen Ones, hath likened the Dispensation of the Qur'án unto heaven,
by reason of its loftiness, its paramount influence, its majesty, and the fact
that it comprehendeth all religions. And as the sun and moon constitute the
brightest and most prominent luminaries in the heavens, similarly in the heaven
of the religion of God two shining orbs have been ordained--fasting and prayer.
`Islám is heaven; fasting is its sun, prayer, its moon.'"
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 40

From the foregoing passages and allusions it hath been made indubitably
clear that in the kingdoms of earth and heaven there must needs be
manifested a Being, an Essence Who shall act as a Manifestation and Vehicle
for the transmission of the grace of the Divinity Itself, the Sovereign
Lord of all. Through the Teachings of this Day Star of Truth every man will
advance and develop until he attaineth the station at which he can manifest
all the potential forces with which his inmost true self hath been endowed.
It is for this very purpose that in every age and dispensation the Prophets
of God and His chosen Ones have appeared amongst men, and have evinced such
power as is born of God and such might as only the Eternal can reveal.
--Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 67

These attributes of God are not and have never been vouchsafed specially unto
certain Prophets, and withheld from others. Nay, all the Prophets of God, His
well-favoured, His holy, and chosen Messengers, are, without exception, the
bearers of His names, and the embodiments of His attributes. They only differ
in the intensity of their revelation, and the comparative potency of their
light. Even as He hath revealed: "Some of the Apostles We have caused to excel
the others." It hath therefore become manifest and evident that within the
tabernacles of these Prophets and chosen Ones of God the light of His infinite
names and exalted attributes hath been reflected, even though the light of some
of these attributes may or may not be outwardly revealed from these luminous
Temples to the eyes of men. That a certain attribute of God hath not been
outwardly manifested by these Essences of Detachment doth in no wise imply that
they Who are the Daysprings of God's attributes and the Treasuries of His holy
names did not actually possess it. Therefore, these illuminated Souls, these
beauteous Countenances have, each and every one of them, been endowed with all
the attributes of God, such as sovereignty, dominion, and the like, even though
to outward seeming they be shorn of all earthly majesty. To every discerning
eye this is evident and manifest; it requireth neither proof nor evidence.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 103

The "Chosen ones" -- the Imams.

O Hádí! The blind fanaticism of former times hath withheld the hapless
creatures from the Straight Path. Meditate on the Shí'ih sect. For twelve
hundred years they have cried "O Qá'im!", until in the end all pronounced
the sentence of His death, and caused Him to suffer martyrdom,
notwithstanding their belief in, and their acceptance and acknowledgment
of, the True One--exalted be His glory--and of the Seal of the Prophets,
and of the Chosen Ones. It is now necessary to reflect a while, that haply
that which hath come between the True One and His creatures may be
discovered, and the deeds which have been the cause of protest and denial
be made known.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 163

Imam Ali -- One of God's chosen ones.

In like manner, two of the people of Kufih went to Ali, the Commander of
the Faithful. One owned a house and wished to sell it; the other was to be
the purchaser. They had agreed that this transaction should be effected and
the contract be written with the knowledge of Ali. He, the exponent of the
law of God, addressing the scribe, said: "Write thou: 'A dead man hath
bought from another dead man a house. That house is bounded by four limits.
One extendeth toward the tomb, the other to the vault of the grave, the
third to the Sirat, the fourth to either Paradise or hell.'" Reflect, had
these two souls been quickened by the trumpet-call of Ali, had they risen
from the grave of error by the power of his love, the judgment of death
would certainly not have been pronounced against them.

In every age and century, the purpose of the Prophets of God and their
chosen ones hath been no other but to affirm the spiritual significance of
the terms "life," "resurrection," and "judgment." If one will ponder but
for a while this utterance of Ali in his heart, one will surely discover
all mysteries hidden in the terms "grave," "tomb," "sirat," "paradise" and
--Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 119

Imam Husayn -- One of God's chosen ones.

