TABLET OF AHMAD (Arabic) - Revealed for Ahmad (of Yazd) - who earnestly
searched and found the Qa'im (Bab), as well as became a faithful and
devoted servant of Bahá'u'lláh. This Tablet was revealed around 1865
the Adrianople period of Bahá'u'lláh's exile.
Ahmad, like Munib (for whom the Suriy-i-Ashab was revealed) was sent to
Persia by Bahá'u'lláh to teach the Babis that 'Him Whom God shall make
manifest, as had been taught by the Bab', had come. When Bahá'u'lláh had
publicly announced His station in the Garden of Ridvan, Baghdad, He had
done so only to His family and companions. In Adrianople, much of his
Writings involved spreading the message that He is the Promised One. One
the ways He did this was through Tablets which were given to those
believers who possessed deep courage and great devotion for the Cause, and
therefore could be trusted with this honorable task.
This assignment will attempt to focus on and offer an analysis of the
figurative language which is used in the Tablet of Ahmad (Arabic). First,
the Tablet itself is divided into paragraphs (numbered 1 - 16). Each
paragraph will then be examined individually. The analysis will be
followed by a personal response to the Tablet, which also concludes the
1. He is the King, the All-Knowing, the Wise!
In this opening line, Bahá'u'lláh extols and exalts the station of God!
2. Lo, the Nightingale of Paradise singeth upon the twigs of the Tree of
Eternity, with holy and sweet melodies, proclaiming to the sincere ones
glad tidings of the nearness of God, calling the believers in the Divine
Unity to the court of the Presence of the Generous One, informing the
severed ones of the message which hath been revealed by God, the King, the
Glorious, the Peerless, guiding the lovers to the seat of sanctity and to
this resplendent Beauty.
Nightingale, refers to Bahá'u'lláh, Who is proclaiming the message of 'He
Whom God shall make manifest', has come. The 'Tree of Eternity' represents
the continuous and successive appearance of Prophets/Manifestations that
God sends for the continual spiritual education of mankind. Only the
sincere ones (those with spiritual insight, particularly those who have
obeyed the commands as set down by the Bab), will hear, recognize and
accept His (Bahá'u'lláh's) message and station, thereby acknowledging the
unity of the Prophets, as well as the Unity of God (Divine Unity). Yet, at
the same time, those who attempt to undermine the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh
(severed ones), are also informed of this Glorious Message.
3. Verily this is that Most Great Beauty, foretold in the Books of the
Messengers, through Whom truth shall be distinguished from error and the
wisdom of every command shall be tested. Verily He is the Tree of Life
that bringeth forth the fruits of God, the Exalted, the Powerful, the
Bahá'u'lláh is announcing that He is the Promised One (that Most Great
Beauty), the One foretold by the Bab as 'He Whom God shall make manifest'.
Those who are pure-hearted, and are treading a path of true search, will
distinguished from those whose veils prevent them from recognizing Him,
are thus walking a path of error. Bahá'u'lláh represents that 'Tree of
Life' Who brings to mankind 'the fruits of God' (i.e. spiritual guidance
and divine knowledge), which humanity needs so as to progress within a
spiritual reality, continually advancing in this world, with the goal of
growing closer to God. In this passage it can be perceived that
is making a reference to progressive revelation, particularly as the
Tablet's main objective is to teach the Babis about His Revelation
(foretold in the Books of the Messengers), while at the same time He
and exalts the station of the Bab.
4. O Ahmad! Bear thou witness that verily He is God and there is no God
but Him, the King, the Protector, the Incomparable, the Omnipotent. And
that the One Whom He hath sent forth by the name of Ali(1) was the true
from God, to Whose commands we are all conforming.
In this paragraph, Bahá'u'lláh directly converses with Ahmad, telling him
that in teaching the Babis his actions should testify to and demonstrate
that, Bahá'u'lláh, like the other Babis, is following the teachings of the
Bab. In proclaiming His station, Bahá'u'lláh is not denying or diminishing
the Bab's exalted station as a Manifestation of God.
5. Say: O people be obedient to the ordinances of God, which have been
enjoined in the Bayan by the Glorious, the Wise One. Verily He is the King
of the Messengers and His Book is the Mother Book did ye but know.
Here Bahá'u'lláh specifies what Ahmad has to convey to the Babis. They
to examine and be obedient to that which the Bab has revealed in the
Bahá'u'lláh refers to the Bab as the 'King of the Messengers'.
6. Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He
hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn
aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to
Nightingale refers to Bahá'u'lláh, Who is counselling the Babis from
Adrianople (remote prison), through this Tablet (and therefore through
Ahmad). On examining the Bayan, the Babis can determine whether
is Who He says He is, and if indeed He is 'The One Whom God shall make
manifest'. Having made a determination, they can choose to embrace the
Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, or reject Him. If, however, the choice is not to
follow Him, they are also rejecting the Bab and the beliefs to which they
hold. Again, the connection between the Manifestations (i. e. Bab and
Bahá'u'lláh), can be perceived as a refence to the progressiveness of
Religion and divine guidance.
7. O people, if ye deny these verses, by what proof have ye believed in
God? Produce it, O assemblage of false ones.
Bahá'u'lláh challenges those who deny Him, as incapable of producing proof
against His station and mission, therefore, their denial violates belief
God. The Creative Word, revealed by Him, is directly from God, and there
no greater proof than this. The divinely Revealed Word has a power that no
other written work has, and therefore, Its influence is far greater.
8. Nay, by the One in Whose hand is my soul, they are not, and never shall
be able to do this, even should they combine to assist one another.
Bahá'u'lláh, emphatically states that there is no greater proof of His
station (beyond Himself and His Revelation). The following passage of
Bahá'u'lláh is offered to further elucidate this point:
`O ye peoples of the earth! Turn yourselves towards Him Who hath turned
towards you. He, verily, is the Face of God amongst you, and His Testimony
and His Guide unto you. He hath come to you with signs which none can
produce.' The voice of the Burning Bush is raised in the midmost heart of
the world, and the Holy Spirit calleth aloud among the nations: `Lo, the
Desired One is come with manifest dominion!'
(Bahá'u'lláh: Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, Page: 48)
9. O Ahmad! Forget not My bounties while I am absent. Remember My days
during thy days, and My distress and banishment in this remote prison. And
be thou so steadfast in My love that thy heart shall not waver, even if
swords of the enemies rain blows upon thee and all the heavens and the
earth arise against thee.
Bahá'u'lláh counsels Ahmad, when confronted with difficulties and he feels
alone whilst carrying out this mission, to call to mind His struggles and
distress in Adrianople. Even though he is not with Bahá'u'lláh, Ahmad
should remain steadfast, as he is always under the guidance and assistance
of Bahá'u'lláh. He should remain steadfast in his love for Bahá'u'lláh,
particularly when he is faced with ridicule and denial of Bahá'u'lláh's
proclamation ("swords of the enemies rain blows upon thee) as this
steadfast love will help him overcome whatever afflictions he faces (of
course, this counsel also holds true for everyone else).
10. Be thou as a flame of fire to My enemies and a river of life eternal
My loved ones, and be not of those who doubt.
A flame of fire - this is a reference to Ahmad's strength of conviction as
a follower of Bahá'u'lláh and a teacher of His Cause, insofar as he should
be undisturbed by the denials and denouncement of Bahá'u'lláh's
proclamation. He should remain unaffected by the followers of Mirza Yahya.
He should not succumb to doubt. Those who wish to instill doubt in the
minds of others, and are succesful, have the power to manipulate the
weakness of others. Failing to establish doubt (and therefore have no
power), is an indication of the strength of conviction the individual has,
particularly Ahmad, who has complete certitude about the station of
Bahá'u'lláh. Ahmad's certitude serves as a strength to those who, despite
the attempts of the unfaithful ones, have declared their belief in
Bahá'u'lláh (in this way Ahmad is a "river of life eternal to My loved
11. And if thou art overtaken by affliction in My path, or degradation for
My sake, be not thou troubled thereby.
Should he (Ahmad) face affliction or degradation while teaching the Faith
of Bahá'u'lláh, he should not be deterred from his task.
12. Rely upon God, thy God and the Lord of thy fathers. For the people are
wandering in the paths of delusion, bereft of discernment to see God with
their own eyes, or hear His Melody with their own ears. Thus have We found
them, as thou also dost witness.
Ahmad should place his reliance and trust in God. He will find those Babis
who have allowed themselves to be influenced by Mirza Yahya, thereby
depriving themselves of the ability to recognize God's Manifestation and
His Revelation, as they have placed their reliance and faith in someone
other than God.
13. Thus have their superstitions become veils between them and their own
hearts and kept them from the path of God, the Exalted, the Great.
As a result of not placing reliance in God, and following the false lead
Mirza Yahya, these Babis have established veils and barriers which have
prevented them from following the path of God.
14. Be thou assured in thyself that verily, he who turns away from this
Beauty hath also turned away from the Messengers of the past and showeth
pride towards God from all eternity to all eternity.
