In Islám there is a tradition that among the many names of God, one was the greatest; however, the identity of this Greatest Name was hidden. Bahá’u’lláh has confirmed that the Greatest Name is “Bahá”.
The Greatest Name is the name of Bahá’u’lláh. The various derivatives of the word “Bahá” are also regarded as the Greatest Name. “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá” is an invocation meaning: “O Thou Glory of the All-Glorious!”. “Alláh-u-Abhá” is the form of the Greatest Name used by Baha’i around the world as a greeting. It is also used as a daily meditation and is repeated ninety-five times. It’s translated as “God is All-Glorious”. Both refer to Bahá’u’lláh. By Greatest Name is meant that Bahá’u’lláh has appeared in God’s Greatest Name.
Anticipated in Past Religions
The Jewish mystics knew of the significance of the two letters “B” and “H” and attached much importance to them. Their spiritual leaders and philosophers wrote commentaries and drew the attention of seeking souls to these letters. There is a legend among the Jews about Solomon’s Seal, a Seal said to have carried the Greatest Name from which it reputedly derived its power over all creation, including the animal world. (see more)
Acclaimed by Poets
Mawlavi, the greatest of all the mystic poets of the East, whose poems are well-known for their elucidations of the spiritual journey of man and his attainments in the realms of God, has stated, “We have found Bahá and we hasten to offer our life as a sacrifice to Him. He is our ransom.” (see more)
The Greatest Name Symbols
Calligraphy of the Greatest Name: Baháʼí symbols are symbols that have been used, or are used, to express identification with the Baháʼí Faith. This symbol known as Greatest Name is an Arabic calligraphic rendering of “Yá Baháʼu’l-Abhá” (يا بهاء الأبهى usually translated as “O Thou the Glory of the Most Glorious!”). This rendering was originally drawn by the early Baháʼí calligrapher Mishkín Qalam, and later adopted by Baháʼís everywhere. This symbol can usually be seen in Baháʼí homes or in a Baha’ House of Worship. (See photo top right) (explanation)
The Emblem of Greatest Name:
The lower line of the Ringstone Symbol is said to represent humanity, the upper line God, and the middle line represents the special station of Manifestation of God; the vertical line is the Primal Will or Holy Spirit proceeding from God through the Manifestations to humanity. The position of Manifestation of God in this symbol is said to be the linking point to God, through which humanity can achieve perfection. The two stars represent the human body; a head, two hands, and two feet. These two stars also represent the Twin Manifestations of God in this Day. (explanation)(see photo to right and below)
Meaning of the word “Bahá”
The Beloved Guardian (Shoghi Effendi) 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
Repetition of the Greatest Name
IT HATH BEEN ORDAINED THAT EVERY BELIEVER IN GOD … SHALL, EACH DAY … REPEAT “ALLÁH-U-ABHÁ” NINETY-FIVE TIMES. ~ Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas
The repetition of “Alláh-u-Abhá” ninety-five times is to be preceded by the performance of ablutions (washing of hands and face).
In the book ‘Gate of the Heart’ by Nader Saiedi, he explains that the significance of the number 95 originates from the Persian Bayán, where the Báb states that ninety-five stands for the numerical value of “for God” (lillāh), symbolizing the recognition of the manifestation of God and obedience to his laws, which are inseparable from each other, as confirmed by Bahá’u’lláh in the opening paragraph of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
Tablet of the Greatest Name by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Invocation to Baha’u’llah and the Bab
“Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá” – an invocation to Baha’u’llah meaning “O Thou Glory of the All-Glorious.” “Yá `Aliyyu’l-‘Ala” an invocation to the Bab meaning “O Exalted (essence) of the Most Exalted One.” – Abu’l-Qasim Faizi
Baha’is often combine these two invocations together in song.
Selective Songs of the Greatest Name:
“Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá”, “Yá `Aliyyu’l-‘Ala” / Invocation Album w/video
“Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá, “Yá `Aliyyu’l-‘Ala” Baha’i World Congress choir
Meditation: “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá”, “Yá `Aliyyu’l-‘Ala” 95 times /Sarah Hosney
Meditation:“Alláh-u-Abhá” 95 times /Sarah Hosney
95 Alláh-u-Abhás /Acompáñame
Invocacion “Yá Bahá’u’l-Abhá” Leonor Dely & Miller Congo
“Ya Baha” by Christina, Julia & Jeffrey
(Includes “Ya Sahibu’z-Zaman” O Lord of the Age!)
Hallelujah Bahá’u’lláh Durban, South Africa – sung in Zulu
“Allah-u-Abha” Southern Style / Nathan Parrish
Another Day /Nabil & Karim – rap song
– by Hand of the Cause Abu’l-Qasim Faizi