Baha’u’llah’s Tablet of Visitation for Mulla Husayn and Quddus

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a Tablet of Visitation revealed by Bahá’u’lláh in honor of Mullá Ḥusayn and Quddús, who were respectively the first and last “Letters of the Living,” a special distinction conferred by the Báb on His first eighteen followers. 

I am grateful to Steven Phelps for supplying me with scans of the original text, which comes from a manuscript collection held at the British Library (Or15714, pp. 77–83). Due to copyright reasons, the scans themselves have not been made available here; instead, I have prepared a typescript of the original text and included it underneath the provisional translation. 

I also wish to thank Khazeh Fananapazir, who helped me decipher certain words in the manuscript, suggested changes to the translation, and pointed me to the information used in the first footnote. 

A Tablet of visitation for the First to arrive and the Last to attain, may the souls of all the world be offered up for them both

The perspicuous salutations issuing from the dawning-place of the mouth of the Will of God, the Lord of all men; the resplendent light shining from the horizon of the heaven of His supreme mercy; and the most brilliant of signs rest upon you, O hands of His power in the kingdom of creation, O evidences of His grandeur between earth and heaven!

Ye are they who were awakened by the breezes of the dawn of revelation, and enraptured by the voice of Him Who spoke on Sinai. Ye are they who discovered the fragrance of the All-Merciful when it wafted from the right hand of recognition.[1] Through the guidance ye imparted, the thirsty hastened to the waters of life, and the rebel to the vivifying river of loftiness and pardon. Ye are the signs of God and His path in the midst of creation. Through you, men’s faces have turned to the Most Glorious Horizon, and the poor one hath rushed forth to the dayspring of wealth.

On account of your suffering have all things cried out; every atom hath shouted aloud between earth and heaven, and Adam forsook the Most Exalted Paradise, choosing for Himself a place in the dust. Ye are the dawning-places of power amid the people, the daysprings of might among the righteous. Through you, the springtime of inner meaning appeared in the world of utterance, and the All-Merciful shed His effulgent splendor upon all who dwell in the contingent realm.

Ye are hands of His Cause in His lands, and stars of His bounty amidst His servants. Through you, the suns of knowledge dawned forth, the skies of religion were illumined, the rays of the lights of sciences shone radiantly among various peoples, and the spheres of arts were widened in the world. Ye are the dawning-places of God’s Revelation in all that is not Him, the daysprings of His tokens in this nether world of creation. Through your rising up did the people arise in turn to serve the Cause, and the stream of clemency flow in the midst of mankind.

Ye are the pearls of the hidden Ocean and the letters of the treasured Book. Through the Sublime Word ye promulgated, the Book of Names was expounded, and the gates of all good were opened to the inhabitants of earth and heaven. Through you the decree whereby “B” and “E” were knit together became manifest; the hidden Secret was divulged, and the choice sealed Wine opened.

Alas, alas! By reason of your sorrow, the inmates of the all-highest Paradise were seized with grief, and the denizens of the kingdom of names moved to lamentation. On account of your suffering, the kindreds of the Verdant Isle were made to quake on the shore of the sea of glory, causing the sighs of the near ones to ascend and the tears of the sincerely devoted to rain down. Ye are the books of God and His scriptures, His epistles and His tablets. By virtue of your happiness, the faces of men have been wreathed in smiles, and by reason of your sorrow, all things visible and invisible have wailed aloud.

Ye are the arks of God sailing on the ocean of His Will, and the people of God who have arisen to champion His Cause. Through you, the Most Great Announcement was declared, and the limbs of all humanity were made to tremble. Through your call, every sleeping one was awakened, every seated one rose up, and every reclining one sped forth; every negligent one was made heedful, every ignorant one educated, every agitated one assured, and every stammering one eloquent. Through your most sweet remembrance did men hasten to the Most Exalted Horizon, and the Crimson Ark sail upon the sea of names.

Ye are the dawning-places of God’s Will, the daysprings of His Cause, the embodiments of His command, the sources of His might, the storehouses of His knowledge, the treasuries of His secrets, the depositories of His decree, the repositories of His ordainment, the pearls of the ocean of His generosity, the mines of His munificence, the suns of the firmament of His grace, and the moons of the heaven of His bounty. Through you, the banner of “He, verily, is the God of aught else but Him” was hoisted, and every stranger came to recognize his goal and abode.

