Alwah-i-Ra'ís (Tablets Addressed to the Ottoman Prime Minister)

By Iskandar Hai

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #24
Louhelen Bahá'í School: Michigan, USA
October 8–12, 1999
(see list of papers from #24)

    A brief historical background of the revelation of these Tablets, Súrih-i-Ra'ís and Lawh-i-Ra'ís, and their addressees will be followed by the topical analysis of their contents. Ra'ís, which means the head, president or ruler, refers to the Prime Minister of the , Ottoman Empire (the head of the government administration) who after the Sultan ('Abdu'l-'Azíz) was the highest ranking position in the Ottoman Empire.

    Súrih-i-Ra'ís is in Arabic and was revealed on the way from Edirne to 'Akká. It was revealed in honor of Haj Muhammad Ismá'ílí-Kashání, surnamed Zabih or Anis, but it is addressed to 'Ali Pasha, the Prime Minister. This Tablet contains references to the hardship and persecution suffered by Bahá'u'lláh, the conspiracy of 'Alí Páshá with the Iranian government authorities, and the purpose and greatness of and prophecies about the future of the Faith, particularly the advent of the kings and rulers who will promote the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh.

    The other Tablet, revealed in Persian in 'Akká, also was addressed to 'Ali Pasha. This Tablet presents the fury and rage and consequently the vengeance of the Divine Source against those who rise against His Cause and, in particular, 'Ali Pasha. It has a reproachful tone. It also contains other points about the transient and mortal nature of this life, calling on the people of the world to hearken to the call of Bahá'u'lláh, and shows Bahá'u'lláh's willingness and pride in accepting the sufferings.

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