“Awakened child, articulate your truth about me as you see it, satisfied with me and thankful for what I have done, that you may rely on me and rest easy in the retreats of greatness behind the canopy of might.” Arabic hidden word 45
This is my translation of Arabic hidden word 45. I love this hidden word; in translating it, I felt like I had discovered it. Here’s what I found.
“Awakened child” – the official translation is “O son of being”, which is literal. Baha’u’llah does use the word “son” (ibn), but I think his intent is more along the lines of child – someone who inherits by birth the divine spark of the soul from the Holy Spirit. In Middle Eastern culture, it’s the son who inherits the father’s wealth. But that doesn’t wash in Western culture anymore.
As for my “awakened” – now that is interesting. It translates the Arabic word “wujud”, which is a passive participle that is usually given the philosophical meaning of “being” or “existence”. But the root concept, from w-j-d, means all of these things: “He found it; lighted on it; attained it; obtained it by searching or seeking; discovered it; perceived it; saw it; experienced it, or became sensible of it” (Lanes Lexicon, p2924) You get the idea of someone going looking for something and coming upon it. Hence the passive participle is translated as existence/being because that’s what we encounter if we look. But I have taken a different angle, and thought of the person as someone who discovers themselves through the process of creation – hence they awaken to themselves – eg, a child of self-discovery.
“articulate your truth about me as you see it” – literally, “testify in my path”. Again, very interesting. The verb is “istashhid” – the 10th form of the root sh-h-d, which has the meaning “He told, or gave information of, what he had witnessed, or seen or beheld with his eye:” (Lanes Lexicon p1609) The 10th form of the root has various significances, one of which is that it’s the reflexive/medio-passive of the 4th form. What does that mean? The 4th form is to cause the verb to happen – so here it is to cause a testimony – and the 10th form is to do this within oneself – hence, to cause to testify within oneself. This all accounts for my “articulate your truth as you see it”.
“about me” – literally “in my path”. The word “path” (sabil) is from the root s-b-l, meaning “he made it a trodden way” (Lanes Lexicon, 1301). The noun here is A way, road, or path; what is open, or conspicuous, thereof. From this, I derive the image of a person testifying about what they can see, with their own eyes, in the path that is open before them. Putting the whole thing together, I understand Baha’u’llah to be asking the believer to testify about him as to what they see within themselves so that testimony can stand before the people as an account of the truth.
The remainder of the hidden word comes across to me as reassurance. Baha’u’llah is keenly aware that standing up alone and making such a testimony based on one’s own experience is a great act of courage. So here is the reassurance that if you are willing to do that, you’ll not only be okay but you’ll get 100 percent support from him. Baha’u’llah doesn’t ask people to do frightening things and then leave them to fend for themselves. He guarantees your safety. He says to rest easy: be satisfied with the task he set before you and thankful for the part it played in furthering the Cause. Rely on him and rest easy in his greatness and might.