THE LAWḤ TUQĀ
(The Tablet of the Fear of God)
(The Tablet of Piety-Righteousness- the "Fear of God")
Stephen N. Lambden
Last revised May 1998.
Trans. from the Arabic Haifa supplied text (July 1984) and from the unpublished ms. text also found in INBMC 83:100-103 and printed in AQA ADD.
هذا لوح تقى
This is the Lawḥ al-tuqā (Tablet of the Fear of God).
يذكرفيه عبد الله الذي سمي بالنبيل قبل تقى ليكون تزكرة له وذكرى لمن استطل في ظل ربه العلى وأن هذا لخيرعظيم
Therein He mentions the servant of God who hath been named Nabīl before Taqī (= Muhammad Taqī) to the end that it be a memorial (tadhkirat) of him and a remembrance for whomsoever is protected within the shadow of His Lord, the Elevated. Such is indeed an expression of great good.
ألامنع الأقدس الأبهى
He is God, the Most Transcendent, the Most Holy, the All-Glorious.
فسبحان ألذي نزل الايات بالحق من جبروت عزعليا وينطق بالحق في ملكوت الاعلى بلسانه الا يدع الا حلى لعل الناس يتخذون، الى جهة الروح تلقاء عرش ربهم الرحمن بالحق سبيلا
Praised be unto God Who hath, in very truth, sent down the verses from a mighty, elevated, domain of power and in truth crieth out in His Most Exalted Kingdom with His most-sweet, wondrous Tongue  This perchance the people might truly orient themselves upon a path unto the vicinity of the Spirit nigh the Throne of their Lord the All-Merciful.
قل ياقوم اتقوالله ولا تتيعوا اننسكم ان ارتقبوا فضل الله وان فضله كان عليكم محيطا وان استشرقت عليكم شمس الكلمات عن افق طيك الا سماء والصفا ت ازالا تستكبروا تم اسجد والجمال ربكم الذى كان في جبروت البقا باسم البها وفي ملکوت الا شا بالعلى مذكورا
Say: `O People, Fear ye God!
and follow not your own selves; if, that is, you befittingly await the Bounty of God and that His Grace encircle you round about.  And if you anticipate that the Sun of the words [of God] (shams al-kalimāt) should irradiate you from the horizon of the King of divine Names and Attributes then wax not proud  but fall prostate before the Beauty of thy Lord who dwells with the name of Bahā' in the realm of Eternal Subsistence (jabarūt al-baqā') and with the celebrated name of `Alī in the Kingdom of Origination.
Say: `O People,
disbelieve not in the verses of God after they have been revealed! And follow not Satan nor your own selves as a [false] patron (waliyy an) '.  Beware lest you be disturbed at the advent of He through Whom things have been disordered,  through whom heaven hath been cleft asunder,  the nethermost earth rent,  the mountains leveled,  the oceans made to surge;  through whom every woman with child shall cast aside her burden  and [through whose advent] drunkenness seized the dwellers of both the heavens and of the earth (cf. Q. 22:2c).  Wherefore was the Cause sent down in very truth from the Pen of Holiness, and God is witness unto that which I say.  Cast then aside whatsoever veils you from God, then ascend up with the wings of detachment unto this heaven which hath been upraised through the Truth and was secretly carried aloft through my All-Glorious Name (ismī al-abhā').
Say: `By God!
The breezes of Divine Bounty hath wafted from the Orient of Divine Justice (mashāriq al-`adl) and thereby hath all things been rendered pregnant [as would be evident] if thou should, in this respect, be among those truly informed.  Indeed! contingent Being (al-imkān) will assuredly cast aside its trust [burden] whereupon you shall witness the unbelievers in flight both to the right and to the left though incapable of finding for themselves any secure place of refuge.  Wherefore do We inform thee of the Announcement of the Cause (nabā' al-amr) to the end that thou might attain unto the mysteries veiled beyond the pavilions of divine Might (surādiq al-`izz).
Say: `O People!
Take hold of the Crimson Goblet from the fingers of Bahā'!  Then be detached from whomsoever is on the earth and in heaven and if you be capable within your own selves ride through My Supreme Name upon the Crimson Ark (fulk al-amrī') and traverse ye the Ocean of Grandeur to the end that you may attain the [heavenly] Seat which was guarded from the matters rumored among the unbelievers.
