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Short two-paragraph tablet to, and prayer on behalf of, an individual believer (translated by the recipient himself).

Tablet to Ibráhím George Kheiralla

by Abdu'l-Bahá

translated by Ibrahim George Kheiralla
To Ibráhím, whom God confirmed!

     Verily, We heard your supplications, and granted them to you with such remembrance, whereby the hearts will be attracted unto thee. We command thee and My redeemers (those who redeemed themselves) to be charitable, upright and pious, holding fast to that which will draw you nearer unto God your Lord, and the Lord of all the worlds.

     Say: Praise be to thee, O God my Lord; I ask of Thee, by Thy prophets, Thy chosen and Thy redeemers, to send down upon me, from the heaven of Thy Bounty, Thy special Providence and Thy particular Mercy; and open, before my face, the doors of Thy gifts and blessings.

  1. This text was first printed, along with a facsimile of the original Tablet, on pp. 544-45 of Kheiralla's book Beha'u'lláh (1900); tablet reprinted in Robert Stockman's The Bahá'í Faith in America vol. I: Origins: 1892-1900, pp. 22-23. The Universal House of Justice, in a message written on its behalf to Stockman dated March 25 1984, states: "As neither the original nor a verified copy [of Kheiralla's Tablet] is held at the World Centre, it cannot be authenticated, although there is no reason to believe Kheiralla's assertion [that he received the Tablet from Bahá'u'lláh] is untrue" (Stockman, 206n20, emphasis added).
  2. Ibráhím George Kheiralla [Khayru'lláh] (1849-1929) was a Christian Arab doctor, originally from Lebanon, later educated at the Syrian Protestent College in present-day Beirut, who learned of the Bahá'ís in Cairo. He was brought into the Faith by Hájí 'Abdu'l-Karím-i-Tihrání. Upon his conversion, Tihrání likely forwarded Khayru'lláh's testimony of faith to Bahá'u'lláh and, it would seem, he received this Tablet in response. In December, 1892, Khayru'lláh journeyed to New York to promote one of his business interests, but also to begin a systematic campaign of teaching the new Faith through what he called "Truth Seeker" classes. In February, 1894, he moved to Chicago, where he resumed his teaching activities in earnest. One of those who embraced the Faith as a result of his efforts was Howard MacNutt, who later compiled the 3-volumn set, The Promulgation of Universal Peace. In 1895, Khayru'lláh moved again to Kenosha, where a community of hundreds soon arose. Because of these victories, Khayru'lláh was given the titles, "Bahá's Peter," "the Second Columbus" and "Conqueror of America," by 'Abdu'l-Bahá'. However, many of the teachings he promulgated were at variance with the Holy Texts, and he became enamoured with leadership, believing that he would soon be guiding the community of the believers in the West. In December 1898, he journeyed to 'Akká in Palestine with Mrs. Phoebe Hearst and other American believers, where he witnessed the wise stewardship of the Master firsthand, and realized that his dream was impossible. Upon his return to America a year later (December 1899), he threw his lot in with the Arch-Breaker of the Covenant, Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí. In his book, Beha'u'lláh (from which this text is taken), Khayru'lláh argued that 'Abdu'l-Bahá's brothers, Mírzá Diyá'u'lláh, Mírzá Muhammad-'Alí and Mírzá Badí'u'lláh were of equal rank to the Master. The vast majority of the American believers, even those who he himself had taught, forsook him completely following his rebellion against the Covenant. Following the passing of the Master, for almost ten years, he witnessed many of the early victories of the Cause, and he died in obscurity. (MW's note, based on information in Balyuzi, Hasan. 'Abdu'l-Bahá': The Center of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh. Oxford: George Ronald, 1987.)
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