Kitáb-i-Íqán

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Read online at http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/KI/ or http://bahai-library.com/bahaullah_kitab_iqan

For the publicly editable wiki article, see Wikipedia:Kitáb-i-Íqán

Possible template for editing references here on the Íqán: http://bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/iqan/about.html

Contents

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Scholarship

Aspects of the Íqán (technical)

Aspects of the Íqán (conceptual)

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Importance of the Íqán

"...it is the most fundamental book on the Bahá'í Revelation."

(From a postscript in the hand of Shoghi Effendi on a letter written on his behalf to an individual believer, 25 August 1932; cited in "Some Interpretive Principles in the Bahá'í Writings", note 4)

"...unique repository of inestimable treasures...of unsurpassed preeminence among the doctrinal...writings of the Author of the Bahá'í Dispensation"

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 138, 139)

"Foremost among the priceless treasures cast forth from the billowing ocean of Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation ranks the Kitáb-i-Íqán (Book of Certitude)..."

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 138-139)

"The Íqán has been described by Bahá'u'lláh in one of His Tablets at the World Centre as the ‘Siyyid-i-Kutúb' - the Lord of Books."

(Hooper Dunbar citing phrase of Bahá'u'lláh, A Companion to the Study of the Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 3)

"A model of Persian prose, of a style at once original, chaste and vigorous, and remarkably lucid, both cogent in argument and matchless in its irresistible eloquence, this Book, setting forth in outline the Grand Redemptive Scheme of God, occupies a position unequalled by any work in the entire range of Bahá'í literature, except the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh's Most Holy Book. Revealed on the eve of the declaration of His Mission, it proffered to mankind the ‘Choice Sealed Wine', whose seal is of ‘musk', and broke the ‘seals' of the ‘Book' referred to by Daniel, and disclosed the meaning of the ‘words' destined to remain ‘closed up' till the ‘time of the end'."

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 138-139)

"...this [the Íqán] is a very important and fundamental book..."

(Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance, vol. ii, pp. 121-122)

"The Íqán is the most important book written on the spiritual significance of the Cause. I do not believe any person can consider himself well versed in the teachings unless he has studied it thoroughly."

(Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance, vol. i., p. 37)

"As the 'Iqan is the most important book wherein Bahá'u'lláh explains the basic beliefs of the faith, he thought a proper rendering of it would infinitely enhance the teaching work in the West. He hopes that this new rendering will be an improvement on the previous one, but he fully admits that it is far from perfect, far from the original itself. Shoghi Effendi has given the proper transliteration of the Eastern terms and wants you to abid by them, keeping every dash, point, accent or inverted comma. To help you in this, he has also on a separate sheet written these in their proper form. He wishes you further not to include the introduction that exists in the last edition, for he does not think it worthwhile and enlightening. Drop also the glossary that exists at the end of the last edition and form a glossary using the definitions that he has sent to be put in the forthcoming Bahá'í World. As Shoghi Effendi has been emphasizing the need of submitting all publications to the Reviewing Committee, he wants to be the first to abide by that rule, though he hopes that they will not make unnecessary delay. In Germany they have translated the 'Iqan from the last translation and they are waiting for Shoghi Effendi's rendering to make the necessary alterations and publish their own. The proceeds of the sale of the book Shoghi Effendi wishes to go to the American National Assembly in an unlabelled form. This is a gift of his own personal labors that he wishes to present that body and he wishes it to be considered as a token of appreciation for the help they have rendered him in carrying on his arduous task."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i News, no. 46, November 1930, p. 2)

"Unable to find a good typist, I have had to do the work myself, and I trust that the proofreaders will find it easy to go over and will not mind the type errors which I have tried to correct. I would especially urge you to adhere to the transliteration which I have adopted. The correct title is, I feel, 'The Kitab-I-'Iqan,' the sub-title 'The Book of Certitude.' May it help the friends to approach a step further, and obtain a clearer idea of the fundamental teachings set forth by Bahá'u'lláh."

