November 5, 2015

1863: Baha’u’llah reveals the Lawh-i-Fitnih (Tablet of the Test) in honor of Princess Shams-i-Jihan (granddaughter of Fath-'Ali Shah, the King of Persia)

The Lawh-i-Fitnih (Tablet of the Test) is another of Bahá'u'lláh's Arabic Tablets revealed in Baghdad, in honour of Princess Shams-i-Jihan. She was a granddaughter of Fath-'Ali Shah, and was known by the designation Fitnih. Her interest in the Faith began when she came in contact with, and became a close friend of Tahirih.

Shams-i-Jihan came to Baghdad, attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh, recognized His station and became a devoted believer. The Pen of the Most High has revealed several Tablets for her and bestowed upon her the title of Varaqatu'r-Ridvan (The Leaf of Paradise).

The Lawh-i-Fitnih, as its title indicates, is all about tests and trials which are associated with the Day of God. In it Bahá'u'lláh alludes to His own Revelation and states that through His advent the whole creation will be tried; no soul will be exempt. All those who are the embodiments of piety and wisdom, of knowledge and virtue, every accomplished man of learning, the servants of God and His sincere lovers, the angels that enjoy near access to God, the Concourse on high, every righteous man of discernment, every mature embodiment of wisdom, even the realities of the Prophets and Messengers of God -- all will be tested.

Baha’u’llah states that the tests and trials accompanying His Revelation are so severe that a great many people who believe in God and are well-informed of the mysteries of His Cause will be deprived and left in darkness. Alluding to religious leaders, He foreshadows that these stars of the heaven of knowledge will fall. He affirms that through these tests all that is hidden within men's hearts will be disclosed, that mankind will be separated, some elevated to the heights of faithfulness, others cast down upon the dust. He mentions that the winds of this mighty test of God have already begun to blow and that the full force of their impact would be felt in the year of Shadíd [1] (Stress). This is a reference to the rebellion of Mirza Yahya in Adrianople which shook the Faith to its foundations and temporarily breached the ranks of its followers. It is also an allusion to the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh which brought in its wake the rebellion of Mirza Muhammad-'Ali and the breaking of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh. 
(Extracted and adapted from ‘The Revelation of Baha'u'llah, vol. 1, and ‘The Child of the Covenant’, by Adib Taherzadeh)
[1] The numerical value of Shadíd is 309, meaning 1309 A.H. (A.D. 1892), the year of the ascension of Bahá'u'lláh.