Prophecies of the Imams about the coming of the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh.
The First Imam, Ali, fortells the coming of the Qaim (the Bab)
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 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; 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,
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)
The First Imam, Ali, fortells the coming of the Bahá'u'lláh
O Jabir! When the Bell shall cry loud, when the stupor of the Nightmare shall
enshroud men, when the Cow shall speak, on that day there shall happen
wondrous, exceedingly wondrous Events, when the Fire shall be ignited in My
sight, when the Banner of the House of 'Uthman shall appear in the Black
Valley, when Basra shall be thrown into confusion and they shall seek to
conquer each other and each party shall seek the other, when the armies of
Khurasan shall begin to move, and when Shu'ayb the son of Salih of Tamim shall
be followed in Taliqan, and Sa'id of Shusha shall be obeyed in Khuzistan, and
the banner shall be raised up by the Amalekites of the Kurds, and the Arabs
shall seek victory over Armenia and the Slavs, and Heraclitus shall submit to
the patriarchs of Sinan in Constantinople, anticipate ye then the Revelation of
the Speaker of Mount Sinai. This will appear with manifest signs visible unto
all, clearly perspicuous to them.
-- Imam Ali, Khutbih-i-Tutunjiyyih (The Sermon of the Twin Gulfs)
The Commander of the Faithful (Imám `Alí)--peace be upon him--moreover, saith
in the Khutbiy-i-Tutúnjíyyih: "Anticipate ye the Revelation of Him Who
conversed with Moses from the Burning Bush on Sinai." Husayn, the son of
`Alí--peace be upon him--likewise saith: "Will there be vouchsafed unto anyone
besides Thee a Revelation which hath not been vouchsafed unto Thyself--A
Revelation Whose Revealer will be He Who revealed Thee. Blind be the eye that
seeth Thee not!"
Similar sayings from the Imáms--the blessings of God be upon them--have been
recorded and are widely known, and are embodied in books worthy of credence.
Blessed is he that perceiveth, and speaketh the pure truth. Well is it with him
who, aided by the living waters of the utterance of Him Who is the Desire of
all men, hath purified himself from idle fancies and vain imaginings, and torn
away, in the name of the All-Possessing, the Most High, the veils of doubt, and
renounced the world and all that is therein, and directed himself towards the
Most Great Prison.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 42
Say, this is the Day when the Speaker on Sinai hath mounted the throne of
Revelation and the people have stood before the Lord of the worlds. This is the
Day wherein the earth hath told out her tidings and hath laid bare her
treasures; when the oceans have brought forth their pearls and the divine
Lote-Tree its fruit; when the Sun hath shed its radiance and the Moons have
diffused their lights, and the Heavens have revealed their stars, and the Hour
its signs, and the Resurrection its dreadful majesty;
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 107
Bahá'u'lláh -- the Return of Imam Husayn
IX. O Husayn! Consider the eagerness with which certain peoples and nations
have anticipated the return of Imám-Husayn, whose coming, after the
appearance of the Qá'im, hath been prophesied, in days past, by the chosen
ones of God, exalted be His glory. These holy ones have, moreover, announced
that when He Who is the Day Spring of the manifold grace of God manifesteth
Himself, all the Prophets and Messengers, including the Qá'im, will gather
together beneath the shadow of the sacred Standard which the Promised One
will raise. That hour is now come. The world is illumined with the effulgent
glory of His countenance. And yet, behold how far its peoples have strayed
from His path! None have believed in Him except them who, through the power
of the Lord of Names, have shattered the idols of their vain imaginings and
corrupt desires and entered the city of certitude. The seal of the choice
Wine of His Revelation hath, in this Day and in His Name, the Self-Sufficing,
been broken. Its grace is being poured out upon men. Fill thy cup, and drink
in, in His Name, the Most Holy, the All-Praised.
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 12
The Sixth Imam, Jafar as-Sadiq, fortells the coming of the Qaim
(the Mahdi, The 12th Imam) -- the Bab
It is evident unto thee that the Birds of Heaven and Doves of Eternity speak a
twofold language. One language, the outward language, is devoid of allusions,
is unconcealed and unveiled; that it may be a guiding lamp and a beaconing
light whereby wayfarers may attain the heights of holiness, and seekers may
advance into the realm of eternal reunion. Such are the unveiled traditions and
the evident verses already mentioned. The other language is veiled and
concealed, so that whatever lieth hidden in the heart of the malevolent may be
made manifest and their innermost being be disclosed. Thus hath Sádiq, son of
Muhammad, spoken: "God verily will test them and sift them." This is the divine
standard, this is the Touchstone of God, wherewith He proveth His servants.
None apprehendeth the meaning of these utterances except them whose hearts are
assured, whose souls have found favour with God, and whose minds are detached
from all else but Him. In such utterances, the literal meaning, as generally
understood by the people, is not what hath been intended. Thus it is recorded:
"Every knowledge hath seventy meanings, of which one only is known amongst the
people. And when the Qá'im shall arise, He shall reveal unto men all that which
remaineth." He also saith: "We speak one word, and by it we intend one and
seventy meanings; each one of these meanings we can explain."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 255
The Imám Sádiq hath said: "When our Qá'im will arise, the earth will shine with
the light of her Lord."
-- Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 112
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."
-- Taken from 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. What hath
befallen you, O people of the Book? Will ye not fear the One true God, He
Who is your Lord, the Ancient of Days?... O ye who profess belief in God!
I adjure you by Him Who is the Eternal Truth, have ye discerned among the
precepts of these Gates anything inconsistent with the commandments of
God as set forth in this Book? Hath your learning deluded you by reason
of your impiety? Take ye heed then, for verily your God, the Lord of
Eternal Truth, is with you and in very truth is watchful over you...
-- The Báb, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 51-52
Traditions in Islam on the coming of the Bab referred to by Bahá'u'lláh
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
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