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Chapter 9

The Arabian Youth (the Bab) -- the Independent Prophet who foretold the coming of Baha'u'llah.

The Arabian Youth (the Bab), Independent Prophet, and God's Chosen One. As indicated in next passage, he was a descendant of the Holy Imams.

O peoples of the earth! Give ear unto God's holy Voice proclaimed by this Arabian Youth Whom the Almighty hath graciously chosen for His Own Self. He is indeed none other than the True One, Whom God hath entrusted with this Mission from the midst of the Burning Bush. O Qurratu'l-`Ayn! Unravel what Thou pleasest from the secrets of the All-Glorious, for the ocean is surging high at the behest of the incomparable Lord. Chapter XXIV.
-- The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 50

But as to Him Who appeared in the year sixty [The Arabian Youth, The Bab], He standeth in need of neither transformation nor interpretation, for His name was Muhammad, and He was a descendant of the Imams of the Faith. Thus it can be truly said of Him that He was the son of Hasan, as is undoubtedly clear and evident unto thine eminence. Nay, He it is Who fashioned that name and created it for Himself, were ye to observe with the eye of God.
-- Baha'u'llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 37

The Arabian Youth (the Bab), Independent Prophet, and the Cord of God:

O peoples of the earth! Cleave ye tenaciously to the Cord of the All-Highest God, which is but this Arabian Youth, Our Remembrance--He Who standeth concealed at the point of ice amidst the ocean of fire. Chapter XXIX.

O people of the earth! By the righteousness of the One true God, I am the Maid of Heaven begotten by the Spirit of Bahá, abiding within the Mansion hewn out of a mass of ruby, tender and vibrant; and in this mighty Paradise naught have I ever witnessed save that which proclaimeth the Remembrance of God by extolling the virtues of this Arabian Youth. Verily there is none other God but your Lord, the All-Merciful. Magnify ye, then, His station, for behold, He is poised in the midmost heart of the All-Highest Paradise as the embodiment of the praise of God in the Tabernacle wherein His glorification is intoned.
-- The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 54

The Arabian Youth (the Bab), referred to by Baha'u'llah:

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
Whereupon the maid of heaven [Bahá'u'lláh] looked out from her exalted chamber,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
And with her brow signed to the Celestial Concourse,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
Flooding with the light of her countenance the heaven and the earth,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
And as the radiance of her beauty shone upon the people of dust,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
All beings were shaken in their mortal graves.

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
She then raised the call which no ear through all eternity hath ever heard,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
And thus proclaimed: "By the Lord! He whose heart hath not the fragrance of the love of the exalted and glorious Arabian Youth,

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious!
"Can in no wise ascend unto the glory of the highest heaven."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Holy Mariner, Compilations, Baha'i Prayers, p. 223

The Bab (an Independent Prophet), fortells the coming of the next Independent Prophet (Bahá'u'lláh):

GOD hath, at all times and under all conditions, been wholly independent of His creatures. He hath cherished and will ever cherish the desire that all men may attain His gardens of Paradise with utmost love, that no one should sadden another, not even for a moment, and that all should dwell within His cradle of protection and security until the Day of Resurrection which marketh the dayspring of the Revelation of Him Whom God will make manifest [Bahá'u'lláh].

The Lord of the universe hath never raised up a prophet nor hath He sent down a Book unless He hath established His covenant with all men, calling for their acceptance of the next Revelation and of the next Book; inasmuch as the outpourings of His bounty are ceaseless and without limit. VI, 16.
-- The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 86

Imam Ali, the first Dependent Prophet in the era of Muhammad, fortells the coming of the the Bab (the Qaim):

I shall soon depart from amongst you, but be watchful and aware; be on your guard against the tests and tribulations caused by the 'Ummayyds and their worldly powers. And after they shall pass away, the kingdom will revert to the 'Abbasids[11] who will bring both sorrow and happiness to mankind. And they shall build a city called Baghdád, which shall be between the Tigris and the Euphrates. Woe betide men in those latter days, for amongst them will rise the oppressors among My people, who shall build palaces for themselves and courts and tabernacles. For they shall seek supremacy through intrigue and impiety. Two score and two kings shall rule among the children of the 'Abbasids, after whose reign shall come to pass the Most Great Tribulation on the surface of the earth. Then shall the True Qá'im rise up once more. Then shall I show My Face amongst men, and it shall be as luminous as the face of the moon amid the other stars. But note well the ten signs associated with my coming. The first sign shall be the inversion of banners on the highways of Kúfa[12]; the second, the abeyance of true worship and the prescribed prayers; the third, the end of true pilgrimage. The fourth sign shall be an eclipse in the lands of Khorasán[13], the gathering of constellations and the appearance of comets in the sky. There shall be chaos and confusion, massacre, pillage and robbery in the world. Many other signs shall there be too, surpassing all these signs, among which is the sign of wonderment. But when all these signs have passed away, then, verily, shall the Qá'im Himself arise in truth.
-- Imam Ali, Khutbat'ul-Iftikhár (The Sermon of Glorification) -- a provisional translation by K. Fananapazir.