Through your acceptance, the purely devoted rushed to the field of martyrdom and offered up their substance in the path of God, the Possessor of all titles. Through you did they who enjoy near access to God reach the living waters of immortality, and the true believers attain to what hath flowed from the Luminous Spot in the Most Sublime Paradise before the Divine Lote-Tree.

I testify that through you, the breath of the All-Merciful was breathed into creation, and the sweet savor of the All-Glorious wafted in the world’s regions. Through you, the Throne was established upon the land of Za‘farán,[2] and the God of Mercy seated Himself thereon. Through you did the heaven of certitude shine with resplendence, and all things proclaim, “The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the Beneficent!” Through your names, the suns of inner significance dawned from the firmaments of utterance, and the streams of revelation flowed in the gardens of understanding. Ye are those meanings that can neither be apprehended with words nor described through speech.

Blessed is the poor one who hath sought the orient of your wealth, the thirsty one who hath hastened to the seashore of your favors, the lowly one who hath set his face toward the court of your glory, the ignorant one who hath turned to the dawning-place of your knowledge, the distressed one who hath drawn nigh unto the tabernacle of your majesty and the pavilion of your grace, the sick one who hath attained the heavenly river of your healing, the weak one who hath directed his gaze to the kingdom of your might, and the friend who hath reached the soft-flowing stream of reunion with you and been honored with your presence, which excelleth all that hath been fashioned in the dominion of origination and appeared in the realm of creation.

Great indeed is the blessedness of the wayward one who hath sped forth to the dayspring of your guidance, the slumbering one who hath been awakened through your remembrance, the one as dead who hath been stirred by the breezes of your utterance and adorned with the ornament of life beneath your shade, the seated one who hath arisen in your service, the eloquent one who hath celebrated your praise and turned to the fountains of your generosity, and the rebellious one who hath entered the ocean of pardon through your intercession.

Through the supreme sweetness of your voice were all things drawn to God, the Possessor of every name, and as a result of your turning to the Most Exalted Horizon did men set their own faces to the dawning-place of the bounty of your Lord, the All-Glorious. Through you, the treasures of heaven were manifested in the midst of humanity; through you, the hearts of ardent lovers in the world of creation were set afire.

A splendor most brilliant, shining from the horizon of the heaven of Mine utterance, rest upon you, and upon whosoever hath turned toward you and set his gaze on the court of your glory. Through you, the Dove of Eternity hath warbled and the birds of the Throne trilled out among the peoples, the seas have surged and the winds blown forth, the lights have shone and the skies been illumined, the Cockerel hath crowed and that which was hidden appeared, the irrevocable decree hath been clearly fulfilled and the hand of God’s grace passed round His sealed wine. Through you did the morn of certitude break; the lamp of vain imaginings was extinguished, and the gate of inspiration flung open. Through you were the secrets of the Book disclosed and the veils rent asunder. Through you, the Verdant Nightingale hath sung its song on the Crimson Tree, attesting to that whereunto God Himself hath testified before the creation of earth and heaven.

Ye are the waves of this Sea through which every other sea hath surged, and the mercy of God appeared in all lands. I bear witness that ye are rivers that have branched out from the Most Great Ocean, luminous moons shining from the world’s horizon, and radiant lights emanating amongst the peoples. Ye are each they whom God hath made a bough of this Ancient Root; a conveyor of this glorious, this veiled, this weighty Secret; a manifestation of His most noble Name; and a reflection of His all-embracing grace. Well is it with the one blessed by your breaths during your lives and guided by your lamps after your deaths. Through you, God’s bounty was bestowed, His mercy encompassed all things, His testimony was fulfilled, His heavenly sustenance was sent down, His Word was perfected, His breeze was wafted, and His proof shone resplendent amidst creation.

On account of your suffering, the kindreds of the cities of names have been seized with agitation, the Pen of the Most High hath wailed aloud, the inmates of the loftiest Paradise have been sorely vexed, the leaves of the divine Lote-Tree have yellowed, the Maids of heaven have swooned away in their crimson chambers, the atoms of all things have cried out between earth and heaven, and the Pen of the Most Great Name hath been prevented from moving in the realms of remembrance and praise.

Blessed is the one who hath been illumined with the lights of your faces—he that hath drawn nigh to your precincts and circled you round, visited your resting-places and taken refuge with you, cleaved to the cord of your favors and held fast to the hem of your bounty, striven in your path and been martyred in your love.

