“…Lo, We extinguished the brightness of the eyes of them that were resolved to obstruction…”

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a Tablet of Baháʼuʼlláh that was probably revealed for Áqá ‘Abdu’r-Raḥím Bushrúyih’í (see note 1 for more), the original text of which has been published in Áthár-i-Qalam-i-A‘lá, vol. 1 (1996 ed.), pp. 24849 (selection no. 50). Other Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh revealed for Áqá ‘Abdu’r-Raḥím that I have also provisionally translated include this one and this one

The following account of the iconic episode in Bahá’í history for which Áqá ‘Abdu’r-Raḥím is best known comes from Part 7 of The Blessed Beauty, a comprehensive and illustrated chronology of Bahá’u’lláh’s life prepared by Violetta Zein:

‘Abdu’r-Raḥím . . . traveled six months on foot to reach ‘Akká, arriving at the same time as Nabíl-i-A‘ẓam. ‘Abdu’r-Raḥím began circumambulating the Most Great Prison and saw Bahá’u’lláh’s hand beckoning him to enter the barracks. Raḥím entered through the gates unnoticed by the guards and soon entered the presence of Bahá’u’lláh, Who told him He had temporarily blinded the eyes of the guards so Raḥím might attain His presence. Raḥím stayed in the barracks for a few days, and left with several Tablets Bahá’u’lláh had revealed for him and Persian Bahá’ís.

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In the Name of God, the Most Holy, the Most Glorious

Lauded be He Who hath prescribed unto all things that which He hath willed. He, verily, ordaineth what He pleaseth. He fashioned the Word in the form of the human temple, and thereby hath He attracted all the peoples of the world. He that hath failed to be enraptured by the Word of God cannot rightly be deemed to exist. Thy Lord is, in truth, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. By this Word hath God raised up what He hath willed, and distinguished between the infidels and the faithful. It is truly a fire unto them that have waxed proud and a light unto such as have set their faces toward the Dayspring of Revelation. Thus hath it been decreed in the Preserved Tablet.

Blessed art thou, for thou didst attain and make pilgrimage to thy Lord, the Most Compassionate, when He shone forth from the horizon of the Prison with manifest sovereignty.[1] Thou didst pass through the gate from which whosoever yearned for it was cruelly kept back, as a result of what the Evil One[2] whispered in the breasts of the heedless. Lo, We extinguished the brightness of the eyes of them that were resolved to obstruction, and We enabled thee to enter with a power derived from Us. Verily, thy Lord is the Almighty, the Most Powerful; He ruleth as He willeth through a sovereignty that belongeth to Him, and He doeth as He pleaseth. He is, in truth, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. A grievous loss hath been suffered by them that have witnessed the power of God and denied it. Far astray indeed have they gone in their error!

Call thou to mind the time when thou didst reach the Seat of the Throne and hear, with thine own ear, what the Ancient Tongue spoke when He lay in the Most Great Prison on account of what was wrought by the hands of those people who disbelieved in spite of the clear tokens shown them by their Lord, the Revealer of verses. They are assuredly of them who shall perish. When they are asked, “For what crime have ye imprisoned the One Who hath moved the countenance of faith to beam with joy and hath caused the Sign of the Most Merciful to appear?”, they reply, “It hath been demonstrated that He wisheth to alter the precepts of God and change His religion. No favor doth He have upon us; rather, we regard Him as a stirrer of sedition.” Such were the remarks of a people like unto them; We laid hold on them for what they said and made of them an example for the discerning. Erelong shall We seize these people also, even as We laid hold on those possessed of power more intense than theirs. Verily, thy Lord is potent to do as He willeth, and He ordaineth as He pleaseth.

Say: Glorified art Thou, O my God! Praise be to Thee for having summoned me through Thy grace—for drawing me nigh unto the Manifestation of Thine Essence, for revealing unto me Thy beauty, and for inclining my ear to hear Thy voice in these days, wherein every believer is debarred, every pilgrim is detained, every beholder is expelled, every hopeful one is far removed, and every mentioner is slain.

Praised be Thou, O Lord, for having aided me and enabled me to enter the precincts of Thy mercy. I beseech Thee, O Maker of the heavens and Possessor of all names, to reckon me with the people of Bahá who have not been deterred by the prospect of salvation or the attractive vanities of this world from turning to Thy Face—O my Lord, the Most High!—or frightened by the embodiments of earthly glory in Thy days, O Thou in Whose hand is the Kingdom of the beginning and the end!

O Lord! Since Thou hast called me to Thee, make me firm in Thy Cause at all times. Supply me, then, with what Thou hast ordained for such of Thy servants as are near unto Thee. Write down for me, moreover, the good of this world and the next. Powerful indeed art Thou to do what Thou willest. No God is there but Thee, the All-Glorious, the Most Bountiful. Praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds!


