Tafsīr al-ḥurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`āt 

(Commentary on the Isolated Letters)


Lawḥ-i āyah-yi nūr  

(Tablet about the Light Verse)

of Mīrzā Ḥusayn `Alī Nūrī Bahā'-Allāh (1817-1892).

Being revised 2007-8

 A brief introduction and provisional translation.

Stephen N. Lambden

Now being further revised 2007

        A more detailed introduction and partially annotated translation and reproduction of a good [Haifa supplied] Arabic mss will erelong appear in the [new] periodical, Syzygy: A Journal of Bābī-Bahā'ī Studies 2/1.  The forthcoming translation corrects and supersedes two earlier (partial) postings on H-Bahā'ī (from Wed, 10 Sep 1997 12:37; April 1998) of about one third of the translation. These earlier versions should be consigned to the Bābī-Bahā'ī geniza (`sacred repository'). The version posted here is also still in progress and will doubtless contains errors in need of correction. It was last slightly revised early 2004.

        Incorporated below are a few (rather speedily pasted together) details from my paper `Light, Letters and Alchemy: Dimensions of the Lawḥ-i ḥurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`āt  ("Tablet of the Isolated [Isolated] Letters") of Mīrzā Ḥusayn `Alī Bahā'-Allāh (1817-1892 CE).' first (partially) presented at the last Californian Bosch Bahā'ī Mysticism Conference (1998) and from my Traces from the Musk Scented Pen.. In making the translation I have consulted three further mss. along with the (only) printed text (it is riddled with errors) found in vol. 4 of `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāvarī's compilation Mā'idih-yi āsmānī  4: 49-88.


        The forty or more page wholly Arabic mid-Iraq period (? c. 1857-8?) scriptural tablet of Mīrzā Ḥusayn `Alī Bahā'-Allāh (1917-1892 CE) known as the Lawḥ-i āyah-yi nūr  ("Tablet about the Light Verse [Q. 24:35]") in various sources is also entitled Tafsīr [Lawḥ-i] ḥurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`āt  ("Commentary [Tablet] on the Isolated Letters"). This since it (among other things) contains a detailed non-literal exegesis of both the well-known and much commented upon qur'ānic Light Verse (Q. 24:35) and select al-ḥurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`āt (loosely, `isolated letters'). It was written in reply to questions posed by the early Bābī-believer and Bahā'ī martyr [Ḥajjī] Āqā Mīrzā [Āqā] Rikab-Sāz Shīrāzī, about whom relatively little seems to be known.

        Rikab-Sāz Shīrāzī was presumably a trader in saddles / riding equipment. He is known to have been much occupied with copying and studying Bābī-Bahā'ī scripture despite illness in his later years. It was in the context of clerical and local governmental anti-Bahā'ī activity that a fatwa for his death was issued by the Shīrāzī mujtahid Shaykh Ḥusayn-i Nazim, stigmatized as al-Ẓālim (`The Tryant') by Bahā'-Allāh. He was put to death in Shiraz in 1288/1871 along with Mashadī Muhammad Nabīl and Mashadī [Rafi`] Ja`far-i Khayyāt (Mazandarani, ZH VI:857-9; Ishrāq Khāvarī, Ganj, 21-2; GPB:200).

    To date the text of the Lawḥ-i ḥurūfāt.. has neither been befittingly published (no critical edition exists) nor authoritatively translated by Bahā'ī agencies. A complete though wholly inadequate printing of the Arabic exists in volume 4 pages 49-86 of Ishrāq Khavrari's compilation of Bahā'ī scripture entitled Mā'idih-yi āsmanī -- the mss source on which this printing is based is not indicated (cf. also the partial printing in Ganj, 46-49). Three futher mss. texts are known to the present writer including (at least) one (Haifa supplied) in the hand of Bahā'-Allāh's important amanuensis Zayn al-Muqarrabīn This is not to say that the following prov. trans' is based upon a critical edition; there being probable errors in all mss seen.

        In various of his writings Bahā'-Allāh himself has made occasional reference to the Lawḥ-i ḥurūfāt. In, for example, the Arabic 1868 Lawḥ-i Ra'is ("Tablet of the Leader", namely Mehmed Emin `Alī Pāshā [1815-1871]) it is written:  

"We, verily, have clarified all that We have mentioned in the Tablets which We revealed when we made reply to the one who asked about the isolated letters (al-ḥurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`āt) of the Furqan (= Qur`ān). Refer ye thereto that ye may be illumined in the light of what hath been sent down from the heavenly realm of God (jabarūt Allāh), the Mighty, the Praised One" (MAM: [87-102]100).

    And in another Persian Tablet we read,

"And additionally thou hast enquired about the isolated letters (ḥurūfāt-i muqaṭṭa`āt). During the day of the sojurn in `Iraq unnumbered [scriptural] traces respecting these matters (maqāmat) were sent down a few of which have been sent.."  (Mazandarni, Asrar 3:90)

        Very brief notices have been given the Tablet by Shoghi Effendi (GPB: 140) and a few other Bahā'ī writers,  including Fāḍil-i Māzandarānī (Asrar.. 3:90-9X), Ishrāq Khāvarī, Ganj: 21-2, 45-49 trans. Habīb Taherzadeh The Bahā'ī World XIV [1963-8] 627) and Adib Taherzadeh RB I:125-128). Details of the Sitz im Leben (`setting in life'; circumstances of composition) are not supplied in the texts of any manuscripts known to the present writer. Some details can be gleaned from an examination of the text itself.

        Āqā Mīrzā Āqā is the main addressee ("O my brother" LII:6 etc). Other pericopes [paragraphs] are also addressed to:

  • The "concourse of lovers" = Bābī believers + mystics..

  •  "O concourse of the Bayān" X4

  • "O people!.."   several times addressed.

  • "O concourse of the Criterion" (= Qur'ān) =  Muslims.

  • "O Assemblage occupied with  the Alchemical Task  [Divine Artistry] (malā' al-san`a)!

    Within the Lawḥ-i hurufāt  Bahā'-Allāh refers to this Tablet as divine revelation:

"Hearken then unto what is revealed (w-ḥ-y) unto thee in this blessed [Sinaitic] Spot (buq`a[t] al-mubārkah) from this all-eternal [Sinatic] Tree [Bush] (al-shajarat al-sarmadiyya)  which is not consumed by Fire (ma qabasa `anhā al-nār) [cf. Exodus 3:2b?]. Unto this do none draw nigh except such as circumambulate about its domain and, with His consent, sacrifice themselves in His path thereafter rendering thanks."

    Following a 4-5 page cosmologically and mystico-alphabetically oriented prolegomenon, the person who communicated Aqā Mīrzā Aqā (= Rikab-Saz]'s letter to Bahā'-Allāh (possibly Aqā Mirzā Āqā himself ?) [fn.1] is mentioned allusively by means of the phrase letter حرف القاف     ḥarf al-qāf   ق   qāf ("The [Arabic letter] "q"). [fn.2]

[1] We received a communication [kitāb letter] from [through?] the letter "Q" (min ḥarf al-qāf) who had journeyed from his self and emigrated unto God, the Protector, the Self-Subsisting. [2] He attained unto the regions of holiness and entered the Egypt of certitude (miṣr al-īqān) in a region [`locale' maqām ) wherein the Fire of God (nār Allāh) blazed up beyond the veils of Light and in which the Luminary of Singleness (sirāj al-aḥadiyya) was ignited in a mighty, concealed Lāmp [cf. Q. 24:35]. [3] Thus are those to be preferred who have left their homes for the love of God above those who failed to turn towards the precincts of holiness in the City which those who are nigh unto God have circumambulated. [4] In his letter there was enquiry about mysteries (asrār) which none among the creatures hath anticipated; the veil on the face of which none among humankind hath drawn aside and which hath not been comprehended by the mystic knowers..." (Mā'idih, 4:52 etc).

    The implication here seems to be that someone had travelled to Iraq (Baghdad?), the "Egypt of certitude" (miṣr al- īqān), the abode of the "True Joseph" (= Bahā'-Allāh) and attained the presence of Bahā'-Allāh, "a mighty, concealed Lamp (miṣbāḥ)." A "letter" (kitāb) was delivered enquiring about various arcane mysteries which had long remained undivulged. The Lawḥ-i ḥurūfāt  is, in the light of human capacity and the dictates of wisdom, a disclosure or resolution of these long-secreted "mysteries" (asrār),  mysteries pertaining that is, to

1) the Qur'ānic `Light verse' (Q. 24:35):

 اللَّهُ نُورُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالأَرْضِ

 God is the Light  of the heavens and of the earth

 مَثَلُ نُورِهِ كَمِشْكَاةٍ فِيهَا مِصْبَاحٌ

The likeness of His Light is even as [the light streaming from]

a niche  (mishkat) containing a lamp (al-miṣbāḥ);

 الْمِصْبَاحُ فِي زُجَاجَةٍ

the lamp (al-miṣbāḥ)  is in a glass (zujājat),

 الزُّجَاجَةُ كَأَنَّهَا كَوْكَبٌ دُرِّيٌّ

the glass even as a resplendent Star (kawkāb durriya)

يُوقَدُ مِنْ شَجَرَةٍ مُبَارَكَةٍ زَيْتُونِةٍ

enkindled from the oil (zaytūn), of a blessed Tree (shajarat mubāraka)

لاَ شَرْقِيَّةٍ وَلاَ غَرْبِيَّةٍ

[an olive] neither of the East nor of the West.

 يَكَادُ زَيْتُهَا يُضِيءُ وَلَوْ لَمْ تَمْسَسْهُ

Its oil (zaytuhā) well nigh radiates forth  even though it [Fire] hardly touches it.

 نَارٌ نُورٌ عَلَى نُورٍ

It is Light upon Light [and]

يَهْدِي اللَّهُ لِنُورِهِ مَنْ يَشَاءُ

God guideth unto His Light whomsoever He willeth.

 وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ وَاللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ  

And God [does indeed] strike similitudes (al-amthāl) for the people for God is aware of it all things.

2) the al-ḥurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`āt  (`isolated letters') A.L.M. (Alif. Lām, Mīm) in the Sūrat al-Baqāra ("The Surah of the Cow" 2:1) and

3) various alchemical processes such as the secret of the production of gold.

    The major and minor themes of the Lawḥ-i ḥurūfāt are all the central concerns of theoretical and practical mysticism. The Lawḥ-i ḥurūfāt .. begins with a qabbalistic-cosmological exposition of the creation of the letters of the alphabet (ḥurūfāt) in pre-eternity; the coming to be of the archetypes of the letters of the Arabic alphabet in terms of the emergence of the "Primordial Point" (al-nuqṭa al-awwaliyya) and the first letter "A" (al-alif).

    Then, following a few paragraphs on the purpose of creation and the exalted status of the Bāb and leading Bābīs, Bahā'-Allāh dwells on the theme of continuing divine guidance. The rest of the Lawḥ-i ḥurūfāt ..., though there are a number of significant digressions, largely consists of replies to (Rikab Saz's) two (or three?) questions about;

    1) The mysteries of a "Light verse" (ayah-yi nūr);

"Then know thou that that which thou hast asked concerning the "Light Verse" [Qur'ān 24:35] which was sent down upon Muhammad..."

    This section is basically an esoteric exegesis of Qur'ān 24:35 (cf. 14:5) which is partly rewritten or paraphrased by Bahā'-Allāh. The mention in Qur'ān 14:5 of "the light" (al-nūr) and the "days of God" (ayyām Allāh) doubtless led Bahā'-Allāh to take this verse as a prophecy of the future advent of Muhammad (4-5 pages; Ma'idih 4:53-57) around whom the non-literal exegesis revolves.

2) On the isolated, detached or disconneted letters Alif. Lām. Mīm (Qur'ān 2:1), etc; their qabbalistic-cosmological, chronological, eschatological and other significances.

3) The secrets of the alchemical production of "gold" along with notice that concern with "gold" and "silver" only increases poverty!

Among the important though minor secondary themes of the Tablet one may note:

  • a) the state of the Bābis and the condition of Bahā'-Allāh.

  • b) The mi`rāj  of the believer.

  • c) The secret of `ilm al-jafr (loosely, "letter mysticism"; "qabbalistic divination"; "occult prognostication", "number-letter esotericism")

  • d) The Jabirean theory of the balances-natures.

  • e) Eschatology and the issue of the khātam al-nabiyyīn ("Seal of the Prophets"). 


 [1] The Arabic is a little ambiguous and could be translated in more than= one way. I have translated it as if (Hajji) Āqā Mīrzā Āqā [Rikab-Saz] took his letter to Bahā'-Allāh himself though it may well be, as Mazandarani suggests, that it was delivered by a certain Hajji Muhammad Bāqir Nabil Musaffir-i Hamadāni (Asrār, IV:462; cf. ibid III:90). Aqā Mirzā Aqā may be the one referred to as the   حرف القاف ḥarf al-qāf ( "the letter Qāf ق )  in view of an allusion to his (double) designation Āqā (= Per. `elder [brother]' , `master') the central letter of which is "q" (qāf). Worth noting is the fact that there is reference in a Tablet of Bahā '-Allāh to Hajji Dhabih in the following manner: "And it hath dawned forth to he who hath believed in God and His verses with the name of "Q" after "A" (fi ism al-qāf ba`d al-alif)  = Āqā (cited Māzandarāni Athar, 4:462). Another Tablet of Bahā '-Allāh begins,

In my Name,  the One given to Remembrance and the One Remembered! (bism al-dhakir al-madhkur)

    O letter "Q" between two letter "A"s! (ḥarf al-qāf bayn al-alfayn)

Hearken unto the Call of the Confluence of the Two Seas (majma`al-bhave to aḥrayn)  from these two elevated Names

(min hadhayn al-ismayn = al-a`liyyayn) [= Ḥusayn+`Alī ?]..."

(Tablet cited Mazandarani , Asrar, IV:230f).

[2] The phrase ḥarf al-qāf  (="The [Arabic letter] qāf ) could be understood in several different ways. The Arabic letter "Q" has quite a range of senses. In various Tablets of Bahā'-Allāh the isolated letter qāf ("Q") refers to such places as Qazvin (in Iran) or Qumm (in Iraq) from which a number of Bābīs and Bahā'īs originated or resided. IsLāmic esoteric and other Bābī and Bahā'ī literatures extend further the multifarious senses of the Arabic[-Persian] letter qāf, "Q". Full details cannot be set down here. In his Commentary on the "Light Verse" (Q. 24:35 ) for example, the Bāb at one point says, "Know that I, verily, am the [letter] "Q" (qāf) of the Glorious Qur'ān through this Five [= his being the Bāb = abjad 5 [x20]=3D 100 = abjad qāf) (fi hadha al-khamsa).." (Browne Coll,= Ms f.21  (9), 000). See also Aḥmad ibn `Alī al-Būnī, Shams al-ma`arif al-kubra wa lata'if al-ma`arif (4 vols in 1) Beirut: al-Maktaba al-Thāqāfiyya. np.nd. [Cairo, 19XX] [Vol 4:504-5]...

