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Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Wed Nov 05, 2008 8:48 am
by slava_sz
Abu Talib wrote:...

The meaning of "Aaron succeeded Moses as a Prophet, Ali was to be an Imam" is important because Muhammad was saying that divine guidance was to continue although there will be no more revelation (the revealing of truth), since Islam what for all of Mankind and the entire truth had been revealed. The function of a prophet and imam is the same except that a prophet reveals truth and an imam does not.

Are you saying that God's words are finished? He doesn't have any more to say?

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Thu Nov 06, 2008 9:29 pm
by Abu Talib
That is exactly right. It is like a parent who wants to teach their child on how to live a prosperous life, the parent doesn't start teaching the child about writing checks when an infant. The child must mature to a certain level before they learn this information. And eventually it comes to a certain point when the child has learned how to be prosperous, thus not needing anymore teaching.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:21 am
by slava_sz
Knowledge of God has no limits. As such no paper (or digital) book can contain all of His Knowledge. And we find confirmation on it in Qur'an:
18:109 Say: "If the ocean were ink (wherewith to write out) the words of my Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of my Lord, even if we added another ocean like it, for its aid."
31:27 And if all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean (were ink), with seven oceans behind it to add to its (supply), yet would not the words of God be exhausted (in the writing): for God is Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom.
So anybody who claims that he knows all (as such doesn't need any guidance anymore) would certainly contradict the above verses (the Word of God).
As we can see that since the Knowledge is limitless the process of revealing it is limitless too. And since it is revealed to as through the Messengers/Apostles their coming to us cannot stop.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:41 am
by Abu Talib
I did not mean that God revealed all His knowledge unto mankind. A more descriptive way Islam views Allah is this passage from Nahj al-Balaghah.

Imam Ali says,

Praise is due to Allah whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the divings of understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed.


The views of God in Islam are almost identical to the Baha'i views but that God ceased to alter His religion for mankind, though he does cease to give us guidance.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:29 am
by onepence~2
Abu Talib wrote: ...

The views of God in Islam are almost identical to the Baha'i views but that God ceased to alter His religion for mankind, though he does cease to give us guidance.


We are not aware that God has ever altered His religion

the "Eternal Truth" can never be altered
nor can guidance ever cease

least heaven and earth cease to move
or Creation be at all except unto service

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:39 am
by brettz9
Hello Abu Talib and all,

Nice to see a good discussion going here...

I'll just chime in a little...

Baha'u'llah did take issue with at least some traditions...e.g.:

Regarding the statement ascribed to the Author of the Qur’án: “Through My appearance every law and religion hath proven to be unsound and no law holdeth but Mine”, no such words were ever uttered by that Source and Fount of divine wisdom. Nay rather, He confirmed that which had been sent down before from the empyrean of the Divine Will unto the Prophets and Messengers of God.

(Tabernacle of Unity, par. 2.4 at http://bahai-library.com/file.php5?file ... acle_unity )


and although Baha'u'llah, in His Writings, does cite from traditions, the idea of relying on traditions in general has been abandoned in the Baha'i Faith:

"...only the written text of the Revelation is regarded as authoritative. There is no Oral Law as in Judaism, no Tradition of the Church as in Christianity, no Hadith as in Islam."


As far as your question:

Why would the Holy Prophet find it so important to say on many occasions that Ali and he were related in the same way as Moses and Aaron?


I would think that the reason was to emphasize the station of 'Ali--as a legitimate, divinely-guided successor.

Also, although we believe that the Qur'an contains all truths, as others have discussed, God is not restricted as to continue to send Messengers to humanity, just as His rain does not stop (even though the rain of yesterday was also suitable for watering plants). Baha'u'llah also indicates that Revelations will continue after His own.

Just as the Qur'an states,

So have We made the (Qur'án) easy in thine own tongue, that with it thou mayest give Glad Tidings to the righteous, and warnings to people given to contention.

