Baha'i Library Online

See original version at bahai-library.com/tinto_introduction_hidden_words.

COLLECTIONSStudy Guides, Personal compilations
TITLEIntroduction to the Study of the Hidden Words Revealed by Bahá'u'lláh
CONTRIB 1Iscander Micael Tinto, comp.
DATE_THIS1999
ABSTRACTShort compilation of passages about the Islamic Book of Fatima and the Bahá'í Hidden Words, a list of headings, and some commentary.
NOTES Mirrored with permission from iscandertinto.com. Prepared for Wilmette Institute background materials.
TAGS- Outlines and summaries; Kalimat-i-Maknunih (Hidden Words)
 
CONTENT

1. Background

TITLE OF WORK: “KALIMAT – I – MAKNUNIH" or "SHAHIFIY – I – FATIMIH" (THE HIDDEN BOOK OF FATIMIH)

PLACE OF REVELATION: BAGHDAD ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER TIGRIS

DATE OF REVELATION: 1858 A.D. / 1274 A.H.

LANGUAGE: PERSIAN AND ARABIC

“ …OCCUPYING…POSITIONS OF UNSURPASSED PREEMINENCE AMONG THE…ETHICAL WRITINGS OF THE AUTHOR OF THE BAHA’I DISPENSATION. “ Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p.140

“ The significance of this dynamic spiritual leaven cast into the life of the world for the reorientation of the minds of men, the edification of their souls and the rectification of their conduct can best be judged by the description of its character given in the opening passage by its Author.” Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p.140

HE IS THE GLORY OF GLORIES

This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfill in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of Divine virtue. Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, p.3

“ The Hidden Words have no sequence. They are jewel-like thoughts sent out of the mind of the Manifestation of God to admonish and counsel man.” Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, p.456

“…Written in a lucid, captivating prose, presenting those never-changing, eternal verities that stand at the core of every revealed religion. Their sweeping range, the exquisite tenderness of their imagery and description, the majesty – the over-whelming majesty – of their conception, uplift the soul and discloses to the inner eye endless vistas of God’s Love and Mercy, His Justice and His Power – an All-Pervading, All-Embracing, All-Conquering Power.” Balyuzi, H., Baha’u’llah: The King of Glory, p.159

2. Historical References

“…that marvelous collection of gem-like utterances, the ‘ Hidden Words ‘ with which Baha’u’llah was inspired, as He paced, wrapped in His meditations, the banks of the Tigris. Revealed in the year 1274 A.H., partly in Persian, partly in Arabic, it was originally designated the ‘ Hidden Book of Fatimih ‘, and was identified by its Author with the Book of that same name, believed by Shi’ah Islam to be in the possession of the promised Qa’im, and to consist of words of consolation addressed by the angel Gabriel, at God’s command, to Fatimih, and dictated to the Imam Ali, for the sole purpose of comforting her in her hour of bitter anguish after the death of her illustrious Father.” Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p.140

“Mushaf Fatima is described as a scroll three times the size of the Qur’an. The circumstances of its compilation are recounted by Jafar al-Sadiq. He relates that when Fatima was in great sorrow after the death of her Father, the Prophet, God sent an angel to console her. She heard the angel’s voice speaking to her. She once complained to Ali about this strange event, and he asked her to inform him whenever she heard the voice. She did so and he wrote down everything the angel told her. The Mushaf does not say anything about what is lawful and what is unlawful but relates future events. Comparing it to the Qur’an, the Imam says it contains nothing which was in the Qur’an. It also contains the last will of Fatima and is accompanied by the weapons of the Prophet. Another feature of the Mushaf is that it contains the names of all those who would rule the world, together with their fathers’ names.” Sachedina, Islamic Messianism, p.22

“…The scroll of Fatima, peace be upon her, has in it every event which will take place and the names of all the rulers until the ( last ) hour comes.” Words of Imam Jafar al Sadiq, cited in Kitab-al-Irshad p.414

3. Headings from the Arabic Hidden Words

O SON OF SPIRIT ! 1,2,8,13,18,20,22,25,28,33,34

O SON OF MAN ! 3,4,7,14,17,21,24,27,30,35,36,37,39,40,41,42,46,47,48,49,50,51,52,56,57,58,60,61,62,63,64,65,71

O SON OF BEING ! 5,6,9,11,12,26,29,31,38,43,45,53,54,55,59

O SON OF UTTERANCE ! 10,15

O SON OF LIGHT ! 16

O SON OF THE WONDROUS VISION ! 19

O SON OF THE SUPREME ! 23,32

O SON OF THE THRONE ! 44

O CHILDREN OF THE DIVINE AND INVISIBLE ESSENCE ! 66

O SON OF BEAUTY ! 67

O CHILDREN OF MEN ! 68

O YE SONS OF SPIRIT ! 69

O SON OF HIM THAT STOOD BY HIS OWN ENTITY IN THE KINGDOM OF HIS SELF ! 70

4. Headings from the Persian Hidden Words

O YE PEOPLE THAT HAVE MINDS TO KNOW AND EARS TO HEAR ! 1

O SON OF SPIRIT ! 2,15,38

O FRIEND! 3

O SON OF JUSTICE! 4,77

O SON OF DUST! 5,11,27,36,57,62

O SON OF EARTH! 6,31

O SON OF LOVE! 7

O SON OF GLORY! 8

O FLEETING SHADOW! 9

O SON OF DESIRE! 10,22,79

O MAN OF TWO VISIONS! 12

O MY CHILDREN! 13

O FRIENDS! 14,60

O ESSENCE OF NEGLIGENCE! 16

O COMRADES! 17

O YE DWELLERS IN THE HIGHEST PARADISE ! 18

O MY FRIENDS! 19,35,43,71

O YE THAT ARE LIVING AS DEAD ON THE COUCH OF HEEDLESSNESS! 20

O MOVING FORM OF DUST! 21

O DWELLERS IN THE CITY OF LOVE! 23

O YE THAT ARE FOOLISH,YET HAVE A NAME TO BE WISE! 24

O YE SEEMING FAIR YET INWARDLY FOUL! 25

O MY FRIEND IN WORD! 26

O ESSENCE OF DESIRE! 28

O SON OF BOUNTY! 29

O BOND SLAVE OF THE WORLD! 30

O BEFRIEND STRANGER! 32

O MY BROTHER! 33

O DWELLERS OF MY PARADISE! 34

O MY SERVANT! 37,40,42,72,81,82

O OFFSPRING OF DUST! 39

O SON OF MY HANDMAID! 41,51,58,76,78

O COMPANION OF MY THRONE! 44

ALAS ! ALAS ! O LOVERS OF WORDLY DESIRE! 45

O BRETHERN IN THE PATH! 46

O CHILDREN OF DESIRE! 47

O BRETHERN! 48

O CHILDREN OF DUST! 49

O QUINTESSENCE OF PASSION! 50

O CHILDREN OF NEGLIGENCE AND PASSION! 52

O YE THAT PRIDE YOURSELVES ON MORTAL RICHES! 53

O YE RICH ONES ON EARTH! 54

O SON OF PASSION! 55

O MY SON! 56

O HEEDLESS ONES! 59

O SON OF MAN! 61

O YE PEOPLES OF THE WORLD! 63

O OPPRESSORS ON EARTH! 64

O REBELLIOUS ONES! 65

O EMIGRANTS! 66

O CHILDREN OF FANCY! 67

O WEED THAT SPRINGETH OUT OF DUST! 68

O CHILDREN OF ADAM! 69

O SON OF WORLDLINESS! 70

O MY FRIEND! 73

O CHILDREN OF VAINGLORY! 74

O CHILDREN OF NEGLIGENCE! 75

O MY SERVANTS! 80

5. References to the Hidden Words

Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá 34, 202

Promulgation of Universal Peace 86, 147

Abdu’l-Baha’, Star of the West, tablet to Thornton Chase, June 1911, vol.2, nos. 7, 8, pp. 11-12

Light of Divine Guidance vol. 2, 46

Unfolding Destiny, 428

6. Some explanations

Arabic Hidden Words N. 57

As to your question about the meaning of the Arabic Hidden Words:

“Couldst thou but see with Mine eyes”, when a man reacheth the station of selflessness, and his love is entirely wiped out, his existence becometh like non-existence, and a ray from God’s presence sheddeth its light upon him. Then he can see with the eye of God, and can hear with His ear. This is like iron in the fire. The qualities of the iron, its coldness, darkness and hardness are concealed, and it manifests heat, luminosity and fluidity, which are the qualities of the fire. (’Abdu’l-Bahá from a Tablet)

Arabic Hidden Words N. 59

Bahá’u’lláh in the Hidden Words stated that God, through His Prophets and Chosen Ones, explained that the heart of man is His home; it should be sanctified for His entry, and that his spirit is His place of Revelation, it should be cleansed so that it may become His abode.

