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Last Prophet?

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:13 pm
by Abu Talib
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?

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:24 pm
by brettz9
Hello and welcome to you, Abu Talib.

I hope to find some more time later to answer your questions, if no one else gets to it, but the best book to read on this topic is the Kitab-i-Iqan, the foremost doctrinal work of Baha'u'llah.

best wishes,
Brett

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Thu Oct 23, 2008 6:06 am
by Justice
Hello Abu Talib,

This is the line in question;

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but He is the Messenger of God and the Seal of the Prophets.
- Qur'an 33:40

The word "Seal" (kha'tam in Arabic), in the verse above, has been interpreted over the centuries to mean the: "Last", "Final", "Seal" (as in a stamp sealing closed a document), "Seal" (as in seal of authority, officiating a document), and a few other meanings along similar lines of interpretation. Baha'is don't object to these possible meanings, and readily believe in the more common interpretation of : (Seal meaning Last), as Muhammad (PBUH) is repeatedly referred to in the Baha'i Writings.

Baha'is believe that Muhammad (PBUH) was the Last of the Prophets before the appearance of the Bab, or as we believe the Mahdi. As in there will be no Prophets sent by God with a Message or Book until the Mahdi.

I have not fully understood the issue Islam has with with this statement but if you could provide some background on this issue I would greatly appreciate this.

Thank you for your question,

Justice...

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:40 am
by Keyvan
Muhammad is the Seal of the Prophets and Messengers until the Day of Resurrection. The difference is that Baha'i's believe the Day of Resurrection is the coming of a new Messenger - The Bab. The Bab (Imam Mahdi) was the prelude to the coming of Baha'u'llah ('return' of 'Christ')

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 3:44 am
by Keyvan

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 5:55 pm
by nharandi
As brettz has mentioned, the Kitab-i-Iqan directly addresses this question in great detail.

Here are some excerpts that might help:

From these statements therefore it hath been made evident and manifest that should a Soul in the “End that knoweth no end” be made manifest, and arise to proclaim and uphold a Cause which in “the Beginning that hath no beginning” another Soul had proclaimed and upheld, it can be truly declared of Him Who is the Last and of Him Who was the First that they are one and the same, inasmuch as both are the Exponents of one and the same Cause. For this reason, hath the Point of the Bayán—may the life of all else but Him be His sacrifice!—likened the Manifestations of God unto the sun which, though it rise from the “Beginning that hath no beginning” until the “End that knoweth no end,” is none the less the same sun. Now, wert thou to say, that this sun is the former sun, thou speakest the truth; and if thou sayest that this sun is the “return” of that sun, thou also speakest the truth. Likewise, from this statement it is made evident that the term “last” is applicable to the “first,” and the term “first” applicable to the “last;” inasmuch as both the “first” and the “last” have risen to proclaim one and the same Faith.

Notwithstanding the obviousness of this theme, in the eyes of those that have quaffed the wine of 162 knowledge and certitude, yet 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."

The mystery of this theme hath, in this Dispensation, been a sore test unto all mankind. Behold, how many are those who, clinging unto these words, have disbelieved Him Who is their true Revealer. What, We ask, could this people presume the terms "first" and "last" - when referring to God - glorified be His Name! - to mean? If they maintain that these terms bear reference to this material universe, how could it be possible, when the visible order of things is still manifestly existing? Nay, in this instance, by "first" is meant no other than the "last" and by "last" no other than the "first."

Even as in the "Beginning that hath no beginnings" the term "last" is truly applicable unto Him who is the Educator of the visible and of the invisible, in like manner, are the terms "first" and "last" applicable unto His Manifestations. They are at the same time the Exponents of both the "first" and the "last." Whilst established upon the seat of the "first," they occupy the throne of the "last." Were a discerning eye to be found, it will readily perceive that the exponents of the "first" and the "last," of the "manifest" and the "hidden," of the "beginning" and the "seal" are none other than these holy Beings, these Essences of Detachment, these divine Souls. And wert thou to soar in the holy realm of "God was alone, there was none else besides Him," thou wilt find in that Court all these names utterly non-existent and completely forgotten. Then will thine eyes no longer be obscured by these veils, these terms, and allusions. How ethereal and lofty is this station, unto which even Gabriel, unshepherded, can never attain, and the Bird of Heaven, unassisted, can never reach!"

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 162-164)


Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: "I am God!" He verily speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For it hath been repeatedly demonstrated that through their Revelation, their attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His name and His attributes, are made manifest in the world. Thus, He hath revealed: "Those shafts were God's, not 179 Thine!"[1] And also He saith: "In truth, they who plighted fealty unto thee, really plighted that fealty unto God."[2] And were any of them to voice the utterance: "I am the Messenger of God," He also speaketh the truth, the indubitable truth. Even as He saith: "Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but He is the Messenger of God."[3] Viewed in this light, they are all but Messengers of that ideal King, that unchangeable Essence. And were they all to proclaim: "I am the Seal of the Prophets," they verily utter but the truth, beyond the faintest shadow of doubt. For they are all but one person, one soul, one spirit, one being, one revelation. They are all the manifestation of the "Beginning" and the "End," the "First" and the "Last," the "Seen" and "Hidden" -- all of which pertain to Him Who is the innermost Spirit of Spirits and eternal Essence of Essences. And were they to say: "We are the servants of God," this also is a manifest and indisputable fact. For they have been made manifest in the uttermost state of servitude, a servitude the like of which no man can possibly attain. Thus in moments in which these Essences of being were deeply 180 immersed beneath the oceans of ancient and everlasting holiness, or when they soared to the loftiest summits of divine mysteries, they claimed their utterance to be the Voice of divinity, the Call of God Himself. Were the eye of discernment to be opened, it would recognize that in this very state, they have considered themselves utterly effaced and non-existent in the face of Him Who is the All-Pervading, the Incorruptible. Methinks, they have regarded themselves as utter nothingness, and deemed their mention in that Court an act of blasphemy. For the slightest whispering of self, within such a Court, is an evidence of self-assertion and independent existence. In the eyes of them that have attained unto that Court, such a suggestion is itself a grievous transgression. How much more grievous would it be, were aught else to be mentioned in that Presence, were man's heart, his tongue, his mind, or his soul, to be busied with anyone but the Well-Beloved, were his eyes to behold any countenance other than His beauty, were his ear to be inclined to any melody but His voice, and were his feet to tread any way but His way.
[1 Qur'án 8:17.]
[2 Qur'án 48:10.]
[3 Qur'án 33:40 ]

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 178)


Even as thou dost witness how the people of the Qur'án, like unto the people of old, have allowed the words "Seal of the Prophets" to veil their eyes. And yet, they themselves testify to this verse: "None knoweth the interpretation thereof but God and they that are well-grounded in knowledge."[1 ]And when He Who is well-grounded in all knowledge, He Who is the Mother, the Soul, the Secret, and the Essence thereof, revealeth that which is the least contrary to their desire, they bitterly oppose Him and shamelessly deny Him. These thou 214 hast already heard and witnessed. Such deeds and words have been solely instigated by leaders of religion, they that worship no God but their own desire, who bear allegiance to naught but gold, who are wrapt in the densest veils of learning, and who, enmeshed by its obscurities, are lost in the wilds of error. Even as the Lord of being hath explicitly declared: "What thinkest thou? He who hath made a God of his passions, and whom God causeth to err through a knowledge, and whose ears and whose heart He hath sealed up, and over whose sight He hath cast a veil -- who, after his rejection by God, shall guide such a one? Will ye not then be warned?"[2]
[1 Qur'án 3:7.]
[2 Qur'án 45:22.]

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 213)



When the Unseen, the Eternal, the Divine Essence, caused the Day Star of Muhammad to rise above the horizon of knowledge, among the cavils which the Jewish divines raised against Him was that after Moses no Prophet should be sent of God. Yea, mention hath been made in the Scriptures of a Soul Who must needs be made manifest and Who will advance the Faith, and promote the interests of the people of Moses, so that the Law of the Mosaic Dispensation may encompass the whole earth. Thus hath the King of eternal glory referred in His Book to the words uttered by those wanderers in the vale of remoteness and error: “‘The hand of God,’ say the Jews, ‘is chained up.’ Chained up be their own hands; And for that which they have said, they were accursed. Nay, outstretched are both His hands!” “The hand of God is above their hands.” Although the commentators of the Qur’án have related in divers manners the circumstances attending the revelation of this verse, yet thou shouldst endeavor to apprehend the purpose thereof. He saith: How false is that which the Jews have imagined! How can the hand of Him Who is the King in truth, Who caused the countenance of Moses to be made manifest, and conferred upon Him the robe of Prophethood—how can the hand of such a One be chained and fettered? How can He be conceived as powerless to raise up yet another Messenger after Moses? Behold the absurdity of their saying; how far it hath strayed from the path of knowledge and understanding! Observe how in this Day also, all these people have occupied themselves with such foolish absurdities. For over a thousand years they have been reciting this verse, and unwittingly pronouncing their censure against the Jews, utterly unaware that they themselves, openly and privily, are voicing the sentiments and belief of the Jewish people! Thou art surely aware of their idle contention, that all Revelation is ended, that the portals of Divine mercy are closed, that from the day springs of eternal holiness no Sun shall rise again, that the Ocean of everlasting bounty is forever stilled, and that out of the Tabernacle of ancient glory the Messengers of God have ceased to be made manifest. Such is the measure of the understanding of these small-minded, contemptible people. These people have imagined that the flow of God’s all-encompassing grace and plenteous mercies, the cessation of which no mind can contemplate, has been halted. From every side they have risen and girded up the loins of tyranny, and exerted the utmost endeavor to quench with the bitter waters of their vain fancy the flame of God’s Burning Bush, oblivious that the globe of power shall, within its own mighty stronghold, protect the Lamp of God....
Baha’u’llah - Gleanings XIII

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:16 pm
by Abu Talib
Well, from reading the post of Baha'u'llah's writings about the "first" and the "last" I conclude that he spends many words to basically explain the Christian tradition in the Book of Revelation where Christ (as) says "I am the Alpha and the Omega".

From the posts so far on this topic I have come to understand the belief of the Baha'i Faith regarding this subject. But what I fail to understand is how the Baha'i Faith claims to believe in the message of Islam when it completely denies one of the most fundamental beliefs, the belief that Muhammad (saww) was the last messenger and that Islam is the last message. The Holy Prophet clearly states in many traditions that he is the last messenger to ever appear on the face of the earth. And though the Baha'i Faith claims that all manifestations (prophets) are one with each other (Muhammad is Baha'u'llah), Islam undoubtedly says that each prophet is unique, in the same way as you are to another person, but that no difference is made between them. The book Peshawar Nights clearly explains this concept:
...NAWAB: Excuse my interruption. Weren't all the prophets sent by Allah? They are undoubtedly of the same rank. The Holy Qur'an says: "We do not differentiate between any of the prophets." (2:285) Then why have you differentiated between them and divided prophethood into two categories, general and special?
WISHER: Of course this verse is true in its proper context. That is, so far as achieving the aim of prophethood is concerned (which means teaching the people about existence of Allah, the Day of Judgement, and the training of their minds), all the prophets from Adam to the last of the prophets, are equal. But they differ in their qualities, achievements, and rank. Is a prophet who was sent to guide 1,000 people equal to one who sent to guide 30,000 people, or to one sent to guide all of humanity? Let's take an example. Is the teacher of first-grade students equal to a teacher of fourth-grade students? Are the teachers of higher classes equal to professors or university teachers? All belong to the same administration and work under the same general program, their aim being to educate students. Yet, in view of the teacher's knowledge, they are not equal. Each is different from the other according to his learning, ability, and achievement. From the point of view of the aim of prophethood, all the prophets of Allah are equal. However, because of differences in rank and knowledge, they are different. The Holy Qur'an says: "We have made some of these Apostles to excel the others; among them are they to whom Allah spoke, and some of them He exalted by (many degrees of) rank." (2:253)

So, Islam clearly rejects this Baha'i belief. Islam also states that the truth was sent to mankind in stages or tiers, culminating with final stage or tier and the delivery of the whole complete truth by the last messenger. Because the whole truth was revealed to mankind there was not a need for another prophet.

I don't see how the Baha'i Faith can claim that Islam is true at the same time as it own message is?

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:32 am
by Sean H.
Abu Talib wrote:Well, from reading the post of Baha'u'llah's writings about the "first" and the "last" I conclude that he spends many words to basically explain the Christian tradition in the Book of Revelation where Christ (as) says "I am the Alpha and the Omega".
I agree and think that it is definitely similar.

From the posts so far on this topic I have come to understand the belief of the Baha'i Faith regarding this subject. But what I fail to understand is how the Baha'i Faith claims to believe in the message of Islam when it completely denies one of the most fundamental beliefs, the belief that Muhammad (saww) was the last messenger and that Islam is the last message. The Holy Prophet clearly states in many traditions that he is the last messenger to ever appear on the face of the earth. And though the Baha'i Faith claims that all manifestations (prophets) are one with each other (Muhammad is Baha'u'llah), Islam undoubtedly says that each prophet is unique, in the same way as you are to another person, but that no difference is made between them.
Muhammad may be reported to say that in some hadiths that he is the last messenger or the last prophet, but it is not mentioned in the Qur'an. And even the interpretation of Muhammad being the last Prophet isn't necessarily incorrect either. Because He is the last Prophet before the Last Day. Now, the last day has come and God has sent us the two trumpet blasts that were promised to us in the Qur'an

SURA LXXIX (79) - Those Who Drag Forth (Mecca - 46) (XXXV - 48)

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

By those angels who drag forth souls with violence,

And by those who with joyous release release them;

By those who swim swimmingly along;

By those who are foremost with foremost speed;

By those who conduct the affairs of the universe!

One day, the disturbing trumpet-blast shall disturb it,

Which the second blast shall follow:

Men's hearts on that day shall quake: -

Their looks be downcast.

79:10 The infidels will say, "Shall we indeed be restored as at first?

What! when we have become rotten bones?"

"This then," say they, "will be a return to loss."

Verily, it will be but a single blast,




The book Peshawar Nights clearly explains this concept:

...NAWAB: Excuse my interruption. Weren't all the prophets sent by Allah? They are undoubtedly of the same rank. The Holy Qur'an says: "We do not differentiate between any of the prophets." (2:285) Then why have you differentiated between them and divided prophethood into two categories, general and special?
WISHER: Of course this verse is true in its proper context. That is, so far as achieving the aim of prophethood is concerned (which means teaching the people about existence of Allah, the Day of Judgement, and the training of their minds), all the prophets from Adam to the last of the prophets, are equal. But they differ in their qualities, achievements, and rank. Is a prophet who was sent to guide 1,000 people equal to one who sent to guide 30,000 people, or to one sent to guide all of humanity? Let's take an example. Is the teacher of first-grade students equal to a teacher of fourth-grade students? Are the teachers of higher classes equal to professors or university teachers? All belong to the same administration and work under the same general program, their aim being to educate students. Yet, in view of the teacher's knowledge, they are not equal. Each is different from the other according to his learning, ability, and achievement. From the point of view of the aim of prophethood, all the prophets of Allah are equal. However, because of differences in rank and knowledge, they are different. The Holy Qur'an says: "We have made some of these Apostles to excel the others; among them are they to whom Allah spoke, and some of them He exalted by (many degrees of) rank." (2:253)


If you'll notice, Baha'u'llah has written something very similar
XIX. To every discerning and illuminated heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the Divine Being, is immensely exalted beyond every human attribute, such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress. Far be it from His glory that human tongue should adequately recount His praise, or that human heart comprehend His fathomless mystery. He is, and hath ever been, veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men. "No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision; He is the Subtile, the All-Perceiving."...

