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Abstract:
Excerpts from chapters 24-25, compiled for the Wilmette Institute.
Notes:
Used with permission of publisher; irrored from www.usbnc.org/bnc/depts/eso/Annual_2001/PDF/ESWexcerpts.pdf [defunct].

See also scans of indexes of Tablets


Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (Lawh-i-Ibn-i-Dhib):
Excerpts from Revelation of Baha'u'llah

by Adib Taherzadeh

published in The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh 1877-92, Vol. IV, Mazra'ih & Bahjí
1987
Excerpts from pages 368-379:


      This momentous Epistle was revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in the last year of His earthly life. It is addressed to Shaykh Muhammad-Taqí, known as Áqá Najafí, a son of Shaykh Muhammad-Báqir who was stigmatized by Him as 'Wolf'. After the death of his father in 1883, Áqá Najafí succeeded him as a leading mujtahid of Isfahán. He was an inveterate enemy and formidable opponent of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, a vicious and evil-minded clergyman who fulfilled the famous saying: 'The child is the secret of his sire.' He well merited the title 'Son of the Wolf'.

      In his younger days he collaborated with his father in pursuing the policy of murdering the Bahá'ís. He was the one who rolled up his sleeves on the occasion of the martyrdom of the King and the Beloved of the Martyrs and announced his readiness to carry out their execution personally should the official executioner refuse to co-operate. Once he assumed office it was through his instigation and on his direct orders that the great upheavals against the Bahá'ís occurred in Isfahán and neighbouring townships. It was by his command that several believers were put to death, and in 1903 he was the chief instigator of the upheaval of Yazd, the bloodiest massacre of the Bahá'ís since the bloodbath of Tihrán in 1852.

      To such a man, who was perpetrating the most heinous crimes against His followers in Persia, Bahá'u'lláh addressed this weighty Epistle. The opening paragraph is in praise of God, and the second, in praise of Bahá'u'lláh as the 'Supreme Mediator', 'the Most Exalted Pen', 'the dawning-place' of God's 'most excellent names', and 'the dayspring of His most exalted attributes'. Having unequivocally announced His own station to Áqá Najafí, Bahá'u'lláh in the next paragraph proclaims to him that 'the ear of man hath been created that it may hearken unto the Divine Voice of this Day', counsels him first to 'purify' his soul 'with the waters of renunciation', to 'crown' his head with 'the crown of the fear of God' and then to arise from his seat, turn his face in the direction of Bahá'u'lláh's abode and recite a prayer which is revealed especially for him.

      From the manner in which Áqá Najafí continued his opposition to the Faith after receiving this Epistle, we can guess the extent of his anger on reading the first three paragraphs. The perusal of the lengthy prayer which followed must have enraged him further. Although the revelation of this prayer, and indeed the whole Epistle, is a genuine attempt by Bahá'u'lláh to lead his misguided soul to God, the prayer nevertheless serves as the best descriptive material for depicting the infamous life of Áqá Najafí. Among some beautiful passages we find condemnatory statements such as these, in which Áqá Najafí is counselled by Bahá'u'lláh to recite in a prayerful attitude and beg God's forgiveness for his wicked deeds:
      'I testify, O my God, and my King, that Thou hast created me to remember Thee, to glorify Thee, and to aid Thy Cause. And yet, I have aided Thine enemies...'
      'Alas, alas, for my waywardness, and my shame, and my sinfulness, and my wrong-doing ... alas, alas! and again alas, alas! for my wretchedness and the grievousness of my transgressions! Thou didst call me into being, O my God, to exalt Thy Word, and to manifest Thy Cause. My heedlessness, however, hath deterred me and compassed me about, in such wise that I have arisen to blot out Thy signs, and to shed the blood of Thy loved ones...
      'O Lord, my Lord! and again, O Lord, my Lord! and yet again, O Lord, my Lord! I bear witness that by reason of mine iniquity the fruits of the tree of Thy justice have fallen, and though the fire of my rebelliousness the hearts of such of Thy creatures as enjoy near access to Thee were consumed, and the souls of the sincere among Thy servants have melted. O wretched, wretched that I am! O the cruelties, the glaring cruelties, I inflicted! Woe is me, woe is me, for my remoteness from Thee, and for my waywardness, and mine ignorance, and my baseness, and my repudiation of Thee, and my protests against Thee!...
      'Alas, alas! My turning away from Thee hath burnt up the veil of mine integrity, and my denial of Thee hath rent asunder the covering cast over mine honor. O would that I were beneath the depths of the earth, so that my evil deeds would remain unknown to Thy servants! Thou seest the sinner, O my Lord, who hath turned towards the dawning-place of Thy forgiveness and Thy bounty, and the mountain of iniquity that hath sought the heaven of Thy mercy and pardon. Alas, alas! My mighty sins have prevented me from approaching the court of Thy mercy, and my monstrous deeds have caused me to stray far from the sanctuary of Thy presence. Indeed, I am he that hath failed in duty towards Thee, and hath broken Thy Covenant and Thy Testament, and committed that which hath made the dwellers of the cities of Thy justice, and the dawning-places of Thy grace in Thy realms, to lament. I testify, O my God, that I have put away Thy commandments, and clung to the dictates of my passions, and have cast away the statutes of Thy Book, and seized the book of mine own desire. O misery, misery! As mine iniquities waxed greater and greater, Thy forbearance towards me augmented, and as the fire of my rebelliousness grew fiercer, the more did Thy forgiveness and Thy grace seek to smother up its flame. By the power of Thy might! O Thou Who art the desire of the world and the Best-Beloved of the nations! Thy long-suffering hath puffed me up, and Thy patience hath emboldened me...
      '...Thou hast given me a tongue wherewith to remember and praise Thee, and yet it uttereth that which hath caused the souls of such of Thy chosen ones as are nigh unto Thee to melt...
      '...Thou has given me eyes to witness Thy signs, and to behold Thy verses, and to contemplate the revelations of Thine handiwork, but I have rejected Thy will, and have committed what hath caused the faithful among Thy creatures and the detached amidst Thy servants to groan. Thou hast given me ears that I may incline them unto Thy praise and Thy celebration...
      '...And yet, alas, alas, I have forsaken Thy Cause, and have commanded Thy servants to blaspheme against Thy trusted ones and Thy loved ones, and have acted, before the throne of Thy justice, in such wise that those that have recognized Thy unity and are wholly devoted to Thee among the dwellers of Thy realm mourned with a sore lamentation...
      '...Alas, alas! Thou hast ordained that every pulpit be set apart for Thy mention, and for the glorification of Thy Word, and the revelation of Thy Cause, but I have ascended it to proclaim the violation of Thy Covenant, and have spoken unto Thy servants such words as have caused the dwellers of the Tabernacles of Thy majesty and the denizens of the Cities of Thy wisdom to lament...
      '...By Thy glory! I know not for which sin to beg Thy forgiveness and implore Thy pardon, nor from which of mine iniquities to turn aside unto the Court of Thy bounteousness and the Sanctuary of Thy favor. Such are my sins and trespasses that no man can number them, nor pen describe them... [1]

      No one but God can address a man in this way and lay bare before him his sinfulness and transgressions. Never for one moment did Áqá Najafí look upon himself in the light of this prayer while on this earth. But no doubt he has been able to see his true self in the world beyond, like every other soul, and discover how grievously he erred in his earthly life.

      A noticeable feature throughout the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf is Bahá'u'lláh's loving exhortation. There is no revenge in God's domain. Although He is addressing one of His bitterest enemies, God's loving compassion can be seen at work. While condemning his wicked deeds, He prays that he may change his ways. While sometimes appearing wrathful, He is never vindictive in His remarks. While denouncing his machinations, He is never extreme in His words. His dispassionate exposition of His teachings, His explicit description of the circumstances of His Revelation, His profound arguments setting forth the proofs of the validity of His Mission, His challenging remarks addressed to His adversaries, are all interwoven with passages reflecting His compassion, His exalted counsels, and His unbounded love for His servants, whether friend or foe.


