Sermon of Recognition with Luminousness (Khutbih-i-Ma'rifat bin-Núráníyyat)Khazeh Fananapazir
Translator's Introduction: 
[Recognition with Luminousness]
This is that which Salmán and 'Abú Dharr related of the utterances of the Commander of the Faithful, 'Alí - Peace be upon Him!
He whose acceptance of my guardianship is based on external reality more than internal truth, he is that one "whose balance will be light" Those whose scale will be light, their souls will be in perdition. O Salmán! The faith of no believer will attain perfection unless and until he recognizeth Me with luminousness. If he attaineth unto this, then he hath truly attained faith; he is the one whose heart is tested with true faith, whose breast is dilated in true Islám and whose faith is based on discernment. He who is convicted of shortcoming in this cognition - he will be a doubter, immersed in disbelief.
O Salmán! and O Jandáb! In truth, recognition of Me in luminousness is the recognition of God, and Recognition and knowledge of God is indeed knowledge of Me; this is what is meant by sincere devotion. Mankind was not ordered by God to seek naught except to attain unto this unity. They were commanded to worship but One God. And they have been commanded no more than this: "To worship God, offering Him sincere devotion, being true (in faith), to establish regular prayer; and to practice regular charity; and that is the Religion Right and Straight."
"Worshipping God" is belief in Divine Unity. "Sincere devotion" and "being true in Faith" is confession of the Prophethood of the Prophet. "Establishing Prayer" is my Guardianship and Friendship. He who pledges fealty and friendship unto Me hath truly established the obligatory prayer. Yet, this matter is hard, exceedingly hard! "Regular charity" in the above verse is confession to the Imámate. All this is the true religion.
The Holy Qur'án hath testified that true Faith is recognition of divine unity and confession to both the Prophet and the Imámate. He who attaineth unto both hath fulfilled his faith. A true believer is the one who does not reject any matter pertaining to Us, for God Himself hath dilated His Breast such that He may accept all. He will not doubt or be mistrustful. He who cavileth why and wherefore becometh a disbeliever. We are, verily, the Cause of God!
O Salmán! O Jandáb! Verily, God hath made me His Trustee over His creation and His Vicegerent on His earth, in His territories, and over His servants. He hath given Me what no artist can depict and no man of understanding can truly comprehend. If thou wert to know Me in this fashion, thou shalt attain unto true belief.
O Salmán! God, exalted be He saith: "Nay, seek God's help with patient perseverance and prayer: it is indeed hard except to those who bring a lowly spirit." "Patient perseverance" is Muhammad and "Prayer" is my Wilayat. Thus, that is why God hath declared it is hard. He doth not reveal the Two are hard. In truth, My Guardianship is perplexing only to those who bring a lowly spirit. These latter are they who have sought discernment using the light of My guidance.
O Salmán! We are the Mystery of God that shalt not remain hidden. We are His light that shalt never be extinguished, His Grace that is expected from none other save Him. Muhammad is our first, Muhammad our last, Muhammad our all! Muhammad is our first, Muhammad our last, Muhammad our all. He who recognizeth Us in this regard hath, in truth, consummated his Faith.
O Salmán, and O Jandáb! Muhammad and I were the Light that was voicing forth the divine eulogy before any other reality started to praise Him. We were the cause of illumination unto all creation. This one Light was divided by God into two portions, the Chosen "Mustafa", and His Vicegerent, "Murtada", and vouchsafed unto creation. God, exalted be His Glory, said to each half, "Be Muhammad!", "Be 'Alí!" It is thus that the Prophet said: "I am from 'Alí and 'Alí is from Me. None can give forth My Trust but Myself and 'Alí." This refers to our unity in the worlds of Light and Spirit. Similar is this divine utterance: "and If He dieth or is slain." "Dieth" refers to the passing away of the Prophet. "Slain" refers to the martyrdom of the Successor, for the Two are one Entity, one Signification and one Light. Their unity is in purpose and attributes. They are different in Their corporeal entity and their Names. But in the world of spirit, They are One Spirit. In Spirit, He said, "Thou art the Spirit within My Limbs." In the world of bodies, He saith: "Thou art of Me and I am of Thine. Thou shalt inherit after Me."
