Unity Of Religion

All research or scholarship questions
choogue
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Unity Of Religion

Postby choogue » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:01 pm

Hi All,

Just wondering if it is right to say that Bahai's believe in ALL the religions?

Im trying to understand what the Bahai religion is actually saying when they mean unity of religion.

Hinduism believe in the cow(?) as a God, therefore are idol worshippers. Bahai say that all previous religions were right so does that mean Bahai believe that the cow is a God and the hindus were right?

Ahmadiyya believe that a prophet in the 1800's (cant remember his name)came to india(or pakistan) and claimed himself to be the Mahdi and Jesus in one, do the Bahais believe this to be right aswell?

Basically what im trying to understand, do bahais believe any of the religions that have came out to be false or man made? Or they were all right?

If anyone could help clarify, that would be great.

Regards
Abbas

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Re: Unity Of Religion

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:22 pm

abbas wrote:Hi All,

Just wondering if it is right to say that Bahai's believe in ALL the religions?


All major world religions. Some religions we don't recognize as being among one of God's religions.

abbas wrote:I'm trying to understand what the Bahai religion is actually saying when they mean unity of religion.

Hinduism believe in the cow(?) as a God, therefore are idol worshippers. Bahai say that all previous religions were right so does that mean Bahai believe that the cow is a God and the hindus were right?


When a religion gets old, when its time is up, the believers generally start to revert to more primitive beliefs and practices. The reason is because the religion is worn out; God has renewed religion with a new Revelation. The Baha'i Writings state for example that the Buddha originally taught one God, but now Buddhism's more of an atheistic or nontheistic religion. What the believers practice doesn't necessarily reflect the way it was practiced thousands of years ago.

abbas wrote:Ahmadiyya believe that a prophet in the 1800's (cant remember his name)came to india(or pakistan) and claimed himself to be the Mahdi and Jesus in one, do the Bahais believe this to be right aswell?


No. We believe this role was fulfilled by Baha'u'llah.

abbas wrote:Basically what im trying to understand, do bahais believe any of the religions that have came out to be false or man made? Or they were all right?


Some are man-made; and of those that were originally from God, many man-made practices have infiltrated the religion and replaced the original practices and beliefs. We can look at history to confirm this.

choogue
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Postby choogue » Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:52 pm

i totally agree with you that made man practices have corrupted many religions.

See, i believe that the Jewish religion is a revelation, Christian is a revelation and Islam is a revelation. All the rest i dont classify them as revelations and believe they are man-made. (not including Bahai, coz im still researching about it)

In regards to Ahmadiyya, i understand that the role of the Mahdi and Jesus was fulfilled by Bahaullah, but i was just trying to understand whether this kind of religion would not be included in the Unity of all religions.

And also Hindus, they wont be included either since they are idol worshipers, correct?

Regards
Abbas

choogue
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Postby choogue » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:02 pm

One other thing, does anyone know whether Buddha came before prophet Muhammed (a.s) and whether he was a divine messenger?

Also, since buddha is included as part of the unity of religion, does anyone know whether the Quran or the Prophet Muhammed (a.s) speaks of Buddha?

Regards
Abbas

choogue
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Postby choogue » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:05 pm

Actually i think it may have been Zoroastrian that came before the Prophet Muhammed(a.s), there if thats the case, the above questions can be replaced by Zoroastrian rather than buddha.

Jonah
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Postby Jonah » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:43 pm

You can find the dates of all these Manifestations, including Buddha and Zoroaster, probably at Wikipedia. Both were from the so-called "axis period" of circa 400-600 BC (give or take a couple centuries). These dates have been disputed, I read one Zoroastrian scholar who put Zarathustra closer to 1200BC, and some Buddhists regard him as having lived earlier, too.

Re a list of the Prophets/Manifestations recognized by the Baha'i Faith, Christopher Buck and others have tried preparing a complete list, a couple versions of which can be found at this website. Brett Zamir summararized their findings at http://bahai-library.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?t=170 :

brettz9 wrote:Those following immediately do have confirmation of being Manifestations of God as far as I could find:

Baha'u'llah
The Bab
Muhammad
Christ
Buddha
Zoroaster
Elijah (Elias)
Jonah (Jonas)
Jethro
Moses
Krishna
Joseph
Ishmael (not necessarily the son of Abraham--Ismael)
Lot (Lut)
Abraham (Ibráhím)
David (not King David)
Sálih
Húd
Noah
Founder of Sabaeanism; same as Seth and/or Idrís?)
Idrís (or Hermes, etc.; same as Enoch?)
Abel (indirect statements for)
Adam


The following have some possible evidence stating they were:
Enoch? (same as Idris perhaps)
Seth? (Founder of Sabaeaenism?)
Jacob? (per 'Abdu'l-Baha, some food was forbidden during this time...perhaps a law of the Manifestation?)

