The Concluding Post of the Bahai Catholic Debate

NoWings
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Join Date: September 17, 2007
Posts: 273
Religion: Agnostic
Default Re: "The Baha'i Faith"

Quote:
Originally Posted by arthra View Post
The Faith has been around a hundred and sixty years and arose amidst many enemies in the Middle East so is there any wonder there would be those who oppose it?

Within the Faith itself there is more unanimity than in most religions that are split into denominations..

Yes many have attempted to divide the Faith but the attempts failed. Every major change that has occurred a few have opposed it but they failed to cause significant schisms . . . .

- Art
You can argue that the attempts failed, Art, but they did their damage before they went down in flames. Shoghi Effendi left no stated successor and the first Hands of the Cause had to CB one of their own (Remey) who used to be so true to the faith.

I mean, really... think about it. Baha'u'llah is supposed to be the Manifestation of God. You'd think that at least he could keep his family in line. His brother fought him, his son's brother fought him, his grandson's own parents fought him (granted, his aunt stayed the course), and by the end of just two generations, every single member of Baha'u'llah's family were declared CBs.

Common sense is whispering to me that if Shoghi Effendi's relatives fought him, and Abdul Baha's brother fought him, and Baha'u'llah's brother fought him, it would stand to reason that Baha'u'llah fought the other Babis to come out ahead on the declaration of the Coming One.

Strife and discord are leagues deep in that family.

This debate can be accessed here
http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?p=5962202

Pseudo-Messianic Movements In Contemporary South Asia.

Book : Pseudo-Messianic Movements In Contemporary South Asia.
Author : Yoginder Sikand
Publisher : Global Media Publications, New Delhi
Price : Rs. 399
Pages : 137 pages
Year of Publication : 2008

