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TB Shams

 Lawḥ Shams-i jamāl-i ilāhī 

The Tablet of the Sun of the Divine Beauty of Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri, Baha'-Allah (1817-1892).


Stephen Lambden UCMerced.

1990s - 2006-7+ 2015.

Inroductory Note

 This scriptural Tablet of Baha'-Allah exists in the INBMC Vol. 32: 31-4 collection of mss. of the writings of Baha'-Allah. The text is at times very difficult if not impossible to read. My colleague and friend Nejati Alkan (now in Istanbul) discovered another clearer complete text in the Ottoman archives in Istanbul (Arsivi confiscated  alwah, Iradeler, Meclis-i Mahsus no. 1475/35, 7-13) and was kind enough to provide me with a copy (cf. my Sinaitic Mysteries, XX). The text alternates between Persian and Arabic, with a constant heading and sometimes alternating refrain. I have named  this perhaps Istanbul period (c. 1863??) Tablet of Bahā'-Allāh after its opening words. The date is unknown though  it might at the earliest be assigned it to the Sulaymaniyya interregnum years (1854-1856 CE)  in the light of the address "O Darvish". As a wandering mystic Bahā'-Allāh was known as Darvish Muhammad during this time. It seems more likely, however, that the Dervish addressed here is Darvish Siddiq/ Sidq-`Ali Qazvini (d.1299/1882) who has been a Babi-Baha'i from at least the mid. 1850s.

This text begins :




 He is God

The Sun of the Divine Beauty (shams-i jamāl-i ilāhī)  beameth forth  from theLordly Orient of the Unseen  (mashriq-i ghayb-i rabbānī); Wherefore are  all  wayfarers  [? text unclear] illumined  by its shining forth. So Oh! Blessed be thou who art made luminous through its orient lights.

The refrain in the form of a beatitude, often commencing, "So Oh! Blessed be thou!" with further details is frequent after versified sections.

At sevtion VI the address "O Dervish!" may well be addressed to Baha'-Allah himself.


O Darvish!

Be thou detatched from the world of the nullification [of selfhood] (`alam-i fani) that thou mayest ever soar bejewelled [with pearls] (purvaz la'ali ?) in the world of eternal subsistence (`alam-i  baqi)! Then cut thyself off from this mortal world (al-dunya') until God enableth thee to ascend unto the lofty heights of the heaven of holiness (sama' quds marfu` an).


The final, twenty-fourth division reads as follows :


He is God!

This is the Tree of Holiness (shajarat al-quds)

It hath indeed been planted in the Sinai of the Spirit (sina' al-ruh) and crieth out [with the words], `Indeed He, no God is there except Him'.

So Oh! Blessed be whomsoever hearkeneth unto its melodies then findeth repose in its shade; then, furthermore, is given Providence by virtue of its fruits.