Lights of Irfán Writer's Guide

  1. General Structure
  2. Transliteration, Fonts, Style
  3. Citations/references
  4. Submission of paper
  5. Contacts
  6. Release Form (PDF)

General Structure

The article should be transmitted with a cover sheet that bears the title of the article, name of the author, and his or her return address, telephone number (and fax number, if available) and email address. Submissions should be about 10 to 12 single-spaced pages (or approximately 5,000 to 6,000 words). Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Transliteration, Fonts, Style

We request authors to kindly use full, standard Bahá'í transliteration. Wherever diacritics are missing we must replace them by hand, which is time-consuming and expensive. Persian or Arabic words and names should include the proper accents and diacritical marks as defined by the system of transliteration used by the Shoghi Effendi. Correct transliteration of most words can be found by consulting the index pages to Adib Taherzadeh's Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh series, which can be found online at Exceptions include words and place names that appear in the dictionary without accents (e.g. Baghdad, Tehran, Sufi, Islam).

Under-dotted letters should be indicated in the text by the insertion of an @ sign after the letter that should receive an under-dot ( or accent e.g. Muh@ammad, Rid@va@n, T@a@hirih).

Authors are requested to avoid non-roman fonts (e.g. Arabic, Turkish, or Chinese characters) where possible. Exceptions can be made when use of a non-roman font is directly relevant to the text; technical issues regarding foreign font sets will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

Any foreign terms included in English transliteration should be italicized, e.g. "Bábís anticipated the coming of He Whom God Shall Make Manifest (man yuzhiruhu'lláh)." However, following standard American style, titles of Sacred Writings are not italicized, e.g. the Gospel "Matthew" or Bahá'u'lláh's "Tablet of Ahmad." References to the published book itself are italicized, e.g. Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh. (Some titles overlap, e.g. "Seven Valleys" is both the name of the Tablet and the name of the published book Seven Valleys.)

Punctuation must be American only (e.g. period before quotation mark). Spelling may be either British or American. Consult the Chicago Manual of Style ( when in doubt.

All pronouns that refer to God, a Manifestation of God, or the Revelation are capitalized. This includes not just common pronouns like "He" and "Their," but also often-overlooked pronouns like Whom, Whose, Each Other, Book, Tablet, Its, Writings, and so forth. When in doubt, consult the writings of the Guardian.


Authors are free to use either footnotes or endnotes; these will be converted automatically when the book is formatted in QuarkXPress.

All quotations should be documented and selections from the Sacred Writings should include complete attributions, including page numbers, to expedite Bahá'í literature review. Quotations from Bahá'í publications should be identified by specific editions. Authors are urged to use recent editions of the Writings and avoid editions that are more than a few decades old--these have often been revised, sometimes extensively.

References from the Internet must be fully cited in your bibliography. For example, websites quoted must include the original URL; personal email quoted must include the sender and the date; public messages quoted (e.g. email from listservers, Usenet postings from newsgroups) must include sender, date, and forum of posting.

Bibliographic references from periodicals and books must be listed with the article name in quotation marks and the magazine or book title in italics. All formats should follow the Chicago Manual of Style. See the following examples:

1) Books
    McCourt, Kathleen. Working Class Women and Grass-Roots Politics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1977.
    Pound, Ezra. Literary Essays. Edited by T. S. Eliot. New York: New Directions, 1953.
2) Parts of Books

When citing chapters or other titled parts of a book, use quotation marks to indicate the chapter or titled part, and include name of editor:
    Stockman, Robert. "Revelation, Interpretation and Elucidation in the Bahá'í Writings." In Scripture and Revelation, edited by Moojan Momen. Oxford: George Ronald, 1997.
3) Periodicals

The data for periodicals should include, in this order: author name, title of article (placed within quotation marks), title of periodical, issue information (volume:issue), date, and pages:
    Momen, Moojan. "Methodology in Bahá'í Studies." Bahá'í Studies Review 10:1 (2001): 75-84.
4) Website, listserver posting, private email

Website URLs do not need to include the "http://," as this is machine code and not part of the URL. Include a date if given. Listserver postings must include the name of the List. Emails should include the author's address if the author has given permission for it to be publicly known--i.e., include it if you can but respect privacy:
    Troxel, Duane. "Exotheology in Christianity and the Baha'i Writings" . 1996.

    Lewis, Franklin. "Lexical change and Baha'i translation." Posted to Tarjuman <>. 22 April 1996.

    Rabbani, Ahang. "Re: Help with Arabic verbs." Private email sent to author. 07 Mar 1996.

Submission of paper

All papers must be received by January 1st. If your paper is finished before this date, please send it as soon as it is completed, to help expedite the review and editing process. Revisions will not be accepted after submissions are approved for publication, though of course actual errors will be corrected.

All papers must be submitted in electronic form, preferably by email. Please send your paper in two formats: (1) send us a copy in whatever format you prepared the original document, e.g. Microsoft Word, Word Perfect, or Nisus Writer; and (2) include another copy in a "platform-neutral" format, specifically Rich Text Format (.rtf) or Web Format (.html). In most programs, this can be done by selecting "Save-As" from the File menu. Sending two versions of your document, one original and one "neutral," will help avoid computer incompatibilities and formatting errors.

Email correspondence and papers should be sent to both and

Hard copies, if necessary, may be mailed to
      Iraj Ayman
      5715 South Kenwood #3N
      Chicago, IL 60637


  • For editorial matters — Dr. Iraj Ayman, general editor:
        email , phone 773-493-8560, fax 773-493-8641

  • For website or typesetting matters — Jonah Winters, computer guy: