Allahumma

O God, Praised and Holy!  O God, Merciful and Kind!  Remove us from difficulties by Thy grace and favor.  Verily, Thou art Merciful and Kind.

The Bab, quoted in Nasa’im al-rahman, 5.  English-speaking Baha’is know this prayer from the song “Allahumma,” after the first word of the prayer, meaning “O God!”  The phrase “remove us from difficulties” is an imperative, farrij, derived from the same Arabic root and form as the “remover of difficulties,” mufarrij, mentioned in the Bab’s prayer of that name.

The transliteration of the original Arabic of “Allahumma,” with a literal translation, is as follows:

allahumma [O God] ya subbuhu [O praised one] ya quddusu [O holy] ya rahmanu [O merciful] ya mannanu [O kind one]. farrij [comfort] lana [for us] bil-fadli [by grace] wa’l-ihsani [and favor]. innaka [truly, you are] rahmanun [merciful] mannanun [kind].

The musical version Baha’is are familiar with was written by a Persian and is usually performed by a Persian singer, which accounts for a number of differences from the Arabic text.  Here’s a representative example:

Allahumma yá Subúhun yá Quddus yá Hannánu yá Mannán. Farrij Laná Bi’l-Fazli Va’l-Ihsán.  Innaka Rahmanu Mannán. (source)

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Peace Be upon Muhammad

Peace and blessings be upon the day-spring of His names, the dawning-place of His attributes, the well-spring of His knowledge, the source of His cause, and the manifestation of His laws and commandments.  By him, the law of monotheism was affirmed in the world and the secret of oneness was established among the nations.  By him, God opened the gate of hope for those in the heavens and earth.  By him, the light appeared and the secret of Sinai was divulged.   But for him who was named Muhammad in the kingdom of names, the eternal mysteries would not have been revealed and the station of the nations would not have been upraised.

***

I give peace and blessings to the first point that appeared from the Mother Book and the first utterance divulged from the will of our Lord, the Merciful.  In Malakut he was named Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, and in Jabarut he was named Ahmad.  In Lahut he possesses all the beautiful names and exalted attributes because God made him a mirror of His names and attributes, His manifestation and revelation, and His will and desire.  Verily, he still calls to monotheism and proclaims the name of God in the world of sanctity.

***

Peace and blessings be upon him at whose revelation Batha (Mecca) rejoiced and by the scents of whose shirt all humanity was perfumed.  He it is who came to protect the servants from all that harms them in the world of creation.  Exalted, exalted is his station above the conception of Your creatures and the mention of all created things.  By him the canopy of order was upraised in the world and the banner of divine knowledge unfurled among the nations.

***

Peace and blessings be upon him by whom every monotheist discovered the scent of the Merciful in the world of being and by whom the banner of the knowledge of monotheism was raised amidst the religions.  He was called by the beautiful names in the kingdom of names and by Muhammad in the world of creation.

***

Peace and blessings be upon the lord of the world and the cause of the nations’ existence, by whom God revealed the Qur’an and distinguished between truth and falsehood until the day of resurrection.

***

Praise be to God Who made His remembrance and praise the feast table of His saints, and His love and good-pleasure their paradise.  He is the Incomparable, the One.  The atoms bore witness to His grandeur and sovereignty and all created things testified to His might and power.  Verily, He manifested His names and attributes in a temple, made him a mirror of His Own Self reflecting His knowledge and power, and named him Muhammad.  But for him, the eternal mysteries would not have been revealed and the fragrances of revelation would not have been diffused among the nations.  Through him, God manifested His cause and carried out His decree.  It behooves those immersed in the depths of mystic knowledge to glorify this most great remembrance, this manifestation of the Ancient of Days, and it behooves those who wield authority among the nations to sing his praise.  Upon him be the blessings that shine forth from the horizon of the loving-kindness of our Lord, the Merciful…

Baha’u’llah, from passages compiled in Mukhtarat min al-nusus al-baha’iyya fi bayan maqam Muhammad, #2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9.

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Seals of the Prophet

  1. No god but God, the sovereign, the truth, the resplendent.  His servant Husayn-`Ali
  2. No god but God, the sovereign, the truth, the resplendent.  Husayn-`Ali
  3. Baha’u’llah
  4. My evidence is my self, my proof is my cause, and my testimony is my radiant beauty.
  5. The prison belongs to God.
  6. He is the glory of God to those in the kingdom of command and creation and the lamp of guidance to those in the heavens and the earth.
  7. I am the wronged one, the imprisoned, the stranger, the alone.
  8. To God belongs the dominion of the king of eternity.  The spirit exalts whom it wills by its glory and abases whom it wills by its decree and gives what it wills to whomever it wills.  Verily, it wills what it wills for whom it wills.  Verily, it does whatsoever it wills, and it is truly self-subsisting and supreme over all things.
  9. Verily, God testified of Himself through His self that I am living in the most glorious horizon.  Whereupon I announce to all things that verily I am God, no god is there but me, the almighty, the exalted, the mighty, the incomparable.
  10. From the horizon of the decree has dawned a sun on which the most glorious pen has inscribed:  The prison belongs to the dawning-place of the verses, who appeared through God’s authority and sovereignty over those in the heavens and the earth.
  11. My inner and outer beings call to each other, saying:  There is no king but me, the truth, the knower of things unseen.
  12. The ancient beauty has been established upon the most great throne.  Whereupon the tongue of grandeur and majesty that belongs to the lote-tree beyond which there is no passing addressed those in earth and heaven, saying:  By my grandeur and my beauty!  He who was hidden for all eternity in the treasuries of might and power has appeared!  Verily, he is the beloved who has come to revivify the worlds.
  13. Husayn and `Ali
  14. God bears witness that there is no god but Him, the powerful, the beloved.
  15. The lights of the countenance have shown forth from the dawning-place of eternity.  No god is there but Him.  Verily, He is the glorious, the most glorious.
  16. Husayn-`Ali, His hopeful servant, Husayn-`Ali
  17. Verily, I am the face of God, the most luminous.
  18. The tongue of the most glorious proclaims in the kingdom of creation: Sovereignty belongs to God, the incomparable, the single, the exalted, the most exalted.

Translation of the seals Baha’u’llah affixed to his tablets.  The text of Arabic originals are collected by Vahid Rafati in Kayfiyyat-i nuzul-i vahy, 16-7.

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Shaking of the Limbs

We were walking in the prison of Akka, detached from what hath been created in the world of being and speaking forth in praise of the King of Names.  Whereupon You commanded me to praise You with that which fulfilled the testimony of God to all others besides Him and manifested His proof to those in the heavens and the earth.  When the irresistible summons came from the Eternal King, my limbs quaked for fear of God, the Help in Peril, the Almighty, the Most Powerful, the All-Knowing.  I began to weep in such wise that all created things wailed and the daysprings of names cried out–this on account of the people I saw opposing him through whom the scriptures and tablets were adorned.

Baha’u’llah, April 1874, to Shams al-`Ulama in Nishapur

***

O Lord!  At the time of revelation, you see my pen moving and my limbs trembling.

Baha’u’llah in a prayer for `Abdu’l-Baha

Both passages are quoted by Vahid Rafati in Kayfiyyat nuzul vahy, 14.

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Life on Other Planets

Endless are the planets for each fixed star, and each of these planets is but one of the worlds of the Creator.  Who is able to number the hosts of your Lord on those planets or enumerate the crafts of His servants on them?

Baha’u’llah, quoted in Amr va Khalq, 1:137.

As for your question about moons in which you ask if the moons that circle around fixed suns through the power of attraction are creations like terrestrial creations, know that in the explicit text of the Qur’an God set forth a clear, sufficient statement that will delight the ears that hear it.  He said: “…the creation of the heavens and the earth and the creatures that He scattered among them” (Q 42:29).  He explicitly states that there are beings in them that move according to the divine Will….As for the specific character of those beings–whether they are like terrestrial beings, or airy, fiery beings, or fiery beings–their natures differ and the balance of their elements diverge.  The composition of those beings differs according to their essences.

`Abdu’l-Baha, quoted in Amr va Khalq, 1:145-6

Posted in alien life, Baha'u'llah, `Abdu'l-Baha | 6 Comments

Proofreading the Revelation, Pt. 2

Your letter reached the Most Great Being, and the servant in attendance, on behalf of the Countenance, responds to what you have asked about the divine verses:

O Zayn!   The short answer to what you asked about the verses is that changes have been preserved because in the early days, the grammatical rules of the people were never observed at the time of the revelation.  Today, these rules are observed on account of wisdom.  Therefore, if a tablet was recited before the Countenance previously, and he reveals in some places something different than what he revealed previously, this has to do with outer expression.  In reality, both things that were revealed have been and will be correct.

In the Land of the Mystery, he had intended to reveal grammatical rules that are in the divine knowledge so that everyone would understand.  He delayed on account of onrushing sorrows, continuous concerns, and successive tribulations.

***

On the occasions when most of the tablets were revealed, it was impossible to review them, and that which flowed from the pen of the servant attending the Countenance was dispersed near and far.  Therefore, it is possible that in some cases there were omissions or additions and a little disappeared since no one is able to completely edit what is revealed at the time of revelation.  Asking about these instances has been and will be beloved, although in the eyes of the Prisoner a new revelation is more beloved than referring to what was revealed previously.  Referring to him (for a new revelation) has priority and is easiest, and he is the causer of causes.

Khadim Allah (Mirza Aqa Jan), on behalf of Baha’u’llah, to Zayn al-Muqarrabin.  Amr va Khalq, 2:105-7.

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Proofreading the Revelation

As for the scribes and the differences between the manuscripts they prepared, this is what has shown forth from the horizon of elucidation in answer (to your question):

O Zayn!  The verses of God were revealed in such manner that no one was able verify them at the time of their revelation and those that were revealed in Iraq and Adrianople were never reviewed.  The servant attending the throne [Khadim Allah] is often able to look them over, according to his capacity.  Nevertheless, he has been absentminded in some places, and what the scribes copy is frequently contradictory.  The people’s condition is such that they do not know if those things that contradict (their grammatical rules) were revealed by the holy court or were a result of the inattention of the scribes.

