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TAGS: Lawh-i-Malikih (Tablet to Queen Victoria); Tablets to kings and rulers
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Compiled by Mehdi Wolf (2001) from Bahá'í Scriptures and the selection of passages translated by Shoghi Effendi found in The Proclamation of Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf and Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh.

Tablet to Queen Victoria (Lawh-i-Malikih)

by Bahá'u'lláh

translated by Shoghi+Effendi and Anonymous
n.d. []
date of original: 1868
O Queen in London![1][2]

      Incline thine ear unto the voice of thy Lord, the Lord of all mankind, calling from the Divine Lote-Tree: Verily, no God is there but Me, the Almighty, the All-Wise! Cast away all that is on earth, and attire the head of thy kingdom with the crown of the remembrance of thy Lord, the All-Glorious. He, in truth, hath come unto the world in His most great glory, and all that hath been mentioned in the Gospel hath been fulfilled. The land of Syria hath been honoured by the footsteps of its Lord, the Lord of all men, and North and South are both inebriated with the wine of His presence. Blessed is the man that inhaled the fragrance of the Most Merciful, and turned unto the Dawning-Place of His Beauty, in this resplendent Dawn. The Mosque of `Aqsá vibrateth through the breezes of its Lord, the All-Glorious whilst Bathá (Mecca) trembleth at the voice of God, the Exalted, the Most High. Whereupon every single stone of them celebrateth the praise of the Lord, through this Great Name.

      Lay aside thy desire, and set then thine heart towards thy Lord, the Ancient of Days. We make mention of thee for the sake of God, and desire that thy name may be exalted through thy remembrance of God, the Creator of earth and heaven. He, verily, is witness unto that which I say. We have been informed that thou hast forbidden the trading in slaves, both men and women. This, verily, is what (PB p. 34) God hath enjoined in this wondrous Revelation. God hath, truly, destined a reward for thee, because of this. He, verily, will pay the doer of good his due recompense, wert thou to follow what hath been sent unto thee by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. As to him who turneth aside, and swelleth with pride, after that the clear tokens have come unto him, from the Revealer of signs, his work shall God bring to naught. He, in truth, hath power over all things. Man's actions are acceptable after his having recognized (the Manifestation). He that turneth aside from the True One is indeed the most veiled amongst His creatures. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Almighty, the Most Powerful.

      We have also heard that thou hast entrusted the reins of counsel into the hands of the representatives of the people. Thou, indeed, hast done well, for thereby the foundations of the edifice of thine affairs will be strengthened, and the hearts of all that are beneath thy shadow, whether high or low, will be tranquillized. It behoveth them, however, to be trustworthy among His servants, and to regard themselves as the representatives of all that dwell on earth. This is what counselleth them, in this Tablet, He Who is the Ruler, the All-Wise. And[3] if any one of them directeth himself towards the Assembly, let him turn his eyes unto the Supreme Horizon, and say: 'O my God! I ask Thee, by Thy most glorious Name, to aid me in that which will cause the affairs of Thy servants to prosper, and Thy cities to flourish. Thou, indeed, hast power over all things!' Blessed is he that entereth the Assembly for the sake of God, and judgeth between (ESW p. 62) men with pure justice. He, indeed, is of the blissful.

      O ye members of Assemblies in that land and in other countries! Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that which profiteth mankind, and bettereth the condition thereof, if ye be of them that scan heedfully. Regard the world as the human body which, though at its creation whole and perfect, hath been afflicted, through various causes, with grave disorders and maladies. Not for one day did it gain ease, nay, its sickness waxed more severe, as it fell under the treatment of ignorant physicians, who gave full rein to their personal desires, and have erred grievously. And if at one time, through the care of an able physician, a member of that body was healed, the rest remained afflicted as before. Thus informeth you the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. We behold it, in this day, at the mercy of rulers, so drunk with pride that they cannot discern clearly their own best advantage, much less recognize a Revelation so bewildering and challenging as this. And[4] if one of them endeavor to better his health, his intention will not be but to profit himself thereof whether by name or effect, therefore he will not be able to heal him save to a certain extent.

That[5] which God hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith. This can in no wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful, and inspired (ESW p. 63) Physician. By My life! This is the truth, and all else naught but error. Each time that Most Mighty Instrument hath come, and that Light shone forth from the Ancient Dayspring, He was withheld by ignorant physicians who, even as clouds, interposed themselves between Him and the world. It failed therefore, to recover, and its sickness hath persisted until this day. They indeed were powerless to protect it, or to effect a cure, whilst He Who hath been the Manifestation of Power amongst men was withheld from achieving His purpose, by reason of what the hands of the ignorant physicians have wrought.

      Consider these days in which He Who is the Ancient Beauty hath come in the Most Great Name, that He may quicken the world and unite its peoples. They, however, rose up against Him with sharpened swords, and committed that which caused the Faithful Spirit to lament, until in the end they imprisoned Him in the most desolate of cities, and broke the grasp of the faithful upon the hem of His robe. Were anyone to tell them: 'The World Reformer is come,' they would answer and say: 'Indeed it is proven that He is a fomenter of discord!', and this notwithstanding that they have never associated with Him, and have perceived that He did not seek, for one moment, to protect Himself. At all times He was at the mercy of the wicked doers. At one time they cast Him into prison, at another they banished Him, and at yet (ESW p. 64) another hurried Him from land to land. Thus have they pronounced judgment against Us, and God, truly, is aware of what I say. They[6] are the most ignorant people: before the truth, they cut off their arms but do not feel, deprive themselves of the good, but do not know it, and they are likened unto the small boys who cannot distinguish between the corrupter and the reformer, the good and the evil; verily We see them behind the thick veil of ignorance.

      O ye rulers of the earth![7] Wherefore have ye clouded the radiance of the Sun, and caused it to cease from shining? Hearken unto the counsel given you by the Pen of the Most High, that haply both ye and the poor may attain unto tranquillity and peace. We beseech God to assist the kings of the earth to establish peace on earth. He, verily, doth what He willeth.

      O kings of the earth! We see you increasing every year your expenditures, and laying the burden thereof on your subjects. This, verily, is wholly and grossly unjust. Fear the sighs and tears of this wronged One, and lay not excessive burdens on your peoples. Do not rob them to rear palaces for yourselves; nay rather choose for them that which ye choose for yourselves. Thus We unfold to your eyes (GWB p. 254) that which profiteth you, if ye but perceive. Your people are your treasures. Beware lest your rule violate the commandments of God, and ye deliver your wards to the hands of the robber. By them ye rule, by their means ye subsist, by their aid ye conquer. Yet, how disdainfully ye look upon them! How strange, how very strange!

      Now that ye have refused the Most Great Peace, hold ye fast unto this, the Lesser Peace, that haply ye may in some degree better your own condition and that of your dependents.

      O rulers of the earth! Be reconciled among yourselves, that ye may need no more armaments save in a measure to safeguard your territories and dominions. Beware lest ye disregard the counsel of the All-Knowing, the Faithful.

      Be united, O kings of the earth, for thereby will the tempest of discord be stilled amongst you, and your peoples find rest, if ye be of them that comprehend. Should any one among you take up arms against another, rise ye all against him, for this is naught but manifest justice. Thus[8] We have admonished you in the Tablet which We sent to you, on another occasion; therefore follow that which hath been revealed on the part of the Precious, the Wise. Should any (BS p. 115) one seek refuge in your shadow, have him protected and betray him not, thus admonisheth you the Supreme Pen, on the part of one Learned and Wise. Beware, lest ye commit what was committed by the King of Islám when We came unto him by his command, and on that event his representatives pronounced sentence against Us with such injustice that all things lamented and the hearts of those who are near to God were burned; and the winds of lust moved as they listed, and We did not find on their part any stability or steadiness, -- are they not of those who stray madly?

