References on mystical writings -- a divine test.
It is evident unto thee that the Birds of Heaven and Doves of Eternity
speak a twofold language. One language, the outward language, is devoid of
allusions, is unconcealed and unveiled; that it may be a guiding lamp and a
beaconing light whereby wayfarers may attain the heights of holiness, and
seekers may advance into the realm of eternal reunion. Such are the unveiled
traditions and the evident verses already mentioned. The other language is
veiled and concealed, so that whatever lieth hidden in the heart of the
malevolent may be made manifest and their innermost being be disclosed. Thus
hath Sádiq, son of Muhammad, spoken: "God verily will test them and sift
them." This is the divine standard, this is the Touchstone of God, wherewith
He proveth His servants. None apprehendeth the meaning of these utterances
except them whose hearts are assured, whose souls have found favour with God,
and whose minds are detached from all else but Him. In such utterances, the
literal meaning, as generally understood by the people, is not what hath
been intended. Thus it is recorded: "Every knowledge hath seventy meanings,
of which one only is known amongst the people. And when the Qá'im shall arise,
He shall reveal unto men all that which remaineth." He also saith: "We speak
one word, and by it we intend one and seventy meanings; each one of these
meanings we can explain."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 255
"Sádiq, 'son' of Muhammad" refers to Ja'far as-Sadiq, the Sixth Imam of
Such are the mysteries of the Word of God, which have been unveiled and made
manifest, that haply thou mayest apprehend the morning light of divine
guidance, mayest quench, by the power of reliance and renunciation, the lamp of
idle fancy, of vain imaginings, of hesitation, and doubt, and mayest kindle, in
the inmost chamber of thine heart, the new-born light of divine knowledge and
Know verily that the purpose underlying all these symbolic terms and abstruse
allusions, which emanate from the Revealers of God's holy Cause, hath been to
test and prove the peoples of the world; that thereby the earth of the pure and
illuminated hearts may be known from the perishable and barren soil. From time
immemorial such hath been the way of God amidst His creatures, and to this
testify the records of the sacred books.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 48
As they have literally interpreted the Word of God, and the sayings and traditions
of the Letters of Unity, and expounded them according to their own deficient
understanding, they have therefore deprived themselves and all their people of
the bountiful showers of the grace and mercies of God. And yet they bear witness
to this well-known tradition: "Verily Our Word is abstruse, bewilderingly abstruse."
In another instance, it is said: "Our Cause is sorely trying, highly perplexing; none
can bear it except a favorite of heaven, or an inspired Prophet, or he whose faith
God hath tested." These leaders of religion admit that none of these three specified
conditions is applicable to them. The first two conditions are manifestly beyond their
reach; as to the third, it is evident that at no time have they been proof against at
have been sent by God, and that when the divine Touchstone appeared, they have
shown themselves to be naught but dross.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 82
You should know, questioner, that the divine word encompasses all meanings.
That is, all divine meanings and mysteries are concealed within it. Blessed are
they who attain it and extract the pearls hidden within it. Consider the radiance
of the divine word to be like the shining of the sun. In the same way that once
the sun rises, it shines on all, so once the sun of the word dawns from the will
of the lord, it sheds its illumination on all. Indeed, I take refuge in God even
from this simile, since the outward sun itself owes its existence to the comprehensive
word. Think, so that you might attain knowledge. Still, the outward sun can be
perceived with physical eyes, whereas the rays of the sun of the word are seen
with inner vision. By the one in whose hand is my soul! If the hidden aid and
power of the divine word were withdrawn from the world and its people for a
single instant, all would be lost and annihilated. If souls gaze with divine sight,
they will see the radiance of its lights in everything. Likewise, if they listen with
pure ears, they will hear the primal call of God at every moment. The divine call
is still being raised but ears are blocked, and the lights of the luminary above the
horizon are apparent, but eyes are covered...
For, glory lies in attaining mystical insight into the Eternal Truth and remaining
firm, steadfast and unswerving in the Cause of God. It does not come from outward
statements, as my predecessor explained these spiritual levels. Look, so that you
might understand. For instance, the souls who have ascended to the peaks of
mystical insight and those who remained at the lowest rank have precisely the
same station in the eyes of God. For the nobility of knowledge and insight is not
dependent on these attributes in themselves. If they lead to the Eternal Truth and
acceptance of it, they are approved. Otherwise, they are rejected. On this plane,
all words are mentioned on the same level.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Son (a provisional translation)
Among them is the tradition, "And when the Standard of Truth is made manifest,
the people of both the East and the West curse it." The wine of renunciation must
needs be quaffed, the lofty heights of detachment must needs be attained, and
the meditation referred to in the words "One hour's reflection is preferable to
seventy years of pious worship" must needs be observed, so that the secret of
the wretched behaviour of the people might be discovered, those people who,
despite the love and yearning for truth which they profess, curse the followers
of Truth when once He hath been made manifest.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 238
From the Quran
3:7 He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic
or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the
Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity
follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching
for its hidden meanings, but no one knows its hidden meanings except God.
