BAHAISM xii. Bahai Literature



xii. Bahai Literature

Bahai literature is a large body of writing in Persian and Arabic produced by leaders and adherents of the Bahai religion in Iran from the 1860s to the present. This article is concerned primarily with poetry and belles lettres rather than apologetic, didactic, historiographical, liturgical, or scriptural materials, except insofar as the last-mentioned exhibit characteristics of literary interest.

The immediate antecedents of Bahai literature are the various scriptural and apologetic writings produced in the 1260s/1840s by the Bāb (see bayān) and some of his leading followers. Babism was primarily a literate and elitist movement among a section of the Shiʿite ʿolamāʾ, but from its outset conventional learning and scholarly writing were, if not wholly rejected, relegated to a status much inferior to that enjoyed by the products of “innate knowledge” and “inspired” composition or “revelation,” in which the speed of writing was regarded as a sign of divine activity. In the later phase of the movement (roughly 1264/1848 to 1283/1866), the ability to write or utter “divinely-inspired” verses became the chief criterion whereby claimants to religious authority might be judged. Several individuals regarded as ommī (in this case unlearned, but not illiterate) began to write in this manner, but apart from works by the Bāb and Mīrzā Yaḥyā Nūrī Ṣobḥ-e Azal (q.v.), very little of this material has survived. Nevertheless, those writings we do possess, together with letters and fragments by other members of the Babi hierarchy (all of them ʿolamāʾ, like Mollā Moḥammad-ʿAlī Bārforūšī Qoddūs, Qorrat-al-ʿAyn Ṭāhera (q.v.), Sayyed Yaḥyā Dārābī, and Sayyed Ḥosayn Yazdī share certain important characteristics (see MacEoin, Babi Doctrine and History, chap. 4). There is a tendency toward esotericism, obscurantism, idiosyncrasy in matters of style, grammar, and subject, and the use of extended doxological and invocatory formulae (particularly in elaborate perorations based on the divine names). Free association and stream-of-consciousness-style composition are marked features of some works, e.g., the Bāb’s Ketāb al-asmāʾ and Ketāb-e panj šaʾn or Ṣobḥ-e Azal’s Merʾāt al-bayān, Ṣaḥāʾef al-Azal, Laḥaẓāt, etc.

These characteristics are retained in the later writings of Ṣobḥ-e Azal (which include a great deal of poetry), but otherwise the Azalī branch of Babism has been almost bereft of literary productions of any kind, in spite of the existence of Azalī litterateurs such as Mīrzā Āqā Khan Kermānī, Shaikh Aḥmad Rūḥī Kermānī (q.v.), and Mīrzā Yaḥyā Dawlatābādī. Mīrzā Ḥosayn-ʿAlī Nūrī Bahāʾ-Allāh (q.v.), whose Bahai version of the original Babi movement rapidly ousted its Azalī rival throughout Iran, first came to prominence as one of the unlearned revealers of inspired verses in Baghdad during the 1850s and then as the de facto head of the faith in the 1860s. His early writings represent a significant departure from most previous Babi writing (except for the poetical works of Qorrat-al-ʿAyn, with whom he was associated) in that they are, for the most part, couched in straightforward prose or verse. Although he was later to take a marked aversion to such matters, Bahāʾ-Allāh was at this period markedly influenced by Sufi writing and even spent a two-year period (1270-72/1854-56) living as a dervish in Kurdistan (see Cole, “Bahaδu’llah and the Naqshbandi Sufis”). Sufi influences are particularly at work in a small number of poems composed in Baghdad, Kurdistan, and Istanbul, several of which bear the pen name (taḵalloṣ) “Darvīš.” The most important of these are: 1) a Persian ḡazal entitled Rašḥ-e ʿamā, generally considered his earliest extant work; 2) an Arabic qaṣīda of 127 distichs (bayts) entitled al-Qaṣīdaal-warqāʾīa, modeled on ʿOmar ebn al-Fāreż’s famous Naẓm al-solūk; 3) a Persian maṯnawī of 318 bayts entitled Maṯnawī-e mobārak, written in Istanbul and probably the last of Bahāʾ-Allāh’s works in verse. Perhaps the most noticeable feature of these poems, which are written in an elegant yet uncomplicated style and possess considerable freshness, is the complete absence of identifiably Babi elements.

