kitab Aqdas

All research or scholarship questions
choogue
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kitab Aqdas

Postby choogue » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:56 pm

Quick question....

Is the kitab aqdas classified as the holy book and the writings from shoghi effendi as the interpretations?

Also, was the bab the gate to Imam Mehdi and bahaullah believed to be the Mehdi?

And another thing, was bahaullah and the bab infallible?

If someone could please clarify those points that would be great.

Thanks
Abbas

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Thu Aug 24, 2006 9:53 pm

The Kitab I aqdas is one holy book of many.

The bab was the mehdi.

Yes they were

Pretty basic stuff. a little reseach would have helped.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.
~ Bahá'u'lláh

choogue
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Postby choogue » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:18 pm

i have researched but it doesnt put it as simple as that.

Not until i read three websites did i realise that the bab and bahaullah were two different people.

So before jumping to conclusions, you should ask me whether i have researched. I have asked these questions to a few Bahai's but they dont quite understand it themselves which is why i am using this source

And if you want to assist any further, you can direct me to a site that makes sense and answer this question......If the Bab was the mehdi, then what status did bahaullah have? I was under the impression that Bahaullah was the mehdi.

Also, the kitab i aqdas was one holy book of many as you say, so maybe you can further educate me on the other books that are holy and also define what presents them as holy? Otherwise, just refer me to one of those sites that actually do make sense to assist me.

thanks

choogue
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Postby choogue » Thu Aug 24, 2006 11:15 pm

Thankyou so much for taking the time to assist me Onepence. And yes i am very keen in studying the Bahai Faith.

I was born muslim but my parents believed it was up to me to decide what religion to follow therefore enrolled me into a catholic school where i studied the jewish faith and the christian faith. I also went to a muslim school on Sundays and when i finished school last year, i decided to continue with the study of islam. The reason i chose Islam is because it made sense and i personally couldnt find any contradictions. It was simple since we knew the holy book was the Quran and the prophet is Mohammed. I knew that if i had questions i refer to the holy book.

I hope to gain the same understanding with the Bahai faith, but i cannot commit to anything until i prove to myself that this faith is the right one which is why i am trying to achieve a clear and simple view of it.

Sorry to go on but i just wanted to explain myself before people start thinking that i am against the Bahai faith because of all the questions i am asking, but believe me, its the first step in learning the faith.

Anyway, in regards to the Trial of the Bab, i will have a read of it. One thing i must say though is that the literature i read and believe is only by the infallible. I say this because humans make mistakes and in order to believe and trust literature, i refer only to the prophets/messengers. This is why i wanted clarification on the status of the Bab and Bahaullah and the books they have written.

For example, i am currently being misled when reading Dawnbreakers on page 155, chapter 8 -
"The Báb, as He faced the congregation, declared: “The condemnation of God be upon him who regards me either as a representative of the Imám or the gate thereof. The condemnation of God be also upon whosoever imputes to me the charge of having denied the unity of God, of having repudiated the prophethood of Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, of having rejected the truth of any of the messengers of old, or of having refused to recognise the guardianship of ‘Alí, the Commander of the Faithful, or of any of the imáms who have succeeded him.” He then ascended to the top of the staircase, embraced the Imám-Jum’ih, and, descending to the floor of the Masjid, joined the congregation for the observance of the Friday prayer."

As you can see this led me to believe that the Bab was not the imam mehdi nor a prophet. But see, im not sure if dawnbreakers is part of the holy books which could have been errored when being interpreted.

From my previous studies of religion, i have realised that humans error when interpreting a holy book which is why the prophets words should never change or be amended since they are the only humans that are infallible. They dont make mistakes.

In saying this, if i am to teach someone about Islam, i will provide them the Holy Quran to read, so my question is, Can you please recommend the book to read that is of equal value to the Quran (that is, contains the teachings, the laws, the history, etc)? I would really like to get a clear understanding.

