April 13, 2014

Being in the presence of Bahá'u'lláh -- Varqá recalled his unique experiences

Mirza ‘Ali-Muhammad surnamed Varqá became one of the Apostles of Bahá'u'lláh. He has related the following two incidents that took place during his first pilgrimage in around 1878-9.

The first time he gazed upon the face of His Lord Varqá was surprised, because he thought that he had previously seen Him somewhere, but he could not remember the occasion or the place. He was puzzled by this until one day after several times coming into His presence, Bahá'u'lláh said to him, 'Varqá! Burn away the idols of vain imaginings!' On hearing these words, Varqá immediately recalled a dream he had had when he was a child. He was in a garden playing with some dolls when 'God' arrived, took the dolls from him and burned them in the fire. When he told this dream to his parents they pointed out to him that no one can see God. However, he had completely forgotten this dream until that day when the words of Bahá'u'lláh exhorting him to burn the idols aroused his memory, and he knew that he had seen Bahá'u'lláh in his dream as a child.

The other incident took place during one of the occasions when Varqa was in the presence of Bahá'u'lláh. On that occasion a thought entered into his mind as he gazed in adoration upon the countenance of Bahá'u'lláh. He said to himself, 'I know that Bahá'u'lláh is the supreme Manifestation of God, but I wish He would give me a sign to this effect.' At that same instant the following verse from the Qur'án flashed into Varqa's mind:

“Thou seest the earth barren and lifeless, but when We pour down rain on it, it is stirred to life, it swells, and it puts forth every kind of luxuriant growth in pairs.” (Surah 22, verse 1)

In that very moment, Varqá wished in his heart that Bahá'u'lláh might repeat this verse to fulfil the sign he was looking for.

After some time, in the course of His utterances Bahá'u'lláh recited that same verse from the Qur'án. Varqá's wish was fulfilled, but he said to himself, 'Could this have been a mere coincidence?' As soon as this thought occurred to Varqá, Bahá'u'lláh turned and said to him abruptly, 'Was this not a sufficient proof for you?' Varqá was dumbfounded. He was shaken but assured in his heart of the truth of these words of Bahá'u'lláh:

“O heedless ones! Think not the secrets of hearts are hidden, nay, know ye of a certainty that in clear characters they are engraved and are openly manifest in the holy Presence.” (Persian Hidden Words)

We know that it is not right for man to test God. Bahá'u'lláh seldom responded positively to those who demanded miracles from Him. But He often revealed a measure of His glory and power to those who had recognized Him in order to strengthen their Faith.

Varqá never doubted the station of Bahá'u'lláh. He became a flame of fire, a tower of strength, a mine of knowledge and virtues. He served the Faith with heroism and wisdom. 
(Adapted from ‘The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh vol. 4, by Adib Taherzadeh)