You are here: Home>Articles>Baha'ism and Violence: Abdu'l-Baha the Face Slapper

When Baha’is preach their beliefs, the audience are induced into believing that Baha’ism is a peaceful religion refraining from all forms of violence. In the current article, using historical evidence from trusted Baha’i eyewitnesses, we will show that this is simply not the case and Abdu’l-Baha was a violent person who would routinely slap people.

One of the key witnesses to these acts is Khalil Shahidi who was born in Akka and was a trusted companion of Abdu’l-Baha and other Baha’i leaders for about forty years. According to the famous Baha’i translator Ahang Rabbani:

“As a trusted resident believer of ‘Akká and a longtime custodian of the House of ‘Abbúd, he was at a unique vantage point to observe ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as He dealt, neutralized and triumphed over all opposition and adversaries.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with `Abdu'l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p.3)

Khalili narrates many violent acts from Abdu’l-Baha. In one instance a question is met not with an answer, but a slap:

One day in the birúní[outer section] of the blessed House of Haifa, He [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] stated, “I have forgotten my handkerchief.” One of the friends who was known as Ustád Muhammad-‘Alí Banná, remarked to this effect, “How is it possible for the manifestation of Truth to forget anything?” Immediately, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá slapped him and stated, “Over forgetting a handkerchief that man puts a hundred souls to test.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with `Abdu'l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, pp. 100-101)

In another instance he states that a certain person who opposes him needs a slap. The man mysteriously dies the next day:

One of the inhabitants of ‘Akká was exhibiting great opposition. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá stated, “He needs a slap.” Next day that person died. It was said to His blessed presence, “He received his slap,” but He did not respond. (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with `Abdu'l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 41)

In yet another incident a man asks Abdu’l-Baha for a bribe. He receives a beating instead:

Thereupon, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá sought water to perform His ablution. With the utmost deliberation, He completed His ablution and then commenced to perform the long obligatory prayer of the Muslims. During His prayer, the man kept interrupting, “This matter must <p.225> be concluded quickly, as there is little time!” Meaning that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá should end His obligatory prayer and attend to this urgent matter. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá finished His prayer, with the utmost dignity and authority He came close to him and slapped him several times, saying, “I sent it for you.” With great stress and anxiety, never having imagined such an outcome, he held his face and head, and shouting, screaming and roaring, he returned to the government office and informed his comrades of what had transpired. (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with `Abdu'l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 116)

This story has been narrated from Abdu’l-Baha by multiple witnesses. For instance, Doctor Habib Mu’ayyad a member of the National Spiritual Assemblies of Iran and a frequent visitor of Abdu’l-Baha narrates it like this:

‘Hurry, Effendi, it is best not to delay this matter!’ I asked, ‘Which matter?’ He replied, ‘The issue of the money!’ ‘The money was sent a while ago. Why are you here?’ I told him. ‘How was it sent? By whom was it sent?’ he inquired. I said, ‘By now it has reached the Mutasarrif. Go quickly!’ He rose and began to put on his shoes; and, when he turned back towards Me, I slapped him hard and was about to slap him again, but he fled and went to the Mutasarrif who had inquired, ‘Why did it take you so long? Where is the money?’ He replied, ‘By God, I went to them, but all I received was a hard beating. Look, my face is still quite red! These people are very tough!’ (Ahang Rabbani, Eight Years Near Abdu'l-Bahā: The Diary of Dr. Habib Mu'ayyad, p. 431)


Another visitor to Abdu’l-Baha, Mirza Isa Khan, who according to Ahang Rabbani “had been a devoted Bahá'í of his time” states that after receiving the slaps, Abdu’l-Baha threw the man down from the height of the building:

I went and performed My ablutions and stood for obligatory prayer. Afterwards, I recited prayers. He was in a hurry and I was protracting [My meditations]. At the end, I said to him, "I have sent the money." He inquired, "With whom did you send it?" I replied, "Stand up!" Then slapped him in the ear, lifted him and threw him down from the height of the building. (Ahang Rabbani, With Abdu'l-Bahá: The Diary of Mirza 'Isa Khan Isfahani)

What is even more amazing, is the fact that Abdu’l-Baha says the following statement before narrating the aforementioned story: The Blessed Beauty has freed us from all restraints. He teaches that we must be kind to all, even to our enemies.”

