Tablet of the Branch
Updated: Jul 29, 2020
An important Tablet revealed in Adrianople is the Súriy-i-Ghusn (Tablet of the Branch). It was revealed in Arabic and addressed to Mírzá 'Alí-Ridáy-i-Mustawfí, a native of Khurásán. This believer was a titled person--the Mustasháru'd-Dawlih. He had a prominent position in government circles in the district of Khurásán and was a man of great influence there. His teacher was no less a person than Mullá Husayn who taught him the Faith in Mashhad.
The main theme of the Súriy-i-Ghusn is the unveiling of the station of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. In it 'Abdu'l-Bahá is referred to as 'the Trust of God', 'this sacred and glorious Being', 'this Branch of Holiness', 'the Limb of the Law of God', 'this sublime, this blessed, this mighty, this exalted Handiwork', 'the most great Favour', 'the most perfect bounty'. Bahá'u'lláh also makes this significant statement about 'Abdu'l-Bahá:
Well is it with him that hath sought His ['Abdu'l-Bahá's] shelter and abideth beneath His shadow...They who deprive themselves of the shadow of the Branch, are lost in the wilderness of error,...and are of those who will assuredly perish.
This Tablet and others like it bequeath the Covenant to posterity, unequivocally disclose the rank and station of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, and shield and support the appointed Center of Bahá'u'lláh's Faith. Due this, this Tablet is sometimes read at the Ascension of Baha'u'llah.
- Excerpts and edited from Adib Taherzadeh's Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh vol. 2, 388-89
Tablet of the Branch - Súriy-i-Ghusn
He it is Who abideth forever in the Realm of Glory. The Cause of God hath come down upon the clouds of utterance, while they that have joined partners with Him are afflicted with a sore torment. The hosts of Divine Revelation, bearing the banners of celestial inspiration, have descended from the heaven of His Tablet in the name of God, the Almighty, the Most Powerful, and the faithful rejoice in His victory and dominion, while the deniers are filled with dismay. O people! Do ye flee from the mercy of God after it hath pervaded all that is in the heavens and on the earth? Barter not away that mercy wherewith God hath favoured you, nor withhold yourselves therefrom, for they that turn away are indeed in grievous loss. The mercy of God is like unto the verses that are sent down from one same heaven: The true believers quaff therefrom the wine of everlasting life, while the ungodly drink a scalding draught. And whensoever the verses of God are rehearsed unto them, the fire of hatred is kindled in their breasts. Thus do they barter away the bounty that God hath bestowed upon them and are reckoned among the heedless. Strive, O people, to enter beneath the sheltering shadow of the Word of God. Quaff, then, from it the choice wine of inner meaning and explanation, for it is the repository of the living waters of the All-Glorious and hath appeared from the horizon of the Will of the All-Merciful with matchless splendour. Say: Out of this Most Great Ocean there hath branched the Pre-existent Sea; blessed the one that hath attained and found repose upon its shores. There hath branched from the Sadratu’l-Muntahá this sacred and glorious Being, this Branch of Holiness; well is it with him that hath sought His shelter and abideth beneath His shadow. Verily the Limb of the Law of God hath sprung forth from this Root which God hath firmly implanted in the Ground of His Will, and Whose Branch hath been so uplifted as to encompass the whole of creation. Magnified be He, therefore, for this sublime, this blessed, this mighty, this exalted Handiwork! Draw nigh unto Him, O people, and taste the fruits of wisdom and knowledge that have proceeded from Him Who is the Almighty, the All-Knowing. Whoso hath failed to taste thereof is deprived of God’s bounty, though he partake of all that the earth can produce, could ye but perceive it! A Word hath, as a token of Our grace, gone forth from the Most Great Tablet—a Word which God hath adorned with the ornament of His own Self, and made it sovereign over the earth and all that is therein, and a sign of His greatness and power among its people, that all may glorify thereby their Lord, the Almighty, the All-Powerful, the All-Wise, and extol the praise of their Creator and the sanctity of the Soul of God that holdeth sway over all created things. This, verily, is none other than a Word sent down by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the Ancient of Days. Render thanks unto God, O people, for His appearance; for verily He is the most great Favour unto you, the most perfect bounty upon you; and through Him every mouldering bone is quickened. Whoso