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The following is a duplication from: (we created this duplication because many websites go off the Internet and we do not want to lose these materials in case it happens to this site!  By acknowledging the source, this will be fair use of others' intellectual property).






The third Manifestation of the

Revelation of the Greatest

Name, soon to appear









Shoghi Effendi's statement that the Baha'i Plan could be terminated by the appearance of a third Manifestation in the near future.  Abdu'l-Baha writes of the Hidden Words #77 which tells us that only the first two Letters of the Revelation of the Greatest Name have appeared.



Tests from God are sometimes so subtle we do not realize we are being tested.  People in religious organizations blindly follow their leaders without individual search for truth or understanding.  The Bab's prophecy which says Baha'is will reject the Manifestation after Baha'u'llah.  The problems we face when our beliefs are contrary to God's Will.



The reason a Guardian is indispensable to any World Order and the unity of any spiritual community.  The spiritual meaning of "oppression".



Baha'i'llah destroyed hundreds of thousands of His Writings because believers were not yet spiritually ready for them.  Baha'u'llah's prophecy about the coming Manifestation Who will appear when mankind is spiritually ready.  Only God knows the exact time when a Manifestation will appear.



All Manifestations are One, manifesting one Holy Spirit, the "Word" of God, or the "Primal Will".  Each Revelation is greater than all previous Revelations.  The meaning of the expression that the teachings of one Revelation "overshadow" future Revelations for a certain time.  Titles of the three Manifestations of the Revelation of the Greatest Name BHA'



The Bab represented the Letter "B" and Baha'u'llah the Letter "H" in the Greatest Name.  The Letter "A", the third Manifestation, is yet to be revealed.  Symbolism of the numerical values in the Greatest Name.  Symbolism of the word for one thousand in Arabic, which is ALF, the same word indicating the first letter (a in English) in the Arabic alphabet.  The ALF is also transliterated as ALIF.



Abdu'l-Baha speaks of the spiritual and physical oneness of the universe, and the influence of stars and planets.  Baha'u'llah speaks of the "stars" that appear in both the invisible and visible heavens prior to the coming of the Manifestations.  The three "stars" or planets that are the signs of the three Manifestations of the Revelation of the Greatest Name.



Baha'u'llah's prophecy of the appointed hour when cataclysmic events will occur, after which the third Manifestatin will appear.  The year 2001, which is the "time" of Mustaghath spoken of by the Bab and Baha'u'llah (The Abjad numerical value of Mustaghath is 2001)



Prophecies of Baha'u'llah, the Bab, Muhammad and Isaiah indicating where the next Manifestation will appear.  Abdu'l-Baha points to America as the future "center" of God's Faith.  The spiritual changes that occur in those who first accept the Manifestations.



Difficulty of understanding veiled prophecies.  Problems in seeking out the Manifestation at the time of His appearance.  Problems faced by the first believers in past religions.  Problems of these times are unique.  Believers must rid themselves of conditioned thinking and sanctify their souls.



Baha'is have not heeded the warnings of the Founders of their Faith.  The decline in moral values, the destruction of the ecology, and the rampant materialism of these times, which presage the end of this world civilization.  Warnings of a shift in the axis of the Earth, and the results on civilization.  Various notes about a shift in the axis of the Earth.  Immediate future is very dark, but distant future is gloriously bright for humanity.








"May your souls be illumined by the light of the words of God and may you become repositories of the mysteries of God, for no comfort is greater and no happiness sweeter than spiritual comprehension of the Divine teachings."  Abdu'l Baha cited in The Divine Art of Living, p.40


Early in my life as a Baha'i, before the passing of Shoghi Effendi, I used to wonder about the writings which indicated that there were to be three parts to this Revelation of the Greatest Name.  I found it difficult to accept the interpretation most Baha'is apparently believe about the prophecy which follows:

"...when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which will cause the limbs of mankind to quake.  Then and only then will the Divine Standard be unfurled, and the Nightingale of Paradise warble its melody." Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, p. 118

It seemed that almost every Baha'i I spoke with interpreted this prophecy in the same way many Christians interpret the prophecies about the return of the Christ Spirit.  They said that it meant that the Holy Spirit would suddenly awaken everyone to spiritual truth, and the Cause of God would then be firmly established.  To me the Divine Standard being unfurled meant new Teachings, and the Nightingale of Paradise indicated a Manifestation to appear.  However, because Shoghi Effendi was alive at the time, I did not pursue the question.


In 1958, after the passing of Shoghi Effendi, I met and spoke alone with the late Hand of the Cause Dr. Muhlschlegel while in Paris, France.  He told me that he believed that a new Manifestation would appear very soon, and my concern about this question was renewed.  I did ask another Hand about the prophecy mentioned above, but he was unable to give any coherent answer.  Not long after this, the following article, written by Ruhiyyih Khanum, appeared in the May 1958 issue of the Baha'i News, No. 327 printed in America:

"The Guardian said to some of the pilgrims, during the last year and a half or two years, something very strange.  He said that there are two Plans.  The long-term Plan of Almighty God for mankind on this planet; that is the Plan that has the Prophets of God, the Adamic Cycle and all of the Great Manifestations of God, like Christ and Muhammad, Buddha, Zoroaster, and Moses and so on, bringing us to this day with the Bab and Baha'u'llah.  This is the Mighty Plan of God, educating humanity and bringing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth on this planet.  He said this is the Plan of God, it goes forward in mysterious ways, we do not always understand its workings.  Then, he said, we have the Divine Plan, which is being carried forward by the Baha'is in the form as we know it, first the two Seven-Year Plans, and then this Ten-Year Plan -- the World Crusade which we are now engaged upon and part of which has passed.

The Guardian said, who knows, maybe this great Plan of God will interfere in the other Plan.

Ruhiyyih Khanum wrote that she was mystified by this statement by Shoghi Effendi; apparently she believed, like most Baha'is do today, that the 1000 years mentioned in the Kitab-i-Aqdas begin in 1852 or 1892, although no beginning date for the 1000 years is mentioned in the authoritative Writings.  She wrote that she believed that this intervention by God must refer to World War II and/or the passing of Shoghi Effendi, -- although neither event interrupted the work of the Baha'i plans for more than a very short time, and World War II occurred prior to the passing of Shoghi Effendi.

It becomes clear, upon reading the words of Shoghi Effendi in his various writings, that he would never compare his death as being equal in importance to the coming of a Manifestation, and, indeed, he clearly stated that his station did not compare with that of Abdu'l'-Baha.  And besides, he said the Great Plan of God was the coming of Manifestations to humanity, and so I believe that Baha'is ought to abandon any fixed, conditioned thinking about their understanding of the 1000 year prophecy, or when the 1000 years begin, and start to consider other prophecies and signs in the Teachings.  When comparing his station to that of Abdu'l-Baha, Shoghi Effendi wrote:

"No Guardian of the Faith...can ever claim to be the perfect exemplar of the teachings of Baha'u'llah or the stainless mirror that reflects His light...he remains essentially human and cannot, if he wishes to remain faithful to his trust, arrogate to himself, under any pretense whatsoever, the rights, the privileges and prerogatives which Baha'u'llah has chosen to confer upon His Son.  In the light of this truth to pray to the Guardian of the Faith, to address him as lord and master, to designate him as his holiness, to seek his benediction, to celebrate his birthday, or to commemorate any event associated with his life would be tantamount to a departure from those established truths that are enshrined in our beloved Faith.  The fact that the Guardian has been specifically endowed with such power as he may need to reveal the purport and disclose the implications of the utterances of Baha'u'llah and of Abdu'l-Baha does not necessarily confer upon him a station co-equal with those Whose words he is called upon to interpret.  He can exercise that right and discharge this obligation and yet remain infinitely inferior to both of them in rank and different in nature."  The World Order of Baha'u'llah by Shoghi Effendi, p. 151 I believe that Shoghi Effendi would be shocked by the very thought that anyone would compare the event of his death with the coming of a Manifestation in the Mighty Plan of God.

Also, Baha'is should take into consideration the following excerpts from Haifa Notes taken during the last year in the life of Shoghi Effendi.  "One evening the Guardian mentioned there had been 6000 years of prophetic revelation to announce the coming of Baha'u'llah and to prepare the world for it - that there would be 500,000 years of revelation under His shadow.  He stated that world civilization will not be inaugurated before another revelation or prophet appears."  Notes of Alice Dudley, 1957

'Near the end of the formative period the nations will unite of their own volition and with the non-commitant expansion of the Cause become merged into the fabric of the World Order of Baha'u'llah.  There will be another Manifestation before this will happen.'  Wm Allison notes 1957

Although Baha'is may know that this is the Revelation of the Greatest Name, most may not know the implications of that Name for God's Cause in this Day.  In Arabic the word is spelled with the three letters BHA' with the mark at the end (indicating the sound "uh" according to Marzieh Gail in her book Baha'i Glossary published by the Baha'i Publishing Trust in 1957) In Arabic the word means "glory" and in Farsi it means "value" or "worth".  In the Baha'i Faith the Arabic is used, and the name Baha'u'llah means "Glory of God".  The symbolic meanings of the Greatest Name will be discussed in a later chapter.


In the book The Heavenly Table by Ishraq Khavari (Iran), Abdu'l-Baha is cited and He speaks of the first two Letters of the Greatest Name BHA' which were revealed in the Bab and Baha'u'llah: "Concerning the Name in the Hidden Words (i.e. #77 in the Persian section), the two Letters of which were revealed, that Name is the Most Great Name (BHA').  The purpose is the Blessed Beauty, and whatever is in our possession is the meaning of two Letters of the Most Great Name that is, B and H."

Look up the word "Ha" in the glossary of the Kitab-i-Iqan as well as the last two pages of that book for confirmation of this statement.

In the following chapters I will discuss the prophecies and signs of the coming of the third Letter of the Greatest Name, the "A" or Alif, that I have discovered through my research.  I will also mention some of the reasons why we need the last part of the Revelation of the Greatest Name for the establishment of the future Kingdom of God on earth.

"...If, in the Day when all the peoples of earth will be gathered together, any man should, whilst standing in the presence of God, be asked:'Wherefore hast thou disbelieved in My Beauty and turned away from My Self,' and if such a man should reply and say:'Inasmuch as all men have erred, and none hath been found willing to turn his face to the Truth, I too, following their example, have grievously failed to recognize the Beauty of the Eternal,' such a plea will, assuredly, be rejected.  For the faith of no man can be conditioned by any one but himself."  Baha'u'llah cited in Baha'i World Faith, p.




"Behold how contrary are the ways of the Manifestations of God, as ordained by the King of Creation, to the ways and desires of men!" Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 57


It seems appropriate, at this point, to discuss the question of tests in the Faith, before continuing with the presentation of signs and prophecies about the coming of the next Manifestation in the Revelation of the Greatest Name.

For almost everyone the turmoil of this age in itself presents countless tests, for it is a time of the moral disintegration of society, the end of one civilization and the beginning of the birth of a new civilization.  And yet the coming of a new Manifestation is a far greater test of faith for almost everyone in these times.  In all past ages, whenever a Manifestation of God has appeared, the majority of the followers of the previous Dispensations, often led by their priests or other religious leaders, have denounced and persecuted God's Chosen Ones.  Because of the multitude of differing interpretations of the Writings of the Manifestations, -- the manner in which the Manifestations of God appear and declare Their Missions, never seems to please the people of the previous Dispensations, nor to fulfill their expectations.  God has always tested His servants in the past, and we cannot expect to escape His Divinely ordained tests today.  "...Inasmuch as the divine Purpose hath decreed that the true should be known from the false, and the sun from the shadow, He hath, therefore, in every season sent down upon mankind the showers of tests from His realm of glory."  Baha'u'llah, in Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 53

"And now ponder in thy heart the commotion which God stirreth up.  Reflect upon the strange and manifold trials with which He doth test His servants."  Ibid, p. 55 Some tests are quite obvious, such as physical calamities, personal misfortune, etc., while others are very subtle, so subtle that we may deny that we are being tested, and these subtle tests are often the kind we encounter in our religious beliefs.  Such tests involve our long-held beliefs, convictions in our faith that are supported by the majority of our peers and by our religious leaders, beliefs that may be totally in error, and which we may accept without investigation or careful thought.  Being able to search out and to move on to higher truth is in itself one of the most severe tests in life for most people, and yet this attribute is one of the most essential prerequisites to spiritual progress.  Baha'is are no more exempt from testing than are the followers of any previous religion, and testing is an essential part of every new Revelation.


"What 'oppression' is more grievous than that a soul seeking the truth, and wishing to attain unto the knowledge of God, should know not where to go for it and from whom to seek it?  For opinions have sorely differed, and the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied.  This 'oppression' is the essential feature of every Revelation.  Unless it cometh to pass, the Sun of Truth will not be made manifest.  For the break of the morn of divine guidance must needs follow the darkness of the night of error..." Ibid, p. 31

As you know from history, and from the Kitab-i-Iqan, most people of the previous Revelations have failed to understand their Teachings or the tests and have blindly followed the admonitions of their leaders or their peers.  They have, in every age, persecuted the Beloved Ones of God, even taking Their lives or putting Them in prison, as they did His Holiness Baha'u'llah.  "Ponder for a moment, and reflect upon that which hath been the cause of such denial on the part of those who have searched with such earnestness and longing.  Their attack hath been more fierce than tongue or pen can describe.  Not one single Manifestation of Holiness hath appeared but He was afflicted by the denials, the repudiation, and the vehement opposition of the people around Him.  Thus it hath been revealed: 'O the misery of men!  No Messenger cometh unto them but they laugh Him to scorn.'  Again He saith: 'Each nation hath plotted darkly against their Messenger to lay violent hold on Him, and disputed with vain words to invalidate the truth.'"  Ibid, pp. 4-5

Although we, as Baha'is, may say, "Yes, but we have learned from the mistakes of the past, and therefore we will not commit those errors, but will avoid such tests," yet the Bab prophesied that Baha'is would make the same mistakes when the third Letter of the Greatest Name appears.  One of the problems we face is that at the appearance of any Manifestation, the tests are not identical to the tests that accompanied previous Manifestations, and today the tests faced by Baha'is may be more difficult than the tests in past ages.

