Ziyarat Nabil b. Nabil
Shaykh Muhammad Kazim-i Samandar
(b. Qazvin 1260/1844 d. Qazvin 1336/1918).
An Arabic Ziyarat-Nama (Visiting Tablet) of Baha'-Allah for
Hajji Shaykh Muhammad `Ali, Nabil ibn Nabil. (d. Istanbul 1307/1890).
Stephen Lambden UCMerced
Last updated 09-02-2016.
The following largely Arabic Ziyārat-nāmah ("Visiting Tablet") of Bahā-Allāh was revealed in commemoration of and around the time of the passing of Hajjī Shaykh Muhammad `Alī (b. Qazvin 11 Aug. 1850/ 25 Muharram 1266 - d. Istanbul, March 1st 1890/ 9th Rajab 1307). In Bābi-Bahā'i fashion he was referred to as `Nabīl ibn Nabīl' (= `Nabīl Son of Nabīl) since the name Muhammad and the word or name Nabīl (meaning `Noble', `Exalted'...) both have an abjad numerical value of 92. Thus the meaning is `Muhammad son of Muhammad' for Muhammad `Alī (d.1890) was the son of the Shaykhī and Babī, Hajjī Shaykh Muhammad-i Qazvīnī (d. Lahijan [buried Baghdad] 1278/ 1861) known as "Nabīl-i Akbar" (The Greatest Muhammad). He should not be confused with Shaykh Muhammad-i Qa'ini (b. March 29 1829 - d. July 6, 1892 ) also known as Nabīl-i Akbar (Balyuzi, Eminent Bahā'īs, 1985:112ff).
This Tablet includes important paragraphs addressed to Shaykh Muhammad Kazim-i Samandar (b.Qazvin 1260/1844 d. Qazvin 1336/1918), the brother of Shaykh Muhammad `Alī and one of the most important apostles of Bahā'-Allāh.
Hajji Shaykh Muhammad `Alī, Nabīl ibn Nabīl
Prov. Trans. Stephen Lambden, 2006.
This Ziyarat-namah of Bahā'-Allāh was translated with reference to an original ms. in the hand of Bahā'-Allāh's one-time major amanuensis Mirza Aqa Jan (entitled) Khadim-Allah. A fully pointed transcription made by Ruhu'llah Samandari and a printed text published towards the beginning of Khushihha' yi az khirman-i adab va hunar (`Gleanings from the harvest of Arts and Letters’) vol. 9 (= `Proceedings of a Seminar on Samandar', Darmstadt, Germany: Asr-i Jadid, 1998) were also consulted.
He is the Herald, the Tender, the Noble.
Praised be unto God Who hath caused to be made manifest that which was hidden for an eternity of eternities and concealed from both outer and inner eyes.  And when He desired to make manifest His grace which had encompassed existent reality and disclose His Mercy which took precedence over contingent being, He spoke forth the primordial Word (al-kalimat al-ulya) by means of which the Crier (al-munad) cried out in all directions [saying], `The Kingdom belongs unto God, the King of Names and Attributes.'  Praised be unto God Who manifested His glory unto the world through His Mighty Name. Wherefore did all existence draw nigh unto the Most Great Ocean, every single drop of which called the servants unto the theophany [manifestation] of the Speaker on the Mount [Sinai] (mukallim al-ṭūr) and the Dawning Place of Light (mashriq al-nur) which shone forth and radiated from the Horizon of the Intention of God, the One Who sent down the Verses
 Praised be unto God Who made death a gate for the [eschatological] Meeting with Him (bi-liqa'ihi) and a means of union with Him, the very cause of true life for His servants.  Thereby did He cause to be made manifest the Mysteries of His Book and whatsoever was treasured up in His knowledge.  He assuredly is One supremely Powerful Who is not weakened by the iniquity of the wayward nor held back by the originators of base passions and idle fancy.  God has indeed testified that He is assuredly God besides Whom there is none other and Who, in very truth, hath come.  He is assuredly the Orient of His Might and the Dawning-Place of His Beauty, the Manifestation of His Mysteries, the Revealer of His verses and the Clarifier of His Exposition [bayān].  He indeed is the One through whose resurrection the countenances of all the world and the limbs of the nations (fara'is al-umam) hath been made to tremble and through which the Ocean of His Greatest Name (bahr al-ism al-a`zam) surged forth.  Through this [event] was the Supreme Pen made to move for His Hidden Pearls and His Treasured Jewels were disclosed.  Likewise were veils burned asunder and the innermost hearts ignited among such as were possessed of insight at the Return. This while all created things spoke forth.  Worldly dominion and the Kingdom (malakut), Might and the Omnipotent Realm (al-jabarut), belong unto God, the Lord of Lords and of the Command on [this] the Day of Dispersion (yawm al-hisab).
