The Bab’s Star Tablet

Description

A tablet revealed by the Bab, written by himself in the form of a five-pointed star (haykal).

Who was the Bab?

The Bab was the title taken by Sayyid ‘Ali Muhammad Shirazi (1819–1850). Viewed by Baha’is as having paved the way for Baha’u’llah, in 1844 he experienced a series of revelatory visions after which he pronounced himself to be the bab (the gateway) to the Mahdi, the Hidden Imam of Twelver Shi‘ism. After several periods of imprisonment the Bab was executed in 1850.

The Star Tablet

The Bab attached great importance to the form and beauty of his writings. Some of his letters, tablets, and prayers were written as a five-pointed star which was called ‘The Temple’ (haykal) for men representing the form of the human body, or in a circular pattern (da’irah) for women.

The Bab supplied the text for many tablets, but this one is in his own handwriting. It was presented to the British Museum in 1908 by Claude Delaval Cobham, the District Commissioner of Larnaca in Cyprus from 1879 on behalf of Rizvan ʻAli, the son of Baha’u’llah’s brother, Subh-i Azal. Further information about the Star Tablet is available in our Asian and African Studies Blog.

Full title:
Haykal revealed by the Bab written in his own hand
Created:
Mid-19th century, Iran
Format:
Manuscript
Language:
Arabic
Creator:
Bāb (né ʻAlī Muḥammad Shīrāzī)
Usage terms

Public Domain. Please consider cultural, religious & ethical sensitivities when re-using this material.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
Or 6887

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