Prayer Revealed by Bahá’u’lláh on the First Day of the Fast

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a lengthy prayer of Baháʼuʼlláh, revealed in commemoration of the Nineteen-Day Fast. The original text of this passage has been published in Nafaḥát-i-Faḍl, vol. 5, pp. 10–27 [link]. Images of these pages also appear underneath this translation. The reader should be aware, however, that this typescript contains typographical errors. A more accurate (though less legible) version of this Tablet, written in the hand of Zaynuʼl-Muqarrabín, has been published in INBA 49, pp. 151–174.

A small portion of this prayer has previously been published in authorized English translation (also available separately here). I have retained that rendering here, and have colored it in red to distinguish it from the sections I have translated provisionally.

Please note that I have intentionally capitalized those pronouns which Bahá’u’lláh uses below to refer to God, but not those which He uses to refer to Himself. This is a technique the Guardian employed in some of his translations of Bahá’u’lláh’s prayers, in which there is much discussion of Bahá’u’lláh vis-à-vis God, and I feel it greatly helps to differentiate between the two.

Given the extraordinary length of this translation (which is nearly four times the length of the translation of the Long Obligatory Prayer), I have added paragraph markers throughout the text to allow for easier reference.

My deepest thanks to Omid Ghaemmaghami and Joshua Hall, who gave me invaluable advice on how some of the more challenging parts of this prayer might best be rendered.


This is a prayer that was sent down on the first day of the month of fasting. Well is it with him that supplicateth God—his Lord, the Most Great, the Almighty, the All-Knowing—therewith.


Glorified art Thou, O my God! I beseech Thee by Thy Name, the Eternal, through which the Manifestations of Thy Cause have existed perpetually; by Thy Name, the All-Sufficing, through which every need of the Embodiments of Thy Revelation hath been satisfied; by Thy Name, the Lord of Wealth, through which the dawning-places of Thine inspiration have been made so rich as to be self-sufficient; by Thy Name, the Ever-Abiding, through which the signs of Thy kingdom and the evidences of Thy dominion have been made to subsist forevermore; by Thy Name, the All-Wise, through which the Repositories of Thy sovereignty were vouchsafed with abiding endurance; by Thy Name, the Most Compassionate, through which every being hath entreated Thy mercy; by Thy Name, the All-Powerful, through which all living things have implored Thy strength; by Thy Name, the All-Knowing, through which the Manifestations of Thy knowledge have appeared amidst Thy creation; and by Thy Name, the All-Subduing, through which Thou hast caused Thy most exalted Word to conquer all who are in heaven and on earth, to send down upon Thy loved ones—from the heaven of Thy Will—what will make them able to dispense with all else but Thee, and detach them from all else except Thee. Send down upon them, moreover, that which shall empower them to vanquish Thine enemies, who have disbelieved in him who is the manifestation of Thine Essence and the Dawning-Place of Thy Signs. Potent art Thou to do what Thou willest, and Thou, verily, art the Almighty, the All-Wise.


O Thou Who art my God, my Master, my Beloved, my highest Hope, and mine ultimate Aspiration! Remove not far from Thee him that hath sought nearness unto Thee, and cast not away him that hath set his face towards the transcendent court of Thy singleness and the hallowed precincts of Thy oneness. Enable them to hear, then, what shall cause them to soar in the atmosphere of their longing for Thee and the firmament of their rapture of Thee, in such wise that they shall become oblivious of all that is not Thee, and moved to celebrate Thy mention and praise. By Thy glory! Whoso remaineth deprived of the sweetness of Thy remembrance hath, in truth, been kept back from every good thing. For such a one, his death would be better than his life, and his extinction preferable to his endurance. As to me, and to this Thy glory beareth me witness, I am bewildered at them that have withheld themselves from the wonders of Thy remembrance, and have busied themselves with the mention of aught else but Thee. I swear by the power of Thy might that, for them that have tasted the sweetness of communion with Thee, Paradise itself—and whatever of Thy wondrous gifts and favors as can be found therein—can never compare with even a single mention of Thee. Debar me not therefrom, then, and deprive me not thereof. I beseech Thee, moreover, O Thou in Whose hand is the kingdom of decree, to stir me with the winds of Thy Will as Thou pleasest, that I may turn towards that which is met with Thy love and good-pleasure, and repudiate that which Thou abhorrest, O Thou in Whose grasp are the kingdoms of this world and of the next. There is none other God but Thee, the Almighty, the All-Subduing, the Most Powerful, Whose help is implored by all men.


