Women on the UHJ

Jul 2017
511
Olympia, WA, USA
Christians say to Jews that they should accept Jesus because this is God's Son and the highest possible knowledge.

Muslims say to Jews and Christians that they must follow Mohammed because Jews and Christians have no current revelation and Mohammed is the seal of the prophets.

Baha'i say to Jews, Christians and Muslims that they must follow Baha'u'llah because it would be the current revelation and only through it would the unity of mankind and religions be realized.

Whoever does not notice that all this is the same has learned little from the history of the Abrahamic religions.
It is the same and they were all right when they said what they said.
 
Oct 2019
57
Vrindavan
It is interesting that, as in other posts, you ignore the conclusion before. In this case, everyone unfortunately seems to have learned very little from the development of the Abrahamic religions. It is a certain irony that you ignore the conclusion and then by "they are all right" offer yourself as an example of the lack of this very learning process. It is a considerable amount of ignorance of the one truth behind all religions.
 
Oct 2014
1,822
Stockholm
It is interesting that, as in other posts, you ignore the conclusion before. In this case, everyone unfortunately seems to have learned very little from the development of the Abrahamic religions. It is a certain irony that you ignore the conclusion and then by "they are all right" offer yourself as an example of the lack of this very learning process. It is a considerable amount of ignorance of the one truth behind all religions.
Oh, I just love it when people start to accuse each other of ignorance. That's the spirit! Instead of entering my own arguments in this discussion, which somehow doesn't seem to lead anywhere, I offer an example of how Abdu'l-Bahá used to deal with the same kind of questions:


gnat
 

ams

Nov 2019
88
Thailand
I offer an example of how Abdu'l-Bahá used to deal with the same kind of questions:

Wow, that was a brave (and also a true) masterpiece:
... that Jews should be proud of Jesus, a mighty personage that they had, in fact, given to the world.

“When you express your glory and honor in the recollection of Christ,” he told the Rabbi, “rest assured that the Christians will shake your hands in fellowship.”
 
  • Like
Reactions: tonyfish58
Jul 2017
511
Olympia, WA, USA
It is interesting that, as in other posts, you ignore the conclusion before. In this case, everyone unfortunately seems to have learned very little from the development of the Abrahamic religions. It is a certain irony that you ignore the conclusion and then by "they are all right" offer yourself as an example of the lack of this very learning process. It is a considerable amount of ignorance of the one truth behind all religions.
What I said has nothing to do with "the one truth behind all religions." I am not ignorant about that.
I said "they are all right" because I believe in progressive revelation, in which case Jews should have recognized Jesus and Jews and Christians should have recognized Muhammad.

"everyone unfortunately seems to have learned very little from the development of the Abrahamic religions."
Enlighten us.
 
Oct 2019
57
Vrindavan
I said "they are all right" because I believe in progressive revelation, in which case Jews should have recognized Jesus and Jews and Christians should have recognized Muhammad.
That's understandable. But it was not the listing that was my topic, it was the conclusion. The listing served only to make the conclusion clear - unfortunately it passed you by.

"everyone unfortunately seems to have learned very little from the development of the Abrahamic religions."
Enlighten us.
Well, I had explained that in exactly the two contributions. It makes no sense to repeat it again, you can read the articles yourself.
 
Feb 2019
251
Chicago
Your discussion of whether it is necessary to move from one religion to the next because a religion thinks it is the one that is closer to the truth (@Trailblazer, you argue just like Christians or Muslims who wanted Jews or Christians to explain that they had to follow Jesus or Mohammed, I actually thought this nonsense had given up Baha'i) was overturned in Vedanta philosophy in India by the realization that absolute truth exists behind names and forms. Baha'u'llah has also recognized this, which is why I am surprised that his followers do not follow him in this question.

Christians say to Jews that they should accept Jesus because this is God's Son and the highest possible knowledge.

Muslims say to Jews and Christians that they must follow Mohammed because Jews and Christians have no current revelation and Mohammed is the seal of the prophets.

Baha'i say to Jews, Christians and Muslims that they must follow Baha'u'llah because it would be the current revelation and only through it would the unity of mankind and religions be realized.

Whoever does not notice that all this is the same has learned little from the history of the Abrahamic religions.
I agree. And like most muslims who seem to be believe that every prophet that came after Mohammed was fake, at least some Bahai seem to believe that for 1000 years after Bahaullah, there can be no true prophet. They have come to believe in this without studying or investigating the teachings of Hindu avatars that were born after Bahaullah.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Siddhanta108
Apr 2011
1,094
Hyrule
Well, @Walrus made some interesting observations regarding the voting pattern of women - which he thinks would support the interests of women under certain contexts even with an all-male Universal House of Justice. @Jehoschua made some unexpected connections to Matthew 23.1-3.