Through you, the Supreme Horizon was illumined, and men turned their faces to God, the Lord of all Names; indeed, through you were manifested His sovereignty and His might, His majesty and His grandeur. Ye are the lights of the kingdom, the secrets of the celestial dominion, and the daysprings of God’s Cause in this nether world. Through you did the sun of utterance shine forth and the ocean of recognition emerge; the heaven of certitude was upraised, and the Throne of the All-Merciful established in this contingent realm.

Blessed are ye—your beginnings and your ends, your outer beings and your inner realities—and whosoever hath drawn near unto you and made pilgrimage to your graves, who hath taken tenacious hold of the cord of your gifts and clung firmly to the hem of the robe of your bestowals.

Lauded be Thy Name, O Lord of Being, O King of the seen and unseen alike! I beseech Thee by the showers of Thy mercy, through which Thy bounties and favors were manifested unto Thy servants, and by the secrets of Thy knowledge and the pearls of the ocean of Thine understanding, to pardon me and my parents, along with every servant that hath firmly grasped this lofty spot and hastened to this sublime habitation.

I entreat Thee, O my Lord, by that Word wherewith Thou hast subdued the hearts of Thy loved ones, to grant that my needs be fulfilled. Make me, then, to persevere in Thy Cause and fix my gaze on Thy horizon, severed from all who have disbelieved in Thee and in Thy signs.

O Lord! Thou seest Thy servant rushing to the ocean of Thy pardon, desiring only what Thou hast ordained for Thy loved ones. Thou, in truth, art that All-Powerful One who can neither be weakened by the doings of men nor deterred by the clamoring of them that live in Thy lands. Thou doest, through Thy might, what Thou willest, and rulest as Thou pleasest. Thou, verily, art the Strong, the All-Subduing, the Almighty.

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[1] The word translated as “right hand,” يمن , should probably be read yaman (Yemen), in that it is likely an allusion to this remark attributed to Uways al-Qaraní, a Muslim mystic and contemporary of the Prophet Muḥammad: “I discovered (or inhaled) the fragrance of the All-Merciful when it wafted from Yemen.” It has been translated figuratively here as “right hand” in that it shares a root with yamín, which can have that meaning.

[2] “The Holy Tree [Sadrat] is, in a sense, the Manifestation of the One True God, exalted be He. The Blessed Tree in the land of Za‘farán referreth to the land which is flourishing, blessed, holy and all-perfumed, where that Tree hath been planted” (Authorized translation of a passage from a Tablet of Bahá’u’lláh, appended as a footnote to the authorized translation of Bahá’u’lláh’s Lawḥ-i-Ḥikmat; see here).

A complete typescript of the original Arabic text of this Tablet appears below (all vocalization and punctuation mine). 

