Posted by Richard on October 06, 1998 at 14:54:59:
In Reply to: Re: Why did you choose Bahaism over Islam? posted by Richard on October 06, 1998 at 08:06:48:
: : : Dear Reezwan,
: : : No offense taken at all. It's a good question, and one that you have every
: : : right to ask. By the way, Baha'is refer to the religion as the "Baha'i
: : : Faith" and feel uncomfortable with the term "Baha'ism," in much the same
: : : way as a Muslim would dislike the term "Muhammadanism."
: : Salam 'Alaykum wa Allahu Abha.
: : Not to stir sedition however, I have a furhter question for members of the Baha'i Faith.
: : As a former member of the Baha'i Faith and now a Shi'a Muslim why is it that one must
: : break with Islam to believe in the manifestation of Baha'u'llah. Since it is recorded according
: : to 'Abdu'l-Baha he did not consider himself a member of an independent religion and Shoghi Effendi
: : wrote that Baha'is must be Muslims to understand their faith. I would ask is it not a part of the
: : purpose of religion to promote unity and communal well-being (muslah). It has been
: : my conclusion that we as individuals cannot posit legal opinions which would divide the Muslim community
: : apart this is the role of the Majlis (assembly) of officials written of by 'Abdu'l-Baha. I know
: : all this sounds unusual but parts of what I am talking about can be seen at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Oracle/5016/wasiya.html
: : Just curious why Baha'is consider themselves unique to the rest of the Islamic Ummah, I don't think
: : the Shari'a principle is substantial enough for such a break until the entire Mulsim community is ready
: : to accept the possibility that Khatm (seal) is open to further revelation. But to independently posit this and
: : break with Islam is not appropriate in the teachings of 'Abdu'l-Baha as he practiced it, in my observations.
: : Hopefully, such an opinion of staying with the Islamic majority until the majority of scholars is ready to recognise
: : the new ideas of khatm is not perceived as "taqlid", hopefully the point I am making is being read as:
: : "in the interest of communal well-being Baha'is should not break with the rest of the Islamic community until the entire community is prepared to move in one direction together."
: : Peace be with you and God's glory,
: : Salik
: Dear Salik:
: My apologies for such a tardy response. I only read this today, 6 Oct. 1998.
: The reason Baha'is are essentially independent from Islam is parallel to the reason Islam is distinct from Christianity. Furthermore, the Holy Qu'ran is for Baha'is an old Testament from God. Baha'u'llah's "Kitab-i-Iqan" removes the barrier that most Muslims imposed upon themselves by interpreting the Seal of the Prophets to mean that Muhammad was the last of the Messengers from God and that future Messengers, with such an interpretation, would be impossible.
: I was reared in a Christian home. I now believe in and fully accept the Holy Qur'an as the Word of God because of the teaching of both the Bab and Baha'u'llah.
I thought it good to add an addition to my earlier post, having run out of time.
As I mentioned, I was reared a Christian, and with that Christian upbringing was included an understanding of Judaism as the mother faith of Christianity. As Christians we honored the Jewish Torah as the Old Testament from God and the Gospel as God's new Testament. When in 1959 I heard of Baha'u'llah and the Baha'i Faith, I quickly overcame any reservations and accepted Baha'u'llah's proclamation to be the Return of Christ in the glory of the Father. Through the Sacred Scriptures of the Baha'i Faith, I found myself able to accept and believe in the Holy Qur'an as the Word of God, as His newer Testament, supersiding that of the Torah and the Gospel. My maturation in understanding the revelation of Baha'u'llah made me see the Holy Qur'an as an Old Testament vis a vis the Baha'i Holy Scriptures.
The question you posed suggested that the Baha'is lack good reason for distinguishing themselves from Islam. It is precisely because God has renewed revelation through the Bab and through Baha'u'llah that we are called into faith as Baha'is. Muslims distinguish themselves from Christians for the same reasons: Jesus had been fulfilled in the person of Muhammad Who revealed the Holy Qur'an. To argue that the Christians were not ready to accept a new Messenger is to call into question the prerogative of God to send humanity His Messengers. To argue that the Muslims divided the Christian community by insisting upon following Muhammad is what God does in every age when He sends a new Messenger: the faithful are divided from others.
Again I strongly urge you to read the "Kitab-i-Iqan' the Book of Certitude by Baha'u'llah where human hearts are set at rest on such issues.
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