Translation begun in May 2001;
Completed text submitted by the translator, June 2001;
Web edition proofread and prepared
by Mehdi Wolf, June, 2002
The Provisional Translation of the Blessed Tablet of
on the Subject of the Interpretation of
the Sacred Scripture
The theme of this Blessed Tablet, revealed by
Bahá’u’lláh, is on the subject of the interpretation
of the Sacred Scripture. This Blessed Tablet is undoubtedly from the
Akká period. This is apparent from the references to His previous
Tablets, Asl-i-Kullu’l-Khayr (Words of Wisdom) and
Lawh-i-Maqsúd (Tablet of Maqsúd),
which were revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
This is that which was uttered by Tongue of Grandeur!
he purpose of interpretation is this: that none become deprived of that which is evident, and be veiled
from that which is intended. If, for example, from the heaven of the will of
God it were revealed: “wash ye your faces”, do not interpret this to
mean, by washing, the intent is the cleansing of the inner face that should be
washed and purified by the water of divine
knowledge, and the like! Many a time, with such interpretations, a person’s face may remain utterly filthy and pungent, whilst, in his own idle fancy, he hath performed the essence of
God’s command! Yet, in this instance, it is clear and evident that the
washing of the face with material water is intended.
Know thou that some of the divine words can be interpreted. That is, such interpretations that should not become the cause and reason of idle fancies and vain imaginings, and deprive not from the divine purpose.
Ponder upon that which hath been revealed in the Qur’án:
“And he unto whom wisdom is given, he truly hath received abundant
good.”  Some believe that by wisdom is
meant the divine laws, which have been revealed in the Book. Others believe
that this wisdom is the science of medicine and should any soul acquire it, he
hath attained abundant good. For this pertaineth to man and is the science of
the body and this science is the noblest of all sciences. Even as the Tongue
of Wisdom hath previously uttered this exalted word: “Knowledge is two
kinds; the knowledge of the body and the knowledge of
religions.” Inasmuch as the
Manifestation of God and the divine laws all
have ever been, and will ever be, for the education of man, his progress and
advancement, safeguarding the peoples of the world, and the like, He hath thus
given precedence to the knowledge of the body in the blessed Word for, in
reality, it doth take precedence. Therefore,
whatsoever are the effective means for safeguarding and promoting the health and
well-being of man hath ever been, and will ever be, of the greatest primacy.
Verily, this passage is clear and evident.
Some believe that wisdom is the
recognition of the realities of things, and
whosoever attaineth unto this station, he will be the possessor of exalted
stations. One sect believeth that wisdom is to do that which benefiteth man and
whosoever succeedeth in this purpose he is the possessor of abundant good.
Another sect believeth that wisdom is that which safeguardeth man from whatever
degradeth him, and guideth him to whatever glorifieth him. A few believe that
wisdom is the knowledge of consorting with people, leniency and forbearance to
the extent that it doth not exceed the limits of moderation.
Some have said that wisdom is the knowledge of theology, which is based on the rules and principles of the wise of old. It hath also been said
that wisdom is the knowledge of the essential and the contingent such as
astronomy and the like. Some have said that wisdom is the knowledge of
subsistence in the world. A few believe that wisdom is the knowledge of
methodology, while others believe that wisdom is the affairs and conditions of
justice, that is, giving to a claimant all to which he is entitled. Others yet
believe that wisdom is the knowledge of alchemy, and whosoever attaineth thereto
hath attained abundant good. Still others believe that wisdom is the knowledge
of geometry, and the like. And each sect, to the extent of its own
understanding and perception, hath submitted proof and reasoning in support of
what hath been mentioned. If this subject were to be expounded in detail it
would become increasingly tedious.
Praise be unto Him who uttered this exalted word: “The essence of wisdom is the fear of God.” For, the fear and dread of God
prevent man from that which causeth his abasement and degradation, and aideth
him in that which causeth his loftiness and exaltation. A sagacious man
avoideth vile deeds, inasmuch as he foreseeth the ensuing
“The structure of world stability and order hath been reared upon, and will continue to be sustained by, the twin pillars of reward and
punishment.” Not long ago this blessed verse shone forth from the dawning-place of the mouth of God:
“Justice hath a mighty force at its command. It is none other than reward
and punishment for the deeds of men. By the power of this force the tabernacle
of order is established throughout the world, causing the wicked to restrain
their natures for fear of punishment.” Thus spoke the Lord of
Names. For, He is in truth the Speaker, the All-Knowing.
Formerly, some souls have called themselves the people of
Taríqat, even as their writings now exist in the world. Various sects each have taken a path. Islám hath been scattered by these souls, who have divided the Most Great Ocean into many gulfs. Until, at last, it befell to the religion of God that which came to pass.
As hath been witnessed, Islám, with its mighty force, is reduced to utter
weakness by the deeds and actions of them that attribute themselves thereto.
Some souls who call themselves dervishes interpreted all the divine laws and commandments. If it were said that the obligatory prayer is a divine
law they say that the obligatory prayer meaneth supplication and we have come
with supplication during birth, and thus we have performed the true obligatory
prayer. Such a wretch is devoid of the manifest meaning, much less the inner
meaning thereof! The vain imaginings of the heedless souls have ever been, and
are, beyond reckoning.
