by John Walker
Did you know that each of the world's major religions contain Messianic
prophecies? Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Zoroastrian
religion and even the Native American religions all foretell the coming of
a Promised One. Each of the Founders of these great religions either promised
to personally return himself, to send another like himself or in some
instances.... the Founder promised to do both. Christians await the return
of Christ and the coming of "another comforter." The Jewish Scriptures foretell
the coming of "another Prophet" like Moses. They also foretell the return
of Elijah from heaven. Those Moslems who have not forgotten the promises
of Muhammad look for God Himself to come down from heaven and some await
the appearance of Mahdi and Meseeh. Krishna said that he personally returns
from age to age. Buddha said that he was not the first Buddha ever to appear
and that another "supremely enlightened" Buddha was still yet to come. The
Prophet Zoroaster promised his followers that God was going to raise up another
Prophet from the family line of the Persian kings sometime in the mid-1800s.
Native American prophecies foretell the coming of a bearded white man from
the east who will bring teachings which will restore the hoop of unity. Each
religion, in it's own way, has foretold the coming of a great 'religion
restoring', 'world uniting', 'peace bringing' Messiah.
For centuries, people from all over the world have been hoping and praying
that they will be the generation which will witness the appearance of their
Promised One. Not many have even considered the possibility that these prophecies
from the various religions might actually all be foretelling the exact same
Members of the Baha'i Faith believe that in the middle of the last century
these prophecies actually were fulfilled and that the Promised One truly
Baha'u'llah, the Prophet founder of the Baha'i Faith, explicitly claims
to be the Promised One whose coming was explicitly foretold, not only in
the Old and the New Testaments.... but also in the prophecies of the Hindu,
Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Islamic and other religions.
If Baha'u'llah truly is the Promised One then His appearance is one of
the greatest events of human history. Are Baha'u'llah's claim true? How can
we know for certain? Just take a look at some of the proofs and prophecies...
and then decide for yourself.
The Scriptures of the world's great religions all contain Messianic
prophecies... prophecies which promise that God will one day send a Promised
One whose teachings will unite all of humanity into one loving family. The
religions call this Promised One by various names... Jews await the appearance
of "another Prophet" like Moses. Hindus look for the return of Krishna.
Christians await the return of Christ. Muslims await both the return of Christ
and the appearance of Imam Mahdi. Buddhist sutras prophesy the coming of
the Maitreya Buddha. Zoroastrian Scriptures prophesy the coming of the Saoshyant.
What is fascinating about these prophecies is that they all seem to foretelling
the exact same event.
"The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me... You must
listen to him."
- MOSES- Deuterogamy 18:15 (NIV)
"I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there
came one like a son of man. He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented
before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all
peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting
dominion, which shall not pass away. And his kingdom one that shall not be
- Judaism- Daniel 7.13-14
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven,
and the powers of heaven will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the
Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and
they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and
they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to
- Matthew 24.29-31
"If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and
he shall give you another Comforter... he shall teach you all things."
- JESUS- John 14
"Him that overcometh... I will write upon him the name of my God, and
the name of the... new Jerusalem... and I will write upon him my new name."
- JESUS- Revelation 3
"Whenever there is decay of righteousness... and there is exaltation of
unrighteousness, then I Myself come forth... for the destruction of evil-doers,
for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to
- KRISHNA- Bhagavad Gita- fourth discourse
"And we gave Moses the Book, and after him sent succeeding Messengers:
and We gave Jesus...the clear signs... and whensoever there came to you a
Messenger with that your souls had not desire for, did you become arrogant,
and some cry lies to, and some slay."
- Muhammad- Quran 2 (the Cow)
"By those sent forth one after the other... Verily that which ye are
promised is about to happen. So when the stars are blotted out, And when
the sky is rent asunder... when the Messengers have a time set: For what
Day is this being arranged? For the Day of Severance."