So hearken O people!
unto the Call of God which comes from all sides and be not inclined towards such as have disbelieved in he in whom they [previously] had faith [Bahā'-Allāh = the Bāb] rendering them remote from the Path of the True One (sabīl al-ḥaqq).  And among the unbelievers was he who made efforts (mujāhid an ) through his worldly goods [provisions] and relative to his own self for the elevation of Our [My] Cause but when Our Beauty was manifested unto him he disbelieved in it and was forthwith overturned [fleeing] upon his heels.
And thou [Babi] servant!
Although there was not presented from you a communication before the hands of the Divine Throne, yet when your name was mentioned there was revealed for you what giveth solace to your eyes and to the eyes of such as hath believed in God and stand upright upon the Ṣirāṭ (Path) of Might.  So stand upright within thyself perchance some [pernicious] thing might cause you to slip upon the Ṣirāṭ (Path)  Then render thanks unto thy Lord in that He hath sent down for you a Mighty, Wondrous Tablet (lawḥ `izz badī` an)  Thus have We been gracious unto you through the wonders of Our Bounty and have communicated unto you that wherein you shall find the perfumed fragrances of thy Lord and, through refuge in the shadow of the protection of thy Lord, achieve, in very truth, a secure [spiritual] station
And among the people
was the one who publicly turned aside from God.  If you should recite the verses of God unto him he would be dishonored [lit. `would blacken his face'] and would revert unto his people [as] one detested.  Among the people are also such as do say, `Such is not what hath been sent down according to the natural human disposition (al-fitra).
Say: By God!
The natural human disposition (al-fitra) hath indeed been created by but a single letter thereof.'  Unto this testifies what flows from a wondrous, sacred Pen.  And among the people are also such as calumniate against God and say, `This is naught but a sorcerer [magician] who bewitches the people and, through what emerges from his mouth, renders their hopes of no effect.'  They rejected the prophets (al-nabiyyīn) and the Messengers (al-mursalīn) and disparaged [were disdainful of] the religion of God (dīn Allāh).
O People! Fear God! khāfī `an Allāh)
and utter not that which the unbelievers said the moment when the Sun of Pre-Existence (shams al-qidam) beamed forth with manifest sovereignty (bi-sulṭān mubīn an) from the Dawning-Place of Hijāz.  This do the unbelievers say at the time of every Prophet (nabī) until Days [dispensations] were consummated with the onset of the Days of God (ayyām Allāh) and the Ancient Beauty (jamāl al-qidam) shone forth from the horizon of an elevated Name (ism `alīyy an) [=`Alī? Bahā'-Allāh succeeds the Bāb].
And thou, O servant!
sanctify the [hearing of] the ear of holiness (udhn al-quds; = Bahā'-Allāh) from the words of the unbelievers (kalimāt al-mushrikīn).  Then enter with the permission of thy Lord, the All-Merciful, the overflowing waters [bounties] of this Ocean that thou may find the priceless Pearls of Wisdom  Say: `We took a handful of dust [= Mīrzā Yaḥyā Nūrī] and kneaded it with the waters of the Cause which cometh from Us  Therein did We breathe a Spirit from Our Cause (al-rūḥ an min amr).  We ornamented it with Our Most Beautiful Names (bi-asmā'inā al-ḥusnā') in the Kingdom of Origination (malakūt al-inshā') and elevated it [him] unto a station which became renowned amongst all whether [young] insignificant or great [aged] (ṣaghīr wa kabīr an).  Yet when his maturity was fully realized and he achieved inner repose within himself, then did he wax proud against the Logos-Self of God and His Sovereignty (nafs Allāh wa sulṭnahu) until he publicly waged war against Him  Wherefore was the decree pronounced against the Exalted, the Elevated Beauty of thy Lord (jamāl Allāh al-`alīyy al-`alā) by the determining finger of God.
