Manifestation vs. Prophet

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Manifestation vs. Prophet

Postby guest » Wed Mar 09, 2005 8:26 pm

Hi:

As a Muslim, I'm a bit confused by the use of the terms Manifestation of God vs. the use of the term Prophet. It seems that they are the same thing, really.

Also... what is the Godhead?? To me, that sounds like a Christian terminology referring to God the Father, Jesus his Son, and the Holy Spirit... but as Bah'ais come from Islam, I would find it unusual for them to attribute partners to God.

Thanks.

majnun
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Postby majnun » Thu Mar 10, 2005 12:33 am

Interesting point here.
In some baha'i tablets, some people translate the expression
zuhur ullah by Manifestation of God.

Also, translations made by westerners in the early
1900's did borrow expressions from the then dominating
Christianity, in the western part of the world

Many of us know that the name Allah is a compression of the
expression al-elaha. Farid Gabteni of Morroco, did wrote something about the ethymology of many arabic terms used in the noble Qur'an.

The Collins dictionnary says the root of elaha may be compared with
the hebrew word eloha, witch is the singular of eloyim, used in
the Torah, to describe the Creators of humanity.

Do you have an opinion on this, or on the "code 19" ?
Please correct me if i dont understand this point objectively.
(I am not a linguistic expert)

thanks, Claude

Guest

Postby Guest » Thu Mar 10, 2005 6:15 pm

majnun wrote:Interesting point here.
In some baha'i tablets, some people translate the expression
zuhur ullah by Manifestation of God.

Also, translations made by westerners in the early
1900's did borrow expressions from the then dominating
Christianity, in the western part of the world

Many of us know that the name Allah is a compression of the
expression al-elaha. Farid Gabteni of Morroco, did wrote something about the ethymology of many arabic terms used in the noble Qur'an.

The Collins dictionnary says the root of elaha may be compared with
the hebrew word eloha, witch is the singular of eloyim, used in
the Torah, to describe the Creators of humanity.

Do you have an opinion on this, or on the "code 19" ?
Please correct me if i dont understand this point objectively.
(I am not a linguistic expert)

thanks, Claude





Allah-u-Abha (God Is Most Glorious)

Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought Elohim is God in the Plural sense of Respect, not in numbers. The reason why I ask is that the word Muhammad is mentioned by name in the 15th chapter of the Songs of Solomon as "Mahammad-Im". I had read that the "Im" is a Plurality of Respect, Might, Grandeur, etc but not in Numbers.

So I don't think the beginning of the Bible says "In the beginning, Gods created the Earth".

But that is just my view.

majnun
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Postby majnun » Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:05 pm

.
I think that this “plural sense of respect” is a man made conception.
Knowing that Elohim is a plural, we should translate by “the Elohims”.
So “the Elohims”, the Creators, made us to their likeness. The name of the
chief of the creators is also clealy written by YHVH = Yahwe.

Verse one of the Torah reads :
Berê 'shiyth bârâ' 'elohiym 'êth hashâ mayim ve' êth hâ'ârets (from
jewish bible on the internet)

I don’t know Hebrew, but I can recognize some words.
And I know that the singular for the word elohiym is eloha.

The concept of not joining earthly partners with the “top Authority”
is well defined in both Qur’an and baha’i scriptures. Many people of the past made themselves physical earthly gods, like statues of the
prophets, golden calf, bouddha representations, paintings, images,etc.

As a comic-tragic example of this, if you ever come in Canada, and take the
road outside major cities, you will still see many crosses with
Jesus crucified on it, placed on the side of the road, to be seen.
It’s a show, and this is the “width” of their comprehension.
I could send you photograph of this. This is clearly an idolatric
path, exposed to the eyes of all. If your person, as a muslim or a baha’i,
do not practice any sort of idolatry, it does not mean that people
around you do not.

Some baha’i friends expose proudly a photograph of Abdul Baha in
their living room. Is it not the same as having a crucifix on a wall ?