O My Supreme Pen!
Thou hast indeed brought the Day of remembrance and praise. Beware then lest the odor of the opponents or the wretchedness of the troublesome withold thee from the commemoration of such as have ascended unto the Supreme Horizon, sanctified from the affairs of the world and whatsoever belongs unto the people of injustice and abomination.
Say: O Samandar!
The King of Providence (malik al-qadar) was walking in the most sublime Vista pondering upon the mysteries of fate when the Call was lifted up from the right-hand Shore, from the Supreme Horizon, saying:
`O ye denizens of earth and heaven!
This is the Day whereon the river of fidelity approaches the Ocean of Bounty and the Light seeketh the Dawning Place of Manifestation.  This is the Day in which the Mount (Sinai) cries out and says, `Rejoice! O people! for the Light of Detachment hath shone forth from the Horizon of Origination and there hath appeared what was concealed from both inward and outward eyes.
Thereafter was the Ultimate [Latter Day] Call (nida al-akhir) upraised whereupon We did hear that the Riḍwān of the Supreme Paradise gave the glad-tidings unto the Riḍwān of the Supernal Garden [of Paradise] uttering,
"O visages of the Elevated Ones, crimson chambers (tal`at al-ghurf al-aḥmar)! And O defective of extremity [apparel] (qaṣirat al-ṭaraf) in the domes of Might and Grandeur (qibab al-`izzat wa'l-kubriya')!  Ornament thy temples [persons] (hayakil) with luminous silk (bi'l-ḥarir al-nūrā') and thy heads with crowns of ruby, tender and crimson-coloured.  Then be prepared for a meeting inasmuch as the most-gracious, most-holy, most-luminous, most-elevated, supreme Spirit (al-rūḥ) [of Nabīl ibn Nabīl] hath ascended from the most-elevated location of the city of the enraptured lovers (madinat al-`ushshaq) [= Istanbul]".
 Then did that Spirit [of Nabil ibn Nabil] orient itself towards them and turn in their direction whereupon it perfumed all existence whether seen or unseen.  The perfumed fragrance was caught by those enraptured (ishtiyaq) and captivated (al-injidhab) ones, the Supreme Concourse (al-mala' al-a`la) and the dwellers of the Paradise of Nearness (jannat al-marw).  The houris of the elevated chambers (huriyya al-ghurafat) went out from their places whereupon the Tongue of Exposition (lisan al-bayan) cried out from beyond the domain of contingency (fawq al-inkan),  ‘ O Denizens of Paradise! He [Nabīl ibn Nabīl] at this moment is turning towards the place of the circumambulation of the prophets and pure ones (al-anbiya' wa'l-asfiya').’  We testify that he hath indeed ascended unto this supreme station (maqam al-a`la), the foremost apex (dhurwa al-ulwa') and the Ka`bah of the enraptured lovers (ka`bah al-`ushshaq) in the Abha' Horizon (al-ufuq al-abha').  He drank the Choice Wine of the Meeting [Encounter] with God (rahiq al-liqa') at the hand of the Bounty of his Lord, the King of the Kingdom of Names and did drink also from the Kawthar of Union (kawthar al-wisal) and the Dawning Place of Beauty (mashriq al-jamal).  Then did he repeatedly circumambulate the Pre-Existent Temple (haykal al-qidam).  Thereupon he ascended and with Him a company of the breezes of divine inspiration (hizb min nafah*at al-wah*y) and a battalion of the Manifestation of the Names of God and the Dawning-Palce of His Attibutes.  The banner of detachment wavered before his face whereupon was spread abroad something of the breezes of his love and the musk-diffusing breaths of his severance.  As a result thereof circumstances (al-ahwal) in the most-elevated celestial locale (al-maqam al-a`la) and the sublime grades (al-maratib al-ulya) were upturned [reversed, transformed] to such a degree that it was not possible through speech to make mention thereof.
