Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Baha'u'llah on the Bab

Baha'u'llah on the Bab

By John Taylor; 2009 Oct 20, Ilm 06, 166 BE

On this holy day, the Birth of the Bab, it is helpful to recall what Baha'u'llah wrote about the Bab. In the Ishraqat, He wrote,

"Praise be to God who manifested the Point [the Bab] and caused to proceed therefrom the knowledge of all that was and shall be.... He is that Point which God hath made to be an Ocean of light unto the faithful among His servants, and a Ball of Fire unto the deniers among His creatures and the impious among His people. (Baha'u'llah, Tablets, 102)

Baha'u'llah, in one of His most important prayers, the Tablet of Ahmad, vindicates the Bab's power and glory, and challenges those who would question it, "If ye deny these verses, by what proof have ye believed in God? Produce it, O assemblage of false ones." Compare this to the following parallel statement in the Writings of the Bab himself, which declares that the very mercy of God is conditional upon this allegiance.

"O peoples of the earth! Bear ye allegiance unto this resplendent light wherewith God hath graciously invested Me through the power of infallible Truth, and walk not in the footsteps of the Evil One, [Q2:204] inasmuch as he prompteth you to disbelieve in God, your Lord, and verily God will not forgive disbelief in Himself, though He will forgive other sins to whomsoever He pleaseth. [4:51] Indeed His knowledge embraceth all things..." (Qayyumu'l-Asma', SWB, 48)

Baha'u'llah revealed one tablet especially for this Holy Day. It includes a special prayer for the occasion at the end. Here is a paragraph from that work,

"This glorious Tablet hath been revealed on the Anniversary of the Birth [of the Bab] that thou mayest recite it in a spirit of humility and supplication and give thanks unto thy Lord, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. Make thou every effort to render service unto God, that from thee may appear that which will immortalize thy memory in His glorious and exalted heaven." (Baha'u'llah, Tablets, 234)

This seems to indicate what our goal should be for today, and more broadly for our whole lives. We should aim to do something worthy of "immortalizing" our memory in the heaven of the Bab. This may include a good deed, a visit to a person in need, a meal for the poor, a gift to the fund, a payment to the Huququ'llah, or even the thoughts and prayers we have about the Bab today.

In another late Tablet, written to a member of the Bab's family, Baha'u'llah says,

"Say: This is the Day of meritorious deeds, did ye but know it. This is the Day of the glorification of God and of the exposition of His Word, could ye but perceive it. Abandon the things current amongst men and hold fast unto that which God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, hath enjoined upon you. The day is fast approaching when all the treasures of the earth shall be of no profit to you." (Baha'u'llah, Tablets, 231-232)

Speaking of the Bab in an early, mystical work, the Javahiru'l-Asrar Baha'u'llah discusses at length the station of the Bab. He was among other things the consummation of the 12 Imams or disciples of Muhammad, a lineage that started with Muhammad and continued to Ali, Hasan, Husain, and nine others. The Mission of the Bab, Ali Muhammad, was the consummation of that spiritual heritage.


 "But as to Him Who appeared in the year sixty, He standeth in need of neither transformation nor interpretation, for His name was Muhammad, and He was a descendant of the Imams of the Faith. Thus it can be truly said of Him that He was the son of Hasan, as is undoubtedly clear and evident unto thine eminence. Nay, He it is Who fashioned that name and created it for Himself, were ye to observe with the eye of God." (Javahir, paragraph 50)

 "It is Our wish at this juncture to ... extol His remembrance, that perchance thou mayest gain into all things an insight born of Him Who is the Almighty, the Incomparable. (paragraph 51)

 "Consider and reflect upon His days, when God raised Him up to promote His Cause and to stand as the representative of His own Self. Witness how He was assailed, denied, and denounced by all; how, when He set foot in the streets and marketplaces, the people derided Him, wagged their heads at Him, and laughed Him to scorn; how at every moment they sought to slay Him. Such were their doings that the earth in all its vastness was straitened for Him, the Concourse on High bewailed His plight, the foundations of existence were reduced to nothingness, and the eyes of the well-favoured denizens of His Kingdom wept sore over Him. Indeed, so grievous were the afflictions which the infidels and the wicked showered upon Him that no faithful soul can bear to hear them." (Paragraph 52)

 "... Indeed, should a soul be acquainted with these mysteries, he would grasp that which none other hath fathomed." (Paragraph 57)


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