Khalili narrates another story about a group of people who were harassing the Baha’is of Egypt:

During the blessed days of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, a person in Egypt was the leader of a band of men, and would provoke these men against the Bahá’ís of Egypt, and for this reason had brought about difficulties. One day that same person arrived in Haifa from Egypt. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá summoned him. After the man entered into ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s presence, He said to him, “You are causing injury to my community.” Then he was the recipient of warnings, admonishments and several slaps. After he left [the room], immediately he was summoned once more. He thought to himself that perchance the page had turned [and this time ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would be friendly to him], but it was not so since upon his entrance, one more time, the same thing occurred and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá picked up where He had left off. When this man returned to Egypt, he gave unequivocal, emphatic and decisive command to that band and emphasized, “You should not show any malice towards this community [i.e. Bahá’ís], as no one can defeat their Chief [‘Abdu’l-Bahá]; He is most powerful and able.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with `Abdu'l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 127)

So how does Abdu’l-Baha justify his actions? Khalili continues:

One time, He [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] stated, “With some people, a thousand counsels and admonishments would not have the same effect as a slap.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with `Abdu'l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 128)

Many people who commit violent acts utter similar arguments, so what advantage does Baha’ism have over other opinions and why all the commotion about Baha’is being peaceful and refraining from physical abuse? Matters don’t finish here. In fact Abdu’l-Baha had hit people in different shapes and forms innumerable times. This is what Khalili tells us directly after the previous quote:

 At all events, in different forms and taking <p.255> different shapes, many such occurrences would take place – so many that they remain unnumbered and uncountable. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, while extremely meek, was the zenith of power and grandeur. (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with `Abdu'l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 128)

Can Baha’i leaders be considered peaceful non-violent people? How can the leader of a group of people who cannot abide by his own words and the orders of his father be considered a teacher of morals and peace? Apparently, when Baha’u’llah had prohibited conflicts and striking others, he was giving orders to everyone but his own beloved son:

Ye have been forbidden in the Book of God to engage in contention and conflict, to strike another, or to commit similar acts whereby hearts and souls may be saddened. (Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, pp. 72-73)

 

Conflict and contention are categorically forbidden in His Book. (Baha’u’llah, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 221)  

How can someone who has a reputation of having slapped different people innumerable times, condemn violent acts:

“In this, the cycle of Almighty God, violence and force, constraint and oppression, are one and all condemned.” (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 149)

The Quran and the Bible condemn this attitude:

Do you order the people to do good but forget about yourselves whilst you read the Book! Do you not use your reason! (Quran 2:44)

You, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? (Romans 2:21-22)

And why isn’t the true violent face of Abdu’l-Baha ever shown to those being preached about Baha’ism?

Comments (admin@bahaibahai.com)  

0 # al 2016-05-03 23:46
First learn that the language is called Persian in English, not Farsi.
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0 # Administrator 2016-06-24 15:50
Quoting al:
First learn that the language is called Persian in English, not Farsi.


Both terms are used in English and all major English dictionaries have an entry for Farsi.
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0 # G. Billington 2015-07-08 19:26
Your little website reminds me of the tons of websites trying to prove General Relativity is wrong. Without understanding the math, or understanding the model of the universe, these people try to pick apart one little aspect of something they think they understand but do not. Scientists are sick of these fools, and pay them no attention.

Likewise, you show no understanding of the totality of the Bahá’í Faith, but think you can pull at an insignificant string.

Bahá’ís do not need to re-examine the authenticity of their Faith all the time. Once one investigates Bahá’u’lláh and perceives His Reality is from God, then all thereafter is the struggle for us to understand Him. If He states that `Abdu'l-Bahá incorporates the Reality of all things, and is incapable of wrong, why should we worry about an ant in the desert crying “I know better than you!”? Do you incorporate creation? Our task is to understand, not to question the infallibility. Once you embody infinite infallibility, maybe our tiny minds can listen to you.

The Bahá’í Faith is not a pacifist religion. Nowhere does it eschew violence under all conditions. Indeed, it specifies a standing army and when to go to war for the protection of the world. So if the Essence of Perfection slaps somebody, then that slap is the most perfect action for the circumstances.

You need intense study before you can begin to question, much less criticize. Make yourself worthy to participate in the discussion.
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0 # admin 2015-07-09 07:12
Quoting G. Billington:

Likewise, you show no understanding of the totality of the Bahá’í Faith, but think you can pull at an insignificant string.

I don't blame you for believing we have no understanding of the totality of Baha'ism. The reality of Baha'i beliefs and history is fundamentally different from that which is propagated to English speaking adherents. Only if you could understand Farsi and Arabic...

Quote:

Bahá’ís do not need to re-examine the authenticity of their Faith all the time. Once one investigates Bahá’u’lláh and perceives His Reality is from God...
Tell me how did you investigate Baha'u'llah and how did you reach the conclusion that he is infallible? Please tell me which one of the following books you have read during your investigations: Makatib, Badi`, Amr wa khalq, Tawqiat Shoghi, Ma'idiyih Asimani, Athar-i qalam-i Ala, Ganjiniyi hudud wa ahkam, or maybe Rahiq-i makhtum? I would guess none because these books have never been translated to English. You probably don't even know what these books are. In your investigations you've probably solely relied on a few carefully selected books translated for a western audience by the UHJ. That is not called investigation.

