The Dawn-Breakers is a hard book to place in the range of Bahá’í Literature. One might assume that it is merely a book by Nabil Zarandi. But there are some surprises in store. It turns out the book was essentially commissioned by Bahá’u’lláh Himself. Bahá’u’lláh arranged for much of the research. Then he oversaw the writing and contributed several first-hand accounts to the book. The final manuscript was completed before His passing, but unfortunately stolen. It was in his satchel containing his "most valuable manuscripts". It was a major task of Shoghi Effendi to reconstruct the final book, in English, from Nabil's manuscript and notes. While still imperfect as every history, it is a unique, authentic and highly authoritative narrative of the early days of the Bahá’í Faith. The book was placed at the center of Shoghi Effendi's curriculum for Baha'i youth. He emphasized that they must "master the facts recorded therein". The book is a unique and essential part of basic Bahá’í Literature.
The Dawn-Breakers, or Nabil's Narrative, is the stirring historical account of the early Bábí and Bahá'í communities, covering pivotal events from the birth of the Bábí movement to the early life of Bahá'u'lláh.
The research and writing of The Dawn-Breakers were commissioned and overseen by Bahá'u'lláh Himself, ensuring the book's authenticity and authoritative nature in Bahá'í literature.
Following the theft of the original manuscript, Shoghi Effendi, the appointed Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, undertook the significant work of reconstructing the text into English from Nabil's notes and drafts.
Unlike other scriptural writings, The Dawn-Breakers is a historical narrative that provides a firsthand chronicle of the Bábí and Bahá'í Faith's seminal moments, lending personal perspectives to the events documented.
Firsthand accounts included in The Dawn-Breakers, contributed by Bahá'u'lláh and other early believers, infuse the text with intimate insights and authentic details seldom found in historical works.
Despite the loss of the final manuscript, the reconstruction efforts and the direct involvement of Bahá'u'lláh and Shoghi Effendi confer a high level of authenticity and authority to The Dawn-Breakers in Bahá'í historiography.
Mastering the facts within The Dawn-Breakers equips Bahá'ís with a deep historical context, fortifying their faith and understanding of the religion's turbulent genesis and the sacrifices of its founders.
Shoghi Effendi esteemed The Dawn-Breakers as central to Bahá'í education, urging youth to study it meticulously to grasp the foundational history and spirit animating the Bahá'í community.