Qur'an 19:97


...God is also capable of sending more Messengers to adapt the truth to make it easy for humanity to understand its insights (and not become trapped in contradictory judgments of clergy or unclear traditions). Perhaps, one even might find proof in this same verse (and others), that Muhammad's Revelation was destined to primarily just reach one population (though of course it was intended for all humanity, and through Baha'u'llah's Revelation, it is inspiring more and more Westerners and others to not only read but also learn its truths and adopt its timeless moral standards).

Conditions change--and each age has its own requirements. The ethical teachings are essentially the same, but the social requirements differ. This has and will always be the case, as human society will never become fully mature.

best wishes,
Brett

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:55 am
by onepence~2
brettz9 wrote: ... human society will never become fully mature.

best wishes,
Brett
Wow ...

hard to believe ...

we contend that individuals within human society may never become fully mature,
yet human society itself is mature

otherwise we would have never signed The Universal House of Justice Constitution

in other words

The Universal House of Justice Constitution
represents that human society is mature

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:09 pm
by Abu Talib
onepence~2 wrote:We are not aware that God has ever altered His religion

the "Eternal Truth" can never be altered
nor can guidance ever cease


By altered I mean more along the lines of upgraded. As too in Islam, the Truth can never be altered.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:44 am
by Keyvan
Abu Talib wrote:
Keyvan wrote:In Islam they believe that the Mahdi heralds the return of Christ who makes the sharia universal before the day of Judgement. Now logically this is flawed on its face, because why in the world would the Mahdi and Christ come to triumph Islam throughout the world only for the world to end right after?


First of all, the Mahdi is the central figure who institutes the Shariah and Christ's role is to affirm his authority. The reason for the Mahdi to triumph Islam is so that every soul on this earth may know that Islam is the truth. On the day of Judgment no one can lay claim that they were not informed. This must happen because Allah is merciful and therefore must give a chance for those to turn their love to Him.

Keyvan wrote:The quote refers to how for one thing Ali was related to Muhammad just as Aaron was related to Moses. However whereas Aaron succeeded Moses as a Prophet, Ali was to be an Imam.


Why would the Holy Prophet find it so important to say on many occasions that Ali and he were related in the same way as Moses and Aaron?

The meaning of "Aaron succeeded Moses as a Prophet, Ali was to be an Imam" is important because Muhammad was saying that divine guidance was to continue although there will be no more revelation (the revealing of truth), since Islam what for all of Mankind and the entire truth had been revealed. The function of a prophet and imam is the same except that a prophet reveals truth and an imam does not.



The problem here is that there are multiple interpretations of these foretold events and figures based on various hadiths and their interpretations, so one cannot say in a corrective tone - "no it is not that, it is this," with any more certainty than the opposing claim.

But, as to what you mentioned, none of that contradicts the Baha'i viewpoint. It's is just a different way of looking at things.
1)Islam (in its general meaning) is known to be the truth and made universal in effect of the triumph of the Baha'i Faith.
2)The Bab heralded Baha'u'llah, laying the groundwork for His coming through His Dispensation and the execution of the ordainances of the Bayan
3)Baha'u'llah mutually affirmed The Bab's station and succeeded to carry out His own Dispensation.


Baha'i's believe the Imam's made the Infallible Interpretations of the Quran. Correct that the Messenger reveals the scripture, and the Imam interprets it.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 12:46 am
by Keyvan
******************************************

btw i dont know why my post on the previous page was edited. there was nothing offensive about the tone. that was unfair and i should have been consulted

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 1:07 am
by Keyvan

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:39 pm
by brettz9
Keyvan, I do apologize for not having notified you by private message. I also should have preserved your exact text to refer back to it. However, Jonah and I are particularly wary (and weary) of categorical statements referring to a group of people, saying that they "always" do this, and so on. We are in a public environment, are to use wisdom, and not unnecessarily antagonize people. We can and need to express our ideas without resorting to provocative statements. The ideas themselves are provocative enough!

