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Baha'-Allah - Scriptural Tablet concerning a Subsequent Manifestation

The Tablet of Baha'-Allah relating to another, post-revealed verses (ayat) "Proof" (hujjat) of forthcoming Manifestations of God.

An Introductory Note and tentative translation,

Stephen Lambden, UC Merced.

Webpage was last updated 29-05-2020.

This several page probably mid. -late Acre period Tablet of Baha'-Allah [Khadimu'llah] is (partially) printed by `Abd al-Hamid Ishraq Khavari (d. 1972) in the fourth volume of his Ma'ida-yi asmani ("The Heavenly Table"), pp. 92-94. It  contains no clear or obvious indication of its date or of its recipient (date unknown, perhaps c. 1870s or 1880s). It is in Persian through with a good deal of Arabic intertwined.

Translation from the Ma'ida printed text

Stephen Lambden UC Merced.

Text as printed in Ma'ida-yi asmani IV: 92-94:

                     حجّت ظهور بعد

از قلم مبارك جمال قدم جل جلاله نازل شده قوله تعالی  :

  در اين حين تلقاء عرش احضار شدم فرمودند بچه مشغول بودی معروض داشتم كلماتی در جواب اعتراضات هيكل جحيم مينوشتم لسان اللّه متكلم كه بنويس اما سمعت بان حجتی ذاتی و برهانی نفسی و دليلی ظهوری و ما جری من قلمی سبيل لعرفانی الذی لن يفوز به الّا الذين هم انقطعواعن كلّشئی و مروا عن الدنيا و خلق ما فيها كمرّ السّحاب حجتم ظهورات قدرتيهام بوده كه احاطه فرموده كل من [۹۳] فی السّموات و الارض را و آياترا سبيلی از برای عرفانم قرار دادم فضلا من لدنا علی العالمين و چون ظهور قبلم حجت اين ظهور اقدس امنع ابهی را آيات قرار فرمود لذا از سماء مشيّت آيات نازل فرموديم و حجّت قرار داديم برای كل من فی السّموات و الارض و تا اينظهور آيات وحده حجت بر كل بوده چه كه در كل كتب قبل اين حكم را نازل فرموديم اگر چه دراين ظهور كل آيات قدرتيه وحجج باهره وآيات بديع هوظهورات عظيمه وشؤونات الهيّه ظاهر شده كل ذلك فضلا من لدنا علی الخلايق اجمعين ولكن از بعد امر بيد اللّه بوده تا چه را حجّت از برای مظاهر بعد قرار فرمايد فسوفي نزل حكمه فی الالواح و انا علی كلّشئی حاكمين كل الامور فی قبضة قدرتنا نفعل ما نشإ و نحكم ما نريد چه كه در اين ظهور حق جل ذكره اراده فرمود كه اكثری از مقبلين مخلصين بايات تكلم نمايند لذا حجت ظهور بعد را بامر ديگر مقدرخواهيم فرمود لئلا يستكبر كل من يأتی بالكلمات علی اللّه المقتدر العزيز القدير كما استكبر الّذی انطقناه باذنی عما يتكلم به خدام حولی علی اللّه الّذی خلقه و رباه و حفظه عن ضر مثلائه و عصمه تحت جناح فضله الابدع البديع كذلك حكمنا فی هذا الليل و نحكم ما نشإ بامر من لدنا و انا المقتدرعلی ما تشإ و ما سوائی خلقی ان يا خلقی لاتستكبروا [۹۴] علی الّذی حضرت لوجهه وجوه اهل ملأ الاعلی و لا تكوننمن المستكبرين انتهت كلمات اللّه الامنع الابدع البديع-  انتهی


Beta Translation Stephen Lambden 2020.

At this moment when I was present nigh the Divine Throne (`arsh) [Baha'-Allah], He enquired as to what activity I was engaged. At this I offered some words about what I had written in responce to the objections of the embodiment of hellfire (haykal al-jahim) [Mirza Yahya?]. The Tongue of God (lisan Allah) [Baha'-Allah] responded that I should write, `Have thou not heard that, "My Proof is My Essence (hujjati dhati) and My Evidence is Mine Own Self (burhani nafsi); My Testimony is My Manifestation (dalili zuhuri) and whatsoever floweth forth from My Pen (qalami) is the Pathway unto My Gnosis (sabil `irfani). And none can attain thereto except such as are detached from all things (kull shay') and from the seductive trappings of this mortal world (al-dunya'). He created whatsoever exists therein to be even as the ephemerality of a passing cloud.