These concepts are very easy to understand, but concepts vary
From one religion to another.

If we ask any muslim on Earth: is prophet Muhammad God?
They will say : no.
But if we ask a Christian: is prophet Jesus God?
Most will say : yes,
And some will say, hmm, I dunno.

The word God, or Dieu, or Theos, are not in any sacred scriptures,
These word come from man made translations.

I think we should not translate the word Allah with the word God.
If I recite the Revelation with the word “the Creator” or “the Creators”
in mind, everytime I encouter the word God or Allah in any translations, it
opens up a whole new perspective.

For many, just to think that the Elohims (Allah) are a team of
scientific humanoid beings coming from another planet, its just to much. They prefer to believe in a magic wand, as they conceived it.

How then can they understand the basics steps of development
offered by the baha’i formative revelation ?

If you stick to an image, you will never develop. (see Valley of Love)
Unless you detach from this image in you, you will go nowhere.
And this separation involve some pain, as the Valley describes.
.
Claude

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Postby Dawud » Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:33 am

Baha'i writers often favor "manifestation" (or "prophet-founder") as a description of Baha'u'llah's role, because to Christians, "prophet" suggests a figure like Elijah or Isaiah--i.e. a saintly person who is favored by God and entrusted with some divine mession, yet subordinate to Jesus.

"Godhead" refers to the ultimate nature of God, whatever that may be, and need not imply trinitarianism.

Guest

Postby Guest » Sat Apr 02, 2005 10:46 pm

Ok this is just my own recollection and understanding of the Baha'i teachings, perhaps Brett can post some actual quotes from the Baha'i Scripture since he is so good at finding them.

Anyway, heres the summary of my own understanding of the Baha'i theology (please correct me if i am wrong):

God is that Source of all things. The Creator.

Because God is not His Creation, He is somewhat removed from it, in the sense that He doesn't "become" His Own creation, therefore God is said to be "inaccessible" our out of reach of His creation.

At the same time, we are told our souls are on a journey towards God, and our ultimate purpose is to attain His Presence. Which I take to mean a spiritual presence, a nearness to, an affinity for, an attraction to and love for, that Inaccessible Essence.

Creation thus being seperated from the Absolute Divinity of God, He created a special form of creation that is the absolute perfect Reflection of God as is possible in creation. These Baha'is call "Manifestations" meaning i suppose that these Beings "Manifest" God. They are Baha'u'llah, the Bab, Muhammad, Christ, Moses, etc.

For all intents and purposes these Manifestations of God can be said to be "God" in the sense that as far as everything in creation is concerned, they are as perfect and as "Godlike" (my own term) as is possible in the realm of creation. So that entering Their Presence is the same as entering the Presence of God, etc.

Yet, there is also a distinction made between their Station as Manifestations of God, and God "Himself." For instance in Baha'u'llah's own Writings you will find Him Writing from a perspective of God Himself, from a Manifestation of God talking to God or to humanity, or from a regular old servant of God like the rest of us ordinary humans professing His lowliness before God.

This theological distinction is subtle, but it is there.

So in my own mind I consider my ultimate goal is to attain the Presence of the Manifestation of God and not God Himself (since He is inaccessible), though many other Baha'is would say I am totally wrong in that understanding (and I might be, but at this moment this is how i interpret things).

Even still, if you look at the more mystical Writings of Baha'u'llah like the Seven Valleys, it seems like near the end of the journey such distinctions aren't even really possible, so the distinction might not matter really much anyway. In any case, there is a distinction between God and the Manifestation of God, though just what that distinction is and what it implies is a bit confusing at best for those of us accustomed to western logic.

