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Baha'u'llah in The City of Tihrán

House of Baha'u'llah Tihran
House of Baha'u'llah in Tihran

During His forty years of exile Bahá'u'lláh often turned His thoughts to Tihrán and recalled the momentous events associated with the dawning-place of His Revelation. Many of His Tablets extol the city of Tihrán, calling it the 'Land of Tá' and referring to it as the 'mother of the world', the 'Day-spring of the Cause of God', the 'fountain of His Revelation', the 'holy and shining city', the 'Abode of supreme blissfulness', the 'land of resplendent glory' and the 'source of the joy of all mankind'.

In the Kitáb-i-Aqdas Bahá'u'lláh has written these assuring words:

Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Tá (Tihrán), for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind. He shall, if it be His Will, bless thy throne with one who will rule with justice, who will gather together the flock of God which the wolves have scattered. Such a ruler will, with joy and gladness, turn his face towards, and extend his favours unto, the people of Bahá. He indeed is accounted in the sight of God as a jewel among men. Upon him rest forever the glory of God, and the glory of all that dwell in the kingdom of His revelation.
Rejoice with great joy, for God hath made thee 'the Dayspring of His light', inasmuch as within thee was born the Manifestation of His Glory. Be thou glad for this name that hath been conferred upon thee--a name through which the Day-star of grace hath shed its splendour, through which both earth and heaven have been illumined.
Ere long will the state of affairs within thee be changed, and the reins of power fall into the hands of the people. Verily, thy Lord is the All-Knowing. His authority embraceth all things. Rest thou assured in the gracious favour of thy Lord. The eye of His loving-kindness shall everlastingly be directed towards thee. The day is approaching when thy agitation will have been transmuted into peace and quiet calm. Thus hath it been decreed in the wondrous Book.

The significance of the verse, 'Be thou glad for this name that hath been conferred upon thee--a name through which the Day-star of grace hath shed its splendour, through which both earth and heaven have been illumined', is that, numerically, 'Tá' (the first letter of Tihrán) is equal to nine, which is the numerical value of Bahá, the greatest Name of God, and this in the sight of God is a great distinction. In fact Bahá'u'lláh in one of His Tablets has referred to the letter T as the king of letters. To appreciate this, however, some basic knowledge of Arabic is necessary. It is a language vast in its vocabulary and expressive in its terms, and because each letter of its alphabet has a numerical value, it is possible to express numbers in words and vice versa. Literature has been enriched by scholars and writers employing this technique. Although its origin is in the Arabic language, this art has also been used extensively in Persian. It is often considered more eloquent in these two languages to use words instead of numbers. For instance, Nabíl-i-A'zam, the famous chronicler and poet, on the occasion of the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh wrote a most moving elegy which he concluded with a verse signifying the year of His passing: 'The Lord has departed from this world'. By adding the numerical value of all the letters in this Arabic verse, the year 1309 A.H. (A.D. 1892) is obtained. This use of words is more expressive than merely giving a number. Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb have both used this art in Their Writings, not only to elucidate many prophecies of the Qur'án and the hadíth* which had hitherto remained obscure and undisclosed, but also to express some deeper meaning of a name, word or number.

To a follower who had attained His presence in 'Akká and was to visit Tihrán on his return, Bahá'u'lláh addressed a Tablet which reveals how much He cherished the city of His birth. In this Tablet He says:

As soon as thine eyes behold from afar My native city (Tihrán), stand thou and say: 'I am come to thee out of the prison, O Land of Tá, with tidings from God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. I announce unto thee, O mother of the world and fountain of light unto all its peoples, the tender mercies of thy Lord, and greet thee in the name of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, the Knower of things unseen. I testify that within thee He Who is the Hidden Name was revealed, and the Unseen Treasure uncovered. Through thee the secret of all things, be they of the past or of the future, hath been unfolded...'

In another Tablet the following words have been revealed in honour of the city:

Call thou to remembrance, O Land of Tá (Tihrán), the former days in which thy Lord had made thee the seat of His throne, and had enveloped thee with the effulgence of His glory. How vast the number of those sanctified beings, those symbols of certitude, who, in their great love for thee, have laid down their lives and sacrificed their all for thy sake! Joy be to thee, and blissfulness to them that inhabit thee. I testify that out of thee, as every discerning heart knoweth, proceedeth the living breath of Him Who is the Desire of the world. In thee the Unseen hath been revealed, and out of thee hath gone forth that which lay hid from the eyes of men. Which one of the multitude of thy sincere lovers shall We remember, whose blood hath been shed within thy gates, and whose dust is now concealed beneath thy soil? The sweet savours of God have unceasingly been wafted, and shall everlastingly continue to be wafted upon thee. Our Pen is moved to commemorate thee, and to extol the victims of tyranny, those men and women that sleep beneath thy dust.
Among them is Our own sister, whom We now call to mind as a token of Our fidelity, and as proof of Our loving-kindness, unto her. How piteous was her plight! In what a state of resignation she returned to her God! We, alone, in Our all-encompassing knowledge, have known it...

* Hadíth or 'the traditions' are the sayings of Muhammad or the Imáms (successors of Muhammad), recorded by those who themselves claimed to have heard them either directly or indirectly.

Excerpt from the Revelation of Baha'u'llah by Adib Taherzadeh



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