We Muslims have a love affair with the word Islamic. We are obsessed with putting it at the front of almost all other words. We have an Islamic version of everything: Islamic government, Islamic countries, Islamic tax system, Islamic economics, Islamic banking system, Islamic humor, Islamic punishments, Islamic foods, Islamic beer, Islamic dress, Islamic swim suit, Islamic fashion show, and moronically, Islamic toilet. You name it and we concoct an Islamic version of it.
Our fascination with the Islamization of the universe is not an epidemic psychological anomaly; it is an imperative historical necessity, albeit irritable at times. It is a tendency unique only to Muslims and has been used cunningly by Islamic leaders who crave loyalty as an effective strategy to foment faithfulness among believers and solidify attachment to Islam. Although this control strategy is an interesting topic in itself, it is not the focus of this article. My hope here is to be able to shed some light on another still unsettled issue which is the question of what is true Islam? Islam is a garden-variety religion with many divisions and sects. The adherents of each sect claim that they are the true Muslims, hence, each has a monopoly on access to the gates of heaven. Discussed more often, especially in the Western media, is the division of Islam into pacifist and militant.
Islam emerged in the Arabian Peninsula, known as Saudi Arabia today, nearly fourteen centuries ago. The pre-Islamic societies in Arabia have been described as primitive and characterized by a state of outmost ignorance (Jahelyya), a long history of hostilities and tribal conflicts, and prolonged fights over tribal dominance. It was a society so barbaric that, according to the historical narratives, families buried their newborn female infants alive (the practice known as female infanticide). It was against such circumstances that the prophet of Islam, Mohammed, stood up steadfastly and reacted with remarkable passion and resolve. Muslims believe Mohammed was chosen by God to challenge the existing inhumane practices, and take action to abolish the unfair tribal rules and traditions. He and his followers resorted to a variety of means, including the use of force, to advance their message.
The Prophet Mohammed was born in the city of Mecca and lived most of his life in this town. Mecca was the center of trade on the Arabian Peninsula at that time. It is not too far-fetched to link most of the Mohammed’s divine messages to the situation on the ground, and his quest to dismantle the prevailing social and civic structures and replace them with ones he thought were rightful and God-given. Apparently, his messages were not well received by Meccans who often accused him of fabricating his link to God and his divine revelations. They especially resisted his opposition to polytheism.
Before the advent of Islam, Kaba was the center for polytheists and the idols favored by different tribes. This was in fact necessary and the main impetus behind the flourishing trades among different tribes in Arabia. Mohammed was not only an extra ordinary human being and charismatic leader; he was also a savvy politician who, according to his early preaching, thought that the best way to recruit devoted followers was to be conciliatory and to have a direct connection to a divine source. His enemies, however, were skeptical and constantly doubted his link to the supernatural source. They thought his revelations came from himself and not from God. It seems that the key reasons why Meccans elites were opposed to Mohammed, especially his monotheist preaching, were not only theological but economic as well. Kaba was a welcoming sanctuary for all types of believers and at one time housed 360 idols. It was like the epicenter of all faiths. Various people came to Mecca to worship their idols. It was due to these pilgrimages that Mecca became a center of commerce, embracing all kinds of devotees who would come to trade with one another. In other words, Kaba was the attraction that made Mecca the center of business.
Mohammad challenged the established socioeconomic paradigms he believed were unjust and appalling and contemplated their obliteration. Obviously the ruling tribes of Arabia were vehemently opposed to such endeavors and especially resisted Mohammed’s intention to rid Kaba of its idols. Judging from Quranic verses, Mohammed seemed to be more tolerant and collaborative in the early years of Islam in Mecca, hoping to coexist with ruling tribes for theological motives. Such a strategy was also considered necessary for doing business with non-believers. In other words, he was willing to make some conciliatory gestures to polytheists in exchange for peaceful coexistence. No doubt the Prophet Mohammed was a masterful coalition builder engaged in the game of mutual interdependence with non-believers. For the time being, he was willing to build an alliance with them at the cost of forsaking his monotheistic message. In Mecca, he was a preacher, a morality teacher, and a savvy politician who used his power as well as his charisma trying to build a coalition in order to advance his religious movement still in its infancy.
