Wherever possible, translations made by Shoghi Effendi have been incorporated in the present volume. These passages account for approximately one third of the text. The committees and individuals appointed to prepare the translations faced the challenge of rendering the balance of the Text in a manner at once faithful to the meaning of the original and consistent with the exalted English style established by the Guardian for the translation of Bahá'u'lláh's matchless utterance.


In the translation of the Lawḥ-i-Sulṭán the translators benefited from consulting the earlier, pioneering translation of the English orientalist E. G. Browne as it appeared in ‘Abdu'l-Bahá's A Traveller's Narrative, first published by Cambridge University Press in 1891.







Abbreviation of Sources


ESW Bahá'u'lláh. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1988.


GPB Shoghi Effendi. God Passes By. Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1974.


GWB Bahá'u'lláh. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh. Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1976.


KI Bahá'u'lláh. The Kitáb-i-Íqán. Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1994.


HW Bahá'u'lláh. The Hidden Words. Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1994. (PHW are from the Persian Hidden Words.)


PDC Shoghi Effendi. The Promised Day Is Come. Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, rev. ed., 1996.


WOB Shoghi Effendi. The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh: Selected Letters. Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1991.







6-7 "While engulfed in tribulations … of them that perceive." GPB 101-102

8 "The day is approaching when God … the Self-Subsisting." WOB 109-110

34 "Erelong shall God draw forth … how vehement is His might" WOB 110

42 "Beware lest ye shed the blood … if ye do but understand." ESW 25

44 "Naught is seen in My temple … could be seen but God." WOB 109

47 "the fertilizing winds … whether seen or unseen!" WOB 169, PDC ¶112

50 "The Holy Spirit Itself … of them that comprehend" WOB 109

66 "Within the treasury of Our Wisdom … the All-Wise." WOB 109

75 "It is in Our power, should We wish it, to enable … future ages." WOB 107

88 "Great is the blessedness … the Almighty, the All-Wise." PDC ¶271

89 "O ye the dawning-places … and unto others." PDC ¶208

89 "Ye are even as a spring … it fruits, will be corrupted." PDC ¶208

96 "Had the Primal Point … with each other in My Days." WOB 138


Pope Pius IX (Lawḥ-i-Páp)

102 "O Pope!… the Almighty, the Unrestrained." PDC ¶71

102 "He, verily, hath again come … hath been illumined." PDC ¶71

203 "Dwellest thou in palaces … towards the Kingdom." PDC ¶71

105 "Arise in the name of thy Lord …peoples of all faiths." PDC ¶71

106 "Call thou to remembrance … away from His light." PDC ¶72

108 "Consider those who opposed … disputed with Him." PDC ¶72

108 "None save a very few … eventide and at dawn." PDC ¶72

109 "Read ye the Evangel … concourse of learned men!" PDC ¶256

111 "The fragrances of the … fast hold of guidance." PDC ¶256

112 "The Word which the Son … of the righteous!" PDC ¶73

113 "This is the day … Kingdom is fulfilled!" PDC ¶73

114 "My body longeth … from its transgressions." PDC ¶73

115 "The people of the Qur'án … clouds wept over Us." PDC ¶247

116 "And if they cast … the Gracious, the All-Powerful!" WOB 108

118 "O Supreme Pontiff … the book of creation." PDC ¶74

120 "Should the inebriation … Revealer of all power." PDC ¶74

126 "Verily, the day of ingathering … the All-Compelling." PDC ¶74

127 "Say: O concourse of Christians … turn ye unto Him." PDC ¶261

127 "The Beloved One … heedless of My Revelation" PDC ¶261

128 "O people of the Gospel! … everlasting life." PDC ¶261

129 "We behold you … Direct yourselves towards Him." PDC ¶261

129 "Verily, He said … quickeners of mankind." PDC ¶261


Napoleon III (Lawḥ-i-Napulyún II)

131-5 "O King of Paris! … near access to God to flow." ESW 46-49

136-9 "Say: O concourse of monks ... wrapped in a thick veil!" ESW 49-52

140 "More grievous ... kingdoms of earth and heaven." ESW 52

141 "Upon Our arrival ... token of God's grace." GPB 206

142-43 "As My tribulations multiplied ... poor and the desolate." ESW 52-53

143 "Abandon thy palaces ... them that turn unto Him." PDC ¶70

143 "Shouldst thou desire … All-Knowing, the All-Wise." PDC ¶70

144 "Arise thou ... Lord of strength and of might." ESW 53

145 "Adorn the body ... peoples of the earth." ESW 53-54

146 "Doth it behove you ... shining and resplendent Seat." ESW 54

147 "Shed not the blood ... abode of the transgressors!" ESW 54

148 "God hath prescribed ... influence his hearers." GWB CLVIII

149 "Deal not treacherously … the Most Generous." ESW 54-55

150-51 "O people of Bahá … created of a sorry germ." ESW 55

152 "Regard ye the world … such as create dissension." ESW 55-56

154 "He Who is your Lord … among God's blessed ones." GWB CVII

156 "Meditate on the world … this sublime Vision." ESW 56


Czar Alexander II (Lawḥ-i-Malik-i-Rús)

