Original title: Lawh-i huwwa munfikhu 'r-ruh
Translated by Juan Cole
Click here to open or download a PDF of this translation.
Click here to read the introduction.
 In the name of the one who breathed spirit into the bodies of the words by means of the holy and illumined spirit.
 Praise be to God that the invisible springs of life that were concealed behind the divine veil are now abundantly flowing from the reality of the Word by virtue of the confirmations of the exalted holy spirit. Yes, the renowned fountain of life, in search of which some have set out, was said to bestow physical life. But the spring of life that flows unseen in the words of the All-Praised grants eternal life and holy spirit. The origin and site of the former fountain is the gloom of the earth. The genesis and cause of this spring is the tresses of the beloved.
 For the houri of meaning had been concealed from all eternity behind the pavilions of divine purity. Then she sought permission from the holy court of the sovereign to depart from the chambers of spiritual solitude and enter the compassionate, divine assemblage, and to shed upon the worlds of holiness and unity one of the hidden rays of epiphany. At that point, a crier from the source of the most great divinity and the treasury of the most grand lordship called out, saying that no creature who would accept this effulgence and radiance could be seen. Therefore, the command was given that a new creation and an unprecedented handiwork be brought into being. All the people of the concourse on high and those who dwell beneath the canopies of eternity were stricken with bewilderment, wondering from what element this new creation would be fashioned, and from what reality it would take its being.
 Then the breeze of the holy east wind blew from the Sheba of true paradise, bearing a fine, perfumed mist from the locks of that spiritual houri. At that moment, several droplets of luminous wine from the spring of the beauty of the All-Merciful condensed in that mist, and the hand of immortal power became manifest from the hidden treasury of sovereign grace. It kneaded that numinous mist into the sweet water of light, then breathed a pre-existent breath into it. Behold, a new creation arose. Were any one of them to glimpse from the corner of his eye the people of the heavens and the earth, they would, one and all, be obliterated, and would be inverted, and would be returned to pre-existent nothingness.
 An irresistible decree now went forth that the people of the pavilions of grandeur, the people of the veils of power, the assemblage of cherubs, and the pure realities must embellish the garden of immortality with the lights of beauty, and must carpet it with brocade and sacred silk embroidered with calligraphy. Then the permission to come out arrived from the heaven of manifestation, and that houri of the spirit emerged from behind the most great curtain, bestowing true spirit upon those who dwell among the people of the heavens and the earth. She stood upon the brocade carpet and began to move. Her movements tossed her hair, causing a few black droplets to be distilled on the embroidered silk upon the ground, bespeaking that resplendent darkness. These wondrous words were embellished by those few droplets, and the river of love was concealed beneath the dark depths of the spring of these words.
 Then, O birds of the sacred skies, do not deprive yourselves, by virtue of your concentration upon this ephemeral world, of this immortal fountain. Possibly you will receive permission to enter the eternal chamber of audience with the glorious beauty. Thus do we make mention to you of the mysteries, insofar as what was referred to in all the tablets as the water of life was hidden from your intellects and your hearts. Perhaps you will attain to the water in that spring after severing yourselves from all who are in the heavens and on earth, and will return to the wonders of his overflowing grace.