Again, there is the Divine Utterance: "Send ye blessings on Him and salute Him with all respect." "Sending blessings on Him" refereth to Muhammad. "Salute Him" refers to the Successor. No benefit shall accrue unto thee if thou sendest blessings unto the Messenger and His Message if they are not coupled with saluting His Successor in His Wiláyat.
O Salmán! O Jandáb! Muhammad was the One speaking and I was the One silent. Inevitably, in every Dispensation, there is the One Who speaketh and the One Who is silent. Muhammad is the Master of Ingathering and I am the Master of Resurrection. Muhammad is the Warner and I am the "guide." Muhammad is the Lord of Paradise and I am the Lord of the Return. Muhammad is the Lord of the Pool and I am the One entrusted with the Banner. Muhammad is the Lord of the Keys and I am the Lord of Paradise and Fire. Muhammad is the Lord of Revelation and I am the Lord of Inspiration. Muhammad is the Lord of signs and I am Master of the miracles. Muhammad is the Seal of the Prophets and I am the Seal of the Successors. Muhammad is the Master Who raised the Call and I am the One entrusted with both the Sword and Sovereignty. Muhammad is the Most Generous Prophet and I am the Straight Path. Muhammad is the One mentioned in the verse as "most kind and merciful" and I am the One alluded to as "Most High, Most Great."
O Salmán! God, exalted be He, saith: "He causes the Spirit to descend upon any Servant He willeth." This Spirit but descends unto the One entrusted with the Command and the Decree. I give life to the dead. I know what is in the heavens and what is on the earth. I am, in truth, the Perspicuous Book. I give life unto the dead and with Me is the knowledge of all that is in the heavens and the earth. I am the Perspicuous Book. O Salmán! Muhammad is the Upraiser of the Proof, and I am the Proof of the One True God unto His creatures. It is this Testimony that empowered the Spirit of God to ascend unto heaven. I am the One who enabled Noah to sail his Ark. I was present with Jonah in the belly of the Whale. I argued with Moses in the sea. I caused earlier peoples to suffer loss; I bestowed the knowledge of the Prophets and Saints and Their Decisive Utterance unto them. With Me is the Prophethood of the Prophet Muhammad completed. I caused rivers and oceans to flow and caused fountains to burst forth. I caused the world to be revolutionized and I bring about the Chastisement of the Day of Overshadowing Gloom. I am Khidír Who taught Moses. I taught David and Solomon. I am Dhu'l Qarnayn. I am the One who raised the Firmament and flattened the Earth. I am the Summoner from a near Place. I am the Creature on the Earth. The Prophet addressed Me saying: "O 'Alí! Thou art the One endowed with the Two stations. Thou art present both in the Beginning and the End." O Salmán! The One slain with Us will not die. The One Who is in Occultation from amongst Us is never absent. None can compare with Us. I am the One Who spoke through the Utterance of Jesus when He was still cradled. I am Noah. I am Abraham. I am Sálih Who possessed the She-Camel as His Sign. I am the One Who causeth the Commotion. I am also the Trembling. I am the Protected Tablet and in My possession is all Its Knowledge. I appear in Appearances as God willeth. He that seeth Them seeth Me. He that seeth Me seeth Them. In all truth, We are the Light of God that changeth not and His effulgence that is not extinguished. O Salmán! The honour of every Sent One is through Us, but do not call us Lords; praise Us as thou willeth. Salvation and Perdition both are effected through Us.
O Salmán! He that believeth in all truth as I have expounded it is truly a believer whose heart hath been tested and proven. He that doubteth and hesitateth, he hath reneged on the Faith, although outwardly he sayeth that he believes in the Wiláyat. I, and the Guides of My Family, the Imáms, are the Hidden Mystery of God and His Guardians. Our Cause is One, Our Mystery is One and Our Unity is absolute. If thou maketh distinctions, thou wilt be among the ones lost. We appear and have Our Manifestation in every age as the All Merciful willeth. All woe betide the One Who denieth Us! None shall gainsay these except the one whose heart, eyes and hearing are sealed.
