How much Indian is the Baha'i Lotus Temple? How the Indian Baha'is contibuted to its construction !!!?


By Nilakshi R.

On the order of the Hand of Bahaism (Baha'is call it "Hand of Cause of God") Mr. Rahmatullah Muhajir - Iranian Architect Fariborz Sahba was given the job to design the Indian House of Worship. He did not had any Idea for the design, so he did a tour of India to get an understanding of what will attract Indian Hindus to their "future structure"? What it should be like so that in the future it will serve as a conversion tool to build Baha'i Human Resource in India. Baha'is were convinced that Indians can only be converted to their cult if they use Indian culture to deceive them. Finally the shape of Lotus, which is a very important flower in Hinduism, was decided to be given to this temple.

Thus started the project :


•   The job of Structural Engineering was given to Flint and Neill Company of London.

•   All structural drawings and calculations were double checked in Geneva.

•   A study of what type of concrete of what strength to be used was carried out with the help of specialist concrete technologists of the Concrete Association of England.

•   A scale model of the Temple was made by specialists in London.

•   The final design and layout were approved by the Israeli UHJ in 1977.

Regarding the work that Lotus Temple is going to do in future - Ruhiyyih Kanum Says : "It
is symmetrical, it is exquisitely beautiful. And how does it grow? It grows in a swamp and it raises its head out of the slime absolutely clean and perfect."


May be through these rosy sentences she meant to say that in the Land of Hindus this temple will sow the seeds of Baha'ism. In this marshy land of cults and castes and religions Baha'ism will boom like a lotus in muddy waters.

Fundraising :


Regarding Fundraising Shoghi Effendi says : "...the greater the sacrifice, the greater the power of the Mashriqu'l-Azkar (Temple)". Baha'is were asked to donate money for this temple.

•   92000 Square Metres of land in Delhi was purchased merely for Rupees 140,289.

•   Ardashir Rustampur of Pakistan donated Rupees 100,190 for the Land of Lotus Temple.

•   The major amount for construction of Lotus Temple came due to a Baha'i serving a Prison Sentence in Mozambique, Africa.

Another major portion of sum came from Panama.


The contribution of Indian Baha'is to this project is not known except the mention of one village Baha'i who dropped into the Temple fund box a two-paise coin (one-fifth of a cent) and another Baha'i offered Rupees 100.

On 30 July 1980 prayers were offered and, following Hindu tradition, coconuts were broken and sweets were distributed to the gathering. (Although Shoghi Effendi strictly forbids following the customs of other religions and celebrating their festivals)


Mrs. Golnar Sahba (Rafi'i), Iranian wife of Architect Fariborz Sahba poured the first trowelful of concrete into the first pit.

A brick from the Siyah-Chal (Black Pit in Iran where Baha'u'llah was Imprisoned), as directed by the Universal House of Justice (Israel), was laid into the foundation of this temple.

The marble for external shell cladding was imported from Italy.

This is how Indian Baha'i Temple came into existence.

Please refer Bahai World - Volume 18 for more details.

The Unique Baha'i Architecture !!!! Shrine of Baha'u'llah is a copy of Masonic Temple. What a co-incidence !?



Abdul Baha asks Manchester Baha’is to conceal their beliefs and act like Freemasons!

Consider how the Freemasons have for two hundred years carried on their work, and unto this day they have not openly declared it to any soul. Not until they find a hearing ear will they speak. The loved ones too must proceed with the greatest prudence, lest serious difficulties be created.

And Shoghi Effendi says :

“Any Bahá’í determined retain membership (in) Freemasonry loses voting rights.”

“The directive regarding membership in Freemasonry should be carried out by your Assembly in all areas under your Assembly’s jurisdiction.” 



http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/DG/dg-124.html
https://senmcglinn.wordpress.com/2014/08/31/undercover-bahais-abdul-baha-tells-the-manchester-bahais-to-lay-low/

Subh-i-Azal : God for Bab and Satan for Baha'u'llah !!!

