As Baha’is around the world gather to commemorate the Martyrdom of the Bab, and reflect on His intense and amazing short-lived ministry, I thought it would be useful to share with everyone a list of books which may shed some light on His life, and help us gain a better understanding of the ‘The Herald of the Faith’.
This is probably the most comprehensive book about the life of the Bab I’ve bought, and the author H.M. Balyuzi is not only considered one of the foremost scholars of the Baha’i Faith, but he’s also actually related to the Bab. In this easy-to-read biography of the Bab, Balyuzi makes good use of many official historical documents and cites material gathered from family archives.
The Dawn-Breakers, or Nabil’s Narrative as it’s often called, is the most comprehensive and authoritative eyewitness account of the beginnings of the Baha’i era. It is also distinguished for being the only work of its kind completed in the time of Baha’u’llah, who approved portions of the manuscript. Translated by Shoghi Effendi, and originally published in English in 1932, this book continues to offer a priceless resource for those wishing to better understand early Baha’i history, its connection to the Babi religion, and the implications of this history for today.
Understanding the Bab’s Writings and their context can help us understand more about the personage of the Bab, and Dr. Nader Saiedi’s meticulous and insightful analysis identifies the key themes, terms, and concepts that characterize each stage of the Bab’s Writings, unlocking the code of the Bab’s mystical lexicon. Gate of the Heart is a subtle and profound textual study and an essential resource for anyone wishing to understand the theological foundations of the Baha’i religion and the Bab’s significance in religious history.
This treatise is not a book of history, but rather it’s the text of an address about the greatness of the revelation of the Bab. It covers highlights of the life of the Bab as well as describing the fate of the persecutors of the Bab and His companions. It also addresses the references in the Revelation of the Bab to the subsequent Revelation of Baha’u’llah.
Written and compiled by H.M. Balyuzi, a relative of the Bab, we are able to gain a better understanding of the life of the Bab through this short account of the life of the wife of the Bab, a “princess of her age”. You can also read Baha’i Blog’s article about Khadijeh Bagum here.
Written by Hand of the Cause William Sears, this easy-to-read and gripping book brings to life the early history of the Baha’i Faith conveying the divine magnetism and remarkable radiance of the Bab and the selflessness of the Babis right up through the hour of the martyrdom of the Bab.
I hope you find this list of books relating to the life of the Bab useful, and if you have any suggestions of other good books about the life of the Bab, then please add them to the ‘comments’ section below.