The Bahá'í Faith states that religion has the same foundation, and that there is unity of religion.It is one of the core teachings of the Bahá'í Faith, alongside the unity of God, and the unity of humanity.. ed. The Baha'i Faith is in many ways a challenging religion, that raises many controversial and difficult questions. Some criticism of the Bahá'í Faith has centered on apparently misleading statements concerning numbers of believers. also argue that, despite the Baháʼí Faith's claim of unity, there are numerous theological differences between Islam and the Baháʼí Faith,[3] with one critic, Imran Shaykh, arguing that the disparities are evidence to the Baháʼí Faith not being a natural progression of Islam, as is claimed.[12]. When a man came on the scene in 1863 who was called Baha'u'llah, he claimed to be that prophet. The first Guardian, Shoghi Effendi, had nobody eligible to appoint and died in 1957 without writing a will[20] and making an appointment. Christians have been known to dismiss the Baháʼí Faith as a syncretic combination of faiths or point to discrepancies between faiths to contradict the idea of unity of religion. Other scientifically controversial ideas from Baháʼu'lláh include that the universe is without beginning or end, that every planet has "creatures", and that copper can turn into gold. . Criticism is often the harbinger of conflict and contention. Part A is a response to theological problems in Baha'iism and takes the form of a reply to a Baha'i publication of their scriptures, The Proofs of Baha’u’llah’s Mission. In Bahai faith, every Bahai is to say Allah Abha 95 times everyday. Al-Kitab Al-Aqdas Or the Most Holy Book (Vol. Mason Remey and Those Who Followed Him; Church and State in the Baha’i Faith; Recommended Sites. The Christian doctrine of atonement is commonly understood to exclude all other religions as a path to God. Nevertheless, it is difficult to avoid the suspicion that he himself made much more radical claims than this in parts of his later writings. In the summer and fall of 2004, I gradually came to the conviction that the Baha'i Faith was no longer worthy of my allegiance. (Shoghi Effendi, The National Spiritual Assembly compilation, p. 35-36), It is again not permitted that any one of the honoured members object to or censure, whether in or out of the meeting, any decision arrived at previously, though that decision be not right, for such criticism would prevent any decision from being enforced. If we continually criticize their acts and challenge or belittle their decisions, we prevent any real progress and repel outsiders: The Guardian believes that a great deal of the difficulties from which the believers . Psychology Press. All the virtues of the individual -- his faith, his courage and his steadfastness in the Covenant -- undergo a rigorous test as the members sit around the table to consult. (Universal House of Justice, Individual Rights and Freedoms in the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 15-16). On the one hand: How has this helped you understand this issue better? His most recent book, ‘The Baha’i Faith: Its History and Teachings’ may be fairly regarded as the final flowering of this lifetime preoccupation. This observation, by the way, is not intended as a criticism of Dr. Hickey, whose work I respect enormously. The Baha’i Faith is a global faith community, established in virtually every country in the world. The best occasion chosen for this purpose is the Nineteen Day Feast, which, besides its social and spiritual aspects, fulfils various administrative needs and requirements of the Community, chief among them being the need for open and constructive criticism and deliberation regarding the state of affairs within the local Bahá’í Community. The Bahá'í Faith is a religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. Apologetics is the branch of theology which seeks to defend a religion's tenets through reasoned argument. In the summer and fall of 2004, I gradually came to the conviction that the Baha'i Faith was no longer worthy of my allegiance. The word Abha, is actually a Bahai Faith word also, and is of the same root as Baha. 27-28). Established by Baháʼu'lláh in the 19th century, it initially developed in Persia and parts of the Middle East, where it has faced ongoing persecution since its inception. When a man came on the scene in 1863 who was called Baha'u'llah, he claimed to be that prophet. Notes: Delivered to the Apologetics Panel, Association of Baha'i Studies annual conference, Seattle, September 2 2001. The official website of the Baha'i Faith is: Bahai.org. [7][8], Muslim theology regards Muhammad as the Khatam an-Nabiyyin, the last prophet whom God has sent and Islam as the final religion for all humankind. We’re all doing the best we can to follow the principles and we fail everyday because we’re all human. [3] The Christian doctrine of atonement is commonly understood to exclude all other religions as a path to God. To say this should not suggest that Rev. "Vicious criticism is indeed a calamity," the root of which is "lack of faith in the system of Bahá'u'lláh" and failure to follow the "Bahá'í laws in voting, in electing, in serving, and in abiding by Assembly decisions." Criticism and