The door of the knowledge of the Ancient of Days being thus closed in the face of all beings, the Source of infinite grace, according to His saying, "His grace hath transcended all things; My grace hath encompassed them all," hath caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the realm of the spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made manifest unto all men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries of the unchangeable Being, and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable Essence.

These sanctified Mirrors, these Day Springs of ancient glory, are, one and all, the Exponents on earth of Him Who is the central Orb of the universe, its Essence and ultimate Purpose. From Him proceed their knowledge and power; from Him is derived their sovereignty. The beauty of their countenance is but a reflection of His image, and their revelation a sign of His deathless glory. They are the Treasuries of Divine knowledge, and the Repositories of celestial wisdom. Through them is transmitted a grace that is infinite, and by them is revealed the Light that can never fade.... These Tabernacles of Holiness, these Primal Mirrors which reflect the light of unfading glory, are but expressions of Him Who is the Invisible of the Invisibles. By the revelation of these Gems of Divine virtue all the names and attributes of God, such as knowledge and power, sovereignty and dominion, mercy and wisdom, glory, bounty, and grace, are made manifest.

These attributes of God are not, and have never been, vouchsafed specially unto certain Prophets, and withheld from others. Nay, all the Prophets of God, His well-favored, His holy and chosen Messengers are, without exception, the bearers of His names, and the embodiments of His attributes. They only differ in the intensity of their revelation, and the comparative potency of their light. Even as He hath revealed: "Some of the Apostles We have caused to excel the others."

It hath, therefore, become manifest and evident that within the tabernacles of these Prophets and chosen Ones of God the light of His infinite names and exalted attributes hath been reflected, even though the light of some of these attributes may or may not be outwardly revealed from these luminous Temples to the eyes of men. That a certain attribute of God hath not been outwardly manifested by these Essences of Detachment doth in no wise imply that they who are the Day Springs of God's attributes and the Treasuries of His holy names did not actually possess it. Therefore, these illuminated Souls, these beauteous Countenances have, each and every one of them, been endowed with all the attributes of God, such as sovereignty, dominion, and the like, even though to outward seeming they be shorn of all earthly majesty....

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 46)


You'll also notice that the Qur'an says something similar as well...

133. Were ye witnesses when death appeared before Jacob? Behold, he said to his sons: "What will ye worship after me?" They said: "We shall worship thy God and the God of thy fathers, of Abraham, Isma'il, and Isaac, the one (true) God, to Him we bow (in Islam)."

(The Qur'an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 2)



So, Islam clearly rejects this Baha'i belief. Islam also states that the truth was sent to mankind in stages or tiers, culminating with final stage or tier and the delivery of the whole complete truth by the last messenger. Because the whole truth was revealed to mankind there was not a need for another prophet.

I don't see how the Baha'i Faith can claim that Islam is true at the same time as it own message is?


Let's take a look at the Qur'an where it talks about tiers of truth being sent to mankind.

"Thus will thy Lord choose thee and teach thee the interpretation of stories (and events) and perfect His favor to thee and to the posterity of Jacob -- even as He perfected it to thy fathers Abraham and Isaac aforetime! For Allah is full of knowledge and wisdom."
(The Qur'an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 12:6)

Moreover, We gave Moses the Book, completing (Our favor) to those who would do right, and explaining all things in detail, and a guide and a mercy, that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord.
(The Qur'an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 6:154)

"This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion."
- (The Qur'an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 5:3)


My friend, God sends down His Messengers perfecting religion every time. No where in the Qur'an say that the whole truth would be revealed and that there would be no need for a future prophet. Take a look at this passage.


Surah 54

Al Qamar (The Moon)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

1. The hour (of Judgment) is nigh, and the moon is cleft asunder.
2. But if they see a Sign, they turn away, and say, "This is (but) transient magic."
3. They reject (the warning) and follow their (own) lusts but every matter has its appointed time.
4. There have already come to them Recitals wherein there is (enough) to check (them),
5. Mature wisdom -- but (the preaching of) Warners profits them not.
6. Therefore, (O Prophet,) turn away from them. The day that the Caller will call (them) to a terrible affair.
7. They will come forth -- their eyes humbled -- from (their) graves, (torpid) like locusts scattered abroad,
8. Hastening, with eyes transfixed, towards the Caller! "Hard is this Day!" the Unbelievers will say.