Quote:

The Bahá’í Faith is not a pacifist religion. Nowhere does it eschew violence under all conditions...
In fact, according to Abdu'l-Baha and Baha'ullah, no where does Baha'ism eschew the attitude shown by Abdu'l-Baha.
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0 # doost9 2015-07-09 12:23
Dear Admin,

Two points about your post:

1) As someone who believes that the Baha'i Faith is wrong (to put it mildly!) and whose sole purpose from having this site is to discredit the Baha'i Faith through most probably using Iranian government's funds which are available to those opposing the Baha'i Faith, it is obvious that you are not impartial and your judgement cannot be trusted.

2) Your response to Billington's comments which addressed directly the content of your article, through avoiding to address the issues and only referring him/her to a series of names of compilations of Baha'i Writings in Farsi and Arabic which are also found in the authorized translations into English, shows how you're intent to confuse and misrepresent the Baha'i Faith to the non-Iranian Baha'is. Dear Admin, please do not misjudge the Faith and steadfastness of the Western Baha'is! :roll:
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0 # admin 2015-07-09 13:47
1-I repeat again, this website has no connections to any government and receives no government funds.

2-We have no intention of confusing anyone or misrepresenting Baha'ism, but apparently you do, since you claim that the books I mentioned have been translated to English. Please show me the translations for at least these three: Badi, Amr wa Kahlq, and Rahiqe Makhtoom.
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+2 # doost9 2015-07-09 22:35
Dear Admin,

1- Well, if you do not receive funding from the government or the hundreds of parallel run institutions which are directly or indirectly funded by the "Nezam" then I guess we are to presume that you are a selfless and highly devout person who is trying to distort the truth by wrongful interpretations just for the sake of proving the validity of his own beliefs. An approach which the priests in Iran have particularly perfected over the centuries!

2-a) Dear Admin, It seems that you did not understand the point I was making. Billington had directly addressed the article but with utter disrespect for decisions that are not of your liking, you questioned his/her decision and gave a list of names of Books whose contents are incidentally found elsewhere in the English translations, giving the impression that you are the sole authority on the Baha'i Faith and it being a "misguided sect"! (by the way, it's Baha'i Faith and not Bahaism, which itself shows your prejudicial view!).

2-b) Dear Admin, in your comment you also mocked Billington's method of investigation and acceptance of the Baha'i Faith! May I ask you how you yourself came to accept your Faith? If not born into a Muslim family and accepting Islam because of your forefathers' decision (plus surely some fear of leaving it since the punishment of apostasy in Islam is death), did you study and accept all of the 1000s of traditions from the 12 Imams and all interpretations of Shia Ulama before accepting the Shia 12 Imamate Islam or do you think that the reading of 1 Book (the Quran) would have been enough? I guess that single Book would have been sufficient so why should not 1 Book or even 1 verse from the Word of God revealed by Baha'u'llah not be enough for acceptance of the Baha'i Faith? Why different standards for yourself and others?
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0 # admin 2015-07-10 10:28
1-Irrelevant secondary issue used to play the victim and a clear insult to the priests of Iran. No one is trying to distort the truth, we're just exposing what we believe to be falsehood.

2a-Billington can speak for himself. He didn't directly address the article, he claimed that since Abdu'l-Baha is infallible he can do what he wants and whatever he does is the best action. And don't speak to me about disrespect. Billington has sent us an email labeling the statements here as lunacy, idiocity, insanity, foolishness, and likewise. We are not publishing it out of respect. Don't push us to do so. Oh by the way, our investigations show that it's "Baha'ism" not the "Baha'i faith".

2-b- I don't know about you, but I accepted my faith by reading and reading and reading and carefully studying the arguments of polemicists and apologists and then judging by reason and conscience. I have no arguments with someone who believes in a man solely based on one statement from his writings.
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+2 # doost9 2015-07-10 14:19
1- :D

2a - You see, I did say you were disrespectful! The proof is obviously in Billington's response to you which you shared here! In a world where everywhere Baha'i Faith is known by that name, calling it an "ism" only goes to show your approach to studying your subject matter!

2b - Dearest Admin, Please do not become emotional and read in anger, because you will then misunderstand and misinterpret the texts. I did not say that my belief came from reading one statement!

2c - I will be glad to read a universally approved and accepted translation of Quran, whose reading would be the same as reading the original Arabic text! Can you refer me to one with references from recognized authorities of all Sunni and Shia sects? Also, can one read the translation of the Islamic daily Obligatory Prayer instead of it in Arabic?! Do you get the point now?

2d- Re Kitab-i-Badi I do not want to repeat myself! As to "the main problematic stuff... uch as the quotes where Baha'u'llah respectfully calls his opponents donkeys...", it might interest you to know that all Divine Messengers (Baha'is call them the Manifestations of God), use strong language towards their opponents. Of all people, you as a devout Muslim who
Quoting admin:
accepted [his] faith by reading and reading and reading and carefully studying the arguments of polemicists and apologists and then judging by reason and conscience

should not have been surprised by such words! Did not His Holiness Prophet Muhammad (pbuH) also not only use strong words for His opponents (eg 2:171) but also even on occasions ordered their execution (eg Al Nadr ibn al-Harith)? Surih 2:171: "The example of those who disbelieve is like that of one who shouts at what hears nothing but calls and cries cattle or sheep - deaf, dumb and blind, so they do not understand."

2e- I did thank you in a way for highlighting what you and your colleagues think are "contradictory and problematic stuff"! No need to be upset! :-)
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0 # admin 2015-07-11 00:59
Quote:

2b - Dearest Admin, Please do not become emotional and read in anger, because you will then misunderstand and misinterpret the texts. I did not say that my belief came from reading one statement!
You are the one who is becoming emotional because I didn't say your beliefs came from reading one statement. But I did say this about you "I don't know about you".

Quote:

2c - I will be glad to read a universally approved and accepted translation of Quran...Do you get the point now?
I would be glad too but that wasn't even my point. Anyway, You fail to understand that official translations of Baha'i texts are not universally accepted either (unless you think that since Baha'is accept them as correct then that means they must be universally accepted).

Quote:

...it might interest you to know that all Divine Messengers (Baha'is call them the Manifestations of God), use strong language towards their opponents...
Muhammad didn't use those words to describe his opponents because a-the verse you refer to is the words of God not Muhammad. b-there is no "cattle or sheep" in the original Arabic and out of all the translations of the Quran you have cited one where the translator has added his own interpretation in the translation without using any parentheses or brackets.
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+2 # doost9 2015-07-11 02:03
Do pardon my English but it seems that you should have continued your reading (and learnt some Arabic too in the process!). :D Since you were not happy with the translation here is another translation of the same verse this time by www.parsquran.com and into Farsi:
"و مثل [دعوت‏كننده] كافران چون مثل كسى است كه حيوانى را كه جز صدا و ندايى [مبهم چيزى] نمى‏شنود بانگ مى‏زند [آرى] كرند لالند كورند [و] درنمى‏يابند"

In case that is not clear enough, here are two more in English for you (isn't it wonderful that us Baha'is have our Holy Texts translated into over 800 languages?!!). Anyway, here are other two quotations confirming the anger of God towards unbelievers as spoken by Muhammad via Angel Gabriel. Before that I should also point out that Baha'u'llah we believe like all other Manifestations of God (such as Muhammad) was a pure mirror reflecting the attributes of God and His Words were the Words of God. Sorry, I digressed:

7:166 Then, when they rebelled against the commands to refrain, We said to them, "Be despicable apes."

7:179. ... They have hearts with which they do not understand. They have eyes with which they do not see. They have ears with which they do not hear. These are like cattle. In fact, they are further astray. These are the heedless.
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0 # admin 2015-07-11 10:28
I'll allow Shoghi to judge you: According to Shoghi George Sale's translation is the most accurate Quran translation: "As to the question raised by the Spiritual Assembly of Los Angeles concerning the best English translation of the Qur'an, the Guardian would recommend Sales' translation which is the most accurate rendering available, and is the most widespread." (Shoghi Effendi, Directives of the Guardian, p. 63), here is Sale's translation:
"The unbelievers are LIKE unto one who crieth aloud to that which heareth not so much as his calling, or the sound of his voice. They are deaf, dumb, and blind, therefore do they not understand."
See? No reference to cattle or sheep or goats. Pay attention to the word "LIKE" which shows the statement is a parable.

As for 7:166, God didn't call those people apes, he transmuted them into apes.

As for 7:179, Again like the first verse the word "LIKE" is used to show a parable: They don't hear, see, or understand just LIKE cattle. Baha'u'llah uses no parables, he directly addressees his enemies and deniers and calls them pigs and donkeys, Ironically he claims that:
"Defile not your tongues with the cursing and reviling of any soul" (Aqdas)

“Verily I say, the tongue is for mentioning what is good, defile it not with unseemly talk. God hath forgiven what is past. Henceforward everyone should utter that which is meet and seemly, and should refrain from slander, abuse and whatever causeth sadness in men.” (Aqdas)
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+2 # doost9 2015-07-09 22:37
2-c) With regard to the books you have mentioned, dear Admin, it might have escaped you but in the Baha'i Faith unlike in your religion (Islam), we do not have only 1 Holy Book that after 1400 years is still not authoritatively translated! Can you even imagine how much the Bab, Baha'u'llah, Abdu'l-Baha and Shoghi Effendi (who all could write themselves) wrote during a 113 year period from 1844-1957? That is apart from the many elucidations of the Universal House of Justice on the Writings of Our Faith made over the past 50 years! All these Writings because of their sacred nature for us Baha'is (like Quran for you) require the utmost attention and translation expertise, in the same way that an authorized translation of your Holy Book would take if that project was ever to be carried out. Patience is required my friend! Patience to have all these voluminous books and Writings translated, but no fear, as in the meanwhile all of the major Works of Baha'u'llah with focus on general public are already available.

