The Seven Valleys is a book written in Persian by Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá’í Faith. The Four Valleys was also written by Bahá'u'lláh, and the two books are usually published together under the title The Seven Valleys and the Four Valleys. The two books are distinctly different and have no direct relation. The Seven Valleys was written around 1860 in Baghdad after Bahá'u'lláh had returned from the mountains of Kurdistan. The work was written to a follower of Sufism and sets forth the stages of the soul's journey towards God. It was written in response to questions posed by Shaykh Muhyi'd-Din, a judge, who was a follower of the Qádiríyyih Order of Sufism. The Four Valleys was written around 1857 and answers questions by Shaykh ‘Abdu'r-Rahmán, the son of Shaykh Muhyi'd-Din, and outlines the relationship between the soul and God.
The Seven Valleys is a Bahá’í mystical text illustrating the soul’s journey through seven stages of spiritual development, ultimately leading to unity with God.
Bahá'u'lláh composed the Seven Valleys in response to a Sufi's questions, using the familiar Sufi metaphor of a journey through stages or valleys towards the divine, blending Islamic mysticism with Bahá’í teachings.
While the Seven Valleys outlines a sequential journey, it is not strictly a step-by-step guide but a metaphorical exploration of spiritual progression open to individual interpretation.
The soul's quest in the Seven Valleys traverses the stages of Search, Love, Knowledge, Unity, Contentment, Wonderment, and finally, True Poverty and Absolute Nothingness.
The Seven Valleys is largely allegorical, rich in symbolism, and explores profound spiritual truths through metaphor, speaking to the heart rather than offering literal directives.
The Seven Valleys was penned circa 1860 in Baghdad when Bahá'u'lláh returned from Kurdish exile, addressing Sheikh Muhyi'd-Din's enquiries on spiritual matters.
Bahá’ís view the Seven Valleys as a key text for understanding the mystical dimensions of the human soul and its potential for nearness to the divine.
The Seven Valleys stands out in Bahá’í literature for its poetic style and mystical content, distinct from more directly doctrinal Bahá’í texts.