August 6, 2015

“The cause of things is the First Remembrance that God created from nothing. And He made in it the cause of all the creatures.”

The third question thou didst pose is about the meaning of the saying of the philosophers who say: 'From one naught can be created by one.' The essence of this saying is false when the cause referred to the eternal and the absolute essence of God. God hath no connection with anything and never does aught leave his Being. The quality of God (of not engendering and in not being engendered) is proven in all states. If the meaning of the cause is the First Remembrance, that is to say Him Whom God created Himself, then this saying becometh true. What is other than one cannot explain the action of the Essence to be unique. This is the religion of the pure Imams.

It is in this way that God, in the Hadith-i-Quasi, summoned Jonas: 'O Jonas! Dost thou know the Will?' Jonas answered, 'No.' God said: 'The Will is the First Remembrance.' It is not possible that God create a thing from nothing except that thing be unique, for the first rank of the Remembrance is to demonstrate the unity of God. In the beginning of the degree of unity it is not possible to be other than one. Thus the saying of the philosophers that 'the cause of all the existences is the essence of God' is a falsehood. There is no connection between God and His creatures. It is not admissible that the essence of God be a place of change. To be so there must be a similitude between the cause and the effect. Therefore the truth is this: The cause of things is the First Remembrance that God created from nothing. And He made in it the cause of all the creatures. As the Imam revealeth, upon Him be blessings, 'The cause of things is the Handiwork of God and this Handiwork hath no cause. 
- The Báb  (From a Tablet to an individual, provisionally translated by Keven Brown from Nicholas' French translation in Le Beyan Arabe, pp. 10-12)

August 2, 2015

“Verily, the cause of the contingent existences is one creation of God, and it is the Will. God created the Will…”

"They (Mulla Sadra and the Sufis) have been mistaken. They have taken the effulgence of the Essence upon the existences to be the very being of God. That is why they have erred when they say that the realities are fixed in the essence. And this they have said to establish the knowledge of God. They say that the Reality of existence is simple to establish the causality of the essence; and they speak of the relation between the Essence and the acts and attributes, and the unity of existence between the Creator and the created. But all this, for the people of God, is naught but absolute association...Even as God hath no need for another besides Himself, likewise He hath no need in His knowledge for the existence of objects of knowledge. In truth, the Essence hath no connection with anything. Verily, the cause of the contingent existences is one creation of God, and it is the Will. God created the Will, from itself without a fire coming to it from the Divine Essence. All of the existences were created by the intermediary of this Will, and this Will always telleth of God's own being and reflecteth nothing but Him. In the contingent existences, however, there is not a single sign which demonstrateth the essence of God, for the Reality of God alienateth all of the contingent existences from His knowledge and the Essence of God rendereth impossible comprehension by all the essences. In truth, the relation of the Will with God is like that of the House (the Ka'bih) with the Supreme Being. This relation is a relation of honour for the creature, but not for the essence, for God is pure."
- The Báb  (From Risaliy-i-Dhahabiyyih, provisionally translated by Keven Brown from Nicholas' French translation in Le Beyan Arabe, pp. 10-12)

July 30, 2015

The “four stations” embedded in the Islamic Tradition: "I was a Hidden Treasure and loved to be known. Therefore I created the Creation that I might be known."

Know, O bird of the flower-garden of Divine Unity and nightingale of the garden of detachment! that in order to comprehend this Tradition: "I was a Hidden Treasure and loved to be known Therefore I created the Creation that I might be known", it is necessary to understand four stations. This Tradition is upon the tongues of all people, be they of the generality or of special rank, and is written in all the books and treatises. As for understanding these four stations, the first is "the Hidden Treasure"; the second is the stages and stations of "Love"; the third is the station of "Creation" and similar matters; and the fourth is the station of "Knowledge". 

July 25, 2015

Explanation of a statement of philosophers that “the uncompounded reality is all things”

Concerning what the questioner has asked regarding the statement of the philosophers that "the uncompounded reality is all things", say: know that what is intended by "things" in this context is none other than being and the perfections of being in so far as they are existent [and not privative]; and by "all" is meant the obtainer. This "all" contains no plurality and no part of it can be compared to the whole. The meaning is that the uncompounded reality, insofar as it is uncompounded in all respects, is the obtainer and gatherer of all the infinite and endless perfections. As it has been said: "His works are limitless." 

In the Persian language, it may be said that what the philosopher means by the word "things" in the afore-mentioned expression is the perfections of being in so far as these are existent [and not privative]; and by the word "all", is meant possession that is to say obtaining -- the gathering together of all of the limitless perfections, in an uncompounded manner. They have mentioned similar things throughout their discourse on the Divine unity, power, and intensity of existence. 

The meaning of the philosopher was not that the Necessarily Existent [God] has become dispersed among the innumerable existent things. No! Praised be He! Exalted is He above that! Even as the philosophers themselves have stated: "The uncompounded reality is all things, but is not any one thing." 

July 18, 2015

Various kinds of “unity” – “The first kind of unity is unity in religion.”

Thou hast asked about unity. The first kind of unity is unity in religion. This unity has always been the cause of the victory of the Faith of God in every age and century. Togetherness is the mystic sword of God. 

For example, should a government see that most of the people of the country have rent asunder the veils and are turning towards the horizon of Divine revelation, it should remain silent and should listen to what is said. Each person who is attentive attains to the knowledge of God, except those who are utterly distant from the Mercy of God. They indeed are fully deserving of anger and vehement opposition. Such persons are, in any case, forbidden and barred. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘The Tablet of Unity’)

July 11, 2015

Description of the “Meadow of Paradise”

This [Tablet] is the Meadow of Paradise wherein the melody of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, hath been exalted. Therein hath Houris [Maidens] of Eternity been empowered whom none hath touched save God, the Almighty, the Sanctified. Therein doth the Nightingale of Eternal Subsistence warble upon the branches of the Lote-Tree of the Extremity with such a melody as hath bedazzled discerning souls. Therein is that through which the poor and needy are made to approach the shore of independent self-sufficiency and the people obtain guidance unto the Word of God. Such, indeed, is the certain Truth! 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Tablet of the Bell’)

July 4, 2015

Names and Attributes of God have penetrated “the degrees of existence”

Praise be to God Who hath ever caused His Names and Attributes to penetrate the degrees of existence; Who hath made the effects of those Names and Attributes to shine resplendent and their signs to be firmly established in both the hidden and manifest worlds. By them He hath made the holy realities that are informed by His grace and are the recipients of His outpourings to be the sole revealers of all that pertaineth unto Him, and hath caused them to move through the firmament of perfection in arcs of descent and ascent. He hath ordained these Names and Attributes to be the first and foremost origin and cause of being in the world of creation and the source of the different grades of realities in the degrees of existence. When, through its power of attraction and propagation, the Day-Star of Names and Attributes shone upon the hidden realities in the heart of the unseen realm, they issued forth, were spread abroad, scattered about, set in order, became the recipients of the grace of God and His outpourings, and were made to be the sole manifestations of the Divine conditions and Eternal signs. Emerging from behind the veils, they appeared clothed in raiments of light, moving in the firmament of the unity of God, in orbits of sanctity and circles of glorification. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Tablet of Universe’)