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Old 11-06-2017, 05:45 PM   #1
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"Refer to the Qur'an"

Greetings all, I hope you find yourselves doing well!

Since my initial post about Gems of Divine Mysteries, and my interpretations on a couple parts, I've since decided to try and write a full fledged commentary on the text.

As I mentioned earlier, my initial interpretation of the text makes mention about how it 'solved' my belief in reincarnation. However I am a little confused now.

In reading Gems, I had read the previous paragraph, talking about how in believing in a strictly literal interpretation of their texts, the people of the Book went against God's words. Then, the quote at hand shows up:

"Refer to the Qur'an, that thou mayest find mention of all this and be of them that understand its meaning."

Immediately I had a variety of questions. As a mekubal I wonder if this means that I would also have to interpret the Qur'an, and if so, the entirety of it, or just the parts referencing the People of the Book and their literal interpretations?

Er, to state it more broadly: Are we as Baha'i's, according to this quote, called to understand the Qur'an in full?

Edit:
Oops. This was intended for the Baha'i Quotes section. My bad.
 
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:51 PM   #2
djg
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This is an interesting question.

We are certainly called to understand the teachings of Baha'u'llah. A great emphasis is placed on His teachings. It is certainly not bad to seek an understanding of the Revelations of previous Dispensations. But to do so to the exclusion of deepening our understanding of the message of this Dispensation would be foolish.

To some extent, the message of this Dispensation is linked with the messages of past Dispensations, and so it seems that seeking an understanding of them would likewise deepen a person's understanding of the present Dispensation.
 
Old 11-07-2017, 03:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
Greetings all, I hope you find yourselves doing well!

Since my initial post about Gems of Divine Mysteries, and my interpretations on a couple parts, I've since decided to try and write a full fledged commentary on the text.

As I mentioned earlier, my initial interpretation of the text makes mention about how it 'solved' my belief in reincarnation. However I am a little confused now.

In reading Gems, I had read the previous paragraph, talking about how in believing in a strictly literal interpretation of their texts, the people of the Book went against God's words. Then, the quote at hand shows up:

"Refer to the Qur'an, that thou mayest find mention of all this and be of them that understand its meaning."

Immediately I had a variety of questions. As a mekubal I wonder if this means that I would also have to interpret the Qur'an, and if so, the entirety of it, or just the parts referencing the People of the Book and their literal interpretations?

Er, to state it more broadly: Are we as Baha'i's, according to this quote, called to understand the Qur'an in full?

Edit:
Oops. This was intended for the Baha'i Quotes section. My bad.
You realize, of course that Abdu'l-Baha is infallible and if he says there is no reincarnation there is no reincarnation. You need to get with the program. They are all fakes. They looked it up. Anyone can do that. They coached their youngsters. People will go to great lengths to get famous. Abdu'l-Baha is interpreting what Baha'u'llah said about life after death.
 
Old 11-07-2017, 06:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane View Post
You realize, of course that Abdu'l-Baha is infallible and if he says there is no reincarnation there is no reincarnation. You need to get with the program. They are all fakes. They looked it up. Anyone can do that. They coached their youngsters. People will go to great lengths to get famous. Abdu'l-Baha is interpreting what Baha'u'llah said about life after death.
I think the idea of reincarnation is really not far from Baha'i teaching, actually. Before you get upset at the idea, hear me out...

If I understand Baha'i teachings correctly, we are "born" into the next life at a level that matches our spiritual progress. Unlike the teaching of reincarnation, this rebirth does not occur in the world that we are living in now. It happens in a different, more spiritual realm. But the principles are the same. There are still consequences for our actions, which will lead us to a new life that could be better or worse than our current one. So really, it's not all that different from the notion of reincarnation.

As for the question in the original post regarding the interpretation (or lack thereof) of the Qur'an, I am very curious about the answers others may have about this. I will definitely pay close attention to this thread....
 
Old 11-07-2017, 10:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane View Post
You realize, of course that Abdu'l-Baha is infallible and if he says there is no reincarnation there is no reincarnation. You need to get with the program. They are all fakes. They looked it up. Anyone can do that. They coached their youngsters. People will go to great lengths to get famous. Abdu'l-Baha is interpreting what Baha'u'llah said about life after death.
That was a somewhat rude way of saying that.

I'm under the impression that Abdu'l-Baha is infallible when it comes to interpreting the writings of Baha'u'llah - Something I completely accept. However, he's not infallible elsewhere. For example, many have stated that he cannot label who is or is not a prophet - In doing so, he isn't interpreting anything Baha'u'llah said - And the same could go for his words in, say, Some Answered Questions where he talks about reincarnation. In fact, quoting one line from it...

"Proofs must be asked for from the believers in reincarnation, and not conjectures, suppositions and imaginations.
But you have asked for arguments of the impossibility of reincarnation. This is what we must now explain."


It's specifically about arguments against it, and it's on something Baha'u'llah never spoke on (Which was stated by the Guardian), which sounds like his infallibility doesn't cover this topic in this case, since he's infallible in interpreting what Baha'u'llah said, not what he didn't say.

And as to the reasons why reincarnation wasn't spoken of, the Guardian (in the same quote) mentions that it is because such ideas either have no reality or no importance. So it comes down to you believing in it not having reality, and me believing it has no importance.

