Remarks from Baha’u’llah on Abdu’l-Baha’s Commentary on “I Was a Hidden Treasure…”

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a passage from a Tablet of Baháʼuʼlláh. The original text has been published in Safíniy-i-ʻIrfán, vol. 6, p. 10

And now concerning the extensive commentary on the Islamic tradition which begins, “I was a hidden treasure…”[1] During the days of Our sojourn in the Land of Mystery,[2] ʻAlí Páshá[3] had asked the Most Mighty Branch of God[4]—may My life be a sacrifice for the ground which His most pure footsteps have trodden—to provide a commentary on this hadith. This He did in accordance with the exigencies of the time, and His purpose was that all may benefit from it…


[1] The hadith in question has been translated as, “I was a Hidden Treasure and loved to be known. Therefore I created the Creation that I might be known.” Baháʼuʼlláh is referring to ʻAbdu’l-Bahá’s commentary on this hadith, which Moojan Momen has provisionally translated:

[2] Edirne. 

[3] ʻAlí Shawkat Páshá (Ali Şevket Paşa).

[4] ʻAbdu’l-Bahá.

A typescript of the original text of this passage appears below.

امّا تفصیل تفسیر حدیث شریف کنت کنزاً مخفیاً آن که در ایّام توقّف در ارض سرّ علی پاشا از حضرت غصن الله اعظم روحی لتراب قدومه الأطهر فدا خواسته بودند که این حدیث را تفسیر فرمایند حضرت غصن الله اعظم به مقتضای احوال تفسیر فرمودند و مقصودشان هم آن بوده که عامّۀ خلق از آن مستفیض شوند…