The Ode of Varqá'íyyih

By Brian Miller

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #26
Bosch Bahá'í School: California, USA
November 26–28, 1999
(see list of papers from #26)

    The revelation of Bahá'u'lláh's great ode in Arabic to the Maid of Heaven, known as the Qasídiy-i-Varqá'íyyih, constitutes the defining moment of Bahá'u'lláh's sojourn in Sulaymáníyyih, a period described by the Blessed Beauty himself as "the greatest testimony to the truth of this revelation." The impact it had was dramatic on those at whose request it was revealed. For them it was powerful evidence and sure proof of the miraculous powers and lofty spiritual station of its Author. We shall examine both the mystical significance of these sacred verses and their poetic features so that we may better appreciate this remarkable poem and the impact it had upon those who first heard it recited by the lips of the Blessed Beauty. In its beauty and artistry lie clues to its enduring power and its mystical significance. For not only does it provide a glimpse into the depths of Bahá'u'lláh's divine vision, but it is also a singular achievement in the history of Arabic literature and poetry in particular. In order to demonstrate this, we will examine its poetics in close comparison with its antecedents in the poetry of the great Egyptian master, Ibn al-Faríd.

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