The next prophet

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Omid Townsend
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The next prophet

Postby Omid Townsend » Sat Jan 31, 2004 11:12 pm

Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying imposter. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such a claim. Should he repent, God will, assuredly forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His Mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle famcies. Nay, rather, follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise. Erelong shall clamorous voices be raised in most lands. Shun them, O My people, and follow not the iniquitous and evilhearted. This is that of which We gave you forewarning when We were dwelling in `Iráq, then later while in the land of Mystery, and now from this Resplendent Spot.

Kitab-i-Aqdas


The Kitab-i-Aqdas revealed in 1873, specifically says no prophet will come err a thousand years. One thousand years from 1873 is 2873.

Today is 2004 that means in or around 869yrs from now, the world will be expecting a Manifestation of God to appear. Never in previous revelations have such clear and explicit words been dictated. It is clear that He (or some may debate she), will not be of station as that of Baha'u'llah. However, since all the prophets are one, in a sense Baha'u'llah will return. When this Manifestation's time come (2873), I think that there will be many if not very many people claiming prophethood. Some will be imposters, some will be misguided by there own understandings. The Universal House of Justice, may at that time have its membership at 95 members, The Prophet may be in fact one of them. The House of Justice will have to inevitably decide wether whomever lay's claim to a revelation is true or not.

Some common factors between most prophets


1. Semetic roots.
2. Inate knowledge manifested from a very early age.
3. Devout and unmatched devotion and sincerity to God.
4. Virtuous and upright character admired by all.


Some questions that may arise when the time comes.

If recognized will the child prophet be revealing from a very young age?

Will he have the athoritative power over all the Baha'is imediatly?

At that time we may have colonized other planets or moons and He (or She) may be from another planet, litterally. So, will the Rule of law and jurisdiction fall to all planets and solar systems within the reach of the Prophet?

Is He or She going to suffer?? Baha'u'llah says to treat this person fairly (forgive me this quote escapes my recolection)

When 2873 comes does that mean that there will be a prophet walking among the people? Or does it just mean that not until 2873 will a prophet be born?

These questions are soley out of curiosity and I relalize that unless the UHJ explicitly says anything on this subject, everything is plainly speculation.

janine

Postby janine » Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:50 am

that would be interesting: a Manifestation of God declaring herself when still a child! ;)

i simply do not know Omid. It is so far away.... i am sure that if we follow carefully the teachings concerning education of children, of being without prejudice, of clinging to the cord of justice, of directing our gaze always and under all circumstances to God, we will bring forth children that will display the same qualities. And if we continue to do so, then the next Manifestation will have to suffer less.....

much love,

janine van rooij
dublin, ireland.

daria dil

last and final prophet(rasool) Muhammad saaw.......

Postby daria dil » Sun May 16, 2004 9:27 am

A proof of the Finality of Prophethood (Khatmay-Nabuwwat)

Guided by irrefutable word of Allah(SWT) in the Holy Quran and numerous Hadith, Muslims around the world do uniformly believe that, after Prophet Muhammad(SAW), the chain of prophethood has come to an end. According to this fundamental belief, anyone who now claims to be a Prophet of God should be viewed as an impostor, whose claim is contrary to the teachings of Islam.
All Muslim scholars consider such self-proclaimed prophets misguided opportunists, who have doomed their souls for worldly gains. Sadly, those unfortunate individuals, who follow the man-made ideology of such opportunists, won't fair much better in the hereafter, unless they are awakened by the truth of Allah(SWT) and abbandon the teachings of their self-motivated leaders.


It is those who believe not in the Signs of Allah that forge falsehood: it is they who lie!
(The Holy Quran, An-Nahl 16:105)



Khatmay-Nabuwat in the Quran
Close to one hundred verses of the holy Quran, directly or indirectly, support the doctrine of the Finality of Prophethood.

Verse 40 of the Surah Al-Ahzab (33), for instance, highlights this teaching in clear terms.



Two translations of this Ayah follow:


O people! Muhammad has no sons among ye men, but verily, he is the Apostle of God and the last in the line of Prophets. And God is Aware of everything.

Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Ahzab 33:40)


Muslim Scholars, since the time of our beloved Prophet(SAW), have correctly understood this verse to indicate that no new Prophet or Messenger will be sent to humanity until the day of judgment.
[Read: The Interpretation of well-known Muslim Scholars].

Numerous verses of the Quran indicate that the teachings of Islam have been completed, perfected, and preserved and have been meant universally for all the Worlds. Such statements eliminate every reason for which a new prophet may need to be commissioned to humanity. In this regard, we can briefly mention:


And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) save as a bringer of good tidings and a warner unto all mankind; but most of mankind do not know.
(The Holy Quran, Saba 34:28)



Say: "O men! I am sent unto you all, as the Messenger of Allah, to Whom belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth: there is no god but He: it is He That giveth both life and death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger, the Unlettered Prophet, who believeth in Allah and His words: follow him that (so) ye may be guided."
(The Holy Quran, Al-Araf 7:158)



If anyone desires a religion other than Islam (submission to Allah), never will it be accepted of him; and in the Hereafter He will be in the ranks of those who have lost (All spiritual good).
(The Holy Quran, Al-e-Imran 3:85)


The following portion of the last revealed verse of the Holy Quran is also a testimony that no Apostle with new instructions or interpretations of the holy Quran will ever need to be sent to the humanity:


This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favor upon you and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Maidah 5:3)


The following verses, which appear at the very beginning of the holy Quran, indicate the qualities of the individuals, who will benefit from the holy Quran, and have been given an assurance of salvation. In its concise and precise form, Quran makes clear that these include revelations up to the time of Prophet Muhammad(SAW), and precludes the possibility of any future revelations, prophets, or religions.


This is the Scripture whereof there is no doubt, a guidance unto those who fear Allah, believe in the Unseen, are steadfast in prayer, give charity from what We have provided for them, and believe in the Revelation sent to you (O Muhammad) and before you, and (in their hearts) have the assurance of the Hereafter. They are on (true) guidance, from their Lord, and it is these who shall be successful.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Bagara 2:2-5)


Khatmay-Nabuwat in Hadith of Prophet(SAW)
Many verses of the Holy Quran allude to the special wisdom bestowed on the Prophet Muhammad(SAW) to understand and explain the revelations included in the Holy Quran. For example, in verse 4 of chapter 14 of the Quran, we read:


And We never sent a messenger save with the language of his folk, that he [Hazrat Muhammad(SAW)] might make (the message) clear for them. Then Allah sendeth whom He will astray, and guideth whom He will. He is the Mighty, the Wise.
(The Holy Quran, Ibrahim 14:4)


The following teachings of Prophet Muhammad(SAW) deal with the issue of Finality of Prophethood. As apparent from the references, these Ahadith are authentic and have been recorded by many scholars and reported by numerous companions of the Prophet(SAW).


My position in relation to the prophets who came before me can be explained by the following example: A man erected a building and adorned this edifice with great beauty, but he left an empty niche, in the corner where just one brick was missing. People looked around the building and marveled at its beauty, but wondered why a brick was missing from that niche? I am like unto that one missing brick and I am the last in the line of the Prophets.
(Bukhari, Muslim,Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, Tirmizi, Babu Khatimin-Nabiyyin, Musnad Abu Dawud Tayalisi)



God has bestowed upon me six favors which the former Prophets did not enjoy:

I have been endowed with the gift of pithy and perfect speech.

I was granted victory owing to my awe.

The spoils of war were made lawful unto me.

The whole earth has been made the place of worship for me and it has become the means of purification for me also. In other words, in my religion, offering of prayers is not confined to certain specified places of worship. Prayers can be offered at any place over the earth. And in case water is not available, it is lawful for my people to perform ablutions with earth (Tayammum) and to cleanse themselves with the soil, if water for bathing is scarce.

