There Is No God But Thee (LOP VII, Notes 65-68)

Photo by Marco Abrar - Baha'

Let him then stand and raise his hands twice in supplication, and say: [VII]

65) From a letter dated 22 April 1991 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice:

‘Regarding the direction "Let him then stand and raise his hands twice in supplication, and say;...", the believer does not have to read twice the paragraph which follows. Whether the believer raises his hands twice before the reciting of the passage, or commences the reciting after having raised his hands once, and raises them a second time soon thereafter, is left to his choice.’

There is no God but Thee, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful. There is no God but Thee, the Ordainer, both in the beginning and in the end. [VII]

66) 'No God but Thee' in the Daily Obligatory Prayers:
  • There is none other God but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.”
    From the Short Obligatory Prayer [Emphasis added.]
  • “God testifieth that there is none other God but Him.”
  • “I bear witness to Thy unity and Thy oneness, and that Thou art God, and that there is none other God beside Thee.”
    From the Medium Obligatory Prayer [Emphasis added.]
  • There is no God but Thee, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful. There is no God but Thee, the Ordainer, both in the beginning and in the end.”
  • No God is there but Thee, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious.”
  • “I testify…that Thou art God, that there is no God but Thee…”
    From the Long Obligatory Prayer [Emphasis added.]
The Bab also placed the statement "There is none other God but God," in a place of centrality in His mission:

'In chapter 1 of the number of all things, that which is enjoined by God, glorified and exalted be He, is the recognition of these words: "There is none other God but God, the Absolute and Utter Truth." For the whole of the Bayan returneth unto these words, and the gathering of the next creation shall proceed thereof. But the recognition of these words dependeth upon the recognition of the Point of the Bayan [The Bab]...' The Bab, Persian Bayan, 1:1. (Provisional translation by Nader Saiedi.)

(Gate of the Heart, Understanding the Writings of the Bab, p. 164)

Nader Saiedi has shared an understanding of the Bab's elevated use of the pivotal phrase "There is none other God but God":

"The declaration of Divine Unity consists of two parts: a statement of negation and a statement of affirmation. First all but God are negated, and then the sovereignty of God is affirmed. This dialectic of negation and affirmation is central to the Bab's conception of the sanctuary of the heart, within which the vision of truth is possible. In this state, only when all but God are cast away can the revelation of the Countenance of the Beloved be witnessed in the heart. Phenomenal things are then discerned to be the manifestations of their supreme Origin and End: nothing is seen in anything but the signs and traces of divine revelation."

(Nader Saiedi, Gate of the Heart, Understanding the Writings of the Bab, p. 164)

There is no God but Thee [VII]

67) “In the Tablet of Salman Baha'u'llah explains one of the most interesting mysteries in the Qur'án, a mystery which had hitherto remained unnoticed. He refers to the well-known phrase, 'There is no God but Him'. This is the cardinal statement of faith which every Muslim must make, and which is the basis of the Islamic religion.

"…the Word of God has many significances which are beyond the ken of men. There are inner meanings enshrined in the Word of God which only His Manifestation and those whom He guides understand. Bahá'u'lláh explains that in this phrase 'There is no God but Him', the letter of negation precedes that of affirmation. Therefore as a result of the creative influence of this phrase, ever since it was revealed, the violators of the Cause of God, representing the letter of negation, dominated over the faithful in the past. All the sufferings which the hands of the breakers of the Covenant of God inflicted upon the steadfast Muslims and their apparent superiority, were the fulfilment of the Words uttered by Muhammad. God had, through His wisdom, so destined that those who were impure and rebellious should dominate those who were true and sincere.”

(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah, Volume 2, pp. 286-87)

“Referring to the fore-mentioned phrase 'There is no God but Him', Baha'u'llah, in the Tablet of Salman, proclaims in majestic and powerful language that He has removed the letter of negation which had been placed before that of affirmation. This phrase, which the Prophet of Islam, through His all-encompassing wisdom, regarded to be the cornerstone of His Faith, is now, in the Dispensation of Baha'u'llah, symbolically replaced by the affirmative phrase 'He is God', signifying that the Revealer of the Cause of God holds within His hands the reins of authority, and, unlike the Dispensations of the past, no one has the power to wrest it from Him. The violators and the breakers of Baha'u'llah's Covenant, as history has shown, have been utterly impotent to introduce divisions within His Faith, to arrest its onward march or influence its glorious destiny.”

