Long, vacuous messages that are divorced from reality (An open letter by a Senior Baha'i)


Friends,

This is an open letter written by a disgruntled Baha'i who has seen the Faith gradually deteriorate. The supreme body UHJ is in a separate universe while the faith is on ventilator (as shown by declining numbers, moral deterioration, scams, lack of volunteers and funding).

The most tedious message of 2023 is the 27-page one that was released on November 23. The message is detached from reality and focuses on purported splendour, which raises doubts for anybody familiar with the minor details of the lives of the personalities after Baha'u'llah's ascension. There isn't a word about the unprecedented state of warfare in the nation that houses the UHJ—not even a prayer for peace to win. Which planet is the UHJ staying in?

Upon examining the current state of the faith, we witness a decline in morality - frauds, extramarital affairs, tampered elections, and sporadic breakups. As Baha'is, we hope to bring about global equality, peace, harmony, and high moral standards. Unfortunately! Prior to tackling global issues, we must first solve our own urgent requirements.

In the middle of all of this, the UHJ delivers a message that will be too difficult for even the most dedicated senior Baha'i to read. Without a doubt, not even the UHJ members would have read this.

Nevertheless, I made the effort, and by the time I finished, I was mentally exhausted. There is a lack of consistency, a lot of fancy terms, and numerous repetitions. It appears that this was written and published by a stenographer or an intern.

It is obvious that the UHJ has lost its way, and those in charge are not at all concerned in the expansion and advancement of Faith. Maybe they're relishing the prestige and benefits that come with the job. It makes sense that the community is more concerned with following procedures than the true meaning of the religion. There are dwindling numbers of pioneers and nearly no volunteers to provide financial support.

The UHJ needs to understand that they will be abruptly awakened from their nirvana. By then, it will be too late, and the founders' efforts would have been in vain. The day is not too far off.

Happy New Year! On 1st January 1942 Shoghi Effendi expelled his own sister

Mehrangiz Rabbani

"Faithless sister Mehrangiz (has) followed (the) example (of) Ruhi's sister. All ties (have been) severed. No consideration (of) family relationships can ever be allowed (to) interfere (with the) dictates (of) justice or (to) supersede supreme fidelity (to) Center (of) Baha'u'llah's Covenant. Inform believers."

(Signed)

Shoghi Rabbani

1 Jan 1942

Most ex-Baha'is found a kindred spirit in Abd al-Hosayn Ayati.

Abd al-Hosayn Ayati (Avarih)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abd_al-Hosayn_Ayati

Abd al Ḥosayn Ayati (1871—1953) was an Iranian convert to the Baháʼí Faith, who later converted back to Islam and wrote several polemic works against his former religion.[1] He was known among Baháʼí circles as Avarih and is regarded as an apostate.[1] In his later years he served as a secondary school teacher while writing poetry and history,[2][3] and was regarded as a competent orator.[4]

During his 18 years as a Baháʼí, Ayati was a missionary to Turkestanthe Caucasus, the Ottoman Empire, and Egypt.[1] During this time he associated with ʻAbdu'l-Bahá and wrote a two-volume history of the Baháʼí Faith, al-Kawākeb al-dorrīya (1914), which was translated to Arabic in 1924.[1] His main polemic writing refuting the Baháʼí Faith was the three-volume Kašf al-ḥīal (1928-31).[1] He has a total of seventeen published titles on various subjects, such as the history of Yazd Ātaškada-ye yazdān (1928), and commentaries and translations of the Qur'an.[1]

__________

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abd_al-Hosayn_Ayati#Early_life

Ayati became a cleric in his youth years while at Yazd and would give sermons and lead prayers. He showed great interest in literature and poetry.[5][2] According to one of his brief autobiographies, he hadn't reached puberty yet when he was allowed to wear the classic Muslim cleric clothing and give sermons. At the age of twenty, he lost his father and at the age of twenty five, he was stationed as the Imam of the Mosque that his late father led the prayers at.[4]

He became a Baháʼí at the age of 30.[5][2] This is how Ayati describes it:

"I became familiar with the Baháʼís at the age of 30 and left my beloved homeland. I removed the Turban from my head and shaved my beard and started traveling around the world."[3]

____________

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abd_al-Hosayn_Ayati#Life_as_a_Bah%C3%A1

After becoming a Baháʼí, Ayati started a career as a Baháʼí missionary that saw him traveling to Tehran, the Iranian capital and from there to many Iranian cities and provinces.[3] His Missionary travels then took him outside of Iran and in a span of 18 years he traveled to Turkestan, the Caucasus, the Ottoman Empire, and Egypt. Due to his numerous endeavors 'Abdu'l Baha gave him the titles of "Raʾīs al-Moballeḡīn" (Chief of Missionaries) and "Avarih" (Wanderer).[1]

In 1923, Shoghi Effendi sent Ayati to England to teach the Baháʼí Faith. This was first announced to the Baháʼís of the west through the Baháʼí Magazine, Star of the West.[6]

