The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys
The Fourth Valley
If the mystic knowers be of those who have
reached to the beauty of the Beloved One
(Mahbúb), this station is the apex of consciousness
and the secret of divine guidance.
This is the center of the mystery: "He doth
what He willeth, ordaineth what He pleaseth."
Were all the denizens of earth and heaven
to unravel this shining allusion, this darksome
riddle, until the Day when the Trumpet soundeth,
yet would they fail to comprehend even
a letter thereof, for this is the station of God's
immutable decree, His foreordained mystery.
Hence, when searchers inquired of this, He
made reply, "This is a bottomless sea which
none shall ever fathom."
And they asked
again, and He answered, "It is the blackest of
nights through which none can find his way."
Whoso knoweth this secret will assuredly
hide it, and were he to reveal but its faintest
trace they would nail him to the cross. Yet, by
the Living God, were there any true seeker, I
would divulge it to him; for they have said:
"Love is a light that never dwelleth in a heart
possessed by fear."
Verily, the wayfarer who journeyeth unto
God, unto the Crimson Pillar in the snow-white
path, will never reach unto his heavenly
goal unless he abandoneth all that men possess:
"And if he feareth not God, God will make
him to fear all things; whereas all things fear
him who feareth God."
Speak in the Persian tongue, though the
Arab please thee more;
A lover hath many a tongue at his command.
How sweet is this couplet which revealeth
such a truth:
See, our hearts come open like shells, when
He raineth grace like pearls,
And our lives are ready targets, when
agony's arrows He hurls.
And were it not contrary to the Law of the
Book, I would verily bequeath a part of My
possessions to the one who would put Me to
death, and I would name him My heir; yea, I
would bestow upon him a portion, would render
him thanks, would seek to refresh Mine eyes
with the touch of his hand. But what can I
do? I have no possessions, no power, and this
is what God hath ordained.
Methinks at this moment, I catch the fragrance
of His garment
blowing from the
Egypt of Bahá;
verily He seemeth near at
hand, though men may think Him far away.
My soul doth smell the perfume shed by the
Beloved One; My sense is filled with the fragrance
of My dear Companion.
The duty of long years of love obey
And tell the tale of happy days gone by,
That land and sky may laugh aloud today,
And it may gladden mind and heart and
This is the realm of full awareness, of utter
self-effacement. Even love is no pathway to
this region, and longing hath no dwelling here;
wherefore is it said, "Love is a veil betwixt
the lover and the beloved." Here love becometh
an obstruction and a barrier, and all else save
Him is but a curtain. The wise Saná'í hath
Never the covetous heart shall come to the
stealer of hearts,
Never the shrouded soul unite with beauty's
For this is the realm of Absolute Command
and is free of all the attributes of earth.
The exalted dwellers in this mansion do wield
divine authority in the court of rapture, with
utter gladness, and they do bear a kingly
sceptre. On the high seats of justice, they issue
their commands, and they send down gifts according
to each man's deserving. Those who
drink of this cup abide in the high bowers of
splendor above the Throne of the Ancient of
Days, and they sit in the Empyrean of Might
within the Lofty Pavilion: "Naught shall they
know of sun or piercing cold."
Herein the high heavens are in no conflict
with the lowly earth, nor do they seek to excel
it, for this is the land of mercy, not the realm
of distinction. Albeit at every moment these
souls appear in a new office, yet their condition
is ever the same. Wherefore of this realm it is
written, "No work withholdeth Him from another."
And of another state it is said:
"Every day doth some new work employ
This is the food whose savor changeth
not, whose color altereth not. If thou eatest
thereof, thou shalt verily chant this verse: "I
turn my face to Him Who hath created the
Heavens and the earth ... I am not one of
those who add gods to God."
"And thus did
we show Abraham the Kingdom of the Heavens
and of the Earth, that He might be established
Wherefore, put thy
hand into thy bosom, then stretch it forth with
power, and behold, thou shalt find it a light unto
all the world."