9. Before them the People of Noah rejected (their messenger): they rejected Our servant, and said, "Here is one possessed!" and he was driven out.
10. Then he called on his Lord: "I am one overcome: do thou then help (me)!"
11. So We opened the gates of heaven, with water pouring forth.
12. And We caused the earth to gush forth with springs, so the waters met (and rose) to the extent decreed.
13. But We bore him on an (Ark) made of broad planks and caulked with palm-fibre:
14. She floats under Our eyes (and care): a recompense to one who had been rejected (with scorn)!
15. And We have left this as a Sign (for all time): then is there any that will receive admonition?
16. But how (terrible) was My Penalty and My Warning?
17. And We have indeed made the Qur'án easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?
18. The 'Ad (people) (too) rejected (Truth): then how terrible was my Penalty and my Warning!
19. For We sent against them a furious wind, on a Day of violent Disaster,
20. Plucking out men as if they were roots of palm-trees torn up (from the ground).
21. Yea, how (terrible) was my Penalty and my Warning!
22. But We have indeed made the Qur'án easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?
23. The Thamud (also) rejected (their) Warners.
24. For they said: "what! a man! a solitary one from among ourselves! shall we follow such a one? Truly should we then be straying in mind, and mad!
25. "Is It that the Message is sent to him, of all people amongst us? Nay, he is a liar an insolent one!"
26. Ah! they will know on the morrow, which is the liar, the insolent one!
27. For We will send the she camel by way of trial for them. So watch them, (o Saleh), and possess thyself in patience!
28. And tell them that the water is to be divided between them: each one's right to drink being brought forward (by suitable turns).
29. But they called to their companion, and he took a sword in hand, and hamstrung (her).
30. Ah! how (terrible) was My Penalty and My Warning!
31. For We sent against them a single Mighty Blast, and they became like the dry stubble used by one who pens cattle.
32. And We have indeed made the Qur'án easy to understand and remember: then is there any that will receive admonition?
33. The People of Lut rejected (his) Warning.
34. We sent against them a violent tornado with showers of stones, (which destroyed them), except Lut's household: them We delivered by early Dawn --
35. As a Grace from Us: Thus do We reward those who give thanks.
36. And (Lut) did warn them of Our Punishment, but they disputed about the Warning.
37. And they even sought to snatch away his guests from him, but We blinded their eyes. (They heard:) "Now taste ye My Wrath and My Warning."
38. Early on the morrow an abiding Punishment seized them:
39. "So taste ye My Wrath and My Warning."

That was a long quote, but I hope that you read a decent bit of it. I want you to notice Abu Talib that in every age many of these people failed to recognize God's prophets despite the warnings of the prophet that came before them. Ponder awhile why this is so. Notice that each Warner warned about the person to come after them. Muhammad is called a Warner here and Warns about the coming of the Caller.

Ponder awhile Abu Talib if you are in danger of making the same mistake that people in the past have made by rejecting God's most recent Messenger due to their strict attachment to literal interpretations, and remember the Qur'an's own Warning...

2. Do men think that they will be left alone on saying, "We believe," and that they will not be tested?
3. We did test those before them, and Allah will certainly know those who are true from those who are false.
(The Qur'an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 29)



I'll end this post with a passage from Baha'u'llah about this day.

XXV. It is evident that every age in which a Manifestation of God hath lived is divinely ordained, and may, in a sense, be characterized as God's appointed Day. This Day, however, is unique, and is to be distinguished from those that have preceded it. The designation "Seal of the Prophets" fully revealeth its high station. The Prophetic Cycle hath, verily, ended. The Eternal Truth is now come. He hath lifted up the Ensign of Power, and is now shedding upon the world the unclouded splendor of His Revelation.

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 60)

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 12:02 pm
by BritishBahai
Abu Talib wrote:.
.
.
From the posts so far on this topic I have come to understand the belief of the Baha'i Faith regarding this subject. But what I fail to understand is how the Baha'i Faith claims to believe in the message of Islam when it completely denies one of the most fundamental beliefs, the belief that Muhammad (saww) was the last messenger and that Islam is the last message. The Holy Prophet clearly states in many traditions that he is the last messenger to ever appear on the face of the earth. And though the Baha'i Faith claims that all manifestations (prophets) are one with each other (Muhammad is Baha'u'llah), Islam undoubtedly says that each prophet is unique, in the same way as you are to another person, but that no difference is made between them. The book Peshawar Nights clearly explains this concept:.
.
.
.
In the Quran in lots of different places it talks about Judgement day. I dont have a Quran infront of me right now so cannot quote the passages for you.

It states that on Judgement day, 2 new religions will come.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:40 pm
by Sean H.
BritishBahai wrote:In the Quran in lots of different places it talks about Judgement day. I dont have a Quran infront of me right now so cannot quote the passages for you.

It states that on Judgement day, 2 new religions will come.
Dear BritishBahai, we should probably refrain from hearsay and back up what we say with quotes. However, are you referring to the trumpet blasts? 1 after another? Because I quoted that passage in my post.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 1:55 pm
by BritishBahai
^ Its not "hearsay"... I read it myself O:) . I just cannot quote it right now because I dont have it infront of me, but wanted to bring something new to the table, because people often refer to the 'twin trumpet blasts' but leave it at that. I was referring to the passage that mentions "Kiflayn", amongst other things.
I havent read the entirety of your post, but it is likely that it may contain some of the Quran passages which I am thinking of.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 5:36 pm
by nharandi
Abu Talib wrote:Well, from reading the post of Baha'u'llah's writings about the "first" and the "last" I conclude that he spends many words to basically explain the Christian tradition in the Book of Revelation where Christ (as) says "I am the Alpha and the Omega".

