Religion of Nasim Aghdam who opened fire at the YouTube California headquarters

She was a follower of the Baha’i Faith. Baha’i Faith (or Baha’ism) is a cult founded in 19th century in Iran.

I am not trying to say that she was motivated by her religious beliefs to commit this heinous crime. She was suffering from some serious mental illness which is now well-known to everyone.

When the news of this unfortunate incident spread across social media and the name of Baha’i Faith linked to the lady, many Baha’is everywhere, on Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, refused to accept that she was a Baha’i. One Baha’i youtuber LOVEBAHA even uploaded a video falsely claiming that she was a Jewish. The video went viral and received 32k views in just 24 hours:

 

Many Baha’is over here falsely claimed that Nasim was a Muslim, please check the comment section.

This is not the first time Baha’is are doing this. From the beginning of their history they have been playing like this. When some one from them commits any crime they immediately bill it to some other religion, like the failed attempt on the life of King of Iran was falsely billed to the Babis, while the criminals were the followers of Baha’u’llah.

Thanks to the internet, they cannot do this now, it is very difficult to hide things these days. The lady herself mentioned her religion as Baha’i Faith on her Social profiles.

The US NSA admitted lately that she was a registered Baha’i. Below is a snapshot from their facebook page:

Apparently Baha’is condemn all sort of violence but when it comes to safeguarding / protecting their cult interests they can do all sort of dirty things, like verbal abuse, slapping people, harming physically, killing, etc. They have killed many people (opponents) in the early days of their history. They have removed the remains of one of their enemy (son of Baha’u’llah) from his grave and transferred it to other place so as to purify their holy precincts. They have illegally occupied Muslim endowment properties. Their leaders have usurped the inheritance of their brothers and sisters. I can go on and on….

Baha’is are just like any other people, there are people of all sorts in this community.

Courtesy: https://www.quora.com/What-was-the-religion-of-Nasim-Aghdam-who-opened-fire-at-the-YouTube-California-headquarters

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A Summary and Conclusion

1) Is “Seeking the truth and setting aside imitations,” a new principle?

In the books of the Zoroastrians, the Jews, the Christians, and Muslims, people are invited to seek and accept the truth and are forbidden from blind imitations. It is evident that this principle is not novel.

2) Did the leaders of Baha’ism act upon this principle?

Bahā’u’llāh ordered his followers to blindly imitate him, the UHJ actively prevents the investigation of the truth by withholding or distorting Baha’i scripture, and Baha’i missionaries proselytize to groups that have no means of investigating the truth. It is obvious that Baha’is do not adhere to this principle.

3) Are these principles, reasonable and logical?

Investigating the truth is reasonable but putting aside imitations is not always a good thing. For instance, referring to experts and specialists in a certain field and imitating them, is not problematic, but rather, it is confirmed by common sense and logic.

Contradictions

Bahā’u’llāh:
“Contradiction has and will not ever have a way in the sanctified realm of the Divine Manifestations.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Badī`, p. 126.

 

Is the Principle of Investigating the Truth New?

`Abdu’l-Bahā: Investigating the truth is a new principle.

“Another new principle revealed by Bahā’u’llāh is the injunction to investigate truth—that is to say, no man should blindly follow his ancestors and forefathers. Nay, each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate the truth himself in order that he may follow the truth instead of blind acquiescence and imitation of ancestral beliefs,”

Reference:`Abdu’l-Bahā, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 454.

`Abdu’l-Bahā: Seeking the truth is the foundation of all the Prophets.

“His Highness Moses spread the truth as did his Highness Jesus and his Highness Abraham and his Highness the Messenger (meaning the Prophet Muḥammad) and his Highness the Bāb and his Highness Bahā’u’llāh. They all established and spread the truth,”

Reference:`Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 5

“The foundation of all the Prophets . . . is truth, and the truth is one. His Highness Abraham was the harbinger of truth. His Highness Moses was the servant of truth. His Highness Christ was the establisher of truth. His Highness Muḥammad was the propagator of truth. His Highness A`lā (meaning the Bāb) was the herald of truth, and his Highness Bahā’u’llāh, was the light of truth,”

Reference:`Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 55

“The foundation of the divine religions is one. It is one truth, it is one spirit, it is one light, and it does not have a multitude. Among the foundations of the divine religion is seeking the truth [so] that the whole of humanity seeks the truth,”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 66.

 

What Is Bahā’u’llāh’s First Principle?

`Abdu’l-Bahā: Bahā’u’llāh’s first principle is investigating the truth.

“Bahā’u’llāh’s first principle is the seeking of the truth. Man must seek the truth and set aside imitations,”

Reference:`Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 144.

`Abdu’l-Bahā: Bahā’u’llāh’s first principle is the oneness of humanity.

“His first teaching is the Oneness of the World of Humanity,”

Reference:`Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 5.

 

Are Non-Baha’is Ignorant and without Reason?