The following are additional prophets in the Qur'an, though they are only mentioned as nabi, not the rasul of Manifestations (though they could be):

Elisha?
Dhu'l Kifl?
Isaac?
Aaron? (possibly he was stated as NOT being one, I forget...)

choogue
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Postby choogue » Wed Oct 18, 2006 1:49 pm

Cool, thanks Jonah.

Maybe you may be able to direct me to any writings of whether the Quran indicates anything about Buddha or Zoroastrian? That would be something that would be good to know.

Or maybe if someone knows whether the Quran states anything about Buddha or Zoroastrian or even if the Prophet Muhammed(a.s) speaks of them?

Regards
Abbas

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:52 am

FYI, for that listing I compiled, I had independently verified each Lesser Prophet or Manifestation from the original Writings. The question marks were there because I couldn't find any sources stating either way about their status (I checked the Qur'an too, for at least some sources, and as I recall probably all of the sources). So, that means:
1) I should be able to dig up a source again for any of the listed figures if anyone has a question on them. Actually, if you go to http://bahai9.com/Prophets there is the same basic listing with links leading to pages which may offer the Writings which justify their listing as a lesser prophet or Manifestation.
2) I did not systematically go through the other research Jonah refers to (though I may have used their listings of Prophets as a source for my additional investigations), so there may be additional justifications for or against particular listings within those articles. For example, http://bahai-library.com/theses/religio ... ty.05.html also has a helpful listing, though it does not attempt to distinguish between lesser Prophets and Manifestations. There was another helpful article I cannot find now which had its own listing.

There is also a text which states we should not make a rigid listing of the "nine religions", so presumably the same would apply for the Prophets. We are also told we cannot add to the names of those in the Baha'i Writings, Qur'an, or Bible. Presumably we are not to make a rigid insistence on this for the sake of a more nuanced approach with those from other Faith traditions.

As to Buddha and Zoroaster, in Surah 22, there is mention of Magians (who followed Zoroaster), separate from polytheists, so they had been given some protection in Islamic countries. Other than that, there is, I belive, nothing explicit on them. However, the same Surah also mentions in verse 34, "To every people did We appoint rites (of sacrifice), that they might celebrate the name of God over the sustenance He gave them from animals (fit for food).", so this verse might be taken (as we believe it should be) to refer to God having sent Messengers to each people (Buddha and Zoroaster of course included, as they are explicitly recognized in our Writings). You may also be interested in the following if you haven't seen it already, though I know it doesn't discuss your question: http://bahai-library.com/?file=compilat ... _zoroaster

I might also add that although we believe that the Qur'an contains, at least implicitly, all kinds of knowledge, we are also told that the Baha'i Writings are themselves a standard, so we fortunately do not always have to go back to the Qur'an to verify something for ourselves (though it may help of course in teaching others).

choogue
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Postby choogue » Thu Oct 19, 2006 12:52 pm

might also add that although we believe that the Qur'an contains, at least implicitly, all kinds of knowledge, we are also told that the Baha'i Writings are themselves a standard, so we fortunately do not always have to go back to the Qur'an to verify something for ourselves (though it may help of course in teaching others).


I understand where your coming from this statement but thats only in a Bahai view. Ofcourse the Quran is the only view that i would take until i believe in Bahaullah. This is why i need to prove to myself that the Bahai faith is true from my own book. Hope you understand what i mean.

Thanks Brettz9 for the info.

Regards
Abbas

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:15 pm

Well then. 19 is the common denominator of the Qur'an, wheras it is a holy number in the Baha'i faith.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.
~ Bahá'u'lláh

choogue
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Postby choogue » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:23 pm

That theory has been rejected. Ive read about the number 19 being the miracle of the Quran but evidence has shown it to be false.

Apparently, a couple of verses need to be changed/removed in order for the number 19 to be true. The only sect that believes in that "miracle" are named "submission" (I think from memory).

Even so, surely a number is not going to convince someone. Only independent research will, but thanks either way. :)

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:02 pm

abbas wrote:That theory has been rejected. Ive read about the number 19 being the miracle of the Quran but evidence has shown it to be false.

Apparently, a couple of verses need to be changed/removed in order for the number 19 to be true. The only sect that believes in that "miracle" are named "submission" (I think from memory).

Even so, surely a number is not going to convince someone. Only independent research will, but thanks either way. :)

Regards
Abbas


Trying to focus on that number in the Koran won't get you to the Truth.

