He Whom God Shall Make Manifest

This poem, while employing some difficult terms, clearly describes the status of Bahá’u’lláh in relation to other Prophets. For while all the Manifestations have the same capacity and are ontologically the same, Bahá’u’lláh’s task (according to Bahá’í scripture) is to fulfil the promises of all previous religions (including that of the Báb) by bringing about a global civilization based on spiritual principles. Therefore, in this poem ?áhirih notes how all the previous Prophets become humbled before this long?awaited advent, something Shoghi Effendi discusses in great detail in Chapter Six of God Passes By.

O concourse of the realm on high,
Proclaim with joy the cry of reunion,
For the matchless beauty of the beloved’s face
has appeared and is disclosed.

Since the veil has been lifted
from the face of Him whom we `did not know’,[1]
Let your melodies be heard from every quarter:
`Light has subdued night’s darkness!’[2]

A Persian Sanam who is an Arab Samad
has arrived with legions of ecstasy[3]
and raised the sun in Western skies.
Hasten towards His presence!

Fire surges from the land of !
Light radiates from the city of!
The spirit takes flight from the realm of ,
becomes exalted and glorified.[4]

The birds of darkness desisted.
The Doves of Bahá intoned sweet melodies.
The cock of the morning adorned itself
with splendor and great glory.

By that Manifestation of the Lord of Lords,
that Full Moon,[5] calling, `Am I not your Lord?’
all the heavenly concourse became ecstatic!
In melodious voices they reply: `Yes! Yes!’

Such a sea has been churned up
and loosed upon the earth’s expanse[6]
that each moment two thousand Karbilá deserts
are transformed into verdurous planes.[7]

From the arc of that joyous countenance;
from the snare of that mutable moon,[8]
Two thousand divisions and sects
are dispersed, trembling.

Every Moses from that sanctified realm,
every exalted Christ,
every singled beloved one
becomes stupefied and humbled.

Two thousand Mu?ammads[9] have trembled
before the lightning of that Immaculate King,
have gone into hiding,
cloaked and covered with clothing.[10]

From one glance of His magnificence,
the ocean of existence began to stir;
the lethargic twilight hastened
that it might soon behold the dawning sun.[11]

O beneficent Moon, O King of hearts,
the sorrow of their grief of separation from You,
has made the bodies of your lovers so slim
that they have become spirits – ethereal and porous.

Beside his face, forms of beauty dwindle;[12]
beside his height, summits are diminished.
Beside his might, the mightiest of kingdoms
become humbled and abashed.

How my heart longs for that moon-like face
and but two strands of that jet black hair!
On the path of His earthly footsteps
My very blood has been shed![13]

By the resplendent beauty of your face,
by your luminous tresses,
assist me now, even at this very instant,
speedily to attain the bounty of your presence![14]

[1] A reference to a well known saying: `We did know not You fully, and we did not worship You properly.’ The couplet thus implies that the veil has been lifted from the face of the One about whom it was said, `We can not know You properly.’

[2] The advent of the Manifestation compared to the arrival of dawn is a commonplace image in Bábí and Bahá’í scripture.

[3] In Persian poetry, Sanam is `idol’ or `the Beloved’. Samad is Arabic for a leader or chieftain. The Báb referred to Himself in the Qayyúmu’l?Asmá’ with terms such as `the Arabian Youth’ and `the Persian Youth’. The is a reference to His descendance from Muhammad and His Persian heritage. He also called Himself `the Eastern Western Youth’, perhaps a reference to His divine aspect which is neither eastern nor western in origin (Husayní, Yúsif?i?Bahá, pp. 60–1).

[4] is Fars or Persia, perhaps an allusion to the spread throughout the land of the Bábí religion; Tá is the city of Tihrán, the birthplace of Bahá’u’lláh, thus the source of the new light or knowledge that would illumine the world; and , the letter H, is a variable symbol but it is a reference to the Divine World of the Absolute. It could also be a reference to the Báb since He used the letter to refer to Himself in the Qayyúmu’l?Asmá’.

[5] `Moon’ and `moon face’ are allusions to the beauteous face of the Beloved — in this case the manifestation (the Báb or, more likely, Bahá’u’lláh). The idea of this being a `full’ moon would further make it likely that Táhirih is alluding to Bahá’u’lláh as the completion of the process whereby the Promised Day has been fulfilled.

[6] In Gnostic terminology, the sea alludes to the manifestation of the divine spirit throughout the universe.  (Guwharín, Farhang, vol.  8, p. 492)

[7] Karbilá is the desert where the Imám Husayn was martyred. Water was scare in the battle in that harsh and dry desert. When `Abbás, a member of the holy family, went to get water, the enemy cut off his hand. Thirst, search for water and the dryness of the desert are indispensable motifs in the story of Karbilá. Shí`í Muslims often remind themselves of the Karbilá episode before drinking water by mentioning Imám Husayn’s name.

[8] The moon here (as usual) alludes to the beauty of the face of the beloved. The arc and snare have double meanings. The arc refers to the bow which shoots arrows as the glances of the eye pierce the heart of the lover. The snare trembles the multitudes and disperses dynasties.

[9] The original reads `Ahmad Mustafá’, titles of Muhammad.

[10] This alludes to the trembling of Muhammad when the revelation took place. In Súrih 74:1, the verse states, `O thou, enwrapped in thy mantle!/ Arise and warn!’ According to a hadíth, when Muhammad was leaving the cave of Harra’ where He would go to meditate and pray, He heard a voice. He looked all around but saw no one. He then heard the voice for a second time and saw the angel Gabriel in the air. He became frightened and rushed home trembling and asked His wife to cover Him with blankets.

[11] The Báb uses similar phrases in Sahífiy?i?`Adlíyyih, pp. 2 and 4.

[12] In Platonic philosophy there exists on the spiritual plane a `form’ or `idea’ of beauty from which particular objects assume an individual expression of this quality. But beside the beauty of the Beloved, these forms are trivial.

[13] While this could be mere hyperbole, one becomes impressed through Táhirih’s poetry of her remarkable knowledge – she often alludes to future events. Consequently, she may well here be alluding to her awareness of her later martyrdom.

[14] Here, too, Táhirih could be alluding to the physical presence of the Prophet or, more likely, her ascent to the spiritual realm, something she longs for in many of her poems.

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