Say: `O People, Fear God! (ittaqā Allāh)
and cease acting negligently with respect to the direction of God [cf. Q. 39:57].  By God! This is indeed the Announcement of He through whom the eyes of the denizens of the Concourse of Eternity have been solaced, (qarrat `uyūn ahl malā' al-baqā')  the One preserved beyond the veils of Light through the protection of God  When the times were completed he shone forth from the Horizon of Holiness with a Proof which encompassed all the worlds.  And thou, should thou ponder upon this Proof then with what manner of proof would thy faith be confirmed?  Nay! By He through the Light of His Whose Countenance the heavens hath beamed forth! never would thou [without due reflection] discover for your selves an Evidence pointing toward the True One [Truth] (al-ḥaqq).
Say: `O People!
Should there there appear amongst you a Messenger of God (rasūl Allāh) with His scriptural traces [writings] (āthār) then rise up from your couches, take firm hold of Him with the fingers of acceptance (bi-anāmil al-taslīm), then inhale deeply that you may find from him the perfume of God, thy Beloved One, such that thou reject Him not.  Wherefore hath the Cause (al-amr) been sent down from the celestial realm of holiness on the part of One Mighty and Powerful.  Furthermore, O people! Follow ye the Faith of God (millat Allāh) and His Religion (dīn) and commit not that which you hast been forbidden in the Book.  Fear ye God! (ittaqā Allāh) and be upright in His Cause.  The unbelievers will indeed summon someone from hereabouts and cause to enter into his heart the hatred of God and of the Manifestation of His Logos-Self (maẓhar nafsihi).  They shall dispatch him unto the regions and unto you [= the believers] and with him is that which will cause the people of turn aside from a Mighty, Luminous [Path].
Blessed be unto whomsoever
is not disturbed by the convulsions of godlessness and is upright in the Cause of his Master.  By God! He assuredly is better before God than whomsoever hath been created, whether it encompass the totality of what is between the heavens and the earth.  Such is of the announcements of the Unseen (anbā' al-ghayb) which We shall reveal for thee as a Bounty which cometh from Us upon thee and upon everyone possessed of certainty and insight.  Glory be upon thee! and upon such as have sought refuge in the shade of this Lote-Tree (al-sidra) which has in truth been raised up and planted with the bounteous hand of God in the Midmost-Heart [Pivot] of Riḍwān (quṭb al-riḍwān).
Select Expository Notes
IV:1 Say: `O People, disbelieve not in the verses of God after they have been revealed! and follow ye not Satan nor thine own selves as a [false] Patron (waliyy an). In this verse Baha-Allah instructs the people to follow his revealed verses not following any satanic individual
IV: 2 Beware lest ye be disturbed at the advent of He through Whom things have been disordered [agitated, Dh-R-B; VIII). This is perhaps a reference to the Bab and his revolutionary religion.
IV:3 "through Whom heaven hath been cleft asunder". The last words here (VII, F-T-R) could have been translated "split", " ....cf. Q.19:90; 42:5;
IV:4 "the nethermost earth (arḍ al-suflā) rent" (> Sh-Q-Q; VII) Q.19:90[92);
IV:5 "the mountains (al-jibāl) leveled.." (> VII D-K-K) cf. Q.69:14; 89:21ff)
IV:6 ".. the oceans (al-biḥār) made to surge.." (Q. ??);
IV:7 ["] every woman with child [possessor of a womb] shall cast aside her burden ["] (taa`u kullu dhāti amlahā) [cf. Q. 22:2b] I:12 "every woman with child ([pregant] possessor of a womb) shall cast aside her burden (taa`u kullu dhāti amlahā). This phrase is a near citation of Q. 22:2b = "every woman with child shall discharge her burden (taa`u kullu dhāti'l-amlahā)" -- no definite article. In the Qur'ān the phrase dhāt ḥaml (lit. possessor of a womb) indicates a "pregnant woman" or "woman with child". The last word ḥamlahā (translated) "her burden" is indicative of what the women will cast away or discharge (cf. also Q. 20:100; 22:12-13)
IV:8 ".. and drunkenness (al-sukr) shall seize the dwellers (sukkūn) of [both] the heavens and of the earth..". This phrase is rooted in Q. 22:2c which immediately follows the qur`ānic reference to women casting aside their burden (= I:12). The relevant passage in Q. 22:2c reads, "Thou shalt see people [as] drunken (sukarÿ) yet they will not be intoxicated (sukarÿ) though the Torment [Doom] of God (`ahÿbata Allāhi) will be severe (shadÿd)." Bahā'-Allāh interprets the "drunkenness" of "humanity" (al-nÿs) as a universal or cosmic phenomenon embracing the inhabitants of both "earth" and "heaven".
