Re: Maid is euphemism for mistress - without question

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Posted by Misagh ( on December 22, 2002 at 23:25:30:

In Reply to: Re: Maid is euphemism for mistress - without question posted by Stuart Gilman on December 22, 2002 at 14:31:51:

Good morning/evening all,

Interesting discussion. Here's my two shekels...

Quote from above post:

"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."

If Simeon has no authority to make interpretation (which is of course true, no one person alive today has the authority to make Authoritative Interpretation), then what gives you and me that right? What is the rest of the previous post trying to achieve?

And, the Questions/Answers and the Notes were written by Baha'u'llah and the Universal House of Justice, respectively. See below...

Here are some quotes from the published version of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, approved by the Universal House of Justice:

(This quote is in response to a comment made earlier about Baha'u'llah not having mentioned "menservants")

"In general, the laws of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas are stated
succinctly. An example of this conciseness can be seen in the
fact that many are expressed only as they apply to a man,
but it is apparent from the Guardianâs writings that, where
Baháâuâlláh has given a law as between a man and a woman,
it applies mutatis mutandis between a woman and a man
unless the context makes this impossible. For example, the
text of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas forbids a man to marry his fatherâs
wife (i.e. his stepmother), and the Guardian has indicated
that likewise a woman is forbidden to marry her stepfather.
This understanding of the implications of the Law has far-reaching
effects in light of the fundamental Baháâí principle
of the equality of the sexes, and should be borne in mind
when the sacred Text is studied. That men and women
differ from one another in certain characteristics and
functions is an inescapable fact of nature and makes possible
their complementary roles in certain areas of the life of
society; but it is significant that ÎAbduâl-Bahá has stated
that in this Dispensation ăEquality of men and women, except
in some negligible instances, has been fully and categorically
announced.ä (Introduction, p. 7, Kitab-i-Aqdas)

"Among such works is the Questions and Answers, a
compilation made by Zaynuâl-Muqarrabin, the most eminent
of the transcribers of Baháâuâlláhâs Writings. Consisting
of answers revealed by Baháâuâlláh to questions put to
Him by various believers, it constitutes an invaluable
appendix to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. In 1978 the most noteworthy
of the other Tablets of this nature were published in
English as a compilation entitled Tablets of Baháâuâlláh
revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas." (Introduction, p. 9, Kitab-i-Aqdas)

The introduction was written by the Universal House of Justice. Not just anybody. The Questions and Answers were revealed by Baha'u'llah Himself.

The preface was also written by the Universal House of Justice. In the preface, one reads (on page viii):

"Shoghi Effendi had stated that the English translation
of the Aqdas should be ăcopiously annotatedä. The policy
followed in preparing the notes has been to concentrate on
those points which might strike a non-Arabic-speaking
reader as obscure or which, for various reasons, require
elucidation or background information. They are not
intended to be a comprehensive commentary on the text
beyond these fundamental requirements."

The Notes section was also written by the Universal House of Justice. Not just anybody.

In light of all of this, for my own personal application of this and other laws, I'd tend to place more emphasis on the explanations and "elucidations" in the Q&A section and Notes section. While scholarly 'debate' and exploration are, in my humble opinion, welcomed, I don't see why one shouldn't give the Q&A and Notes section their proper dues.

Taken in light of the elucidations in both the Questions/Answers and Notes sections, I personally feel that attributing alleged extra-marital romantic affairs to Abdul'Baha (Centre of the Covanent, Perfect Exemplar) - clearly against the injunctions of Baha'u'llah - is very, very wrong. Does rumour have any place in a scholarly setting?

In the end, folks, I feel that any outstanding issues still lingering can and should be brought to the attention of the Universal House of Justice for clarification and guidance. We'll probably doing some future Baha'i scholars a great favour as well. It's that simple: And we are so fortunate to be able to do this, so if we feel it appropriate, it is our right to write to the House and ask for guidance.

And now, for something completely different...

One quote from the above post:

"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."

The Blessed Beauty is in error??! Says who??! How can this statement even be made? Maybe I'm not understanding something...

Another quote from the above post:

"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."

He was not aware of the customs of America??! Says who??! OK, now I think I'm definately missing something here... because none of this sits well with me.

I sincerly hope I haven't offended anyone in this posting... if I have, I'm truly sorry and I meant no malice.

Anyways, I should be off... sorry for the long post. Take care all!

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