Relentlessly, he reminded the nonbelievers and his accusers of the judgment day and the kind of harsh punishments awaiting them if they refuse to subscribe to, or ridicule, his messages. In modern day politics, this was a kind of carrot and stick strategy offering eternal life in heaven if you are with us and the abominable fire of hell if you are not. Such a strategy seemed prudent and necessary at the time. In order to recruit loyal followers and build a base of supporters who were promised heavenly recompense in the other world for their sacrifice. It was the only effective means through which Mohammed could convince the uninformed people around him to give up their corrupt life style and convert to Islam
Imagine yourself wanting to preach your divine messages and persuade the skeptical people around you to understand you and accept your message. What would be the tenor of your speech to the people who are overwhelmingly opposed to your ideas and refuse to abandon the established norms by which they have lived for many centuries? Imagine yourself wanting to guide your errant teenage son who refuses to give up his loathsome lifestyle and walk the straight path. What would be the tone of your advice? What kind of strategy would you pursue? It would seem you have no viable option but to resort to a carrot and stick strategy. That is most likely what the Prophet Mohammed was trying to do during his ten years of less successful preaching in Mecca.
Later in his life, after migrating to Medina (hijra), Mohammed had a chance to build up a stronger support base and essential resources. He successfully formed a strong army of believers to capture his hometown of Mecca and teach the Maccans a lesson. After he was forced to leave Mecca, he perhaps contemplated his return and retribution against the Meccans, the tormentors who ridiculed his teachings and resorted to shameful tactics to undermine his mission.
In Medina, he also ventured to establish a system of governance based on holy laws, laws that he claimed were being dictated to him by God. In other words, he not only started a new religion but also created a religion-based political system with himself at its center. After he successfully built a strong army of loyal supporters in Medina, the tone of Mohammed’s divine teachings changed from conciliatory to belligerent, and understandably so. In other words, with stronger power, the change in strategy was inevitable. He no longer had to rely on preaching to advance his cause. He had a strong army, a bigger group of devoted followers; therefore, war and the use of force seemed like a more expedient option. Accordingly, Mohammed’s strategies changed as did the tone of his revelations. Tolerance changed to intolerance and his passionate message changed to more assertive proclamations. There was no need for concession to or compromise with non-believers any longer.
Since then, the divine laws have been the basis for Islamic governments throughout Islamic history. The sources of Islamic laws are mainly Quran and/or hadiths (sayings, practices, and traditions of Mohammed) to a lesser extent. Undoubtedly, at the time of Mohammad, the creation of an Islamic state made sense and was the only system through which he could spread his message, often forcefully. Over time, some Islamic leaders envisioned the establishment of a similar social and political system for Muslims
with set rules, codes, standards, and guidelines for all aspects of life from birth to death. These included diet, clothing, adornment, entertainment, and even trivial matters such as washing one’s self after using a bathroom. This is a system that leaves little or nothing to human judgment when it comes to private and public affairs, and it does not recognize man-made laws unless they are in accordance with the Islamic codes.
Believers believed then, and still do today, that Mohammed preached nothing that came from himself and everything he expressed was the words of God conveyed to him by the angel Gabriel. Many religious scholars in the West inclined to believe that he may have utilized the so-called divine revelations as an auspicious strategy to reinforce his mission, and justifiably so. In their opinion, connecting Mohammed to Gabriel reduces Mohammed to a mere instrument of transmission and undermines his personal aptitude as an extraordinary human being who had the courage to stand up to the prevailing unjust ruling system of his hometown. Even if he used the revelations stories to build up power, it was a clever approach and was in fact indicative of his resourcefulness. He used his spiritual messages, combined with his exceptional personality, to advance his cause.
