Az Bágh-i-Iláhí (Hailing from the Godly Garden)

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a Tablet of Baháʼuʼlláh, the original text of which can be found at this link in authenticated typescript form. The translation is set to blank verse (iambic tetrameter).

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Translator’s Introduction:

Keen students of Bahá’í history may be familiar with the work of Bahá’u’lláh called Az Bágh-i-Iláhí, cataloged in the “Partial Inventory of the Works of the Central Figures of the Bahá’í Faith” with the ID number BH01007, through its inclusion in the “List of Bahá’u’lláh’s Best-Known Writings” featured in many of the volumes of Bahá’í World, or through this summary by Adib Taherzadeh:

Az-Bágh-i-Iláhí is an ode revealed not long before the Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh. It is one of His most joyous odes, composed in an exalted style. Each Persian verse is followed by one in Arabic, and the combination of the two creates a rich melody of unsurpassed beauty and enchantment. Its theme is the advent of the Promised Day of God, but to describe its contents is not an easy task, especially in the absence of an English translation.

In each and every line Bahá’u’lláh alludes to Himself and extols His own attributes. He unveils the splendours of His exalted station and, among other designations, refers to Himself as the Lord of all mankind, the Day-star of Truth, the Promise of all ages, the Youth of Paradise, the Quickener of men and the Essence of the Spirit of Truth. This poem is an eloquent description of Bahá’u’lláh’s stupendous station, the character of His Mission and the outpourings of His Revelation.

The chanting of this beautiful ode creates an atmosphere of ecstasy and joy. It moves the heart and evokes a feeling of awe and excitement within the soul. No wonder that the companions of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád, who chanted it in their gatherings, were carried away into the realms of spirit, completely oblivious of this world and all its peoples.

(The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, vol. 1, pp. 218–19)

Taherzadeh notes the absence of an English translation—and from the time he first wrote those words in 1974 to the present day, this ode had remained untranslated. It was only when I read the full Writing for the first time just a few days ago that I experienced the ecstasy he described and felt compelled to try my hand at a provisional rendering. I felt the structure of the original text best lent itself to iambic tetrameter in English, and that is the meter to which I have set the translation. It is, however, in blank verse, meaning there is no consistent terminal rhyme—only occasional instances, some of them half-rhymes, along with internal rhyming here and there—as I believed a conventional rhyme scheme would needlessly constrain the translation and that the content of the original ode itself was not all that amenable to one. My deepest thanks to Khazeh Fananapazir, Abir Majid, and Sen McGlinn for enriching the translation with their valuable suggestions.

Az Bágh-i-Iláhí is a masterclass in linguistic innovation for devotional purposes. It not only alternates between Arabic and Persian as Taherzadeh mentioned, but it also blends the two languages together in a wondrously inseparable mixture by pairing Arabic nouns with Persian adjectives and vice-versa (سهم مژگانی، سیف یزدانی، جگر حراقی). In addition to this, the work is filled with neologisms (رُنَن، رُبَب، کُئَس), as well as unconventional inflections (جُذَبٌ، مِلَحٌ، نُجُمٌ), unprecedented variations (ازلانی، روّاح، جگردوز), and irregular spellings (ابها، ابقا، شَسْت) of existing words. It must be noted here that there can be no room for doubt about these innovations; they come to us from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who transcribed the full Writing Himself and added all of the short vowel marks seen in the original-language typescript below. In the source text I consulted (INBA 19:27–31) to prepare that typescript, the handwritten reproduction of the Writing begins with a marginal note stating that it is based identically on that transcription by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and, to reinforce its accuracy, the reproduction ends with a brief confirmation: muqábilih shud (“It has been checked against the original”). I think these deviations from standard language actually make a kind of lyrical sense; there is a distinct musicality to them, and Taherzadeh does note that the companions of Bahá’u’lláh would chant this ode at their gatherings in Baghdád. The Writing ultimately concludes with some lines in prose that seem to discuss the nature of Bahá’u’lláh’s advent and the longevity of His Dispensation, and also enjoin the believers to teach the Cause with zeal and ecstasy.

How fitting that Bahá’u’lláh should have revealed so revolutionary an ode so shortly before His public declaration. What better way to signalize the novelty entailed by His imminent Revelation, that all things are about to be made new, than by upending something as fundamental and well-established as language itself?

—Adib Masumian
24 October 2021

UPDATE (24 May 2023): I have replaced my typescript of the original Writing with an authenticated one available on the Bahá’í Reference Library at this link. I have also made a few changes to my translation in light of certain discrepancies between the version of this Writing found in INBA 19 and the authenticated typescript.

