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In the Tablet of Ahmad, Baha’u’llah asks us to remember what His life was like, to put our own problems into context:

Remember My days during thy days, and My distress and banishment in this remote prison.  (Baha’u’llah, Baha’i Prayers, p. 210)

The Fire Tablet is one way of doing this, since in it, Baha’u’llah is obviously having a seriously bad day!  He pours out His heart to God, demanding answers.

He starts by turning to God:

In the Name of God, the Most Ancient, the Most Great.

And then He pours out His troubles, listing all the things that are wrong with the world:

Indeed the hearts of the sincere are consumed in the fire of separation

Those who are near unto Thee have been abandoned in the darkness of desolation

The bodies of Thy chosen ones lie quivering on distant sands

Longing hands are uplifted to the heaven of Thy grace and generosity

The infidels have arisen in tyranny on every hand

The barking of dogs is loud on every side

Coldness hath gripped all mankind

Calamity hath reached its height

Darkness hath enveloped most of the peoples

The necks of men are stretched out in malice

Abasement hath reached its lowest depth

Sorrows have afflicted the Revealer of Thy Name, the All-Merciful

Anguish hath befallen all the peoples of the earth

Thou seest the Dawning Place of Thy signs veiled by evil suggestions

Sore thirst hath overcome all men

Greed hath made captive all mankind

Thou seest this Wronged One lonely in exile

I have been forsaken in a foreign land

The agonies of death have laid hold on all men

The whisperings of Satan have been breathed to every creature

The drunkenness of passion hath perverted most of mankind

Thou seest this Wronged One veiled in tyranny among the Syrians

Thou seest Me forbidden to speak forth

Most of the people are enwrapped in fancy and idle imaginings

Baha is drowning in a sea of tribulation

Thou seest the Dayspring of Thine utterance in the darkness of creation

The lamps of truth and purity, of loyalty and honor, have been put out

Canst Thou see any who have championed Thy Self, or who ponder on what hath befallen Him in the pathway of Thy love?

He thinks He’s finished:

Now doth My pen halt, O Beloved of the worlds?

But then He thinks of some more:

The branches of the Divine Lote-Tree lie broken by the onrushing gales of destiny

This Face is hidden in the dust of slander

The robe of sanctity is sullied by the people of deceit

The sea of grace is stilled for what the hands of men have wrought

The door leading to the Divine Presence is locked through the tyranny of Thy foes

The leaves are yellowed by the poisoning winds of sedition

The universe is darkened with the dust of sin

This Youth is lonely in a desolate land

I bet in your darkest hour, there are many of these which might parallel what you are going through!

With every complaint, He asks God why He isn’t intervening:

Where is the gleaming of the light of Thy Countenance?

Where is the shining of the morn of Thy reunion?

Where is the ocean of Thy presence?

Where are the rains of Thy bestowal?

Where is the compelling power of Thine ordaining pen?

Where is the lion of the forest of Thy might?

Where is the warmth of Thy love?

Where are the signs of Thy succor?

Where is the brightness of Thy splendor?

Where are the swords of Thy vengeance?

Where are the emblems of Thy glory?

Where is the joy of the Dayspring of Thy Revelation?

Where are the ensigns of Thy gladness?

Where are the fingers of Thy might?

Where is the river of Thy bounty?

Where are the embodiments of detachment?

Where are the hosts of the heaven of Thy Command?

Where are the emblems of Thy faithfulness?

Where is the surging of Thine ocean of eternal life?

Where is the meteor of Thy fire?

Where are the daysprings of purity?

Where is the radiance of Thy dawning light?

Then from where will spring Thy melodies?

Where are the exponents of Thy certitude?

Where is the Ark of Thy salvation?

Where is the sun of the heaven of Thy grace?

Where are the signs of Thine avenging wrath?

Where are the banners of Thy succor?

Where are the breezes of Thy compassion?

Where is the vesture of Thy holiness?

Where are the waves of Thy bounty?

Where is the key of Thy bestowal?

Where is the downpour of the clouds of Thy bounty?

Where are the breezes of Thy forgiveness?

Where is the rain of Thy heavenly grace?

I bet these are some of the questions you’d like to ask God too!