"Regard any people.  In truth They all believe they are searching for God...Nevertheless, they all act and have acted against what is true.  Look at the letters of the Psalms (i.e. who rejected Zoroaster), then the letters of the Bible (i.e. who rejected Christ), then the letters of the Gospel (i.e. who rejected Muhammad), then the letters of the Quran (i.e. who rejected the Bab), then the letters of the Bayan (i.e. who rejected Baha'u'llah), then the letters of the Book of Him Whom God shall make manifest (i.e. Baha'is who will reject the next Manifestation).  From the highest to the most humble, they all imagine that they are searching for God's pleasure and that they have certitude and insight in His Religion; yet all, in the presence of Him Who will be manifested (the third Letter, or Alif, of the Revelation of the Greatest Name) after Him Whom God shall manifest (Baha'u'llah) are like the letters of the previous Books in the presence of the witnesses of the Bayan."  The Bab, in one of His Tablets cited in the introduction and preface of the Arabic Bayan translation of A.L.M. Nicolas

In this Holy Revelation of the Greatest Name, revealed first through the Blessed Beauty, the Bab, and then through His Holiness Baha'u'llah, the tests are certain to exceed those of any past Revelation because of the greatness of this Day of God, the high requirements for true believers, and the power and extent of this Revelation.  It is for this reason that Baha'u'llah sternly warned His followers that they must think for themselves, search earnestly for truth, and not simply accept the ideas of their leaders , teachers or peers.  "Notwithstanding the divinely-inspired admonitions of all the Prophets, the saints and the Chosen Ones of God, enjoining the people to see with their own eyes and hear with their own ears, they have disdainfully rejected their counsels and have blindly followed and will continue to follow the leaders of their Faith."  Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 164

"...The people have always busied themselves with such specious discourse, vainly protesting: 'Wherefore hath not this or that sign appeared?'  Such ills befell them only because they have clung to the ways of the divines in the age in which they lived, and blindly imitating them in accepting or denying these Essences of Detachment, these holy and divine Beings.  These leaders...have regarded the divine Luminaries as being opposed to the standards of their knowledge and understanding, and the opponents of their ways and judgements...And yet they bear witness to this well-known tradition: 'Verily Our Word is abstruse, bewilderingly abstruse.'  In another instance it is said: 'Our Cause is sorely trying, highly perplexing; none can bear it except a favorite of heaven, or an inspired Prophet, or he whose faith God hath tested.'  These leaders of religion admit that none of these three specified conditions is applicable to them.  The first two conditions are manifestly beyond their reach; as to the third, it is evident that at no time have they been proof against those tests that have been sent by God, and that when the divine Touchstone appeared, they have shown themselves to be naught but dross."  Ibid., pp. 81-82


"Gracious God !  It was intended that at the time of the manifestation of the One true God the faculty of recognizing Him would have been developed and matured and would have reached its culmination.  However, it is now clearly demonstrated that in the disbelievers this faculty hath remained undeveloped and hath, indeed, degenerated."  Baha'u'llah in Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 53 (Publ. 1982 by UHJ)

We should not reject new ideas without thought, but look into any information about a Manifestation with deliberate care.  "...We must always anticipate, always be hopeful and pray to God that He will send unto us His holy Manifestations in Their most perfect might, with the divine penetrative power of His Word, so that these heavenly Ones may be distinguished above all other beings in every respect, in every attribute, just as the glorious sun is distinguished above all stars.  Abdu'l-Baha in Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 467


Sometimes the Will of God brings about changes in His Cause which are contrary to our understanding of His intentions.  Believers often have difficulty surrendering old paradigms, conditioned thinking, about the meanings of the Teachings.  When such unexpected changes occur, for many believers it is like having a rug pulled out from under them, and as a result many have problems accepting the Will of God.  And yet, submission to the Will of God, and that God does whatsoever He wills, are two of the principal teachings of Baha'u'llah.  "...If we ever dare to limit and circumscribe God's purpose within any bounds, then of necessity we have dared to set limitations to the omnipotence of God.  The created has dared to define his Creator!" Abdu'l-Baha cited in Baha'i Scriptures, p. 402 Humans have the tendency to define what God may or may not do, based on their understanding of the Teachings, and this is one of the reasons they are veiled from Truth when the Manifestations appear with the Word of God.

"The Second Tajalli is steadfastness in the Cause of God and in His love ---- exalted is His glory!  This cannot be attained except through knowledge of Him, and a perfect knowledge of Him cannot be obtained except by confessing the blessed Word:'GOD DOETH THAT WHICH HE WILLETH.'  He who adheres to this exalted Word, and drinks from the kawther of divine utterance which is deposited therein, will find himself so steadfast that all the books of the world shall not withhold him from the 'Mother Book.'  Oh!  Great is this lofty station, exalted position, and furthermost end!" Baha'u'llah cited in Baha'i World Faith, p. 189, 1956 ed.  This difficulty humans often have of submitting to the will of God, when it runs counter to their understanding of the prophecies and other Teachings, must be the reason Baha'u'llah is apprehensive for the safety of the next Manifestation when He declares His Mission.

"I am not apprehensive for My own Self, My fears are for Him Who will be sent down unto you after Me -- Him Who will be invested with great sovereignty and mighty dominion."  Baha'u'llah cited in The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 117

"By those words which I have revealed, Myself is not intended, but rather He Who will come after Me.  To it is witness God, the All-Knowing...Deal not with Him as ye have dealt with Me."  Ibid, p. 117

Recall what occurred in the Dispensation of the Bab, testing the submission of the Babis to the Will of God.  In both the Arabic and Persian Bayans the Bab revealed laws and teachings covering individual life and government seemingly suitable for a Dispensation of 1000 years or so.  Babis living in those days assumed that the level of civilization of that time would remain practically unchanged.  The Bab gave instructions for taxation, for building shrines, for maintenance of cities, for personal conduct (many of the same laws appearing in the Kitab-i-Aqdas), etc. indicating to the Babis of the time that His Dispensation would last a very long time.  Besides, in the Persian Bayan He wrote that the next Manifestation would appear in about 1500 or 2000 years, according to the understanding of most Babis.  In both Bayans He spoke repeatedly of He Whom God will make manifest, without saying that He would appear before 1000 years, except IN VERY VEILED REFERENCES AND PROPHECIES.  Of course there were other prophecies of Muhammad and Siyyid Kazim, telling of the coming Promised One, also in veiled language, just as there are such prophecies concerning the coming of the next Manifestation.  Just as today, no one paid attention nor made much effort to search out the hidden truth.  Most Babis, not being able to see the signs and not studying the Teachings carefully, went by what appeared to them to be clear prophecies of 1500 or 2000 years, and when Baha'u'llah appeared they told Him that He could not be the Promised One because He had appeared too soon.  To such accusations Baha'u'llah responded: "...O ye who are inly blind!  Whether too soon or too late, the evidences of His effulgent glory are now manifest.  It behoveth you to ascertain whether or not such a Light hath appeared.  It is neither within your power nor mine to set the time at which it should be made manifest."  Gleanings, p. 103

Baha'u'llah also stated that we must investigate and know for ourselves about anyone who claims to be a Manifestation, seeking for the fulfillment of the necessary requisites of that Exalted Station.

"...these holy, divine Manifestations are and must always be distinguished above all other beings in every attribute of glory and perfection in order that it may be proven that the Manifestation is the true Teacher and real Trainer; that He is the Sun of Truth, endowed with a supreme splendor and reflecting the beauty of God...The real Manifestation of God must be endowed with divine knowledge and not dependent upon learning acquired in schools.  He must be the Educator, not the educated; His standard, intuition instead of tuition.  He must be perfect and not imperfect, great and glorious instead of being weak and impotent.  He must be wealthy in the riches of the spiritual world and not indigent.  In a word, the holy, divine Manifestation of God must be distinguished above all others of mankind in every aspect and qualification in order that He may be able to train effectively the human body politic, eliminate the darkness enshrouding the human world, uplift humanity from a lower to a higher kingdom, be able through the penetrative power of His Word to promote and spread broadcast the beneficent message of universal peace among men, bring about the unification of humanity in religious belief through a manifest divine power, harmonize all sects and denominations and convert all native lands and nationalities into one native land and fatherland."  Abdu'l-Baha in Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 467

"The first and foremost testimony establishing His truth is His own Self.  Next to this testimony is His Revelation.  For whoso faileth to recognize either the one or the other He hath established the words He hath revealed as the proof of His reality and truth..." Baha'u'llah in Gleanings, LII

"...Heard it ye ever reported by your fathers of old, or by the generations that preceded them, even unto the first Adam, that any one coming in the clouds of revelation being invested with manifest and transcendent sovereignty, having on his right hand the Kingdom of God and on his left all the power and glory of everlasting dominion, any one preceded by the hosts of God, the Almighty, the All-Compelling, the Most Powerful, and uttering continually verses whose import the minds of the most learned and wisest of men are powerless to fathom, should yet be the bearer of a message that is not of God?  Be discerning, then, and speak ye the truth, the very truth, if ye claim to be honest and high minded."  Gleanings. pp. 258-259

Today the test of submission to the Will of God has appeared with greater strength because we have been given the opportunity for greater spiritual knowledge and insight into the meaning of such tests through the Kitab-i-Iqan and other Books of Baha'u'llah, and repeatedly warned that we must wholly submit to the Will of God.  The following statements indicate that God can, in fact, change those aspects of His Cause that we consider irrevocable.  In the Most Great Infallibility there is no change of plans but from the viewpoint of the creatures it appears that God changes His plans, whereas past and future events and possibilities are all known to God.  For example, the end of the Guardianship seems to Baha'is to be a change of God's plan because we have assumed it would never end, yet if it had not ended, at least temporarily until the next Manifestation, there would be no test of believers, all Baha'is would accept the Manifestation, and the statement of Baha'u'llah on page 9 ("I am not apprehensive for My own Self, My fears are for Him Who will be sent down unto you after Me") would have no meaning.

"Concerning this, that God doth in Truth change His plans.  God is not worshipped by anything as he is by (the Doctrine) Al-Bida (i.e. Bada) since this is a confession of His power to do what He pleaseth."  Persian Bayan, Vahid IV:3 "What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm..." Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 147

"O thou who hast fixed thy gaze upon the Dawning-Place of the Cause of God!  Know thou for a certainty that the Will of God is not limited by the standards of the people, and God doth not tread in their ways..." Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 109 (Publ. by UHJ committee)

Baha'is, should remember that a Covenant is a two-way agreement.  When God makes a Covenant with the believers of His Manifestation, the promises made therein require that the believers obey His Teachings and Laws.  If they fail to obey, or ignore, His Appointed Interpreters and the Will and Testament, they ought not expect that the promises made, which were conditional on their obedience, to be fulfilled.  This might appear to Baha'is to be a change of plans by God.  If we knew how and when God would test us, and understood completely the outcome, it would no longer be a test.  Tests from God are never quite what we anticipate, and they separate the believers, so that the sincere are known from those who are weak in their faith.

"Behold how contrary are the ways of the Manifestations of God, as ordained by the King of creation, to the ways and desires of men!" Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 57

"'Verily Our Word is abstruse, bewilderingly abstruse.'  In another instance, it is said: 'Our Cause is sorely trying, highly perplexing, none can bear it except a favorite of heaven, or an inspired Prophet, or he whose faith God hath tested.'".  Ibid., p. 82

"There are before you so many temptations, trials, afflictions, calamities and difficulties because you have to be purified through fire and sifted through the sieve in order to separate the wheat from the tares.  Verily, I say unto you; none will be saved but the believers, and from the believers only the sincere, and even those are in great danger, especially in such a time."  Abdu'l-Baha, cited in Baha'i Scriptures, p. 443





"The Guardians are the evidences of the maturity of mankind in the sense that at long last men have progressed to the point of having one world, and by needing one world management for world affairs...In the spiritual realm they have also reached the point where God could leave, in human hands, that is, the Guardians, guided directly by the Bab and Baha'u'llah, the affairs of His Faith for this Dispensation..." Shoghi Effendi cited in Baha'i News, June 1950


In The World Order of Baha'u'llah, page 20, Shoghi Effendi writes of the lack of specific authority from Christ, giving any of His followers the sole right to interpret His Word, and the results of that missing authority.  The same problem now exists within the Baha'i community (communities) without an appointed Guardian, and unless God intervenes the future is bleak for the Baha'is.

"...none did He specifically invest with sufficient authority to either interpret His Word, or to add to what He had not specifically enjoined...For this reason, in later generations, voices were raised in protest against the self-appointed Authority which arrogated to itself privileges and powers which did not emanate from the clear text of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and which constituted a grave departure from the spirit which that Gospel did inculcate..."

Today the leaders of each of the Baha'i groups consider themselves to have the right to call anyone who disagrees with their interpretations of the Teachings, or their acts based on such interpretations, "violators".  None of these leaders, including the UHJ as a body, can substantiate such claims from the explicit text of either the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha or the Writings of Baha'u'llah.  If such a situation continues, in the future there would be millions who would disagree with the interpretations of these leaders, quite willing and able to challenge their claims of authority.  As a consequence those millions would be considered outcasts from the Baha'i communities.  How can there be a World Order based on such an unstable foundation?  The Hands called the Guardianship "Bada", meaning that God had changed the plans for His Cause, and the Guardianship was no longer necessary.  But did He change His plans?  In fact, as we noted earlier, the temporary termination of the Guardianship is essential for the appearance of the next Manifestation of the Revelation of the Greatest Name.  In the opening quotation we see that Shoghi Effendi spoke of the Guardianship as being a sign of human maturity, and that it would last for the length of the Dispensation.  Abdu'l-Baha stressed the importance of having an "authorized" or "appointed" interpreter of the Word, and as we have seen, at this time there is no such interpreter.

"The text of the Divine Book is this: If two souls quarrel and contend about a question of the Divine Questions, differing and disputing, both are wrong.  The wisdom of this incontrovertible law of God is this: that between two souls from amongst the believers of God, no contention and dispute might arise; that they may speak with each other with infinite amity and love.  Should there appear the least trace of controversy, they must remain silent, and both parties must continue their discussions no longer, but ask the reality of the question from the Interpreter.  This is the irrefutable command."  Abdu'l-Baha cited in Baha'i World Faith, p. 428

According to Shoghi Effendi's interpretations, stated in his book Dispensation, any future UHJ must have a Guardian to interpret the Teachings, and tell the UHJ members when their legislation is opposed to the Writings of Baha'u'llah, and if they are exceeding their mandate.  As you can see from the following statement by Baha'u'llah, interpretations of the Writings are manifold, and only an appointed interpreter can comprehend their meanings.  So any future UHJ will need a Guardian as a member of that body.  "Know assuredly that just as thou firmly believest that the Word of God, exalted be His glory, endureth for ever, thou must, likewise, believe with undoubting faith, that the meaning can never be exhausted.  They who are its appointed interpreters, they whose hearts are the repositories of its secrets, are, however, the only ones who can comprehend its manifold wisdom."  Baha'u'llah in Gleanings, p. 175


Despite this clear statement of Baha'u'llah that the meaning of the Word of God can never be exhausted, and that only the appointed interpreters can comprehend its meaning, the editors of the 1980 edition of Baha'u'llah and the New Era on page 285,inserted the statement:"Pure and inviolate, the revealed Word of Baha'u'llah, with its authorized interpretation, remains throughout the Dispensation the uncorrupted and incorruptable source of spiritual life to men," implying that very few interpretations in our possession from the time of Shoghi Effendi will suffice until the next Manifestation in 1000 years.  Speaking of the importance of the Guardianship in the World Order of God's Cause, Shoghi Effendi, on page 148 of The World Order of Baha'u'llah (also in the separate edition called Dispensation which is part of that book) tells us that the Guardianship is indispensable.  "Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Baha'u'llah would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle, which, as Abdu'l-Baha has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God...Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered.  Its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations, would be completely lacking, and necessary guidance to define the sphere of legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn."

Although in Dispensation Shoghi Effendi speaks of "twin institutions" he makes it abundantly clear in the following paragraphs that he does not mean identical twins, rather that the two institutions are indispensable to one another, each having its own distinct functions.  Neither institution can claim the functions of the other institution.

No Baha'i should underestimate the vital importance of the Guardianship, the Appointed Interpreter, for the spiritual unity of humanity, and the success of any World Order.  It is God's World Order, not ours, and it belongs to all of humanity, not to the Baha'is.  The idea, held by many, that any one of the existing leaders or the UHJ can fulfill the functions of a Guardian, are seriously in error, and the very Words of God testify to this fact, as do current events within the Baha'i community.  Today a serious problem exists, a problem that only God can resolve, and we ought not believe that God cannot intervene in human affairs whenever He wills, in order to establish HIS WORLD ORDER and the Kingdom of God on earth.

"What 'oppression' is more grievous than that a soul seeking the truth, and wishing to attain unto the knowledge of God, should know not where to go for it and from whom to seek it?  For opinions have sorely differed, and the ways unto the attainment of God have multiplied.  This 'oppression' is the essential feature of every Revelation.  Unless it cometh to pass, the Sun of Truth will not be made manifest.  For the break of the morn of divine guidance must needs follow the darkness of the night of error..." Baha'u'llah in Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 31




"As soon as men are ready to receive it the Tree of Truth descends from 'I was a Hidden Treasure.'"  Persian Bayan VI:13


In addition to the lack of a Guardian for the future World Order of God's Cause, a second indication that this Revelation of the Greatest Name is not yet complete is the fact that a vast number of the Writings of Baha'u'llah were deliberately destroyed because mankind was not ready for them at the time they were revealed.  "As to those verses which He either dictated or wrote Himself, their number was no less remarkable than either the wealth of material they contained, or the diversity of subjects to which they referred.  A vast, and indeed the greater proportion of these Writings were, alas, lost irretrievably to posterity.  No less an authority than Mirza Aqa Jan, Baha'u'llah's amanuensis, affirms, as reported by Nabil, that by the express order of Baha'u'llah, hundreds of thousands of verses, mostly written by His own hand, were obliterated and cast into the river.  'Finding me reluctant to execute His orders,' Mirza Aqa Jan has related to Nabil, 'Baha'u'llah would reassure me saying:'None is to be found at this time worthy to hear these melodies.'  Not once, or twice, but innumerable times, was I commanded to repeat this act.'"  God Passes By, p. 138

In the following statements, Baha'u'llah indicates that the full extent of this Revelation of the Greatest Name remained concealed from us because the people still did not have the capacity to benefit or to understand these advanced teachings.  "Know verily that the veil hiding Our countenance hath not been completely lifted.  We have revealed Our Self to a degree corresponding to the capacity of the people of Our age.  Should the Ancient Beauty be unveiled in the fullness of His glory mortal eyes would be blinded by the dazzling intensity of His revelation."  Baha'u'llah cited in The World Order of Baha'u'llah, 1944 ed., page 116


"The Revelation of which I am the bearer is adapted to humanity's spiritual receptiveness and capacity; otherwise, the Light that shines within Me can neither wax nor wane.  Whatever I manifest is nothing more or less than the measure of the Divine glory which God has bidden me reveal."  Ibid, p. 60

Although Baha'u'llah could not, at the time of His Mission, reveal more than a limited number of Teachings, He did promise that the Day is approaching when the Revelation of the Greatest Name would be completely revealed.  He prophesied that even if the nations or the rulers opposed the Promised One, He would remain unshaken.  "The heights which, through the most gracious favor of God, mortal man can attain in this Day, are as yet unrevealed to his sight.  The world of being hath never had, nor doth it yet possess the capacity for such a revelation.  The Day, however, is approaching when the potentialities of so great a favor will, by virtue of His behest, be manifested unto men.  Though the forces of the nations be arrayed against Him, though the kings of the earth be leagued to undermine His Cause, the power of His might shall stand unshaken.  He verily, speaketh the truth, and summoneth all mankind to the way of Him Who is the Incomparable, the All-Knowing."  Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, p. 214

The time that elapsed between the beginning of the Revelation of the Bab and that of Baha'u'llah was only nine years, and in that time mankind was prepared for the next part of the Revelation of the Greatest Name.  In the Persian Bayan the Bab states that as soon as humanity is ready, and has the capacity for greater spiritual truth, God reveals Himself through His Prophet.  "As soon as men are ready to receive it, the Tree of Truth descends from 'I was a Hidden Treasure.'" Vahid VI:13 "And in every case the Tree of Truth regards the capacity of His people; whenever He sees that they are ready for the Manifestation in the mirror of their hearts, He reveals Himself." Vahid VII:11

Perhaps the concept of a Revelation coming whenever humanity reaches a certain point of spiritual capacity, whether it be after nine or a thousand years, is new to many believers.  During the nine years that elapsed from the beginnings of the Revelations of the Bab and Baha'u'llah only a limited number of souls had acquired the capacity for the immediate acceptance of a new Revelation, others followed later.  New levels of thinking and spiritual evolution always seem to shine forth first in a few special, spiritual souls, and then, gradually, the rest of humanity follows.

In 1992 one hundred years elapsed since the Ascension of Baha'u'llah, and the influence of the Word of God has had world-wide effects, causing vast changes in the ways people think and live.  World-wide communications have been established, means of travel have been revolutionized, science has made incredible progress, and on the physical plane at least, the "oneness" of humanity is being realized.  It is as if a vast nerve structure has been created throughout the world, ready for the coming of a truly spiritual humanity, responsive to the Word of God.  Baha'u'llah spoke of the appearance of special, spiritually advanced people who would appear and be prepared by God in these time to serve His Cause, to awaken the body of a new humanity that is being prepared for birth by God.  "There lay concealed within the Holy Veil, and prepared for the service of God, a company of His chosen ones who shall be manifested unto men, who shall aid His Cause, who shall be afraid of no one, though the entire human race rise up and war against them.  These are the ones who, before the gaze of the dwellers on earth and the denizens of heaven, shall arise and, shouting aloud, acclaim the name of the Almighty, and summon the children of men to the path of God, the All-Glorious, the All-Praised." Baha'u'llah cited in The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 85

"The day is approaching when God will have, by an act of His Will, raised up a race of men the nature of which is inscrutable to all save God, the All-Powerful, the Self-Subsisting." Ibid, p. 85 "A race of men incomparable in character, shall be raised up which, with the feet of detachment, will tread under all who are in heaven and on earth, and will cast the sleeve of holiness over all that hath been created from water and clay." Ibid, p. 31

The question of when the next part of the Revelation of the Greatest Name will be made manifest in the world, is discussed in the following chapters of this book.  Although most Baha'is today believe that they know when the next Manifestation will appear, that is, sometime a thousand years after 1852 or 1892, no beginning date for the thousand years is given in the authoritative Writings.  One of the Teachings stressed in the Writings of Baha'u'llah is the truth that God does whatsoever He wills, which is not always what the people expect, or have arbitrarily decided.  When the Babis questioned Baha'u'llah about His claims, saying that he had appeared about one thousand years too soon, He replied:

"For none knoweth the time of the Revelation except God.  Whenever it appeareth, all must acknowledge the Point of Truth, and render thanks unto God." Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 157





"Beware, O believers in the Unity of God, lest ye be tempted to make any distinction between any of the Manifestations of His Cause, or to discriminate against the signs that have accompanied and proclaimed their Revelation...Be ye assured, moreover, that the works and acts of each and every one of these Manifestations of God, nay whatever pertaineth unto them, and whatsoever they may manifest in the future, are all ordained by God, and are a reflection of His Will and Purpose.  Whoso maketh the slightest difference between their persons, their words, their messages, their acts and manners, hath indeed disbelieved in God, hath repudiated His signs, and betrayed the Cause of His Messengers." Baha'u'llah in Gleanings, pp. 59-60


The oneness of the Manifestations is often not stressed enough in the study of the Teachings of Baha'u'llah.  All Manifestations reflect the same Holy Spirit, sometimes referred to as the Ancient Beauty or the Ancient of Days, terms used in reference to God Himself, because the Holy Spirit reflects the Word of God.  In view of this truth, it is important for many Baha'is to reconsider their concept of the station of the Bab, because many believe He was only a Herald of Baha'u'llah.  He was in every degree a Holy Manifestation of God, reflecting the will and purpose of God, proclaiming a Revelation direct from God.  Moreover, the Bab Himself explains that all of the Manifestations of God prepare the way for the next Manifestation to appear, and are Heralds of the next Manifestation.  "It is clear and evident that the object of all preceding Dispensations hath been to pave the way for the advent of Muhammad, the Apostle of God.  These, including the Muhammadan Dispensation, have had, in their turn, as their objective the Revelation proclaimed by the Qa'im (i.e. the Bab).  The purpose underlying this Revelation, as well as those that preceded it, has, in like manner, been to announce the advent of the Faith of Him Whom God will make manifest (i.e. Baha'u'llah).  And this Faith, -- the Faith of Him Whom God will make manifest -- in its turn, together with all the Revelations gone before it, have as their object the Manifestation destined to succeed it.  And the latter, no less than all the Revelations preceding it, prepare the way for the Revelation which is yet to follow.  The process of the rise and setting of the Sun of Truth will thus indefinitely continue -- a process which hath no beginning and will have no end." The Bab, cited in The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 117

In God Passes By, Shoghi Effendi says that the Revelation of Baha'u'llah will overshadow future Revelations for the next 500,000 years.  This statement must be considered in relation to the above quotations of the Bab and Baha'u'llah.  Taken literally this would indicate that future Revelations will be less than that revealed through Baha'u'llah, but this cannot be so.  Every Manifestation manifests the Holy Spirit, that Ancient Beauty, and it is the same Holy Spirit.  God cannot be overshadowed by God, the Holy Spirit is the same in every Revelation and cannot be overshadowed by Itself.  Therefore, the intent is not the literal meaning.  Consider carefully the following statement of the Bab, concerning future Revelations, which expresses the same principle of progressive Revelation taught by Baha'u'llah.  "...each Manifestation is more perfect than the last and includes all preceding ones (Vahid III:13)...and each time the Divine Will returns with increased strength and fuller utterance (Vahid III:12)" "A new Manifestation comes as soon as the evolution of the human race has prepared men for it. (Vahid VI:13)" "...but only God knows when it will be (Vahid VII:10), Vahid III:15)" The Bab in the Persian Bayan, trans. by E.G. Browne

The spiritual and intellectual evolution of humanity requires a fuller Revelation with each new Manifestation.  However, there are certain teachings which might be considered absolutes for a certain period of time, since they cannot be exceeded until humanity reaches a certain level of social organization, scientific progress and spiritual development.  Such teachings as world unity, universal education, the oneness of the human race, etc. are among those teachings which will be supported for an indefinite time.  This is the intent of "overshadow".  These Teachings are from God, but need not be extended until perhaps, we attain superluminal communication with other planets (which today's scientists say is impossible), circling other stars.  Teachings that define social relations within the scope of world unity, and other universal teachings, will most certainly be extended.  Teachings that concern our understanding of the universe and of our own spiritual essence and powers, will be revealed.  Human spiritual awareness of God will be increased with more advanced teachings, and the Kingdom of God will be established on earth.


In Muslim eschatology (study of last, or final things) a general sequence of events regarding the Last Day, is as follows.  This "schedule" of events is repeated in the prophecies of Siyyid Kazim, one of the forerunners of the Bab and Baha'u'llah.

1. Appearance of antichrist (Karim Khan and Mirza Yahya)

2. Descent of Mahdi and Isa (the Bab and Baha'u'llah)

3. First blast of the trumpet (Revelation of the Bab, the "B" of the Greatest Name.)

4. Second blast of the trumpet (Revelation of Baha'u'llah, the "H" of the Greatest Name.)

5. Long interval, while people stand before God for judgement (period now reaching termination).

6. Judgement Day (Literally, the collapse of this world civilization.

Figuratively, the coming of the Manifestation of the third Letter "A" of the Greatest Name.)

7. The intercession for the faithful few by Muhammad (the "A" of the Greatest Name, BHA')


In Muslim traditions (from Muhammad and Ali) the three Manifestations of the Greatest Name are given titles that indicate their particular part of the Message of the Revelation of the Greatest Name.  The first to appear is named the Mahdi, which means guided or enlightened One, who took the name Bab (Gate) at the beginning of His Revelation, but later declared that He was the Qa'im, the Promised One of all religions.  (The name Bab was then bestowed upon Mullah Husayn, who was first called the Bab'ul'Bab, or gate of the Gate).  The Bab declared that He was the "B", the first Letter of the Greatest Name.  The Bab stated: "Whatever is attributed to Me in this Paradise is exactly the same as those things attributed to Him Whom God will make manifest (i.e. Baha'u'llah).  Will you not enter this Paradise?" Arabic Bayan


The second name is Isa, Who was to immediately follow the Qa'im.  The name means the Christ Spirit, and indicates the powerful spiritual nature of the Revelation given through Baha'u'llah.  Baha'u'llah also laid the foundations of the future World Order of the new age, and gave an indication of the structure of the future world government.  He said He represented the "H" of the Greatest Name of God, BHA' In the Quran Muhammad said that the coming of Isa would be the sign of the coming of the Hour of Judgement for humanity.  "And Jesus (i.e. Isa) will be a Sign for the coming of the Hour of Judgement; therefore have no doubt about the Hour but follow ye Me; this is a Straight Way." Quran, XLIII:61

After the time of Judgement (the Hour or the Appointed Hour), the third Letter of the Greatest Name is to appear, and His name in the traditions is Muhammad, or the Prophet.  This is indicative of the role Muhammad played during His lifetime, as an organizer and lawgiver unparalleled in history (see Muhammad the Prophet by Maulana Muhammad Ali, Ripon Press, Lahore).  Of course Muhammad also gave powerful spiritual teachings, and the third Letter, the Alif or "A" will give those teachings which Baha'u'llah destroyed because mankind was not yet ready to receive them.


In some Baha'i prayers the Names of the three Manifestations are given as the Most-Exalted, the All-Glorious, and the All-Highest, which, of course, are Names of God, and the Letters of the Greatest Name manifest the All-Mighty




"Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Ta (Tihran), for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind." Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, p. 110

In the Kitab-i-Aqdas Baha'u'llah mentions the numerical value of the Greatest Name (the letter "t" pronounced ta, has the Abjad value of nine): "Say: This is the hidden knowledge which never changes because it begins with al-ta, which indicates the treasured, manifest, well-fortified, and unapproachable Name." Elder and Miller translation, p. 31 (In the latest translation, publ. by the UHJ, p. 28, this is translated as follows:) "Say: This is that hidden knowledge which shall never change, since its beginning is with nine, the symbol that betokeneth the concealed and manifest, the inviolable and unapproachably exalted Name."

As you can see from the first quotation at the head of the page, Tihran is also designated by the number nine, because Baha'u'llah began His Mission there in 1852 while imprisoned.  In the appendix there is an explanation of the use and significance of numbers and letters in the Holy Books.  Here I will mention only some of the symbolic meanings of the Greatest Name BHA', and of the word ALF.  As noted in Chapter I the Writings of Baha'u'llah are usually in Arabic, and the Kitab-i-Aqdas is in Arabic.

