THE TRUTH ABOUT
THE BAHA'I FAITH
From Islaam to Shoghiism
by Daniel Kayse
Companion of the Muhaddas Jamshid Rohani (Founder of the Friends of God International)
THE FRIENDS OF GOD INTERNATIONAL (FOGI) is an international fellowship of Seekers of Truth, from all religions, and no organized religion. We are not a "Baha'i" sect nor an offshoot of the Baha'i Faith. Baha'is are welcome to join FOGI, like all other people are who believe in God and in the immortality of the soul.
This article will reveal to you THE TRUTH about the Baha'i Faith. It will reveal many facts that have been deliberately "withheld" from you, on orders of the Universal House of Justice (the 9 man governing body of the Baha'i Faith which resides in Haifa, Israel). We ask only that you review the evidence first, before you "judge".
The First Vision of Muhammad (pbuh)
About 610 A.D. a man named Muhammad (pbuh), a trader, was meditating in a cave near his home of Mecca, in the country of Higaz, in what is now Saudi Arabia. A man appeared in the cave without calling out first, and said to Muhammad (pbug) "RECITE!" Muhammad (pbuh) said "I can't even read!" but the man said "Recite!" two more times. Muhammad (pbuh) ran out of the cave in fright, and the "man" was standing in the air, telling him to "recite" in the Name of Allah certain Verses he (the man standing in the air) would tell him to recite. And so it began. The Apostle of God was taught 114 poems by the Angel Jibril (Gabriel) over a period of fourteen years, and the Apostle of God would recite these to people who were willing to listen to him. After the death of the Apostle of God, some followed Abu Baker as "Kawleef" (Successor) but others followed Ali ibn Abu Talib, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad (pbuh) as "Imaam" (Arabic: "Leader"). Those that followed Ali were called "Shee-ah" (Arabic: "Partisans"). The eldest male descendants of Ali became the "Imaams" of Shi'a Islaam; which is found mostly in Iran, southern Iraq, and parts of Lebanon, Pakistan, and India. The last "Imaam" was Muhammad ibn Hasan al-Mehdi, who was just a small boy when he "disappeared". Nobody knows what happened to him. But not long afterwards a Shi'ite arose claiming to be the spokesman, or "Gate" of the "Hidden Imaam"; claiming that Allah took the Imaam into a place of hiding, or "occultation", until the Last Days, when the Hidden Imaam will return as a grown man, and establish the rule of Shi'ite Islaam everywhere, and establish peace and justice everywhere. Jesus will come with him, and kill the swine and break the crosses and kill the Anti-Christ named al-Dijjal (Arabic: "The Liar"). Three more "Gates" (deputies) of the Hidden Imaam arose, but after the Fourth Gate, that ceased.
The 12 Imaams of Shi'ite Islaam were:
Imam Zain ul abedeen
Imam Mohammad al-Baqr
Imam Jafaar as Saadiq
Imam Musa Qazim
Imam Ali Raza
Imam Ali Naqi
Imam Hassan Askari
Imam Mohammad Mahdi
In 874 A.D. (260 A.H.) the Imaam Mohammad Mahdi, a boy of 7, goes missing. Shi'ites believe that he went down in a cave under a Masjid (Mosque) in Samarra, Iran. They believe God is keeping the boy alive all this time, and he will come forth in the last days, as a man, leading an Army of Shi'ites to final victory over all opposing forces in the world, and will rule the world for several years, until Jesus returns. This "hiding" of the Imaam Mehdi by God in a secret underground cavern is called the "Occultation" (Latin: "hiding"). It is divided into the "Greater Occultation" and the "Lesser Occultation".
The Greater Occultation occurs to the "Hidden Imaam" who does not communicate with the Shi'ite Muslims. The Lesser Occultation refers to the Hidden Imaam communicating to the Shi'ite Muslims, and thus "guiding" them, via deputies, or channelers, called the "Abvab" (Arabic: "Gates"). Shi'ite Islaam recognizes four "Abvab" or "Gates" who were the legitimate deputies/representatives of the Hidden Imaam (Mehdi). Each deputy was called "al-Bab" ("The Gate") to the Hidden Imaam; meaning his representative, or, what we would say in the West, the "channeler" of the Hidden Imaam.
Four Shi'ites arose after the boy went missing, one after another, claiming to be the Gate (al-Bab) of the Hidden Imaam, his representatives. They were:
Abu Jafaar Muhammad ibn Uthman
Abu l Qasim Husayn ibn Ruh al Nawbakhti
Abu`I Husayn Ali ibn Muhammad as Sammari
When one Gate (bab) died, another took his place. Each Gate (bab) appointed his successor before his death.
Abu'l Husayn Ali ibn Muhammad as Sammari, the Fourth Gate, before his death did not appoint a successor, but revealed to the Shi'ites a "letter" addressed to him by the Hidden Imaam, saying there would be no more Gates (channelers/abvab) until the Day of Resurrection. After the death of the Fourth Gate (Abdu'l Husayn Ali ibn Muhammad as Sammari) the Lesser Occultation became the Greater Occultation. Instead of the Shi'ites being "guided" by the Hidden Imaam by way of the Gates (Abvab) they were to be guided by the Ulema ("Learned Ones"): consisting of the Mollahs (lesser clergymen) and the Ayatollahs (greater clergymen).
In 1844 A.D. (1260 A.H.), 1000 lunar years after the boy Muhammad Mahdi (also spelled Mihdih or Mehdi) went missing and became "the Hidden Imaam", Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi, a merchant living in the city of Shiraz, Iran, claimed to be the ++++Fifth++++ "Gate" (bab) and that 1260 A.H. was the "Day of Resurrection"; meaning that the righteous True Believes ("Momeneen") among the Muslims who died the time of Muhammad (pbuh) had "returned" (rajat) in new bodies, born of new mothers. Also, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his daughter Fatimah, the 12 Imaams (including Mahdi), and the 4 Gates had also "returned" as the first 18 disciples of The Báb, whom he called "Letters of the Living". One such "Letter" was Quddús, who claimed at the Shrine of Tabarsi, in 1849, to be the Remnant of God (i.e. the Hidden Imaam returned).
Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi took the name/title of Bab'u'llah ("The Gate of God"). Today, in the West, he is simply known as "The Báb".
The Báb called 18 disciples whom he designated as "Letters of the Living". They consisted of 17 men and one woman. The Báb clearly identified the 18 "Letters of the Living" as the "return" of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Fatimah (the daughter of the Prophet), the 12 Imaams (this would include the 12th Imaam named Muhammad Mahdih), and the 4 "Gates" (named above).
Mollah Husayn Bushrui, a disciple of a Shi'ite Seer named Siyyid Kazim Rashti, was the First "Letter of the Living". The Báb clearly identified Mollah Husayn Bushrui as the "return" (rajat) of the "nafs" (self/soul) of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). The Báb identified the only female Letter of the Living, Tahirih, a Shi'ite poetess, as the "return" of the "nafs" (souls/self) of Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet and wife of the Imaam Ali. In 1850, in his Tablet of Visitation, The Báb clearly identified the Last "Letter of the Living", a man called "Quddús" (Arabic: "Most Holy"), as the "return" (rajat) of the 12th Imaam (Muhammad Mahdi): the Expected One of the Shi'ite Islaam.
The Báb clearly taught that 1260 A.H., 1000 lunar years from the "occultation" of the Imaam Muhammad Mahdi (260 A.H.), was the "Day of Resurrection"; meaning that the righteous True Believers (Momeneen) among the followers of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would "return" via the wombs of new mothers. This is clearly taught in many of his writings, which is the "reason why" most of his writings have not yet been published or "officially" translated: on orders of the Universal House of Justice in Haifa, Israel.
Baha'is Are Taught
Baha'is are taught that Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi (1819-1950) was the promised Hidden Imaam returned. Not his body. Not his soul, but the "return" of his "qualities and perfections" (Baha'is are not sure what "qualities and perfections" mean). In any case, they are taught that this man, whom they call "The Báb" (Arabic: "Gate"), was the Forerunner, like the "John the Baptist" to Baha'u'llah (bah-hah-oh-LAH), whom they believe, is the Supreme Manifestation of God, and the "World Teacher" and the Promised One of all religions. Baha'is view Baha'u'llah (Arabic: "The Glory of God") as the "return" of the "Qualities and Perfections" of Christ. So, in some mystical sense they can't really understand, Baha'u'llah was the return of Christ. Not the reincarnation of Christ (Baha'is deny reincarnation exists), but the return of Christ's "Qualities and Perfections". What are those? They really don't know. Some try to guess.
Nowhere in the Writings of The B´b can one find any reference to "The Bábí Faith". Can't be found. The Báb never claimed to be a Razool (Messenger) nor a Nawbee (Prophet) nor the Qa'eem ("Riser"), and he never called his religion "Bábí Faith". He always referred to his religion as "Islaam". He wrote:"And whomsoever disbelieveth in Islaam shall not have his deeds accepted by God on the Day of Resurrection; not the least thing, as befits the Truth, shall in any way be accepted." (Ref: Qayyamul Asma, Surah Mulk, verse 13)
The book Qayyamul Asma (Arabic: "Greatest Name") is the major work of The B&aacuute;b and looks upon as superior to his book al-Bayan (Arabic: "Exposition").
The Báb did not claim to be Imaam Mehdi (also called "The Proof of God" and "The Remnant of God" and "The Riser"), but the Fifth "Gate" (i.e. medium/channeler of the Hidden Imaam (Mehdi). Because of this, he was considered a blasphemer and heretic by the Shi'ite clergy, so he was arrested several times. The Báb practiced "dissimulation"; meaning he denied publicly he was the "Gate" but taught it privately. After several arrests, public denials, and private recantations of the public denials, the Shi'ite clergy had enough of him, and he was shot to death by a firing-squad next to an army barracks in Tabreez, Iran, in 1850. Baha'is don't like to discuss miracles, playing down their importance (and often denying them), but they will tell you that a "miracle" occurred at the martyrdom of The Báb; that the first volley of 750 rifles severed his ropes, and he was only killed by a second volley, after finishing his last instructions to his followers. His body was taken by his followers, and put into a sealed lead coffin, and eventually buried on the Sacred Spot on the north slope of Mount Carmel in Palestine (now Israel), overlooking the city of Haifa.
