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Chapter 51

Prophecies in the era of the Bab on the coming of Baha'u'llah.

The Bab foretells the coming of Baha'u'llah (in 1863) -- nineteen years from the time of the Bab's declaration in 1844.


May the glances of Him Whom God shall make manifest illumine this letter at the primary school.

He is the Most Glorious.

He is God, no God is there but Him, the Almighty, the Best Beloved. All that are in the heavens and on the earth and whatever lieth between them are His.

Verily He is the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

This is a letter from God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, unto God, the Almighty, the Best Beloved, to affirm that the Bayán and such as bear allegiance to it are but a present from me unto Thee and to express my undoubting faith that there is no God but Thee, that the kingdoms of Creation and Revelation are Thine, that no one can attain anything save by Thy power and that He Whom Thou hast raised up is but Thy servant and Thy Testimony. I, indeed, beg to address Him Whom God shall make manifest, by Thy leave in these words: `Shouldst Thou dismiss the entire company of the followers of the Bayán in the Day of the Latter Resurrection by a mere sign of Thy finger even while still a suckling babe, Thou wouldst indeed be praised in Thy indication. And though no doubt is there about it, do Thou grant a respite of nineteen years as a token of Thy favour so that those who have embraced this Cause may be graciously rewarded by Thee. Thou art verily the Lord of grace abounding. Thou dost indeed suffice every created thing and causest it to be independent of all things, while nothing in the heavens or on the earth or that which lieth between them can ever suffice Thee.'

Verily Thou art the Self-Sufficient, the All-Knowing; Thou art indeed potent over all things.
-- The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 8

SAY, ye will be unable to recognize the One True God or to discern clearly the words of divine guidance, inasmuch as ye seek and tread a path other than His. Whenever ye learn that a new Cause hath appeared, ye must seek the presence of its author and must delve into his writings that haply ye may not be debarred from attaining unto Him Whom God shall make manifest at the hour of His manifestation. Wert thou to walk in the way of truth as handed down by them that are endowed with the knowledge of the inmost reality, God, thy Lord, will surely redeem thee on the Day of Resurrection.

Verily He is potent over all things.
--The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 144

AT the time of the manifestation of Him Whom God shall make manifest everyone should be well trained in the teachings of the Bayan, so that none of the followers may outwardly cling to the Bayan and thus forfeit their allegiance unto Him. If anyone does so, the verdict of 'disbeliever in God' shall be passed upon him.
--The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 85

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 Elijah of the New Day appeared in Persia and made His declaration May 23, 1844, at the time when the Millerites in America, having studied the prophecies of the Bible, expected the Son of Man to drop down from the clouds. Mirza 'Ali Muhammad, known among the Muslims as a young man of excellent character, but following the occupation of merchant, suddenly declared Himself to be the Imam Mahdi whose coming is foretold in their Holy Book, the Qur'an.
-- `Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets addressed to Louis Gregory.

Baha'u'llah refers back to station of the Bab (the Qaim, the Mahdi).

And now, to resume Our argument concerning the question: Why is it that the sovereignty of the Qá'im, affirmed in the text of recorded traditions, and handed down by the shining stars of the Muhammadan Dispensation, hath not in the least been made manifest? Nay, the contrary hath come to pass. Have not His disciples and companions been afflicted of men? Are they not still the victims of the fierce opposition of their enemies? Are they not today leading the life of abased and impotent mortals? Yea, the sovereignty attributed to the Qá'im and spoken of in the scriptures, is a reality, the truth of which none can doubt. This sovereignty, however, is not the sovereignty which the minds of men have falsely imagined. Moreover, the Prophets of old, each and every one, whenever announcing to the people of their day the advent of the coming Revelation, have invariably and specifically referred to that sovereignty with which the promised Manifestation must needs be invested. This is attested by the records of the scriptures of the past. This sovereignty hath not been solely and exclusively attributed to the Qá'im. Nay rather, the attribute of sovereignty and all other names and attributes of God have been and will ever be vouchsafed unto all the Manifestations of God, before and after Him, inasmuch as these Manifestations, as it hath already been explained, are the Embodiments of the attributes of God, the Invisible, and the Revealers of the divine mysteries.

Furthermore, by sovereignty is meant the all-encompassing, all-pervading power which is inherently exercised by the Qá'im whether or not He appear to the world clothed in the majesty of earthly dominion. This is solely dependent upon the will and pleasure of the Qá'im Himself. You will readily recognize that the terms sovereignty, wealth, life, death, judgment and resurrection, spoken of by the scriptures of old, are not what this generation hath conceived and vainly imagined. Nay, by sovereignty is meant that sovereignty which in every dispensation resideth within, and is exercised by, the person of the Manifestation, the Day-star of Truth. That sovereignty is the spiritual ascendancy which He exerciseth to the fullest degree over all that is in heaven and on earth, and which in due time revealeth itself to the world in direct proportion to its capacity and spiritual receptiveness, even as the sovereignty of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, is today apparent and manifest amongst the people. You are well aware of what befell His Faith in the early days of His dispensation. What woeful sufferings did the hand of the infidel and erring, the divines of that age and their associates, inflict upon that spiritual Essence, that most pure and holy Being!
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 106

No understanding can grasp the nature of His Revelation, nor can any knowledge comprehend the full measure of His Faith All sayings are dependent upon His sanction, and all things stand in need of His Cause. All else save Him are created by His command, and move and have their being through His law. He is the Revealer of the divine mysteries, and the Expounder of the hidden and ancient wisdom. Thus it is related in the "Biháru'l-Anvar," the "Aválím," and the "Yanbú'" of Sádiq, son of Muhammad, that he spoke these words: "Knowledge is twenty and seven letters. All that the Prophets have revealed are two letters thereof. No man thus far hath known more than these two letters. But when the Qá'im shall arise, He will cause the remaining twenty and five letters to be made manifest." Consider; He hath declared Knowledge to consist of twenty and seven letters, and regarded all the Prophets, from Adam even unto the "Seal," as Expounders of only two letters thereof and of having been sent down with these two letters. He also saith that the Qá'im will reveal all the remaining twenty and five letters. Behold from this utterance how great and lofty is His station! His rank excelleth that of all the Prophets, and His Revelation transcendeth the comprehension and understanding of all their chosen ones. A Revelation, of which the Prophets of God, His saints and chosen ones, have either not been informed, or which, in pursuance of God's inscrutable Decree, they have not disclosed,--such a Revelation these mean and depraved people have sought to measure with their own deficient minds, their own deficient learning and understanding. Should it fail to conform to their standards, they straightway reject it. "Thinkest thou that the greater part of them hear or understand? They are even like unto the brutes! yea, they stray even further from the path!"
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 244

The Bab's declaration that he is the Qaim.

PONDER likewise the Dispensation of the Apostle of God which lasted twelve hundred and seventy years [1] till the dawn of the manifestation of the Bayan. He directed everyone to await the advent of the Promised Qa'im. All deeds which in the Islamic Dispensation began with Muhammad should find their consummation through the appearance of the Qa'im. God hath made Him manifest invested with the proof wherewith the Apostle of God was invested, so that none of the believers in the Qur'an might entertain doubts about the validity of His Cause, for it is set down in the Qur'an that none but God is capable of revealing verses. During the period of 1270 years no one among the followers of the Qur'an ever witnessed a person appearing with conclusive proofs. Now the Ever-Living Lord hath made manifest and invested with supreme testimony this long-awaited Promised One from a place no one could imagine and from a person whose knowledge was deemed of no account.
--The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 118

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

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