“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Rahmat or “Mercy”

Bahá’ís throughout the world gather today before sunset within the First Day of the Month of Rahmat [Mercy] to celebrate the Bahá’í Month of Rahmat.

“Sonnet in Honour of the Feast of Rahmat or “Mercy”

A softer mercy longer left behind at birth, kindnesses disinclined
To tarry between blessings of the newborn
Infant, the salutation, the midwife’s slap–torn,
The page of practice and illumination–and the last blinds
Closed to indicate the wake, a last reminder to the family, ensigns
Of honour toward another life both last and lasting worn
As armbands on the sleeve that say, “One must move on toward
The future, after all.” But, what of infants and invalids in lines
That stretch from all that’s passed to what must come to pass?
Whither gone the wisdoms of Ptolemy and Newton, the trials
Between the Tennis Court Assembly and the emperor’s new clothes?
Who has heard the Last Trump or worse, whose knowledge grows
With every hour that if we’d seen the light from the crevasse
Rise from the right, swallowed on the left*, the Mercy-Seat then smiles.
Revealed, the journey concludes from the beginning to the last mile.

* On this plane, the traveler meeteth with many a trial and reverse. Now is he lifted up to heaven, now is he cast into the depths. As it hath been said: “Now Thou drawest me to the summit of glory, again Thou castest me into the lowest abyss.” The mystery treasured in this plane is divulged in the following holy verse from the Surih of THE CAVE: [1]

[1 Qur’án 18:16. This is a reference to the station of complete faith. The companions of the Cave are identified with early Christian martyrs.]

“And thou mightest have seen the sun when it arose, pass on the right of their cave, and when it set, leave them on the left, while they were in its spacious chamber. This is one of the signs of God. Guided indeed is he whom God guideth; but for him whom He misleadeth, thou shalt by no means find a patron.”

If a man could know what lieth hid in this one verse, it would suffice him. Wherefore, in praise of such as these, He hath said: “Men whom neither merchandise nor traffic beguile from the remembrance of God….”[1]

[1 Qur’an 24:37.]

This station conferreth the true standard of knowledge, and freeth man from tests. In this realm, to search after knowledge is irrelevant, for He hath said concerning the guidance of travelers on this plane, “Fear God, and God will instruct thee.” [1] And again: “Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth.” [2] –Baha’u’llah

[1 Qur’an 2:282.]

[2 Hadith.]

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