The Baha'i Faith and Unitarian Universalism: A Personal Testimony and Analysis by Dale Husband
Table of Contents PART ONE: Unitarian Universalism and Spirituality Chapter One: What is Unitarianism? Chapter Two: Making a case for Universalism Chapter Three: Why more people should join the Unitarian Universalists (UUs) Chapter Four: Spiritual Orientation Chapter Five: My Own Spiritual Experience Chapter Six: Radical Reincarnation
PART TWO: The Baha'i Faith Chapter Seven: Terms, places and people in Baha'i History Chapter Eight: Baha'i History Timelime Chapter Nine: The Baha'i Administrative Order Chapter Ten: Why I Abandoned the Baha’i Faith Chapter Eleven: Baha'i Hypocrisy & Contradictions Chapter Twelve: The Fatal Flaw in Baha’i Authority Chapter Thirteen: How should Unitarian Universalists (UUs) deal with Baha'is?
PART THREE: A Critical Analysis of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas
PART ONE: Unitarian Universalism and Spirituality Chapter One: What is Unitarianism? The definition of Unitarianism is: there is NO Trinity that most Christians believe in. The simple fact that Jesus prayed to God (the Father) in many passages shows that they are two separate entities. The Christians of Gentile background were so immersed in Paganism that they understood Jesus’ claim to be the “Son of God” as also being God, so they invented the Trinity. Note that the Jews did not consider Moses to be equal to God, even though he spoke with as much divine authority as Jesus would 1500 years later. If the early Christians had been content with Jesus as a new version of Moses, then they would not have had to come up with the absurdity of the Trinity to account for what Jesus was like. But they had to make Jesus look even greater than Moses to make their own religion look greater than Judaism. Good for public relations, bad for intellectual honesty. No doubt, “orthodox” Christians will point to passages where Jesus appeared to do things only God could do (forgive sins, accept worship) and insist that the Holy Spirit was also a person within the Godhead, but that only illustrates how unreliable the scriptures (and those who interpret them) are. God may be unknowable, but he does not suffer from a multiple personality disorder. The Jews said their god was ONE God. Either that is true or it isn’t. There is NO Trinity. A direct Bible reference in which Jesus denies being God or equal with God is: Luke 18:18-19 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good–except God alone. So here we see Jesus specifically denying that he was God by correcting someone who addressed him as “good”, stating that only God was good. If Jesus had been God, he would not have responded that way.
Chapter Two: Making a case for Universalism Definition of Universalism: All will be saved regardless of religious belief, or lack thereof. Universalism is the other half of the American religious tradition known as Unitarian Universalism. It is understandable that some people want to feel like they are better than others or more loved by God than others, but that is an appeal to the human ego that is destructive to human spirituality. There is nothing more vile than the idea that God would condemn anyone to eternal damnation in hell for believing in the “wrong” dogmas. Such extreme punishment could only be justified if there was some empirical way to discover the truth in religion, thus making it beyond dispute. But if that was the case, it wouldn’t even be religion at all; it would be SCIENCE. In the late 1980s, I was a Christian and I was perfectly sincere about it. Then at the turn of this Century, I was a Baha’i and just as zealous about that. And in both cases, I have turned away from those religions because I found them to be flawed and unworthy of my allegiance, perhaps even completely false, as many do believe. But if I had died at either time, would it have been fair for God to condemn me for following a false religion? Even if Christianity was the only true religion, the fact that it has been divided into thousands of competing sects, despite the fact that Christians are supposed to believe in one God and one savior, is enough to show that there are no “true” Christians. No matter what position you take, you are part of a minority in the world; Christians only make up about 1/4 of the population of the world. Is it logical to assume that God would condemn the vast majority of the world for not being Christian, especially when there is so much evidence that the religion itself is defended by outright fraud? 1900 years ago, Christians and Jews were a tiny minority in the world. In places like India, China, Japan, and the American continents, there was virtually no chance for people living there to hear and accept the teaching of either Bible based religion, while there were religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Shinto, or the various Pagan religions. Who could blame the people in those lands for following what they knew? It is easy to assume you have the only true faith when you have only that one faith in your community and do not know followers of other religions except through crude stereotypes. Once you get to know those followers as people, those stereotypes tend to break down. Exposure to those people breeds tolerance quite naturally. Since there is no way to know what truth in religion is, there is no justification for the dogma that God damns anyone for what they believe or disbelieve. That claim is bigotry and thus is evil.
Chapter Three: Why more people should join the Unitarian Universalists (UUs) It is estimated that there are over 30,000 divisions in Christianity! Remember this warning from Jesus himself: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.” (Matthew 12:25) If his word is true, then the churches that bear his name are useless. They have been divided against themselves since at least 1054 AD, when there was a schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Churches. The leaders of the two factions actually excommunicated each other! And things got only worse in the 16th Century with the Protestant Reformation, which was actually a fragmentation. It must be noted that the whole issue of the Church being the Body of Christ was invented by the Apostle Paul, not Jesus. But we can be sure that they would have agreed that the churches should have remained united. Instead, we find many streets where two or even three different Christian churches may exist within sight of each other. If their faith in Jesus really meant something, shouldn’t their members all worship together? The only time a church should split is when its members increase so much that they have outgrown their original building. More on that later. The obvious question is, how do you keep a church united while also allowing its membership to grow? I would suggest that Christians everywhere give up being dogmatic and allow their members to seek truth in their own way, while still giving them a loving community to support them, regardless of what specific theology they end up with. The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) allows such a wide diversity of views and theological paths that it admits Christians, Jews, Pagans, atheists and many others as equally welcome and committed members. Yet they are a single denomination that in fact arose from the union of two similar groups in 1961. I mentioned earlier that a church can outgrow its building and split as a result. The case of First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church (FJUUC) may suffice to show how a religious community may grow and even diversify without turning against itself. The church was founded as First Unitarian Church of Fort Worth (Texas) in the late 1940s and after moving to an ideal location in the eastern part of the city, grew until it was too large for its tiny building. So two small groups split off in the 1960s to form the Arlington Unitarian Universalist Church, which remains a small lay-led congregation to this day, and Jefferson Unitarian Church, which failed to thrive and in 1980 merged once more with the original church, with the reunited congregation changing its name to the present one. In the 1990s, despite enlarging the building of FJUUC, its membership grew to over 250, thus causing overcrowding once more. At that point, another split occured with UUs in the west part of Fort Worth forming the Westside Unitarian Universalist Church: But that still wasn’t enough, so a few years later, yet another split occured, since some UUs living north of Fort Worth wanted a congregation of their own, which became known as Pathways. These were NOT divisions over doctrine or how the churches should be organized, or anything other than natural growth and development of a thriving religious community. They are all united under the UUA on a national level, as well as:
The Southern Region of the UUA, the North Texas Association of Unitarian Universalist Societies, And at a global level, we even have the International Council of Unitarians and Universalists. For those who want to work through their faith, and not merely go to church, there is a UU outlet for that too: The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). UUs believe in Seven Principles that guide their lives:
1. 1st Principle: The inherent worth and dignity of every person; 2. 2nd Principle: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; 3. 3rd Principle: Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our 4. 5. 6. 7.
congregations; 4th Principle: A free and responsible search for truth and meaning; 5th Principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large; 6th Principle: The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; 7th Principle: Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
The world in general, and America in particular, needs a healthy source of spirituality and community. I beleive Unitarian Universalism can fill that need. If we truly believe in religious freedom, then we should belong to a denomination that lives up to that ideal and does not create tyranny over anyone. Let it be so.
Chapter Four: Spiritual Orientation I have come up with the concept of “spiritual orientation” to explain something about human nature that seems to be a puzzle to atheists . Despite the dogmas of major religions like Christianity and Islam being debunked by reality itself, there are still nearly two billion Christians in the world, as well as over one billion Muslims and millions of followers of other religions around the world; there are relatively few atheists and agnostics in the world, and most of them are found in countries like China and North Korea where atheism is forced on the people by Communist governments. The experiences of the 20th Century proved that Communism as an ideology was just as dogmatic, arrogant, and embarrassing as Christianity, so it was eventually discredited. Good riddance! When there is a conflict between one’s sexual orientation (like homosexuality) and one’s spiritual orientation (like Christianity), the result is something that can be life destroying. One of the biggest mistakes, in my opinion, that atheists make in attacking the dogmas of religions like Christianity is their doing so specifically to promote atheism rather than freedom of thought. The most blatant example of this was the publication of Richard Dawkins’ book “The God Delusion”. The implication that all people who choose to believe in any sort of god are mentally ill is insulting rather than enlightening which is why I never bought that book. It enables Christian dogmatists to counterattack by claiming that atheists are just as bigoted and dogmatic as they are, which is simply not true. Maybe less dogmatic and bigoted, but not the same as the way as Christians who tend to believe in the Bible without question. Atheists are just sure they are right but they rely on no manmade authorities to tell them what to think. I have always taken a different approach, using SPIRITUALITY and not ATHEISM as my tool to fight against RELIGION. My purpose in fighting religious dogmatism is to free people from it. But if those people have a strong spiritual orientation, one cannot expect them to become atheists. Indeed, no one should expect that. Only atheist bigots insist on that, and I am partners with NO bigots of any kind. Anyone who is gay or lesbian that feels oriented to Christianity needs to understand one simple fact, that the statements of dogma and rules that appear in the Bible were indeed written by MEN, and there is no reason to assume GOD was responsible for any of them. It is very common for younger people to say they are “spiritual but not religious”. Such people should be appealed to to join the Unitarian Universalists, especially if they have children. We have so much more to offer them than cold atheism. In the next chapter I will tell a story about my own spiritual experience which prevented me from ever embracing atheism outright.
Chapter Five: My Own Spiritual Experience In the early 2000s, back when I was devoted to the Baha’i Faith, I was at North East Mall (near Fort Worth, Texas) and was just sitting down to eat lunch at the food court when suddenly I felt this urge to leave the mall! I couldn’t understand why, but I picked up my food (a Chick-Fil-A sandwich) and drink and I left the mall as if I was following a direct order. I got in my car and started for home. As I was passing this mostly deserted shopping complex, I saw a family stranded on the side of the road begging people for help. It was a couple and their two sons and they were suffering in the summer heat! I decided to offer them a lift in my car, so the father sat in the front passenger seat while the mom and boys sat in the back. We traveled together for several miles, me following the father’s directions while the music of an Ottmar Liebert CD played in my car. Finally, I stopped in their neighborhood and dropped the family off. Then I went back home and ate my lunch there. To this day, I cannot explain what happened. It could have been a coincidence, but I also think I could have been under some outside control, which foresaw the need of that family and sent me to be their “angel” that day. That is my story….take it or leave it.
Chapter Six: Radical Reincarnation Reincarnation is the notion in some Eastern, Indian or Dharmic religions that people who die later return in a different body to start a new life, usually with no memory of their previous life. Often this is paired with the concept of karma, the idea that people go to a higher or lower form of existence based on how they lived in their previous lives. By contrast, in Western religions that are based on the Jewish and/or Christian scriptures or at least are descended from them, reincarnation is rejected and instead people’s souls are assumed to either go to a place called heaven if they are good (or are true believers) or hell if they were evil (or followed a wrong religion) and never return to life. I have no empirical reason to believe in reincarnation or indeed any form of an afterlife and it is my understanding that the idea of a soul that can be separated from a body and exist apart from it is simply impossible. Indeed, when a person’s brain is damaged in some way, it is clear that the person is also damaged, so why not just assume that when the person’s brain is completely destroyed at death, the person ceases to exist completely? But that idea seems to frighten most people witless. Why? How did we come up with the idea of an afterlife to begin with? Perhaps because of near death experiences that someone might have had on rare occasions? Because of my open-mindedness on that issue, I have created a concept called “Radical Reincarnation” in which every person and animal that has ever lived was once within every other person and animal that has ever lived. In short, we were all Adolph Hitler, Albert Einstein, dinosaurs, cavemen, and dodos at one time or another and we are also part of the universal life force that we return to when we die. This life force, timeless and incredibly powerful, is what most of us have mistaken for “God”. And it is greater than we will ever know. Of course, I cannot support this idea with any evidence whatsoever, but I also know of nothing against it……..and no, it is NOT the default position to say something is not true just because it has not been proven. Atheists who assert that are as narrow minded as some religious bigots. Rather, individuals are free to believe or not believe something that has no proof and no disproof. I reject the idea of heaven and hell for eternal souls because it HAS been disproven. Radical reincarnation certainly has not…..yet it does not exist in the Dharmic religions either.
PART TWO: The Baha'i Faith Chapter Seven: Terms, places and people in Baha'i History Shaykh Ahmad - Founder of the Shaykhí school of Shia Islam in the late 18th Century. Sayyid Kāzim - Successor of Shaykh Ahmad as leader of the Shaykhi school. Died in 1843. Mullá Ḥusayn - Member of the Shaykhi school, later became the first follower of the Bab. The Báb - Real name: Siyyid `Alí Muḥammad. Forerunner of Baha'u'llah, and said to be a Messenger of God in his own right. Founded the Babi Faith after declaring himself in 1844. Was martyred in 1850. Letters of the Living - Nineteen early disciples of the Bab, including Mulla Husayn and Ṭáhirih. All but one died violently before the declaration of Baha'u'llah in 1863. Ṭáhirih - Only woman among the Letters of the Living. Was a fierce advocate for women's rights. Was executed in 1852. Baha'u'llah - Founder of the Baha'i Faith, declaring his mission in 1863. Real name: Mírzá Ḥusayn-‘Alí. Was a follower of the Bab, was imprisoned and later exiled from Persia and sent to various places by the Turkish authorities. Died in 1892. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá - Original name: ‘Abbás Nuri Effendi. Born in 1844, was the eldest son of Baha'u'llah and became Baha'i leader after his father's death. Led the Faith until his own death in 1921. Supervised the introduction of the Faith into Europe and North America. Mirza Yahya - Half-brother of Baha'u'llah, who opposed him and founded a competing sect of Babis that were called Azalis. Persia - Country now known as Iran, where most of the early Babis and Baha'is came from. Shíráz - City in Persia where the Bab came from. Tihran - Capital of Persia, and home city of Baha'u'llah. Baghdad - City in the Ottoman Empire where Baha'u'lah was first exiled to in 1853. Constantinople - Capital of the Ottoman Empire, where Baha'u'llah briefly stayed in 1863. Now called Istanbul. Adrianople - City in the Ottoman Empire that Baha'u'llah spent four years in (1863-1868). Akka - City on the coast of what is now called Israel. Baha'u'llah spent his last years here. Shoghi Effendi - Grandson of Abdu'l-Baha, became Baha'i leader after his passing. Baha'is call him the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith. Built the early forms of the Baha'i Administrative Order and supervised the spread of the Faith in Africa, South America, and other parts of the world. Died in 1957. Haifa - City on the coast of Israel that is the location of the World Center of the Baha'i Faith. Universal House of Justice - Assembly of nine men created in 1963 to lead the Baha'i Faith after the passing of Shoghi Effendi. Rules the worldwide Baha'i community to this day.
Chapter Eight: Baha'i History Timelime 1844 - The Bab declares his mission to Mulla Husayn, who becomes his first disciple, on May 23. Later, the Bab assembles an elite group of followers known as the Letters of the Living, including Mulla Husayn and Ṭáhirih, the only woman among them. 1848-9 - First wave of persecution of Babis by the authorities of Persia. Many Babis are killed at the Battle of Tabarsi. 1850 - The Bab is executed by a firing squad on July 9. 1852-3 - A Babi attempts to assassinate the Shah of Persia, leading to a second wave of Babi persecution. Ṭáhirih is excuted, while Baha'u'llah is exiled to Baghdad. 1861 - Baha'u'llah writes the Kitáb-i-Íqán, defending and explaining Babi teachings. 1863 - Baha'u'llah declares that he is the promised successor to the Bab and becomes the founder of the Baha'i Faith. Soon after, he is sent to Constantinople. 1864-8 - Baha'u'llah is made to live in Adrianople for 4 years. During this time, Baha'u'llah and his halfbrother Mirza Yahya become enemies. 1868 - Baha'u'llah is sent to Akka, on the coast of Palestine. 1873- Baha'u'llah completes and publishes the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, a book of laws for Baha'is. 1892 - Baha'u'llah dies in Akka on May 29. Abdu'l-Baha becomes the Baha'i leader. 1912-3 - Abdu'l-Baha visits North America and Europe. 1920 - Abdu'l-Baha is knighted by the British government for humanitarian work. 1921 - Abdu'l-Baha dies on November 28, at Haifa, Palestine (later Israel). He leaves behind a Will and Testament appointing Shoghi Effendi, his grandson, as the new Baha'i leader (the Guardian of the Cause of God). 1932 - The Greatest Holy Leaf (Bahíyyih Khánum), Abdu'l-Baha's sister, dies. She was Shoghi Effendi's strongest supporter. 1937 - Shoghi Effendi marries Mary Maxwell, who takes on the title of Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum. 1944 - Shoghi Effendi writes God Passes By, an official history of the Baha'i Faith. 1951 - Shoghi Effendi appoints a group of Hands of the Cause of God. 1952 - More Hands of the Cause of God are appointed by the Guardian, including Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum.
1953 - Ten Year World Crusade launched. Baha'i Faith spreads in South America and southern Africa. Thousands of Baha'is establish the Faith in localities around the world. 1957 - A final group of Hands of the Cause of God is appointed by the Guardian. Only a month later, Shoghi Effendi dies while visiting London and is buried there. The Hands of the Cause of God discover that he left no will and appointed no successor. They take over the control of the Faith. 1960 - Charles Mason Remey, Hand of the Cause of God, attempts to take over the Baha'i Faith by claiming to be the next Guardian. Most of the other Baha'is reject this claim and Remey is expelled from the community. 1963 - The Ten Year World Crusade is completed and the Universal House of Justice is elected for the first time. The first Baha'i World Congress is held in London, involving 6,000 attendees. 1964 - Present time - The Universal House of Justice enacts global plans of various lengths. 1992 - The second Baha'i World Congress is held in New York City, involving 30,000 attendees. 2000 - Amatu’l-Bahá Rúḥíyyih Khánum, Hand of the Cause of God, dies in Haifa. 2007 - ‘Alí-Muhammad Varqá, the last surviving Hand of the Cause of God, dies in Haifa.
Chapter Nine: The Baha'i Administrative Order The Baha'i Faith has no professional clergy, but it does have authoritative structures to guide Baha'is around the world. The Baha'i Writings refer to the "rulers" and the "learned" that perform various functions. I. Rulers - Committees that only have authority as a group, not as individuals. A. Local Spiritual Assemblies 1. Consist of nine members that govern Bahai's in a city. 2. Elected directly by the members once a year. 3. Both men and women may serve on these Assemblies. 4. Established by Shoghi Effendi in his writings B. National Spiritual Assemblies 1. Consists of nine members that govern Baha'is in a region, usually a single nation. 2. Elected once a year by delegates sent from various parts of the national community. 3. Both men and women may serve on these Assemblies. 4. Established by Abdu'l-Baha in his Will and Testament. 5. There are at least 180 of these at present. C. Universal House of Justice 1. Consists of nine members who govern Baha'is around the world. 2. Established By Baha'u'llah in the Kitab-i-Aqdas. 3. Membership limited to men only. 4. Elected by all National Spiritual Assemblies every five years. 5. First elected in 1963. 6. Considered by Baha'is to be infallible.
II. Learned - Individuals and institutions that work with and advise Spiritual Assemblies. A. International Teaching Center 1. Established by the Universal House of Justice in 1973 to replace the dwindling Hands of the Cause of God. 2. Oversees the Continental Boards of Counselors. 3. Consists of nine members 4. Members serve for five year terms. B. Continental Boards of Counselors 1. Assigned to continental regions to promote and protect the Faith. 2. Members serve for five year terms. 3. Cooperates with National Spiritual Assemblies. C. Auxiliary Boards and assistants 1. Given two special functions. a. Propagation - Helps promote and spread the Baha'i Faith to nonBaha'is b. Protection - Defends the Baha'i Faith against internal criticism. 2. Assigned to specific territories. 3. Cooperates with Local Spiritual Assemblies.
Chapter Ten: Why I Abandoned the Baha’i Faith From 1995 to 2004, I was a member of a religion known as the Baha’i Faith. This religion teaches that God is called by various names but is still the same all over the world, that all religions teach the same basic message, and that humanity is actually one race and is destined to unite under the banner of the Baha’i Faith in a new age of peace and unity. I was eager to see and to achieve the highest goodness in my life and in the world, so this was a Godsend to me! I embraced the faith after attending firesides about it in Bedford, Texas and became an active teacher of it, even attempting to convert others to it. I had been a Christian, specifically a Southern Baptist, in my teens, but had become disgusted with Christianity and left that faith in my early 20s because I saw the errors, contradictions, and failures of it. The Baha’i Faith explained that away by claiming that while Jesus was indeed a Messenger (or Manifestation) of God, His faith had become corrupted over time and thus most Christians were not truly following him, but the doctrines of men. In joining the Baha’i community, I thought I was seeing what the early Christians in the Roman Empire were like, except that unlike them the Baha’is would not split into competing sects and engage in wars against each other. If only everyone in the world became Baha’i, I was told, we would be at peace and prosperity forever. What a wonderful vision! But human nature will NEVER allow for it! The reason is that the leadership of the Baha’i Faith, from its founder, Baha’u’llah, to the Universal House of Justice today, claims to be infallible because it is guided by God. Yet we know that Baha’u’llah, his son Abdu’l-Baha, Abdu’l-Baha’s grandson Shoghi Effendi (the Guardian of the Faith), and the members of the Universal House of Justice were/are all HUMAN BEINGS. What evidence do we have that ANY of them are infallible? NONE! And if you cannot question the will of a leadership, what do you in fact have? Tyranny! And what does tyranny always lead to, according to history? Corruption and injustice! And that, in turn results in the system breaking down over time. Indeed, the very idea that any human being, human run institution, or human product is infallible is sheer nonsense. It is the most dangerous idea in the world! Also, I finally began to see that the Baha’i Faith also has errors, contradictions, and failures of its own, despite being less than 200 years old. It was my coming to understand this that finally led me to leave the Faith with a heavy heart. The hypocrisies of the Baha’i Faith’s own dogmas can be summed up as follows: ⦁ 1. State that religion no longer needs clergy……and replace them with leaders that are as authoritarian as the clergy ever was. ⦁ 2. Claim that men and women should be equal……but then deny women membership in the all-powerful leadership council of the religion. ⦁ 3. Condemn as heretics those who believe in your religion but dare to challenge the claims of your religion’s current leadership, while at the same time claiming to welcome as friends the followers of other religions. ⦁ 4. Claim there is harmony between science and religion, but also claim that anything your leaders say is absolutely true, even if on topics science is expected to address. Then there are the scandals I discovered which really disturbed me, even after I had left the Faith.
