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Old 02-13-2016, 11:56 PM   #1
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Question The Qur'an, Baha'i, and the threat of Hell

Recently I've been reading the Qur'an. What astonishes me is how much Muhammad focuses on the punishment of hell. If there is a single chapter that doesn't warn of punishment for unbelievers, I seem to have missed it. Maybe there are later chapters that do not contain such warnings, and I just haven't gotten to them yet.

What I fail to understand is why the Baha'i faith, which is allegedly so strongly based on Islam, almost completely abandons the talk of hell. I have read in several places that hell is a symbolic thing according to Baha'is. But even the first entry in the Kitab-i-Aqdas warns of denying the authority of Baha'u'llah. "...whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed." If that is so, what is the actual punishment for those that have gone astray? Will those who follow other religions attain a state that is similar to the suffering of hell? Will the only hell that they will experience be distance from God? If this is so, what justification is there for denying the notion of hell in the traditional/former sense? Why would God's treatment of followers of earlier Manifestations suddenly change with each new messenger, especially since all previous messengers are considered valid?

I guess I'm just looking for some insight into the changing notions of hell according to different Manifestations. If the light of God is unchanging, why does it seem so very different among the various dawning points of each Manifestation?

I'm not really sure what answers I'm looking for. I have just felt a little bewildered by this over the past few days. Thanks in advance for any replies.
 
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Old 02-14-2016, 01:40 AM   #2
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dear Scribe

first of all I disagree with the idea that Baha'i is based on Islam; it is not "based on" rather, all religions have come from One Source and so they follow one and the same goal. for Baha'i to be based on Islam is like saying that Islam on based in Christianity but you can see how much different the two religions are.

the reason why there are so much mentioning of sufferings of hell in Qur'an is related to the historical time and place in which Islam appeared at first. Arab people, strong warriors, no fear of killing one another, living in very hot deserts (except for some few areas). and then Islam has used those images which would be more tangible even for barbarians of Arabia. they had to be given warning and what can be a useful warning for people who don't fear killing or being killed?

but then time passed; people grew and became more modern (relevantly). moreover Persia in which Baha'i faith first appears had softer people in comparison to Arabia so the same symbols could not be used. moreover Baha'i faith taught that all those images of hell and heaven are symbolic so why should it promote the same images again?
 
Old 02-14-2016, 02:18 AM   #3
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Hell is very real. The descriptions are symbolic, because it cant be decribed with words, but the quranic symbols for hell are accurate. What the Bahai faith denies is only, that Hell is a place somewhere where you will litterally burn. But the Bahai faith does not deny, that bad people will burn metaphorically, and suffer extremely after death.

It is described in the Bahai faith as a "remoteness from God", or "thine own self". But do we have an idea how these states feel after death? Probably like the Quran describes them, because it is a true book from God.
 
Old 02-14-2016, 04:46 AM   #4
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it seems that in Quran God describes the features of hell without saying the reasons for those features because people back then could not understand. for example God says in hell people will burn and there is huge fire, but Doesn't mention the reason. while in Baha'i faith we are finally given the reason (without more need to stress the features). so we know that hell is the state of remoteness from God. it is the state of finally realizing that we could have progressed a lot on earth and we did not and so this is a burning regret; this is worse than any physical fire. THIS is really hell!
 
Old 02-22-2016, 07:21 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maryamr View Post
the reason why there are so much mentioning of sufferings of hell in Qur'an is related to the historical time and place in which Islam appeared at first. Arab people, strong warriors, no fear of killing one another, living in very hot deserts (except for some few areas). and then Islam has used those images which would be more tangible even for barbarians of Arabia.
Hello Maryamr,

Exactly. That is why Heaven is portrayed as a garden, with flowing water and fresh fruit. A marked contrast to the desert.

Have a great day, and very best regards.

Paul
 
Old 02-22-2016, 09:55 AM   #6
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Red face

In my understanding, according to Baha'I scriptures, 'Hell' has manifold meanings, and interpretations.