O Salmán! I am as the Father of every believer. I am the Catastrophe. I am the Approaching Calamity. I am the Inevitable. I am the Impending One. I am the Deafening Trumpet Blast. I am the Supreme Test. We are the Signs, the Significances and the Countenance of God. When My Name was written on the Throne, It attained Its Serenity. When It was inscribed on the firmaments, They were upraised. When written on the Earth, It was adorned. When It was inscribed on the Wind, It carried with It fruition. When written on the Lightning, It caused it to shine. When written on the Oasis, It brought nourishment. When inscribed on the Light, It caused it to be Luminous. When inscribed on the Clouds, It generated Their Outpouring Grace, and when inscribed on the Thunder, it made the Thunder quiescent. That Name caused the Night to be deep in its darkness, and when inscribed on the Day, It made It luminous and radiant.
 Salmán-i-Farsí (Salmán the Persian), known as Salmán the Good, one of the faithful Companions of the Prophet (PBUH). He came from Jayyan, near Isfahán, and was raised as a Magian, and later became a Christian. Sold as a slave, he was brought to Yathib (Mecca) by his master and attained the presence of the Prophet. He was immediately attracted to Islám. He was a deeply learned and ascetic man, with a strong command of the scriptures of many religious traditions. `Alí said of him that he was like Luqman the Wise. As he knew both Arabic and Persian, he translated parts of the Qur`án into his native tongue, becoming the first to undertake such a task. He was also an innovative military strategist, displaying his skill most notably during the battle of Khandaq, in which he proposed the digging of a trench around Madinah to keep the Quraysh army at bay. For a time, he served as governor of al-Mada`in (Ctesiphon) near Baghdád. According to the most reliable history, it was there that he passed away in 35 A.H (around 656 A.D.). Bahá`u`lláh mentions him briefly in the Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 65. It is especially important to note that the Báb, in the Bayán-i-Farsí (Wahíd 5, Báb 11), notes that he was one of only three souls (the other two were `Abú Dharr and Miqdád) who remained truly faithful to the Covenant of Islám. (MF`s note, based on information from Companions of the Prophet, Vol.1, by `Abdu`l-Wahid Hamid, and from a personal e-mail from KF, dated Monday, March 19, 2001.)
 Jundub `ibn Junadah, known as Abú Dharr Al-Ghifarí, was a shepherd of the Ghafarí tribe which lived in the Waddan valley, near Mecca. He was known for his courage, his calmness and his far sightedness and also for the repugnance he felt against the idols which his people worshipped. Hearing of the new Prophet, he journeyed to Mecca and was taught the new Faith by `Alí and attained the presence of Muhammad (pbuh). Upon returning to the Waddan, he converted a large number of his tribe. After the battle of Khandaq, he was accepted as a personal servant of the Prophet, Who was greatly pleased with him. After the passing of Muhammad, because of his sharp criticism of the worldliness of the Muslim community, `Uthmán, the third Sunní Khalíf, sent him to Rubdhah, a small village near Madinah, where he lived a life of renounciation. It was there that he died in 32 A.H. (about 653 A.D.). According to tradition, the Prophet (pbuh) had said, "The earth does not carry nor the heavens cover a man more true and faithful than `Abú Dharr.". Bahá`u`lláh calls him "a prince of the nations" (Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p.19). (MF`s note, based on information from Companions of the Prophet, Vol.1, by `Abdu`l-Wahid Hamid, and from two personal e-mails from KF, both dated Monday, March 19, 2001.)
 Qur`án 7:9. (Note: Qur`ánic references in this article may be mismatched, since the present editor used the Yusef `Alí version, and not the version favoured by the translator. [KF`s note, added to by MW.].
 See Qur`án 23:103 and 101:8 [MW`s note].
 Abú Dharr. [KF`s note]
 Arabic: Ma`rifat Alláh [KF`s note].
 Or "pure religion" (ad-Dín al-Khális). See Qur`án 7:29, 39:2, 3, 40:14 [KF`s note, modified by MW].
 Tawhid [KF`s note].
 Qur`án 9:31 and 98:5 [KF`s note].
 Qur`án 98:5 [MW`s note].
