Lawh-i-Ahmad (Persian)

Unlike the Tablet of Ahmad in Arabic, this is a lengthy Tablet in Persian and was revealed for Hájí Mírzá Ahmad of Káshán. He was a half-brother of Hájí Mírzá Jání and Hájí Muhammad Ismá'íl,* the latter entitled Dhabíh (Sacrifice) and Anís (Companion) by Bahá'u'lláh. Hájí Mírzá Jání was the first to embrace the Faith of the Báb in Káshán. He had attained the presence of the Báb in Mecca and had become an ardent believer. When the Báb was on His way to Tihrán, Hájí Mírzá Jání, after having secured permission from the officials who were conducting the Báb to the Capital, entertained Him in his house for three days. Later he was martyred in Tihrán.†

As a result of association with this brother, Hájí Mírzá Ahmad and his other half-brother, Hájí Muhammad Ismá'íl both became Bábís.

Unlike his two brothers who stayed steadfast in the Cause of God, Hájí Mírzá Ahmad showed unfaithfulness to Bahá'u'lláh and became a follower of Mírzá Yahyá. He first attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád and later accompanied Him to Constantinople and Adrianople. He was one of those whom Bahá'u'lláh took with Him in order to check his mischief. In one of His Tablets1 Bahá'u'lláh refers to Hájí Mírzá Ahmad as one who attained the presence of His Lord and was honoured to associate with Him, yet failed to recognize His station. He heard the voice of God many a time but did not respond. The Lawh-i-Ahmad (Tablet of Ahmad) was revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in Adrianople, in order to guide him to the path of faith and


* See pp. 411-13 ff.

† See The Dawn-Breakers.

1. Bahá'u'lláh, quoted by Fádil-i-Mázindarání, Asráru'l-Áthár, vol. V, p. 106.
[Lawh-i-Ahmad] God Passes By, p. 171
belief. This Tablet demonstrates the loving-kindness and forbearance of Bahá'u'lláh. For Hájí Mírzá Ahmad was a man insincere in heart, vulgar in conduct and foul in language. The counsels of Bahá'u'lláh fell on deaf ears. Instead of mending his ways, he remained heedless, joined hands with Mírzá Yahyá and created much dissension and discord among the companions. At last, Bahá'u'lláh expelled him from His presence and ordered him to leave Adrianople for 'Iráq. While in 'Iráq, Ahmad sought the company of some evil men, who eventually killed him mainly because of his vile language.

Almost two-thirds of this Tablet has been rendered into English by Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Faith.* In it Bahá'u'lláh has poured out His loving counsels and exhortations upon the Bábís in general and Ahmad in particular. In order to appreciate this Tablet we must remember that it was revealed in the early part of His sojourn in Adrianople and prior to Mírzá Yahyá's attempt to assassinate Him. It was a period in which some corrupt elements among the Bábís were raising their heads and sowing the seeds of sedition among the believers. They gathered around Mírzá Yahyá, boosted his ego and made of him an idol in their midst. Because of their deviation from the path of truth and their insincerity towards Bahá'u'lláh, the spirit of these men became truly satanic. The reason for this is that God has created man to 'love and worship Him'. But man violates the laws of God and commits many sins which are injurious to himself. However, God is merciful and through His grace forgives His servants. Indeed, if it were not for God's bounty no created thing could come into existence, nor could any human being ever progress in this or the next world. The study of the Holy Writings reveals that the mercy of God and His forgiveness which have encompassed all creation are withheld from those who recognize the Manifestation of God but knowingly and consciously arise to oppose Him. In fact, by doing this they try to assume the same station


* The passages are included in Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, sections CLII and CLIII.

as the Manifestation of God and endeavour to place themselves on the same level. This action, which violates the Covenant of God, is unforgivable unless the individual, who has become spiritually dead, turns to God in genuine repentance. Christ refers to it as the 'sin against the Holy Ghost'. It invokes the wrath of God and obstructs the channels of grace from on high.

