Umayyad corruption of Islam

Sep 2010
2,106
United Kingdom
#1
In Some Answered Questions, Abdu'l-Baha provides a commentary for interpreting the eleventh chapter of the Book of Revelation. Herein, he relates the vivid images of the beasts and woes to events in Islamic history.

Within this thorough analysis, he makes a few points of great significance.

After explaining that the First Beast of St. John's Apocalypse is to be understood as synonymous with the rise to power in the Islamic polity of the Umayyad clan, who would go on to completely corrupt the teachings of Muhammad and Ali, as well as usurping the legitimate line of succession, and the Second Beast which he identifies with the successor Abbasid Caliphate, Abdu'l-Baha then claims that this "corruption" lasted for the full 1,260 years of the Muhammedan Dispensation.

He writes:

“The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them”: 9 this beast means the Umayyads who attacked them from the pit of error, and who rose against the religion of Muḥammad and against the reality of ‘Alí—in other words, the love of God.
It is said, “The beast made war against these two witnesses” 10 —that is to say, a spiritual war, meaning that the beast would act in entire opposition to the teachings, customs and institutions of these two witnesses, to such an extent that the virtues and perfections which were diffused by the power of those two witnesses among the peoples and tribes would be entirely dispelled, and the animal nature and carnal desires would conquer. Therefore, this beast making war against them would gain the victory—meaning that the darkness of error coming from this beast was to have ascendency over the horizons of the world, and kill those two witnesses—in other words, that it would destroy the spiritual life which they spread abroad in the midst of the nation, and entirely remove the divine laws and teachings, treading under foot the Religion of God. Nothing would thereafter remain but a lifeless body without spirit.
“And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where 52 also our Lord was crucified.” 11 “Their bodies” means the Religion of God, and “the street” means in public view. The meaning of “Sodom and Egypt,” the place “where also our Lord was crucified,” is this region of Syria, and especially Jerusalem, where the Umayyads then had their dominions; and it was here that the Religion of God and the divine teachings first disappeared, and a body without spirit remained. “Their bodies” represents the Religion of God, which remained like a dead body without spirit.
“And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and a half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves.” 12
As it was before explained, in the terminology of the Holy Books three days and a half signify three years and a half, and three years and a half are forty and two months, and forty and two months twelve hundred and sixty days; and as each day by the text of the Holy Book signifies one year, the meaning is that for twelve hundred and sixty years, which is the cycle of the Qur’án, the nations, tribes and peoples would look at their bodies—that is to say, that they would make a spectacle of the Religion of God: though they would not act in accordance with it, still, they would not suffer their bodies—meaning the Religion of God—to be put in the grave. That is to say, that in appearance they would cling to the Religion of God and not allow it to completely disappear from their midst, nor the body of it to be entirely destroyed and annihilated. Nay, in reality they would leave it, while outwardly preserving its name and remembrance.
Those “kindreds, people and nations” signify those who are gathered under the shadow of the Qur’án, not permitting the Cause and Law of God to be, in outward appearance, entirely destroyed and annihilated—for there are prayer and fasting among them—but the fundamental principles of the Religion of God, which are morals and conduct, with the knowledge of divine mysteries, have disappeared; the light of the virtues of the world of humanity, which is the result of the love and knowledge of God, is extinguished; and the darkness of tyranny, oppression, satanic passions and desires has become victorious. The body of the Law of God, like a corpse, has been exposed to public view for twelve hundred and sixty days, each day being counted as a year, and this period is the cycle of Muḥammad.​

I would like to ask a few questions in respect of this.....

We know from the general historical schema proposed by the Baha'i belief in Progressive Revelation, that all religions undergo loss of motive power - of spirit and vitality - over time; to be overshadowed by priests, divines and other religious leaders obsessed with the dead letter to the detriment of the soul of the faith.

But the corruption of the Islamic Dispensation, according to Baha'u'llah, was begun as early as the time of the Umayyads - very early in the life of the religion. And he even goes so far as to say that "the fundamental principles of the religion of God" were extinguished for the entirety of the next 1260 years of the Muhammedan Dispensation, at least among the majority of Muslims who did not side with the legitimate Shi'ite denomination following the schism.

Why would God permit this to be so? A Divine Dispensation, one of the stages of progress in humanity's development, allowed to be compromised so early on?
 
Sep 2010
1,297
Canada
#2
The Bahais believe, that after Muhammad, there was to appear, 12 Imams.
In Revelation, the woman with 12 stars, signifies Revelation of Islam, and the 12 Imams.

These Imams started with Ali, and continued until year 260 AH when the 11th Imam left the world.
The duration of dispensation of Islam after the 11th Imam, was 1000 years according to Quran and Hadithes, thus, in year 1260 AH (1000 years after 11th Imam), the Bab, proclaimed that He is the 12th Imam, and He announced that, dispensation of Islam ended and it is now time, for a new revelation (this is inline with concept of progressive revelation).


