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Notes:
Posted to H-Bahá'í in August of 1998; presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #28, London England, July 2000; translation revised in June of 2001.

Tablet of the Waves

by Bahá'u'lláh

translated by Stephen Lambden.
1998/2001
originally revealed as "Lawh-i-Amvaj".
first written or published 1880s(?)
Introductory Note

      The Lawh-i-Amvaj (Tablet of the Waves [or Billows])[1] of Bahá'u'lláh has been published in Majmu`ih-yi alwah-i-mubarakih-yi hadrát-i-Bahá'u'lláh.[2] It also exists in numerous unpublished manuscripts. This Tablet was apparently written for a certain `Áqá Siyyid Yahyá[3] and is a 3-4 page Persian and Arabic Tablet of the middle to late West-Galilean period.[4] The title Lawh-i Amvaj is derived from the fact that Bahá'u'lláh states towards the beginning of the Tablet that the "Ocean of the [Bahá'í] Exposition" (bahr-i bayán) is characterized by the Waves [Billows] of [Demonstrative] Proof and [Pure] Bounty (burhán va faDl) of the person of Bahá'u'lláh. Later in the Tablet, four ethico-religious "waves" of divine revelation are set forth; these four "waves" [of the Ocean of Revelation] billow forth various religio-ethical principles consonant with the realization of the eschatological "Day of God". The Tablet concludes with a wholly Arabic prayer for the protection of the Bahá'í friends and the illuminative potency of their good works.

     The Tablet has not, so as far as I am aware, been fully translated into English.[5] A complete, but very provisional translation follows. For further details, see my forth-coming work on Bahá'u'lláh's Tablets, Traces from the Musk-Scented Pen: A Chronological Survey of the Major Writings of Mírzá Husayn `Alí Bahá'u'lláh (1817-1892).
Lawh-i-Amvaj (Tablet of the Waves)

He is Herald of good Tidings, the Gracious, the Noble!

      This Day,[6] the Mother Book[7] proclaimeth before the faces of the companions that the very Alpha and the Omega[8] of realization constituteth awareness that, `In reality [these] Days hath ever been peerless and without comparison!' Blessed be the souls that are in no way held back from the True One[9] by the clamourings of their contemporaries! Rather, do they rise up on the Right Path[10] ornamented with the qualities of trustworthiness[11] and piety[12] which are among the hallmarks of the fear of God.[13]

     His eminence the servant of 9[14] -- upon whom be My Glory[15] and My Bounty -- proceeded in the direction[s] of the saintly ones.[16] He wholeheartedly sought[17] and graciously supplicated[18] and requested for every one of them from the heaven of Bounty and Bestowal that which shall be the cause and reason of [their] eternal remembrance[19] and perpetual laudation.[20] Wherefore is the Ocean of the Exposition[21] manifest through the Waves of Demonstrative Proof and the Pure Bounty[22] of the Desired One of all the worlds.[23] Every specific wave crieth out a given directive.[24]

     [1] The First Wave uttereth the words:

     "O Concourse of saintly ones![25] Unto My Days thou hast attained, the mention of which, most of the sacred Books of the world have been ornamented. Today thou ought to manifest something of the Light of Unity[26] that all the world, whether of the East or of the West, might be illumined by that Light."

      [2] The Second Wave uttereth the words:

     "O People![27] The most befitting vesture[28] in the sight of God in this Day is trustworthiness.[29] All Bounty and honour shall be the portion of the soul that arrayeth itself with this greatest of adornments."

     [3] The Third Wave uttereth [the words]:

      "An Enlivening Spirit[30] be upon thee, O people of Bahá! Thou shouldst manifest that which will confirm the sanctity of His Divine Essence[31] from any likeness or inappropriate similitudes[32] as well as uphold the transcendence of His Being from all that hath either been said or will ever be said [about Him]."[33]

     [4] The Fourth Wave uttereth [the words];

     "O Concourse of Lovers! Cast Aside! whatsoever debaseth thee and take thou firm hold of whatsoever elevateth thee through this Name which hath caused the wafting of the Fragrant Breeze of God,[34] the Mighty, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting!"

