Tahirih and the Stories the Heavens Have Told, by Starr* Saffa

Sacred Symbol of Tahirih

    Sacred Symbol of Tahirih

Stories the heavens have told 

Scripture and histories say that at the time of the birth or announcement of every Messenger of God, a star or a sign appears in the heavens. 

Baha’is might wonder what is Starr* Saffa, Betty Butler, and the those on the Tahirih Path going on about Tahirih being the Maid of Heaven made flesh who imparts the Word the Promised One utters, after-all we only know Tahirih as the 17th Letter of the Living and the Bab is the Primal Point, not Tahirih. After-all God can only be known through male Manifestations, even if the Bab and Bahá’u’lláh see God in the Feminine. And who really cares since Babism died out and Bahá’u’lláh is the one whom god made manifest as the universal manifestation is all that is relevant now. Imagine these women claiming that the whole Baha’i Faith is standing on Tahirih, as the Most Great Spirit. “On what basis is it we should consider these claims?” Baha’is might ask.  

Ok, the Baha’is might say, that we know that both the Bab and Bahá’u’lláh have penned down Revelation saying: “I am the Maid of Heaven begotten by Baha”, but what has that got to do with Tahirih? Why do we need to determine if Tahirih’s figure operates on many levels, as do manifestations, one may wonder, how is that relevant? What is this Maiden Theology/TheAlogy all about?   

Some Baha’is wonder why do some scholars say that the time that the One Whom God Would Make Manifest (OWGWMM) that the Bab prophesised has not yet come and that the Baha’i Faith is therefore an intermediary phase which is known as the  Lesser Plan? Is there validity to this reasoning? Why it is that Saffa claims the Twin Manifestations who appeared in 1844 were the Bab and Tahirih and how do the stars in the heavens indicate this?  

Starr* provides some scripture and reasoning to begin to answer this line of questioning. 

First of all let the readers keep in mind that it was in 1844 that the bright star Sirius was found to be a double star (Sirius A and Sirius B) and the double comet Biela became visible in 1843, 1846, 1852 as these dates relate to the events. Also, consult endnotes along the way for further clarification. 

When Tahirih said “I am the Word the Promised One utters”[i] what does that mean? First of all the Word originates with the Godhead and is the first impulse of creation from the Primal Will Essence.[ii] The Word is transmitted to the soul of the Manifestation through the Holy Spirit[iii] (Sacred Fire, Burning Bush, Dove, Angel Gabriel, Maid of Heaven, etc). Thus, the Manifestation becomes the Living Word,[iv] and when that Word is penned down it becomes the recorded Word of God, the Book.  

Consider that Tahirih, in her poems, explains that she was created when nothing else existed.[v] In that sense she would then be the ancient first Word at the level of Primal Point of Knowledge, whereby Knowledge is equated with “Divine Essence” which mirrored Itself forth. (Tahirih was known as the Point of Divine Knowledge early in Her ministry).[vi]  

Next, the fact that the Promised One becomes the Living Word (through Tahirih being the Word) shows that Tahirih represents the Most Great Spirit or Maid of Heaven that transmits the Word. Thus she represents the Holy Spirit in the flesh and she starts her own Messianic movement before aligning with the Bab. Of course, this is all mirrored forth from the matrix Dot (Primal Point). 

Suddenly the interactive mirror images of the Bab and Tahirih as the returned cosmic Christ Spirit in the 1844 period becomes clearer and one can see why the Bab says he is the Primal Point in the flesh and writes what has been transmitted “I am the Maid of Heaven begotten by Baha.[vii]  He pens the Surih of Joseph which was first known by Tahirih. Tahirih is the Word and thus The Bab pens the Bayan which becomes the Mother Book on which Baha’i is based.  The Bab tells all the Babis that they must submit to Tahirih’s Teachings (Word).[viii] Because this is a divine love story She writes poems saying the Bab is Her lover, although they never met in the phenomenal world. Together they demonstrate the Inca belief of parity and what Holy Books explain where everything is born in pairs (interactive mirror images).[ix]  

