March 14, 2018

Tablet of the Howdah (Lawh-i-Hawdaj/Samsun) – by Baha’u’llah

--provisional translation by Stephen N. Lambden

[Sighting from His howdah the Black Sea, as He approached the port of Samsun, Bahá'u'lláh, at the request of Mirza Aqa Jan, revealed a Tablet, designated Lawh-i-Hawdaj (Tablet of the Howdah), which by such allusions as the "Divine Touchstone," "the grievous and tormenting Mischief," reaffirmed and supplemented the dire predictions recorded in the recently revealed Tablet of the Holy Mariner. (Shoghi Effendi, ‘God Passes By’)]

These are verses which were disclosed in the Pavilion of Eternity and the Howdah of Holiness at the moment when the Greatest Name arrived at the precinct of majesty in the land of Sāmsūn, at the shore of a mighty ocean. Then did the hosts of the inspiration of God descend, so splendidly ornamented, that all who are in the heavens and on earth were thunderstruck thereat. Before them did the Sun of the Divine Beauty radiate forth in an holy, ethereal Temple and addressed the Ark with the like of that which had streamed forth from the Pen of God aforetime, in a Tablet in which We addressed the Holy Mariner with a secret, sorrowful Call. And this in accordance with what hath this moment been sent down in this Tablet from an holy, luminous Pen. And whomsoever desires to comprehend the mysteries of the Command on the part of One, Wise, All-Knowing, let such an one consider these two Tablets and thus become cognizant of the mysteries of God; eyes solaced thereby and one numbered among such as are possessed of certainty.

The times of reclining in the Howdah of Holiness hath been completed and the Beauty of the Divine Essence hath emerged unto a mighty, noble panorama. Say: 'The terrestrial journey hath found completion at the shore of a mighty ocean.' At this did the Howdah of Immortality weep and a luminous Ship of Holiness rejoice.

January 18, 2018

Panj Kanz (The Five Treasures) - an oral discourse given by Baháʼuʼlláh in Baghdád to a group of expatriate Persian princes, transcribed by Nabíl-i-Zarandí, who was present.

--provisional translation by Adib Masumian

[More contextual information on the Panj Kanz, is also provided by Adib Taherzadeh in ‘The Revelation of Baháʼuʼlláh’, vol. 2, pp. 140–143]
[Please note: Baha’u’llah’s utterances are in quotes.]

The First Treasure

One day, the Beauty of the All-Knowing [Baha’u’llah] was walking in the bírúní [1] of the Most Great House in Baghdád when some of the princes of Persia, who were residing in that land, entered His presence. With the utmost solicitude, the Ancient Beauty [Baha’u’llah] inquired after them and asked about the current affairs of that land. One of them made this remark, “How is it that You discuss spiritual matters with Your friends when they attain Your presence, but with us You ask only of the town and the market? It seems You do not consider us worthy,” by which he intended to ask, “Why should these people—bereft of exquisite clothing, wealth, knowledge, and insight—take precedence over us, with our riches and sagacity?”

The Blessed Beauty responded:

“Dost thou know what sort of person is worthy of hearing My words and is fit to enter My presence? I will say it that thou shalt know. Suppose one should find himself in a limitless space, unbounded in every direction. To the right, there existeth every pomp and glory, pleasure and comfort, and sovereignty eternal and stainless; and to the left is prepared every calamity and hardship, vengeance and poverty, and vicissitude unyielding and perpetual. Suppose then that the Faithful Spirit should call out, from the precincts of the Lord of the Worlds, to that one, saying, ‘Shouldst thou choose the right—with its eternal pleasures and all that is therein—over the left, thou wouldst not, in the estimation of God, be abased in the least; and shouldst thou choose the left—with its perpetual hardships and all that is therein—over the right, it would not add an ounce to thy worth in the sight of the Almighty, the Unconstrained.’ Should that one choose, at that moment, the left over the right—afire with ardor and zeal, and filled with rapture and ecstasy—then would he be fit to enter My presence and worthy of hearing My magnificent words.”

