my confusion

All research or scholarship questions
Noisiodimelem
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Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 12:25 pm

my confusion

Postby Noisiodimelem » Tue Oct 10, 2006 2:41 am

i hv been reading a book which tells us bout the life of prophet muhammed. so many wonderful things happened during tht time.. it was easier for people to accept the truth coz Allah would Himself show them the truth thru the prophet. some of the kings like the king of Abyssinia n few others had known of the coming of the prophet thru their holy books n many ordinary people had dreams of the coming of the prophet.. more over many miracles like the shining star n many many indications wer shown for people to accept tht muhammed was indeed a prophet.. during his lifetime. the prophet had sent many of his companions to other nations to spread islam. . with every messenger coming, there used to be some signs, when jesus was born , ppl accepted him coz he was born of a virgin n it does not happen if it wasnt the doing of god.he began preaching even wen he was a child.. moses could do magic.. every messenger was extra ordinary n so people could easily distinguish him from the ordianry. same was with muhammed.. he said things, beautiful words which no man had heard before.. the battles which they fought n how they had victory over their huge enemies. how other kings n nobles awaited for the coming of the prophet.. so almost every holy book spoke of the coming of the prophet. wat i want to ask is, when bahaullah was born or during his lifetime was there any extra ordianry incidents tht happened..? he was captured n was imprisoned right.. n it was from the prison he used to get his revelations n he used to write them down.. what he wrote was beautiful words.. he could have never written them with his knowledge.. it was gods words tht he wrote down.. he died in the prison but then after his death who took the responsibilty of spreading the message? did they sent the message to other nations like wat muhammed had done? or did it just remain within his people.. maybe that is the reason why so many of us are ignorant of Bahaullah's teachings.. even the arabs are not aware, atleast a majority of them do not know.. those who wer fortunate have converted ..but the less fortunate are still ignorant.. i have heard of bahais from you but who will let the others know? isnt there anybody who is responsibe..? it is indeed our duty to search for the truth but in the past efforts wer being made to bring people into islam even wen the other tribes killed so many muslims.. they didn back off.. they continued to fight.. allah protected them n rewarded them heaven.. those who died martyrs are living in heaven n even for a single hour they do not wish to return to earth.. bahais, so many of them wer killed wen they took the message outside.. but why did they stop? didnt they know tht allah would help them ? its been so many years now tht bahai has been established as an independant religion.. still the convertees are lesser compared to those who had converted into muslims during this period.. ok so its only thru our research n based on our learning tht we can know of this right?? but why allah suppressed the spreading amazes me..

Baha'i Warrior
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Re: my confusion

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:13 am

nilofer wrote:i hv been reading a book which tells us bout the life of prophet muhammed. so many wonderful things happened during tht time.. it was easier for people to accept the truth coz Allah would Himself show them the truth thru the prophet. some of the kings like the king of Abyssinia n few others had known of the coming of the prophet thru their holy books n many ordinary people had dreams of the coming of the prophet.. more over many miracles like the shining star n many many indications wer shown for people to accept tht muhammed was indeed a prophet.. during his lifetime.


If you read the Dawn Breakers, which documents the events that took place at the inception of the the Babi Faith, you will see there were many indications that the Bab was the one that the Muslims were awaiting for. And again, in the Dawn Breakers you will read that there were disciples of the Bab who in their sleep saw that He had come, and set out of their homes in search of Him, just as the laymen you refer to at the time of Muhammad having the same vision.

nilofer wrote:the prophet had sent many of his companions to other nations to spread islam. . with every messenger coming, there used to be some signs, when jesus was born , ppl accepted him coz he was born of a virgin n it does not happen if it wasnt the doing of god.he began preaching even wen he was a child.. moses could do magic.. every messenger was extra ordinary n so people could easily distinguish him from the ordianry. same was with muhammed.. he said things, beautiful words which no man had heard before.. the battles which they fought n how they had victory over their huge enemies. how other kings n nobles awaited for the coming of the prophet.. so almost every holy book spoke of the coming of the prophet.


It is true that some previous religions spread faster than the Baha'i Faith is now. But you have to consider that a thousand (or thousands) of years ago the world was a different place. When Muhammad appeared, the people, for example the Meccans, were rather backward as basically the only occupation of the Arabs there at the time was to raid caravans, plunder and kill the men and take the women. They also as you know engaged in primitive practices such as burying alive newborn girls, a practice Muhammad outlaws in the Qur'an. And so this sharply contrasts with how much more noble people become through Islam, how they advanced philosophy, mathematics and science.

Islam was spread in part through the use of the sword, a practice Baha'u'llah forbids. The most immediate way to spread a Faith is (or was) through violence. However, in this day and age that wouldn't even work, as seen in the Middle East. Again, those were different times, there weren't really any prisons to speak of, so what else can you do with wild men?

So there are many reasons that can account for the length of time it takes for a religion to spread. Concerning your statement:

"with every messenger coming, there used to be some signs, when jesus was born , ppl accepted him coz he was born of a virgin n it does not happen if it wasnt the doing of god."


And again, as I will demonstrate there are such countless signs that can be found in the historic accounts of the Baha'i Faith. But recall that Jesus' "signs" were really not that evident to all, as the majority of the Jews at His time rejected Him. They main "sign" that they were looking for was a kingly figure, seated upon the throne of David, with a mighty sword. The literal interpretations caused many of the Jews indeed not to recognize Jesus! But what did God give them? A poor carpenter! For example, 'Abdu'l-Baha, concerning this topic, elucidates:

    "The Jews still await the coming of the Messiah, and pray to God day and night to hasten His advent. When Jesus came they denounced and slew Him, saying: "This is not the One for Whom we wait. Behold, when the Messiah shall come, signs and wonders shall testify that He is in truth the Christ. The Messiah will arise out of an unknown city. He shall sit upon the throne of David, and behold, He shall come with a sword of steel, and with a scepter of iron shall He rule. He shall fulfill the Law of the Prophets. He shall conquer the East and the West, and shall glorify His chosen people the Jews. He shall bring with Him a reign of Peace during which even the animals shall cease to be at enmity with man. For behold, the wolf and the lamb shall drink from the same spring ... and all God's creatures shall be at rest. ..."

    "Thus the Jews thought and spoke, for they did not understand the Scriptures nor the glorious truths that were contained in them. The letter they knew by heart, but of the life-giving Spirit they understood not a word.

    "Hearken, and I will show you the meaning thereof: Although Christ came from Nazareth, which was a known place, He came also from heaven. His body was born of Mary, but His Spirit came from heaven. The sword He carried was the sword of His tongue, with which He divided the good from the evil, the true from the false, the faithful from the unfaithful, and the light from the darkness. His Word was indeed a sharp sword! The throne upon which He sat is the Eternal Throne from which Christ reigns forever, a heavenly throne, not an earthly one, for the things of earth pass away but heavenly things pass not away. He reinterpreted and completed the Laws of Moses and fulfilled the Law of the Prophets. His Word conquered the East and the West. His kingdom is everlasting. He exalted those Jews who recognized Him. They were men and women of humble birth, but contact with Him made them great and gave them everlasting dignity. The animals who were to live with one another signified the different sects and races, who, once having been at war, were now to dwell in love and charity, drinking together the Water of Life from Christ the Eternal Spring."


    Source: http://bahai-library.com/books/new.era/13.html

nilofer wrote:wat i want to ask is, when bahaullah was born or during his lifetime was there any extra ordianry incidents tht happened..? he was captured n was imprisoned right.. n it was from the prison he used to get his revelations n he used to write them down.. what he wrote was beautiful words.. he could have never written them with his knowledge.. it was gods words tht he wrote down.. he died in the prison but then after his death who took the responsibilty of spreading the message? did they sent the message to other nations like wat muhammed had done? or did it just remain within his people..


Again, if you have the time I encourage you to read the Dawn Breakers as I think it will answer many of your questions. About the messages: the Bab sent many of His disciples to spread his messages to various rules or noblemen, some messages being smuggled out of prision. Baha'u'llah did the same. He wrote to the kings and rulers, as Muhammad Himself did, and He had his followers pioneer to different countries to spread the message of the Faith.

You say:

it was gods words tht he wrote down.. he died in the prison but then after his death who took the responsibilty of spreading the message?


After Baha'u'llah, 'Abdu'l-Baha carried on His Father's mission of spreading the message of the Faith. After being released from prison 'Abdu'l-Baha visted many countries in this effort. After He died, he passed on responsibilities to Shoghi Effendi, who lead the Baha'i world until his death. And currently our divinely appointed governing body is the Universal House of Justice situated in Haifa.

nilofer wrote:maybe that is the reason why so many of us are ignorant of Bahaullah's teachings.. even the arabs are not aware, atleast a majority of them do not know.. those who wer fortunate have converted ..but the less fortunate are still ignorant.. i have heard of bahais from you but who will let the others know? isnt there anybody who is responsibe..? it is indeed our duty to search for the truth but in the past efforts wer being made to bring people into islam even wen the other tribes killed so many muslims.. they didn back off.. they continued to fight.. allah protected them n rewarded them heaven.. those who died martyrs are living in heaven n even for a single hour they do not wish to return to earth..


Every single Baha'i is charged with the duty of teaching others of the Baha'i Faith. How fast the Baha'i Faith spreads is based on the collective initiative of the Baha'is in carrying out their duties. In some Muslim contries, though, Baha'is are pursecuted by the Muslim governments so they cannot as easily and openly teach the Baha'i Faith to others. In Iran there are a large number of Baha'is, and as you probably know they are still persecuted, denied access to higher education, and the like, their government is actively engaged in trying to stifle the Baha'i community. However, even there many of the individual Muslims can find out about the Baha'i Faith through other mediums such as the internet. Also many of them (less in the rural areas, more in urban ones) have at least heard of the Baha'i Faith, but of course what they have heard is likely to be negative or a distortion of the Baha'i Faith.

nilofer wrote:bahais, so many of them wer killed wen they took the message outside.. but why did they stop? didnt they know tht allah would help them ? its been so many years now tht bahai has been established as an independant religion.. still the convertees are lesser compared to those who had converted into muslims during this period.. ok so its only thru our research n based on our learning tht we can know of this right?? but why allah suppressed the spreading amazes me..


If we stopped spreading "the message outside," then how is it that the Baha'i Faith is still growing in numbers? Perhaps it is not growing as fast as we'd like it to, but it is nevertheless growing and its presence is being made known.

God has not suppresed the Baha'i Faith. Would He suppress His religion for this day and age? Has He ever? Surely God never makes mistakes. He won't, for example, send a Prophet and a few hundred years later say, I made a mistake, I might try it again later. No! God is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise, and He doesn't—indeed by definition is not able to—make a mistake. The spiritual world is marked by perfection, this earthly, physical realm by imperfection.

Now the Baha'i Faith, the Baha'i writings explain, is a very great religion, for Baha'u'llah is the promised one of all the previous world religions! Never in history has there been such a Dispensation. The Baha'i Faith will finally cause the whole world to be united in one Faith. But, especially in the Western countries, we live in a very materialistic world, and this is a barrier. To illustrate how material wealth and power can be a barrier between men and their Creator: of the world religions, there are many religious leaders that would lose power, prestige, and money if they gave up their high positions to become members of the Baha'i Faith. Also, just as the example given of the Jews at the time of Jesus, they are awaiting for their prophesies to be materially or literally fulfilled! Many of the Christians are still awaiting Jesus' return, where he will be standing upon the clouds, and he will have a great battle with Satan. Sounds exciting, but if you consider (as 'Abdu'l-Baha explains) that firstly, clouds are vapor, and secondly, that vapor rises, not vice versa, and that Satan is just a symbolic representation of men's evil ways, then it seems highly unlikely that such events would occur. Few Christians have been able to see the spiritual significance of such prophesies.

If there are any of your questions that I might have not answered, please let me know and I'd also be happy to try, with the best of my ability, to answer any more of your questions. :)

Noisiodimelem
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Postby Noisiodimelem » Wed Oct 11, 2006 1:21 am

thank you for the prompt replies.. n clearing my doubts.. i also wld like to ask. when quran is sent to mankind. it covers everythin frm birth to death n ever bout after life. there are so many things in quran which are yet to be researched . when so, why do god has to sent another book? it covers all details.. why did he sent a book thru bahaullah? secondly, muslims bilieve tht wen we die, we r buried, our body gets decomposed.. but on the final day of judgement god makes him alive again n he is judged.. so till tht day they r at a state of sleep.. does bahai bilieve in the same way? or is it difft?
thirdly. they say tht before the day of judgement , the christ will come..tht would indicate the nearing of the resurrection day.. so after prophet muahmmed, god will sent jesus christ only.. how will you contradict this statement?

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:05 pm

nilofer wrote:thank you for the prompt replies.. n clearing my doubts..


I am glad to help you out with any questions you might have concerning the Baha'i Faith :). By the way, questions are so important to Baha'is that on the Baha'i calendar (called the "Badi Calendar"), one of the months is called Masá'íl, or "Questions."

nilofer wrote:i also wld like to ask. when quran is sent to mankind. it covers everythin frm birth to death n ever bout after life. there are so many things in quran which are yet to be researched . when so, why do god has to sent another book? it covers all details.. why did he sent a book thru bahaullah?


To answer your first question, I'd like to, in the same style as my previous response, point you to past Dispensations (religions of the past). First of all, obviously Muslims believe not only in Christ but also in other Abrahamic Prophets, as well as some Arab Prophets that Muhammad makes mention of in the Qur'an. That is, they believe that these Prophets were sent from God, and brought to mankind teachings and Holy Books that were appropriate to the times of the respective Dispensations. But, for example, while Muslims believe Christ was a Prophet, what Holy Book do they regard as the most recent one that God has sent to man? The Qur'an, of course. Do they look to the Bible and follow its laws, teachings and ordinances? Or do they do so with the Qur'an?

Then it becomes readily apparent that God never once, in mankind's history, sent a Holy Book that was intended to be the Holy Book that would forever remain the Book that people must turn to; that is, we can easily see that God continually sends to man new Holy Books because as society changes, new teachings are needed. For example, should you place a toddler in preschool, or should you enroll him in a college? This toddler would be quite lost if the latter were to happen, because he doesn't have the scholastic knowledge that is mandatory if he is to advance academically. In the same way, God can't give humanity all the Teachings and Wisdom at one time, because it would be wasted on them—not to mention cause confusion. Man wouldn't understand it. God, being the All-Wise, knows how much we can handle, and prescribes His teachings accordingly (according to man's capacity, which grows as civilization grows).

New teachings are not only needed for us as individuals to advance spiritually, but also for society to advance. Recall how great the Arabs became after they were given the Qur'an. They were transformed from the lowest to the highest people of the world in terms of philosophy, science and mathematics. Each time a new religion of God is brought to man, this inspiration causes great, immeasurable advances in society. Whether known or not, discoveries leading to advances are brought on through the inspiration that God has endowed the new age with. 'Abdu'l-Baha, on this topic, explains:

    "Religion is the light of the world, and the progress, achievement, and happiness of man result from obedience to the laws set down in the holy Books. Briefly, it is demonstrable that in this life, both outwardly and inwardly the mightiest of structures, the most solidly established, the most enduring, standing guard over the world, assuring both the spiritual and the material perfections of mankind, and protecting the happiness and the civilization of society—is religion...

    "By the Lord God, and there is no God but He, even the minutest details of civilized life derive from the grace of the Prophets of God. What thing of value to mankind has ever come into being which was not first set forth either directly or by implication in the Holy Scriptures? ...

    "... the Divine religions enjoin upon and encourage all the faithful to adopt such principles as will conduce to continuous improvements, and to acquire from other peoples sciences and arts."


    Source: 'Abdu'l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilisation, p. 71; p. 96; and p. 99.


'Abdu'l-Baha states that Baha'u'llah has appeared to mankind because true religion has died and a rebirth is needed. The Teachings of old can not, according to the Baha'i writings, solve the problems of the world of Today. Thus, as has happened in the past, God has blessed us with a new Prophet (Baha'u'llah) and His teachings, which will inevitably bring man out of this darkness (irreligion) to light (world unity). 'Abdu'l-Baha, on this topic, states:

    "0 ye respected souls! From the continual imitation of ancient and worn-out ways, the world had grown dark as darksome night. The fundamentals of the divine Teachings had passed from memory; their pith and heart had been totally forgotten, and the people were holding on to husks. The nations had, like tattered garments long outworn, fallen into a pitiful condition.

    Out of this pitch blackness there dawned the morning splendour of the Teachings of Bahá'u'lláh. He hath dressed the world with a garment new and fair, and that new garment is the principles which have come down from God.

    Now the new age is here and creation is reborn. Humanity hath taken on new life. The autumn hath gone by, and the reviving spring is here. All things are now made new. Arts and industries have been reborn, there are new discoveries In science, and there are new inventions; even the details of human affairs, such as dress and personal effects–even weapons–all these have likewise been renewed. The laws and procedures of every government have be revised. Renewal is the order of the day.

    And all this newness hath its source in the fresh outpourings of wondrous grace and favor from the Lord of the Kingdom, which have renewed the world. The people, therefore, must be set completely free from their old patterns of thought, that all their attention may be focused upon these new principles, for these are the light of this time and the very spirit of this age.

    Unless these Teachings are effectively spread among the people, until the old ways, the old concepts, are gone and forgotten, this world of being will find no peace, nor will it reflect the perfections of the Heavenly Kingdom. Strive ye with all your hearts to make the heedless conscious, to waken those who sleep, to bring knowledge to the ignorant, to make the blind to see, the deaf to hear, and restore the dead to life."


    Source: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, section 205, pp. 264-65.


You say:

there are so many things in quran which are yet to be researched.


Surely the word of God, no matter in what Holy Book, is endowed with many great truths, and man can never, and will never, fully comprehend the meaning of every last Verse.

As I have stated before, the truth of the Word is made manifest through the transformitive effect that it (the Word) has on its believers. The truth of the Qur'an was clearly demonstrated in its ability to bring a whole race of men from a very low station to the most high one on this planet. Indeed, what other man, other that Muhammad Himself, could have carried out successfully such a measure? This is indeed the true miracle, and the only one that matters. This truly is only a power that can be given by God; that is, whole societies (for the better) may be transformed through the grace of God, which is His Word. Baha'u'llah states that "every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God is endowed with such potency as can instill new life into every human frame, if ye be of them that comprehend this truth" (Source: Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh p. 141).


nilofer wrote:secondly, muslims bilieve tht wen we die, we r buried, our body gets decomposed.. but on the final day of judgement god makes him alive again n he is judged.. so till tht day they r at a state of sleep.. does bahai bilieve in the same way? or is it difft?


All religions (more accurately, the adherents of the religions), at least toward the end of their cycles, hold the belief that something great—extraordinary—such as a miracle, upon the expected return of a Prophet, will be made evident to all (at least to all the believers).

The belief that you refer to holds that after we die, we are all in a state of libo, basically, until this Day of Judgement occurs, where our decomposed corpses will be reanimated and we will be judged by the Supreme Judge. However, some problems immediately come to mind with such a literal interpretation of the Qur'an (or the chapter of Revelations in the case of Christians).

First of all, is God a spiritual being? Or is He a material person, a man? If He were only a man, material, then He would indeed be flawed. However, this not being the case, the fact that He—being a Spiritual Essence beyond human comprehension—necessitates that He dwells in the spiritual realm. Now, who are we? Are we defined by our material, imperfect, human limitations? Or are our true selves spiritual? Muslims, as Christians and Baha'is, of course, believe that humans have souls. The Qur'an itself tells us how much better the next life is compared to this one, countless times. Why then cling to this material, comparatively inferior existence? If the next life—which is a spiritual life—is so much better than this, material existence, then why on earth (pun intended) would our destiny be to come back from that high place, back to this relatively inferior material world, where we are greatly limitied?

Now, on the Day of Judgement, who will we see? God? Yes, according to popular Islamic interpretation; No, according to what the Holy Qur'an itself states. I will show you. Baha'u'llah points out this problem in His Kitab-i-Iqan. The popular verse in Sura XXXIII states:

"Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Apostle of God, and the seal of the prophets: and God knoweth all things."


But, Baha'u'llah points out in the Iqan, if the Muslims look just 3 verses down, they will read:

"Their greeting on the day when they shall meet Him shall be "Peace!" And He hath got ready for them a noble recompense."


"The Day" obviously refers to the Day of Judgement. So, who is "Him" that is being referred to in this verse? God? No, that is impossible! Does not the Qur'an itself of God say,

"No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision: and He is the Subtile, the All-informed" (6:103).


Then, because it is, according to the Qur'an, wholly impossible to see God, then this verse can only refer to the coming Prophet of God, His Manifesation. If the "Him" in the Verse "Their greeting on the day when they shall meet Him shall be "Peace!" refers to God, that would be a direct contradiction, since Muhammad, in the infallibility God bestowed upon Him, states that it is not possible to see God.

Baha'u'llah, on this topic, states:

    "Even as the Lord of being hath in His unerring Book, after speaking of the "Seal" in His exalted utterance: "Muhammad is the Apostle of God and the Seal of the Prophets," [Qur'án 33:401] hath revealed unto all people the promise of "attainment unto the divine Presence." [Qur'án 33:44] To this attainment to the presence of the immortal King testify the verses of the Book, some of which We have already mentioned. The one true God is My witness! Nothing more exalted or more explicit than "attainment unto the divine Presence" hath been revealed in the Qur'án ...

    "It hath been demonstrated and definitely established, through clear evidences, that by 'Resurrection' is meant the rise of the Manifestation of God to proclaim His Cause, and by 'attainment unto the divine Presence' is meant attainment unto the presence of His Beauty in the person of His Manifestation. For verily, 'No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision.'[Qur'án 6:103]"


    Source: http://www.bahai-library.com/books/symbol.secret/2.html.

This is one example of why the Baha'i Faith does not have any clergy. It is not proper for a fellow, fallible human being (in this day) to tell you what God means by His Verses. I pray that you, with an open mind, forget for a moment all popular interpretations, which, as I have demonstrated before, can only be blinding—a barrier—between the the seeker and the truth of the Texts, between man and God. We can only rationally assume based on religious history that God will continue to work in the same ways He has before. There is no indication for us to believe otherwise. Muhammad Himself in the Qur'an, especially in the early Meccan Suras, reminds the Meccans that they should not fool themselves into believing that they are better able to see the Truth than their forefathers. In Sura LIV, Muhammad states: "Are your infidels, O Meccans, better men than these? Is there an exemption for you in the sacred Books?" And how did the majority of the people turn out? Just like their forefathers! 8 verses below (same Sura) states: "Of old, too, have we destroyed the like of you—yet is any one warned?"

nilofer wrote:thirdly. they say tht before the day of judgement , the christ will come..tht would indicate the nearing of the resurrection day.. so after prophet muahmmed, god will sent jesus christ only.. how will you contradict this statement?


Again, as I explained before, this Day of Resurrection is to be interpreted spiritually, not materially. And again, such a strict adherence to literal interpretations has caused people in the past to miss their Promised One! He was so close to them, and yet they did not recognize Him; they were far from Him, spiritually. They did not listen to His words; they looked at His person and said: "Our Prophesies have not come to pass. This man is an imposture!" Yet did not the same happen to Jesus during His time? and now look: Christianity is the biggest world religion in terms of numbers! It took time—not everyone or even the majority readily recognized that He was the promised Messiah—but eventually they did. Eventually the people had to, as their old religions held them back from advancing in the world, while the Chrisitians far surpassed them in this respect.

But to answer your question more directly: My answer would be that Baha'u'llah, as stated previously, returns in the spiritual fulfillment of both the prophesies of Christ and Muhammad. Indeed what makes these Prophets distinct from other human beings is not their physical attributes—it is the spirit of God that guides them, which distinguishes them from the rest—ordinary people. Christians await Jesus' return despite the fact that Revelations Chapters 2 and 3 state that He will return with a new name.

The world is so interdependent now. In the past we did not have the communiction we do now. In fact, we didn't even know certain races existed as we were isolated from others. This partly explains why Prophets revealed themselves to different people, at different times, and why the religion was mostly concentrated in one particular region or a few particular regions. Therefore, what is needed today is a much more global religion, one that appeals to all. This is the function Baha'u'llah's Faith serves. If the religion is true, it will appeal or be relevant to anyone—despite culture. That is, if something is Truth, it should appeal to people all around the world, not mostly to people in a few regions. It should cause the believers to be unified. Despite the fact that the Baha'i Faith is the newest world religion and the smallest in numbers, it is officially, according to Britannica, the world's second most widespread world religion—surpassing that of Islam.

I hope I answered your questions satisfactorily Nilofer, and please let me know if I didn't or if you have any other follow up questions. I pray that God continue to guide you on your spiritual quest 8).

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Postby Noisiodimelem » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:16 am

i have to admit that you are really helping me a lot in my research.. i have heard of bahai faith very recently.. m a muslim. but i have a desire to know the truth n thus set out in this journey.. as any other muslim or rather any human being, m very scared that i might be misguided coz we see so many fake sites n information.. iam trying very hard to keep an open mind to this ..my parents are muslims n very conservative. they have narrowed down their mind n are not giving a scope to learn bout bahai faith n do not like me doing this research. but iam very keen on this. m so glad tht u r helping me by answering my queries with so much of preciseness. may god bless you..

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Postby Noisiodimelem » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:24 am

i understand from ur reply that for every age there is a set of laws which god sents to us thru messengers. i still got this tiny bit of doubt in me that.. when a holy book is sent it would have to be understood wholly what message it is trying to give to the mankind. when so much of scientific info are given in the quran which scientist are still researching .dont you think that god would want us to know every bit of it wat quran says rather than say that ok 1000 years are up.. i have to sent the new book.. whether man has explored the whole truth or no.. so many things in the quran r still undiscovered or is it tht they repeated again in kitab-i-qdas..(i hope i got it right).. a scholar told me tht in the quran it is mentioned that the sun does move.. but scientist says tht it doesn .. one day they will discover this truth too.. so if qurans validity is over ..how will they be able to? or is it like ..u can still learn the quran but its outdated.. how should i think??

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Postby Noisiodimelem » Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:35 am

when i spoke to a learned man.. he said tht ther is no need for another messenger to be sent after prophet muhammed because ..he has brought with him a unique book.. it tells you everything unlike the prev holy books.. this book tells you bout life n after life.. no other book has ever given such details.. why is muhammed the seal of the prophets? because it is the end of messages god has to sent to man. everything has been said in the quran. . wat more info needs to be given? why would a messenger be sent again?
now wat do i answer him?
my parents r also held with this belief.. how do i make a change?

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Postby Zazaban » Thu Oct 12, 2006 6:36 pm

The Qur'an is sort of like the Baha'i old testament. It's laws are outdated but it's spiritual content is still very valid.
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

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:22 pm

nilofer wrote:i have to admit that you are really helping me a lot in my research.. i have heard of bahai faith very recently.. m a muslim. but i have a desire to know the truth n thus set out in this journey.. as any other muslim or rather any human being, m very scared that i might be misguided coz we see so many fake sites n information..


Then you, Nilofer, you prove yourself to be a true Muslim, because when someone claims that He is the promised Manifestation, even if He is wrong, the true Muslim (or true Christian, true Buddhist, etc.) will explore this claim. It may be false, but it could also be true; and because of this the claim should be inquired into. If the heart and mind are open and if the seeker prays to God that He guide him on the right Path, then the truth will undoubtedly be found.

nilofer wrote:iam trying very hard to keep an open mind to this ..my parents are muslims n very conservative. they have narrowed down their mind n are not giving a scope to learn bout bahai faith n do not like me doing this research. but iam very keen on this. m so glad tht u r helping me by answering my queries with so much of preciseness. may god bless you..


Truly, people as religiously open-minded as you are rare. Many people will go with their parents' religion (usually the mother's if the father is of a different faith), and are not willing to give other Faiths any consideration, except to vehemently demonstrate their errors and point their falsity.

The Baha'is as you know actively try to befriend people of different Faiths, not necessarily to convert them (though if they see the truth in the Baha'i claim they are most welcome to become Baha'is), but to form genuine friendships. Baha'is believe all previous religions are of God, and because of this connection we can form a meaningful bond with the adherents of different faiths. As Baha'u'llah instructs, "Consort with all men, O people of Bahá, in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship" (Gleanings CXXXII).

nilofer wrote:i understand from ur reply that for every age there is a set of laws which god sents to us thru messengers. i still got this tiny bit of doubt in me that.. when a holy book is sent it would have to be understood wholly what message it is trying to give to the mankind. when so much of scientific info are given in the quran which scientist are still researching .dont you think that god would want us to know every bit of it wat quran says rather than say that ok 1000 years are up.. i have to sent the new book.. whether man has explored the whole truth or no.. so many things in the quran r still undiscovered or is it tht they repeated again in kitab-i-qdas..(i hope i got it right).. a scholar told me tht in the quran it is mentioned that the sun does move.. but scientist says tht it doesn .. one day they will discover this truth too.. so if qurans validity is over ..how will they be able to? or is it like ..u can still learn the quran but its outdated.. how should i think??


Nilofer, I don't want to tell you how you should think, but I can point you to some information and based on that you can come to your own conclusion :).

You say:

dont you think that god would want us to know every bit of it wat quran says rather than say that ok 1000 years are up.


Now isn't God possibly doing just that (letting us know more about the Qur'an) through the agency of Bahah'u'llah? Note the second most important book Baha'u'llah wrote, the Kitab-i-Iqan, provides a lengthy commentary on the Qur'an. Baha'u'llah as part of His ministry gave a high priority to explaining what certain verses in the Qur'an meant. Imagine how much confusion the misinterpretation (at least according to Baha'u'llah) of the "seal of the prophets" verse gave to Muslims. Or, differently (for the sake of argument), if the verse were indeed misinterpreted, it would undeniably entail grave consequences—which are obvious.

So whatever was left to discover from the Qur'an, be it scientific or spiritual, has already been made manifest (or at least to the prescribed degree that God intended). Even more insight into the words of the Qur'an may be gleaned from the Baha'i writings, especially Baha'u'llah's writings.

But the important question is not whether or not a new book is needed, it is: is Baha'u'llah the Manifestation of God for this day and age? If you believe, everything follows from that: If He indeed is (the foretold Manifesation), then is it not true that whatever He decides to reveal—be it a new Holy Book or new laws—in done with absolute infallibility and thus by God's decree? Possibly, if there was anything important that was missed in the Qur'an, and if God wanted us to know about it, that truth would be found in the Baha'i writings.

nilofer wrote:when i spoke to a learned man.. he said tht ther is no need for another messenger to be sent after prophet muhammed because ..he has brought with him a unique book.. it tells you everything unlike the prev holy books.. this book tells you bout life n after life.. no other book has ever given such details.. why is muhammed the seal of the prophets? because it is the end of messages god has to sent to man. everything has been said in the quran. . wat more info needs to be given? why would a messenger be sent again?
now wat do i answer him?


This learned man you speak of is correct in saying that Muhammad brought with Him "a unique book." And indeed his assertion that "it tells you everything unlike the previous holy books" is also undeniably true. For example, using the concept of "progressive revelation" (that is, that God continually sends mankind Messengers), it would indeed be logical to think that, despite God having given mankind at some point the Bible, as soon as Muhammad made His station known and revealed God's word through the Qur'an, the Bible automatically became second to the the Qur'an—that is, God's word that was relevant for the day could only be found in the Qur'an and not in the Bible. Put another way, the Bible contained the Truth that guided men on the straight path to God, but once Muhammad made Himself known to men, it was their duty to follow Him, not the laws of old (the Bible), since His presence indicated that God, in His unerring knowledge, deemed it an appropriate time to give mankind another Messenger, and a new Book.

As to the second part of your question,

why is muhammed the seal of the prophets? because it is the end of messages god has to sent to man. everything has been said in the quran. . wat more info needs to be given? why would a messenger be sent again?
now wat do i answer him?


You could perhaps give him the alternative interpretation provided by Baha'u'llah. Admittedly, he could reject that interpretation—it is a new interpretation, Muslims are not used to it.

[For instance when I taught Christians in the past about the Baha'i Faith, I showed them verses in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelations which say that Christ will appear with "in the stone a new name written" (2:17), and the individual that becomes a believer in Christ's Return will be given "the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, (which is) new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and (I will write upon him) my new name" (3:12). Yet many still continue to deny this meaning, and restate their interpretation (which usually is a spontaneuous interpretation since they have never seen the verse before).]

So there are believers that stick to what they believe and are not willing to delve into the deeper meanings of religious scripture (unlike you of course). Many cannot look beyond the literal interpretation or the popular interpretation of sacred verses. As we see with religious history, this can have devastating consequences, in terms of not only missing the Manifestation of God but forcing upon Him, of all people, untold sufferings.

But the bottom line is: Is Baha'u'llah the Messenger of God that He claims to be, or not? Consider this. Using the words of the holy Qur'an we can see that if Baha'u'llah indeed were a false Prophet, (1) it would have not been determined by the rejection and suffering He endured, since we know that all the Prophets of the past also suffer at the hands of the aggressors. But (2) the very fact that Baha'u'llah, despite being incarcerated most of His life, got His message out, proves, according to the words of the Qur'an, that He was indeed of God:

    "But if Muhammad had fabricated concerning us any sayings,
    We had surely seized him by the right hand,
    And had cut through the vein of his neck.
    Nor would We have withheld any one of you from him" (Koran 69:44–7).

One could make the counterargument, "There are obviously many cults out there and God didn't stop their leaders from proclaiming their messages." Well, what influence do these cults really have, besides maintaining a small presence in small pockets of the globe (usually restricted to one country or only a few)? We would point out to him the fact that the Baha'i Faith relatively quickly became the second most widespread world religion—surpassing that of Islam and all the other major world religions except Christianity—despite it's small numbers. Yes, the Baha'i Faith is at present small in numbers and new, but unlike cults the Baha'i message appeals to all kinds of diverse people, not just a few living in some part of the world. As I have stated before, if God has a new Message, it must appeal to all the peoples of the world, not only to a few. If it can't do this it fails, because God's religion is not intended only for some people—it is meant for all.



nilofer wrote:my parents r also held with this belief.. how do i make a change?


Nilofer, the only person that you can be sure to change is yourself. Usually older people that have been adherents to a religion for many years either don't make a switch at all, or if they do it's not like youth who are more flexible (less indoctrinated) and generally more open-minded, and who ardently, with many burning questions about life in general, try to seek out the answers.

I hope this post has satisfactorily answered your questions; if not, I would be happy to make clarifications, or answer any new questions that you may have.

Take care. 8)

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Postby Noisiodimelem » Sat Oct 14, 2006 2:07 am

thank you very much for ur reply. u have really reduced a lot of my burden. these questions reamined unanswered for a long time. you have finally eased me out. thanks a lot. iam making a deliberate effort to learn bahai faith. i believe that anything bad will not be able to stay for long. bahai religion has been flourishing since some time now. if it was false it would have tumbled down long before. there would be no bahai who would be happy. their life would have taken a toll. so there should be a truth in this religion. thanks again for helping me thru this..

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Oct 14, 2006 10:32 am

It was a pleasure, Nilofer. You had intelligent questions. I want to commend you on those and on thinking deeply about religion.

May you find the Truth, wherever God guides you.

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Postby Noisiodimelem » Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:17 am

thank you very much... i have 1 more question tht has just popped into my mind nw.. i just read somewer nw tht to convert to muslim one has to accpet the following :
1. there is no god but allah
2.muhammed is his slave and messenger
3. there is no prophet or messenger after muhammed
4.there is no holy book after quran..

now my question is among the above 2 statements u also agree.. now the 2nd and 3rd statements , are they man made rules or is it what prophet muhammed said? because when prophet muhammed asked ppl to accept islam he said u can do that by saying lahilaha illaha muhammedarrasoolullah.. which means there is no diety but allah n muhammed is the messenger of allah.. then did he also make ppl say the next two statements mentioned above? is it wriiten in the quran about this?
sorry it is off track but please if u know clear my doubt..
thank u

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Oct 16, 2006 12:03 pm

nilofer wrote:thank you very much... i have 1 more question tht has just popped into my mind nw.. i just read somewer nw tht to convert to muslim one has to accpet the following :
1. there is no god but allah


We believe this too. Or, as the Bab puts it, "Verily there is no God but Him, the sovereign Ruler, the Almighty, the Great," or "there is no God but Him, the King, the Protector, the Incomparable, the Omnipotent," as declared by Baha'u'llah. It can be stated different ways, but there is a single Creator God, and according to the Baha'i Texts this truth was always taught by the Messengers of God, even if the followers of a particular religion eventually reverted to polytheism or atheism.

nilofer wrote:2.muhammed is his slave and messenger.


Yes, Baha'is believe that Muhammad was a Messenger of God. But remember He wasn't the only one—there were many before Him, but not as great as Him since up until that point Muhammad was the most recent of the Messengers or Prophets of God. Most recent means the most greatest. Wouldn't you agree that if Muhammad prophesied in the Qur'an that God would eventually send to mankind another Prophet, that this Return would be superior to those before Him because He has God's new, "updated" message for man?

nilofer wrote:3. there is no prophet or messenger after muhammed.


This is largely based on a sole verse, the "seal of the Prophets" verse, which has been interpreted to mean that Muhammad is the last of the Prophets. I'll talk more about this below.

nilofer wrote:4.there is no holy book after quran..


Well I suppose if one holds the belief that God won't send another Messenger, it would follow that He wouldn't send another Book either, since only through His Messenger or Manifestation does God reveals His Word.

nilofer wrote:now my question is among the above 2 statements u also agree.. now the 2nd and 3rd statements , are they man made rules or is it what prophet muhammed said?


Well, the second statement, which is,

2.muhammed is his slave and messenger


is by no means a man-made rule. Muhammad is "his slave and messenger," otherwise He would have not revealed His station and blessed mankind with the Qur'an. Baha'is do believe that Muhammad, just like Jesus, was a Prophet and that his Holy Book was the Word of God, which was to be observed during the Islamic Dispensation.

The third statement is:

3. there is no prophet or messenger after muhammed.


According to Baha'u'llah, this is a man-made "rule," as you put it, or a distortion of what Muhammad really said. Again, the popular Muslim interpretation of the "seal of the prophets" verse holds that after Muhammad, God will not send mankind any more Prophets.

But Baha'u'llah offers a different interpretation, the one that I mentioned to you earlier. Baha'u'llah shows that Verse cannot mean that God won't send man any more Messengers, since a few verses below, in the promise of the Day of Judgment, which says,

"Their greeting on the day when they shall meet Him shall be 'Peace!' And He hath got ready for them a noble recompense."

cannot mean that we will meet God on the Day of Judgement. The Qur'an clearly says that man cannot see God.

