Were the Founders of Baha’i Cult, Truth Seeking and Truth Accepting?

 Did the Bahais leaders try to spread, seek, and accept the truth, or did they try to hide and deny it? In order to seek the truth, one must initially investigate and probe, and then by relying on knowledge and reason, find the truth and try to act upon it.
However, not only did Bahaullah not give permission to Bahais to investigate, read, and listen to the words of the critics of Bahaism, but he also declared the authority of reason to be invalid and declared acknowledging Bahaism to be the criterion of being knowledgeable..
This is what Bahaullah says about reason:
Know that from now on, that which has reached your reason or will reach it, or is perceived by the reasons of [those with intellects] superior or inferior to yours, none are the criterion for recognizing the truth and will never be.43
He also says about knowledge:
If today, someone grasps all of the knowledge on earth but stops at the word yes (meaning does not become a Bahai), the Lord will not pay attention to him (ladi l-Haqq madhkūr na) and he will be considered as the most ignorant amongst the people. 44
Put more simply: If a scholar pauses and hesitates about acknowledging Bahaism, he is considered among the most ignorant of the people.
Does this statement from the founder of Bahaism agree with the notion of accepting and seeking the truth?
Do Bahais tell their audience that their Prophet considers non-Bahais to be ignorant? Of course not!
Instead, `Abd al-Bahā strongly advises the missionaries to be careful of their behavior so that they can have more influence on their audience. He says:
The divine principles in this luminous era are such that one must not insult anyone or attribute them to ignorance [by saying] that you do not know and I know. Rather, one must view everyone from a respectful perspective and must speak and argue from the viewpoint of seeking the truth. [They must say] come, there are several issues at hand, so let us seek the truth, and see how and why [it is so]. The missionary must not consider himself wise and others as ignorant. This thought will result in arrogance, and arrogance causes a lack of effectiveness; instead, one must not see any merit in himself and must speak with the maximum extent of kindness, humility, and humbleness. This kind of expression will be effective.45

How is it that Bahaullah calls non-Bahais ignorant but his son `Abd al-Bahā cautions missionaries away from insults and calling people ignorant?
Or when `Abd al-Bahā uttered the call of seeking the truth, had he forgotten that Bahaullah had ordered the seekers of the truth to refrain from hearing and reading the writings of others, whether they are knowledgeable or ignorant? Did Bahaullah not state that:
The wayfarers of the path of belief and the seekers of the cups of certainty must keep themselves clean and pure from all other values (shu'unāt ardiyya). This means they must keep their ears from hearing the words and keep their hearts from assumptions related to the words of glory and keep their soul from superficial causes and keep their eyes from seeing perishable words . . . for if a servant wants to follow the words, actions, and deeds of the servants-whether they be knowledgeable or ignorant-and make them a criterion for recognizing God [Haqq] and His friends, then they will never enter the Paradise of satisfaction (ridwān marifat) of the Lord of Glory.46
Put more simply: Those who seek faith and certitude must protect their ears eyes, heart, and soul from the words of others-whether those other people are knowledgeable or ignorant.
Is it part of the principle of seeking the truth to refrain from listening to the words of others-even those who are knowledgeable? Isnt listening to the sayings of others one of the necessities for seeking the truth? How is it that the Jews, Christians, and Muslims must put aside the words of their forefathers and seek the truth with open ears and eyes, but Bahais are not allowed to listen to anyones words? `Abd al-Bahā says:
The followers of Moses (i.e. Jews) have imitations (taqāleed), Zoroastrians have imitations, Christians have imitations, Buddhists have imitations, and every nation has imitations [and] thinks that its imitations are correct and the imitations of others are invalid. For example, the followers of Moses believe that their imitations are correct and the imitations of others are invalid. We want to find out which [imitations] are correct. [Obviously] not all imitations are correct. If we stick to an imitation it will prevent us from correctly investigating other [religions] imitations. For example, a Jewish person cannot understand that other [religions] are correct because he believes and sticks to the imitations of Judaism. Therefore, he must put aside the imitations and seek the truth and [think that] perhaps others might be right. Thus, until imitations are not put aside, the truth will not become manifest.47
Unfortunately, this is a prescription that has only been prescribed for non-Bahais. Bahaullah forbids his followers from hearing any sort of criticism about Bahaism; even if their critics criticize them using strong evidence and documents:
[Bahaullah says,] All of the Lovers of God (i.e. Bahais) must avoid anyone from whom they perceive the smell of hatred towards the Beauty of the Glory of Abha (jamāl izz abhā which refers to Bahaism or Bahaullah), even if they [argue by] speaking of all the verses and by clinging to all the books.Then he, glorified be his name, said, They should protect themselves with perfect protection, lest they fall to the trap of their deceptions and tricks. This is the advice of the Pen of Fate (qalam taqdīr). And in another speech he states, Rejecting such individuals has been-and will be-the closest way [of achieving] divine satisfaction, for their breath spreads like poison.48
Bahaullah has ordered Bahais not to speak with the critics of Bahaism. Why indeed?!
How can one claim to seek the truth, when they do not have permission to read and hear the words of the critics of Bahaism?
If someone is seeking the truth, shouldnt he have permission to study the criticisms made of Bahaism?
Why should a researcher of the truth not use the books that criticize Bahaism and not have the right to speak with anyone about the challenges facing Bahaism?

