By the righteousness of God! But for the anthem of praise voiced by Him Who heralded the divine Revelation, this Wronged One would never have breathed a word which might have struck terror into the hearts of the ignorant and caused them to perish. Dwelling on the glorification of Him Whom God shall make manifest -- exalted be His Manifestation -- the Báb in the beginning of the Bayán saith: 'He is the One Who shall proclaim under all conditions,"Verily, verily, I am God, no God is there but Me, the Lord of all created things. In truth all others except Me are My creatures. O, My creatures! Me alone do ye worship."' Likewise in another instance He, magnifying the Name of Him Who shall be made manifest, saith: 'I would be the first to adore Him.' Now it behoveth one to reflect upon the significance of the 'Adorer' and the 'Adored One’ that perchance the people of the earth may partake of a dewdrop from the ocean of divine knowledge and may be enabled to perceive the greatness of this Revelation. Verily, He hath appeared and hath unloosed His tongue to proclaim the Truth. Well is it with him who doth acknowledge and recognizethe truth, and woe betide the forward and the wayward.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 53)
"Verily I say! No one hath apprehended the root of this Cause. It is incumbent upon everyone, in this day, to perceive with the eye of God, and to hearken with His ear. Whoso beholdeth Me with an eye besides Mine own will never be able to know Me. None among the Manifestations of old, except to a prescribed degree, hath ever completely apprehended the nature of this Revelation." "I testify before God to the greatness, the inconceivable greatness of this Revelation. Again and again have We, in most of Our Tablets, borne witness to this truth, that mankind may be roused from its heedlessness." "How great is the Cause, how staggering the weight of its Message!" "In this most mighty Revelation all the Dispensations of the past have attained their highest, their final consummation." "That which hath been made manifest in this preeminent, this most exalted Revelation, stands unparalleled in the annals of the past, nor will future ages witness its like." "The purpose underlying all creation is the revelation of this most sublime, this most holy Day, the Day known as the Day of God, in His Books and Scriptures -- the Day which all the Prophets, and the Chosen Ones, and the holy ones, have wished to witness." "The highest essence and most perfect expression of whatsoever the peoples of old have either said or written hath, through this most potent Revelation, been sent down from the heaven of the Will of the All-Possessing, the Ever-Abiding God."
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 76)
"This is the Day whereon human ears have been privileged to hear what He Who conversed with God [Moses] heard upon Sinai, what He Who is the Friend of God [Muhammad] heard when lifted up towards Him, what He Who is the Spirit of God [Jesus] heard as He ascended unto Him, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting." "This Day is God's Day, and this Cause His Cause. Happy is he who hath renounced this world, and clung to Him Who is the Dayspring of God's Revelation." "This is the King of Days, the Day that hath seen the coming of the Best Beloved, He Who through all eternity hath been acclaimed the Desire of the World." "This is the Chief of all days and the King thereof. Great is the blessedness of him who hath attained, through the sweet savor of these days, unto everlasting life, and who, with the most great steadfastness, hath arisen to aid the Cause of Him Who is the King of Names. Such a man is as the eye to the body of mankind."
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 77)
His blessed person appeared in the form of a human being, but His very movements, His manners, His way of sitting or standing, eating or drinking, even His sleep or wakefulness, were each a miracle to me. Because His perfections, His exalted character, His beauty, His glory, His most excellent titles and most august attributes revealed to me that He was peerless and without parallel. He was matchless with no one to join partners with Him, unique with no peer or equal, the One and Single without a deputy . . . I saw a Person Who, from the human point of view, was like the rest of humanity. However, if one were to add the love, mercy and compassion of all the peoples of the world together, they would appear as a drop when compared with the ocean of His tender mercy and loving-kindness. I even seek God's forgiveness for making such a comparison. Similarly, if one brought together all the knowledge of science, crafts, philosophy, politics, natural history and divinity possessed by mankind, it would seem, in comparison with His knowledge and understanding, as an atom compared to the sun. If one weighed the might and power of kings, rulers, Prophets and Messengers against His omnipotence and sovereignty, His grandeur and glory, His majesty and dominion, they would be as insignificant as a touch of moisture compared with the waters of the sea . . . As I observed every one of His attributes, I discovered my inability to emulate Him, and realized that all the peoples of the world will never be able to attain to His perfections.
