Bahai News - The Baha'I Deity Is An Unfathomable Mystery
The Baha'I Deity Is An Unfathomable Mystery
The Baha'is believe in the oneness of God and that he is "an unknowable
essence." As such, the way to comprehend him is closed to humankind.
Baha'u'llah, the Prophet founder of the Baha'i faith, states: "Exalted,
immeasurably exalted, art Thou above the strivings of mortal man to
unravel Thy mystery, to describe Thy glory, or even to hint at the
nature of Thine essence. For whatever such strivings may accomplish,
they never can hope to transcend the limitations imposed upon Thy
creatures, inasmuch as these efforts are actuated by Thy decree, and are
begotten of Thine invention. The loftiest sentiments which the holiest
of saints can express in praise of Thee, and the deepest wisdom which
the most learned of men can utter in their attempts to comprehend Thy
nature, all revolve around that Center Which is wholly subject to Thy
sovereignty, Which adoreth Thy Beauty, and is propelled through the
movement of Thy Pen."
He further says that God can in no wise incarnate his essence and reveal
it to men. He is immensely exalted beyond all that can either be
recounted or perceived. From his retreat of glory his voice is ever
proclaiming: "Verily, I am God; there is none other God besides Me, the
All-Knowing, the All-Wise."
He manifests himself to men and sends down Them Who are the Daysprings
of the signs of His Revelation. Through them he has caused all creation
to testify that there is none other God except him, the Incomparable,
the All-informed, the All-Wise.
He who is everlastingly hidden from the eyes of men can never be known
except through his Manifestations, and his Manifestations can adduce no
greater proof of the truth of their mission than the proof of their own
persons. They are known by different names at different times.
The Baha'is use the words "Manifestations of God."
The Most Holy Book of Baha'u'llah starts with this ordinance, that the
first duty prescribed by God for his servants is the recognition of Him
Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His Laws.
He represents the Godhead in the world of creation.
These sanctified Mirrors and Daysprings of the ancient glory are one and
all the exponents on earth of him who is the central orb of the
universe, its essence and ultimate purpose. From him proceed their
knowledge and power; from him is derived their sovereignty.
Their existence is but a reflection of his perfect image, and their
revelation a sign of his everlasting glory. They are the treasuries of
divine knowledge, and the repositories of celestial wisdom. Through them
is transmitted a grace that is infinite, and by them is revealed the
light that can never fade. There is no distinction between them because
they are all sent from the same source, bring the same message of peace
and unity, and suffer the same tribulations.
According to Baha'i belief, in addition to the mineral kingdom,
vegetable kingdom, human kingdom, and spiritual kingdom, all of which
relate to humankind, there are two other kingdoms: One is the kingdom of
the Manifestations of God that pertains to the messengers of God; and
the other, which is the highest of all, is the Divine Kingdom, which is
unreachable by any human being.
The only way to the Divine Kingdom is through the Manifestations of God.
In other words, the Manifestations of God are the liaison between the
Divine Kingdom and the human kingdom. Our sole means of recognition of
God is the recognition of his Manifestations.
They are the reason for the existence of several religions in the world.
They are chosen from among the people by God to receive and convey to
humankind his ordinances and principles. Whosoever abides by them
prospers, and those who deny will perish.
Although the recognition of the Manifestations of God is considered to
be the purpose of life, it is not the end; it must be followed by deeds
in accordance with his laws and principles. Baha'u'llah says that
everyone who reaches this most sublime station of recognition of God's
Messenger ought to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of
Recognition of the Manifestations of God and putting his principles and
ordinances into practice are inseparable twin duties prescribed to every
The Baha'is also believe that humankind has been created in the image of
God. One can reach a level of detachment from the material world through
abiding by the laws and ordinances revealed by his Manifestations to the
extent that he sees nothing in him except God.
The Seven Valleys of Baha'u'llah expounds this notion: "Every man may
testify, in himself, by himself, in the station of the Manifestation of
his Lord, that verily there is no God save Him, and that every man may
thereby win his way to the summit of realities, until none shall
contemplate anything whatsoever but that he shall see God therein."
Habib Hosseiny is a member of the Baha'i faith community in North Jersey.
©Copyright 2001, The Bergen Record, NJ
Page last updated/revised 021101
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