IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST BENEFICENT, THE MOST MERCIFUL
IMRAN SHAYKH, JUNE 2014
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Seeking the truth is most definitely innate, logical, and reasonable; blind imitation is also an inappropriate and irrational action. But just as was determined in the second perspective, this principle is not exclusive to Baha段sm.

Seeking the truth and accepting what is right is an innate matter. This concept is a fundamental basis of the Islamic belief which Baha置値lah had firm belief in for years before he founded the Baha段 creed. A glance at the teachings of the Quran can reveal the origins of this so-called novel Baha段 principle. The Quran constantly invites humans to find what is right, go after knowledge, invites them to use their reason, and keeps them from blind imitation of their fathers and ancestors. The Prophet of Islam also strictly recommends pondering and seeking the truth using reason and intellect when making a decision in regards to fundamental issues of belief.

It is stated in the Quran, "And when it is said to them, Follow what God has revealed, they say, Rather, we will follow that which we found our fathers doing. Even though their fathers understood nothing, nor were they guided."
(Ref: Quran, 2:170)

The Quran not only prohibits people from blindly imitating their fathers and ancestors, but also prohibits blind imitation of influential groups in society - "And they will say, - Our Lord, indeed we obeyed our masters and our dignitaries, and they led us astray from the [right] way. -

But, what if an imitation is not blind and unreasonable? If a person, finds a wise human whose actions, behavior, and do痴 and don稚s are logical and rational, shouldn稚 they follow him or her?"
(Ref: Quran, 33:67)

Referring to a specialist and using their guidance in affairs that one does not have the proper experience and knowledge in is logical. It cannot be said that imitation is prohibited in all situations!

Is following the proper form of exercise of a professional athlete, wrong or unreasonable? Is referring to a specialist scholar in every field and following their advice and making use of their guidelines something wrong?

Reason dictates that every person must do research about the fundamentals of their religious beliefs. A person must personally do research and based on knowledge and reason be committed to their religious principles and beliefs. This principle is different from the incorrect belief of the Mystics and Sufis that call their followers to blindly obey them and prevent them from thinking and contemplation.
(Babism which is the basis of Baha段sm was itself greatly influenced by Sufi beliefs. The influence of Sufi and Mystical beliefs can still be seen in the Baha段 scriptures)

Other than this, despite the outward appearance of the Baha段 faith rejecting imitation completely, Baha段s have many decrees and orders that they all must imitate and follow. For example, one can refer to the book of Aqdas - the most important book in the Baha段 creed - and the book Ganjiniyi Hudud wa ahkam whose do痴 and don稚s all Baha段s are obligated to follow.

Is acting on the decrees and orders of the Aqdas, not considered imitation? Is it not an imitation when `Abd al-Baha orders Baha段s to submit to the decisions made by the Universal House of Justice (UHJ) ?
("The affairs of the nation are connected to the men of the divine House of Justice . . . everyone must obey [them]. Everyone痴 political affairs must be referred to the House of Justice." Baha置値lah, Ishraqat wa chand lauh digar (n.p.: n.p., n.d), p.79.)

Why is it that the referral of all people to their religious books is considered an imitation, but the referral of Baha段s to the Aqdas or Ganjiniyi Hudud wa ahkam in a very precise fashion, is not imitation?!

In response to the challenges brought forth in this perspective, Baha段痴 typically respond that what is meant from putting aside imitations, is imitations in undesired things, not any form of imitation!

In response to this group, take note that:

  • Firstly, in no part of this principle can there be a qualification seen that separates desirable acts and undesirable acts to prove such a claim. In fact, evidence shows that the meaning of this principle is imitations in all things.

  • Secondly, if this is indeed the case, then all this publicity is absurd, for not only do all religions and creeds deem blind imitation as undesirable, but all the wise people in the world believe and agree on this. So this principle cannot be considered an innovation of the Baha段 cult nor an advantage.

Baha段痴 respond to the abovementioned argument by saying that it is true that all religions condemn blind imitations, but the important thing is to act upon this principle, for "all nations are perfect in their sayings." (Ref: Abd al-Baha, Kha?abat (Egypt), vol. 1, pp. 127 & 128.)

Are Baha置値lah痴 orders to become blind and deaf and to close the ears from hearing the words of the critics of Baha段sm in harmony with this principle? Is the fact that no Baha段 has the right to have questions and doubts in his religion, and as soon as they bring out a criticism or doubt, should be excommunicated and expelled from the community , a sign of seeking the truth?
(Ref: "Become blind so that you see my face, become deaf so that you hear my pleasant tone and voice, become ignorant . . ." Baha置値lah, Ad`iyyi hazrat mahbub, pp. 427-428)

(Ref: "So soon as they find anyone beginning to oppose and protest against the Guardian of the Cause of God, cast him out from the congregation of the people of Baha . . ." `Abd al-Baha, The Will and Testament of 羨bdu値-Bah, p. 12.)

It is up to you to draw your own conclusions!

The articles have been based on the book "Avaze Dohol" - the Beating of the Drum by Masoud Basiti, Zahra Moradi.



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