Collection 1

March 16, 2017

The Letter of Certainty

"Grandpa, tell me how the Kitáb-i-Iqán was written," Justice Ray said to his grandfather one afternoon during his grandfather's visit.

"Do you have your schoolwork done?"

"Almost." A few minutes later he reappeared. "I'm done now.” 

"Okay. First, you need to tell me the three people who were involved."

"The Báb, His uncle, and Bahá'u'lláh," Justice remembered.

"What did the Báb do?"

"He said He was a Messenger of God. And a lot of people didn't like that. They had their own ideas of Who a Messenger of God should be."

"What did the uncle do?"

"He was confused, so he wrote to Bahá'u'lláh," replied Justice.

"And..." prompted his grandfather.

"And Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Kitáb-i-Iqán," Justice finished proudly.

"You know the story," his grandfather said with a grin.

"What do you want me to say?"

"That's not the story!" Justice exclaimed in pretend indignation and delight at seeing through the trick. "Tell me the whole story! All of it!" he said, and gave his grandfather a hug and a squeeze.

"Ugh! I... can't... breathe..." his grandfather huffed and puffed, then hugged and squeezed Justice, too, until he giggled. "Okay, are we ready now?"

"Yes, Grandpa."

"The Báb had three uncles, who were brothers of His mother. The middle one raised the Báb after His father died. He and the oldest uncle took the Báb into their business when He was old enough to work. The middle uncle immediately recognized that the Báb was a Messenger of God and was martyred for his belief even before the Báb was martyred. The youngest uncle didn't want anything to do with any of this, though much later in his life, he did become a Bahá’í.

"The oldest uncle was bewildered. He thought, 'How could my Nephew be a Messenger of God?' When he told this to a believer, the believer laughed and said, 'The uncle of Muhammad said exactly the same thing. You are sure that Muhammad is a Messenger of God; why can't your nephew be One also?' The uncle had to think about that. Finally, the believer suggested that the uncle should talk to Bahá'u'lláh Himself, because He explained things so clearly.

"Baha'u'llah lived in Baghdad at the time. He had been exiled there by the sháh of Persia. It was a long trip for the uncle of the Báb, but he went and talked to Bahá'u'lláh. Bahá'u'lláh could see that he was sincere, and suggested he write down his questions. Bahá'u'lláh promised He would answer them.

"The uncle was relieved to hear this. That night, he wrote down his questions about his Nephew possibly being a Messenger of God. The questions filled two pages. He gave them to Bahá'u'lláh. In response, Baha'u'llah revealed a very long letter that is called the Kitab-i-Iqán." Justice snuggled close. They were coming to the part he liked best. He knew the Iqán was a big book, and the next part of the story always amazed him.

"The entire Iqán was revealed in just two days and two nights."

"Wow!" Justice sat upright, trying to imagine how anyone, even a Manifestation of God, could write so much so quickly. "How did He do that!?"

"It wasn't like the way you and I write things," his grandfather answered. "The words just poured out of Bahá'u'lláh like water in a river; they just came and came and came."

"Wow!" justice sat silent, thinking. His grandfather waited until he settled back against him before he began again.

"When the uncle of the Báb received this letter from Bahá'u'lláh and read it, he immediately recognized that his Nephew was truly a Manifestation of God. When he heard later that Bahá'u'lláh, also, was a Manifestation of God, he accepted Him and became a Bahá'í.

"What does the word ‘Iqán' mean?" Justice asked.

"It means 'certitude,' to be certain of something. Once the Bab's uncle read the letter, he was certain the Báb was the Promised One. I've heard that anyone who reads the Kitáb-i-Iqán sincerely will also be certain that the Báb and Bahá'u'lláh are Messengers of God."

"Have you read it, Grandpa?"

"Yes, several times."

"And are you certain the Báb and Bahá'ulláh are Messengers of God?"

"Absolutely!"

''I'm glad," Justice answered with satisfaction. "Then I'm certain, too."

"Good, when you are older you can read this book for yourself and then you will have true certitude."

"I want to go play with Keahi now."

"Kee-ah-hee?"

"Yes," answered Justice. "He's the boy in the family that moved in down the block last month. They're Bahá'is from Hawaii, and he's my friend."

"Okay, be back in time for supper."

"Bye bye, Grandpa, I love you."

"I love you, too, sweet boy."
(Written by Duane L. Herrmann and illustrated by Winifred Barnum-Newman; ‘Baha’u’llah’, Core Curriculum for Spiritual Education)