Bab Birthday

A Tablet of Baha'-Allah in celebration of the Birthday of the Bab

Translation Stephen Lambden, 2013

From the Arabic text printed in `Abd al-Hamid, Ishraq Khavari, Risala-yi ayyam-i tis`a  (Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 19XX),  pp. -   . 


In the Name of the Birthday [of the Bāb] (al-mawlūd) of the One whom God made to be a Herald (al-mubashshir) of His [Greatest] Name, The Mighty (al-`azīz), the Favored (al-wadūd).


[1] This is a Scriptural Tablet (lawḥ) which cometh from Us commemorative of the Night on which the heavens and the earth shone forth with blazing Luminosity (nayyirat anār) throughout all the worlds (al-`ālamīn). [2] Blessed be unto thee in that there was born on thee the very Day of God (yawm Allāh) which We indeed made to  be the Luminary of Salvation (miṣbāḥ al-falāḥ) for the denizens of the cities of Names (ahl madā’in al-asmā’). [3] It was the Calamitous Success (afdāḥ al-najjāḥ) unto  such as dwell within the Plains of Eternity (mayadīn al-baqā’) [4]  and the Dawning-Place of  Blissfulness and Delight (maṭla` al-faraḥ wa’l-ibtihāj) for such as exist within the realm of Origination (al-inshā’).


[1] So exalted be God, the Cleaver of the Heaven (fāṭir al-samā’) who designated  it with that Name (al-ism) through which the veils of idle fancy (ḥijabāt  al-mawhūm)  were incinerated along with the vainglories of mere speculation (subūḥāt al-ẓunūn). [2] He made the Name al-Qayyūm (the Self-Subsisting) to radiate forth from the Horizon of Certitude (ufq al-yaqīn) for thereby did He split asunder the seal of the Choice Wine of Life (khatm raḥīq al-hayawān). [3] And [thereby, furthermore] He opened up the Gate of Knowledge (bāb al-`ilm) and Exposition (al-bayān) unto whomsoever dwells in the realm of Existent Being (al-imkān). [4] At this also did the Breezes of the All-Merciful (nasmat al-raḥman) gladden the nations (al-buldān). [5] How excellent indeed (ḥabbdha)! is that moment (al-ḥīn) in which [the Bāb as]  the Treasure of God (kanz Allāh),  the Powerful (al-muqtasar), the All-knowing (al-`alīm), the All-Wise (al-ḥakīm)  was made manifest.



O Concourse of earth and heaven!

God made the primordial Night (al-laylat al-awlā) to be a sign (ayat) of the eschatological Night (al-laykat al-ukhrā) in which he [the Bāb] was born who [forever] remains unknown though any commemoration (al-adhkār) and indescribable through any depiction (al-awṣāf). [2] Blessed be such as ponder upon these [two] imponderables!  [3] Such a person will assuredly outwardly envision things relative to their deeper sense (ṭībq al-bāṭin) and will be enabled to penetrate the mysteries of God (asrār Allāh) in this Dispensation [Theophany] (al-ẓuhūr). [4] [For this is indeed] a Dispensation wherein the pillars of infidelity (arkān al-shirk) have been made to tremble and the idols of vain fancy have been thunderstruck! [5] Therein have been upraised the banner of `He, no God is there except Him, the All-Powerful (al-muqtadir), the One Elevated (al-muta`ālī), the One (al-wāḥid), the Peerless (al-fard), the Help in Peril (al-muhaymin), the Mighty (al-`azīz), the Inaccessible (al-manī`)’. [6] Therein also the breezes of Union (rā’iḥat al-wisāl) have wafted forth for the Gates of the Encounter with God (abwāb al-liqā’) have been flung open in this the [era of] the Return (al-ma’āl). [7] Thereon all things (kullu shay’) did cry out, `The Kingdom belongeth unto God (al-mulk li-lāhīi), the King of Names (mālik al-asmā’) who hath indeed come with a Sovereignty (sulṭān in) which hath encompassed all the worlds.


