The Baha’i administration silenced anyone who dared to do serious or independent scholarship – by Ahang Rabbani

July 17, 2016 Leave a comment

Date: Sat, 16 Dec 95
05:41:01 -0500
From: “Ahang Rabbani”
To: talisman@indiana.edu

Subject: Zuhur’l-Haqq and Encyclopedia

Once again through sheer brilliance, Chris Buck has managed to cut through all the smoke and put his finger right on the heart of the issues — the short answer is: yes, there are a lot of similarities between what happened to Zuhuru’l-Haqq and the current status of the Baha’i Encyclopedia.

Let me first state what I know as to what happened with Zuhuru’l-Haqq project. The lessons may then be obvious. On 11 Jalal 107 BE (1951) the NSA of Iran (Ali-Akbar Furutan was NSA secretary) published a 16 page open letter which at the end contains a short response by Fadil. This letter was the kiss of death for both Zuhurh’l-Haqq series and Fadil’s scholarship and reputation.

He spent the latter part of his life away from the Baha’i community — though extremely active in teaching field. After the passing of his wife, he married a Muslim woman and his three sons were raised with deep resentments towards the Baha’i community in general — though they are very knowledgeable about the Cause and have many good Baha’i friends. His youngest son lives here in Houston, another passed away (in Ohio?) with the eldest (he is about 80 years old now) being in the States now seeking medical treatment (heart problem).

Of most concern is that Fadil had some extremely valuable and *unique* Texts and documents in his possessions, not to mention the fact that he had completed a number of very important books on the Faith which I believe he never shared with the administration and left with his sons — which either have all been destroyed or awaits freezing of hell before they are handed over to the Faith. As an example of some of the books which he has completed but you never hear anyone mentioning it is a massive Encyclopedia on the Cause under the title “Asraru’l-Athar-i Umumi” (General Mysteries of the Writings). Years earlier he published a 5-volume Baha’i encyclopedia series titled “Asraru’l-Athar-i Khususi” (Specific Mysteries of the Writings) which no serious Baha’i student should be without. But his “Umumi” version was apparently the finest single piece of scholarship ever attempted in the Cause and its a great shame if destroyed — or never published. But again, what is of greatest importance is the massive amount of Tablets and original documents which he had in his possession which never found their way to the Cause.

Some time ago, when I was posting on Quddus (I believe my first post on this topic), I discussed that for example he had a Tablet of Baha’u’llah in his possession where He states that had the Bab not declared, then Quddus would have. (Dr. Muhammad Afnan in Andalib states there is not such Tablet, but I think he knows better.) Anyway, the question is what happened with this most productive Baha’i scholar of all time (in my view, several orders of magnitude above Mirza Abu’l-Fadl or anyone else in the Faith)?

The answer to this question is with “the Dawnbreakers”! All roads eventually lead to “The Dawnbreakers” which the beloved Guardian has stated is the “standard for Baha’i history”, but in reality has served as the standard for Baha’i fundamentalism. “The Dawnbreakers” in my view is the biggest barrier to Baha’i scholarship! In fact, one can trace back the emergence of Baha’i fundamentalism right to the publication of this book and then exaggerated statements about it being “THE STANDARD”. And that’s when Fadil’s troubles began. Fadil’s view of history was based on several decades of incomparable collection of Texts, documents, narratives, interviews with old believers and extensive travels throughout the region — not to mentioned a very elevated sense of devotion to the Cause which both Abdu’l-Baha and the beloved Guardian have praised repeatedly. So, what happened? Fadil had completed his first 3 volumes when Ali-Akbar Furutan got all bent out of shape. Now Furutan was (and is) somewhat of intellectual lightweight (and I’m afraid history won’t be very kind to him on his writings, unless the House send out (which they will!) an extremely glowing cable after his death to silence all his critics (which are many)). This is all in early 1930’s. So, Furutan, knowing that he couldn’t take on a great mind like Fadil, got together with a real intellectual superstar (well, fast becoming one in those days), namely, my other hero, Ishraq-Khavari.

Together they made a case that certain points in Zuhuru’l-Haqq series do not conform to The Dawnbreaker — the “standard”! So, they write to the Guardian. This makes Shoghi Effendi all upset with Zuhuru’l-Haqq as he didn’t like anything that deviated by a dot from the Dawnbreakers. So on 15 September 1932, he writes (my inadequate translation):

“Immediately organize a special committee to investigate, reorganize and bring into conformity Jinab-i Fadil’s history with that of Nabil’s history [the Dawnbreakers]. Of this task and grave responsibility, no delay is permitted, and utmost effort must be diligently exerted.”