 Arabic: haneef [KF`s note].
 waláyat or wiláyat. [KF`s note]
 Arabic: za_likad dinul qay yimu. See Qur`án 30:30. [KF`s note, modified by MW.]
 Arabic: Nahnu Amru`lláh. [KF`s note]
 Abú Dharr [KF`s note].
 Arabic: Imán [KF`s note].
 Qur`án 2:45. [KF`s note]
 Guardianship/Friendship [KF`s note].
 A subtle point is being made here. In the cited verse (2:45), "patient perseverance" is sabr, a masculine noun, which requires a masculine pronoun. Yet, "prayer" is salát, which is feminine. The pronoun used in the verse (i.e. "it is indeed hard") is feminine, and thus could only refer to the aforementioned feminine noun. `Alí then proceeds to connote salát with acceptance of his Wilayat or Guardianship, which, according to this interpretation, is exceedingly more difficult to attain than recognizing the Prophethood of Muhammad, (pbuh). [MW`s note, based on an E-mail message from KF to the present editor, dated Saturday, March 17th, 2001].
 Arabic: Sirru`lláh. [KF`s note]
 This exclamation cited in the Kitáb-i-Íqán, p.153.
 "He who is chosen as an Envoy" (i.e. the title of Prophet Muhammad, PBUH) [KF`s note from an E-mail message to the present editor, dated Thursday, March 15th, 2001; adapted by MF.]
 "He in whom God is pleased" (i.e. the Title of the Imám `Alí, upon Him be Bahá`u`lláh, the glory of God) [KF`s note from an E-mail message to the present editor,, adapted by MF.]
 The imperative used in both cases is Kún, ["Be" or "Exist"] (i.e. the letters "B" and "E") [KF`s note from an E-mail message to the present editor,, adapted by MF.]
 This is reference to the verse in the divine Qur`án: "Our Selves [anfusaná wa anfusakum] ourselves, and yourselves" [Qur`án 3:61]. The quote from Muhammad, (PBUH) given here is also from al-Bursí`s Masháriq Anwár al-Yaqín fi Asrár Amir Mu`minín (Beirut: Dar al-Andalus, 1978) as well as from other sources. [MF`s note, based on information provided by KF in a personal e-mail, dated Thursday, March 15th, 2001].
 The verse cited is: "Will it be that, when he dieth or is slain" (Qur`án 3:144). [KF`s note, adapted by MW]
 Reference to the assassination of Imám `Alí in 661 A.D. [MF`s note].
 Qur`án 33:56. [MW`s note]
 In the Bahá`í Dispensation, these are Bahá`u`lláh and `Abdu`l-Bahá`, respectively, for the latter rarely took up His blessed Pen during the time of His Father. [MF`s note.]
 Qur`án 42:7 and 64:9 [MW`s note]
 Qur`án 6:128, reference to the Qur`ánic verses that eschatologically there will be a Day of Ingathering and a Day of Resurrection [KF`s note].
 This alludes to Qur`án 13:7: "But thou art truly a warner, and to every people a guide" [KF`s note, modified by MF.]
 Qur`án 16:89 [MF`s note].
 "Lord of the Pool" (Arabic: sáhib al-hawz) is a well-recognized title of `Alí. "Pool" refers to the pool of refreshing water in Paradise which the sincere believers will drink from. See Qur`án 15:45, 37:45 and 76:5-6. [MW`s note, based on information provided by KF in a personal E-mail to the present editor, dated Thursday, March 15th, 2001.]
 i.e. the Banner of Victory in the latter days. [MW`s note, based on information provided by KF in a personal E-mail to the present editor, dated Thursday, March 15th, 2001.]
 Qur`án 38:50. See also Qur`án 6:59, 39:63 and 42:12. [KF`s note, modified by MW].
 Qur`án 33:40 [MW`s note]
Arabic: Wasiyys. "Seal of the Successors" is another title of `Alí. Most interesting point is made here because, after `Alí, there were, in fact, ten more Wasiyys, or eleven if the Qá`im is included. So clearly, this means that "Seal" does not indicate "last" temporally. On this subject, see Seena Fazel and Khazeh Fananapazir, "A Bahá`í Approach to the Claim of Finality in Islám", Journal of Bahá`í Studies, 5:3 (1993). [KF`s note, modified by MW.]