The few Bábís, including Hájí Mírzá Ahmad, who gathered around Mírzá Yahyá for the sole purpose of opposing Bahá'u'lláh, were of this category. Their thoughts, their words and their deeds were devoid of truth. They spent their time in Adrianople creating dissension, poisoning the minds of the believers, and devising evil plans to uproot the Cause of God and bring division within its ranks.

The Lawh-i-Ahmad was revealed by Bahá'u'lláh to bring these men back to their God. He begins the Tablet by urging Ahmad to possess a pure heart. This is part of the opening paragraph:

O banished and faithful friend! Quench the thirst of heedlessness with the sanctified waters of My grace, and chase the gloom of remoteness through the morning-light of My Divine presence. Suffer not the habitation wherein dwelleth My undying love for thee to be destroyed through the tyranny of covetous desires, and overcloud not the beauty of the heavenly Youth with the dust of self and passion. Clothe thyself with the essence of righteousness, and let thine heart be afraid of none except God. Obstruct not the luminous spring of thy soul with the thorns and brambles of vain and inordinate affections, and impede not the flow of the living waters that stream from the fountain of thine heart. Set all thy hope in God, and cleave tenaciously to His unfailing mercy.2

In this Tablet Bahá'u'lláh defines the real purpose for which God bestowed faculties on man:

Thine eye is My trust, suffer not the dust of vain desires to becloud its lustre. Thine ear is a sign of My bounty, let not

2. Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, section cliii.
the tumult of unseemly motives turn it away from My Word that encompasseth all creation. Thine heart is My treasury, allow not the treacherous hand of self to rob thee of the pearls which I have treasured therein. Thine hand is a symbol of My loving-kindness, hinder it not from holding fast unto My guarded and hidden Tablets...3

These exalted concepts give us a glimpse of the nobility and purity to which man, under the shadow of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, will attain. The study of the Writings clearly indicates that the purpose underlying the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh is to create a new race of men whose thoughts and deeds will reflect and manifest in this world the most lofty attributes and divine virtues. In this connection it is appropriate to quote an interesting account of Nabíl-i-A'zam concerning several statements which were made by Bahá'u'lláh to certain Persian princes in Baghdád on the subject of the future nobility of mankind. This is known as 'Panj Kanz' (Five Treasures). The following is a translation of a part of it:

...Once there were certain Persian princes in the presence of Bahá'u'lláh. He was engaged in conversation with them and with loving-kindness sought news of their country. In the course of this interview one of the princes made the following remark: 'How is it that You speak of spiritual matters to Your friends when they attain Your presence, while to us You talk only about the news of the town and the market?' He was trying to ask: 'How could such men who are devoid of learning and discernment be preferable to us?' In answer to him Bahá'u'lláh said:

'...I will tell you which people are worthy of listening to My utterances and attaining My presence. Suppose that a person is taken to a vast plain, on the right side of which are placed all the glories of this world, its pleasures and comfort, together with a sovereignty which would be everlasting and freed from every affliction and grief. On the left-hand side of this plain are preserved for eternity all the calamities, hardships, pains and immense sufferings. Then suppose that the


3. Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, section clii.
Holy Spirit appears before this person and addresses him in these words: "Shouldst thou choose to have all the eternal pleasures that are placed on the right side in preference to the calamities on the left, not the slightest thing would be reduced from thy station in the sight of God. And shouldst thou choose to be inflicted with innumerable sufferings that are placed on the left, not the slightest thing would be added to thy station in the estimation of God, the Almighty, the Unconstrained."

