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>>   Essays and short articles Introductory

Islam and the Bahá'í Faith:
Warwick Leaflets

by Warwick Bahá'í Bookshop

2002
Islám, meaning "Submission to the Will Of God", is the name given in the Qur'án (Koran) to God's one eternal religion, of which the Revelation of Muhammad represents an extremely important stage. The Bahá'í Faith appeared from the cradle of Islám in the same way that Christianity appeared from the cradle of the Jewish Faith.

The Promise

Bahá'ís believe that there is only one God, eternal and indivisible, even though He is known by many names in different languages. In each age God sends a Messenger Who reveals the message of God for mankind for that age. This is a process without end.

Over the centuries, many Prophets have told of the Day in which God's Will would finally prevail on this Earth, and Muhammad was to be the last of these Prophets or "Warners". Bahá'ís believe that He carried the title "Seal of the Prophets" in order to announce to mankind that the next stage would be the "Great News" of the Day of Judgement.

In the early 1840s, many Christians were expecting the return of Christ, which they had calculated according to Biblical prophecy. Some Muslim prophecies also pointed to the year 1260 A.H. (1844 A.D.) and therefore a group of Muslims in Iran and Iraq were looking for the return promised by Islám.

The Báb

A young man called Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad declared in Shiraz, Iran, on May 22nd, 1844 (1260 A.H.), that He was the Promised One of Islám - the Mihdi expected by Sunní Muslims, and the Qáim expected by the Shías. He undertook the pilgrimage (Hajj) to Mecca, and at the door of the Ka'bah declared three times, to all present:

"I am that Qa'im whose advent you have been awaiting!"

The Book brought by the Báb was called the Bayán. In it He explained many passages from the Qur'an and announced new principles for the new age. Immediately, opposition from religious leaders led to fierce persecution. Over 20,000 devout believers were killed, and the Báb Himself was executed in 1850.

However, God's plan promised two blasts on the trumpet on the Day of Judgement:

"One day, the disturbing trumpet-blast shall disturb it, which the second blast shall follow." (Nazihat-79:6-7)

Bahá'u'lláh

Mirzá Husayn-'Ali-i-Nurí, known as Bahá'u'lláh, (The Glory of God) was born into a wealthy family in Iran. He was descended from Abraham, from the Prophet Zoroaster, and from the Persian king Yazdigird III. He was extremely generous and kind, and was greatly loved by the poor people of Teheran. Upon reading one single page of the Writings of the Báb, He declared that the Author of this work was none other than the Author of the Qur'án, and unhesitatingly gave His allegiance to the Báb. Because of His high social standing and great popularity, the clergy did not dare kill Him, although they imprisoned Him and tortured Him. He was eventually exiled to Iraq, but in Baghdád He built up such a following that in April 1863 the Sultan of Turkey summoned Him to Constantinople. Before leaving Baghdád, He declared that He was the Promised One of all religions, Whom the Báb had foretold, the "Spirit of God" expected by the Sunnís and the return of the Imám Husayn for the Shías.

Laws For The New Age

It says in the Qur'án:

"To each age its Book. What He pleaseth will God abrogate or confirm; for with Him is the Source of Revelation." (Raíd-13:38)

Bahá'u'lláh set out laws for the new age in the Kitab-i-Aqdas (The Most Holy Book), which was revealed when Bahá'u'lláh was enduring His fourth and final exile, in Akká, in the Holy Land:

"Think not that We have revealed unto you a mere code of laws. Nay, rather, We have unsealed the choice Wine with the fingers of might and power."

Bahá'u'lláh, like Muhammad and all the Messengers of God before Him, suffered at the hands of the unbelievers. He passed to the next world in 1892.

Bahá'u'lláh's Teachings

God's promise was that the Day of Judgement would see the unity of mankind:

"O our Lord! For the day of whose coming there is not a doubt, thou wilt surely gather mankind together. Verily, God will not fail the promise." (Al-Imran-3:9)

All the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh address aspects of this unity of mankind:

Bahá'u'lláh taught that all the major religions of the world are from God. They were given to mankind in a pure form, but mankind has altered them over time.

We should abandon all prejudice of colour, class and creed. The Islamic concept of brotherhood should be extended to all humanity.

Women should have equal rights with men.

Religion should be in harmony with science.

A form of world government will ensure peace and justice throughout the planet.

All children should have the advantage of education.

Laws should be enacted which ensure the removal of the extremes of wealth and poverty.

A world language should be adopted for all international communication.

The Unity of Religion

In every age, God sends a Messenger Who has a specific message for that time. In the Semitic line, we know of Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Other parts of the world also have divinely-inspired religions. Indeed, the Qur'án tells us that every people has had a Prophet. It is the Will of God in this age that all His people should become one in faith. Bahá'ís believe that The Báb and Bahá'u'lláh were the Holy Ones promised in the revelation of Muhammad. They are the twin Messengers of the Day of Judgement, and also the Ones Promised in the Scriptures of the Jews, Christians, Hindus, Zoroastrians and Buddhists. Bahá'u'lláh's teachings have now been taken to every part of the world, and are bringing people into unity. Religion has so often divided humanity, but now it will bring us together. As the Qur'án says:

"The former and the latter [religions] gathered shall they all be...." (Waq'iah-56:49)

This is precisely the purpose of the Bahá'í Faith.

The text of all these leaflets remains the copyright of Warwick Bahá'í Bookshop. The Bookshop is happy for people to download individual copies for their own purposes. Printed copies can be purchased from the Warwick Bookshop. Individuals or communities wishing to translate or print these leaflets in other countries please contact the Bookshop for permission.
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