Posted by Brett Zamir (184.108.40.206) on May 25, 2003 at 01:47:33:
In Reply to: Question about vita of Baha`ullah. posted by Noebel on May 23, 2003 at 23:19:17:
I think you have correctly anticipated--wittingly or not--that the Manifestation of God both "doeth whatsoever He willeth" (and should not be challenged if He (or maybe She) does not fit some expectations we have) but also tends to demonstrate God's love for us--by gradually easing us into the new Revelation by accepting some of the previous manners and laws.
In case you were not aware of it, the Manifestation of God prior to Baha'u'llah's coming was titled the Bab. The Bab did undergo the rites of the Muslim pilgrimage, as you can read at the following website: http://bahai-library.org/books/dawnbreakers/chapters/7.html .
As far as the five pillars of Islam, Baha'u'llah and the Bab of course reaffirmed the shahada (though modifying it to indicate the new respective Messenger). As far as Zakat, the funds would revert to the Manifestation of God Himself anyhow (though the Manifestations did extend their generosity a great deal to the poor). They also themselves modeled prayer and fasting for the believers. (see http://darrenhiebert.com/documents/compilations/Fast.html under the last paragraph of the last selection of 'Abdu'l-Baha)
As far as schooling, He did not attend their schools and neither did the Bab for more than a very short period of time.
According to my understanding, with perhaps some exceptions, the Manifestation of God upholds the laws of the previous Revelation. Therefore, though the Bab obeyed the laws of Islam, Baha'u'llah acted more in accordance with the Babi Dispensation (though the Bab made many of His laws dependent on Baha'u'llah accepting them so He especially did not need to follow them, though He in some cases did--such as in the choice of the Bab's calendar). Nevertheless, Baha'u'llah did not depart too dramatically from the customs of the (Muslim) people. For example, He insisted that Baha'i women dress modestly in public, even to wear the veil--a law which the Bab had in His time abrogated--until such times as the custom is to be gradually abandoned by the society as a whole.
Even 'Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'u'llah's Son, upheld a custom of visiting a mosque every Friday and giving alms to the poor (though 'Abdu'l-Baha's grand-son, Shoghi Effendi, abandoned this practice of visiting the mosque and wearing the older attire which 'Abdu'l-Baha wore). An individual who helped prepare the people for the advent of the Bab, Shaykh Ahmad, did undertake a pilgrimage to the shrine of the Imam Husayn, even though he was focused in his heart on Baha'u'llah (the true "Husayn").
Perhaps others here are better qualified to give other examples, but I think you can see that the Messengers of God (and Their chosen ones) do both act independently of the laws of the past (such as by changing the Qiblih or point of adoration as His Holiness Muhammad and Baha'u'llah both did) as well as adopting some of the customs of the people.
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