`Abdu’l-Bahā: One must not label people as being ignorant.

“The divine principles in this luminous era are such that one must not insult anyone or attribute them to ignorance [by saying] that you do not know and I know. Rather, one must view everyone from a respectful perspective and must speak and argue from the viewpoint of seeking the truth. [They must say] come, there are several issues at hand, so let us seek the truth, and see how and why [it is so]. The missionary must not consider himself wise and others as ignorant. This thought will result in arrogance, and arrogance causes a lack of effectiveness; instead, one must not see any merit in himself and must speak with the maximum extent of kindness, humility, and humbleness. This kind of expression will be effective,”

Reference:`Abdu’l-Bahā, Makātīb, vol. 1, p. 355.

Bahā’u’llāh: Whoever does not become a Baha’i is among the most ignorant of the people, even if he has mastery over all sciences. Whoever does not become a Baha’i has no reason even if he thinks he does. Whoever denies my teachings completely lacks reason.

“If today, someone grasps all of the knowledge on earth but stops at the word ‘yes’ (meaning does not become a Baha’i), the Lord will not pay attention to him (ladī l-Ḥaqq madhkūr na) and he will be considered as the most ignorant amongst the people,”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Iqtidārāt wa chand lauḥ dīgar, p. 111

“From now on nobody is to be called knowledgeable, except those who have decorated themselves with the garment of this New Affair (meaning those who have become Baha’is),”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Badī`, pp. 138–139.

“The general criterion is what we mentioned and any soul who has success in it, meaning recognizes and realizes the Sunrise of Manifestation (meaning himself), will be mentioned in the Divine Book as someone who possesses reason or else he will be (mentioned as) ignorant even if he himself thinks that his reason equals that of the whole world,”

Reference: `Abd a l-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiy-i āsimānī, vol. 7, p. 160.

“No one has denied or will deny what has been revealed by the Ancient Pen (meaning himself) in this Most Great Manifestation regarding society, unity, manners, rites, and being occupied with what has benefits for the people, except that he completely lacks reason,”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Iqtidārāt wa chand lauḥ dīgar, p. 168.

 

Can the Recognition of God Be Obtained through Intellect?

Bahā’u’llāh and `Abdu’l-Bahā: Reason was created for the purpose of recognizing God. Recognize God by using reason and narrations.

“The first grace that has been bestowed on the human body is reason and its purpose is the recognition of the Truth (meaning God) Exalted be His Glory,”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Muntakhabātī az āthār Ḥaḍrat Bahā’u’llāh, p. 127.

The official Baha’i translation reads: “First and foremost among these favors, which the Almighty hath conferred upon man, is the gift of understanding. His purpose in conferring such a gift is none other except to enable His creature to know and
recognize the one true God—exalted be His glory,”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahā’u’llāh, p. 194. 90

“If you seek the recognition of God (`irfān ilāhī) . . . refer to the arguments (put forward by) reason and narrations,”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Makātīb, vol. 8, pp. 119 -120.

Bahā’u’llāh: Recognition cannot be obtained by the use of reason.

“Know that today, that which has reached your reason or will reach it, or is perceived by the reasons of [those with intellects] superior or inferior to yours, none are the criterion for recognizing the Truth (meaning God) and will never be,”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Badī`, p. 286.

 

Should We Investigate or Accept without Any Questions?

`Abdu’l-Bahā: A person who is fair, will investigate and do research to seek the truth.

“Those who are fair will examine, research and inquire. This examination and inquiry will result in their guidance . . . they say: ‘We will go and see, and we will investigate the truth,’”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Egypt), vol.1, p. 189.

Bahā’u’llāh: Accept my words without any questions or comparison with someone else’s words.

“No pleasure has been created in the world greater than listening to the verses [brought by Bahā’u’llāh] and understanding their meanings and not objecting to or questioning any of the words and comparing them with the words of others,”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Badī`, p. 145.

 

Investigating the Truth: Only for Non-Baha’is

`Abdu’l-Bahā: Different religions should listen to the words of other religions. Perhaps, what is right is with them.

“The followers of Moses (i.e. Jews) have imitations (taqālīd), Zoroastrians have imitations, Christians have imitations, Buddhists have imitations, and every nation has imitations [and] thinks that its imitations are correct and the imitations of others are invalid. For example, the followers of Moses believe that their imitations are correct and the imitations of others are invalid. We want to find out which [imitations] are correct. [Obviously] not all imitations are correct. If we stick to an imitation it will prevent us from correctly investigating other [religions] imitations. For example, a Jewish person cannot understand that other [religions] are correct because he believes and sticks to the imitations of Judaism. Therefore, he must put aside the imitations and seek the truth and [think that] perhaps others might be right. Thus, until imitations are not put aside, the truth will not become manifest,”

Reference: `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Payām-i malakūt, p.17 (citing `Abdu’l-Bahā’).

Bahā’u’llāh: Even if someone criticizes Baha’ism with proof, do not listen.