Tafsīr [al-] ḥurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`āt

(Commentary on the Isolated Letters)

Prov. trans.  Stephen N. Lambden  (April 1998 -> 2004).


        This translation to some extent corrects and supersedes my earlier posting on H-Bahā'ī (from Wed, 10 Sep 1997 12:37) of about one third of the translation. The earlier version should be binned or consigned to the Bābī-Bahā'ī geniza (`sacred repository'). The version posted here is also still in progress and will doubtless contains errors in need of correction. At this stage I shall gradually type out  the Zayn mss. and only indicate alternative readings with an asterisk (*). This in preparation for  a semi-critical edition based on four printed and mss. versions to  appear in Syzygy  2:1 (forthcoming) . It will be obvious that the occasional transliteration will be inadequate and highly selective.  In making the translation I have consulted three further mss along with the (only) printed text (it is riddled with errors) found in vol. 4 of `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāvarī's compilation Ma'idih-yi āsmanī.., 49-88. 

 Tafsīr al-ḥurūfāt al-muqaṭṭa`āt

(Commentary on the Isolated Letters)

Arabic text according to a mss. in the hand of Zayn al-Muqarrabīn in a BWC, Haifa supplied photocopy.


لأ اله الا هوالعلىالاعلى*   

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

[or Ma'idih 4:XX =]

بسم اللّه البهیّ الابهی

[In the Name of God, the Splendid, the All-Glorious]



 الحمد للّه الّذی خلق الحروفات فی عوالم العَمَاء خلف سُرادقات القدس

   فی رفارف الاسنی* ثم ّ اسقاهن ّ من كأوس البقآء  فيما قدر فی الواح القضآء* .

Praise be to God who created the letters (al-ḥurūfāt)  in the worlds of the divine Cloud (`awālim al-`amā') beyond the pavilions of holiness (surādiqāt al-qūds)  in the lofty heights  of the most resplendent 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').


ليحيی بهن افئدة المقرّبين فی جبروت القضإء

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').


 ثمّ اقمصهن قميص السوداء لما قدر بتقديره الازلية  فی مكمن القدَر علی قباب الحمراء فيما سب العلم

 بان يستر ماء الحيوان فی ظلمات عوالم الاسماء عند سدرة المنتهی

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 [fate regulating] crimson domes (qibāb al-ḥamrā')    and to the status of  [explicit] 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').  [4] He then caused them [the letters] 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),  [5] `O Pen! Set down the mysteries of pre-existence (asrār al-qidam) upon the Perspicuous, Snow-White Tablet  (al-lawḥ al-munīr al-bayḍā').'


 [1] 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.  [2] 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.  [3] 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. [4] 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').  [5] A black teardrop sprinkled down upon the Tablet whereupon the Point (al-nuqṭa)   was made manifest in the world of origination (`ālam al-badā').  [6] This Point assumed the primordial shape upon the mirrors of the letters in the beings of the Names.  [7]  The [Arabic letter]  أ "A" (al-alif) received it  [within itself] before all the other letters, in the [pre-eternal]  elemental particles of things  (fi dharr al-ashyā')  for thus did this Divine Point take on the form of this Eternal [Arabic letter]   أ  "A" (alif).  [8]  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.  [9]  The substance (body, temple, form.. haykal) of the Point was made manifest  in the shape of the letter  أ  "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. [10]  This is a station (maqām) [by virtue of] 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  أ  "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.  [2] Then there appeared from these [Isolated] Letters which shone forth from the Primordial [letter] أ  "A" (al-alif al-awwliyya)  in the first of the theophanies, the worlds of delineation and multiplicity.  [3]  They were differentiated, separated and isolated then gathered together,  reconciled, united and linked together.  [4] 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).



[1]  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. [2]  And [they might testify to the fact] that `Alī before Muhammad  [the Bāb] 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.  [3]  And that he [the Bāb] 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.  [4] The Mirrors [of the Bayān] that speak of Him and the Letters [of the Living] that cry out about Him  are foremost in the creation of God; the source of outward things and the refuge [point of return]  for the servants [of God] in the [eschatological] Day of Dispersion. [5] In this way God hath distinguished them above the rest of the creatures in the worlds of preexistence (`awālim al-qidam). [6] Through them it was that the Lights shone forth,  the moons gleamed, the suns shed splendor and the stars were evident. [7] 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.  [8] They are those through whom is the cyclic scheme (tadūr al-adwār); the revolving of the spheres of existence  (takūr al-akwār) and [the ones] through whom the Trees of the Divine Unity sprung up  and the incomparable fruits were made manifest.



[1] 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.  [2] Then the Primal Call was raised up from the Furthermost Tree with the splendor of the Sun once again. [3] And this is that which the Dove hath sung in the midst of Eternity in this singular Night in which [4] the Fire of the Divine Oneness hath been ignited from the Tree of Sinai in the shade of the most-ancient Name  [5] and the Eternal Secret which [or who] was named the Living (al-ḥayy), the Pre-existent (al-qadim) in the Qayyūm al-asmā'  [6] 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.




This is a book from the "B" ( ب  al-bā') before the "H" (  al-hā')  [= Bahā'-Allāh]  unto those who have believed in God and have attained unto the lights of guidance  for the purpose of bringing them unto the Pavilion of Holiness (surādiq al-quds)  and drawing them nigh unto a Seat (maq`ād)  to which none who disbelieve in God have attained. [2] And to this testify the Embodiments of Names (hayākil al-asmā')  in the Cities of Attributes (madā'in al-ṣifāt) and beyond them also the angels of holiness. [3] Say: `In the cooing of the Dove upon the branches, the soaring of the Doves of Holiness, the surging of the Sea of Singleness, the uplifting of the Clouds of Wisdom,  the descent of the Rains, the gushing of the Rivers from the rocks [4] and in the establishment of the Temple of Eternity upon the Throne of Lights are signs unto those who gaze upon the realities of things with the eye of God.' [5] Ponder therefore, O concourse of lovers, upon the creation of the heavens and of the earth, then within yourselves that you might be guided by the Manifestations of Power unto the Lights of Guidance in the Days of the Divine Countenance.



We received a communication [letter] (kitāb) from the letter "Q"   حرف القاف  ( ḥarf al-qāf  = ق   qāf  ) who had journeyed from his self and emigrated unto God, the Protector, the Self-Subsisting. [2] He attained unto the regions of holiness and entered the Egypt of certitude (miṣr al-īqān)  in a place wherein the Fire of God (nār Allāh)  blazed up beyond the veils of Light  and in which the Luminary of Singleness (sirāj al-aḥadiyya )  was ignited in a mighty, concealed Lamp.  [3] Thus are those to be preferred who have  left their homes for the love of God above those who failed to turn  towards the precincts of holiness  in the City which those who are nigh unto God  have circumambulated. [4] In his letter there was enquiry about mysteries  (asrār) which none among the creatures hath anticipated;  the veil on the face of which none among humankind hath drawn aside and which hath not been comprehended by the mystic knowers.



[1]  Then know thou that that which thou hast asked concerning the "Light Verse" [Qur'ān 24:35] which was sent down upon Muhammad,  the Messenger of God aforetime, concerns a verse the comprehension of which  the worlds cannot sustain.  [2] Even if whatever lieth within God's knowledge became "Pens"  and all that has been decreed  became oceans of "Ink" and the Fingers of Might wrote [its mysteries] for all time, this would not suffice to exhaust even a single letter of the meaning of this honorable and blessed verse  which hath been revealed by the Tongue of Grandeur. [3] Nevertheless, I shall cause to be sprinkled down upon thee a dewdrop from the fathomless ocean of the sea of knowledge and wisdom in order that thou might be amongst those who have hastened  to the plains of knowledge and who have drunk deep of the goblet of Divine Favour from the hand of the Youth  seated upon the Throne of Paradise.



[1] When, for Moses, the appointed term in the Midian of the Divine Will was completed he returned to his people and entered the environs of Sinai in the Holy Vale at the right-hand side of the region of Paradise by the precincts of the Eternal Realm. [2] He heard the Call from the Most-Exalted Realm, from the retreat of the Divinity Ipseity (shaṭr al-huwiyya ),  [3] O Moses! Behold! What do You see? I verily, am God! your Lord and the Lord of your fathers, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob.` [4] Then Moses veiled his face out of the fear of God, the Mighty, the Powerful, the Self-Subsisting.


[1] Again was Moses  summoned before the shores of the Ocean of Grandeur in the Crimson Dome:  "Lift up. O Moses, Your head!". [2] When he lifted it up he saw a Light, blazing and luminous from the Furthermost Tree in the Verdant [Green] Vale. [3] Wherefore was he guided by the Most-Great Guidance from the Fire kindled from the Eternal Lote-Tree.  [4] Then did he doff the sandals of desire and detached himself from the dominion of this [primary] world and the hereafter.  [5] All this was what God had decreed for him even as thou hath been informed in the scriptural Tablets.  [6] Wherefore was his Cause raised up and his remembrance exalted.  [7] He was among those who turned their faces by the lights of the Fire towards the paths of Justice.  [8] And this is what was ordained for Moses son of `Imran in the Dome of Time (qubbat al-zamān) [as thou would know]  if thou are of such as are informed. [9] Thus hath borne witness the Paran of Love nigh the Paran of Fire in the Horeb of Holiness and the Sinai of Nearness  if thou should  scan the Pages of Justice (ṣaḥā'if al-`adl) with the eye of God.



 [1]  When the veils of Singleness were uncovered and the lights of the Divine Unity shone forth in the Muhammedan countenance [= Muhammad]  the Fire of the Divine Ipseity (nār al-huwiyya) was ignited for His Logos-Self,  in His Logos-Self, through His Logos-Self and the Fire of the [Divine] Lote-Tree  blazed up in his breast. [2]  He was seized by the pangs of love and the yearnings of desire on all sides and he heard the Call of God from the Tree of [the Perfect] Man (shajarat al-insān) in his inmost Being, `He, verily is Thou [Who] art God,  the King, the Protector, the Mighty, the Holy'. [3] This is what was ordained for Muhammad  in the realm of the Spirit in a realm [station] unto which the hearts of those of old did not draw nigh. [4] Thus do we mention unto thee something of the mysteries of knowledge  and the jewels of wisdom  perchance the people might be enkindled  and illumined by the Fire of God in the Lote-Tree of the Remembrance (sidrat al-dhikr).


 [1] When Muhammad the Messenger of God  desired to make mention of this most-exalted station in order that he might inform them [his people, the Jews]

of the mysteries of the Divine Unity (asrār al-aḥadiyya)  in the Tree of his Logos-Self (shajarat nafsihi) and might enable them to be independent of the Fire which shone forth in the Sinai of the Decree (sina' al-ḥukm) upon the Moses of the Cause (mūsā al-amr),  God inspired unto him this luminous verse  [Q. 24:35] that it might be a proof unto those who were given the Torah and a guidance unto those who were guided by the lights of guidance in the Muhammedan Lote-Tree. [2] And God commanded Moses  to announce unto the people this [Muhammadan] Sinai in this Aḥmadian spot (al-buq`a al-aḥmadiyya). [3] Unto this beareth witness that which  was revealed in the Book:

"We verily sent Moses with Our signs [and the command to]  `Bring out the [thy] people from the darkness into the light and announce unto them the Days of God" (cf. Qur'ān 14:5).

[4] This is that which was inscribed in the Tablets  if you are of those who are informed. [5] He indeed is the one who gave tidings unto the people concerning His [eschatological] Days; how attainment unto his station might be realized  [as would be clear]  should thou be numbered among such as comprehend.



[1] Know thou that when Moses became aware of the Fire of the Tree (nār al-shajara) about the shore of the right-hand side  of the [sacred] Vale  he was guided by it and was among those who, with the permission of God,  have entered the Blessed Spot  (buq`at al-mubāraka). [2] Aforetime it was the case that if Muhammad became familiar  with some reality or something interacted [touched] with him as Fire (min nar) he made it Light (nūr) unto whomsoever are in the heavens and upon the earth. [3] And he guideth unto this Light  (al-nūr)  whomsoever he willeth among His creatures. [4] Such is what was inscribed in the  [Archetypal] Book (al-kitab)  and which thou recite through the Criterion (al-furqan = the Qur'ān). [5] Then know thou that the locus (maqām) of the "Niche" (mishkat) in this [Light] verse (Q. 24:35) is His Logos-Self (nafs; = Muhammad) and that the "Lamp" (miṣbāḥ)  is his resplendent heart (qalbihi al-munīr). [6] The "Glass" (zijaj) is his sanctified Person  [Temple, Body] (haykalihi al-qudsiyya) in which the Lamp of the Divine Singularity (siraj al-aḥadiyya) shines forth.  [7] The "Light" (al-nūr) is ignited and radiates splendor from Muhammad, for from him derives the splendor of all who are in the heavens and on the earth.  [8] Wherefore do We mention this unto thee that thou might be illuminated by means of this "Light" (al-nūr) in the [eschatological] Days of the Spirit (ayyam al-rūḥ).


After this "Light" (al-nūr) had shone forth  in the Muhammedan "Lamp" (miṣbāḥ al-muhammadiyya), was ignited in the Aḥmadian "Niche" (mishkat al-aḥmadiyya) and the creation of the Unique One (al-aḥadiyya : the Bāb)  was completed throughthe creation of the pre-existent Temple  (haykal al-qadmiyya),  God hath decreed that he might remind the people  about the Encounter with Him [God] at the time of the latter resurrection (qiyāmat al-ukhra) and give them tidings of a Holy, Laudable Reality  in a locale in which the concourse of the Elevated  Ones and the Spirits of the cherubic Beings (`those who are nigh unto God')(arwāḥ al-muqarribīn)shall be gathered together.   [2] Therein shall be uplifted the clouds of Divine Bounty and through the rejoicing of God the believers shall be made to greatly rejoice.  [3] This is what was promised in mighty,  Preserved Tablets (alwāḥ `izz maḥfūẓ) in which He says, exalted be His sovereignty,

"The Day when your Lord shall come or certain of the signs of your Lord" (cf. Q. 6:156).

[4] And this is what all who are in the heavens and on the earth were promised about him [= the Bāb] to the end that all might bear witness within themselves that this One is certainly the True One (al-ḥaqq); no God is there except Him. [5] He undoubtedly is the Ultimately Real (al-ḥaqq), the One Aware of things Unseen  (`allām al-ghuyūb).


[1]  Then know [thou of] the station of he who came in the garment of `Alī [= the Bāb or `a sublime robe'; bi-qamīṣ `alīyy]  upon clouds of Light
(ghamam min al-nūr) and that Muhammad, the Messenger of God was an announcer of the glad-tidings of the Encounter [Meeting] with Him on a Day in which the righteous shallgreatly rejoice on his account. [2] Know also that after he came unto them with manifest signs the slanderers spoke against him and treated him in such wise that the Pen is loathe to dwell upon it. [3] And God beareth witness unto this even if thou do not so testify. [4] They disbelieved in him and denied him and among them was one who slandered God  accusing him of enchanting the people. [5] Thus were they veiled from the Encounter with God; did not assist him in his Cause and failed to turn in the direction of the Countenance unto which those who are nigh unto God have turned.


And thou, O Concourse of the Bayān! Render thanks unto God in that he hath bestowed his bounty upon thee in such wise that thou hast been enabled  to known His Logos-Self (nafs = the Bāb) and were ennobled through  attaining the Encounter with God (liqā'-Allāh). [2] He, in very truth, raised thee up and sent down unto thee that which enabled thee to be free of those who disbelieved and inclined to associate gods with God  even though all expected the advent of His Days  and all were heirs to the promise of His coming. [3]  Wherefore know that We have,  in very truth, awakened thee, raised thee up and ennobled thee through the divine Grace inasmuch as We gave thee  a refuge in the precincts of knowledge (shāṭī al-`ilm), instructed thee in the paths of gnosis  (subul al-`irfān) and drew thee nigh unto a Fire (nār)  through which the hearts of those who have believed in God, their Lord  and trusted in Him  were at every moment made to blaze



 Then know that the significance  of the [Light] verse  (Q. 24:35) cannot be [understood] except that We should instruct thee

through the Truth [through the True One?]  since none shall comprehend it save those who were patient in God

and inasmuch as none shall understand it except those who were sincere.


This is from the [divine] Bounty which  hath neither beginning nor end.


Yet thou, O thou hopeful petitioner,  during these days in which the Sun of Bounty hath shone forth from

 the Dawning-Place of Singularity (mashriq al-aḥadiyya )  and the Lamp of the Divine Ipseity (siraj al-huwiyya)

hath shed splendor in the Niche of Holiness  (mishkat al-qudsiyya), shall not witness [the significance of] this [Light] verse

save in a Temple (haykal) which God  has secreted beyond the Pavilion of Might in the beloved heights of divine nearness.


Do  thou not witness how God hath caused His Logos-Self (nafs) to radiate through the Fire of His Own Logos-Self  (nafs),

in the Eternal "Niche" (mishkat al-baqā')  and preserved it in the "Lamp" of Power  (miṣbāḥ al-qudrat) between the earth and the heavens;

lest the breezes of ungodliness should blow upon it  and there be manifest therefrom the Light (al-nūr)

from behind the 70, 000 veils [of light and darkness] according to a prescribed measure [to the extent of the eye of-the needle]

and [how] He caused to radiate from the Glasses the possibilities of existence (zujajat wujud al-mumkinat).


This in such wise that they may all give account about God, their Creator in view of the theophany  (tajallī) upon them

of this Divine Light (al-nūr al-ilāhiyya).



This is what We bring to thine attention  of the wonders of hidden knowledge in order that at every moment

thou might render thanks unto God thy Lord  as also all the believers.


This to the end that thou might be contented within thyself in that thou be oriented towards a region upon which not a single footstep

of the creatures hath attained;  save those, that is, those who are at every moment consumed by the fire of love and unto which none have drawn nigh

except such as are detached from all that is within the mighty domain of the Divine command (jabarut al-amr) and in the world of creation and who,

with the permission of God,  tread the paths of submission.


 Thus have We given thee sufficient through that which We have expounded for thee  relative to this sanctified verse.


We have abridged the elucidation of its significances  in that We have previously commented upon it  in diverse ways and modes

which have astonished the intellects of mystic knowers.


Be satisfied with what hath been sent down for thee in this blessed Night  (cf. laylat al-qadr)

which God hath set aside among nights  as one in which He hath decreed every affair  as something ordained [sealed] before

One Mighty, Self-Subsisting.


If this be deemed that which the Pen of Might hath written down upon these Perspicuous Tablets,

then return unto what was previously inscribed  by a mighty, evident Finger,  since in the Lote-Tree of the Words (sidrat al-kalimat)

through the Fire of Singleness  (nūr al-aḥadiyya ) hath blazed forth, and none shall grasp it save such as profess the unity of God


On its branches are Doves all of which were created from the Fire of the Divine Ipseity (nūr al-huwiyya);

and none doth hear their cooing  save those who are detached.


By God!

If thou should make careful observation thou would assuredly become informed of all branches of knowledge

according to what hath been inscribed in these Tablets  and be free from all except Him. This, verily, is the certain truth.



Now regarding  that which thou enquired

of the isolated letters

(hurufat al-muqaṭṭa`āt)

in the writings and the scriptures

(al-ṣaḥā'if wa'l-zubūrāt).


Know thou that every single one of these letters

 are  assuredly signs

(ayat) unto such as are informed.


In them are ciphers (rumuzat), allusions (isharat),

deep significances (ma`ānī) and testimonies (dalalat)

not a letter of which can be grasped save by those who tread

the path of God's good-pleasure and delight in the Riḍwān of knowledge


From all eternity hath their mysteries been hidden in the Storehouses of Infallibility

(kanā'iz al-`ismat),

sealed with the Seal of Power (bi-khitm al-qudrat) and veiled in the Veil of Might

(bi-qina' al-`izzat);


 though at this moment hath their Seal been broken in view thy  capacity, and thy desire

and in accordance with what the people are capable of understanding.


This such that those to whom hath been given the guidance

which cometh from God, might assuredly testify that everything created exists by virtue of an Embodied Reality

[theophany] ( fi haykal) who, in very truth, crieth out [Divine guidance], for around Him do circumambulate

all the Elevated Letters (al-hurufat al-`a[i]liyya) and the compounded words (al-kalimat al-jami`ah)

as thou would realize if thou should [truly] comprehend.




Then know thou that those letters  in the station of the Names  give testimony unto eternal levels of Being  without beginning  (al-kaynunat al-azaliyyat), the realities of the Divine Oneness (al-haqā'iq al-aḥadiyyat)  and the pristine sublimities of the Divine Ipseity (sawazij al-huwiyya) the like of which thou dost recite in the Criterion  (al-furqān= the Qur'ān).  [2] He [God] saith -- magnified be His Light -- at the commencement of the Book  [= the Qur'an]:




"Alif, Lām, Mīm. ["A"- "L"- "M"]. 

This is a Book about which there is no doubt. It is a guidance unto the pious" (Q. 2:1-2).


In this place God hath designated His Beloved One [= Muhammad]

by these extended, isolated letters (al-hurūfat al-munbasit al-muqaṭṭa`āt)

as a means of confirming such as hath soared upon the wings of detachment in the atmosphere of the Spirit.


O Muhammad!

That "Book" (hadha kitāb) is indicative of the Book of thine own Logos-Self

(kitāb nafsika) which deriveth from a Hidden, Preserved Book (kitāb ghayb maḥfūẓ)

which hath not been understood by anyone save God.


All the Books (kutub) derive therefrom  if thou art of such as are confirmed.


And this is from a[n Archetypal] Book in which is distinguished the knowledge of all that hath been and will be

and by means of which the rightly-guided ones are guided.


All that which was revealed from the beginning which hath no beginning of the various Books and the Scriptures

(al-kutub wa'l-zubur) are but a letter of "that Book" (dhalik al-kitāb).


And none are informed of this save such as have [mi`rāj-like] ascended on the Buraq

[celestial Steed] of Might (buraq al-`izz) unto the atmosphere of divine nearness

(haw'a al-qurb).


Everything is capable of being registered on the level of description (maqam al-wasf)

except this Hidden Book (al-kitab al-maknūn) which is abstracted beyond all that can be characterized

and all that those who describe things can depict.


And He creates from it all that hath been and will be through His saying


 "Be! And it is!" (Q.6:73 etc).




Then know that ["that] "Book"


signifies the Logos-Self (nafs) of Muhammad

in which all mysteries (asrār) hath been inscribed

 by the Pen of God

(qalām Allāh),

the Protector, the Mighty, the Self-Subsisting.


This to the end that thou should testify to the fact that

there is no God except Him,

 the King, the Protector, the Beloved One.


Thus has it been sent down aforetime,


 "Read! the Book of thine own Self"

(cf. Q. 17:15).


This is a "Book" which suffices those who have believed

and which enables them to attain unto

the precincts of a Treasured Name


And on another level reference is made to a Book

which was, in very truth,

sent down upon him

and which God made to be a Distinguisher

[Criterion] (al-furqan)

between such as have believed

and such as have disbelieved in their Lord,

as accords with [divine] justice.


[1]  And on another level know thou that God named His Beloved One  [Muhammad]  by means of the composite letters  (al-hurūfāt al-murakkabat) and the compounded words  (al-kalimat al-jami`at)  the like of which thou do utter through his Names, Muhammad, Aḥmad and Maḥmud  in the Kingdom of Names (malakūt al-asmā').  [2]  Thus He named him by means of extended letters  (al-hurūfāt al-munbasīṭa)  and Isolated characters (al-ruqūmāt al-muqaṭṭa`ah[āt])  in order that all possessed of some knowledge of God  might acknowledge that all the Most-Beautiful Letters  (al-hurufat al-abha')  and the Most Beautiful Names  (al-asma al-husnā')  were created for him  such that nothing appears from the Beloved One  [= Muhammad] except that He hath thereby intended His Beloved [Muhammad / Baha'-Allah].  [3] And this indeed is His Beloved One as thou would realize  if thou should observe with the eye of the spirit.  [4]  The utterance is confirmed in the light of that which the Dove of Timeless Eternality (warqa' al-azaliyya)  daily crieth out,  `Supplicate ye! for his are the Most Beautiful Names  (al-asmā' al-husna').'  [5]  This indeed is what was sent down aforetime  and which thou dost recite during his days; the same also do most of the people recite  (see Q. 7:179[180]).



Then know thou that God is the One Who created

by means of these extended, Isolated letters

(al-hurufat al-munbasitah al-muqatta`ah)

aspects of a Name of His Beloved One

(fi ism habibihi)

which is an expression of the essential realities

 of the extendedness

(jawhariyyat al-munbasitah)

and of the subtle, elevated, pristine characteristics

(al-sadhijat al-rafi`ah` al-latifah)

the like of which thou do witness  in the Mirrors

which reflect the Muhammadan Sun

[= the Twelver Imams]

(shams al-muhamadaniyya).


Wherefore did He create in his Name

through the Sacred Words

(al-kalimat al-mubarakah)

the Blessed Definitive Temples

(hayakil al-mahdud)

from the elements of the Divine Singularity

(`anasir al-wahidiyya)

wholly in accordance with their respective degrees

of reflecting this Sun (al-shams).


Then ponder upon the creation of the heavens

 and of the earth

in order that thou might be aware that

every [Divine] Name

is in the shadow of his [Muhammad's ?] Name

and every [Divine] Attribute (ṣifāt)

is but a shadow of his Attribute.


Be assured that everything lies within the grasp of his power

and is created from the Letters of his Name

(hurufat ismihi)

and be thou reckoned among such as have

discerned with the eye of God

(`ayn Allāh)

the manifestations of  Divine artistry

(mazāhir al-sana`).




And on another level

the [isolated letter]  ا "A"

represents the Absolute Divinity

(al-uluhiyya al-muṭaqah).


The [isolated letter]   ل  "L" (al-lām)

represents the Absolute Wilāya

("Providential Overseership")

 al-wilāya al-muṭlaqah)

which is realized through His "Logos- Self"


actualized (al-qa'ima) through His saying,

"Thy waliyy ("Patron") is [only] God"     (Q. 5:55a).


This is by virtue of the Mighty,

Praiseworthy Trusteeship

 (wilāya al-`aziz al-maḥmūd).


The [isolated, Isolated letter]  م "M"


is expressive of the Muhammandan Actuality [Beingness]

(al-kaynūnah al-muhammadiyya)

and the Aḥmadī Modality (al-ṭarāz al-aḥmadiyya).


And God addressed him [Muhammad] by means of these [isolated]  letters

to the end that all might attain certitude for everything that He expounds is of importance,

is communicated through created languages or made meaningful relative to

 the earthly originated domain  (arḍ al-inshā'iyya).



All of this appears in the Muhammadan garment

(qamīṣ al-muhammadiyya) and thus doth the Dove (al-warqā') warble forth

on every level the melodies of the Spirit perchance thou might comprehend something of what is communicated unto thee.




By God!

If I desired to expound these three levels

[of interpretation]

relative to these three [isolated] letters [A-L-M]


scriptural Tablets (al-alwah) would in no wise suffice

[to register their sigificances];

insufficient ink would be available

such that it would prove necessary to select on every level

something of what thou art capable of apprehending.


This inasmuch as the moment for the Pen


to write even a [single] letter is beyond my grasp

in the light of [the actions of] such as have disbelieved

and added gods to God.


 And this since the shackling of this Youth

(al-ghulām) [Bahā'-Allāh]

seems something  conspired within their breasts;

the Youth who reposes in the region of Iraq

(shatr al-`Iraq),

summons all unto progress

and orients himself towards the horizon of

the Divine Singularity

(afaq al-aḥadiyya )

by virtue of the splendours

of the radiance of the [mystic] Horizons


These matters do We mention unto thee

relating to the

mysteries of the Cause (asrar al-amr)

perchance thou might be attentive.



By he in whose hand is the Logos-Self of Ḥusayn!

If it were not for the fact that the dangerous ways

of the practitioners of dissimulation

(ahl al-nifaq = [proto-] Azali Bābis?)

had inhibited me

mention would have been made in

the scriptural Tablet (al-lawh)

of that which would enable thee to be detached from

all that is in the heavens and on the earth

and enable thee to attain unto a station which no ear

hath ever heard and no eye hath ever perceived.


Such an ever-flowing bounty

can never by surpassed! even if it should flow out

from the beginning which hath no beginning

unto the end for which no end can be perceived.


This in that the Fountainhead of this Divine Watercourse

this Ocean of the Divine Singularity

(al-bahr al-aḥadiyya )

is none other than the Reality of the Lordly Bounty

(haqiqat fadl al-rabbaniyya),

the very Beingness of the knowledge of Perpetuity

(kaynunah `ilm al-samadaniyya).


In view of this how could it ever be that this delicious,

ever-flowing Reality could be exhausted?


Nay rather! By my Lord!

it shall never cease; neither shall it pass away

for there shall be made manifest through it

what shall give testimony unto Us

and in addition also the witness of

 the denizens of the Supreme Concourse

(sukkan mala' al-a`la).


How can the Bounty of God ever be terminated?

Or the Divine Grace be cut off on His part?


Nay! By the very Lord of the of the heavens

and of the earth!

His Mercy hath ever preceded all things

and His Bounty hath forever circumambulated all existence!




Say: O People!

