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Lawh-i-hikmat (tablet Of Wisdom)

_This Tablet was addressed to Aqa Muhammad, a distinguished
believer from the town of Qa'in, who was surnamed Nabil-i-Akbar
(see Memorials of the Faithful pages 1-5). Another distinguished
believer of Qa'in, Mulla Muhammad-'Ali, was known as
Nabil-i-Qa'ini (see Memorials of the Faithful pages 49-54). In the
abjad notation the name 'Muhammad' has the same numerical value as

THIS is an Epistle which the All-Merciful hath sent down from the Kingdom
of Utterance. It is truly a breath of life unto those who dwell in the
realm of creation. Glorified be the Lord of all worlds! In this Epistle
mention is made of him who magnifieth the Name of God, his Lord, and who
is named Nabil in a weighty Tablet.

O Muhammad! Hearken unto the Voice proceeding out of the Realm of Glory,
calling aloud from the celestial Tree which hath risen above the land of
Za'faran(51): Verily, no God is there but Me, the Omniscient, the Wise. Be
thou as the breezes of the All-Merciful for the trees of the realm of
existence and foster their growth through the potency of the Name of thy
Lord, the Just, the All-Informed. We desire to acquaint thee with that
which will serve as a reminder unto the people, that they may put away the
things current amongst them and set their faces towards God, the Lord of
the sincere.

We exhort mankind in these days when the countenance of Justice is soiled
with dust, when the flames of unbelief are burning high and the robe of
wisdom rent asunder, when tranquillity and faithfulness have ebbed away
and trials and tribulations have waxed severe, when covenants are broken
and ties are severed, when no man knoweth how to discern light and
darkness or to distinguish guidance from error.

O peoples of the world! Forsake all evil, hold fast that which is good.
Strive to be shining examples unto all mankind, and true reminders of the
virtues of God amidst men. He that riseth to serve My Cause should
manifest My wisdom, and bend every effort to banish ignorance from the
earth. Be united in counsel, be one in thought. Let each morn be better
than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday. Man's merit lieth
in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches. Take
heed that your words be purged from idle fancies and worldly desires and
your deeds be cleansed from craftiness and suspicion. Dissipate not the
wealth of your precious lives in the pursuit of evil and corrupt
affection, nor let your endeavours be spent in promoting your personal
interest. Be generous in your days of plenty, and be patient in the hour
of loss. Adversity is followed by success and rejoicings follow woe. Guard
against idleness and sloth, and cling unto that which profiteth mankind,
whether young or old, whether high or low. Beware lest ye sow tares of
dissension among men or plant thorns of doubt in pure and radiant hearts.

O ye beloved of the Lord! Commit not that which defileth the limpid stream
of love or destroyeth the sweet fragrance of friendship. By the
righteousness of the Lord! Ye were created to show love one to another and
not perversity and rancour. Take pride not in love for yourselves but in
love for your fellow-creatures. Glory not in love for your country, but in
love for all mankind. Let your eye be chaste, your hand faithful, your
tongue truthful and your heart enlightened. Abase not the station of the
learned in Baha and belittle not the rank of such rulers as administer
justice amidst you. Set your reliance on the army of justice, put on the
armour of wisdom, let your adorning be forgiveness and mercy and that
which cheereth the hearts of the well-favoured of God.

By My life! Thy grievances have plunged Me into sorrow. Regard not the
children of the world and all their doings but fix thy gaze upon God and
His never-ending dominion. Verily, He calleth to thy remembrance that
which is the source of delight for all mankind. Drink thou the life-giving
water of blissful joy from the chalice of utterance proffered by the
Fountainhead of divine Revelation--He Who hath made mention of thee in this
mighty stronghold. Endeavour to the utmost of thy powers to establish the
word of truth with eloquence and wisdom and to dispel falsehood from the
face of the earth. Thus directeth thee the Dayspring of divine knowledge
from this luminous horizon.

