Deny not My servant should he ask anything from thee for his face is My face; be then abashed before Me.

Hidden Words, From the Arabic #30

Daily “after” dawn devotionals - where we reflect on a passage from the Hidden Words each morning before prayers. #loving the Hamilton Baha’i Community

Ascribe not to any soul that which that thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee, and say not that which thou doest not. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it.
Hidden Words (from the Arabic#29)

The Hidden Words was known as the “Hidden Book of Fatimih,” (Sahífiyyih-Maknúniyh-Fatimiyyih) until around the mid-1860s, at which time it came to be referred to simply as the “Hidden Words.” In the Lawh-i-Sultán (Tablet to the King of Persia), from 1867, Bahá’u’lláh quotes four Persian Hidden Words and states that these are from a work which “was” known as “Sahífiyyih-Maknúniyh-Fatimiyyih” but “these days” is called “Kalimát-i-Maknúnih” (Hidden Words).

For many reasons which are beyond the scope of this note, Shiism has long held strong beliefs in two layers of meaning in Sacred Writings, the “exoteric” (zahir) and the “esoteric” or “hidden” (batin). The former are the outer essentials of religion and theological explanations for the masses, and especially the non-Shii Muslims. The “hidden” teachings are those only known to the truest Muslims, the Shiis and especially the Shii Imáms. (Much discussion of this can be found in _The Divine Guide in Early Shi’ism_, by Mohammad Alí Amir-Moezzi, and also in a paper I wrote, “The Shi’i Qur’an,” online at Bahái-library.org/personal/jw/my.papers/.) This, then, is one possible meaning of “hidden,” the fact that Bahá’u’lláh is now revealing teachings which previously had been reserved for the spiritual elite.

The academic consensus, supported even by much Shi’i consensus, is that the Book of Fatimih is mythical; even ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said that it did not really exist. As a myth, however, its history and meaning was clear. The sixth Imám of Shiism, Ja’far al-Sadiq, relates that, when Muhammad’s daughter Fatimih — the wife of the first Imám Alí and mother of Imám Husayn — was grieving Muhammad’s death, an angel visited her with words of comfort. This angel is often said to be Gabriel and, since Gabriel was the bearer of the annunciation to Mary, mother of Jesus, and to Muhammad, he represents divine revelation and the Book of Fatimih would thus have come from God. Fatimih mentioned this to Ali, who advised that she record everything Gabriel told her (or, in some versions, wrote it down himself). The resulting Book of Fatimih is unlike the Qur’an in that it contained more mystical and prophetic teachings, and was said to be 17,000 verses, almost three times the size of the Qur’an. The subsequent Imáms were the only ones who had possession of the book and, by extension, anyone who had the book was the Imám (this is important). In 874, though, the last Imám disappeared and became “occulted,” or “hidden.” Within a short time, Shiis (“Twelver” Shiis only) began to believe that the Hidden Imám would one day return as the “Qa’im,” or “Mahdi,” and bring the Day of Judgment and the end of time. When he came, one of the proofs he would have of his identity would be that he would possess the hidden Book of Fatimih. As well, he would prove his authority by revealing the hidden, secret meanings of all previous religious texts.

re: the Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah

notes by Jonah Winters

Upon the tree of effulgent glory I have hung for thee the choicest fruits, wherefore hast thou turned away and contented thyself with that which is less good? Return then unto that which is better for thee in the realm on high.
Baha’u’llah (Baha’i Writings; Hidden Words - from the Arabic #21)
…We must strive unceasingly and without rest to accomplish the development of the spiritual nature in man, and endeavour with tireless energy to advance humanity toward the nobility of its true and intended station. For the body of man is accidental; it is of no importance. The time of its disintegration will inevitably come. But the spirit of man is essential and therefore eternal. It is a divine bounty. It is the effulgence of the Sun of Reality and therefore of greater importance than the physical body.
'Abdu'l-Baha (Baha'i Writings)
Not ours, however, to unriddle the workings of
a distant future, or to dwell upon the promised
glories of a God-impelled and unimaginably potent
Revelation. Ours, rather, the task to cast our
eyes upon, and bend our energies to meet, the
challenging requirements of the present hour.
Shoghi Effendi (Baha’i Writings)
O Thou Pure and Omnipotent God! O Thou my kind Lord! Grant me such power as to enable me to withstand the onslaught of the peoples and kindreds of the world, and give me such might as to cause the waves of my endeavours, like unto the Pacific Ocean, to reach the shores of both East and West.
'Abdu'l-Baha (Baha'i Prayers)
If long-cherished ideals and time-honoured institutions, if certain social assumptions and religious formulae have ceased to promote the welfare of the generality of mankind, if they no longer minister to the needs of a continually evolving humanity, let them be swept away and relegated to the limbo of obsolescent and forgotten doctrines. Why should these, in a world subject to the immutable law of change and decay, be exempt from the deterioration that must needs overtake every human institution? For legal standards, political and economic theories are solely designed to safeguard the interests of humanity as a whole, and not humanity to be crucified for the preservation of the integrity of any particular law or doctrine.
Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 170. (via littlemissconceptions)