(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah, Volume 2, p. 289)

Considering all this information, one might ask ‘Why do we still find the phrase “There is no God but Him” in the Baha’i Writings, in each of the obligatory prayers no less?’ The answer, it seems, is that through the power of one word of affirmation from Baha’u’llah the power of negation has been broken—the same words have been reconstituted as they now apply to God’s eternal Cause. The Manifestations of God bring purification, reorientation, and new capacities and meaning. To cite but two historical instances of purification as they manifested on the material plane: Jesus routed the money-changers from the Temple; Muhammad destroyed the idols in the Kaaba.

Baha’u’llah tells of the metaphysical aspects of this renewal in this Day:

"Through the movement of Our Pen of glory We have, at the bidding of the omnipotent Ordainer, breathed a new life into every human frame, and instilled into every word a fresh potency. All created things proclaim the evidences of this world-wide regeneration. This is the most great, the most joyful tidings imparted by the Pen of this wronged One to mankind. Wherefore fear ye, O My well-beloved ones?

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, XLIII, pp. 92-93) [Emphasis added.]

“Verily, all created things were immersed in the sea of purification when, on that first day of Ridvan, We shed upon the whole of creation the splendours of Our most excellent Names and Our most exalted Attributes. This, verily, is a token of My loving providence, which hath encompassed all the worlds.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 47) [Emphasis added.]

“I testify that no sooner had the First Word proceeded, through the potency of Thy will and purpose, out of His mouth...than the whole creation was revolutionized, and all that are in the heavens and all that are on earth were stirred to the depths. Through that Word the realities of all created things were shaken, were divided, separated, scattered, combined and reunited, disclosing, in both the contingent world and the heavenly kingdom, entities of a new creation, and revealing, in the unseen realms, the signs and tokens of Thy unity and oneness.”

(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations, CLXXVIII, p. 295)

Another principle that arises--from meditation on the negation in "There is no God but Thee"--is polarity. This was illustrated by Baha'u'llah's life, as seen in the answers He received in the dialogue with God in the 'Fire Tablet.' He also refers to that principle here:
"...the letters of negation...must needs exist in Thy realm, so that the words which affirm Thee may thereby be exalted.

(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations,CLXXXIV, p. 325)

"...the Day of God is none other but His own Self, Who hath appeared with the power of truth. This is the Day that shall not be followed by night, nor shall it be bounded by any praise, would that ye might understand!"

(Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 33) [Emphasis added.]

"The Day-Star of His Cause shineth through every veil and His Word of affirmation standeth beyond the reach of negation. Neither the ascendancy of the oppressor nor the tyranny of the wicked hath been able to thwart His Purpose."

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 33) [Emphasis added.]

There is no God but Thee, the Ordainer, both in the beginning and in the end. [VII]

68) “Say, He is that End for Whom no end in all the universe can be imagined, and for Whom no beginning in the world of creation can be conceived. Behold, O concourse of the earth, the splendours of the End, revealed in the Manifestations of the Beginning!”

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 168)

"How indescribably lofty are the tokens of His consummate power, a single sign of which, however inconsiderable, must transcend the comprehension of whatsoever hath, from the beginning that hath no beginning, been brought into being, or will be created in the future till the end that hath no end."

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, XXVI, p. 61) [Emphasis added.]

"The wonders of His bounty can never cease, and the stream of His merciful grace can never be arrested. The process of His creation hath had no beginning, and can have no end.

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, XXVI, p. 61) [Emphasis added.]

"Can one of sane mind ever seriously imagine that, in view of certain words the meaning of which he cannot comprehend, the portal of God's infinite guidance can ever be closed in the face of men? Can he ever conceive for these Divine Luminaries, these resplendent Lights either a beginning or an end? What outpouring flood can compare with the stream of His all-embracing grace, and what blessing can excel the evidences of so great and pervasive a mercy? There can be no doubt whatever that if for one moment the tide of His mercy and grace were to be withheld from the world, it would completely perish. For this reason, from the beginning that hath no beginning the portals of Divine mercy have been flung open to the face of all created things, and the clouds of Truth will continue to the end that hath no end to rain on the soil of human capacity, reality and personality their favors and bounties. Such hath been God's method continued from everlasting to everlasting."

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings, XXVII, pp. 68-69) [Emphasis added.]

"The passage in Baha'u'llah's Tablet... should not be interpreted literally... it means to the end of time, i.e. indefinitely and for all times."

(Written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 2 July 1939, Messages to the Indian Subcontinent, p. 182) [Emphasis added.]

Next: "Creature at the Door"

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