Posted by: samandal | September 27, 2010

Flesh and Text, Blood and Bone

Díyáfat-i-Mashíyyat, the Feast of Will

The Qur’án is the holy book of Islám as revealed by the prophet Muhammad through the intermediary of the archangel Jabrá’íl, who is understood to be the archetypal intelligence of humanity. It consists of 114 chapters called súrihs composed over the course of twenty-two years. It is regarded as sacred scripture in the Bahá’í Faith; Bahá’u’lláh referred to it as “the Way of God” unto all who are in heaven or on earth and Shoughí Effendí Rabbání described it as the only work of scripture, apart from the Bábí and Bahá’í texts, that is “an absolutely authenticated Repository of the Word of God.”

The Qur’án is to the Muslim what Christ is to the Christian. Christ, for the Christian, is the Word made flesh; the Qur’án, for the Muslim, is the Word made text. Bahá’u’lláh unites both traditions in that he is himself both the new Ádam and the renewed Word. Bahá’u’lláh can be said to represent in his own person an evolution of the otherwise immutable text of the Qur’án. Thus it can be said that Bahá’u’lláh is to the Bahá’í what the Qur’án is to the Muslim and what Christ is to the Christian.