Kitáb-i-Badí'

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The Kitáb-i-Badí’ (English: The Wondrous or Unique Book; Persian: كتاب بديع; Arabic: الكتاب البديع) is one of many books held sacred by followers of the Bahá'í Faith. Twice the size of the Kitáb-i-Íqán, it contains insights into the prophecies of the Báb concerning 'Him Whom God shall make manifest' and was written in defence of the Bahá'í Revelation.[1] The work has not yet been translated into English.

Background

The book was composed by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, in 1867-68 in Adrianople. It is written in Persian but includes quotations from the Báb's writings in Arabic.

Mírzá Mihdíy-i-Rashtí, a supporter of Bahá'u'lláh's half-brother, Mírzá Yahyá, and his companion Siyyid Muhammad wrote a letter to Áqá Muhammad-'Alí, a companion of Bahá'u'lláh, containing various arguments against Bahá'u'lláh's claim to be 'He Whom God shall make manifest', whose advent was promised in the Báb's writings. Áqá Muhammad-'Alí presented the letter to Bahá'u'lláh, who composed the Kitáb-i-Badí’ in response. As with many other works by Bahá'u'lláh, the entire text was dictated by Bahá'u'lláh, speaking in the voice of his amanuensis — in this case, Áqá Muhammad-'Alí.

Contents of the book

Shoghi Effendi referred to the work as Bahá'u'lláh's "apologia, written to refute the accusations levelled against Him by Mírzá Mihdíy-i-Rashtí, corresponding to the Kitáb-i-Iqan, revealed in defense of the Bábí Revelation".[2]

The book consists of short quotes from Mírzá Mihdí's letter followed by numerous pages refuting each argument. Bahá'u'lláh includes extensive quotations from the Báb's writings in support of his refutations. A major portion of the work is devoted to explaining the Báb's prophecies concerning 'Him Whom God shall make manifest'. He includes numerous quotations from the Báb's writings, such as the following (referring to 'Him Whom God shall make manifest'):

Were He to make of every one on earth a Prophet, all would, in very truth, be accounted as Prophets in the sight of God...In the day of the revelation of Him Whom God shall make manifest all that dwell on earth will be equal in His estimation. Whomsoever He ordaineth as a Prophet, he, verily, hath been a Prophet from the beginning that hath no beginning, and will thus remain until the end that hath no end, inasmuch as this is an act of God. And whosoever is made a Viceregent by Him, shall be a Viceregent in all the worlds, for this is an act of God. For the will of God can in no wise be revealed except through His will, nor His wish be manifested save through His wish. He, verily, is the All-Conquering, the All-Powerful, the All-Highest.[3]

Bahá'u'lláh includes strong language concerning Mírzá Mihdí, whom he refers to as the 'wicked one', 'the evil plotter', 'the impious', 'the impudent', 'the outcast', 'the faithless soul', 'the forward', and 'he who contends with God'. He also refers to Siyyid Muhammad in the text as 'one who joined partners with God', 'the prime mover of mischief', 'the embodiment of wickedness and impiety', and 'one accursed of God'. Bahá'u'lláh furthermore stigmatizes his half-brother, Mírzá Yahyá, as the idol of the Bábí community and accuses Siyyid Muhammad of disseminating Bahá'u'lláh's writings in his own name.

References

  1. ^ Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Vol. 2 Adrianople 1863-68 (Oxford: Ronald, 1972), p. 373.
  2. ^ Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By (Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Committee, 1944), p. 172.
  3. ^ Bahá'u'lláh, quoted in Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Vol. 2 Adrianople 1863-68 (Oxford: Ronald, 1972), p. 380

Further reading

  • Saiedi, Nader (2000). "Chapter 6: The Kitab-i-Badi': The Promise Fulfilled". Logos and Civilization - Spirit, History, and Order in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh. USA: University Press of Maryland and Association for Baha'i Studies. pp. 175–210. ISBN 1883053609. 

External links

  • Kitáb-i-Badí': Tablet Study Outline
  • The Kitáb-i-Badí' in Persian (archived)
  • The Leiden List
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