August 10, 2020

Baha’u’llah’s Epistle to the Son of the Wolf – Notes by Marzieh Gail

This is the last major outstanding Tablet of Baha’u’llah. The last He wrote before He left us; before that happened of which the Báb has written, "all sorrow is the shadow of that sorrow."  This is the last of the hundred books He revealed for us.

It was written to a priest in Isfahan, a priest called the "Son of the Wolf". His father had spoken the words that sent the "twin shining lights," the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs to their death. They were laid in two sandy graves near Isfahan. (Years afterward, an American woman named Keith Ransom Kehler knelt there and wept and brought them flowers; then in a few days she was stricken and died, and the friends carried her back to these same graves and buried her beside them).

This priest, Aqa Najafi, had committed the unforgivable sin: he had violated the Covenant and blasphemed against the Holy Spirit; that is, he had hated, not the lamp, not the Prophet of God as an individual -- from ignorance, or because he did not recognize Him -- but the light itself, the perfections of God which the Prophet reflects; he had hated the light in the lamp -- and "this detestation of the light has no remedy...”

This priest was, then, the most hopeless of sinners. His evil found expression in many ways, and among them was this, that with his pupils, he kicked at and trampled the martyred body of Mirza Ashraf, in Isfahan (not the Ashraf of whom we read in Gleanings; Siyyid Ashraf, whose head was cut off in Zanjan).

And yet, Baha'u'llah begins this Tablet with a prayer of repentance for Aqa Najafi to recite. He offers this breaker of the Covenant forgiveness; just as, in His Most Holy Book, He offers forgiveness to Mirza Yahya, the treacherous half-brother who tried to destroy him. This offering is a demonstration of "Badá" -- of the principle of the free operation of the Will of God, Who doeth whatsoever He willeth and shall not he asked of His doings.