Surat al-Ridwan II

رضوان‎‎

Riḍwān

The Sūrat al-Riḍwān of the Bāb.

 رِضْوَنٍۢ

 

The Sūrat al-Riḍwān of the Bāb.

Translation Stephen Lambden 

November 2011 Under revision - last revised 11-09-2016

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate.

[1] Praised be to God Who, in very truth, sent down the verses (al-ayat) unto His servant (`abd) [the Bāb] perchance the people might believe in the verses of thy Lord. [2] Follow then the decree which We, on behalf of God, have cast upon thee to the end that He might inform the people of the decree of thy Lord from a locale nearby [= Shiraz?] [3] Such [revelations] originate from the Progeny of the Unseen [the Imams?] (anbā’ al-ghayb) which We do reveal (waḥy) unto thee, perchance the people might believe in the verses of their Lord, find being in the religion of God, and be numbered indeed among such as are rightly guided.

[4] This Book was assuredly sent down on the part of thy Lord at the genesis [commencement] of Riḍwān (bad` al-riḍwān) just as thou were promised. [5] This indeed is the Ṣirāt (Path) of Thy Lord throughout the heavens and the earth for He does recite unto thee the verses of the [scriptural] Tablet (āyāt al-lawḥ).  [6] This to the end that thou do assuredly attain the Encounter with God (liqā’Allāh) and be such as are assured in faith. [7] God, thy Lord, hath indeed promised for the assured in faith among thee, such Paradises (al-jinnāt) the comprehension of which no soul can possibly encompass. [8] This is from the Bounty of thy Lord (faḍl Allāh) unto thee to the end that the people of God be established within the religion of God (dīn Allāh) and indeed be numbered among such as are befittingly prostrate.

 [9] Say: when such persons attain unto its Gate (bāb) they, with the permission of their Lord, will find all the scriptural Tablets (al-alwāḥ) therein, its earth being even as the surface of the watery expanse [reflected] within mirrors (ki-wajh al-mā’ fī al-mīrāt). (10) And when they enter the House of their Lord (bayt rabbika) they will indeed observe its heaven (samā’) [radiant] in every direction [with] the Light of God (nūr Allāh). [11] Above it hath a Sun (shams) been established through the Grandeur of the Dhikr (Remembrance) of the Name of thy Lord (jalāl dhikr ism rabbika), “The Life Generating” (al-ḥayawān). 1

[12]

Never indeed! have eyes ever visioned its like!

[13] From the [Sinaitic] Tree [Bush] on the Mount (min shajarat al-ṭūr) there shall thus be proclaimed, “There is no God save Him”! [14] And when they do make its [his] [celestial] Throne (`arsh) known it is such that Houris [Maidens] can be observed glancing thereon through the Light of their Lord (nūr rabbika). [15] Wherefore can their faces be seen to have glistened even as the surface of that Glass (wajh al-zujāja) within the Glass which is Snow-white (fī al-zujāja al-bayḍā’). [16] It is thus as if they are brilliant stars (al-kawākib al-durrī) set ablaze [ignited] from the Yellow Tree (al-shajarat al-safrā’), `No God is there save God’.

[17]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed! have eyes ever envisioned their like!

[18] When they [Houris, Maidens] were perceived [whole] regions [countries] (al-abdān) were entranced by the twinkling of their eyes.

[19]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever envisioned their like!

[20] When they perceived a mere glimpse of the leg [lit. shank, thigh] (kaff al-sāq) of but one of them [the Houris, Maidens], they indeed experienced [found] the [twinkling] glances of the eye(s) (laḥẓāt al-`ayn) [21] And [the sight of] but a hair (sha`r) [of their head] it was even as if they were something alive (ḥaiwān) on account of a single firmament [watery expanse] (mā’ al-wāḥid)  within which, with the permission of their Lord, a crimson thread (khayṭ al-ḥamrā’) was set in motion. [22] Thus was the [Divine] Countenance (al-wajh) [evident in] their hair (sha`rāt) [of their heads].

[23]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever visioned their like!

 [24] And when they approached them [the houris] their inmost hearts were indeed infatuated by on account of their hair (sha`rāt). It was even as if it were a living thing (ḥaiwān) after the likeness of their very souls.

