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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 2

References to Dependent Prophets from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh.

Symbolic terms used by Bahá'u'lláh to refer to prophets: "Maid(s) of Heaven",
"Brides", "handmaidens", "húrís", "Beauties", "black-eyed Damsels". Other terms
used include: "His chosen ones", "countenances", "manifestations of Thy Divine
holiness", "angels", "servants", "Sun", "Moons", "stars", "His loved ones", "birds
of heaven", "doves", "assayers".

More terms used that are applicable to prophets include: "throne",
"announcement", "call", "cry", "balance", "testimony", "holy veil", "veil of
concealment", "Tablet of God", "signs", "revelation", "descent" [from heaven],
"mansions", "clouds".


1. The passage below can be interpreted in the following sense as a
reference to dependent (lesser) prophets:

-"concealed within the Holy Veil"--realm of pre-existence of the Prophets.
-"His chosen ones" -- the Prophets of God.
-"Warn, then, those that have joined partners with Him"--those who join
partners with God are those who reject the Prophet as the Face of God.
-"I am come from the Throne of glory" -- reference to her/his prophetic
station.
-"And bear you an announcement from God" -- the declaration of the
Dependent Prophet.
-"Weigh it with the just Balance that ye possess, the Balance of the testimony
of the Prophets and Messengers of God" -- judge their revelation with same
standards you use for Prophets and Messengers of God, as they are.
-"And render your works vain, and be numbered with the infidels" -- reference
to believers who after serving the faith reject a dependent prophet and thereby
render their works vain.
-"Step out of Thy holy chamber, O Maid of Heaven" -- the dependent prophet
summoned to appear on earth.
-"I am the Maid of Heaven, the Offspring begotten by the Spirit of Bahá."
I am a prophet, the dependent prophet of Bahá'u'lláh. Similar to how
Bahá'u'lláh referred to the Jafar as-Sadiq, the Sixth Imam, as 'son' of
Muhammad, i.e. his dependent prophet: 'Thus hath Sádiq, son of Muhammad,
spoken: "God verily will test them and sift them." - Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 255'

CXXIX. O wayfarer in the path of God! Take thou thy portion of the ocean of
His grace, and deprive not thyself of the things that lie hidden in its depths.
Be thou of them that have partaken of its treasures. A dewdrop out of this
ocean would, if shed upon all that are in the heavens and on the earth,
suffice to enrich them with the bounty of God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing,
the All-Wise. With the hands of renunciation draw forth from its life-giving
waters, and sprinkle therewith all created things, that they may be cleansed
from all man-made limitations and may approach the mighty seat of God, this
hallowed and resplendent Spot.

Be not grieved if thou performest it thyself alone. Let God be all-sufficient
for thee. Commune intimately with His Spirit, and be thou of the thankful.
Proclaim the Cause of thy Lord unto all who are in the heavens and on the
earth. Should any man respond to thy call, lay bare before him the pearls of
the wisdom of the Lord, thy God, which His Spirit hath sent down unto thee,
and be thou of them that truly believe. And should any one reject thine offer,
turn thou away from him, and put thy trust and confidence in the Lord, thy
God, the Lord of all worlds.

By the righteousness of God! Whoso openeth his lips in this Day and maketh
mention of the name of his Lord, the hosts of Divine inspiration shall descend
upon him from the heaven of My name, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. On him
shall also descend the Concourse on high, each bearing aloft a chalice of pure
light. Thus hath it been foreordained in the realm of God's Revelation, by the
behest of Him Who is the All-Glorious, the Most Powerful.

There lay concealed within the Holy Veil, and prepared for the service of God,
a company of His chosen ones who shall be manifested unto men, who shall
aid His Cause, who shall be afraid of no one, though the entire human race
rise up and war against them. These are the ones who, before the gaze of
the dwellers on earth and the denizens of heaven, shall arise and, shouting
aloud, acclaim the name of the Almighty, and summon the children of men to
the path of God, the All-Glorious, the All-Praised. Walk thou in their way, and
let no one dismay thee. Be of them whom the tumult of the world, however
much it may agitate them in the path of their Creator, can never sadden, whose
purpose the blame of the blamer will never defeat.