Although we do not pre-moderate posts here, we do try to catch posts which may start a "flame war" with back-and-forth arguments, or hurt the feelings of people. This is why consultation does not occur beforehand in such cases, but we should at least inform the poster about what we felt was over the line.

best wishes,
Brett

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:47 pm
by brettz9
onepence~2 wrote:
brettz9 wrote: ... human society will never become fully mature.

best wishes,
Brett
Wow ...

hard to believe ...

we contend that individuals within human society may never become fully mature,
yet human society itself is mature

otherwise we would have never signed The Universal House of Justice Constitution

in other words

The Universal House of Justice Constitution
represents that human society is mature


Yes, in one sense that is true (the part about humanity becoming mature). But in another sense the statement that human society will never become mature is also:

"After Bahá'u'lláh many Prophets will, no doubt, appear, but they will be all under His shadow. Although they may abrogate the laws of the Dispensation, in accordance with the needs and requirements of the age in which they appear, they nevertheless draw their spiritual force from this mighty Revelation. The Faith of Bahá'u'lláh constitutes, indeed, the stage of maturity in the development of mankind. His appearance has released such spiritual forces which will continue to animate, for many long years to come, the world in its development. Whatever progress may be achieved in later ages--after the unification of the whole human race is achieved--will be but improvements in the machinery of the world. For the machinery itself has already been created by Bahá'u'lláh. The task of continually improving and perfecting this machinery is one which later Prophets will be called upon to achieve. They will move and work within the orbit of the Bahá'í cycle."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, November 14, 1935)


and

"As to the meaning of the quotation, 'My fears are for Him Who will be sent down unto you after Me', this refers to the Manifestation Who is to come after a thousand or more years, Who like all previous Messengers of God will be subjected to persecutions, but will eventually triumph over them. For men of ill-will have been and will always continue to be in this world, unless mankind reaches a state of complete and absolute perfection--a condition which is not only improbable but actually impossible to attain. The fundamental difference, however, between this Dispensation and all previous ones is this, that in this Revelation the possibility of permanent schism between the followers of the Prophet has been prevented through the direct and explicit instructions providing for the necessary instruments designed to maintain the organic unity of the body of the faithful."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, December 1, 1934, Bahá'í News, No. 89, p. 1, January 1935)

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sun Nov 09, 2008 11:57 pm
by onepence~2
brettz9 wrote: ...

...

"As to the meaning of the quotation, 'My fears are for Him Who will be sent down unto you after Me', this refers to the Manifestation Who is to come after a thousand or more years, Who like all previous Messengers of God will be subjected to persecutions, but will eventually triumph over them. For men of ill-will have been and will always continue to be in this world, unless mankind reaches a state of complete and absolute perfection--a condition which is not only improbable but actually impossible to attain. The fundamental difference, however, between this Dispensation and all previous ones is this, that in this Revelation the possibility of permanent schism between the followers of the Prophet has been prevented through the direct and explicit instructions providing for the necessary instruments designed to maintain the organic unity of the body of the faithful."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, December 1, 1934, Bahá'í News, No. 89, p. 1, January 1935)




yes ... we have been thinking somewhat of perfection ...

what perfection looks like ... *smile*

Arabic we find perfect
Latin dead

English working towards perfection,
so we therefore say a mature language

as a side note
it is easy to see how military studies is like learning Latin

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:49 pm
by Keyvan
brettz9 wrote:Keyvan, I do apologize for not having notified you by private message. I also should have preserved your exact text to refer back to it. However, Jonah and I are particularly wary (and weary) of categorical statements referring to a group of people, saying that they "always" do this, and so on. We are in a public environment, are to use wisdom, and not unnecessarily antagonize people. We can and need to express our ideas without resorting to provocative statements. The ideas themselves are provocative enough!

Although we do not pre-moderate posts here, we do try to catch posts which may start a "flame war" with back-and-forth arguments, or hurt the feelings of people. This is why consultation does not occur beforehand in such cases, but we should at least inform the poster about what we felt was over the line.

best wishes,
Brett



Thats fair, but why not just edit the post to say "some (subject) "or "certain (subject)" or "many (subject)," rather than delete the post all together. Thats a simple and systematic way of nullifying any blanket categorizations of people, but retains the point across that I was trying to make.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 11:43 pm
by slava_sz
Abu Talib wrote:
onepence~2 wrote:We are not aware that God has ever altered His religion

the "Eternal Truth" can never be altered
nor can guidance ever cease


By altered I mean more along the lines of upgraded. As too in Islam, the Truth can never be altered.