Additional observations

There seems to be a slight difference between what Abdu'l-Baha reportedly said about women and what he actually wrote. The former tends to emphasize the superiority of women over men in all areas, whereas the latter tends to focus more on the balance between both genders with a slight emphasis on where women in general excel men.

Here are a few reported sayings of Abdu'l-Baha:

"After contrasting the general position of the Eastern and the Western women, and then describing how in many respects the Eastern woman has the advantage of her Western sister, 'Abdu’l-Bahá turned and said to the visitor: "Give me your reasons for believing that woman today should have the vote?
Answer: "I believe that humanity is a divine humanity and that it must rise higher and higher; but it cannot soar with only one wing." 'Abdu’l-Bahá expressed his pleasure at this answer, and smiling, replied: "But what will you do if one wing is stronger than the other?"​
Answer: "Then we must strengthen the weaker wing, otherwise the flight will always be hampered."​
'Abdu’l-Bahá smiled and asked: "What will you say if I prove to you that the woman is the stronger wing?"​
The answer came in the same bright vein: "You will earn my eternal gratitude!" at which all the company made merry.​
'Abdu’l-Bahá then continued more seriously: "The woman is indeed of the greater importance to the race. She has the greater burden and the greater work. Look at the vegetable and the animal worlds. The palm which carries the fruit is the tree most prized by the date grower. The Arab knows that for a long journey the mare has the longest wind. For her greater strength and fierceness, the lioness is more feared by the hunter than the lion.
"The mere size of the brain has been proved to be no measure of superiority. The woman has greater moral courage than the man; she has also special gifts which enable her to govern in moments of danger and crisis. If necessary she can become a warrior."​
The most momentous question of this day is international peace and arbitration, and universal peace is impossible without universal suffrage. … the mothers will not sanction war nor be satisfied with it. So it will come to pass that when women participate fully and equally in the affairs of the world, when they enter confidently and capably the great arena of laws and politics, war will cease; for woman will be the obstacle and hindrance to it. This is true and without doubt.
"The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has dominated woman by reason of his more forceful and aggressive qualities both of body and mind. But the balance is already shifting—force is losing its weight and mental alertness, intuition and the spiritual qualities of love and service, in which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy. Hence the new age will be an age less masculine, and more permeated with the feminine ideals—or, to speak more exactly, will be an age in which the masculine and feminine elements in civilisation will be more evenly balanced."
Here's what Abdu'l-Baha wrote:

