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 First Chapter of the Second Unity

In explanation of the recognition of the Proof and the Evidence

The substance of this chapter is that God, the Knwoing, glorified be His
station, sends down His Proof in every dispensation according to whatever
is the highest degree of exaltation wherein the people of that dispensation
pride themselves. Thus, for example, in the time when the Qur'an was sent
down, all prided themselves in eloquent speech. God, therefore, revealed
the Qur'an in the highest degree of eloquence and made it the miracle of
His Prophet. In the Qur'an, God has not established the truth of His
Prophet or of the religion of Islam by any means other than its verses,
which are the mightiest of explanations.

The proof of their might is that all men speak using the letters of
the alphabet, whereas God, the Knowing, sent down the words of the Qur'an
in such a manner that, if all that are on earth were to gather together,
desiring to produce a single verse with which to confront the verses of the
Qur'an, they would be unable to do so and would all remain powerless.

The hidden reason for this is that God sent down the Qur'an from
the Tree of His Will, which is the Reality of Muhammad, by the Prophet's
own tongue. That inaccessible Tree does no cause a single word to descend
unless it takes the spirit from it at the moment of its descent. Thus, for,
example, should He reveal the words We have originateds that creation
through a command from Our own Self. We are, indeed, powerful over all
things, the mention of 'origination' refers to whatever may be called by
the name of 'all things'; for none save God can encompass all things, in
that His Word is the protector of all things, and by it all things are

It is the same if God should reveal the woprds We shall cause that
creation to return, as a promise binding upon Us; We are, indeed, Mighty
over all things, for, at the time of their revelation, the spirits of the
return of all things are taken away in the manifestation of this verse, in
order that they may appear before God on the Day of Resurrection, that the
return of all things may be rendered true. None but God is capable of
achieving this, for whatever God utters from the Tree of Reality, the true
self of that thing is brought into being. Should it be non-paradisical, it
will become a letter of negation; but if it should be one of the letters of
paradise, it will become a letter of affirmation. For the Word of God is

Wherefore was it revealed previously that 'hell is a reality, and
paradise is a reality'. The explanation of the creation of the spirit of
the word 'reality' has been given in its proper place.

Whoever ponders upon that will see with certainty that the true
spirits are realized in their essences through the appearance of the
Primal Point in the verses of God within the realities of the souls and the
horizons, as was mentioned by God before this in the Qur'an, in the verse
We shall show them Our signs in the horizons and in their souls, that it
may be made clear to them that He is the Truth. So long as anyone fails to
behold the inner reality of all things, which is the spirit of his own
heart, he shall not attain to an understanding of the holy words the word
of God is the truth, since it is by the (mere) mention of the word that
the reality is realized within the inner being of the thing. This refers to
God alone, exalted and glorified be He, for none but He is a creator of
anything, or a sustainer of anything, or a slayer of anything, or a
vivifier of anything.

Any word through which, in the realm of His dominion, negation is
negated or affirmation affirmed, will be resurrected in the shadow of
whatever He has sent down of His verses. Nay, those words are not in their
essences anything but what is manifested from the manifestations of God's
verses and His words. For, at the moment when God mentions a believer, his
creation takes place through the medium of that act of mentioning. And at
the moment when He sends down the non-paradisical letters, the creation of
their spirits takes place through the medium of that revelation. This is
the secret behind the fact that God's verses are a proof for all created
things, and that they are the mightiest of explanations and the greatest of
revelations affirming His power and His knowledge.

No doubt is there that, in the dispensation of the Point of the
Bayan, the intellectuals prided themselves on the science of divine unity,
the subtleties of gnosis, and the exalted matters taught by the Imams. For
this reason, God, the Knowing, placed the proof [of the Bab], like that of
the Prophet of God, within the verses themselves. There streamed forth from
his tongue words concerning the exaltation of divine unity and the
elevation of divine singleness, before which everyone possessed of the
spirit of oneness bowed down, except for those who hsa failed to comprehend
that concerning which he had spoken about with his Beloved. And limitless
philosophical and scientific explanations appeared from him, whose number
is known and understood by God alone.

The Sun of Reality is, in itself, the director of the affairs of
all contingent beings, from the elevation of its own understanding; and
yet, through the words and verses that God has placed within it, it draws
all things to the light of its own utterances. Does He have a peer, that He
may be comprehended? Or a rival, that He may be described through him? Or a
likeness, that he may be compared to it? Or a partner, that He may be
associated with him? Or a resemblance, that He may be likened to it?
Exalted be He above that, in the height of exaltation. For nothing may be
seen in Him but God, and we are all His worshippers.

