A Tablet of Baha’u’llah to a Young Youness Afroukhteh

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a Tablet of Bahá’u’lláh revealed for Dr. Youness Afroukhteh (Yúnis Khán-i-Afrúkhtih), who according to his grandson, Noushin Farhoumand, was just sixteen years old at the time, and would go on to serve as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s secretary from 1900 to 1909. A childhood memory of Farhoumand’s is that, at Dr. Afroukhteh’s request, this Tablet would be regularly chanted at his bedside as he neared the end of his life. Though Dr. Afroukhteh himself did quote a few lines from this Tablet in his Memories of Nine Years in ‘Akká (pp. 28–29 and 398), the full text has yet to be published; this copy of it was photographed by Noushin Farhoumand and sent to me by Farhan Yazdani, another grandson of Dr. Afroukhteh. 

Mírzá Yúnis, upon him be the Glory of God

He it is Who speaketh before the faces of all that dwell on earth

Lo, the gate of the all-highest Paradise was flung open. From it issued forth one of the Beauties thereof; she wended her way till she stood above My head and called aloud, in ringing tones, “O peoples of earth and heaven! I swear by God that this is the Day heralded in His Books, both in former times and more recently.” She then pointed with her finger and said, “This is He, the Promised One and the Lord of Hosts, through Whose advent Sinai hath attained to its Speaker, and the Burning Bush to its Succorer and chief Desire.” The ecstasy of that Mount hath seized all things; they shout with jubilation, giving their praise and clapping their hands, on account of the Call that hath been raised on every side. Well is it with him that heareth and answereth it, and woe betide every heedless doubter.

Thy name hath reached this Wronged One, mention of thee having been made by the one who loveth me known as Ḥabíb, upon him be My glory. We have set Our face toward thine and revealed unto thee that which sheddeth the sweet savor of bounties and bestowals. Beware lest thou be saddened by the clamoring of the wayward or frightened by the ascendancy of them that have disbelieved in God, the Lord of Lords. Take hold of this Tablet with such power as is born of Us, then recite it, with joy and radiance, unto the inhabitants of this world. Say: “O people! Be fair, I adjure you by God, and follow not the vain imaginings of them that have gone astray.”

O Yúnis! He Who was hidden like unto a treasure from time immemorial hath appeared, and the One Who was promised in the Books of God—the All-Possessing, the Most High—is come. We beseech God to assist the heedless to return and repent before the door that hath been opened unto all who are in heaven and on earth.

When thou hast heard My most sweet voice and hearkened to the shrill cry of My Supreme Pen, set thy heart towards God, the Lord of all men, and say: “Praised be Thou, O Revealer of Verses, O Possessor of all names and attributes, inasmuch as Thou hast given me to drink from the living waters of Thy words and guided me unto Thy Path. I implore Thee to make me so steadfast in Thy love that neither the tyranny of the oppressor nor the crushing might of the despot shall hinder me. I entreat Thee, O Thou Who art the Object of every desire and the Nurturer of all living things, by the Ocean of utterance that hath surged through Thy Name and the fragrance of the All-Merciful when it wafted forth at Thy behest—by the lights of the dawn of Thy revelation and the mysteries concealed in Thy Books—to make me humble before Thy loved ones, celebrating Thy mention and praise and standing ready to serve Thy Cause. I bear witness, O my God, that Thy Cause is great, immensely great; aid me, O Lord, to take firm hold of its hem and cleave to it tenaciously. With Thy Most Exalted Pen, moreover, write down for me the good of this world and the world to come. Thou, in truth, art the Best-Beloved of all mankind, Lord of the throne on high and of earth below.”

We now make mention of thy father and announce unto him the bounty of God, the Almighty, the All-Praised.* We, verily, have mentioned him in the past, and do so again at this moment, with that which will immortalize his remembrance in My perspicuous Book. We testify that he hath turned toward Us and stood before Us, and thus reached that which most people have not attained. Unto this beareth witness He Who proclaimeth, “There is indeed no God but Him, the One, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.” The glory, the remembrance, and the praise of the Almighty, the All-Wise, rest on thee and on him.