Ayati then left England for Cairo to print his two volume work on the history of the Baháʼí faith called al-Kawakib al-durriya. According to Shoghi Effendi this work was "the most comprehensive and reliable history of the Movement yet published"[9] and " the most graphic, the most reliable and comprehensive of its kind in Bahai literature"[7] and was labelled as the "great history of the Baháʼí cause" by the Baháʼí magazine, Star of the West.[10] According to Encyclopaedia Iranica it "is still one of the major works on the subject."[1]

In a letter addressed to the Baháʼís of some European countries, Shoghi Effendi writes about Avarih, thus:

His wide experience and familiarity with the various aspects of the Movement, his profound and extensive knowledge of its history; his association with some of the early believers, the pioneers and martyrs of the Cause will I am sure to appeal to every one of you and will serve to acquaint you still further with the more intimate and tragic side of this remarkable Movement.[11]

After reverting to Islam he openly opposed the Baháʼí Faith and was considered a Covenant-breaker. He was labelled by Shoghi Effendi as a "shameless apostate".[12]

The references made to Avarih in John Esslemont's book Baháʼu'lláh and the New Era were removed in subsequent editions published after Avarih's apostasy from the Baháʼí Faith.[13]

______________

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abd_al-Hosayn_Ayati#Life_after_reverting_to_Islam

He returned to Iran and spent the rest of his life as a secondary school teacher.[1] For the first ten years he taught literature at the Sultaniyya, Elmieh, Razi, and Dar al-Funun) schools in Tehran. He was then Transferred to Yazd and continued his teaching career.[3]

Ayati passed away in the City of Yazd in 1953.[4] The cause of death was an illness that he was afflicted with during a trip to Tehran shorty before his death. His body was transferred to Qum and he was buried there. Shoghi Effendi describes Avarih's death as a strike of God's avenging hand in the following manner:

"Following the successive blows which fell with dramatic swiftness two years ago upon the ring-leaders of the fast dwindling band of old Covenant-breakers at the World Center of the Faith, God’s avenging hand struck down in the last two months, Avarih, Fareed and Falah, within the cradle of the Faith, North America and Turkey, who demonstrated varying degrees, in the course of over thirty years, of faithlessness to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The first of the above named will be condemned by posterity as being the most shameless, vicious, relentless apostate in the annals of the Faith, who, through ceaseless vitriolic attacks in recorded voluminous writings and close alliance with its traditional enemies, assiduously schemed to blacken its name and subvert the foundations of its institutions."[14]

___________

Long after his death, Baha'i propaganda writers still felt the need to do damage control regarding his life and career. Most notably, Adib Taherzadeh in his book The Covenant of Baha'u'llah.

https://bahai-library.com/taherzadeh_covenant_bahaullah&chapter=30

Soon after Shoghi Effendi assumed the office of the Guardianship, and while there was widespread expectation among the Bahá'ís of the immediate establishment of the Universal House of Justice, some egotistical personalities longed to become members of that august institution. One such person in the East was Abdu'l-Husayn, entitled by Abdu'l-Bahá as Avarih (Wanderer). In the West it was Ahmad Sohrab. Both men were prominent teachers of the Faith in Persia and North America respectively, and both had one thing in common: a passionate love of leadership.

Question: Were there any actual statements from these two indicating this?

Avarih was a native of the village of Taft in the Province of Yazd. Before he embraced the Faith he was a Muslim clergyman. Soon after becoming a follower of Bahá'u'lláh he was recognized by the believers to be a man of learning and knowledge, and not long after that he became renowned as one of the erudite teachers of the Faith. For several years, he travelled around Persia, Iraq and Egypt, and became one of the most respected and famous Bahá'ís of the East as he employed his talents in teaching and writing for the Faith. Abdu'l-Bahá, who was fully aware of the vices and corrupt practices of this man, did not prevent him from serving the Cause, and as long as he acted faithfully in relation to the Faith, He encouraged him, praised his work, and wrote several Tablets in his honour.

And how was Abdu'l-Baha "fully aware of the vices and corrupt practices of this man"? That doesn't even sound remotely plausible.

However, from the beginning of his Bahá'í involvement, he displayed a pride and vanity which puzzled those Bahá'ís who were in close contact with him. They could not reconcile the quality and goodness of his service to the Cause with his egotistical behaviour, and were surprised when they came across some of his despicable habits such as smoking opium in secret, a practice that Bahá'u'lláh had strictly forbidden. However, the rank and file of the believers were drawn to him, and during the time when he was actively teaching the Faith and promoting its interests he became renowned among the Bahá'ís as the foremost teacher of the Cause in the community and the outstanding personality within its ranks.

Unless and until proof is given that this man was indeed a habitual drug user, this seems like petty libel. As for being egotistical, one can look at what Baha'u'llah often wrote abou himself!