Lauded be Thy Name, O Lord my God! Every time I am reminded of Thee, I find that Thine awful majesty and power have kept me back, for such remembrance itself beareth witness to my powerlessness to conceive of anything but that which is inevitably different from Thee. This having been established, how can my mention ever ascend unto Thee, or my praise ever adequately befit Thee? Nay, all these are the products of my self and the imaginings of mine inmost being. I flee, therefore, O my God, from such blasphemy unto him who is the king of Thy unity, and I supplicate Thee to nourish me with the chalice quaffed by such of Thy creatures as believe in Thy oneness, and by such of Thy creation as are detached from all else but Thee, who behold in all things the signs of Thy splendor and the evidences of Thy singleness. As to them that have joined partners with Thee, and have asserted any relationship between Thy creation and Thyself, they have failed to recognize Thee and attain to Thy knowledge. They, amongst all created things, are the farthest removed from Thee and the most ignorant in Thine estimation. Too exalted art Thou to be associated with anything but Thyself, or to be mentioned with a remembrance other than Thine. From everlasting Thou hast been alone with no one else beside Thee, and to everlasting Thou wilt continue to be one and the same.


To none is given the ability to apprehend Thine essence. Every mention of Thee, irrespective of the one who maketh it, must refer ultimately to the most exalted Word and the preexistent Pearl. This is none other than the Primal Will and the Inceptive Point—the initial indication of Thy Revelation and the first of Thine effulgences. This Thou didst generate of its own substance, and didst shed Thy splendor upon it through Thine all-glorious Name. Subsequently, the heavens shone forth with the light of Thy knowledge, and the earth was illumined with the rays of Thy countenance. Thou didst make this Point the very source of all creation, and the furthest Limit to which it may attain. Therewith didst Thou make distinctions among Thy creatures, for through it hath every true believer professed his faith, and by it was every infidel seized with terror. He that supplicateth Thee with this Point is, in truth, of them that have supplicated Thee through Thy Self, and he that rejecteth it hath, verily, failed to supplicate Thee, though he call on Thee for as long as Thy sovereignty shall endure and Thine Essence shall exist.


Is there any one, O my God, that hath supplicated Thee through this Point whom Thou didst not summon in return? Hath there ever been any one who hath set his face towards thee therewith unto whom Thou didst not turn towards to meet his gaze? Hath any one on Thine earth ever made mention of Thee thereby whose name Thou didst not remember in the heaven of Thy Revelation? Nay, and to this Thy glory beareth me witness, for Thy remembrance hath encompassed all things, even as Thy mercy hath encompassed all creation. But for Thy remembrance, who could make mention of Thee? And if not for the knowledge of Thy Self, who would there be to recognize Thee? When Thy remembrance encompassed Thy servants, they arose to make mention of Thee and celebrate Thy praise; and when Thou didst reveal unto them the paths of nearness unto Thee, and didst show them the ways of Thy good-pleasure, they turned their faces, from every direction, towards the lofty court of Thy oneness and the exalted sanctuary of Thy singleness; and when Thou didst impart unto them Thy love, they leapt forth to assist Thy Cause, and were enraptured by the signs of Thy transcendent sovereignty; and so great waxed their devotion unto Thee that they readily offered up their substance and their very selves in Thy path. I swear by Thy glory, O Best-Beloved of the worlds—Thou Who art the Desire of every yearning soul, and the Ecstasy of every pure heart—that when I quaffed the cup of Thy love, I arose, by Thy power and Thy might, to render Thy Cause victorious, and that I was, moreover, able to dispense with the love of all else but Thee, and every mention other than Thine. Blessed is he that hath drunk deep therefrom—he that hath hastened unto the ways of Thy good-pleasure and the paths of Thy favors—for he, verily, is one of the richest of Thy servants, and is accounted in Thy sight as among the most exalted of men.


As to me, O my God, so intense hath become my love for Thee that I detest the thought that aught else but me should love Thee; indeed, he that loveth Thee is none other than me. The full measure of Thy love have I chosen to accept, and every tribulation have I consented to face in Thy path. Would that there were none but me to love Thee, and that every calamity borne in Thy path would be mine alone to bear! For Thou, in truth, hast ordained for the one who loveth Thee such adversity as is without parallel in Thy knowledge—and this adversity is a thing despised by most of Thy servants, as a means of protecting themselves and preserving their possessions. I, however, am he who hath been able to dispense, through Thy remembrance, with the mention of the entire creation, and he who hath consented to sustain, in Thy love, all the harm at the world’s disposal.


O would that Thou wouldst impart unto Thy servants the things Thou didst impart unto me, and reveal unto them what Thou hast revealed unto me! Blessed is he who in Thy path hath been beset, at the hands of Thy wicked servants, with the swords of hatred and enmity. Such souls as this have, verily, drunk deep from the chalice of Thy mercy and beneficence; they have enjoyed communion with Thee through Thy remembrance and praise, and the affairs of this world have not deterred them from setting their faces towards Thy countenance. Happy is he that hath communed intimately with Thee and detached himself from all creation, O Adored One of all that is seen and unseen!


How, then, O Thou Who art the Creator of Bahá and his sole Desire, can I befittingly recount the wonders of Thy mercy that have pervaded me, and the evidences of Thy bounty that have encircled me? I was fast asleep, O my God, upon the couch of forgetfulness and negligence, when lo, the sweet savors of the raiment of Thy Name, the Most Merciful, were wafted over me. They roused me from my slumber, and moved me to sing Thy praise before the peoples of the earth. Thereafter I arose and summoned all mankind to accept Thy transcendent and most exalted Being. Among them were those who repudiated Thee, gainsaid Thy signs, and rejected Thy tokens in this Revelation, wherein Thou hast manifested Thy Self through Thy Name, the All-Glorious. Others hesitated in their belief and rebelled against Thee, notwithstanding that what I had conveyed unto them were the very things Thou didst teach me from Thy hidden knowledge, and that what I had revealed unto them were none other than what Thou didst enable me to recognize from among Thy treasured mysteries. I called upon them to observe that which had been sent down in the Bayán, and apprised them of such things as would enable them to recognize Thy Manifestation, whereunto they had been bidden aforetime in the Tablets of Thy behest and the Books of Thy decree. At this they were stricken with terror; they bewailed it, rejected it, and waxed proud before it—except for them that were born anew through the sweet savors of Thy most resplendent signs that have been diffused in this Dispensation, whereby the firmament of vain imaginings hath been cleft asunder, and the idols of men have been abolished by the arm of Thy power, O Thou in the grasp of Whose might are the dominion of decree and the kingdoms of earth and heaven.


O my Lord! I beseech Thee by Thy most excellent titles and Thy most august attributes, and by Thy Name, which Thou hast raised up above every other name and hast caused to overshadow all that are in heaven and all that are on earth—a Name through which Thou didst foster fellowship and make distinction, and didst establish as the decisive Standard in both the beginning and in the end—to so open the eyes of Thy servants that they shall see with Thine eyes and recognize Thee through Thy Self, and turn away from them that have disbelieved in Thee, have gainsaid Thy sovereignty, have taken unto themselves a lord other than Thee, and have made aught else but Thee the object of their adoration. Abandon them not, O my Lord, to themselves, and leave them not to their corrupt desires. Take Thou their hands with the hand of Thy power and Thy grace, and protect them from Thy wicked servants who whisper in men’s breasts, and in so doing prevent them from attaining the shores of Thy oneness and from entering the depths of Thine all-glorious unity.


O my Lord! Illumine the eyes of Thy servants with the light of Thy knowledge, and give them to drink of those living waters that shall detach him that quaffeth them from the kingdoms of heaven and earth; shall prompt him to turn, with his all, towards Thee; and shall cause him to abide beneath the shade of Thine all-glorious Name, which Thou hast made the sword of Thy Cause amidst Thy creation, and whereby Thou hast separated between the well-favored and the wayward, between light and darkness, between felicity and misery, and between the exponents of truthfulness and the embodiments of denial. He whose sight hath been illumined with the light of Thy Most Great Name hath, in truth, been created anew and raised up at Thy behest, O Lord of the throne on high and of earth below. Such a one is, indeed, a new creation in Thy realm, fashioned by the fragrances that have been wafted in Thy days. He is recreated through that which he uttereth in Thy remembrance and praise, though he repeat such things as have been ever said in Thy glorification. Such is the station of Thy servants that have been brought into being through the movement of Thy Supreme Pen in the kingdom of creation. And yet, Thy wicked servants reject Thy verses, O Thou Who art without peer on earth or in heaven, and would fain deny their novelty—notwithstanding that through these verses the very concept of novelty hath been established, and that if not for them originality itself would never have come into existence.


