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EXCERPTS FROM THE KITÁB-I-ASMÁ’(The Book of Names) – Selections from the Writings of the Báb

* EXCERPTS FROM THE KITÁB-I-ASMÁ’(The Book of Names) *

O ye that are invested with the Bayán! Denounce ye not one another, ere the Day-Star of ancient eternity shineth forth above the horizon of His sublimity. We have created you from one tree and have caused you to be as the leaves and fruit of the same tree, that haply ye may become a source of comfort to one another. Regard ye not others save as ye regard your own selves, that no feeling of aversion may prevail amongst you so as to shut you out from Him Whom God shall make manifest on the Day of Resurrection. It behooveth you all to be one indivisible people; thus should ye return unto Him Whom God shall make manifest.

Those who have deprived themselves of this Resurrection by reason of their mutual hatreds or by regarding themselves to be in the right and others in the wrong, were chastised on the Day of Resurrection by reason of such hatreds evinced during their night.1 Thus they deprived themselves of beholding the countenance of God, and this for no other reason than mutual denunciations.

O ye that are invested with the Bayán! Ye should perform such deeds as would please God, your Lord, earning thereby the good-pleasure of Him Whom God shall make manifest. Turn not your religion into a means of material 1 By 'night' is meant the period between two divine Revelations 1 when the Sun of Truth is not manifest among men. In the Persian 1 Bayán, II, 7, the Báb says, 'O people of the Bayán! Act not as 1 the people of the Qur’án have acted, for if you do so the fruits 1 of your night will come to naught'. gain, spending your life on vanities, and inheriting thereby on the Day of Resurrection that which would displease Him Whom God shall make manifest, while ye deem that what ye do is right. If, however, ye observe piety in your Faith, God will surely nourish you from the treasuries of His heavenly grace.

Be ye sincere in your allegiance to Him Whom God shall make manifest, for the sake of God, your Lord, that perchance ye may, through devotion to His Faith, be redeemed on the Day of Resurrection. Beware lest ye suffer one another to be wrapt in veils by reason of the disputes which may, during your night, arise among you as a result of the problems ye encounter or in consideration of such matters as your loftiness or lowliness, your nearness or remoteness.

Thus have We firmly exhorted you -- a befitting exhortation indeed -- that haply ye may cleave tenaciously unto it and attain thereby salvation on the Day of Resurrection. The time is approaching when ye will be at peace with yourselves in your homes, and lo, Him Whom God shall make manifest will have appeared, and God wisheth you to return unto Him, even as God called you into being through the Primal Point. However, all of you will seek guidance while pursuing the promptings of your own desires. Some of you are filled with pride by reason of your religion, others because of your learning. Ye will, one and all, cling unto some part of the Bayán as a means of self-glorification. XVI, 19.

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GOD is sanctified from His servants and no direct relationship ever existeth between Him and any created thing, while ye have all arisen at His bidding. Verily He is your Lord and your God, your Master and your King. He ordaineth your movements at His behest throughout the day-time and in the night season.

Say, He Whom God shall make manifest is indeed the Primal Veil of God. Above this Veil ye can find nothing other than God, while beneath it ye can discern all things emanating from God. He is the Unseen, the Inaccessible, the Most Exalted, the Best Beloved.

If ye seek God, it behooveth you to seek Him Whom God shall make manifest, and if ye cherish the desire to dwell in the Ark of Names, ye will be distinguished as the guides to Him Whom God shall make manifest, did ye but believe in Him. Verily then make your hearts the daysprings of His exalted Names as recorded in the Book, and ye shall, even as mirrors placed before the sun, be able to receive enlightenment. XVI, 17.

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SHOULD a person lay claim to a cause and produce his proofs, then those who seek to repudiate him are required to produce proofs like unto his. If they succeed in doing so, his words will prove vain and they will prevail; otherwise neither his words will cease nor the proofs he hath set forth will become void. I admonish you, O ye who are invested with the Bayán, if ye would fain assert your ascendancy, confront not any soul unless ye give proofs similar to that which he hath adduced; for Truth shall be firmly established, while aught else besides it is sure to perish.

How numerous the people who engaged in contests with Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, and were eventually reduced to naught, inasmuch as they were powerless to bring forth proofs similar to that which God had sent down unto Him. Had they been abashed and modest, and had they realized the nature of the proofs wherewith He was invested, they would never have challenged Him. But they regarded themselves as champions of their own religion. Therefore God laid hold on them according to their deserts and vindicated the Truth through the power of Truth. This is what ye clearly perceive today in the Muḥammadan Revelation.

Who is the man amongst you who can challenge the exalted Thrones of Reality in every Dispensation, while all existence is wholly dependent upon Them? Indeed, God hath wiped out all those who have opposed Them from the beginning that hath no beginning until the present day and hath conclusively demonstrated the Truth through the power of Truth. Verily, He is the Almighty, the Omnipotent, the All-Powerful. XVII, 11.

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O YE who are invested with the Bayán! Be ye watchful on the Day of Resurrection, for on that Day ye will firmly believe in the Vahid of the Bayán, though this, even as your past religion which proved of no avail, can in no wise benefit you, unless ye embrace the Cause of Him Whom God shall make manifest and believe in that which He ordaineth. Therefore take ye good heed lest ye shut yourselves out from Him Who is the Fountain-head of all Messengers and Scriptures, while ye hold fast to parts of the teachings which have emanated from these sources. XVII, 15.

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CONSIDER how at the time of the appearance of every Revelation, those who open their hearts to the Author of that Revelation recognize the Truth, while the hearts of those who fail to apprehend the Truth are straitened by reason of their shutting themselves out from Him. However, openness of heart is bestowed by God upon both parties alike. God desireth not to straiten the heart of anyone, be it even an ant, how much less the heart of a superior creature, except when he suffereth himself to be wrapt in veils, for God is the Creator of all things.

Wert thou to open the heart of a single soul by helping him to embrace the Cause of Him Whom God shall make manifest, thine inmost being would be filled with the inspirations of that august Name. It devolveth upon you, therefore, to perform this task in the Days of Resurrection, inasmuch as most people are helpless, and wert thou to open their hearts and dispel their doubts, they would gain admittance into the Faith of God. Therefore, manifest thou this attribute to the utmost of thine ability in the days of Him Whom God shall make manifest. For indeed if thou dost open the heart of a person for His sake, better will it be for thee than every virtuous deed; since deeds are secondary to faith in Him and certitude in His Reality. XVII, 15.

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TAKE heed to carefully consider the words of every soul, then hold fast to the proofs which attest the truth. If ye fail to discover truth in a person's words, make them not the object of contention, inasmuch as ye have been forbidden in the Bayán to enter into idle disputation and controversy, that perchance on the Day of Resurrection ye may not engage in argumentation, and dispute with Him Whom God shall make manifest. XVII, 16.

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ON the Day of Resurrection when He Whom God will make manifest cometh unto you, invested with conclusive proofs, ye shall hold His Cause as being devoid of truth, whereas God hath apprised you in the Bayán that no similarity existeth between the Cause of Him Whom God will make manifest and the cause of others. How can anyone besides God reveal a verse such as to overwhelm all mankind? Say, great is God! Who else but Him Whom God will make manifest can spontaneously recite verses which proceed from His Lord -- a feat that no mortal man can ever hope to accomplish?

Truth can in no wise be confounded with aught else except itself; would that ye might ponder His proof. Nor can error be confused with Truth, if ye do but reflect upon the testimony of God, the True One.

How great hath been the number of those who have falsely laid claim to a cause within Islam, and ye followed in their footsteps without having witnessed a single proof. What evidence can ye then produce in the presence of your Lord, if ye do but meditate a while?

Take ye good heed in your night lest ye be a cause of sadness to any soul, whether ye be able to discover proofs in him or not, that haply on the Day of Resurrection ye may not grieve Him within Whose grasp lieth every proof. And when ye do not discern God's testimony in a person, he will verily fail in manifesting the power of Truth; and God is sufficient to deal with him. Indeed on no account should ye sadden any person; surely God will put him to the proof and bring him to account. It behooveth you to cling to the testimony of your own Faith and to observe the ordinances laid down in the Bayán.

You are like unto the man who layeth out an orchard and planteth all kinds of fruit trees therein. When the time is at hand for him, the lord, to come, ye will have taken possession of the orchard in his name, and when he doth come in person, ye will shut him out from it.

Verily We planted the Tree of the Qur’án and provided its Orchard with all kinds of fruit, whereof ye all have been partaking. Then when We came to take over that which We had planted, ye pretended not to know Him Who is the Lord thereof.

Be ye not a cause of grief unto Us, nor withhold Us from this Orchard which belongeth unto Us, though independent are We of all that ye possess. Moreover, unto none of you shall We make this property lawful, were it even to the extent of a mustard seed. Verily, the Reckoner are We.

We have planted the Garden of the Bayán in the name of Him Whom God will make manifest, and have granted you permission to live therein until the time of His manifestation; then from the moment the Cause of Him Whom God will make manifest is inaugurated, We forbid you all the things ye hold as your own, unless ye may, by the leave of your Lord, be able to regain possession thereof. XVIII, 3.

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O YE unto whom the Bayán is given! Be ye vigilant lest in the days of Him Whom God shall make manifest, while ye consider yourselves as seeking God's pleasure, in reality ye persist in that which would only displease Him, even as did those who lived in the days of the Primal Point, to whom it never occurred that they were seeking things which ran counter to that which God had purposed. They shut themselves out as by a veil from God and failed to observe that which He had desired for them to perform as true believers. They pondered not upon such people as lived in the days of Muḥammad, who believed likewise that they were seeking the good-pleasure of God, while they had actually cut themselves off therefrom, once they had failed to secure the good-pleasure of Muḥammad. Nevertheless they comprehended not.

O ye who are invested with the Bayán! Regard not yourselves as being like unto the people to whom the Qur’án or the Gospel or other Scriptures of old were given, since at the time of His manifestation ye shall stray farther from God than did they. If ye happen to shut yourselves out it would never cross your minds that ye were shut out from Him. It behooveth you to consider how the people unto whom the Qur’án was given were debarred from the Truth, for indeed ye will act in a like manner, thinking that ye are doers of good. If ye perceive the degree of your deprivation of God, ye will wish to have perished from the face of the earth and to have sunk into oblivion. The day will come when ye will earnestly desire to know that which would meet with the good-pleasure of God but, alas, ye shall find no path unto Him. Ye, even as camels that wander aimlessly, will not find a pasture wherein ye may gather and unite upon a Cause in which ye can assuredly believe. At that time God shall cause the Sun of Truth to shine forth and the oceans of His bounty and grace to surge, while ye will have chosen droplets of water as the object of your desire, and will have deprived yourselves of the plenteous waters in His oceans.

If ye entertain any doubts in this matter consider the people unto whom the Gospel was given. Having no access to the apostles of Jesus, they sought the pleasure of the Lord in their churches, hoping to learn that which would be acceptable unto God, but they found therein no path unto Him. Then when God manifested Muḥammad as His Messenger and as the Repository of His good-pleasure, they neglected to quicken their souls from the Fountain of living waters which streamed forth from the presence of their Lord and continued to rove distraught upon the earth seeking a mere droplet of water and believing that they were doing righteous deeds. They behaved as the people unto whom the Qur’án was given are now behaving.

O ye who are invested with the Bayán! Ye can act similarly. Take ye heed, therefore, lest ye deprive yourselves of attaining the presence of Him Who is the Manifestation of God, notwithstanding that ye have been day and night praying to behold His countenance; and be ye careful lest ye be deterred from attaining unto the ocean of His good-pleasure, when perplexed and to no avail ye roam the earth in search of a drop of water.

Say, the testimony of God hath been fulfilled in the Bayán, and through its revelation the grace of God hath attained its highest consummation for all mankind. Let no one among you say that God hath withheld the outpouring of His bounty unto you, for assuredly God's mercy unto those to whom the Bayán is given hath been fulfilled and completed until the Day of Resurrection. Would that ye might believe in the signs of God. XVI, 13.

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VERILY God hath caused the people of the Bayán to be called into being through the power of Him unto Whom the Bayán was revealed, in preparation for the Day when they will return to their Lord.

Indeed those who will bear allegiance unto Him Whom God shall make manifest are the ones who have grasped the meaning of that which hath been revealed in the Bayán; they are indeed the sincere ones, while those who turn away from Him at the time of His appearance will have utterly failed to comprehend a single letter of the Bayán, even though they profess belief and assurance in whatever is revealed in it or observe its precepts.

Say, every favourable and praiseworthy designation in the Bayán is but an allusion to those who recognize Him Whom God shall make manifest, and who believe with certainty in God and in His holy Writings, while every unfavourable designation therein is meant to refer to such as repudiate Him Whom God shall make manifest, though they may act uprightly within the bounds laid down in the Bayán. Say, if ye embrace the truth on the Day of Resurrection, God will assuredly pardon you for your night and will grant you forgiveness.

As to those who have faithfully observed the ordinances in the Bayán from the inception of its revelation until the Day when Him Whom God shall make manifest will appear, these are indeed the companions of the paradise of His good-pleasure who will be glorified in the presence of God and will dwell in the pavilions of His celestial Garden. Yet, within less than a tiny fraction of an instant from the moment God will have revealed Him Who is the Manifestation of His Own Self, the entire company of the followers of the Bayán shall be put to proof. XVII, 4

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SINCE thou hast faithfully obeyed the true religion of God in the past, it behooveth thee to follow His true religion hereafter, inasmuch as every religion proceedeth from God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

He Who hath revealed the Qur’án unto Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, ordaining in the Faith of Islam that which was pleasing unto Him, hath likewise revealed the Bayán, in the manner ye have been promised, unto Him Who is your Qá’im,1 your Guide, your Mihdí, your Lord, Him Whom ye acclaim as the manifestation of God's most excellent titles. Verily the equivalent of that which God revealed unto Muḥammad during twenty-three years, hath been revealed unto Me within the space of two days and two nights. However, as ordained by God, no distinction is to be drawn between the two. He, in truth, hath power over all things.

I swear by the life of Him Whom God shall make manifest! My Revelation is indeed far more bewildering than that of Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, if thou dost but pause to reflect upon the days of God. Behold, how strange that a person brought up amongst the people of Persia should be empowered by God to proclaim such irrefutable utterances as to silence every man of learning, and be enabled to spontaneously reveal verses far more rapidly than anyone could possibly set down in writing. Verily, no God is there but Him, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. XVI, 18.

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AS to those who have debarred themselves from the Revelation of God, they have indeed failed to understand the significance of a single letter of the Qur’án, nor have they obtained the slightest notion of the Faith of Islam, otherwise they would not have turned away from God, Who hath brought them into being, Who hath nurtured them, hath caused them to die and hath proffered life unto them, by clinging to parts of their religion, thinking that they are doing righteous work for the sake of God.

How numerous the verses which have been revealed concerning the grievous tests ye shall experience on the Day of Judgement, yet it appeareth that ye have never perused them; and how vast the number of revealed traditions regarding the trials which will overtake you on the Day of Our Return, and yet ye seem never to have set your eyes upon them.

Ye spend all your days contriving forms and rules for the principles of your Faith, while that which profiteth you in all this is to comprehend the good-pleasure of your Lord and unitedly to become well-acquainted with His supreme Purpose.

God hath made His Own Self known unto you, but ye have failed to recognize Him; and the thing which will, on the Day of Judgement, turn you aside from God is the specious character of your deeds. Throughout your lives ye follow your religion in order to attract the good-pleasure of God, yet on the Last Day ye shut yourselves out from God and turn away from Him Who is your Promised One. XVII, 2.

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O YE who are invested with the Bayán! Ye shall be put to proof, even as those unto whom the Qur’án was given. Have pity on yourselves, for ye shall witness the Day when God will have revealed Him Who is the Manifestation of His Own Self, invested with clear and irrefutable proofs, while ye will cling tenaciously to the words the Witnesses of the Bayán have uttered. On that Day ye will continue to rove distraught, even as camels, seeking a drop of the water of life. God will cause oceans of living water to stream forth from the presence of Him Whom God shall make manifest, while ye will refuse to quench your thirst therefrom, notwithstanding that ye regard yourselves as the God-fearing witnesses of your Faith. Nay, and yet again, nay! Ye will go astray far beyond the peoples unto whom the Gospel, or the Qur’án or any other Scripture was given. Take good heed to yourselves, inasmuch as the Cause of God will come upon you at a time when you will all be entreating and tearfully imploring God for the advent of the Day of His Manifestation; yet when He cometh ye will tarry and will fail to be of those who are well-assured in His Faith.

Beware lest ye grieve Him Who is the Supreme Manifestation of your Lord; verily, He can well afford to dispense with your allegiance unto Him. Be ye careful and bring not despondency upon any soul, for surely ye shall be put to proof. XVII, 2.

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SAY, He Whom God shall make manifest will surely redeem the rights of those who truly believe in God and in His signs, for they are the ones who merit reward from His presence. Say, it is far from the glory of Him Whom God shall make manifest that anyone should in this wise make mention of His name, if ye ponder the Cause of God in your hearts. Say, He shall vindicate the Cause through the potency of His command and shall bring to naught all perversion of truth by virtue of His behest. Verily God is potent over all things.

If ye wish to distinguish truth from error, consider those who believe in Him Whom God shall make manifest and those who disbelieve Him at the time of His appearance. The former represent the essence of truth, as attested in the Book of God, while the latter the essence of error, as attested in that same Book. Fear ye God that ye may not identify yourselves with aught but the truth, inasmuch as ye have been exalted in the Bayán for being recognized as the bearers of the name of Him Who is the eternal Truth.

Say, were He Whom God shall make manifest to pronounce a pious and truthful follower of the Bayán as false, it is incumbent upon you to submit to His decree, as this hath been affirmed by God in the Bayán; verily God is able to convert light into fire whenever He pleaseth; surely He is potent over all things. And were He to declare a person whom ye regard alien to the truth as being akin thereto, err not by questioning His decision in your fancies, for He Who is the Sovereign Truth createth things through the power of His behest. Verily God transmuteth fire into light as He willeth, and indeed potent is He over all things. Consider ye how the truth shone forth as truth in the First Day and how error became manifest as error; so likewise shall ye distinguish them from each other on the Day of Resurrection. XVII, 4.

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PONDER upon the people unto whom the Gospel was given. Their religious leaders were considered as the true Guides of the Gospel, yet when they shut themselves out from Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, they turned into guides of error, notwithstanding that all their lives they had faithfully observed the precepts of their religion in order to attain unto Paradise; then when God made Paradise known unto them, they would not enter therein. Those unto whom the Qur’án is given have wrought likewise. They performed their acts of devotion for the sake of God, hoping that He might enable them to join the righteous in Paradise. However, when the gates of Paradise were flung open to their faces, they declined to enter. They suffered themselves to enter into the fire, though they had been seeking refuge therefrom in God.

Say, verily, the criterion by which truth is distinguished from error shall not appear until the Day of Resurrection. This ye will know, if ye be of them that love the Truth. And ere the advent of the Day of Resurrection ye shall distinguish truth from aught else besides it according to that which hath been revealed in the Bayán.

