1 This is a Tablet from this Servant, who is called Ḥusayn in the kingdom of names, to the concourse of the kings of the earth. Haply they may approach it in a spirit of open-mindedness, discover from its message the mysteries of divine providence, and be of those that comprehend its meaning, and perchance they may forsake all they possess, turn towards the retreats of holiness, and draw nigh unto God, the All-Glorious, the Incomparable.
2 O kings of the earth! Give ear unto the Voice of God, calling from this sublime, this fruit-laden Tree, that hath sprung out of the Crimson Hill, upon the holy Plain, intoning the words: “There is none other God but He, the Mighty, the All-Powerful, the All-Wise.” This is a Spot which hath been sanctified by God for those who approach it, a Spot wherein His Voice may be heard from the celestial Tree of Holiness. Fear God, O concourse of kings, and suffer not yourselves to be deprived of this most sublime grace. Fling away, then, the things ye possess, and take fast hold on the Handle of God, the Exalted, the Great. Set your hearts towards the Face of God, and abandon that which your desires have bidden you to follow, and be not of those who perish.
3 Relate unto them, O Servant, the story of ‘Alí,1 when He came unto them with truth, bearing His glorious and weighty Book, and holding in His hands a testimony and proof from God, and holy and blessed tokens from Him. Ye, however, O kings, have failed to heed the Remembrance of God in His days and to be guided by the lights which arose and shone forth above the horizon of a resplendent Heaven. Ye examined not His Cause when so to do would have been better for you than all that the sun shineth upon, could ye but perceive it. Ye remained careless until the divines of Persia—those cruel ones—pronounced judgement against Him, and unjustly slew Him. His spirit ascended unto God, and the eyes of the inmates of Paradise and the angels that are nigh unto Him wept sore by reason of this cruelty. Beware that ye be not careless henceforth as ye have been careless aforetime. Return, then, unto God, your Maker, and be not of the heedless.
4 Say: The Sun of vicegerency hath dawned, the Point of knowledge and wisdom hath been made plain, and the Testimony of God, the Almighty, the All-Wise, hath been made manifest. Say: The Moon of eternity hath risen in the midmost heaven, and its light hath illumined the dwellers of the realms above. My face hath come forth from the veils, and shed its radiance upon all that is in heaven and on earth; and yet, ye turned not towards Him, notwithstanding that ye were created for Him, O concourse of kings! Follow, therefore, that which I speak unto you, and hearken unto it with your hearts, and be not of such as have turned aside. For your glory consisteth not in your sovereignty, but rather in your nearness unto God and your observance of His command as sent down in His holy and preserved Tablets. Should any one of you rule over the whole earth, and over all that lieth within it and upon it, its seas, its lands, its mountains, and its plains, and yet be not remembered by God, all these would profit him not, could ye but know it.
5 Know ye that a servant’s glory resideth in his nearness unto God, and that, unless he draweth nigh unto Him, naught else can ever profit him, even should he hold sway over the entire creation. Say: The breeze of God hath wafted over you from the retreats of Paradise, but ye have neglected it and chosen to persist in your waywardness. Guidance hath been given unto you from God, but ye have failed to follow it and preferred to reject its truth. The Lamp of God hath been lit within the niche of His Cause, but ye have neglected to seek the radiance of its glory and to draw nigh unto its light. And still ye slumber upon the couch of heedlessness!
6 Arise, then, and make steadfast your feet, and make ye amends for that which hath escaped you, and set then yourselves towards His holy Court, on the shore of His mighty Ocean, so that the pearls of knowledge and wisdom, which God hath stored up within the shell of His radiant heart, may be revealed unto you. Such is the counsel that shall profit you most; make of it your provision, that ye may be of those who are guided aright. Beware lest ye hinder the breeze of God from blowing over your hearts, the breeze through which the hearts of such as have turned unto Him can be quickened. Hearken unto the clear admonitions that We have revealed for you in this Tablet, that God, in turn, may hearken unto you, and may open before your faces the portals of His mercy. He, verily, is the Compassionate, the Merciful.