Go forth with the Tablet of God and His signs , and rejoin them that have
believed in Me, and announce unto them tidings of Our most holy Paradise.
Warn, then, those that have joined partners with Him. Say: I am come to
you, O people, from the Throne of glory , and bear you an announcement from
God, the Most Powerful, the Most Exalted, the Most Great. In mine hand I
carry the testimony of God, your Lord and the Lord of your sires of old.
Weigh it with the just Balance that ye possess, the Balance of the testimony
of the Prophets and Messengers of God. If ye find it to be established in
truth, if ye believe it to be of God, beware, then, lest ye cavil at it, and render
your works vain, and be numbered with the infidels. It is indeed the sign of
God that hath been sent down through the power of truth, through which the
validity of His Cause hath been demonstrated unto His creatures, and the
ensigns of purity lifted up betwixt earth and heaven.

Say: This is the sealed and mystic Scroll, the repository of God's
irrevocable Decree, bearing the words which the Finger of Holiness hath
traced, that lay wrapt within the veil of impenetrable mystery, and hath
now been sent down as a token of the grace of Him Who is the Almighty, the
Ancient of Days. In it have We decreed the destinies of all the dwellers of
the earth and the denizens of heaven, and written down the knowledge of all
things from first to last. Nothing whatsoever can escape or frustrate Him,
whether created in the past or to be created in the future, could ye but
perceive it.

Say: The Revelation sent down by God hath most surely been repeated, and the
outstretched Hand of Our power hath overshadowed all that are in the heavens
and all that are on the earth. We have, through the power of truth, the very
truth, manifested an infinitesimal glimmer of Our impenetrable Mystery, and
lo, they that have recognized the radiance of the Sinaic splendor expired, as
they caught a lightening glimpse of this Crimson Light enveloping the Sinai
of Our Revelation. Thus hath He Who is the Beauty of the All-Merciful come
down in the clouds of His testimony , and the decree accomplished by virtue of
the Will of God, the All-Glorious, the All-Wise.

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.

Beware that Thou divest not Thyself, Thou Who art the Essence of Purity, of
Thy robe of effulgent glory. Nay, enrich Thyself increasingly, in the kingdom
of creation, with the incorruptible vestures of Thy God, that the beauteous
image of the Almighty may be reflected through Thee in all created things and
the grace of Thy Lord be infused in the plenitude of its power into the
entire creation.

If Thou smellest from any one the smell of the love of Thy Lord, offer up
Thyself for him, for We have created Thee to this end, and have covenanted
with Thee, from time immemorial, and in the presence of the congregation of
Our well-favored ones, for this very purpose. Be not impatient if the blind
in heart hurl down the shafts of their idle fancies upon Thee. Leave them to
themselves, for they follow the promptings of the evil ones.

Cry out before the gaze of the dwellers of heaven and of earth: I am the Maid
of Heaven, the Offspring begotten by the Spirit of Bahá. My habitation is the
Mansion of His Name, the All-Glorious. Before the Concourse on high I was
adorned with the ornament of His names. I was wrapt within the veil of an
inviolable security, and lay hidden from the eyes of men. Methinks that I
heard a Voice of divine and incomparable sweetness, proceeding from the right
hand of the God of Mercy, and lo, the whole Paradise stirred and trembled
before Me, in its longing to hear its accents, and gaze on the beauty of Him
that uttered them. Thus have We revealed in this luminous Tablet, and in the
sweetest of languages, the verses which the Tongue of Eternity was moved to
utter in the Qayyúmu'l-Asmá.

Say: He ordaineth as He pleaseth, by virtue of His sovereignty, and doeth
whatsoever He willeth at His own behest. He shall not be asked of the things
it pleaseth Him to ordain. He, in truth, is the Unrestrained, the
All-Powerful, the All-Wise.

They that have disbelieved in God and rebelled against His sovereignty are
the helpless victims of their corrupt inclinations and desires. These shall
return to their abode in the fire of hell: wretched is the abode of the
deniers!
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 279-284


2. "I have summoned the Maids of Heaven to emerge from behind the veil of
concealment" -- can be interpreted in the following sense: Bahá'u'lláh has
called on the pre-existent dependent prophets to appear on earth. "and have
clothed them with these words of Mine" -- and they receive their revelation
from him. Bahá'u'lláh, the Independent Prophet, receives his revelation directly
from God. No Independent Prophet will appear until after at least one thousand
years have passed.

