Sources of Further Information

In the following review, publication information is given only for those books not appearing in the bibliography.

Introductory Works

Many general introductory books have been written about the Bahá'í Faith. Among the better known ones are:

J.E. Esslemont, Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era;

Peter Smith, The Bahá'í Religion (Oxford: George Ronald, 1988);

John Huddleston, The Earth Is But One Country (3rd ed. n.p. [London]: Bahá'í [Publishing Trust], 1988);

William S. Hatcher and J. Douglas Martin, The Bahá'í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion (San Francisco, Calif.: Harper & Row, 1984); and

John Ferraby, All Things Made New: A Comprehensive Outline of the Bahá'í Faith (2nd rev. ed. London: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1987).

One book specially written for young people is René Derkse, What is the Bahá'í Faith? (Oxford: George Ronald, 1987).

A useful basic guide to Bahá'í terms and concepts is Wendi Momen, A Basic Bahá'í Dictionary (Oxford: George Ronald, 1989).

An annual survey is published under the title The Bahá'í World (Haifa: Bahá'í World Centre).

Baha'i Scriptures and other Authorittive Texts

The major translated works of Bahá'u'lláh include:

the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book), his book of laws;

the Kitáb-i-Íqán (Book of Certitude), on the subject of religious history and the interpretation of scripture and prophecy;

the Hidden Words, a book of spiritual and ethical aphorisms; and

the Seven Valleys, a book about the mystical path.

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas are two important compilations of the writings of Bahá'u'lláh.

`Abdu'l-Bahá wrote few books. The main works that we have from him are compilations of his letters and talks. These include:

Some Answered Questions, a book containing `Abdu'l-Bahá's answers to a large number of questions on theological and philosophical themes;

Promulgation of Universal Peace and Paris Talks, on social issues; and

Selections from the Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá.

He also wrote The Secret of Divine Civilization (Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1990), on the subject of the spiritual and moral foundations for social and economic development.

Shoghi Effendi's major works include:

God Passes By, a survey and interpretation of Bahá'í history.

Bahá'í Administration and The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh are compilations of his letters on the subject of the Bahá'í administration; and

The Promised Day is Come (Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1980) contains his interpretation of modern history.

There are also several compilations of his letters to various national Bahá'í communities.

Many compilations of the scriptures and authoritative texts of the Bahá'í Faith on various subjects have been published; see for example:

Unto Him shall We Return (comp. Hushidar Motlagh, Wilmette: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1985) on the human soul and life after death;

The Throne of the Inner Temple (comp. Elias Zohoori, privately printed, Jamaica, 1985) on health; and

Waging Peace (Kalimat Press, 1985).

A series of compilation has been issued by the Universal House of Justice. These have been published separately by the Bahá'í Publishing Trust, London, and compiled in The Compilation of Compilations.


The best brief general history of the Bahá'í Faith is:

Peter Smith, A Short History of the Bahá'í Faith, Oxford: Oneworld, 1995.

Peter Smith has also written a lengthier academic work: The Babi and Baha'i Religions: From Messianic Shi'ism to a World Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987).

There are a number of histories dealing with specific periods of Bahá'í history.

The best biography of Bahá'u'lláh is H. M. Balyuzi, Bahá'u'lláh, the King of Glory (Oxford: George Ronald, 1980).

The same author has also written biographies of the Báb and `Abdu'l-Bahá:

The Báb, the Herald of the Day of Days (Oxford: George Ronald, 1973); and

`Abdu'l-Bahá, the Centre of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh (2nd ed. Oxford: George Ronald, 1987).

Shoghi Effendi's widow has written a biography of him: Rúhíyyih Rabbani, The Priceless Pearl (London: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1969).

Other Aspects

On spirituality, see J.A. MacLean, Dimensions in Spirituality (Oxford: George Ronald, 1995).

On social and economic development, see Holly Hanson Vick, Social and Economic Development: A Bahá'í Approach, (Oxford: George Ronald, 1989).

On consultation, see John E. Kolstoe, Consultation: a Universal Lamp of Guidance (Oxford: George Ronald, 1985).

On the Bahá'í holy places, see David S. Ruhe, Door of Hope: A Century of the Bahá'í Faith in the Holy Land (Rev. ed., Oxford: George Ronald, 1989).

On the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár (House of Worship), see Julie Badiee, An Earthly Paradise (Oxford: George Ronald, 1992).

On peace, see Circle of Peace (Los Angeles: Kalimat Press, 1986).

On world government and global issues, see J. Tyson, World Peace and World Government (Oxford: George Ronald, 1986).


Further information about the Bahá'í Faith can be obtained from the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá'ís in each country. For the major English-speaking countries these are:

Australia: P.O. Box 285, Mona Vale NSW 2103. Tel. 2-99707275

Canada: 7200 Leslie St., Thornhill, Toronto ON L3T 6L8. Tel. 905-889-8184

New Zealand: P.O. Box 21 - 551, Henderson, Auckland 8. Tel. 9-837-4898

United States: 536 Sheridan Rd, Wilmette, IL 60091. Tel. 708-869-0247

United Kingdom: 27 Rutland Gate, London SW7 1PD. Tel. 171-584-2566

Extracted and edited from A Short Introduction to the Bahá'í Faith

© Moojan Momen 1996. All Rights Reserved

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