The Báb (Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi) wrote large books in the style of the Qu'ran, and Baha'is believe those books are infallible scripture, just like the Qu'ran or the Bible. Baha'u'llah wrote hundreds of letters called "Tablets" to his followers, and heads of state. And Baha'is believe his writings are also infallible scripture. Baha'u'llah died in 1892, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Abbas Effendi, who took the title of 'Abdu'l-Baha (Arabic: "Servant of Glory"), and who travelled to France, England, the U.S., and Canada, preaching the Baha'i Principles of One God, equality for men and women, the elimination of prejudices of all kinds, spiritual solutions to economic problems, the need for an International Tribunal to help prevent wars, universal education for males and females both, a universal auxiliary language, and race unity (equality and peace between the races).
The True Station of The Báb
According to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), in his audience with the Muhaddas (Jamshid Rohani) in the Third Heaven, The Báb was not a Messenger of God, but the "fifth gate" of the Hidden Imaam. In 847 A.D. Muhammad al-Mehdi, a young boy who was destined to become the 12th Imaam of Shi'ite Islaam, disappeared. Nobody knows what happened to the lad. Shi'ite Muslims believe that Allah is "hiding" him somewhere, like in an underground cavern, to await the Last Days. They call this the "Occultation of the Hidden Imaam". After his disappearance, a Shi'ite arose claiming to be the "báb (Arabic: "gate") of the Hidden Imaam. In English, he would be known as a "medium" or "channeler". He said that Allah was keeping the boy "hidden" until the Last Day, when the Hidden Imaam would return and establish the true Sect of Islaam, and establish peace and justice throughout the world. After the first Báb (gate) a second one arose, and then a third, and then a fourth Báb arose, and the fourth Báb declared that no more "Gates" would arise, until the Day of Resurrection.
These four men were not Messengers nor Prophets, but "Gates" to the Hidden Imaam; deputies through which the Hidden Imaam communicated to the Shi'ite Muslims. They spoke and wrote "in the name" of the Hidden Imaam in the first person, but they themselves were not the Remnant of God, but just Shi'ite Muslims who were chosen to be the "gates" by which the Proof of God (Imaam Mehdi) communicated to the Shi'ite Community.
The Imaam Mahdi ("Mehdi") is also called:
"The Proof of God"
"The Remnant of God" (Baqiyyatu'llah)
"The Riser" (al-Qa'im)
"The Lord of the Age"
After the Fourth Báb died, that was the end of the line of Abváb (Arabic: "Gates"). Then, many hundreds of years later, in 1844, Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi, a young merchant in Shiraz, Iran, arose claiming to be the Fifth Báb (Gate) to the Hidden Imaam. He did not claim to be the Hidden Imaam himself, but to be his "gate" (i.e. he "channeled" the Hidden Imaam). That is how the Bábís (followers of The Báb) understood the station of "The Báb". They did not view him as a Razool (Messenger) nor Nabi (Prophet) but as the Fifth Báb (Gate) of the Hidden Imaam, the young boy who disappeared in 847 A.D.. The symbol of The Báb was the five-pointed star.
Symbol of The Báb
The five-pointed star was the symbol of The Báb because he claimed to be the Fifth "Gate" of the Hidden Imaam; not the Hidden Imaam himself. According to Shi'ite Muslim prophecies, the Hidden Imaam will appear as a grown man riding a white house, carrying a sword, and he will establish peace and justice over the entire world. The Fifth Báb (Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi) did not do any of that; which is why the Shi'ite Muslims don't pay any attention to his claims.
A Baha'i named Nader Saiedi, who speaks English, Farsi, and Arabic fluently, has read just about all the writings of The Báb and has written the following:
"His writings appear to convey the impression that He is only the Gate to the Hidden Imaam." (Gate of the Heart: Understanding the Writings of The Báb, p.19)
This conforms to what Muhammad (pbuh) said to Jamshid Rohani in the Third Heaven, that The Báb was not a Razool (Messenger) nor a Nabi (Prophet) but the fifth "Gate" to the Hidden Imaam. The Universal House of Justice (council of nine men who rule the Faith worldwide) have only allowed the publishing of carefully chosen "Selections" from the writings of The Báb. Why only selections? Why not all of it? They won't tell us. Baha'i scholars who have published "unauthorized" texts by The Báb, have been declared Covenant-Breakers or simply had their membership in the Faith "removed" without explanation. Why did the House "declare" them or "remove" their membership? Again...you can't even ask that question! If you even "ask" then the House will send a letter to your NSA and ask them to "remove" your name from the membership roles. Why does the House want most of the Writings of The Báb to remain unpublished and untranslated? Again...you cannot ask that question!
The Báb himself identifies his rank and station
In A Traveller's Narrative by 'Abdu'l-Baha, he quotes from the Most Holy Book of The Báb which was called the Qayyamul Asma ("Greatest Name"). The Bab wrote:"O Remnant of God (Baqiyyatullah), I am wholly sacrificed to thee; I am content with the curses in thy way , and have yearned for naught but martyrdom in the path of Thy love" (Ref: Qayyamul Asma, The Bab. Quoted from Traveller's Narrative, Page 3)
The Arabic term "Baqiyyatullah" means "Remnant of God" and is one of the titles of the Hidden Imaam: along with "Proof of God" and "Riser" (Qa'im) and "The Lord of the Age".
The Báb also wrote:"I bear witness that He whose name is Ali-Qabl-i-Muhammad (The Báb) is the servant of the Baqiyyatu'-llah." (Ref: Dawn Breakers, page 144)
Ali-Qabi-i-Muhammad was the birth name of The Báb. Here, again, he is identifying himself as the "servant" of the Hidden Imaam; not the Hidden Imaam himself. Although, like the first four "Gates" (Abvab), The Báb sometimes would write as the "Pen" of the Hidden Imaam; as they did. The Gates (Abvab) were the "channellers" of the Hidden Imaam who was "hidden" by God (in "occultation") until the Last Day.
After the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) died, according to Shi'ite belief, he was succeeded by 12 Imaams ("Leaders") starting with his cousin and son-in-law, the Imaam Ali. The eldest son of Ali became imaam upon his death, and was replaced by another descendant of Ali and his wife Fatimah; usually the eldest son. The 12th Imaam was a young boy when he "disappeared". A Shi'ite arose declaring that he was the "Gate" (Arabic: "Báb") of the "Hidden Imaam" whom Allah was hiding until the last day. Each "Báb" appointed his successor. Finally, the 4th Gate (Báb) declared that he was the final Gate until the Day of Resurrection.
4 Gates (Abvab) Total=18 souls
In 1820, a Shi'ite cleric named Sheikh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i arose declaring he was a "Muhaddas" (Seer), and that in dreams the Prophet and the Imaams visited him and gave him Revelation. He declared that the "Remnant of God" (Hidden Imaam) died as a boy, and was in Paradise, but that he would be born of another woman, and have a new name, and he would "unveil" himself in the year 1260 A.H. (1843-44 A.D.).
The 12th Imaam went missing as a boy in the year 126 A.H. and he would be "revealed" as a grown man, with a new name, who had been born of a different woman, in the year 1260 A.H.: exactly 1000 lunar years after he went into "occultation" (hidden by God). This was contrary to popular Shi'ite beliefs, that Allah was keeping the Imaam Mehdi "hide" in a cave, and that Mehdi would "rise" out of the cave in the last days, a full grown man, thus the name "The Riser". Sheikh Ahmad said that the boy had died, but would reincarnate. This was considered "heresy" to most Shi'ites. Yet, Sheikh Ahmad found followers.
Shi'ites believe that Allah "hid" the 12 Imaam, because the Shi'ite Imaams were being assassinated, one after the other, by the Umayyad Caliphs of Damascus; who ruled Sunni Islaam.
Baha'is are told that it is true that The Báb first denied he was the Hidden Imaam, but only claimed he was the "servant of" the Hidden Imaam, but this deception was necessary to avoid persecution. The TRUTH is, in fact, The Bab denied he was the Hidden Imaam, but only the "servant" of the Hidden Imaam. The Bab later clearly identified Quddús, the 18th Letter of the Living, as the "Remnant of God".
Quddús As The Imaam Mehdi and He Whom God Will Make Manifest
The Báb called 18 of his disciples "Letters of the Living". He claimed that these 18 were the "return" (rajat) of the following people:
*The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) returned as Mulla Husayn Bushru'i (the first disciple of The Báb)
*Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet, returned as Tahiri (the only female Letter of the Living)
*The 12 Imaams (including the Imaam Mehdi) returned as 12 Letters of the Living
*The 4 "Gates" of the Hidden Imaam returned as 4 Letters of the Living.
1 (Bushru'i/Muhammad) + 1 (Tahiri/Fatimah) + 12 (Imaams) + 4 (Gates) = 18
Since 12 of his "Letters of the Living" were the return of the 12 Shi'ite Imaams, this meant that one of the Letters of the Living had to be "the return" of the 12th "Hidden" Imaam Muhammad al-Mehdi (the young lad who disappeared in 857 A.D./260 A.H.); who was also called "The Riser" (Qa'im) and "the Proof of God" and "the Remnant of God" (Baquiyyatu'llah).
The Báb had a disciple whom he made one of the Letters of the Living, called "Quddús" (Arabic: "Holy One"), who claimed before the Battle of Fort Tabarsi (where many were killed) that he was in fact the "Remnant of God" (the Hidden Imaam). Exactly 313 Bábís (followers of The Báb) had gathered at the Shrine of Tabarsi (a Shi'ite holy man) because the Shah (King of Iran) commanded his army to go arrest them. According to Shi'ite Muslim prophecy, the Hidden Imaam will lean his back against a Ka'bih (Shrine of a Shi'ite Saint) and say: "The Baquiyyatu'llah [Remnant of God] will be best for you if ye are of those who believe." The early Bábí historian, Nabil, wrote:'The first words that fell from the lips of Quddús after he had dismounted and leaned against the shrine were the following: "The Baqiyyatu'llah [The Remnant of God] will be best for you if ye are of those who believe." [Qur’an 11:85] By this utterance was fulfilled the prophecy of Muhammad as recorded in the following tradition: "And when the Mihdi is made manifest, He shall lean His back against the Ka'bih and shall address to the three hundred and thirteen followers who will have grouped around Him, these words: `The Baqiyyatu'llah will be best for you if ye are of those who believe.'" (Nabil Dawnbreakers p.352, also see p. 15)
The Bábís had gathered at the Shrine of a Shi'ite Muslim "holy man" named Shaykh Tabrizi, which they made into a fort; because troops sent from the Shah of Iran were coming to arrest them. There was a Shi'ite Muslim prophecy, well known to all the Shi'ite then and now, that when the Qa'im ("Riser"), the Mahdi returned, he would be killed by a "bearded Jewish woman" named Sa'ida with a "iron mallet". Although the Bábís fought hard, they were defeated by the royal troops, and Quddús himself was executed on the spot by a man named Saidu'l-Ulama; a man of Jewish blood who converted to Shi'ite Islaam, long rumored to be "effeminate". He killed Quddús with a blow to the head by an iron ax.
