TB L-Ruya' II

 

 

Lawḥ-i ru'yā   (The Tablet of the Vision) Mss. texts and translations.

 

The Lawḥ-i Ru'yā

(Tablet of the Vision).

of

Bahā'-Allāh

 The Lawḥ-i ru'yā was revealed in the House of `Udí Khammār in `Akkā (Acre) for an apparently Bahā'í believer referred to by Bahā'-Allāh as "My Name" (= Ḥusayn?). In various sources this Tablet is said to date nineteen years prior to the ascension of Bahā'-Allāh in 1308 AH/1892 CE and to the (eve of) the anniversary of the birthday of the Bāb in the year to 1290 AH or March 1st 1873 CE. The influence of the Qayyūm al-asmā' of the Bab can be seen, especially the Sūrat al-huriyya (Surah of the Maiden) sections of which which are interpreted in Bahā'ī sources as allusive of Bahā'-Allāh himself.

        A four or so page wholly Arabic Tablet, the Lawḥ-i Ru'yā is a multi-faceted, largely commemoratory Tablet which opens with the following paragraph in which a heavenly vision (Arabic = ru'yā) is introduced and headed by the words, "In My Name, that warbleth upon the twigs (afnān)" -- the word afnān perhaps being suggestive of the "twigs" or "branches" of the Tree of the family of the Bāb;

"O My Name! Hearken unto My Call which cometh from the precincts of the heavenly Throne (al-`arsh) that it might enable thee to attain unto the coastline of an opulent Ocean; the fathomless deep of which no swimmer (sābbaḥ) hath ever attained. And Thy Lord is assuredly One Knowing and Generous. [2] We indeed desired to cast Our Bounty upon thee by making mention of that which We visioned. [3] This to the end that thou mayest witness the Luminous World (al-`ālam al-nūrānī) in this nether world of darkness (al-`ālam al-ẓalmānī) and be firmly assured that for Us there is many a world within this mortal world. Then render thanks unto Thy Lord, the Well-Informed. [4] If He desired that He might cause the rays of the Sun to appear from a tiny atom (al-dharat) or disclose the waves of the ocean from a mere droplet (al-qatra), He is assuredly capable of this; even as He hath enabled the knowledge of what was and what is to emerge from a single Point (al-nuqṭa) !".

 Speaking as if enthroned upon the celestial "Throne" (al-`arsh), Bahā'-Allāh states that he is going to recount his vision (ru'yā). This that the recepient of the Tablet might thereby gain a glimpse of the next world of lights while yet in this mortal world. The following thirteen paragraphs (II-XIV) of the Tablet recount aspects of a mystical vision centering upon the symbolic tale of a "Luminous Maiden" (waraqat al-nūrānī)  clad in a "snow-white robe" and appearing as the "full moon" (al-badr).

 This "Maiden" primarily symbolizes the Reality of the Bāb whose birthday is being allusively commemorated and Who, as a Manifestation of God, is mystically "One" with Bahā'-Allāh, the "the Temple of God" (see X) . The relationship of oneness and heraldship between the Bāb and Bahā'-Allāh  is also celebrated in the course of the symbolic vision; as for, example, in [VIII]

"We investigated the depth of her Countenance and discovered the Hidden Point (al-nuqṭah al-mastúrah) neath the Veil of Unicity (hijāb al-wāḥdiyya), radiating forth from the horizon of her Bosom (ufq al-jayb). ."

Note also these lines,

"Then did the Temple of God (haykal Allāh) [=Baha'-Allāh] rise up and walk forth [2] whereon the Maiden [= the Bāb] also did walk along behind, listening, trembling and enraptured at the verses of her Lord".

"Exalted be God, her Originator (mawjuduhā), for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!"

 Towards the end of the vision (para. XIV) there is, according to the interpretation of `Abd al-Bahā, a figurative prophecy of Bahā'-Allāh's ascension. We read of a "most secreted mystery" (al-sirr al-mustasirr),(a phrase quite frequent in the Qayyūm al-asmā)  foreshadowing the passing of Bahā'-Allāh into the worlds of the afterlife;

Thereupon did the Maiden [= the Bab] bow her head and place her Countenance upon her two fingers.It was as if the new Moon [= the Bab] (al-hilāl) was conjoined with an wholly full Moon [= Bahā'-Allāh] (al-badr al-tamām). Thereupon she wailed and exclaimed, `May all in existence be a sacrifice for Thy woes (balā'), O Sovereign of earth and heaven!  Wherefore didst Thou set Thyself amongst such as are in the city of `Akkā'? Hasten Thou! Unto Thine other realms (mamālikaka al-ukhrā); unto [Thy] retreats on high (al-maqāmāt) whereon the eyes of the people of names have never fallen.' ...  With this prophetic allusion to his leaving this mortal world, Bahā'-Allāh comments by stating, "At this We smiled"!

