Bahá'u'lláh's Lawh-i-Maqsud:
Counsels on Education, Leadership, Justice and Peace

By Ramin Neshati

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #40
Bosch Bahá'í School: California, USA
May 23–26, 2002
(see list of papers from #40)

published in Lights of Irfan, volume 4, pages 123-130
under new title
"Tablet of Maqsúd (Lawh-i-Maqsúd): Guidance on Human Nature and Leadership"
© 2003, ‘Irfán Colloquia

    The Lawh-i-Maqsud, addressed by Bahá'u'lláh to a certain Mirza Maqsúd (a Persian believer residing in Syria), is a momentous tablet revealed in the late Akká period, circa 1880-1881 at Bahji. Dictated to His scribe-in-attendance (Mírzá Aqá Ján), it is an amalgamation of advice and admonition from earlier tablets and some uniquely instructive pronouncements not found elsewhere in Bahá'u'lláh's writings. The realization of human aptitude' and potential, however, is made contingent upon education. Other topics of note include His poignant reflection on the state of human affairs, its forlorn leadership and its collective failure to settle conflicts peacefully and with due attention to justice. The decade leading to the revelation of this tablet was witness to violent clashes around the world, some of the more germane of which were the failed British foray into Afghanistan, various European and African conflicts, the rampant march of colonialism and the ensuing assertion of nationalism by those bearing the brunt of imperial exploitations. Bahá'u'lláh ,expresses disappointment over the din and noise of wars and revolutions that have drowned out His healing message. He calls for the establishment of a global conclave of world leaders to put out rogue and unjust aggression, to trim down offensive armaments and to promote universal peace (the 'Great Peace') through dialogue and consultation.. He reiterates the appeals for the selection of a common language and script, for the promotion of unity and peace among the nations and for the institution of just governance; Revealed mostly in Persian with some segments in Arabic, the English translation of this tablet appears in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.

    The following is an abridged outline of the significant themes found in this tablet:
    • Prophets are intermediaries between God and creation. Mankind at all times stands in need of guidance from his Creator, but the latter is invulnerable and self-sufficient. While mankind is recognized as the 'supreme Talisman,' it will take proper education to uncover his true worth and to polish and refine his character.
    • Bahá'u'lláh showers prolific praise on Muhammad, the Messenger of God, employing a literary device common in most correspondences of this manner. He, moreover, acknowledges receipt of Mírzá Maqsúd's correspondence.

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