|IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST BENEFICENT, THE MOST MERCIFUL|
Did the Bahai’s 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 Bahai’s to investigate, read, and listen to the words of the critics of Bahai Faith, but he also declared the authority of reason to be invalid and declared acknowledging Bahai Faith 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.
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 madhkur na) and he will be considered as the most ignorant amongst the people.
Put more simply: If a scholar pauses and hesitates about acknowledging Bahai Faith, he is considered among the most ignorant of the people.
Does this statement from the founder of Bahai Faith agree with the notion of accepting and seeking the truth?
Do Bahais tell their audience that their Prophet considers non-Bahai’s to be ignorant? Of course not!
Instead, Abdul Baha 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.
How is it that Bahaullah calls non-Bahai’s ignorant but his son Abdul Baha cautions missionaries away from insults and calling people ignorant?
Or when Abdul Baha 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’unat `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 (ridwan ma`rifat) of the Lord of Glory.
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? Isn’t 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 Bahai’s are not allowed to listen to anyone’s words?
Abdul Baha says: The followers of Moses (i.e. Jews) have imitations (taqalid), 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.
Unfortunately, this is a prescription that has only been prescribed for non-Bahais. Bahaullah forbids his followers from hearing any sort of criticism about Bahai Faith; 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’ (jamal `izz abha which refers to Bahai Faith 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 taqdir)." 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."
Bahaullah has ordered Bahai’s not to speak with the critics of Bahai Faith. 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 Bahai Faith?
If someone is seeking the truth, shouldn’t he have permission to study the criticisms made of Bahai Faith?
Why should a researcher of the truth not use the books that criticize Bahai Faith and not have the right to speak with anyone about the challenges facing Bahai Faith?
Abdul Baha instructs the Bahai’s: 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 Baha 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!
Ironically, the same Abdul Baha that gives the order to expel his coreligionists says: Kindness brings about life, separation brings about death.
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 one’s 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.
This saying of Bahaullah clearly contradicts the first and most important principle of the Bahai faith. By this account, the leaders of Bahai Faith want their followers to be like sheep that close their eyes and ears to anything other than the words of Bahai Faith 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.
Bahaullah has ordered Bahai’s 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?"
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. Mbr<(Ref: Bahaullah, Badi` (Tehran: n.p., n.d.), p. 286)
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 Bahai Faith?
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 Bahai Faith pride upon themselves and their religion?
In Bahai Faith, 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).
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.
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 Bahai Faith is in essence born out of Babism which itself is utterly against seeking the truth and knowledge. For example, one of the Bab’s orders was the destruction of all non-Babi books.
Furthermore, the Bab ordered: Teaching a book other than the book of Bayan is not allowed unless it has in it what is related to theology (kalam). [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.
The book Bayan, which was written by the Bab is considered the divine book of the Babis. 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 Bab had ordered that nothing be taught other than his own books and had ordered for the destruction of most other books. The Bab did not suffice with this order. He ordered that anything non-Babi be destroyed, whether it be places of worship, graves, or even people , so that one world would remain with only one leader and only one religion called Babism!
The world would have been a strange place if no books had remained in it other than the Bab’s and his admirers. The instructions and orders of the Bab were so inhumane, illogical, and violent that the Bahai’s themselves have not been able to justify and explain them. When approached by questions regarding this matter, they respond by saying Babism has been abrogated and what orders the Bab gave or how he thought have nothing to do with Bahai Faith. Bahaullah considers his own book the Aqdas as the abrogator of the Bayan:
The book of Aqdas abrogates all the decrees of the book of Bayan . . . everyone’s [religious] source is [now] the book of Aqdas not the book of Bayan. The decrees of the Bayan are [now] abrogated.
But this is while Bahai’s still consider the Bab to be the Starting Point (nuqtiyi aula) and missionary of the Manifestation of God. They celebrate his birth, rush to visit his shrine, and consider visiting his home (in Shiraz, Iran) to be like performing the Islamic Hajj. (Hajj is a special Islamic pilgrimage that every Muslims is required to perform in the city of Mecca at least once in their lifetime.) So how is it that they deny having any relation to the Bab, and declare Babism to be abrogated?
