Original title: Suratu'd-Dam

Translated by Juan Cole

 

We have caused this Surah of Blood to surge forth from the Ocean of the Unseen, that it might be a sign of My Manifestation among all created things.

He is eternally seated upon the Throne! In My Name, the Glorious, the All-Glorious.

[1] Hearken, O Muhammad, to the voice of your Lord from this station, which is exalted above the reach of all contingent beings. It can never be attained by the hearts of His creatures nor by the inmost realities of those who have, for a single instant, been heedless of this sanctified, mighty and concealed Cause.

[2] Say: O people, hasten unto the sanctuary of God and His essence, unto the House of God and His Selfhood, unto the Manifestation of God and His sovereignty. Be not of them that make mention of God with their lips and yet show forth opposition to His signs. Say: O people, this is a station around which circles the Concourse on High, then the denizens of the canopy of eternity and those who dwell beyond the depths of grandeur, if you be of them that comprehend. Say: This is the Shrine, the Presence, the Countenance and the Greatness of God Himself.

[3] Arise and issue forth from your homes, O people of the concourse of Divinity, and you of the grades of divine Dominion, then the people of might in the stations both of this earthly world and the Kingdom of Heaven. Thus may you attain unto this station, which none have reached save those who detached themselves from all in heaven and on earth, and from all that is characterized by name, description, direction or allusion, did you but understand. Say: O people, this is the station of God, this is His Court, Garden and Paradise, and this is His Tabernacle and Pavilion. Beware, O people, lest you turn your faces toward anyone but Him. Hasten then unto Him, that perhaps you will be given to eat of the fruits of the Spirit. This is a station wherein the righteous, and they that circle round the Throne on High, have halted, as you also bear witness.

[4] As for you, O Muhammad, perform what the tongue of your Lord counsels you at this time, and accomplish all that which you are bidden by God, the Protector, the Almighty, the Beloved. First of all, tear the veils of vain imagination from about your heart by My mighty, powerful and unquestioned Sovereignty. Then enter the fortress of the All-Merciful in My Name, the Mighty, the Glorified, and pay no heed to all that has been and shall be. If you should behold Satan seated at its gate, forbidding you to enter therein, close your eyes to him and take refuge in My Beauty, the Blessed, the Help in Peril, the Adored. Beware lest you sit with those in whom you perceive the evidences of malice, as heat is evident in summer or cold in poison. Flee from them and their ilk, and look not upon them nor that which they possess. Turn your gaze rather to My Cause, and that which surpasses in excellence all else, did you but perceive it.

[5] If you wish to travel in various lands, then spread the dawning lights of your Lord throughout those realms. Think upon the handiwork of your Lord which you see, that you may be of those who consider. Adorn yourself with My character, in such wise that should anyone treat you unjustly you would take no heed of him, nor oppose him. Leave him to the judgment of your Lord, the Powerful, Omnipotent and Self-Subsisting. Be at all times a wronged one, for this is one of My attributes, though none but the sincere are aware of it. Verily, the sighs of patience uttered by one wronged are more precious to God than any other deed, did you but know. Therefore, be patient in the face of whatever befalls you, and set your trust in your Lord God in all your affairs. He, verily, suffices you against all the harm that any created thing can wreak toward you, and preserves you in the shelter of His Cause and the mighty fortress of His guardianship. There is no God but Him. His are the worlds of creation and command and all seek His aid.

[6] Should anyone slander you, you must not retaliate against him in kind lest you become as he is. Turn aside from him and set your face toward the holy tabernacle in this exalted and sacred canopy. Be among men as a sweet-scented knoll, that the fragrance of sanctity may be wafted among them. In such wise, you might succeed in attracting them to the court of the holy and Beloved One. Should you find a helper among the friends of God, seek his company at eventide and dawn, throughout the months and years. In all matters, emulate God, your Succorer. Walk among men with His dignity and peace, and teach them the Cause of their Lord to the extent that they are able to hear it.

[7] O hoopoe of Sheba, go with My book to the cities of God. Should the other birds ask you concerning the dove of holiness, say: "When I left her, she was sore-pressed in the talons of denial and the beaks of wickedness. She had no helper save God, Who created her, formed her and made her the lamp of His beauty between the heavens and the earth, if you be possessed of certainty."