The Bab refers to a prophecy of the Fifth Imam, Muhammad al-Baqir:

I swear by the truth of God! Wert thou to know that which I know, thou wouldst forgo the sovereignty of this world and of the next, that thou mightest attain My good-pleasure, through thine obedience unto the True One... Wert thou to refuse, the Lord of the world would raise up one who would exalt His Cause, and the Command of God would, verily, be carried into effect.

Through the grace of God nothing can frustrate My purpose, and I am fully conscious of that which God hath bestowed upon Me as a token of His favour. If it were My will, I would disclose to Your Majesty all things; but I have not done this, nor will I do it, that the Truth may be distinguished from aught else beside it, and this prophecy uttered by the Imám Báqir--may peace rest upon Him -- be fully realized: `What must needs befall us in Ádhirbayján is inevitable and without parallel. When this happeneth, rest ye in your homes and remain patient as we have remained patient. As soon as the Mover moveth make ye haste to attain unto Him, even though ye have to crawl over the snow.'
-- The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 16

Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí, Shaykh Ahmad's disciple and successor, had likewise written: "The Qá'im must needs be put to death. After He has been slain the world will have attained the age of eighteen."
-- Cited in God Passes By, p. 97

O ye peoples of the earth! During the time of My absence I sent down the Gates unto you. However the believers, except for a handful, obeyed them not. Formerly I sent forth unto you Ahmad and more recently Kázim, but apart from the pure in heart amongst you no one followed them.
-- The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 51

Traditions in Islam on the coming of the Bab referred to by Baha'u'llah:

Abú-`Abdi'lláh, questioned concerning the character of the Mihdí, answered saying: "He will perform that which Muhammad, the Messenger of God, hath performed, and will demolish whatever hath been before Him even as the Messenger of God hath demolished the ways of those that preceded Him."...

In the "Aválím," an authoritative and well-known book, it is recorded: "A Youth from Baní-Háshim shall be made manifest, Who will reveal a new Book and promulgate a new law;" then follow these words: "Most of His enemies will be the divines."...

In another passage, it is related of Sádiq, son of Muhammad, that he spoke the following: "There shall appear a Youth from Baní-Háshim, Who will bid the people plight fealty unto Him. His Book will be a new Book, unto which He shall summon the people to pledge their faith. Stern is His Revelation unto the Arab. If ye hear about Him, hasten unto Him." How well have they followed the directions of the Imáms of the Faith and Lamps of certitude! Although it is clearly stated: "Were ye to hear that a Youth from Baní-Háshim hath appeared, summoning the people unto a new and Divine Book, and to new and Divine laws, hasten unto Him," yet have they all declared that Lord of being an infidel, and pronounced Him a heretic....

And now, consider this other tradition, and observe how all these things have been foretold. In "Arbá'in" it is recorded: "Out of Baní-Háshim there shall come forth a Youth Who shall reveal new laws. He shall summon the people unto Him, but none will heed His call. Most of His enemies will be the divines. His bidding they will not obey, but will protest saying: `This is contrary to that which hath been handed down unto us by the Imáms of the Faith.'" In this day, all are repeating these very same words, utterly unaware that He is established upon the throne of "He doeth whatsoever He willeth," and abideth upon the seat of "He ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 240-243

The following passage from the Quran can be interpreted as a prophecy about the appearance of the Bab. The Bab, being an Independent Prophet bringing a new book (the Bayan) as well as being the Twelfth Imam (Imam Mihdí) represents the "sun and moon being joined together" (Qur'an: 75:9 below) on the Day of Resurrection. The "the moon is buried in darkness" corresponds to the first passage by Baha'u'llah regarding the Shi'is who "turned away from the Light of God and corrupted the principle of His Divine unity", deviating from what the Holy Imams (Dependent Prophets of Muhammad) taught.

75:6 He questions: "When is the Day of Resurrection?"

75:7 At length, when the sight is dazed,

75:8 And the moon is buried in darkness.