(Postscript of Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i News, no. 46, November 1930, p. 2)

What is covered in the Íqán (and "Some Answered Questions")

"The first two books [Íqán and "Some Answered Questions"] will reveal to them the significance of this divine revelation as well as the unity of all the Prophets of old."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith, 106, in Pearls of Wisdom, p. 77)

"The Íqán is the most important book written on the spiritual significance of the Cause."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance, vol. i., p. 37)

"...the Íqán is the most important book wherein Bahá'u'lláh explains the basic beliefs of the Faith."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, 28 June 1930, published in Baha'i News, #46, November 1930, p. 2)

"He is very eager to have this wonderful book translated well, for it is the best means of grounding those who become interested in the fundamental teachings of the Faith. The Íqán and Dr Esslemont's book will be sufficient to make any seeker a true believer in the divine nature of the Faith."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, quoted in A Companion to the Study of the Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 2)

"...‘the Book of Certitude' by Bahá'u'lláh...contains the very essence of the Teachings, and because of its clarity and its relative simplicity can greatly appeal to every thoughtful reader...the Íqán deepens the knowledge of the reader by acquainting him with some of the basic theological problems of the Faith. It is, therefore, indispensable for every student of the Movement..."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, quoted in A Companion to the Study of the Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 2-3)

"Shoghi Effendi hopes that you will exert all your effort to deepen your knowledge of the literature of the Movement, until you become fully acquainted with its spirit and tenets. Unless you do obtain such a firm hold you will never be able to teach others and render real service to the promulgation of the Faith. Of special importance is the Book of the Íqán which explains the attitude of the Cause towards the prophets of God and their mission in the history of society. Besides this there is Some Answered Questions of the Master and The Dawn-Breakers of Nabíl. Every Bahá'í should master these books and be able to explain their contents to others. Besides their importance, they are interesting and most absorbing."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith, no. 102)

"Although We did not intend to make mention of the traditions of a bygone age, yet, because of Our love for thee, We will cite a few which are applicable to Our argument. We do not feel their necessity, however, inasmuch as the things We have already mentioned suffice the world and all that is therein. In fact, all the Scriptures and the mysteries thereof are condensed into this brief account. So much so, that were a person to ponder it awhile in his heart, he would discover from all that hath been said the mysteries of the Words of God, and would apprehend the meaning of whatever hath been manifested by that ideal King."

(Bahá'u'lláh, The Kitáb-i-Íqán, par. 266, p. 237)

"The Báb specified that the "Bayán" is not completed and that "He Whom God would manifest" (Bahá'u'lláh) would complete it, though not in its actual form, but only spiritually in the form of another book. The "Íqán" is believed to be its continuation."

(On behalf of? Shoghi Effendi, Dawn of a New Day, February 17, 1939, p. 78)

"A model of Persian prose, of a style at once original, chaste and vigorous, and remarkably lucid, both cogent in argument and matchless in its irresistible eloquence, this Book, setting forth in outline the Grand Redemptive Scheme of God, occupies a position unequalled by any work in the entire range of Bahá'í literature, except the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh's Most Holy Book. Revealed on the eve of the declaration of His Mission, it proffered to mankind the ‘Choice Sealed Wine', whose seal is of ‘musk', and broke the ‘seals' of the ‘Book' referred to by Daniel, and disclosed the meaning of the ‘words' destined to remain ‘closed up' till the ‘time of the end'."

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 138-139)

The interpretation of the Return and last days is covered in the Íqán

"The "return" which is mentioned in the Divine Scriptures is this: it is fully explained by the Supreme Pen[+F1 Bahá'u'lláh] in the Kitáb-i-Iqán. Refer to it, so that you may be informed of the truth of the divine mysteries."

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 289)

"Then it is said by Jesus in the Gospel, that similar signs would appear in the “last day”—or in other words—in the day when Christ will come the second time in this world."

"The interpretation of these statements is mentioned in the clearest manner and with the most wonderful proofs in the Book of Ighan2. His honor, Ali-Kuli-Khan, has already translated this Book which will soon be published in America3 . Then you will be informed of the explanation and interpretation of these verses and statements as elucidated by the Blessed Perfection. Therefore my interpretation is not necessary.

