Tablet of Ahmad (Arabic)
The Tablet of Ahmad (or Lawh-i-Ahmad) is a tablet written by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, while he was in Adrianople. While the exact date is not known, the Tablet is believed to have been written in 1865 to a Bahá'í from Yazd, Iran, named Ahmad. Bahá'ís often recite it as a prayer to dispel afflictions and inspire perseverance in the face of hardships. In a letter written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi stated that it has been 'invested by Bahá'u'lláh with a special potency and significance'.
The language and content of the Tablet are nuanced and interrelated, with references to core Babi and Baha'i hermeneutics. It announces the station of the Bab as "the King of the Messengers," and that of Baha'u'llah as "that Most Great Beauty, foretold in the Books of the Messengers," and the "Tree of Life that bringeth forth the fruits of God." The four conditions required to approach God and recognize His Messengers are defined as: sincerity, belief in the divine unity, severance and love. The freedom of individual conscience is reinforced in the pursuit of God and His Messengers, while obedience to the ordinances of God is enjoined, and that the truth of every command God ordains in these directives will be tested in one's life. Baha'u'llah then refers to His own tribulations and calls on Ahmad to rely upon God and to be steadfast in his love in times of difficulty and persecution. Baha'u'llah calls on Ahmad to "be as a flame of fire," and "a river of life eternal" in response to his own suffering from the superstitions and oppression of others. The "flame of fire" refers to being steadfast in the truth in the face of difficulties caused by others, while the "river of life" refers to becoming a source of inspiration, guidance and upliftment to God's loved ones. The Tablet appears to revolve around the theme of transforming suffering into these virtuous qualities, symbolized as "fire" and "light", and "the fruits of God." Baha'u'llah concludes the Tablet by enjoining Ahmad to "learn well" the lessons contained in the Tablet and not to withhold himself from their benefit. The special role of sincerity in life is disclosed in the text, not only as a condition for recognition of the "nearness of God," but as the condition that leads to the relief of sadness and the resolution of difficulties. The Tablet can be seen as the outline of Baha'u'llah's theodicy, and is, therefore, used as a guide in times of personal trial to align one's inner life with the truths that "will be tested" in the process of turning personal suffering into "fire" and "light."
- "The Tablet of Ahmad". Bahá'í International Community.
- Taherzadeh, A. (1977). The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Volume 2: Adrianople 1863-68. Oxford, UK: George Ronald. ISBN 0-85398-071-3.
- Smith, Peter (2000). "Ahmad, Tablet of". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 30–31. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.
- Text online.
- Bahá'u'lláh (1991) . Tablet of Ahmad. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0877432856.
- Faizi, Abu'l-Qasim (1969). A Flame of Fire. New Delhi, India: Bahá'í Publishing Trust.
- Hatcher, J.S. (1997). The Ocean of His Words: A Reader's Guide to the Art of Bahá'u'lláh. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. ISBN 0-87743-259-7.
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