O thou who speakest in My Name! Consider the people and the things they
have wrought in My days. We revealed unto one of the rulers that which
overpowereth all the dwellers of the earth, and requested him to bring Us
face to face with the learned men of this age, that We might set forth for
him the testimony of God, His proofs, His glory and His majesty; and
naught did We intend thereby but the highest good. However, he committed
that which hath caused the inmates of the cities of justice and equity to
lament. Thus hath judgement been given between Me and him. Verily thy Lord
is the Ordainer, the All-Informed. In such circumstances as thou seest,
how can the Celestial Bird soar into the atmosphere of divine mysteries
when its wings have been battered with the stones of idle fancy and bitter
hatred, and it is cast into a prison built of unyielding stone? By the
righteousness of God! The people have perpetrated a grievous injustice.

As regards thine assertions about the beginning of creation, this is a
matter on which conceptions vary by reason of the divergences in men's
thoughts and opinions. Wert thou to assert that it hath ever existed and
shall continue to exist, it would be true; or wert thou to affirm the same
concept as is mentioned in the sacred Scriptures, no doubt would there be
about it, for it hath been revealed by God, the Lord of the worlds. Indeed
He was a hidden treasure. This is a station that can never be described
nor even alluded to. And in the station of 'I did wish to make Myself
known', God was, and His creation had ever existed beneath His shelter
from the beginning that hath no beginning, apart from its being preceded
by a Firstness which cannot be regarded as firstness and originated by a
Cause inscrutable even unto all men of learning.

That which hath been in existence had existed before, but not in the form
thou seest today. The world of existence came into being through the heat
generated from the interaction between the active force and that which is
its recipient. These two are the same, yet they are different. Thus doth
the Great Announcement inform thee about this glorious structure. Such as
communicate the generating influence and such as receive its impact are
indeed created through the irresistible Word of God which is the Cause of
the entire creation, while all else besides His Word are but the creatures
and the effects thereof. Verily thy Lord is the Expounder, the All-Wise.

Know thou, moreover, that the Word of God--exalted be His glory--is higher
and far superior to that which the senses can perceive, for it is
sanctified from any property or substance. It transcendeth the limitations
of known elements and is exalted above all the essential and recognized
substances. It became manifest without any syllable or sound and is none
but the Command of God which pervadeth all created things. It hath never
been withheld from the world of being. It is God's all-pervasive grace,
from which all grace doth emanate. It is an entity far removed above all
that hath been and shall be.

We are loath to enlarge on this subject, inasmuch as the unbelievers have
inclined their ears towards Us in order to hear that which might enable
them to cavil against God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. And
since they are unable to attain to mysteries of knowledge and wisdom from
what hath been unravelled by the Source of divine splendour, they rise in
protest and burst into clamour. But it is true to say that they object to
that which they comprehend, not to the expositions given by the Expounder,
nor the truths imparted by the One true God, the Knower of things unseen.
Their objections, one and all, turn upon themselves, and I swear by thy
life that they are devoid of understanding.

Every thing must needs have an origin and every building a builder.
Verily, the Word of God is the Cause which hath preceded the contingent
world--a world which is adorned with the splendours of the Ancient of Days,
yet is being renewed and regenerated at all times. Immeasurably exalted is
the God of Wisdom Who hath raised this sublime structure.

Look at the world and ponder a while upon it. It unveileth the book of its
own self before thine eyes and revealeth that which the Pen of thy Lord,
the Fashioner, the All-Informed, hath inscribed therein. It will acquaint
thee with that which is within it and upon it and will give thee such
clear explanations as to make thee independent of every eloquent

Say: Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the
Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this
diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God's Will and
is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a
dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise. Were
anyone to affirm that it is the Will of God as manifested in the world of
being, no one should question this assertion. It is endowed with a power
whose reality men of learning fail to grasp. Indeed a man of insight can
perceive naught therein save the effulgent splendour of Our Name, the
Creator. Say: This is an existence which knoweth no decay, and Nature
itself is lost in bewilderment before its revelations, its compelling
evidences and its effulgent glory which have encompassed the universe.

