Further learning

1. A Flame of Fire

This text, penned by Hand of the Cause of God Abu’l-Qásim Faizi, describes the story of Aḥmad himself. John Kolstoe states in his book (listed below) that the origin of this pamphlet by Mr. Faizi was actually a number of questions he, Kolstoe, asked Mr. Faizi while on pilgrimage, in 1960.

The text is available online here.

Hand of the Cause of God Abu'l Qásim Faizí
Hand of the Cause of God Abu’l-Qásim Faizi (source)

2. Deliver This Clear Message

The Tablet of Aḥmad as a Practical Guide and Mandate to Teach

This is a book by John Kolstoe, 92 pages long. Kolstoe places emphasis on the dimension of teaching – as, indeed, it was Aḥmad’s own understanding that this was the intent behind the Tablet.

The book was self-published and can be found at various retailers online.

3. Learn Well This Tablet

This book, by the late Richard Gurinsky, was published in 2000. It spans over 300 pages. The opening pages tell us the story of Aḥmad himself, going on to discuss the significance of the Tablet and identify 20 major themes found within it. The 282 pages that follow form 74 chapters, each of which is sequentially devoted to a specific line (or word) in the Tablet, from start to finish.

It seems that this remarkable book was born out of love, rather than intellectualism. The Introduction to the book, penned by Todd Lawson, helps us navigate this, calling attention to the fact that the author, “as a result of his deep devotion and profound spirituality, has offered us in the form of the present book, a firm foundation for the further exploration of the connections between the Faith and Islam. There are places in the text, however, where the lack of familiarity with the Arabic leads our author to conclusions that may be thought erroneous.” These instances do appear to be skillfully resolved in the footnotes of the book.

The book can be found at various retailers online.

4. Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, Volume II

Chapter 5 of this book by Adib Taherzadeh consists of approximately 30 pages devoted to the Tablet of Aḥmad.

The chapter can be found online.

Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Vol. 2

5. Seeing Double: The Covenant and the Tablet of Aḥmad

This 49-page paper by Todd Lawson was presented at the ‘Irfán Colloquia and can be found here.

6. The Ocean of His Words

A reader’s guide to the art of Bahá’u’lláh

This book by John Hatcher, published in 1997, aims to increase the reader’s understanding of the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. One reviewer wrote:

Chapter 7 shows how to combine the methods of literary criticism to achieve a “close reading”, using the Arabic Tablet of Aḥmad as an example. Hatcher’s reading is an equal mixture of the devotional and scholarly, after the manner of Adib Taherzadeh or what were quaintly called “improvements” on Biblical texts in the 18th century. For example, one might doubt whether the coincidence of names in the two Tablets of Aḥmad (Arabic and Persian) is really so significant, but the improving moral that Hatcher deduces from this coincidence is admirable.

The book can be found at various retailers online.

7. Short Chronicles

  • Chronicle by bahaichronicles.org: link – Important note: this website includes a photo which is probably not a photo of Aḥmad. See this page for more information about this photo.
  • Chronicle by Richard Francis: link

8. Audio recording of a talk by Dr. ‘Alí-Murád Dávúdí (in Persian)

Below is a talk in Persian about the Tablet of Aḥmad by Dr. ‘Alí-Murád Dávúdí, professor of philosophy at the University of Tehran, and Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Bahá’ís of Iran: