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This year, the 149th of the Baha'i era, marks the Centenary of the Ascension of Baha'u'llah, Bearer of the universal Revelation of God destined to lead humanity to its collective coming of age. That this occasion should be observed by a community of believers representing a cross-section of the entire human race and established, in the course of a century and a half, in the most remote corners of the globe, is a token of the forces of unity released by Baha'u'llah's advent. A further testimony to the operation of these same forces can be seen in the extent to which Baha'u'llah's vision has prefigured contemporary human experience in so many of its aspects. It is a propitious moment for the publication of this first authorized translation into English of the Mother Book of His Revelation, His "Most Holy Book", the Book in which He sets forth the Laws of God for a Dispensation destined to endure for no less than a thousand years.
Of the more than one hundred volumes comprising the sacred Writings of Baha'u'llah, the Kitab-i-Aqdas is of unique importance. "To build anew the whole world" is the claim and challenge of His Message, and the Kitab-i-Aqdas is the Charter of the future world civilization that Baha'u'llah has come to raise up. Its provisions rest squarely on the foundation established by past religions, for, in the words of Baha'u'llah, "This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future." In this Revelation the concepts of the past are brought to a new level of understanding, and the social laws, changed to suit the age now dawning, are designed to carry humanity forward into a world civilization the splendours of which can as yet be scarcely imagined.
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