A Critical Analysis of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Part Seven

Once again, Dr. Dale Husband takes his scalpel and cuts into the guts of the Most Holy Book of Baha’u’llah to see what can be exposed for others to see.

Here are the links to Part One, Part Two, Part Three, Part Four, Part Five, and Part Six of my critique of the Most Holy Book of Baha’u’llah. And as always, I will include direct quotes from the book in red bold and my responses will be in blue italics. My source for this book is:

http://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/bahaullah/kitab-i-aqdas/#r=ka_en-1

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. For an example of someone’s property being violated and the aftermath of that, read this:

300 teens should be LOCKED UP!

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 make a blog entry with dozens of passages like, “The Earth is a sphere”, “2+2=4” and “Christianity is the religion founded by Jesus of Nazereth.” Would at least a  few people find them inspiring if I claimed the blog entry 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 reference 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!

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:

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Here’s a simpler version for younger kids:

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And with that, the seventh part of my critique ends.

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One thought on “A Critical Analysis of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Part Seven

  1. Pingback: A Critical Analysis of the The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Part Eight | Dale Husband's Intellectual Rants

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