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About the Kitáb-i-Aqdas

(excerpted from the Bibliography for the Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh: 1868-77
consult original bibliography for key to abbreviations and further information)

Primary Sources Secondary sources: first key
texts, then supplementary texts
Primary sources: Arabic edition with Persian notes, 1995 Haifa. For a summary of earlier published editions see 'Rituals' 81-2 n2.

English trans. Baha'i World Centre 1992. Two earlier official sources are (1) Baha'i World volume XV: 1968-73, which has brief letters from the Universal House of Justice regarding the publication of the Synopsis and Codification..., the Synopsis itself, and other related official statements, and (2) the separate book publication of the Synopsis and Codification... (1973) which also adds a lengthy letter from the House introducing and summarizing the Aqdas.
Other English translations done by Anton Haddad, Earl Elder, and Marzieh Gail. Two of these can be found online in parallel with the official translation at French Ms trans. by Dreyfus 190?, 62pp, and separate Ms trans. of Questions and Answers, n.d.; for the former see Paris Archives Boite 11107, Grand cahier noir:122 (according to Laura Dreyfus-Barney, "Hippolyte Dreyfus. Article for Baha'i World": "He [Hippolyte Dreyfus-Barney] trans....the Aqdas which he annotated during a sojourn in 'Akka with the aid of 'Abdu'l-Baha".); brief comments by Ruhiyyih (Rabbani) Khanum about the Guardian's translation in The Guardian of the Baha'i Faith 237-38.
definition in Basic Baha'i Dictionary 132-33; date in A Basic Baha'i Chronology 99; 120, 138; 145; 166; 476; Some Answered Questions 64; explanation of verse 1 in ibid 238; explanation of verse 47 in ibid. 171-74; brief mention in Promulgation of Universal Peace 454 and elsewhere, passim; biography of Zaynu'l-Muqarrabin in Memorials of the Faithful 150-153; God Passes By 14, 139, 177, 206-09, 213-16, 219, 254-55, 326, 328, 411; Promised Day is Come 39-42, 58-60, 64-65, 92, 94-95, 100, 118-21, 133-37 (page numbers differ in different editions); World Order of Baha'u'llah passim; 3 sentences about translation and punishments in Unfolding Destiny 455; discussion of the relationship between the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice as elucidated in the Aqdas in Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973 37-44, reprinted in Covenant of Baha'u'llah 438-40; coverage in Rev. of Baha'u'llah vol.1 26, 60, 153, 160, 212, 301; vol.2 120, 122, 130, 240, 354-55, 389; vol.3 147, 164, 240, 275-399; vol.4 114, 116, 123, 138-39, 160, 212, 248-56, 299-300, 321, 399, 400, 417, 421, 423, 433; Baha'u'llah: King of Glory 245, 319, 351-53, 382, 422, 425; Covenant of Baha'u'llah 24, 68, 99, 141, 143, 155-56, 175-76, 212, 218-19, 240, 264, 266-67, 310-13, 378, 382, 386, 390, 396, 401-02; Eminent Baha'is 189, 259; 'Abdul-Baha: Centre of the Covenant 49, 51, 163, 492

full discussion of the Kitab-i-Aqdas in John Walbridge "The Kitab-i-Aqdas" available online at; discussion of the Aqdas' gendered language in Baharieh Ma'ani "The Effect of Philosophical and Linguistic Gender Biases..." Journal of Baha'i Studies 8:1 59-61; examination of some of the significances of the Aqdas and the possible impact of its publication upon its Western audience in Udo Schaefer "'The Balance hath been Appointed': Some Thoughts on the Publication of the Kitab-i-Aqdas" Baha'i Studies Review 3:1 (1993), also available online at; discussion of the "twin duties," social action, and other topics in John S. Hatcher "Unsealing the Choice Wine..." in Journal of Baha'i Studies 6:3 27-36; examination of the legal aspects and social principles of the Aqdas in Martha Schweitz "The Kitab-i-Aqdas: Baha'i Law, Legitimacy, and World Order" in Journal of Baha'i Studies 6:1 35-59; Robert Stockman discusses the translation of the Aqdas in "Revelation, Interpretation, and Elucidation in the Baha'i Writings" in Scripture and Revelation (Baha'i Studies vol.3) 63-66; John Walbridge offers an extended discussion of the Aqdas in Sacred Acts... (Baha'i Studies vol.1) xiii, 3-4, 16-22, 248-252, and numerous other pages, passim; brief comments on an early translation in Robert Stockman, Baha'i Faith in America vol.1 160; vol.2 11, 27, 363, 438n.38; see also other minor citations, esp. concerning the establishment of local "Houses of Justice," in ibid. passim; history in Hatcher/Martin's Baha'i Faith...Global Religion 46-47, 153-56; full introduction in Anonymous "The Kitab-i-Aqdas: Its Place in Baha'i Literature" in The Baha'i World 1992-93 103-18; discussion of "socio-cultural constructs" given in the Aqdas in R. Jackson Armstrong-Ingram "The Provisions for Sexuality in the Kitab-i-Aqdas in the Context of Late Nineteenth Century Eastern and Western Sexual Ideologies" available online at; analysis of the treatment of homosexuality in the Kitab-i Aqdas and its background in Kamran Hakim "Commentary on Kitab-i Aqdas verse 107" available online at; exploration of philosophical framework by William Hatcher in "The Kitab-i-Aqdas: The Causality Principle in the World of Being" in The Baha'i World 1993-94 189-236; David S. Ruhe Door of Hope... 46-48, 51, 56; discussion of the style of Writings on the Covenant, including the Aqdas, in John S. Hatcher The Ocean of His Words 153-64; passing mentions in ibid. 11, 16, 71, 79, 99, 122, and other places, passim; a few studies examining the inheritance laws in the Aqdas include Bahiyyih Nakhjavani "Exemption" in Baha'i Studies Review 3.1 (1993) 75-78, available online at, Seena Fazel "Inheritance" in ibid. 4.1 (1994) 71-75, Sen McGlinn "Some considerations relating to the inheritance laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas" in ibid 5.1 (1995) 37-50, available online at and, Linda and John Walbridge "Baha'i Laws on the Status of Men" in World Order 19:1-2 (1984) 25-36, John and Linda Walbridge "A Question of Gender" in Dialogue 1987 32-34, and Martha Leach Schweitz "Of Webs and Ladders: Gender Equality in Baha'i Law" in World Order 27:1 (1995) 22; Suheil Bushrui's The Style of the Kitab-i-Aqdas is a lengthy meditation with occasional literary analysis; more analysis is provided in Sen McGlinn's review of this book in Baha'i Studies Review 6 (1996) 93-96, also available online at; some opinions on Baha'u'llah's teachings on politics in the Aqdas in Juan Cole "Iranian Millenarianism and Democratic Thought in the 19th Century" in International Journal of Middle East Studies 24 (1992) 1-26 passim; 1/2 page on the meaning of "irfan" in verse 1 in Jalil Mahmoudi "`Irfan, Gnosis, or Mystical Knowledge" in World Order 7:4 (1973) 14; discussion of Baha'i law in the Aqdas in Afshin Khavari "Parallels Between Islamic and Baha'i laws and Constitutional Principles" at; some philosophical meditations on the introductory verse of the Aqdas by Sen McGlinn in "Commentary on Kitab-i Aqdas verse one" at; more information can be found in an online translation project of the Aqdas at

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