Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Trademarking the Most Great Name symbol

On August 28,1934, the Most Great Name symbol was registered as a trademark (Trade-Mark 316,444). Similarly, the "Bahá'í" trademark (Trade-Mark 245,271) was registered with the Patent Office on August 7, 1928. These trademarks have not prevented the use of the term "Bahá'í" by groups considered Covenant-breakers by the Bahá'í Administrative Order, as upheld in repeated failed litigation. As early as 1941, the New York Supreme Court dismissed a court case brought by National Spiritual Assembly and Trustees of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada against Mirza Ahmad Sohrab for the use of the word "Bahá'í." The judge granted a motion to dismiss, stating that "the plaintiffs have no right to a monopoly of the name of a religion. The defendants, who purport to be members of the same religion, have an equal right to use the name of the religion..."

Gvernment of Iran has banned the Baha'i Administrative Order

On August 29, 1983, the government of Iran banned the Bahá'í Administrative Order, preventing formation of Local Spiritual Assemblies and the participation of individual Bahá'ís in administrative activities. Unlike the previous ban in the USSR, which was fully followed, the ban in Iran has been circumvented in a number of ways, such as the use of the Yaran as an alternative administrative structure.

It always surprised me that in the community that I was a member of, there were Persian Bahá’ís who would regularly travel to Iran during their summer holidays to visit family. When I would ask them how that was possible, their response was always along the lines that the arrested Bahá’ís were those who were administratively and politically active, almost to the point of referring to them as "troublemakers." The Bahá’í Administrative Order uses these news stories of alleged persecution very astutely to generate media attention. A Google News search for the term "Bahá’í" shows a predominance of news stories regarding Bahá’í temples and discrimination. Otherwise, the Bahá’í Faith generates little to no interest.

The Universal House of Justice on 13 September 1983 communicated this information to the Bahá`í world by cable in these words:


Sunday, August 27, 2017

its objectives are a widespread recruitment of many more supporters of the Most Great Name

The fortunes of the Seven Year Plan in Africa are in the balance. As we draw near to the midway point in the unfoldment of the processes it has set in motion, we call upon its valiant promoters on the African mainland and its surrounding islands, to take stock of their position, to reappraise their progress, and to concentrate their resources on whatever portions of the goals are as yet unachieved. Chief among its objectives are a widespread recruitment of many more supporters of the Most Great Name, the deepening of the individual believers, for the fulfillment of all goals ultimately depends upon them, and a notable increase in the number of newly formed as well as firmly rooted Local Spiritual Assemblies, to serve as bases for the manifold activities of the community, including the Bahá’í education of children, a greater participation of women and youth in Bahá’í activities, and the formulation of ways and means to enrich the spiritual lives of the “noble” and “purehearted” believers of a “FAST-AWAKENING CONTINENT.”

- The Universal House of Justice

The guardian is assured the guidance of both Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab

"Instructions sent on behalf of the Guardian are binding, as are the words of the Guardian; although of course, they are not the Guardian's words.

"The Guardian's infallibility covers interpretation of the revealed word and its application. Likewise any instructions he may issue having to do with the protection of the Faith, or its well-being must be closely obeyed, as he is infallible in the protection of the Faith. He is assured the guidance of both Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab, as the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Bahá clearly reveals."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, August 20, 1956)

Tahirih abandoned and shunned most of her family because they did not adopt her new religion.

On August 27 in 1852, subsequent to a failed assassination attempt by some Bábís of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, Fatimah Baraghani, also known as Qurrat al-Ayn, was executed. An influential Bábí theologian, she would shun most of her family because they did not adopt her new religion.
Fatimah Baraghani, later known as Qurrat al-Ayn (Consoloation of the Eyes) and Tahirih (the Pure One), was an influential theologian of the Bábi faith.

Her interpretation of the Báb's message was considered radical by many of his other believers, including Mullá Muḥammad 'Alí-i-Bárfurúshi, also known as Quddús, who was the most prominent disciple of the Báb and the eighteenth and final Letter of the Living who accused her of "heresy." Among her theological contributions was that she "wedded the messianic message to the figure of al-Bab." and "her rise to leadership aptly characterized the messianic ethos around which the entire Bábi movement was formed."

She abandoned and shunned most of her family because they did not adopt her new religion.
From The Master's Last Tablet to America in Bahá’í World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Likewise Qurratu’l-‘Ayn, who is celebrated in all the world, when she believed in God and was attracted to the Divine Breaths, she forsook her two eldest sons, although they were her two oldest children, because they did not become believers, and thereafter did not meet them. She said: “All the friends of God are my children, but these two are not. I will have nothing to do with them.”
And from Martha Root's Táhirih the Pure
The question of her returning to her husband arose, and this she absolutely refused to do. Try as they might, she would not consent to be reconciled with her husband, Mullá Muhammad. She gave as her reason: "He, in that he rejects God's religion, is unclean; between us there can be naught in common."
She has become the object of hagiographic work, including numerous biographies, poems, songs, choreographed dances, and paintings. The Tahirih Justice Center is named after her.

To deepen in the Cause means...

"To deepen in the Cause means to read the writings of Bahá'u'lláh and the Master so thoroughly as to be able to give it to others in its pure form. There are many who have some superficial idea of what the Cause stands for. They, therefore, present it together with all sorts of ideas that are their own. As the Cause is still in its early days we must be most careful lest we fall under this error and injure the Movement we so much adore.

"There is no limit to the study of the Cause. The more we read the writings the more truths we can find in them the more we will see that our previous notions were erroneous."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, August 25, 1926)

An attacked Faith was able to fight back with weapons

This was the first time in its history that an attacked Faith was able to fight back with weapons that possessed some strength to defend it.

- Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum's The Priceless Pearl, Chapter 13, titled "The Rise of the Administrative Order"

Complete and unqualified obedience to the guardian is required on the part of Baha'is

'...It is not for individual believers to limit the sphere of the Guardian's authority, or to judge when they have to obey the Guardian and when they are free to reject his judgement. Such an attitude would evidently lead to confusion and to schism. The Guardian being the appointed interpreter of the Teachings, it is his responsibility to state what matters which, affecting the interests of the Faith, demand on the part of the believers complete and unqualified obedience to his instructions.'"

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, August 22, 1977)

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

If religion becomes a cause of dislike...

If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it were better to be without it, and to withdraw from such a religion would be a truly religious act,

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks)

Were He to decree as lawful the thing which from time immemorial had been forbidden, and forbid that which had, at all times, been regarded as lawful, to none is given the right to question His authority. Whoso will hesitate, though it be for less than a moment, should be regarded as a transgressor.

(Kitáb-i-Aqdas, k162)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Baha'u'llah about Arabic

"Indeed, there existeth no language in the world as vast and comprehensive as Arabic".

- Baha’u’llah, Tabernacle of Unity, #2.58, p.53

“In point of fact , no less than sixty percent of Baha’u’llah’s Tablets and other Writings were revealed in the ‘perspicuous Arabic tongue,’ as He describes it, in contradistinction to the ‘luminous Persian tongue’ in which the remainder of His Writings was revealed.…It is beloved of God that all should speak in Arabic, which is the richest and vastest of all languages. Were anyone to be aware of the richness and vastness of this perspicuous tongue, he would choose it as a universal language of communication. The Persian tongue is a beautiful language, and in this Dispensation God hath chosen to speak in two languages: Arabic and Persian. However, Persian is not as rich as Arabic; in fact all the languages of the earth seem limited when compared to the Arabic language. What We have mentioned here is merely what is preferable. However, Our purpose is that the peoples of the earth should choose a universal language from amongst the languages spoken by all mankind. This is what God hath ordained, and this is what will benefit all mankind, did they but know.

- Bahá’u’lláh, quoted in Soheil Bushrui,"The Style of the Kitab-i-Aqdas: Aspects of the Sublime," pp.32-33

"Among all the languages of the world, Arabic is unique in being a sacred language…”

- ibid p. 26

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Suicide is discouraged but not forbidden.

To Howard Carpenter, in Haifa,

'Suicide is discouraged but not forbidden.'

See also the Master's Tablet in , pp. 378–9.

Women and men must not embrace each other when not married

The pilgrim's note reports the Master as saying: 'Women and men must not embrace each other when not married, or not about to be married. They must not kiss each other... If they wish to greet each other, or comfort each other, they may take each other by the hand.' In a letter to an individual written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi it is said: 'The Master's words to... which you quoted, can certainly be taken as the true spirit of the teachings on the subject of sex. We must strive to achieve this exalted standard.' (October 19, 1974)

From a letter of the Universal of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, February 10, 1974. Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 439

Covenant Breakers have been execrated in the sacred writings

"There is no doubt that in a thousand passages in the sacred writings of Bahá'u'lláh the breakers of the Covenant have been execrated."