2-d) As to Kitab-i-Badi which is Baha'u'llah's apologia written in defense of His Faith, it demonstrates the validity and the truth of His Own Mission to the Babis (a particular Mirza Mihdiy-i-Gilani ). Now, Admin jan, how many Babis do you know that you think this Book should be translated for urgently?! Whether you like it or not, the Baha'i Faith is now a world religion and is not confined to Iran or to the followers of the Bab anymore! Having said that, for your information, there are many references to this Book in the English Writings of Shoghi Effendi and also Mr Taherzadeh's Revelation of Baha'u'llah dedicates a whole chapter on this Book. No one is trying to hide this or other Writings of the Faith as they are sacred literature for us!

2-e) The other books you listed are compilations of the Baha'i Writings and many topics in there are already translated (authoritative or provisional) and are discussed on various forums. The remainder issues are covered thanks to sites like yours whose aim is to attack the Baha'i Faith and unwittingly help the English speakers to see the wisdom and the truth of this Faith!
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0 # admin 2015-07-10 10:35
2-c- It seems you have no clue about Islam...

2-d- Of course you are not trying to hide the Kitab-i-Badi! That is why it can't be found on reference.Bahai .org just like a bunch of other problematic books and tablets. In fact someone on h-net.org had to go to a lot of trouble to find a copy and upload it on the internet. Yes, I've seen cherry picked quotes from that book here and there, but the main problematic stuff, no that's never going to be translated. Such as the quotes where Baha'u'llah respectfully calls his opponents donkeys...

2-e- "Some" cherry picked quotes have been translated from those books, but the contradictory and problematic stuff, yes we are exposing those. Calling this an attack on Baha'ism doesn't change the facts.
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0 # g a 2015-01-05 14:39
It's difficult to find experienced people on this topic,
however, you seem like you know what you're talking about!
Thanks
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+1 # doost9 2015-01-02 16:46
Finally, regarding what you see as contradictions, I recommend the reading of the chapter "The right method of treating criminals" in the book "Some Answered Questions, where Abdul-Baha sheds light on Baha'i concepts of justice and punishment. The quotes that you have cited in above are in agreement with the explanation of these concepts given in this chapter.

With best wishes,
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0 # admin 2015-01-04 17:55
In the aforementioned chapter, Abdu’l-Baha states that punishment must be done by the community and those involved in these situations must not take matters into their own hands. Abdu’l-Baha’s actions in the mentioned stories are the exact opposite of his own guidelines.
Best wishes to you too :-)
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+1 # doost9 2015-01-05 00:30
Are you saying that the Palestinian and Egyptian communities of 1892-1921 were so developed that they rendered just punishments & therefore Abdul-Baha should have left them to handle these cases of bribery and persecution? Be fair, it's now 100+ years since those days and still little change.
Abdul-Baha in His personal dealings as He says in the chapter in "Some Answered Questions" was forgiving towards all who personally wished Him harm, which were not too few in a region full of corruption, violence and religious prejudice. Abdul-Baha, as the Head of a Faith whose believers were persecuted, was in a very difficult and dangerous position. His apparent response to repeated calls for bribe from authorities protected His community from being further bullied; his apparent response in face of a person who was responsible for persecution of Baha'is in Egypt the same! You should be complaining if he hadn't taken firm action in those cases in defending the community He was responsible for!
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+2 # admin 2015-01-06 12:56
Quoting doost9:
Are you saying that the Palestinian and Egyptian communities of 1892-1921 were so developed that they rendered just punishments & therefore Abdul-Baha should have left them to handle these cases of bribery and persecution? Be fair, it's now 100+ years since those days and still little change.


The guidelines in “Some Answered Questions” were given when Abdu’l-Baha was living in the community you are describing. Had he intended other guidelines for this community he would have stated them.

Quoting doost9:
Abdul-Baha in His personal dealings as He says in the chapter in "Some Answered Questions" was forgiving towards all who personally wished Him harm, which were not too few in a region full of corruption, violence and religious prejudice. Abdul-Baha, as the Head of a Faith whose believers were persecuted, was in a very difficult and dangerous position. His apparent response to repeated calls for bribe from authorities protected His community from being further bullied; his apparent response in face of a person who was responsible for persecution of Baha'is in Egypt the same! You should be complaining if he hadn't taken firm action in those cases in defending the community He was responsible for!


As was previously mentioned, Abdu’l-Baha’s actions go against the orders of Baha’u’llah in the Book of Aqdas and his own statements. Furthermore, in a community that you are ordered to not defend yourself even when someone is trying to kill you, violently and physically abusing people for persecution, asking questions, and bribes has no place:
“As a religious body, Baha’i’s have, at the express command of Baha’u’llah, entirely abandoned the use of armed force in their own interests, even for STRICTLY DEFENSIVE purposes. In Persia, many many thousands of the Babis and Baha’is have suffered cruel deaths because of their faith. In the early days of the Cause, the Bābīs on various occasions DEFENDED themselves and their families by the sword with great courage and bravery. Baha’u’llah, however, FORBADE THIS.” (J. E. Esslemont, Baha’u’llah and the New Era, pp.169–170.)
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+1 # doost9 2015-01-07 02:37
Sorry, I didn't know your site was up! Anyway, am here now!
As to what you have written above: Wow! You amaze me, Admin! You have been and are continuing to share references about the cruel and inhumane persecution of the Baha'is in Iran which is still ongoing and your website is a part of, and then you go on to quote from the Writings of the Baha'i Central Figures on peacefulness, forbidding its believers to resort to violence and agitation and then follow it by confirming the obedient response of the community to these call, as witnessed by the peaceful conduct of this community since 1863 when the call was first made by Baha'u'llah in Baghdad! Having said all the above, you then think that by focusing on a few isolated cases of chastisement as reported by Baha'is themselves, you can shake the faith of the Baha'is and diminish their love for Abdul-Baha, the Master, the Centre of the Covenant, the appointed successor of Baha'u'llah?! Do your sponsors realise the futility of your actions and the waste of their funds, not that I mind!?
Dear Admin, true religions come from God and they are not meant to make sense to those with impure hearts or lack of interest to investigate the Faith of God fairly, otherwise all the world would have been Christian at the time of Christ, or Muslim at the time of Muhammad or Zoroastrian at the time of Zoroaster and so on! In addition, you as a non-Baha'i, cannot understand how the Baha'is see justice, wisdom and infallibility in the acts of the Central Figures of their Faith, as much as a Christian cannot understand how a you as a Shiite Muslim see in the acts of the Central Figures of Islam and now the Supreme Leader in Iran, justice, wisdom and infallibility, so what's the point of these articles?!

With regard to the wisdom of the actions of Abdul-Baha, in my earlier posts I (as a simple Baha'i with no membership in any Baha'i administrative bodies anywhere!) have explained my personal understanding. As to what the Baha'is should do, the many authorised interpretations of Abdul-Baha and Shoghi Effendi plus those of the Universal House of Justice as the current Head of the Faith, suffice. The community since the passing of Baha'u'llah in 1892 has been using these guidances and will continue to do so long after you and I leave this world! With regard to violence, these guidances make it clear that violence is forbidden and that justice should be sought where it can be sought! That's why in Iran the Baha'is, even though they are ignored, imprisoned, harassed and humiliated, they turn to the courts and governmental officials for justice, and in absence of action, they turn to international organisations.

In closing, apparently you did not read the chapter in SAQ till the end, where Abdul-Baha refers to and gives an example of how individuals should be ready to act on behalf of community, meaning they do not need to sit till a crime is committed before they take action. If one can help prevent a crime, then one should act! Something He also apparently did in the examples you shared! Here is the quote from the table talks of Abdul-Baha, transcribed and later printed as "Some Answered Questions":

"But the communities must protect the rights of man. So if someone assaults, injures, oppresses and wounds me, I will offer no resistance, and I will forgive him. But if a person wishes to assault Siyyid Manshadi,[1] certainly I will prevent him. Although for the malefactor noninterference is apparently a kindness, it would be an oppression to Manshadi. If at this moment a wild Arab were to enter this place with a drawn sword, wishing to assault, wound and kill you, most assuredly I would prevent him. If I abandoned you to the Arab, that would not be justice but injustice. But if he injure me personally, I would forgive him.
[1 A Bahá'í sitting [...] at table.] (Some Answered Questions, p.270)"
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+1 # admin 2015-01-07 05:21
This website has no connection to the government of Iran and is opposed to all forms of oppression against all peoples, beliefs and races. It is obvious that this website is not liable nor responsible for how Baha’is are treated by other groups of people. Trying to connect this website to these groups by using statements like this: “You have been and are continuing to share references about the cruel and inhumane persecution of the Baha'is in Iran which is still ongoing and your website is a part of,” is futile.

As for your new reference to some answered questions: 1- Abdu’l-Baha gives a prescription for a case where someone wants to harm and injure his friend. Abdu’l-Baha does not state that he would use violence to prevent the Arab from harming his friend, and even if he did it would still contradict the guidelines of the Aqdas and his own statements. 2-Many face-slapping instances were mentioned in the article that had nothing to do with protecting others, rather he slapped people for asking questions or insisted on taking bribes etc, while his own guideline in the case that an attack had occurred (which had not) was this: “But if he injure me personally, I would forgive him.”
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+1 # doost9 2015-01-07 12:06
Admin jan! Ghorboonet besham!

The reference was the same I gave you the first time, just that you didn't read till the end and with care! Like any unfair person, your eyes just scan for what you want to see and not what's written! The whole chapter as I wrote the first time clearly shows what the Baha'i stance on justice is and Abdul-Baha's reaction on those reported cases, given the circumstances as I have already mentioned, fits perfectly with that concept.

As to your site having no connection with the government of Iran, any child can check for himself information about your site by typing http://whois.domaintools.com/avazedohol.com and see that your ISP is www.parsdata.com in Iran, your website is relatively new (nearly 2 years old, which fits with the increase in the intensity of the systematic persecution of the Baha'is in Iran during the past 6 years) and that you are located in Tehran. It is therefore extremely unlikely that you and your colleagues are depriving yourselves from the large IRI's sponsored anti-Baha'i funds, and are hosting this site as a personal hobby and for the sake of charity and saving lost souls! ;-)
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+1 # admin 2015-01-07 12:58
Quoting doost9:
Admin jan! Ghorboonet besham!

The reference was the same I gave you the first time, just that you didn't read till the end and with care! Like any unfair person, your eyes just scan for what you want to see and not what's written! The whole chapter as I wrote the first time clearly shows what the Baha'i stance on justice is and Abdul-Baha's reaction on those reported cases, given the circumstances as I have already mentioned, fits perfectly with that concept.

Enough has been said. God will judge us.


Quoting doost9:

As to your site having no connection with the government of Iran, any child can check for himself information about your site by typing http://whois.domaintools.com/avazedohol.com and see that your ISP is www.parsdata.com in Iran, your website is relatively new (nearly 2 years old, which fits with the increase in the intensity of the systematic persecution of the Baha'is in Iran during the past 6 years) and that you are located in Tehran. It is therefore extremely unlikely that you and your colleagues are depriving yourselves from the large IRI's sponsored anti-Baha'i funds, and are hosting this site as a personal hobby and for the sake of charity and saving lost souls! ;-)

:-| WOW. So since this website is registered in a domain in Iran, then it is funded by and connected to the Iranian government! :eek:
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0 # doost9 2015-01-07 14:06
Quoting admin:

Enough has been said. God will judge us.

Of course He will judge us, but on how just and fair you and I have been in our judgements and comments! Despite this however, I should say here that as a Baha'i I appreciate you introducing to me to a new book on the life of a early Baha'i. For that I shall always be grateful to you. Thanks.

Quoting admin:

:-| WOW. So since this website is registered in a domain in Iran, then it is funded by and connected to the Iranian government! :eek:

Well, the problem is that the huge amount of filtering and internet censorship in Iran makes any website that attacks an already persecuted minority in that country to be mistrusted! Here is the link for your readers about internet censorship in Iran: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_censorship_in_Iran

عزیزان! امیدوارم که در آینده‌ای نه بسیار دور، به طور آزاد این گفتگو‌ها را در رسانه‌‌های عمومی‌ در ایران و با بهاییانی که از بنده بسیار عالمتر و فصیح تر و صبورتر هستند داشته باشید! روز‌هایتان خوش!
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+1 # doost9 2015-01-02 16:45
Second point is that Abdul-Baha as the Head of the Faith, in a region where violence and force ruled (even more so than today!) was obviously threading the right path as all the
quotations in above indicate that the people who received chastisement from His Hands did not show animosity towards him but even
afterwards respectfully talked about the Master and the Baha'i community (eg "he returned to the government office and informed his comrades of what had transpired","Th ese people are very tough!",
"You should not show any malice towards this community...").

In the case of the Baha'i who knowingly or not, by his remarks could have sown the seeds of doubt into the community about the Centre of the Covenant who as requested by Baha'u'llah in His Will and Testament was to be obeyed by the Baha'is, surely he learnt his lesson and the seriousness of the implication of what he had said.
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0 # admin 2015-01-04 17:54
In this case too the point of the article was to show that Abdu’l-Baha had acted against his father’s teachings and his own statements. How the recipients of Abdu’l-Baha’s slaps reacted towards these violent acts does not change anything. Furthermore, in the statements you have mentioned there is no details that can be used to show those who received the slaps “did not show animosity towards him” after receiving the slaps or “respectfully talked about the Master and the Baha'i community”. For instance, in the following sentence, "he returned to the government office and informed his comrades of what had transpired," the recipient of the slap simply narrates what had happened. There is nothing in this statement that can show feelings of animosity or respect. "These people are very tough!" is merely a description of toughness. “You should not show any malice towards this community” can be uttered out of fright because of the slaps received.
Quoting doost9:

In the case of the Baha'i who knowingly or not, by his remarks could have sown the seeds of doubt into the community about the Centre of the Covenant who as requested by Baha'u'llah in His Will and Testament was to be obeyed by the Baha'is, surely he learnt his lesson and the seriousness of the implication of what he had said.