One of the dreams entertained by Avarih was to become a member of the Universal House of Justice. He knew that if there were to be an election of this body, he would most likely be elected, as he was one of the foremost teachers of the Faith in Persia and well-known even in some communities in the West.

Uh, the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Baha made clear that the Universal House of Justice needed to be established with the Guardian as its head for life, complete with provision for the Guardian to expel members who commit a sin "injurious to the common weal". So it was unlikely that Ayati could do much harm even if he was elected to the House of Justice. As it turned out, Shoghi Effendi chose NOT to follow his grandfather's commands, keeping the absolute leadership of the Faith in his hands until his death in 1957. So who was being the egomaniac?

Avarih was an outright hypocrite who had endeared himself to the friends. This he did by writing letters, full of loving exhortation couched in moving language, which he used to disseminate among the believers in both the East and the West. He wrote one such letter in April 1923 addressed to the annual Convention of the Bahá'ís of the United States of America. Although he had no faith in Shoghi Effendi and was about to undermine his position as the Guardian of the Faith, yet he used to write to Bahá'í communities extolling his station in superlative terms and urged the friends to turn to him and remain steadfast in the Covenant.

Unless Adib Taherzadeh knew Ayati personally and could read his mind, he has no business making such unfounded claims.

Considering himself to be an erudite and knowledgeable Bahá'í, and regarding Shoghi Effendi as young and inexperienced, Avarih advised him in Haifa to arrange for the establishment of the Universal House of Justice at an early stage. Shoghi Effendi clearly explained to him that the election of that body had to wait until such time as local and national Spiritual Assemblies could be formed in various countries and were fully functioning. But Avarih was not satisfied with this explanation and was still determined to press his point of view.

Shoghi Effendi's argument is reasonable.....except there were already a dozen or so National Spiritual Assemblies established at the beginning of the Ten Year World Crusade (1953-1963) and the Guardian STILL did not call for the Universal House of Justice to be elected before the Crusade began. That's absurd!

During the few months that he remained in Cairo, he created dissension and disunity among the believers to such an extent that the Spiritual Assembly of Cairo complained to Shoghi Effendi. Thus he was again invited to go to the Holy Land. Avarih questioned the authenticity of the Will and Testament of Abdu'l-Bahá but was satisfied with it when he was shown the original copy in Abdu'l-Bahá's handwriting. He then met with the Greatest Holy Leaf and reiterated to her his opinion that Shoghi Effendi should be advised to call for the election of the Universal House of Justice. He is reported to have uttered a veiled threat that if his demand were not acted upon, he would have no choice but to arouse the Bahá'ís of Persia to rebel against the Guardian.

And where is the documentation for any of these claims?

This clear violation of the Covenant isolated Avarih from the believers. Even his wife left him and refused to associate with him. Soon he changed his tactics and wrote a series of letters to various members of Abdu'l-Bahá's family saying that there had been misunderstandings and suggested that if Shoghi Effendi was willing to arrange an annual income for him, he would be willing to alter his attitude and stop his activities against the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh.

The apparent truth is that his wife being forced to either remain loyal to her husband or remaining in the Baha'i community destroyed the marriage. So much for Baha'i family values!

When there was no positive response to his letters, he unveiled his satanic nature and wrote most abusive letters to Shoghi Effendi in which he used rude and offensive language and vowed to destroy the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh altogether. There was never among the Covenant-breakers during Shoghi Effendi's ministry a man so vile and hypocritical as he.

May we see those letters?

Covenant-breakers usually oppose the Centre of the Faith, but most of them have claimed to be believers in Bahá'u'lláh. However, in this case Avarih rebelled against the Faith itself. This he did despite the fact that he had spent more than two decades teaching the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh and had published voluminous writings declaring its truth and testifying to the authenticity of the message of its Founder. He joined hands with the Muslim clergy and Christian missionaries in attacking the Faith in Persia. He disseminated far and wide a series of his despicable publications against the Faith. In foul language, he attacked every aspect of the Faith, misrepresented its aims, and uttered slanders about its Central Figures whom he attacked in most distasteful terms. 'The volumes', Shoghi Effendi writes, 'which a shameless apostate composed and disseminated ... in his brazen efforts not only to disrupt that Order [Administrative Order] but to undermine the very Faith which had conceived it proved ... abortive.'" [30-2]

Technically, if he rejected the Baha'i Faith itself, he wasn't a Covenant breaker at all. So why was he ever labeled one? Because then the Baha'is could be made to shun him to limit his efforts to discredit the Faith.

Owing to his political activities, Avarih at one time fell into public disgrace, and at an advanced age was exiled by order of the government to the city of Yazd where he lived an ignominious life. Shoghi Effendi predicted that Avarih would live to a very old age in order to witness with his own eyes the progress of the Faith throughout the world. Indeed he lived to be about one hundred years of age, and witnessed the rising prestige of the Faith, the inauguration of the Holy Year in 1953, the completion of the superstructure of the Shrine of the Bab, the launching of the Ten Year Crusade and the convocation of several international conferences at which a host of teachers and pioneers arose to bring the Message of Bahá'u'lláh to many virgin territories and establish the institutions of His Faith all over the globe.

