French Translation of Persian Bayan (Volume 1)

A.L.M Nicholas the author of the French translation of the Persian Bayan was a French consul in Iran who had developed strong interest in the Babi movement and Bayanic literature. He has written several articles and books on these subjects, but his most important works are his translations of some of the most important works of the Primal Point: 

·        Arabic Bayan

·        Persian Bayan (in four volumes)

·        Seven Proofs

 Nicholas was fluent in Persian and Arabic and knew the Iranian and culture and the history of the Babi movement. He was therefore well positioned to undertake such important and difficult task. After one hundred years, his translations serve as the only means by which Western scholars can be connected with some of the Bayanic literatures.

 Similar to Prof. Browne, Nicolas was quickly condemned by the Bahais for translating these important works. Nicholas commenting on Abdul Baha’s reaction to the translation of Persian and Arabic Bayans in which he says: In the mentioned tablet, he pointed at the translation of Bayan and that it was of no benefit stating that “all provisions in Bayan with the exception of those mentioned and approved in Aqdas were abrogated by Aqdas; the spirit of all holly books were (in) Aqdas; Bayan and its provisions are abroagted and hence of what benefit is the translation to him”[1]

« در لوح مذکور اشاره از ترجمه بیان و عدم فایده آن فرموده بودند به این عبارت که بیان به توسط کتاب اقدس جمیع احکامش منسوخ است مگر احکامیکه در کتاب اقدس مذکور و تائید شده است و روح کل کتب اقدس است بیان و احکام بیان منسوح است لهذا از ترجمه آن چه ثمری برای ایشان.

Nicholas received condemnation from Bahais for acknowledging the fact that Subh-i Azal was the sole authortity after the martyrdom of the Primal Point. His translation of the Primal Point’s testamentary disposition appears in the introduction of the French translation of the Arabic Bayan.

 Nicolas is blunt and clear on some of the basic flaws in the Bahai claim. For example on the subject of the Bahai pretension that The Primal Point was merely a forrunner, he says:

“.., to represent him as a mere Herald of Bahaullah is a historical lie ..”.

On the subject of Bahai charge that Bayan was not a universal manifestation for the whole mankind, he comments (introduction to the Persian Bayan):

The objection raised on the basis that his religion would be inapplicable for the whole of Humanity, is not a fact. Either this religion is a divine one, or it is not it. If it is Divine, What right does one have to judge it? If it is not, how Beha oullah, Prophet of God,  proceed of it?

Arabic Bayan contains 11 Wahids (Unity) each containing 19 Babs (Chapters)[2]. The Persian Bayan contains the first 9 Wahids and 10 Babs.

Arabic Bayan is is at a summary level of what is in the Persian Bayan. However there are some ordinations in the Arabic Bayan that are not to found in the Persian Bayan. Neither Arabic Bayan nor the Persian Bayan can be considered as substitute for one another.

 According to the testamentary disposition left by the Primal Point, Subh-i-Azal was empowered and authorized, to “make manifest the eight paths [i.e. the eight unwritten Wلhids (Units) of the Bayan], if god causes glory to appear in your days.” If the time should not be propitious Subh-i-Azal was to maintain the Bayan as it stands and was not to change one iota.

 Commenting on the Point’s Epistle referred to above in J.R.A.S, July 1892, pp. 478-479 Professor Browne states that “not only that the BآB regarded Subh-i Azal as his sole vicegerent, but that he did not contemplate such a contingency as the appearance of ‘Him Whom God Shall Manifest’ in Subh-i Azal’s time and that the BآB intentionally left the [Arabic] Bayan incomplete only publishing 11 of the 19 Wلhids [i.e. the Unities] .. Conferring on Subh-i Azal the right of completing it if the time be propitious.”

Subh-i Azal supplemented the Persian Bayan by one Wahid and 10 Babs. Therefore the Persian and Arabic Bayans both have 11 Wahids.

Please click here to view French transaltion of the Persian Bayan (volume one) by A.L.M Nicholas.


[1] Mirza Husayn Ali (known as Baha) himself never said that Bayan was abrogated. To the contrary in his Risala-i-Badi pages 356-357 he says that he maintained Bayan.

 In the Ishraq he says: “His Holiness the Forerunner [i.e. the Primal Point] revealed laws, but the world of command was dependent on acceptance. Therefore this wronged one implemented some of them and revealed in Al-Kitab Al-Aqdas couched in other terms. In some others we tarried. The command is in his hands. He doeth what He willeth and he ordaineth what He pleaseth. He is the Mighty, the praise worthy. Some laws of new doctrines were also revealed.”

 [2] Out of 19 Wahids.