I think crudely stated the theological argument found in the Baha'i Scripture goes something like this:
1) God is alone, indivisible, unconstrained, all-sufficing, inaccessible from His creation.
2)All things in creation have some mark of the Creator, are a sign of God, a mirror of one of His attributes as expressed in the contigent world.
3) The human soul is has been singled out as a special creation possible of mirroring forth EVERY attribute of God (of course without BEING God Himself - not partners, just the possibility of a perfect reflection in the creation of the Creator).
4) Of all humans the most Perfect is the Manifestations of God. In addition to (or in some way superior to) being human beings with individual human souls, these Manifestations are also given (as a component of their being? or special access to?) the Holy Spirit, which is that thing (for lack of a better word) which makes Them more directly connected to God Himself (connected in the sense of a mirror to the thing it is reflecting) in such wise that Their Will is the Will of God, Their Presence (in the metaphorical sense) is the Presence of God.

As regards the distinction between Prophet and Manifestation, in Baha'i scripture (at least as rendered into English) these mean the same thing. I think the preference for "Manifestation of God" is that it makes a distinction between the so called "lesser" prophets which are more like ordinary men who prophesise the coming of the Great Prophet (John the Baptist versus Christ).

Also, I think that because as Muhammad is generally known as the Seal of the Prophets, refering to Baha'u'llah as a Prophet opens up a whole linguistic debate most American Baha'is are not knowledgable enough to handle properly (myself included) since we don't understand the various Arabic terms translated simply as "prophet" in English.

However, Baha'u'llah seems to have solved that overall theological problem by pointing out that as Muhammad is the First and the Last, he is as much the First Prophet as the Seal of the Prophets, and Baha'u'llah explained that all the Manifestations of God, while being clothed in the garment of distinction (they have an individual body, an individual soul, come to a particular people at a particular time an place), since they are all Perfect Manifestations of God, they can all be said to be One and the Same, and we should make no distinction between them.

Another very subtle and at times confusing distinction isn't it. Nonetheless, it is a theological explanation that effectively establishes why Baha'u'llah can be the "Return" of Mummad, and at the same time a unique Manifestation of God, who has come "after" the "Seal of the Prophets."

So I guess the "formula" expressed in the Baha'i Scripture regarding these things, simply put goes something like this:
Each Manifestation of God = The Perfect Likeness of God in creation
Therefore Muhammad = The Perfect Likeness of God in creation
And therefore Baha'u'llah = The Perfect Likeness of God in creation
Therefore Muhammad = Baha'u'llah = any other Manifestaion of God

The key to all this in my mind is the analogy where the earth is all of creation (material and spiritual) and the sky is that Realm of God Himself which is outside the limits of the contigent creation of the material and spiritual worlds:
God is like the sun in the sky, inaccessible from the earth. The Manifestations of God are like Perfect Mirrors aimed directly at the sun whereby denizens of the earth can come in direct contact with the sun.
(Now to make the analogy less tangible but more accurate, if you were to say that the denizens of the earth can't normally see the sun at all except through those Perfect Mirrors, you might be a little closer to the relationships involved between God, the Manifestations, and us ordinary human souls.

Furthermore regarding Prophet vs Manifestation:
There is mention of various "Cycles" of Revelation, one of which the "Prophetic Cycle" was said to be started with Adam and come to a close with Muhammad (harmonizes with the notion of "Seal of the Prophets" doesn't it?), and now the Bab and Baha'u'llah have ushered in the begining of a "Cycle of Fullfilment" which could also explain the preference for the term "Manifestation" rather than "Prophet" since from a Baha'i's point of view, Baha'u'llah's Revelation is seen as the Fulfillment of the previous Manifestations prophecies (regarding Heaven on Earth, the Day of Reckoning, the Great Announcement, and so on).

I hope I have presented a fairly accurate (though not very eloquent) sense of the Baha'i theology regarding these things.

--jpd

majnun
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Postby majnun » Sun Apr 03, 2005 5:51 am

Dear mister jpd:

do you recite, every day ?

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Apr 04, 2005 10:17 pm

no... i'm afraid that I don't. I think it would relieve much of the anger i have been carrying around with me...

I'm wondering what the motivation behind the question is?