I weep, therefore, and with me weep also my pen and the Tablet upon which it doth write, by reason of the harm I have sustained and by virtue of the things that have befallen me at the hands of Thine enemies. Whensoever wax severe the calamities that have afflicted me, and have been perpetrated by these servants of Thine that have disbelieved in Thy most mighty signs, I look unto those of Thy gifts that Thou hast singled out for me, inasmuch as Thou hast fashioned me to be the very mention of Thy Self, and hast made whatsoever is manifested from me—be it my standing or my sitting, my walking or my sleeping—to be Thy remembrance amidst Thy creatures, and Thy praise before Thy servants. Indeed, all mine actions Thou hast made to be even as a single act of Thy remembrance. Praise be unto Thee, then, O my God, for this inestimable bounty and this priceless gift.


I beseech Thee, O my God and my Master, to ordain for Thy servants what Thou hast ordained for me. Make Thou no distinction between me and them, neither in this world nor in the world to come. Thou, verily, art the Fashioner of all creation. O my God! Make firm the leaves of this Tree, lest the tempests of trials should cause them to fall. Thou, in truth, art the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the Beneficent. Deprive not, moreover, those of Thy servants that have set their faces towards Thee. Enable them, O my God, to bear witness to Thy oneness, to acknowledge Thy singleness, to recognize Thy sovereign might, to turn towards the sanctuary of Thy glory and grandeur, to repair unto Thee for refuge, and to seek Thy presence for protection. Cast them not away, O my Lord, by Thy grace, and withhold them not from this river that hath flowed from the right hand of the throne of Thy oneness. Suffer them not, O my Lord, to be numbered with them that have broken Thy Covenant, violated Thy Testament, waxed proud before Thee, disputed Thy truth, rejected Thy grace, and turned away from Thee, all in spite of the fact that not a single word hath been inscribed by Thy Supreme Pen wherewith Thou didst not enter into a Covenant with me.


Thou didst condition all that hath been sent down in the Bayán upon mine acceptance and my behest, in such wise that if my mention and praise were to be effaced therefrom, not one word would remain thereof. Thou hast not, moreover, made my Cause dependent upon the approval of any one. And yet, look Thou upon Bahá, O Thou Who art his Beloved, and behold what hath befallen him at the hands of Thine adversaries, O Thou Who art his heart’s desire! Thy might beareth me witness that not a single cry hath escaped the lips of Bahá to bemoan the things that have befallen him in Thy path, O Thou Who art the Source and Center of his soul. O would that the people of the Bayán not repeat the transgressions of peoples past! I swear by Thy glory, O Best-Beloved of Bahá, that my bitter weeping hath prevented me from making Thy mention and celebrating Thy praise, O Thou in Whose hands are the dominion of decree and the kingdom of ordainment. I am he, O my God, whose love of Thee the enmity of Thine enemies hath failed to hinder, and the one whose praise of Thee the clamor raised by them that have disbelieved in Thy signs hath been powerless to silence. By Thy glory! Were all the peoples of the earth to unite against me in tyranny and oppression, verily my tongue would proclaim Thy mention and praise in their midst. And were my tongue to be cut out, verily my heart would impart the things wherewith Thou didst inspire me through Thy bounty and beneficence. And were my heart to be severed from my body, verily my vitals, my limbs, and the hair of my head would shout aloud:


O my Lord! This is the one who is Thy light amidst Thy rebellious creatures. Look upon him, then, with the glances of Thy tender mercies. O my Lord! This is he who is mentioned in Thy Scriptures, Thy Books, and Thy Tablets. He is the one for whom Thou didst send down the Bayán to elevate his station, glorify his word, and exalt his Cause. He is the one Thou hast awakened every morning through Thy love of him, and hast laid down to rest every evening through Thy mention of him. Thou didst say, and Thine utterance is most sweet: “But for him, I would not have sent down the Bayán!” Thou didst also say, and Thy word is the truth: “The mention of every goodly thing hath been sent down in the Bayán. I have desired naught but Bahá and his beauty.” Look Thou upon him, then, and behold him fallen amidst the people of the Bayán, O Thou Who verily revealed that Bayán!


