Birth of Bahá’u’lláh - meditations from His Writings
(Tablet of the Birth)
O concourse of the seen and the unseen! Rejoice with exceeding gladness in your hearts and souls, for the night hath come for the harvesting of the ages and the gathering up of past cycles, the night wherein all days and nights were called into being and the time preordained for this Revelation was fulfilled at the behest of Him Who is the Lord of might and power. All joy to the Concourse on high at the appearance of so glorious, so wondrous a Spirit!
This is the night wherein the doors of Paradise were flung open and the gates of Hell were shut fast, the night wherein the paradise of the All-Merciful was unveiled in the midmost heart of creation, the breezes of God were wafted from the retreats of forgiveness, and the Last Hour ushered in through the power of truth, could ye but know it. All joy to this night through which all days have been suffused with light, though none can apprehend this save those that are endued with certitude and discernment!
This is the night round which have circled the Nights of Power, (1) wherein the angels and the Spirit have come down bearing cups filled at the streams of Paradise, the night wherein Heaven itself was adorned with the ornament of God, the Almighty, the All-Gracious, the Most Bountiful, wherein every created thing was brought to life, and all the peoples of the earth were surrounded by His grace. All joy to the concourse of the Spirit for this manifest and resplendent bounty!
This is the night wherein the limbs of Jibt were made to tremble, and the Most Great Idol fell upon the dust, and the foundations of iniquity were shattered, and Manát lamented in its inmost being, and the back of ‘Uzzá was broken and its face blackened; (2) for the Morn of divine Revelation hath dawned, and there hath appeared that which hath solaced the eyes of glory and majesty, and beyond them the eyes of all the Prophets and Messengers of God. All glory, then, to this Dawn which hath broken above the dayspring of effulgent glory!
Say: This is the Dawn whereat the evil ones were debarred from approaching the realm of might and grandeur, and wherein the hearts of such as have contended with God, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the Unconstrained, were lacerated. This is the Dawn whereat the faces of the wicked were darkened, whilst the countenances of the righteous shone forth with the light of this Beauty, a Beauty Whose advent all things visible and invisible, and beyond them the company of the Concourse on high, have eagerly awaited. All hail the appearance of this Spirit, through Whose potency the dead have been stirred up in their tombs and every mouldering bone brought to life!
Say: O source of iniquity! Bewail thy woeful plight; and O fountainhead of oppression! Repair to thine abode in the nethermost fire, for the beauty of the All-Merciful hath shone forth above the horizon of existence with such radiance as to illumine all that dwell in His realms with the splendour of its light, and hath called into being the Spirit of God, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the Most Bountiful. Through its revelation the hand of His Will hath stretched forth from the sleeve of grandeur and rent asunder the veils of the world by the power of His supreme, His peerless, His all-compelling and exalted sovereignty. All glory, then, to this Dawn whereat the Ancient Beauty hath been established upon the throne of His Name, the Almighty, the Most Great!
This is the Dawn whereat was born He Who begetteth not and Who is not begotten. Well is it with him that immerseth himself beneath the ocean of inner meaning that surgeth within this utterance and discovereth the pearls of knowledge and wisdom that lie hid in the words of God, the King, the Exalted, the Mighty, the Powerful. All glory to him who apprehendeth the truth and is reckoned with them that are endued with discernment!
Say: This is the Dawn whereat the cohorts of the concourse of Paradise and the hosts of the angels of holiness descended from heaven, amongst whom was the One Who was lifted up on the breezes of the Beauty of God, the Most Glorious, unto the ranks of the most exalted Concourse. Borne on these same breezes, yet another company of angels descended, each bearing aloft a chalice of everlasting life and proffering it unto them that circle in adoration round the Spot wherein the Ancient Being hath established Himself upon the throne of His all-glorious and most bounteous Name. All joy to such as have attained His presence, gazed upon His beauty, hearkened unto His melodies, and been quickened by the Word that hath issued forth from His sacred and exalted, His glorious and resplendent lips!