O My servants [believers]! Through the might of God and His power, and
out of the treasury of His knowledge and wisdom, I have brought forth
and revealed unto you the pearls that lay concealed in the depths of
His everlasting ocean. I have summoned the Maids of Heaven to emerge
from behind the veil of concealment, and have clothed them with these
words of Mine--words of consummate power and wisdom. I have, moreover,
with the hand of divine power, unsealed the choice wine of My Revelation,
and have wafted its holy, its hidden, and musk-laden fragrance upon all
created things. Who else but yourselves is to be blamed if ye choose to
remain unendowed with so great an outpouring of God's transcendent and
all-encompassing grace, with so bright a revelation of His resplendent
mercy?...
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 327


3. "one of the Beauties of the Most Sublime Paradise" can also be interpreted as
a reference to one of the dependent prophets. The "Wronged One" refers to
Bahá'u'lláh himself.

"We will now mention unto thee Trustworthiness and the station thereof in
the estimation of God, thy Lord, the Lord of the Mighty Throne. One day of
days We repaired unto Our Green Island. Upon Our arrival, We beheld its
streams flowing, and its trees luxuriant, and the sunlight playing in their
midst. Turning Our face to the right, We beheld what the pen is powerless
to describe; nor can it set forth that which the eye of the Lord of Mankind
witnessed in that most sanctified, that most sublime, that blest, and most
exalted Spot. Turning, then, to the left We gazed on one of the Beauties of
the Most Sublime Paradise, standing on a pillar of light, and calling aloud
saying: `O inmates of earth and heaven! Behold ye My beauty, and My
radiance, and My revelation, and My effulgence. By God, the True One! I am
Trustworthiness and the revelation thereof, and the beauty thereof. I will
recompense whosoever will cleave unto Me, and recognize My rank and
station, and hold fast unto My hem. I am the most great ornament of the
people of Bahá, and the vesture of glory unto all who are in the kingdom of
creation. I am the supreme instrument for the prosperity of the world, and
the horizon of assurance unto all beings.' Thus have We sent down for thee
that which will draw men nigh unto the Lord of creation."

This Wronged One hath, at all times, summoned the peoples of the world unto
that which will exalt them, and draw them nigh unto God. From the Most
Sublime Horizon there hath shone forth that which leaveth no room unto any
one for vacillation, repudiation or denial. The wayward, however, have
failed to profit therefrom; nay, it shall only increase their loss.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 136-137


4a. The "handmaidens" who "magnify Thy name with such words as have
not been heard by any of Thy creatures" can be interpreted as referring
to dependent prophets who bring new revelation and teachings.

Since Thou hast purposed, O my God, to cause all created things to enter
into the tabernacle of Thy transcendent grace and favor, and to waft over
the entire creation the fragrances of the raiment of Thy glorious unity,
and to look upon all things with the eyes of Thy bounty and Thy oneness, I
beseech Thee, therefore, by Thy love, which Thou hast made to be the
mainspring of the revelations of Thine eternal holiness, and the flame that
gloweth within the hearts of such of Thy creatures as yearn towards Thee,
to create, this very moment, for those of Thy people who are wholly devoted
to Thee, and for such of Thy loved ones as love Thee, out of the essence of
Thy bounty and Thy generosity, and from the inmost spirit of Thy grace and
Thy glory, Thy Paradise of transcendent holiness, and to exalt it above
everything except Thee, and to sanctify it from aught else save Thyself.
Create, moreover, within it, O my God, out of the lights shed by Thy
throne, handmaidens who will intone the melodies of Thy wondrous and most
sweet invention, that they may magnify Thy name with such words as have not
been heard by any of Thy creatures, be they the inmates of Thy heaven or
the dwellers of Thine earth, nor been comprehended by any of Thy people.
Unlock, then, the gates of this Paradise to the faces of Thy loved ones,
that haply they may enter them in Thy name, and by the power of Thy
sovereignty, that thereby the sovereign bounties vouchsafed by Thee unto
Thy chosen ones and the transcendent gifts granted unto Thy trusted ones be
perfected, that they may extol Thy virtues with such melodies as none can
either intone or describe, and that none of Thy people may conceive the
design of appearing in the guise of any of Thy chosen ones, or of emulating
the example of Thy loved ones, and that none may fail to discern between
Thy friends and Thine enemies, or to distinguish them that are devoted to
Thee from such as stubbornly oppose Thee. Potent art Thou to do what Thou
willest, and powerful and supreme art Thou over all things.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations, p. 326-327