Mirza Hossein (Baha)
Mirza Yahya Subh-i Azal was Baha’u’llah’s half-brother and the executor of the Bab’s will. He was regarded as the successor to the Bab until Baha’u’llah succeeded in sending him to the sidelines and taking over the affairs of many of the followers of the Bab. He is greatly hated by Baha’is and regarded as one their greatest enemies. According to the famous Baha’i scholar Fadil Mazandarani in his book Asrar al-Athar (download from here, it is also written as Asraru'l-Athar) this is how Baha’u’llah referred to his brother Subh-i Azal:


Mirza Yahya (Subh-i-Azal)
“When Mirza Yahya Azal started opposing the works, deeds, and words of his esteemed brother (Baha’u’llah) in Edirne . . . he dropped down from his [high] stature and the rank of union and agreement [that he had with Baha’u’llah] and was gradually—in the tablets, works, and revelations [from Baha’u’llah]—referred to with codes, references, and names such as the polytheist, the calf, the scarab (dung beetle), the tyrant, the Satan, the devil, the foul swamp, the buzzing of a fly, and similar names.” (Fadil Mazandarani, Asrar al-athar, vol. 5, pp. 345–346.)

Baha’u’llah’s followers also used these titles to refer to Mirza yahya Subh-i Azal, for instance Professor Edward Browne cites a letter sent to him by a woman who was proselytized in America by Dr. Ibrahim Kheiralla where she states:

“Mírzá Yaḥyá is scarcely spoken of, but when he is mentioned he is called Satan.” (E.G. Browne, Materials for the Study of the Babi Religion, p. 117)


What most Baha’is don’t know or will not tell you is that according to the Bab, Mirza Yahya Subh-i Azal, was God. This is how the Bab’s will to Subh-i Azal starts:

Name of Azal, testify that there is no God but I, the dearest beloved. Then testify that there is no God but you, the victorious and permanent.” (source: https://www.h-net.org/~bahai/notes/vol7/BABWILL.htm )

First the Bab states very explicitly that he is God (not a messenger from God or a manifestation of God, but God himself), then he tells Subh-i Azal that he too is God and should testify to this. These statements being illogical and meaningless aside, according to the Bab Mirza Yahya Subh-i Azal is God and according to Baha’ullah he is the Satan and devil! Baha’u’llah also claims he is the one that the Bab had prophesized about. Go figure…

Source :

Another Baha'i way of putting pressure on Israel !

Erfan Sabeti, a Baha'i from Jewish Background and one of the main advocate of "Propagation of Baha'i Faith in Israel" with Baha'i Architect Fariborz Sahba


One cannot find more cunning human beings then Baha'is. It is a well known fact that Baha'is are not allowed to propagate in Israel. The Baha'is in their private meetings say that very soon Teaching activities will commence in Israel and then we will be able to convert the Israeli citizen to Baha'i Faith. For putting pressure on the Israeli Government Baha'is are using several tactics to bring the Government to their submission. The Baha'is are friend of none. This blog is a living example of this reality.  http://jewbahais.blogspot.com/

Below is a blogpost which Baha'is are disseminating recently in their private social networks. They favour the lamentations of a Christian who demands freedom to preach and teach in Israel. Israeli Government should be aware of deceiving Baha'is! The above blog reveals their agenda for Israel.

Shimon Peres, the then Foreign Minister of Israel with Fariborz Sahba
“Proselytizing in Israel - Free speech?

As some of the readers of my blog may know, I was born in Israel and I am a dual citizen (American and Israeli). I have not visited Israel since my finding out about the church. Indeed, I have not been there in more than two years. However, I was curious where the closest branch would be to me. I got an e-mail back with that information, but also with information about policies to be followed in Israel

Also, here are some policies that we observe in Israel.

Policy Regarding Visitors to LDS Church Services in Israel

In keeping with commitments made to the government of Israel, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should not invite others to attend LDS Church services who hold Israeli passports or who are permanent residents of Israel, the West Bank or Gaza.

What Can be Said in Response to Questions Regarding the Church, Its Doctrines and Personal Religious Beliefs

In an agreement with the State of Israel, the Church gave assurances that no efforts would be made by it or its members to induce, encourage or lead individuals in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza to take an interest in the Church or its doctrines. This agreement applies to all Church members, whether permanent residents, expatriates living the in area, or individuals on short term visits, including tourists. It applies to discussions or other efforts that might be construed to be proselytizing with anyone who is not a member of the Church, whether a resident, expatriate living in the area, tourist or other short term visitor. A simple answer to questions regarding Church doctrines or practices is: “By agreement with the Government of Israel, we do not discuss the Church’s doctrines or personal religious beliefs.” If asked specifically, it is appropriate to indicate that “Mormons” are Christians. Tourists who are members of the Church should not invite non-members to attend Church services.

I knew that Proselytizing was not done in Israel in any formal capacity (i.e. I knew that we did not have a “palestine mission.”) What I did not realize was to what extent personal contact even with friends or relatives was curtailed. I am not permitted to speak about the church or its doctrines aside from in the vaguest sense of saying that we are Christian. I can not invite relatives to attend church with me, or encourage them to read a Book of Mormon. This was very disturbing to me. I wonder, how a country can claim to be an enlightened free speech haven and still hold such starkly unfree policies in regard to freedom of religion.

Indeed, while Israel has shown some blatant disregard towards its critics and while extreme nationalist parties have proposed laws that would dramatically curtail criticism, Israel is generally regarded as a “free” country in regard to its press and general speech freedoms. Religious proselytizing in particular has been an area of much controversy as there have been cases of citizenship denied or individuals deported due to accusations of being involved in ministries.

Of course, a lot of the restrictions are due to special agreements between the church and the government rather than national law. Thus, missionary work is only technically illegal if material inducement is involved. Indeed, some Christian ministries openly boast about their missionary activities, others suggest that Messianic Jewish ministries but not gentile ministries may be permitted. It is a bit unclear based on the status quo of the law if such things as passing out a Book of Mormon or our DVDS would be considered illegal. Also, there have been accusations of widespread persecution against messianic jews and others living in Israel. Thus, even if the de jura law does not outlaw all of these activities, they are de facto both discouraged and actively punished. Indeed, the history of these anti-proselytizing laws show a clear pattern of bias against christian ministries. The law currently on the books, for instance, was passed on Christmas day 1977.

As an Israeli, I am very disappointed by the status quo. Indeed, for members of many faiths, such as my own but even more so Jehovah’s Witnesses, proselytizing is such an essential part of ones religious practice. To claim to have religious freedom but to ban or restrict such a vital part of what ones faith encourages one to do seems to me a bit absurd. I hope and pray for the day when Israel will truly be opened up for a free religious market place of ideas, and when the gospel will flourish throughout the land.”

https://symphonyofdissent.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/proselytizing-in-israel-free-speech/

Baha'i Scholar Professor Dann May and his wife resigns from the Baha'i Cult.

From National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States

From: COMMUNITY [mailto:COMMUNITY@usbnc.org]
Sent: Friday, March 10, 2006 10:01 AM
To: May, Dann
Subject: Request to meet with you
Importance: High

Dear Baha’i Friend (Mr. Dann May), March 10, 2006

The National Spiritual Assembly has tried twice to reach you and your wife by phone at the only phone number we have for you, so we hope that this email address is current. The National Assembly was sorry to learn of your desire to withdraw from membership in the Baha’i Faith and would like to hear in fuller form the thoughts you expressed in your January letter.

To that end it has asked that two representatives fly to Norman, OK on Saturday, March 18 to meet with you and your wife at a time that is convenient for you. We hope that you will be agreeable to sharing your perspectives and concerns with these representatives and ask that you kindly reply at your earliest convenience so that airline tickets may be purchased.

With loving Baha’i greetings,
Marie Scheffer
For the Office of the Secretary

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..


RESPONSE FROM DAN MAY:

To all those concerned:

Perhaps you don’t understand – we already view ourselves as no longer members of the Baha’i community and we regularly attend Unitarian and Buddhist activities.

We do not present ourselves as Baha’is and do everything we can, when people try to introduce us as Baha’is, to politely disabuse them of that perception.

We have not attended feast in over a year, or for that matter, any other official Baha’i activity.

I think that it would be best for all those concerned, that we simply be allowed to withdraw.

We are deeply disillusioned with the unofficial and official Baha’i views on the war in Iraq, with the rise of Baha’i fundamentalism and intolerance and with the growing “ghettoization” of the Baha’i community in general.

We increasingly feel unwelcome at Baha’i events where everything seems to be scrutinized by rather mindless “Ruhi Book” mentalities rather than thoughtful discussions of the Baha’i Sacred Texts.

One-size-fits-all mass theology serves to only alienate anyone and everyone who wishes to pursue spiritually inspired and independent investigations of the truth. There appears to be, these days, little room or toleration for Baha’i scholars, Baha’i scholarship, or thoughtful approaches to the Baha’i sacred texts.

