On the content of the Kitab-i-Ahdi, its manuscript history, and textual variants; Andalib's eyewitness account of its unveiling; Tumanski's scholarly work; contemporary attestation of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's successorship by Tumanski and other Russian notables.
Abstract: This study concerns the publication of a document that may well be unique in the history of religions: the written designation of a successor by the charismatic founder of a world religion. In the Kitáb-i 'Ahdí ('Book of My Covenant'), Bahá'u'lláh designated his eldest son, 'Abdu'l-Bahá, as successor. Bahá'u'lláh died on 29 May 1892 in Bahjí, Palestine, and the Kitáb-i 'Ahdí was read aloud nine days later. In 1893, Russian orientalist Aleksandr Tumanski published this document, in the original Persian, with Russian translation, together with a eulogy composed by the celebrated Bahá'í poet. Since 'Andalíb was an eyewitness to the events he describes, his eulogy may be treated as a historical source. Tumanski's scholarly publication of the Kitáb-i 'Ahdí is discussed in the context of Russian scholarly and diplomatic interests.