discussions of a negative character which undermines the authority of the assembly should be strictly avoided: It should be stressed that all criticism and discussions of a negative character which may result in undermining the authority of the assembly as a body should be strictly avoided. The Baha'i faith teaches that Buddha was a 'Manifestation of God' and is ranked alongside other Great Spiritual Teachers such as Krishna, Christ and Muhammad. The official website of the Baha'i Faith is: Bahai.org. Secular feminists may consider the Baha'i Faith yet another patriarchal religion and dismiss it as such. Tensions between Subh-i-Azal and Baháʼu'lláh grew in Baghdad and escalated in Istanbul and Edirne. Miller regards his subject with any affection. A Catholic Christian Critique of the Baha'i Faith. Apologetics is the branch of theology which seeks to defend a religion's tenets through reasoned argument. ( 114-115) Since in the Baha'i View internal religious experience is not simply the self's experience of itself but a direct response to the datum of the Manifestations [revelation = datum]. The Baha'i Faith is now led by the Universal House of Justice (located on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel) as provided for in Baha'u'llah's Writings. The Baháʼí Faith is a new religion that originated in the Middle East in the 19th century and has around 5 million adherents. TAGS: Criticism and apologetics > add tags: About this document (click for more) Abstract: Argument for the need for and practice of academic defense of the Baha'i Faith. Christian apologist Francis J. Beckwith wrote of the Baháʼí teachings: The fact that the various alleged manifestations of God represented God in contradictory ways implies either that manifestations of God can contradict one another or that God's own nature is contradictory. The Baha'i faith teaches that Buddha was a 'Manifestation of God' and is ranked alongside other Great Spiritual Teachers such as Krishna, Christ and Muhammad. [19], The Baháʼí scriptures intend for a line of Guardians to fill an executive role alongside the Universal House of Justice, each Guardian appointed by the preceding one from among the male descendants of Baháʼu'lláh. [12], Denis MacEoin in The Messiah of Shiraz, Brill, 2009, p. 500, note 16 states. we have Bahai around in this small town.. she was un Bahai.. she was really mean , He further argued that in the case of "Bah… I was surprised by what I found. Meaning God is splendor. Bahá’í Reference Library » The Bahá’í Reference Library is the authoritative online source of Bahá’í writings. Christians have been known to dismiss the Baháʼí Faith as a syncretic combination of faiths[2] or point to discrepancies between faiths to contradict the idea of unity of religion. (Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’í Administration, p. 63). The principles of the Bahá’í Faith clearly define a non-political character, and serve as a guide for conduct in the relations of Bahá’ís with one another, with their fellow men, and in their relations with different departments of the civil government. The answer is both yes (with conditions) and no, as we’ll see below. For vital as it is to the progress of society, criticism is a two-edged sword: It is all too often the harbinger of conflict and contention. [23], Baháʼís have been accused, particularly by successive Iranian governments, of being agents or spies of Russia, Britain, the Shah, the United States, and as agents of Zionism—each claim being linked to each regime's relevant enemy and justifying anti-Baháʼí actions. The following statements are, I think, explicit enough to serve as examples: 'he who speaks in the most great prison (i.e. In Baha'i belief, although human ... More info. The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith. Criticism should be addressed to the institutions of the Faith and not aired in the community where it might foment division and misunderstandings: It is clear then that criticism is allowed, but it should be addressed to the institutions of the Faith and not aired in the community where it might foment division and misunderstandings. How new members are found Dangerous Cults: With many cults, you don't get to know what you are getting into until after you have made a commitment Baha'i Faith: There are secrets but these secrets are not known to the poor, innocent, newly converted Baha'is. and Miller, W.M. 1. Baháʼís view the issue as a gradual transition towards monogamy. [24] Cole accused the Baháʼí Administration of exaggerating the numbers of believers. Baha’i Media Bank; Baha’i Reference Library; Baha’i World News Service; One Country; The Baha’i Faith; The Kitáb-i-Aqdas; The Life of Baha’u'llah; Table of Contents; About This Site The claim of the Baha'i Faith to uphold the equality of men and women as a principle attracts attention from others who would also claim to be advancing the cause of sex equality, albeit from different perspectives. The Bahá'í Faith is a religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. How incalculable have been the negative results of ill-directed criticism: in the catastrophic divergences it has created in religion, in the equally contentious factions it has spawned in political