- Muhammad- Quran 77
"The Apostle of Allah said, 'Were there remaining but one day of the
duration of all time, God would send forth a man from the people of my house,
who will fill the earth with equity as it has been filled with
- Islam- Hadith of Abu Dawud
"And [Jesus] shall be a Sign of the Hour [of Judgment]; therefore have
no doubt about it, but follow Me: this is a straight way."
- Muhammad- Qur'an 43.61
"The Imam who will create a world state will make the ruling nations
pay for their crimes against society. He will bring succour to humanity.
He will take out the hidden wealth from the breast of the earth and will
distribute it equitably amongst the needy deserving. He will teach you simple
living and high thinking. He will make you understand that virtue is a state
of character which is always a mean between the two extremes, and which is
based upon equity and justice. He will revive the teaching of the Holy Qur'an
and the traditions of the Holy Prophet after the world has ignored them as
dead letters.... He will protect and defend himself with resources of science
and supreme knowledge. His control over these resources will be complete.
He will know how supreme they are and how carefully they will have to be
used. His mind will be free from desires of bringing harm and injury to humanity.
Such a knowledge to him will be like the property which was wrongly possessed
by others and for which he was waiting for the permission to repossess and
use. He, in the beginning, will be like a poor stranger unknown and uncared
for, and Islam then will be in the hopeless and helpless plight of an exhausted
camel who has laid down its head and is wagging its tail. With such a start
he will establish an empire of God in this world. He will be the final
demonstration and proof of God's merciful wish to acquaint man with the right
ways of life."
- Islam (Shiite)- Nahjul Balagha, Khutba 141, 187
"I am not the first Buddha who came upon earth, nor shall I be the last.
In due time another Buddha will arise in the world, a Holy One... He will
reveal to you the same eternal truths which I have taught you... He will
proclaim a religious life, wholly perfect and pure; such as I now proclaim."
- BUDDHA- The Gospel of Buddha
"...the venerable Sariputta questioned the Lord about the future Conqueror,
The Hero that shall follow you, The Buddha--of what sort will he be? I want
to hear of him in full. Let the Visioned One describe him. When he heard
the elder's speech the Lord spoke thus, I will tell you, Sariputta; listen
to my speech. In this auspicious aeon Three leaders there have been: Kakusandha,
Konagamana, and the leader Kassapa too. I am now the perfect Buddha; and
there will be Maitreya too before this same auspicious aeon runs to the end
of its years."
- Buddhism- Anagata-vamsa
"In those days, brethren, there will arise in the world an Exalted One
named Metteya. He will be an Arahant, Fully Awakened, abounding in wisdom
and goodness, happy, with knowledge of the worlds, unsurpassed as a guide
to mortals willing to be led, a teacher for gods and men, an Exalted One,
a Buddha, even as I am now... The Law, lovely in its origin, lovely in its
progress, lovely in its consummation, will he proclaim, both in the spirit
and in the letter; the higher life will he make known, in all its fullness
and in all its purity, even as I do now. He will be accompanied by a congregation
of some thousands of brethren, even as I am now accompanied by a congregation
of some hundreds of brethren."
- BUDDHA- Digha Nikaya iii.76, Chakkavatti Sihanada Suttanta
"Listen attentively with one heart. A man whose spirit shines brightly,
a man whose mind is completely unified, a man whose virtue excels everyone--such
a man will truly appear in this world. When he preaches precious laws, all
the people will totally be satisfied as if the thirsty drink sweet drops
of rain from heaven. And each and every one will attain the path of liberation
- Buddhism- Sutra of the Great Accomplishment of the Maitreya
"He shall be the victorious Benefactor (Saoshyant) by name and World-renovator
[Astavat-ereta] by name. He is Benefactor because he will benefit the entire
physical world; he is World- renovator because he will establish the physical
living existence indestructible. He will oppose the evil of the progeny of
the biped and withstand the enmity produced by the faithful."
- Zoroastrianism- Avesta, Farvardin Yast 13.129
"When a thousand two hundred and some years have passed from the inception
of the religion of the Arabian (Muhammad) and the overthrow of the kingdom
of Iran and the degradation of the followers of My religion, a descendant
of the Iranian kings (Baha'u'llah) will be raised up as a Prophet."