But here is another way of thinking about it. In 1844, the Bab ended what Baha'is refer to as the "Prophetic Cycle" and inaugurated what we call the "Cycle of Fulfillment." This clears up the confusion of the "seal of the prophets" verse. While Baha'is can and do sometimes loosely refer to the Bab and Baha'u'llah as "Prophets," usually in the term "Prophet-founder," the more proper or accurate description of the station of the Bab and Baha'u'llah is "Messengers" or "Manifestations of God," since the Bab ends the Prophetic cycle. The purpose of the Prophetic cycle was to announce the coming of, ultimately, Baha'u'llah (also the Bab, but He was the forerunner of Baha'u'llah).


nilofer wrote:because when prophet muhammed asked ppl to accept islam he said u can do that by saying lahilaha illaha muhammedarrasoolullah.. which means there is no diety but allah n muhammed is the messenger of allah.. then did he also make ppl say the next two statements mentioned above? is it wriiten in the quran about this?


Again it's based on popular interpretations of a single statement, and as you know there are Muslims who investigated for themselves what the Qur'an actually prophesies, and did not allow popular interpretation to hold them back from seeking the truth. The first step in finding the Truth is forgetting what mortal men say the Text says, and instead going to the Text yourself, and determine yourself what the Text means. Which is more important? What men think, or believe, or the Truth itself?

[BTW, even though Baha'is do not believe in Hadith (traditions of the sayings of Muhammad) because there is no way to be sure Muhammad really said those things or if they are fabricated, there is a hadith of particular interest. This hadith states that if someone proclaims to be a Messenger of God, but if your arms and legs are severed, and further if there is snow outside and it is cold, you should wiggle your torso over to him to investigate his claim. And this, Nilofer, is what you are doing, and you should be commended for that. Well it was interesting so I thought I'd share it :).]

If you read early Baha'i history you will see that, for example, many of the rulers that banished Baha'u'llah didn't even meet Him! Imagine how different history may have been if they even saw Baha'u'llah for just one hour, but they did not even look at Him or give consideration His message! Wouldn't it make sense to at least investigate someone's claim of being a Messenger of God before persecuting Him? But, unfortunately, as the Qur'an itself states, every time God sends a Messenger, the people bring the "charge of imposture" against Him and tyrannize Him:

    "None but infidels gainsay the signs of God: but let not their prosperity in the land deceive thee.

    The people of Noah, and the confederates after them, have brought the charge of imposture before these Meccans: each nation schemed against their apostle to lay violent hold on him, and disputed with vain words to refute the truth. Therefore did I lay violent hold on them; and how great was my chastisement!" (Sura XL "The Believer", 4–5).

Isn't this (chastisement) what God did to those who persecuted the Bab and Baha'u'llah? Again if you read early Baha'i history (i.e. the Dawn Breakers) you will see, for instance, how great God's chastisement was against those who killed His Messenger. There are historical accounts of how every last one of these soldiers who executed the Bab were systematically killed. (These are not made up by the Baha'is, they consist of accounts of non-Baha'is.) For example in one such instance, a group of soldiers were sleeping under a wall where it broke and crushed every last one of them. But what should they really fear? God's wrath in this life, or His wrath in the life to come (i.e. hell)?

    "And verily, those who flourish before you treated their prophets as liars: and how grievous my wrath!" (Sura LXVII "The Kingdom," 19).

But even they couldn't stop the Bab from proclaiming His Message. Seven hundred and fifty rifles failed to kill Him the first time that He was to be executed (Dawn Breakers, p. 512). Before they took Him to kill Him, He stated: "Not until I have said to him [Siyyid Husayn] all those things that I wish to say can any earthly power silence Me. Though all the world be armed against Me, yet shall they be powerless to deter Me from fulfilling, to the last word, My intention" (p. 509). Recall that just as the Qur'an states that if someone is an imposture that God will kill Him before He gets his word out, similarly we see that not only will God not kill the true Messenger, but He won't let others kill Him either. All earthly forces were unable to kill the Bab until He said all that He needed to say, and thus the miracle of His martyrdom.

nilofer wrote:sorry it is off track but please if u know clear my doubt..
thank u


No problem, Nilofer. Nothing do Baha'is enjoy more than sharing the Word of God with their fellow man.

Please, if you have any more questions, ask! That is what this forum is designed for, for seekers after truth such as yourself.

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Postby Zazaban » Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:10 pm

No, No, nobody is god's slave. Slave is such a negative word. Servant sure, but not slave. Slave implies unwillingless and no pay. there is certanly a will, and there is the biggest pay anyone could wish for, in the next world.
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

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Oct 16, 2006 7:39 pm

"'Abdu'l-Baha" = servant or slave of Baha'u'llah. You can extend that to the Manifestations if you want to. According to 'Abdu'l-Baha, there is nothing more noble than being such a slave (to the Will of God).

"Slave," though it may have a negative context, is used here to show the utmost lowliness. Compared to God we are all slaves (in a good sense), or should strive to be.

Also according to the Writings we should serve and love God not in anticipation of any reward in the next life, but solely for our love for Him. Sure there will be a reward, but the point is we should serve and worship Him because of our love for Him, not for the reward.


Zazaban wrote:No, No, nobody is god's slave. Slave is such a negative word. Servant sure, but not slave. Slave implies unwillingless and no pay. there is certanly a will, and there is the biggest pay anyone could wish for, in the next world.

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Postby Zazaban » Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:48 pm

We must remember that what Abdul Baha said was from around 100 years ago and languages and meanings change. while it may have been more common then, Slavery has now been pretty much abolished in much of the world and Slave is not really the right word at all.
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

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Oct 17, 2006 10:33 am

richard wrote:When a member of a social religious group has complied with the requirements of such a group, he should be encouraged to enjoy religious liberty in the full expression of his own personal interpretation of the truths of religious belief and the facts of religious experience. The security of a religious group depends on spiritual unity, not on theological uniformity. A religious group should be able to enjoy the liberty of freethinking without having to become "freethinkers." There is great hope for any church that worships the living God, validates the brotherhood of man, and dares to remove all creedal pressure from its members.


That's perfect. Thank you for bringing that important point up, Richard. As long as our personal beliefs don't contradict the Writings, we are free to think/express them.

Zazaban wrote:Slavery has now been pretty much abolished.


Zazaban—slavery is well and alive today. Slavery as you know isn't just whipping someone and making him work in your plantation. For instance one common form of slavery these days is human trafficking:

    “As unimaginable as it seems, slavery and bondage still persist in the early 21st century. Millions of people around the world still suffer in silence in slave-like situations of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation from which they cannot free themselves. Trafficking in persons is one of the greatest human rights challenges of our time.”
    (U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2003)


Which would be worse to you? Being forced to work in a plantation, or if you were a women, being taken away by some perverts to be a sexual slave for the rest of your life? I don't know which is psychologically more scarring, but I would guess the latter.

I don't want to beat a dead horse or anything, but to get back to the issue, take Baha'i phrases, like spiritual conquest or entry by troops. We have a lot of war images in the Writings used in the context of spiritualizing others. While we don't like war (Baha'is are not pacifists though, according to the Guardian) and the goal is to abolish it, these terms are still convenient and convey a lot of meaning—that's why they are used. Or take some words used by Baha'u'llah such as wine, as in being intoxicated with the love of God. It is wrong for us (Baha'is) to drink wine or intoxicate ourselves by other illicit means, but the symbolic imagery is powerful and thus is used. The symbol of wine is used too in the Koran, as is the symbol of the Hori used for paradise. In Islam also wine is forbidden, as is licentiousness, yet they convey to the human in symbolic terms certain truths that we cannot otherwise experience or relate to.

So, Zazaban, if you don't like the term "slavery" used in this context, it's fine and you don't have to think of yourself as a spiritual slave (most people probably don't anyway). Like Richard said, you aren't wrong if you think yourself as being a slave of Baha, but you also aren't wrong if you deny it—I think we are free in this regard. This is a petty matter anyway, and as Baha'is we aren't so much restricted in terms of what we can think. Hope this was somewhat helpful :D.

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Re: Confusion over religious revelation and evolution...

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:32 am

richard wrote:And even if we had one Perfect Religion, we, being imperfect, could not comprehend the Perfection in front of us!


Well, I would say the religion itself is Perfect, because it is a revelation that God, in His unerring and infallible Wisdom, has brought to mankind through His Perfect Messenger. But humans will never perfect themselves spiritually 100% perhaps through even the most rigorous practice of and adherence to the religion and its ordinances. (I know of a quote but can't find it, where Shoghi Effendi states that the only True Baha'i was 'Abdu'l-Baha.)

richard wrote:The many religions on Earth are all good to the extent that they bring man to God and bring the realization of the Father to man. It is a fallacy for any group of religionists to conceive of their creed as The Truth; such attitudes bespeak more of theological arrogance than of certainty of faith.


Yes, even as God continaully sends man these revelations, His previous revelations still contain truth and shouldn't be discounted (even if certain wayward practices have been instigated by the majority of its adherents). For instance, to do well in college Chemistry, that is to be successful in the course, you need the basic chemical concepts that were first taught in high school chemistry. But after you have mastered, or comprehended to a large extent, the chemical laws in the previous courses, you must move on to the more advanced ones. As 'Abdu'l-Baha states, everything in this universe is either in some way progressing or regressing, and we can apply this concept to spiritual capacity and understanding. We are never spiritually "neutral," our environment, our thoughts and actions are always influencing our souls. For example as 'Abdu'l-Baha explains, listening to music is either making you more spiritual (ladder for the soul) or bringing you down to your animal nature. He says that if you have lust in your heart, even (classical) music can intensify it; but for a different person, one whose heart is not sullied with such carnal desires, the same music can be a cause for him to attain to new spiritual hights.

So even though we can (and probably should) "review" our (old) spiritual material from previous dispensations, our current Course, at least for us, is the Baha'i Faith, and we should focus more of our attention and efforts on it, for this will profit us most.

richard wrote:There is not a world religion that could not profitably study and assimilate the best of the truths contained in every other faith, for all contain truth. Religionists would do better to borrow the best in their neighbors' living spiritual faith rather than to denounce the worst in their lingering superstitions and outworn rituals.


Again, agreed. The twin manifestations themselves on many occasions refer to the Koran, and sometimes the Bible. God's word is always relevant, and reference to previous Words can be helpful for us in understanding certain ideas or truths contained in the most recent Revelation—even though they be of an erstwhile, ancient Dispensation.

richard wrote:in the spirit all men are equal.


Do you mean in starting out? That's true, in that case. But what about afterwards, for example, after the age of spiritual maturity (fifteen)? Doesn't God hold men accountable for their actions, and thus some men through religious devotion move closer to God, while others move farther away from Him? In the next life, the Writings state, there will be people that are spiritually superior to us—who we cannot comprehend—and there will of course be those spiritually inferior to us—souls we may fully comphrehend.

richard wrote:Religious meanings progress in self-consciousness when the child transfers his ideas of omnipotence from his parents to God. And the entire religious experience of such a child is largely dependent on whether fear or love has dominated the parent-child relationship. Slaves have always experienced great difficulty in transferring their master-fear into concepts of God-love. Civilization, science, and advanced religions must deliver mankind from those fears born of the dread of natural phenomena. And so should greater enlightenment deliver educated mortals from all dependence on intermediaries in communion with Deity.


Very, very interesting insights! Richard, you must publish these extremely insightful thoughts lest a plagiarist publish them! Really, your intellectual acuity in this case has perhaps provided insight (at least in one way) into how and why bad parenting can so negatively affect a child. And why by extention the only unforgivable sin in the Baha'i Faith (as far as I understand) is a father's failure to educate his son (or daughter).

richard wrote:Nevertheless, man has been profoundly influenced, not only by his concepts of Deity, but also by the character of the heroes whom he has chosen to honor.


So possibly, using the child example you gave, as a kid might identify with a Ninja Turtle because of this turtle's representation of power and "coolness," at a later stage he may pick spiritual figures as "heroes" who he wishes to emulate, such as 'Abdu'l-Baha for the Baha'i.

Again, very superb and penetrating comments. Please keep up the most excellent work, Richard. :)

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 18, 2006 10:28 am

richard wrote:I am convinced that anything true and good in what i say is just my best understandings, by the Grace of God, of His revealed truth and goodness from many sources, said by many in many ways, and for it, all praise is due to Him, our One and Only God of us all.


Some of it is of your own initiative, albeit Divine inspiration is a large part of what causes us to advance. As you undoubtedly know, according to the Baha'i texts the "Concourse on High" are waiting for us to make the "first move" before they can assist us. They cannot oblige us until first we instigate, for example, teaching efforts, or more relevantly, critical thinking of spirituality. Not to discount your view, as again much of what you say is "by the Grace of God," but there is still the element of free will, and thus some might make an ill-considered decision by rejecting this grace and thus deprive themselves of their full, much higher potential—a potential that you to a great extent most definitely have realized :) (although as you point out, only God can determine that—but at least in comparison with the common man).

richard wrote:i don't think it serves us to be concerned about anyone's level but God's, for it can lead us to ego involvement and intellectual speculations and conflicts that only hurt and hinder us in our better pursuit of spiritual progress in our understandings, deeds, thoughts, and words.


Yes, that is correct. As Proverbs 16:18–19 state,

    Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

    Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. (KJV)

But more important,

    He should forgive the sinful, and never despise his low estate, for none knoweth what his own end shall be. (Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 194)


Take care Richard,

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:26 am

Nilofer,

Sorry to post so much in this thread, because the focus is on your questions. How are you doing in your research of the Baha'i Faith?

By the way, one quote I wanted to mention to you, but didn't, was this quote from the Qur'an, in which Muhammad clearly states that there is a destined time for each revelation, and He prophesies that others will succeed Him in continuing revelation:

    Every nation hath its set time. And when their time is come, they shall not retard it an hour; and they shall
    not advance it.

    O children of Adam! there shall come to you Apostles from among yourselves, rehearsing my signs to you;
    and whoso shall fear God and do good works, no fear shall be upon them, neither shall they be put to grief.

    But they who charge our signs with falsehood, and turn away from them in their pride, shall be inmates of the fire: for ever shall they abide therein. (7:34–36)


(Notice it is "Every nation hath its set time, not "Every nation had its set time.")

There are hadith where Muhammad restates that more Messengers are to come, which is in harmony with what is said in the above verses (the first two).

There is a reason why the Qur'an continually reminds Muslims of previous Prophets who were rejected by most of their fellow men. These stories weren't mentioned just because they were nice stories, but because they can conveniently act as analogies between previous Revelations and Revelations to come.

So as demonstrated the majority of humans generally are not good at interpreting correctly the Word of God. And the Qur'an doesn't single out Muslims as being immune from this sort of misinterpretation ("Are your infidels, O Meccans, better men than these?"). (One extreme example of this in the Qur'an is demonstrated in the story of Noah.) The believers of previous religions all assigned/assign popular interpretations to the Words of their Holy Books, but they were wrong as only a few pure ones could see the real meaning behind the Words and not allow men (or strict adherence to literal interpretations of prophesies) to hinder them from their relationship with the One True God. Many believers of diverse religions mistakenly (albeit understandably) take the popular , man-made interpretation to be the correct interpretation, and in their eyes anyone who deviates from their interpretation is labeled an infidel, heretic, or unbeliever. (Are these people who pass such judgements gods? Or is not God the only true Judge of our spiritual condition/worth? Should we fear how we will be judged by our fellow men, or how we will stand before God, the Lord of all Judges?) This is what the Qur'an has to say about people who skew God's word to make it compatible with their own fancies: "They pervert the text of the Word of God" (4:45). And the Qur'an of course tells of their "reward" to come...

I don't know if that was helpful at all, but I thought I'd share it.

Take care, Nilofer. Let us know what you think.

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Postby choogue » Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:46 pm

Hey BW,

You mentioned that the Bahai dont believe in Hadiths/traditions. Is it regarding only Islam hadith/traditions. (does Bahai have hadiths?)

BTW, even though Baha'is do not believe in Hadith (traditions of the sayings of Muhammad) because there is no way to be sure Muhammad really said those things or if they are fabricated, there is a hadith of particular interest. This hadith states that if someone proclaims to be a Messenger of God, but if your arms and legs are severed, and further if there is snow outside and it is cold, you should wiggle your torso over to him to investigate his claim. And this, Nilofer, is what you are doing, and you should be commended for that. Well it was interesting so I thought I'd share it .


The only reason this has interested me is because i was just reading the Kitab-i-Iqan and i came to a bit where Bahaullah referred to a tradition. Page 1-40 Verse 7-8.

Among the Prophets was Noah. For nine hundred and fifty years He prayerfully exhorted His people and summoned them to the haven of security and peace. None, however, heeded His call. Each day they inflicted on His blessed person such pain and suffering that no one believed He could survive. How frequently they denied Him, how malevolently they hinted their suspicion against Him! Thus it hath been revealed: “And as often as a company of His people passed by Him, they derided Him. To them He said: ‘Though ye scoff at us now, we will scoff at you hereafter even as ye scoff at us. In the end ye shall know.’” 3 Long afterward, He several times promised victory to His companions and fixed the hour thereof. But when the hour struck, the divine promise was not fulfilled. This caused a few among the small number of His followers to turn away from Him, and to this testify the records of the best-known books. These you must certainly have perused; if not, undoubtedly you will. Finally, as stated in books and traditions, there remained with Him only forty or seventy-two of His followers. At last from the depth of His being He cried aloud: “Lord! Leave not upon the land a single dweller from among the unbelievers.”

If you can clarify that would be great. I may of misunderstood. Thanks.

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 18, 2006 4:37 pm

Hi Abbas:

Good question. Let me start by saying that for Baha'is, according to the Universal House of Justice, "there is no Oral Law as in Judaism, no Tradition of the Church as in Christianity, no Hadith as in Islam" ("Proselytizing, Development, and the Covenant" pp. 517–518).

For similar reasons we do not believe in the hadith because first of all there exist contradictory hadith—which indicates that they were fabricated and not truly stated by Muhammad—and secondly, while many of the sayings could be accurate, we are not able to determine which ones are so. The hadith that contradict or go against the words of the Koran for example are obviously invented.

Both Baha'u'llah and the Bab refer to hadith when appropriate. But this is only to throw more light on the topic at hand, especially for the Muslim audience. Just because they refer to hadith doesn't mean they are doing so because the hadith is really from Muhammad, but possibly because of the particular hadith's significance (in the Muslim world).

I should point out that Baha'is do believe the Koran to be the Word of God. When we talk to our Muslim friends we usually like to refer to the Koran while engaged in religious discourse, because we are assured that the Koran is God's Word and thus infallible.

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Postby choogue » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:42 am

Thanks BW

I can understand why some hadith can be counted as false and some not. I think hadith/traditions are very important to understand the faith. (that is, only hadiths that do not contradict the Quran.

The Ahlul Bayt were infallible and wrote some of the hadiths. If it were not for hadiths, we would not know how to pray.

Hadiths are teachings of the Prophet and some are fabricated but can easily be thrown out since they contradict the Prophet.

I dont know much about Hadith, but i used to think the same thing that we should ONLY refer to the Quran since it is infallible, but now i understand the importance of Hadith since it interprets the Quran for us. And only Prophet Muhammed can interpret the Quran and these are recorded in the Hadith. The Quran has many mysterious so the true meaning is only known by Allah and his messenger. Without Hadiths, anyone can interpret the Quran in to suit their needs.

A sheikh once told me that to understand something you need to find various different sources and cannot rely on only ONE source. The more sources you have, the better the facts. He gave me an example that if Imam Mahdi is written in the Hadith that he will return - there are over 300 hadiths that state this and then there are less than 20 Hadith than contradict this. Therefore by studying the whole literature a learnered person can easily distinguish between fabricated and true hadith.

