The Book of Certitude was written in Persian and Arabic by Baha’u’llah in January of 1861 while He was in exile in Baghdad. At that time Baghdad was a province of the Ottoman Empire.
Shoghi Effendi translated The Book of Certitude into English in 1931. He says it sets “forth in outline the Grand Redemptive Scheme of God” and describes it as, “A model of Persian prose, of a style at once original, chaste and vigorous, and remarkably lucid, both cogent in argument and matchless in its irresistible eloquence ….”
The Book of Certitude was revealed in response to four questions that Baha’u’llah was asked regarding the Promised One. This 200-page book was revealed by Baha’u’llah in less than two days.
The Book of Certitude should be read by anyone who wants to judge for themselves whether or not Baha’u’llah is the Manifestation of God empowered to unite the adherents of all religions including Christians, Muslims, and Jews. Instead of attempting to abstract the contents of this remarkable book, this is how Shoghi Effendi, a master of the English language, describes The Book of Certitude:
“Within a compass of two hundred pages it proclaims unequivocally the existence and oneness of a personal God, unknowable, inaccessible, the source of all Revelation, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and almighty; asserts the relativity of religious truth and the continuity of Divine Revelation; affirms the unity of the Prophets, the universality of their Message, the identity of their fundamental teachings, the sanctity of their scriptures, and the twofold character of their stations; denounces the blindness and perversity of the divines and doctors of every age; cites and elucidates the allegorical passages of the New Testament, the abstruse verses of the Quran, and the cryptic Muhammadan traditions which have bred those age-long misunderstandings, doubts and animosities that have sundered and kept apart the followers of the world’s leading religious systems; enumerates the essential prerequisites for the attainment by every true seeker of the object of his quest; demonstrates the validity, the sublimity and significance of the Báb’s Revelation; acclaims the heroism and detachment of His disciples; foreshadows, and prophesies the world-wide triumph of the Revelation promised to the people of the Bayan; upholds the purity and innocence of the Virgin Mary; glorifies the Imams of the Faith of Muhammad; celebrates the martyrdom, and lauds the spiritual sovereignty, of the Imam Husayn; unfolds the meaning of such symbolic terms as “Return,” “Resurrection,” “Seal of the Prophets” and “Day of Judgment”; adumbrates and distinguishes between the three stages of Divine Revelation; and expatiates, in glowing terms, upon the glories and wonders of the “City of God,” renewed, at fixed intervals, by the dispensation of Providence, for the guidance, the benefit and salvation of all mankind. Well may it be claimed that of all the books revealed by the Author of the Baha’i Revelation, this Book alone, by sweeping away the age-long barriers that have so insurmountably separated the great religions of the world, has laid down a broad and unassailable foundation for the complete and permanent reconciliation of their followers.”
There it is. In The Book of Certitude Baha’u’llah reasons with humanity, and in doing so He establishes the truth of progressive revelation and affirms the station of all prior Manifestations of God. At the same time, He shows readers why He is the Manifestation of God for this age and how His coming fulfills ancient prophecies in multiple religions. Baha’u’llah welcomes humanity to write a more telling book. Let them try to write a book – or provide any revelation or system of human thought – that has a better chance to unite all the religions of the world and establish peace and order across the planet.
The Book of Certitude is a religious document for the ages. It proves that humanity has come of age because it doesn’t require a priesthood to interpret it. Every seeker will find it satisfies their heart, mind, and soul, and increases their faith no matter what their religion.