Upon hearing of the martyrdom of Quddús, The Báb wrote the "Tablet of Visitation" which lauded Quddús as "the First and the Last" and other exalted titles fit only for the Mahdi. The Universal House of Justice has never authorized an official translation of the "Tablet of Visitation" but several Baha'i scholars have published their own translations. In the book New History of The Báb by Mirza Jani, translated into English by Prof. Edward Browne, Quddú's is clearly called "the Lord of the Age". The Universal House of Justice has refused to publish or distribute The New History of The Báb by Mirza Jani.
After Quddús was martyred at the Ka'aba-shaped Shrine of a Shi'ite saint (Shaykh Tabarsi), The Báb wrote The Tablet of Visitation in honor of Quddús, and addressed to him, saying:"Thou hast been raised up, nor is there above thee anyone possessed of exaltation like unto thee; thou hast come near, nor is there anyone possessed of proximity like unto thine. All created things have given praise in unison out of the essence of thy praise, and all atoms have rendered glorification out of the camphor of thy glorification, and all the psychic entities have extolled the oneness of God in unison out of the substance of thine extolling of His unity, and all the individual realities have lauded the greatness of God in unison out of the absolute reality of thy glorification of His greatness. All render praise unto God through thee, and all sanctify God through thee, and all extol God's singleness through thee, and all magnify God through thee. So great hath been thine affliction that the afflictions of all created things are cut off from any connection with it; the calamity that hath overwhelmed thee hath reached so high a station that no other calamity of any created thing may be mentioned in the same breath as it.
By thy glory, there is nothing in existence apart from God that weepeth not sore over thee, that is not established under thy shadow, that doth not praise God with the praise thou didst offer, that doth not sanctify His name with the sanctification thou didst render, that doth not extol the unity of God with the praise of His unity that thou didst utter, and that doth not magnify God with the magnification whereby thou didst honour His greatness. From all eternity and unto all eternity thou hast been in the exaltation of holiness and majesty, and unto all eternity thou shalt be in the height of sanctity and beauteousness. Thou art he that hath become manifest through the manifestation of thy Lord, and kept hidden through the concealment of thy Lord, and thou art the First, for there is no first save thee, and the Last, for there is no last other than thee." (Tablet of Visitation by The Báb published in Rituals in Babism and Baha'iism 2:105-106)
The Imaam Mehdi, the firstborn son of the 11th Imaam, was a young boy who "disappeared" in 260 A.H. (828 A.D.). The Shi'ites believed that God was keeping him "hidden" in a cave somewhere, underground, protecting him until such time that he would "rise"; thus the name of "The Riser" (al-Qa'im). According to Shaykh Ahmad-I-Asai'i, whom Baha'is are told was a Seer, would reappear as a grown man 1000 lunar years from 260 A.H., in the year 1260 A.H. (1844 A.D.). It was in 1844 that a young Mulla (clergyman) named Muhammad-Ali Barfurushi appeared to The Báb, and became the 18th Letter of the Living (Disciple). The Báb gave him the title of "Most Holy" (Quddús).
In the Tablet of Visitation The Báb clearly identifies Quddús as the one "kept hidden though the concealment of thy Lord" and "thou are the First, and there is no first save thee, and the Last, and there is no last save thee" and "Thou art he that hath become manifest through the manifestation of thy Lord" which means that Quddus was "He Whom God Would Make Manifest": the Promised One expected by the followers of The Báb.
According to Shi'ite Muslim prophesy, the Imaam Mehdi would be killed by a bearded Jewish woman named "Sa'ida" by an iron mallet. Quddús was killed by a iron ax by a Jewish convert to Shi'ism, who was known to be effeminante (i.e. "like a woman") whose name was Sa'idul-Ulama. According to Shi'ite Muslim prophecy, the Imaam Mehdi would lean his back against the Ka'aba ("cube") and say a certain sentence before 313 followers, the very sentence that Quddús said while learning his back against the shrine of Shaykh Tabarsii, in front of 313 Bábís, a shrine which was fashioned like the Ka'aba of Mecca.
The Fourth Bab (channeler) of the Hidden Imaam wrote that the Hidden Imaam would not communicate with the Shi'ites again until the Day of Resurrection. The B´b declared that the Day of Resurrection occurred in 1260 A.H. (1844 A.D.) when all Believers at the time of Muhammad, until Muhammad, Fatimah, the 12 Imaams, and the 4 Advab (Gates) would "return" via the wombs of new mothers (reincarnation). The 18 disciples of The Bab, he declared to be the "return" of the following:
*The return of the Prophet Muhammad (Molla Bushuri..the first Letter of the Living)
*The return of Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad (Tahirih...the only female Letter of the Living).
*The return of the 12 Imaams (including the 12th Imaam...The Imaam Mehdi...who disappeared as a young boy in 1260 A.H.)
*The return of the 4 Abvab (the four "Gates" or channelers of the Hidden Imaam)
Therefore, if the 12 of the 18 Letters of the Living "must be" the return of the 12 Imaams, then one of them must be the return of the 12th Imaam; the Imaam Mehdi, the young boy who "disappeared" in 1260 A.H.: the Riser, the Proof of God, the Remnant of God (Baqiyyatu'llah) , the Lord of the Age.
Nabil Zarandi was a Bábí (a follower of The Báb), but later become a Baha'i. He wrote an early history of The Báb called "The Dawnbreakers"; an English version is in all Baha'i libraries and bookstores. The English version leaves out much later material deemed "irrelevant" by Shoghi Effendi, who translated and published the book.
According to Shi'ite Muslim prophecy, the Hidden Imaam would arise and put his back against "the Cube" (Ka'aba) and say certain words, in front of 313 followers. Shi'ites assume by "Ka'aba" is meant the "Cube" in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, at the Grand Mosque. At the Shrine of Tabarsi, A Shi'ite Saint, which is in Iran but shaped like the Ka'aba, like a Cube, Quddús leaned his back against it, and said the "words" that the Riser and Proof of God was supposed to say, and there were 313 Báb´there who accepted him as the "return" of the Imaam al-Mehdi that day. He was identifying himself as the Imaam Mehdi, the Qa'im, and Baqiyyatu'llah, the "Lord" of The Báb and all Sh'ite Muslims (see The Dawnbreakers page 352).
The book Dawnbreakers by Nabil Zarandi, is found in all Baha'i Center libraries. Go look at a copy, page 352.
There is a sect in Iran called the Quddúsí (Quddúsites), who believe that Quddús was the promised Imaam Mehdi (also spelled "Mahdi" or "Mihdi"). The Quddúsíl call themselves "Shi'ite Muslims" and believe The Báb was merely the fifth Gate to the Imaam Mehdi, but Quddús was in fact the "return" of the Imaam Mehdi (Remnant of God). They believe in reincarnation, and that Quddús will one day "return" (reincarnate) and fulfill the Shi'ite prophecies of the Imaam Mehdi i.e. to establish peace and justice throughout the Earth. Obviously, neither The Báb nor Quddús "fulfilled" the Shi'ite prophecies regarding the Mahdi, that he would establish peace and justice throughout the entire Earth. That is why Shi'ite Muslims pay no attention to Baha'i or Qaddusi claims. However, for the Qaddúsi, this is not a problem, since they believe in "raja" (reincarnation) and that Quddús will "return" (born a baby to a new mother) to fulfill the final Shi'ite prophecies.
The Báb was not the return of the Hidden Imaam (Mehdi), but the "Fifth Gate" to the Hidden Imaam. The Báb clearly identified Quddús as the "return" (reincarnation) of the Hidden Imaam. This is in black and white in the writings of The Bab which the House (Universal House of Justice) has wisely refused to publish.
In Muslim countries, it is common for Muslims to say "May my life be a sacrifice for him" when referring to Muhammad (pbuh), and Shi'ite Muslims often say the same thing when referring to the Imaam Ali or to his son the Imaam Husain, whom Shi'ite Muslims consider to have "atoned" for the sins of the Shi'ite community by his death. They say "May my life be a sacrifice to him" or some variation of that. The lesser always says that about the Greater. A superior never says that about an inferior, nor an equal. The Báb wrote the following about the Hidden Imaam:"O Remnant of God (Baqiatullah), I am wholly sacrificed to thee; I am content with the curses in thy way, and have yearned for naught but martyrdom in the path of Thy love" (Ref: Qayyamul Asma, by The Báb. Quoted from A Traveller's Narrative, Page 3)
"I bear witness that He whose name is Ali-Qabl-i-Muhammad [The Bá] is the servant of the Baqiyyatu'-llah." (Ref: Dawn Breakers, page 144)
The Imaam Mehdi is the Baqiyyatu'llah (Remnant of God)
The Báb identified himself as "the servant of" the Baqiyyatu'llah.
It was Shoghi Effendi who "changed" the station of The Báb from the "Fifth Gate" and Servant of the Imaam Mehdi (Baqiyyatu'llah), to the Imaam Mehdi, Founder of a new Religion (The Babi Faith), Prophet, independent Messenger of God, and Forerunner of Baha'u'llah! We shall see evidence of this later.
The Báb clearly puts himself as the "servant" of the "Remnant of God" (a title for the Hidden Imaam). Indeed, nowhere in the writings of The Báb does he claim to be the Hidden Imaam, but only the fifth "Gate" (Arabic: báb) to the Hidden Imaam. The Báb clearly appointed Mirza Yahya (called "Soob-ee-Azal") to be his successor, and the sixth "Gate" to the Hidden Imaam. There is no dispute about this. Mirza Yahya was the younger half-brother of Baha'u'llah. Baha'i apologists say that "yes" The Báb did appoint Mirza Yahya (Soob-ee-Azal) to be his successor, but argue this was just a "faint" (a deception) in order to protect Baha'u'llah from persecution. Now...If you believe that I've got a bridge in Brooklyn I'd love to sell you!
In Shi'ite Islaam a "Gate" (Arabic: "Báb") means a man who "channels" messages from the Hidden Imaam; who is in "occultation" (God is hiding him until the Last Day meaning the Day of Resurrection).
