A Tablet of Abdu’l-Baha to Baha’is of Jewish Extraction

What follows is my provisional translation (in other words, not official or authorized; see here for more) of a Tablet of ʻAbduʼl-Bahá. This facsimile of the original text, which is unpublished, was kindly supplied to me by Hoda Hosseini, the great-granddaughter of Ḥájí Yúsuf Vaḥdat (Áqá Mírzá Yúsuf ʻAláqihband), one of the recipients of this Tablet. Ḥájí Yúsuf was the paternal grandfather of the renowned artist, Mahmehr Vahdat Golestaneh, and had the distinction of being the first Baháʼí in their family. He was taught the Baháʼí Faith in Káshán by Ḥakím Faraju’lláh, who himself learned of it through Mírzá Abu’l-Faḍl. The Tablet below was written in 1901 following the imprisonment of Ḥájí Yúsuf for his belief in the Baháʼí Faith. 

Haji Yusuf Vahdat

Ḥájí Yúsuf Vaḥdat (Áqá Mírzá Yúsuf ʻAláqihband), one of the recipients of this Tablet

Delivered via the pilgrim Khájih Rabíʻ, upon him be the Glory of God

To Áqá Shamúʼíl, the son of Áqá Rabíʻ, and Áqá Mírzá Yúsuf ʻAláqihband, upon them both be the Glory of the All-Glorious

He is God

O dear friends of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá! Since on the path of Bahá ye have tasted the poison of oppression and been made the target of the dart of calamity, suffered the greatest blows and endured the direst afflictions, praised be God that in the fire of tests your faces are glowing with joy, and ye have burned the veil of men’s vain imaginings. Convey my utmost respect to the Baháʼís of Jewish extraction, who are the progeny of Abraham, and kiss them on their heads, for they have hearkened to the counsels of the Friend of God[1] with the ear of their souls and carried them out with wholehearted endeavor. They have cheered the hearts of all the prophets of Israel, and endeared the children of Jacob among the Concourse on High.

In this day, Abraham is the Merciful Father, and He rejoiceth with exceeding gladness and delight. From the Most Glorious Kingdom, Isaac giveth glad-tidings unto all the world, and Israel[2] beholdeth his descendants in great glory. Joseph regardeth the lineage of Jacob as having been favored with guidance and bounty, and Moses reckoneth that people as the embodiment of abounding grace. Aaron deemeth Israel to be the symbol of the favors of the Peerless One, and Solomon accounteth his kindred as blessed in both worlds. David seeth the Jews as the emblems of the bestowals of the loving Lord, and Isaiah, Elijah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Ezra voice their praise and congratulations to all of Israel.

These are the bounties which the glorious Lord hath accorded to Israel. Render ye thanks, therefore, and laud the One True God for having granted such a gift as this and freely conferred so immense a bestowal.

Upon you be the Glory of the All-Glorious.


[1] Khalíl, a title of Abraham.

[2] A title of Jacob.

A typescript of the original Persian text of this Tablet, based on the above facsimile, appears below (all punctuation and vowel marks mine).

به واسطۀ جنابِ زائر خواجه ربیع، علیه بهاءالله

جناب آقا شموئیل وَلَدِ آقا ربیع و جنابِ آقا میرزا یوسف علاقه‌بند، علیهما بهاءالله الابهی


ای یارانِ عزیزِ عبدالبهاء، زیرا در سبیلِ بهاء زهرِ جفا چشیدید و هدفِ تیرِ بَلا شُدید، صدماتِ عظمی دیدید و بلیّاتِ کبری تحمّل نمودید، الحمدلله در آتشِ امتحان رخ برافروختید و پردۀ اوهامِ خَلق بسوختید. احبّایِ کلیمی سلالۀ حضرتِ ابراهیم را از قِبَلِ من نهایتِ حرمت و تکریم مجری دارید و روی و موی ببوسید، زیرا وصایایِ حضرتِ خلیل را به گوشِ جان شنیدند و به دل و به ارکان مجری داشتند. قلوبِ جمیعِ انبیایِ اسرائیل را شادمان نمودند و اولادِ یعقوب را در ملأِ اعلی محبوب کردند.

الیوم حضرتِ ابراهیم اَبِ رحیمند و در فرح و سُرورِ عظیم. حضرتِ اسحق از ملکوتِ ابهی مژده به آفاق دهد، و حضرتِ اسرائیل سلالۀ خویش را جلیل بیند، و حضرتِ یوسف نژادِ یعقوب را به هدایت و موهبت موصوف داند، و حضرتِ موسایِ کلیم آن قوم را مظهرِ فضلِ عظیم شمرد، و حضرتِ هارون اسرائیل را مظاهر الطافِ حضرتِ بی‌چون داند، و حضرتِ سلیمان قومِ خویش را در دو جهان کامران شمرد، و حضرتِ داود یهود را را مظاهرِ الطاف ربّ وَدود بیند، و حضرت اشیعا و اِیلیا و اِرمیا و حزقیال و عزرا جمیعِ اسرائیل را آفرین گویند و تحسین نمایند.

این الطافِ ربِّ جلیل است که در حقِّ اسرائیل گشته. پس به شکرانه پردازید و خداوندِ یگانه را بستائید که چنین عنایتی مبذول داشت و چنین موهبتی شایگان رایگان نمود. و علیکم البهاء الابهی. ع ع