Let us clarify, religion has two parts:
Spiritual/moral (Eternal Truth) – God is one, religion is one, mankind is one, don’t kill, don’t steal etc.
Social (applied techniques/methods/system/practice/procedure) – regulations regarding on how to implement those spiritual/moral teachings.
Speaking about the spiritual part it truly never changes. In that sense the truth is revealed. Every new revelation reveals the same truth.
Revelation of ..... = Spiritual/moral (Eternal Truth) + techniques/methods/system/practice/procedure
Revelation of Abraham = Spiritual/moral (Eternal Truth) + techniques/methods/system/practice/procedure
Revelation of Moses = Spiritual/moral (Eternal Truth) + techniques/methods/system/practice/procedure
Revelation of Jesus = Spiritual/moral (Eternal Truth) + techniques/methods/system/practice/procedure
Revelation of Muhammad = Spiritual/moral (Eternal Truth) + techniques/methods/system/practice/procedure
Revelation of The Bab = Spiritual/moral (Eternal Truth) + techniques/methods/system/practice/procedure
Revelation of Baha’u’llah = Spiritual/moral (Eternal Truth) + techniques/methods/system/practice/procedure
Revelation of ..... = Spiritual/moral (Eternal Truth) + techniques/methods/system/practice/procedure

We find confirmation on the spiritual/moral part in Qur’an:

3 He hath revealed unto thee (Muhammad) the Scripture with truth, confirming that which was (revealed) before it, even as He revealed the Torah and the Gospel.

(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 3 - The Family Of Imran)

213 Mankind were one community, and Allah sent (unto them) prophets as bearers of good tidings and as warners, and revealed therewith the Scripture with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed. And only those unto whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it, after clear proofs had come unto them, through hatred one of another. And Allah by His Will guided those who believe unto the truth of that concerning which they differed. Allah guideth whom He will unto a straight path.

(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 2 - The Cow)

Speaking on Jesus Christ -

50 And (I come) confirming that which was before me of the Torah, and to make lawful some of that which was forbidden unto you. I come unto you with a sign from your Lord, so keep your duty to Allah and obey me.

This verse helps us to distinguish:
67 Abraham was not a Jew, nor yet a Christian; but he was an upright man who had surrendered (to Allah), and he was not of the idolaters.

(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 3 - The Family Of Imran)
Abraham was the upright man therefore follower of the truth which was revealed long before the Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

84 Say (O Muhammad): We believe in Allah and that which is revealed unto us and that which was revealed unto Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the tribes, and that which was vouchsafed unto Moses and Jesus and the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and unto Him we have surrendered.

(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 3 - The Family Of Imran)

The social part – was different every time, because of different place, different nation, different time and obviously different state/condition/ability of mankind.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:18 am
by slava_sz
one more:
95 Say: Allah speaketh truth. So follow the religion of Abraham, the upright. He was not of the idolaters.
(The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), Sura 3 - The Family Of Imran)
Do we give up our religion to follow the religion of Abraham? No. But we do obey God’s truth: we wholeheartedly follow the spiritual part!

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:23 pm
by Harlan
My understanding is that the Holy Quran mentions two classes of Prophets, the Rossul and the Nabi. Prophets Who bring the Law of God are the Rossul. The Nabi are in the shadow or the Rossuls and do not bring laws, but call the people to follow the laws as revealed by the Rossul. Aaron was the Nabi under the shadow of the Rossul Moses, as were Daniel and Isaiah. There were also Nabi under the shadow of Jesus. The Rossul Mohammad stated that there would be no Nabis under His shadow. There were instead Imams. Baha'u'llah and the Bab were both Rossuls. The Prophet Muhammed never stated that there would never be another Rossul.

Harlan

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 8:41 am
by Fadl
Dear Abu Talib,

I wanted to offer for your consideration a different perspective based on Qur’anic text, that I wonder if you have thought about before. In the Holy Qur’an God says:

الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُم نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينً

“This day I have perfected for you your religion, and completed for you my favor, and enjoined upon you submission as your religion” (Qur’an al-ma’idah 5:3).

The usual translations of this verse is different than mine, because I have translated islam as submission, whereas most translators preserve it as Islam, i.e. the proper name of a religion. While “Islam” is the name used to identify a specific religion, there is no reason to suppose that this is what God—through Muhammad—intended.

It is interesting to note that, the Qur’an does not suggest Muhammad, or anyone else from the Hijaz, was the first Muslim. In fact, and I’m sure you know this already, so please bear with me, the Qur’an refers to Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and other messengers, as Muslims. Since Abraham and Moses, who many would classify as Jewish messengers, are according to the Qur’an Muslims, it seems clear that when the Qur’an mentions muslim one who ‘submits’ to God’s will is intended, and not necessarily the adherent of a specific religion, i.e. Islam.

It is well stated in the Qur’an, and accepted by Muslims, that all of God’s messengers are muslims. Does this mean that all of the messengers are part of the Islamic religion? No, it means that they all submit to God’s will. It is difficult to think of a messenger who is not under complete submission to God’s will, as being a messenger of God. So naturally, every messenger of God is indeed a Muslim by definition. But what makes men who are not messengers of God Muslims? In other words, if a man is not a messenger of God himself, how is he then to submit to God’s will if not by submitting to the teachings of God’s messenger? If you think about it, it must be so. If we define a Muslim as only according to the Islamic standard current today, then it doesn’t make sense, because according to the Qur’an, followers of Moses and others were Muslims. Did they worship and live as those of the Islamic faith do today? No. Were the Muslims? Yes, because they followed God’s messenger, and in doing so submitted to God’s will.

If Baha’u’llah is a manifestation of God, and it is my strongest conviction that he is, then can Baha’u’allah himself be anything if not a Muslim? Can his religion be anything other than the religion of all the other messengers, islam (submission) before God? Of course, I don’t ask you to accept on my word the truth of Baha’u’llah, but you can certainly accept the logic of what I am suggesting. For the sake of argument, if Baha’u’llah is a messenger of God, then his religion is by definition islam (submission).

My dear friend, if Baha’u’llah is the manifestation of God for this day, and I hope you will give it serious consideration and investigate it for yourself, then to follow the wish of Muhammad, that islam (submission to God’s will) should be mankind’s eternal religion, you must in this day follow him. It is only this that is the eternal and true islam: submission. It has always been so, from the time of Adam, and this is a well established Islamic principle.

I wish you well, and hope you attain to your heart’s desire.


Loren

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 9:59 am
by Kate123
I am not officially Bahai, but am in the process of gathering information & attending study meetings. So please bear with me, I am not here to debate the value of Islam or the prophets.
However, I have a question about being the "end" of the prophets or that a religion has been established that has revealed the entirety of God's wisdom.
If this is so, why do we still exist on Earth? I am not asking as a way to be sarcastic. I mean this genuinely. If we have been given the perfection of God's knowledge, what is there for us to do now, or to learn?
My spiritual "instinct" tells me that if we are still living in the physical world on Earth, that means we have not yet achieved our purpose. I believe our purpose is to perfect our knowledge and understanding of God, and therefore to move closer to Him. Once we have moved to a perfect closeness to God, we will no longer need our physical selves because we will be completely spiritual beings.
Does this fit in with Bahai beliefs? Or for that matter, does it fit with the beliefs of Islam? Since I am not well versed in Islamic writings, I am asking Abu Talib: What is the main purpose of life on Earth according to your understanding?
Thank you so much for the enlightening discussion.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Nov 14, 2008 11:16 am
by onepence~2
Kate123 wrote:
... Once we have moved to a perfect closeness to God, we will no longer need our physical selves because we will be completely spiritual beings.

Does this fit in with Bahai beliefs? ....


hmm ...

Once we study Abdu'l Baha more closely the answers will become more clear ...

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:22 pm
by badi`
Hmmm...

Reading this thread I notice that the question that started it was:

quote:

"In Islam it clearly states that Muhammad is the "Seal of the Prophets", or the last prophet. So, how can the Baha'i Faith claim that Muhammad was a manifestation who predicted the coming of Baha'u'llah?"

