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Abstract:
A tablet from the Akka period, addressed to a certain Hasan living in Sháhábad of Arak in central Irán, in which Bahá'u'lláh comments on Muhammad as the "Seal of the Prophets."

Tablet to Hasan-i-Sháhábadí

by Bahá'u'lláh

translated by Khazeh Fananapazir.
2002-02-14
originally revealed as "Lawh-i-Hasan-i-Sháhábadí".

Translator's introduction

Bahá’u’lláh, exalted be His Glory, in the early days of His Ministry, had revealed on the subject of the Seal of the Prophets in the most celebrated Íqán:
   Why should Muhammad, that immortal Beauty, Who hath said: “I am the first Adam” be incapable of saying also: “I am the last Adam”? For even as He regarded Himself to be the “First of the Prophets” - that is Adam - in like manner, the “Seal of the Prophets” is also applicable unto that Divine Beauty. It is admittedly obvious that being the “First of the Prophets,” He likewise is their “Seal.”

   The mystery of this theme hath, in this Dispensation, been a sore test unto all mankind. Behold, how many are those who, clinging unto these words, have disbelieved Him Who is their true Revealer. (Bahá’u’lláh: Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 162)
   In the later period of His Ministry Bahá’u’lláh had revealed:
   It is evident that every age in which a Manifestation of God hath lived is divinely ordained, and may, in a sense, be characterized as God’s appointed Day. This Day, however, is unique, and is to be distinguished from those that have preceded it. The designation “Seal of the Prophets” fully revealeth its high station. The Prophetic Cycle hath, verily, ended. The Eternal Truth is now come. He hath lifted up the Ensign of Power, and is now shedding upon the world the unclouded splendor of His Revelation. (Bahá’u’lláh: Gleanings, p. 60)
This servant came across a Tablet of Bahá’u’lláh revealed in the late period of His Revelation in ’Akká which discloses even more fully His explanation and elucidation of this most mighty and challenging theme.

It has not so far been translated and as usual this servant’s translation is provisional and as near as my unschooled mind is capable of close to the traditional devotional style. Help by the most learned Frank and the unique Moojan Momen et al. in improving it will be appreciated.

The printed text is available in the Arabic. It is recorded in the book Istimrár by the recent great martyr of the Faith Dr. Kamálu’d-Dín Bakhtávar[1] and this servant has also a photocopy of the facsimile of the original manuscript.

It is a blessing to remember the great Bakhtávar who was such a great Scholar and who suffered so much during the post revolutionary period and who was then martyred and who first brought the attention of the friends to this Tablet.

May what is left of my fast fleeting and unworthy days be a sacrifice to his and other martyrs undying love for the Speaker on Sinai!

Lawh-i-Hasan-i-Sháhábadí


He shineth from the Horizon of the Heaven of true Knowledge
with Wisdom and Utterance!


O Hasan! Hearken unto the Call of Husayn[2] Who hath been incarcerated in the Prison Fortress of ’Akká by reason of that which the hands of the heedless have wrought. If one were to question them,[3] “by what reason have ye imprisoned Him?”, they would reply: “Verily, He hath come with a new Shariah and this new Shariah doth not accord with the Law under which we have been. To this matter testifieth our Book which is called the Qur’án, a Book that is from God,[4] the Lord of all mankind. See that which the All-Merciful hath revealed therein: ‘Verily He[5] is the Messenger of God, and the Seal of the Prophets.’”[6]

   To this We reply: “Indeed thou speaketh the truth. We do testify that through Him,[7] Messengership[8] and Prophethood[9] have both been sealed and any one claiming after Him this most exalted station is in manifest error.[10] Nevertheless, O Questioner! Hearken unto My voice which sayeth: “Open thine eyes that thou mayest behold the Most Great Beauty,[11] through Whom speaketh the Lord of divine decree. By God! Through Him the ‘Hour’[12] hath appeared, and the ‘Resurrection’[13] hath come to pass, and the ‘Moon’[14] hath been cleft asunder and thou wouldst behold all in a ‘continuing Regeneration’ if thou be of them that possess insight.