- Abdul Baha

Absolutely authenticated Repository of the Word of God.

"They must...approach reverently and with a mind purged from preconceived ideas the study of the Qur'án which, apart from the sacred scriptures of the Bábí and Bahá'í Revelations, constitutes the only Book which can be regarded as an absolutely authenticated Repository of the Word of God."

(Shoghi Effendi, Advent of Divine Justice, p. 49)

Baha'is and non-Baha'is are not equal

Let no one imagine that by Our assertion that all created things are the signs of the revelation of God is meant that—God forbid—all men, be they good or evil, pious or infidel, are equal in the sight of God.

(Baha'u'llah - Gleanings)

The verses of God have been revealed, and yet they have turned away from them. His proof hath been manifested, and yet they are unaware of it. And when they behold the face of the All-Merciful, their own faces are saddened, while they are disporting themselves. They hasten forward to Hell Fire, and mistake it for light. Far from God be what they fondly imagine!

(Baha'u'llah - Gleanings)

Smallness of numbers is not an issue

O ye believers of God! Be not concerned with the smallness of your numbers, neither be oppressed by the multitude of an unbelieving world. Five grains of wheat will be endued with heavenly blessing, whereas a thousand tons of tares will yield no results or effect. One fruitful tree will be conducive to the life of society, whereas a thousand forests of wild trees offer no fruits. The plain is covered with pebbles, but precious stones are rare. One pearl is better than a thousand wildernesses of sand...

- Abdul Baha

The Shi'is are fanatical, ignorant and worse and they have strayed far from the pure faith of Islam.

He (Baha'u'llah) calls into question the legitimacy of the doctrines of the vast majority of Muslims who do not follow the twelve Imams and who are called Sunnis. Hence, he depicts Islam as getting off to a bad start and then continuing to deviate from the intentions of the prophet Muhammad. Baha’u’llah denies that the twelfth Imam was a real person and affirms rather his symbolic existence in the minds of Shi’is. He calls Shi’is fanatical and ignorant and worse. So while they recognized the Imams, since their line came to an end, they have strayed far from the pure faith of Islam.

The foundation of the religion of Muhammad is no more...

Likewise, the foundation of the religion of Muḥammad is no more, but its outward form remains in the hands of the Muslim divines.

...seeing that the character of Islam had entirely changed; that the religion of God had been forsaken; that virtue, decency, and honour had vanished; and that characters had been subverted, rejoiced that the morals of the Muslims had been corrupted and that they stood therefore to be vanquished by other nations. And this indeed came to pass in a most conspicuous manner. Witness how this people who once wielded supreme power have been abased and subjugated!

- Abdul Baha

Pilgrim Notes may be read and studied

The following extract from a letter dated 7 May 1942, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer addresses this question:

Regarding your question concerning pilgrim’s notes: the Guardian has always pointed out that these notes may be read by the believers and studied, but that they are not to be considered in the same light as things which he has written, or that are above his signature.

Reliability of Pilgrim Notes

However, it also should be noted that some of these notes were taken by Shoghi Effendi's wife and frequent secretary, and are thus more reliable than others.

Baha'i economic system of the future

...the Universal House of Justice, in consultation with economic experts, will "assist in the formulation and evolution of the Bahá'í economic system of the future".

- Shoghi Effendi

Abdu'l-Baha's only son Mason Remey

‘Abdu'l-Baha to his only son Mason Remey: “I have adopted you as my son. You have to appreciate this favor very much indeed. One should see that you are living according to the requirements of this sonship. You should be aware of your responsibilities. My prayers will help you. I always pray for you. ”

‘Abdu'l-Baha to Mason Remey, cf. “The Diaries of Mason Remey”, Folio 2, "A Pilgrimage to the Holy Land: Reminisces of the Master, 1921", pp. 127-129. New York Public Library Collection

Shi'i Islam had lost once for all

Shí’ih Islám had lost once for all, in Bahá’u’lláh’s native land and as the direct consequence of its implacable hostility to His Faith, its combative power, had forfeited its rights and privileges, had been degraded and demoralized, and was being condemned to hopeless obscurity and ultimate extinction.

- Shoghi Effendi

“O people of the Qur’án,” Bahá’u’lláh, addressing the combined forces of Sunní and Shí’ih Islám, significantly affirms, “Verily, the Prophet of God, Muḥammad, sheddeth tears at the sight of your cruelty. Ye have assuredly followed your evil and corrupt desires, and turned away your face from the light of guidance. Erelong will ye witness the result of your deeds; for the Lord, My God, lieth in wait and is watchful of your behavior… O concourse of Muslim divines! By your deeds the exalted station of the people hath been abased, the standard of Islám hath been reversed, and its mighty throne hath fallen.”

- Baha'u'llah

See also "Collapse of Islam" at the same link.

O people of the Quran... Ye have assuredly followed your evil and corrupt desires

“O people of the Qur’án... Ye have assuredly followed your evil and corrupt desires, and turned away your face from the light of guidance. Erelong will ye witness the result of your deeds; for the Lord, My God, lieth in wait and is watchful of your behavior….”

- Shoghi Effendi

The sayings and doings of Shi’ih Islam have dulled the joy and fervor of its early days

Behold how the sayings and doings of Shi’ih Islam have dulled the joy and fervor of its early days, and tarnished the pristine brilliancy of its light. In its primitive days, whilst they still adhered to the precepts associated with the name of their Prophet, the Lord of mankind, their career was marked by an unbroken chain of victories and triumphs. As they gradually strayed from the path of their Ideal Leader and Master, as they turned away from the light of God and corrupted the principle of His Divine unity, and as they increasingly centered their attention upon them who were only the revealers of the potency of His Word, their power was turned into weakness, their glory into shame, their courage into fear. Thou dost witness to what a pass they have come.

– Baha’u’llah, quoted by Shoghi Effendi in The World Order of Baha’u’llah, pp. 172-173.

Study the Quran in the light of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá's interpretation

"It is certainly most difficult to thoroughly grasp all the Surihs of the Qur'án, as it requires a detailed knowledge of the social, religious and historical background of Arabia at the time of the appearance of the Prophet. The believers can not possibly hope, therefore, to understand the Surihs after the first or even second or third reading. They have to study them again and again, ponder over their meaning, with the help of certain commentaries and explanatory notes as found, for instance, in the admirable translation made by SALE, endeavor to acquire as clear and correct understanding of their meaning and import as possible. This is naturally a slow process, but future generations of believers will certainly come to grasp it. For the present, the Guardian agrees, that it would be easier and more helpful to study the Book according to subjects, and not verse by verse and also in the light of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá's interpretation which throw such floods of light on the whole of the Qur'án."

(On behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Directives of the Guardian, p. 64)

New Testament has been misunderstood by Christians

Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, wrote through his secretary:

We do not believe that there was a bodily resurrection after the crucifiction of Christ, but that there was a time after His ascension when His disciples perceived spiritually his true greatness and realized He was eternal in being. This is what has been reported symbolically in the New Testament and been misunderstood. His eating with disciples after resurrection is the same thing.

- High Endeavors: Messages to Alaska, pp.69-70

God has forgiven the Jews in this Dispensation and they will be gradually led to embrace the Faith

The Jews were punished for two thousand years. The Muslims - Sunnis and Shi'ihs - will suffer for a long time (because of persecuting the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh, opposing the Cause, etc.) It is their turn now to suffer, they will suffer in proportion to their crime.
God has forgiven the Jews in this Dispensation and that they will return to their homeland.
You should certainly endeavour to establish further contacts with your Jewish fellow-citizens, as their spiritual destiny is assuredly bright. The age-long sufferings and tribulations which the Jews all over the world have so cruelly experienced will be terminated during the Bahá'í era, as they will be gradually led to embrace the Faith, which, indeed, constitutes the only means of salvation to their race.

Shoghi Effendi about Zionism & Israel

The Zionists constitute a political movement. We should be very careful what we say regarding the prophecies in order that the Jews may not think that we sympathize or partake of their political aspirations. If we should show that passage (page 76 "Answered Questions") "All Palestine will become their home," to a Jew, a Muhammadan would say we are political. But in America it would be a great help in attracting the Jews to show them this passage written 40 years ago also a help in Germany. Believes the Jews will overflow in part of Syria and Trans-Jordania.

The Jews threaten that if the different Governments do not help regarding their regaining a Fatherland, they will promote revolution.

The Zionist Jews are a majority; they are in sympathy with the Cause. There is a section in the University library in Jerusalem devoted to Bahá'í literature from all countries. They are friendly toward the British Government who has helped them to establish a National Home. (See "Answered Questions," page 76, "All Palestine will become their home.") Other Jews, (a minority in a Jewish state) are against the British Government and the Bahá'ís.

