You can visit my new homepage, True Freethinker, via this feed

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bahai Faith / Baha'i Faith: “Bahá'í Propaganda in America”, part 1 of 5

Please note that this post has been re-posted at its new home: True Freethinker


  1. Anonymous2:20 PM

    If you were sensitive to Bahá'ís, you would not post a photograph of Bahá'u'lláh on this web site.

  2. Thank you so much for the comment.

    I thought that photos of him came forth from Bahá'ís.

    Please do feel free to explain why this is an issue, particularly since I am discussing so many other substantive issues.


  3. harlan8:14 PM

    Baha'u'llah would not allow Baha'is to have pictures of Him because of the tendency to worship the picture. His physical body was not His reality. This picture was a passport photo taken of Him by the Turkish authorities just before He was exiled for the last time to Akka, Palestine as a prisoner of the Ottoman Turks. Baha'is are permitted to view this photo while on Pilgrimage with the utmost respect. Muslims also are forbidden to produce images of Prophets, and they put Baha'u'llah's picture on websites as a sign of disrepect. The first reaction of a Baha'i in seeing this picture on a website is that the author of the site wishes to show the strongest distrespect towards Baha'u'llah.

    Concerning Khayru'llah, he was a Lebbonese Christian who became a Baha'i in Egypt just 2 years before coming to America in 1893. There were no English translations of Baha'i writings at the time and he had just a few of the Writings in Arabic. It was not like today where we have many Baha'i reference books in many languages. So Khayru'llah was not a seasoned Baha'i and his knowledge of the Faith was limited. For example, he began teaching that Baha'is believed in reincarnation, which it doesn't. He was quite successful in getting many people to agree to a series of 10 lectures which he composed himself. Most of these people did become Baha'is. It wasn't until 1898 that Phoebe Hurst, the mother of William Randolph Hurst, brought a group of Baha'is on Pilgrimage to Palestine to meet Abdu'l-Baha. It was then that they learned that some of the things they had been taught was not Baha'i. Khayru'llah by this time felt very important because there we so many well-educated Americans who looked up to him. He told Abdu'l-Baha that Abdu'l-Baha could be the leader of the Baha'is of the East and he would be the leader in the West. This showed how little he understood of the Baha'i Faith and the Covenant of Baha'u'llah. If the Covenant had not existed, then the Baha'is would have gone the way of the religions of the past. Though that was a rough period of time for the Baha'is, Abdu'l-Baha educated them and came to spend 8 months in 1912 travelling and speaking throughout the U.S. and Canada.


  4. Harlan;
    Thanks for the heads up as to Baha'i sensitivity to the photo (although it strikes me as unduly judgmental of the person posting the photo).
    As an aside: I have read that it is a passport photo but have wondered about that since the photo is not only of his face but virtually a full body shot where he is seen lounging. Are Turkish passport photos very different than the norm or did they take that photo and crop it to fit the passport—just curious.


  5. Anonymous4:03 PM

    Passport photos of that era were sometimes taken of whole families.

  6. Anonymous8:27 AM

    It is perhaps inaccurate to call this a passport photo in the context of a modern passport. Photography was in its infancy, and there were no standards in using it in travel documents (ie. 2x2 inch full frontal head shot). It was taken for identification in connection with Baha'u'llah's exile from Adrianople to Akka in 1868.á'u'lláh:
    The official Bahá'í position on displaying the photograph of Bahá'u'lláh is:
    "There is no objection that the believers look at the picture of Bahá'u'lláh, but they should do so with the utmost reverence, and should also not allow that it be exposed openly to the public, even in their private homes."
    (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, December 6, 1939)[59]
    While the above passage clarifies that it is considered disrespectful to display his photograph to the public, regarding postings on other websites the Bahá'í World Centre has written:
    "For Bahá'ís, the photograph of Bahá'u'lláh is very precious and it should not only be viewed but also handled with due reverence and respect, which is not the case here. Thus, it is indeed disturbing to Bahá'ís to have the image of Bahá'u'lláh treated in such a disrespectful way. However, as the creator of the site is not a Bahá'í, there is little, if anything, that can be done to address this matter. We hope these comments have been of assistance."
    (Office for Public Information, 1999 Sept 04, Photo of Bahá'u'lláh on Web Site)[55]

  7. Anonymous9:06 PM

    this is not even the correct photograph of bahaullah


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.