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The Kitáb-i-Aqdas is the central book of the Bahá'í Faith, written by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the religion. The work was written in Arabic under the Arabic title al-Kitab al-Aqdas, but it is commonly referred to by its Persian title, Kitáb-i-Aqdas, which was given to the work by Bahá'u'lláh himself. It is sometimes also referred to as "the Aqdas", "the Most Holy Book", "the Book of Laws" and occasionally "the Book of Aqdas".
It is usually stated that the book was completed around 1873, although there is evidence to suggest that at least some of the work was written earlier . Bahá'u'lláh had manuscript copies sent to Bahá'ís in Iran some years after the revelation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, and in the year 1308 A.H. (1890-91 A.D.), he arranged for the publication of the original Arabic text of the book in Bombay.
The Kitáb-i-Aqdas is referred to as "the Mother-Book" of the Bahá'í teachings. It is not, however, only a ‘book of laws’, much of the content deals with other matters, notably ethical exhortations and addresses to various individuals, groups, and places. The Kitáb-i-Aqdas also discusses the establishment of Bahá'í administrative institutions, Bahá'í religious practices, laws of personal status, criminal law, ethical exhortations, social principles, miscellaneous laws and abrogations, and prophecies.
The Kitáb-i-Aqdas is also supplemented by the
- 'Questions and Answers', which consists of 107 questions submitted to Bahá'u'lláh by Zaynu'l-Muqarrabin concerning the application of the laws and Bahá'u'lláh's replies to those questions,
- 'Some Texts Revealed by Bahá'u'lláh',
- a 'Synopsis and Codification of the Laws and Ordinances' of the book,
- as well as extensive explanatory notes.
Some laws and teachings of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas are, according to Bahá'í teaching, not meant to be applied at the present time; their application depends on decisions by the Universal House of Justice.
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