The Announcement

This one of several poems stating in utmost simplicity and clarity the concept of renewal and revelation that is the cornerstone of Islamic, Bábí and Bahá’í belief – the idea that God reveals himself incrementally throughout history by sending `Angelic Messengers’ or Prophets — what Bahá’u’lláh designates as `Manifestations’. More than that, Ṭáhirih alludes here to the idea that the purpose of those endowed with spiritual insight is to reveal to others how the signs of God are concealed within all created things, a theme to which Ṭáhirih will return in numerous poems.

He came with reflections of the Eternal One.
He made manifest the countenance of Aḥmad.[1]

Yet the learned ones remain heedless
of the ecstatic melodies of the Holy Spirit.

Verily, it is Aḥmad who has descended with Holy verses
as a blessing from the heaven of grandeur.

He has ignited the whole world with sparks of fire
and He has turned humankind completely into light.[2].

O Ṭáhirih, tear away the veil from their midst
that the hidden mystery may become revealed.

Give thanks that He, the Most Beauteous[3] Lord on High,
did indeed shine down with such astounding[4] adornments.

[1] Ahmad is a title for Muhammad and means `the most praiseworthy’. The phrase `the countenance of Ahmad’ here thus alludes to that which is like unto the Prophet Muammad (e.g. Ahmadan, belonging to Ahmad and Ahmad-like).

Some scholars of Islam have made a distinction between the two names Ahmad and Muammad. Muammad has the connotation of the divine aspect while Ahmad connotes the human aspect. Ahmad leads us to God’s Beauty (jamál) reflected in the Friend and the Beloved (habíb) of God while Muhammad is associated with God’s grandeur and the majesty (jalál) of God that is transcendent and separate from His Manifestation. (See Schimmel, Deciphering the Signs of God, p. 191) Considering this interpretation, Táhirih says the Divine, Hidden and Eternal Muammad was made apparent and was manifested (Ahmad). It also could be understood as follows: `The same reality that was manifested through Muhammad has been manifested again.’ In other words, the Muhammadan Light (núr-i-Muhammadí) or Muhammadan Spirit (Rúh-i-Muhammadí), the reality that manifests itself at various ages, has become manifest again. This is the meaning we have implied.

[2] See `The Twin Duties’ in Chapter Seven for a further discussion by Táhirih of this concept.

[3] Jamíl

[4] Jalíl. In this couplet Táhirih makes a distinction between the two contrasting but complementary categories of God’s attributes: Jamálíyya (attributes of beauty understandable or enticing to humankind) and Jalálíyya (attributes of power and might that emphasize the transcendent aspect of God).

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