Note by Robert Stockman:
One of the tablets we are focusing on is the
or "Words of Wisdom" as it is usually translated into
English. What would be a more literal translation? I ask this of those who
know Arabic and Persian.
The tablet is relatively short; it may be found in *Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,*
pages 155-157. It is one of the most favorite tablets to read at Feasts and
holy days because of its beautiful, short aphorisms. What is the essence of
wisdom? love? religion? detachment? The tablet describes each of these and
more. "The source of all learning is the knowledge of God, exalted be His
glory" is one of the quotations the Guardian chose to adorn one of the doors
of the House of Worship in Wilmette.
There is nothing at all about this tablet in Taherzadeh's four volumes. I
believe it is completely undated; no one is sure when it was revealed. It
is generally thought to be an Akká period tablet, but I recently heard a
talk where the speaker suggested the Words of Wisdom may actually be a
Baghdad-period revelation! This is the conclusion one would draw from its
style, which is closer to the Hidden Words and the Seven and Four Valleys
than anything else. But, of course, Bahá'u'lláh can re-use a style any time
in His revelation, and indeed he often returns to themes that were prominent
in the earliest period of His ministry. Hence the use of the tablet's style
to date it is a shaky method, unless there is corroborating evidence.
I have also never seen any information about the recipient of the tablet.
The lack of information about the tablet compounds the mystery that
Note by Iraj Ayman:
Here is the translation of the title "Asl-i-Kul'l Khayr":
is translated by Shoghi Effendi in the Gleanings as "the essence" or "the
very root and essence"; kul
means "all"; khayr
means "good"; hence Shoghi Effendi has translated kul'l khayr
as "all good."
Therefore the translation of the title of this Tablet is the essence of all
good. However, the Guardian has translated that Tablet and named it "Words of
Wisdom" which better presents the content of that Tablet. He enclosed that
translation with His letter of May 6, 1923 to the National Spiritual
North America. This is what He has written in that letter:
"P.S. I enclose a copy of my translation of Bahá'u'lláh's Words of
which you will feel at liberty to circulate amongst the friends."
(Shoghi Effendi: Bahá'í Administration, Page: 49)