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Tablet of Baha'u'llah - the Lawh-i Karmil (Tablet of Carmel)

THE LAWḤ-I KARMIL (The Tablet of Carmel)

of Mirza Husayn `Ali Nuri, Baha'-Allah (1817-1892).

The text and annotated translation of the Lawh-i Karmil (Tablet of Carmel).

Stephen Lambden, UC Merced.

In progress- last updated 08-07-2022.

The Lawh-i Karmil or scriptural `Tablet of Carmel' of Baha'u'llah is wholly in Arabic and was written or revealed around 1890-1891. This during one of the occasions (there were at least four of them) when Baha'-Allah visited Haifa and Mt. Carmel; he made several such visits in the latter years of his life.

Arabic text of the Lawh-i Karmil (Tablet of Carmel).

[I]

[1]

حبّذا هذا اليوم

الّذي فيه تضوّعت نفحات الرّحمن في الإمكان

[2]

حبّذا هذا اليوم المبارك

الّذي لا تعادله القرون والأعصار

[3]

حبّذا هذا اليوم

إذ توجّه وجه القِدم إلى مقامه إِذًا نادت الأشياء وعن ورائها الملأ الأعلى

[II]

[1]

يا كرمل

أنزلي بما أقبل إليك وجه الله مالك ملكوت الأسماء

وفاطر السّماء إِذًا أخذها اهتزاز السّرور ونادت بأعلى النِّداء نفسي لإقبالك الفداء ولعنايتك الفداء ولتوجّهك الفداء قد أهلكني يا مَطْلَع الحيوة فراقك وأحرقني هجرك لك الحمد بما أسمعتني ندائك وشرّفتني بقُدومك وأحييتني من نفحات أيّامك وصرير قلمك الّذي جعلته صورًا بين عبادك فلمّا جاء أمرك المُبرم نفخت فيه إِذًا قامت القيمة الكبرى وظهرت الأسرار المكنونة في خزائن مالك الأشياء

فلمّا بلغ ندائها إلى ذاك المقام الأعلى قلنا يا كرمل أحمدي ربّك قد كُنْتِ محترقة بنار الفِراق إِذًا ماج بحر الوصال أمام وجهك بذلك قرّت عينك وعين الوجود وابتسم ثغر الغيب والشّهود

طوبى لَكِ بما جعلكِ اللّه في هذا اليوم مقرّ عرشه ومطلع آياته ومشرق بيّناته

طوبى لعبد طاف حولكِ وذكر ظهوركِ وبروزكِ وما فزتِ به من فضل اللّه ربّك خذي كأس البقاء بإسم ربّك الأبهى

ثمّ اشكريه بما بدّل حزنك بالسّرور وهمّك بالفرح الأكبر رحمة من عنده إنّه يحبّ المقام الّذي استقرَ فيه عرشه وتشرّف بقدومه وفاز بلقائه وفيه ارتفع ندائه وصعدت زفراته

[-]

يا كرمل بشّري صهيون قولي

أتى المكنون بسلطان غلب العالم وبنور ساطع به أشرقت الأرض ومن عليها إِيَّاكِ أن تكوني متوقّفة في مقامك أسرعي ثمّ طوفي مدينة اللّه الّتي نزلت من السّماء وكعبة اللّه الّتي كانت مطاف المقرّبين والمخلصين والملائكة العالين وأحبّ أن أبشّر كلّ بقعة من بقاع الأرض وكلّ مدينة من مدائنها بهذا الظّهور الّذي به انجذب فؤاد الطّور ونادت السّدرة الملك والملكوت للّه ربّ الأرباب

هذا يوم فيه بشّر البحر والبَرّ وأخبر بما يظهر من بعد من عنايات اللّه المكنونة المستورة عن العقول والأبصار سوف تجري سفينة اللّه عليكِ

ويظهر أهل البهاء الّذين ذكرهم في كتاب الأسماء

[-]

تبارك مولى الورى

الّذي بذكره انجذبت الذّرّات ونطق لسان العظمة بما كان مكنونا في علمه ومخزونًا في كنز قدرته إنّه هو المهيمن على من في الأرض والسّماء بإسمه المقتدر العزيز المنيع 

Translation from Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'-Allah by Shoghi Effendi - I have added here, for the sake of commentary, some paragraph and verse indications which are not part of the original text.

[I]

[1]

ALL glory be to this Day,

the Day in which the fragrances of mercy have been wafted over all created things,

[2] a Day so blest that past ages and centuries can never hope to rival it,

[3] a Day in which the countenance of the Ancient of Days (Ar. وجه القِدم  lit. "countenance of pre-existence") hath turned towards His holy seat.

[II]

[1] Thereupon the voices of all created things, and beyond them those of the Concourse on High (الملأ الأعلى , al-mala' al-a`la), were heard calling aloud:

[2]

‘Haste thee, O Carmel,

for lo, the light of the countenance of God, the Ruler of the Kingdom of Names and Fashioner of the heavens, hath been lifted upon thee.’