Many of the rules and guidelines articulated by the Prophet Mohammed were meant, though, to be applied to a particular case or specific situations that he faced at the time, and were not obviously intended for the 21st century without the needed modifications and refinement. Many Islamic scholars believe that there are some rules, even those mentioned in Quran that are abrogated or outright obsolete and must be replaced by modern rules. Trying to forcibly apply such outdated rules to today’s complex societies may create a backlash and loss of creditability, especially in the long term. Nevertheless, some extremist Muslims still believe that Islamic laws are God-given, everlasting, and no one should dispute their wholesomeness and their eternal suitability. Accordingly, Islam should not unconditionally sanction human legislation.
The justified fluctuations in the manner of Mohammed’s teaching and practices, as clearly documented by the verses of Quran, seem to have resulted in perplexing some contemporary Muslims who now think that there are two kinds of Islam, passive and aggressive. In other words, these variations have created a rift among the followers more so today than at any other time; they have created a duality, a division of Islam into peaceful and militant. The dichotomy explained above has historical origins and is rooted in the practices of the Prophet Mohammed since the dawn of Islam. What is overlooked, however, is that the shift in the tactics and in the tone of the teachings of Prophet Mohammad was a matter of practicality and a response to the situations he faced at the time. He would never have thought that after 1400 years his teaching would instigate violence among his followers in the 21st century, and that his proclamations would be used as a license to oppress or to kill.
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Dear Varjavandby Ahmed from Bahrain on Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:42 PM PST
Well put. Thank you. My reference to morality is not dress code or inhumane practices. I am perhaps referring to many Western politicians who squander their countries wealth for certain position in the short term. Tony Blair for lying to go to war and suck up to Americans and for democratic states to be doing so much damage through wars in far away places.
I am for sure in the camp of collective view of secular people who wish to promote peace through education and contact with the wider world to support others in the face of poverty, natural or man made catastrophes.
Perhaps you took me for saying that morality is the domain of religion. far from it, my two children - 23 female and 21 male - have not been brought up to follow any religion even through I have prayed and fasted in front of them during their childhood but never and will not demand from them to follow me OR anyone else for that matter.
I know for sure they will never hurt anyone else and that is the bottom line for morality in my book. The rest is up to the individual.
Faramarz jan. I abhor injustice in whatever name, God included at its most vile form. To me these are barbaric acts and we should move beyond such animal behavior. I also believe that faith is a personal matter and it should never be used to control or push to to others.
Ahmed from Bahrain
Nuriazalby Faramarz_Fateh on Fri Jan 01, 2010 01:01 AM PST
The people you site as "reference" ( Juan Cole, Richard Hollinger, John Walbridge and William Garlington ) are all ex Baha'i's with a similar agenda as yours; misinforming the public.
I wish you good luck in your endeavors and this will be my last response to you since you seem to have created an alternate reality for yourself.
Cultspeakby Nur-i-Azal on Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:48 PM PST
It is as though you live in a parallel universe with alternate versions of truth and reality.
Many would say the identically same thing about you Haifan Bahais: it is as if you abide in a 1930s version of Soviet Russia merged with Scientology but with God and prayer, where up is down and down is up, and where history is rewritten from scratch to accord with your own self-aggrandizing re-Imagined fantasies.
By the way, you may want to inform readers of this site that there are
over 6 million Baha'i's worldwide whereas there are barely 600 Azalis.
No problem. There are not - repeat NOT - 6 million Bahais worldwide. The accuracy of this number has been challenged by several Western academics repeatedly now, amongst them Juan Cole, Richard Hollinger, John Walbridge and William Garlington, to name a few. I understand that such facts are painful for you to hear, but they are facts nevertheless which as adults we are obliged to deal with if we are to grow beyond the sort of utopian social juvenilia that organizations such as Haifan Bahaism represent. There are probably closer to about a million (maybe less) Baha'is worldwide in real concrete numbers, if you are lucky. I understand that the Indian guru Sai Baba claims something like 12 million adherents worldwide. But there is no way to accurately verify that number either.
As for the number of Bayanis: I can confirm that there are a lot, lot more than 600 Bayanis worldwide, but if the numbers game is to be played and invoked here, one need not remind that there are well over a billion Muslims worldwide which is one hundred times the number you Bahais (dishonestly) claim to be of Bahais worldwide. Besides argument by numbers is and has always been a logical fallacy. It does not nor cannot prove the intrinsic worth or utility of anything.