 Wherefore doth the Ocean of the Exposition surge in commemoration of he who was named Muhammad before `Alī [= Nabil ibn Nabil] in the sanctified, most-beauteous Tablet.  By My Life! Through him was the Light of the Cause (nur al-amr) made to shine, the Breeze of Grace confided, and before whose face the Spirit of the Cause (ruh* al-amr) cried out,  `This is he who hath in no wise broken the Covenant of God or His Testament.  This is he about whose uprightness the Most Glorious Tongue of God (lisan Allah al-abha) in the Supreme Horizon (al-ufuq al-a`la) doth tesftify.  The very atoms (al-dharrat) hath indeed born witness unto his acquiesence (iqbal), his reorientation (tawajjuh), his magnanimity (infaq) towards what surrounds him and confronts him in the Path of God, the Powerful, the Mighty, the Beneficient.
O My Samandar !
Upon thee be My Glory, My Bounty and My Mercy.  The [Supreme] Pen does not love to commemorate this greatest calamity (muṣibat al-kubrā) for the inmost hearts of the humankind would in no wise be attracted thereby.  Rather, it should be such that all humanity is captivated by the greatest joy (al-farah* al-akbar) through a Mercy, Comfort and Munificence which deriveth from God.  Such shall indeed be upon those who have cried out through his power (rank, sha’n), attained the recitation of what was revealed in commem -oration of him from the Heaven of the Grace of the Bountiful Provider (al-waḥḥab) at the time [place] of [the eschatological] Return (al-ma’ab), the Gleaming, Unfolding Light and the Splendid, Radiant Glory (al-baha’) which beams forth from the horizon of heaven of Providence upon him and his family, upon such as among his kin and those who have hearkened unto his call and his citation in this [the time of the] Announcement (al-naba’).  When it [this Announcement] was made manifest, all things did cry out, the Divine Names dawned forth as did the dawning-places of Divine Inspiration (mashāriq al-waḥy) in this mundane world of ephemerality (nasut al-ashya’).  Power and Greatness belong unto God, the King of vassals (malik al-raqqab), the One Who crieth out before the faces of the (insignificant) minnions (wujuh al-ah*zab).
Upon thee be My Glory and My Bounty.  When his highness [Nabil ibn Nabil], the one who has ascended (ḥaḍrat-i marfu) mentioned the following utterance in his Waṣiyyat-namih (Will and Testament),  "Glorified be God! It is apparently the case that most souls at the mention of death become saddened and disturbed while this least of servants [Nabīl ibn Nabīl] at its very mention finds joy and pondering thereon experiences blessing".  And in another place [he says], "Although upon my passing friends will be saddened and enemies rejoice, since I myself am joyous my friends will also find joy."  With this were the gates of the mention of calamity (musibat) disturbing the hearts of the creatures bolted shut.
 Say: Praised be unto Thee, O my God! The hearts of those who are nigh unto Thee accompanied him [Nabil ibn Nabil] while the hearts of the sincere ones were illumined when they witnessed Thine enraptured devotee (`ashiq).  Indeed! [at that moment] did they take their spirits into their hands and bury their disheveled heads in the palms of their hands!  They were expectant of the Meeting with Thee (liqa’ [God] Baha’), the Mighty, the Wondrous through Whom the zephyrs of life were wafted throughout Existence.  O Thou Lord! Draw them nigh unto Thee then at every moment succour them with the Kawthar of reunion with Thee. Thou assuredly art the Powerful, the Mighty, the Bestower of Bounty.
 At this moment do We seal the exposition in commemoration of he who ascended [Nabil ibn Nabil] unto Us.  And We announce that My reviving zephyrs, My remembrance and My laudation shall be upon Thee [O Samandar!] and upon such as are not withheld from his commemoration by odiousness (al-baghda’) or been prevented from his praise by the glorifications of heedlessness (subuh*at al-ghafla).  Distinction shall be upon every soul that maketh mention of him for My Supreme Pen in this Most Mighty, Most Holy, Most Luminous, Most Glorious (Abhā) Location doth commemorate him.