Poor Fadil. After a letter like this from the Guardian, well, his goose was cooked. What happened next is the ugliest chapter in Baha’i scholarship which has ever occurred. If you think things are bad now with respect to scholarship, well, you ain’t seen nothing. (I have no intention of discussing the details on Talisman, and if pressed, will move the conversation over to Tarjuman, but in truth really rather not disclose any details, mostly because there is no guarantee that what I know is really what happened. Remember, I’m just a young lad in my 30’s, I wasn’t around in those days.) What is a matter of public record and I can safely state is that a committee was organized and closely (word by word) examined Zuhuru’l-Haqq. Now the Guardian wanted this to be done overnight. Well it took nearly 20 years to complete this process (Fadil’s “confessional” letter is dated 1951).

So, those hoping for a quick resolution of Baha’i Encyclopedia impasse may wish to make note of this. At the end, as I said, NSA of Iran published a 16 page letter outlining all the “errors” in ZH-3 and included Fadil’s own short letter giving a blanket agreement with their comments. This letter of NSA of Iran is the greatest stupidity ever committed by a Baha’i institution and shows only their depth of ignorance. I will share its content as our discussion of ZH-3 unfolds. This letter resulted in discouraging a model servant of the Faith from further association with Baha’i administration and silenced anyone who dared to do serious or independent scholarship.

Forever though the memory of this illustrious scholar of the Cause is inscribed upon the hearts of those seeking knowledge. The incredible injustice that took place a half-century ago must be set right, and it is my intention to speak publicly, openly and supportive of the Hand of the Cause of God Fadil-i Mazandarani wherever I can. If justice means anything to you, I implore you to do likewise.

With devotion to the Faith,

Ahang

How Haifan UHJ tortures independent Baha’i Scholars…Read This!

July 17, 2016 Leave a comment

Here is a Letter of Baha’i Scholar Ahang Rabbani to the “Universal House of Justice”

Oppressed Baha’i Scholar Ahang Rabbani with his family.

Subject : Why me?
From : Ahang Rabbani
To : secretariat@bwc.org
Date : 3/30/2007 11:41 PM

Dear Universal House of Justice,

I have no idea how to start this letter, so I’m just going to type and then send the letter without reading it because if I read it, I would never send it.

I’ve been upset with the House of some time now.  I hate feeling this way.  I love the Faith and I love the House.  But I feel that i’m being persecuted unjustly by the House.  That sounds crazy, I know.
But that’s how I feel.  I think I’ve been extremely loyal to the Faith and the House for all my life and have served it with dedication all my life, but I’ve been dealt with extremely harshly and unjustly.

I came to Haifa in 1981, giving up a very promising professional career, to serve the Faith.  When my service was no longer needed (or actually some folks had plans to bring Hoda Mahmudi from some rather strange designs they had at the time), I had to go through a most excruciating period of months of unwarranted criticism from folks I loved and respected.  To this day I don’t know what crime I had
committed that warranted such treatment during those incredibly dark days in 1988.

When I came to the States my interests shifted to translation and scholarly activities.  I wish I had never done so because it has brought me nothing (absolutely nothing!!) but pain and heartache. Time and again, when I worked on something, I would send it to the World Centre (when I absolutely did not have to and was advised by family/friends not to do so) out of a sense of loyalty that getting the House’s approval and blessing was a good thing.  Every time I was disappointed.  It’s been going on for 15 years now.  I keep pouring my heart into my work just to find the World Centre has come up with some new excuse to block my labor from seeing daylight — while all kinds of incredibily low quailty books are filling up Baha’i stores.  Along the way I;m terribly shocked to see that I’m target of all sorts of accusations by the House of Justice which only later prove to be false and baseless.

So I have to ask:  What have I done to warrant this?  Why I am being singled out for what appears to be … well, I don’t know what word to use.  But it doesn’t feel good.  I can’t sleep.  I’m very angry with the House and really hate myself for feeling this way.  I DON”T want to feel this way.  What do I do???

If you don’t want me to be a Baha’i, just say so and I’ll leave.  I have complete trust in whatever comes from teh House is from God (though I really hate it that I’m always criticized or and everything I do is rejected — even though I know my manuscripts and work is firstrate.)

If you don’t want me to do work (which I had understood naively to be what the House wants those of us with interest in such things to wrk on), then just say so and I’ll close my books and go to something else in life.

I probably have made no sense whatsoever and will be very upset with myself after I send this, but at this stage if I don’t, I’ll never write a letter and won’t know why I’m targetted for so much negativity.

Please help me to regain my faith.  With tears pouring from my eyes I beg of you!  i need your help please PLEaSE

Deepst love, Ahang.,


Note : There are some typos, but I preferred to keep them as they were to retain the originality.

Many many thanks to the sender.
Name of the sender not published as per his / her request.

Pathetic condition of Baha’i Faith in Singapore

January 9, 2016 Leave a comment

The Baha’i Faith was established in Singapore by noble family of Fozdars when they settled here in 1950. Shirin Fozdar was well known throughout Singapore and Asia for her work in the cause of women’s emancipation. Through the efforts of Dr and Mrs Fozdar, by 1952 there were enough Baha’is in Singapore to form the first Local Spiritual Assembly. The community grew steadily and in short span there were over 2000 Baha’is and five Local Spiritual Assemblies. The first Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Singapore was incorporated 28 July 1952. The National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Singapore was established in 1972.

In less than 4 decades the situation of Baha’is have completed changed for the worst. There are no active Baha’is no functioning LSA leave alone NSA thanks to the Secretary Mrs. Lilith Nambiar. And the results are here clear for everyone to see as there are hardly and new souls coming in and only 2-3 people declared their allegiance to Baha’u’llah in last 12 months ,

Every day I wake up in the morning and ask myself is there something I can do for the faith today, I have been a devoted believer for my entire life and I make sure that I say my obligatory prayers daily and pray and seek help from Baha’u’llah.

I always think what are the innovative methods to attract the people to our faith, which the methods by which we can get the people to know and embrace the faith, however the NSA and local LSA s are going blind folded ahead and asking believers to focus only on the core activities and to forget about the Holy writings the words of God..

I feel we should have more of fire sides and have youth gathering so as to still in them the Love of Bahaullah. We should immediately stop the Ruhi books teaching which is absolutely tasteless and boring.

To give a few incidences of the state of Affair in Singapore:

  1. Baha’i university students were motivated to attend the Institute for Studies in Global Prosperity seminars held in Malaysia annually. But unfortunately only 2 youth from Singapore have attended the program so far.
  2. The Youth Conference in Port Dickson, one of the many called for by the Universal House of Justice, was a big failure with mismanagement from the Counsellor Dr. Lee Lee Loh Ludher, .Although NSA took all the efforts to increase the participation of Youths but failed miserably.
  3. The Summer School Taskforce was absolutely defunct because nobody wanted to work on it. The credit should go to Lee Ludher, Ms. Sona ad Mrs. Khamsi.

The once vibrant community is slowly losing its sheen and glory and we are hardly few people. How far we can carry on with this decline to be seen otherwise we will also join the great league of our forefathers whose community are now reduced to few souls and may get extinct soon,

All these things pain and trouble me a lot and I hope my interfaith activities and suggestions are accepted and soon then only the Baha’i community will be rejuvenated,

To arrest the decline of the Baha’i Faith and elsewhere, the following draw backs should be eliminated: this will be all the more helpful and results will flow soon, otherwise we may just sink like the TITANIC.

  • The UHJ should accept that the Ruhi curriculum has failed miserably and they should revert to Holy Scriptures only.
  • The UHJ should come out clean in the Election process at the world centre and at the National level. The Ruhi brigade should be expelled immediately like Mr. Arbab.
  • The UHJ should keep forward the exact number of Baha’is in every country they should not make use of fake sites made by themselves and say the Christians have done it.
  • The UHJ should stop the pop culture developing in every Baha’i community. They should teach the Baha’is high moral values and respect for elderly Baha’is.
  • The UHJ should explain the cause of declining Baha’is in every country. A part of which they have accepted in Ridhvan Message.
  • The UHJ should explain the concept of Guardianship sincerely to the Baha’is just not say do not read the materials of the covenant breakers. They should know that the Orthodox Baha’i group headed by Nosratullah Bahremand and the BUPC and Fredrick’s Glaycier of Reform Baha’i Faith and above all the Free Baha’i movements are making inroads in Baha’i ideological system
  • The UHJ should stop giving wrong informations to the Baha’is like: “To those who pause and reflect on the unfoldment of Divine Plan, it becomes impossible to ignore how the power posses by the word of God is ascendant in the hearts of every women and men, children and youth, in country after country, in cluster after cluster.”Ridhvan Message 2013
  • This is absolutely untrue not just for Singapore but for every country.
  • And last but not the least, The UHJ should stop using abusive and threatening language against devoted Baha’is who sacrificed everything on the Threshold of the Blessed Beauty. The UHJ should also know that there are some families which will not take their abusive languages lightly. For every action there is a reaction.

Ref: http://singaporebahai.blogspot.sg/

 

Bahai’s of the World. Beware!

May 11, 2014 Leave a comment

To,
The Bahá’ís of the World

Allahu Abha

 In a very recent incidence as mentioned by UHJ in letter dated 7 April 2014 that an Iranian senior cleric has presented to the Bahá’ís of the world, an exquisite calligraphic prepared by him of a passage in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas wherein Baha’u’llah calls upon His followers to: “Consort with all religions with amity and concord, that they may inhale from you the sweet fragrance of God.” 

The letter requested the Bahá’ís to contact their Office of External Affairs to take immediate steps, in consultation with individuals and like-minded organizations, to draw widespread attention to it. The Office of External Affairs was also to call upon its contacts in the mass media, as well as Bahá’ís and others with whom it has established relationships and who have achieved distinction in such fields. The letter assured the Bahá’ís that alongside the foregoing action, the Bahá’í International Community, will be apprising its contacts at the United Nations and among international non-governmental agencies of the significance of this gift. The UHJ also hoped that The Brussels Office of the Bahá’í International Community will, in addition, pursue related action at the level of the European Union.

Surprisingly the letter further states that “Given the considerable risk to the personal freedom and safety of Ayatollah Masoumi-Tehrani on account of this courageous act, the fact that people of prominence in the political, religious, and civil spheres express their support publicly, may well serve as a protection for him. Your Office of External Affairs may consider making approaches to some of its high-level contacts in government and elsewhere on this matter, on a confidential basis.”

Read more…

Beware of Persians Hijacking the Faith

April 14, 2014 1 comment

To,

The Bahá’ís of the World, 

Allah-u-Abha

The Independent Investigators of the Truth

Ayatollah Masoumi Tehrani has become a familiar name by now amongst the Baha’is, thanks to several reminders received from various sections at behest of the UHJ, to spread the message that the Ayatollah has gifted the Baha’is a piece of calligraphy. We are so swooned by the gesture that we have immediately started imagining that the cradle of the Faith is now arms open to welcome the Baha’is. We have even forgotten that so many of Faith members are still under arrest, whilst hundreds have given their lives for the cause of the Faith. One Masoumi Tehrani is sufficient to erase our tragic memories.

I have been a member of NSA of an Eastern country for ten years. The motive of the UHJ confuses me in the subject matter of this Calligraphist Ayatollah!

Read more…

The Treatment given to Dr. Firouz Anarki

February 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Since the establishment of Universal House of Justice in 1963 at Baha’i World Centre, at Haifa the Baha’is cannot make any departure from the norms and the procedures lay down by the UHJ. No amount of failure or development of progressive ideals can supersede whatever is written in the Messages/letters of UHJ.

There is a wide divide between the democratic ideals of equality and freedom, rights of citizens, individual liberty and pluralism cherished by Baha’u’llah, Abdul Baha and the rigid format of governance envisaged by the Self centric and anti-pluralistic Universal House of Justice.

Read more…

The UHJ Spring Has Begun

February 19, 2013 Leave a comment

Former UHJ member attacks Ruhi system in his unique Persian style

Mr. Ali Nakhjawani(Voice of alienated Persian Baha’is)

Mr. Ali Nakhjawani
(Voice of alienated Persian Baha’is)

Since the establishment of Universal House of Justice in 1963 at Baha’i World Centre, at Haifa the Baha’is cannot make any departure from the norms and the procedures lay down by the UHJ. No amount of failure or development of progressive ideals can supersede whatever is written in the Messages/letters of UHJ.

There is a wide divide between the democratic ideals of equality and freedom, rights of citizens, individual liberty and pluralism cherished by Baha’u’llah, Abdul Baha and the rigid format of governance envisaged by the Self centric and anti-pluralistic Universal House of Justice.

As a result, most of the Baha’is have remained isolated from the Baha’i Holy writings of Central figures of the Faith. The widespread and disproportionately higher level of intolerance shown by Universal House of Justice for all other ideas and thinking and fear of excommunication have made the Baha’is to examine the claims of other Sects of Baha’is and to take solace in them especially the one having  Universal House of Justice.

The terrible failure of Ruhi books curriculum and humiliating court case defeats resulting into NSA  attorney Mr. Christopher Dolan begging the Sects leader to have a compromise and to find a way out for such a humiliating situation has  put further question mark on the UHJ’s claim of infallibility.

Read more…

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