A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Other religions

A star has the same radiance if it shines from the East or from the West. Be free from prejudice, so will you love the Sun of Truth from whatsoever point in the horizon it may arise! You will realize that if the Divine light of truth shone in Jesus Christ it also shone in Moses and in Buddha. The earnest seeker will arrive at this truth.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 137)


A student of the modern methods of the higher criticism asked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá if he would do well to continue in the church with which he had been associated all his life, and whose language was full of meaning to him. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá answered: “You must not dissociate yourself from it. Know this; 98 the Kingdom of God is not in any Society; some seekers go through many Societies as a traveller goes through many cities till he reach his destination. If you belong to a Society already do not forsake your brothers. You can be a Bahá’í-Christian, a Bahá’í-Freemason, a Bahá’í-Jew, a Bahá’í-Muhammadan. The number nine contains eight, and seven, and all the other numbers, and does not deny any of them. Do not distress or deny anyone by saying ‘He is not a Bahá’í!’ He will be known by his deeds.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 97)


Amongst the great prophets was His Holiness Abraham who, being an iconoclast and a herald of the oneness of God, was banished by the people from his native land.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 388)


As our teachings do not state Zoroaster is the connecting link between the Euphrates and the Prophets in India we cannot assert this. Abraham and Krishna are two separate individuals, with no connection that we know of.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 22)


As regards Confucianism, the Teachings contain no data on this subject, and the Guardian would therefore advise that you refer to authoritative books regarding the history and teachings of this Faith.
(Shoghi Effendi, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


As regards what Mirza Abu’l-Fadl has said concerning the seven religions of the past. Shoghi Effendi wishes to emphasize that what is truly authoritative are the Master’s words. In all such cases we should try and find out what He has said and abide by His words, even though they seem conflicting with the findings of modern scholars. If He does not say anything on the subject then the individual is free to accept or refute what scholars such as Mirza Abu’l-Fadl say. Through the discussions of these the truth will ultimately be found. But at no time should their decision be considered as final.
(Shoghi Effendi, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


As there were no followers of the Báb or Bahá’u’lláh derived from the religions of the Far East in Their days, this may be the reason that They did not address any Tablets directly to these people. Also we must remember that every religion springs from some root, and just as Christianity sprang from Judaism, our own religion sprang from Islam, and that is why so many of the teachings deduce their proofs from Islam.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 23)


As to the religion of the Sabeans very little is known about the origins of this religion, though we Bahá’ís are certain of one thing that the founder of it has been a Divinely-sent Messenger. The country where Sabeanism became widespread and flourished was Chaldea, and Abraham is considered as having been a follower of that Faith.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 502)


At the time of the coming of the Bahá’í Faith, there were seven of the old revealed
religions extant, with followers supporting them. This does not count philosophies and sects separately, such as were established by great reformers such as Confucius and Luther. These seven great historical religions are those with a Book, a Prophet, and an historical civilization. They were as follows: 1. Sabean: Prophet, unknown. Date—5,000 B.C.* 2. Hindu: Prophet, Krishna. Date—2,000 B.C.* 3. Jewish: Prophet, Moses. Date—1330 B.C. 4. Zoroastrian: Prophet, Zoroaster. Date—1,000 B.C.* 5. Buddhist: Prophet, Buddha. Date—560 B.C. 6. Christian: Prophet, Christ. Date—1 A.D. 7. Islamic: Prophet, Muhammad. Date—622 A.D. From the first of these great religions, Sabeanism, to the last, Islam, there was a cycle of 5,000 years.
(William Sears, Release the Sun, p. 231)


Blessed souls whether Moses, Jesus, Zoroaster, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius, or Muhammad were the cause of the illumination of the world of humanity. How can we deny such irrefutable proof? How can we be blind to such light?
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, From a Tablet - translated from the Persian)


