“O candle of love! If thou wishest to be a kindled flame in the glass of the Abhá Kingdom…”

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a Tablet of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the original text of which has been published in Muntakhabátí az Makátíb-i-Ḥaḍrat-i-‘Abdu’l-Bahá, vol. 3, p. 182 (selection no. 254).

O candle of love! If thou wishest to be a kindled flame in the glass of the Abhá Kingdom, strive with self-sacrifice in this nethermost realm. If thou seekest to be immersed in the Most Great Ocean, become a wanderer in the desert of love. If thou art searching for the level of friendship enjoyed by Abraham, seek it in the fire of Nimrod with coolness and peace.[1] If the flame of the Mount and the glow of its light be the objects of thy quest, speed thou across the wilderness of Sinai with all thy heart. If the station of purity be the goal of thy search, offer up thy head and thy soul like unto John.[2] If thou desirest to inhale the sweet savors wafting from the Prince of Martyrs,[3] leave a trail of thy blood in the plain of Karbilá.[4] This is the rank of ardent lovers, and such is a description of them that fervently yearn.


[1] cf. Qur’án 21:69.

[2] That is, John the Baptist; cf. Qur’án 3:39.

[3] The Imám Ḥusayn.

[4] Where the Imám Ḥusayn was martyred.

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

ای شمع حبّ، اگر در زجاجه ملکوت ابهی شعله‌افروزی خواهی در اين ناسوت ادنی جانفشانی کن و اگر در بحر اعظم غوطه‌خوری جوئی در بيداء عشق سرگردان شو و اگر مقام خلّت طلبی در آتش نمرودی برداً و سلام جو و اگر شعله طور و لمعه نور جوئی در برّيّهء سيناء بجان بشتاب و اگر مقام حصوری جوئی چون يحيی سر و جان فدا نما و اگر نفحات سيّدالشّهدا استشمام خواهی در دشت کرب و بلا خون خويش سبيل کن هذا شأن العشّاق و هذا وصف المشتاق.