[3]

Seized with transports of joy, and raising high her voice, she thus exclaimed:

‘May my life be a sacrifice to Thee, inasmuch as Thou hast fixed Thy gaze upon me, hast bestowed upon me Thy bounty, and hast directed towards me Thy steps. Separation from Thee, O Thou Source of everlasting life, hath well nigh consumed me, and my remoteness from Thy presence hath burned away my soul.

All praise be to Thee for having enabled me to hearken to Thy call, for having honoured me with Thy footsteps, and for having quickened my soul through the vitalizing fragrance of Thy Day and the shrilling voice of Thy Pen, a voice Thou didst ordain as Thy trumpet-call amidst Thy people.

And when the hour at which Thy resistless Faith was to be made manifest did strike, Thou didst breathe a breath of Thy spirit into Thy Pen, and lo, the entire creation shook to its very foundations, unveiling to mankind  such mysteries as lay hidden within the treasuries of Him Who is the Possessor of all created things.’

No sooner had her voice reached that most exalted Spot than We made reply:

‘Render thanks unto thy Lord, O Carmel.

The fire of thy separation from Me was fast consuming thee, when the ocean of My presence surged before thy face, cheering thine eyes and those of all creation, and filling with delight all things visible and invisible.

Rejoice, for God hath in this Day established upon thee His throne, hath made thee the dawning-place of His signs and the dayspring of the evidences of His Revelation.

Well is it with him that circleth around thee, that proclaimeth the revelation of thy glory, and recounteth that which the bounty of the Lord thy God hath showered upon thee.

Seize thou the Chalice of Immortality in the name of thy Lord, the All-Glorious, and give thanks unto Him, inasmuch as He, in token of His mercy unto thee, hath turned thy sorrow into gladness, and transmuted thy grief into blissful joy. He, verily, loveth the spot which hath been made the seat of His throne, which His footsteps have trodden, which hath been honoured by His presence, from which He raised His call, and upon which He shed His tears. ‘

[-]

يا كرمل بشّري صهيون قولي

Call out to Zion, O Carmel,

and announce the joyful tidings:

He that was hidden from mortal eyes is come!

His all-conquering sovereignty is manifest;

وبنور ساطع به أشرقت الأرض ومن عليها

His all-encompassing splendour is revealed.

Beware lest thou hesitate or halt. Hasten forth and circumambulate the City of God that hath descended from heaven, the celestial Kaaba round which have circled in adoration the favoured of God, the pure in heart, and the company of the most exalted angels.

Oh, how I long to announce unto every spot on the surface of the earth, and to carry to each one of its cities, the glad-tidings of this Revelation—a Revelation to which the heart of Sinai hath been attracted, and in whose name the Burning Bush is calling:

“Unto God, the Lord of Lords, belong the kingdoms of earth and heaven.”

Verily this is the Day in which both land and sea rejoice at this announcement, the Day for which have been laid up those things which God, through a bounty beyond the ken of mortal mind or heart, hath destined for revelation. Ere long will God sail His Ark (سفينة اللّه) upon thee, and will manifest the people of Baháأهل البهاء = ahl al-baha') who have been mentioned in the Book of Names (كتاب الأسماء  = kitab al-asma').’

[-]

تبارك مولى الورى

Sanctified be the Lord of all mankind

(tabaraka mawla al-wara),

at the mention of Whose name all the atoms of the earth (الذّرّات  al-dharrat) have been made to vibrate, and the Tongue of Grandeur hath been moved to disclose that which had been wrapt in His knowledge and lay concealed within the treasury of His might. He, verily, through the potency of His name, the Mighty, the All-Powerful, the Most High, is the ruler of all that is in the heavens and all that is on earth.

Select Notes and Commentary.

Possible Biblical Echoes in the Tablet of Carmel

 

[x[

وبنور ساطع به أشرقت الأرض ومن عليها

"His all-encompassing splendour (bi-nur sati`) is revealed"

More literally translated we read:

"And by virtue of the rising up of the Brilliant radiance of Light (bi-nur sati`) through Him   the earth hath been illumined along with whomsoever is upon it" (literal trans. Lambden).

This line might reflect Isaiah 60:1f:

  • “Arise (ק֥וּמִי) shine (אֹ֖ורִי) for thy light (אֹורֵ֑ךְ = nur) has come, and the Glory of the Lord (יְהוָ֖ה  וּכְבֹ֥וד = kavod YHWH =  Ar.  majd Allah) rises upon you… but the Lord shall arise upon thee and his Glory (ּכְבוֹדוֹ עָלַיִךְ יֵרָאֶה וּ) will be seen upon you” (Isaiah 60:1-2b).