It ill beseemeth thee to turn thy gaze unto former or more recent times.
Make thou mention of this Day and magnify that which hath appeared
therein. It will in truth suffice all mankind. Indeed expositions and
discourses in explanation of such things cause the spirits to be chilled.
It behoveth thee to speak forth in such wise as to set the hearts of true
believers ablaze and cause their bodies to soar.

Whoso firmly believeth today in the rebirth of man and is fully conscious
that God, the Most Exalted, wieldeth supreme ascendancy and absolute
authority over this new creation, verily such a man is reckoned with them
that are endued with insight in this most great Revelation. Unto this
beareth witness every discerning believer.

Walk thou high above the world of being through the power of the Most
Great Name, that thou mayest become aware of the immemorial mysteries and
be acquainted with that wherewith no one is acquainted. Verily, thy Lord
is the Helper, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. Be thou as a throbbing
artery, pulsating in the body of the entire creation, that through the
heat generated by this motion there may appear that which will quicken the
hearts of those who hesitate.

At the time when We were hidden behind countless veils of light thou didst
commune with Me and didst witness the luminaries of the heaven of My
wisdom and the billows of the ocean of Mine utterance. Verily thy Lord is
the Truthful, the Faithful. Great indeed is the blessedness of him who
hath attained the liberal effusions of this ocean in the days of his Lord,
the Most Bountiful, the All-Wise.

During Our sojourn in 'Iraq when We were at the house of one named Majid,
We set forth clearly for thee the mysteries of creation and the origin,
the culmination and the cause thereof. However since Our departure We have
limited Ourself to this affirmation: 'Verily, no God is there but Me, the
Ever-Forgiving, the Bountiful.'

Teach thou the Cause of God with an utterance which will cause the bushes
to be enkindled, and the call 'Verily, there is no God but Me, the
Almighty, the Unconstrained' to be raised therefrom. Say: Human utterance
is an essence which aspireth to exert its influence and needeth
moderation. As to its influence, this is conditional upon refinement which
in turn is dependent upon hearts which are detached and pure. As to its
moderation, this hath to be combined with tact and wisdom as prescribed in
the Holy Scriptures and Tablets. Meditate upon that which hath streamed
forth from the heaven of the Will of thy Lord, He Who is the Source of all
grace, that thou mayest grasp the intended meaning which is enshrined in
the sacred depths of the Holy Writings.

Those who have rejected God and firmly cling to Nature as it is in itself
are, verily, bereft of knowledge and wisdom. They are truly of them that
are far astray. They have failed to attain the lofty summit and have
fallen short of the ultimate purpose; therefore their eyes were shut and
their thoughts differed, while the leaders among them have believed in God
and in His invincible sovereignty. Unto this beareth witness thy Lord, the
Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

When the eyes of the people of the East were captivated by the arts and
wonders of the West, they roved distraught in the wilderness of material
causes, oblivious of the One Who is the Causer of Causes, and the
Sustainer thereof, while such men as were the source and the wellspring of
Wisdom never denied the moving Impulse behind these causes, nor the
Creator or the Origin thereof. Thy Lord knoweth, yet most of the people
know not.

Now We have, for the sake of God, the Lord of Names, set Ourself the task
of mentioning in this Tablet some accounts of the sages,(52) that the eyes
of the people may be opened thereby and that they may become fully assured
that He is in truth the Maker, the Omnipotent, the Creator, the
Originator, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

Although it is recognized that the contemporary men of learning are highly
qualified in philosophy, arts and crafts, yet were anyone to observe with
a discriminating eye he would readily comprehend that most of this
knowledge hath been acquired from the sages of the past, for it is they
who have laid the foundation of philosophy, reared its structure and
reinforced its pillars. Thus doth thy Lord, the Ancient of Days, inform

thee. The sages aforetime acquired their knowledge from the Prophets,
inasmuch as the latter were the Exponents of divine philosophy and the
Revealers of heavenly mysteries. Men quaffed the crystal, living waters of
Their utterance, while others satisfied themselves with the dregs.
Everyone receiveth a portion according to his measure. Verily He is the
Equitable, the Wise.