July 14, 2017

A Tablet by Baha’u’llah to the Persian Zoroastrian Baha’is. Revealed in the purest Persian language, without any Arabic words.

-- provisional translation by Ahmad Sohrab

In the Name of God the Peerless!

Glory is due unto God, the Discoverer, who, through one shower of the ocean of His Generosity, expanded the firmament of existence, begemmed it with the stars of knowledge and summoned the people to the most high court of perception and understanding!

This shower, which is the Primal Word of the Almighty, is sometimes called the Water of Life, for it quickens the dead souls in the desert of ignorance with the spring of intelligence. Sometimes it is called the First Emanation which appears from the Sun of Wisdom, and when it began to shine the first movement became manifest and known; then phenomena stepped into the arena of existence and these appearances were through the generosity of the Incomparable, the Wise One. He is the Knower, the Giver! He is sanctified and holy above every statement and attribute! The seen and the unseen fail to attain the measure of His understanding. The world of being and whatever has issued from it bears witness to this utterance.

Therefore, it has become known that the First Bestowal of the Almighty is the Word. The receiver and acceptor of it is the understanding. It is the First Instructor in the University of Existence and it is the Primal Emanation of God. Whatever has appeared is through the reflection of Its Light and whatever is manifested is the appearance of Its Wisdom. All the names originate in His Name and the beginnings and endings of all affairs are in His Hand.

June 14, 2017

Two Excerpts from Star of the West – by Baha’u’llah

O friends! in this day the door of heaven is opened by the key of the godly Name, the ocean of generosity is manifested and is rolling, before your faces, and the Sun of Providence is shining, and gleaming. Do not be exclusive nor destroy your most precious time through the speech of this or that person. Gird up the loins of endeavor and do your best in training, the people of the world. Do not imagine that the Cause of God is a cause of opposition, hatred or wrath. The Sun of Greatness hath said, that which is revealed from the Heaven of Will in this Supreme Manifestation is to unite the people with love and friendship towards all. The people of' Baha, who have drunk of the pure wine of reality, must associate with all the world with a perfect spirit of joy and fragrance, and remind them of that which is for the benefit of all. This is the Commandment of the Wronged One to his saints and sincere ones. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Star of the West, vol. 6, no. 1, March 21, 1915)

O people the earth! Make not the religion of God a cause of variance among you. Verily of a truth, it was revealed for the uniting of the whole world. Blessed is he who loves the world simply for the sake of the Face of his Generous Lord. With perfect compassion and mercy have we aided and directed the people of the world to that whereby their souls shall be profited. I declare by the Sun of Truth and which hath shown forth from the highest Horizon of' the world, that the people of Baha had not and have not any aim save the prosperity and reformation of the world and the purifying, of the nations. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Star of the West, vol. 6, no. 1, March 21, 1915)

May 17, 2017

Law-i-Liqá’ (Tablet of the Divine Presence) – by Baha’u’llah

-- provisional translation by  Nima Rafiei

He is the Eternal! Lo, We made this epistle to be the attainment of Our presence for such as have turned unto God in these days, wherein the nations have been made to tremble. Whosoever gazeth upon that which hath been sent down from the Throne of glory in this Tablet and findeth himself in doubt as to whether he hath attained the presence of his Lord, he is of them who have turned away from God, the One Who causeth the dawn to break.

O ye birds of the most exalted paradise! Give ear unto the call of the Beloved in these days wherein the feet of men have slipped. The Concourse on high have rejoiced by reason of your acceptance of this Cause, and the voice of the denizens of the cities of eternity hath been raised aloud in grief and lamentation by virtue of your remoteness from Him and your burning thirst, notwithstanding your nearness to the Ocean of His presence!

O how glorious is this blissful joy, this bitter anguish! Methinks both have embraced in the Day of God, the Powerful, the Almighty, and the Omnipotent!

The hearts of the infidels have been set ablaze by that which We have revealed aforetime, and still they plot against Me day and night! Blessed are ye for having entered the city and attained unto that which hath been ordained by your Lord, the Mighty, and the Bestower. It behooveth you to show forth from your countenances utmost joy and bliss that all may discern in you the tokens of resignation and submission. Thus hath it been decreed by the pen of Glory; verily, your Lord is the Most Merciful, the Knower of the unseen and the seen.

O men of insight! Ye are beneath the shadow of My loving kindness and the canopy of My mercy, thus is the gaze of God fixed upon you. Blessed are ye and whosoever loveth you and turneth unto you wholly for the sake of God, the Almighty, the All-Compelling. God and such as have circled round the Throne bear witness that ye have attained unto His presence, circumambulated the Kaaba of His command, and beheld His countenance. Potent is He over whatsoever He willeth. No God is there but Him, the Mighty, the Munificent!

By My life! We have granted that which ye have desired, and We are with you at all times. The glory of Him Who is the Almighty and the Helper rest upon you!
(source: Baha’i Library Online)

April 14, 2017

Súrat al-A'ráb (The Súrah of the Arabs) – by Baha’u’llah

-- provisional translation by Joshua Hall

This is the Súrah of the Arabs which has been revealed by One Who is the Revealer, the Ancient of Days

He is the Sanctified, the Transcendent, the Exalted, the Most Effulgent

These are the verses of God which have been sent down from the heaven of wondrous glory, and which God has made to be a proof and testament from Him unto the worlds. Within it are mentioned the servants of God who recognized God in His own Self, who were not shut out as by a veil on account of the outcry of the idolators, who entered the shelter of His loving providence and reposed in the precincts of His mercy which surpasses all contingent things – this, indeed, is a great bounty.

These are they upon whom the heavenly concourse pronounce their blessings, as well as the angels that have drawn nigh. These are they who fell on their faces in prostration before God, the Exalted, the Sublime, when the Everlasting Sun once again shed Its effulgence upon them from the Most High Horizon.

O Beloved of God from amongst the Arabs! Give ear unto the call of God proceeding from this Tree upraised in truth, all of Whose leaves speak forth in all things: “I am God; none other god is there beside Him, the Sanctified, the Almighty, the Munificent”.

O people, hasten unto the Sidrah [1] of God and take shelter beneath Its shade. By the One True God! Were you to search all the climes of the earth and the expanse of the heavens, never would you find an abode of safety save beneath the shade of this Tree which overshadows the worlds. From amidst Its leaves the sweet-scented breeze of the Lord is wafted, giving life to every moldering bone. Turn unto It and partake of Its fruits, that your hearts may be purified thereby of the suggestions of every wretched deceiver.

March 8, 2017

Dalá’il-i-Sab’ih (The Seven Proofs) – by the Báb

[The Dala'il-i-Sab'ih (Seven Proofs), the most important of the polemical works of the Báb, was revealed during that same period [Mah-Ku]. Remarkably lucid, admirable in its precision, original in conception, unanswerable in its argument, this work, apart from the many and divers proofs of His mission which it adduces, is noteworthy for the blame it assigns to the "seven powerful sovereigns ruling the world" in His day, as well as for the manner in which it stresses the responsibilities, and censures the conduct, of the Christian divines of a former age who, had they recognized the truth of Muhammad's mission, He contends, would have been followed by the mass of their co-religionists. (Shoghi Effendi, 'God Passes By')]

-- Provisional English translation from the French of Nicolas – by Peter Terry

In the Name of God, the Only Unique, the Only Unique. [60] Praises be to God, for there is none other God but He, the Only Unique, the Only Unique. All splendor [61] comes from God, upon the 'Man Yuzhiruhu'llah' [62] and upon His Apostles even until the eternity of eternities.

