The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

Interested in finding out more about some of the major writings of Baha’u’llah, the prophet and founder of the Baha’i Faith? A golden opportunity comes your way today.

Starting on May 7, 2020 and running weekly to July 1, 2020, the Wilmette Institute will host a course on Tablets of Baha’u’llah, one of the major compilations of Baha’u’llah’s written revelation.

If you’d like to take part in an in-depth study of these writings of Baha’u’llah, you’re invited to become a participant in this online course.

First published in 1978, Tablets of Baha’u’llah Revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas contains the following works:

  1. Lawḥ-i-Karmil (Tablet of Carmel)
  2. Lawḥ-i-Aqdas (The Most Holy Tablet)
  3. Bishárát (Glad-Tidings)
  4. Ṭarázát (Ornaments)
  5. Tajallíyát (Effulgences)
  6. Kalimát-i-Firdawsíyyih (Words of Paradise)
  7. Lawḥ-i-Dunyá (Tablet of the World)
  8. Ishráqát (Splendors)
  9. Lawḥ-i-Ḥikmat (Tablet of Wisdom)
  10. Aṣl-i-Kullu’l-Khayr (Words of Wisdom)
  11. Lawḥ-i-Maqṣúd (Tablet of Maqṣúd)
  12. Súriy-i-Vafá (Tablet to Vafá)
  13. Lawḥ-i-Síyyid-i-Mihdíy-i-Dahají (Tablet to Siyyid Mihdíy-i-Dahají)
  14. Lawḥ-i-Burhán (Tablet of the Proof)
  15. Kitáb-i-‘Ahd (Book of the Covenant)
  16. Lawḥ-i-Arḍ-i-Bá (Tablet of the Land of Bá)
  17. Excerpts from Other Tablets

These works of Baha’u’llah have a special importance because they explain and even expand on the ethics, morals, laws and social principles of the Baha’i Faith, as well as the proclamations and prophecies of Baha’u’llah’s Most Holy Book (the Kitab-i-Aqdas), the single most important Baha’i scripture, as its name suggests. Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith from 1921–1957, explained:

The formulation by Baha’u’llah, in His Kitab-i-Aqdas, of the fundamental laws of His Dispensation was followed, as His Mission drew to a close, by the enunciation of certain precepts and principles which lie at the very core of His Faith, by the reaffirmation of truths He had previously proclaimed, by the elaboration and elucidation of some of the laws He had already laid down, by the revelation of further prophecies and warnings, and by the establishment of subsidiary ordinances designed to supplement the provisions of His Most Holy Book. These were recorded in unnumbered Tablets, which He continued to reveal until the last days of His earthly life … These Tablets—mighty and final effusions of His indefatigable pen—must rank among the choicest fruits which His mind has yielded, and mark the consummation of His forty-year-long ministry. – Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By

This nine-unit online course comes from the Wilmette Institute, an agency of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States:

“The Wilmette Institute offers online courses on various aspects of the Baha’i Faith. Taught by an array of accomplished faculty members, these courses are designed to encourage both self-study and interactive discussions with faculty and fellow participants in a distance-education format, using a special learning software program called “Moodle” (used by many universities around the world). Course projects (such as art, music, poetry, PowerPoint presentations, essays, etc.) are encouraged (although not required). Under special circumstances, certain, pre-approved Wilmette Institute courses may be taken for academic credit by individuals enrolled in graduate programs at universities and theological schools that have partnered with the Wilmette Institute.

To give you a preview, take “Unit 3” (May 18–24, 2020) as an example of the overall course design. The “Introduction” to Unit 3 reads as follows:

Lawh-i-Bisharat
(Tablet of Glad-Tidings)

The Glad-Tidings is the most extensive of several Tablets by Baha’u’llah that present key teachings in a numbered structure. The Tablet of Glad-Tidings is a selective compendium of Baha’u’llah’s laws and principles, sequentially presented in a series of 15 Glad-Tidings … comprised of selected principles of the Kitab-i-Aqdas for proclamation. Thus it may be considered a “Proclamatory Aqdas.”

As the Arabic term Bisharat suggests, these Glad-Tidings were a public announcement of some of the essential teachings of the new Baha’i religion. Intended for widespread translation and publication, the Glad-Tidings was sent to scholars — notably Russian orientalist Baron Viktor Rosen (1849–1908) and Cambridge orientalist Edward Granville Browne (1862–1926), and possibly pre-revolutionary Russian statesmen as well.

This “Proclamatory Aqdas” was part of a much broader proclamation by Baha’u’llah, who proclaimed His mission to the political and religious leaders of the world. Baha’u’llah may have revealed the Tablet of Glad-Tidings for E. G. Browne (or, rather, through him), since Baha’u’llah evidently intended that Browne should translate and publish the Tablet of Glad-Tidings in order to make the nature of the Baha’i teachings more widely known. 

If you’re interested, consider registering online, and take advantage of the May 2020 special tuition (50%) discount.

A brief word about the faculty instructor for this course: yours truly. You’ve probably seen a few of my articles on BahaiTeachings.org, and I’ve published a few academic articles as well. 

So there you go! If you’re a regular BahaiTeachings.org visitor, and would like to explore Baha’u’llah’s writings in more depth, this course will help you do that. Baha’u’llah wrote, in one of the readings we’ll cover in the course: 

Man is the supreme Talisman. Lack of a proper education hath, however, deprived him of that which he doth inherently possess. … The Great Being saith: Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom. If any man were to meditate on that which the Scriptures, sent down from the heaven of God’s holy Will, have revealed, he would readily recognize that their purpose is that all men shall be regarded as one soul, so that the seal bearing the words ‘The Kingdom shall be God’s’ may be stamped on every heart, and the light of Divine bounty, of grace, and mercy may envelop all mankind. The One true God, exalted be His glory, hath wished nothing for Himself. The allegiance of mankind profiteth Him not, neither doth its perversity harm Him. The Bird of the Realm of Utterance voiceth continually this call: ‘All things have I willed for thee, and thee, too, for thine own sake.’ If the learned and worldly-wise men of this age were to allow mankind to inhale the fragrance of fellowship and love, every understanding heart would apprehend the meaning of true liberty, and discover the secret of undisturbed peace and absolute composure. – Baha’u’llah, the Tablet of Maqsud in Tablets of Baha’u’llah Revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas

3 Comments

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  • Ignacio Sepulveda
    May 11, 2020
    Bill, I would encourage you to look in
  • Hasan Elías
    May 09, 2020
    Always look for Shoghi Effendi's translations.
  • Bill Carsley
    May 08, 2020
    Dr. Buck, I would like to take the course, but for some reason haven't been able to complete the registration process at the Wilmette Institute website. Perhaps you could check it out for me? Thanks very much.