Experience with Ruhi Book 1 Course?

by Apollo_Atreides

Greetings! I am not exactly an ex-Bahai but had the experience of starting to take the first Ruhi course a few weeks ago, only to withdraw from the study circle earlier today after some contemplation. Initially we were told that the course would be about community-building and oneness of humanity. However, once I read ahead to the second and third parts of the book (Prayer, and Life/Death) I realized that the course was basically teaching students to follow Baha'i religion outright. As a non-Baha'i, that bothered me. Has anyone else had that experience with Ruhi or Bahai study circles? How do Baha'is usually make converts without proselytizing, if they actively expand?

by shessolucky
I also found ruhi to be not very spiritually fulfilling. Even "deepening" meetings (where a sacred text is studied with a group) weren't very spiritually enlightening for me. I found that I'd get lost amongst the flowery translations and whatever was read would lose meaning.

Bahais absolutely proselytize. They call it teaching. When door-to-door teaching campaigns were introduced, I was immediately turned off. The last thing I wanted to do was to invite people who didn't really want to come to children's classes. The community I was in tried and tried to get outsiders to come. The families who opened their doors often just wanted free childcare for an hour. I can't imagine how strange it must've felt for the families in lower income neighborhoods to have these weird people so eagerly at their door step offering free children's classes or youth groups.

These low-income neighborhoods are specifically targeted. Teaching campaigns happen over a weekend and the communities report back how many people they were able to talk to. Objectively, if someone came to my door offering "classes" for my kid, I'd be like "I have no idea who you are, and you want my kids to participate in what? Virtues classes?" I'm more concerned about my child's safety, not your "message" you want to feed to us. No thank you!

Bahais don't actually participate in any humanitarian aid or assistance. They don't specifically do work for the poor, sick, homeless, undocumented, or anyone else. Bahais believe that the remedy for the "world's calamities" is the bahai faith. Once everyone's a Bahai, the world's problems will be solved.

One thing that bothered me was these bahai communities don't have a place of worship to go to. So these "classes" that they're advertising are often right outside of people's houses. Some major cities have bahai centers, but most bahais meet in their homes or rent out a space for holy days. Bahais justify this by saying the religion is in its infancy and when there is "entry by troops," they will have bahai centers or temples everywhere. The old communities I was in have not grown at all. People move in and out of the neighborhoods, but the actual growth is minuscule.

Baha'i elections are a bogus sham

By Dale Husband

In larger Baha'i communities, members do not elect National Spiritual Assemblies directly. First, the Baha'is in a specific area will gather and elect among themselves a delegate who will represent them at the National Convention.
I remember attending the National Convention of the Baha'is of the USA in Chicago in 2000. I wasn't a delegate, but I went on vacation anyway and visited the House of Worship in Wilmette, just north of Chicago.
Elections like these are virtually useless because the voters are not given a clear choice; there are no nominations, campaigning is forbidden, and the nine candidates that get the most votes are the winners. The most likely to get elected to an NSA, if not an incumbent, would be a Continental Counselor or Auxiliary Board Member living in that National Baha'i community. People vote for who they know.....kind of like how Baha'i elections run on a global level with the Universal House of Justice members elected from the male members of the International Teaching Center.
Are you sensing a pattern here?

Refutation of the "Seal of the Prophets" Video from Baha'i Youtube Channel "Bridging Beliefs"

