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Featured Bahaullah: Kitab-i-Iqan: “Book of Certitude”

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by paarsurrey, May 9, 2019.

  1. Komori

    Komori Member

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    Exactly. The article I quoted said Baha'u'llah had neither a strictly Shiite or Sunni interpretation of Islam. So what's the disagreement?
     
  2. danieldemol

    danieldemol Well-Known Member
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    I highlighted the text in red that I disagreed with, it said, “He apparently never stated explicitly that ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib and the Imāms were the rightful successors to Muḥammad”, I think interpreting the Quran as saying the Imams were invested with authority is just another way of saying they were the rightful successors.
     
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  3. Komori

    Komori Member

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    Of course you can deduce such a thing, but the point is that it's never explicitly stated, which is strange compared to the Bāb who affirmed their walayah from beginning to end, the physical existence of the Imam al-Mahdi, and the deputyship (na'ibiyyah) of his Four Gates (al-abwab al-arba'a). In contrast, Baha'u'llah denies that Imam al-Askari ever had a son, denounces the Four Gates of al-Mahdi as liars, softens his stance on such figures as Abu Bakr, who the Bab actually calls Abu al-Dawahi (Father of Iniquities), and Ja'far al-Kazzab (Ja'far the Liar), who said that Imam al-Askari never had a son so that he could consume his property. This, as a Baha'i, probably isn't strange to you, but from a Shia standpoint, it should raise suspicions about whether Baha'u'llah ever had any particular affinity for Shi'ism at all and simply appropriated a Shi'ite aesthetic for opportunistic reasons.
     
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  4. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    So, the Quran is not explicit about the Imams being the divinely ordained successors of Muhammad? And you have no problem with it! But when Bahaullah clearly says the Imams were invested with Authority by God, it is not explicit and acceptable?
     
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  5. Komori

    Komori Member

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    As I have stated many times, it is unclear exactly what type of authority Bahā'u'llāh ascribed to the Imāms, and "whether Bahāʾ Allāh had viewed the Imāms as spiritual authorities or as political leaders remain(s) open to investigation" (Unity in Diversity, p. 130, footnote). I am sure Eschraghi was not unaware of the passage from Epistle to the Son of the Wolf which @danieldemol quoted, since, if you read the entire paragraph, he is actually talking about the Imāmate in a political context. He in fact talks about temporal rulers with language very similar to that which he uses to describe the Imāms. He says, "The sovereigns of the earth have been and are the manifestations of the power (مظاهر قدرت), the grandeur and the majesty of God." Now compare this to what he says of the Imāms, "They, verily, are the manifestations of the power (مظاهر قدرت) of God, and the sources of His authority." Persian text.
     
    #25 Komori, May 12, 2019
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  6. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Ocean Immersion
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    If it is not clear, why can I, as my Baha'i view, say the rightful succession was the Shia line of Imams? That they offered clear guidance as to what Muhammad had revealed in the Quran.

    Regards Tony
     
  7. Komori

    Komori Member

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    There is no "Shia line of imams." Among those who followed Ali there arose numerous sects claiming to be Shia, each presenting their own view of the various succession disputes. What you mean is the Twelver line of Imams, which Baha'is don't even believe in since they deny that Imam al-Askari had a son. They are, to invent a new term, 'Eleveners,' since Baha'u'llah eventually reformulated the Bab's claim to be Imam al-Mahdi as an act of dissimulation:
     
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  8. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    "I would be happy to help you in tracking down any of these ahadith if you need it"

    I have started reading Iqan-Farsi after downloading PDF as per link provided by you. I am at page-31 of it. So far following Ahadith/Tradition I have found without any useful reference being provided by Bahaullah or its followers in Iqan:

    1.Muhammad, Himself, declared: “I am Jesus.”

    2.“Prayer of Nudbih”:23 “Whither are gone the resplendent Suns? Whereunto have departed those shining Moons and sparkling Stars?
    23“Lamentation” attributed to the Twelfth Imám*

    3.Moreover, in the traditions the terms “sun” and “moon” have been applied to prayer and fasting, even as it is said: “Fasting is illumination, prayer is light.”

    4.Therefore, hath it been said: “Knowledge is a light which God casteth into the heart of whomsoever He willeth.”

    * I don't know about it.

    Can you trace them for me Shia-Hadith/Tradition.

    As I go ahead in reading Farsi-Iqan I will be requesting you like this. I could have quoted from the Farsi-Iqan but copy/paste from it is not error-free, so I have quoted them from English-Iqan.

    Regards
     
    #28 paarsurrey, May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  9. Komori

    Komori Member

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    I will do my best to find these ahadith, and of course our Baha'i friends are welcome to do the same and present their findings. A note: first, I will not comment on the isnads of these ahadith and their reliability, as I am not especially knowledgeable about the science of hadith. Second, this comes with a bit of a challenge since, unlike with his Qur'an quotes, I have noticed that Baha'u'llah quotes some ahadith in Persian translation, which is strange.

    1. I do not know of any authentic hadith where Muhammad says, "I am Jesus (Ana Isa)." Baha'u'llah seems to be quoting a hadith cited by the Bab in his Seven Proofs (English here, original here), but this hadith is cited as being from Imam al-Sadiq, not Muhammad as Baha'u'llah cites it. The Bab apparently got it (according to MacEoin, Messiah of Shiraz, pp. 336, footnote) from Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i's Risala fi'l-'ismah wa'l-raj'ah (Jamawi al-kalim [Basra: Al-Ghadir Press, 2009], vol. 5, pp. 206-449). Though I am not sure where al-Ahsa'i got this hadith from. I don't have time to right now to look through my digital edition of the book which is a scanned version without a search feature. But the full hadith, as quoted by the Bab is as follows:
    The are, however, other ahadith like this whose sources I am aware of. Baha'u'llah also cites in the Iqan statements from Imam 'Ali along the lines of "I am the first Adam." This is from Imam 'Ali's Khutbat al-bayan. And there is also the statement "I am all the prophets" ascribed to Muhammad which is a paraphrase of a hadith which is apparently from Bihar al-anwar, vol. 7 according to numerous Baha'i sources, though they never provide the page number. This is the hadith:
    2. This is from the well-known Du'a Nudbah Dua nudba

    3. The "prayer is light" part is found in hadith no. 23 of al-Nawawi's Forty Hadith. As for the "fasting is illumination" part, I am unsure.

    4. This is from Misbah al-Shari'ah and is attributed to Imam al-Sadiq. Ayatollah Shirazi considers it authentic and cites it on his website. من فقه الزهراء - الجزء الثاني
     
    #29 Komori, May 13, 2019
    Last edited: May 13, 2019
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  10. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    I am now at page 53 of Kitab-i-Iqan-Farsi.

    At passage # 76 is written:

    “Knowledge is the most grievous veil between man and his Creator.

    There are no words in Farsi-Iqan which have been translated by Shoghi Effendi as "between man and his Creator."
    Further, "Knowledge is the most grievous veil" is neither a verse of Quran nor it is Hadith. Right, please?

    Regards
     
  11. Komori

    Komori Member

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    Hmm. You are correct. The text, which is an Arabic quotation, is merely العلم حجاب الاکبر (al-ʿilm ḥijāb al-akbar) or "Knowledge is the greatest veil" (a more faithful translation). He seems to have interpolated the words "between man and his creator," though any good translator would put their own clarifications to the text in brackets or in a footnote. And yes, this is not a hadith or an ayah. It's a Sufi saying. Some have attributed it to the Prophet, but I have not seen a reliable source.
     
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  12. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    For Bahais, Shoghi Effendi is given Authority by God as regards to the matters of His duty towards the Faith. For Bahais, He is not just simply a translator, but also infallible interpreter as well. Similar to the 11 Imams in Islam.
     
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  13. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    They are not same exact phrases. Kings are not sources of God's Authority!
    The Bab already had also confirmed Shia Imams as the successors of Muhammad, and Bahaullah and the Bab are manifestations of the same God. Whatever God has said through the mouth of the Bab, would remain true from Bahaullah's view, as He and the Bab are the same Spirit. Moreover If you read the writings of Abdulbaha, in many instances His words obviously shows the Shia Imams are considered the true path in Islam.
     
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  14. Komori

    Komori Member

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    That argument would work if Baha'u'llah had actually stuck with the Bab's views, but the Bab is very clear about the existence of Imam al-Mahdi and the veracity of his Gates, that they all have "returned the world" (Persian Bayan 1:15-19). The Imam cannot return if he was never made manifest in the first place. And in the Kitab al-fihrist, the Bab even explicitly lists the Twelve Imams: "I testify that their names in the Book of God are Ali, Hasan, Husayn, [...] Hasan [al-Askari], and Muhammad [al-Mahdi], surely written [in the Book]. And I testify that joined with this is mention of their power following the mention of their sure existence." The original Arabic is as follows:

    اشهد ان اسمائهم في كتاب الله علي والحسن والحسين [...] والحسن ومحمد لمسطور واشهد ان ما سوهم لدى ذكر قد رتهم لمعدوم بعد ذكر لموجود

    The manuscript is from the William Miller collection at Princeton, vol. 4, folios 1a - 2a.