7 Lay not aside the fear of God, O kings of the earth, and beware that ye transgress not the bounds which the Almighty hath fixed. Observe the injunctions laid upon you in His Book, and take good heed not to overstep their limits. Be vigilant, that ye may not do injustice to anyone, be it to the extent of a grain of mustard seed. Tread ye the path of justice, for this, verily, is the straight path.
8 Compose your differences and reduce your armaments, that the burden of your expenditures may be lightened, and that your minds and hearts may be tranquillized. Heal the dissensions that divide you, and ye will no longer be in need of any armaments except what the protection of your cities and territories demandeth. Fear ye God, and take heed not to outstrip the bounds of moderation and be numbered among the extravagant.
9 We have learned that ye are increasing your outlay every year, and are laying the burden thereof on your subjects. This, verily, is more than they can bear, and is a grievous injustice. Decide justly between men, O kings, and be ye the emblems of justice amongst them. This, if ye judge fairly, is the thing that behoveth you, and beseemeth your station.
10 Beware not to deal unjustly with anyone that appealeth to you and entereth beneath your shadow. Walk ye in the fear of God, and be ye of them that lead a godly life. Rest not on your power, your armies, and treasures. Put your whole trust and confidence in God, Who hath created you, and seek ye His help in all your affairs. Succour cometh from Him alone. He succoureth whom He willeth with the hosts of the heavens and of the earth.
11 Know ye that the poor are the trust of God in your midst. Watch that ye betray not His trust, that ye deal not unjustly with them and that ye walk not in the ways of the treacherous. Ye will most certainly be called upon to answer for His trust on the day when the Balance of Justice shall be set, the day when unto everyone shall be rendered his due, when the doings of all men, be they rich or poor, shall be weighed.
12 If ye pay no heed unto the counsels which, in peerless and unequivocal language, We have revealed in this Tablet, Divine chastisement shall assail you from every direction, and the sentence of His justice shall be pronounced against you. On that day ye shall have no power to resist Him, and shall recognize your own impotence. Have mercy on yourselves and on those beneath you, and judge ye between them according to the precepts prescribed by God in His most holy and exalted Tablet, a Tablet wherein He hath assigned to each and every thing its settled measure, in which He hath given, with distinctness, an explanation of all things, and which is in itself a monition unto them that believe in Him.
13 Examine Our Cause, inquire into the things that have befallen Us, and decide justly between Us and Our enemies, and be ye of them that act equitably towards their neighbour. If ye stay not the hand of the oppressor, if ye fail to safeguard the rights of the downtrodden, what right have ye then to vaunt yourselves among men? What is it of which ye can rightly boast? Is it on your food and your drink that ye pride yourselves, on the riches ye lay up in your treasuries, on the diversity and the cost of the ornaments with which ye deck yourselves? If true glory were to consist in the possession of such perishable things, then the earth on which ye walk must needs vaunt itself over you, because it supplieth you, and bestoweth upon you, these very things, by the decree of the Almighty. In its bowels are contained, according to what God hath ordained, all that ye possess. From it, as a sign of His mercy, ye derive your riches. Behold then your state, the thing in which ye glory! Would that ye could perceive it!
14 Nay, by Him Who holdeth in His grasp the kingdom of the entire creation! Nowhere doth your true and abiding glory reside except in your firm adherence unto the precepts of God, your wholehearted observance of His laws, your resolution to see that they do not remain unenforced, and to pursue steadfastly the right course.