Were the verse "And verily Our host shall conquer" to be literally
interpreted, it is evident that it would in no wise be applicable to the
chosen Ones of God and His hosts, inasmuch as Husayn, whose heroism was
manifest as the sun, crushed and subjugated, quaffed at last the cup of
martyrdom in Karbila, the land of Taff. Similarly, the sacred verse "Fain
would they put out God's light with their mouths: But God hath willed to
perfect His light, albeit the infidels abhor it." Were it to be literally
interpreted it would never correspond with the truth. For in every age the
light of God hath, to outward seeming, been quenched by the peoples of the
earth, and the Lamps of God extinguished by them. How then could the
ascendancy of the sovereignty of these Lamps be explained? What could the
potency of God's will to "perfect His light" signify? As hath already been
witnessed, so great was the enmity of the infidels, that none of these
divine Luminaries ever found a place for shelter, or tasted of the cup of
tranquillity. So heavily were they oppressed, that the least of men
inflicted upon these Essences of being whatsoever he listed. These
sufferings have been observed and measured by the people. How, therefore,
can such people be capable of understanding and expounding these words of
God, these verses of everlasting glory?
--Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 126

The concept of the Return of the Prophets and chosen ones.

It is clear and evident to thee that all the Prophets are the Temples of the
Cause of God, Who have appeared clothed in divers attire. If thou wilt observe
with discriminating eyes, thou wilt behold them all abiding in the same
tabernacle, soaring in the same heaven, seated upon the same throne, uttering
the same speech, and proclaiming the same Faith. Such is the unity of those
Essences of being, those Luminaries of infinite and immeasurable splendour.
Wherefore, should one of these Manifestations of Holiness proclaim saying: "I
am the return of all the Prophets," He verily speaketh the truth. In like
manner, in every subsequent Revelation, the return of the former Revelation is
a fact, the truth of which is firmly established. Inasmuch as the return of the
Prophets of God, as attested by verses and traditions, hath been conclusively
demonstrated, the return of their chosen ones also is therefore definitely
proven. This return is too manifest in itself to require any evidence or proof.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 153

Bahá'u'lláh -- the Return of Imam Husayn.

IX. O Husayn! Consider the eagerness with which certain peoples and nations
have anticipated the return of Imám-Husayn, whose coming, after the
appearance of the Qá'im, hath been prophesied, in days past, by the chosen
ones of God, exalted be His glory. These holy ones have, moreover, announced
that when He Who is the Day Spring of the manifold grace of God manifesteth
Himself, all the Prophets and Messengers, including the Qá'im, will gather
together beneath the shadow of the sacred Standard which the Promised One
will raise. That hour is now come. The world is illumined with the effulgent
glory of His countenance. And yet, behold how far its peoples have strayed
from His path! None have believed in Him except them who, through the power
of the Lord of Names, have shattered the idols of their vain imaginings and
corrupt desires and entered the city of certitude. The seal of the choice
Wine of His Revelation hath, in this Day and in His Name, the Self-Sufficing,
been broken. Its grace is being poured out upon men. Fill thy cup, and drink
in, in His Name, the Most Holy, the All-Praised.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 12

Divinity and Unity of the Manifestations and Chosen ones.

Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: "I am God!"
He verily speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For it hath
been repeatedly demonstrated that through their Revelation, their
attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His name and His attributes,
are made manifest in the world. Thus, He hath revealed: "Those shafts were
God's, not Thine!"[1] And also He saith: "In truth, they who plighted
fealty unto thee, really plighted that fealty unto God."[2] And were any of
them to voice the utterance: "I am the Messenger of God," He also speaketh
the truth, the indubitable truth. Even as He saith: "Muhammad is not the
father of any man among you, but He is the Messenger of God."[3] Viewed in
this light, they are all but Messengers of that ideal King, that
unchangeable Essence. And were they all to proclaim: "I am the Seal of the
Prophets," they verily utter but the truth, beyond the faintest shadow of
doubt. For they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit, one being,
one revelation. They are all the manifestation of the "Beginning" and the
"End," the "First" and the "Last," the "Seen" and "Hidden" -- all of which
pertain to Him Who is the innermost Spirit of Spirits and eternal Essence
of Essences. And were they to say: "We are the servants of God," this also
is a manifest and indisputable fact. For they have been made manifest in
the uttermost state of servitude, a servitude the like of which no man can
possibly attain. Thus in moments in which these Essences of being were
deeply immersed beneath the oceans of ancient and everlasting holiness, or
when they soared to the loftiest summits of divine mysteries, they claimed
their utterance to be the Voice of divinity, the Call of God Himself. Were
the eye of discernment to be opened, it would recognize that in this very
state, they have considered themselves utterly effaced and non-existent in
the face of Him Who is the All-Pervading, the Incorruptible. Methinks, they
have regarded themselves as utter nothingness, and deemed their mention in
that Court an act of blasphemy. For the slightest whispering of self,
within such a Court, is an evidence of self-assertion and independent
existence. In the eyes of them that have attained unto that Court, such a
suggestion is itself a grievous transgression. How much more grievous would
it be, were aught else to be mentioned in that Presence, were man's heart,
his tongue, his mind, or his soul, to be busied with anyone but the
Well-Beloved, were his eyes to behold any countenance other than His
beauty, were his ear to be inclined to any melody but His voice, and were
his feet to tread any way but His way. [1 Qur'an 8:17.] [2 Qur'an 48:10.]
[3 Qur'an 33:40 ]--Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 178