    He even gives an esoteric explanation (ta'wil) of the twelve letters of the tahlil (لا اله الا الله la ilaha illa allah) and says that they signify the Twelve Imams.
     
  15. InvestigateTruth

    InvestigateTruth Well-Known Member

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    There is no discrepancy. The 12th Imam did exist before He manifested Himself in the Person of the Bab, but in the Spiritual Realm, not in a physical body. The Bab gradually revealed His station. In the beginning, He presented Himself as the gate to the Imam, because people would have been disturbed had He revealed His station fully as the Manifestation of God. When He said He is gate, Though outwardly, this appeared to many, that He is speaking literally of the gate to the Son of the 11th Imam, but He was speaking of Bahaullah. The Bab was the gate to Bahaullah. Something that might be worthy to mention here, is, Bahaullah is also the Qaim, not only the Bab.
    If you remember the Hadithes, when the Qaim appears, after sometime He disappears, and the He appears again as a youth.
     
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  16. Komori

    Komori Member

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    This argument doesn't really work. In the Bab's writings, return always denotes not only return in the inner, spiritual (batin) sense but in the outward (zahir) sense as well. Abraham was manifest in this world, and he returned in the person of Moses, who was also manifest in this world and returned in the person of Jesus, and so on, and so on. Thus he says, that they "have returned to the world." There is no reason to make an exception for the Twelfth Imam. He cannot return to the world if he never inhabited it in the first place.
    What is the source of this hadith? In any case, interpreting such a statement as referring to the Bab and Baha'u'llah respectively is very strange. One of the titles the Bab uses to refer to himself is "the youth" (al-ghulam), which he was, while Baha'u'llah was in his 40s when he declared himself.
     
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  17. CG Didymus

    CG Didymus Well-Known Member

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    Thank again and again for adding a different perspective to the claims of the Baha'is about The Bab and Baha'u'llah. Keep it up, I'm learning a lot.
     
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  18. Tony Bristow-Stagg

    Tony Bristow-Stagg Ocean Immersion
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    I am not of an in depth knowledge of these traditions, but as Baha'u'llah has explained it is the return of the Attributes, that is the concept ofthe return of Elijah and the Messengers. Then the 12 Imams could just as well be the return of the attributes of the 12 Disciples of Christ, thus they come and they go from the Spiritual realm to the material plain.

    Likewise some of the Letters of the Living were also bestowed stations of the past Messengers, even though they were not Messengers. God had gifted them Attributes only seen in Past Messengers.

    Regards Tony
     
  19. paarsurrey

    paarsurrey Veteran Member

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    All Bahaullah's claims in Iqan are "implied" one's, as I understand, none is unequivocal/straight forward. Right, please?

    Regards
     
  20. Komori

    Komori Member

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    This is what the Baha'is say. The Iqan belongs first-and-foremost to the genre of Babi 'proof-texts,' several of which were written by learned Babis. There is so much evidence that during the period when the Iqan was written, Baha'u'llah was still at least outwardly a faithful Babi and follower of Subh-i Azal, so in order to not diminish the station which Baha'u'llah later claimed for himself, they have come up with this narrative that Baha'u'llah heavily implied this station in the Iqan without explicitly stating it. This may be true to a certain extent, since we know from the writings of other Babis and from his own correspondence that there were several occasions where Baha'u'llah was caught making divine claims, confronted, and then forced to retract them. This was in fact the cause for his retreat to Iraqi Kurdistan according to 'Atiyyah Ruhi in her biography of Subh-i Azal. However, the extent to which Baha'u'llah has made implications of a divine station in the Iqan has been heavily inflated in translation. I have not examined the entire text for instances of this, but I know that in certain places, Shoghi Effendi has changed the original Persian first-person singular pronouns into first-person plural pronouns in English so that it seems that Baha'u'llah is ascribing to himself a degree of divine majesty. It must be noted that, initially, Baha'u'llah never claimed to be He Whom God shall make manifest at all; rather, he first claimed to be the return of Imam Husayn.
     
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