Daily Dose: Let's work through the Kitab-i-Aqdas

May 2016
5
Canada
My dear friends,

I have started a section on my blog titled Daily Dose and while it may not be daily (as that would take up far too much of my current resources!) it will be a recurring theme on my blog. What I wish to do, is tackle the Kitab-i-Aqdas head on and look at it in depth, paragraph by paragraph.

You can follow along here: Daily Dose: Kitáb-i-Aqdas K1 | Lotus Flower Path

Please read through and subscribe at the bottom to be notified when the next paragraph is released.

Alternatively follow me @lotusflowerpath as I often also tweet when I have released new content.

Finally, below I have posted the publication although without pictures!

Disclaimer:

I would like everyone to please note that I am not a Bahá’í, but a friend of the Faith. As such, do not take everything I say here as fact, rather look at it with a discerning eye and see for yourself if what I have said resonates with you. If it does, please continue to look into researching more for yourself; use this as a mere stepping stone. Finally, all citations may or may not reflect the authoritative teachings of the Faith, but I have tried my best to use sources that are written with the least bias towards the subject cited.

Introduction to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas is the most holy book of the Bahá’í Faith, indeed its name rendered into English is “The Most Holy Book”. The exact date of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas’s revelation is not fully known, and its revelation may have taken place over many years. Nevertheless it is agreed that it was completed in 1873 and was revealed mostly in the house of ‘Udi Khammar just outside the prison city of Akka [1].

Many people consider the Kitáb-i-Aqdas to be a mere book of laws, however if that were the case then it would not hold the lofty station it currently does. Instead, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is a “constitution” as John Walbridge said, a recording of revelation dealing with Islamic and Bábi law, laws of marriage, ethics, and so on. It is not simply a list of “do’s” and “don’t’s”, but a literary masterpiece in its own right.

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas was revealed in Arabic, and is no more than 50 pages in its original script and the style in which it is composed rivals the jewel of the Islamic Qur’an [2]. Around one third of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas was translated into English by the Guardian of the Faith, Shoghi Effendi, before he passed away suddenly in England. As such, the translation of this monumental work fell to the later established Universal House of Justice [3].

“[The Kitáb-i-Aqdas]…may well be regarded as the brightest emanation of the mind of Bahá’u’lláh, as the Mother Book of His Dispensation, and the Charter of His New World Order.”
-Shoghi Effendi, Introduction to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas


Paragraph 1 (K1) of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas – IN THE NAME OF HIM WHO IS THE SUPREME RULER OVER ALL THAT HATH BEEN AND ALL THAT IS TO BE

“The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine inspiration.”

-K1



Analysis:

The importance of this paragraph beginning the entirety of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas cannot be understated. This paragraph outlines what are called the Twin Duties which are recognition of the Manifestation of God and obedience to His law. As stated in the paragraph, these duties are inseparable, to have one and not the other while possible is not acceptable. Imagine having recognized the station of Bahá’u’lláh and not following His command, or following His command unknowingly but not recognizing His station. In either case you miss out on half of the objective as can be seen in K36!

As we will see as we progress through the rest of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, both of these duties plays a crucial role in causing the growth of the tree that is the New World Order. Indeed, Abdu’l Bahá says:

“The seed of reality must be sown again in human hearts in order that a new tree may grow therefrom and new divine fruits refresh the world.”
-Abdu’l Bahá


Abdu’l Bahá says that the world can only be refreshed when the “seed of reality” is once again planted in our hearts. As such, the advancement of Bahá’u’lláh’s New World Order cannot come by the mere cognitive recognition of His station and law, but must also reach a transcendent depth of spiritual nature. Sen McGlinn discusses how the Arabic word ‘irfanu means much more than a prosaic rendering of recognition. He goes onto state that it has deep roots in the mysticism of Sufiism [4]. Unfortunately, as in any translation, the translation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas into English lost some of its hidden meaning in Arabic.

Nonetheless, as Sen McGlinn points out in his same analysis of this introductory paragraph, it appears that Bahá’u’lláh merges the two streams of religious obedience into one. Indeed, no longer are there priests/religious jurists to define what is appeasing to God, and no longer are there mystics who tend only to the realms of asceticism [4]. Now, each and every individual has the opportunity to attain to their true legal and spiritual place by God.

Thank you!

As always, I thank you for reading this post of mine and I hope that you have very much enjoyed it. Please subscribe below to be registered on the newsletter. I will be going through each paragraph of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas on a weekly basis, so if you wish to be notified when it is published just subscribe below (you can choose to not be notified of anything else if you wish)! Please follow me on twitter @lotusflowerpath because I often also post when my publications are published.
 
Oct 2011
4,213
Quilimari,Chile
Dear lotusflowerpath A big welcome And may you be rewarded as spoken about in our writings.
bill