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Original title: untitled

Translated by Juan Cole

Audio: (Note: In the audio, the tablet is given the incorrect title of Tablet of the Lover and the Beloved.)


[1] The spiritual rose in the divine garden blossoms into mystical meanings at the approach of spring, but the artificial nightingales remain deprived.

[2] The rose says, "Nightingales: I am your beloved, and have appeared with perfect color, fragrance and delicacy, and with unparalleled freshness. Come mingle with your friend and do not fly away."

[3] The metaphorical nightingales say, "We are natives of Medina, and were intimate with the Arabian rose. You hail from the plane of true reality, and you threw off your veil in the garden of Iraq."

[4] The rose said, "It has become apparent that for all this time, you were deprived of the beauty of the All-Merciful, and never recognized me. Rather, you recognized walls, rafters and buildings. If you had known me, you would not now flee your friend. Nightingales, I am neither from Medina nor from Mecca, neither from Iraq nor Syria. Rather, from time to time I travel through the lands and observe. At one time I appeared in Egypt, at another in Bethlehem. At one point I was in Arabia and at another I bloomed in Iraq, then in Shiraz. Now, in Edirne I have thrown off my veil. You are known for your love of me, but it is apparent that you have begun to ignore me. It is obvious that you are really crows, who have learned to mimic nightingales. You are wandering in the land of illusion and blind obedience, and are bereft of the blessed garden of divine unity.

[5] "You are like the owl, who once said to the nightingale, 'Crows sing more beautifully than you.'

[6] "The nightingale replied, 'Owl, why are you being so unfair and closing your eyes to the truth? Every claim, in the end, requires substantiation and every assertion needs to be supported by evidence. I am present and the crow is present, so let him sing and then let me sing.'

[7] "The owl responded, 'This suggestion is unacceptable, and must be rejected. For, I heard a delightful melody from a garden. Afterwards I asked who had sung it. They told me that it was the voice of a crow. Moreover, I saw a crow come out of that garden, and I was convinced that the answer was true.'

[8] "The poor nightingale said, 'Owl, that was not the voice of a crow. That was my voice. Now I will sing that same melody that you heard, rather, an even better and more original one.'

[9] "The owl insisted, 'I will not budge from what I have said, and your offer is rejected, for I have heard the same thing from my forebears and peers. Now, the crow is present with documentary evidence in hand. If it was you, why did his name gain renown?'

[10] "The nightingale said, 'You are completely unfair! The hateful hunter had trapped me, and to my back was the sword of tyranny. That is the reason for which the crow became famous for it. I was concealed, rather than being fully manifest, and silent rather than singing flawlessly. Those possessing ears, however, are able to distinguish the song of the All-Merciful from the cawing of the crow. Now attend to the original voice and melody, so that it may show you the truth.'

[11] "You nightingales are just like that owl. Do not transform a minor illusion into a hundred thousand certainties, nor one syllable you overheard into the entire visible world. Listen to the counsel of the friend, and do not look at the face of your sweetheart with the eyes of a stranger. Know me by myself, not by my location or my dwelling places."

[12] They were conversing when suddenly, from the blessed garden that belongs to God, an illumined nightingale with a divine embellishment arrived, warbling a celestial song. He busied himself with circling around the rose, then said, "Although you have the form of nightingales, you have for some time associated intimately with crows, and their ways have become apparent in you. Your place is not this garden. Fly away! This spiritual rose is the center around which fly the nightingales from the divine nest."

[13] Then, human nightingales, make every effort to recognize the friend. Protect the rose of the heavenly garden from its enemies. That is, friends of truth, you must arm yourselves with service and safeguard the people of the world from the plotting and hypocrisy of the fomenters of dissension.You should appear among the people adorned with respect and humility and all the other attributes of God. Let the hem of holiness remain pure and undefiled by the slanders of Satan and his manifestations, and let the falsehoods of liars become clear and apparent to the peoples of the world. If, God forbid, an impure act is observed among you, all must return to the most holy abode, and only those actions will confirm the slanders of the liars. That is the sure truth, and praise be to God, lord of the worlds.

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