Were the verse “And verily Our host shall conquer” to be literally interpreted, it is evident that it would in no wise be applicable to the chosen Ones of God and His hosts, inasmuch as Husayn, whose heroism was manifest as the sun, crushed and subjugated, quaffed at last the cup of martyrdom in Karbilá, the land of Táff. Similarly, the sacred verse “Fain would they put out God’s light with their mouths: But God hath willed to perfect His light, albeit the infidels abhor it.” Were it to be literally interpreted it would never correspond with the truth. For in every age the light of God hath, to outward seeming, been quenched by the peoples of the earth, and the Lamps of God extinguished by them. How then could the ascendancy of the sovereignty of these Lamps be explained? What could the potency of God’s will to “perfect His light” signify? As hath already been witnessed, so great was the enmity of the infidels, that none of these divine Luminaries ever found a place for shelter, or tasted of the cup of tranquillity. So heavily were they oppressed, that the least of men inflicted upon these Essences of being whatsoever he listed. These sufferings have been observed and measured by the people. How, therefore, can such people be capable of understanding and expounding these words of God, these verses of everlasting glory?
This paragraph is the second of six that talks about the Imam Husayn. It's interesting because it continue the discussion about sovereignty, and how it isn't the literal sovereignty that many people thought.
One question we could ask is why Baha'u'llah is spending so much time talking about the Imam Husayn. A possible answer we could give would be that Baha'u'llah is seen as his return, but we think there is a far more plausible answer: He is writing this for the uncle of the Bab. This uncle, as you well know by now, was a devout Shi'ite Muslim. He revered the Imam Husayn and saw him as a paragon of virtue. He was, and still is, held in the highest regard by the Shi'ites. If He were talking to a Catholic, you can well imagine that He would have used Saint Peter as His example. If He were speaking to a Jew, He might have used Aaron as His example. We don't know, but we can presume that He would have used someone that they would highly regard.
On the surface we can see this as a rebuttal of how we traditionally interpret Scripture, namely the awaiting of a literal fulfillment of these prophecies, but really, Baha'u'llah already does this so well that we don't feel we need to go into it any further.
Instead, what we want to consider is how Bah'u'llah does this. Remember, this incredible text can be seen as a model for how we are to teach the Faith.
The main problem here is that the question the uncle asked had to do with a presumptive understanding that the sovereignty spoken of in the Qur'an had to be an earthly, literal sovereignty. Baha'u'llah has to correct him of this misunderstanding before He can go on.
To do this, He is looking at a few quotes that the uncle would have been familiar with, and is showing how they cannot possibly be seen as literal.
Back in paragraph 134, He chose three quotes, and is now repeating two of them. He is not taking new quotes, but using the ones He just quoted. He is even quoting them again in the same order He previously used. This undoubtedly makes it easier for the uncle to follow.
He is also alluding to the Bab, when He says "in every age the light of God hath, to outward seeming, been quenched..." After all, this was another one of the points that confused the uncle. If the Bab really was a Manifestation, how is it that, at the time of this writing, His Faith seemed to be on the verge of extinction?
So really, this applies to us, too. After all, when Husayn was martyred, it looked as if the Shi'ite line was going to go extinct. When Baha'u'llah wrote this book, it seemed as if the Babi Faith was also on the verge of extinction. Both of them, though, were kept alive and vibrant by those followers who kept their eye on the teachings, and continued to spread their beliefs. They survived because the staunch followers were not down-heartened by their seeming lack of success. They were not dismayed by the loss of a few leaves on the tree of their faith, but recognized that this is just a natural part of the growth cycle.
Similarly, we, too, can continue to look forward, seeing the signs of growth where they appear, and continue to work towards the spread of this religion of ours. We may notice various setbacks at times, but can trust that, like the religions of the past, we will grow past them.
After all, remember what Baha'u'llah has continually told us throughout this book? "Consider the past." Isn't that what He is doing? When we consider the past, and reflect on what we already know, we will clearly see that their interpretation does not conform with what we know has happened in history.