Re: Question about vita of Baha'u'llah.

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Posted by Brett Zamir ( on May 30, 2003 at 19:34:58:

In Reply to: Re: Question about vita of Baha'u'llah. posted by Noebel on May 28, 2003 at 07:10:06:

Ok, yes, I do understand now what you mean about the "Nokta" or Point.

One thing is clear...the Baha'i Faith _does_ make the claim to be an independent new religion in the sense that there is a new law.

The following two passages are from the Kitáb-i-Íqán. I think that these make clear that the Qur'án both "comprehendeth all religions" and also predicts "the annulment of laws firmly established by divine Revelation":

"Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, and the most distinguished of God's chosen Ones, hath likened the Dispensation of the Qur'án unto heaven, by reason of its loftiness, its paramount influence, its majesty, and the fact that it comprehendeth all religions.  And as the sun and moon constitute the brightest and most prominent luminaries in the heavens, similarly in the heaven of the religion of God two shining orbs have been ordained--fasting and prayer.  `Islám is heaven; fasting is its sun, prayer, its moon.'"
     This is the purpose underlying the symbolic words of the Manifestations of God.  Consequently, the application of the terms "sun" and "moon" to the things already mentioned hath been demonstrated and justified by the text of the sacred verses and the recorded traditions.  Hence, it is clear and manifest that by the words "the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven" is intended the waywardness of the divines, and the annulment of laws firmly established by divine Revelation, all of which, in symbolic language, have been foreshadowed by the Manifestation of God.  None except the righteous shall partake of this cup, none but the godly can share therein.  "The righteous shall drink of a cup tempered at the camphor fountain." (p. 40, online at )

The law of Islam was abrogated in the Babi Dispensation (e.g., "The call she sounded was the death-knell of the twelve hundred year old law of Islám.", God Passes By, by the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, Shoghi Effendi, p. 34, online ). Moreover, since other laws in the Qur'án (and Bayán) have clearly been altered by Bahá'u'lláh in His Book of Laws (see ), I think it stands to reason that He would not need to make any pilgrimage based on laws of an earlier Dispensation.

The lesson of pilgrimage, whether of a physical or spiritual journey is established in the Qur'án, and that is what is eternal, not the physical location where we must travel. The planet earth will surely not be around forever anyhow. As 'Abdu'l-Bahá says, we should turn ourselves in the direction of the light, and not be enamored by the previous rising points of the sun. I believe those who are fair-minded can recognize this, so we do not be too afraid that it will be difficult for receptive individuals to accept.

As far as the possibility of Bahá'u'lláh taking taqíyyih, though it may have been considered acceptable in Islám, Bahá'u'lláh changed this principle, and He also affirmed that He Himself had not employed it (e.g., when the call was made by the Sháh for His arrest in Tihrán):

"In this Day, We can neither approve the conduct of the fearful that seeketh to dissemble his faith, nor sanction the behavior of the avowed believer that clamorously asserteth his allegiance to this Cause. Both should observe the dictates of wisdom, and strive diligently to serve the best interests of the Faith.

"Let every man observe and meditate on the conduct of this wronged One. We have, ever since the dawn of this Revelation until the present time, refused either to hide Ourself from Our enemies, or to withdraw from the companionship of Our friends." (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 343)

His actions have been contrasted in the Bahá'í Writings with the behavior of His notorious half-brother, Mirzá Yahyá who disguised himself out of fear.

I think it is praiseworthy to seek possible reconciliations as you have done for seeming contradictions, but I don't think that such a physical journey would have been necessary.

best wishes,

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