The Lawh-i-Hajj (Baghdad)

What follows is a composite translation consisting of my provisional rendering (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of the first third and Shoghi Effendi’s authorized translation (colored in red), published in Gleanings no. 57, of the last two-thirds of a Tablet of Baháʼuʼlláh intended to be recited when making pilgrimage to His House in Baghdad, which was destroyed in June 2013. The original text of this Tablet, revealed for Mullá Muḥammad Zarandí (Nabíl-i-Zarandí, or Nabíl-i-A‘ẓam) is published in Adʻíyiy-i-Ḥaḍrat-i-Maḥbúb, pp. 97104

In the Name of God, the All-Glorious, the All-Wise

O thou who beholdest the Most Great Vision! Incline thine ear to the voice of the Ancient Beauty which cometh from the direction of His Most Great Prison, saying, “No God is there but Him, the All-Glorious, the All-Wise.” Thou hast been the object of the glances of thy Lord, the Most Merciful, at all times. He, in truth, is the Guardian of whosoever turneth towards Him, and He, verily, is the Lord of all worlds.

Beware lest thou be saddened by that which hath befallen Us and afflicted thee. Cleave tenaciously to the cord of the clemency of thy Lord, and hold fast to this radiant hem. Counsel the people with wisdom and utterance. Take heed that thou not be frightened by the cruelty of them that have rejected God, the Exalted, the Great. Relate unto men what thou didst learn and see when thou wert near the Throne. Thus biddeth thee thy Lord, the All-Praised.

We, verily, have been with thee; We are apprised of what hath befallen thee in the path of God, and have heard what thou hast said for the sake of His love and good-pleasure. Thy reward is with Him; He, in truth, will pay the sincerely devoted their due recompense. Blessed art thou in that thou hast been faithful to My Covenant and turned away from those who have disbelieved in God. Thou art indeed among them that have attained! Sorrow not on account of adversities; He, verily, shall deliver thee into the Kingdom of prosperity. He, in truth, is the Almighty, the All-Powerful.

Glory rest on thee, and on those who have forsaken that which was with them and clung to what hath been enjoined on them by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

When thou art departed out of the court of My presence, O Muḥammad, direct thy steps towards My House (Baghdád House), and visit it on behalf of thy Lord. When thou reachest its door, stand thou before it and say: Whither is the Ancient Beauty gone, O most great House of God, He through Whom God hath made thee the cynosure of an adoring world, and proclaimed thee to be the sign of His remembrance unto all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth? Oh! for the former days when thou, O House of God, wert made His footstool, the days when in ceaseless strains the melody of the All-Merciful poured forth from thee! What hath become of thy jewel whose glory hath irradiated all creation? Whither are gone the days in which He, the Ancient King, had made thee the throne of His glory, the days in which He had chosen thee alone to be the lamp of salvation between earth and heaven, and caused thee to diffuse, at dawn and at eventide, the sweet fragrance of the All-Glorious?

Where, O House of God, is the Sun of majesty and power Who had enveloped thee with the brightness of His presence? Where is He, the Dayspring of the tender mercies of thy Lord, the Unconstrained, Who had established His seat within thy walls? What is it, O throne of God, that hath altered thy countenance, and made thy pillars to tremble? What could have closed thy door to the face of them that eagerly seek thee? What hath made thee so desolate? Couldst thou have been told that the Beloved of the world is pursued by the swords of His enemies? The Lord bless thee, and bless thy fidelity unto Him, inasmuch as thou hast remained His companion through all His sorrows and His sufferings.

I testify that thou art the scene of His transcendent glory, His most holy habitation. Out of thee hath gone forth the Breath of the All-Glorious, a Breath that hath breathed over all created things, and filled with joy the breasts of the devout that dwell in the mansions of Paradise. The Concourse on high, and they that inhabit the Cities of the Names of God, weep over thee, and bewail the things that have befallen thee.

Thou art still the symbol of the names and attributes of the Almighty, the Point towards which the eyes of the Lord of earth and heaven are directed. There hath befallen thee what hath befallen the Ark in which God’s pledge of security had been made to dwell. Well is it with him that apprehendeth the intent of these words, and recognizeth the purpose of Him Who is the Lord of all creation.

Happy are those that inhale from thee the sweet savors of the Merciful, that acknowledge thine exaltation, that safeguard thy sanctity, that reverence, at all times, thy station. We implore the Almighty to grant that the eyes of those who have turned away from thee, and failed to appreciate thy worth, may be opened, that they may truly recognize thee, and Him Who, through the power of truth, hath raised thee up on high. Blind, indeed, are they about thee, and utterly unaware of thee in this day. Thy Lord is, verily, the Gracious, the Forgiving.

I bear witness that through thee God hath proved the hearts of His servants. Blessed be the man that directeth his steps toward thee, and visiteth thee. Woe to him that denieth thy right, that turneth away from thee, that dishonoreth thy name, and profaneth thy holiness.

Grieve not, O House of God, if the veil of thy sanctity be rent asunder by the infidels. God hath, in the world of creation, adorned thee with the jewel of His remembrance. Such an ornament no man can, at any time, profane. Towards thee the eyes of thy Lord shall, under all conditions, remain directed. He, verily, will incline His ear to the prayer of every one that visiteth thee, who will circle around thee, and calleth upon Him in thy name. He, in truth, is the Forgiving, the All-Merciful.