Hitler's policy is another link in the chain of the destiny of the Jews. The Balfour declaration made it possible for the Jews to build a home. The British Government drove away the Turks and the Mandate made it possible for the Jews to come.

Their poisonous presence had polluted the Most Holy Spot for more than six decades...

It seems almost inconceivable that Mr. Ioas could render any more extraordinary services, but he did. There was one service that meant more than any other, to Shoghi Effendi. An apartment building in which the Covenant-breakers lived, was positioned immediately in front of the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh and the Mansion of Bahji. Every time ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited the Shrine of His Father, every time Shoghi Effendi visited the Shrine, the Covenant-breakers were there. Their poisonous presence had polluted the Most Holy Spot for more than six decades … Following the establishment of the state of Israel, the government proceeded to identify the holy places of all of the religions in the Holy Land, and to officially recognize them. The Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh was one of these officially-designated Holy Places. I heard, though I do not recall from whom, that Mr. Ioas learned that the government of Israel had passed a law prohibiting residential dwellings within a certain number of meters from a designated holy place. He informed Shoghi Effendi of this, and stated that perhaps the Covenant-breaker dwelling could be removed. The Guardian asked, (paraphrasing, not his exact words), “Leroy, do you really think you could do this?” Mr. Ioas answered that he could not; however, he knew that God assisted everything Shoghi Effendi wanted done, and if Shoghi Effendi told Mr. Ioas to do it, he knew that it could be accomplished. Shoghi Effendi then told him to proceed, and said that it would be a miracle to get the Covenant-breakers out … This was not merely removal of an ugly building from otherwise beautiful gardens, nor merely the eviction of undesirables. This represented the death-blow to the violators of the Covenant … The Covenant-breakers appealed the dispossession order, and they were not finally evicted until just a few weeks before Shoghi Effendi’s passing. He was in London at the time, and Mr. Ioas cabled him, informing him that the Covenant-breakers had finally been evicted, and asking the Guardian if he wished him to proceed with the demolition of the building. Shoghi Effendi cabled back that he would supervise it himself, upon his return. However, Shoghi Effendi passed away shortly thereafter, and never returned to the Holy Land. The Hands of the Cause proceeded with this demolition immediately after their First Conclave.

(Brent Poirier, Leroy Ioas, Champion of the Charters of the Bahá’í Faith)

Shoghi Effendi was unwilling to sign the Pilgrim Notes.

The Guardian has stated that he is unwilling to sign the notes of any pilgrim, in order that the literature consulted by the believers shall not be unduly extended...

When the next Manifestation appears...

In the future, when the next Manifestation appears, the Guardian of the Cause at that time will tell the believers who the Manifestation is and will call on them to accept Him. What is the use of the infallibility of the Guardian if he does not do this? This is one of the very important things that he will do.

Pilgrim Notes can be shared with the members of the Community.

...those who wish to share them with the members of the Community should, under no circumstances, be prevented from doing so.

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, April 28, 1939)

The Faith can spread across Africa like a flame.

When you go back to Africa, you must be active in confirming many more new believers, in establishing many more new centers, and many more Local Spiritual Assemblies. New believers re-vitalized the Faith; new centers broaden its basis; new Assemblies consolidate it. New believers bring new centers; new centers bring new Local Spiritual Assemblies; new Local Spiritual Assemblies bring new National Spiritual Assemblies; and new National Spiritual Assemblies bring new Temples! (He gave this last series of in a tone of rising enthusiasm and, when he said “bring new Temples”, he was smiling very broadly and triumphantly.) I want more believers, more centers, more Assemblies. Now is the time for the people of Africa to come into the Faith. Africa is like a dry field of grass. The Faith can spread across Africa like a flame.

- Shoghi Effendi

They merely followed the custom (of Islam)

The “sacrifice” of goats has nothing to do with the Faith. Bahá’u’lláh was surrounded by Muslim admirers and friends, and they merely followed the custom of their people on such an occasion...

- Shoghi Effendi

Sunni Muhammadens have to become Shiah to become Bahá'í

Ali was the true head of the Moslem Faith and the First Imam, not the Caliphs. The Caliphs put Ali fourth but He was the first Imam. Shiah Islam is the closest to the truth not Sunni. The Sunni Muhammadens have to become Shiah to become Bahá'í.

- Shoghi Effendi

Islam has corrupted

This basic teaching of Bahá’u’lláh was to preserve the Faith from being corrupted like Islam which attributes binding authority to all the reported sayings of Muhammad.

- Shoghi Effendi

Baha'u'llah told some of his close companions that he was himself the return of the Imam Husayn

Baha'u'llah went to the shrine city of Karbala in Iraq, the site of the tomb of the Imam Husayn, where a small but active Babi group existed. He found that it was led by a Sayyid 'Uluvv, who had made claims to being God incarnate. Baha'u'llah faced the man down and convinced him to retract those claims. On the other hand, during his stay in Karbala between August 1851 and March 1852, Baha'u'llah told some of his close companions that he was himself the return of the Imam Husayn, whose return Shi`ites expected after the advent of the Qa'im or Mahdi.

Zoo animals knew who Abdul Baha was!?

When ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was first in Chicago it, was Spring and He was eager to go to the zoo. He had never seen a large city zoo, and He was very merry over the prospect. Then it was explained to Him that, this being the Spring of the year, most of the animal-mothers would be bearing litters and, at the first approach of a stranger, they‘d rush their babies into safe hiding. This did not perturb ‘Abdu’l-Bahá at all. He wanted to go anyhow. So a group of five or six of the Friends took Him. He motioned to them to stay a little behind and He went forward all alone. And, as He approached each cage, the small animal-mother brought out all her babies to show Him, then hurried them back to safety and protection from the following Friends.

(Reginald Grant Barrow, Mother’s Stories: Stories of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Early Believers told by Muriel Ives Barrow Newhall to her son, p. 38-39)

Nabil's suicide

Nabil, who was asked by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to select from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh those passages which constitute the text of the Tablet of Visitation, which nowadays is usually recited in the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb, was inconsolable after the ascension of his Lord. To the ordeal of separation from his Beloved was added soon afterwards a far more grievous blow—the violation of the Covenant by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s brothers; which although it had not been made public at that time was clearly discernible to those who were close to the Holy Family. Nabil could no longer bear the agony of those cruel and tempestuous days. He took his own life by drowning himself in the sea a few months after the ascension of Bahá’u’lláh.

(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 4, p. 418)

Nabil’s suicide was not insanity but love. He loved Bahá’u’lláh too much to go on in a world that no longer held Him.

- Shoghi Effendi

The unveiling of Tahirih

Bábís were divided somewhat between those that viewed the movement as a break with Islam, centered around Táhirih, and those with a more cautious approach, centered around Quddus. As an act of symbolism, she took off her traditional veil in front of an assemblage of men on one occasion and brandished a sword on another. The unveiling caused shock and consternation amongst the men present. Prior to this, many had regarded Táhirih as the epitome of purity and the spiritual return of Fatimah, the daughter of the prophet Muhammad. Many screamed in horror at the sight, and one man was so horrified that he cut his own throat and, with blood pouring from his neck, fled the scene. Táhirih then arose and began a speech on the break from Islam.

...that he would rather have his throat cut than tell a lie

The individual must be educated to such a high degree that he would rather have his throat cut than tell a lie, and would think it easier to be slashed with a sword or pierced with a spear than to utter calumny or be carried away by wrath.

- Abdul Baha

His throat was bleeding profusely and he was taken to hospital for treatment.

No greater story can be found to demonstrate this consuming love for Bahá'u'lláh than that of Hájí Muhammad-Ja'far-i-Tabrízí. He was a devoted believer who first attained the presence of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdád, recognized His station and devoted his life to the service of his Lord. When Bahá'u'lláh established His residence in Adrianople, Hájí Ja'far travelled with his brother (who was also a believer) to that city and resided there. He was so magnetized by Bahá'u'lláh that when he discovered that the authorities had not included his name among those who were to accompany Bahá'u'lláh to 'Akká, he attempted to cut his own throat. Some friends arrived just in time to save him.

...His throat was bleeding profusely and he was taken to hospital for treatment.

- The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, V. 1, by Adib Taherzadeh

Haji Ja`far-i-Tabrizi, one of the believers, finding that his name had been omitted from the list of the exiles who might accompany Baha'u'llah, cut his throat with a razor, but was prevented in time from ending his life — an act which Baha'u'llah, in the Suriy-i-Ra'is, characterizes as "unheard of in bygone centuries," and which "God hath set apart for this Revelation, as an evidence of the power of His might";

(God Passes By, 1995, Page 180)

Haji Ja'far... took a razor with him to the outer apartment of the house which was crowded with military officers and government officials, put his head out of a window which opened onto the street, and cut his own throat.