15 O kings of Christendom! Heard ye not the saying of Jesus, the Spirit of God, “I go away, and come again unto you”? Wherefore, then, did ye fail, when He did come again unto you in the clouds of heaven, to draw nigh unto Him, that ye might behold His face, and be of them that attained His Presence? In another passage He saith: “When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.” And yet behold how, when He did bring the truth, ye refused to turn your faces towards Him, and persisted in disporting yourselves with your pastimes and fancies. Ye welcomed Him not, neither did ye seek His Presence, that ye might hear the verses of God from His own mouth, and partake of the manifold wisdom of the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the All-Wise. Ye have, by reason of your failure, hindered the breath of God from being wafted over you, and have withheld from your souls the sweetness of its fragrance. Ye continue roving with delight in the valley of your corrupt desires. By God! Ye, and all ye possess, shall pass away. Ye shall, most certainly, return to God, and shall be called to account for your doings in the presence of Him Who shall gather together the entire creation.
16 Again, heard ye not that which hath been recorded in the Gospel concerning those “which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God”—that is, those who have been made manifest through the power of God? Wherefore it becometh evident that one may well be manifested in the world of creation who is truly of God, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. How is it then that when word reached you of Our Cause, ye failed to inquire from Our own lips, that ye might distinguish truth from falsehood, discover Our aim and purpose, and learn of the afflictions which We have suffered at the hands of an evil and wayward generation?
17 O Minister of the King of Paris! Hast thou forgotten the pronouncement recorded in the Gospel according to John concerning the Word and those who are its Manifestations? And hast thou ignored the counsels of the Spirit2 concerning the Manifestations of the Word, and been numbered with the heedless? If not, wherefore then didst thou conspire with the Minister of Persia to inflict upon Us that which hath caused the hearts of men of insight and understanding to melt, the tears of the denizens of the Realm of eternity to flow, and the souls of them who are nigh unto God to mourn? And all this thou didst commit without seeking to examine Our Cause or to discern its truth. For is it not thy clear duty to investigate this Cause, to inform thyself of the things that have befallen Us, to judge with equity, and to cleave unto justice?
18 Thy days shall pass away, thy ministry shall come to an end, and thy possessions shall vanish and be no more. Then, in the presence of the almighty King, thou shalt be called to answer for that which thy hands have wrought. How many the ministers who came before thee into this world, men who exceeded thee in power, excelled thee in station, and surpassed thee in wealth, and yet returned to dust, leaving upon the face of the earth neither name nor trace, and are now plunged in grievous remorse. Amongst them were those who failed in their duty towards God, followed their own desires, and trod the path of lust and wickedness. And amongst them were those who observed that which hath been prescribed in the verses of God, judged with fairness by the divine guidance that overshadowed them, and entered beneath the shelter of the mercy of their Lord.
19 I admonish thee, and those who are like thee, to deal not with anyone as ye have dealt with Us. Beware lest ye follow in the footsteps of the Evil One and walk in the ways of the unjust. Take from this world only to the measure of your needs, and forgo that which exceedeth them. Observe equity in all your judgements, and transgress not the bounds of justice, nor be of them that stray from its path.
20 Twenty years have passed, O kings, during which We have, each day, tasted the agony of a fresh tribulation. No one of them that were before Us hath endured the things We have endured. Would that ye could perceive it! They that rose up against Us have put us to death, have shed our blood, have plundered our property, and violated our honour. Though aware of most of our afflictions, ye, nevertheless, have failed to stay the hand of the aggressor. For is it not your clear duty to restrain the tyranny of the oppressor, and to deal equitably with your subjects, that your high sense of justice may be fully demonstrated to all mankind?
21 God hath committed into your hands the reins of the government of the people, that ye may rule with justice over them, safeguard the rights of the downtrodden, and punish the wrongdoers. If ye neglect the duty prescribed unto you by God in His Book, your names shall be numbered with those of the unjust in His sight. Grievous, indeed, will be your error. Cleave ye to that which your imaginations have devised, and cast behind your backs the commandments of God, the Most Exalted, the Inaccessible, the All-Compelling, the Almighty? Cast away the things ye possess, and cling to that which God hath bidden you observe. Seek ye His grace, for he that seeketh it treadeth His straight Path.