 No Qu`ránic references, but in the Súriy-i-Vafá, Bahá`u`lláh speaks of His Name as the "Sword of His Revelation between heaven and earth ... through which truth is separated from error, even from now until the Day when mankind shall stand before the Lord of the worlds." See Tablets of Bahá`u`lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. pp.185-6 [MW`s note].
 Qur`án 9:128 [KF`s note].
 Qur`án 42:4 [MF`s note].
 Qur`án 40:15 [KF`s note].
 Qur`án 27:1, 28:2. It is interesting and of profound insight that Bahá`u`lláh confirms these passages in His last major work, the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, by quoting the Imám `Alí as saying:
The Commander of the Faithful (Imám `Alí) hath said: "I am He Who can neither be named, nor described." And likewise He hath said: "Outwardly I am an Imám; inwardly I am the Unseen, the Unknowable." Abú-Ja`far-i-Túsí hath said: "I said to Ábí `Abdi`lláh: `You are the Way mentioned in the Book of God, and you are the Impost, and you are the Pilgrimage.` He replied: `O man! We are the Way mentioned in the Book of God,--exalted and glorified be He--and We are the Impost, and We are the Fast, and We are the Pilgrimage, and We are the Sacred Month, and We are the Sacred City, and We are the Kaaba of God, and We are the Qiblih of God, and We are the Face of God.`" Jabír hath said that Abú-Ja`far--peace be upon him--spoke to him as follows: "O Jabír! Give heed unto the Bayán (Exposition) and the Má`ání (Significances)." He --peace be upon him--added: "As to the Bayán, it consisteth in thy recognition of God--glorified be He--as the One Who hath no equal, and in thy adoration of Him, and in thy refusal to join partners with Him. As to the Má`ání, We are its meaning, and its side, and its hand, and its tongue, and its cause, and its command, and its knowledge, and its right. If We wish for something, it is God Who wisheth it, and He desireth that which We desire." (Bahá`u`lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 112-113). [KF`s note.]
 Qur`án 4:174 [MW`s note].
 Jesus Christ. [KF`s note.]
 The story of Jonah is briefly recounted in Qur`án 37:139-148 [MF`s note].
 Qur`án 18:37: "His companion said to Him, in the course of the argument with him: `Dost thou deny Him Who created thee out of dust?` " [KF`s note.]
 Qur`án 26:189: "Then the punishment of a day of overshadowing gloom seized them, and that was the Penalty of a Great Day." [KF`s note.]
 Qur`án 18:78. In the Khutbat`ul-Iftikhár (The Sermon of Glorification), the Imám claims the station of the companion to Khadír. In Islamic tradition, Khadír was a servant of God who had been taught special knowledge and was sent to be a companion and teacher to Moses (see Qur`án 18:65-82; Bukharí, Vol. 1, Bk 3, #74, 78, 124 and also Vol. 9, Bk. 93, #570) [MF`s note].
 Cf. Qur`án 21:79. [KF`s note].
 Cf. Qur`án 18:83. The Arabic phrase Dhul-Qarnayn literally means "two-horned one" or "lord of two ages." Anything with duality is suggestive of the two natures of these Immaculate Souls (such as the Imáms); while treading on earth, they walk in the immensity of space and heaven. Bahá`u`lláh writes of such souls:
These ancient Beings, though delivered from the womb of their mother, have in reality descended from the heaven of the will of God. Though they be dwelling on this earth, yet their true habitations are the retreats of glory in the realms above. Whilst walking amongst mortals, they soar in the heaven of the divine presence. Without feet they tread the path of the spirit, and without wings they rise unto the exalted heights of divine unity. With every fleeting breath they cover the immensity of space, and at every moment traverse the kingdoms of the visible and the invisible. (Bahá`u`lláh: The Kitáb-i-Íqán, Page: 67)[MF`s note, based on information provided by KF in a personal E-mail to the present editor, dated Thursday, March 15th, 2001.]
 Qur`án 55:7 [KF`s note].
 Qur`án 84:3 [KF`s note].
 Qur`án 50:41. According to Mírzá `Abú`l-Fadl`s Fara`id, "The Place Near" is Palestine in relation to Arabia [KF`s note].