(Taherzadeh 1996, 2: 406)

Speak thou no word of politics

O handmaid of the Lord! Speak thou no word of politics; ...make thou no mention of the earth’s kings, and the worldly governments thereof.

- Abdul Baha

Why some Shi'i scholars consider Shaykh Ahmad to be an apostate?

According to Tonokābonī, the reasons for the declaration of takfīr were three: Aḥsāʾī’s views on maʿād, meʿrāǰ, and the nature of the Imams (Qeṣaṣ al-ʿolamāʾ, pp. 44-48). Although Baraḡānī seems not to have referred to it, the shaikh had already been involved in discussions on the nature of the divine knowledge in Isfahan as early as 1228/1813 (Šarḥ al-resālat al-ʿelmīya, tr. Nicolas, Essai sur le Chéïkhisme IV, p. iv). As the takfīr was taken up by other ʿolamāʾ, the charges came to include further points. Raštī mentions some of these in his Dalīl al-motaḥayyerīn: It was claimed that Aḥsāʾī had said all the ʿolamāʾ from Shaikh Mofīd to his own contemporaries were in error and that the Moǰtahedī (Oṣūlī) school was false; that he regarded ʿAlī as the Creator; that he held all Koranic phrases referring to God as really being references to ʿAlī; that he spoke of God as uninformed of particulars and maintained that He had two forms of knowledge, one created and one eternal; and that he did not believe the Imam Ḥosayn to have been killed (p. 40).

How Shaykh Ahmad Ahsai viewed himself?

On another occasion he dreamt that he was taught verses by Imam Ḥasan, to enable him to call on the Imams whenever he required an answer to any problem. On two occasions, once with Imam Ḥasan and once with Moḥammad, he claimed to have undergone what appears to have been a form of initiatory ritual, involving the drinking of saliva from the mouth of the Imam or Prophet.

This belief that his knowledge was directly granted him by the Prophet and the Imams distinguishes Aḥsāʾī from contemporary religious leaders. The role of the Imams as spiritual guides is familiar in Shiʿism, but Aḥsāʾī seems to have taken this concept to an extreme degree. He claimed that since he derived his knowledge directly from the Prophet and the Imams in dreams, error could not find its way into his words and that he could easily answer any criticism leveled against him.

(Šarḥ al-fawāʾed, p. 4; Sīra Šayḵ Aḥmad al-Aḥsāʾī, pp. 19-20)

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Analyzing UHJ letters

This year’s Ridvan message from the highest leaders of the Baha’i Faith confirms my view that Baha’i has become an inward-looking religion that refuses to engage the world at large except for the purpose of trying to convert people.

But I think it’s a profound illustration of how beneficial, potentially transformative spiritual messages can be twisted and obscured by leaders and members of a religion for their own misguided ends — a problem that is all too common in every significant religion.

So what do the Baha’is do? As one might guess from the rich history of religious followers doing the opposite of what the founder of their faith taught, Baha’is today focus all their energies on trying to build their own new sect and convert as many people as possible to it!

The Baha’i leaders open their message to the Baha’is during a major holiday season of their faith by talking about how wonderful it is that Baha’is are following the UHJ’s “global Plan” for “intensive programmes of growth” — i.e. that they are focusing, in a systematic way, on trying to convert as many people as possible. And then they go on to mention how Baha’is held a lot of big conferences where they gathered among themselves. This is supposed to be an “extraordinary contrast” to the world that is currently suffering from a severe economic crisis and so many other problems.

Baha’is think that they will get more members because they are trying hard to get more members — especially because they feel confident in their religion while the world outside the Baha’i bubble is “caught in a spiral of crisis.” The irony is that if Baha’is shifted their focus away from proselytizing and organizing events for their own members, toward doing tangible things to help solve problems in the real world — economic development, human rights, peace movements, environmental protection, etc. — they would find that more people would naturally be attracted to their religion, because people would see that they care about helping the world, not the size of their membership rolls.

And therein lies the problem for Baha’is. They, or at least their leaders, seem to believe that the only way to truly help the world is to convert people to Baha’i. So that’s where they invest their time, energy, and money, leaving little or nothing for promoting the world-changing values and causes that really make a difference.

Sound familiar? Yup, it’s the same tired old attitude of fundamentalists of all religions. All of them essentially say some variation of the following: “Our religion is the only way of true salvation, so the whole world needs to join us. Doing other things is unnecessary or even counterproductive, because this world is destined to go through an apocalypse anyway, which will show people the glorious and absolute truth of our faith.”

Baha’is, with their progressive belief that all religions are inspired by One God, should at least in theory be particularly able to avoid the trap of fundamentalism. In reality, sadly, they are not. I know a few liberal Baha’is who believe that the future of human spirituality lies not in one religious sect converting everyone else and taking over the world, but rather in “meta-spirituality” and interfaith respect and reconciliation. But the Baha’is who follow the party-line of their religious organization, which seems to be most of them, are blinded to this reality and instead chase the quixotic, ever elusive dream of one world, one religious identity/practice for everyone. Just as the fundamentalist Christians and Muslims do.

Source :

All the friends of God are my children, but these two are not.

Likewise Qurratu’l-‘Ayn, who is celebrated in all the world, when she believed in God and was attracted to the Divine Breaths, she forsook her two eldest sons, although they were her two oldest children, because they did not become believers, and thereafter did not meet them. She said: “All the friends of God are my children, but these two are not. I will have nothing to do with them.”

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í World Faith, p. 437-8)

Baha'u'llah's two years in Kurdistan

So a Manifestation of God left His wife and children under the care of the Source of Perversion which intentionally, since He is supposedly omniscient, left His toddler to die and family to suffer just so He could meditate in the mountains for two years?

If you remove all of the supernatural aspects of the story, the plot seems quite simple. Baha'u'llah ran away from all of the religious turmoil that He was causing with the Bab's successor who was still widely revered and since He wasn't omniscient, He didn't realize that Asiyih was pregnant or His family would experience difficulty under the care of Mirza Yahya.

We cannot, not knowing the factors Bahá’u’lláh weighed in His own mind, judge of the wisdom of His withdrawal to Kurdistan. But, studying His life and teachings, we should see in it an act of wisdom, and not superficially measure Him by our standards.

So even Shoghi Effendi did not have an answer as to why Bahá'u'lláh abandoned His family to a person whom He would later call, "Source of Perversion", and cause them tremendous grief and sorrow for two years. Not to mention that His own toddler died from neglect during His absence.

Interestingly, later on, Bahá'u'lláh would command His followers to inform their spouse(s) of their expected date of return whenever they intended to travel.

It hath been decreed by God that, should any one of His servants intend to travel, he must fix for his wife a time when he shall return home. If he return by the promised time, he will have obeyed the bidding of his Lord and shall be numbered by the Pen of His behest among the righteous; otherwise, if there be good reason for delay, he must inform his wife and make the utmost endeavor to return to her.
(Kitáb-i-Aqdas, k67)

So much for being an exemplar of His own teachings.

Abdul Baha is praying for Baha'is

O Divine Providence! Bestow Thou in all things purity and cleanliness upon the people of Bahá. Grant that they be freed from all defilement, and released from all addictions. Save them from committing any repugnant act, unbind them from the chains of every evil habit, that they may live pure and free, wholesome and cleanly, worthy to serve at Thy Sacred Threshold and fit to be related to their Lord. Deliver them from intoxicating drinks and tobacco, save them, rescue them, from this opium that bringeth on madness, suffer them to enjoy the sweet savours of holiness, that they may drink deep of the mystic cup of heavenly love and know the rapture of being drawn ever closer unto the Realm of the All-Glorious. For it is even as Thou hast said: ‘All that thou hast in thy cellar will not appease the thirst of my love—bring me, O cup-bearer, of the wine of the spirit a cup full as the sea!’

- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, 129

No man should blindly follow his ancestors and forefathers.

Another new principle revealed by Bahá’u’lláh is the injunction to investigate truth — that is to say, no man should blindly follow his ancestors and forefathers. Nay, each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate the truth himself in order that he may follow the truth instead of blind acquiescence and imitation of ancestral beliefs.

- Abdul Baha

Friday, August 18, 2017

Bahaism and Zionism

To give a brief timeline, the Bahá'ís, including Bahá'u'lláh and his family, arrived in Acre on August 31, 1868. Bahá'u'lláh lived in Acre until 1877, when he moved to a mansion in Mazra'a where he lived for two years. From 1879 until his death in 1892, he lived at the Mansion of Bahjí.