He actually died at the age of 82, not nearly 100, and a person falling into public disgrace would not have had a successful career late in life as a school teacher. It is clear that Taherzadeh was indeed lying here.


Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/exbahai/comments/kxcdng/abd_alhosayn_ayati_a_kindred_spirit_to_most_of_us/

Contradictory Dates in Bahá'í Texts Regarding the Public Announcement of the Prophet Muhammad


By Rauf Murtuzov (2023)

As a Muslim with an interest in history, I discovered apparent conflicting dates in Bahá'í texts regarding the public announcement of the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him), which prompted me to delve into this matter. The apparent discrepancy arises from the perspectives of two prominent figures within the Bahá'í faith, the Bab (allegedly) and Abdul Baha, who apparently each provide distinct interpretations of the timeline in relation to this momentous event.

After researching the Bab's writings, Stephen Lambden concluded that the Bab claimed the Prophet Muhammad publicly announced his Prophethood 7 years before Hijrah, after a number of years of private preaching. Lambden claimed: “The total value of all the disconnected letters from A.L.M. to A.L.M.R is thus 1267. It is evident that, taken as years of the Islamic lunar calendar (this calculation is based on the lunar, not solar calendar) yields 1267 which is 7 years in excess of 1260 (1260/1844). This seeming discrepancy can be resolved in the light of the Bāb's presupposing that the public commencement of the mission of the prophet Muhammad was about 7 years prior to the flight to Medina (Hijra, 1 A.H. = 622 C.E.) when the Islamic calendar begins. Account must then be taken of the fact that Muhammad did not proclaim his mission publicly for a number of years after his call to Prophethood at the time of his encounter with the angel Gabriel on Mount Hira (c. 610 CE or later?). These details were early on utilized in Bābī-Bahā'ī teaching activity. The great Bahā'ī apologist Mīrzā Abu'l-Faḍl Gulpāyigānī, for example, clarified and used this Islamic proof text in several of his writings including his early Sharḥ-i āyāt-i muvarrikhih ("Commentary upon the chronological proof texts") which was written in Hamadān (Irān) around 1888 CE.” [1]

Abdul Baha claimed that Prophet Muhammad publicly announced his Prophethood 10 years before Hijrah, after 3 years of private preaching. Abdul Baha claimed: “Afterwards, in verses 11 and 12, it is said: ’And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate be set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days. Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.’

The commencement of this lunar reckoning is from the day of the proclamation of the prophethood of Muḥammad in the land of Ḥijáz; and that was three years after the revelation of His mission, because in the beginning the prophethood of Muḥammad was concealed, and no one knew of it save Khadíjih and Ibn-i-Nawfal, until it was publicly announced three years later. And it was in the year 1290 from the proclamation of the mission of Muḥammad that Bahá’u’lláh announced His Revelation.” [2]

So Abdul Baha claimed that Bahá’u’lláh announced His Revelation in 1280 Hijri (Islamic Lunar Calendar) but the Prophet Muhammad publicly announced his Prophethood 10 years before Hijrah, so therefore '1290 days' in the Bible refers to this.

These conflicting narratives regarding the timing of the public announcement of Prophet Muhammad's prophethood within Bahá'í texts offer an opportunity for further exploration and discussion.

Notes

1. https://hurqalya.ucmerced.edu/node/3351">hurqalya.ucmerced.edu/node/3351

2. https://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/some-answered-questions/4#373565639">bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/abdul-baha/some-answered-questions/4#373565639

Source : https://bahai-library.com/murtuzov_dates_announcement_muhammad

Baha'i faith silences the victims and enables abusers by protecting, and even rewarding them.


There is a wide-range of quotes that silences the victims and enables abusers by protecting, and even rewarding them.

🚨WRONG : rewarding bad behaviour empowers abusers 🚨

"Should any come to blows with you, seek to be friends with him; should any stab you to the heart, be ye a healing salve unto his sores; should any taunt and mock at you, meet him with love. Should any heap his blame upon you, praise ye him; should he offer you a deadly poison, give him the choicest honey in exchange; and should he threaten your life, grant him a remedy that will heal him evermore. Should he be pain itself, be ye his medicine; should he be thorns, be ye his roses and sweet herbs. Perchance such ways and words from you will make this darksome world turn bright at last; will make this dusty earth turn heavenly, this devilish prison place become a royal palace of the Lord—so that war and strife will pass and be no more, and love and trust will pitch their tents on the summits of the world. Such is the essence of God’s admonitions; such in sum are the teachings for the Dispensation of Bahá." - Abdu'l-Baha