The Re-revelation of Tablets

      In His Tablets Bahá'u'lláh occasionally quotes passages from Writings He has previously revealed. But the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf is different, in that it contains a great many quotations from His earlier Tablets. It includes an anthology of His Writings, chosen by Himself. We have already described in previous volumes the manner in which Bahá'u'lláh revealed His Writings and the speed with which His amanuensis was empowered by Him to write down His words. Whereas any compiler will copy the required source material for his quotations, the Revealer of the Word of God does not follow this pattern. It is inconceivable to imagine that when He wished to quote from a previous Tablet, Bahá'u'lláh would stop the flow of His Revelation and direct His amanuensis to insert a certain part of a Tablet as a quotation. It must be remembered that Bahá'u'lláh revealed about fifteen thousand Tablets during the forty years of His Ministry. Most of these were not easily accessible at the time, and none of them were indexed so as to enable one to retrieve a desired passage from among so many pages. For Bahá'u'lláh's amanuensis or anyone else to try to find part of a Tablet in those days would be very much like looking for a needle in a haystack.

      On the other hand, divine revelation, as witnessed by many of Bahá'u'lláh's disciples, was accompanied by the release of enormous powers which emanated from His person, manifesting the majesty of God and His awe-inspiring glory as verses of God poured down like copious rain. To suddenly stop this heavenly outpouring and busy oneself with the cumbersome task of looking for a passage among so many pages, would not only have been inconsistent with the dignity and majesty of the Revealer of the Word of God, but would also degrade him to the position of a human author.

      Every quotation one finds in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf was re-revealed by Bahá'u'lláh at the time. This is one of the evidences of the power of God, that His Mouthpiece can utter the same words which had been revealed to Him some years before. Not only was this true in relation to His own Writings, but, as mentioned previously, He quoted passages from the Writings of the Báb without having access to His Works. Of course this knowledge is not limited to Books of Scripture but extends to everything. In the Tablet of Hikmat Bahá'u'lláh confirms this to Nabíl-i-Akbar in these words:
      Thou knowest full well that We perused not the books which men possess and We acquired not the learning current amongst them, and yet whenever We desire to quote the sayings of the learned and of the wise, presently there will appear before the face of thy Lord in the form of a tablet all that which hath appeared in the world and is revealed in the Holy Books and Scriptures. Thus do We set down in writing that which the eye perceiveth. Verily His knowledge encompasseth the earth and the heavens.
      This is a Tablet wherein the Pen of the Unseen hath inscribed the knowledge of all that hath been and shall be - a knowledge that none other but My wondrous Tongue can interpret. [2]

      A careful examination of the quotations in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf shows that the quotations and the original texts are almost exactly the same. Very rarely they may differ in one or two words, usually an adverb, a preposition or an adjective, but the meaning remains the same. The reason for this is that a certain word has been re-revealed differently. The discrepancy is more noticeable in the original language, for the translation into English is not affected by the change of an adverb or a preposition.

      To cite an example: in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Bahá'u'lláh quotes the 'second leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise' from His Tablet known as Kalimát-i-Firdawsíyyih. The phrase 'Pen of the Most High' in the original Tablet is re-revealed in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf as 'Pen of the Divine Expounder', but the rest of the quotation remains the same as in its original form.


Bahá'u'lláh's Presentation of His Teachings

      A deep study of the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf requires some knowledge of Islamic subjects. A detailed study of these is beyond the scope of this book, but some brief notes are given in Appendix 3, and the English edition also has a useful glossary. Some historical events too need explanation, but most of these have already been described in this and former volumes; references will be given to these where necessary.

      Throughout the Epistle Bahá'u'lláh addresses Áqá Najafí as the 'Shaykh'. He proclaims to him the advent of the Day of God, identifies Himself as God's Supreme Manifestation and describes the verities enshrined in His Revelation. He describes His Mission clearly, introducing Himself to the Shaykh when he states:
      This Wronged One hath frequented no school, neither hath He attended the controversies of the learned. By My Life! Not of Mine own volition have I revealed Myself, but God, of His own choosing, hath manifested Me. [3]

      He then quotes some verses He had revealed in the Lawh-i-Sultán addressed to Násiri'd-Dín Sháh, beginning with this celebrated passage:
      O King! I was but a man like others, asleep upon My couch, when lo, the breezes of the All-Glorious were wafted over Me, and taught Me the knowledge of all that hath been. This thing is not from Me, but from One who is Almighty and All-Knowing. [4]

      In this Epistle Bahá'u'lláh outlines some of His basic teachings such as love, unity, and similar principles which constitute the cornerstones of His Faith. Most of the utterances expressing these teachings are gleaned by Himself from His previously revealed Writings. He probably uses this method in order to assure the Shaykh that these teachings are not newly formulated but have been promulgated from the very beginning of His Revelation, and that for several decades the believers have been exhorted to carry them out. These are some of the teachings which, among many more, He presents to the Shaykh:
      The Divine Messengers have been sent down ... for the purpose of promoting the knowledge of God, and for furthering unity and fellowship amongst men... [5]
      Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men... [6]

      That the diverse communities of the earth, and the manifold systems of religious belief, should never be allowed to foster the feelings of animosity among men, is, in this Day, the essence of the Faith of God and His religion... [7]

      Religious fanaticism and hatred are a world-devouring fire, whose violence none can quench... [8]

      Ye are the fruits of one tree and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye with one another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship... [9]

      So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth... [10]
      Consort with all men, O people of Bahá, in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship... [11]

      A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men... [12]

      O ye friends of God in His cities and His loved ones in His lands! This Wronged One enjoineth on you honesty and piety... [13]

      We enjoin the servants of God and His handmaidens to be pure and to fear God, that they may shake off the slumber of their corrupt desires, and turn toward God... [14]

      Revile ye not one another. We, verily, have come to unite and weld together all that dwell on earth... [15]

      Lay fast hold on whatever will profit you, and profit the peoples of the world. Thus commandeth you the King of Eternity, Who is manifest in His Most Great Name... [16]

      In this Revelation the hosts which can render it victorious are the hosts of praiseworthy deeds and upright character... [17]

      Verily I say: The fear of God hath ever been a sure defence and a safe stronghold for all the peoples of the world... [18]

      We, verily, have chosen courtesy, and made it the true mark of such as are nigh unto Him. Courtesy, is, in truth, a raiment which fitteth all men, whether young or old... [19]

      Purge your hearts from love of the world, and your tongues from calumny, and your limbs from whatsoever may withhold you from drawing nigh unto God... [20]

      This Wronged One hath, at all times, summoned the peoples of the world unto that which will exalt them, and draw them nigh unto God... [21]

      Say: O people of God! Adorn your temples with the ornament of trustworthiness and piety. Help then, your Lord with the hosts of goodly deeds and a praiseworthy character. [22]

      These are just a few of Bahá'u'lláh's exhortations, constituting the essence of His spiritual teachings, which He has set forth in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf for the Shaykh. He also quotes for him a celebrated passage revealed as an admonishment to His son, Badí'u'llah, a passage which may be regarded as a charter of moral conduct for an individual:
      Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer to the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility. [23]


'Shed not the blood of anyone'

      Another category of teachings which features prominently in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf is that which forbids contention, strife, religious hostility, warfare, and all acts from which a trace of mischief or sedition may be detected. The reason for Bahá'u'lláh's emphasis on this topic becomes apparent in the light of history. During the Bábí Dispensation the followers of the Báb defended themselves heroically against the onslaught of their enemies. The upheavals of Mázindarán, Nayríz and Zanján are typical examples. Since they took up arms and defended themselves so valiantly, the Bábís were highly feared by the Persian populace. This sense of fear was heightened by the attempt on the life of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh by a few irresponsible Bábís in 1850.

      From the early days of His Ministry Bahá'u'lláh admonished the followers of the Báb to abandon the practice of the use of force, to put their swords in their sheaths and never bring them out again. 'In the Book of God, the Mighty, the Great,' Bahá'u'lláh admonishes His loved ones, 'Ye have been forbidden to engage in contention and conflict.' He exhorted His followers not to resist their enemies by force, and if the occasion demanded it, to give their lives willingly in the path of God rather than to kill. Concerning this transformation, Bahá'u'lláh writes in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf:
      Day and night, while confined in that dungeon, We meditated upon the deeds, the condition, and the conduct of the Bábís, wondering what could have led a people so high-minded, so noble, and of such intelligence, to perpetrate such an audacious and outrageous act against the person of His Majesty. This Wronged One, thereupon, decided to arise, after His release from prison, and undertake, with the utmost vigor, the task of regenerating this people...
      After Our arrival, We revealed, as a copious rain, by the aid of God and His Divine Grace and mercy, Our verses, and sent them to various parts of the world. We exhorted all men, and particularly this people, through Our wise counsels and loving admonitions, and forbade them to engage in sedition, quarrels, disputes and conflict. As a result of this, and by the grace of God, waywardness and folly were changed into piety and understanding, and weapons converted into instruments of peace. [24]

      In spite of this complete transformation, the people of Persia did not differentiate between the Bábís and the Bahá'ís. They insisted on regarding the followers of Bahá'u'lláh as Bábís and in associating them with violence. It is for this reason that throughout this Epistle Bahá'u'lláh quotes passages such as these:
      Beware lest ye shed the blood of anyone. Unsheathe the sword of your tongue from the scabbard of utterance, for therewith ye can conquer the citadels of men's hearts... [25]

      O people! Spread not disorder in the land, and shed not the blood of anyone... [26]

      The sword of the virtuous character and upright conduct is sharper than the blades of steel... [27]

      Not only were the public given wrong impressions about the conduct of the believers: Násiri'd-Dín Sháh himself is said to have been afraid throughout his reign even of coming face to face with a Bahá'í. This fear was somewhat understandable, because he always remembered the attempt on his life.



