Baha'-Allah - Tablet concerning a Subsequent Manifestation

The Tablet of Baha'-Allah relating to the Proof of forthcoming Manifestation of God.

An Introductory Note and tentative translation,

Stephen Lambden UC Merced.

Webpage was last updated 25-05-2020.

This several page probably mid. -late Acre period Tablet of Baha'-Allah  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  contains no clear or obvious indication of its date or 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

 

Translation Stephen Lambden

At this moment when I was present nigh the Divine Throne (`arsh), 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 My 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 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 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 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.

Nonetheless, at a subsequent time, a [new religious] Cause (amr) will be realized by virtue of the hand of God Himself, having another Proof (hujjat) pertaining to the establishment of [the coming of] subsequent Manifestations [of God] (mazahir). At a future time  He will send down [the philosophy of] His Wisdom (hikmat) within the scriptutal Tablets (fi'l-alwah) ...