“O thou who art with pain yet without peer! Afflicted in the sickbed though thou be…”

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a Tablet of ʻAbduʼl-Bahá, the original text of which is published in Bisháratu’n-Núr, pp. 15354.

He is God

O thou who art with pain yet without peer! Afflicted in the sickbed though thou be, captive to a myriad sorrows and troubles in the infirmary of calamities, be not saddened. Thy caregiver is ʻAbdu’l-Bahá, and that which comforteth thy heart is none other than the endless bestowals of the Abhá Beauty. In the light of His gracious outpourings and tender mercies, along with the caregiving of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá, what can there be to grieve about? What is there to pain or vex thee? A hundred thousand well-beings would offer themselves up for such an ailment as this; a multitude of vims and vigors stand in need of this disease and would sacrifice themselves for this malady. How well hath it been said:

Live free of love, for its peace
Is grief and sorrow at each breath.
It starteth but with ache and pain;
It endeth but with loss and death.[1]

This is not sickness, but a treasure—it is no illness, rather is it greatness—for it is endured in the path of affection for God, and sustained on the way of love for that intimate Beloved.

Our hearts will be as open shells
Should He the pearls of grace bestow;
Our lives will ready targets be
Were He to hurl the darts of woe.[2]

Render thanks unto God as much as thou canst, inasmuch as gratitude in times of adversity is a hallmark of the near ones and a trait of the sincerely devoted.

The glory of God rest upon thee.

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[1] From a poem by Ibn-i-Fáriḍ. This translation taken from Call of the Divine Beloved, p. 52.

[2] From a poem by Sanáʼí. This translation taken from Call of the Divine Beloved, p. 96.

A typescript of the original Persian and Arabic text of this Tablet appears below.

هـواللّه

ای دردمند بی‌مانند هر چند در بستر بیماری گرفتاری و در بیمارستان بلایا اسیر صدهزار غم و آزار، ولی محزون مباش، پرستارت عبدالبهاءست و نوازش قلبت الطاف بی‌پایان جمال ابهی. با وجود فیوضات و عنایات جمال ابهی و پرستاری عبدالبهاء، دیگر چه غمی و اَلَمی و کَـدَری. صدهزار صحّت فدای این علّت و هزاران سلامت و عافیت محتاج و قربان این رنجوری و کسالت. چه خوش گفته:

عِش خالیاً فَالحُبّ راحتُهُ عنا
و أوّلُهُ سُقمٌ و آخِرُهُ قتلٌ.

این رنجوری نیست، گنجوریست و این بیماری نیست، بزرگواریست. زیرا در سبیل محبّت حضرت تقدیس است و در راه عشق دلبر مونس انیس.

گر دُرّ عطا بخشد اینک صدفش جان‌ها
ور تیر بلا آید اینک هدفش دل‌ها

باری، تا توانی شکر نما، چه که شکر در موارد بلا از شِیَم مقرَّبین و خصائص مخلصین است. و البهاء علیک.

ع‌ع