This is also largely true of some of Bahāʾ-Allāh’s earliest prose works, several of which are of real literary merit. Notable among these are: 1) Haft wādī and 2) Čahār wādī, two Persian mystical treatises along the lines of ʿAṭṭār’s Manṭeq al-ṭayr; 3) Kalemāt-e maknūna, a collection of Persian and Arabic aphoristic statements, mostly of an ethical nature; 4) the Ḥorūfāt-e ʿālīn, a short Arabic disquisition on death, which also exists in a Persian translation by the author; 5) the Ketāb-e īqān, one of his very few full-length works, being a book of apologetics and exegesis written in a lucid and original Persian style; 6) the Jawāher al-asrār, an Arabic treatise along similar lines written about the same time; and 7) a series of brief Persian and Arabic poems and prose pieces, largely mystical in nature, including “Lawḥ-e mallāḥ al-qods” and “Lawḥ-e nāqūs,” all in prose, and the poems “Lawḥ-e ḥūrīya,” “Lawḥ-e šakar-šakan,” “Lawḥ-e ḡolām al-ḵold,” “Lawḥ-e halhala yā bešārāt,” “Sāqī az ḡayb-e baqāʾ,” “Bāz ā wa be-deh jām-ī,” and “Az bāḡ-e elāhī.”

Although Bahāʾ-Allāh continued to write extensively in Edirne (1280-85/1863-68) and Palestine (1285-1309/1868-92), his later work is, with only a few exceptions, increasingly turgid, repetitive, and visibly lacking in the linguistic brilliance and poetic energy that characterize his early output. The contents of some of these later writings reveal an acquaintance with European ideas, but the style and format remain Persian. Divorced from its earlier mysticism, Bahāʾ-Allāh’s prose becomes less elegant and even archaic. Perhaps the best products of this period are a series of proclamatory letters to several kings and rulers in Asia and Europe, some of which exhibit a polished epistolatory style. His last major work, a book-length Persian letter to the famous mojtahed of Isfahan Āqā Najafī, is a rambling patchwork of quotations from earlier works tied together with personal reminiscences and historical allusions. The need to produce “inspired” verses at great speed in response to the stream of letters and petitions arriving from Iran and elsewhere led him to rely more and more on established formulae in order to keep up with the demand.

By contrast, the works of Bahāʾ-Allāh’s eldest son ʿAbbās (ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ) exhibit the mannered characteristics of an urbane and well-educated litterateur in touch with modern currents of thought and behavior and with some European writing. Whereas his father’s Arabic was heavily Persianized, simple, and frequently ungrammatical, that of ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ is polished, careful, and more Arab than Iranian in its manner. His earliest work, a commentary on the Hadith “konto kanzan maḵfīyan” written in his late teens in Edirne for ʿAlī Ševket Pasha, shows close familiarity with the ideas and exegetical methods of philosophical Sufism. These and related themes occur in several other works which appear to be from roughly the same period, including tafsīrs on the Sūrat al-fāteḥa and the words ḡolebat al-Rūm (Koran 30:1). Other issues begin to emerge in later works, however, among which social and political questions come increasingly to the fore. The most detailed and interesting of these works is a Persian treatise entitled al-Resāla al-madanīya (or Ketāb asrār al-ḡaybīya le-asbāb al-madanīya [sic]), written in 1292/1875 and published anonymously in Bombay (1310/1892-93) and Cairo (1329/1911), and later translated twice into English. This work, which makes general proposals for reform in Iran and the Islamic world as a whole, deserves to be more seriously regarded as a contribution to the reformist literature of the period. Much slighter and rather more conservative in tone is the Resāla-ye sīāsīya (1893), also published anonymously. Of less interest are his Maqāla-ye šaḵṣī sayyāḥ (A traveler’s narrative), a brief anonymous history of Babism written about 1303/1886 and later published together with a translation by E. G. Browne; and the Taḏkeratal-wafāʾ, a collection of meager hagiographies given as table-talks in 1915 and published posthumously in Haifa in 1343/1924. Until his death in 1340/1921, ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ kept up a vast correspondence with Bahais in Iran, Europe, and the United States, and his collected “tablets” (alwāḥ; tawqīʿāt) contain numerous examples of his mature literary style. Of interest too are his many public addresses delivered in Europe and North America, his table-talks collected under the title al-Nūr al-abhā fī mofāważāt ḥażrat ʿAbd al-Bahāʾ, and his numerous Persian prayers (monājāt). The latter are often extremely beautiful, with a fine feeling for the rhymes and cadences of the language; some are even written in verse.

ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ’s grandson and successor, Šawqī (Shoghi Effendi, d. 1377/1957), wrote principally in English, all his major works being translated later into Persian; but he also penned large quantities of letters in the latter language, as well as some in Arabic. His baroque and mannered style, with its extended periods, archaisms, and at times contrived vocabulary, had a marked effect on Bahai writing in this century, encouraging it to be florid, hyperbolic, and out of step with general changes in modern Persian letters (a phenomenon paralleled by Bahai writing in English during the same period). At the same time, Šawqī’s elegant and sensitive translations of Bahai scriptural writings (largely works by Bahāʾ-Allāh) deserve to be mentioned here.

Bahai writing in general has concentrated on apologetics and historiography, and includes very few works of real literary merit or wider interest, with the partial exceptions of the writings of Mīrzā Abu’l-Fażl Golpāyegānī, some autobiographical works (notably Mīrzā Ḥaydar-ʿAlī Eṣfahānī’s Behjat al-ṣodūr, Yunes Khan Afrūḵta’s Ḵāṭerāt-e noh-sāla, and Dr. Ḥabīb Moʾayyad’s Ḵāṭerāt-e Ḥabīb), and a few collections of hagiographical biography in the tradition of Islamic rejāl literature (notably Solaymānī’s Maṣābīḥ-e hedāyat and Bayżāʾī’s Taḏkera-ye šoʿarāʾ).

There is, however, a substantial body of poetry written by Iranian adherents of the faith, some of which is of an exceptionally high standard, although it remains for the most part unknown outside Bahai circles. Bahai poetry is essentially a continuation of classical Persian and Arabic religious verse, although it has its own themes and conventions. Much of it is didactic or apologetic in nature, and most of it makes for dull reading, but this is more than compensated for by the vigor and freshness of the better examples.

A number of early Babis wrote poetry, among them Ḥājj Solaymān Khan Tabrīzī and Karīm Khan Māfī (Behjat Qazvīnī), but little of their work has survived. Of much greater importance is the verse of Qorrat-al-ʿAyn Ṭāhera, which has remained popular with Bahais and has even gained a well-deserved reputation with a wider public in Iran and India. Born in Qazvīn 1229/1814 into a family of ʿolamāʾ, she received training as an ʿālema and became a leading exponent of the Shaikhi (q.v.) school. An early convert of the Bāb’s, she dominated the Iraqi branch of the Babi movement until 1263/1847, when she returned to Iran. Her influence on the formulation of Babi doctrine was considerable, and the numerous apologetics she wrote on behalf of the sect helped provide the impetus for the break with Islam in 1264/1848. Imprisoned for several years in Tehran, she was executed following the attempt on the life of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah in 1268/1852. Her reputation among modern Bahais rests largely on the belief that she was an early champion of women’s rights, something which has no foundation in fact. Nevertheless, her legendary stature combined with the genuine beauty of many of the poems she composed has given her work a firm place in Bahai literature. Only a small number of her poems (as well as several falsely attributed to her) have been published, but the present writer has discovered several manuscripts of what appear to be authentic works by her, from which a scholarly edition of her poetry may eventually be prepared.