- ZOROASTER- Dinkird
"When the practices taught by the Vedas and the institutes of law shall
nearly have ceased, and the close of the Kali age shall be nigh, a portion
of that divine being who exists of his own spiritual nature in the character
of Brahma, and who is the beginning and the end, and who comprehends all
things, shall descend upon the earth. He will be born as Kalki in the family
of an eminent brahmin of Sambhala village, endowed with the eight superhuman
faculties. By his irresistible might he will destroy all the barbarians and
thieves, and all whose minds are devoted to iniquity. He will then re-establish
righteousness upon earth; and the minds of those who live at the end of the
Kali age shall be awakened, and shall be as pellucid as crystal. The men
who are thus changed by virtue of that peculiar time shall be as the seeds
of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who shall follow the laws
of the Krita age, the Age of Purity."
- Hinduism- Vishnu Purana 4.24
"I am one of the sustaining Pillars of the Primal Word of God. Whosoever
hath recognised Me... hath attained all that is good and seemly."
"Well is it with him who fixeth his gaze upon the Order of Baha'u'llah,
and rendereth thanks unto his Lord. For he will assuredly be made manifest.
God hath indeed irrevocably ordained it..."
- THE BAB- Tablet to the Shah, God Passes By, p.25
"The time fore-ordained unto the people and kindreds of the earth is now
come. The promises of God as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been
fulfilled..." "The Revelation which, from time immemorial hath been acclaimed
as the Purpose and Promise of all the prophets of God, and the most cherished
Desire of His Messengers, hath now, by virtue of the pervasive Will of the
Almighty and at His irresistible bidding, been revealed unto men. The advent
of such a Revelation hath been heralded in all the sacred Scriptures. Behold
how, notwithstanding such an announcement, mankind hath strayed from its
path and shut out itself from its glory..."
"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 behooveth 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."
- BAHA'U'LLAH- Baha'i World Faith, p.9-11
The Scriptures of the world's religions contain many prophecies which
indicate the time when the Promised One is due to appear. These prophecies
all point to the mid 1800s... they point to the time when the Bab and Baha'u'llah
appeared. The following article is a brief summary of some of these number
In the Old Testament book of Daniel, chapter 12 verse 11, there is an
"Abomination of Desolation" prophecy. This enigmatic prophecy was referred
to by Jesus in Matthew 24 as one of the signs of the time of the return of
(NOTE: The oldest New Testament texts are written in Greek. In the original
Greek text of Matthew 24, Jesus refers to the return of the 'PAROUSIA' (pear'
oh zee uh). The Greek word 'parousia' means 'presence'. In other words, Jesus
was telling His followers how to know the time of the return of the Divine
'Presence' of God.)
The 'Abomination of Desolation' prophecy found in Daniel is one of the
most important keys that allows us to unlock the mystery of the time when
the Divine 'Presence of God' will once again appear on earth in human form.
The general theme of the Old Testament book of Daniel revolves around
the abominable actions of the Jewish people which led to the conquest of
Israel by a succession of foreign, non-Jewish empires. And then, even more
specifically, Daniel's 'Abomination of Desolation' prophecy pinpoints the
time when this centuries long era of the subjugation of Israel will end when
the Divine 'Presence of God' will once again appear on earth... or in other
words, Daniel's prophecy pinpoints the time when God will again speak to
humanity through His chosen Prophet.
To understand these prophecies, we need to go back to the beginning.
The nation of Israel was brought into existence by the great Hebrew Prophet
Moses. Moses gave his followers a code of laws and a code of ethics which
became the unifying force and the generating impulse which culminated in
the birth of the nation of Israel.
In the Old Testament book of Leviticus we find the story of how Moses
gave this law to his people. Then, in Leviticus chapter 26, Moses warns that
if the Jews fall away from God's laws they will be conquered and scattered
among the nations. Moses warned if you will not hearken unto me, and will
not do all these commandments... I will chastise you seven times for your
sins... I will make your cities waste... I will scatter you among the heathen.
