Re: Why did you choose Bahaism over Islam?

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Posted by Jonah on February 25, 1998 at 05:41:23:

In Reply to: Why did you choose Bahaism over Islam? posted by Reezwan Jaffer on February 24, 1998 at 17:22:40:

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."

Here as a most brief answer; I'll leave it to others to respond in more
depth. Baha'is believe that religion is an ever-growing and evolving facet
of human life, in much the same way that cultures, arts, and even our
biological bodies evolve. Nothing in the universe is static. As we grow
and change as a species and culture, two other things happen: One, our
capacity to love and know God increases; Two, the contexts in which we
live change. In response to these, God sends new Prophets (or, in Baha'i
terminology, Manifestations) to educate and guide humanity.

Re the former, He educates humanity through an ever-deepening
revelation--with every religion the teachings about God become slightly
more subtle and elevated in keeping with our increased capacity to
understand, and the expectations God has of humanity become greater with
our increased ability to act responsibly and accept greater Divine Laws.
Re the latter, the fact that the world around us is always changing means
that the guidance God must provide and the laws He must reveal are
different. For example, now He teaches us that we must develop a world
peace under some sort of world government, in which a universal language
is taught. There was no need for God to teach that to us a millennium or
two ago, because with the lack of adequate communication and travel
world-embracing concerns did not exist then.

Regarding Shi'ism, there is in a way *nothing* lacking in Shi'ism and
Islam, nor for that matter Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, etc. Islam is
a beautiful religion, from God, with Muhammad as His Prophet. Baha'u'llah
repeatedly told Baha'is that they must respect, love, and learn about
Islam for, as it has been said, "He who rejects one of God's Prophets
rejects them all." It is only in certain aspects of the "outer" teachings
of religion, those which must address contemporary times and
circumstances, that Baha'is believe the Baha'i Faith to have superseded
previous ones. There is no hypocrisy in this, though, for Baha'u'llah
stated in the strongest of terms that the Baha'i Faith itself will oneday
be superseded by the next of God's revelations.

This is a very short answer, and I hope that my brevity did not prove
misleading in any way. Thank you for asking, and I hope that someone else
will provide a more complete answer from their own perspective.

Sincerely, -Jonah

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