The existence of poetry by Qorrat-al-ʿAyn and Bahāʾ-Allāh gave the writing of verse an acceptable place in the Bahai movement, even when the marked anti-Sufism of Bahāʾ-Allāh and ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ (see, e.g. Bahāʾ-Allāh, Alwāḥ-e mobāraka, pp. 184-88; ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ, Makātīb I, p. 346) rendered many of the classical models unacceptable and blocked the possibility of a spontaneous development of mystical verse within the religion. Although ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ spoke disparagingly of the poets of the past (Makātīb I, p. 451), he did express approval of poetry written on Bahai religious themes and included versified passages in some of his letters (e.g., ibid., pp. 414, 421, 439; II, pp. 54-55). Since both singing and instrumental music were permitted in al-Ketāb al-aqdas (see aqdas), poetry became a natural extension of liturgical recitation and a useful vehicle for the expression of numinous feelings and didactic intentions.

The earliest Bahai poet of merit was Mollā Yār-Moḥammad Zarandī Nabīl (1247-1310/1831-92), better known as the author of the history translated into English by Shoghi Effendi as The Dawn-Breakers or Nabil’s Narrative. Converted to Babism at an early age, Zarandī was among the Babis who took up residence in Baghdad in the 1850s. Having failed to attract a following for theophanic claims advanced by himself, he became one of the earliest proponents of belief in Bahāʾ-Allāh as the Babi messiah. After journeys which took him to Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Egypt, he finally settled in Palestine, where the Bahai exile community was located from 1285/1868. His history was begun in 1305/1886 and completed shortly before his suicide in 1310/1892, following the death of Bahāʾ-Allāh.

Very little of Nabīl’s poetry has been published. A lengthy poem in couplet form (maṯnawī) providing details of Babi and Bahai history was printed in Cairo in 1342/1923-24, but copies of it are extremely rare and it has not been reissued since then; another historical maṯnawī, entitled Hejr o weṣāl (Separation and union) has not so far found its way into print. Several examples of the shorter poems, including two fine qaṣīdas, each with the refrain Bahāʾ, Bahāʾ, have been published by Browne (JRAS 24, 1892, pp. 323-25; Materials, pp. 351-57) and Bayżāʾī (Taḏkera III, pp. 421-35). Nabīl does appear, however, to have been a prolific writer: Bayżāʾī states that he has seen a collection of his poems amounting to 10,000 bayts, the bulk being made up of maṯnawīs (Taḏkera III, p. 418). Apart from the vigor of style in his non-historical poems, the chief characteristic of Nabīl’s work is its use of hyperbole in reference to the claims and person of Bahāʾ-Allāh.

Of great literary merit is the work of Zarandī’s younger contemporary, Āqā Mīrzā ʿAlī-Ašraf Lāhījānī, known as ʿAndalīb (ca. 1270/1853-54—1335/1917), whose dīvān runs to over 750 pages. Originally a Shaikhi, ʿAndalīb was converted to Bahaism in his twenties, after which he became widely known in Lāhījān for his convictions. In 1300/1883, he was arrested along with several others in the vicinity of Rašt and imprisoned there for almost two years; it was during this period that he completed his dīvān of ḡazals, amounting to over 300 poems. He later took up residence in Shiraz, where he remained, apart from several journeys (including two to Palestine), until his death.

ʿAndalīb’s ḡazals, written in the classical style, are notable for the absence of overt references to Bahai beliefs or figures, and have undeservedly been neglected by non-Bahai anthologists. His other poetry is unqualifiedly Bahai in inspiration, consisting largely of poems in praise of Bahāʾ-Allāh and ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ or on various Bahai festivals, particularly that of Reżwān (see ʿīd-e reżwān). He also wrote a lengthy maṯnawī on the martyrdoms of two Bahai brothers in Isfahan in 1296/1879 (Dīvān, pp. 433-70) and another in reply to criticisms of Bahai belief. Apart from his fame as a poet, ʿAndalīb enjoyed a reputation as one of the leading controversialists of the Bahai movement in his day. A lively account of his technique is given by E. G. Browne in A Year Amongst the Persians (pp. 401-02, 433-35, 436-38, 438-40, 442-43). At least one prose work in defense of Bahaism (an estedlālīya in reply to Shaikh Bahāʾī Lāhījānī) is extant but unpublished.