The reason I personally believe it has no importance but not having no reality comes from my time as a Sikh prior to being Baha'i, and my recent studies of Hinduism. I am one who tries to see the biggest picture I can, studying what not exclusively what Baha'i says, but various religions (Usually when I think of a question I write down what each religion says from a little chart I have containing 19 different faiths), and try to find the unity between them (Though of course, Baha'i is the primary one, seeing as it's the latest, fullest and most clarified out of all). Past the quotes mentioned above, it boils down to personal belief, in that I've agreed with the mentions of reincarnation in things like the Gita, and moreso from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, containing the teachings of the Sikh Gurus. In the SGGS it is said that one goes through this cycle of rebirths to harmonize with God, through understanding His message.

And then in the fourth paragraph of Gems, Baha'u'llah basically states that if one can understand the concealed mysteries within the text they will understand His message - Baha'u'llah didn't even need to speak of reincarnation to 'solve' the problem. In a way, Gems is like a guidebook to achieving that harmony. All one has to do is understand it, and then that cycle mentioned in the SGGS would cease. Of course it's not important to him, he's already shown us the way, in a much, much shorter length than any previous religious text has. In my eyes it really is a testament to the potency of Baha'u'llah's message.


But back to the topic at hand, I am still unsure of this quote. I know that the Bab mentioned it as being authentic, which was echoed by the Guardian several times, and Baha'u'llah's praise of the book.

I'm just taking a shot in the dark here, but I would say that even if it's a wholly authentic book we aren't called to use it in nearly the same way we are Baha'i texts since it comes from a previous dispensation.

Referring to this quote specifically, now that I've slept on it, may say be telling us to refer to the Qur'an specifically if we want to know more about the topic's he just mentioned, like people of the Book going against His words. And what this means for me in my attempt at understanding Gems is that I have to go digging in the Qur'an now for where it talks about things like this. I've got some digging to do

Thanks all for your input.
 
Old 11-07-2017, 03:23 PM   #6
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Baha'u'llah says that we go on to many worlds, which excludes coming back to this world repeatedly. Reincarnation is an awful idea, and one contrary to the love of God. Well, it's not that important that I convince you. Go ahead and believe that if you really want to. But you'll eventually find out differently. Just go on with your life and find out.

I'm sorry for my tone to you earlier. I was very rude.
 
Old 11-07-2017, 04:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duane View Post
Baha'u'llah says that we go on to many worlds, which excludes coming back to this world repeatedly. Reincarnation is an awful idea, and one contrary to the love of God. Well, it's not that important that I convince you. Go ahead and believe that if you really want to. But you'll eventually find out differently. Just go on with your life and find out.

I'm sorry for my tone to you earlier. I was very rude.
Sorry if I was a bit aggressive myself - Would you be able to point me to the quote that Baha'u'llah states that going on to many worlds excludes this one?

The way I see it, all the various definitions of the afterlife given collectively work together to form a united picture. Since I don't want to continue de-railing this thread, when I get back from work I may PM you regarding the subject (Or just post it in my other thread geared toward reincarnation). Good to hear from you
 
Old 11-10-2017, 06:51 AM   #8
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Saveyist:

Below is a link with information you may find useful as you seek a fuller understanding of the soul's journey through the worlds/realms of existence toward the Divine Reality.

https://ia601202.us.archive.org/21/i...-evolution.pdf

-LR
 
Old 11-10-2017, 07:52 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saveyist View Post
"Refer to the Qur'an, that thou mayest find mention of all this and be of them that understand its meaning."
I think that it is a good idea for a Baha'i to understand the Quran. And the Bayan (which is a shame since it is still not translated in full officially). And the Gospel, and the Torah, and even the Gita and Avesta (though that last one is admittedly a tough read full of references to angels/yazata that would be mostly unfamiliar to those not versed in Zoroastrianism).

It's all part of a grand narrative. Some will argue that Baha'u'llah's laws are the current laws and thus are the only laws we need to know, but knowledge of the laws of previous eras gives us context for our own laws, and understanding what and why we currently have what we have. It is important contextual information.

It's like studying history of previous leaders. Sure, some might think only the current leaders are important, but studying previous leaders can teach us things about the current ones.
 
Old 11-13-2017, 11:01 PM   #10
djg
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Kitab-i-Aqdas, paragraph 138:

"Let none, in this Day, hold fast to aught save that 69 which hath been manifested in this Revelation. Such is the decree of God, aforetime and hereafter—a decree wherewith the Scriptures of the Messengers of old have been adorned. Such is the admonition of the Lord, aforetime and hereafter—an admonition wherewith the preamble to the Book of Life hath been embellished, did ye but perceive it. Such is the commandment of the Lord, aforetime and hereafter; beware lest ye choose instead the part of ignominy and abasement. Naught shall avail you in this Day but God, nor is there any refuge to flee to save Him, the Omniscient, the All-Wise. Whoso hath known Me hath known the Goal of all desire, and whoso hath turned unto Me hath turned unto the Object of all adoration. Thus hath it been set forth in the Book, and thus hath it been decreed by God, the Lord of all worlds. To read but one of the verses of My Revelation is better than to peruse the Scriptures of both the former and latter generations. This is the Utterance of the All-Merciful, would that ye had ears to hear! Say: This is the essence of knowledge, did ye but understand."
 
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