Many Muslims focus on the "seal of the prophets" verse (no other prophets or messengers after Muhammad). But since you, Abbas, are beyond that (you know that both Koran and hadith mention the coming Mahdi), you should focus on the Bab's and more importantly Baha'u'llah's Writings. If Baha'u'llah is the expected Return, His verses will be as beautiful as those contained within the Koran—and more beautiful. If Muhammad indeed foretold Baha'u'llah, then a Muslim has to admit (if Baha'u'llah is indeed that One) that His Book and His Words will be even more powerful than Muhammad's, just as Muhammad's Words were far superior to those of Jesus' [because He (Muhammad) was the next in line of the Messengers of God]. (However, Muhammad's Words are still very siginificant, that is why we refer to them.) If you read the Hidden Words, and some other Writings of Baha'u'llah, you will see they have a strong Koranic feel to them. (Much of the Bab's Writings are written in the same style as the verses of the Koran.)

But my point is, let's perhaps not focus on the number 19 in relation to the Koran. Anyway, there is only one place in the Koran where the number 19 is explicitly stated, and I DON'T think it'd help our case :lol: :
    And who shall teach thee what Hell-fire is?

    It leaveth nought, it spareth nought,

    Blackening the skin.

    Over it are nineteen angels.

    None but angels have we made guardians of the fire: nor have we made this to be their number but to perplex the unbelievers, and that they who possess the Scriptures may be certain of the truth of the Koran, and that they who believe may increase their faith;

    And that they to whom the Scriptures have been given, and the believers, may not doubt;

    And that the infirm of heart and the unbelievers may say, What meaneth God by this parable?

    ("The Enwrapped" Sura LXXIV, 27–33)


So let's not confuse ourselves. :)

choogue
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Postby choogue » Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:26 am

Exactly. I agree with your point BW.

I want to learn through facts and the number 19 is totally irrelevant.

Thanks again

Abbas

British_Bahai
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Postby British_Bahai » Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:08 pm

Also:
go to this page which has info on the following:
_____________________________________________________________

RELIGIOUS UNITY


# Messianic Prophecies from the Founders of the World's Great Religions Messianic prophecies from the Christian, Buddhist, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Islamic and other religions. (14K)

# Commentary on the Oneness of the Prophets from the Baha'i Writings... (17K)

# Commentary on the Unchangeable Foundation of the Religion of God from the Baha'i Writings... (22K)

# Commentary on Unity in Diversity from the Baha'i Writings... (6K)

# Commentary on the Independent Investigation of Truth from the Baha'i Writings... (8K)

# Commentary on the Return of the Prophets from the Baha'i Writings... (6K)

Dorumerosaer
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Postby Dorumerosaer » Mon Dec 24, 2007 1:34 am

Some of the practices of the ancient religions are very far removed from what the Prophet originally brought. For example, Shoghi Effendi has written that no Prophet of God ever taught the concept of reincarnation:

"'No revelation from God has ever taught re-incarnation; this is a man-made conception." (To an individual believer, April 1, 1946; Lights of Guidance, p. 536)

However, if you were to ask many Buddhists or Hindus today about this, they would insist that this is a divinely-revealed concept.

My point is that similarly, no Manifestation of God ever taught the worship of idols. When Baha'is bring the good news of Baha'u'llah to people who worship idols, we explain that we believe in their Prophet; and that we believe in the Message that Prophet brought, *as originally revealed in its purity.* We absolutely do not believe in the wide range of beliefs that men have come up with over the centuries.

As far as whether the Qur'an mentions by name the various Prophets: This is really a matter for trained scholars. The Bible does not mention Zoroaster; however, it is widely believed that the followers of Zoroaster were known as Magians or Magi, and that the "wise men" who followed the star to the infant Christ, were followers of Zoroaster.

You insist on finding the proof you seek, in the Qur'an. Let me ask you a question. If a Jewish young man learned of Jesus Christ and was attracted to Him, and told his father about Jesus, and the father insisted on finding the truth about Jesus only from the Old Testament--- wouldn't the father be dismissing the most important testimony? Isn't the most important testimony of Christ, His own words?

Likewise if a Christian or a Jew is evaluating the claim of the Prophet Muhammad to be the Prophet of God; and insists on only reading the Bible to find references to the Prophet Muhammad, and will not rely on the Qur'an---isn't that person missing the point?

In the same way, the claim of Baha'u'llah is best determined by reading His own words. See if they have the same spirit and come from the same source as the Holy Qur'an.

Muhammad did not rely only on verses from the Bible in proving His mission to Jews and Christians. He relied mostly on the revealed verses of the Qur'an.

In this Day, the same principle applies.

Brent


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