The Báb sometimes wrote as the "servant" of the Hidden Imaam, and sometimes in the first person as the Hidden Imaam. The other four "gates" did the same thing. They were the "channelers" of the Hidden Imaam, and sometimes wrote in the first person. The Prophets of Israel spoke and wrote "in the name of the Lord" writing "I am God, and there is no God besides me" and such things. That does not mean that the Prophets thought they "were" God. The Gates wrote "in the name of" the Hidden Imaam. That does not mean they thought they "were" the Hidden Imaam. They didn't. They were his "na'ih" (deputies).
The Reign of Baha'u'llah
Mirza Husayn-Ali Nuri was the son of a Iranian nobleman. He and his younger half-brother, Yahya, became followers of The Báb about 1845. In 1850, a few follows of The Bab tried to assassinate the Shah of Iran, but they used bird shot in their pistols; which wounded, but did not kill, the Shah. Infuriated, the Shah ordered the massacre and arrest of all Bábís. Baha'u'llah was sent to a dungeon in Tihran called the "Black Pit" (Siyah Chal in Farsi). There, in 1853, he had a "vision" of a female angel called "The Maid of Heaven" who told him he was the "Promised One". Not the Imaam Mehdi, but some other "Promised One". He was exiled to Baghdad, along with other Bábís who were not killed. In the 1859s Baha'u'llah went to Sulimaniyyah, in Kurdish Iraq, and spent two years there living among the Naqshbandi Sufis. The Sufis (soo-fees) are mystical Muslims who see Islaam not as a set of laws but as a holy Path to follow. Their goal is to travel spiritual "valleys" (stations) until they reach the "last valley" which is called the Valley of Nothingness and Absolute Poverty: a spiritual station in which they depend upon God for even their own thoughts. At that point they experience "death in God" (fana'i'llah) which means their soul (Nafs) "dies" and they are left only with their body and their ruh (Spirit), and the Spirit is Allah. They become "One" with God. Baha'u'llah takes the name Dervish Muhammad-I-Irani. Before he returns to Baghdad, Baha'u'llah is given a Dervish turban of a Murshid (spiritual Master) which he wears the rest of his life.
To the outside world Baha'u'llah was known as Baha Effendi or Baha'u'Deen. The founder of the Naqshbandi Sufi Order was Baha'u'Deen, who died in the 1500s. To Baha'is, Baha'u'llah was known as "The Blessed Beauty" or "The Blessed Perfection".
Baha'u'llah never called himself a "Prophet" nor a "Messenger of God". He considered Muhammad to be the final Messenger of God. He wrote:“Blessings and salutations be on the Holy Prophet of Islam (pbuh) – the leader of the universe, the nourisher of the nations, the one by whom Messengership and Prophethood was terminated and upon his progeny and his companions; a perpetual and never ending blessing and salutation.”
(Ref: Ishraqaat, page 293)
Baha'u'llah did not consider himself to be the Imaam Mehdi, nor to be the "successor" of The Báb. There is no question, historically, that The Báb appointed Mirza Yahya Soob-i-Azal, the younger half-brother of Baha'u'llah, as his successor. In 1853, Baha'u'llah was put into the Siyah Chal ("Black Pit") prison in Tehran, because he was a "leader" (but not "the" leader) among the followers of The Báb. During the four months in Siyah Chal, Baha'u'llah had a "vision" of the "Maid of Heaven", a female angelic figure, who said he was the Promised One; meaning the One mentioned in the Writings of The Báb as "He Whom God Shall Make Manifest". Not the Hidden Imaam, but another station. In a Hadith (Saying) of the Prophet (pbuh), there is a saying that Allah would appear to mankind on the Day of Judgment:Hadith 113:
Abu Hurayra narrated that some people said to the Prophet:
O Messenger of Allah, shall we see our Lord on the Day of Judgement?
He said: Do you have any doubt about seeing the sun when it is not covered by the clouds?
They said: No, O Messenger of Allah!
Do you have any doubt about seeing the moon on the night of the full moon, when it is not covered by clouds?
They said: No, O Messenger of Allah!
Then likewise you shall see Him [Allah] on the Day of Judgment...
And this nation will remain along with its hypocrites, and Allah would come to them in a form other than the one they know, and would say "I am your Lord". They would say: "We seek refuge in Allah from you. This is our place until our Lord comes to us. And when our Lord comes to us."
Then Allah will come to them in the form that they know, and would say "I am your Lord". They would say: "You indeed are our Lord", and they would follow Him. [Bukhari] (pp. 158-161)
According to the Hadith (saying), Allah would appear to Muslims on the Day of Judgment, twice, the first time He would come "in a form they don't know" meaning they would not recognize Him, and the second time He comes in a form they recognize, and they accept Him as their Lord. There is no doubt that Baha'u'llah saw Himself as one of these two "appearances" and probably the second one.
The Báb had declared that "The Day of Judgment" began in 1844! Therefore, Allah had to come down and "appear" to the Believers (Muslims) during this "Day" (Dispensation) as prophesied in the Qu'ran and the Hadiths (Sayings).
After Baghdad, Baha'u'llah is exiled to Erdine, Turkey, and then finally to the Turkish prison city of Akka, Palestine. Before he dies, Baha'u'llah appoints his two oldest sons, Abbas Effendi ('Abdu'l-Baha) and Mohammad Ali Effendi, as co-heirs. Abbas Effendi was to defer to Muhammad Ali Effendi on matters of doctrine, and Muhammad Ali Effendi was to defer to Abbas Effendi on matters of public relations with the Turkish authorities and relations with non-Baha'is. Abbas Effendi is also known as 'Abdu'l-Baha. Baha'is today are told that Baha'u'llah gave 'Abdu'l-Baha "full charge" of the Faith in all matters, but this is not true. They were to be joint Commanders of the Faithful: with 'Abdu'l-Baha in charge of "Public Relations" and Mohammed Ali Effendi in charge of all matters of doctrine and practice.
Baha'u'llah had four sons who lived to adulthood (the others died as children or youth):
*Abbas Effendi ('Abdu'l-Baha)
*Mohammad Ali Effendi
The younger sons of Baha'u'llah soon accused 'Abdu'l-Baha of changing doctrines and practices in order to "appease" wealthy British and American Baha'is. Baha'u'llah allowed a Baha'i man to have two wives and a one concubine (servant girl) in his Kitab-i-Aqdas (Most Holy Book), but 'Abdu'l-Baha interpreted that to mean strict monogamy (i.e. he was afraid to offend Westerners who supported him financially). Also, 'Abdu'l-Baha denied the doctrine of "raja" (reincarnation), which all Baha'is believed until then. They accused 'Abdu'l-Baha of being a hypocrite; of teaching Westerners against racism (in order to appease them so they would continue with their financial donations to him), but continuing to teach racism ("black Africans are cows with human faces") to the Baha'is who spoke only Farsi and Arabic.
Baha'is are taught today that the younger sons of Baha'u'llah were evil, lying, conniving, greedy men, hungry for power, and that is why they were declared "Violators" by 'Abdu'l-Baha. We shall see below "who" is telling the truth regarding this matter.
In 1890, a Syrian Christian named Ibrahim George Kheiralla (kay-raw-law), becomes a Baha'i in Egypt. He speaks English well, having graduated from the Protestant College of Syria (now: American University of Beirut). He settles in Chicago in 1892, and begins to convert large numbers of Americans to the Baha'i Faith, or "his version" of it. Some of these Americans converts go to Britain and convert friends and relatives. Some of these American and British converts travel to Haifa, around 1894, to meet Baha'u'llah, but the time they get to Haifa, they learn that Baha'u'llah has died (1892), and they are told that 'Abdu'l-Baha (Abbas Effendi) is now the leader of the Baha'is worldwide. None of these American or British Baha'is are told anything about the younger sons of Baha'u'llah (Mohammad Ali Effendi and Badi'u'llah) or their claims.
Before Kheiralla, Baha'u'llah didn't have any American or European disciples. Kheiralla was the first person to introduce Baha'u'llah to the non-muslim world. In letters to Kheiralla, before Kheirallah switched allegiance to the Unitarians (Mohammed Ali Effendi and Badi'u'llah), 'Abdu'l-Baha refered to George as "Baha's Peter". 'Abdu'l-Baha likened George Kheiralla to "Peter" because, before Kheiralla came along, the Baha'i Faith had no "Western" disciples. All Baha'is were either Persians along with a few Arabs and Turks and a very small number of Armenians. Yet, because of the "preaching" of George Kheiralla in Chicago, thousands of Americans and British became Baha'is. Kheiralla single-handedly converted several thousand, and these several thousand converted an additional three to five thousand, over the course of only eight years.
Ibrahim George Kheiralla (c. 1900)
By the year 1900, there are about 3,000 to 5,000 Baha'is in America, and several hundred in Britain; mostly affluent liberals. All of them were converted to the Faith by Kheiralla or by those who had been converted by Kheiralla. 'Abdu'l-Baha sends emissaries to America in the year 1900, to start organizing the Baha'is, and to get donations. The emissaries of 'Abdu'l-Baha discover that George Kheiralla has "strange" ideas about the Faith, and 'Abdu'l-Baha orders George to Haifa to get educated. So, Kheiralla, who is wealthy from inheritance, travels to Haifa to meet with 'Abdu'l-Baha and to stay for six months. He is told nothing about the younger sons of Baha'u'llah. Eventually, in Haifa, he is told that Baha'u'llah had three other living sons (Mohammad Effendi, Badi'u'llah, Ziya'u'llah), and that they lived nearby. Kheiralla asks 'Abdu'l-Baha about the younger brothers, but 'Abdu'l-Baha refuses to discuss the issue, and simply gets up and walks out of the room anytime Kheiralla mentions the subject. Kheiralla is told by other Baha'is that the other sons of Baha'u'llah are "Nakazeen" (violators) and shunned completely, and no Baha'i is allowed to speak to them nor even speak about them. However, Kheiralla sneeks away to meet these brothers, and listens to "their" side of the story. He is "shocked" beyond belief by what they tell him.
The younger sons of Baha'u'llah (Mohammed Ali Effendi and Badi'u'llah and Ziya'u'llah) tell George Kheiralla that 'Abdu'l-Baha has "changed" the teachings of Baha'u'llah in order to "placate" Westerners, so as to get their donations. They tell him that he has cut them off from their father's estate, and the Holy Shrines. They tell him that 'Abdu'l-Baha is anti-racist to the Westerners, in order to "please" them, so as to get their money, but a "racist" to those Baha'is who speak only Farsi and Arabic. Kheiralla is shocked, but goes back to Haifa to hear a response by 'Abdu'l-Baha; only to find that 'Abdu'l-Baha is still refusing to even to mention his brothers, much less discuss, even calmly, their claims.
