The classic introductory text on the Baha'i Faith focusing on Baha'i teachings and the lives of the Bab, Baha'u'llah, and Abdu'l-Baha.
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Baha'u'llah and the New Era
Wilmette: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1980
first written or published 1923
Copyright 1950, 1970, 1976, 1980 by the|
National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá'ís of the United States
All rights reserved
Library of Congress
Esslemont, John Ebenezer,
Bahá'u'lláh and the new era.
1. Bahá'ísm. 2. Bahá Ullah, 1817-1892.
George Allen Unwin Ltd., London, 1923
First revised edition, Bahá'í Publishing
Committee, New York, 1937
Second revised edition, Bahá'í Publishing Committee,
Third revised edition, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1970
Fourth revised paper edition, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1976
revised cloth edition, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1980
paper edition, Bahá'í Publishing Trust, Wilmette, 1980
Printed in the
United States of America
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December 1914, through a conversation with friends who had met Abdu'l-Bahá, and
the loan of a few pamphlets, I first became acquainted with the Bahá'í teachings.
I was at once struck by their comprehensiveness, power and beauty. They impressed
me as meeting the great needs of the modern world more fully and satisfactorily
than any other presentation of religion which I had come across -- an impression
which subsequent study has only served to deepen and confirm.
seeking for fuller knowledge about the movement I found considerable difficulty
in obtaining the literature I wanted, and soon conceived the idea of putting together
the gist of what I learned in the form of a book, so that it might be more easily
available for others. When communication with Palestine was reopened after the
war, I wrote to Abdu'l-Bahá and enclosed a copy of the first nine chapters of
the book, which was then almost complete in rough draft. I received a very kind
and encouraging reply, and a cordial invitation to visit Him in Haifa and bring
the whole of my manuscript with me. The invitation was gladly accepted, and I
had the great privilege of spending two and a half months as the guest of Abdu'l-Bahá
during the winter of 1919-1920. During this visit Abdu'l-Bahá discussed the book
with me on various occasions. He gave several valuable suggestions for its improvement
and proposed that, when I had revised the manuscript, He would have the whole
of it translated into Persian so that He could read it through and amend or correct
it where necessary. The revisal and translation were carried out as suggested,
and Abdu'l-Bahá found time, amid His busy life, to correct some three and a half
chapters (Chapters I, II, V and part of III) before He passed away. It is a matter
of profound regret to met that Abdu'l-Bahá was not able to complete the correction
of the manuscript, as the value of the book would thereby have been greatly enhanced.
The whole of the manuscript has been carefully revised, however, by a committee
of the National Bahá'í Assembly of England1, and its publication approved by that
I am greatly indebted to Miss E. J. Rosenberg, Mrs. Claudia S. Coles,
Mirza Lutfu'llah S. Hakim, Messrs. Roy Wilhelm and Mountfort Mills and many other
kind friends for valuable help in the preparation of the work.
As regards the
transliteration of Arabic and Persian names and words, the system adopted in this
book is that recently recommended by Shoghi Effendi for use throughout the Bahá'í
J. E. ESSLEMONT
1 The first publication of Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era was in 1923, and at that
time there was a National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of England; however,
the name of the institution was subsequently changed in 1930 to the
National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís of the British Isles, and more
recently to its present designation of the National Spiritual Assembly of the
Bahá'ís of the United Kingdom.
Go on to The
Glad Tidings, Chapter One