From the posts so far on this topic I have come to understand the belief of the Baha'i Faith regarding this subject. But what I fail to understand is how the Baha'i Faith claims to believe in the message of Islam when it completely denies one of the most fundamental beliefs, the belief that Muhammad (saww) was the last messenger and that Islam is the last message. The Holy Prophet clearly states in many traditions that he is the last messenger to ever appear on the face of the earth. And though the Baha'i Faith claims that all manifestations (prophets) are one with each other (Muhammad is Baha'u'llah), Islam undoubtedly says that each prophet is unique, in the same way as you are to another person, but that no difference is made between them. The book Peshawar Nights clearly explains this concept:
...NAWAB: Excuse my interruption. Weren't all the prophets sent by Allah? They are undoubtedly of the same rank. The Holy Qur'an says: "We do not differentiate between any of the prophets." (2:285) Then why have you differentiated between them and divided prophethood into two categories, general and special?
WISHER: Of course this verse is true in its proper context. That is, so far as achieving the aim of prophethood is concerned (which means teaching the people about existence of Allah, the Day of Judgement, and the training of their minds), all the prophets from Adam to the last of the prophets, are equal. But they differ in their qualities, achievements, and rank. Is a prophet who was sent to guide 1,000 people equal to one who sent to guide 30,000 people, or to one sent to guide all of humanity? Let's take an example. Is the teacher of first-grade students equal to a teacher of fourth-grade students? Are the teachers of higher classes equal to professors or university teachers? All belong to the same administration and work under the same general program, their aim being to educate students. Yet, in view of the teacher's knowledge, they are not equal. Each is different from the other according to his learning, ability, and achievement. From the point of view of the aim of prophethood, all the prophets of Allah are equal. However, because of differences in rank and knowledge, they are different. The Holy Qur'an says: "We have made some of these Apostles to excel the others; among them are they to whom Allah spoke, and some of them He exalted by (many degrees of) rank." (2:253)

So, Islam clearly rejects this Baha'i belief. Islam also states that the truth was sent to mankind in stages or tiers, culminating with final stage or tier and the delivery of the whole complete truth by the last messenger. Because the whole truth was revealed to mankind there was not a need for another prophet.

I don't see how the Baha'i Faith can claim that Islam is true at the same time as it own message is?


I would like to add one other important thing. The Baha'i Faith does not say that prophets are all the same in every aspect. The spirit and essence of the prophets are alike, but their messages are not exact and their variations in their revelations are obviously there. Baha'u'llah makes a very clear analogy. He likens each prophet unto the Sun. We see the Sun rise over us every day and go back down. If I wanted to say something about yesterday's Sun, I undoubtedly could. Yesterday's sun was yesterday's Sun. But it is also today's Sun, because they are all the same Sun. This understanding is exactly what Islam is trying to convey as well. "We do not differentiate between any of the prophets," just like the Quran says, yet, of course, differences among them exist. If Muhammad, according to tradition, has said he is Adam, for example, he is claiming to be the first of the prophets. We know this is not materially true, but this is not a materially reality-- it is inherently a spiritual one. Muhammad is saying he is the essence of the first prophet, and the second, and the third, and of course their "seal". Assigning a material reality to things like "first" and "last" doesn't make sense, for they are spiritual concepts. And when taken literally, they obstruct the truth. It is what happened to those Christians who to this day, believe that Christ "is the way"-- and so they reject Islam for it. I am sure you believe he is, but in essence, that does not contradict Muhammad correct? Think about what you would say to a Christian who told you that.

Baha'u'llah, never once, denies Muhammad's position as the seal of the prophets. Religious revelation is progressive, and God is not limited with such revelation. In the Kitab-i-Iqan, which I still ask you to read, Baha'u'llah clearly explains this tendency to view religion as having a finality-- to think that Moses' Sabbath should never be changed, to think Christ is the only way, to think Muhammad is the end of religious revelation-- has historically veiled the investigation of truth. Believers pray and pray for their Messiah to come, and then reject him when literally promises are not fulfilled. It is the same, every time.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 7:06 pm
by ciwan
Salaam Alaykum Abu Talib,

Maybe you have already read it, or someone has already given you the link, but a lot f what has been written in these posts are mentioned in this link:

http://bahai-library.org/articles/jbs.5-3.fazel.html

Wa as-Salaam

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sat Oct 25, 2008 8:04 pm
by Keyvan
Heres a quote:


Lawh-i-Hasan-i-Sháhábadí

Provisional translation of a Tablet of His holiness Bahá’u’lláh revealed by the Supreme Pen in the ’Akká period addressed to a certain Hasan living in Sháhábad of Arak in central Irán:

He shineth from the Horizon of the Heaven of true Knowledge
with Wisdom and Utterance!