"From the beginning of existence until the Promised Day men retained superiority over women in every respect. It is revealed in the Qur'án: 'Men have superiority over women.' But in this wondrous Dispensation, the supreme outpouring of the Glorious Lord became the cause of manifest achievements by women. Some handmaidens arose who excelled men in the arena of knowledge. They arose with such love and spirituality that they became the cause of the outpouring of the bounty of the Sovereign Lord upon mankind, and with their sanctity, purity and attributes of the spirit led a great many to the shore of unity. They became a guiding torch to the wanderers in the wastes of bewilderment, and enkindled the despondent in the nether world with the flame of the love of the Lord. This is a bounteous characteristic of this wondrous Age which hath granted strength to the weaker sex and hath bestowed masculine might upon womanhood....
The establishment of a women's assemblage for the promotion of knowledge is entirely acceptable, but discussions must be confined to educational matters. It should be done in such a way that differences will, day by day, be entirely wiped out, not that, God forbid, it will end in argumentation between men and women. As in the question of the veil, nothing should be done contrary to wisdom. The individual women should, today, follow a course of action which will be the cause of eternal glory to all womankind, so that all women will be illumined. And that lieth in gathering to learn how to teach, in holding meetings to recite the verses, to offer supplications to the kingdom of the Lord of evident signs, and to institute education for the girls. Ponder the manner in which Jinab-i-Táhirih used to teach. She was free from every concern, and for this reason she was resplendent.
Now the world of women should be a spiritual world, not a political one, so that it will be radiant. The women of other nations are all immersed in political matters. Of what benefit is this, and what fruit doth it yield? To the extent that ye can, ye should busy yourselves with spiritual matters which will be conducive to the exaltation of the Word of God and of the diffusion of His fragrances. Your demeanour should lead to harmony amongst all and to coalescence and the good-pleasure of all....​
I am endeavouring, with Bahá'u'lláh's confirmations and assistance, so to improve the world of the handmaidens that all will be astonished. This progress is intended to be in spirituality, in virtues, in human perfections and in divine knowledge. In America, the cradle of women's liberation, women are still debarred from political institutions because they squabble. They are yet to have a member in the House of Representatives. Also Bahá'u'lláh hath proclaimed: “O ye men of the House of Justice.” Ye need to be calm and composed, so that the work will proceed with wisdom, otherwise there will be such chaos that ye will leave everything and run away. “This newly born babe is traversing in one night the path that needeth a hundred years to tread.” In brief, ye should now engage in matters of pure spirituality and not contend with men. 'Abdu'lBahá will tactfully take appropriate steps. Be assured. In the end thou wilt thyself exclaim, “This was indeed supreme wisdom!” I appeal to you to obliterate this contention between men and women....
No one can on his own achieve anything. 'Abdu'l-Bahá must be well pleased and assist.​
Know thou, O handmaid, that in the sight of Bahá, women are accounted the same as men, and God hath created all humankind in His own image, and after His own likeness. That is, men and women alike are the revealers of His names and attributes, and from the spiritual viewpoint there is no difference between them. Whosoever draweth nearer to God, that one is the most favoured, whether man or woman. How many a handmaid, ardent and devoted, hath, within the sheltering shade of Bahá, proved superior to the men, and surpassed the famous of the earth.
The House of Justice, however, according to the explicit text of the Law of God, is confined to men;2 this for a wisdom of the Lord God's, which will erelong be made manifest as clearly as the sun at high noon.​
In the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, women are advancing side by side with men. There is no area or instance where they will lag behind: they have equal rights with men, and will enter, in the future, into all branches of the administration of society. Such will be their elevation that, in every area of endeavour, they will occupy the highest levels in the human world. Rest thou assured. Look not upon their present state. In future, the world of womankind will shine with lustrous brilliance, for such is the will and purpose of Bahá'u'lláh. At the time of elections the right to vote is the inalienable right of women, and the entrance of women into all human departments is an irrefutable and incontrovertible question. No soul can retard or prevent it.​
But there are certain matters, the participation in which is not worthy of women. For example, at the time when the community is taking up vigorous defensive measures against the attack of foes, the women are exempt from military engagements. It may so happen that at a given time warlike and savage tribes may furiously attack the body politic with the intention of carrying on a wholesale slaughter of its members; under such a circumstance defence is necessary, but it is the duty of men to organize and execute such defensive measures and not the women—because their hearts are tender and they cannot endure the sight of the horror of carnage, even if it is for the sake of defence. From such and similar undertakings the women are exempt.
As regards the constitution of the House of Justice, Bahá'u'lláh addresses the men. He says: “O ye men of the House of Justice!”​
But when its members are to be elected, the right which belongs to women, so far as their voting and their voice is concerned, is indisputable. When the women attain to the ultimate degree of progress, then, according to the exigency of the time and place and their great capacity, they shall obtain extraordinary privileges. Be ye confident on these accounts. His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh has greatly strengthened the cause of women, and the rights and privileges of women is one of the greatest principles of 'Abdu'l-Bahá. Rest ye assured! Ere long the days shall come when the men addressing the women, shall say: 'Blessed are ye! Blessed are ye! Verily ye are worthy of every gift. Verily ye deserve to adorn your heads with the crown of everlasting glory, because in sciences and arts, in virtues and perfections ye shall become equal to man, and as regards tenderness of heart and the abundance of mercy and sympathy ye are superior'.​
Notes from Abdu'l-Baha's writings

I've observed the following:
  • Just before mentioning the constitution of the Universal House of Justice and its rule about men, Abdu'l-Baha writes about certain circumstances that are "not worthy of women" - such as a community's defense against foes during a war.
  • During Abdu'l-Baha's time he notes America doesn't yet have "a member in the House of Representatives" just before mentioning that only men can serve in the Universal House of Justice, the need for patience, and the implementation of wisdom, for "this newly born babe is traversing in one night the path that needeth a hundred years to tread.”
  • Abdu'l-Baha says the Qur'an supports the superiority of men over women (Qur'an 4.34?), but notes that this view has been overturned in "this wondrous Age."
  • Abdu'l-Baha notes any weakness in women is because men have deprived them of education, so he emphasizes the great importance of a woman's education, and then he lists a few qualities in which women excel men (e.g., tenderness of heart, abundant mercy, and sympathy).
A note on criticism

Opponents insist an all-male Universal House of Justice reflects all-male values, so, according to them, eventually this all-male institution will start showing cracks, allowing sexist and misogynistic attitudes to grow in our society. Such reasoning to me is unsound. For example, it is not necessarily the case that, if an institution simply diversifies itself with mixed genders (as some seem to imagine), that patriarchy will be overturned and suddenly disappear. Moojan Momen observes that

" . . . it is not just a question of the gender of those in positions of power and authority. There are a set of values that are typical of patriarchy. These values continue to exist even when, as occurred in Britain during the 1980s, a female monarch and a female prime minister ruled. These two women did not transform the country from a patriarchy into a matriarchy. It was still a patriarchy and had its old values. These women simply were made into 'honorary males' within the patriarchy's structure."​
It's more nuanced and complicated than simply placing women in high places. Here's another example regarding communities supporting individuals different from themselves: My brother has a severe disability. Does he also need a person in the top spot who is also disabled in order to diversify opinion to help eliminate any discrimination he may face? Of course not. The key issue is to elevate certain qualities and change the hearts of people first, so he needs compassionate and hard-working individuals willing to address any difficulties that may arise for people with disabilities.

