Subh-i-Azal [Morning of Eternity] (1831 – 1912), born Mirza Yahya Nuri and entitled as Vahid by Báb, was a Persian religious leader of the Azali Babi community, which did not accept the claims of Bahá'u'lláh to be the fulfillment of the Báb's prophecy of he whom God shall make manifest.
Ethics of the Spirituals
- Glorified art Thou, O God my God! I indeed testify to Thee and all-things at the moment when I am in Thy presence in pure servitude, upon this, that verily Thou art God, no other God is there besides Thee! Thou art unchanged, O my God, within the elevation of Grandeur and Majesty, and shall be unalterable, O my desirous boon, within the pinnacle of power and perfection inasmuch as nothing shall frustrate Thee and nothing shall extinguish Thee! Thou art unchanged as Thou art the Capable above Thy creation and Thou art unalterable as Thou indeed shall be as from before inasmuch as nothing is with Thee of anything and nothing is in Thy rank of anything! Thou accomplisheth and willeth and doeth and desireth! Glorified art Thou, O God my God, with Thy praise, salutations be upon the Primal Point, the Chemise of Thy Visage and the Light of Thy direction and the Luminosity of Thy Beinghood and the Clarity of Thy Selfhood and the Ocean of Thy Power by all that which Thou hath bestowed upon Him of Thy Stations and Thy Culminations and Thy Foundations, for nothing shall frustrate Thee of anything and nothing shall extinguish Thee of anything! No other God is There besides Thee, for verily Thou art the Lord of all the worlds! And blessings, O God my God, be upon the one who was the first to believe in Thee, the Visage of Thy Selfhood and the Decree of Thy direction; and upon the one who was the last to believe in Thee, the Essence of Thy direction and the Visage of Thy Holiness; and upon those whom Ye have made martyrs/witnesses (shuhadá’) unknown except by Thy Command nor restrained except by Thy Wisdom; then upon those to whom Ye have promised that Ye shall make Him manifest on the Day of Resurrection and He whom Ye will upraise on the Day of the Return by all which Thou will bestow upon Him of Thy Power and Thy Strength, for nothing shall extinguish Thee and nothing shall frustrate Thee! Ye determine all-things, for verily Thou art powerful over whatsoever Thou willeth! And I indeed testify, O my God, between Thy hands that verily there is no other god besides Thee and that He whom Ye shall make manifest on the Day of Resurrection is the Chemise of Thy Creativity and the Visage of Thy Manifestation and the direction of Thy Victory and the substance of Thy Pardoning and the branch of Thy Singularity and the clarity of Thy Unicitarianism and the Pen [of the Letter] Nún (al-qalam al-nún) within Thy Beinghood and the setting of the Cause-Command within Thy Essentiality inasmuch as there is no difference between Him and Thee except that He is Thy servant in Thy grasp, such that whatsoever is in the Heavens and the earth and what is between them will then be filled by His Name and by His Light until it be made apparent that no other god is there besides Thee and no Beloved is there like unto Thee and no Desired One is there other than Thee and no Dread is there of Thy like and no Justice of Thy equal! No other god is there besides Thee! Glorified art Thou, O God, and by Thy praise, blessings, O my God, be upon the Guide to the Throne of the Hidden Cloud and the Path to Thy Presence in the Sina'i of Authorization and the Caller by Thy Logos-Self and the Crier of Thy Permission between Thy Hands and the Ariser of Thy Attendance by Thy Command; then the Triumph, O my God, by all that which Thou will bestow upon Him of Thy Power, then that which will be made manifestly apparent of the Word upon the earth and what is upon it by Thy grandeur, and also in this that nothing shall ever put out His Light! Verily nothing shall frustrate Thee of anything and nothing shall extinguish Thee of anything! Thy mercy encompasseth all-things and verily Thou art powerful over what Ye have willed; and to the one who prays to Thee, Hearing, Answering, for verily Thou art Observant over us, and verily Thou art High, Praised beyond that which the inner hearts can comprehend!
Treatise on Kingship
- A king is a person who has outward leadership of the people, if he is among the people of external phenomena. If he is from among the people of hidden realities, then he possesses both the inner and the outer, whenever he is so destined.
- At every level, all the servants — even human bodies — need a leader. Look at human beings. If they lacked a head, they would lack everything. Rather, they only exist because they have a head. Since they have a head, it requires that they have other organs, just as in the limbs of the body. In their outer being [i.e. society,], command rests with ministers and a vizier, which are analogous to the inner heart and breast, and other organs. This saying involves a number of sublime matters, but this one is sufficient.
- But true kingship, which pertains to the divine essence, is still and always shall be in its own station. On the outward plane, the prophets are constant in their sovereignty. They continue until such time as God changes his sacred law. At that time, their dispensations are dissipated. Nevertheless, the sovereignty of the prophets and their religions is everlastingly present in every religion, indeed, in every person who claims to follow those prophets. In sum, such a one has attained leadership, and passes a few days of his life, according to his belief, being a sovereign, until such time as God raises him up to him.
- Thus, it is established that Adam is the human race, by whatever names he was called. Since it is clear that he became manifest in the form of a man, naturally on every plane he is fallible. But God is not his partner in any errors. For, he taught him beauty and ugliness and truth and falsehood, and he learned good and evil. But his kingship is a result of the divine decree. And if he remains continually in his position or steps down, or is deposed from it, in each case it is the result of the divine decree. His cause is exalted with God. Whenever he is a temporal ruler, his leadership is like that of any other. If he is among the prophets, his commands and prohibitions are from God, and his kingship is by God’s command, and he is the leader of the people as long as he lives. After their deaths, some hold that they must continue to be obeyed, and others mention them with their lips, and love for them is continual.
- God only, however, selects a tyrant for a people that deserves to be oppressed. At that time, the Lord of the world establishes over them a tyrant who will avenge those who had been oppressed and brutalized. Such have been some among the temporal rulers. At that time, the Lord of the world places over such a people a tyrant. so that they might avenge those wronged. — in such a way that the despot does not realize that he is aiding his Lord and avenging the blood of the oppressed upon those who had tormented them. This is apparent today, and in some stations it is being implemented. Know for a certainty that the Lord of the world without any doubt knows the tyrant from the good monarch. Rather, everything he does is for the sake of some wisdom, and he knows more about the final outcome of such matters.
- It is better that there should be a republic, and the elected leader should at least be a person of perfection, devoted to his religion and his nation, as was the case among you with Gambetta, the president of the republic. Everyone spoke in praise of him. Whenever such a universally popular person is in power, naturally the people and the state will be as one essence. Or, if he should have ministers around him, naturally he will be better than others. When such a person is selected by God, he is, of course, the temporal [pishva] leader and spiritual guide [Imam] of the people. If he derives his power from the people alone, then he is their chief, but he is not in truth a spiritual leader [Imam] of any people over which he rules.
- The king may or may not be an oppressor. If he is not an oppressor, then no matter. If he is a tyrant, it is necessary to give him advice and counsel. It is incumbent to avoid him. It is not permitted to harm him, except at that time when all the people have turned against him and he has no way to flee. At that time, that leader is like a rapacious beast that will rend human beings limb from limb and crush their bones. Naturally, expelling him from his position is necessary, but without harming him.
- But when he commits tyranny and transgression one must reply with advice, counsel and admonition, or the ministers must be true and sound. It should not be as we see today, when our great ones are unjust and our leaders lack grace and nobility. If they possessed these qualities, God’s poor would not be living in ruins or risk being tossed out of their homes and houses into the street. Their heads would not, for no fault of their own, be targeted by spears, their wives and children would not be taken prisoner, their homes would not be plundered. God is enough for us, and the best of advocates.
- That monarch does not have the right to commit wrongdoing, not even one ounce of it. He only has the right to lead and to the basic necessities of life, or a little more, not to do whatever he pleases or to tyrannize the people.
- When, in a nation, a despotic ruler grows powerful and the pillars of oppression are erected, it is necessary to effect changes. Whenever possible, they should employ good counsel and perfect advice to repel oppression. If they can, they should change the pillars of tyranny and install reformers in the place of the corrupt. If the despotic king declines to halt the oppression and to change his ministers, then naturally those who are able have the obligation to stop the oppression themselves. They should not, however, senselessly shed blood or slaughter individuals. Rather, they should employ advice and divine counsel to defeat those criminals and to change conditions. For, the power of those tyrants derives from the mob. Whenever these throngs are scattered, the despot’s power is weakened. Naturally, in this situation this course of action is more insightful and more prudent.
- For, whenever the world is somewhat oriented toward the truth, God would not delegate sovereignty to a tyrant. If such a delegation occurs as a result of his foreordaining it, it is not by an irrevocable decree. For, such a situation has been foreordained, but sometimes such tyrants do not exist. Consider how the Jews were destroyed at the time of Nebuchadnezzar. Even though the temple was destroyed, God aided it, as a way of awakening the Jews, just as it is recorded in the words of Jeremiah. This was also for a solid reason and for the good. Seventy years after the destruction, by the help of Cyrus the Persian (Kaykhusraw, the descendant of the aforementioned Kayqubad), the temple was rebuilt. In the course of several reigns, it was completed. Naturally, every [divine] action has some benefit, and every occurrence is for some improvement. These souls were sitting, secluded, in a corner. Whatever God desired, took place. He knows the tyranny of the tyrant and sees human beings. It is not that he does not know—even though some might deny God and others affirm his existence.
- We believe in the Bayan, by God, and that which has been revealed in it from its Lord; for it testifies to Him as the angels and the posessors of knowledge testify to God, bearing witness by this that no other God is there besides Him and all are to Him, prostrated. For what other God is there besides God and His Names and His Attributes? To Him is the Creation and the Command, and all are returning to Him.
- Surah of the Exposition
- Say: those who are believers by that which hath been sent down in the Bayan, verily they are the triumphant. And those who turn away from that which hath been revealed, verily those are the ones to whom hath come the great loss.
- Surah of the Slayer
Open Letter to Bahá'u'lláh
- O faithless brother what has happened that in vain you joined hands to violate my honour, and to stain your own hand with my blood. You gathered round yourself a band of persons addicted to vice … you excited this gang of villains to hate me … I appointed you to act for me. I ordered my friends to obey you … you are now out to destroy me. I was your guest you abused me. You swore at me in my face. That which you yourself deserved you ascribed to me. You inspired your servants with rancorous hatred of me. Even you taught your own barber your own falsehoods. He gave false evidence against the truth. You set in motion this great sedition …. Outwardly you pretended to be my friend. You attended my feast. You ate my meal of trust. Inwardly you manifested your falsehood until Shawal 23 [Presumably March 11, 1866] when I was keeping a fast you withheld bread and water from me. … By deceit you intercepted my epistles. Some of them which were to your advantage you paraded before the inhabitants of the city [i.e. Edirne]. At present am in straitened circumstances and you are in affluence. And yet you pretend the contrary.
- Quoted in Mirza Mustafa Katib's Response to Zayn al-Muqarrabin on page 46