I have been sent by Allah to carry His Divine message to the whole world.

And the line of prophets has come to its final end in me.
(Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah)



I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad, I am the effacer and infidelity shall be erased through me; I am the assembler. People shall be assembled on Doomsday after my time. And I am the last in the sense that no prophet shall succeed me.
(Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Muatta')



You (Hazrat Ali) are related to me as Aaron was related to Moses (pbuh). But no Apostle will come after me.
(Bukhari, Muslim
Musnad recorded a similar hadith ending in 'Behold there is no prophethood after me.')



If ever there arose a person from among my people who would hold communion with God, it would be none else but 'Umar bin Khattab.
(Bukhari , Muslim, Tirmidhi)



We are the last (ummah) but will precede all on the Day of Resurrection except that the Book was given to them before us.
(Bukhari, Muslim)



The tribe of Israel was guided by prophets. When a prophet passed away, another prophet succeeded him. But no prophet will come after me; only caliphs will succeed me.
(Bukhari)



I am the last in line of the prophets of God and my Masjid is the last Masjid.
(Muslim)



The chain of Messengers and Prophets has come to an end. There shall be no Messenger nor Prophet after me.
(Tirmidhi, Musnad Ahmad, Anas bin Malik)



There will arise thirty impostors in my Ummah and each one of them will pronounce to the world that he is a prophet, but I am the last in the line of the Prophets of God and no Prophet will come after me.
(Abu Dawood, Tirmizi)



Allah will send no Apostle after me, but only Mubashshirat (Good vision or pious vision).
(Musnad Ahmad, Abu Tufail, Nasa'i, Abu Dawud)



No Prophet will come after me and there will, therefore, be no other community of followers of any new Prophet.
(Baihaqi, Tabarani)



God Almighty hath sent unto the world no apostle who did not warn his people about the appearance of Dajjal (Anti-Christ, but Dajjal did not appear in their time). I am the last in the line of Prophets and you are the last community of believers. Without doubt, then, Dajjal shall appear from amongst you.
(Ibn Majah)



I am Muhammad, the unlettered prophet of Allah. I am Muhammad, the unlettered prophet of Allah. I am Muhammad, the unlettered prophet of Allah. There will be no prophet after me.
(Musnad Ahmad)


These are just a brief listing of the authentic teachings of Hazrat Muhammad(SAW) available on the issue of the Finality of Prophethood; should a true believer have any doubt about the Finality of Prophethood?


It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman, when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if any one disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he is indeed on a clearly wrong Path.
(The Holy Quran, Al-Ahzab 33:36)


The Historic Sermon of Prophet(SWT)
Hazrat Muhammad(SAW) saw it fit to mention this very important fact in his historic sermon, which was witnessed by over 120,000 individuals. Through it, he again warned the entire mankind to stay away from destructive man-made cults, in the following words:


...O People, no prophet or apostle will come after me, and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O People, and understand my words which I convey to you...
(Read: The Entire Sermon)


Should we not heed the prophets'(SAW) warnings and stay away from false prophets?


We sent no messenger save that he should be obeyed by Allah's leave. And if, when they had wronged themselves, they had but come unto thee and asked forgiveness of Allah, and asked forgiveness of the messenger, they would have found Allah Forgiving, Merciful. But nay, by thy Lord, they will not believe (in truth) until they make thee judge of what is in dispute between them and find within themselves no dislike of that which thou decidest, and submit with full submission.
(The Holy Quran, An-Nisa 4:64-65)


The Opinion of Great Scholars of Islam
Throughout the centuries, Muslim Scholars have unanimously supported the fundamental doctrine of Finality of Prophethood in Prophet Muhammad(SAW). So much so, that the entire Ummah has recognized anyone who claims to be a prophet (in any capacity), supports someone else's claim to prophethood, or views such claimant as a religious leader, to be an unbeliever (Kafir).
[Read: The Opinion of well-known Muslim Scholars].

Should we not accept the opinion of our knowledgeable Muslim Scholars?


O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you. If ye differ in anything among yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if ye do believe in Allah and the Last Day: That is best, and most suitable for final determination.
(The Holy Quran, An-Nisa, 4:59)


Dictionary Translation
Hoping to misguide individuals, who lack knowledge of linguistics and Arabic language, some unlearned opportunists have attempted to misinterprete the verse 33:40 of Al-Ahzab, which was mentioned earlier, since it is the best known verse in support of the doctrine of the Finality of Prophethood. Such individuals often claim the word khatam, in the context of the verse, to mean "stamp", "seal", "best", "decoration" or "ring"! They also claim that the word Nabiyyeen indicates the "law giving prophets".

The actual dictionary translations of the words khatam nabuwat, in this context, are as follows:

Khatam: Can be read in two ways: khatam, meaning last or seal; and khatim meaning seal or terminator.
The authorative dictionary of Lisanul-Arab indicates that both 'khatam' and 'khatim' mean "last of them" and the Qamoos dictionary says that it indicates the "last person", like a seal.

Nabuwat: Messengership; Prophethood of any kind, since all Messengers (rasuls or law giving prophets) are also Prophets.

In the word of Allah(SWT), the Quran was revealed in detail in the arabic language so Arabs would understand it without a problem. True to God's promise, no arabic speaking person will have a doubt of what is meant by Khatme-Nabuwat. Isn't it particularly amusing to find self-proclaimed "prophets", who according to historical records did not even have a working knowledge of the Arabic language, tried to reinterprete this verse?


Had We sent this as a Qur'an (in a language) other than Arabic they would have said: "Why are not its verses explained in detail? What! (a Book) not in Arabic and (a Messenger) an Arab?" Say: "It is a guide and a healing to those who believe; and for those who believe not there is a deafness in their ears and it is blindness in their (eyes); they are (as it were) being called from a place far distant!
(The Holy Quran, Ha-Mim 41:44)
(12:2, 13:37, 16:103, 20:113, 26:195, 39:028, 41:003, 42:7, 43:3, and 46:12 also illuminate the point that proper knowledge of arabic language is required to avoid mistranslating/misinterpreting the Holy Quran.)


Conclusion
The sheer amount of evidence provided here should suffice to convince anyone believing in the divinity of Islam that the prophet Muhammad(SAW) was the last Prophet of God and that anyone with a claim to prophethood should be considered an outcast from Islam. No one can better state this fact, than Allah(SWT) himself:


Who doth more wrong than such as forge a lie against Allah or deny His Signs? But never will prosper those who sin.
(The Holy Quran, Yunus 10:60)



Those who believe not in the Signs of Allah, Allah will not guide them and theirs will be a grievous Penalty.
(The Holy Quran, An-Nahl 16:104)


Bear witness that we are Muslims and we have conveyed the true message of Allah so that you might benefit from it.


Therefore give admonition in case the admonition profits (the hearer). The admonition will be received by those who fear (Allah): But it will be avoided by those most unfortunate ones. Who will enter the Great Fire In which they will then neither die nor live.
(The Holy Quran, Al-A'la 87:9-13)

brettz9
Posts: 1360
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 12:12 pm
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Seal of the Prophets & Future Manifestations

Postby brettz9 » Sun May 16, 2004 3:22 pm

Regarding the interpretation of the verse referring to the "Seal of the Prophets", Bahá'u'lláh address this in His work, the Kitáb-i-Íqán (Book of Certitude). It is online at http://bahai-library.com/writings/bahaullah/iqan/ (see part II in particular). There are other articles here at http://bahai-library.com which address this theme as well.

Omid, as far as the next Manifestation of God to follow Bahá'u'lláh after a thousand years, the notes to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas indicate that the date of beginning is actually 1852, so it would be at some point after 2852. It could even be thousands of years. I have gathered all of the guidance I could find pertaining to this topic here . Feel free to add to it if you have any other citations. However, for general references to future Manifestations of God, please add citations instead here and for specific references to the next Universal Manifestation of God (not to come for another 500,000 years), add it here .