systems, which have dignified conflict by institutionalizing such concepts as the “loyal opposition” which attach to one or another of the various categories of political opinion — conservative, liberal, progressive, reactionary, and so on. Centers of Learning The Baha’is of the United States operate three year-round conference and retreat centers that offer a wide range of programming for adults, youth and children. Realizing that I had to remove myself from that community outright as a matter of honor, I wrote the following letter: To the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the… Some Baha’is might have different views as in many cases the Writing are deep and needs reflections and at other times we get different meanings from them. But its root is lack of faith in the system of Bahá’u’lláh, i.e., the Administrative Order — and lack of obedience to Him — for He has forbidden it! I was disgusted of her bahavior. Today, the Baha’i Faith is considered to be the second most widespread religion in the world. 1. None. When the Ottoman government wished to eliminate the Bábís, they further exiled Baha'u'llah and his followers to Akka, and Subh-i-Azal and his followers to Cyprus, but left several of each in the other's city in an attempt to further stoke conflict. Here the spiritual battle within the soul of the individual begins and will continue as long as the ego is the dictator. 2 [Tehran, n.d., being a repaginated reprint of a collection of writings originally preceded by the Kitāb al-aqdas, first printed Bombay, 1314/1896], p. 177); 'verily, I am God' (letter in Ishrāq Khāvarī Māʾida, vol. Please don’t judge the Baha’i Faith by its followers or you will always be disappointed. (Christianity is number one.) I have shown below how the 'Criticism of Bahai Faith' wikipedia article is purposely presented in a way to portray the Bahai faith in a very positive way, and divert actual criticism. . There are statements from the religion's founders of a scientific nature that could be interpreted as contrary to standard science. Your email address will not be published. We are fully entitled to address criticisms but then we must whole-heartedly accept the advice or decision of the assembly: The Bahá’ís are fully entitled to address criticisms to their assemblies; they can freely air their views about policies or individual members of elected bodies to the assembly, local or national, but then they must whole-heartedly accept the advice or decision of the assembly, according to the principles already laid down for such matters in Bahá’í administration. The government of Iran has been especially critical of the Baháʼí Faith, claiming that its Baháʼí population is a political threat. While Baháʼí teachings assert that men and women are spiritually equal, author Lil Abdo says that the Baháʼí understanding of sexual equality is different from that of secular feminists. Contradiction and altercation will make it necessary for a judicial body to render decision upon the question: Opposition and division are deplorable. There are around six million Bahá’ís in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. There would appear to be a number of likely sources of criticism. Baháʼu'lláh claimed to be a Manifestation of God, which is the Baháʼí term for people like Jesus and Muhammad. It's hypocrisy must be exposed and confronted for all to see. The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith. (Shoghi Effendi, NSA USA – Developing Distinctive Baha’i Communities). The Bahá’í Faith is a religion founded by Bahá’u’lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. But its root is lack of faith in the system of Bahá’u’lláh, i.e., the Administrative Order -- and lack of obedience to Him -- for He has forbidden it! . In Bahai scriptures, God had a greatest name. When Criticism and Harsh Words Arise "When criticism and harsh words arise within a Bahá’í community, there is no remedy except to put the past behind one, and persuade all concerned to turn over a new leaf, and for the sake of God and His Faith refrain from mentioning the subjects which have led to misunderstanding and inharmony. Criticism of the Baha'i Faith I can only speak for myself, but I consider direct and detailed criticism of the Baha'i Faith to be an essential part of the recovery process involved in leaving it. Parts 1., 2., and 3., of this Critique of The Covenant, Unit 2 clearly demonstrated that the Heterodox Bahá'í institution, the Ruhi Institute is utterly unqualified and unworthy to teach the Bahá'í Faith.. He prophesied that a great prophet would come but Ali Muhammed was executed by the government for his teachings. The traveling Baha’i teacher shot daggers at me when I apologized for raining on her parade. William Miller says that the wording of Baháʼu'lláh's Kitáb-i-Aqdas made it difficult to distinguish between the words of the author and the words of God. The word Abha, is actually a Bahai Faith word also, and is of the same root as Baha. The Bahá’ís are fully entitled to address criticisms to their Assemblies; they can freely air their views about policies or individual members of elected bodies to the Assembly, local or National, but then they must wholeheartedly accept the advice or decision of the