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Thereupon she summoned unto
herself one maiden from her handmaidens,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! And commanded her: "Descend
into space from the mansions of eternity,
- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Holy Mariner

4b. "Those countenances which are hid within the chambers of chastity" and
"the manifestations of Thy Divine holiness" can also be interpreted as a
reference to dependent prophets.

Lauded be Thy name, O Thou Who art the Goal of my desire! I swear by Thy
glory! How great is my wish to attain unto a detachment so complete that
were there to appear before me those countenances which are hid within the
chambers of chastity, and the beauty of which Thou didst veil from the eyes
of the entire creation, and whose faces Thou didst sanctify from the sight of
all beings,and were they to unveil themselves in all the glory of the splendors
of Thine incomparable beauty, I would refuse to look upon them, and would
behold them solely for the purpose of discerning the mysteries of Thy handiwork,
which have perplexed the minds of such as have drawn nigh unto Thee, and
awed the souls of all them that have recognized Thee. I would, by Thy power
and Thy might, soar to such heights that nothing whatsoever would have the
power to keep me back from the manifold evidences of Thy transcendent
dominion, nor would any earthly scheme shut me out from the manifestations
of Thy Divine holiness.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Prayers and Meditations, p. 337

In like manner, every time the Prophets of God have illumined the world
with the resplendent radiance of the Day Star of Divine knowledge, they have
invariably summoned its peoples to embrace the light of God through such
means as best befitted the exigencies of the age in which they appeared. They
were thus able to scatter the darkness of ignorance, and to shed upon the
world the glory of their own knowledge. It is towards the inmost essence of
these Prophets, therefore, that the eye of every man of discernment must
be directed,...
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 80


5. "how innumerable are the pearls", "How many the húrís (maidens) of inner
meaning that are as yet concealed within the chambers of divine wisdom!" can
be interpreted in the following sense: how many the pre-existent dependent
prophets of Bahá'u'lláh. As a parallel, Bahá'u'lláh also cites a reference in the
Quran to Imam Hasan and Imam Husayn who were dependent prophets of
Muhammad -- the "pearls and coral" that came out from the Two Seas (two
bodies of flowing water): Imam Ali and Fatima, their parents who belong to the
Family of Muhammad. Cited in "Introduction to Shi'i Islam," Moojan Momen,
p. 153.

We have digressed from the purpose of Our argument, although whatsoever is
mentioned serveth only to confirm Our purpose. By God! however great Our
desire to be brief, yet We feel We cannot restrain Our pen. Notwithstanding
all that We have mentioned, how innumerable are the pearls which have remained
unpierced in the shell of Our heart! How many the húrís of inner meaning that
are as yet concealed within the chambers of divine wisdom![1] None hath yet
approached them;--húrís, "whom no man nor spirit hath touched before."
Notwithstanding all that hath been said, it seemeth as if not one letter of Our
purpose hath been uttered, nor a single sign divulged concerning Our object.
When will a faithful seeker be found who will don the garb of pilgrimage, attain
the Ka'bih of the heart's desire, and, without ear or tongue, discover the
mysteries of divine utterance? [1 Qur'an 55:56.]
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 70

55:19 He has let free the two bodies of flowing water, meeting together:

55:20 Between them is a Barrier which they do not transgress:

55:21 Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?

55:22 Out of them come Pearls and Coral:...

55:37 When the sky is rent asunder, and it becomes red like ointment:

55:38 Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?...

55:56 In them will be (Maidens), chaste, restraining their glances, whom
no man or Jinn before them has touched;-

55:57 Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?-

55:58 Like unto Rubies and coral.
-- The Qur’án 55 - AR-RAHMAN


6. The "Brides of inner meaning" can be interpreted in the following sense:
the dependent prophets who will continue the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh and
"utter a myriad songs" and unfold "innumerable mysteries".

