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Abstract:
This significant Tablet from Ridvan 1863 covers the Seal of the Prophets, appearance and presence of God, resurrection, and the Qayyum al-Asma. Includes context of Baha'u'llah's life and troubles during this period.
Notes:
Presented at the Irfan Colloquia Sessions #123 and #125 (2014). Mirrored with permission from irfancolloquia.org/125/seddigh_sabr.

Tablet of Patience (Surih Sabr):
Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh and Selected Topics

by Foad Seddigh

published in Lights of Irfan, 15, pages 355-402
Wilmette: Haj Mehdi Armand Colloquium, 2014
Abstract: This paper takes a closer look at Súriy-i-Sabr (Surih Sabr) - a significant Tablet which is sometimes referred to by other names, and was revealed on the first day of Ridván 1863. In order to better understand the contents of this Tablet, the events in the life of Bahá’u’lláh during the last few weeks prior to his exile to Istanbul (Constantinople) and Adrianople (Edirne) are reviewed. Sabr is an Arabic word meaning patience, and Súriy-i-Sabr (Surih Sabr) derives its name from the attribute of 'patience' which is the starting theme of this Tablet. Ayyúb (Job) is one of the prophets of Israel who exhibited these qualities, having lived a life synonymous with patience. Ayyúb is also a name conferred by Bahá’u’lláh on an individual who showed the attribute of patience in the path of God and was steadfast in allegiance to his Lord, the Báb. This paper examines the significance of the devotion and heroic acts of Siyyid Yahyá Dárábí, Vahíd, and events of Nayríz.

The Tablet covers a range of topics including Seal of the Prophets, Beholding the Countenance of God, Appearance of God in the Shelter of the Clouds, attaining the presence of God, Great Announcement, the Hour, Day of Resurrection, the Trumpet Call, and clarification of other puzzling references in past scriptures, particularly the holy Qur’án. Most of these topics were elaborated upon in greater detail, in books such as the Kitáb-i-Íqán (Book of Certitude), and Gems of Divine Mysteries which were revealed before this Tablet. However, we suggest that topics such as the above which are presented in the Tablet, important as they may seem, may not constitute the primary significance of this Tablet. Rather, we believe that the primary significance of this Tablet lies in clarifying the manner of announcement of Bahá’u’lláh’s station, when He left Baghdad, and in references made to His station as the Promised One of the Dispensation of the Báb. This paper discusses 'Concealed Declaration', 'Open Declaration', and 'Public Declaration'. The Tablet also makes reference to the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá. In this paper, we explore the inter-connectedness of the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá and the Tablet. References made in the Tablet regarding 'two names', 'two dawning places', 'two mysteries' and other such references are traced and identified in the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá. In this paper we note the striking resemblance between the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá and the Tablet of Patience and explore/examine the similarities between the two divinely revealed Tablets. The Surih-i-Sabr does not explicitly mention the name of the arch enemy of the 'Eternal Beauteous Countenance of God', the half-brother of Bahá’u’lláh, Yahyá Azal. However, the Tablet includes several references to Yahyá such as the 'Calf' and 'Sámirí'. This paper identifies these references and examines their meanings. The Tablet includes a prophecy and warning regarding the 'birds of darkness' which will start flying in the absence of the light - a reference which is in reality the 'Light of His Countenance'. These passages are identified and their meanings explored. Finally, the Tablet includes references to Satan and idol worshipers. These passages are also identified and their meaning explored.

Also presented at session 123.

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