⦁ 1. The Violation of Abdu’l-Baha – Baha’u’llah in the The Kitáb-i-Ahd, or Book of the Covenant (his Will and Testament) appointed Abdu’l-Baha as his successor, but also started that Abdu’l-Baha’s younger brother Mirza Muhammad Ali should be below him in rank and also be his immediate successor. Abdu’l-Baha disobeyed this commandment by depriving Muhammad Ali of any rank and replacing him as successor with his grandson, Shoghi Effendi, in his own Will and Testament. ⦁ 2. The Madness of Shoghi Effendi – Abdu’l-Baha, in the same Will and Testament that appointed Shoghi Effendi as Guardian of the Cause of God, stated that the Guardian must appoint either his firstborn or another branch (male descendant of Baha’u’llah) as his successor in his own lifetime. Shoghi Effendi not only had no children, but he expelled from the Baha’i community every single one of Abdu’l-Baha’s own descendants, making it impossible for him to keep his grandfather’s commandments. He also died in 1957 without leaving a Will and Testament of his own as required by Baha’i law, throwing the Faith into a crisis. ⦁ 3. Failed prophecy cover up – An early edition of Baha’u’llah and the New Era by J. E. Esselmont stated a prophecy by Abdu’l-Baha that by 1957 “Universal Peace will be firmly established, a Universal language promoted. Misunderstandings will pass away. The Bahá’í Cause will be promulgated in all parts and the oneness of mankind established.” But what really happened that year was Shoghi Effendi’s death. The prophecy was deleted from later editions of the book. ⦁ 4. Attack on Kalimat Press – In 2005 and 2006,The National Spiritual Assemblies of the Baha’is of the United States and the United Kingdom issued orders to Baha’i communities under their command to stop selling books published by Kalimat Press, a small Baha’i owned book publishing company, for publishing a few books that they happened to disapprove of. As a result, the company was crippled in its operations. ⦁ 5. Dr. Hossein Danesh, sex offender – A member of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada, Danesh was stripped of his psychiatric license in the 1990s after being accused by several of his patients of sexual abuse. Instead of being expelled from the Baha’i community, he was sent to the Baha’i Landegg “university” in Switzerland, a private school which failed in 2005. Returning to Canada, he was hired by the NSA of Canada as a marriage and family therapist for fellow Baha’is. ⦁ 6. Italian Baha’i financial scandal – Franco Ceccherini, a longtime member of the Italian National Spiritual Assembly, was found in 2007 to have stolen over 360,000 euros over 14 years while serving as the Assembly’s treasurer. This was discovered only when the Italian government audited the Baha’i community and then charged it 275,000 euros in back taxes, crippling financially the entire Italian Baha’i community. ⦁ 7. Stephen Birkland, Baha’i secret police detective – In the 1990s, as a member of the Continental Board of Counselors for North America, Birkland led an investigation of Baha’is running an internet forum known as “Talisman” where members could openly question and debate issues regarding the management of the Baha’i communities. Birkland’s abusive tactics drove several Baha’is, including Juan Cole and John & Linda Walbridge, to resign rather than be condemned as covenant-breakers for taking part in Talisman, which was then shut down. Birkand was later rewarded for his zeal by being appointed to the International Teaching Center in 2008 and then he was elected to the Universal House of Justice in 2010. So at the end of 2004, realizing that I had to remove myself from that community outright as a matter of honor, I wrote the following to the National Spiritual Assembly (NSA) of the Baha’is of the United States: After years of investigation and soul-searching, I have finally come to the sad
understanding that I can no longer bring myself to believe in Baha’u’llah or any of the institutions established in His name, including the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice. I am totally convinced that the Baha’i Faith is doomed to fail in its mission to bring peace, unity, and a Golden Age to humanity and I therefore resign from my past membership in the Faith. Goodbye. Regretfully, Dale Husband I composed that letter on my computer and then mailed it in January of 2005. A few weeks later, the NSA replied that they had accepted my resignation and expressed hope that I would one day decide to return. That looked like denial to me, so I dismissed it and threw away the letter. Then I cut completely all personal ties to the Baha’is in the Fort Worth area. Despite this, I stayed silent about my defection from the Baha’i Faith until October 19, 2007, when I posted my first blog entry attacking it. Encouraged by the feedback I got as a result, I stepped up my efforts until I found myself in battle over the years with various members of my former religion, all of whom only showed me why I had no business being among them anymore! I have joined the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) and found its principles to be far more enlightened than those of the Baha’is. And better still, most of them truly LIVE those principles too! I have every reason to believe that, unless the version of the Baha’i Faith led by the Universal House of Justice goes down to extinction in the next century or two, it will become as dangerous as any other religion has ever been. It is not dangerous now only because there are so few of them. But the fact is that this Faith is directly descended from the Shiite branch of Islam, which is known to be extremely violent and intolerant. The Baha’i Faith, which was founded in the 19th Century, looks exactly like what one would expect if one took the most liberal Western political and social concepts of that Century and grafted them onto Shiite Islam. By implication, that also involves accepting everything about Islam and its Prophet Muhammad as true and good as well. This is a critical weakness, since there are serious questions about Muhammad too. Despite my rejection of most Baha’i teachings, I later supported my friend Eric Stetson’s effort to establish a new Unitarian Baha'i (UB) community, blending Baha’i and Unitarian Universalist ideas. It may be the only way to save the Baha’i Faith itself from continuing to degenerate into a destructive cult. If the UBs do not succeed, the Baha’i Faith itself will be destroyed instead! I am a non-theist now, worshipping no God and refusing to adhere to any other religion than that of the UUA. And I do not foresee myself being anything else. The Baha’i Faith was the last chance I was willing to give for a God centered religion to rule my life….and now I know that none ever will.
Chapter Eleven: Baha'i Hypocrisy & Contradictions 1. Claim: Baha'is teach equality of men and women as one of their principles. They even state that in places where resources are limited, girls and not boys should recieve priority in education since mothers are supposed to be the first educators of their children. 1. Irony - Women are not permitted to serve on the Universal House of Justice, which has absolute power over the Baha'is of the world. Consequently, women actually have no power among Baha'is, so how can the sexes be equal?
2. Claim - Baha'is believe in the principle of independent investigation of truth, encouraging members to not follow blind imitations of religious traditions from the past. 2. Irony - Baha'is are not permitted to associate with anyone considered a "covenant-breaker", they are required to submit writings promoting the Baha'i Faith to National Spiritual Assemblies for review, and Baha'i institutions have taken action to silence dissent among Baha'is.
3. Claim - Baha'is say they believe in the oneness of the world's religions and welcome as friends the followers of other religions. 3. Irony - Baha'is are required to shun fellow Baha'is who have been condemned as "covenant breakers". Where is the oneness there?
4. Claim â€“ Baha'is say they are against prejudice of all kinds, embracing instead the oneness of all mankind. 4. Irony - Baha'is condemn homosexuality, based on a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi. Thus they actually endorse homophobia and demand that any gays and lesbians that join or remain in the Baha'i communities be celibate.
5. Claim - Baha'is say they favor harmony between science and religion, rejecting all superstition. 5. Irony - Baha'is consider their leaders to be infallible, even if they make statements regarding scientific topics. As a result, the Baha'i Faith has become excessibly dogmatic and authoritarian, the polar opposite of scientific processes.
6. Claim - Baha'is side with the Shiites in the Sunni-Shiite dispute among Muslims, condemning the Sunnis for rejecting the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad. 6. Irony - The Baha'i leaders themselves expelled and continue to reject to this day all the physical descendants of Baha'u'llah himself, calling them all "covenant-breakers", a charge nearly all of them deny.
Chapter Twelve: The Fatal Flaw in Baha’i Authority The basic problem of authority in the Baha’i Faith, with its unfounded claim that its leaders have been and are infallible, really becomes obvious when you consider the issue of the Guardianship, which Shoghi Effendi held from 1921 until his death in 1957. He was appointed to that position by his grandfather, Abdu’l-Baha. O ye the faithful loved ones of Abdu’l-Baha! it is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi… For he is, after Abdu’l-Baha, the Guardian of the Cause of God… He that obeyeth him not, hath not obeyed God; he that turneth away from him, hath turned away from God and he that denieth him, hath denied the True One… All must seek guidance and turn unto the Center of the Cause and the House of Justice. And he that turneth unto whatsoever else is indeed in grievous error. (`Abdu’l-Baha: Will and Testament, pages 25-26) Later, Shoghi Effendi himself wrote: Divorced from the institution of the Guardianship the World Order of Baha’u’llah would be mutilated and permanently deprived of that hereditary principle which, as Abdu’l-Baha has written, has been invariably upheld by the Law of God. …Without such an institution the integrity of the Faith would be imperiled, and the stability of the entire fabric would be gravely endangered. its prestige would suffer, the means required to enable it to take a long, an uninterrupted view over a series of generations would be completely lacking, and the necessary guidance to define the sphere of the legislative action of its elected representatives would be totally withdrawn. (Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha’u’llah, page 148 ) It stands to reason that if Shoghi Effendi must be obeyed absolutely as the representative of God’s will, then he himself had to obey the Baha’i commandments that came before him. If he was disobedient to Baha’i laws, then no one should obey him. Baha’ullah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, stated in his book of laws, the Kitab-i-Aqdas, paragraph 109, “Unto everyone hath been enjoined the writing of a will.” Likewise, Abdu'l-Baha, son of Baha’u’llah, in the very Will and Testament by which he appointed Shoghi Effendi to the Guardianship, stated: “It is incumbent upon the Guardian of the Cause of God to appoint in his own lifetime him that shall become his successor, that differences may not arise after his passing. He that is appointed must manifest in himself detachment from all worldly things, must be the essence of purity, must show in himself the fear of God, knowledge, wisdom and learning. Thus, should the first-born of the Guardian of the Cause of God not manifest in himself the truth of the words:—“The child is the secret essence of its sire,” that is, should he not inherit of the spiritual within him (the Guardian of the Cause of God) and his glorious lineage not be matched with a goodly character, then must he, (the Guardian of the Cause of God) choose another branch to succeed him.” (Abdu'l-Baha: Will and Testament, p. 12.) Shoghi Effendi did none of these things. He had no children, and in fact he expelled from the Faith as “Covenant-breakers” every other descendant of his own grandfather. When he died in 1957, he left no will and had appointed no successor, thus failing to obey the very Covenant he was expected to uphold. The sheer hypocrisy is mind-blowing! With no further guidance from the Guardian, the Hands of the Cause of God that he had appointed to assist him did the only thing they could to keep the Baha’i Faith alive: They took over the Faith and arranged for the eventual election of the Universal House of Justice in 1963. But without a Guardian to preside over that body, it would never be in accordance with the very writings that established its authority. And the only ones who could be Guardian were the male descendants of Baha’ullah, all of whom were excluded from the Faith by the first
Guardian! Indeed, the simple fact that Shoghi Effendi disobeyed both Bahau’llah and Abdu'l-Baha by not leaving a will, by expelling all his own relatives from the Faith, and not appointing in his lifetime one of his brothers or male cousins as his successor to the Guardianship should be enough to demonstrate that there is NO “true” Baha’i Faith existing today. Its authority is meaningless by the testimony of its own history! And perhaps this was inevitable, since Baha’ullah himself warned his successors in the Faith not to exceed the proper bounds of their authority. Referring again to the Kitab-i-Aqdas, we find this as paragraph 37: “Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather, follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise. Erelong shall clamorous voices be raised in most lands. Shun them, O My people, and follow not the iniquitous and evil-hearted. This is that of which We gave you forewarning when We were dwelling in ‘Iráq, then later while in the Land of Mystery, and now from this Resplendent Spot.” (Emphasis mine) Since any Baha’i would affirm that Abdu’l-Baha was inferior in rank to Baha’u’llah, we would assume the former was obedient to the latter; and yet the former actually wrote: “The sacred and youthful branch, the guardian of the Cause of God as well as the Universal House of Justice, to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abha Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieveth in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from God. May the wrath, the fierce indignation, the vengeance of God rest upon him!” (Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha, Page 11 [Emphasis mine] ) There is no way that passage can be reconciled with the one of Baha’u’llah denying that anyone can recieve direct revelation from God before the passage of 1000 years. And that might explain why Shoghi Effendi died: 1.
At the relatively young age of 60
In the midst of the Ten Year World Crusade he was leading
In a short bout with Asiatic Flu
while visiting London, NOT at the Baha'i World Center
He was probably struck down by God himself just as Baha’u’llah would have predicted. And despite the desperate efforts made ever since to teach and proclaim the Baha’i Faith under the Universal House of Justice, it remains to this day a small, cultlike body scattered over the world, with no potential to make any real difference in the world at large.
Chapter Thirteen: How should Unitarian Universalists (UUs) deal with Baha'is? 1. Be friendly, but reserved. Most Baha'is are genuinely loving for humanity in general, being ignorant of the actual failings of their own religion....just like the members of most other religious groups in the world. 2. Be willing to work with Baha'is on issues you have in common, but only on YOUR terms. They are decent allies against racism and for human rights in general. But they will avoid issues regarding gay rights, seeing gays as diseased. 3. Do not confront them about their falsehoods and failings of their religion, unless they actually try to convert you. - Most Baha'is are not emotionally equipped to deal with the totality of the facts regarding why their religion is not suited for most people in the world. However, if a Baha'i does ask specific questions about why you reject the Baha'i Faith, be honest. Do not sugarcoat the truth in such cases. 4. If you attend Baha'i gatherings, NEVER go alone. - Such events known as firesides, Unity Feasts and Baha'i Holy Day celebrations are designed to mainipulate "seekers" into learning more about the Faith, but they are profoundly one sided in their depictions. People who are going through periods of depression or grieving over a loss may find themselves subjected to "love-bombing" by Baha'is. 5. If a Baha'i wants to join a UU church as a "Unitarian Baha'i", welcome him - Not all Baha'is are loyal to the Universal House of Justice and those that want to think freely should be helped to find a place to do so. UU churches and fellowships are ideal for this.
PART THREE: A Critical Analysis of the Kitáb-iAqdas The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, also known in English as the Most Holy Book, is the central book of laws written by Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha'i Faith, while he was imprisoned at Akka in 1873. Baha’is consider it to be holy scripture equal in rank to the Torah of the Jews and the Quran of the Muslims. For this publication, I will include direct quotes from the book in bold and my responses will be in italics. I will be reviewing the entire book from start to finish as a way of dealing at length with the issue of dogmatism and absurdity in the very heart of my former religion. Thus I seek to atone for eight years of delusional thoughts and acts I never should have committed myself to. My source for this book is: http://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/bahaullah/kitab-i-aqdas/#r=ka_en-1
In the name of Him Who is the Supreme Ruler over all that hath been and all that is to be Baha’u’llah always claimed to be a Messenger of God. Thus the Liar, Lunatic, or Lord argument used by Chrstians apologists applies to him just as much as to any other before him who claimed to speak for God, including Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Problem: most Muslims claim that Muhammad was the last of God’s Messengers and that no legitimate one would ever come after him. To me, this is absurd. You might as well be an atheist if you think God could be silenced forever just because one man claiming to be his Prophet said so. The only question would then be, how can we be sure what would be a true revelation from God in the future? The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. When I was a Christian in my teens, my youth Sunday School teacher at the time insisted that only Christians would go to heaven for following Jesus and that followers of every other religion would go to hell. I now consider that dogma to be evil and this statement above sounds no better. Imagine a firefighter or a doctor who saves many lives over the course of his career but is an
atheist because reading lies from Christian apologists convince him once those lies are debunked that Christianity itself is a lie. He dies and then is condemned to hell for rejecting Christianity. Wouldnâ€™t it be logical for God to send those apologists to hell also? It behooveth everyone who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine inspiration. This brings up some questions. 1. How do we know there is at least one God? Why not several? 2. If there is one or more gods, which one(s) do we worship? 3. Once we agree on that issue of God(s), which Messenger of Him (or Them) do we follow now? Without empirical evidence, I could just as easily make up my own gods, scriptures, and rituals and demand others follow them. And my claims would be just as credible as that of the religions based on the Bible, the Quran or any other book known around the world as the basis of a religion. Demanding recognition without clear proof is arrogance. Religions tend to be self-perpetuating because they are already popular and well-known, but those traits do not make any of them true. They whom God hath endued with insight will readily recognize that the precepts laid down by God constitute the highest means for the maintenance of order in the world and the security of its peoples. He that turneth away from them is accounted among the abject and foolish. We, verily, have commanded you to refuse the dictates of your evil passions and corrupt desires, and not to transgress the bounds which the Pen of the Most High hath fixed, for these are the breath of life unto all created things. The seas of Divine wisdom and Divine utterance have risen under the breath of the breeze of the All-Merciful. Hasten to drink your fill, O men of understanding! They that have violated the Covenant of God by breaking His commandments, and have turned back on their heels, these have erred grievously in the sight of God, the All-Possessing, the Most High. In other words, never think for yourself, only obey the commandments of Godâ€Ś.or rather, the man claiming to be a Messenger of God. But shouldnâ€™t laws and principles really be based on real needs of real people in real time to be truly successful? Who needs gods or their messengers for any of those, then? O ye peoples of the world! Know assuredly that My commandments are the lamps of My loving providence among My servants, and the keys of My mercy for My creatures. Thus hath it been sent down from the heaven of the Will of your Lord, the Lord of Revelation. Were any man to taste the sweetness of the words which the lips of the AllMerciful have willed to utter, he would, though the treasures of the earth be in his possession, renounce them one and all, that he might vindicate the truth of even one
of His commandments, shining above the Dayspring of His bountiful care and lovingkindness. Sure, let us forget about all those people who were Baha’is, like myself, who later rejected it. And also those who still claim to be Baha’is but were condemned by the official Baha’i leaders as “Covenant breakers”. I guess they never tasted the sweetness of God’s words? Say: From My laws the sweet-smelling savor of My garment can be smelled, and by their aid the standards of Victory will be planted upon the highest peaks. The Tongue of My power hath, from the heaven of My omnipotent glory, addressed to My creation these words: “Observe My commandments, for the love of My beauty.” Happy is the lover that hath inhaled the divine fragrance of his Best-Beloved from these words, laden with the perfume of a grace which no tongue can describe. By My life! He who hath drunk the choice wine of fairness from the hands of My bountiful favor will circle around My commandments that shine above the Dayspring of My creation. Think not that We have revealed unto you a mere code of laws. Nay, rather, We have unsealed the choice Wine with the fingers of might and power. To this beareth witness that which the Pen of Revelation hath revealed. Meditate upon this, O men of insight! Ironically, Baha’is, like Muslims before them, are prohibited from drinking any alcoholic beverages. So these references to wine seem like bad expressions to use. And again, ASSERTING SOMETHING ALONE PROVES NOTHING, no matter how many times you do it. We have enjoined obligatory prayer upon you, with nine rak‘ahs, to be offered at noon and in the morning and the evening unto God, the Revealer of Verses. We have relieved you of a greater number, as a command in the Book of God. He, verily, is the Ordainer, the Omnipotent, the Unrestrained. When ye desire to perform this prayer, turn ye towards the Court of My Most Holy Presence, this Hallowed Spot that God hath made the Center round which circle the Concourse on high, and which He hath decreed to be the Point of Adoration for the denizens of the Cities of Eternity, and the Source of Command unto all that are in heaven and on earth; and when the Sun of Truth and Utterance shall set, turn your faces towards the Spot that We have ordained for you. He, verily, is Almighty and Omniscient. Baha’is actually have three Obligatory Prayers, which are known as the Long, Medium, and Short Obligatory Prayers. The long one may be said anytime once a day, the medium one may be said three times in the morning, afternoon and evening, and the short one may be said only in the afternoon. Baha’is may choose any one of the three, but must choose one a day and face Haifa, specifically the shrine there where Baha’ullah is buried. By contrast, Muslims are expected to pray five times a day while facing Mecca, specifically the Kabaa in that city. Question: If someone is being forced to talk to someone else every so often, how is that a loving and healthy relationship? If I forced my wife to have sex with me every night regardless of her feelings at the time, I’d be a rapist. Even worse, insisting that we do it doggy-style instead of doing it the way the wife might prefer. That does not seem loving at all. Everything that is hath come to be through His irresistible decree. Whenever My laws appear like the sun in the heaven of Mine utterance, they must be faithfully obeyed by all, though My decree be such as to cause the heaven of every religion to be cleft asunder. He doeth what He pleaseth. He chooseth, and none may question His choice.