By God! This Bird of Heaven, now dwelling upon the dust, can, besides these
melodies, utter a myriad songs, and is able, apart from these utterances, to
unfold innumerable mysteries. Every single note of its unpronounced
utterances is immeasurably exalted above all that hath already been revealed,
and immensely glorified beyond that which hath streamed from this Pen. Let
the future disclose the hour when the Brides of inner meaning will, as
decreed by the Will of God, hasten forth, unveiled, out of their mystic
mansions, and manifest themselves in the ancient realm of being. Nothing
whatsoever is possible without His permission; no power can endure save
through His power, and there is none other God but He. His is the world of
creation, and His the Cause of God. All proclaim His Revelation, and all
unfold the mysteries of His Spirit.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 175

The continuation of revelation is also alluded to by the following passages
which may be a reference to the laws of the Aqdas and their formulation
according to the spiritual capacity of the earliest believers. Hence, for example,
their partriachal nature and the permissibility of bigamy. In the era of
Muhammad, is was permitted for a man to have up to four wives -- based
on the spiritual capacity of believers then.

Know verily that the veil hiding Our countenance hath not been completely
lifted. We have revealed Our Self to a degree corresponding to the capacity
of the people of Our age. Should the Ancient Beauty be unveiled in the
fullness of His glory mortal eyes would be blinded by the dazzling intensity
of His revelation.
-- Excerpt from one of Bahá'u'lláh's Tablets

67. O SON OF BEAUTY!
By My spirit and by My favor! By My mercy and by My beauty! All that I
have revealed unto thee with the tongue of power, and have written for
thee with the pen of might, hath been in accordance with thy capacity
and understanding, not with My state and the melody of My voice.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 19

Whenever My laws appear like the sun in the heaven of Mine utterance, they
must be faithfully obeyed by all, though My decree be such as to cause the
heaven of every religion to be cleft asunder.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 21


7. In certain contexts "servants" can also be interpreted as references to
dependent prophets.

Assist ye, O My people, My chosen servants who have arisen to make mention
of Me among My creatures and to exalt My Word throughout My realm. These,
truly, are the stars of the heaven of My loving providence and the lamps of My
guidance unto all mankind. But he whose words conflict with that which hath
been sent down in My Holy Tablets is not of Me. Beware lest ye follow any
impious pretender. These Tablets are embellished with the seal of Him Who
causeth the dawn to appear, Who lifteth up His voice between the heavens and
the earth. Lay hold on this Sure Handle and on the Cord of My mighty and
unassailable Cause.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 61


8. "Beauties of divine mystery", "birds abiding within the domains of My Kingdom",
"doves dwelling in the rose-garden of My wisdom" can also be interpreted as
references to dependent prophets of Bahá'u'lláh.

O thou honoured enquirer! We bear witness that thou didst firmly adhere unto
seemly patience during the days when the Pen was held back from movement and
the Tongue hesitated to set forth an explanation regarding the wondrous sign,
the Most Great Infallibility. Thou hast asked this Wronged One to remove for
thee its veils and coverings, to elucidate its mystery and character, its state
and position, its excellence, sublimity and exaltation. By the life of God!
Were We to unveil the pearls of testimony which lie hid within the shells of
the ocean of knowledge and assurance or to let the beauties of divine mystery
which are hidden within the chambers of utterance in the Paradise of true
understanding, step out of their habitation, then from every direction violent
commotion would arise among the leaders of religion and thou wouldst witness
the people of God held fast in the teeth of such wolves as have denied God both
in the beginning and in the end. Therefore We restrained the Pen for a
considerable lapse of time in accordance with divine wisdom and for the sake of
protecting the faithful from those who have bartered away heavenly blessings
for disbelief and have chosen for their people the abode of perdition.