O Hasan! Hearken unto the Call of Husayn[2] Who hath been incarcerated in the Prison Fortress of ’Akká by reason of that which the hands of the heedless have wrought. If one were to question them,[3] “by what reason have ye imprisoned Him?”, they would reply: “Verily, He hath come with a new Shariah and this new Shariah doth not accord with the Law under which we have been. To this matter testifieth our Book which is called the Qur’án, a Book that is from God,[4] the Lord of all mankind. See that which the All-Merciful hath revealed therein: ‘Verily He[5] is the Messenger of God, and the Seal of the Prophets.’”[6]

To this We reply: “Indeed thou speaketh the truth. We do testify that through Him,[7] Messengership[8] and Prophethood[9] have both been sealed and any one claiming after Him this most exalted station is in manifest error.[10] Nevertheless, O Questioner! Hearken unto My voice which sayeth: “Open thine eyes that thou mayest behold the Most Great Beauty,[11] through Whom speaketh the Lord of divine decree. By God! Through Him the ‘Hour’[12] hath appeared, and the ‘Resurrection’[13] hath come to pass, and the ‘Moon’[14] hath been cleft asunder and thou wouldst behold all in a ‘continuing Regeneration’ if thou be of them that possess insight.




So you see there is no disagreement that Muhammad sealed both Messengership and Prophethood, but its the scope of what that means that is dogmatic. It continues:


To this We reply: “Indeed thou speaketh the truth. We do testify that through Him,[7] Messengership[8] and Prophethood[9] have both been sealed and any one claiming after Him this most exalted station is in manifest error.[10] Nevertheless, O Questioner! Hearken unto My voice which sayeth: “Open thine eyes that thou mayest behold the Most Great Beauty,[11] through Whom speaketh the Lord of divine decree. By God! Through Him the ‘Hour’[12] hath appeared, and the ‘Resurrection’[13] hath come to pass, and the ‘Moon’[14] hath been cleft asunder and thou wouldst behold all in a ‘continuing Regeneration’ if thou be of them that possess insight.




So a new cycle begins upon the "Resurrection," "The Hour," - that is, Sealing in this regard ended the episode not the series.

The reason why "seal of the Prophets" is relevent in the Quran was to distinguish the Quranic Dispensation from the Jewish one - unlike the Jewish Dispensation there was not a hierarchical succession of Prophets. It was Muhammad, and then a succession of Imam's (or even if you are Sunni, a succession of Caliphs). It in NO WAY meant an end to Prophets or Messengers for all eternity. That's an adulterating claim, that formed centuries after Muhammad.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 2:59 pm
by Abu Talib
When Islam refers to the coming of another it is speaking about the Mahdi. Traditions clearly state that the Mahdi will be the ninth descendant of Imam Husayn (as) and his name will be the same as the Holy Prophet's (as). It is said he will be an Imam and not a Prophet. When he appears he will reign until the Day of Judgement.

From what I understand and correct me if I am wrong, the Day of Judgement meant the coming of the Bab who was the Mahdi (Twelth Imam). In Islam, if the Mahdi will reign until the Day of Judgement then how can the Day of Judgement herald the Mahdi?

As well, can someone interpret this Hadith for me?

"O Ali, you are to me as Aaron was to Moses, except that there is no prophet after me."

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:30 pm
by ciwan
Could you please give references of this Hadith with the original text in Arabic?

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:56 pm
by nharandi
Abu Talib wrote: From what I understand and correct me if I am wrong, the Day of Judgement meant the coming of the Bab who was the Mahdi (Twelth Imam). In Islam, if the Mahdi will reign until the Day of Judgement then how can the Day of Judgement herald the Mahdi?
[/i]


I believe the Day of Judgment would be associated with Baha'u'llah. The Bab reigned until the Day of Judgment.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 9:47 am
by slava_sz
I did not find a place in Qur'an where it says "from now one there is no need for any guidance from God to be sent EVER"
On contrary, in many places it is emphasized that the Guidance from God is a non stop process. In 17.97 - Say, "If there were settled, on earth, angels walking about in peace and quiet, We should certainly have sent them down from the heavens an angel for an apostle."
If even angels need an apostle why people would not need one?
When someone says that he is the last one in the line, it does not mean that there will be no one after. And the next one coming after some time would say the same that he is the last one.
So certain verses can be interpreted by some people as "the last and final, and no more". But in 5.67 it says "The Jews say: "God's hand is tied up." Be their hands tied up and be they accursed for the (blasphemy) they utter. Nay, both His hands are widely outstretched: He giveth and spendeth (of His bounty) as He pleaseth."
In 2.87 - We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of apostles; We gave Jesus the son of Mary Clear (Signs) and strengthened him with the holy spirit. Is it that whenever there comes to you an apostle with what ye yourselves desire not, ye are puffed up with pride?- Some ye called impostors, and others ye slay!
If you know Arabic, could you please tell me in "We gave Moses the Book and followed him up with a succession of apostles;" the word "apostles" is plural? Meaning three or more? Let's count 1 - Jesus, 2 - Muhammad, 3 and more - ?
Even if in Hadith it said that Muhammad said there is no apostle following Him, it does not mean EVER. In Adam-Muhammad cycle sure He is the last one. But with the Bab and Baha'u'llah started new one.