'If at that moment this person were moved to choose, with the utmost eagerness and enthusiasm, the left hand of abasement rather than the right hand of glory, then he would be worthy to attain My presence and hearken to My exalted words. In this connection the Tongue of Grandeur,* addressing the inquirers, says "If thine aim be to cherish thy life, approach not our court; but if sacrifice be thy heart's desire, come and let others come with thee. For such is the way of faith, if in thy heart thou seekest reunion with Bahá; Shouldst thou refuse to tread this path, why trouble us? Begone!" '...†

To the same enquirer Bahá'u'lláh further said, 'My purpose in coming to this corrupt world where the tyrants and traitors, by their acts of cruelty and oppression, have closed the doors of peace and tranquillity to all mankind, is to establish, through the power of God and His might, the forces of justice, trust, security and faith. For instance [in the future] should a woman..., who is unsurpassed in her beauty and adorned with the most exquisite and priceless jewels, travel unveiled and alone, from the east of the world to the west thereof, passing through every land and journeying in all countries, there would be such a standard of justice, trustworthiness and faith on the one hand, and lack of treachery and degradation on the other, that no one would be found who would wish to rob her of her possessions or to cast a treacherous and lustful eye upon her beauteous chastity!...'


* Bahá'u'lláh.

† Two lines of the poem Sáqí-Az-Ghayb-i-Baqá, revealed by Bahá'u'lláh in Kurdistán and quoted in The Dawn-Breakers, p. 96 (Brit.), pp. 137-8 (U.S.).

["If thine aim..."] The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, vol. 2, p. 54
Then Bahá'u'lláh affirmed, 'Through the power of God I shall transform the peoples of the world into this exalted state and shall open this most great door to the face of all humanity.' 4

In this connection Bahá'u'lláh has revealed the following words concerning the people of Bahá:

He is My true follower who, if he come to a valley of pure gold will pass straight through it aloof as a cloud, and will neither turn back, nor pause. Such a man is assuredly of Me. From his garment the Concourse on high can inhale the fragrance of sanctity...And if he met the fairest and most comely of women, he would not feel his heart seduced by the least shadow of desire for her beauty.5

Nabíl continues the story of Bahá'u'lláh's conversation with the princes:

Concerning the sincerity of motive and purity of deeds, the Tongue of Grandeur* addressed them in these words:

'Suppose there is a very rich person whose wealth is enormous and beyond measure. And suppose that gradually and in the course of time he bestows so much of his wealth upon a poor person...that he himself is reduced to absolute poverty while the poor man has turned into a very rich man...Suppose in his poor and distressed state he reaches a situation in which he incurs some small debt. Being unable to pay it, he is brought to a public square in town where he is humiliated and punished. He is further informed that his release will not be considered until he pays his debt. At this point suppose he sees his friend (who once was poor and as a result of his generosity has become rich). Should the thought flash through his mind that he wishes that in return for all his generosity to him, this friend would now come forward and relieve him of this calamity, immediately all his deeds would become void, he would become deprived of the virtue of contentment and acquiescence, and would be shut away from the virtues of the human spirit.

The same thing is true of the second man who has become


* Bahá'u'lláh.

4. Nabíl-i-A'zam, 'Panj Kanz', unpublished. It should not be assumed that the utterances of Bahá'u'lláh quoted are His exact words.

5. Bahá'u'lláh, quoted by Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 26.

rich (through the generosity of the captive). Should he think in his heart that he is obliged to pay this man's debts, free him from his ordeal, and enable him to live the rest of his life in comfort, because he had earlier shown immeasurable love and kindness towards him, then such a motive leading him to repay his friend's generosity (instead of giving for the sake of humanity) would cause him to be deprived of the chalice of sincerity and would drive him into the world of ignominy.

