Sharḥ āyāt-i muvarrikhah
"Commentary upon the Chronological Proof texts"
This treatise was written in Hamadān (Iran) in c. 1305/1887-8 by the Apostle of Bahā'-Allāh and Bahā'ī apologist, Mīrzā Abu'l-Faḍl-i Gulpaygānī (1844-1914). The translation below (under revision and correction) was made from the text printed along with the Faṣl al-khiṭāb in Shanghai (China, 1923) as well as with reference to a printing by the NSA of the Baha'is of India and Burma (with corrections) published at the `Azizi Press Agra (India) 1925. There is also another edition printed in Tehran in 19XX ....
Trans. Stephen N. Lambden (1982).
In progress and completion 2017.
After praising God for His blessings and favors and giving salutation upon the Intermediaries of His grace, the Focal Centers of His inspiration (waḥy) and the Manifestations of His Grandeur, I shall now expound the fact that all that the divine books constituting heavenly scripture agree regarding the supreme matter of the announcement of the glad-tidings. Such [glad-tidings] as that, at a set time and specified period, there will come about the advent of two Great Ones of religion, the dawning forth of two Luminaries of the horizon [heaven] of the Cause of His Holiness the Lord of the Worlds. This shall be such that the differences [among the peoples] of the world will be altered and transformed into unity and togetherness, and the conflicting religious factions and variant religious ideologies, which are the cause of the devastation of the world and the enslavement of its peoples, will be changed into a unitative institution and single ideology. ..
And these two Manifestations [of God] (ẓuhūr) [the Bāb and Bahā'-Allāh] are represented in the books of the prophets of the children of Israel as the manifestation of Elias [Elijah] and the Manifestation of God (ẓuhūr Allah, `divine theophany'). In the Gospels (injīl) also they have been confirmed with these two names and appear, furthermore, as the return of John the Baptist (rijat-i yaḥyā) and the parousia [lit. descent] (nuzūl) [second coming'] of Jesus. In the Qur'ān this matter has been referred to as the theophany of the Lord (rabb) and manifestation of God and in the [Shī`ī Islamic] tradition literatures (aḥādīth) they have been referred to as the appearance of the Qā'im [messianic "Ariser"] and the manifestation [eschatological "return"] of [Imam] Ḥusayn (d. 661/680). Then in some of the prophetic traditions [originating with Muhammad] (aḥādīth-i nubuwiyya) they have been represented as the appearance of the Mahdi ("Guided One") and the [eschatological] descent of Jesus (nuzūl-i `īsā). To every one possessed of wisdom it is perfectly clear that the [figure of the aforementioned] Promised One[s] are all expressions of a single Reality and the sole intended referents of every designation, "Our explanations are diverse but Thy Beauty remains One".
The Day of the manifestation of these two Most Great Luminaries (nayyir-i a`ẓam) mentioned in the heavenly Books has been designated the "Day of God" (yawm Allāh) and the Day of Resurrection" (yawm al-qiyāma), the "Day of Distress" (yawm al-ḥasara) and the "Day of Recompense" (yawm al-jizā') as well as the "Day of the Kingdom [of God") (yawm al-malakūt) and the [final] "Hour" (al-sa`at) and more besides of like nature. This because this "Day" is a great Day and a terrible Day, when the whole world will be transformed and all things be clothed in a special new garment; when the wicked will be differentiated from the righteous; when the heavens of the religions will be wrapped up and the diverse religious factions be transformed into a united phenomenon. Then will the various braches of knowledge and higher wisdom, the arts and crafts advance such that war and contention, by the command of His Holiness the One Independent, the Most High, will be made to disappear from this world. Nay, rather, the instruments of warfare will be transformed into the instruments of
These are some of the "signs" of the great [eschatological] "Day" which have been specified by the Pen of His Holiness....