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34 From Our Archives by A. R. Mughal 1. Ali Muhammad Bab, the founder of the Babi Bahai religion belonged originally to the Shaikhiyya sect of the Shi ‘ites. They believed in the appearance of the Al-Qaim — the ultimate Imam at some unspecified time. Quite a number of people embraced the new sect in Iran. It was not that this new religion had any spiritual attraction for seekers of truth. It was vague on fundamentals like Divine revelation, the institution of prophethood, the form of life in the hereafter. It was even vaguer about the relations between man and his Maker. The simple Islamic teachings as propounded by the Holy Quran relating to different spheres of human society are not even remotely contained as a comparative counterpart in the Bahai scriptures. There has been innumerable Babs and Baha-ullahs in the Shiite hierarchy during the last WOO years. 2. The Holy Quran and the traditions of the Holy Prophet (Peace and blessings be on him) were replete with prophecies about the appearance of a Great Reformer among the Muslims in the latter days; whom God shall bless with the names ofMasih andMahdi. The consensus of opinion among eminent muslim theologians of the past, was that the appearance of the Mahdi could not go beyond the fourteenth century, A. H. As the fourteenth century, A.H., drew nearer, a number of claimants arose who made claims to Mahdawiyyat. We leave alone the less kno wn in this field and briefly mention those who left their imprint on the pages of history, soaked in blood and tears. Ali Mohammad Bab and Sudani Mahdi were almost contemporaries and both followed the classical pattern of Jihad against the legally established regimes in their respective countries. In this way, Baab, the founder of the Babi and Bahai cults was executed by the Iranian government for his anti-State activities. 3. Bahaullah, who was a disciple of Bab, adopted a slightly different line after the death of Ali Muhammad Bab, and discarding the claim of Mahdawiyyat he declared himsef a halfmast between man and God. The starting point of the Babi and Bahai religion is the belief that the Holy Quran no longer meets the needs of the human society in the present age. To cater for the requirements of modern times, Bahaullah is stated to have compiled a book called Aqdas. The Bahais claim that the shariah contained in “Aqdas” is the best among sacred and heavenly scriptures and that the solution of world problems has been fully embodied in this book. It is a moot point that the Bahais have not, until now, plucked up enough courage to publish “Aqdas” for the benefit of those who would care to read it. 35 FROM OUR ARCHIVES 4. Bahaullah did not lay claim to Prophethood but ambiguously inserted phrases in his writings to the effect one can change the image and function of religion according to one’s own fashion. A question that recurs with such dreadful frequency amid the mindless violence which grips the world, is: what is the remedy for the social and economic evils of humanity today? Bahaullah has offered no solutions. Our religious divines with their flowing robes are normally so big in size that there is little room left for innovation and sensible thinking. Perhaps the time is ripe for the people to go in search of the real Mahdi. He may be waiting round the corner. 6. We are reproducing an article on Babi and Bahaisms in this issue. Both the notes were written by Fazal Din, Pleader. “Historical NOTES ON BAHAISM” gives a brief description of the beginning of the new sect with its sad termination with the execution of its founder. Bahaullah ended up at Akka where he remained a prisoner for more than 24 years. The second note pertains to some Babi teachings. It requires no deep thinking to come to the conclusion that an ass is an ass, no matter whose racing colours it dons. THE HOLY QURAN The Holy Quran with English Translation and Commentary Edited by Malik Ghulam Farid Original text in Arabic, with English translation of each verse. Full cross references to indicate where a particular subject appears again in the Holy Quran. Compact and concise commentary as footnotes to this comprehensive and popular edition make this a masterpiece of exegisis and a unique guide to the beauties of the Holy Quran. Hardcover 1461 pp Price £7.50 Tafseer-i-Saghir (Urdu) by Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmud Ahmad Arabic text with word by word free-flowing Urdu translation in understandable sentences. Excel lent foot notes to help you comprehend the Holy Quran and an extensive alphabetical index of all the subjects dealt with in this Sacred Scripture make this edition an unparalleled piece of work which no Urdu speaking family should be without. Hard Cover 853 pp art paper Price £5.50 Available from The London Mosque, 16Gressenhall Road, London, SW185QL. All cheques should be made payable to The London Mosque.


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