“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