An Introduction to the Study of the Persian Bayan

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Beginning with its Preface, which is sixteen pages in length including copious notes written by the editor and translator A.L.M. Nicolas and extending throughout its 630 pages, the French version of the Persian Bayán, which has been rendered into English and is the source of this study, concentrates on the following themes: (1) The nature of God; (2) The nature of the Manifestations and Revelations and Dispensations of God; (3) The nature and behavior of human beings –- Christians, Muslims and Bábís (followers of te Báb); (4) The requirements of true belief; (5) New laws for the Bábí Dispensation; (6) References to the succeeding Manifestations of God; (7) The Word of God. There are expositions of less important topics as well— (8) the significance of the science of numbers; (9) the insignificance of the science of grammar; (10) on the spiritual meanings of certain colors; (11) the spiritual equivalents and rankings of material substances; (12) several abwáb are given over to an explanation f various words used in the Qur’án, among them, “Paradise”, “Hell”, “Death”, “The Tomb”, “Resurrection”, “The Return”, “The Balance”, “The Last Judgment”, “The Count”, “Door”, “The Point”, and “Reunion”. In the course of explaining these Qur’ánic symbolic terms, the Báb addresses (for the most part) the seven major themes cited earlier.

In addition to these themes, the most prominent topic in the entire book is the announcement of Him Whom God shall make manifest, Who is to follow the Bab, and Who is to be the sole interpreter, after the Bab, of the contents of His Writings, including the Persian Bayan.  Baha’u’llah is Him Whom God shall make manifest, and a study of references made to the Persian Bayan can be carried out alongside the reading and study of the original text.  One of the significant and unique characteristics of the Revelation of Baha’u’llah, is the prominence given to laws initially found in the Persian Bayan and reaffirmed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas.  These laws will be identified and discussed in the course of this reading.

The intimate relationship between what are sometimes called the Twin Manifestations of God, will become evident through the study of the Persian Bayan and its correlation with the Writings of Baha’u’llah.

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