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About the Kitáb-i-Íqán

this edition Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1994

(excerpted from the Bibliography for the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh: 1853-63;
consult original bibliography for key to abbreviations and further information)

Name of Tablet Primary Sources Secondary sources: first key texts then supplementary texts
Kitáb-i- Íqán (The Book of Certitude) Baghdad, dated in various Mss as A.H. 1278 or 1280 (1861/2 or 1863/4), the latter date possibly marking an editing with marginal glosses by Baha'u'llah. Persian, with Arabic quotations. Addressee Haji Mirza Siyyid Muhammad.

Various printings. Bibliographical history in C. Buck, Symbol and Secret, pp. 14-37. Persian. English trans. Shoghi Effendi 1946; Earlier trans. by Ali Quli Khan is more literal. French trans. "Le Livre de la Certitude" by Hippolyte Dreyfus amp; Mirza Habib-Ullah Chirazi, Paris, Ernest Leroux, 1904, contains an additional excordium. The 1893 lithograph, in the hand of Mishqin Qalam, has been published online in .gif format at areprint/baha/G-/I/ iqan1893/iqan1893.htm. Ishraq-Khavari wrote a 4-volume tafsir dictionary of the Íqán, Qamus-i-Íqán; a translation of the original four questions submitted to Baha'u'llah, in answer to which the Íqán was revealed, are available only online at histories/iqan.questions.html
Brief mention in Promulgation of Universal Peace 151; God Passes By 138-39; various topics in Unfolding Destiny 424-26, 430, 432, 451; Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1963-86 547; discussed Baha'u'llah: King of Glory 163-67, 266; mention of recipient Baha'u'llah: King of Glory 344, 388, 405; discussion Covenant of Baha'u'llah 74-76, 101, 201; mention of recipient Eminent Baha'is in the Time of Baha'u'llah 35 (footnote), 121, 217-18, 220-21, 226-27, 229; discussion of recipient and the Íqán The Bab 86-87, 107; mention `Abdu'l-Baha: The Centre of the Covenant 109, 527 (n.62); discussion Revelation of Baha'u'llah vol.1 153-197; Rev. Baha'u'llah vol. 2 52, 68-70, 101, 219-20, 370; brief mentions Rev. Baha'u'llah vol. 3 39, 93, 98, 275, 302-03, 334; Rev. Baha'u'llah vol. 4 95, 136, 140, 152, 154, 207, 295, 322, 329, 385, 421; mention of addressee Rev. Baha'u'llah vol. 4 329; comment in Ruhiyyih Rabbani The Priceless Pearl 214, repeated in her Shoghi Effendi 91

The most complete discussion is by Christopher Buck, Symbol and Secret: Qur'an Commentary in Baha'u'llah's Kitab-i-Íqán, where translation history, theology, and symbolism are discussed; see also reviews of same by Frank Lewis in Baha'i Studies Review 6 (1996), Jonah Winters in Iranian Studies 32:1 (1999), and Jonah Winters in Journal of Baha'i Studies 9:3 (1999); Buck also published a study online, "The Kitab-i Íqán: An Introduction to Baha'u'llah's Book of Certitude with Two Digital Reprints of Early Lithographs," at and a lengthy meditation on Baha'u'llah's program of "world reform" as delineated by the Íqán in "Baha'u'llah as World Reformer" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 3:4 (1999-1991) 23-68 passim; brief summary of themes and history of Íqán in Nasser Sabet "An Introduction to the Kitab-i-Íqán" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 3:4 (1999-1991) 71-75; a note on dating the Íqán was prepared by Ahang Rabbani; John Hatcher's Ocean of His Words includes much discussion of the Íqán: passing mentions 45-49, 73-76, 111-114, discussion of the "true seeker" 152-53, complete treatment and a detailed outline 247-337; discussion of the content and publication history of the Íqán by E.G. Browne in Moojan Momen Selections from the Writings of E. G. Browne 250-254; short literary discussion Peter Smith The Babi and Baha'i Religions 63-65; discussion Stephen Lambden "Sinaitic Mysteries: Notes on Moses/Sinai Motifs" in Studies in Honor of the Late Hasan M. Balyuzi: Studies in the Babi and Baha'i Religions vol. 5 122 and Stephen Lambden "Apophatic Theology in Babi and Baha'i Scripture" in Revisioning the Sacred 64; mentions in Hatcher and Martin The Baha'i Faith 37, 81, 84, 116; Bahiyyih Nakhjani Asking Questions 132; John Walbridge Sacred Acts 157, 159; John Hatcher "The Validity and Value of an Historical-Critical Approach" in Scripture and Revelation 35-36, 39; Robert Stockman "Revelation, Interpretation, and Elucidation" in Scripture and Revelation 58, 60, 64-65; discussion of Biblical quotations in this Tablet Stephen Lambden "Paraclete, Ahmad and the Comforter" in Scripture and Revelation 90-91; discussion of some of the Íqán's "inner teachings" in Ross Woodman "The Inner Dimensions of Revelation" in Scripture and Revelation 343-47; comments on symbolism in Michael Sours "The Maid of Heaven, the Image of Sophia, and the Logos" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 4:1 (1991) 49 and passim; comments on interpretation in Seena Fazel and Khazeh Fananapazir "Some Interpretive Principles in the Baha'i Writings" in Bahai Studies Review 2:1 (1992) 4-8 and Dann May "A Preliminary Survey of Hermeneutical Principles Found within the Baha'i Writings" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 1:2 (1989) 41-52; short discussion of theology in the Íqán in Michael Sours "Seeing with the Eye of God" in Bahai Studies Review 1:1 (1991) 31-32 and some notes; comments on Íqán's reception in Moojan Momen "Learning from History" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 2:2 (1989-1990) 57, 63; some discussion of eschatology in Ross Woodman "The End of the World" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 3:2 (1990-1991) passim; mention of relevance of Íqán to Baha'i theology Jack McLean "Prolegomena to a Baha'i Theology" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 5:1 (1992) 49-50, 61; passing mentions Jack McLean Dimensions of Spirituality 5, 11-12, 23, 156, 247; discussion of theology Michael Sours "Immanence and Transcendence in Divine Scripture" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 5:2 (1992) passim; discussion of Islamic symbolism Seena Fazel and Khazeh Fananapazir "A Baha'i Approach to the Claim of Finality in Islam" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 5:3 (1993) passim, available online at; symbolism of the Maiden in Íqán in Ross Woodman "In the Beginning was the Word: Apocalypse and the Education of the Soul" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 5:4 (1993-1994) 36, 39-40, 52-54; passing mentions of "social theology" John Hatcher "Unsealing the Choice Wine at the Family Reunion" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 6:3 (1994); comments on cosmology and ecology Michael Sours "Baha'i Cosmological Symbolism and the Ecofeminist Critique" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 7:1 (1995) passim; discussions of gender symbolism Ross Woodman "The Role of the Feminine in the Baha'i Faith" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 7:2 (1995) passim; examination of meaning of metaphor in Íqán in Ross Woodman "Metaphor and the Language of Revelation" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 8:1 (1997) 18-25; comments on epistemology and the Íqán Jalil Mahmoudi "Irfan, Gnosis, or Mystical Knowledge" in World Order 7:4 (1973) 5-15 and Jack McLean "The Knowledge of God: An Essay on Baha'i Epistemology" in World Order 12:3 (1978) 48-49; discussion of the Islamic concept of "corruption of texts" (tahrif) William Collins "Islam's Tahrif: Implications for the Baha'i Faith" in World Order 11:1 (1976) 22-30

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