TB-Sūrat al-Man` (The Surah of the Interdiction) II Trans.+

Sūrat al-Man` (The Surah of the Interdiction)

of Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri, Baha'-Allah (1817-1892).

Annotated Translation with Commentary.

Stephen Lambden

Last corrected and updated 30-01-2016.

The Sūrat al-Man` (The Surah of the Interdiction)  - on a more theological level `The Surah of the Apophatic One Beyond' - of Baha'-Allah is translated below from an unpublished ms. originating in Iran a copy of which I examined when it was part of the personal library of the late Hasan Balyuzi (now the Afnan Library). I have also consulted the ms. within the compilation of Baha'-Allah's writings extant in photocopied (green bound) form in INBMC 83: 148-150 which lacks the opening verse of identification which would appear to be authentic or part of this Tablet since Baha-Allah uses similar identificatory prefaces at the commencement of many other titled Tablets:

It will also be evident that the INBMC ms. text cited (or imaged) above, INBMC 83: 148 includes the name of the primary addressee, the identity or name of the Babi-Baha'i recipient for whom this Tablet was written, a certain Shaykh Muhammad who apparently originated from the city, region or land of al-Nun ( = Naraq - Nayriz ??):

Jinab-i [His eminence] Shaykh Muhammad in [the locality designated] "N" (al-nun) who attained unto the Precinct of Nearness (shatir al-qurb) being numbered among such as have attained [the divine presence of Baha'-Allah]. 


The Sūrat al-Man` (The Surah of the Interdiction) of Baha'-Allah

Trans. Stephen Lambden 2016. Last corrected and updated 24-01-2016.

Jinab-i [His eminence] Shaykh Muhammad in [the locality designated] "N" (al-nun) who arrived at the Precinct of Nearness (shatir al-qurb) being among such as have attained [the presence of Baha'-Allah].


This is the Sūrat al-Man` (The Surah of the Interdiction) in which He witholdeth the servants from orienting themselves towards the Shore of Holiness (shatr al-quds);  save, that  is, such as have His permission, for He is indeed One Wise (al-hakim), the All-Knowing (al-`alim). 

 He is the Most Innovative (huwa al-abda`),

the Transcendent, the Most Transcendent (al-`ali al-a`la).


 This is a Book (kitāb) in which He, in very Truth, crieth out and maketh mention of one among Our servants (al-`ibād) to the end that he render thanks unto God, his Lord, and be numbered among the especially thankful (al-shākirīn).



O servant!

Announce within thyself the glad-tidings for God hath called thee to remembrance and hath, this very night, gathered together the Temples of Names (hayā’kil al-asmā’) by virtue of My Transcendent, Supremely Transcendent (al-`aliyy) (al-a`lā) Sovereignty (sulṭāni) on which account cometh rapture through the Encounter with Him (liqā’) at every luminous dawn time (fajr munīra).


Say : O people!

[1] By God, the True One! The Dawn time of God (fajr Allah) hath risen up from the Dawning Place of Glory (mashriq al-baha') and the Ancient Beauty (jamal al-qidam) hath been made manifest from beyond the veils of Names (hijabat al-asma') on account of the Ornament of My Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate (al-rahman al-rahim). [2] So speed ye on, O people! towards the sanctuary of God (haram Allah) and the Ka`ba of the Encounter with Him (liqa') for this is that which We have decreed for thee in the Kingdom of Realization (malakut al-qida') through a Pen (qalam) which is Almighty, All-Wise! [3] Despite this injunction ye have inclined with thine hearts but not with thy feet although We have [already] arrived at the [remote] Prison (al-sijn) [Edirne] as stipulated through the instrumentality of those tyranical! [4] This is a locality which is situated beyond a thousand mountains such that the precincts of santity (dhayl al-taqdis) [Baha'-Allah] have been interdicted (m-n-`)  for such as might intend to attain thereto (al-qasidin). 


[1] Say : 

Such persons as forsake their own selves and journey forth wayfaring towards God, shall nonetheless attain unto the seat of Paradise (buq`at al-firdaws), the very locale [spot] in which the Beauty of the All-Merciful (jamal al-rahman) hath mounted up upon the Throne of His Mighty, Greatest Name (`arsh ismihi al-a`zam al-`azim). [2] Such persons have indeed been ennobled through the Encounter with Him [God through Baha'-Allah] the One Glorified (liqa' al-subhan) [3] and there hath inclined in their direction the very glimpses [beatitudes] of God Himself (lahazat Allah), the King, the Intended One, the Mighty, the All- Knowing! [4] They are the ones who have attained unto "all good" (kull al-khayr) such that the angels of eternity within the Supreme Councourse (mala'ikat al-baqa' fi'l-mala' al-a`la) salute them [5] as do the hosts of the unseen (junud al-ghayb) beyond the pavillions of the theophanic Cloud (suradiq al-`ama') [6] as well as the Temples of Names (hayakil al-asma') in the Kingdom of Origination (malakut al-insha').