In the first part of the video, he argues that the Bahāʾī writings in fact affirm that Muḥammad is the ‘seal’ (khātam) and the last (khātim) of the Prophets and quotes various passages therein to this effect; but he clarifies this statement by saying that Muḥammad is “the last prophet before the Day of God,” which means, the Day of Judgement (yawm al-dīn). The problem with this argument is that it redefines the term khātam in such a way that his argument becomes unfalsifiable and the statement of the Qurʾān about Muḥammad being the ‘seal of the Prophets’ becomes meaningless and pointless to express. If the plain meaning of the verse is incorrect, then for God to reveal it to Muḥammad would only serve as a stumbling block for the believers. Moreover, to deny the finality of prophethood undermines the function of the imamate in Shīʿī Islam, since what would be the purpose of the divinely appointed imām if God had no intention to discontinue prophethood?
What follows from him are standard arguments which I suspect have been lifted from Aḥmadī sources. The fact is that the analogy he tries to draw between the return (rajʿa) of Jesus and the coming of an entirely new prophet does not make any sense. There is no text which mentions that when Jesus returns, he will come with a new affair (amr), a new law (sharīʿa), or a new scripture (kitāb), but the consensus of the traditions is that he will judge by the Islamic sharīʿa.
Then he devolves into a typical critique of the ḥadīth literature, the likes of which have been answered by M. Mustafa al-Azami in On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence, Islamic Texts Society, 1996 and Wael B. Hallaq in The Origins and Evolution of Islamic Law (Cambridge University Press, 2005) and “The Authenticity of Prophetic Ḥadîth: A Pseudo-Problem,” in: Studia Islamica 89 (1999): 75-90, etc., etc. For the sake of brevity, I do not feel the need to say what has already been said by others. More importantly, he must also reckon with the numerous ḥadīth which Baha’u’llah himself has ‘authenticated,’ which often do not align with his interpretation; and the double standard must also be pointed out when he accepts these ḥadīth, even if they happen weak, and even if there are stronger ones, often better attested, which contradict. In sum, it is not sufficient to say that the ḥadīth literature comes two hundred years after the Prophet and to treat this as an allowance to ignore the ḥadīth literature
The creator of this video has stated that he is able to read Arabic, but his ignorance of aspects of the language leads one to doubt just how much knowledge of Arabic he actually possesses. Around the 18-minute mark and onward, he makes an elementary mistake of looking at the root of a specific word and then trying to make sweeping statements about its meaning. Any student of Arabic should know that there are often many words within the same root that have very different and often contradictory meanings. A common example of this is how people often claim on the basis of roots that the word islām means ‘peace,’ when in reality it means ‘submission.’ It is a common saying among Christian scholars that “a little Greek is a dangerous thing,” and I would also be inclined to say that a little Arabic can be just as dangerous if one attempts to make broad claims on the basis of glancing at a lexicon, concordance, or dictionary. Moreover, he restricts his analysis to the word khātam in the predominant recitation, which carries the literal meaning of ‘seal,’ whereas the word can also be recited as khātim, as in the Warsh qirāʾa, which more explicitly means ‘last.’ The two recitations are perfectly compatible with one another, and that he is not familiar with the differences in recitation is disappointing.
He then begins a brief discussion relating to the verses of the Qurʾān where it is said that God places a ‘seal’ (khātam) on the hearts of the disbelievers, verses which are not really related to this discussion; but he uses these to draw an analogy to the subject of prophethood. His argument is essentially that if God can remove the ‘seal’ (khātam) which he has placed on a heart, as in Q 6:46, then God can do the same with the seal (khātam) of prophethood. This analogy does not work, however, since these verses are situated within a completely different context. He tries to draw the same analogy using Q 36:65, and it likewise is insufficient and contradictory to the clear meaning of the verse. The verse refers to how, on the Day of Judgement, people’s limbs will testify about their actions during their worldly life. It has nothing to do with what he says about “another means of communication” occurring, which is obviously an analogy is he is trying to draw to a new prophetic message. He then mentions the statement in Q 45:23 “So who will guide him after God?” and tries to claim that this refers to God removing the seal from the person’s heart, but it should be obvious to anyone that this is a rhetorical question. A common theme throughout the Qurʾān is that it is God alone who guides (see Q 6:71, 13:27, 28:56, etc). Finally, he engages in a rather convoluted explanation of Q 83:22-26, which does little to prove his point.
Needless to say, none of this refutes the finality of prophethood. The word khātam has always been glossed by the grammarians as ‘last’ in the sense of completion and perfection. Hence, when one finishes reading the Qurʾān in its entirety, this is known as the ‘completion of the Qurʾān’ (khātam al-qurʾān). It does not constitute a linguistic proof to gloss a word in a particular context according to its usage in another context.
He then refers to what he calls “the great drum beat of the Qurʾān,” which essentially refers to progressive revelation. If the Qurʾān expresses this doctrine, then it does not make sense, in his mind, for Muḥammad to be the final prophet. This point is moot. In the Islamic context, with the revelation of the Qurʾān, God had fulfilled his intention of sending a Messenger to every nation and supplying every people with a scripture (the Arabs were the last to receive revelation). This final revelation would be intended for all of mankind (Q 21:107) and it would be sufficient until the Day of Judgement because of God’s promise to preserve the Qurʾān (Q 15:9).
As for the other videos in the series, I don't feel the need to address them in full, but there is one thing I would like to point out in the second video. He makes the common argument that Q 33:40 only refers to Muḥammad being the seal of the Prophets (nabiyyin), not the seal of the Messengers (rusul), but this is argument is false since every Messenger (rasūl) is by definition a Prophet (nabī), although not every Prophet is a Messenger; 'nabī' is the more all-encompassing category, so it is not necessary for the Qurʾān to say, 'khātam al-rusul.'

Baha'u'llah was a Charlatan and a Swindler.

1) He claimed that he was the creator of everything, he was the sender of all past prophets and reveler of all divine books.
2) He was a megalomaniac and narcissist.
3) He had vices, he was smoking opium and tobacco.
4) He learned different sciences like Poetry, Philosophy, Calligraphy, learned different religions texts. His source of knowledge was not "divine".
5) He was not from a noble family. He Was a victim of domestic violence. His (step) mother and father were not in good terms with each other, his (step) mother used to send men to beat his father daily and torture him.
6) Since he was not from a noble family, his brothers and sisters were not in good terms with each other. Jealousy was in their blood.
7) He was not brave. He practiced dissimulation in the Muslim lands. Till the last days of his life he portrayed himself as a Muslim.
8) He claimed that he is YAHWEH and that it was he who conversed with Moses on Mount Sinai.
9) He taught his followers to shun the Polytheists (Azalis). He asked his followers to "shun any serpent that hides within its heart a hatred for the All-Bountiful."
10) His sister (Izziyyih Khanum) writes that one of his testicle was larger than the other (i know that is not a big issue!) ;-)
11) He brought-up an evil person like Abdul Baha. He could not teach the "Golden Rule" to his own children.
12) He did not worked for his family, he did not own a business. He accumulated a great wealth from his followers.
13) He lived in Mansions / palaces that had as many as 30 private rooms.
14) He destroyed his own writings in river Tigris!
15) He did not influence anything, there is nothing purely Baha'i.
16) He claimed, "I wish I had been non-existent and My Mother had not borne Me!"
17) He forgave the Jews but he promised to punish "others" who refused to believe in him.
18) He cheated people by declaring "absolute equality of sexes" but then prohibiting women from certain positions.
19) He promised to bring the "most greater peace" but he failed miserably.
20) He was a coward. When he had to face difficult days, he left his family in agony and ran away in the mountains of Sulaimaniyyih, Iraq.
21) He imposed the UHJ on the entire Universe! "The men of God’s House of Justice have been charged with the affairs of the people."
22) He prohibited giving to the beggars but he himself begged for 2 years, when he was in Sulaimaniyyih, Iraq.
23) He opened the "Seal of prophethood" but then claimed that a Prophet greater to him would only come after the passing of 500,000 years.
24) He had erotic mentality. Check the "Tablet of the Maiden".
25) His "religion" is not for the current society! It is for a more developed, future society!!
26) He was a cult leader. Just check how his immediate followers treated him.

The goal of the Baha'i Administration is 'only' to govern the hearts! Yes!!

Dear Friends,

Some of the unaware friends of the Baha’i Faith and a group of the enemies, have, somehow, stated in their articles, writings, speeches and statements that the Baha’i Faith is going to enter the political affairs, in order to get the authority and governance over the people of the world. They see the increase in the number of the local/national spiritual assemblies, development of the missionary plans, and establishment of frequent civil international organizations as signs and measures in order to interfere the governmental affairs, and to change them, and ultimately, to establish a world government, and to take under power the whole humankind.