Excerpts from pages 380-385

      It was because of the Sháh's mistrust that Bahá'u'lláh revealed passages such as these, to dissociate the conduct of the Bahá'ís from the conduct of those of the past and assure him and the Shaykh of their loyalty and truthfulness:
      Night and day hath this Wronged One been occupied in that which would unite the hearts, and edify the souls of men. The events that have happened in Persia during the early years have truly saddened the well-favored and sincere ones. Each year witnessed a fresh massacre, pillage, plunder, and shedding of blood. At one time there appeared in Zanján that which caused the greatest consternation; at another in Nayríz, and at yet another in Tabarsí, and finally there occurred the episode of the Land of Tá (Tihrán). From that time onwards this Wronged One, assisted by the One True God - exalted be His glory - acquainted this oppressed people with the things which beseemed them. All have sanctified themselves from the things which they and others possess, and have clung unto, and fixed their eyes upon that which pertaineth unto God.
      It is now incumbent upon His Majesty the Sháh - may God, exalted be He, protect him - to deal with this people with loving-kindness and mercy. This Wronged One pledgeth Himself, before the Divine Kaaba, that, apart from truthfulness and trustworthiness, this people will show forth nothing that can in any way conflict with the world-adorning views of His Majesty. [28]

      In another passage He states:
      O Shaykh! It is incumbent upon the divines to unite with His Majesty, the Sháh - may God assist him - and to cleave day and night unto that which will exalt the station of both the government and the nation. This people are assiduously occupied in enlightening the souls of men and in rehabilitating their condition. Unto this testifieth that which hath been sent down by the Most Sublime Pen in this lucid Tablet. [29]

      And again He demonstrates the spiritual character of the Bahá'ís and their readiness to give their lives rather than hurting their enemies:
      O Shaykh! This people have passed beyond the narrow straits of names, and pitched their tents upon the shores of the sea of renunciation. They would willingly lay down a myriad lives, rather than breathe the word desired by their enemies. They have clung to that which pleaseth God, and are wholly detached and freed from the things which pertain unto men. They have preferred to have their heads cut off rather than utter one unseemly word. Ponder this in thine heart. Methinks they have quaffed their fill of the ocean of renunciation. The life of the present world hath failed to withhold them from suffering martyrdom in the path of God.
      In Mázindarán a vast number of the servants of God were exterminated. The Governor, under the influence of calumniators, robbed a great many of all that they possessed. Among the charges he laid against them was that they had been laying up arms, whereas upon investigation it was found out that they had nothing but an unloaded rifle! Gracious God! This people need no weapons of destruction, inasmuch as they have girded themselves to reconstruct the world. Their hosts are the hosts of goodly deeds, and their arms the arms of upright conduct, and their commander the fear of God. Blessed that one that judgeth with fairness. [30]

      The reader may be helped to appreciate the significance of the term 'narrow straits of names' used above by referring to the subject of the 'Kingdom of Names' discussed in volume 2. 'The aim ... is to quench the flame of hate.'

      In order to highlight the transformation which had taken place since the days of the Bábí upheavals, Bahá'u'lláh cites the examples of a few of the Bahá'í martyrs who had put up no resistance even under the threat of death. He addresses the Shaykh in these words:
      O Shaykh! Time and again have I declared, and now yet again I affirm, that for two score years We have, through the grace of God and by His irresistible and potent will, extended such aid to His Majesty the Sháh - may God assist him - as the exponents of justice and of equity would regard as incontestable and absolute...
      Previous to these forty years controversies and conflicts continually prevailed and agitated the servants of God. But since then, aided by the hosts of wisdom, of utterance, of exhortations and understanding, they have all seized and taken fast hold of the firm cord of patience and of the shining hem of fortitude, in such wise that this wronged people endured steadfastly whatever befell them, and committed everything unto God, and this notwithstanding that in Mázindarán and at Rasht a great many have been most hideously tormented. Among them was his honor, Hájí Nasír, who, unquestionably, was a brilliant light that shone forth above the horizon of resignation. After he had suffered martyrdom, they plucked out his eyes and cut off his nose, and inflicted on him such indignities that strangers wept and lamented, and secretly raised funds to support his wife and children. [31]

Hájí Nasír was a devoted believer in whose honour Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Tablet of Nasír. Part of this important Tablet has been translated by Shoghi Effendi into English, and a brief account of his life and martyrdom as well as a description of this well-known Tablet is given in a previous volume.

      Bahá'u'lláh also refers to the martyrdom of the 'twin shining lights', the King and Beloved of Martyrs:
      O Shaykh! My Pen is abashed to recount what actually took place. In the land of Sád (Isfahán) the fire of tyranny burned with such a hot flame that every fair-minded person groaned aloud. By thy life! The cities of knowledge and of understanding wept with such a weeping that the souls of the pious and of the God-fearing were melted. The twin shining lights, Hasan and Husayn (the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs) offered up spontaneously their lives in that city. Neither fortune, nor wealth, nor glory, could deter them! God knoweth the things which befell them and yet the people are, for the most part, unaware! [32]

      Bahá'u'lláh further cites the example of other martyrs for the Shaykh:
      Before them one named Kázim and they who were with him, and after them, his honor Ashraf, all quaffed the draught of martyrdom with the utmost fervor and longing, and hastened unto the Supreme Companion. [33]

      By Kázim is meant Mullá Kázim from Talkhunchih, a village in the neighbourhood of Isfahán. He was a learned divine well respected by the people of Isfahán. He became a believer in AH 1288 (AD 1871-2) and began to teach the Faith to his people, some of whom became believers. The news spread and he was forced to leave his native village. For a time he lived in Isfahán where he succeeded in bringing a number of people under the shadow of the Cause. This news reached the powerful mujtahid of the city, the inveterate enemy of the Cause Shaykh Muhammad-Báqir (the Wolf), who immediately wrote his death sentence. By this time, however, Mullá Kázim had relinquished his clerical attire and was working as a labourer in a public bath in the city. He succeeded in slipping out of Isfahán back to his own village. Then followed a period of comings and goings to Isfahán, Shíráz and Tihrán. At last he was arrested in his native village and sent to Isfahán where he was put in prison. Prince Mas'úd Mírzá the Zillu's-Sultán summoned Mullá Kázim to his presence, and when he refused to recant his Faith the Prince implemented the death sentence and ordered his execution. This was in 1877.


Excerpts from pages 385-388:

      As to Ashraf mentioned in the passage cited above, he was a native of Najafábád, but since he lived in Ábádih for some time he became known as Mírzá Ashraf of Ábádih. He was a great teacher of the Faith who enabled many souls to embrace the Cause of God....

      ...Mírzá Ashraf was executed on 23 October 1888 by hanging in the same public square as Mullá Kázim. By order of Áqá Najafí, his body was trampled underfoot, savagely mutilated by the mob, delivered to the flames and then thrown into a ditch and a wall pulled down over it. These barbarous acts of killing were typical of the way in which a great many Bahá'í martyrs met their deaths in a spirit of resignation and reliance upon God.

