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Template:Bahá'í The Kitáb-i-Íqán (Lit. book of certitude; in Persian کتاب ایقان) is one of many books held sacred by followers of the Bahá'í Faith.

Background

This book was written partly in Persian and partly in Arabic by Bahá'u'lláh the prophet founder of the Bahá'í Faith in 1862. At this time Bahá'u'lláh was living as an exile in Baghdad, then a part of the Ottoman Empire. While Bahá'u'lláh had received revelation some ten years earlier in the Síyáh-Chál (Lit. black-pit), a dungeon in Tehran, he had not yet openly declared his mission. References to his own station therefore appear only in veiled form. This book is an answer to the questions posed by a maternal uncle of the Báb concerning the validity of the Cause of the Báb, and it was written within two days and nights.

It constitutes the major theological work of Bahá'u'lláh. It is sometimes refered to as the completion of the Persian Bayan.

History

The uncle of the Báb had been perplexed to hear that the promised one of the Islam was his own nephew. When he was told that this is the exact same objection voiced by the uncle of prophet of Islam, he was shaken and decided to investigate the matter. The questions that he had posed had to do with the signs of the appearance of the promised one.

Contents of the book

The book is in two parts: the first part deals with the foundational discourse that divine revelation is progressive and religions are related to one another, with each major monotheistic religion accepting the previous ones and, often in veiled terms, prophesying the advent of the next one. Since the questioner is a Muslim, Bahá'u'lláh uses verses from the Bible to show how a Christian could interpret his own sacred texts in allegorical terms to come to believe in the next dispensation. By extension the same method of interpretation can be used for a Muslim to see the validity of the claims of the Báb. The second and larger part of the book is the substantive discourse and deals with specific proofs, both theological and logical, of the mission of the Báb.

One oft cited criticism of Bahá'u'lláh's claim to He whom God shall make manifest is that he acknowledges subservience to Subh-i-Azal throughout the book. Bahá'ís believe this was because he had not publically announced his claim at the time.

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