The Kitáb-i-Aqdas - The Most Holy Book
Page 9
Among such works is the Questions and Answers, a compilation made by Zaynu'l-Muqarrabín, the most eminent of the transcribers of Bahá'u'lláh's Writings. Consisting of answers revealed by Bahá'u'lláh to questions put to Him by various believers, it constitutes an invaluable appendix to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. In 1978 the most noteworthy of the other Tablets of this nature were published in English as a compilation entitled Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
Some years after the revelation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Bahá'u'lláh had manuscript copies sent to Bahá'ís in Iran, and in the year 1308 A.H. (1890-91 A.D.), towards the end of His life, He arranged for the publication of the original Arabic text of the Book in Bombay.
A word should be said about the style of language in which the Kitáb-i-Aqdas has been rendered into English. Bahá'u'lláh enjoyed a superb mastery of Arabic, and preferred to use it in those Tablets and other Writings where its precision of meaning was particularly appropriate to the exposition of basic principle. Beyond the choice of language itself, however, the style employed is of an exalted and emotive character, immensely compelling, particularly to those familiar with the great literary tradition out of which it arose. In taking up his task of translation, Shoghi Effendi faced the challenge of finding an English style which would not only faithfully convey the exactness of the text's meaning, but would also evoke in the reader the spirit of meditative reverence which is a distinguishing feature of response to the original. The form of expression he selected, reminiscent of the style used by the seventeenth-century translators of the Bible, captures the elevated mode of Bahá'u'lláh's Arabic, while remaining accessible to the contemporary reader. His translations, moreover, are illumined by his uniquely inspired understanding of the purport and implications of the originals.