Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Hidden Words or Kalimát-i-Maknúnih (کلمات مکنونه)

The Hidden Words or Kalimát-i-Maknúnih (کلمات مکنونه) or The Book of Fatimah «صحیفه فاطمیّه» is a book written in Baghdad around 1857 by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith.
 This work is written partly in Arabic and partly in Persian. Bahá'ís believe that The Hidden Words was revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in fulfillment of this tradition.
Indeed Bahá'u'lláh originally named the book The Book of Fatimah, though he later referred to it in its modern appellation. This aspect of fulfillment corresponds with the Bahá'í beliefs that end times prophesies of all the world's religions are to be interpreted mystically and metaphorically. This puts the Bahá'í understanding of what Gabriel revealed to Fatimah somewhat at odds with the Shi'a traditions.
Each passage begins with an invocation, many of which repeat. Some common invocations include "O Son of Spirit", "O Son of Man", and "O Son of Being".
Bahá'í prayers are written in the first person of humanity, so that the reader can feel like they are having a conversation with God. The Hidden Words are written in the first person of God, so that the reader feels like God is speaking to them.
 From the Arabic, the following is the introduction written by Bahá'u'lláh:"HE IS THE GLORY OF GLORIES. This is that which hath descended from the realm of glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old. We have taken the inner essence thereof and clothed it in the garment of brevity, as a token of grace unto the righteous, that they may stand faithful unto the Covenant of God, may fulfill in their lives His trust, and in the realm of spirit obtain the gem of Divine virtue."
 After the last passage, Bahá'u'lláh wrote:"The mystic and wondrous Bride, hidden ere this beneath the veiling of utterance, hath now, by the grace of God and His divine favor, been made manifest even as the resplendent light shed by the beauty of the Beloved. I bear witness, O friends! that the favor is complete, the argument fulfilled, the proof manifest and the evidence established. Let it now be seen what your endeavors in the path of detachment will reveal. In this wise hath the divine favor been fully vouchsafed unto you and unto them that are in heaven and on earth. All praise to God, the Lord of all Worlds."