Although it is useful for us to have an appreciation for the uniqueness of this Day as well as the need for recognizing that we do not claim finality in religious revelation, I think we should be careful not to become too distracted with too much speculation about a time for which we are told we cannot even dimly envision, particularly while we have important tasks at hand. But it is a topic worth some of our consideration, I feel.

You will need to click "edit" at the bottom-left of these pages to edit these pages. One may need to refresh the page on first loading the wiki site if an error message appears as occasionally happens for some browsers/systems. Feel free to ask if you need help.

best wishes,
Brett

Jamal
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:23 am

Postby Jamal » Thu May 27, 2004 1:51 am

Let us not assume the inconceivable. God will raise up another manisfestation and, as usual, the majority of mortals will try to repress His message and will assail that divine soul with the most abominable onslaught. He will rise from
the least expected family,
the least expected background &
the least expected spot. However, as usual, He will triumph over all with God's might.
Furthermore, whenever He appears, He may abolish OR establish certain laws appropriate with His time.

Jamal

Dawud
Posts: 97
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 11:59 pm

Postby Dawud » Tue Jun 15, 2004 10:57 am

Just one point: While "most" recognized prophets do seem to have Semitic roots, Baha'is see Muhammad as the seal of this Semitic line of prophets. The Bab and Baha'u'llah were not primarily of Semitic extraction (though as a Siyyid the Bab was a descendent of Muhammad).

This suggests that the next prophet, whatever else he or she might be, could NOT be an Arab or a Jew.

Guest

Postby Guest » Thu Jun 24, 2004 1:07 pm

As already established before in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (¶37):
-The next Manifestation of God will not come for another 1000.
Although the Most Holy Book was revealed in 1873 (therefore the next manifestation due to come down at least at 2873 AD), this is a reference to the Greater Covenant of God. Therefore, it can, also, be taken into consideration that Bahá'u'lláh had his hidden intimation in the Síyáh-Chál from October 16-28 1852, and so the next manifestation not being due until 2852. Bahá'u'lláh also declared, privately, in the garden of Ridván (Geographically the same place as the garden of Eden) in April 21, 1863. So another option is that another manifestation won't come at least until 2863. These datings are in significant for the present daily overall study, but is good to be contemplated on.

Scattered in His Writings, Bahá'u'lláh, repeatedly, reveales the phrase:
"He doeth, whatsoever He willeth, and ordaineth what he desireth."
(the latter of the passage has varying wording)
-It can be STRONGLY debated that, this passage alone, can 'over-rule' the passage in the Most Holy Book. Because it can establish that if God wills it, he can reveal his Manifestation at any time he willeth. But it does not coencide with the fact that God will punish him who is a false prophet. This fact, to me, is astounding.

In the Kitáb-i-Íqán, Bahá'u'lláh reveals:
"Consider the past. How many, both high and low, have at all times, yearningly awaited the advent of the Manifestations of God in the sanctified person of His chosen Ones... And whensoever the prtals of grade did open, and the clouds of divine bounty did rain upon mankind, the light of the Unseen did shine above the horizon of celestial might, they all denied Him, and turned away from His face-the face of God Himself. "(KI, p.4)
-This is passage can also be debated to be a prediction of the future. It can prophecise that the next manifestation can, too be rejected, but this is not to be mistaken to include the Universal House of Justice. In other places, in both the Íqán and other scriptures, (which I am still looking for) there are proofs that the next manifestation of God will be rejected by the outwardly learned. This argument can also be aided by the passage, "He doeth whatsoever He willeth" because it can be a test for the outwardly learned not to be so direct in the verses. But this can also be strongly argued against, for the Aqdas reveals, "Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning..."

Some other ideas to take into consideration:
-The next Manifestation of God may be female (because prior to the revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, there was no equality)
-He/She may reveal Him/Herself at a much younger age
-The Universal House of Justice is divinely guided, therefore it will acknowledge when the next Manifestation of God has come
-There will be false prophets (I am still in the proccess of finding proofs from the Writings

These are just some things to think about. It should, under no circumstances be taken up as anyway authoritative, because all the thoughts composed are my own.

Jamal
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2004 1:23 am

Postby Jamal » Sat Jun 26, 2004 4:56 am

Two points,

1} His highness Muhammad has not concluded the Abrahamic lineage since His highness Baha'u'llah is the descendant of prophet Abraham and His third wife Katurah,
http://bahai-library.com/writings/shogh ... 91-95.html

2} As to a female prophet, I do not recall, however, either Baha'u'llah or Abdul Baha or Shoghi Effendi have confirmed that God out of His all encompassing Mercy will not send a female prophet for obvious reasons.

Jamal

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 28, 2004 3:28 pm

Jamal wrote:Two points,

1} His highness Muhammad has not concluded the Abrahamic lineage since His highness Baha'u'llah is the descendant of prophet Abraham and His third wife Katurah,
http://bahai-library.com/writings/shogh ... 91-95.html

2} As to a female prophet, I do not recall, however, either Baha'u'llah or Abdul Baha or Shoghi Effendi have confirmed that God out of His all encompassing Mercy will not send a female prophet for obvious reasons.

Jamal


The masculine is most often the active force and the feminine the passive force. But still I do not see how this would have genderwise any difference.
Since men have both masculine and feminine sides as is the case with females.

The gender in the Spirit is anyway pretty much different and genderless to our point of view. But still things in the future will be very different than now so the next big prophet might as well be female. :wink:

Hasan

Re: The next prophet

Postby Hasan » Tue Jun 29, 2004 5:30 am

By Hasan Elías (from Lima-Perú)

Dear friends,

I usually don’t write in forums because my time is short. The interchange of ideas is good to get better comprehension, but it requires respect and tolerance.

The matter of “the Coming”, no matter how much interesting could be, should not distract us from our goal, and our understandings should not arrive to polemic. My next observation is only a personal one and may have a lot of errors. I speak Spanish, so I have tried to make it clear.

Bahá’u’lláh says: “those divine verses that have been revealed in the previous Books, as well as the Qur’án, regarding the coming of the last Hour and the Day of Resurrection are mostly subject to interpretation. ‘And none knoweth its interpretation except God’”. When Bahá’u’lláh says about the prophecy of the one thousand years: “Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things”. It seems that in that particular phrase, the figurative interpretation (ta’wil) is forbidden.

The coming is conditioned with human race’s requirements. The text about the one thousand years seems to indicate that the BEGINNING of the coming has to compute from 1270 AH (1852-1853 AD). The calculation of the “one thousand years” according the Bahá’í Calendar and Muslim Calendar is not so clear, for Lunar Calendar it would be (1270 AH + 1000 years = 2270 AH or 2823 AD or 979 BE) and for Solar Calendar (1852-53 AD + 1000 years = 2852-53 AD). From my view this “Coming” will BEGIN in 1009 B.E. (The Prophecy of the Year Nine?). The formal adaptation of the Calendar will be done by the House. The period of “the renewal of the City of God” mentioned in the Íqán, Shoghi Effendi emphasizes that “the renewal of the ‘City of God’ once in about a thousand years…is simply an approximate date, and should not therefore be taken literally.”

It is inevitable that next Manifestation suffer, Bahá’u’lláh in a Tablet lamented about this. I think it is necessary for the purifying of the world from spiritual decadence mostly. Now we have enter into Bahá’u’lláh cycle, and this Dispensation is quite different from the past ones (Prophecy Era), and in that time we (humans) will have reached maturity, a Tablet of the Master indicates “It shall continue in elevation, exaltation, growth, promulgation and promotion until it shall reach the apex of its glory in one thousand years -- as the day of this Manifestation is one thousand years”. Shoghi Effendi said: “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.” In other hand, Pilgrim’s notes support this view saying that this Dispensation is no going to fall and the Manifestation’s suffering would be less than before.