زيارة حضرة أوّل واردٍ وآخر نازلٍ روح العالم فداهما

السّلام الظّاهر من مطلع فم إرادة الله مولى الورى والنّور المُشرق من أفق سماء رحمته الكبرى وآية النّوراء عليكم يا أيادي القدرة في ملكوت الإنشاء وظهورات العظمة بين الأرض والسّماء. أنتم الّذين أيقظتكم نسماتُ فجر الظّهور وأجتذبكم نداءُ مكلّم الطّور. أنتم الّذين وجدْتم رائحةَ الرّحمن إذ سرتْ من يمن العرفان. بإرشادكم سرع الظّمآنُ إلى بحر الحيوان والعاصي إلى فرات الرّفعة والغفران. أنتم آيات الحقّ وصراطه بين الخلق. بكم توجّهتِ الوجوهُ إلى الأفق الأعلى وسرع الفقيرُ إلى مطلع الغنى. بمصيبتكم ناحتِ الاشياءُ وصاحتِ الذّرّاتُ بين الارض والسّماء وتَرَكَ آدمُ الجنّةَ العليا وأختار لنفسه مقاماً في الغبراء. أنتم مشارق القدرة بين البرية ومطالع الاقتدار بين الأخيار. بكم ظهر ربيعُ المعاني في عالم البيان وتجلّي الرّحمنُ على من في الإمكان. أنتم أيادي أمره في بلاده وأنجم عنايته بين عباده. بكم بزغتْ شموسُ العرفان وأنارتْ آفاقُ الأديان وسطعتْ أشعّةُ أنوار العلوم بين الأمم واتسّعتْ دوائرُ الفنون في العالم. أنتم مشارق وحي الله فيما سوئه ومطالع آياته في ناسوت الإنشاء. وبقيامكم قام النّاسُ لخدمة الأمر وجرى فراتُ الرّحمة بين البشر. أنتم لئالئ البحر المكنون وحروفات الكتاب المخزون. من كلمتكم العليا فُصِّلَ كتابُ الأسماء وفُتِحَتْ أبوابُ الخير على من في الأرض والسّماء. بكم ظهر حكمُ الكاف والنّون وبرز السّرُّ المكنون وفكّ ختمُ الرّحيق المختوم. آه آه بحزنكم أخذتِ الأحزانُ أهلَ الفردوس الأعلى وناحتْ سكّانُ ملكوت الأسماء. بمصيبتكم أخذتِ الزّلازلُ قبائلَ الجزيرة الخضراء في شاطئ قلزم الكبرياء. بها صعدتْ زفراتُ المقرّبين ونَزَلَتْ عبراتُ المخلصين. أنتم كتب الله وزبره وصحف الله وألواحه. بفرحكم ابتسم ثغرُ الوجوه وبحزنكم ناح الغيبُ والشّهودُ. أنتم سفن الله الجارية على بحر مشيته وحزب الله القائمون على نصرة أمره. بكم ظهر النّبأُ الأعظم وارتعدتْ فرائصُ الأمم. بندائكم استيقظ كلُّ نائمٍ وقام كلُّ قاعدٍ وسرع كلُّ سطيحٍ وانتبه كلُّ غافلٍ وتعلّم كلُّ جاهلٍ واطمئنّ كلُّ مضطربٍ ونطق كلُّ كليلٍ. بذكركم الأحلى سرع الورى إلى الأفق الأعلى وسرتْ السّفينةُ الحمراء على بحر الأسماء. أنتم مشارق مشية الله ومطالع أمره ومظاهر حكمه ومصادر اقتداره ومخازن علمه وكنائز أسراره ومكامن قضائه ومواقع إمضائه وجواهر بحر جوده ومعادن كرمه وشموس سماء فضله وأقمار آفاق عطائه. بكم نُصِبَ لواءُ «إنّه هوالله فيما سوئه» وعَرَفَ كلُّ غريبٍ مرجعَه ومثوئَه. بإقبالكم سرع المخلصون إلى مشهد الفداء وأنفقوا مالَهم في سبيل الله مولى الأسماء. بكم فاز المقرّبون بكوثر البقاء والموحّدون بما جرى من البقعة النّوراء في الفردوس الأعلى عند سدرة المنتهى. أشهد أنّ بكم فاختْ نفحةُ الرحّمن في الإمكان وتضوّعتْ رائحةُ السّبحان في البلدان. بكم استقرّ العرشُ على أرض الزّعفران واستوى عليه الرّحمنُ. بكم لاح أفقُ الإيقان ونطقتِ الأشياءُ «الملك لله المقتدر المنّان.» بأسمائكم أشرقتْ شموسُ المعاني من بروج البيان وسالتْ جداولُ المثاني في رياض العرفان. أنتم المعاني الّتي لا تُعْرَفُ بالألفاظ ولا تُوصَفُ بالأذكار. نعيماً لفقيرٍ قصد أفقَ غنائكم ولعطشانٍ سرع إلى شاطئ بحر ألطافكم ولذليلٍ توجّه إلى بساط عزّكم ولجاهلٍ أقبل إلى مشرق علمكم ولمكروبٍ تقرّب إلى خباء مجدكم وسرادق فضلكم ولمريضٍ نال إلى كوثر شفائكم ولضعيفٍ توجّه إلى ملكوت اقتداركم ولحبيبٍ فاز بسلسبيل وصالكم وتشرّف بلقائكم الّذي لا يعادله ما خُلِقَ في الإبداع وظهر بالإختراع. طوبى لضالٍّ ركض إلى مشارق هدايتكم ولراقدٍ استيقظ من ذكركم ولميّتٍ تحرّك من نفحات بيانكم وتزيّن بطراز الحيوة في ظلّكم ولقاعدٍ قام لخدمتكم ولناطقٍ نطق بثنائكم وتوجّه إلى ينابيع جودكم ولعاصٍ ورد بحرَ الغفران بشفاعتكم. بندائكم الأحلى انجذبتِ الأشياءُ إلى الله مالك الأسماء وبإقبالكم إلى الأفق الأعلى أقبلتِ الوجوهُ إلى مشرق عناية ربّكم الأبهى. بكم ظهرتْ كنوزُ السّماء بين الورى وبكم اشتعلتْ أفئدةُ العشّاق في ناسوت الإنشاء.

