Old scriptures are useless for true baha'is?

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majnun
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Old scriptures are useless for true baha'is?

Postby majnun » Wed Jun 20, 2007 3:12 pm

Even if we recognize older religions, it does not mean
we need to read their scripture to progress.
"Entirely disregard" is a clear prescription.

Baha'u'llah says:
turn your eyes towards this Great Revelation, and entirely disregard these conflicting tales and traditions. (Gleanings 87, or in farsi, Iqtidirat p77).

MJ

British_Bahai
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Re: Old scriptures are useless for true baha'is?

Postby British_Bahai » Mon Jun 25, 2007 6:50 pm

majnun wrote:Even if we recognize older religions, it does not mean
we need to read their scripture to progress.
"Entirely disregard" is a clear prescription.


Baha'u'llah says:
turn your eyes towards this Great Revelation, and entirely disregard these conflicting tales and traditions. (Gleanings 87, or in farsi, Iqtidirat p77).

MJ


Not quite!


*********************************************************
You have taken this out of context. When you isolate a sentence, you can distort its intended meaning
*********************************************************
I have pasted the entire paragraph below. The first couple of sentences (which have been boldened) show what the paragraph is talking about :

"How is it that no records are to be found concerning the
Prophets that have preceded Adam, the Father of
Mankind, or of the kings that lived in the days of
those Prophets?"
(^the first couple of sentences, which sets the scene of what the whole paragraph will be talking about)


The sentence which you have referred to in your original post
("turn your eyes towards this Great Revelation, and entirely disregard these conflicting tales and traditions")
is located at the end of this paragraph (which i have boldened for you, again)
-----------

In order to progress you **do** need to read holy writings of other faiths/religions.
There are many reasons, and here are two top reasons which I can think of right now:

1. Even if you were born into a bahai family, it does not mean you are a bahai. You must first read and investigate different religions, so that you can see the proofs for yourself that bahaullah is the one which has been mentioned about in all other religions.
Then, and only then, (after reading proofs for yourself) can you declare as a bahai. As you already know, there is no such thing as "being born a Bahai"

2. in order to teach other people from other faiths, you must also read so that you know how to explain to them, and so you can draw relevant examples

Final point - remember that we as bahais don’t have the attitude of “my religion is better than yours” because all religions come from the same god. So you cannot say that the only way you progress is by reading bahai scriptures only - that is not a bahai principle at all. So long as you lead your life with a pure heart, religion should not be the cause of disunity of any sort.

-----
re-read the final paragraph
:)
sorry this has been a long post…


***********************************************************
the original section:


LXXXVII. And now regarding thy question, "How
is it that no records are to be found concerning the
Prophets that have preceded Adam, the Father of
Mankind, or of the kings that lived in the days of
those Prophets?"
(so that was the topic which will be dealt with) Know thou that the absence of any
reference to them is no proof that they did not actually
exist. That no records concerning them are now
available, should be attributed to their extreme remoteness,
as well as to the vast changes which the
earth hath undergone since their time.
Moreover such forms and modes of writing as are
now current amongst men were unknown to the generations
that were before Adam. There was even a

(page 173)
time when men were wholly ignorant of the art of
writing, and had adopted a system entirely different
from the one which they now use. For a proper exposition
of this an elaborate explanation would be
required.
Consider the differences that have arisen since the
days of Adam. The divers and widely-known languages
now spoken by the peoples of the earth were
originally unknown, as were the varied rules and
customs now prevailing amongst them. The people
of those times spoke a language different from those
now known. Diversities of language arose in a later
age, in a land known as Babel. It was given the name
Babel, because the term signifieth "the place where
the confusion of tongues arose."
Subsequently Syriac became prominent among the
existing languages. The Sacred Scriptures of former
times were revealed in that tongue. Later, Abraham,
the Friend of God, appeared and shed upon the
world the light of Divine Revelation. The language
He spoke while He crossed the Jordan became known
as Hebrew (&Ibrani), which meaneth "the language
of the crossing." The Books of God and the Sacred
Scriptures were then revealed in that tongue, and not
until after a considerable lapse of time did Arabic become
the language of Revelation....
Witness, therefore, how numerous and far-reaching
have been the changes in language, speech, and

(page 174)
writing since the days of Adam. How much greater
must have been the changes before Him!
Our purpose in revealing these words is to show
that the one true God hath, in His all-highest and
transcendent station, ever been, and will everlastingly
continue to be, exalted above the praise and
conception of all else but Him. His creation hath ever
existed, and the Manifestations of His Divine glory
and the Day Springs of eternal holiness have been
sent down from time immemorial, and been commissioned
to summon mankind to the one true God.
That the names of some of them are forgotten and
the records of their lives lost is to be attributed to
the disturbances and changes that have overtaken the
world.
Re-read this paragraph:
Mention hath been made in certain books of a
deluge which caused all that existed on earth, historical
records as well as other things, to be destroyed.
Moreover, many cataclysms have occurred which
have effaced the traces of many events. Furthermore,
among existing historical records differences are to
be found, and each of the various peoples of the
world hath its own account of the age of the earth
and of its history. Some trace their history as far
back as eight thousand years, others as far as twelve
thousand years. To any one that hath read the book
of &Juk it is clear and evident how much the accounts
given by the various books have differed.
Please God thou wilt turn thine eyes towards the


(page 175)
Most Great Revelation, and entirely disregard these
conflicting tales and traditions.