This cycle of renewing religion and then fading, is like the process of day and night. Or like the seasons, Spring to Winter. But the corruption in religion is done by human beings. God created them having free will, and He does not interfere with Free Will.
 
Sep 2010
1,297
Canada
#3
Why would God permit this to be so? A Divine Dispensation, one of the stages of progress in humanity's development, allowed to be compromised so early on?
In Bahai belief, the Manifestation of God is like the Sun, while Imams, and other chosen ones of God are like the stars with different intensity of light.
In Islam Muhammad was the Sun, like the coming of a new Day. When He left, the night started, during which the stars, had privided the Light of guidence.
Some of the scholars in Islam, who even lived centuries after Islam, were still providing the Light. But this continued until, the Stars were fallen as Jesus prophecied. At that time there was a time for the new Day, with coming of the Sun. Thus, corruption did begun in early stage of Islam, but there were many stars during the 1260 years as a guidence for people.
 
Apr 2011
1,083
Hyrule
#4
Why would God permit this to be so? A Divine Dispensation, one of the stages of progress in humanity's development, allowed to be compromised so early on?
To show the power of sacrifice? To perfect His light? Consider Imam Husayn.

"Fain would they put out God’s light with their mouths: But God hath willed to perfect His light, albeit the infidels abhor it" (Qur'an 9.32).

Baha'u'llah explains:

Were the idle contention of these foolish and despicable souls to be true, they would have none other alternative than to reject all these holy utterances and heavenly allusions. For no warrior could be found on earth more excellent and nearer to God than Ḥusayn, son of ‘Alí, so peerless and incomparable was he. “There was none to equal or to match him in the world.” Yet, thou must have heard what befell him. “God’s malison on the head of the people of tyranny!”

Were the verse “And verily Our host shall conquer” to be literally interpreted, it is evident that it would in no wise be applicable to the chosen Ones of God and His hosts, inasmuch as Ḥusayn, whose heroism was manifest as the sun, crushed and subjugated, quaffed at last the cup of martyrdom in Karbilá, the land of Táff. Similarly, the sacred verse “Fain would they put out God’s light with their mouths: But God hath willed to perfect His light, albeit the infidels abhor it.” Were it to be literally interpreted it would never correspond with the truth. For in every age the light of God hath, to outward seeming, been quenched by the peoples of the earth, and the Lamps of God extinguished by them. How then could the ascendancy of the sovereignty of these Lamps be explained? What could the potency of God’s will to “perfect His light” signify? As hath already been witnessed, so great was the enmity of the infidels, that none of these divine Luminaries ever found a place for shelter, or tasted of the cup of tranquillity. So heavily were they oppressed, that the least of men inflicted upon these Essences of being whatsoever he listed. These sufferings have been observed and measured by the people. How, therefore, can such people be capable of understanding and expounding these words of God, these verses of everlasting glory?

But the purpose of these verses is not what they have imagined. Nay, the terms “ascendancy,” “power,” and “authority” imply a totally different station and meaning. For instance, consider the pervading power of those drops of the blood of Ḥusayn which besprinkled the earth. What ascendancy and influence hath the dust itself, through the sacredness and potency of that blood, exercised over the bodies and souls of men! So much so, that he who sought deliverance from his ills, was healed by touching the dust of that holy ground, and whosoever, wishing to protect his property, treasured with absolute faith and understanding, a little of that holy earth within his house, safeguarded all his possessions. These are the outward manifestations of its potency. And were We to recount its hidden virtues they would assuredly say: “He verily hath considered the dust to be the Lord of Lords, and hath utterly forsaken the Faith of God.”

Furthermore, call to mind the shameful circumstances that have attended the martyrdom of Ḥusayn. Reflect upon his loneliness, how, to outer seeming, none could be found to aid him, none to take up his body and bury it. And yet, behold how numerous, in this day, are those who from the uttermost corners of the earth don the garb of pilgrimage, seeking the site of his martyrdom, that there they may lay their heads upon the threshold of his shrine! Such is the ascendancy and power of God! Such is the glory of His dominion and majesty!​

In addition, one Shi'i historian notes:


". . . he [Imam Husayn] was aware of the fact that a victory achieved through military strength and might is always temporal, because another stronger power can in the course of time bring it to ruins. But a victory achieved through suffering and sacrifice is everlasting and leaves a permanent imprint on man's consciousness."​
 
Last edited:
Sep 2010
1,297
Canada
#7
These historical facts might be of interest.


The Islamization of Jerusalem began in the first year A.H. (623 CE), when Muslims were instructed to face the city while performing their daily prostrations and, according to Muslim religious tradition, Muhammad's night journey and ascension to heaven took place.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerusalem



The proclamation of His Faith was made in 1844, the year when the strict exclusion of the Jews from their own land enforced by the Muslims for some twelve centuries was at last relaxed by the Edict of Toleration and "the times of the Gentiles" were "fulfilled.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edict_of_Toleration_1844



So, from year 1AH, until, year 1844, which is 1260 lunar years, seems to be the period that Jerusalem wad trodden under feet of Gentiles.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2015
279
France
#8
Interesting read.

this beast means the Umayyads who attacked them from the pit of error, and who rose against the religion of Muḥammad and against the reality of ‘Alí—in other words, the love of God.
It is very true that Muslims have rejected the "love of God". They are in fear of God. And as their only motive of evolution is this fear, they are unable to evolve anymore.