According to my researches in the Baha’i texts, I believe that the provisions of the Baha’i Faith has never sought political goals or material objectives, nor to attempt to change the governments or establish a Baha’i sovereignty.

No doubt, over estimate of such issues, will cause concerns among the politicians, power seekers, the states, the authorities of religions, the supporters or opponents of religions , and even the common people.it can be a pretext for continue or increase the restrictions of the oppressed Bahai community of Iran. According to my promise to the Friends, I would like to share my view in this subject with you.

1. Bahaullah, the founder and prophet of the Baha’i Faith has mentioned in the Aghdas, and many other sacred tablets, such as the tablets of Zabihullah, Nosrat, Khalil, the King, the Ahdi, and the hidden words, and has clearly declared that the aim of the Faith is to create unity, friendship, justice, and kindness among the nations, communities, and the religions of the world. The Baha’i Faith is not established in order to obtain authority and leadership, nor to fight Islam and other divine religions. On the other hand, our target is to achieve the Divine purposes of the other sacred religions, and to build the Divine kingdom, and revitalize the spiritual lives of the whole mankind. I would like to refer to some of the statements as below.

Bahaullah has said during the time of prison in Siah Chal:

“O’ you Friends of God … never talk about the world, its properties, and the worldly kings and authorities. The almighty God has bestowed the physical countries to the kings. So, none is permitted to do anything against the wills and decisions of the kings. The Almighty has preserved the “land of the hearts of the believers” for himself…”

2. The Bahai Faith neither wants the physical power, nor physical dignity. It is concerned with the hearts, and not the land and soil of the world! Wherever the Baha’is reside, they feel obliged themselves to sincere service.

3. We do not intend to occupy your country. Rather, we want to occupy your hearts.

4. It is not allowed for the Baha’is, to protest the kings, the governors, and the authorities. Leave what are in the hands of the authorities to them, and pay your attention to the hearth.

5. O’ people of the Baha’, I swear by my life and your lives, this humble soul, has not had the dream of presidency and authority.

6. The Almighty God has rendered the political and governmental affairs to the kings, the governors, and authorities. And on the other hand, has taken the hearts of the humankind as His everlasting residence.

7. The Almighty God has attended the hearts of the believers, and has gifted the other cheap items, say, the seas and lands, and whatever in them, to the kings and the lords. He has, seemingly, left the security and welfare of the communities to the king and the states…

8. In a tablet to Nasiruddin Shah, the king of Iran , he says: the Bahais neither intend to seize the state, nor see it permissible to use the power and armed force.

By considering the above statements, you will note that the Bahai faith has focused its attention on the spiritual affairs and governance over the hearts.

It has, further, left the worldly, political, and civil affairs and issues, to the governments totally; and, has accepted the full obedience and fidelity to the states as a firm policy.

The observance of historical experiences reveals that the positions and aims of the kings, emperors, and lords have been different from the Divine prophets, and manifestations. The friends and messengers of God did not try to get the throne. In fact, they are in a higher position than the Kings.

II. One of the brilliant teachings of the Bahai Faith is the non-involvement in the political affairs.

The central personalities of the Bahai cause, have permanently prohibited the Friends from interference in politics. Abdul-Baha has acknowledged the involvement in politics as cause of regret, and has forbidden even to talk about the political affairs with one’s family, at home!

Even if we think that governance over the people and nations, and using different diplomatic approaches, without acquaintance with the politics, is not so difficult; however it will be impossible, in practice. The teaching of non-involvement in politics, clearly indicates that the Baha’i community is not going to Coup de Etate, nor to overthrow the despotic governments and seize the throne.

III- In the Bahai Faith the honestly obedience to the states and kings is regarded as compulsory.

Bahaullah has stated, “The believers of this party – i.e. the Baha’is- in whatever country they reside, should behave the governing authorities with sincerity and honesty…the Baha’is should be the honest server of the government and the nation. “

In another place, he has said: “Not even one single person is allowed to perform what is in contrast with the views and policies of the authorities of the country.”