22 Consider the state in which We are, and behold ye the ills and troubles that have tried Us. Neglect Us not, though it be for a moment, and judge ye between Us and Our enemies with equity. This will, surely, be a manifest advantage unto you. Thus do We relate to you Our tale, and recount the things that have befallen Us, that ye might take off Our ills and ease Our burden. Let him who will, relieve Us from Our trouble; and as to him that willeth not, My Lord is assuredly the best of helpers.
23 Warn and acquaint the people, O Servant, with the things We have sent down unto Thee, and let the fear of no one dismay Thee, and be Thou not of them that waver. The day is approaching when God will have exalted His Cause and magnified His testimony in the eyes of all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth. Place, in all circumstances, Thy whole trust in Thy Lord, and fix Thy gaze upon Him, and turn away from all them that repudiate His truth. Let God, Thy Lord, be Thy sufficing succourer and helper. We have pledged Ourself to secure Thy triumph upon earth and to exalt Our Cause above all men, though no king be found who would turn his face towards Thee.
24 Call Thou to remembrance Thine arrival in the City, how the Ministers of the Sulṭán thought Thee to be unacquainted with their laws and regulations, and believed Thee to be one of the ignorant. Say: Yea, by My Lord! I am ignorant of all things except what God hath, through His bountiful favour, been pleased to teach Me. To this We assuredly testify, and unhesitatingly confess it.
25 Say: If the laws and regulations to which ye cleave be of your own making, We will, in no wise, follow them. Thus have I been instructed by Him Who is the All-Wise, the All-Informed. Such hath been My way in the past, and such will it remain in the future, through the power of God and His might. This, indeed, is the true and right way. If they be ordained by God, bring forth, then, your proofs, if ye be of them that speak the truth. Say: We have written down in a Book which leaveth not unrecorded the work of any man, however insignificant, all that they have imputed to Thee, and all that they have done unto Thee.
26 Say: It behoveth you, O Ministers of State, to keep the precepts of God, and to forsake your own laws and regulations, and to be of them who are guided aright. Better is this for you than all ye possess, did ye but know it. If ye transgress the commandment of God, not one jot or one tittle of all your works shall be acceptable in His sight. Ye shall, erelong, discover the consequences of that which ye shall have done in this vain life, and shall be repaid for them. This, verily, is the truth, the undoubted truth.
27 How great the number of those who, in bygone ages, have committed the things ye have committed, and who, though superior to you in rank, have, in the end, returned unto dust, and been consigned to their inevitable doom! Would that ye might ponder the Cause of God in your hearts! Ye shall follow in their wake, and shall be made to enter a habitation wherein none shall be found to befriend or help you. Ye shall, of a truth, be asked of your doings, shall be called to account for your failure in duty with regard to the Cause of God, and for having disdainfully rejected His loved ones who, with manifest sincerity, have come unto you.
28 It is ye who have taken counsel together regarding them, ye that have preferred to follow the promptings of your own desires, and forsaken the commandment of God, the Help in Peril, the Almighty.
29 Say: What! Cleave ye to your own devices, and cast behind your backs the precepts of God? Ye, indeed, have wronged your own selves and others. Would that ye could perceive it! Say: If your rules and principles be founded on justice, why is it, then, that ye follow those which accord with your corrupt inclinations and reject such as conflict with your desires? By what right claim ye, then, to judge fairly between men? Are your rules and principles such as to justify your persecution of Him Who, at your bidding, hath presented Himself before you, your rejection of Him, and your infliction on Him every day of grievous injury? Hath He ever, though it be for one short moment, disobeyed you? All the inhabitants of ‘Iráq, and beyond them every discerning observer, will bear witness to the truth of My words.
30 Be fair in your judgement, O ye Ministers of State! What is it that We have committed that could justify Our banishment? What is the offence that hath warranted Our expulsion? It is We Who have sought you, and yet, behold how ye refused to receive Us! By God! This is a sore injustice that ye have perpetrated—an injustice with which no earthly injustice can measure. To this the Almighty is Himself a witness.
