The Scriptures

Great effort has been made to translate each of Bahá’u’lláh’s works into a similar, corresponding English style; so the lofty Biblical translations of the prayers and meditations are in some contrast to the plain language of some of the “Tablets”. A few specialist terms may be encountered. Alláh-u-Abhá means “God the most glorious”. The days of hospitality and the giving of gifts are the “Ayyám-i-Há”. The New Year  is called “Naw-Rúz”, while the next world is frequently referred to as “The Abhá Kingdom”, (Abhá meaning “Most Glorious”).

There are also English words which are used in ways which might be unfamiliar to readers. The sayings and writings of the Founders of the world’s principal religions are spoken of as “revealed”. “Revelation” is used to denote the teachings and message of a Manifestation, while the period from one Manifestation to the next is called a “dispensation”.

Bahá’u’lláh’s works were either revealed in his own hand, or after a poisoning incident, through an amanuensis (secretary). Bahá’u’lláh checked through anything written by an amanuensis, and marked it as authentic with his seal. Many tablets were addressed specifically to individual Bahá’ís, others to enquirers, including Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians and Sufis. He also, during the 1860s, wrote to the world’s principal rulers, urging them to resolve their differences and work for the unification of the world. The Bahá’í World Centre has collected and catalogued all these Writings. The original texts are preserved in Haifa, where there is a Centre for the Study and Interpretation of the Holy Texts. An individual believer is free to voice opinions on any interpretation, but if they wish, he or she may refer the matter to the Universal House of Justice.

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