Moses' 'seven times' prophecy took effect for the first time about 676 BC
when the evil Hebrew king Manasseh tried to lead the Jewish people away from
the religion of Moses by endorsing local pagan cults. Manasseh allowed these
pagan cults to erect altars inside the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem where
idols were worshipped, sacrifices were offered to pagan gods and, among other
abominations, Manasseh was also said to have allowed ritual prostitution
to be practiced inside the Holy Temple.
It wasn't long before Moses' prophecy took effect. The Assyrian Empire
swept down from the north, conquered Jerusalem, the Jewish people were scattered
among the nations and King Manasseh himself was carried off in chains to
Babylon. This was the beginning of the seven times era of subjugation foretold
After the Assyrians, Israel was next conquered successively by the Babylonian
Empire, the Persian Empire and the Greek Empire. In his book the prophet
Daniel refers to these foreign empires as "beasts".
The Apostle John, in the New Testament era, also refers to these same
beasts. In chapter 17 of the Book of Revelation John speaks of the beast
who 'was', 'is' and the beast who was still 'yet to arise'. The beast who
'was' were the Empires who had conquered Jerusalem before the time that John
was writing. The beast who 'is' was the Roman Empire that had arisen after
the first four beasts to also conquer Jerusalem. Continuing on, still in
this same passage, John next refers to yet another beast who, in John's day,
was still 'yet to arise'. Who was this last beast? Ask yourself, who was
the only empire to arise after the Romans to conquer and control Jerusalem?
There was only one . . . the Islamic Empire which was led for most of it's
existence by the Umayyad family and later by the Abbasid family.
The conquest of Jerusalem by these foreign, non-Jewish empires which
lasted for more than 2500 years was the 'Abomination of Desolation'... the
desolating abomination which was referred to by both Daniel and Jesus.
The key to understanding what these prophecies were foretelling lies
in their numbers. For example, in Daniel 8:13 it asks how long will this
'abomination of desolation' process last. Daniel answered that it would last
for 2300 days.
Before this '2300 day' prophecy can be understood we first must consider
an important principle. In Bible prophecy days can equal years. We find this
principle stated in Ezekiel 4 and Numbers 14 where it says I have appointed
you each day for a year.
One example of how this 'day for a year' principle works can be found
in Daniel 9:24 where Daniel says that 70 weeks are appointed from the date
of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem then shall Messiah be cut off.
To understand what this prophecy is saying we first need to calculate
how many 'days' there are in '70 weeks'. Do the math. . . 70 weeks times
seven days in a week equals 490 days. Considering the statements from Ezekiel
and Numbers that days can equal years in prophecy this means that 490 days
can actually equal 490 years.
Next, let's check the history. Daniel says that 70 weeks are appointed
from the date of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem then shall Messiah be cut
off. What was the date of the decree to rebuild Jerusalem?
The decree to rebuild Jerusalem was given by a Persian king named Artaxerxes
in 457 BC. So, what was Daniel saying in his '70 week' prophecy? There are
490 days in 70 weeks. If the 490 days of this prophecy actually are 490 years...
and if you add 490 years to 457 BC, you get the cutting off of the Messiah
somewhere around 33 or 34 AD. This means that Daniel's '70 week' prophecy
foretold the death of Jesus the Messiah several hundred years before it actually
happened. This also proves that days indeed can equal years in prophecy.
How does this relate to Daniel's 2300 days 'Abomination of Desolation'
prophecy? If we consider that the '70 week' prophecy and the '2300 day' prophecy
are both found in the same context... we can see that they are just two different
stages of the same prophecy. So, if we use the same starting point of 457
BC that we used in the '70 week' prophecy and, if this time we count forward
2300 years. . . we get both the year of the end of the 'Abomination of
Desolation' and we get the year of Christ's PAROUSIA the return of his presence.
Once again, do the math. 457 BC plus 2300 years equals 1844 AD.
The 2300 day/year prophecy indicates the year 1844 AD!