...and Abu Talib seems to repeatedly ask about: "O Ali, you are to me as Harun was to Musa, but there will be no prophet after me."

I am highly interested in this topic. What were the indications in the Bible that led to Muhammad fulfilling Christ's prophecy? What were the indicators that led to The Bab fulfilling Muhammad's prophecy? What were the indicators that led to Baha'u'llah's fulfilling of the The Bab's prophecy, Muhammad's prophecy, and Christ's prophecy?

( I am aware that the above paragraph was badly phrased... )

Regarding the quote that Abu Talib has repeatedly mentioned...

I am the first to my father, and he is the last to me. I am the last to my son, and he is the first to me.

There will not be another father to my son after me.

There will not be another first to me after my son.

My intention is to help, and this being my first post - I apologize in advance if I'm off-topic or creating more confusion than help.

badi`

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sat Nov 22, 2008 4:11 am
by FJR
Hello all,

It truly is uplifting to see people utilizing the internet to communicate real ideas and learnings from all over the world. So often you see the bounty of this technology perverted for the sake of material gains and pleasure, but I feel this is truly a beautiful corner of the web.

Just to throw in my limited knowledge of Islamic prophecy and Muhammad's station as "The seal of the Prophets," I think Loren made an EXCELLENT point in the translation and significance of the term "muslim." Indeed, it is one of the pillars of the Baha'i faith that all the religions are one. This is in complete accordance with this passage from the Qur'an, which recognizes submission to the will of God as the true religion throughout the ages.

Indeed, I find that very telling, and Baha'u'llah himself states that no manifestation is above the station of any other, they all continue the revelation of God as humanity progressively evolves and is capable of understanding more.

This subject of Islam and the Baha'i Faith is addressed in detail here, a site dedicated to this very discussion.

The site says that this debate is triggered every time there is a new revelation, as many Jewish believers used certain passages in the Torah, such as :

"Go thy way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end."
- Daniel 12:9


to reject the message of Christ, and similar passages in the Bible were used to discount Islam.
While the revelation of God should be recognized in it's new form, through it's newest messenger, this never destroys the validity of the previous messengers and ultimately all the Manifestations, be it in the prophetic cycle (which was ended by Muhammad), or the day of fulfillment (which we live in), reflect the word of God, the Creator and Possessor of the universe.

This ties directly into Kate123's question of whether once we have truly received the complete revelation of God, we will transcend the material world. While mankind progressively draws closer to God spiritually, we are still confined to the restrictions of the material world so long as we are alive. Many references to heaven in Baha'i texts often imply that the next world is a state of existence in which we can become much more in tune with the universe and draw closer to God without the constrictions of this physical plane. However, so long as we exist in this material world, we are bound by it's regulations and remain imperfect. It is late here, but if you would like some text, please ask and I can research Nearness to God in relation to the Physical world.

I will end with this passage from Baha'u'llah, also from the website to which I linked.

' ...how many are those who, through failure to understand its meaning, have allowed the term "Seal of the Prophets" to obscure their understanding, and deprive them of the grace of all His manifold bounties! Hath not Muhammad, Himself, declared: "I am all the Prophets?" Hath He not said as We have already mentioned: "I am Adam, Noah, Moses, and Jesus?" Why should Muhammad, that immortal Beauty, Who hath said: "I am the first Adam" be incapable of saying also: "I am the last Adam"? For even as He regarded Himself to be the "First of the Prophets" - that is Adam - in like manner, the "Seal of the Prophets" is also applicable unto that Divine Beauty. It is admittedly obvious that being the "First of the Prophets," He likewise is their "Seal." .. ' - Book of Certitude *

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:32 am
by Photon
The Holy Prophet (saww) said, "O Ali, you are to me as Harun was to Musa, but there will be no prophet after me."

This particular line is quoted from text describing how Muhammad (pbuh) came to appoint Ali as his successor. This is obviously a point which is not universally accepted among even Muslims as the Sunni history shows. The text has already shown itself able to cause misinterpretation. That it can be further misinterpreted is not surprising.