The only way acceptable to God would have been for the first man to have based his acts of generosity on humanitarian principles wholly for the sake of God. In the same way, the second rich man should have acted for the sake of God and as a duty to the world of humanity regardless of the events of the past or the future. Thus it is revealed: "We nourish your souls for the sake of God; we seek from you neither recompense nor thanks" '...* 6

In the Lawh-i-Ahmad Bahá'u'lláh counsels humanity in these words:

O My servants! Deprive not yourselves of the unfading and resplendent Light that shineth within the Lamp of Divine glory. Let the flame of the love of God burn brightly within your radiant hearts. Feed it with the oil of Divine guidance, and protect it within the shelter of your constancy. Guard it within the globe of trust and detachment from all else but God, so that the evil whisperings of the ungodly may not extinguish its light. O My servants! My holy, My divinely ordained Revelation may be likened unto an ocean in whose depths are concealed innumerable pearls of great price, of surpassing lustre. It is the duty of every seeker to bestir himself and strive to attain the shores of this ocean, so that he may, in proportion to the eagerness of his search and the efforts he hath exerted, partake of such benefits as have been pre-ordained in God's irrevocable and hidden Tablets. If no one be willing to direct his steps towards its shores, if every one should fail to arise and find Him, can such a failure be said to have robbed this ocean of its power or to have

* Qur'án, lxxvi. 9.

6. Nabíl-i-A'zam, 'Panj Kanz'.
lessened, to any degree, its treasures? How vain, how contemptible, are the imaginations which your hearts have devised, and are still devising! O My servants! The one true God is My witness! This most great, this fathomless and surging Ocean is near, astonishingly near, unto you. Behold it is closer to you than your life-vein! Swift as the twinkling of an eye ye can, if ye but wish it, reach and partake of this imperishable favour, this God-given grace, this incorruptible gift, this most potent and unspeakably glorious bounty.

O My servants! Could ye apprehend with what wonders of My munificence and bounty I have willed to entrust your souls, ye would, of a truth, rid yourselves of attachment to all created things, and would gain a true knowledge of your own selves--a knowledge which is the same as the comprehension of Mine own Being.7

This last statement is to be found in Islám also. In one of the traditions it is recorded, 'He who recognizes his own self has verily recognized God'. Mírzá Hádíy-i-Qazvíní, one of the Letters of the Living,* requested Bahá'u'lláh to explain among other things the meaning of this tradition for him. In a lengthy Tablet to Mírzá Hádí 8 Bahá'u'lláh explains that the soul of man, which He refers to as the rational faculty, is an emanation from the worlds of God. Every faculty in man, whether physical or spiritual, is a manifestation of the soul. For instance, each of the senses derives its power from the soul and every spiritual quality is due to it. Yet the sum total of all these faculties within a human being does not make the soul. So, we might ask, what is the soul? Bahá'u'lláh affirms that the soul is unknowable. Should one contemplate this theme till eternity, he will never be able to understand the nature of his soul, or fathom the mysteries enshrined in it. He then says:

Having recognized thy powerlessness to attain to an adequate understanding of that Reality† which abideth within thee, thou wilt readily admit the futility of such efforts as

* The first eighteen disciples of the Báb.

† The soul of man. (A.T.)

7. Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, section cliii.

8. Parts of this Tablet were translated by Shoghi Effendi and included in Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, sections lxxiii, lxxxiii and cxxiv.



An outstanding follower of Bahá'u'lláh
and a defender of His Covenant
His memoirs are often quoted in this volume



The barber, a devoted servant of Bahá'u'lláh
and a well-known Bahá'í poet

may be attempted by thee, or by any of the created things, to fathom the mystery of the Living God, the Day Star of unfading glory, the Ancient of everlasting days.9

When man recognizes his impotence to know the nature of his own soul, and more so the nature of God, then he has attained the highest degree of knowledge and understanding. These are the words of Bahá'u'lláh:

This confession of helplessness which mature contemplation must eventually impel every mind to make is in itself the acme of human understanding, and marketh the culmination of man's development.10

Bahá'u'lláh explains to Mírzá Hádí that in all the worlds of God this verse assumes many other meanings which are beyond the comprehension of man. Mírzá Hádí, who as mentioned was one of the Letters of the Living, failed at the end to remain loyal to the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. He followed Mírzá Yahyá and deprived himself of the bounties of God. This tragic ending, for one who had the inestimable privilege of being one of the first eighteen disciples of the Báb, is a demonstration of how God tests His servants. The closer one gets to the Manifestation of God the more severe become the tests.*

