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Abstract:
An ethical exhortation stressing humanity's oneness and common origin, addressed to Arab Bahá'ís in Baghdad.
Notes:
Original published in Athar Qalam al-A`la vol. 2.

To comment on or improve this translation, please email the translator.


Tablet of Holiness

by Bahá'u'lláh

translated by Joshua Hall.
2016
This is the Tablet of Holiness, revealed to the Arabs who dwell in the City[1], and who believe in God, the Powerful, the Omnipotent.

The Almighty is He.

My Arabs, My Loved ones, My friends, My legions, My manifestation! Hearken unto My call, if ye be among them with ears to hear. Have ye forgotten the Songbird of the Cause who flew amidst you and ascended unto God, the Cherished, the Beauteous? Have ye forgotten the Dove who was with you and warbled before you the verses of God, the All-Knowing, the Omniscient? Have ye veiled yourselves from this Nightingale held captive under the talons of the idolaters? By God, there has befallen Me such as cannot be described or mentioned; because of this have the tears of the near unto God fallen; by reason of this has the Hoopoe of the Cause been deprived of the remembrance of Sheba, and the visages of the sanctified stained with blood. By God, the Nightingale of Paradise (Ridwan) has shut Its eyes to the charm of the rose, by virtue of the sorrows having befallen this cherished and peerless Beauty. The rivers are cut off from joining the ocean, for joy is cut off from this shining, resplendent Sun.

My beloved ones, do not forget My presence in My days, My affection for you and My grace unto you; be not among the heedless. By God, the Sunna of God has returned in the person of Husayn, no rather, the Sunnas of all the messengers, until He arrived in this most remote and distant prison. When you gather in your homes in times of joy, remember My sufferings and the things I endured from the satanic legions. When spring comes upon you and you enter your gardens, meditate on My tribulations and hardship; be of those who remember. Know, then, that although We were amongst you for the longest time, you did not recognize Us, for We had concealed Our countenance from you and all created things. Because of this, you were withheld from recognizing God and His beauty, His proof and His glory (bahá), His guidance and His verses, His servant and His thrall, if ye are among them who understand.

Say: The Beauty of the Eternal was amongst you, vested with the raiment of God, the Mighty, the Exalted, the All-Wise, and the Lord of all contingent beings was made manifest in the guise of the common man, and you knew Him not. When the decree was realized and the promise fulfilled, He was revealed from the orient of the divine Essence, with an irrefutable sovereignty.

O beloved of God and His legions! Consecrate your endeavors unto God and His beauty, and whenever you should hear His verses, thank God, your Creator, for having enabled you to recognize His own Self after you had been heedless of Him. Then prostrate yourselves before God outwardly and in your hearts, then praise Him for the revelation of this ancient grace. Beware lest you be in conflict regarding the cause of God and fail to observe the laws of God as are revealed in the Bayan from One Who is mighty and munificent. Then gather together in love, and set right whatever antipathy has come between you, that you may be as one soul upon a incomparable seat of truth. Beware lest you should exceed the limits[2] which God has ordained for you and transgress them; do not be among those that breed corruption. Should one in destitution come before you, freely give what God has bestowed upon you and do not be among those who withhold their blessings. Should you discover one who has been wronged, deal compassionately with them and consort with them with the utmost kindliness. Should you come across one who is weak in faith, do not turn away from them, rather call them to remembrance with kindliness and an eloquent tongue, that they might recognize the cause of God within themselves and become apprised of that which they are commanded by One who is the Omniscient, the All-Knowing. Beware lest one be in conflict with another, lest a soul wrong another, lest someone be unfaithful to another, lest a friend backbite another, lest one disown their brothers in faith. Be mindful of God in all that We have revealed to you and be among such as are assured thereof. Beware lest you withhold the bounties of your wealth from your kindred and the poor and poverty stricken. In all this do We counsel you and God command you, if ye be among those who understand.

Thus do We set forth the verses affirming the divine unity and that which you have been commanded, that you may testify unto the oneness of your Creator, with the tongue of your inner and outer being, to such measure that His signs be revealed from every limb of your bodies, and that you be among those who confirm His singleness. God is the One unto Whom your souls, your hearts, your spirits, your bodies and all that you possess shall return; indeed, He is the end of all in the heavens and on earth. May the Spirit be with you, O Assemblage of the Friends, from the lowly to the lofty. Then magnify God, in Our name, before your children and loved ones. This is of My command unto you; observe it, that you may be among the rightly guided.

    Notes

    1 Al-Medina in Arabic, a term Bahá'u'lláh often used in reference to Baghdad

    2 Hudud in Arabic, meaning limits in the sense of prohibitions, laws and commandments.

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