[25]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever visioned their like!

[26] And when but a single hair expressive of the mere twinkling of but one of their eyes became evident, the very heavens and the earth(s) were thereby  illumined with the Light of their Lord (nūr rabbika)! The whole of creation beheld by virtue of their countenances [faces] (wujūh).

[27]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever visioned their like!

 [28] And when they saw the cup of wine (sharb mā’ al-khamr) which they proffered (minhunna) then did they discover the wine (mā’ al-khamr) in the goblet (al-kā’is) which was even as their inmost hearts (ṣadr). [29] This was such that in every direction did they drink of the winecup (mā’ al-khamr) from their hands.

[30]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever visioned their like!

[31] And when the verses of the Tablet (āyāt al-lawḥ) were highlighted then did they hear the Call of the Dove of Sinai (warqā’ al-sīnā’) from every one of the hairs of their heads, [proclaiming], “God, no God is there except Him”. [32] They were indeed enraptured on account of their melody (laḥn) which expressed [naught but] the Beauty of their Lord (jamāl rabbika). Such was indeed a divine theophany [transfiguration, self-manifestation] realized by virtue of their hair.

[33]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever visioned their like!

[34] And when the believers did quake on account of their nearness, souls [persons] did indeed scatter at the [bewildering nature of] the mystery [of the messianic secret] (al-sirr) since God, thy Lord, did not desire for anyone [lit. ‘for us] the [attainment] of the [eschatological] Meeting (al-liqā’) [with God] by means of any aside from them [the houris-maidens].  

[35]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever visioned their like!

 [36] And when they beheld their robes (qamīṣ) [from] beyond 70,000 obfuscations [directions] (wajh) they testified that the wine in the goblet of the glass [of the Divine Light] (khamr kā’is al-zujāja) was [naught but] their fleeting glance (talāḥiẓ-hunnā)!

[37]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever visioned their like!

[38] And when they enquired regarding the decree (ḥukm) of their Lord from them [the houris] the response came indeed at the command of thy Lord from the Crimson Leaf [Dove] (warqā’ al-ḥamrā’) nigh the Snow-white Tree (al-shajarat al-bayḍa’)[saying]: `God, no God is there except Him’.

[39]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever visioned their like!

 [40] And when they, with the permission of their Lord, emerged from their throne(s) (`arsh) they found their [celestial] Water to be streaming upon the Land of Ruby (arḍ al-yāqūt), a Living Reality (ḥaiwān) [cascading] from the Snow-White [celestial] Water. [41] At this did they recollect through the gravitas of the Tree upon Sina’i, [the proclamation] `God, no God is there except Him’. [42] Then [did this find further realization] through the [stream] of milk (laban), then through the [stream] of honey and [fourthly] through a crimson wine (khamr ḥamrā’) which  every one of them [the maidens] did proffer as the totality of the [celestial] Water[s]. 

[43]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever visioned their like!

[44] And when they desired the crimson wine (khamr al-ḥamrā’) they did indeed  find the Snow-White [celestial] Water in the crimson goblet (al-kā’is al-ḥamrā’) which was beyond their reach. It was as if they  did  tremble nigh that, before the Most Great Cause of God (amr Allāh al-akbar)!  

 [45]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever visioned their like!

[46] And when they did quaff of a cup from their hands they indeed found all the [four celestial] streams (al-anhār), with the permission of God, cascading in the Goblet (al-kā’is).

 [47]

So Blessed be the Name of thy Lord! No God is there except Him.

Never indeed have eyes ever visioned their like!

[48]

Wherefore indeed! Were the inmost hearts (al-af’ida) drawn nigh through the Most Great Dhikr-Allāh (Most Great Remebrance of God) rejoicing thereat (?). [49] Such indeed is what God hath promised for you in the Qur’ān aforetime. So recollect ye all God, thy Lord. Such indeed is a Supreme Beatitude (al-fawz al-`aẓīm) [= Q. 9: 72b].”

 

 

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1. Perhaps the ḥayywān (?).`Living Creatures’ cf. Book of Revelation.