The younger sons of Baha'u'llah begin to call themselves the "Unitarians" because they were "united" in their opposition to Abdu'l-Baha, who told the Baha'is to not only SHUN the three younger brothers, but also their wives and children as well. In fact, 'Abdu'l-Baha used to tell obscene jokes about the children of the "Unitarians"; thus violating his own command to "not mention" their names or speak about them. The three younger brothers and their family and descendants are collectively known as the AGHSAN (Arabic: "Branches").
George Kheiralla was told by his Baha'i teacher in Egypt in 1890, that Baha'is believe in reincarnation, but when he arrived in Haifa, 'Abdu'l-Baha told Kheiralla that reincarnation was not true. Kheiralla concludes that he has been misled, but by "whom"? Kheiralla eventually rejects 'Abdu'l-Baha, and sides with the Aghsan (i.e. the younger sons of Baha'u'llah). Kheiralla and all the Baha'is who follow him, about a fourth of the American and British Baha'is, are excommunicated by 'Abdu'l-Baha. Kheiralla tries to organize these men and women into a "Behaist" movement, under the leadership of the Aghsan, but it fails. He drops into obscurity.
The Excommunication of Mirza Aqa Jan of Kasan
The "First to Believe" in Baha'u'llah as "He Whom God Shall Make Manifest" was Mirza Jan of Kashan. He became the personal secretary of Baha'u'llah, writing all of His Tablets, as they fell from the lips of Baha'u'llah, from 1863 to the death of Baha'u'llah in 1892. Baha'u'llah so honored Mirza Aqa Jan that he gave him honorary titles such as "Jabab-i-Khadimullah" ("His Honor the Servant of God") and "Servant of the Presence". However, when Baha'u'llah died in 1892, there was, almost immediately, conflict between 'Abdu'l-Baha and his younger brothers: Mohammad Ali Effendi, Badi'u'llah, and Ziya'u'llah.
Mirza Aqa Jan was the personal secretary of Baha'u'llah, and wrote most of His tablets as Baha'u'llah dictated to him.
On the one year anniversary of the death of Baha'u'llah, the sons of Baha'u'llah and the closet disciples met at the tomb of Baha'u'llah in Bahji, near Akka, and there rose another argument between 'Abdu'l-Baha and his younger brothers (Mohammed Ali and Badi'u'llah). His younger brothers were accusing 'Abdu'l-Baha of "changing" the Holy Texts and changing the Holy Laws of Baha'u'llah. 'Abdu'l-Baha asked Mirza Aqa Jan for his opinion on the matter, and Mirza Aqa Jan arose and said that he agreed with the younger sons of Baha'u'llah, that 'Abdu'l-Baha was distorting the Holy Laws of Baha'u'llah, and he (Aqa Jan) knew this because he wrote the Holy Laws with his own hand as Baha'u'llah dictated to him. 'Abdu'l-Baha immediately arose from his seat, grabbed Mirza Aqa Jan by the collar, slapped his turban off his head (a horrible insult to a Persian man), and violently threw him out of the room. Professor Edward Browne, in his book Materials for the Study of Babi Religion, writes:"He [Mirza Aqa Jan] was grievously maltreated, beaten, imprisoned in a stable, robbed of his books, threatened with strangulation and excommunication by the followers of 'Abdu'l-Baha." (p. 198)
Mirza Aqa Jan was literally tortured and threatened with death, but he was stedfast, and was eventually excommunicated by 'Abdu'l-Baha; along with his wife and children, because he agreed with the Branches (i.e. Mohammad Ali Effendi and Mirza Badi'u'llah) that 'Abdu'l-Baha was changing and distorting the revelations and holy laws of Baha'u'llah.
The Suicide of Nabil
Every Baha'i has heard of Nabil Zarandi. Many Iranian Baha'is name a son "Nabil" in honor of the author of The Dawnbreakers. Shoghi Effendi designated him as one of the "19 Apostles of Baha'u'llah". He is honored as a noble Baha'i to this day. However, Baha'is are not told the "rest of the story". According to Kashful-Hiyal Vol. I. P. 75, written by the former "Apostle of Baha'u'llah Mirza Jawab:"Abdul Baha Abbas became on bad terms with Nabil. He cast Nabil into the sea, drowned him with his own hands, or through his partisans, and afterwards spread the rumour that Nabil had drowned himself." (Kashful-Hiyal I:75)
Nabil Zarandi (c. 1890)
According to the memoirs of Baha'u'llah's second youngest son Mirza Badiullah surnamed the Most Luminous Branch by Baha:"One day (after the death of Baha'u'llah) his honourable mighty Nabil Zarandi had come to Haifa. He was very sad because of the ascension (i.e. the death of Baha'u'llah). He said that he could not stay in Acca, the situation was very bad. Nabil said to me:"One must, by the force of insult and damnation, consider the Opposed One (i.e 'Abdu'l-Baha) above [more important than] the Ancient Beauty (i.e. Baha'u'llah), (and one must) tell this to everyone and write about it and believe in his ('Abdu'l-Baha's) convictions (teachings), whilst the mighty branch (i.e. 'Abdu'l-Baha) considers the sacred writings and tablets (of Baha'u'llah) corrupted, (and he) excommunicates and libels (says untruths about) the Branches (younger sons of Baha'u'llah) and the Household (blood relatives of Baha'u'llah). Failure to do so, he would [have that person] be subject to a thousand lies and slanders. Give me a room in the slope of the Carmel Mountain; I wish to spend the rest of my life alone in the slope of this sacred mountain.""It is ready, I said (to Nabil)! The mentioned honorable (Nabil) went to Acca to bring his things (to Haifa); it took a while and no news of him reached (us). Later, we heard he was missing for a few days and he was searched for. Later, a person saw on the shore pieces of his body in his cloth (clothes). Pieces (of his body) were collected and buried. It is obvious that after returning to Haifa and his plea (to Abbas) for permission (to become a hermit on Mount Carmel so as not to follow 'Abdu'l-Baha), he was tortured to the extent that he had no option but to kill himself." (Memoirs of Badi'u'llah)
According to Mirza Badi'u'llah, the second youngest son of Baha'u'llah, Nabil Zarandi came to him one day, after the death of Baha'u'llah, asking permission to live as a hermit on Mount Carmel, to get away from 'Abdu'l-Baha who, according to Nabil, was changing the teachings and holy laws of Baha'u'llah, and also spreading lies against the entire Household of Baha'u'llah; all of whom had rejected 'Abdu'l-Baha and his many "innovations". Badi'u'llah tells Nabil that he has prepared a place for him on Mount Carmel to live, so Nabil goes back to the city of Acca (where most Baha'is then still lived) to get his things and bring them back to Haifa, but some of the more fanatical followers of 'Abdu'l-Baha stop him and torture him (as they did others who opposed 'Abdu'l-Baha) so much so that Nabil decided to kill himself by casting himself into the sea. How the body of Nabil became chopped up is still a mystery.
Mirza Badi'u'llah (c. 1920)
Still today, thousands of Persian Baha'is name their sons "Nabil" in honor of Nabil Zarandi. They are totally unaware that Nabil was totally against 'Abdu'l-Baha and the "changes" he made in Baha'i doctrine and holy laws. Baha'is today are told that Nabil committed suicide because of "grief" over the death of Baha'u'llah.
Mirza Jawab Accuses 'Abdu'l-Baha of Murder
According to Miza Jawab, a former close disciple and associate of Baha'u'llah who left the Faith after 'Abdu'l-Baha took power, Nabil Zarandi was murdered by either 'Abdu'l-Baha himself or by some of his followers on his orders. According to Badi'u'llah, the youngest son of Baha'u'llah, Nabil Zarandi killed himself either during or after being tortured by the followers of 'Abdu'l-Baha. One thing is clear: that Nabil rejected 'Abdu'l-Baha as the self-proclaimed "Interpreter" of the Writings of Baha'u'llah, and sided with the younger brothers (Mohammed Ali Effendi and Badi'u'llah), and was either killed by some overzealous follower or followers of 'Abdu'l-Baha or committed suicide. But, if he committed suicide, why did they find his body in "pieces"? Was he cut up by sharks? That mystery has not yet been solved, and probably never will be.
Baha'is believe that 'Abdu'l-Baha was a very gentile and peaceful soul, who only taught world peace and race and gender equality and wouldn't hurt a fly! But, the family of Baha'u'llah, those who grew up with him and knew him best, paint a very different picture of the man. They paint a picture of a man with a "light" and "dark" side; a "light" side he shows to wealthy American and European Baha'is, people who gave him money, and a "dark" side he shows when he thinks no outsider is looking. They said that 'Abdu'l-Baha loved to slap people who disagreed with him, and that he believed black Africans to be "lower than the animals" and could get violent on the slightest provocation, but that he was "all sweetness and light" when wealthy Western Baha'is from American and Europe came to see him.
'Abdu'l-Baha Excommunicates the Family of Baha'u'llah
According to the younger sons of Baha'u'llah (Mohammad Ali Effendi and Badi'u'llah), 'Abdu'l-Baha, the eldest son of Baha'u'llah, began to teach and do things contrary to what Baha'u'llah taught and wrote. 'Abdu'l-Baha found that Westerners (non-muslims) were not interested in Muslim prophecy, nor could they easily understand the concepts of "Gates" and "Wali" and "Dervish" and "Perfect Man" and such things both confused and bored them. 'Abdu'l-Baha found that the only thing the wealthy liberal Americans and Europeans were interested in was the discussion of world peace, and race unity, Esperanto, equal rights for women, universal education, and so forth. These wealthy Westerners were Liberals, and all were involved in liberal social causes. Most of them weren't interested in Mystical Sufi doctrines of Baha'u'llah. They were interested in Liberal social causes such as World Peace, Race unity, equality of men and women, eliminating prejudice of all kinds, and so forth. 'Abdu'l-Baha "ran" with that, and developed a set of 11 "Baha'i Principles" that centered on those things which the educated liberal Westerners were interested in hearing about and discussing. And it worked...like a charm!
The younger sons of Baha'u'llah, Mohammad Ali Effendi and Mirza Badi'u'llah and Ziya'u'llah, all tried to get 'Abdu'l-Baha to repent and change these new teachings, but 'Abdu'l-Baha went to a Turkish lawyer, who represented him in the Turkish courts in Palestine (then a Turkish province), and, because he was the eldest son (who inherit all according to Turkish law), he took possession of the Baha'i holy places in Haifa, Akka, and Bahji, as well as all of the Tablets (epistles) of Baha'u'llah. He also took control of the mailing lists of Baha'is in Palestine, Iran, Egypt, and Cyprus. 'Abdu'l-Baha then excommunicated the other sons of Baha'u'llah (including their wives and children) except for his own daughters and their husbands and children. Shoghi Effendi, the eldest son of his eldest daughter, became Guardian (a position like Pope) of the Baha'i Faith upon the death of 'Abdu'l-Baha in 1921.