Without hadith, i wouldnt be here right now learning about the Bahai faith. The Imam Mahdi is written in the Hadiths. The Ahlul Bayt are infallible therefore their Hadith needs to be taken serious. This is why i think Bahaullah does refer to some Hadith, because without it, muslims would not know how to pray, fast, etc.

These are just thoughts coming from someone that didnt initially think hadith is relevant.

Yes i know the importance of the Quran in the Bahai faith. I learnt many things in the Bahai faith since i started my research. In saying that, i have also learnt many things about Islam aswell. This is why i am trying to determine whether the the Mahdi and Jesus have returned.

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:16 pm

For Muslims I can see how hadith would be useful and reinforce certain truths contained in the Koran. But speaking about Baha'is specifically, we (Baha'is) don't take reported utterances of the central figures to be authoritative (i.e. 'Abdu'l-Baha). 'Abdu'l-Baha Himself asserts that even if a purported saying is true, we still shouldn't take it as truth or place it on the same level as an authoritative statement because it can be confusing. Again, this is only for Baha'is—as a Muslim, hadith can actually be quite useful to you (as you state).

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Postby choogue » Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:39 am

Im glad you see my view BW.

I can also understand your view since the Bahai dont believe in Hadiths.

If i didnt believe in Hadith, i wouldnt study Bahai because i wouldnt believe the Mahdi is returning. It doesnt actually state that the Mahdi is returning in the Quran because obviously the Mahdi was born after the Quran was revealed therefore the hadiths are important to learn.

In some way its like history. We wouldnt know anything about history if we dont read books which were compiled by the various scribes at those times. Ofcourse there are some sources that contradict history but we can only know the truth by investigating further and using other sources which the facts are then found.

Again, im only expressing my opinion and everyone will have there own. To me the hadiths that have been proven authentic are the history books which have shown us so much of the past.

Anyway, im satisfied with your answer on this subject coming from a Bahai point of view. Thanks again.

Regards,
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Oct 20, 2006 10:23 am

abbas wrote:Im glad you see my view BW.

I can also understand your view since the Bahai dont believe in Hadiths.

If i didnt believe in Hadith, i wouldnt study Bahai because i wouldnt believe the Mahdi is returning. It doesnt actually state that the Mahdi is returning in the Quran because obviously the Mahdi was born after the Quran was revealed therefore the hadiths are important to learn.


I understand. But the Koran does prophesie the coming of more "Apostles":

"O children of Adam! there shall come to you Apostles from among yourselves, rehearsing my signs to you."

The longer version of this quote is on the previous page of this thread.

So the Koran does give indications of coming Manifestations. It is probably not that obvious unless you are looking for it, though. Hadith make it more obvious I suppose.

abbas wrote:In some way its like history. We wouldnt know anything about history if we dont read books which were compiled by the various scribes at those times. Ofcourse there are some sources that contradict history but we can only know the truth by investigating further and using other sources which the facts are then found.


No argument there. :)

abbas wrote:Again, im only expressing my opinion and everyone will have there own. To me the hadiths that have been proven authentic are the history books which have shown us so much of the past.

Anyway, im satisfied with your answer on this subject coming from a Bahai point of view. Thanks again.


The thing is, for the Baha'i Faith 'Abdu'l-baha specifically addresses this issue (reported utterances by the Prophets), whereas Muhammad did not. Meaning, Muhammad didn't say they shouldn't be trusted—maybe He even endorsed them. Like you pointed out, even Baha'u'llah and the Bab sometimes make references to them.

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Postby choogue » Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:03 pm

I understand. But the Koran does prophesie the coming of more "Apostles":

"O children of Adam! there shall come to you Apostles from among yourselves, rehearsing my signs to you."


Yeh my girlfriend mentioned this to me before about another prophet in the Quran.
This is where i would say Hadith is important because mankind are unable to interpret the Quran correctly and therefore can be easily mislead. Also, it is important to learn the Quran in its original text because translations are "choice" of words.

I wish i am able to read it in Arabic but unfortunately i can speak Arabic but not read and write! (too lazy to learn!!). So like you i rely on translations. The translation that i get from it is this:

O children of Adam! if there come to you pious people from among you relating to you My communications, then whoever shall guard against evil and act aright, they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve

So in saying that, I can interpret this in many ways, but if i look at the authentic hadith written by the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) i would get the correct interpretation.

From my understanding, this verse is relating to Teachers (or basically a Sheikh) that would come from amongst us to teach Islam. I could be wrong but this is just an example, so i would really need to refer to Hadith to get the correct interpretation. Remember, the Hadiths are also Muhammeds (a.s) teachings, so He would have taught the interpretations to the people.

A sect from Shia called Allawiyah believe that Imam Ali (a.s) should have been the Prophet but the angel came down and gave the message to the wrong person. They get this information from interpreting the Quran in a way to suit themselves. Now, anyone with commonsense would realise that Allah does not make mistakes! :shock:

So i hope you know what i mean here. I can understand since you believe in the Bahai faith 100% that you will believe what Bahaullah tells you and how he interprets the Quran, but obviously for me i believe in Islam and therefore follow the rules of Islam so i cant take Bahaullahs word for it. I hope that doesnt sound offensive at all? If it does please tell me but im just trying to explain it in my view.

Now, this hasnt stopped me from researching more because i know in the Hadith it does say Imam Mahdi will return and in the Quran it does say Prophet Isa (a.s) will return. Therefore I want to research until i know 100%.

Regards
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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:49 am

abbas wrote:
I understand. But the Koran does prophesie the coming of more "Apostles":

"O children of Adam! there shall come to you Apostles from among yourselves, rehearsing my signs to you."


Yeh my girlfriend mentioned this to me before about another prophet in the Quran.
This is where i would say Hadith is important because mankind are unable to interpret the Quran correctly and therefore can be easily mislead. Also, it is important to learn the Quran in its original text because translations are "choice" of words.

I wish i am able to read it in Arabic but unfortunately i can speak Arabic but not read and write! (too lazy to learn!!). So like you i rely on translations. The translation that i get from it is this:

O children of Adam! if there come to you pious people from among you relating to you My communications, then whoever shall guard against evil and act aright, they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve

So in saying that, I can interpret this in many ways, but if i look at the authentic hadith written by the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) i would get the correct interpretation.


Well, that's Rodwell's translation (the one I used), obviously not Muslim. But here is the same quote, for example, from...

    Yusuf Ali translation: "O ye Children of Adam! whenever there come to you apostles from amongst you, rehearsing My signs unto you,—those who are righteous and mend (their lives),—on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve."

    M.H Shakir translation: "O children of Adam! if there come to you messengers from among you relating to you my communications..."

    M. Pickthal translation: "O Children of Adam! When messengers of your own come unto you who narrate unto you My revelations..."

    Mohsin Khan translation: "O Children of Adam! If there come to you Messengers from amongst you..."

Well, seems like it's pretty unanimous, "apostle" or "messenger." I will consult the Arabic if you want and get back to you. (I don't know which translation you referred to.) I completely agree with what you're saying, but I'm also trying to show that it is clearly stated in the Koran that God will send more Messengers. It's maybe not clear to many Muslims who don't reflect on less popular verses like this. For example, Christians generally never discuss the "thief in the night" quote or the verses stating that He will return with a different name.

abbas wrote:From my understanding, this verse is relating to Teachers (or basically a Sheikh) that would come from amongst us to teach Islam. I could be wrong but this is just an example, so i would really need to refer to Hadith to get the correct interpretation. Remember, the Hadiths are also Muhammeds (a.s) teachings, so He would have taught the interpretations to the people.


Again, I agree and think that hadith can be very valuable to you. But you are basing it (thinking the verse refers to teachers) on that particular translation, when the majority of the translations say "apostle" or "messenger." But again if you want, we can look at the Arabic for ourselves, I will look for it tomorrow perhaps. I think if Muhammad wanted Muslims to know about a coming Messenger, He would have announced it in the Koran, even if these particular prophetic verses are largly overlooked. However, unlike the confusion caused by the "seal of the prophets" verse, I think in contrast this is quite a clear statement.

abbas wrote:A sect from Shia called Allawiyah believe that Imam Ali (a.s) should have been the Prophet but the angel came down and gave the message to the wrong person. They get this information from interpreting the Quran in a way to suit themselves. Now, anyone with commonsense would realise that Allah does not make mistakes! :shock:


Exactly. Sometimes such indoctrination can cause one perhaps not to be able to use his common sense (like in the example you give, that God cannot make mistakes).

abbas wrote:So i hope you know what i mean here. I can understand since you believe in the Bahai faith 100% that you will believe what Bahaullah tells you and how he interprets the Quran, but obviously for me i believe in Islam and therefore follow the rules of Islam so i cant take Bahaullahs word for it. I hope that doesnt sound offensive at all? If it does please tell me but im just trying to explain it in my view.


No, not offended at all. Well, just to let you know again, I don't know if Baha'u'llah refers to the children of Adam verse. But from how I read it, it seems pretty clear to me... But, no again, please don't be sorry as you are being most respectful in fact. (What more respect could you show Baha'u'llah than to investigate His claim?)

abbas wrote:Now, this hasnt stopped me from researching more because i know in the Hadith it does say Imam Mahdi will return and in the Quran it does say Prophet Isa (a.s) will return. Therefore I want to research until i know 100%.


Sounds like a plan, Abbas. :)

Take care.

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Update

Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sat Oct 21, 2006 12:54 pm

Abbas:

Here is the transliteration:

Al-Araf 35:
    "Ya banee adama imma yatiyannakum rusulun [Arabic = "messengers"] minkum yaqussoona AAalaykum..."


Muslims refer to Muhammad as "Hasrat Rusul." So, there you have it. I'm not familiar with the translator of the version of the Qur'an that you referenced, but the Arabic is very clear, it says "rusulun" (messengers). (The translation of "rusulun" to "pious people" is obviously wrong.) Since Muhammad Himself is one, He will send another like Himself, that is, another Messenger.

I hope that cleared up the confusion about the verse. Take care.

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Postby choogue » Sat Oct 21, 2006 3:57 pm

"Ya banee adama imma yatiyannakum rusulun [Arabic = "messengers"] minkum yaqussoona AAalaykum..."

Muslims refer to Muhammad as "Hasrat Rusul." So, there you have it. I'm not familiar with the translator of the version of the Qur'an that you referenced, but the Arabic is very clear, it says "rusulun" (messengers). (The translation of "rusulun" to "pious people" is obviously wrong.) Since Muhammad Himself is one, He will send another like Himself, that is, another Messenger.



I spoke to my friends brother who is a Sheikh and asked him to read it to me in Arabic. He mentioned that it does say Rasul which, as you said, is a messenger but he basically mentions these messengers are simply people amongst ourselves not messengers sent by Allah. A Messenger of Allah is known as "Rasulallah".
He said that a messenger doesnt necessarily mean that he is sent from Allah nor divine. They are people who study the faith and spread the message. So the example i gave in terms of the messengers being a Sheikh or even the Imams, ( or the so called teachers) is what the Hadith talks about when it interprets this verse.

The Prophet Muhammed is described in the Quran as Rasulallah (Prophet of God).
People that would spread the message of Islam are Rasul (Messengers).

After the death of the Prophet (a.s) there were many messengers within the tribe that spread the word of Islam. The best example is Imam Ali(a.s)

So as we can see, a messenger and a Messenger of God are two different things.

Also, there have been many prophets (i think about 124,000). But not all prophets were messengers of Allah. The Prophets who are were messengers of Allah were like Muhammed, Isa, Moses, etc. Therefore a person cannot be a Messenger of Allah without being a Prophet, but a person can be a Prophet without being a messenger of Allah. If the above verse was to be interpreted as another "Divine" messenger, it would have included the word Nabi which is a Prophet and Rasulallah which is the Messenger of God.

So this again goes back to who is "authorised" to interpret the Quran because people can easily misinterpret it.

See to me this now makes sense why it mentioned "pious people" as to not confuse people in thinking any general messenger means a messenger of Allah.

Hope you can understand what i wrote because im re-reading it and its confusing me!! hehehehe. I aint that good at explaining things which is why im not a messenger to spread the word of Islam. Maybe one day....or maybe not! hehe ;)

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sun Oct 22, 2006 1:42 am

Abbas:

Good work, and thank you for throwing more light on this important topic.

Please allow me to do some of my own research, and I'll post my response to your comments above (soon).

Take care,

—BW

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Postby choogue » Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:55 am

Yeh thats fine BW. Take your time.

Its good to have someone who is willing to research. I really thankyou for your assistance.

Regards
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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Sun Oct 22, 2006 2:26 pm

abbas wrote:
"Ya banee adama imma yatiyannakum rusulun [Arabic = "messengers"] minkum yaqussoona AAalaykum..."

Muslims refer to Muhammad as "Hasrat Rusul." So, there you have it. I'm not familiar with the translator of the version of the Qur'an that you referenced, but the Arabic is very clear, it says "rusulun" (messengers). (The translation of "rusulun" to "pious people" is obviously wrong.) Since Muhammad Himself is one, He will send another like Himself, that is, another Messenger.



I spoke to my friends brother who is a Sheikh and asked him to read it to me in Arabic. He mentioned that it does say Rasul which, as you said, is a messenger but he basically mentions these messengers are simply people amongst ourselves not messengers sent by Allah. A Messenger of Allah is known as "Rasulallah".
He said that a messenger doesnt necessarily mean that he is sent from Allah nor divine. They are people who study the faith and spread the message. So the example i gave in terms of the messengers being a Sheikh or even the Imams, ( or the so called teachers) is what the Hadith talks about when it interprets this verse.


In the Koran and in the Muslim world, the word "Rasul" always means "Messenger of God," representitive of God. That is the only context it is ever used in. It does not mean Imams, Imams and the like are not considered Rasuls. The Koran doesn't even talk about Imams. There are some hadiths where this may have been inserted, but the Koran and the Muslim world (maybe with the exception of this Sheikh and a few others) do not consider Rasuls to be any other than Muhammad, Abrahamic Prophets (and in this case a future Messenger or Rasul). So, the word only pertains to Prophets, not just anyone who spreads (teaches) a message.

So your Sheikh friend is just assigning an unpopular interpretation to "Rasul," which deviates from its real definition. You don't say Rasul Allah because the Rasuls are sent by God, that is what is understood by the term. To give it any other meaning would lead you astray to the true meaning of the verse.

Say you were Jewish, and you heard Muhammad had just revealed His station. Should you go to your Rabbi and see what he says, or should you go to Muhammad Himself (and the Muslims) and get the information there? The Rabbi wants to keep his job, prestige, power, etc., he won't convert himself and most certainly would not want to guide you on that path (the path to Islam). And to keep you, he will do a lot to try to get you to believe that Muhammad is not God's Messenger, including skewing the texts in such a way so that you believe him and so that the possibility that Muhammad is a messenger of God is closed. The point is, you should investigate these things yourself. If Baha'u'llah says thagt He is this Rasul, you should study His (Baha'u'llah's) claim and see if you think it is correct. This is the only sure way of finding the truth. Compare His Message to your Texts, but not the explanation of your texts by Sheikhs since they are only men like you and me and are not (considered) god-like in their knowledge of the Holy Texts. Maybe he has read more than you, but that doesn't mean he has the innate capacity to understand the truth any more deeper than you.

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Postby choogue » Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:33 am

In the Koran and in the Muslim world, the word "Rasul" always means "Messenger of God," representitive of God. That is the only context it is ever used in. It does not mean Imams, Imams and the like are not considered Rasuls. The Koran doesn't even talk about Imams. There are some hadiths where this may have been inserted, but the Koran and the Muslim world (maybe with the exception of this Sheikh and a few others) do not consider Rasuls to be any other than Muhammad, Abrahamic Prophets (and in this case a future Messenger or Rasul). So, the word only pertains to Prophets, not just anyone who spreads (teaches) a message.


Brother, whenever the messenger of Allah(swt) is mentioned in the Quran He is referred to as the Messenger of Allah, His Messenger, Our Messenger, Allah and His Messenger, etc. In saying that, the term messenger can also be used but in the correct context which clearly differentiates between simply a messenger(that carries a message) or a messenger from God(that carries a message from God). The following verses can be compared to Surah 7:35:

[Yusufali 9:54] The only reasons why their contributions are not accepted are: that they reject Allah and His Messenger; that they come to prayer without earnestness; and that they offer contributions unwillingly.

[Yusufali 33:40] Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the Messenger of Allah, and the Seal of the Prophets: and Allah has full knowledge of all things.

[Yusufali 33:29] But if ye seek Allah and His Messenger, and the Home of the Hereafter, verily Allah has prepared for the well-doers amongst you a great reward.

[Yusufali 33:21] Ye have indeed in the Messenger of Allah a beautiful pattern (of conduct) for any one whose hope is in Allah and the Final Day, and who engages much in the Praise of Allah.

As you can see in Surah 33:21 it says Messenger of Allah which the transliteration is Rasulillah. There is no doubt that a messenger is Rasul and depending on the context it could be either the Messenger of Allah or a messenger. For example, i could also be a messenger if someone requests me to send a messenge to someone. I am therefore a messenger. But if Allah gives me a message to send to someone, i would be a messenger of God, His messenger, The messenger, etc.

Its similiar to a message. Someone can have a message to pass on but that again is different when it is a message from Allah.

[Yusufali 33:39] (It is the practice of those) who preach the Messages of Allah, and fear Him, and fear none but Allah. And enough is Allah to call (men) to account.

The Prophet Muhammed(a.s) had many messengers who he sent messages to give to other tribes.

As i have said before, we cannot intrepret the Quran because we are fallible and therefore only the infallible can because anyone can interpret it to suit their own needs.

So in the verse:

[Yusufali 7:35] O ye Children of Adam! whenever there come to you messengers from amongst you, rehearsing My signs unto you,- those who are righteous and mend (their lives),- on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.

The messengers are people that the Messenger of Allah is telling us who will teach His revelation, spread the word of Islam. These people will be amongst us that will live their life as the Prophet has taught. They will be righteous. These people will not be scared to teach this message that was revealed by the Messenger of Allah. This is what i mean when I refer to the messengers as being Imams, a Sheikh, Ulama, Sayyid, etc. They are still continuing His message by teaching, educating, preaching it to mankind.

Brother, as an example, you can be classified as a messenger because you are sending me the message of your faith. I have learnt a lot from you with the message you have provided. Your not a messenger of God but you are a messenger, teacher, educated one, etc.

Say you were Jewish, and you heard Muhammad had just revealed His station. Should you go to your Rabbi and see what he says, or should you go to Muhammad Himself (and the Muslims) and get the information there? The Rabbi wants to keep his job, prestige, power, etc., he won't convert himself and most certainly would not want to guide you on that path (the path to Islam). And to keep you, he will do a lot to try to get you to believe that Muhammad is not God's Messenger, including skewing the texts in such a way so that you believe him and so that the possibility that Muhammad is a messenger of God is closed.


Thats right, i would go to Muhammed and investigate His claim. But ofcourse would not take His word for it. I would investigate as im doing now and if Muhammed states that He was prophesied in the Torah, i would refer to my own text to determine the truth.
I have just finished a book called The Message which talks about the Age of Ignorance where the Arabs were idol worshippers and the Jews lived amongst them. Now since the Jews believed in One God, they used to pray to God to quicken the coming of the Arabian Prophet that was mentioned in the Torah, to free the Arabs from their state of ignorance. So therefore as a Jew, i would have referred to my own text/teachings to determine the claim of the Prophet Muhammed (a.s). But ofourse that wouldnt be the only thing that would convince me, because anyone could claim to be a Prophet so to determine whether He is the right one must be done through further research.

