|To:||The Universal House of Justice|
|Date:||2 October 1994|
|Re:||Letters of the Quranic Dispensation|
...the Letters of the Bayán, whose station is ten thousand times more glorious than that of the Letters of the Qur'anic Dispensation...
God Passes By, p. 98
LETTER, in the Writings of the Báb, has also the meaning of "a believer to His mission." The Báb, in His Writings, has referred to the very first believers of previous dispensations as the Letters of the Living. For example he refers to the first believers in Christ as "Letters of the Gospel (Injil)" and first believers to Muhammad as "Letters of the Living of Qur'an (Furqán)." He also refers to the believers in general as "Letters of Affirmation (Ithbát)" and to those denying and opposing Him as the "Letters of Negation or Denial." He has referred to the first believers of "Him Whom God shall make manifest" (Bahá'u'lláh) as the "Letters of the Living of He Whom God shall make manifest"
On the subject of the number of the Letters of the Living, your response to the Enquirer/s is very well explained and there is no doubt that those selected ones were 18 not 19. Thus the fact we should keep in mind, according to the letter written on behalf of the Beloved Guardian (Unfolding Destiny p.428),is that the Báb is Nineteenth Letter of the First Unit (Vahid), not the Letters of the Living. The numbers of the Letters of the Living in the Dawn Breakers, p. 80 (American Edition 1974) is straightforwardly counted as 18, not more. As you mentioned, the title Letter (harf) is a general term used in The Bayán for a believer and that is why Bahá'u'lláh has applied it to Himself in the Kitáb-i-Íqán.
The question of twentieth Letter goes back to years ago, it is already corrected and there is no such mistake in the list of illustrations in the Dawn Breakers printed from 1974 onward. To our knowledge the List of Illustrations was not prepared by the Beloved Guardian, but by a committee in the U.S.
Back to Wilmette Institute Notes and Commentaries main index |
Back to Resources
Baha'i Academics Resource Library ][ Sacred Writings ][ Search
Primary sources ][ Secondary sources ][ Resources and etc.
Bulletin board ][ Links ][ Personal pages ][ Other sites hosted by the Library