|IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST BENEFICENT, THE MOST MERCIFUL|
5- Why Did the Universal House of Justice, in Contrast to Abdul Baha's Orders and Advice, Disregard Esperanto
At an Esperanto meeting in Paris in 1913, Abdul Baha uttered the following words about this language:
Now, praise be to God that Dr. Zamenhof (investor of Esperanto) has invented the Esperanto language. It has all the potential qualities of becoming the international means of communication. All of us must be grateful and thankful to him for this noble effort; for in this way he has served his fellowmen well. With untiring effort and self-sacrifice on the part of its devotees Esperanto will become universal. Therefore every one of us must study this language and spread it as far as possible so that day by day it may receive a broader recognition, be accepted by all nations and governments of the world, and become a part of the curriculum in all the public schools. I hope that Esperanto will be adopted as the language of all the future international conferences and congresses, so that all people need acquire only two languages - one their own tongue and the other the international language. Then perfect union will be established between all the people of the world. Consider how difficult it is today to communicate with various nations. If one studies fifty languages one may yet travel through a country and not know the language. Therefore I hope that you will make the utmost effort, so that this language of Esperanto may be widely spread.
Although Abdul Baha had made explicit statements about making great effort to spread this language as far as possible, the UHJ has yet to accept this language as a universal auxiliary language.
The justification put forward for this action further shows that this religion lacks divinity: While these allusions to Esperanto are specific and encouraging, it remains true that until the House of Justice has acted on the matter in accordance with Bahaullah’s instruction the Bahai Faith is not committed to Esperanto nor to any other living or artificial tongue. Abdul Baha Himself said: "The love and effort put into Esperanto will not be lost, but no one person can construct a Universal Language." - ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 95.
Which language to adopt, and whether it is to be a natural or constructed one, is a decision which the nations of the world will have to make.
The Bahai creed was supposed to bring guidance to the world and guide the people to right path. If a principle is put forward then the best way for it to be implemented must also be explicitly announced by either naming a language or creating a language for all to abide to and propagate. Unfortunately, not only has this act not been performed, but the exact opposite has occurred and the selection of such a language has been conferred upon the governments of the world. Should we be thankful for this new principle? Was this not the exact attitude that governments have had ever since antiquity but in smaller or larger scales? Did we really need the Bahai creed to tell the world what they already knew and were striving to achieve by themselves anyway? Should the people of the world be thankful for this so called new, but apparently very obvious, principle?
Furthermore, pay attention to how Abdul Baha admits that they are weak and have no divine knowledge at all. He says, "No one person can construct a Universal Language." Not even someone who claims to have created multiple Gods? ("All Gods became Gods from the flow of my affairs and all Lords became Lords by the overflowing of my decree," Abdul Baha, Makatib (Egypt), vol. 2, p. 255) Apparently not . . .
6- How Can Someone Who is Helpless in Learning Another Language but His Mother Tongue, Order Other People to Learn Many Languages?
The Bab and Bahaullah have written many of their works in Arabic but since this wasn’t their mother tongue, their Arabic works have a fair amount of etymological and syntactical errors. We have showed in Chapter 4 some of the grammatical errors Bahaullah had made in the book of Iqan that were subsequently fixed. Since this topic is fairly advanced and only suitable for a special audience, we will only mention a few of the more obvious errors here that can be understood with little explanation and without delving into Arabic linguistics.
a- Using non-Arabic characters and words in Arabic sentences
If possible acquire all the writings of the Point (meaning the Bab) even if they are in printed form (not hand-written).
The Farsi word for print is chap. The characters ‘ch’ and ‘p’ used in this word do not exist in Arabic. The Bab used this Persian word with non-existent characters in an Arabic sentence. This is while the Arabic word for printing is tab`, which he could have been easily used!
A similar fallacy can be seen in the works of Bahaullah. In a tablet addressed to Pope Pius IX he says:
The errors in these works were so obvious that the Bab decided to justify them in one of his writings:
What the Bab is saying here boils down to this: Any mistakes you find in my words and any inconsistencies with the Arabic language are due to your own ignorance. From now own, Arabic language laws and linguistics must be updated to become in conformity with my words!
As we mentioned earlier, Bahaullah had made the exact same justification when he was questioned about the errors in his writings and the writings of the Bab:
You and your kind have said that the words of the Great Bab and the Most Complete Remembrance are wrong and not in conformance with the grammatical conventions of the people. You still haven’t understood that the divine revealed words are the yardstick for all and what is lower than it cannot be a yardstick. Every grammatical convention that is not in accordance with the divine verses has no credibility.
These words are senseless. According to Bahaullah the criterion for the truth is he and only he. Reason, knowledge, language and everything imaginable are to be measured by his words even though his words are unscientific, illogical, unreasonable, and in many cases simply wrong. He uses similar reasoning in the Aqdas:
We analyzed this subject extensively in Chapter 4 and will not repeat our statements here.
b- Using Meaningless Arabic Words and Phrases
The underlined word is totally meaningless in this context and does not make sense. We will not refer to any more examples of this kind. We will simply mention a quote from Professor John Walbridge of Indiana University:
The Aqdas is written in a lofty and austere Arabic with little rhetorical ornamentation, a style somewhat similar to that of the Qur'an. As is usual in Bahaullah’s Arabic, there are some deviations from Arabic norms reflecting Persian usage. There are occasional grammatical innovations but many fewer than in the Arabic writings of the Bab.
Professor Walbridge is clearly stating the works of the Bab have even more mistakes in them than the works of Bahaullah. He solves the problem of the errors in the writings of these figures by stating these errors are simply innovations or deviations from Arabic norms. Is it really that hard to see that these obvious mistakes were made because neither the Bab nor Bahaullah had sufficient knowledge about the Arabic language?
The articles have been based on the book "Avaze Dohol" - the Beating of the Drum by Masoud Basiti, Zahra Moradi.
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