EXCERPT FROM THE SúRY-I-DhIKR

(SúRIH OF REMEMBRANCE)

This is the Súrih of Remembrance, sent down as a token of grace, that perchance the people of the Bayán might renounce that which they possess, turn towards the right hand of justice, shake off the slumber of wayward desires, and seek, through the power of truth, a path to their Lord, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious.

In the name of God, the Most Holy, the Most Exalted, the Most High!

This is a Missive from the Primal Point unto them that have believed in God, the One, the Peerless, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, wherein He addresseth those among the people of the Bayán who have vacillated in this Cause, that haply they may apprehend the wondrous words of God and forsake the couch of heedlessness in this shining and resplendent morn.

Say: We, verily, bid you in Our Book not to advance yourselves before those from whose ranks would appear He Who is the Beloved of every understanding heart and the Object of the adoration of the denizens of earth and heaven. Moreover, We commanded you, should ye attain the presence of God, to stand before Him and to utter on My behalf these mighty and exalted words: “Upon Thee, O Glory of God, and upon Thy kinfolk, be the remembrance of God and the praise of all things at every moment before and after Ḥín.” We honoured the people of the Bayán with these words, that they might ascend thereby unto the heights of holiness and be numbered with the blest. Yet they have so utterly forsaken Our injunction that not a single one among them hath appeared in His presence as We had commanded in Our Tablets. Nay rather, from every side they have hurled at Him the darts of malice. And at this, I, and the denizens of the Kingdom of grandeur, and beyond them the Faithful Spirit, have wept sore.

Say: O people! Be abashed before My Beauty. He that hath appeared with the power of truth is indeed the Glory of the worlds, could ye but perceive it. He, verily, is the Glory of God; upon Him be the remembrance of God and His praise, and the praise of the Concourse on high, and of the dwellers of the everlasting realm, and of all things at all times. Beware lest ye become veiled by aught that hath been created in heaven or on earth. Hasten unto the paradise of His good-pleasure and be not of them that slumber.

Say: His beauty is in truth My beauty, and His Self is Mine own Self, and all that We revealed in the Bayán is for the sake of His wondrous and resistless Cause. Fear ye God, and dispute not with the One Whose advent We heralded and Whose Revelation We announced unto you. I established a covenant with you concerning His mission ere I covenanted with you regarding Mine own, and unto this all things bear witness, even if ye were to deny it. By the righteousness of God! Through but a single one of His melodies the realities of all things were reborn, and through another the hearts of His favoured ones were filled with rapture. Take heed lest anything debar you from Him Whose presence is the same as Mine own. He sacrificed Himself in My path even as I sacrificed Myself in His path for the love of His glorious and incomparable beauty.

Say: But for Him the word “love” would never have been written, nor would the letters of the name of the Beloved have been joined together, nor would creation itself have been brought into being, would that ye might understand! But for Him I would never have surrendered Myself into the hands of the ungodly nor consented to be suspended in the air. By God! I have borne, in My love and yearning for Him, that which no other Prophet or Messenger hath borne, and I have acquiesced to bear all this Myself, that He might never be made to endure aught that would sadden His most kind and tender, His most pure and sanctified heart. We admonished you throughout the Bayán not to be the cause of grief to any soul, that haply no sorrow should ever befall Him. Otherwise, why would I have exhorted you and occupied Myself with your care, O assemblage of wavering ones? I intended in the Bayán none other than Him, I extolled no praise but His praise, and I uttered no name save His most blessed and most exalted, His most holy and most wondrous name.

I swear by My life! If I have made mention of “lordship”, I have intended only His lordship over all things. If the word “divinity” hath ever flowed from My pen, I have intended naught but His divinity in relation to the world; and if an allusion to the “Desired One” hath proceeded therefrom, I have had none other in mind than Him. So too, in regard to the word “Beloved”, He, indeed, is My Beloved and the Beloved of every understanding heart. If I have spoken of “prostration”, I have meant only prostration before His exalted, His glorious and sublime Countenance. If I have praised any soul, Mine aim hath only been to celebrate His praise. And if I have bidden the people to act, My sole purpose hath been that they should act in accordance with His good-pleasure on the day of His Manifestation. Unto this beareth witness whatsoever was sent down unto Me from the kingdom of My Lord, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

I have made all things conditional upon His approval and pleasure. He it is, in truth, Who is the Lord of the worlds and the Object of the desire of every searching soul. Were ye to open your eyes, ye would verily behold the Manifestations of “He doeth whatsoever He willeth” worshipping under His shadow. Yet ye have done to Him what even the people of the Qur’án dared not do to Myself, nor the Jews to Christ. Alas, alas! My heart is consumed with anguish and My soul groaneth at what hath befallen My Beloved at the hands of the infidels. Woe unto you for your faithlessness, O concourse of oppressors! We, verily, created faithfulness and courtesy for His sake, that perchance ye would not commit, in the time of His appearance aught that would cause Mine inner reality and the realities of all things to lament. But ye have transgressed that which was laid down in the Book of God, the King, the Most Exalted, the Most Great. Ye have rent asunder the veil of restraint and cast aside the vesture of propriety, and ye have committed that which the Pen of creation is abashed to recount before the dwellers of earth and heaven.

Alas, alas, for that which ye have inflicted upon this wronged, this banished and forsaken Soul! Nor do I know what ye will inflict upon Him hereafter. Nay, by Myself, the All-Knowing! I do verily know, for with Me is the knowledge of all things in a Tablet that God hath shielded from the gaze of those who have joined partners with Him. We apprised Him aforetime of the things that have befallen or will befall Him, even though He Himself is well informed of all that the hearts of men conceal. For nothing can escape His knowledge, and whatever hath been created by a mere word from His mouth can never slip from His grasp. No God is there but Him, the Peerless, the Creator, the Quickener, the Destroyer.

Say: O people! Should it be His desire to cause all the dwellers of earth and heaven to become an abiding testimony of His truth, this would assuredly be within His power. And this, verily, would be easy and possible unto Him. He it is Who created the paradise of the Bayán for His own sake. From Him have all things proceeded and unto Him will they all return, did ye but know it. Yet, I swear by Him in Whose hand is the kingdom of creation, ye deny Him the right to designate Himself by a single one of the divine names, even though He it is at Whose mighty and exalted behest all names and their kingdom were created!

Alas, alas, for your negligence, O people of the Bayán! Alas, alas, for your blindness, O concourse of the faithless! For, prompted by self-conceit and vainglory, ye have ascribed the station of successor to one of His enemies and have contended thereby with God, the Author of all religions aforetime and hereafter. Thus have ye returned to the arguments of the people of the Qur’án, notwithstanding that We prohibited you from uttering a single word in His presence save by His leave. God knoweth and testifieth to the truth of My words. Contemplate, therefore, your condition and the measure of your understanding. Woe betide you, and your thoughts, and your judgement, O ye that are in grievous loss! Know ye not that We have rolled up that which the people possessed, and have unfolded a new order in its place? Blessed, then, be God, the sovereign King, the Unfolder, the Almighty, the Most Generous.

Say: O people, cease your slander of Me. No word have I spoken except in praise of this Revelation; no breath have I drawn but for the love of its Author; and nowhere have I turned My face save towards His shining and luminous Countenance. I have made the Bayán and all that was revealed therein to be as a leaf in the celestial garden that belongeth unto Him, the Protector, the Gracious, the Almighty. Beware lest ye appropriate it and surrender it to him who, in pursuit of self and desire, seeketh to shed My blood anew and who contendeth with God. We, verily, unfolded the Bayán from a single word and returned it again to that same word, bidding it to appear before the Throne of Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise, that He might behold His former creation and take delight therein. Be fair, then, in your judgement: Is it the prerogative of the Author of that word to lay hand upon it, or of any other soul? What hath made you so blind, O concourse of veiled ones?

We, verily, enjoined the people of the Bayán to wear silken garments and to be immaculate in their person and dress, that His gaze might not fall upon aught that would displease Him. Likewise, every provision that hath been expounded in Our perspicuous Book is but for His sake, were ye to judge fairly. We created the heavens and the earth and all that lieth between them for His loved ones, how much more for the sake of His most resplendent, His most glorious and radiant beauty. And yet ye have laid hold on that which We have destined for Him and seized upon it to reject My Beloved. What hath made you so heedless, O people of malice? And what will satisfy you in this day, O stirrers of sedition?