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In My Name, the Most Effulgent, the All-Glorious


Hailing from the godly garden,
Invested with the Burning Bush,
That fresh and novel Youth is come!
Make haste, make haste![1]


This is the Ecstasy divine!
This is the Robe celestial!
This is the Raiment of the Lord!
With vast oceans of living waters,
And spirit-vivifying rivers,
That Lord of all mankind is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the cooling Draught of God!
This is the Merciful’s Bestowal!
This is the wholesome Ornament!
Descending from the lofty city,
With much allure and famous name,
That Joseph of Shíráz is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Face transcending time!
This is the radiant Countenance!
This is the ancient Innovation!
With sword in hand and shaft in quiver,
That Slayer of the loving souls,
That Quickener of the loved is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Blade enamoring![2]
This is the captivating Spear![3]
This is the curved bewitching Dart![4]
From out the veiling of the soul,
From out the city of God’s Presence,
With gifts and favors He is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the holy dazzling Light!
This is the Ancient all-preceding!
This is the Bounty all-predating!
From the supernal treasury,
That supremely deathless Essence,
Beneath the shade of clouds is come![5]
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Trove beyond measure!
This is the shell-embosomed Pearl!
This is the name-embracing Trait![6]
Armed with keen and cutting blades,
That dauntless Knight of the arena,
That Slayer of the loved is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Throat so delicate![7]
This is the Breast of ample bounty!
This is a generous Sustenance!
Upon this Day of Resurrection,
That snow-white Fashioner of being,
That Glorious Revealer’s[8] come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is a God like ne’er before!
This is indeed the holy Lord!
This is delectable Sweetness!
With voice and message at the ready,
That mystery of God’s beauty,
His glory unalloyed is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Bliss of brilliance!
This is the ancient Ecstasy!
This is the hidden Jubilation!
With the warbling of the dove,
With the rosebud of the spirit,
With bowl and cup in hand He’s come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the winsome Form of youth!
This is the heavenly Decree!
This is enraptured coquetry!
With world-devouring flirtation,
With a heart-rending secret,
From placeless[9] dayspring He is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Dance of wonderment!
This is the Heart riddled with holes!
This is the Soul consumed with flames!
Alighting from the kingly arm,
Accompanied by drums and tents,
That hunting Falcon now is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Bird of Paradise!
This is Ascension raining down!
This is the lush and verdant Leaf!
The Object of mankind’s desire,
Embodying the One they worship,
With endless festival is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is Decree in flesh and bone!
This is the Frame that well ordains!
This is the Body bubbling over!
That Essence of the godly Spirit,
Trumpeting, “I am the Truth!”,[10]
Like one who breaks idols is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the sound of Syriac![11]
This is the ringing tone of Hebrew![12]
This is the pitch of Arabic![13]
With curls disheveled here and there,
With locks comely and serpentine,
Inspired and merciful He’s come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the preexistent Pardon!
This is the all-effulgent Grace!
This is the most exalted Gift!
That lofty Spirit quintessential,
Setting fire to all likeness,
Like rushing lions He is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Burning of the souls!
This is the Knowledge of the conscience!
This is the Pen that’s serpent-like!
Like unto radiant morn divine,
Piercing the pall of darksome night,
That everlasting Face is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the splendid Eastern Sun!
This is the Moon of inner meaning!
This is the Star so well adorned!
A single strand of His black hair,
The faintest hint of His fragrance,
Have graced our senses with their scents!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the brilliant Resurrection!
This is the promised Gathering!
This is the Bounty of the Lord!
From morn of God’s fidelity,
From dawn of His holy presence,
That Joy’s fulfilled all hopes and dreams!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Youth born in Shíráz!
This is the Lantern in the niche!
This is the Shining of the lamp!
A hundred goblets in His hand,
A hundred snares beneath His thumb,
With utter charm and grace He’s come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the spreading Lote divine!
This is the magnetizing Tree!
This is the youthful Beckoning!
With His all-transcending digit,
His ruby finger of decree,
With exceeding joy He’s come—
With flowing speech and utterance,
With total rapture He is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Wine of nourishment!
This is the joy-inducing Drink!
This is the Movement of the spirit!
That lordly Flame which shines so bright,
That Fire on the mountaintop,[14]
With coolness and in peace is come![15]
Make haste, make haste!