31 Have I at any time transgressed your laws, or disobeyed any of your ministers in ‘Iráq? Inquire of them, that ye may act with discernment towards Us and be numbered with those who are well-informed. Hath anyone ever brought before them a plaint against Us? Hath anyone amongst them ever heard from Us a word contrary to that which God hath revealed in His Book? Bring forth, then, your evidence, that We may approve your actions and acknowledge your claims!
32 Had ye wished to deal with Us in accordance with your principles and standards, it would have behoved you to respect and honour Us for complying with your commands and following that which ye have pleased to ordain. Likewise, it would have beseemed you to repay the debts which We incurred in ‘Iráq in the execution of your wishes. Ye should have given ear then unto Us, heard the account of Our woes, and judged with equity, as ye would judge your own selves. Ye should not have wished for Us that which ye have not wished for yourselves, but rather chosen to act with generosity. By God! Ye dealt with Us neither in accordance with your own principles and standards, nor with those of any man living, but in accordance with the promptings of your evil and wayward passions, O ye concourse of the froward and the arrogant!
33 O Bird of Holiness! Soar in the heaven of communion with Me, and acquaint the people with that which We disclosed unto Thee in the billowing oceans of immortality beyond the mount of glory. Let the fear of no one dismay Thee, and put Thy trust in God, the Almighty, the Beneficent. We, verily, shall protect Thee from those who, without a clear token from God or an enlightening Book, have grievously wronged Thee.
34 Say: God is My witness, O concourse of the negligent! We came not unto you to spread disorder in your lands or to sow dissension amongst your peoples. Nay rather, We came in obedience to the command of the sovereign, and in order to exalt your authority, to instruct you in the ways of Our wisdom, and to remind you of that which ye had forgotten—even as He saith in truth: “Warn them, for, in truth, Thy warning will profit the believers.” But ye hearkened not unto the sweet melodies of the Spirit, and gave ear unwittingly unto Our enemies, they who follow the promptings of their corrupt inclinations, whose deeds the Evil One hath made fair-seeming in their own eyes, and whose tongues utter calumnies against Us. Heard ye not that which hath been revealed in His all-glorious and unerring Book: “If a wicked man come to you with news, clear it up at once”? Wherefore have ye then cast the command of God behind your backs, and followed in the footsteps of them that are bent on mischief?
35 We have heard that one of these calumniators hath alleged that this Servant practised usury whilst residing in ‘Iráq, and was engaged in amassing riches for Himself. Say: How can ye judge a matter whereof ye have no knowledge? How can ye hurl calumnies against the servants of God, and entertain such evil suspicions? And how could this accusation be true, when God hath forbidden this practice unto His servants in that most holy and well-guarded Book revealed unto Muḥammad, the Apostle of God and the Seal of the Prophets, a Book which He hath ordained to be His abiding testimony, and His guidance and monition unto all mankind? This is but one of the matters in which We have opposed the divines of Persia, inasmuch as We have, according to the text of the Book, forbidden unto all men the practice of usury. God Himself beareth witness to the truth of My words. “Yet I hold not myself clear, for the soul is prone to evil.” We intend only to impart unto you the truth, that ye might be informed thereof and be of them that lead a godly life. Beware lest ye give ear to the words of those from whom the foul smell of malice and envy can be discerned; pay no heed to them, and stand ye for righteousness.
36 Know ye that the world and its vanities and its embellishments shall pass away. Nothing will endure except God’s Kingdom which pertaineth to none but Him, the Sovereign Lord of all, the Help in Peril, the All-Glorious, the Almighty. The days of your life shall roll away, and all the things with which ye are occupied and of which ye boast yourselves shall perish, and ye shall, most certainly, be summoned by a company of His angels to appear at the spot where the limbs of the entire creation shall be made to tremble, and the flesh of every oppressor to creep. Ye shall be asked of the things your hands have wrought in this, your vain life, and shall be repaid for your doings. This is the day that shall inevitably come upon you, the hour that none can put back. To this the Tongue of Him that speaketh the truth and is the Knower of all things hath testified.
