The substance of this chapter is that God provides two proofs for all men:
the divine verses and the individual to whom those verses are revealed. The
first proof endures and remains visible until the Day opf resurrection,
whereas the second is only manifest as long as the period of revelation
lasts; during the period of concealment he is a proof unto all things while
remaining known to no-one.
From the time of the setting of the sun, he has witnesses who guide
men unto the abiding proof, which is the word of God [Bayan], so that they
may act as proofs through his utterance until the day of his reappearance.
But woe to them if, when he appears to them again, they should be veiled
from the one for whom they acted as proofs. Even so, in this day, the
divines have regarded themselves as arbitrators (hakam ) on behalf of the
Imam, according to the words of one of the imams: consider whosoever
relates our traditions ; and they attribute to themselves unworthy names.
Yet, if they were sincere in what they say, they would not have been veiled
from the one through whose word both the Imamate and the rank of Prophet
have been confirmed. But, since they saw that the appearance of the truth
conflicted with their position - according to the relationship which they
themselves have decreed and which they have assigned to themselves - they
went so far as to issue a decree against God, even though God has not
revealed in the Qur'an anything more terrible than the one who was
mentioned by the verses of God and yet turned aside from them.
No doubt is there that the verses of God are verses that shine
forth from this Tree, for the Eternal Essence has ever existed in His state
of singleness, whereas the verses are a matter for creativity, which is the
work of the Primal Will, in whom none can be seen save God alone.
Although, in his day men do not look upon the verses of God, yet before
long these same verses shall be recited in the most exalted manner and
Bayans worth one thousand mithqals of gold shall be written; men shall
pride themselves thereon and regard themselves as related to God.
In the same way, the Qur'an was revealed over a period of
twenty-three years, yet there was no-one to write down the original text,
until the Prince of the Believers wrote it on the shoulder blades of sheep
and other available tablets (alwah-i mumkina), as is mentioned in the
Tradition of the Cloak. And today one may see how innumerable Qu'rans are
written, in values ranging from one thousand thousand (alf alf) to one
thousand dinars, just as printed copies at this price are in the possession
of most people. This is the limit of created beings (hadd-i khalq) in the
eyes of God.
No doubt is there that God has made distinctions between all things
in the most high degree, according to the abiding proof. Whosoever should
say that there is something whose decree has not been revealed in the Bayan
according to its proper state and station, such a man has, without any
shadow of a doubt, failed to believe in it. For all things fall into one
or two categories : they are either mentioned in the category of rejection
or in that of affirmation. Whatever God does not like returns to the former
and whatever He likes returns to the latter. Every false name is mentioned
in the first, and every true name in the second. This is the pivot round
which all things form in the Bayan. Whoever testifies unto that, let him
also bear witness that we have not neglected anything therein. God,
indeed, encompasses all things.
There is no condition in which God has not decreed for the silent
book a speaking book. The latter would not exist but for the former, nor
would the former exist but for the latter. He that does not transgress
what is in the silent book, he is the speaking book. And the speaking book
is he whom God shall manifest, unto whom all things return. If any man
should refrain from passing beyond the limits set down in the Bayan, he is
a servant who has obeyed him and who is a witness on his behalf before his
appearance. But when he appears, faith shall be removed from all who
possess it, save whomsoever believes in him. And if faith be cut off, how
will testimony remain for men that are witnesses? For bearing witness is
itself but an offshoot of faith. Wherefore, fear God, O witnesses, lest
you should pass judgement against your Lord, even as they that are
witnesses on behalf of the Qur'an passed judgement against me. Whoever
passes judgement against me has but passed judgement against God his Lord.
For such as here, God has but a ninth of a ninth of a tenth of a tenth of a
goodly mention. Such are the transgressors.