"2. During the time of BAHA’O’LLAH’S residence in Baghdad (the Dwelling of Peace), men of learning, including Jews, Christians and Mohammedans, visited Him seeking answer to religious and scriptural questions. Such answer He gave in the Book of Ighan, otherwise known as the Book of Explanations and Assurance. It concerns the Reality and Authority of the human Divine “Manifestations.”

"3. The book was published in 1904."

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, vol. 1, p. 107)

See also

(For a more detailed synopsis of the Íqán's contents, see God Passes By, pp. 138-139 (A Companion to the Study of the Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 8-14 and 24-27 include notes and an outline version respectively of the themes described in this God Passes By passage).)

Writings encouraging its study

Íqán to be read

"Thou didst ask as to acquiring knowledge: read thou the Books and Tablets of God, and the articles written to demonstrate the truth of this Faith. Included among them are the "Íqán", which hath been translated into English, the works of Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl, and those of some others among the believers. In the days to come a great number of holy Tablets and other sacred writings will be translated, and thou shouldst read these as well. Likewise, ask thou of God that the magnet of His love should draw unto thee the knowledge of Him. Once a soul becometh holy in all things, purified, sanctified, the gates of the knowledge of God will open wide before his eyes."

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith, no. 49)

The Íqán is the 'Preserved Tablet,' the 'Expanded Parchment,' the Divine Charter, the Firman of the Merciful which we should immerse ourselves in

"O thou who are athirst for the water of Life! This manifest Book is the fountainhead of the Water of Life eternal. Drink so much as thou art able from the fountain of the living water. O thou who art seeking after the knowledge of God! Immerse thyself in the ocean of the explanation of the Beauty of the Merciful, so that thou mayest gather from its depths the pearls of the wisdom of God.

"This is a translation of the 'Preserved Tablet,' the 'Expanded Parchment,' the Divine Charter, the Firman of the Merciful, that is, the Book of Iqán which hath emanated from the Supreme Pen and proceeded from the pure lips of the Blessed Beauty (may my soul be a sacrifice to His beloved ones)."

('Abdu'l-Bahá, from the frontispiece to ‘Ali-Kuli-Khan's 1913 translation of the Kitáb-i-Iqan, per http://bahai-library.com/poirier_iqan_unsealing_bible )

The Iqán to be read over and over again by everyone who wishes to serve the Movement and consider himself an active member

"Books such as the Iqán, Some Answered Questions, the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, Nabíl's Narrative and Dr. Esslemont's book should be read and read over again by every soul who desires to serve the Movement or considers himself an active member of the group."

(From a letter dated 9 November 1932 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, in Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith, no. 109)

Young Bahá'ís to gain a mastery of the "Íqán", a book of "special importance", and should be able to explain their contents to others

"...as to what subjects within the Faith you should concentrate on he feels that the young Bahá'ís should gain a mastery of such books as the "Gleanings", the "Dawn-breakers", "God Passes By", the "Íqán", "Some Answered Questions" and the more important Tablets. All aspects of the Faith should be deeply studied."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith, no. 143)

"Of special importance is the Book of the Íqán which explains the attitude of the Cause towards the prophets of God and their mission in the history of society. Besides this there is Some Answered Questions of the Master and The Dawn-Breakers of Nabíl. Every Bahá'í should master these books and be able to explain their contents to others. Besides their importance, they are interesting and most absorbing."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith, no. 102)

Use the Íqán to teach

"He was particularly gratified to learn of your intention to make a thorough study of the ‘Kitáb-i-Íqán' during this summer...The friends, and particularly those who wish to become competent and useful teachers, should indeed consider it to be their first duty to acquaint themselves, as thoroughly as they can, with each and every detail contained in this Holy Book, so that they may be able to present the Message in a befitting manner.