Once again, i really appreciate your efforts and look forward to future correspondence.

Regards
Abbas

choogue
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Postby choogue » Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:40 am

how am i to become enlightened if people fail to assist?

I was under the impression that a forum such as this is to provide answers to those who wish to believe. In order to believe, one must question to therefore achieve answers to rid of all contradictions.

From what you are saying, im assuming you cannot answer my questions (which i hope someone can so i can continue with my studies).

I find it very amusing when someone is trying to seek the truth and then gets rejected.

"furthermore ..... i plan to cease communication with you until you become more enlightened ... more respectful to The Bab to Baha'u'llah and his followers ... must you put God on trial again ? ... must you torment His believers ..."

So from this i understand that if someone wants to question something, they are no allowed to right? Faith in a religion is about unity and greater understanding......your comments have just shown me that in order for me to become Bahai, i must believe without question??? Please tell me this isnt so!

If you want to be more respectful to The Bab to Baha'u'llah and his followers, then doesnt it make more sense to educate the novice??

This is disgraceful behaviour. If asking a question is tormenting believers, then what must one do to believe? If Bahai is a Universal religion, then how can someone block another from understanding?? Disgraceful Onepence.

I guess everyone has a right to an opinion so if you would rather not help a novice believe then thats up to you. i hope someone else that understands this faith and its principles can assist me and understand the reason that i ask questions is for further development.

Im sorry but i cannot become a believer with a narrowmind. I research other religions to seek the truth which cannot be completed with a narrowmind. And now i am researching the Bahai faith. Since a narrowmind is one aspect of your personality then i must admit that i would rather not be educated by such a person anyway. Nevertheless, i appreciate your attempt.

I hope someone who is willing to read questions from a novice can be open to providing assistance and understand the reasons for inquiring. God has created every human with a brain to think for themselves and to gain knowledge. So i hope someone on this forum can provide me with answers.

So, could someone please recommend a piece of writing that i can read which is of equal value as the Quran, Torah, Bible (that is, contains the teachings, the laws, the history, etc) Please direct me to the correct books so i dont read others that contain any sort of contradictions or misinterpretations. I just want to know the truth. Thanks

Regards
Abbas

choogue
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Postby choogue » Fri Aug 25, 2006 3:43 am

ok now that the "debate" is out of the way, could someone please recommend a piece of writing that i can read which is of equal value as the Quran, Torah, Bible (that is, contains the teachings, the laws, the history, etc) Please direct me to the correct books so i dont read others that contain any sort of contradictions or misinterpretations.

I just want a reference to something i can read as a novice who really wants to learn the true faith. What can you recommend i should start off with?

Regards
Abbas

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:49 am

I have been studying the Baha'i faith for 3 months with the intent of finding out if it's right. I suggest wikipedia as a good start. at least that's where I started. It lists all the books in english, but not the 500 or so that aren't translated yet.

Oh yea, The Bab was the medhi and Baha'u'llah was supposed to represent Jesus.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.

~ Bahá'u'lláh

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:46 pm

Dear Abbas,

First of all, my own apologies for your experience here. (I assist Jonah on occasion to moderate, but it is hard to find the time to monitor everything in a timely manner.)

It is superb, I think your questions and manner of seeking the truth, and God willing, we will be able to assist. "Questions" is a name of one of the Bahá'í months, and is a virtue (as is "courtesy"), so hopefully all of our participants will 1) not jump to conclusions and 2) show patience as has been the wont of Bahá'ís, such as those in Iran, even with deliberate hostility and rudeness (as 'Abdu'l-Bahá, our Faith's Perfect Exemplar of the Teachings always showed) let alone evident truth seeking as you are doing. Truly, we are sorry.

Now to your questions,
Is the kitab aqdas classified as the holy book and the writings from shoghi effendi as the interpretations?


Bahá'u'lláh and the Báb are considered both independent Manifestations of God, of equal station to Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad, among other "Rasul".

