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.
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
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]"
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