Modes of revelation

The following information is taken from Nader Saiedi "Gate of the Heart", pages 40-48

Outline of the modes of revelation

In the Islamic dispensation, there were four modes of revelation. In the Babi dispensation, there were five modes - the four of the Islamic revelation (as outlined below) plus a fifth, which is the Persian mode. All modes are voices of the Word of God - also known as the Manifestation, the Point, the Primal Will of God, and the Will of God.

Mode

Direction

Affirmation of

Description

1. Divine verses

The voice of God (via the manifestation) addressing creation

“I am God”

Uses "the language of divinity, ascendency and lordship". This mode is the source of the other other modes.

2. Prayers and supplications

Manifestation (as a part of creation) addressing God

“Thou art God”

Uses the language of "servitude and effacement", emphasising the "poverty and powerless of the creatures".

Prayers are “an expression of servitude and love - the love of the created being for God”.

3a. Commentaries

Manifestation addressing humans

“He is God”

These are "interpretative works that aim to explain, in expository form, the true meanings of the divine verses".

3b. Sermons

Manifestation addressing humans

“He is God”

These "praise and describe transcendental spiritual realities that are the cosmic manifestations of the Word".

4. Rational, educational and philosophical discourse

Manifestation addressing humans

“He is God Who is”

Uses "rational arguments to demonstrate the truth of the Word" and "explain the message expressed in the prayers". Its function is to “ analyze the phenomenal world and link it to the transcendental realm”.

5. Persian language

The other four modes when they are revealed in the Persian language.

Examples of the modes

The following examples of the four modes are provided by Saiedi in his discussion on pages 42-44.

Mode 1 - Divine verses

“Verily, I am God and there is none other God but Me, the Lord of all things. Verily, all else other than Me is My creation. Therefore, O My creation, adore Me alone!”

Mode 2 - Prayers and supplications

“I bear witness by Thee, O My God, even as Thou didst bear witness unto Thyself, before the creation of Thy Primal Will, that verily Thou art God, the Peerless, the Single, the Self-Subsisting, the Eternal, The Everlasting. Thou hast ever been independent of any description by anyone besides Thee, and Thou wilt remain forever without the praise of anyone other than Thyself.”

Example of prayers:

“Glorified be Thou, O my God! How sweet, therefore, is Thy praise in my inner and outer being; and how abounding are Thy favours in my hidden and manifest states. ...”

Mode 3 - Commentaries

“Know thou that verily every ‘food’ is a reminder of something delightful. But when it is joined with the true meaning of ‘all’, it referreth to the reality which containeth and embraceth everything. That, however, can only be realized in the Point of the Primal Will, inasmuch as verily all the created manifestations are indeed hidden within It.”

Mode 3 - Sermons

“Praised be God, Who hath caused, through the pattern of His signs of Power, all that is vibrant to vibrate in the branches of the concourse of the Heaven of Divinity. And praise be to God, Who hath caused, through the evidences of His Will, the beingness of all beings to be revealed within the branches of the concourse of the Heaven of the Manifestations. …”

Mode 4 - Rational, educational and philosophical discourse

“Verily hath God created within thyself the similitude of all that He hath fashioned in creation, that thou mayest not be veiled from any effulgence. Verily God hath generated within thy being the entirety of His manifestations. He hath ordained that His home be the heart of His servant; by it the reality of existence shall be recognized, and the Fashioner of men be praised, and the bounty of existence pour forth through His ever-flowing Pen.”

“For verily the soul, while bound by the ephemeral and transitory things of this world, is confined, in its understanding, to limited phenomena only. However, once the soul hath soared beyond the realm of nature and becometh submerged in the ocean of absolute unity, then can it acquire the capacity to discern the reality of all sciences and knowledge in their full plenitude. …”


The four modes in the two stations of the Word

The Bab explains that the Word has two stations:

“Verily the Point possesses two stations. One is the station that speaketh from God. The other is the station that speaketh from that which is other than God, a station whereby He expresseth His servitude for the former station.” Bayan 4:1

Station of the Word

Principal modes

Interpretative mode for humans

1. Divinity - the Manifestation speaks from God

Divine verses - primary mode and source of the other modes

Commentaries and sermons

2. Servitude - the Manifestation speaks to God

Prayers and supplications

Rational discourse - the Bab describes this mode as “the answers and interpretations of the prayers”.

Details for this table are from “Gate of the Heart”, pages 46-47.