In this dispensation, God, the Knowing, has bestowed his verses and
explanations upon the Point of the Bayan, and made him the exalted Proof
for all things. Should all that are on earth gather together, they would be
unable to produce a single verse like the verses which God has caused to
flow from his tongue. Everyone possessed of spirit who considers with the
eye of certitude will see that these verses are not within the capacity of
a human being, but are, on the contrary, attributable solely to God, the
One, the Single, He Who causes them to flow upon the tongue of anyone He
pleases. He has never caused such verses to flow, nor will He ever make
them flow, from anyone but the Point of the Divine Will, for He it is Who
has despatched every Messenger and sent down every holy book.

If this had been something that could have been manifested by the
power of a human being, someone would have brought forth a verse from the
time of the revelation of the Qur'an until the time of the revelation of
the Bayan - a period of one thousand, two hundred, and seventy years. But,
even though all men desired to extinguish God's word with the exaltation of
their own power, they were powerless and were incapable of doing so.

In this day, if anyone ponders closely, he will certainly see that,
from the beginning of the revelation of the Bayan to this moment, those who
have confessed to the evidentiary nature of the verses, and who have
carried them to all men, have been the proofs of God. Although it was not
evident that they were proofs, the exaltation of their understanding is not
hidden from anyone. For the lowliest student of the late Sayyid trod
underfoot the most exalted of the scholars and philosophers upon the face
of the earth. There can be no doubt in the mind of anyone concerning the
elevation of the piety of those men who have recognized the evidentiary
nature of the verses, whether they belonged to this school or not.

This is mentioned only in view of the weakness of men. Otherwise,
the testimony borne by God can never be compared with that of all that are
on earth. And there can be no doubt but that the testimony of God is only
manifested through the testimony of that individual whom He makes His
Proof. The testimony of the verses themselves is sufficient proof of the
inadequacy of all that are on earth, for this is a proof that will remain
constant on the part of God until the Day of Resurrection.

Should anyone consider the revelation of this Tree, he will without
doubt testify to the exaltation of the cause of God, inasmuch as, for
someone of twenty-four years of age and devoid of those branches of
learning in which others are well-versed, to receive verses in this manner,
with neither thought nor hesitation, and to write one thousand verses of
devotions in the space of five hours, without lifting his pen from the
page, and to reveal Quranic commentaries and scientific treatises in the
highest degrees of gnosis and divine unity, when the divines and
philosophers have confessed their inability to comprehend these matters, is
unquestionably entirely the work of God. To what a degree do scholars who,
from the beginning to the end of their lives, have exercised independent
reasoning, take care over the writing of a single line of Arabic; yet,
when all is said and done, their words are not fit to be mentioned.

All of this is for the sake of providing evidence to men.
Otherwise, God's cause is too glorious and too exalted to be recognized
through anything but itself. Indeed, all other things are themselves
recognizewd through it. I swear by the essence of God, Who was and is alone
in His singleness, that His words are brighter than the light of the sun at
mid-day, and the words of those who have been guided by the exaltation of
His guidance, should they attain to the highest rank of knowledge and
understanding, are like the stars in the night.

Nay, I ask forgiveness of God for such a suggestion. How can the
ocean of eternity be grasped through the ocean of temporal existence, and
how can the mention of the First be known through the mention of
limitations? Praised be God and exalted be He above all the references that
are made to Him within the kingdom of the earth and the heavens.
All such references have been made with regard for the limited
degrees of created things. Otherwise, this is what will be advanced as a
proof on the Day of Resurrection (to come), just as the same proof was
advanced in this Resurrection. When God asked by the tongue of His Tongue,
'Whose Book is the Qur'an?', all those who believed in it said. 'it is the
Book of God'. They were then asked, 'can you see any difference between the
Qur'an and the Bayan?', and those possessed of hearts replied, 'No, by God!
Both are from God. None but those possessed of clear vision shall take

God, the Knowing, then revealed these words: 'The first (of these
two books) was My word sent down by the tongue of Muhammad, the Messenger
of God, and the second is My word sent down by the tongue of the Essence of
the Seven Letters, the Gate of God. Whosoever has believed in the first has
no choice but to believe in the second, if he wishes to remain constant in
faith. He must either believe in these verses or render his own reality and
his own deeds valueless, as on the day when nothing was mentioned before
God.' He then revealed the following: 'O My creatures, you strive to the
full extent of your ability from the beginning to the end of your lives in
order to attain to My good-pleasure. If you perform any secondary act, it
is because I Myself revealed it in My Book. And if you have believed in the
Imams of Guidance, or have sought nearness to Me by visiting their graves,
it is because their names have been sent down in cipher in the Qur'an.