[8] At this did the Supreme Concourse (malā’ al-a`lā) rejoice over their Elevated and All-Glorious Lord [the Bāb] (rabbahum al-`alī al-abhā). [9] They glorified the realities of the Names (ḥaqā’iq al-asmā’) of the King of the eschatological age and of the primordial era (mālik al-ākhira wa’l-ulā) [10] This in this Theophany [Dispensation] (ẓuhūr) when mountains (al-jibāl) took flight [1] unto the Elevated Realm of Sufficiency (al-ghanā al-muta`āl); [11] hearts (al-qulūb) did orient themselves in the direction of the Countenance of the One Beloved (wajh al-maḥbūb) and [12] leaves (al-awrāq) were set in motion with the breezes of deep yearning (min aryāḥ al-ishtiyāq). [13] On account of Rapture over the Call of the Chosen One [the Bāb] (nidā’ al-mukhtār), furthermore, the Trees (al-ashjār) did cry out. [14] All the worlds (al-`ālam) did tremble with yearning (shawq an) nigh attaining the Encounter with God (li-liqā’) through the King of Pre-Existence (mālik al-qidam). [15] All things were regenerated on account of the Treasured Word (kalimat al-makhzūn) which was made manifest through this Mighty [Greatest] Name (al-ism al-`aẓīm).



O Night of Beatitude (laylat al-wahhāb)!

We do indeed see in Thee the Mother [Archetypal] Book (umm al-kitāb). [2] It is indeed the birthday (al-mawlūd) of [he who is] the Mother [Archetypal] Book (umm al-kitāb)! [3] Nay! By Mine Own Self! All of the foregoing was realized relative to the station of the [Divine] Names (maqām al-asmā’) which God did indeed sanctify therefrom [4] for through Him was manifest the One Hidden, Unseen (al-ghayb al-maknūn) and the Treasured Mystery (al-sirr al-makhzūn). [5] Nay! By Mine Own Self! All of the foregoing was realized relative to the station of the [Divine] Attributes (maqām al-ṣifāt) for He [the Bāb] is indeed their Sovereign (la-sulṭānihā) through Whom was made manifest the [Divine] Manifestations (maẓāhir), [by virtue of] a Divinity that is without precedent before God (lā qabl ilahin ilā Allāh)!  [4] Blessed be such as are possessed of certitude!


[1] At this did the Supreme Pen ( al-qalam al-a`lā) swoon away and proclaim, `O such as cannot be described through the Divine Names (al-asmā’)! [2] I shrink back at Thy Sovereignty (sulṭān), the Help in Peril (al-muhaymin) throughout both earth and heaven, for I created by virtue of Thy Generative Powers (bi-ibdā`ika). [3] How then can I possibly determine what hath not been disclosed of Thy Generative Powers (al-ibdā`)? [4] In spite of this and Thy Might (`izzat), if I should make mention of whatsoever Thou didst inspire Me, We would doubtless enumerate whatsoever is pertinent to the realms of possibility (al-mumkināt) with joyfulness and delight (faraḥ wa’l-ibtihāj)! [5] Wherefore hath the Ocean of Thine Exposition (Bayān) surged in this Most Radiant Locale (maqām al-asnā) and this Supreme, Furthermost, Habitation (al-maqarr al-a`lā al-aqsā).


[1] O Lord! Still then this muted Pen (al-qalam al-abkam) with the mention of this Most Great Station [of the Bāb] (al-maqām al-a`ẓam)! [2] Then be Thou merciful unto Me! O my King (mālik) and my Sovereign (sulṭān). [3] So authorize Thou me that I should be placed betwixt Thy hands for Thou art indeed the Beneficent (al-mu`ṭā), the Powerful (al-muqtadar), the Forgiving (al-ghafūr), the Noble (al-karīm). 



[1] cf. Q. 7:171; 18:47; 27:88; 52:10; 56:5; 69:14; 70:9; 73:14; 77:10; 78:7)