Tahirih becoming a Letter of the Living as part of the Primal Point demonstrates this interactive mirroring and love story. This is especially visible when we consider that the Bab says it is He and the Letters that compose the Primal Point. Tahirih being the 17th Letter adds up to the number 8 which is the infinity sign and the number of the Queen of Heaven also known as the Word. However, Tahirih being a Letter of the Living does not negate that she had Her own following as a Messianic Leader of the Day (Quratiya and Ayanis). One noted religious man of the time linked the two Revelations together as “Quratyia-Babism”. At this time not only is Sirius found to be a double star but the comet Biela splits in half during their ministry. So it was that Tahirih and the Bab were the prophesised Twin Manifestations. 

The Bab is martyred and Tahirih as the Maid of Heaven writes another love poem to the vicegerent appointed by the Bab to carry the faith forward but he fails to pen the Word. Thus, as the transmitter of the Word, Tahirih (Most Great Spirit) can take on many lovers or Manifestations to complete Revelation whether in the flesh or not. Especially since Manifestations are all One. Many are called, few are chosen. “My raining Cause made deities divine; all Lords have by My ample order thrived. No. 110, Ode of the Dove, penned by Bahá’u’lláh and translated by Juan Cole can be found at:http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/ode.htm).  

Tahirih was reported to have encouraged Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri (who took the title of Baha’u’llah) to make a stand for the Babis at one point as she could see that the movement was being cut short due to persecutions and the Word that needed transmission for humanity’s progress was not yet finished.   

Then in 1852 the Spirit made flesh (Tahirih) left this realm. This is the very same year[x] that Mirza Husayn Ali Nuri beheld the Divine Maiden in the Siyah-Chal  and became informed of his mission by the Heavenly Maiden (Oct. 1852).[xi] Next Bahá’u’lláh pens his communication of the Word which says “I am the Maid of Heaven, the offspring begotten by the Spirit of Baha.[xii] It is also the same year (1852) that the comet Biela was sighted and then disappeared never to be sighted again.  

*It should be noted that Baha’i scripture says there will be no fresh revelation for a thousand years from Bahá’u’lláh’s ministry. However, this is contrary to the Teaching of Tahirih who says ‘Revelation is in a continuous flow’.  

The ministry of Baha’i, founded on the Mother Book (Bayan), previous religious writings and the continuance of revelation from the Maid of Heaven, has brought the Word forward to the time of the Shift of the Ages as the Greater Plan takes hold and Prophet worship is no longer a preferred model in the new paradigm. Baha’i has also, through power struggles, on many occasions, caused dissimulation on many important teachings brought to advance and free humankind. So it has been a double-edged sword. In the Ode of the Dove, She (Dove being the Holy Spirit or Maid of Heaven) finds the carrier of the Word insincere due to his own desires. This is perhaps the reason why the prophecy of the “meek shall inherit the earth” is fast becoming a reality while religion as a whole is losing its grip on the peoples.   

The Manifestations or Lovers of the Maid of Heaven (divine connection) brought the Word forward for the sake of humanity’s progress and the stars in the heavens indicated their ministry.  

William Sears discovered the significance of the double star Sirius to point to the expected second coming, but missed recognizing that Tahirih was the Christ Spirit and on one level the Twin of the Bab. The second star discovered, Sirius B was a white dwarf of high intensity that had at one time been a bright star itself from ancient days. It is of interest that many believe the white dwarf transferred minerals or gems to Sirius A (which in metaphysical terms is the revelation of the Babi Dispensation). It is a physical metaphor for the Most Great Spirit transmitting Gems of Knowledge, the Word, to the Manifestation.  

The comet Biela made its first appearance in 1843 announcing the twin prophets, and made its last appearance in 1852 signifying the most Great Spirit or Maid of Heaven communicating to Bahá’u’lláh from the sacred chambers in order to finish the mission’s purpose as a preparatory step in furthering The Greater Plan. But let us remember comets are not stars. 

