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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 31

References on the pre-existence of prophets.

Whomsoever He ordaineth as a Prophet, he, verily, hath been a Prophet from
the beginning that hath no beginning, and will thus remain until the end
that hath no end, inasmuch as this is an act of God. And whosoever is made
a Vicegerent by Him, shall be a Vicegerent in all the worlds, for this is
an act of God. For the will of God can in no wise be revealed except
through His will, nor His wish be manifested save through His wish. He,
verily, is the All-Conquering, the All-Powerful, the All-Highest."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 155

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.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 99

Have they not heard the melody of that bird of Heaven [Imam Ali], uttering
this mystery: "A thousand Fatimihs I have espoused, all of whom were the
daughters of Muhammad, Son of Abdu'llah, the 'Seal of the Prophets?'"
Behold, how many are the mysteries that lie as yet unravelled within the
tabernacle of the knowledge of God, and how numerous the gems of His
wisdom that are still concealed in His inviolable treasuries! Shouldest
thou ponder this in thine heart, thou wouldst realize that His handiwork
knoweth neither beginning nor end. The domain of His decree is too vast
for the tongue of mortals to describe, or for the bird of the human mind
to traverse; and the dispensations of His providence are too mysterious
for the mind of man to comprehend. His creation no end hath overtaken,
and it hath ever existed from the "Beginning that hath no beginning"; and
the Manifestations of His Beauty no beginning hath beheld, and they will
continue to the "End that knoweth no end." Ponder this utterance in thine
heart, and reflect how it is applicable unto all these holy Souls.
--Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 166

O people of the Bayán! We, verily, set foot within the School of God when
ye lay slumbering; and We perused the Tablet while ye were fast asleep. By
the one true God! We read the Tablet ere it was revealed, while ye were
unaware, and We had perfect knowledge of the Book when ye were yet unborn.
These words are to your measure, not to God's. To this testifieth that
which is enshrined within His knowledge, if ye be of them that comprehend;
and to this the tongue of the Almighty doth bear witness, if ye be of those
who understand. I swear by God, were We to lift the veil, ye would be
dumbfounded.

Take heed that ye dispute not idly concerning the Almighty and His Cause,
for lo! He hath appeared amongst you invested with a Revelation so great as
to encompass all things, whether of the past or of the future. Were We to
address Our theme by speaking in the language of the inmates of the
Kingdom, We would say: "In truth, God created that School ere He created
heaven and earth, and We entered it before the letters B and E were joined
and knit together." Such is the language of Our servants in Our Kingdom;
consider what the tongue of the dwellers of Our exalted Dominion would
utter, for We have taught them Our knowledge and have revealed to them
whatever had lain hidden in God's wisdom. Imagine then what the Tongue of
Might and Grandeur would utter in His All-Glorious Abode!
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 83-84


Pre-existence of Bahá'u'lláh.

127. Joy unto him who, in this Day, casts away that which is possessed by
the people, and holds fast to that which is commanded on the part of God,
the King of names and the Creator of things -- The One who hath come from
the heaven of Pre-existence with the Greatest Name, and with a power that
the hosts of the earth fail to withstand: whereunto testifies the
Mother-Book in the highest station.

128. The first splendor which hath shone forth from the Sun of Truth is
the knowledge of God -- exalted is His glory! -- and the knowledge of the
King of Pre-existence cannot be attained except by knowing the Greatest
Name. He is the Speaker of the Mount who is established and seated upon
the throne of Manifestation, and He is the hidden, invisible One, the
concealed Mystery.
-- Excerpt from the writings of Bahá'u'lláh


Pre-existence of Abdu'l-Bahá

He is Eternal in His Abha Horizon!

Say: Verily, the ocean of pre-existence hath branched forth from this most
great Ocean. Blessed, therefore, is he who abides upon Its shores, and is
of those who are established thereon. Verily, this most sacred temple of
Abha ---the Branch of Holiness--- hath branched forth from the Sadratu'l-
Muntaha. Blessed is whosoever sought shelter beneath it and is of those who
rest therein....

Say: O people, praise ye God, for its Manifestation, for verily it is the
most great favor upon you and the most perfect blessing upon you....