The Báb's Dispensation was short, so although His laws are no longer in effect (actually many were never put into effect nor were they meant to be), all of His Writings still provide inspiration (as, for example, does and always will, the Qur'án).

All of Bahá'u'lláh's Writings are likewise considered holy (and infallible). Bahá'u'lláh appointed His eldest Son, 'Abdu'l-Bahá to be His infallible Successor, so His Writings also are considered special, though not quite of the same status of that of Bahá'u'lláh's.

Shoghi Effendi, while not being appointed a perfect Exemplar, was in turn appointed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá to succeed Him, and being also conferred infallibility in his writings.

So, if you are reading any of their works (if translations, the authorized translations), and they are authenticated by the Universal House of Justice (the other institution appointed by 'Abdu'l-Bahá in His Will and Testament which is now the Central Authority of the Faith)--we don't accept oral statements (as Haditha)--then, you will be fine. Many of these are contained here at http://bahai-library.com?collection=Scripture though you may also be interested in the official website at http://reference.bahai.org which also has the Writings in their original Persian and Arabic, if you can read either of these languages.

Two books which might be of greatest interest for the beginner are:
1) The Kitáb-i-Íqán (Book of Certitude)--Bahá'u'lláh's greatest doctrinal work in which He establishes the validity of the Báb, and at that time, more indirectly, Himself.
2) Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh - this is a selection of Bahá'u'lláh's Writings on a variety of subjects selected by His great-grandson and, as mentioned, successor of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi.

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas is considered our "Most Holy Book", and contains our laws, but, it may not be the most relevant book right at the start.

Also, was the bab the gate to Imam Mehdi and bahaullah believed to be the Mehdi?


I believe the episode you quoted was resolved either earlier or later in the book. Essentially, if you look at the words carefully, He is not denying that He is the return of the Imám--He is denying that He was (merely) a representative of the Imám (or a (lower-case) "gate" who represented the Imám as did four individuals for the 12th Imám). He is instead both the Return of the Imám and the "Gate" to Bahá'u'lláh. He chose on that occasion to dispel some commotion (perhaps for the sake of His family, as I recall His uncle made this arrangement to meet at the mosque) and did not reveal His full station. But later on, in the presence of the Heir to the Throne, and ecclesiastics, He demonstrated no reluctance to bravely declare His Faith (and was ultimately executed for it).

And another thing, was bahaullah and the bab infallible?


As mentioned above, yes.

best wishes,
Brett

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Fri Aug 25, 2006 12:53 pm

Maybe this may be of interest as well:

Even though the book [Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era] was written by a Christian [Dr. Esslemont] and was meant to be for people of that Faith to read, yet it is a very fine presentation of the teachings as a whole and might prove interesting to other people as well. Shoghi Effendi surely hopes that before long the Cause may produce scholars that would write books which would be far deeper and more universal in scope, but for the present this is the best we possess to give a general idea as to the history and teachings of the Faith to new seekers. After reading this they get the necessary introduction to delve more deeply into the fundamental tenets such as are explained in the Íqán. Shoghi Effendi hopes that these books will greatly stimulate the teaching work in India and become the cause of guidance to many sincere souls.” (Messages of Shoghi Effendi to the Indian Subcontinent, October 19, 1932, p. 88)


Likewise, Shoghi Effendi's writings recommend the Dawn-Breakers (and his own God Passes By), despite that a few factual errors may exist (Nabil and of course Shoghi Effendi were both very meticulous, however)...

best wishes,
Brett

choogue
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Postby choogue » Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:12 pm

Brett,

Thankyou so much for your assistance and understanding.

I am going to take your advice and read the Kitáb-i-Íqán to start off. My current research was restricted to "google search" where i had many conflicting information which, as you can imagine, really confused me.

Again, i really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions and by providing me recommendations.

One other thing, my girlfiends mum (who is Bahai) said that in order to study the Bahai faith, you must read the quran first/study islam. Is this true? Or is it just a personal choice?