[1] While the addressee of this Tablet is never named explicitly, the sentences subsequent to this one suggest that it was almost certainly revealed for Áqá ‘Abdu’r-Raḥím Bushrúyi’í, the only person recorded in Bahá’í history whom Bahá’u’lláh enabled to pass through the gate of the Most Great Prison by temporarily “blinding” the eyes of the sentries who were guarding the entrance.

[2] The Arabic word translated as “the Evil One” here is al-shayṭán, cognate with Satan. In the Bahá’í Writings, this word typically symbolizes the lower nature of humanity, but in this specific case it appears to refer to Siyyid Muḥammad Iṣfahání, who, in collusion with his accomplices, notoriously surveilled the Most Great Prison and prevented Bahá’í pilgrims from attaining the presence of Bahá’u’lláh. In Amr va Khalq, vol. 2, pp. 29092, Fáḍil Mázandarání has quoted passages from several Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh—among them this very Tablet likely revealed for Áqá ‘Abdu’r-Raḥím—in which He identifies Siyyid Muḥammad Iṣfahání with al-shayṭán and al-dajjál (the Antichrist).

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

بسم الله الأقدس الأبهى

سبحان الّذي قدّر لكلّ شيءٍ ما أراد؛ إنّه لهو الحاكم على ما يريد. قد خلق الكلمةَ على هيكل الإنسان و بها اجتذب العالمين. إنّ الّذي ما انجذب من كلمة اللّه لا يُصَدَّقُ عليه اسمُ الوجود؛ إنّ ربّك لهو العليم الخبير. و بها بعث اللهُ ما شاء و فصّل بين المشركين و الموحّدين. انّها نارٌ لمن استكبر و نورٌ لمن أقبل إلى مشرق الوحي. كذلك قضي الأمر في لوح حفيظ.

طوبى لك بما فزت و زرت ربَّك الرّحمن إذ أشرق من أفق السّجن بسلطانٍ مبينٍ. و دخلتَ البابَ الّذي مَن أراده أُخِذَ بالظّلم بما أوحى الشّيطانُ في صدور الغافلين. قد طمسنا أعينَ الّذين أرادوا المنعَ وأدخلناكم بقوّةٍ من لدنّا؛ انّ ربّك لهو المقتدر القدير. يحكم ما يشاء بسلطانٍ من عنده و يفعل ما يريد؛ إنّه لهو العليم الحكيم. قد خسر الّذين رأوا قدرةَ اللّه و أنكروها؛ ألا إنّهم في ضلالٍ بعيدٍ.

و اذكر إذ دخلتَ مقرَّ العرش و سَمِعْتَ بأُذُنِك ما تكلّم به لسانُ القدم إذ كان في السّجن الأعظم بما اكتسبت أيدي الأمم الّذين كفروا بعد ما جائتْهم البيّناتُ من لدن ربّهم مُنزل الآيات؛ ألا إنّهم من الهالكين. إذا قيل لهم «بأيّ جرمٍ حَبَسْتُم الّذي به افترّ ثغرُ الإيمان وظهرتْ آيةُ الرّحمن»، قالوا «قد تَحَقَّقَ أنّه أراد أن يُبَدِّلَ سننَ اللّه و دينَه و ليس له علينا من فضلٍ بل نريه من المفسدين.» كذلك قال أممٌ أمثالهم قد أخذناهم بما قالوا و جعلناهم عبرةً للمتبصّرين. سوف نأخذ هؤلاء كما أخذنا الّذين كانوا أشدّ منهم قوّةً. إنّ ربّك لهو المقتدر على ما يشاء و الحاكم على ما يريد.

قل سبحانك يا إلهي، لك الحمد بما دعوتَني بفضلك و قرّبتَني إلى مظهر ذاتك و أريتَني جمالَك و أسمعتَني ندائَك في أيّامٍ فيها مُنِعَ كلُّ مُقبلٍ و أُخِذَ كلُّ زائرٍ و طُرِدَ كلُّ ناظرٍ و بُعِدَ كلُّ آملٍ و قُتِلَ كلُّ ذاكرٍ.

أي ربّ، لك الحمد بما وفّقتَني و أدخلتَني في جوار رحمتك. أسئلك يا فاطر السّماء و مالك الأسماء بأن تَكْتُبَني من أهل البهاء الّذين ما مَنَعَهم المآلُ والجمالُ عن التّوجّه إلى وجهك، يا ربّي المتعال، و ما خَوَّفَهم مظاهرُ اسم الجلال في أيّامك، يا من بيدك ملكوتُ المبدء و المآل.

أي ربّ، لمّا دعوتَني إليك، فاثْبُتْني في كلّ الأحوال على امرك. ثمّ ارْزُقْني ما قدّرتَه للمقرّبين من عبادك. ثمّ اكْتُبْ لي خيرَ الدّنيا و الآخرة. إنّك أنت المقتدر على ما تشاء. لا إله إلّا أنت العزيز الكريم. الحمدُ للّه ربّ العالمين.