Posted by Stuart Gilman (18.104.22.168) on December 22, 2002 at 14:31:51:
In Reply to: Re: Maid is euphemism for mistress - without question posted by Simeon on December 22, 2002 at 11:53:57:
The text at hand is not at all a text by Bahaullah; the/your transgression into: "Bahá'u'lláh states that a man may employ a maiden for domestic service" is in no way a reference to 63 in the Kitab-I-Aqdas and you have no authority for this interpretation, whether it be the controversial "questions and answers" or the "notes".
Once again, the ONLY authority is 63 from the published Kitab-I-Aqdas, not the notes, not the questions and answers. I would like you to read it and tell me where there is any hint that a man may employ a maid FOR DOMESTIC SERVICE ... and to be adamant, can you with any authority tell me what "domestic service" in that time and place, meant. I still see it as a sexual benefit for monogamy/one wife and I will accept that the mistress/maid, to separate her entirely from the wife, was paid. Let us once again look at 63:
63 God hath prescribed matrimony unto you. Beware that ye take not unto yourselves more wives than two. Whoso contenteth himself with a single partner from among the maidservants of God, both he and she shall live in tranquillity. And he who would take into his service a maid may do so with propriety. Such is the ordinance which, in truth and justice, hath been recorded by the Pen of Revelation. Enter into wedlock, O people, that ye may bring forth one who will make mention of Me amid My servants. This is My bidding unto you; hold fast to it as an assistance to yourselves.
The first sentence allows two wives. This is clear. The second sentence declares that should you take one wife there shall have tranquillity. As wise as our Blessed Beauty is, we must acknowledge that in this instance he was completely in error. Unless he said, "if you take one wife, you have a better chance for tranquillity." Still, not true, since I can count at least 20 Baha'i divorces I have had personal connection with. As for the maid, all he says is that a maid may be "taken into service" .. with propriety. There is no clarification as to the duties of a maid, payment of a maid, definition of a maid. You are forced to go other writings, not by Bahaullah, for self-serving interpretations for the sake of alternate or foreign cultures and customs.
During his life Bahaullah met many foreigners and was told about their cultures in detail. At the time of the Manifestation - expressed formally in the Kitab-i-Aqdas - he was not aware of the customs of America, for example. Following years of learning our customs and those of other continents, he may have seen by His Great Wisdom that the original Law had to change or evolve if it were, unlike Babism, have longevity. Therefore, it is true and possible that He, Himself, made some changes in original Law, but left it to Abdul Baha, who did travel through Europe, Canada and the United States, to be an OFFICIAL interpreter, a Sacred Interpreter, whose interpretations or evolutions and adaptations were to be taken as though from the Pen Himself.
Does this render the modifications - hundreds if not thousands - invalid? Of course not. But let us not, when discussing Original Truth, confuse it with later transformations, adaptations and interpretations. Bahaullah as the Pen of God, whatever he proclaimed, could not be wrong. At the same time, my friends, He had to be right. Therefore, take the Sacred Words of the Blessed Beauty and twist them not. Nor fear their contents. We all understand the Divine Reasons for His granting of "interpretation" to Abdul Baha, who then passed it to Effendi who then passed it to today's House of Justice. The Great One ensured the permanence of the Faith and its growth, while keeping the central, universal, moral edicts intact from his time until the present.
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