Governments need not conspire to destroy Bahaism when internally Bahaism is veritably killing itself from the inside already - what, with the number of people who have left it and/or gone totally inactive over the past two decades and more. Someone like myself is merely helping such a process along by being a proverbial cheerleader to a sure inevitability (like the protestors in Iran towards the mullahs and the fall of the IRI), which is why it is absolutely useless to even debate anything with your good self, since the Bahai concept of debate has been proven time and again to be a species of "agree with me, or else...My truth, or the highway..."
Insha'Llah, once Iran now moves into a genuine secular democratic political system with the imminent collapse of this infernal regime, more and more other Iranians will begin to clue in and appreciate what I just said above as well, since your creed is also a lot like the MKO in its self-delusional triumphalistic mentality, discourse and ways.
Dear Ahmed'by varjavand on Wed Dec 30, 2009 09:42 PM PST
Morality is in the eyes of beholder, meaning, it is a subjective matter, what looks moral to me may be immoral to someone else, or what is considered moral in one society, may not be so in other. Because of the subjective nature of morality, I believe the morality standards changes from society to society, from individual to individual, and from time to time. Accordingly, we must not let the whims of individuals determine what is moral and what is not. Similarly, we should not base it on the rigid religious laws and the dogmatic opinions of narrow-minded people. The collective view of the society, manifested by the secular laws, should determine what is moral and what is not.
We don’t have legal dress codes here in the U.S, however, we don’t see individuals walking in the streets naked or dressed suggestively. On the hands, we see the so called morality squad in the street of Tehran terrorizing an innocent girl dragging her into an awaiting police car, her crime: showing a few strands of her hair. Whose morality they are enforcing? Whose morality is it anyway? What kind of morality sanction humiliation, demonization of fellow human being for dressing a way some people think inappropriate? What kind of morality sanctions wife beating? What kind of morality suctions hush, often inhuman, punishments for expressing your opinion or demanding your right? What of morality allows a court in Somalia, a prominent Islamic country to try and punish an innocent woman for wearing pants in the public!?
Empirical evidence shows that in countries with a secular government the level of public morality is much higher than those with religious government. Do you know which country in the world has the highest level of charitable giving? If you said the United States, you are correc, a country with one of the most secular governments in the world.
I have notice that the second generation Iranians who are born in the U. S. who are not necessarily religious, most of them even haven’t had minimal exposure to Islam or any other religion, have a higher standard of morality than their parents, Shame on me!
You don’t have to be religious to possess a high level of morality.
Dear Nuriazalby Babak_SD on Wed Dec 30, 2009 08:51 PM PST
I would like to engage in a discussion with you but unfortunately I find your statements somewhat disturbing. It is as though you live in a parallel universe with alternate versions of truth and reality.
If you would like to engage in exchange of rational, factual and true information, I would be pleased to do so. Otherwise, I wish you luck in your attempts to misinform people with good intentions. Many before you have tried to do this in the past 165 years, including governments and nations. As you have seen, they have all failed.
By the way, you may want to inform readers of this site that there are over 6 million Baha'i's worldwide whereas there are barely 600 Azalis. That in itself is a very telling sign.
Myth bustingby Nur-i-Azal on Wed Dec 30, 2009 06:45 PM PST
Most of the Ba'bis in Iran eventually became Baha'i's
This is a myth Baha'is uncritically propagate. Most of the original Babis in Iran had been massacred between 1848-52, and the remaining leadership were murdered by the Baha'is. Many who remained eventually fell away or otherwise remained loyal to Azal. There were only a handful of Babis in Iran who became Baha'is. The Baha'i propaganda machinery recruited pretty much form scratch between the years 1867-1912.Baha'u'lla'h for the first time clarifies the concept of progressive
revelation and makes it clear that there will be messangers from God
Neither the Bab or Baha' first clarified or established the concept of progressive revelation. The idea exists in the Qur'an, and in Isma'ili Shi'ism the cycles of sacred history is a far more complex notion of progressive revelation than the Baha'i one in any case. And as far as the Baha'i concept goes, it is no where near as detailed, complex and so clarified as the one the Bab himself presents in the Book of the Five Grades. In short Baha' rehashed in dumbed down fashion ideas already existing in other earlier templates. So much for your promised one of all ages!