“‘Therefore, it is incumbent upon all the friends of God to shun any person in whom they perceive the emanation of hatred for the Glorious Beauty of Abhā, though he may quote all the Heavenly Utterances and cling to all the Books.’ He continues—Glorious be His Name!—‘Protect yourselves with utmost vigilance, lest you be entrapped in the snare of deception and fraud. This is the advice of the Pen of Destiny,’

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Bahā’ī World Faith—Selected Writings of Bahā’u’llāh and `Abdu’l-Bahā (`Abdu’l-Bahā’s Section Only), pp. 430–431.

 

Should Baha’is See and Hear or Become Blind and Death?

Bahā’u’llāh: Research and listen with your own ears and see with your own eyes.

“When humans attain the rank of [religious] maturity they must investigate . . . and [they] must hear and see with their own ears and eyes,”

Reference: `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Payām-i malakūt, p.11 (citing Bahā’u’llāh).

Bahā’u’llāh: When I speak become death, blind, and ignorant and blindly accept my words.

“Become blind so that you see my face, become deaf so that you hear my pleasant tone and voice, become ignorant so that you get a share of my knowledge, and become poor so that you can take an everlasting portion from the sea of my eternal riches. ‘Become blind’ means [see] nothing but my beauty and ‘become deaf’ means [hear] nothing but my words and ‘become ignorant’ means [have no knowledge] but my knowledge, so that with a pure eye and clean heart and fine ear you come to my sanctified realm,”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Ad`iyyih-i ḥaḍrat-i maḥbūb, pp. 427–428.

Courtesy: Twelve Principles – A Comprehensive Investigation on the Bahai Teachings

Baha’i Scripture

The only authoritative sources for investigating the truth in Baha’ism are books or translations published and distributed by the UHJ or institutions they have authorized. Shoghi says:

“Bahā’u’llāh has made it clear enough that only those things that have been revealed in the form of Tablets have a binding power over the friends. Hearsays may be matters of interest but can in no way claim authority (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the United States Publishing Committee, December 29, 1931).”

Reference: Helen Bassett Hornby, Lights of Guidance: A Bahā’ī Reference File, chap. XXXVIII, no. 1435.

How does one come by these books if they are needed for investigating the truth? There is no option but to use specific hand-picked documents that have been distributed by the Universal House of Justice. The rest of the Baha’i scripture is safeguarded in the Baha’i Archives in Haifa and other than a privileged few, no one has access to them. The following letter from the Universal House of Justice to an unnamed Baha’i shows the sheer amount of unpublished documents that are being safeguarded in these archives:

The Universal House of Justice Department of the Secretariat

Transmitted by email

6 June 2013

Dear Bahā’ī Friend,

Your email letter dated 3 April 2013 requesting statistics concerning the Sacred Texts has been received at the Bahā’ī World Centre and forwarded to the Research Department for study. That Department notes that the collection and collation of the Sacred Writings is an ongoing process, and the numbers are continually being revised. The estimates of the numbers of unique works can be given as follows:
For Bahā’ullāh, nearly 20,000 unique works have been identified. Most of these Writings have been collected; however, 865 are known to have been revealed, but the texts are not available. Close to 15,000 of the collected works have been authenticated by the Archives Office to date.

For the Bāb, over 2,000 unique works have been identified. Most of these Writings have been collected; however, 74 are known to have been revealed, but the texts are not available. Nearly 1,600 of the collected works have been authenticated.
For ‘Abdu’l-Bahā, over 30,000 unique works have been identified. All of these Writings have been collected and over 27,000 of them have been authenticated.
For Shoghi Effendi, over 22,000 unique works have been identified. All of these documents have been collected and the majority of them have been authenticated.
It is estimated that approximately ten per cent of the documents described above are in photocopied form. A fraction of the total numbers of unique works have been published in the original languages or translated into Western languages. However, citing exact numbers would be misleading since much of the unpublished and untranslated material consists of day-to-day correspondence and personal guidance and encouragement, which is less likely to be of general interest. The World Centre is actively pursuing a publication programme for the as yet unpublished major works of the Central Figures of the Faith and Shoghi Effendi.

With loving Bahā’ī greetings,
Department of the Secretariat

Reference: http://bahai-library.com/uhj_numbers_sacred_writings (retrieved 28/2/2014)

These documents are the most important source for investigating the truth for Baha’is and non-Baha’is alike.

Why have these works not been published and why are researchers not granted access to them?

The first excuse is “much of the unpublished and untranslated material consists of day-to-day correspondence and personal guidance and encouragement, which is less likely to be of general interest.” This is unacceptable.

Would these works not be invaluable in following the first principle of seeking the truth?

Surely there are many people out there who would love to read these works and would definitely receive guidance and insight from them. Is this not a disguise to withhold these Tablets from the public?

