What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a Tablet of Bahá’u’lláh, the original text of which is published in Iqtidárát va Chand Lawḥ-i-Dígar, pp. 164–74. This is one of many Works identified by Shoghi Effendi as a “Best-Known Writing of Bahá’u’lláh.”
Shoghi Effendi translated a passage from this Tablet that was published in Bahá’í World, vol. 2, p. 62; this has been incorporated, in red, into the complete rendering of this Tablet below. (I am grateful to Brent Poirier for bringing this to my attention.) Additionally, an authorized translation of another passage from this Tablet was previously published in Trustworthiness: A Cardinal Bahá’í Virtue, selection no. 27, and has been incorporated, in blue, into the rendering below.
In the Name of the One True God
O Karím! God grant that, through the bounty of the Most Generous [Karím], thou art reposing beneath the shade of the Tree of the Lord of all worlds, and that thou hast attained the gracious outpourings which have come down from the heaven of bestowal. Mention of thee hath been and will continue to be made before the Throne, and this is accounted as one of the greatest of God’s bounties.
O Karím! Gird up the loins of service, that haply, in mentioning the King of creation, weak souls may come forth with the utmost love and strength of the heart, in such wise that the world and all that lieth therein shall not keep them back from God, and all will appear with a godly character in these radiant days.
O Karím! The mystic Wine of the spirit is prepared and the celestial Cup-bearer is present, but most men are seen to be debarred and deprived. God is manifest, conspicuous as can be, and His creation are yearning with the utmost longing, yet the lovers are bereft of their Beloved, and they burn in the wilderness of separation. Hence, they require a Guide, a Counselor, a Teacher, that they may come to know the reason for their debarment and the cause of their remoteness.
Some servants are not in need of the teachings. They can be observed to resemble one’s eyes, in that the eye need not be taught to see; so too the ear with hearing. The moment the eye is opened by the aid of the Spirit, it is able to see on its own, yet at all times must it seek refuge with the Face of God, lest bleariness or some other impairment develop and become a barrier. They are those servants who have turned toward the Supreme Horizon after the call was lifted up, so steadfast that none hath the power to divert the gaze of those well-assured souls from the direction of God. At every moment have they drunk and do they drink still from the living waters of the utterance of the Merciful; they read the divine Words with intimate familiarity and eagerness. Those apart from these souls stand in need of goodly exhortations and compassionate counsels. Therefore, the loved ones of God must carry out this weighty task with wisdom and clarity. Let some teach with their words, some with their deeds and actions, and some with their characters, drawing others toward God. Virtuous deeds and spiritual conduct are themselves teachers of the Cause.
Certain people should not be sad that they are unlearned and have not acquired human knowledge. Consider the time of the Apostle [Muḥammad]: Following the appearance of that Most Great Luminary, all the divines, men of letters, and sages remained deprived of that Path to the recognition of the All-Merciful, while the instant that Abú Dhar—a mere shepherd—accepted Him Who is the All-Possessing and the Most High, oceans of wisdom and utterance flowed from his heart and his tongue. Thou seest how all the learned ones humble themselves today at the very mention of his name, whereas in the early days of that Revelation, none paid him any mind. Exalted be the Ancient of Days, the Lord of grace abounding! He, verily, ordaineth as He pleaseth; He is the Almighty, the Most Powerful. It is thus that each and every loved one of God who hath truly turned to the horizon of eternity shall be bountifully given what will guide mankind aright.
Say: O My loved ones! Ye are the world’s spiritual physicians. It is incumbent upon you, through the power and might of God, to heal by the sovereign remedy of the Most Great Name the soul-sickness of the kindreds of the earth and clarify the vision of all mankind, that all may set their faces toward the shores of the Most Great Ocean in the days of the Ancient King. It behoveth ye all so to adorn your inner and outer beings that, robed in trustworthiness, girt with righteousness and arrayed in truthfulness and rectitude, ye may become a means for the exaltation of the Cause and the education of the human race.
This Revelation hath not come to enforce earthly commandments, as were recorded in the Bayán by the Pen of the Merciful, but rather to manifest the evidences of perfection in human souls—that their spirits may be lifted up to eternal stations and that which their minds can scarcely believe may brilliantly appear—till all may ultimately tread above the kingdoms of earth and heaven. By My life! Were I to rend asunder the veil in this connection, men’s souls would soar unto the Court of thy Lord, He Who causeth the dawn to break. Since, however, We have enjoined wisdom, We have kept some of these stations undisclosed, in order that the ecstasy of the Unconstrained may not seize the reins of volition, and so that all might walk amongst men with evident rectitude and lead the people aright. It may be that certain minds might not believe in some of the aforementioned boundaries laid down in the Books of God due to an unawareness of their hidden benefits, but that which hath streamed forth from the Ancient Pen in this Most Great Revelation with regard to men’s gathering together and becoming unified—along with their morals, conduct, and occupation with that which will profit humanity—hath not been and cannot be denied by anyone, unless they are without intellect altogether. Should the loved ones of God not be adorned with the ornaments of trustworthiness, truthfulness, and rectitude, the detriment thereof will redound both to those people themselves and all mankind more generally. In the first place, those people will never be trusted with the divine Word and the hidden celestial mysteries. Secondly, they shall mislead men and cause them to turn away, and beyond that will they incur the wrath of God and His fury, His chastisement and His malediction.
O Karím! Hear thou the heavenly voice from the Pen of the Spirit in the Persian tongue. By My life! It shall attract thee to such a degree that thou wilt behold naught else in the world but the effulgences of this Cause, which hath shone forth above the horizon of the bestowals of thy Lord, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. Were the whole of humanity to rend the veils that hinder them—and hearken to the shrill voice of the Supreme Pen which is lifted up, by the leave of the Possessor of Names, in this luminous Spot—they would all turn, with their very souls, to the direction of the All-Merciful. But lo, their corrupt desires have kept them back, and they are dumbfounded in this day.
O Karím! The sun of the Word of God, which hath dawned resplendently from the dayspring of Divine Will, can be perceived by every person of insight. Even as the physical sun, that Word shineth with brilliance and radiance amidst the words of all mankind. This is not a day for the Pen of the Most High to busy itself with these utterances. It behoveth every soul in this day, when he hath heard the Call coming from the Most Exalted Horizon, to cast the world behind his back; arise by the power of God, with his face turned to his Lord; and say, “Here am I, O Best-Beloved of all who dwell in heaven and on earth!”
The Tongue of the All-Merciful hath proclaimed these blessed words in the garden of the Bayán; the utterance of that Most Great Luminary hath ever been and shall always be, “No God is there but Me . . . O, My creatures! Me alone do ye worship.” That which hath streamed forth in this connection from the Pen of Him Who is the Fashioner of the heavens and the Creator of every attribute hath been revealed in view of the all-pervading mercy that hath encompassed all created things, that haply the people of the earth may not remain deprived of the living waters that are flowing from the right hand of the clemency of the Most Compassionate. He is, in truth, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful, though He Himself can well dispense with all creatures.
Some of the people of the Qur’án and the Bayán who have halted on the steep path of hesitation, or that of doubt and other such paths, have done so as a result of the idle fancies that prevailed among men in the past. Say: O My servants! This is the day in which ye must rend all the veils asunder and do away with every vain imagining; the day for ye to turn, in complete acceptance and with all your hearts, toward the horizon of Beauty, inasmuch as the footpath hath been blocked by reason of what the hands of the oppressors have wrought; and the day wherein ye are not to gaze on any cause but the One that hath appeared from this Revelation, for many are the words current among men which are illusory and unprofitable. It is those very illusions that have debarred some of the people of the Bayán from the Daystar of the All-Merciful that hath risen above the world’s horizon, and those souls are seen to be utterly bereft of insight and reason. Say: “O ye who wander lost in the valley of error! Which one of the idle fancies purported by you to be a verity hath proved genuine, that from it you have inhaled the fragrance of truth? Nay, by Myself, the True One! They have all reverted to your so-called ‘truths,’ vainly imagined as they are, while the Cause hath persisted for God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. For a thousand years or more, ye had given credence to an imaginary person in a fictitious city, along with a number of women and children, and to those illusions did ye devotedly cling.”
Reflect on that whereunto they held fast in those thousand years. By Him Who hath caused Me to speak in truth! My Pen is ashamed to mention those veiled and deluded souls. Regarding what was prevalent among that people as it concerned the mention of that Most Great Luminary, which is to say the Qá’im, not a single letter thereof hath had any truth to it, nor hath it been worthy of mention in the estimation of God, as was made clear and evident unto all after the advent of this Revelation.
This was but one of the illusions of those people. After the Hand of Divine Power rent the veil, some became informed, and in that same way must they regard other illusions which exist among men and have yet to be dispelled. Perchance God may tear them apart for whomsoever He willeth. With a purged breast and radiant heart, one must turn toward the Cause sanctified from all allusions and words. Say: This is not a day for doubt and suspicion; burn them with the fire of the Word of your Lord, the Almighty, the Most Bountiful.
O My loved ones! I call on you to look with the eye of fairness. This Wronged One is caught in the maw of the serpent, and at all times such calamities befall Him as are known only to God. He hath offered up His life that haply ye might rise above the horizon of detachment, and that through you the kingdoms of creation and invention may be thoroughly illumined. Know ye the value of your own selves, and abstain from things that will harm the Cause in the eyes of men. Say: O would that ye knew the waves of this Sea and what lieth concealed therein from the pearls of the wisdom of your Lord, the All-Glorious, the All-Praised!
O Karím! Though the melodies of the Supreme Pen are without end, yet have We now set Ourself to a different tone.
Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! I beseech Thee by Thy Name—through which the rain of Thy mercy hath fallen, the signs of Thy power have appeared, the sun of Thy Will hath dawned forth, and Thy mercy hath encompassed all who are in Thy heaven and on Thine earth—to clothe them that have believed with the vesture of trustworthiness and detachment. Draw them, then, unto that Dayspring from which the Orb of inaccessible glory shineth resplendent, that through them may be manifested the holiness of Thy Cause amidst Thy servants and the sanctity of Thy laws within Thy realm.
O Lord! Thou art the Rich and they are poor; lay not hold on them by reason of their negligence. Have mercy on them and pardon them, for they have endured hardships in Thy Path. Though they have neglected to observe some of Thy commandments, yet have they hastened to Thee both with their hearts and their feet. Look not upon their sins, rather do Thou behold the splendors shining from the horizons of their hearts, as well as the afflictions that have struck them on Thy Path—then aid them, in light of this, to do that whereby the banners of Thy Cause may be hoisted in Thy cities and the standards of Thy grandeur upraised in Thy lands. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee, and in Thy grasp Thou holdest the kingdom of creation. No God is there but Thee, the Most High, the Sovereign Protector, the Exalted, the Mighty.
O Karím! Recount and recite for every soul the divine admonitions, that perchance they may carry out what God hath purposed.
Give My remembrance to whosoever is with thee, every man and woman alike. Say: Praised be Thou, O My Lord, the All-Glorious, the Ever-Forgiving!
 The presence of Bahá’u’lláh.
 Persian Bayán 1:1.
A complete typescript of the original Persian and Arabic text of this Tablet appears below.