I have so many more questions, but i will start reading the kitab-i-iqan for the time being.

Regards
Abbas

Zazaban
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Postby Zazaban » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:34 am

abbas wrote:
One other thing, my girlfiends mum (who is Bahai) said that in order to study the Bahai faith, you must read the quran first/study islam. Is this true? Or is it just a personal choice?

Regards
Abbas


that's a personal choice. really you need to know a basic idea of shia islam and the imam medhi to understand but it's not complex.
Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.

~ Bahá'u'lláh

Dorumerosaer
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Postby Dorumerosaer » Sat Aug 26, 2006 1:31 am

There are many quotations in the Baha'i Writings from the Qur'an; this is particularly true of the Iqan, which was written for the guidance in particular of Shi'ihs, as there are not only quotes from the Qur'an, but also from Shiih Traditions. If you are already familiar with the Qur'an and the Hadith, then the Iqan should not be difficult for you. I was raised a Catholic, and knew nothing of Islam before becoming a Baha'i. It took me a number of readings of the Iqan before I understood the various Islamic references, and its message became clear to me. Now it is my favorite Baha'i book, and it has done the most for me spiritually. However, generally for people new to investigation of the Baha'i Faith, I personally recommend Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah. It contains excerpts from the Iqan, from the Aqdas, from Baha'u'llah's other major works, and from many other interesting Tablets. It gives a broader view of the scope of Baha'u'llah's Revelation, and its various claims and proofs.


Ustad Muhammad-'Ali writes of the interrogations to which they were subjected. Officials wanted to know whether Bahá'u'lláh had claimed to the Mahdi. The Bahá'ís answered in the negative, which was of course true because that claim belonged to the Báb (H.M. Balyuzi, Baha'u'llah - The King of Glory, p. 252)

Shaykh Ahmad's constant theme was the near advent of the Deliverer of the Latter Days, promised to the world of Islam, the Qá'im of the House of Muhammad or the Mihdi (Mahdi). In the course of his last pilgrimage to the holy CitieS of Arabia, he told a merchant from Isfahan who was with him: 'You will attain the presence of the Bab; salute Him on my behalf.' Shaykh Ahmad did not believe in physical resurrection nor in the physical ascent (Mi'raj) of the Prophet Muhammad to heaven on the night that the Angel Gabriel took Him to view the celestial world. Mi'raj was an experience of the spirit, Shaykh Ahmad maintained. Moreover he asserted that the signs and portents of the coming of the Qá'im, given by the Prophet and the Imams, were allegorical.
(H.M. Balyuzi, The Bab - The Herald of the Day of Days, p. 2)

The Bahá'í religion and its precursor, the religion of the Báb,
arose in Iran (Persia as it then was known) in the latter half of
the nineteenth century. Iran adheres to the Shi'ih sect of Islam
and was, therefore, awaiting the advent of a Messianic figure, the
Qá'im (the return of the hidden Imam Mahdi). This Messianic
expectation was particularly strong among the followers of a
movement called the Shaykhis, after their founder Shaykh Ahmad
al-Ahsa'i (1753-1826). Thus it was first to members of this group
that a young man of 25, Siyyid 'Ali-Muhammad-i-Shirazi (1819-50)
by name, put forward in 1844 the claim that he was the Báb (which
means Gate). Initially, many considered that this meant that he was
merely the Gate to the hidden Imam whose advent they were awaiting,
but at a later date it became clear that his claim was to be the
Iman himself, and even that he had inaugurated a new prophetic
Dispensation just as Muhammad and Jesus had done in prior ages. The
Bab, as he is usually called in the West, although he later took
other titles such as Nuqtiy-i-Ula (the Primal Point), sent his
disciples to all parts of Iran and nearby Iraq, and many thousands
of people of all classes, including many of the 'ulama, counted
themselves among his followers. His activities, however, inevitably
aroused the wrath of the majority of the 'ulama, and the Báb spent
much of his short ministry in prison or confined. The main events
of the life of the Báb, as well as the clashes of his followers
with the civil authority, form the chief subject-matter of section
B of this book. (Momen, 1844-1944)