      In the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf Bahá'u'lláh cites the names of a few other martyrs. He mentions Badí', who delivered Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet to the Sháh, gives a brief account of the martyrdom of Áqá Najaf-'Alí, calls to mind the stories of Mírzá Mustafa, of Abá Basir and Ashraf-i-Zanjání, of Abá Badí' (the father of Badí'), and of Siyyid Ismá'íl. The stories of these martyrs are recounted in previous volumes. In the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf Bahá'u'lláh marvels at the
splendour and glory which the light of renunciation, shining from the upper chamber of the heart of Mullá 'Alí-Ján, hath shed. He was so carried away by the breezes of the Most Sublime Word and by the power of the Pen of Glory that to him the field of martyrdom equalled, nay outrivalled, the haunts of earthly delights. [34]

      Mullá 'Alí-Ján was a native of Mázindarán and was born in the year 1846... Shoghi Effendi has summarized the story of his martyrdom in these words:
      Mullá 'Alí Ján was conducted on foot from Mázindarán to Tihrán, the hardships of that journey being so severe that his neck was wounded and his body swollen from the waist to the feet. On the day of his martyrdom he asked for water, performed his ablutions, recited his prayers, bestowed a considerable gift of money on his executioner, and was still in the act of prayer when his throat was slit by a dagger, after which his corpse was spat upon, covered with mud, left exposed for three days, and finally hewn to pieces. [35]

      Another example cited in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf of the Bahá'ís showing compassion and extending forgiveness to their enemies is the story of the martyrdom of Hájí Muhammad-Ridá in 'Ishqábád, a moving episode which has already been related elsewhere in this book.

      By referring to these heart-rending stories of the martyrs, Bahá'u'lláh highlights the most important aim of His Cause, namely to blot out every trace of enmity and hatred from the hearts of men and unite mankind through the power of His Revelation.


Excerpts from pages 388-390:

      In the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf Bahá'u'lláh cites for the Shaykh long passages from His Tablets to the kings and rulers of His time, Tablets through which He had proclaimed His Mission, unveiled the nature of His Revelation, elucidated its fundamental verities, described some of His universal teachings, issued His exhortations, and summoned the most potent among the crowned heads of the world to embrace His Cause. Parts of these Tablets addressed to Násiri'd-Dín Sháh (known as the Lawh-i-Sultán), to Napoleon III, to the Czar of Russia and Queen Victoria are re-revealed in this mighty Epistle. These Tablets have already been referred to in some detail in previous volumes.

      Another subject which comes up in various parts of the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf is the suffering inflicted upon Bahá'u'lláh from the early days of the Báb's Ministry. Quoting a passage from His Tablet to Queen Victoria Bahá'u'lláh remarks:
      Consider these days in which He Who is the Ancient Beauty hath come in the Most Great Name, that He may quicken the world and unite its peoples. They, however, rose up against Him with sharpened swords, and committed that which caused the Faithful Spirit to lament, until in the end they imprisoned Him in the most desolate of cities, and broke the grasp of the faithful upon the hem of His robe...
      ...At all times He was at the mercy of the wicked doers. At one time they cast Him into prison, at another they banished Him, and at yet another hurried Him from land to land. Thus have they pronounced judgment against Us, and God, truly, is aware of what I say. [37]

      In a passage addressed to the Shaykh Bahá'u'lláh recounts some of the ordeals He was subjected to in the earlier days in Persia.
      O Shaykh! That which hath touched this Wronged One is beyond compare or equal. We have borne it all with the utmost willingness and resignation, so that the souls of men may be edified, and the Word of God be exalted. While confined in the prison of the Land of Mím (Mázindarán) We were one day delivered into the hands of the divines. Thou canst well imagine what befell Us. Shouldst thou at sometime happen to visit the dungeon of His Majesty the Sháh, ask the director and chief jailer to show thee those two chains, one of which is known as Qará-Guhar, and the other as Salásil. I swear by the Day-Star of Justice that for four months this Wronged One was tormented and chained by one or the other of them. 'My grief exceedeth all the woes to which Jacob gave vent, and all the afflictions of Job are but a part of My sorrows!' [38]

      In mentioning 'the prison of the Land of Mim', Bahá'u'lláh is referring to the incident in Amul where He was bastinadoed and imprisoned for a short while. The 'dungeon of His majesty the Sháh' is the Síyáh-Chál of Tihrán. The verse at the end of the above passage comes from the famous Arab poet, Ibn-i-Fárid, in his celebrated ode the Qasídiy-i-Tá'íyyih. Bahá'u'lláh wrote His own Qasídiy-i-Varqá'íyyih in a rhyme and metre identical with the former, and He quotes this verse from Ibn-i-Fárid in His Qasídih. The circumstances of its revelation are described in a former volume.

      In another passage Bahá'u'lláh describes His afflictions in these words:
      The one true God well knoweth, and all the company of His trusted ones testify, that this Wronged One hath, at all times, been faced with dire peril. But for the tribulations that have touched Me in the path of God, life would have held no sweetness for Me, and My existence would have profited Me nothing. For them who are endued with discernment, and whose eyes are fixed upon the Sublime Vision, it is no secret that I have been, most of the days of My life, even as a slave, sitting under a sword hanging on a thread, knowing not whether it would fall soon or late upon him. And yet, notwithstanding all this We render thanks unto God, the Lord of the worlds. [39]


Excerpts from pages 391-394:

The Machinations of the Azalís in Constantinople

      In several parts of the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf Bahá'u'lláh refers to the machinations of the followers of Mírzá Yahyá who together with a few so-called Bahá'ís unfaithful to Him created a series of disgraceful scandals in Constantinople (Istanbul) with the aim of tarnishing the good name of the Faith. Their shameful activities, which continued for about a decade, brought great pain and suffering to the heart of Bahá'u'lláh. The following is a reference in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf to this episode.
      Gracious God! This is the day whereon the wise should seek the advice of this Wronged One, and ask Him Who is the Truth what things are conducive to the glory and tranquillity of men. And yet, all are earnestly striving to put out this glorious and shining light, and are diligently seeking either to establish Our guilt, or to voice their protest against Us. Matters have come to such a pass, that the conduct of this Wronged One hath, in every way, been grossly misrepresented, and in a manner which it would be unseemly to mention. One of Our friends hath reported that among the residents of the Great City (Constantinople) he had heard with the greatest regret someone state that, each year, a sum of fifty thousand tumans was being despatched from his native land to 'Akká! It hath not, however, been made clear who had disbursed the sum, nor through whose hands it had passed!
      Briefly, this Wronged One hath, in the face of all that hath befallen Him at their hands, and all that hath been said of Him, endured patiently, and held His peace, inasmuch as it is Our purpose, through the loving providence of God - exalted be His glory - and His surpassing mercy, to abolish, through the force of Our utterance, all disputes, war, and bloodshed, from the face of the earth. Under all conditions We have, in spite of what they have said, endured with seemly patience, and have left them to God. [2]

      In another passage He refers to this episode again:
      O Shaykh! We have time and again stated that for a number of years We have extended Our aid unto His Majesty the Sháh. For years no untoward incident hath occurred in Persia. The reins of the stirrers of sedition among various sects were held firmly in the grasp of power. None hath transgressed his limits. By God! This people have never been, nor are they now, inclined to mischief. Their hearts are illumined with the light of the fear of God, and adorned with the adornment of His love. Their concern hath ever been and now is for the betterment of the world. Their purpose is to obliterate differences, and quench the flame of hatred and enmity, so that the whole earth may come to be viewed as one country. On the other hand, the officials of the Persian Embassy in the Great City (Constantinople) are energetically and assiduously seeking to exterminate these wronged ones. They desire one thing, and God desireth another. Consider now what hath befallen the trusted ones of God in every land. At one time they have been accused of theft and larceny; at another they have been calumniated in a manner without parallel in this world. [3]

      He further states:
      God alone - exalted be His glory - is cognizant of the things which befell this Wronged One. Every day bringeth a fresh report of stories current against Us at the Embassy in Constantinople. Gracious God! The sole aim of their machinations is to bring about the extermination of this servant. They are, however, oblivious of the fact that abasement in the path of God is My true glory. In the newspapers the following hath been recorded: 'Touching the fraudulent dealings of some of the exiles of 'Akká, and the excesses committed by them against several people, etc....' Unto them who are the exponents of justice and the daysprings of equity the intention of the writer is evident and his purpose clear. Briefly, he arose and inflicted upon Me divers tribulations, and treated Me with injustice and cruelty. By God! This Wronged One would not barter this place of exile for the Most Sublime Habitation. In the estimation of men of insight whatsoever befalleth in the path of God is manifest glory and a supreme attainment... Such abasement hath been inflicted that each day they spread fresh calumnies. [4]

      The background to all this is as follows: from the early days of the Faith the city of Constantinople had been a centre of Bahá'í activity. It all began with the exile of Bahá'u'lláh to that city. When Bahá'u'lláh went to Adrianople, He made arrangements for one or two faithful believers to remain in Constantinople to act as a channel of communication between Him and His followers. Constantinople being the capital of the Ottoman empire and an important centre for trade and business, other individuals soon arrived, some of whom were faithful believers and some followers of Mírzá Yahyá or trouble-makers. In this way Constantinople became a nest of conspiracy and intrigue against the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh.