We are outraged over the Kalimat Press decision! We are, therefore, increasingly embarrassed to be associated with the Baha’i community. We often hear from our colleagues in the academic world, that they too perceive the Baha’i community as increasingly becoming more and more fundamentalist, alarmist, and cultish.

We are not interested in talking to anyone from the National Center and we will not meet with them, even if they come to Norman. Please do not send your representatives to Norman.

Use the funds for their plane tickets to do some good at one of the Baha’i schools or to feed the homeless. Please let us get on with our lives. Your response only convinces us more completely that the Baha’i community has become an authoritarian and fundamentalist movement.

Most religious scholars’ perceptions of cults are that they make it difficult for members to resign or leave the community with their reputations intact – please don’t confirm our suspicions! Let us resign and withdraw quietly and without fanfare or with inquisition-like exit interviews. We are willing to leave the Baha’i community without recriminations, regrets, or active criticisms on our part. Please let us fade from the Baha’i community as gently and as quietly as possible.

Sincerely,

Dann May and Phyllis Bernard


Also See :

US NSA to Dann May & response

http://usnsadannmayresponse.blogspot.com/2010/02/correspondence-of-us-nsa-dann-may-2006.html

Professor Dann May vs. the American Baha’i Tyranny

http://dalehusband.com/2010/04/16/professor-dann-may-vs-the-american-bahai-tyranny/

Followers of Baha'u'llah in Polynesia

Baha'i life in Polynesia








An internal Baha’i household survey done in 1987 found that the divorce rate in the U.S. Baha’i community was higher than that in American society as a whole.

by Juan Cole

http://www.fglaysher.com/bahaicensorship/Cole81.html

An internal Baha’i household survey done in 1987 found that the divorce rate in the U.S. Baha’i community was higher than that in American society as a whole. The report was never released to the public.

My own suspicion is that the high divorce rate has several causes. First of all, Baha’is are encouraged to utopian ways of thinking. Two young people with little in common save that they are recent converts to the faith will be encouraged to marry. I have seen this sort of thing over and over again with my own eyes. This utopianism is widespread in the faith and is the same reason for which so many other Baha’i enterprises end up doing damage to people. That both are “Baha’is” is not a basis for a marriage. One may be a liberal and the other a fundamentalist; current norms against such labeling make it difficult for people to identify one another on that basis, but you’d better believe the difference would show up in a marriage!

Young married Baha’is are also encouraged to pioneer, whether abroad to places like Haiti and Nicaragua, or homefront. Being uprooted from their social networks and families and isolated in a strange environment is not good for them as young marrieds.

In smaller communities the Baha’i committee work is a killer, and may isolate the two spouses, who spend less time together just coccoonin and watching t.v.

And it is my estimate that from a third to a half of U.S. Baha’is are what the sociologists would call marginal people–persons with poor social skills who are emotionally needy and who join the faith because they are love-bombed and find a high proportion of other marginals in it. A high rate of marginality is fostered by the cultists who have infiltrated the administration, since only such individuals would put up with being ordered around summarily or would eat up conspiracy theories about bands of dissidents seeking to undermine the administration. Marginals would have higher than normal divorce rates, obviously.

Finally, the Baha’i faith encourages a great deal of ego inflation in the individual. Each Baha’i thinks he or she is saving the world and is a linchpin in the plan of God. This inspires in them great (and often quite misplaced) confidence in their own judgment–I’ve seen them pronounce authoritatively on astronomy, biology, Qajar history, and many other subjects on which they are woefully ignorant. Such ego inflation and over-confidence in personal judgment would not be good for a marriage.

cheers Juan

[P.S. I should have also included that the exclusiveness of the Baha’i community, non-attendance of non-Baha’is at Feast, pressure to convert spouses, etc., was also probably a contributing factor to Baha’i divorces where only one spouse was Baha’i]

Baha'i UHJ Member Peter Khan finds fault in Judaism, Christianity and Islam to sell his "product".


In the whole lecture that is available on youtube he fails to address the important issue of "No Women in UHJ". There are many hollow arguments that one can listen.

Baha'is to build a Temple in Islamabad, Pakistan

Universal House of Justice - the supreme body of Haifan Baha'is based is Israel provided funds to procure the land to build a Huge Baha'i Temple in Pakistan. According to the Baha'is this temple will bring "Peace" to Pakistan that is severely affected by violence. Pakistani Baha'is who fractionally contributed to the purchase of this land believes that this temple will bring more people into the fold of Baha'i faith and will serve the Pakistanis like the Lotus temple serving Indians !!!