البهاء المُشرق من أفق سماء بياني لكم وعليكم ولمن أقبل إليكم وتوجّه إلى ساحة عزّكم. بكم غنّتْ حمامةُ القدم وغرّدتْ طيورُ العرش بين الأمم وماجتِ البحار وهاجتِ الأرياحُ وسطعتِ الأنوارُ وأشرقتِ الآفاقُ ودلع الدّيكُ وظهر المستورُ وبرز المحتومُ وأدارتْ يدُ الفضل رحيقَه المختوم. بكم طلع صبحُ الإيقان وطفأ سراجُ الأوهام وفُتِحَ بابُ الإلهام وبكم ظهرتْ أسرارُ الكتاب وخُرِقَ الحجابُ. بكم غرّدتِ الورقةُ الخضراء على الدّوحة الحمراء وشهدتْ بما شهد الله قبل خَلْقِ الأرض والسّماء. أنتم أمواج هذا البحر الّذي به ماجتِ البحارُ وظهرتْ رحمةُ الله في الأقطار. أشهد أنّكم الجداول المنشعبة من البحر الأعظم والأقمار المُشرقة من أفق العالم والأنوار اللّائحة بين الأمم. أنتم الّذين جعل اللهُ كلَّ واحدٍ منكم فرعاً لهذا الأصل القديم ومترجماً لهذا السّرّ المجلّل المقنّع العظيم ومظهراً لاسمه الكريم وحاكياً عن فضله العميم. طوبى لمن استبرك بأنفاسكم في حياتكم واستهدى بنِبْراسکم بعد مماتكم. بكم سبغتِ النّعمةُ وسبقتِ الرّحمةُ وظهرتِ الحجّةُ ونزلتِ المائدةُ وتمّتِ الكلمةُ وسرتِ النسمةُ ولاح برهانُ الرّحمن بين البريّة. بمصيبتكم اضطربت قبائلُ مدائن الأسماء وناح القلمُ الأعلى وتكدّر أهلُ الجنّة العليا واصفرّتْ أوراقُ سدرة المنتهى وانصعقتِ الحوريّاتُ في الغرفات الحمراء وصاحتِ الذّرّاتُ بين الأرض والّسماء ويوقّف قلمُ الاسم الأعظم عن الحركة في ميادين الذّكر والثّناء. نعيماً لمن استضاء بأنوار وجهكم وفاز بقرب جواركم وطاف حولكم وزار رمسكم ولاذ بحضرتكم وتمسّك بحبل ألطافكم وتشبّث بذيل عنايتكم وجاهد في سبيلكم واستشهد في حبّكم. بكم أنار الأفقُ الأعلى وأقبلتِ الوجوهُ إلى الله مالك الأسماء وبكم ظهرتْ سلطنةُ الله واقتدارُه وعظمتُه وكبريائُه. أنتم أنوار الملكوت وأسرار الجبروت ومطالع أمر الله في عالم النّاسوت. بكم أشرقتْ نيّرُ البيان وظهر بحرُ العرفان وارتفعتْ سماءُ الإيقان واستقرّ عرشُ الرّحمن في الإمكان. طوبى لكم ولأوّلكم وآخركم وظاهركم وباطنكم ولمن تقرّب إليكم وزار قبرَكم وتمسّك بحبل ألطافكم وتشبّث بأذيال رداء مواهبكم.

سبحانك يا إله الوجود ومالك الغيب والشّهود، أسئلك بأمطار رحمتك الّتي بها ظهرتْ نِعَمُك وآلائُك لعبادك وبأسرار علمك ولئالئ بحر عرفانك أن تغفر لي ولوالديّ ولكلّ عبدٍ تمسّك بهذا المقام الشريف وسرع إلى هذا المقرّ المنيف.

أي ربّ أسئلك بكلمة الّتي بها سخّرتَ أفئدةَ الأولياء أن تقضي لي حوائجي. ثمّ اجعلني مستقيماً على أمرك وناظراً إلى أفقك منقطعاً عن الذّين كفروا بك وبآياتك.

أي ربّ ترى عبدَك سرع إلى بحر غفرانك وما أراد إلّا ما كتبتَه لأوليائك. إنّك أنت المقتدر الّذي لا تعجزك شئوناتُ العباد ولا تمنعك ضوضاءُ مَن في البلاد. تفعل بقدرتك ما تشاء وتحكم ما تريد. إنّك أنت القويّ الغالب القدير.