37 Fear God, ye inhabitants of the City, and sow not the seeds of dissension amongst men. Walk not in the paths of the Evil One. Walk ye, during the few remaining days of your life, in the ways of the one true God. Your days shall pass away as have the days of them who were before you. To dust shall ye return, even as your fathers of old did return.
38 Know ye that I am afraid of none except God. In none but Him have I placed My trust; to none will I cleave but Him, and wish for naught except the thing He hath wished for Me. This, indeed, is My heart’s desire, did ye but know it. I have offered up My soul and My body as a sacrifice for God, the Lord of all worlds. Whoso hath known God shall know none but Him, and he that feareth God shall be afraid of no one except Him, though the powers of the whole earth rise up and be arrayed against him. I speak naught except at His bidding, and follow naught, through the power of God and His might, except His truth. He, verily, shall recompense the truthful.
39 Narrate, O Servant, the things Thou didst behold at the time of Thine arrival in the City, that Thy testimony may endure amongst men, and serve as a warning unto them that believe. We found, upon Our arrival in the City, its governors and elders as children gathered about and disporting themselves with clay. We perceived no one sufficiently mature to acquire from Us the truths which God hath taught Us, nor ripe for Our wondrous words of wisdom. Our inner eye wept sore over them, and over their transgressions and their total disregard of the thing for which they were created. This is what We observed in that city, and which We have chosen to note down in Our Book, that it may serve as a warning unto them, and unto the rest of mankind.
40 Say: If ye be seekers after this life and the vanities thereof, ye should have sought them while ye were still enclosed in your mothers’ wombs, for at that time ye were continually approaching them, could ye but perceive it. Ye have, on the other hand, ever since ye were born and attained maturity, been all the while receding from the world and drawing closer to dust. Why, then, exhibit such greed in amassing the treasures of the earth, when your days are numbered and your chance is well-nigh lost? Will ye not, then, O heedless ones, shake off your slumber?
41 Incline your ears to the counsels which this Servant giveth you for the sake of God. He, verily, asketh no recompense from you and is resigned to what God hath ordained for Him, and is entirely submissive to God’s Will.
42 The days of your life are far spent, O people, and your end is fast approaching. Put away, therefore, the things ye have devised and to which ye cleave, and take firm hold on the precepts of God, that haply ye may attain that which He hath purposed for you, and be of them that pursue a right course. Delight not yourselves in the things of the world and its vain ornaments, neither set your hopes on them. Let your reliance be on the remembrance of God, the Most Exalted, the Most Great. He will, erelong, bring to naught all the things ye possess. Let Him be your fear, and forget not His covenant with you, and be not of them that are shut out as by a veil from Him.
43 Beware that ye swell not with pride before God, and disdainfully reject His loved ones. Defer ye humbly to the faithful, they that have believed in God and in His signs, whose hearts witness to His unity, whose tongues proclaim His oneness, and who speak not except by His leave. Thus do We exhort you with justice, and warn you with truth, that perchance ye may be awakened.
44 Lay not on any soul a load which ye would not wish to be laid upon you, and desire not for anyone the things ye would not desire for yourselves. This is My best counsel unto you, did ye but observe it.
45 Respect ye the divines and learned amongst you, they whose conduct accords with their professions, who transgress not the bounds which God hath fixed, whose judgements are in conformity with His behests as revealed in His Book. Know ye that they are the lamps of guidance unto them that are in the heavens and on the earth. They who disregard and neglect the divines and learned that live amongst them—these have truly changed the favour with which God hath favoured them.
46 Say: Wait ye till God will have changed His favour unto you. Nothing whatsoever escapeth Him. He knoweth the secrets both of the heavens and of the earth. His knowledge embraceth all things. Rejoice not in what ye have done, or will do in the future, nor delight in the tribulation with which ye have afflicted Us, for ye are unable by such means as these to exalt your stations, were ye to examine your works with acute discernment. Neither will ye be capable of detracting from the loftiness of Our state. Nay, God will add unto the recompense with which He shall reward Us, for having sustained with persevering patience the tribulations We have suffered. He, verily, shall increase the reward of them that endure with patience.
