Name of Tablet in Arabic or Persian:
Translation into English:
Tablet of/for Ahmad (Arabic). Shoghi Effendi
translated this Tablet in 1924 with the assistance of Dr. Esslemont. It has
been published in many prayer books and in _Prayers and Meditations_.
Significance of Name:
Named after its recipient
Tablet was revealed in:
Name of Recipient:
Ahmad, a native of Yazd
Reason for Revelation of the Tablet:
Taherzadeh explains the story as follows: "After Bahá'u'lláh's departure from
Constantinople, Ahmad remained in Baghdad and served the Faith in that city
with great devotion. However, in his heart he was longing to attain the
presence of his Lord again. After some time, he could no longer bear to stay
away and so he set off for Andrianople. When he arrived in Constantinople,
Bahá'u'lláh sent him a Tablet which is now universa<. On reading this
Tablet, Ahmad knew what was expected of him. He surrendered his own will to
Bahá'u'lláh's and instead of completing his journey to Andrianople and
attaining the presence of his Lord, he returned to Persia with the sole purpose
of teaching and propagating the Message of Bahá'u'lláh to the Bábí community."
( _Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh_ vol. 2, 113)
Questions asked that are answered in Tablet:
Date of Revelation:
1865, just before Bahá'u'lláh was poisoned
Place of Revelation:
It was revealed in Adrianople, and Ahmad received
the Tablet in Constantinople.
Role of Amanuensis or Secretary:
Bahá'u'lláh wrote this Tablet Himself;
as Taherzadeh mentions, "a cursory glance at the original Tablet makes it clean
that Bahá'u'lláh wrote this before He was poisened by Mírzá Yahyá" [i.e., His
handwriting wasn't shaky]. Manuscripts of the Tablet in the hand of
'Abdu'l-Bahá also exist.
Other Tablets revealed at about the same time:
Bahá'ulláh revealed the Tablet of the Holy Mariner in March 1863, the
Lawh-i-Ayyub in April 1863, the Súriy-i-Hawdaj in May 1863, the
Mathnavi-i-Mubarak and the Tablet of the Bell in autumn 1863, and the
Súriy-i-Amr and the Tablet of Bahá circa March 1866, just before the Most Great
Style, subject, and genre of the Tablet: [?]
1. Tablets with the tone of command and authority.
Covered by Tablet
1. Writings dealing with interpretation of the old Scriptures, religious
beliefs and doctrines of the past.
3. Mystical Writings.
6. Tablets exhorting men to education, goodly character and divine virtues.
III. Literary Genre
1. Letter to an individual.
Voice of Tablet
Outline Contents of Tablet:
[The following outline is adapted from that provided by one student]:
(1) Refers to Himself as the "Nightingale of Paradise" and proclaims
the greatness of His Revelation...
(2) Proclaims the Himself as "that Most Great Beauty through
whom truth shall be distinguished from error and the wisdom
of every command shall be tested."
(3) Proclaims unequivocally the truth of the Báb's Revelation, calls
Him the "King of the Messengers" and His Book [the Persian
Bayán] the "Mother Book," and calls everyone to obedience to its
(4) Refering to Himself again as the "Nightingale", He states that He
has issued His call and it is now up to everyone to either
"turn aside" from His counsel or to "choose the path" to
(5) Warns that if the people deny the truth of what He saying, then
they can never offer proof even of their belief in God.
(6) Tells Ahmad to remember His bounties as well as His days and His
sufferings in "this remote prison" [Adrianople]
(7) Counsels Ahmad to steadfastness in His love, thereby fortifying him
to be able to withstand anything in His Path.
(8) Counsels him in the matter of how he should be to others: "a flame
of fire" to His enemies and a "river of life eternal" to
His loved ones.
(9) Counsels him to have certitude.
(10) Tells him not to be troubled by afflictions or degradation
suffered in His Path, but rather to "rely upon God."
(11) Speaks about the blindness of the people who are "bereft of
discernment," blaming it on their delusions and their
(12) Warns that "he who turneth away from this Beauty hath also turned
away from the Messenges of the past and showeth pride towards
God from all eternity to all eternity."
(13) Promises special blessings to those who read and chant this
(14) Praises and glorifies God.
Principal themes of the Tablet:
The identification of Bahá'u'lláh as the Manifestation, that He is "The One
Whom God shall make manifest"; a tribute to the Báb, whose followers
Bahá'u'lláh is here concerned with teaching; the proof of a Manifestation is
His Words; steadfastness enables Bahá'u'lláh's followers to be able to
withstand any test in His Path; one must not be troubled by afflictions by rely
upon God; one who turns away from Bahá'u'lláh also turns away from all previous
Manifestations; special blessings come to those who read and chant this
Tablet's relationship to other tablets:
A second "Tablet of Ahmad" was revealed in Persian at about the same time. This
one was for a different Ahmad, Hájí Mírzá Ahmad of Kashan, who later became a
follower of Mírzá Yahyá.
This other Tablet also counsels reliance upon God and mentions the blindness of
the people, though in the Persian one Bahá'u'lláh includes the recipient in the
category of heedless ones.
Biography or bio note of the recipient of the Tablet:
Taherzadeh provides a detailed biography of Ahmad in _Revelation of
Bahá'u'lláh_ vol. 2, 107-115.