158 "O Czar of Russia … barter away this sublime station." PDC ¶75

159-60 "Beware lest thy sovereignty … sword of the oppressor." PDC ¶75-76

162-3 "Again I say … the Mighty, the Glorified." PDC ¶77-78

164 "Some lamented … Evangel were adorned." PDC ¶78

170 "Blessed be the king … the All-Powerful, the Almighty." PDC ¶78


Queen Victoria (Lawh-i-Malikih)

171-3 "O Queen in London … the Ruler, the All-Wise." PDC ¶79-81

173 "And if any one of them … of the blissful." ESW 61-62

174-6 "O ye the elected … all else naught but error." GWB CXX

176-7 "Each time that Most Mighty … what I say." ESW 63-64

178-82 "O ye rulers … naught but manifest justice." GWB CXIX

185 "Turn thou unto God … heavens and of the earth." PDC ¶82


Násiri'd-Dín Sháh (Lawḥ-i-Sulṭán)

192-95 "O King! I was but a man … derived from the Name of God!" PDC ¶97-99

217 "A just king is the shadow … that hath surpassed the worlds." PDC ¶182

221 "Would that the world-adorning wish ... for Me or against Me." PDC ¶110

225 "O ye that are foolish ... the paths of perdition." PHW #24

226 "O ye seeming fair ... immeasurable is the difference!" PHW #25

227 "O essence of desire! ... unto the hosts of holiness." PHW #28

228 "O bondslave of the world! ... returned whence it came." PHW #30

230 "O King of the age! ... a sufficient witness unto Me." PDC ¶100

231 "The religious doctors ... and unto them shall it return." KI 247-48

231 "When the Standard of Truth ... shall curse it." KI 238

232 "Those doctors who have indeed drunk of the cup of renunciation" GPB 143

242 "Each nation hath plotted darkly ... invalidate the truth." KI 5

242 "No Messenger cometh unto them but they laugh Him to scorn." KI 5

244 "But if their opposition be grievous ... a ladder into heaven" KI 109-10

249 "O would that thou wouldst ... knowledge of the Book." PDC ¶101

249 "But for the repudiation ... no God is there but He!" PDC ¶101

258 "By Him Who is the Truth! ... lighteth earth and heaven." ESW 17

265 "I have seen, O Sháh ... nor ear heard." PDC ¶102

265-6 "How numerous the tribulations ... in the path of My Lord!" PDC ¶102

267 "According to what they say ... metropolis of the owl" GPB 186

268 "By God! Though weariness ... such as commune with Him." PDC ¶102

273 "But for the tribulations ... the Lord of the worlds." ESW 94

276 "Thus have We built the Temple ... Be and it is." PDC ¶113



1 "Hearken, O chief … the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting." WOB 178