 The Lawḥ-i ru'yā' concludes with a plea that its symbolism be contemplated by the Bahā'is, the "possessors of knowledge among the companions of the Crimson Ark (aṣhāb ṣafinat al-ḥamrā')." It is clearly stated that the Tablet was "a commemoration (al-dhikr)" which "coincided with the day in which the Herald (mubashshir = the Bāb)was born, who cried out after My [Bahā'-Allāh's] Remembrance (bi-dhikrí) and Our Sovereignty (sulṭānī)."  The Bāb had given the people news of the manifestation and identity of Bahā'-Allāh, the guarded mystery of the"Greatest Name" of God. The Day of God was honoured with another dispensation: the Bahā'ī Faith followed that of the Bāb. The people were tested and "thunderstruck" with bewilderment. Yet, all might attain truth, for "This Day every seeker attaineth the Desied One (al-maqṣūd), every mystic aspirant (`ārif) achieveth Real Gnosis (al-ma`rúf) and every wayfarer reacheth the Straight Path." A brief prayer of thanksgiving concludes the Tablet.

    

The Lawḥ-i Ru'yā

(Tablet of the Vision).

of

Bahā'-Allāh

 Translation Stephen Lambden 1990s.

[0]

In My Name, that warbleth upon the twigs

 [1]

[1]

O My Name!

Hearken unto My Call which cometh from the precincts of the heavenly Throne (al-`arsh) that it might enable thee to attain unto the shore of an opulent Ocean; the fathomless deep of which no swimmer (sābbaḥ)  hath ever attained. And Thy Lord is assuredly One Knowing and Generous. [2] We indeed desired to cast Our Bounty upon thee by making mention of that which We visioned. [3] This to the end that thou may  witness the Luminous World (al-`ālam al-nūrānī) in this nether world of darkness (al-`ālam al-ẓalmānī) and thus be firmly assured that for Us there is many a world within this mortal world. Then render thanks unto Thy Lord, the Well-Informed. [4] And if He desired that He might cause the rays of the Sun  to appear from a tiny atom  (al-dharra) or disclose the waves of the ocean (anwāj al-baḥr) from a mere droplet (al-qaṭra), He is assuredly capable of this; even as He hath enabled the knowledge of what was and what is to emerge from a single Point (al-nuqṭa) !

[II]

[1] We were enthroned upon the heavenly Throne when there entered a Luminous Maiden (lit. `Leaf'.. waraqat al-nūrā) clad in a beauteous, snow-white robe. [2]  Even as the full moon (al-badr) did her brilliant morning light dawn forth from the horizon of heaven. [3] Exalted be God, her Originator, for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

[III]

[1] When she untied her face-covering veil (al-lithān) the heavens and the earth beamed forth [2] when Pre-Existent Being (kaynúnat al-qidam), by virtue of her radiant Lights, disclosed theophanic splendour (tajalliyat) thereon. [3] Exalted be God, her Originator, for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

[IV]

[1] Then she smiled and bent obliquely, [2]  like the stem of a balsam plant (myrorebalan; ka-ghuṣn al- al-bān) before the gaze of the All-Merciful [3] Exalted be He Who Manifested her for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

[V]

[1] Then did she move about and circumambulate with neither intention nor desire on her own part [2] but as if the needle of her yearning  were attracted by the magnetic intensity of the Beauty (al-jamāl) which beamed forth before her Countenance. [3] Exalted be her Originator, for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

[VI]

[1] When she walked forth the divine Glory (al-jalāl) attended her whilst the Kingdom of Beauty (al-jamāl) heralded her from behind. [2]  This on account of the ravishing wonder of her comeliness her amorous ways and the perfect symmetry of her form [3] Exalted be her Originator, for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

[VII]

[1] Then We discovered her jet-black locks cascading over the length of her snow-white neck [2] as if night and noontime embraced in this most beauteous (abhā) locale (al-maqarr al-abhā) and most elevated goal (maqṣid al-aqsā). [3] Exalted be her Originator, for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

 [VIII]

[1] We investigated the depth of her Countenance and discovered the Hidden Point (al-nuqṭah al-mastūra) neath the Veil of Unicity (ḥijāb al-wāḥidiyya), radiating forth from the horizon of her Bosom  [2] Through it were the Tablets of the Love of the All-Merciful (alwāh* muh*abbat al-rah*man) differentiated in the continent world as well as the registers of the enraptured lovers (dafātir al-`ushshāq) in the Horizons (al-āfāq). [3]  Exalted be her Originator,  for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

 

[IX]

[1] And [the episode of] that Point (al-nuqṭah) was narrated by the Subsequent Point (al-nuqṭat ukhrā) situated above and to the right-hand of side her Breast. [2] Exalted be the Lord of the Hidden and Manifest (al-sirr wa'l-`alin) who created her.