O thou seeker who art gifted with keen insight. I swear by Him Who attracted
the Concourse on High through the potency of His most sublime Word! Verily, the
birds abiding within the domains of My Kingdom and the doves dwelling in the
rose-garden of My wisdom utter such melodies and warblings as are inscrutable
to all but God, the Lord of the kingdoms of earth and heaven; and were these
melodies to be revealed even to an extent smaller than a needle's eye, the
people of tyranny would utter such calumnies as none among former generations
hath ever uttered, and would commit such deeds as no one in past ages and
centuries hath ever committed. They have rejected the bounty of God and His
proofs and have repudiated the testimony of God and His signs. They have gone
astray and have caused the people to go astray, yet perceive it not. They
worship vain imaginings but know it not. They have taken idle fancies for their
lords and have neglected God, yet understand not. They have abandoned the most
great Ocean and are hastening towards the pool, but comprehend not. They follow
their own idle fancies while turning aside from God, the Help in Peril, the
Self-Subsisting.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 106-107


9. In the following passages "assayers" can also be interpreted as a
reference to dependent prophets.

9a)
I swear by Him Who is Our Beloved and your Beloved, that if one's life be
not offered up in His path, it would not be worth even as much as a mustard
seed, and if one's inmost being were not laid down at His feet, it would
appear more abject and insignificant than a pebble. However, none but the
divine Assayers are able to recognize this gem. In truth, when bereft of
vision, what advantage would one gain by entering into the all-highest
Paradise? If destitute of hearing, what can one perceive by drawing close
unto the celestial Tree of Blessedness? The Assayers of these priceless
gems are such souls unto whom the following tribute is paid: 'They that
speak not till He hath spoken and act according to His commandment.'
Likewise He saith: 'They whom neither merchandise nor traffic beguile from
the remembrance of the Almighty.'
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Compilations, Fire and Light, p. 12

9b)
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).

9c)
69. O CHILDREN OF ADAM!
Holy words and pure and goodly deeds ascend unto the heaven of celestial
glory. Strive that your deeds may be cleansed from the dust of self and
hypocrisy and find favor at the court of glory; for ere long the assayers
of mankind shall, in the holy presence of the Adored One, accept naught
but absolute virtue and deeds of stainless purity. This is the daystar of
wisdom and of divine mystery that hath shone above the horizon of the
divine will. Blessed are they that turn thereunto.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 46

Persian no. 69
This holy verse is replete with meaning, and as time is pressing only a
brief mention is made as follows: naught else but upright conduct and
pure deeds shall be accepted at His divine Threshold. ('Abdu'l-Bahá from
a Tablet to an individual believer -- translated from the Persian)

9d)
35. O MY FRIENDS!
Quench ye the lamp of error, and kindle within your hearts the everlasting
torch of divine guidance. For ere long the assayers of mankind shall, in
the holy presence of the Adored, accept naught but purest virtue and deeds
of stainless holiness.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 34


10. In certain contexts "angels" can also be interpreted as references to dependent
prophets.

10a)
This is the Day whereon the All-Merciful hath come down in the clouds of
knowledge, clothed with manifest sovereignty. He well knoweth the actions of
men. He it is Whose glory none can mistake, could ye but comprehend it. The
heaven of every religion hath been rent, and the earth of human understanding
been cleft asunder, and the angels of God are seen descending. Say: This is
the Day of mutual deceit; whither do ye flee? The mountains have passed away,
and the heavens have been folded together, and the whole earth is held within
His grasp, could ye but understand it. Who is it that can protect you? None, by
Him Who is the All-Merciful! None, except God, the Almighty, the All-Glorious,
the Beneficent. Every woman that hath had a burden in her womb hath cast
her burden. We see men drunken in this Day, the Day in which men and angels
have been gathered together.

Say: Is there any doubt concerning God? Behold how He hath come down from
the heaven of His grace, girded with power and invested with sovereignty. Is
there any doubt concerning His signs? Open ye your eyes, and consider His clear
evidence. Paradise is on your right hand, and hath been brought nigh unto you,
while Hell hath been made to blaze. Witness its devouring flame. Haste ye to
enter into Paradise, as a token of Our mercy unto you, and drink ye from the
hands of the All-Merciful the Wine that is life indeed.

Drink with healthy relish, O people of Bahá. Ye are indeed they with whom it shall
be well. This is what they who have near access to God have attained. This is the
flowing water ye were promised in the Qur'án, and later in the Bayán, as a
recompense from your Lord, the God of Mercy. Blessed are they that quaff it.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 45-46

The passage above about the "angels of God seen descending" (dependent
prophets of Bahá'u'lláh) can be paralleled to the passage below "the Light which
we have sent down" which is a reference to the Imams (dependent prophets of
Muhammad) cited in "Introduction to Shi'i Islam" by Moojan Momen, p. 151-153

64:8 Believe, therefore, in God and His Apostle, and in the Light which
we have sent down. And God is well acquainted with all that ye do.

