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

by Aziz Mboya

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Chapter 42

References on "testimony" -- the revelation/teachings of a prophet

The testimony of The Bab

O Kings of the earth! Give ear unto the Voice of God, calling from this
sublime, this fruit-laden Tree, that hath sprung out of the Crimson Hill,
upon the holy Plain, intoning the words: `There is none other God but He,
the Mighty, the All-Powerful, the All-Wise.'... Fear God, O concourse of
kings, and suffer not yourselves to be deprived of this most sublime grace.
Fling away, then, the things ye possess, and take fast hold on the Handle of
God, the Exalted, the Great. Set your hearts towards the Face of God, and
abandon that which your desires have bidden you to follow, and be not of
those who perish. Relate unto them, O Servant, the story of `Alí (the Báb),
when He came unto them with truth, bearing His glorious and weighty Book,
and holding in His hands a testimony and proof from God, and holy and blessed
tokens from Him. Ye, however, O Kings, have failed to heed the Remembrance of
God in His days and to be guided by the lights which arose and shone forth
above the horizon of a resplendent Heaven. Ye examined not His Cause when so
to do would have been better for you than all that the sun shineth upon,
could ye but perceive it. Ye remained careless until the divines of Persia--those
cruel ones--pronounced judgment against Him, and unjustly slew
Him. His spirit ascended unto God, and the eyes of the inmates of Paradise
and the angels that are nigh unto Him wept sore by reason of this cruelty.
Beware that ye be not careless henceforth as ye have been careless aforetime.
Return, then, unto God, your Maker, and be not of the heedless....
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 7

The testimony of Muhammad and the His Family (The Imams)

Muhammad, Himself, as the end of His mission drew nigh, spoke these words:
"Verily, I leave amongst you My twin weighty testimonies: The Book of God and
My Family." Although many traditions had been revealed by that Source of
Prophethood and Mine of divine Guidance, yet He mentioned only that Book,
thereby appointing it as the mightiest instrument and surest testimony for
the seekers; a guide for the people until the Day of Resurrection.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 201

The testimony of the Sixth Imam, Jafar as-Sadiq

And now, concerning His words: "And He shall send His angels...." By
"angels" is meant those who, reinforced by the power of the spirit, have
consumed, with the fire of the love of God, all human traits and limitations,
and have clothed themselves with the attributes of the most exalted Beings
and of the Cherubim. That holy man, Sádiq, in his eulogy of the Cherubim,
saith: "There stand a company of our fellow-Shí'ihs behind the Throne."
Divers and manifold are the interpretations of the words "behind the Throne."
In one sense, they indicate that no true Shí'ihs exist. Even as he hath said
in another passage: "A true believer is likened unto the philosopher's
stone." Addressing subsequently his listener, he saith: "Hast thou ever seen
the philosopher's stone?" Reflect, how this symbolic language, more
eloquent than any speech, however direct, testifieth to the non-existence of
a true believer. Such is the testimony of Sádiq. And now consider, how unfair
and numerous are those who, although they themselves have failed to inhale
the fragrance of belief, have condemned as infidels those by whose word
belief itself is recognized and established.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 78

Testimony of the Manifestation

O friend! It behooveth us not to waive the injunction of God, but rather
acquiesce and submit to that which He hath ordained as His divine Testimony.
This verse is too weighty and pregnant an utterance for this afflicted soul
to demonstrate and expound. God speaketh the truth and leadeth the way. He,
verily, is supreme over all His people; He is the Mighty, the Beneficent.

Likewise, He saith: "Such are the verses of God: with truth do We recite them
to Thee. But in what revelation will they believe, if they reject God and His
verses?" If thou wilt grasp the implication of this verse, thou wilt
recognize the truth that no manifestation greater than the Prophets of God
hath ever been revealed, and no testimony mightier than the testimony of
their revealed verses hath ever appeared upon the earth. Nay, this testimony
no other testimony can ever excel, except that which the Lord thy God willeth.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 205

Heed not the idle contention of those who maintain that the Book and verses
thereof can never be a testimony unto the common people, inasmuch as they
neither grasp their meaning nor appreciate their value. And yet, the
unfailing testimony of God to both the East and the West is none other than
the Qur'án. Were it beyond the comprehension of men, how could it have been
declared as a universal testimony unto all people? If their contention be
true, none would therefore be required, nor would it be necessary for them
to know God, inasmuch as the knowledge of the divine Being transcendeth the
knowledge of His Book, and the common people would not possess the capacity
to comprehend it.