How sweet, therefore, is the praise Thou givest to me, and the praise I give to Thee! Thou art He Who standeth self-sufficient above the need of any of His creatures. Thou art, moreover, the One Who hath desired to make mention of me in Thy remembrance, and I am the one who hath made no mention except to render Thee praise. Thou beholdest, O my God, how my heart hath been so intensely consumed in Thy love that if all the seas of the earth were to be poured upon that flame, they would be forever powerless to extinguish it, for my body, my soul, and mine inmost being have all been created through Thy love, and Thy love is eternal; it cannot die. Such is the station Thou hast graciously conferred upon me, and none shall ever have the power to lay their hands upon it, O Thou Whose remembrance is my solace and the delight of my heart, Whose decree is my desire, and Whose calamity is my companion.


O my God! Thou seest them that have dishonored Thy name, disgraced Thy Cause, broken Thy Covenant, perverted Thy word, renounced Thy laws, discarded Thy commandments, and caviled at this servant who hath vowed to lay down his life in Thy path—the one through whom Thy Cause hath gained renown, Thy praise hath been exalted, the light of Thy countenance hath shone forth, the Pavilion of Thy law hath been established, the Tabernacle of Thy glory hath been raised, the House of Thy Cause hath been built, the Temple of Thy holiness hath been erected, and the Sanctuary of Thy splendor hath been constructed.


Thou art well aware, O my God, of the lies they have spread and the calumnies they have uttered, and Thou knowest that the acts they have committed in the name of Thy religion have caused the denizens of the everlasting Cities to cry out in lamentation, and have made the Concourse on high to wail with grief. They have written against me, with the fingers of blasphemy, that which hath drawn the curse of the atoms of the earth, the malediction of the manifestations of divine unity, the imprecation of the dawning-places of oneness, the malison of the repositories of Thy revelation, and the execration of the treasuries of Thine inspiration. The wickedness of those wretched souls waxed greater and greater until they declared, in writing, “He hath abrogated the Bayán!” And this notwithstanding that through me, the laws of the Bayán were revealed and the Sun of the Bayán shone forth, and that his mention hath been fulfilled in making mention of me—and that it was through me, moreover, that the meaning of his words was made clear and his mysteries were unveiled, and that it was through my arising that the letters of his writings were unfolded, his hidden treasures were made manifest, and the pearls of Thy knowledge and the gems of Thy wisdom concealed within him were divulged.


Thou knowest, O my God, that they had recognized Thy bounty, and yet they then rejected it, for Thou didst manifest me invested with that proof wherewith they laid claim to faith in Thee and in him who is the manifestation of Thy Self. Purify, then, their hearts, O my God, and illumine their eyes, that they may recognize Thee with Thine own eyes and detach themselves from all else but Thee. This I ask of Thee, O my God, though I see how they are wrapt even more densely in their veils than the followers of former religions. So wrapt are they in these veils that I myself cannot conceive of any people more wayward than they, nor any souls who have gone further astray. They read the Bayán even as they reject the one who revealed it and pride themselves in their rejection, and cavil at him through whom Thy word and the Scrolls of Thy commandment have, from time immemorial, been revealed. I swear by Thy glory, O my God, that they have not believed in Thee, for had they believed, they would not have repudiated this Revelation, through which the leaves of the Divine Lote-Tree have been made to sing the remembrance of Thy Name, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, and through which the tongues of all things have been unloosed to yield Thee praise, O Thou Who art the Lord of this world and of the next. Every word revealed in the Bayán beareth witness that God, verily, beholdeth all things from the all-glorious horizon.


Glorified, immeasurably glorified art Thou, O my God! Thou hearest my groaning and my wailing, and perceivest what befalleth me at every moment at the hands of them who are the manifestations of Satan, the exponents of rebellion, the embodiments of envy, and the incarnations of infernal fire. Behold, O Thou Who hast called Thyself the God of Mercy! Seest Thou on Thine earth any one wronged like me, or any as stricken with sorrow as I? And this notwithstanding that it is through my joy that Thy lovers have soared to the sublimities of Thy nearness and delight, and they who yearn for Thee have ascended unto the heaven of Thy rapture and recognition!


