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COLLECTIONProvisional translations
TITLETablet to Hájí Muhammad-Nasír-i-Qazvíní (Lawh-i-Hájí Muhammad-Nasír-i-Qazvíní): Excerpts
AUTHOR 1 Bahá'u'lláh
CONTRIB 1Nahzy Abadi Buck, trans.
CONTRIB 2Christopher Buck, trans.
ABSTRACTExcerpts translated by Christopher and Nahzy Buck in Studies in Bábí and Bahá’í History vol. 3 (Kalimát Press, 1986) and by Shoghi Effendi in Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh.
TAGS* Bahá'u'lláh, Writings of; Imam Husayn; Imams; Mírzá Yahya (Subh-i-Azal); Tablet to Hájí Muhammad-Nasir-i-Qazvini
CONTENT [1] [2]    By God![3] This is He Who hath at one time appeared in the name of the Spirit,[4] thereafter in the name of the Friend,[5] then in the name of ‘Alí,[6] and afterwards in this blessed, lofty, self-subsisting, exalted, and beloved Name. In truth, this is Husayn, Who hath appeared through divine grace in the dominion of justice, against Whom have arisen the infidels, with what they possess of wickedness and iniquity. Thereupon they severed His head with the sword of malice, and lifted it upon a spear in the midst of earth and heaven.[7] Verily, that head is speaking from atop that spear, saying: “O assemblage of shadows! Stand ashamed before My beauty, My might, My sovereignty and My grandeur. Turn your gaze to the countenance of your Lord, the Unconstrained, so that you may find Me crying out among you with holy and cherished melodies.”

   O Nasír, O My servant![8] God, the Eternal Truth, beareth Me witness. The Celestial Youth hath, in this Day, raised above the heads of men the glorious Chalice of Immortality, and is standing expectant upon His seat, wondering what eye will recognize His glory, and what arm will, unhesitatingly, be stretched forth to seize the Cup from His snow-white Hand and drain it. Only a few have as yet quaffed from this peerless, this soft-flowing grace of the Ancient King. These occupy the loftiest mansions of Paradise, and are firmly established upon the seats of authority. By the righteousness of God! Neither the mirrors of His glory, nor the revealers of His names, nor any created thing, that hath been or will ever be, can ever excel them, if ye be of them that comprehend this truth.

   O Nasír! The excellence of this Day is immensely exalted above the comprehension of men, however extensive their knowledge, however profound their understanding. How much more must it transcend the imaginations of them that have strayed from its light, and been shut out from its glory! Shouldst thou rend asunder the grievous veil that blindeth thy vision, thou wouldst behold such a bounty as naught, from the beginning that hath no beginning till the end that hath no end, can either resemble or equal. What language should He Who is the Mouthpiece of God choose to speak, so that they who are shut out as by a veil from Him can recognize His glory? The righteous, inmates of the Kingdom on high, shall drink deep from the Wine of Holiness, in My name, the all-glorious. None other besides them will share such benefits.

   Tear asunder,[9] in My Name, the veils that have grievously blinded your vision, and, through the power born of your belief in the unity of God, scatter the idols of vain imitation. Enter, then, the holy paradise of the good-pleasure of the All-Merciful. Sanctify your souls from whatsoever is not of God, and taste ye the sweetness of rest within the pale of His vast and mighty Revelation, and beneath the shadow of His supreme and infallible authority. Suffer not yourselves to be wrapt in the dense veils of your selfish desires, inasmuch as I have perfected in every one of you My creation, so that the excellence of My handiwork may be fully revealed unto men. It follows, therefore, that every man hath been, and will continue to be, able of himself to appreciate the Beauty of God, the Glorified. Had he not been endowed with such a capacity, how could he be called to account for his failure? If, in the Day when all the peoples of the earth will be gathered together, any man should, whilst standing in the presence of God, be asked: “Wherefore hast thou disbelieved in My Beauty and turned away from My Self,” and if such a man should reply and say: “Inasmuch as all men have erred, and none hath been found willing to turn his face to the Truth, I, too, following their example, have grievously failed to recognize the Beauty of the Eternal,” such a plea will, assuredly, be rejected. For the faith of no man can be conditioned by any one except himself.

   This is one of the verities that lie enshrined in My Revelation--a verity which I have revealed in all the heavenly Books, which I have caused the Tongue of Grandeur to utter, and the Pen of Power to inscribe. Ponder a while thereon, that with both your inner and outer eye, ye may perceive the subtleties of Divine wisdom and discover the gems of heavenly knowledge which, in clear and weighty language, I have revealed in this exalted and incorruptible Tablet, and that ye may not stray far from the All-Highest Throne, from the Tree beyond which there is no passing, from the Habitation of everlasting might and glory.

   The signs of God shine as manifest and resplendent as the sun amidst the works of His creatures. Whatsoever proceedeth from Him is apart, and will always remain distinguished, from the inventions of men. From the Source of His knowledge countless Luminaries of learning and wisdom have risen, and out of the Paradise of His Pen the breath of the All-Merciful hath continually been wafted to the hearts and souls of men. Happy are they that have recognized this truth.

