|The Garden of Ridvan in Akko, Israel. This is not that ‘Original’ Garden of Ridvan. It was in Baghdad.|
(Quoting from Nari’s (Baha’u’llah’s) Baghdad era Will & Testament) To wit,
” …Hear the call of the Most Holy Leaf [i.e. Subh-i Azal] speaking unto thee from behind the Veils, for it is He who is the One whom God [i.e. the Essence of the Seven Letters] hath appointed as the Peerless. Verily He is the Praeternal luminary …Whomsoever turns aside from Him hath perished …He is the White Hand in the Siniatic Mount for the Israel of the Bayán …There is no god but He [Azal], the Living, the Powerful, the Peerless [al-hayy al-muhayyamin al-qayyúm is a laudatory doxological cipher of Azal’s]…The Godhead hath ordained in the Book that after the Remembrance all should turn themselves towards the Axis of this Cause…O People of the Bayán, can anyone produce like verses as unto those revealed in the Book? …Verily the Remnant of the Godhead in these days is the Ascendant Light [i.e. Subh-i-Azal, since tal’at-i-núr was one of his titles].
Witness in your hearts that appearance of the Ascendant Light, for that the Remnant of the Godhead who will appear in the mustaghath is indeed the Truth, regarding which there is no doubt. And verily we are all among the expectant.
|Subh-i-Azal, the successor of Bab|
Say, Is not the Face of the Light [i.e. Azal] sufficient unto ye all, who is seen from behind the Veils of Glory by a command from the Godhead, the All-Seeing, the Peerless. O people, have I not summoned ye unto the Godhead and Its verses and unto the Ascendant Light?…Upon you be the Remembrance [i.e. Dhikr, the Essence of the Seven Letters] and on those who prostrate themselves before Face of the Godhead [wajh’ullah, i.e. Subh-i-Azal].
…Verily, the Godhead hath made that Joseph the [Ascendant] Light [i.e. Subh-i-Azal] the Sovereign of the True One in the city of the Bayán. But the people are as dead, concealing themselves within the veils of their own base egos, for verily the leaves of these pages are proof of my servitude to His Face [i.e. Subh-i-Azal], would ye but know it, otherwise destroy them in the River so that those in the realm of contingency might bear witness to the verses of the Godhead, their Lord.”
|Historical view of Baghdad and Tigris River, where Husayn Ali Nari destroyed his writings.|
I believe it is not as far-fetched as it appears that those Baghdad era “tablets” ordered to be washed away and destroyed by Mírzá Aqá Ján Káshání Khádim’ullah, his amanuensis, in the Euphrates River were in actual fact all in this vein to the last; this, rather than the now unsupportable, hollow and tendentious theory propounded in popular Bahá’í literature that he destroyed these works because no one could be found to bear the profundity of such `revelations’! It is doubtful whether Husayn `Alí could have construed any lofty esoteric doctrine beyond the understanding of his contemporaries or thereafter. The utterly boring, unprofound and stale obtuseness of all his post-Baghdad era works tout court are sufficient proof of this fact. And even with his Baghdad era works there is nothing in them which possesses originality or that wasn’t already expounded better by others before or after him elsewhere (I am thinking here of his Seven Valleys, Four Valleys, Hidden Words and Ode to the Dove, all four of which are specifically bad summary rip-offs from `Attár’s Conference of the Birds, Mullá Sadrá’s Four Journeys (Asfár Arba’a), ahadíth qudsí (extra-Quranic saying of the Godhead) or Imamite doxologies and theopathic sayings (such as those included in Kulayní’s usúl min al-káfí), and Umar Ibn al-Fárid’s Ode of the Way (al-ta’íyyat’ul-kúbrá). Even the prophetology of his Kitáb-i-Iqán does not reach a distant glimmer of the shores of profundity to match that of an Ibn `Arabí’s in the Bezels of Wisdom, let alone that of the Bayán’s). With some of the originals of such documentation now available, it is not that difficult any longer to reveal hagiography, deliberate historical whitewash, obfuscation and mythmaking for what it is, especially in such popular works as Shoghi Effendi’s God Passes By (Wilmette: 1970), the works of Taherzadeh (the Bahá’í equivalent of the Christian heresiographer Tertullian), or even Cole’s Modernity and the Millennium (Cornell: 1998) (a work I once thought very highly of, but as new, overwhelmingly evidence came to light, revealed to me to be the same old, same old, just merely couched in secular academic language and contextualization). The colophon of this epistle bears the date of May 1863, the date immediately after he apparently revealed his cause in the garden of Ridwán. It seems, however, to have originally been composed at an earlier date. The text of the will appears to be in the handwriting of Mírzá ‘Abd’ul-Jawád of Khurásán, also known as Mírzá Wahháb of Khurásán. The colophon at the beginning and at the end of the will are, moreover, penned in the handwriting of Husayn `Alí himself personally. The colophon states as follows: “This is my book of the testament. People, take heed!” The May 1863 date for the re-transcription and personal authentication of this document by the author proves that at this very date, a month after he had apparently made his overt claim according to Bahá’í sources, Husayn `Alí was – in writing, anyway – outwardly professing total spiritual subservience towards Azal. Regarding his declaration at the Garden of Ridwán in Baghdad, Badíeh has this to say,
|The Garden of Ridvan – Baghdad|
[Husayn `Alí’s] ornamental couch was placed [the night before] in the street [adjoining the garden]. The neighborhood on both sides was well known for its flowers, renowned as the Muhammadan Rose [gol-i-muhammadí]. During the night [Mírzá Aqá Ján Káshání] Khádim’ullah cut the flowers from the surrounding branches and laid them all on the couch. Then upon the break of morn, [Mírzá Aqá Ján Káshání came back and] began his cries, moaning and clamour that “the manifestation has occurred,” “the flowers have prostrated themselves at the blessed feet” and that “for no prophet or saint before this, and in such evident manner, has a miracle such as this ever occurred!” And such is [the tale of the truth] regarding the celebration of the day of flowers [i.e. Ridwán], which their “holinesses” celebrate [proclaiming] that the flower branches had prostrated themselves at their feet!
My translation, vaqá’i-i-rástín-i-takúr-i-núr (A True Account of Takúr in Núr), pp. 24-25.
Nima Wahid Azal
Source : TRB