***********************************************************
SUMMARY
The last bit is not instructing us to ignore( or to 'turn thine eyes') from reading other religious scriptures.
Its asking us to disregard the "conflicting tales and traditions" between different religions which are trying to explain the question (how no records are found).

The final part of this paragraph is basicaly saying 'dont waste your time, and instead turn your gaze unto god)
It is telling us not to get caught up in all that and to use our time more productively by doing good deeds etc etc

majnun
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Postby majnun » Tue Jul 31, 2007 12:43 am

So, what do you see that is so important
in the old stuff, which is not very well translated
most of the time ?

Even if I did read the bible, the gospel, and the qur'an
before I studied this most great (written) revelation,
I do not feel the need to make philosophical comparisons
with old documents. What would be the maqsud of
the exercise, if not just a reformulation or a confirmation
of old writings ?

I do not remember a line where Jamal Mubarak or his
son Abbas implies that we have the explicit obligation to read and recite the writings of past religions in order to progress spiritually or to be a chosen candidate for heaven. Is not our actual Ocean of Writings big enough, is it not clear enough ?


MJ

brettz9
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Postby brettz9 » Thu Aug 02, 2007 3:01 am

While you are right that Baha'is are not obligated to study deeply the other Scriptures, it is still recommended and praiseworthy.

Here's just one place 'Abdu'l-Baha says something about it:

The first attribute of perfection is learning and the cultural attainments of the mind, and this eminent station is achieved when the individual combines in himself a thorough knowledge of those complex and transcendental realities pertaining to God, of the fundamental truths of Qur'ánic political and religious law, of the contents of the sacred Scriptures of other faiths, and of those regulations and procedures which would contribute to the progress and civilization of this distinguished country. He should in addition be informed as to the laws and principles, the customs, conditions and manners, and the material and moral virtues characterizing the statecraft of other nations, and should be well versed in all the useful branches of learning of the day, and study the historical records of bygone governments and peoples. For if a learned individual has no knowledge of the sacred Scriptures and the entire field of divine and natural science, of religious jurisprudence and the arts of government and the varied learning of the time and the great events of history, he might prove unequal to an emergency, and this is inconsistent with the necessary qualification of comprehensive knowledge.

If for example a spiritually learned Muslim is conducting a debate with a Christian and he knows nothing of the glorious melodies of the Gospel, he will, no matter how much he imparts of the Qur'án and its truths, be unable to convince the Christian, and his words will fall on deaf ears. Should, however, the Christian observe that the Muslim is better versed in the fundamentals of Christianity than the Christian priests themselves, and understands the purport of the Scriptures even better than they, he will gladly accept the Muslim's arguments, and he would indeed have no other recourse.

When the Chief of the Exile (The Resh Galuta, a prince or ruler of the exiles in Babylon, to whom Jews, wherever they were, paid tribute) came into the presence of that Luminary of divine wisdom, of salvation and certitude, the Imám Ridá--had--had the Imám, that mine of knowledge, failed in the course of their interview to base his arguments on authority appropriate and familiar to the Exilarch, the latter would never have acknowledged the greatness of His Holiness.

('Abdu'l-Baha, Secret of Divine Civilization (pages 35-36), emphasis added)

British_Bahai
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:27 am

Postby British_Bahai » Thu Aug 02, 2007 5:23 am

(thanks for posting that, brettz9. I couldnt find that quote anywhere. Im gonna highlight that bit in my book RIGHT NOW!)

Thats what i was trying to say here:
british_bahai wrote:In order to progress you **do** need to read holy writings of other faiths/religions.
There are many reasons, and here are two top reasons which I can think of right now:

1. Even if you were born into a bahai family, it does not mean you are a bahai. You must first read and investigate different religions, so that you can see the proofs for yourself that bahaullah is the one which has been mentioned about in all other religions.
Then, and only then, (after reading proofs for yourself) can you declare as a bahai. As you already know, there is no such thing as "being born a Bahai"

2. in order to teach other people from other faiths, you must also read so that you know how to explain to them, and so you can draw relevant examples

Final point - remember that we as bahais don’t have the attitude of “my religion is better than yours” because all religions come from the same god. So you cannot say that the only way you progress is by reading bahai scriptures only - that is not a bahai principle at all. So long as you lead your life with a pure heart, religion should not be the cause of disunity of any sort.

-----
re-read the final paragraph
:)
sorry this has been a long post…

British_Bahai
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Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:27 am

Postby British_Bahai » Thu Aug 02, 2007 12:19 pm

richard wrote:And BB,
Please believe me, it has not been my intent, or desire to give you a rough time. At 72, i see godly qualities in you which i do not recall having when i was in my early 20's. richard
far from it, ive never thought your posts have given me a rough time! you seem really kind.


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