The Dove of Separation

Introduction by Joshua Hall

The following is a short Tablet that Bahá’u’lláh revealed at the time of His departure from Iraq and His exile to Istanbul, as decreed by the Ottoman authorities. This Tablet, howbeit brief, nonetheless touches upon important themes of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation.

The Tablet commences by comforting the recipient in his separation from Bahá’u’lláh, and assuring him that Bahá’u’lláh’s being exiled is in accord with such as is ordained by God. It asserts the transitory nature of earthly dominion, and how those possessed of penetrating insight see through present veils to behold realities whose realization is ineluctable. It elucidates the character of those who have “drunk deep of the love of God”, who sustain hardships for His sake and who regard the very same as the sweetness of the beloved’s kiss. It is here where Bahá’u’lláh expresses in moving language one among His core teachings: that one who trusts in God, who holds His love in their heart and who is steadfast in His Cause, need fear no man, however powerful, nor dread any suffering, however grievous, nor ever doubt the sovereignty of God and the fulfillment of His inevitable decree; such a one , therefore, becomes detached from all save God and independent of all beside Him, taking Him as Lord and Master, Refuge and true Beloved.

Before the close of the Tablet Bahá’u’lláh illustrates a vision of the eventual victory of the Cause of God and warns the iniquitous of the final triumph thereof. In this prophecy, He describes the happy state of those who love God and rejoice in His Revelation. The Tablet could thus be seen as a homily of patience in trials, steadfastness in God’s way, and as balm to the soul sore perplexed. 

The Dove of Separation

Provisional Translation by Joshua Hall

Hearken to what the Dove of separation warbles unto thee upon His departing Iraq. This, verily, is of the Way of God decreed for His Messengers.

Be grieved not by this, but rather trust in God, thy Lord and the Lord of thy fathers before thee. All thou seest of this world’s dominion shall perish, while all true sovereignty shall remain with God. Those given eyes of the spirit have not desired, nor ever shall desire, aught of this world; rather, they behold the secrets of the Cause from behind darksome veils.

O Beloved of God, fear no man and nothing shall grieve you; be, then, among them that are steadfast in the Cause. By God, those who have drunk deep of the love of God, the Almighty, the Most Luminous, fear not any soul, and forbear in tribulations as a lover for the good-pleasure of his friend. Indeed, suffering is sweeter to them than the beloved’s kiss on the lips of those in ardent love.

Say: O concourse of iniquity! The Cause of God shall be exalted in truth, the battle standards of those who took another as their lord beside Him shall be obliterated, and the people shall enter the Faith of God, the King, the Most Exalted, the Eternal. Happy, then, are those who are peerless in their love for God and who are among them that rejoice at the fragrant breezes of holiness. Glory be upon you, O concourse of the divine unity!

Know, then, that thy letter hath come before Us, and that We have answered thee with this Tablet, that the heat of longing may be kindled in thy heart and bring thee to the paradise of a manifest name, that thou mayest be enabled to sever thyself from all sides and to soar in an atmosphere beyond the reach of the wings of them that have failed to enter neath the shadow of the divine countenance and who are verily among the perplexed.

La’áli’ul-Hikma, Volume Three, Passage Two

Leave a Reply