The two excerpts from Bahá’u’lláh below guided my six-month effort of writing and illustrating The Blessed Beauty. of chronology, namely that the Person of a Manifestation of God is the greatest proof of His Mission, and that all His acts and doings should be considered identical with the Will of God Himself:
“He Who is everlastingly hidden from the eyes of men can never be known except through His Manifestation, and His Manifestation can adduce no greater proof of the truth of His Mission than the proof of His own Person.”
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh N°XX
“The essence of belief in Divine unity consisteth in regarding Him Who is the Manifestation of God and Him Who is the invisible, the inaccessible, the unknowable Essence as one and the same. By this is meant that whatever pertaineth to the former, all His acts and doings, whatever He ordaineth or forbiddeth, should be considered, in all their aspects, and under all circumstances, and without any reservation, as identical with the Will of God Himself. ”
Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh N° LXXXIV
The Revealed word of a Manifestation of God is the purpose of His life on earth, God’s guidance for mankind in this Dispensation. The Blessed Beauty is dual enmeshed chronology, one of the life, person, and actions, and utterances, of Bahá’u’lláh, and of His Revelation.
As an artist and graphic designer, Bahá’u’lláh’s title of Jamál-i-Mubárak (the Blessed Beauty), has been a pillar of my life and my connection to Bahá’u’lláh, who revealed beauty in its purest form in the sacred emanations of His Pen, and who, in His life, was a lifelong lover of the beauty of nature, which surrounded Him in His last years in Mazra’ih, Bahjí, and Riḍván. I have endeavored to adorn this chronology with as much beauty as I could, and created 115 pieces of original digital art in His honor to illustrate spiritual stories, such as those of His childhood dream and the warbling nightingales in the garden of Riḍván.
Please consider downloading the Interactive Menu of The Blessed Beauty. Although you can seamlessly navigate the chronology between parts with the Roman numeral on the left, and within the sections of a part with the numbered menu on the right, the Interactive Menu was built as a companion to discovering The Blessed Beauty, a Table of Contents that leads you to the online chronology, and where you can search and find stories you want to read.
The chronology contains:
❈ 92 stories about individual Tablets, poems, epistles, and prayers by Bahá’u’lláh
❈ 374 pages of referenced stories;
❈ 115 pieces of original digital art;
❈ 23 handmade artistic maps;
❈ 37 informative graphics, and
❈ 832 photographs, scans, engravings, paintings, drawings, and sketches.
Kamal Zein, Dad, I could not have done this without you. Thank you for your chronology-altering visionary suggestions, for your sharp eye, and for always watching out for me.
Adib Masumian, I can’t thank you enough for patience with my many transliteration questions, for identifying various Holy Writings, and first and foremost, for your luminous provisional translation of the Tablet of Visitation revealed by Bahá’u’lláh in honor of His brother Mírzá Músá.
Dr. Moojan Momen, thank you for your patience with me and for providing the two photographs of the first newspaper article ever published mentioning the name of Bahá’u’lláh, in August 1852. Thank you also for your scholarship in Two Episodes from the Life of Bahá’u’lláh in Iran, which provided me with clear dates for Bahá’u’lláh’s journey from Badasht to Shaykh Ṭabarsí, the mention of that important newspaper article, and accurate estimates for the date of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh in the Siyáh-Chál, and the date of His release.
Mohssen Madjidi, dear Mr. Madjidi. You were my guardian angel for Constantinople and Adrianople. These sections now read the way they do, have the photographs they do, and flow cohesively because of your infinite patience, and constant collaboration. Words fail me to express my gratitude to you. Thank you.
Abir Majid and Sa’ad Salim, my beloved collaborators and life-savers in the writing, research, illustration, and correction of Parts III, IV, and V, Bahá’u’lláh’s life in Kurdistán, Baghdád, and His journey to Constantinople. Many, many sections in those parts would not exist without my two Iráqí collaborators and fountains of knowledge regarding all things relating to Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdád. The one story I have a particular affection for is the one about the Lawḥ-i-Firayját, it is a beautiful story that I owe to Abir and Sa’ad.
Dr. Siyamak Zabihi-Moghaddam, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for takig precious time out of your busy schedule to provide your knowledgeable feedback on the various complex questions I asked you, and for helping me develop the intricate infographic times in Part VI: Adrianople, which show the interplay of spiritual forces against the forces of Covenant-breaking.
Chad Mauger, thank you for your generosity as an artist, and for allowing me to use your talented, world-class photography to befittingly illustrate the life of Bahá’u’lláh in Parts VIII, IX, and X. Your double exposure of the balcony of the Mansion of Bahjí allowed me to illustrate the last Twin Holy Day ceremony of Bahá’u’lláh’s life. To see Chad Mauger’s exquisite work, please visit his Flickr page.
Dr. Farvardin Daliri, thank you for allowing me to use your magnificent painting of the house of ‘Abbúd on the sea front to illustrate the story about Bahá’u’lláh’s sea-view room. I search for days for this picture until I found your painting, and I am so grateful you allowed me to use it. You can learn more about Dr. Daliri’s work at his website.
Shahrokh Mondjazeb, thank you for your always-helpful, and kind responses to my questions about the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh.
Fuad Izadinia, many sincere and heartfelt thanks for your permission to use your magnificent paper, The Major Opus: A study of the German Templer movement and its relationship with the Bahá’í Faith, from which I drew precious pieces of information regarding the last three visits of Bahá’u’lláh to Haifa.
Andrew Blake, you were a Godsend for every location having to do with the Holy Land. It was a pleasure collaborating with you.
Joshua Weber, thank you for being so patient with me with all my questions about the gardens, flowers and structures of the Holy Places.
Cüneyt Can, thank you for your help with various points of history relating to Bahá’u’lláh’s time in Constantinople and Adrianople, and during the journey from Baghdád in Anatolia.
Merican Melic, thank you for kind, sharp, and patient review of this chronology.
Nicolas Zein, to my brother…thank you for saving the chronology, more than once, from extinction, for your unfailingly valuable technical advice, and for forcing me to change my workflow in a way that saved my work from disappearing. I don’t think I would have a chronology if it weren’t for you.
I would like to offer my special thanks to the Facebook group Bahá’í Studies, which was the source of many pieces of valuable information, and important details, as well as unexpected surprises that all made their way into the chronology.
Bahá’í Library Online is a precious website without which I could never have completed this task. My very sincere thanks to Jonah Winters and the dedicated team behind this website that is truly a silent teacher.
Steven Phelps has dedicated years of his life to build something called The Partial Inventory of the Works of the Central Figures, a catalog of over 50,000 Tablets, Epistles, poems, prayers, and purported utterances by Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb, and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, easily searchable, each referenced with a unique identifier that provides the searcher with the first line of the work in English and its original Arabic and Persian, where to find the original selection, whether it has been translated in full or in part, or even referenced in a work of history, and where to find those, and whether there have ever been musical interpretations of the work. I must have referenced the Partial Inventory at least 200 times in this chronology, and I want to pay tribute to this exceptional PDF companion which be downloaded at Loom of Reality, because it has empowered me to plunge into the ocean of Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation with a lighthouse to help guide my exploration. Thank you Steven, from the bottom of my heart.
Thank you for reading,
With all my love,
Sunday 29 May 2022
Pointe-Noire, the Republic of Congo
Click the button below to download the Interactive Menu Version 1 (29 May 2022) for The Blessed Beauty:
The Interactive Menu and the chronology itself will undergo changes, corrections, and additions in the coming months. By subscribing to the “Updates to chronology of The Blessed Beauty” mailing list below, you will only receive an email from me when a new updated version of the Interactive Menu is published, or if I add a new story to the chronology.