Bahai of Persia
the Ahmediyyah were for the Sunni Indian subcontinent, the Bahai
were for Iran and Shiite Islam: a welcome tool of the colonial power
to weaken the political resolve of the subjugated lands which
usually found their strength in the spirituality of Islam. The
Bahais follow in the tradition of the Babis, an innovative variation
of the Shia doctrine.
the teaching of the Twelver Shia, Abu Qasim, the twelfth Imam and
Mahdi, disappeared in the year 329 after the Hijrah. The Babis
believe that he continues to speak to people through intermediaries,
the Babs or Doors of wisdom. They added a new article of faith which
states that there will always be amongst the believers one perfect
man who shall be the channel of grace between the absent Imam and
his people. During a massacre of Babis in 1852, which followed the
attempt of some of their members to assassinate the Shah, the then
holder of the position of the Bab, Mirza Muhammad Ali, was killed,
and Mirza Hussain Ali Bahaiullah became the leader of one of the
sects into which the Babis split. Initially only taking the position
of the Bab's viceregent, he later assumed a more eminent role and
reduced the Bab to one who merely paved the way for God to manifest
Himself in Bahaiullah. Unlike in Islam, where Allah is approachable
for His servants without intermediary, for the Bahais there is the
need for an appointed medium. In Bahaism, which has been influenced
by Sufism and Christian doctrine, this medium is the Primal Will,
similar to the Sufi First Principle or Primary Intelligence through
which God communicates with man. How this new faith was destined to
help British rule can be seen from the following statement of
Bahaiullah: "Bahai has come for the perfecting of the law of
christ, and his injunctions are in all respects similar. For
instance, we are commanded that we should prefer that we should be
killed rather than that we should kill. It is the same throughout,
and indeed, could not be otherwise, for Bahai is Christ returned
does away with the Qur'an and Hadith as final authoritative
guidance. During each age the Primal Will must manifest itself
afresh. "Since it is impossible for created beings to know the
Divine Essence, the Primal Will has, for their guidance and
instruction, incarnated itself from time to time in a human form.
These incarnations are known as prophets. That which spoke in all
the prophets of the past now speaks in the bab, and will speak
through 'Him whom God shall manifest' (i.e. Bahaiullah), and after
him through others, for there is no cessation in these
manifestations." For the Bahai, there is an ongoing process of
revelation which did not stop with Muhammad, peace be upon him, nor
even with Bahaiullah as the Mahdi. Bahaism was described by
Orientalists as "a religious revolt against orthodox Islam, for
it has shaken in the minds of many Muslims the conviction that Islam
is the final word on things temporal and spiritual, it tends to give
liberty of thought and to develop a friendly spirit to others"
(The Faith of Islam by the Rev. Edward Sell).
much as it undermined the teachings of Islam, it changed its
practice. The five daily prayers were reduced to three and the
prayer direction towards Makkah was cancelled. The fast of Ramadan
is replaced by that during the last month of the Babi year. Shaving
one's head is forbidden, but shaving the beard is permitted.
Interfaith dialogue is greatly encouraged. The furniture of houses
should be renewed every nineteen years, and chairs should be used.
Carrying of arms other than during times of war is not permitted.
Jihad is abolished the clearest indication of the aim to force
the surrender of the Muslim entity.
|Author: Islamic Party
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