 

Professor Juan Cole brought up some interesting points in this regard:

If translating and making available the writings of Bahā’u’llāh were in fact any sort of priority of the Universal House of Justice, they have enormous resources with which to do so. (Anyone who can spend $250 million [He is referring to the cost of building the Baha’i World Center.] on building works has the money for other projects, as well). They have simply decided to expend their resources on other things. I once saw in a library a big set of books, The Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo in Bengali with English translations. Aurobindo was a 20th century Indian holy man. But his followers managed to get his *complete* collected works not only published but also translated, not long after his death. Aurobindo’s following is tiny and poor compared to that of the Bahā’īs. That only about 5% of Bahā’u’llāh’s works have been translated is not an unfortunate side effect of lack of resources in the Bahā’īs community. It is a deliberate decision to invest the money in things like monumental architecture instead.

Reference: http://bahai-library.com/uhj_lawh_huriyyih_cole

According to Professor Cole, the resources to distribute these works are available but the UHJ is deliberately diverting them elsewhere. Today, it has become clear that this is not the case. Rather, it is evident that the UHJ simply does not want to publish these works. Since at least 1993, most, if not all of these works had been digitized, typed, and placed in a database:

“To assist the House of Justice in referring to the wealth of guidance and teachings contained in the Bahā’ī Writings, a computer database is used which contains descriptions of every Tablet and every letter of Shoghi Effendi, together with a typed copy of the text of each document. In the near future images of the original documents will also be stored in the computer, making it unnecessary to refer to the original items.”

Reference: This is a section of a pamphlet inserted in `Andalīb magazine, 12:48 (Fall 1993).

If the UHJ had the slightest intention of distributing these writings, they could have easily placed the database on an internet server, or distributed it as a DVD. The UHJ simply does not want the public to have access to these files. What other explanation could there be for someone to hide the illuminating, enlightening, and guiding words of a claimant to Prophethood, but only distributing a few selected Tablets?

So how exactly are truth seekers supposed to investigate the truth and abandon imitations?

 

If Investigating the Truth Means You Have to Question the Official Baha’is Stance on a Subject You Will Be Shunned

Suppose someone uses the limited means at hand to investigate the truth about Baha’ism and, based on his investigation, reaches a conclusion that goes against official doctrine. If this conclusion is publically announced, that person will be shunned. For instance if someone opposes the guardian, they must be shunned and no excuse must be accepted from them. `Abdu’l-Bahā says:

“The Hands of the Cause of God must be ever watchful and so soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose and protest against the Guardian of the Cause of God, cast him out from the congregation of the people of Bahā and in no wise accept any excuse from him. How often hath grievous error been disguised in the garb of truth, that it might sow the seeds of doubt in the hearts of men!”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, The Will and Testament of `Abdu’l-Bahā (US Bahā’ī Publishing Trust, 1990), p. 12.

Ironically, the same `Abdu’l-Bahā that gives the order to expel his coreligionists says:

“Kindness brings about life, separation brings about death.”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Egypt), vol.1, p. 153.

This law is not limited to those that oppose or protest the Guardian. Shoghi, and subsequently the UHJ, have shunned many people because they deemed their words or actions inappropriate, even when they were based on the truth.

Today, there are a number of prominent Baha’i academics who have either been kicked out of the Baha’i community or have left it themselves after they protested the actions of the UHJ or their investigations showed facts contrary to what the UHJ was propagating. People such as Professor Juan Cole, Dr. Linda Walbridge, Dr. Firouz Anarki, Sen McGlinn, and Frederick Glaysher are only a few of these individuals.

If people must independently investigate the truth then why are they kicked out of the Baha’i community and shunned when they do so?

 

Distorting Baha’i Scripture

The greatest obstacle in the path of investigating the truth is not hiding the material that can be used to do so, rather, it is deceiving the investigator by distorting and creating an inverted image of the truth.

Unfortunately, Baha’is actively engage in this act. The initiator of this act was Bahā’u’llāh himself who changed the original text of the book of Īqān once it was found that he had made multiple grammatical and Quranic mistakes in it. He had also forged and distorted a number of Islamic narrations to falsely prove that the Bāb was the Mahdi of Islam.

Other forms of this act can be seen in deleting or changing problematic subjects in new editions of books. For instance, the Tablet of the Maiden (lauḥ Ḥūriyyah) which described Bahā’u’llāh sexually fondling the Holy Spirit was removed from the fourth volume of Āthār-i Qalam-i A`lā in later editions.

After the death of Shoghi, once it became clear that Bahā’u’llāh and `Abdu’l-Bahā’s prophecies about the Guardianship were incorrect, a number of Baha’i books and texts which spoke about the responsibilities of the Guardian were distorted. In the new versions of these texts, the Guardians responsibilities were transferred to the Universal House of Justice! For instance, in the fifth edition of Aḥmad Yazdānī’s Nazar-i ijmālī dar diyanat-i Bahā’ī that was published by the Baha’i Publishing Trust of Iran in 129 B., distortions can be seen on pages 31 and 105 that speak about the institution responsible for resolving differences amongst Baha’is and also the recipient of Ḥuqūq Allah.

