|IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST BENEFICENT, THE MOST MERCIFUL|
Before we start this section we must point out that when Abdul Baha was asked if he knew everything, he had answered:
No, I do not know everything. But when I need to know something, it is pictured before me.
These words are sometimes labeled by Baha’is as being pilgrims notes that cannot be verified. Shoghi has done us a favor and has verified these words at least in the sense that Abdul Baha is unerring, has superhuman knowledge, and his words are valid like his father:
Magnified be He, therefore, for this sublime, this blessed, this mighty, this exalted Handiwork . . . A Word hath, as a token of Our grace, gone forth from the Most Great Tablet-a Word which God hath adorned with the ornament of His own Self, and made it sovereign over the earth and all that is therein, and a sign of His greatness and power among its people . . . Render thanks unto God, O people, for His appearance; for verily He is the most great Favor unto you, the most perfect bounty upon you . . . We have sent Him down in the form of a human temple . . . He is the Trust of God amongst you, His charge within you, They who deprive themselves of the shadow of the Branch, are lost in the wilderness of error, are consumed by the heat of worldly desires, and are of those who will assuredly perish.
Shoghi clearly states that Abdul Baha is unerring, has Superhuman Knowledge, and his words are equal in validity with those of Bahaullah. Now let us test this unerring, super human, and valid knowledge:
a- Spontaneous Generation
b- Convex and Concave Mirrors
c- Animal Breath
What Abdul Baha apparently means by the element that "gives life to plants" is carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is not an element, is not called "hydrogen and carbon," does not have hydrogen in it, and is not watery. It is a gaseous compound.
d- Male and Female
Are we supposed to believe male and female plants and animals are completely equal and have no distinction at all because Abdul Baha says so? Are males and females completely equal from the perspectives of genetics, anatomy, physiology, body size and form, power, ability, ranking, and sexual domination? Had Abdu’l-Baha not seen the male date-palm trees in Palestine that do not give any fruit whilst the female produce ripe dates? Had he not seen bulls, rams, and roosters dominating a group of females? Were these male animals completely equal in behavior, shape, and domination with cows, ewes, and hens?! Do male animals have the ability to bear offspring and to lay eggs? And why does he contradict his own words elsewhere and clearly states there are distinctions and differences between male and female:
Although women and men share the same capacities and abilities, there is definitely no doubt that men are superior and stronger. Even in animals like pigeons, sparrows, peacocks, and other [birds] this advantage is visible.
e- The Reason Humans Have Canine Teeth
Abdul Baha claims that the four human canine teeth have been created for breaking nuts like almonds! Firstly, breaking nuts using teeth are dentists’ (and parents’) worst nightmares! The easiest way to chip one’s canines is to try to break open a nut with them.
Secondly, even if one does want to make the unwise choice of breaking nuts with their teeth, they will go about doing so using their molars, not canines, for the canines are in no way suited for this task.
f- Christopher Columbus Discovered America Using His Reason
Abdul Baha claims that Christopher Columbus discovered America by spiritual power and reason while he was in his place in one hemisphere and America was in another hemisphere. All kinds of thorny problems arise from this statement. Firstly, Columbus did not discover America, as there were humans living there for thousands of years before he was born. Abdu’l-Baha clearly must have known this, which raises the question of whether he, like so many of his contemporaries, considers only the Europeans to be human, and other, ‘backward’ people to be subhuman.
Secondly, even if one adopts the racist Eurocentric mindset of ignoring the Native Americans and only considering the Western Hemisphere as ‘discovered’ when Europeans land there, Abdu’l Baha’s statement is still incorrect. Historians today undisputedly accept that the Norse explorer Leif Erikson was the first European to land in North America, nearly 500 years before Columbus. This fact was not known during Abdul Baha’s lifetime, but is clear to us today.
Finally, even if one accepts the erroneous idea that Christopher Columbus did indeed ‘discover’ America, it is well known that this was by chance-not reason or spirituality-when he was looking for an alternate route from Europe to India. When he reached America he had thought he had reached India and incorrectly called the natives Indians. Abdul Baha has repeated the aforementioned claim elsewhere:
Thus it is in Europe and discovers America; it is on the earth, and it makes discoveries in the heavens.
An animal in Europe could not foresee and plan the discovery of America as Columbus did. It could not take the globe map of the earth and scan the various continents, saying, "This is the eastern hemisphere; there must be another, the western hemisphere."
The last sentence is very problematic. The eastern and western hemispheres are the hemispheres that lie on the west and east of an imaginary line called the Prime Meridian. Abdul Baha’s belief that at a time people believed there was only an eastern hemisphere and then Columbus came about and thought to himself that there must be a western one too is totally baseless.
g- The Pupil of the Eye is Black to Attract the Rays of the Sun
The first sentence is in itself interesting. Abdul Baha claims many things exist that we do not know the reason about, yet Baha’is insist he has superhuman knowledge. Some might argue that he wasn’t referring to himself but to other people. The context and examples he puts forward show the contrary.
A great fallacy that he utters is where he says the pupil of the eye is black to attract the rays of the sun. The fact is, the pupil is merely a transparent hole in the center of the eye which light passes through to reach the retina. The only reason it appears black is that most of the light that passes through it either gets absorbed inside the eye or is diffused therein. This fact had been known for decades and optometrists had been using ophthalmoscopes to see inside the eye through this hole ever since the mid nineteenth century! Another error is the fact that black colored things do not attract the rays of the sun. They absorb them. Whether absorption or attraction was intended, they are both wrong because the reason for the blackness of the pupil has nothing to do with it absorbing or attracting light, for the pupil is transparent and colorless.
Baha’is try to justify these words by claiming that the phrase has been incorrectly translated and Abdul Baha was not referring to the pupil but was referring to another part of the eye. Firstly, the pupil is the only black part of the eye that fits Abdul Baha’s words. Secondly, The Farsi word used is tukhm chishm which is used to refer to the pupil.
Sometimes Baha’is go as far as claiming the space within the eye that is filled with a special gel was intended. This too is wrong because this space is transparent and has no color neither black nor white. Whatever part of the eye is intended, none have been created black for the purpose of attracting or absorbing sunlight and the aforementioned statements are grievous mistakes committed by the Unerring Pen.
The articles have been based on the book "Avaze Dohol" - the Beating of the Drum by Masoud Basiti, Zahra Moradi.
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