The Lawh-i Inshiqāq ("Tablet of the Cleaving of the Moon"), Q 54:1b.

"The Hour hath drawn nigh and the moon hath been split asunder (anshaqqa al-qamar)" (Q. 54:1b).

The Lawh- Inshiqāq ("Tablet of the Cleaving of the Moon") is a brief Persian letter written in responce to a question about the Qur'anic eschatological motif of the "cleaving of the moon". It has been published in Cairo in the compilation of the alwah or scriptural Tablets of  `Abd al-Baha' entitled Makatib-i Ḥadrat-i 'Abd al-Bahā', volume II pages 263-4. This Tablet commences with the double huwa ("He is") then straightway refers to the "splitting" or cleaving into two of the "moon" (al-qamar). As this scriptural Tablet develops he seems to have it that the rising of the Pre-Existent "sun" of the prophet Muhammad resulted in the darkening, downfall or "splitting" of the moon of Christian guidance. When  the Sun of Islam arose, the luminary of Christianity and its divines or "stars", were no longer the loci of resplendence.

Worth noting in this connection, is that `Abd al-Baha' cites from both the Qur'an and the Injil, loosely the (synoptic) Gospel(s) or New Testament both of which have it that in the latter days,  the"moon will not give its light. The "cleaving of the moon" as the cutting off of its light, is caused by the all-encompassing radiance of the rising of the new, Muhammedan shams-i haqiqat, the resplendent "Sun of reality".

 

The Lawh-i Inshiqāq ("Tablet of the Cleaving of the Moon")

Lambden trans.  Last updated 15-04-2017.

He is - He is.

[1] The [matter of the] cleaving [splitting] (inshiqaq) of the Moon (al-qamar) hath innumerable significances. [2] The realization of its outer sense (zahir) hath not come about on account of the fact that the intended meaning is the vanishing of [religious] self-identity] (idmihlal-nafsi).  [3] This in view of the fact that prior to the rising up the the Sun of the Divine Oneness (shams-i ahadiyya) from the Muhammadan horizon (ufq-i Muhammadiyya) [during the pre-Islamic era], the people were illumined by the lights of the sciences and of the modes of wisdom (anwar-i `ulum va hikam) being rendered insightful through Him [God-Jesus]. [4] It was thus that the souls who existed during the cycle of the Messiah [Jesus Christ] prior to the manifestation of the Ahmadi-Most-Praiseworthy Beauty (jamal-i ahmadi) [Muhammad] were invited unto the Straight Path (sirat al-mustaqim) and the Upright Pathway (minhaj al-qawwim) [of Islam]. The lights of deep insight (anwar-i ma`arif) and varieties of wisdom,  originating with the Lamp of Jesus (misbah-i `isawiyy) and the Christ-like Niche (mishkat-i masihi), had thus been throughly assimilated (iqtibas).  This was evident from the  tongues of the such [Christian teachers] and the people attained by virtue of their [Christian] guidance and testimony and through the light of their [His] wisdom and understanding [gnosis] (nur-i hikmat va ma`rifat-ishan), traversed the Path of Guidance.

When, however, the most great luminary (nayyir-i a`zam) and Sun of Pre-existence (shams-i qidam) [= Muhammad]  became manifest from the Dawning-Place of Yathrib [Medina] and Batha [region in Mecca near the Ka`ba], these [Christian] souls failed to become established in faith. From that Sun of the horizon of the Divine Unity (shams-i ufq-i tawhid) [Muhammad - Islam] they failed to attain  illumination. Wherefore were these "stars" (nujum)  fallen (saqit) and the "moon" (qamar) cleft asunder (munshaqq) :

 

 "With the rising up of  that sun (shams) was the cleaving of the moon (shaqq al-qamar)".

This is registered in the Gospel(s) (injil) in connection with the signs of the latter [day, future] manifestation [theophany] (zuhur-i ba`d) where he [Jesus] says [of the signs of his second coming] :

"The stars (al-nujum) shall fall [from heaven] and the moon (al-qamar) will never again give its light (nura-hu abad an)"

Assuredly, the radiance of the brilliance which was evident from the Sun of Reality (shams-i haqiqat) [Muhammad] obliterated the brightness (rawnaq) and the brilliance (jilwa) of  every radiant star (kawkab-i muniri).

 

Introduction with Some exegetical Notes.

 

 

 

See, for further contextual notes and details, the Lambden paper on this Hurqalya website: