Bahaullah: Prophet or God?
Dr. Mohammed Alam Qurayshi
The Bahais present the personality of Bahaullah in a uniquely flexible manner. Depending upon the faith of the person who is addressed, Bahaullah could be either a prophet, or the promised messiah, or even God Almighty.
One can understand this logic if it came from the followers of Bahaullah and put it down to their enthusiasm for the Faith or rather their desperation to ensure the growth in their ranks. However, we see that the person in question, Bahaullah, himself appears confused as to his role in this world. At different points in time, Bahaullah made each of these claims.
The objective of this article is to primarily highlight this factual element of history. To be honest, the claims of Bahaullah just cannot be put down to something as simple as confusion. The seemingly logical graduation in the intensity of his claims and his self-induced ascension points to the fact that as he grew in power, and as the number of his followers increased, so did his claims. Here is a mentally disturbed individual who simply lusted for power and stopped at nothing to achieve it.
This thirst for power was not limited to Bahaullah only. In fact a large number of Babis, including the brother of Bahaullah also made various claims for themselves.
It is unfortunate that in today's world the common Bahai is unaware of these facts. This article is a sincere attempt to bring out the true personality of Bahaullah. I have brought here irrefutable references to support my article at every stage and I invite reader feedback on the same.
The claims of Bab and his followers
Prior to reading the claims made by Bahaullah, let me remind you that, in his lifetime, the Bab too made numerous claims for himself. I have enumerated these in my article on The Babi Faith: Its Origin and History
Initially he claimed to be the 'Bab' (Gate) of Mahdi
He claimed to be Mahdi himself
He also claimed to be the incarnation of the Prophet Mohammed
Finally he claimed to be God Almighty.
The followers of the Bab accepted each of these claims as they were issued. Not only this, after witnessing their leader making tall claims for himself without reasonable or sufficient proofs, they began making tall claims for themselves also. Thus a series of claimants rose, among the Babis on a first-come-first-serve basis. Those who made claims earlier than the others could stake their claims to better and lucrative positions whereas the late comers had to be satisfied with what was left. Unfortunately, no two persons staked the same claim.
Here we present some of the claimants and their respective claims.
Mulla Husain Bushrui, the first person to accept the Bab called himself 'Bab-ul-Bab' (Gate of the Gate).
Haji Mohammed Ali claimed to be the incarnation of Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h).
Qurratul Ayn, Tahera Qazvini claimed to be the incarnation of Fatemah, the daughter of the Holy Prophet (p.b.u.h).
(Ref: Nuqtatul Qaaf by Mirza Jani, Page 14)
Bab had predicted the advent of 'Man Yozherohullah' (The One whom God will manifest) in Bayan (Persian), chapter 17. Originally this title was conferred upon Mirza Yahya Nuri 'Subh-e-Azal', the younger brother of Mirza Husain Ali 'Bahaullah. However the first person who staked his claim for this very title was Mirza Asadullah, a staunch Babi. Those who supported Mirza Asadullah in his claims were known as 'Al-Hamdis'. However Mirza could not defend his claim for long. The servants of Bahaullah, and on his very orders ruthlessly murdered him. According to Count Gobisnow, the Babis tied a rope around the neck of Mirza Asadullah's legs, and drowned him in the river Tigris in Iraq. However a more specific version can be found in Episode of the Bab on page 362 which says, "On the orders of Bahaullah, his servant Mirza Mohammed Mazandarani murdered Mirza Asadullah."
It is pertinent to note that later Mirza Yahya staked his claim to this title and ultimately Bahaullah usurped it from him. Today the Bahais address Bahaullah with the title of "Man Yozherohullah", 'The One whom Allah will Manifest'. Our article on this matter will make it clear that Bahaullah was not the one whom Allah will manifest.
Similarly many such claims were propounded.
The crux of all what we said can be attributed to one simple observation made by Professor E. G. Browne in the foreword to Nuqtatul Qaaf of Mirza Jani. He writes, "Matters had reached to such an extent that any Babi, as soon as he would get up from his sleep, would have a claim for himself to announce to the world."
The claims of Bahaullah
Bahaullah during the course of his lifetime made several claims for himself. Here is a selection of his claims. I have restricted this selection to those on divinity since this is one facet which the Bahais do not reveal for their followers.
It is mentioned in the Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics under the title 'Bab', that the Bahais called Mirza Ali Mohammed Bab as "Rabbi-ul-Ala" (The Most Elevated Lord).
Bahaullah mentions in Aqdas, page 43, "There is no God but I the Honored, the Wise."
He again writes in Aqdas, page 144 "Accept whatever is commanded by Baha (himself) the Lord of Eternity."
In Aqdas, page 8, Bahaullah says, "We have sent down all the Messengers and we have revealed all the Books."
In Istaqaaraat, page 34, Bahaullah writes, "The Master of Eternity lies in prison" (referring to his imprisonment and confinement).
In his Tablets, Page 217, Bahaullah writes, "All, save me are created from my command."
In his Al-Mubeen, page 34, Bahaullah writes, "All praise is for you O Bahaullah, the Creator of existence."
In the same book, page 190, he says, "Obey the commands of your Elevated, Splendorous God, Bahaullah.
Again in Al-Mubeen, page 297, Bahaullah again refers to himself as, "You Most Beneficent Lord, Bahaullah",
In his Tajalliyaat (Tajalli number 4), page 5, Bahaullah decrees, "Most surely I am Allah. There is no God save me. I am the Lord of everything. The O my creatures, you worship me alone."
Abdul Baha writes in Badaaé-ul-Asaar, page 139, "Bahaullah is unique, incomparable. It is necessary for everyone to turn towards Bahaullah in his prayers."
In Maftoon, page 15, Bahaullah writes to his son Abdul Baha, "This is a letter from Allah, the Honored and the Wise (Bahaullah) to Allah the Gracious, the Aware (Abdul Baha)." Thus not only did the father, but even the son claimed divinity for himself.
Now here is an important point to note. Bahais do not present the belief of Divinity of Bahaullah before everyone. It is only revealed to those who are firmly entrenched in their traps. Most Bahais till date remain ignorant of these claims. Even the Bahai preachers refuse to openly acknowledge that Bahaullah made claims of divinity. According to them Bahaullah is indeed alterable and they do alter him to suit their whims and fancies. To a Muslim, Bahaullah is Imam Mahdi, to a Christian, he is Jesus Christ, to a Jew he is Yehuda, to a Parsi, he is Behram, and to a Hindu, he is Kilankari Avtaar.
To a non-Bahai, Bahaullah is portrayed as a God-fearing man of Allah and a guide sent by Allah to lead mankind to the straight path. But obviously Bahaullah had bigger plans for himself.
After reading the above article, one can easily conclude that Bahaullah was neither any divine Prophet, nor did he follow any true religion. He was merely a mortal with dangerous intentions and lust for power. With his claims of divinity, Bahaullah not only attacked the foundations of Islam, but of all religions and beliefs. Surely, when Bahais mean that they seek a universal religion, they mean that we all must accept Bahaullah as God. Or at least that is what Bahaullah wants us to believe.
If you are a Bahai, I must ask you one question - Did your superiors disclose these declarations from Bahaullah when you accepted the Faith? More importantly, do you believe that Bahaullah was God? Go ahead, speak to your superiors about these declarations and whether he believes that Bahaullah was a God. As always, I look forward to your honest and objective feedback.
Written by: Dr. Mohammed Alam Qurayshi