Lotus Temple of India which was inaugurated in 1986 has attracted more than 70 million visitors as of late 2001. It has also helped the Indian Baha'i community to gain huge converts. According to the NSA of India, there are approx. 3 million Baha'is in India !

On this occasion Pakistani Baha'is celebrated by Singing and Dancing.


Rania Singing and Entertaining the guests.

Our sincere thanks to F. Mashrequi for providing the pictures.





We (Maliha & Negar) are great-granddaughters of Baha’u’llah. As sisters growing up in Haifa, in a house only a few blocks away from the Baha’i shrines on Mount Carmel, we witnessed the growth of the Baha’i faith firsthand.


A Lost History of the Baha’i Faith: Foreword by Maliha and Negar Bahai

We are great-granddaughters of Baha’u’llah. As sisters growing up in Haifa, in a house only a few blocks away from the Baha’i shrines on Mount Carmel, we witnessed the growth of the Baha’i faith firsthand. Our cousin, Shoghi Rabbani, was the recognized leader of the Baha’i community, and our home was filled with artifacts of the early days of the faith, such as original calligraphies of Baha’u’llah’s tablets hanging on the walls.

We grew up surrounded by Baha’ism; we believed in the teachings of our distinguished ancestor — yet we, our parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, and numerous cousins, were not allowed to be members of the religious organization bearing his name. We were excluded by our own relatives and their followers because of a difference of opinion about the religion. We were invisible Baha’is. Our very existence was unknown to most of the Baha’i world.

This did not deter us from practicing our faith. Our lives reflect the international and interfaith spirit of Baha’u’llah’s teachings. Maliha married a Muslim man from India and has four children. One son lives in Canada, one daughter in England, one son in Germany, and one son still lives in the subcontinent. Negar married an Israeli Jew, whose distinguished career as an economist enabled them to travel all over the world during his life. Today, she lives in the same childhood home in Haifa, where she celebrates the holidays of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam with her diverse friends.

Our father, Mousa Bahai, was the head of the land registration office in Haifa, and was president of the Haifa Rotary Club for two years running, during the conflict between the Arabs and Jews in 1947-48. Rotary wanted a neutral person and he accepted. He was called upon often to make peace between the two communities. We lived in the mixed quarter and the Jewish Haganah (defense) office was next door. Now the building is destined to be a “Diamond Hotel” which is fashionable in the German [Templar] Colony, inundated by European tourists.

Our mother, Kamar, was a very beautiful woman and had a feisty and assertive personality. She wrote pamphlets and letters to the newspaper about Baha’ism which you will read in this book. Not only that, she took Shoghi Rabbani to court because he had prohibited her and other family members from visiting Baha’u’llah’s tomb. We are proud to say that our mother won; Shoghi settled the case. Because of her courageous action, the whole family now enjoys the right to pray at the Shrine of Baha’u’llah, which is located next to the house where our grandfathers lived much of their lives. Both of our parents were born in this mansion and were married there. We have pictures to that effect.

We are descended from Baha’u’llah on both sides of our family, because our parents were cousins. Marriage between cousins used to be common in the Middle East. In fact, our great-grandmother Fatimah was Baha’u’llah’s cousin and became his second wife. He lived with her and their children in the mansion of Bahji in his later years and called her Mahd-i-‘Ulya, the honorific title of the mother of the Shah of Persia. Our great-grandmother held a place of high honor in the Baha’i faith in those days, and Baha’u’llah was closely involved in the upbringing of their sons.

Our father was the youngest son of Mohammed Ali, who was the eldest son of Baha’u’llah and Mahd-i-‘Ulya. Our mother was a daughter of Badi Ullah, who was Mohammed Ali’s youngest brother. Both of our grandfathers were therefore half-brothers of Abbas Effendi, who was the eldest son of Baha’u’llah by his first wife.

We remember our elder grandfather, Mohammed Ali, as a quiet and prayerful man, a kind soul who never asked much for himself. Contrary to Middle Eastern tradition, he insisted that he and our grandmother not be given any special treatment or deference when they moved in with our parents in their old age; instead, he urged our parents to continue living their lives exactly as before.