The point is, you should investigate these things yourself. If Baha'u'llah says thagt He is this Rasul, you should study His (Baha'u'llah's) claim and see if you think it is correct. This is the only sure way of finding the truth. Compare His Message to your Texts, but not the explanation of your texts by Sheikhs since they are only men like you and me and are not (considered) god-like in their knowledge of the Holy Texts. Maybe he has read more than you, but that doesn't mean he has the innate capacity to understand the truth any more deeper than you.


Yes and that is what im doing. As mentioned before i am currently reading the Kitab-I-Iqan. Also, I have researched the History of the Bab, i am reading books from various authors such as Moojnan Momem, i am constantly researching the Bahai online library and i am always asking questions (which im sure your going to be sick of me after awhile) hehe ;)

When i ask a Sheikh for information i dont only stop there. I still research the information by using other sources aswell. Allah(swt) has created all of us with a brain to gain knowledge and our commonsense assists in the investigation of the truth. In this instance, the Sheikh assisted me because i cannot read Arabic therefore required him to read it to me. As you said, men are fallible but doesnt mean i wont agree with him if i think it sounds right and is relevant when i compare it to my research.

I hope you understand what i mean and you dont think that as soon as someone, like a Sheikh, tells me something i instantly believe.

Man, i dont even know what the main subject of this thread is anymore....hehe....we have gone off on a tangent! :)

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Oct 23, 2006 12:10 pm

Abbas:

You said:

"As i have said before, we cannot intrepret the Quran because we are fallible and therefore only the infallible can because anyone can interpret it to suit their own needs."

Yes, and you are interpreting yourself.

You also say:

"In saying that, the term messenger can also be used but in the correct context which clearly differentiates between simply a messenger(that carries a message) or a messenger from God(that carries a message from God)."

In the context of the quote, the reference is clearly being made to Messengers of God. If not, find me other quotes where "Rasul" is just stated by itself (without the word Allah or God in the sentence along with it), and show me that it means ordinary people who send a message (it has to be clear reference to an ordinary man, not an obscure interpretation). To carry a messege, you have to be a Messenger, with a capital M. Unless you think your clergymen give a Messege (given to them by God) to people. Yes—anyone can be a "messenger," but Rasul in the Koran only refers to Messengers sent by God. If I tell a kid about a koranic verse, then am I a messenger? I sent him a message. If a teach a kid about what Einstein said about pollution, am I a mesenger? Technically, whatever I tell anyone can pretty much make me a "messenger" if you want to get really technical. But the word "Rasul" used in the Koran is understood to always be referring to someone who receives a message from God, and teaches it to the people. Someone who goes to school to become a priest or clergyman is not this kind of messenger, and Mullahs or Sheikhs are not referred to in the Koran.

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:02 pm

Abbas:

Disregard my last message, as I have a more important one for you here.

Here is proof that "Rusul" always means Messenger of God in the Koran, and never an ordinary messenger:

"Moreover, apostles before thee have been laughed to scorn: but that which they laughed to scorn encompassed the mockers among them!" (6:10)

Transliteration:

"Walaqadi istuhzia biRusulin min qablika fahaqa biallatheena sakhiroo minhum ma kanoo bihi yastahzioona."

Notice there is no "Rasulallah" in this verse. And it most clearly is referring to the previous Messengers that God has sent, who the people rejected. The beginning of the Sura discusses the fact that men mock the Divine message sent by God's Messengers. It is most certainly not referring to Mullahs or your average joe message-spreader; it is speaking about Messengers who send Holy Books. I seriously doubt God would destroy you if you didn't listen to a Mullah, as I am sure you are! ["See they not how many generations we have destroyed before them?" (6:6)]

So, this shows the importance on going to the Koran, looking for verses where "Rusul" is mentioned. I found many examples in fact rather quickly. And I can always find more if you'd like...

But anyway, back to the main issue, you do believe that God will send a Messenger. I was only trying to show you that if Muhammad really was going to send a Messenger, He would have said so in His holy book. And unless one tries to assign different meanings to the obvious meaning of "Rusul," he will clearly see this prophesy.

Anyway, how's the Iqan going? :)

Take care,

BW

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Postby choogue » Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:33 pm

Abbas:

You said:

"As i have said before, we cannot intrepret the Quran because we are fallible and therefore only the infallible can because anyone can interpret it to suit their own needs."

Yes, and you are interpreting yourself.


Correct, which is a point that im trying to make. If i interpret it, i would come up with that. I could be wrong or right therefore the teachings of the Prophet would confirm this. Other people could also interpret it in their own way to suit their needs.

In the context of the quote, the reference is clearly being made to Messengers of God. If not, find me other quotes where "Rasul" is just stated by itself (without the word Allah or God in the sentence along with it), and show me that it means ordinary people who send a message (it has to be clear reference to an ordinary man, not an obscure interpretation).


Yusufali 12:50] So the king said: "Bring ye him unto me." But when the messenger came to him, (Joseph) said: "Go thou back to thy lord, and ask him, 'What is the state of mind of the ladies who cut their hands'? For my Lord is certainly well aware of their snare."

The term messenger here is obviously referring to the messenger of the King that was sent to Prophet Joseph (Yusuf a.s) who sent the messenger back to his King with a question. Now, the transliteration for messenger here is: Rasulu. The Rasul being the messenger and the "u" added to the end of the word Rasul which will make its as "his messenger". The kings messenger, not Allah's messenger.

I know im interpreting it, but again im just trying to show that in the Quran when Rasul is mentioned, it means a messenger. Well im not actually "interpreting" it but rather translating it easier to read. (Or is that interpreting? Oh doesnt matter, you understand what i mean :) )

Messenger is a direct translation of Rasul. The Quran also does mention the Prophet Muhammed as Rasul but it is in the correct context and obvious for people to understand.

This all goes back to reading the Quran in Arabic. If read in its original text, there wouldnt be this confusion.

To carry a messege, you have to be a Messenger, with a capital M.


Thats not necessarily true. From what i know of the Arabic language, there is no capital letters so it is irrelevant. But even so if you say that a Messenger with a capital M reflects the Messenger of Allah, then the following verse is not referring to the Messenger of Allah because it is with a small "M".

[Shakir 7:35] O children of Adam! if there come to you messengers from among you relating to you My communications, then whoever shall guard (against evil) and act aright-- they shall have no fear nor shall they grieve.
[Yusufali 7:35] O ye Children of Adam! whenever there come to you messengers from amongst you, rehearsing My signs unto you,- those who are righteous and mend (their lives),- on them shall be no fear nor shall they grieve.
[Pickthal 7:35] O Children of Adam! When messengers of your own come unto you who narrate unto you My revelations, then whosoever refraineth from evil and amendeth - there shall no fear come upon them neither shall they grieve.



Someone who goes to school to become a priest or clergyman is not this kind of messenger, and Mullahs or Sheikhs are not referred to in the Koran.


A messenger is someone who is passing a message to people. I know its doesnt refer to Sheikh, Mullahs, etc in the Quran but they are messengers because they are spreading A Message, The Message to people.

Regards
Abbas

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Postby choogue » Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:38 pm

Hi Richard,

P.S. BTW, this link: http://www.muslim.org/allegs/proph-def.htm, leads to an interesting discussion of the word "Rasul" and related words, and seems to be a good Islamic website, again, in my humble opinion, but what do i know???


I went to this link and found it to be an Ahmadiyyah site. They also believe that a prophet came but in about 1888 (i think) but the prophet is the Mahdi and Jesus in one. So its not really a good reference for me but may be useful for others. Thanks.

Regards
Abbas

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Postby choogue » Mon Oct 23, 2006 11:04 pm

Sorry BW. I just saw your other reply.

Here is proof that "Rusul" always means Messenger of God in the Koran, and never an ordinary messenger:

"Moreover, apostles before thee have been laughed to scorn: but that which they laughed to scorn encompassed the mockers among them!" (6:10)

Transliteration:

"Walaqadi istuhzia biRusulin min qablika fahaqa biallatheena sakhiroo minhum ma kanoo bihi yastahzioona."

Notice there is no "Rasulallah" in this verse. And it most clearly is referring to the previous Messengers that God has sent, who the people rejected. The beginning of the Sura discusses the fact that men mock the Divine message sent by God's Messengers. It is most certainly not referring to Mullahs or your average joe message-spreader; it is speaking about Messengers who send Holy Books. I seriously doubt God would destroy you if you didn't listen to a Mullah, as I am sure you are! ["See they not how many generations we have destroyed before them?" (6:6)]


My previous reply to you shows that Rasul does not always mean Messenger of God. Messenger is a direct translation of Rasul.

I agree that when speaking about a messenger in this verse that it is referring to the messengers of Allah. This is obvious because it is in context. They are messengers. They are messengers of Allah. Therefore Rasul does relate to Messenger of Allah, but not always. But obviously Rasulillah does always refer to the messengers of Allah.

I never disagreed with that BW. My point is that messenger is a simple translation of Rasul which is used in the Quran sometimes referring to the Messengers of Allah and sometimes not. Depends on the context.

But anyway, back to the main issue, you do believe that God will send a Messenger. I was only trying to show you that if Muhammad really was going to send a Messenger, He would have said so in His holy book. And unless one tries to assign different meanings to the obvious meaning of "Rusul," he will clearly see this prophesy.


This is also covered in my previous reply where messenger is a direct translation of Rasul.

BW, i have realised you have misunderstood what i am saying and i hope this and the previous reply explains. I dont disagree with you that Rasul is a messenger of Allah. I only disagree that it only means messenger of Allah.

Anyway, how's the Iqan going?


Unfortunately i am studying for my HSC exams and i dont have time to continue reading it. Im between 41-80 but i may start it again when my exams are over because i sort of forgot a few things.

I know what your gonna say but i hear it from my Mum already! GET OFF THE COMP AND GO STUDY!! Hehehehe.... :roll:

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:00 am

abbas wrote:Sorry BW. I just saw your other reply.

Here is proof that "Rusul" always means Messenger of God in the Koran, and never an ordinary messenger:

"Moreover, apostles before thee have been laughed to scorn: but that which they laughed to scorn encompassed the mockers among them!" (6:10)

Transliteration:

"Walaqadi istuhzia biRusulin min qablika fahaqa biallatheena sakhiroo minhum ma kanoo bihi yastahzioona."

Notice there is no "Rasulallah" in this verse. And it most clearly is referring to the previous Messengers that God has sent, who the people rejected. The beginning of the Sura discusses the fact that men mock the Divine message sent by God's Messengers. It is most certainly not referring to Mullahs or your average joe message-spreader; it is speaking about Messengers who send Holy Books. I seriously doubt God would destroy you if you didn't listen to a Mullah, as I am sure you are! ["See they not how many generations we have destroyed before them?" (6:6)]


My previous reply to you shows that Rasul does not always mean Messenger of God. Messenger is a direct translation of Rasul.

I agree that when speaking about a messenger in this verse that it is referring to the messengers of Allah. This is obvious because it is in context. They are messengers. They are messengers of Allah. Therefore Rasul does relate to Messenger of Allah, but not always. But obviously Rasulillah does always refer to the messengers of Allah.


First you asserted that "Rusul" is only an oridnary messenger unless paired with "Allah," or it can mean either one (ambiguous). With that someone can easily say "Well, this verse is obviously only referring to 'regular' messengers." So see the problem there? We could do that with many other words in the Koran, and none of the verses would make any sense!

You said:

"A Messenger of Allah is known as 'Rasulallah' ... People that would spread the message of Islam are Rasul (Messengers)."

But I have shown you that "Rusul" in any context means Messenger of God. And if you disagree, then simply (as I asked before) show me at least 1 or 2 verses from the Koran (not including the O Children of Adam verse, since we already discussed it) where "rusul" is used and is irrefutably referring only to messengers rather than Messengers, that is, find where the word rusul is used in the context of messengers who are not sent by God.

I don't want to go around in circles though, as it would be fruitless for both of us. "Rusul" clearly to almost everyone in the Muslim world (except the minority—if such exists—that hold your belief that it means/can mean in the Koran ordinary people) means "Messenger of God," and its meaning is also obvious to anyone who reads or studies the Koran.

Besides, usually to deny that this verse means that God will send more Messengers, some Muslims will say it is addressed to the people before the time of Muhammad, since it says "O Children of Adam." But this is the first time I've seen a Muslim say that the "rusul" in that verse refers to ordinary men (not sent by God). Your opinion of the meaning of "rusul" being in the minority (I have never heard such an opinion expressed by a Muslim), maybe you can find evidence to back up your assertion that rusul in the Koran can mean ordinary men by finding at least 1-2 such verses (as I asked above)

abbas wrote:BW, i have realised you have misunderstood what i am saying and i hope this and the previous reply explains. I dont disagree with you that Rasul is a messenger of Allah. I only disagree that it only means messenger of Allah.


I have not misunderstood a thing you said. Maybe you can study my rebuttal a bit more. I know the word rusul means only messenger, but in the context of the Koran it always means Messenger of God! What other messenger would Muhammad be talking about? No Mullahs or clergymen are referred to in the Koran! And of course it doesn't refer to postmen or anything like that. In the context of each verse, rusul means a divine messenger, and I will keep giving you examples if you want. You haven't disproven what I said yet through evidence from the Koran...maybe you'll find something. If you find it, I can show you how it means Messenger of God if you'd like.

Anyway, how's the Iqan going?


Unfortunately i am studying for my HSC exams and i dont have time to continue reading it. Im between 41-80 but i may start it again when my exams are over because i sort of forgot a few things.

I know what your gonna say but i hear it from my Mum already! GET OFF THE COMP AND GO STUDY!! Hehehehe.... :roll:[/quote]

It's true that we all need to be more efficient. Right now it is 2:00 A.M. and my class starts early tomorrow...torture... :evil:

Take care,

BW

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Postby choogue » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:38 am

BW,

I think you must of totally skipped one of my replies.....I have already shown you a verse where a rasul has been mentioned as a normal messenger. Its just after the post where you said: "Disregard my last message, as I have a more important one for you here."

The post also explains the capital letters are irrelevant in the Arabic language.

Besides, usually to deny that this verse means that God will send more Messengers, some Muslims will say it is addressed to the people before the time of Muhammad, since it says "O Children of Adam." But this is the first time I've seen a Muslim say that the "rusul" in that verse refers to ordinary men (not sent by God). Your opinion of the meaning of "rusul" being in the minority (I have never heard such an opinion expressed by a Muslim), maybe you can find evidence to back up your assertion that rusul in the Koran can mean ordinary men by finding at least 1-2 such verses (as I asked above)


As explained, please see above post which shows the verse that refers to rasul as messenger.

No Mullahs or clergymen are referred to in the Koran! And of course it doesn't refer to postmen or anything like that.


Once you read my previous reply you will see that the messenger sent to Prophet Yusuf (a.s) was in a way like a postman or an email even. :wink:

It's true that we all need to be more efficient. Right now it is 2:00 A.M. and my class starts early tomorrow...torture...


Yep i hear ya! Cant wait till its all over and no more school!!! wooohoooo!

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:53 am

abbas wrote:BW,

I think you must of totally skipped one of my replies.....I have already shown you a verse where a rasul has been mentioned as a normal messenger. Its just after the post where you said: "Disregard my last message, as I have a more important one for you here."

The post also explains the capital letters are irrelevant in the Arabic language.

Besides, usually to deny that this verse means that God will send more Messengers, some Muslims will say it is addressed to the people before the time of Muhammad, since it says "O Children of Adam." But this is the first time I've seen a Muslim say that the "rusul" in that verse refers to ordinary men (not sent by God). Your opinion of the meaning of "rusul" being in the minority (I have never heard such an opinion expressed by a Muslim), maybe you can find evidence to back up your assertion that rusul in the Koran can mean ordinary men by finding at least 1-2 such verses (as I asked above)


As explained, please see above post which shows the verse that refers to rasul as messenger.


Okay, you pointed to this verse:

abbas wrote:["Yusufali 12:50] So the king said: "Bring ye him unto me." But when the messenger came to him, (Joseph) said: "Go thou back to thy lord, and ask him, 'What is the state of mind of the ladies who cut their hands'? For my Lord is certainly well aware of their snare."

The term messenger here is obviously referring to the messenger of the King that was sent to Prophet Joseph (Yusuf a.s) who sent the messenger back to his King with a question. Now, the transliteration for messenger here is: Rasulu. The Rasul being the messenger and the "u" added to the end of the word Rasul which will make its as "his messenger". The kings messenger, not Allah's messenger.


A King's messenger is different from a Messenger of God. Where in the below verse is the word king mentioned?

    "O children of Adam! there shall come to you Apostles from among yourselves, rehearsing my signs to you; and whoso shall fear God and do good works, no fear shall be upon them, neither shall they be put to grief." (7:35)

Now, I will attempt to clear up the confusion using another approach since it is fruitless going back and forth with "rusul's" meaning. But I will show you that in this case Rusul only refers to Messengers sent by God through a related verse.

First, who is the "my" in "my signs" (in 7:35)? A king's signs? God's signs, obviously. To better understand the meaning of this verse, take a look at the verse immediately above it:

    "Every nation hath its set time. And when their time is come, they shall not retard it an hour; and they shall not advance it." (7:34)


This verse, unequivocally, is referring to Dispensations, or religions, that are intended for the time when God inaugurates them through His Manifestations.

Now, given that the very verse below it states, "there shall come to you Apostles from among yourselves," it follows that the verse is referring to none other than Messengers of God; if it was referring to just ordinary messengers not sent by God, it would have been a non sequitur. The only way that this holy verse (7:35) makes sense is if the reader understands that "rusul" in this instance means Messengers of God.

When you try to understand a verse by itself, it is usually difficult unless you take into account the context in which it is being used, that is, its surrounding verses. Unless one does this, he can fruitlessly argue all day about a single word in a verse, and it wouldn't get anyone to a better understanding of the verse as a whole. It is, so to speak, missing the forest for the trees.

Take care,

—Warrior

P.S.

(By the way, you said: "The post also explains the capital letters are irrelevant in the Arabic language." I wanted to let you know I have known this for quite some time. I was using the capitals to distinguish between the two in english because it is rather cumbersome to keep typing "messengers of God" vs. "messengers" in the same sentence.)

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Postby choogue » Tue Oct 24, 2006 6:25 pm

A King's messenger is different from a Messenger of God. Where in the below verse is the word king mentioned?


What?? BW, did i say that the messenger of a king is the same? Did i say that a verse has to contain the word King to cancel out that messenger doesnt mean messenger from GOD??? No!

All i was simply doing was showing you that Rasul can mean a messenger other than a messenger of God in the Quran.

When you try to understand a verse by itself, it is usually difficult unless you take into account the context in which it is being used, that is, its surrounding verses. Unless one does this, he can fruitlessly argue all day about a single word in a verse, and it wouldn't get anyone to a better understanding of the verse as a whole. It is, so to speak, missing the forest for the trees


Finally i agree with you again! :) You are so right in saying that we have to read the whole surah (or surrounding verses) to understand its meaning. To be honest, i havent done so. We ended up getting focused on what the word Rasul means and trying to prove each other wrong.

Now if i read the whole Surah i might get a totally different understanding all together or i may not. As i have mentioned before, i would need to read what the Prophet taught us about this Surah to understand its meaning, because as we have seen, im making up my own interpretation and anyone can interpret the Quran to suit their needs. In saying that though, i could read the whole Surah and it would make sense to me anyway without referring to the Prophets teaching. But who am i to say what Allah is implying by this verse?