The First Zionist Congress was held in Basel, Switzerland, from August 29 to August 31, 1897. The British conquered Palestine from the Ottomans during World War I in a series of campaigns lasting from March through November of 1917. It was only after the British occupation of Palestine that mass immigration of Jewish settlers occurred. Looking at census data for Palestine, for example, in 1922 there were 83,290 Jews and by 1946 that number had risen to 608,225.

On February 23, 1914, at the eve of World War I, 'Abdu'l-Bahá hosted Baron Edmond James de Rothschild, a member of the Rothschild banking family who was a leading advocate and financier of the Zionist movement, during one of his early trips to Palestine. This event was reported in "Star of the West" magazine.

On September 8, 1919, subsequent to the British occupation of Palestine, at a time when tens of thousands of Jewish settlers were arriving under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association, an article in the "Star of the West" quoted 'Abdu'l-Bahá praising the Zionist movement, proclaiming that "There is too much talk today of what the Zionists are going to do here. There is no need of it. Let them come and do more and say less" and that "A Jewish government might come later."

On January 24, 1922, Shoghi Effendi received a letter from Herbert Samuel, the British High Commissioner for Palestine. The receipt of the letter is mentioned in Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum's The Priceless Pearl. As High Commissioner, Herbert Samuel was the first Jew to govern the historic land of Israel in 2,000 years, and his appointment was regarded by the Muslim-Christian Associations as the "first step in formation of Zionist national home in the midst of Arab people." Herbert Samuel welcomed the arrival of Jewish settlers under the auspices of the Palestine Jewish Colonization Association and recognised Hebrew as one of the three official languages of the Mandate territory
While Shoghi Effendi was thus occupied and was gathering his powers and beginning to write letters such as these to the Bahá'ís in different countries, he received the following letter from the High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, dated 24 January 1922:
Dear Mr. Rabbani,
I have to acknowledge receipt of your letter of Jan. 16., and to thank you for the kind expression it contains. It would be unfortunate if the ever to be lamented death of Sir 'Abdu'l-Bahá were to interfere with the completion of your Oxford career, and I hope that may not be the case. I am much interested to learn of the measures that have been taken to provide for the stable organization of the Bahá'í Movement. Should you be at any time in Jerusalem in would be a pleasure to me to see you here.
Yours sincerely,
Herbert Samuel

The descendants of Azal, with their mother's milk, drank hatred of Bahá'u'lláh

The friends are sometimes surprisingly naive and superficial in their approach to the subject of Covenant-breakers. They do not seem to understand that the descendants of Azal, with their mother's milk, drank hatred of Bahá'u'lláh, just as the descendants of Muhammad-Ali and his relatives have imbibed from babyhood a false concept of the Master. It takes practically a miracle to overcome this lifelong habit of wrong thought. Now, however, he has told the German believers to shun her.

(From a letter dated 18 August 1949 written on behalf of the Guardian to a National Spiritual Assembly)

Latin Americans are "so impoverished spiritually, so paralyzed with fear, so confused in thought, so abased in their moral standard."

August 18. On this date in 1949, Shoghi Effendi wrote a letter titled "This Hour, Crowded With Destiny," later published in the book "Citadel of Faith" describing Latin Americans as "so impoverished spiritually, so paralyzed with fear, so confused in thought, so abased in their moral standard."

Thursday, August 17, 2017

In 1957, Shoghi Effendi wrote German Bahá'ís stating he "was shocked"

He was shocked and indignant to hear of the conduct of certain of the Persian Bahá'í students in Germany which had been so criminal as to lead to their imprisonment.

No mention is made about the Bábi uprisings.

August 15. On this date in 2002, The Oak Ridger carried a story written by David Sperry, "a publicist for area Bahá'ís," about an event on "July 9 at "Heart of the Hills" in Sevier County to commemorate the execution of the Báb." No mention is made about the Bábi uprisings.

A group of Bábís attempted to assassinate Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, Bahá'u'lláh was arrested and imprisoned. He would later claim during this incarceration he was visited by the "Maid of Heaven" who told him his mission as the "Manifestation of God."

August 16. On this date in 1852, one day after a group of Bábís attempted to assassinate Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, Bahá'u'lláh was arrested and imprisoned. Years later, when he publicly revealed his mission, Bahá'u'lláh would claim that during this incarceration he was visited by the "Maid of Heaven" who told him his mission as the "Manifestation of God." Due to pressure from the Russian ambassador, Bahá'u'lláh was not executed but instead exiled to Baghdad along with the other Bábí leadership. Bahá'u'lláh traveled from Iran to Baghdad accompanied with a representative of the Russian legation and an entourage of Russian guards.
From Helen S. Goodall, a Disciple of `Abdu'l-Bahá, and Ella Goodall Cooper's "Daily Lessons Received at Akka: January 1908," "Exile of Bahá'u'lláh"...
When Bahá'u'lláh was imprisoned in Tihran, the Russian Ambassador went about twenty times to the Shah to plead in His behalf, saying, "This man has no fault. He is faultless. Why do you imprison Him?" The Shah answered that Bahá'u'lláh must be punished because He had ordered the attack on his life (see history). The Ambassador said, "That is not a reasonable supposition; for, if He had ordered such an attempt, He would have ordered a bullet put in the gun instead of merely powder and small shot." The Shah acknowledged this reasoning but was determined to hold Bahá'u'lláh responsible so as to have a pretext for keeping Him in prison.
Again and again the Russian Ambassador went to talk with the Shah about the matter, and at last the Shah confessed that he was afraid of the influence of Bahá'u'lláh, and that if he should set Him free, it would create a great tumult among the people.
The Ambassador answered, "If, then, you fear Him so much, why keep Him in Tihran? Would it not be better to exile Him to Baghdad?" This was accordingly done, and *an escort furnished of Cossack and Russian horsemen to protect Him from the Persian horsemen. *From Baghdad, Bahá'u'lláh was sent to Constantinople, then to Adrianople, then to Akka--by force He was sent to the place where He desired to be, thus fulfilling the prophecies of all the Holy Books. He came by His own Will. Had He simply appeared and declared Himself there, the opposers might have said, "Of course, He has read the prophecies and determined to appear in the Holy Land in order to mislead the people." But we see that He used the natural instruments who thought they were sending Him there by force. This is what we may call a real miracle.
After all, did the Shah accomplish his will, or did Bahá'u'lláh accomplish His Will?
From Nabil's The Dawn-breakers, "Chapter XXVI Attempt on the Shah's Life, and its Consequences"...
The Russian minister, as soon as he learned of the action which the government contemplated taking, volunteered to take Baha'u'llah under his protection, and invited Him to go to Russia. He refused the offer and chose instead to leave for Iraq. Nine months after His return from Karbila, on the first day of the month of Rabi'u'th-Thani, in the year 1269 A.H., Baha'u'llah, accompanied by the members of His family, among whom were the Most Great Branch and Aqay-i-Kalim, and escorted by a member of the imperial body-guard and an official representing the Russian legation, set out from Tihran on His journey to Baghdad.
In God Passes By, Shoghi Effendi alludes to the protection the Russian ambassador gave Bahá'u'lláh on different occasions, first after the attempted assassination of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar and again after the decision to exile Bahá’u’lláh from Iran, expressing his "desire to take Bahá’u’lláh under the protection of his government, and offered to extend every facility for His removal to Russia." In his Súriy-i-Haykal, Bahá’u’lláh included the Lawh-i-Malik-i-Rús, praising Czar Alexander II of Russia in these terms:
when this Wronged One was sore-afflicted in prison, the minister of the highly esteemed government (of Russia)—may God, glorified and exalted be He, assist him!—exerted his utmost endeavor to compass My deliverance. Several times permission for My release was granted. Some of the ‘ulamás of the city, however, would prevent it. Finally, My freedom was gained through the solicitude and the endeavor of His Excellency the Minister. …His Imperial Majesty, the Most Great Emperor—may God, exalted and glorified be He, assist him!—extended to Me for the sake of God his protection—a protection which has excited the envy and enmity of the foolish ones of the earth.

Doctrines of the church today are no longer needed--as the Father Himself has come.

"A Catholic background is an excellent introduction to the Faith, and one that Mrs. ... should feel gratified for having had. Though doctrines of the church today are no longer needed--as the Father Himself has come, and thus fulfilled the mission of Christ the Son--yet the foundation they lay of spiritual discipline, and their emphasis on spiritual values and adherence to moral laws, is very important and very close to our own beliefs."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to two believers, August 17, 1941)

Some personal observations about Baha'i faith.

When researching the Bahá'í Faith, please do not limit yourself only to the officially-sanctioned literature of the Bahá'í Administrative Order.