Empedocles, who distinguished himself in philosophy, was a contemporary of
David, while Pythagoras lived in the days of Solomon, son of David, and
acquired Wisdom from the treasury of prophethood. It is he who claimed to
have heard the whispering sound of the heavens and to have attained the
station of the angels. In truth thy Lord will clearly set forth all
things, if He pleaseth. Verily, He is the Wise, the All-Pervading.

The essence and the fundamentals of philosophy have emanated from the
Prophets. That the people differ concerning the inner meanings and
mysteries thereof is to be attributed to the divergence of their views and
minds. We would fain recount to thee the following: One of the Prophets
once was communicating to his people that with which the Omnipotent Lord
had inspired Him. Truly, thy Lord is the Inspirer, the Gracious, the
Exalted. When the fountain of wisdom and eloquence gushed forth from the
wellspring of His utterance and the wine of divine knowledge inebriated
those who had sought His threshold, He exclaimed: 'Lo! All are filled with
the Spirit.' From among the people there was he who held fast unto this
statement and, actuated by his own fancies, conceived the idea that the
spirit literally penetrateth or entereth into the body, and through
lengthy expositions he advanced proofs to vindicate this concept; and
groups of people followed in his footsteps. To mention their names at this
point, or to give thee a detailed account thereof, would lead to
prolixity, and would depart from the main theme. Verily, thy Lord is the
All-Wise, the All-Knowing. There was also he who partook of the choice
wine whose seal had been removed by the Key of the Tongue of Him Who is
the Revealer of the Verses of thy Lord, the Gracious, the Most Generous.

Verily, the philosophers have not denied the Ancient of Days. Most of them
passed away deploring their failure to fathom His mystery, even as some of
them have testified. Verily, thy Lord is the Adviser, the All-Informed.

Consider Hippocrates, the physician. He was one of the eminent
philosophers who believed in God and acknowledged His sovereignty. After
him came Socrates who was indeed wise, accomplished and righteous. He
practised self-denial, repressed his appetites for selfish desires and
turned away from material pleasures. He withdrew to the mountains where he
dwelt in a cave. He dissuaded men from worshipping idols and taught them
the way of God, the Lord of Mercy, until the ignorant rose up against him.
They arrested him and put him to death in prison. Thus relateth to thee
this swift-moving Pen. What a penetrating vision into philosophy this
eminent man had! He is the most distinguished of all philosophers and was
highly versed in wisdom. We testify that he is one of the heroes in this
field and an outstanding champion dedicated unto it. He had a profound
knowledge of such sciences as were current amongst men as well as of those
which were veiled from their minds. Methinks he drank one draught when the
Most Great Ocean overflowed with gleaming and life-giving waters. He it is
who perceived a unique, a tempered, and a pervasive nature in things,
bearing the closest likeness to the human spirit, and he discovered this
nature to be distinct from the substance of things in their refined form.
He hath a special pronouncement on this weighty theme. Wert thou to ask
from the worldly wise of this generation about this exposition, thou
wouldst witness their incapacity to grasp it. Verily, thy Lord speaketh
the truth but most people comprehend not.

After Socrates came the divine Plato who was a pupil of the former and
occupied the chair of philosophy as his successor. He acknowledged his
belief in God and in His signs which pervade all that hath been and shall
be. Then came Aristotle, the well-known man of knowledge. He it is who
discovered the power of gaseous matter. These men who stand out as leaders
of the people and are pre-eminent among them, one and all acknowledged
their belief in the immortal Being Who holdeth in His grasp the reins of
all sciences.

