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Baha'-Allah - Lawh-i Sarraj - Muhammad `Ali Isfahani - c.1867 CE

لوح سراج



The Tablet of Baha'-Allah to Aqa Mirza Muhammad `Ali Sarraj ( سراج  = 'The Saddler'; cf. siraj = `Light'). c. 1867 CE.

Translation Stephen N. Lambden 1982 - 2023.

Being revised  and completed .... Last updated 21-03-2023.

Text translated from INBMC 35: 190-276,  INBMC 73: 187-231 and Ishraq Khavari (ed.) Ma'ida-yi asmani vol. VII: 4-118.


He is the Beloved One / the Answerer- One Responsive.

(huwa maḥbūb / or al-mujīb).  

In reply to the questions of `Ali Muhammad Sarrāj Iṣfahānī. The letter of that revered one [ān jināb] was presented before the [Divine] Throne (al-arsh) and arrived unto the locale the nature of which none knoweth other than He Himself.  The contents thereof were observed with the perception of God (malḥū- Allāh). It had been enquired as to how it can possibly be that the ḥurūf-i `iliyyīn, the "elevated-sublime letters" (persons, souls) can be transformed (tabdīl mīshavad) into ḥurūf-i sijjīn, "debased letters" (persons, souls") or  the   condition expressing faith-affirmation (ithbāt)  be altered into one of faith-negation (nafīīt )! How could  the choice fruit (thamara janniyya) be abstracted from spiritual subtleties (latā'ifat) or  the [station of the polished] Mirror (mirāt) be witheld from the Splendours of theLights of the Sun of Mystic Meaning (ishraqāt-i anvār-i aftāb-i ma`ānī)?

So Yea! Indeed unto what thou hast asked for thou art such as pose questions. Thou hast submitted numerous questions for in this [eschatological] Day (al-yawm)  it is [perfectly] legitimate  for every soul that is troubled to enquire after  the mystical [gnosic] aspects of the enigmatic divine realities (irfān-I mu`Þilāt-i masā'il-i ilahiyya)  from the [Embodiment of] the Law of Lordly Knowledge (sharī`a-yi `ilm-i rabbāniyya) and the All-Enduring Euphrates of Wisdom (furāt-i ḥikmat-i ṣamadāniyya)  and expectently [hopefully] become a  recipient of a [revelational] sprinkling forth (bi-rashḥ)  from the [Divine] Fountainhead (mashrūb)  and thus  experience beatitude (mustarīḥ gardad)  upon the carpet of tranquility and certitude (bisāt sukūn va īqān). We supplicate God that He may enable thee to ascend unto a station (maqām) in which thou shalt witness the Ancient Beauty (jamāl-i qidam) with thine [own] eye and be abstracted from the  sight of the worldly realms, shalt hear His [divine] melodies (naghāmātī with thine own ear and be detached from the [vagaries] of the inmost hearts (afi'dat pl. fū`ād) of whomsoever lieth within either the heavens or the earth[s]. ... There is no God except Him.....

The Supreme Countenance (tal`at al-a`lā) [= the Bāb] is assuredly [this] His Bahā= (Beauty-Splendour= Bahā'-Allāh) within the Supreme Concourse (al-malā' al-a`lā), His very Radiance [Splendour] between earth and heavent His Grandeur (kubriyā) unto whomsoever lieth within the Kingdom of the Command and the Creation (malakūt al-amr wa'l-khalq).  The same do all things (kulli shay') cry out [as thou wouldst realize] if thou be in possession of a hearing ear. This in that [this eschatological] Day it is  encumbent upon every soul before God to investigate and ponder upon His Cause with their very eye, ear, and heart.



"Ponder the reason why all the people were witheld from the Encounter [Meeting] with God  (liqā' Allāh) and are occupied with - it is because of vain fancies (wahm) and being veiled by the likenesses of their own selves. + taqlīd. Cause shines resplendent yet faculties veiled by words of the people.. Bābīs must consider the qudrat Allāh Power of God. Testimony of past religionists who failed. Be warned. Don't make same mistake. Don't imagine [like the Jews of ages past] that yad Allāh maghlūtah  "the hand[s] of God are chained up" (Q. 5:64 [ṣ]+48:1āī As the Q. 5: Says "Nay! Outstretched are both his hands!" ... (Cf. KI:8X... Continuity of revelation. God doeth what he pleaseth...).

VII: X  "Thus it was that with the advent of the year sixty all of the people were witheld from [ the ] "Reality" [of the Bāb] (ḥaqq), from both knowledge (`ālim)  and ignorance (jāhil),  by virtue of meaningless worldly constraints..

 Persons were returned-transformed from the `iliyyīn al-baqā= to the sijjīn-I fanā', they were.

[Juxtaposition of 2 pairs of antithetic terms [1] Two exalted terms `aliyy+ baqā= (eternal [beatitude]t `eternal subsistence=ī [2] Two debased sijjīn = (loosely "hellfire, infernal"+ fanā= (loosely "Aannihilation" (cf. mystical death of self)