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Tablet of the World 1891

October 16, 2012

LAWḤ-I-DUNYÁ (Tablet of the World)

In My Name, calling aloud in the Kingdom of Utterance

“PRAISE and thanksgiving beseem the Lord of manifest dominion Who hath adorned the mighty prison with the presence of their honours ‘Alí-Akbar and Amín, and hath illumined it with the light of certitude, constancy and assurance. 1 The glory of God and the glory of all that are in the heavens and on the earth be upon them.
Light and glory, greeting and praise be upon the Hands of His Cause, through whom the light of fortitude hath shone forth and the truth hath been established that the authority to choose rests with God, the Powerful, the Mighty, the Unconstrained, through whom the ocean of bounty hath surged and the fragrance of the gracious favours of God, the Lord of mankind, hath been diffused. We beseech Him—exalted is He—to shield them through the power of His hosts, to protect them through the potency of His dominion and to aid them through His indomitable strength which prevaileth over all created things. Sovereignty is God’s, the Creator of the heavens and the Lord of the Kingdom of Names. 84”

“The Great Announcement proclaimeth: O people of Persia! In former times ye have been the symbols of mercy and the embodiments of affection and kindliness. The regions of the world were illumined and embellished by the brightness of the light of your knowledge and by the blaze of your erudition. How is it that you have arisen to destroy yourselves and your friends with your own hands?”

“O Afnán, O thou that has branched from Mine ancient Stock! My glory and My loving-kindness rest upon thee. How vast is the tabernacle of the Cause of God! It hath overshadowed all the peoples and kindreds of the earth, and will, ere long, gather together the whole of mankind beneath its shelter. Thy day of service is now come. Countless Tablets bear the testimony of the bounties vouchsafed unto thee. Arise for the triumph of My Cause, and, through the power of thine utterance, subdue the hearts of men. Thou must show forth that which will ensure the peace and the well-being of the miserable and the downtrodden. Gird up the loins of thine endeavour, that perchance thou mayest release the captive from his chains, and enable him to attain unto true liberty.”

“Justice is, in this day, bewailing its plight, and Equity groaneth beneath the yoke of oppression. The thick clouds of tyranny have darkened the face of the earth, and enveloped its peoples. Through the movement of Our Pen of glory We have, at the bidding of the omnipotent Ordainer, breathed a new life into every human frame, and instilled into every word a fresh potency. All created things proclaim the evidences of this world-wide regeneration. This is the most great, the most joyful tidings imparted by the Pen of this Wronged One to mankind. Wherefore fear ye, O My well-beloved ones? Who is it that can dismay you? A touch of moisture sufficeth to dissolve the hardened 85 clay out of which this perverse generation is moulded. The mere act of your gathering together is enough to scatter the forces of these vain and worthless people.”

1891 Lawh-i-Dunyá (Tablet of the World) was revealed in late ‘Akká, between 27 June and early August, 1891. Baha’u’llah revealed the Tablet in honour of Aqa Mirza Aqa [Nuri’d-Din Hasan] (1842-1903) a merchant who was among the earliest to declare belief in the Bab and then Baha’u’llah. He was visiting Baha’u’llah in ‘Akká for nine months at Baha’u’llah’s request (Afnan, Habib Allah. The Afnan Family: Some Biographical Notes. Appendix 6. The Genesis of the Babi and Baha’i Faiths in Shiraz and Fars. pp. 321-322).”

1988 Bahá’u’lláh. Lawh-i-Dunyá (Tablet of the World). 1988 [1891] Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. US Bahá’í Publishing Trust. 1988.

2007-09-09 Cited by UHJ in a letter to students in Iran deprived of higher education calling them to look to Baha’i history for models of constructive resilience.

“Time and again have We admonished Our beloved ones to avoid, nay to flee from, anything whatsoever from which the odour of mischief can be detected. The world is in great turmoil, and the minds of its people are in a state of utter confusion. We entreat the Almighty that He may graciously illuminate them with the glory of His Justice, and enable them to discover that which will be profitable unto them at all times and under all conditions. He, verily is the All-Possessing, the Most High.”

2007-09-09 The UHJ wrote a letter of encouragement to Baha’i students deprived of access to higher education in Iran, dated September 9, 2007 in which they described how the early Iranian Baha’is set the example of striving to transcend opposition with constructive resilience. These early Baha’is attempted to translate the Baha’i teachings into “actions of spiritual and social development.” In this letter the UHJ cited Baha’u’llah:
(Bahá’u’lláh. 1990. “XLIII: O Afnán, O thou that hast branched from…”. Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. US Bahá’í Publishing Trust. Pages 92-98.
XLIII: O Afnán, O thou that hast branched from…)

“Recent events call to mind heart-rending episodes in the history of the Faith, of cruel deceptions wrought against your forebears. It is only appropriate that you strive to transcend the opposition against you with that same constructive resilience that characterized their response to the duplicity of their detractors. Peering beyond the distress of the difficulties assailing them, those heroic souls attempted to translate the teachings of the new Faith into actions of spiritual and social development. That, too, is your work. Their objective was to build, to strengthen, to refine the tissues of society wherever they might find themselves; and thus, they set up schools, equally educating girls and boys; introduced progressive principles; promoted the sciences; contributed significantly to diverse fields such as agriculture, health, and industry – all of which accrued to the benefit of the nation. You, too, seek to render service to your homeland and to contribute to the renewal of civilization. They responded to the inhumanity of their enemies with patience, calm, resignation, and contentment, choosing to meet deception with truthfulness and cruelty with good will towards all. You, too, demonstrate such noble qualities and, holding fast to these same principles, you belie the slander purveyed against your Faith, evoking the admiration of the fair-minded.”[67. Italics have been added. Letter to the Baha´ ’i´ students deprived of access to higher education in Iran, dated September 9, 2007.]

