Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Day of Resurrection


During the last days of June through the first days of July in 1848 in the hamlet of Badasht outside of Teheran 81 followers of the Bab gathered for a conference that lasted for 22 days.
The Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, Shoghi Effendi describes the conference as follows:


In the hamlet of Badasht the Dispensation which His Faith had ushered in had been fearlessly inaugurated by the champions of His Cause. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 157)


A conference of His disciples, headed by Bahá'u'lláh, had, in the hamlet of Badasht, abrogated in dramatic circumstances the laws of the Islamic, and ushered in the new, Dispensation. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 403)


Until the conference of Badasht all Babis had followed Islamic Law and tradition. Henceforth they followed the laws of the new Manifestation of God for that Day the Bab. The Babis made a final break with Islam .


The scene of such a challenging and far-reaching proclamation was the hamlet of Badasht, where Bahá'u'lláh had rented, amidst pleasant surroundings, three gardens, one of which He assigned to Quddus, another to Tahirih, whilst the third He reserved for Himself. The eighty-one disciples who had gathered from various provinces were His guests from the day of their arrival to the day they dispersed. On each of the twenty-two days of His sojourn in that hamlet He revealed a Tablet, which was chanted in the presence of the assembled believers. On every believer He conferred a new name, without, however, disclosing the identity of the one who had bestowed it. He Himself was henceforth designated by the name Baha. Upon the Last Letter of the Living was conferred the appellation of Quddus, while Qurratu'l-'Ayn was given the title of Tahirih. By these names they were all subsequently addressed by the Báb in the Tablets He revealed for each one of them. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 31)


So note that there were three gardens – and the key person in each was Quddus, – which means Holy, Tahirih – The Pure One and Baha’u’llah – The Glory of God. I will return to this at the end of this article.


On one of the days:
Tahirih, regarded as the fair and spotless emblem of chastity and the incarnation of the holy Fatimih, appeared suddenly, adorned yet unveiled, before the assembled companions, seated herself on the right-hand of the affrighted and infuriated Quddus, and, tearing through her fiery words the veils guarding the sanctity of the ordinances of Islam, sounded the clarion-call, and proclaimed the inauguration, of a new Dispensation.


The effect was electric and instantaneous. She, of such stainless purity, so reverenced that even to gaze at her shadow was deemed an improper act, appeared for a moment, in the eyes of her scandalized beholders, to have defamed herself, shamed the Faith she had espoused, and sullied the immortal Countenance she symbolized. Fear, anger, bewilderment, swept their inmost souls, and stunned their faculties. Abdu'l-Khaliq-i-Isfahani, aghast and deranged at such a sight, cut his throat with his own hands. Spattered with blood, and frantic with excitement, he fled away from her face. A few, abandoning their companions, renounced their Faith.


Others stood mute and transfixed before her. Still others must have recalled with throbbing hearts the Islamic tradition foreshadowing the appearance of Fatimih herself unveiled while crossing the Bridge (Sirat) on the promised Day of Judgment. Quddus, mute with rage, seemed to be only waiting for the moment when he could strike her down with the sword he happened to be then holding in his hand. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 31)


These are the words that Tahirih was reported to have said..


As she entered Baha’u’llah’s garden:


and as she came, she shouted aloud these words: "The Trumpet is sounding! The great Trump is blown! The universal Advent is now proclaimed!"[1]
[1 Cf. Qur'án 74:8 and 6:73. Also Isaiah 27:13 and Zechariah 9:14.](Abdu'l-Baha, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 201)


When she stood unveiled and addressed the meeting:


Undeterred, unruffled, exultant with joy, Tahirih arose, and, without the least premeditation and in a language strikingly resembling that of the Qur'án, delivered a fervid and eloquent appeal to the remnant of the assembly, ending it with this bold assertion: "I am the Word which the Qá'im is to utter, the Word which shall put to flight the chiefs and nobles of the earth!" Thereupon, she invited them to embrace each other and celebrate so great an occasion. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 31)


The Conference was shaken by this bold display for several days before:


Bahá'u'lláh had the fifty-sixth surih of the Qur'án, 'al-Waqi'ah' ('The Event', or 'The Terror' in the translation of A. J. Arberry), read to that assemblage, and when their minds comprehended the meaning and the allusions and the purport of those verses of the Qur'án they understood that indeed the Day of Resurrection had overtaken them:

When the Terror descends
(and none denies its descending)
abasing, exalting,
when the earth shall be rocked
and the mountains crumbled
and become a dust scattered,
and you shall be three bands-
Companions of the Right (O Companions of the Right!)
Companions of the Left (O Companions of the Left!)
and the Outstrippers: the Outstrippers
those are they brought nigh the Throne,
in the Gardens of Delight
(a throng of the ancients
and how few of the later folk)
upon close-wrought couches
reclining upon them, set face to face,
immortal youths going round about them
with goblets, and ewers, and a cup from a spring
(no brows throbbing, no intoxication)
and such fruits as they shall choose,
and such flesh of fowl as they desire,
and wide-eyed hour is
as the likeness of hidden pearls,
a recompense for that they laboured.
Therein they shall hear no idle talk, no cause of sin,
only the saying 'Peace, Peace!'

(H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 45)


The Resurrection took place in the midst of the 3 bands gathered in the 3 Gardens just as foretold in the Quran!

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