I think the best place to understand the claim of the Bab to be the Mahdi, is Dawn-breakers. Other than that book, I do not know of any verses from the Writings of the Bab Himself, where He refers to Himself as the promised Mahdi. However, He does refer to Himself as the Qa'im:

O PEOPLES of the earth! By the righteousness of God, this Book hath, through the potency of the sovereign Truth, pervaded the earth and the heaven with the mighty Word  60  of God concerning Him Who is the supreme Testimony, the Expected Qá'im, and verily God hath knowledge of all things. (The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 59)

It is clear and evident that the object of all preceding Dispensations hath been to pave the way for the advent of Muhammad, the Apostle of God.   These, including the Muhammadan Dispensation, have had, in their turn, as their objective the Revelation proclaimed by the Qá'im. The purpose underlying this Revelation, as well as those that preceded it, has, in like manner, been to announce the advent of the Faith of Him Whom God will make manifest. And this Faith -- the Faith of Him Whom God will make manifest -- in its turn, together with all the Revelations gone before it, have as their object the Manifestation destined to succeed it. And the latter, no less than all the Revelations preceding it, prepare the way for the Revelation which is yet to follow. The process of the rise and setting of the Sun of Truth will thus indefinitely continue -- a process that hath had no beginning and will have no end.
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 105)

The perfection of the religion of Islam was consummated at the beginning of this Revelation; and from the rise of this Revelation until its setting, the fruits of the Tree of Islam, whatever they are, will become apparent. The Resurrection of the Bayan will occur at the time of the appearance of Him Whom  108  God shall make manifest. For today the Bayan is in the stage of seed; at the beginning of the manifestation of Him Whom God shall make manifest its ultimate perfection will become apparent. He is made manifest in order to gather the fruits of the trees He hath planted; even as the Revelation of the Qá'im [He Who ariseth], a descendant of Muhammad -- may the blessings of God rest upon Him -- is exactly like unto the Revelation of the Apostle of God Himself [Muhammad]. He appeareth not, save for the purpose of gathering the fruits of Islam from the Qur'ánic verses which He [Muhammad] hath sown in the hearts of men. The fruits of Islam cannot be gathered except through allegiance unto Him [the Qá'im] and by believing in Him. At the present time, however, only adverse effects have resulted; for although He hath appeared in the midmost heart of Islam, and all people profess it by reason of their relationship to Him [the Qá'im], yet unjustly have they consigned Him to the Mountain of Maku, and this notwithstanding that in the Qur'án the advent of the Day of Resurrection hath been promised unto all by God. For on that Day all men will be brought before God and will attain His Presence; which meaneth appearance before Him Who is the Tree of divine Reality and attainment unto His presence; inasmuch as it is not possible to appear before the Most Holy Essence of God, nor is it conceivable to seek reunion with Him. That which is feasible in the matter of appearance before Him and of meeting Him is attainment unto the Primal Tree.
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 108)

Ah, I found one reference where the Bab refers to Himself as the Mahdi:

He Who hath revealed the Qur'án unto Muhammad, the Apostle of God, ordaining in the Faith of Islam that which was pleasing unto Him, hath likewise revealed the Bayan, in the manner ye have been promised, unto Him Who is your Qá'im,1 your Guide, your Mihdi, your Lord, Him Whom ye acclaim as the manifestation of God's most excellent titles. Verily the equivalent of that which God revealed unto Muhammad during twenty-three years, hath been revealed unto Me within the space of two days and two nights. However, as ordained by God, no distinction is to be drawn between the two. He, in truth, hath power over all things.
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 139)

I trust this is on the point you are asking about.

Brent

choogue
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Postby choogue » Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:48 am

Zazaban,

Thankyou for clarifying that point for me.