Such criticism ignores @Walrus' point about the possible dominance of female voting, which would naturally tilt toward their interests if American voting trends hold up. It ignores the structure of the Baha'i Administrative Order that seeks a balance between centralization and decentralization:


The criticism relies on outdated notions of power.

On biological differences between men and women

Overall I tend to think men are more violent than women. High levels of testosterone are linked to aggression. You can see the link between aggression and testosterone in comparisons between bonobos and chimpanzees. The former female-dominated group have much lower levels of testosterone than their aggressive cousins. The same is true for human beings. That is, testosterone in an adult male is 20 times higher than that of an adult woman. Hence the proverb from the Maori of New Zealand sums up the list of reasons behind war, and the list is short: "Men die for women and land."

In general women, in "regards tenderness of heart and the abundance of mercy and sympathy," are superior. We can observe this fact in the NT, in which we find Mary Magdalene is the first to know of Christ's resurrection. She seems to have naturally sensed it before everybody else. In everything else women are equal, says Abdu'-Baha.

During the Christian dispensation the apostles became agitated after the Crucifixion of Jesus; even Peter denied Him thrice, but Mary Magdalene became the cause of their becoming firm and steadfast."
-Interview between ‘Abdu’l-Baha and a San Francisco Newspaper Reporter, October 3, 1912​
'O maid-servant of God! Verily, Mary, the Magdalene, was a villager, but she kept firm in the Cause of Christ and confirmed the apostles at the time she declared to them (thus): "Verily, Christ is alive and eternal and death did not overtake Him; and verily, the foundation of His religion is not shaken by His crucifixion at the hand of the oppressors!" By this her face is eternally shining from the horizon of guidance.' (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha Vol.2, p. 268)​
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Trailblazer

ams

Nov 2019
88
Thailand
Hi all together :fold: ... please let me first mention... that the following is only my personal view of points.


And for that, i see the Baha'i Faith - and Baha'i Core teachings - as the clearest of the abrahamic Religions.
No question.

And i hope very much... very much...
that as many people as possible... in (most important -->) Islam, but also in Judaism and Christianity ...
would be able and integrate the Core teachings of the devine Baha'i Revelations in their Religion.

Because if not, i could not see any advance in their Religion anymore... especially not in Islam.

This be said.... i would also mention in what i not believe.



First (the Thread Topic):

I not believe that in the highest institution of the Baha'is (or any other non-Baha'i institution ) ... Women should be forbidden. For many reasons.
And i also not believe that allowing Women in the UHJ... would be against Bahāʾullāh or 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
No. Imho they would say: Yes, do it. The time is ready now.




Then:
I not believe that any spiritual or religious institution, be it a men-only institution, or a gender mixed institution - would ever be infallible.
The Vatican - for example - was and is not infallible (even Jesus gave "Peter the key of the kingdom"). History has proven this.

And the UHJ is also not... and never will be.
No one (or group, or institution) on earth will ever be infallible.
Only God is.



Also:
I not believe that the UHJ would be - ever - the supreme ruling House of all religious or spiritual or political etc... matters.
Also it would be not "the One World" Goverment.
Also i not believe that the Baha'i Religion would be - ever - "the one Religion..." in the World.

No.

But i believe that - Someday - the most people in the World would be able to recognize the truth of the Baha'i revelation given via Bahāʾullāh. Whatever their religion or Nation is.
And that this day... would be one of the most Victory of Mankind.



Also: I believe in the Union of Mankind. But not in the way... that it is mean that the UHJ would be a kind of "World Vatican".... or the Baha'i Religion would be "the most one".
No. But that all Religion would recognize all others as Brothers.



Then:
I not believe that the next "Manifestation of God" will come first again in 1000 years... or even later.
No.
Because, for example: Yogananda was also a "Manifestation of God". Born after the holy incarnation of Lord Bahāʾullāh.

Insteat of that... i believe that many 1000s "Manifestations of God" are on the way... so to speak.
with the same high level of enlightened consciousness as Bahāʾullāh had. As Yogananda had. Or as - for example - Jesus Christ and Krishna had.

And this... in the next coming Generations.
In every Nation. In every Religion.


No Power in the world would be then able to kill or lock all of them in prision.
As it was the case - back in dark times - for example - with the Bab... Bahāʾullāh or Jesus Christ.

On that day... when 1000s Sons of God... like Bahāʾullāh, Jesus or Krishna... are spreaded all over the world....
... Unity and world peace is very very near.
 
Last edited: