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TAGS: Lawh-i-Mallahul-Quds (Tablet of the Holy Mariner); Lesser prophets; Maid of Heaven; Words and phrases
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Tablet of the Holy Mariner (Lawh-i-Malláhu'l-Quds):
Study Compilations

by Aziz Mboya

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Chapter 26

References to the Maid of Heaven and Maid(ens) in the writings of Bahá'u'lláh.

O ye beloved of God! O ye children of His Kingdom! Verily, verily the
new heaven and the new earth are come. The holy City, new Jerusalem,
hath come down from on high in the form of a maid of heaven, veiled,
beauteous, and unique, and prepared for reunion with her lovers on earth.
The angelic company of the celestial Concourse have joined in a call that
hath rung throughout the universe, all loudly and mightily acclaiming:
"Hail, O City of God! Abide Thou, and make Thy habitation with the
pure, virtuous and holy servants of Thine; for they are Thy people, and
Thou art their Lord."
-- Compilation, Bahá'í World Faith, p. 350

We have revealed Ourself unto men, have unveiled the Cause, guided all
mankind towards God's Straight Path, promulgated the laws and have enjoined
upon everyone that which shall truly profit them both in this world and in
the next; yet they have pronounced judgement to shed My blood, whereat the
Maid of Heaven hath wept sore, Sinai hath lamented and the Faithful Spirit
was made to sigh with grief.

In these days the people have debarred themselves from the effusions of
divine grace by following in the footsteps of every ignorant one that hath
gone astray. They have cast the Ocean of divine knowledge behind their
backs and fixed their eyes upon such foolish men as claim to be well
versed in learning without being supported by any evidence from God, the
Lord of mankind.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 251

O My servants! Through the might of God and His power, and out of the
treasury of His knowledge and wisdom, I have brought forth and revealed
unto you the pearls that lay concealed in the depths of His everlasting
ocean. I have summoned the Maids of Heaven to emerge from behind the veil
of concealment, and have clothed them with these words of Mine--words of
consummate power and wisdom. I have, moreover, with the hand of divine
power, unsealed the choice wine of My Revelation, and have wafted its holy,
its hidden, and musk-laden fragrance upon all created things. Who else but
yourselves is to be blamed if ye choose to remain unendowed with so great
an outpouring of God's transcendent and all-encompassing grace, with so
bright a revelation of His resplendent mercy?...
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 327

Say: Step out of Thy holy chamber, O Maid of Heaven, inmate of the Exalted
Paradise! Drape thyself in whatever manner pleaseth Thee in the silken
Vesture of Immortality, and put on, in the name of the All-Glorious, the
broidered Robe of Light. Hear, then, the sweet, the wondrous accent of the
Voice that cometh from the Throne of Thy Lord, the Inaccessible, the Most
High. Unveil Thy face, and manifest the beauty of the black-eyed Damsel,
and suffer not the servants of God to be deprived of the light of Thy
shining countenance. Grieve not if Thou hearest the sighs of the dwellers
of the earth, or the voice of the lamentation of the denizens of heaven.
Leave them to perish on the dust of extinction. Let them be reduced to
nothingness, inasmuch as the flame of hatred hath been kindled within their
breasts. Intone, then, before the face of the peoples of earth and heaven,
and in a most melodious voice, the anthem of praise, for a remembrance of
Him Who is the King of the names and attributes of God. Thus have We
decreed Thy destiny. Well able are We to achieve Our purpose.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 282

Glorified be my Lord, the All-Glorious! Thereupon the maids of heaven
hastened forth from their chambers, upon whose countenances the eye
of no dweller in the highest paradise had ever gazed.

Glorified be our Lord, the Most High! They all gathered around her,
and lo! they found her body fallen upon the dust;

Glorified be our Lord, the Most High! And as they beheld her state
and comprehended a word of the tale told by the Youth, they bared
their heads, rent their garments asunder, beat upon their faces,
forgot their joy, shed tears and smote with their hands upon their
cheeks, and this is verily one of the mysterious grievous afflictions -
Glorified be our Lord, the Most High!
- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Holy Mariner

"Arise, and proclaim unto the entire creation the tidings that He who is
the All-Merciful hath directed His steps towards the Ridván and entered
it. Guide, then, the people unto the Garden of Delight which God hath made
the Throne of His Paradise... Within this Paradise, and from the heights of
its loftiest chambers, the Maids of Heaven have cried out and shouted:
`Rejoice, ye dwellers of the realms above, for the fingers of Him Who is the
Ancient of Days are ringing, in the name of the All-Glorious, the Most Great
Bell, in the midmost heart of the heavens. The hands of bounty have borne
round the cups of everlasting life. Approach, and quaff your fill.'"
- Bahá'u'lláh speaking on the First Day of Ridvan. Taken from, Shoghi
Effendi, God Passes By, p. 154

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.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 51

We have digressed from the purpose of Our argument, although whatsoever is
mentioned serveth only to confirm Our purpose. By God! however great Our
desire to be brief, yet We feel We cannot restrain Our pen. Notwithstanding
all that We have mentioned, how innumerable are the pearls which have remained
unpierced in the shell of Our heart! How many the húrís (maidens) of inner meaning
that are as yet concealed within the chambers of divine wisdom! None hath yet
approached them;--húrís, "whom no man nor spirit hath touched before."
Notwithstanding all that hath been said, it seemeth as if not one letter of Our
purpose hath been uttered, nor a single sign divulged concerning Our object.
When will a faithful seeker be found who will don the garb of pilgrimage, attain
the Ka'bih of the heart's desire, and, without ear or tongue, discover the mysteries
of divine utterance?
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 70

By God! This Bird of Heaven, now dwelling upon the dust, can, besides these
melodies, utter a myriad songs, and is able, apart from these utterances, to
unfold innumerable mysteries. Every single note of its unpronounced utterances
is immeasurably exalted above all that hath already been revealed, and
immensely glorified beyond that which hath streamed from this Pen. Let
the future disclose the hour when the Brides (maidens) of inner meaning will, as
decreed by the Will of God, hasten forth, unveiled, out of their mystic
mansions, and manifest themselves in the ancient realm of being. Nothing
whatsoever is possible without His permission; no power can endure save
through His power, and there is none other God but He. His is the world of
creation, and His the Cause of God. All proclaim His Revelation, and all
unfold the mysteries of His Spirit.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 175

From provisional translations

He came down from the pavillions of beauty and stood like the Sun at the
zenith of heaven, peerless and unique in His beauty.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come bearing great joy.

Thus He stood in the midst of heaven, shining like the noonday Sun at the
axis of beauty, His Name mighty! Thereupon a herald proclaimed: "
Rejoice! This is the Beauty of the Unseen, come with a mighty spirit."

A clamor then arose from the hearts of the maids of heaven in their
chambers, "Blessed be God, the best of Creators!" Thereupon the dove
sang out,
Rejoice! for the eyes of the privy angels have seen none like unto this
Deathless Youth."

The gates of Paradise were flung wide yet again, opened with the key of a
mighty Name.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Youth, come with a mighty Name.

The Maid of Beauty came forth, dawning like the sun, plain upon the horizon
of the morn.
Rejoice! This is the Maid of Glory, come with a mighty beauty.

A brocade she wore, dazzling the minds of the privy angels.
Rejoice! this is the Deathless Maid, come with a mighty grace.

She descended from the chambers of eternity, then She sang such a song as to
enchant the hearts of the sincere.
Rejoice! This is the Deathless Beauty, come with a mighty secret.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Deathless Youth (provisional translation).

The sun has risen over the sacred horizon, and the concourse on high has
been illumined by its radiance. The scent of musk has diffused from the
knolls of sanctity, perfuming the temples of pre-existence. Happy is he who
adorns himself with these fragrances! The luminary of the Cause has risen in
the midst of the sky, and has taken the form of a full moon, brilliant in
its whiteness. Concourse of the near ones, seek to be illumined by its
splendor! Say: The throne has been established behind the pavilion of
majesty, and about it circle chaste maidens of beauty bearing flagons
brimming with the water of life. Blessed is the person who attains to
sprinkled droplets thereof. Say: The Maiden of Eternity has uncovered Beauty
itself with a gut-wrenching gaze. Blessed is the one who is struck by her
glance! Say: The voice of God has been heard from the sanctuary of eternity,
and the hearts of the mystic knowers have been enthralled by its melodies.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Surah of the Companions (provisional translation).

He is the Beloved One

[1] The Maid of Eternity came from the Exalted Paradise;
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, O Glad Tidings!

[8] This sweet Davidic voice, from the Divine Lote-Tree--with
the Messianic Spirit she came;
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, O Glad Tidings!

[12] With the joyful tidings of reunion this Divine Maiden
came from a branch of the Tree of Blessedness;
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, O Glad Tidings!

[16] This Eternal Countenance, she came with snow-white hand
from the Divine command;
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, O Glad Tidings!
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Lawh-i Halih, Halih, Halih, Ya Bisharat (prov. translation)

But when I saw myself at the culmination of calamity, I heard, from above
my head, the Most Wonderful [wonderful] and Melodious Voice [melodious
voice], and when I turned I witnessed an Houri [a Maiden] (Nymph of
Paradise) of the celebration of the Name of my Lord, suspended in the air
on a level with my head; [.] I saw her, that she was indeed rejoicing
within herself as though the embroidered Garment [garment] of pleasure was
manifesting itself upon her face, and the brightness of the Merciful was
apparent upon her cheeks; and between the earth and heaven, she was
uttering a call, by which all the hearts and minds will be drawn, and at
the same time, gladdening all the limbs of my internal and external being,
with glad-tidings that made my soul rejoice, and those of the noble
servants. Then with her finger, she pointed to my head, and addressed all
those in heaven and earth saying: "By God, This is indeed the Beloved of
the universe, but ye do not understand! This is the Beauty of God among
you, and His Dominion within you, if ye are those who know! This is the
Mystery of God, His Treasure, the Command of God, and His Glory, to those
who are in the Kingdom of power and creation were ye of those who reason!
This is the One whose meeting will be longed for by all those who dwell in
the everlasting spiritual world, and who have taken a station for
themselves in the tents of El-ABHA [El-Abha] while ye yourselves are
turned away from His Beauty!
Say, this is the day whereon the Most Great Bounty has appeared, and
nothing, either in the supremest heaven or in the lowest earth, but utters
in My mention and sings in the praise of Myself were ye of those who hear,
O Temple of the Manifestation! Blow though the horn in My Name: Then O
Temple of the Secrets! Breathe thou into the fife in commemoration of thy
Lord, the Unconstrained: Then O Houri [Maid] of Paradise! Come out of the
chambers of the Garden and say to the inhabitants of the universe, "By God,
He hath appeared, the Beloved of the world, the Intended of the Knowers
[knowers], the Worshipped of whomsoever is in the heaven and the earth and
the adored [Adored] of the Ancients and Moderns [ancients and moderns].
Beware of hesitating to accept this Beauty, after the Ruler of Might,
Power and Glory hath appeared. Verily, He is the Truth and everything
besides Him on the part of His servants is annihilated and lost at the
appearance of His Lights [lights]. Hasten to the River of Bounty [river of
bounty] (Cowther el-Fadhl) and be of the impatient, and he who hesitates
for an instant, God will frustrate his plans and bring him back to the
station of overwhelming grief and constraint. Thus how terrible is the
residence of those who hesitate!"
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Temple (provisional translation)

Say: the time of union has been fulfilled, and by virtue of the decree
that of absence has begun through this parting, you who are filled with

Tears have flowed from the eyes of the immortals in the concourse
on high because of this farewell, you who are filled with yearning;

The breezes of joy that blew from the paradise of splendor
have been stilled by this departure, you who are filled with yearning.

By God, the faces of the celestial maidens in their chambers have paled
at the prospect of this absence, you who are filled with yearning;

The houris rouge their cheeks blood red, for they have heard about this
leave-taking, you who are filled with yearning;
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Nightingale of Separation (provisional translation)

See dawning of the Godhead, the Maid of Paradise
How mystery of Unknown from earthly appearance doth arise

Lo! Remnant's Countenance, Cupbearer's Face
Lo! The translucent glass pouring out from Our Chalice

Behold the Burning Bush, see the Hand so white
Behold Mount Sinai radiating from the Palm so bright

Hear his intoxicated moans, see the mystic ecstatic
In the precincts of rapture all living beings are charismatic

From His peek, observe the amorous glance of Baha
From His reed, hearken the Farsi melody of Baha

Emergence of Revelation 'tis, Effusion of Purity 'tis
Warbling of Nightingales 'tis, that pours out of Nothingness!
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Mist of Unknown (provisional translation)

He is the Mighty.