75:9 And the sun and moon are joined together,-
-- Qur'an: 75 - AL-QIYAMAH.

Behold, O Muhammad, how the sayings and doings of the followers of Shi'ih Islam have dulled the joy and fervor of its early days, and tarnished the pristine brilliancy of its light. In its primitive days, whilst they still adhered to the precepts associated with the name of their Prophet, the Lord of mankind, their career was marked by an unbroken chain of victories and triumphs. As they gradually strayed from the path of their Ideal Leader and Master, as they turned away from the Light of God and corrupted the principle of His Divine unity, and as they increasingly centered their attention upon them who were only the revealers of the potency of His Word, their power was turned into weakness, their glory into shame, their courage into fear. Thou dost witness to what a pass they have come. Behold, how they have joined partners with Him Who is the Focal-Point of Divine unity. Behold how their evil doings have hindered them from recognizing, in the Day of Resurrection, the Word of Truth, exalted be His glory. We cherish the hope that this people will henceforth shield themselves from vain hopes and idle fancies, and will attain to a true understanding of the meaning of Divine unity.
-- Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 69

Have they not heard the well-known tradition: "When the Qá'im riseth, that day is the Day of Resurrection?" In like manner, the Imáms, those unquenchable lights of divine guidance, have interpreted the verse: "What can such expect but that God should come down to them overshadowed with clouds," -- a sign which they have unquestionably regarded as one of the features of the Day of Resurrection -- as referring to Qá'im and His manifestation.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 144

And from the moment when the Tree of the Bayán appeared until it disappeareth is the Resurrection of the Apostle of God, as is divinely foretold in the Qur'án; the beginning of which was when two hours and eleven minutes had passed on the eve of the fifth of Jamádiyu'l-Avval, 1260 A.H., which is the year 1270 of the Declaration of the Mission of Muhammad. This was the beginning of the Day of Resurrection of the Qur'án, and until the disappearance of the Tree of divine Reality is the Resurrection of the Qur'án. The stage of perfection of everything is reached when its resurrection occurreth. The perfection of the religion of Islám was consummated at the beginning of this Revelation; and from the rise of this Revelation until its setting, the fruits of the Tree of Islám, whatever they are, will become apparent. The Resurrection of the Bayán will occur at the time of the appearance of Him Whom God shall make manifest.
-- The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 107-108

The Bab, an Independent Prophet, foretells the appearance of Baha'u'llah and His Dependent Prophets ("His messengers will bring glorious and resplendent Tablets from Him"). The next passage alludes to a Dependent Prophet of Baha'u'llah who will be female, which can be paralleled to the subsequent passage from Gleanings CXXIX.

Beware, O concourse of Mirrors, lest on that Day [WHEN the Day-Star of Baha will shine resplendent above the horizon of eternity] titles make you vainglorious. Know ye of a certainty that ye, together with all those who stand above you or below you, have been created for that Day. Fear ye God and commit not that which would grieve His heart, nor be of them that have gone astray. Perchance He will appear invested with the power of Truth while ye are fast asleep on your couches, or His messengers will bring glorious and resplendent Tablets from Him while ye turn away disdainfully from Him, pronounce sentence against Him -- such sentence as ye would never pass on yourselves -- and say, 'This is not from God, the All-Subduing, the Self-Existent'.
-- The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 165

O QURRATU'L-'AYN! Stretch not Thy hands wide open in the Cause, inasmuch as the people would find themselves in a state of stupor by reason of the Mystery, and I swear by the true, Almighty God that there is yet for Thee another turn after this Dispensation.

And when the appointed hour hath struck, do Thou, by the leave of God, the All-Wise, reveal from the heights of the Most Lofty and Mystic Mount a faint, an infinitesimal glimmer of Thy impenetrable Mystery, that they who have recognized the radiance of the Sinaic Splendour may faint away and die as they catch a lightning glimpse of the fierce and crimson Light that envelops Thy Revelation. And God is, in very truth, Thine unfailing Protector.
-- The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 53

Say: The Revelation sent down by God hath most surely been repeated, and the outstretched Hand of Our power hath overshadowed all that are in the heavens and all that are on the earth. We have, through the power of truth, the very truth, manifested an infinitesimal glimmer of Our impenetrable Mystery, and lo, they that have recognized the radiance of the Sinaic splendor expired, as they caught a lightening glimpse of this Crimson Light enveloping the Sinai of Our Revelation. Thus hath He Who is the Beauty of the All-Merciful come down in the clouds of His testimony, and the decree accomplished by virtue of the Will of God, the All-Glorious, the All-Wise.
-- Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 282

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