During the years when the darkness of heedlessness was most intense in the Orient and the people were so submerged in imitations that nations were thirsting for the blood of each other, considering each other as contaminated and refusing to associate—at such a time as this Bahá’u’lláh appeared. He arose in the Orient, uprooting the very foundations of imitations, and brought the dawn of the light of reality. Through Him various nations became united because all desired reality. Inasmuch as they investigated reality in religion, they found that all men are the servants of God, the posterity of Adam, children of one household and that the foundations of all the Prophets are one. For inasmuch as the teachings of the Prophets are reality, Their foundations are one. The enmity and strife of nations, therefore, are due to religious imitations and not to the reality which underlies the teachings of the Prophets. Through Bahá’u’lláh the nations and peoples grew to understand and comprehend this. Therefore, hearts became united, and lives were cemented together. After centuries of hatred and bitterness the Christian, Jew, Zoroastrian, Muslim and Buddhist met in fellowship, all of them in the utmost love and unity. They became welded and cemented because they had perceived reality.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 221)


For example, we mention Abraham and Moses. By this mention we do not mean the limitation implied in the mere names but intend the virtues which these names embody. When we say Abraham, we mean thereby a manifestation of divine guidance, a center of human virtues, a source of heavenly bestowals to mankind, a dawning point of divine inspiration and perfections. These perfections and graces are not limited to names and boundaries. When we find these virtues, qualities and attributes in any personality, we recognize the same reality shining from within and bow in acknowledgment of the Abrahamic perfections. Similarly, we acknowledge and adore the beauty of Moses.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 152)


If we investigate the religions to discover the principles underlying their foundations, we will find they agree; for the fundamental reality of them is one and not multiple. By this means the religionists of the world will reach their point of unity and reconciliation. They will ascertain the truth that the purpose of religion is the acquisition of praiseworthy virtues, the betterment of morals, the spiritual development of mankind, the real life and divine bestowals. All the Prophets have been the promoters of these principles; none of Them has been the promoter of corruption, vice or evil. They have summoned mankind to all good. They have united people in the love of God, invited them to the religions of the unity of mankind and exhorted them to amity and agreement.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 152)


It is possible the Indians of the Americas were influenced in the remote past by Prophets in Asia. But again, as there is nothing in our teachings about it we cannot do more than speculate.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 478)


Know ye that the Torah is that which was revealed in the Tablets to Moses, may peace be upon Him, or that to which He was bidden. But the stories are historical narratives and were written after Moses, may peace be upon Him.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a previously untranslated Tablet, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


Many believers find it difficult to reconcile deep religious conviction with tolerance of other beliefs. It is tempting to insist that one has discovered the one and only truth and to relegate the remaining masses of humanity, adhering to other beliefs, to the status of apostates or unbelievers, spiritually doomed, deserving pity at best, or outright ridicule and persecution at worst. Throughout history too many sincere people in every part of the world have fallen victim to this thinking. In the Bahá’í view, such attitudes are, in part, the product of ignorance. If other religions are shrouded in mystery, then they become an empty vessel into which the individual is attempted to pour fears and fantasies. Experience shows that ignorance breeds superstition and perpetuates religious prejudice and animosity.
(Bahá’í International Community, 1992 Feb 10, Creating a Climate of Religious Tolerance)


Regarding Lao-Tse; the Bahá’ís do not consider him a prophet, or even a secondary prophet or messenger, unlike Buddha or Zoroaster, both of whom were Divinely-appointed and fully independent Manifestations of God.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 502)


Regarding your questions: the only reason there is not more mention of the Asiatic Prophets is because Their names seem to be lost in the mists of ancient history. Buddha is mentioned, and Zoroaster, in our Scriptures—both non- Jewish Prophets or non Semitic Prophets. We are taught there always have been Manifestations of God, but we do not have any record of Their names.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 22)


The Bahá’í Faith is a new religion, entirely independent, with beliefs, principles and laws of its own, which differ from, and are utterly in conflict with, the beliefs, principles and laws of Islam.
(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 364)