The Holy Maiden, during the time of the Lesser Plan, could find none who were sincere and infused the dust with her Spirit so that all who dwell on earth would be able to connect to the God/ess within – indicated in the Tablet of the Holy Mariner. Also, the meteor showers falling to earth may be an indication of the same infusion.


“Turn, thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest, find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful, and self-subsisting”   No. 13 Arabic Hidden Words 

"In this greatest of dispensations, all must appear with branches of knowledge and sayings of wisdom. For in these unparalleled days, celestial gales have rendered all human beings—indeed, all things—bearers of the divine emanations to the extent of their capacity…” Tablet of the Son. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jrcole/bahai/2001/bhson.htm 


The stars in the heavens show Tahirih to be one of the Twin Manifestations of the 1844 Revelation as does her name which is also spelled “Tahira”. The RA in her name links her to the Egyptian Sun God RA. Thus, as the Most Great Spirit she has ties to ancient times, and even before that as the first emanation from Primal Will.[xiii] 

Discovering that Tahirih represents the Divine Essence mirrored forth as the Primal Word or creating impulse, that she, as the Maid of Heaven animates Manifestations, that she Herself was the returned Spirit in 1844 and operated as one of the Twin Manifestations foretold, and that she was part of laying out a new universal Path with Divine Authority, Baha’is can become empowered in gaining a fresh perspective for the day in which they are living, as well as envisioning the new Cycle of Balance which incorporates the male and female principles of creation.  

We know she called for the end of Islam[xiv] and past dispensations, we know she called for the full emancipation of women and showed by example that they were meant to be equal Leaders in all human affairs, we know she said there is a continuous flow of revelation, and that the Secret Key is for every individual to follow their own intuition balanced with rational proofs. Accepting any less is to deviate from the Spiritual Path. When Baha’is know these teachings, and that they come with Divine Authority, they are armed with a measuring stick to know when their religion is deviating from the Divine intent. For instance how could it be, once understanding Tahirih’s role in revelation, that they would accept women being in secondary positions and not having voice on their highest governing body? Surely this one point alone, should alert them to the injustice they are perpetrating by following what appears to be a hijacked administration.  

Concealing Tahirih’s true role in revelation has been a travesty beyond measure, but to keep perpetrating it is a blasphemy to the Most Great Spirit and is not pardonable.[xv] Without truthfulness there is no progress in any of the worlds of the Godhead. Be empowered through the Knowledge which is imparted to your heart and mind through the Maid of Heaven, Know that this was the primary mission of Tahirih Qurratu’l-Ayn, to free the people to honour the promptings of their own hearts which emanate from the highest Source. 

With the eternal Living Love mirrored forth from the Primal Essence, Starr* Saffa   

*Sirius’s discovery as a double star in 1844 also connects Tahirih to Isis  – to be revealed.

Footnotes in Endnote form: 

[i] She declared: `I am the Word which the Qa’im is to utter, the Word which shall put to flight the chiefs and nobles of the earth! (The Dawn-Breakers, translated from the original Persian and edited by Shoghi Effendi (1932), Baha’i Publishing Trust, Wilmette, Illinois, 1970, pp 296-297)  

Also in reference to Tahirih we read: “It is said in one form of tradition, that Qurratu’l-Ayn herself attended the conference with a veil on. If so, she lost no time in discarding it, and broke out (we are told) into the fervid exclamation, `I am the blast of the trumpet, I am the call of the bugle,’ i.e. `Like Gabriel, I would awaken sleeping souls.’   

[ii] According to bahai scripture the Primal Point can be understood as the first emanation, first universal intellect from the Absolute (God/ess, Source, Primal Oneness, etc), and is manifested in the `Word” from which all forms of all things are generated. 

