On the Subject of Lesser Prophets

Nov 2015
152
Canada
Hello, friends :) I thought of a question that I am curious about. Please correct me if I am wrong, but the next manifestation is not to come until 1000 years have passed. So the next manifestation is not within our lifetimes, unless some truly horrible crisis causes this to be changed (which I'd hope not to happen)

But my question: Even though Baha'u'llah has passed, can there still be lesser prophets before this thousand years has passed?
An example I'd like to think, is a theoretical Baha'i (We'll call him Blake) claims to have spoken to God (We could relate this back to Guru Nanak's 3 days with God, and him being considered a "saint of the highest order" along with how various saints have spoken to God) but he himself, unlike a manifestation, is not a law bearing prophet. He is dependent on the word of Baha'u'llah, and unlike people such as Jesus, Muhammad, and Baha'u'llah, he did not bring new laws but simply reflected the light of Baha'i's message.

Would Blake be accepted, or would Blake's claim be refuted because there can be no manifestation at this time?

Another thing: In Buddhism, there are many buddhas for every era. If this is a new era, could a Buddha rise up before the coming of the new manifestation, or under Baha'i would a Buddha and a lesser prophet be considered the same position?
 
Nov 2015
239
United States
I can only give my opinion. I'm settling into the position that we should not worry about the names or claims of various spiritual leaders, so long as they do not contradict an integral law or the essential spirit of the Faith. In this regard, I do not distinguish between a lesser prophet, a Buddha, or a saint that receives guidance.

If Blake claimed to be a Manifestation before 1000 years had passed, or if he specifically insisted he had a direct revelation, I think he would be dismissed categorically. If he instead submitted to Baha'i law and spoke of visions instead, then he would probably be judged by his fruits before any institution of the faith would acknowledge him. So long as Blake bears no ill will and does not try to create schism amid the Baha'is, I doubt he would be outcast.

I know that many Baha'is believe the era of prophecy has ended, and this means there will no longer be lesser prophets. I do not insist on this myself, because I would hate to repeat a mistake of mainstream Islam by declaring that the succession of prophets has ceased absolutely.

True Baha'is are very spiritually perceptive. I think that if a Blake appeared, just by talking to him most of the Baha'is in the institutions would be able to tell if he were a liar, a mentally-unbalanced person, or a genuine lesser prophet. I would imagine that if there was conviction that Blake were legitimate, it would be sent to the Universal House of Justice to handle, in terms of defining Blake's role and station to the Faith. I doubt Blake would be awarded a particular station or office above the average Baha'i, though, since Abdu'l-Baha's Will and Testament created the institutions of the Guardian and Universal House of Justice only, and the Universal House of Justice is loathe to legislate beyond the guidance of the Master.
 
Sep 2010
1,297
Canada
In my understaanding, within Baha'I Faith there can be inspired Souls whose stations can be like the lesser prophets. But such inspired Souls would not claim to be a Prophet, as there would be no requirement for any Prophecy. All was needed for Baha'I dispensation is already given to us by Central Figures. Now, Baha'is are only to obey UHJ. We must not obey anyone else during the dispensation of Baha'I Lawss.
 
Nov 2015
279
France
It seems that the Scriptures let room for a messenger to appear, but his revelation will be indirect (he will not deliver verses, and will not hear the voice of angels).
 
Nov 2015
239
United States
Baha'is are only to obey UHJ. We must not obey anyone else during the dispensation of Baha'I Laws.
This is what it comes down to. God does as He wills, and I would never say anything is impossible except when it goes against His will. But it is clear that His will is for us to follow the Universal House of Justice and no others.

So long as Blake doesn't lead Baha'is away from the guidance of the Universal House of Justice, I have no issue with his existence.
 
Nov 2015
239
United States
From Lights of Guidance:

1742. True Mystical Experiences Rare

"Regarding your question: In His chapter on 'Visions and Communications with Spirits' in 'Some Answered Questions', the Master evidently desires to point out that there can be, under certain rare circumstances, such as those experienced by the Prophets, communion with some soul gone before into the invisible world, but that most of this type of experience which people often claim to have with departed souls is nothing but the product of their own imaginations--however real it may seem to them to be.

"We have no way of knowing historically, at present, whether the experience Saul had of Samuel was an actual spiritual intercourse. It is not the product of imagination, however, as the Bible unmistakably affirms it.

"Truly mystical experiences based on reality are very rare, and we can readily see how dangerous it is for people to go groping about in the darkness of their imagination after the true thing. That is why, as you point out, we are warned against all psychical practices by the Master.

"If we are going to have some deeply spiritual experience we can rest assured God will vouchsafe it to us without our having to look for it."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, dated October 25, 1942, to an individual believer: Ibid.)

1743. No Need for Individual Revelations

"The Guardian thinks that it is best to assume that generally speaking when people claim they are receiving messages or communications from the Master or Bahá'u'lláh, etc., it is a psychic experience or their imagination, and that they are not in real contact with them. These Holy Beings have the channels of the Cause through which to guide us. They do not need to go outside these and send individual revelations."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, dated December 22, 1947, to an individual believer: Ibid., p. 3)
 
Oct 2014
1,833
Stockholm
Well, one doesn't necessarily have to be a prophet in order to hear the voices of angels. Please have a look at the thread "On Hearing the Voices of Angels".

gnat
 

z47

Nov 2015
14
Israel
Were the Imams lesser prophets? Were Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim lesser prophets? Was the Virgin Mary a lesser prophet?
 
Aug 2012
62
united states
Lesser prophets and the magnificence of this Day

The beloved Master has stated that in this day and age every individual can attain unto the station of a lesser prophet, though not endued with constancy. All limitations and veils have been lifted with the coming of Baha'u'llah and the teachings of Divine Unity.

In my opinion, this simply means that individuals can attain unto a very high spiritual station in this dispensation. This has nothing to do with leadership or a position in the Faith. We know as Bahais that all human relationships are horizontal and not vertical, we are all equal in the station of humanity which is that of servitude.

So perhaps we need to rethink what is meant by prophet relative to this day and age. There is no more dominant/ subordinate power hierarchy and structure with the coming of the Blessed Beauty. All humanity has been cast on the same level, even a House of Justice member as an individual is not above any other Bahai or human being. A minor prophet in my opinion is again, simply an individual with a high spiritual station, nothing more.
 
Dec 2009
165
United States
Hi, He is The One 19. This might be what you're referring to:

The station which he who hath truly recognized this Revelation will attain is the same as the one ordained for such prophets of the house of Israel as are not regarded as Manifestations ‘endowed with constancy.

- Bahá'u'lláh, as cited by Shoghi Effendi in the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh
The World Order of Bahá