Whatsoever He, the Well-Beloved, ordaineth, the same is, verily, beloved. To this He Who is the Lord of all creation beareth Me witness. Whoso hath in haled the sweet fragrance of the All-Merciful, and recognized the Source of this utterance, will welcome with his own eyes the shafts of the enemy, that he may establish the truth of the laws of God amongst men. Well is it with him that hath turned thereunto, and apprehended the meaning of His decisive decree. Again, repeating what was said before in different words. I cannot believe I was so blind as to think this was a masterpiece of divine revelation! If I was a professor and this was an essay submitted to me by a student in my class, I certainly would not give it an A for effort! We have set forth the details of obligatory prayer in another Tablet. Blessed is he who observeth that whereunto he hath been bidden by Him Who ruleth over all mankind. In the Prayer for the Dead six specific passages have been sent down by God, the Revealer of Verses. Let one who is able to read recite that which hath been revealed to precede these passages; and as for him who is unable, God hath relieved him of this requirement. He, of a truth, is the Mighty, the Pardoner. According to official Baha’i propaganda, the original tablet referred to here was stolen and destroyed by Mirza Muhammad-Ali, brother of Abdu’l-Baha. You’d think Baha’ullah would have made several copies of this important work and given them to various people before his death, including Abdu’l-Baha himself. It is more likely that the Baha’i leadership after Baha’u’llah’s death looked at the original tablet and realized that most people from nonMuslim backgrounds would have found such a long and complex prayer unacceptable. So it was replaced by the three Obligatory Prayers we have now. Hair doth not invalidate your prayer, nor aught from which the spirit hath departed, such as bones and the like. Ye are free to wear the fur of the sable as ye would that of the beaver, the squirrel, and other animals; the prohibition of its use hath stemmed, not from the Qur’án, but from the misconceptions of the divines. He, verily, is the AllGlorious, the All-Knowing. This would also imply that Baha’is would not belong to radical animal rights groups like PETA, which condemn those who wear fur coats. Let’s give Baha’u’llah a bit of credit here….PETA is an even worse cult than any version of the Baha’i Faith, really! We have commanded you to pray and fast from the beginning of maturity; this is ordained by God, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers. He hath exempted from this those who are weak from illness or age, as a bounty from His Presence, and He is the Forgiving, the Generous. God hath granted you leave to prostrate yourselves on any surface that is clean, for We have removed in this regard the limitation that had been laid down in the Book; God, indeed, hath knowledge of that whereof ye know naught. Let him that findeth no water for ablution repeat five times the words “In the Name of God, the Most Pure, the Most Pure,” and then proceed to his devotions. Such is the command of the Lord of all worlds. In regions where the days and nights grow long, let times of prayer be gauged by clocks and other instruments that mark the passage of the hours. He, verily, is the Expounder, the Wise. Like Muslims, Baha’is are also expected to fast in the daytime for a period of time. Islam commands the fast in the month of Ramadan, which is about 28 days long, because Muslims measure their months and years by a lunar calendar. Baha’is use a solar calendar, but their “months” are actually only 19 days long and there are 19 of them. Why not combine the lunar months with the solar year, then? Again, it seems Baha’u’llah made the rituals of his religion
less demanding than Islam to attract more followers. We have absolved you from the requirement of performing the Prayer of the Signs. On the appearance of fearful natural events call ye to mind the might and majesty of your Lord, He Who heareth and seeth all, and say “Dominion is God’s, the Lord of the seen and the unseen, the Lord of creation.” This refers to a ritual of the Babi Faith, which was founded by the Bab. He is considered by Baha’is to be the forerunner of Baha’u’llah, but is given the status of a Messenger of God in his own right. So, what would be an example of a “fearful natural event”? A solar eclipse? An earthquake? A tornado? It hath been ordained that obligatory prayer is to be performed by each of you individually. Save in the Prayer for the Dead, the practice of congregational prayer hath been annulled. He, of a truth, is the Ordainer, the All-Wise. This completely tosses out how Muslims worship in their mosques on Fridays at noon. However, it must be noted that Abdu’l-Baha himself often attended a mosque in Akka when he was living there. Why continue to follow practices of a religion you no longer believe in and intend to replace? God hath exempted women who are in their courses from obligatory prayer and fasting. Let them, instead, after performance of their ablutions, give praise unto God, repeating ninety-five times between the noon of one day and the next “Glorified be God, the Lord of Splendor and Beauty.” Thus hath it been decreed in the Book, if ye be of them that comprehend. Because there is something unclean about menstrual blood, right? So much for the idea of men and women being equal! When traveling, if ye should stop and rest in some safe spot, perform ye—men and women alike—a single prostration in place of each unsaid Obligatory Prayer, and while prostrating say “Glorified be God, the Lord of Might and Majesty, of Grace and Bounty.” Whoso is unable to do this, let him say only “Glorified be God”; this shall assuredly suffice him. He is, of a truth, the all-sufficing, the ever-abiding, the forgiving, compassionate God. Upon completing your prostrations, seat yourselves cross-legged —men and women alike—and eighteen times repeat “Glorified be God, the Lord of the kingdoms of earth and heaven.” Thus doth the Lord make plain the ways of truth and guidance, ways that lead to one way, which is this Straight Path. Render thanks unto God for this most gracious favor; offer praise unto Him for this bounty that hath encompassed the heavens and the earth; extol Him for this mercy that hath pervaded all creation. This seems to foretell when people will be traveling in planes or other vehicles where there is no place for prayers. As long as you set aside a little time for God each day, it is OK. Say: God hath made My hidden love the key to the Treasure; would that ye might perceive it! But for the key, the Treasure would to all eternity have remained concealed; would that ye might believe it! Say: This is the Source of Revelation, the Dawning-place of Splendor, Whose brightness hath illumined the horizons of the world. Would that ye might understand! This is, verily, that fixed Decree through which every irrevocable decree hath been established. Say: That is a word that appears often in Baha’u’llah’s writings but seems completely
unnecessary. O Pen of the Most High! Say: O people of the world! We have enjoined upon you fasting during a brief period, and at its close have designated for you Naw-Rúz as a feast. Thus hath the Daystar of Utterance shone forth above the horizon of the Book as decreed by Him Who is the Lord of the beginning and the end. Let the days in excess of the months be placed before the month of fasting. We have ordained that these, amid all nights and days, shall be the manifestations of the letter Há, and thus they have not been bounded by the limits of the year and its months. It behooveth the people of Bahá, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name; and when they end—these days of giving that precede the season of restraint—let them enter upon the Fast. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Lord of all mankind. The traveler, the ailing, those who are with child or giving suck, are not bound by the Fast; they have been exempted by God as a token of His grace. He, verily, is the Almighty, the Most Generous. This gives a few details about the Baha’i calendar. Baha’is do often exchange gifts in the days before the fast, which is helpful since most of them do not celebrate Christmas. Also, note that women in their reproductive years are partly exempt from fasting. This makes me wonder why men should fast at all. These are the ordinances of God that have been set down in the Books and Tablets by His Most Exalted Pen. Hold ye fast unto His statutes and commandments, and be not of those who, following their idle fancies and vain imaginings, have clung to the standards fixed by their own selves, and cast behind their backs the standards laid down by God. Abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sundown, and beware lest desire deprive you of this grace that is appointed in the Book. Again, repeating what was said before, but in different words. It hath been ordained that every believer in God, the Lord of Judgment, shall, each day, having washed his hands and then his face, seat himself and, turning unto God, repeat “Alláh-u-Abhá” ninety-five times. Such was the decree of the Maker of the Heavens when, with majesty and power, He established Himself upon the thrones of His Names. Perform ye, likewise, ablutions for the Obligatory Prayer; this is the command of God, the Incomparable, the Unrestrained. Baha’is assume that by “turning unto God”, Baha’ullah meant to face Haifa and the Shrine of Baha’u’llah there. This stating of a specific name of God 95 times is in addition to the Obligatory Prayers and may be done in conjunction with the prayers. “Ablutions” is the actual term for washing the hands and face mentioned a moment before. The basic idea here is to set aside some time each day to worship God. Ye have been forbidden to commit murder or adultery, or to engage in backbiting or calumny; shun ye, then, what hath been prohibited in the holy Books and Tablets. Including the Ten Commandments, no doubt. We have divided inheritance into seven categories: to the children, We have allotted nine parts comprising five hundred and forty shares; to the wife, eight parts
comprising four hundred and eighty shares; to the father, seven parts comprising four hundred and twenty shares; to the mother, six parts comprising three hundred and sixty shares; to the brothers, five parts or three hundred shares; to the sisters, four parts or two hundred and forty shares; and to the teachers, three parts or one hundred and eighty shares. Such was the ordinance of My Forerunner, He Who extolleth My Name in the night season and at the break of day. When We heard the clamor of the children as yet unborn, We doubled their share and decreased those of the rest. He, of a truth, hath power to ordain whatsoever He desireth, and He doeth as He pleaseth by virtue of His sovereign might. This provides guidance for passing on of inheritance of a dead person’s estate to others, in case he dies without leaving a will. However, this raises certain questions. Why are teachers mentioned? What kinds of teachers are specifically meant? School teachers? Religious educators? I would assume that issue was left to those who would come after Baha’u’llah to figure out. Should the deceased leave no offspring, their share shall revert to the House of Justice, to be expended by the Trustees of the All-Merciful on the orphaned and widowed, and on whatsoever will bring benefit to the generality of the people, that all may give thanks unto their Lord, the All-Gracious, the Pardoner. Shoghi Effendi, known as the Guardian of the Baha’i Faith, left no will and died without any issue, so I would guess this passage would have been used to justify the Universal House of Justice asserting absolute control over the Faith in the absence of a Guardian later. How convenient for them. Should the deceased leave offspring, but none of the other categories of heirs that have been specified in the Book, they shall receive two-thirds of the inheritance and the remaining third shall revert to the House of Justice. Such is the command which hath been given, in majesty and glory, by Him Who is the All-Possessing, the Most High. If the deceased should leave none of the specified heirs, but have among his relatives nephews and nieces, whether on his brother’s or his sister’s side, two-thirds of the inheritance shall pass to them; or, lacking these, to his uncles and aunts on both his father’s and his mother’s side, and after them to their sons and daughters. The remaining third of the inheritance shall, in any case, revert to the Seat of Justice. Thus hath it been laid down in the Book by Him Who ruleth over all men. Should the deceased be survived by none of those whose names have been recorded by the Pen of the Most High, his estate shall, in its entirety, revert to the aforementioned Seat that it may be expended on that which is prescribed by God. He, verily, is the Ordainer, the Omnipotent. It seems that the Universal House of Justice could make a huge profit off of the death of every Baha’i in the world, regardless of who else receives some of the inheritance. We have assigned the residence and personal clothing of the deceased to the male, not female, offspring, nor to the other heirs. He, verily, is the Munificent, the AllBountiful. What if the deceased was a mother of several sons? Would her sons be expected to wear her dresses?! Or what if she had no sons, but her daughter(s) lived with her when she died? Would the daughters be evicted from her home? That, verily, is the Sexist, the All-Offensive.
Should the son of the deceased have passed away in the days of his father and have left children, they will inherit their father’s share, as prescribed in the Book of God. Divide ye their share amongst them with perfect justice. Thus have the billows of the Ocean of Utterance surged, casting forth the pearls of the laws decreed by the Lord of all mankind. If the deceased should leave children who are under age, their share of the inheritance must be entrusted to a reliable individual, or to a company, that it may be invested on their behalf in trade and business until they come of age. The trustee should be assigned a due share of the profit that hath accrued to it from being thus employed. Do I have to explain the enormous potential for abuse here? I can imagine lots of lawsuits being filed by young heirs of an estate over these provisions. Even parents themselves have been known to squander the trust funds of their own children such as with child actors or pop stars. Division of the estate should take place only after the Ḥuqúqu’lláh hath been paid, any debts have been settled, the expenses of the funeral and burial defrayed, and such provision made that the deceased may be carried to his resting-place with dignity and honor. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is Lord of the beginning and the end. Ḥuqúqu’lláh is a special fund that Baha’is are expected to donate to on a regular basis while they are alive. All the payments to it must be made to the current Head of the Faith which is, of course, the Universal House of Justice! So first the payment of Ḥuqúqu’lláh must be made, then the funeral and burial must be paid for, THEN the estate must be divided. But a person who is impoverished may have what little savings he had wiped out as a result, leaving almost nothing for the heirs in the family. But the Universal House of Justice still gets a massive share, no matter what! Say: This is that hidden knowledge which shall never change, since its beginning is with nine, the symbol that betokeneth the concealed and manifest, the inviolable and unapproachably exalted Name. As for what We have appropriated to the children, this is a bounty conferred on them by God, that they may render thanks unto their Lord, the Compassionate, the Merciful. These, verily, are the Laws of God; transgress them not at the prompting of your base and selfish desires. Observe ye the injunctions laid upon you by Him Who is the Dawning-place of Utterance. The sincere among His servants will regard the precepts set forth by God as the Water of Life to the followers of every faith, and the Lamp of wisdom and loving providence to all the denizens of earth and heaven. The number nine is sacred to Baha’is because it is the highest single-digit number, thus illustrating the highest form of unity that Baha’is strive for. A common symbol for the Baha’i Faith is a nine-pointed star.
The Lord hath ordained that in every city a House of Justice be established wherein shall gather counselors to the number of Bahá, and should it exceed this number it doth not matter. They should consider themselves as entering the Court of the presence of God, the Exalted, the Most High, and as beholding Him Who is the Unseen. It behooveth them to be the trusted ones of the Merciful among men and to regard themselves as the guardians appointed of God for all that dwell on earth. It is incumbent upon them to take counsel together and to have regard for the interests of the servants of God, for His sake, even as they regard their own interests, and to choose that which is meet and seemly. Thus hath the Lord your God commanded you. Beware lest ye put away that which is clearly revealed in His Tablet. Fear God, O ye that perceive. “The Number of Baha” refers to nine, which is why the Universal House of Justice has nine members. But note that Baha’u’llah specified a House of Justice in every city, NOT a Universal House of Justice ruling all the Baha’is of the world! Abdu’l-Baha completely discarded Baha’u’llah’s actual commandment in his own Will and Testament, calling for a UNIVERSAL House of Justice that would be elected by the members of National Spiritual Assemblies. Later, Shoghi Effendi would call for the establishment of Local Spiritual Assemblies and claim them and the National ones as embryonic forms of the Houses of Justices on the local and national levels. But why not just call them Houses of Justice from the beginning? The answer becomes clear from this passage: “It behooveth them to be the trusted ones of the Merciful among men and to regard themselves as the guardians appointed of God for all that dwell on earth.” Abdul-Baha also violated that by appointing Shoghi Effendi as the only “Guardian of the Cause of God”. Thus, no Houses of Justice, not even the Universal one, would be established while Shoghi Effendi was still alive without causing a crisis in the Faith, because then the House of Justice members could also claim to be Guardians of the Cause of God as well, challenging Shoghi Effendi’s exclusive authority. Small wonder, I suppose, why the Universal House of Justice would decree after it was formed in 1963 that no more Guardians were needed. Never mind that Abdu’l-Baha’s Will and Testament called for just that and Shoghi Effendi mentioned future Guardians as necessary in his own writings. Also, note that the Houses of Justice were expected to work “for all that dwell on earth”. In other words, they were not just for Baha’is, but for the entire population in a city. How their authority would be established without forcing all non-Baha’is to submit to them is a mystery to me.
O people of the world! Build ye houses of worship throughout the lands in the name of Him Who is the Lord of all religions. Make them as perfect as is possible in the world of being, and adorn them with that which befitteth them, not with images and effigies. Then, with radiance and joy, celebrate therein the praise of your Lord, the Most Compassionate. Verily, by His remembrance the eye is cheered and the heart is filled with light. Baha’i Houses of Worship tend to be massive structures like cathedrals in nature, with nine sides to them. Here are pics of several:
I actually visited the House of Worship in Evanston, Illinois. It is indeed a beautiful place. But I doubt Baha’u’llah actually called for such massive buildings in all towns and villages. Baha’is
often worship in Baha’i Centers in local areas but these are not called Houses of Worship for some reason. The Lord hath ordained that those of you who are able shall make pilgrimage to the sacred House, and from this He hath exempted women as a mercy on His part. He, of a truth, is the All-Bountiful, the Most Generous. The House referred to is considered Bahjí, a mansion where Baha’u’llah spent his last years and died. He was then buried in a building nearby which is called the Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, and all Bahais turn towards it in prayer and visit it as part of their pilgrimage. Again, this mirrors Islam, the religion the Baha’i Faith evolved from. Also again, we see men and women being treated differently in the Baha’i Faith. O people of Bahá! It is incumbent upon each one of you to engage in some occupation —such as a craft, a trade or the like. We have exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship of the one true God. Reflect, O people, on the grace and blessings of your Lord, and yield Him thanks at eventide and dawn. Waste not your hours in idleness and sloth, but occupy yourselves with what will profit you and others. Thus hath it been decreed in this Tablet from whose horizon hath shone the daystar of wisdom and utterance. The most despised of men in the sight of God are they who sit and beg. Hold ye fast unto the cord of means and place your trust in God, the Provider of all means. This sounds like a great idea, making everyone that can work for a living do so and refusing any aid to people who are lazy and unwilling to contribute to the rest of society, just like what capitalists claim to believe in. In practice, however, workers in capitalist economies only get a portion of the profits their labor generates, the rest going to the business owners and stockholders who may not even be working for the company in any sense. That is NOT justice! By contrast, in the Communist societies Karl Marx called for the standard of economics was “from each according to his ABILITY, to each according to his NEEDS”, which is why Communist countries tended to have impoverished populations, because there was never any incentive to work harder if you were never going to be paid more for doing more work. The concept was self-defeating. It seems clear that neither crony capitalism nor state-managed communism fits what Baha’u’llah advocated. He deserves credit for rejecting both. I myself have advocated making stockholders outside a corporation’s employment illegal and requiring that all corporate executives be elected by the workers from among themselves. If only Baha’is would be a lot louder about THAT and not endlessly squawk about “race unity”. The kissing of hands hath been forbidden in the Book. This practice is prohibited by God, the Lord of glory and command. To none is it permitted to seek absolution from another soul; let repentance be between yourselves and God. He, verily, is the Pardoner, the Bounteous, the Gracious, the One Who absolveth the repentant. This is probably a reference to certain Roman Catholic practices like Confession, in which a parishioner goes to a priest to confess sins he has committed recently. O ye servants of the Merciful One! Arise to serve the Cause of God, in such wise that the cares and sorrows caused by them that have disbelieved in the Dayspring of the Signs of God may not afflict you. At the time when the Promise was fulfilled and the
Promised One made manifest, differences have appeared amongst the kindreds of the earth and each people hath followed its own fancy and idle imaginings. That’s called freedom of thought, Baha’u’llah. God apparently did not make us robots. Why say people should be exactly alike in their minds? Amongst the people is he who seateth himself amid the sandals by the door whilst coveting in his heart the seat of honor. Say: What manner of man art thou, O vain and heedless one, who wouldst appear as other than thou art? And among the people is he who layeth claim to inner knowledge, and still deeper knowledge concealed within this knowledge. Say: Thou speakest false! By God! What thou dost possess is naught but husks which We have left to thee as bones are left to dogs. By the righteousness of the one true God! Were anyone to wash the feet of all mankind, and were he to worship God in the forests, valleys, and mountains, upon high hills and lofty peaks, to leave no rock or tree, no clod of earth, but was a witness to his worship—yet, should the fragrance of My good pleasure not be inhaled from him, his works would never be acceptable unto God. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Lord of all. How many a man hath secluded himself in the climes of India, denied himself the things that God hath decreed as lawful, imposed upon himself austerities and mortifications, and hath not been remembered by God, the Revealer of Verses. Make not your deeds as snares wherewith to entrap the object of your aspiration, and deprive not yourselves of this Ultimate Objective for which have ever yearned all such as have drawn nigh unto God. Say: The very life of all deeds is My good pleasure, and all things depend upon Mine acceptance. Read ye the Tablets that ye may know what hath been purposed in the Books of God, the All-Glorious, the Ever-Bounteous. He who attaineth to My love hath title to a throne of gold, to sit thereon in honor over all the world; he who is deprived thereof, though he sit upon the dust, that dust would seek refuge with God, the Lord of all Religions. Here, Baha’u’llah echos a lot of what Jesus said about and to his fellow Jews. Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years, such a man is assuredly a lying impostor. We pray God that He may graciously assist him to retract and repudiate such claim. Should he repent, God will, no doubt, forgive him. If, however, he persisteth in his error, God will, assuredly, send down one who will deal mercilessly with him. Terrible, indeed, is God in punishing! Whosoever interpreteth this verse otherwise than its obvious meaning is deprived of the Spirit of God and of His mercy which encompasseth all created things. Fear God, and follow not your idle fancies. Nay, rather, follow the bidding of your Lord, the Almighty, the All-Wise. Erelong shall clamorous voices be raised in most lands. Shun them, O My people, and follow not the iniquitous and evilhearted. This is that of which We gave you forewarning when We were dwelling in ‘Iráq, then later while in the Land of Mystery, and now from this Resplendent Spot. Go back and read again that chapter titled The Fatal Flaw in Baha'i Authority. When I finally realized that one could only claim infallibility by also claiming direct revelation from God himself (by simple force of logic, since no man by himself can ever be equal to God), it put the whole issue of Abdu’l-Baha claiming to be infallible and also his claiming that Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice would be infallible as well in shocking context! I could NO LONGER claim to believe in Baha’u’llah and also accept the absolute
authority of his successors in the Baha’i Faith at the same time. The conflict in my mind that resulted led me to resign from the Faith in 2005. Be not dismayed, O peoples of the world, when the daystar of My beauty is set, and the heaven of My tabernacle is concealed from your eyes. Arise to further My Cause, and to exalt My Word amongst men. We are with you at all times, and shall strengthen you through the power of truth. We are truly almighty. Whoso hath recognized Me will arise and serve Me with such determination that the powers of earth and heaven shall be unable to defeat his purpose. I really wish that were true. Sadly, the Baha’i Faith has defeated itself, thanks to the corrupt authorities I just mentioned in my last comment. They are the Faith’s own worse enemies! The peoples of the world are fast asleep. Were they to wake from their slumber, they would hasten with eagerness unto God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. They would cast away everything they possess, be it all the treasures of the earth, that their Lord may remember them to the extent of addressing to them but one word. Such is the instruction given you by Him Who holdeth the knowledge of things hidden, in a Tablet which the eye of creation hath not seen, and which is revealed to none except His own Self, the omnipotent Protector of all worlds. So bewildered are they in the drunkenness of their evil desires, that they are powerless to recognize the Lord of all being, Whose voice calleth aloud from every direction: “There is none other God but Me, the Mighty, the All-Wise.” Say: Rejoice not in the things ye possess; tonight they are yours, tomorrow others will possess them. Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. Say: Can ye claim that what ye own is lasting or secure? Nay! By Myself, the All-Merciful, ye cannot, if ye be of them who judge fairly. The days of your life flee away as a breath of wind, and all your pomp and glory shall be folded up as were the pomp and glory of those gone before you. Reflect, O people! What hath become of your bygone days, your lost centuries? Happy the days that have been consecrated to the remembrance of God, and blessed the hours which have been spent in praise of Him Who is the AllWise. By My life! Neither the pomp of the mighty, nor the wealth of the rich, nor even the ascendancy of the ungodly will endure. All will perish, at a word from Him. He, verily, is the All-Powerful, the All-Compelling, the Almighty. What advantage is there in the earthly things which men possess? That which shall profit them, they have utterly neglected. Erelong, they will awake from their slumber, and find themselves unable to obtain that which hath escaped them in the days of their Lord, the Almighty, the AllPraised. Did they but know it, they would renounce their all, that their names may be mentioned before His throne. They, verily, are accounted among the dead. Amongst the people is he whose learning hath made him proud, and who hath been debarred thereby from recognizing My Name, the Self-Subsisting; who, when he heareth the tread of sandals following behind him, waxeth greater in his own esteem than Nimrod. Say: O rejected one! Where now is his abode? By God, it is the nethermost fire. Say: O concourse of divines! Hear ye not the shrill voice of My Most Exalted Pen? See ye not this Sun that shineth in refulgent splendor above the AllGlorious Horizon? For how long will ye worship the idols of your evil passions? Forsake your vain imaginings, and turn yourselves unto God, your Everlasting Lord. Again, all these statements are similar to what Jesus taught his own followers. At least you cannot accuse Baha’u’llah of plagiarism, but these were also completely unnecessary. He could have just made references to specific passages in the Gospels with quotes from Jesus.
Then this book would have been shorter. Endowments dedicated to charity revert to God, the Revealer of Signs. None hath the right to dispose of them without leave from Him Who is the Dawning-place of Revelation. After Him, this authority shall pass to the Aghṣán, and after them to the House of Justice—should it be established in the world by then—that they may use these endowments for the benefit of the Places which have been exalted in this Cause, and for whatsoever hath been enjoined upon them by Him Who is the God of might and power. Otherwise, the endowments shall revert to the people of Bahá who speak not except by His leave and judge not save in accordance with what God hath decreed in this Tablet—lo, they are the champions of victory betwixt heaven and earth—that they may use them in the manner that hath been laid down in the Book by God, the Mighty, the Bountiful. This may refer to Ḥuqúqu’lláh and who is to be responsible for it. “Him Who is the Dawningplace of Revelation” is Baha’u’llah himself, of course. The Aghsan is a Baha’i term for the sons or male descendants of Baha’u’llah. Both Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi were Aghsan. Baha’is believe that when Shoghi Effendi died in 1957, the Hands of the Cause of God he had appointed to assist him fulfilled the provision of “the people of Bahá who speak not except by His leave and judge not save in accordance with what God hath decreed in this Tablet”, leading the worldwide Baha’i community until the Universal House of Justice was elected in 1963. No argument from me about that. But if only Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi had not made such a big deal about the importance of the Guardianship, the attempt in 1960 by Charles Mason Remey to usurp that position and thus the leadership of the Faith itself while the community was so vulnerable might not have happened. Remey was clearly an opportunistic bastard to have pulled such a stunt! Lament not in your hours of trial, neither rejoice therein; seek ye the Middle Way which is the remembrance of Me in your afflictions and reflection over that which may befall you in future. Thus informeth you He Who is the Omniscient, He Who is aware. Seek balance in life; that seems quite reasonable. Shave not your heads; God hath adorned them with hair, and in this there are signs from the Lord of creation to those who reflect upon the requirements of nature. He, verily, is the God of strength and wisdom. Notwithstanding, it is not seemly to let the hair pass beyond the limit of the ears. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Lord of all worlds. It was later clarified that this only referred to men, not women. I guess the Baha’i leaders after Baha’u’llah realized how absurd it was to require women to always have short hair. Also, what about cases of male pattern baldness; would that not contradict what Baha’u’llah claimed? Was he simply not paying attention? Some of the most handsome men in the world were and are naturally bald.
And here is a picture of Abdu’l-Baha as a young man:
Exile and imprisonment are decreed for the thief, and, on the third offense, place ye a mark upon his brow so that, thus identified, he may not be accepted in the cities of God and His countries. Beware lest, through compassion, ye neglect to carry out the statutes of the religion of God; do that which hath been bidden you by Him Who is compassionate and merciful. We school you with the rod of wisdom and laws, like unto the father who educateth his son, and this for naught but the protection of your own selves and the elevation of your stations. By My life, were ye to discover what We have desired for you in revealing Our holy laws, ye would offer up your very souls for this sacred, this mighty, and most exalted Faith. So is that exile for the first act of theft and imprisonment for the second? And what would this mark look like? The number 666, perhaps? And if he is not accepted in “the cities of God and His countries” where could he go…..to cities and countries of Satan? What if people are driven to steal because they are starving? Seems to me that compassion should be an issue here.
Whoso wisheth to make use of vessels of silver and gold is at liberty to do so. Take heed lest, when partaking of food, ye plunge your hands into the contents of bowls and platters. Adopt ye such usages as are most in keeping with refinement. He, verily, desireth to see in you the manners of the inmates of Paradise in His mighty and most sublime Kingdom. Hold ye fast unto refinement under all conditions, that your eyes may be preserved from beholding what is repugnant both to your own selves and to the dwellers of Paradise. Should anyone depart therefrom, his deed shall at that moment be rendered vain; yet should he have good reason, God will excuse him. He, in truth, is the Gracious, the Most Bountiful. Yes, because one should not be allowed to spread germs through food. This is a good law, actually. Even at my Unitarian Universalist church during potlucks, we typically put tongs in bowls that contain finger food items like crackers or potato chips. He Who is the Dawning-place of God’s Cause hath no partner in the Most Great Infallibility. He it is Who, in the kingdom of creation, is the Manifestation of “He doeth whatsoever He willeth.” God hath reserved this distinction unto His own Self, and ordained for none a share in so sublime and transcendent a station. This is the Decree of God, concealed ere now within the veil of impenetrable mystery. We have disclosed it in this Revelation, and have thereby rent asunder the veils of such as have failed to recognize that which the Book of God set forth and who were numbered with the heedless. Here again is that damning (no pun intended) issue of infallibility that got me so riled up in the final months of my being a Baha’i. Abdu’l-Baha tried to get around that by claiming he only had “conferred infallibility” from Baha’u’llah. That is illogical; I might as well claim that I have “conferred perfection” from my own father. But perfection and infallibility are ABSOLUTE attributes or otherwise they are meaningless words. “I AM ALWAYS RIGHT BECAUSE I SAY I AM!” is the mantra of the egomaniac and the narcissist, not a legitimate leader. Even Baha’u’llah only claimed to be infallible because of his unique relationship with God, which, as I showed earlier, he denied anyone else would have for 1000 years after him…..not even his son Abdu’l-Baha. Unto every father hath been enjoined the instruction of his son and daughter in the art of reading and writing and in all that hath been laid down in the Holy Tablet. He that putteth away that which is commanded unto him, the Trustees are then to take from him that which is required for their instruction if he be wealthy and, if not, the matter devolveth upon the House of Justice. Verily have We made it a shelter for the poor and needy. He that bringeth up his son or the son of another, it is as though he hath brought up a son of Mine; upon him rest My glory, My loving-kindness, My mercy, that have compassed the world. Here we have a provision for both homeschooling and public schools, but it is clear that homeschooling is preferable. Problem: What if the father knows nothing about science but his son wants to be a scientist? Maybe the son can study science on his own, but he would do better with a professional science teacher. Oh, and there is that mention of the House of Justice. If that law is relevant today, does that mean that all children of poor and neglectful fathers must be sent to Haifa, where the Universal House of Justice is, for their education? God hath imposed a fine on every adulterer and adulteress, to be paid to the House of Justice: nine mithqáls of gold, to be doubled if they should repeat the offense. Such is the penalty which He Who is the Lord of Names hath assigned them in this world; and in the world to come He hath ordained for them a humiliating torment. Should anyone be afflicted by a sin, it behooveth him to repent thereof and return unto his Lord. He, verily, granteth forgiveness unto whomsoever He willeth, and none may question that which it pleaseth Him to ordain. He is, in truth, the Ever-Forgiving, the Almighty, the All-Praised. Official Baha’i commmentary on this paragraph says, “A mithqál is a unit of weight. The weight of the traditional mithqál used in the Middle East is equivalent to 24 nakhuds. However, the mithqál used by the Bahá’ís consists of 19 nakhuds, “in accordance with the specification of the Bayán” (Q&A 23). The weight of nine of these mithqál equals 32.775 grams or 1.05374 troy ounces.” So the offender would
pay that amount for having sex with another man’s wife or another woman’s husband, then twice that much if he does it again. I would assume the actual amount would be in the form of money, but that would assume all money follows the gold standard, and not be fiat money like we have with American dollars and many other currencies in the world. Beware lest ye be hindered by the veils of glory from partaking of the crystal waters of this living Fountain. Seize ye the chalice of salvation at this dawntide in the name of Him Who causeth the day to break, and drink your fill in praise of Him Who is the All-Glorious, the Incomparable. Another paragraph repeating what was said many times before. We have made it lawful for you to listen to music and singing. Take heed, however, lest listening thereto should cause you to overstep the bounds of propriety and dignity. Let your joy be the joy born of My Most Great Name, a Name that bringeth rapture to the heart, and filleth with ecstasy the minds of all who have drawn nigh unto God. We, verily, have made music as a ladder for your souls, a means whereby they may be lifted up unto the realm on high; make it not, therefore, as wings to self and passion. Truly, We are loath to see you numbered with the foolish. Why is music and singing an issue? Because in some versions of Islam, music is not accepted. Cat Stevens, who converted to Islam and took the name Yusuf Islam, actually quit performing the music that first made him famous for many years because he was told that Islam prohibited music. Only when he was persuaded otherwise did he take up music again. Could Cat Stevens have become a Baha’i instead? I wonder what he would have thought of that passage referring to music in the Kitab-iAqdas? We have decreed that a third part of all fines shall go to the Seat of Justice, and We admonish its men to observe pure justice, that they may expend what is thus accumulated for such purposes as have been enjoined upon them by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. O ye Men of Justice! Be ye, in the realm of God, shepherds unto His sheep and guard them from the ravening wolves that have appeared in disguise, even as ye would guard your own sons. Thus exhorteth you the Counselor, the Faithful. One of the most controversial features of the Baha’i Faith is that only men, not women, are allowed to serve on the Universal House of Justice, the supreme governing body of the Faith, even though the Faith also claims to teach the equality of men and women. Here we see why Abdu’l-Baha and those who followed him insisted on this restriction: Baha’u’llah referred to “Men of Justice”, not “People of Justice”. Indeed, thoughout the Kitab-i-Aqdas one would not get the impression that Baha’u’llah believed in the equality of the sexes at all. So one would wonder why Abdu’l-Baha would make gender equality a principle of the Faith. Should differences arise amongst you over any matter, refer it to God while the Sun still shineth above the horizon of this Heaven and, when it hath set, refer ye to whatsoever hath been sent down by Him. This, verily, is sufficient unto the peoples of the world. Say: Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the glory of My Presence is withdrawn, and the ocean of My utterance is stilled. In My presence amongst you there is a wisdom, and in My absence there is yet another, inscrutable to all but God, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing. Verily, We behold you from Our realm of glory, and will aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favored angels. Let it be noted that differences arose between Abdu’l-Baha and those who he condemned later as “Covenant breakers” after the death of Baha’u’llah, differences arose between Shoghi Effendi and those who he in turn condemned as “Covenant breakers” after the death of Abdu’l-Baha (including most of his own relatives), and differences also arose between the Baha’is after the death of Shoghi Effendi. Putting the matter before God and the revelations that were supposed to be from God did little
to end the disputes that raged for years after they started. And if disputes among the Baha’is could not be resolved amicably, how can the rest of the peoples of the world find their differences resolved by Baha’i teachings?
O peoples of the earth! God, the Eternal Truth, is My witness that streams of fresh and soft-flowing waters have gushed from the rocks through the sweetness of the words uttered by your Lord, the Unconstrained; and still ye slumber. Cast away that which ye possess, and, on the wings of detachment, soar beyond all created things. Thus biddeth you the Lord of creation, the movement of Whose Pen hath revolutionized the soul of mankind. Know ye from what heights your Lord, the All-Glorious, is calling? Think ye that ye have recognized the Pen wherewith your Lord, the Lord of all names, commandeth you? Nay, by My life! Did ye but know it, ye would renounce the world, and would hasten with your whole hearts to the presence of the Well-Beloved. Your spirits would be so transported by His Word as to throw into commotion the Greater World—how much more this small and petty one! Thus have the showers of My bounty been poured down from the heaven of My loving-kindness, as a token of My grace, that ye may be of the thankful. Once again, we find Baha’u’llah making statements that are so redundant as to be tedious. I guess with such lame standards of writing as this, that might explain the tendency of the Universal House of Justice to be even more empty in its rhetoric in recent times. The penalties for wounding or striking a person depend upon the severity of the injury; for each degree the Lord of Judgment hath prescribed a certain indemnity. He is, in truth, the Ordainer, the Mighty, the Most Exalted. We shall, if it be Our Will, set forth these payments in their just degrees—this is a promise on Our part, and He, verily, is the Keeper of His pledge, the Knower of all things. Baha’u’llah himself did not specify the details of punishment for acts of assault and battery, so it is assumed that matter is to be left to the Universal House of Justice, which is expected to legislate on all matters not specified in the writing of the previous Baha’i leaders. Verily, it is enjoined upon you to offer a feast, once in every month, though only water be served; for God hath purposed to bind hearts together, albeit through both earthly and heavenly means. This refers to the Nineteen Day Feasts, because Baha’i “months” are said to be 19 days long rather than varying from 28 to 31 like in the Gregorian calendar. In practice, at least in the Baha’i communities I was part of, the feasts are usually held on the weekend closest to the actual start of the Baha’i month. Feasts are divided into three parts, an Administrative portion in which messages from Baha’i institutions like the Universal House of Justice are usually read, a worship portion including reciting of prayers and readings of Baha’i writings and finally a social portion in which actual eating and drinking may be done. Most feasts exclude nonBaha’is; a feast intended to include them is called a “unity feast” and in this the administrative portion is omitted. I actually found the administrative portion to be almost unbearable at times, because of having to listen to SO MUCH EMPTY RHETORIC from the Baha’i leadership. Beware lest the desires of the flesh and of a corrupt inclination provoke divisions among you. Be ye as the fingers of one hand, the members of one body. Thus counseleth you the Pen of Revelation, if ye be of them that believe.
Good advice. Too bad many Baha’is did not listen to it. By the way, if you ever hear Baha’is claim that their Faith’s community is fully united and that the “covenant breakers” are so few as to not matter at all, consider that even the majority of the Baha’is led by the Universal House of Justice are little more than a few million people scattered all over the world with almost no influence in their own homelands. What value is there in being united if you can’t do anything useful? Christians are divided into thousands of sects, yet it remains the most popular religion in the world and Christian leaders like the Roman Catholic Pope still have a strong influence that the Universal House of Justice has never had. Consider the mercy of God and His gifts. He enjoineth upon you that which shall profit you, though He Himself can well dispense with all creatures. Your evil doings can never harm Us, neither can your good works profit Us. We summon you wholly for the sake of God. To this every man of understanding and insight will testify. Religion is for the sake of man, not for the sake of God. And God is not affected by us. Why not make religion all about man and toss any references to theism in the garbage can of history? That would end a lot of silly arguments about religion. If ye should hunt with beasts or birds of prey, invoke ye the Name of God when ye send them to pursue their quarry; for then whatever they catch shall be lawful unto you, even should ye find it to have died. He, verily, is the Omniscient, the All-Informed. Take heed, however, that ye hunt not to excess. Tread ye the path of justice and equity in all things. Thus biddeth you He Who is the Dawning-place of Revelation, would that ye might comprehend. God is the Creator of all life and thus should be remembered when hunting life. I’m sure Ted Nugent would love a passage like that. Question: Should there be a penalty for someone sending a dog or falcon to catch prey without a moment to…..pray? God hath bidden you to show forth kindliness towards My kindred, but He hath granted them no right to the property of others. He, verily, is self-sufficient, above any need of His creatures. But it is perfectly fine for the Universal House of Justice to get a large portion of the value of a dead person’s estate, isn’t it? At least Baha’u’llah denies that nepotism is a thing to accept….unless you are Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi, of course. Exceptions to rules abound in this Faith. Should anyone intentionally destroy a house by fire, him also shall ye burn; should anyone deliberately take another’s life, him also shall ye put to death. Take ye hold of the precepts of God with all your strength and power, and abandon the ways of the ignorant. Should ye condemn the arsonist and the murderer to life imprisonment, it would be permissible according to the provisions of the Book. He, verily, hath power to ordain whatsoever He pleaseth. Burning someone at the stake was a common punishment used in the Middle Ages of Europe, so Baha’u’llah recommending that in the 19th Century for the peoples of the world seems like a HUGE backward step. By making such a punishment for arson, he involves the principle of poetic justice. Likewise with executing someone in an unspecified manner for murder. But then Baha’u’llah offers life imprisonment as an alternative punishment. Maybe for murder, but for ARSON? Burning a house down is not nearly as troublesome as taking a life because it is easy to replace a house; that is what homeowner’s insurance is for. You cannot replace a life; once a person is dead, he is gone and cannot be returned to life.
God hath prescribed matrimony unto you. Beware that ye take not unto yourselves more wives than two. Whoso contenteth himself with a single partner from among the maidservants of God, both he and she shall live in tranquillity. And he who would take into his service a maid may do so with propriety. Such is the ordinance which, in truth and justice, hath been recorded by the Pen of Revelation. Enter into wedlock, O people, that ye may bring forth one who will make mention of Me amid My servants. This is My bidding unto you; hold fast to it as an assistance to yourselves. Baha’u’llah himself had three wives because in Islam, the religion he was raised in, he was permitted to have up to four and as a member of Persian nobility he would have been expected to be polygamous. Baha’u’llah restricted Baha’is in the future to have no more than two wives (I can certainly see such a thing happening in the case of a man marrying two sisters, for example), but Abdu’l-Baha acting as the official interpreter of his father’s writings claimed that only monogamy was actually permitted at all. That’s not interpreting, that is CONTRADICTING! Then Baha’u’llah should have said, “Beware that ye never take unto yourselves more than one wife.” He actually ALLOWED bigamy, though he also did not encourage it. Here we see Abdu’l-Baha asserting himself in a way to have more authority than his own father, the founder of the Baha’i Faith itself! O people of the world! Follow not the promptings of the self, for it summoneth insistently to wickedness and lust; follow, rather, Him Who is the Possessor of all created things, Who biddeth you to show forth piety, and manifest the fear of God. He, verily, is independent of all His creatures. Take heed not to stir up mischief in the land after it hath been set in order. Whoso acteth in this way is not of Us, and We are quit of him. Such is the command which hath, through the power of truth, been made manifest from the heaven of Revelation. It is a safe bet that Baha’u’llah would not have been a fan of Ayn Rand who was not only an atheist but championed selfishness as a way of living. It hath been laid down in the Bayán that marriage is dependent upon the consent of both parties. Desiring to establish love, unity and harmony amidst Our servants, We have conditioned it, once the couple’s wish is known, upon the permission of their parents, lest enmity and rancor should arise amongst them. And in this We have yet other purposes. Thus hath Our commandment been ordained. The Bayan was the book of laws written by the Bab, the founder of the Babi Faith who was said to be the forerunner of Baha’u’llah, just as John the Baptist was the forerunner of Jesus. But why would the Bab bother to reveal a book of laws for a religion only intended to last a few years, rather than merely order his followers, the Babi’s to obey the laws of the Quran? Because of the Islamic dogma that Muhammad was the “Seal of the Prophets” which Baha’is interpret to mean that while lesser prophets like Elijah would not arise in the future, Messengers like Muhammad and Baha’u’llah would still come to establish new religions in the name of God. Thus the Bab had to be a Messenger of God in his own right, not a lesser prophet. Baha’is often refer to the Bab and Baha’u’llah as the “Twin Manifestations” (the term “Manifestation of God” being synonymous with Messenger). As for marriage, it is strange to me that any religion would have to specify that marriage should be on condition of consent of both the groom and the bride involved; I cannot think of anything more perverted and unjust that FORCING a person to be married to someone he or she does not want! For all practical purposes, that is legalized and ritualized SEXUAL
ASSAULT! All around the world, forced marriage at any age, of either gender, and for any reason should be ILLEGAL, period! Another problem is the requirement that parental consent is required for marriage. This would make sense if we were talking about children being married, but adults too? What if the couple in question is interracial and the bride’s father is a racist? That means he could stop the marriage by refusing to give his consent, negating the Baha’i principle of the oneness of mankind. Adults should have control over their own lives, including who they wish to love and marry. Parents need to be willing to let go of their adult offspring and respect their choices. In both cases, the parties are being more mature. No marriage may be contracted without payment of a dowry, which hath been fixed for city dwellers at nineteen mithqáls of pure gold, and for village dwellers at the same amount in silver. Whoso wisheth to increase this sum, it is forbidden him to exceed the limit of ninety-five mithqáls. Thus hath the command been writ in majesty and power. If he content himself, however, with a payment of the lowest level, it shall be better for him according to the Book. God, verily, enricheth whomsoever He willeth through both heavenly and earthly means and He, in truth, hath power over all things. In ancient times, marriages were often more social contracts between families than romantic links between individuals. The payment of a dowry was usually made by one richer family towards a poorer one as a means of getting the other family to give up its membership of its son or daughter to the family making the payment. In highly sexist communities, young daughters were often merely sold by their fathers to wealthy men. Apparently realizing how offensive this idea of a dowry would be to people not of Muslim background and not in the Middle East, Baha’i commentators have attempted to whitewash this embarrassing passage, saying “The law of Bahá’u’lláh … converts the dowry into a symbolic act whereby the bridegroom presents a gift of a certain limited value to the bride.” Yeah, whatever. It hath been decreed by God that, should any one of His servants intend to travel, he must fix for his wife a time when he will return home. If he return by the promised time, he will have obeyed the bidding of his Lord and shall be numbered by the Pen of His behest among the righteous; otherwise, if there be good reason for delay, he must inform his wife and make the utmost endeavor to return to her. Should neither of these eventualities occur, it behooveth her to wait for a period of nine months, after which there is no impediment to her taking another husband; but should she wait longer, God, verily, loveth those women and men who show forth patience. Obey ye My commandments, and follow not the ungodly, they who have been reckoned as sinners in God’s Holy Tablet. If, during the period of her waiting, word should reach her from her husband, she should choose the course that is praiseworthy. He, of a truth, desireth that His servants and His handmaids should be at peace with one another; take heed lest ye do aught that may provoke intransigence amongst you. Thus hath the decree been fixed and the promise come to pass. If, however, news should reach her of her husband’s death or murder, and be confirmed by general report, or by the testimony of two just witnesses, it behooveth her to remain single; then, upon completion of the fixed number of months, she is free to adopt the course of her choosing. Such is the bidding of Him Who is mighty and powerful in His command. Why nine months? Perhaps because that is the length of a woman’s pregnancy and it would be highly frowned upon for a woman still pregnant with a recently lost husband’s baby to be dating another man. Note also the implied sexism here; there is no provision for a woman while traveling to keep her husband informed of her time of returning or for him to wait nine
months for her to return before he remarries. Only MEN are assumed to travel for any reason, women are expected to STAY HOME! Should resentment or antipathy arise between husband and wife, he is not to divorce her but to bide in patience throughout the course of one whole year, that perchance the fragrance of affection may be renewed between them. If, upon the completion of this period, their love hath not returned, it is permissible for divorce to take place. God’s wisdom, verily, hath encompassed all things. The Lord hath prohibited, in a Tablet inscribed by the Pen of His command, the practice to which ye formerly had recourse when thrice ye had divorced a woman. This He hath done as a favor on His part, that ye may be accounted among the thankful. He who hath divorced his wife may choose, upon the passing of each month, to remarry her when there is mutual affection and consent, so long as she hath not taken another husband. Should she have wed again, then, by this other union, the separation is confirmed and the matter is concluded unless, clearly, her circumstances change. Thus hath the decree been inscribed with majesty in this glorious Tablet by Him Who is the Dawning-place of Beauty. Islam allows a man to divorce his wife by stating to her on three different occasions, “I divorce you!” The “year of patience” referred to is most likely to allow the woman time to give birth to any child she may have conceived from the husband in question and then make arrangements for that child to be either given to the husband, given up for adoption or otherwise dealt with before the divorce is made final. Even in the State of Texas, a divorce is not allowed if the wife is still pregnant, as I discovered in 2012 when I was going through my own divorce. I was not a Baha’i by then, thankfully. When I made the decision to leave my wife Cheri in December of 2011, I was so fed up with her unfaithfulness, immaturity, and abuse of my love that I could not get her out of my life fast enough and a whole year of waiting for a divorce would have been truly insufferable after five years of a very dysfunctional marriage! If the wife accompany her husband on a journey, and differences arise between them on the way, he is required to provide her with her expenses for one whole year, and either to return her whence she came or to entrust her, together with the necessaries for her journey, to a dependable person who is to escort her home. Thy Lord, verily, ordaineth as He pleaseth, by virtue of a sovereignty that overshadoweth the peoples of the earth. I wonder when such a thing could occur. In these days of rapid travel by jet plane, that seems pointless. Maybe in the distant future if they are traveling via spaceship between planets or even star systems? Should a woman be divorced in consequence of a proven act of infidelity, she shall receive no maintenance during her period of waiting. Thus hath the daystar of Our commandment shone forth resplendent from the firmament of justice. Truly, the Lord loveth union and harmony and abhorreth separation and divorce. Live ye one with another, O people, in radiance and joy. By My life! All that are on earth shall pass away, while good deeds alone shall endure; to the truth of My words God doth Himself bear witness. Compose your differences, O My servants; then heed ye the admonition of Our Pen of Glory and follow not the arrogant and wayward. When I discovered Cheri cheating on me, it was through her Facebook account which she was neglectful enough to leave open on her computer for me to find later. I then made
screenshots of the evidence and e-mailed them to myself in anticipation of using them against her in court. Later, both she and her mother demanded I give them money they claimed I owed the soon to be ex-mother in law. Needless to say, I angrily refused and the mother-in-law threatened to sue me over it, but that never happened. I got the divorce I wanted a few months later. This is another example of a good law, but note that it also assumes that men would be the financial supporters of women rather than women working to support themselves. whether married or not. In the 21st Century, that really needs to be addressed by Baha’is. Take heed lest the world beguile you as it beguiled the people who went before you! Observe ye the statutes and precepts of your Lord, and walk ye in this Way which hath been laid out before you in righteousness and truth. They who eschew iniquity and error, who adhere to virtue, are, in the sight of the one true God, among the choicest of His creatures; their names are extolled by the Concourse of the realms above, and by those who dwell in this Tabernacle which hath been raised in the name of God. STILL……MORE…..REPEATING……RHETORIC! It is forbidden you to trade in slaves, be they men or women. It is not for him who is himself a servant to buy another of God’s servants, and this hath been prohibited in His Holy Tablet. Thus, by His mercy, hath the commandment been recorded by the Pen of justice. Let no man exalt himself above another; all are but bondslaves before the Lord, and all exemplify the truth that there is none other God but Him. He, verily, is the All-Wise, Whose wisdom encompasseth all things. Incredibly, the Baha’i Faith was the first Abrahamic religion to explicitly ban slavery; all the previous ones accepted it. Including Christianity, the dominant religion of the United States where slavery was an institution in the southern states until four years of civil war finally ended it. Also, note the clear statement that all men must regard each other as equals….no room for racism here! Adorn yourselves with the raiment of goodly deeds. He whose deeds attain unto God’s good pleasure is assuredly of the people of Bahá and is remembered before His throne. Assist ye the Lord of all creation with works of righteousness, and also through wisdom and utterance. Thus, indeed, have ye been commanded in most of the Tablets by Him Who is the All-Merciful. He, truly, is cognizant of what I say. Let none contend with another, and let no soul slay another; this, verily, is that which was forbidden you in a Book that hath lain concealed within the Tabernacle of glory. What! Would ye kill him whom God hath quickened, whom He hath endowed with spirit through a breath from Him? Grievous then would be your trespass before His throne! Fear God, and lift not the hand of injustice and oppression to destroy what He hath Himself raised up; nay, walk ye in the way what He hath Himself raised up; nay, walk ye in the way of God, the True One. No sooner did the hosts of true knowledge appear, bearing the standards of Divine utterance, than the tribes of the religions were put to flight, save only those who willed to drink from the stream of everlasting life in a Paradise created by the breath of the All-Glorious. Baha’u’llah, you are about to get an F in essay composition if you don’t stop with the lame, empty passages! Consider this your final warning from Professor Dale Husband! God hath decreed, in token of His mercy unto His creatures, that semen is not unclean. Yield thanks unto Him with joy and radiance, and follow not such as are remote from
the Dawning-place of His nearness. Arise ye, under all conditions, to render service to the Cause, for God will assuredly assist you through the power of His sovereignty which overshadoweth the worlds. Cleave ye unto the cord of refinement with such tenacity as to allow no trace of dirt to be seen upon your garments. Such is the injunction of One Who is sanctified above all refinement. Whoso falleth short of this standard with good reason shall incur no blame. God, verily, is the Forgiving, the Merciful. Wash ye every soiled thing with water that hath undergone no alteration in any one of the three respects; take heed not to use water that hath been altered through exposure to the air or to some other agent. Be ye the very essence of cleanliness amongst mankind. This, truly, is what your Lord, the Incomparable, the AllWise, desireth for you. Meanwhile, menstrual blood is still consider a defilement, as was indicated much earlier in the book we are reviewing. Sexism so obvious as to be a wonder why any woman would want to be a Baha’i. As for washing something in pure water, that would be obvious, would it not? God hath, likewise, as a bounty from His presence, abolished the concept of “uncleanness,” whereby divers things and peoples have been held to be impure. He, of a certainty, is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous. Verily, all created things were immersed in the sea of purification when, on that first day of Riḍván, We shed upon the whole of creation the splendors of Our most excellent Names and Our most exalted Attributes. This, verily, is a token of My loving providence, which hath encompassed all the worlds. Consort ye then with the followers of all religions, and proclaim ye the Cause of your Lord, the Most Compassionate; this is the very crown of deeds, if ye be of them who understand. All religions, really? Ironically, while Baha’is are indeed encouraged to befriend members of other faiths, they are also required to shun fellow Baha’is who have been declared “covenant breakers”. That’s like wanting to be friends with someone who is not a relative, but slamming the door in the face of your own child or parent for a simple disagreement. Damn that nonsense! God hath enjoined upon you to observe the utmost cleanliness, to the extent of washing what is soiled with dust, let alone with hardened dirt and similar defilement. Fear Him, and be of those who are pure. Should the garb of anyone be visibly sullied, his prayers shall not ascend to God, and the celestial Concourse will turn away from him. Make use of rose water, and of pure perfume; this, indeed, is that which God hath loved from the beginning that hath no beginning, in order that there may be diffused from you what your Lord, the Incomparable, the All-Wise, desireth. Would it be just for a man who was just badly injured and has blood on his clothing from the injury to be ignored by God if he prays in desperation for God to save him? God hath relieved you of the ordinance laid down in the Bayán concerning the destruction of books. We have permitted you to read such sciences as are profitable unto you, not such as end in idle disputation; better is this for you, if ye be of them that comprehend. Official commentary on this reads: “With regard to the destruction of books, the Bayán commanded the Báb’s followers to destroy all books except those that were written in vindication of the Cause and Religion of God. Bahá’u’lláh abrogates this specific law of the Bayán.” And with good reason! The very idea of a religion calling for the destruction of books like the
Harry Potter novels or Carl Sagan’s COSMOS would be most despicable. I myself would campaign relentlessly for such a religion to be opposed and debunked by all means nonviolent. It seems the Bab was a maniac and a tyrant! No one should have followed him! O kings of the earth! He Who is the sovereign Lord of all is come. The Kingdom is God’s, the omnipotent Protector, the Self-Subsisting. Worship none but God, and, with radiant hearts, lift up your faces unto your Lord, the Lord of all names. This is a Revelation to which whatever ye possess can never be compared, could ye but know it. We see you rejoicing in that which ye have amassed for others and shutting out yourselves from the worlds which naught except My guarded Tablet can reckon. The treasures ye have laid up have drawn you far away from your ultimate objective. This ill beseemeth you, could ye but understand it. Wash from your hearts all earthly defilements, and hasten to enter the Kingdom of your Lord, the Creator of earth and heaven, Who caused the world to tremble and all its peoples to wail, except them that have renounced all things and clung to that which the Hidden Tablet hath ordained. This is the Day in which He Who held converse with God hath attained the light of the Ancient of Days, and quaffed the pure waters of reunion from this Cup that hath caused the seas to swell. Say: By the one true God! Sinai is circling round the Dayspring of Revelation, while from the heights of the Kingdom the Voice of the Spirit of God is heard proclaiming: “Bestir yourselves, ye proud ones of the earth, and hasten ye unto Him.” Carmel hath, in this Day, hastened in longing adoration to attain His court, whilst from the heart of Zion there cometh the cry: “The promise is fulfilled. That which had been announced in the holy Writ of God, the Most Exalted, the Almighty, the Best-Beloved, is made manifest.” And with THAT, Baha’u’llah finally gets that F grade I warned him about! I am actually starting to get SICK of reviewing this book and I am only halfway through it! O kings of the earth! The Most Great Law hath been revealed in this Spot, this scene of transcendent splendor. Every hidden thing hath been brought to light by virtue of the Will of the Supreme Ordainer, He Who hath ushered in the Last Hour, through Whom the Moon hath been cleft, and every irrevocable decree expounded. Ye are but vassals, O kings of the earth! He Who is the King of Kings hath appeared, arrayed in His most wondrous glory, and is summoning you unto Himself, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Take heed lest pride deter you from recognizing the Source of Revelation, lest the things of this world shut you out as by a veil from Him Who is the Creator of heaven. Arise, and serve Him Who is the Desire of all nations, Who hath created you through a word from Him, and ordained you to be, for all time, the emblems of His sovereignty. By the righteousness of God! It is not Our wish to lay hands on your kingdoms. Our mission is to seize and possess the hearts of men. Upon them the eyes of Bahá are fastened. To this testifieth the Kingdom of Names, could ye but comprehend it. Whoso followeth his Lord will renounce the world and all that is therein; how much greater, then, must be the detachment of Him Who holdeth so august a station! Forsake your palaces, and haste ye to gain admittance into His Kingdom. This, indeed, will profit you both in this world and in the next. To this testifieth the Lord of the realm on high, did ye but know it. How great the blessedness that awaiteth the king who will arise to aid My Cause in My kingdom, who will detach himself from all else but Me! Such a king is numbered with
the companions of the Crimson Ark—the Ark which God hath prepared for the people of Bahá. All must glorify his name, must reverence his station, and aid him to unlock the cities with the keys of My Name, the omnipotent Protector of all that inhabit the visible and invisible kingdoms. Such a king is the very eye of mankind, the luminous ornament on the brow of creation, the fountainhead of blessings unto the whole world. Offer up, O people of Bahá, your substance, nay your very lives, for his assistance. The many references to “kings” and not “leaders” (which would include Presidents, religious leaders and CEOs of multi-national corporations) illustrates how ignorant Baha’u’llah really was about how the world’s politics would evolve in the century and a half since he wrote the Kitab-i-Aqdas. Indeed, many of the powerful monarchies that were around when Baha’u’llah lived have since been broken down and replaced by republics of various kinds. So already this book is badly out of date! O Emperor of Austria! He Who is the Dayspring of God’s Light dwelt in the prison of ‘Akká at the time when thou didst set forth to visit the Aqṣá Mosque. Thou passed Him by, and inquired not about Him by Whom passed Him by, and inquired not about Him by Whom every house is exalted and every lofty gate unlocked. We, verily, made it a place whereunto the world should turn, that they might remember Me, and yet thou hast rejected Him Who is the Object of this remembrance, when He appeared with the Kingdom of God, thy Lord and the Lord of the worlds. We have been with thee at all times, and found thee clinging unto the Branch and heedless of the Root. Thy Lord, verily, is a witness unto what I say. We grieved to see thee circle round Our Name, whilst unaware of Us, though We were before thy face. Open thine eyes, that thou mayest behold this glorious Vision, and recognize Him Whom thou invokest in the daytime and in the night season, and gaze on the Light that shineth above this luminous Horizon. Austria-Hungary was an empire that consisted of many different peoples in central Europe. It was the assassination of the Archduke of Austria by a Serb nationalist that would trigger a domino of events that would result in World War I. In the final months of that war, the empire fell apart and Austria and Hungary became separate nations. Later, countries like Czechoslovakia (which itself would be pulled apart in the anti-Communist revolutions of eastern Europe around 1990) and Yugoslavia (ditto) would be formed from territories AustriaHungary had ruled. Question: Why would a Christian monarch who was visiting Jerusalem as an expression of his faith bother to visit also some prisoner attempting to found a non-Christian religion? Baha’u’llah taking offense at being ignored in this case is about as arrogant as it gets. Say: O King of Berlin! Give ear unto the Voice calling from this manifest Temple: “Verily, there is none other God but Me, the Everlasting, the Peerless, the Ancient of Days.” Take heed lest pride debar thee from recognizing the Dayspring of Divine Revelation, lest earthly desires shut thee out, as by a veil, from the Lord of the Throne above and of the earth below. Thus counseleth thee the Pen of the Most High. He, verily, is the Most Gracious, the All-Bountiful. Do thou remember the one whose power transcended thy power, and whose station excelled thy station. Where is he? Whither are gone the things he possessed? Take warning, and be not of them that are fast asleep. He it was who cast the Tablet of God behind him when We made known unto him what the hosts of tyranny had caused Us to suffer. Wherefore, disgrace assailed him from all sides, and he went down to dust in great loss. Think deeply, O King, concerning him, and concerning them who, like unto thee, have conquered cities and
ruled over men. The All-Merciful brought them down from their palaces to their graves. Be warned, be of them who reflect. The formation of the German Empire in the late 19th Century came after the Germans led by Prussia conquered France and forced a humiliating peace treaty on it. Then the King of Prussia became Kaiser (Emperor) of all of Germany. Like its ally Austria-Hungary, Germany was brought down to defeat in World War I, its monarchy ending and it being subjected to an even more humiliating “peace” treaty that was so harsh that it later drove the Germans to seek revenge under Adolph Hitler, leading to World War II. We have asked nothing from you. For the sake of God We, verily, exhort you, and will be patient as We have been patient in that which hath befallen Us at your hands, O concourse of kings! The only two rulers Baha’u’llah ever had to deal directly with were the Shah of Persia (now Iran) and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (which later broke up leaving only Turkey as a rump state). The first had him imprisoned and then exiled to what would be later known as Iraq and the second continued to keep him as a prisoner to the end of Baha’u’llah’s life, no doubt as a favor to his neighbor and fellow Muslim ruler. Hearken ye, O Rulers of America and the Presidents of the Republics therein, unto that which the Dove is warbling on the Branch of Eternity: “There is none other God but Me, the Ever-Abiding, the Forgiving, the All-Bountiful.” Adorn ye the temple of dominion with the ornament of justice and of the fear of God, and its head with the crown of the remembrance of your Lord, the Creator of the heavens. Thus counseleth you He Who is the Dayspring of Names, as bidden by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. The Promised One hath appeared in this glorified Station, whereat all beings, both seen and unseen, have rejoiced. Take ye advantage of the Day of God. Verily, to meet Him is better for you than all that whereon the sun shineth, could ye but know it. O concourse of rulers! Give ear unto that which hath been raised from the Dayspring of Grandeur: “Verily, there is none other God but Me, the Lord of Utterance, the All-Knowing.” Bind ye the broken with the hands of justice, and crush the oppressor who flourisheth with the rod of the commandments of your Lord, the Ordainer, the All-Wise. By “America” we may assume Baha’u’llah meant all the countries of North America and South America and at least here he acknowledges that these are not ruled by kings. In later Baha’i propaganda, the United States is exalted as a nation that would bring peace and justice throughout the world, which would have seemed somewhat credible through most of the 20th Century but the misrule of President Bush Jr and the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency last year have made that idea a LAUGHINGSTOCK! The USA has completely lost its credibility and it is likely to tear itself apart if it continues on its present course. No doubt Baha’is will claim that their religion can make things better, but how can it do that if Baha’is continue to be a tiny minority all across America? The only state where they have any significant numbers is South Carolina….and even that state is a backward cesspool of rightwing and bigoted absurdity! EPIC FAIL!!! O people of Constantinople! Lo, from your midst We hear the baleful hooting of the owl. Hath the drunkenness of passion laid hold upon you, or is it that ye are sunk in heedlessness? O Spot that art situate on the shores of the two seas! The throne of tyranny hath, verily, been established upon thee, and the flame of hatred hath been kindled within thy bosom, in such wise that the Concourse on high and they who circle around the Exalted Throne have wailed and lamented. We behold in thee the foolish
ruling over the wise, and darkness vaunting itself against the light. Thou art indeed filled with manifest pride. Hath thine outward splendor made thee vainglorious? By Him Who is the Lord of mankind! It shall soon perish, and thy daughters and thy widows and all the kindreds that dwell within thee shall lament. Thus informeth thee the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. Baha’u’llah spent a short time in Constantinople as part of his exile and imprisonment. It was the capital of the Ottoman Empire, which would be brought down after World War I and a new secular republic of Turkey would be established in its place. The city itself would be renamed Istanbul. Of course, Baha’is claim Baha’u’llah predicted this downfall. O banks of the Rhine! We have seen you covered with gore, inasmuch as the swords of retribution were drawn against you; and ye shall have another turn. And We hear the lamentations of Berlin, though she be today in conspicuous glory. Baha’is claim this was a reference to what happened to Germany in both World Wars. Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Ṭá, for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind. He shall, if it be His Will, bless thy throne with one who will rule with justice, who will gather together the flock of God which the wolves have scattered. Such a ruler will, with joy and gladness, turn his face towards, and extend his favors unto, the people of Bahá. He indeed is accounted in the sight of God as a jewel among men. Upon him rest forever the glory of God and the glory of all that dwell in the kingdom of His revelation. Rejoice with great joy, for God hath made thee “the Dayspring of His light,” inasmuch as within thee was born the Manifestation of His Glory. Be thou glad for this name that hath been conferred upon thee—a name through which the daystar of grace hath shed its splendor, through which both earth and heaven have been illumined. Erelong will the state of affairs within thee be changed, and the reins of power fall into the hands of the people. Verily, thy Lord is the All-Knowing. His authority embraceth all things. Rest thou assured in the gracious favor of thy Lord. The eye of His lovingkindness shall everlastingly be directed towards thee. The day is approaching when thy agitation will have been transmuted into peace and quiet calm. Thus hath it been decreed in the wondrous Book. O Land of Khá! We hear from thee the voice of heroes, raised in glorification of thy Lord, the All-Possessing, the Most Exalted. Blessed the day on which the banners of the divine Names shall be upraised in the kingdom of creation in My Name, the AllGlorious. On that day the faithful shall rejoice in the victory of God, and the disbelievers shall lament. The “Land of Ta” is Iran, formerly called Persia, and its capital is Tehran. The “Land of Kha” is a distant part of Iran. Need I point out that no ruler of Iran to this day has shown any favoritism to the Baha’is? Indeed, Baha’is constantly emphasize how their fellow believers in Iran have been persecuted, especially after the Islamic Revolution of 1979 that overthrew the Shah of Iran and replaced him with a theocracy. And a very anti-Baha’i one at that! So much for God’s Will, eh? Iran does have elections for the people to vote in, but the Islamic leaders still keep a tight limitation of who could be voted for, making the elections a sham. So Baha’u’llah was WRONG here! None must contend with those who wield authority over the people; leave unto them that which is theirs, and direct your attention to men’s hearts.
