A Review of Kitáb-i-Badí' (The New Book)

By Ghasem Bayat

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #32
Bosch Bahá'í School: California, USA
November 23–26, 2000
(see list of papers from #32)

    Kitáb-i-Badí', one of the longest writings of Bahá'u'lláh in Persian, was revealed in Adrianople in defense of His Cause. This book addresses the accusations brought against Him and His cause in a letter by a Bábí, Mírzá Mehdi, who had lent his support later to Mírzá Yahyá and his claim of successorship to the Báb. Mírzá Mehdi wrote the actual letter to Aqá Muhammad 'Ali, one of Bahá'u'lláh's disciples, who had been instrumental in teaching him. Nevertheless, his letter contained the largest collection of all of the opposition's views. Consequently, the Kitáb-i-Badí' was revealed by Bahá'u'lláh to refute these views.

    In this paper we will review the historical context of this book, summarize the principal views of the opposition, and provide a summary of Bahá'u'lláh's comments. The book covers many spiritual themes and guidance that will be highlighted.

    This book had wide circulation at the time of its writing and became instrumental in the mass conversion of the Bábí communities to the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. Bahá'u'lláh defends His cause in this book principally through quoting the Báb's writings. As such, this book is similar to The Book of Certitude.

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