And those who are firmly grounded in knowledge say: "We believe in the
Book; the whole of it is from our Lord:" and none will grasp the Message
except men of understanding.
-- Qur'an: 3 - AL-I-IMRAN
From the Bible
12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed
till the time of the end.
12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall
do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall
-- Bible: Daniel
5:20 Despise not prophesyings.
5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
-- Bible: 1 Thessalonians,
Gracious God! Notwithstanding the warning which, in marvelously symbolic
language and subtle allusions, hath been uttered in days past, and which was
intended to awaken the peoples of the world and to prevent them from being
deprived of their share of the billowing ocean of God's grace, yet such
things as have already been witnessed have come to pass! Reference to these
things hath also been made in the Qur'án, as witnessed by this verse: "What
can such expect but that God should come down to them overshadowed with
A number of the divines, who hold firmly to the letter of the Word of God,
have come to regard this verse as one of the signs of that expected
resurrection which is born of their idle fancy. This, notwithstanding the
fact that similar references have been made in most of the heavenly Books,
and have been recorded in all the passages connected with the signs of the
Likewise, He saith: "On the day when the heaven shall give out a palpable
smoke, which shall enshroud mankind: this will be an afflictive torment."
The All-Glorious hath decreed these very things, that are contrary to the
desires of wicked men, to be the touchstone and standard whereby He proveth
His servants, that the just may be known from the wicked, and the faithful
distinguished from the infidel. The symbolic term "smoke" denotes grave
dissensions, the abrogation and demolition of recognized standards, and
the utter destruction of their narrow-minded exponents.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 76
Furthermore, the sign of truth and falsehood is designated and appointed in
the Book. By this divinely-appointed touchstone, the claims and pretensions
of all men must needs be assayed, so that the truthful may be known and
distinguished from the imposter. This touchstone is no other than this
verse: "Wish for death, if ye are men of truth." Consider these martyrs of
unquestionable sincerity, to whose truthfulness testifieth the explicit text
of the Book, and all of whom, as thou hast witnessed, have sacrificed their
life, their substance, their wives, their children, their all, and ascended
unto the loftiest chambers of Paradise. Is it fair to reject the testimony
of these detached and exalted beings to the truth of this pre-eminent and
glorious Revelation and to regard as acceptable the denunciations which
have been uttered against this resplendent Light by this faithless people,
who for gold have forsaken their faith, and who for the sake of leadership
have repudiated Him Who is the First Leader of all mankind? This, although
their character is now revealed unto all people who have recognized them as
those who will in no wise relinquish one jot or one tittle of their temporal
authority for the sake of God's holy Faith, how much less their life, their
substance, and the like.
Behold how the divine Touchstone hath, according to the explicit text of the
Book, separated and distinguished the true from the false. Notwithstanding,
they are still oblivious of this truth, and in the sleep of heedlessness,
are pursuing the vanities of the world, and are occupied with thoughts of
vain and earthly leadership.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 227
Among the Prophets was Noah. For nine hundred and fifty years He prayerfully
exhorted His people and summoned them to the haven of security and peace.
None, however, heeded His call. Each day they inflicted on His blessed person
such pain and suffering that no one believed He could survive. How frequently
they denied Him, how malevolently they hinted their suspicion against Him!
Thus it hath been revealed: "And as often as a company of His people passed
by Him, they derided Him. To them He said: `Though ye scoff at us now, we
will scoff at you hereafter even as ye scoff at us. In the end ye shall know.'"
Long afterward, He several times promised victory to His companions and fixed
the hour thereof. But when the hour struck, the divine promise was not fulfilled.
This caused a few among the small number of His followers to turn away from
Him, and to this testify the records of the best-known books. These you must
certainly have perused; if not, undoubtedly you will. Finally, as stated in books
and traditions, there remained with Him only forty or seventy-two of His followers.
At last from the depth of His being He cried aloud: "Lord! Leave not upon the
land a single dweller from among the unbelievers."
And now, consider and reflect a moment upon the waywardness of this people.
What could have been the reason for such denial and avoidance on their part?
What could have induced them to refuse to put off the garment of denial, and to
adorn themselves with the robe of acceptance? Moreover, what could have
caused the nonfulfilment of the divine promise which led the seekers to reject
that which they had accepted? Meditate profoundly, that the secret of things
unseen may be revealed unto you, that you may inhale the sweetness of a spiritual
and imperishable fragrance, and that you may acknowledge the truth that from
time immemorial even unto eternity the Almighty hath tried, and will continue to
try, His servants, so that light may be distinguished from darkness, truth from
falsehood, right from wrong, guidance from error, happiness from misery, and
roses from thorns. Even as He hath revealed: "Do men think when they say `We
believe' they shall be let alone and not be put to proof?"
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 7-9