I am sooooo glad I am not a Baha’i now and thus do not have to even consider obeying this idiotic commandment now that Donald Trump has lied and backstabbed his way to the Presidency of the United States! O Most Mighty Ocean! Sprinkle upon the nations that with which Thou hast been charged by Him Who is the Sovereign of Eternity, and adorn the temples of all the dwellers of the earth with the vesture of His laws through which all hearts will rejoice and all eyes be brightened. WHAT?! Why would anyone be addressing the OCEAN??? And I thought the lame rhetoric I saw before was bad enough. What could be next, addressing the MOON? Should anyone acquire one hundred mithqáls of gold, nineteen mithqáls thereof are God’s and to be rendered unto Him, the Fashioner of earth and heaven. Take heed, O people, lest ye deprive yourselves of so great a bounty. This We have commanded you, though We are well able to dispense with you and with all who are in the heavens and on earth; in it there are benefits and wisdoms beyond the ken of anyone but God, the Omniscient, the All-Informed. Say: By this means He hath desired to purify what ye possess and to enable you to draw nigh unto such stations as none can comprehend save those whom God hath willed. He, in truth, is the Beneficent, the Gracious, the Bountiful. O people! Deal not faithlessly with the Right of God, nor, without His leave, make free with its disposal. Thus hath His commandment been established in the holy Tablets, and in this exalted Book. He who dealeth faithlessly with God shall in justice meet with faithlessness himself; he, however, who acteth in accordance with God’s bidding shall receive a blessing from the heaven of the bounty of his Lord, the Gracious, the Bestower, the Generous, the Ancient of Days. He, verily, hath willed for you that which is yet beyond your knowledge, but which shall be known to you when, after this fleeting life, your souls soar heavenwards and the trappings of your earthly joys are folded up. Thus admonisheth you He in Whose possession is the Guarded Tablet. This is explained at establishing payments of Ḥuqúqu’lláh, in which 19% of the value of one’s estate is said to be expected to be paid to the leadership of the Faith. In some Christian churches, members are expected to give 1/10th of their income to the church for its upkeep. I like that idea better. because it is simpler and more obvious. Various petitions have come before Our throne from the believers, concerning laws from God, the Lord of the seen and the unseen, the Lord of all worlds. We have, in consequence, revealed this Holy Tablet and arrayed it with the mantle of His Law that haply the people may keep the commandments of their Lord. Similar requests keep the commandments of their Lord. Similar requests had been made of Us over several previous years but We had, in Our wisdom, withheld Our Pen until, in recent days, letters arrived from a number of the friends, and We have therefore responded, through the power of truth, with that which shall quicken the hearts of men. I find it very unlikely that Baha’is were begging Baha’u’llah to give them a set of rules to enslave their minds afterwards. Then again, we already saw how the laws of Islam and the Babi Faith were much harsher than what Baha’is observe today, so perhaps that is what Baha’is meant at the time. They were given a little more freedom than they had before……but not enough to make them truly free compared to people in secular societies. It is like giving an impoverished man $100 when he had less than $20 and then telling him he is rich, when most rich people are millionaires.
Say: O leaders of religion! Weigh not the Book of God with such standards and sciences as are current amongst you, for the Book itself is the unerring Balance established amongst men. In this most perfect Balance whatsoever the peoples and kindreds of the earth possess must be weighed, while the measure of its weight should be tested according to its own standard, did ye but know it. The eye of My loving-kindness weepeth sore over you, inasmuch as ye have failed to recognize the One upon Whom ye have been calling in the daytime and in the night season, at even and at morn. Advance, O people, with snow-white faces and radiant hearts, unto the blest and crimson Spot, wherein the Sadratu’l-Muntahá is calling: “Verily, there is none other God beside Me, the Omnipotent Protector, the SelfSubsisting!” O ye leaders of religion! Who is the man amongst you that can rival Me in vision or insight? Where is he to be found that dareth to claim to be My equal in utterance or wisdom? No, by My Lord, the All-Merciful! All on the earth shall pass away; and this is the face of your Lord, the Almighty, the Well-Beloved. We have decreed, O people, that the highest and last end of all learning be the recognition of Him Who is the Object of all knowledge; and yet, behold how ye have allowed your learning to shut you out, as by a veil, from Him Who is the Dayspring of this Light, through Whom every hidden thing hath been revealed. Could ye but discover the source whence the splendor of this utterance is diffused, ye would cast away the peoples of the world and all that they possess, and would draw nigh unto this most blessed Seat of glory. Say: This, verily, is the heaven in which the Mother Book is treasured, could ye but comprehend it. He it is Who hath caused the Rock to shout, and the Burning Bush to lift up its voice, upon the Mount rising above the Holy Land, and proclaim: “The Kingdom is God’s, the sovereign Lord of all, the All-Powerful, the Loving!” We have not entered any school, nor read any of your dissertations. Incline your ears to the words of this unlettered One, wherewith He summoneth you unto God, the EverAbiding. Better is this for you than all the treasures of the earth, could ye but comprehend it. In these paragraphs, we see the essence of religious fundamentalism, the idea that the teachings of a book or a Messenger that are the basis of a theistic religion should outweigh whatever discoveries are made through modern science, including the Theory of Evolution and the Big Bang Theory. I do not merely disagree with this way of thinking, I consider it to be an blasphemous insult to any real god that may or may not exist! Reason: while MEN can make up any number of books that are the basis of religions, only the real GOD could create the universe itself and the physical and chemical laws that govern it. And those laws can only be discovered and described through SCIENCE. Science does change over time, but that is because it is based on reality and as it progresses, it becomes more and more detailed and accurate, thus proving itself to be more reliable than any manmade and dogmatic religion…..including the Baha’i Faith itself! Which is really more trustworthy, something that keeps moving closer and closer to truth by well known processes of gathering and analyzing evidence, or something that claims to have the truth already but cannot prove it? I should mention that Abdu’l-Baha later claimed that harmony between science and religion was a principle of the Baha’i faith. That passage I just quoted from Baha’u’llah himself proves
his son to have been a damned LIAR! Whoso interpreteth what hath been sent down from the heaven of Revelation, and altereth its evident meaning, he, verily, is of them that have perverted the Sublime Word of God, and is of the lost ones in the Lucid Book. As a Baha’i, I was taught by my fellow believers that the only two people authorized to interpret Baha’i scriptures were Abdu’l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi, and that their interpretations could always be trusted because they were infallible. Once the issue of their infallibility was debunked, I could look at their interpretations in a new light. I already showed one case in which Abdu’l-Baha himself altered the evident meaning of one of Baha’u’llah’s commandments; the father permitted bigamy but preferred monogamy, while the son absolutely prohibited bigamy. If you think that is not a contradiction, please consult a dictionary; you probably have never seen one before. But seriously, Baha’is should just stop lying about the obvious! It hath been enjoined upon you to pare your nails, to bathe yourselves each week in water that covereth your bodies, and to clean yourselves with whatsoever ye have formerly employed. Take heed lest through negligence ye fail to observe that which hath been prescribed unto you by Him Who is the Incomparable, the Gracious. Immerse yourselves in clean water; it is not permissible to bathe yourselves in water that hath already been used. See that ye approach not the public pools of Persian baths; whoso maketh his way toward such baths will smell their fetid odor ere he entereth therein. Shun them, O people, and be not of those who ignominiously accept such vileness. In truth, they are as sinks of foulness and contamination, if ye be of them that apprehend. Avoid ye likewise the malodorous pools in the courtyards of Persian homes, and be ye of the pure and sanctified. Truly, We desire to behold you as manifestations of paradise on earth, that there may be diffused from you such fragrance as shall rejoice the hearts of the favored of God. If the bather, instead of entering the water, wash himself by pouring it upon his body, it shall be better for him and shall absolve him of the need for bodily immersion. The Lord, verily, hath willed, as a bounty from His presence, to make life easier for you that ye may be of those who are truly thankful. Of course, cleanliness is a virtue in any religion, but there is a problem here. Persia AKA Iran, and most of the Middle East where Islam is dominant and the Baha’i Faith began, is mostly desert and fresh water would be scarce in those areas. Persian public baths were probably an attempt to conserve water and allow people to still have some measure of cleanliness. Baha’u’llah’s demanding that people take individual baths or showers on a regular basis would be folly in a desert nation. The people there would be lucky to have enough drinking water, really. It is forbidden you to wed your fathers’ wives. We shrink, for very shame, from treating of the subject of boys. Fear ye the Merciful, O peoples of the world! Commit not that which is forbidden you in Our Holy Tablet, and be not of those who rove distractedly in the wilderness of their desires. This is the only mention in the entire Kitab-i-Aqdas of incest. Official commentary on this passage says, “‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi confirmed that, while stepmothers are the
only category of relatives mentioned in the text, this does not mean that all other unions within a family are permissible.” That is what damage control looks like. The reference to boys seems to refer to older men using underaged boys as sexual partners, a practice known as pederasty. But Shoghi Effendi would later claim this was also a prohibition against ALL homosexual activity. One of the worst slanders and libels thrown at the gay community was that they sought to recruit young boys and turn them gay. The absurd equating of pederasty with homosexuality in general is what can get gays MURDERED. I do not blame Baha’u’llah for this, however, since I myself find child molestation of either gender by adults of either gender to be abhorrent. To none is it permitted to mutter sacred verses before the public gaze as he walketh in the street or marketplace; nay rather, if he wish to magnify the Lord, it behooveth him to do so in such places as have been erected for this purpose, or in his own home. This is more in keeping with sincerity and godliness. Thus hath the sun of Our commandment shone forth above the horizon of Our utterance. Blessed, then, be those who do Our bidding. This is another echo of what Jesus said, when he condemned prayers done in public and recommended they only be done privately. Unto everyone hath been enjoined the writing of a will. The testator should head this document with the adornment of the Most Great Name, bear witness therein unto the oneness of God in the Dayspring of His Revelation, and make mention, as he may wish, of that which is praiseworthy, so that it may be a testimony for him in the kingdoms of Revelation and Creation and a treasure with his Lord, the Supreme Protector, the Faithful. Baha’u’llah himself left a will, as did Abdu’l-Baha. In both documents, provisions were given for the future leadership of the Baha’i Faith. But Shoghi Effendi violated this law and his failure to leave a will and appoint his successor was a shock and disappointment to the Baha’is around the world. Of course, one wonders why Baha’u’llah spent so much ink and paper earlier in the book giving guidelines to how property could be distributed to relatives after someone dies without a will. I guess he wanted to leave nothing to chance. All Feasts have attained their consummation in the two Most Great Festivals, and in the two other Festivals that fall on the twin days—the first of the Most Great Festivals being those days whereon the All-Merciful shed upon the whole of creation the effulgent glory of His most excellent Names and His most exalted Attributes, and the second being that day on which We raised up the One Who announced unto mankind the glad tidings of this Name, through which the dead have been resurrected and all who are in the heavens and on earth have been gathered together. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Ordainer, the Omniscient. Happy the one who entereth upon the first day of the month of Bahá, the day which God hath consecrated to this Great Name. And blessed be he who evidenceth on this day the bounties that God hath bestowed upon him; he, verily, is of those who show forth thanks to God through actions betokening the Lord’s munificence which hath encompassed all the worlds. Say: This day, verily, is the crown of all the months and the source thereof, the day on which the breath of life is wafted over all created things. Great is the blessedness of him who greeteth it with radiance and joy. We testify that he is, in truth, among those who are blissful.
Say: The Most Great Festival is, indeed, the King of Festivals. Call ye to mind, O people, the bounty which God hath conferred upon you. Ye were sunk in slumber, and lo! He aroused you by the reviving breezes of His Revelation, and made known unto you His manifest and Revelation, and made known unto you His manifest and undeviating Path. This gives some details about some of the holy days celebrated in the Baha’i calendar. The “twin days” refer to the Birthdays of the Bab (October 21) and of Baha’u’llah (October 22), while the two Most Great Festivals refer to the days in which Baha’is celebrate the public declaration of Baha’u’llah’s station as the new Manifestation of God (the First, Ninth, and Twelth Days of Ridvan, April 20 or 21, April 28 or 29, and May 1 or 2) and the day of the Declaration of the Bab (May 23 or 24). Naw-Rúz (the first day of the month of Bahá) is the Baha’i New Year (actually celebrated by many non-Baha’is across the Middle East as well, it falls on March 20 or 21). Resort ye, in times of sickness, to competent physicians; We have not set aside the use of material means, rather have We confirmed it through this Pen, which God hath made to be the Dawning-place of His shining and glorious Cause. One of the worst things religious parents can do to a child suffering from a deadly illness is pray for his recovery by God’s power instead of having him treated by a doctor. Personally, I think such parents should be imprisoned for the rest of their lives and banned from having another child in their care. It is sad that Baha’u’llah, or any other religious leader, would actually have to tell people to see doctors. The distinction between reasonable faith and outright stupidity in religion should be obvious, but often is not due to brainwashing by extremist cults. God had formerly laid upon each one of the believers the duty of offering before Our throne priceless gifts from among his possessions. Now, in token of Our gracious favor, We have absolved them of this obligation. He, of a truth, is the Most Generous, the All-Bountiful. Here Baha’u’llah tosses out another insane commandment of the Bab. Official Baha’i commentary says, “The Báb explained that, since the Manifestation of God is beyond compare, whatever is peerless in its kind should rightfully be reserved for Him, unless He decrees otherwise.” In short, the Bab was EXTREMELY GREEDY! Yet Baha’is still revere this lunatic?! Blessed is he who, at the hour of dawn, centering his thoughts on God, occupied with His remembrance, and supplicating His forgiveness, directeth his steps to the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár and, entering therein, seateth himself in silence to listen to the verses of God, the Sovereign, the Mighty, the All-Praised. Say: The Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is each and every building which hath been erected in cities and villages for the celebration of My praise. Such is the name by which it hath been designated before the throne of glory, were ye of those who understand. Curiously, this is a practice I was never expected to follow as a Baha’i. They who recite the verses of the All-Merciful in the most melodious of tones will perceive in them that with which the sovereignty of earth and heaven can never be compared. From them they will inhale the divine fragrance of My worlds—worlds which today none can discern save those who have been endowed with vision through this
sublime, this beauteous Revelation. Say: These verses draw hearts that are pure unto those spiritual worlds that can neither be expressed in words nor intimated by allusion. Blessed be those who hearken. It is indeed common for Baha’is of Persian background to sing or chant Baha’i prayers or quotes from the writings of Baha’u’llah and I always enjoyed hearing the chanting even if I could not understand the words, since they were sung in Persian or Arabic. Assist ye, O My people, My chosen servants who have arisen to make mention of Me among My creatures and to exalt My Word throughout My realm. These, truly, are the stars of the heaven of My loving providence and the lamps of My guidance unto all mankind. But he whose words conflict with that which hath been sent down in My Holy Tablets is not of Me. Beware lest ye follow any impious pretender. These Tablets are embellished with the seal of Him Who causeth the dawn to appear, Who lifteth up His voice between the heavens and the earth. Lay hold on this Sure Handle and on the Cord of My mighty and unassailable Cause. If you follow Baha’u’llah, you can never obey anyone who contradicts what he revealed. Not even someone who claims to be a Baha’i himself. Remember once more that reference I made regarding what Baha’u’llah commanded or permitted regarding marriage and how Abdu’l-Baha contradicted it. The Lord hath granted leave to whosoever desireth it that he be instructed in the divers tongues of the world that he may deliver the Message of the Cause of God throughout the East and throughout the West, that he make mention of Him amidst the kindreds and peoples of the world in such wise that hearts may revive and the moldering bone be quickened. Baha’u’llah himself was not known to speak any other languages than Persian or Arabic. Later, Shoghi Effendi studied hard in his teens and early college years to master English and proceeded after he became Guardian of the Baha’i Faith to translate much of Baha’u’llah’s writings into English to help spread the Baha’i Faith in English speaking countries……but not the Kitab-i-Aqdas. A fully authorized translation of that book in English would not be published until 1992…..ONE HUNDRED YEARS after Baha’u’llah died! Considering how important this book was supposed to be, I would have thought the Guardian would have had this done as soon as possible. It is inadmissible that man, who hath been endowed with reason, should consume that which stealeth it away. Nay, rather it behooveth him to comport himself in a manner worthy of the human station, and not in accordance with the misdeeds of every heedless and wavering soul. Here, Baha’u’llah condemned alcoholic consumption as well as drug abuse or anything else that would dull the intellect of a man…..which religion itself often does, sadly. Adorn your heads with the garlands of trustworthiness and fidelity, your hearts with the attire of the fear of God, your tongues with absolute truthfulness, your bodies with the vesture of courtesy. These are in truth seemly adornings unto the temple of man, if ye be of them that reflect. Cling, O ye people of Bahá, to the cord of servitude unto God, the True One, for thereby your stations shall be made manifest, your names written and preserved, your ranks raised and your memory exalted in the Preserved Tablet. Beware lest the dwellers on earth hinder you from this glorious and exalted station. Thus have We exhorted you in most of Our Epistles and now in this, Our Holy
Tablet, above which hath beamed the Daystar of the Laws of the Lord, your God, the Powerful, the All-Wise. ((((No comment.)))) When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces towards Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root. This indicates that one of Baha’u’llah’s sons will be his successor as head of the Baha’i Faith. In the Book of the Covenant or Kitáb-i-`Ahd (the will and testament of Baha’u’llah), he quoted directly from that paragraph above and specified that “The object of this sacred verse is none other except the Most Mighty Branch.” Thus Abdu’l-Baha, who was known by that title, was confirmed as Baha’u’llah’s rightful successor. Consider the pettiness of men’s minds. They ask for that which injureth them, and cast away the thing that profiteth them. They are, indeed, of those that are far astray. We find some men desiring liberty, and priding themselves therein. Such men are in the depths of ignorance. Liberty must, in the end, lead to sedition, whose flames none can quench. Thus warneth you He Who is the Reckoner, the All-Knowing. Know ye that the embodiment of liberty and its symbol is the animal. That which beseemeth man is submission unto such restraints as will protect him from his own ignorance, and guard him against the harm of the mischief maker. Liberty causeth man to overstep the bounds of propriety, and to infringe on the dignity of his station. It debaseth him to the level of extreme depravity and wickedness. Nice bashing of one of the most basic political ideals of the United States, Baha’u’llah! Gee, I wonder if that explains why it took so damn long for an English translation of the Kitab-iAqdas to be published. Had it been published decades earlier, it might have been much harder for a strong American Baha’i community to be established. Also, I wonder if Baha’is would replace the current womanly Statue of Liberty with a one of a bull, a dog, or some other animal. Since individual autonomy is the very foundation of human rights ideals around the world, we see here how dimly Baha’u’llah viewed human nature. He really was no more enlightened than most fundamentalist bigots, then or now! Regard men as a flock of sheep that need a shepherd for their protection. This, verily, is the truth, the certain truth. We approve of liberty in certain circumstances, and refuse to sanction it in others. We, verily, are the All-Knowing. Say: True liberty consisteth in man’s submission unto My commandments, little as ye know it. Were men to observe that which We have sent down unto them from the Heaven of Revelation, they would, of a certainty, attain unto perfect liberty. Happy is the man that hath apprehended the Purpose of God in whatever He hath revealed from the Heaven of His Will that pervadeth all created things. Say: The liberty that profiteth you is to be found nowhere except in complete servitude unto God, the Eternal Truth. Whoso hath tasted of its sweetness will refuse to barter it for all the dominion of earth and heaven. Baha’u’llah is using “doublespeak”, the insidious form of language manipulation referred to in George Orwell’s novel 1984. “War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance is Strength”. As if I did not already have enough reason to reject and scorn Baha’u’llah as a so-called
Messenger of God! Baha'is themselves do this every time they refer to the "equality of men and women" in their Faith. In the Bayán it had been forbidden you to ask Us questions. The Lord hath now relieved you of this prohibition, that ye may be free to ask what you need to ask, but not such idle questions as those on which the men of former times were wont to dwell. Fear God, and be ye of the righteous! Ask ye that which shall be of profit to you in the Cause of God and His dominion, for the portals of His tender compassion have been opened before all who dwell in heaven and on earth. I would assume Baha’u’llah would expect believers to ask him for details on how to conduct themselves during Baha’i rituals like Obligatory Prayers or celebration of Baha’i Holy Days, and not questions about what God and his angels are like. The number of months in a year, appointed in the Book of God, is nineteen. Of these the first hath been adorned with this Name which overshadoweth the whole of creation. This gives another detail about the Baha’i calendar; lunar months are rejected and replaced with 19 day “months” that total 19 through the calendar, for a total of 361 days. The extra four or five days do not belong to any month and go before the month of fasting. The Lord hath decreed that the dead should be interred in coffins made of crystal, of hard, resistant stone, or of wood that is both fine and durable, and that graven rings should be placed upon their fingers. He, verily, is the Supreme Ordainer, the One apprised of all. Here Baha’u’llah prohibits by implication cremation since the whole purpose of using such durable coffins would be to keep a dead body intact as much as possible. What a waste of resources! The inscription on these rings should read, for men: “Unto God belongeth all that is in the heavens and on the earth and whatsoever is between them, and He, in truth, hath knowledge of all things”; and for women: “Unto God belongeth the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatsoever is between them, and He, in truth, is potent over all things.” These are the verses that were revealed aforetime, but lo, the Point of the Bayán now calleth out, exclaiming, “O Best-Beloved of the worlds! Reveal Thou in their stead such words as will waft the fragrance of Thy gracious favors over all mankind. We have announced unto everyone that one single word from Thee excelleth all that hath been sent down in the Bayán. Thou, indeed, hast power to do what pleaseth Thee. Deprive not Thy servants of the overflowing bounties of the ocean of Thy mercy! Thou, in truth, art He Whose grace is infinite.” Behold, We have hearkened to His call, and now fulfill His wish. He, verily, is the Best-Beloved, the Answerer of prayers. If the following verse, which hath at this moment been sent down by God, be engraved upon the burial rings of both men and women, it shall be better for them; We, of a certainty, are the Supreme Ordainer: “I came forth from God, and return unto Him, detached from all save Him, holding fast to His Name, the Merciful, the Compassionate.” Thus doth the Lord single out whomsoever He desireth for a bounty from His presence. He is, in very truth, the God of might and power. So Baha’u’llah is revealing these verses when suddenly the spirit of the Bab interrupts him and insists that something in Baha’u’llah’s burial laws be changed immediately to make them more fair to both men and women. Either that or Baha’ullah did not think to simply tear up the paper he was writing on and start over again with the improved verse. I already gave him an