Say: This is the Dawn whereat the Most Great Tree was planted and bore its exalted and peerless fruits. By the righteousness of God! Within each fruit of this Tree there repose the seeds of a myriad melodies. Wherefore, O concourse of the Spirit, We shall acquaint you, in accordance with your capacity, with some of their celestial songs, that they may attract your hearts and draw you nigh unto God, the Lord of strength, of power and might. All glory be to this Dawn, through which the divine Luminaries have shone forth above the horizon of sanctity by the leave of God, the Almighty, the Inaccessible, the Most High!
Say: This is the Dawn whereat the hidden Essence and the unseen Treasure were made manifest, the Dawn whereat the Ancient Beauty seized the cup of immortality with the hands of glory and, having first quaffed therefrom, proffered it unto all the peoples of the earth, high and low alike. All glory, then, to the one who hath approached this cup, taken it up, and drunk therefrom for the love of his Lord, the All-Powerful, the Most High!
One fruit of that Tree hath proclaimed what the Burning Bush had proclaimed aforetime in that hallowed and snow-white Spot, words to which Moses gave ear and which caused Him to forsake all created things and to direct His steps towards the retreats of holiness and grandeur. All glory, then, to that ecstasy born of God, the Almighty, the Most Exalted, the Most Great!
Another fruit thereof hath uttered that which enraptured Jesus and raised Him up to the heaven of manifest splendour. All glory, then, to this Spirit in Whose presence standeth the Faithful Spirit, together with a company of God’s chosen angels!
Yet another fruit thereof hath disclosed that which captivated the heart of Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, Who, carried away by the sweet accents of the Voice from on high, ascended unto the Divine Lote-Tree and heard, proceeding from within the Tabernacle of majesty, the Voice of God speaking forth the mystery of My hallowed, My exalted and mighty Name. All glory, then, to this Tree which hath been raised up through the power of truth, that all the peoples of the world may seek the shelter of its shade!
O Pen of the Most High! Write no more; for, by God, wert thou to set forth all the sweet accents of the fruits of this heavenly Tree, thou wouldst find thyself forsaken upon the earth, inasmuch as all would flee from thy presence and abandon thy court of holiness. And this, verily, is the undoubted truth. All glory, then, to the mysteries which none can bear save God, the sovereign Ruler, the Almighty, the Most Gracious!
Dost thou not witness, O Pen, what a clamour the hypocrites have raised throughout the land, and what a tumult the wicked and ungodly have provoked? And this notwithstanding that thou didst reveal but an infinitesimal glimmer of the mysteries of thy Lord, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious. Wherefore, restrain thyself and conceal from the eyes of men that which God, as a sign of His bounty, hath bestowed upon thee. And if it be thy wish to give all created things to quaff from that crystal water that is life indeed, and whereof God hath made thee the Fountainhead, then let thine ink flow only in proportion to their capacity. Thus biddeth thee the One Who hath called thee into being through the power of His behest. Do thou, then, as thou wert bidden, and be not of them that tarry. All glory be to this weighty decree which hath reined in the power of all created things and withheld the Pen of the Most High from divulging to the peoples of the world that from which they had been veiled! His might, verily, is equal to all things.
(1) Cf. Qur’án, súrih 97; (2) Jibt, Manát, and ‘Uzzá are the names of idols worshipped in the days of the pagan Arabs and mentioned in the Qur’án (4:51 and 53:19–20).
He is the Most Holy, the Most Exalted, the Most Great.
The Birthday Festival is come, and He Who is the Beauty of God, the All-Powerful, the All-Compelling, the All-Loving, hath ascended His throne. Well is it with the one who in this Day hath attained His presence and towards whom the gaze of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, hath been directed. Say: We have celebrated this Festival in the Most Great Prison at a time when the kings of the earth have risen against Us. Yet the ascendancy of the oppressor can never frustrate Us, nor can the hosts of the world dismay Us. Unto this doth the All-Merciful bear witness in this most august station.
Say: Should the quintessence of assurance be dismayed before the clamour of the peoples of the world? Nay, by His beauty, which sheddeth its radiance upon all that hath been and all that shall be! This, verily, is the majesty of the Lord that hath encompassed the entire creation, and this is His transcendent power that hath pervaded all them that see and all that is seen. Take fast hold of the cord of His sovereign might and make mention of your Lord, the Unconstrained, at this dawntide whose light hath laid bare every hidden secret. Thus hath the Tongue of the Ancient of Days spoken on this Day wherein the choice wine hath been unsealed. Take heed lest the vain imaginings of them that have disbelieved in God perturb you, or their idle fancies deter you from this outstretched path.
O people of Bahá! Soar upon the wings of detachment into the atmosphere of the love of your Lord, the All-Merciful. Arise then to render Him victorious, as bidden in the Preserved Tablet. Beware lest ye contend with any of My servants. Bestow upon them the sweet savours of God and His holy utterances, for through their potency all men will be enabled to turn unto Him. They that remain heedless of God in this Day are in truth lost in the drunkenness of their desires and perceive it not. Well is it with the one who, with lowliness and humility, hath set his face towards the Dayspring of the verses of his Lord.
It behoveth you to arise and acquaint the people with that which hath been sent down in the Book of their Lord, the Almighty, the Unconstrained. Say: Fear ye God and pay no heed to the vain imaginings of them that walk in the ways of doubt and iniquity. Turn ye with radiant hearts towards the throne of your Lord, the Possessor of all names. He, verily, shall aid you through the power of truth. No God is there but Him, the Almighty, the Most Bountiful.
Would ye hasten towards a mere pond, whilst the Most Great Ocean is stretched out before your eyes? Turn ye wholly unto it, and follow not in the footsteps of every faithless deceiver. Thus doth the Bird of Eternity warble upon the branches of Our Divine Lote-Tree. By God! A single one of its melodies sufficeth to enrapture the Concourse on high, and beyond them the dwellers of the cities of names, and beyond them those who circle round His Throne at morn and eventide.
Thus have the showers of utterance rained down from the heaven of the will of your Lord, the All-Merciful. Draw nigh unto them, O people, and renounce those who idly dispute the verses that God hath revealed, and who have disbelieved in their Lord when He came invested with proof and testimony.
He is the Most Holy, the Most Great.
This is the month wherein was born He Who beareth the Most Great Name, Whose appearance hath caused the limbs of humankind to quake and the dust of Whose footsteps the Concourse on high and the dwellers of the cities of names have sought for a blessing. Whereupon they rendered praise unto God and cried out in joy and exultation. By God! This is the month through which all other months have been illumined, the month wherein He Who is the Hidden Secret and the Well-guarded Treasure hath been made manifest and hath called aloud amidst all humankind. All dominion belongeth to this newborn Child through Whom the face of creation hath been wreathed in smiles, and the trees have swayed, and the oceans have surged, and the mountains have taken flight, and Paradise hath lifted its voice, and the Rock hath cried out, and all things have exclaimed, “O concourse of creation! Hasten ye towards the dawning-place of the countenance of your Lord, the Merciful, the Compassionate!”
This is the month wherein Paradise itself was decked forth with the splendours of the countenance of its Lord, the All-Merciful, and the heavenly Nightingale warbled its melody upon the Divine Lote-Tree, and the hearts of the favoured ones were filled with rapture. But alas, the people, for the most part, are heedless. Blessed be the one who hath recognized Him and apprehended that which was promised in the Books of God, the Almighty, the All-Praised; and woe betide him that hath turned aside from the One upon Whom the Concourse on high have fixed their gaze, Him Who hath confounded every wayward misbeliever.
When once thou hast received this Tablet, intone it in the sweetest of melodies and say: Praise be to Thee, O my most merciful Lord, for remembering me in this Tablet whereby the fragrance of the garment of Thy knowledge was diffused and the oceans of Thy grace were made to surge. I bear witness that Thou art potent to do as Thou pleasest. No God is there but Thee, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.