This wronged one, O my God, hath sought the shelter of Thy justice, this lowly one hath longed to abide within the precincts of Thy glory, and this poor creature hath yearned to take refuge beneath the canopy of Thy wealth. Send down upon him, then, that which beseemeth Thee. He, in truth, hath had no desire but Thee, and He possesseth no such desire now. I adjure Thee by Thy power and might, O Thou Who art the King of Bahá—Thou Who speakest within the breast of Bahá, and rememberest within the heart of Bahá! Send down, O my Lord, the word that shall strike the fear of God in the hearts of men, that they may shake off the slumber of their corrupt desires and turn their faces unto the Most Exalted Word, O Lord of the Throne on high and of earth below.


O my God, my Master, my heart’s desire! I bear witness that Thou indeed hast ever been the One Whom all things worship, one and alone, without peer or equal, eternal in the past, eternal in the future, ever-abiding, independent of all things, and self-subsisting. Thou hast taken neither partner nor peer unto Thyself. Unto Thy servants Thou didst send Thy messengers, and make them the repositories of Thy revelation and the treasuries of Thy knowledge, and send down unto them Thy Books in which Thou didst prescribe Thy laws and ordinances, until such time as the Scriptures were culminated through the revelation of the Bayán, and the Messengers attained their final consummation through the one Thou didst name ʻAlí [The Báb] in the Realm of Decree and the Kingdom of Names. He, in truth, made himself manifest at Thy bidding, summoned all men unto Thee, and bore the glad-tidings of him whose advent Thou didst herald in Thy perspicuous verses and Thy weighty words. Through him, Thou didst prescribe the scope of Thy laws and ordinances, and didst give a distinct explanation of all things, in which Thou didst forbid Thy servants to shed the blood of them that have believed in Thee and have entered the stronghold of Thy command and Thy protection.


Thus hast Thou forbidden all peoples to take the spouses of Thy messengers as their wives. This is one of Thy perspicuous laws and clear proscriptions, and it is of such great significance that it hath been revealed in all Thy Tablets, Thy Books, and Thy Scriptures. And yet, notwithstanding this clear ordinance and firm command, they have broken Thy Covenant, violated Thy Testament, and cast away what had been bidden them. They have enjoined that which had been forbidden them, and have grown so abject in their heedlessness that passion and desire have seized from them the reins of tranquility and shame, and compelled them to betray the consort of Thy Self [The Báb], the Exalted, the Most High. Alas, alas, for the deeds he [Mírzá Yaḥyá] hath committed and the behavior he hath demonstrated! I swear by God that the veil of Thy sanctity hath been rent asunder amidst Thy creatures, that the Faithful Spirit hath lamented before Thy countenance, and that the eye of Bahá hath wept sore by reason of this most great calamity and most dire tribulation. I swear, moreover, that there never befell any of Thy messengers or chosen ones what hath befallen him who is the revealer of Thy Cause—the one Thou didst make the embodiment of Thy sovereignty, the dayspring of Thy divinity, and the dawning-place of Thy supremacy. For this I have wailed aloud with grief, and indeed all things created through Thy most exalted Word have been made to wail.


O my God! Thou, verily, hast always existed, and wilt to eternity continue to exist. Thou didst not set down Thy laws or lay down Thy paths except to ensure the eternity of Thy remembrance amongst Thy creation and the glorification of Thy Cause amidst Thy people. And verily Thou, by Thy Self—the one true God—hast ever been and wilt ever be sanctified from the doings of men and the words of them who fain would praise Thee. Those people, O my God, have indeed felt no shame before Thee, inasmuch as they have dishonored Thee in Thy realm and refused to glorify Thee amidst Thy creatures. Where is the man of insight who will assist me in the midst of my bitter wailing, or the tender-hearted one who will join me in lamenting what hath befallen my Lover and my Beloved, the One Who maketh mention of me and the One of Whom I make mention? Where is the fair-minded soul who will judge equitably what hath befallen him who is the manifestation of Thy Self at the hands of Thy most heedless servants? By Thy glory, O my God! Were I to be slain by the swords of men, I would cherish this fate more than remaining alive, and would thus behold that which no eye hath ever seen, O Thou in Whose hands are the dominions of earth and heaven.