64:9 The Day that He assembles you (all) for a Day of Assembly,- that
will be a Day of mutual loss and gain (among you), and those who believe
in God and work righteousness,- He will remove from them their ills, and
He will admit them to Gardens beneath which Rivers flow, to dwell therein
for ever: that will be the Supreme Achievement.

64:10 But those who reject Faith and treat Our Signs as falsehoods, they
will be Companions of the Fire, to dwell therein for aye: and evil is
that Goal.
--Qur'an: 64 - AT-TAGHABUN.

10b)
Say: Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the glory of My Presence
is withdrawn, and the ocean of My utterance is stilled. In My presence amongst
you there is a wisdom, and in My absence there is yet another, inscrutable to
all but God, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing. Verily, We behold you from Our
realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause
with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favoured angels.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 38


11. In the passage below, "souls who will adorn the world of being with a
new raiment and a wondrous robe" -- can also be interpreted as references
to dependent prophets and the new teachings they bring. "Moon" and "divine
unity" are also references applicable to prophets.

The term "suns" hath many a time been applied in the writings of the
"immaculate Souls" unto the Prophets of God, those luminous Emblems of
Detachment. Among those writings are the following words recorded in the
"Prayer of Nudbih": "Whither are gone the resplendent Suns? Whereunto have
departed those shining Moons and sparkling Stars?" Thus, it hath become evident
that the terms "sun," "moon," and "stars" primarily signify the Prophets of
God, the saints, and their companions, those Luminaries, the light of Whose
knowledge hath shed illumination upon the worlds of the visible and the
invisible.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 35

O Thou kind Lord! From the horizon of detachment Thou hast manifested souls
that, even as the shining moon, shed radiance upon the realm of heart and
soul, rid themselves from the attributes of the world of existence and
hastened forth unto the kingdom of immortality. With a drop from the ocean
of Thy loving kindness Thou didst oft-times moisten the gardens of their
hearts until they gained incomparable freshness and beauty. The holy
fragrance of Thy divine unity was diffused far and wide, shedding its sweet
savours over the entire world, causing the regions of the earth to be
redolent with perfume.

Raise up then, O Spirit of Purity, souls who, like those sanctified beings,
will become free and pure, Will adorn the world of being with a new raiment
and a wondrous robe, will seek no one else but Thee, tread no path except
the path of Thy good-pleasure and will speak of naught but the mysteries of
Thy Cause.
--Compilations, Fire and Light.

Passage above can be likened to the one below in reference to Bahá'u'lláh
himself.

"O King! I was but a man like others, asleep upon My couch, when lo, the
breezes of the All-Glorious were wafted over Me, and taught Me the
knowledge of all that hath been. This thing is not from Me, but from One
Who is Almighty and All-Knowing. And He bade Me lift up My voice between
earth and heaven, and for this there befell Me what hath caused the tears
of every man of understanding to flow. The learning current amongst men I
studied not; their schools I entered not. Ask of the city wherein I dwelt,
that thou mayest be well assured that I am not of them who speak falsely.
This is but a leaf which the winds of the will of thy Lord, the Almighty,
the All-Praised, have stirred. Can it be still when the tempestuous winds
are blowing? Nay, by Him Who is the Lord of all Names and Attributes! They
move it as they list. The evanescent is as nothing before Him Who is the
Ever-Abiding. His all-compelling summons hath reached Me, and caused Me to
speak His praise amidst all people. I was indeed as one dead when His
behest was uttered. The hand of the will of thy Lord, the Compassionate,
the Merciful, transformed Me."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 11-12


12. The "black-eyed damsels" can also be interpreted as references to
dependent prophets.

The Apostle of God--may the blessings of God and His salutations be upon
Him--is reported to have said: "Blessed the man that hath visited Akká, and
blessed he that hath visited the visitor of Akká. Blessed the one that hath
drunk from the Spring of the Cow and washed in its waters, for the
black-eyed damsels quaff the camphor in Paradise, which hath come from the
Spring of the Cow, and from the Spring of Salván (Siloam), and the Well of
Zamzam. Well is it with him that hath drunk from these springs, and washed
in their waters, for God hath forbidden the fire of hell to touch him and
his body on the Day of Resurrection."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 179-180

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. 282-283


General references on the Prophets of God.