Muhammad Ali Effendi, the second eldest son of Baha'u'llah, wrote and taught in his lifetime that the religion of Baha'u'llah was Islaam, that he never (Baha'u'llah) never claimed to be a Messenger of God, but was a Dervish who founded a Sufi Order, but that 'Abdu'l-Baha was changing doctrines. All of the blood relatives of Baha'u'llah (The Aghsan) sided with Muhammed Ali Effendi, and against 'Abdu'l-Baha.
'Abdu'l-Baha declared his brothers, uncles, cousins, their wives and children, Nawkawzeen ("violators") and told his own family (his daughters, their husbands, and their children), and the Baha'is of the world (because he owned the mailing lists too), to shun the other Branches (other sons of Baha'u'llah), and their wives and children, and not even talk to them. 'Abdu'l-Baha told the wealthy American and British Baha'is who came to see him: "When two people argue, both are wrong". Yet, he believe he was right in his disagreement with the rest of his family. Mohammad Ali Effendi tried to meet and talk with his older brother, but 'Abdu'l-Baha always refused. The Aghsan began to call themselves the "Unitarians" because they were "united" in their opposition to the "innovations" of 'Abdu'l-Baha. Their claims were:
o 'Abdu'l-Baha was changing the laws of Baha'u'llah, for example, Baha'u'llah allowed the Baha'is to take two wives and one concubine (i.e. a servant girl who worked in the home--many wealthy Persian men at that time--including Baha'is-- owned black slaves, and the female salve would usually be a concubine to the Master), but 'Abdu'l-Baha interpreted that to mean one wife only and no concubines. His justification was all wives/concubines had to be treated equally, and since that was impossible, what Baha'u'llah really "meant" was one wife only and no concubines. Baha'u'llah himself had three wives and a concubine:
*Asiyih Khanum (married in 1835)
*Mahd 'Ulya Fatimah (m. 1849)
*Gawher Khanum (m. 1862)
*Jamiliyyih Khanum (concubine/servant girl acquired in 1867)
Note: Just about all wealthy Persian men in the 19th century had "maidservants" and all of these maidservants were "concubines" meaning their employers had sexual rights over them, because no woman not blood-related to a Muslim grown male was permitted to serve him in private, in his bedroom, make his bed, draw his bath, without being a concubine ("wife" without legal standing). Baha'u'llah wrote a Tablet to Jamiliyyah saying:
He is the All-Knowing, the Wise. O Jamáliyyih, upon thee rest My Glory of God, My bounties, and My favors. I bear witness that thou didst attain My presence, and wast privileged to serve Me in the daytime and in the night season, in such wise that never wast thou overtaken by torpor in My service, nor prevented by any obstacle from serving Me, nor from standing before My Countenance. Rejoice thou at the testimony of My Most Exalted Pen, and say: “Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! I ask Thee by Thy Most Great Name. Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! I ask Thee by Thy Name whereby Thou hast subdued the kingdoms of earth and heaven, and made manifest the secrets of the realm of glory, to assist me to remain steadfast in Thy love, in Thy commemoration, and in Thy Cause. Thou, verily, art the All-Bountiful, the Most Merciful.” The Glory of Our presence rest upon thee, O My maidservant and My leaf, thou who circlest around Me at eventide and at dawn; and upon every maidservant who attaineth unto this Wondrous Cause, and who reverenceth thy station for the sake of God, the Almighty, the All- Praised. (A Life with 'Abdu'l-Baha, p.30)
Note: Baha'u'llah referred to his wives as his "leaves". He called Jamiliyyah "My leaf". Jamiliyyah Khanum never married, but was the "maidservant" of Baha'u'llah until his death in 1892. Persian noblemen (Baha'u'llah was the son of a Persian nobleman) almost always had "maidservants" who were their concubines. Baha'i apologists now deny that Baha'u'llah had any concubines, and some even suggest that he had only one "true" wife and just married the other women to care for them as widows, but in fact none were widows before they married him and he had children by all three of his wives.
The younger sons of Baha'u'llah (Mohammad Ali Effendi and Mirza Badi'u'llah and Ziya'u'llah) also claimed:
o 'Abdu'l-Baha was claiming that The Báb and Baha'u'llah was Messengers of God, but both The Báb and Baha'u'llah wrote that Muhammad (pbuh) was the Last Messenger (Razool) and Last Prophet (Nabi).
o 'Abdu'l-Baha preached that reincarnation was false, but The Báb taught that it was true under the name "rajat" (Arabic: "return"), and The Báb clearly identified his 18 "Letters of the Living" (first 18 disciples) as the "return" of Muhammad (pbuh), Fatimah, the 12 Imaams (including the Hidden Imaam), and the 4 Gates (Abvab).
o'Abdu'l-Baha presented himself to the wealthy European and American Baha'is who visited him, and supported him with donations, as a kindly grandfather like figure, but in fact 'Abdu'l-Baha had a habit of slapping people who disagreed with him, or said anything he didn't like, and he would tell obscene jokes about the sons of his enemies. For example, he would say that the son of a certain man--an enemy of his named Siyyid Mihdih (a disciple of Muhammad Ali Effendi) -- used to suck on the penises of male goats, thinking they were female goats, and mistook their semen for milk (A Life with 'Abdu'l-Baha by Khalil Shahidi, p.43).
o Badi'u'llah, the second youngest son of Baha'u'llah, and a disciple of his brother Mohammad Ali Effendi, wrote in the 1930s:"Outwardly Abbas Effendi ['Abdu'l-Baha] is light, and inwardly darkness. With all frankness I can state that ninety percent of what he has bruited about or written as regards the events at Akka as well as the history of the Cause before and after the ascension [i.e. Baha's death] to this day, are contrary to the truth; because they are based on self-interest, namely, to annihilate the branches, Baha's family, and the writings of the Pen of the Most Glorious [Baha], and to designate a degenerate successor [i.e. homosexual successor, meaning Shoghi Effendi], as evidenced as clear as the sun at noon-day." (Memories of Badi'u'llah, pp.56-7)
o In 1902 the Baha'is of Chicago form a 19 member "House of Spirituality" composed of men and women, but 'Abdu'l-Baha discovers this and writes to them telling them that women cannot serve on any House of Justice, by whatever name, and orders them to remove all the women from the Chicago House of Spirituality, and bring the number down from 19 men and women to 9 men. Shoghi Effendi later "changed" this holy law, allowing women to serve on all Houses of Justice (local and national) except the Universal House of Justice.
o The younger sons of Baha'u'llah (the Aghsan which means "Branches") said that the peaceful, kind, grandfatherly and anti-racist 'Abdu'l-Baha was a façade, like an actor in a play, so that wealthy and liberal American and British Baha'is would make donations to the Faith, and 'Abdu'l-Baha controlled all donations. . All sons and daughters of Baha'u'llah, save for 'Abdu'l-Baha, claim that he was a racist, and was open about this to Baha'is who spoke Farsi and Arabic, and his "race unity" speeches was merely a ploy (a scheme) to get money from wealthy liberal Baha'is from Europe and America. I do not claim this. I am merely saying that the younger sons of Baha'u'llah claimed this. Baha'is cannot believe the younger sons of Baha'u'llah! They cannot believe that 'Abdu'l-Baha could be a racist, but his younger brothers believed he was.
Here are quotes from 'Abdu'l-Baha from books in English approved by the Universal House of Justice (the nine-man council that governs the Baha'i Faith world-wide):
The inhabitants of a country life Africa are all as wandering savages and wild animals. They lack intelligence and knowledge; all are uncivilized; not one civilized and a wise man is not to be found among them. These are the proofs of the wise men. The prophets also acknowledge this opinion, towit: That education hath a great effect upon the human race, but they declare that minds and comprehensions are originally different. And this matter is self-evident; it cannot be refuted. We see that certain children of the same age, nativity and race, nay, from the same household, under the tutorship of one teacher, differ in their minds and comprehensions. One advanceth rapidly, another is slow in catching the rays of culture, still another remaineth in the lowest degree of stupidity. No matter how much the shell is educated (or polished), it can never become a radiant pearl. The black stone will not become the world-illumined gem." (Tablets of 'Abdu'l-Baha p.567 vv.3-4)
'Abdu'l-Baha wrote a tablet to August Forel; whom He considered to be a 'wise man'. Forel believed that Negroes were "inherently inferior" to Caucasians, and could never ever be equal to them in intelligence. Forel was an early Western Bahá'í. Forel wrote:"...the brain of the Negro is weaker than that of the white... Even for their own good the blacks must be treated as what they are, an absolutely subordinate, inferior, lower type of man, incapable themselves of culture. That must once and for all be clearly and openly stated." (August Forel, quoted in Houston S. Chamberlain's _The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century_)
'Abdu'l-Baha, in His Tablet (Epistle) to Forel, writes:"O revered personage, lover of truth! ***Thy works are no doubt of great benefit, and if published, send us a copy." (verse 6:1,7)
Book about August Forel as a Baha'i
That Tablet to August Forel is infallible Scripture to Baha'is, because it was written by the Pen of 'Abdu'l-Baha. They claim he has a "unique spiritual station" that is so unique it does not have a name. They deny he was a Manifestation of God, but, still believe his writings are infallible Scripture, and they are part of the Baha'i Holy Books.
'Abdu'l-Baha called Forel a "lover of truth!" and that his works were of great value. August Forel was a Swiss psychologist, a disciple of Sigmund Freud, but also a founder of the Monist League; a group of German and Swiff philosophers who believed that "Negroes" were not human but belonged to the "ape" family.
From a book published by the Monist League in Forel's day. Notice black man in tree lower right corner. After becoming a Baha'i in 1920, Forel continued his work with the Monist League, and even published a racist article in The Baha'i World in 1928, while Shoghi Effendi was editor of that publication.