[8] Should you find one of My lovers, if he asks about Me, say:

"By God, I went up out of the Prison City (Adrianople) at a time when Husayn was lying upon the ground, while Disgrace knelt upon His breast and desired to behead Him. The spears were standing before His head, and He expected it to be raised aloft upon them. Such was the situation in inmost secrecy, if you be of them that perceive. I then saw Him move His lips, and gaze toward the heavens with a look such as would rend every heart, and beyond them the heart of God, the Protector, the Mighty, the Self-Subsisting. I moved My head close to His lips, and heard that He was beneath the sword, saying:

[9] 'O people! By God, I have not spoken to you out of selfish desire! Nay, rather I have given voice to that which the Speaker on Sinai uttered in My most pure and sanctified breast. The verses of God leave no doubt as to what has been foreordained in the realm of the divine Decree, or as to that which is in this world and the next. O you who have joined partners with God, inhale the scent of these verses that have descended from the realm of the divine Essence, from the King of names and attributes. Should you perceive therein the fragrance of the coat of the beloved Joseph, then show mercy toward Him and put Him not to death with the blades of malice, if you see with the eyes of justice and are equitable in yourselves.

[10] O people! I bolted up the gates of paradise for 20 years, lest anything issue from My lips that might cause the fire of hatred to blaze forth in your breasts. To this bears witness the Tongue of Grandeur, then the Pen of Command upon the holy and guarded Tablets. O people, I verily am `Ali (the Bab), and this is but another Return after the first. I have demonstrated to you at this time the greatest of the things I manifested aforetime. I have come from the fountainhead of grandeur and glory, and the treasure hold of exaltation and majesty, with verses of which not a single letter has heretofore been revealed in this world. This Tablet is My proof among you, to you and against you, if you be of them that comprehend.

[11] O people, God is My witness that I remained silent in My house and gave voice to no melody. However, the Spirit set my limbs quaking, and caused Me to speak forth with the Truth. Its features then appeared in My face, if you descry My beauty. I barred the doors of utterance for lo, these many years, but the tongue of God has loosened My tongue, did you but know. Will you slay Him by whose Command the heavens were raised aloft, the seas surged forth, the trees gave fruit, the mysteries were revealed and the beauty of the Chosen One shone forth from behind the veil? Fear God, O people of the Bayan, and be not of those who repudiate the verses of God. I shall never deny these verses, even should you slay Me and all the swords and spears rain down upon Me at every moment. I shall speak forth in the kingdom of the heavens and the earth and shall never fear anyone. This is My religion, if you be of them that perceive. This is the religion of all the Messengers and is that which was revealed to `Ali (the Bab) in every Tablet. I know not, however, to which religion you adhere!'

[12] When the melodies of that Holy One reached this point, He suddenly fell silent by reason of the weakness which had overtaken Him. He remained in this state for some time and, when He regained consciousness, He opened His eyes and turned in the sacred direction with a gaze of deep affection, saying:[1]

[13] 'Praise be to Thee, O Lord My God, for the wondrous revelations of Thy inscrutable decree and the manifold woes and trials Thou hast destined for Myself. At one time Thou didst deliver Me into the hands of Nimrod; at another Thou hast allowed Pharaoh's rod to persecute Me. Thou, alone, canst estimate, through Thine all-encompassing knowledge and the operation of Thy Will, the incalculable afflictions I have suffered at their hands. Again Thou didst cast Me into the prison-cell of the ungodly, for no reason except that I was moved to whisper into the ears of the well-favored denizens of Thy Kingdom an intimation of the vision with which Thou hadst, through Thy knowledge, inspired Me, and revealed to Me its meaning through the potency of Thy might. And again Thou didst decree that I be beheaded by the sword of the infidel. Again I was crucified for having unveiled to men's eyes the hidden gems of Thy glorious unity, for having revealed to them the wondrous signs of Thy sovereign and everlasting power. How bitter the humiliations heaped upon Me, in a subsequent age, on the plain of Karbila! How lonely did I feel amidst Thy people! To what a state of helplessness was I reduced in that land! Unsatisfied with such indignities, My persecutors decapitated Me, and, carrying aloft My head from land to land paraded it before the gaze of the unbelieving multitude, and deposited it on the seats of the perverse and faithless. In a later age, I was suspended, and My breast was made a target to the darts of the malicious cruelty of My foes. My limbs were riddled with bullets, and My body was torn asunder. Finally, behold how, in this Day, My treacherous enemies have leagued themselves against Me, and are continually plotting to instill the venom of hate and malice into the souls of Thy servants. With all their might they are scheming to accomplish their purpose.

[14] It is Thou, My God and My adored One, Who hast delivered Me into the hands of the infidels. Behold Me, then, in the dust, beneath the swords of thine enemies. Yet, grievous as is My plight, O God, My well-Beloved, I render thanks unto Thee, and My Spirit is grateful for whatsoever hath befallen Me in the path of Thy good-pleasure. I am well pleased with that which Thou didst ordain for Me, and welcome, however calamitous, the pains and sorrows I am made to suffer.

