Interested in becoming a baha'i, first a few questions.

All research or scholarship questions
Zazaban
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Interested in becoming a baha'i, first a few questions.

Postby Zazaban » Sun Jun 18, 2006 9:24 pm

Hi, I am very interested in this religion, I have speant years of soul searching and this seems right, I just need some extra questions answered.

1. What are all the Manifestations of god? (i'll just say M.O.G.)? I know of Joseph, Noah, Hud, Salih, the founder of the "religions of the Sabeans", Krishna, Buddha, Zoroaster (Zarathustra), Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad, the Báb, and Bahá'u'lláh, are there any others?

2. Is there any censorship or corruption in the universal house of justice?

3. May I have a summary of what my life would be like?

4. in the prayers, Do I have to do all three or do I pick one?

5. Can I get a Qiblih Compass?

Thank you. :D

Jonah
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Postby Jonah » Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:07 pm

Excellent questions, all of them! I look forward to some quality answers.

Is there any censorship or corruption in the universal house of justice?

I'm afraid I'm going to have to prohibit discussion of this issue -- thereby lending credence to exactly this question! :-) But I can assure you that this site is in no way operated by the Baha'i institutions or any Baha'i "authority," and indeed many of its contributors are not Baha'i, and I myself have made a point of not stating anywhere here what my own affiliation might or might not be (though any Baha'i could write to the US or Canadian NSAs to inquire about same).

There is no controlling influence <i>whatsoever</i> that requires me to prohibit this topic, it's my own personal decision as editor/webmaster. Further, I should note that in nine years the Administrative Order (AO) has not once approached me about any content at this site, and has never offered any unsolicited editorial feedback whatsoever. The only reason I want to exclude discussion of this topic is because I don't want this forum to be a platform for anyone, Baha'i or not, to offer what could be seen as criticisms of the AO. It makes my life easier, and keeps this forum from becoming a possible battleground. And there are other places online where people can have this discussion, though most (probably all) of them are run by those actively opposed to the Faith.

Having said that, I'll happily allow discussion of what the <i>Writings do say</i> about the possible corruption or lack thereof of the current or future UHJ or AO. It's not an easy black-and-white answer, because there are statements from the Writings which could be interpreted as saying that the Baha'i AO could eventually become corrupt, and there are statements which seem to say that it never could.

I'll close by offering this: while there are, as I mentioned, some statements which <i>seem</i> to say that the AO could oneday become corrupt, there are <i>very</i> few people familiar with the Faith who feel that it is currently so. The majority of the discussion I've seen on this topic is whether it oneday <i>could</i> become corrupted. I don't deny that some Baha'is might be unhappy with specific teachings from the Writings or specific rulings of the AO including the UHJ, but rarely do those few people unhappy about small specifics extrapolate that to feeling that the AO itself is corrupt.

-Jonah

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Sun Jun 18, 2006 11:40 pm

You live in the same city as me :shock:


Anything on any of my other questions?

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Mon Jun 19, 2006 3:42 am

Hello Zazaban,

Welcome!

1. I've tried to collect a listing at http://bahai9.com/Prophets Sorry, but it's offline to editing, but you can still read it now. Also, although the following is not directly related, I think it implies that we might consult the Qur'an and Bible for the answers:

Lesser Prophets: "Regarding your questions: We cannot possibly add
names of people we (or anyone else) think might be Lesser Prophets to
those found in the Qur'an, the Bible and our own Scriptures. For only
these can we consider authentic Books."

(March 13, 1950, to an individual believer, in Lights of Guidance, no. 1696)


4. Pick one. The notes to the Aqdas explain this.

That's all for now...Maybe I'll get to #2 and #3 later. Jonah, if you have quotations supposedly in favor of a possible corruption, please post them. We can't discuss it if they are in the dark.