'If you testify to the prophethood of Muhammad, the Messenger of
God, it is because he was My Messenger. And if you circumambulate the
Ka'ba, it is because I called it My House. And if you hold the Qur'an in
esteem, it is because it is My Word. Whatever action a man performs, even
though he be of the community of Adam (the first Prophet), it is
necessarily performed because of his relationship to Me, as he has
understood within himself. Yet now he has become veiled, and has imagined
things that are contrary to reality, and has failed to recognize My
subsequent manifestations. For there is nothing whatever whose decree does
not return to this human temple, which has been created at My command. And
that temple returns by decrees until it reaches My Prophet. And My Prophet
is only confirmed by a Book sent down on Him and a Proof granted unto him.

'Today, which is the Day of My revelation, in which I have appeared
in person - and this mention of "in person" is like the mention of the word
"Ka'ba", which I called "My House"; otherwise, My Essence has neither
beginning nor end, manifestation nor concealment - yes, today, whatever
returns to this personage who recites My verses on My behalf, shall return
to Me. And whatever fails to return to him, shall not return to Me. This is
My appearance in My own person and My concealment in My own Essence. For
anything else is impossible in the realm of contingent being, nor can
anything more exalted than this be expressed in words.

'How veiled you are, O creatures, that all of you imagine you enjoy
My good-pleasure, through your relationship to me in your own places. Yet
the Sign that is My token and that recites by My permission the verses of
My power, whose treasuries are his true nature, you have unjustly placed
upon a mountain, none of whose inhabitants is fit to be spoken of. With
him - that is to say, with Me - there is only one other person , who is one
of the Letters of the Living of My Book, and in front of him - that is to
say, in front of Me - there burns in the night but a single lamp. Yet in
the seats that by degrees return to him, innumerable lamps are shining,
while all that are on earth, who were created for his sake, enjoy his
benefits, although they are veiled from him to the extent of a single lamp.

'Thus do I bear witness in this day against My creatures, for the
testimony of any other than Myself counts for nothing in My sight. There is
no higher paradise for My creatures than that they should appear before Me
and believe in My verses. Nor is any hellfire fiercer than the veiling of
these creatures from the manifestation of My self or their failure to
believe in My verses. If you should ask how he speaks on My behalf - do you
not behold My verses? Are you no ashamed to repeat what you said in former
days concerning My Book (the Qur'an)? And yet you have seen that My Book
was confirmed and that today you are all believers in Me because of it. You
shall soon see that your glory would reside in your belief in these verses,
but today, when the demonstration of faith would benefit your souls, you
have remained veiled by what neither benefits nor harms.

'No harm has befallen, nor can any befall the manifestation of My
self. Any harm that has befallen and that shall befall (him) shall (in
reality) return to your own souls. Have pity on yourselves, and soar into
that heaven wherein you imagine My good-pleasure resides. While My
good-pleasure has been realized through that proof whereby the religion of
all men is confirmed, you have remained vailed by them that associate
themselves with the Qur'an. I swear by My own holy Essence that there is no
higher paradise for these creatures than my revelation and My verses, no is
there any hellfire fiercer than being veiled from Me and My verses.

'If you should say, "our failure has not been demonstrated
conclusively to us," why don't you travel the earth from East to West (and
see the evidence)? And yet these words of Mine are meaningless, for in this
day the truth of all that is on earth is referred back to the decree of
Islam. So, if the eloquent among (the people of) this decree have failed,
it proves that all other men must have failed as well.

'If they should say, "We have not failed", why do they not produce
a single verse resembling Our verses, out of innate capacity, and not
through study or by stealing from one another? Although they ought to
reveal whatever lies within them, alongside each and every truth, to the
same degree demonstrated by the magicians in Moses's day, yet, God be
praised, from the beginning of the revelation till now, not even that much
has been manifested by the learned men of this religion. They themselves
claim that they are soaring in the heights of God's good-pleasure, whereas
they are, in fact, veiled from that which confirms God through the verses
of His power. This alone is sufficient to disgrace the divines of Islam,
that, with respect to Islam, they show forth the learning of that faith,
yet remain veiled from him whose word is its confirmation.

'Had they been content with their own condition of being wrapped in
veils; had they done injustice to no other souls; and had they not decreed
things that had not been sent down in the Qur'an - they would have cast
nobody but themselves into hell. But both they and those that have
considered them the learned ones of Islam, indeed all men, have been and
still are veiled from God's revelation. Yet the punishment of these others
shall fall upon them too. Had they pondered upon the verses of God, they
would have recognized their own powerlessness, and, in that case, neither
the king of Islam nor they that dwelt beneath his shadow would have been
content to be veiled from the truth, for the glory of all men resides in
following the truth. Had the divines not caused them to go astray, matters
would not have reached this point, for there can be no doubt that, in the
end, God shall manifest the truth unto all men through His proof.

'Thus, in this day, should someone who associates himself with
Islam, whether he be a state official of a divine, wish to confirm the
evidentiary nature of the verses, he may do so in the twinkling of an eye.
For, if he possesses the power to do so, he is capable of summoning all
the divines together (in one place) and saying to them: "I remained veiled
from him who is the Possessor of Verses, on account of your decrees. Now
let the matter be put to the test: either you should produce a book
yourselves, to compare with his verses. Or, if you are incapable of doing
so, you should be content with the following verse, written in this
connection: Praise be to Thee, O my God! You are the King of Kings. You
grant dominion to anyone you wish, and you take it away from anyone you
wish. You glorify anyone you wish, and you abase anyone you wish. You make
victorious anyone you wish, and you bring defeat on anyone you wish. You
bestow wealth on anyone you wish, and you cast into poverty anyone you
wish. You make mAnifest anyone you wish to anyone you wish. In your grasp
is the kingdom of all things. You create whatever you wish by your command.
You are, indeed, All-Knowing, Mighty, and Powerful.

'Speak as he has spoken, by your innate nature. And write as he has
written, without hesitation and without lifting your pen from the page.
But, if you cannot do so, that proves that what you have done was done
unjustly, and that the Possessor of these verses is a truth from God. There
is no doubt that God has sent these verses down on him, just as he sent
them down (previously) on His Prophet. Verses like these have now been
spread about among men to the number of one hundred thousand, apart from
his epistles and prayers, or his scientific and philosophical treatises.
Within the space of five hours, one thousand verses are revealed by him, or
else he dictates the verses of God as fast as the scribe beside him can
write them down. You may use this as a basis on which to calculate just how
many of his writings would have been distributed by now, had he been given
the liberty to do so.

'If you should say that these verses are not, in themselves, any
sort of proof, take a look at the Qur'an. Were it the case that God
demanded anything but the verses (of that book) as a means of proving the
prophethopod of His Messenger, then you might well hesitate when it comes
to these verses. But, on the contrary, God revealed the following words:

Only those who have disbelieved in Him dispute God's verses. Do not
let their sudden fortune in the land catch you out. The people of Noah and
then the Confederates cried 'lies!' before them; and every people plotted
against its prophet in order to take violent hold of him, and they disputed
(with him) by means of falsehood, hoping that they might refute the truth.
So, I laid hold of them, and how great was My punishment! Thus was the
truth of the Word of your Lord brought home to those who did not believe.
They are now residing in hell.

'And He has also revealed the following verse, regarding the
self-suficiency of the Book: Is it not enough for them that We have sent
the Book down upon you, that it may be recited to them? It contains a
mercy, as well as a warning for people who believe. Since God has
testified that the self-sufficiency of the Book consists in the verses in
and of themselves, how can anyone say that the evidentiary nature of the
Book is not an adequate proof of its truth?

'If someone should repeat what the people of former days said about
the verses, there are two possibilities. It may be that he is not setting
out to establish the truth at all; in that case, no proof will have any
effect on him whatsoever, just as God has revealed: If they saw every sign
they would not believe in one of them or, again, Those against whom the
Word of your Lord has come to pass will never believe, not even if every
sign reached them, until they catch sight of the severe punishment (that
awaits them).