The lust of leadership prompted that wretched one[1] to shed the blood of him [Dayyán] whom Thou didst single out amidst Thy people, didst make the quintessence of Thy majesty, and didst name “the third Letter” to believe in the one Thou didst make manifest at Thy bidding.[2] Thou didst reveal in the honor of that noble soul such things as have never been revealed for any one apart from him. And when his blood was shed, every trace of daylight was overtaken by darkness. Agitation took hold of every soul living in Baghdád, and they all were thrown into dire straits. Despite this, however, the perpetrators of that heinous crime failed to realize what they had done, and their wickedness and haughtiness waxed greater and greater until they sought to slay the One of Whom they had made mention in the daytime and in the night season. Yet, Thou didst indeed preserve me by the power of Thy might, and didst protect me with Thine invisible hosts, in such wise that I was able—through Thy will and decree—to depart from the midst of those wicked souls. And when Thou didst frustrate their hopes through the power of Thy sovereignty, they wrote against me such vile things as caused their own pens, their fingers, their ink, their scrolls, and in truth the reality of all things to curse them. Raise up, then, O my God, pure hearts and discerning eyes, that they may look searchingly into Thy Cause and observe carefully what hath befallen Thee.


Alas, alas! The pages of the Bayán, and the eye of inner meaning enshrined within the words of the Bayán, have wept sore by reason of their deeds. They grew oblivious of their own selves and proclaimed, “Verily, he whom Thou didst make manifest by Thy bidding hath abrogated the Bayán!” And this notwithstanding that every man of insight will bear witness, were I to call upon them to do so, that the Bayán was revealed for my sake, that the law of the Bayán was fulfilled through my Revelation, and that Thou didst make all that had been revealed therein a gift unto me, conditioned by my leave and dependent upon my behest. Alas, alas! The hem of holiness hath been smirched with the dust of the calumnies of Thy foes, and the hearts of them that are nigh unto Thee have been lacerated—at the hands of the rebellious among Thy people—by the things that have befallen him who is the beloved of them that have recognized Thee.


This is, O my God, the first of the days on which Thou hast bidden Thy loved ones to observe the Fast. I ask of Thee by Thy Self and by him who hath fasted out of love for Thee and for Thy good-pleasure—and not out of self and desire, nor out of fear of Thy wrath—and by Thy most excellent names and august attributes, to purify Thy servants from the love of aught except Thee and to draw them nigh unto the Dawning-Place of the lights of Thy countenance and the Seat of the throne of Thy oneness. Illumine their hearts, O my God, with the light of Thy knowledge and brighten their faces with the rays of the Daystar that shineth from the horizon of Thy Will. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. No God is there but Thee, the All-Glorious, Whose help is implored by all men.


Assist them, O my God, to render Thee victorious and to exalt Thy Word. Suffer them, then, to become as hands of Thy Cause amongst Thy servants, and make them to be revealers of Thy religion and Thy signs amongst mankind, in such wise that the whole world may be filled with Thy remembrance and praise and with Thy proofs and evidences. Thou art, verily, the All-Bounteous, the Most Exalted, the Powerful, the Mighty, and the Merciful.


Praised be Thou, O my God! Every time I attempt to conclude my praise of Thee, I behold how my love for Thee hath not yet ceased. This being the case, how could I possibly still my voice, or end my praise, or stop my wailing, or cease my sighing? Thou hast, verily, O my God, enjoined prayer unto them that are near unto me, and didst, moreover, make the verses irrefutable proofs of my station, and clear evidences of my Cause. And yet, how dearly I would love to make mention of Thee and render Thee praise on the part of all mankind and whatsoever pertaineth unto them, O Thou in Whose grasp lie the kingdoms of earth and heaven!


O my Lord! Aid me with the wonders of Thine assistance, for I verily am the sole emblem of Thine ascendancy, and I alone can befittingly manifest Thy loving-kindness. These distinctions enable me to repair unto the Glorious Companion, and to be delivered from the midst of these ungodly ones, who harbor naught in their hearts but hatred and animosity.