Inhale the fragrances of the Ridvan from His roses and be not of those who
are deprived. Appreciate the bounty of God upon you and be not veiled
therefrom --- and, verily, We have sent Him forth in the temple of man.
Thus praise ye the Lord, the Originator of whatsoever He willeth through
His wise and inviolable Command!
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Branch (a provisional translation)

Similar to:
The Word which the Son concealed is made manifest. It hath been sent down
in the form of the human temple in this day. Blessed be the Lord Who is the
Father! He, verily, is come unto the nations in His most great majesty.
Turn your faces towards Him, O concourse of the righteous... This is the day
whereon the Rock (Peter) crieth out and shouteth, and celebrateth the praise
of its Lord, the All-Possessing, the Most High, saying: `Lo! The Father is
come, and that which ye were promised in the Kingdom is fulfilled!...' My
body longeth for the cross, and Mine head waiteth the thrust of the spear,
in the path of the All-Merciful, that the world may be purged from its
transgressions....
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 84


Pre-existence of Muhammad and the Imams

O Salman and O Jandab! Muhammad and I were the Light that was voicing
forth the divine eulogy before any other reality started to praise Him. We were
the cause of illumination unto all creation. This one Light was divided by God
in two portions and vouchsafed unto creation the Chosen "Mustapha" Prophet
Muhammad and His Vicegerent in Whom He was well pleased "Murtada". God,
exalted be His Glory, said to each half "Be Muhammad" "Be 'Ali". The
Imperative is Kun the letters B and E. It is thus that the Prophet said: " I
am from 'Ali and 'Ali is from Me. None can give forth my Trust but Myself
and 'Ali".
-- Imam Ali, Sermon of Ma'rifat bin-Nuraaniyyat (Recognition with
Luminousness)

I am the First and the Last! I am the External and Manifest and I am the
Internal and Hidden! I am with the Cycle (kawr) before the Cycle began! I
am the Companion of the Dispensation (dawr) before the Dispensation started!
I was with the Pen before the Pen and I am with the Tablet prior to the
Tablet being revealed! I am the Lord of the First Pre-existence!
-- Imam Ali, Khutbih-i-Tutunjiyyih (The Sermon of the Twin Gulfs)

And were they all [Manifestations of God] 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 the "Hidden" -- all of which pertain to Him Who is the
Innermost Spirit of Spirits and Eternal Essence of Essences.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 54

The following Tradition is attributed to the Prophet:
'God created 'Ali and me from one light before the creation of Adam...
then He split (the light) into two halves, then He created (all) things

from my light and 'Ali's light.'[5]

The First Imam, 'Ali, is reported to have said: 'God is one; He was
alone in His singleness and so He spoke one word and it became a light

and He created from that light Muhammad and He created me and my
descendants (i.e. the other Imams), then He spoke another word and it
became a Spirit and He caused it to settle upon that light and He
caused it to settle on our bodies. And so we are the Spirit of God and
His Word... and this was before He created the creation.[6]
-- quoted in, Introduction to Shi'i Islam, Moojan Momen p. 148-149

As for the station of the Imams and of the near ones at the threshold of
grandeur, it is that of spiritual honor and glory. Their right is to the authority
of the All-Merciful, and their crown of glory is the dust of the divine path. Their
gleaming scepter is the lights of the bounty of God. Their royal throne is the
seat of hearts, and their exalted and great crown is in the kingdom of God.
They are the monarchs of the world of spirit and heart, not that of water and
clay. They are sovereigns of the realm of the placeless, not of the graveyards
of the contingent world. No one can usurp or plunder this glorious station or
this pre-existent grandeur.
--`Abdu'l-Bahá's "Treatise on Leadership" (a provisional translation)


Pre-existence of the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh.

O congregation of the Bayán, and all who are therein! Recognize ye the
limits imposed upon you, for such a One as the Point of the Bayán Himself
hath believed in Him Whom God shall make manifest, before all things were
created. Therein, verily, do I glory before all who are in the kingdom of
heaven and earth.
-- The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 168


Pre-existent Maids of Heaven announce declaration of Bahá'u'lláh

in the invisible realm.

"Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He who is
the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Ridván and entered
it. Guide, then, the people unto the Garden of Delight which God hath made
the Throne of His Paradise... Within this Paradise, and from the heights of
its loftiest chambers, the Maids of Heaven have cried out and shouted:
`Rejoice, ye dwellers of the realms above, for the fingers of Him Who is the
Ancient of Days are ringing, in the name of the All-Glorious, the Most Great
Bell, in the midmost heart of the heavens. The hands of bounty have borne
round the cups of everlasting life. Approach, and quaff your fill.'"
-- Bahá'u'lláh speaking on the First Day of Ridvan. Quoted in
Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 154


Covenant between Bahá'u'lláh and pre-existent Maid of Heaven

"covenanted with Thee, from time immemorial" -- covenant between
Bahá'u'lláh and the pre-existent dependent prophet (Maid of Heaven).