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

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

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.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 142

The door of the knowledge of the Ancient of Days being thus closed in the face
of all beings, the Source of infinite grace, according to His saying: "His
grace hath transcended all things; My grace hath encompassed them all" hath
caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the realm of the
spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made manifest unto all
men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries of the unchangeable
Being, and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable Essence. These sanctified
Mirrors, these Day-springs of ancient glory are one and all the Exponents on
earth of Him Who is the central Orb of the universe, its Essence and ultimate
Purpose. From Him proceed their knowledge and power; from Him is derived their
sovereignty. The beauty of their countenance is but a reflection of His image,
and their revelation a sign of His deathless glory. They are the Treasuries of
divine knowledge, and the Repositories of celestial wisdom. Through them is
transmitted a grace that is infinite, and by them is revealed the light that
can never fade. Even as He hath said: "There is no distinction whatsoever
between Thee and them; except that they are Thy servants, and are created of
Thee." This is the significance of the tradition: "I am He, Himself, and He is
I, myself."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 99

XXI. O Salmán! The door of the knowledge of the Ancient Being hath ever been,
and will continue for ever to be, closed in the face of men. No man's
understanding shall ever gain access unto His holy court. As a token of His
mercy, however, and as a proof of His loving-kindness, He hath manifested unto
men the Day Stars of His divine guidance, the Symbols of His divine unity, and
hath ordained the knowledge of these sanctified Beings to be identical with the
knowledge of His own Self. Whoso recognizeth them hath recognized God. Whoso
hearkeneth to their call, hath hearkened to the Voice of God, and whoso
testifieth to the truth of their Revelation, hath testified to the truth of God
Himself. Whoso turneth away from them, hath turned away from God, and whoso
disbelieveth in them, hath disbelieved in God. Every one of them is the Way of
God that connecteth this world with the realms above, and the Standard of His
Truth unto every one in the kingdoms of earth and heaven. They are the
Manifestations of God amidst men, the evidences of His Truth, and the signs of
His glory.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 49

Know that the attributes of perfection, the splendor of the divine
bounties, and the lights of inspiration are visible and evident in all the
Holy Manifestations; but the glorious Word of God, Christ, and the Greatest
Name, Bahá'u'lláh, are manifestations and evidences which are beyond
imagination, for They possess all the perfections of the former
Manifestations; and more than that, They possess some perfections which
make the other Manifestations dependent upon Them. So all the Prophets of
Israel were centers of inspiration; Christ also was a receiver of
inspiration, but what a difference between the inspiration of the Word of
God and the revelations of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Elijah!
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 149-150

Question.--How many kinds of Prophets are there? Answer.--Universally, the
Prophets are of two kinds. One are the independent Prophets Who are
followed; the other kind are not independent and are themselves followers.

The independent Prophets are the lawgivers and the founders of a new cycle.
Through Their appearance the world puts on a new garment, the foundations
of religion are established, and a new book is revealed. Without an
intermediary They receive bounty from the Reality of the Divinity, and
Their illumination is an essential illumination. They are like the sun
which is luminous in itself: the light is its essential necessity; it does
not receive light from any other star. These Dawning-places of the morn of
Unity are the sources of bounty and the mirrors of the Essence of Reality.

The other Prophets are followers and promoters, for they are branches and
not independent; they receive the bounty of the independent Prophets, and
they profit by the light of the Guidance of the universal Prophets. They
are like the moon, which is not luminous and radiant in itself, but
receives its light from the sun.

The Manifestations of universal Prophethood Who appeared independently are,
for example, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. But
the others who are followers and promoters are like Solomon, David, Isaiah,
Jeremiah and Ezekiel. For the independent Prophets are founders; They
establish a new religion and make new creatures of men; They change the
general morals, promote new customs and rules, renew the cycle and the Law.
Their appearance is like the season of spring, which arrays all earthly
beings in a new garment, and gives them a new life.

With regard to the second sort of Prophets who are followers, these also
promote the Law of God, make known the Religion of God, and proclaim His
word. Of themselves they have no power and might, except what they receive
from the independent Prophets.
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p.165

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