How crystal this cool water that the Cup-Bearer
bringeth! How bright this pure wine in
the hands of the Beloved! How delicate this
draught from the Heavenly Cup! May it do
them good, whoso drink thereof, and taste of
its sweetness and attain to its knowledge.
It is not fitting that I tell thee more,
For the stream's bed cannot hold the sea.
For the mystery of this utterance is hid
within the storehouse of the Great Infallibility
and laid up in the treasuries of power. It
is sanctified above the jewels of explanation;
it is beyond what the most subtle of tongues
Astonishment here is highly prized, and utter
poverty essential. Wherefore hath it been
said, "Poverty is My pride."
And again: "God
hath a people beneath the dome of glory, whom
He hideth in the clothing of radiant poverty."
These are they who see with His eyes,
hear with His ears, as it is written in the well-known
Concerning this realm, there is many a tradition
and many a verse, of broad or special
relevancy, but two of these will suffice to serve
as a light for men of mind and heart.
The first is His statement: "O My Servant!
Obey Me and I shall make thee like unto Myself.
I say `Be,' and it is, and thou shalt say `Be,' and
it shall be."
And the second: "O Son of Adam! Seek
fellowship with none until thou hast found Me,
and whenever thou shalt long for Me, thou shalt
find Me close to thee."
Whatever high proofs and wondrous allusions
are recounted herein, concern but a single
Letter, a single Point. "Such hath been the way
of God ... and no change canst thou find in
the way of God."
I began this epistle some time ago, in thy
remembrance, and since thy letter had not
reached me then, I began with some words of
reproach. Now, thy new missive hath dispelled
that feeling and causeth Me to write thee. To
speak of My love for thine Eminence is needless.
"God is a sufficient witness!"
Eminence Shaykh Muhammad--May God the
Exalted bless him!--I shall confine Myself to
the two following verses which I request be
delivered to him:
I seek thy nearness, dearer than sweet
I see thy visage, fairer than Paradise
When I entrusted this message of love to
My pen, it refused the burden, and it swooned
away. Then coming to itself, it spoke and said,
"Glory be to Thee! To Thee do I turn in penitence,
and I am the first of them that believe."
Praise be to God, the Lord of the
Let us tell, some other day
This parting hurt and woe;
Let us write, some other way,
Love's secrets--better so.
Leave blood and noise and all of these,
And say no more of Shams-i-Tabríz.
Peace be upon thee, and upon those who
circle around thee and attain thy meeting.
What I had written ere this hath been eaten
by the flies, so sweet was the ink. As Sa'dí
saith: "I shall forbear from writing any longer,
for my sweet words have drawn the flies about
And now the hand can write no more, and
pleadeth that this is enough. Wherefore do I
say, "Far be the glory of thy Lord, the Lord
of all greatness, from what they affirm of
1. [Qur'án 2:254; 5:1, etc]
2. [Statement attributed to `Alí.]
3. [This quotation is in Arabic.]
4. [The Mathnaví.]
5. [This was revealed before the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh. The lines following refer to the imminence of His Manifestation.]
6. [Literally, the garment of Há, which is the letter "H" and here represents Bahá.]
7. [This reference is to the story of Joseph in the Qur'án and the Bible.]
8. [This refers to those who did not expect the imminent advent of Him Whom God Shall Manifest.]
9. [The Mathnaví.]
10. [Qur'án 76:13]
11. [This quotation is from one of the commentators on Qur'án 55:29. Cf. the dictionary Lisánu'l-`Arab.]
12. [Qur'án 55:29]
13. [Qur'án 6:79]
14. [Qur'án 6:75]
15. [Cf. Qur'án 7:105 etc., and Hadíth.]
16. [The Mathnaví.]
17. [Ismat-i-Kubrá, the invariable attribute of the Divine Manifestation.]
20. [Qur'án 33:62; 48:23]
21. [Qur'án 4:164]
23. [Qur'án 7:140]
24. [Shams-i-Tabríz, the Súfí who exerted a powerful influence on Jalálu'd-Dín Rúmí, diverting his attention from science to Mysticism. A great part of Rúmí's works are dedicated to him. These lines are from the Mathnaví.]
25. [Qur'án 37:180]