“…Healing is given by the hand of God, and His Will is the highest aspiration of the people of Baha…”

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 has not been published; a facsimile of it was kindly supplied to me by Emad Talisman. The Tablet is addressed to one of the daughters of a certain Karbaláʼí Ḥusayn Istahbánatí—possibly his third daughter, Ḍíyáʼíyyih, the sister of Ṭúbá “Khánum” Iblághí (Eblaghi), for whom this Tablet of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was written. Ḍíyáʼíyyih was ill at the time and eventually died at a young age. 

“O my Companion in the prison!”*

He is God

O handmaid of God! Thy letter was received. Sorrow not, neither be thou sad. Healing is given by the hand of God, and His Will is the highest aspiration of the people of Bahá. With hope do I implore the grace and bounty of God that the means of comfort might be provided—that the breeze of bounty may blow, and the beauty of bestowal be made manifest.

Give my Abhá greetings to all thy kindred, and on behalf of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, perfume their nostrils with the sweet savors of holiness.

Upon thee be the Glory of the All-Glorious.

—‘A. ‘A.


* In a research note written in Persian, Dr. Muḥammad Afnán has observed that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá began some of His Tablets with this heading, which appears to originate in a very similar form with Qur’án 12:39 and 12:41 as an address by Joseph to his fellow prisoners, but which has probably been repurposed in these Tablets as a supplicatory invocation to Bahá’u’lláh, the significance being that Bahá’u’lláh spent much of His life as a prisoner and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, at the time of writing, was also a prisoner, thus making Bahá’u’lláh His figurative companion in confinement. For more details, see Muḥammad Afnán, “Yá Ṣáḥibíya’s-Sijn” (Safíniy-i-‘Irfán, vol. 17, pp. 367–68), available online here.

A typescript of the original Persian text of this Tablet appears below (all punctuation mine). 

یا صاحبی السّجن


ای امة الله، نامۀ تو رسید. محزون مباش، مغموم مگرد. شفا به ید الله است و ارادۀ او نهایت آمال اهل بهاء. از فضل و عنایت حقّ سائل و آملم که اسباب راحت فراهم آید و نسیم عنایت بوزد و جمال موهبت جلوه نماید.

جمیع متعلّقین را تحیّت ابدع ابهی ابلاغ دار و از قِبَل عبدالبهاء به نفحات قدس مشام معطّر کن.

و علیک البهاء الابهی.

ع ع