Vance Salisbury, in his article A Critical Examination of 20th-Century Baha’i Literature, points to many other distortions of this kind. He brings up many interesting subjects. For instance, he refers to another unfulfilled prophecy from `Abdu’l-Bahā that was later removed from Esslemont’s book:

Perhaps the most important change in Bahā’u’llāh and the New Era was made on page 212 of the 1923 edition. Recorded as a Bahā’ī prophecy concerning the “Coming of the Kingdom of God,” Esslemont cited Abdu’l-Bahā’s interpretation of the last two verses of the Book of Daniel from the Bible. He stated that the 1335 days spoken of by Daniel represented 1335 solar years from Muhammad’s flight to Medina in 622 A.D., which would equal 1957 A.D.. When asked “‘What shall we see at the end of the 1335 days?’,” Abdu’l-Bahā’s reply was: “‘Universal Peace will be firmly established, a Universal language promoted. Misunderstandings will pass away. The Bahā’ī Cause will be promulgated in all parts and the oneness of mankind established. It will be most glorious!'” In editions published after his death, Esslemont’s words have been changed to say that Abdu’l-Bahā “reckoned the fulfillment of Daniel’s prophecy from the date of the beginning of the Muhammadan era” and one of Abdu’l-Bahá’s Tablets is quoted on the same subject in which he writes, “‘For according to this calculation a century will have elapsed from the dawn of the Sun of Truth . . . Esslemont recorded Abdu’l-Bahā as declaring explicitly that the prophecy was to be computed from the Hijra or 622 A.D. and that specific conditions would exist in the world upon it’s fulfillment in 1957. When it became apparent that this Bahā’ī prophecy would not be fulfilled, it was replaced with the ambiguous material which has remained in the text to the present.

Reference: http://bahai-library.com/salisbury_critical_examination_literature (retrieved 22/2/2014)

 

Investigating the Truth or Proselytizing to Illiterate Masses That Have No Means of Investigating the Truth

Baha’is actively engage in proselytizing missions that are utterly against the investigation of truth. In these campaigns— that continue with great force today—illiterate masses in third world countries that have no means of investigating the truth whatsoever, are converted to Baha’ism under the disguise of education and humanitarian relief. Moojan Momen, the prominent Baha’i author, explains this by writing:

“Missionary endeavour on the part of Middle Eastern and Western Bahā’īs had led to the establishment of Bahā’ī communities in several parts of the non-Muslim ‘Third World’, initially among the Western-oriented urban minority. Conversions of larger numbers began in a few isolated areas in the 1950s and spread during the 1960s to most parts of the ‘Third World’. The results were dramatic. As Bahā’ī teachers learned to adapt their message and missionary techniques to the situation of the unschooled masses of Third World peasants and urban workers, they completely transformed their religion’s social base. Now, the great majority of Bahā’īs in the world are drawn from the popular classes of the non- Islamic Third World. Even in the well-established Bahā’ī communities of North America, recent infusions of minority group members (Blacks and Amerindians) has led to a significant change in the social base of the membership . . . By the late 1960s, a great increase in the number of Bahā’īs had occurred. Conversions of large numbers of tribal or peasant peoples in various parts of the Third World had begun . . . Most of the flood of new Bahā’īs were poorly educated, and many lived in rural and tribal areas with which effective communication was difficult to sustain.”

Reference: P. Smith, M. Momen, The Baha’i faith 1957–1988: A survey of contemporary developments, Religion 19 (1989), pp. 63–91: http://bahai-library.com/momen_smith_developments_1957-1988 (retrieved 28/2/2014)

Baha’i missionaries would convert people from undeveloped countries who lacked the tools and means of investigating the truth to Baha’ism. This resulted in the twenty-fold increase of the Baha’i population in about 30 years. Is there any pride in this attitude, especially from a creed that claims all people must be given the chance to independently investigate the truth?

 

How Baha’is Investigate the Truth From Childhood

What most Baha’is do not know today, is that `Abdu’l-Bahā had prohibited his followers from sending their children to non-Baha’i schools. It was because of this order that Baha’i schools like Madrisiy-i Tarbiyat were established in Tehran:

“It is absolutely prohibited for the children of the friends to go to the schools of others (meaning non-Baha’is) for this is [a cause of] humiliation (dhillat) for the Cause of God and they will be completely deprived of the Blessed Beauty’s graces. Because they will be educated/nurtured elsewise and they will disgrace the Baha’is.”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Makātīb (probably Tehran: n.p., n.d.), vol. 5, p. 170.