There was a Hell, prophecied in Quran, that is related to Day of Judgement.
That is, the Hell that was to appear after the Day of Judgement, and some people attain the Garden, and some would be in Hell.
In Baha'I view, this is fulfilled and is Today. (Our Age)
By 'Hell' was meant, when this New Revelation comes, many people would be in Hell of Unbelief. It was just a warning, as failure of humanity to recognize it.

In this sense, because Religion of God is likened to Garden, or Heaven, likewise, when people are not in this Garden, their place is liked to be in Hell.
There are Muslim Hadithes which gives this view, that Religion is the Garden.


Another interpretation was, when This New Day comes there will be Fire of Wars. There is at least a Hadith that says, when Qaim comes, there will be Fire of Wars.


So, this Hell, is not limitted to Life after Death, but rather, show the status of humanity, when this Day comes.

There is yet another meaning assigned to 'Hell', and that is Spiritual Station of the Soul, which means being remote from God. This meaning of Hell, is both related to this life, and spiritual life after Death. This Hell or Heaven, was not just limited to this Day of Judgement, but from the time human was created, being remote from God, in a spiritual sense was called Hell.
 
Old 02-22-2016, 02:11 PM   #7
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Hello Maryamr,

Exactly. That is why Heaven is portrayed as a garden, with flowing water and fresh fruit. A marked contrast to the desert.

Have a great day, and very best regards.

Paul
In my picture of Heaven, there is a nice little cafe in the garden, which makes excellent espresso. Having reached a certain age, I picture the promised maidens as waitresses bringing the coffee to my table. Oh, don't we get boring when we get older!

gnat
 
Old 02-22-2016, 10:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by gnat View Post
In my picture of Heaven, there is a nice little cafe in the garden, which makes excellent espresso. Having reached a certain age, I picture the promised maidens as waitresses bringing the coffee to my table. Oh, don't we get boring when we get older!

gnat
That depends on what the waitresses are wearing.

One of my ideal heavens is to spend eternity travelling around the universe (including back and forth in time) seeing for myself exactly what went on and goes on. A wee bit like Star Trek, but without the motley crew (except for the Lady Grilka of Deep Space Nine’s ‘The House of Quark’ episode. That lass could stir my coffee any time she liked. Yum! Yum!).

Last edited by Niblo; 02-22-2016 at 10:47 PM.
 
Old 02-23-2016, 12:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niblo View Post
That depends on what the waitresses are wearing.

One of my ideal heavens is to spend eternity travelling around the universe (including back and forth in time) seeing for myself exactly what went on and goes on. A wee bit like Star Trek, but without the motley crew (except for the Lady Grilka of Deep Space Nine’s ‘The House of Quark’ episode. That lass could stir my coffee any time she liked. Yum! Yum!).
Deep Space Nine, not a patch on original or Next Generation
 
Old 02-23-2016, 12:58 PM   #10
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And please take notice of the fact that we hijacked the string on hell to elaborate further on the much more interesting subject of Heaven.

gnat
 
Old 02-24-2016, 07:03 AM   #11
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Deep Space Nine, not a patch on original or Next Generation
Nah!...DS9 every time. Better story-lines...Better acting...Superb range of interesting characters...and above all...the Lady Grilka. Woof! Woof!
 
Old 02-24-2016, 07:05 AM   #12
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And please take notice of the fact that we hijacked the string on hell to elaborate further on the much more interesting subject of Heaven.

gnat
I hadn't noticed
 
Old 02-24-2016, 12:30 PM   #13
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Nah!...DS9 every time. Better story-lines...Better acting...Superb range of interesting characters...and above all...the Lady Grilka. Woof! Woof!
The Enterprise has something in common with toilet paper. Both go round Uranus knocking off Klingons
 
Old 02-24-2016, 12:47 PM   #14
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The Enterprise has something in common with toilet paper. Both go round Uranus knocking off Klingons
LOL. That's brilliant. I'm all flushed wi chuckles.
 
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