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Prophecies of the Imam's similar to those of the Guardian

Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:02 pm
by Keyvan
i wrote this for an Islam/Bahai dialogue forum. thought id post it here too.


I was reading through Dr. Moojan Momen's book again, An Introduction to Shi'i Islam, and I came across something interesting.

Hadiths from Imam Ali, and a hadith from Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq, describing the moral degradation at the time of the Mahdi.

I see it so similar to what Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith wrote. What Shoghi Effendi wrote was to describe the state of society in decadance, how it will come to be (at the time he wrote it) as prime for renewal and set for the World Order of Baha'u'llah, the fullfillment of the Mahdi prophecy, by Baha'i belief.


Imam Ali

I do not know when it will be any more than you do but some signs and conditions will follow one another, and the signs are these: When the people allow the saying of prayers to die out; and they destroy trust; andt hey regard lying as permissible; and they take usurious interest; and they sell religion in exchange for the world, and they employ fools; and they consult women; and they cut open the wombs; and they follow their lusts; and they take the spilling of blood lightly; and their discernment is weak; and tyranny becomes a source of pride; and the leaders become profligate, the ministers oppresors, the ulama faithless and the poor depraved; and the false testimony is made; immorality, lies, crime, and repression are carried out openly; and books are embellished, the mosques adorned and the minarets made tall;...and women assist their husbands in trade out of greed for the things of this world; and sinners are extolled and listened to; and the leader of the people is the most despicable of them and he is wary of htelibertine, fearing his evil, and he gives credence to the liar and has faith in the traitor, and he imitates young girls; and men appear like women and women appear like men;... the best place to live on that day will be Jerusalem, for there will certainly come a day for the people when each of them will eagerly desire to be one of its inhabitants.
az-Zanjani, Aqa'id, p. 258-259



Imam Ja'far as-Sadiq

When you see that truth has died and people of truth have disappeared, and you see that injustice prevails through the land; and scripture has become despised and things are introduced into it that are not in it and it is turned towards men's desires; and you see the people of error having mastery over the people of truth; and you see evil out in the open and the doers of evil are not prevented nor do they excuse themselves; and you see moral depravity openly manifest and men being content with men and women satisfied by woman; and you see the believer silent, his word not being accepted; and you see the sinful lying and he is not refuted nor does his deceit redound upon him; and you see the lowly despising the great; and you see the wombs cut open; and you see he who boasts of moral depravity is laughed at and is not spurned; and you see young men being handed over like women and women cohabiting with women and their numbers increasing; and you see men spending their wealth on things other than pious deeds and no one opposes or hinders them; and you see the onlooker turn his back on the efforts of the believer; and you see one person molesting his neighbor and no one prevents it; and you see the unbeliever joyful because he does not see gladness in the believer when he sees corruption in the world; and you see alcoholic drinks being drunk openly... and you see women occupying places in the assemblies just as men do and usury is carried out openly and adultery is praised... and you see the forbidden things made legal and the legal things forbidden; and you see that religion becomes a matter of opinion and scripture and its laws fall into disuse; and you see the leaders drawing close to the unbelievers and away from good people; and you see the leaders corrupt in their rule;... and you see men eating what their wives have obtained as a result of their immorality and knowing this and persisting in it;... and you see places of entertainment appearing which no one who passes them forbids them and no one is bold enough to put an end to them; and you see a worshiper only praying in order that the people may see him; and you see the experts in religious law devoting themselves to things other than religion, seeking the world and leadership; and you see the people living together like animals; and you see the pulpit from which fear of God is enjoined but the speaker does not act in the manner he has enjoined others to act;... and when you see the tokens of truth that I have taught, then be aware [of the advent of the Mahdi] and seek salvation from God."
az-Zanjani, Aqa'id, p. 261, quoting Kulayni, al-Kafi (Rawda)



Shoghi Effendi

The recrudescence of religious intolerance, of racial animosity, and of patriotic arrogance; the increasing evidences of selfishness, of suspicion, of fear and of fraud; the spread of terrorism, of lawlessness, of drunkenness and of crime; the unquenchable thirst for, and the feverish pursuit after, earthly vanities, riches and pleasures; the weakening of family solidarity; the laxity in parental control; the lapse into luxurious indulgence; the irresponsible attitude towards marriage and the consequent rising tide of divorce; the degeneracy of art and music, the infection of literature, and the corruption of the press; the extension of the influence and activities of those "prophets of decadence" who advocate companionate marriage, who preach the philosophy of nudism, who call modesty an intellectual fiction, who refuse to regard the procreation of children as the sacred and primary purpose of marriage, who denounce religion as an opiate of the people, who would, if given free rein, lead back the human race to barbarism, chaos, and ultimate extinction -- these appear as the outstanding characteristics of a decadent society, a society that must either be reborn or perish.

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 187. March 11th, 1936)




i think some people may be turned off by the quotes from the Imam's marking what appear to be women's empowerment as a sign of decline.
I think we should keep in mind that the Quran sets men and women as equal, but men are established as the head of the household, simply for their strength advantage, and thats just biology. Strength advantage was more relevent to ability to be the bread earner, and protector of the house at the time. depending on the society and situtiation, it can still be just as relevent today.

34. Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means.
(The Qur'an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 4)


so when saying something like, "and they consult women"
as a sign of decadance
i think we should interperet this as lack of order in the household. a weakening of the structure in general.

referring to the quote from Shoghi Effendi

"the weakening of family solidarity; the laxity in parental control"

Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 10:05 pm
by Keyvan
I also found these hadiths on technological change at the time of the Mahdi. here is one from the Sixth Imam that seems to be referring to Television, as Dr. Momen describes it. Again, in the World Order of Baha'u'llah, we can find a parallel to this from a Prophecy of Shoghi Effendi, that seems to be referring to the internet!