--jpd

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Postby majnun » Tue Apr 05, 2005 2:29 pm

Salam mister jpd

The motivation was to spike your curiosity.

Oh, from the tonality of this long letter where a mention
of the valleys is made, I just guessed about the recitation.
The baha’i writings, we recite daily, as some recite the Qur’an,
I mean, the same procedure, to start and maintain the 7 processes
described in the 7 valleys. The other two level mentioned in Gems
(the new book printed in 2002), that will come later, depending on individual progress.

As your person will cross these “valleys” (the farsi word means
“a way of thinking”, not a physical valley), all those things should
become very easy for you to grasp.

The tree first “valleys” are pollutants you got to get rid of
before a reunion is felt, internally. Another term for it would be
voluntary de-programation, before inserting a new one.
V 1 say: not to pay attention to what you see, or saw, and heard.
V 2 says, detach yourself from the feelings attached to the image
Of a human being, inside of you (the person you love the most)
V 3 says, stop doing projections, either negative or positive, on people and events.

After these three blockage zone are realigned, (levels of limitation)
Then an inside door open toward a part of your brain where other informations are stored.

But tell us, where does this anger come from ?
Your brain knows the answer to that. I’m certain that
if you cross the 3 first valleys, this anger will leave you forever.
V 2 as I remember, was a difficult cookie to swallow, but each person is different.

I wish for you the best road, you seem to be an honest person,
cause you answer directly. I would like to explain more how
all this works, but i cannot unless you wish to, because many
discoveries will be made by your person only, on this internal voyage.
This small text may appear as a cold reudian analysis, but
the pressure applied to your memory cell by the writings will
lead you toward an exploration of this part of you who is hidden
(the Friend). I wish I had have access to theese special inner zones when
I was reciting the noble Qur'an and doing the two rakas early in the
dark morning.

Al hamdù lillah rab al alamîn.



Claude

Guest

Postby Guest » Mon Jan 16, 2006 8:19 pm

majnun wrote:.
I think that this “plural sense of respect” is a man made conception.
Knowing that Elohim is a plural, we should translate by “the Elohims”.
So “the Elohims”, the Creators, made us to their likeness. The name of the
chief of the creators is also clealy written by YHVH = Yahwe.

Verse one of the Torah reads :
Berê 'shiyth bârâ' 'elohiym 'êth hashâ mayim ve' êth hâ'ârets (from
jewish bible on the internet)

I don’t know Hebrew, but I can recognize some words.
And I know that the singular for the word elohiym is eloha.

The concept of not joining earthly partners with the “top Authority”
is well defined in both Qur’an and baha’i scriptures. Many people of the past made themselves physical earthly gods, like statues of the
prophets, golden calf, bouddha representations, paintings, images,etc.

As a comic-tragic example of this, if you ever come in Canada, and take the
road outside major cities, you will still see many crosses with
Jesus crucified on it, placed on the side of the road, to be seen.
It’s a show, and this is the “width” of their comprehension.
I could send you photograph of this. This is clearly an idolatric
path, exposed to the eyes of all. If your person, as a muslim or a baha’i,
do not practice any sort of idolatry, it does not mean that people
around you do not.

Some baha’i friends expose proudly a photograph of Abdul Baha in
their living room. Is it not the same as having a crucifix on a wall ?

These concepts are very easy to understand, but concepts vary
From one religion to another.

If we ask any muslim on Earth: is prophet Muhammad God?
They will say : no.
But if we ask a Christian: is prophet Jesus God?
Most will say : yes,
And some will say, hmm, I dunno.

The word God, or Dieu, or Theos, are not in any sacred scriptures,
These word come from man made translations.

I think we should not translate the word Allah with the word God.
If I recite the Revelation with the word “the Creator” or “the Creators”
in mind, everytime I encouter the word God or Allah in any translations, it
opens up a whole new perspective.

For many, just to think that the Elohims (Allah) are a team of
scientific humanoid beings coming from another planet, its just to much. They prefer to believe in a magic wand, as they conceived it.