      The situation grew worse as the years went by, and the campaign of hostility and vilification reached such proportions as to become a cause of distress to Bahá'u'lláh during the last ten years of His life.


Excerpts from pages 396-399:

      Muhammad-'Alí and his infamous associates intensified their campaign of slander and calumny against the Bahá'ís. Nabíl, who was to return to Persia on the orders of Bahá'u'lláh, was, alas, engulfed again in the mesh of their conspiracy and intrigues. He could not endure this any more. This time he succeeded in putting an end to his own life by poisoning himself. Bahá'u'lláh describes his fate in Epistle to the Son of the Wolf:
      In this connection it is necessary to mention the following occurrence, that haply men may take fast hold of the cord of justice and truthfulness. Hájí Shaykh Muhammad 'Alí - upon him be the glory of God, the Ever-Abiding - was a merchant of high repute, well-known unto most of the inhabitants of the Great City (Constantinople). Not long ago, when the Persian Embassy in Constantinople was secretly engaged in stirring up mischief, it was noticed that this believing and sincere soul was greatly distressed. Finally, one night he threw himself into the sea, but was rescued by some passers-by who chanced to come upon him at that moment. His act was widely commented upon and given varied interpretations by different people. Following this, one night he repaired to a mosque, and, as reported by the guardian of that place, kept vigil the whole night, and was occupied until the morning in offering, ardently and with tearful eyes, his prayers and supplications. Upon hearing him suddenly cease his devotions, the guardian went to him, and found that he had already surrendered his soul. An empty bottle was found by his side, indicating that he had poisoned himself. Briefly, the guardian, while greatly astonished, broke the news to the people. It was found out that he had left two testaments. In the first he recognized and confessed the unity of God, that His Exalted Being had neither peer nor equal, and that His Essence was exalted above all praise, all glorification and description. He also testified to the Revelation of the Prophets and the holy ones, and recognized what had been written down in the Books of God, the Lord of all men. On another page, in which he had set down a prayer, he wrote these words in conclusion: 'This servant and the loved ones of God are perplexed. On the one hand the Pen of the Most High hath forbidden all men to engage in sedition, contention or conflict, and on the other that same Pen hath sent down these most sublime words: "Should anyone, in the presence of the Manifestation, discover an evil intention on the part of any soul, he must not oppose him, but must leave him to God." Considering that on the one hand this binding command is clear and firmly established, and that on the other calumnies, beyond human strength to bear or endure, have been uttered, this servant hath chosen to commit this most grievous sin. I turn suppliantly unto the ocean of God's bounty and the heaven of Divine mercy, and hope that He will blot out with the pen of His grace and bounteousness the misdeeds of this servant. Though my transgressions be manifold, and unnumbered my evil-doings, yet do I cleave tenaciously to the cord of His bounty, and cling unto the hem of His generosity. God is witness, and they that are nigh unto His Threshold know full well, that this servant could not bear to hear the tales related by the perfidious. I, therefore, have committed this act. If He chastise me, He verily is to be praised for what He doeth; and if He forgive me, His behest shall be obeyed.'
      Ponder, now, O Shaykh, the influence of the word of God, that haply thou mayest turn from the left hand of idle fancy unto the right hand of certitude... We beseech God - blessed and glorified be He - to forgive the aforementioned person (Hájí Shaykh Muhammad 'Alí), and change his evil deeds into good ones. He, verily, is the All-Powerful, the Almighty, the All-Bounteous. [6]

      After the death of Nabíl, Hájí Amín and Nazir left Constantinople, but Siyyid Ahmad-i-Afnán remained there, and when it became necessary for him to go to 'Ishqábád, Bahá'u'lláh sent 'Azízu'lláh-i-Jadhdháb, a dedicated believer and a capable businessman, to relieve the Afnán, take over the management of his affairs in Constantinople and expedite the departure of Siyyid Ahmad-i-Afnán to the Holy Land and then to 'Ishqábád.

      The night before Siyyid Ahmad's departure for 'Akká, Muhammad-'Alí came up with another of his lies. He announced that a servant of the Afnán had broken into his premises and stolen a large sum of money. He circulated the allegation far and wide, saying that the stolen money was being taken to 'Akká. Jadhdháb proved to the Persian Consul that the whole episode was a mere fabrication. In this way the perfidy and dishonourable conduct of this unscrupulous man from Isfahán, who was a tool in the hands of the Azalís, were once again revealed for all to see.


Excerpt from page 402:

      The sufferings and pain that this lengthy episode, stretching over almost a decade, inflicted upon Bahá'u'lláh is evident from the contents of many of His Tablets. For instance, the accusations against Afnán-i-Kabír described above are mentioned by Bahá'u'lláh in the following passages from Epistle to the Son of the Wolf:
      ...In the Great City (Constantinople) they have roused a considerable number of people to oppose this Wronged One. Things have come to such a pass that the officials in that city have acted in a manner which hath brought shame to both the government and the people. A distinguished siyyid, whose well-known integrity, acceptable conduct, and commercial reputation, were recognized by the majority of fair-minded men, and who was regarded by all as a highly honored merchant, once visited Beirut. In view of his friendship for this Wronged One they telegraphed the Persian Dragoman informing him that this siyyid, assisted by his servant, had stolen a sum of money and other things and gone to 'Akká. Their design in this matter was to dishonor this Wronged One... This Wronged One, however, beseecheth the one true God to graciously assist every one in that which beseemeth these days. [13]


Excerpt from page 405:

      And in another instance He states:
      Moreover, many are now engaged in spreading lies and calumnies, and have no other intention than to instill distrust into the hearts and souls of men. As soon as some one leaveth the Great City (Constantinople) to visit this land, they at once telegraph and proclaim that he hath stolen money and fled to 'Akká. A highly accomplished, learned and distinguished man visited, in his declining years, the Holy Land, seeking peace and retirement, and about him they have written such things as have caused them who are devoted to God and are nigh unto Him to sigh. [14]

      The 'distinguished Siyyid' and 'highly accomplished, learned and distinguished man' mentioned in these passages are both references to Hájí Mírzá Siyyid Hasan known as the Afnán-i-Kabír, a brother of the wife of the Báb. He was also a paternal cousin of the mother of the Báb. He was very much attracted to the person of the Báb, and became a believer in Yazd through the teaching efforts of Hájí Muhammad-Ibráhím, entitled by Bahá'u'lláh 'Mubálligh' (Bahá'í teacher). It was to this teacher of the Cause that Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Tablet quoted in the Tablet of 'Ishráqát (Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 117-19) and in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 131-4.


Excerpts from pages 406-412:

      One of the major themes of the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf is the unveiling of Bahá'u'lláh's station as the Supreme Manifestation of God. In the early days when He was cast into the darksome dungeon of Tihrán which witnessed the birth of His Revelation, Bahá'u'lláh alluded in His Rashh-i-'Amá, a celebrated ode, to the advent of the Day of God. From that time on He announced these glad-tidings in innumerable Tablets, and as the sun of His Revelation mounted to its zenith, He unceasingly proclaimed this theme to mankind and identified Himself as the Revealer of the Most Great Spirit of God whose advent had been promised by the Prophets of the past.

      It is because of the immensity of this claim that the enemies of the Faith had misrepresented His statements and accused Him of claiming to be the Essence of Divinity itself. Bahá'u'lláh refutes this in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. Addressing the Shaykh He states:
      Either thou or someone else hath said: 'Let the Súrih of Tawhíd be translated, so that all may know and be fully persuaded that the one true God begetteth not, nor is He begotten. Moreover, the Bábís believe in his (Bahá'u'lláh's) Divinity and Godhood.' [16]

      The Súrih of Tawhíd is one of the shortest chapters of the Qur'án and proclaims the unity of God:
      Say, God is one God; the eternal God: He begetteth not, neither is He begotten and there is not anyone like unto Him. [17]

      Bahá'u'lláh explains the meaning of divinity in great detail, demonstrates that the appearance of the Lord has been prophesied by the Prophets of old, quotes from the sayings of the Prophet of Islam and the Holy Imáms passages in support of His argument, and poses questions such as this for the Shaykh to resolve:
      What explanation can they give concerning that which the Seal of the Prophets (Muhammad) ... hath said: 'Ye verily, shall behold your Lord as ye behold the full moon on its fourteenth night'? [18]

      Bahá'u'lláh further states:
      Men have failed to perceive Our purpose in the references We have made to Divinity and Godhood. Were they to apprehend it, they would arise from their places, and cry out: 'We, verily, ask pardon of God!' The Seal of the Prophets - may the souls of all else but Him be offered up for His sake - saith: 'Manifold are Our relationships with God. At one time, We are He Himself, and He is We Ourself. At another He is that He is, and We are that We are.' [19]

      Bahá'u'lláh in this Epistle unveils the glory of His station to the Shaykh and through him to all mankind. He imparts the glad-tidings that the Day promised by the Prophets of old, when mankind shall behold the face of God and attain His presence, is now come. We cite below a few out of several prophecies which Bahá'u'lláh quotes in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf.