Even those actions that would raise the anger of the country’s people in charge, are not acceptable, and should be left. Participation in the political activities and competitions with the current authorities, with civil or military approaches, will cause serious difficulties and contradictions, which are not in conformity with the essence and aims of the Baha’i teachings and disciples.

IV- The manifestation of the Baha’i faith has not only prohibited any war , crusade, killing and slaughter in his frequent works, but also has forbidden taking and carrying arm ,except in emergency cases. Bahaullah, even has not let to protest other people. He says,"If an aggressor attacked you, you should be patient.If he bothered you, you should forgive him. We have somehow forbidden quarrel, fighting, murder, and lunder." Trying To attain the government, requires political tension and competition with the governing groups.

A competent and workable governance and security, necessitates armed forces and application of warfare. So we can assume that the Baha’is should not think about the taking of government as long as the Baha’i leadership and scriptures have prohibited any use of warfare, and violations.

V-The Baha’is are prohibited from any job opportunity which is directly related to politics. They are not permitted to accept the high rank political positions. The Friends are even prevented from those jobs that contradict humanitarian emotions and friend ship. If the Baha’i Faith intended to change the states, and seize the governing power, it would had let them to make the initial provisions, i.e. to establish political parties, or to accept the membership of the political parties, in order to train the necessary human resource.

VI- A requirement to attain the governance, is to establish the political parties and develop them. But the Baha’is, according to their spiritual teachings, are not allowed to enter the political parties and clubs. Even during the time of Shah, that all Iranian people were obliged to enter the Rastakhiz - All embracing (trans- Iranian) - party, the Baha’i community of Iran, clearly and explicitly declared to the government that Baha’is will not enter the Rastakhiz or any other political party.In this Faith, not only the Baha’is are prohibited from membership in the political parties, but it is not allowed for them to confirm or disregard any other party.

The beloved Guardian has written: "All of us should keep aloof, by our hearts and tongues, publicly and privately, from the politics and the enmities of the parties, governments and states; and should feel free from such thoughts, do not try for having relation with the political parties, and do not enter any gathering of such encountering groups". In another part of his letter, he has added: "we should consider it a kind of sickness, or pollution to utter a word against or in favor of a political theory or against it, and prefer to keep ourselves away from them."

Refrain to establish a new party, prevention of joining the Bahai Friends to other parties, and prohibition of propagation for special parties, altogether, indicate that the Bahai Faith is not looking for governance, nor shift in powers and governments through the political parties or even non-governmental (civil) organizations.

VII- If the political sovereignty and conquering other countries were from the aims and targets of the founder of the Baha’i Faith, the UHJ, as the highest judicial, legislative, and administrative position in the divine Cause, should have included it in its constitution; while, we all know that the UHJ has no program nor plan for the material governance over the countries. On the other hand, we do not have any glad tiding in the Baha’i scriptures about the conquest and accession to the throne by the Baha’i Kings, emperors, caliphs, king of kings, etc.

VIII- The pre- requirement of a world sovereignty, international governance, and leadership over the national sovereignties and powers, in addition to warfare, military powers and resources, and strong political powers (That we fortunately do not have!) is the existence of a remarkable followers and believers. I am very doubtful that, by considering the last 170 years statistics, in the next 830 years, till the time of coming the next divine manifestation, we could find a ground for establishment of a universal state, so there will be no need to take much about such a political unit.

By considering the above facts and the clear and exact scriptures, we have no choice but to interpret some terms about the establishment of Bahai world Governance, or achievements of the “Bahai Golden Age” as vague, spiritual governance or conquest of the hearts and souls. We should always remember this vital point that non-involvement in the politics” is not a fiction! It is rather a clear, actual, and saving teaching for the Baha’i Faith.

I have no prejudice, and I do not insist on my understanding. It will be my pleasure to receive the points and comments of the other friends and respected intellectuals about this subject.

Source www.facebook.com/bahare-moghadam
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