Ahemdby Faramarz_Fateh on Wed Dec 30, 2009 06:34 PM PST
ISLAMIC Republic of Iran is one of the most corrupt regimes on the face of the earth. What is your thoughts on mix of religion and state now?
Are you serious dude?!!!!!!
Dear Varjavandby Ahmed from Bahrain on Wed Dec 30, 2009 06:27 PM PST
in your response to commentators here, you state following:
"One of the dangers of mixing religion with politics is that religion loses its moral authority and its respect."
Whilst I totally agree with keeping religion and government separate, I am unsure if you actually imply that politics does have a mandate to be immoral, as is the case in most secular countries.
Perhaps by removing religion from politics, we have inadvertently removed morality and thus given the politicians the license to do whatever they want?
Your thoughts are welcome.
Ahmed from Bahrain
Mr. Varjavandby Babak_SD on Wed Dec 30, 2009 05:21 PM PST
I am a Baha'i' with unfortunately very limited knowledge. I will attempt to answer your question to the best of my ability. However, numerous resources are available online through which you can have access to first hand relatively thorough information. If you would like to have links to these resources, I will be pleased to send you several links, in Persian as well as English.
The prophecy of return of Imam Mahdi was fulfilled by The Ba'b, prophet founder of the Ba'bi religon; an independent religion and not an off shoot of Islam or another religion. The Ba'b however heralded in very clear terms the coming of the "promised one of all ages" or Baha'u'llah who we believe is the manifestation of God for this day. Baha'u'lla'h is the prophet founder of the Baha'i' religion.
Most of the Ba'bis in Iran eventually became Baha'i's. The Ba'b had a very specific mission and station in the progression of the major prophets. He basically came to end and era and herald coming of a new one.
Baha'u'lla'h for the first time clarifies the concept of progressive revelation and makes it clear that there will be messangers from God after him.
Who claimed to be the Hidden Imam: Bab or Baha'?by Nur-i-Azal on Wed Dec 30, 2009 02:14 PM PST
whatever - as long as Islam retires back to Qom (Najaf? better)by MM on Wed Dec 30, 2009 09:29 AM PST
Ones beliefs are sacred as long as they are not shoved into others' throats. Unfortunately, Islam and politics are intertwined because of the nature of Shari'a laws which govern the daily life of "the faithful". Being so, it is only natural for the fanatics in Islam to argue for political power which eventually tries to interject Shari'a into civic laws (sounds familiar?) resulting in Islamist governments like Iran/Saudi Arabia and organizations like the Taliban/the Muslim Brotherhood. And, I am just touching on Islam, whereas other religions can be just as vicious, given a chance.
Just keep the darn religion out of politics. Mixing religion and democracy is a dichotomy that the USA founders realized ca. 200 years ago. Iranians, with a 2500 year history should be more apt to take on the basic premise of "separation of church and state".
It is said that those who do not learn from history tend to make the same mistakes over and over again. Do not let some to suggest that since Islam is part of Iran's heritage, the laws should reflect it. Iran has a longer history of better items to cling on, like Cyrus's tablet.
Dear Commenters,by varjavand on Wed Dec 30, 2009 07:51 AM PST
Thanks for your comments. It seems anytime there is an article on religion on this site, it will be turn into a forum on secular verses religious government debate. This is understandable, given what kind of atrocities are being committed in Iran by those who call themselves the guardian of the faith and/or the preventative of the hidden imam. But this is not what this article is all about. It is about the dualism in Islam and its historical roots. And how such duality, originated from the teachings of Prophet Mohammed, has sent wrong messages to naïve believers or has been exploited by a the opportunist hypocrites to amass power.
Undeniably, Islam was used an effective during revolution as a uniting factor, just as it was used at the time of Mohammed in Medina who successfully united the hostile tribes under and the banner of Islam and established an umma (community) bounded together not through common ancestry or ethnicity but through faith. He successfully transformed his religious movement into a system of governance. The question, however, is about the suitability of such approach for the 21st century.