And following:

We have examined the letter which was written to us: if one were to desire a detailed explanation of the proofs establishing the truth of this Manifestation [63], this one [such an explanation] would be too long and the tablets of the world of existence and of possibilities [64] would not be sufficient for this. [65]

But, the essence of this discourse and the pearl of this aim [66] are that there never has been and there is now no doubt that the Eternal God has always been immovable in the Loftiness of His Divinity, in the sublimity of His Pure Attributes, and that He will remain always in the Splendor and the immutability of His Infinite Grandeur. Nothing has known Him as He should be known and the praises which have been made of Him have remained below Him. He is Pure of all names, Free from all semblances. [67] Everything is known to Him and His Grandeur resides in this that He remains unknown to all. His Creation has never had a commencement and will never have an end as then there would have been or there would be a necessary stoppage to [interruption in] His kindnesses. [68] All the times that it has been found useful in this world of Possibilities [69], He has sent Prophets and has made descend from the Heaven the Books of the Law: He will do so again when the need will make itself felt. [70]

February 20, 2017

Lawh-i Haqqu’n-Nas (Tablet of the Right of the People) - by Baha’u’llah

-- provisional translation by Mehran Ghasempour

In the Name of God, the Beneficient, the Merciful

Praise be to God Who fulfilled what He revealed to all His Prophets and Messengers and gave to all the tidings of His days. And of them is the Day which He promised us in His Mighty Book through His saying, exalted be His dominion: on that day "God will enrich everyone out of His abundance." [Qur’an 4:130] And this, truly, is our Day, when I behold Him enriching all who enter in His shadow from the abundance of His knowledge and command, inasmuch as on this Day He hath placed the reins of knowledge in the grasp of His lowliest servant and in the possession of His most insignificant subject who hath held fast to the cord of His Love in the days of His manifestation.

And praise be to God who inspireth whom He wisheth with the hosts of His revelation and "casteth the light of His knowledge into the heart of whom He willeth." [Islamic Hadíth] There is no God but Him Who is manifest through the manifestation of His own Self, inasmuch as there remains no veil for Him but the light of His Beauty, and no cloud but the abundance of His manifestation.

Blessing and peace be upon the noblest of His Chosen Ones, and the most distinguished of His creation, and upon His kindred, and upon His family, and upon His saints who stood firm in His Cause and continued steadfast in His love.

January 18, 2017

Risáliy-i-Síyásíyyih (A Treatise on Statesmanship) – by ‘Abdu’l-Baha, 1893

-- provisional translation
He is God

Praise and benediction are owed to the pure Lord, who made the appearance of the sacred perfections of the human realm the foundation for his creation. Thus might the invisible Essence become visible in the court of perception by means of modalities, effects, laws, deeds, essences and mysteries. And thus might the lights of the reality of the saying, “I was a hidden treasure and loved to be known” become apparent from the dawning-place of the morn of vision.

Praise and glorification are also due to the complete individual reality of the great one, who is the sun of the reality of the divine world, the most great luminary of the human realm, the center of the divine self-disclosure, and the dawning-place of the attributes of the one true Lord. By means of his appearance, the secret of “thus I created the creation, so that I might be known” became a reality. “And thou beholdest the earth blackened, then, when We send down water upon it, it quivers, and swells, and puts forth herbs of every joyous kind.” (1)

In these days and times, events contrary to all religious laws and destructive of both human society and of the divine foundation have occurred as a result of the actions of some ignorant, unwise insurgents and fomenters of turmoil. They made the perspicuous divine religion a pretext, and by their sedition and clamor they have brought shame upon the people of Iran before the nations of the world, whether they be friends or strangers. Praise be to God! They claim to be shepherds, but they bear the characteristics of wolves. They read the Qur’an, but they desire to behave like rapacious beasts. They have a human form, but they approve of bestial conduct. “When it is said to them, ‘Do not corruption in the land,’ they say, ‘We are only ones that put things right.’ Truly, they are the workers of corruption but they are not aware.”(2) It has therefore become imperative that a brief discourse be delivered concerning the foundation stone of the divine religion, and to alert the friends to be wise and awake.

