An Eyewitness Account of Bahá'u'lláh’s Ascension
By ‘Andalíb of Lahíján
Translated by Ahang Rabbani
The following eyewitness account of Bahá’u’lláh’s passing appears in the anthology of ‘Andalíb’s poem, titled Díván ‘Andalíb, pp. 471–74, (text in poet's hand is available here):
He is the All-Powerful, the All-Mighty, the Beloved.
Oh, in life’s cup the wine-pourer of the feast of decree
Poured life-ending venom instead of spirit-elating wine.
For every ache there is a remedy, for every trouble a solution,
Oh, for this remediless ache and this balmless trouble.
The eye of creation was stunned, the world’s heart darkened,
Heart’s orchard was withered, the nightingale of life silenced.
From this loss, the pillars of existence were dismantled,
From this loss, the eternal throne was crushed.
The waves of the surging Sea of Grace were stilled; instead,
Waves of grief’s ocean gushed in the hearts and souls of the near ones.
The banner of the Most Excellent Names fell to the dust,
The lamentation of God’s Party was raised to the high heavens.
The One by Whose Manifestation the Day of Resurrection dawned upon the world,
By the setting of His sun a commotion made the world to quake.
The One Who in the Sinai of nearness called, “Behold, and thou shalt see,”
Dismayed many a Moses by His roar, “Never shalt thou behold.”
The Most Mighty Ocean sunk its Ruby Ship,
Whence a tempest of tears descended from the eyes of Noah.
Thus was the king of the visible world established upon the placeless throne,
Thus the Sun-like countenance became hid in the West of the eternal Holiness.
The ear was deprived of the song of the Nightingale of Paradise,
The eye was forbid the effulgence of the Sun-like countenance.
For nineteen days that heavenly Beauty was bed-ridden,
At the dawn of Saturday, second of Dhi’l-Qa‘dah He was veiled from us.
It was the sixteenth of the Roman month of Ayar,
It was the thirteenth of the month of ‘Azamat.
Of the Persian Naw-Rúz seventy days had passed,
And of the Migration, one thousand three hundred and nine years elapsed.
Then it was this tragedy occurred, this loss appeared,
And the phrase “Verily the Lord was hidden” became the mark of this tragedy.
With mine own eyes did I behold the clear morn of the Day of Resurrection,
As it surrounded the entire the land of ‘Akká,
As for the funeral ‘Akká’s population entire, low and noble,
Gathered in Bahjí to express their faithfulness.
The Persian believers lamented fate’s unchangeable decree,
And the native Arabs cried out, “Oh our Lord, Oh our Lord!”
For the washing of the Sacred Body in the haram, the Most Mighty Branch
Stood at service solely out of His patience, resignation, and acquiescence.
His Holiness God’s Most Mighty Branch spoke to the friends compassionately,
With a speech eloquent and enchanting.
“No one should be disturbed since God has said,
In His Kitáb-i Aqdas for all creation:
“‘O people, when the Sun of My Beauty has set,
And My heavenly Temple is hidden from all eyes.
“‘All must arise for the triumph of My Cause,
Remain assured and raise its banner the world over.
“‘There was a wisdom in My Manifestation, and a wisdom also in My disappearance,
None will this wisdom comprehend save God Himself.’
“Therefore must we become united in His Cause’s spread,
We must become united both in outward seeming and within our hearts.
“For teaching and triumph of the Faith we must be as one body,
Instill a new spirit by this Call into the temple of the world.
“Eleven were the Disciples of Jesus Christ;
After the passing of God’s Spirit they gave healing to world’s dwellers.
“Praised be God at present our number is several thousand,
All enlightened by the effulgence and the Writings of Bahá.”
Thanks be God’s that we are all beneath the Most Mighty Branch’s shade,
The Branch of that Ancient Stock and the wave of that Ocean of Grace.
Remain constant and assured in this mighty Cause,
Patient in this tragedy, thankful in adversity.
‘Andalíb regrets that ere this tragedy struck
He did not drink a cup borne by death’s angel!