      From the Qur'án: 'To him who hopeth to attain the presence of God, the set time of God will surely come. And He is the Hearer, the Knower.' [20]

      From Isaiah: 'Get thee up into the high mountain, O Zion, that bringest good tidings; lift up Thy Voice with strength, O Jerusalem, that bringeth good tidings. Lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah: "Behold your God! Behold the Lord God will come with strong hand, and His arm shall rule for Him".' [21]

      From Amos: 'Prepare to meet Thy God, O Israel, for, lo, He that formeth the mountains and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, the Lord, the God of Hosts, is His Name.' [22]

      From the Writings of the Báb: 'In the year nine [AH 1269, AD 1852-3] ye will attain unto the Presence of God.' 'He, verily, is the One Who, under all conditions, proclaimeth: "I, in very truth, am God!"' [23]

      In many of His Tablets Bahá'u'lláh has explained the meaning of the presence of God in this day, and while claiming to represent Him on this earth, He unequivocally dissociates Himself from the Divine Being. We observe that on the one hand, Bahá'u'lláh proclaims, 'I verily am God', and on the other, He declares to the Shaykh, 'This Servant, this Wronged One, is abashed to claim for Himself any existence whatever, how much more those exalted grades of being!' This apparent contradiction and the true station of Bahá'u'lláh have both been explained in this and previous volumes in great detail.

      Once again in the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf Bahá'u'lláh explains this important subject:
      In all the Divine Books the promise of the Divine Presence hath been explicitly recorded. By this Presence is meant the Presence of Him Who is the Day-spring of the signs, and the Dawning-Place of the clear tokens, and the Manifestation of the Excellent Names, and the Source of the attributes, of the true God, exalted be His glory. God in His Essence and in His own Self hath ever been unseen, inaccessible, and unknowable. By Presence, therefore, is meant the Presence of the One Who is His Vicegerent amongst men. He, moreover, hath never had, nor hath He, any peer or likeness. For were He to have any peer or likeness, how could it then be demonstrated that His being is exalted above, and His essence sanctified from, all comparison and likeness? [24]

      Throughout the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf Bahá'u'lláh admonishes the Shaykh to heed His message and examine His Cause. In a language at once moving and compassionate, He urges one of the greatest enemies of His Faith, this bloodthirsty mujtahid, to mend his ways and turn to his God. The following passages gleaned from this mighty Epistle testify to God's loving-kindness and mercy, which are shown even to His bitterest enemy:
      O Shaykh! We have learned that thou hast turned away from Us, and protested against Us, in such wise that thou hast bidden the people to curse Me, and decreed that the blood of the servants of God be shed... [25]

      O Shaykh! Verily, I say, the seal of the Choice Wine hath, in the name of Him Who is the Self-Subsisting, been broken; withhold not thyself therefrom. [26]

      O Shaykh! I swear by the Sun of Truth Which hath risen and shineth above the horizon of this Prison! The betterment of the world hath been the sole aim of this Wronged One. [27]

      O Shaykh! No breeze can compare with the breezes of Divine Revelation, whilst the Word which is uttered by God shineth and flasheth as the sun amidst the books of men. [28]

      O Shaykh! Every time God the True One - exalted be His glory - revealed Himself in the person of His Manifestation, He came unto men with the standard of 'He doeth what He willeth, and ordaineth what He pleaseth.' None hath the right to ask why or wherefore, and he that doth so, hath indeed turned aside from God, the Lord of Lords. [29]

      O Shaykh! That which hath touched this Wronged One is beyond compare or equal. We have borne it all with the utmost willingness and resignation, so that the souls of men may be edified, and the Word of God be exalted. [30]

      O Shaykh! We had seized the reins of authority by the power of God and His Divine might, as He alone can seize, Who is the Mighty, the Strong. None had the power to stir up mischief or sedition. Now, however, as they have failed to appreciate this loving-kindness and these bounties, they have been, and will be, afflicted with the retribution which their acts must entail. [31]

      In other passages Bahá'u'lláh summons the Shaykh to embrace His Cause and arise to promote it among the peoples of the world. No one except the Supreme Manifestation of God can address a wicked enemy in these words:
      O Shaykh! This Wronged One beseecheth God - blessed and glorified be He - to make thee the one who will open the door of justice, and reveal through thee His Cause among His servants. He, verily, is the All-Powerful, the Almighty, the All-Bounteous. [32]

      And again He says:
      O Shaykh! Seek thou the shore of the Most Great Ocean, and enter, then, the Crimson Ark which God hath ordained in the Qayyúm-i-Asmá for the people of Bahá. Verily, it passeth over land and sea. He that entereth therein is saved, and he that turneth aside perisheth. Shouldst thou enter therein and attain unto it, set thy face towards the Kaaba of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, and say: 'O my God! I beseech Thee by Thy most glorious light, and all Thy lights are verily glorious.' Thereupon, will the doors of the Kingdom be flung wide before thy face, and thou wilt behold what eyes have never beheld, and hear what ears have never heard. [33]

      In several passages Bahá'u'lláh invites the Shaykh to attain His presence and witness for himself the revelation of the verses of God which are sent down upon Him. In one of these passages He thus addresses the Shaykh:
      O Shaykh! Ponder upon the things which have been mentioned, perchance thou mayest quaff the Sealed Wine through the power of the name of Him Who is the Self- Subsisting, and obtain that which no one is capable of comprehending. Gird up the loins of endeavor, and direct thyself towards the Most Sublime Kingdom, that haply thou mayest perceive, as they descend upon Me, the breaths of Revelation and inspiration, and attain thereunto. Verily, I say: The Cause of God hath never had, nor hath it now, any peer or equal. Rend asunder the veils of idle fancies. He, in truth, will reinforce thee, and assist thee, as a token of His grace. He, verily, is the Strong, the All-Subduing, the Almighty. While there is yet time, and the blessed Lote-Tree is still calling aloud amongst men, suffer not thyself to be deprived. Place thy trust in God, and commit thine affairs unto Him, and enter then the Most Great Prison, that thou mayest hear what no ear hath ever heard, and gaze on that which no eye hath ever seen. After such an exposition, can there remain any room for doubt? Nay, by God, Who standeth over His Cause! [34]

      Although the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf was addressed to Shaykh Muhammad-Taqí, many of Bahá'u'lláh's utterances in it are directed towards humanity in general, and some to particular individuals. In addition to the references to historical events and the presentation and expounding of His teachings, considerable space is given to the unfaithfulness of Mírzá Yahyá and his followers, who are referred to as the 'People of the Bayán'; the machinations of Siyyid Muhammad-i-Isfahání; the activities of Mírzá Hádíy-i-Dawlat-Ábádí and several others.


Excerpts from pages 432-440:

Notes for the Study of Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

      In the diversity of its topics, in the profundity of its arguments, in the sublimity of its style, in the compelling force of its challenges, and in the hidden significances of its allusions, this book assumes a very special position among the Writings of the Author of the Faith. The study of such a work requires some background knowledge of history and religious terminology.

      These notes are intended to provide a brief explanation of some of the terms used in Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. Since many of its themes have already been discussed in the four volumes of The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, references are given mainly to these volumes. To enlarge the scope of information, references to other works are supplied where necessary. The page numbers shown in the left-hand column are from Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (ESW), Wilmette, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1962 edition; vols. 1, 2, 3, refer to The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, while 'above, p. 000', refers to the page number in this present volume.

