The Lawh-i Tibb (Tablet of Medicine)
Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri, Baha'-Allah (1817-1892)
Revised Translation Stephen Lambden, UC Merced. An earlier version of this translation with Khazeh Fananapazir was published in an issue of the Baha'i Studies Bulletin.
Under correction, revision and re-translation - in progress. Last updated May 9th 2015.
- Translated from an inscribed colored card containing the text of the Lawh-i tibb.
- Majmu`a-yi alwah-i Mubaraka hadrat-i Baha'-Allah [MAM., rep. Wilmette, Illinois, 1978] pp. 222-226.
Revealed for one of the Physicians (al-atiba'), upon him be the Splendour of God (baha'-Allah)!
He is God,
the One Who is Supremely Knowing (al-a`lam).
The Tongue of the Ancient of Days (lisan al-qidam) uttereth that which shall be an indispensable treasury for such as are prudent (ghunyat al-alibba') in the absence of physicians (ghaybat al-atiba').
Say: O People!
Do not eat unless thou be hungry (al-ju`)!  And do not drink unless thy hunger be appeased (al-huju`).  How beneficial is exercise when one['s stomach] is empty for through it the limbs become strengthened; and how dark a calamity is exercise when one['s stomach] is full!  Do not avoid medical treatment (al-`ilaj) when thou hast need of it but abandon it when thy constitution hath been restored (istiqamat).
 Do not commence a meal except after full digestion [of the previous meal] and swallow not save after the completion of chewing.  Treat an illness firstly with nutrients [or foods, aliments] (aghdhiya) and proceed not [immediately] unto medications (adwiyat).  If that which thou desirest resulteth from elemental nutrients (al-mufradat) refrain from the compound treatments (al-murakkabat).  Abandon medication (al-dawwa') when thou art healthy but take hold of it when thou hast need thereof.  If foods of opposing disposition (diddan) are available at table, do not mix them; under such circumstances content thyself with but one of them.  Commence first with the light food (al-raqiq) before moving on to the heavier one (al-ghaliz) and with the liquid before the solid.  To intake one food which becomes superimposed upon another (ikhal al-ta`am `ala ta`am) is dangerous; be warned of this matter.
 When thou wouldst commence eating, start by mentioning My Most Glorious Name (al-abha) and finish it with the Name of Thy Lord, the Possessor of the Throne above and of the earth below.  And when thou hast finished eating, walk a little to settle thy meal.  That [foodstuff] which is hard to chew; the same is forbidden unto those possessed of intelligence. Thus doth the Supreme Pen command thee.  Eat a little in the morning for this is as a lamp to the body.  Eschew harmful habits [i.e. addictive substances al-i`_da al-muirra) for they truly, are a calamity for created beings.  Counter disease by utilizing established means (bi'l-asbab). This utterance is the decisive command in this discourse.
 Most necessary to thy well-being is contentment (al-qan_`at) under all circumstances for through it will the soul be saved from sloth and ill-being.  Eschew anxiety (al-hamma) and depression (al-ghamm) for through these twain will transpire a darksome affliction (bal_' adh_m).
 Say: Envy (al-asad) consumeth the body and rage [or anger, wrath] (al-ghay) burneth the liver: avoid these two as ye would a fierce lion (al-asad).  Purification of the bowels (tanqiyat al-fu_l) constitutes a pillar [of health](al-`umdat) when accomplished in the temperate seasons (al-fu_l al-mu'tadila).  He whose eating hath been excessive, his malady will be heightened.  We, assuredly, have decreed a cause (sabab an ) for all things and vouchsafed everything with an effect (al-athar). All of this is by virtue of the effulgence of My Name, the Efficacious [the `Producer of Effects'] (al-mu'aththir) upon existing things. Verily, thy Lord is the One Who exerciseth command over all that He willeth.
 Say: Through all that which We have expounded the [equilibrium of the] four humours (al-akhl_) will not exceed their moderate balance (al-i`tid_l), neither will their measures deviate from their mean conditions.  The [human constitutional] foundation (al-asl) will remain in its purity and the "sixth part" and the "sixth of the sixth part" (wa'l-suds wa suds al-suds) in their stable condition.  The twin active forces (f_`il_n) and the twin passive realities (munf_`il_n) will be rendered whole. And upon God is all our trust. There is no God but Him, the true Healer, the Omniscient, the One Whose succour is sought by all.  My Supreme Pen hath not moved over such words as the above save out of My love for thee, that thou mayest know that sorrows have not overtaken the Ancient Beauty and He is not saddened by that which hath befallen Him from the nations.  Sorrow is for that one who loseth a thing, and from My Grasp is not lost all that is in the heavens and the earth.
Firstly, heal thou the sick ones with the Remembrance of thy Lord (bi-dhikr rabbika), the Lord of the Day of Mutual Invocation (yawm al-tanad) and afterwards by that which We have ordained for the health of the constitutions of the servants.  By My life! Merely attaining the presence of the physician who hath drunk of the Wine of My Love conferreth healing and his mere breath bringeth mercy and hope.  Say: Adhere to him for the restoration of the body's well-being.  Verily such a physician is assisted by God for the treatment of ills.  Say: The science of healing is the most noble of all the sciences.  Verily, it is the greatest instrument given by God, the Quickener of mouldering bones, for the preservation of the bodies of peoples. God hath given it precedence over all sciences and branches of wisdom.  But this Day is the Day wherein thou shouldst arise to bring about My Victory, detached from all the worlds.
 Say: "Thy Name is My healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope and love for Thee my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing (ab_b) and my succour in both this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise."
 Give the salutations of God to all the Friends.  Say: In this Day two decrees (du amr) are beloved and to be desired. The first is wisdom and utterance.  The second is steadfastness in the Cause of thy Lord, the Most Compassionate.  Every one that attaineth unto these twin commands is accounted and mentioned, in the sight of God, as among the dwellers of the City of Immortality (madinah-i baqa').  For it is through the instrumentality of these twin decrees that the Cause of God hath been and will continue to be established amongst God's servants.  This inasmuch as, were it not for wisdom and utterance, all will become sorely tried. Were such to be the case none would remain to guide the people unto the Religion of the One True God.  Furthermore, if it were not for steadfastness, the words of the teacher (lit. narrator, reminder, dhakir) shall not be effective.
Say: O Friends!
Apprehensiveness and agitation pertaineth unto women.  And should the beloved of God reflect briefly upon the world and its manifest vicissitudes, the dominance of those who hath been tyrants will not frighten them.  Then shall they take their flight on the wings of yearning desire unto the One Who is at the centre of the Luminous Horizons [of the next World?] (nayyir al-ufuq)  This servant hath wished for Himself that which He hath wished for all the servants of God.  The reason that wisdom (hikmat) and the protection of the friends hath been and shall be commanded is that those who remember Me should remain in the world and occupy themselves with the mention of the Lord of all the worlds.  Thus it is binding and necessary that all may protect themselves and their brethren for the sake of the Cause of God.  If the beloved of God had performed that which they were commanded, the majority of the people of the world at this time would have been adorned with the garment of faith.  Great is the blessedness of him who leadeth another soul to the Immortal Faith of God and guideth him to life everlasting.  This is an act of supreme importance in the presence of thy Lord, the Mighty, the Most Exalted.
May the Spirit be upon thee! And may the Glory be upon thee also!
This versification in this provisional translation largely follows the sentence structure indicated in the Arabic printing referred to above. It is for the convenience of present and future commentary that this (provisional) versification is indicated.
The translation at I:2 might be :` And do not drink after retiring to sleep (al-huju`)` though this seems less likely.