Baha’u’llah’s Tablet of the Hair, no. 12

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 is published in La’áli’u’l-Ḥikmat, vol. 3, p. 76 (selection no. 42). 

This is one of eleven* Arabic Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh known as “the Tablets of the Hair,” which depict His hair and its wondrous qualities in figurative language. Authorized translations of five of these Tablets are available here. I have provisionally translated the other six here

He is the Hidden, the Manifest

Glorified be Thou, O God, for this fiery strand, this lordly cord! At one time I behold it as fire, for by it the hearts of the devoted are consumed, and at another I see it as wind, for through it the souls of the true believers are stirred. At yet another moment, it emitteth a sound which seemeth to be melodies that enamor the hearts of the lovers. Glory be to God for this moving and resplendent Spirit!


* Since posting this translation, I have been asked more than once whether I have accidentally contradicted myself by calling this Tablet “no. 12” while stating in the prefatory note that there are eleven Tablets of the Hair. The numerical sequence I assigned to these particular Tablets comes from Dr. Steven Phelps’s Partial Inventory. When I looked into his entries for the various Tablets of the Hair, I noticed that two online references (OOL.B191.01 and OOL.B191.03) were given for one particular entry (BH07147), because the website where those references are digitally published, Ocean of Lights, created separate pages for “Tablet of the Hair, no. 1” and “Tablet of the Hair, no. 3,” when these are actually the same Tablet. After discovering this redundancy, Dr. Phelps removed Tablet no. 3 from the Partial Inventory, but the sequencing has not yet been adjusted to reflect this removal, so it still goes from 1 to 12 even though there are now just 11 items in the total set. Hence, this provisional name for the Tablet remains “no. 12” as a holdover from faulty sequencing.

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

هو الباطن الظّاهر

فَسُبْحانَكَ اللهِ مِنْ هذا الْخَيْطِ النّارِيِّ وَهذا الْحَبْلِ الرَّبّانِيِّ، مَرَّةً أُشاهِدُ أَنَّهُ نارٌ لأَنَّ بِها تَحْتَرِقُ قُلُوْبُ الْمُخْلِصِيْنَ، وَمَرَّةً أُشاهِدُ بِأَنَّهُ أَرْياحٌ لأَنَّ بِهِ اهْتَزَّ أَفْئِدَةُ الْمُوَحِّدِيْنَ، وَفِيْ وَقْتٍ يَظْهَرُ مِنْهُ صَوْتٌ كَأَنَّهُ نَغَماتٌ تُجْتَذَبُ مِنْها قُلُوْبُ الْعاشِقِيْنَ، فَسُبْحانَ اللهِ مِنْ هذا الرُّوْحِ الْمُتَحَرِّكِ اللَّمِيْعِ.