These Manifestations of God have each a twofold station. One is the station
of pure abstraction and essential unity. In this respect, if thou callest
them all by one name, and dost ascribe to them the same attributes, thou
hast not erred from the truth. Even as He hath revealed: "No distinction do
We make between any of His Messengers." For they, one and all, summon the
people of the earth to acknowledge the unity of God, and herald unto them
the Kawthar of an infinite grace and bounty. They are all invested with the
robe of prophethood, and are honored with the mantle of glory. Thus hath
Muhammad, the Point of the Qur'án, revealed: "I am all the Prophets."
Likewise, He saith: "I am the first Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus." Similar
statements have been made by Imám `Alí. Sayings such as these, which
indicate the essential unity of those Exponents of Oneness, have also
emanated from the Channels of God's immortal utterance, and the Treasuries
of the gems of Divine knowledge, and have been recorded in the Scriptures.
These Countenances are the recipients of the Divine Command, and the Day
Springs of His Revelation. This Revelation is exalted above the veils of
plurality and the exigencies of number. Thus He saith: "Our Cause is but
One." Inasmuch as the Cause is one and the same, the Exponents thereof also
must needs be one and the same. Likewise, the Imáms of the Muhammadan Faith,
those lamps of certitude, have said: "Muhammad is our first, Muhammad is our
last, Muhammad our all."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 51

And were they to say that by "divine Presence" is meant the "Secondary
Revelation of God," interpreted as the "Holy Outpouring," this is admittedly
applicable to the world of creation, that is, in the realm of the primal and
original manifestation of God. Such revelation is confined to His Prophets
and chosen Ones, inasmuch as none mightier than they hath come to exist
in the world of being. This truth all recognize, and bear witness thereto. These
Prophets and chosen Ones of God are the recipients and revealers of all the
unchangeable attributes and names of God. They are the mirrors that truly
and faithfully reflect the light of God. Whatsoever is applicable to them is in
reality applicable to God, Himself, Who is both the Visible and the Invisible.
The knowledge of Him, Who is the Origin of all things, and attainment unto
Him, are impossible save through knowledge of, and attainment unto, these
luminous Beings who proceed from the Sun of Truth. By attaining, therefore,
to the presence of these holy Luminaries, the "Presence of God" Himself is
attained. From their knowledge, the knowledge of God is revealed, and from
the light of their countenance, the splendour of the Face of God is made
manifest. Through the manifold attributes of these Essences of Detachment,
Who are both the first and the last, the seen and the hidden, it is made evident
that He Who is the Sun of Truth is "the First and the Last, the Seen, and the
Hidden." Likewise the other lofty names and exalted attributes of God.
Therefore, whosoever, and in whatever Dispensation, hath recognized and
attained unto the presence of these glorious, these resplendent and most
excellent Luminaries, hath verily attained unto the "Presence of God" Himself,
and entered the city of eternal and immortal life. Attainment unto such presence
is possible only in the Day of Resurrection, which is the Day of the rise of God
Himself through His all-embracing Revelation.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 141-143

Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! I beseech Thee by Thy Chosen Ones, and
by the Bearers of Thy Trust, and by Him Whom Thou hast ordained to be the
Seal of Thy Prophets and of Thy Messengers, to let Thy remembrance be my
companion, and Thy love my aim, and Thy face my goal, and Thy name my lamp,
and Thy wish my desire, and Thy pleasure my delight.
-- Compilation, Bahá'í Prayers, p. 72