The writing of apologetics was a particular concern of another Bahai poet of the same period, Mīrzā Moḥammad Sedehī, known as Naʿīm (1272-1334/1856-1916), whose most popular work, Aḥsan al-taqwīm or Jannat al-naʿīm, is an extended poetical apology for Bahaism. Of peasant stock, Naʿīm had a limited education but wrote poetry from an early age and formed part of a small literary circle in the village complex of Sedeh. This small group, which included the poets Āqā Sayyed Moḥammad Nayyer and Āqā Sayyed Esmāʿīl Sīnā, was converted to Bahaism in 1298/1881. Arrested and expelled from the Isfahan area, Naʿīm settled in Tehran, where he taught Persian at the British embassy and established a class for young Bahai missionaries, which he ran until his death.

Apart from the Aḥsan al-taqwīm, which has been published in several editions, including an annotated recension by ʿAbd-al-Ḥamīd Ešrāq Ḵāvarī, Naʿīm is well known in Bahai circles for his Qaṣīda-ye nūnīya (published in full but without title, with a translation by E. G. Browne in his Literary History of Persia IV, pp. 198-220), a Bahārīya (or Sayfīya) modeled on that of Mīrzā Ḥabīb Qāʾānī, and a morabbaʿ entitled Manẓūma-ye bīst o noh ḥorūf. Naʿīm also wrote several prose works, some of which have been published; these include two Bahai apologies (estedlālīya), a refutation of the Persian introduction to the Ketāb-e noqṭat al-kāf, and a collection of passages from the Persian Bayān. The apologetic and didactic character of so much of Naʿīm’s verse makes it rather forced and often turgid, although one cannot deny the ingenuity with which he incorporates textual references and quotations into the first part of his Aḥsan al-taqwīm. Where his poetry is freed from these restraints, however, it does reveal considerable charm.

In contrast to the overtly sectarian character of the above writers, the work of Abu’l-Ḥasan Mīrzā Shaikh al-Raʾīs (1264-1336/1848-1918) is for the most part concerned with broader issues. A son of Moḥammad-Taqī Mīrzā Ḥesām-al-Salṭana, Abu’l-Ḥasan trained as an ʿālem and acquired a reputation as a preacher and a constitutionalist. He appears to have been converted to Bahaism at an early age, either by his mother or by Mīrzā ʿAlī-Reżā Sabzavārī Mostašār-al-Molk. Although Shaikh al-Raʾīs never openly proclaimed his Bahai allegiance, his connection with the faith did become known and proved a spur for controversy on more than one occasion. Under the sobriquet of Ḥayrat, Shaikh al-Raʾīs wrote a small amount of poetry, most of which has been collected in the compilation entitled Montaḵab-e nafīs. There are also several poems by him on Bahai themes, some of which have been published by Bayżāʾī (Taḏkera I, pp. 282-90). His prose works include the Resāla-ye etteḥād-e Eslām, written for Sultan ʿAbd-al-Ḥamīd, and the Resālat al-abrār, an Arabic diatribe against Ḡolām Aḥmad Qādīānī.

Mīrzā Moḥammad Ardestānī, known as Nāṭeq (1298-1355/1880-1936), also started life as an ʿālem, but abandoned his clerical calling following his conversion in 1325/1907. He was for eleven years Director of the Bahai Waḥdat-e Bašar school in Kāšān and later taught at the Taʾyīd school in Hamadān before becoming a full-time Bahai missionary. His dīvān of almost 400 pages was published posthumously by the Bahais in Tehran. Although they show little originality, Nāṭeq’s poems at least take a somewhat broader view than those of most Bahai poets. Several prose works by him remain unpublished.

There are numerous other Bahai poets, most of whom have been made known thanks to the assiduous researches of Neʿmat-Allāh Ḏokāʾī Bayżāʾī, whose 4-volume Taḏkera-ye šoʿarā-ye qarn-e awwal-e bahāʾī contains biographies and samples of the work of no fewer than 134 individuals. Not very many of these are of much literary merit, of course, since Bayżāʾī’s criterion for inclusion appears to have been that someone be a Bahai and write poetry. Nevertheless, his collection does serve to draw attention to the work of several individuals previously unknown and possibly worth further notice. It is worth observing that a reasonable number of female poets appear in this collection, several of whom were active in the Babi and early Bahai periods.



Neʿmat-Allāh Ḏokāʾī Bayżāʾī, Taḏkera-ye šoʿarā-ye qarn-e awwal-e bahāʾī, 4 vols., Tehran, 127-29 B. (Badīʿ)/1970-73. ʿAzīz-Allāh Solaymānī, Maṣābīḥ-e hedāyat, 9 vols., Tehran, 121-132 B./1964-76, I: Nayyer, Sīnā, Warqāʾ, Fāżel-e Qāʾēnī; II: Abu’l-Fażl Golpāyegānī, Mawzūn, Meṣbāḥ; III: Naʿīm, Nāṭeq; VII: ʿAndalīb, Shaikh al-Raʾīs. ʿAlī-Ašraf Lāhījānī, Dīvān-e ʿAndalīb, Tehran, 126 B./1969-70. Mīrzā Moḥammad Sedehī, Aḥsan al-taqwīm yā jannāt al-naʿīm (with other works), ed. Mehrabān Šahrīār-Sorūš Maryāmābādī Yazdī, Bombay, 1306 Š./1927; ed. ʿAbd-al-Ḥosayn Naʿīmī, Delhi, 117 B./1960-61. ʿAbd-al-Ḥamīd Ešrāq Ḵāvarī, ed., Jannāt-e Naʿīm, 2 vols., Tehran, 130-31 B./1973-75. Mīrzā Moḥammad Nāṭeq, Dīvān-e Nāṭeq, Tehran, 124 B./1967-68. ʿAzīz-Allāh Meṣbāḥ, Dīvān-e ašʿār-e Meṣbāḥ, Tehran, 122 B./1965-66. Abu’l-Ḥasan Mīrzā Shaikh al-Raʾīs, Montaḵab al-nafīs, Tehran, 1312/1894-95. Ostād Moḥammad-ʿAlī Salmānī, My Memories of Baháʾuʾlláh, tr. Marzieh Gail, Los Angeles, 1982 (includes translations of several odes by Salmānī). E. G. Browne, A Literary History of Persia IV, Cambridge, 1924, pp. 198-220. Idem, Materials for the Study of the Bábí Religion, Cambridge, 1918, pp. 343-58. Idem, A Year Amongst the Persians, 3rd ed., London, 1950. A. Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baháʾuʾlláh, 3 vols., Oxford, 1974-83. ʿAbd-al-Ḥamīd Ešrāq Ḵāvarī, Ganj-e šāyegān, Tehran, 124 B./1967-68 (on the works of Bahāʾ-Allāh). Mīrzā Ḥosayn-ʿAlī Nūrī Bahāʾ-Allāh, Āṯār-e qalam-e aʿlā III, Tehran, 129 B./1972-73 (contains Jawāher al-asrār, Haft wādī, Čahār wādī, Maṯnawī-e mobārak, Qaṣīda-ye warqāʾīya). Idem, Māʾeda-ye āsmānī, ed. ʿAbd-al-Ḥamīd Ešrāq Ḵāvarī, IV, Tehran, 129 B./1972-73, pp. 176-211 (poems of Bahāʾ-Allāh). Idem, Kalemāt-e maknūna, Tehran, 128 B./1971-72 (and numerous other editions, including an illuminated ed., Frankfurt, n.d. [ca. 1974]). Idem, The Hidden Words of Bahāʾuʾllāh, tr. Shoghi Effendi, London, 1929.