[15] I plead with Thee, O My God, by Thy hidden names and Thy Beauty, Who, both manifest and concealed, lieth in the dust of degradation, to inculcate Thy love in the hearts of Thy servants, and to seat them upon the carpet of Thy mercy. Give them shade, O My God, beneath the tree of Thy sanctity, and deny them not the breezes of Thy holiness, which waft from the paradise of Thy beauty and from the direction of Thy favors. Thou art, verily, able to accomplish Thy will, and Thou art the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.'"

[16] O Muhammad, estimate well the number of gem-like mysteries We have bestowed upon you and think upon the wondrous knowledge We have taught you, knowledge which lay concealed behind veils of light. Thus may you become aware of that which has befallen Us and be of those well-acquainted with the mysteries of this Cause. Then say with the tongue of your spirit in your inmost soul, "Is there any helper who will come to the aid of the Primal Beauty (the Bab) in His new guise, or any supporter who will arise to serve the Ultimate Point (Quddus) in His Radiance, the Glorious, the Most Glorious?" Perhaps thereby God will be persuaded to dispatch someone to succor this Youth in these days, wherein the denizens of heaven and earth are drunk with heedlessness, save those who have gazed from nigh upon this Beauty.

[17] But O Muhammad, you will encounter the opposition and haughtiness of the perverse and will find them engaged in acts of hatred against this Youth on all sides, except those for whom it has been decreed otherwise by your Lord God, the Mighty, the Self-Subsisting. Give ear to that which you are commanded by the Pen of the Most High in the kingdom of decree, in these heavens that have been sanctified by God from the incarnations of rancor, from the touch of the infidels and from the recognition of the malicious. Rend asunder the veils, then rise up from the dawning-point of this Cause with manifest sovereignty. Call out to the people, telling them of this resplendent, mighty and illumined Beauty. Go to the Name of Ha', and deliver to him that which has been bestowed upon you by the Spirit of God, the Powerful, the Mighty, the Generous. Perhaps he will feel admonished within himself, will detach himself from all save his Lord and enter the ranks of them that are rightly guided.

[18] Say: "O My servant, We have revealed for you Tablets and Writings that are known only to God, and therein is that which would enable you to dispense with all creation and all that is in the heavens and on the earth. However, we did not send them to you, because we failed to perceive from you the fragrance of the exalted ones in this Arab Youth. By God, all that you possess will pass away and nothing will remain save what is with your Lord, behind the pavilions of the Powerful, the Inaccessible. Leave the world and its people and detach yourself from all that was created therein. Then turn your face toward the Countenance of God, the Generous, the Uncreated."

[19] Say: "This is `Ali (the Bab) in very truth, Who has appeared once more in this most pure, manifest and glorious Beauty. He speaks forth with the truth in the realm of eternity and the exalted kingdom, if you have ears to hear. O people of the Bayan, the spirit of true understanding will never speak in your hearts until after My love has entered them. This is a fundamental principle of religion, if you be of those with certitude."

[20] O people of the Qur'an, the Eternal Truth is come unto you, and that whereby the religions shall be differentiated and truth distinguished from falsehood. Fear God, and be not of those who oppose Him.

[21] O people of the Churches, cease from ringing the bells, for the Most Great Bell has appeared. It is, verily, this Trump that has been sent down in the form of these holy verses between the heavens and the earth. He cries out in truth in this resplendent, manifest and brilliant Name. Say: He it is by Whose command the verses were revealed, and by Whose permission all the scriptures were brought into being. To this attests the fragrance that issues from the Camphor Fountain through this most Ancient and pre-existent Pen. He speaks forth at all times, uttering verses beyond the comprehension of the minds of the wise, the knowledge of the mystic knowers, and the hearts of them that have attained. This is what you were promised in the Books of God, did you but know, and this is that whereby the truth was realized from all eternity and shall be realized to all eternity.

[22] O Muhammad, avert your gaze from all who are in heaven and on earth, so that you can enter into the mighty fortress of your Lord, the Bestower, the Almighty. Set the trees of existence ablaze with this Fire that all may speak forth as It did, in the form of light, upon the Sinai of Theophany. Thus does the Ancient Beauty shower His bounty upon you and command you in this Cause, that you may detach yourself from all things and hold fast to the cord of the Omnipotent, the Unattainable.

[23] Spirit, praises and glory be upon you, and upon whosoever hears your tidings of this Great Announcement.


[1] Paragraphs 13 and 14 were translated by Shoghi Effendi and can be found in Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, section XXXIX. However, the first sentence of paragraph 14 is not in Gleanings: "`It is Thou, My God and My adored One, Who hast delivered Me into the hands of the infidels. Behold Me, then, in the dust, beneath the swords of thine enemies.'"