Sūrat al-Ma`ani (The Surah of the Sublimities)
of Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri, Baha'-Allah (1817-1892).
Translation and Commentary.
Stephen Lambden UCMerced.
In progress - Last uploaded 04-11-2015.
The Sūrat al-Ma`ani (The Surah of the Sublimities).
This is the Sūrat al-Ma`ani (The Surah of the Sublimities). It was revealed on the part of God, the Transcendent, the Supremely Transcendent (al-`aliyy al-a`la) as a proof (hujjat) for whomseoever is in the heavens or upon the earth(s).
He is One Eternal (al-baqi), All-Knowing (al-`alim) in the Empryean of Eternity (jabarut al-baqa').
Praised be He who offereth glory before Him; all, that is, whether they be in the heavens or upon the earth. He indeed hath ever been All-Encompassing of everything. Before Him prostrate whomsoever is in the Empryean of the Divine Command (jabarut al-amr) and of creation. He indeed hath ever been One Omnipotent over all things. He hath decreed the measures of all things in Tablets and clarified for His servants what will draw them nigh unto a Beauty (jamal), magnified be His Wonderful Ways (badi`). He sent down from the Heaven of the Command, Mighty and Powerful verses and made them to be a proof (burhan an) that cometh from Him unto all the worlds. And He sent the Messengers (al-rusul) proclaiming that He, no God is there except Him.
This Youth (al-ghulam) is indeed His Baha' (theophanic Glory-Splendor) as well as His Might (`izzat) and His Grandeur (kubriya) unto whomseoever is in the heavens or upon the earth. To this does God Himself bear witness with the Tongue of Power and Might. He is indeed One Witness (shahid an) unto all things. And among them [the Messengers] was He upon whose heart came inspiration through the Spirit of Faith (bi-ruh al-amin). And among them [the Messengers] was He to whom was sent down Divine inspiration (al-wahy) by means of allusions (isharat) which were sacred and hidden away (quds wa khafiyy an). And among them [the Messengers] was He unto whom was sent down the Holy Spririt (ruh al-quds) in the form of a [well-proportioned] shapely Archangel (`ala haykal malak sawiyy an) [cf. Q. 53:6; 19:11]. And among them [the Messengers] was He with whom God held outer conversation (kallim zahir an ), in such wise that none can even make befitting mention thereof. Yea! indeed there was [in this, latter instance] separation despite the manifestation of the sovereignty of union; such that is, as is outside of either allusion or explanation (min ghayr al-ishara wa kayf an). And among them [the Messengers] was He who cried out within His Logos-Self unto His Logos-Self (bi-nafsihi li-nafsihi) sanctified through the assistance of all else but Him.
So exalted be He who experienced such an expression of Divine Bounty (al-fadl) which even every purified mystic knower (`arif zakiyy an) [gnostic] was interdicted from understanding. And whomsoever announceth the deep gnosis of this station (`irfan hadha al-maqam) assuredly lied within himself (fi nafsihi) and thus hath ever been numbered among such caluminators are are written down [accounted such] in the Preserved Tablets (alwah al-mahfuz). They will ever prove unable to acquire within themselves the confirmations of the Spirit (al-ruh). These are the weak ones among the servants. He hath ever been independent thereof, One transcendent above all the worlds. The Holy Spirit (ruh al-quds) conferreth confirmation through a command which originateth with Him for the very Spirit of the ]Command] Cause itself (ruh al-amr) circumambulates about Him. Such is the foundation of the [Command] Cause (asl al-amr).
The Surat al-ma`ani ends as follows :
"Thus hath the Spirit (al-ruh) cried out upon the twigs of the Lote-Tree of gnosis (afnan sidrat al-`irfan), on the part of One Mighty (al-`aziz), Praiseworthy hamid an). Say: `This Day none one hath proved able to breathe a single thing other then out of love for Myself'. And God is indeed witness unto that which I say.