Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Paragraph 33

The term "suns" hath many a time been applied in the writings of the "immaculate Souls" unto the Prophets of God, those luminous Emblems of Detachment. Among those writings are the following words recorded in the "Prayer of Nudbih": "Whither are gone the resplendent Suns? Whereunto have departed those shining Moons and sparkling Stars?" Thus, it hath become evident that the terms "sun," "moon," and "stars" primarily signify the Prophets of God, the saints, and their companions, those Luminaries, the light of Whose knowledge hath shed illumination upon the worlds of the visible and the invisible.

This passage could be seen as a simple reminder of what was just said, that the words "Sun", "moon" and "stars" refer to the Manifestations and all the other incredible souls that have helped bring the light of the many Revelations to the world, but, as usual, it is so much more than just that.

Baha'u'llah makes mention of 2 lines from the Prayer of Nudbih. We naturally wanted to know more about this prayer, as we weren't familiar with it. After much searching, we finally found a copy of it here: http://www.duas.org/nudba.htm, along with a beautiful video of a man chanting it.

This prayer is quite fascinating, as it is a lamentation regarding the state of the world at the time, which was some time around 200 years after the passing of Muhammad. This prayer, if you read it, carries you through progressive Revelation, referring to a variety of the Manifestations of God in chronological order, then continues with references to the successorship of Muhammad. Following this, the author, said to be the 12th Imam, asks where the next Messenger is. It is a prayer that, in a sense, sets us up to be ready to receive the Revelation of the Bab.

This is another incredible example of Baha'u'llah using the cultural context of the reader, the Uncle of the Bab, to help prepare his heart to receive this mighty Revelation. As we know, this paragraph still falls under the shadow of the line, "Consider the past." With this reference, Baha'u''llah is pointing to yet another famous work that talks about the progressive nature of religion, and foreshadows the time in which the reader is living. The list of Messengers here is similar to the one Baha'u'llah just used at the beginning of the Iqan.

So while it would be very easy to see this as a simple restatement of what Baha'u'llah said earlier, there is so much more hidden within it if we take a moment to look below the surface.

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