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COLLECTIONPublished articles
TITLEBahá'u'lláh's Symbolic Use of the Veiled Ḥúríyyih
AUTHOR 1John S. Hatcher
AUTHOR 2Amrollah Hemmat
AUTHOR 3Ehsanollah Hemmat
TITLE_PARENTJournal of Bahá'í Studies
PUB_THISAssociation for Bahá'í Studies North America
ABSTRACTAnalyzing some of the meanings behind the appearance of the Veiled Maiden, as alluded to by Bahá'u'lláh in His letters.
NOTES Article mirrored from See also the complete issue [PDF].

See the provisional translation accompanying this article, and see also The Maid of Heaven: A Personal Compilation (2020).

TAGS* Bahá'u'lláh, Writings of; - Metaphors and allegories; - Symbolism; - Symbolism; Báb, Station of the; Bahá'u'lláh, Birth of Revelation of; Bahá'u'lláh, Poetry of; Bahá'u'lláh, Station of; Days of Remembrance (book); Gender; God, Anthropomorphic descriptions of; God, Gender of; God, Names of; Holy Spirit; Hur-i-Ujab (Tablet of the Wondrous Maiden); John Hatcher; Kalimat-i-Maknunih (Hidden Words); Lawh-i-Ghulamul-Khuld (Tablet of the Immortal Youth); Lawh-i-Huriyyih (Tablet of the Maiden); Lawh-i-Mallahul-Quds (Tablet of the Holy Mariner); Lawh-i-Ruya (Tablet of the Vision); Literature, Persian; Love; Lover and the Beloved; Maid of Heaven; Manifestations of God, Gradual disclosure of; Most Great Separation; Most Great Spirit; Mysticism; Poetry; Progressive revelation; Qayyumul-Asma (book); Ridvan Festival; Siyah Chal (Black Pit); Sufism; Suriy-i-Haykal (Surih of the Temple); Suriy-i-Qalam (Surih of the Pen); Veils
About: “Ḥúríyyih,” a term whose roots can be found in the Qur’án (44–54, 52:20, 56–22, and 55:72), refers to angelic female figures that reside in paradise and accompany the believers. In the Bahá’í Writings, the word has often been translated as “the Maid of Heaven,” a symbolic personifi cation of the divine reality of Bahá’u’lláh. In this article we explore how Bahá’u’lláh employs this figurative device to portray the forces at work in the context of His appearance as a Manifestation of God. In particular, we wish to examine the crucial symbolic role the unveiling of the Ḥúríyyih plays in relation to Bahá’u’lláh’s gradual unfolding of His mission. While some readers might believe the portrayal of this figure to be a literal depiction of the Holy Spirit appearing to Bahá’u’lláh, we hope to demonstrate that Bahá’u’lláh has, instead, created a figurative or symbolic portrayal of how He gradually reveals His guidance for this long-awaited era in human history—the “Day of Days,” the culmination of all previous revelations. Put simply, we feel that the image of the Ḥúríyyih does not represent a force separate from Bahá’u’lláh, but rather an expression of the Holy Spirit operating through the inherent spiritual capacity unique to a Manifestation of God.
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