TB Surat al-Fath

 

The Sūrat al-Fatḥ of  Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri, Bahā'-Allāh (1817-1892)

Translation and Comentary.

Stephen Lambden

Last uploaded 6/4/06 - under revision and completion.

The Sūrat al-Fatḥ,  literally, like the first Surah of the Qur'an, the`Surah of the Opening' is  perhaps so entitled after its recipient, a Babi-Baha'i entitled Fath or Fath al-A`zam.  This important scriptural Tablet is probably to be dated to the  Adrianople-Edirne, perhaps c.1865-7. In order to explain and legitimate his own years of acting as a leading Bābī (mid. 1840's until mid. 1860's ) but now claiming exalted Prophethood or subordinate Divinity, there exists an important passage in Bahā'-Allāh's  Sūrat al-Fatḥ (The Surah of the Commencement') clarifying his gradually evolving claims, from servitude to theophanic subordinate divinity.

 Towards the beginning of this Arabic Tablet Bahā'-Allāh claims to be the Remembrance (al-dhikr ) and states that he divulges nothing save what is in accordance with the recipients' capacity. God lies behind and determines, through His command, the nature of Bahā'-Allāh's claims in direct accordance with a determined measure, "lest the inmost hearts of such as believe in the unity of God be shattered". Referring to the earlier Babi situation, Bahā'-Allāh continues:

 So recollect, O people! the moment when there came unto you the  Revealer of the Bayān [the Bāb] with wondrous, holy verses.  At one moment  he said, `I am the Gate of Knowledge ( bāb al-`ilm ) and whosoever is convinced of the truth of my Claim (ḥaqqī) in addition to that [surpassing that station] (fūq dhalika),  hath assuredly invented lies about Me and acquires great sin within himself '. Then [later] He said, `I am the Qā'im, the True One ( al-qāim al‑ḥaqq ) whose manifestation you were promised in mighty, noble Scrolls. This, verily, is assuredly [the Reality of] Muhammad, the Messenger of God ( rasūl Allāh), just as you have heard and witnessed in the tablets of God (alwāḥ Allāh), the King, the Ruler'. He [subsequently] said, `I am the Primordial Point (nuqṭat al‑awwaliyya)'. And when the beings of a number of predisposed souls were refined, then were  the veils torn asunder and there rose up from the Dawning-Place of Holiness [the Bāb's claim],` I verily am God, no God is there except Me, thy Lord and the Lord of all the worlds'. And [He also said], `I, verily, from the beginning which hath no beginning,  was a Divinity (ilāh an), One, Single, Unique... I [the divine, primordial Bāb], verily, sent the Prophets ( al-nabiyyīn ) and the sent Messengers ( al-mursalīn) from an eternity of eternities past..

           Then gaze upon Me [Bahā'-Allāh], the Logos-Soul of God ( nafs Allāh )...

By God, O people! [Initially] I [Bahā'-Allāh]  did not desire any Cause (amr an) for  myself and followed all the Manifestations of old. I supported the Cause of God on all levels ( fī kulli  sha'n) during the days when faces were concealed out of fear of the oppressors. I humbled Myself before every soul in the Bayān [all Bābīs] and lowered the wing of submission ( jannāt al‑taslīm ) before every worthy believer...

 

The Sūrat al-Fatḥ

Trans from an unpublished mss. Stephen Lambden.

1988 Being revised and completed 2006-7+ 2015.

[0]

In the name of  Our Lord, the One Whose aid is sought

(al-musta`ān)

[1]

This was indeed sent down  from the heaven of the Divine Command (samā' al-amr) unto whomsoever is within the heavens and the earth(s).

[I]

[1]

O Fatḥ al-A`zam!

I took firm hold of the Pen that there might be revealed for thee what will gladden thee and  generate within thy heart  what will attract thee towards the Sanctum of God (maqarr Allāh), the Exalted, the All Mighty. [2] And when it inclined unto this level of Exposition (Bayān), I hearkened unto the yearning of My heart  and the clamoring of My Pen for they both did  warble mystic meaning upon the twigs of the Lote-Tree of the All-Merciful  (sidrat al-raḥmān) in the Riḍwān (Felicity) of this Elevated, Sanctified and Luminous Tablet.  [3] At this lamentation encompassed Me to such a degree that

[x]

     So recollect, O people!

the moment when there came unto you the  Revealer of the Bayān [the Bāb] with wondrous, holy verses.  At one moment  he said, `I am the Gate of Knowledge ( bāb al-`ilm ) and whosoever is convinced of the truth of My Claim (ḥaqqī) in addition to that [surpassing that station] (fūq dhalika),  hath assuredly invented lies about Me and acquires great sin within himself '. Then [later] He said, `I am the Qā'im, the True One (al-qāim al‑ḥaqq ) whose manifestation you were promised in mighty, noble Scrolls. This, verily, is assuredly [the Reality of] Muhammad, the Messenger of God ( rasūl Allāh), just as you have heard and witnessed in the tablets of God (alwāḥ Allāh), the King, the Ruler'. He [subsequently] said, `I am the Primordial Point (nuqṭat al‑ awwaliyya)'. And when the beings of a number of predisposed souls were refined, then were the veils torn asunder and there rose up from the Dawning-Place of Holiness [the Bāb's claim],` I verily am God, no God is there except Me, thy Lord and the Lord of all the worlds'. And [He also said], `I, verily, from the beginning which has no beginning,  was a Divinity (ilāh an), One, Single, Unique... I [the divine, primordial Bāb], verily, sent the [past] Prophets ( al-nabiyyīn ) and the sent Messengers ( al-mursalīn  ) from an eternity of eternities past..

           Then gaze upon Me [Bahā'-Allāh], the Logos-Soul of God (nafs Allāh )...

By God, O people!

[Initially] I [Bahā'-Allāh]  did not desire any Cause (amr an) for Myself and followed all the Manifestations of old. I supported the Cause of God on all levels ( fī kulli  sha'n) during the days when faces were concealed out of fear of the oppressors. I humbled Myself before every soul in the Bayān [all Bābīs] and lowered the wing of submission (jannāt al‑taslīm) before every worthy believer...