Humorous Challenge Answered

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Posted by Stuart ( on November 20, 2002 at 18:43:52:

In Reply to: Re: God Sufficeth... posted by anon on November 19, 2002 at 22:18:35:

anon, always the humorist, asks an unanswerable question.

We all agree that the various quotes we use in English are taken from current English language publications. In the Wilmette compilation, this prayer appears on page 29. I am certain it appears on different pages in dozens of different books, articles, e-texts and so on.

The challenge is that of source. No-one can provide the source except to assert that, for example, this is Bab, this is Baha'u'llah, this is is Abdul Baha (usually better referenced) etc... Now, especially when we offer the Bab as source, we are in the relative dark ages of source reference data and while there may exist a written tablet, a scroll or papyrus or other medium that contains the purported prayer, the quote may merely be the accurate memory of a follower, or a scribe, which, over the years, has come to be accepted as official.

That is why I gave my original comment on the two being the same, since I know factually, that in Persian tradition the lengthening and shortening of terms is taken for granted as equal. Some older Persian Baha'is recite the Name ninety-five times a day and the words used in no way resemble the Name as we have been taught. When confronted by the contradiction, these Baha'is - worthy and true - reply, "That's what I was taught."

ANOTHER EXAMPLE is the performance of the Long Obligatory Prayer. Very few North Americans, New Baha'is do more than recite the words. There is no prior ablution and none of the specific actions between verses as prescribed unequivocally by The Most Holy Name are performed. In fact, many times when discussing these Obligatory Prayers and the Obligatory Salutations, kneeling, etc ... they say, honestly, "I did not know about that."

One Persian Baha'i reported that he said the Name ninety-five times a day minimally and performed ablutions both before and after the repetition, which he did in sequence, whereas one is permitted to say the Most Holy Name a total of 95 times not in sequence. I asked what he said and he replied: Allah u Abhá, and that he had been saying it for sixty five years. When I said, is it not, Ya Baha u'l Abhá, he replied, well, that's what I was taught.


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