The article by August Forel in the March 1928 edition of The Baha'i World, quoted and recommended scientific racist authors, while Shoghi Effendi, the grandson of 'Abdu'l-Baha, was Guardian (same as a "Pope") of the Baha'i Faith. It is impossible that Shoghi Effendi did not know about that article. He never recanted it, nor condemned it nor commented on it, but once purported told his wife (Mary Maxwell) and her mother (May Maxwell) in Haifa:"Men are not born equal; that is a fundamental principle of the Cause." (Haifa Notes of Shoghi Effendi's Word, by Mary Maxwell, 1:37)
'Abdu'l-Baha also wrote this about black Africans:"It is, therefore, certain that sins such as anger, jealousy, dispute, coventouness, avarice, ignorance, prejudice, hatred, pride, and tyranny exist in the physical world. All these brutal qualities exist in the nature of man. A man who had not had a spirutal education is a brute. Like the savages of Africa, whose actions, habits and morals are purely sensual, they act according to the demands of nature to such a degree that they rent and eat one another." (Some Answered Questions 29:5)
"As ignorance is the cause of crimes, the more knowledge and science increases, the more crimes will diminish. Consider how often murder occurs among the barbarians of Africa; they even kill one another to eat each other's flesh and blood!" (Some Answered Questions 77:13)
"If a child is left in its natural state and deprived of education, there is no doubt that it will grow up in ignorance and illiteracy, its mental faculties dulled and dimmed; in fact, it will become like an animal. This is evident among the savages of central African [original "Sudan"], who are scarcely higher than the beast in mental development." (The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.311)
The part translated "central Africa" says "Sudan" in the original, which means "land of the blacks" in Arabic and Farsi. 'Abdu'l-Baha was not referring only to central Africa, nor to the Central African Republic, nor to the country called today "Sudan", but to the "Land of the Blacks" which meant all of sub-Saharan Africa; excluding only North Africa, the land of the light-skinned Arabs, Egyptians, Berbers, and Moors.
'Abdu'l-Baha taught (in 1913) that black people should ever be grateful to white people:"The black man must ever be grateful to the white man, for he has manifested great courage and self-sacrifice in behalf of the black race. Four years he fought their cause, enduring severe hardships, sacrificing life, family, treasure, all for his black brother until the great war ended in the proclamation of freedom. By this effort and accomplishment the black race throughout the world was influenced and benefited. Had this not been accomplished, the black man in Africa would still be bound by the chains of slavery. Therefore, his race should everywhere be grateful, for no greater evidence of humanism and courageous devotion could be shown than the white man has displayed. If the blacks of the United States forget this sacrifice, zeal and manhood on the part of the whites, no ingratitude could be greater or more censurable. If they could see the wretched conditions and surroundings of the black people of Africa today, the contrast would be apparent and the fact clearly evident that the black race in America enjoys incomparable advantages. The comfort and civilization under which they live here are due to the white man's effort and sacrifice. Had this sacrifice not been made, they would still be in the bonds and chains of slavery, scarcely lifted out of an aboriginal condition. Therefore, always show forth your gratitude to the white man. (The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.12)
How did black Americans live in 1913 when 'Abdu'l-Baha said this? Well? Black man, black woman, are you grateful to the white man for all he's done for you?
Did 'Abdu'l-Baha teach that all races were equal in intelligence? He wrote:"Ten children of the same age, with equal station of birth, taught in the same school, partaking of the same food, in all respects subject to the same environment, their interests equal andin common, will evidence separate and distinct degrees of capability and advancement; some exceedingly intelligent and progressive, some of mediocre ability, others limited and incapable. One may become a learned professor while another under the same course of education proves dull and stupid. From all standpoints the opportunities have been equal but the results and outcomes vary from the highest to the lowest degree of advancement. It is evident therefore that mankind differs in natal capacity and intrinsic intellectual endowment." (Foundation of World Unity, pp.54-5 verse 3)
In volume three of Khatabat, published by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Iran, 'Abdu'l-Baha writes:"The wild tribes of black Africa have no superiority over the animals." (Khatabat 3:48)
'Abdu'l-Baha actually taught that the Persian race (his own) was the most innately superior of all races:"It should not be imagined that the people of Persia are inherently deficient in intelligence, or that for essential perceptiveness and understanding, inborn sagacity, intuition and wisdom, or innate capacity, they are inferior to others. God forbid! On the contrary, they have always excelled all other peoples in endowments conferred by birth." (Secret of Divine Civilization, p.9)
He also wrote:"Every imperfect soul is self-centred and thinketh only of his own good. But as his thoughts expand a little he will begin to think of the welfare and comfort of his family. If his ideas still more widen, his concern will be the felicity of his fellow citizens; and if still they widen, he will be thinking of the glory of his land and of his race." (Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, p.69)
There are many American Baha'is who are African-Americans. This is because they have been told that the Baha'i Faith is the only "racist free" religion; that it alone has no history of racism at all. In truth, both The Báb and Baha'u'llah owned black slaves and did many early wealthy Baha'i families (see the book Black Pearls by Kalimat Press, an independent Baha'i publisher). The Baha'is continued to hold black slaves (not "servants" but slaves) until the British ended slavery in Egypt in the 1890s and in Palestine in 1920. Baha'u'llah, in his Most Holy Book, forbade Baha'is from engaging in the "slave trade" (a very violent and bloody occupation) but he did not forbid them from owning black slaves. The slave "trade" (which was very bloody and brutal) and owning black slaves were two different things.
In the book Khatabat (Farsi: "Speeches") in Farsi (Persian), on pages 236-7, we find 'Abdu'l-Baha saying the following:
"Thus it is proved that the world of nature is imperfect and dark. If a child is born and we do not nurture him and we abandon him in his natural state what will happen? Without a doubt, he will remain ignorant and without cognition and he will be an animal. Look at the inhabitants of black Africa who are like animals and even inferior. Thus we can see how divine nurturing influences the world of humanity. The world of nature is the world of the animal.” (Khatabat 2:236-7)
The word 'Abdu'l-Baha uses, here translated "black Africa" is "Sudan" which is the Arabic word for the portion of Africa were the "blacks" live; not North Africa where the light-skinned Arabs and Berbers live. Arabs referred to black Africa as "Sudan" long before the country of Sudan came into being. He is referring to all of sub-Saharan black Africa. The books titled Khatabat ("Speeches") were speeches of 'Abdu'l-Baha, and the books were published by the Baha'i National Spiritual Assembly of Iran, in 1936. Below are photocopies of the actual pages (236-7) from Khatabat--
Khatabat (Book 2:236-7)
If you read Farsi (Persian), or have a friend who does, have them read this, and translate it for you! Go to a Baha'i Center, and find a Persian Baha'i who reads Farsi, and take photocopies of these Farsi pages, and ask them to read it! Ask them "why" the Universal House of Justice has told Baha'i translators to "not translate" these books, published by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Iran. Why did the Baha'i leaders in Iran publish this book, and sell it to Baha'is for 70 years, if it was a "mistranslation"? Why evidence does anyone have that this was "mistranslated"?
'Abdu'l-Baha also is recorded to have used the Farsi (Persian) word "kaka siah" which means "nigger" in English. It does not mean "negro" nor "black person". It means "nigger". It is a racist word.
According to Ahang Rabbani, a Baha'i translator at the Baha'i World Centre in Haifa in the 1980s, this is how 'Abdu’l-Baha had compared Baha’is with non-Baha’is:
“‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “The least of the friends is better than the fairest of the nonbelievers.” Moreover, He used to say, “The worst of the friends is better than the best of the nonbelievers.”” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 81)
Ahang Rabbani deliberately mistranslated what 'Abdu'l-Baha actually said. For now we will ignore this discrepancy for there is a more severe fault here. This is the image if the original Farsi manuscript:
The section marked in red that has been uttered by Abdu’l-Baha reads: “یک کاکاسیاه احباب بهتر از یک حوریه اغیار است”
Which translates literally to:
“A Baha’i nigger is better than a non-Baha’i nymph”!
The meaning is that a "kaka siah" (Farsi: "nigger") is a very low thing but a "hooree" (Farsi: "nymph") is the best thing, but that a Baha'i "nigger" is better than a non-Baha'i "nymph" meaning "Our niggers are better than YOUR nymphs!" That is what 'Abdu'l-Baha actually said. The House (UHJ) in Haifa wanted to "hide" that, so the original was deliberately mistranslated into English to leave out the word "nigger" and "nymph". This deliberate mistranslation of the original Farsi into English so as to not "offend" Western Baha'i "sensitivities" is not uncommon at all. Such a statement by 'Abdu'l-Baha would not shock to many older Persian Baha'is, but it would be quite "shocking" to Western (non-Persian) Baha'is; so the House ordered it "edited out".
In the original Farsi (Persian) 'Abdu'l-Baha wrote:"A Baha'i nigger is better than a non-Baha'i nymph!" (Khatabat, p.237)
'Abdu'l-Baha describes black Africans as "savages" and "lower than the animal" and referred to them as "kakasiah" (Farsi: "Niggers"). He also said that the Persian race (his own race) were the most intelligent (superior) at birth. Had any other man except 'Abdu'l-Baha said these things, he would be called a "racist" and shunned by the Baha'is. But, because he is 'Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'is feel they can "explain away" his words as "out of context". But the truth is...they are not out of context. He thought of black Africans as "kakashiah" and "savages" and "deprived of intelligence and wisdom" and "lower than the animal". IS THAT ___NOT__ RACIST?
If 'Abdu'l-Baha was a racist, then WHY did he preach "Race Unity" all the time? According to ther other sons of Baha'u'llah (Mohammad Ali Effendi, Badi'u'llah, and Ziya'u'llah), 'Abdu'l-Baha preached Race Unity so that wealthy white Liberal British and American Baha'is would keep sending him money! Simple as that. 'Abdu'l-Baha would preach "equality of men and women" and "world peace" and "race unity" and wealthy Liberal Baha'is in America and Britain would send him money. Pretty simple.
Apologies for using the "n" word! The original Farsi word 'Abdu’l-Baha used is ‘kaka siah’ (کاکا سیاه) which is the exact Farsi (Persian) equivalent of ‘nigger’ in English. This was deliberately mistranslated into English as "The least of the Friends (Baha'is) are better than a non-Believer". Why the mistranslation? Simple. Because Baha'is today view 'Abdu'l-Baha as a loving and grandfatherly preacher of Race Unity, love, and peace. The "'Abdu'l-Baha" that Baha'is have been told to believe in is quite different from the real 'Abdu'l-Baha of history: a man known well by the Household of Baha'u'llah as being very racist (to everyone but the wealthy American and British liberal Baha'is who donated money to him), and even "violent" when people disagreed with him.
All of the household (extended family) of Baha''llah rejected 'Abdu'l-Baha, except for the daughters of 'Abdu'l-Baha and their husbands. All of the blood relatives of Baha'u'llah, except for 'Abdu'l-Baha and his daughters, followed the younger sons of Baha'u'llah: Mohammad Ali Effendi and Badi'u'llah and Ziya'u'llah. 'Abdu'l-Baha referred to them as the Nakazeen ("Violators"), but they referred to themselves as the "Unitarians"; because they were "united" in their opposition to 'Abdu'l-Baha and his "changes" he was making to Baha'i doctrine and holy laws. Here is what the "Unitarians" had to claim against 'Abdu'l-Baha:
o They claim that 'Abdu'l-Baha preached Race Unity (love and peace between races) to the liberal European and American Baha'is who donated money to him, but that was all an act, because he was in fact a racist, calling blacks "kaka siah" (Farsi: "niggers") and calling black Africans "cows that God created in the shape of human beings" (Talks of 'Abdu'l-Baha in America and Europe, in Farsi, p.203)
o They claimed that 'Abdu'l-Baha uttered false prophecies, like when he told George Esselmont (author of Baha'u'llah and the New Era) that Universal Peace would be established by 1957: "'What shall we see at the end of the 1335 days?' [from the Hagira of Muhammad]," Abdu'l-Baha's reply was: "'Universal Peace will be firmly established, a Universal language promoted. Misunderstandings will pass away. The Baha'i Cause will be promulgated in all parts and the oneness of mankind established. It will be most glorious!" (Baha'u'llah and the New Era, 1923 edition, p.212: this paragraph removed from all editions after 1950)
The descendants of the other sons of Baha'u'llah still exist today, in Israel and Palestine, and other places, and often use the surname of "Behai". They had to "sue" Shoghi Effendi in an Israeli court, in the 1950s, to win the right to visit the Holy Shrine (burial place) of Baha'u'llah. They won their case, and the Israeli judge in the case "chided" Shoghi Effendi for being heartless and dishonest in the affair. They cannot join the Faith unless unless they write a letter renouncing their ancestors as "liars". Most call themselves "Muslim" and see Baha'u'llah as a Dervish (Muslim holy man) and nothing more than that. Any Baha'i who speaks with any of the Aghsan (blood descendants of Baha'u'llah) can be declared a "Covenant-Breaker" and shunned by all other Baha'is, even their own close relatives, for life.
This is what 'Abdu'l-Baha had to say about his younger brothers, and their wives and children (which he excommunicated):“They are senile like arrogant fools and not seashells full of gems. They are ecstatic from the smell of garbage like dung beetles and not from the scent of a flower of gardens. They are lowly earthworms buried beneath the great earth not high flying birds. They are bats of darkness not the searchlights of clear horizons. They always make excuses and like ravens, have nested in the landfills of fall (Autumn) . . . so you Oh true friend and spiritual helper . . . attack these unjust foxes and like a high soaring eagle drive away these hateful ravens from this field,” `Abdu’l-Bahā, Makātīb (Egypt), vol. 1, pp. 442–443.
'Abdu'l-Baha referred to his brothers as "dung beetles" and "arrogant fools" and "lowly earthworms" but his brothers did not respond with hate or bad words, but simply said "Let us have peace!" but 'Abdu'l-Baha refused, and excommunicated them and their wives and children, for all generations. If one of their descendants wishes to become a Baha'i, they must say "My ancestors were all liars" or they are refused! Baha'is are told that 'Abdu'l-Baha was right and good, and the other sons (Aghsan) of Baha'u'llah were wrong and evil. We believe that it was 'Abdu'l-Baha who was wrong, and the other sons of Baha'u'llah (Muhammad Ali Effendi and Badi'u'llah) were good and right. What do "you" think?
Baha'u'llah gave to his second son, Mohammad Ali Effendi, the title of "Ghosn-i-Akbar" ("Most Holy Branch"), but after 'Abdu'l-Baha declared his brothers and their families "Nakezeen" ("Violators") he referred to his brother Mohammad Ali Effendi as "Hatam-i-Akbar" ("Most Great Firewood") i.e. firewood meant to burn in Hell.
The Aghsan (blood descendants of Baha'u'llah) still are alive today: in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Europe, and North America. As far as I know, none of them have become Baha'is. In order to do so, they could have to call their grandfathers and great-grandfathers "liars" and "shun" all their "Behai" relatives. The Aghsan (blood descendants of Baha'u'llah) today believe that Baha'u'llah was a "Wali" (Saint) and "Murshid" (Sufi Master), and his religion "Islaam". They believe he tried to become the Founder of a new Sufi Order, based upon the Naqshbandi Sufi Order. and NOT a new World Religion! They accuse Shoghi Effendi and the Universal House of Justice in Haifa of lying and covering-up the truth; which explains the reason "why" the House has suppressed most old Baha'i publications, and refused to publish most of the writings of The Báb, as well as "all" of the holy writings of Quddús, and the books and letters by many other early Bábís and Baha'is.
Nigar Behai Amsalem (granddaughter of Mohammad Ali Effendi, second son of Baha'u'llah). Photo from an interview in the Israeli film Baha'is in my Back Yard
Nigar and her sister Maliha Behai, wrote the following in the Foreward to the book A Lost History of the Baha'i Faith (edited by Eric Stetson) in which they say:"Our grandfather Mohammed Ali [Effendi] has been portrayed in Baha’i literature as a ruthless man who was obsessed with gaining power for himself and destroying Abbas Effendi ['Abdu'l-Baha]. From the perspective of those who knew him personally, this is nothing but a laughable caricature. The man we knew was a gentleman whose religious beliefs were focused not on power or who should wield it, but on living according to the teachings of his father, Baha’u’llah, in his private life — a life of prayer, meditation, and cultivating a moderate lifestyle and a humble and kindly spirit.
The source of the dispute was in Baha’u’llah’s will, which says that he had chosen Abbas Effendi as his first successor and then Mohammed Ali. Our grandfather often mentioned Baha’u’llah’s teaching of the virtue of a gentle tongue and the danger of angry speech. Ironically, he was constantly slandered during his lifetime, and his rights and property were taken from him because it was not in his nature to fight back. He had opportunities to defend himself and his rights, but his devotion to Baha’u’llah’s teachings was so uncompromising and his personality so meek that he preferred to endure the injustices he faced with silence and resignation, rather than bringing the Baha’i name into the law courts. This was out of respect, not weakness — respect for the Baha’i faith that was so instilled in his soul." (A Lost History of the Baha'i Faith, foreword)
The Four Sons of Baha'u'llah
The four sons of Baha'u'llah who lived until adulthood were:
'Abdu'l-Baha: Shunned and excommunicated all his brothers, their wives, and children. Made obscene jokes about their children sucking goat penis' and mistaking their semen for milk. Called his younger brothers horrible and disrespectful names. Mocked his brother Mohammad Ali Effendi, by calling him "The Most Great Fire-Wood". Praised the racist and eugenicist August Forel. Referred to blacks as "savages and "cows with human faces" and "lower than the animal" and "lower than beasts" and "kakasiah" (Farsi: "niggers"). Slapped people who disagreed with him. Refused to discuss his brothers with George Kheiralla ("Baha's Peter"). Beat up Baha'u'llah's personal secretary Mirza Aqa Jan: in front of his brothers and other witnesses. Attended a Muslim masjid every Friday. Taught the Baha'is "If two parties argue...both are wrong". Changed some of Baha'u'llah's holy laws: such as the law allowing two wives and one concubine (servant girl) to strict monogramy. Buried with Muslim (not Baha'i) burial rites.
Mohammad Ali Effendi: Tried to peacefully discus their differences with his older brother. Never called 'Abdu'l-Baha any names nor told jokes about 'Abdu'l-Baha nor the children of those who followed him. Shunned nobody for any reason. Preached that Baha'u'llah was a Perfect Man (Sufi Saint) and not a Messenger or Prophet, that Islaam was the religion of Baha'u'llah, and that Baha'u'llah was the founder of a Sufi Order (Beha'i Order) and not a new religion. Excommunicated by 'Abdu'l-Baha. His wife and children were also excommunicated.
Badi'u'llah: Claimed 'Abdu'l-Baha distorted Baha'i history, and was "on the outside all good light but on the inside very dark". Claimed 'Abdu'l-Baha put up a false front when around Americans and British Baha'is, in order to get their financial donations. Claimed followers of 'Abdu'l-Baha tortured Nabil Zarandi (author of "The Dawnbreakers") until Nabil killed himself; because Nabil rejected 'Abdu'l-Baha in favor of the younger Brothers. Excommunicated by 'Abdu'l-Baha. His wife and children were also excommunicated.
Ziya'u'llah (sometimes spelled "Diya'u'llah"): Sided with Mohammad Ali Effendi and Badi'u'llah, but did not like debates and refused to get angry with anyone. He refused to argue, but he also refused to shun his brothers and their families, as 'Abdu'l-Baha ordered. Excommunicted by 'Abdu'l-Baha. His wife and children were also excommunicated.
'Abdu'l-Baha also excommunicated the widows of Baha'u'llah: except for his own mother.
The entire family of Baha'u'llah (Aghsan) rejected 'Abdu'l-Baha and his "innovations". He had them all excommunicated, and cut them off from their inheritances (a violation of Baha'i holy law). 'Abdu'l-Baha told the Baha'is to treat enemies as friends, but he treated his own brothers, and their wives and children, as his enemies: calling them names such as "worms" and "frogs" and "gnats". He made obscene jokes about their children. He shunned them, and commanded the Baha'is to do the same. When George Kheiralla (whom 'Abdu'l-Baha called "Baha's Peter") wanted to discuss the issue, 'Abdu'l-Baha shunned him to. Kheirulla had converted about 3,000 Westerners (affluent Americans and British) to the Faith. 'Abdu'l-Baha referred to black Africans as "cows with human faces" and "savages" and "kakasiah" (Farsi: "niggers"), and said they "have no superiority over the animals". Yet, in front of wealthy Americans and British Baha'is, who had lots of money, he spoke only loving words of Race Unity, the end of prejudice, and color-blind universal brotherhood. In return, these wealthy American and British Baha'is sent him money.
"The wild tribes of black Africa have no superiority to the animals." ('Abdu'l-Baha, Khatabat 3:38)
"Look at the inhabitants of black Africa who are like animals and even inferior." ('Abdu'l-Baha, Khatabat 2:237)
The Universal House of Justice, the 9-man elected governing body of the Baha'i Faith worldwide, has refused to allow Khatabat (published by the Baha'is of Egypt for over 100 years) to be translated and published in English. I wonder why???
In Part II we will examine the administration of Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, and what happened to the Faith after his death in 1957.