My Proof (hujjat) is expressed by the manifestations of His All-Powerful activity (zuhurat qudratiyyihi) which hath ever encompassed all that are in the heavens and on the earth. This and the revealed verses (ayat) I have established as a Pathway unto My Gnosis (`irfan), a Bounty (fadl an) from before Us unto all the worlds.

Wherefore was the Manifestation before Me (zuhur qabl-am) [the Bab/Babi religion], the Proof  of this Most Holy (aqdas), Most Inaccessible (amna`), Most Glorious (abha) [Baha'i] Manifestation (hujjat-i in zuhur) especially with repect that is, to the revealed verses (ayat). Thus did We send down verses (ayat)  from the heaven of the Divine Will (sama'-yi mashiyyat). And We thereby established the Proof (hujjat) for whomsoever was within the heavens or upon he earth. Up until the time, that is, of this [Baha'i] Manifestaion (zuhur), revealed verses (ayat) alone had ever been a [sufficient] Proof (hujjat) for all [humankind].

Wherefore was it the case that in all the [sacred] books prior to this directive [regarding verses as the primary proof] We, nonetheless revealed, that in this  [eschatological] Manifestation [Dispensation] (zuhur) all of the verses are expressions of His Powerfulness (ayat-i qudratiyya-ihi) and are a Proof of His Brilliance (hujjaj bahirihi) for there was evident [therein] wondrous verses (ayat badi`ihi) and manifestations of His Might (zuhurat-i `azimihi) as well as modes expressive of Divinity (shu`unat-i ilahiyya). All of this was indeed an expression of Bounty (fadl an) on Our part unto all of the worlds.

At a subsequent time nonetheless, a [new religious] Cause (amr) will be realized by virtue of the hand [Power] of God Himself, having another Proof (hujjat) pertaining to the establishment of [the advent of] subsequent Manifestations [of God] (mazahir-i ba`id). At a future time  He will send down [the philosophy of] His Wisdom (hikmat) within the scriptural Tablets (fi'l-alwah). And We shall express beyond everything (`ala kull shay') the ways of wisdom (hakimin) for all matters (al-umur) will be in the grasp of Our Power (qudrat).  We shall accomplish whatsoever We so will and ordain whatsoever We do desire! 

This since it shall transpire in such a [future religious] Dispensation (zuhur), that the True One, exalted be His mention, hath intended that many of the sincere ones among those nigh unto God shall prove capable of uttering verses (ayat takallum namayand). Wherefore the Proof (hujjat) of a subsequent religious theophany [dispensation] (zuhur- ba`id) will be ordained by Us to be established through another matter (amr-i digar). This perchance all such as produce words (al-kalimat)  about God, the Powerful, the Mighty, the Omnipotent, exhibit the haughty arrogance of self-glorification. This after the manner of the prideful arrogance of whomsoever We might enable to speak forth with Our permission about whatsoever could be uttered concerning God.

[True] Servants (khuddam) are those whose power is dependent upon God who created them, hath authority over them, and who preserveth them from the injurious harm (darra) surrounding any imitation of Him and His infallibility (`ismat). This beneath the wings of His All-Generative (al-abda`), Most Wondrous (al-badi`) Grace (fadl). Such is expressive of Our Wisdom (hikmat) at this evening time for We decree whatsoever We will through a Command which cometh from Us. We are indeed All-Powerful according to Our Will. Whatsoever is other than Us is Our creation!

O my Creatures! Swell ye not with pride before whomsoever is Present before His Countenance, before the faces of the  Supreme Concourse (al-mala' al-a`la). Thou should not come to be numbered among the haughty! The Words of God (kalimat Allah), the Inaccessible (al-amna`), the All-Generative (al-abda`), the Most Wondrous (al-badi`) [themselves] have their  ultimacy [limit, extremity, termination, fulfillment] (n-h-y VIII).