This self-deprecating and generous spirit was characteristic of his personality. He was mild-mannered and avoided conflict. He rejected traditions that placed one human being above another. He studied the scriptures dutifully and was highly skilled in the art of calligraphy, and he created many beautiful inscriptions of the inspired verses revealed by his father whom he loved and served his whole life. We recall him always being down on his knees in prayer and among his artwork of calligraphy that he loved.

Negar remembers that when she was three years old, one day our grandfather Mohammed Ali was visiting and forgot to bring a gift that he had promised to bring on his visit. Negar was so disappointed that she slapped him in the face! But he asked our mother not to rebuke her, as he had not kept his promise. The same day, he wrote a verse of poetry especially for Negar, and in later years she appreciated it and was very flattered. It says in Persian, “From your visage springs the Spring.”

Our grandmother, Laqa’iyya, was Mohammed Ali’s cousin, the daughter of Baha’u’llah’s faithful brother Moussa Kalim. She was given a choice to marry either him or Abbas Effendi, and according to the story she told, she chose our grandfather because of his mild manner and his wish to avoid religious debates.

At that time, the unfortunate conflict between Baha’u’llah’s sons was already brewing. This was before Baha’u’llah passed from this world. The brothers had very different personalities and this undoubtedly contributed to their inability to cooperate with each other after their father’s passing. For years beforehand, the branches of the family were drifting apart and preparing for what seemed like inevitable conflict after the unifying and overwhelming personality of the Great Master, Baha’u’llah, departed from the earth.

Jealousies may have played a significant role in the split between the brothers, because they had different mothers and Baha’u’llah lived with his second wife and second family. The story that has been passed down to us is that the families of Baha’u’llah’s second and third wives were kept at a distance during his funeral, while Abbas Effendi’s family was allowed to approach near to the body of Baha’u’llah. This was according to the Shi’ite custom of primogeniture and the primacy of the first wife, which the supporters of Abbas Effendi emphasized. Mahd-i-‘Ulya and her descendants thus saw their position suddenly downgraded and reversed, compared to the egalitarianism and close proximity to Baha’u’llah they enjoyed while he was alive.

Mohammed Ali had many friends of all faiths. One of his best friends was a Christian bishop. He was skeptical of absolute religious authority and did not want to see old patterns of authoritarian religion reemerge in Baha’ism after Baha’u’llah had given his life to free people from the Shi’ite clergy.

This skepticism and concern for individual freedom comes through in his writings, as you will read in this book, but he did not deny that his elder brother, Abbas Effendi, was the legitimate Baha’i leader. He did, however, believe that the focus of Baha’ism should be on the teachings of Baha’u’llah rather than on the charismatic leadership and opinions of any successor. This belief got him into trouble, because in the time and culture of the early Baha’i community — still heavily influenced by Shi’ite Islam — the eldest son was to be obeyed by the rest of the family, not questioned. As often happens between siblings even today, the older brother wanted more authority and respect, while the younger brothers wanted more freedom.

Our grandfather Mohammed Ali has been portrayed in Baha’i literature as a ruthless man who was obsessed with gaining power for himself and destroying Abbas Effendi. From the perspective of those who knew him personally, this is nothing but a laughable caricature. The man we knew was a gentleman whose religious beliefs were focused not on power or who should wield it, but on living according to the teachings of his father, Baha’u’llah, in his private life — a life of prayer, meditation, and cultivating a moderate lifestyle and a humble and kindly spirit.

The source of the dispute was in Baha’u’llah’s will, which says that he had chosen Abbas Effendi as his first successor and then Mohammed Ali. Our grandfather often mentioned Baha’u’llah’s teaching of the virtue of a gentle tongue and the danger of angry speech. Ironically, he was constantly slandered during his lifetime, and his rights and property were taken from him because it was not in his nature to fight back. He had opportunities to defend himself and his rights, but his devotion to Baha’u’llah’s teachings was so uncompromising and his personality so meek that he preferred to endure the injustices he faced with silence and resignation, rather than bringing the Baha’i name into the law courts. This was out of respect, not weakness — respect for the Baha’i faith that was so instilled in his soul.

Our younger grandfather, Badi Ullah, was more outspoken and less willing to tolerate the injustices he saw in his own life and the lives of others in his family. He was a charismatic and gregarious man and resembled, both in personality and appearance, his eldest brother Abbas Effendi. Late in life, he wrote a long memoir in Persian about his experiences with Baha’u’llah and his elder brothers and how the unfortunate conflict developed between them. It has never yet been translated into English or published, but we hope this will be done in the future. We cannot read it — we could have read it in the modern Persian language, but it was written in classical style, which is difficult. We have been told that our grandfather Badi Ullah tells a story which would be very controversial, even shocking, and an important addition to the historical record. We also have a diary by our grandmother Laqa’iyya which we hope will someday be translated.