In the surrounding text where this quote is found it is clear that Muhammad is appointing Ali a successor only and not appointing Ali as another prophet. There was no prophet after Muhammad. There was only Ali. The text makes no claim about who will eventually follow Ali, the twelve, or throughout all history. So, the text can be seen to circumscribe the single act of succession quite clearly. It is accurate. Muhammad was not followed by a prophet. He was followed by Ali.

In contrast, Moses was immediately followed by the prophet Joshua. From the Book of Joshua

1:1 Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, 1:2 Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.

1:3 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses.

(King James Bible, Joshua)

The line of succession was not from Moses to Aaron but from Moses to Joshua. By stating that Ali is like Aaron and saying that there is no prophet after him, Muhammad is clearly identifying that no new "Joshua" will be called by God to replace this Aaron as the original Aaron was replaced. The appointment of Ali is a reoccurring theme and is said several times in several ways in various Islamic writings. The "No prophet after me" claim by contrast is not a reoccurring theme and is not said separately or in various ways. It seems strange that the appointment of Ali is far more important and warrants far more emphasis than the purported claim there will never ever be another prophet.

That there will never be a prophet after Muhammad as an independent thought seems to be of such immense importance that it is surprising to find such a gem set in such an undistinguished place as the opening quote. Normally one expects to find gems in regal settings. This too helps one understand what the prophet said and meant.

If after this you remain unconvinced, there is no harm or real disagreement between us. As you serve God and as I serve God I expect we can agree that God is the most glorious and from Him, all things come. That is sufficient for the moment.

Peace

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:08 pm
by brettz9
Hello Photon and all,

Thank you, Photo, I think you have added some very good points.

Although we are told that the Bible, unlike the Qur'an, is not wholly authentic, and the Qur'an does not speak about Joshua (at least explicitly), 'Abdu'l-Baha's words might perhaps be taken as confirming the Biblical account about the general idea of successorship:

"Now, Muhammad was the root, and `Alí the branch, like Moses and Joshua."

('Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, Chapter 11)


Then it is said: "They have power over water to turn it to blood," [Cf. Rev. 11:6.] meaning that the prophethood of Muhammad was the same as that of Moses, and that the power of `Alí was the same as that of Joshua: if they wished, they could turn the water of the Nile into blood, so far as the Egyptians and those who denied them were concerned--that is to say, that that which was the cause of their life, through their ignorance and pride, became the cause of their death.

('Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, Chapter 11)


However, it is not inconceivable, I think, that the tradition still could be valid (we as Baha'is do uphold the Shi'ih succession, though admittedly that doesn't mean we uphold all of the traditions). Aaron, indeed was a prophet according to the Qur'an:

"And we bestowed on him [Moses] in our mercy his brother Aaron, a Prophet."

(Qur'an 19:53)


and even perhaps with his own book (which would seem to imply an independent law and Dispensation, which would thereby indicate He was a Manifestation, unless it is merely referring to Aaron having authority to speak as to the Book):

'And we gave them (Moses and Aaron) each the lucid book:'

(Qur'an 37:114)


...though it does seem that his role (I am not sure whether to capitalize 'him' here, since the Qur'an gives no indication as to whether he may also have been a Rasul) was to confirm Moses during his life-time (though that wouldn't preclude some role afterward, just as 'Ali was contemporaneous with the Prophet Muhammad):

"Heretofore we gave the law to Moses, and appointed his brother Aaron to be his counsellor:"

(Qur'an 25:35)


And give me a counsellor from among my family,
Aaron my brother;
By him gird up my loins,
And make him a colleague in my work,

(Qur'an 20:29-32)


best wishes,
Brett

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:44 am
by Fadl
Abu Talib wrote:That is exactly right. It is like a parent who wants to teach their child on how to live a prosperous life, the parent doesn't start teaching the child about writing checks when an infant. The child must mature to a certain level before they learn this information. And eventually it comes to a certain point when the child has learned how to be prosperous, thus not needing anymore teaching.



Abu Talib,

In your analogy, the child grows up and is therefore not in need of parenting. As an adult, the once child, at least potentially, becomes a parent itself. How does this analogy apply to a relationship between the Creator and His creation? If man is the child and God is the parent, can man really grow up to become a "parent" ie God?

Loren