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TAGS: Lawh-i-Mallahul-Quds (Tablet of the Holy Mariner); Lesser prophets; Maid of Heaven; Words and phrases
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Tablet of the Holy Mariner (Lawh-i-Malláhu'l-Quds):
Study Compilations

by Aziz Mboya

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Chapter 14

References to "countenance" -- [face of] prophethood.

XI. All glory be to this Day, the Day in which the fragrances of mercy have
been wafted over all created things, a Day so blest that past ages and
centuries can never hope to rival it, a Day in which the countenance of the
Ancient of Days hath turned towards His holy seat. Thereupon the voices of
all created things, and beyond them those of the Concourse on high, were
heard calling aloud: "Haste thee, O Carmel, for lo, the light of the
countenance of God, the Ruler of the Kingdom of Names and Fashioner of the
heavens, hath been lifted upon thee."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 14

VII. Verily I say, this is the Day in which mankind can behold the Face,
and hear the Voice, of the Promised One. The Call of God hath been raised,
and the light of His countenance hath been lifted up upon men. It behoveth
every man to blot out the trace of every idle word from the tablet of his
heart, and to gaze, with an open and unbiased mind, on the signs of His
Revelation, the proofs of His Mission, and the tokens of His glory.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 10

Say, this of a certainty is the Garden of Repose, the loftiest Point of adoration,
the Tree beyond which there is no passing, the blessed Lote-Tree, the Most
Mighty Sign, the most beauteous Countenance and the most comely Face.

From the beginning that hath no beginning all men have bowed in adoration
before Him Whom God shall make manifest and will continue to do so until the
end that hath no end. How strange then that at the time of His appearance ye
should pay homage by day and night unto that which the Point of the Bayán hath
enjoined upon you and yet fail to worship Him Whom God shall make manifest.
-- The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 155

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

Although the commentators of the Qur'án have related in divers manners the
circumstances attending the revelation of this verse, yet thou shouldst
endeavor to apprehend the purpose thereof. He saith: How false is that
which the Jews have imagined! How can the hand of Him Who is the King in
truth, Who caused the countenance of Moses to be made manifest, and
conferred upon Him the robe of Prophethood--how can the hand of such a
One be chained and fettered? How can He be conceived as powerless to raise
up yet another Messenger after Moses?
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 23

XXII. The Bearers of the Trust of God are made manifest unto the peoples of
the earth as the Exponents of a new Cause and the Revealers of a new
Message. Inasmuch as these Birds of the celestial Throne are all sent down
from the heaven of the Will of God, and as they all arise to proclaim His
irresistible Faith, they, therefore, are regarded as one soul and the same
person. For they all drink from the one Cup of the love of God, and all
partake of the fruit of the same Tree of Oneness.

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."

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
splendor! 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....

The other station is the station of distinction, and pertaineth to the world
of creation, and to the limitations thereof. In this respect, each
Manifestation of God hath a distinct individuality, a definitely prescribed
mission, a predestined revelation, and specially designated limitations.
Each one of them is known by a different name, is characterized by a
special attribute, fulfils a definite mission, and is entrusted with a
particular Revelation. Even as He saith: "Some of the Apostles We have
caused to excel the others. To some God hath spoken, some He hath raised
and exalted. And to Jesus, Son of Mary, We gave manifest signs, and We
strengthened Him with the Holy Spirit."

It is because of this difference in their station and mission that the words
and utterances flowing from these Well Springs of Divine knowledge appear
to diverge and differ. Otherwise, in the eyes of them that are initiated
into the mysteries of Divine wisdom, all their utterances are, in reality,
but the expressions of one Truth. As most of the people have failed to
appreciate those stations to which We have referred, they, therefore, feel
perplexed and dismayed at the varying utterances pronounced by
Manifestations that are essentially one and the same.

It hath ever been evident that all these divergencies of utterance are
attributable to differences of station. Thus, viewed from the standpoint of
their oneness and sublime detachment, the attributes of Godhead, Divinity,
Supreme Singleness, and Inmost Essence, have been, and are applicable to
those Essences of Being, inasmuch as they all abide on the throne of
Divine Revelation, and are established upon the seat of Divine Concealment.
Through their appearance the Revelation of God is made manifest, and by
their countenance the Beauty of God is revealed. Thus it is that the accents
of God Himself have been heard uttered by these Manifestations of the Divine
Being.

Viewed in the light of their second station--the station of distinction,
differentiation, temporal limitations, characteristics and standards--they
manifest absolute servitude, utter destitution, and complete
self-effacement. Even as He saith: "I am the servant of God. I am but a
man like you."...
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 50-54

Say: Step out of Thy holy chamber, O Maid of Heaven, inmate of the Exalted
Paradise! Drape thyself in whatever manner pleaseth Thee in the silken
Vesture of Immortality, and put on, in the name of the All-Glorious, the
broidered Robe of Light. Hear, then, the sweet, the wondrous accent of the
Voice that cometh from the Throne of Thy Lord, the Inaccessible, the Most
High. Unveil Thy face, and manifest the beauty of the black-eyed Damsel,
and suffer not the servants of God to be deprived of the light of Thy
shining countenance. Grieve not if Thou hearest the sighs of the dwellers
of the earth, or the voice of the lamentation of the denizens of heaven.
Leave them to perish on the dust of extinction. Let them be reduced to
nothingness, inasmuch as the flame of hatred hath been kindled within
their breasts. Intone, then, before the face of the peoples of earth and
heaven, and in a most melodious voice, the anthem of praise, for a
remembrance of Him Who is the King of the names and attributes of God.
Thus have We decreed Thy destiny. Well able are We to achieve Our purpose.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 282

Then the gales of divine tests and the winds of lordly temptation blew from
the Sheba of the everlasting Cause. They became distracted by the beauty of
the wine server and grew heedless of the immortal countenance, to the extent
that they imagined the shadow to be the sun and phantoms to be light. They
set out for the ladders of the greatest name so that they might scale those
heavens and arrive at that seat and place. When they rose toward it, the
divine assayers descended upon them with the sacred touchstone, by the
irresistible decree of the lord. When these emissaries did not perceive
the scent of the spiritual youth, they forbade entry to all.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Holy Mariner (from the Persian).

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