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Notes:

Tablet to the Kings (Súratu'l-Mulúk):
Tablet study outline

by Jonah Winters

1999
Name of Tablet in Arabic or Persian:
Súratu'l-Mulúk (Súriy-i-Mulúk).

Translation into English:
Súrih of Kings, Súrih to the Kings. Though this Tablet has not been translated in full, many parts of it can be found in translations scattered throughout the writings of Shoghi Effendi. Sections are translated in Gleanings LXV, LXVI, CXIII, CXIV, CXVI, CXVIII, and Promised Day is Come 20-24. Sections are addressed to the Kings collectively, such as: Gleanings CXVI (which is the same as PDC 23-24) and CXVIII (which is the same as PDC 21-22 except that the phrase "that the burden of your expenditures may be lightened" is omitted on PDC 21). Many of these sources for Gleanings can be found in a list at http://bahai-library.com/resources/gleanings.html.

Significance of Name:
Here Bahá'u'lláh for the first time directs His words collectively to the monarchs and rulers of the East and the West (God Passes By, 171)

Tablet was revealed in:
Arabic

Name of Recipient:
Bahá'u'lláh directly addresses a number of individuals and groups, including: Ministers of the Sultán of Turkey, citizens and "wise men" of Constantinople, people of Persia, the Persian Ambassador to Turkey (Hájí Mírzá Husayn Khán), the French Ambassador to Turkey, Muslim ecclesiastical leaders in Constantinople, Sultán Abdul-Azíz of Turkey, the Kings of Christendom, monarchs in general, elected representatives in every land, and the philosophers of the world. I don't list Victoria and Napoleon because, though the schedule of study includes Gleanings 119 and120 (to Victoria) and 158 (to Napoleon III), these aren't actually part of the Súriy-i-Mulúk. The Tablet to Queen Victoria is called "Lawh-i-Malika," (Tablet to the Queen) and the one to Napoleon is called "Lawh-i-Malik-i-Paris" (Tablet to the King of Paris.

Reason for Revelation of the Tablet:
The "majestic proclamation" of His revelation to the world at large through the world's kings and leaders.

Date of Revelation:
Since it was shortly after Bahá'u'lláh's public challenge to Mírzá Yayha, it would have been late 1867-early 1868 (see *A Basic Bahá'í Chronology,* 78.)

Place of Revelation:
Edirne (Adrianople)

Other Tablets revealed at about the same time:
*God Passes By* p. 171 says that "Tablets unnumbered were streaming from the pen of Bahá'u'lláh..." Shoghi Effendi gives as a partial list the Kitáb-i-Badí; the Munajathay-i-Siyam (Prayers for Fasting); the first Tablet to Napoleon III; the detailed epistle to Nasiri'd-Din Sháh; and the Súriy-i-Ra'ís.

Style, subject, and genre of the Tablet: [?]

Style:
      Tablet with the tone of command and authority;
Subject:
      Writing in which laws and ordinances have been enjoined for this age and laws of the past abrogated
      Tablet concerning matters of government and world order and those addressed to the kings
      Tablet exhorting men to education, goodly character and divine virtues
      Tablet dealing with social teachings;
Genre:
      Letter to individuals

Voice of Tablet: [?]
Bahá'u'lláh

Outline Contents of Tablet (if possible):
We're lucky here in that Shoghi Effendi also provided an outline of the contents of this Tablet. In *God Passes By,* 172: he wrote: "In His message to the kings of the earth, Bahá'u'lláh, in the Súriy-i-Mulúk, discloses the character of His Mission; exhorts them to embrace His Message; affirms the valiity of the Báb's Revelation; reproves them for their indifference to His Cause; enjoins them to be just and vigilant, to compose their diferences and reduce their armaments; expatiates on His afflictions; commends the poor to their care; warns them that "Divine chastisement" will "assail" them "from every direction," if they refuse to heed His counsels, and prophesies His "triumph upon earth" though no king be found who would turn his face towards Him."

List the principal themes of the Tablet:
  1. Announces of His Revelation
  2. Denounces the Kings for not recognizing Him and the Báb
  3. Admonishes them to exercise justice; to safeguard the rights of the downtrodden and to punish wrong-doers. Advises the kings to settle their differences and reduce their armaments.
  4. Warns and prophesies about what will happen if they do not do these things.

Tablet's relationship to other tablets:

Opposite in tone to the letter to the American presidents and rulers...

...These themes were continued in Tablets revealed in Akká, e.g. the Second Tablet to Napoleon III, Tablet to the Czar, Tablet to Queen Victoria, Tablet to the Pope...

Bibliography for biographical information on the recipients of these Tablets to the Kings:

* Bahá'í World vol. XIV, pp. 196-204.
* See also "Fall of the Major Kingdoms of the World", Prisoner and the Kings, pps. 182-3, also Names and Numbers pg. 39
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