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Copy of the Tablet of the Holy Mariner, rendered in the calligraphy of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

Tablet of the Holy Mariner

These verses were revealed by Bahá’u’lláh in 1863 just before He was forced to leave Baghdad for Constantinople (Istanbul), foretell the dark days to come. Bahá’u’lláh and His companions had set up tents outside Baghdad to celebrate Naw-Rúz, the new year. One of the chroniclers of Bahá’u’lláh's life, Nabil, was there and left this account:

"Oceans of sorrow surged in the hearts of the listeners when the Tablet of the Holy Mariner was read aloud to them.… It was evident to every one that the chapter of Baghdad was about to be closed, and a new one opened, in its stead. No sooner had that Tablet been chanted than Bahá’u’lláh ordered that the tents which had been pitched should be folded up, and that all His companions should return to the city. While the tents were being removed He observed: 'These tents may be likened to the trappings of this world, which no sooner are they spread out than the time cometh for them to be rolled up.' From these words of His they who heard them perceived that these tents would never again be pitched on that spot." (40)

Photo 5 of 6: Copy of the Tablet of the Holy Mariner, rendered in the calligraphy of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
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Copy of the Tablet of the Holy Mariner, rendered in the calligraphy of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
Copy of the Tablet of the Holy Mariner, rendered in the calligraphy of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. (Bahá'í World Centre archives)