F in essay composition, now I am about to expel him from my class completely! The Lord hath decreed, moreover, that the deceased should be enfolded in five sheets of silk or cotton. For those whose means are limited a single sheet of either fabric will suffice. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. It is forbidden you to transport the body of the deceased a greater distance than one hour’s journey from the city; rather should it be interred, with radiance and serenity, in a nearby place. When Shoghi Effendi died in 1957, he was on a visit to London and according to Baha’i law, he had to be buried in or near that city. Any other religious community would have taken his body back to where he spent most of his time, the headquarters of that religion. I simply do not believe God would insist on such silly limitations. Where you live is more important than where you happen to die. God hath removed the restrictions on travel that had been imposed in the Bayán. He, verily, is the Unconstrained; He doeth as He pleaseth and ordaineth whatsoever He willeth. Question: Why would God reject moving a dead body from one part of the world to another, while allowing the living to travel everywhere? O peoples of the world! Give ear unto the call of Him Who is the Lord of Names, Who proclaimeth unto you from His habitation in the Most Great Prison: “Verily, no God is there but Me, the Powerful, the Mighty, the All-Subduing, the Most Exalted, the Omniscient, the All-Wise.” In truth, there is no God but Him, the Omnipotent Ruler of the worlds. Were it His Will, He would, through but a single word proceeding from His presence, lay hold on all mankind. Beware lest ye hesitate in your acceptance of this Cause—a Cause before which the Concourse on high and the dwellers of the Cities of Names have bowed down. Fear God, and be not of those who are shut out as by a veil. Burn ye away the veils with the fire of My love, and dispel ye the mists of vain imaginings by the power of this Name through which We have subdued the entire creation. ((((Again, no comment.)))) Raise up and exalt the two Houses in the Twin Hallowed Spots, and the other sites wherein the throne of your Lord, the All-Merciful, hath been established. Thus commandeth you the Lord of every understanding heart. This refers to houses that the Bab and Baha’u’llah used to live in. This is one of those commandments that CANNOT be obeyed today, since both houses in present day Iran and Iraq respectively have actually been lost. Such embarrassing lack of foresight by Baha’u’llah is usually ignored by Baha’is. Be watchful lest the concerns and preoccupations of this world prevent you from observing that which hath been enjoined upon you by Him Who is the Mighty, the Faithful. Be ye the embodiments of such steadfastness amidst mankind that ye will not be kept back from God by the doubts of those who disbelieved in Him when He manifested Himself, invested with a mighty sovereignty. Take heed lest ye be prevented by aught that hath been recorded in the Book from hearkening unto this, the Living Book, Who proclaimeth the truth: “Verily, there is no God but Me, the Most Excellent, the All-Praised.” Look ye with the eye of equity upon Him Who hath descended from
the heaven of Divine will and power, and be not of those who act unjustly. Reading more of these lofty looking but repetitious statements from Baha’u’llah makes me wonder if slang phrases “yada yada yada” or “blah blah blah” were coined in reference to this sort of thing. Were all writers of Arabic or Persian in the 19th Century so LAME?! Call then to mind these words which have streamed forth, in tribute to this Revelation, from the Pen of Him Who was My Herald, and consider what the hands of the oppressors have wrought throughout My days. Truly they are numbered with the lost. He said: “Should ye attain the presence of Him Whom We shall make manifest, beseech ye God, in His bounty, to grant that He might deign to seat Himself upon your couches, for that act in itself would confer upon you matchless and surpassing honor. Should He drink a cup of water in your homes, this would be of greater consequence for you than your proffering unto every soul, nay unto every created thing, the water of its very life. Know this, O ye My servants!” Such are the words with which My Forerunner hath extolled My Being, could ye but understand. Whoso reflecteth upon these verses, and realizeth what hidden pearls have been enshrined within them, will, by the righteousness of God, perceive the fragrance of the All-Merciful wafting from the direction of this Prison and will, with his whole heart, hasten unto Him with such ardent longing that the hosts of earth and heaven would be powerless to deter him. Say: This is a Revelation around which every proof and testimony doth circle. Thus hath it been sent down by your Lord, the God of Mercy, if ye be of them that judge aright. Say: This is the very soul of all Scriptures which hath been breathed into the Pen of the Most High, causing all created beings to be dumbfounded, save only those who have been enraptured by the gentle breezes of My loving-kindness and the sweet savors of My bounties which have pervaded the whole of creation. The Babi Faith was founded by the Bab in 1844 and he was martyred in 1950. The violent persecutions of the Babis in Persia and the exile of Baha’u’llah in 1853 demoralized the Babi community. Baha’u’llah then declared that he was the One foretold by the Bab in 1863. Those who accepted his claim became known afterwards as Baha’is. A small splinter group, however, rejected him. O people of the Bayán! Fear ye the Most Merciful and consider what He hath revealed in another passage. He said: “The Qiblih is indeed He Whom God will make manifest; whenever He moveth, it moveth, until He shall come to rest.” Thus was it set down by the Supreme Ordainer when He desired to make mention of this Most Great Beauty. Meditate on this, O people, and be not of them that wander distraught in the wilderness of error. If ye reject Him at the bidding of your idle fancies, where then is the Qiblih to which ye will turn, O assemblage of the heedless? Ponder ye this verse, and judge equitably before God, that haply ye may glean the pearls of mysteries from the ocean that surgeth in My Name, the All-Glorious, the Most High. The term “Qiblih” is used to mean the place that all members of a religious community turn to when they pray. For Muslims, that is Mecca and the Kaaba there. For Baha’is, it is the Shrine of Baha’u’llah in Haifa where he was buried after his death. There is no question that the Bab expected someone else to arise soon after him to lead his own followers to a new age, but the question was who that would be. Let none, in this Day, hold fast to aught save that which hath been manifested in this Revelation. Such is the decree of God, aforetime and hereafter—a decree wherewith
the Scriptures of the Messengers of old have been adorned. Such is the admonition of the Lord, aforetime and hereafter—an admonition wherewith the preamble to the Book of Life hath been embellished, did ye but perceive it. Such is the commandment of the Lord, aforetime and hereafter; beware lest ye choose instead the part of ignominy and abasement. Naught shall avail you in this Day but God, nor is there any refuge to flee to save Him, the Omniscient, the All-Wise. Whoso hath known Me hath known the Goal of all desire, and whoso hath turned unto Me hath turned unto the Object of all adoration. Thus hath it been set forth in the Book, and thus hath it been decreed by God, the Lord of all worlds. To read but one of the verses of My Revelation is better than to peruse the Scriptures of both the former and latter generations. This is the Utterance of the All-Merciful, would that ye had ears to hear! Say: This is the essence of knowledge, did ye but understand. Sorry, Baha’u’llah, but there are many beautiful passages in the Bible that are far better than a lot of the dreck you wrote in this very book. The only writer I know of who might be worse than you would be Ayn Rand. And now consider what hath been revealed in yet another passage, that perchance ye may forsake your own concepts and set your faces towards God, the Lord of being. He hath said: “It is unlawful to enter into marriage save with a believer in the Bayán. Should only one party to a marriage embrace this Cause, his or her possessions will become unlawful to the other, until such time as the latter hath converted. This law, however, will only take effect after the exaltation of the Cause of Him Whom We shall manifest in truth, or of that which hath already been made manifest in justice. Ere this, ye are at liberty to enter into wedlock as ye wish, that haply by this means ye may exalt the Cause of God.” Thus hath the Nightingale sung with sweet melody upon the celestial bough, in praise of its Lord, the All-Merciful. Well is it with them that hearken. Here is another example of Baha’u’llah tossing aside an absurd law of the Bab. Apparently the Bab expected “Him who God Made Manifest” to enforce the laws of the Bayan, but Baha’u’llah did the exact opposite, and that would have contributed to the split between the new Baha’i community being formed and the slightly older Babi community. Today, there is no prohibition of Baha’is to marry non-Baha’is, but non-Baha’i spouses are still excluded from some Baha’i activities and cannot donate to Baha’i funds. O people of the Bayán, I adjure you by your Lord, the God of mercy, to look with the eye of fairness upon this utterance which hath been sent down through the power of truth, and not to be of those who see the testimony of God yet reject and deny it. They, in truth, are of those who will assuredly perish. The Point of the Bayán hath explicitly made mention in this verse of the exaltation of My Cause before His own Cause; unto this will testify every just and understanding mind. As ye can readily witness in this day, its exaltation is such as none can deny save those whose eyes are drunken in this mortal life and whom a humiliating chastisement awaiteth in the life to come. Say: By the righteousness of God! I, verily, am His Best-Beloved; and at this moment He listeneth to these verses descending from the Heaven of Revelation and bewaileth the wrongs ye have committed in these days. Fear God, and join not with the aggressor. Say: O people, should ye choose to disbelieve in Him, refrain at least from rising up against Him. By God! Sufficient are the hosts of tyranny that are leagued against Him! Every Abrahamic religion has condemned the followers of the previous one for rejecting its founder. The most notorious example being Christians going so far as to stigmatize all Jews
(followers of the original religion of Jesus and his disciples) as “Christ-killers”. This fueled anti-Semitism for over 1500 years in Europe, eventually leading to the Holocaust. Muhammad attacked Jews and Christians in the Quran and the here we see Baha’u’llah condemning Babis who have not yet accepted his message. Question: would God send a Babi who denies Baha’u’llah to hell just as much as a Jew, Christian, or Muslim who does the same? If so, then the Bab’s mission was pointless. If not, why is Baha’u’llah making such a big deal about being denied if Babis are still going to heaven for believing in the Bab but not Baha’u’llah? Ego tripping, this looks like. Asserting that the Bab himself is lamenting the Babi rejection of Baha’u’llah is a nice touch. Too bad there is no way to verify this. Verily, He revealed certain laws so that, in this Dispensation, the Pen of the Most High might have no need to move in aught but the glorification of His own transcendent Station and His most effulgent Beauty. Since, however, We have wished to evidence Our bounty unto you, We have, through the power of truth, set forth these laws with clarity and mitigated what We desire you to observe. He, verily, is the Munificent, the Generous. Would this include the truly ridiculous laws of the Bayan you threw out, Baha’u’llah? Such laws should never have been written down in the first place. There should have been no need for the Kitáb-i-Aqdas at all and even now the Baha’is should still be following the laws of the Bayan. They don’t because obviously the Bab was an even more terrible writer than you! Oh, and I should note that very little of the Bab’s writings have ever been translated into English for Baha’is to read and they were published in only one book. That’s what a cover-up looks like. He hath previously made known unto you that which would be uttered by this Dayspring of Divine wisdom. He said, and He speaketh the truth: “He is the One Who will under all conditions proclaim: ‘Verily, there is none other God besides Me, the One, the Incomparable, the Omniscient, the All-Informed.’” This is a station which God hath assigned exclusively to this sublime, this unique and wondrous Revelation. This is a token of His bounteous favor, if ye be of them who comprehend, and a sign of His irresistible decree. This is His Most Great Name, His Most Exalted Word, and the Dayspring of His Most Excellent Titles, if ye could understand. Nay more, through Him every Fountainhead, every Dawning-place of Divine guidance is made manifest. Reflect, O people, on that which hath been sent down in truth; ponder thereon, and be not of the transgressors. ((((Once again, NO COMMENT!)))) Consort with all religions with amity and concord, that they may inhale from you the sweet fragrance of God. Beware lest amidst men the flame of foolish ignorance overpower you. All things proceed from God and unto Him they return. He is the source of all things and in Him all things are ended. At long last we return to verses that have substance to them only to confront another question. By “all religions” would they include Christians or Muslims who deny Baha’u’llah? If they are accepted, why not the so-called “covenant breakers” (Baha’is who reject the current Baha’i leadership) that Baha’is today are clearly ordered to SHUN? Maybe Baha’is should look up “all” in a dictionary. Take heed that ye enter no house in the absence of its owner, except with his permission. Comport yourselves with propriety under all conditions, and be not
numbered with the wayward. Another example of a good law; the right to private property is one without which all other rights would be endangered. It hath been enjoined upon you to purify your means of sustenance and other such things through payment of Zakát. Thus hath it been prescribed in this exalted Tablet by Him Who is the Revealer of verses. We shall, if it be God’s will and purpose, set forth erelong the measure of its assessment. He, verily, expoundeth whatsoever He desireth by virtue of His own knowledge, and He, of a truth, is Omniscient and All-Wise. Zakat is a regular payment of alms for the poor that was called for in the Quran and is actually one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Oddly enough, I was never asked to make this payment as a Baha’i, only Ḥuqúqu’lláh. Will Baha’is have to make payments to both funds eventually? Is there not an more obvious way to reduce most well-to-do Baha’is to poverty while the Universal House of Justice gets RICH off them? And I thought the Christian televangelists who have been notorious for constantly demanding money were awful! It is unlawful to beg, and it is forbidden to give to him who beggeth. All have been enjoined to earn a living, and as for those who are incapable of doing so, it is incumbent on the Deputies of God and on the wealthy to make adequate provision for them. Keep ye the statutes and commandments of God; nay, guard them as ye would your very eyes, and be not of those who suffer grievous loss. In essence, this says welfare must be for the truly disabled and never the lazy. I totally agree! Ye have been forbidden in the Book of God to engage in contention and conflict, to strike another, or to commit similar acts whereby hearts and souls may be saddened. A fine of nineteen mithqáls of gold had formerly been prescribed by Him Who is the Lord of all mankind for anyone who was the cause of sadness to another; in this Dispensation, however, He hath absolved you thereof and exhorteth you to show forth righteousness and piety. Such is the commandment which He hath enjoined upon you in this resplendent Tablet. Wish not for others what ye wish not for yourselves; fear God, and be not of the prideful. Ye are all created out of water, and unto dust shall ye return. Reflect upon the end that awaiteth you, and walk not in the ways of the oppressor. Give ear unto the verses of God which He Who is the sacred Lote-Tree reciteth unto you. They are assuredly the infallible balance, established by God, the Lord of this world and the next. Through them the soul of man is caused to wing its flight towards the Dayspring of Revelation, and the heart of every true believer is suffused with light. Such are the laws which God hath enjoined upon you, such His commandments prescribed unto you in His Holy Tablet; obey them with joy and gladness, for this is best for you, did ye but know. Baha’u’llah throws out yet another stupid law made by the Bab. And then proceeds to spit out more lame rhetoric. I wonder if I should write a book with hundreds of passages like, “The Earth is a sphere”, “2+2=4”, “My name is Dale Husband” and “Christianity is the religion founded by Jesus of Nazereth.” Would at least a few people find them inspiring if I claimed the book as a product of divine revelation? Probably. Recite ye the verses of God every morn and eventide. Whoso faileth to recite them hath not been faithful to the Covenant of God and His Testament, and whoso turneth away from these holy verses in this Day is of those who throughout eternity have turned away from God. Fear ye God, O My servants, one and all. Pride not yourselves on
much reading of the verses or on a multitude of pious acts by night and day; for were a man to read a single verse with joy and radiance it would be better for him than to read with lassitude all the Holy Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Read ye the sacred verses in such measure that ye be not overcome by languor and despondency. Lay not upon your souls that which will weary them and weigh them down, but rather what will lighten and uplift them, so that they may soar on the wings of the Divine verses towards the Dawning-place of His manifest signs; this will draw you nearer to God, did ye but comprehend. Baha’u’llah, reciting your verses with ” lassitude” or “languor and despondency” would not have been an issue if you had not so often spent several times more words than necessary to make many of your points in this book! Actually, the worst example of Baha’u’llah wasting a lot of his words was to write a loooooooong letter to a Muslim enemy of his in Persia who was known as “the Son of the Wolf”. So long that Shoghi Effendi for some strange reason later published it as a book (it contains many references to previous works by Baha’u’llah) that is still available for Baha’is to buy and read today. Ironically, I suspect the original recipient of the letter probably never bothered to read it. I certainly would not have! Of course, if you want to bother with it, knock yourself out! You can find it online under the title of the Epistle to the Son of the Wolf.
Teach your children the verses revealed from the heaven of majesty and power, so that, in most melodious tones, they may recite the Tablets of the All-Merciful in the alcoves within the Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs. Whoever hath been transported by the rapture born of adoration for My Name, the Most Compassionate, will recite the verses of God in such wise as to captivate the hearts of those yet wrapped in slumber. Well is it with him who hath quaffed the Mystic Wine of everlasting life from the utterance of his merciful Lord in My Name—a Name through which every lofty and majestic mountain hath been reduced to dust. No thanks! If I had children, I’d much rather teach them these things:
One of the most amazing things about really sitting down and going through the contents of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas is that I probably never would have been impressed with the book had I first read it as a non-Baha’i about 25 years ago. I only got a copy of it after I’d been a Baha’i for several months and by then I had strong personal ties to other Baha’is that blinded me to the flaws of the Faith. When you fall in love with PEOPLE, it often makes you overlook FACTS that otherwise should matter. Ye have been enjoined to renew the furnishings of your homes after the passing of each nineteen years; thus hath it been ordained by One Who is Omniscient and AllPerceiving. He, verily, is desirous of refinement, both for you yourselves and for all that ye possess; lay not aside the fear of God and be not of the negligent. Whoso findeth that his means are insufficient to this purpose hath been excused by God, the EverForgiving, the Most Bounteous. Why nineteen years? We have already seen how Baha’u’llah divided the year into 19 “months” of 19 days each, so this indicates an obsession with that specific number that he passed on to his followers. Having to buy a new couch, chairs, beds or other items for every house would be a great boon to the furniture industry. But it would be also be wasteful if there is nothing really wrong with the items in question. It would be more logical for this matter to be judged by the homeowners themselves on a case by case basis. Wash your feet once every day in summer, and once every three days during winter. Why was this short passage not included along with all the other commandments to cleanliness earlier in the book? This is bad editing. Should anyone wax angry with you, respond to him with gentleness; and should anyone upbraid you, forbear to upbraid him in return, but leave him to himself and put your trust in God, the omnipotent Avenger, the Lord of might and justice. Good advice. It is similar to the commandment of Jesus to “love your enemies”. Baha’is often refer to Baha’u’llah as the “return of Christ” and it is easy to see why. Ye have been prohibited from making use of pulpits. Whoso wisheth to recite unto you the verses of his Lord, let him sit on a chair placed upon a dais, that he may make mention of God, his Lord, and the Lord of all mankind. It is pleasing to God that ye should seat yourselves on chairs and benches as a mark of honor for the love ye bear for Him and for the Manifestation of His glorious and resplendent Cause. Baha’is claim their religion has no professional clergy, because all believers in this modern age should be able to teach each other. Pulpits are usually used by clergymen in Christian churches. But you do not need a pulpit to be a leader in an authoritarian cult like the Baha’i Faith. Unitarian Universalist ministers use pulpits all the time, but they are not dictators over their own churches. This is an example of appearances and substances diverging in the two religions. Gambling and the use of opium have been forbidden unto you. Eschew them both, O people, and be not of those who transgress. Beware of using any substance that induceth sluggishness and torpor in the human temple and inflicteth harm upon the body. We, verily, desire for you naught save what shall profit you, and to this bear witness all created things, had ye but ears to hear. More bad editing; Baha’u’llah already addressed alcohol and drug abuse earlier in this book. As for gambling, it can also be addictive and pointless. But many other people occasionally
gamble with no harm coming to them. Likewise, most people who drink alcohol do not become alcoholics and can function normally. Could the same be true of drugs like opium? Whensoever ye be invited to a banquet or festive occasion, respond with joy and gladness, and whoever fulfilleth his promise will be safe from reproof. This is a Day on which each of God’s wise decrees hath been expounded. Right, because if you respond to an invitation to a party with scorn, you should be arrested and jailed! Behold, the “mystery of the Great Reversal in the Sign of the Sovereign” hath now been made manifest. Well is it with him whom God hath aided to recognize the “Six” raised up by virtue of this “Upright Alif”; he, verily, is of those whose faith is true. How many the outwardly pious who have turned away, and how many the wayward who have drawn nigh, exclaiming: “All praise be to Thee, O Thou the Desire of the worlds!” In truth, it is in the hand of God to give what He willeth to whomsoever He willeth, and to withhold what He pleaseth from whomsoever He may wish. He knoweth the inner secrets of the hearts and the meaning hidden in a mocker’s wink. How many an embodiment of heedlessness who came unto Us with purity of heart have We established upon the seat of Our acceptance; and how many an exponent of wisdom have We in all justice consigned to the fire. We are, in truth, the One to judge. He it is Who is the manifestation of “God doeth whatsoever He pleaseth,” and abideth upon the throne of “He ordaineth whatsoever He chooseth.” Blessed is the one who discovereth the fragrance of inner meanings from the traces of this Pen through whose movement the breezes of God are wafted over the entire creation, and through whose stillness the very essence of tranquillity appeareth in the realm of being. Glorified be the All-Merciful, the Revealer of so inestimable a bounty. Say: Because He bore injustice, justice hath appeared on earth, and because He accepted abasement, the majesty of God hath shone forth amidst mankind. ((((No comment again.)))) It hath been forbidden you to carry arms unless essential, and permitted you to attire yourselves in silk. The Lord hath relieved you, as a bounty on His part, of the restrictions that formerly applied to clothing and to the trim of the beard. He, verily, is the Ordainer, the Omniscient. Let there be naught in your demeanor of which sound and upright minds would disapprove, and make not yourselves the playthings of the ignorant. Well is it with him who hath adorned himself with the vesture of seemly conduct and a praiseworthy character. He is assuredly reckoned with those who aid their Lord through distinctive and outstanding deeds. Sorry, National Rifle Assocation members and other anti-gun control activists, but your insanity is not accepted in the Baha’i Faith! At least you don’t have to worry so much about your clothing or your facial hair. Promote ye the development of the cities of God and His countries, and glorify Him therein in the joyous accents of His well-favored ones. In truth, the hearts of men are edified through the power of the tongue, even as houses and cities are built up by the hand and other means. We have assigned to every end a means for its accomplishment; avail yourselves thereof, and place your trust and confidence in God, the Omniscient, the All-Wise. ((((No comment yet again.))))