Reviewed by : MUSHTAQ UL HAQ AHMAD SlKANDAR

The emergence of a supernatural being who would restore the supremacy, hegemony and influence world over of a certain community or chosen ones during the End Times is a hope of a majority of religions. This messianic character whether the Awaited Imam Mahdi for Muslims, Kalki Avtar for Hindus, Messiah for Christians or Anti-Christ for Jews is a common similarity among all these faiths. From time to time scores of people have declared and presented themselves as the Awaited Ones. The case with Islam has been the same and a majority of these claims were made during the colonial period when Muslim nations were reeling under the hegemony and power of non-Muslim ruling elites. Though these claims had to face a stiff resistance and were sparsely successful in accomplishment of their respective goals but still they were able to drive a good chunk of Muslims to their ranks resulting in the formation of new sects, thus making the dividing wedge draw deep.
The present book under review is a study of three of these pseudo-messianic movements which emerged in the twentieth century in Muslim South Asia. The book is divided in three chapters each focusing on these respective movements.
The first chapter deals with the Deendar Anjuman whose founder Siddiq Husain claimed to be the Kalki Avatar awaited by Hindus so as to win them over to Islam but in doing so the movement lost its track, hence unable to formant a revolutionary change. It was also difficult for the Hindus to believe Siddiq Husain as the promised one because according to the Anjuman sources itself, "In early 1926, 33 Indian gurus had put forward the claim of being the “Jagat Guru or Teacher of the Whole World" (p. 27). So it was a Hobson's choice for the common folks.
The second chapter deals with the Atba-i Malak Bohra Jamaat which is a sect among Shia Muslims of India. As little has been written about the beliefs of this sect of Shia, this chapter is a pioneering effort in this field. It deals with the origin of this sect, its division in Badri and Vakili sub-sects and its emphasis on esoteric phase of Islam nullifying the exoteric one.
The third chapter deals with the messianic movement of Riyaz Ahmad Goharshahi, i. e The Mehdi Foundation International (MFI). Though Goharshahi Movement later split into two factions, Pakistan-based Anjuman-e Sarfaroshan-e Islam (ASI) and London-based MFI but the latter is more outspoken though ASI claims that MFI head Yonous al-Gohar concocted and interpolated the teachings of its founder. This chapter deals with the emergence, evolution, split and present stance of this movement, which as MFI claims is the saviour of the whole humanity as the image of this cult's founder appeared in large number of places, including the moon, the sun and numerous stars as well as churches, mosques, imam-bargahs and temples in addition to the Hajr-i-Aswad, according to their claims. The last topic discusses MFI's stance and America's War On Terror which the author has vividly depicted as pro-Imperialistic and anti-Muslim which MFI's statements try to camouflage by claiming that this War On Terror is a Divine punishment for Muslims because of their outright rejection of Riyaz Goharshahi as the Messiah whom even Prophet Muhammad (SAW), according to MFI claims, predicted and revered with high respect.
What were the causes which led these people claim Messianic interpretations leading to the creation of different cults? Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi answers these quries surprisingly: "When I read the histories of Batinite movement, of Ikhwan al Safa, of Bahaism (Baha'i Faith) in Iran and Qadianism in India, it seems to me that when the founders of these movements read the history of Islam and the life of the Prophet it struck them that a man, all by himself stood up with a mission in Arabia without any money to back him or any army to support him, he summoned people towards a creed, towards a religion and not after very long there came into existence a new ummah, a new state, and a new culture. They also noticed that single-handedly, the Prophet changed the direction of human history and forced events to flow into a different channel. The ambitious natures of these men then whispered to themselves: "Why not try?" These people knew that they had intelligence, remarkable mental capabilities and organising ability. They thought, therefore, that history might repeat itself in their case too, following the natural pattern of cause and effect. These people had expected the same kind of miraculous success to crown their efforts as had crowned the efforts of the unlettered Prophet of Arabia in the sixth century for, they thought, human nature remained always the same and if it had responded to Muhammad in the past, there was no reason why it should not respond to them now."
These persons did have a glimpse of the greatness of Muhammad (pbuh) who carried his movement to a successful end, but could not see the Divine support which was his real strength, nor the Divine will of which he was an instrument. The result was that for a very short period of time, the efforts of these ambitious people did bear some fruit. There gathered behind them a following, sometimes of several hundred thousand people. Some of them (e.g., Batinites) even succeeded in establishing a state of their own (the Fatimide State) which for sometime covered a fairly wide area from Sudan to Morocco. But all this remained only as long as they were able to maintain their organisational efficiency, their wizardry and their secret administrative network. But when these things were gone, all their power and glory also became a poignant memory of the past. With the loss of worldly power, the religious movement shrank and obscured and lost significance for human life. Against this, is the true Islam preached by the Last Messenger of Allah (pbuh). It constitutes today, as it constituted yesterday, a great spiritual force in the world, the guiding star and inspiration of a great ummah. It still possesses a distinctive culture which sprang from the spirit of its teachings. It is still the religion of a number of states and peoples. The Sun of Muhammad's Prophethood is still shining brilliantly in the sky. Never in history has it suffered an eclipse and it never will" (Qadianism : A Critical Study).
The author deserves our appreciation as he had delved on a unique topic which a majority of our researchers and scholars still continue to ignore.

Source : Milli Gazette, India.

Today is the Birthday of Baha'u'llah

Baha’u’llah and His teachings

From the Book of Samuel G. Wilson

BAHA’IS particularly boast of love as one of their characteristics. They often quote the words of Baha "to consort with all religions with spirituality and fragrance." Phelps claims for them [1] "a peculiar spirit, which marks them off from other men,--whose essence is expressed in one word, Love. These men are Lovers; lovers of God, of their Master and teachers, of all mankind." Dreyfus, with a forgetfulness or ignoring of facts that is astounding, says, "Their conduct is so perfect, their harmony so complete that although they have been there at Acca for forty years, no judge had yet to intervene for them in any dispute." Chase says "Baha’ism removes religious rancour." [2] Let facts speak. Let me array them first by showing the relation of the Baha’is to the Moslems, and then to the Azalis (see chapter on "Religious Assassination ") and finally to each other (see chapter on "The Quarrel over the Succession"). The Babis and Baha’is show great hatred and


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1. Page 112.

2. Yet Phelps, p. 158, and Chase themselves inveigh against orthodox Christianity with bitterness and scorn.

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animosity against the Shias of Persia, abuse and revile them and heap maledictions and curses upon them. These evil feelings are shown specially against the Mullahs and the rulers. The Babi and Baha’i historians indulge so much in diatribes and maledictions that Professor Browne wearies of translating them and omits pages of abuse. [1] More than enough is at hand to show the rancorous spirit of the new religion.

