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Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:07 pm
by Zazaban
Since this is a question about the site, It should be here. :)

I'm not sure what you're asking, but the Non-Baha'i Issues forum is still alive and well. It's just at the bottom of the forum index.

Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:17 pm
by Jonah
Hi, Richard. I'm not sure what you're referring to. We only have the one category for "non-Baha'i issues." I have not deleted anything other than obvious spam in the last month or so. Do you recall what the posts were about? You can also try the search function,


Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:43 pm
by Zazaban
Sorry, that just sounds like spam to me. :?

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 4:13 am
by brettz9
Dear Richard and all,

I don't think anything is wholly irrelevant to the Baha'i Faith. The Baha'i Faith relates to our relationship with the Creator, and that includes understanding of His creation.

I think what the forum was set up for was those times people just wanted to talk about something for which there was no special direct relationship to Baha'i teachings. For example, discussing a specific Bears vs. Packers football game is not really of general interest to people who come here to learn about and discuss the Baha'i Faith. On the other hand, discussing the role of sports according to our Writings would be a reasonable Baha'i topic in the other section(s).

You are most correct to say that morality and goodness does dictate a Baha'i stance on such subjects. As our Writings themselves urge, we should first turn to the Writings themselves to gain a sufficient understanding of these difficult questions--as it is the Prophet (and His designated Successorship) Who, as we must admit by following Him, can alone guide humanity to see a greater moral clarity and vision on these subjects.

There are unfortunately a few individuals who frequent this board more to cause trouble than to contribute anything meaningful. Some do so openly, while others are more subtle. But the common ingredient to avoid is people asserting their opinions as categorically representative of the Faith--regardless of evidence in the Writings to the contrary (especially when they seek to assert their egos against how the Faith and Administration have been actually given to us by God in our Writings), derisively categorizing Baha'is as being "liberal" or "fundamentalist", challenging the institutions openly or indirectly, etc.. There are plenty of warnings in the Writings against those who seek to sow such divisions and our admonition not to engage them in argumentation. We do need to also guard against excessive attachment to our own opinions, even if we in all sincerity have sought to realign our own understandings and actions according to the Faith's teachings (and to new scientific discoveries)--rather than the other way around.

One of our best guards against being misled is to refer constantly to the Writings themselves and make sure we are making a daily study of them (and following the other spiritual laws).

As far as opium, it is in fact quite clearly and severely condemned in our Writings:

Gambling and the use of opium have been forbidden unto you. Eschew them both, O people, and be not of those who transgress. Beware of using any substance that induceth sluggishness and torpor in the human temple and inflicteth harm upon the body. We, verily, desire for you naught save what shall profit you, and to this bear witness all created things, had ye but ears to hear.

(Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book), par. 155)

It hath been forbidden you to smoke opium. We, truly, have prohibited this practice through a most binding interdiction in the Book. Should anyone partake thereof, assuredly he is not of Me. Fear God, O ye endued with understanding!

(Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book), par. 190)

There is an extended authoritative elaboration of this in the notes prepared under the Universal House of Justice: note 170.

Posted: Wed Sep 27, 2006 11:42 am
by Baha'i Warrior
Yes, it refers to all illicit psychoactive substances. It is rather interesting that 'Abdu'l-Baha calls hashish "the worst of all intoxicants." I wonder if He means it's the worst in terms of the spiritual damage it causes, physical damage, or both?

Any ideas?

"Regarding hashish you have pointed out that some Persians have become habituated to its use. Gracious God! This is the worst of all intoxicants, and its prohibition is explicitly revealed. Its use causeth the disintegration of thought and the complete torpor of the soul. How could anyone seek the fruit of the infernal tree, and by partaking of it, be led to exemplify the qualities of a monster? How could one use this forbidden drug, and thus deprive himself of the blessings of the All-Merciful?

Alcohol consumeth the mind and causeth man to commit acts of absurdity, but this opium, this foul fruit of the infernal tree, and this wicked hashish extinguish the mind, freeze the spirit, petrify the soul, waste the body and leave man frustrated and lost."

Source: note 170 (below)


By the way, when 'Abdu'l-Baha says "this foul fruit of the infernal tree," I wonder if maybe the forbidden fruit referred to in the book of Genesis was marijuana? :shock: Well, probably not... (It's all symbolic, I know)

Posted: Fri Sep 29, 2006 2:40 pm
by brettz9
richard wrote:Thanks for your informative post.

Thank you for yours, and my apologies for taking so long to get back to you. My time and energy can be quite limited sometimes, so my apologies also in advance if it may happen again.

richard wrote:I did not know that, Brett. Perhaps i have been too serious for the purposes of this forum. Sorry for not being more light hearted at times, particularly since i think a reverence for God can be more relaxed in the light of His love.

Jonah has been open to a variety of discussions on this board, so I think whatever suits your fancy...

richard wrote:Thank you, Brett; that surely makes sense to me. BTW, would the writings also direct us to be increasingly sensitive, and receptive also, to the leadings of the spirit of God within us that the writings revere?

Absolutely, as long as we do not try to impose these understandings we have on others. But there are a number of Writings that do direct us to do this (one I like from 'Abdu'l-Baha mentions the need to listen to our "Inner Light"). We are not supposed to rely exclusively on reason, inspiration, our senses, and scriptures (whose understanding by us is dependent on reason, at least there is leeway for interpretation without explicit clarification by the Faith's authoritative institutions), though we are to use them all together to come to the truth. There is a good talk in Promulgation of Universal Peace ('Abdu'l-Baha was talking about the Titanic) in which it is mentioned that reliance on God and relying on planning, etc. are both needed.

richard wrote:God bless you and all your loved ones, today and forever... richard

God bless you as well. It is good to have you, Zazaban, and our other newer regular contributors here.

best wishes,