November 23, 2016

The Poem of Rashh-i-'Amá (The Mist of Unknown) – Revealed in the Siyah-Chal

-- provisional translation by Ramin Neshati

Our charm bids waft the Mist of Unknown
Mystery of fidelity thus flows from Our tone

The east wind, musk-laden, from Cathay (2) whirls
Its scent so sweet streams forth from Our curls

The ornamented sun from the True One hath risen
Mystery of reality from Our (3) visage doth blazon

The sea of purity roars from waves of rapture (4)
This gift bestowed from His essence (5) We capture

Love's treasures lie hid in the bosom of Fars (6)
Out this treasure-trove Pearls of Fidelity pours

Delight of wine evinced when All (7) was manifested
To songs of providence (8) this Sublime Token attested

A blast on the trumpet, the attraction divine
These two in one blow flow from the Exalted Clime

Confessed Our face to the cycle of: "I am He"
Baha (9) is brimming with the epoch of: "He is He" (10)

The river of life shimmers in the closet (11) of the heart
This sweet wine the ruby lips of Baha doth part

August 18, 2016

An Epistle of the Báb to Sultan Abdu’l-Majíd

-- provisional translation by Necati Alkan with assistance from Khazeh Fananapazir

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Praise be to Him Who hath sent the Book unto whosoever He willeth among His servants. Verily, there is none other God beside Him, the All-Possessing, the All-Praised. In His grasp He holdeth the kingdom of all things. Nothing escapeth His knowledge. There is none other God beside Him. Say: Him do all worship.

Verily, this Book is a command from God unto all who are on earth. Issue forth from your cities for the Covenant of the Remnant of God, the living, the undoubted Leader [Imám]. He is indeed the Book wherein there is no doubt, sent down from the presence of His Servant ‘Alí, the All-Wise.

And He, verily, is ‘Alí, the All-Wise, the Path of God in the heavens and on the earth. He calls the people to the Straight Path at the bidding of thy Lord. He verily is the Mystery of the heavens, Who commands from the Presence of the Remnant of God, the true and undoubted Leader. He, verily, is the Light from the right side of the Mount Sinai in the Book of thy Lord. There is no God but Me. Say: Him do they all fear.

Read the Book of thy Lord, O Majíd, through the command of thy Lord in the preserved Book. Know thou that God hath knowledge of all things in the heavens and on the earth, and that thou art concerning the verdict passed on the messenger [Bastámí, one of the Letters of the Living], possessed of great wrongdoing. Fear God, O thou man! For today no place is there for anyone to flee except he believeth in the signs of God and is accounted among those who worship Him.

May 12, 2016

Lawh-i-Yawm-i-Shahádat-i-Hadrat-i-A'lá (Tablet Concerning the Day of the Martyrdom of His Holiness the Báb) – by ‘Abdu’l-Baha

[Original Tablet published in ‘Ayyam-i-Tis'ih (The Nine Days), pages 187-88]

-- provisional translation by Khazeh Fananapazir

O thou honoured 'Alí Akbar! [1]
This day is the day of the Martyrdom of His Holiness, the Exalted One, may our heart be sacrificed for His sanctified blood.
This Day is the day in which this "Sun of Truth" concealed itself behind the clouds of providence.
This Day is the day in which this luminous Orb did set!
This Day is the day in which that Body, pure and without blemish or spot fell upon and rolled onto the blood soaked earth
This Day is the day in which His chest and His heart, immaculate and pure like unto a spotless mirror, was riddled by thousands of bullets!
This Day is the day in which that "Divine Lamp" became severed from Its physical frame!
This Day is the day in which the cries and lamentations of the Concourse on high are raised
This Day is the day in which the inhabitants of the Kingdom of God weep and moan, the eyes in tears and their hearts torn!
(Source: Baha’i Library Online)
[1] Mullá 'Alí-Akbar-i-Shahmirzadí, known as Hají Akhund, one of the four Hands of the Cause appointed by Bahá'u'lláh.

March 19, 2016

Tablet of Visitation for the Mother of Baha’u’llah – by Baha’u’llah

--provisional translation by Baharieh Rouhani-Ma’ani

The most honoured, esteemed and respected mother.

He is God! 

Praised be Thou O Lord, My God! This is My mother who hath acknowledged Thy oneness, confessed Thy unity, attained the honour of meeting Thy Manifestations in Thy days, reached the station of recognition and entered the tabernacle of Heaven, for she loved Thyself and Thy Servant and held fast to the cord of Thy love through the sanctified Temples of Thy Sovereignty. 