To sum up, our grandfathers were strong and devoted believers in the Baha’i teachings — just as we are sure our great-uncle Abbas Effendi was as well — and the noble and progressive principles they inherited from Baha’u’llah were passed down to their children and grandchildren. It is sad that all the brothers could not work together for the advancement of the faith they shared, but we hope this book may help to make a start toward healing the wounds of the past that have hindered the Baha’i faith from understanding its own history and potential.

Within the family of Baha’u’llah, some of the descendants of Abbas Effendi are now on friendly terms with us, after many years of the branches of the family having little or no contact because of the lingering religious dispute. Although they still see things differently from us, and even strongly disagree with much of the content of this book, at least we are able to see each other as fellow Baha’is. We hope that all the Baha’is of the world will be able to follow our example of tolerance and reconciliation. If we can do it, you can do it — it is not necessary that Baha’is must always agree on all points of religion, especially about what happened in the past!

Our uncle Shua Ullah, who was our father’s eldest brother, was deeply in love with Abbas Effendi’s daughter Ruha when they were young. He tells this story in the book, as you will read. They wanted to marry each other, but they had to break their engagement because their fathers would not consent to the marriage. The brothers sadly regarded each other as straying from the true path of Baha’i faith, and therefore they would not allow their children to be married.

Religious and family quarrels kept apart these young lovers, who continued to cherish each other for the rest of their lives even though they married other people. Ruha Shahid kept in touch with Negar until her dying day. Ruha herself was expelled from the Baha’i community by her own nephew, Shoghi Rabbani, along with all her sisters, children, nieces and nephews — ironically, because some of them married descendants of Baha’u’llah’s third wife, who were also supposed to be shunned.

To think that this happened among Baha’is! And to think that it happened not just among any Baha’is, but among the immediate family of Baha’u’llah! We are all only human; that is the lesson of this disgrace. Even the people who were the closest to the founder of our great faith could not find a way to overcome their religious differences and they made their children suffer for it. If our uncle Shua and cousin Ruha had gotten married, perhaps this could have brought together the estranged brothers and they would have somehow resolved their disagreements, and the two sides of Baha’u’llah’s family would have been reunited and reconciled. Generations of damage and heartbreak could have been avoided.

We will never know if such an alternative history would have been possible, but it is appropriate at this stage that we contemplate such things. It is beneficial that wounds that have been covered over and never fully healed be finally exposed to the open air of public discussion among the Baha’is, that they may achieve true healing once and for all. Allowing ourselves to reenvision the past might open a window to a better future for the Baha’is and for the world at large.

The lesson is that love is more powerful than doctrine; that humans should be human first and religious second. As our beloved grandfather Mohammed Ali wrote, but could neither fully realize in his own life nor find fully manifested in the life of his brother Abbas Effendi: “We are all from one root and we are, therefore, members of one universal brotherhood; and between brothers nothing should exist which might contradict equity and concord, and from which differences might arise.”

Let the Baha’i faith finally live up to itself. Let it be true to the animating vision of Baha’u’llah — a vision of universal reconciliation for all the people of the world, putting aside the poisonous divisions of religion, the us-versus-them mentality and exclusivity that infects and debases religious organizations. Let the lessons of the past be the foundation of a better future, both for the Baha’is and for all other faiths. In our elder years, that is our hope and our prayer.

Comment by Maliha Bahai

In the mid 1940s, while attending the American University in Beirut, I helped edit and proofread my uncle Shua Ullah’s manuscript about the history and teachings of the Baha’i faith. He wrote it in English with the hope that it should be read widely by a Western audience. After all these years, I am happy that a publisher in the United States has recognized the value of my uncle’s work, and that the effort he put into writing his book can finally bear fruit.

Further Comments by Negar Bahai

In 2006 I was interviewed by two Israeli filmmakers for a documentary called Baha’is In My Backyard. They wanted to talk with a descendant of Baha’u’llah and they found me, even though Dr. Moshe Sharon, Chair of the Department of Baha’i Studies at Hebrew University, told them that there are no living descendants.