There were a few others among the Letters of the Living who succumbed to the tests of God. One such was Mullá Hasan-i-Bajistání who attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád. He expressed his doubts to Bahá'u'lláh concerning the Revelation of the Báb. One of his objections was that the Báb in His Writings extolled the virtues and praised the station of the Letters of the Living in glowing terms, and yet as a Letter of the Living himself, he knew that he was devoid of these qualities. Bahá'u'lláh answered that a farmer irrigates his field in order to water his crop. In this process, however, the weeds are also watered. He explained that the tributes paid by the Báb to the Letters of the Living, and the praises that He showered


* See vol. 1, p. 130.

9. Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, section lxxxiii.

10. ibid.

upon them, all referred to Mullá Husayn, the first to believe in Him, and to a few others. The rest received these bounties as a matter of course.

The great majority of the Letters of the Living remained steadfast in the Cause of the Báb and no less than twelve of them laid down their lives in the path of their Lord. Most of the Letters of the Living died before the birth of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation, but had the privilege of attaining His presence in Persia, when some were enabled to recognize His station.

Mullá Báqir-i-Tabrízí, who survived all the other Letters of the Living, was the only one who embraced the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh and remained loyal and devoted to Him. He accompanied Bahá'u'lláh to the Fort of Shaykh Tabarsí and was also present at the Conference of Badasht.* It was to him that the Báb had addressed these exalted words in praise of Bahá'u'lláh, 'Him Whom God shall make manifest':

I have written down in My mention of Him† these gem-like words: 'No allusion of Mine can allude unto Him, neither anything mentioned in the Bayán'...'Exalted and glorified is He above the power of any one to reveal Him except Himself, or the description of any of His creatures. I Myself am but the first servant to believe in Him and in His signs, and to partake of the sweet savours of His words from the first-fruits of the Paradise of His knowledge. Yea, by His glory! He is the Truth. There is none other God but Him. All have arisen at His bidding.' 11

In answer to Mullá Báqir's question regarding 'Him Whom God shall make manifest', the Báb in a special Tablet promised him that he would attain His presence either in the beginning or towards the end of the year 'eight', 1268 A. H. (1852).

Soon after Bahá'u'lláh's release from the Síyáh-Chál of Tihrán, Mullá Báqir attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád and, remembering the promise of the Báb, recognized


* For further information refer to The Dawn-Breakers.

† Him Whom God shall make manifest. (A.T.)

11. The Báb, quoted by Bahá'u'lláh in Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 141.
His station and became filled with the glory of His Revelation. He was an outstanding believer and teacher of the Cause. It was to him that the Báb, shortly before His martyrdom, entrusted a coffer containing all His important documents and Tablets, seals and agate rings, which was to be handed to Mullá 'Abdu'l-Karím-i-Qazvíní, surnamed Mírzá Ahmad, who was instructed to deliver it to Bahá'u'lláh.

Soon after the declaration of the Message of Bahá'u'lláh, Mullá Báqir arose to teach His Cause with great determination and devotion among his fellow countrymen in the province of Ádhirbáyján. He wrote an epistle in which he refuted the claims and rejected the writings of Mírzá Yahyá. Longing to attain the presence of His Lord, he travelled twice to 'Akká, and on his last visit he obtained permission from Bahá'u'lláh to reside in Constantinople where he died around the year 1881.