I will also mention for thee the invocation voiced by Balinus who was
familiar with the theories put forward by the Father of Philosophy
regarding the mysteries of creation as given in his chrysolite tablets,
that everyone may be fully assured of the things We have elucidated for
thee in this manifest Tablet, which, if pressed with the hand of fairness
and knowledge, will yield the spirit of life for the quickening of all
created things. Great is the blessedness of him who swimmeth in this ocean
and celebrateth the praise of his Lord, the Gracious, the Best-Beloved.
Indeed the breezes of divine revelation are diffused from the verses of
thy Lord in such wise that no one can dispute its truth, except those who
are bereft of hearing, of vision, of understanding and of every human
faculty. Verily thy Lord beareth witness unto this, yet the people
understand not.

This man hath said: 'I am Balinus, the wise one, the performer of wonders,
the producer of talismans.' He surpassed everyone else in the diffusion of
arts and sciences and soared unto the loftiest heights of humility and
supplication. Give ear unto that which he hath said, entreating the
All-Possessing, the Most Exalted: 'I stand in the presence of my Lord,
extolling His gifts and bounties and praising Him with that wherewith He
praiseth His Own Self, that I may become a source of blessing and guidance
unto such men as acknowledge my words.' And further he saith: 'O Lord!
Thou art God and no God is there but Thee. Thou art the Creator and no
creator is there except Thee. Assist me by Thy grace and strengthen me. My
heart is seized with alarm, my limbs tremble, I have lost my reason and my
mind hath failed me. Bestow upon me strength and enable my tongue to speak
forth with wisdom.' And still further he saith: 'Thou art in truth the
Knowing, the Wise, the Powerful, the Compassionate.' It was this man of
wisdom who became informed of the mysteries of creation and discerned the
subtleties which lie enshrined in the Hermetic writings.(53)

We have no wish to mention anything further but We shall utter that which
the Spirit hath instilled into My heart. In truth there is no God but Him,
the Knowing, the Mighty, the Help in Peril, the Most Excellent, the
All-Praised. By My life! In this Day the celestial Tree is loath to
proclaim aught else to the world but this affirmation: 'Verily, there is
none other God but Me, the Peerless, the All-Informed.'

Had it not been for the love I cherish for thee, I would not have uttered
a single word of what hath been mentioned. Appreciate the value of this
station and preserve it as thou wouldst thine eye and be of them that are
truly thankful.

Thou knowest full well that We perused not the books which men possess and
We acquired not the learning current amongst them, and yet whenever We
desire to quote the sayings of the learned and of the wise,(54) presently
there will appear before the face of thy Lord in the form of a tablet all
that which hath appeared in the world and is revealed in the Holy Books
and Scriptures. Thus do We set down in writing that which the eye
perceiveth. Verily His knowledge encompasseth the earth and the heavens.

This is a Tablet wherein the Pen of the Unseen hath inscribed the
knowledge of all that hath been and shall be--a knowledge that none other
but My wondrous Tongue can interpret. Indeed My heart as it is in itself
hath been purged by God from the concepts of the learned and is sanctified
from the utterances of the wise. In truth naught doth it mirror forth but
the revelations of God. Unto this beareth witness the Tongue of Grandeur
in this perspicuous Book.

Say, O people of the earth! Beware lest any reference to wisdom debar you
from its Source or withhold you from the Dawning-Place thereof. Fix your
hearts upon your Lord, the Educator, the All-Wise.

For every land We have prescribed a portion, for every occasion an
allotted share, for every pronouncement an appointed time and for every
situation an apt remark. Consider Greece. We made it a Seat of Wisdom for
a prolonged period. However, when the appointed hour struck, its throne
was subverted, its tongue ceased to speak, its light grew dim and its
banner was hauled down. Thus do We bestow and withdraw. Verily thy Lord is
He Who giveth and divesteth, the Mighty, the Powerful.

