Re: Images of Prophets

This is an archived post from the old bulletin board. For new posts, see the forum.

Posted by Riaz ( on October 16, 2002 at 20:34:25:

In Reply to: Re: Images of Prophets posted by Darrick Evenson on September 06, 2002 at 13:22:27:


Here is some of the references to the use of the photo of Baha'u'llah:

Department of the Secretariat
June 26, 1980

Mr. xxxx,

Dear Baha'i Friend,

[Personal greetings deleted...] The House of Justice requests us to reply to your questions as follows.

It is apparent in letters written on behalf of the Guardian that he did not approve the publication of any photograph of Baha'u'llah, and regarded such publication to be offensive to religious feeling. Nor did he approve that the photograph be exposed openly to the public, even in Baha'i homes. Only on special occasions did he permit the photograph to be displayed, and then he urged that it be done with the utmost reverence. The House of Justice, basing its comments on these instructions, has written a few letters to friends who have inquired about this subject and related matters, and for your guidance a compilation of extracts of these letters is enclosed.

In reply to your inquiry about the writings of Covenant-breakers and your reference to the book on the Faith by William Miller, a selection of instructions and guidelines on these subjects is also attached. The House of Justice hopes you will find the material useful.

We have been requested to assure you that prayers will be offered at the Holy Shrines as you request.

With loving Baha'i greetings,
For Department the Secretariat


Photographs of Baha'u'llah
"Concerning the question of display of the photograph of Baha'u'llah, the Guardian's instructions were that this should be done only with the utmost reverence, and then only on special occasions..."

"It would be good to advise the young Persian believer who has this picture that, while we do not wish to suggest that he should remove the photograph from his book, it would be inappropriate for him to show it to others in a casual manner. As you know, the photograph of Baha'u'llah is very precious and it should be handled with due reverence and respect."
(From a letter dated 7 February 1972 written by the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)

"The portraits of the Bab and Baha'u'llah should be shown infrequently and on very special occasions, such as a special observance connected with an event intimately associated with the Forerunner or Founder of our Faith.

"We do not think that the regular National Convention is such a special occasion, and we feel that the privilege of displaying these very precious portraits should not be abused."
(From a letter dated 12 July 1973 written by the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Panama)

These are obvious. If you claim to have recognized Baha'u'llah, it is binding to strictly follow every commandment for, as you know, according to the Kitab-i-Aqdas:

"neither is acceptable without the other".

If you ignore these, based on other peoples shortcomings, in an attempt to justify your actions you are being unfaithful to God. We each have a responsibility to God ourselves and when we die, we are called to account for our own deeds and shortcomings.

"...If, in the Day when all the peoples of earth will be gathered together any man should, whilst standing in the presence of God, be asked: Î Wherefore hast thou disbelieved in My Beauty and turned away from My Self,â and if such a man should reply and say: ÎInasmuch as all men have erred, and none hath been found willing to turn his face to the Truth, I too, following their example, have grievously failed to recognize the Beauty of the Eternal,â such a plea will, assuredly, be rejected. For the faith of no man can be conditioned by any one but himself." Bahaâuâllah cited in Bahaâi World Faith, p. 189

We are responsible for our own actions, whether the whole world follows suit or not is irrelevant.

this topic is closed - post at