      O thou ancient pen! Withhold the pen and let them wander in the dust of their imaginations; then remember the Queen, perhaps she will turn with the purest heart to the most great Outlook. Prevent her eyes from looking but to the region of her Lord, the king of fate, and peruse all that which hath been revealed in the Tablets and Books on the part of the creator of human beings by whom the sun hath been darkened and the moon eclipsed, and whose voice hath been raised between the earth and heavens. O Queen![9]

      Turn thou unto God and say: O my Sovereign Lord! I am but a vassal of Thine, and Thou art, in truth, the King of Kings. I have lifted my suppliant hands unto the heaven (PB p. 35) of Thy grace and Thy bounties. Send down, then, upon me from the clouds of Thy generosity that which will rid me of all save Thee, and draw me nigh unto Thyself. I beseech Thee, O my Lord, by Thy name, which Thou hast made the king of names, and the manifestation of Thyself to all who are in heaven and on earth, to rend asunder the veils that have intervened between me and my recognition of the Dawning-Place of Thy signs and the Day Spring of Thy Revelation. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the All-Powerful, the All-Bounteous. Deprive me not, O my Lord, of the fragrances of the Robe of Thy mercy in Thy days, and write down for me that which Thou hast written down for thy handmaidens who have believed in Thee and in Thy signs, and have recognized Thee, and set their hearts towards the horizon of Thy Cause. Thou art truly the Lord of the worlds and of those who show mercy the Most Merciful. Assist me, then, O my God, to remember Thee amongst Thy handmaidens, and to aid Thy Cause in Thy lands. Accept, then, that which hath escaped me when the light of Thy countenance shone forth. Thou, indeed, hast power over all things. Glory be to Thee, O Thou in Whose hand is the kingdom of the heavens and of the earth.
Notes and excerpts from other translations
    [1] Sources for this work in the original Arabic, and references: Leiden Ms Or 4970 34r-37r; Athár-i-Qalam-i A`lá Vol. 1, 61-66; Alvah/Brazil pp. 131-141 (and reproduced in Bahá'í Studies Bulletin 7:3-4, pp. 11-21); Kitáb al-Haykal; partially in Rosen 2 pp. 147-8; Alvah-i Nazilih p. 122(c).

    The text of this translation of the Lawh-i-Malikih [Ar. al-Lawh al-Malikah] is assembled from the translation in Bahá'í Scriptures: Selections from the Utterances of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá (Horace Holley, ed. Bahá'í Scriptures: Selections from the Utterances of Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Second Ed. [New York: Brentano`s, 1928]), and the selection of passages translated by Shoghi Effendi found in The Proclamation of Bahá`u`lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf and Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá`u`lláh. The electronic text of Bahá`í Scriptures was taken from the Bahá`í Library; the selections of the Tablet translated by Shoghi Effendi and published in the aforementioned volumns were all captured from Archive files, re-paragraphed and then incorporated into the text of the Bahá`í Scriptures translation; finally, the whole text was re-formatted and the title page and columns were added. Note: the rejected sections from the Bahá`í Scriptures translation are found at the end of the present file.

    [2] This first part of the Tablet is translated by Shoghi Effendi and published in The Proclamation of Bahá`u`lláh. pp. 33-4. The passage is rendered in Bahá`í Scriptures as follows:
    O Queen in London! Hear the voice of thy Lord, the king of creatures, from the Divine Lote Tree that "There is no God but Me, the precious, the wise." Lay aside what is on earth; then adorn the head of dominion with the diadem of the celebration of thy glorious Lord. Verily He hath come into the world with His most great glory, and that which was mentioned in the gospel hath been fulfilled. The land of Syria hath been honored by the advance of its Lord, the king of men, and the exhilaration of the wine of union hath seized upon the regions of south and north, -- blessed is he who discovereth the scent of the Merciful, and advanceth to the dawning place of Beauty in this clear morning. By the breaths of their Lord, El-Abhá, and the voice of God, the exalted. (BS p. 112) The Masjid al-`Asqá [the Further Mosque in Jerusalem] and the baths (probably Mecca) have shaken with joy, and every pebble of the earth praiseth the Lord by this most great name.

