Translation into English:
Tablet of Salmán / Tablet to Salmán. Parts of this Tablet has been translated in Gleanings XXI, CXLVIII, and CLIV, and one paragraph was translated in Promised Day is Come 115-16.
Significance of Name:
The Tablet was revealed for Shaykh Salmán, one of Bahá'u'lláh's staunch and faithful disciples famous for dedicating his life to delivering Bahá'u'lláh's Tablets to the friends. Of the many Tablets to Shaykh Salmán, two are simply referred to eponymously as Lawh-i-Salmán. This is thus Lawh-i-Salmán II.
Tablet was revealed in:
Name of Recipient:
Shaykh Khánjar Hindiyani, named Shaykh Salmán by Bahá'u'lláh in honor of the loyal disciple of Muhammad whom that Prophet re-named as "Salmán." "Salmán" comes from the same root as "Islam" and "Muslim," and carries the connotations of peace and submission to the will of God.
Reason for Revelation of the Tablet:
It would appear that this Tablet was revealed largely to guide and encourage Salmán and help support him through the many tests he would face in his capacity as Bahá'u'lláh's messenger. Bahá'u'lláh counsels Salmán to be resigned to the commands of God and accept the trials and tests put before him, and to keep in mind Bahá'u'lláh's own fortitude in the face of afflictions. It was a reminder that holding fast to the Cause of God is far more important than holding on to any of the things of the world.
Questions asked that are answered in Tablet:
Date of Revelation:
Sometime shortly after the summer 1868, so known because in the Tablet Bahá'u'lláh mentions the exile of the believers from Baghdad to Mosul, which occurred in that summer.
Place of Revelation:
Role of Amanuensis or Secretary:
Other Tablets revealed at about the same time:
There were many Tablets revealed around this time, most notably the epistles to the Kings, such as the Súriy-i-Ra'ís, Lawh-i-Ra'ís, Lawh-i-Fu'ád, Second Tablet to Napoleon III, Tablet to Pope Pius IX, Tablet to Czar Alexander II, and the Tablet to Queen Victoria.
Style, subject, and genre of the Tablet: [?]
1. Style: Tablet with the tone of command and authority.
2. Subject: Tablet exhorting men to education, goodly character and divine virtue.
3. Genre: Letter to an individual (Salmán).
Voice of Tablet: [?]
Outline Contents of Tablet:
Since the Tablet hasn't been translated in its entirety, only a partial summary can be provided. Among other things, this Tablet counsels Salmán to accept God's decree and submit to His tests; to recall how Bahá'u'lláh stayed committed to God and His mission even in spite of the tribulations to which God subjected him and to emulate this dedication; to strive to recognize God and His Messengers and to observe their commandments; to remain radiant and steadfast in the face of suffering; to recall that earthly glory and pride are ephemeral and hence shouldn't be sought; to promote the Cause of God and recall that great rewards come to those who work for His Cause.
Principal themes of the Tablet:
The main themes of this Tablet, at least as can be ascertained from the few parts translated, are to recognize and accept the Revelation of God's messenger for our age, to be steadfast in His Cause, and to remain steadfast in the face of difficulties this commitment can bring.
Tablet's relationship to any other tablets.
This Tablet to Salmán is one of several Tablets to him, including the Madinatu't-Tawhíd, and the second named simply "Lawh-i-Salmán." Taherzadeh wrote that "Bahá'u'lláh has revealed many Tablets for Shaykh Salmán, which often deal with weighty and profound subjects." (Rev. of Bahá'u'lláh vol. 1, 113) It should also be remembered that this Tablet was revealed at a time when Bahá'u'lláh was sending epistles to the rulers of the world, informing them of His station and Message and calling them to accept the new Revelation. This Tablet would seem to fit in with Bahá'u'lláh's overall themes of this time period, namely the public declaration of God's new Cause and the call to accept and support it.
In several paragraphs, record your personal responses to the Tablet.
Biographies of Shaykh Salmán can be found in many places, including Memorials of the Faithful 13-16, Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh vol.1 109-13 and 255-56 and vol.3 25-28, and Stories from the Delight of Hearts 133. One student summarized this biographies with the following detailed paragraph:
"Shaykh Salmán was Bahá'u'lláh's tireless messenger, undergoing tremendous hardships and difficulties to carry Bahá'u'lláh's Tablets to the believers in Iran, and to bring their news and letters back to Him. The Prophet Muhammad had a Persian companion and messenger named Ruz-bih, who was known as Salmán, and so the name Salmán was given to Shaykh Salmán by Bahá'u'lláh in recognition of his services (ROB, Vol. 1). He traveled primarily on foot, under the most trying of conditions, and exercised such care that none of Bahá'u'lláh's Tablets were ever lost to the enemies of the Faith. On one occasion, Salmán actually ate the Tablets he was carrying, rather then let them fall into the hands of the authorities in Iran (ROB, Vol. 2, Chapter 13). Shaykh Salmán was very frank and direct, very simple and pure-hearted, causing certain believers in high positions to avoid his company out of embarrassment. Although he was illiterate, Shaykh Salmán had purified his heart to such an extent that he was able to correctly identify the intended recipient of Tablets simply by hearing the Words of Bahá'u'lláh. Shaykh Salmán was entrusted with the responsibility of escorting Munirih Khánum to `Akká from Iran in order to be married to `Abdu'l-Bahá. Hájí Mírzá Haydar-Alí states in "Stories from the Delight of Hearts" (quoted in ROB Vol.2, Chapter 13) that he was filled with joy by associating with Shaykh Salmán, and that all the believers with pure hearts were devoted to him. He further states that Salmán was the essence of selflessness, having no ego whatsoever, and that he was the essence of wisdom and knowledge, although outwardly illiterate, able to solve difficult problems and explain abstruse questions in simple language."