How to teach suffi muslims ?

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May 2009
The suffi Islam is so near from the baha'i faith that anyone could mix them, and in many ways. I have a suffi friend. I can come and talk with him hours with the "hidden words", he gives me back the interpretation of Roumi or from his own order. He showed me those suffi parabollas :

"Everything in the universe express itself to reality by in inverse. All things are double, a blessing can dress itself as a calamity. Everything except God, because God as no opposite or inverse, then he stay hidden !"

"Oh Son of man, a calamity from me is my providence, apparently it's fire from my revenge, but for real it's light and misericorde. ( Baha'u'llah )"

Still the point of accepting the revelation for tooday separate him from me. In his suffi order, they have this prophecy about the coming of the Medhi. "the Medhi shall come, his origins shall be from prophet Muhamad. He shall dispense his revelation for 7 years, then he shall go when Jesus shall return ( or the new christ ). The new christ shall dispense his revelation for 40 years."

When you hear this from him, you can immediatly see what this prophecy refers ! Ismaelians and Suffis shares it !

But all Imams have learnt them that Babism and Baha'i faith was only a political movement in persia during the XIX st century. It's classified as the Amaalite movement.
Then, they say that it's impossible that the medhi comes in 1844. The suffi tradition is clear : Only after the world shall be in peace, injustice shall be gone, poeple shall live in prosperity and wealth, well, the kingdom of god shall be on earth before the Medhi comes that is what they say ! Then if it's not the case tooday, they don't want to believe that Bab has come !

It's like muslims believes that the Medhi comes like a "finished works inspector", but not to change the world for them. The world should be allready changed.

Well, The Bab and Baha'u'llah said it clearly : The priests and ulemas have badly interpreted the ancient revelations, then the promised peace was to rebuilt. Shiites had lost the spirituality of Islam in Iran in the time of Baha'u'llah, but if they had suffi spirituality, we see that it's clear that progressive revelation is totally softly passed from one manifestation of God to another.

With someone like him, I believe that I talk mainly with a suffi community under the rule of a master, more than I had tried to teach the faith. He shall accept everything from the baha'i spirituality because it only repeat his suffi vision. But befor he believes that Bab and Baha'u'llah are the prophets he had the prophecy, there shall have to be a longue interreligious council. So for the moment, I mainly talk about spirituality with him. I can't go too far.

I think that I could have found someone worst, like a true chiite. I knew one, he believes only bad things about the baha'i faith. Iranian mullahs learn them total absurdities. So it's a long long way, ... again.
May 2009
Yes it's a very interesting topic, and like you mention, the Baha'i Faith is already very close to Sufism. Your friend already believes that the Mehdi and Jesus will appear and establish peace. Baha'is believe this too, and crucially, we believe that the establishment of peace is a gradual process rather than an immediate, supernatural event.

There are other Hadith which support the Baha'i Faith and describe the Bab and Baha'u'llah very clearly, some of them are mentioned in Nabil's Narrative, the Kitab-i-Iqan, and The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf. Dr Moojan Momen also wrote a super paper on the topic here.

Abdu'l-Baha also explains in Some Answered Questions how the Bible refers both to Prophet Muhammed, Ali, and the Bab. It's of particular interest because He shows how the date of 1260 AH (which is also found in various Hadith) is found in the Bible, and corresponds to the year of the Bab's Declaration. That's here.

There is also an official Baha'i Website on the Faith's relationship with Islam here, which may prove helpful.

The Bab Himself based most of His Proof claims on two specific concepts presented in the Quran. The first is that only the "sincere", "those firmly grounded in knowledge", and "men of understanding" can comprehend the Quran, while only God Himself knows its hidden mysteries (56:77-80 and 3:7). The Bab's vast number of commentaries on the Quran astounded even the greatest Islamic scholars, which demonstrates that the Bab must therefore have been sincere, firmly grounded in knowledge, possessing understanding and a Manifestation of God.

The second proof is that none can produce a Book or even a Surah like the Quran (2:33 and 17:88). The Bab Revealed over 500,000 Verses half way through His Ministry (i.e. within 3.5 years; bear in mind that the Quran is 1/10th of this volume and was Revealed by Prophet Muhammed over 23 years). The Bab was estimated to have Revealed over 1 million Verses throughout His Ministry. These Verses were of such eloquence that many Islamic scholars regarded them as similar in style to, or even more eloquent, than those of the Quran.

Obviously this is a huge topic, but the Proofs are abundant :) Good luck...
May 2009
Then I recieved a little attack !

Well, no wounds, dialectic is just going on ! Some guys of this group came for a fireside. Oh what I haven't done ... It was for the declaration of the Bab. So why not talk about it with some suffis ? It was productive, it cames on all subjects, going on until Abdu'l Bahà's ministry in fact. Then here, some suffis tried to describe and explains some quran surates. Then cames a clash ! In surate II ( the young cow or heifer ), prophet Muhammad reveals that we shouldn't care too much about Jesus been crucified, because in fact it was not him on the cross and he was saved. But it's not what is in the bible, mainly into King James version. Well, it allways comes to this point with dialogues between christians and muslims : Is Jesus is the son of God, dead and resurected or does he is only a manifestation, a prophet like Moses. Then some muslim that was knowing about history of baha'i faith ( They came with the good ones, you see ), ask why did Abdu'l Bahà in London, visiting the archibishop or Canterburry cathedral, and seeing the King James bible said " I testify that all what is in this book, is the absolute truth". It was their words and interpretation. While, I allways think that Abdu'l Bahà was meaning that in the Bible, words and phrases of Jesus were the absolute truth, and his life and history are mainly human interpretations of the epistles. Mainly while King James version of the bible was written in the XVI st century.

Well, they like to go into corners to tease a little other believers. But in fact the dialectic goes on. I knew it would go through inter-religious talks. There was no other way.

Slow train coming ...
May 2009
Sounds like you're having very interesting dialogue there :)

The topic of the authenticity of the Bible is important; it's difficult to establish common ground and promote goodwill between Muslims and Christians when the Divine origin of the Holy Book loved and cherished by Christians is brought into question.

Sadly, many Muslims who find themselves unable to reconcile Quranic and Biblical teachings on important subjects like the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the nature of God, the Trinity, etc., resort to declaring the Bible as corrupt, and occasionally even present this erroneous idea as an article of Islamic Faith.

Baha'u'llah resolves this issue with great clarity in the Kitab-i-Iqan, "Verily I say, throughout all this period they have utterly failed to comprehend what is meant by corrupting the text." (p83). He continues:

"We have also heard a number of the foolish of the earth assert that the genuine text of the heavenly Gospel doth not exist amongst the Christians, that it hath ascended unto heaven. How grievously they have erred! How oblivious of the fact that such a statement imputeth the gravest injustice and tyranny to a gracious and loving Providence! How could God, when once the Day-star of the beauty of Jesus had disappeared from the sight of His people, and ascended unto the fourth heaven, cause His holy Book, His most great testimony amongst His creatures, to disappear also?"

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 87)​

At first glance, the Biblical and Quranic descriptions of the Crucifixion, for example, do appear to be contradictory. The Bible says that on the cross, Jesus "yielded up His breath unto God" (Matt 27:50). The Quran teaches that it was "made to appear He was crucified" (Q 4:157). The Beloved Guardian summarizes the Baha'i view thus: -

"The crucifixion as recounted in the New Testament is correct. The meaning of the Qur'ánic version is that the spirit of Christ was not Crucified. There is no conflict between the two."

(Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 491)​

Hope your teaching is going well!
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