So lets conclude.

-Rasul can mean a messenger or a Messenger of God in the Quran.

-The " O people of Adam" verse most likely reflects the word messenger as being from Allah(swt). (I have to read the Surah first but i understand how it would be referred to as that)

-Hadith are important to refer to because we are fallible people and the best person to teach us are the Prophets themselves. (i know what your gonna say about Hadith, but as i mentioned, as far as im concerned the Hadith is what teaches us that Imam Mahdi will return so i cant throw them out)

Agree? Or should we just simply agree to disagree? ;)

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:03 am

abbas wrote:
A King's messenger is different from a Messenger of God. Where in the below verse is the word king mentioned?


What?? BW, did i say that the messenger of a king is the same? Did i say that a verse has to contain the word King to cancel out that messenger doesnt mean messenger from GOD??? No!

All i was simply doing was showing you that Rasul can mean a messenger other than a messenger of God in the Quran.


Yes, in the Koran, "rusul" only will mean something other than Messenger of God when the verse is explicitly referring to someone other than God (such as a King) sending a message. And, like you have shown (12:50), the word rusul is used in the context of a king's messenger. But anywhere in the Koran that "rusul" is used, when it is in the context of God sending one, it will always mean "Messenger of God," again, and not just any ordinary messenger that sends a message (such as a clergyman teaching the Koran to others). This was the original issue. Even if you still don't agree with that, at least can see through my clear explanation that 7:35 is referring to a coming Manifestation of God, that is, "there shall come to you Apostles" can only mean "rusul" sent by God, because if it meant anything else it'd be logically inconsistent with the preceding verse.

abbas wrote:
When you try to understand a verse by itself, it is usually difficult unless you take into account the context in which it is being used, that is, its surrounding verses. Unless one does this, he can fruitlessly argue all day about a single word in a verse, and it wouldn't get anyone to a better understanding of the verse as a whole. It is, so to speak, missing the forest for the trees


Finally i agree with you again! :) You are so right in saying that we have to read the whole surah (or surrounding verses) to understand its meaning. To be honest, i havent done so. We ended up getting focused on what the word Rasul means and trying to prove each other wrong.


Please feel free to read the Surah, it is a most beautiful chapter indeed, and very enlightening.

abbas wrote:Now if i read the whole Surah i might get a totally different understanding all together or i may not. As i have mentioned before, i would need to read what the Prophet taught us about this Surah to understand its meaning, because as we have seen, im making up my own interpretation and anyone can interpret the Quran to suit their needs. In saying that though, i could read the whole Surah and it would make sense to me anyway without referring to the Prophets teaching. But who am i to say what Allah is implying by this verse?


Well after you read it, if you still have doubts, I will try to clear up your confusion about it. I am not interpreting this verse at all. Muhammad has written something logical, and it should be interpreted logically. To say "rusul" in this case means anything other than Messengers of God will, as I said before, make the verse a non sequitur, which it most certainly isn't.

abbas wrote:So lets conclude.

-Rasul can mean a messenger or a Messenger of God in the Quran.


Rusul, as you have shown in the case of a king, can mean his messenger, since the subject is "king." Otherwise, "rusul" can never mean Messengers of God and regular, ordinary messengers at the same time. Thus, in the Koran, anytime "rusuls" are prophesied, they are specifically referring to Messengers of God, again, and not ordinary messengers, or even both. This you have not demonstrated. You only demonstrated that if the subject is someone other than God, and this person has his messenger to send a message, then in this case "rusul" means an ordinary messenger, and there is no special meaning attached to the term.

abbas wrote:-The " O people of Adam" verse most likely reflects the word messenger as being from Allah(swt). (I have to read the Surah first but i understand how it would be referred to as that)


Please feel free to read it again, to understand that the verse can only mean Messengers of God. Again, if any other meaning were assigned to the word—I'm sure you'll agree after having read it—it'd not only be a (mis)interpretation, but it would also create an inconsistency. And the Koran most certainly is not inconsistent—it becomes inconsistent when men interpret verses to suit their needs, as you yourself have pointed out. Indeed, perversion of God's texts and a distortion of His Faith is a grievous transgression, as the Koran states: "Verily those who believe not, and who pervert others from the way of God, and then die in unbelief, God will not forgive" (Sura XLVII, verse 36).

abbas wrote:-Hadith are important to refer to because we are fallible people and the best person to teach us are the Prophets themselves. (i know what your gonna say about Hadith, but as i mentioned, as far as im concerned the Hadith is what teaches us that Imam Mahdi will return so i cant throw them out)


I don't disagree with what you say, and I am not talking about your Mahdi necessarily. I am speaking more generally—referring to the Koran because it can apply to both Shi'a and Sunni in this case. Both of you have your own hadiths, but the one thing you definitely agree on, and that the Baha'is agree on also, is the holy Koran. And if we look at the Koran, whether we are Sunni, Shi'a, or members of a different religion (i.e. Baha'i), we can all see that the Koran clearly prophesies the coming of another Messenger of God, like Muhammad. That is my only point about the Koran, otherwise hadith are great and I encourage you to keep studying them. In fact, when some time frees up, I'll take a look at some hadith myself...

abbas wrote:Agree? Or should we just simply agree to disagree? ;)


Most of what you have said I agree with. The only points I wouldn't agree with is if they were to contradict the Koran.

I want to encourage you not to go to your clergymen for questions. Because, as in this case, they can say things that are confusing, and many times they will try to deny certain truths about the Koran, for instance its prophesies of a coming Manifestation of God who will bring with Him His new religion; more than a mere reform of Islam.

For the sake of argument, if Baha'u'llah is this Messenger, then generally speaking your clergymen have rejected His Message. Using this example, the questions that you ask them might lead you on the wrong path as I stated before. If you think Baha'u'llah might be the Messenger, it is better to consider His Message and not the message of the clergymen, so you can see for yourself without any preconceived notions. You should study the Koran (and hadith) to help you better understand Baha'u'llah, but I am of the opinion that you shouldn't go to Mullahs or other clergymen and ask them what they think a verse means.

If you interpret the Koran literally (the miraculous, material signs that will be made manifest upon his return), then Baha'u'llah's return should have been obvious to the eyes of every Muslim. But, actually, if you read closely, this is not the case according to the Sura "Cattle":

    And had we sent down to thee a Book written on parchment, and they had touched it with their hands, the infidels had surely said, "This is nought but plain sorcery."

    They say, too, "Unless an angel be sent down to him. . . ." But if we had sent down an angel, their judgment would have come on them at once, and they would have had no respite:

    And if we had appointed an angel, we should certainly have appointed one in the form of a man, and we should have clothed him before them in garments like their own.
    (7–9)

Taking a closer look at these holy Words, we can see that (1) God chooses not to make the return of His Messenger known to all—because not all look at His Message with their spiritual eyes, they look at it with their material eyes, eyes that are blinded by preconceived notions about in what manner the Messenger should return, etc., and other beliefs that hold them back; (2) From this verse, and the verse we have been discussing (7:35), which states "there shall come to you Apostles from among yourselves," we can most clearly see that the Koran is telling us that this Messenger will be someone who we will least expect; an ordinary man. He will not return majestically, say, with trumpet blasts, stars falling from the sky, fighting the legions of Satan, etc., or whatever it may be. This man will outwardly seem to the unbelievers like "one of our own" and thus they will conclude (since they did not study the Koran close enough but instead misinterpreted and blindly believed what their fellow brethren believed) that He is not the Messenger, and they will not give consideration to His Words since in their minds He is an infidel—whereas the only infidels, according to the Koran, are those who reject God's Messenger. "Moreover, apostles before thee have been laughed to scorn: but that which they laughed to scorn encompassed the mockers among them!" (10).

(Just to let you know, I'm not saying you have to believe that Baha'u'llah is this Messenger—I am saying based on the Koran you have to believe that He will return as an ordinary man, that His return will not be immediately obvious to all.)

When I said (two paragraphs above this one) that many will not be able to recognize the Messenger because they are not using their spiritual eyes, I was referring to this Hidden Word (#12) by Baha'u'llah:

    O MAN OF TWO VISIONS!

    Close one eye and open the other. Close one to the world and all that is therein, and open the other to the hallowed beauty of the Beloved.


When judging someone's averment to be a Messenger of God, we should investigate His claim using our inner eye, or soul—the animating force that God have given humans to recognize His Message. If we allow our material, corrupt inclinations ("material eyes") to "open," by doing so we are closing our inner, spiritual eyes, and we will not recognize His claim.

Anyway, just some things to consider when studying the Baha'i Faith. :)

Your friend,

Warrior

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Postby brettz9 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:01 am

I haven't been keeping up with the rest of the posts in this thread, but in checking through the RSS feed, I came across this post of Richard and wanted to appreciatively say how eloquently stated I thought it was...

best wishes,
Brett

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:02 pm

richard wrote:No amount of piety or creedal or theological loyalty can compensate for the absence in the life experience of sincere spiritual faith believers of that spontaneous, generous, and sincere friendliness which characterizes the spirit-born sons of the living God. Neither tradition nor a ceremonial system of formal worship can atone for the lack of genuine compassion for one's fellows.


I agree, and think the most important way to recognize Baha'u'llah is through His message. If such a message can stir your soul, unlike any previous holy words or poetry, then that is an indication of its truth. If we have a soul, and this soul responds to spiritual truths that emanate from the Words, then this is the only way we can be sure of its truth—that, along with observing the general effect the teachings have on the religion's adherents, and how these Words can transform them spiritually. But the heart has to be open; if it is closed by preconceived notions, then it will be much harder (or indeed impossible) to see the spiritual truth of the Words.

Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us, Richard. I'm sure we all greatly appreciate it.

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Postby senfreern » Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:31 pm

Hey Nolifer,

I can't answer all questions, and I'm not even baha'i, but let me answer about "why are there not a lot of baha'is?"

when mohammad came down, he had a military, and people converted in mecca because of compromises, and so forth. no one, not even government could get in his way. When baha'u'llah came, he was imprisoned.. it's sort of hard to teach when you are in jail! however, he had to go from jail to jail because everywhere he went he would get people to convert.. jail guards, even government officials! and that my friend is a miracle.

also, the religion never really got a chance to grow because leaving islam is punishable by death.. so it's sort of hard to become a baha'i!

also, i read that the baha'is don't come to you.. you come to them. so if i wanted to be a baha'i for isntanse, i would have to ask about it.. they wouldn't be at my door or anything i don't think.

the baha'i faith is growing though, and all we need is a little education.. y best friend has a neighbor from india who is baha'i.. she told my friend about it, and my friend became one.. and after a year or so, now about 60% of her entire subdivision is baha'i, and it still continues to grow! if one neighborhood can grow like this, think about how much potential it has!

christianity and islam are growing rapidly because there are already a lot of them.. think about it.. if you had let's say 100 baha'is in your neighborhood, wouldn't you at least study the religion? but if you had maybe 2.. it would be different, because you wouldn't think much of ti!

slowly but surely the baha'i faith is growing..

and when i have read the baha'i writing, i've noticed that there are no contradictions! and this is amazing. :) the words have never been changed.

I ask you to learn more and more about the faith.. i'm pretty sure, that like thousands upon millions of others, you too will become a baha'i. :)

and ur family is conservative islam huh? ouch. i have a friend who is gay who comes from a muslim family.. poor guy. i hope islam gets more gay friendly! baha'is don't like homosexuality but still at least tolerate it. :)

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Oct 27, 2006 11:40 am

kjf512 wrote:and ur family is conservative islam huh? ouch. i have a friend who is gay who comes from a muslim family.. poor guy. i hope islam gets more gay friendly! baha'is don't like homosexuality but still at least tolerate it. :)


If by "tolerate" you mean accept homosexuality as a normal sexual variant, then that is not accurate. Baha'is believe that homosexual acts are immoral (as are heterosexual acts outside of marriage). Homosexuals are accepted into the Baha'i Faith only if they seek treatment or refrain from homosexual acts/flagrant homosexuality.

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Postby senfreern » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:19 pm

tolerance is just letting people do what they do. acceptance is accepting them for doing it. a minor but big difference!

so by tolerancy, I mean baha'is don't like it, but if there is a gay person, they will still tolerate it and not kill them or anything. unlike muslims who don't tolerate nor accept it.

baha'is believe in unity.. unity is tolerance and acceptance. :)

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Fri Oct 27, 2006 5:40 pm

kjf512 wrote:tolerance is just letting people do what they do. acceptance is accepting them for doing it. a minor but big difference!

so by tolerancy, I mean baha'is don't like it, but if there is a gay person, they will still tolerate it and not kill them or anything. unlike muslims who don't tolerate nor accept it.

baha'is believe in unity.. unity is tolerance and acceptance. :)


Thank you for clarifying, kjf512.

—Warrior

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Postby choogue » Sat Oct 28, 2006 12:23 am

Sorry for the late reply. Ive been studying and didnt have time to use the forum.

I want to apologise for using Nilofers post. Richard is right and i feel bad for Nilofer. I think i just got caught up in it and didnt realise it wasnt even my post. I wont let it go this far next time.

Sorry Nilofer.

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Noisiodimelem » Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:23 am

hello friends.... its been long that i visited here. i was caught up with few entrance exams. i will be joining college in jan for mba. i didnt have much time woth my research. thats why you dont see much questions from me now a days. please dont mind using my post. all are welcome here. you post here or no it doesnt matter. we are all sharing our knowldege.. i will return to my research very soon. i want to thank all who are taking the effort in answering my queries and clearing my doubts.. thank you and love you all. god bless you

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Postby Noisiodimelem » Mon Oct 30, 2006 1:37 am

heyy richard.. u keep referring to me as "he".. iam not a boy..iam a girl...hehehe..

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Postby Noisiodimelem » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:48 am

heyy thanx richard for those lovely wishes... n dont say sorry.. its not a big mistake.. :lol:
ohh so u did ur bba n nw u must be working right? hmm i wish to complete mba soon n get into some good job.. iam so bad in accounts.. i donno how i got thru my bba..hahaha.. anyway wish you as well as for ur family all the goodies in life.. take care...
n abbas tell me what is the difference between a sunni n a shia? m a sunni .. how am i difft to u??

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Postby Noisiodimelem » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:56 am

one lady is coming home to teach me the verses in the quran n its meaning.. whenever there comes any verse about the revelations being given to the messengers she says it is to prophet muhammed n not any other. she says that the quran soesnt speak of a coming of another prophet after prophet muhammed. some of my bahai friends say tht the whole quran speaks of the coming of bahaullah.. why am i blind to those verses in the quran which speaks of bahaullah???

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:41 am

nilofer wrote:one lady is coming home to teach me the verses in the quran n its meaning.. whenever there comes any verse about the revelations being given to the messengers she says it is to prophet muhammed n not any other. she says that the quran soesnt speak of a coming of another prophet after prophet muhammed. some of my bahai friends say tht the whole quran speaks of the coming of bahaullah.. why am i blind to those verses in the quran which speaks of bahaullah???


Because you are letting this lady tell you what the Koran says. Nilofer: the holy Koran most clearly states that there is a coming Manifestation, and the "seal of the prophets" verse is there so that those who do not understand its meaning and want to dispute (and pervert) the obvious will be held back from His return.

Anyway, all Shi'a and Sunni are awaiting the return of the Qa'im and Mahdi, respectively, and Imam Husayn and Christ, respectively. So whatever way you want to interpret the "seal of the Prophets" verse—whether interpreted wrongly or correctly—Muslims are indeed awaiting Someone sent by God (or two Men).

Now as to proofs of a coming Manifestation (Arabic "Rusul") of God, we have been discussing this topic in a number of (recent) threads. Are there any specific verses you'd like to discuss?

I hate to be facetious, but maybe one proof that Baha'u'llah the expected Return was the rejection that He received from the Muslim community as a whole.

"They say, too, 'Unless an angel be sent down to him. . . .' But if we had sent down an angel, their judgment would have come on them at once, and they would have had no respite:

And if we had appointed an angel, we should certainly have appointed one in the form of a man, and we should have clothed him before them in garments like their own."
(6:8–9)

Thus, they saw the Bab and Baha'u'llah as one of their own—nay, inferior to their own kind, and rejected Them. They missed the angels "clothed...in garments like their own." (Well, the Muslim reader should admit that this is a possibility, anyway.)

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Postby choogue » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:58 pm

abbas tell me what is the difference between a sunni n a shia? m a sunni .. how am i difft to u??


Hi Nilofer,

I dont know much about the Shia and Sunni split because at the end we are all Muslim so most of us are taught to focus on Islam as a whole. But the major difference is the argument of the Successor after Prophet Muhammeds(a.s) death.

Shia believe that the first successor should have been Imam Ali, the Prophets cousin, but the Sunni believe it should have been Abu Bakir, the Prophets companion.

Imam Ali comes from Ahlul Bayt where there are twelve Imams. The last Imam is the Mahdi who Shia's believe went into occultation and will return, but Sunni believe that he has not been born yet.

The Mahdi isnt a Prophet nor messenger of God. He is only a Imam/Caliph who will continue spreading the word of Islam and bring peace and justice to the world. This is the belief of both the Shia and Sunni.

Anyway, all Shi'a and Sunni are awaiting the return of the Qa'im and Mahdi, respectively, and Imam Husayn and Christ, respectively. So whatever way you want to interpret the "seal of the Prophets" verse—whether interpreted wrongly or correctly—Muslims are indeed awaiting Someone sent by God (or two Men).


BW, this is the first time ive heard about Muslims waiting for the Imam Husayn to return.

Plus the Quran doesnt actually clearly state there is a coming manifestation. Its all to do with a persons interpretation and understanding. If it was clear, then i would have signed my membership card by now. ;)

Its true what Nilofer is saying though that the revelations were given to the Prophet Muhammed in the Quran. So the following verse doesnt actually talk about the rejection of Bahaullah.

"And they say: Why has not an angel been sent down to him? And had We sent down an angel, the matter would have certainly been decided and then they would not have been respited.

And if We had made him angel, We would certainly have made him a man, and We would certainly have made confused to them what they make confused.(6:8–9) "


To me, it sounds more obvious that its talking about previous messages being rejected. Just like you have suggested and told me not to rely on one verse and should read the ones before it, then i would suggest the same. If you read it from the beginning upto Verse 9 then you will see that its actually talking about previous messages that have been rejected and then this verse is specifically talking about the Prophet Muhammed(a.s). But again, its up to interpretations. Anything can be interpreted differently, but in order to understand, you must read the Surah. Just like the previous Surah where i thought the term Messenger meant not a messenger of Allah, but obviously after reading the whole Surah it made clear sense that it was talking about the Prophet Adam(a.s)and His people. This again just shows that interpreting things yourself can be misleading.

Regards
Abbas

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Postby choogue » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:13 am

We cant avoid interpreting things, which is why when we interpret it we should refer to the teachings of the Prophet as they are the infallible that were sent by God who has given them the knowledge to understand.

SURELY WE ALL RECOGNIZE THE SUPERB TRUTH, BEAUTY, AND GOODNESS IN THE BAHA'I FAITH TEACHINGS, BUT SOME, TO MANY, INTERPRET THEM SOMEWHAT DIFFERENTLY, EVEN AMONG BAHA'I FAITH MEMBERS. AND THERE ARE EVEN THOSE WHO HAVE DIFFERENTIAL INTERPRETATIONS OF THE CONSCENSUS INTERPRETATIONS OF THE UHJ; AND ALL RELIGIONS HAVE SIMILAR PROBLEMS.