     Praise be unto Thee, O my God, my Master and My Support! Preserve Thy saintly ones[35] from the evil of Thine enemies and render them victorious through the hosts of Thy Power and Thy Sovereignty. Do Thou make every single one of their deeds to be a lamp[36] among the deeds of whomsoever is upon Thine earth, such that it might transform darkness into Light. Thou art indeed the King of the Divine Theophany[37] and the Judge on the Day of Gathering.[38] No God is there except Thee, the Ultimately Real,[39] the Knower of things unseen.[40]


Notes

    Persian and Arabic terms in these notes follow the Guardian's transliteration style; The key used is as follows:
      S=under-dotted s; Z=under-dotted z; T=under-dotted t; D=under-dotted d; H=under-dotted h

    [1] Amwaj (Per. amvaj ) is the [Arabic] plural of mawj (`wave', `billow'..etc). (SL note)
    [2] Cairo, 1338/1920, pp. 362-364. (SL's note)
    [3] See ibid., p. 412; cf. Ishráq Khavárí, Ganj-i Shayígán, 186. `Áqá Siyyid Yahyá should not to be confused with Siyyid Yahyáy-i-Darabí, surnamed Vahíd (Peerless), one of the early heroes during the dispensation of the Báb (SL's note, modified by MW, June, 2001).
    [4] i.e. the `Ákká period, between 1880 and 1890 (SL's note, modified by MW).
    [5] However, an official translation into Turkish is extent. See Mecdi Inan (trans.), "Hz. Bahaullah'in Levihleri", Istanbul, 1974. (MW's note, based on information contained from the Leiden List)
    [6] i.e. eschatological Day. (SL's note)
    [7] or, Archetypal Book (Bahá'u'lláh) (SL's note)
    [8] mabdá va maáb (SL's note)
    [9] Or, Ultimate Reality (az Haqq) (SL's note, slightly modified by MW.)
    [10] SiráT(SL's note)
    [11] amánat (SL's note)
    [12] [honesty, religiousness..] diyánat (SL's note)
    [13] taqwá Alláh (SL's note)
    [14] Possibly 'Abdu'l-Bahá' (SL's note, modified by MW, June 2001.)
    [15] bahá'í (SL's note).
    [16] al-awliyá Possibly referring to a journey to visit the resting places of certain souls. (SL's note, modifed by MW)
    [17] bá Talab-i-kámil(SL's note)
    [18] istidá`-yi faDl (SL's note)
    [19] dhikr-i abadí (SL's note)
    [20] thaná-yi sarmadi(SL's note)
    [21] baHr-i bayán (SL's note)
    [22] burhán (SL's note)
    [23] faDl maqsúd-i-alamiyán (SL's note)
    [24] dhikrí(SL's note)
    [25] al-awlyiá(SL's note)
    [26] bi-núr-i ittihád(SL's note)
    [27] This short section of the Tablet is from the authorized translation by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice, and published in the compilation, Trustworthiness (London: Bah‡'’ Publishing Trust., 1987) p.1. Lambden's first draft translation of this same passage is as follows:
    `Today the most befitting ornament in the estimation of God is trustworthiness (or `sincerity'). Bounty and Providence be upon every soul which hath been adorned with this most great adornment.' (SL's note, expanded by MW, June, 2001)
    [28] aHsan aT-Taráz(SL's note)
    [29] amánat(SL's note)
    [30] ruHan (SL's note)
    [31] taqdís-i dhátíyah(SL's note)
    [32] an al-mithl wal-amthál(SL's note)
    [33] ammá qilá wa qál(SL's note)
    [34] `arf Alláh (SL's note)
    [35] awliyá (SL's note)
    [36] sirajan(SL's note)
    [37] málik aZ-Zuhúr(SL's note)
    [38] Hakím an-nushúr "Verily it is We Who give Life and Death; and to Us is the Final Goal; the Day when the Earth will be rent asunder, from (men) hurrying out: that will be a gathering together,- quite easy for Us." Qur'án, 50.43-4. See Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p.40: "By Him Who is the Great Announcement! The All-Merciful is come invested with undoubted sovereignty. The Balance hath been appointed, and all them that dwell on earth have been gathered together." See also the Lawh-i-Páp (Tablet to the Pope): "Verily, the day of ingathering is come, and all things have been separated from each other." Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 86. (SL's note, expanded by MW, June 2001)
    [39] al-Haqq (SL's note)
    [40] allám al-ghuyúb (SL's note)
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