In this passage Bahá'u'lláh clearly refers to Progressive Revelation. He
states that those who reject and refute His Message, are not only denying
His Cause, but the Religions of the past as well, and ultimately, they are
15. Learn well this Tablet, O Ahmad. Chant it during thy days and withhold
not thyself therefrom. For verily, God hath ordained for the one who
it, the reward of a hundred martyrs and a service in both worlds. These
favors have We bestowed upon thee as a bounty on Our part and a mercy from
Our presence, that thou mayest be of those who are grateful.
Bahá'u'lláh counsels Ahmad to "Learn well this Tablet", and not to cease
chanting it. He assures Ahmad, and ultimately anyone who does so, there
is great reward ordained by God in honoring His (Bahá'u'lláh's) counsel.
magnitude and depth of meaning with regard to understanding"The reward of
hundred martyrs and a service in both worlds", is incomprehensible to the
average individual. If anything, the reward mentioned, may serve purely as
a means of conveying the hidden power within this Tablet, and that it's
spiritual depth will be unfolded to the one who faithfully obeys
Bahá'u'lláh's command to chant it. We are informed that it is by the grace
and bounty of God that He has bestowed His favors on mankind, and for that
we need to be always grateful.
16. By God! Should one who is in affliction or grief read this Tablet
with absolute sincerity, God will dispel his sadness, solve his
difficulties and remove his afflictions.
Verily, He is the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to God, the
Lord of all the worlds.
- Bahá'u'lláh (Bahá'í Prayers (US), Pages: 210-214)
In chanting this Tablet, Bahá'u'lláh tells us all that sadness will be
eliminated, difficulties will be solved, and tribulations (afflictions)
will be removed. However, it cannot be overlooked that in order for the
individual to receive these benefits, this Tablet needs to be read with
sincerity. As a result, therefore, one needs to try to understand what is
meant by sincerity. As people, with faults and shortcomings, we aspire to
various levels of behavior. This being the case, it would be rather
difficult to determine when one is at the accepted level of sincerity, in
order to qualify to read this Tablet. Perhaps sincerity means having
unquestioned faith in the power of this Tablet, place absolute trust in
Bahá'u'lláh, turn to Him and believe that divine guidance will be bestowed
upon mankind. After all, God (Who is the Lord of all worlds) is Merciful
and Compassionate, and for that, at least, we praise Him.
PERSONAL RESPONSE and conclusion
In reading the history associated with Ahmad, his sincere feelings of love
and loyalty for Bahá'u'lláh deeply touches my heart. His obedience, as a
believer in Bahá'u'lláh, serves as an admirable example that all of us as
Bahá'ís can turn to and draw strength from, particularly with regard to
executing the Four Year Plan (teaching). Ahmad's obedience to
call to spread His message, at a time when he was so close to being with
Bahá'u'lláh again, demonstrates his selflessness and degree of service. It
is his sincerity of faith that first led him to recognize Bahá'u'lláh in
Baghdad, and that same faith led him to turn away from his selfish need to
be with Bahá'u'lláh, so as to teach the Faith to the Babis in Persia.
The Arabic Tablet conveys a strong sense of love, sincerity, faith and
servitude that is to be found in an individual (in this case, Ahmad).
are the desired and exemplary traits that a follower of Bahá'u'lláh needs
to possess and manifest. In the Persian Tablet, however, one sees an
individual (in this case, another Ahmad), who displays undesirable traits
of behavior. Bahá'u'lláh counsels him to a goodly character and conduct.
Despite this, however, Ahmad becomes prideful and turns away from
It is of interest that Bahá'u'lláh revealed these two Tablets at the same
time, to two people with the same name. One is exemplary, the other is
not. The combined behaviors can be found in any one individual. The
individual, however, has within his/her control the ability to determine
which path to follow (i.e. accept the Manifestation, be obedient to the
commands, followed by teaching the Faith, or not). The significance of the
Tablet of Ahmad (Arabic), for me, is that the obligation of teaching the
Faith which Ahmad honored, equally applies to Bahá'ís today. In the words
And be thou so steadfast in My love that thy heart shall not
waver, even if
the swords of the enemies rain blows upon thee and all the heavens and the
earth arise against thee.
Be thou as a flame of fire to My enemies and a river of life eternal to My
loved ones, and be not of those who doubt.
And if thou art overtaken by affliction in My path, or degradation for My
sake, be not thou troubled thereby.
Rely upon God, thy God and the Lord of thy fathers.
(Bahá'u'lláh: Bahá'í Prayers (US), Page: 212)
How steadfast am I?