`Abdu’l-Bahā prohibits his followers in the strictest sense and using threatening language from sending their children to non-Baha’i schools. Apparently, Baha’i children must be prevented from learning anything non-Baha’i while they are still in an age in which they cannot decide for themselves about what is right and wrong. They must be induced to think that the Baha’i creed is the only source of salvation for mankind and its teachings are unique and better than all other teachings. When these children grow up, they will be biased towards the Baha’i creed and their investigation of the truth will be influenced by the teachings that have been firmly established in their minds since childhood.

 

Investigating the Truth a Crime for Israeli Citizens

For reasons still unknown, Bahā’u’llāh had prohibited his followers from teaching Baha’ism to the people of Israel. In a letter dated 23/6/1995 the Universal House of Justice replies to an individual believer:

The Universal House of Justice has received your email message dated 29 June 1995 and we have been asked to respond.
You have asked how the policy of not teaching Israelis applies in the situation in which you have contact with an Israeli via an “interactive relay chat” (IRC) connection. The House of Justice has not asked the friends to avoid contact with Israelis. When you discover that a person you are in contact with via IRC is an Israeli, you should feel free to maintain friendly contact, but you should not teach the Faith to him. If he has already developed a personal interest in the Faith and seeks more information, you should refer him to the Offices of the Bahā’ī World Centre in Haifa.

For your information, the people in Israel have access to factual information about the Faith, its history and general principles. Books concerning the Faith are available in libraries throughout Israel, and Israelis are welcome to visit the Shrines and the surrounding gardens. However, in keeping with a policy that has been strictly followed since the days of Bahā’u’llāh, Bahā’īs do not teach the Faith in Israel. Likewise, the Faith is not taught to Israelis abroad if they intend to return to Israel. When Israelis ask about the Faith, their questions are answered, but this is done in a manner which provides factual information without stimulating further interest.

With loving Bahā’ī greetings,
Department of the Secretariat

Reference: http://bahai-library.com/uhj_teaching_in_israel (retrieved 8/3/2014)

This order is quite puzzling in light of the principle of the independent investigation of truth. Why should a specific group of people be deprived of the right of learning and embracing the truth?

Courtesy: Twelve Principles – A Comprehensive Investigation on the Bahai Teachings

Baha’ism and Investigating the Truth

Did the leaders of Baha’ism try to spread, seek, and accept the truth, or did they—and do they still—try to hide and deny it?

 

How Baha’is View Reason and Knowledge

To investigate the truth, one must use reason and knowledge to reach logical conclusions on the matters being investigated. Bahā’u’llāh claims that one’s reason and knowledge are invalid unless one becomes a Baha’i. He says:

“The general criterion is what we mentioned and any soul who has success in it, meaning recognizes and realizes the Sunrise of Manifestation (meaning himself), will be mentioned in the Divine Book as someone who possesses reason or else he will be (mentioned as) ignorant even if he himself thinks that his reason equals that of the whole world.”

Reference: `Abd a l-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiy-i āsimānī (Tehran: Mu’assisiyi Millī Maṭbū`āt Amrī, 129 Badī`), vol. 7, p. 160.

He also claims that, in contrast to previous revelations in which people could not understand some of the laws brought forth, in Baha’ism everything is quite clear, and whoever denies its revelations completely lacks reason:

“No one has denied or will deny what has been revealed by the Ancient Pen (meaning himself) in this Most Great Manifestation regarding society, unity, manners, rites, and being occupied with what has benefits for the people, except that he completely lacks reason.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Iqtidārāt wa chand lauḥ dīgar, (n.p.: n.p., n.d.), p. 168.

Furthermore, Bahā’u’llāh and `Abdu’l-Bahā claim that reason serves the purpose of recognizing God:

“The first grace that has been bestowed on the human body is reason and its purpose is the recognition of the Truth (meaning God) Exalted be His Glory.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Muntakhabātī az āthār Ḥaḍrat Bahā’u’llāh (Langenhain [Germany]: Lajniyi Millī Nashr Āthār Amrī Bi Zabānhayi Fārsī wa `Arabī, 141 Badī`), p. 127. The official Baha’i translation reads: “First and foremost among these favors, which the Almighty hath conferred upon man, is the gift of understanding. His purpose in conferring such a gift is none other except to enable His creature to know and recognize the one true God—exalted be His glory,” Bahā’u’llāh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahā’u’llāh (US Bahā’ī Publishing Trust, 1990 [pocket-size edition]), p. 194.

“If you seek the recognition of God . . . refer to the arguments (put forward by) reason and narrations.”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Makātīb (Tehran: Mu’assisiyi Millī Maṭbū`āt Amrī, 134 B.), vol. 8, pp. 119 -120.

“If today, someone grasps all of the knowledge on earth but stops at the word ‘yes’ (meaning does not become a Baha’i), the Lord will not pay attention to him (ladī l-Ḥaqq madhkūr na) and he will be considered as the most ignorant amongst the people.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Iqtidārāt wa chand lauḥ dīgar, p. 111.