I beseech Thee, O my God, by this House that hath suffered such change in its separation from Thee, that bewaileth its remoteness from Thy presence, and lamenteth Thy tribulation, to forgive me, and my parents, and my kindred, and such of my brethren as have believed in Thee. Grant that all my needs be satisfied, through Thy bounty, O Thou Who art the King of Names. Thou art the most Bountiful of the bountiful, the Lord of all worlds.

A typescript of the complete Arabic text of this Tablet appears below. 

بِسمِ اللّهِ العَزيز الحَكيم

يا أيّها النّاظر الی المنظر الاكبر اسمع نداء جمال القدم من شطر سجنه الاعظم انّه لا إله الّا هو العزيز الحكيم* قد كنت تحت نظر ربّك الرّحمن فی كلّ الاحيان * انّه وليّ من أقبل اليه و انّه لمولی العالمين * ايّاك أن يحزنك ما ورد علينا و عليك * تمسّك بحبل رحمة ربّك و تشبّث بهذا الذّيل المنير* ذكر النّاس بالحكمة و البيان * ايّاك أن يخوّفك ظلم الّذين كفروا باللّه العليّ العظيم* حدّث النّاس بما عرفت و رأيت اذ كنت حول العرش كذلك يأمرك ربّك العزيز الحميد * انّا كنّا معك و اطّلعنا علی ما ورد عليك فی سبيل اللّه و سمعنا ما تكلّمت به فی حبّه و رضاه * انّ أجرك عليه انّه موفّی أجور المخلصين* طوبی لك بما وفيت بميثاقي و أعرضت عن الّذين كفروا باللّه الا انّك من الفائزين * لا تحزن من الشّدائد انّه يأتيك بملكوت الرّخاء انّه هو المقتدر القدير* البهاء عليك و علی الّذين وضعوا ما عندهم و أخذوا ما أمروا به من لدن عليم خبير * يا محمّد اذا خرجت من ساحة العرش اقصد زيارة البيت من قبل ربّك و اذا حضرت تلقاء الباب قف و قل * يا بيت اللّه الاعظم أين جمال القدم الّذی به جعلك اللّه قبلة الامم و آية ذكره لمن فی السّموات و الارضين * يا بيت اللّه أين الايّام الّتی كنت فيها موطئ قدميه و أين الايّام الّتي ارتفعت منك نغمات الرّحمن فی كلّ الاحيان و أين طرازك الّذی منه استضاء من فی الاكوان * أين الايّام الّتي كنت عرشاً لاستقرار هيكل القدم و أين الايّام الّتی كنت مصباح الفلاح بين الارض و السماء و تتضوّع منك نفحات السّبحان فی كلّ صباح و مساء * يا بيت اللّه أين شمس العظمة و الاقتدار الّتي كانت مشرقة من أفقك و أين مطلع عناية ربّك المختار الّذی كان مستوياً عليك * مالي يا عرش اللّه أری تغيّر حالك و اضطربت أركانك و غلق بابك علی وجه من أرادك و مالي أراك الخراب * أ سمعت محبوب العالمين تحت سيوف الاحزاب؟ طوبی لك و لوفائك بما اقتديت بمولاك فی أحزانه و بلاياه * أشهد انّك المنظر الاكبر و المقرّ الاطهر و منك مرّت نسمة السّبحان علی من فی الاكوان و فرحت قلوب المخلصين فی غرفات الجنان و اليوم ينوح بما ورد عليك الملأ الأعلی و سكان مدائن الاسماء * انّك لم تزل كنت مظهر الاسماء و الصّفات و مسرح لحظات مالك الارضين و السّموات* قد ورد عليك ما ورد علی التّابوت الّذي كانت فيه السّكينة * طوبی لمن يعرف لحن القول فيما أراد مالك البريّة و طوبی للّذين يستنشقون منك نفحات الرّحمن و يعرفون قدرك و يحفظون حرمتك و يراعون شأنك فی كلّ الاحيان* نسأل اللّه أن يفتح بصر الّذين غفلوا عنك و ما عرفوا قدرك لعرفانك و عرفان من رفعك بالحقّ * انّهم قوم عمون و اليوم لا يعرفون انّ ربّك هو العزيز الغفور * أشهد بك امتحن اللّه عباده طوبی لمن أقبل اليك و يزورك و ويل للّذين أنكروا حقّك و أعرضوا عنك و ضيّعوا قدرك و هتكوا حرمتك * يا بيت اللّه ان هتك المشركون ستر حرمتك لا تحزن قد زيّنك اللّه بطراز ذكره بين الارض و السّماء و انّه لايهتك أبداً انّك تكون منظر ربّك فی كلّ الاحيان و يسمع نداء من يزورك و يطوف حولك و يدعوه بك انّه هو الغفور الرّحيم * يا الهی أسألك بهذا البيت الّذی تغيّر فی فراقك و ينوح لهجرك و ما ورد عليك فی أيّامك أن تغفر لي و لأبويّ و ذوی قرابتي و المؤمنين من اخواني * ثمّ اقض لی حوائجی كلّها بجودك يا سلطان الاسماء * انّك أنت أكرم الأكرمين و مولی العالمين