Posted by Salik on November 07, 1998 at 16:37:27:
In Reply to: Re: Why did you choose Bahaism over Islam? posted by Richard on October 30, 1998 at 16:10:25:
: Thank you for your kind response. I quite agree: just as Jesus Christ was a Jew, Baha'u'llah was a Muslim. I keep in mind the universal sense of the word "Muslim," the sense carried by the Holy Qur'an in 5:111 by which all who submit to the will of God are Muslims and their religion is Islam. But here "Islam" and "Muslim" are generic, not specific. Whenever God sends humanity a new Manifestation, that divinely-sent personage not only renews the previous religious revelation, he brings a new revelation as its fulfillment. Baha'u'llah in the course of revitalizing Islam brings forth something quite specifically post-Islamic. The Prophet Muhammad does quite the same vis-a-vis Christianity and Judaism. In the widest sense they all are Islam and their followers all Muslims, including the Baha'is. There is, in this sense, no separation of communities except those which the lovers of leadership, fame, and glory have erected. I could not recommend a book more well-written on this topic than the oone by Christopher Buck entitled "Symbols and Secrets." This is an outstanding study of the issues raised in this discussion, especially as they pertain to Baha'u'llah's stature as an independent revealer of the Word of God, confirming the mother-faith of Islam (as well as Christianity and Islam), and fulfilling the messianic expectations of religious traditions outside the Middle East.
Well an interesting point. However, having read Christopher Buck's well written and argued book there is an underlying
difference of opinion here. And it is based on paradigms. The western paradigm of religious scholastics versus the
contextual reading of mysticism, in this case Sufism. And that is the perspective I am speaking from.
In Sufism Islam is general not specific but sufis are specifically Muslims, like Baha' Allah who maintained the Ramadan fast and according
to Shoghi Effendi Baha'is are Muslims first, before being Baha'is. I have not seen anything outside of Sufism in the Baha'i writings
which has not been read into it by those outside of Islamic traditions including Sufism. Again, this is a former Catholic saying this not
some native born Muslim with an aggenda of defending blind paternalism through religion. There is just more to it.
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