turneth towards Him hath turned towards God, and whoso turneth away from Him hath turned away from My Beauty, hath repudiated My Proof, and transgressed against Me. He is the Trust of God amongst you, His charge within you, His manifestation unto you and His appearance among His favoured servants. Thus was I bidden to deliver unto you the message of God, your Creator, and I have fulfilled that whereunto I was bidden. Unto this bear witness God, and His angels, and His Messengers, and His sanctified servants. Inhale, then, the sweet savours of Paradise from its roses and be not of them that are deprived. Hasten to win your share of the grace which God hath bestowed upon you and suffer not yourselves to be veiled therefrom. We have sent Him down in the form of a human temple. Blest and sanctified be God Who createth whatsoever He willeth through His inviolable, His infallible decree. They who deprive themselves of the shadow of the Branch are lost in the wilderness of error, are consumed by the heat of worldly desires, and are of those who will assuredly perish. O people! Hasten to enter beneath the shadow of God, that it may shield you from the blazing heat of this Day wherein none shall find shelter or refuge save under the shadow of His Name, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate. Attire yourselves, O people, with the raiment of certitude, that it may protect you from the darts of idle fancy and vain imaginings and that ye may be numbered with the faithful in these days—days wherein none may attain certitude nor achieve constancy in the Cause of God save by renouncing that which is current amongst men and by turning towards this hallowed and refulgent Beauty. O people! Will ye take a false deity for your helper rather than God? Will ye follow the Most Great Idol before your Lord, the Almighty, the Most Powerful?19 Forsake their mention, O people, and seize the cup of life in the name of your Lord, the All-Merciful. By the righteousness of God! A single drop from this cup quickeneth all humankind, could ye but know it. Say: None shall be immune in this Day from God’s decree; none shall find refuge save in Him. This, verily, is the truth, and aught else is but manifest error. God hath made it incumbent upon all to teach His Cause to the extent of their ability. Such is the decree that the Finger of might and power hath recorded in the Tablets of supernal glory. Whoso quickeneth but a single soul in this Revelation, it is as though he had quickened all humanity: Him will God, on the Day of Resurrection, raise again to life in the paradise of His oneness, adorned with the raiment of His own Self, the Sovereign Protector, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful. Such is the nature of the assistance ye can render to your Lord, and naught else is worthy of mention in this Day in the presence of God, your Lord and the Lord of your sires of old. As for thee, O servant, give ear unto that which We have admonished thee in this Tablet, and seek at all times the grace of thy Lord. Disseminate this Tablet amongst them that have believed in God and in His signs, that they may observe its injunctions and be numbered with the righteous. Say: O people! Spread not disorder on the earth nor dispute with your fellow men, for this would ill beseem them that occupy, beneath the shadow of their Lord, the station of such as are faithful to the one true God. Whensoever ye encounter a thirsty soul, give him to drink from the cup of everlasting life; and whensoever ye find a hearing ear, recite unto him the verses of God, the Powerful, the Mighty, the Compassionate. Unloose your tongues with kindly words and, should ye find the people inclined towards the Sanctuary of God, summon them to the truth; otherwise leave them to their own selves and to that condition which is the reality of the nethermost fire. Beware lest ye cast the pearls of inner meaning before the blind and the barren in heart, inasmuch as they are deprived of beholding the light and are unable to distinguish the worthless pebble from the precious and gleaming pearl. Wert thou for a thousand years to recite unto a stone the verses of wondrous glory, would it ever be affected by them or comprehend their significance? Nay, by thy Lord, the All-Merciful, the Most Compassionate! Wert thou to recite unto the deaf all the verses of God, would they hear a single letter thereof? Nay, by His ancient and glorious Beauty! Thus have We imparted unto thee the gems of divine wisdom and utterance, that thou mayest fix thy gaze upon thy Lord and rid thyself of all attachment to the world. May His spirit rest upon thee and upon them that abide within the habitation of holiness and that are endued with true constancy in the Cause of their Lord.