   “Verily, through His Advent hath come to be fulfilled the Advent about which glad tidings have been given by the Messengers of God from all eternity and there hath come to pass about which God hath revealed in the Qur’án: ‘On that Day they shall all rise before the Lord of mankind.’[15] Truly the Cycle of Prophethood hath been rolled up and He Who hath sent down the Prophets hath come, arrayed with a manifest and perspicuous sovereignty. He, verily, is the One at Whose Advent all created things have given this utterance: ‘The Kingdom is God’s, the Sovereign, the Almighty, the All-Praised.’ He is the One for Whom the necks of God’s Chosen Saints have been outstretched in longing and ardent expectation and every Prophet hath awaited His Presence in this wondrous Day. He is the One through Whom the ‘One Unseen and Hidden’ hath been made manifest, the One Whom no one hath known save He Himself,[16] the one King over all mankind.[17] Peruse ye the Qur’án and all God’s Books revealed in the past that haply ye may recognize this Day, illumined by the Countenance of thy Lord, the Manifest, the Perspicuous One.”

   Thus have We illumined the horizon of the firmaments of this Tablet with the Luminary of Our Word, a Word through which God hath brought into being all creation from all eternity to all eternity. Praise be to God, the Lord of all the worlds!



Notes
    [1] Istimrár: Bakhtávar page 104 (KF’s note)

    [2] that is, Bahá’u’lláh (KF’s note)

    [3] i.e. the heedless ones (KF’s note)

    [4] e.g. Qur’án 10:37 “This Qur’án is not such as can be produced by other than God; on the contrary it is a confirmation of (revelations) that went before it, and a fuller explanation of the Book - wherein there is no doubt - from the Lord of the worlds.” (MW’s note)

    [5] Muhammad. (KF’s note)

    [6] Qur’án 33:40 (MW’s note)

    [7] Muhammad (KF’s note)

    [8] Risálat (KF’s note)

    [9] Nubuwwat (KF’s note)

    [10] For a discussion of this issue, see Seena Fazel and Khazeh Fananapazir. “A Bahá’í Approach to the Claim of Finality in Islám” Journal of Bahá’í Studies 5:3 (1993), pp. 17-40 (MW’s note).

    [11] Most Great Vision   Manzar al akbar. See Qur’án 76.011: “But God will deliver them from the evil of that Day, and will shed over them a Light of Beauty and (blissful) Joy.”(KF’s note, expanded by MW)

    [12] Matthew 24:44 and many Qur’ánic references: 6:31, 7:187, 12:107, 15:85, 15:99, 16:77, 18:21, 20:15, 22:7, 30:1-14; 55, 31:34 33:63, 34:3, 40:59, 41:47, 50, 43:61, 66, 85, 45:27, 32, 47:18, 54:1, 46, 74:47, 79:42 and 22:1-2:“O mankind! fear your Lord! for the convulsion of the Hour (of Judgment) will be a thing terrible! The Day ye shall see it, every mother giving suck shall forget her suckling-babe, and every pregnant female shall drop her load (unformed): thou shalt see mankind as in a drunken riot, yet not drunk: but dreadful will be the Wrath of God.” See also 22:55-57: “Those who reject Faith will not cease to be in doubt concerning (Revelation) until the Hour (of Judgment) comes suddenly upon them, or there comes to them the Penalty of a Day of Disaster. On that Day of Dominion will be that of God: He will judge between them: so those who believe and work righteous deeds will be in Gardens of Delight. And for those who reject Faith and deny our Signs, there will be a humiliating Punishment.” Bahá’u’lláh writes: “‘Hath the Hour come?’ ‘Nay, more; it hath passed, by Him Who is the Revealer of clear tokens!’” Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 117. See also Kitáb-i-Aqdas, P81 (MW’s note).

    [13] i.e. the Day of Resurrection: Revelation 20:5-6; Qur’án 2:212, 30:8, 56, 35:9, 46:6, 50:11, 42, 75:1-40. See also Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 118:“’Is the Resurrection come?’ ’Nay, more; He Who is the Self-Subsisting hath appeared with the Kingdom of His signs.’“ (MW’s note).

    [14] Qur’án 54:1. See also Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, P 81:“O kings of the earth! The Most Great Law hath been revealed in this Spot, this scene of transcendent splendour. Every hidden thing hath been brought to light by virtue of the Will of the Supreme Ordainer, He Who hath ushered in the Last Hour, through Whom the Moon hath been cleft, and every irrevocable decree expounded.“ (MW’s note).

    [15] Qur’án 83:6 (MW’s note).

    [16] Qur’án 72:26: “He (alone) knows the Unseen, nor does He make any one acquainted with His Mysteries..“ (MW’s note).

    [17] Qur’án 114:1-2: “Say: I seek refuge with the Lord and Cherisher of Mankind, The King (or Ruler) of Mankind,“ (MW’s note).
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