Hadith quoting Jafar as-Sadiq

'I heard Abu 'Abdu'llah [the Sixth Imam] saying: the believer, in the time of the Qa'im, while in the east, will be able to see his brother in the west and he who is in the west wiill be able to see his brother in the east.'
az-Zanjani, Aqa'id, p. 255.



Shoghi Effendi

A mechanism of world inter-communication will be devised, embracing the whole planet, freed from national hindrances and restrictions, and functioning with marvellous swiftness and perfect regularity.
(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 203)



Although, Dr. Momen wrote that commentary in 1985. Perhaps now with "webcams" so popular, we can derive that this prophecy as more closely relating to webcams, instead of television. Thus, more closely relating Shoghi Effendi's prophecy to it. the Guided Pen of Shoghi Effendi was looking even farther ahead than that! Who could have imagined?

family values

Posted: Fri May 19, 2006 11:37 pm
by majnun
Dear Keyvan;
I am glad to hear you are pionnering an open dialog with muslim groups.
I give it a try on paltak sometimes, but the christian groups, hmm, gee,
its like everything outside the Jesus world is either corrupted, evil, things like that.
For us, it’s like talking to stones, most of the times, and I don’t know what to think
about the ferocious “Joyce” on early morning US (and Can) tv.

Dr Momen produces very good works, I wonder if I could translate the whole Bayan,
just for me. Did you remark that in most jewish religious celebrations, there is always
alcoholised wine on the table ? A palestinian girld who emigrated here, said on tv, the most
important pillar of palestinians is : the family. How primitive they are.

These texts by imam Ali and imam Sadiq, I heard for many years, while I was more active
with the submission group, and I heard this many times in muslim chatroom. The texts described a steady degradation of our society as if the prophets had a clear “preview” of it.
Maybe that is what happened in the normal evolution of a society more advanced than us, on another planet.

But what pushes people to consider these ways as becoming a normality, I dunno. We have
moving naked corpses on tv every night, on top of wich we may also consult tarot readers,
horoscope specialists, and also, bowling.

But also I think that describing and blaming the inadequacies of the majority not to
partake a higher spirituality, a bit like those old texts do, will not change a thing.
Its like repeating the same blame, while we personally do nothing.

As the world goes deeper into the “fire”, the more it needs our cool remedies.
Our force could be in spreading new ways, and not the family traditions that
made us so weak. Valleys first aims is to liberate us from these family contaminants,
how then can we complaint about the weakenings of families ? Families transmit no
useful values, except neurosis and twisted ways of living.

Should we be guided by our family values, or by the scriptures.
I like the second option better.

Just saying in word or in mind that the world is going bad, will only
demoralize us, its like saying “jesus save” every day, or “la ilaha illah allah”
while it has the same result as rocking in a chair, turning around inside an old circuit.
But what can we offer to the world, that could be so much better than old religions or new therapies in vogue? Personal spiritual charms, however highly developped, does not
entice (seduce) many, as far as we can see.

If we try to insert more holyness, more divinity, and more goddishing terminologies inside
Bahai texts, terms wich are not in there most of the time, we repulse people. We should forget
the word god forever, and focus on the benefits brough by the comprehension of clean translations. Smart people know there aint no god at all, so why push it ? On the other hand,
people filled with joy, lucidity and the spiritual developments coming from the bahai scriptures, they are always special.

One thing we shoud do is to present the scriptures correctly,
instead of the usual alphabetical order. A new comer cannot
start his development by the “wolf”, as it is placed on top of the
lists everywhere. Its like shuffling a deck of cards, while the spiritual teachings
of Baha’u’llah must be followed in the chronological order, and the same logic
was emphased in the Qur’an by Jibreel, while he organised the assembling of the
Book.
2
We should not push people toward the Ruhi courses wich messes up every brain, to push a brain to accept an invented god wich that smart brain knows, does not exist.
We should not pray, because public praying in circle on sundays is mainly for showing,
Before we lunch together. We must find something else to do in our mashriqs.

What pushes people away from us is that “holly” and “sainthood”sauce that pollutes
Our writings. Never you can see in a manuscript such overwelming emphasis on “his grand
Excellency” mister X. All those prestigious presentations are made by zealous people who like to put many spiritual flowers everywhere. Those people are PRIMITIVES, desperate to “touch” a god they imagined, while Baha specifically wrote there was no such possibility, for
the majority of people, except prophets who receive a specific formation from our creators (yes, a plural).

Shogi told people not to call him by inflated titles, and AA fought all his public life not to be called “our lord” or “a prophet” and so on. But people are stoops, and
Over enthousiasim from early beleivers, coming from their unconscious desire to contact with a god that does not exist, they invent it, like Ethel Jenner Rosenberg who calls AA “our lord”,
while he was not, obviously, from his own words. Some people still believe Baha’u’llah is god, and that AA was jesus returned. The girl that tried a painting of AA, (collins or thompson) said she did not knew how to paint the “lord of the universe”.

Nothing could be worst for people in need of a solid spiritual (read: mind) formation, than
Offering them prayers, a hollyfied atmosphere filled with godishing terms, instead of putting
The focus on the therapeutic tools: the Writings, cleanely translated if possible.

As for my sick, rotten, primitive and mistracked family, I give them all the longer one,
the one besides the index. Families offer nothing but bad habits, various sins, and poison for our heads, and slowering down our brains with traditions, like old dying religions still push on

You guessed right if you think I am a westerner.
I use fork and knife, and I don’t put my finger in
the plates when Ramazan comes.
The key point is, family, or scriptures ?
What is the best for each person ?
The receipy from above seems to me much better than old ways,
but hey, that’me only !

Majnun.