Primal Point (Nuqtiy-i-Ula) (from which have been generated all things) The Bab. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 4)  

In Persian mysticism, all writings is said to originate from a ‘nuqtih’, a point or dot. A Basic Baha’i Dictionary, p. 185 

The “Book is the record of the revealed Word of the Manifestations of God”. . No. 300, Kitab-i-aqdas, by Bahaullah, p.231 

[iii]  Holy Spirit as the Intermediary between God and Man: “Unless the Holy Spirit become intermediary, one cannot attain directly to the bounties of God. Do not overlook the obvious truths, for it is a self-evident fact that a child cannot be instructed without a teacher, and knowledge is a bounty from the bounties of God. The soil is not covered with grass and green without the rain of the cloud; therefore the cloud is the intermediary between the divine bounties and the soil. A body doth not develop and grow without the soul; therefore the soul is the medium of the spiritual life”. ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith, page 370 

[iv] How does the Word become Flesh? 

  1. Manifestations are of three stations, human, and divine.
  2. Above the divine part of the Manifestation in the levels of existence is the Holy Spirit, also know as Mary, Eve, Tahirih, the Dove, Angel Gabriel,
  3. When the Holy Spirit communicates the Word of God to the divine part of the manifestation this is called ‘Revelation’.
  4. When the Manifestation receives the Revelation the Manifestation is being animated by the Holy Spirit.  In this sense it can be said the Manifestation (Word) was with God and is God (the Living Word).
  5. The part of the Manifestation that reflects the Revelation received then becomes the vehicle for reflecting the Word in the Flesh.
  6. Thus it is the Holy Spirit born at Primal Point level which animates the Manifestation with the creative Word.

 “The Maiden thereafter appears as the personification of the spirit of God. ….Shoghi Effendi identifies her with “the Most Great Spirit,” symbolized . . . by the Sacred Fire, the Burning Bush, the Dove, …”(GPB: 101). http://bahai-library.com/unpubl.articles/erotic.allegory.html 

It was on that occasion that the “Most Great Spirit,” as designated by Bahá’u’lláh Himself, revealed itself to Him, in the form of a “Maiden,” and bade Him “lift up” His “voice between earth and heaven” –that same Spirit which, in the Zoroastrian, the Mosaic, the Christian, and Mohammedan Dispensations, had been respectively symbolized by the “Sacred Fire,” the “Burning Bush,” the “Dove ,” and the “Angel Gabriel.” God Passes By, by Shoghi Effendi, pp. 100-101:  

[v] I am melted, my God, by that mercy whereby Thou dist create me at a time when nothing existed save it. I was formed whirling, after a pattern that no one besides Thee had fashioned, so that Thou mightest set me in motion. Thus might I be brought out of the world of the veils of glory by the attraction exercised by Thy preexistent essence, and thus might I transcend the station of allusions by means of love for Thy shining countenance.” Translated by Juan Cole. Taken from Qurratu’l-Ayn Bi-yad-I saumin sal-I shahadat (Tehran, 1949, pp. 36-37), “Translations of Shaykhi, Babi and Baha’I Texts” (East Lansing, no. 6, 1997) 

[vi] Divine Essence is the pre-existent Primal Will Essence: In reference to Tahirih:  In “Resurrection and Renewal” by Abbas Amanet, page 300 we read: “…sources report that she assumed the title of “the Point of Divine Knowledge”. Then we find the terms ‘Divine Knowledge’ and ‘Divine Essence’ are identical –  “the Divine Knowledge which is identical to the Divine Essence”. (No. 23 in Abdu’l-baha’s “I Was a Hidden Treasure” (Baha’i Studies).

No. 24 “And so this is the stage and station of the Hidden Treasure which is mentioned. And when that Hidden Essence revealed Its Essence to Its Essence and showed forth Its Self to Its Self, the Maiden of Love, which was veiled within the canopy of the Essence of Unity, arose and came forth.”  (I Was a Hidden Treasure”  Commentary by `Abdu’l-baha, No. 24) Baha’i Studieshttp://bahailibrary.com/provisionals/hidden.treasure.html” 

[vii]  The Bab pens the Word (Tahirih). “”O People of the earth! By the righteousness of the One true God, I am the Maid of Heaven begotten by the Spirit of Baha…”, SWB p.54.


