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Reflection – The Pattern Emerges…

17 July, 2006

It has been a long time, but this blog is back in action. Here’s a little something I put together on my faith:

 

Perspective on religion

 

 Pray for Haifa

-My manifestation of God claims to be the only way for mankind to know of God…

This statement, which is said by members of all faiths in different topics of discourse, must be contextualised in its essence. Revelation by God as understood by Bahá’ís is progressive; when a prophet from God appears at a certain time in history they are the only paths to God in their period of dispensation (in theology 1,000 years). It can be observed how every prophet has made a similar claim in all their divine glory. Though due to man’s frailties in interpretation we have not detached ourselves, and as a result not considered recognising the Holy Spirit (God) returning in a different physical form then the previous prophet. For when the day of judgement has come at the end of each religious epoch, the faithful are tested immensely in either rejected or embracing the promised one, this is seen historically (Jews not accepting Christ, Christians not accepting Muhammad Muslims not accepting Baha’u’llah ) how each teacher is persecuted when they make their declaration. The following quotations from different holy texts illustrate this:  

“I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through
Me.” ­

(Christianity, John 14:6) 

“This is the path. There is no other that leads to vision.”

(Buddhism, Dhammapada 20:274)

 

“Whoso seeks guidance elsewhere, God will lead him astray.”  

(Islám, Imám Alí, Hadith)

 

“Abandoning all duties, come to Me alone for shelter.” 

(Hinduism, Bhagavad Gita 18:66)  

 

“There is only one religious way. This one way is that of good thoughts, good words, and good deeds, the way of heaven, of light and of purity, of the infinite Creator.” ­ 

(Zoroastrianism, The Teachings of the Magi, p. 22) 

 

Bahá’ís recognise the divinity and wisdom of all the prophets of God, and advocate the study of their religious texts. Though paramount in this way of thinking is the understanding that Baha’u’llah and the Báb (Baha’u’llah’s forerunner titled ‘The Gate’) are to be recognised as the latest additions in the sequence of prophets “Eternal in the past, eternal in the future” (Baha’u’llah). Therefore the one foretold in all religious texts is the most significant for our times. For he is the relevant physician to help heal the ills of today’s society, for the spiritual nature of people today is entirely different to the previous needs of mankind. And relevant social teachings therefore need to address that, also what is to be noted that the essential teachings in religions do not differ (such as prayer, fasting and meditation) it is the social laws which do change over time (such as how to pray, what to eat and how to meditate) highlighting further the idea of progressive revelation with each religion offering guidance for the spiritual advancement of the people of the world in the environment of the time it is revealed. With the Prince of Peace (Baha’u’llah) Bahá’ís do not make any distinction on superiority or inferiority to other prophets, as The Guardian (the great-grandson to Baha’u’llah) explains:

 

“Baha’u’llah is not the intermediary between other Manifestations and God. Each has His own relation to the Primal Source. But in the sense that Baha’u’llah is the greatest Manifestation to yet appear, the One who consummates the Revelation of Moses, He was the One Moses conversed with in the Burning Bush. In other words, Baha’u’llah identifies the glory of the God-Head on that occasion with Himself. No distinction can be made amongst the Prophets in the sense that They all proceed from one Source, and are of one essence. But Their stations and functions in this world are different.”

~ Shoghi Effendi

Significant is the belief that ‘their station and function in this world are different’ as for Bahá’ís since 1844 (the beginning of the Bahá’í era), now is the time of peace and unity. Where the people of the world will eventually recognise the oneness of God, the oneness of mankind and the oneness of religion. “The Well being of mankind its peace and security are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established” (Baha’u’llah). Peace will be inevitable while being armed with the covenant, which is a guarantee from God to humanity that assures His continuing guidance after the passing of Bahá’u’lláh, which is in accordance with the clear will and testaments of the Bahai faith’s central figures. Many Jews understand that God entered into a covenant with them, promising to guide them as long as they obeyed His laws. Many Christians, too, understand that Jesus entered into a new covenant with His followers.

Hopefully the future will not repeat history…

 

~Peace~

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Rayyan permalink
    18 July, 2006 11:33

    yes, this is what a blog needs! blessings

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