This is indeed delightful Sweetness!
This is the most refulgent Veil!
This is the God of night journeys!
That One concealed yet manifest,
That One hidden yet celebrated,
From square to rooftop He is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the wondrous Eventide!
This is the Brow that bends with grace!
This is the Spirit set aflame!
From His breath is Christ revived,
And Moses wounded from His sorrow,
For now that Perfect Sun is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Breath benevolent!
This is the life-instilling Soul!
This is the perfect Word of God!
That Emperor Who wears the crown,
With “I am God!” etched on its face,
Like night[16] to day that Ruler’s come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Crown[17] munificent!
This is the Morn of flashing light!
This is the Glory which creates!
From out the veil of sanctity,
From out the covering of communion,
That soothing Companion is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the maiden’s comely Face!
This is the gleaming crystal Chalice!
This is the captivating Eye!
Dancing to the holy rhythm,
With glorifying coquetry,
With everlasting cup He’s come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Bird of Paradise!
This is the peacock’s strident Cry!
This is the Pealing of the bell!
Within that land of the divine,
With stature tall and heavenly,
With gait most elegant He’s come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Fowl of inspiration!
This is a Tiding to relish!
This is the plainly written Line!
Tempered with celestial essence,
That Sword fashioned by God Himself,
From out its holy sheath is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the all-subduing Blade!
This is the pardoning Rebuke!
This is the most compelling Force!
From flower-beds of mysteries,
From the field into the snare,
That Bird of rosy meadow’s come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the overpowering Joy!
This is the Sign of God Himself!
This is none other than His Breath!
Bringing death unto the veiled,
Inflicting pain upon the torpid,
That mighty King of days is come—
That perfect Treasure, famed Unseen,
Despite the hearts of beasts is come!
Make haste, make haste!


This is the Grandeur of the Sovereign!
This is the self-effacing Star!
This is the Flame that’s blazing forth!

With the celestial breath, that divine Fire was breathed into manifold centuries, and with the crimson blood of the lovers, the everlasting Heaven was made manifest. Thereafter, with the Spirit of the Lord, a myriad eras dawned forth, emerging with the black curls of the Beloved. Innumerably, incalculably, He circled round the cynosure of nearness unto the Most Beauteous, and traveled the path to the sanctuary of the All-Glorious, till He had the honor of appearing through mention in this Tablet—and in the forms of holy spirits, out of divine love, with lowliness and humility, standing and sitting, He was made evident through the body of written words that constitute the perspicuous verses.

Thus, the birds of the Throne who seek the destinations of holy ascensions must chant with rapturous song, that all the peoples of the earth may be imbued with an undying spirit, an eternal life, and a perpetual existence. Perchance the drops of fire may, by the leave of God as ever, be sprinkled upon the breasts of the righteous.


[1] This meaning of های های has been noted by Dehkhoda (here) and Steingass (here). It may alternatively (or additionally) be read as a cry of jubilation, such as “Rejoice, rejoice!”

[2] Probably a subtle reference to the eyebrows of Bahá’u’lláh.

[3] Possibly another subtle reference to the eyebrows of Bahá’u’lláh.

[4] An explicit reference to the eyelashes (مژگان) of Bahá’u’lláh.

[5] Refer to Qur’án 2:210 and the many Biblical references to the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven.

[6] Which is to say that Bahá’u’lláh’s defining “attribute” of glory is one that embraces (or encompasses) all others.

[7] My choice of “Throat so delicate” here assumes that its corresponding original, جید حضرانی , should be read as jídun ḥaḍaraní, with jíd meaning “throat” (as opposed to jayd, meaning “good”) and ḥaḍaraní pertaining to civilization in contradistinction to nomadism (as opposed to ḥadraní, signifying “presence”). The imagery used in this rendering is reminiscent of this passage from a prayer of Bahá’u’lláh: “The throat Thou didst accustom to the touch of silk Thou hast, in the end, clasped with strong chains . . .”

[8] My choice of “revealer” here assumes that its corresponding original, مظهر , should be read as muẓhir, consistent with the preceding موجد . A less likely possibility is that it reads maẓhar, meaning “manifestation.”

[9] My choice of “placeless” here assumes that its corresponding original, لام , is an abbreviation of لا مکان, meaning “placeless.” The phrase مشرق لا مکان occurs in The Hidden Words – from the Persian, no. 28. Alternatively, لام might be read as an abbreviation of the Quranic phrase لن ترانی (“Thou shalt never see Me”), which God says to Moses on Mount Sinai (Qur’án 7:143), consistent with this ode’s overarching theme of emergence from concealment.

[10] Originally انا الحقّ , a heretical exclamation of the Sufi mystic and martyr Manṣúr al-Ḥallaj (d. 922) for which it is often thought he was put to death.

