Baha’i Sabbath: Ala’ 17, 178 B.E. (3/18/2022)

Excerpt from a provisional translation of the first Tablet revealed by Baha’u’llah during the time He spent in Baghdad between 3/19/1856 and 4/22/1863

Tafsīr al-ḥurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`āt/Commentary on the Isolated Letters

There is no God except Him, the Elevated, the Transcendent

Praise be to God who created the letters (al-ḥurūfāt)  in the worlds of the Theophanic Cloud (`awālim al-`amā’) beyond the Pavilions of Holiness (surādiqāt al-qūds)  in the Lofty Heights  of the Most Rsplendent Sphere (rafā’rif al-asnā) then gave them to drink from the Goblet of Eternal Subsistence  as ordained in the Tablets of the Divine Decree  (alwāḥ al-qiḍā’).

This that He might bring life to the inmost hearts  of those who are nigh unto God in the Omnipotent sphere of Divine realization  (jabarūt al-qiḍā’).

He then clothed the letters in a black robe in accordance with what was decreed through the measure of His eternality respecting the possibilities of divine foreordination (qadar). This relative to the crimson domes (qibāb al-ḥamrā’) and to the status of knowledge for He has concealed the Water of Life in the shadows of the worlds of Names nigh unto the Lote-Tree of the Extremity (sidrat al-muntahā’). He then caused them to descend into the Kingdom of the Divine Will (malakūt al-inshā’) in the atmosphere of the Divine Decree (hawa’ al-qiḍa’) whereupon a great Cry was heard from the Most-Exalted Realm thus addressing the Primordial Pen (al-qalam al-awwalī), `O Pen! Set down the mysteries of pre-existence (asrār al-qidam) upon the Perspicuous, Snow-White Tablet  (al-lawḥ al-munīr al-bayḍā’).’

On account of this Cry (al-nidā’) was the Pen stupefied with intense yearning for 70,000 years  according to the computations of such as calculate these things. When it recovered from its having swooned away according to the further operations of the  Divine Decree, it wept crimson tears for 70,000 years. Then it stood up erect between the hands of God at a time which was neither preceded by the decree of firstness in the beginning nor by the decree of lastness in the end. While it was burning in the fire of separation on account of the cessation of the most-sweet Cry, there appeared within its tears a black hue (lawn al-sawda’)  in the heavenly sphere of fidelity (jabarūt al-wafā’). A black teardrop sprinkled down upon the Tablet whereupon the Point (al-nuqṭa) was made manifest in the world of origination (`ālam al-badā’). This Point assumed the primordial shape upon the mirrors of the letters in the beings of the Names. The  “A” (al-alif) received it before all the other letters, in the elemental particles of things (fi dharr al-ashyā’) for thus did this Divine Point take on the form of this Eternal “A” (alif). This inasmuch as the merciful breezes blew upon it from the Source of Singleness whereupon the  Countenance of the Divine Singularity (wajh al-wahidiyya) was disclosed from behind the Green Veils. The substance (body, temple, form.. haykal) of the Point was made manifest  in the shape of the letter “A”  (al-alif)  “A”  and rose up from the Tablet for the promotion of the Most-Exalted, Most-Great Cause of God  in the world of Names and Attributes. This is a station (maqām) which the reality of the Divine Will (al-mashiyya) was clothed in the nominal robe and invested in the garment of qualificative attributes in the City of Grandeur.

When this upright letter “A” (al-alif) was established upon the Luminous Tablet it was again transfigured with renewed splendor whereupon the isolated letters (al-ḥurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`āt) shone forth in the primordial theophanies (awwal al-ẓuhūrāt) in order that they might be an evidence of the worlds of incomparability and command in the Citadels of origination. Then there appeared from these Letters which shone forth from the Primordial “A” (al-alif al-awwliyya) in the first of the theophanies, the worlds of delineation and multiplicity. They were differentiated, separated and isolated then gathered together,  reconciled, united and linked together. Then assembled words and compounded letters appeared in the worlds of creation in the forms of Names and Attributes (hayākil al-asmā’ wa’l-ṣifāt).

Wherefore was the completion of the creation of the worlds of dominion  and the Predestined Ornament (ṭarāz al-qadariyya) among the manifestations of existing beings, to the end that all things might demonstrate, through the tongue of their inmost realities, that He, verily, is the Eternal, the Enduring,  the Creator, the Powerful, the Mighty, the Sovereign. And that `Alī before Muhammad  is the Manifestation of the Divine Essence (maẓhar al-dhāt) and the Manifestation of the Divine Attributes (maẓhar al-ṣifāt)  from whom existence derives and unto whom beings return. And that he is the one from whose beneficent Logos-Self (nafsihi al-mannn)  is the Breath of the All-Merciful (nafas al-rahman)  for thereby were created the realities of the essences and the receptive dispositions (ḥaqā’iq al-jawhariyyāt al-qābiliyyāt) in the world of being as well as the manifestations of existing beings in the worlds of existence. The Mirrors that speak of Him and the Letters that cry out about Him are foremost in the creation of God; the source of outward things and the refuge for the servants in the Day of Dispersion. In this way God hath distinguished them above the rest of the creatures in the worlds of preexistence (`awālim al-qidam). Through them it was that the Lights shone forth, the moons gleamed, the suns shed splendor and the stars were evident. They all testify of Him and demonstrate Him such that there is no distinction between Him and between them except that they were created by His Command,  were raised up in accordance with His Intention, and were assembled through His Power. They are those through whom is the cyclic scheme (tadūr al-adwār); the revolving of the spheres of existence  (takūr al-akwār) and through whom the Trees of the Divine Unity sprung up  and the incomparable fruits were made manifest.

Through them are the rains of detachment sent down until the Point returns to its original station  after revolving around itself and arriving at its place whereupon the end returns unto the beginning. Then the Primal Call was raised up from the Furthermost Tree with the splendor of the Sun once again. And this is that which the Dove hath sung in the midst of Eternity in this singular Night in which the Fire of the Divine Oneness hath been ignited from the Tree of Sinai in the shade of the most-ancient Name and the Eternal Secret which was named the Living (al-ḥayy), the Pre-existent (al-qadim) in the Qayyūm al-asmā’ in order that every manifestation may bear witness in the secret recesses of their hearts unto the secret things, that He, verily, is the Mighty, the Powerful, the Protector, the Bestower.


Comments are closed.