Here are a few observations...

1) The Bahá'í Faith exists solely to perpetuate itself, 99% of its focus and activities are toward this one goal, growth in membership. Throughout their history they have been preparing their members for the "entry by troops" of new converts, which has yet to materialize. They do a minimal amount of humanitarian or charity work.

2) Bahá'ís use terminology in ways that was not intended. Bahá'ís don't have censorship, they have "review." They don't proselytize, they "teach." They don't have missionaries, they have "pioneers." They don't have prophets, they are called "manifestations." And so forth.

3) Bahá'ís have a "lo is us" sense of historical persecution. If you look at their history, though, most would call it just fruits. During the founding of the religion, the forebear Babi sect led a violent, apocalyptic revolution in Iran, and some of their members later attempted to assassinate the Shah. Their leadership were exiled to the Ottoman Empire where schismatic violence within the group later led to house arrest. Of course, this is all billed as being persecuted.

4) Bahá'ís lament how others view them in a conspiratorial light, when in fact, again, this is based on historical reality. In Iran the Babis had the protection of the Russian ambassador (Russia being an imperial power that had seized wide swaths of territory from Iran and at one point the Russian ambassador had to approve Iranian cabinet ministers). In the Ottoman Empire, Bahá'ís conspired with the Young Turks, who deposed Sultan Abdul Hamid II in a coup. Later, they would assist the British, and their leader `Abdu'l-Bahá earned knighthood, being designated KBE. With their headquarters in Haifa, Bahá'ís have cooperated with the state of Israel, to the extent that some of the Bahá'í World Center buildings are built on land expropriated from absentee Palestinian land owners.

5) Bahá'ís inflate their membership numbers. Comparing census data of various nations to self-reported data confirms this. The outside data Bahá'ís often cite, like from the Association of Religion Data Archives, only uses self-reported data, creating a circle.

6) In the community I was a member of, even in the lifetime of Khomeini, there were Persian Bahá’ís who would regularly travel to Iran during their summer holidays to visit family. When I would ask them how that was possible, their response was always along the lines that the arrested Bahá’ís were those who were administratively and politically active, almost to the point of referring to them as "troublemakers." The Bahá’í Administrative Order uses these news stories of alleged persecution very astutely to generate media attention. A Google News search for the term "Bahá’í" shows a predominance of news stories regarding Bahá’í temples and discrimination. Otherwise, the Bahá’í Faith generates little to no interest.

7) Bahá'ís initially hide from members some of the more unsavory realities of their religion. Men and women are equal, but women are barred from serving in the highest organ of the religion, the Universal House of Justice, and will presumably be barred from the local and national Houses of Justice that the current LSA's and NSA's will one day evolve into. The hierarchy is billed as being democratic, but only in the sense of council democracy as it still exists in Cuba where individuals elect local committees, who then elect national committees, who then elect the Universal House of Justice. There is a parallel appointed hierarchy. With no politicking or partisanship allowed, elected members in the higher ranks serve for life until they die or retire, and are subsequently replaced by nomenklatura.

8) Bahá'ís hide from members some of the more unsavory realities of their history. After Bahá'u'lláh their leader was 'Abdu'l-Bahá and then Shoghi Effendi. By the time Shoghi Effendi died, all the living descendants of Bahá'u'lláh had been excommunicated from the religion for various offenses, including marrying a "lowborn Christian girl," a term he would later defend. Shoghi Effendi was also designated the "Guardian," by 'Abdu'l-Bahá. The Guardian was supposed to designated subsequent Guardians, but did not do so, although the entire Bahá'í administrative structure depended on it.

9) Ignoring failed prophecies, like `Abdu'l-Bahá declaring the peace of the world to come by the year 2000. Those of us around in the 1980's and 1990's remember the crescendo, and the anticlimactic ignoring of reality and denial of the build up.

10) Many Bahá'ís books have been posthumously rewritten to remove references to to failed prophecies and prominent individuals who left the Bahá'í Faith for various reasons. These rewrites are more than minor edits and constitute a different process than "Bahá'í review" which the euphemism used for pre-publication censorship.

11) Bahá'ís claim earlier religions are valid, but in reality they only do this in an Islamic sense (i.e., the earlier revelation was perverted over time). For example, they deny the parts of Bible written by Paul. Or when Muhammad says he is the last prophet, Bahá'ís say that was true only for the Adamic Cycle, but now we are in the Bahá'í Cycle.

12) The Universal House of Justice has noted that only "A fraction of the total numbers of unique works have been published in the original languages or translated into Western languages."

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the central book of the Bahá'í Faith written by Bahá'u'lláh, was only officially translated into English in 1992, by which time other translations, such as one by the Royal Asiatic Society, were becoming increasingly available through dissemination via the internet. My personal opinion is that the material in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is so objectionable that the Bahá'í authorities wished to shield Western believers from its contents, as they do from Bahá'u'lláh's other works by not publishing the originals or providing translations.

I could go on.

If you're wondering why I am sending you this message, it is because of my personal experience with the Bahá'í Faith. If years ago I knew what I know now, I would have avoided years of commitment and devotion, not to mention financial contribution, to a religion that was presented inaccurately. In the final analysis, I do not believe the Bahá'í Faith to be true.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

The figure of Twelfth Imam in Shi'i islam is very Shaky

O Sadrus Sudur! Thy "outspread sroll" [=raqq e Manshur cf Q 52:3] was perused…As to thy question in regard to the Twelfth Imam. Inasmuch as in the texts of the traditions [=AhAdeeth] of the Holy Imams, to outward seeming, there is disagreement and conflict, for example in some hadith the person of Muhammad the son of Hasan [al-‘Askari], peace be upon Him, is considered to be the Promised Qa’im, and in another hadith and another place the death of Muhammad the son of Hasan [al-‘Askari], peace be upon Him and the birth in the Last Day of the Promised Qa’im are both affirmed, [because of this apparent divergence and] in order to achieve agreement between these two types of hadith [=be jahat e tawaafoq e bayn e do hadith] there is no other alternative for any soul [=chaareh az baraaye nafsee nah] but to attain certitude [tayaqqun] in this matter, namely: that the Twelfth Imam, the Promised Qa’im was present spiritually [=Ruuh an] in the Realm of Malakuut [=hayyiz e malakuut], and in the Day of His Appearance [ZuhUr], He became visible in the corporeal realm [=jism]. And with this individuation in body He did become a second Person [= be een tajassum shakhs e thaani gasht]. “And there is not a thing but its (sources and) treasures (inexhaustible) are with Us; but We only send down thereof in due and ascertainable measures.” [Qur’an 15:21] Thus every thing that appears in the realm of the earthly kingdom [=mulk] has, in priority, been in the Realm of Malakuut [=hayyiz e malakuut] and possesses the principle of existence [hukm e wujuud]. Now this question of the Twelfth Imam and the Promised Qa’im is very shaky in a sequence of chained traditions. If a person were endowed with the sense of equity he would not place his confidence in any of these divergent, dissonant, and disagreeing narrations. The members of the Shi’ih Community would tend to consider each of the immaculate Imams as the Qá’im [=He Who ariseth] in His day and were always awaiting the day of His uprising forth [=khuruuj]. After the passing of Imam Hasan ‘Askari the leaders of the community became aware that the foundations of the hopes and aspirations of the Shi’ihs would be utterly destroyed and that they would all become dejected and reach oblivion. They, therefore, wanted to adhere to any means whatever to keep and preserve them. So they used allusions, metaphors, abstruse language, and interpretations and in this wise disagreeing narratives appeared. The truth of the matter is this that the Shi’ih community were divided into three after the Imam Hasan ‘Askari, peace be upon Him. Some adhered to the imamate of Ja’far the “ignorant” [=Ja’far e naadaan]. And this group congratulated and greeted his imamate. Another group completely gave up, and a third group pinned their hopes on the Occultation [=ghaybuubat], and they were eagerly anticipating each day the up-rising [=khuruuj]. It is now a thousand years that they are waiting and they are still not tired nor are they giving up. Praise be to God! Even though the Appearance and manifestation of the One True God is clearly the text of the holy Qur’an, namely the Divine Utterance, exalted and blessed be He, And Thy Lord shall come and His angels rank upon rank. [Qur’an 89:22]. In this they doubt. In this they are perturbed and are shaken. In this they take recourse to bizarre interpretations. And in order to ignore this they adhere to such narratives and traditions that are in the utter state of shakiness and dubiety. Rather they presume that those narrations are an explicit text and, utilizing these, they object and oppose. What a state of foolishness [=balaahat] and ignorance [=naadaani] is this! What an obtuseness and bewilderment is the result of all this! And upon thee be my greetings and praise. ‘‘Abdu’l-Baha ‘Abbas.

