Windflower Translations

Original title: Tafsir-i Suriy-i Va'sh-Shams

Written by Baha'u'llah in the Akka period

As the title suggests, the principal subject of this tablet is a commentary on Surah 91, Surah of the Sun. After a proclamatory introduction, Baha'u'llah outlines some of the meanings of the word "sun" in verse 1 of the surah. He explains that the meaning of the Word of God cannot be exhausted and that he cannot convey its subtleties using words. Baha'u'llah states that commentators should strive to harmonise the literal and esoteric meamings of scripture. The tablet ends with a verse-by-verse commentary on the surah. A translation of Surah of the Sun appears at the end of the introduction.

Original title: Lawh al-Tal`at al-Hubb

Written by Baha'u'llah in the Edirne period

Baha'u'llah begins the tablet, Countenance of Love, by confirming that his reader has drawn near to God and attained God's presence. He advises his reader not to be troubled by anything that happens in the physical world, but to focus on the things of God's Kingdom, which are everlasting.

Title given by the translator: Lawh-i Ta'víl

Written by Baha'u'llah in the Akka period

The principal subject of this tablet is whether, and to what extent, scripture can be interpreted figuratively, and when it should be treated literally. Baha'u'llah gives examples of how scripture has been interpreted by mystics and commentators and discusses their merits.

Original title: Chihar-Vadi

Written by Baha'u'llah in the Baghdad period

Baha'u'llah wrote the Four Valleys for the Sufi, Shaykh Abdu'l-Rahman Karkuki. The four 'valleys' refer to the four kinds of person who journey on the spiritual path to God. Baha'u'llah devotes the tablet to describing the characteristics of each type of wayfarer. The four valleys, in order, are: Self, Intellect, Love and Mystical Insight.

A detailed discussion on the Four Valleys can be found in Nader Saiedi: Logos and Civilization. Spirit, History and Order in the Writings of Baha'u'llah, University Press of Maryland, 2000, pp 79-110.

Original title: Ridvan al-'adl

Written by Baha'u'llah in the Edirne period

This tablet begins with the voice of God addressing Baha'u'llah as the Manifestation of the name of God, the Just, and telling him to shed illumination on creation. The tablet continues with Baha'u'llah addressing all those who represent justice on earth, lamenting the unjust way he has been treated, and explaining the meanings of the various stations of justice.

Original title: Jawahiru'l-Asrar

Written by Baha'u'llah in the Baghdad period

Gems of the Mysteries is a book-length tablet in which Baha'u'llah discusses important themes of his revelation. These themes are summarised in the Baha'i World Centre's introduction to the work: "the cause of the rejection of the Prophets of the past; the danger of a literal reading of scripture; the meaning of the signs and portents of the Bible concerning the advent of the new Manifestation; the continuity of divine revelation; intimations of Baha'u'llah's own approaching declartion; the significance of such symbolic terms as 'the Day of Judgement', 'the Resurrection', 'attainment to the Divine Presence', and 'life and death'". Baha'u'llah discusses many of these themes in greater detail in his later work, the Book of Certitude. Gems of the Mysteries also outlines seven stages in the spiritual journey to God. These stages are similar to those outlined in Baha'u'llah's earlier work, the Seven Valleys.

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