How then can they understand the basics steps of development
offered by the baha’i formative revelation ?

If you stick to an image, you will never develop. (see Valley of Love)
Unless you detach from this image in you, you will go nowhere.
And this separation involve some pain, as the Valley describes.
.
Claude

majnun
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Postby majnun » Mon Jan 16, 2006 9:36 pm

Dear Sir:
why do you quote this old post of mine ?
MJ

Keyvan
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Postby Keyvan » Mon Jan 16, 2006 10:41 pm

the singular form of Elohim is El. Eloha isnt anything.



by Manifest, we dont mean "manifesting God" that would imply a division of God; a Christianic concept corrected since the days of the Quran.

what is Manifest is a reflection of the light of God, a reflection of that source, yet the source itself is not within.




You have asked me two questions: "That if the same spirit is manifest in all the Manifestations and Prophets, then what is the distinction or difference between Christ (or rather Jesus) and the other Prophets; also [what is the difference] between Father and Son?"

Know that the human spirit is one, but it manifests  103  itself in various members of the body in a certain (measure or) form. The human spirit is existent in the sight (eyes); it is also existent in the brain, which is the location of great functions and powers; it is also existent in the heart, which organ is largely connected with the brain or the center of the mind, and the heart, or that the center which is connected with the brain, has a distinct and separate function, effect and appearance. In this connection, the hair and the nails have no command (or direct feeling).

Figuratively speaking, the Father is the center of the brain and the Son is the center of the heart; the rest of the Prophets are members and parts. Fatherhood and Prophethood, in this case, are two expressions of the same thing, as man and creature are two names of the same reality. The word "man," however, is greater than the word "creature" because it bears a weightier meaning than the name "creature"; both are the same.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v1, p. 102)



with this we can derive a difference between Manifestation and Prophet. in the Quranic sense, there is a differnce between Messenger and Prophet. i personally use Manifestation interchangably with Messenger, as i believe they interchangabley refer to the same thing, no more no less.
Manifestation is perhaps more functionally discriptive of the word itself, than Messenger.

Daniel
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Postby Daniel » Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:21 am

Difference between Prophet and Manifestation is clearly stated in Qu'ran. Look 19:51-53:
" 51 Also mention in the Book (the story of) Moses: for he was specially chosen, and he was an apostle (and) a prophet.
52 And we called him from the right side of Mount (Sinai), and made him draw near to Us, for mystic (converse).
53 And, out of Our Mercy, We gave him his brother Aaron, (also) a prophet."
And same in arabic:
" 51 Waothkur fee alkitabi moosa innahu kana mukhlasan wakana rasoolan nabiyyan
52 Wanadaynahu min janibi alttoori al-aymani waqarrabnahu najiyyan
53 Wawahabna lahu min rahmatina akhahu haroona nabiyyan "

If you read Old Testament, or Torah, you can see what is the difference between Moses and His brother. This is the difference between Messenger/Apostle (Rasool) and Prophet (Nabi).

By Qu'ran it doesn't seem that they are the same thing.

Love,

Daniel

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Postby Hasan » Tue Jan 17, 2006 2:41 pm


majnun
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no attack

Postby majnun » Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:14 pm

Dear Daniel and Keyvan and Hassan (of Peru)

Boudhism, Cristianity, Islam, and others old cycles are
now like dead-end streets. Baha'is should not cling to it.

Some people will never admit
that their childhood learned religion
has become (like Abdul Baha said in Some Questions)
a dead corpse with no spirit.

You all surely know first valley, and this line:
...not to imitate your father, and your grandfather...

Cligning to the past, is it not a deny of the present ?

To me, rolling around Bouddha, the Gospels or the Qur'an's verses
would be like taking a back step into the womb.

There is enough material in the Baha'i writings,
if you really enjoy discussions about religion.

And, if you can answer honnestly:
What is it that make you cling to
the Coran so vividly, with such a passion, such an
intensity ?

