Fabrics and Garments in the Bahá'í Writings

By Vahid Rafati

Presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #138
Centre for Baha'i Studies: Acuto, Italy
July 5–8, 2016
(see list of papers from #138)

    In the Súriy-i-Qalam (Surih of the Pen), Baha'u'llah writes: "Adorn, then, your souls with the silken vesture of certitude and your bodies with the broidered robe of the All-Merciful"�". In another Surih, which is entitled the "Súriy-i-Qamís" (Surih of the Shirt), one reads that, " the forms of things became adorned in the garments of names"�" , and , " Ere long We will sanctify the hem of Thy robe from the idle suggestions of the manifestations of names and attributes"�". Further in the same Surih one finds the expression, " O Countenance of Grandeur adorned in the raiment of glory"�". And, again in the same Surih, Bahá'u'lláh states that " "�all things between earth and heaven are assembled in the cloaks of grief"�".

    Such expressions, quoted here from only two of Bahá'u'lláh's works, clearly show the vivid presence of fabrics and garments in His writings to convey mystical, allegorical, metaphorical, mythical, and literal meanings. These are closely associated with the religious, cultural, theological, and literary heritage of mankind, particularly where oriental civilization is concerned.

    Such a frequency of names, kinds, attributes, colors, and values of garments and fabrics, not only in Bahá'u'lláh's works, but in the entire body of the Bahá'í Sacred Writings, make the study of this vast topic challenging, important, and fascinating for one to realize the unbelievable and priceless richness of the Bahá'í Sacred Writings.

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