It is known that what is revealed by the Truth is the truth, of which there is no doubt.  However, since Jinab-i Nazir, upon him be the glory of God, wanted to publish some of (our) books, we commanded the Greater Branch [Muhammad `Ali] and the servant in attendance [Khadim Allah] to compare them and to report those things that contradicted (the grammatical rules of) the people since most humans have not and do not understand and are unaware of the process of revelation.  On account of this review, souls did not perish, although “oppressors only increase in loss.”

The Surih-yi Haykal was revealed in the Land of Mystery and later renewed in that land.  This is what has been recorded before.  Verily, He is the Renewer, the Knower, the Informed.

Khadim Allah (Mirza Aqa Jan), on behalf of Baha’u’llah, in response to Zayn al-Muqarribin, Baha’u’llah’s most trusted scribe.  Asrar al-athar, 4:92-3.  “Jinab-i Nazir” is Hajji Mirza Abu al-Qasim Nazir, mentioned in Balyuzi’s King of Glory (396-8) and in Ali Kuli Khan’s pilgrim’s notes; the latter says Nazir worked with Muhammad `Ali against `Abdu’l-Baha (see the section on “Muhammad Ali in India”).

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The Plight of Islam

I plead my grief and my sorrow to God, the Lord of mankind.  Things have been turned upside down and countries are in turmoil, which has weakened Islam.  Its enemies have closed in on it and it is surrounded.  It is incumbent on that community, therefore, to pray to God morning and eve and to beseech Him to lead the Muslims, one and all, to that which He loves and desires; to raise them up by His command and authority; to make them aware of that which will exalt their stations; and to exchange their humiliation for honor, their poverty for wealth, their ruin for prosperity, their turmoil for tranquility, and their fear for security and safety.  Verily, He is the Merciful, and there is no God but Him, the Compassionate, the All Bountiful.

Baha’u’llah, August 18, 1882 (3 Shawwal 1299 AH).  Excerpted in Mukhtarat min al-nusus al-baha’iyya fi bayan maqam Muhammad rasul Allah.

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Shaykh Ahmad on Infallibility

As for how the `Adliyya define `isma, their definition is the most appropriate.  The gist of the correct part of their definition is that (`isma) is a divine disposition that prevents the act of disobeying and intending to do so while retaining the capability to do it.

***

The ma`sum abstains from all the things that God has prohibited.

Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa’i, Kitab al-`isma (Book of Infallibility), introduction.  In the Baha’i writings, `isma is translated as “infallibility,” “sinlessness,” and “protection.”  Ma`sum is a person characterized by `isma.  The `Adliyya (“followers of justice”) are the Shia and the Mu`tazilites, who believe that God’s justice requires that humans act of their own volition and thus merit the resulting reward or punishment.

In Shaykh Ahmad’s book, the synonyms of disobeying (ma`siyya) are sin (dhanb), negligence (ghafla), venial sin (saghira), mortal sin (kabira), shortcoming (taqsir), and evil deed (sayyi’a).  His synonyms for negligence (ghafla) are forgetfulness (nisyan), inattention (sahw), and error (khata’).  All these words have to do with the morality of an action.

The final word, khata’, is found in `Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament in reference to the Universal House of Justice as “the source of all good and freed from all error (khata’).”

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Sun Salutation

While facing the sun on Friday, say this verse so that you will attain the presence of the sun of reality on the day of resurrection:

“Verily, the glory (al-baha’) of God be upon your rising, O rising sun!  Testify to that which God hath testified of His Own Self: Verily, there is no God but Him, the Almighty, the Best-Beloved.”

The Bab, Arabic Bayan, 7:17.

Someone wants to know the secret of what was revealed to him that came before me regarding the sun and his standing while facing it.  Blessed is the one who asked this question and wanted to know what was concealed from the hearts of the worlds.  Say: I swear by God that what he meant by the sun is my beauty that has shown forth from behind the clouds with great lights.  Because we made the sun to be the greatest of our signs between heaven and earth, he stood facing it, submissive to my Self, the Inaccessible, the Powerful, the Most High.  When he rose facing it during the first part of his day, he spoke a word for which there is no loftier or greater in God’s knowledge, if you be of those who know.  When he gazed upon it, he said, and his word is the truth, “Verily, The glory (al-baha’) of God be upon your rising, O rising sun!  Testify to that which God hath testified of His Own Self: Verily, there is no God but Him, the Almighty, the Best-Beloved.”  This was so that all would attain certain knowledge of the inmost secret through the appearance of the sun and testify to that which God has testified, that there is no God but Him, the Almighty, the Best-Beloved.

…He disclosed the Greatest Name so that everyone would bear witness on the day of revelation to what he had seen.  This word is mentioned as one of the fundamentals of the divine commands revealed in the Bayan and each soul in this day must turn toward God on Friday and utter these words, calling to mind the beloved of the world.

Baha’u’llah, excerpted in Ma’idih-yi Asmani, 8:104-5.

Posted in Bab, Baha'u'llah, prayer, ritual | 14 Comments