 Translation of the Arabic dábba; it refers to one Who should arise on the earth, although he is not of the earth or from the earth, and lead men to God. [KF`s note, from a personal E-mail to the present editor, dated Thursday, March 15th, 2001; adapted by MW.]
 Qur`án 19:30-33. [MF`s note].
 Qur`án 7:73. [MF`s note].
 Qur`án 79:6-7: "One Day, everything that can be in commotion will be in violent commotion, Followed by oft-repeated (commotions)." [KF`s note.]
 See Súrah 99. [KF`s note.]
 Qur`án 85:22. See also Prayers And Meditations By Bahá`u`lláh: "This, verily, is the Day wherewith Thy Scriptures, and Thy Books, and Thy Tablets, have been adorned. And He Who now speaketh is, in truth, the Well-guarded Treasure, and the Hidden Secret, and the Preserved Tablet, and the Impenetrable Mystery, and the Sealed Book." [MF`s note]
 i.e. Theophanies. [KF`s note]
 Guardianship and Vicegerency. [KF`s note].
 Qur`án 26:6 [MF`s note].
 Qur`án 6:61 and 74:31. Interestingly, Bahá`u`lláh refers to the members of the Houses of Justice as the "guardians appointed of God for all that dwell on earth." See the Kitáb-i-Aqdas K30 [MF`s note].
 Qur`án 101:1 and 69:4. [MF`s note].
 40:18: "Warn them of the Day that is (ever) drawing near, when the hearts will (come) right up to the throats to choke (them)." [KF`s note.]
 Qur`án 80:33: "when there comes the Deafening Noise: That Day shall a man flee from his own brother." [KF`s note.]
 Among other titles, Bahá`u`lláh refers to the Imáms as "those unquenchable lights of divine guidance". See the Kitáb-i-Íqán, p.144 [MF`s note].
 Qur`án 30:48. [MF`s note].
 Qur`án 13:13. [MF`s note].
 Qur`án 36:37. [MF`s note].
 See, e.g. Qur`án 92:2. [MF`s note].
 And in the Qur`án: "What can such expect but that God should come down to them overshadowed with clouds?" And in the tradition of Mufaddál it is said: "The Qá`im will lean His back against the Sanctuary, and will stretch forth His hand, and lo, it shall be snow-white but unhurt. And He shall say: `This is the hand of God, the right hand of God, that cometh from God, at the command of God!`" In whichever manner these traditions are interpreted, in that same manner let them also interpret that which the Most Sublime Pen hath set down. The Commander of the Faithful (Imám `Alí) hath said: "I am He Who can neither be named, nor described." And likewise He hath said: "Outwardly I am an Imám; inwardly I am the Unseen, the Unknowable." Abú-Ja`far-i-Túsí hath said: "I said to Ábí `Abdi`lláh: `You are the Way mentioned in the Book of God, and you are the Impost, and you are the Pilgrimage.` He replied: `O man! We are the Way mentioned in the Book of God,--exalted and glorified be He--and We are the Impost, and We are the Fast, and We are the Pilgrimage, and We are the Sacred Month, and We are the Sacred City, and We are the Kaaba of God, and We are the Qiblih of God, and We are the Face of God.`"
Jabír hath said that Abú-Ja`far--peace be upon him--spoke to him as follows: "O Jabír! Give heed unto the Bayán (Exposition) and the Má`ání (Significances)." He --peace be upon him--added: "As to the Bayán, it consisteth in thy recognition of God--glorified be He--as the One Who hath no equal, and in thy adoration of Him, and in thy refusal to join partners with Him. As to the Má`ání, We are its meaning, and its side, and its hand, and its tongue, and its cause, and its command, and its knowledge, and its right. If We wish for something, it is God Who wisheth it, and He desireth that which We desire." Moreover, the Commander of the Faithful (Imám `Alí)--peace be upon him--hath said: "How can I worship a Lord Whom I have not seen?" And, in another connection, he saith: "Nothing have I perceived except that I perceived God before it, God after it, or God with it." 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. (Bahá`u`lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p.113-114) Ma`rifat bín-Nurániyyatr