[11] A reference to the Christian dispensation.

[12] A reference to the Mosaic dispensation.

[13] A reference to the Islamic dispensation, the original word translated as “Arabic” being فرقانی , signifying the Qur’án.

[14] The original for “mountaintop” being فارانی , a reference to Mount Paran, another name for Mount Sinai; refer to Deuteronomy 1:1 & 33:2 and Habakkuk 3:5. In the Islamic tradition, Mount Paran is where God made the covenant of Alast with all creation; Bahá’u’lláh Himself alludes to this in The Hidden Words – from the Persian, no. 71.

[15] cf. Qur’án 21:69.

[16] My choice of “night” here assumes that its corresponding original, شام , has that meaning in this context. Another possibility is that it refers to the historical region of Syria.

[17] My choice of “crown” here assumes that its corresponding original, تیج , is a variant of تاج , which has that meaning here, as if to symbolize the king wearing it (Bahá’u’lláh). A less likely alternative is that this word is a variant of تژ , which according to Mu‘ín (here) and ‘Amíd (here) can have the meaning of “sprout.” Steingass also corroborates this meaning (here). Yet another alternative, noted by Dehkhoda (here), is that the word means “arrow.”

A typescript of the complete original text of this Tablet, taken from this link on the Bahá’í Reference Library, appears below. The heading, which occurs in some manuscripts, has been retained here and in the provisional English translation above. 

