Kitáb-i-`Ahdí (Bahá'u'lláh's Book of Testament)

By Ghasem Bayat

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #38
Louhelen Baha'i School: Michigan, USA
October, 2001
(see list of papers from #38)

    The Lord willed the spiritual creation of man through divine education and purification so that he would become worthy of recognizing some aspects of His stations. Bahá'u'lláh in tablet states that love has been the primal reason behind the creation: " O SON OF MAN! I loved thy creation, hence I created thee. Wherefore, do thou love Me, that I may name thy name and fill thy soul with the spirit of life". At the same time, this relationship requires volition by man to connect to this Source of all good: "O SON OF BEING! Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant". The Lord thus has made this Covenant with man not to leave him without guidance and in return, man has undertaken to respond to the Lord's call at all ages.

    How unfortunate that man, throughout the ages, has forgotten his part in this mutual undertaking, and has often rebelled against it. Bahá'u'lláh states: " O MY FRIENDS! Call ye to mind that covenant ye have entered into with Me upon Mount Paran É I have taken to witness the concourse on high and the dwellers in the city of eternity, yet now none do I find faithful unto the covenant. Of a certainty, pride and rebellion have effaced it from the hearts, in such wise that no trace thereof remaineth. Yet knowing this, I waited and disclosed it not".

    Kitáb-i-`Ahdí is a reminder of this Covenant. It is a firm and clear testament to His lovers that the Lord has willed in this Day, through this Greater and Lesser Covenant, to protect His Cause and His believers from schisms that befell past religions after His ascension.

    The purpose behind the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh and all previous Religions has been the spiritual and material education of man and his release from the bondage of self and passion, ignorance and religious intolerance. This Testament invites the believers to rise above such limitations and become worthy instruments in the establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth. The uniqueness of this Testament and His lasting words will be explained using excerpts from the vast ocean of His Revelation. The unequivocal and lucid appointment of The Most Great Branch, `Abdu'l-Bahá, as His Center of Covenant, will be discussed. The duties and responsibilities of the Holy family towards the Cause and the believers, and the duty of the believers towards them will also be covered.

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