Surih of Counsel
The Surih of Counsel (Súriy-i-Nush in Arabic) was revealed in Baghdád in honour of Siyyid Ja'far-i-Yazdí, a distinguished divine and a man highly esteemed by the inhabitants of Yazd.
It was on the occasion of Vahíd's† visit to that city for the purpose of teaching the Cause that he embraced the Bábí Faith. Soon afterwards a wave of persecutions compelled Vahíd and Siyyid Ja'far, together with some other believers, to leave Yazd and go to Nayríz in the province of Fárs.
Having enjoyed great prestige as a divine and being endowed with a wonderful power of exposition, Siyyid Ja'far, under the direction of Vahíd, began to teach the Cause publicly in Nayríz. It was not long before a great multitude joined the Faith. This in turn provoked bitter opposition from government authorities and ecclesiastics. A great upheaval followed resulting in the martyrdom of many, including Vahíd himself.
Although the Súriy-i-Nush was revealed before His declaration, nevertheless Bahá'u'lláh has left no doubt as to His own station. For throughout this Tablet He identifies Himself with God and speaks as His mouthpiece. He describes the appearance of the Prophets from Adam to the Báb, proclaims Their divine origin, depicts the life, character and mission of Each, demonstrates that in every age They were denounced and fiercely opposed by the priests and religious leaders, portrays Their suffering and persecution at the hands of the people and speaks of Their ultimate victory over Their adversaries.
Anticipating His own declaration, Bahá'u'lláh in this Tablet counsels the learned men of the Bábí community not to rely on their knowledge. He urges them to cleanse their hearts so that when the appointed hour comes and the beauty of the Promised One is unveiled they may be enabled to recognize Him and embrace His Cause.
- Excerpt edited from the Revelation of Baha'u'llah Volume 1 by Adib Taherzadeh
Excerpt from the Súriy-i-Nuṣḥ - Súrih of Counsel
This excerpt is read by many Baha'is on the anniversary of the Martyrdom of the Bab.
Announce unto My servants the advent of the One Who came unto them with the power of truth bearing the name of ‘Alí, Who dawned above the horizon of holiness with the splendours of a cherished glory, and from Whose right hand flowed the crystal streams of the spirit, laying bare the wonders of a hidden knowledge.
“O people!” He declared, “The clouds of wisdom have been lifted and God hath revealed His Cause. This is that which ye were promised in all the Scriptures. Fear ye God and hasten unto Me. I am, O people, a scion of your Prophet. I have brought unto you verses that bewilder the minds of them that perceive, and this is but a token of God’s proof and testimony. Deny them not at the prompting of your idle fancies, and be fair in your judgement. They verily proceed from the religion of God that hath been sent down unto you through the power of truth, would that ye might believe!
“I swear by God, O people! I wish only to rid your religions of all that hath in this day become the cause of contention. These verses, O people, are the breezes of the spirit that are wafting over you and would transmute your mortal condition into eternal life, could ye but fix your gaze upon them. O people! The tree of knowledge hath yielded its fruit upon this everlasting Lote-Tree; the Primal Point hath been unfolded; and the Word of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, hath been fulfilled. O people! The beauty of His countenance hath been revealed, the veils have been parted, the Nightingale hath warbled its melody, the Mount of holiness hath been made resplendent, and all who are in the heavens and on the earth have been illumined, could ye but see with the eye of the spirit!”
But the people made reply, saying: “We deem Thee a speaker of falsehood; nor do we discern in Thine acts that which we had been promised in the books of our forefathers. Never would we follow Thee, even wert Thou to produce for us all the signs of the world.”
“O concourse of men!” He declared, “Fear ye God and consider that which He hath ordained to be His immutable proof and abiding testimony unto all that dwell in the heavens and on the earth, did ye but know it. O people! The truth of all that ye have been awaiting, and all that ye have heard from your forefathers and your divines, is established only through these verses. And these, verily, are the verses of holiness that have been vouchsafed unto all who are in the heavens and on the earth, even as ye yourselves can behold.
“If ye believe not in these verses, how then can ye be assured of the truth of your own religion in this day or establish it in the eyes of others? The day is fast approaching when the world and all that it containeth will have perished, and when ye shall stand in the holy court of His presence. Take heed, O people, lest ye be swayed by the elaborate pronouncements of your divines or misconceive the truth of the matter. Hearken unto My counsels and repudiate not the exhortations of God.”
The more He extolled the remembrance of God, the greater they waxed in their oppression, until all the divines pronounced sentence against Him, save those that were acquainted with the precepts of God, the All-Glorious, the Best-Beloved. Matters came to such a pass that they united to put Him to death. They suspended Him in the air, and the hosts of misbelief flung at Him the bullets of malice and hatred, piercing the body of the One unto Whom the Holy Spirit is a humble servant, the dust of Whose feet is the object of adoration of the Concourse on high, and from Whose very sandals the inmates of Paradise seek a blessing. Whereupon the inhabitants of the unseen realm wept sore beneath the pavilion of eternity, the pillars of the Throne trembled, the inmost realities of all things were stirred into commotion, and the divine Tree received its full measure of His gleaming blood which was shed upon the earth.
Erelong will God reveal the mystery of this Tree, make it to flourish through the power of truth, and cause it to intone: “Verily I am God, there is none other God but Him. All are My servants whom We have created to carry out My bidding, and by My bidding they all, verily, abide.”
This, in truth, is that which We pledged Ourself aforetime to accomplish: to show favour unto those who were brought low in the land and to humble them that have waxed proud. At no time did We send an Apostle, a Prophet, or a Vicegerent whom these wicked souls did not oppose, even as ye witness how these workers of iniquity are raising objections in this day.
Nor have the people ever rejected the truth except after their divines rejected it, and swelled with pride before God, and sought to dispute His verses. Thus did the rejection of the leaders give rise to the rejection of those who followed them in their selfish desires. None among these divines ever bore allegiance unto the new Revelation, save for those who could gaze with the eye of holiness, whose hearts God had tested and proved true for His recognition, to whom He hath given to drink from that chalice of holiness sealed with the musk of the spirit, and who were intoxicated by the wine of certitude which they had quaffed from that chalice. These, verily, are they whom the angels of Paradise will glorify in the garden of eternity and who will delight at every moment in a joy and gladness born of God.
No Prophet have We ever raised up except that He was repudiated by the divines whilst they prided themselves in their learning, even as they do in this day. Say: O concourse of divines! Do ye worship the Calf and abandon the One Who hath created you and taught you that which ye knew not?
O people of the earth! Ponder the state of these workers of iniquity, what they have wrought in the past, and what they pursue in this day. Say: If He Who hath come unto you with clear verses be not the True One from God, even as ye proclaim this day from your seats of worldly honour, then by what proof can ye establish the truth of Muḥammad, Whom we sent aforetime? Be fair in your judgement, O concourse of ill-wishers!