Windflower Translations

Original title: Subhana Rabbiyya'l-A`la

Also known as Tablet of Eternity (Lawh-i Harf al-Baqa')

Written by Baha'u'llah in the Baghdad period

Praised be my Lord, the Most High is a 45-verse prose poem. Like many of Baha'u'llah's other poems, the central figure is the Houri who inspires Baha'u'llah with the divine verses and whose stunning beauty symbolises the attractive force of Baha'u'llah. The poem describes how she appears in the midst of creation, offering wine to those who believe and making a show of herself. Like a magician with mythical powers, she swallows up everyone and makes them appear again, announcing that she is the beauty of the Beloved at the heart of creation.

Original title: unnamed

Written by Baha'u'llah in the Akka period

This tablet was addressed to the Baha'i scholar, Mirza Abu'l-Fadl. In it, Baha'u'llah responds to questions about Zoroastrianism and Hinduism from Manakji Limji Hataria (1813-1890), the Zoroastrian agent in Iran at the time. In answering the questions, Baha'u'llah quotes from a letter he had earlier written to Manakji, in which he had answered similar questions.

The tablet brings to the fore what Baha'u'llah means by the unity of the world religions, and how he approaches this subject theologically and philosophically.

Original title: Rashh-i `Ama

Written by Baha'u'llah in Baghdad period

Sprinkling of the Cloud Beyond Being is a 19-verse poem, which Baha'u'llah composed in late 1852, during his four-month imprisonment in the Siyah Chal. Of the writings of Baha'u'llah that have survived to the present day, this poem is unique because it is the only work composed before Baha'u'llah was exiled from Iran. This makes it the earliest of the writings still in existence.

Original title: Suratu'd-Dam

Written by Baha'u'llah in the Edirne period

Surah of Blood is one of the early proclamatory tablets sent by Baha'u'llah from Edirne when he publicly announced His mission. It is addressed to Muhammad "Nabil-i A`zam" Zarandi. In a middle passage (paragraphs 8 to 15), Baha'u'llah identifies Himself with all the past prophets and their sufferings. This passage has a frame story based on the Shi`ite narrative of the martyrdom of Imam Husayn at Karbala. Baha'u'llah depicts himself sprawled out upon the field of battle, mortally wounded (as Imam Husayn was).

For an essay on Surah of Blood, see Juan Cole: "'I am all the prophets':The Poetics of Pluralism in Baha'i Texts".

Original title: Surat Allah
Written by Baha'u'llah in the Edirne period

This tablet was written at the time when Baha'u'llah decided to cut off relations with his half-brother, Azal, as a result of the latter's relentless plotting and actions against him. In response, Baha'u'llah shifted his residence from the house of Amru'llah to that of Riza Bey on 10 March 1866 and went into seclusion for two months.

Go to H-Bahai for a full introduction by Juan Cole.

Original title: Suratu'dh-Dhibh

Written by Baha'u'llah in the Edirne period

Surah of Sacrifice is a personal address to Baha'u'llah's companion Muhammad Isma'il Kashani, known as 'Dhabih' (the Sacrifice) and also as 'Anis' (the Intimate). In the tablet, Baha'u'llah encourages Dhabih to strip himself of everything and attain the spiritual goal of the new revelation, and to proclaim the revelation to others.

Go to top