Day of Resurrection

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 3:53 am
by Keyvan
Here is a passage from the Persian Bayan as translated by Dr. Denis MacEoin

http://www.h-net.org/~bahai/trans/bayan/bay2-7.htm




The Seventh Gate of the Second Unity

Concerning the explanation of the Day of Resurrection.
The substance of this chapter is that the meaning of 'the Day of
Resurrection' is the day of the appearance of the Tree of Reality.
It is
clear that none of the adherents of the Shi'i sect have understood (the
meaning of) the Day of Resurrection. On the contrary, they have all vainly
imagined something that possesses no reality in the eyes of God. The
meaning of 'the Day of Resurrection' in the sight of God and in the
terminology of the people of truth is that, from the moment of the
appearance of the Tree of Reality in every age and in every name, until the
time of its disappearance, constitutes the Day of Resurrection.

Thus, for example, from the day on which Jesus was sent (by God)
until the day of his Ascension was the Resurrection of Moses, for the
revelation of God was manifest during that period through the revelation of
that Reality, who rewarded by his words everyone who was a believer in
Moses and punished by his words everyone who did not believe in him. For
whatsoever God had witnessed in that age (of Moses) is what He witnessed in
the Gospel. And from the day on which the Messenger of God (Muhammad) was
sent until the day of his death ('uruj-i an) was the Resurrection of Jesus,
for the Tree of Reality was manifest in the (human) temple of Muhammad, who
rewarded all who believed in Jesus and punished by his words all who did
not believe in him.
...


Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:14 am
by Keyvan
Abu Talib wrote:In Islam, if the Mahdi will reign until the Day of Judgement then how can the Day of Judgement herald the Mahdi?

As well, can someone interpret this Hadith for me?

"O Ali, you are to me as Aaron was to Moses, except that there is no prophet after me."




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? Obviously The Hour is not this dogmatic end of days and even wikipedia explains 'end of the world' is only a relatively modern dogma about The Hour.


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. That's how Baha'i's and Shia see that quote.
Sunni's interpret that quote as Muhammad accentuating that Ali was not to be a spiritual successor in any sense despite the blood relationship analogous to Moses and Aaron.
Baha'i's often cite that quote as supportive of an interpretation of the Qur'an passage 33:40 which refers to "seal of the prophets" as indicative of Muhammad seeing the need to distinguish His Administration from the Jewish Dispensations Administration, in which succession was a hierarchical line of prophets.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:16 am
by slava_sz
Baha'u'llah says in Kitab-i-Aqdas that there will be no messenger after Him.
But in the following one thousand years.
I think it is related to the question of Abu Talib.
So, if you see the perpetual mechanism of sending guidance from God through Apostles-Messengers then all those moments of the seal and the last, and no more are not a problem.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:15 pm
by Keyvan
slava_sz wrote:Baha'u'llah says in Kitab-i-Aqdas that there will be no messenger after Him.
But in the following one thousand years.
I think it is related to the question of Abu Talib.
So, if you see the perpetual mechanism of sending guidance from God through Apostles-Messengers then all those moments of the seal and the last, and no more are not a problem.



No messenger until 1000 years after Baha'u'llah's intimation yes.

I think you are referring to the discussion in the Iqan. As I see it Baha'u'llah is trying to explain it in the sense that we should be seeing all Messengers as manifesting the same essential true spirit, working together, not as distinct from one another. So if a Messenger refers to their finality, it should be seen in its context and not exaggerate it [EDITED OUT FOR TONE--B.Z.].

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:25 am
by slava_sz
Yes, in a sense that all of them are of the same nature, but my point when Abu Talib asked about the Hadith where Muhammad says that there no more messenger after Him, I would take it as "not immediate after" only.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:21 pm
by Sean H.
I would reiterate what others said about Muhammad distinguishing Islam from the succession of nabi in Judaism. As far as last prophet I would also mention that the Qur'an says that Jesus will be a sign of the last day and that Jesus is both a nabi and a rasul. Also notice that the Caller is a warner just like every apostle of God before, and that those that have done the calling to mankind have been Apostles.

Ponder awhile Abu Talib, and take care. I would recommend reading the Kitab-i-Iquan. I think that you would find it very useful.

Sincerely,
Sean H.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:45 am
by slava_sz
From Qor'an 15
4 Never did We destroy a population that had not a term decreed and assigned beforehand.
5 Neither can a people anticipate its term, nor delay it.

6 They say: "O thou to whom the Message is being revealed! truly thou art mad (or possessed)!
7 "Why bringest thou not angels to us if it be that thou hast the Truth?"
8 We send not the angels down except for just cause: if they came (to the ungodly), behold! no respite would they have!
9 We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption).
10 We did send apostles before thee amongst the religious sects of old:
11 But never came an apostle to them but they mocked him.
12 Even so do we let it creep into the hearts of the sinners -
13 That they should not believe in the (Message); but the ways of the ancients have passed away.
14 Even if We opened out to them a gate from heaven, and they were to continue (all day) ascending therein,
15 They would only say: "Our eyes have been intoxicated: Nay, we have been bewitched by sorcery."

In first part - it clearly states that no religion (by population-people-nation means people with Revelation sent to them) lasts FOREVER. And they (the followers of that religion) can do nothing about it.
In the last part - it states that to some no proof is good enough.

Re: Last Prophet?

Posted: Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:02 pm
by Abu Talib
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.