2 "Thou hast, O Chief, committed that ... evident loss!" WOB 178

5 "The day is approaching … in sore distress." PDC ¶152

11 "the loved ones of God ... on the first night without food." GPB 179

12 "The people surrounded the house ... wept over Us" GPB 179

12 "We perceived that the weeping ... such as ponder." GPB 179-180

13 "unheard of in bygone centuries ... the power of His might" GPB 180

13 "King and Beloved of Martyrs" GPB 136-137

14 "Say: This Youth hath departed ... the power of truth" GPB 181

18 "Had Muḥammad ... privileged to behold Thy face!" WOB 105-106

21 "Ere long will God ... the Almighty, the Beneficent" PDC ¶185



6 "From the foundation of the world ... nor heard of." GPB 187

7 "Soon will He seize you ... none to help or succour you." PDC ¶153

9 "Several times calamities ... the Pen of My command." PDC ¶153

25-26 "There is a matter ... may be made known unto you." PDC ¶111



13 "Soon will We dismiss ... the All-Compelling." PDC ¶156



2 "O kings of the earth! … the All-Powerful, the All-Wise." PDC ¶41

2-3 "Fear God, O concourse … and be not of the heedless." PDC ¶41

4 "My face hath come forth … could ye but know it." PDC ¶41

6 "Arise, then, … may be revealed unto you." PDC ¶41

6 "Beware lest ye hinder … can be quickened." PDC ¶41

7-14 "Lay not aside the fear … the right course." PDC ¶42-46

15 "O kings of Christendom! … the entire creation." PDC ¶64

20-23 "Twenty years have passed … turn his face towards Thee." GWB CXVI

24-30 "Call Thou to remembrance … Himself a witness." GWB LXV

36 "Know ye that the world … all things hath testified." GWB LXV

37-47 "Fear God, ye inhabitants … the path of resignation." GWB LXVI

53-54 "The day is approaching … of the past or of the future." GWB LXVI

58-72 "Hearken, O King … abide and rule therein." GWB CXIV

74 "They expelled Us … on earth can compare" GPB 161

74 "the place which none entereth … authority of the sovereign" GPB 161

75 "Neither My family … that freezing weather." GPB 161

78-83 "I swear by God, O King! … the Lord of all worlds!" GWB CXIV

84-107 "Dost thou imagine … trust and confidence in their Lord." GWB CXIII

108 "O ye divines of the City! … than all your doings." PDC ¶224

109-111 "Know ye, that had your leaders … turn upon their heels." PDC ¶224

111 "Know ye that God will not … could ye but perceive it." PDC ¶224


[*] Mírzá Yaḥyá.


[†] The Báb.


[‡] Peter.


[§] The Sulṭán of Turkey.

[**] ‘Akká.

[††] Mecca.

[‡‡] The Súriy-i-Mulúk.

[§§] The Sulṭán of Turkey.


[***] Muḥammad.


[†††] Ṭihrán.


[‡‡‡] Baghdád.

[§§§] Mecca.


[****] Adrianople.

[††††] Muḥammad Sháh.

[‡‡‡‡] Anís.

[§§§§] Adrianople.

[*****] Mírzá ‘Alí-Akbar-i-Naráqí.

[†††††] ‘Álí Páshá.

[‡‡‡‡‡] Sulṭán ‘Abdu'l-‘Azíz.

[§§§§§] The Báb.

[******] Jesus.

[††††††] Sulṭán ‘Abdu'l-‘Azíz.

[‡‡‡‡‡‡] Adrianople.

[§§§§§§] The Báb.

[*******] Imám Ḥusayn.

[†††††††] The Muslims.

[‡‡‡‡‡‡‡] Náṣiri'd-Dín Sháh.

[§§§§§§§] Baghdád.

[1] cf. Qur'án 2:30-34; 38:71-75.

[2] Ustád Muḥammad-‘Alíy-i-Salmání. See God Passes By, pp. 166-168, for an account of the events referred to by Bahá'u'lláh in this and following paragraphs.

[3] The word Haykal (Temple) is composed in Arabic of the four letters Há', Yá', Káf and Lám (HYKL). Its first letter is taken to symbolize the word Huvíyyah (Essence of Divinity); its second letter the word Qadír (Almighty), of which Yá' is the third letter; its third letter the word Karím (All-Bountiful); and its fourth letter the word Faḍl (Grace), of which Lám is the third letter.

[4] cf. Qur'án 21:30; 24:45; 25:54.

[5] That is, the letter "E". In all such instances in the Writings where the letters "B" and "E" are mentioned, the Arabic letters are Káf and Nún, the two consonants of the Arabic word Kun, which is the imperative meaning "Be".

[6] "The tree beyond which there is no passing", a reference to the station of the Manifestation of God.

[7] These are examples of the types of questions put to the Báb. According to the teachings of Shí‘ite Islám, leadership of the Islamic community belonged of right, after the passing of the Prophet Muḥammad, to a line of twelve successors, descendants of His daughter Fáṭimih, known as "Imáms". This line being eventually severed through the "occultation" of the last Imám, communication with the latter was for a time maintained through a succession of four intermediaries known as "Gates".

[8] One of a trio of Arabian goddesses whose worship was abolished by the Prophet Muḥammad.

[9] A small rock situated low in the eastern corner of the Kaaba.

[10] cf. Matthew 5:29; Mark 9:47.

[11] This is Bahá'u'lláh's second Tablet addressed to the French Emperor. An earlier Tablet was revealed in Adrianople.

[12] The Crimean War (1853-1856).

[13] Within the year Napoleon III was defeated at the Battle of Sedan (1870) and sent into exile.

[14] cf. Qur'án 77:20; 32:8.

[15] The two Most Great Festivals are the Festival of Riḍván, during which Bahá'u'lláh first proclaimed His Mission, and the Declaration of the Báb. The "twin days" refer to the Birthdays of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh. cf. Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶110.

[16] cf. Qur'án 17:78.

[17] Mírzá Buzurg Khán, the Persian Consul-General in Baghdád.

[18] The Mu'taminu'l-Mulk, Mírzá Sa‘íd Khán-i-Anṣárí, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

[19] Bahá'u'lláh here refers to His and His companions' application for Ottoman citizenship.

