Archive for the ‘Translations’ Category
Posted by Sen on July 14, 2012
One of the participants on the Facebook group Bahais United in Diversity wrote:
I’m afraid I have to point out that Abdu’l-Baha contradicts himself [in the proof of the existence of God, in the first chapter of Some Answered Questions]… First he suggests that “Nature has neither intelligence nor perception.” So God must exist. Then he says that “man is the branch; nature is the root,” and asks “can the will and the intelligence, and the perfections which exist in the branch, be absent in the root?”
So the will and the intelligence and the perception are in nature after all… and God becomes unnecessary to explain order in nature and the emergence of human life.
It’s a sharp observation, but the problem lies in the translation rather than in Abdu’l-Baha’s reasoning. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Theology, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, Some Answered Questions, مفاوضات, بهائی, عبدالبهاء | 6 Comments »
Posted by Sen on November 5, 2011
[Updated May 2012]
In 2008, I posted an entry about the translation of the Eighth Ishraq, which is the eighth section of one of Baha’u'llah’s shorter works, the Ishraqat or Splendours. The posting explained why I thought that the 1978 translation was incorrect where it says “All matters of State (‘umuur-e siyaasiyyah) should be referred to the House of Justice.” The earlier translation by Ali Kuli Khan, “Administrative affairs are all in charge of the House of Justice, and devotional acts must be observed according as they are revealed in the Book” was, I thought, more accurate, and more consistent with other works by Abdu’l-Baha and Baha’u'llah. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Church and State, Community, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Administrative matters, Affairs of the people, Ali Kuli Khan, amur-e mellat, amuur-e mellat, Aqdas, ‘amuur-e siyaasiyyah, Baha'u'llah, Bahai, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, Bisharat, Church and State, Community, House of Justice, Iqan, ishraqat, lawh-e dunya, matters of state, politics, Religion, Sermon on the Art of Governance, Shoghi Effendi, Tehran, theocracy, theocratic, Translation, بـهاءالله, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی | 23 Comments »
Posted by Sen on November 22, 2010
This tablet by Abdu’l-Baha, dated around 1899, responds to detailed questions, “concerning the wisdom of referring some important laws to the House of Justice.” Abdu’l-Baha replies that, in principle, the Baha’i Faith is similar to Christianity, whose scriptures also specify only a few laws.
The Bahai Faith, he says, has little connection to worldly concerns. Religion’s primary function is to refine characters and bring light in darkness. However the Bahai scriptures do specify some foundations of our religious law, leaving subsidiary matters to the divinely-inspired House of Justice, which can make ‘cultural laws,’ (ahkaam madaniyyih) in accordance with time and circumstance. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Aqdas and Law, Ethics and Morality, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Bahai Faith, Bahai law, House of Justice, religious law, بهائی, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 2 Comments »
Posted by Sen on March 6, 2010
The Banu Qurayza were a Jewish tribe in Medina in the time of Muhammad. In 627, when the Meccans brought a great army against Muhammad in Medina, he resolved to meet them in the city itself, which meant that the treaty of Medina would oblige all of the clans in the city – including the Jewish ones – to join in its defence. During their brief and unsuccessful siege (known as the Battle of the Trench), the Meccans apparently negotiated with the Jewish clan of Qurayza within the city, hoping that they would switch sides, and did persuade them to renounce their alliance under the treaty of Medina. Once the Meccans had withdrawn, Muhammad attacked the Qurayza. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, History, Islam, Translations | Tagged: Baha'u'llah, Bahai Faith, Banu Qurayza, childhood, Medina, Muhammad, prayer for constancy, Sheriff of Medina, قريظه, بهاءالله, بهائی | 12 Comments »
Posted by Sen on September 15, 2009
Abdu’l-Baha and his critics
You can ‘prove’ just about anything, by pulling words out of context. A few years ago there was an example of this tactic on a web site opposing the Bahai teachings, called ‘Answering Bahaullah.’ One page there purported to show examples of racism in Bahai scripture. That site is no longer functioning, although the web archive has a copy, but the material from that page is being recycled by various bloggers and has been reproduced in the ‘Bahai Combat Kit’ at page 73 (image later in this entry).