47 Know ye that trials and tribulations have, from time immemorial, been the lot of the chosen Ones of God and His beloved, and such of His servants as are detached from all else but Him, they whom neither merchandise nor traffic beguile from the remembrance of the Almighty, they that speak not till He hath spoken, and act according to His commandment. Such is God’s method carried into effect of old, and such will it remain in the future. Blessed are the steadfastly enduring, they that are patient under ills and hardships, who lament not over anything that befalleth them, and who tread the path of resignation.
48 That which hath befallen Us hath been witnessed before. Ours is not the first goblet dashed to the ground in the lands of Islám, nor is this the first time that such schemers have intrigued against the beloved of the Lord. The tribulations We have sustained are like unto the trials endured aforetime by Imám Ḥusayn. For he was approached by messengers from malicious and evil-hearted plotters, inviting him to come forth from the city; yet when he came unto them, accompanied by his kindred, they rose up against him with all their might, until at last they slew him, slaughtered his sons and his brothers, and took captive the remainder of his family. So did it come to pass in an earlier age, and God, verily, is a witness unto My words. Of his lineage there survived none, whether young or old, save his son ‘Alí al-Awsat, known as Zaynu’l-‘Ábidín.
49 Behold then, O heedless ones, how brightly the fire of the love of God blazed aforetime in the heart of Ḥusayn, if ye be of them that ponder! So intense grew its flame that fervour and longing at last seized the reins of patience from his grasp, and the love of Him Who is the All-Compelling so enraptured his heart that he surrendered his soul, his spirit, his substance, and his all in the path of God, the Lord of the worlds. By God! Sweeter was this in his sight than the empire of earth and heaven. For the true lover desireth naught save reunion with his beloved and the seeker hath no goal but to attain unto the object of his quest. Their hearts long for reunion even as the body yearneth for the spirit, nay greater indeed is their longing, could ye but perceive it!
50 Say: That same fire now blazeth in Mine own breast, and My wish is that this Ḥusayn may lay down His life in like manner, in the hope of attaining unto so august and sublime a station, that station wherein the servant dieth to himself and liveth in God, the Almighty, the Exalted, the Great. Were I to disclose unto you the mysteries which God hath enshrined therein, ye would, of a truth, offer up your lives in His path, renounce your riches, and forsake all that ye possess, that ye might attain this transcendent and all-glorious station. God, however, hath veiled your hearts and obscured your eyes, lest ye should apprehend His mysteries and be made aware of their meaning.
51 Say: The sincere soul longeth for nearness to God even as the suckling babe yearneth for its mother’s breast, nay more ardent is his longing, could ye but know it! Again, his longing is even as the panting of one sore athirst after the living waters of grace, or the yearning of the sinner for forgiveness and mercy. Thus do We expound unto you the mysteries of the Cause, and impart unto you what shall render you independent of all that hath so far occupied you, that perchance ye may enter the Court of Holiness within this exalted Paradise. I swear by God! Whoso entereth therein shall never abandon its precincts, and whoso gazeth thereon shall never turn away therefrom, even should the swords of infidels and deniers rain blows upon him. Thus have We related unto you that which befell Ḥusayn, and We beseech God that He may destine for Us that which He had decreed for him. He, verily, is the Most Generous, the All-Bountiful.
52 By the righteousness of God! Through his deed the fragrances of holiness were wafted over all things, the proof of God was perfected, and His testimony made manifest to all men. And after him God raised up a people who avenged his death, who slew his enemies, and who wept over him at dawn and at eventide. Say: God hath pledged in His Book to lay hold upon every oppressor for his tyranny, and to uproot the stirrers of mischief. Know ye that such holy deeds exert, in themselves, a great influence upon the world of being—an influence which is, however, inscrutable to all save those whose eyes have been opened by God, whose hearts He hath freed from obscuring veils, and whose souls He hath guided aright.
