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O ye the cherished loved ones of
When he saw that his calumnies had no effect, he
gradually formed a plan to incite a disturbance. He began
stirring up mischief, and went knocking at every door. He
started making false accusations to the officials of the
Government. He approached some of the foreigners, made
himself their intimate, and together with them prepared a
document and presented it to the Seat of the Sultanate,
bringing consternation to the authorities. Among the many
slanderous charges was this, that this hapless one had raised
up a standard of revolt, a flag bearing the words "
O my Lord, verily I seek refuge with Thee from the very
thought of such an act, which is contrary to all the commandments
Another of his slanders was that the Shrine on Mount Carmel was a fortress that I had built strong and impregnable --this when the building under construction compriseth six rooms--and that I had named it Medina the Resplendent, while I had named the Holy Tomb1 Mecca the Glorified. Yet another of his calumnies was that I had established an independent sovereignty, and that--God forbid! God forbid! God forbid! --I had summoned all the believers to join me in this massive wrongdoing. How dire, O my Lord, is his slander!
Yet again, he claimeth that since the Holy Shrine hath
become a point visited by pilgrims from all over the world,
great damage will accrue to this Government and people.
He, the Centre of Sedition, averreth that he himself hath
had no hand in all these matters, that he is a
To be brief, a Commission of Investigation was appointed
The Commission hath now returned to the seat of the
Caliphate, and reports of a most frightful nature are coming
in daily from that city. However, praised be God,
The Centre of Sedition hath imagined that once the blood of this wronged one is spilled out, once I have been cast away on the wide desert sands or drowned in the Mediterranean Sea--nameless, gone without trace, with none to tell of me--then would he at last have a field where he could urge his steed ahead, and with his mallet of lies and doubts, hit hard at the polo ball of his ambitions, and carry off the prize.
Far from it! For even if the sweet musk-scent of faithfulness should pass, and leave no trace behind, who would be drawn by the stench of perfidy? And even if some gazelle of heaven were to be ripped apart by dogs and wolves, who would go running to seek out a ravening wolf? Even should the day of the Mystic Nightingale draw to its close, who would ever lend his ear to the raven's croak, or the cawing of the crow? What an empty supposition is his! What a foolish presumption! `Their works are like the vapour in a desert which the thirsty dreameth to be water, until when he cometh unto it, he findeth nothing.'1
O ye loved ones of God! Be ye firm of foot, and fixed of
heart, and through the power of the Blessed Beauty's help,
stand ye committed to your purpose. Serve ye the Cause of
God. Face ye all nations of the world with the constancy
and the endurance of the people of
Gaze ye not upon the dire happenings at this Illumined Spot. The Holy Land is in danger at all times, and here, the tide of calamities is ever at the flood; for this upraised call hath now been heard around the world, and the fame of it hath gone forth to the ends of the earth. It is because of this that foes, both from within and from without, have turned themselves with subtlety and craft to spreading slander. It is clear that such a place as this would be exposed to danger, for there is no defender here, none to arise and take our side in the face of calumny: here are only a few souls that are homeless, hapless, held captive in this stronghold. No champion have they; there is none to succour them, none to ward off the arrows of lies, the darts of defamation that are hurled against them: none except God.
It behoveth you to ponder on all those well-beloved ones who hastened to the holy field of sacrifice, those precious souls who offered up their lives. Bear ye in mind what streams of sacred blood were poured away, how many a righteous heart was commingled with its gore, how many a breast was the target of tyranny's spear, how many a chaste body was ripped to shreds. How then could it be right for us even to think of saving ourselves! To curry favour with stranger or kin, and make a show of compromise! Should we not, rather, take the pathway of the righteous, and follow in the footsteps of those great ones gone before?
These few brief days shall pass away, this present life shall vanish from our sight; the roses of this world shall be fresh and fair no more, the garden of this earth's triumphs and delights shall droop and fade. The spring season of life shall turn into the autumn of death, the bright joy of palace halls give way to moonless dark within the tomb. And therefore is none of this worth loving at all, and to this the wise will not anchor his heart.
He who hath knowledge and power will rather seek out the glory of heaven, and spiritual distinction, and the life that dieth not. And such a one longeth to approach the sacred Threshold of God; for in the tavern of this swiftly-passing world the man of God will not lie drunken, nor will he even for a moment take his ease, nor stain himself with any fondness for this earthly life.
Nay rather, the friends are stars in the high heavens of guidance, celestial bodies in the skies of divine grace, who with all their powers put the dark to flight. They break down the foundations of malevolence and hate. They cherish but one desire for the world and all its peoples: well-being and peace. By them, the ramparts of warfare and aggression are battered down. They have truthfulness and honest dealing and friendship for their goal, and kindness even toward a vicious foe; until at last they change this prison of treachery, the world, into a mansion of utmost trust, and turn this gaol-house of hatred and malevolence and spite, into God's Paradise.
O ye loving friends! Strive ye with heart and soul to
make this world the mirror-image of the Kingdom, that
this nether world may teem with the blessings of the world
of God, that the voices of the Company on high may be
raised in acclamation, and signs and tokens of the bounties
and bestowals of
These were tidings of great joy, especially as they have reached me in these days of extreme peril. For the dearest wish of this wronged one is that the friends be spiritual of heart and illumined of mind, and once this grace is granted me, calamity, however afflictive, is but bounty pouring down upon me, like copious rain.
O God, my God! Thou seest me plunged in an ocean of anguish, held fast to the fires of tyranny, and weeping in the darkness of the night. Sleepless I toss and turn upon my bed, mine eyes straining to behold the morning light of faithfulness and trust. I agonize even as a fish, its inward parts afire as it leapeth about in terror upon the sand, yet I ever look for Thy bestowals to appear from every side.
O God, my God! Make thou the believers in other lands to partake of Thine abounding grace, deliver Thou, by Thine unfailing help and bounty, whoso among Thy loved ones in the farthermost climes sigheth over the bitter cruelty of his foe. O Lord, they are the captives of Thy love, the prisoners taken by Thy troops. They are the birds that fly in the heavens of Thy guidance, the whales that swim in the ocean of Thy bestowals, the stars that sparkle on the horizon of Thy gifts. They are the defenders of the fortress of Thy law. They are the banners of Thy remembrance amongst men. They are the deep wells of Thy divine compassion, the fountains of Thy favours, the well-springs of Thy grace.
Keep them ever in safety beneath Thine all-protecting eye. Assist them to exalt Thy Word; make Thou their hearts to be constant in Thy love; strengthen Thou their backs that they may serve Thee well; in servitude, strengthen Thou their powers.
Spread Thou through them Thy sweet savours far and wide; expound through them Thy Holy Writ; make known through them Thine Utterance; fulfil through them Thy Words; through them pour out Thy mercy.
Thou art verily the Mighty, the Powerful. Thou art verily the Clement, the Compassionate.