In brief, due to laziness and indisposition, they have interpreted all the divine laws, which are like unto a mighty
bulwark for safeguarding the world and the security thereof. They have sought reclusion in
takyihs, have chosen no occupation but eating and sleeping, and concur whatsoever is said of learnings. Yet, no sign of the fervour of the love of God hath yet been detected in them, save in
those few who didst discover the sweetness of His Word and became cognizant of
the meaning of the advent.
Concerning these interpretations, which were mentioned in explanation of wisdom, some of them are correct within their own context, for there is no
contradiction with the principals of divine law. Those verses which contain
divine commandments and prohibitions concerning worship,
fines, crime, and the like --the intent
hath ever been, and wilt ever be, to act upon their evident meaning. However,
those divine verses that have been revealed in the previous Books, as well as
the Qur’án, regarding the coming of the last Hour and the Day of
Resurrection are mostly subject to
interpretation. “And none knoweth its interpretation except
God.” These facts are clear and
proven in the Kitáb-i-Iqán; any soul that pondereth upon it will
become cognizant of that which hath been hidden unto all. Contemplate thou upon
that which the All-Bestower hath revealed in the Book: “The sun is not
given to overtake the Moon, nor doth the night outstrip the
day.” The learned have time and
again commented on, and interpreted, this Blessed verse. And each one, in his
own belief, hath discovered the meaning thereof. However, where is the station
of knowledge and where are the facts of idle fancies and vain imaginings!
One soul who hath been named the king of
hath said the aforementioned verse hath been revealed “to refute the
worshiping of the sun”. Observe how far he is from the fountainhead of
knowledge, despite the people’s claim of his vast learning!
The reins of learnings are within the grasp of divine power, He
bestoweth on whomever He willeth. In the previous Books that which streamed
forth from the Pen of the Most High in mention of this advent is mostly subject
to interpretation. For example, He saith: “The valleys melt like wax
before the lord.” And likewise He
saith: “His tabernacle will be raised upon the
mountains”- even as it hath been
raised! In another place He saith: “A tabernacle whose ropes have not
been, and will not be, cut off, whose stakes have not been, and will not be,
taken off, and it will not be moved from one place to
another.” These passages
are open to interpretation. A fair man will comprehend which instance is to be
interpreted and in which instance the outward command of the revelation is
This day, that which cleanseth the people of defilement, and leadeth
them to real peace and tranquility is the Religion of God, the Faith of God, the
Cause of God. Thus poured down the rain of utterance from the heaven of
knowledge as a token of grace upon thee.
Give thanks and say: ‘Praise be to thee, O the Beloved of them that
recognize, and glory be to thee, O the
Desire of the worlds, and thanksgiving be to thee, O Thou in Whose grasp is the
Kingdom, the Lord of the heavens and the earth!’
Ta’wíl (Arabic pronunciation) or Ta’víl
(Persian pronunciation); KI, p. 17, 145. Tablet itself published in Iqtidarat va chand Lawh-i-Digar pp. 279-286. According to the Leiden List of the Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, this text dates from the Akká period, around 1881-2 (MG’s note, modified by MW)
Ta’víl (MG’s note).
KI, p. 53, 91. Also Recognition, comprehension; KA, ¶ 1., Long Obligatory
Prayer. (MG’s note)
 zahír; KI, p.
145. (MG’s note).
 zunún va
awhám; KI, p. 228. Tablet of the Words of Paradise. The Book of the
Covenant. (MG’s note)
Al Baqarah:269. The full verse translation by Mohammed M.
Pickthall is: “He giveth wisdom unto whom He will, and he unto whom wisdom
is given, he truly hath received abundant good. But none remember except men of
understanding.” (MG’s note).
 The source of this
quotation is not known (MW’s note).
Mazáhir-i-Haqq; KI, p. 12 (MG’s
 Ma‘rifát; KI, p. 4, 91 (MG’s note).
Asl-i-Kullu’l-Khayr (Words of Wisdom) (MG’s
 This is a passage
from Lawh-i-Maqsúd (Tablet of Maqsúd) (MG’s
 This is a passage
from Lawh-i-Maqsúd (Tablet of Maqsúd) (MG’s
the followers of the mystic path (MG’s note).
 Lit., “strong
dam” (MG’s note).
 A building or a tent
for gathering, worship, repose, refuge, reclusion; monastery (MG’s
 i.e., of the Day of
God (MW’s note).
Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶ 49 (MG’s note).
Sá‘at va qiyámat; KI, p. 44 (MG’s
3:7 (3:5 in Rodwell’s translation) (MG’s note).
36:40 (Rodwell’s translation) (MG’s note).
 The commentators and
expounders on the Qur’án (MG’s note).
 Apparently a
Sunní commentator on the Qur’án, contemporary with
Bahá’u’lláh (MW’s note).
 Judges 5:5, Psalms
97:5 (MG’s note).
 Daniel 11:45, Isaiah
2:2, Micah 4:1 (MG’s note).
 Isaiah 33:20