🚨WRONG: A person with ten bad qualities and one good one should be treated entirely differently to a person with ten good qualities and one bad. We should see people and situations for what they are instead of projecting good where it doesn't exist, and we should take action to protect ourselves 🚨

“To be silent concerning the faults of others, to pray for them, and to help them, through kindness, to correct their faults. To look always at the good and not at the bad. If a man has ten good qualities and one bad one, to look at the ten and forget the one; and if a man has ten bad qualities and one good one, to look at the one and forget the ten. Never to allow ourselves to speak one unkind word about another, even though that other be our enemy.” – Abdu’l-Baha

🚨WRONG: This is victim blaming and horrendously toxic. A person dealing with another person's imperfections may need assistance, protection, or intervention -- not blame.🚨

"Therefore, do not look at the shortcomings of anybody; see with the sight of forgiveness. The imperfect eye beholds imperfections. " - Abdu'l-Baha 

🚨WRONG: More victim blaming. It isn't a vice to see any person or situation for what it is 🚨

"How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me." - Bahá’u’lláh

🚨WRONG: One must see each person for who they and respond accordingly. This is toxic. 🚨

"One must see in every human being only that which is worthy of praise."-- Abdu'l-Baha

🚨WRONG: This makes the Baha'i community and its institutions complicit in abuse. It's criminal not to exercise duty of care and safeguarding. 🚨

"It is obvious that if we listen to those who complain to us about the faults of others we are guilty of complicity in their backbiting. We should therefore, as tactfully as possible, but yet firmly, do our utmost to prevent others from making accusations or complaints against others in our presence." - Shoghi Effendi

🚨WRONG: To "conceal" and "not to expose" the misdeeds of an abuser is actually being complicit in abuse. 🚨

You also ask what one should do to 'handle depression and anger with someone' one feels 'very positively about'. The Universal House of Justice suggests that you call to mind the admonitions found in our writings on the need to overlook the shortcomings of others, to forgive and conceal their misdeeds, not to expose their bad qualities, but to search for and affirm their praiseworthy ones, and endeavour to be always forbearing, patient, and merciful. -- Universal House of Justice

🚨WRONG: There are times when abusers must be criticised and held accountable 🚨

‘Abdu’l-Bahá does not permit adverse criticism of individuals by name in discussion among the friends, even if the one criticizing believes that he is doing so to protect the interests of the Cause.-- Universal House of Justice

Poor charitable performance of NSA Canada!


Since 2006 Charity Intelligence Canada (Ci) has been providing information about charities which accept donations from public. It provides high quality evidence-based research to help us guide our charity giving decisions.

Charity Intelligence's analysis goes beyond plain subjectivity or narrow financial analysis to dig deeper to arrive at those charities which either perform the best or the worst. This helps the common Canadian and other donors make an informed selection of the most impactful charity while donating their funds.

Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable, and focused on results.

Its Latest report on National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Canada, Charity Intelligence shows the NSA in poor light in the matter of collection and usage of its charitable funds. In fact, it has been graded a poor LOW in its demonstrated Impact per dollar of funds received. (F-Grade) https://www.charityintelligence.ca/charity-details/991-national-spiritual-assembly-of-the-baha-is-of-canada

This report highlights the following shameful facts about NSAs charitable funding.

1. National Spiritual Assembly holds $83.2m in excess unutilised funding, which can cover 16.6 years of its current charitable expenses and costs. That is its spending on acts of charity is so low that if it receives no donations for the next 16.6 years it can carry on its present paltry charitable expenses.

2. Another important fact highlighted is the fact that in 2021 for a mere $5m of spending on national and international charities it bore an administrative cost of $1.411m which is a whooping 28% (Just for identifying and transferring every 1$ of its charity funds it spends $0.28). As compared to this poor fund management by NSA Canada

Another Charity “LifeWater Canada” which incidentally got a 5 star rating by Charity Intelligence spent only $ 0.003 for every dollar it spent on its charitable activities.

3. Continuing the Comparision with “LifeWater Canada” who managed to spend $3255m in 2022 with only one fulltime support staff, NSA Canada spend a mere $5m in 2021 by employing 24 fulltime staff! So much for its efficient management. https://www.charityintelligence.ca/charity-details/889-lifewater-canada

Conclusion:

1. At a time when humanity in the third world countries is suffering from severe economic crises, the rich NSA of Canada is hoarding its funds and not utilising them pro-actively. This speaks volumes of the NSA Canada’s commitment to the principles of the Bahai Faith.

2. NSA Canada has failed the UHJ and the Bahai faith which prides itself on efficient and effective management by utterly failing in the financial management of its human resources, Funds and expenses.

3. It seems that NSA Canada has just converted the entire NSA to offer easy and idle employment to its cahoots friends and relatives to live in luxury by denying thousands of deprived and needy in the society.

Suggestion:

The sincere Bahais and general donors are hereby cautioned against donating their hard earned earnings to NSA Canada as these donations will remain unutilised and rather be used to pay salaries of idle workers in NSA Canada.

