In the book Some Answered Questions, it was recorded that Abdu’l-Baha told a sheer absurdity that has badly damaged the credibility of the Baha’i Faith ever since.
It is said in the holy verse: “There is no partner for Him Who is the Dayspring of Revelation in His Most Great Infallibility. He is, in truth, the exponent of ‘God doeth whatsoever He willeth’ in the kingdom of creation. Indeed the Almighty hath exclusively reserved this station for Himself and to none is given a share in this sublime and highly exalted distinction.”
Know that infallibility is of two kinds: essential infallibility and acquired infallibility. In like manner there is essential knowledge and acquired knowledge; and so it is with other names and attributes. Essential infallibility is peculiar to the supreme Manifestation, for it is His essential requirement, and an essential requirement cannot be separated from the thing itself. The rays are the essential necessity of the sun and are inseparable from it. Knowledge is an essential necessity of God and is inseparable from Him. Power is an essential necessity of God and is inseparable from Him. If it could be separated from Him, He would not be God. If the rays could be separated from the sun, it would not be the sun. Therefore, if one imagines separation of the Most Great Infallibility from the supreme Manifestation, He would not be the supreme Manifestation, and He would lack the essential perfections. But acquired infallibility is not a natural necessity; on the contrary, it is a ray of the bounty of infallibility which shines from the Sun of Reality upon hearts, and grants a share and portion of itself to souls.
Although these souls have not essential infallibility, still they are under the protection of God—that is to say, God preserves them from error. Thus many of the holy beings who were not dawning-points of the Most Great Infallibility, were yet kept and preserved from error under the shadow of the protection and guardianship of God, for they were the mediators of grace between God and men. If God did not protect them from error, their error would cause believing souls to fall into error, and thus the foundation of the Religion of God would be overturned, which would not be fitting nor worthy of God.
To epitomize: essential infallibility belongs especially to the supreme Manifestations, and acquired infallibility is granted to every holy soul. For instance, the Universal House of Justice, if it be established under the necessary conditions—with members elected from all the people—that House of Justice will be under the protection and the unerring guidance of God. If that House of Justice shall decide unanimously, or by a majority, upon any question not mentioned in the Book, that decision and command will be guarded from mistake. Now the members of the House of Justice have not, individually, essential infallibility; but the body of the House of Justice is under the protection and unerring guidance of God: this is called conferred infallibility.
Look up “infallibility” in a dictionary and you will read something like this:
Sometimes in·fal·li·ble·ness. the quality of being infallible, or of being absolutely trustworthy.
Infallibility by logical definition is absolute in nature; it cannot exist in degrees nor can it be conferred on anyone. You either have it or you don’t, period. Therefore, logic proves that Abdu’l-Baha was a liar. He could not have been infallible, nor could the Guardian or the Universal House of Justice that came after him because NONE OF THEM WERE MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD!
Baha’u’llah made the limitation of infallibility quite clear in the Kitab-i-Aqdas:
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.
And Abdu’l-Baha by claiming a lesser form of infalliblity (which by all appearances is identical to the Most Great Infallibility) was engaging in doublespeak, the same sort of dishonesty that allows Baha’is to claim they promote the equality of men and women even while women are denied a place on the Universal House of Justice. And we should indeed tolerate none of that nonsense.
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