"The True Seeker must, before all else, cleanse his heart..."


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Detailed Search

Index of Works
Writings of the Báb
Writings of Bahá'u'lláh
Writings of `Abdu'l-Bahá
Writings of Shoghi Effendi
Writings of The Universal House of Justice
Other Writings (includes compilations)

by Mark Towfiq

About This Resource

In early 1994, the international governing council of the Bahá'í Faith, the Universal House of Justice, released ASCII versions of all of the Bahá'í sacred writings that have been published in English. Other languages are to follow.

While software packages exist for personal computers to search these electronic versions, nothing as of yet has been put up on the Web. This is an initial attempt to take advantage of having such a large body of searchable text, in the hopes that it will be of use to all students of the Bahá'í Faith, no matter their religion or if they even believe in religion.

Known Problems

Here is a list of problems that are known, and could be fixed; volunteers are always welcome!
  • We do not accept diacriticals as input for searching.
  • Add support to reference works by paragraph #, not just page no
  • When generating index, allow for way to write over old entries, instead of doing everything from scratch.
  • Figure out how to skip over/handle/parse footnotes
  • Should "Kitáb-i-Aqdas" or "`Abdu'l-Bahá" be treated as single words?

Comments, suggestions, and questions are welcome.

How It Works

Skip this part if you don't want to know the gritty technical details.

This resource depends largely on the GNU tool ptx, written by François Pinard. ptx generates what is known as a permuted index, which is perfect for KWIC (Key Word In Context) searches!

The main work of the search itself is done by ptx and its output is piped through the script This script takes each line of ptx's output (which has been invoked with the -T -A options) and writes to a file (named after that word) the file and the line where the word occurs. For example, here is the file for the word "agreed":

After this index has been generated, the CGI Perl script is invoked from one of the search forms, opens the file associated with the main word, opens each book the user asked to search, and then generates HTML references for each "hit" that it finds.