How vast the number of people who will, on the Day of Resurrection, regard themselves to be in the right, while they shall be accounted as false through the dispensation of Providence, inasmuch as they will shut themselves out as by a veil from Him Whom God shall make manifest and refuse to bow down in adoration before Him Who, as divinely ordained in the Book, is the Object of their creation. XVII, 4.

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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.

In the Bayán God hath forbidden everyone to pronounce judgement against any soul, lest he may pass sentence upon God, his Lord, while regarding himself to be of the righteous, inasmuch as no one knoweth how the Cause of God will begin or end.

O ye who are invested with the Bayán! Should ye be apprised of a person laying claim to a Cause and revealing verses which to outward seeming are unlikely to have been revealed by anyone else save God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, do not pass sentence against him, lest ye may inadvertently pass sentence against Him Whom God shall make manifest. Say, He Whom God shall make manifest is but one of you; He will make Himself known unto you on the Day of Resurrection. Ye shall know God when the Manifestation of His Own Self is made known unto you, that perchance ye may not stray far from His Path.

Verily God will raise up Him Whom God shall make manifest, and after Him Whomsoever He willeth, even as He hath raised up prophets before the Point of the Bayán. He in truth hath power over all things. XVII, 4.

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VERILY, on the First Day We flung open the gates of Paradise unto all the peoples of the world, and exclaimed: 'O all ye created things! Strive to gain admittance into Paradise, since ye have, during all your lives, held fast unto virtuous deeds in order to attain unto it.' Surely all men yearn to enter therein, but alas, they are unable to do so by reason of that which their hands have wrought. Shouldst thou, however, gain a true understanding of God in thine heart of hearts, ere He hath manifested Himself, thou wouldst be able to recognize Him, visible and resplendent, when He unveileth Himself before the eyes of all men. XVII, 11.

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SAY, by reason of your remembering Him Whom God shall make manifest and by extolling His name, God will cause your hearts to be dilated with joy, and do ye not wish your hearts to be in such a blissful state? Indeed the hearts of them that truly believe in Him Whom God shall make manifest are vaster than the expanse of heaven and earth and whatever is between them. God hath left no hindrance in their hearts, were it but the size of a mustard seed. He will cheer their hearts, their spirits, their souls and their bodies and their days of prosperity or adversity, through the exaltation of the name of Him Who is the supreme Testimony of God and the promotion of the Word of Him Who is the Dayspring of the glory of their Creator.

Verily, these are souls who take delight in the remembrance of God, Who dilates their hearts through the effulgence of the light of knowledge and wisdom. They seek naught but God and are oft engaged in giving praise unto Him. They desire naught except whatever He desireth and stand ready to do His bidding. Their hearts are mirrors reflecting whatsoever He Whom God shall make manifest willeth. Thus God will cheer the hearts of those who truly believe in Him and in His signs and who are well assured of the life to come. Say, the life to come is none other than the days associated with the coming of Him Whom God will make manifest.

Reduce not the ordinances of God to fanciful imaginations of your own; rather observe all the things which God hath created at His behest with the eye of the spirit, even as ye see things with the eyes of your bodies. XVII, 15.

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THE divine Revelation associated with the advent of Him Who is your promised Mihdí hath proved far more wondrous than the Revelation wherewith Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, was invested. Would that ye might ponder. Verily, God raised up Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, from among the people of Arabia after he had reached forty years of age -- a fact which every one of you affirmeth and upholdeth -- while your Redeemer was raised up by God at the age of twenty-four amidst people none of whom can speak or understand a single word of Arabic. Thus God layeth bare the glory of His Cause and demonstrateth the Truth through the potency of His revealed Word. He is indeed the Powerful, the Omnipotent, the Help in Peril, the Best Beloved. XVII, 4.

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SAY, verily God hath caused all created things to enter beneath the shade of the tree of affirmation, except those who are endowed with the faculty of understanding. Theirs is the choice either to believe in God their Lord, and put their whole trust in Him, or to shut themselves out from Him and refuse to believe with certitude in His signs. These two groups sail upon two seas: the sea of affirmation and the sea of negation.

