April 25, 2016

Circa 1871: Baha’u’llah reveals Lawh-i-Qad Ihtaraqa'l-Mukhlisun - The Fire Tablet

Towards the end of 1871 Bahá'u'lláh received a letter from one of His devoted followers in Persia, Haji Siyyid 'Ali-Akbar-i-Dahaji, a nephew of Siyyid Mihdi, the Ismu'llah.[1] In answer to his letter, Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Lawh-i-Qad Ihtaraqa'l-Mukhlisun, or the Lawh-i-ihtiraq, translated into English and known in the west as the Fire Tablet. The recipient of this Tablet, Haji Siyyid 'Ali-Akbar was so much loved by Bahá'u'lláh that when he passed away Bahá'u'lláh gave his uncle the name 'Ali-Akbar, in memory of that devoted believer.

The Lawh-i-Qad Ihtaraqa'l-Mukhlisun is one of Bahá'u'lláh's most celebrated Tablets; it is possessed of great powers, and the believers often recite it at times of difficulties and suffering. Of this Tablet Bahá'u'lláh states in the Fire Tablet:

'Should all the servants read and ponder this, there shall be kindled in their veins a fire that shall set aflame the worlds.'

The Fire Tablet is in Arabic rhyming verse; it moves the heart when chanted in the original language. It was revealed at a time when great afflictions and sorrows had surrounded Bahá'u'lláh as a result of the hostility, betrayal and acts of infamy perpetrated by those few individuals who had once claimed to be the helpers of the Cause of God. Bahá'u'lláh pours out His heart in this Tablet and expatiates on His afflictions. For nothing brings more sorrow to the heart of the Manifestation of God than unfaithfulness and treachery from within the community. Imprisonment and all manner of persecution by the outside enemy can do no harm to the Cause. What harms it are the actions of those who bear His name and yet commit deeds contrary to His good-pleasure. These few breakers of the Covenant of the Báb, who followed Mirza Yahya and rose up against Bahá'u'lláh from within, created such havoc in the community and among the inhabitants of 'Akká that the Pen of Bahá'u'lláh lamented in this Tablet in a manner unprecedented in all His Writings.

When this Tablet was revealed the followers of Bahá'u'lláh became aware of the immensity of His sufferings at the hands of the wicked and ungodly. He addresses Haji Siyyid 'Ali-Akbar, its recipient, in these words:

'O 'Ali-Akbar, thank thy Lord for this Tablet whence thou canst breathe the fragrance of My meekness, and know what hath beset Us in the path of God, the Adored of all the worlds.'

In a passage (untranslated) addressed to the uncle of Haji Siyyid 'Ali-Akbar Bahá'u'lláh states that He revealed the Fire Tablet for the his nephew so that it might create in him feelings of joy as well as igniting in his heart the fire of the love of God. 
(Adapted from ‘The Revelation of Baha'u'llah vol. 3 by Adib Taherzadeh)