This is an expression of His Bounty which He sends down unto thee,

the rains of divine Wisdom from the clouds of knowledge.


It's effect wafts over all realms of possible being to the end that they might be enabled

to enter the Riḍwān of Holiness (riḍwān al-quds) and be clothed in garment of Eternal Subsistence

(qamīṣ al-baqā').


 Ponder ye, therefore, upon the mysteries of this Divine Bounty.


Say: `O people!

You were asleep upon the bedclothes and failed to rise up from the couches of heedlessness

(maqā'id al-ghaflat) when there dawned forth the Sun of the Divine Love (shams al-ḥubb).


When, that is, all mouldering bodies (al-ajsad al-ramīmah)

were resuscitated through its energizing effect you were as a frozen ice-mountain

(al-jabal al-bard)

failing to melt down with the beaming radiance of this celestial [Sinaitic] Fire (al-nar)

when all who dwelt within the lofty heights of Paradise (rafārif al-khuld) were set ablaze thereby.




Say: O People!

Thou failed to hearken unto this servant


possessed of certitude in God

(al-muqin bi-Allāh)


through this Luminary


didst thou become aware of

the gradations of mystical love

(marātib al-ḥubb).


How magnificently is he enkindled

with the Fire of Love

(nūr al-ḥubb)

and how fiercely does he at every moment burn up

through the fire of His [Own] Logos-Self

(nar al-nafsihi).


Wherefore, should  thou be set ablaze

through the wonders of the Remembrance

(bada'`i al-dhikr).


So hearken thou [within thine own selves]

and supplicate God within [regarding His mystery] (fi sirrihi)

with a tongue dedicated unto Him


[Wherefore] say,

`O my God and my Master (sayyid)!

I supplicate Thee through Thy Luminary (siraj)

whom Thou didst make to be sanctified above the Lamp


in that Thou raised me up

 in the assemblage of the lovers

in a locale  wherein mention is made

 of the Name of God,

 the Mighty, Help in Peril, the One Promised.'


The One that is, Who, in very truth,

shall come upon a cloud-canopy of fire

(`ala zill min al-nar)

and about whom circumambulate

the angels of the sacred Cause

(mala'ikat al-amr).


 At this will the cloud[s] of holiness be upraised

and the Dove (al-warqa')

warble out accents the like which of shall enrapture

the inmost hearts of the cherubic beings

who are nigh unto God (af'idat al-muqarribīn).




Say: O People!

Hearken unto My Speech!

Realize the importance (qadr) of these days

and hold ye firm unto the brilliant, hidden Thread



Be not entrapped by this mortal world


and its embellishments

and do not allow thyself to be saddened by adversity

or disoriented on account of what may harm thee

through such as have disbelieved and turned away from God,

the Mighty, the Beloved One.


Be among the choicest of creatures

who would not be held back

by any hindrance of the hinderer,

veiled by the baseness of the censurer

or witheld by antagonisms of an antagonist;

even though, as thou wouldst realize,

all who dwell on earth should oppose them.


Such persons are among those who

do not orient themselves

in the direction of any single Countenance

and are unconcerned with anything

 in the created domain



And were such persons to chance upon cities of gold

they would assuredly,

even as the lightening, flee therefrom.


They would in no way be entangled therewith

but render glory in the exuberance of their detachment


 These are such that when the verses of thy Lord are recited unto them,

the Fire of the  Divine Singularity (nūr al-aḥadiyya ) is generated within their hearts

and their limbs are made to quake with spiritual yearning (al-shawq).


 Their very countenances prostrate before God, the King, the Help in Peril,

the Mighty, the Most Holy.


Everything aforementioned, regarding such as is evidenced in the inmost disposition

of those who are truly detached, do We cast upon thee perchance thou might

with thine own eyes speedily attain unto the shore of the Divine Bounty (shaṭī` al-fadl).




Then know thou that on another level God intends by these [isolated] letters


the  mysteries indicative of the[chronological] fulfillment [of prophecy]

(asrār ilā nihāyāt)

by means of which He alludes unto the period of the concealment of the [expected eschatological] Beauty

(ikhfā' al-jamāl)

behind pavilions of Glory (surādīqat al-jalāl) the like of which is evidenced in

the recorded traces (āthār) of the [twelver] Imams of the Criterion

(a'imma al-furqān).


[Thus, for example, the words]

"With the expiration of "Alif-Lām-Mīm-Ṣād" through to "Alif-Lām-Mīm-Rā '"  the Mahdī shall rise up".


Wherefore should  thou, in like manner,

observe and be informed of such

[chronological] mysteries in all the [isolated] letters


 until the moment

(ḥīn,  abjad = 68 = 1268?]

when there shall beam forth the [messianic] Lights

of a sacred, beloved Dawn

(fajr quds maḥbūb).





`Thou, O Concourse of the Bayān!

Behold all of this [latter interpretation]

is relevant to the levels of the creatures

and of things originated (maratib al-khalq wa'l-ibda`);

to manifestations of things computed (mazahir al-ijad)

and brought into being (al-ikhtira`).


It is otherwise with respect to those levels

(`modes of interpretation'; maqamat)

which God made to be a locus

(maḥall an)

for his sacred, theophanic self-manifestations

(li-tajalliyyāhi al-qudsiyya).


Such [levels of significance] are totally beyond the merest allusion;

account thereof can never be intimated nor evidenced

by means of any indication (dalalah).


They [the Letters] all lie within the Abode of Holiness

(maqarr al-quds)

where they assuredly await Realization (fulfillment)

( li-wāqifūn).





`O Concourse of the Criterion!

(al-furqan = the Qur'ān)

The [isolated] letters


 have ascended

unto their respective stations (mawaqif)

and the Words (al-kalimat)

unto their seats of repose (maqa'id)

yet thou [Muslims], up until this very moment,

have failed to perceive anything at all!


Hast thou not heard of the [eschatological]

"Day when the Crier [Herald] (al-munad) shall cry out"

(= Q. 50:41[40]a)?


And hast thou not heard of the

[eschatological, devastating ]



with the very Truth (bi'l-ḥaqq)?

(see Q. 50:42[41] etc)


How is it that until this very moment

thou hast remained lifeless in the veils of thine own selves?


Rise up then! from the resting places of heedlessness

(marāqid al-ghaflah),

ignorance (al-jahl) and hostility (baghda')

then proceed unto the Remembrance of God

(dhikr Allāh)

for such is best for thee if thou desirest to return

unto the precincts of the divine nearness

(awtān al-qurb).


And dost thou not consider bygone centuries

with repect to what befell some [persons]

in view of the fact that they opposed the Messengers of God (rusul Allāh)

and rejected their verses (or `signs'; ayat)?


 Consequent upon this God did not commission any Messenger (min rasul)

save He was sent down with a [conclusive] Proof (hujjat)

before which [even] the mature (al-balighun) were incapacitated.


 And He hath given tidings to every Messenger (rasul);

news of the sent Messenger (rasul) who shall come after him.


And all were assuredly promised about his [forthcoming] advent.




So observe such as were given the Torah aforetime!

Unto them was Moses raised up and they were given good news from God,

the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting;

[good news that is]

about a Prophet who would come after him

(cf. Deut. 18:15,18).


But when Moses came unto them with the rod of the Command

(`aṣā al-amr) and the Paran of Love (fārān al-ḥubb)

they turned aside from him [Moses] and they said,

"This is naught but a crazed magician

(sāhir majnūn)."


And they disavowed him and debated with him;

they disputed with him until innumerable years passed by

and God lifted him up through His command

and enabled him to attain unto

a [place] station (maqam) which was ordained for him.


Thus were matters implemented through His wisdom (hikmat)

and His Proof (burhan) was established;

those who had disbelieved, added gods to God

and without justification acted tyranically

 and were [consequently] were cut off.


Just as thou, even today,

uttereth supplications for Moses and such as hath believed in him

and curse Pharoah and his hosts.


Thus do We narrate for thee something of the narrative of establisghed Reality

(qaṣaṣ al-ḥaqq)

perchance thou might be mindful in the Days of God! 



Then Moses gave the people tidings

of he who would appear after him.


And when Jesus came unto them with manifest,

sacred expositions

(bayyināt quds mashhūd )

they waxed proud against him and said,

"Thou art not that [expected] one

but naught except a man bewitched

(rajul mashur)."


 Subsequently, Jesus gave glad-tidings of a prophet (nabī)

who would come after him by means of mighty, laudable allusions (bi-ishārāt `izz maḥmūd).


Thus, when Muhammad, the Messenger of God (rasul Allāh)

came unto them they rejected him and disavowed him.


They said,

`This is naught but a man feeble against God,

the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.'


And when he was lifted up unto God

they gathered together in support of his Cause just as thou dost witness today.


 And they all in the light of what had befallen him [Muhammad]

were made to weep and evinced humility,

then cursed such as wronged him [Muhammad].


And the moment he was raised up unto Sublime Intimacy

(`Transcendent Partnership'; rafiq al-a`la)

and had ascended unto the furthermost Lofty Heights

(rafārif al-quṣwā

he promised the people the one who would come subsequently.

All of the people of the Criterion (malā' al-furqān = Muslims) are affirmative of that.



 And the Cause (al-amr) was in motion

and the appointed times (mudda) transpired

until there came about the advent

of `Alī before Muhammad

[= the Bāb]

with brilliant signs ([verses] āyāt wāḥidāt) and dazzling proofs (ḥujaj bāhirāt);

with solid arguments (dalā'il muḥkamāt) and resplendent testimonies (barāhin lā'ihāt).


Yet did all wax proud before God regarding his Cause [Bābism]

despite the fact that they were all promised the Meeting with Him (God; liqā'ihi).


Unto this testifieth all that was inscribed in Preserved Tablets (alwāḥ al-maḥfūẓ)

just as thou dost recite in the Book [the Qur'ān].


This in that when God sealed prophethood (khatama al-nubuwwat)

through His Beloved One (ḥabīb = Muhammad,

the khātam al-nabbiyīn  "Seal of the prophets" in Q. 33:40b)

he gave the servants the glad-tidings of the Encounter with Him [God]

and thus was the matter definitively resolved (khatama al-makhtūm).


Then when God came [unto them] in the shadows of the clouds

(fi zulal al-ghamam, Q.2:210), 

breathed into the Trumpet of the Cause

(nafakha fi sur al-amr; cf. Q.18:99; etc),

split the Heaven asunder (insḥaqqat al-sama'  cf. Q.55:37 ; 69:16; 84:1)

and crushed the mountains to dust (Q.56:5; 69:14, etc),

did all retreat back upon their heels

(cf. Q.3:144; 6:71..)

continuing to await the Encounter [Meeting] with Him [God].


This just as the Jews and the Christians continue to await

that which they were promised aforetime;

from that day until this very moment they

all remain in a state of [eschatological] expectation!


How many Messengers (rusul) hath God, in very truth,

sent unto them after Moses up until this moment?


The Jews failed to perceive this

and have for all these years stated that

`He [the Messiah] shall come in a subsequent year  (fi sanat ukhra !'


Know therefore their measure (maqadir)

and the measure of such as are enshadowed

within their own their own shadow (fi zill anfusihim).


So observe those who join partners with God!

the nature of their past ways and what they are still doing today.


In this way do We graciously aid thee

in distinguishing every particular [prophetic] announcement


and lay before thee what hath befallen the Messengers of God.


This to the end that thou be informed about the mysteries of the Cause

(asrār al-amr)

and be numbered among such as are today reckoned

among those who have entered neath the shadow of the Face

(zilal al-wajh);

such as God hath elevated to a station which is known

to His Own Logos-Self after which all had calumniated against Him.




At this moment do We return unto what We had previously mentioned

and establish anew the garment of mystic meaning (qamīṣ al-ma`ānī)

upon the repositories of the words (hayākil al-kalimat)

which are pristine (mujarrad), unprecedented (bad`)  and multi-faceted (mansūj).


This that thou might become certain about the fact that the timing of the Cause

(zamān al-amr)

is in the grasp of One Powerful, Awesome (marhūb) and One capable, should He so will,

of initiating change [revolution] (munqalib).


Thus, when His Cause came unto all who are in the created dominion,

there occurred revolution for all were overturned.




Then know that were I to make mention of the

[mystical] meaning

of the [letter] "A"

(ma`ānī al-alif)

which was revealed at the commencement of the Book

(al-kitab = the Qur'ān 2:1)

according to that which was ordained therein

of the pearls of hidden knowledge

(lū`lū` `ilm maknūn),

 it would assuredly cause the swooning away of

all who inhabit the heavens and the earth;

save, that is, such as are immersed within the surging waves (ṭamṭām)

of the Ocean of the Divine Power

(yawm al-qudrat)

in the proximity of the divine Countenance

(muqābalat al-wajh).


These are such persons as are leagued

against the dogs of the earth

(kilāb al-ard)

which seize Us [me]

with the clutches of enmity

and reject the bounty which hath descended from

a cloud raised up in the name of God

(bi-ism Allāh)

that quencheth the thirst of those who are consumed

in the Paran of Separation

 (fārān al-firāq)

nigh the unto

the raging Fire

(fawārān al-nār).


Some of them would assuredly expire

and this to the extent that even if the spirit of life

(rūḥ al-ḥaywān)

were breathed into them they would not even come alive again

[lit. `be able to crawl..'].


But a very few of them would quaff from the Life-giving Spring

(al-ma`īn al-ḥayawān)

which floweth in the shadows of these words

and would glorify God their Creator

in that He hath caused to shine upon them

from the direction of `Iraq the Luminosity of the Horizons

(nayyīr al-āfāq)

following the swooning away of the spirits

and their subsequent recovery

(thumma afāq)!




Know therefore that the people have been scattered

in view of the fact that they were given to disputation.


And thus was sent down aforetime unto Muhammad,

the Messenger of God

(rasul Allāh) that

["]And only a handful of My servants evinced gratitude.["]


Yet, in spite of all this,

 it is beloved to Us [me] that I should

give special attention to the one

 who striveth in the way of God,

journeyeth towards Him, and migrateth unto Him.


In this light do I cast, according to the capacity of such among the servants [of God] who can bear it,

of those souls who can sustain and of such intellects as can fathom it, what might serve as a memorial

and an expression of glad-tidings (tadhkirat wa bisharat) unto the servants and [unto] those who desire to hasten

unto the Abode of Peace (dār al-salām = Baghdad) and enter beneath the shade of the Tree of Reunion

(shajarat al-wasl).


Hearken then unto what is revealed (w-ḥ-y) unto thee

in this blessed [Sinaitic] Spot

(buq`at al-mubarakat)

from this all-eternal [Sinatic] Tree [Bush]

(al-shajarat al-sarmadiyya)

which is not consumed by Fire

(mā qabasa `anhā al-nār)

(cf. Exod. 3:2b)


Unto this do none draw nigh

except such as circumambulate about its domain

and, with His consent,

sacrifice themselves in His path

thereafter rendering thanks.




