The Bab's Persian Bayan
Translations of Shaykhi, Babi and Baha'i Texts, No. 4 (July, 1997 - )

The Persian Bayan of Sayyid `Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Bab


trans. Dr. Denis MacEoin

The Fourth Chapter of the Second Unity

In explanation of the mention of the Letters of Paradise and the Letters of

The substance of this chapter is that God has not sent down any
letter other than with its own spirit, which is connected to it. It is for
this reason that the believer rejoices in the mention of paradise and the
good-pleasure of God, but is depressed by the mention of hell and God's
displeasure. And this is to such a degree that you might say the first
(mention) is a cause of pleasure and the second a cause of pain.

All the words that God has sent down in the Bayan fall into two
categories : They either belong to the words of paradise or to those of
hell. The spirits of the former are in paradise, while those of the latter
are in the fire. All the letters of hell return to the phrase 'there is no
God', whereas all the letters of paradise return to the words 'save Him'.
In the same way, all the letters of hell originated from the first phrase,
whereas all the letters of paradise had their origin in the second. From
eternity, the former have been raised up in the highest seats of paradise,
while the latter have disappeared beneath the dust.

Similarly, if in this day someone should look upon the origin of
the Tree of the Qur'an, he shall behold with certainty how the five letters
of negation disappeared beneath the dust - these being the first, second,
third, fourth and fifth. And how the five letters that lead unto
affirmation were raised up in the highest place in paradise, these being
Muhammad, 'Ali, Fatima, Hasan, and Husayn.

When the five words of fire are broken down into their separate
letters, they are nineteen, as God has revealed: 'Over it are nineteen'
(Qur'an XXXX). In the same way, when the letters of the five names are
split up, they make up the number of unity (i.e. 19). Just as the letters
of hell return to this word, so do all the letters of paradise return to
the word of affirmation.

God, the Knowing, has created negation and decreed the fire for it,
and He has created affirmation and decreed paradise for it. For negation
does not give any indication of Him, whereas affirmation does. This refers
to the bring into being of negation and affirmation within the natural
realm (takwin); their existence in the realm of religion (tadwin) is on the
same basis.

Whatever branched out from the word of negation has on the Day of
Resurrection, returned unto it. All the letters of hell, together with the
spirits attached to them, have been raised up in the shadow of that same
word. In like manner, all that has branched out from the word of
affirmation has, on the Day of Resurrection, returned into it, and all the
letters of paradise and the spirits attached to them have been raised up in
its shadow. Whatever individual has entered into negation, shall remain in
the divine fire until the day of him whom God shall manifest. But whoever
has dwelt in the shadow of affirmation shall remain in the divine paradise
until the day of him whom God shall manifest.

The exaltation of the servant consists in paying heed to what
branches forth from these two words, how the one is endlessly made as
nothing, and how the other is endlessly raised up. The proof of God is the
same for both, for His verses are made clear to both. The manifestations
of negation having failed to accept them, they have been rejected, and the
manifestations of affirmation having accepted them, they have been brought
to dwell in the shadow of affirmation. No fire is fiercer than a
manifestation of the word of negation, nor is any paradise greater than a
manifestation of affirmation, for the letters of hell circle about the
former, while the letters of paradise turn around the latter until all
shall return to him whom God shall manifest on the day of his appearance.
Those that accept him shall belong to paradise, and if not, to hell.
Blessed be he that clings to the cord of God and relies upon his Lord, that
he may not enter into hell, but may come into paradise by his Lord's
permission. That, indeed, is the mighty grace.

It is for this reason that, when a servant recites the letter of
paradise he is made content, for their spirits attach themselves unto him.
This is the highest paradise of them that render God's praise, them that
sanctify Him, them that proclaim His unity, them that magnify Him, and them
that extol His greatness. But if a servant should recite the letters of
hell, he wishes for God's justice to descend upon them, for their spirits
may attach themselves to him. He must take refuge at such times in God,
glorified be His name, that he may be protected from their spirits. For
everyone whom God in the Qur'an has promised paradise on the Day of
Resurrection, He has caused to return to the tree of His love, which is the
highest of the ranks of paradise, where they may attain unto His
good-pleasure and take delight in conferring to His singleness. Whereas
everyone whom God has promised hell, He has caused to return to the word of
negation, wherein they have tasted their punishment, for there is no
torment greater than to be shut out as by a veil from God and from faith in
Him. But there is no paradise greater than belief in God and His verses.

