“Ḥúríyyih,” a term whose roots can be found in the Qur’án (44–54, 52:20, 56–22, and 55:72), refers to angelic female figures that reside in paradise and accompany the believers. In the Bahá’í Writings, the word has often been translated as “the Maid of Heaven,” a symbolic personifi cation of the divine reality of Bahá’u’lláh. In this article we explore how Bahá’u’lláh employs this figurative device to portray the forces at work in the context of His appearance as a Manifestation of God. In particular, we wish to examine the crucial symbolic role the unveiling of the Ḥúríyyih plays in relation to Bahá’u’lláh’s gradual unfolding of His mission. While some readers might believe the portrayal of this figure to be a literal depiction of the Holy Spirit appearing to Bahá’u’lláh, we hope to demonstrate that Bahá’u’lláh has, instead, created a figurative or symbolic portrayal of how He gradually reveals His guidance for this long-awaited era in human history—the “Day of Days,” the culmination of all previous revelations. Put simply, we feel that the image of the Ḥúríyyih does not represent a force separate from Bahá’u’lláh, but rather an expression of the Holy Spirit operating through the inherent spiritual capacity unique to a Manifestation of God.
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Copyright © 2019 John S. Hatcher, Amrollah Hemmat, Ehsanollah Hemmat