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COLLECTIONProvisional translations
TITLETablet of Medicine (Lawh-i-Tibb)
AUTHOR 1 Bahá'u'lláh
ABSTRACTAn anonymous translation of the Tablet to a Physician.
NOTES Typed by Jera Jones from an undated typescript found in the Barstow Collection. Translator unknown.

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TAGS* Bahá'u'lláh, Writings of; Health and healing; Lawh-i-Tibb (Tablet to a Physician); Lifestyle


He is God!

   O God the supreme Knower! The ancient Tongue Speaks that which will content the wise in the absence of the Doctors. Say: O people, do not eat except when you are hungry. Do not drink after you have retired to sleep. Exercise is good when the stomach is empty; it strengthens the muscles. When the stomach is full, exercise is very bad. Do not neglect (medical) treatment when it is necessary but leave it off when the body is in good condition. Do not take nourishment except when digestion is completed. Do not swallow until you have thoroughly masticated (your food).

   Treat disease first of all through the diet and refrain from medicines. If you find what you need (for healing) in a single herb, do not use compound medicines. Leave off medicine when the health is good and use it in case of necessity. If two opposites[3] are put on the table do not mix them, be content with one of them. Begin first with liquid food before partaking of solid food. The taking of food before what you have (already eaten) is digested, is dangerous--avoid this.

   When you begin to eat, begin with My Name El Abhá,[4] and finish with the Name of [*]God[5] the Possessor of the Throne and the earth. When you have eaten walk a little that the food may settle. What is difficult to masticate is forbidden by the Wise. --Thus the Supreme Pen Commands you.

   A little food in the morning is like a light to the body. Leave all harmful habits, they cause unhappiness in the world. Search for the cause of disease. This saying is the end of this speech.

   Be content in all conditions, by this the person is preserved from a bad condition and from lassitude. Shun grief and sorrow, they cause the greatest misery. Say: Jealousy eats the body and anger burns the liver. Refrain from these two as you would avoid a lion.

   To cleanse the body is essential, but only in temperate seasons (should it be done frequently). He who over-eats, his illness becomes more severe. We have arranged for each thing a cause and We have [End Page 1] Bestowed upon it an effect. All this is from the Effulgence of My Name, which Influences everything. Your [*]God is the Commander of all things. Say: From what We have explained, the humors of the body should not be excessive and their quantity depends upon the condition of the body. One sixth of each sixth part in its normal condition (is the right proportion).

   In [*]God must be our trust. There is no [*]God but Him, the Healer, the Knower and the Helper. The Supreme Pen has not Written such Words but for the Love of thee, that thou mayest know that grief has not seized upon the Blessed Beauty. He is not sorrowful because of what has befallen Him from the nations, but the sadness is for him whose (reason) does not grant[6] something (of the Word of [*]God). Nothing in the earth or Heaven is outside the Grasp of [*]God.

   O Doctor! Heal the sick first by the mentioning of the Name of God, the Possessor of the Day of Judgment[7] and after that (use) what [*]God hath destined for the health of the constitution of His creatures.

   By My Life! The Doctor who has drunk from the Wine of My Love, his visit[8] is healing and his breath is mercy and hope. Say: Cling to him[9] for the welfare of the constitution. He is Confirmed by [*]God in his treatments. Say: This knowledge is the most knowable of all the sciences for it is the greatest means from [*]God (the Life-Giver to the dust) to preserve the bodies of the peoples and He has put it in the forefront of all the sciences and wisdoms. For Today is the Day when you must arise for My victory detached from all the world.

   Say:[10] O my [*]God, Thy Name is my healing. Thy Remembrance is my remedy. Thy Nearness is my hope. Thy Love is my joyous companion, and Thy Mercy is my healer and my helper in this world and in the next. Thou art the Giver, the Knower, the Wise!

   Give Greetings and Love to all the friends on the Part of [*]God. Say: Today two things are loved and sought for. One is Wisdom and Interpretation, and the second is Preservation of the Cause of God, the [End Page 2] Merciful. Each soul that has attained these two Commandments (graces) he is accounted Before [*]God an inhabitant of the City of Eternity, because by those two things the Cause of [*]God has been and will be made firm. For if Wisdom and Interpretation do not exist all will be afflicted. In this case, there would be no breath left to convert the people to the Law of [*]God and if Preservation is lacking there would not be any breath to mention ([*]God) or to affect the people.

   Say: O friends! Fear and anguish are womanly qualities but if the friends of [*]God meditate on the world and the apparent disharmony in it the power of the oppressors will not frighten them and they will fly with the wings of longing to the Light of Heaven. What ever this One has Wished for Himself, He has Desired it for all the friends of the True One and that Preservation was and will be Commanded.

   The Purpose is that those who speak (of the Cause) will remain on the earth so that they may be occupied with the remembrance (mentioning) of the [*]God of the Universe. That is why the preservation of yourselves and your brothers is necessary and obligatory for the Cause of [*]God.

   If all the friends were acting in accordance with what they are commanded, the condition of the greater part of those on the earth would be adorned by the Garment of Faith. Blessed is the soul that brings another to the Law of [*]God and has guided him to Eternal Life. This is one of the greatest actions in the Sight of [*]God, the Dear One, the Supreme, the Highest. The Spirit of Bahá be upon you.

    D. W. G.[12]

    Note: Where an asterisk appears before the word “God”, this indicates that the word is in full capitals in the original document. This detail is noted for archival interest at the request of the proofreader (TL’s note).

    [1] This is very early translation of the Lawh-i-Tibb, written before 1922. The partial translation published in Star of the West, Vol. 13, No. 9 (December, 1922) p. 252 under the title “Physical Healing” is likely based on this earlier rendering. Both versions omit the short prologue at the beginning of the text. This earlier rendering is here posted because of its historical interest with original paragraphing intact, but some accents have been added (TL’s Note).

    [2] The Lawh-i-Tibb was revealed by Bahá’u’lláh in Ákká between 1870 and 1872, in honour of Áqá Mírzá Muhammad-Ridáy-i-Tabib-i-Yazdí, a physician of the old school of medicine. The Persian/Arabic text is published in Majmu‘ih-yi Alváh-i-Mubarakih, pp. 222-226. The Tablet is discussed by Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, Vol. 3 pp. 358-360. (TL’s Note).

    [3] i.e., foods (Translator’s Note).

    [4] “The Glorious”, the superlative form of Bahá, “Glory” (TL’s Note).

    [5] “Yá Bahá’ul’Abhá” or “O Glory of the All-Glorious!” (TL’s Note).

    [6] i.e., understand (Translator’s Note).

    [7] lit. separation (Translator’s Note).

    [8] lit. meeting (Translator’s Note).

    [9] the Doctor (Translator’s Note).

    [10] The following prayer is translated by Shoghi Effendi as follows:

    Thy Name is my healing, O my God, and remembrance of Thee is my remedy. Nearness to Thee is my hope, and love for Thee is my companion. Thy mercy to me is my healing and my succour in both this world and the world to come. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. (TL’s Note).
    [11] These intials indicate the original typist, whose name, unfortunately, is unknown (TL’s Note).
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