In every land We have set up a luminary of knowledge, and when the time
foreordained is at hand, it will shine resplendent above its horizon, as
decreed by God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. If it be Our Will We are
fully capable of describing for thee whatever existeth in every land or
hath come to pass therein. Indeed the knowledge of thy Lord pervadeth the
heavens and the earth.

Know thou, moreover, that the people aforetime have produced things which
the contemporary men of knowledge have been unable to produce. We recall
unto thee Murtus who was one of the learned. He invented an apparatus
which transmitted sound over a distance of sixty miles. Others besides him
have also discovered things which no one in this age hath beheld. Verily
thy Lord revealeth in every epoch whatsoever He pleaseth as a token of
wisdom on His part. He is in truth the supreme Ordainer, the All-Wise.

A true philosopher would never deny God nor His evidences, rather would he
acknowledge His glory and overpowering majesty which overshadow all
created things. Verily We love those men of knowledge who have brought to
light such things as promote the best interests of humanity, and We aided
them through the potency of Our behest, for well are We able to achieve
Our purpose.

Beware, O My loved ones, lest ye despise the merits of My learned servants
whom God hath graciously chosen to be the exponents of His Name 'the
Fashioner' amidst mankind. Exert your utmost endeavour that ye may develop
such crafts and undertakings that everyone, whether young or old, may
benefit therefrom. We are quit of those ignorant ones who fondly imagine
that Wisdom is to give vent to one's idle imaginings and to repudiate God,
the Lord of all men; even as We hear some of the heedless voicing such
assertions today.

Say: The beginning of Wisdom and the origin thereof is to acknowledge
whatsoever God hath clearly set forth, for through its potency the
foundation of statesmanship, which is a shield for the preservation of the
body of mankind, hath been firmly established. Ponder a while that ye may
perceive what My most exalted Pen hath proclaimed in this wondrous Tablet.
Say, every matter related to state affairs which ye raise for discussion
falls under the shadow of one of the words sent down from the heaven of
His glorious and exalted utterance. Thus have We recounted unto thee that
which will exhilarate thy heart, will bring solace to thine eyes and will
enable thee to arise for the promotion of His Cause amidst all peoples.

O My Nabil! Let nothing grieve thee, rather rejoice with exceeding
gladness inasmuch as I have mentioned thy name, have turned My heart and
My face towards thee and have conversed with thee through this irrefutable
and weighty exposition. Ponder in thy heart upon the tribulations I have
sustained, the imprisonment and the captivity I have endured, the
sufferings that have befallen Me and the accusations that the people have
levelled against Me. Behold, they are truly wrapped in a grievous veil.

When the discourse reached this stage, the dawn of divine mysteries
appeared and the light of utterance was quenched. May His glory rest upon
the people of wisdom as bidden by One Who is the Almighty, the

Say: Magnified be Thy Name, O Lord my God! I beseech Thee by Thy Name
through which the splendour of the light of wisdom shone resplendent when
the heavens of divine utterance were set in motion amidst mankind, to
graciously aid me by Thy heavenly confirmations and enable me to extol Thy
Name amongst Thy servants.

O Lord! Unto Thee have I turned my face, detached from all save Thee and
holding fast to the hem of the robe of Thy manifold blessings. Unloose my
tongue therefore to proclaim that which will captivate the minds of men
and will rejoice their souls and spirits. Strengthen me then in Thy Cause
in such wise that I may not be hindered by the ascendancy of the
oppressors among Thy creatures nor withheld by the onslaught of the
disbelievers amidst those who dwell in Thy realm. Make me as a lamp
shining throughout Thy lands that those in whose hearts the light of Thy
knowledge gloweth and the yearning for Thy love lingereth may be guided by
its radiance.

Verily, potent art Thou to do whatsoever Thou willest, and in Thy grasp
Thou holdest the kingdom of creation. There is none other God but Thee,
the Almighty, the All-Wise.

Next: Asl-i-kullu'l-khayr (words Of Wisdom)

Previous: Ishraqat (splendours)

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