Zazaban, the only possibility for corruption I could have seen might be after the next Manifestation of God were to come (after no less than one thousand years), though the House of Justice assured us they would recognize Him. The House of Justice has been guaranteed freedom from error and divine protection and is the institution to which Baha'is are to turn. As we see this as the Day not to be followed by a night, the whole foundation of the Faith would crumble if corruption of the House were really possible.

best wishes,
Brett

onepence
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Postby onepence » Mon Jun 19, 2006 9:42 am

ok ... I have no affliation with the following website ...

furthermore it is advertisement but hopefully Jonah and the friends will allow the link cuz it goes directly with the thought of this discussion

also in a side note note realated to the following website {{{{ have seen a few pictures of hotels in the east who have little plaques on their ceilings in their rooms shpwing direction to Mecca}}}}}

Bahá'í compass

http://www.bahaicompass.com/

»The Bahá'í compass gives you the correct (geographical) direction and compass bearing to the Qiblih from all major cities worldwide. Wherever you travel - you will easily find the prayer direction. When you order from us - we provide you with a table and map for the prayer direction.

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Mon Jun 19, 2006 10:06 pm

Thanks!

could anyone answer my other questions?

onepence
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Postby onepence » Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:35 am

Baha'u'llah
The Glory of God
His Life
His Word
bonds this lowly one, this apostle,
to your heart, to the creation of all that is
and all that shall be
in His Image
in Unity, in Justice,
in the American way of life

Dearest Zazaban,

you ask "May I have a summary of what my life would be like?" and while one could answer in depth, on various levels, truely no answer can be sufficient for only you can live your life and therefore come Judgement Day only you can answer for yourself, before God, for your deeds {or lack thereof}.

In simple terms Baha'i life is bitter/sweet.

Bitter in the sense that we all know that we, individually and collectively, can always do better than what we are currentlly doing. Even this answer viewed in an unfavorable light could be construed as being bitter for even this author knows how amaterish, how vain & vulgar this crude attempt in letter formation can appear to well trained eyes.

Sweet in the sense that Baha'u'llah commands, which, though it is daring to say, brings forth daily miracles and ours the just the simple duty to
"witness" His Being.

////// in mundane terms ////
daily life, as a Baha'i, is filled with a yearning for more

as one begins to learn and apply His Law
to learn more and apply His Law more and more fully
each and every day

often times this is accomplished and measured by the mesmerization
of the Sacred Writings ... at first with simple Text, like the short obligatory prayer or perhaps even a few of the "Hidden Words", then perhaps other prayers like for protection or healing, often times a soul is inspired to sing and chant the Text ... to make a joyful noise ...

and as one progresses through the realms ... there will always be the beat of the passing day ..... every 19 days feast and on occassion the Holy Days .....

eventually the soul is bound to be tested
not so hard from outside the Baha'i community,

for a wise soul will learn to speak with words "as mild as milk"
so as not to cause a disturbance unto your neighbors

but tests will come from perdominately the Baha'i community itself
and most specifically from the Adminstrative Order
for often times an individual will ask the Administrative Order
{to do and/or not do something} and the Administrative Order will respond
{in guidance} that may appear at first as so harsh or unneccesary
or perhaps even comical
yet the duty of the individual is to
always remain faithful to the Letter of the Law especially when the Administrative Order gives the guidance upon a subject

*smile* *soft chuckles* *lol*
i know it can seem kinda funny ... i mean from a distance it seems so easy so natural to follow ... *smile* *soft chuckles* *lol* ... ... but just wait ... it happens to all the followers of Baha'u'llah, where the ego of self thinks that it and only it, the ego the selfish self should be the one and the only one to lead ... *smile* *soft chuckles* *lol* ... .... and then what ? .... ..... .... as mentioned it happens, this test, these tests, to all Baha'is and many fail, many become covenant breakers, but God Willing, more souls past His test than fail and our community becomes more richer for having to endure the test politely and patiently.

