While in the barracks, Baha'u'llah set apart a special night and He dedicated it to Darvish Sidq-'Ali. He wrote that every year on that night the dervishes should bedeck a meeting place, which should be in a flower garden, and gather there to make mention of God.Mr. ... asks which night was intended for this celebration, and, if that cannot be determined, he wonders whether the Universal House of Justice itself could designate a night so that the friends who wish to can begin to observe it. The following is our response.
The night the Baha'i Sufis were to gather and stay up late chanting that and other Tablets was the anniversary of the declaration of the Bab, according to Ishraq-Khavari. ...One explanation (not having seen the texts) is that the tablets of the sacred night refer to the declaration of the Bab and that this is distinct from the night of Darvish Sidq-`Aliy-i-Qazvini. There could, after all, be more than one festival on which Baha'i dervishes might stay up to celebrate. If the night of Darvish Sidq-`Aliy-i-Qazvini was the same as the declaration of the Bab, it would hardly have been necessary for Baha'u'llah to "set apart a special night", and it would also be rather extraordinary to take a night already dedicated to the Primal Point and use it to remember a lesser figure. Moreover the tablet which Juan has translated speaks of 'this festival' as if it should be a known and major date in the calendar...
`Abdu'l-Hamid Ishraq-Khavari tells us in his survey of Baha'u'llah's Tablets, Ganj-i Shayigan (Tehran: BPT, 124 B.E.), pp. 209-210, that the "Tablets of the Sacred Night (Alwah Laylat al-Quds)" were revealed in `Akka by Baha'u'llah with the intention that Baha'i dervishes or Sufis should treat that night as a festival and read these Tablets. ... In his encyclopaedic work, Rahiq-i Makhtum, 2 vols. (Tehran: BPT, ), 2:296, Ishraq-Khavari identifies the "Sacred Night" as none other than the night of the Bab's declaration (bi`that), and reaffirms that Baha'u'llah said it was good to stay up that night.
Ishraq-Khavari, Ganj i Shayigan, pp. 209-210:
Tablets of the Sacred Night
These were revealed by the blessed Pen in `Akka, so that the dervishes on that night would hold a celebration and recite these tablets. But afterwards the celebration of the sacred night was discontinued, since the dervish way in the blessed Cause is disapproved of and all the divine friends have bestowed upon them mystical insight (`irfan) into the Manifestation of the Cause of God. They are therefore absolved of and beyond any need for ordinary, common dervishes. A copy of a Tablet of the Sacred Night has been included in Tasbih va Tahlil.
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