Hidden Words

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On the need to read, memorize, and live up to them

See http://www.bahai-library.com/zamir/sm/?19 (open sections IV.2.A, IV.2.B, and IV.3.A)

See Non-obligatory prayers mentioned for daily recitation on apparent non-requirement of daily recitation, however.

Basic information/Notes

General Discussions

(Note: If you wish to discuss a specific Hidden Word (beyond supplying cross-references to this page), you can add a link to a new discussion page specific to the Hidden Word in question. This should be done in the format [[HiddenWordArabic13]] or [[HiddenWordPersian10]], for example, and should be added as a link within the cross-references below. See the first Hidden Word (Arabic) for an example.)

Meaning of the name "Hidden Words" is suggestive of how its spiritual realities and truths were reinterprted and revealed afresh

"With regard to your question concerning the meaning of the name 'Hidden Words'. It is, indeed, one of the most suggestive titles of the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh. These words are called hidden due to the fact that men have had neither the knowledge nor a true sense of appreciation of them before they were revealed by Bahá'u'lláh. It is through Him, Who is the sole Mouthpiece of God in this age, that spiritual realities and truths have been once more reinterpreted and revealed afresh to mankind. Bahá'u'lláh's Message is thus the only key to a true understanding of the mysteries that envelop man's spiritual life."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, September 1, 1935, in Lights of Guidance, no. 1632)

The "Hidden Words" allusion to Shi'ah Hidden Book of Fatimih and containing guidance revealed to Prophets of old

"...the Hidden Words was originally designated the 'Hidden Book of Fatimih,' and was identified by its Author with the Book of that same name, believed by Shi'ah Islam to be in the possession of the promised Qa'im, and to consist of words of consolation addressed by the angel Gabriel, at God's command, to Fatimih, and dictated to the Imam Ali, for the sole purpose of comforting her in her hour of bitter anguish after the death of her illustrious Father. The significance of this dynamic spiritual leaven cast into the life of the world for the reorientation of the minds of men, the edification of their souls and the rectification of their conduct can best be judged by the description of its character given in the opening passage by its Author: 'This is that which hath descended from the Realm of Glory, uttered by the tongue of power and might, and revealed unto the Prophets of old....'"

(Shoghi Effendi: God Passes By, p. 140, in Lights of Guidance, no. 1631)

Gem-like utterances were inspired as Bahá'u'lláh paced in meditation along the banks of the Tigris

"Next to this unique repository of inestimable treasures must rank that marvelous collection of gem-like utterances, the "Hidden Words" with which Bahá'u'lláh was inspired, as He paced, wrapped in His meditations, the banks of the Tigris. Revealed in the year 1274 A.H., partly in Persian, partly in Arabic..."

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 139-140)

The Hidden Words have no sequence

"The Hidden Words have no sequence. They are jewel-like thoughts cast out of the mind of the Manifestation of God to admonish and counsel men...."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 22, 1949, in Lights of Guidance, no. 1633)

See also

Passages in which Bahá'u'lláh Refers to Man as "Son of Spirit"

"As to your second question concerning those passages in the 'Hidden Words' in which Bahá'u'lláh refers to man as 'Son of Spirit', 'Son of existence', 'Son of humanity' etc., the word 'son' used in this connection is a kind of collective noun, meaning mankind and has, therefore, no connotation of any sex differentiation between man and woman whatever."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, January 19, 1935, in Lights of Guidance, no. 1634)

Individual Hidden Words

(To-do: Give individual pages for each Hidden Word, and any scholarly references should be in separate section

(Preamble): Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 86 - Restates part of the preamble: "The preface announces that it contains the essences of the words of the Prophets of the past, clothed in the garment of brevity, for the teaching and spiritual guidance of the people of the world."

A1: The Light of Divine Guidance (vol2) 65-67. Wiki discussion at HiddenWordArabic1.

A7,A8: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, sec. 181.

A13: `Abdu'l-Baha to Thornton Chase, in Star of the West Vol. 2 6&7 11-12.

The Divine Spirit can be reflected within us, but cannot be compared to the Revelation given to His Prophets

"As to the passage No. 13 of the Arabic Hidden Words: That which Bahá'u'lláh declares we can find abiding within us is the power of the Divine Spirit, the reflection of the light of His Revelation. This reflection of the Divine Spirit, however, can in no way be compared to the Revelation which God discloses to His Prophets and Messengers. The similarity in the terminology should not confuse this distinction which is most fundamental."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to two believers, December 7, 1935, Directives from the Guardian p. 37, in Lights of Guidance, no. 1601)

Hidden Words (Arabic) No. 13 Explained

"Thou hast asked about the statement in the Hidden Words which reads, 'O Son of Spirit! Turn thy face so that thou mayest find Me within thee, Powerful, Mighty, and Supreme.' This is the statement to which His Holiness, the Christ, referred His Apostles in the Gospel, saying: 'The Father is in the Son and the Son is in you.'

"This is evident that, when the hearts are purified and through the divine education and heavenly teachings become the manifestators of infinite perfections, they are like clear mirrors and the Sun of Truth will reflect with might, power and omnipotence in such mirrors, and to such an extent that whatsoever is brought before them is illumined and ignited. This is a brief interpretation because of lack of time. Therefore, do thou reflect and ponder over it, so that the doors of significance may be opened before thine eyes."

('Abdu'l-Bahá: Extract from Tablet to Thornton Chase, June 1911: Star of the West, Vol. II, Nos. 7 and 8, pp. 11-12, in Lights of Guidance, no. 1635)


A31 - cf. to Summons of the Lord of Hosts, Súriy-i-Mulúk, par. 69 (also in Promised Day Is Come, par. 92) re: "Bring thyself to account..."

A59: The Promulgation of Universal Peace 148.

A68: earlier translation in Star of the West, 3:1 (1912)

A70, A71: The Light of Divine Guidance vol. 2 65-67

P38: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, sec. 181.

P63: Earlier translation by Shoghi Effendi in Gleanings 104, with significant stylistic changes. World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, 46.

P71: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, sec. 181

P77: World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, 59-60, 116

See also

  • Ego/self (a frequent topic of the Hidden Words)
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