i will give you one personal example ...
when I was born into this world I had the blessings of havig a full set of hair that everyone commented on how beautiful the coloring and style was ... 21 years later when I first became a Baha'i i let my hair grow out ... wow ... you should have seen it .... thick and curly natural ashen blonde with various degress of highlights ... *smile* ..... and may hair began to grow past my earlobes ... another Baha'i mentioned that this hair below the earlobes could be a problem because of certain Laws within the sacred Text ... after studying the issue i went ahead and got a haircut ... ..... mind you i did not want to get a haircut *frown* ... i mean after all ... *deep frown* ... this was my hair and it was not an official letter written directly from the Administrative Order seeking for me to cut my hair *smile* but none the less i recognized the spirit of the Law and in many ways i think that the simple act of me cutting my hair to prove to another i was worthy of studying and abiding by Law has helped me in uncalculable ways

that, if anything at all, is worth remembering

simple acts of obediance are well rewarded
and all action is simple

oneness
the apostle dean

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:03 pm

onepence wrote:another Baha'i mentioned that this hair below the earlobes could be a problem because of certain Laws within the sacred Text ...


I hate to break it to you but.....

doesn't that only apply to ear hair? Even Baha'u'llah had hair below his earlobe.

Sorry if i'm wrong.

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Tue Jun 20, 2006 12:42 pm

doesn't that only apply to ear hair? Even baha'u'llah had hair below his earlobe.


It may or may not. We are free (as Onepence did) to come to our own understandings of this, but the House of Justice has yet to spell out the law:

Shoghi Effendi has made clear that, unlike the prohibition on shaving the head, this law forbidding the growing of the hair beyond the lobe of the ear pertains only to men. The application of this law will require clarification by the Universal House of Justice.

(Notes to the Aqdas, no. 69)


The law is not applicable at present anyhow.

best wishes,
Brett

onepence
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Postby onepence » Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:40 pm

brettz9 wrote:
doesn't that only apply to ear hair? Even baha'u'llah had hair below his earlobe.


It may or may not. We are free (as Onepence did) to come to our own understandings of this, but the House of Justice has yet to spell out the law:

Shoghi Effendi has made clear that, unlike the prohibition on shaving the head, this law forbidding the growing of the hair beyond the lobe of the ear pertains only to men. The application of this law will require clarification by the Universal House of Justice.

(Notes to the Aqdas, no. 69)


The law is not applicable at present anyhow.

best wishes,
Brett


yes ... exactly my point ... as clearly stated ... i made my own decession ... and i and i alone acted upon my decession ... for reasons stated ... seeking His Image in Unity, in Justice, in the American way of life ... i was not seeking to offend ...

however

i find it shocking that a "seeker" would be so bold and presumptious to feel compelled to "break it to you" about some wild notions about "ear hair" ... lol ... such arrogrance no wonder the individual classifies himself as a seeker ... lol ...

soft chuckles

oneness
dh

onepence
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Postby onepence » Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:55 pm

Zazaban wrote:[Even baha'u'llah had hair below his earlobe.

when corresponding with me, in this forum, please show a little curtesy, not asking for much here, but please capitilaze the B in Baha'u'llah.

oneness
dh

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Tue Jun 20, 2006 1:55 pm

I didn't mean to seem arrogant, I just read that it was only ear hair on his very forum.... If i've been misguided just tell me...

onepence
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Postby onepence » Tue Jun 20, 2006 2:24 pm

Zazaban wrote:I didn't mean to seem arrogant, I just read that it was only ear hair on his very forum.... If i've been misguided just tell me...


Zazaban

your desire to learn is noted

perhaps we both will learn more about friendship

your humble servant
Dean Hedges

Jonah
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Hair

Postby Jonah » Tue Jun 20, 2006 6:30 pm

I just read that it was only ear hair on his very forum...

The link you're probably referring to is http://bahai-library.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?t=333 , where as you can see there is a wide variety of possible interpretations of this teaching. In sum, no-one appears to know what exactly this law refers to and I myself, as a man who once had quite long hair (before it got too thin to keep long), was not able to determine the answer even after reading the original text in Arabic and consulting with those knowledgeable about both Baha'i history and the 19-century Persian culture.