In the Lawh-i-Ahmad Bahá'u'lláh, rebuking those who had arisen to oppose Him, declares:

O My servants! Let not your vain hopes and idle fancies sap the foundations of your belief in the All-Glorious God, inasmuch as such imaginings have been wholly unprofitable unto men, and failed to direct their steps unto the straight Path. Think ye, O My servants, that the Hand of My all-encompassing, My overshadowing, and transcendent sovereignty is chained up, that the flow of Mine ancient, My ceaseless, and all-pervasive mercy is checked, or that the clouds of My sublime and unsurpassed favours have ceased to rain their gifts upon men? Can ye imagine that the wondrous works that have proclaimed My divine and resistless power are withdrawn, or that the potency of My will and purpose hath been deterred from directing the destinies of mankind? If it be not so, wherefore, then, have ye striven to prevent the deathless Beauty of My sacred and gracious Countenance from being unveiled to men's eyes? Why have ye struggled to hinder the Manifestation of the Almighty and All-Glorious Being from shedding the radiance of His Revelation upon the earth? Were ye to be fair in your judgment, ye would readily

recognize how the realities of all created things are inebriated with the joy of this new and wondrous Revelation, how all the atoms of the earth have been illuminated through the brightness of its glory. Vain and wretched is that which ye have imagined and still imagine! 12

Bahá'u'lláh further warns that in this Dispensation God will stay the hand of those who are working against His Cause. These are His ominous words:

O heedless ones! Though the wonders of My mercy have encompassed all created things, both visible and invisible, and though the revelations of My grace and bounty have permeated every atom of the universe, yet the rod with which I can chastise the wicked is grievous, and the fierceness of Mine anger against them terrible.13

In one of His Tablets14 Bahá'u'lláh mentions that if it were not for the bounty of God and the wisdom of His decree, the hand of divine power would have taken hold of those who had inflicted the slightest harm upon the believers, and this earth would not have harboured them for one moment. This is true of those who are weak and ignorant. However, Bahá'u'lláh states that in the case of those who have stood up with the utmost enmity to persecute the loved ones of God and have arisen with all their power to destroy His Cause, God, in this Dispensation, will assuredly strike them down.

The history of the Faith has amply demonstrated this phenomenon. All those who opposed the Faith and its central Figures--the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá--were made to suffer a condign punishment. Speaking of this retributory process, Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Faith, writes:

Kings, emperors, princes, whether of the East or of the West, had, as we look back upon the tumultuous record of an entire century, either ignored the summons of its Founders, or derided their Message, or decreed their exile and banishment, or barbarously persecuted their followers, or sedulously striven to discredit their teachings. They were visited

12. Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, section cliii.

13. ibid.

14. Bahá'u'lláh, Má'idiy-i-Ásamání, vol. IV, p. 370.

by the wrath of the Almighty, many losing their thrones, some witnessing the extinction of their dynasties, a few being assassinated or covered with shame, others finding themselves powerless to avert the cataclysmic dissolution of their kingdoms, still others being degraded to positions of subservience in their own realms. The Caliphate, its arch-enemy, had unsheathed the sword against its Author and thrice pronounced His banishment. It was humbled to dust, and, in its ignominious collapse, suffered the same fate as the Jewish hierarchy, the chief persecutor of Jesus Christ, had suffered at the hands of its Roman masters, in the first century of the Christian Era, almost two thousand years before. Members of various sacerdotal orders, Shí'ah, Sunní, Zoroastrian and Christian, had fiercely assailed the Faith, branded as heretic its supporters, and laboured unremittingly to disrupt its fabric and subvert its foundations. The most redoubtable and hostile among these orders were either overthrown or virtually dismembered, others rapidly declined in prestige and influence, all were made to sustain the impact of a secular power, aggressive and determined to curtail their privileges and assert its own authority. Apostates, rebels, betrayers, heretics, had exerted their utmost endeavours, privily or openly, to sap the loyalty of the followers of that Faith, to split their ranks or assault their institutions. These enemies were, one by one, some gradually, others with dramatic swiftness, confounded, dispersed, swept away and forgotten. Not a few among its leading figures, its earliest disciples, its foremost champions, the companions and fellow-exiles of its Founders, trusted amanuenses and secretaries of its Author and of the Centre of His Covenant, even some of those who were numbered among the kindred of the Manifestation Himself, not excluding the nominee of the Báb and the son of Bahá'u'lláh, named by Him in the Book of His Covenant, had allowed themselves to pass out from under its shadow, to bring shame upon it, through acts of indelible infamy, and to provoke crises of such dimensions as have never been experienced by any previous religion. All were precipitated, without exception, from the enviable positions they occupied, many of them lived to behold the

