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COLLECTIONProvisional translations
TITLETablet Concerning Covenant-Breakers: Excerpt
AUTHOR 1 Abdu'l-Bahá
CONTRIB 1Ahang Rabbani, trans.
ABSTRACTTranslation, posted to email list, of a portion of a Tablet revealed on the occasion of the expulsion of Tamaddunu'l-Mulk, who had caused dissension in Tehran around 1913.
TAGS* `Abdu'l-Bahá, Writings and talks of; Covenant-breakers; Iran (documents); Tablet concerning Covenant-Breakers; Tehran, Iran
Translator's Introduction[1]

      Some months ago, we were discussing various incidents that resulted in Bahá'u'lláh's expulsion of certain early believers (e.g. Husayn Ashchí, Mírzá Áqá Ján, etc.). As part of that discussion, I would like to share a Tablet of `Abdu'l-Bahá' revealed on the occasion of the expulsion of Tamaddunu'l-Mulk who had caused considerable problems in Tíhrán. I don't know the exact date of this Tablet, but suspect it was revealed during the closing days of 1913, prior to `Abdu'l-Bahá's departure from Egypt. This is about the time that, in Europe, Dr. Aminu'lláh Faríd was being rebellious, which resulted in his expulsion in the early months of 1914.

      The translation that follows is very rough, so my sincere apologies. [-A.R.]


Portion of a Tablet of `Abdu'l-Bahá'[3] concerning Munáfiqín (Covenant-Breakers)[4]

      These issues[5] are like the froth of the sea; they come and then disappear. You must rely on divine confirmations. When the friends of God have firmly and steadfastly stood by the Covenant, then heavenly outpourings will surround them. A day will come when no mention of them[6] will remain. Do not be saddened. Do not grieve. Arise with utmost vigor. These people are like jackals and the servants of the Blessed Beauty like unto conquering lions. Soon this will become clear and manifest.

      A certain person protested why I expelled Tamaddunu'l-Mulk when we must love and cherish all the peoples of the world. However, this friend did not consider that the Blessed Beauty had expelled certain individuals and that in the Hidden Words, He emphatically warned against association with Covenant-Breakers.[7] We must in truth have utmost affection for all the kindred of earth, but in no wise is it permissible to associate and fraternize with the Covenant-Breakers because its harm will injure the Cause of God and will enable them to penetrate the community and to completely uproot the Faith from within. Association with Covenant Breakers is the same as with a person nurturing a snake in his shirt or giving a home to a scorpion in his sleeve.

      All the Disciples of Christ severed their relation with Judas Iscariot. Consider attentively what hath been written in the Letters of Paul regarding prohibition against association with Covenant-Breakers.[8] When a person hath venomous breath, is it better to associate with him, or to protect the people from fellowship with such a man?

      We must embrace all the kindred of earth with utmost love and affection. That is, the people that do not show enmity, but not the Covenant-Breakers, as the latter will cause great mischief and irreparable division, resulting in complete chaos in the Cause.

      We have no quarrel with anyone. Tamaddunu'l-Mulk caused mischief amongst the friends and perpetrated such disunity that the foundation of the divine Faith was nearly destroyed. On numerous occasions, he repented. And yet, after each contrition, he would cause further mischief. Eventually, I telegraphed that Tamaddun is expelled and association with him is not permissible. Had I not done such as this, the foundation of the Faith in Tíhrán would be thoroughly ruined. The purpose of the Covenant is naught but the good of the whole of humanity. But when a snake like Tamaddunu'l-Mulk attacks the Faith, then of necessity, I must awaken the friends of God, because if I do not, then I stand responsible before God and His creation. However, if someone harmeth My Own person and not the Cause, even should he cut off a part of My body, I will instantly forgive him and will embrace him with utmost love and affection. That is, I consider all my enemies as my kind friends. But if a person harmeth the Cause of God, then I will no longer consider him a friend and will not count him as such. And should he persist in injuring the Faith of God, of a certainty, I will not conceal it.

    `Abdu'l-Bahá' Abbas
    [1] This introduction and the following translated portion of a Tablet of 'Abdu'l-Bahá' concerning Munáfiqín (Covenant-Breakers) was posted by Ahang Rabbaní to the H-Bahá'í E-mail listserve on Wednesday, December 23, 1998 with the subject line, "A Tablet of Abdu'l-Bahá". On-line edition prepared May, 2001, Iwai-shi, Japan. The introduction has been truncated slightly and the English style of the translation has been revised from the original.(MW's note.)

    [2] Lawh-i-Munáfiqín is a provisional title for this Text given by the translator, but the Tablet itself is unnamed, and the identity of the recipient, at this time, is unknown. However, the attitude of the Master towards Munáfiqín is the major theme throughout this Text (MW's note, based on correspondence from AR).

    [3] Quoted in Khatirat-i-Habíb (Diary of Dr. Habíb Mu'ayyad), Vol. 1, pp. 361-3. (AR's note).

    [4] The translator comments concerning this term: "In Islám, Munáfiqín were the lukewarm believers who outwardly stood with the Prophet, but often caused mischief and disunity." Allah refers to them in Qur'án: "The Hypocrites, men and women, (have an understanding) with each other: They enjoin evil, and forbid what is just, and are close with their hands. They have forgotten God; so He hath forgotten them. Verily the Hypocrites are rebellious and perverse. God hath promised the Hypocrites men and women, and the rejecters, of Faith, the fire of Hell: Therein shall they dwell: Sufficient is it for them: for them is the curse of God, and an enduring punishment.." (9:67-8). In the Bahá'í Faith, there is no such category of "hypocrites", and so the word Munáfiqín has been rendered as "Covenant-Breakers" in this translation (MF's note, based on correspondence from AR).

    [5] i.e. violations of the Covenant (AR's note)

    [6] Covenant-breakers. (AR's note)

    [7] "O Friend! In the garden of thy heart plant naught but the rose of love, and from the nightingale of affection and desire loosen not thy hold. Treasure the companionship of the righteous and eschew all fellowship with the ungodly." Farsi, No. 3. It is interesting to note that the Qur'án also contains a similar warning: "O ye who believe! Take not for friends unbelievers rather than believers: Do ye wish to offer God an open proof against yourselves?"(MW's note)

    [8] See, e.g. Romans 16:17-18: "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple." KJV (MW's Note).

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