 [X]

[1] Then did the Temple of God (haykal Allāh) rise up and walk forth [2] whereon the Maiden also did walk along behind, listening, trembling and enraptured at the verses of her Lord. [3] Exalted be He Who created her, for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

[XI]

[1] Then were the joy, rapture, and yearning of the Maiden  multiplied to the extent that she was transformed and swooned away. [2] When she recovered from her swoon she drew nigh said: `May my soul be a sacrifice for thine incarceration, O Mystery of the Unseen (sirr al-ghayb) in the Kingdom of Existence.' [3] Exalted be her Originator, for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

[XII]

[1] Then did she gaze toward the Orient Light of the Throne even as one in a state  of intoxication and mystical bewilderment (fí bāta al-sukr wa ḥairah); [2] until that is, she set her hand upon the neck of her Lord and drew Him nigh in unity. [3] When the Maiden drew nigh We also drew nigh and found with her that which was sent down by Our Exalted Pen  in the treasured Crimson Scroll (al-ṣāḥīfa al-makhzūn al-ḥamrā').  [4] Exalted be her Originator, for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

[XIII]

[1] Then did the Maiden bow her head and place her Countenance upon her two fingers. [2]  It was as if the new Moon (al-hilāl) were conjoined with an wholly full Moon (al-badr al-tamām). [3] Exalted be her Originator, for no eye hath ever beheld anything like unto her!

 [XIV]

[1] Thereupon she wailed and exclaimed, `May all in existence be a sacrifice for Thy woes,  O Sovereign of earth and heaven!'  [2] Wherefore did thou set thyself amongst such as are in the city of `Akkā' (Acre)?  [3]  Hasten Thou! Unto thine other realms unto [thy] retreats on high whereon the  eyes of the people of names have never fallen.'  [4] At this We smiled.

[XV]

[1] Consider ye this most exquisite commemoration (al-dhikr al-aḥlā) and what We have intended by the most secreted mystery (al-sirr al-mustasirr), [2] a matter evident yet most hidden  O possessors of knowledge among the  companions of the Crimson Ark  (aṣḥāb ṣafinat al-ḥamrā').

 

[XVI]

[1] This commemoration (al-dhikr) hath coincided with the day in which the Herald (mubashshir) [= the Bāb] was born who cried out after My Remembrance (bi-dhikrí) and Our Sovereignty.  [4] He announced unto the people the tidings of My Will, the ocean of My Intention and of the Sun of My Theophany (shams al-ẓuhūrī). [5] We honored Him with  another Day in which the Hidden Unseen (al-ghayb al-maknūn),  the Treasured Mystery (al-sirr al-makhzún) and the Well-Guarded Symbol (al-ramz al-maẓūn) hath been manifested.  [6] The One, that is, through Whom the dwellers of the Kingdom of Names were disarrayed and whomsoever were on earth and in heaven  were thunderstruck; [7] save that is, such as We safeguarded  through a Sovereignty and a Power  which cometh from Us. [8] I, verily, am One Powerful to accomplish whatsoever He willeth. No God is there except Me, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. [9] Blessed be whomsoever hath caught the perfumed fragrance of God (`arf Allāh) in this Day, which is the Dawning-Place of the Theophany  (maṭla` al-ẓuhūr), the Orient of My Name, the Forgiving. [10] Thereon hath the Breath wafted, the Breeze come forth  and the ecstasy of the Theophany entranced all such as are lie in the graves. [11] [On that Day] Mount Sinai (al-ṭūr) crieth out saying.  `The Kingdom is God's, the Powerful, the Transcendent, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.' [12] This Day every seeker attains the Desired One, every mystic aspirant (`ārif) achieves real gnosis  (al-ma`rúf) and every wayfarer reaches the Straight Path.

[XVII]

[1] Praised be unto Thee, O my God. May Thy lovers be blessed in such wise that Thou send down upon them from the heaven of Thy Bounty,  that which will enable them to be detached  from all that is other than Thee.  [2]  Do Thou orient them in the direction of that Horizon  from which beams forth the Sun of Thy Bounty. [3] Empower them, O my God, with what will benefit them in both this world and the world to come. [4] Thou in Truth art the Powerful, the Transcendent,  the Benefactor, the One Who Gives Forth,  the Wealthy, the Generous.

 

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