    [1] Tablet published in Majmu`ih-yi Alvah-i Mubarakih, pp. 166-202. It is in this Tablet, according to Taherzadeh, that Bahá’u’lláh discloses the station of Mírzá Yahyá and the purpose of the Báb in appointing him the leader of the Bábí community (MW’s note).

    [2] Hájí Muhammad-Nasír-i-Qazvíní. Of him, Taherzadeh writes:
       Hájí Nasír was a well-known merchant and held in high esteem by his fellow citizens until he embraced the Bábí Faith. From that time onwards, he suffered persecutions and was bitterly opposed by the people. He recognized the divine origin of the Message of the Báb through Mullá Jalíl-i-Urúmí, one of the Letters of the Living. It is reported that when Hájí Nasír had acknowledged the authenticity of the claims of the Báb, Mullá Jalíl warned him that a mere acknowledgement was not sufficient in this day, that he could not call himself a Bábí unless he were prepared to lay down his life willingly in the path of God, should the enemy rise up against him. He bade him go home and search his heart to see whether he had sufficient faith to remain steadfast in the face of tortures and martyrdom. If he did, he was a Bábí, and otherwise not. Hájí Nasír responded to the words of Mullá Jalíl by spending the whole night in prayer and meditation. At the hour of dawn, he felt possessed of such faith and detachment as to be ready to sacrifice his life in the path of his Beloved. Overnight, he became endowed with a new zeal and radiance which sustained him throughout his eventful life.
       Soon the persecutions started; the first onslaught began when Hájí Nasír became the target of attacks by a blood-thirsty mob in Qazvín. They plundered all his possessions and he was temporarily forced to leave his native city. When the situation calmed down he returned home. From there, in obedience to the call of the Báb, he proceeded to Khurásán. He was privileged to attend the conference of Badasht where, some historians have stated, he acted as a guard at the entrance of the garden which was reserved for Bahá’u’lláh’s residence. From Badasht he proceeded to Mázindarán and was one of the defenders of the fortress of Shaykh Tabarsí. As history records, hundreds of his fellow disciples were massacred in that upheaval, but the hand of divine power spared Hájí Nasir’s life and enabled him to render further services to the Cause of God.    He returned to Qazvín and engaged in his work once again, but soon another upheaval engulfed the believers. The attempt on the life of Násiri’d-Dín Sháh in 1852 unleashed a wave of persecution against the Bábís. Hájí Nasír was arrested in Qazvín and put in prison. But after some time he was released. Another imprisonment he suffered was in Tihrán, where he was chained and fettered. When released from his ordeal, he found that all his possessions were gone. It was through the help and co-operation of Shaykhzim-i-Samandar that, in spite of much harassment by the enemy, Hájí Nasír continued to earn a living, but he had to move his residence to the city of Rasht.
       The crowning glory of his life was to attain the presence of Bahá’u’lláh in ‘Akká. On this pilgrimage he was accompanied by the above-named Shaykhzim. Bahá’u’lláh showered His bounties upon him and assured him of His loving-kindness. He spent the latter part of his life in the city of Rasht and was engaged in teaching the Cause of God by day and night. The enemies once again cast him into prison. This time, because of old age, he could not endure the rigours of prison life and his soul, after so many years of toil and suffering, took its flight to the abode of the Beloved. He died a martyr’s death in the prison of Rasht in the year 1300 A.H. (1888). (The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh Vol. 2, pp 245-6.
    [3] This paragraph provisionally translated by Nahzy A. Buck and Christopher Buck. See Buck, Christopher. “A Unique Eschatological Interface: Bahá’u’lláh and Cross-Cultural Messianism” in In Irán. Studies in Bábí and Bahá’í History. Vol. 3. Peter Smith, ed. (n.p., Kalimát Press, 1986) pp. 157-180 (MW’s note).

    [4] Jesus Christ (CB’s note).

    [5] Muhammad (CB’s note).

    [6] The Báb (CB’s note).

    [7] Here, Bahá’u’lláh speaks of Imám Husayn’s head from the external point of view, but it is interesting to contrast this with His mystical identification of Himself with the Imám in the Súriy-i-Damm (Tablet of Blood):
    How bitter the humiliations heaped upon Me, in a subsequent age, on the plain of Karbilá! How lonely did I feel amidst Thy people! To what a state of helplessness I was reduced in that land! Unsatisfied with such indignities, My persecutors decapitated Me, and, carrying aloft My head from land to land paraded it before the gaze of the unbelieving multitude, and deposited it on the seats of the perverse and faithless. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Section XXXIX, p. 89 (MW’s note).
    [8] Shoghi Effendi’s translation. See Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Section LIII, pp. 107-8 (MW’s note).

    [9] Shoghi Effendi’s translation. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Section LXXV, pp. 143-144 (MW’s note).
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