The Bahai Viewpoint

Bahais claim that the book of Bayan has been clearly mentioned in the initial verses of the Chapter of Rahman.

As per Muslims, the translation of the verses of the Chapter of Rahman is as follows –

عَلَّمَ الْقُرْآنَ
خَلَقَ الإِنسَانَ
عَلَّمَهُ الْبَيَانَ

"Allah Most Gracious!
It is He Who has taught the Qur'an.
He has created man
He has taught him speech (and intelligence)."

As per the Bahais, the above translation is incorrect and against the rules of translation. This is because after revealing the Quran, Allah did not create man nor taught him to speak. Rather it is the other way around - a long period after completing the creation of man, Allah revealed the Quran for mankind. To add to this argument, Bahais claim that to speak of the creation of man and granting him speech after the revelation of a great Divine Message in the form of the Quran is equivalent to lowering the majesty of the message itself - implying that the revelation of the Quran is superior to the act of creation of man and bestowal of speech. Therefore, as per the Bahais, the correct translation of these verses is as follows -

"Allah, the Merciful taught the Quran (to mankind) and then created one man who was bestowed with the knowledge of Bayan."

The Bahais therefore imply that this verse is talking about Mirza Ali Mohammed Shirazi, The Bab.

Our Response

  1. At the outset, since the Bahais believe in the 11 Imams (as) who followed the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Quran strongly advocates that none knows its translation except Allah and those who are "firmly rooted in knowledge" - the Ahle' Bayt (as). Then what is the need for the Bahais to interpret these verses on their own?

  2. The author of the Bayan - Mirza Ali Mohammed Shirazi, the Bab himself did not claim this verse as a proof for his claim. If the Bahais believe otherwise then, in absolute humility, we ask for the reference for the same.

  3. On the contrary, the Bab clearly prohibited the interpretation of the verses of the Bayan by any person except himself. When the Bayan is not open for interpretation, then who has given the licence to the Bahais to interpret the words of the Holy Quran.

  4. The personality of the Bab is important to the Bahais. This has been discussed earlier as well. Yet, leave alone the Bayan, the Bahais do not deem it fit to publish any of the books of the Bab. All we have is the "Selected Writings of the Bab" which is a carefully edited version of the sayings of the Bab. No original books are made available. We ask why?

  5. The above interpretation of the verses of the Chapter of Rahman is not done by any Bahai prophet. Besides the Bahais are bound by virtue of their belief in the 11 Imams (as) to pay heed to the words of the 8th Imam, Imam Reza (as). Lets us see what he (as) has to say about these verses - Allah granted the knowledge of the Quran (to the Holy Prophet) before the creation of man. When he was asked about the creation of man mentioned in the verse, he (as) said that the words refer to Hazrat Ameerul Mo’meneen Ali (as). When he was questioned about the words "Ilmul Bayan" he replied that it refers to all the knowledge which man will require that have been granted to Hazrat Ali (as).

    The above tradition silences the argument of the Bahais - The Quran was taught to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) prior to the advent of Hazrat Ali (as) and he was taught all those knowledge which man would require. Perhaps this is the reason that Hazrat Ali (as) was able to make the claim of "Salooni, Salooni" - Ask me before you lose me.

Our Response

The Bahais should stop interpreting the verses of the Quran on their own. Or rather, if there is a strong desire from their side to learn the knowledge of the Quran, then they should refer to the traditions of the Holy Imams (as) which clarify the same. Unfortunately the Bahais will not do that - simply because if they actually start referring to the traditions, they will have no place to hide. No Bahai concept is supported by any tradition of any kind, by any Imam - neither the concept of finality of prophethood, nor of the Day of Judgement, nor the coming of Bab, leave alone Bahaullah.

Muslims need to be aware that Bahais twist the verses to suit their ideas. Hence they should be careful in what they hear and learn from Bahais in this respect.

The guidance provided by the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Arks of Salvation - the Holy Imams (as) which followed him are sufficient for us. For now and for ever till the Day of Judgement dawn upon us.

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