No discussion can be complete, rather even begin, without referring to the Quran and its verdict on the topic. In our topic of discussion it therefore becomes critical to elicit Quran's verdict on ''Khatamun Nabiyyin' '. Ideally, I would have liked to begin my endeavour with the Quran's viewpoint, but I first resorted to the literal discussion only to establish the real meaning of Khatama and refute all metaphorical references from a litterateur's standpoint.

Now it is time for me to move to the Holy Quran, Allah's final and most complete message to mankind, the distinguisher of truth and falsehood (Furqan), to settle the debate on Khatamiyyat beyond any shred of doubt. In this endeavour, I seek help from the Quran itself and through it, Allah and His Prophet (pbuh). In my research on Khatamiyyat among other topics, I have read the Holy Quran and have drawn lesson from its clear and decisive meanings and avoided interpreting its allegorical verses except for their literal translation with this hope that Allah shall guide me through them at an appropriate time. In this way I have gone by the Quran's bidding in The Chapter of Ale Imran, verse 7:

هُوَ الَّذِيَ أَنزَلَ عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ مِنْهُ آيَاتٌ مُّحْكَمَاتٌ هُنَّ أُمُّ الْكِتَابِ وَأُخَرُ مُتَشَابِهَاتٌ فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ في قُلُوبِهِمْ زَيْغٌ فَيَتَّبِعُونَ مَا تَشَابَهَ مِنْهُ ابْتِغَاء الْفِتْنَةِ وَابْتِغَاء تَأْوِيلِهِ وَمَا يَعْلَمُ تَأْوِيلَهُ إِلاَّ اللّهُ وَالرَّاسِخُونَ فِي الْعِلْمِ

'He it is Who has sent down to thee the Book: In it are verses basic or fundamental (of established meaning); they are the foundation of the Book: others are allegorical. But those in whose hearts is perversity follow the part thereof that is allegorical, seeking discord, and searching for its hidden meanings (taavil), but no one knows its hidden meanings except Allah'

Since none save Allah knows the hidden meanings of the Quranic verses (taavil), it is futile to draw one's own conclusions that too based on mere fancy (zann). At least I do not dare to venture into 'divine territory', but the Bahais incidentally are more adventurous than me. They have not heeded the divine admonition in the above verse and have fallen victims to their own conjecture (zann) while interpreting 'Khatamiyyat'. As a result they have become an example of a category of people Allah has referred to in the below-mentioned verse:

وَمَا لَهُم بِهِ مِنْ عِلْمٍ إِن يَتَّبِعُونَ إِلَّا الظَّنَّ
وَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ لَا يُغْنِي مِنَ الْحَقِّ شَيْئًا

'But they have no knowledge therein. They follow nothing but conjecture; and conjecture avails nothing against Truth.'
(Ref: The Chapter of Najm, verse 28)

What I find truly amazing about the Bahais is that in their zeal to interpret the Quranic verses to substantiate their own views, they have ignored several fundamental issues that should have been outlined at the very outset to put their arguments beyond reproach. Below I have outlined those critical issues for the benefit of the Bahais:

  1. According to the Bahais, the Bahai Faith has abrogated Islam. I am not sure if the enormity of this claim has sunk in, at least this is not apparent in Bahai arguments and even their scriptures. If the Bahai Faith has abrogated Islam and the Iqaan is an improvement on the Quran, then certain things must necessarily follow. Bahai arguments must be assertive and decisive, they cannot be ambiguous and unclear.

    When the Quran says it has abrogated the Bible, then it seeks to explain many issues about which Bani Israel disputed, the crucifixion of Jesus (a.s.), for instance. The Quran in Surah Nisa, verse 157, says about Jesus (a.s.), '…but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them…' This is because Bani Israel disputed about his death at that time, which the Quran has clarified.

    The Iqaan must also likewise clarify issues about which the Muslims are disputing, but ironically, it seeks to clarify an issue on which they are united i.e. Khatamiyyat! Nonetheless, the moot point is that the Bahais have donned the mantle (whether they realise it or not) of resolving disputed issues between Muslims as also all previous communities like Christians and Jews, interpreting ambiguous Quranic verses, further explaining decisive Quranic verses. So if there is any verse that I as a Muslim cannot follow, then the Bahais should have a decisive answer for that. And I propose to raise several issues and Quranic verses in this and other articles. They should have an answer for each Quranic verse, its literal meaning and its actual interpretations; if there are hundred interpretations for a verse, I expect the Bahais to know each one of them with clear reasons for the same.

  2. While it is good to know that the Bahais are an 'organised' lot with 'divine' books like the Iqaan and Aqdas in their midst, I am still not convinced about the personalities that formulate Bahai thought, views and their arguments against Islam. I am not convinced about the earlier personalities that were in the forefront of Bahai thought and I am even less convinced about the UHJ (Universal House of Justice). Personalities like Abul Fazl Gholpaygani and Shoghi Affandi were so incompetent in my view that they failed to appreciate even the minor nuances of the Quran and its interpretations, let alone its allegorical verses. That such personalities were in the forefront of formulating Bahai theology and arguments is a matter of great concern to me.

  3. When the Bahais seek to give an answer to Quranic verses, I want to know what is the basis of that rationale. Where is that thought coming from? For instance, when the Christians of Najran approached Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to dispute the status of Jesus (a.s.) as the Son of God (God forbid), Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) asked for some time to advance a response. This dispute resulted in the revelation of the 59th verse of Surah Ale Imran (Surely the likeness of Isa is with Allah as the likeness of Adam…). It clarified that for Allah, Jesus (a.s.) was His worshipper just like Adam (a.s.) before him. It also established a link between Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and God.

    I have not come across any incident that establishes a divine link with either Bahaullah or Abbas Affandi or Shoghi Affandi. So I don't know what is the basis of all that Bahaullah Abbas Affandi or Shoghi Affandi said. If at all there is a 'divine' basis for that, then Bahais should have an answer for all questions that Muslims raise from the Quran to refute Bahaullah. Mere conjecture that Bahais have been advancing so far serves nobody's purpose and for every conjecture that Bahais advance there are hundreds of conjectures that can be employed to refute their conjecture and ultimately all our arguments will end up being an exercise in mere conjecture. Therefore I am looking for that elusive link between Bahaullah and God, a link rooted on the Quran, and not in conjecture.

    Since there is no divine link with Bahaullah rooted in the Quran I am concerned about where the Bahai arguments are coming from. For instance, if I ask a Bahai scholar or the UHJ today about a Quranic verse that is not yet addressed by the Iqaan/Aqdas, and the Bahais somehow 'devise' a reply, where is that answer coming from? I would expect that it comes from Allah, since only He knows the interpretation (taavil) of the allegorical verses. If instead it comes from the UHJ, then does it mean that the UHJ has a 'divine helpline'?!

These are just some of the issues that are food for thought for the Bahais. Several more will be raised by me going forward. Abrogating Islam is a 'divine responsibility' that I want the Bahais to step forward to fulfill decisively. I have seen enough instances and arguments that are only clutching at straws. I am not looking for conjecture anymore, I am looking for answers rooted in divine certainty. In my next article on this series I hope to raise some issues that need such answers.

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