Brent,

Again, i appreciate your assistance and the detailed response you have provided. Im starting to consider reading Gleanings first and then start on the Iqan.

One more question please. This may be a stupid question and i should really do a search myself, but since im here, what is the Bayan? (Forgive my ignorance)

Regards
Abbas

Dorumerosaer
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Postby Dorumerosaer » Sat Aug 26, 2006 12:03 pm

Abbas,

"Bayan" is derived from an Arabic word meaning to become plain, evident, or clear. The word "mubayyin" is derived from the same word, and it means the one who makes clear; it is the original word translated in the Baha'i Writings for "Interpreter of the Word of God."

The Bab revealed two works which He named "Bayan" -- the Arabic Bayan, and the Persian Bayan. The Persian Bayan is the most important of His works, contains most of His laws and references to the Promised One to come after Him. Excerpts from it are found in "Selections from the Writings of the Bab".

In Baha'i literature when you see reference to simply "the Bayan" it means the Persian Bayan.

When I went to my first Baha'i meeting, someone handed me the Hidden Words of Baha'u'llah, and said, "This is the best Baha'i book." I was leafing through it, and someone came up and handed me the Gleanings, and said, "This is the best Baha'i book." I smiled and was sure that if I waited five more minutes I'd get two or three other recommendations. So I just decided to go with my own inner instincts; and they served me well. I suggest you do the same, with the recommendations about the Iqan and the Gleanings.

Brent

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my I try a testimony ?

Postby majnun » Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:03 pm

For instance the word mubayyin, as suggested by Pilgrim-b-rent,
does not exist. In the second paragraph of the valleys, it is the word
em-byn-a, not mu-bayin, and the root is the verb byn (= to see).

Do your search logically, chronologically. The best decisions will come from you, only you.

I did the same thing as many did, researching
and studying for 3 months or more, with the Bab's writings
and other writings, before making such an important
decision.

Many questions and mostly objecions came up to my mind.
Translating the valleys from arabic and persian convinced me
that this procedure (a psychological self exam) was a good thing,
to start with. The remedies (or medicines) hidden in there are
quite powerful to make any human to become what he really is.

Being curious, i still study the parallels that came afterward, like
the Meher Baba incursions, and the teachings of prophet Raël wich
are very close with the valleys, but more deeper.

My guess is that new religions will soon unite to form a new and
greater conscience in this limited human world.

Why did I search so much in this spiritual domain ?
In reality, I was looking for a solution for my own inner
pains. Valley no 2 solved that quickly (well, in about 7 months).
Then I could appreciate much more those seeds Abdul Baha loves
to talk about.

Before planting any spiritual seeds into the soil (earth, dirt, dust) of our minds, Abdul Baha suggest that a spiritual Gardener (Baha'u'llah) helps us
to take out the weeds, and all the bad stuff that have been planted in our minds, by our past education. The Valleys do that cleaning work, and invite us to clean our inner soil from these errounous things, then afterward, to plant good things, in that land, that region, that earth, that part of our mind.

MJ.

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Postby brettz9 » Sat Aug 26, 2006 4:14 pm

Abbas wrote:One other thing, my girlfiends mum (who is Bahai) said that in order to study the Bahai faith, you must read the quran first/study islam. Is this true? Or is it just a personal choice?


“Shoghi Effendi wishes me also to express his deepfelt appreciation of your intention to study the Qur’án. The knowledge of this revealed holy Book is, indeed, indispensable to every Bahá’í who wishes to adequately understand the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. And in view of that the Guardian has been invariably encouraging the friends to make as thorough a study of this Book as possible, particularly in their summer schools.” (On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Pearls of Wisdom, 88-89)


"The Qur'án should be to some extent studied by the Bahá'ís but they certainly need not seek to acquire a mastery over it, which would take years, unless they really want to." (Shoghi Effendi, Unfolding Destiny, pp. 453-454)


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