A Mishkin Qalam Calligraphy and the Arabic title Baha'-Allah
IN PROGRESS - Last updated 11-02-2023.
The motif of the Supreme, Greatest or Mightiest Name of God (al-ism al-a`zam) in the Writings of Baha'-Allah and his successors,
The Tablet of Baha'u'llah to Pope Pius IX (1846-1878)
It was perhaps a year after his being exiled to the then Ottoman prison city of Akka' (Acre, Palestine) in August 1868 CE., that Baha'u'llah (d.1892) dispatched his almost twenty page Arabic Tablet to Pope Pius IX (Pontificate, 1846-1878). The son of a Count this pope, named Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti, was born in Senigallia (Ancona, Italy) on May 13th 1792. It may not have been long after Baha'u'llah's dispatching the Tablet to the Pope that papal temporal power was virtually ended. Following the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War and the seizure and occupation of Rome by Victor Emmanuel (Sept. 1870) Pius IX came to see himself as a dethroned sovereign and a (self-imposed) prisoner within the Vatican where he died in 1878. .
116. By the righteousness of God! Should they cast Him into a fire kindled on the continent, He will assuredly rear His head in the midmost heart of the ocean and proclaim: "He is the Lord of all that are in heaven and all that are on earth!" And if they cast Him into a darksome pit, they will find Him seated on earth’s loftiest heights calling aloud to all mankind: "Lo, the Desire of the World is come in His majesty, His sovereignty, His transcendent dominion!" And if He be buried beneath the depths of the earth, His Spirit soaring to the apex of heaven shall peal the summons: "Behold ye the coming of the Glory; witness ye the Kingdom of God, the Most Holy, the Gracious, the All-Powerful!" And if they shed His blood, every drop thereof shall cry out and invoke God in this Name through which the fragrance of His raiment hath been diffused in all directions.
118. O Supreme Pontiff!
Incline thine ear unto that which the Fashioner of mouldering bones counselleth thee, as voiced by Him Who is His Most Great Name.
123. Say: O peoples of all faiths!
Walk not in the ways of them that followed the Pharisees and thus veiled themselves from the Spirit. They truly have strayed and are in error. The Ancient Beauty is come in His Most Great Name ( ), and He wisheth to admit all mankind into His most holy Kingdom. The pure in heart behold the Kingdom of God manifest before His Face.
Ṭarázát (Ornaments) of Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri, Baha'-Allah (1817-1892)
This late Acre period Tablet has the following significant opening neo-basmala,
"In My Name, which standeth supreme above all names" .
A few paragraphs later Baha'-Allah states that God as the eschatological "Lord of the world and Desire of the nations" has become manifest as the Greatest Name which has had precipitated an outpouiring of Divine "Wisdom and Utterance" associated with the appeaance of the :Light" of the "Sun" of the Countennce of God:
Glory be unto Thee, O Lord of the world and Desire of the nations, O Thou Who hast become manifest in the Greatest Name whereby the pearls of wisdom and utterance have appeared from the shells of the great sea of Thy knowledge, and the heavens of divine revelation have been adorned with the light of the appearance of the Sun of Thy countenance" ( ), (TBAA : XX trans. p. ).
SELECT PASSAGES FROM "PRAYERS AND MEDITATIONS" OF BAHA'U'LLAH.
Extracted from the 1938 English translation of Shoghi Effendi first published by the NSA of the Baha'is of the United States + Wilmette, Illinois: BPT., 1971. I have added some transliteration of the Arabic or Persian and added occasional notes which express my own possibly imperfect opinion.
– III –
GLORIFIED art Thou, O Lord my God! I beseech Thee by Him Who is Thy Most Great Name (ismika al-a`zam), Who hath been sorely afflicted by such of Thy creatures as have repudiated Thy truth, and Who hath been hemmed in by sorrows which no tongue can describe, to grant that I may remember Thee and celebrate Thy praise, in these days when all have turned away from Thy beauty, have disputed with Thee, and turned away disdainfully from Him Who is the Revealer of Thy Cause. None is there, O my Lord, to help Thee except Thine own Self, and no power to succor Thee saveThine own power.
I entreat Thee to enable me to cleave steadfastly to Thy Love and Thy remembrance.This is,verily, within my power, and Thou art the One that knoweth all that is in me. Thou, in truth, art knowing, apprised of all. Deprive me not, O my Lord, of the splendors of the light of Thy face, whose brightness hath illuminated the whole world.
No God is there beside Thee, the Most Powerful, the All-Glorious, the Ever-Forgiving.