Islam and the Bahá’í Faith
The Relationship between the Messengers and God While all humans are created noble:
"Then He fashioned him and breathed into him of His Spirit; and appointed for you hearing and sight and hearts. Small thanks give ye!" - Qur'an 32:9
Prophets are not like you and me. About Muhammad (SAW), we read:
[21:107] "And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds."
[68:4] PICKTHAL: And lo! thou art of a tremendous nature.
[68:4] SHAKIR: And most surely you conform (yourself) to sublime morality.
The Prophets represent God on this earth:
"He who obeys the Messenger, obeys Allah: But if any turn away, We have not sent thee to watch over their (evil deeds)." - Qur'an 4:80
"Surely those who swear allegiance to you do but swear allegiance to Allah; the hand of Allah is above their hands. Therefore whoever breaks (his faith), he breaks it only to the injury of his own soul, and whoever fulfills what he has covenanted with Allah, He will grant him a mighty reward." - Qur'an 48:10
"So you did not slay them, but it was Allah Who slew them, and you did not smite when you smote (the enemy), but it was Allah Who smote, and that He might confer upon the believers a good gift from Himself; surely Allah is Hearing, Knowing." - Qur'an 8:17
Prophets are paternal (?)brothers:
As received from AbuHurayrah in saHih al-bukhari,
"Allah's Messenger (pbuh & hf) said, "Both in this world and in the Hereafter, I am the nearest of all the people to Jesus, the son of Mary. The Prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one." - Sahih Al-Bukhari -book 4, no:652,
(would this explain the meaning of the spiritual "Sonship" of Christ? And all Messengers?)
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Baha'u'llah on the misunderstood concept of the Divinity of the Prophets (when God speaks through Them):
Either thou or someone else hath said: "Let the Surih of Tawhid be translated, so that all may know and be fully persuaded that the one true God begetteth not, nor is He begotten. Moreover, the Babis believe in his ( Baha'u'llah's) Divinity and Godhood."
O Shaykh! This station is the station in which one dieth to himself and liveth in God. Divinity, whenever I mention it, indicateth My complete and absolute self-effacement. This is the station in which I have no control over mine own weal or woe nor over my life nor over my resurrection.
O Shaykh! How do the divines of this age account for the effulgent glory which the Sadrah of Utterance hath shed upon the Son of Imran (Moses) on the Sinai of Divine knowledge? He (Moses) hearkened unto the Word which the Burning Bush had uttered, and accepted it; and yet most men are bereft of the power of comprehending this, inasmuch as they have busied themselves with their own concerns, and are unaware of the things which belong unto God. Referring to this, the Siyyid of Findirisk hath well said: "This theme no mortal mind can fathom; be it even that of Abu-Nasr, or Abu-'Ali Sina (Avicenna)." What explanation can they give concerning that which the Seal of the Prophets ( Muhammad)--may the souls of all else but Him be offered up for His sake--hath said?: "Ye, verily, shall behold your Lord as ye behold the full moon on its fourteenth night." The Commander of the Faithful ( Imam Ali)--peace be upon him--moreover, saith in the Khutbiy-i-Tutunjiyyih: "Anticipate ye the Revelation of Him Who conversed with Moses from the Burning Bush on Sinai." Husayn, the son of Ali--peace be upon him--likewise saith: "Will there be vouchsafed unto anyone besides Thee a Revelation which hath not been vouchsafed unto Thyself--A Revelation Whose Revealer will be He Who revealed Thee. Blind be the eye that seeth Thee not!"
Similar sayings from the Imams--the blessings of God be upon them--have been recorded and are widely known, and are embodied in books worthy of credence. Blessed is he that perceiveth, and speaketh the pure truth. Well is it with him who, aided by the living waters of the utterance of Him Who is the Desire of all men, hath purified himself from idle fancies and vain imaginings, and torn away, in the name of the All-Possessing, the Most High, the veils of doubt, and renounced the world and all that is therein, and directed himself towards the Most Great Prison.
O Shaykh! No breeze can compare with the breezes of Divine Revelation, whilst the Word which is uttered by God shineth and flasheth as the sun amidst the books of men. Happy the man that hath discovered it, and recognized it, and said: "Praised be Thou, Who art the Desire of the world, and thanks be to Thee, O Well-Beloved of the hearts of such as are devoted to Thee!"
Men have failed to perceive Our purpose in the references We have made to Divinity and Godhood. Were they to apprehend it, they would arise from their places, and cry out: "We, verily, ask pardon of God!" The Seal of the Prophets--may the souls of all else but Him be offered up for His sake--saith: "Manifold are Our relationships with God. At one time, We are He Himself, and He is We Ourself. At another He is that He is, and We are that We are."