October 26. On this date in 2013, Ahang Rabbani died.


A prolific Bahá’í translator and historian who served as director of statistics at the Bahá’í World Centre from 1981 to 1988. His translation are said to whitewash, censor,and obfuscate problematic matters in Bahá’í scripture.

From the chapter titled "Dr Ahang Rabbani: A translator in good faith or a Baha’i whitewasher" in the book Twelve Principles: A Comprehensive Investigation on the Baha'i Teachings...

While investigating how Baha’is censor and hide problematic matters in their scripture which had been inadvertently exposed by Dr Rabbani (the case has been documented in another article here), it was realized that Ahang Rabbani himself had distorted a number of very problematic statements while translating the volumes that he had been working on. In two cases, these distortions are amended by footnotes which state the translations are approximate/not precise, while in fact they are neither but an outright twisting of the truth.

In this article we will analyze the distortions introduced by Dr Rabbani in the work A Lifetime with Abdu'l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalil Shahidi. Also, a single quote from another one of his translations which is worthy of mentioning will be presented.

...

Pay attention to the following quote from Abdu’l-Baha:

“If you ask about Tiberius, know that its stones are black, its inhabitants are Jewish and their appearance is basic.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 68)

Dr Rabbani writes a footnote at the end of this statement: “The narrator gives this statement in both original Arabic and translation in Persian. Translation of the final phrase is not precise.” (footnote no. 74)

...

The two arrows point to two sentences: one in Arabic and the same sentence again in Farsi:

" وجوههم کالقرد"

" صورتهایشان مانند میمونان است"

The translation of these statements is this:

“their appearance is like monkeys/apes”!

So this is what Abdu’l-Baha had said about the Jews of Tiberius:

“If you ask about Tiberius, know that its stones are black, its inhabitants are Jewish and their appearance is like monkeys/apes.”

This is how it was translated by the professional Baha’i translator who is no longer amongst us:

“If you ask about Tiberius, know that its stones are black, its inhabitants are Jewish and their appearance is basic.”

...

According to Ahang Rabbani, this is how Abdu’l-Baha had compared Baha’is with non-Baha’is:

“‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “The least of the friends is better than the fairest of the nonbelievers.” Moreover, He used to say, “The worst of the friends is better than the best of the nonbelievers.”” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí*, p. 81)

...

The section marked in red that has been uttered by Abdu’l-Baha reads:

“یک کاکاسیاه احباب بهتر از یک حوریه اغیار است”

Which translates to:

“A Baha’i nigger is better than a non-Baha’i nymph”!

Apologies for using the n word! The original Farsi word Abdu’l-Baha used is ‘kaka siah’ (کاکا سیاه) which is the equivalent of ‘nigger’ in English.

Compare with Rabbani’s translation:

“The least of the friends is better than the fairest of the nonbelievers.”

What is more shameful is the fact that the word ‘least’ has been used as an equivalent for ‘nigger’!

...

Pay attention to the following quote:

“One of the pillars of the Covenant-breakers was named Muhammad-Javád Qazvíní. When he strolled, he held his neck exceedingly straight, particularly if he came upon the friends or His blessed Temple [‘Abdu’l-Bahá]. ‘Abdul-Bahá would say, “He is like someone with a back injury, and forced to hold his neck straight to ease the pain.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 91)

What was so special about the last sentence that needed to be mentioned in the memoirs: “He is like someone with a back injury, and forced to hold his neck straight to ease the pain.”

...

The section underlined in red reads:

“این مثل الاغی می ماند که کمرش زخم شده باشد و از شدت درد گردنش را شق نگه دارد.”

Which translates to:

“He is like a donkey with a back injury, and forced to hold his neck straight to ease the pain.”

Abdu’l-Baha has compared a covenant-breaker with a donkey. This isn’t strange from Abdu’l-Baha. After all he is the son of Baha’u’llah who would refer to his deniers and enemies as donkeys, pigs, and dogs. Now, compare with Dr Rabbani’s translation:

“He is like someone with a back injury, and forced to hold his neck straight to ease the pain.”

Dr Rabbani writes in the footnote that this is “an approximate translation”. Apparently, in the Baha’i teachings, ‘donkey’ is an approximate translation for ‘someone’!

...

According to Ahang Rabbani this is how Abdu’l-Baha responded to a Jew he was debating:

“‘Abdu’l-Bahá immediately responded back with the lines,

This faith is true, that a delight!

and yet the mob, an ugly sight,

Protested it with all their might!

I wish I knew which one was right!