One of the dangers of mixing religion with politics is that religion loses its moral authority and its respect. Do you think people in Iran are now more religious, or have more respect for religion, compared to before revolution era? I believe that religion can be a much more appreciated, and be more effective, force as an outside force. If it is mixed with politics, it becomes a mundane force disrespected especially when things go wrong. Mixing politics with religion in Iran and in any Islamic country for that matter has no effect but to reveal the ugly side of religion, God’s claim to authority is now settled on the streets using aggression and intimidation. And, that is the side of Islam seen by the Westerners who believe Islam is a religion of violence and bigotry. Even if some believe that God guided Mohammad to establish his holy kingdom in Madina, that should not give them a mandate to t turn this otherwise a peaceful religion into a despotic force. We don’t need an oppressive religious regime to discover the true connotations of Mohammed’s messages. We can discover and practice them in our everyday private life in a secular environment.
I am not a Bahaei, so I don’t know much about this religion. However, up to this point I thought that Baha'ullah claimed to be was the hidden imam and not a prophet, hearing you saying that he was a prophet, however not the last one, is the news to me. Can you clarify?
Happy New Year to All,
Bad Bahai math?!by Nur-i-Azal on Wed Dec 30, 2009 03:16 AM PST
Baha'u'lla'h who declared his station and mission 165 years
What's wrong with your math? 2009 - 1863 = 146, not 165. Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Bab, declared himself the Gate (bab) to the Hidden Imam, although cryptically he was actually declaring himself to be the Imam in person, and not Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri Baha'.
sometime about a thousand years after him, there will be another. Khayli ishoon lotf kardand, when according to the Persian Bayan the Man Yuzhiruhu'Llah (He whom God shall Manifest, i.e. the title and position Baha' calimed) wasn't supposed to even appear until 1511 to 2001 years had elapsed from the revelation the abovementioned Siyyid Ali Muhammad Shirazi, the Bab, claimed to inaugurate as of May 1844. Wouldn't it be better and more logical to accept the new teachings that God sent for this day an age.
Provided those teachings actually made sense in a greater universal context, where unique, set human beings on a solid path to greater freedom and actually offered something beyond the same old, same old social strait-jackets of dogmas and blind faith, not to mention lead people to a deeper knowledge of the highest mysteries of the universe, the Self and the Divine, none of which Husayn 'Ali Nuri Baha' remotely fulfilled. All of his writings from his Hidden Words to his Kitab-i-Aqdas are nothing more than rehashed and dumbed down versions of ideas already contained in Sufism and in the writings of the Bab and his successor Subh-i-Azal. Even his Seven Valleys is a verbatim ripp-off redaction of 'Attar.
They insistby Nur-i-Azal on Wed Dec 30, 2009 02:58 AM PST
They insist you call their creed the Baha'i faith, although from any social science classification Bahaism is the correct term.
Did you forget...by ramin parsa on Wed Dec 30, 2009 04:21 AM PST
to mention that Mohammad had 12 wives, one of them nine years old, Aisha. And that he fought 78 battles, 77 of them being offensive. Take your filthy BEDOUIN CULT and shove it where the Iranian sun don't shine. Islam is a barbaric imitation of Judaism (almost every tenent of Islam comes from Judaism: circumcision, taboo against pork, jizyah, i.e., Islamic tax, etc.), as it was written by 3 Jews and one of us, Salman Farsi, the first and most wicked traitor to the Persian culture.
Think about it, my dear ham-mihans: if you're not afraid that Allah will turn you into a piece of stone, you will hopefully wake up from your dreams of Imam Hussein and Behesht one day soon and realize that all of this bedouin balderdash (Islam) and desert fairytales (Islam) is 100% superstitious nonsense and dokan-bazi. Our charlatan holymen (mullahs) have for over a 1,000 years used the wrath of Allah as a vehicle to usurp power and influence so as to enrich themselves personally.
Islam is a tool for mind control, and nothing more.