About if the next Prophet could be a woman, it is difficult to say, but we would consider that the “heritage principle” is attained only for men. However, the most amazing work realized by a woman I know was in this Dispensation, for is interesting to analyze the beginning of the Guardian’s work, he (for major reasons) leave “for a time the affairs of the Cause both at home and abroad, under the supervision of the Holy Family and the headship of the Greatest Holy Leaf”. This time was from April to December of 1922.

One particular text of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says that before the thousand years, nobody can claim not even the Guardianship: “My purpose is this, that ere the expiration of a thousand years, no one has the right to utter a single word, even to claim the station of Guardianship”.

About the influence of the next Manifestation ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: “Afterward, other Manifestations will arise under His shadow, Who according to the needs of the time will renew certain commandments relating to material questions and affairs, while remaining under His shadow”.
We have also this statement of the Guardian: “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 the 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 Bahá'í cycle.”

To conclude, I quote below this particular text of the Master. It states that the obedience and submission to the Universal House of Justice is obligatory and necessary for all, until the next Prophet establishes His Dispensation.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, # 33, p. 67:

O servant of God! We have noted what thou didst write to Jinab-i-Ibn-Abhar, and thy question regarding the verse: ‘Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor.’

The meaning of this is that any individual who, before the expiry of a full thousand years -- years known and clearly established by common usage and requiring no interpretation -- should lay claim to a Revelation direct from God, even though he should reveal certain signs, that man is assuredly false and an impostor.

This is not a reference to the Universal Manifestation, for it is clearly set forth in the Holy Writings that centuries, nay thousands of years, must pass on to completion, before a Manifestation like unto this Manifestation shall appear again.

It is possible, however, that after the completion of a full thousand years, certain Holy Beings will be empowered to deliver a Revelation: this, however, will not be through a Universal Manifestation. Wherefore every day of the cycle of the Blessed Beauty is in reality equal to one year, and every year of it is equal to a thousand years.

Consider, for example, the sun: its transit from one zodiacal sign to the next occurreth within a short period of time, yet only after a long period doth it attain the plenitude of its resplendency, its heat and glory, in the sign of Leo. It must first complete one full revolution through the other constellations before it will enter the sign of Leo again, to blaze out in its full splendour. In its other stations, it revealeth not the fullness of its heat and light.

The substance is, that prior to the completion of a thousand years, no individual may presume to breathe a word. All must consider themselves to be of the order of subjects, submissive and obedient to the commandments of God and the laws of the House of Justice. Should any deviate by so much as a needle’s point from the decrees of the Universal House of Justice, or falter in his compliance therewith, then is he of the outcast and rejected.

As to the cycle of the Blessed Beauty -- the times of the Greatest Name -- this is not limited to a thousand or two thousand years....

When it is said that the period of a thousand years beginneth with the Manifestation of the Blessed Beauty and every day thereof is a thousand years, the intent is a reference to the cycle of the Blessed Beauty, which in this context will extend over many ages into the unborn reaches of time.

Robert
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Robert

Postby Robert » Fri Aug 13, 2004 2:14 am

Excuse my inability at the moment to find the passage to repeat here, but Baha'u'llah does state that the One to follow Him in the next Revelation will be a "He" . He states that this next Manifestation will suffer greatly (Baha'u'llah bemoans the plight of Him that will come after Himself).

For our Islamic friends sounding off herein, Baha'is believe this IS the Day of Judgement and the One expected by Islam and all revealed religion, has arrived; and by virtue of His law has decided right from wrong, and through his Divine Decree has determined that those who refute Him and persecute His followers are the people of the left spoken of in the Holy Book. May God have mercy on them for what they have done and continue to do to His followers.

hihellowhatsup
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Postby hihellowhatsup » Sun Oct 03, 2004 7:52 pm

Hi, Im new!

Anyway, I wanted to respond to an earlier post. I don't know how to quote so.. :oops: ..someone said it would be weird if a Prophet declared Himself in childhood. It is to my knowledge that Jesus, according to the Qur'an and some Gnostic sorces, that he declared Himself from the cradle. I don't know exactly where, but I just didn't want anyone to rule out the possibility of a child Prophet.

Ciao

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Sun Oct 03, 2004 11:06 pm

In the Qur'án a whole chapter is devoted to the story of Jesus. It records that in the time of His youth He worshiped God in the temple at Jerusalem, that manna descended from heaven for His sustenance and that He uttered words immediately after His birth. In brief, in the Qur'án there is eulogy and commendation of Christ such as you do not find in the Gospel.

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 201)


The Suráh referred to is at http://www.bahai-library.com/writings/quran/19.html . However, it was not until the descent of the Holy Spirit as the Dove, that His Mission really was ripe to unfold.

Brett

kkawohl

Puzzle Of The Ages

Postby kkawohl » Wed May 04, 2005 11:56 am

Puzzle Of The Ages
Released by: Transcendentalism Today, Org., by Kurt Kawohl
2005-05-04 11:47:48

Summary:
Religious divisions have followed us into this 21st Century



For_Immediate_Release:
Let’s assume a scenario: God interacts with “your” spirit which allows it to tap into His mind revealing the beauty of the universe with its billions of stars with several of them having planets with various life forms. Your spirit is bedazzled by the love interaction and unison of all souls within this community working toward the further development of this vast amazing universe. Way off in the distance you are directed to a tiny speck within the great expanse circling a star to which you are drawn and you recognize this speck to be the earth where your people reside.

You are shown man’s millennium long struggles to be the correct ways of having their souls get into Heaven, this spiritual community that you are now experiencing that man has called God. You see the beginning of mankind, several groupings develop with each claiming to know the correct way to God. Dispute escalates to a point where ill-will causes men to kill each other in the “name of God”; millions are annihilated over time, you see sufferings and more killing to the point where this gruesomeness sickens you.

You are now back in your own habitat remembering that your spirit has twice before witnessed almost identical events, yet you eventually dismissed them because you felt that to tell anyone about this you would be labeled as being insane. You now realize that this was not a scenario but that God had a message to communicate to man.

How would you personally handle this situation?

Hasan
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Postby Hasan » Wed May 04, 2005 4:18 pm

Not related to what kkawohl said, but I have prepared some “questions and answers” about what could happen in one thousand years.

In first place, the note # 62 (p.195) of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas:

62. Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years # 37
The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh will last until the coming of the next Manifestation of God, Whose advent will not take place before at least “a full thousand years” will have elapsed. Bahá’u’lláh cautions against ascribing to “this verse” anything other than its “obvious meaning”, and in one of His Tablets, He specifies that “each year” of this thousand year period consists of “twelve months according to the Qur’án, and of nineteen months of nineteen days each, according to the Bayán”.
The intimation of His Revelation to Bahá’u’lláh in the Siyah-Chal of Tihran, in October 1852, marks the birth of His Prophetic Mission and hence the commencement of the one thousand years or more that must elapse before the appearance of the next Manifestation of God.


Q & A:

Q. From what date is possible the next Revelation?
A. ...any individual who, before the expiry of a full thousand years -- years known and clearly established by common usage and requiring no interpretation -- should lay claim to a Revelation direct from God, even though he should reveal certain signs, that man is assuredly false and an impostor. (Abdu’l-Bahá)
[This is October 1852 + 1,000 years = October 2852 (1,009 E.B. “Year Ninth”]

Q. Could even the station of Guardianship be claimed ere the expiration of 1,000 years?
A. My purpose is this, that ere the expiration of a thousand years, no one has the right to utter a single word, even to claim the station of Guardianship. “The Most Holy Book is the Book to which all peoples shall refer, and in it the Laws of God have been revealed. Laws not mentioned in the Book should be referred to the decision of the Universal House of Justice…” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá)

Q. What could happen to the person who claims a direct Revelation of God before one thousand years?
A. Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! (Bahá’u’lláh)

Q. What is possible to happen after one thousand years?
A. It is possible, however, that after the completion of a full thousand years, certain Holy Beings will be empowered to deliver a Revelation: this, however, will not be through a Universal Manifestation [“mazhar-i-kullí-yi iláhí]. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá)

Q. What is the meaning of the quote of Bahá’u’lláh: “My fears are for Him Who will be sent down unto you after Me”A. …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. (Shoghi Effendi)

Q. In this sense: What is the difference between this Dispensation and the previous ones?
A. 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.” (Shoghi Effendi)

Q. It is necessary and obligatory the obedience to the Universal House of Justice even in those times?
A. The substance is, that prior to the completion of a thousand years, no individual may presume to breathe a word. All must consider themselves to be of the order of subjects, submissive and obedient to the commandments of God and the laws of the House of Justice. Should any deviate by so much as a needle’s point from the decrees of the Universal House of Justice, or falter in his compliance therewith, then is he of the outcast and rejected. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá)

Q. What will be the nature of the next Prophets?
A. …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. (Shoghi Effendi)

Q. What would be the task of the next Prophets related to the progress gained in this Dispensation?
A. Whatever progress may be achieved in the 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 Bahá’í cycle.” (Shoghi Effendi)

Q. What is the duration of the Bahá’í cycle?
A. The Adamic Cycle inaugurated 6000 years ago by the Manifestation of God called Adam is only one of the many bygone cycles. Bahá’u’lláh, as you say, is the culmination of the Adamic Cycle. He is also the Inaugurator of the Bahá’í Cycle. (Shoghi Effendi)
Concerning your question relative to the duration of the Bahá’í Dispensation… the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh will last for at least one thousand years, His cycle will extend still farther to at least 500,000. (Shoghi Effendi)

Q. Could the next Prophet be a woman or a child or not a descendent of Bahá’u’lláh or the Báb?
A. This is a matter of study; I have no idea about this.
But, we can see some relevant aspects of the history.
1) For example the hereditary principle is only attained for men. I inclined myself to think that the next Prophet will be necessarily a man and also a descendent of Bahá’u’lláh or the Báb, but it is speculative because we don’t know if there will be one, two or more Manifestations of God together or followed.
“…that hereditary principle which, as 'Abdu'l-Bahá has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. ‘In all the Divine Dispensations’', He states, in a Tablet addressed to a follower of the Faith in Persia, ‘the eldest son hath been given extraordinary distinctions. Even the station of prophethood hath been his birthright.’”
“In the explanation which 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in one of His Tablets, has given to, and the emphasis He has placed upon, the hereditary principle and the law of primogeniture as having been upheld by the Prophets of the past”
2) If next Prophet will be a woman. I speculate not for above reasons, but in the beginning of the Administrative Order a woman accomplished a task that no woman did before, I’m talking about the Most Holy Leaf, Bahíyyih Khánum, Shoghi Effendi said in April 1922 “I have left for a time the affairs of the Cause both at home and abroad, under the supervision of the Holy Family and the headship of the Greatest Holy Leaf…”
3) If the next Prophet would be a child. I speculate that not, not younger than fifteen years old, because of the spiritual maturity of people mentioned by Bahá’u’lláh.
4) If the next Prophet will be a descendent of Bahá’u’lláh or the Báb. I speculate yes, especially of Bahá’u’lláh, but it is just supposition. We could remember that to Abraham is promised be the seed of all Prophets.

Guest

Postby Guest » Sat May 07, 2005 12:09 am

Are God and his prophets really able to do "what they will," or are they constrained by previous prophecies?

If God is constrained, then Baha'u'llah is wrong. For he did not fulfill all the prophetic traditions, nor did he wait for the Bab's dispensation to come true.

If God is not so constrained, then logically, a new manifestation should be able to dispense with the 1000-year requirement if he or she chose. And we would have to accept it, for "he does what he wills." (As with Baha'u'llah, I imagine that first people would accept the person, and only afterwards his or her arguments.)

My own view is that all this prophecy stuff is just wishful thinking--a tradition. Nobody can tell the divine when it may or may not manifest, not even another prophet. What's really going on here, I think, is that the Baha'i administrative order emphasizes provisions like this in order to protect its privileges. The last thing they want is a new manifestation of God taking away their power! It's just like the Islamic clergy in Baha'u'llah's time.

Hasan
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Postby Hasan » Sat May 07, 2005 4:39 pm

Anonymous:

The next Manifestation alone, is the only Being that can abrogate previous laws (Bahá'u'lláh's), This next Manifestations (and all previous ones) fulfill these words: 'He doeth whatsoever He willeth' in the world of Creation.

So, this is the Cycle of Bahá'u'lláh (500,000 years), but His Dispensation's duration could be hypothetically only 1,000 years, i.e. 1852-2852 (1,009 B.E.).


From words of Bahá’u’lláh:

the Most Great Infallibility is confined to the One Whose station is immeasurably exalted beyond ordinances or prohibitions and is sanctified from errors and omissions. Indeed He is a Light which is not followed by darkness and a Truth not overtaken by error. Were He to pronounce water to be wine or heaven to be earth or light to be fire, He speaketh the truth and no doubt would there be about it; and unto no one is given the right to question His authority or to say why or wherefore. Whosoever raiseth objections will be numbered with the froward in the Book of God, the Lord of the worlds. 'Verily He shall not be asked of His doings but all others shall be asked of their doings.' [1] He is come from the invisible heaven, bearing the banner 'He doeth whatsoever He willeth' and is accompanied by hosts of power and authority while it is the duty of all besides Him to strictly observe whatever laws and ordinances have been enjoined upon them, and should anyone deviate therefrom, even to the extent of a hair's breadth, his work would be brought to naught.



From words of Shoghi Effendi:

"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 the 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 Bahá'í cycle."


From words of Shoghi Effendi: (pilgrim notes)
`There will always be evil but it will be more restricted. Man will always have the opportunity to use his will. The next Prophet will be persecuted and will bring His own Book and laws. There will always be tests.'


From words of the Universal House of Justice:

The Uniqueness of the Baha'i Covenant
[308.14] The House of Justice hopes that these explanations will help you to understand some of the aspects of the Faith that have been troubling you. The crux of the matter, as you realize, is the acceptance of spiritual authority and what this implies. You express the fear that the authority conferred upon 'Abdu'l-Baha, the Guardian and the Universal House of Justice could lead to a progressive reduction in the "available scope for personal interpretation," and that 11 the actual writings of the Manifestation will have less and less import," and you instance what has happened in previous Dispensations. The House of Justice suggests that, in thinking about this, you contemplate the way the Covenant of Baha'u'llah has actually worked, and you will be able to see how very different its processes are from those of, say, the development of the law in Rabbinical Judaism or the functioning of the Papacy in Christianity. The practice in the past in these two religions, and also to a great extent in Islam, has been to assume that the Revelation given by the Founder was the final, perfect revelation of God's Will to mankind, and all subsequent elucidation and legislation has been interpretative in the sense that it aimed at applying this basic Revelation to the new problems and situations that have arisen. The Baha'i premises are quite different. Although the Revelation of Baha'u'llah is accepted as the Word of God and His Law as the Law of God, it is understood from the outset that Revelation is progressive, and that the Law, although the Will of God for this Age, will undoubtedly be changed by the next Manifestation of God. Secondly, 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. Thirdly, a clear distinction is drawn between interpretation and legislation. Authoritative interpretation is the exclusive prerogative of 'Abdu'l-Baha and the Guardian, while infallible legislation is the function of the Universal House of Justice.


From words of an individual scholar, Moojan Momen:


Ages and Cycles. Bahá'í sacred history has been divided into a number of ages and cycles by `Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi.