Say: Step out of Thy holy chamber, O Maid of Heaven, inmate of the
Exalted Paradise!...

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.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 283


Pre-existence of Christ

EXPLANATION OF VERSE FIVE, CHAPTER SEVENTEEN,
OF THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN

"And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self, with the glory
which I had with Thee before the world was."

There are two kinds of priorities: one is essential and is not preceded by
a cause, but its existence is in itself, as, for example, the sun has
light in itself, for its shining is not dependent on the light of other
stars. This is called an essential light. But the light of the moon is
received from the sun, for the moon is dependent on the sun for its
light; therefore, the sun, with regard to light, is the cause, and the
moon becomes the effect. The former is the ancient, the precedent, the
antecedent, while the latter is the preceded and the last.

The second sort of preexistence is the preexistence of time, and that has
no beginning. The Word of God is sanctified from time. The past, the
present, the future, all, in relation to God, are equal. Yesterday, today,
tomorrow do not exist in the sun.

In the same way there is a priority with regard to glory--that is to say,
the most glorious precedes the glorious. Therefore, the Reality of Christ,
Who is the Word of God, with regard to essence, attributes and glory,
certainly precedes the creatures. Before appearing in the human form,
the Word of God was in the utmost sanctity and glory, existing in perfect
beauty and splendor in the height of its magnificence. When through the
wisdom of God the Most High it shone from the heights of glory in the
world of the body, the Word of God, through this body, became oppressed,
so that it fell into the hands of the Jews, and became the captive of the
tyrannical and ignorant, and at last was crucified. That is why He
addressed God, saying: "Free Me from the bonds of the world of the body,
and liberate Me from this cage, so that I may ascend to the heights of
honor and glory, and attain unto the former grandeur and might which
existed before the bodily world, that I may rejoice in the eternal world
and may ascend to the original abode, the placeless world, the invisible
kingdom."
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 116

14. As to His words: "And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn and
they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory." The purport of this saying is that at that time the people
will lament because of the absence of the Sun of Divine Beauty, the Moon
of Knowledge and the Stars of Intuitive Wisdom; then it will be witnessed
that the face of the Promised One and the beauty of the Adored One will
descend from heaven riding upon a cloud; that is, that Divine Beauty will
appear from the heavens of the Supreme Will, in the human temple. The
purpose of "heaven" is none other than to demote the exaltation and
loftiness which is the station of the appearance of those Daysprings of
Holiness and Dawning-places of Pre-existence. Although these ancient
Beings outwardly appear from the wombs of mothers, yet in reality they
descend from the heavens of command; and although they dwell upon the
earth, yet they recline upon the couch of significances; and while
walking among the servants, they soar in the skies of nearness. They
journey in the land of spirit without the motion of foot and fly upward to
the summit of oneness without wing. In every breath they traverse the world
of creation east and west, and in every moment pass through the kingdom of
the seen and unseen. They are sent forth from the loftiness of the power
of the King of Pre-existence and from the exaltation of the Will of the
most great Ruler. Therefore He says He shall "descend from heaven."
-- Excerpt from the writings of Abdu'l-Bahá

In the same way there is a priority with regard to glory--that is to say,
the most glorious precedes the glorious. Therefore, the Reality of Christ,
Who is the Word of God, with regard to essence, attributes and glory,
certainly precedes the creatures. Before appearing in the human form, the
Word of God was in the utmost sanctity and glory, existing in perfect
beauty and splendor in the height of its magnificence. When through the
wisdom of God the Most High it shone from the heights of glory in the world
of the body, the Word of God, through this body, became oppressed, so that
it fell into the hands of the Jews, and became the captive of the
tyrannical and ignorant, and at last was crucified. That is why He
addressed God, saying: "Free Me from the bonds of the world of the body,
and liberate Me from this cage, so that I may ascend to the heights of
honor and glory, and attain unto the former grandeur and might which
existed before the bodily world, that I may rejoice in the eternal world
and may ascend to the original abode, the placeless world, the invisible
kingdom."
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 116-117

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