Bahá'u'lláh's Persian poems written before 1863

By Julio Savi

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #104
Centre for Bahá'í Studies: Acuto, Italy
July 9–12, 2011
(see list of papers from #104)

published in Lights of Irfan, volume 13, pages 317-361
© 2012, ‘Irfán Colloquia

    A provisional list of Bahá'u'lláh's Persian poems written before 1863 is provided. These poems are described as an early fruit of the mystical experiences Bahá'u'lláh had in the Síyáh-Chál of Teheran in October 1852. Those experiences produced in Him an irresistible "fire of love" that He sang in those poems. Bahá'u'lláh's love was not a common love, it was "that spiritual attraction and that ecstatic love of the lovers of the Beauteous One for the beauty within their own self," which later on `Abdu'l-Bahá described in His "Commentary to the Tradition of the Hidden Treasure." Bahá'u'lláh uses in these compositions the language of the ancient Persian mystical poets, but He also introduces new perspectives. Persian ancient mystical poems are mostly pervaded by an incurable feeling of separation and remoteness and by the consequent pain.

    Bahá'u'lláh also mentions the pains of the lover. They are the pains the lover should be ready to accept if he wants to come closer to his Beloved. The Beloved says to his lover: "If thine aim be to cherish thy life, approach not our court; / But if sacrifice be thy heart's desire, come and let others come with thee." However, whereas the pains of the lover in the ancient Persian poetry were hopeless, Bahá'u'lláh's poems also speak of the joys of nearness and reunion, which are made possible by the presence of the Beloved Himself Who "Like unto Joseph in Egypt, moves now through alleys and bazaars" and "hath renewed the world through His Cause, / And quickened the spirit of Jesus by His breathe."

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