Such contention is utterly fallacious and inadmissible. It is actuated solely
by arrogance and pride. Its motive is to lead the people astray from the
Ridván of divine good-pleasure and to tighten the reins of their authority
over the people. And yet, in the sight of God, these common people are
infinitely superior and exalted above their religious leaders who have turned
away from the one true God. The understanding of His words and the
comprehension of the utterances of the Birds of Heaven are in no wise
dependent upon human learning. They depend solely upon purity of heart,
chastity of soul, and freedom of spirit. This is evidenced by those who,
today, though without a single letter of the accepted standards of learning,
are occupying the loftiest seats of knowledge; and the garden of their hearts
is adorned, through the showers of divine grace, with the roses of wisdom and
the tulips of understanding. Well is it with the sincere in heart for their
share of the light of a mighty Day!
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 210

Were not the happenings of the life of the "Prince of Martyrs" (Imam Husayn)
regarded as the greatest of all events, as the supreme evidence of his truth?
Did not the people of old declare those happenings to be unprecedented? Did
they not maintain that no manifestation of truth hath ever evinced such
constancy, such conspicuous glory? And yet, that episode of his life,
commencing as it did in the morning, was brought to a close by the middle of
the same day, whereas, these holy lights have, for eighteen years, heroically
endured the showers of afflictions which, from every side, have rained upon
them. With what love, what devotion, what exultation and holy rapture, they
sacrificed their lives in the path of the All-Glorious! To the truth of this
all witness. And yet, how can they belittle this Revelation? Hath any age
witnessed such momentous happenings? If these companions be not the true
strivers after God, who else could be called by this name? Have these
companions been seekers after power or glory? Have they ever yearned for
riches? Have they cherished any desire except the good-pleasure of God? If
these companions, with all their marvellous testimonies and wondrous works,
be false, who then is worthy to claim for himself the truth? I swear by God!
Their very deeds are a sufficient testimony, and an irrefutable proof unto
all the peoples of the earth, were men to ponder in their hearts the
mysteries of divine Revelation. "And they who act unjustly shall soon know
what lot awaiteth them!"

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.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 225-228

The testimony of Muhammad and Imam Ali

11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a
thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

11:4 These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before
the God of the earth.

11:5 And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and
devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this
manner be killed.

11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their
prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite
the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
-- Bible: Revelation,

And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two
hundred and three-score days, clothed in sackcloth." These two witnesses are
Muhammad the Messenger of God, and `Alí, son of Abú Tálib.

In the Qur'án it is said that God addressed Muhammad, the Messenger of God, saying:
"We made You a Witness, a Herald of good news, and a Warner"--that is to say, We
have established Thee as the witness, the giver of good tidings, and as One bringing
the wrath of God. The meaning of "a witness" is one by whose testimony things may
be verified. The commands of these two witnesses were to be performed for twelve
hundred and sixty days, each day signifying a year. Now, Muhammad was the root, and
`Alí the branch, like Moses and Joshua. It is said they "are clothed in sackcloth,"
meaning that they, apparently, were to be clothed in old raiment, not in new raiment;
in other words, in the beginning they would possess no splendor in the eyes of the
people, nor would their Cause appear new; for Muhammad's spiritual Law corresponds to
that of Christ in the Gospel, and most of His laws relating to material things
correspond to those of the Pentateuch. This is the meaning of the old raiment.

Then it is said: "These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing
before the God of the earth." These two souls are likened to olive trees because at
that time all lamps were lighted by olive oil. The meaning is two persons from whom
that spirit of the wisdom of God, which is the cause of the illumination of the world,
appears. These lights of God were to radiate and shine; therefore, they are likened
to two candlesticks: the candlestick is the abode of the light, and from it the light
shines forth. In the same way the light of guidance would shine and radiate from
these illumined souls.
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 48

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