They that truly believe in God and in His signs, and who in every Dispensation faithfully obey that which hath been revealed in the Book -- such are indeed the ones whom God hath created from the fruits of the Paradise of His good-pleasure, and who are of the blissful. But they who turn away from God and His signs in each Dispensation, those are the ones who sail upon the sea of negation.

God hath, through the potency of His behest, ordained for Himself the task of ensuring the ascendancy of the sea of affirmation and of bringing to naught the sea of negation through the power of His might. He is in truth potent over all things.

Verily it is incumbent upon you to recognize your Lord at the time of His manifestation, that haply ye may not enter into negation, and that, ere a prophet is raised by God, ye may find yourselves securely established upon the sea of affirmation. For if a prophet cometh to you from God and ye fail to walk in His Way, God will, thereupon, transform your light into fire. Take heed then that perchance ye may, through the grace of God and His signs, be enabled to redeem your souls. XVIII, 13.

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SAY, God shall of a truth cause your hearts to be given to perversity if ye fail to recognize Him Whom God shall make manifest; but if ye do recognize Him God shall banish perversity from your hearts...

That day whereon ye were, by God's Will, initiated into the Bayán, did any of you know who were the Letters of the Living or the Witnesses or the Testimonies or what the names of the believers? Likewise doth God wish you to recognize Him Whom God shall make manifest on the Day of Resurrection. Beware lest ye shut yourselves out as by a veil from Him Who hath created you, by reason of your regard for those who were called into being at the bidding of the Point of the Bayán for the exaltation of His Word. Did ye possess, ere the Point of the Bayán had called you into existence, any trace of identity, how much less a writ or authority? Disregard then your beginnings, perchance ye may be saved on the day of your return. Indeed had it not been for the exaltation of the name of the Primal Point, God would not have ordained for you the Letters of the Living, nor those who are the Testimonies of His Truth, nor the Witnesses of His Justice; could ye but heed a little. All this is to glorify the Cause of Him Whom God shall make manifest at the time of His manifestation; would that ye might ponder a while.

Therefore it behooveth you to return unto God even as ye were brought forth into existence, and to utter not such words as why or nay, if ye wish your creation to yield fruit at the time of your return. For none of you who have been born in the Bayán shall gain the fruit of your beginning unless ye return unto Him Whom God shall make manifest. He it is Who caused your beginning to proceed from God, and your return to be unto Him, did ye but know. XVI, 15.

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HOW great the number of people who deck themselves with robes of silk all their lives, while clad in the garb of fire, inasmuch as they have divested themselves of the raiment of divine guidance and righteousness; and how numerous are those who wear clothes made of cotton or coarse wool throughout their lives, and yet by reason of their being endowed with the vesture of divine guidance and righteousness, are truly attired with the raiment of Paradise and take delight in the good-pleasure of God. Indeed it would be better in the sight of God were ye to combine the two, adorning yourselves with the raiment of divine guidance and righteousness and wearing exquisite silk, if ye can afford to do so. If not, at least act ye not unrighteously, but rather observe piety and virtue...

But for the sole reason of His being present amongst this people, We would have neither prescribed any law nor laid down any prohibition. It is only for the glorification of His Name and the exaltation of His Cause that We have enunciated certain laws at Our behest, or forbidden the acts to which We are averse, so that at the hour of His manifestation ye may attain through Him the good-pleasure of God and abstain from the things that are abhorrent unto Him.

Say, verily, the good-pleasure of Him Whom God shall make manifest is the good-pleasure of God, while the displeasure of Him Whom God shall make manifest is none other than the displeasure of God. Avoid ye His displeasure, and flee for refuge unto His good-pleasure. Say, the living guides to His good-pleasure are such as truly believe in Him and are well-assured in their faith, while the living testimonies of His displeasure are those who, when they hear the verses of God sent forth from His presence, or read the divine words revealed by Him, do not instantly embrace the Faith and attain unto certitude. XVI, 14.

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