Page:

11
Note:

'This Wronged One hath frequented no School', see vol. 1, pp. 19, 20, 22, 62-3.
11 'Tablet, addressed to His Majesty the Sháh', see vol. 2, pp. 338-56; vol. 3, pp. 174-91.
13 The Tablet quoted was revealed in honour of Hájí Mírzá Haydar-'Alí.
14 'The war that hath involved the two Nations...' The two nations are Persia and Russia. During the reign of Fath-'Alí Sháh (1797-1834), the clergy declared holy war and Persia was the loser. It resulted in the successive disastrous treaties of Gulistán (1813) and Turkomanchay (1826).
15 'Book of Fatimih', see vol. 1, pp. 71-2.
16 These passages from the Hidden Words allude to the waywardness of the divines. See vol. 2, p. 350.
17 'Willingly will I obey the judge...', a quotation from an ode by Ibn-i-Farid (AH 576-632), the famous Egyptian poet who was a leading Súfí.
17 Hill and Haram: see ESW, p. 187.
17 Kaaba: see ESW, p. 188.
18 'The seal of the Choice Wine hath ... been broken.' The reference to choice wine, sealed, may be found in the Qur'án (see 83: 22-6). The significance of 'sealed' is that the true meanings of the Words of God in former Dispensations were not disclosed until the advent of Bahá'u'lláh (see vol. 1, pp. 160-61, on this prophecy of Daniel). The unsealing of the Choice Wine signifies the revelation of the Word of God in this age, disclosing to mankind new teachings and new laws. Bahá'u'lláh declares in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, 'Think not that We have revealed unto you a mere code of laws. Nay rather We have unsealed the Choice Wine with the fingers of might and power.'
19 'fisherman', a reference to Peter, the Disciple of Christ.
19 Abú-Dhar, the Shepherd', see ESW, p. 183.
19 'He Who was wholly unversed...'This passage recalls the story mentioned in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas concerning Ja'far, 'the sifter of Wheat', see The Dawn-Breakers, p. 99.
19 'whilst the acknowledged exponent ... of ... sciences...' This refers to Shaykh Muhammad-Hasan-i-Najafí, the leading mujtahid of Persia and a great enemy of the Cause of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh.
20-21 'The attempt on the life of His Majesty ... and the dungeon...' See God Passes By, pp. 61-72, and vol. 1, pp. 7-11.
32 '...a knowledge which, when applied, will largely, though not wholly eliminate fear.' This knowledge has not been expounded by Bahá'u'lláh.
32 'Crimson Book' usually refers to the Kitáb-i-'Ahd, Bahá'u'lláh's Will and Testament. In this instance He writes, 'A word ... recorded ... in the Crimson Book which is capable of fully disclosing that force which is hid in men...' This passage may be a reference to this verse in the Kitáb-i-'Ahd: 'O Ye My Branches! A mighty force, a consummate power lieth concealed in the world of being...'
41 Siyyid of Findirisk, Abú-Nasr, and Abú-'Alí Síná: see ESW, pp. 192 and 183.
45 Tablet to Napoleon III: see The Promised Day Is Come, also vol. 2, pp. 368-9, and vol. 3, pp. 109-15.
56 'Tablet ... to the Czar of Russia', see The Promised Day Is Come, also vol. 3, pp. 118-23.
59 'Tablet of Her Majesty, the Queen', see The Promised Day Is Come, also vol. 3, pp. 123-8.
68 'A highly accomplished ... man.' This is Hájí Mírzá Siyyid Hasan, the Afnán-i-Kabír, see above, p. 404-6.
68 'Mírzá Husayn Khán, Mushiru'd-Dawlih.' Persian ambassador to Constantinople, see vol. 2, vol. 3, pp. 218-19.
68 'Prince Shujá'u'd-Dawlih accompanied by Mírzá Safá, see vol. 2, pp. 55-8.
68 'Kamál Páshá', see vol. 2 pp. 3, 56
70 'Siyyid Muhammad', Muhammad-i-Isfahání, the Anti-Christ of the Bahá'í Revelation, see vols. 1, 2, 3.
72 'Hájí Nasír', see above, p. 383.
72 'The twin shining lights, Hasan and Husayn', see above, Chapter 5.
72 'one named Kázim', see above, pp. 384-5.
72 'his honour Ashraf, see above, pp. 385-6.
73 'Sardar Aziz Khán', Governor of Adhirbayjan, see vol.2, p. 61.
73 'Mírzá Mustafa', see vol. 2, pp. 60-61.
73 'his honour Badí'', see vol. 3, Chapter 9.
73 'his honour Najaf-'Alí', see vol. 2, pp. 222-3.
73 'Mullá 'Alí Ján', see above, pp. 386-7.
73 'Abá-Básir and Siyyid Ashraf-i-Zanjání', see vol. 2, pp. 223-32.
75 'The father of Badí' Hájí 'Abdu'l-Majíd-i-Níshápúrí, Abá Badí', see vol. 2, pp. 128-36.
75 'his honour Siyyid Ismá'íl', see vol. 1, pp. 101-3.
76 'he that was chosen to be slain was but one person', a reference to the sacrifice of Abraham.
76 'Balál, the Ethiopian', 'sín' and 'shín', see ESW, p. 184.
77 'prison of the Land of Mím', a reference to Bahá'u'lláh's imprisonment in Amul. See The Dawn-Breakers, pp. 368-76.
77 'Qará-Guhar' and 'Salásil', see vol. 1, p. 9.
77 'Hájí Muhammad-Ridá', see above, pp. 342-6.
79 'Lawh-i-Burhán', see above, Chapter 6.
86 'Mírzá Hádí Dawlat-Ábádí' who 'ascended the pulpits and spoke words which ill befitted him', see above, pp. 174-6.
86 'Sad-i-Isfahání', Mírzá Murtiá the Sadru'l-'ulamá, a clergyman of low intelligence who became a Bábí and fell under the spell of Siyyid Muhammad-i-Isfahání.
88 For the upheavals of Zanján, Nayríz and Tabarsí see The Dawn-Breakers.
94 'One of My Branches (sons)...', a reference to Mírzá Badí'u'llah who later became a Covenant-breaker. See The Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá'.
106 'In the Great City (Constantinople) they have roused a considerable number of people to oppose this Wronged One...', see above, pp. 392-402.
107 'Luqmán', see ESW, p. 189.
108 'Akhtar', a newspaper published in Istanbul. See above, pp. 303, 396, 402.
108 'Hájí Shaykh Muhammad-'Alí', Nabíl son of Nabíl. See above, pp. 394-8.
111 'Imám Sádiq', Ja'far-i-Sádiq, the sixth Imám of Shí'ah Islám.
111 'Imám 'Alí' the first Imám of Shí'ah Islam.
112 'Abí-'Abdi'lláh', a reference to Imám Sádiq.
112 'Mufaal', 'Abú Jafar-i-Túsí', and 'Jabir' (p. 113): compilers of hadíth (Traditions of Islam) handed down from the sixth Imám.
114 'The Lote-Tree beyond which there is no passing...' This originates from the Arabic word 'Sadratu'l-Muntahá'. It is the symbol of the Manifestation of God, to which no one has access.
115-19 'Divine Presence', see above, p. 409, and vol. 2, pp. 16-18.
120 '...The Prince of the World', a reference to the Báb.
120 'Shaykh-i-Ahsá'í (Shaykh Ahmad)', the founder of the Shaykhi sect. See The Dawn-Breakers.
122 '...Our loved ones have been arrested in the land of Tá (Tihrán)...' This is a reference to the imprisonment of the Hands of the Cause, Hájí Mullá 'Alí-Akbar and Hájí Amín, in the prison of Qazvín in 1891. See above, pp. 337-8. This date provides also a clue to the period in which the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf was revealed.
123 'officials of the Persian Embassy in the Great City', see above, pp. 393-402.
125 'Touching the fraudulent dealings...' see above, pp. 393, 396, 401.
128 'O people of Shín (Shíráz): Have Ye forgotten My loving-kindness...' This is a reference to the Revelation of the Báb in Shíráz.
130 'The heedless ones have hamstrung Thy white She-Camel...', see Appendix I.
131 'Wings that are besmirched with mire can never soar.' See Gleanings, CLIII.
131-4 '...These perspicuous verses have ... been sent down from the Kingdom of Divine knowledge...' For the origin of this Tablet see above, pp. 153-4.
135-9 'Qayyúm-i-Asmá', the Báb's commentary on the Súrih of Joseph, described by Bahá'u'lláh as 'the first, the greatest, and mightiest of all books' in the Bábí Dispensation. Its first chapter was revealed on the evening of 22 May 1844 in the presence of Mullá Husayn. See vol. 1, pp. 280, 293, 302.
135-9 'Crimson Ark', mentioned in the Qayyúm-i-Asmá, its occupants are the people of Bahá. See God Passes By, p. 23.
136 Tablet concerning trustworthiness, see above, pp. 16-17.
137 'Kamál Páshá visited this Wronged One.' See vol. 2, pp. 3, 56.
138 'At present, a new language and a new script have been devised.' This is possibly a reference to Esperanto which was invented about four years before Bahá'u'lláh wrote this Epistle.
141-3 Words of the Báb concerning the greatness of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, see vol. 1, Chapter 18, and above, pp. 153-4 and 153n.
142 'his honour, 'Azím', Mullá 'Alí, a well-known disciple of the Báb. See The Dawn-Breakers, under 'Azím' in index.
148 'Lawh-i-Ra'ís', and 'Lawh-i-Fu'ád', see vol. 3.
149 'Land of Tá (Tihrán)', see vol. 1, pp. 46-9.
150 'Neither is there a thing green or sere, but it is noted in a distinct writing.' Qur'án 6:59. See vol. 3, pp. 245-6.
151-63 Passages from the Báb concerning the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, see vol. 1, Chapter 18, and vol. 2, pp. 370-81.
153-5 'Him Whom God shall make manifest', the promised One of the Bayán who was to manifest Himself after the Báb, i.e. Bahá'u'lláh. See vol. 1, Chapter 18.
156 'mirrors'. The Báb had bestowed the designation 'mirror' upon a few of His followers. See vol. 2, pp. 376-7.
158 'Dhi'l-Jawshan, and Ibn-i-Anas and Asbahí', see ESW, pp. 185, 187.
160 'O Mirror of My generosity', a reference to Hájí Siyyid Javád-i-Karbilá'í, a devoted follower of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. See vol. 1, pp. 221-4, vol. 2, pp. 376-7, and vol. 3, pp. 279-80.
163-77 'Hádí', Hádíy-i-Dawlat-Ábádí, who had publicly recanted his faith in the Báb, yet was installed as the successor to Mírzá Yahyá. See ESW, p. 86, and above, pp. 174-6.
164 'Siyyid Muhammad', as above, note to ESW, p. 70.
164 'he joined Mírzá Yahyá', Bahá'u'lláh's half-brother, the breaker of the Covenant of the Báb. See vol. 1, chapter 15, and also vols. 2 and 3.
164 'Mawlavís', an order of whirling dervishes.
166 'Mírzá Músá', a faithful brother of Bahá'u'lláh and one of His apostles. See vols. 1, 2 and 3.
168 'The authorship of the Kitáb-i-Íqán...' The followers of Mírzá Yahyá had shamefully circulated the rumour that the author of this Book was Mírzá Yahyá. See vol. 2, pp. 66-70.
169 'Hasan-i-Mázindarání', a paternal cousin of Bahá'u'lláh and a faithful believer. See vol. 1, p. 50n, and vol. 3, pp. 68, 209n, 216-17.
169 '...one of the sisters of this Wronged One...', a reference to Sháh Sultán Khánum known as Khánum Buzurg, who became a follower of Mírzá Yahyá. See vol. 1, p. 50, and vol. 2, p. 206.
169-70 'Mírzá Ridá-Qulí', a half-brother of Bahá'u'lláh. See vol. 1, p. 12, and vol. 3, pp. 218-19.
170 'Mírzá Muhammad-Hasan's daughter', Sháhr-Banu, see vol. 2, pp. 205-6. Her father was a faithful half-brother of Bahá'u'lláh.
170 'Farman-Farmá and Hisamu's-Saltanih', both princes and paternal uncles of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh.
173 'Siyyid Husayn', a native of Yazd, one of the Letters of the Living who was a companion of the Báb in Máh-Kú and Chihríq and served Him as His amanuensis till His martyrdom. See The Dawn-Breakers, under 'Husayn-i-Yazdí, Siyyid', in the index.
173 'Mírzá Ahmad', a reference to Mullá 'Abdu'l Karím-i-Qazvíní, a trusted disciple of the Báb. See The Dawn-Breakers, pp. 504-5, God Passes By, p. 51, and vol. 1, pp. 53-4.
173 'he ... who was continually surrounded by five of the handmaidens of God.' This is an allusion to Mírzá Yahyá who practised polygamy. He had married eleven wives and was known to be a person who lusted after women.
174 'Mullá Báqir', a native of Tabriz and a Letter of the Living. See vol. 2, pp. 146-7.
174-7 'Dayyán', a reference to Mírzá Asadu'lláh of Khúy, an outstanding disciple of the Báb who was murdered on the orders of Mírzá Yahyá. See vol. 1, pp. 249-52.
176 'Mírzá 'Alí-Akbar', a paternal cousin of the Báb who was murdered in Baghdád on the orders of Mírzá Yahyá. See vol. 1, pp. 251.
176 'Abu'l-Qásim-i-Káshí', one of the disciples of the Báb who had attained His presence in Káshán. He went to Baghdád, recognized the station of Bahá'u'lláh and became an ardent lover of the Blessed Beauty. He was murdered in Baghdád on the orders of Mírzá Yahyá.
176 'Siyyid Ibráhím', entitled by the Báb as Khalíl. He was a native of Tabriz, a learned divine of the Shaykhi sect, a disciple of the Báb who attained His presence in Adhirbayjan and received several Tablets from Him. He attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád. Mírzá Yahyá endeavoured to have him killed, but did not succeed. See vol. 1, p. 250.
177 '...that which had been done, affecting the honour of the Báb, which hath truly overwhelmed all lands with sorrow.' This is a reference to Mírzá Yahyá's marriage with the second wife of the Báb. See vol. 1, pp. 248-9. 178-81 For an explanation of the Islamic terms and names in these pages see ESW glossary.



