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Original title: Surat Allah

Translated by Juan Cole

 

This is the Surah of God that has been revealed in truth from the divine realm of the Hallowed, the Glorious, the Illumined One.

He is the Powerful.

[1] O Muhammad-`Ali, listen to this proclamation from your Lord, at a time when he desires to depart out from among you by reason of what the hands of the oppressors have wrought. Thereby have sorrows encompassed the entire creation in such wise that the Pen is hindered from mentioning the mysteries, the Tablet from giving its written testimony, the clouds of grace from raining down and the trees of paradise from bearing fruit, if you be of them that know. Say: O people, you are so wrapped in dense veils that you expel God from his House and yet make mention of his names at morn and eventide.

[2] Say: Blinded be the eyes that open every morning and yet shall never fall upon my glorious and refulgent Beauty, deaf be the ears that hear every sound but neglect to hearken to my wondrous and sweet melodies, and dumb be the tongue that shall never move with my Name, the All-Subduing, the Omnipotent, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. Contemplate within yourself my calamities, and that which has befallen Me. By God, they have afflicted no one else before me, and they shall never be borne by the heavens and the earth. Matters have come to such a pass for me on every side that I have resigned myself to that which no one in all the worlds will accept for himself. Say: O People of the Bayan, have I forbidden you what God allowed you, or have I enjoined upon you what God proscribed? Have I altered even one of the ordinances that were revealed in the Tablets of God, the Almighty, the Glorious, the Generous? If my sin be the divine verses that are revealed to me, this was not from me, but rather from the All-Powerful, the All-Beautiful. By God, I am not the first to perpetrate this crime, rather, most of the Prophets committed it, including `Ali-Muhammad (the Bab), and, before Him, Muhammad the Apostle of God, Christ, and Moses. Each spoke forth that with which the Strong Spirit inspired Him from the kingdom of God, the Protector, the Omnipotent.

[3] By God, the creation has never seen my like and no eye has beheld my peer, for I am powerful to do what I will, and I am the pardoner, the compassionate. Whoever denies my Cause has repudiated all the Messengers, and whoever turns away from my face has shunned the Countenance of God. To this bear witness the essences of all contingent beings, and the tongues of all existing things, then this Tongue, the All-Knowing, the All-Perceiving. Say: O People of the Bayan, we lived among you as one of you, but you were not pleased by this. For this reason did we draw some of the seventy thousand veils from the face of this Cause, but this also gladdened you not. We lifted some more of the veils, until affairs came to the pass where this lofty and inaccessible station stood revealed. Should you never be pleased with it, we shall, in spite of you, continue to lift the veils with a power and sovereignty that derive from us, O assemblage of the hateful. This has ever been the practice of the Messengers and the character of the Sincere Ones, if you but knew.

[4] Since you have turned away from the primal Beauty in his subsequent form, repudiated his verses, and disbelieved in his bounty, therefore he departs alone out from among you at a time when he is detached from all who are in the heavens and on earth. My deeds bear witness to this, if you be of the fair-minded. Say: Verily, we have turned our face toward him that created the heavens and the throne, and I shall never ask for a helper other than God, the Glorious, the All-Praised. O people, know that my succorer is my heart and my fortress is my trust in God. My confidant is my beauty, my troops are my mention and my party is the concourse of the worlds. By God, when we discovered the people adoring the graven images of their delusions and vain imaginations instead of God, we visited upon them thereby a retribution for their deeds, that they might thus be led to perceive that a new people had come into being.

[5] Therefore, be just within yourself. Is it fitting that those who turn their faces toward utter nothingness should make mention of the eternal Beauty? No, by my self, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Therefore has God cleansed the hem of his robe from the filth of any mention by the wicked, and has purified it from all names and attributes, in private and in public. The people, however, neglected to take note, and remain heedless. O `Ali, close your eyes to the like of these, and turn your gaze away from all who are in the heavens and on earth. Then remind the people of that with which the Spirit inspires you at all times. If you cleanse your soul from this world and from those in whom you perceive the odor of unbelief, you will find that you have attained that station to which the hearts of the Near Ones shall never soar. You will discover that you are more learned than all those endued with perfect and sagacious knowledge. Therefore, rend the veils in my Name, the Chosen, and pay no heed to the impudent. Quaff the waters of the river of paradise that are reserved for the righteous, from this gleaming and radiant chalice, and stand in trepidation of no one. Put your trust in my Name, the Forgiving, the Glorious, the Munificent. Abandon the world to those who seek it, and depart from the prison of earthly hopes. Content yourself with my love, for, verily it is better than the treasures of the heavens and the earth, and more excellent than all that was and is yet to be. This is my command to thee, and my counsel to the people of sanctity. Through the power of the All-Merciful, shun the serpent that hides within its heart a hatred for the All-Bountiful, and turn away from it, though it recite for you all that has been revealed in the Holy Scriptures and though it cling to glorious and articulate Tablets.

[6] O `Ali, we heard with Our own ears what the ear of no contingent being has heard. It issued from behind the walls, from those who lived in Our House and dwelt in the precincts of that Sacred Spot around which circle the denizens of paradise, and the people of the holy veils, then the angels that render praise to God. Nevertheless, we concealed this matter in such wise that they privately imagined God to be heedless of them. Say: How wretched is what you have imagined! Verily, he knows what is invisible in the heavens and on earth, and he is, in truth, Omniscient. Thus was I tormented while I was among those persons and dwelt behind them. At my back was the murky gloom of rancor, and at my right hand were the somber depths of malevolence, and God stands witness to what I say. The matter continued into these very days, when the sacred Beauty desires to deny himself the silk brocade of human friendship and to sever Himself from all, male and female, young and old, save from those women toward whom God has laid upon me responsibilities. Verily, there is no God but Him, the Possessor of the world of creation and the kingdom of the Cause, and all is with him upon a Preserved Tablet.

[7] Know, however, that the reason for my withdrawal was not what we have enumerated for you in this luminous Tablet. Rather, we had found ourselves to be a chief in the land and a guardian of this people, but then abandoned this position to such as desired and would accept it. There was no such person among the people, and distress, terror and murder were abroad in the land. We therefore manifested ourselves between the heavens and the earth, and dawned forth from the axis of the horizon with perspicuous sovereignty. Then, when we observed that the land was tranquil, we secluded ourselves and gave it into the care of another people. For, by my life, a subject is better than a thousand rulers, a subordinate is more exalted than a myriad of superiors, and one oppressed is more excellent than a city full of tyrants. Emulate your Beloved therein and sever yourself from all things. Issue from behind the curtains of silence and speak forth with the truth in wondrous and precious melodies. Then soar into the realm of detachment with the wings of the Sanctified, the Exalted, the Soaring, the Benevolent, the All-High.

Notes

For an introduction to Surah of God, see the H-Baha'i site.

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