﴿ بسمى البهىّ الابهى ﴾

از باغ الهی با سدرهٴ ناری آن تازه غلام آمد

های های هذا جُذَبٌ الّهی هذا خِلَعٌ یزدانی هذا قُمُصٌ ربّانی

با ابحر حیوانی با کوثر روحانی آن ربّ انام آمد

های های هذا عِذَبٌ سبحانی هذا لُطَفٌ رحمانی هذا طُرَزٌ عَذبانی

از مصر عمائی آن یوسف شیرازی با عشوه و نام آمد

های های هذا وُجَهٌ ازلانی هذا طُلَعٌ نورانی هذا بِدَعٌ قَدمانی

آن قاتل عشّاقان وان محیی محبوبان با سیف و سهام آمد

های های هذا سُیَفٌ عشقانی هذا رُمحٌ غمزانی هذا سُهَمٌ مژگانی

از خلف حجاب جان واز شهر لقای جانان با بخشش و انعام آمد

های های هذا لُمَعٌ قُدسانی هذا قِدَمٌ قِدمانی هذا کِرَمٌ بدّائی

آن جوهر ابقا از مخزن اسما با ظلّ غمام آمد

های های هذا خُزِنٌ کُنزانی هذا لُئَلٌ صَدفانی هذا صِفَتٌ اسمانی

آن فارس میدان وان قاتل محبوبان با تیغ و حسام آمد

های های هذا جُیَدٌ حَضرانی هذا صُدَرٌ الطافی هذا عُذَبٌ احسانی

آن موجد بیضا آن مظهر ابها در روز قیام آمد

های های هذا اُلَهٌ بدعانی هذا رُبَبٌ قدسانی هذا مِلَحٌ مزّائی

آن سرّ جمال اللّه وان صرف جلال اللّه با صوت و پیام آمد

های های هذا شُغَفٌ لمعانی هذا جُذَبٌ قدمانی هذا وَلَهٌ غِیْبانی

با رنّهٴ ورقا با غنجۀ رَوْحا با کاسه و جام آمد

های های هذا هُکَلٌ غِلْمانی هذا حِکَمُ سبحانی هذا غُنَجٌ وَلْهانی

با ناز جهانسوز با راز جگردوز از مشرق لام آمد

های های هذا رُقَصٌ عجبانی هذا کَبدٌ شبّاکی هذا جگر حرّاقی

آن باز شکاری از ساعد سلطانی با طبل و خیام آمد

های های هذا طُیَرٌ رضوانی هذا صُعَدٌ قطرانی هذا وَرَقٌ خَضْرائی

هم مقصد مقصود عالم هم مظهر معبود آدم با جشن مدام آمد

های های هذا قُدَرٌ عظمانی هذا عُظَمٌ قدرانی هذا جُیَشٌ ابدانی

آن جوهر روح حق با صور انا الحق چون هادم اصنام آمد

های های هذا رُنَنٌ سِریانی هذا غُنَنٌ عِبرانی هذا لُحَنٌ فرقانی

با جُعدهٴ افشانی با گیسوی ثعبانی با رحمت و الهام آمد

های های هذا غُفَرٌ ازّالی هذا کَرمٌ بَهّائی هذا هَبَةٌ رفعانی

آن سازج ارواح وان مُحرق اشباح با صولت ضرغام آمد

های های هذا حُرَقٌ ارواحی هذا عِلَمٌ وُجدانی هذا قِلمٌ ثعبانی

آن وجههٴ باقی چون صبح الهی در شام ظُلام آمد

های های هذا شُمُسٌ شرّاقی هذا قُمُرٌ لمعانی هذا نُجُمٌ طرزانی

یک موی ز گیسویش یک بوی ز هندویش از وی بمشام آمد

های های هذا بُعَثٌ نوّاری هذا حُشَرٌ ربّانی هذا وُهَبٌ الّهی

از صبح وفای حق از فجر لقای حق آن عیش بکام آمد

های های هذا وُلَدٌ شیرازی هذا سُرَجٌ مشکاتی هذا بُرَقٌ مصباحی

صد جام بدستش صد دام بشستش با غمز تمام آمد

های های هذا سُدَرٌ سَدرانی هذا شِجَرٌ عمرانی هذا غُمُزٌ فتّانی

با اصبع لاهوتی با اَنمِل یاقوتی با بُطری رام آمد با نطق کلام آمد با شور تمام آمد

های های هذا شُرَبٌ نوشانی هذا عُذَبٌ ولهانی هذا حُرَکٌ روحانی

آن شعلهٴ ربّانی آن آتش فارانی با برد و سلام آمد

های های هذا مُلَحٌ بهّاجی هذا سُتَرٌ وهّاجی هذا اُلَهٌ معراجی

آن ظاهر مستور آن غایب مشهور از صحن ببام آمد

های های هذا عُشَوٌ طَرفانی هذا حاجبٌ قوسانی هذا شُعَلٌ روحانی

عیسی ز دمش زنده موسی ز غمش خسته کان شمس تمام آمد

های های هذا نُفَحٌ منّانی هذا رُوَحٌ روّاحی هذا کِلَمٌ تمّامی

آن قیصر سبحانی با افسر شاهنشاهی با تاج انا الّهی چون صبح ز شام آمد

های های هذا تُیَجٌ وهّابی هذا صُبَحٌ برّاقی هذا جُلَلٌ خلّاقی

از خلف حجاب قدس واز سَتْر نقاب اُنس آن یار دلارام آمد

های های هذا عُذَرٌ حورائی هذا کُئَسٌ بلّاری هذا عُیَنٌ غمّازی

با رقصهٴ قدّوسی با غمزهٴ سبّوحی با کوب مدام آمد

های های هذا طُیَرٌ فردوسی هذا شُهَقٌ طاوسی هذا نُغَمٌ ناقوسی

در ارض الهی آن سرو سمائی با مشی و خرام آمد

های های هذا طُوَرٌ الهامی هذا خُبَرٌ ذوقانی هذا سُطَرٌ سَطْرانی

آن سیف الهی با جوهر یزدانی بیرون ز نیام آمد

های های هذا سُیَفٌ قهّاری هذا عُتَبٌ غفّاری هذا بُطَشٌ جبّاری

آن بلبل گلزار از گلشن اسرار از دشت بدام آمد

های های هذا طَرَبٌ جبّاری هذا اثر ربّانی هذا نَفَسٌ رحمانی

محتجبانرا مرگی منجمدانرا دردی شاهنشه ایّام آمد

آن کنز تمام آمد آن غیب بنام آمد رغم دل انعام آمد

های های هذا شُکَتٌ سلطانی هذا کُکَبٌ محوانی هذا لُهَبٌ شعلانی

آن نار الهی از نفس رحمانی قرنها دمیده شد تا بلون دم عاشقان هوای صمدانی ظاهر گشت و بعد بروح ربّانی عهدها دمیده شد تا بلون جُعد نگار مشهود گشت و لا یعدّ و لا یحصی طائف حول کعبهٴ قرب ذو الجمال و سالک سبیل حرم ذو الجلال شد تا بشرف ظهور در این لوح مذکور آمد و بهیاکل ارواح قدسی از عشق الهی بخضوع و خشوع و قیام و جلوس بهیئة کلمات مرقومه در آیات مشهوده مشهود گشت پس باید اطیار عرشی که قصد مقاصد معارج قدسی نمایند بوله و آهنگی تلاوت نمایند که جمیع من فی الملک را روح قِدَمی و حیات ابدی و زندگی دائمی بخشند لعلّ رشحات النّار علی صدور الابرار قد کان باذن اللّه مرشوشاً