Pages 432-440:


Notes for chapters 24-25

CHAPTER 24: EPISTLE TO THE SON OF THE WOLF
  1. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 3-8.
  2. Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 148-9.
  3. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 11.
  4. ibid.
  5. ibid. p. 12.
  6. ibid p. 13.
  7. ibid.
  8. ibid. p. 14.
  9. ibid.
  10. ibid.
  11. ibid. p. 15.
  12. ibid.
  13. ibid. p. 23.
  14. ibid.
  15. ibid. p. 24.
  16. ibid.
  17. ibid. p. 26.
  18. ibid. p. 27.
  19. ibid. p. 50.
  20. ibid. p. 54.
  21. ibid. p. 137.
  22. ibid. p. 135.
  23. ibid. pp. 93-4.
  24. ibid. pp. 21-2.
  25. ibid. p. 25.
  26. ibid.
  27. ibid. p. 29.
  28. ibid. pp. 88-9.
  29. ibid. p. 137.
  30. ibid. p. 74.
  31. ibid. pp. 71-2.
  32. ibid. p. 72.
  33. ibid.
  34. ibid. p. 73.
  35. God Passes By, p. 201.
  36. Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 219.
  37. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 63-4.
  38. ibid. pp. 76-7.
  39. ibid. p. 94.

CHAPTER 25: EPISTLE TO THE SON OF THE WOLF (continued)
  1. Gleanings, XLVI.
  2. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 33-5.
  3. ibid. pp. 122-3.
  4. ibid. pp. 125-6.
  5. Unpublished compilation, National Archives Committee, no. 19, p. 455.
  6. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 108-10.
  7. Unpublished compilation, National Archives Committee, no. 15. pp. 404-5.
  8. ibid. no. 27, pp. 343-4.
  9. ibid. no. 31, p. 32.
  10. Ma'idiy-i-Asamani, vol. 5, pp. 18-19.
  11. Asraru'l-Athar, vol. 1, p. 21.
  12. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 108.
  13. ibid. p. 106.
  14. ibid. pp. 67-8.
  15. Memorials of the Faithful, pp. 21-2.
  16. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 41.
  17. Qur'an, 112.
  18. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 41-2.
  19. ibid. p. 43.
  20. ibid. p. 116.
  21. ibid. pp. 144-5.
  22. ibid. pp. 145-6.
  23. ibid. pp. 141, 142.
  24. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 118--19.
  25. ibid. p. 17.
  26. ibid. p. 18.
  27. ibid. p. 36.
  28. ibid. p. 42.
  29. ibid. p. 67.
  30. ibid. p. 76.
  31. ibid. pp. 105-6.
  32. ibid. p. 96.
  33. ibid. pp. 139-40.
  34. ibid. pp. 113-14
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