The Baha’i organization prefers that people not know that Baha’u’llah has dozens of descendants living all over the world today. Past leaders of the Baha’i community excommunicated nearly all of Baha’u’llah’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Baha’is have been taught by those leaders to believe that the heresy they call “Covenant-breaking” — challenging the absolute authority of the Baha’i leadership — is passed from generation to generation. What is actually passed on are different facts, different memories, and different points of view that the present Baha’is would prefer not to be known and discussed. Therefore they tell their followers that anyone expelled from the Baha’i community must be shunned by the true believers. So they don’t want to admit that people like me exist. Admitting my existence would be inconvenient for them, because it might cause the Baha’is to ask questions and find out things about the history of their religion that the present leaders don’t want them to know. I think the whole thing is rather childish.

In 2010, I received a letter from a young American named Eric Stetson, who explained that he had seen my interview in that film, found my address in an Israeli phone book, and wanted to correspond with me about my family history and the Baha’i faith. He said that he was a former Baha’i who still had an interest in the religion and agreed with many of its teachings. Seeing my interview had caused him to do some research about my grandfather Mohammed Ali and his beliefs and writings, and he was eager to learn more.

Eric and I have corresponded and talked many times since then. I have found him to be humble, open-minded, and a sincere seeker of truth. For many years I had in my possession a manuscript written by my uncle Shua Ullah and pamphlets and letters by my mother — writings that had never been seen by the public — and Eric offered to edit them and find a publisher who would publish them as a book. I am very pleased that he was successful and this book is now in print. After many years, long after they passed from this world, the members of my family can tell their side of the story of the Baha’i faith, and hopefully their story will be heard by Baha’is and independent religious scholars.

I want to thank Eric Stetson for his efforts in editing the manuscripts I provided him, compiling them into this book, and seeing it through the publication process. I also want to thank the publisher, Vox Humri Media, and its president, Brent Mathieu, for agreeing to print this work and funding the project. I owe a debt of gratitude to the fine souls who made this project possible, and of course to my ancestors who wrote down their memories and thoughts about the Baha’i faith and events that happened in their lives, without which this book never could have existed. In my elder years, I can rest in the satisfaction of knowing that their stories will not go untold, their life’s work was not in vain, and future generations will have the opportunity of learning the lessons of their lives and benefiting from their best ideas.

I am not a member of the organized Baha’i community, but that is not identical to the Baha’i Faith — even though they call it by that name, as if the religion were limited to an organization. The spirit of Baha’u’llah and his faith are present in the heart of every person who is a lover of humanity, who associates with the people of all religions with love and kindness, and respects both the diversity and the oneness of the human race. No excommunication is possible from such a broad and beautiful faith.

I was married for many years to Mordechai “Murad” Emsallem. As an Oriental Jew, he understood the Arab culture and spoke the language fluently. He had a company with his Arab friends during the [British] Mandate. Now, as always, I worship God together with my friends who are Jews, Christians, and Muslims. Sometimes I even invite them to hold meetings in my home, and I hold meetings on the Baha’i holy days and my friends attend. In my heart, my soul, my life, and my very genes, I am Baha’i. So were my grandfathers and all my relatives who believed in the faith of Baha’u’llah and lived accordingly.

I know it is difficult for people to change their minds about things they hold dear, especially when it comes to matters of religion and facts about the mythologized figures who were involved in historical dramas. Most people don’t like to see their heroes revealed as less than perfect and their villains rehabilitated — it would ruin the stories they have become used to. I challenge the Baha’is of the world to read this book with an open mind and an unprejudiced heart, as hard as it may be. Readers may find that the story of their faith is actually richer, greater, and more real in light of the perspectives shared by the authors of this book. We cannot know the truth about the Baha’i faith until we are willing to see the important characters of the Baha’i story as human, not as caricatures — whether that means acknowledging their formerly hidden virtues or their flaws — and hear all of their voices.

Although I don’t know whether the Baha’i faith will ever become what I believe my great-grandfather Baha’u’llah intended it to be, the publication of A Lost History of the Baha’i Faith makes it more likely that it could be reformed and the mistakes of its past be corrected. I trust that future histories will record that at least some of its followers and friends were sincere in the pursuit of truth, justice, and the highest principles and ideals.

http://www.voxhumri.com/books/a-lost-history-of-the-bahai-faith/foreword/
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