The numerical value of Arabic and Persian words in the Writings of the Bab and Baha'u'llah are calculated using the Abjad numbering system for the letters of the Arabic alphabet, and it is not applicable for transliterated words.  In Arabic, vowels are often not shown in the word, as we will see.  (See the book A Basic Baha'i Dictionary by Wendi Momen, publ. 1991 by G. Ronald, Oxford, p.6, or in Baha'i Glossary by Marzieh Gail, publ. 1957, Baha'i Publ. Trust, Wilmette, p.2) Using this system the numerical value of BHA' is nine because the "B" equals 2, the "H" equals 5, the "A" equals 1 and the "'" equals 1.  There are three Letters in the Greatest Name, and in symbolism three is usually indicative of perfection (The Manifestation, the Holy Spirit and God).  Three times three or nine, is the superlative of three, which indicates absolute perfection.  The word BHA' is composed of three letters, indicating the three part Revelation, which is equal to nine when completed, or the perfection of the Greatest Name.  The Revelation of the Greatest Name will not be complete until the third Letter of the Greatest Name is revealed.


When the Bab appeared He stated that He represented the Letter "B" of the Greatest Name, the Gate to the two "Alifs" to follow Him.  Alif (or Alf) is the word indicating the letter "A" with the Abjad value of "1" or unity, and in the following quotation it signifies the unity of the Manifestation and the Word of God.  That is, two Manifestations of God are to follow the Bab.  The Bab refers to Himself as "the Ba (i.e. "B") which permeates the water of the Letters, and the point which stands at the Gate of the two Alifs."  The Bab, cited in Selections from the Writings of E.G. Browne, by M. Moman, p. 215

When Baha'u'llah appeared He indicated that He represented the Letter "H" of the Greatest Name (see p. 261 of the 1954 edition of the Kitab-i-Iqan, as well as the footnote on page 56 of the 1952 edition of The Four Valleys and the Seven Valleys, both publ. by Baha'i Publ. Trust, Wilmette) You will also recall that at the end of the Kitab-i-Iqan Baha'u'llah also refers to Himself as both the "B" and the "H" (the Ba and the Ha) of the Greatest Name.  This is because every Manifestation of God represents the same Holy Spirit as all the Manifestations Who have gone before.  It also indicates, when He says that He is "none other except the Primal Point" that His Revelation is the same Revelation of the Greatest Name as that inaugurated by the Bab.  "He Who now voiceth the Word of God is none other except the Primal Point Who hath once again been made manifest."  "He is the same as the One Who appeared in the year sixty (1260 A.H.)." Baha'u'llah cited in The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 139, 1944 ed.

In Chapter I we saw that Abdu'l-Baha said that only two Letters of the Greatest Name had been revealed, in the first two parts of this Revelation.  "Concerning the Name in the Hidden Words (i.e. #77 in the Persian section), the two Letters of which were revealed, that Name is the Most Great Name (BHA').  The purpose is the Blessed Beauty, and whatever is in our possession is the meaning of two Letters of the Most Great Name; that is, B and H."  When the third Letter of the Greatest Name, the Alif or "A", appears, the three part Revelation from God will be completed.  That there are three Letters of the one Name of God indicates, symbolically, that these are not independent Revelations, but parts of one great Revelation from one God, one Cause of God.  In each succeeding Manifestation all the Letters and perfections of the previous Manifestations are present and manifest.



The words for "a" and for "one thousand" in Arabic are both spelled the same, although their meanings change according to the context wherein they are used.  This subject is discussed in the Appendix.  In the discussion below the literal meanings of the word (s) are not important, and the spelling is identical (ALF) for both uses.  In discussing the symbolic significance of the word it is the Abjad numerical value that is considered here, and the symbolic meaning of the numbers themselves.

The Kitab-i-Aqdas is written in Arabic, and the word ALF is used in the thousand year prophecy to indicate one thousand.  The word ALF (which in this instance is transliterated Alif in this usage) is the name of the first letter "a" of the Arabic alphabet.  This letter is the same as the number "1" in Arabic, and it also has the Abjad value of "1".  The letter ALF, or ALIF as it is transliterated, is used to indicate the Manifestations because its value of "1" indicates the unity of God and the Manifestation.  The lover and the Beloved are united in the ALF, as it is written in the Qura "Arise, O Muhammad, for lo, the Lover and the Beloved are made One in Thee."

As noted above, the Bab refers to Himself as "the Ba (i.e. the Letter "B") which permeates the water of the Letters, and the Point which stands at the Gate of the two Alifs."  Because the ALF (ALIF) symbolizes the Manifestations, the Bab is the first ALF (ALIF) Who is the Gate to the two ALFs (ALIFs) or Manifestations to follow.

The WORD ALF, used to indicate either "1,000" or "a", has the Abjad value of 111 (A=1, L=30 and F=80 for a total of 111), or three ALFs (ALIFs).  This is symbolic of the unity of this one Revelation of the Greatest Name BHA', and of the oneness of the three Manifestations Who reveal this one Divine Revelation.  This unity is also demonstrated by the three Letters of the Greatest Name BHA', as discussed above.  So in the thousand year prophecy the word ALF can also symbolize three Manifestations of the Revelation of the Greatest Name.  If you reckon from the date of the beginning of the Mission of Baha'u'llah, which was in 1852, until 1963, you find that 111 years have elapsed.  1963 was the end of the 100 years given by God for mankind to turn to His Holiness Baha'u'llah, as Shoghi Effendi wrote in Promised Day is Come (p. 4): "For a whole century God has respited mankind that it might acknowledge the Founder of such a Revelation, espouse His Cause, proclaim His greatness and establish His Cause."

Abdu'l-Baha wrote that after that date (1963) the time of tribulations would begin if mankind did not respond favorably to the Cause of God.  May 1992 was the 100th anniversary of the Ascension of Baha'u'llah, and in the coming years the troubles which encompass mankind will intensify, until the final calamity, as discussed in the coming chapters.

The letter "A", or ALF/ALIF, symbolizes the universal power and influence of the coming part of the Revelation of the Greatest Name.  The letter "A" indicates a new beginning, and as we have seen, in Arabic it indicates one or unity; the most great unity of the Creator as well as the beginning of all things in the New Age, the Age of the Kingdom of God on earth.  The ALF/ALIF is like the alpha in Greek, symbolizing the time of the unification of all humanity (see Revelation of St. John) and the universal recognition of the oneness of God and HIS Cause, as represented by all past revealed religions.  The mark (') following the "A" in the Greatest Name BHA' points to the incomparable spiritual station of the successor of the Alif, the All-Highest, even though he will not be a Letter of the Greatest Name, nor a Manifestation.




"With regard to the spiritual influence of the stars, though this influence of stars in the human world may appear strange, still, if you reflect deeply upon this subject, you will not be so much surprised at it...I mean that this limitless universe is like the human body, all the members of which are connected and linked with one another with the greatest strength...the parts of this infinite universe have their members and elements connected with one another, and influence one another spiritually and materially." Abdu'l-Baha in Some Answered Questions, LXIX


Christians often speak of the "star" which appeared in the heavens prior to the appearance of His Holiness Jesus Christ.  I cannot recall ever hearing any Baha'i speak of the signs in the visible heaven that heralded the appearances of the Bab and Baha'u'llah , although one did speak of a comet, which is not an unusual event, and as you see in the quotations below, Baha'u'llah speaks of a "star" being discovered.  Three major planets in the solar system were discovered during this time, with a most astonishing relationship, as we shall see.  In the Kitab-i-Iqan (pp. 61-66) Baha'u'llah discusses at length the question of "stars" appearing in the visible and invisible heavens prior to the coming of a Manifestation.

"And now, concerning His words:'And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in the heaven,' by these words is meant that when the sun of the heavenly teachings hath been eclipsed, the stars of the divinely-established laws have fallen, and the moon of true knowledge -- the educator of mankind -- hath been obscured: when the standards of guidance and felicity have been reversed, and the morn of truth and righteousness hath sunk in night, then shall the sign of the Son of man appear in heaven.  By 'heaven is meant the visible heaven, inasmuch as when the hour draweth nigh on which the Day-Star of the heaven of justice shall be made manifest, and the Ark of divine guidance shall sail upon the sea of glory, a star shall appear in the heaven, heralding unto its people the advent of that most great light.  In like manner, in the invisible heaven a star shall be made manifest who, unto the peoples of the earth, shall act as a harbinger of the break of that true and exalted Morn.  These twofold signs, in the visible and invisible heaven, have announced the revelation of each of the Prophets of God, as is commonly believed."

"Among the Prophets was Abraham, the Friend of God.  Ere He manifested Himself, Nimrod dreamed a dream.  Thereupon, he summoned the soothsayers, who informed him of a star in the heaven.  Likewise there appeared a herald who announced throughout the land the coming of Abraham."


"After Him came Moses.  He Who held converse with God.  The soothsayers of His time warned Pharoah in these terms:'A star hath risen in the heaven, and lo!  it foreshadoweth the conception of a Child Who holdeth your fate and the fate of your people in His hand.'  In like manner, there appeared a sage, who, in the darkness of the night, brought tidings of joy unto the people of Israel, imparting consolation to their souls, and assurance to their hearts.  To this testify the records of the sacred books...In like manner, when the hour of the Revelation of Jesus drew nigh, a few of the Magi, aware that the star of Jesus had appeared in heaven, sought and followed it, till they came unto the city which was the seat of the Kingdom of Herod.  The sway of his sovereignty in those days embraced the whole of that land."

"These Magi said:'Where is He that is born King of the Jews?  for we have seen His star in the east and are come to worship Him!'  When they had searched, they found out that in Bethlehem, in the land of Judea, the Child had been born.  This was the sign that was manifested in the visible heaven.  As to the sign in the invisible heaven -- it was Yahya, son of Zachariah, who gave the people the tidings of the Manifestation of Jesus...Moreover, in the heavenly Scriptures it is written:'John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, 'Repent ye: for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.'  By John is meant Yahya."

"Likewise, ere the beauty of Muhammad was unveiled, the signs of the visible heaven were made manifest.  As to the signs of the invisible heaven, there appeared four men who successively announced unto the people the joyful tidings of the divine Luminary..."

"And now concerning this wondrous and most exalted Cause.  Know thou verily that many an astronomer hath announced the appearance of its star in the visible heaven.  Likewise, there appeared on earth Ahmad and Kazim, those twin resplendent lights -- may God sanctify their resting place!"

"From all that We have stated it hath become clear and manifest that before the revelation of each of the Mirrors reflecting the divine Essence, the signs heralding their advent must needs be revealed in the visible heaven as well as in the invisible , wherein is the seat of the sun of knowledge, of the moon of wisdom, and of the stars of understanding and utterance.  The signs of the invisible heaven must needs be revealed in the person of that perfect man who, before each Manifestation appeareth, educateth, and prepareth the souls of men for the advent of the divine Luminary, the Light of the unity of God amongst men." Baha'u'llah in the Kitab-i-Iqan, pp. 61-66


Carl Jung, the psychologist, observed that in creation there is a certain "synchronicity" apparent in events, and this is especially true of the signs in the visible heaven that occur at the time of the Manifestations of God.  As Abdu'l-Baha said, this is because the entire universe is interrelated, physically and spiritually, it is the natural order of God's creation.

Three new planets were discovered in the last 200 years, and these planets have a special and a most extraordinary relationship.  Before the coming of the Blessed Bab, in 1781, 63 years (7 x 9) before His Declaration, the planet Uranus was discovered.  Before the advent of Baha'u'llah, the planet Neptune was discovered in 1846, 6 years before He began His Mission in 1852, and 19 years before His public announcement in Adrianople.  In 1930, the ninth planet of the solar system, Pluto, the planet of the final Manifestation of the Revelation of the Greatest Name, was discovered.  Although nothing in creation seems to have "exact" numerical relationships according to our human system of mathematics, the numerical relationships of these three planets are almost exact even by that system.  As you will see, the numbers 9 and 19 which are apparently so important in God's Cause, come up repeatedly in these relationships between the three planets.

URANUS, the planet of the Bab, is 19 astronomical units from the Sun (an astronomical unit is the distance of the Earth from the Sun).  URANUS revolves around the Sun every 9.15 x 9.15 years.

NEPTUNE, the planet of Baha'u'llah, and URANUS go into conjunction every 9 x 19 years (171 years), and the last conjunction occurred in 1993 (which is composed of the numbers 19, 9 and 3 which are significant in this Cause).  This conjunction began on the 100th anniversary of the Ascension of Baha'u'llah (May 1992) and reached full conjunction in January 1993.

PLUTO, the planet of the third Letter of the Greatest name, is the ninth planet of our solar system (as far as we know at present).  As we have seen, nine is symbolic of Divine perfection and the completion of the Greatest Name.  The orbit of PLUTO is 13 x 19 years.  The 1-2-3 relationship of the orbits of these three planets is unique in our solar system.  The orbit of URANUS takes about 84 years to complete, that of NEPTUNE takes twice that time, and the orbit of PLUTO takes three times as long.

The NEPTUNE-PLUTO conjunctions occur every 492 years, (about 26x19) and the last conjunction occurred in 1892, the year of the Ascension of Baha'u'llah

PLUTO went inside the orbit of NEPTUNE in 1979 and will remain there until the completion of 19 years, having reached its closest point to the Sun in 1989, and then re-emerging from inside the orbit of NEPTUNE just 9 years later!  PLUTO was at its aphelion in 1865, which is the time (according to E.G. Browne) of the first public declaration of the Mission of Baha'u'llah in Adrianople.

The prophecy of Siyyid Kazim (from the Traditions of Muhammad and the Imams) which foretells the coming of the Manifestations of the Bab and Baha'u'llah, tells us that after Baha'u'llah (Husayn in the prophecy), comes the time of Ali.  Since Ali was the successor of Muhammad, this refers to the time of Abdu'l-Baha.  Then, after the time of Abdu'l-Baha, it speaks of a time of 40 "nights".  In spiritual terms, the word "night" indicates a time without a Sign of God being known to mankind on earth, and since this did not occur until the passing of Shoghi Effendi, that 40 year period begins in 1957, and ends in 1997, Or the 40 year period could begin in 1963 when the Baha'i leaders fromed their verion of the Universal House of Justice which is not in accord with the requirements stated in the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha.  In His prophecies Abdu'l-Baha speaks of 1963 as the time when humanity would begin to suffer afflictions and miseries, and also that at that time knowledge of the Baha'i Faith would have encompassed the world.  (We see now, in the year 2003, that the first date of 1997-8 was incorrect at least as far as any public knowledge of the Manifestation is concerned, although we must remember that Baha'u'llah knew of His Mission 11 years prior to the date (1863) when He publicly announced His Mission.  In this year of 2003 we shall see if this is the time of the end of this world civilization, as all signs seem to indicate.

"Oppression will envelop the world, and following a universal convulsion the sun of justice will rise from the horizon of the unseen realm." Baha'u'llah cited in Promised Day is Come, p. 121, '76 India ed.

"...when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which will cause the limbs of mankind to quake.  Then and only then will the Divine Standard be unfurled, and the Nightingale of Paradise warble its melody." Baha'u'llah in Gleanings, p. 118

It is obvious from these two prophecies that the Manifestation promised will announce the Revelation only after that final war and cataclysm (See the final chapter in this article)





Baha'u'llah and all previous Manifestations have informed us that only God knows when His Manifestations will appear.  Yet, in each instance He has given us prophetic statements indicating when the Revelations will begin, written in a language that most people fail to understand.  The clearest prophecies giving a date for the appearance of a Manifestation were those foretelling the coming of the Bab, and yet most people were veiled from their significance, and failed to accept the Bab when He declared His Mission.  In this chapter I have brought together some of the prophecies relating to the time of the appearance of the third Letter of the Greatest Name, the All-Highest.