So let’s look at these “proofs” of racism in the Bahai scriptures. But first let’s look at Abdu’l-Baha. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Defence of the Faith, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Africa, Africans, Bahai Combat Kit, Contextual reading, Convention for Race Amity, Louis Gregory, NAACP, racism, Rousseau, Some Answered Questions, state of nature, بهائی, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 4 Comments »
Posted by Sen on April 26, 2009
One of the friends said:
… an elderly lady once told me that Shoghi Effendi had said that the earth would “fall off its axis and spin wildly for three days”… well, I’ve searched and searched for anything even close…
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Community, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Ahmad Sohrab, Apocalypticism, Bahai Faith, Bahai lore, causes of World War I, militarism, polar shift, Ruth Moffet, Star of the West, survivalism, World War 1, WWI, بهائی, بهائیت | 2 Comments »
Posted by Sen on April 11, 2009
I happened recently to be reading the wikipedia page for the Bahai Calendar and noted that it said “Like Islam, Friday is also the day of rest in the Baha’i Faith.”
That’s not true for Islam: Friday is the day on which attendance at the congregational prayers at noon in the mosque is obligatory for those Muslims who are able, but it is not a ‘day of rest’ in Islam. But what about the Bahai Faith? We do not say our obligatory prayers in congregation (although we may say them, each for himself, during the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar service, but that is another story). Do we have a day of rest, as the wikipedia article says?
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Aqdas and Law, Bahai Writings, Community, Devotions, Translations | Tagged: Abdu'l-Baha, Aqdas, Badi` Calendar, Baha'i calendar, Baha'u'llah, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, Bayan, day of rest, dhikr, Friday prayers, Gerald Keil, Mason Remey, remembrance of God, sabbath, Sunday, The Bab, بـهاءالله, بهائی, بهائیت, عبدالبهاء | 10 Comments »
Posted by Sen on March 21, 2009
Is civilization to be ‘ever-advancing,’ or is it limited to moderation?
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Posted in Bahai Writings, Ethics and Morality, Translations | Tagged: Baha'u'llah, Civilization, Lawh-e Maqsuud, qanat, Shoghi Effendi, urbanisation, بـهاءالله, بهائی, بهائیت, شوقی افندی | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Sen on January 15, 2009
In Century’s end, I showed that Bahais of my generation widely expected universal peace to arrive in the twentieth century. Some of the texts on which this belief was based did not refer to the twentieth century; others did refer to the twentieth century or dates in the 20th century, but were pilgrims’ notes. There may be more, but I have found five such unauthentic sources:
- The Maxwell’s pilgrim’s notes, anticipating the Lesser Peace by 1953.
- Esselmont’s pilgrim’s notes, in the first edition of Baha’u'llah and the New Era, anticipating universal peace by 1957. As Dan Jensen has pointed out, the 1950 edition changed the date to 1963, but it is still just a pilgrim’s note, and universal peace was also not achieved in 1963.
- Sarah Kenny’s Haifa notes anticipating the Lesser Peace in the 20th century.
- A report in the Montreal Star on September 11, 1912, printed in Abdu’l-Baha in Canada p. 35, saying that peace would be universal in the 20th century.
- A talk reported in The Promulgation of Universal Peace page 126, and in Star of the West 3.8.14, calling the twentieth century the century of international peace.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in Bahai Writings, Community, Theology, Translations | Tagged: 7 candles, Abdu'l-Baha, Alexander Whyte, Baha'u'llah, Bahai, Bahai Faith, bahai theology, century, century of light, election, Esselmont, failed prophecy, Isaiah 11:9, Lesser Peace, pilgrim's notes, qarn, Sarah Kenny, Seven Candles of Unity, Shoghi Effendi, Some Answered Questions, The Promised Day is Come, twentieth century, unity of nations, Universal House of Justice, World Order of Baha'u'llah, `asr, بهائیت, شوقی افندی, عبدالبهاء | 11 Comments »