“From now on nobody is to be called knowledgeable, except those who have decorated themselves with the garment of this New Affair (meaning those who have become Baha’is).”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Badī`, pp. 138–139.

Thus, if a very knowledgeable scholar pauses and hesitates about acknowledging Baha’ism, he is considered among the most ignorant of the people.

Do these statements from the founder of Baha’ism agree with the notion of accepting and seeking the truth?

Do Baha’is tell the world that their leader believes that those who do not become Baha’is lack reason and are ignorant?

It appears that reason is a tool that is only useful for reaching Baha’ism. Once someone embraces the faith, he must stop using his reason.

In Baha’ism, it is taught that every person must choose their beliefs after reaching the age of religious maturity (“A question [was asked] about the age of religious maturity; answer: maturity is in the fifteenth year and both men and women are the same regarding this matter,” `Abd a l-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Ganjīniy-i ḥudūd wa aḥkām, 3rd ed. (Tehran: Mu’assisiyi Millī Maṭbū`āt Amrī, 128 B.), p. 14..)

Bahā’u’llāh says:

“When humans attain the rank of [religious] maturity they must investigate . . . and [they] must hear and see with their own ears and eyes.”

Reference: `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Payām-i malakūt, p. 11 (citing Bahā’u’llāh).

On the other hand Bahā’u’llāh expects his followers to shut down their reason and imitate him with complete blindness, deafness, and ignorance:

“Become blind so that you see my face, become deaf so that you hear my pleasant tone and voice, become ignorant so that you get a share of my knowledge, and become poor so that you can take an everlasting portion from the sea of my eternal riches. ‘Become blind’ means [see] nothing but my beauty and ‘become deaf’ means [hear] nothing but my words and ‘become ignorant’ means [have no knowledge] but my knowledge, so that with a pure eye and clean heart and fine ear you come to my sanctified realm.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Ad`iyyih-i ḥaḍrat-i maḥbūb (Egypt: Published by Faraj-Allāh Dhakī al-Kurdī, 1339 AH), pp. 427–428. This is the Official Baha’i translation for these words:

“Blind thine eyes, that thou mayest behold My beauty; stop thine ears, that thou mayest hearken unto the sweet melody of My voice; empty thyself of all learning, that thou mayest partake of My knowledge; and sanctify thyself from riches, that thou mayest obtain a lasting share from the ocean of My eternal wealth. Blind thine eyes, that is, to all save My beauty; stop thine ears to all save My word; empty thyself of all learning save the knowledge of Me; that with a clear vision, a pure heart and an attentive ear thou mayest enter the court of My holiness,”

Refernce: Bahā’u’llāh, The Hidden Words of Bahā’u’llāh (US Bahā’ī Publishing Trust, 1985 [reprint]), p. 25.

He further says:

“No pleasure has been created in the world greater than listening to the verses [brought by Bahā’u’llāh] and understanding their meanings and not objecting to or questioning any of the words and comparing them with the words of others.”

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, Badī`, p. 145.

 

How the Truth About Baha’ism is Investigated

To investigate the truth about anything, we must first obtain knowledge about it then use our reason to reach a verdict and conclusion. If a Baha’i wants to research his or her religion, there are three sources from which he or she can seek knowledge:

First, former Baha’is who have denounced their faith or been shunned and labeled as covenant breakers.

Second, memories and statements from people who have witnessed the actions of the Baha’i leaders.

Third, official Baha’i documents and sources.

Is it possible for truth seeking Baha’is to investigate their faith from any of these three sources?

“It is better not to read books by Covenant-breakers because they are haters of the Light, sufferers from a spiritual leprosy, so to speak. But books by well-meaning yet unenlightened enemies of the Cause can be read so as to refute their charges.”

Reference: Helen Bassett Hornby, Lights of Guidance: A Bahā’ī Reference File (New Delhi: Bahā’ī Publishing Trust, 1983), chap. XII, no. 628.

Although Baha’is preach the Investigation of Truth, their laws prevent direct interaction with those who they deem as inappropriate sources. Any form of indirect investigation is also discouraged. These limitations are against the spirit of the principle of Seeking and Investigating the Truth, which the Baha’is preach with pride.

Unofficial Translations, Memoirs, Pilgrims’ Notes, and Unofficial Writings

Unauthorized materials, such as translations not yet approved by the UHJ, memoirs of people who have socialized with Baha’i figures, books that have not been authorized by the UHJ, pilgrims’ notes, and similar works are considered inappropriate for investigating the truth. Although Baha’is are allowed to read these books, any conclusion they reach using these sources is void and unacceptable if it is against the official UHJ stance.

What is more disturbing is that it doesn’t matter how reliable a pilgrim making a note is or how many different people have narrated what they have heard or seen from a Baha’i figure; these notes are simply labeled as hearsay that confer no authority:

“The instructions of the Master and the Guardian make it very clear that Pilgrims’ notes are hearsay and cannot claim the authority and binding power of the Sacred Text . . . [sic] Moreover, the fact that the pilgrim writing of his experience is a reliable or well-known believer, or that the reported statement seems to be repeated in the notes of several pilgrims, does not in itself confer authority upon the pilgrim’s note in question.”

Reference: Helen Bassett Hornby, Lights of Guidance: A Bahā’ī Reference File, chap. XXXVIII, no. 1433.

If these sources are used to prove a point that is not in favor of the Baha’is, they are quickly labeled as unreliable and dismissed. Nevertheless, these writings are extensively used by Baha’is in their preaching’s and proselytizing materials. Such double standards make these notes useless for investigating the truth, for any conclusion based on them can simply be refuted on the basis of not being authoritative. Thus, from a Baha’i viewpoint, these sources cannot be used as a source for investigating the truth.

Courtesy: Twelve Principles – A Comprehensive Investigation on the Bahai Teachings

The Independent Investigation of Truth, Unfettered by Superstition or Tradition

“Bahā’u’llāh’s first principle is the seeking of the truth. Man must seek the truth and set aside imitations.”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 144.

Abdul Baha:

“Man must seek the truth and set aside imitations. The nations of the world each have their own imitations and each are different. The imitations have caused war and conflict, and as long as these imitations remain, the unity of the human world is not possible. Thus, one must seek the truth so that with its light, these darknesses disappear. For truth is only one. It does not accept plurality or division . . . These imitations, have made the human world dark. These imitations have caused war and killings. These imitations have caused hatred and enmity. Thus, we must seek the truth so that we can be freed from all of the hardships and [our] insights can be awakened and we can find way to the Divine Kingdom.”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, pp. 144–145.

 

Is Seeking the Truth and Setting Aside Imitations an Innovation of Baha’ism?

Are the Baha’i’s really the first people to have brought this principle forward to the ears of the world? `Abdu’l-Bahā claims:

“Another new principle revealed by Bahā’u’llāh is the injunction to investigate truth—that is to say, no man should blindly follow his ancestors and forefathers. Nay, each must see with his own eyes, hear with his own ears and investigate the truth himself in order that he may follow the truth instead of blind acquiescence and imitation of ancestral beliefs.”

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 454.

That which is propagated in Baha’i teachings as seeking the truth—which the Baha’i’s pride themselves in having discovered—is in reality an innate principle that has come in the books of different religions and can clearly be seen in the works of different philosophers.

It is clearly evident that this principle is not a new discovery or novel innovation of Baha’ism. Rather, all schools of thought and all of the Divine Religions call upon people to seek what is right, say what is right, and accept what is right. There are examples in books of previous dispensations that show this concept. For example, in the Avesta, the Holy Book of the Zoroastrians, it has come that:

Hear with your ears the best things; look upon them with clear-seeing thought, for the decision between the two Beliefs, each man for himself before the Great consummation, bethinking you that it be accomplished to our pleasure.

Reference: Avesta, Translated by L. H. Mills, vol. 1, Ahunavaiti Gatha, Yasna, chap. 30, verse 2 (Sacred Books of the East [American Edition, 1898], http://avesta.org/yasna/yasna.htm#y30)

It is mentioned in the Bible:

Prove all things; Hold fast that which is good; Abstain from every form of evil.

Reference: The New Testament (American Standard Version), Thess. 5:21–22.

Quran says:

Give good tiding to My servants. [Those] Who listen to speech and follow the best of it. Those are the ones God has guided, and those are people of understanding.

Reference: Quran (Sahih International), 39:17-18.

In the Torah, the Holy Book of the Jews, we read:

Thus saith Jehovah, stand ye in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way; and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

Reference: The Old Testament, The Book of Jeremiah, chap. 6, verse 16 (American Standard Version).

Even though `Abdu’l-Bahā had claimed this principle was new and revealed by his father, elsewhere he confesses that this principle is not new:

His Highness Moses spread the truth as did his Highness Jesus and his Highness Abraham and his Highness the Messenger (meaning the Prophet Muḥammad) and his Highness the Bāb and his Highness Bahā’u’llāh. They all established and spread the truth.

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 5.

From the teachings (principles) of his Highness Bahā’u’llāh, the first is seeking the truth, and the foundation of all the Prophets . . . is truth, and the truth is one. His Highness Abraham was the harbinger of truth. His Highness Moses was the servant of truth. His Highness Christ was the establisher of truth. His Highness Muḥammad was the propagator of truth. His Highness A`lā (meaning the Bāb) was the herald of truth, and his Highness Bahā’u’llāh, was the light of truth.

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Tehran), vol. 2, p. 55.

The foundation of the divine religions is one. It is one truth, it is one spirit, it is one light, and it does not have a multitude. Among the foundations of the Divine Religion is seeking the truth [so] that the whole of humanity seeks the truth.

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 66.

Courtesy: Twelve Principles – A Comprehensive Investigation on the Bahai Teachings