Some of the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh Revealed in Akká

By Muin Afnani

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #30
Louhelen Bahá'í School: Michigan, USA
October 6–8, 2000
(see list of papers from #30)

    Tablet of Hádí

    The recipient of this Tablet is Hádí Qazvíní who was one of the Letters of the Living. Sadly this person broke the Covenant during the time of Bahá'u'lláh and joined Yahyá Azal. This person should not be confused with another Hádí who was from Dawlatabad, near Isfahán, and was appointed by Azal as his successor. The Tablet of Hádí was revealed in response to certain questions of Hádí. The major themes of this Tablet are:
    1. Islamic tradition of "He who recognizes himself has recognized God." Bahá'u'lláh explains that human soul or rational faculty is an emanation from God. While human beings are incapable of recognizing their own reality, how can they hope to know the station of God? In essence, Bahá'u'lláh interprets this tradition as a negation, i.e., it is impossible to know the essence of God just as it is impossible to know one's own reality.

    2. The station of true believer.

    3. The concept of "Return" discussed in the scriptures.

    4. Admonition and warning to the people of Bayan, followers of Yahyá Azal.

    5. Firmness in the Covenant.
    Tablets of Mustagháth

    There are several Tablets in which the subject of Mustagháth has been discussed. One of the accusations of Yahyá Azal and his followers against Bahá'u'lláh was that Him Whom God Shall Make Manifest should not appear until two thousand one (2001) years after the appearance of the Báb. The Azalis said this is the numerical equivalent of the word Mustagháth. In several Tablets Bahá'u'lláh explains the true meaning of this word and quotes from the writings of the Báb that the Promised One of the Bayan should appear in the year 19 or nineteen years after the Báb's declaration. In depth understanding of these Tablets requires familiarity with the writings of the Báb and the metaphors used in these Tablets.

    Tablet of Saháb (Cloud)

    This is a general Tablet addressed to all the believers. Bahá'u'lláh explains that true believers are like unto clouds. Should they pass over a city made of pure gold they would not get distracted by it. In this Tablet the Blessed Beauty mentions the qualities and attributes of His true followers and exhorts them to arise and fulfill all that has been written about them in the Tablets. This Tablet is entirely in Arabic. Other themes of this Tablet include:
    1. Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet to the King of Iran, and the person who was created by Him to be the carrier of that Tablet.

    2. Invitation to the religious scholars to investigate the Faith. All the Manifestations of God had appeared to prepare people for this Great Announcement.

    3. References to the people of Bayan and their failure to recognize the Promised One of the Bayan.
    Súrah al-A'ráb (Tablet to the Arabs)

    This Tablet, which is entirely in Arabic, is addressed to the believers of Arabian decent. Frequently the Blessed Beauty addresses them by similar terms and encourages them to take shelter under the Tree of God from which the voice of God is being heard. Bahá'u'lláh says they should be thankful that the Manifestation of God chose to announce the glad tidings in the land of Iraq. Then Bahá'u'lláh makes reference to His hardships in Iraq and subsequent lands. Other themes:
    1. Arise to assist the cause of God by the sword of speech and wisdom.

    2. Detachment from the world; God has chosen the hearts of believers as His dwelling place.

    3. Trustworthiness is the most cherished attribute in the sight of God; He cherished it even before the creation of Adam. Do not deprive yourselves of it.

    4. At the time of His departure from Iraq, the prophecies about the appearance of "the golden calf" and "the birds of darkness" were fulfilled.
    Surah al-Mursil

    The word "Mursil" is an active participle, meaning "one who sends." In particular, it is a reference to God as the One Who sends the prophets (Messengers). Bahá'u'lláh equates this word with His own name. Then He gives several interpretations of this word and of those who have been sent, the Messengers, and those who carry the scriptures and words of God with them. This is the Name under which all the prophets have taken shelter. Bahá'u'lláh's explanation of these terms is fascinating. This Tablet, which is in Arabic, is rich in metaphors. Bahá'u'lláh also mentions some historical events, including the martyrdom of the Báb, His exile to Iraq and Istanbul, and the plots of the two governments that were responsible for His exile to the Most Great Prison.

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