Baha'u'llah claimed to be the Return of Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Mohammad and all the Prophets. The claim puts the fate of billions of Souls, and indeed the planet, at stake. True or false, it is a claim that demands urgent, independent investigation and deep prayer. See some of those amazing prayers here...
Do you hate organized religion? So do I. We are living in the midst of a time when "TV preachers" make millions, are steeped in materialism, incite hatred and violence, and party like sailors in their private lives. Priests are no better: they chase little boys and have brought nothing but shame to their congregations, and untold damage to children and families. Mullahs are even worse: they oppress women and think of themselves as the "morality" police, using coercion and violence to corrupt the Beauty of Islam. Islam means "surrender" to the Will of God-- not some sicko clergy based on terrorism, fear of women, and violence. Mohammad weeps in His Retreats of Nearness at these violent pretenders to His peaceful and welcoming Message. Many Rabbis are sweet and kind, but marginalized by their congregations. All this comes down to a new Ontology and Epistemology, and a new paradigm, of Authority.
In eliminating the clergy, Baha'u'llah fulfills the Prophecy for the "time of the end" when the "stars" will fall from the skies of the heaven of religion-- a metaphor for the end of the ascendancy of men in general, and the clergy in particular. He does not do this with joy, and says that if it were up to Him, He would only thank and praise the clergy, and that their past accomplishments are praiseworthy and noted in the Court of the Almighty, but He must carry forward the next stage: the independence of souls and the introduction of Democracy to religion, as foretold for centuries.
Religion is like the Seasons, the Prophet of the next Spring suffers incalculable wrongs, imprisonment, torture, and death in order to free us from the past religion's corruption and Winter. This is an eternal Divine Cycle repeated on each planet. Jesus comes and throws the money changers out of the temple, and is crucified. Mohammad comes when Christianity is burning witches and books and creates a civilization based on science and the Love of God, and is persecuted and banished. Baha'u'llah comes when Islam has declined to barbarism, and 10,000 of His followers are slaughtered, and He spends His entire life in one prison after another, in the most terrible conditions ever imposed on any Prophet.
Just like the seasons, religion has a Spring that is Glorious, a Summer that bears incredible fruit, a Fall that sees it's inevitable decline, with men using it for their own territorial and authority gains, and a Winter that is barbaric, but also bodes for a new Springtide of a Fresh Revelation, and a wondrous new Prophet.
We are living in the time of "the end" of the old religions, as well as the authority of the clergy, and the beginning of the most tumultous, yet glorious new Revelation the planet has ever seen. For the first time, souls are able to use reason and individual scientific judgment in spiritual evaluation and evolution, instead of listening to a declining and often desperately violent clergy.
Religion is now truly becoming Democratic for the first time, with universal suffrage regardless of sex, race, religion or economic status. We shouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater, and only look at the past Winters of religion and despair of Spring, as it is here! Here are some things Baha'u'llah says about the Glory of this New Dawn:
Give ear, O distinguished divine (clergyperson), unto the voice of this Wronged One. He verily, counselleth thee for the sake of God, and exhorteth thee unto that which will cause thee to draw nigh unto Him under all conditions. He, in truth, is the All-Possessing, the Exalted. Know thou that the ear of man hath been created that it may hearken unto the Divine Voice on this Day that hath been mentioned in all the Books, Scriptures, and Tablets. Purify thou, first, thy soul with the waters of renunciation, and adorn thine head with the crown of the fear of God, and thy temple with the ornament of reliance upon Him.
One gleam from the splendors of Thy Name, the All-Merciful, sufficeth to banish and blot out every trace of sinfulness from the world, and a single breath from the breezes of the Day of Thy Revelation is enough to adorn all mankind with a fresh attire.
The purpose of the one true God, exalted be His glory, hath been to bring forth the Mystic Gems out of the mine of man--they Who are the Dawning-Places of His Cause and the Repositories of the pearls of His knowledge; for, God Himself, glorified be He, is the Unseen, the One concealed and hidden from the eyes of men. Consider what the Merciful hath revealed in the Qur'án: "No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision, and He is the Subtile, the All-Informed!" That the divers communions of the earth, and the manifold systems of religious belief, should never be allowed to foster the feelings of animosity among men, is, in this Day, of the essence of the Faith of God and His Religion. These principles and laws, these firmly-established and mighty systems, have proceeded from one Source, and are rays of one Light. That they differ one from another is to be attributed to the varying requirements of the ages in which they were promulgated.
ALL glory be to this Day, the Day in which the fragrances of mercy have been wafted over all created things, a Day so blest that past ages and centuries can never hope to rival it, a Day in which the countenance of the Ancient of Days hath turned towards His holy seat. Thereupon the voices of all created things, and beyond them those of the Concourse on High, were heard calling aloud: `Haste thee, O Carmel, for lo, the light of the countenance of God, the Ruler of the Kingdom of Names and Fashioner of the heavens, hath been lifted upon thee.' Seized with transports of joy, and raising high her voice, she thus exclaimed: `May my life be a sacrifice to Thee, inasmuch as Thou hast fixed Thy gaze upon me, hast bestowed upon me Thy bounty, and hast directed towards me Thy steps.
Verily this is the Day in which both land and sea rejoice at this announcement, the Day for which have been laid up those things which God, through a bounty beyond the ken of mortal mind or heart, hath destined for revelation.
This is the Day wherein the divine Lote-Tree calleth aloud, saying: O people! Behold ye My fruits and My leaves, incline then your ears unto My rustling. Beware lest the doubts of men debar you from the light of certitude. The Ocean of utterance exclaimeth and saith: `O ye dwellers on the earth! Behold My billowing waters and the pearls of wisdom and utterance which I have poured forth. Fear ye God and be not of the heedless.' In this Day a great festival is taking place in the Realm above; for whatsoever was promised in the sacred Scriptures hath been fulfilled. This is the Day of great rejoicing.
Say, by the righteousness of God! The All-Merciful is come invested with power and sovereignty. Through His power the foundations of religions have quaked and the Nightingale of Utterance hath warbled its melody upon the highest branch of true understanding. Verily, He Who was hidden in the knowledge of God and is mentioned in the Holy Scriptures hath appeared. Say, this is the Day when the Speaker on Sinai hath mounted the throne of Revelation and the people have stood before the Lord of the worlds. This is the Day wherein the earth hath told out her tidings and hath laid bare her treasures; when the oceans have brought forth their pearls and the divine Lote-Tree its fruit; when the Sun hath shed its radiance and the Moons have diffused their lights, and the Heavens have revealed their stars, and the Hour its signs, and the Resurrection its dreadful majesty; when the pens have unloosed their outpourings and the spirits have laid bare their mysteries. Blessed is the man who recognizeth Him and attaineth His presence, and woe betide such as deny Him and turn aside from Him.
Verily I say, this is the Day in which mankind can behold the Face, and hear the Voice, of the Promised One. The Call of God hath been raised, and the light of His countenance hath been lifted up upon men. It behoveth every man to blot out the trace of every idle word from the tablet of his heart, and to gaze, with an open and unbiased mind, on the signs of His Revelation, the proofs of His Mission, and the tokens of His glory. Great indeed is this Day ! The allusions made to it in all the sacred Scriptures as the Day of God attest its greatness. The soul of every Prophet of God, of every Divine Messenger, hath thirsted for this wondrous Day. All the divers kindreds of the earth have, likewise, yearned to attain it. No sooner, however, had the Day Star of His Revelation manifested itself in the heaven of God's Will, than all, except those whom the Almighty was pleased to guide, were found dumbfounded and heedless.
In the Book of Isaiah it is written: "Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of His majesty." No man that meditateth upon this verse can fail to recognize the greatness of this Cause, or doubt the exalted character of this Day--the Day of God Himself. This same verse is followed by these words: "And the Lord alone shall be exalted in that Day." This is the Day which the Pen of the Most High hath glorified in all the holy Scriptures. There is no verse in them that doth not declare the glory of His holy Name, and no Book that doth not testify unto the loftiness of this most exalted theme.
Want to become a Baha'i? You do so by filling out a "Baha'i Declaration" card. There is one you can print out at the bottom of THIS page. Just fill it out and give, email or mail it to a Baha'i Local Assembly near you!
"The Ancient Beauty hath consented to be bound with chainsthat mankind may be released from its bondage, and hath accepted to be made a prisoner within this most mighty Stronghold that the whole world may attain to true liberty. He hath drained to its dregs the cup of sorrow, that all the peoples of the earth may attain unto abiding joy, and be filled with gladness. This is of the mercy of your Lord, the Compassionate, the Most Merciful. We have accepted to be abased, O believers in the Unity of God, that ye may be exalted, and have suffered manifold afflictions, that ye might prosper and flourish. He Who hath come to build anew the whole world, behold, how they... have forced Him to dwell within the most desolate of cities!"
"Wert Thou to bestow on one of Thy creatures what would equal the kingdoms of earth and heaven, it would still not diminish by even as much as an atom the immensity of Thy dominion. Far greater art Thou than the Great One men are wont to call Thee, for such a title is but one of Thy names all of which were created by a mere indication of Thy will.
There is no God but Thee, the God of power, the God of glory, the God of knowledge and wisdom."