This is the Garden of Paradise, wherein hath been raised the melody of God,
the Protector, the Self-Subsisting. Wherein have been established the
maidens of eternity whom none hath touched save God, the Mighty, the Holy.
Wherein the Nightingale of Eternity hath warbled upon the branches of the
Lote-tree beyond which there is no passing, with a melody that hath filled
with astonishment the minds of all men. Wherein is that which bringeth the
poor ones nigh unto the shores of the ocean of wealth and guideth mankind
unto the word of God. This, verily, is a manifest truth.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Tablet of the Bell (provisional translation)

In the name of God, the most holy, the most exalted.

Praise be to Thee, O God, My God. I make mention of Thee at this time, when
the sun of Thy Godhead hath risen from the horizon of the splendid divinity
of Thy oneness, the lights of Thy lordship have flashed forth from the
dawning of the ineffable encounter with the eternal kingdom of Thy
self-sufficiency, and the darkness of this world hath been illumined by
the radiance of the faithful realm of Thy cause--in such wise that the
garden of paradise came into being above the essence of Thy glorious
selfhood. Therein were planted the trees of Thy quintessence, which put
forth the fruits of Thine essence, and therein wafted the breezes of Thy
spirit and the breaths of Thy sanctity. Therein were foreordained the gems
of Thy bounties and the substance of Thy munificence; and therein were
uncovered the treasures of Thy knowledge and mystery. Over its terraces
flow the streams of Thy glorious life, the canals of Thy radiant eternality,
and the springs of the wine of Thine inaccessibility. When Thou didst
desire, O my God, to manifest it, Thou didst raise it up to the throne of
grandeur and greatness, embellish it with the rays of might and power,
render it effulgent by Thine essence, and didst make to shine upon it the
sun of oneness from the pre-eternal lights of Thy features. Thou didst
light for it the wick of eternity in the lamp of pre-existence. Now, Thy
most exalted decree hath come to the kingdom of command by Thy signature,
so that a visage might appear therefrom, that the brilliance of Thy beauty
might be manifest to all who dwell on earth, and that the glory of Thy
countenance might be seen by all who are in the realm of Thy cause.

There arose the houri [maiden], Who had dwelt in pre-eternity in the pavilions of
holiness, protection, and glorification and in the canopies of sinlessness,
greatness and splendor. Upon Her creamy brow the most high pen hath written
in crimson ink, "Praise be to God! This is a houri [maiden] upon Whom none have
gazed save God, the exalted, the most high. God hath purified the hem of
Her purity from the knowledge of the concourse of names in the realm of
eternity, and Her face from the view of all who are in the kingdom of
creation. When She arose with the ornament of God from Her palace, She
looked with one glance toward the sky. The people of the heavens swooned at
the rays of Her visage and at the wafting of Her perfume. Then She looked
with another glance toward the earth, and it was illumined by the lights of
Her beauty and the loveliness of Her splendor.
Then the firmament was illumined by the radiance of its light, contingent
beings were made resplendent by its appearance and effulgence, and by its
rays infinite numbers of suns dawned forth, as though they trekked through
heavens that were without beginning or end. I became bewildered at the pen
of God's handiwork, and at what it had inscribed upon Her temple. It was as
though She had appeared with a body of light in the forms of the spirit,
as though She moved upon the earth of essence in the substance of
manifestation. I noticed that the houris [Maidens] had poked their heads
out of their rooms [chambers] and were suspended in the air above
Her. They grew perplexed at Her appearance and Her beauty, and were
entranced by the raptures of Her song. Praise be to Her creator, fashioner,
and maker--to the one Who made Her manifest.

