Challenge to the Haifan Baha’i Leadership: Mubahala


 In the Name of the Godhead the Compassionate, the Merciful! 

Glory be to the One Living Godhead, no other god is there besides It, the Lord of the Heavens, the Lord of the earth, the Lord of what is between them, the Lord of all the worlds! Glorified, the Holy, the Lord of the Angels and the Spirit; the First, the Last, the Manifest, the Hidden, the Lord of the seen and the Lord of the unseen, verily indeed the Lord of all the worlds! And the splendor of the Godhead be upon the First Unity from before and after; and salutations and blessings be upon the truly sent Messenger Apostles and the Providential Guides, and praised be the Godhead the Light upon Light, the Life Supreme of all the worlds!  

Mubâhila ((مباهلة is an ancient Arab rite of sacralized verbal jousting – or mutual execration, cursing or imprecation – that is a legitimized practice in Islâm as well as the Bayân. It was vigorously employed by the founder of Islâm Himself (sws), including by His successors amongst the People of the House (as), as well as by the generations of faithful afterwards, especially amongst the Twelver Shi’a. It usually involves two opposing factions or parties meeting each other face to face in a public assembly or gathering, and, rather than resorting to force of arms or physical violence, instead calling down the divine wrath (qahr-i-ilahi) upon each other in turn until the matter be decided as favoring the victory of one party over the other. Often times victory is decided either by eloquent argument, a piece of verse or some other locution involving both – or a prayer –  which is better or more powerfully delivered than the opposing side: successful delivery which is deemed, then, a decisive sign of divine intercession or divine favor in the matter for the victorious party. Sometimes even the change in a general mood, an ambience, the weather or the occurrence of an on-the-spot supernatural event (even the unbidden appearance of an animal, especially a bird) can tilt victory over to one side rather than the other. Combinations of all the above factors is regularly reported in the various sources as to the outcome of a session of mubâhila. The face to face aspect and, specifically, the eloquent calling down of the divine wrath (qahr-i-ilahi) is the key formula of this sacralized rite of confrontation and execratory cursing. See the informative entry on the subject by Schumaker in The Encyclopedia of Islam², Vol. 7, p. 276 

The thoroughly magical-occult subtext of this whole rite should be especially noted here. In other words, properly contextualized, mubâhila is a classic formulation of magical-occult warfare (eg. white magicians versus black sorcerers). The Qur’ân outright justifies the practice in 3:61, the verse specifically revealed to address the dispute with the delegation of Christians from Najran in the 9th year of the Hijra who came to argue the Prophet’s christology and ended up being converted to Islam. Practices similar to mubâhala can be argued to have existed amongst the ancient Israelite people as well. Sans the ensuing physical massacre, the Prophet Elijah’s confrontation and victory at Mount Carmel (as recounted in Malakim/Kings I chp. 18) over the priests of the pagan Canaanite god Baal/Hubal (the Hebracized ‘Belial’) is a classic, Biblical example of a mubâhila. More recently, it is held anecdotally by some that the death of the founder of the Ahmadîya sect, Mîrzâ Ghulâm Ahmad Qâdîânî (d. 1908), was consequent to the victory in mubâhala by a party of orthodox Muslim disputants set out to refute his claims in person. For the du‘â yawm al–mubâhala (prayer of the day of mutual execration), which is the doxology claimed to have been specifically improvised by the Prophet and the Companions of the Cloak (ahl al-kissa) (as) on the day in question, although incomplete, Stephan Lambden’s treatment currently stands as the best available introductory source in English online, or anywhere else for that matter, see For a full text with a relatively inelegant English translation and introduction (together with transliteration of the Arabic), see The popular Du’a al-Sahar (Dawn Prayer) of the fifth Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (as) is a shortened version of this prayer and derives from it. The current textual recension for the du‘â yawm al–mubâhila and the Dawn Prayer both remains the popular 19th century compilation by Shaykh ‘Abbâs alQummî entitled Mafâtih alJinân (The Keys to the Heavens).


This stated, I would like to now formally submit a public challenge to  mubâhila to the nine members of the present Haifan Baha’i Universal House of Justice as well as the entire conclave of their Institution of the Learned (i.e. Counsellors, Auxilliary Board members, etc.). If my travel and accomodation expenses can be furnished, I am happy to do it – in fact I insist we do it – in Haifa, occupied Palestine, upon Mount Carmel itself (i.e. the same location whereby the Prophet Elijah (as) conducted His own mubâhila with the high priests of Hubal some three-thousand years ago). If the UHJ should win this contest, I will readily submit to them and immediately undertake to publicly renounce all my positions and allow them to make an example of me forevermore. If, however, I should win instead the Universal House Justice and the Haifan Baha’i establishment en toto must immediately undertake to implement the 19 terms and conditions previously delineated.


I close now with verse 61 of Qur’ân 3 (Âli Imrân):



 Say, “Come! Let us gather together – Our sons and your sons, Our women and your women, Ourselves and yourselves: Then let us earnestly pray, and invoke the wrath of the Godhead upon those who lie!”


 אתה ארור בליאל 

Wahid Azal


14th of Hayy, day of Wujûd, Year 4 N.U.R.




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