Ma’idiyi Asmani [MA] Part II compiled from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha by ‘Abdu’l-Hamidi Ishraq Khavari 1984 NSA India New Delhi India [reproduced from and consists of the original MA volumes II, V, and IX which were previously published by the BPT of Iran

Page 54 bab e chehel va duvvum

Bab's wisdom (Dissimulation)

His holiness the exalted Bab because of the weakness of the people at the inception of his manifestation showed extreme forbearance. He spoke with the utmost wisdom e.g. he says in a certain context, 'if anyone attributes prophethood, imamate or anything above these stations or similar to it has perpetrated a calumny against me and I am far removed from him'. There are many such examples in the utterances of the Bab. In another context He even says that if anyone ascribes the particular and explicated Gatehood [Babiyyat e ye] to Me has uttered a fabrication. Then afterwards He has mentioned all these grades to apply to His own station. In one instance He says, "I am the same Point of the Qur'an (Muhammad) that have been manifested in this spiritual cycle as the Point of the Bayan. This former station would be the station of prophethood and in the case of the latter station of the Imamate, He revealed: 'I am the promised Qa'im Whose advent you were promised'. Yet in other circumstances He has denied all the above and mentioned higher stations. Thus in a passage He reveals that if people were not so weak He would not have mentioned that His station was that of [representing] the Primal Will.' There is no doubt whatever that all these utterances are the exercise of H.ikmat [Wisdom] for if in the beginning of His manifestation He were to utter the above last utterances the flame and fire of opposition and rejection would have inflicted on Him what it did eventually achieve in the end. At all times reflect upon the tyranny of the oppressor, the objections of the enemy and the denial of the gainsayers who are none other than the divines of this age. Such was their opposition that He Who was the Quintessence of existence itself [Jawhar e Wujud] called Himself the "Servant of the Remnant of God" but this degraded people were not happy with that and they perpetrated that which my pen and my tongue are both unable to describe and up to this point in time no one has been able to ascertain the truth of this or to comprehend the consequences and traces of this matter.

- The Tablet of Hussain by Baha'u'llah

The realisation of 12th Imam has never been in the world of corporeal existence.

Thou hast asked the detail in relation to the 12th Imam. The realisation of this entity has never been in the world of corporeal existence. Rather His holiness the 12th Imam has always been in the realm of the unseen. He had never a realization in the world of physicality rather some of the leaders of the Shi'ihs at that time in the past, merely to protect the weak souls considered it expedient to describe that Personage Who is present in the realm of the unseen in this manner. Their descriptions were such that one could almost imagine that He is in the realm of physicality. For the world of existence in its totality is one world. "It is only unseen in relation to you and it is only visible in relation to you." All this was their consideration, their thought their expedience. There is a couplet composed by Ibn Hajar in this regard in his Sawaa'iq Muharriqah (Sunni book written against Shi'is)

How can the Sardab [=the Cellar in Samarra Iraq] give birth to a human child?

God forgive your thoughts! for you have truly found a third to the mythical twin of the phoenix and the mythical giant.

In sum if you refer to all the traditions in this regard and if you exert the utmost careful study you will conclude that this peerless being the 12th Imam has never existed in the world of physical existence.

- 'Abdu'l-Baha

MuhAdarat Volume 2 page 833 Dar khusus e Imam e Thaani 'ashar.

The 'temples of falsity' (Shi'is) called Ja'far 'the Liar'.

They asked Ja'far the brother of Hasan 'Askari: "Did your brother have any offspring? " He replied: "There was an infant but he died." But when the temples of falsity [=hayaakil e maj'uulah] heard this utterance they denied him and called Ja'far the Liar. Consider how grievous was their wrong-doing and their falsification. Then they proceeded to make mention of the "sacred precinct", and the appearance of tawqi'at [=communications of the Hidden One] from the sacred precincts with all the details that you have heard of before. May God vouchsafe fairness and equity unto these people for they have left their people in a wilderness of vain imaginings and false ideas, in greater perdition than Abu Lahab.

Baha'u'llah's Tablets quoted in Faadil e Maazandaraani Amr va Khalq, Volume 2 page 3

The heedless members of the Shi'ih sect

"And that which you have mentioned about Shalmaghani and what Shalmaghani has uttered in relation to this Supreme Manifestation of God [= Z.uhur illah al-a'] this is that which the Tongue of the Ancient of days has now uttered:

O Abul Faz.l ! thou has spoken the truth and thou hast disclosed what was hidden in the words of Shalmaghani. The intention of My Herald, the Primal Point, may the spirit of all else be His sacrifice, in referring to this matter was to tear the veil of vain imaginings of the people, because as your honour is aware, the heedless members of the Shi'ih sect have mentioned many things on this matter (of the Occultation of the Hidden Imam). At some time they built with the hands of their fancies the Sacred Precinct [=naah.iyah ye muqaddasah]. At another time the mention of the "underground cellar" [sardab] and the "ocean" flowed from their falsifying tongues and yet at another they talked about Jabulqa and Jabulsa. Finally it became evident and manifest that all these utterances were aloft on the steed of fancy and that their riders were speeding in the wilderness of vain imaginings and idle thought. The intention of His holiness, the Bab, was always to tear the veils asunder, so that all may recognise that that Divine Entity, the Promised One, the Sanctified Essence was in the unborn world [as.laab] not in these falsely fabricated cities =nah dar shahr haaye mawhuumah ye maj'uulah]. In the beginning of the Bab's Dispensation no more could be appreciated by the people than these mentions and what He spoke was to outward appearance in agreement with what later flowed from his Supreme Pen and He now speaks in His own Self between the earth and heaven saying: "In truth I am the Mother Book amongst all creation! I am the Manifest Truth amongst all humankind and I am the utterance of the All- merciful in the world of existence. How blessed is the one who mentioned Him before and mentions Him again now and who bears witness unto Him as all created things have borne witness to the Cause of God the Revealer of these verses. **

Baha'u'llah, quoted in Zuhur ul Haqq by Fadil e Maazandaraani Tablet addressed to Mirza Abu'l-Fazl

Bab was martyred because of the false utterances of Four Gates

This heedless and prattling (people) have understood this Revelation to be like unto the events of the past. Up to this moment they have not comprehended the significances of the "Day of God." They continue to deceive the people with the vain imaginings [awhaamaat] and the vain mentions that were current in the past. I swear by the righteousness of our Lord the Promised One! They have not uttered a word of truth. And now there are others now who intend to walk in the footsteps of those who were in the past Dispensation. If they had apprehended the meaning of the "Day of God" they would have utterly buried in the soil of oblivion such mentions as the mention of 'Wali' [=successor] and 'Wasi'[=appointee] and their like. They have not become cognizant of the fact that their Gates [abwaab] their Four Gates became the cause and reason of error. If those false utterances had not emanated from these day springs of falsity, the Primal Point, may the spirit all else but Him be a sacrifice unto Him, would not have been martyred.. And now they have attached themselves to that same system and wish to deceive the friends with those same mentions.

Baha'u'llah Ma'idih ye Asmani Volume 4 page 141 line 6

Photograph of Baha'u'llah

August 1. On this date in 1967, the Universal House of Justice wrote an individual believer "Concerning the question of display of the photograph of Bahá'u'lláh, the Guardian's instructions were that this should be done only with the utmost reverence, and then only on special occasions. While the Guardian did not require believers to send such photographs to the Holy Land, he said that it was better to do so. However, if you have made any photographic copies or negatives of the photograph or the portrait, these should be forwarded to the Holy Land in a safe way."

The House of Justice does not issue an accounting of the current expenditure of these funds.

You have asked as to where and how the House of Justice reports on its uses of the funds received through payment of Huqúqu’lláh. The House of Justice does not issue an accounting of the current expenditure of these funds.

Training Institutes has the capacity to sustain the process of entry by troops.

We are greatly heartened by the news reaching us of the enthusiastic response of the friends to the Four Year Plan. Particularly encouraging are the efforts of National Spiritual Assemblies everywhere to establish training institutes and to systematically address the development of human resources. The number of national and regional institutes is rapidly increasing, and indications are that there may be more than one hundred operating in the world by the close of the first year of the Plan. We cherish the hope that from each of these centers of learning will issue forth ever-growing contingents of believers capable of carrying out a wide array of services to the Cause, creating thus in every country the capacity to sustain the process of entry by troops.

Supreme Court : "the plaintiffs have no right to a monopoly of the name of a religion."

August 7. On this date in 1928, the "Bahá'í" trademark (Trade-Mark 245,271) was registered with the United States Patent Office.