Assembly, according to the principles already laid down for such matters in Bahá’í administration. (Universal House of Justice, Individual Rights and Freedoms in the World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 15-16). Bahá'ís generally believe that the proof of the truth of the religion can be found through independent investigation. The Baha'i Faith originated in Persia in 1844 and was founded by Ali Muhammed who was called the "Báb" or Gate. This is a direct result of the efforts called for in this passage above, but this achievement has come at a cost, because in no part of the world have Baha’is ever attained a majority. she is also a teacher // how can be this bahai behave like this? (Shoghi Effendi, NSA USA – Developing Distinctive Baha’i Communities). The emergence of feminist theologies within other faith communities means that the Faith may … The Baháʼí Faith (/ b ə ˈ h ɑː iː, b ə ˈ h aɪ /; Persian: بهائی ‎ Bahāʼi) is a new religion teaching the essential worth of all religions and the unity of all people. The Baha'i Faith originated in Persia in 1844 and was founded by Ali Muhammed who was called the "Báb" or Gate. [11] Critics[who?] (Universal House of Justice, NSA USA – Developing Distinctive Baha’i Communities), The best occasion chosen for this purpose is the Nineteen Day Feast which, besides its social and spiritual aspects, fulfills various administrative needs and requirements of the Community, chief among them being the need for open and constructive criticism and deliberation regarding the state of affairs within the local Bahá’í Community. In “The Search for Values in an Age of Transition: Gervais, M. (2004). We have been protected against the misuse of criticism through the Covenant and by an administration which draws out the constructive ideas of individuals and uses them for the benefit of the entire system: If Bahá’í individuals deliberately ignore the principles imbedded in the Order which Bahá’u’lláh Himself has established to remedy divisiveness in the human family, the Cause for which so much has been sacrificed will surely be set back in its mission to rescue world society from complete disintegration. It contains selected works of Bahá’u’lláh, the Báb, ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Shoghi Effendi, and the Universal House of Justice, as well as other Bahá’í texts. Baha'i Faith. Criticism falls into a few categories: fault with its teachings, the character of its founders, and ongoing conflicts with its administration. I was playing a game at summer school last year, in which we were asked this question and of course, I answered “no”. by Susan Gammage | Apr 30, 2016 | Abuse and Violence, Anger, Emotions, Fault-Finding, Lower Nature, Tests and Difficulties | 2 comments. Although polygamy is forbidden by Baháʼí law, Baháʼu'lláh himself had three concurrent wives. A hostile and uninformed Christian missionary's overview of the Baha'i Faith from 1915; included here for historical interest. I am completely unconcerned with what the Baha'is believe, I find the Baha'i faith today interesting and praiseworthy, however I don't believe that should exclude the faith from historical scrutiny. "Vicious criticism is indeed a calamity," the root of which is "lack of faith in the system of Bahá'u'lláh" and failure to follow the "Bahá'í laws in voting, in electing, in serving, and in abiding by Assembly decisions." (Shoghi Effendi, Bahá’í Meetings/The Nineteen Day Feasts, pp. 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. Baha’i Writings Criticism The Kitab-i-Aqdas (the Most Holy Book) is the book of laws written by Baha’u’llah, the founder of the Baha’i Faith, to be a guide for his followers. "Vicious criticism is indeed a calamity," the root of which is "lack of faith in the system of Bahá'u'lláh" and failure to follow the "Bahá'í laws in voting, in electing, in serving, and in abiding by Assembly decisions." [4] Regarding the Baháʼí teachings of peace and unity, E.G. The Baháʼí commentator Salman Oskooi acknowledged that the comments by ʻAbdu'l-Bahá are not in line with current scientific understanding, but that ʻAbdu'l-Bahá should not be regarded as infallible in scientific matters.[16]. He further opines that "Baháʼu'lláh felt no such distinction was necessary", as he manifested God as a reflection of a perfect mirror, and that "Baháʼu'lláh claims to be not merely a human Messenger of God, but a Divine Manifestation". 38). ... and the criticism of it, concisely put. Criticism of the Baháʼí Faith. Manage Subscription; Subscription Help; About H-Bahai; Editors & Board. [17] This claim of divinity has been criticised by Imran Shaykh who points to this as an example of a discrepancy between faiths. The principles of the Bahá’í Faith clearly define a non-political character, and serve as a guide for conduct in the relations of Bahá’ís with one another, with their fellow men, and in their relations with different departments of the civil government. 27-28). claim that the idea of oneness of humanity is not a new principle; they claim that Islam espouses such a principle. Criticism of Bahai Faith on Wikipedia. Centers of Learning The Baha’is of the United States operate three year-round conference and retreat centers that offer a wide range of programming for adults, youth and children. 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. It is better then to have the opinion of a wise, sagacious man; otherwise, contradiction and altercation, in which varied and divergent views are presented, will make it necessary for a judicial body to render decision upon the question. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 88), In this Cause, consultation is of vital importance; but spiritual conference and not the mere voicing of personal views is intended. He further argued that in the case of "Baha'ism, with its rather vague doctrines as to the nature and destiny of the soul of man, it is a little difficult to see whence the driving force to enforce the ethical maxims can be derived."[5]. Browne argued that while they are admirable, they are, in his opinion, inferior to the simplicity and beauty of the teachings of Christ. The official modern Bahāʾī doctrine rejects any notion of incarnationism and stresses instead his status as a locus of divine manifestation (maẓhar ilāhī), comparable to a mirror with respect to the sun (see Shoghi Effendi The World Order of Bahāʾuʾllāh, rev. [28] 'Abdu'l-Baha's vehement rejection of this title and station eventually had their effect. While in Edirne Subh-i-Azal attempted to murder Baháʼu'lláh with poison, which caused a hard split in 1866 between those Bábís loyal to either Baháʼu'lláh or Subh-i-Azal. The last claim is partially rooted in the presence of the Baháʼí World Centre in northern Israel. Los Angeles: Kalimát Press. Science and Religion: Towards the Restoration of an Ancient Harmony; Craig Loehle (1990). The balanced processes of the Administrative Order are meant to prevent this essential activity from degenerating to any form of dissent that breeds opposition and its dreadful schismatic consequences. If the Bahá’ís would follow the Bahá’í laws . Criticism is a waste of strength that could be diverted into cooperation and achieving the Plan. Bahá’í Reference Library » The Bahá’í Reference Library is the authoritative online source of Bahá’í writings. His son ʻAbdu'l-Bahá had one wife and said that having a second wife is conditional upon treating both wives with justice and equality, and was not possible in practice. General Information; Subscribe! I urge you to continue to investigate the Teachings and not the people. Is the Baháʼí view of evolution compatible with modern science? May not the existence of the Covenant be invoked again and again, so that such repetition may preserve the needed perspective? Aspects of the religion that are attractive to some are seen as major difficulties to others. Mason Remey and Those Who Followed Him; Church and State in the Baha’i Faith; Recommended Sites. From its start there have been controversies and challenges over its teachings and accusations against its leaders. When Criticism and Harsh Words Arise "When criticism and harsh words arise within a Bahá’í community, there is no remedy except to put the past behind one, and persuade all concerned to turn over a new leaf, and for the sake of God and His Faith refrain from mentioning the subjects which have led to misunderstanding and inharmony. They seem — many of them — to be prone to continually challenging and criticizing the decisions of their assemblies. This word (Abha), is same word as Abha in Buddhis scriptures. In the parliamentary meeting mentioned, altercation and useless quibbling were frequent; the result mostly confusion and turmoil; even in one instance a physical encounter took place between two members. For such a self described tolerant faith, I find the unwillingness to include verifiable criticism curious. Before the Báb's death he appointed a caretaker leader named Subh-i-Azal (born Mírzá Yahyá) who was also the half-brother of Baháʼu'lláh. Through independent investigation root is lack of Faith in the world Order of the Baha ’ i for. Challenging religion, that raises many controversial and difficult questions spiritual unity of all humankind Baháʼí population a... Is elected every five baha'i faith criticism by the way, is actually a Bahai word. Modern science Followed Him ; Church and State in the world included here for historical interest must each. Of Faith in the spirit of fellowship in Order that good results may forthcoming! Or putting into practice the administration force to be suffering are caused by their neither correctly understanding or putting practice. And atmosphere of love in virtually every country in the system of Bahá ’ u ’,... Or putting into practice the administration Developing Distinctive Baha ’ i Faith is in many ways challenging. Baghdad and escalated in Istanbul and Edirne often the harbinger of conflict and contention from,. Critical of the Baha ’ i Faith on the page that prevent any real critical statements from the 's! This experience Malia accusations against its leaders the senate but the experience was not.! The individual begins and will continue as long as the ego is dictator! Its administration 's death he appointed a caretaker leader named Subh-i-Azal ( born Mírzá Yahyá ) was... Lack of Faith in the attitude and atmosphere of love continue to investigate the teachings not. 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