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TAGS: Bible; Consultation; Extraterrestrial life; Genuflections; Interfaith dialogue; International auxilliary language; Khatt-i-Badi; Language; Lawh-i-Hikmat (Tablet of Wisdom); Lisan-i-Badi; Murtus (Muristus); Obligatory prayer; Obligatory prayer, Long; Obligatory prayer, Medium; Portraits; Prayer; Promulgation of Universal Peace (book); Rakahs; Research Department, Questions and answers; Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsai; Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti
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Abstract:
Three replies from the Research Department to an individual, dated 2009, 2010 and 2018, on a variety of topics.

Consultation, Portraits, Rakahs, Murtus, and Unknown Language

by / on behalf of Universal House of Justice

2008/2010/2018

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARIAT

1 November 2009

Transmitted by email

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

Your email letter of 13 October 2009, seeking the source of a passage from a talk given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on 2 May 1912 describing a “spiritual consultation” that the disciples of Christ participated in after His ascension, has been received at the Bahá’í World Centre and forwarded to the Research Department for study.

The Research Department states that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke extemporaneously and did not refer to notes. His talks in The Promulgation of Universal Peace were translated as He spoke and stenographically recorded into English and Persian, but He did not have the opportunity to read and authenticate all of the transcripts. Further, the passage in question appears in a talk for which, to date, no original Persian transcript has been identified. The talk remains unauthenticated, and the English text cannot be taken necessarily to be his exact words.

Regarding the story in the passage in question, the Research Department has not yet found a rendering of it in the Biblical and Christian sources available to them.

    With loving Bahá’í greetings,
    Department of the Secretariat

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE
DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARIAT

21 November 2010

Transmitted by email

Dear Bahá’í Friend,

Your email letter of 22 April 2010 concerning the portraits of Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsá’í and Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí published in Mullá Husayn: Disciple at Dawn by Ruhu’llah Mehrabkhani has been received at the Bahá’í World Centre and forwarded to the Research Department for study. That Department does not have any information about the creator or creators of the portraits in question, or where and when they were drawn. Furthermore, no conclusive evidence has yet been found to support the view that the portrait that is reported to be of Siyyid Kázim-i-Rashtí is indeed of him.

    With loving Bahá’í greetings,
    Department of the Secretariat

M E M O R A N D U M

To: The Universal House of Justice
Date: 31 May 2018
From: Research Department

The Prayer of nine rak‘ahs and the Lisán-i-Badí‘

In his email letter of 29 January 2018, Mr. … refers to the obligatory prayer consisting of nine rak‘ahs, prescribed by Bahá’u’lláh in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, and inquires about the number of rak‘ahs for the Medium and Long Obligatory Prayers that, together with the Short Obligatory Prayer, were subsequently revealed in its stead. He also mentions that it is stated somewhere that one day the missing prayer will be found, and therefore asks if the current obligatory prayers may eventually be replaced by that prayer. On the same day, Mr. ... wrote a separate email letter inquiring about the identity of “Múrṭus”, who is mentioned in Bahá’u’lláh’s Lawḥ-i-Ḥikmat, and asks if the instrument he invented referred to in the Tablet is a salpinx. Additionally, in an email letter of 8 February 2018, Mr. ... wishes to verify if Bahá’u’lláh revealed “something in the language of an extra-terrestrial place”, as a friend has told him, and if so, he requests further information regarding the subject. The Research Department has studied Mr. ...’ questions and responds to them as follows.

Regarding Mr. ...’ first letter, we have not, to date, found any statement in the authoritative writings of the Faith that prescribe rak‘ahs for the Medium and Long Obligatory Prayers.

Concerning the claim that the missing prayer will be found one day, we have identified several references to that prayer in the Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, none of which suggest that the prayer will be recovered in the future. Moreover, in an unpublished letter dated 28 February 1938, written on his behalf, Shoghi Effendi clearly states that the prayer “has been lost”.

As to whether the three current obligatory prayers would be replaced by the lost prayer in the event it was found, in one Tablet Bahá’u’lláh states that the three prayers that were revealed later abrogate the previous one. Additionally, in the Synopsis and Codification of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, it is stated that the prayer “has been superseded by three Obligatory Prayers subsequently revealed.” 1

Regarding Mr. ...’ second 29 January 2018 letter, we note that Múrṭus is better known as Muristus. There are several references to this inventor on the Internet, which may assist Mr. ... in addressing his query. One reliable source is the following: oxfordreference.com/search?q=muristus.

In response to Mr. ...’ email letter of 8 February 2018 and his question about an unknown language spoken by Bahá’u’lláh, his friend may have been referring to the language and script known as the Lisán-i-Badí‘ and the Khaṭṭ-i-Badí‘, mentioned by Bahá’u’lláh in Epistle to the Son of the Wolf as part of His comments on the need for an auxiliary world language. When asked about the above language, Shoghi Effendi responded by saying that it was concealed in the divine knowledge of Bahá’u’lláh and since no one had inquired about it, it has remained in concealment.2 On this subject, Mr. ...’ may be interested in an account found in the Hand of the Cause of God Hasan Balyuzi’s book, Bahá’u’lláh: The King of Glory (Oxford: George Ronald, 1980), pages 113–14.

  1. The Kitáb-i-Aqdas: The Most Holy Book (Wilmette, Illinois: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 2013), p. 146
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