Surih of the Kings
The Súriy-i Mulúk, or the Tablet of Kings is a tablet written by Baháʼu'lláh that was addressed collectively to the monarchs of the East and the West. The tablet was likely written in early 1868 in Arabic while he was in Adrianople.
The tablet has three main themes: the responsibility of kings to accept his message, some general counsel for kings and rulers, and the consequences of not accepting his message. Baháʼu'lláh discloses the character of his mission to the monarchs and tells them to accept his message. He states that he is the Manifestation of God for this age, and that his mission is to unite the human race. He also warns of the consequences of not following his advice. The tablet serves as a third stage of Baháʼu'lláh's claim to the station of He whom God shall make manifest to the world. The first stage consisted of Baháʼu'lláh telling those who accompanied him to Constantinople in the Garden of Ridván; the second stage consisted of Baháʼu'lláh announcing his station to all the members of the Bábí community in Adrianople through various tablets, and the final stage consisted of Baháʼu'lláh proclaiming his claim to the world at large through its kings and rulers.
In the tablet, Baháʼu'lláh first rebukes the kings for their failure to follow the message of the Báb, and then rebukes them further for not having accepted his own message:
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.
Baháʼu'lláh also counsels the kings on the qualities which they must exhibit. These include not laying aside the Fear of God, and following the laws of religion. He states that countries should work towards reducing their differences. In this way, weapons can be reduced which would assure the safety of the world and save money for the governments which can be used for other purposes. He tells the monarchs to limit their extravagance, and instead to live in moderation, so that the burden on their citizens will be lessened, and he tells them to deal justly with everyone, especially the poor. Having counseled the rulers, Baháʼu'lláh warns that if they do not follow his counsels God will chastise them from all directions.
While the tablet is addressed to all the rulers of the world, he writes to some specific groups as well. To the Christians he writes that he is the return of Jesus:
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.
Baháʼu'lláh also addresses Sultan Abdülaziz, the only monarch addressed individually, and reproves him for entrusting the affairs of his empire to ministers whom he claims are not trustworthy. As for the ministers of the Sultan, Baháʼu'lláh criticizes them for actions which he claims are power-hungry. As for the clergy of Constantinople he denounces them for not investigating Baháʼu'lláh's message, and criticizes them as worshippers of "names" and lovers of leadership; he states that they are spiritually dead. To the philosophers of the world, Baháʼu'lláh sends a warning to them not to become proud of their knowledge, and he states that the essence of wisdom and knowledge is the recognition of the Manifestation of God and his teachings.
In a message to the French ambassador of Constantinople, Baháʼu'lláh criticizes him for collaborating with the Qajar Ambassador to act against him, and claims that the ambassador was not following the teachings of Jesus Christ. As for the Qajar ambassador, Mirza Husayn Khan, Baháʼu'lláh blames him for actions which Baháʼu'lláh claims have caused injustice to himself.
Excerpt from the Súriy-i-Mulúk - Súrih of the Kings
This excerpt is read by many on the commemoration of the Martyrdom of the Bab.
Dost thou imagine, O Minister of the Sháh in the City that I hold within My grasp the ultimate destiny of the Cause of God? Thinkest thou that My imprisonment, or the shame I have been made to suffer, or even My death and utter annihilation, can deflect its course? Wretched is what thou hast imagined in thine heart! Thou art indeed of them that walk after the vain imaginings which their hearts devise. No God is there but Him. Powerful is He to manifest His Cause, and to exalt His testimony, and to establish whatsoever is His Will, and to elevate it to so eminent a position that neither thine own hands, nor the hands of them that have turned away from Him, can ever touch or harm it.
Dost thou believe thou hast the power to frustrate His Will, to hinder Him from executing His judgement, or to deter Him from exercising His sovereignty? Pretendest thou that aught in the heavens or in the earth can resist His Faith? Nay, by Him Who is the Eternal Truth! Nothing whatsoever in the whole of creation can thwart His Purpose. Cast away, therefore, the mere conceit thou dost follow, for mere conceit can never take the place of truth. Be thou of them that have truly repented and returned to God, the God Who hath created thee, Who hath nourished thee, and made thee a minister among them that profess thy faith.
Know thou, moreover, that He it is Who hath, by His own behest, created all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. How can, then, the thing that hath been created at His bidding prevail against Him? High is God exalted above what ye imagine about Him, ye people of malice! If this Cause be of God, no man can prevail against it; and if it be not of God, the divines amongst you, and they that follow their corrupt desires and such as have rebelled against Him will surely suffice to overpower it.
Hast thou not heard what a man of the family of Pharaoh, a believer, hath said of old, and which God recounted unto His Apostle, Whom He hath chosen above all human beings, and entrusted with His Message, and made the source of His mercy unto all them that dwell on earth? He said, and He, verily, speaketh the truth: “Will ye slay a man because he saith my Lord is God, when he hath already come to you with proofs of his mission? And if he be a liar, on him will be his lie, but if he be a man of truth, part at least of what he threateneth will fall upon you.” This is what God hath revealed unto His Well-Beloved One, in His unerring Book.
And yet, ye have failed to incline your ears unto His bidding, have disregarded His law, have rejected His counsel as recorded in His Book, and have been of them that have strayed far from Him. How many those who, every year, and every month, have because of you been put to death! How manifold the injustices ye have perpetrated—injustices the like of which the eye of creation hath not seen, which no chronicler hath ever recorded! How numerous the babes and sucklings who were made orphans, and the fathers who lost their sons, because of your cruelty, O ye unjust doers! How oft hath a sister pined away and mourned over her brother, and how oft hath a wife lamented after her husband and sole sustainer!
Your iniquity waxed greater and greater until ye slew Him Who had never taken His eyes away from the face of God, the Most Exalted, the Most Great. Would that ye had put Him to death after the manner men are wont to put one another to death! Ye slew Him, however, in such circumstances as no man hath ever witnessed. The heavens wept sore over Him, and the souls of them who are nigh unto God cried out for His affliction. Was He not a Scion of your Prophet’s ancient House? Had not His fame as a direct descendant of the Apostle been spread abroad amongst you? Why, then, did ye inflict upon Him what no man, however far ye may look back, hath inflicted upon another? By God! The eye of creation hath never beheld your like. Ye slay Him Who is a Scion of your Prophet’s House, and rejoice and make merry while seated on your seats of honour! Ye utter your imprecations against them who were before you, and who have perpetrated what ye have perpetrated, and remain yourselves all the time unaware of your enormities!
Be fair in your judgement. Did they whom ye curse, upon whom ye invoke evil, act differently from yourselves? Have they not slain the descendant of their Prophet as ye have slain the descendant of your own? Is not your conduct similar to their conduct? Wherefore, then, claim ye to be different from them, O ye sowers of dissension amongst men?
And when ye took away His life, one of His followers arose to avenge His death. He was unknown of men, and the design he had conceived was unnoticed by any one. Eventually he committed what had been preordained. It behoveth you, therefore, to attach blame to no one except to yourselves, for the things ye have committed, if ye but judge fairly. Who is there on the whole earth who hath done what ye have done? None, by Him Who is the Lord of all worlds!