Tablets with Mystical and Philosophical Themes:
Hikmat (Wisdom), Ru'ya (Dream), and Burhan (Reason)

By Muin Afnani

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #34
Bosch Bahá'í School: California, USA
May 18–20, 2001
(see list of papers from #34)

    Tablet of Hikmat (Wisdom):

    This Tablet is arguably the most important philosophical Tablet of Bahá'u'lláh. In the early centuries of Islam, in particular during the Abbasid dynasty, many works of famous Greek philosophers were translated into Arabic and Islamic scholars Studied these texts. Gradually, Islamic philosophers developed their own version of philosophy along with specific terminologies and concepts. In this Tablet Bahá'u'lláh explains the concept of creation using terminology of Islamic philosophers. In addition to philosophical issues, this Tablet contains many other important concepts such as the station of a human being, moral values, spiritual teachings, the concept of moderation, and so on. The recipient of this Tablet was the peerless scholar and teacher of the Faith, acute;qá Muhammad-i-Qáiní, known as Nabíl-i-Akbar, upon whom 'Abdu'l-Bahá conferred the station Hand of the Cause after his passing. This Tablet is entirely in Arabic.

    Tablets of Rú'yá (Vision):

    This Tablet was revealed in the early period of 'Akká, in 1873, on the occasion of the anniversary of the birth of the Báb. In this Tablet, similar to His other mystical writings such as the Tablet of the Maiden of Heaven, Ode of Varqá'íyyih, and Bahá'u'lláh's Mathnaví (poetry), Bahá'u'lláh describes His encounter with the Maid of Heaven (Húrí). This Tablet is replete with mystical terminology, allegories, and poetic words and phrases which Bahá'u'lláh has used to draw a beautiful mystical vision before our eyes. Húrí laments at the tribulations of the Blessed Beauty and invites Him to leave this physical world and ascend to the realm above. Similar to some of His other mystical Tablets, here Bahá'u'lláh used the concept of hair in a fascinating and mystical way. This Tablet is entirely in Arabic.

    Tablet of Burhán (Proof):

    This Tablet was revealed shortly after the martyrdoms of the King and the Beloved of the Martyrs. It is addressed to Shaykh Muhammad-Báqir, stigmatized by Bahá'u'lláh as the Wolf; he was the cleric who issued the death sentence of these two illustrious servants of Bahá'u'lláh. In very strong language Bahá'u'lláh addresses the Wolf and his associate, Mír Muhammad-Husayn, another cleric who led the Friday prayer in the mosque and was addressed by Bahá'u'lláh as the She-Serpent, warning them of the consequences of their actions. Yet, the Blessed Beauty counsels them and invites them to take lessons from the fates of Sultán 'Abdu'l-'Aziz of the Ottoman Empire and Napoleon III, who refused the summons of God. This Tablet is entirely in Arabic.

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