He calls God by different names with each refrain:

O Beloved of the worlds

O Desire of the worlds

O Enchanter of the worlds

O Answerer of the worlds

O Conqueror of the worlds

O Chastiser of the worlds

O Fire of the worlds

O Salvation of the worlds

O Radiance of the worlds

O Destroyer of the worlds

O Glory of the worlds

O Delight of the worlds

O Joy of the worlds

O Power of the worlds

O Mercy of the worlds

O Lord of the worlds

O Sovereign of the worlds

O Trust of the worlds

O Life of the worlds

O Light of the worlds

O Desire of the worlds

O Light of the worlds

O Nightingale of the worlds

O Assurance of the worlds

O Savior of the worlds

O Lightgiver of the worlds

O Mover of the worlds

O Champion of the worlds

O Mercy of the worlds

O Adorner of the worlds

O Desire of the worlds

O Unlocker of the worlds

O Giver of the worlds

O Forgiver of the worlds

O Bestower of the worlds

 I love this list, because, as in the Long Healing Prayer, it reminds us of all of God’s attributes.  I like that Bahá’u’lláh has placed them after every “complaint” – it’s a great reminder of how we could talk to God.

And after God listens attentively, He answers very lovingly, and instead of judging Him, He acknowledges He heard Baha’u’llah’s “sweet call”:

O Supreme Pen, We have heard Thy most sweet call in the eternal realm:

And asks Baha’u’llah to listen to Him for a minute:

Give Thou ear unto what the Tongue of Grandeur uttereth, O Wronged One of the worlds?

And then He talks about the importance of contrasts:

Were it not for the cold, how would the heat of Thy words prevail, O Expounder of the worlds?

Were it not for calamity, how would the sun of Thy patience shine, O Light of the worlds?

And then reminds Him that this life was not meant to be easy:

Lament not because of the wicked. Thou wert created to bear and endure, O Patience of the worlds.

 That’s the extent of God’s response!

Then He goes on to recognize Baha’u’llah’s efforts and praise Him for all the things He has been doing:

How sweet was Thy dawning on the horizon of the Covenant among the stirrers of sedition, and Thy yearning after God, O Love of the worlds.

By Thee the banner of independence was planted on the highest peaks, and the sea of bounty surged, O Rapture of the worlds.

By Thine aloneness the Sun of Oneness shone, and by Thy banishment the land of Unity was adorned.

And then reminds him (a second time) to be patient:

Be patient, O Thou Exile of the worlds.

He promises that there’s a purpose for all this suffering, and a reward:

We have made abasement the garment of glory, and affliction the adornment of Thy temple, O Pride of the worlds.

He reminds Him that His job is not only to overlook the faults of others, but to conceal their sins:

Thou seest the hearts are filled with hate, and to overlook is Thine, O Thou Concealer of the sins of the worlds.

And then asks Him to go forward, and continue doing the work He was given:

When the swords flash, go forward! When the shafts fly, press onward! O Thou Sacrifice of the worlds.

And He finishes by saying He cries too, not for all the injustice in the world, but because there are too few people following His teachings:

Dost Thou wail, or shall I wail? Rather shall I weep at the fewness of Thy champions, O Thou Who hast caused the wailing of the worlds.

He tells Baha’u’llah again that He’s been heard and promises to be faithful to His promises:

Verily, I have heard Thy call, O All-Glorious Beloved; and now is the face of Baha flaming with the heat of tribulation and with the fire of Thy shining word, and He hath risen up in faithfulness at the place of sacrifice, looking toward Thy pleasure, O Ordainer of the worlds.

And concludes by asking Him to be grateful for this tablet, so that we can remember God’s meekness and everything Baha’u’llah has gone through:

O Ali-Akbar, thank thy Lord for this Tablet whence thou canst breathe the fragrances of My meekness, and know what hath beset Us in the path of God, the Adored of all the worlds.

And finishes with a promise that victory will follow all the calamities:

Should all the servants read and ponder this, there shall be kindled in their veins a fire that shall set aflame the worlds.

Isn’t that a comforting way to lift us out of ourselves?

How has this helped you understand the Fire Tablet and how it can help you with your depression?  Post your comments here: