The Bahá’í Faith

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From A Traveler’s Narrative

An early narrative of Bábí and Bahá’í history, this text was first published anonymously in 1890 as a historical account of the birth of a religion and a defence of the Faith’s pure motives.

A Traveler’s Narrative can be read in full at the Bahá’í Reference Library. Some extracts are shared below.

Of the Báb’s writings many remained in men’s hands. Some of these were commentaries on, and interpretations of the verses of the Qur’án; some were prayers, homilies, and hints of [the true significance of certain] passages; others were exhortations, admonitions, dissertations on the different branches of the doctrine of the Divine Unity, demonstrations of the special prophetic mission of the Lord of existing things [Muhammad], and (as it hath been understood) encouragements to amendment of character, severance from worldly states, and dependence on the inspirations of God. But the essence and purport of His compositions were the praises and descriptions of that Reality soon to appear which was His only object and aim, His darling, and His desire. For He regarded His own appearance as that of a harbinger of good tidings, and considered His own real nature merely as a means for the manifestation of the greater perfections of that One. And indeed He ceased not from celebrating Him by night or day for a single instant, but used to signify to all His followers that they should expect His arising: in such wise that He declares in His writings, “I am a letter out of that most mighty book and a dewdrop from that limitless ocean, and, when He shall appear, My true nature, My mysteries, riddles, and intimations will become evident, and the embryo of this religion shall develop through the grades of its being and ascent, attain to the station of ‘the most comely of forms,’ and become adorned with the robe of ‘blessed be God, the Best of Creators.’ And this event will disclose itself in the year [A.H. one thousand two hundred and] sixty-nine, which corresponds to the number of the year of ‘after a while,’ and ‘thou shalt see the mountains which thou thinkest so solid passing away like the passing of the clouds’ shall be fulfilled.” In short He so described Him that, in His own expression, He regarded approach to the divine bounty and attainment of the highest degrees of perfection in the worlds of humanity as dependent on love for Him, and so inflamed was He with His flame that commemoration of Him was the bright candle of His dark nights in the fortress of Mákú, and remembrance of Him was the best of companions in the straits of the prison of Chihríq. Thereby He obtained spiritual enlargements; with His wine was He inebriated; and at remembrance of Him did He rejoice. All of His followers too were in expectation of the appearance of these signs, and each one of His intimates was seeking after the fulfillment of these forecasts.

— A Traveler’s Narrative, pp. 32-34