Should anyone possessed of insight behold, he will see how the
people of paradise have preceded the rest into heaven, even though their
food was no more than the leaf of a tree; whereas the people of hell have
entered therein by their own consent, bringing with them those things
(shu'un) in which they benefited from the word of negation, in which they
pride themselves, and by which they are tormented in the fire, although
they are unaware of that. Even as God has revealed: 'they eat a fire
within their own interiors'. (Qur'an XXXX) In this way, the letters of
hell return to their own spirits, while the letters of paradise return to

There is no-one but that, should he mention the letter of paradise,
the spirits of the angels connected to them shall at that moment, gaze upon
him and bless him on behalf of God. But when someone mentions the letters
of hell, should he do so out of love for them, the spirits of the satans of
hell shall gaze upon him. If he does not seek refuge with God, they shall
bring upon him whatever they are capable of, even if it be only a
perturbation of the heart. But if he should seek refuge with God, and
invoke his anger against them, they shall be unable to find any faith into
him, nor shall they be able to have his faith even to the extent of nine
ninths of ten tenths of a grain of mustard-seed.

Yet, it is as if I can see that the letters of negation shall, at
the time of the appearance of him whom God shall manifest, seek refuge in
negation, even though they are themselves its very source. At that time,
none shall provide them with refuge from their own hell save he whom God
shall manifest. For, at the moment when a servant says 'I take refuge with
God', if he does not enter within the religion of the Bayan, he shall not
be granted refuge from hell. Nay, he shall not pronounce those words
except through his entry into the faith, even as those individuals who have
not entered into faith in the Qur'an do not say it. For taking refuge with
God means taking refuge with His proof. Whoever believed in Muhammed
before this was granted refuge from the fire of God. Although the letters
of hell themselves say these very words, it is of no benefit to them, for
they do not seek refuge with the Proof, an account of what God has revealed
in the Quran : 'He who does not believe in God' (48:13) and joined to the
word that follows it . And yet he reads the words themselves while failing
to take heed of them. In the same way, at the beginning of Islam, this
phrase was interpreted as meaning the second, yet while he read the entire
Qur'an, the manifestation of the sign of divinity was 'Ali, the Prince of
the Believers. If he had taken refuge in him, he would have been saved
from the words that follow it.

Thus it is that, until the day of him whom God shall manifest, all
will seek refuge with God and with the Point of the Bayan, but when that
day comes it shall not be of any benefit to them, for on that day taking
refuge with God will mean taking refuge with him (whom he shall manifest),
and taking refuge with the Point of the Bayan will be the same. Even as,
from the beginning of the appearance of this tree, all have uttered the
words 'I seek refuge with God', and yet they are dwelling in the midst of
hell, save those whom God has willed, who have recognised the manifestation
of His name and, having taken refuge with him, have been preserved from the
absolute fire.

Otherwise, everyone says these word unnumbered times every day, and
yet here can be no salvation for him, for God has associated the taking of
refuge with him with seeking refuge in His Messenger, and linked his latter
with seeking refuge [p. 27] in his Successors , and linked this again with
seeking refuge in the Gates of his Successors . The first of these is of
absolutely no benefit without the last, nor is the outward of any use
without the inward. For taking refuge in the Messenger is identical to
taking refuge in God, and seeking refuge with the Imam is identical to
seeking refuge with the Messenger, and taking refuge in the Gates is
identical to taking refuge in the Imams.

In this day, whoever enters into the Bayan shall be granted refuge
from hell, just as the letters of the Gospel were not granted refuge from
it unless they entered the letters of the Qur'an. The letters of paradise
from among the letters of the Bayan shall remain in heaven until the day of
him whom God shall manifest, while its letters of hell shall be in their
own stations. When his day comes, whoever enters into his book shall be
saved from the fire, or else his continuing in the Bayan shall prove of no
benefit to him whatsoever, just as remaining in the Gospel was of no
benefit to the letters thereof after the revelation of the Qur'an; and the
same was true of the letters of the Qur'an after the revelation of the
Bayan. And the letters of paradise shall progress in the highest exaltation
unto whatsoever God desires. And the letters of hell shall be rejected to
the limit of their non-existence. Blessed be he that gives his heart
nourishment from the letters of paradise. And should the letter of hell be
mentioned, let him take refuge with God, his Lord, who shall render him
sinless. They that make mention must, of necessity, refer to them, but the
mention of them shall not harm them. Even so did they that believed in the
Qur'an mention them that had been given the earth before them. Thus does
God make clear the signs that you may be confident in the verses of God.

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