“From time immemorial, the glances of God have been directed towards His servants…”

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a Tablet of Baháʼuʼlláh, the original text of which has been published in Safíniy-i-ʻIrfán, vol. 17, pp. 910. According to INBA 19:67 and 32:62, where this Tablet also appears, it was revealed for a certain “Jináb-i-Siyyid Háshim.” I am grateful to John Wiegley and Sen McGlinn for their suggested improvements to this translation. 

He is God

From time immemorial, the glances of God have been directed towards His servants. Were He to avert that sustaining gaze of His from the earth and them that dwell therein for less than a single moment, they would all assuredly revert to nothingness. That which is beloved today, however, is that the loved ones of God should appear amidst their fellow men with spiritual characteristics. They should, moreover, detect the sweet savors of the inhabitants of this world from every soul they meet. Proof is required of those who lay pretension to love; whatever the tongue may impart will not necessarily be accepted at the divine Court. In this day, action taketh precedence over speech. Strive, then, that goodly deeds may be manifested from every limb of the body. Should one claim to be a denizen of the celestial Paradise, his words would not be proven by that claim alone. Rather, let them with a discerning sense of smell draw breath. If the fragrances they inhale be sweet, his claim will be accepted; otherwise, it shall be met with rejection. O my brothers! The shrill voice of the Supreme Pen is far more apparent and distinguished than the droning of the gnat.

A complete typescript of the Persian text of this Tablet appears below (all punctuation mine).


لازال لِحاظ الله بعبادش متوجّه و اگر اقلّ مِن آن نظر عنایت از ارض و مَن علیها بردارد البتّه کلّ بعدم راجع شوند. ولکن الیوم محبوب آنکه احبّای الهی باخلاق روحانی در مابین عباد ظاهر شوند. از هر نفسی روایح ریحان اهل اکوان استشمام نمایند. مدّعیان محبّت را برهان لازم؛ هرچه بلسان آید مقبول ساحت رحمن نیفتد. الیوم فعل مقدّم بر قول است. پس جهد نمائید تا از کلّ جوارح اعمال حسنه بظهور آید. اگر نفسی دعوی نماید که از اهل رضوان ربّانی است آن قول بمجرّد ادّعا ثابت نشود، بلکه صاحبان شامّه استشمام نمایند؛ اگر استنشاق ریاحین نمودند مقبول خواهد شد، والّا مردود. ای برادران من، صریر قلم اعلی از طنین ذباب بسی ظاهر و ممتاز.