At the end of the previous chapter we mentioned two of the prophecies which indicate an approximate time for the appearance of the Manifestation of God.  They are:

"The winds of despair are, alas, blowing from every direction, and the strife that divides and afflicts the human race is daily increasing.  The signs of impending convulsions and chaos can now be discerned, inasmuch as the prevailing order appears to be lamentably defective....Such shall be its plight that to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly...Soon, will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead...After a time all the governments on earth will change...Oppression will envelop the world.  And following a universal convulsion, the sun of justice will rise from the horizon of the unseen realm." Baha'u'llah cited in The Promised Day is Come, p. 121, India edition.


"The world is in travail, and its agitation waxeth day by day.  Its face is turned towards waywardness and unbelief.  Such shall be its plight, that to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly.  Its perversity will long continue.  and when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake.  Then, and only then, will the Divine Standard be unfurled, and the Nightingale of Paradise warble its melody." Gleanings, p. 118

In these prophecies the terms "sun of justice" and "Nightingale of Paradise" are references to the Manifestations of God (See, for example, The Tablet of Ahmad).  The term "unseen realm" is a reference to the hidden realm of the Holy Spirit.  The term "Divine Standard" is a reference to the Word of God, which is the standard by which all things are judged.  (Note:In Arabic there are no "upper case" and "lower case" letters, so when translated into English they are sometimes not indicated, depending on the translator and when the translation was made).

In the Christian Bible, Jesus is reported to have said: MATTHEW CHAPTER 24

21 "For then there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

22. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those says shall be shortened...................."

29. " Immediately AFTER the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken.

30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven and then shall the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."


Although the subject of the catastrophic events to be focused on the world, a process well under way today, is discussed in the final chapter of this book, a few words are necessary here because they are among the "signs" occurring just prior to the appearance of the third Letter of the Greatest Name.  The days of the "purification" of humanity are drawing near, and according to Shoghi Effendi and Abdu'l-Baha only a few will survive (see the last chapter for further prophecies).  We see Baha'u'llah's prophecy above (and in the Quran and Bible as well) that this cataclysmic event will occur suddenly, and Shoghi Effendi said that this means "unexpectedly."

Many Baha'is, as well as the generality of mankind, have failed to realize that world peace and ongoing international commerce are not the solution to the problems of mankind.  We were created to know and to love God, this is the entire purpose of our existence.  Our material creations, our knowledge, our new discoveries in science, etc. are given to us by God so that we may attain the true goal of life, nearness to Him.  In a world of crass materialism we have lost sight of the purpose of life, and so humanity rushes towards its self-inflicted judgement day and time of purification.  "After this date (i.e.1963) great commotion and upheaval will embrace the whole earth.  To make a long story short, terrible wars, and disastrous earthquakes will take place and all kinds of miseries will encompass mankind to such an extent that in certain parts of the world historical monuments will be completely destroyed.  Briefly, the population of the earth will be diminished to one third." Abdu'l-Baha in a Tablet to a Persian believer

"O peoples of the earth!  I swear by your Lord!  Ye shall act as former generations have acted...warn ye then, of the terrible, the most grievous vengeance of God...If ye fail, at the appointed hour to turn towards God, He, verily, will lay violent hold on you and cause grievous afflictions to assault you from every direction.  How severe indeed is the chastisement with which your Lord will then chastise you...O ye peoples of the world!  Know verily that an unforeseen calamity is following you and that grievous retribution awaiteth you..." Baha'u'llah cited in The Promised Day is Come .See also Gleanings pp. 169, 209 and 214

The final years before the event that will "cause the limbs of mankind to quake" are now upon us, and we witness a growing avalanche of catastrophic events occurring around the world.  One of the signs apparent today is the racial, religious, national and ethnic divisions that are growing worse month by month, and which are spreading around the world.  "Great, great is the Cause!  The hour is approaching when the most great convulsion will have appeared.  I swear by Him Who is the Truth! ; it shall cause separation to afflict everyone, even those who circle around Me." Baha'u'llah cited in Advent of Divine Justice, p. 81

These events signal the end of this world civilization, and the beginning of the new age.  Only when this old order of things is destroyed will it be possible to build anew, to establish the Kingdom of God on earth.  Many living during these times of the disintegration of this world civilization, and those born since World War II, have become so inured to the bad news and the calamities, that they accept it as normal, the way it has always been.

"Behold, famine and pestilence and distress and anguish are sent as scourges to correct men, but in spite of all these things, they will not turn from their wickedness, or ever remember the scourge." Esdras II, 16:20

If people will only look at the past, and consider the real potentials of humanity, they will become aware of the failures of this world civilization and the dangers we have created for ourselves.  There is a decay of moral values, destruction of the ecology and an unprecedented world-wide buildup of armaments.  Rather than turning to God the people still believe that we can solve our problems through material means and intellectual solutions.  A few wise men in the world realize that we now face a world embracing cataclysm.

"A misunderstood development of the soul will inevitably carry a total psychological destruction.  The actual situation is at this time so sinister that is difficult not to see that the Creator is preparing another deluge to exterminate the human race." Carl Jung in Questa a una Filosofia

"The splitting of the atom has changed everything save our mode of thinking, and thus we drift toward unparalleled catastrophe." Albert Einstein.


"We, verily, believe in Him Who, in the person of the Bab, hath been sent down by the will of the one true God, the King of Kings, the All-Praised.  We, moreover, swear fealty to the One Who, in the time of Mustaghath, is destined to be made manifest, as well as to those Who shall come after Him till the end that hath no end.  We recognize in the manifestations of each one of them, whether outwardly or inwardly, the manifestation of no one but God Himself, if ye be of those that comprehend.  Every one of them is a mirror of God, reflecting naught else but His Self, His Beauty, His Might and glory, if ye will understand.  All else besides them are to be regarded as mirrors capable of reflecting the glory of these Manifestations Who are themselves the Primary Mirrors of the Divine Being, if ye be not devoid of understanding.  No one hath ever escaped them, neither are they to be hindered from achieving their purpose." Gleanings ,pp.73-74 "Say, We have originated all the letters from the Point (Nukta) and to it We returned them; then We sent them forth in the form of a Human Temple.  May the Wonderful and Admirable Doer be exalted.  We shall form (a Temple) from it for another time in My name --El Abha--as a bounty on My part." Surat'ul'Hykal, translation by A. Hadad

You will note in the above quotations, that Baha'u'llah speaks of the next Manifestation as appearing in the "time of Mustaghath".  This "time of Mustaghath" is given special importance in the Writings of the Bab, as we shall see below.  In her book Baha'i Glossary Marzieh Gail explains the term "Mustaghath" as follows: "'He Who is invoked'.  The cycle of every Divine Dispensation...The letters total according to abjad reckoning 2001 -- the limit of time assigned by the Bab for the advent of the Promised One.  With these words of the Bab, Baha'u'llah refutes those who claimed that the Promised One should not appear until 2001:'For none knoweth the time of the Revelation except God.  Whenever it appeareth, all must acknowledge the Point of Truth, and render thanks unto God.'"

The Bab, in His Writings, stresses the importance of Mustaghath as a "number", or "time", besides its literal meaning which is "He Who is invoked".  Actually the time of Mustaghath is the time when the Manifestation begins His/Her Revelation, and cannot be limited to a day or date.  In the following verse vahid (vahd in Arabic) means unity, indicating the unity of all Manifestations (it also has the Abjad value of 19).  As we have seen, the Abjad value of the letter "A" (ALF/ALIF) which is the third Letter of the Greatest Name, is also unity, or one.  The name Ali-Muhammad has the Abjad value of seven, mentioned in the quotation below as "seven letters".

"Let each soul guard itself by the form of the name of the Mustaghath at the moment of its birth, and no one should dispense with it.  No name amongst the names of God is equal as regards its number (i.e. 2001), and that is the supreme fruit of the Names which has reached the Extreme of Manifestation, and where naught is manifest but the first Vahid.  And in the first Vahid is naught but the primal Vahid, which is the Prophet of God in the Quran, and the Essence of the Seven Letters in the Bayan, and before the Quran it was Jesus, and after the Bayan it will be He Whom God shall manifest.  Different enthronements appear in different Manifestations, else that which 'ascends the throne', which is free from all limitations, is the same Primal Volition, the enthronement of which changes it not...And no name is superior to the number of Mustaghath in the ranks of Names.  Therefore it is ordained that from the conception they should guard that form by a Tablet wherein is the number of the Name Mustaghath.  For only God knows how long it will be from the beginning of a Manifestation until another, but if God please, it will not be more than the number of Mustaghath.  And in the cycle of the Quran, the beginning and return of that was the name Aghfar (i.e the Most Forgiving) minus the Name Huwa (i.e. He), and there is no test by which to judge this matter, which only God knows, for between the Gospel and the Quran the number of years did not even reach 1000.  And in every case the Tree of Truth regards the capacity of His people; whenever He sees that they are ready for the Manifestation in the mirror of their hearts, He reveals Himself." This portion of Vahid VII:10 was translated by E.G. Browne.  (Note:Aghfar equals 1281 and Huwa equals 11, so 1281-11=1270, the number of years from the beginning of the Dispensation of Muhammad until that of the Bab).

(This portion of Vahid VII:10 translated from the French of A.L.M. Nicolas) "The significance of this is that since all names circle around the Name of God, and the perfection of all consists in reaching the value of the name of Mustaghath, it is possible (if one follows the command that We gave of keeping a Tablet with you) that all believers in the Bayan reach the degree of perfection possible in order that at the moment of the manifestation of Truth, they can recognize the Sun of Truth and circle around Him.  One must be cautious and not exceed this number; if someone who believes in the Bayan reaches the year 2001, and is informed that the Tree of Truth is manifest, that person must go to Him, even if he/she is not convinced.  It is thus that he/she will be shielded from the fire [of unbelief] by that kindness.  No mercy has been, nor is greater, in the Bayan (if one understands its value), than to save oneself from the fire of He Whom God will manifest, and to repose in the shadow of His Light.  The Manifestation is the Source of the creation of Truth, and of the world of hearts, after the creation of the physical world prior to His Manifestation."


"Give as guardians for your children (hung from neck or arms) a prayer in the form of a hykal (i.e. shape of a star, signifying perfect Man) whereon are written 2001 names of God.  The aim of this command is that perhaps on the Day of Judgement you will find salvation." Arabic Bayan, Vahid VII:10

As noted earlier, Baha'u'llah wrote:"...We verily, believe in Him Who, in the person of the Bab, hath been sent down by the Will of the one true God, the King of Kings, the All-Praised.  We, moreover, swear fealty to the One Who, in the time of Mustaghath, is destined to be made manifest, as well as to those Who shall come after Him till the end that hath no end..." Gleanings, p.73 So the "time" of Mustaghath is the period of time, any time, when any Manifestation is on earth Perhaps the Manifestation announced His Mission to a few of His followers in 2001, or even earlier, prior to the public announcement to come after the final war and cataclysm, I do not know.  I do not expect to live to witness that Day, and I pray to God to protect, strengthen, guide and inspire those sincere believers who turn to God in those days, and set out to find that Holy One.


You will know the Manifestation by His Presence, His spiritual attributes and His wisdom and insight (see page 6).  One cannot attempt to describe His physical appearance, but this does not matter.  He will have, like everyone else, suffered through the time of cataclysm.  His Presence will be overpowering, and those who are spiritually awakened will have no difficulty in recognizing the Beloved of God, and so we must strive to prepare ourselves spiritually for that day.  Even though I use the pronoun He in reference to the coming Manifestation, the Manifestation could be a woman, it is according to God's will and wisdom relating to world conditions and human capabilities.  Unless one has acquired the essential spiritual attributes mentioned in the Teachings of Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha, at least to a large degree (none of us can expect perfection in humans), the seeker will be veiled from the Light of God.  To acquire the attributes of submission to the Will of God, humility, love of God and humanity, communion with God at all times, sanctity and the other spiritual qualities of a true believer must become our central aim in life.

"I swear by the one true God!  This is the day of those who have detached themselves from all but Him, the day of those who have recognized His unity, the day whereon God createth, with the hands of His power, divine beings and imperishable essences, every one of whom will cast the world and all that is therein behind him, and will wax so steadfast in the Cause of God that every wise and understanding heart will marvel." Baha'u'llah cited in The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 85


In Some Answered Questions Abdu'l-Baha explains the significance of the prophecy of the coming of the Seventh Angel mentioned in Revelation.  This was explained to Laura Clifford Barney many years after the Ascension of Baha'u'llah, and Abdu'l-Baha speaks entirely in the future tense, of the Manifestation who will appear.  First He describes the three Woes as the coming of Muhammad, the Bab and Baha'u'llah, and then He switches to the future tense to describe the Manifestation to appear after the three Woes.

"The seventh angel is a man qualified with heavenly attributes, who will arise with heavenly qualities and character.  Voices will be raised, so that the appearance of the Divine Manifestation will be proclaimed and diffused.  In the day of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts, and at the epoch of the divine cycle of the Omnipotent which is promised and mentioned in all the books and writings of the Prophets -- in that day of God, the Spiritual and Divine Kingdom will be established, and the world will be renewed; a new spirit will be breathed into the body of creation, the season of the divine spring will come, the clouds of mercy will rain, the sun of reality will shine, the life-giving breeze will blow, the world of humanity will wear a new garment, the surface of the earth will be a sublime paradise; mankind will be educated, wars, disputes, quarrels and malignity will disappear, and truthfulness, righteousness, honesty, and the worship of God will rule for evermore; meaning that the Spiritual and Everlasting Kingdom will be established.  Such is the day of God.  For all the days which have come and gone were the days of Abraham, Moses and Christ, or of the other Prophets; but this day is the day of God, for the Sun of Reality will arise in it with the utmost warmth and splendor. Some Answered Questions, Chap. 11 Every Manifestation is a "man endowed with heavenly qualities", as Abdu'l-Baha explains in Some Answered Questions (Chap. 39).  You will note that Abdu'l-Baha speaks of the Day of God, and this is because all Revelations are from God, and all are parts of God's Cause, given through one Holy Spirit.  In that Day which is just ahead, people will no longer worship the personalities of the Manifestations (as we are warned against in the Kitab-i-Aqdas), but realize the meaning of Divine Unity, and see that it is God speaking, and guiding humanity through His Chosen Ones.  Then they will speak of "God's Cause" for all mankind.




"If the sun arises in the west, it would still be the same sun; one must not withdraw from it on account of its rising place nor consider the west to be always the place of sunset." Abdu'l-Baha in Some Answered Questions, Chap. 14


The precise geographical location where a Manifestation will appear is never revealed, except perhaps in veiled language, as in the case of Jesus Christ, or where the general area is indicated as in the time of Muhammad.  Those who sincerely believe must search for the Manifestation at the time He is to appear, and this in itself is a test of the sincerity of seekers.  Those who sought the Bab found Him through prayer, fasting, searching and in some cases through dreams and visions.  These matters are discussed in the following chapter.  The situation is different with the appearance of every Manifestation, and the tests vary, as discussed in previous chapters.  The prophecies we know of indicate that the Manifestation of the third Letter of the Greatest Name will reveal Himself in the West, specifically in America.

