Baha’u’llah, in his Tablets to the kings and rulers of the world, also addressed the British Empire’s Queen Victoria—and that message differs in character from the rest. In it Baha’u’llah praises the Queen for abolishing the English slave trade, and for her country’s representative form of gover

nment. In his message he offered counsel as to how humanity can finally realize peace:

Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria

O ye the elected representatives of the people in every land! Take ye counsel together, and let your concern be only for that which profiteth mankind and bettereth the condition thereof, if ye be of them that scan heedfully. Regard the world as the human body which, though at its creation whole and perfect, hath been afflicted, through various causes, with grave disorders and maladies. Not for one day did it gain ease, nay its sickness waxed more severe, as it fell under the treatment of ignorant physicians, who gave full rein to their personal desires and have erred grievously. And if, at one time, through the care of an able physician, a member of that body was healed, the rest remained afflicted as before. Thus informeth you the All-Knowing, the All- Wise. We behold it, in this day, at the mercy of rulers so drunk with pride that they cannot discern clearly their own best advantage, much less recognize a Revelation so bewildering and challenging as this. And whenever any one of them hath striven to improve its condition, his motive hath been his own gain, whether confessedly so or not; and the unworthiness of this motive hath limited his power to heal or cure. That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith. This can in no wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician. This, verily, is the truth, and all else naught but error. – Baha’u’llah, Summons of the Lord of Hosts, paragraphs 174-176.

Queen Victoria reportedly commented, “‘If this is of God, it will endure; if not, it can do no harm.’” – quoted in Shoghi Effendi’s The Promised Day is Come, p. 65.

Baha’u’llah also sent a message to the rulers of the American republics collectively, exhorting them to defend the cause of justice. Like the message to Queen Victoria, it also reads differently from the messages to the other rulers:

Hearken ye, O Rulers of America and the Presidents of the Republics therein, unto that which the Dove is warbling on the Branch of Eternity. . . . Adorn ye the temple of dominion with the ornament of justice and of the fear of God, and its head with the crown of the remembrance of your Lord, the Creator of the heavens. Thus counseleth you He Who is the Dayspring of Names, as bidden by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. The Promised One hath appeared in this glorified Station, whereat all beings, both seen and unseen, have rejoiced. Take ye advantage of the Day of God.

Verily, to meet Him is better for you than all that whereon the sun shineth, could ye but know it. O concourse of rulers! . . . Bind ye the broken with the hands of justice, and crush the oppressor who flourisheth with the rod of the commandments of your Lord, the Ordainer, the All-Wise. – Baha’u’llah, The Most Holy Book, p. 52.

The proclamation of Baha’u’llah to the kings and rulers of the world marked a significant stage in his unfolding ministry. Its themes would be taken up time and again throughout his remaining years, as he elaborated upon the principles that would lay the foundation of an everlasting peace. That his plea fell on deaf ears at the time would not, he assured his followers, prevent God’s ultimate aim from being accomplished.

The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of BahaiTeachings.org or any institution of the Baha’i Faith.

2 Comments

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  • Nov 18, 2014
    Dear Mr. Dudhnath: Thank you for your comments. At BahaiTeachings, we utilize the Associated Press Style manual, otherwise known as AP Style, for all of our editorial content. This style guide, in widespread common use throughout the English-speaking world, is also the accepted standard for mass media and journalism.
    AP Style does not allow for the capitalization of pronouns except when they refer to God. Also, AP Style calls for the elimination of the typical Baha'i transliteration conventions, including the use of pronunciation-related diacriticals. We always render the word "Baha'i", for example, without the two accent marks many believers ...expect to see in Baha'i literature.
    We find that the AP Style usage guidelines have a positive impact on seekers. Because most readers of BahaiTeachings.org see many of the traditional Baha'i usage patterns as somewhat foreign--such as capitalizing pronouns that refer to Manifestations or accenting words in common English parlance--the more universally-seen and conventional AP Style tends to make seekers feel more comfortable when they first encounter written material on the Faith.
    In much the same way, the Universal House of Justice, when it wrote and published the Peace Statement in 1985, did not capitalize pronouns that referred to the Manifestations of God. In fact, in a letter to the US Publishing Trust dated 3 February 1975, the Universal House of Justice said: "Capitalization of pronouns relating to the Manifestations of God and to 'Abdu'l-Bahá in introductory books or books about the Faith in the English language is left to the personal choice of the author."
    I hope this is helpful.
    The Editors
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  • Nov 17, 2014
    Good reporting Ken but watch your pronoun" his" . Again it shold be caoital "H" in respect to Baha'u'llah......................sorry to state this agai...unless you have a valid reason>