The Source Of Abdul Baha’s Knowledge

`Abdu’l-Bahā’s Education

`Abdu’l-Bahā himself had received schooling in Tehran and had then been educated at home by his father and family members. We will not delve into this matter. We will only present two sources that clearly show an alternative source for many of his political views and superhuman knowledge:

Today I was reading the events in Italy and Turkey. Another war has started and the blood of wretched people is spilled for the lowliest causes.

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 87.

I read in the newspaper that even in Italy people are protesting and shouting.

Reference: `Abdu’l-Bahā, Khaṭābāt (Egypt), vol. 1, p. 205.

As it has been made obvious, the source of the knowledge of these figures is rooted in many places:
1- Education they received from school and their teachers (publicly and privately).
2- What they were taught by family members.
3- Socializing with scholars, philosophers, and mystics and Sufis.
4- Reading the Quran, Islamic books, philosophical works, history books, newspapers etc.
5- Reading books of literature and poetry.

See Bahā’u’llāh, Tablets of Bahā’u’llāh Revealed After the Kitāb-i-Aqdas, p. 144 (footnote).

There are many stories in the Bahá’í community about the supernatural access to information that Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and Shoghi Effendi had. My point here is not to dispute these stories; merely to say these superhuman mechanisms do not seem to have been working at every instant. If they had, Bahā’u’llāh would not have read newspapers, as He suggests He may have done; ‘Abdu’l-Bahā and Shoghi Effendi would not have constantly written the friends asking for news; they would not have pumped visiting pilgrims for their knowledge and evaluation of places, peoples, cultures, and individuals; and Shoghi Effendi would not have had to do massive, monumental research in order to edit The Dawn-breakers or write God Passes By.

Reference: Robert Stockman, Revelation, Interpretation, and Elucidation in the Baha’i Writings in Scripture and Revelation, ed. Moojan Momen (Oxford: George Ronald, 1997): http://bahai-library.com/stockman_revelation_interpretation_elucidation (retrieved 2/12/2014).

He makes another point which further confirms that the knowledge possessed by these figures was not divine:

Further, when one examines the historical and cultural information contained in Bahā’u’llāh’s writings one notes that the knowledge to which He customarily refers is information that would have been available to Him via ordinary nineteenth-century means. Bahā’u’llāh never reveals a commentary on Confucian ethics or Buddhist cosmology, neither of which would have been readily available in nineteenth-century Persian or Arabic. He does not discuss Olmec hymns or Indo-European myths, none of which are available to even twentieth-century scholars, but which must have existed and which must have contained profound statements worthy of discussion, commentary, and praise by a Manifestation of God. Bahā’u’llāh revealed in pure Persian — much to the astonishment of the Zoroastrians — but never revealed in ancient Avestan, Iran’s ancestral tongue.

Reference: Robert Stockman, Revelation, Interpretation, and Elucidation in the Baha’i Writings in Scripture and Revelation, ed. Moojan Momen (Oxford: George Ronald, 1997): http://bahai-library.com/stockman_revelation_interpretation_elucidation (retrieved 2/12/2014).

If these figures had divine knowledge then why were all their talks and speeches based on sciences known in those days and information availalable to them? Amazingly, they didn’t even bother to double check these sciences with the divine tablets that they claimed they had and as we showed, they commited multiple mistakes in their scientific claims and citations of Holy scripture.

Reason Judges That One Must Practice What He Preaches

Prohibition of Kissing Hands

Bahā’u’llāh writes in the Aqdas:

The kissing of hands hath been forbidden in the Book. This practice is prohibited by God, the Lord of glory and command.

This law has been completely ignored by Bahā’u’llāh and `Abdu’l-Bahā and they freely allowed anyone who wanted to kiss their hands. Here are a few examples:

“The inhabitants of the quarter in which Bahā’u’llāh had been living, and the neighbors who had gathered to bid Him farewell, came one after the other,” writes an eye-witness, “with the utmost sadness and regret to kiss His hands and the hem of His robe, expressing meanwhile their sorrow at His departure . . .”

Reference: Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 181.

Until it was time to leave and he kissed (`Abdu’l-Bahā’s) blessed hand.

Reference: Maḥmūd Zaraqānī, Badā’i` al-āthār, vol. 2, p. 31.

With great sincerity one would kiss (`Abdu’l-Bahā’s) blessed hand and another would hold his skirt.

Reference: Maḥmūd Zaraqānī, Badā’i` al-āthār, vol. 2, p. 340.

The hand kissing in America attracted so much attention that the title of an article in the newspaper, The Baltimore Sun, November 12 1912 was “Women kiss his hand”. This is how it was described:

With condescension, he greeted his followers as they were presented by the interpreter, Dr. Ameer U. Farewed, a Persian and a graduate in medicine of Johns Hopkins University. “Oh, I am so glad to see you,” was uttered in tones of reverence by the women as they bowed before him and kissed his wrinkled hand.

Reference: http://centenary.bahai.us/news/women-kiss-his-hand (retrieved 20/1/2014)

Where to Bury the Dead

The Baha’i law for Burial states:
It is forbidden you to transport the body of the deceased a greater distance than one hour’s journey from the city . . . The spirit of Bahā’u’llāh’s law is for the deceased to be buried near where he or she dies.

Reference: Bahā’u’llāh, The Kitābi Aqdas, p. 230.

This is how the Burial was performed for the Bāb on the orders of Bahā’u’llāh and `Abdu’l-Bahā:

As observed in a previous chapter the mangled bodies of the Bāb and His fellow-martyr, Mīrzā Muḥammad-`Alī, were removed, in the middle of the second night following their execution, through the pious intervention of Ḥājī Sulaymān Khān, from the edge of the moat where they had been cast to a silk factory owned by one of the believers of Milān, and were laid the next day in a wooden casket, and thence carried to a place of safety. Subsequently, according to Bahá’u’lláh’s instructions, they were transported to Ṭihrān and placed in the shrine of Imām-Zādih Ḥasan. They were later removed to the residence of Ḥājī Sulaymān Khān himself in the Sar-Chashmih quarter of the city, and from his house were taken to the shrine of Imām-Zādih Ma`ṣūm, where they remained concealed until the year 274 1284 A.H. (1867–1868), when a Tablet, revealed by Bahā’u’llāh in Adrianople, directed Mullā `Alī-Akbar-i-Shāhmīrzādī and Jamāl-i-Burūjirdī to transfer them without delay to some other spot . . . Ḥājī Shāh Muḥammad buried the casket beneath the floor of the inner sanctuary of the shrine of Imām-Zādih Zayd, where it lay undetected until Mīrzā Asadu’llāh-i-Iṣfahānī was informed of its exact location through a chart forwarded to him by Bahā’u’llāh. Instructed by Bahā’u’llāh to conceal it elsewhere, he first removed the remains to his own house in Ṭihrān, after which they were deposited in several other localities such as the house of Ḥusayn-‘Alīy-i-Iṣfahānī and that of Muḥammad-Karīm-i-‘Aṭṭār, where they remained hidden until the year 1316 (1899) A.H., when, in pursuance of directions issued by ‘Abdu’l-Bahā, this same Mīrzā Asadu’llāh, together with a number of other believers, transported them by way of Iṣfahān, Kirmanshāh, Baghdād and Damascus, to Beirut and thence by sea to ‘Akkā, arriving at their destination on the 19th of the month of Ramadān 1316 A.H. (January 31, 1899), fifty lunar years after the Bāb’s execution in Tabrīz.

Reference: Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 273–274

This one hour limit, changes to about 50 years and thousands of kilometers when applied to the Bāb.

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