-Haji Mirza Haydar-'Ali, as described his own observations of Bahá'u'lláh
(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah v 4, p. 135)
"Every Prophet hath announced the coming of this Day, -- a revelation which, no sooner had it been revealed than allcreated things cried out saying, 'The earth is God's, the Most Exalted, the Most Great!'" "The Day of the Promise is come, and He Who is the Promised One loudly proclaimeth before all who are in heaven and all who are on earth, 'Verily there is none other God but He, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting!' I swear by God! That which had been enshrined from eternity in the knowledge of God, the Knower of the seen and unseen, is revealed. Happy is the eye that seeth, and the face that turneth towards, the Countenance of God, the Lord of all being."
"Peerless is this Day, for it is as the eye to past ages and centuries, and as a light unto the darkness of the times.""This Day is different from other days, and this Cause different from other causes. Entreat ye the one true God that He may deprive not the eyes of men from beholding His signs, nor their ears from hearkening unto the shrill voice of the Pen of Glory." "These days are God's days, a moment of which ages and centuries can never rival. An atom, in these days, is as the sun, a drop as the ocean. One single breath exhaled in the love of God and for His service is written down by the Pen of Glory as a princely deed. Were the virtues of this Day to be recounted, all would be thunderstruck, except those whom thy Lord hath exempted." "By the righteousness of God! These are the days in which God hath proved the hearts of the entire company of His Messengers and Prophets, and beyond them those that stand guard over His sacred and inviolable Sanctuary, the inmates of the celestial Pavilion and dwellers of the Tabernacle of Glory."
(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 78)
GOD testifieth that there is none other God but Him and that He Who hath appeared is the Hidden Mystery, theTreasured Symbol, the Most Great Book for all peoples, and the Heaven of bounty for the whole world. He is the Most Mighty Sign amongst men and the Dayspring of the most august attributes in the realm of creation. Through Him hath appeared that which had been hidden from time immemorial and been veiled from the eyes of men. He is the One Whose Manifestation was announced by the heavenly Scriptures, in former times and more recently. Whoso acknowledgeth belief in Him and in His signs and testimonies hath in truth acknowledged that which the Tongue of Grandeur uttered ere the creation of earth and heaven and the revelation of the Kingdom of Names. Through Him the ocean of knowledge hath surged amidst mankind and the river of divine wisdom hath gushed out at the behest of God, the Lord of Days.
(Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 47)
The mother of the Blessed Beauty was so enthralled with Him that she could not contain her amazement at His behavior. “This child never cries,” she would say. “He is so unlike other babies who cry and scream and are forever restless while in the nursing stage…”
The Blessed Perfection, Baha’u’llah, belonged to the nobility of Persia. From earliest childhood He was distinguished among His relatives and friends. They said, “This child has extraordinary power.” In wisdom, intelligence and as a source of new knowledge, He was advanced beyond His age and superior to His surroundings. All who knew Him were astonished at His precocity. It was usual for them to say, “Such a child will not live,” for it is commonly believed that precocious children do not reach maturity. During the period of youth the Blessed Perfection did not enter school. He was not willing to be taught. This fact is well established among the Persians of Tehran. Nevertheless, He was capableof solving the difficult problems of all who came to Him. In whatever meeting, scientific assembly or theological discussion He was found, He became the authority of explanation upon intricate and abstruse questions presented.
Until His father passed away, Baha’u’llah did not seek position or political station notwithstanding His connection with the government. This occasioned surprise and comment. It was frequently said. “How is it that a young man of such keen intelligence and subtle perception does not seek lucrative appointments? As a matter of fact, every position is open to him.”
