Hidden Words:
Dawn of the Revelation of Laws and Ordinances

By Iraj Ayman

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #89
Center for Bahá'í Studies: Acuto, Italy
June 28 – July 1, 2009
(see list of papers from #89)

    The Hidden Words were revealed by Bahá'u'lláh around 1858. It was about five years prior to openly making known His mission and His station to the friends during the days that He stayed at Ridvan Garden. It was also about fourteen years before the revelation of Kitáb—i—Aqdas. Studies and commentaries on the Hidden Words are usually dealing with its mystical themes and moral exhortations. However this book also contains a number of statements that could be considered as the laws and ordinances that we find in more detailed and expanded form in the Book of Aqdas and the Tablets revealed after the Kitáb—i—Aqdas. The English translation of the Hidden Words by Shoghi Effendi uses certain terminologies that more clearly present this point that a number of the Bahá'i laws were actually revealed during the very early years of the advent of this new dispensation. The laws that we can extract from the content of this book are mainly related to personal ethics and are rather similar to the spiritual teachings attributed to Buddha and Christ but in a more imperative way. This point could also be sensed in some of the Writings of `Abdu'l—Bahá calling on the friends to read the Hidden Words daily and put them in action. It seems that such an indirect revelation of laws was a gradual approach to the introduction of the laws and preparing the believers to practice them. The main purpose of this preliminary review is to attract attention to further research and study of this aspect of the early Writings of Bahá'u'lláh.

this paper is not yet online