Know thou then that the [isolated] letter  ا  "A"  (Alif)

is, on a certain level a herald [indicative] (bashir) of His Greatest Name

(al-ism al-a`ẓam) which is Allāh

["God" 1st letter = "A"].


The  ل   [isolated letter] "L" (lām)

is an aspect of His Hidden Knowledge

(min `ilmihi al-maknūn).


The   م  [isolated letter] "M" (mīm)

indicateth his Name

the Bestower (al-mu`ṭi).


That is to say [A-L-M]

[semi-acrostically indicates the sentence],

`I am God, the Most-Informed

(al-a`lām), the Bestower (al-mu`ṭi).


And these Names are what God hath singled out

for His own Logos-Self


at the commencement of the Book

(al-kitāb =  Q. 2:1).


By this means doth He accomplish that which He desireth

and none can ever know the nature of what He desireth nor outstrip Him in His knowledge.


And We one and all are certain

and confident of this matter.




Now on another level God,

glorified be He,

intendeth by the  ا  [letter] "A"    (alif)  

of the [isolated letters A-L-M] the Oneness of His Essence (aḥadiyya  dhātihi).


By the  ل   [letter] "L" (lām) [is indicated] the wilāya

(providential custodianship)  of His  ولى walī 

(intimate authority, custodian, legatee, guardian, etc)  for the [letter] "L" (lām)

is the letter indicative of al-wilāya (one representative of special custodianship)

if thou art of such are informed.


 By the  م  [isolated letter] "M" (mīm)

is indicated the prophethood


of His Beloved (ḥabīb, = Muhammad]

for this letter ("M")

is the letter of  prophethood (nubuwwa)

as is indicated by the fact that

it appears at the beginning of the

name of His Messenger (= Muhammad)

just as thou dost witness.


And the letter of the wilāya

(ḥarf al-wilāya custodianship = "L")

 hath precedence over the

letter of Prophethood

(ḥarf al-nubuwwa  =  M)


This so that those possessed of heartfelt vision testify to the fact that 

this is an expression of eschatological glad-tidings

(bishāra min ba`d)

unto all who inhabit the heavens and the earth for he who succeeded Muhammad

(= the Bāb)

hath in his mighty name (= `Alī Muhammad)

the name of wilāya  (custodianship..) (ism al-wilāya) [=`Alī]

precede  the name of prophethood (ism al-nubuwwa) [= Muhammad]

just as thou art aware in [the Bāb's name] `Ali before Muhammad

(`Ali Muhammad = the Bāb).


Evidence of this is furnished by the second verse of the Criterion

 (al-furqan = the Qur'ān)

which, in very truth, was revealed as follows,

"No doubt is there about this Book

wherein there is guidance for the godfearing

who believe in the Unseen (al-ghayb)" (Q. 2:2).


Now the "Unseen" (al-ghayb)

doth not relate to the era (`asr) of Muhammad

except through `Alī before Nabīl

[= Muhammad = the Bāb]

if thou be of those who believe in this "Unseen"



Through this "Unseen" (al-ghayb) did God take a covenant (al-`ahd),

by virtue of the very [pre-eternal] constituent atoms of the Criterion (the Qur'ān = Muslims; fi dharr al-furqan),

with all such as inhabit the heavens and the earth; though most of the peoples remain devoid of comprehension.




Know therefore in what manner the Bird of the Throne

(dīk al-`arsh)

extendeth its tongue and warbleth in the lofty heights of Eternal Subsistence

(rafāraf al-baqā')

informing thee of that through which thou shouldst find thy minds calmed,

thy souls  refreshed and thine hearts delighted.


Through this also should the believers in the Divine Oneness (al-muwāḥḥidun)

be exhilarated.


Know then! the greatness of this Cause (al-amr)

for God hath made mention of it

at the very beginning of His Book [the Qur'ān, 2:1]

and at the very commencement of His address

with His Beloved One [Muhammad].


In spite of this these profligate souls

[Muslims] broke the covenant of God

(naqisu `ahd Allāh)

violated His testament (mithāq) and repudiated His Proof (burhān).


Not satisfied with all this they did unto him [the Bāb] what shattereth the very patience of

the truly patient.


Thus do We inform thee of the mysteries of the Cause

if thou dost hearken with the ears of sanctity.




So by God!

Shouldst thou ponder upon the ل   "L" (lām)

which was sent down between the two [isolated] letters

(al-ḥarfayn  = "A" and "M")

thou wouldst assuredly attain everything

that thou desirest

for the  ل   "L" (lām) hath the form of three [letters]

 (hai`atihi thalatha, = لام  = l+ā+m)

[when spelled out in full],

as accords with the reckoning of

the practitioners of computation

in their examination thereof.


The latter [persons] thus assign to its reality


three [letters]; that is,

[1] the  [letter]  ل  "L" (al-lām),

[2] the [letter] ا "A" (al-alif)  and

[3] the [letter] م  "M" (al-mīm).


It [the isolated letter "L"]  thus combines within itself everything about which we might be questioned

[regarding the A-L-M].


The [letter] م  "M" (al-mīm)  appeareth within its reality (nafs)

and this is an evidence of its being self-contained  (istighna')

as thou wouldst realize if thou shouldst soar in the firmament of self-sufficiency

(hawā' al-tajrīd) and the expanse of the Divine Oneness (fadā' al-tawhīd).


In view of this do the proof seekers (al-mustadillun)

demonstrate the fact that "He, verily, no God is there save Him"

(innahu la ilaha ila huwa).


He, verily, hath ever been  exclusively One (wāḥid) in His Essence (dhāt),

One in His Attributes (ṣifāt), One in His Name (ism), One in His [cosmological-alchemical] handiwork (san`a).


Could there possibly be any God other than He?


`Praised be God! There is no God other than He'.


And we, one and all,

before Him and His handiwork


do stand in bewildered awe



Through this are the veils of blasphemous idolatry

(hijabat al-shirkiyya)

burned up, the intimations of self-guidance dissipated and the banners of the champions of

the Divine Oneness upraised.




Ponder now upon the  ا  "a" (al-alif)

which God placed in an intermediary position

between the ل  "L" (al-lām) and the م  "m" (al-mīm)

[in the isolated letter "L"  لام   = l+ā+m].


Such is what cannot be comprehended

through discernment 

nor fathomed by means of knowledge (al-`ilm)

even if all such as inhabit the heavens

should consider this matter

for an eternity of eternities (fi azal al-azal).


[In the effort to comprehend]

The very doors of the mystical senses

(abwāb al-ma`ānī)

of  this all-perpetual letter

(al-ḥarf al-samadani)

would be bolted and the portals of explication

(abwab al-alfaz)

would be opened that thou might  make due progress should thou hearken aright!




Know then that should  thou make this divine "A"

(al-alif al-ilahi)

to revolve about its self (nafsihi) there would be manifest two upright "A"s

(al-alfayn al-qa'imayn).


And then after that if thou should  raise them both up unto [the value of] the tens


then there would be manifest the number of twice ten

        (= twenty; `adad al-`asharayn; 1+1 = 2 X10 = 20).


Then   would surely be made manifest

the [letter] ك  "K" (al-kāf; abjad = 20)

of the [creative imperative] command

[ كُن  kun = "Be!"]

by means of which the "Temples of the Divine Unity"

(hayākil al-tawḥīd), the Manifestations of Singleness (maẓāhir al-tafrid)

and the loci of abstracted reality (mawāqi` al-tajrid)

were called into being.


And this [creative "K" as the imperative كُن ]

actualized the  [qur'ānic] "and it is"


[=   كُن فَيَكُونُ  kun fa-yakūn,

"Be and it is!", Q. 2:115; 3:42; 6:72 etc     ]

before it was associated with

the supportive letter ن  "N"

(bi-rukn al-nūn)

[as thou dost know]

if thou art of such as are informed.


Following this conjoining

[of ك  "K" and   ن   "N"

as the creative imperative  كُن  ]

the modalities (al-ishārat) were created

in the worlds of limitation (`awālim al-taḥdīd) as well as the concrete [worldly] testimonies

(dalalat al-mulkiyya)

in the worlds of constructed reality (`awālim al-tarkib).


Unto this do testify such as are privy to

the knowledge of the mysteries of wisdom

(ulu al-`ilm asrār al-ḥikmat)

the like of which hath streamed forth

from a manifest and mighty Pen

(qalām `izz mashud).




Know then that all of the [Isolated] Letters

(al-ḥurūfāt) and the Words (al-kalimāt)

return unto this all-eternal [letter]


(al-alif al-samadani) and this Lordly Cipher (al-raqm al-rabbani)

[as would be evident to thee] if thou should  observe with the vision of the heart


It assuredly is a manifestation of the Letters

(maẓhar al-hurufat)

without it being [in the least] alluded to

(min ghayr al-ishara alayihi).


And thus was the knowledge which originateth with Him,

in very truth, sent down should  thou estimate correctly

and be of such as comprehend.


Otherwise beseech God,

thy Lord that He instruct thee in His knowledge

and proffer unto thee what shall enable thee to be

 independent of such as resist guidance

by the verses [signs] of God

(bi- āyat Allāh),

who do amble in the shadowy enclaves

of the abysmal deep 

and are engulfed therein

from all directions by waves of hellfire 

causing them to sweat profusely

though utterly failing to realize [spiritual] intimacy.




Observe now!

the mysteries which are deposited in

this [letter] "A"


for in all the Letters


are theophanies (tajalliyyāt)

of this "A" (al-alif).

Then observe ye this!


Witness ye, for example,

that in this [letter]  ا  "A" (al-alif)  is the [letter]  ب  "B"  (ḥarf al-bā')

in an humbled, innocent condition (bi-khuū`a barā'a),

utterly prostrate upon the dust

its whole being manifesting fear before God (khushū` an  li-lāhī )

as thou mayest observe if thou beholds its shape

(Arabic  ا  "A" =   ب  "B",

 leveled, turned on its side).


 Subsequently was it

[the locus of "A" / "B"]

manifested in the

Temple of [the letter] د  "D"

(haykal al-dāl)

exhibiting its prostration


before God, the Help in Peril, the Beloved One

(note the bent, prostrate shape

of the Arabic letter "D", د ).


And when it has prostrated itself before God

the essence of the [letter]   ص   Ṣād

(`ayn al-ṣād)

was made manifest.


From this there floweth the


Watery Expanse


through which God reviveth

all who exist within the heavens

and on the earth in the category of creatures

(marātib al-khalq)

[as would be evident]

if thou should scrutinize

 the constituent nature of the creatures

(āthār al-khalq).


Wherefore be informed that all the Letters


and all of the creatures

are in this light subject to such theophany

on account of the theophanic transformations

of this [letter] "A"

(tajalliyyāt hadhā al-alif)

which is manifested within diverse receptacles

(hayākil al-mukhtalifa)

evident unto thee if thou should

examine the [diverse forms of]

the letters of the alphabet

(al-ḥurūfāt  al-hijā'iyya).




And when it came about that God

desired to manifest the theophanic transformations

   (tajalliyyāt) of this [letter] "A" (al-alif)

there radiated forth upon these

[primordial] letters  a theophanic disclosure of His likeness


(tajallī an min mithālihi).


As a result all these [primordial]

letters(al-ḥurūfāt)  were effected by

the [creative imperative] كُن

   "Be!" (kun)

and their very garments

(qamā'id, `outer forms')

were made manifest.


If they should sanctify their own selves

from these transient embodiments

(al-ishārat al-maḥdudat)

they would one and all  exist

in the [disembodied] form (haykal)

of this [letter] "A" (al-alif)

and [when necessary] would arise

in accordance with their respective forms.


And should thou desire to witness

a  theophanic self-disclosure (tajallī)

of this [letter] "A" (al-alif),

rising up (al-qā'ima) in the [primordial essence of the] letters

 (al-ḥurūfāt)  according to their [own] shape

 and its [own] subsistent being (qiyāmihi)

thou shouldst assuredly evince certitude  within thyself

 for it [the "A"] doth assuredly arise up above all things




Then observe the devolved cryptic dimensions

(al-ruqūmāt) [of the letter[s] "A"]

just as thou dost witness

 their [mundane] numerical-alphabetical aspect

(a`dād al-handasa).


This [letter] "A" (al-alif), for example,

if thou submerge it in the oceans of the decads

(abḥār al-`asharāt)

the "A" would appear,

[maintaining] its own shape

through the replication  

 of the [Primordial] "Point"

(bi-ziyādat al-nuqṭa) [as 2 dots]

and from it would appear

the [letter]  ې  "Y" (al-yā')

for its numerical value is ten

(yā' = abjad 10 = 1 & 0)

according to the manner of enumeration

in which thou dost calculate.


In like manner,

if thou shouldst cause the letter "A" (al-alif), 

to ascend unto the heaven of the hundreds

it would appear in its very essence

 through the compounding

of the dual "Points"

(ziyādat al-nuqatayn)

such that thou would, this moment

observe the letter ق  "Q"

(al-qāf)  [again with 2 dots]


Wherefore is it that it the letter "A" (al-alif)

 traverseth until it terminateth at the end of

numerical computation 

(ākhir al-`addād)

when the letter "A" (ḥarf al-alif) appeareth

on the fourth level [of the thousands]

 (rutbat al-rābi`)

[again] through the compounding of the

[Primoridal] "Points" (bi-ziyādat al-niqāt).


Wherefore is there manifest the numerical reckoning of the thousands (`adād al-alīf).


In this respect thou shalt observe the letter  غ     "Gh"

(al-ghayn; abjad = 1,000).




Then witness thou in what manner

the tokens of the Divine Unity

(āthār al-tawḥīd)

become evident in the Omnipotent realm

of the Letters (jabarūt al-ḥurūfāt)  

such that thou might bear witness in

 the horizons of the realms of possibility

(āfāq al-mumkināt)

and the selves possessed of intellectuality

(anfus al-ma`qulat) [cf. Q. XX :XX]

the fact that He is God

and that there is none other God save Him

and [that] all return unto Him.


So when the locus ["Self"] (nafs) of the [letter] "A"

(ḥarf al-alif)

became evident in the first of the letters

as well as the last of them,

 there appeared in its essence (dhat),

 through the tongue of their inmost reality

(bi-lisān sirrihi), [the words]

"He is the First and the Last,

the Seen and the Hidden"

(huwa al-awwā al- akhir

al-ẓāhir al-bāṭin)

(= Q. 57:3.. ).


And all in this respect were one

as regards the unity of their Creator [= the "A"]

for before Him were they prostrate.


On that level (al-maqām)

He appropriated to this [letter] "A" (al-alif) all the

[other emergent] Letters (al-ḥurufāt)

and thus was the theophany (tajallī ) of this [letter] "A"

(al-alīf) [ made manifest] through its own Self (bi-nafsihi)

upon [all] the [other] Letters [as thou would evident]

if thou were [of such as are] enraptured

in the Riḍwān of the Divine Unity

(riḍwān al-tawḥīd).


At any given moment what applieth

to the [letter]  ا   "A" (alif an)  is truly affirmed

of the letter ب  "B"  (ḥarf al-ba');

and the reverse also may be observed.


Then be aware of the "Points"


which are increased relative to it [the "A"]

on all of its levels and degrees. 


This is that which establisheth the outward forms


which it [the "A"] assimilateth

in the expression

 of its [alphabetic] self-manifestations

(tanzilāt tajalliyātihi)

to the end that the people realize that

He alotteth them

[= the "Points" in "A" = the various letters]

in accordance with their varying capacity

(miqdār) and according to

what is ordained for them relative to it.



if it were in its [alphabetical] mode

and it [= the "Points" in the "A" = various letters]

failed to become clothed in the garment of [alphabetic]

 limitation (qamīṣ al-ḥudūd)

it would prove incomprehensible unto the

inmost hearts of such as are possessed of discernment

as well as unfathomable unto those

possessors of intellect.



Then witness an [alphabetical] self-manifestation  (tajalli)

of this [locus of the letter] "A" (al-alif) within thine own self!

for thou, verily, at the moment in which thou hearken and envision [this "A"] thou shall cry out whatsoever thou

 desire inasmuch as no single affair hold thee back and no single action obstructs thee

just as thou witnesseth all that within thine own selves.



And in like manner experience something

of the Divine Names (fāshida fi 'l-asmā')

at the moment when the Divine Name "the Hearing"

(ism al-samī`)

is confirmed for thee.


In consequence there will [also] be confirmed for thee

 the Divine Name the "Seer" (ism al-baṣīr)

and likewise further Divine Names 

if, that is, thou shouldst gaze within thy selves

with  unblemished  vision

(bi-`uyūn al- ṣāfiyya).


And all of this [may transpire] relative to Divine Attributes

 (ṣifāt) which all the people up till this moment

return unto their Creator (khāliq) for they lack

[insightful awareness].


So testify [also] within thyself that all of these Divine

 Attributes hath been created within His dominion

and He casteth them out upon such of His servants

as He willeth for He, verily, no God is there save Him.


He would not be comprehended in any respect

through  thine own comprehension

 neither would He be understood in any fashion

after the manner in which thou doth understand.


Nay rather!

He created these various levels [abilities]

 in the realities (anfus) of His servants

to the end that thereby they all might become informed

 of the fact that He, verily,

created the Names (al-asmā')

but hath ever been sanctified therefrom;

and He fashioned the Attributes (al-ṣifāt)

but hath ever remained abstracted therefrom.


 There indeed is no Originator (mubdi`) other than Him

 for His is the Logos-Command (al-amr) and the Creation

(al-khalq) for were not all created

through His Logos-Command



 Wherefore shouldst [thou] exclaim:

`So exalted be God, the King, the Help in Peril,

the Self-Subsisting.

So exalted be God, the Omnipotent, the Creator,

the Powerful, the Mighty, the Beloved One.'



O Concourse of the Bayān!

Strive thou in thy spirits  and thy souls in order that thou might attain this station

 and be not of such as have failed hold fast unto any one of the Divine Names

(ism min al-asmā')

and among those who give no attention unto these Divine  Attributes



Be thou not of such as have eyes but fail to perceive anything,

for whom a hearing ear is inoperative and who have hearts that fail to comprehend.


So testify within thyselves that thou art rising up, sleeping and walking yet retain but a single identity

 (bi-shay' wāḥid)

for such is an established reality!


In spite of this there riseth up from amongst thee the [expression of] the various Divine Names and Attributes

(al-asmā' wa'l-ṣifāt)

just as thou dost witness and submit unto all of them within thine own selves.


And these diverse [divine] names  and numerous attributes were manifest

in diverse ways the like of which was decreed for thy selves

 and were created in thy bodies;

perchance thou might ascend within thyself through the [experience of]

celestial ascents of [mystical] gnosis

(ma`ārij al-irfān).


For example, thou dost take an action which is but a single thing

even though thou dost name or designate it with all the various names

(bi-kull al-asmā').


In reality, in its very essence  [the action]

is abstracted from everything that thou speak of

or the like of which thou dost

[inwardly] make reference to.


 In turning, however, unto

the locus of "hearing" and its root bases,

there should be manifest a trace (athar),

an attribute (ṣifāt) or a[nother] name (ism),

 it would in no wise appear distinct from 

 that [action].


Likewise, in turning unto the locus of "vision"

 and through such of the faculties

as are implicit therein,

  there would be manifested another trace

 of a [specific] attribute (ṣifāt).


Such is what thou wouldst find

relative to thine own selves.


It is [also] likewise with respect to

the tongue (al-lisān);

should the action be oriented towards the tongue

there would appear [the power of] speech (al-nuṭq)

just [in fact] as thou dost articulate. 


And this is the result of focusing upon the outer foundations

 (aṣbāb al-ẓāhiriyya) [of the various divine Names]

in the condition of the human identity

(haykal al-bashariyya).


And again it is likewise with respect to

the interior dimension (al-bāṭin)

through the insigthtful vision

(bi-baṣar al-bāṭin)

[as though would realise]

shouldst thou [befittingly] bear witness.


For example, in [the association of the action]

with the heart, the liver, the spleen, the head

and more besides,

it is manifested in these diverse situations

[resulting in]  diverse names

the like of which thou dost name [through]

the intellect (al-`aql), the spirit [soul] (al-nafs)

and the inmost heart (al-fu'ad).



Wherefore be informed of the [alphabetical]


 (al-tajallī ) of [the letter] "A"

within thine  own self (nafs)

in spite of the fact that it is a but a single reality

(cf. "A" = abjad 1, wāḥid);

God makes manifest therefrom the [various]

Divine  Names (al-asmā' al-mutaghāyira)

and the variegated traces  (al- athar al-mukhtalifa)

which result in the realization of

the station of mystical apprehension [gnosis]

(maqam al-`irfan).


And thou shalt witness in this respect that diversity

which shall be made manifest  as a result of

the differentiation of the locus [cf. "A"=1]

and the foundational bases

(al-maḥall wa'l-asbāb).


Notwithstanding [this differentation]

the Manifestor  (mujallī) is One (wāḥid)

and the thing manifested (al-tajallī)

is [likewise] one (wāḥid)


All of this taketh place within thy self

if thou would be insightful

and thus be assured that there is

none other God save Him.


He it is Who fashioned the entirety of the creation;

through all of the His [Divine] Names

and His [Divine] Attributes

(bi-jami` asmā'ihi wa ṣifātihi)

as thou wouldst realize if thou didst not blot out

within thyselves the wonders of the Divine artistry

(badāī'i ` al-ṣan`a).


All of this He created in His dominion

and made manifest on the level of the created realm

 (fi maqam al-khalq).




And ye, O Concourse of the Bayān!

Overstep ye not thy limitations!

Fear ye God! and appropriate not to thyselves

what hath not been ordained  for thee.


Be ye not then [such as] elevate their station.


We, verily, have clarified for thee that whereby

the inmost hearts of the mystic knowers (af'ida al-urafā'),

 the sages (al-ḥukamā') and the divines (al-`ulāma')

were bewildered through the

subtle allusions of these words


 This to the end that through them thou might

thereby gain insight and cause all such as are

 in the heavens and on the earth to drink deep

of this flowing spring (al-ma`īn al-jāriyya)

in accordance with their [varying] capacities

and levels [of mystic progress] (maratib)

and in line with that which

they are capable of apprehending.


Know therefore how this Spiritual [letter] "A"

(al-alif al-ruḥānī),

this all-enduring Ornament

(al-ṭarāz al-samadānī),

this Unitative, Upright Thread

(al-khayt al-mustaqīm al-aḥadāī ) [Bahā'-Allāh?]

hath risen up unto and through its own self

in the encouter [with] the denizens

of the heavens and of the earth.


And at one time it ["A"= Bahā'-Allāh] lifteth up it's head

 unto heaven, whereupon the Supreme Concourse

 (malā' al-a`lā)  is enraptured thereby

and at another it inclineth it towards the earth

whereupon the bodies of the cherubic beings

(ajsad al-Muqarribīn)

are raised up from

the sepulchers of extinction

(qubur al-fanā').


Wherefore do We deliver unto thee

something of that which is inscribed with

the fingers of Power upon sacred, Preserved Tablets

(alwāḥ quds maḥfūẓ).




Then know furthermore that this upright,

established [isolated letter] "A"

(al-alif al-mustaqīmah al-rāsikha)

hath a similitude (mithāl) in all the worlds;

every thread [ray] of its bounty

(khayt min `inayatihi)

is empowered



Everything that thou dost observe

in all that hath been created

 and will evermore be created,

is a [direct] result of its uprightness

or its uprising or  a result of its being solidly established,

 or indeed, of its power or might

 (quwwat aw qudrat).


 Know therefore that all of this hath been made manifest

by virtue of the [very] uprightness of

this Divine [letter] "A"

(istiqamat hadha al-alif al-ilahi);

and everything is sheltered neath the shadow

of this divine "A" (al-alif al-ilahi) and becometh established

 as a result of its uprightness.



So by God!

The discourse hath reached a level at which

the allusive meanings of knowledge

(isharat al-`ilm)

and the testimonies of wisdom

(dalalat al-hikma)

have been set forth.


This that thou might be especially thankful unto God,

thy Lord during thy days

and be numbered among such as turn aside from all

upon the earth then incline unto the

Beauty of the Divine Oneness

(jamāl al-aḥadiyya)

in the Robe of Light

(qamis al-nūr)

[= the Bāb / Yaḥya / Bahā'-Allāh?]

beyond the [celestial] Veils [of Light].


 Those that is who drink deep of the

Wine of mystic Meaning and Spiritual Life

from the hands of the Spirit

(al-rūḥ = Bahā'-Allāh?)

and at every moment do so quaff.


And if there should be displayed before them

 [the spiritually pious]

all manner of  [erotic] visions (kull al-tala`āt)

and there be manifested unto them females

[bedecked] with every adornment

and bejewelled trinket

(zīna wa ḥaly)

they would in no wise be distracted thereby.


And if, furthermore, such damsels should enter unto them

[the pious, adorned] with bracelets of gold

(asāwir al-dhahāb)

and mighty flowing robes

(jalābīb al-`izzat),

[adorned] in silken brocade (al-sundus),

[nay indeed]

in gilded silk brocade (al-istabraq)

and desire to beguile [seduce, snatch] one of them

[the pious] or desire that they [damsels] should

command the affection (lit. `enter the heart')

of anyone of them [the pious], then by God!

they [the pious] would prove unwilling

and would evince no desire to [even] consider them.


 (Such would be the case with the pious)

even if these female beings should ornament themselves

 with all [such finery] as is possible in [the spheres of]

 existence and make use of eye-coloring,

 evincing [seductively] wholly black lashes

[all manner of eye-makeup] (al-akḥāl)!


Should, in fact, any one of them [the pious]

be confronted with all that is possible [of distractions]

on earth be it [even] of gold or of silver

or of all the adornments of the earthly domain

(zakhārif al-mulk),

they would in no wise take note of such things

 neither would they be inclined thereto.


Such [aforementioned saintly] persons

are [indeed] the [chosen] saints of God

(awliyā' Allāh)

for whom there is neither fear nor sorrow;

they stand in dread of no one

even if [it should be the case that] all who

inhabit the heavens and the earth

should rise up against them.


They would not be discomforted

 inasmuch as their hearts, their very selves

and their [deep] inmost bosoms

have been filled with the wine of the Mercy of God

as well as of His love.


There is no space within their hearts

such that there should enter therein

 a love for anything other than Him.


Thus do We inform thee regarding the sincere ones

 perchance thou wilt comprehend their [exalted] nature.


And thou shalt follow their mode of behavior

so as not to be moved by the tempests of the worldly domain

 (`awāsaif al-mulk)

nor have thy footsteps falter

in the violent winds of the course of time

(qawāsif al-dahr).


 Then be thou of such as are resolute

in the love of God (ḥubb Allāh).



Then know that this [letter] "A"


is expressive of mysteries relative to all sciences

(kull al-`ulum)

inasmuch as God hath bestowed upon it

a portion of the wonders of His Bounty.


Within it is a foreordainment [measure] of knowledge

 relative to what hath been and what will be.


If, for example, thou deduce the [other] letters (al-ḥurufāt)

 which are inner dimensions (sarā'ir)

of this [isolated letter] "A" in the light of

that which We have divulged unto thee previously

of the four levels [implicit] therein and thou write down

[the secrets of] its power of articulation


and after that divide it according to its four divisions


and thou apply this according to these [four] divisions

 in line with its requirement in terms of

augmentation and diminution

(aI-iqtidā' min al-taraqqī wa'l-tanazzul),

of ascent and equilibrium

(al-taraffu` wa'l-tasāwī)

there shall assuredly appear before thee

something of such mysteries

as shall astonish the intellects.


And thereby will be evident that which thou hast heard

 regarding the all-encompassing

[comprehensive science of]  jafr

(al- jafr al-jāmi` )

 and thou shalt attain unto the genesis of the sciences

 (madbā' al-`ulūm).




 So Oh! would that We had found

some [receptive] soul meeting with Our approval

such that We might bestow upon him

what God hath taught Us of His Bounty!


But inasmuch as We failed to find such an one

did We communicate this unto thee to only to

 a limited extent;

for We restrict the matter somewhat

lest there become privy thereto

every tyrannical apostate

 (jabbār mardūd).


Know then that these [qur'ānic] isolated letters

(al-hurufat al-muqaṭṭa`āt)

are on one level an intimate link (ramz) between the

 enraptured soul and the Beloved One

 (`āshiq wa'l-mashūq),

the lover and the Loved One

(habib wa'l-mahbub).


And none shall become privy thereto

except those whose hearts God hath made

repositories of His knowledge and treasuries of His wisdom


 For such is what is hath been anticipated

in the knowledge of God,

the Help in Peril, the Beloved One.



Then know [thou furthermore]

that this [isolated letter] "A" (al-alif)

is on one level allusive of the Snow-White Earth

(al-arḍ al-bayḍā'), [which is]

the Brilliant, Most  secreted Light

(al-nūr al-durri al-akhfa)

[if that ]

 is thou should desire to be perceptive of

the mysteries of the [divine alchemical ] artistry

in the sphere of nature

(asrār al-sanā` al-ṭabī`ah).


And this is the [Snow-White] Earth (al-arḍ)

whose basis and being  are derived from

the [cosmic] Watery Expanse


(as would be evident should  thou apply reason)

 for it doth exhibit solidity [freeze] when placed

within the [cosmic] Watery Expanse (al-ma').


Then praised be to God its Originator (mūjid)!

and exalted be He above that which they assert.


