Baha'u'llah's lament for the Bab

Dear all,

To commemorate the martyrdom of the Bab, I have recorded Baha'u'llah's lament for the Bab in his Tablet of Sorrows. Because it is a provisional translation, it isn't well known by the Baha'is, but it is a perfect reading for this holy day.

A couple of things that I think are magical about this passage are the way Baha'u'llah channels the Bab's lament for Baha'u'llah. Baha'u'llah quotes what the Bab says from the next world about Baha'u'llah's sufferings. After that, the Ancient Beauty tells Baha'u'llah to stop lamenting because it's causing all creation to mourn. So Baha'u'llah goes back to discussing his original topic. It seems to me that this is Baha'u'llah's transcendent spirit (the Holy Spirit) speaking to his human spirit or rational soul. (For details on the difference between these two, see Some Answered Questions, chapter 38.)

Listen to the reading here:



The music is by Kevin MacLeod and is taken from the site, which contains royalty-free music. The file used here is loss.mp3, which is found in the New Age Piano section.

If you click on the " read more" link, you'll find the text of the reading and the link to the tablet.

Text of the reading

"Now that We have arrived at the mention of this blessed, inaccessible, exalted and hallowed Name, which was wondrous in very truth, two powerful emotions have invaded My breast. I behold My heart ablaze with the flames of sorrow over what befell the Beauty of the All-Merciful at the hands of the people of the Qur'an. It is as if My entire frame is aflame at this moment with a fire that, if it had its way, would consume all who are in this mortal realm. God is to this My witness. Likewise, I see that my eyes are weeping--nay, all My members, to the extent that teardrops are streaming from each hair of My head, at the calamities rained down upon Him by the wicked, who slew God and knew Him not. At a time when they were taking pride in one of His names, they suspended Him in the air and riddled Him with the bullets of their malice.

Would that the universe had never been created, the world never brought into being, no Prophet sent nor any Messenger dispatched, no Cause established among God's servants, no name of God manifested between the heavens and the earth, no scriptures, Books, Psalms, Tablets or Writings revealed--and that the Ancient Beauty had never been afflicted among the sinful, nor suffered at the hands of those who openly proclaimed their unbelief and perpetrated what no one in all the worlds had ever perpetrated. By God, the Eternal Truth! O `Ali, if thou gazest at all My limbs and members, at My heart and My breast, thou wilt find the marks of the bullets that struck the Temple of God! Alas, alas, thus hath the Revealer of verses been prevented from sending them down, this Ocean been prevented from surging, this Lote-tree from bearing fruit, this Sun from shining, and these heavens from rising high. Thus hath the matter been ordained at this time.

Would that I were as nothing, that My mother had never borne Me, and that I had never heard what befell Him at the hands of those who worshipped Names and slew their Revealer, Creator, Fashioner and Sender. Woe be unto them, inasmuch as they followed the prompting of their passions, and committed that which caused the Maids of Heaven to swoon in their chambers. Then the Spirit's face was soiled in the dust because of what those wolves wrought toward the Lord of lords. Thus, all things weep at the tears I shed for Him, and all lament at My wailing for My separation from Him. I have reached the point in My bereavement where the hymns of everlasting life will never be sung by My lips, nor will the spiritual breezes waft from My heart, and were it not for the invulnerability of My soul My mortal frame would have been cleft in two and I would have been annihilated.

Behold, the Manifestation (the Bab) Who preceded Me doth weep, and addresseth thee, saying, "O`Ali, by God, the Eternal Truth! If thou wilt but look upon My heart and My breast, upon what is concealed within Me and what is manifest, upon My internal state and My outward condition, thou wilt discover scars from the darts of rancor that struck My later Manifestation. By My Name, the All-Glorious! Thus do I bewail, and all who are in the Concourse on High mourn at My weeping for Him. I groan, and all who are in the canopies of Names lament. I cry aloud, and the denizens of the cities of eternity break into tears at My grief for this Wronged One, Who hath fallen among the people of the Bayan. By God, they have done to Him what the community of the Qur'an never perpetrated against Me. Alas, alas for what hath befallen Him at their hands! Then did all beings whether in the mortal realm or in the kingdom of heaven, fall distraught upon the earth at what had overtaken that Beauty, Who was seated upon the throne of nearness to God. Woe unto them and what their hands wrought at morn and eve!"

Behold, the Ancient Beauty crieth: O Pen of the Most High, change the subject of Thy discourse from this mournful theme that hath saddened all contingent beings and everything that can be said to exist. Make mention of aught else, and show mercy to the people of the Concourse on High. By God, the Eternal Truth, the Throne in all its grandeur hath well nigh collapsed, as hath the Seat in its loftiness.

When We heard this call, We ceased our recounting of sorrows and returned to Our previous theme, that thou mightest be informed thereof."

Baha'u'llah: Surah of Sorrows

Translated by Juan Cole