[20] Áqá Siyyid Muḥammad-i-Ṭabáṭabá'íy-i-Isfáhání, known as "Mujáhid".

[21] The second Russo-Persian War of 1825-28.

[22] Qur'án 2:94; 62:6.

[23] cf. Persian Hidden Words, nos. 24, 25, 28 and 30.

[24] Qur'án 49:6.

[25] Qur'án 5:59.

[26] A Tradition ascribed to the eleventh Imám, Abú Muḥammad al-Ḥasan al-‘Askarí.

[27] Traditions ascribed to the sixth Imám, Abú ‘Abdu'lláh Ja‘far aṣ-Ṣádiq.

[28] Shaykh Murtaḍáy-i-Anṣárí, a prominent mujtahid.

[29] Qur'án 2:179.

[30] Qur'án 6:164; 17:15; 35:18; 39:7; 53:38.

[31] cf. Qur'án 3:40; 14:27; 22:18.

[32] cf. Qur'án 5:1.

[33] cf. Qur'án 5:64.

[34] Qur'án 40:5.

[35] Qur'án 36:30.

[36] Qur'án 8:30.

[37] Qur'án 6:35.

[38] cf. Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33.

[39] John 14:28.

[40] cf. John 14:16; 14:26; 15:26; 16:7.

[41] See, for example, Qur'án 4:46; 5:13; 5:41; and 2:75, and the discussion in the Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 84 ff.

[42] ‘Alí Ibn Ḥusayn, known as "Zaynu'l-‘Ábidín", the second of the Imám Ḥusayn's sons, who became the fourth Imám.

[43] The Kharijites, a faction opposed to both the Imáms and the Umayyad state.

[44] Allusions to the ‘Abbásid and Umayyad dynasties, respectively.

[45] Qur'án 57:16.

[46] cf. Luke 19:21.

[47] cf. Qur'án 55:26.

[48] cf. Qur'án 12:31.

[49] This Tablet was revealed in Arabic in honour of Ḥájí Muḥammad Ismá‘íl-i-Káshání, entitled Dhabíḥ (Sacrifice) and Anís (Companion) by Bahá'u'lláh, and addresses ‘Álí Páshá, the Ottoman Prime Minister, referred to here as Ra'ís (Chief or Ruler).

[50] Sulṭán ‘Abdu'l-‘Azíz lost both his throne and his life in 1876. During the subsequent war with Russia (1877-1878), Adrianople was occupied by the enemy and the Turks experienced a violent bloodbath.

[51] Literally, "the Mount of Figs" and "the Mount of Olives", cf. Qur'án 95:1.

[52] Chosroes II, the Sasanian monarch who reigned in Persia during the lifetime of Muḥammad.

[53] Ḥájí Ja‘far-i-Tabrízí; he was prevented in time from ending his life.

[54] Siyyid Ismá‘íl of Zavárih.

[55] This second Tablet of Bahá'u'lláh addressing ‘Álí Páshá was revealed in Persian shortly after Bahá'u'lláh's arrival and confinement in ‘Akká.

[56] For an account of this incident see God Passes By, p. 182.

[57] A probable reference to the fire of Hocapaşa, which destroyed a large part of the city of Constantinople in 1865.

[58] The Lawḥ-i-Fu'ád was addressed to Shaykh Káẓim-i-Samandar of Qazvín, one of the apostles of Bahá'u'lláh. Its subject, the former Ottoman statesman Fu'ád Páshá, died in France in 1869. The letter names Káf and Ẓá refer to the K and Ẓ of Káẓim.

[59] cf. Qur'án 38:3.

[60] cf. Qur'án 13:13.

[61] cf. Qur'án 40:32.

[62] cf. Qur'án 38:12, 89:10.

[63] "heart" translates fu'ád, the given name of the Ottoman minister.

[64] Mírzá Mihdíy-i-Rashtí, a judge in Constantinople and supporter of Mírzá Yaḥyá.

[65] John 14:28.

[66] John 16:13.

[67] John 1:13.

[68] The French Ambassador in Constantinople.

[69] The Persian Ambassador in Constantinople.

[70] Qur'án 51:55.

[71] Qur'án 49:6.

[72] Qur'án 12:53.

[73] Qur'án 15:88.

[74] cf. Qur'án 77:20; 32:8.

[75] Qur'án 40:28.

[76] Qur'án 4:94.

[77] Qur'án 6:52.

[78] Qur'án 6:44.

[79] The Persian Consul-General in Baghdád.

[80] Qur'án 20:55.

[81] Al-Muqanna‘ of Khurásán (eighth century A.D.).

[82] Qur'án 4:94.




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