54: The letter that you wrote in your burning ...
The letter that you wrote in your burning grief, on the passing of the world's Beloved, the Orb
of the Covenant--wrote with weeping eyes and a
heart afire, has come. Once again, it brings back the
full force of this calamity, and renews our mourning.
This was the most ruinous of disasters, the
most dreaded of ordeals, the most hurtful of misfortunes.
It was an earthquake that shook the pillars of
the world; it caused a tumult and an uproar among
the dwellers of earth and heaven. This terrible
separation came upon us as an inescapable trial and a
dismal decree. It destroyed all hopes of happiness,
and all joy perished. By this departure, the sparkling
stars were dimmed, and the heavens of mystic
meaning split apart. It set the skies on fire, it
scorched the seven spheres. From this departure,
sorrow enveloped all mankind, it brought pain and
tears to all the peoples of the earth. The lightning
bolt of it consumed the world and struck the hearts
of its inhabitants, so that they put on sackcloth and
poured ashes on their heads. This disaster, coming
all unawares, made the morning dark, and turned
bright noon to night. From our breasts rose burning
sighs, and from our eyes streamed our life blood.
Even the Concourse on High moaned and lamented,
and their clamour rose to the highest Heaven, and
the weeping denizens of the pavilions of glory,
striking at their faces, raised their plaintive cries.
Mourning, shedding tears, their garments rent,
their heads uncovered, their feet bare, the Maids of
Heaven hastened out of their lofty, immaculate
chambers, and groaned and cried out.
`Abdu'l-Bahá, may our lives be sacrificed for His
sacred dust, that peerless Beloved of the world,
from the day that Bahá'u'lláh ascended until the
hour of His own spotless soul's departure to the
kingdom of light and the realm beyond, had neither
a quiet night's rest nor a peaceful day, for thirty
years. At all times His heart wept and sorrowed, and
in the dark of the night from His anguished breast
rose burning sighs, sorely wounded as He was by
the arrows of the opposers and the rebellious. Then
at first light, He would lift up His wondrous,
melodious voice and commune with the dwellers in
the high mansions of Heaven.
He would face the storms of tribulation with a
heart full of fervour and love; He would breast the
waves of calamities and oncoming ordeals with
overflowing joy. With the balm of His loving-kindness,
He would remedy unhealing wounds, and
the medicine of His unending grace was a cure for
mortal ills. Through His tenderness and care the
sorrowful found comfort, and through His Words
the despairing received the blissful consolation of
their incomparable Lord. He would hearten the
despised and the rejected with outpourings of grace.
In the pathway of Bahá'u'lláh, He made His
holy breast a shield to bear adversities, made His
beauteous face a target for the blows that rained
upon Him from all sides. He, the Wronged One of
the world, was compassed about by rebel hosts; the
armies of treachery assailed Him from every direction.
The disaffected were not remiss in their cruelty
and aggression; never once did that arrogant crew
fail to spread a calumny or to show their opposition
and their malice. At every moment, they inflicted
wounds upon Him, injured Him, brought fresh
grief to His heart. Their sole aim was to bring down
the structure of the Holy Faith and to destroy its
very base and foundation. They did all in their
power to split the Bahá'í community, and in their
strivings to shatter the union of the believers, they
neglected nothing. They joined hands with every
enemy of the Faith, became boon companions of all
who betrayed it. There was no mischief, no plot, no
slander, no aspersion, that they would not allow
themselves, no individual so vile that they would
not cleave to him.
And thus, with all His own ordeals and cares, and
banished from His home, He Whom the world
wronged devoted Himself to counselling and nurturing
the people with the utmost loving-kindness,
divinely admonishing them, leading and guiding
them at all times to complete and utter steadfastness
in the Cause of God.
From one direction He would ward off the
assaults of the nations, from another He would hold
back the people of hatred from tormenting the
believers. Now He would scatter the waverers'
clouds of doubt, again He would demonstrate the
truth of the clear and manifest Verses, and at all
times and seasons He would guard the Cause of God
with His very life, and protect its Law.
His fundamental purpose in enduring that continual
toil and pain, and bearing those calamities,
was to safeguard the divine and all-embracing
Word, to shelter the tree of unity, to educate persons
of capacity, to refine those who were pure in heart,
and to transform the hearts of the receptive, to
expound the mysteries of God and illumine the
minds of the spiritual.
All praise be to Bahá'u'lláh! The meaning of
those bounties became apparent and the splendour
of those bestowals was made manifest: that conclusive
Text, the Will and Testament of `Abdu'l-Bahá,
was given us, and what had been hidden at the
beginning was made known at the end. His infinite
grace became clearly manifest, and with His own
mighty pen He made a perfect Covenant, naming
Shoghi Effendi the Chosen Branch and Guardian
of the Faith. Thus, by God's bounty, what had been
a concealed mystery and a well-guarded secret, was
at last made plain.
This greatest of bestowals came as a lightning-flash
of glory to the righteous, but to those evil ones
who broke the Covenant, it was the thunderbolt of
God's avenging wrath.