53 The day is approaching when God will have raised up a people who will call to remembrance Our days, who will tell the tale of Our trials, who will demand the restitution of Our rights from them that, without a tittle of evidence, have treated Us with manifest injustice. God, assuredly, dominateth the lives of them that wronged Us, and is well aware of their doings. He will, most certainly, lay hold on them for their sins. He, verily, is the fiercest of avengers.
54 Thus have We recounted unto you the tales of the one true God, and sent down unto you the things He had preordained, that haply ye may ask forgiveness of Him, may return unto Him, may truly repent, may realize your misdeeds, may shake off your slumber, may be roused from your heedlessness, may atone for the things that have escaped you, and be of them that do good. Let him who will, acknowledge the truth of My words; and as to him that willeth not, let him turn aside. My sole duty is to remind you of your failure in duty towards the Cause of God, if perchance ye may be of them that heed My warning. Wherefore, hearken ye unto My speech, and return ye to God and repent, that He, through His grace, may have mercy upon you, may wash away your sins, and forgive your trespasses. The greatness of His mercy surpasseth the fury of His wrath, and His grace encompasseth all who have been called into being and been clothed with the robe of life, be they of the past or of the future.
55 O concourse of Ministers of State! Do ye believe in your hearts that We have come to divest you of your earthly possessions and vanities? Nay, by the One in Whose hand is My soul! Our intention hath been to make clear that We oppose not the commands of the sovereign, nor are We to be numbered with the rebellious. Know ye of a certainty that all the treasures of the earth, all the gold, the silver, and the rare and precious gems they contain, are, in the sight of God, of His chosen ones and His loved ones, as worthless as a handful of clay. For erelong all that is on earth shall perish, and the kingdom will remain unto God, the All-Powerful, the Incomparable. That which perisheth can never profit Us, nor can it profit you, were ye but to reflect.
56 By the righteousness of God! I speak not falsely, and utter naught save that which God hath bidden Me. To this bear witness the very words of this Tablet, if ye but reflect upon its contents. Follow not the promptings of your own desires, nor the whisperings of the Evil One in your souls. Follow rather the Cause of God, both in your outward and your inner lives, and be not of the heedless. Better is this for you than all that ye have laid up in your houses, and all that ye have sought by day and night.
57 The world will pass away, and so will all the things whereat your hearts rejoice, or wherein ye pride yourselves before men. Cleanse the mirrors of your hearts from the dross of the world and all that is therein, that they may reflect the resplendent light of God. This, indeed, shall enable you to dispense with all save God, and to attain unto the good pleasure of your Lord, the Most Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. We, verily, have unfolded before your eyes that which shall profit you both in this world and in the realm of faith, and which will lead you to the path of salvation. Would that ye might turn thereunto!
58 Hearken, O King,3 to the speech of Him that speaketh the truth, Him that doth not ask thee to recompense Him with the things God hath chosen to bestow upon thee, Him Who unerringly treadeth the straight Path. He it is Who summoneth thee unto God, thy Lord, Who showeth thee the right course, the way that leadeth to true felicity, that haply thou mayest be of them with whom it shall be well.
59 Beware, O King, that thou gather not around thee such ministers as follow the desires of a corrupt inclination, as have cast behind their backs that which hath been committed into their hands and manifestly betrayed their trust. Be bounteous to others as God hath been bounteous to thee, and abandon not the interests of thy people to the mercy of such ministers as these. Lay not aside the fear of God, and be thou of them that act uprightly. Gather around thee those ministers from whom thou canst perceive the fragrance of faith and of justice, and take thou counsel with them, and choose whatever is best in thy sight, and be of them that act generously.
60 Know thou for a certainty that whoso disbelieveth in God is neither trustworthy nor truthful. This, indeed, is the truth, the undoubted truth. He that acteth treacherously towards God will, also, act treacherously towards his king. Nothing whatever can deter such a man from evil, nothing can hinder him from betraying his neighbour, nothing can induce him to walk uprightly.