First take a short backward glance at the Babis. Professor Browne says: [2] "The Babis entertained for the Kajar rulers a hatred equal to that for the Mullahs." Mohammed Shah and Nasr-ud-Din Shah are called "bastard" and "scoundrel" and Mohammed Shah is consigned to hell at his death. The Shi'ites are called "foul Guebres" and the Mullahs heaped with abuse. "They hated the Mohammedan clergy with an intense and bitter hatred" and anticipated the fulfillment of the prophecy "when the Kaim or Mahdi should behead 70,000 mullahs like dogs." The Bab called Haji Kazim Khan, chief of the Sheikhis, "the Quintessence of Hell Fire and the infernal tree of Zakkum." He even at times emphasized his words with blows. [3] "When a prisoner in the household of Anti-Christ--that accursed one (i. e., the Shah), the Mullah of Maku showed him some discourtesy, whereupon the Ocean of Divine Wrath was stirred and He (the Bab) brought down his staff with such vigour on the unclean form

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1. New Hist.," pp. 320 f, 281, 289.

2. Ibid., pp. xvii. and 354.

3. "Mirza Jani," pp. 131-132.

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of that foul creature that the august staff broke in two. He then ordered Aga Sayid Hasan (his scribe) to drive out that dog from the room, though the accursed fellow was a person of great consideration." "The Bab took leave of his jailer, Ali Khan, with the words, 'Ay mal’oon ('Accursed One ')." [1] It is unnecessary further to enlarge on the feelings of the Babis towards the Shiahs, for the sanguinary wars and persecutions explain them and they made no secret of their feelings of hatred.

I pass on to the Baha’is, whom Abul Fazl claims were reformed and transformed by Baha. Baha'u'llah himself the "Iqaan" calls the Shias "a foul, erring sect," who said of his Turkish guards, "Shame upon them! God shall consume their livers with fire, and verily he is the fiercest of avengers" (Lawh-i-Rais) and who exultingly celebrated, in a hymn of triumph, the death of Fuad Pasha, [2] the vizier who had exiled him, and consigned him to hell "where the heart boils and the tormenting angel melts him." Baha's winsome words about the mullahs are, in the "Ikan," "1278 years have passed and all these worthless wretches have read the Koran every morning and have not yet attained to a single letter of the purport of it."

The spirit of love (?) is shown by Mirza Abul Fazl, the preacher and apologist for Baha’ism, in his discussion (1873) as recorded in the "New History." [3] His abusive language runs on page after page.


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1. The New Hist.," p. 352.

2. Jour. Roy. As. Soc., 1892, p. 271.

3. Pages 173-190.

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[page 212]

mullahs of Persia are called mischief-makers, dolts, a pack of scoundrels, tyrants, fools, plunderers of men's properties and wives, sectarian zealots steeped in prejudice and thinly disguising their greed of worldly lucre under a veil of sanctity, sprung from the rustic population and the scum of the towns, ignorant of the decencies of society and neglectful of good breeding, with wickedness, worldliness, rapacity and selfishness which are incurable and folly that exceeds all bounds and surpasses all conception, with stupidity, overweening arrogance and presumption absolutely unparallelled, hiding the truth in falsehood, circulating false reports, possessing malignant hatred, malice, spite and great injustice, and notoriously eager to shed blood, yet with cowardice like a timid girl.

He avers further that they are lacking in patriotism, nullify sovereign authority, encroach upon and usurp the power of kings, dismiss viziers, invite the people to rebel, cause national decay, set their feet upon the necks of all mankind, menace the order and well-being of the government, devour public wealth and substitute treason for service. "Perish their homes of folly whose learning is all pretense, their colleges which never yielded a man of sense." This is a condensation of the Baha’i philosopher's amiable (!) description of the chiefs of his national religion. The author of the "New History" almost surpasses him in abuse. [1] He compares the mullahs to a " host of foul reptiles who befoul and pollute the pure water


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1. Pages 4-5, written 1880.

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[page 213]

of life so that it waxeth loathsome and abominable. . . They are fraudulent and sophistical hypocrites . . inwardly reprobate and outwardly devout, clothing themselves in the garb of spurious asceticism and simulated piety: fabricators of 'authentic traditions." Later Haji M. Haidar Ali, [1] writing by command of Abdul Baha, says of Persia, "The old religious sects . . . degenerated into ferocious wolves and mad dogs, even surpassing the ravenous man-eating beasts." Apropos of the martyrdom of Aga Sayid J afar of Abargoo, "Our Great Lord and Master Abdul Baha revealed the following in a Visiting Tablet "to be chanted at the tomb:" Hell is for such as rejected thee, fire for such as sentenced thee to death, infernal flame for such as betrayed thee, and the hellish gulf for such as shed thy blood." [2] These quotations show the vindictive spirit of the Baha’i leaders. Any one who is acquainted with Baha’is in Persia knows that this is the spirit that animates them, that they revile the Mutasharis and Sheikhis and especially their mullahs. They are brotherly and helpful to their own particular sect of Baha’is, vindictive to all who have opposed them. Doctor Frame quotes a Persian as saying this of the attitude of Abdul Baha, "He is very kind towards his friends and bitter towards his enemies. In view of all that has been brought forward, how can Mr. Phelps aver "that they have no trace of bitterness or resentment for their sufferings." The habit of Baha’is in denying that they have

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1. "Martyrs of 1903," p. 3.

2. "Visiting Tablets," p. 12, N. Y. Baha’i Board of Counsel.
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[page 214]

animosity against other religions reminds me of one of their own stories. A certain mullah said to his friend, "If you notice in me any objectionable habit please inform me." "I perceive no fault in you," answered his friend, "save a habit of using abusive language." "Abusive language ! " cried the mullah. "What rascally knave calls me abusive? What shameless ruffian have I abused that he should dare accuse me?"

Carved Image of Bab in Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan - Baku: Academy of Sciences - façade decoration - carved image of Bab, founder of Babism, gave birth to the Baha'i religion, followed by the builder, oil baron Aghamusa Naghiyev - photo by M.Torres

http://www.travel-images.com/photo-azer58.html

Orlando Baha'i Center goes up in flames

Arson investigators were looking Tuesday into two fires in three days that destroyed the Orlando Bahá'í Center in Orlando.

The first fire in the one-story wood building on Hillcrest Street was reported at 4:48 a.m. Sunday. When the Orlando Fire Department responded to the second blaze at 12:55 a.m. Tuesday, flames were shooting through the roof.

"It is unusual for something like that to happen, especially this much down time between the two," said Orlando Fire Department Commander Vicki Robles.

A spokesperson for the Bahá'í Center said the fires are baffling to the members, who number about 300 in the metropolitan Orlando area. Prior to the fires, there had been no threats, vandalism, or break-ins at the center, said Kelsey Vargas, secretary for the center's governing assembly.

"We don't have any reason to suspect that anyone would wish us harm," Vargas said.

The center was created in 1974, Vargas said. Until the Orlando center can be replaced, members plan to meet in each other's homes, Vargas said.

"For generations people have used it as a place for devotions and children's classes and for moral and spiritual development," she said. "People are very saddened that this has happened."

About four years ago, the center received a thick package of hate mail decorated with swastikas and containing a "Bin Laden" return address, said George Via, a member of the center. He said police suspected that it was sent by a mentally ill person.

The Bahá'í faith, which preaches unity of God, religion and mankind, originated in 19th century Iran and has more than five million followers worldwide. The Orlando center had just celebrated the birthday of one of the religion's prophets on Oct. 12 and was scheduled to observe the holiday of the birth of Bahá'í founder Bahá'u'lláh on Nov. 20.

Bahá'u'lláh is considered one in a long line of messengers from God that included Abraham, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. For that reason, members of other religions Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, are welcomed and accepted at Bahá'í centers of worship.

The centers are gathering places for members of the faith, but are not considered temples or churches. The Bahá'í have no clergy and elect a governing assembly of nine members. Campaigning for office is forbidden.

"Anyone who wants to get elected," Via said, "is disqualified."

Henry Pierson Curtis of the Sentinel staff contributed to this story. Jeff Kunerth can be reached at jkunerth@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5392.

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/breakingnews/orl-bk-building-fire-102709,0,1447745.story
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