The Universal House of Justice
The Bahá'í World Centre
Department of the Secretariat
2 December 1996
Mr. Thomas Linard
76, place Buchner
Dear Baha'i Friend,
Your mail of 18 October 1996 requesting clarification concerning the published translations of the Tablet of Ahmad and the Tablet of the Holy Mariner was referred by the Universal House of Justice to its Research Department for further study. That Department has now completed its work, and we are enclosing a copy of the memorandum it has prepared in reply.
It is hoped that this information will be of assistance to you in your endeavours.
With loving Baha'i greetings,
For Department of the Secretariat
M E M O R A N D U M
From: Research Department
To: The Universal House of Justice
Date: 2 December 1996
Tablet of Ahmad and Tablet of the Holy Mariner
The Research Department has studied the questions concerning the translation and publication of the Tablets of Ahmad and of the Holy Mariner raised by Mr. Thomas Linard in his electronic message of 18 October 1996 to the Universal House of Justice. We provide the following comments.
1. Tablet of Ahmad
Mr. Linard enquires about the English translation of the (Arabic) Tablet of Ahmad that is found in most modern Baha'i prayer books. He wishes to know the name of the translator and when this translation was first published.
While a comprehensive study of the history of the translation into English of the Tablet of Ahmad is, at the present time, beyond the resources of the Research Department, we provide the following information gleaned from available sources.
2. Tablet of the Holy Mariner
Mr. Linard explains that he has translated the Tablet of the Holy Mariner into French. He notes that, when the published versions of this Tablet are compared, there are differences in the layout. For example, in *Star of the West*, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 75-77, the Tablet is arranged in three blocks, while in *Writings of Baha'u'llah: A Compilation* (New Delhi: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1996), pp. 712-717, it is presented as one block. He enquires about the reasons for the discrepancies and requests guidance about which presentation to adopt for the publication of the French translation.
The translation appearing in *Writings of Baha'u'llah* is approved by the Universal House of Justice. It supersedes the earlier translation in *Star of the West*, which contained a number of misprints. The authorized translation presents the text of the Tablet of the Holy Mariner in one block. It is also interesting to note that this presentation conforms to the way in which Shoghi Effendi laid out a draft translation of the Tablet, a manuscript copy of which is held in the Baha'i Archives at the Baha'i World Centre. It is, therefore, suggested that the discrepancy in layout may simply be due to an editorial decision of the publisher of *Star of the West*.