This tablet is not particularly long — a bit over 8 pages — but it is a
weighty work and a significant supplemental work to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
Five tablets reproduced in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh Revealed After the
have a similar structure: the Bishárát, Tarazat,
Kalimát-i-Firdawsiyyih, Tajallíyát, and Ishráqát. The structure consists of
an introduction, a series of numbered statements on aspects of the Faith,
and a conclusion. The Bishárát has by far the shortest introduction of the
five; just one paragraph (in the Ishráqát the opening material occupies more
pages than the numbered statements). In each case the tablet is named for
the name of the numbered statements; thus the Ishráqát has a series of
or splendors (-at is a feminine plural ending in Arabic; ishraq is
a feminine noun with its plural Ishráqát
In the case of the Bishárát, the statements are listed as "glad tidings." I
am not sure of this, so I will ask the Persian and Arabic experts: is "glad
tidings" the way "gospel" is translated into Arabic? It means good news,
just as "gospel" does.
The fifteen Glad-Tidings contain extremely important teachings of
Bahá'u'lláh. The first abolishes holy war; the second establishes
interfaith dialogue. The third supplements the call in the Aqdas for a
universal auxiliary language. The sixth calls for the establishment of the
Lesser Peace (which can also be found in the nineth leaf of the exalted
paradise, the Lawh-i-Dunyá, and the second ishraq).
I will add parenthetically that anyone who has the old Bahá'í World Faith
might want to compare the translation of the sixth Glad-Tidings on page 193
with the new translation in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
. The old
translation says "The sixth glad tidings is the Most Great Peace"; the new
translation says "The Sixth Glad-Tidings is the establishment of the Lesser
Peace." Big difference! A side-by-side translation quickly shows you how
much better the new translation — done under the auspices of the Universal
House of Justice and approved by them — is compared to the old.
The ninth Glad-Tidings is one of my favorite ones: it includes a prayer for
forgiveness of one's sins. This prayer is not in the prayerbook, as far as
I know. [It is not. - B.Z.]
The thirteenth Glad-Tidings is all about the members of the House of
Justice; again an example where Bahá'u'lláh supplements the Aqdas text. The
fifteenth Glad-Tidings is also remarkable; in it Bahá'u'lláh recommends
essentially the British form of government, with a monarch and a
democratically elected legislature. He repeats this in the Lawh-i-Dunyá
: "The system of government which the British people have adopted in
London appears to be good, for it is adorned with the light of both kingship
and of the consultation of the people").
Each of the fifteen Glad-Tidings requires meditation and comparison with
other tablets. Read it and enjoy.