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Old 03-29-2016, 11:32 AM   #1
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God has signs and attributes yet is indivisible

Know thou that every created thing is a sign of the revelation of God. Each, according to its capacity, is, and will ever remain, a token of the Almighty. Inasmuch as He, the sovereign Lord of all, hath willed to reveal His sovereignty in the kingdom of names and attributes, each and every created thing hath, through the act of the Divine Will, been made a sign of His glory. So pervasive and general is this revelation that nothing whatsoever in the whole universe can be discovered that doth not reflect His splendor. Under such conditions every consideration of proximity and remoteness is obliterated…. Were the Hand of Divine power to divest of this high endowment all created things, the entire universe would become desolate and void.

...

Let no one imagine that by Our assertion that all created things are the signs of the revelation of God is meant that—God forbid—all men, be they good or evil, pious or infidel, are equal in the sight of God. Nor doth it imply that the Divine Being—magnified be His name and exalted be His glory—is, under any circumstances, comparable unto men, or can, in any way, be associated with His creatures. Such an error hath been committed by certain foolish ones who, after having ascended into the heavens of their idle fancies, have interpreted Divine Unity to mean that all created things are the signs of God, and that, consequently, there is no distinction whatsoever between them. Some have even outstripped them by maintaining that these signs are peers and partners of God Himself. Gracious God! He, verily, is one and indivisible; one in His essence, one in His attributes. Everything besides Him is as nothing when brought face to face with the resplendent revelation of but one of His names, with no more than the faintest intimation of His glory—how much less when confronted with His own Self!


Bahá'í Reference Library - Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Pages 184-192

I read these verses today and was reminded of some things Niblo said a while back. The themes of the Oneness of God, His indivisibility, and incomparable nature and status to His creations were asserted by our Muslim brother, and I find those themes confirmed by the founder of our Faith.

I have been learning a lot about the Primal Will recently, a concept that seems essential to understanding Baha'i theology and the nature of the Manifestation. If anyone would like to share insights regarding the nature of the Primal Will and it's relationship to God Himself, please contribute! Perhaps by understanding the differences between God and the Primal Will, we can better understand the relationship of the Manifestation of God to God.
 
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:41 PM   #2
dash
 
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Neal,

These are excellent quotes.

Something I would add for your consideration regarding attributes, is that the source of God's attributes is basically man. God's essence is completely unknowable but in an attempt to approach it and come to terms with this mystery, we have attributed things to God in accordance with our reasoning capacity at any point in time. But these attributions come from us and not from his own self and are likely inadequate approximations at best.

Cheers
 
Old 03-30-2016, 06:15 AM   #3
dash
 
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From: Somewhere "in this immensity"
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niblo View Post
Hello Fadl.

From the Christian and Islamic perspective this is not correct. Allāh (Subḥānahu ūta'āla) is the source of His attributes, and the source of our knowledge of them.

In the Bible, for example, He reveals His spirit nature; His goodness; grace; holiness; immanence; immutability; justice; love; mercy; omnipotence; omnipresence; omniscience; righteousness; self-existence; sovereignty; and transcendence.

In the Qur’an He confirms that He is Most Gracious; Most Merciful; the Master of the Day of Judgment; the Creator; the All-Knowing; the possessor of infinite grace; that He is omnipresent and omniscient; that all power belongs to Him alone; that He is immanent; that He is compassionate; that He is the One who provides and withholds; that without His support there would be chaos; that there is no god besides Him, the Living, the Eternal; that to Him belongs everything in the heavens and everything on earth, and ruling them never burdens Him; that He is the Most High, the Great; the Hearer; the Bounteous; the Knower; the possessor of all sovereignty. That He is the Most Wise. That He loves His people; that He is the only Supporter; the only Pardoner; and the only Forgiver.

While we cannot know all of Him, what we do know is sufficient for our needs. He has seen to that.

Have a great day, and very best regards.

Paul.
Paul,

I understand your point of view and don't disagree with this perspective. However, when we say such things as "He reveals his..." the intermediary of what is revealed is always the faculties of the recipient. Even the sun, for example, when it reveals its heat and radiance to me each morning, is first filtered through the atmosphere and magnetosphere, secondly through my sensory organs, encoded by them as signals interpreted by my brain and reconstructed as my human experience of the sun. From this process I declare that the sun his warm, radiant, glorious, and it is. But it is also not fully represented in my human mind and my attributions to it are partial and inadequate and to not fully encompass the sun. Imagine how much more so this is true when speaking of God and his attributes.

Cheers
 
Old 03-30-2016, 02:41 PM   #4
Lives in hope
 
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Joined: Dec 2015
From: N Ireland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niblo View Post
Hi Fadl.

I agree that we bring to Scripture our own prejudices and quirks; and that because of this not everyone will interpret the words of Scripture in the same manner. When all is said and done religious truths (all of them) are accepted by faith.

Cheers,

Paul
I agree whole heartedly Paul. It is our faith that enables to derive hope from our reading of scripture. Without faith, it's beautiful poetry at best
 
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