Cause me, then, to ascend unto Thee, O my Lord, O Thou through a movement of Whose pen the kingdom of creation was begotten! My sole purpose in speaking forth that which I have proclaimed before Thee hath been to demonstrate my servitude amongst Thy people. All testify that I, in truth, am but a lowly pauper, and that Thou, verily, art the One from Whom all things are sought, and that I am a humble suppliant, while Thou art the One Who is ready to answer. Were this not so, then I swear by Thy might that my desire would not accord with what Thou hast desired, that my purpose would differ from what Thou hast purposed, and that mine aspirations would run counter to what Thou hast decreed. Whoso maketh any distinction, therefore, between my will and Thine hath, in truth, blasphemed against Thee and joined partners with Thee in Thy dominion. Indeed, Thy Will is manifested through my will, and but for Thy Will, I would have no will of mine own. May all my desires be offered up for Thee, O Thou Who art the Desire of Bahá; may all my aims be yielded up to Thee, O Thou Who art the Aim of Bahá; and may my will be wholly dissolved in Thine, O Thou Who hast kindled the fire of Bahá, hast lighted the flame within the breast of Bahá, and hast spoken through the tongue of Bahá!


And then, the Beloved of Bahá said: By the righteousness of God! But for Bahá, the Dove of remembrance would not warble. O people of hatred! Free ye Bahá from your midst and relieve him from your cruelty, which hath cleft the heavens asunder and rent in twain the veil of faithfulness.


And Bahá made reply: I have contented myself with Thy decree, O Thou Who art the Lord of the worlds and the Desire of whosoever hath sought Thee! I have wished for myself only what Thou didst wish, and have desired only what Thou didst desire. By Thy glory, I am abashed before the wonders of Thy bounty, through which Thou didst choose me amongst all Thy creatures to be invested with this Revelation.


Thou didst divide all created things one from another, and didst take from them their very essences—and then, O my God, Thou didst cause me to speak forth a single Word from Thy side, and through Thy power and might, didst make that Word a two-edged sword. With one edge, Thou didst separate to one side such among Thy creatures as have waxed proud before Thee, and have hesitated in their recognition of Thy Cause—a Cause greater than any other which Thou hast ever revealed—and with the other edge, Thou didst gather together and foster fellowship among them that have set their faces towards Thy countenance, have believed in Thy resplendent signs, and have detached themselves from all that is in heaven and on earth, yearning for Thy beauty, seeking Thy good-pleasure, turning towards Thy presence, and proclaiming Thy bounty. These Thou hast made the very hands of Thy Cause amidst Thy people, and through them Thou hast manifested such tokens of Thy oneness, and such evidences of Thy singleness, as Thou didst never manifest before. Blessed is he who hath turned his face towards them wholly for love of Thee, and hath heard from them Thy signs and Thy tokens, whose like the denizens of earth and heaven are powerless to produce.


I beseech Thee, then, O my God, by Thy Self—and by this wronged one, the like of whom mortal eyes have never witnessed—to send down from the heaven of creation that which will cause the tender herbs of Thy love and knowledge to spring forth from the hearts of them that yearn for Thee. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. No God is there but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.


I entreat Thee, moreover, O my God, by the remembrance of Thy Name—the Exalted, the Most High—to give Thy servants to drink from the wine of Thy grace and bounty, that all may recognize Thee with their own eyes, and enter beneath the shade of the tree of Divine Unity. O Thou in Whose grasp is the kingdom of destiny! Grievous indeed would it be for me that Thou shouldst deprive even one of Thy creatures of the mercy which Thou hast reserved for Thy days. By Thy glory! Thy servants fain would harm and afflict me, while I desire their nearness unto Thee and cherish the hope that they may enter the Most Glorious Paradise. Potent art Thou to do what Thou pleasest. Thou knowest all that is in me, and Thou, verily, art the All-Powerful, the All-Knowing, the Almighty, the Best-Beloved.


[1] A reference to Mírzá Yaḥyá, given the earlier allusion to him in this prayer, as well as the historical context of Dayyán’s assassination and the role Mírzá Yaḥyá played in instigating it.

[2] A reference to Him Whom God shall make manifest—that is, Baháʼuʼlláh. See Adib Taherzadeh, Revelation of Baháʼuʼlláh, vol. 1, pp. 249–252.

A scanned copy of the Arabic text of this prayer appears below in typescript form.