frustration of their designs, others were plunged into degradation and misery, utterly impotent to impair the unity, or stay the march, of the Faith they had so shamelessly forsaken. Ministers, ambassadors and other state dignitaries had plotted assiduously to pervert its purpose, had instigated the successive banishments of its Founders, and maliciously striven to undermine its foundations. They had, through such plottings, unwittingly brought about their own downfall, forfeited the confidence of their sovereigns, drunk the cup of disgrace to its dregs, and irrevocably sealed their own doom.15

Bahá'u'lláh in the Lawh-i-Ahmad reveals the role that man must play in creation. He states:

O My servants! Be as resigned and submissive as the earth, that from the soil of your being there may blossom the fragrant, the holy and multicoloured hyacinths of My knowledge.16

In the same way that the earth must receive the rays of the sun and the showers of spring in order to produce its fruit, a human being must likewise turn to the Sun of Truth,* in this day to Bahá'u'lláh, so that he may fulfil the purpose for which he is created. This is a law of creation, for without this relationship, man remains a material being. Devoid of true spiritual life he produces a society in which prejudice, hatred and conflict become the pivot of his social life. And this is the plight of mankind today!

In this Tablet, Bahá'u'lláh repeatedly addresses Ahmad and exhorts him to rectitude of conduct, purity of heart, and sincerity, urges him not to imitate the wayward, counsels him to illumine his eyes with the light of His Revelation and summons him to enter the straight path.

He states that the purpose underlying His Revelation has been to enable those who are pure-hearted and endowed with capacity to acquire faith and ascend to the realms of Glory. Otherwise, He affirms, His glory is exalted above, and independent of all understanding hearts. He gives the example of


* The Manifestation of God.

15. Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 407-8.

16. Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, section clii.

the sun. Should all the sighted peoples of the world testify to its light and those who are blind declare its darkness, neither of these testimonies could ever affect the sun. The praise or condemnation of the people relates to themselves, while the sun remains luminous and resplendent in the heavens and is independent of the views held by men. Of the greatness of His Revelation Bahá'u'lláh in this Tablet declares:

O My servants! Through the might of God and His power, and out of the treasury of His knowledge and wisdom, I have brought forth and revealed unto you the pearls that lay concealed in the depths of His everlasting ocean. I have summoned the Maids of Heaven to emerge from behind the veil of concealment, and have clothed them with these words of Mine--words of consummate power and wisdom. I have, moreover, with the hand of divine power, unsealed the choice wine of My Revelation, and have wafted its holy, its hidden, and musk-laden fragrance upon all created things. Who else but yourselves is to be blamed if ye choose to remain unendowed with so great an outpouring of God's transcendent and all-encompassing grace, with so bright a revelation of His resplendent mercy?...

O My servants! There shineth nothing else in Mine heart except the unfading light of the Morn of Divine guidance, and out of My mouth proceedeth naught but the essence of truth, which the Lord your God hath revealed. Follow not, therefore, your earthly desires, and violate not the Covenant of God, nor break your pledge to Him. With firm determination, with the whole affection of your heart, and with the full force of your words, turn ye unto Him, and walk not in the ways of the foolish. The world is but a show, vain and empty, a mere nothing, bearing the semblance of reality. Set not your affections upon it. Break not the bond that uniteth you with your Creator, and be not of those that have erred and strayed from His ways. Verily I say, the world is like the vapour in a desert, which the thirsty dreameth to be water and striveth after it with all his might, until when he cometh unto it, he findeth it to be mere illusion.l7


17. Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, section cliii.