I decided (way back then) to just not worry about it, it didn't seem too important -- as evidenced by the fact that the UHJ has declined to apply this law or even clarify it. Again, see much more here: http://bahai-library.com/forum2/viewtopic.php?t=333

Zazaban
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Re: Hair

Postby Zazaban » Tue Jun 20, 2006 7:04 pm

Then I think i'll just leave that alone... too complex... even the UHJ has left it alone. I'm not going to risk independent interpetation. :?

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Wed Jun 21, 2006 12:23 am

onepence wrote:please capitilaze the B in Baha'u'llah.

Sorry, I was just happy i was able to spell it at the time. :(

I'll change it then.

majnun
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hair stlylings

Postby majnun » Wed Jun 21, 2006 5:47 am

In the year 1868 when the pictures was taken,
they were not in Akka yet, but travelling and
barbershops were not installed everywhere.
.
MJ

onepence
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Postby onepence » Wed Jun 21, 2006 10:35 am

Zazaban wrote:I'll change it then.

wow...thank you...as a token of my appreciation, if you want,
i will attempt to offer more insights into Baha'i Life from the persepective of this individual ... or ... if you desire ... something else

oneness
dh

Hasan
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Postby Hasan » Fri Jun 23, 2006 10:53 pm

A wise friend wrote me about basic differences between the Universal House of Justice and the Roman curia:

a. the House is a democratically elected body, whereas the Catholic Church is an authoritarian form of rulership and thus much more prone to getting corrupted by totalitarian practises.
b. The Universal House of Justice has been divinely ordained in historic documents; but not Papacy, although it claims to have been established by Jesus Christ.
c. The Universal House of Justice is, in its executive and judicative functions, under the general divine guidance that has been promised to the elected Bahá’í bodies. Papacy must be regarded as the result of a historic development; this means, it is a human organization to which no promise of divine guidance has been given. The Church’s references to Matthew 16:18, 28:20 are not cogent at all as, the existence of schismatic Churches (Orthodoxy, Protestantism etc.) and their theological arguments clearly prove.
d. Referring to to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Will and Testament (I:26) a member of the House, who has committed “a sin, injurious to the common weal”, can be expelled from this body. This right of the Guardian has passed to the House of Justice (see art. IV,2a of its statutes). By virtue of this legal mechanism the danger of becoming corrupted is minimized.
Above all, one should not close the eyes to the fact that man “has been created weak” (Qur’án), that he is “prone to evil” and “a sinner” (Bahá’u’lláh), and that the earth is not the Kingdom of God (malakút). As an individual, man is always endangered by his frailties. All organizations,—the Bahá’í organization included—must, as they are run by humans, be on their guard not to be affected by human frailties. The promise of the assistance of the Holy Spirit is a mighty buckler against this endangerment.

onepence
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Postby onepence » Sat Jun 24, 2006 8:01 am

Hasan wrote:A wise friend wrote me about basic differences between the Universal House of Justice and the Roman curia: ...

.


Hi Hassan,

Thank you for supplying us with your thoughts, for I find that you friend is indeed wise. I was wondering if you could reveal who this friend was and if there was any other writings from him, for i would certainly enjoy making his acquitance or at least reading more of his writings. If you like you can private message me, or continue on in this thread, or even start a new thread.

again, thank you

oneness
dh

majnun
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to zazabanan

Postby majnun » Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:18 am

Dear Zazaban

I just wondered why you sort of ask permission
to read those scriptures. Read them and see if
the change in you is good for you. If not, you can
always go back or try something else. A religion
should not be a prison, quite the contrary.

These scriptures alone should give you the correct
answers, not other people, like me or anyone else.

MJ.

Keyvan
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HAIR QUESTION

Postby Keyvan » Mon Jul 10, 2006 3:13 pm

Zazaban, the answer to the question about why Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l Baha had long hair in the photos, is that the photos were taken in 1868.

The Kitab-i-Aqdas was not Revealed until 1873-1875

thus, the law did not exist then.


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