Aside from this, why is it that thou didst not mention those other stations which the Abha Pen hath disclosed? The tongue of this Wronged One hath, many a day and night, given utterance to these sublime words: "O God, my God! I bear witness to Thy unity and Thy oneness, and that Thou art God, and that there is none other God but Thee. Thou hast everlastingly been sanctified above the mention of any one but Thee and the praise of all else except Thyself, and Thou wilt everlastingly continue to be the same as Thou wast from the beginning and hast ever been. I beseech Thee, O King of Eternity, by the Most Great Name, and by the effulgences of the Daystar of Thy Revelation upon the Sinai of Utterance, and by the billows of the Ocean of Thy knowledge among all created things, to graciously assist Me in that which will draw Me nigh unto Thee, and will detach Me from all except Thee. By Thy glory, O Lord of all being, and the Desire of all creation! I would love to lay My face upon every single spot of Thine earth, that perchance it might be honored by touching a spot ennobled by the footsteps of Thy loved ones!"
By the righteousness of God! Idle fancies have debarred men from the Horizon of Certitude, and vain imaginings withheld them from the Choice Sealed Wine. In truth I say, and for the sake of God I declare: This Servant, this Wronged One, is abashed to claim for Himself any existence whatever, how much more those exalted grades of being! Every man of discernment, while walking upon the earth, feeleth indeed abashed, inasmuch as he is fully aware that the thing which is the source of his prosperity, his wealth, his might, his exaltation, his advancement and power is, as ordained by God, the very earth which is trodden beneath the feet of all men. There can be no doubt that whoever is cognizant of this truth, is cleansed and sanctified from all pride, arrogance, and vainglory. Whatever hath been said hath come from God. Unto this, He, verily, hath borne, and beareth now, witness, and He, in truth, is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. - Epistle to the Son of the Wolf p.41-44
When I contemplate, O my God, the relationship that bindeth me to Thee, I am moved to proclaim to all created things "verily I am God"; and when I consider my own self, lo, I find it coarser than clay! - The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, by Bahá'u'lláh, p. 234 (note 318)
Every one who hath turned aside from Me hath clung to his own idle words, and therewith voiced his objections to Him Who is the Truth. Gracious God! Such references as have been made to Divinity and Godhead by the holy ones and chosen ones of God have been made a cause for denial and repudiation. The Imam Sadiq hath said: "Servitude is a substance, the essence of which is Divinity." The Commander of the Faithful ( Imam Ali) answered an Arab, who had questioned him concerning the soul, as follows: "The third is the soul which is divine and celestial. It is a divine energy, a substance, simple, and self-subsistent." And further he--peace be upon him--said: "Therefore it is the Most Sublime Essence of God, the Tree of Blessedness, the Lote-Tree beyond which there is no passing, the Garden of Repose." The Imam Sadiq hath said: "When our Qa'im will arise, the earth will shine with the light of her Lord." Likewise, a lengthy tradition is attributed to Abi-'Abdi'llah--peace be upon him--in which these sublime words are found: "Thereupon will He Who is the All-Compelling-- exalted and glorified be He--descend from the clouds with the angels." And in the mighty Qur'an: "What can such expect but that God should come down to them overshadowed with clouds?" And in the tradition of Mufaddal it is said: "The Qa'im will lean His back against the Sanctuary, and will stretch forth His hand, and lo, it shall be snow-white but unhurt. And He shall say: `This is the hand of God, the right hand of God, that cometh from God, at the command of God!'" In whichever manner these traditions are interpreted, in that same manner let them also interpret that which the Most Sublime Pen hath set down. The Commander of the Faithful ( Imam Ali) hath said: "I am He Who can neither be named, nor described." And likewise He hath said: "Outwardly I am an Imam; inwardly I am the Unseen, the Unknowable." Abu-Ja'far-i-Tusi hath said: "I said to Abi Abdi'llah: `You are the Way mentioned in the Book of God, and you are the Impost, and you are the Pilgrimage.' He replied: `O man! We are the Way mentioned in the Book of God,--exalted and glorified be He--and We are the Impost, and We are the Fast, and We are the Pilgrimage, and We are the Sacred Month, and We are the Sacred City, and We are the Kaaba of God, and We are the Qiblih of God, and We are the Face of God.'" Jabir hath said that Abu-Ja'far--peace be upon him--spoke to him as follows: "O Jabir! Give heed unto the Bayan (Exposition) and the Ma'ani (Significances)." He --peace be upon him--added: "As to the Bayan, it consisteth in thy recognition of God--glorified be He--as the One Who hath no equal, and in thy adoration of Him, and in thy refusal to join partners with Him. As to the Ma'ani, We are its meaning, and its side, and its hand, and its tongue, and its cause, and its command, and its knowledge, and its right. If We wish for something, it is God Who wisheth it, and He desireth that which We desire." Moreover, the Commander of the Faithful ( Imam Ali)--peace be upon him--hath said: "How can I worship a Lord Whom I have not seen?" And, in another connection, he saith: "Nothing have I perceived except that I perceived God before it, God after it, or God with it." - Epistle to the Son of the Wolf p.111-114.Copyright © 2004