The divine Prophets are conjoined in the perfect state of love. Each One has given the glad tidings of His successor’s coming and each successor has sanctioned the One Who preceded Him. They were in the utmost unity, but Their followers are in strife. For instance, Moses gave the message of the glad tidings of Christ, and Christ confirmed the Prophethood of Moses. Therefore, between Moses and Jesus there is no variation or conflict. They are in perfect unity, but between the Jew and the Christian there is conflict. Now, therefore, if the Christian and Jewish peoples investigate the reality underlying their Prophets’ teachings, they will become kind in their attitude toward each other and associate in the utmost love, for reality is one and not dual or multiple. If this investigation of reality becomes universal, the divergent nations will ratify all the divine Prophets and confirm all the Holy Books. No strife or rancor will then remain, and the world will become united. Then will we associate in the reality of love. We will become as fathers and sons, as brothers and sisters living together in complete unity, love and happiness; for this century is the century of light. It is not like former centuries. Former centuries were epochs of oppression. Now human intellects have developed, and human intelligence has increased. Each soul is investigating reality. This is not a time when we shall wage war and be hostile toward each other. We are living at a time when we should enjoy real friendship.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 221)


The nine religions to which you have referred include both the Bábí and the Bahá’í Dispensations, Bahá’u’lláh being the ninth Prophet in the series. The other Prophets included are Zoroaster, Krishna, Moses, the Christ, Muhammad, Buddha, the Prophet of the Sabaeans Whose name is unrecorded, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh.... Buddha appeared in the Adamic cycle.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 20)


The number nine which in itself is the number of perfection is considered by the Bahá’ís as sacred because it is symbolic of the perfection of the Bahá’í Revelation which constitutes the ninth in the line of existing religions, the latest and fullest Revelation which mankind has ever known. The eighth is the religion of the Báb, and the remaining seven are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and the religion of the Sabeans. These religions are not the only true religions that have appeared in the world, but are the only ones still existing. There have always been divine Prophets and Messengers, to many of whom the Qur‘án refers. But the only ones existing are those mentioned above.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 414)


The number nine, which in itself is the number of perfection, is considered by the Bahá’ís as sacred because it is symbolic of the perfection of the Bahá’í Revelation, which constitutes the ninth in the line of existing religions, the latest and fullest Revelation which mankind has ever known. The eighth is the Religion of the Báb, and the remaining seven are: Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism,Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the religion of the Sabaeans. These religions are not the only true religions that have appeared in the world, but are the only ones which are still existing. There have always been divine prophets and messengers, to many of whom the Qur‘án refers. But the only ones existing are those mentioned above.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 19-20)


There are no dates in our teachings regarding the actual dates of the Prophets of the Adamic Cycle, so we cannot give any. Tentatively we can accept what historians may consider accurate. Naturally the dates referring to Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh we are sure of.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 22)


Know ye that the Torah is that which was revealed in the Tablets unto Moses, may peace be upon Him, and in that which He was commanded to do.... The glorious Book, the Mighty Decree, is what was in the Tablets which Moses, upon Him be peace, brought from Mount Sinai, and that which He proclaimed unto the Children of Israel, in accordance with the explicit text of those Tablets.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, from a previously untranslated Tablet, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)


We cannot be sure of the authenticity, word for word, of any of the past Holy Scriptures except the Qur‘án, as they were either not written down during the Prophet’s lifetime or have been changed in the course of time and the originals lost; what we can be sure of is that when Bahá’u’lláh or the Master stated that Zoroaster foretold a Promised One’s coming, it is correct. The Zoroastrians have no way of contradicting this assertion of ours, as they themselves know their scriptures are not in the original form, and therefore not absolutely authentic.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 21)


We cannot be sure of the authenticity of the scriptures of Buddha and Krishna.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 503)


With reference to your question concerning the Sabean and Hindu religions; there is nothing in the Teachings that could help us in ascertaining which one of these two Faiths is older. Neither history seems to be able to provide a definite answer to this question. The records concerning the origin of these religions are not sufficiently detailed and reliable to offer any conclusive evidence on this point.
(Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 502)


Your question concerning Brahma and Krishna: such matters, as no reference occurs to them in the Teachings, are left for students of history and religion to resolve and clarify.
(Shoghi Effendi, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 21)


...the Torah that God hath confirmed consists of the exact words that streamed forth at the bidding of God from the tongue of Him Who conversed with Him (Moses).
(Bahá’u’lláh, from a previously untranslated Tablet, Extracts From The Bahá’í Writings And From Letters Of The Guardian And The Universal House Of Justice On The Old And New Testaments)