Although the Bahá'í Faith has its historical roots in the western line of prophetic religions, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, its view of sacred history also contains elements in keeping with Indian religion in that it sees time as being cyclical as well as being linear in nature.

1. Universal Cycles and the coming of Manifestations of God. `Abdu'l-Bahá describes vast "Universal Cycles," stretching over hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of years, at the end of which "great events" take place as a result of which all traces of the previous cycle are obliterated and a new cycle begins. Within each Universal Cycle, many Manifestations of God (q.v.) appear, each linked to a cycle. Thus each of the religions founded by one of these Manifestations goes through a period of growth, reaches its zenith or maturity, and then declines. When the decline is complete and the religion is no longer capable of guiding humanity spiritually, another Manifestation comes (PUP 93-96).
At the heart of each Universal Cycle, `Abdu'l-Bahá states that there appears a Manifestation of God whom he names the "great and universal Manifestation." The appearance of this Universal Manifestation marks the maturity of the Universal Cycle. All the Manifestations that appear after the Universal Manifestation "arise under his shadow" and all the previous Manifestations in that cycle were sent in anticipation of his advent. `Abdu'l-Bahá asserts that we are now in the Universal Cycle beginning with Adam and that Bahá'u'lláh is its Universal Manifestation (Foundations of World Unity 54). Thus the Manifestations that have appeared before Bahá'u'lláh can be considered to have been part of a cycle leading up to Bahá'u'lláh, a cycle called the Adamic Cycle (or Cycle of Prophecy) which lasted about six thousand years, and the Manifestations that will appear after Bahá'u'lláh are part of the Bahá'í Cycle (or Cycle of Fulfillment, CF 80). This Bahá'í Cycle initiated by Bahá'u'lláh, during which many further Manifestations of God will arise and lasting about five hundred thousand years, should not be confused with the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, which is expected to be a period of a thousand years or more during which the specific teachings given by Bahá'u'lláh will hold sway until the coming of the next Manifestation of God. The Bab is seen as being at the interface between the Adamic and Bahá'í Cycles--at one and the same time the conclusion of the first and the start of the second (GPB 54).
Hence each individual Manifestation of God has his own individual cycle, in which his religion grows, matures, and declines; is part of a larger cycle, either the Adamic Cycle or the Bahá'í Cycle; and these larger cycles are in turn set within the overall Universal Cycle. Although time is thus in some ways cyclical, the cycles that occur within each Universal Cycle do not result in a return to the initial point. Rather there is also an element of progression. Each Manifestation of God has the function of guiding humanity in its social and spiritual evolution (see "Progressive Revelation").

2. Ages within the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh. Shoghi Effendi has divided the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh into three ages. The first of these, the "Primitive," "Heroic," or "Apostolic Age" began with the Declaration of the Bab in 1844. It is divided into three epochs corresponding to the ministries of the Bab (1844-53), Bahá'u'lláh (1853-92), and `Abdu'l-Bahá (1892-1921). Shoghi Effendi states that this first age concluded with the death of `Abdu'l-Bahá in 1921 and "more particularly" with the death of Bahiyyih Khanum in 1932 (WOB 98 ).
The second age is called the "Formative" or "Iron Age." It also divided into epochs. The first of these lasted until 1944 (CF 5) or 1946 (MBW 19) and covers the period during which the Bahá'í administrative order was being set up by Shoghi Effendi. The second epoch, which lasted until 1963, was marked by the global spread of the Bahá'í Faith. The third epoch, which lasted until 1986 was characterized by the emergence of the Bahá'í Faith from obscurity and the initiation of social and economic development plans. The present epoch, which is the fourth epoch of the Formative Age, is considered to have begun in 1986 and is to be marked by the national Bahá'í communities taking on the responsibility for their own development.

3. Epochs and stages of the Divine Plan. In his writings, Shoghi Effendi has also marked out various stages in the evolution of the process of the spread of the Bahá'í Faith and the establishment of its administrative institutions throughout the world set in motion by `Abdu'l-Bahá's Tablet of the Divine Plan (q.v.). He writes of a twenty-year delay in the implementation of this plan while the administrative institutions of the Bahá'í Faith were being established (CF 32). The first epoch of the Divine Plan thus began in 1937. The first stage of this epoch constituted the first American Seven Year Plan (1937-44) and was marked by the spread of the Bahá'í Faith in Latin America. The second American Seven Year Plan (1946-53) constituted the second stage and was marked by activities spreading the Bahá'í Faith throughout Europe. The Ten Year Crusade (1953-63) marked the third stage of the first epoch and took the Bahá'í Faith to most of the rest of the world. The second epoch of the Divine Plan began in 1964 and includes successive stages marked by the Nine Year Plan (1964-73), the Five Year Plan (1974-79), the Seven Year Plan (1979-86), the Six Year Plan (1986-92), and the Three Year Plan (1993-96). (MBW 153; CF 62, 113-14; WG 25).

Hasan
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Postby Hasan » Sun May 08, 2005 12:49 pm

Guest wrote:
Anonymous wrote: If God is constrained, then Baha'u'llah is wrong. For he did not fulfill all the prophetic traditions, nor did he wait for the Bab's dispensation to come true.


Observing twice your message, I noticed you are completely wrong, because actually you are accusing Bahá’u’lláh in the same Jews accused Jesus, :o and thus not recognized Him.
I suggest you to read dispassionately the Kitáb-i-Íqán of Bahá'u'lláh and other Bahá'í books for your elucidation.

Guest

Postby Guest » Sun May 08, 2005 8:42 pm

Well Hasan, by your logic I could be the next manifestation, and you would be in the wrong for not recognizing me. Granted that I haven't fulfilled any prophecies and have overlooked various restrictions (like the 1000-year thing from Baha'u'llah), but then the promised one does whatever he wills...or does he?

If you look at the situation with anything like objectivity, I'm afraid that Baha'u'llah's (and Jesus's, and Muhammad's) claim to prophethood, etc. turns out to be as flimsy as mine. Come on--what we are dealing with here is a cultural construct, not a mathematical formula subject to "proof" or "disproof".

Instead of asking why people could be so blind as to not see the fulfillment of various nebulous prophecies, we should be asking what would cause a 19th century Iranian Muslim to make such claims. Otherwise, Baha'is will find themselves in the same bed as those freaky Christian apocalypticists I alluded to earlier.

Hasan
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Postby Hasan » Sun May 08, 2005 10:25 pm

Anonymous wrote:Well Hasan, by your logic I could be the next manifestation, and you would be in the wrong for not recognizing me. Granted that I haven't fulfilled any prophecies and have overlooked various restrictions (like the 1000-year thing from Baha'u'llah), but then the promised one does whatever he wills...or does he?
If you look at the situation with anything like objectivity, I'm afraid that Baha'u'llah's (and Jesus's, and Muhammad's) claim to prophethood, etc. turns out to be as flimsy as mine. Come on--what we are dealing with here is a cultural construct, not a mathematical formula subject to "proof" or "disproof".
Instead of asking why people could be so blind as to not see the fulfillment of various nebulous prophecies, we should be asking what would cause a 19th century Iranian Muslim to make such claims. Otherwise, Baha'is will find themselves in the same bed as those freaky Christian apocalypticists I alluded to earlier.


It seems your intentions are simply to “have fun” with this forum, instead of talk in an open-minded discourse and impartial investigation. I think the discussions should be carrying with respect and tolerance and the purpose of this forum is the interchange of experiences and to obtain better understandings of the religion. For the tone of your messages, it seems you are not bahá’í, that would be fine, but your messages do not reflect a dispassionate and impartial way to seek the truth.

First, you said: “Well Hasan, by your logic I could be the next manifestation, and you would be in the wrong for not recognizing me”.
It demonstrates you or don’t or don’t want to understand anything or you want to be “funny”, but you are not. What I wrote is not a “logic” and not is mine, it is rather a prophecy of Bahá’u’lláh. I think if you really wished to investigate the truth, you would not speak in that absentminded way.

Second, you said: “I'm afraid that Baha'u'llah's (and Jesus's, and Muhammad's) claim to prophethood, etc. turns out to be as flimsy as mine”. I think what you said is a heresy, but don’t worry nobody will burn yourself at the stakes as ancient times :D . It seems to confirm that you are not even a believer in God, no problem still is ok, but I think you have to study much more about religion’s aspects and history. By the way, it seems also that you have never STUDIED seriously the Íqán nor others books.

Third: You said: “Come on--what we are dealing with here is a cultural construct, not a mathematical formula subject to "proof" or "disproof".
You are right it is not a mathematical formula, but I think you don’t understand that the “one thousand years” should be counted with its obvious meaning, i.e. 1852 + 1000 years.

Finally you said: “Instead of asking why people could be so blind as to not see the fulfillment of various nebulous prophecies, we should be asking what would cause a 19th century Iranian Muslim to make such claims. Otherwise, Baha'is will find themselves in the same bed as those freaky Christian apocalypticists I alluded to earlier”.
You refer to the Glory of God, Bahá’u’lláh as: “19th century Iranian Muslim”. It seems that you realized that Bahá’u’lláh is only “a iranian muslim”, so if you refer that way you should know what are you talking about don you think? Or you like to merely write words without thinking? So, tell us.

I still hope you can open your mind, read and study dispassionately the Bahá’í books referring these issues. I suggest you “Some Answered Questions”, “The Kitáb-i-Íqán”, in these are authoritative and powerful explanations. Many others books available in the home of this forum: bahai-library.com

If you want to discuss impartially of any specific issues, with references and concrete ideas, just post one, and we will see, surely you’ll get answers.

Hasan

Gogiya

Postby Gogiya » Mon May 09, 2005 12:37 pm

Hi, All
I :oops: :oops: :cry: after reading GUEST posting stated that, " we should be asking what would cause a 19th century Iranian Muslim to make such claims."

This is very unthinking and misguided remark. I am a Bahai from Hindu background. I am really not able to digest such remark regarding the Glory of God - Baha'u'llah. I think, we have to pray to Baha'u'llah' for his forgiveness and light of guidance. That's all i have to say.

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon May 09, 2005 8:12 pm

I do like to have fun, but I'm serious too. "Respect" and "tolerance"? Sure, but the Buddha told his followers to test his teachings "as a goldsmith tests gold"--i.e. none too gently. Meanwhile I hope that you won't be so condescending.

I can see that Hasan is horrified by my suggestion that maybe I'm the next manifestation. If it makes you feel better, I don't really think that. But can we go with this as an example? The idea is to show how my claim is worse than Baha'u'llah's.

So help me out here. What "proof" is there in the Iqan and whatnot? I've read them, but I don't see anything special. As far as I'm concerned it's just one more religious tract by somebody who think's his opinions are better than other people's. Not a whole lot of defense or argument there, unless you buy the thing about how he could write real pretty (or fast?) and that was his proof.

Yes, Baha'u'llah said 1000 years, and was very concerned that nobody interpret it away. (The way he interpreted away the Bab's stuff? Hmm!) But my point is that, if the next manifestation "does whatever he wills," then he could appear tomorrow, and not follow this 1000 year rule. So it could be me after all! If not, then Baha'u'llah was...I see Jonah doesn't like the word "liar", but this is an unavoidable logical possibility (alongside "lunatic" or "Lord" or "misunderstood / garbled in translation").

I was unaware that calling Baha'u'llah a "19th century Iranian Muslim" was controversial. From what I can tell, his whole body of writings and beliefs makes sense only in that context. Baha'i laws are a special twist on Babi changes to Shi'i sharia, for example. And not only that, but the concept of "God" and "prophethood" (or "manifestationhood"--mazhar or zuhur) come from the same background.

Is this "God" a 19th century Iranian Muslim too, that his revelation should fit this background so well? Or did that happen to be the most convenient cultural matrix for "God" to launch his new revelation? No, what's really going on is that your group thinks that you are the center of the world--the standard by which everybody else is judged--and really, you're just one more sect whose founder thought more of himself than he should have. I seriously doubt you have any "proofs" that can hold up to the slightest outside scrutiny, but go ahead--prove me wrong.

Hasan
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Postby Hasan » Tue May 10, 2005 2:31 am

First, I hope writing this I do not waste time because of “hard heads” of materialists and mindless.

Second, Mr. Anonymous :lol: , I suppose you purpose of writing here is “investigation” of the Faith, or to get some insights of aspects of the Bahá’í Faith. If that is correct, then, it seems hard difficult that you really could correctly investigate the truth, until you discard a wrong preconception of the Exalted Author of the Faith which you supposedly want to investigate.

Third, I really welcome your desire of investigate Bahá’í Faith, but, if you do not want to discuss openly, freely and impartially to get insights of the aspects of Bahá’ís teachings, so why you are in this forum?

Fourth, supposing I am correct, saying that you want to “know”, and “investigate” the Faith, the first thing I have to tell you is you have to consider that the religious truth cannot be proved rationally or scientifically, the revelation of God transcend human reason. Therefore, it will not be my purpose to demonstrate you that God exists, or something like that.

Fifth, I do not know if you are a believer in God, or if you are follower of a religion, or sect.
It will be extremely hard for me to demonstrate that God exists and He reveals and manifests in a person “apparently” like any other called Moses, Jesus or Bahá’u’lláh for above reasons. There are various strong rational arguments about the existence of God in Some Answered Questions, in the first chapters.

Sixth, I do not think you “really read” the Íqán, or if that is true (as yourself said), then you surely do not understand it. The Kitáb-i-Íqán is a book mainly for readers who are believers in God; the verses in their majority contain explanations on religious issues.

Seventh, assuming you want to investigate this glorious Faith. The first thing I have to tell you is that you evidently don’t understand the meaning of “He doeth whatsoever He willeth” and also the significance of the prophecy of Bahá’u’lláh, on this, you put sarcastic words
“The way he interpreted away the Bab's stuff? Hmm”,
a first glimpse of your words reflect an obstinate disrespectful attitude.

Eighth, about the Báb’s prophecy, for your information I put a quote of Shoghi Effendi’s God Passes By:

"In the year nine," He, referring to the date of the advent of the promised Revelation, has explicitly written, "ye shall attain unto all good." "In the year nine, ye will attain unto the presence of God." And again: "After Hin (68 ) a Cause shall be given unto you which ye shall come to know." "Ere nine will have elapsed from the inception of this Cause," He more particularly has stated, "the realities of the created things will not be made manifest. All that thou hast as yet seen is but the stage from the moist germ until We clothed it with flesh. Be patient, until thou beholdest a new creation. Say: `Blessed, therefore, be God, the most excellent of Makers!'" "Wait thou," is His statement to AzÍM, "until nine will have elapsed from the time of the Bayán. Then exclaim: `Blessed, therefore, be God, the most excellent of Makers!'" "Be attentive," He, referring in a remarkable passage to the year nineteen, has admonished, "from the inception of the Revelation till the number of Vahíd (19)." "The Lord of the Day of Reckoning," He, even more explicitly, has stated, "will be manifested at the end of Vahíd (19) and the beginning of eighty (1280 A.H.)." "Were He to appear this very moment," He, in His eagerness to insure that the proximity of the promised Revelation should not withhold men from the Promised One, has revealed, "I would be the first to adore Him, and the first to bow down before Him.”