And should  thou solidify [freeze]

 and coagulate [thicken]

this brilliant  watery substance

(al-mā' al-durri)

in this Fiery Water

(al-mā' al-nārī)

and extract the heat (al-harārah)

from the [resultant] Golden Fiery Water

(al-mā' al-dhahabī al-nārī)

there would be united therein

the three [realities] which are

the Spirit (al-rūḥ ), the Soul (al-nafs)

and the Body (al-jasad).


And this is what hath not been anticipated

 by the knowledge of anyone among the people

for all are bewildered thereby.


It is thus the case that when thou hast

coagulated this [Snow-White] Earth (al-arḍ)

engendered from the [cosmic] Water (al-mā')

there shall appear the Crimson [hue] (al-ḥamrā')

in the [cosmic] Water (al-mā')

[which] should then be extracted.


And when thou hast extracted it

[the Crimson Water]

thou should find on its surface the residue [dust]

of the Fire

(ghubra al-nār).


That is to say, it should darken

at which thou should not be sorrowful

for if it is darkened it is perfectly acceptable since

God hath transformed this darkness through the Light.


This inasmuch as it is ignited and given radiance

with the permission of God,

the Help in Peril, the Praised One.



And this is the Fruit of Holiness

(thamarat al-quds)

which hath been manifested from the [celestial] Tree


planted in the Heaven

of the celestial spheres (samā' al-aflak)

and the Earth of the Intelligences

[Intellects] (ard al-`uqul).



And this is [also] the Philosopher's Stone

(ḥajr al-ḥukamā')

and their [alchemist's] Silver


and the Coveted Substance [?]

(ard al-`ashan)

as well as their [alchemist's] Quicksilver

[Mercury] (al-zaybaq)

and all which they do [synonymously] so designate.


And if thou extract it from the Divine Mine

 [Metal] (ma`din al-ilahi)

let something of the Spirit (al-rūḥ)

which deriveth therefrom empower [prevail upon]

it by virue of its affinity, for the Body (al-jasad) doth not

 receive the Spirit (al-rūḥ)  which is contrary to it

[as thou wouldst know]

if thou wert mindful of that which We

have bestowed upon thee.


And naught shall transpire of the days

[of successfully completing the alchemical task]

except thou shalt, with the permission of God,

[perform the alchemical]

whitening [process].


So strive thou to the utmost degree

with respect to its purification

such that nothing shall remain therein

of the darkness

which is the existing impurity (al-fasad).


Then thou shalt dry it in the Fire of Virtue

(bi-nūr al-salihat)

and empower [prevail upon] it with

this [same] Spirit (al-rūḥ)  another time.


Then set it ablaze in the Fire of Reeds

(nār al-qasab)

until there riseth up above this [cosmic] Water (al-mā')

what [deriveth] from a [greatly] treasured

Crimson Oil

(duhn aḥmar [an] makhzun).




By God!

This is indeed a result of the Gold of the Sages

[= Philosopher's Stone] (min dhahab al-ḥukamā')

over which souls (al-nufus) hath been perplexed

and the intellects of the wise (al-hukama') bewildered.


Up until this moment, however,

none hath attained thereto save those servants

who hath not been distracted

by the trappings of the world

(zakharif al-dunya')

from the [messianic] Remembrance of God


the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.


 This is indeed [known as] the [transformative]

Logos-Soul (al-nafs), the Blood (al-damm)

and the Red Gum (al-samghat al-ḥamrā')

with which he [the divine alchemist]

enliveneth the mouldering bodies

(ajsad al-ramīm);

if, that is, he bloweth thereon

with this [life-giving] Spirit





Then thou,

O Assemblage occupied with Alchemy!

[the work] (malā' al-san`a)

 Seek ye fervently!

but be thou conscious of the [dangers of the cosmic] Fire

(al-nār) such that thou shalt not bring it to bear

upon [the proto-"Gold"] to the extent which results in injury

for this [ethereal] Fire (al-nār)

doth both

decompose  (yufsid) and restore  (yuslih)

as thou wouldst know

if thou wert befittingly aware.


 Such is that which We mentioned

about the Fire (al-nar),

 the Gold (al-dhahab), the Soul (al-nafs),

the sulphurous Water (mā' al-kibrit),

the Divine Water (mā' al-ilāhī)

and the Airy Water

(mā'  al-hawā').


 And there applieth unto this [Elixir] all the divine Names and Attributes

(al-asmā' wa'l-ṣifāt)

 in its various inner grades and levels in the light of their appropriate correspondences

as indicated by the manifestation of [miscellaneous] hues [colours]

and modes of activity (al-alwān wa'l-af`al).


Wherefore do We instruct thee to the end that

all may attain certitude through this unlettered Iraqi Youth

[Bahā'-Allāh] (al-fata al-umm al-`iraq )

possessed of such sciences (li-`ulum) as surpass those of the ancients (al-awwalin)

and have never been comprehended by those of this latter period (al-ākhirūn).


This perchance their souls might thereby inwardly comprehend

and they desist from such idle speculationsas they indulge in this day.




Wherefore, O my Brother!

should there be manifested for thee upon the surface of the [cosmic] Water (al-mā')

this Luminous Child (al-walad al-nūrānī) and this Spiritual Infant (al-tufl al-ruḥānī)

then little by little remove it until thy [alchemical] charge (amr) shall be completed for thee.


By God!

If this [image on the surface of the water] should be envisioned, the [fervent] heat of the [cosmic] Fire

(humma al-nār) would bedazzle the sight.


Then exalted be the [Divine] [Fashioner] Alchemist (al-sani`),  the Creator,the Omnipotent, the Ruler,

 the Mighty, the Awesome.


This [visage] is indeed of the substance

[foundation] of the Spirit (al al-ruh)

as well as an established reality (haqiqa).


And if it should be designated something else

 it would [again] be [something] metaphorical


Through it the bodies of the dead (ajsād al-mayyita)

would be brought to life

and would rise up from their tombs

and be gathered in the domain of reconstitution

(arḍ al-tadbīr).


Then shall the resurrection of bodies (qiyāmat al-ajsad) be manifest for thee

on the Day in which He shall sound the Trumpet (yanfaha fi al-ṣūr),

on which the [bodily] garment of the creatures (qamīṣ al-khalā'iq)

shall be renewed and all [present] be confrontedby their [past] deeds in the Sanctified Presence

(mahdar al-quds)


And they shall be punished for all that they have committed of falsehood

during their wayward lifetime; they shall discover that they will in every respect be fully recompensed.


Wherefore shall the melodies of the Dove be renewed and He replace all [that exists] in the heavens

and on the earth.


He shall spread out the earth of mystic knowledge [gnosis] (arḍ al-ma`rifa),

the Bird of the Divine Oneness (dīk al-aḥadiyya)

 shall loll [stick its tongue out] and the [true] believers shall at this moment

 ride upon the [Steed] Burāq of Light.


Should We divulge for thee

all that shall take place on this [eschatological] Day

the [Sacred] Tablets (al-alwāḥ)

would prove unable to bear it

and souls would be convulsed thereby.

[12] Thus do We refrain from mention thereof

and return to Our previous theme

to the end that the [Divine] Bounty

which derives from God might take precedence and surround

such as are clothed in the garment of existence  (qamīṣ al-wujūd).




Then know that thou,

if thou combine this [alchemical] Oil


which We have, in truth disclosed for thee,

with this [Snow-White] Earth [of Gnosis?]

(arḍ [al-ma`rifa])

it would assuredly unite to the extent that it

 [the Elixir] would be produced;

it would indeed be most proximate,

closer than if it had been disclosed for thee

before thine own vision!

This,  if, that is,

thou should befittingly carry out

this [alchemical] task



Wherefore know thou [appropriately the secrets of]

the "Gold" and the "Silver" (al-dhahāb wa'l-fiḍḍā),

then the "Sun" and the "Moon" (al-shams wa'l-qamr),

the "White Gum" and the "Red [Gum]"

(al-samgat al-bayḍā' wa'l-ḥamrā')

perchance thou might be befittingly informed.


 And regarding this they [alchemists] say,

`The alchemical work (al-`amal) is naught save

the [mystery of] the two most great luminaries'

(al-nayyirayn al-a`zamayn)'

[= the Sun and the Moon];

 just as thou art aware from the books of the people.


And in this respect know thou also  that they say that our "Gold" is not the common gold

and likewise the "Silver" (al-fiḍḍa) that thou do ordinarily know about.


Such "Gold" (dhahab) is indeed that which We have named `Possessed of Dual Wings'


for it was a bird soaring in all of the bodies (ta'ir fi'l-ajsad) and [something]

designated with all the [various alchemical]  names (al-asmā').


It [the Bird] so designates, for example, the [element] Water (al-mā')

to the end that it might stream and flow and it designates Fire (al-nār) so that it might,  by its own nature, heat things up.


It likewise, [designates the element] the Earth (al-arḍ) [such that it may might prove inwardly solidified].


 Similarly again, it [so designates] the [element] Air (al-hawa') such that it might effect combination (li-ijtima');

 a uniting of what is within it [?]


 All such as are perceptive of the mysteries of nature (asrār al-al-tabi`at) bear witness [unto] the [truth of] this matter.


Such are among those who have attained detachment from what is other than God

and have been enabled to orient themselves towards Him; towards attaining unto a transcendent station (maqām al-a`lā).




Then know furthermore that this radiant [elixiroial], fiery Oil (al-duhn al-musha`sha`a al-nari)

is assuredly the Crown of Crowns (iklil al-akalil), the Divine Crown (iklil al-ilahi)

and the Crown of Victory (iklil al-ghalbat) since, by virtue of it,all of the bodies (al-ajsad) are regenerated

[transmuted, transformed..].


That is to say, through it are all bodies (al-ajsād) made to recover from viscous,

decayed moistness [wetnesses] (al-rutbat al-lazija al-mufsida) and the abysmal, base drynesses

(al-yubusat al-muzlima al-radiyya).


Through it also, all that hath been created upon the earth will be cured from all diseases.


It is assuredly the quintessence of [the divine, Cosmic] Activity (jawhar al-fa`il)

from which are established the foundations of the world (qawwam al-`alām).


It is [also] the "Heat" without which there would be no motion (al-haraka);

 for motion is a result of  the  action which is engendered thereby.


Wherefore know ye that all science [knowledge] is by virtue of the heat (min al-harara)

[as thou would realise] if, that is, thou should  ponder the essences of the science

[knowledge] of reality (jawahir `ilm al-haqiqa).


Assuredly is it the resting-place of the valiant (rahl al-shuj`an),

[as well as]

the Male Organ (al-dhakar), the Youth (al-shabāb), the Mercury (al-zaibaq), the Orient (al-mashriq),

and the Spirit [Soul] (al-rūḥ) which bloweth over the mouldering bones (al-`azam al-ramīma)

causing them (with the permission of God, the King, the Powerful, the Self-Subsisting) to rise up.




Then know thou that the Spirit (al-rūḥ) is naught but the increased density

[of the ethereal] Water (al-mā' al-munjamid)upon the face of the snow-white Earth

(al-arḍ al-bayḍā').



This results from a directive [Cause-Logos] (amr) from which it doth suddenly appear;

even as rapid divine revelation (al-waḥy al-sari`).


And God made it [the Spirit] to be triumphant over all things for this is assuredly

that which, from time immemorial overshadoweth all things

 through the shadow of the name of God,

the Triumphant (al-ghalib), the Powerful (al-qadir).


Manifest therefrom are the traces of power (āthār al-qudrat)  [as thou wouldst observe]

if thou should  attain unto this station  (maqām).




And this snow-white Earth (al-arḍal-bayḍā') is assuredly a [philosopher's] Stone


from which gusheth forth streams  (al-anhār) which are one in their species

[gender, class]

(hiya waḥdat fi jinsihā) and likewise one in their organized mode (tadbīriha waḥidat)

if thou would multiply this oneness  (wāḥid) thou wouldst witness four.


 It's similitude  (mithāl) is the [isolated letter] "A" (al-alif)

the like of which We have already made mention for this [letter] "A" is one in its "Soul" (nafs).


It is not subject to enumeration though enumeration does result  from it.


Multiplicity emergeth therefrom though thou do yet observe the multiplicity of the worlds of numbers

 (kathirāt `awālim al-a`dād) through the Countenance of the One (ṭal`at al-wāḥid).


This ["A"] is [indeed] the [Philosopher's] Stone (al-hajar) in which the three species (ajnās al-thalālitha)

are combined as thou do assuredly testify with thine own eyes, if, that is, thou art experienced in the knowledge

[science] of God (`ilm Allāh).


 It [the "A" = Elixir= Stone =Spirit] is certainly evocative of the "Night of Destiny"

 (laylat al-qadr; Q. 97:1f) for thereon is a thing determined according to a hidden knowledge

 (`ilm maknūn).



 God concealeth it from the inmost hearts of His servants just as the "Night of Destiny"

(laylat al-qadr)

is concealed from such as fail to gaze with the vision of God (bi-baṣar Allāh)

into the realities of things (haqā'iq al-ashyā').


 And We compare it [the hidden decree?] to the "Night" (al-layla) because darkness and shadows 

(al-sawād wa'l-ẓalima) become manifest therein after the primordial structuring [regulation of fate?]

(tadbīr al-awwāl).


This resulteth from the shadows  (al-ẓalimat) within which was determined the Water of Life

(mā' al-ḥayawān).


 Such is of the Reality (al-ḥaqq) about which thou hast heard aforetime.




Now Hearken thou!

O concourse of the Bayān, then ponder upon that which hath been sent down aforetime in the Criterion

(al-furqān = the Qur'ān) [regarding the]

determination of the threefold shadows; this to the end that thine eyes might be solaced thereby

and thou attain unto the acme of that after which the people hath striven in their search.


And thou, O thou servant!

Know thou that Bahā' [-Allāh] was immortalized

(khaḍara, `rendered verdent' as Khiḍr?)

when he attained unto the

Dawning-Place of Eternal Subsistence

(mashriq al-baqā')

nigh the Source of this Water

(ma`īn al-mā');

[though] he was not concerned therewith

neither did he drink therefrom

inasmuch as the Spirit [Soul] (al-ruh)

reoriented him (qallabahu) through his

own Logos-Self

(min nafsihi)

in a Mighty, Beloved, Right-Hand direction

(cf. Q. 18:18).


This inasmuch as this Youth

(al-fata) [Bahā'-Allāh]

desireth not Eternal Subsistence


 for his [own] Self  in this earthly domain


 [nay, rather!] he extendeth his Logos-Spirit (rūḥ)

and all that is before him

for the sake of all that inhabit

the heavens and the earth.


Such is what he hath chosen for his own Self


in a state of love before God,

the King, the Help in Peril,

the Powerful, the Praised One.


Say: O people! By God!

This servant desireth nothing at all for himself  and seeketh assistance from no one in the earthly domain

 save God alone.