Correct. Again, even the more reason why the interpretations are taught by the Prophets to avoid people being misled.

The interpretations or explanations in this thread are merely personal from what i understand. Its always good to listen to other peoples thoughts and the reason they interpret verses the way they do. For me anyway, keeps me thinking and opens up my mind for other possibilities and may confirm my personal interpretations if i dont see the sense in others interpretations.

Regards
Abbas

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Postby choogue » Wed Nov 01, 2006 3:55 am

Well yeh. Im basically saying that our own interpretations need to be investigated using the correct teachings. We are fallible therefore must refer to the infallible, otherwise we interpret things the way we want.

And yes, we continue practicing our beliefs. That should not stop unless you have proven to yourself your beliefs are wrong.

In my case, i continue praying, fasting, etc following the Islamic belief, but if i finally realise that Bahuallah was a prophet, then i would follow the Bahai teachings. Till then, i continue following Islam.

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:28 am

abbas wrote:Plus the Quran doesnt actually clearly state there is a coming manifestation. Its all to do with a persons interpretation and understanding. If it was clear, then i would have signed my membership card by now. ;)


Yes it does. As I have shown you in 7:34–35; you haven't provided a counterargument. Whether or not you want to become a Baha'i is up to you. I, as other Baha'is, would indeed be happy to receive you as a member of our faith. However, I am not trying to convince you of the meaning of the verses to make you a Baha'i, since even if I convinced you, you could theoretically say, "Well, it wasn't talking about Baha'u'llah" or "Baha'u'llah isn't the promised Manifestation."

It's up you to, Abbas. Only so much proofs can be shown. And they can easily be rejected (as your Shakhs and Imams have become good at) if the person really wants to reject them. That is why every time a new Manifestation comes, the majority at first don't follow him, because they don't look beyond the surface of the meaning of the verses in their holy scriptures.

Abbas, if you pretended to be a Baha'i, and I a Muslim, then any Baha'i proof you gave me I could easily reject also. It's not difficult if you really want to do it. All you have to do is take verses at face value.

Your friend,

Warrior

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Wed Nov 01, 2006 11:33 am

Richard,

Agreed. Proofs, while useful, will do no good (even if the seeker is convinced of the proofs) unless the seeker can open the soul to Baha'u'llah's words, and allow his soul to do the work (respond to the spiritual energy contained within these Words). (I am not talking about anyone here specifically, this has to be the case with any seeker coming from any creed.)

—Warrior

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Postby choogue » Wed Nov 01, 2006 9:10 pm

Yes it does. As I have shown you in 7:34–35; you haven't provided a counterargument. Whether or not you want to become a Baha'i is up to you. I, as other Baha'is, would indeed be happy to receive you as a member of our faith. However, I am not trying to convince you of the meaning of the verses to make you a Baha'i, since even if I convinced you, you could theoretically say, "Well, it wasn't talking about Baha'u'llah" or "Baha'u'llah isn't the promised Manifestation."


BW, im not here to provide counterarguments. Im not here to prove to you that Islam is right and Bahai is false. Im only here to understand the Bahai teachings, hence understanding the reason why Bahai believe another prophet has come through the Bahai interpretations of the Quran.

For Surah 7, i didnt realise that it was the same Surah where Allah creates Adam and Ibliss doesnt bow down to him. Until i read it, i realised what the Surah was about. Again, personally im reading it as a story and Allah saying to Adam's people that there will be messengers amongst you. And again, people can interpret this as "we are all people of Adam" but to me this was a story to the people of Adam at that time explaining to them messengers will come from amongst you.

This is how i see it. I dont need to argue it and tell you thats what it means otherwise i will be trying to prove you wrong and thats not what im here for.

It's up you to, Abbas. Only so much proofs can be shown. And they can easily be rejected (as your Shakhs and Imams have become good at) if the person really wants to reject them.


Yes, just like Bahai's would reject the Ahmadiyya believing there is another prophet because it makes sense to you that Bahuallah was the prophet not that Ahmed guy.

That is why every time a new Manifestation comes, the majority at first don't follow him, because they don't look beyond the surface of the meaning of the verses in their holy scriptures


And people accept false prophets because they interpret from their scriptures which ever way to suit them. Just like the Ahmadiyya have.

Abbas, if you pretended to be a Baha'i, and I a Muslim, then any Baha'i proof you gave me I could easily reject also. It's not difficult if you really want to do it. All you have to do is take verses at face value.


But i dont really want to reject Bahai. Im always trying to see it in the Bahai perspective when reading the Quran, but i cant because the explanations differ from you. But it is still early for me as i have only been studying Bahai for about 4 months.

PERHAPS, IN HONOR OF NILOFER'S POSITIVE ENDEAVORS WITH COLLEGE AND RESEARCH, AND HER RELATIVE RISE FROM CONFUSION, WE SHOULD CHANGE THE NAME OF THIS THREAD WE ARE HANGING ON, TO "OUR CONFUSION," OR MORE ACCURATELY, BUT STILL WITH HUMILITY, "OUR SOMETIME CONFUSIONS AS IMPERFECT HUMANS."

INCREASING SPIRITUAL PEACE AND LIGHT TO ALL OF US---, WE, AND THEM...


I dont believe we need to change the thread. Nilofer made a point that she is happy for us to continue using her thread as it helps her see the different points, therefore she can make her own conclusion. Just because Nilofer isnt posting or replying, doesnt mean she isnt reading it. The decision is up to her. If she wants us to change the name or stop using her thread, the decision is up to her.

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Nov 02, 2006 1:58 am

abbas wrote:For Surah 7, i didnt realise that it was the same Surah where Allah creates Adam and Ibliss doesnt bow down to him. Until i read it, i realised what the Surah was about. Again, personally im reading it as a story and Allah saying to Adam's people that there will be messengers amongst you. And again, people can interpret this as "we are all people of Adam" but to me this was a story to the people of Adam at that time explaining to them messengers will come from amongst you.


The Muslim defence that I was originally expecting. The following is not only for you, Abbas, but it is for the other Muslim seeker(s) reading this thread.

First—again, 7:35:

    O children of Adam! there shall come to you Apostles from among yourselves, rehearsing my signs to you...

Now, according to you (and many other Muslims who are aware of the verse), this verse is "a story and Allah saying to Adam's people that there will be messengers amongst you." But you will see that this is not the case if you read a few verses above it, verse 31, which says:

    "O children of Adam! wear your goodly apparel when ye repair to any mosque, and eat ye and drink; but exceed not, for He loveth not those who exceed."

Who are mosques intended for? Muslims. So if Muhammad is talking to Muslims in a "O children of Adam" verse, telling them (Muslims) to worship, then when He says He will send Messengers, we know that He is actually talking only to Muslims. So He is telling Muslims that He will be sending more Manifestations.

Abbas, even if you don't agree with the interpretation of this verse despite what I have shown, you have to at least admit that Baha'u'llah demonstrates with absolute clarity how the three verses below the "seal of the prophets" verse is a unequivocal reference to a coming Manifestation (I discussed this with you either in this thread or in another). This is His unique proof, one that Muslims have not heard of (except for maybe a few). And that one proof is indestructible—I have not seen even one Muslim counter-argument to it. Do you have any? You say you are interested in proofs, and that's why we are talking about them.

abbas wrote:This is how i see it. I dont need to argue it and tell you thats what it means otherwise i will be trying to prove you wrong and thats not what im here for.


You said you were interested in proofs, Abbas. But I still maintain, as the Blessed Beauty (Baha'u'llah) and other Baha'is studying the Koran have, that the Koran prophesies a Manifestation after Muhammad.

abbas wrote:Yes, just like Bahai's would reject the Ahmadiyya believing there is another prophet because it makes sense to you that Bahuallah was the prophet not that Ahmed guy.


Abbas, it's not as simplicit as you frame it. Anyone can say that he is a Manifestation (or Prophet). We investigate His claim and see if what He says is true or not for ourselves. This is our duty as Baha'is, and at age 15, the youth has to investigate for himself without pressure from Baha'is. If he thinks another religion is correct (after thorough research of the other religions), then he is to join that one.

abbas wrote:And people accept false prophets because they interpret from their scriptures which ever way to suit them. Just like the Ahmadiyya have.


Fair. Either Baha'is are perverting the Words of the Koran for their own interests, or the Muslims are perverting the Words of the Koran for their own. It's one of those. We will both agree on this, I am sure. The Koran says that God closes the eyes of some men from the Truth, and He lets others see It. Verses can only have only one ultimate meaning; someone must be interpreting erroneously. He is preventing either the Baha'is or the Muslims from understanding the Truth, right? :)

abbas wrote:But i dont really want to reject Bahai. Im always trying to see it in the Bahai perspective when reading the Quran, but i cant because the explanations differ from you. But it is still early for me as i have only been studying Bahai for about 4 months.


The explanations your Shakh is giving you are already out there; they are not new explanations. I suggest you decide for yourself the meaning of the verses, and not base it on the meaning that a cluster of fallible men agree on.

Take care,

Warrior

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Postby choogue » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:04 am

"O children of Adam! wear your goodly apparel when ye repair to any mosque, and eat ye and drink; but exceed not, for He loveth not those who exceed."


Who are mosques intended for? Muslims. So if Muhammad is talking to Muslims in a "O children of Adam" verse, telling them (Muslims) to worship, then when He says He will send Messengers, we know that He is actually talking only to Muslims. So He is telling Muslims that He will be sending more Manifestations.


Out of the three translations, not one of them do i see the term Mosques.

[Shakir 7:31] O children of Adam! attend to your embellishments at every time of prayer, and eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.
[Yusufali 7:31] O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.
[Pickthal 7:31] O Children of Adam! Look to your adornment at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but be not prodigal. Lo! He loveth not the prodigals.

You can argue that it mentions a "place of worship" in one of the translations, but that doesnt necessarily mean a Mosque. It could mean any place that someone worships Allah.

Im not sure where you have got the translation from.

Now, according to you (and many other Muslims who are aware of the verse), this verse is "a story and Allah saying to Adam's people that there will be messengers amongst you."


So providing that verse 31 doesnt say Mosque, why would you assume the term "O people of Adam" means us and not the people at that time. If it means us, why the confusion and have verses that contain Noah's people, Moses' people, etc?

Just to clarify, is this your personal translation or is it part of Bahuallahs teaching?

Abbas, even if you don't agree with the interpretation of this verse despite what I have shown, you have to at least admit that Baha'u'llah demonstrates with absolute clarity how the three verses below the "seal of the prophets" verse is a unequivocal reference to a coming Manifestation (I discussed this with you either in this thread or in another). This is His unique proof, one that Muslims have not heard of (except for maybe a few). And that one proof is indestructible—I have not seen even one Muslim counter-argument to it. Do you have any? You say you are interested in proofs, and that's why we are talking about them.


I dont think we have discussed this. I cant remember you mentioning anything about it. Anyway, are these the verses you are talking about:

[Yusufali 33:41] O ye who believe! Celebrate the praises of Allah, and do this often;
[Yusufali 33:42] And glorify Him morning and evening.
[Yusufali 33:43] He it is Who sends blessings on you, as do His angels, that He may bring you out from the depths of Darkness into Light: and He is Full of Mercy to the Believers.

If these are the verses you are referring to then i dont see how a Muslim cannot counter-argue this. To me it is quite simple. We need to celebrate the praises of Allah often, and glorify Allah in the morning and the evening. Allah and the angels are the ones who send blessings on us. These blessings may bring us out from not believing or basically from evil to Islam or the correct way. Allah is full of mercy to the believers.

This is my simple explanation but sorry, i cannot see how this demonstrates with absolute clarity that there is a coming manifestation. So i find it hard to believe that Muslims dont have one counter-argument to it when it simply explains everything itself. Unless ofcourse your not talking about these verses, which i think you may not be.

Abbas, it's not as simplicit as you frame it. Anyone can say that he is a Manifestation (or Prophet). We investigate His claim and see if what He says is true or not for ourselves. This is our duty as Baha'is, and at age 15, the youth has to investigate for himself without pressure from Baha'is. If he thinks another religion is correct (after thorough research of the other religions), then he is to join that one.


Correct. As it is with Islam. We are not meant to be followers. We are meant to be believers and the only way to believe is the independent investigation of the truth.

Fair. Either Baha'is are perverting the Words of the Koran for their own interests, or the Muslims are perverting the Words of the Koran for their own. It's one of those. We will both agree on this, I am sure. The Koran says that God closes the eyes of some men from the Truth, and He lets others see It. Verses can only have only one ultimate meaning; someone must be interpreting erroneously. He is preventing either the Baha'is or the Muslims from understanding the Truth, right?


I absolutley agree with this! :P

The explanations your Shakh is giving you are already out there; they are not new explanations. I suggest you decide for yourself the meaning of the verses, and not base it on the meaning that a cluster of fallible men agree on.


The only time i ask a Sheikh for assistance is when i need him to read the verses in Arabic. Even when i come across a verse that i read and cannot understand, i would ask him. Doesnt mean that i have to agree with him, but it allows some insight from someone who has studied the Quran and Hadiths for years and years. I dont see a problem with that unless i follow him blindly.

Plus, the Hadiths that are not fabricated provide the meanings. But in order to believe the explanations from the Hadith, you need to believe that they are authentic, which as you have stated already, Bahais dont believe in them.

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Nov 02, 2006 2:03 pm

abbas wrote:
"O children of Adam! wear your goodly apparel when ye repair to any mosque, and eat ye and drink; but exceed not, for He loveth not those who exceed."


Who are mosques intended for? Muslims. So if Muhammad is talking to Muslims in a "O children of Adam" verse, telling them (Muslims) to worship, then when He says He will send Messengers, we know that He is actually talking only to Muslims. So He is telling Muslims that He will be sending more Manifestations.


Out of the three translations, not one of them do i see the term Mosques.

[Shakir 7:31] O children of Adam! attend to your embellishments at every time of prayer, and eat and drink and be not extravagant; surely He does not love the extravagant.
[Yusufali 7:31] O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: But waste not by excess, for Allah loveth not the wasters.
[Pickthal 7:31] O Children of Adam! Look to your adornment at every place of worship, and eat and drink, but be not prodigal. Lo! He loveth not the prodigals.

You can argue that it mentions a "place of worship" in one of the translations, but that doesnt necessarily mean a Mosque. It could mean any place that someone worships Allah.


"Ya banee adama khuthoo zeenatakum AAinda kulli masjidin wakuloo waishraboo wala tusrifoo innahu la yuhibbu almusrifeena"

Masjid=place of worship. Though this word just means place of worship, it was adopted by Muslims to mean their place of worship.


abbas wrote:Im not sure where you have got the translation from.


Rodwell. And he was correct in using "moque" for "masjid" because the word "masjid" is only used by Muslims to refer to their place of worship.

abbas wrote:Just to clarify, is this your personal translation or is it part of Bahuallahs teaching?


Baha'u'llah might refer to the verse, but I'm not sure. I'd have to check.

abbas wrote:
Abbas, even if you don't agree with the interpretation of this verse despite what I have shown, you have to at least admit that Baha'u'llah demonstrates with absolute clarity how the three verses below the "seal of the prophets" verse is a unequivocal reference to a coming Manifestation (I discussed this with you either in this thread or in another). This is His unique proof, one that Muslims have not heard of (except for maybe a few). And that one proof is indestructible—I have not seen even one Muslim counter-argument to it. Do you have any? You say you are interested in proofs, and that's why we are talking about them.


I dont think we have discussed this. I cant remember you mentioning anything about it. Anyway, are these the verses you are talking about...


33:40 says:

    Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Apostle of God, and the seal of the prophets: and God knoweth all things.

Which we agree with, He is the seal of the Prophets. But not the seal of the messengers, because 33:44 says:

    Their greeting on the day when they shall meet Him shall be "Peace!" And He hath got ready for them a noble recompense.


This is the argument Baha'u'llah makes, that this verse is a reference to a future Manifestation. "Their greeing on the day when they shall meet Him" = the Day of Judgment. But who is "Him"? God? No, the Koran says we cannot see God. So it has to be referring to the next Manifestation, and this "Day of Judgment" has to be symbolic, not literal, since obviously in this case we won't be meeting God, but we will be meeting His Manifestation.

abbas wrote:
Fair. Either Baha'is are perverting the Words of the Koran for their own interests, or the Muslims are perverting the Words of the Koran for their own. It's one of those. We will both agree on this, I am sure. The Koran says that God closes the eyes of some men from the Truth, and He lets others see It. Verses can only have only one ultimate meaning; someone must be interpreting erroneously. He is preventing either the Baha'is or the Muslims from understanding the Truth, right?


I absolutley agree with this! :P


Alright then, Abbas. It's a fifty-fifty chance, I guess you could look at it that way. :D

—Warrior

P.S.

Not to get off topic, but aren't we children of Adam ourselves? One of Baha'u'llah's Hidden Words (#69) is:

    "O CHILDREN OF ADAM!

    Holy words and pure and goodly deeds ascend unto the heaven of celestial glory. Strive that your deeds may be cleansed from the dust of self and hypocrisy and find favour at the court of glory; for ere long the assayers of mankind shall, in the holy presence of the Adored one, accept naught but absolute virtue and deeds of stainless purity. This is the day-star of wisdom and of divine mystery that hath shone above the horizon of the divine will. Blessed are they that turn thereunto."


What I'm showing you is, if you put a tremendous effort into analyzing single words, it won't get you anywhere. You'll miss the big picture. But Baha'is can easily understand this as being directed to them, not some far-off, distant people from some old age. The verses are revealed for us. If we can't garner the truths out of verses, but instead say "It was talking about people in a previous time," then we have missed the point completely. Again, if one takes verses at face value, and doesn't realize that God has endowed them with more meaning than our limited selves attribute to them, then they aren't meaningful beyond being a "nice story."

In other Hidden Words, Baha'u'llah starts: "O SON OF DUST!" But we don't claim that this verse isn't applying to us because our fathers are not dust—dust is the thing we vacuumed yesterday or whatever. Or a women doesn't say "It says 'son' so it can't possiblity be referring to me." Or when Baha'u'llah says "O COMPANION OF MY THRONE!" one doesn't say "I live in this small house—no throne—so it can't apply to me," etc. I think you get the point.

Source: http://bahai-library.com/?file=bahaullah_hidden_words.html

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Postby choogue » Thu Nov 02, 2006 10:20 pm

Masjid=place of worship. Though this word just means place of worship, it was adopted by Muslims to mean their place of worship.


Yes, it was adopted by Muslims to mean their place of worship, a place of prayer. Doesnt necessarily mean a Mosque. If i say i want to go to the Jamai (cant spell it correctly) that specifically means Mosque. If i say i want to go to the Masjid, i would be asked where it is because a Masjid does not have to be in the Mosque.

For example, the school i go to now has a Masjid for the Muslims to attend their prayers. Its not a Mosque. Its a place for us to pray. A Masjid can be done at someones home where a group of people would attend to pray.

Rodwell. And he was correct in using "moque" for "masjid" because the word "masjid" is only used by Muslims to refer to their place of worship.


So Rodwell was incorrect in using the term Mosque for Masjid because it could be misleading.

This is the argument Baha'u'llah makes, that this verse is a reference to a future Manifestation. "Their greeing on the day when they shall meet Him" = the Day of Judgment. But who is "Him"? God? No, the Koran says we cannot see God. So it has to be referring to the next Manifestation, and this "Day of Judgment" has to be symbolic, not literal, since obviously in this case we won't be meeting God, but we will be meeting His Manifestation


So in the following verses where it mentions the word "Him" it refers to a coming Manifestation?
But didnt you say that we need to read the previous verses? In this case, if we read the previous verses it is clearly talking about Allah and it is more than obvious "Him, He, His" is referring to Allah.