`Abd al-Bahā instructs the Bahais:
The Hands of the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose and protest against the Guardian of the Cause of God, cast him out from the congregation of the people of Bahā and in no wise accept any excuse from him. How often hath grievous error been disguised in the garb of truth, that it might sow the seeds of doubt in the hearts of men!49
Ironically, the same `Abd al-Bahā that gives the order to expel his coreligionists says:
Kindness brings about life, separation brings about death.50

Which seeker of truth will not be stricken with questions, doubts, and misgivings in the beginning of this journey? If someone had a question regarding an issue and for finding a truth, and embarked on research and analysis, must they be considered an apostate and kicked out of ones community? Is the meaning of seeking the truth in the Bahai creed, closing the door of research from the truth seeker and preventing his or her questioning and protests? Bahaullah says:

No pleasure has been created in the world greater than listening to the verses [brought by Bahaullah] and understanding their meanings and not objecting to or questioning any of the words and comparing them with the words of others.51
This saying of Bahaullah clearly contradicts the first and most important principle of the Bahai faith. By this account, the leaders of Bahaism want their followers to be like sheep52 that close their eyes and ears to anything other than the words of Bahaism and only listen to their utterances and refrain from comparing them with any other words. In another instance Bahaullah says:
Become blind so that you see my face, become deaf so that you hear my pleasant tone and voice, become ignorant so that you get a share of my knowledge, and become poor so that you can take an everlasting portion from the sea of my eternal riches. Become blind means [see] nothing but my beauty and become deaf means [hear] nothing but my words and become ignorant means [have no knowledge] but my knowledge, so that with a pure eye and clean heart and fine ear you come to my sanctified realm.53
Bahaullah has ordered Bahais to become blind, deaf, and ignorant, so that they do not see, hear, or understand anything other than he deems fit! The Quran-the same book that Bahaullah had adhered to for years-had already warned about having such beliefs:
Say: Are the blind and seeing equal? Do you not contemplate?54
What kind of truth seeking is this that requires oneto become blind, deaf, and ignorant, and only entrust their heart to the claimant of truth, so that they enter his sanctified realm?
Is this decree anything but a clear contradiction of the principles which the Bahais preach with pride?
We already mentioned at the beginning of this topic that Bahaullah even considers the authority of reason and intellect to be invalid:
Know that from now on, that which has reached your reason or will reach it, or is perceived by the reasons of [those with intellects] superior or inferior to yours, none are the criterion for recognizing the truth and will never be.55
By this account, whoever seeks the truth should not listen to anything, should not see anything, and should not think, learn, or ponder. Is it by this formula that one becomes a true Bahai!?

When all of the standards, measures, and criterion to discover the truth are taken away from a person, how and with what tools can they perceive the truth about Bahaism?
What kind of truth-seeking formula is this that does not put any toolset at the service of a person, and in the end, ultimately expects belief and certainty? What kind of truth-seeking do the followers of Bahaism pride upon themselves and their religion?
In Bahaism, it is taught that every individual must personally choose their beliefs after reaching the age of religious maturity (15 years for both girls and boys)56. Bahaullah says:
When humans attain the rank of [religious] maturity they must investigate . . . and [they] must hear and see with their own ears and eyes.57
Those that preach these beliefs with great enthusiasm to non-Bahai youth, never tell their audience that the tools and criterion to determine the truth will be taken away from them. They never mention that soon they must become blind and deaf. They must not think nor criticize. Thus, they turn away from intellect, reason, and understanding and follow the path of those which they zealously criticized.
Such beliefs are not strange when one considers that Bahaism is in essence born out of Bābism which itself is utterly against seeking the truth and knowledge. For example, one of the Babs orders was the destruction of all non-Bābi books.58 Furthermore, the Bāb ordered:

Teaching a book other than the book of Bayān is not allowed unless it has in it what is related to theology (kalām). [Teaching] those [sciences] which have been invented such as logic (mantiq), principles [of Jurisprudence] (usul), and other [sciences], is not permitted for those who have faith.59
The book Bayān, which was written by the Bāb is considered the divine book of the BābTs. This book was initially written in Arabic and was later written with more explanation and detail in Farsi. The Arabic version was supposed to be revealed in 19 units and 19 chapters but was only completed to the eleventh unit. The Farsi version was more incomplete than the Arabic and was written until the tenth chapter of the eleventh unit.
As we saw, the Bāb had ordered that nothing be taught other than his own books and had ordered for the destruction of most other books. The Bāb did not suffice with this order. He ordered that anything non-BābT be destroyed, whether it be places of worship, graves, or even people60, so that one world would remain with only one leader and only one religion called Bābism!

43 Baha’u’llah, Bac£' (Tehran: n.p., n.d.), p. 286. What Baha’u’llah says here is in contrast with what his son `Abd al-Bahâ says: “If you seek divine recognition ('irfdn ildhî) . . . refer to intellectual and written (naqlî) arguments,” `Abd al-Bahâ, Makdtib (n.p. [probably Tehran]: Mu’assisiyi MillTMatbu at Amrf, 134 Bad!`), vol. 8, pp. 119 -120.
44    Baha’u’llah, Iqtidârât wa chand lauh dlgar, (n.p.: n.p., n.d.), p. 111.
45    'Abd al-Bahâ, MakaGb (Egypt: Matba at al-Kurdistân al-'Ilmiyya [Published by Faraj-Allâh DhakI al-Kurdî], 1328 AH), vol. 1, pp. 355.
46 Baha’u’llah, Îqân, 1st ed. (Hofheim [Germany]: Mu’assisiyi Matbu ât Baha’1 Âlmân, 1998), pp. 2-3. Because of obvious flaws in the official Baha’i translation, we have translated this section ourselves and have not used the official Baha’i translation.—Ed.
47 'Abd al-Hamîd Ishrâq Ktawarî, Payâm malakût, p.17 (citing 'Abd al-Bahâ).
48    `Abd a l-Hamîd Ishrâq Khâwarî, GanjTniyi hudiid wa ahkdm, 3rd ed. (Tehran: Mu’assisiyi Mill! Matbu at Amrt, 128 Bad!`), chap. 70, p. 450.
49    `Abd al-Bahâ, The Will and Testament of 'Abdu’l-Bahd [sic] (US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1990), p. 12, http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/WT/wt-1.html
50    `Abd al-Bahâ, Khatdbdt (Egypt), vol.1, p. 153.
51    Baha’u’llah, Badî` (Tehran: n.p., n.d.), p. 145.
52    Baha’u’llah and `Abd al-Bahâ have in numerous places referred to their followers as Aghnâm Allâh (Sheep of God).
53    Baha’u’llah, Ad`iyyi hadrat mahbûb (Egypt: Published by Faraj-Allâh DhakI al-Kurdî, 1339 AH), pp. 427–428.
54    Quran 6:50.
55    Baha’u’llah, Bad` (Tehran: n.p., n.d.), p. 286.
56    “A question [was asked] about the age of religious maturity; answer: maturity is in the fifteenth year and both women and women are the same regarding this matter,” `Abd a l-Hamîd Ishrâq Khâwarî, Ganfiniyi hudûd wa ahkâm, chap. 1, p. 14.
57    `Abd al-Hamîd Ishrâq Khâwarî, Payâm malakût, p.11 (citing Baha’u’llah).
58    This is the name of one the chapters in Bab’s Bayân Fârsr: “Chapter six of the sixth unit which is about destroying all books but those that have been written or will be written about this order (meaning the Bab’s creed).”
59    `All Muhammad Bâb, Bayân Fârsî, unit 4, chap. 10.
60    “It was uttered in the day of the appearance of his Highness Alâ (meaning the Bâb) to behead, burn the books, destroy the monuments, and massacre [everyone] but those who believed [in the Bâb’s religion] and verified it,” `Abd al-Bahâ, Makâtlb (Egypt: 1330 AH), vol. 2, p. 266.


 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Baha'i Texts

Popular Posts

Total Pageviews

Followers

Blog Archive

About Me

http://www.scribd.com/people/documents/12206251-naser-emtesali