The reason for such contradicting attitudes is that when it is to the advantage of Bahai Faith to deny the words of the Bab, Bahaullah says that the book of Bayan has become abrogated. However, when it is in his advantage to affirm Babism, "one letter of the Bayan is dearer than everything that is in the heavens and the earth."
Bahaullah, in one place declares the Bayan as abrogated due to the coming of the book of Aqdas, whilst in another he curses those who claim the abrogation of the Bayan: I swear to God that if an individual from the followers of the Bayan mentions the abrogation of that book, God will break the mouth of the speaker and defamer. I [swear by] He who in His hand is my soul and my essence, a single letter from the Bayan is dearer to me than everything that is in the heavens and the earth.
According to what Bahaullah states - irrespective of the Bayan being abrogated or not - murder (Chapter 7 of the 16th unit of the Farsi Bayan: "The sixteenth chapter of the seventh unit which is about [the decree] that all rulers who rise who are [followers] of the religion of the Bayan, leave no-one in their land who is not a follower of this religion. This is compulsory upon all the people too"; "It was uttered in the day of the appearance of his Highness A`la (meaning the Bab) to behead, burn the books, destroy the monuments, and massacre [everyone] but those who believed [in the Babs religion] and verified it," Abdul Baha, Makatib (Egypt: 1330 AH), vol. 2, p. 266.), looting (Chapter 5 of the 5th unit of the Farsi Bayan: "The fifth chapter of the fifth unit which is about the decree of taking the property of those who do not believe in [the religion] of Bayan and giving it back if they become believers in this religion, except in the lands where taking [property] is not possible."), and the crimes ("It was uttered in the day of the appearance of his Highness A`la (meaning the Bab) to behead, burn the books, destroy the monuments, and massacre [everyone] but those who believed [in the Babs religion] and verified it," Abdul Baha, Makatib (Egypt: 1330 AH), vol. 2, p. 266; Bayan Farsi: "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).") that Ali Muhammad Bab ordered his followers to commit in the Bayan, are more dear to Bahaullah than everything that is in the heavens and earth!
Bahaullah claims he does not intend to abrogate the Bayan. He gives glad-tidings to the people of the world that he will soon make firm the decrees of the Bayan and will prove the Bab’s writings. ("Say: ‘The polytheists thought that we might want to abrogate what was revealed unto the Point of Bayan (Nuqtat al-Bayan which means the Bab)... but God has desired by this manifestation [meaning Bahaullah himself] to make firm what has been revealed by the Point of Bayan. Thus we will make firm his decrees and will prove his writings on earth with an evident power and authority," Bahaullah, Badi`, p. 390.)
The reason for such an act is to use the book of Bayan to prove he is the person whom God will make manifest (man yuzhiruh Allah).
He says: Although everyone knows that by this great manifestation what has been revealed in the Bayan has been proved/made firm, made obvious, and has been fulfilled; the name of God has been elevated; the remnants of God have been distributed to the West and East; and the Farsi Bayan has been endorsed particularly for this manifestation, but they have been constantly writing "that they have abrogated the Bayan" so that the calf (Calf or `Ijl, was used by Bahaullah to refer to his brother Mirza Yahya who opposed him and was widely believed by the Babis to be the successor of the Bab.) may be worshipped.
They have attributed to this confessor (meaning Bahaullah) - by whose authority all [divine] Books speak - that he has abrogated the decrees of the Bayan. May the curse of God fall upon the unjust.
When critics take issue with the barbaric decrees of the Bayan, Bahaullah says that the words of the Bab have nothing to do with Bahai Faith, because with the coming of Bahai Faith, the Bayan was abrogated. But when it is in his interest that the Bayan not be abrogated, he curses those who consider the Bayan to be abrogated and states that the Bayan has not been abrogated and its decrees will be proved and made firm in the future.
Furthermore, Bahaullah affirms the status and position of the book of Bayan by telling his followers to refer to this book: Refer to it, for a letter from it will suffice the entirety of the people of the earth. And surely God has stated all things in the evident book.
The articles have been based on the book "Avaze Dohol" - the Beating of the Drum by Masoud Basiti, Zahra Moradi.
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