Then she nearly swooned within herself, and with all her being she sought
to inhale My fragrance. She opened Her lips, and the rays of light dawned
forth from Her teeth, as though the pearls of the cause had appeared from
Her treasures and Her shells.

She asked, "Who art Thou?"

I said, "A servant of God and the son of his maidservant."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Maiden (provisional translation)

Truly blessed is the one who arrays himself with the garment of patience
and equanimity and who does not change in afflictions and whose footsteps
do not slip when the tempests of wrath blow and remains acquiescent at all
times and relies on God at all times. I swear by God! Soon will God cause
him to be manifested within the canopy of grandeur with a luminous garment
which will scintillate like unto the scintillation of light above the
spiritual horizon and eyes will be dazzled upon beholding him and above his
head there will be a caller from God saying, "This is verily the one who
was long suffering for God in the vain and futile world and in all that
the unbelievers did unto him. The concourse on high will seek blessing
from him and the occupiers of God's pavilions will seek to meet him as well
as the holy maidens in the sacred and beautiful tabernacles." So O People
of the Bayan! Be patient in these passing days and do not complain that
your abject ornaments have been lost and do not bemoan of the afflictive
trials that have been ordained in the Mighty Scrolls of God.
O Solace of the eye of eternity! Change your tone and chant upon the
melodies of those nightingales singing in the tabernacle of divine names
and in the dominions of divine attributes that the birds of the throne may
detach themselves from the dust of themselves, and may therefore turn back
to their original homeland which is sanctified beyond transcendence. O Thou
Quintessence of truth! Sing and chant with the most beauteous melodies for
all the maidens of paradise have come out of their assemblies and their
tents of purity that they may hear Your own melody, the melody that has
been sung in the pages of God in the book, Qayyumu'l-Asma. Do not deprive
these of what they have desired to hear of Thy new and wondrous melodies
and loving kindness for Thou art indeed the most generous One in the
highest grades of immortality and in truth Thou art indeed the most
generous One in the dominion of eternity and Thy Name is well known amongst
the concourse on high as the Generous One.
O Thou most holy Beauty! The unbelievers do not respite Thee that a breath
should be exhaled from Thy chest for as My voice wishes to leave My mouth,
they place the hand of hatred over My mouth and yet with all your knowledge
of this matter you command Me to raise My call in this atmosphere for Thou
art the doer in truth, Thou art the commander in justice. Thou does what
Thou wishes and Thou art wise over all things. If Thou hearkenest to the
call of Thy servant, if Thou fulfillest his wish then forgive them with the
utmost kind word and delicate utterance that those handmaidens of eternity
may return to their seats in the crimson and ruby laden chambers. Thou
knowest that I have now become afflicted between the unbelievers from two
parties and Thou commandest in both Revelations and overseest both
Dispensations and Thou art manifest in the Twin garments and Thou art
resplendent through the Two Suns and have been mentioned with the Twin
Names, possessest the Twin Dawning-places, commandest the secret of the
Twin Mysteries in these Two Lines and God is fully aware beyond all this.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of Job (provisional translation)

Lo, this is the garden of Paradise wherein is raised the Voice of God, the
Dominant, the Strong; Here do the immaculate Maids of Heaven dwell, they
whom no eye hath seen save only God's, the Sanctified, the Well-Beloved;
Herein the eternal nightingale singeth on the bough of the sacred Lote-Tree
a song that bedazzaleth the minds, and herein are the needy led to the
haven of wealth, and all men guided to the Word of God; verily this is a
manifest truth.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Feast of Ridvan (provisional translation)

The Beauty of holiness hath risen from behind the veil.
And this is a wondrous thing!

And the spirits have fainted away from the flames of attraction.
And this is a wondrous matter!

They have recovered consciousness and flown unto the pavilion of holiness on
the Throne of Domes.
And this is a wondrous mystery.

Say: the Maid of Eternity hath removed the veil from her face.
Exalted be the new and wondrous Beauty!

And the lights of her face have shone from the earth unto the clouds.
And this is a wondrous light.

And she hath cast her glances as shooting stars are cast.
And this is a wondrous casting.

And all names and all titles have been set aflame by the fire of her face.
And this is a wondrous deed.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet of the Wondrous (provisional translation)

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