"Unveil thy face, O beauty of the Lord, that the Sun may arise in the West..." Baha'u'llah, cited in Haifa Notes of May Maxwell.

"The Hour will not come...until the Sun rises in the West, and all men seeing it will believe." A hadith of Muhammad cited in Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam, p. 256

Issue forth from your cities, O peoples of the West and aid your God ere the Day when the Lord of mercy shall come down unto you in the shadow of the clouds..." The Bab in Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 56

"At the third resurrection the sun will rise from the West." A hadith of Muhammad cited in The Heavenly Table, p. 25

"They lift up their voices, they sing for joy; over the majesty of the Lord they shout from the West.  Therefore in the East give glory to the Lord; in the coastlines of the sea, to the name of the Lord, the God of Israel..." Isaiah 24:14-15 Revised Standard Edition of the Bible by Nelson and Sons.  See also the New English Bible

Abdu'l-Baha made many prophecies about the spiritual future of America.  In one of them He infers that the throne of the Kingdom of God will be established in America.  These prophecies refer to the future, not to the spiritual condition of the believers at this time, but to a "new race" of spiritual people who will serve the Cause of God.  "This American nation is equipped and empowered to accomplish that which will adorn the pages of history, to become the envy of the world, and be blest in both the East and the West for the triumph of its people." Abdu'l-Baha cited in God Passes By, p. 254

"Your mission is unspeakably glorious.  Should success crown your enterprise, America will assuredly evolve into a center from which waves of spiritual power will emanate, and the throne of the Kingdom of God, will in the plenitude of its majesty and glory, be firmly established." Ibid "The American continent giveth signs and evidences of very great advancement.  Its future is even more promising, for its influence and illumination are far reaching.  It will lead all nations spiritually." Ibid "May the inhabitants of this country...rise from their present material attainment to such heights that heavenly illumination may stream from this center to all the peoples of the world." Ibid

"The East hath verily been illumined with the light of the Kingdom.  Ere long will this same light shed a still greater illumination upon the West.  Then will the hearts of its people be vivified through the potency of the teachings of God and their souls be set aglow with the undying fire of His love." Abdu'l-Baha cited in The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 79 In one of these Tablets, addressed to the believers in the north Eastern states, these weighty and highly significant words are recorded: "All countries, and all cities and villages are on an equal footing... However, the dweller confereth honor upon the dwelling, some of the countries achieve distinction, and attain a preeminent position.  For instance, notwithstanding that some of the countries of Europe and of America are distinguished by, and surpass other countries in, the salubrity of their climate, the wholesomeness of their water, and the charm of their mountains, plains and prairies, yet Palestine became the glory of all nations inasmuch as all the Holy and divine Manifestations from the time of Abraham until the appearance of the seal of the Prophets (Muhammad), have lived in, or migrated to, or traveled through, that country.  Likewise, Mecca and Medina have achieved illimitable glory, as the light of Prophethood shone forth therein.  For this reason Palestine and Hijaz have been distinguished from all other countries.  Likewise, " is His remarkable disclosure, "the continent of America, is, in the eyes of the true God, the land wherein the splendors of His light shall be revealed, where the mysteries of His Faith shall be unveiled.". Abdu'l-Baha cited by Shoghi Effendi in Challenging Requirements of the Present Hour, pp. 27-28


The foregoing quotations indicate that the next Manifestation of God will appear in the United States of America.  I believe that the Chosen One will begin His Mission in the Central Mountain states, along the Rocky Mountain chain, possibly near Santa Fe.  Abdu'l-Baha indicated to believers when He came to America, that this central area would be the safest place when the cataclysm occurs.  Those few believers who have sanctified their souls and who submit wholly to the Will of God, will be guided and sustained by God in their search, in the time of Mustaghath.  The influence of the Manifestation on these believers will cause a complete transformation of their souls, as described by Abdu'l-Baha.

"O phoenix of the immortal flame kindled in the sacred Tree!  Baha'u'llah (may my life, my soul, my spirit, be offered up as a sacrifice unto His lowly servants) hath, during His last days on earth, given the most emphatic promise that, through the outpourings of the grace of God and the aid and assistance vouchsafed from His Kingdom on high, souls will arise and holy beings appear, who, as stars would adorn the firmament of divine Guidance; illumine the dayspring of loving kindness and bounty; manifest the signs of the unity of God; shine with the light of sanctity and purity; receive their full measure of divine inspiration; raise high the sacred torch of faith; stand as firm as the rock and immovable as the mountain; grow to become luminaries in the heavens of His Revelation, mighty channels of His grace, means for the bestowal of God's bountiful care, heralds calling forth the name of the one true God, and establishers of the world's supreme foundation."

"These shall labor ceaselessly by day and by night, shall heed neither trial nor woe, shall suffer no respite in their efforts, shall seek no repose, shall disregard all ease and comfort, and, detached and unsullied, shall consecrate every fleeting moment of their life to the diffusion of the divine fragrance and the exaltation of God's holy Word.  Their faces will radiate heavenly gladness, and their hearts be filled with joy.  Their souls will be inspired, and their foundation stand secure.  They shall scatter in the world, and travel throughout all regions.  They shall raise their voices in every assembly, and adorn and revive every gathering.  They shall speak in every tongue, and interpret every hidden meaning.  They shall reveal the mysteries of the Kingdom, and manifest unto every one the signs of God.  They shall burn brightly even as a candle in the heart of every assembly, and beam forth as a star upon every horizon.  The gentle breeze wafted from the garden of their hearts shall perfume and revive the souls of men, and the revelation of their minds, even as showers, reinvigorate the peoples and nations of the world." Abdu'l-Baha cited in Baha'i World Faith, p. 35




"Verily, I say unto you; none shall be saved but the believers, and from the believers only the sincere, and even those are in great danger, especially in such a time." Abdu'l-Baha cited in Baha'i Scriptures, p. 443


Those who seek the next Manifestation, from whatever religious background, and who sincerely turn to God, will endeavor, with all their strength and concentrated efforts of their wills, to sanctify themselves from all attachments and to immerse themselves in the love of God, obeying His Will and being responsive to His guidance.  Events surrounding the appearance of every Manifestation of God have differed, and we can only surmise what will occur at the appearance of the last Letter of the Greatest Name.  Certainly it will be vastly different than at any past appearances, because the world will have just gone through a time of terrible destruction and upheaval.


From the New Testament we learn that just before the Revelation of Jesus Christ, John the Baptist announced His coming, speaking to small groups of people in the countryside.  Israel is a small nation, and we do not know to what extent his message spread around the country.  At least a few responded, but the story is vague and incomplete.  According to the New Testament when Jesus began His Mission He selected His disciples as He traveled during the first days of His public ministry.  It would seem that they did not seek out Jesus, He came to them.


Very little is known about the forerunners of Muhammad.  In the Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 65 it speaks of the heralds sending out one person, Salman, to go to "Hijaz" to seek out the promised Holy One.  The heralds were in Iraq, and Hijaz is in Arabia, far from Iraq.  During his search, Salman was enslaved, and taken to Medina, where he met Muhammad and became one of His staunchest followers.


The prophecies in the Bible concerning the place and time of the appearance of Muhammad are very vague.  For example, in Habakkuk, 3:3-6: "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran.  His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise.  Selah.  His brightness was like the light, rays flashed from his hand, and there he veiled his power.  He stood and measured the earth; he looked and shook the nations..." Mt. Paran refers to Arabia, and the Holy One refers to His Holiness Muhammad.  There are also the well-known prophecies of Jesus concerning the coming of the "Comforter", which give no time or place.  It is easy to understand the difficulties faced by those few who were spiritually aware of the meanings of the prophecies.  When Muhammad began His Mission in Mecca He faced extreme persecution and endless ridicule.  Over the ten years prior to His move to Medina He gathered a few followers, some of whom moved to Ethiopia to escape the fierce and relentless persecution.

Before the coming of the Bab, the planet Uranus was discovered, as we mentioned earlier.  Two heralds, Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim, tried to spiritually prepare a few Shi'ites for the coming of the Beloved One of God, but most of the Shi'ite religious leaders considered them to be outcasts, and ridiculed their teachings.  Despite the abundance of relatively clear prophecies giving the time of the coming of the Bab, the Muslim masses were in a deep sleep spiritually, as are the people today.  When Siyyid Kazim died he appointed no successor, and he told his followers that they must seek out the Promised One as their Leader.

In the traditions and prophecies the place for the appearance of the Promised One was to be Persia, which is a very large nation.  By hindsight Baha'is say that Siyyid Kazim indicated that Shiraz was the place the Promised One would first appear.  This is based on a paper Siyyid Kazim wrote concerning the meanings of the two names of Muhammad, which are Ahmad and Muhammad.  he said that the name Muhammad refers to the general mass of believers (in the "outer court"), whereas Ahmad is the celestial name of Muhammad, and is used in reference to those believers who have attained the highest spiritual stations.  He said that the name Ahmad is the place of the appearance of the Master, which is manifested only where the air is pure and the land superior.  (See page 44, Seyyed Kazem Rechti, by A.L.M. Nicolas, Lib. P. Geuthner, Paris, 1914) Such a statement can be understood as being wholly symbolic in nature, referring to the atmosphere and realm of pure spirits where the Holy Spirit is manifested.  No mention is made of the city of Shiraz in the translation of that paper, and it would have been difficult to to grasp such a hidden reference prior to the appearance of the Bab.  Of course the Bab did appear in Shiraz, but his first disciples found Him through arduous searching, prayer and spiritual perception -- not by geographical indications.

The only reason I mention the difficulties seekers in the past have faced is because many imagine that what they have learned by hindsight was easily apparent beforehand.  This is simply not so.  In the case of the Bab, the first believers discovered Him after spending time fasting and praying, and within two or three months all eighteen Letters of the Living had accepted His Revelation and become His disciples.  Again, these events are unique in the annals of religious history.  To those who have insight, it becomes apparent that the souls who have prepared themselves prior to the appearance of the Manifestation, who strive for spiritual understanding, who earnestly search for truth, who make every effort to sanctify their souls, and who sincerely believe, will be awakened and guided to the Beloved One of God.

Consider this: Baha'u'llah's Mission actually began in 1852 while He was imprisoned in the underground dungeon of Siyah-chal in Tihran.  During the following ten years prior to the announcement of His Mission to a few believers in the Garden of Ridvan, Baghdad, only a few very spiritual souls recognized His Station.  Although the Bab, in His Writings, had made very veiled references to the time of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah, a large number of Babis could not accept Baha'u'llah because of the following prophecy of the Bab in the Persian Bayan: "If He Whom God shall manifest shall appear in the number Giyath (1511 by the Abjad numbering system) all shall enter in, not one shall remain in the Fire.  If He tarry until the time of Mustaghath (2001) all shall enter in, not one shall remain in the Fire, but all shall be transformed by His Light."


As mentioned earlier, the Babis claimed that Baha'u'llah had appeared much too soon, because of the above prophecy, and so many rejected the Beloved One of God.  There were veiled references, which are easily understood by hindsight, but at the time were understood by only a very few enlightened souls.  These references give the years "nine" and "nineteen" as being significant spiritual dates.  "Ere the year nine will have elapsed from the inception of this Cause the realities of things will not have been made manifest."  "In the year nine ye will attain unto the presence of God."  "Be attentive from the inception of the Revelation until the number of vahid."  "The Lord of the Day of Reckoning will be manifested at the end of vahid." The Bab, cited in God Passes By, chap. VI

The Abjad value of vahid (vahd in Arabic) is nineteen.  Hindsight makes all these references seem easy to understand, IF you believe in Baha'u'llah.  At the time it required keen spiritual insight to grasp their meanings, a quality lacking in too many believers.  In the year nine Baha'u'llah did not declare His Mission, but did so eleven years later in Baghdad to a few selected believers, after the year 19 (that is, 19 years after the inception of the Revelation of the Bab).  His public announcement was made in Adrianople in 1865, 21 years after the inception of the Revelation of the Bab.

The point is that the events at the time of the beginning of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah were vastly different than those at the beginning of any previous Revelation.  In these times one ought not expect an exact repetition of anything that occurred in the past.  The tests are different before and during the first years of every Dispensation.

Believers must rid themselves of all conditioned thinking, about spiritual matters as well as the general meaning of life, concepts that have been instilled into them since childhood or since their acceptance of the Revelation of Baha'u'llah.  The key words are honesty and humility; the greatest force for change is love of God, trust in God, and submission to His Will.  Before the appearance of the Holy Spirit in the Manifestation of God, a number of holy souls must be prepared, who will have the spiritual capacity to know and accept the Promised One, wherever and whenever He may appear.  To reach such a station requires sacrifice of self, and dedicated efforts to purify our spirits and reform our characters.

"O thou advancer toward the Kingdom!  Endeavor thou day by day to increase thy yearning and attraction so that the attitude of supplication and prayer may be realized more often." Abdu'l-Baha in Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 522

"Forget all save God, be in communion with Him, supplicate and pray to Him to make thee conqueror over material things, impressed by the bounties of the Kingdom, commemorating the name of thy Lord, pure from all else save Him, and imbued with the spiritual attributes of those who are holy..." Ibid, p. 247




"Behold, the Lord will lay waste the earth and make it desolate, and He will twist its surface and scatter its inhabitants...The earth shall be utterly laid waste and utterly despoiled for the inhabitants; for they have transgressed the laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.  Therefore, a curse devours the earth, and its inhabitants suffer for their guilt; therefore the inhabitants of the earth are scorched, a few men are left." Isaiah 24:1-8


From the beginning of his role as Guardian, Shoghi Effendi tried in vain to awaken the Baha'is throughout the world to the dangers of the overwhelming materialism that had engulfed the world.  Often Abdu'l-Baha described the dangers we face, but it seems that only a few take His warnings seriously.  Since then the moral regression of the peoples of the world, the cancer of materialism, and the destruction of the ecology, have steadily worsened.  Still only a few understand that we must all change our ways of thinking completely, dedicate our lives to God, and make the tremendous sacrifices required to change the world.


Many are aware of the warnings and prophecies, but unfortunately, few Baha'is pay any attention.  Those who do heed the warnings and prophecies of Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi will at least be able to prepare themselves spiritually for the times yet to come in the next decade.  As for the others, the vast majority, they will continue as they are, deaf to the warnings, blinded by the so-called "attractions" of this materialistic civilizations.  The few prophetic warnings presented herein should be sufficient for those who are spiritually awake.  "...The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon men.  Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing.  If carried to excess civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation.  Meditate on this, O people, and be not of them that wander distraught in the wilderness of error.  The day is approaching when its flame will devour the cities, when the Tongue of Grandeur will proclaim:'The Kingdom is God's, the Almighty, the All-Praised." Baha'u'llah in Gleanings, pp. 342-343

"The 'fiery tribulations' to come would not only 'weld the American nation to its sister nations in both hemispheres' but would cleanse it of 'the accumulated dross which ingrained racial prejudice, rampant materialism, widespread ungodliness and moral laxity have combined, in the course of successive generations, to produce, and which have prevented her thus far from assuming the role of world spiritual leadership forecast by Abdu'l-Baha's unerring pen -- a role which she is bound to fulfill through travail and sorrow.'" Shoghi Effendi, cited in Baha' World, 1954-1963,[year book], p.114

"The time for the destruction of the world and its people hath arrived."  "The promised day is come, the day when tormenting trials will have surged over your heads, and beneath your feet, saying: 'Taste ye what your hands have wrought.'"  "Soon shall the blasts of His chastisement beat upon you, and the dust of hell enshroud you."  "The day will soon come whereon they will cry out for help and receive no answer."  "O ye peoples of the world!  Know verily that an unforeseen calamity is following you and that grievous retribution awaiteth you.  Think not the deeds ye have committed have been blotted from My sight.  By My beauty!  All your doings hath My pen graven with open characters upon the tablets of chrysolite." Ibid, Baha'u'llah cited, p. 123

In his communications to the American believers, Shoghi Effendi was especially insistent that the American Baha'is be aware of the degree of materialism engulfing the nation, so that perhaps, some of them, could distance themselves from the values and thinking of their peers.  How tragic that so few of them have paid any attention to his urgent pleas and repeated warnings.  "The steady and alarming deterioration in standards of morality as exemplified by the appalling increase of crime, by political corruption in ever-widening and ever higher circles, by the loosening of the sacred ties of marriage, by the inordinate craving for pleasure and diversion, and by the marked and progressive slackening of parental control, is no doubt the most arresting and distressing aspect of the decline that has set in, and can be clearly perceived, in the fortunes of an entire nation.."  "Parallel with this and pervading all departments of life -- an evil which the nation, and indeed all those within the capitalist system, though to a lesser degree, share with that state and its satellites [Russia] regarded as the sworn enemies of that system -- is the crass materialism, which lays excessive and ever increasing emphasis on material well-being forgetful of those things of the spirit on which alone a sure and stable foundation can be laid for human society.  It is this same cancerous materialism, born originally in Europe, carried to excess in the North American continent, contaminating the Asiatic peoples and nations, spreading its ominous tentacles to the border of Africa, and now invading its very heart, which Baha'u'llah in unequivocal and emphatic language denounced in His Writings, comparing it to a devouring flame and regarding it as the chief factor in precipitating the dire ordeals and world-shaking crisis that must necessarily involve the burning of cities and the spread of terror and consternation in the hearts of men." Shoghi Effendi cited in Baha'i World, 1954- 1963, p. 172#


The downfall of communism in the East is not the result of idealism, but of materialism, because the people there know little or nothing about democracy, "market place economics", capitalism , etc.; because of this it cannot but lead to ever increasing chaos and internal strife.  The so-called "free-market" system and democracy as practiced in the West today, are in themselves extremely corrupt, and not suitable for a world civilization destined to replace existing systems.  However, the citizens of the Western nations have not awakened to most of the defects of their systems, except for a few exceptional souls.  In a Tablet by Abdu'l-Baha, called "Lamentation" these days are described, and I quote the last part of that Tablet below.

"From different parts are to be heard sighs of anguish, lamentations of poverty, cries of agony and misery -- and the calls for succor have reached the gate of heaven.  One hears the weeping of the hopeless, the appeals of the oppressed, the trembling murmurs of the helpless, the harrowing wails of the shipwrecked in the sea of perception.  The heat of the conflagration of opposition spreads on all sides, the fire of longing is raging with great intensity and the tongues of the flames of calamity leap forth in every direction.  Here one sees the oppression of kings and the thoughtlessness of cabinet ministers; there one sees conflict on the battlefields of thoughts and ideals between ambitious generals, statesmen and administrators of the nations and countries.  They consult, scheme, plot and exchange views; they organize fallacious and superfluous companies and falsify the established values; and thus do lay and destroy the foundation of their political careers."  "In short: when thou observest these things with the eye of reality, thou wilt see that the outcome, result and fruit of all these theatrical performances are mirages, and their sweetness is bitter poison.  A few days the earth will roll on its axis, and these fleeting visions will be completely forgotten."

"When thou shutest thine eyes to this world and lookest upward and heavenward, thou wilt see light upon light stretching from eternity to eternity.  The reality of the mysteries will be revealed.  Happy is the pure soul who does not attach himself to transient conditions and comforts, but rather seeks to attach himself to the purity, nobility and splendor of the world which endures." Abdu'l-Baha cited in Baha'i Scriptures, p. 344

You will notice, no doubt, that Abdu'l-Baha speaks of a shift in the axis of the earth, which is the subject I will discuss below.  The approximate time when these terrible events will begin, or occur, is mentioned earlier and is around the end of this century, and the beginning of the 21st century.  Shoghi Effendi said that when the prophecies tell us these events will come suddenly, he said it meant "unexpectedly", because humanity does not believe.  No doubt the anarchy and disintegration we witness in the Eastern nations will encompass nations around the world.  Perhaps this will be followed by oppressive government action, to quell the riots and control the social upheaval.  All of this would most certainly be terminated by a catastrophic shift in the axis of the Earth, changing land masses and destroying thousands of cities not already devastated by war.  Two-thirds of humanity will perish, as mentioned in the Bible and repeated by Abdu'l-Baha.

"What!  Are they sure that the overwhelming chastisement of God shall not come upon them, or that the Hour will not come suddenly, while they are unaware?" Quran, 12:106-7

"But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighted down with dissipation, drunkeness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare, for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth." Luke, 21:34-35

"After this date (1963) great commotion and upheaval will embrace the whole earth.  To make a long story short, terrible wars, and disastrous earthquakes will take place and all kinds of miseries will encompass mankind to such an extent that in certain parts of the world historical monuments will be completely destroyed.  Briefly, the population of the earth will be diminished to one-third." Abdu'l-Baha in Tablet to a Persian believer.

"From the Holy Scriptures, it is clear that a series of great events will appear in the world, either concurrently or serially between the initial appearance of the Manifestation of God and the final ushering in of the Kingdom of God on earth.  These are a cataclysmic upheaval, a worldwide economic collapse and a fiery holocaust or Armageddon.  These events will be fulfilled in both senses, that is literally and figuratively so that no man shall have grounds for excuse." Abdu'l-Baha in Tablet to a Persian believer.

A Baha'i who visited Haifa told me that Shoghi Effendi remarked that the final cataclysm might well destroy the Baha'i monuments and buildings.  After the second World War Shoghi Effendi said that in the Last Days there would be riots in the cities of America, perhaps because of racial strife and economic disasters.

"...the burning of cities, the contamination of the atmosphere of the earth -- these stand out as the signs and portents that must either herald or accompany the retributive calamity." Shoghi Effendi in Message to America,April 1947


Of course, the majority of the Baha'is, like the rest of humanity, have ignored and will continue to ignore, the dire warnings of the Founders of their Faith, because of attachment to this materialistic civilization.  Some have told me that they are "unafraid", that they will remain in the large cities which Shoghi Effendi said are in extreme danger, which is simply a way of saying that they do not believe.

"...Those men who having amassed the vanities and ornaments of the earth, have turned away disdainfully from God -- these have lost both this world and the world to come.  Ere long, will God, with the Hand of Power, strip them of their possessions, and divest them of the robe of His bounty.  To this they themselves will soon witness.  Thou too, shall testify." Baha'u'llah in Gleanings, p. 209

"...If ye fail, at the appointed hour to turn towards God, He, verily, will lay violent hold on you, and will cause grievous afflictions to assail you from every direction.  How severe indeed is the chastisement with which your Lord will then chastise you..." Ibid. p. 214

When Abdu'l-Baha visited the home of my grandmother and my father in Montclair , New Jersey He said that in the future New York would be under water and that Montclair would eventually become a harbor.  He said that Greenland would become green, whereas now it is covered with glaciers.  While in Canada, a believer related a dream to Abdu'l-Baha in which he said he was looking at the sky and saw the stars suddenly begin to move rapidly across the heavens.  He asked Abdu'l-Baha if that is what would happen during the cataclysm, and Abdu'l-Baha said yes, it would be like that.  He also told some of the old believers that America would become semi-tropical.  A shift in the axis of the earth would cause these changes.  A shift in the axis can change the shapes of continents and destroy coastal and low-lying cities around the world.  Furthermore, in Some Answered Questions, Abdu'l-Baha said: "Each of the Divine Manifestations has...a cycle, and during the cycle His laws and commandments prevail and are performed.  When His cycle is completed by the appearance of a new Manifestation, a new cycle begins.  In this way cycles begin, end and are renewed, until a universal cycle is completed in the world, when important events and great occurrences will take place which entirely efface every trace and record of the past; then a new universal cycle begins in the world..." Abdu'l-Baha in Some Answered Questions, pp. 160-161

"Mention hath been made in certain books of a deluge which caused all that existed on earth, historical records as well as other things, to be destroyed.  Moreover, many cataclysms have occurred which have effaced the traces of many events..." Baha'u'llah in Gleanings, p. 174


In recent years more and more geologists and paleontologists, have come to recognize that great catastrophes have repeatedly occurred in past ages, often leading to the termination of certain stages in evolution and marking new evolutionary surges.  Recent discoveries indicate that such catastrophes, altering the Earth's climate, have occurred far more frequently than previously believed.

"Discussion of whether human economic activity can affect the climate has generally rested on a comforting assumption: if change did occur, it would occur gradually.  There would be time to respond.  That assumption has been made untenable by analysis of glacial ice as well as of sediments from the ocean floor."

"The findings reveal that far from being stable, the earth's climate has always changed quite abruptly--both during times of glaciation and, as the newest studies indicate, during interglacial periods such as the current one....The studies 'have concluded that 130,000 years ago, when the earth was as warm as it is today, there were very rapid changes from warm to cold climates,' explains Michael L. Bender of the University of Rhode Island.  'If that conclusion stands up, it is going to be extremely important because the very stable climate that the earth has had for the past 10,000 years will not necessarily stay that way.'  [Dr. Barber's theory, discussed below, is that the axis shifts about every 10,000 years, causing vast climate changes, and what we call ice ages in certain areas]...The factors that cause the abrupt changes remain obscure...'The fact that interglacials are not times of stable climate,'Bond adds [Columbia University],'is a warning that we are poised between modes and could bring on a switch.'" Scientific American, Dec. 1993,p. 34


In the ice of Siberia they have discovered frozen mammoths with grass still in their mouths, evidence that they were frozen instantaneously, and that the area where they were found once had a temperate climate.  A sudden shift in the axis of the Earth would account for this, as well as the other evidence that the oceans have, in past ages, swept across large portions of the continents.  A shift in the gyroscopic equilibrium of the Earth would cause a sudden shift in the axis to a new equilibrium point, causing violent storms, tremendous earthquakes, immense tidal waves, volcanic activity, changes in ocean levels and high winds.

R.W. Fairbridge, in Natural History, (Vol LXXX,No.6,June/July) claims that the South Pole was once located in North Africa, according to geological and topological indications.  There are also fossil remains in Antarctica which indicate that it had a temperate or tropical climate at one time.  In A Revolution in the Earth Sciences (A. Hallam, Clarendon Press, '73) p.40: "Now the recognition of the apparent polar wandering was a surprising result because, as we have seen, conventional geophysical theory had firmly favored the fixity of pole position.  Were the data therefore unreliable, or was the theory in error?  Fortunately an English astronomer, T. Gold, quickly came to the rescue in 1955.  An analysis of minor rotational perturbations other than precession was only explicable if there were no permanent stiffness in the geoidal shape of the Earth, as had previously been claimed."  [That is, when a shift occurs, the equatorial bulge is replaced by water from the oceans until the actual crust, over thousands of years, slowly bulges]

In the same book, the reason scientists have problems accepting the idea of a shift in the axis is explained.

"In nearly all matters the human mind has a strong tendency to judge in the light of its own experience, knowledge and prejudices rather than on the evidence presented [and the same is true in religions].  Thus new ideas are judged in the light of prevailing beliefs.  If the ideas are too revolutionary, that is to say, if they depart too far from reigning theories and cannot be fitted into the current body of knowledge they will not be acceptable...they are almost certain to be ignored or meet with opposition which is too strong to overcome..."

Some scientists do keep an open mind, as this quotation from Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard University indicates:"...maybe the poles do move rapidly.  The claim should at least be investigated, rather than being dismissed without a test."  (Catastrophes and Earth History, p. 16) None of the conventional theories provide a definite explanation for the shift in the axis, and because most scientists are reluctant to consider new and unorthodox hypotheses, clinging to their old ideas despite all the new discoveries and anomalies that disprove their old theories, they remain baffled by the evidence of past changes.

Many years ago a Dr. Barber, who was neither a geologist nor an astronomer, came up with a hypothesis to explain the shifts in the axis.  His idea has been generally rejected because it is not in agreement with current theories about the orbit of the Earth, and because Dr. Barber was not an astronomer.  Dr. Barber demonstrated with gyroscopes that it is quite possible that the Earth has not only a large orbit around the Sun, but a smaller orbit around a point in space as well.  Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the bary-point (center of gravity) for the Earth-Moon relationship is not at the center of the Earth, but near its surface.  It completes the smaller orbit about once in each large orbit around the Sun, he said, thus making its large orbit appear to be an ellipse.  He contended that every 10,000 years, more or less, the centrifugal forces involved cause the axis to shift 20 to 30 degrees, to seek a new equilibrium point.

Because of the tremendous centrifugal forces involved, he suggested that as the time for the shift approaches we would witness increasing eccentricity in the weather, changes in ocean currents that cannot be explained, and an upswing in telluric activity (increasing numbers of large earthquakes, new volcanic activity, etc.)  All of these signs are now clearly apparent, and increasing in frequency.  I believe that Dr. Barber's hypothesis, so unpalatable to conventional astronomers, may well be the correct answer.

REGARDLESS OF HOW THE SHIFT IN THE AXIS COMES ABOUT, it will be sudden and violent, and all humanity will suffer greatly.  The violent winds, rains, and changes in the ocean and air currents will effectively disperse any fallout from atomic warfare.  It will lead to changes in the shapes of continents, with new land appearing in the seas, or old lands disappearing under the water, and it will ultimately result in climate changes throughout the world.  Abdu'l-Baha said that in general there would be more temperate climates throughout the world.  The shape of the United States will be completely altered as the seas cover the lowlands up to about 500 or 600 feet.



The final cataclysm will end any conflicts remaining in the world, and bring to a close the period of chastisement and purification promised by God in all the Holy Books.  It will wash away most of the lingering traces of the poisons of world conflict and of a degenerate civilization, preparing the world for a new age.  Obviously, after so many terrible events, life will not be easy for anyone for many, many years.