    Lay aside thy desire -- then advance with thy heart to thy Lord, the ancient; Verily we remind thee for the sake of God, and we wish that thy name be exalted in the mention of thy Lord, the creator of the earth and heaven; and He is indeed the witness of all I say. It hath reached us that thou hast forbidden the selling of slaves and hand-maidens; this is what God hath commanded in this marvellous Manifestation. God hath recorded unto thee the reward of this; verily He is the discharger of the reward of the well-doers. Follow that which hath been sent unto thee on the part of one learned and wise; and the one who turneth away and maketh himself great after the proofs have come unto him on the part of the revealer of the signs, verily God will frustrate all his plans; and He is the powerful over all things. The actions and deeds will be accepted after coming (to the truth), and the one who turneth away from it, is indeed of those who are the most ignorant; thus hath it been decreed on the part of the powerful, the able.

    And We have heard that thou hast entrusted the reins of deliberation into the hands of the commonwealth. Thou hast done well, for thereby the bases of the edifices of all affairs are made firm, and the hearts of those who are under thy shadow (protection), both of the high and low, become tranquil. But it behooves them to be as trustees amongst the servants of God, and to regard themselves as guardians over whosoever is in all the earth. This is that whereby they are admonished in this Tablet on the part of one who is the overseer and the wise.
    [3] At this point, Shoghi Effendi`s translation from Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 61-4, begins. The section is rendered in Bahá`í Scriptures (pp. 112-13) as follows:
    When any one turns toward the assembly, let him turn his glance to the Supreme Horizon, and say, "O God, I ask Thee by Thy most splendid name, to assist me unto that whereby the affairs of Thy servants may prosper, and Thy countries may flourish; verily Thou art powerful over all things." Blessed is he who entereth the assembly in the regard of God, and judgeth betwixt man with pure justice; is he not of those who prosper?

    O ye leaders of assemblies, whether there or in some other country, think of results and speak of that whereby the world and its conditions may be reformed; were ye of those who deliberate. Look upon the world as the body of a man which was created sound and whole, but diseases have attacked him from various and divers causes and his soul is not at ease for a day, but (BS p. 113) rather his sickness increaseth, in that he hath fallen under the control of unskillful physicians who are hurried away by vain desires and are of those who stray madly. And if one limb of his limbs becomes sound in one age of the ages, through a skillful physician, the other limbs remain as they were; thus doth the wise and knowing One inform you. And today we see him under the hands of those who are taken by the intoxification of the wine of deceits in such manner that they do not know what is best for themselves, how much more, then, for this arduous and grave matter!
    [4] Translation from Baha`í Scriptures, p. 113.

    [5] At this point, Shoghi Effendi`s translation from Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 61-4, continues. The section from Bahá`í Scriptures (pp. 113-4) is as follows:
    And that which God hath made the most mighty remedy and the most complete means for its health is the union of whosoever is upon the earth in a single matter, and a single law. This can never be possible except through a skillful physician, perfect and strengthened by God. By My life, this is the truth, and aught else is nothing but evident error.

