Krishna, historiography of; Meaning of "Qayyúm"
by / on behalf of Universal House of Justice1983-08-15
Dear Bahá'í Friend,
Your letter of 26 July 1983 has been received, and the Universal House of Justice has instructed us to send you the following reply.
In a letter written on behalf of the beloved Guardian to an individual believer there appears the following statement:
"The nine religions to which you have referred include both the Babi and Bahá'í Dispensations, Bahá'u'lláh being the Ninth Prophet in the series. The other Prophets included are Zoroaster, Krishna, Moses, the Christ, Muhammad, Buddha, the Prophet of the Sabeans whose name is unrecorded, the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh."
It can, therefore, be confidently stated that the teachings of the Faith name Krishna as a Manifestation of God. In light, however, of the other statements of the Guardian, in which he stresses the paucity of our information about the beginnings of Hinduism, we should be cautious not to assert the historical accuracy of specific stories related about Krishna. A similar case where allegorical statements and legends surround the figure of a known Manifestation of God is that of Adam.
With reference to the final question in this letter, the word "Qayyum" has been used both in the Qur'an and in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh as one of the attributes of God and, in such a context, Shoghi Effendi in his translations has rendered the word "Qayyum" as "Self-subsisting", "Self-existent" and "the All-compelling".
In your letter of 19 July 1983 you ask for any quotations about the prophecy of the coming of "Qayyum" used in Islam relative to Bahá'u'lláh other than that found in "God Passes By" p 97. There is a reference to this prophecy in "The Dawn-Breakers" pp 41-42. There are certain traditions (hadith) on the authority of the Shi'ih imams in which the "Qayyum" has been cited as a reference to the One Who would come after the appearance of the Qa'im (i.e. the Bab). The Research Department does not have now adequate time to spare to find these traditions, because of the lack of sufficient indexes to those collections.
However, the Bab has used the term "Qayyum" in several of His Works as a reference to Bahá'u'lláh, and, in fact, Bahá'u'lláh, in His "Kitab-i Badi" (pp 113-116) has quoted the Bab's references which will no doubt be of interest to you. A copy of these pages is enclosed, in the hope that you have a knowledgeable Persian friend who will translate the relevant passages for you.
For Department of the Secretariat