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

by Aziz Mboya

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Chapter 20

References on "Face of God"

An Independent Prophet is the Face of God, and a Dependent Prophet is the
Face of the Independent Prophet and also the Face of God.

"The breezes of the Most Merciful have passed over all created things;
happy the man that hath discovered their fragrance, and set himself towards
them with a sound heart. Attire thy temple with the ornament of My Name,
and thy tongue with remembrance of Me, and thine heart with love for Me,
the Almighty, the Most High. We have desired for thee naught except that
which is better for thee than what thou dost possess and all the treasures
of the earth. Thy Lord, verily, is knowing, informed of all. Arise, in My
Name, amongst My servants, and say: `O ye peoples of the earth! Turn
yourselves towards Him Who hath turned towards you. He, verily, is the
Face of God amongst you, and His Testimony and His Guide unto you. He hath
come to you with signs which none can produce.' The voice of the Burning
Bush is raised in the midmost heart of the world, and the Holy Spirit
calleth aloud among the nations: `Lo, the Desired One is come with manifest
dominion!'
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 48

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

The Imams are Face of God

The Commander of the Faithful (Imám `Alí) hath said: "I am He Who can neither
be named, nor described." And likewise He hath said: "Outwardly I am an Imám;
inwardly I am the Unseen, the Unknowable." Abú-Ja'far-i-Túsí hath said: "I
said to Ábí `Abdi'lláh: `You are the Way mentioned in the Book of God, and
you are the Impost, and you are the Pilgrimage.' He replied: `O man! We are
the Way mentioned in the Book of God,--exalted and glorified be He--and We
are the Impost, and We are the Fast, and We are the Pilgrimage, and We are
the Sacred Month, and We are the Sacred City, and We are the Kaaba of God,
and We are the Qiblih of God, and We are the Face of God.'" Jabír hath said
that Abú-Ja'far--peace be upon him--spoke to him as follows: "O Jabír! Give
heed unto the Bayán (Exposition) and the Má'ání (Significances)." He --peace
be upon him--added: "As to the Bayán, it consisteth in thy recognition of
God--glorified be He--as the One Who hath no equal, and in thy adoration of
Him, and in thy refusal to join partners with Him. As to the Má'ání, We are
its meaning, and its side, and its hand, and its tongue, and its cause, and
its command, and its knowledge, and its right. If We wish for something, it
is God Who wisheth it, and He desireth that which We desire." Moreover, the
Commander of the Faithful (Imám `Alí)--peace be upon him--hath said: "How can
I worship a Lord Whom I have not seen?" And, in another connection, he
saith: "Nothing have I perceived except that I perceived God before it, God
after it, or God with it."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 112

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 Book.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 4

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.

Great indeed is this Day! The allusions made to it in all the sacred
Scriptures as the Day of God attest its greatness. The soul of every Prophet
of God, of every Divine Messenger, hath thirsted for this wondrous Day. All
the divers kindreds of the earth have, likewise, yearned to attain it. No
sooner, however, had the Day Star of His Revelation manifested itself in
the heaven of God's Will, than all, except those whom the Almighty was
pleased to guide, were found dumbfounded and heedless.

O thou that hast remembered Me! The most grievous veil hath shut out the
peoples of the earth from His glory, and hindered them from hearkening to
His call. God grant that the light of unity may envelop the whole earth,
and that the seal, "the Kingdom is God's", may be stamped upon the brow of
all its peoples.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 11

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