Posted by Goli Collestan Young on February 25, 1998 at 10:08:44:
In Reply to: Why did you choose Bahaism over Islam? posted by Reezwan Jaffer on February 24, 1998 at 17:22:40:
: What does Bahaism have to offer that is not already present
: in 12er shi'ism?
: just curious;
: no offense intended
How wonderful that you have asked a question! Aren't we promised: "Ask and it shall be answered!"
In the Kitab-i-Iqan (the Book of Certitude), revealed by the Pen of Baha'u'llah, the Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith, it is written:
"Have they not heard the melody of the bird of Heaven (Imam 'Ali), uttering this mystery: "A thousand Fatimihs I have espoused, all of whom were the daughters of Muhammad, Son of 'Abdu'llah, the 'Seal of the Prophets?'" Behold, how many are the mysteries that lie as yet unravelled within the tabernacle of the knowledge of God, and how numerous the gems of His wisdom that are still concealed in His inviolable treasuries! Shouldest thou ponder this in thine heart, thou wouldst realize that His handiwork knoweth neither beginning nor end. The domain of His decree is too vast for the tongue of mortals to describe, or for the bird of the human mind to traverse; and the dispensations of His providence are too mysterious for the mind of man to comprehend. His creation no end hath overtaken, and it hath ever existed from the "Beginning that hath no beginning"; and the Manifestations of His Beauty no beginning hath beheld, and they will continue to the "End that knoweth no end." Ponder this utterance in thine heart, and reflect..." (pp 166,167)
Baha'u'llah (the Glory of God) is the title conferred upon Mirza Husayn-Ali, one of the earliest Babi leaders, by the blessed Bab ('The Gate," the Prophet-Founder of the Babi Faith in 1844) Himself. The Book, Kitab-i-Iqan, was "revealed within the space of two days and two nights" by Baha'u'llah in answer to the questions of the maternal uncle of the Bab who was then a devout Shiite. "It proclaims unequivocally the existence and oneness of a personal God, unknowable, inaccessible, the source of all Revelation, eternal, omniscient, omnipresent and almighty; asserts the relativity of religious truth and the continuity of Divine Revelation; affirms the unity of the Prophets, the universality of their Message, the identity of their fundamental teachings, the sanctity of their scriptures, and the twofold character of their stations...cites and elucidates the allegorical passages of the New Testament, the abstruse verses of the Qur'an, and the cryptic Muhammadan traditions which have bred those age-long misunderstandings, doubts and animosities that have sundered and kept apart the followers of the world's leading religious systems...Well may it be claimed that of all the books revealed by the Author of the Baha'i Revelation, this Book alone, by sweeping away the age-long barriers that have so insurmountably separated the great religions fo the world, has laid down a broad and unassailable foundation for the complete and permanent reconciliation of their followers." (quote taken from the book, God Passes By, by Shoghi Effendi, 1944, p.139)
Because of His acceptance of the Message of the Bab, Baha'u'llah suffered imprisonment and exile. Had He not been of noble birth He may have suffered the fate of the other leaders of the Babi Faith, who were one by one sought out and killed. Of those who accepted the Message of the Bab and aligned themselves with His Cause, there were no less than 400 Moslem divines and men of learning. It was during Baha'u'llah's four months imprisonment in the dungeon of Siyyah Chal (late in 1852) that He "received the first intimation of His sublime mission" (God Passes By, p.93)
But, dear Reezwan, it was not until 1863, in a place subsequently named the Garden of Ridvan (as you are), that Baha'u'llah declared His Mission to His companions. Fulfilling the prophecies of the Bab as well as of all the Messengers of the past. He said: "The Divine Springtime is come, O Most Exalted Pen, for the Festival of the All-Merciful is fast approaching...The Day-Star of Blissfulness shineth above the horizon of Our Name, the Blissful, inasmuch as the Kingdom of the Name of God hath been adorned with the ornament of the Name of Thy Lord, the Creator of the heavens...He it is Who hath laid bare before you the hidden and treasured Gem, were ye to seek it, He it is who is the One Beloved of all things, whether of the past or of the future." (God Passes By, p.154)
So, what the Baha'i Faith has to offer is the continued connection with God which is renewed in each age by His Messengers and which has been now renewed in the Person of Baha'u'llah. The Imams' teachings, prophecies and criptic allusions have been fulfilled and explained by this Faith.
Thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail. I pray that it will be of benefit to you.
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