IV:9 "Wherefore was the command sent down in very truth (al-amr bi'l-haqq) from the Pen of Holiness (al-qalam al-quds); and God is witness unto that which I say..."
IV:10 ".. Cast ye aside then [cf. Q.22:2b] whatsoever veileth ye from God then ascend ye up with the wings of detachment unto this heaven wherein the Truth (al-haqq) hath been upraised and was secretly carried aloft through my All-Glorious Name (kÿnat `ala ismi al-abha' bi'l-sirr marfi`an)..." There is allusion back here to the near citation from Q. 22:2 with the command to XXXXXX "Cast ye aside then [cf. Q.22:2b]
V:1 "Say: By God! The breezes of [Divine] Bounty (nasa'im al-fal) hath wafted from the Orient of [Divine] Justice (mashriq al-`adl) and thereby hath all things been rendered pregant (a[m]malat?) [as would be evident] if thou shouldst be in this respect [truly] informed.
V:2 ".. [Indeed!] Contingent Being (al-imkān) will assurdly cast aside its trust [burden] (yaa` al-imkan amlahi) whereupon thou shalt witness the unbelievers (al-mushrikiهn) in flight both to the right and to the left though incapable of finding for themselves any secure [place of] refuge (maqarr an amÿn an). The Arabic verbal root F-R-R is indicative of flight or the act of fleeing. See Kasis:438 see -- Q. 26:21... Q. 33:16; 62:8; 80:34;
V:3 ".. Wherefore do We inform thee of the Announcement of the Cause (nabÿ' al-amr).." A probable allusion to Q. nabÿ' al-a`am)
V:3b "... to the end that thou might attain unto the mysteries (asrÿr) veiled hidden beyond the pavilions of Might (surÿdiq al-`izz). SURADIQ...
VI:1 "Say: O people! Take ye hold of the Crimson Goblet (ka'is al-ḥamrā') from the fingers of Baha'!
VI:2 "Then be ye detached from all that is on earth and in heaven and if thou be capable within thyselves ride in My Supreme Name (bi-ismi al-a`la) upon the Crimson Ark (fulk al-hamra') and traverse ye the Ocean of Grandeur (bar al-kubriya') to the end that thou mayest attain the [heavenly] Couch [Seat]] (maq`ad) which was guarded from the [things] cast [aspersions] (R-M-Y) from the unbelievers..." (See Khasis 1020 cf. Q. 8:17;105:4)
VII:1 "So hearken, O people! unto the Call of God (nida' Allāh) which cometh from all sides and be ye not inclined towards such as have disbelieved in He in Whom they [previously] had faith [Baha'u'llah = the Bÿb] rendering them remote from the Path of the True One (sabil al-haqq).
XX ".. And among the unbelievers (al-mushrikin) he who hath striven after [clamoured for] (mujÿhid an ) his worldly goods [provisions] (amwÿl) and relative to his ownselelf [as opposed to] the elevation of Our [My] Cause (lÿ `alÿ amrÿ)..."
XX This such that when Our Beauty (jamÿlÿ) was manifest unto him he disbelieved in it was forthwith overturned [fleeing] upon his heels (`alÿ `aqibay[i]hi munqal[l]ib an?). VII-Q-L-B) 
XX "And thou, O thou [Babis] servant! Although there was not presented from thee a communication before the hands of the [Divine] Throne (al-`arsh) yet when thy name was mentioned there was revealed for thee what giveth solace to thine eyes and to the eyes of such as hath believed in God and [stand] straight upon the Sirat [Path] of Might (sirat al-`izz).
XX So stand ye upright within thyself perchance some [pernicious] thing might cause thee to slip upon the irÿt (Path).
XX ".. Then render thanks unto thy Lord in that He hath sent down for thee a Mighty, Wondrous Tablet (law `izz badÿ` an)."
XX ".. Thus have We been gracious unto thee through the wonders of Our Bounty and have despatched [sent] for thee what