We therefore understand that nearness to God is possible through setting our faces towards Him. Nearness to God is through entrance into the Kingdom of God. Nearness to God is made possible through service to humanity. Nearness to God is possible through the unity of all peoples and religions, etc – etc. nearness to God is dependent upon self-sacrifice, self-abnegation, and the giving up of one’s glory and position for Him.

“Consider how the sun shineth upon all creation, but only surfaces which are pure and clear can reveal its full glory and light. The light of the sun is bright, but the darkened stone hath no portion of the revelation of the light.” (’Abdu’l-Bahá from a Tablet)

Arabic Hidden Words N. 63

“Tur” and “Sinai” should not be taken literally: the first is a statement referred to an early translation of the Arabic Hidden Words, N. 63. The word “Tur” was later translated by the Guardian as “Sacred Mount” – allusion to Mt. Sinai, which in this case means the “Manifestation of God”. The second “Sinai” represents the human heart. (from a letter dated 3 May 1947 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)

Arabic Hidden Words N. 70

“O SON OF HIM THAT STOOD BY HIS OWN ENTITY IN THE KINGDOM OF HIS SELF.”

The Guardian says that this is not addressed to any person but that it is a mystical expression and an illusion to the Manifestation of God. (letter dated 3 May 1947 to A. Muhlschlegel)

Persian Hidden Words N. 19

The “true and radiant morn” is the dawn of the Covenant, and the first light of the Testament of the Day-Star of the world.

The “tree of Anis’a” in Shoghi Effendi’s translation of the Hidden Words: the term “Tree of Anis’a is rendered by Him as the “Tree of Life”, the blessed Tree, which hath flourished in the Most Great Paradise, and casteth its shadow upon all regions. (’Abdu’l-Bahá from a Tablet)

Term “Tree of Anis’a”: tabernacle of the Lord of Grace, Tree of Life, Divine Lote Tree, the olive that belongeth neither to the East nor to the West – whose oil would well nigh shine out even though fire touched it not. Quran XXIV:5. (’Abdu’l-Bahá)

By the term “that true and radiant morn” mentioned in the Hidden Words is meant the Dawn of Divine revelation when the Exalted One (the Báb) manifested Himself in the plentitude of His Glory, While the Blessed Tree referred to the Ancient Beauty. By the “surroundings” is meant the realm of the heart and the spirit, and the gathering of the people implieth a spiritual communion not a physical one. (’Abdu’l-Bahá from a Tablet)

Persian Hidden Words N. 37

Thou has asked about the pearls treasured in the Hidden Words where addressing the abject and the foolish, Bahá’u’lláh hath admonished:

“ABANDON NOT FOR THAT WHICH PERISHETH AN EVERLASTING DOMINION”

This is when man depriveth himself of the manifold favours of God, is debarred from the goodly gifts of the All-Merciful, is bereft of His infinite bounty and gracious rewards by following the promptings of his selfish desires, by seeking earthly pleasures and by indulging in corrupt imaginations. “that which perisheth” is an illusion to every kind of corrupt inclination and evil deed. (’Abdu’l-Bahá)

Persian Hidden Words N. 63

Thou has asked about “the tablet of chrysolite” and the “Preserved Tablet”: By “the tablet of chrysolite” is meant the Book of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant which is the “Preserved Tablet”. It was hidden and Preserved, now it is manifest and resplendent. The chrysolite tablet is recorded and enshrined in the innermost recesses of the Book of the Covenant. (’Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablet)

Persian Hidden Words N. 64

The “Preserved Tablet” is a spiritual expression and has no actual existence. It sometimes refers to the Manifestation Himself, Whose knowledge encompasses the knowledge of the former and the latter generation.(from a letter dated 8 July 1929 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)

Persian Hidden Words N. 71

The “Covenant” mentioned in the Hidden Words is the Covenant and Testament which was entered into by the Pen of the Most High in the hallowed precincts of the Par’an of the Love of God, the summit of timeless time (Za’man).

The “dwellers in the city of eternity” and the “Concourse on High” are souls who are firm in the Covenant. (’Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablet)

Persian Hidden Words N. 79

Concerning “wings” and the “comb” mentioned in the Hidden Words: this means the Covenant of God. This Covenant was taken so that the believers would remain loyal to ’Abdu’l-Bahá and not lacerate Bahá’u’lláh’s Blessed Throat, meaning His Blessed Cause. However, they completely shut their eyes to fairness, committed misdeeds and indulged in grievous injustice. (’Abdu’l-Bahá)

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