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Greatest Name

He also wishes me to inform you that the symbol of the Greatest Name represents and invocation which can be translated either as ‘O Glory of Glories’ or ‘O Glory of the All-Glorious‘. The word used in this connection is a translation of the Arabic term ‘Bahá, the name of Bahá’u’lláh.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 269)


The Greatest Name is an invocation which means ‘O Thou Glory of Glories!’ The word ‘Bahá‘, or ‘Glory‘, is a reference to Bahá’u’lláh. The Greatest Name is a distinctive mark of the Cause and a symbol of our Faith. The term of ‘Alláh-u-Abhá,’ on the other hand, is a form of Bahá’í greeting, and means ‘God the All-Glorious.’ “ (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 266)


The Greatest Name should be found upon the lips in the first awaking moment of early dawn. It should be fed upon by constant use in daily invocation, in trouble, under opposition, and should be the last word breathed when the head rests upon the pillow at night. It is the name of comfort, protection, happiness, illumination, love and unity. “I hope that thou mayest become informed of the concealed mystery and recondite symbol of the stone of the Most Great Name ... The use of the Greatest Name and dependence upon it, cause the soul to strip itself of the husks of mortality and to step forth freed, reborn, and new creature...
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 266)


The House of Justice on another occasion has clarified that the Greatest Name is to be used in its original language for the recitation of “Allah-u-Abhá” 95 times a day, as well as for its use in the Long Obligatory Prayer and the Prayer for the Dead. It has also clarified that to translate words such as “Allah-u-Abhá", “Ya Bahá’u’l-Abhá", “Mashriqu’l-Adhkár", or “Haziradu’l-Quds” into one’s native language is not acceptable. One exception to this is the alternative use of the words “Right of God” or their equivalent into other languages while the term “Huqqu’lláh” gradually becomes a part of Bahá’í vocabulary.
In general, one should bear in mind that all translations are, to some degree, inadequate. For instance, the Beloved Guardian has pointed out in … God Passes By, that the word “Bahá” signifies at once the “Glory", the “Splendour” and the Light” of God; there is no single word in English that can express all these. It is, of course, desireable that there be no loss of meaning through translations; thus it is preferable that certain terms directly related to the Manifestation of God remain in their original form.
(Universal House of Justice, to an individual, 22 February 2009)


The inscription upon the Bahá’í ringstone is the symbol of the Greatest Name, Bahá who is the Manifestation of the essence of God. It is also symbolic of the three planes representing the World of God, the World of Revelation and the World of Creation.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 269)


The ring-stone emblem is one form of the Greatest Name. While the beloved Guardian has called attention to the sacredness of the Greatest Name, and has asked that it should always be placed in a dignified position, we do not find any instruction absolutely prohibiting the use of symbols of the Greatest Name on any particular item such as jewellery, books or pamphlets. We feel that the friends should exercise the greatest discrimination and good taste in its use.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 269)


When using the Greatest Name the words ‘Allah-u-Abhá should be used and not ‘Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá’.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 268)