In Arabic, liqá’ indicates the promise of meeting the Lord. Bahá’u’lláh has transformed the concept of attainment unto the divine presence. Comparison of Shí'ih and Bábí-Bahá’í interpretations of liqá', including the practice of service.
published in Lights of Irfan, 18, pages 471-490 Wilmette: Haj Mehdi Arjmand Colloquium, 2017
Abstract: One of the central tenets of previous religions is the promise of attainment unto the presence of the Lord on the Day of Judgment for the faithful believers. Within the Islamic dispensation in the Arabic text of the Qur’án, the term liqá’ indicates the promise of attainment unto the presence and meeting with the Lord. Bahá’u’lláh has transformed the concept of attainment unto the divine presence in His Revelation. He has written a fascinating and lucid epistle, the Lawh-i-Liqá’, reading which is equivalent to being in His presence. Here we will introduce the Islamic background of liqá’, compare Shí'ih and Bábí-Bahá’í interpretations of attaining the liqá, and demonstrate that the writings of Bahá’u’lláh infuse and transform the concept of attaining the divine presence to manifold events including being in the presence of God’s prophets, reading the scriptures, and undertaking service to mankind.