However, Islam has been a factor of progress for the human civilization. The Caliphates weren't perfect, but they did great things as well.
But it's true that the main contributors to this culture (scientists for instance) were, in many cases, Shia Muslims.
 
Jun 2014
1,080
Wisconsin
#9
Why would God permit this to be so?
If God did not allow people to deviate from the truth there would be a number of differences in the world:

1) There would be but one religion.
2) We would have no free will.
3) The entire structure of the universe would be overtly tyrannical.
 
Apr 2011
1,083
Hyrule
#10
It is very true that Muslims have rejected the "love of God".
Muslims have rejected the "love of God?" Abdu'l-Baha says the beast "rejected the love of God." For this reason Imam Husayn didn't acknowledge Yazid. Abu'l-Qasim Faizi provides an overview of this topic:


"A dramatic and marked contrast exists between the Imam and Yazid, who left no stone unturned in his efforts to subjugate Husayn. Yazid was tall, well-built, and had a robust constitution. His hoarse voice when raised in anger created fear in his palace and capital. He was absorbed in luxuries and frivolities and frequently engaged in idle pastimes, displaying a great affection for games and hunting.

In the words of Syed Ameer Ali, "Yazid was both cruel and treacherous; his depraved nature knew no pity or justice. His pleasures were as degrading as his companions were low and vicious. He insulted the ministers of religion by dressing up a monkey as a learned divine and carrying the animal mounted on a beautifully caparisoned Syrian donkey wherever he went. Drunken riotousness prevailed at court, and was naturally imitated in the streets of the capital."

Abu'l-Qasim Faizi gives some examples of how the Umayyad caliphs were corrupt:

"This insolent and disrespectful spirit, and this heedlessness towards Islam and its resuscitating powers prevailed throughout the Umayyad dynasty. Exceptions were rare indeed. Al-Walid II, one of the Umayyad caliphs, was so intoxicated with his worldly power that he tore the Qur'an into pieces, and while singing poems addressed the Book of God in mocking terms: "If God asks you as to who tore His Book, tell Him Walid".

In the light of these comparisons, let us refer to the statements of 'Abdu'l-Bahá about the destructive influence of the Umayyad caliphs. He gave these explanations at the time of His incarceration in the prison-city of 'Akka (Acre), then governed by rulers many of whom were not less cruel. When asked about the "beast" mentioned in the eleventh chapter of the Revelation of St. John, He replied:

"The beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them": — this beast means the Bani-Umayyih who attacked them from the pit of error, and who rose against the religion of Muhammad and against the reality of 'Ali — in other words, the love of God.

It is said, "The beast made war against these two witnesses" — that is to say, a spiritual war, meaning that the beast would act in entire opposition to the teachings, customs and institutions of these two witnesses, to such an extent that the virtues and perfections which were diffused by the power of those two witnesses among the peoples and tribes would be entirely dispelled, and the animal nature and carnal desires would conquer. Therefore, this beast making war against them would gain the victory — meaning that the darkness of error coming from this beast was to have ascendancy over the horizons of the world, and kill those two witnesses — in other words, that it would destroy the spiritual life which they spread abroad in the midst of the nation, and entirely remove the divine laws and teachings, treading under foot the Religion of God. Nothing would thereafter remain but a lifeless body without spirit.

"And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city..." "Their bodies" means the Religion of God, and "the street" means in public view....

...the nations, tribes and peoples would look at their bodies — that is to say, that they would make a spectacle of the Religion of God: though they would not act in accordance with it, still, they would not suffer their bodies — meaning the Religion of God — to be put in the grave. That is to say, that in appearance they would cling to the Religion of God and not allow it to completely disappear from their midst, nor the body of it to be entirely destroyed and annihilated. Nay, in reality they would leave it, while outwardly preserving its name and remembrance.

These words epitomized the centuries of the Islamic Era and the disastrous blows the Muslim community suffered throughout its history. Following the sack of Medina, we are told, "Paganism was once more triumphant, and 'its reaction', says a European historian, 'against Islam was cruel, terrible, and revolting'... The colleges, hospitals, and other public edifices built under the Caliphs were closed or demolished, and Arabia relapsed into a wilderness!"

Little did Yazid know how futile his ephemeral sovereignty would be! Steeped in viciousness, he could not have a clear vision of the future. Gradually the small dim light he had in his heart grew weaker and weaker and was finally extinguished. By his own deeds he rang the death-knell of his own rulership which lasted about four years. Ere the ending of his days and before the lusty songs were terminated, his image was hidden under the pall of death, forever shrouded in shame."​
 
Similiar Baha'i Discussions Forum Date
Baha'i Discussions
Baha'i Discussions

Similar threads