DEATH TO ISLAMIC FASCISM
Religion is for weak minded individuals who find strength in numby Wyatt Earp on Tue Dec 29, 2009 05:49 PM PST
Religion is for the weak minded individuals who find strength in numbers. This applies to all Religions i.e. Judaism, Christianity and Islam. One Plagiarisms after another.
Quick Response to Babakby Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on Tue Dec 29, 2009 03:52 PM PST
Finally, I am curious as to why you use the word Bahaism?
No disrespect meant. What word do you recommend to refer to the faith of Baha'i?
Dear Veiled Prophet of Khorasanby Babak_SD on Tue Dec 29, 2009 03:38 PM PST
Thank you for your response. I will attempt to answer the points you have brought up as best as I can.
God reveals what humans can comprehend and appreciate depending on human capacity at the time; for example, one of the teachings of Baha'u'llah is equality of sexes. This would not have set well with inhabitants of earth 3000 years ago. Or, another one of his teachings which is solving the economic problems of the world through spiritual solutions and elimination of extremes of wealth and poverty. Just imagine what would have happened if Muhammad brought up the issue of equality of sexes 1,400 years ago. This is the essential reason for progressive revelation. A new messanger every thousand or so years.
As for your statement, fearing that Baha'i's goal is intertwining with politics, for 165 years Baha'i's worldwide have stayed clear of politics. This is a well documented fact. Although rumors and mis information is abound on this subject. 30 years ago the King of Samoa became a Baha'i'. This would have been a good start for the Baha'i's to start something.
Finally, I am curious as to why you use the word Bahaism?
Varjavand jan; Babak Janby Veiled Prophet of Khorasan on Tue Dec 29, 2009 01:50 PM PST
Varjavand said: Many Islamic scholars believe that there are some rules, even those
mentioned in Quran that are abrogated or outright obsolete and must be
replaced by modern rules.
This is news to me. My understanding is that believers follow the Koran verbatim. If you believe that a religion is sent by God then how can people modify it?
Bakak_SD said: If we believe that original teachings of Muhammad are from God, its
funny that some of us as humans (so called high level clerics) believe
we can modify them for today. Wouldn't it be better and more logical
to accept the new teachings that God sent for this day an age.
Given the premise the argument is very logical. ut if God is Omnipotent why was the first religion not perfect and needed to be revised.
Now what if you do not believe Muhammad was teaching ways of God? What if you also do not believe that about Baha'ullah.Then neither religion is for you.
If religions are kept private we don't have any problems. When they mix them up with politics and policy is where conflict arises. Islam by nature wants to get intertwined with politics and I fear the same may be true for Bahaism.
Islamby ahvazi on Tue Dec 29, 2009 01:11 PM PST
is like any other religion, the followers of each religion thinks that their way is right. They think they are best and everyone is going to hell, or they should be killed if they don't join them. I hope we, iranians, whatever our religion is, have realized how determental that mentality is and we'll show especially the muslims around the world that respecting other people's belief is the way of the Prophet.
Surprised.......by Natalia Alvarado-Alvarez on Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:00 AM PST
the usual crowd is not here yet. You know arguing about being pro or against Islam.
Great article.by Babak_SD on Tue Dec 29, 2009 10:31 AM PST
Thank you for this very nicely written article. In one of the paragraphs towards the end you mention that "Many of the rules and guidelines articulated by the Prophet Mohammed were meant, though, to be applied to a particular case or specific situations that he faced at the time, and were not obviously intended for the 21st century without the needed modifications and refinement. Many Islamic scholars believe that there are some rules, even those mentioned in Quran that are abrogated or outright obsolete and must be replaced by modern rules."
None of God's religions were meant to last forever. Jesus came after Moses and Muhammad after Jesus. God's revelation to mankind through his messengers could have ended just as easily with Moses as Muslims believe its ended with Muhammad.
Baha'u'lla'h who declared his station and mission 165 years ago as the manifestation of God for today, explicity mentions that he is not the last messenger of God and sometime about a thousand years after him, there will be another.
If we believe that original teachings of Muhammad are from God, its funny that some of us as humans (so called high level clerics) believe we can modify them for today. Wouldn't it be better and more logical to accept the new teachings that God sent for this day an age.