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text at the beginning and end of the Hidden Words

Posted: Sun Aug 12, 2007 9:05 am
by British_Bahai
What is the purpose of the text at the beginning and end of the Hidden words.
Whats the story behind it?

Im referring to these:

(at the beginning)
This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfill in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of Divine virtue.

(at the end)
The mystic and wondrous Bride, hidden ere this beneath the veiling of utterance, hath now, by the grace of God and His divine favor, been made manifest even as the resplendent light shed by the beauty of the Beloved. I bear witness, O friends! that the favor is complete, the argument fulfilled, the proof manifest and the evidence established. Let it now be seen what your endeavors in the path of detachment will reveal. In this wise hath the divine favor been fully vouchsafed unto you and unto them that are in heaven and on earth. All praise to God, the Lord of all Worlds.

(the hidden words are available here online:

Re: text at the beginning and end of the Hidden Words

Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:05 pm
by Dorumerosaer
First, it may be fruitful for you to examine this compilation of writings of Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi about the Hidden Words: ... nwords.htm

As to the first passage you quote from the beginning of the Hidden Words, in 1912 in an address He gave in Chicago, Abdu'l-Baha said this about those opening words:
"Therefore, there is need of turning back to the original foundation. The fundamental principles of the Prophets are correct and true. The imitations and superstitions which have crept in are at wide variance with the original precepts and commands. Bahá'u'lláh has revoiced and reestablished the quintessence of the teachings of all the Prophets, setting aside the accessories and purifying religion from human interpretation. He has written a book entitled the Hidden Words. The preface announces that it contains the essences of the words of the Prophets of the past, clothed in the garment of brevity, for the teaching and spiritual guidance of the people of the world. Read it that you may understand the true foundations of religion and reflect upon the inspiration of the Messengers of God. It is light upon light. "

(Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 86)

As to the last passage you quote, it reminds me of this statement from Abdu'l-Baha, at the end of the Second Part of His Will, written when He believed that His life was about to be brought to an end:
"O God, my God! I call Thee, Thy Prophets and Thy Messengers, Thy Saints and Thy Holy Ones, to witness that I have declared conclusively Thy Proofs unto Thy loved ones and set forth clearly all things unto them, that they may watch over Thy Faith, guard Thy Straight Path and protect Thy Resplendent Law. Thou art, verily, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise!"

(Abdu'l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 21)

Also, when Baha'u'llah speaks of the mystic Bride who had been hidden and was now brought to light, I believe this may refer to the fact that this Book was one of the initial Books revealed in His Dispensation; so it means that what was hidden is now being brought to light. As Abdu'l-Baha explains (Some Answered Questions, pp. 67-68 ), in prophecy, such as the reference to the bride descending from heaven mentioned in the Revelation of St. John, a "bride" refers to a new Dispensation.


Posted: Sat Sep 08, 2007 10:09 pm
by British_Bahai
thanks - youre like a walking-encyclopedia lol.
I always save these pages so that i can print them out and keep as reference

Thanks again for all your useful replies - i always learn a lot from you :D

Posted: Sun Sep 09, 2007 6:16 am
by brettz9
Hello British Baha'i,

For study of the Writings, I started a wiki earlier (now offline to editing) which categorizes resources by book, by subject, etc. To find references by book, go to . This leads, e.g., to which has some more resources on this topic.

On the first quotation, remember how Baha'u'llah in the Kitab-i-Aqdas states that those who fail to recite the verses of God every morn and evening have not been faithful to the Covenant of God? Then the clause, "clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God" I think makes more sense.

take care,