However, while He was saying, “and yet the mob, an ugly sight,” He was pointing to him with His blessed hand, meaning, “You are that ugly sight who denies these two Dispensations.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, pp. 23-24)

The original words (see image below) that Dr Rabbani has translated as “yet the mob, an ugly sight” read as:

"و لکن القوم القبیح"

These words translate to: “But the ugly people/race.” This is the first distortion in the translation. The second distortion occurs in the sentence: “You are that ugly sight.” In the original Farsi, the word translated as ‘You’ has been used in the plural form (shoma-ha) which means Abdu’l-Baha was referring to all Jews not just the person he was conversing with. Abdu’l-Baha directly calls the followers of Judaism an “ugly people/race.” This statement has been clearly distorted in the translation.

Ironically, Dr Rabbani states that he has made great effort to translate this work precisely and in the style and manner of the original text:

“Since the account is a primary source document, every effort was made to translate it precisely in the style and manner of the original, in hope that by so doing it would convey a flavor of the original text.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 8)

We’ll leave it to the readers to Judge Dr Rabbani on this statement.


https://old.reddit.com/r/OnThisDateInBahai/comments/17g2519/bahai_history_october_26_on_this_date_in_2013/ 

Replying to Wendy Scott on Youtube.

Wendy Scott

The following are Wendy Scott's comments, to which I responded. Since my responses are not displayed beneath the video for some reasons, I am posting them here.

Wendy's comments:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-kstHTL2m4&lc=Ugw_tgeziVEwRNFPEzZ4AaABAg.9eLJiOSBdfZ9uwcq6Fjcem

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-kstHTL2m4&lc=Ugw_tgeziVEwRNFPEzZ4AaABAg.9eLJiOSBdfZ9uwdJ7K4AfK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-kstHTL2m4&lc=Ugw_tgeziVEwRNFPEzZ4AaABAg.9eLJiOSBdfZ9uwf4FPTSzV

My Replies (parts of Wendy's comments in Red)

 @wendyscott8425  Hi Wendy, Here is my response: Nature of Baha'u'llah's claims: The precise nature of Bahāʾ Allāh's claims is difficult to establish. The official modern Bahāʾī doctrine rejects any notion of incarnationism and stresses instead his status as a locus of divine manifestation (maẓhar ilāhī), comparable to a mirror with respect to the sun (see Shoghi Effendi The World Order of Bahāʾuʾllāh, rev. ed. [Wilmette, 1969], pp. 112–114). Nevertheless, it is difficult to avoid the suspicion that he himself made much more radical claims than this in parts of his later writings. The following statements are, I think, explicit enough to serve as examples: 'he who speaks in the most great prison (i.e. Acre) is the Creator of all things and the one who brought all names into being' (letter in Bahāʾ Allāh Āthār-i qalam-i aʿlā, vol. 2 [Tehran, n.d., being a repaginated reprint of a collection of writings originally preceded by the Kitāb al-aqdas, first printed Bombay, 1314/1896], p. 177); 'verily, I am God' (letter in Ishrāq Khāvarī Māʾida, vol. 7, p. 208); 'the essence of the pre-existent (dhāt al-qidām) has appeared' (letter to Ḥājī Muḥammad Ibrāhīm Khalīl Qazvīnī in ibid., vol. 8, p. 113); 'he has been born who begets not nor is begotten' ('Lawḥ-i mīlād-i ism-i aʿẓam' in ibid., vol. 4, p. 344, referring to Qurʾān sūra 112); 'the educator of all beings and their creator has appeared in the garment of humanity, but you were not pleased with that until he was imprisoned in this prison' ('Sūrat al-ḥajj' in Bahāʾ Allāh Āthār-i qalam-i aʿlā, vol. 4 [Tehran, 133 badīʿ/1976–77], p. 203). (The Messiah of Shiraz, Brill, 2009, p. 500, note 16.) Wonderful experience of being a Baha'i Shua Ullah, the eldest grandson of Baha'u'llah said it best: "I personally hesitate to commit myself [to the Baha'i faith] with the existing conditions amongst us, as today we observe only the differences of ideas, lack of cooperation, discord, enmity, selfishness, and hatred—while we should believe that smiles are better than frowns, kindness better than coldness, commendation better than criticism, sympathy better than deception, love better than hate, friendship better than enmity, unity better than discord, and peace better than chaos." (A Lost History of the Baha'i Faith, by Eric Stetson) The hate against different opinions is impregnated in the roots of the Bahá’í Faith. This just came up very early after The Bab's death when followers of Bahá'u'lláh and Subh-i-Azal started to kill each other. The names of a number of Azalis murdered by the Baha'is are given by Edward Browne in the Persian Introduction to Nuqtatul-Kaf, p. 42, and also in New History, pp. XXIII, XXIV, and J.R.A.S. July 1889, p. 517 The Bab was martyred in 1850. He was hanged for the following reasons: May 5. On this date in 1850 the Bábis of Zanjan rose in arms against the Qajar governor of the town. On March 20, 1848, Mullá Ḥusayn-i-Bushru'i, who in 1844 had become the first person to become a follower of the Báb, visited the Báb at Maku prison, where the Báb was incarcerated. Subsequent to his visit, Mullá Ḥusayn-i-Bushru'i became involved in the Bábi uprisings. Under instructions from the Báb, on July 21, 1848, Mullá Ḥusayn-i-Bushru'i unfurled a Black Standard in Mashhad, fulfilling an Islamic prophecy, and began a march with other Bábis. They were rebuffed at Barfurush and therefore made defensive fortifications at the shrine of Shaykh Tabarsí. Mullá Ḥusayn-i-Bushru'i would die at the battle of Shaykh Tabarsí on February 2, 1849, but siege itself would last until May 10, 1849. The Báb was later executed on July 9, 1850. Bábi uprisings would continue elsewhere in Iran, notably Neyriz and Zanjan. It's open every day to visitors. Yes, it is open to visitors but some so-called covenant-breakers were not given good treatment. Sometime after I was 'expelled' from the Cause and after the Bab’s shrine on Mount Carmel had been completed, a club of university graduates - chaired by an old friend of my sister's - invited me to talk about the Cause. This I was honoured to do and at the appointed date spoke at that meeting. However, upon leaving the hall, Mr. Mohammad Baha'i and Mr. Mansour, who, at that time worked at the house of Abdul Baha (and were in the service of Shoghi Effendi) came forward, spat in my face and slapping me in the face said 'You are an enemy of the Cause and you give talks about it!?' (Letter of Ruhi Afnan, published by the website of Abdul Baha's family)

