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Baha’u’llah’s Paradise of Justice: Commentary and Translation

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Baha’u’llah’s Paradise of Justice (Rivānu’l-‘Adl, or Riwān al-‘Adl; also known as Law-i Rivānu’l-‘Adl and Law-i ‘Adl) may be regarded as Baha’u’llah’s paradigm (‘Paradise’ or ideal) of ‘justice’. Baha’u’llah’s Paradise of Justice transforms received notions of ‘justice’. Although typically considered a ‘secular’ concern within rather specific institutional confines, Baha’u’llah allegorizes, personifies, symbolizes and otherwise expatiates on ‘Justice’ in such a way as to vivify the concept. Justice is made sacred, deriving from the ‘Name’ of God as ‘The Just’ (al-‘ādil). Justice – encompassing, as it does, both faith and action – is the essence of the Baha’i concept of salvation, both individual and societal. As a framework of analysis, this paper is organized as follows: Introduction; Historical Context; Structure (vis-à-vis Apostrophes); Highlights of Baha’u’llah’s Paradise of Justice; Theological Dimension of ‘Justice’; Revelatory Dimension of ‘Justice’; Authoritarian Dimension of ‘Justice’; Contemporaneous Dimension of ‘Justice’; Social Dimension of ‘Justice’; Individual Dimension of ‘Justice’; Conclusion; Appendix: Riwān al-‘Adl: Paradise of Justice (translated by Adib Masumian). This study demonstrates how Baha’u’llah’s Paradise of Justice presents a significantly expanded paradigm of justice, both in precept and practice.

Keywords: Baha’u’llah; Paradise of Justice; Riwān al-‘Adl; philosophy of justice; theology of justice; virtue ethics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Pittsburgh 2: Austin

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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