Blessed is the man that hath acknowledged his belief in God and in His signs, and recognized that “He shall not be asked of His doings.” Such a recognition hath been made by God the ornament of every belief and its very foundation. Upon it must depend the acceptance of every goodly deed. Fasten your eyes upon it, that haply the whisperings of the rebellious may not cause you to slip. Were He to decree as lawful the thing which from time immemorial had been forbidden, and forbid that which had, at all times, been regarded as lawful, to none is given the right to question His authority. Whoso will hesitate, though it be for less than a moment, should be regarded as a transgressor. Whoso hath not recognized this sublime and fundamental verity, and hath failed to attain this most exalted station, the winds of doubt will agitate him, and the sayings of the infidels will distract his soul. He that hath acknowledged this principle will be endowed with the most perfect constancy. All honor to this all-glorious station, the remembrance of which adorneth every exalted Tablet. Such is the teaching which God bestoweth on you, a teaching that will deliver you from all manner of doubt and perplexity, and enable you to attain unto salvation in both this world and the next. He, verily, is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Bountiful. He it is Who hath sent forth the Messengers, and sent down the Books to proclaim “There is none other God but Me, the Almighty, the All-Wise.” Baha’u’llah, you just insulted the intelligence of almost every human being throughout history! Laws that do not conform to reason and actual human need should indeed be questioned, challenged, and ultimately changed or replaced. Again, that issue of leadership having absolute authority over the lives of people is completely against the American political ideals. More to the point, God gave us BRAINS and you dare tell us to never use them to think for ourselves?! O Land of Káf and Rá! We, verily, behold thee in a state displeasing unto God, and see proceeding from thee that which is inscrutable to anyone save Him, the Omniscient, the All-Informed; and We perceive that which secretly and stealthily diffuseth from thee. With Us is the knowledge of all things, inscribed in a lucid Tablet. Sorrow not for that which hath befallen thee. Erelong will God raise up within thee men endued with mighty valor, who will magnify My Name with such constancy that neither will they be deterred by the evil suggestions of the divines, nor will they be kept back by the insinuations of the sowers of doubt. With their own eyes will they behold God, and with their own lives will they render Him victorious. These, truly, are of those who are steadfast. This refers to a part of Persia (now called Iran) where Babi opponents of Baha’u’llah lived and fought against Baha’is. These opponents were called Azalis. O concourse of divines! When My verses were sent down, and My clear tokens were revealed, We found you behind the veils. This, verily, is a strange thing. Ye glory in My Name, yet ye recognized Me not at the time your Lord, the All-Merciful, appeared amongst you with proof and testimony. We have rent the veils asunder. Beware lest ye shut out the people by yet another veil. Pluck asunder the chains of vain imaginings, in the name of asunder the chains of vain imaginings, in the name of the Lord of all men, and be not of the deceitful. Should ye turn unto God and embrace His Cause, spread not disorder within it, and measure not the Book of God with your selfish desires. This, verily, is the counsel of God aforetime and hereafter, and to this God’s witnesses and
chosen ones, yea, each and every one of Us, do solemnly attest. Is Baha’u’llah AGAIN addressing religious leaders here? Why not edit this entire book after revealing it to put all the passages of specific subjects together? The disjointed nature of this book prompts me to coin a new term for it: “Literary chaos”. Call ye to mind the shaykh whose name was Muḥammad-Ḥasan, who ranked among the most learned divines of his day. When the True One was made manifest, this shaykh, along with others of his calling, rejected Him, while a sifter of wheat and barley accepted Him and turned unto the Lord. Though he was occupied both night and day in setting down what he conceived to be the laws and ordinances of God, yet when He Who is the Unconstrained appeared, not one letter thereof availed him, or he would not have turned away from a Countenance that hath illumined the faces of the well-favored of the Lord. Had ye believed in God when He revealed Himself, the people would not have turned aside from Him, nor would the things ye witness today have befallen Us. Fear God, and be not of the heedless. This is yet another parallel with Jesus, who was rejected by most of the Jewish clergy of his time but was accepted by humble fishermen. The implication seems to be that education can be a bad thing. Because ignorant people are useful as fodder for cult recruitment. Beware lest any name debar you from Him Who is the Possessor of all names, or any word shut you out from this Remembrance of God, this Source of Wisdom amongst you. Turn unto God and seek His protection, O concourse of divines, and make not of yourselves a veil between Me and My creatures. Thus doth your Lord admonish you, and command you to be just, lest your works should come to naught and ye yourselves be oblivious of your plight. Shall he who denieth this Cause be able to vindicate the truth of any cause throughout creation? Nay, by Him Who is the Fashioner of the universe! Yet the people are wrapped in a palpable veil. Say: Through this Cause the daystar of testimony hath dawned, and the luminary of proof hath shed its radiance upon all that dwell on earth. Fear God, O men of insight, and be not of those who disbelieve in Me. Take heed lest the word “Prophet” withhold you from this Most Great Announcement, or any reference to “Vicegerency” debar you from the sovereignty of Him Who is the Vicegerent of God, which overshadoweth all the worlds. Every name hath been created by His Word, and every cause is dependent on His irresistible, His mighty and wondrous Cause. Say: This is the Day of God, the Day on which naught shall be mentioned save His own Self, the omnipotent Protector of all worlds. This is the Cause that hath made all your superstitions and idols to tremble. Titles do not matter, it is the substance of people that we should all be concerned about. Another good point from Baha’u’llah, but once again he wastes many words making that point. It is a safe bet Baha’u’llah would not have bothered with the limitations of Twitter. We, verily, see amongst you him who taketh hold of the Book of God and citeth from it proofs and arguments wherewith to repudiate his Lord, even as the followers of wherewith to repudiate his Lord, even as the followers of every other Faith sought reasons in their Holy Books for refuting Him Who is the Help in Peril, the SelfSubsisting. Say: God, the True One, is My witness that neither the Scriptures of the world, nor all the books and writings in existence, shall, in this Day, avail you aught without this, the Living Book, Who proclaimeth in the midmost heart of creation: “Verily, there is none other God but Me, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”
What an irony that I am right here and now using the Kitab-i-Aqdas as a weapon against its own writer and his successors in the Baha’i Faith! O concourse of divines! Beware lest ye be the cause of strife in the land, even as ye were the cause of the repudiation of the Faith in its early days. Gather the people around this Word that hath made the pebbles to cry out: “The Kingdom is God’s, the Dawning-place of all signs!” Thus doth your Lord admonish you, as a bounty on His part; He, of a truth, is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous. Call ye to mind Karím, and how, when We summoned him unto God, he waxed disdainful, prompted by his own desires; yet We had sent him that which was a solace to the eye of proof in the world of being and the fulfillment of God’s testimony to all the denizens of earth and heaven. As a token of the grace of Him Who is the AllPossessing, the Most High, We bade him embrace the Truth. But he turned away until, as an act of justice from God, angels of wrath laid hold upon him. Unto this We truly were a witness. We have already seen where disagreements between people are always assumed to be evil. This makes trust and respect between factions almost impossible. Of course, it is not just Baha’is that are guilty of this distorted thinking. Tear the veils asunder in such wise that the inmates of the Kingdom will hear them being rent. This is the command of God, in days gone by and for those to come. Blessed the man that observeth that whereunto he was bidden, and woe betide the negligent. We, of a certainty, have had no purpose in this earthly realm save to make God manifest and to reveal His sovereignty; sufficient unto Me is God for a witness. We, of a certainty, have had no intent in the celestial Kingdom but to exalt His Cause and glorify His praise; sufficient unto Me is God for a protector. We, of a certainty, have had no desire in the Dominion on high except to extol God and what hath been sent down by Him; sufficient unto Me is God for a helper. Happy are ye, O ye the learned ones in Bahá. By the Lord! Ye are the billows of the Most Mighty Ocean, the stars of the firmament of Glory, the standards of triumph waving betwixt earth and heaven. Ye are the manifestations of steadfastness amidst men and the daysprings of Divine Utterance to all that dwell on earth. Well is it with him that turneth unto you, and woe betide the froward. This day, it behooveth whoso hath quaffed the Mystic Wine of everlasting life from the Hands of the loving-kindness of the Lord his God, the Merciful, to pulsate even as the throbbing artery in the body of mankind, that through him may be quickened the world and every crumbling bone. If only I was the chief editor of a newspaper or magazine and Baha’u’llah was one of my reporters, I’d have the pleasure of FIRING him for his making soooooo much lame writing over and over, over and over, over and over yet again! O people of the world! When the Mystic Dove will have winged its flight from its Sanctuary of Praise and sought its far-off goal, its hidden habitation, refer ye whatsoever ye understand not in the Book to Him Who hath branched from this mighty Stock. Another reference to one of the sons of Baha’u’llah, later assumed to be Abdu’l-Baha. Certainly I would understand asking of a trustworthy person clarification of obscure passages in a holy book. But Abdu’l-Baha did more than this, as I already showed.
O Pen of the Most High! Move Thou upon the Tablet at the bidding of Thy Lord, the Creator of the Heavens, and tell of the time when He Who is the Dayspring of Divine Unity purposed to direct His steps towards the School of Transcendent Oneness; haply the pure in heart may gain thereby a glimpse, be it as small as a needle’s eye, of the mysteries of Thy Lord, the Almighty, the Omniscient, that lie concealed behind the veils. Say: We, indeed, set foot within the School of inner meaning and explanation when all created things were unaware. We saw the words sent down by Him Who is the All-Merciful, and We accepted the verses of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, which He presented unto Us, and hearkened unto that which He had solemnly affirmed in the Tablet. This We assuredly did behold. And We assented to His wish through Our behest, for truly We are potent to command. I’ve heard of talking to yourself, but WRITING to yourself? This book keeps getting more ridiculous as we go along! O people of the Bayán! We, verily, set foot within the School of God when ye lay slumbering; and We perused the Tablet while ye were fast asleep. By the one true God! We read the Tablet ere it was revealed, while ye were unaware, and We had perfect knowledge of the Book when ye were yet unborn. These words are to your measure, not to God’s. To this testifieth that which is enshrined within His knowledge, if ye be of them that comprehend; and to this the tongue of the Almighty doth bear witness, if ye be of those who understand. I swear by God, were We to lift the veil, ye would be dumbfounded. Take heed that ye dispute not idly concerning the Almighty and His Cause, for lo! He hath appeared amongst you invested with a Revelation so great as to encompass all things, whether of the past or of the future. Were We to address Our theme by speaking in the language of the inmates of the Kingdom, We would say: “In truth, God created that School ere He created heaven and earth, and We entered it before the letters B and E were joined and knit together.” Such is the language of Our servants in Our Kingdom; consider what the tongue of the dwellers of Our exalted Dominion would utter, for We have taught them Our knowledge and have revealed to them whatever had lain hidden in God’s wisdom. Imagine then what the Tongue of Might and Grandeur would utter in His All-Glorious Abode! This is not a Cause which may be made a plaything for your idle fancies, nor is it a field for the foolish and faint of heart. By God, this is the arena of insight and detachment, of vision and upliftment, where none may spur on their chargers save the valiant horsemen of the Merciful, who have severed all attachment to the world of being. These, truly, are they that render God victorious on earth, and are the dawning-places of His sovereign might amidst mankind. What are we supposed to think of a person who tells others, “I am smarter than all the rest of you! Look at me!!!” other than scorn? That’s the essence of narcissism. Why not let the intelligence of a person speak for itself? I did not become a huge fan of Carl Sagan in 1980 merely because he told me repeatedly he was one of the smartest men in the world. I admired him because he was able to SHOW me his brilliance! And he was indeed a far more coherent writer than Baha’u’llah! Beware lest aught that hath been revealed in the Bayán should keep you from your Lord, the Most Compassionate. God is My witness that the Bayán was sent down for
no other purpose than to celebrate My praise, did ye but know! In it the pure in heart will find only the fragrance of My love, only My Name that overshadoweth all that seeth and is seen. Say: Turn ye, O people, unto that which hath proceeded from My Most Exalted Pen. Should ye inhale therefrom the fragrance of God, set not yourselves against Him, nor deny yourselves a portion of His gracious favor and His manifold bestowals. Thus doth your Lord admonish you; He, verily, is the Counselor, the Omniscient. Whatsoever ye understand not in the Bayán, ask it of God, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers. Should He so desire, He will expound for you that which is revealed therein, and disclose to you the pearls of Divine knowledge and wisdom that lie concealed within the ocean of its words. He, verily, is supreme over all names; no God is there but Him, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. If these verses have any relevance to us today, then why to this day has the Bayan never been made more available for Baha’is around the world to read? Indeed, the only book I ever saw that contained a compilation of the Bab’s writings did not even include a complete version of the Bayan, though part of it was added. By the way, the Bab did not even bother to complete the Bayan, leaving it to be done by the Messenger who would come after him. Baha’is assume this to be Baha’u’llah, but as we saw he actually tossed the Bab’s own laws out and replaced them with the ones of the Kitab-iAqdas. An incompetent writer can still occasionally produce something beautiful and inspiring and it would seem that only the very best of the Bab’s works have ever been allowed to be seen by Baha’is today, giving a badly distorted perspective of the Bab’s abilities. The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System—the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed. Sounds like something Karl Marx would have written at about the same time. And Communism did do a lot more to the world than the Baha’i Faith has, although it has gone down to ruin since then. At the pathetic rate the Baha’is are going, they may still be a scattered cult a century from now, if they still even exist at all as a viable religious community. Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of this Cause—a Cause through which the potentialities of the might of God have been revealed, and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming with joy, hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it—verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures. Say: This is the infallible Balance which the Hand of God is holding, in which all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth are weighed, and their fate determined, if ye be of them that believe and recognize this truth. Say: This is the Most Great Testimony, by which the validity of every proof throughout the ages hath been established, would that ye might be assured been established, would that ye might be
assured thereof. Say: Through it the poor have been enriched, the learned enlightened, and the seekers enabled to ascend unto the presence of God. Beware lest ye make it a cause of dissension amongst you. Be ye as firmly settled as the immovable mountain in the Cause of your Lord, the Mighty, the Loving. More idle boasting and ego tripping! Baha’u’llah, your “ocean” is polluted and your balance has tipped over and hit the ground with a thud! Say: O source of perversion! Abandon thy willful blindness, and speak forth the truth amidst the people. I swear by God that I have wept for thee to see thee following thy selfish passions and renouncing Him Who fashioned thee and brought thee into being. Call to mind the tender mercy of thy Lord, and remember how We nurtured thee by day and by night for service to the Cause. Fear God, and be thou of the truly repentant. Granted that the people were confused about thy station, is it conceivable that thou thyself art similarly confused? Tremble before thy Lord and recall the days when thou didst stand before Our throne, and didst write down the verses that We dictated unto thee—verses sent down by God, the Omnipotent Protector, the Lord of might and power. Beware lest the fire of thy presumptuousness debar thee from attaining to God’s Holy Court. Turn unto Him, and fear not because of thy deeds. He, in truth, forgiveth whomsoever He desireth as a bounty on His part; no God is there but Him, the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Bounteous. We admonish thee solely for the sake of God. Shouldst thou accept this counsel, thou wilt have acted to thine own behoof; and shouldst thou reject it, thy Lord, verily, can well dispense with thee, and with all those who, in manifest delusion, have followed thee. Behold! God hath laid hold on him who led thee astray. Return unto God, humble, submissive and lowly; verily, He will put away from thee thy sins, for thy Lord, of a certainty, is the Forgiving, the Mighty, the All-Merciful. Here Baha’u’llah directly addresses his younger half-brother, Mirza Yahya, who had the title of Ṣubḥ-i-Azal. Baha’u’llah and his brother became enemies during their time together in the Turkish city of Adrianople (now called Edirne), when Mirza Yahya rejected Baha’u’llah’s claims of being the one the Bab foretold, and insisted that he was the rightful leader of the Babis, having been appointed to that role by the Bab himself. But he proved to be so cowardly and incompetent that Baha’u’llah was able to win most of the Babis to his side, making them Baha’is, while the remaining Babis were renamed Azalis after Mirza Yahya’s title. You’d think it was obvious that the Bab had made a mistake with his appointment, but the hilarious thing about Manifestations of God like the Bab and Baha’u’llah is that THEY ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE MISTAKEN ABOUT ANYTHING! So Baha’i history has been written to whitewash this issue. A generation later, Baha’u’llah stated in his will and testament that Abdu’l-Baha was to be the rightful leader of the Baha’i community, but also stated that Mirza Muhammad-Ali, Abdu’lBaha’s own younger half-brother, would be the first son’s lieutenant and eventual successor. But Abdu’l-Baha decided to pull the same stunt against his brother that Baha’u’llah did against Mirza Yahya, denying him any place in the hierarchy of the Faith! Again, it could not be admitted that either Baha’u’llah had made an error or that Abdu’l-Baha had been treacherous, so Baha’i history was written to make it appear that the “betrayal” was all on Mirza Muhammad-Ali after Baha’u’llah’s death, depicting this wayward son as a horrible villain and Abdu’l-Baha as a virtuous hero in ridiculously cartoonish terms. Never mind that many of Baha’u’llah’s relatives actually sided with the younger brother in this case.
The intense thought control and self-censorship of the Baha’i Administrative Order over the past century or so has allowed this sort of manipulation of history in the Baha’i Faith. We simply have no way of knowing for sure what really happened. This is the Counsel of God; would that thou mightest heed it! This is the Bounty of God; would that thou mightest receive it! This is the Utterance of God; if only thou wouldst apprehend it! This is the Treasure of God; if only thou couldst understand! This is an annoyance of God, if only it had never existed! This is a Book which hath become the Lamp of the Eternal unto the world, and His straight, undeviating Path amidst the peoples of the earth. Say: This is the Dayspring of Divine knowledge, if ye be of them that understand, and the Dawning-place of God’s commandments, if ye be of those who comprehend. (((No comment.))) Burden not an animal with more than it can bear. We, truly, have prohibited such treatment through a most binding interdiction in the Book. Be ye the embodiments of justice and fairness amidst all creation. Animal cruelty is not tolerated in the Baha’i Faith, another good law. Should anyone unintentionally take another’s life, it is incumbent upon him to render to the family of the deceased an indemnity of one hundred mithqáls of gold. Observe ye that which hath been enjoined upon you in this Tablet, and be not of those who overstep its limits. Not a bad idea, except a person who committed involuntary manslaughter may be too poor to afford that penalty. How about imprisoning him for a period of time instead? O members of parliaments throughout the world! Select ye a single language for the use of all on earth, and adopt ye likewise a common script. God, verily, maketh plain for you that which shall profit you and enable you to be independent of others. He, of a truth, is the Most Bountiful, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. This will be the cause of unity, could ye but comprehend it, and the greatest instrument for promoting harmony and civilization, would that ye might understand! We have appointed two signs for the coming of age of the human race: the first, which is the most firm foundation, We have set down in other of Our Tablets, while the second hath been revealed in this wondrous Book. About the same time the Kitab-i-Aqdas was published, a Polish doctor named L. L. Zamenhof invented a new language called Esperanto, which became quite popular over several decades. Baha’is quickly adopted and promoted it for a long time, but it has since fallen out of favor and now it appears English may become the universal language Baha’u’llah called for. English is already the most widely spoken language (though Chinese is the most popular, it is not so widespread). Its biggest advantage is its borrowing so many words from other languages to enrich its own vocabulary. It hath been forbidden you to smoke opium. We, truly, have prohibited this practice through a most binding interdiction in the Book. Should anyone partake thereof, assuredly he is not of Me. Fear God, O ye endued with understanding! Yet another case of literary chaos; Baha’u’llah condemned opium use once before and made a more general prohibition against taking intoxicating substances once before that.
We reach the original end of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, but in reality Baha’u’llah was not quite finished. He would later add one more part. The Tablet of Ishráqát The Eighth Ishráq
This passage, now written by the Pen of Glory, is accounted as part of the Most Holy Book: The men of God’s House of Justice have been charged with the affairs of the people. They, in truth, are the Trustees of God among His servants and the daysprings of authority in His countries. So once again, Baha’u’llah repeats what was said before. O people of God! That which traineth the world is Justice, for it is upheld by two pillars, reward and punishment. These two pillars are the sources of life to the world. Inasmuch as for each day there is a new problem and for every problem an expedient solution, such affairs should be referred to the House of Justice that the members thereof may act according to the needs and requirements of the time. They that, for the sake of God, arise to serve His Cause, are the recipients of divine inspiration from the unseen Kingdom. It is incumbent upon all to be obedient unto them. All matters of State should be referred to the House of Justice, but acts of worship must be observed according to that which God hath revealed in His Book. So this confirms that the House of Justice is to be a future government. Concepts like separation of religion and politics will no longer be an issue, right? O people of Bahá! Ye are the dawning-places of the love of God and the daysprings of His loving-kindness. Defile not your tongues with the cursing and reviling of any soul, and guard your eyes against that which is not seemly. Set forth that which ye possess. If it be favorably received, your end is attained; if not, to protest is vain. Leave that soul to himself and turn unto the Lord, the Protector, the Self-Subsisting. Be not the cause of grief, much less of discord and strife. The hope is cherished that ye may obtain true education in the shelter of the tree of His tender mercies and act in accordance with that which God desireth. Ye are all the leaves of one tree and the drops of one ocean. So once again we get more BLAH BLAH BLAH that we would have seen from him many, many times before. However, that very last sentence is one of the most beloved and often quoted passages from Baha’u’llah. Remember what I said about a terrible writer occasionally making something great? There is a perfect example! And with that, I am done!
Published on Oct 18, 2017
This work was created to explain the difference between two similar looking religions and why the author has chosen one over the other.