October 10, 2009

Baha'u'llah defended Prophets of the past

The following story demonstrates Baha’u’llah’s noble vision of the Prophets and how He held Them in high esteem and honour. He would not tolerate it if anyone belittled their station or spoke of them in a discourteous manner. The story concerns Mirza Taqi Khan-i-Amir Nizam, who for many years was Persia’s Prime Minister during the reign of Nasiri’d-Din Shah. It was he who ordered the execution of the Bab, and committed great atrocities against the Babi community.

'Abdu'l-Bahá recounts that one day [when Baha'u'llah was a youth] Mirza Taqi Khan attended a gathering (presumably in Tihran) at which Bahá'u'lláh was present. He was referring to some verses of the Qur'án in a disrespectful manner and mockingly questioned the truth of the following verse:

He knoweth that which is on the dry land and in the sea;
there falleth no leaf, but he knoweth it; neither is there a
single grain in the dark parts of the earth, neither a green
thing, nor a dry thing, but it is written in the perspicuous

Bahá'u'lláh's immediate response was to disapprove the attitude of Mirza Taqi Khan and to affirm that the above verse was undoubtedly true. When he asked for further explanation, Bahá'u'lláh told him that it meant that the Qur'án was the repository of the Word of God; it contained various subjects such as history, commentaries, prophecies and so on. Within its pages were enshrined verities of great significance and indeed one might discover that everything was mentioned in this Book.

'Am I mentioned in it?' asked Mirza Taqi Khan arrogantly.
'Yes, you are,' was Bahá'u'lláh's prompt response.
'Am I alluded to or referred to clearly by name?' he asked.
'Clearly by name,' Bahá'u'lláh stated.

'It is strange', Mirza Taqi Khan retorted with some degree of sarcasm, 'that I have not yet found a reference to myself in the Qur'án!'

'The reference to your name', Bahá'u'lláh said, 'is in this verse: "She said, I fly for refuge unto the merciful from thee if thou art Taqi."' (Naturally, those who rendered the Qur'án into English have translated the word 'Taqi', which means 'fearful'.)

On hearing such a disparaging reference attributed to him by Bahá'u'lláh, Mirza Taqi Khan became extremely angry, but did not reveal his anger. Instead he made a further attempt to ridicule the verse of the Qur'án in question and discredit Bahá'u'lláh. He asked, 'What about my father, Qurban, is there a reference to him in the Qur'án also?'

'Yes, there is,' Bahá'u'lláh affirmed.
'Is he alluded to or referred to by name?' he asked.
'He is referred to by name in this verse,' responded Bahá'u'lláh,
"'... come unto us with the Qurban (Translated as 'sacrifice') consumed by fire.’”
(Stories of Baha’u’llah and Some Notable Believers, by Kiser Barnes; Also in Adib Taherzaheh’s the Revelation of Baha’u’llah, volume 3)