(Afnan, Habib Allah. The Afnan Family: Some Biographical Notes. Appendix 6. The Genesis of the Babi and Baha’i Faiths in Shiraz and Fars. p. 321-324)

“Aqa Mirza Aqa: “Born in 1842, he was the only surviving child of Zahra Bagum. From childhood he was known as Siyyid Muhammad, but as a sign of respect for the Prophet Muhammad, the family called him Aqa Mirza Aqa. Later Baha’u’llah gave him the title Nuri’d-Din. He was the only member of the Afnan family to be related to the Bab on both his father’s side and was the third member of the Bab’s family to openly become a Babi. Aqa Mirza Aqa became a believer at the age of 13 [1855] through his aunt Khadihn Bagum, to whom he was very attached. Through him, both his parents became Babis, and soon after, so did Khal Akbar. Nuri’d-Din received many Tablets from Baha’u’llah in Baghdad and throughout His life. When Nabil Zarandi came to Shiraz in 1867 carrying word of Baha’u’llah’s claim to be the Promised One of the Bab, Nuri’d-Din was one of those who believed (Afnan, Habib Allah. The Afnan Family: Some Biographical Notes. Appendix 6. The Genesis of the Babi and Baha’i Faiths in Shiraz and Fars. pp. 321-322).”

“Aqa Mirza Aqa [Nuri’d-Din Hasan] (1842- died 15 November 1903) was a merchant, trading in partnership with other members of the Afnan family. Though he was well known as a Babi and Baha’i, the family trading business prospered. In March 1879, two prominent Baha’i merchants in Isfahan were martyred. As Nuri-d-Din had close contacts with them, the elders of the nascent Baha’i community feared for his safety and sent him away the next day. He lived in Bombay from 1880 to 1889. He then went to Port Said where he traded under the name Nuri’d-Din Hasan and organized the Ruhaniyyih Company. In July 1891 at Baha’u’llah’s invitation, he and his family came to the Holy Land, where they stayed for nine months. During this period, Baha’u’llah revealed the Tablet of the World in his honour.” (Afnan, Habib Allah. The Genesis of the Babi and Baha’i Faiths in Shiraz and Fars. p. 322). [Lawh-i-Dunyá (Tablet of the World), late `Akká, between 27 June and early August, 1891.]

“In 1901, Abdul-Baha told Nuri’d-Din to return to Shiraz in order to restore the House of the Bab. Nuri’d-Din had been the custodian since the death of his mother in 1889. At the time of his passing on 15 November 1903, the work was nearly completed. His son Mirza Habibu’llah, succeeded him as custodian.”

“Nuri’d-Din left behind a valuable daily journal, a page of which is translated below:

“Tonight is the eve of … December 31, 1869, and the friends came to meet Aqa Mirza Mihdi Rashti. He came some time ago to teach the Faith but, because of troubles and fear of harassment, was unable to meet the believers. We came together to spend the whole evening in fellowship, discussion and prayer. As I write these lines, it is now midnight, and because of the uproars [against the Baha’is,] there is no hope that any of us will see daybreak. However, we are immersed in such warm love and spirituality that [my] pen is unable to describe it. These trials and tribulations will strengthen the resolve of the friends. Soon, the believers will be seen to organize, unhindered, meetings where chanting the sacred verses will be raised and His praise and acclaim heard uninterrupted. However, will those future believers know the same spirituality that we felt? By God, never! This ethereal spirituality is born from the fire of persecution and is the result of enduring anguish and harm in His path .”

(Afnan, Habib Allah. The Genesis of the Babi and Baha’i Faiths in Shiraz and Fars. p. 324)


Lawh-i-Khadíjih-Bagum (Tablet of, Tablet of Visitation for, Khadíjih Bagum), `Akká. Athar-i-Qalam-i-A`la Vol. 4(i) 201-4; Athar-i-Qalam-i-A`la Vol. 4(ii) 339-341 (incomp.?); Khandan-i-Afnan 184-6; Khatirat-i-Hayat (unpublished autobiography of Mírzá Habib-i-Afnan); Risálih Ayam Tis`ih 29-31. The Khandan-i-Afnan version is to be preferred (includes facsimile in the hand of Mírzá Áqá Jan). The Risálih Ayam Tis`ih version omits one verse regarding the forgiveness of sins, and adds a concluding verse not in other versions. The tablet, addressed to Áqá Mírzá Áqáy-i-Nuri’d-Din, is the source of the tablet of visitation or Ziyaratnamih-i-Haram-i-Hadrat-i-A’la: this part (Arabic) translated by Ahang Rabbani posted H-Bahai 12/10/97. There are many other tablets for Khadijih-Bagum (Taherzadeh, ‘Revelation’ vol. 2 387), two of which are published in Khandan-i-Afnan 186-7.

Lawh-i-Áqá Mírzá Áqá Afnán (Tablet for Áqá Mírzá Áqá Afnán), `Akká, Muharram 1299/November-December 1881. TB 147(c). Translated TB(English) 238-240. A (different?) tablet addressed to Áqá Mírzá Áqá and describing the countryside around Mazra’ih is mentioned at Taherzadeh, ‘Revelation’ vol. 4 7.


Bibliography and Webliography

Afnan, Habib Allah. The Afnan Family: Some Biographical Notes. Appendix 6. The Genesis of the Babi and Baha’i Faiths in Shiraz and Fars. p. 321-324.

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