On March 31, 1941, the New York Supreme Court dismissed a court case brought by National Spiritual Assembly and Trustees of the Bahá'ís of the United States and Canada against Mirza Ahmad Sohrab for the use of the word "Bahá'í." The judge granted a motion to dismiss, stating that "the plaintiffs have no right to a monopoly of the name of a religion. The defendants, who purport to be members of the same religion, have an equal right to use the name of the religion..."

Baha'u'llah identifies himself with these prophets

"As to the list of the prophets with whom Bahá'u'lláh identified Himself in the passage found on pages 26 and 27 of 'The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh', their names are as follows: Abraham, Moses, Joseph, John the Baptist, Jesus, Imam Husayn, on whom Bahá'u'lláh has conferred an exceptionally exalted station, (and) the Bab."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, August 7, 1936)

Qur'an: 1 day = 1,000 years. Babi: 1 day = 1 year. Bahá'í: 30 days = ?

"Concerning the passage in the 'Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh' in which the Guardian quotes Abdu'l-Bahá's interpretation of the prophecy referring to the times when the sun would stand still in the heavens, he wishes me to explain that the days referred to in this prophecy have to be reckoned differently. In the Sacred Scripture of various religions there are to be found frequent references to days, but these have been considered as indicating different periods of time, as for instance in the Qur'an a day is reckoned as one thousand years. The first ten days in the above-mentioned prophecy represent each a century, making thus a total of one thousand lunar years. As to the twenty days referring to the Babi Dispensation, each of them represents only one lunar year, the total of twenty years marking the duration of the Revelation of the Bab. The thirty days in the last Dispensation should not be reckoned numerically, but should be considered as symbolizing the incomparable greatness of the Bahá'í Revelation which, though not final, is nonetheless thus far the fullest revelation of God to man. From a physical point of view, the thirty days represent the maximum time taken by the sun to pass through a sign of the zodiac. They thus represent a culminating point in the evolution of this star. So also from a spiritual standpoint these thirty days should be viewed as indicating the highest, though not the final, stage in the spiritual evolution of mankind."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, August 7, 1934: Bahá'í News, No. 87, September 1934, p. 1)

...then took them to the Baha'i Center for a meal.

August 7. On this date in 1908, Mildred Mottahedeh was born in Seabright, New Jersey.

On June 15, 1997, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured an article about Mildred Root Mottahedeh who was a member of the International Bahá'í Council and the first representative of the Bahá'í International Community to the United Nations. She made a substantial fortune from her luxury porcelain business.

The article notes...

For the last five years, she has served as a consultant to Mottahedeh & Co., having sold it to fellow Baha'is Grant and Wendy Kvalheim.

Now, she's retiring in order to focus full-time on the Mottahedeh Foundation, which has founded and sponsored projects in Uganda, Zaire, India and Micronesia.

Founded in 1958, the foundation is an extension of philanthropic work that she and her husband started in 1929, when they began their 49-year marriage. Living in an apartment in Greenwich Village, they were better off than many, she said.

"We felt so sorry for all the poor kids, all the starving people. We felt a sense of obligation."

Once a month, they rented a double-decker bus, filled it with children, drove to clothing and candy wholesalers,dressed and treated the kids, then took them to the Baha'i Center for a meal.

Baha'i was founded in the mid-19th century in Iran. Its main tenets are the unity of all religions and the unity of humankind.

Who is Mary Maxwell AKA Ruhiyyih Khanum AKA Amatul Baha

August 8. On this date in 1910, Mary Maxwell Sutherland was born in New York City. In 1937 she married Shoghi Effendi who would appoint her to the International Bahá'í Council in 1951 and in 1952 named her a Hand of the Cause of God. She was titled Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum.

Mary Sutherland Maxwell was born in New York City on August 8, 1910 to William Sutherland Maxwell and May Maxwell, early prominent Bahá'ís. William Sutherland Maxwell was the architect who would design the Shrine of the Bab. In 1912, during his tour of North America, 'Abdu'l-Bahá stayed in the Maxwells' home in Montreal where he would give his famous talk discussing his views on native cultures, Africans, indigenous North Americans and pre-Columbian America.

During her youth she twice traveled to Palestine for pilgrimage, the first time with her mother at age twelve and the second time with her mother's friends at age sixteen. It was during these pilgrimages that she first met Shoghi Effendi.

As a young woman, Mary had expressed a great desire to learn Spanish. However, her plans to travel to Republican Spain were thwarted with the Spanish Civil War. Instead, Mary chose to live with her cousin in Nazi Germany in 1935, a move which was endorsed by Shoghi Effendi. In Germany, Shoghi Effendi encouraged Mary to strengthen the fledgling Bahá’í community. The young Mary assimilated herself in German culture, wearing a dirndl and learning to speak German fluently. Whilst in Germany, Mary received an invitation from Shoghi Effendi to make a pilgrimage with her mother. Mother and daughter accepted the invitation.

Arriving in Haifa in January 1937 with her mother, she and Shoghi Effendi began a brief courtship. In February the couple were engaged, and Mary cabled her father to come as soon as he could to Haifa. On March 24 at the age of 26, Mary married Shoghi Effendi. The newlyweds made a trip to Switzerland and Shoghi Effendi introduced his young bride to his favorite sights in the country to which he would often travel. It was only a year after his wedding that Shoghi Effendi in 1938 praised Germany's Anschluss of Austria.

In 1951 Shoghi Effendi appointed her to the International Bahá'í Council and in 1952 a Hand of the Cause of God, as a replacement for her father who had died shortly before her appointment. She accompanied Shoghi Effendi during his various visits with the leadership of the newly-established State of Israel.

After Shoghi Effendi's death, for the remainder of her life, she traveled extensively and gave numerous talks. From 1969 through 1973, she undertook a Great African Safari. Around 1981, she spoke to the Persian Bahá'í community in Los Angeles "upbraiding them for settling in a such a decadent urban center, implying they should never have left Iran, and that if they had insisted on doing so should at least have had the decency to settle as missionaries in some remote village of the global South...When someone from the audience asked where they should have settled instead, she replied in Persian that it was self-evident: "Khar kih nistid" ("you are not asses")."

She died on January 19, 2000, at the age of 89 in Haifa, Israel where she is buried at the Bahá'í World Centre.

The man has primary responsibility for the financial support of the family, and the woman is the chief and primary educator of the children.

"With regard to your question whether mothers should work outside the home, it is helpful to consider the matter from the perspective of the concept of a Bahá'í family. This concept is based on the principle that the man has primary responsibility for the financial support of the family, and the woman is the chief and primary educator of the children. This by no means implies that these functions are inflexibly fixed and cannot be changed and adjusted to suit particular family situations, nor does it mean that the place of the woman is confined to the home. Rather, while primary responsibility is assigned, it is anticipated that fathers would play a significant role in the education of the children and women could also be breadwinners. As you rightly indicated, Abdu'l-Bahá encouraged women to 'participate fully and equally in the affairs of the world'."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, August 9, 1984: Ibid.)

Intelligent services of the Baha'is

On August 10, 1924, a report to Secretary of State Hughes about the murder of American Vice Consul Imbrie noted "to Reza Khan's credit...has freely made use in the Army and the Government of the intelligent services of the Bahá'ís, who may well be considered the only hope of Islam."

There are three processes in teaching

There are three processes in teaching: the first is to attract the people; the second is to convert the people; and the third is to be consecrated. There must be attraction, conversion, and consecration.

- Shoghi Effendi

Shoghi Effendi : Please share Pilgrim Notes

"Please share your notes that you have taken here with the friends when you return home."

-Shoghi Effendi

Flee from the United States because America will become the storm center of the future.... Buy property in Central Africa!

The young people must disperse far away, the old ones to outlying places; they must settle goal cities. Sell your property and pioneer!...The young people of America should go out into the country on farms and work with their hands and produce food for their families.

Americans are exposed to great dangers. Today the power of America is in the hands of the masses. There is a terrific power in the press, and the people are swayed by it. The United States, on a national scale, sets the pattern for an international pattern... There will be a world civil war followed by the establishment of a world state; all the nations will be part of it and will have to conform to it. This war has already started in Korea. Mankind cannot be purified and cleansed without suffering... It is positively dangerous to live in cities. The cities are doomed. They will evaporate... The Bahá'ís must disperse from the cities...why do they not disperse? If they do not respond and disperse, they will suffer spiritually, materially, and physically...In America the destruction will be great!... They must disperse for their own protection. the cities are doomed: New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles. They must flee from the United States because America will become the storm center of the future.... Buy property in Central Africa! Those with independent means must pack up and go.... Those with spirit must pack up and go.... There must be a mass response... I can warn them, but I cannot make them go.... The Cause will triumph in spite of the actions and inactivity of the believers.

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