'If, on the other hand, he merely wants to be cautious in matters
of religion - something which is quite understandable - than, in what
statement will they believe, if not in God and His verses? Either such a
person should come in person and ask whatever he wants about any subject,
to be answered in the form of verses, so that he may hear for himself how
the Source does not hesitate and does not compose artificially and does not
consciously the order of the words he writes. Or he should send someone
else, in order to sit with him [i.e. the Bab] for an hour and write down
whatever he recites of God's verses, after which he may ponder on them
until it is clear to him that they have not been put together by conscious
thought or deliberate ordering of words, one after the other. If this had
taken place from the beginning of the Islamic faith until the present day,
it would have occurred with respect to the Qur'an, and from the beginning
of this revelation until today someone would have challenegd me in
precisely this way.

'Should someone criticize my use of vocalization or textual
readings or Arabic grammar, I would reject their criticism. For such
(grammatical) rules are based on the verses, not vice versa. It cannot be
doubted that he has rejected for himself all such rules and the learning
that is based on them. Indeed, in the eyes of thinking people, no proof is
greater than being ignorant of such rules, when ignorance is combined with
the ability to reveal such words and verses as these. This is because the
fruit of these sciences is (real) understanding of God's Book, although it
is quite unnecessary for the Tree on which the Book of God in person has
alighted to have the slightest knowledge of them.

'On the contrary, all the grammatical rules and the systems of
vocalization are established by what God has revealed. How many individuals
there are who have acquired every conceivable form of learning, even though
their faith (in God) is established through their faith in His verses,
since the fruit of learning is to know the laws of God and nothing else,
provided such knowledge is combined with conformity to His good-pleasure.
For, if the sciences (of Arabic grammar and syntax) were capable of bearing
fruit purely by themselves, there would be more experts in that field among
the Arabs than among the (Persian-speaking) Iranians, wherever the fact is
that the former lack any real distinction in this area. Indeed, distinction
consists in obtaining God's good-pleasure, in knowing the nature of divine
unity, and in dwelling beneath the shadow of His obedience and

'There is no doubt that whatever they accomplish between Him and
themselves, they have no aim other than to make themselves pleasing to Him.
And yet few are aware of His good-pleasure, with the exception of those who
are informed of the good-pleasure of him who is His Proof [i.e. the Bab].
In this day, God's good-pleasure is confined to that of His Proof and of
them who dwell in his shadow. Although other men imagine they are guided,
yet whatever God bears witness to endures, whereas whatever is done by
those who do not follow the divine command will become as nothing.

'In the same way that mention is still made in this day of those
people who called the Qur'an a lie in the early days of Islam, including
Christian monks and the eloquent among the Arabs, in this day the mention
of those who are shut out as though by a veil will also endure. Today,
no-one can perform a more profitable action for himself than to look justly
on the verses of the Bayan, so he may see the truth of God with the eye of
certainty and may not remain veiled from the presence of the manifestation,
whose presence is equivalent to the presence of God, and whose
good-pleasure is God's good-pleasure. For all men have been created to this
end, even as God has revealed: God it is Who has raised up the heavens
without visible pillars, then seated Himself upon the Throne, and .......
the sun and the moon, that each of them may run to an appointed decree. He
controls the affair and makes clear the verses, that you may be sure of
meeting your Lord (Qur'an ). No doubt is there that any mirror that
should be placed in front of the sun will light up (with its reflection);
otherwise the sun itself rises and sets again.

'The glory of all beings lies in their attainment to the fruit of
their own existence - and that is for them to reach God's presence and to
have faith in His verses. Otherwise, anything is worthless in itself. It is
this very tree that planted the tree of the Qur'an in the hearts of mankind
for the sake of this day; today all men pride themselves in it and glory in
their relationship to it - yet they are doing what they are doing. This is
the meaning of the words: No power nor strength is there save in God
(Qur'an ) in the holy religion; otherwise, if men were to divest
themselves of this relationship - a relationship which actually has no
reality - they would not have as much as the strength of a housefly. This
is sufficient disgrace for those who are shut out as though by a veil, who
commit what they commit by asserting this (spurious) relationship to Him,
and who, instead of attaining to the fruit of their existence - which in
this day means coming to his assistance [nusrat-i amr ] - have failed to
help him at all.

'Indeed, they are not content with their failure to render him aid,
for had they been content with that, this Tree would never have been placed
upon this mountain. God is sufficient for all His servants. He shall issue
a decisive decree, and His decree is that self-same decree that has been
made manifest at this moment in these words, that shall distinguish until
the Day of Resurrection between them that have turned towards Him and them
that have failed to do so. Whatsoever things God decrees shall come to
pass. He is the Best of Helpers and the Best of Protectors, the Best of
Guardians and the Best of Judges.'

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