Is it not that you were born muslims and like this
grammarian in the story, you hesitate to put your
little toe into the ocean ?

MJ.

Daniel
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Postby Daniel » Thu Jan 19, 2006 5:58 am

:?:

majnun
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Postby majnun » Thu Jan 19, 2006 9:39 am

.
This letter is not from the conscience of the Guardian himself.
It is “on behaf off”. Furthermore, the letter says “would certainly advise, and even urge”
This person assumed this, according to his /her local projections to stimulate, as a marketing
strategy, the individual recipient of the letter, and issued this urging dramatic text from his own mind, even if he knew Shogi Effendi very well, he assumed that maybe that is what the Gardian “would” recommend. If Abdul Baha wrote to a person that he should go out in Japan to teach, it does not mean we all have to do it. This theme “on behalf” of Shogi has been largely exagerated, but many quranic lovers cling to a few lines instead of viewing a broader (larger) scope. The dalil of that is simple, you pulled this out, this preciously stored argument in your head, simply to justify your personal position.

Think a second: he “would”, this is the equivalent of “perhaps or maybe”. It cannot be an obligation for all of us. Baha'is do not function on "would", maybees" "perhaps" "Im not certain but I'll check", and other things like that.

Concerning the citations in “Questions” and in the “Thief”, these are brought up simply
to demonstrate dated prophecies concerning the arrival of the prophets, mainly the Bab and
Baha’u’llah. It does not aim for us to re learn the Gospels nor the Revelation of John. Moreover, the Blessed Beauty used many Coranic and Gospelian citations in “Gems and
also in Certitude” simply to illustrate how much people of the past misunderstood what was given to them, as prescriptions and warnings, how they rebuked the new writings coming to them, and how they mistreated the Messengers, so that we Baha’is do not repeat the same distortions out of the actual message that we enjoy in the Baha’i Revelation.

Personally, I see nothing interesting in studying either the Gospels or the Qur’an,
except that it may lead to an intellectualisation of our personal religion. I know the
Quran very well, and I did not open it since I entered in, about 3 years ago.

But the point I suggested in clear was that having a quoranic tea party on
this forum is quite futile. Turning round and round on details of past religions,
discussing about those tiny “dots” and “commas” and “maybees”, just hold a person
away from his own baha’i scripture witch by itself will liberate individuals from their
inner prison. Trying to find something to argue on with Moses scriptures would be
a loss of time, it is the same with the Gospels and the Quran. Even studying
writings by Shayk Kazim, if they were availuable, would be like trying to
make full-flavored fresh cups of tea, with over-used teabags. It’s impossible.

To me, nothing of the elder writings compares with this twin Revelation for our times.

The “aggressivity” or “attack” you see come from your imagination only, and possibly, from your emotional attachement and your knowledge of the Quran. This is a normal step for new comers. I never drink tea anyway.

This line of the Bab may spike your horse :
“The one who recites one verse from the One the Creator will manifest,
it is better for him than reciting the whole Bayan a thousand times.”

And, if you can remain unstunned a second, by my “bold” style,
Are there lines in the Gospels or the Quran that really bring you
any joy, any excitement, any well-being, really, any growth of your
consiousness ?

you may answer back the what is written on behalf is binding , because another one wrote on behalf that is was binding, and so on...

The line that says:
Teaching of the Qur'án is Absolutely Indispensable
(with capital letters ? hmm) comes from the enthousiasm of
a person who was not the Gardian, but imagined these cute
lines on one day of his short life. We cannot take this seriously.



MJ.

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Postby Daniel » Thu Jan 19, 2006 10:20 am

:?:

Jonah
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Postby Jonah » Thu Jan 19, 2006 3:24 pm

I've edited out the back-and-forth "attacks" on this thread from the last couple days, so if anyone's posting is missing or shortened, that's why. And because this thread is generating more heat than light, I'll close it now.

Thanks, -Jonah


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