Abdu’l-Bahá has related this story of Bahá’u’lláh’s childhood and youth while in America
Abdu’l-Bahá told these stories of Baha’u’llah's youth to a gathering at the home of Mr & Mrs Marshall L Emory, In New York, on April 18, 1912 :
He was most generous, giving abundantly to the poor. None who came to Him were turned away. The doors to His house were open to all. He always had many guests. This unbounded generosity was conducive to greater astonishment from the fact that He sought neither position nor prominence. In commenting upon this His friends said He would become impoverished, for His expenses were many and His wealth becoming more and more limited. “Why is he not thinking of his own affairs?” they inquired of each other’ but some who were wise declared, “This personage is connected with another world; He has something sublime within him that is not evident now; the day is coming when it will be manifested.” In truth the Blessed Perfection was a refuge for every weak one, a shelter for every fearing one, kind to every indigent one, lenient and loving to all creatures.
Now briefly to explain the events of Baha’u’llahs life - may his mention be glorified. You are certainly aware that Baha’u’llah was born in the holy city of Tehran on 2 Muharram 1233 (November 12, 1817). After being weaned, he received training and education in the courtyards of his father, the renowned Mírzá Buzurg Núrí, one of the ministers of the Qájár state known for the beauty of his calligraphy and famed for the purity for his character. Although Baha’u’llah never entered any of Iran’s schools and never studied at any seminary at the very outset and in the flower of his youth the signs of greatness and glory and the lights of understanding and intelligence shone forth from his countenance. Owning to his aspect of meekness and the awe he inspired the first signs of the manifestations of divinity, great scholars were too timid to address him in salons and gatherings.
Mírzá Abdu’l-Fadl, the great Baha’i scholar, has recorded in a long treatise for Alexander Tumansky, the famous Russian orientalist, the following story from the days of Baha’u’llah’s youth:
A prominent Muslim related one incident, saying, “One day we had gathered together with a number of the great men of the country and officials of the state in the presence of Mírzá Nazar Alí Hakim Qazvíní, the beloved spiritual advisor ofMuhammad Shah Qájár. He served as an example for the mystics of those times. Mírzá Nazar Ali gave a talk according to the sciences of the Sufis, speaking of how human beings can reach maturity and attain the various ranks of spiritual perfections. But his egotism and carnal passion awoke, and his feet slipped from the stirrup of his speech. He began making mention of his own spiritual advances.
“He said, ‘For example, let us say, that at this very moment my servant comes and says that Jesus is standing at the door of the palace and wants permission to meet me. Because I have no further need, I do not see any desire in me for such an encounter.’
“Those attending the gathering fell completely silent for a moment. Most, according to the custom of the flatterers of thetime, began calling out. ‘Yes, yes indeed!’ in confirmation of what he had said.
"At that point Baha’u’llah was agitated by the imbecility of this remark about Jesus -- may the life of all on earth be his sacrifice. His annoyance publicly blazed forth, and he was unable to bear the affront that had been dealt theManifestation of God.
“He said to Mírzá Nazar Alí, ‘Sir, I have a question, if you will permit me to ask it?’
“The mystic replies, ‘Please go ahead.’ Bahá’u’lláh prodded; ‘in spite of all the affection in which the shah holds for you let us say that at this moment the chief executioner should come with ten of his henchmen and announce that the shah is asking for you. Examine your inner soul carefully. Would you be anxious or would you answer him with a completely calm heart, free of all fear?’
“After a little contemplation, Mírzá Nazar Alí responded, “the only fair thing to say is that I would be anxious in the extreme and the courage to remain upright and calm would flee from me. Indeed, the very power of speech would disappear.’
“Bahá’u’llaáh said, ‘Given that this is the case, you cannot with the same lips make your former assertion.’
“Those present at the salon were startled at the severity of this statement and astonished at the originality of this reply. It left them no opportunity to rebuke it or to engage in dispute.”
One of the ancients spoke well indeed when he said, ‘Anyone who makes claims that are beyond him will be proven false by the witness of tests.” In short, that holy one was famed among the people from his earliest years until his acceptance of the Cause of the Báb, for his greatness, majesty, sharpness of intellect, and correct understanding and was known for his piety andtrustworthiness.
