Súriy-i-Haykal (Súrih of the Temple):
A Review

By Ghasem Bayat

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #30
Louhelen Bahá'í School: Michigan, USA
October 6–8, 2000
(see list of papers from #30)

published in Lights of Irfan, volume 2, pages 11-34
© 2001, ‘Irfán Colloquia

    Súriy-i-Haykal (Súrah of the Temple) has been designated by the Beloved Guardian as one of the most challenging works of Bahá'u'lláh. This Tablet was first revealed in Adrianople, then with a few minor changes was re-revealed in Akká around 1869. The Blessed Beauty ordered this tablet to be combined with five of the most important of His Tablets to Sovereigns of His age and written in the form of a pentacle, symbolizing a human temple.

    Thus Bahá'u'lláh associated Súriy-i-Haykal with the prophecy of Zechariah in the Torah. The existence, destruction, and, ultimately, the rebuilding of the Israelite temple are central to the Jewish experience. Bahá'u'lláh identifies Himself as the promised Temple through which both Israel and all the nations of mankind will find redemption.

    This tablet contains numerous references to the manifold stations of a Manifestation of God and offers guidance for a deeper appreciation of the Unity that exists in the Realms of the Cause. The tablet consists of a series of addresses by the Most Great Spirit to the physical Temple of His Manifestation on earth, and His promise to create a race of men to proclaim and support His Cause. It is in this context that religious leaders, sovereigns, and people are being addressed and warned of their transgressions.

    Some of the mightiest statements of Bahá'u'lláh about the power that has been infused into His Revelation appear in this tablet. Many topics such as the spiritual birth of man, the creative power of the Word of God, and the example of the life of His Manifestation are covered in this Tablet. A brief but moving account of Mirza Yahyá's early life and education under the direction of the Blessed Beauty and finally his transgression against Bahá'u'lláh is also given in this Tablet. This tablet, with its numerous addresses to the Bábí communities, along with other books such as the Kitáb-i-Badí', was instrumental in the mass conversion of the Bábí communities to the Cause of Bahá.

    Sections of this mighty tablet were translated by Shoghi Effendi in The Promised Day is Come and The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh. In addition, Anton F. Haddad made a literal translation from the original Arabic into English.

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