 Unto the truth of this testifieth the Tongue of the Divine Oneness (lisān al-aḥadiyya )

 in a concealed, Unseen Pavilion (surādiq ghayb masṭūr).




Say: This is the "Lamp"


which hath not sought the "Niche" (al-mishkat) from anyone;


He doth not take exclusive possession within his own Logos-Self of the [theophanic] Fire (al-nār)

and hath not beamed forth by virtue of anything other than God, the Unique, the Mighty,

 the Transcendent, the Self-Subsisting.


Then thank thou God, thy Creator! in that he hath unveiled for thee the mysteries through this

resplendent, delimited Pen (al-qalam al-durrī al-mahdud).


It [revelation of the Pen]

was indeed a thing delimited only by virtue of its self-generated delimitation

(maḥdūd an bi-ḥudūdihi)

though God maketh to flow therefrom what is unlimited, what hath no extremity

for therein thou should indeed witness the mysteries of the [transcendent divine] abstraction (asrār al-tafrīd)

in this delimited reality (fi hadhā al-taḥdīd).


Such is of the knowledge which God hath taught My Pen!


This to the end that all might attain certitude since (with His permission) are the heavens of knowledge

(samāwāt al-`ilm) folded up in His right-hand (matwiyyati fi yaminihi) and the earth of wisdom (ard al-ḥikma)

(again, with His permission) deposited therein.


Yet do all [still wonder whether to] enquire [of Us/Him]after the wonders of His knowledge!




 Then know that the first thing that was originated from the genesis of pre-existent Eternity

(hadatha min muhdath al-qadim)

in the worlds of creation  were the four Elements  (al-`anasir al-arba`ah).


According to thy time-honoured and current designation they are

(1) Fire (al-nār),    (2) Air (al-hawā'), (3) Water (al-mā')  and  (4) Earth (al-arḍ).


Thereafter appeared the four Natures

(Gk stoicheia [elements] usuqusāt al-arba`ah)

which, as thou do enumerate  and know  [them], are

(1) "Hotness" (al-harara), (2) "Wetness" (al-rutūbah),  (3) "Coldness" (al-burūdah) and (4) "Dryness" (al-yubūsah).


Hence, when thou do mix and combine them

there is manifested for every one of them two pillars (ruknayn);

thus, relative to the Fire (li'l-nār), it is [the two `elements']

  (1) Hotness (al-harara) and (4) Dryness (al-yubūsah).


And it is likewise for the three remaining [Elements, al-`anasir) about which fundamentals (al-qawā'id)

thou shouldst acquaint thyself.


Through them did God create all that does exist in the worlds of creation  be they

transcendental realities or things mundane (al-`ulwiyyat wa'l-sufliyyat), which is all that maintains through time due [equilibrium]

 [the] balance of their natures (taba'[y]i`uhu)  just as thou witnesseth in the sun and the moon.


 And whatever fails  to maintain [the] requisite balance of their natures does speedily perish

just as thou can observe in the lower worlds of creation (`awālim al-suflā).




Strive thou then to become aware of the diverse aspects of the harmonious balance

associated with the metals [minerals] (al-mu`tadila min al-ma`ādin).


Such will prove more straightforward of being regulated relative to the [accomplishment of the alchemical] task

(ashal tasbīr an fi'l-`amal);

if that is, thou act appropriately for the [alchemical] process (al-amr) is not actualized

save through separation (tafsīl), purification (tathīr) and [re-] combination (tazwīj).


This is in conformity with the reality about which

all the Prophets (al-anbiyā') have spoken forth.


And thou, when thou become aware of

the foundational reality of nature (uss al-tabi`a)

pertaining to the divine metal

[mineral] (min ma`din al-ilāhiyya)

take therefrom only according to thy requirement

then refine [distill] it though the Water of Life

(qattirhā bi-mā' al-ḥayy)

which lieth within its nature and is the very closest of things within and relative to it

(aqrab al-ashya' bi-hā wa li-hā).


This such that the foundational nature is transmuted and becomes snow-white (bayḍā'),

of pristine purity (naqiyya).


Then allow the [internal] "water" to empower it [the transformed foundational reality]

(thumma sallit `alayha al-ma')

and produce [moisture] dew therefrom, (wa-dha`aha fi 'l-nada) until, to a limited extent, this [resultant]

foundational reality (al-uss) is subject to differentiation [transmutation].


 And [thus will] this [interactive cosmic] Spirit (al-rūḥ) [ = "Water"]

reconfigure this "Earth"


After that place it [the reconfigured `Earth'] in darkness

until it is mixed and reconstituted into a single reality whereupon [thou should] coagulate [thicken] it

 upon a gentle fire and repeat this [process] twice or even more times; the process, that is,

of coagulation (al-`aqd)  and differentiation  (al-hall)  for such is especially in conformity with reality

if thou desire to operate in this way.


If thou should prove incapable of this, then cause this [instrisic] "water" (al-mā')

to empower this "earth" substance (al-arḍ) then maintain it in the differentiated state

 until this [internal] Water (al-mā')  is reconstituted [as something] snow-white (bayda'),

of pristine purity (naqiyya).


 Thereafter wax this [new] "earth" (al-ard)

with this [instinsic] "water" (bi'l-ma')

such that thou shalt attain to the utmost degree

according to thy desire.


Then differentiate it after the waxing process

(al- tashmi`)

for the final stage of the waxing process

(muntaha al-tashmi`)

was the first state of differentiation

(maqam al-hall).


After the differentiation  thou shalt coagulate  it

and then shall the [alchemical] work of the Moon

(`amal al-qamar)

be completed and thou shalt witness the power of God

(qudrat Allāh) with thine own vision;

if that is thou wouldst come to realization

 in accordance with that which

 We have stipulated in this Tablet.


 In such manner shalt thou perform

the [alchemical] task for knowledge

[necessarily] preceeds

 the [alchemical] work




Heed ye! Heed ye! O Concourse of the Bayān!

Before ye take [alchemical] action with respect to

all that We have taught thee, do not carry out this matter.


Such is My [Our] advice unto thee so hearken ye!

if that is, thou desire to tread the paths of Reality.


Then know thou that foundational reality

 [is a term which] might designate the "water" (al-mā')

for the "water" (al-mā') is the basis of the [alchemical]

 operations (al-asl fi al-a`mal)

from which cometh the pure Oil

(al-duhn al-safi);

whatsoever is oiled therewith

shall never be [destructively] set ablaze.


This is indeed of the "Water" (al-mā')

through which God giveth live unto the "earth" (al-ard)

after its death and from which the revivification

 [resurrection] (al-nushur) is realized


Some there are among the Prophets (al-anbiya')

who are sages (al-hukama') [alchemical initiates]

such as were wholly self-sufficient

through this "water" (al-mā') by virtue of [the

performance of] this [alchemical] work (`aml).


 They extracted by means of it whatsoever they desired  according to the superlative procedures

(ghayat al-quswā)

and [the mysteries of] this [alchemy] is of the real, the hidden science (`ilm ḥaqq maktūm).


Whoso acknowledgeth [the truth of] this is numbered among such as hath had their hearts

 examined for faith by God and been taught by God about the Mercury (al-zaibaq)

and its unique oneness.


This [alchemical secret] is a treasurewhich hath assuredly been sealed with the Seal of God.


And if thou desire  to [perform] the [alchemical] task of the Sun (`aml al-shams) relative to

the [production of] gold (al-dhahab) then return ye to this body (al-jasad) which is of the Pure Oil

(min al-duhn al-safi).


This [Oil] is that which We hath mentioned aforetime and which We designated the "Gold of the people"

(dhahab al-qawm)

 and the "Sulphur of the Ultimately Real" (kibrīt al-ḥaqq) for thou art bewildered over

the performance of the [alchemical] task



By God! We mentioned for thee all of the aspects of the [alchemical] work (kull al-a`mal)

 and cast upon thee science such as hath not been available

 to any soul aforetime.


And thou shalt bear witness thereto in both thy spirits and thy souls if thou art truly perceptive


We have mentioned unto thee what is a clarification of the miscellaneous allusions pertaining to

the [theory of the] balance of the qualities [of the foundational nature of things] for whosoever hath become privy thereto

hath assuredly become insightful [successful] through the superlative Divine bounty

(bi'l-`inaya [ghayat] al-quswā)

through this Lordly Wisdom and this Divine Bestowal

[as thou wouldst know] if thou wert truly aware.



Thus at this moment have We cast upon thee what will make thee independent of such

as have been devoted to the [alchemical] art (al-san`a).


Know then that if thou should understand that the [alchemical] matter (al-amr)

is naught save what is accomplished  through "Mercury" and "Sulphur" (min al-zaibaq al-kibrīt)


then thou would realize also that these two are [alchemically] represented

by the "Sun" and the "Moon" (fi al-shams wa'l-qamar) which are

[in the symbolic language of certain alchemists] "Gold" and "Silver" (al-dhahab wa'l-fiḍḍah).


Know [thou] also that salt (milh) is saline (malīh) in the subsistent constituency of bodies (tahlil al-ajsad)

since thou [pl.] shall in no wise find better that it for the sake of [obtaining] Gold  [as would be evident]

if, that is thou should [carefully]  examine all aspects of the[constituent alchemical realities of] things.


This in that within the spiritual essence of their nature is a universal archetype (munasibat kulliyya)

which is not fully explicable through the pen even if thou should write for the duration of thy lifetime.


And thou, if thou should produce this salt from its source mine, then

distill [filter] it and disassociate the lime (kils) which is produced and generated there from

until it become a single Reality [unique Spirit] (nafs an waḥdat) and a durable Oil (duhn an thabit);

 then, by God! thou would attain unto the summit of knowledge and the apex of whatsoever is known. 


This  since within the salts (al-amlah) are secreted the inmost mysteries of concealed hidden things

 like unto the penultimate sciences which thou might witness treasured up within purified hearts.


[The realization of] Such [truth] is [indeed] an aspect of the reality of certitude (ḥaqq al-yaqīn)

after which all the people, being destitute thereof,  do assuredly wander aimlessly in the vale of ignorance.




Thus doth the Dove of Knowledge warble in beloved, ecstatic accents upon the branches of wisdom


 In this respect have We communicated sufficiently; though We remain fearful of the

[disclosure of the alchemical] matter (al-amr) which We have unveiled for thee in sublime,

lucid allusions  (even though none shall attain thereto save through the love of God and of his chosen ones).


This is what this Supreme Pen bestoweth upon thee in these specified Tablets (al-alwāḥ al-ma`dud)

though thou, if thou should hearken unto My bounty,  would seek from God what would render thee

self-sufficiently independent of gold and silver.


By God! Should thou befittingly hearken [unto what hath just been communicated]

thou would realize that this is the very furthermost degree of the [mysteries of the alchemical] matter (al-amr).


This inasmuch as gold and silver maketh none truly self-sufficient [wealthy].


Nay rather! they increase [naught but] poverty (al-faqr)  [as thou would realize] if thou should befittingly observe!


Yet, relative to this matter, do We make supplication for thee to the end that thou be made self-sufficiently

independent of all such as inhabit the heavens and the earth.


 This that is, if thou should take firm hold of the thread of the [reality of the alchemical] matter (khayt al-amr)

contained in this discourse.




Then know [thou] that this [letter] "A" (al-alif) was revealed at the beginning of the Criterion

(al-furqan) [= the Qur'ān] and We, verily, have expounded it for thee by means of subtle allusions such as render intellects speechless.


It, verily, hath been created by means of the [letter] "A" (al-alif) which was revealed in the Bayān on the part of God, the Help in Peril,

the Exalted, the Self-Subsisting.


Yet before Him [the Ultimate God] is it [the letter "A"]  something non-existent as would be evident

 if thou should ponder over its mysteries.


[And if thou consider the matter] on another level it [the "A"] represents His [God's] Logos-Self and His Essence

(fi maqām kana nafsihi wa dhātihi)

[as would be evident] if thou should enter into the pavilion of the divine Unity (surādiq al-tawḥīd).



And relative to this matter know thou  the station of this straight, upright [letter] "A"

(maqām al-alif al-qā'ima al-mustaqīma)

on the Day on which God will commission [raise up] the gems of knowledge  through a sanctified,

expected Point [= the Bāb].


[So too shall it be]

When man yuẓhiru-hu Allah

("Him Whom God shall make manifest" = the Bābi messiah)

 shall come upon the cloud of knowledge and power (`ala sahab al-`ilm wa'l-qudrat)

with the angels of the Cause (malā'ikat al-amr) at his right-hand and when all in the heavens

and on the earth shall swoon away at the [judgemental] thunderbolt (sayqa) of that Day.


On that [eschatological] Day shall the pillars of the creatures  be seized with trembling and all be overtaken with turmoil

 at the Majesty of the Cause of God (amr Allāh).


 So shall there be joyous felicitation for such as have attained unto [the presence of] His Beauty (jamāl);

then, in his presence, enter into the Paradise of Holiness


Should they at that instant be commanded to do something they would neither say "why?" or "wherefore?" 


In the light of what they had been commanded they would  assuredly speed on

and not be at all fearful regarding the [inhibiting limitations of] the concourse of the Bayān;

they would be as a suckling infant galloping forward at the bosom of the Mercy of God.


They would neither vacillate over anything  nor be fearful of anyone.


And if all in the [concourse of the] Bayān or another religious community

should [attempt to] hinder them they would not be held back,

neither would they be made to turn aside in consequence of any [single] thing.


They would not even open their eyes towards anyone for they would [be forever] gazing

upon the pristine [divine, messianic] Beauty (arf al-jamāl).


Now do We beseech God that He render Us successful  and beware ye of the factions

which do circle around him;  such as are present upon his carpet and who give heroic

 testimony in his presence to the effect that He, verily, is assuredly

the Powerful, the Giver, the Mighty, the Beloved One.



        The reading at xxx:xx is attested by a majority of mss. Thus, [18] [Thus, for example, the words] "With the expiration of "Alif-Lām-Mīm-Ṣād" (= cf. Q . 2:1 [7:1]; abjad 71 [161] ) through to "Alif-Lām-Mīm-Ra'" [see Q.13; abjad 271] the [ 7 sets of Isolated letters [?] total = 1,267 = 1,260 AH = 1844 CE) the Mahdi [Bāb] shall rise up". [19] Wherefore shouldst thou, in like manner, observe and be informed of such [chronological] mysteries in all the [isolated] letters (al-hurufat) until the moment (hin) [cf. abjad = 68 = 1268?] when there shall beam forth the [messianic] Lights of a sacred, beloved Dawn (fajr quds mahbub)" add Bāb refs...

 Baha'u'llah   Bah'u'llh

BAHA'U'LLAH  baha'u'llah  Bah'u'llh Baha'-Allah  Bah

Lawh-i- Ayiy-i-Nr (Tablet of the Verse of Light)

Also known as Tafsir-i- Hurufat-i-Muqatta'ih