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by Mark Towfiq
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Selections From the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá
Pages 13-17
 

4: Praise be to Him Who hath made the world of being, ...
 
1

Praise be to Him Who hath made the world of being, and hath fashioned all that is, Him Who hath raised up the sincere to a station of honour [1] and hath made the invisible world to appear on the plane of the visible--yet still, in their drunken stupor, [2] do men wander and stray.

 
2

He hath laid down the foundations of the lofty Citadel, He hath inaugurated the Cycle of Glory, He hath brought forth a new creation on this day that is clearly Judgement Day--and still do the heedless stay fast in their drunken sleep.

 
3

The Bugle [3] hath sounded, the Trumpet [4] hath been blown, the Crier hath raised his call, and all upon the earth have swooned away--but still do the dead, in the tombs of their bodies, sleep on.

 
4

And the second clarion [5] hath sounded, there hath followed the second blast after the first, [6] and the dread woe hath come, and every nursing mother hath forgot the infant at her breast [7] --yet still the people, confused and distracted, heed it not.

 
5

And the Resurrection hath dawned, and the Hour hath struck, and the Path hath been drawn straight, and the Balance hath been set up, and all upon the earth have been gathered together [8] --but still the people see no sign of the way.

 
6

The light hath shone forth, and radiance floodeth Mount Sinai, and a gentle wind bloweth from over the gardens of the Ever-Forgiving Lord; the sweet breaths of the spirit are passing by, and those who lay buried in the grave are rising up--and still do the heedless slumber on in their tombs.

 
7

The flames of hell have been made to blaze, and heaven hath been brought nigh; the celestial gardens are in flower, and fresh pools are brimming over, and paradise gleameth in beauty--but the unaware are still mired down in their empty dreams.

 
8

The veil hath fallen away, the curtain is lifted, the clouds have parted, the Lord of Lords is in plain sight--yet all hath passed the sinners by.

 
9

It is He Who hath made for you the new creation, [9] and brought on the woe [10] that surpasseth all others, and gathered the holy together in the realm on high. Verily in this are signs for those who have eyes to see.

 
10

And among His signs is the appearance of omens and joyous prophecies, of hints and clues, the spreading of many and various tidings, and the anticipations of the righteous, they who have now attained their goal.

 
11

And among His signs are His splendours, rising above the horizon of oneness, His lights streaming out from the dayspring of might, and the announcement of the Most Great Glad-Tidings by His Herald, the One, the Incomparable. Verily in this is a brilliant proof for the company of those who know.

 
12

Among His signs is His being manifest, being seen by all, standing as His own proof, and His presence among witnesses in every region, among peoples who fell upon Him even as wolves, and compassed Him about from every side.

 
13

Among His signs is His withstanding powerful nations and all-conquering states, and a host of enemies thirsting for His blood, intent at every moment upon His ruin, wheresoever He might be. Verily this is a matter deserving the scrutiny of those who ponder the signs and tokens of God.

 
14

Another of His signs is the marvel of His discourse, the eloquence of His utterance, the rapidity with which His Writings were revealed, His words of wisdom, His verses, His epistles, His communes, His unfolding of the Qur'án, both the abstruse verses thereof and the clear. By thy very life! This thing is plain as day to whoever will regard it with the eye of justice.

 
15

Again among His signs is the dawning sun of His knowledge, and the rising moon of His arts and skills, and His demonstrating perfection in all His ways, as testified by the learned and accomplished of many nations.

 
16

And again among His signs is the fact that His beauty stayed inviolate, and His human temple was protected as He revealed His splendours, despite the massed attacks of all His foes, who came against Him in their thousands with their darting arrows, spears and swords. Herein is verily a wonder and a warning to any fair judge.

 
17

And among His signs is His long-suffering, His tribulations and His woes, His agony in His chains and fetters, and His calling out at every moment: `Come unto Me, come unto Me, ye righteous! Come unto Me, come unto Me, ye lovers of the good! Come unto Me, come unto Me, ye dawning points of light!' Verily the gates of mystery are opened wide--but still do the wicked disport themselves with their vain cavillings! [11]

 
18

Yet another of His signs is the promulgation of His Book, His decisive Holy Text wherein He reproved the kings, and His dire warning to that one [12] whose mighty rule was felt around the world--and whose great throne then toppled down in a matter of brief days--this being a fact clearly established and widely known.

 
19

And among His signs is the sublimity of His grandeur, His exalted state, His towering glory, and the shining out of His beauty above the horizon of the Prison: so that heads were bowed before Him and voices lowered, and humble were the faces that turned His way. This is a proof never witnessed in the ages gone before.

 
20

Again among His signs are the extraordinary things He continually did, the miracles He performed, the wonders appearing from Him without interruption like the streaming down of His clouds--and the acknowledgement, even by unbelievers, of His powerful light. By His own life! This was clearly verified, it was demonstrated to those of every persuasion who came into the presence of the living, the self-subsisting Lord.

 
21

And yet another of His signs is the wide-spreading rays of the sun of His era, the rising moon of His times in the heaven of all the ages: His day, which standeth at the summit of all days, for its rank and power, its sciences and its arts, reaching far and wide, that have dazzled the world and astonished the minds of men.

 
22

Verily is this a matter settled and established for all time.

 
 

Notes

1. [Qur'án 17:81]

2. [Qur'án 15:72]

3. [Qur'án 39:68; Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 133]

4. [Qur'án 74:8]

5. [Qur'án 39:68]

6. [Qur'án 79:6]

7. [Qur'án 22:2]

8. [Qur'án 34:39]

9. [Qur'án 29:19]

10. [Qur'án 79:34]

11. [Qur'án 6:91; 52:12]

12. [Napoleon III]