O followers of the Bayán! Fear ye the All-Merciful. This is the One Who
hath been glorified by Muhammad, the Apostle of God, and before Him by the
Spirit and yet before Him by the One Who discoursed with God. This is the
Point of the Bayán calling aloud before the Throne, saying: `By the
righteousness of God, ye have been created to glorify this Most Great
Announcement, this Perfect Way which lay hid within the souls of the
Prophets, which was treasured in the hearts of the chosen ones of God and
was written down by the glorious Pen of your Lord, the Possessor of Names.'
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 103

"The purpose underlying all creation is the revelation of this most sublime,
this most holy Day, the Day known as the Day of God, in His Books and
Scriptures--the Day which all the Prophets, and the Chosen Ones, and the holy
ones, have wished to witness." "The highest essence and most perfect expression
of whatsoever the peoples of old have either said or written hath, through this
most potent Revelation, been sent down from the heaven of the Will of the
All-Possessing, the Ever-Abiding God."...
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 77-79

O followers of the Bayán! Fear ye the All-Merciful. This is the One Who hath
been glorified by Muhammad, the Apostle of God, and before Him by the
Spirit and yet before Him by the One Who discoursed with God. This is the
Point of the Bayán calling aloud before the Throne, saying: `By the righteousness
of God, ye have been created to glorify this Most Great Announcement, this
Perfect Way which lay hid within the souls of the Prophets, which was treasured
in the hearts of the chosen ones of God and was written down by the
glorious Pen of your Lord, the Possessor of Names.'
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 103

Thou hast known how grievously the Prophets of God, His Messengers and Chosen
Ones, have been afflicted. Meditate a while on the motive and reason which
have been responsible for such a persecution. At no time, in no Dispensation,
have the Prophets of God escaped the blasphemy of their enemies, the cruelty
of their oppressors, the denunciation of the learned of their age, who
appeared in the guise of uprightness and piety. Day and night they passed
through such agonies as none can ever measure, except the knowledge of the
one true God, exalted be His glory.

Consider this wronged One. Though the clearest proofs attest the truth of His
Cause; though the prophecies He, in an unmistakable language, hath made have
been fulfilled; though, in spite of His not being accounted among the learned,
His being unschooled and inexperienced in the disputations current among the
divines, He hath rained upon men the showers of His manifold and
Divinely-inspired knowledge; yet, behold how this generation hath rejected
His authority, and rebelled against Him!
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 57

O concourse of divines! When My verses were sent down, and My clear tokens
were revealed, We found you behind the veils. This, verily, is a strange
thing. Ye glory in My Name, yet ye recognized Me not at the time your Lord,
the All-Merciful, appeared amongst you with proof and testimony. We have
rent the veils asunder. Beware lest ye shut out the people by yet another
veil. Pluck asunder the chains of vain imaginings, in the name of the Lord
of all men, and be not of the deceitful. Should ye turn unto God and embrace
His Cause, spread not disorder within it, and measure not the Book of God
with your selfish desires. This, verily, is the counsel of God aforetime and
hereafter, and to this God's witnesses and chosen ones, yea, each and every
one of Us, do solemnly attest.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 79

The sovereigns of the earth have been and are the manifestations of the
power, the grandeur and the majesty of God. This Wronged One hath at no
time dealt deceitfully with anyone. Every one is well aware of this, and
beareth witness unto it. Regard for the rank of sovereigns is divinely
ordained, as is clearly attested by the words of the Prophets of God and
His chosen ones. He Who is the Spirit (Jesus) -- may peace be upon Him --
was asked: "O Spirit of God! Is it lawful to give tribute to Caesar or
not?" And He made reply: "Yea, render to Caesar the things that are
Caesar's and to God the things that are God's." He forbade it not. These
two sayings are, in the estimation of men of insight, one and the same, for
if that which belonged to Caesar had not come from God, He would have
forbidden it. And likewise in the sacred verse: "Obey God and obey the
Apostle, and those among you invested with authority." By "those invested
with authority" is meant primarily and more especially the Imams -- the
blessings of God rest upon them! They, verily, are the manifestations of
the power of God, and the sources of His authority, and the repositories of
His knowledge, and the daysprings of His commandments.
--Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 89

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