Posted by: samandal | January 19, 2010

‘Ísá ibn Máryám, I

Díyáfat-i-Sultán, the Feast of Sovereignty

“Faith and doubt are by no means mutually exclusive; doubt is rather the shadow which everywhere follows faith and trust.”                                                   (Wolfhart Pannenberg: The Apostles’ Creed, page 6)

“For Bahá’u’lláh, as well, whether one thinks a metaphysical proposition true or not depends not only on the intrinsic truth-value of the proposition but upon which station one has reached in one’s own perceptions. For him it is the difference in stations that explains why some persons in a religion see their prophet as an incarnation of God, whereas others emphasize his humanity. He thought both propositions could have a certain validity.”                                                                                              (Juan Cole: Modernity and the Millennium, page 151)

The latest revelation of God to humankind is in the person of Bahá’u’lláh; manifested, that is, in God as revealed in Bahá’u’lláh. Bahá’u’lláh is the archetypal embodiment of our human connection to the Divine, however that might be expressed through such concepts as ideal and actuality, timelessness and temporality, belief and skepticism. Bahá’u’lláh is the incarnation not of the transcendent Godhead, but of the names and attributes of the Divine, the continuous recollection of which will adorn the soul of the individual who receives them. A distinction obtains between the individual, concrete reality of Bahá’u’lláh as a historical character, and his universal, spiritual reality as a Manifestation of God, as indeed it does with ‘Ísá ibn Máryám:

“They said, We have slain the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, the prophet and apostle of God. Certainly they slew him not, neither crucified him; they crucified one among them that resembled him. Such as doubt it are in a manifest error, and speak not but through opinion. Certainly they slew him not; on the contrary God took him up to himself; he is omnipotent and prudent in all his actions.”                                 (Qur’án iv. 157–158, Du Ryer-Ross Version)

“As Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, so Bahá’u’lláh used sometimes to cook food and perform other lowly offices for His followers. He was a servant of the servants, and gloried only in servitude, content to sleep on a bare floor if need be, to live on bread and water, or even, at times, on what He called ‘the divine nourishment, that is to say, hunger!’ Bahá’u’lláh’s perfect humility was seen in His profound reverence for nature, for human nature, and especially for the saints, prophets and martyrs.”               (John Esslemont: Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, page 51)