[viii] “Concerning what you have inquired about that Mirror which has purified its soul in order to reflect the Word

by which all matters are solved; She is a righteous, learned, active, and pure woman; and do not dispute al-Tahira in her command for she is aware of the circumstances of the cause and there is nothing for you but submission to her since it is not destined for you to realize the truth of her status” (Amanat, Abbas, “Resurrection and Renewal”, p. 307). Amanat’s footnote 78 says: For an even stronger endorsement of Qurratu’l-Ayn status by the Bab see passages cited in ZH (Tarikh Zuhur al Haqq, History of the Manifestation of Truth, vol. III, by Fazil Mazandarani, pgs 331-34), where she is praised as “the proof for all” (hujja ala al-kull) whose instructions are binding  for all believers”. 




[ix] This pairing of things is even shown forth in the Qur’án: “Glory be to Him Who has created all the pairs: of such things as the earth produceth, and of themselves; and of things which they know not” [2] –that is to say, men, animals and plants are all in pairs–“and of everything have We created two kinds”–that is to say, We have created all the beings through pairing. Some Answered Questions, pp 86-88 

[x]The same month that year that saw the imprisonment of Baha’u’llah also saw the martyrdom of Tahirih (Qurratu’l-Ayn)  “at the heightof her beauty and power”  (William Sears, Release the Sun, p. 120) 

[xi] I BEHELD A MAIDEN – Life of the Spirit
The first words of the Baha’i Revelation were spoken to Baha’u’llah by a woman. This Maiden rejoiced his soul and informed him of his Mission. Terry Culhane goes in search of the Divine Feminine in the Writings of Baha’u’llah. He finds that the whole body of Writings can be read as a conversation between a Lover (Baha’u’llah) and his Beloved (the Maiden). This love and mystery must stand at the heart of Baha’i identity and Baha’i community life.
 – I Beheld A Maiden, by Terry Culhane.Now available from http://www.kalimat.com  Retail price: $19.95 paperback only

[xii]  “I am the Maid of Heaven, the offspring begotten by the Spirit of Baha…” —Gleanings, Writings of Bahá’u’lláh (Wilmette, Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1983, p.284

 “The Maid of Heaven, the Image of Sophia, and the Logos Personification

of the Spirit of God in Scripture and Sacred Literature,”

in Journal of Bahá’í Studies, 4.1 (Mar.-June 1991);


[xiii]   Tahira – name meaning and origin

The girl’s name Tahira \tahira, tahi-ra\ is of Arabic origin, and its meaning is “virginal, pure“.  No study of Islam is complete without aquainting oneself with the woman who played the most important role in the life of the Prophet. This amazing woman was Khadija, the wife of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). Khadija was known during her time as ‘Al-Tahira’, the pure one, and ‘Ameerat Quraysh’, Princess of Quraysh. Khadija is known to be one of the four most perfect women of all time. The Prophet said: “The best women in all the world are four: the Virgin Mary, Aasiyaa the wife of Pharoah, Khadijah Mother of the Believers, and Fatimah, daughter of Muhammad.” http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/islam_in_the_us/32518  

[xiv] “And last but not least it was owing to her initiative, while participating in the Conference of Badasht, that the most challenging implications of a revolutionary and as yet but dimly grasped Dispensation were laid bare before her fellow-disciples and the new Order permanently divorced from the laws and institutions of Islám.” Shoghi Effendi, GPB, pp 74-75 

[xv] 31“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. 32“And whoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age, or in the age to come,” (All Scripture quotes are from the NASB).Jesus mentions a sin that is unforgivable in Matt. 12:31-32 


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