Mahmud’s Diary – The Diary of Mirza Mahmud-i-Zarqani Chronicling ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s Journey to America, Translated by Mohi Sobhani

In the spring of 1912 Abdu'l-Baha set off from Alexandria on His historic journey to America. Among his small entourage was Mirza Mahmud- i-Zarqani, who became, in the words of Shoghi Effendii, “the chronicler of His travels”.

Mirza Mahmud went everywhere with ‘Abdu’l-Baha making extensive notes not only of the Master's many public talks and conversations with individuals but also of the new sights and experiences they found in America as well as the daily routines of eating, writing letters and travelling. Mahmud remarks on the novelty of the New York skyscrapers, electric lights and American foods and customs for Abdu'l Baha’s party as well as the picturesque spectacle provided to the Americans by His entourage in their ‘abas and Persian hats.

The result was a unique diary “regarded as a reliable account of Abdu'l-Baha's travels in the West and an authentic record of His utterances, whether in the form of formal talks, table talks or random oral statements. Mirza Mahmud was a careful and faithful chronicler and engaged in assembling and publishing his work with the permission of the beloved Master . . “ (The Universal House of Justice).

Selections From The Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha - by 'Abdu'l-Baha

In the preface to this book, which was published by the Universal House of Justice in 1978, we read:

‘Abdu’l-Baha’s exposition of the Baha’i Revelation is recorded in His written works, in the many compilations of His recorded utterances, and in His correspondence. The written works such as The Secret of Divine Civilization, A Traveller’s Narrative, the Will and Testament, are available in English translations. Likewise many compilations of His recorded utterances, among which may be mentioned Some Answered Questions, Memorials of the Faithful, Paris Talks, are kept in print. Not for sixty years, however, has any large compilation, in English, of His innumerable letters been made; the three volumes of Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha published the United States between 1909 and 1916, although running into second editions, have long been out of print.

The Bab, by Hand of the Cause H.M. Balyuzi

Here is a fascinating record of the life of the Bab, Whom Baha’u’llah refers to as “the King of the Messengers”. In the inside cover of the book we read:
"In the middle of the nineteenth century Iran, then remote from the West, was roused and convulsed by the appearance of the Marty-Prophet, the Bab, Whose brief Ministry of six years (1844-50) ended in His own martyrdom and that of thousands of His followers. The Bab was a youthful merchant Who fulfilled wide expectation in The East and West by His declaration that ‘He Whom God shall manifest” would soon arise to guide mankind into a new epoch of spiritual civilization.

The Bab and His religion were observed at first hand by Western diplomats – British, Russian, French, and Austrian, in particular – whose official reports and accounts in books provide unparalleled data for the study of the birth and rise of a faith which, in the words of a Cambridge scholar, Edward Grandville Brown, 'may not impossibly win a place amidst the great religions of the world'.

Mr. Balyuzi has made use of many official documents from governmental records, and also cites material gathered from family archives, accessible to him as a relative of the Bab. His illustrations include several items from these archives."

In the forward section of the book, Hand of the Cause of God Mr. Baluzi indicates that:

Selections From The Writings of the Bab

This first authorized source of the Bab’s Writings in English became available in 1976.
In the preface to this book we read:

“The Baha'i Community has long awaited the day when a comprehensive selection from the writings of the Bab would be made available to it. Ever since Shoghi Effendi translated and published Nabil's Narrative, and set forth in his monumental works the exalted station of the Bib, the Baha'is the world over, and particularly those in the West, have, in their longing to draw nearer to the glorious spirit of Him Who was not only the Herald of their Faith but the Bearer of an independent Revelation, eagerly anticipated an authentic compilation of His revealed utterances and writings. This volume, it is hoped, will be an initial and effective step in that direction.

Stories of Baha'u'llah and Some Notable Believers, by Kiser Barnes

A fascinating book about the life and ministry of Baha’u’llah, the latest Manifestation (Prophet) of God. All the stories are from Adib Taherzadeh’s four volumes of the Revelation of Baha’u’llah.

“Here also are stirrings presentations of believers who stood before the world with the spirit of a new era that Baha’u’llah had awakened in them. Discover in these pages how some Apostles of Baha’u’llah, the four Hands of the Cause of God He appointed, the first Jewish believer, the first Zoroastrian believer, the first Christian believer, and other fortunate men and women, daringly recognized that a new religion has once again come into the world. Like the narratives of the world religions gone before, these precious stories fill the heart with wonder” (from the cover of the book)

Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah

"He is indeed pleased to know that the Book of Prayers and Meditations by Bahá'u'lláh has been out in time to enable the friends to read it during the Fast, and he has every hope that the perusal of such a precious volume will help to deepen more than any other publication, the spirit of devotion and faith in the friends, and thus charge them with all the spiritual power they require for the accomplishment of their tremendous duties towards the Cause..." (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Directives from the Guardian, p. 59)