Authenticity of Prayers and Tablets
by / on behalf of Universal House of Justicepublished in American Bahá'í
From time to time the National Spiritual Assembly receives letters from Bahá'ís or local Spiritual Assemblies about the authenticity of certain prayers or "tablets" that are circulated in typed form.
The Research Department of the Universal House of Justice is asked to check these writings for authenticity. The following works that commonly circulate in the Bahá'í community are not authentic:
"Fourth Dimensional Consciousness" and other instructions to Marie Watson. This so-called tablet from 'Abdu'l-Bahá is erroneous; Shoghi Effendi has stated that it is not a work by 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
"O God! Give me knowledge, faith and love...." This prayer was written by Ibrahim Kheiralla, a Covenant-breaker; he attributed it, however, to Bahá'u'lláh.
"Hold Thou my right arm, O God! and dwell continually with me. Guide me to the fountain of Thy knowledge and encircle me with Thy glory...." Another prayer written by Ibrahim Kheiralla and attributed by him to Bahá'u'lláh.
The Significance of the Greatest Name, beginning "Ya Baha'u'l-Abha! The cry that renovates the soul...on that cry are all the cries of the universe sounded." The Research Department has not been able to find, either in English or Persian, such statements attributed to 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
The Marriage Tablet, beginning "The bond that unite hearts most perfectly is loyalty..." This is not a tablet at all, but is an unauthenticated record by Ahmad Sohrab of a talk by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The friends may use it, but it should be made clear that this is not Bahá'í scripture.
"There is a power in this cause, a mysterious power, far, far beyond the ken of men and angels...." This passage is from Ahmad Sohrab's diary and should be considered as interesting material, but not as scripture.
"O Lord! Open Thou the door, provide the means...." This is a free translation of part of a prayer revealed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the friends in Tehran, incomplete, and unfortunately, even erroneous.
"Oh God! Make me a teacher in Thy Cause...." This prayer cannot be confirmed as authentic as no original has been found.
"O Our God! We beg of Thee...that Thou wilt guide us always...and that we may ever be strong and fully prepared to render instant, exact and complete obedience." This prayer cannot be confirmed as authentic as no original has been found.
"My strength is the assistance of the Blessed Perfection...." From the pilgrim's notes of Julia Grundy, Ten Days in the Light of Akka, p. 63.
"Fill Thou, O God, our home with harmony and happiness, with laughter and delight...." Attributed to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, but in fact it is three short supplications that appear on pages 147 and 148 of The Mission of Bahá'u'lláh by Hand of the Cause George Townshend.
There are other statements that are informally copied by the friends that may not be authentic. If you have any questions, please contact the Research Office at the Bahá'í National Center.
Transmitted by email
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
Your email of 27 January 2000 to the Universal House of Justice has been received and referred to our Department for reply. In response to your question concerning the prayer which begins: "O my Glorious Lord! Help me to refrain from every irregular inclination...", the Research Department at the Bahá'í World Centre has not yet located the original text for this prayer, and hence its authenticity is in question. Although the prayer appeared in early prayer books and in World Order magazine, May 1940, it is not being included in new publications.
Department of the Secretariat