"God's purpose is none other than to usher in, in ways He alone can bring about, and the full significance of which He alone can fathom, the Great, the Golden Age of a long-divided, a long-afflicted humanity.  Its present state, indeed even its immediate future, is dark, distressingly dark.  Its distant future, however, is radiant, gloriously radiant -- so radiant that no eye can visualize it..."  "The convulsions of this transitional and most turbulent period in the annals of humanity are the essential prerequisites and herald the inevitable approach of that Age of Ages, 'the time of the end,' in which the folly and tumult of strife that has, since the dawn of history, blackened the annals of mankind, will have been finally transmuted into the wisdom and tranquility of an undisturbed, a universal and lasting peace.  in which the discord and separation of the children of men will have given way to the world-wide reconciliation, and the complete unification of the divers elements that constitute human society...It is this stage which humanity, willingly or unwillingly, is resistlessly approaching.  It is for this stage that this vast, this fiery ordeal which humanity is experiencing, is mysteriously paving the way." Shoghi Effendi in Baha'i World, 1954-1963, p. 110


Following the years of suffering and purification, the Manifestation of God will begin His Mission.  His role in the Revelation of the Greatest Name will most likely be the revelation of laws suitable to the new age, establishment of the organization of a world government, and revealing teachings outlining the formation of a world executive and supreme tribunal mentioned by Abdu'l-Baha in His Will and Testament.  Those Words of God which Baha'u'llah revealed and then destroyed, because humanity was not yet ready for them, will be revealed with new Teachings.  This Manifestation of the Beloved God will complete the three part Revelation of the Greatest Name.


He will reestablish the successorship of the Appointed Interpreter and the Light of God will never be dimmed.  He will address the rulers of the nations, and they will heed His advice.  He will establish the Lesser Peace; then, gradually, the peoples of the world will become "spiritualized", and the one Faith of God will cover the Earth.  In the ensuing century the Most Great Peace will begin..  Thus will the promise of God to all the peoples of the Earth be fulfilled; it will be most glorious.

Written by John Carre', final rev. Jan. 2003

E mail me at:






The science of letters and numbers is highly regarded in the East, and is used throughout the Holy Books.  Although numbers in themselves do not have any "magic power", they do indicate certain ordered relationships existing throughout the universe.  Some modern physicists as well as ancient Greek philosophers say, "God is a mathematician", indicating their realization of the perfect order in all levels of creation.  Mathematics is only a language created by man in his attempt to understand the universe.  The Manifestations have used the tongues of man to communicate with us, and therefore they have used all levels of communication, including numbers and letters in symbolic language to convey hidden messages to the more spiritual among the believers.  Before the numerical symbols now in use were imported from India by the Arabs, the people of Greece, Israel and Arabia used letters of their alphabets to indicate numbers.  From this system came the practice of using words to indicate numbers, called "gematria".

The Bab uses the system throughout both Bayans, and Baha'u'llah uses it in the Kitab-i-Aqdas [In the original Arabic.  The latest translation into English by the UHJ committee has changed the words into numbers using the Abjad numbering system].  This system uses words to indicate numbers, and uses numbers as symbols to represent hidden meanings, veiled to most believers unless they make the effort to investigate and understand.  You cannot apply this numbering system (Abjad system) to transliterated words, because in such altered words there are additional letters inserted to preserve the sound of the original word of the native language.  Some people tend to believe that numbers in themselves have some hidden power, but in the Holy Books they are used only as symbols to indicate some spiritual message, prophetic statements of coming events, and relationships existing in God's creation.

In the Bible there are examples of the science of letters and numbers, especially in the prophecies.  One example is the use of the number 666, which in the Revelation is called the number of the beast.  The beast indicates human materialism and spiritual death, when the followers of religion become enamored with the organization (body) of their religion rather than the spirit (see Some Answered Questions Chap. XI).  The number 6 was the stamp of the old mystery cults.  The great secret symbol was SSS, because in the Greek alphabet the "s", or stigma, indicated the value of 6.  The word stigma means a mark formerly used to brand slaves.  Thus the people who turned away from God and are slaves to sensual and material appetites, worshiping the body (organization) of their religion rather than the Spirit, are branded with the stigma of 666, the symbol of spiritual death.  The number does not refer to an individual, and in the original Greek of the Revelation it says that 666 is the number of man, NOT of a man.  Thus, it refers to all who turn away from the real intent of the Faith of God, which is the spiritual development of humanity, and instead place religious organizations first in their lives and thinking.

This same problem is illustrated in the Tablet of the Holy Mariner by Baha'u'llah.  Concerning this Tablet, Abdu'l-Baha wrote:

"Study the Tablet of the Holy Mariner that ye may know the truth, and consider that the Blessed Beauty hath fully foretold future events.  Let those who perceive take warning." Cited in Baha'i Prayers, 1982 edition, p. 221

In that Tablet Baha'u'llah speaks thusly of future Baha'is:"By the Lord I found not from these idle claimants the breeze of Faithfulness!"  And then, concerning the condition of the Faith in these days, He wrote:"They all gathered around her and lo! they found her body fallen upon the dust; Glorified be our Lord, the Most High!".  Compare this to the two dead bodies found in Sodom and Egypt mentioned in Revelation 11:8, and explained by Abdu'l-Baha in Some Answered Questions, Chap. XI, pp 60-61 (1970 edition).  This is indicative of the Baha'is who consider their religious organization first in their priorities, rather than the spiritual values, and commandments of God.


The value of 19 is present throughout the Quran, and its significance was first acknowledged in writing in the works of the mystic Sheykh Muhiyyu'd-Din Ibnu'l-Arabi in Spain.  The Bab also mentions this fact in the Bayan.  In recent years, Dr. Rashad Khalifa of the Muslim Mosque of Tucson, Arizona compiled a list of all occurrences he could find in the Quran of the value of 19, in the words, letters and chapters.

"Here is a subtle point, which is this, that the prophets...have placed the letters of the alphabet in correspondence with the degrees of Existence...and therefore it is said, 'Existence emerged from the Ba of Bismillah since that is the letter which follows the alif, which is placed to correspond with the Essence of God.  And it (i.e. the letter "B" or Ba) signified the First Intelligence, which was the first thing which God created.'" (The First Intelligence indicates the Holy Spirit). Sheykh Muhiyyu'd-Din Ibnu'l-Arabi

"Although the sacred character of the number 19 was thus prominently brought forward by the Bab, He by no means implies that is was unknown to previous prophets.  On the contrary, He not only points out that the number of letters in 'Bismi'llahir-Rahmani'r-Rahim,' which stands at the head of every chapter in the Quran, is 19, but further that the total number of chapters themselves (114=19x6) is a multiple of the sacred number.  So, in every 'Manifestation', the 18 'Letters of the Living' have appeared surrounding the 'Point', and amongst their number there is always at least one woman -- Fatima in the Manifestation of Islam, Kurratu'l-Ayn (Jenab-i-Tahire) in the present one...So also the Bab declares that 'He Whom God shall manifest" will appear with His 18 'Letters of the Living..'" E.G. Browne, Selections from the Writings of E.G. Browne, ed. ~M. Momen, p. 229

As for Dr. Khalifa, I can only mention a few of the occurrences of the value of 19 that he has listed, for he has written two books on the subject, and the list is too long.  He calls it the miracle of the Quran, and it is undoubtedly one of the proofs of the Divine origin of the Quran.

1. The opening statement of the Quran consists of 19 letters

2. The first Quranic revelation has 19 words (Surih 96:1-5)

3. The first revelation consisted of 76 letters, or 19x4

(The first five verses of Surih 96 were the first revealed verses)

4. The first Surih revealed consists of of 304 letters (19x16)

5. The last Surih revealed consists of 19 letters.

6. Other revelations similarly consist of multiples of 19.

See Visual Presentation of the Miracle, Masjid Tucson.

The Bab made obvious use of the number 19.  Each Vahid (Vahd in Arabic means unity, and has the Abjad value of 19) in either Bayan contains 19 Gates, or verses, except for the last Vahid in the Persian Bayan.  Almost every ordinance in either Bayan contains some expression using the numbers 9 or 19, or multiples thereof.  Dowries are in multiples of 9 and 19.  There were to be no more than 95 (5x19) doors on the Shrine of the Bab.  People who travel by sea can only do so for 95 months (5x19).  Fines are all in multiples of 19, etc.

Every nineteen years the Sun, Moon and Earth are lined up in a specific orientation.  In Jewish tradition their Lunar year is adjusted every 19 years when the Sun, Moon and Earth are aligned in that specific orientation.  The Bab, using the solar year, divided each month into 19 days and the year into 19 months, plus 4 holidays before the Spring Equinox.  He also established 19 year cycles (which correspond to the nodes of the Moon) which He called Vahids.  Nineteen Vahids, or 19x19 He called a Kull-i-shay, the Number of All Things.  So you have double meanings of numbers and words, as well as an indication of the actual interrelationships in our Solar system.


Every language is historical; that is, it changes over time so that the language, as written and spoken a hundred years or so in the past, is not identical with the written and spoken language of today.  Consequently, there will be differences in the way some words are written and accented over a long period of time.  Although modern written Arabic is fairly standard, with variations from nation to nation, there is considerable diversity of dialects in spoken Arabic, just as in any language.  Differences in written Arabic are usually historical, but differences do exist in various localities as well as in dictionaries.  In Arabic, as in any language, there are some words that have identical spellings, but the meanings and sometimes the pronunciation vary according to the context of the sentences wherein they appear.  In English, for example, the word "read" changes meaning and pronunciation according to the tense and person in which it is used.  Many words in the English language are spelled differently in England than they are in the United States.  One example is the word "favor" (U.S. spelling), which in England is usually spelled "favour".  Such variations are normal in any language, differing from area to area, and sometimes from dictionary to dictionary.  This is the reason we speak of languages as being "historical", and dictionaries as being historical records of languages as spoken and written at the time and place such dictionaries are published.

In the Arabic alphabet three vowels are indicated, although vowel sounds are quite often included in the pronunciation of the consonants.  In the Greatest Name (BHA'), spelled with three letters, two consonants and one vowel, the "B" and "H" are pronounced Ba and Ha when by themselves.  The word for unity, transliterated as "vahid" to preserve the original pronunciation, is composed of three consonants and one vowel (vahd).  In most languages accent marks are sometimes, not always, used to indicate different pronunciation and meanings of words.

In Arabic the word "alf" changes meaning according to the context in which it is used.  "Alf" is the name of the first letter (a in English) of the Arabic alphabet.  That letter is also written the same as the number "1", and it has the Abjad value of "1".  The word for 1,000 (one thousand) in Arabic is also alf, the same word as the name of the first letter of the Arabic alphabet.  I have seen the word "alf" for the first letter of the Arabic alphabet transliterated as either "alf" or "alif".

I have questioned Baha'is with knowledge of Arabic about this word used with either the meaning of "a" or of "one thousand".  One told me that it was the same word, with the meaning altered by the context in which it is used.  Another, indicated that an accent is added to the word when it is used as the name of the first letter of the Arabic alphabet.

In a book by Dr. Syed Ali from the Hippocrene Language Studies series, he shows that the letter "a" DOES NOT have the accent mark indicated in the example mentioned above, but on the other hand the same word when used to indicate "1000" DOES have an accent added.  As you see from the illustrations, the same word is either accented or not, according to the dictionary used as reference, or to the country.  For the people whose native language is Arabic, the context wherein the word is used is probably sufficient, and the difference known by the context.

It is because of these differences of opinion that I did this limited research.  In the notes explaining the symbolic significance of word "alf", the differences of opinion DO NOT affect the symbolic significance of the word, which are derived from its numerical values




Abdu'l-Baha Promulgation of Universal Peace (Wilmette,Baha'i Publ. Trust)

Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha, 3 vol. out of print.  Check Baha'i Archives Some Answered Questions (Baha'i Publ. Trust)


Bab, The Selections from the Writings of the Bab (Haifa, UHJ, 1982)

Persian Bayan (See E.G. Browne)

Arabic Bayan (See A.L.M. Nicolas)

Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha Baha'i World Faith (Wilmette, Baha'i Publ. Trust)

Baha'i Scriptures (U.S. Baha'i Archives)


Baha'u'llah Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah (Wilmette, Baha'i Publ. Trust)

Kitab-i-Iqan (Baha'i Publ. Trust)

Suratu'l-Hykal, (See. A. Hadad)

Hidden Words (Baha'i Publ. Trust)

Kitab-i-Aqdas (Haifa, UHJ, 1993) also Elder and Miller translation.

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (Baha'i Publ. Trust)

Berrgren, W.A. and J.A. Van Couvering, editors Catastrophes and Human History (Princeton, Princeton Univ. Press, 1984)


Browne, E.G. Selections from the Writings of E.G. Browne, Ed. by Moojan Momen (Oxford, G. Ronald, 1987) Contains abridged Persian Bayan

Bullinger, E.W. Number in Scripture (G. Rapids, Kregel Publ., 1978)


Effendi, Shoghi God Passes By (Wilmette, Baha'i Publ. Trust)

The Promised Day is Come (New Delhi, Baha'i Publ. Trust)

The Advent of Divine Justice (Wilmette, B.P.T.)

The World Order of Baha'u'llah (B.P.T.)


Gail, Marziah Baha'i Glossary (Wilmette, B.P.T.) Probably no longer available.


Gibb, H.A.R. and J.H.

Kramers Shorter Encyclopedia of Islam (Leiden, E.J. Brill, 1953)


Gold, Thomas Instability of the Earth's Axis of Rotation (Nature, #175, Mar. 26, 1975)


Goodspeed, E.J. The Apocrypha (New York, Random House)


Hadad, Anton Surat'ul'Hykal, translation (Baha'i Archives, Wilmette)


Hadith or Traditions of

Muhammad Many books on this subject.  Some may be obtained from the Islamic Book Service, American Trust Publications, 10900 W. Washington, Indianapolis, IN 46231


Hallam, A. A Revolution in the Earth Sciences (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1973)


Khalifa, Rashad The Computer Speaks: God's Message to the World

Quran:Visual Presentation of the Miracle

(Tucson, Mosque of Tucson, 1982)


Khavari, Ishraq The Heavenly Table (Publ. in Iran.  Available from NSA publishing trust in New Delhi, India)


Lawson, B. T. The Quran Commentary of Sayyid Ali Muhammad, the Bab, (Montreal, McGill Univ. , 1987)


Maulana Muhammad Ali Muhammad the Prophet (Lahore, Ripon Printing Press)


Mahmoud Mahmoud's Diary (U.S. Baha'i Archives)


Mehrabkhani, R. Mulla Husayn (Los Angeles, Kalimat Press, 1987)


Muhammad Quran, or Kuran.  Various translations


Nicolas, A.L.M. Siyyid Kazim Rechti (Paris,Librarie Paul Geuthner. 1914)

Arabic Bayan (French translation obtained from U.S. Library of Congress) English translation by J. and G. Carre' available from New York Public Library


Persian Tablets See above.  Mahmoud and Khavari


Rudhyar, Dane Astrological Timing (New York, Harper and Row, 1969)


Sorokin, P.A. The Crisis of Our Age (New York, E.P. Dutton and Co., 1960)


Underhill, Evelyn Practical Mysticism (New York, E.P. Dutton and Co., 1960)

Mysticism (New York, E.P. Dutton and Co., 1961)


Velikovsky, Immanuel Earth in Upheaval (New York, Pocket Books, 1973)


Wensinck Handbook, Traditions of Muhammad (Leiden, E.J. Brill)

Index, Concordance of Hadith (Publ. not known)


Baha'i Prophecies Index

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