Tablets of Salman II and Pisar-'Amm (The Issue of Sufferings of the Manifestations of God)

By Mahyad Zaerpoor-Rahnemaee

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


    This short Tablet was revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in honor of Salman in the first few months after His sojourn to 'Akká (1867). The Tablet opens with a description of unspeakable hardships engulfing Bahá'u'lláh and His companions. In response to Salman's longing to see his Lord, Bahá'u'lláh showers him with his loving counsels, reassuring him that he could always feel his Lord's presence when turning to Him with "pure heart, immaculate spirit, honest tongue and sanctified gaze," He emphasizes the transitory nature of this corporeal life and mentions that people's ignorance is the main cause of their attachment to the fleeting events of this world. The Tablet ends with an Arabic prayer asking for steadfastness and consecration in the path of God and blessings in this world and the world to come.

    Lawh-i-Pisar-'Amm (Tablet to the Cousin)

    This Tablet was revealed in honor of Mírzá Hasan-i-Mázandaráni (a paternal cousin of Bahá'u'lláh, then in His Company in the Barrack of 'Akká) in mid-1870, shortly after the passing of Mírzá Mihdi (the Purest Branch). In many respects there are a lot common themes, woven within these two Tablets. In both Tablets, Bahá'u'lláh emphasizes the necessity of detachment from this world and its transitory vanities, steadfastness under trying conditions, and spreading the words of God by adhering to saintly conducts and purity of deeds. He reassures his servants that sacrificing one's life and worldly possessions is considered to be a blessing with inestimable rewards awaiting the person. Exhortations to observe justice, fair-mindedness, chastity, sanctity, and detachments are common in both Tablets. Moreover, both Tablets were revealed in a period when Bahá'u'lláh and his companions were suffering from unspeakable hardships and numerous calamities. Bahá'u'lláh, alluding to the gravity of His sufferings, invites His servants to be patient, show acquiescence, and detach themselves from the world and its vanities, and be in the spirit of constant bliss and ecstasy.

    The underlying theme of the lamentations of the Blessed Beauty in these two Tablets inspired the idea of exploring some possible responses to the following two questions:
    1. What is the wisdom behind the eventful and calamitous lives of the Manifestations of God?

    2. What are some of the ramifications of such sufferings in the spiritual progress of the believers?

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