I beseech Thee, therefore, O My God, to grant her the honour of beholding Thy Beauty, and vouchsafe unto her the gift of Thy Presence. Give her to drink then from the ocean of Thy mercy and the chalice of Thy forgiveness. Make her to dwell, O My God, in the precincts of Thy mercy in the Heaven of eternity. Grant her to hear Thy holy melodies that she may cast the veil from her head in her eagerness to meet Thee and speed through the domains of Thy nearness and union.

Thou art verily powerful over all that Thou desirest, and Thou art verily the Mighty, the Most Luminous.
(source: Included in ‘Leaves of the Twin Divine Trees’, by Baharieh Rouhani-Ma’ani; approved by the Baha’i World Center)

February 7, 2016

Lawh-i-Náqús (Tablet of the Bell) -- (Tablet of the Feast of Ridván) - by Bahá'u'lláh

--provisional translation by Ali-Kuli Khan and Marzieh Gail

He is the Almighty Lord!

Lo, this is the garden of Paradise wherein is raised the Voice of God, the Dominant, the Strong; Here do the immaculate Maids of Heaven dwell, they whom no eye hath seen save only God's, the Sanctified, the Well-Beloved; Herein the eternal nightingale singeth on the bough of the sacred Lote-Tree a song that bedazzaleth the minds, and herein are the needy led to the haven of wealth, and all men guided to the Word of God; verily this is a manifest truth.

[Here is the song that the nightingale singeth;]

In Thy Name that is God,

Thou art verily God!

O sacred Monk, ring out the bells, for the day of God hath come, and the Beauty of the All-Glorious is established on the holy, shining throne.
Glory to Thee, O God, O Thou who art God,
O Thou who alone art God!

O prophet of wisdom, Hud, beat thou upon thy drum, in the name of the Lord, the Precious, the Bountiful, for the Temple of Holiness is seated upon His high, unapproachable throne.
Glory to Thee, O God, O Thou who art God,
O Thou who alone art God!

O Thou beauty of eternity, pluck with the fingers of the spirit at the strings of Thy lute that is wondrous and Holy, for the Heavenly Beauty hath come in His garment of glimmering silk.
Glory to Thee, O God, O Thou who art God,
O Thou who alone art God!

October 11, 2015

Lawh-i Kullu't-Ta'am: Tablet of All Food - by Bahá'u'lláh

-- provisional translation

He is Supremely Powerful in accomplishing that which He willeth through a command on His part. And He is God, Powerful over all things.

Praise be to God Who hath caused Oceans of Light to surge in the Divine Fiery Water; excited the Letters of the Dispensation (huruf al-zuhur) in the Incomparable, Beclouded Point and made the Hidden Mount to revolve about the Firmament of the Theophany, the Concealed Self, the Focal Centre of Eternality. He caused the Lordly Point to circle round the Most-Splendid, All-Enduring Ornament to the end, that all might testify that He is the True One; no God is there save Him. He, verily, is the Incomparable, the One, the Eternal, Who neither begetteth nor is begotten. He can never be likened to any single thing. And He, God, is the Majestic, the All-Compelling.

Praise be to God Who hath caused the Fiery Depths to overflow from the Purified, Sanctified Temple and made the Beauteous Deep to sprinkle forth refined, glorious Dewdrops. He hath attracted the Countenances characterised by the letter "H" (al-ha') through the unique, eternal melodies and enabled the Light-filled Dove to sing forth with warblings timeless and everlasting. This, to the end, that all might become aware that He is the True One; there is none other God besides Him, the Beneficent, the Almighty Who cannot be described by aught save His Essence or characterised by aught save His Eminence. He, verily, is the All-Powerful, the Wrathful.

Praise be to God Who hath caused the Light to circle round the twin Mounts of His Light and made the Light to revolve around the twin Spheres of His Light. He hath caused the Light to beam forth in the Loci of His Light and made the Light to be retained in the Repositories of His Light. He hath also caused the Light to scintillate through the impulses of His Light and made the Light to shine resplendent in the Countenances of His Light. Praise God! Praised be God! Worthy of praise is He Who establisheth His Own worth, for besides Him there is none other.