* The father of Dr. Youness Afroukhteh was a certain Mírzá Ḥusayn, about whom very little information seems to have survived. According to Noushin Farhoumand, when Dr. Afroukhteh was an adolescent, he eloquently and successfully pleaded to the governor of Qazvín to release his father from prison. Farhoumand has surmised that Mírzá Ḥusayn must have gone on pilgrimage immediately after his release, in that Bahá’u’lláh revealed this Tablet in honor of the-then sixteen-year-old Dr. Afroukhteh—exhorting him, by name, to teach the Faith—and mentions here, in this final portion of the Tablet, that his father “hath turned toward Us and stood before Us, and thus reached that which most people have not attained.”

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

جناب میرزا یونس، علیه بهاءالله

هو النّاطق أمام وجوه العالم

قد فُتِحَ بابُ الفردوس الأعلى وخرجتْ منه طلعةٌ من الطّلعات وسارتْ إلى أن قامتْ فوق الرّأس ونادتْ بأعلى النّداء: «يا ملأ الأرض والسّماء، تالله هذا يومٌ بشّرتْ به کتبُ الله من قبل ومن بعد»، وأشارتْ بإصبعها وقالتْ: «هذا هو الموعودُ وربُّ الجنود الّذي بظهوره فاز الطّورُ بمكلّمه والسّدرةُ بمؤيّدها ومقصودها.» قد أخذ جذبُ الطّور كلَّ الأشياء؛ يهلّلون ويكبّرون ويصفّقون بذلك ارتفع النّداءُ من كلّ الجهات. طوبى لمن سمع وأجاب وويلٌ لكلّ غافل مريب.

قد حضر اسمُك لدى المظلوم وذَكَرَك مَن أحبّني الّذي سُمِّيَ بالحبيب، عليه بهائي. أقبلنا إليك وأنزلنا لك ما فاح به عَرْفُ المواهب والألطاف. إيّاك أن تُحْزِنَك ضوضاءُ الغافلين أو تُخَوِّفَك سطوةُ الّذين كفروا بالله ربّ الأرباب. خذ الكتاب بقوّةٍ من عندنا، ثمّ اقْرَأْه بالرّوح الرّيحان لأهل الإمكان. قل: «يا قوم، أنصفوا بالله ولا تتّبعوا أوهامَ أهل الضّلال.»

يا يونس، قد ظهر مَن كان مخزوناً في أزل الآزال وأتى مَن كان موعوداً في كتب الله الغنيّ المتعال. نسأل الله أن يؤيّدَ الغافلين على الرّجوع والإنابة لدى بابٍ فُتِحَ على من في السّموات والأرضين.

إذا سَمِعْتَ ندائي الأحلى وصريرَ قلمي الأعلى، أَقْبِلْ بقلبك إلى الله مولى الورى وقل: «لك الحمد يا مُنْزِلَ الآيات ومالك الأسماء والصّفات بما سَقَيْتَني كوثرَ بيانك وهَدَيْتَني إلى صراطك. أسألك أن تجعلَني مستقيماً على حبّك بحيث لا تمنعني ظلمُ الفَرَاعِنَة ولا سطوةُ الجَبَابِرَة. أسألك يا مقصودَ الكائنات ومربّي الممكنات بالبحر البيان الّذي ماج باسمك وعَرْف الرّحمن إذ هاج بأمرك وبأنوار فجر ظهورك وبأسرار المكنونة في كتبك أن تجعلَني خاضعاً لأوليائك وناطقاً بذكرك وثنائك وقائماً على خدمة أمرك. أشهد يا إلهي بأنّ أمرك عظيمٌ عظيم؛ أَيِّدْني يا إلهي على التّمسّك والتّشبّث بأذياله، ثمّ اكْتُبْ لي يا إلهي من قلمك الأعلى خيرَ الآخرة والأولى. إنّك أنت محبوب الورى وربّ العرش والثّرى.»

ونَذْكُرُ أباك ونُبَشِّرُهُ بعناية الله العزيز الحميد. إنّا ذَكَرْناه من قبل وفي هذا الحين بما يبقى به ذکرُهُ في كتابي المبين. نشهد أنّه أقبل وحضر وفاز بما لم يَفُزْ به أكثرُ الخلق؛ يشهد بذلك مَن ينطق: «إنّه لا إله إلّا هو الفرد الواحد العليم الخبير.» البهاء والذّكر والثّناء عليك وعليه من لدن عزيز حكيم.