    And whenever this most great Physician hath come and the light hath shone forth from the ancient Dawning-place, these false physicians strive to hinder and prevent Him, and become as clouds between Him and the world; therefore he will not recover from his sickness, but will continue in his infirmity until death. Verily they were not able to protect him and preserve his health, and He who was the manifestation of might among the creatures was prevented of what He desired by that which the hands of the false physicians had wrought. Look on these days wherein the Beauty of the Ancient hath come with the Most Great Name for the life of the people of the world and their unison, how they rose against Him with sharpened sword and committed that which was dreaded by the faithful spirit, until they confined Him to the most desolate of lands and thus the hands of the truthseekers were prevented from grasping His robe. It was said unto them, "The Reformer of the world hath come."They replied: "It hath been ascertained that He is one of those who work sedition." Nevertheless they never had any friendly intercourse with Him and they saw that He did not preserve Himself, but in all times He was amongst the hands of the people of tyranny; once they imprisoned Him and another time brought Him out, and another time traversed the country over with Him, thus also they pronounced sentence upon us (BS p. 114) and God is the witness of what I say...

    [6] Translation in Bahá`í Scriptures resumes, p. 114.

    [7] Translation by Shoghi Effendi in Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá`u`lláh, Section CXIX, pp. 253-4. The same passage in Baha`í Scriptures is rendered as follows:
    O assembly of princes, chiefs, and lords! Why did ye become as clouds in the face of the sun and prevent Him from giving forth His effulgence? Lend your ears unto that whereof the Supreme admonisheth you, that your souls may be at rest, then those of the poor and humble. We ask God that He will keep the kings at peace, verily He is able to do what He willeth.

    O assembly of kings! Verily We see you increasing your expenditure every year and placing the burden thereof on your subjects; this is naught but manifest injustice. Fear the sight of the oppressed and his tears, and do not burden your subjects above that which they can bear, neither ruin them to build up your palaces. Choose for them that which ye choose for yourselves; thus do We expound unto you that which will profit you if ye are of those who inquire. They are your treasuries and beware lest ye exercise over them that which God hath never exercise, and entrust such treasuries into the hands of thieves; by them ye eat, rule and conquer, and still you make yourselves great against them. Verily, this is naught but an astonishment.

    Having rejected this Most Great Peace it behooveth you to be at peace among yourselves, perchance your affairs may be improved thereby, and also the affairs of those who are under your shadow, to a certain extent.

    O assembly of rulers, improve the accordance among you, then you will not be in need of many soldiers and their accoutrements save to a certain degree whereof ye will protect your empire and countries; and beware lest ye lay aside that of which ye were admonished on the part of the Learned, the Faithful.

    Be united, O assembly of kings, for by this, the winds of disagreement existing among you will subside, and your subjects and those who are around you will be at rest, were ye of those who know! If a certain one amongst you should rise against the other, arise all of you and oppose him, for this is nought but manifest justice.
    [8] Translation in Bahá`í Scriptures resumes here, p. 114-5.

    [9] The translation from Shoghi Effendi, The Proclamation of Bahá`u`lláh, p. 34-5, resumes and continues to the end. The Baha`í Scriptures rendering is as follows:
    O Queen, advance to God and say, "O my king! I am the servant and Thou art the King of Kings; I have lifted up the hands of hope to the heaven of Thy bounty and gifts, therefore send down upon me from the clouds of Thy generosity, that which will cut me from all else but Thee and bring me nearer unto Thee. O my God! I ask thee by Thy name, which Thou hast made the sultan of names and the manifestation of Thyself to whosoever is in earth and heaven, to rend asunder the veils which intervene between me and the knowledge of the dawning place of Thy signs and the rising-place of Thy revelation. Thou art the powerful, the precious, the generous. O my God! Deprive me not of the fragrances of the garment of Thy mercy in Thy days, and record unto me that which Thou hast recorded unto thy servants who have believed in Thee and Thy signs, and attained to the knowledge of Thyself, and advanced with their hearts to the horizon of Thy command; Thou art the Lord of the worlds, and the most merciful of the merciful, and strengthen me, O my God, to mention Thee amongst Thy servants, and to assist Thy matter in Thy region, then accept from me that which has passed me on the occasion of the shining of the light of Thy face. Thou art powerful over all things, and to Thee is El-Bahá, O Thou in whose hand is the kingdom of the possessions of the earth and heaven."
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