115 O ye learned of the world! Ye failed to seek Our presence, that ye might hearken unto the sweet melodies of the Spirit and perceive that which God in His bounty hath pleased to bestow upon Me. Verily, this grace hath now escaped you, did ye but know. Had ye sought Our presence, We would have imparted unto you a knowledge that would have rendered you independent of all else. But this ye failed to do, and thus hath the decree of God been fulfilled. Now have I been forbidden to disclose it, since We stand accused of sorcery, if ye perceive Our meaning. The same words were uttered by the deniers of old, men whom death hath long since overtaken and who now dwell in the fire bewailing their plight. The deniers of this day shall likewise meet their doom. Such is the irrevocable decree of Him Who is the All-Powerful, the Self-Sufficient.
116 I counsel you, in the end, not to overstep the bounds of God, nor to heed the ways and habits of men, for these can neither “fatten nor appease your hunger”. Fix, rather, your gaze upon the precepts of God. Whosoever desireth, let him accept this counsel as a path leading unto his Lord, and whosoever desireth, let him return to his own idle imaginings. My Lord, verily, is independent above all who are in the heavens and on the earth, and above all that they say and do.
117 I close with these words uttered by God, exalted be His glory: “Say not to everyone who meeteth you with a greeting, ’Thou art not a believer’."(110)
118 Peace be upon you, O concourse of the faithful, and praise be to God, the Lord of the worlds.
NOTE ON THE TRANSLATION
Wherever possible, translations made by Shoghi Effendi have been incorporated in the present volume. These passages account for approximately one third of the text. The committees and individuals appointed to prepare the translations faced the challenge of rendering the balance of the Text in a manner at once faithful to the meaning of the original and consistent with the exalted English style established by the Guardian for the translation of Baha’u’llah’s matchless utterance.
In the translation of the Lawh-i-Sultan the translators benefited from consulting the earlier, pioneering translation of the English orientalist E. G. Browne as it appeared in ’Abdu’l-Baha’s A Traveller’s Narrative, first published by Cambridge University Press in 1891.
KEY TO PASSAGES TRANSLATED BY SHOGHI EFFENDI
Abbreviation of Sources
ESW Baha’u’llah. Epistle to
the Son of the Wolf.
Publishing Trust, 1988.
GPB Shoghi Effendi. God
Passes By. Wilmette:
Baha’i Publishing Trust,
GWB Baha’u’llah. Gleanings
from the Writings of
Baha’i Publishing Trust,