The Mission of Bahá’u’lláh
…..from his own words….
The time foreordained unto the peoples and kindreds of the earth is now come. The promises of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been fulfilled. Out of Zion hath gone forth the Law of God, and Jerusalem, and the hills and land thereof, are filled with the glory of His Revelation. Happy is the man that pondereth in his heart that which hath been revealed in the Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Meditate upon this, O ye beloved of God, and let your ears be attentive unto His Word, so that ye may, by His grace and mercy, drink your fill from the crystal waters of constancy, and become as steadfast and immovable as the mountain in His Cause.
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings fromthe Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 12)
The Revelation which, from time immemorial, hath been acclaimed as the Purpose and Promise of all the Prophets of God, and the most cherished Desire of His Messengers, hath now, by virtue of the pervasive Will of the Almighty and at His irresistible bidding, been revealed unto men. The advent of such a Revelation hath been heralded in all the sacred Scriptures. Behold how, notwithstanding such an announcement, mankind hath strayed from its path and shut out itself from its glory.
Say: O ye lovers of the One true God! Strive, that ye may truly recognize and know Him, and observe befittingly His precepts. This is a Revelation, under which, if a man shed for its sake one drop of blood, myriads of oceans will be his recompense. Take heed, O friends, that ye forfeit not so inestimable a benefit, or disregard its transcendent station.
Consider the multitude of lives that have been, and are still being, sacrificed in a world deluded by a mere phantom which the vain imaginations of its peoples have conceived. Render thanks unto God, inasmuch as ye have attained unto your heart's Desire, and been united to Him Who is the Promise of all nations. Guard ye, with the aid of the one true God -- exalted be His glory -- the integrity of the station which ye have attained, and cleave to that which shall promote His Cause. He, verily, enjoineth on you what is right and conducive to the exaltation of man's station. Glorified be the All-Merciful, the Revealer of this wondrous Tablet.
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 5)
The purpose of the one true God in manifesting Himself is to summon all mankind to truthfulness and sincerity, to piety and trustworthiness, to resignation and submissiveness to the Will of God, to forbearance and kindliness, to uprightness and wisdom. His object is to array every man with the mantle of a saintly character, and to adorn him with the ornament of holy and goodly deeds.
Say: Have mercy on yourselves and on your fellow men, and suffer not the Cause of God -- a Cause which is immeasurably exalted above the inmost essence of sanctity -- to be sullied with the stain of your idle fancies, your unseemly and corrupt imaginations.
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 298)
O contending peoples and kindreds of the earth! Set your faces towards unity, and let the radiance of its light shine upon you. Gather ye together, and for the sake of God resolve to root out whatever is the source of contention amongst you.Then will the effulgence of the world's great Luminary envelop the whole earth, and its inhabitants become the citizens of one city, and the occupants of one and the same throne. This wronged One hath, ever since the early days of His life, cherished none other desire but this, and will continue to entertain no wish except this wish. There can be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source,and are the subjects of one God. The difference between the ordinances under which they abide should be attributed tothe varying requirements and exigencies of the age in which they were revealed. All of them, except a few which are the outcome of human perversity, were ordained of God, and are a reflection of His Will and Purpose. Arise and, armed withthe power of faith, shatter to pieces the gods of your vain imaginings, the sowers of dissension amongst you. Cleave unto that which draweth you together and uniteth you. This, verily, is the most exalted Word which the Mother Book hath sent down and revealed unto you. To this beareth witness the Tongue of Grandeur from His habitation of glory.
(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 216)
Some comments of Abdu’l-Bahá concerning Bahá’u’lláh
O peoples of the world! The Sun of Truth hath risen to illumine the whole earth, and to spiritualize the community of man. Laudable are the results and the fruits thereof, abundant the holy evidences deriving from this grace. This is mercy unalloyed and purest bounty; it is light for the world and all its peoples; it is harmony and fellowship, and love and solidarity; indeed it is compassion and unity, and the end of foreignness; it is the being at one, in complete dignity and freedom, with all on earth.