[Yusufali 33:41] O ye who believe! Celebrate the praises of Allah, and do this often;
[Yusufali 33:42] And glorify Him morning and evening.
[Yusufali 33:43] He it is Who sends blessings on you, as do His angels, that He may bring you out from the depths of Darkness into Light: and He is Full of Mercy to the Believers.
[Yusufali 33:44] Their salutation on the Day they meet Him will be "Peace!"; and He has prepared for them a generous Reward.

33:41 is telling us to celebrate the praise of Allah and then right after in 33:42 it tells us to glorify Him inthe morning and evening. So are you saying that its tells us to celebrate the praise of Allah and glorify the future manifestation?

These verses show that Him is clearly Allah. Unless you are saying that ONLY verse 33:44 is using "Him" as referring to a future manifestation and the other "Him" in the other verses before it are referring to Allah? If so, it doesnt make sense because the verses are continuing from the previous which was clearly talking about Allah.

In regards to seeing God, the verse "Their greeting on the day when they shall meet Him shall be "Peace!" And He hath got ready for them a noble recompense." doesnt actually mention that we will "see" God but rather "meet" God. One does not have to see to meet with someone.

But either way you mention that in the Quran it says that we cannot see God. Ive never read this but i will research it. The only verse that i can recall is the following:

6:103 - Vision comprehends Him not, and He comprehends (all) vision; and He is the Knower of subtleties, the Aware.

But to me this means that we cannot understand how Allah would be. We cannot comprehend the vision of Allah, but Allah comprehends all vision.

I dont know. Maybe it does specify somewhere in the Quran that we cannot see Allah. Ill have to research. Maybe you can help if you know of the verse? Thanks.

What I'm showing you is, if you put a tremendous effort into analyzing single words, it won't get you anywhere. You'll miss the big picture.


I agree that analysing single words you will miss the point. Just as how analysing verse 33:44 by the single words when you should look at the verses before it and understand that it is relating to Allah.

The verses are revealed for us. If we can't garner the truths out of verses, but instead say "It was talking about people in a previous time," then we have missed the point completely. Again, if one takes verses at face value, and doesn't realize that God has endowed them with more meaning than our limited selves attribute to them, then they aren't meaningful beyond being a "nice story."


The verse shows that Allah has explained to Adams people that there will be messengers amongst them, which has happened. The reference is to Adams people which many messengers have come since Adam. This is a kind of a proof that Prophet Muhammed (a.s) has provided to His people showing that many messengers have come from the time of Adam and that Muhammed has not been the only Messenger. This is the meaning of the verse (from my view) rather than just a nice story.

Ofourse there are meanings to verses when Adam refers to His people, Noah refers to His people, etc. They are more than nice stories, but it doesnt change the fact that it was referring to those people at those times. This is why it refers to Moses' people, Noahs people, etc. There is more meaning to the verses, but it is talking about the people at that time.

Correct me if im wrong but Prophet Muhammads(a.s) people are referred to as mankind?

Regards
Abbas

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Postby Noisiodimelem » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:41 pm

why is that god didnt want everyone to know of his manifestation? earlier though people rejected prophet muhammed there was a lot of struggle to get people into islam. muhammed and his companions prophecised enormously. when god sent down bahaullah he chose only few ppl to knw the truth. his words wer not spread at large. many bahais got killed but the same happened even with muhammed so many muslims wer killed by qurayish tribe yet they succeeded. why is that bahai faith is secretive? the reason why iam saying this is most of the people in india especially south india donno who is bahaullah.. why isn the universal house of justice making an effort to spread the word in the southern part as well. i see mostly in the western countries people are converting to bahai..

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Postby Baha'i Warrior » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:54 pm

abbas wrote:
Masjid=place of worship. Though this word just means place of worship, it was adopted by Muslims to mean their place of worship.


Yes, it was adopted by Muslims to mean their place of worship, a place of prayer. Doesnt necessarily mean a Mosque. If i say i want to go to the Jamai (cant spell it correctly) that specifically means Mosque. If i say i want to go to the Masjid, i would be asked where it is because a Masjid does not have to be in the Mosque.

For example, the school i go to now has a Masjid for the Muslims to attend their prayers. Its not a Mosque. Its a place for us to pray. A Masjid can be done at someones home where a group of people would attend to pray.


Yes. The Masjid could be held in a basement. But that's not the point. The point is that when the word is used, it is used in the context of a Muslim place of worship.

abbas wrote:
Rodwell. And he was correct in using "moque" for "masjid" because the word "masjid" is only used by Muslims to refer to their place of worship.


So Rodwell was incorrect in using the term mosque for Masjid because it could be misleading.


A mosque is still considered holier than a Muslim place of worship held in for example someone's house, a school, etc. This is the same for Baha'is in regard to temples.

And thus "O children of Adam! wear your goodly apparel when ye repair to any mosque" would be more important in the context of a mosque, since it's holier. In the past foreigners who did not know to take off their shoes at the mosque would sometimes be killed.

abbas wrote:
This is the argument Baha'u'llah makes, that this verse is a reference to a future Manifestation. "Their greeing on the day when they shall meet Him" = the Day of Judgment. But who is "Him"? God? No, the Koran says we cannot see God. So it has to be referring to the next Manifestation, and this "Day of Judgment" has to be symbolic, not literal, since obviously in this case we won't be meeting God, but we will be meeting His Manifestation


So in the following verses where it mentions the word "Him" it refers to a coming Manifestation?
But didnt you say that we need to read the previous verses? In this case, if we read the previous verses it is clearly talking about Allah and it is more than obvious "Him, He, His" is referring to Allah.

These verses show that Him is clearly Allah. Unless you are saying that ONLY verse 33:44 is using "Him" as referring to a future manifestation and the other "Him" in the other verses before it are referring to Allah? If so, it doesnt make sense because the verses are continuing from the previous which was clearly talking about Allah.


It can only mean a Manifestation. Yes, you should always look at the context. But Baha'u'llah points to another verse in the Koran:

"No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision: and He is the Subtile, the All-informed."

Thus, it is talking about God as you correctly infer from the context of the previous verses, except the only way we can meet God is through His Manifestation.

abbas wrote:In regards to seeing God, the verse "Their greeting on the day when they shall meet Him shall be "Peace!" And He hath got ready for them a noble recompense." doesnt actually mention that we will "see" God but rather "meet" God. One does not have to see to meet with someone.


"Meeting" in the next world is different from our concept of "meeting" here, and we can't even begin to comprehend what "meeting" God in the next life would be like. God is not a man, he is an unknowable essence that encompases all things. It is our human limitation that will not allow us to be able to comprehend Him, and we won't even fully comprehend Him in the next life.

Abbas, to communicate with someone, you have to have to maintain some level of contact with him. There is no "AOL instant messenger" that we will talk to God through, no telephones, etc. We will be in His presence, as we are right now, but we will be closer to Him in spirit in the next life and have a better idea of who 'He' is. Clearly, there is no way in this life God would make himself any closer to us, other than revealing Himself—which the Koran says won't happen. And the Day of Judment is thought to be a material occurance on this earth, where God will "meet" with us. But this again is an impossiblity according to the Koran, so the verse is clearly referring to the next Manifestation, namly, Baha'u'llah.

abbas wrote:But either way you mention that in the Quran it says that we cannot see God. Ive never read this but i will research it. The only verse that i can recall is the following:

6:103 - Vision comprehends Him not, and He comprehends (all) vision; and He is the Knower of subtleties, the Aware.


Yes I have pointed to this one in previous posts...

abbas wrote:But to me this means that we cannot understand how Allah would be. We cannot comprehend the vision of Allah, but Allah comprehends all vision.


Same thing. We cannot be able to imagine what God is like (looks like), because we can't see Him physically. He is a spiritual essence that can't be seen with material eyes.

abbas wrote:I dont know. Maybe it does specify somewhere in the Quran that we cannot see Allah. Ill have to research. Maybe you can help if you know of the verse? Thanks.


It doesn't get any more clear than that verse, Abbas. Otherwise Baha'u'llah wouldn't have referred to it. It was the perfect verse to refer to.

abbas wrote:
What I'm showing you is, if you put a tremendous effort into analyzing single words, it won't get you anywhere. You'll miss the big picture.


I agree that analysing single words you will miss the point. Just as how analysing verse 33:44 by the single words when you should look at the verses before it and understand that it is relating to Allah.


It is related to God through His Manifestation, as Baha'u'llah demonstrates. And thus this Day of Judgment has already passed and was fulfilled just as the verse says it will be fulfilled (by the presence of God's messenger). (Again, before a Manifestation arrives, the "popular belief" ends up being the wrong one.)

Again, you have to take into account the context, but you have to take it into account correctly. It has to make sense. We can't see God, so unless you understand the true meaning, you will be left with a contradiction. And a contraditiction is another thing you have to take into account.

abbas wrote:The verse shows that Allah has explained to Adams people that there will be messengers amongst them, which has happened. The reference is to Adams people which many messengers have come since Adam. This is a kind of a proof that Prophet Muhammed (a.s) has provided to His people showing that many messengers have come from the time of Adam and that Muhammed has not been the only Messenger. This is the meaning of the verse (from my view) rather than just a nice story.


As I agree, it is more than a nice story. And you truly, Abbas, are a Child of Adam, as am I. So it applies to everyone who have ever lived, is living, and will live. You're assigning a narrow interpretation to "Children of Adam," because as you know from the Koran, we are all from "Adam." If Muhammad really meant those who were before Him, He would have clearly stated it (as in "O children of Isreal" for reference to a specific people). But if He meant all of us, He would have done what He did, said "O Children of Adam."

I could give you other verses proving to you those before and after Muhammad are children of Adam. Look at this verse:

RODWELL: "Did I not enjoin on you, O sons of Adam, 'Worship not Satan, for that he is your declared foe,' But 'Worship Me: this is a right path'?"

YUSUF ALI"Did I not enjoin on you, O ye Children of Adam, that ye should not worship Satan; for that he was to you an enemy avowed?—

"And that ye should worship Me, (for that) this was the Straight Way?"

There you have it, read the surah, O sons of Adam or O children of Adam is us. Muhammad is speaking to us in that surah, and you will understand through the context of the surah. O children of Adam could be directed to those before Him, but it wouldn't make sense since Muhammad is warning us about following the wrong path and going to hell....verse 63: (Yusuf): ""This is the Hell of which ye were (repeatedly) warned!"

abbas wrote:Ofourse there are meanings to verses when Adam refers to His people, Noah refers to His people, etc. They are more than nice stories, but it doesnt change the fact that it was referring to those people at those times. This is why it refers to Moses' people, Noahs people, etc. There is more meaning to the verses, but it is talking about the people at that time.


When the Koran talks about a certain tribe of people, or whatever, it will refer to them and the reference is very clear. But just as "Say" is a way of addressing the reader, so is using the title of "O Children of Adam."

[quote="abbas"]Correct me if im wrong but Prophet Muhammads(a.s) people are referred to as mankind?[quote]

No, not correct. Muhammad's "people" if you mean His followers are "Muslims," or even "mankind" if you are speaking generally. "Mankind" works just as good as "O Children of Adam." There are many ways of referring to men. Heck, in this verse they are referred to as "O people of the book":

"SAY: O people of the Book! come ye to a just judgment between us and you—That we worship not aught but God, and that we join no other god with Him, and that the one of us take not the other for lords,2 beside
God. Then if they turn their backs, SAY: Bear ye witness that we are Muslims."

Indeed, Muhammad was not limited in the ways in which He could address men. :wink:

—Warrior

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Postby Noisiodimelem » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:57 pm

my mother asked some mullah at my place and wat they said is that bahais are misguided. according to wat he said, after prophet muhammed and before the day of the judgement there will be no more prophets or messengers who will be sent down to earth. however, there will be the return of jesus christ. this will happen when the ressurection day nears and he will live for forty years n will marry n have children. but in between this ie, after prophet muhammed n the coming of jesus christ, there will come many false messengers claiming they r messengers sent by god. they will try to induce people to believe in them.they will remain untill jesus christ appears n then he will chase them away. it is upto us to remain firm in our belief n to believe that there will b no other messengers or prophets..
now i only want to know wat response shd i give to tht mullah..i personally dont believe in mullahs but there r no other person who knows the exact truth as bahai religion is not heard of at my place ( south india) why did he say such a thing.. is there any element of truth in wat he said?.. richard.. bahai warrior.. abbas...need ur help my friends...!!!!

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Postby choogue » Fri Nov 03, 2006 11:08 am

Yes. The Masjid could be held in a basement. But that's not the point. The point is that when the word is used, it is used in the context of a Muslim place of worship.


No its not a "Muslim" place of worship but rather "A" place of worship.

If Allah is explaining where other people before Muslims prayed, He would mention the word Masjid because it simply means a place of Worship. Muslims place of Worship is a Mosque where they have adopted the term. Masjid means place of worship. Mosque means place of worship. Majlid does not specifically mean Mosque.

And thus "O children of Adam! wear your goodly apparel when ye repair to any mosque" would be more important in the context of a mosque, since it's holier. In the past foreigners who did not know to take off their shoes at the mosque would sometimes be killed.


Since this is referring to the people of the past, it shows that they had a place of worship. Not a Mosque, but a place of Worship.

It can only mean a Manifestation. Yes, you should always look at the context. But Baha'u'llah points to another verse in the Koran:

"No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision: and He is the Subtile, the All-informed."

Thus, it is talking about God as you correctly infer from the context of the previous verses, except the only way we can meet God is through His Manifestation.


I cannot see at all how it could mean a manifestation. Why would Allah confuse us by showing "Him" is referring to Allah in the previous verses then all of sudden, while the previous verses are referring to Allah, the "Him" changes as to refer to a coming manifestation? The Quran is not meant to confuse us. We cant just pick and choose when the "Him" is referring to Allah or not. Its clear that the verse is referring to Allah. If its not the case, then we can change any "Him" to mean something else.

The verse, "Vision comprehends Him not, and He comprehends (all) vision; and He is the Knower of subtleties, the Aware." is only telling us that our vision cannot understand Him. Doesnt say we cannot see him or meet him.

Where does Allah say we will never meet Him? Since it doesnt, the 44th verse of Surah 33 is obviously referring to Allah.

Same thing. We cannot be able to imagine what God is like (looks like), because we can't see Him physically. He is a spiritual essence that can't be seen with material eyes.


Thats right. We can never imagine how Allah would look like. Our minds are incapable of picturing what Allah is or how He looks like. It doesnt say anywhere that He can not be seen with material eyes. We just cant comprehend how He is.

It doesn't get any more clear than that verse, Abbas. Otherwise Baha'u'llah wouldn't have referred to it. It was the perfect verse to refer to.


No because "seeing" and "meeting" are two different things. Lets say we cant see Him, but it doesnt mean we cant meet Him. For example, He could be as bright as the sun so we cant look at Him therefore our eyes are closed, but we have still met Him. (This is an example only)

It is related to God through His Manifestation, as Baha'u'llah demonstrates. And thus this Day of Judgment has already passed and was fulfilled just as the verse says it will be fulfilled (by the presence of God's messenger). (Again, before a Manifestation arrives, the "popular belief" ends up being the wrong one.)


This has not been demonstrated at all. The only thing that has been demonstrated is that "Him"can be changed to mean whatever someone wants it to be. The"Him" in the 44th verse is clearly showing Allah because it was in the correct context but people can change it and take it totally out of context to mean anything else. Allah has put His message straight forward, so why wouldnt He have just replaced the "Him" with a coming manifestation? Any reader can see how obvious it is since it was in the context of referring to Allah.

Again, you have to take into account the context, but you have to take it into account correctly. It has to make sense. We can't see God, so unless you understand the true meaning, you will be left with a contradiction. And a contraditiction is another thing you have to take into account.


Yes taking into account the context.....correctly. There is no confusion in it. It makes sense referring to Allah since the previous verses were also referring the "Him" to Allah. Again, lets say we cannot see God, but doesnt mean we cannot meet God, therefore no contradiction can be present.

As I agree, it is more than a nice story. And you truly, Abbas, are a Child of Adam, as am I. So it applies to everyone who have ever lived, is living, and will live. You're assigning a narrow interpretation to "Children of Adam," because as you know from the Koran, we are all from "Adam." If Muhammad really meant those who were before Him, He would have clearly stated it (as in "O children of Isreal" for reference to a specific people). But if He meant all of us, He would have done what He did, said "O Children of Adam."


Yes ofcourse we are all the children of Adam. There is no denying that.
Again why would Allah mention mankind in some verses and people of Adam in another? Allah is not trying to confuse us. There is a reason behind that. When Allah is referring to the present, it makes sense to use Mankind. When Allah is referring to the past, it makes sense to use People or Children of Adam. Although we are all children of Adam, Allah needs to differentiate between us and the past people. How else is Allah to tell us about the previous people and their stories? Allah tells us the story of the previous people and explains that He has told them that messengers will come from amongst them. Why did He not use "Mankind" or Muhammads People? Its obvious because it is referring to the past people.

"Did I not enjoin on you, O ye Children of Adam, that ye should not worship Satan; for that he was to you an enemy avowed?-


Why is it that everytime People or Children of Adam is used in the Quran it is relating to a story? Why didnt the Prophet Muhammed ever use the term O people of Adam when addressing His people? There are reasons for this. People of Adam are people of the past. This verse that you refer to, have you read the Surah?
Read a few verses above (say from verse 50) and you will see that Allah is explaining to us what will happen at the End. Allah is initally referring to the Unbelievers and how they deny Him and question the believers. Then Allah explains what will happen to all of us (therefore we are now at a stage of the story as referred to in a past tence). Allah refers to ALL of us as Children of Adam and asks us whether we were advised not to worship Satan and that we should worship Him but many of us chose the wrong path.

Notice the use of words that refer to past tense:
[Yusufali 36:60] "Did I not enjoin on you, O ye Children of Adam, that ye should not worship Satan; for that he was to you an enemy avowed?-
[Yusufali 36:61] "And that ye should worship Me, (for that) this was the Straight Way?

Allah refers to all of us as children of Adam because it is the past.

There you have it, read the surah, O sons of Adam or O children of Adam is us. Muhammad is speaking to us in that surah, and you will understand through the context of the surah. O children of Adam could be directed to those before Him, but it wouldn't make sense since Muhammad is warning us about following the wrong path and going to hell....verse 63: (Yusuf): ""This is the Hell of which ye were (repeatedly) warned!"


See above. Yes it is us.....and the Surah above mentions People of Adam as we are described in past tense since Allah is explaining what will happen and what He will ask all of us.

So in reference to 7:35, it again shows how Allah has explained to people of the past that there will be "messengers amongst you"

As i said, "People of Adam" is always used when a story is being told. (Not so much a "story" but I cant think of another word to use at this moment. I never was good at english!)

No, not correct. Muhammad's "people" if you mean His followers are "Muslims," or even "mankind" if you are speaking generally. "Mankind" works just as good as "O Children of Adam." There are many ways of referring to men. Heck, in this verse they are referred to as "O people of the book":


I think people of the book are referred to as the Jews. Ill do some research and confirm this though.

Anyway, as ive proven, Mankind doesnt work as good as People of Adam. People of Adam is used in a "story", while Mankind is used when referring to the present people.

Again, Allah isnt trying to confuse us by referring to Men different ways. There are obviously reasons why Allah chooses to use People of Adam in one verse and Mankind in another.

Allah knows best. :D

Regards
Abbas


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