February 17, 2013

‘Abdu’l-Baha tells the story of Baha’u’llah’s agreement to perform any miracle agreed on by the divines

It often happened that in Baghdád certain Muhammadan ‘ulamá, Jewish rabbis and Christians met together with some European scholars, in a blessed reunion: each one had some question to propose, and although they were possessed of varying degrees of culture, they each heard a sufficient and convincing reply, and retired satisfied. Even the Persian ‘ulamá who were at Karbilá and Najaf chose a wise man whom they sent on a mission to Him; his name was Mullá Hasan ‘Amú. He came into the Holy Presence, and proposed a number of questions on behalf of the ‘ulamá, to which Bahá’u’lláh replied. Then Hasan ‘Amú said, “The ‘ulamá recognize without hesitation and confess the knowledge and virtue of Bahá’u’lláh, and they are unanimously convinced that in all learning he has no peer or equal; and it is also evident that he has never studied or acquired this learning; but still the ‘ulamá say, ‘We are not contented with this; we do not acknowledge the reality of his mission by virtue of his wisdom and righteousness. Therefore, we ask him to show us a miracle in order to satisfy and tranquilize our hearts.’”

Bahá’u’lláh replied, “Although you have no right to ask this, for God should test His creatures, and they should not test God, still I allow and accept this request. But the Cause of God is not a theatrical display that is presented every hour, of which some new diversion may be asked for every day. If it were thus, the Cause of God would become mere child’s play.

“The ‘ulamás must, therefore, assemble, and, with one accord, choose one miracle, and write that, after the performance of this miracle they will no longer entertain doubts about Me, and that all will acknowledge and confess the truth of My Cause. Let them seal this paper, and bring it to Me. This must be the accepted criterion: if the miracle is performed, no doubt will remain for them; and if not, We shall be convicted of imposture.” The learned man, Hasan ‘Amú, rose and replied, “There is no more to be said”; he then kissed the knee of the Blessed One although he was not a believer, and went. He gathered the ‘ulamá and gave them the sacred message. They consulted together and said, “This man is an enchanter; perhaps he will perform an enchantment, and then we shall have nothing more to say.” Acting on this belief, they did not dare to push the matter further.

This man, Hasan ‘Amú, mentioned this fact at many meetings. After leaving Karbilá he went to Kirmansháh and Tihrán and spread a detailed account of it everywhere, laying emphasis on the fear and the withdrawal of the ‘ulamá. 
(‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘Some Answered Questions’)