Idem, Ketāb-e īqān, Cairo, 1352/1933; tr. Ali Kuli Khan, The Book of Assurance (The Book of Ighan), New York, n.d.; tr. Shoghi Effendi, The Kitáb-i-Íqán. The Book of Certitude, New York, 1931.

Idem, The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys, tr. Ali-Kuli Khan, New York, 1945.

Idem, Alwāḥ-e mobāraka-ye Ḥażrat Bahāʾ-Allāh [Bombay], n.d.

ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ ʿAbbās Effendi, al-Resāla al-madanīya, Bombay, 1310/1892-93; Cairo, 1329/1911.

Idem, Mysterious Forces of Civilization, tr. Johanna Dawud, London, 1910.

Idem, The Secret of Divine Civilization, tr. Marzieh Gail, Wilmette, 1957. Idem, Makātīb Ḥażrat ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ, 3 vols., Cairo, 1328-40/1910-1921.

Idem, Taḏkeratal-wafāʾ, Haifa, 1924.

Idem, Memorials of the Faithful, tr. Marzieh Gail, Wilmette, 1971.

Idem, al-Nūr al-abhā fī mofāważāt ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ, ed. Laura Clifford Barney, London, 1908.

Idem, Some Answered Questions, ed. and tr. Laura Clifford Barney, London, 1908.

Idem, Monājāthā-ye Ḥażrat ʿAbd-al-Bahāʾ, Bombay, n.d. Idem, Majmūʿa-ye monājāt, Tehran, 129 B./1971-72.

A Banani, “The Writings of Abd-al-Baha,” in Baháʾí World XV, 1968-73, Haifa, 1976, pp. 780-84.

Anonymous, Ba yād-e ṣadomīn sāl-e šahādat-e nābeḡa-ye dūrān, Qorrat-al-ʿAyn, Tehran, 1368/1949.

Ḥesām Noqabāʾī, Ṭāhera Qorrat-al-ʿAyn, Tehran, 128 B./1971-72.

Martha Root, Tahirih the Pure, Iran’s Greatest Woman, Karachi, 1938, repr. Los Angeles, 1981 (contains some original Persian poems).

D. MacEoin, Early Babi Doctrine and History. A Survey of Source Materials (forthcoming).

L. P. Elwell-Sutton and D. MacEoin, “Ḳurrat al-ʿAyn,” in EI2. J. R. Cole, “Bahá’u’lláh and the Naqshbandi Sufis in Iraq, 1854-1856,” in J. R. Cole and M. Momen, eds., From Iran East and West: Studies in Bábí and Baháʾí History, Volume 2, Los Angeles, 1984, pp. 1-28.

Mīrzā Ḥaydar-ʿAlī Eṣfahānī, Behjat al-ṣodūr, Bombay, 1913.

Idem, Stories from the Delight of Hearts, tr. and abridged A. Q. Faizi, Los Angeles, 1980; Yūnes Khan Afrūḵta, Ḵāṭerāt-e noh-sāla, Tehran, 124 B./1967-68.

Ḥabīb Moʾayyad, Ḵāṭerāt-e Ḥabīb, 2 vols., Tehran, 118, 129 B./1961-62, 1972-73.

Mīrzā Abu’l-Fażl Golpāyegānī, Majmūʿa-ye rasāʾel-e Ḥażrat Abi’l-Fażāʾel, Cairo, 1339/1920.

Idem, Rasāʾel wa raqāʾem, ed. R. Mehrābḵānī, Tehran, 134 B./1977.

Idem, Miracles and Metaphors, tr. J. Cole, Los Angeles, 1982.

Idem, Letters and Essays 1886-1913, tr. J. Cole, Los Angeles, 1985.

(D. M. MacEoin)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: August 23, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 5, pp. 471-475

Cite this entry:

D. M. MacEoin, “BAHAISM xii. Bahai Literature,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, III/5, pp. 471-475, pp. 96-99, available online at (accessed on 30 December 2012).