Prohibition of Kissing hands in the Baha'i faith

Dec 2013
404
under God's grace
In the Kitab Aqdas Kissing of hands has been strictly prohibited:
Bahá'í Reference Library - The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Page 193
57. The kissing of hands hath been forbidden in the Book. # 34
In a number of earlier religious Dispensations and in certain cultures the kissing of the hand of a religious figure or of a prominent person was expected as a mark of reverence and deference to such persons and as a token of submission to their authority. Bahá’u’lláh prohibits the kissing of hands and, in His Tablets, He also condemns such practices as prostrating oneself before another person and other forms of behaviour that abase one individual in relation to another. (See note 58.)
Here is the question: How do Baha'is view someone who kisses others' hands or allows others to kiss his hands, specially religious figures such as:


 
Jun 2011
1,543
Somewhere "in this immensity"
So...When are you going to show the link to early American Baha'i kissing 'Abdu'l-Baha's hand? The suspense is killing me. Or am I supposed to respond to the question before you throw it out? Sorry to disappoint, but that was already played out before. We reached a consensus that the early believers didn't have the Aqdas available or know the teaching, and that Master was patient and loving, rather than dogmatic (Although one wonders what the penalty for kissing of a hand is?). Incidentally, the laws of the Aqdas operate under a principle of gradual unfoldment. The revelation of the Aqdas and the translation of it did not instantaneously and automatically increase or change the laws enjoined upon the Baha'is. Moreover, we do not, as a faith, have a literal approach to scripture. The prohibition of kissing of hands is a spiritual principle of not exalting others, it is not literal in the sense that I cannot kiss the hand of my wife or my mother.

Cheers
 
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Dec 2013
404
under God's grace
So...When are you going to show the link to early American Baha'i kissing 'Abdu'l-Baha's hand? The suspense is killing me. Or am I supposed to respond to the question before you throw it out? Sorry to disappoint, but that was already played out before. We reached a consensus that the early believers didn't have the Aqdas available or know the teaching, and that Master was patient and loving, rather than dogmatic (Although one wonders what the penalty for kissing of a hand is?). Incidentally, the laws of the Aqdas operate under a principle of gradual unfoldment. The revelation of the Aqdas and the translation of it did not instantaneously and automatically increase or change the laws enjoined upon the Baha'is. Moreover, we do not, as a faith, have a literal approach to scripture. The prohibition of kissing of hands is a spiritual principle of not exalting others, it is not literal in the sense that I cannot kiss the hand of my wife or my mother.

Cheers
With the justification you have put forward, you are basically implying that hand-kissing is allowed in the Baha'i faith. I didn't know it was this easy to refute the orders of the Aqdas.
 
Jun 2011
1,543
Somewhere "in this immensity"
With the justification you have put forward, you are basically implying that hand-kissing is allowed in the Baha'i faith. I didn't know it was this easy to refute the orders of the Aqdas.
Pretty much. You see, for us it is not about gathering hasanas like browny points to get into heaven. You have to go deeper in the Baha'i faith than that. The prohibition of kissing hands, has a spirit as well as a letter. The spirit is what is important, since it is not about God will cast you into hell-fire because he hates hand kissing, but rather, it is intended to establish a cultural of spiritual equals, where we don't exalt anyone above others, no matter how big their turban or title.
 
Dec 2013
404
under God's grace
Pretty much. You see, for us it is not about gathering hasanas like browny points to get into heaven. You have to go deeper in the Baha'i faith than that. The prohibition of kissing hands, has a spirit as well as a letter. The spirit is what is important, since it is not about God will cast you into hell-fire because he hates hand kissing, but rather, it is intended to establish a cultural of spiritual equals, where we don't exalt anyone above others, no matter how big their turban or title.
When those ladies were kissing `Abd al-Baha's hand, were they doing anything other than exalting him!
 
Jun 2011
1,543
Somewhere "in this immensity"
When those ladies were kissing `Abd al-Baha's hand, were they doing anything other than exalting him!
Sure they were. But they were ignorant of the contents of the Aqdas and were ignorant of the teaching and principle of no hand kissing. What do you think he should do, slap them? I think the fact that he tolerated it shows an example to us of what is correct. When they learn the teaching, they will follow it. But as new comers to the faith, they are like children and must be loved and nurtured into the fullness of faith, not condemned for coming in ignorant. What is religion for at all, if not to bring those who are ignorant of God into knowledge of him? Severity and dogmatism never touches hearts or illuminates anything.
 
Dec 2013
404
under God's grace
Sure they were. But they were ignorant of the contents of the Aqdas and were ignorant of the teaching and principle of no hand kissing. What do you think he should do, slap them? I think the fact that he tolerated it shows an example to us of what is correct. When they learn the teaching, they will follow it. But as new comers to the faith, they are like children and must be loved and nurtured into the fullness of faith, not condemned for coming in ignorant. What is religion for at all, if not to bring those who are ignorant of God into knowledge of him? Severity and dogmatism never touches hearts or illuminates anything.
`Abd al-Baha knows that hand kissing is against Baha'i law. He has probably gone to a billion gatherings and knows that when you line people up like that to greet you they are going to come forward and kiss your hand. He has seen it many times. Instead of telling people beforehand that this action is prohibited in the Baha'i faith--just like how he preached most Baha'i beliefs to the people--he says nothing and enjoys the hand kissing. The ignorance of the hand kissers is of no concern here.
 
Sep 2010
1,297
Canada
`Abd al-Baha knows that hand kissing is against Baha'i law. He has probably gone to a billion gatherings and knows that when you line people up like that to greet you they are going to come forward and kiss your hand. He has seen it many times. Instead of telling people beforehand that this action is prohibited in the Baha'i faith--just like how he preached most Baha'i beliefs to the people--he says nothing and enjoys the hand kissing. The ignorance of the hand kissers is of no concern here.
As Fadl said, the Law of Aqdas was not revealed yet at that time, or if it was, it was not spread yet. thus this Law was not to be followed yet. Abdulbaha did not have the right to reveal new Laws. But whenever Baha'U'llah revealed it, then Abdulbaha would be the first to follow it. Therefore, when no such law was revealed yet, Abdulbaha did not have the Authority to tell those people not to do that. Moreover I don't think those who kissed His hand were Baha'is. Baha'I Laws are to be followed by Baha'is. Do you know for what reason they had lined up to see Abdulbaha? What was the event for? What year was it? I think that would help.
 
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Sep 2010
1,297
Canada
With the justification you have put forward, you are basically implying that hand-kissing is allowed in the Baha'i faith. I didn't know it was this easy to refute the orders of the Aqdas.
Do you think there is a difference between kissing someone's hand due to Love, than kissing due to fear, to show off in order to get higher posts at government or to indicate superiority?
 
Dec 2013
404
under God's grace
As Fadl said, the Law of Aqdas was not revealed yet at that time, or if it was, it was not spread yet. thus this Law was not to be followed yet. Abdulbaha did not have the right to reveal new Laws. But whenever Baha'U'llah revealed it, then Abdulbaha would be the first to follow it. Therefore, when no such law was revealed yet, Abdulbaha did not have the Authority to tell those people not to do that. Moreover I don't think those who kissed His hand were Baha'is. Baha'I Laws are to be followed by Baha'is. Do you know for what reason they had lined up to see Abdulbaha? What was the event for? What year was it? I think that would help.
What did I just read? :surprised: Abd al-Baha's trip to america: 1912. Baha'u'llah's death 1892. Difference 20 years. So you are implying that the laws of Aqdas had not yet been revealed 20 years after Baha'u'llahs death?!!!!!

Do you think there is a difference between kissing someone's hand due to Love, than kissing due to fear, to show off in order to get higher posts at government or to indicate superiority?
Don't try to interpret Baha'u'llah's clear orders. He has ordered no hand kissing irrespective of intention. As the old saying goes: practice what you preach.