"Bahais believe that the Bab (1819-1850) was an independent Messenger of God"
(Ref: Official Bahai version on the position of the Bab)

Prophethood and Messengership are the positions which the Bahais have attributed to the Bab without really evaluating whether he met even the most basic criteria to be considered a prophet or messenger.

  • At the outset, when did Allah ever inform His creations that He would be sending another prophet after the Holy Prophet of Islam. On the contrary, we see only traditions and verses from the Quran which claim otherwise. Have the Bahais ever considered that not even a single scholar in 1,200 years predicted the appearance of a new prophet after the Holy Prophet of Islam. All Muslim scholars are unanimous in their judgment that the Holy Prophet was the last prophet and messenger. In fact, the single most unifying factor amongst all sects in Islam is their credo, "There is no God but Allah. Mohammed is the Messenger of Allah." Not a single sect differs on this creed. All sects agree that the one who does not accept the finality of the prophet is an apostate as per Islam.

  • The Bab never claimed that he was a prophet or that another prophet would come after him. Consider the following statement from Qayyamul Asma - the "first revelation" of the Bab.

    And whomsoever disbelieveth in Islam shall not have his deeds accepted by God on the Day of Resurrection; not the least thing, as befits the Truth, shall in any way be accepted.
    (Ref: Qayyamul Asma, Surah Mulk, verse 13)

    For more on the Finality of Prophethood in Islam, please read the section on this web site. Apart from literary and traditional proofs which are covered in the section, here are some more points for my readers so that they can objectively judge whether the Bab was a divinely inspired prophet or not.

  • All prophets made it clear that theirs was not the last religion, and that they would be followed by another prophet, save Mohammed (saw). Can the Bahais or for that matter Babis bring a single verse from Quran tradition from the Holy Prophet that says otherwise?

  • Bab did not demonstrate any signs of being a prophet. He was unable to produce a miracle, was taught by worldly teachers (however small the length of the time spent by teachers); was influenced by their teachings and his writings were full of grammatical mistakes. In addition, all Muslim sects believe that the divinely-sent prophets were superior in all aspects whether divine or worldly in nature. Hence Mohammed (saw), for whom it is popular that he was unlettered brought answers to scientific issues in the Quran and the traditions.

  • Pay attention to the trial of the Bab at Tabriz. Here was an opportunity for the Bab to prove to the world, once and for all that he was a prophet. But the trial is pathetic. The Bab claims ignorance in language, mathematics, astronomy, rather everything. The words used by him to questions on the subject are "I have not learnt these" or "I have forgotten".

    May I remind the Bahais of Moses who went through a similar examination at the court of Pharaoh and see how a true prophet of God shines in the times of crisis. Moses left that audience with his head high - to the extent that even if a non-believer in Moses reads the incident, he cannot help, but acknowledge that Moses won the battle with Pharaoh on that day. But not the Bab. He comes out as a pathetic claimant with no proof to back his claims. He claimed that his "miracle" was that he could reveal a volume of verses in a short span!

    I request my readers to look at this "miracle" objectively. Is this really a miracle, which cannot be enumerated by any other person? The basic definition of a miracle is that it is an extraordinary act performed by a prophet, to support his claims and one which cannot be enumerated by any person till the end of time, except by another prophet. So if Christ could bring people to life, Mohammed (saw) did the same. Moses, made his staff come to life, Mohammed made stones and trees acknowledge his Prophethood. But the Bab did nothing of the sort. In the trial at Tabriz, the Bab was requested to simply bring his staff to life to prove his claim. But he was unable to so.

    This is probably the primary reason why the Bahais do not believe that miracles are necessary to prove the claim of a prophet - because neither did the Bab nor Bahaullah nor Abdul Baha not Shoghi have any material miracles against their name.

  • The laws of Bab were incomplete at the time of his death - again a unique element if you consider him a prophet simply because there is no precedent to this. All religions whether to be abrogated (Christianity for example) or not (Islam for example) were completed and the law implemented at the time of the death of the prophets. But not Bab. He prophesized that the would write 19 volumes of the Bayan. Where are these volumes?

  • The Bab recanted his beliefs. Not once, but multiple times in his lifetime. Here too, the Bab has set a new standard - no prophet in known history, whatever be the level of suffering, however difficult be the path of God, has ever recanted his beliefs. For more details, one can refer to my article on the "Recantation of The Bab."

  • The tenure of the Bab was simply too short for making any impact on the world. As per the Bahais, the Bab abrogated the religion of the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh). A local religion of 9 years abrogating a global religion of more than 1,200 years (at the time of the Bab)?

  • The multiple claims that Bab made during his lifetime are simply too confusing for an average person to accept - all divinely inspired prophets were clear and straightforward in their claims. Here we have the Bab who began by claiming to be the gate to the Hidden Imam, then the Imam and finally God. And the Bahais have added their two bits to this by claiming that he was a prophet as well?

  • The Bab practiced Taqaiyyah (dissimulation, concealing one's Faith). At the cost of repeating myself, the Bab has set a precedent in this aspect as well. No other divinely sent prophet or messenger ever practiced Taqaiyyah. Yes, for the sake of safety of their followers, prophets may have encouraged adherents to their religions to practice Taqaiyyah. However Taqaiyyah was not permitted to prophets and messengers who are sent by God to spread his word and not to conceal it or twist it. If prophets begin practicing Taqaiyyah, where does it leave common believers? How can one judge what actions / statements of the prophet were reality and what were in the state of Taqaiyyah?

  • Lastly, pay attention to the following words of the Bab in his book Tafseere' Surah Kauthar -

    "Those who say that "Remember the name of Thy Lord" means that he himself (i.e., Sayyed 'Ali Muhammad) has actually claimed to have received revelation and the Quran, have indeed become disbelievers. Moreover those who say that the verse means that he has claimed to be the bab of the Remnant of God (the twelfth Imam), have also become disbelievers. O God, you are my witness that (I declare) any one who claims to be divine or to possess the wilayat or who has received the Qur'an and the revelation, or who has omitted or altered anything in Your religion, has become an unbeliever. I certainly seek to disassociate from such people. You are my witness that I have not claimed to be the Bab."

To conclude:
  • There is no provision in Islam for another prophet or messenger to follow the Holy prophet of Islam (saw) - neither in this age nor ever in future.

  • Bab did not claim to be a prophet - The Bahais have attributed this to him.

  • Bab did not possess a single characteristic which can be used as the basis for declaring him a prophet - his revelation was incomplete; his he did not demonstrate any miracles and worse, he recanted his claims at multiple times in his lifetime.

  • The Bab practiced Taqaiyyah - this very aspect automatically disqualifies him from being a true prophet of Allah.

The other claims of The Bab:
» Was The Bab, the Gate / Door to the Twelfth Imam?
» Was The Bab the Mahdi - Twelfth Imam?
» Was The Bab an independent prophet?
» Was The Bab, God!? Also refer to: The position of Bab in God Passes By

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