 @wendyscott8425  It is very UNcultish. No. It IS cultish. Here are some of the cult-like tendencies in the Baha'i Faith that are not found in other major religions: 1. Each Baha'i has a 'membership card' with a membership number 2. Strict censorship and approval process for new books 3. Punishments against individuals for perceived infractions include deprivation of voting rights and potential ostracism and shunning 4. Ban on Baha'i Studies courses to prevent hierarchy formation perceived as a threat to the administrative structure 5. Suppression of Baha'i academics who don't follow the party line and agenda 6. Misuse of the notion of "unity" to silence and penalise divergent views 7. Discouragement from reporting misconduct of individual members in the interests of "unity" and public image 8. Selective translation of literature to control information and maintain a marketable narrative despite internal contradictions 9. Revisionist edits in new editions of books (e.g. removal of failed prophecies and intolerant language) 10. Frequent fundraising for projects to enhance global image The Bahá'í Faith is not a sect of Islam but an independent world religion It was portrayed as a sect of Islam to the Sunni Muslims in Ottoman territories, until the time Shoghi Effendi made it very clear that it is a new religion. "...both Baha’u’llah and his son and successor made efforts to appear palatable to Sunni Muslim authorities in Palestine. Both frequented Friday prayers at local mosques and both dressed and were bearded in the manner of many Muslim clerics. In addition, neither taught or propagated the tenets of their faith among Palestinian Muslims, apparently to avoid causing offense." (Randall S. Geller, The Baha’i minority in the State of Israel, 1948–1957) we believe our Faith has solutions for today's problems. Incorrect. Baha'is believe their Faith is the ONLY solution. "The believers should, therefore, seize this opportunity to make a supreme effort to present, in convincing and eloquent language, those social and humanitarian teachings of the Faith which we believe to constitute the sole panacea for the innumerable ills afflicting our present-day world." (Shoghi Effendi in Directives from the Guardian)

 @wendyscott8425  So you were a "follower" of all this before? Hmmm.... Yes, I was and I have read quite a few writings of the so-called covenant-breakers also. We worship God, not Bahá'u'lláh. Prof. Juan Cole found this species of Baha'is in the UK. One faction of Iranian emigrants to the U.K. in the 1980s and early 1990s led by a Cambridge-trained Iranian scholar even developed a doctrine that Baha'u'llah was the Godhead who had sent the other prophets. (Juan Cole, Review of Religious Research, Vol. 43, no. 3 (March, 2002)) His 40 years of suffering at the hands of the Persian and Ottoman Empires. His followers were mainly responsible for much of whatever they had to face. Here is one example: Disregarding the reiterated injunctions of Baha'u'llah, seven of the exiles (Baha'is) decided to rid their community of its tormentors. They spoke to no one of their abominable plan. One night, when all was quiet in the town, they managed to enter the home of the adherents of Mirza Yahya and slew them. With Siyyid Muhammad and Aqa-Jan Big perished a recent recruit to their circle, Mirza Rida-Quliy-i-Tafrishi. This third victim had time and again broken his word, and all ties between him and the followers of Baha'u'llah had finally been severed. Immediately pandemonium broke loose. The whole city was roused. People felt unsafe. Such were the fears of the populace that 'Abbud, whose house adjoined the residence of Baha'u'llah, added to the thickness of the walls separating the two houses. ('Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant of Baha'u'llah by H. M. Balyuzi) Bahá'u'lláh is the sender of all the prophets of the past and the revealer of all those Revelations I have already given you proofs about his different claims.

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