abbas wrote:As Imran previously stated, the Muslims who are waiting for the Mahdi all their life are basically told He is no longer relevant and to concentrate on Bahaullah. This is very difficult to accept since so much emphasis has been placed on the Mahdi and the impact He would have.
Anyway, thats just my opinion as a Muslim. This is why i would like to hear from a Muslim who has converted to Bahai, but it is proving to be quite difficult.
Thank you for the explanation. I'll see if I can find someone for you. The main sources I would point you to for the Writings of the Bab are the Dawn-Breakers and Selections from the Writings of the Bab. It's not our fault if the people in 19th-Century Persia defaced many of the Bab's Writings. Also, the Bab's Writings had to be hidden in the walls of people's homes, because the Babis were hunted down by mobs.
You can also find some Writings of the Bab translated by Steven Lambden at http://www.hurqalya.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk
. Dr. Todd Lawson at the University of Toronto is very knowledgeable in the Writings of the Bab and their relationship to Islam.
I wish to clarify a point about the Bab. The Person of the Bab is very important to Baha'is. Visiting His Shrine in the Holy Land is very important to us, and our Writings state that both He and Baha'u'llah continue to guide the deliberations of the Universal House of Justice.
What does not play a role now is the body of His laws; other than those which were accepted by Baha'u'llah, and a good number of them were accepted, and are identified as such in the Notes to the Aqdas.
You may also find this interesting, written by the widow of Shoghi Effendi:
"Another highly important aspect of the divinely conferred position Shoghi Effendi held of interpreter of the Teachings was that he not only protected the Sacred Word from being misconstrued but that he also carefully preserved the relationship and importance of different aspects of the Teachings to each other and safeguarded the rightful station of each of the three Central Figures of the Faith. An interesting example of this is reflected in a letter of A. L. M. Nicolas, the French scholar who translated the Bayan of the Bab into French and who might correctly be described as a Babi. For many years he was under the impression that the Baha'is had ignored the greatness and belittled the station of the Bab. When he discovered that Shoghi Effendi in his writings exalted the Bab, perpetuated His memory through a book such as Nabil's Narrative , and repeatedly translated His words into English, his attitude completely changed. In a letter to one of the old believers in France he wrote: "Now I can die quietly...Glory to Shoghi Effendi who has calmed my torment and my anxiety, glory to him who recognizes the worth of Siyyid 'Ali Muhammad called the Bab. I am so content that I kiss your hands which traced my address on the envelope which brought me the message of Shoghi. Thank you Mademoiselle, thank you from the bottom of my heart."" (Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Priceless Pearl, p. 204)
Of course, though Nicolas recognized the greatness of the Bab, he left a lot to be desired in other ways. If he had recognized Baha'u'llah, he would have changed his ways when he read Baha'u'llah's many teachings about racial unity and equality, and proper treatment of the followers of all Faiths.
The thing is that if you seek to look for what the Bab did, independently of Baha'u'llah, you will entirely miss the point. What the Bab primarily did was prepare the way for Baha'u'llah, and the great change in the world comes through Baha'u'llah, and only indirectly through the Bab.
This quote from a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi should help to clarify the point.
30 November 1930
He (the Guardian) is enclosing extracts from Lord Curzon's "Persia and the Persian Question" giving a detailed and faithful description of the state of Persia in the middle of the 19th century. He thinks that references to the extracts ... will be of great value in showing to the reader the contrast between the decadent state of the government and the people at that time and the heroism and nobility of character displayed by the early disciples of the Bab... Shoghi Effendi is also sending you ... the Master's words concerning the situation which led to the defensive action which the early disciples of the Bab were compelled to take in Mazindaran, Nayriz and Zanjan. From these words it is evident that a systematic campaign of plunder and massacre had been initiated by the central government. Baha'u'llah, Who Himself was an active figure in those days and was regarded one of the leading exponents of the Faith of the Bab, states clearly His views in the Iqan that His conception of the sovereignty of the Promised Qaiim was purely a spiritual one, and not a material or political one... His view of the sovereignty of the Qa'im confirms the various evidences given in the text of the narrative itself of the views held by those who actually participated in these events such as Hujjat, Quddus, Mulla Husayn. The very fact that these disciples were ready and willing to emerge from the fort and return to their homes after receiving the assurance that they would be no more molested is itself an evidence that they were not contemplating any action against the authorities.
Shoghi Effendi is also sending you an account of the doctrines of Shi'ah Islam from which the Movement originally sprang. It will help you to connect the origin of the Movement with the tenets and beliefs held by the Shi'ahs of Persia. The Bab declared Himself at the beginning of His mission to be the "Bab" by which He meant to be the gate or forerunner of "Him Whom God will make manifest", that is to say Baha'u'llah, Whose advent the Shi'ahs also expected in the person of "the return of Imam Husayn". The Sunnis also believe in a similar twofold manifestation, the first they call "the Mihdi", the second "the Return of Christ". By the term Bab, the Bab meant to be the forerunner of the second manifestation rather than, as some have maintained, the gate of the Qa'im. When He declared Himself to be the Bab, the people understood by the term that He was an intermediary between the absent Qa'im and His followers, though He Himself never meant to be such a person. All He claimed to be was that He was the Qa'im Himself and in addition to this station, that of the Bab, namely the gate or forerunner of "Him Whom God will make manifest".
There are many authorised traditions from Muhammad stating clearly (as explained in the Iqan) that the promised Qa'im would bring a new Book and new Laws. In other words abrogating the law of Islam.
Shoghi Effendi feels that the Unity of the Baha'ií revelation as one complete whole embracing the Faith of the Bab should be emphasised... The Faith of the Bab should not be divorced from that of Baha'u'llah. Though the teachings of the Bayan have been abrogated and superseded by the laws of Aqdas, yet due to the fact that the Bab considered Himself as the forerunner of Baha'u'llah we should regard His dispensation together with that of Baha'u'llah as forming one entity, the former being an introductory to the advent of the latter. Just as the advent of John the Baptist -- who according to various authorities was Himself the originator of laws which abrogated the teachings current among the Jews -- forms part of the Christian revelation, the advent of the Bab likewise forms an integral part of the Baha'i Faith. That is why Shoghi Effendi feels justified to call Nabil's narrative a narrative of the early days of the Baha'i revelation."
(From a letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community, pp. 425-427)