"It is the Guardian's hope, therefore, that those among the believers who have thus far and for some reason or another, failed to make a serious study of this important work will be stimulated to do so, and will as a result deepen their comprehension of the essentials of the Faith."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, quoted in A Companion to the Study of the Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 3)

"Shoghi Effendi hopes that you will exert all your effort to deepen your knowledge of the literature of the Movement, until you become fully acquainted with its spirit and tenets. Unless you do obtain such a firm hold you will never be able to teach others and render real service to the promulgation of the Faith. Of special importance is the Book of the Íqán which explains the attitude of the Cause towards the prophets of God and their mission in the history of society. Besides this there is Some Answered Questions of the Master and The Dawn-Breakers of Nabíl. Every Bahá'í should master these books and be able to explain their contents to others. Besides their importance, they are interesting and most absorbing."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith, no. 102)

"The Sacred Books are full of allusions to this new dispensation. In the Book of Íqán, Bahá'u'lláh gives the key-note and explains some of the outstanding passages hoping that the friends will continue to study the Sacred Books by themselves and unfold the mysteries found therein.

"The people, failing to comprehend the meaning of the symbols and the truth of the Sacred Verses, thought them to be myths and unrealizable dreams. It is the duty of the friends who have been endowed by Bahá'u'lláh with the power of discernment to study these Sacred Books, ponder upon their passages and teach the disheartened people of the earth the treasures of knowledge they enclose."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, letter dated 11 March 1923, Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith, no. 91)

Use Kitáb-i-Íqán (and Some Answered Questions) in lessons/study meetings

"Thou hast written that ….…. is giving lessons of [the Book of] Ighan [1 See page 107]; this news brought me real joy."

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas, Vol. I, p. 212)

You should form study classes and read the important books that have been published, especially the ‘Íqán', which contains the basic tenets of the Faith. The one who ponders that book and grasps its full significance will obtain a clear insight into the old scriptures and appreciate the true Mission of the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith, no. 97)

Advice to first introduce Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era before the Kitáb-i-Íqán

By paragraph

Part I: (par. 1-101)

Paragraph Topic Other translations Kitáb-i-Íqán cross-reference Other Writings cross-reference Notes
0 This invocation is not to be numbered[1]


1
2
3
4
5
6
7 Noah
8 Noah
9 Húd
10 Sálih
11 Abraham
12 Moses
13
14
15
16
17 Christ
18
19
20 Muhammad, Return, Christ
21
22 Bread, Water, Fruit, Tree
23
24 Matthew
25
26
27
28
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32
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98
99
100
101 Bayán

Part II: (par. 102-290)

Paragraph Topic Other translations Kitáb-i-Íqán cross-reference Other Writings cross-reference Notes
102 Sovereignty Begin part II
103
104
105
106
107 Gleanings, sec. 90
108
109 Gleanings, sec. 90
110
111
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160
161 Gleanings, sec. 22 Lights of Guidance, no. 1673 in referring to the phrase "regarded as One and the same person" might perhaps be speaking of the line here, "they therefore are regarded as one soul and the same person" (or in Gleanings, "they, therefore, are regarded as one soul and the same person").
162
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212
213 Gleanings, sec. 125 (paragraphing differences--as 2 paragraphs in Gleanings) Part of "Tablet of the True Seeker"

Regarding "He must so cleanse his heart that no remnant of either love or hate may linger therein":

"We must never take one sentence in the Teachings and isolate it from the rest: it does not mean we must not love, but we must reach a spiritual plane where God comes first and great human passions are unable to turn us away from Him. All the time we see people who either through the force of hate or the passionate attachment they have to another person, sacrifice principle or bar themselves from the Path of God."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 4, 1950: Spiritualism, Psychic Phenomena and Related Subjects, A Compilation from the Universal House of Justice, February 14, 1973 to National Spiritual Assemblies, in Lights of Guidance, no. 1734)
214 Gleanings, sec. 125 (paragraphing differences--as 2 paragraphs in Gleanings) Part of "Tablet of the True Seeker"
215 Gleanings, sec. 125 Part of "Tablet of the True Seeker"
216 Gleanings, sec. 125 Part of "Tablet of the True Seeker"
217 Gleanings, sec. 125 (paragraphing differences--as 3 paragraphs in Gleanings) Part of "Tablet of the True Seeker"
218 Gleanings, sec. 125 Part of "Tablet of the True Seeker"


219 Gleanings, sec. 125 Part of "Tablet of the True Seeker"
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246 Gleanings, sec. 91
247 Gleanings, sec. 91
248
249 Gleanings, sec. 91
250 Gleanings, sec. 91
251 Gleanings, sec. 91
252 Gleanings, sec. 91
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