The Blessed Beauty saith: 'Ye are all the fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch.' Thus hath He likened this world ofbeing to a single tree, and all its peoples to the leaves thereof, and the blossoms and fruits. It is needful for the bough to blossom, and leaf and fruit to flourish, and upon the interconnection of all parts of the world-tree, dependeth the flourishing of leaf and blossom, and the sweetness of the fruit.
For this reason must all human beings powerfully sustain one another and seek for everlasting life; and for this reasonmust the lovers of God in this contingent world become the mercies and the blessings sent forth by that clement King of the seen and unseen realms. Let them purify their sight and behold all humankind as leaves and blossoms and fruits of the tree of being. Let them at all times concern themselves with doing a kindly thing for one of their fellows, offering tosomeone love, consideration, thoughtful help. Let them see no one as their enemy, or as wishing them ill, but think of all humankind as their friends; regarding the alien as an intimate, the stranger as a companion, staying free of prejudice,drawing no lines.
In this day, the one favoured at the Threshold of the Lord is he who handeth round the cup of faithfulness; who bestoweth, even upon his enemies, the jewel of bounty, and lendeth, even to his fallen oppressor, a helping hand; it is he who will, even to the fiercest of his foes, be a loving friend. These are the Teachings of the BlessedBeauty, these are the counsels of the Most Great Name.
(Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p.1)
The Persian government believed the banishment of the Blessed Perfection from Persia would be the extermination of His Cause in that country. These rulers now realized that it spread more rapidly. His prestige increased; His teachings became more widely circulated. The chiefs of Persia then used their influence to have Bahá'u'lláh exiled from Baghdad. He was summoned to Constantinople by the Turkish authorities. While in Constantinople He ignored every restriction, especially the hostility of ministers of state and clergy. The official representatives of Persia again brought their influenceto bear upon the Turkish authorities and succeeded in having Bahá'u'lláh banished from Constantinople to Adrianople,the object being to keep Him as far away as possible from Persia and render His communication with that country more difficult. Nevertheless, the Cause still spread and strengthened.
Finally, they consulted together and said, "We have banished Bahá'u'lláh from place to place, but each time he is exiled his cause is more widely extended, his proclamation increases in power, and day by day his lamp is becoming brighter. This is due to the fact that we have exiled him to large cities and populous centers. Therefore, we will send him to a penal colony as a prisoner so that all may know he is the associate of murderers, robbers and criminals; in a short time he and his followers will perish." The Sultan of Turkey then banished Him to the prison of 'Akká in Syria.
When Bahá'u'lláh arrived at 'Akká, through the power of God He was able to hoist His banner. His light at first had been a star; now it became a mighty sun, and the illumination of His Cause expanded from the East to the West. Inside prison walls He wrote Epistles to all the kings and rulers of nations, summoning them to arbitration and universal peace. Some of the kings received His words with disdain and contempt. One of these was the Sultan of the Ottoman kingdom. Napoleon III of France did not reply. A second Epistle was addressed to him. It stated, "I have written you an Epistle before this, summoning you to the Cause of God, but you are of the heedless. You have proclaimed that you were the defender of the oppressed; now it hath become evident that you are not. Nor are you kind to your own suffering and oppressed people. Your actions are contrary to your own interests, and your kingly pride must fall. Because of your arrogance God shortly will destroy your sovereignty. France will flee away from you, and you will be overwhelmed by a great conquest. There will be lamentation and mourning, women bemoaning the loss of their sons." This arraignment of Napoleon III was published and spread.
Read it and consider: one prisoner, single and solitary, without assistant or defender, a foreigner and stranger imprisoned in the fortress of'Akká, writing such letters to the Emperor of France and Sultan of Turkey. Reflect upon this: how Bahá'u'lláh upraised the standard of His Cause in prison. Refer to history. It is without parallel. No such thing has happened before that time nor since -- a prisoner and an exile advancing His Cause and spreading His teachings broadcast so that eventually He became powerful enough to conquer the very king who banished Him.