So, the revelation of God to Bahá’u’lláh was in the “year nine” after Hín (68 ), i.e. after October 14th 1852. So this agreed exactly the time when Bahá’u’lláh was in the Siyah-Chal when He received His mission in October 1852. The finalization of the Báb’s Dispensation was in April 21st 1863, just in the same year that He "will be manifested at the end of Vahíd (19) and the beginning of eighty (1280 A.H.)." So, this is 1844+19=1863 A.D., and 1260+20=1280 A.H.

Ninth, the sole bearer of these words: “He doeth whatsoever He willeth”, is the Manifestation of God: The Báb in His Ministry (1844-1850), Bahá’u’lláh in His Ministry (1852-1892), and the Next Manifestation “no less than 1000 years”, i.e. from 1852+1000=2852 (1009 B.E.) to an unknown date; but it could be more than 1000 years.

Tenth, you said:
“Baha'i laws are a special twist on Babi changes to Shi'i sharia, for example. And not only that, but the concept of "God" and "prophethood" (or "manifestationhood"--mazhar or zuhur) come from the same background”.


I don’t agree with your interpretation, you refer to Bahá’í laws are “special twist” and also “Babí changes to Shi’ah sharia”, the only correct thing you do here, is to put with a capital the terms “Bahá’í” and “Babí”. What I wonder is how some terms could be twisted? The Shi’ah sharia was the moribund Islamic system of law, I don’t think the Báb “changed” the sharia. It seems you don’t understand that when a new religion comes, the laws the Prophet give never “change” former laws, rather confirm or abrogate them, it is the whole previous Dispensation that come to the end. By the way, do you think all the sharia’s laws are divine or are in majority an interpretation of the law made by human minds? The Jews thought the same as Muslims when Jesus came; they wanted the Messiah to continue (maximum to reform) Mosaic laws. It seems you never read Christopher Buck’s Symbol and Secret (http://bahai-library.com/books/symbol.secret/), I recommend it to you.

Again, you do not understand, the difference between a Manifestation and God. Your obsession to revile the sublime station of Bahá’u’lláh is not only rude but also insane. Usually, even antagonists with some grade of education do not talk in that mindless way about a Prophet of God.

[edited by moderator. -J.W.]

Guest

Postby Guest » Wed May 11, 2005 1:39 am

Hasan calls me a "mindless" "hard head" who is being "obstinate" if not "insane," and has "a wrong preconception" waiting to be discarded. Yes, I get that you don't agree with me. What I don't get is why you think I should change my mind. All you've given me for reasons is a bunch of emotionally-charged language.

You say you can't prove the existence of God, etc. That seems right to me too ("Some Answered Questions" notwithstanding). So, does this mean that religion is ultimately just a matter of opinion? Personal feelings? Culture? Yours is as good as mine?

You complain that I "do not want to discuss openly, freely and impartially" but I suspect the real problem is, I'm discussing a little bit too freely.

This business about the "year nine" is typical of prophecies-very murky, it's meaning has to be projected onto it. You could just as easily make it into a prophecy of me. Maybe I was nine years old when the vision of Lord Finagle appeared to me, which would make you the obstinate one for neglecting to prostrate yourself before my glory!

I think the organic, genealogical relation of Babi law to sharia is generally accepted, no? They weren't copying the Napoleonic codes... You say sharia is outdated, and I think so too. But the Babi and Baha'i systems are not much of an improvement. I think we need to get beyond this whole authoritatian mindset and decide our own futures, not wait for some god or church to tell us what to do.

Instead of waiting for a prophet messiah of some kind, and then evaluating prophecies to see whether to obey him or not, I think we should throw out the whole notion. Who is the messiah to tell me that I should obey him? What gives him the right? Power? But that's mere despotism.

This kind of authoritarian belief system makes no sense on spiritual terms. But when you look at it as a legitimating structure for religion as a social institution, it makes a lot of sense. Wake up and recognize what game you're playing here.

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Postby Hasan » Wed May 11, 2005 12:23 pm

What I call you is my astonishment, because not all materialists who supposedly investigate are so rude and uncivil.

But, if you remain in this forum, I could say that after all, you still want to hear something. However, you have to open your mind and your soul (by the way, do you think you have a soul don’t you?)

You said you read the SAQ and Íqán, I still doubt about it. In the first chapter of SAQ is it:

These obvious arguments are adduced for weak souls; but if the inner perception be open, a hundred thousand clear proofs become visible. Thus, when man feels the indwelling spirit, he is in no need of arguments for its existence; but for those who are deprived of the bounty of the spirit, it is necessary to establish external arguments.
(Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 6)

I have to tell many people convert bahá’ís only when they saw the sacred person of Bahá’u’lláh, the veils are denser when the Manifestation ascended.

Do not you even recognize the soul of the human being? If, not, it is extremely hard to continue.
But if you recognize you have a soul, then is easier to continue the explanations.

First, if you recognize you have a soul (as every human), then, this soul: who created it? I tell you there is more than one way to arrive the truth. Not only the “reason”, the “physical senses”, or even the “Traditions” and prophecies in Holy books; it is important what your heart is saying to you? What you feel? Do you feel? What is the love for you? Is it a material thing? Where is it? What are the spiritual qualities? If you respond affirmatively that God exists, then you recognized all spiritual qualities are from God, "Let Us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness”, I am curious to know what do you thin about that.

We bahá’ís believe firmly that all the words coming by the Manifestation and the interpretations of His chosen ones, are from God and the truth itself. When you say: “Instead of waiting for a prophet messiah of some kind, and then evaluating prophecies to see whether to obey him or not, I think we should throw out the whole notion. Who is the messiah to tell me that I should obey him? What gives him the right? Power? But that's mere despotism”.

Then, I answer that God sends His Manifestation to educate human being, and to the progress of the civilization. People who distort the message of God, create sects. So, God is NOT a “tyrant” nor His Religion. God knows better than you what do you need.
An analogy can be made: God could be like a mother and a baby like the human race, then, a baby knows what is better for him? The humankind is sick, the Manifestation gives the only effective cure.


In SAQ, for example, there are strong rational arguments, decisive Traditional proofs, and fine explanations. I have to tell you that God never forces you to accept the new Manifestation, but He has a general Covenant with humankind. A covenant means rights and duties of both parts involve.
I can say there are two Covenants; the greater and the lesser. The greater Covenant of which God is the Author, the Manifestation the object, and the people of the world the ones covenanted with; the lesser Covenant the Manifestation is the Author, His successor the object and the believers are the covenanted with group. Then if you accept God, then you accept Bahá’u’lláh as the Manifestation for this day (accepting Bahá’u’lláh at the same time you are accepting all previous Prophets)

The part of God is He creates human being, educated him through the Manifestation and show him what is good and what is bad (remember Eden history). But: What is the part of the human being?

Bahá’u’lláh says: “My object is none other than the betterment of the world and the tranquility of its peoples. The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established”.

There are people who are not bahá’ís but we work together for the same purpose, we share a “unity of vision”, now that is what the world needs. In this view, they and we are responding to the call of the Manifestation, although many of them are not aware of it.

But, before open investigation you can never say: “Bahá’í Faith is not the truth”, or “Bahá’í Faith is the truth”. But after you are aware of bahá’í teachings, then it is your business. I am 24 years old, my parents are bahá’ís, they taught me Bahá’í Faith and also Christian and Muslim. But, I’m not Bahá’í because my parents are, the Bahá’í teaches the principle of “free investigation of the truth”, you never comment on this.

First, you have to discard all your preconceptions if you want to arrive the truth.

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Closing thread

Postby Jonah » Wed May 11, 2005 1:09 pm

Thanks to everyone for what's been a most interesting discussion.

I think it's time to close this particular discussion, lest we continue to rub each other the wrong way (i.e., lest our attempts to communicate cause any more friction).

You may certainly continue this discussion, but let's try it by starting with a new approach and starting a new thread. And thanks for your understanding.

-Jonah (moderator)


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