Ye have opposed Him and all that He hath manifested, even though We admonished you in Our Tablets that whoso calleth to mind His most great and most wondrous Name should arise from his place and repeat nineteen times: “Glorified be God, the Lord of the kingdoms of earth and heaven!”, and then another nineteen times: “Glorified be God, the Lord of all glory and dominion!”, and so forth, as We have revealed in a most mighty Tablet. Ye, however, have disbelieved in Him and in His verses. Nay, not contenting yourselves with that, ye have disregarded the rights of God which revert unto Him, and have given no heed to that commandment of God which pertaineth to His own Self, the Most Exalted, the All-Knowing. Ye have rejected all of His actions, one after another, and taken pleasure in deriding Him. Among you is he who saith: “He drinketh tea!”, while another complaineth: “He partaketh of food!” Yet another doth object to His apparel, though every thread thereof testifieth that there is none other God but Him and that He is the Object of the adoration of all who are nigh unto God. I bear witness that at times the Ancient Beauty was in want of even a change of garments. Thus testifieth the Tongue of truth and knowledge. Many a night was He unable to provide sustenance for His kindred, yet He concealed His plight to safeguard the honour of God’s mighty and unassailable Cause, and this notwithstanding that all things were created for His sake and that the key to the treasure-houses of earth and heaven is in His grasp.

Woe betide you for your shamelessness, O people of the Bayán! God is My witness! I am abashed at your deeds and I disavow you, O assemblage of evil ones! Alas for the sufferings He hath endured at your hands. Alas for what hath befallen Him and doth continue to afflict Him at every moment. O people! Judge with fairness and reflect for but a moment: If ye remain blinded by such veils, then to what end did I reveal Myself and what fruit did My Revelation bear, O concourse of hypocrites? God hath called Me forth to rend asunder the veils and to purify your hearts in anticipation of this Revelation. Yet ye have committed that which caused My tears and the tears of the holy ones to flow. The faces of the former generations blanch at your doings, for ye are more veiled than they, and more heedless than the followers of the Torah, the Evangel, or any other Book.

O would that I had never been born and had never revealed Myself to you, O treacherous ones! I swear by Him Who sent Me forth with the power of truth! I have reckoned up the knowledge of all things, and I know all that is preserved in the inviolable treasuries of God and concealed from the eyes of men, but never have I encountered a people more wayward and more wicked than you. For with all that We have expounded in Our Tablets, and all the admonitions We have addressed unto you in every page thereof, We are unable to conceive that a single soul on earth would dare protest against God, in Whose grasp are the kingdoms of earth and heaven. We are perplexed at your creation and know not from what word ye were fashioned, O ye whose nature and actions astound the hearts of the Concourse on high, and them that are devoted to God, and them that enjoy near access unto Him!

O servant! Thus do We relate unto thee in this Tablet that which the Dove of the Bayán warbleth at this moment before the Throne of thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised. Peruse, then, that which is revealed therein, but guard its pearls of inner meaning from the hands of the treacherous and thieving among the hosts of the Evil One. Shouldst thou find a discerning soul, set this Tablet before his eyes that he may in turn behold it and be of them that attain. Haply they that are endued with insight amongst Our righteous servants will become apprised of what hath befallen the celestial Beauty at the hands of these profligate souls who have chosen to worship the Calf rather than the Lord God, have prostrated themselves before it every morn and eventide, and have exulted therein.

Grieve not on account of Our adversity, but be patient even as We have been patient. He, in truth, is the best of helpers. Remember thy Lord in the daytime and in the night season, and extol His praise amidst His servants. Haply the fire of His love will thereby be kindled in the hearts of the righteous, and all shall arise in turn to extol God, their Lord, the Lord of the seen and the unseen, and the Lord of your sires of old.

  1. The Báb.

  2. In paragraphs 2–15 Bahá’u’lláh speaks in the voice of the Báb.

  3. The numerical value of the letters of the word Ḥín is 68. “After Ḥín” is thus an allusion to the year after A.H. 1268, which was 1269 (A.D. 1852–3), the year that marked the birth of the Bahá’í Revelation.

  4. The letters Ḥá’ and Bá’ spell the word ḥubb (love), while Há’ and Váv constitute the word Huva (He).

  5. These invocations come from a Tablet of the Báb addressed to Mullá Báqir-i-Tabrízí about Him Whom God shall make manifest.

OV