Sunday, February 10, 2008

On Disunity Among the Believers: A Cause of Suffering to Baha'u'llah

Baha'i Ruhi Book 7 Graduation May 2007, uploaded on May 12, 2007 by Alyosha19 on flickr

The circumstance that led Baha'u'llah to ask that the Bab's prayer "The Remover of Difficulties" be recited, as described in Baha'u'llah: A Short Biography by Moojan Momen in a chapter on the Baghdad years, is worthy of note. -gw

Azal...was jealous of the fact that Baha'u'llah was the centre of a growing band of admirers. He therefore began to spread rumours about Baha'u'llah, causing dissension and disunity among the Babis. ...

Mirza Kamalu'd-Din Naraqi...had become a Babi and had come to Baghdad to meet Azal. When Azal refused to meet him, he asked for a commentary of a verse of the Qur'an. He was greatly disappointed at what Azal produced and turned to Baha'u'llah, who produced the Tablet of All-Food.... The production of this tablet and Kamalu'd-Din's enthusiastic reception of it caused great resentment in Azal and he and Isfahani redoubled their efforts to spread false accusations about Baha'u'llah. This resulted in heated exchanges with those who had become fervent admirers of Baha'u'llah.

Baha'u'llah was distraught at this turn of events. In a letter to his cousin Maryam, he wrote: "O Maryam! From the land of Ta [Tehran], after countless afflictions, We reached 'Iraq, at the bidding of the Tyraant of Persia, where, after the fetters of our foes, We were afflicted by the perfidy of Our friends" [GPB, 118]. Mirza Aqa Jan reported that one night, just after dawn, he had seen Baha'u'llah emerge from his house, his night-cap still on his head, showing signs of great perturbation and saying:

“These creatures are the same creatures who for three thousand years have worshipped idols, and bowed down before the Golden Calf. Now, too, they are fit for nothing better. What relation can there be between this people and Him Who is the Countenance of Glory? What ties can bind them to the One Who is the supreme embodiment of all that is lovable?” “I stood,” declared Mírzá Áqá Ján, “rooted to the spot, lifeless, dried up as a dead tree, ready to fall under the impact of the stunning power of His words. Finally, He said: ‘Bid them recite: “Is there any Remover of difficulties save God? Say: Praised be God! He is God! All are His servants, and all abide by His bidding!” Tell them to repeat it five hundred times, nay, a thousand times, by day and by night, sleeping and waking, that haply the Countenance of Glory may be unveiled to their eyes, and tiers of light descend upon them.’ He Himself, I was subsequently informed, recited this same verse, His face betraying the utmost sadness. [GPB, 119]

Momen, Baha'u'llah: A Short Biography (Oneworld), p. 38


child_of_africa said...

hi george,

perhaps you can do a little more research about the origin of the prayer as I believe this prayer was revealed by the Bab for His wife. Mabye Baha'u'llah was suggesting that these believers also make use of it.

George Wesley Dannells said...

Thank you, chil', for catching my error. (Whata was I thinking!) I have made the correction. Thanks, too, to Tim and Deb for their vigilance as well.