I repeat again, the point of the article was to show that Abdu’l-Baha had acted against his father’s teachings and his own statements. Furthermore, it seems that you are implying that Baha’is are totally justified in slapping people who ask doubtful questions about the Center of the Covenant.
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+1 # doost9 2015-01-04 23:48
Regarding the first paragraph I only refer you to my original comment of 2015-01-02 16:45 and todays response starting with "Dear Admin, I appreciate...".

As to your conclusion from the story and my comment, that Baha'is should go around slapping people who ask "doubtful questions", I think you have misunderstood the story and my comment and more importantly what it means to be a Baha'i. One becomes a Baha'i when one decides and one leaves it when one decides. Questions are always welcome in the Baha'i communities and "doubtful questions" even more!
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+4 # doost9 2015-01-02 16:41
First point and putting things into perspective, let us not forget the many accounts of how Abdul-Baha was forgiving, loving and patient with his enemies (story of the Arab who was rude towards Him for 24 years should by itself suffice here!). Even in the 6th quote above, we read how the chap who was the leader of a band of men who were persecuting the Baha'is in Egypt, after receiving his first chastisement from the Hands of Abdul-Baha, when summoned again into His presence he ventured to show his face again and immediately! ("He thought to himself that perchance the page had turned [and this time ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would be friendly to him]"). This certainly goes to show how even this chap who apparently was the chief responsible person for organising the persecution of the Baha'is must have been aware of the typical gentleness and forgiving nature of Abdul-Baha, as otherwise noone in his right mind would go to meet a person who just slapped him immediately! ...
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0 # admin 2015-01-04 17:52
The point of the article was to show that Abdu’l-Baha had acted against his father’s teachings and his own statements. Whether Abdu’l-Baha was gentle towards other people and in other situations is irrelevant to this subject.
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+4 # doost9 2015-01-04 23:25
Dear Admin,

I appreciate the point of the article which is clearly stated in the title: "Baha’ism and Violence: Abdu’l-Baha the Face Slapper". Despite what you want us to believe the underlying theme of the article is clearly to sabotage the character of Abdul-Baha. In doing so, funnily enough the article uses as its reference Baha'i sources and not those of non-Baha'is! Why? Because all other sources (plenty available as Abdul-Baha was met by many non-Baha'is after His freedom in 1908 in Middle East, Africa, Europe and northern America), saw and wrote repeatedly and at length of His heavenly attributes instead!

The article tries to portray a Person by emphasising in isolation a few moments from a life of 77 years! Would not your readers after this article be surprised to know that Khalil Gibran for one, after meeting this same Abdul-Baha in the USA and drawing His portrait, had said of Him: “For the first time I saw form noble enough to be a receptacle for the Holy Spirit.”?!
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0 # admin 2015-01-06 12:53
There are numerous non-Baha’i sources that show a very different and violent face of Babism/Baha’ism and its leaders. Baha’is usually vehemently deny these sources claiming these facts are uttered by enemies of the faith and are unreliable. For this reason, Baha’i sources have been used because they are acceptable to Baha’is. Furthermore, Khalil Gibran’s opinion is just an opinion. We base our assumptions and conclusions on evidence and historical data, not the opinions of people.
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+1 # doost9 2015-01-07 02:46
Admin jan! If you want to present your site as one based on credible evidence and historical data, then as a suggestion you would do well to revise your yellow-press article titles, such as the one on this page: "Abdu’l-Baha the Face Slapper"!
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+2 # Kristine 2015-01-01 05:30
Fascinating. . . in all my thirty years as a Baha'i I never heard about 'Abdu'l-Baha's practice of slapping men he disdained... but there it is, recorded on a legitimate Baha'i website, by a true Baha'i scholar (not a covenant breaker or enemy of the Faith or anything like that.)

I found this bio of Ahang Rabbani on Sen's Daily: https://sensday.wordpress.com/tag/ahang-rabbani/ ... I had to look for more information about him because with a last name like Rabbani I thought this could be part of the family that Shoghi Effendi excommunicated . . . but this Rabbani was apparently a Baha'i "in good standing" but he revealed history for us that was hidden before.
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