His Cause spread more and more. The Blessed Perfection was a prisoner twenty-five years. During all this time He was subjected to the indignities and revilement of the people. He was persecuted, mocked and put in chains. In Persia His properties were pillaged and His possessions confiscated. First, there was banishment from Persia to Baghdad, then to Constantinople, then to Adrianople, finally from Rumelia to the prison fortress of 'Akká.
During His lifetime He was intensely active. His energy was unlimited. Scarcely one night was passed in restful sleep. He bore these ordeals, suffered these calamities and difficulties in order that a manifestation of selflessness and service might become apparent in the world of humanity; that the Most Great Peace should become a reality; that human souls might appear as the angels of heaven; that heavenly miracles would be wrought among men; that human faith should be strengthened and perfected; that the precious, priceless bestowal of God -- the human mind -- might be developed to its fullest capacity in the temple of the body; and that man might become the reflection and likeness of God, even as it hath been revealed in the Bible, "Let us make man in our image."
Briefly, the Blessed Perfection bore all these ordeals and calamities in order that our hearts might become enkindled and radiant, our spirits be glorified, our faults become virtues, our ignorance be transformed into knowledge; in order that we might attain the real fruits of humanity and acquire heavenly graces; in order that, although pilgrims upon earth, we should travel the road of the heavenly Kingdom, and, although needy and poor, we might receive the treasures of eternal life. For this has He borne these difficulties and sorrows.
Trust all to God. The lights of God are resplendent. The blessed Epistles are spreading. The blessed teachings are promulgated throughout the East and West. Soon you will see that the heavenly Words have established the oneness of the world of humanity. The banner of the Most Great Peace has been unfurled, and the great community is appearing.
(Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of UniversalPeace, p. 27)
“… ever since that day, all the trappings of the world have seemed in the eyes of this Youth akin to that same spectacle. They have never been, nor will ever be, possessed of any weight though it be to the extent of a grain of mustard seed…. Erelong these outward trappings, these heaped-up treasures, these earthly vanities, these amassed battalions, this gorgeous finery, these proud and overweening souls – all shall pass into the confines of the grave, as though in that box. In the eyes of those possessed of insight, all this conflict, dissension and vainglory hath been, and will ever be, like unto the sport of children.”
Bahá'u'lláh recounts how in as a child He viewed a grand puppet show about a famous king and the politics and warring of his kingdom. After the show had ended, He saw a man come out from behind the tent carrying a box under his arm.
Bahá’u’lláh asked. The man replied, “All these laving trappings, the king, the princes, and the ministers, their pomp and glory, their might and power, everything you saw, are all now contained within this box.”
—Tablet to Ra’ís, Bahá’u’lláh (quoted in Ruhi Book 4)
Bahá’u’lláh spent his youth tending to the poor and needy. In 1844, the Báb (meaning “Gate”) declared that the Promised Day had come, and that “Him Whom God Shall Manifest” would soon appear. As a result of this movement, thousands were persecuted, and in 1852 Bahá’u’lláh was imprisoned in the “Black Pit” and tortured with a 100 pound chain around His neck.
Of this event, Bahá’u’lláh wrote:
“Upon Our arrival We were first conducted along a pitch-black corridor, from whence We descended three steep flights of stairs to the place of confinement assigned to Us.
"The dungeon was wrapped in thick darkness, and Our fellow-prisoners numbered nearly a hundred and fifty souls: thieves, assassins and highwaymen. Though crowded, it had no other outlet than the passage by which We entered. No pen can depict that place, nor any tongue describe its loathsome smell. Most of these men had neither clothes nor bedding to lie on. God alone knoweth what befell Us in that most foul-smelling and gloomy place!
“All those who were struck down by the storm that raged during that memorable year in Tihran were Our fellow-prisoners in the Síyáh-
Chál, where We were confined. We were all huddled together in one cell, our feet in stocks, and around our necks fastened the most galling of chains. The air we breathed was laded with the foulest impurities, while the floor on which we sat was covered with filth and infested with vermin. No ray of light was allowed to penetrate that pestilential dungeon or to warm its icy-coldness. We were placed in two rows, each facing the other. We had taught them to repeat certain verses which, every night, they chanted with extreme fervor. ‘God is sufficient unto me; He verily is theAll-sufficing!’ one row would intone, while the other would reply: ‘In Him let the trusting trust.’ ”
—The Dawn-Breakers, Bahá’u’lláh: pp. 631-33
“The Ancient Beauty hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage…”
—Gleanings, Bahá'u'lláh: page 99
“During the days I lay in the prison of Tihran, though the galling weight of the chains and the stench-filled air allowed Me but little sleep, still in those infrequent moments of slumber I felt as if something flowed from the crown of My head over My breast, even as a mighty torrent … Every limb of My body would, as a result, be set afire. At such moments My tongue recited what no man could bear to hear.”
—Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Bahá'u'lláh, page 22
In prison, Bahá’u’lláh received the first intimations of His Divine Mission:
"While engulfed in tribulations I heard a most wondrous, a most sweet voice, calling above My head… `By God! This is the Best-Beloved of the worlds, and yet ye comprehend not. This is the Beauty of God amongst you, and the power of His sovereignty within you, could ye but understand. This is the Mystery of God and His Treasure, the Cause of God and His glory … if ye be of them that perceive.'"
—God Passes By, Bahá'u'lláh: pages 101-102
“We betook Ourselves to the wilderness, and there, separated and alone, led for two years a life of complete solitude. From Our eyes there rained tears of anguish, and in Our bleeding heart there surged an ocean of agonizing pain. Many a night We had no food for sustenance, and many a day Our body found no rest…. notwithstanding these showers of afflictions and unceasing calamities, Our soul was wrapt in blissful joy, and Our whole being evinced an ineffable gladness. For in Our solitude We were unaware of the harm or benefit, the health or ailment, of any soul. Alone, We communed with Our spirit, oblivious of the world and all that is therein…. until the hour when, from the Mystic Source, there came the summons bidding Us return whence We came. Surrendering Our will to His, We submitted to His injunction.”
—The Kitab-i-Iqan, Bahá'u'lláh, pages 250-251
Just as Christ withdrew to the wilderness for 40 days before His ministry began, Bahá’u’lláh withdrew to the Mountains of Kurdistan:
Upon His return Bahá’u’lláh began to write and teach among the people. The clergy became jealous of His growing “Although you have no right to ask this, for God should test His creatures, and they should not test God, still I allow and accept this request. But the Cause of God is not a theatrical display that is presented every hour, of which some new diversion may be asked for every day…. The ulamas (clergy) must, therefore, assemble, and, with one accord, choose one miracle, and write that, after the performance of this miracle they will no longer entertain doubts about Me, and that all will acknowledge and confess the truth of My Cause. Let them seal this paper, and bring it to Me. This must be the accepted criterion: if the miracle is performed, no doubt will remain for them; and if not, We shall be convicted of imposture."
—Some Answered Questions, `Abdu'l-Bahá, page 29
In 1863, Bahá’u’lláh revealed what many of His growing number of followers already suspected – that He was the One promised by the Báb, and by all of the Holy Books of the past:
“Verily I say, this is the Day in which mankind can behold the Face, and hear the Voice, of the Promised One. The Call of God hath been raised, and the light of His countenance hath been lifted up upon men. It behoveth every man to blot out the trace of every idle word from the tablet of his heart,and to gaze, with an open and unbiased mind, on the signs of His Revelation, the proofs of His Mission, and the tokens of His glory. Great indeed is this Day! The allusions made to it in all the sacred Scriptures as the Day of God attest its greatness. The soul of every Prophet of God, of every Divine Messenger, hath thirsted for this wondrous Day. All the divers kindreds of the earth have, likewise, yearned to attain it.”
—Gleanings, Bahá'u'lláh: pages 10-11