Keeping this in mind, let's take another look at Moses' prophecy found
in Leviticus 26. Here Moses warned if you will not hearken unto me, and will
not do all these commandments... I will chastise you seven times for your
sins... I will make your cities waste... I will scatter you among the heathen.
According to Moses, this 'Abomination' and 'scattering among the Gentiles'
time period would last for 'seven times'. Seven times or seven years of 360
days per year equals 2520 days or 2500 years.
Moses' 'seven times' prophecy first took effect in 676 BC when the Assyrians
conquered Jerusalem and King Manasseh was taken in chains to Babylon. If
we start at 676 BC and count forward 2520 years we get the exact same year
foretold in Daniel's 2300 day/year prophecy. Moses' "seven times" prophecy
also indicates the year 1844 AD.
Returning to the Book of Revelation again. . . in the 11th, 12th and
13th chapters, we are told seven separate times that the last beast referred
to by John will control Jerusalem for 1260 years.
This prophecy is stated as 1260 days. As 3 1/2 years or 3 1/2 times both
of which equal 1260 days. And its stated as 42 months which also equals 1260
days. There are 1260 days in 42 months and there are 42 -months in 3 1/2
In his book, the Jewish Prophet Daniel also refers to the 3 1/2 'times
of the beast'. (in Daniel 12:7 & 7:25)
How do we know that when the prophecies refer to 'times' they truly do
mean years? In Revelation 12: 6 Jesus clearly shows us that 1260 days actually
does equal 3 1/2 times. First he says that the beast will tread Jerusalem
underfoot for 1260 days. Then, just a couple of verses later, Jesus says
that the beast will tread Jerusalem underfoot for 3 1/2 times. Clearly, according
to Jesus, 1260 days equals 3 1/2 times... and 3 1/2 times equals 1260 days.
The number 1260 is also repeatedly referred to in the Islamic religion
as the time when the Messiah will appear.
Muhammad's 'grandson', the Imam Sadiq, when asked when the Messiah will
appear, replied verily in the year '60 (1260) His cause shall be revealed
and his name shall be noised abroad.
Another collection of Islamic prophecies states that: 'in Ghars the tree
of divine guidance shall be planted. And again in the year Ghars the earth
shall be illumined by His light'.
As you may know, in the Arabic language, words and letters all have
corresponding numerical values. The word Ghars is an Arabic word meaning
the planting and it has a numeric value of 1260. And these are just a few
examples of Islamic prophecies. There are even more Islamic prophecies that
refer to the year 1260 as the time when the Islamic Messiah will appear.
The year 1260 AH of the Islamic calendar is the exact same year 1844
AD of the Christian calendar.
In other words, these Islamic prophecies agree with the prophecies found
in Daniel and in the Book of Revelation. They all foretold the appearance
of the Messiah in the exact same year.
In the Zoroastrian religion we also can find a prophecy which also says
that the Messiah will appear in the twelfth century after the beginning of
the religion of Islam. (the Magi who came to see the infant Jesus were
In his book, the Dinkird, Zoroaster states when a thousand two hundred
and some years have passed from the inception of the religion of the Arabian
(Muhammad was the Arabian)... a descendant of the Persian kings will be raised
up as a Prophet...
Zoroaster, who lived approximately 1000 years before Jesus' time, also
agrees that the 1260 year prophecy should begin with the inception of the
religion of Muhammad.
To summarise, that's thirteen separate 1260 year prophecies from four
separate middle eastern religions, encompassing four countries and given
over a period of almost four thousand years.
These prophecies all state that this beast will control Jerusalem for
1260 years. Who is this beast? It is the only empire which arose after the
Romans to conquer and control Jerusalem . . . the pseudo-Islamic Empire under
the Umayyads and later under the Abbasids.
What is truly amazing about these prophecies is that four separate and
distinct middle eastern religions, spanning thousands of years, each speaking
different languages, each with their own different Founder, each with their
own Holy Books containing their own separate prophecies all foretold the
exact same event in the exact same year.
The year 1260 AH of the Islamic calendar just happens to also be the
exact same year 1844 AD of the Christian calendar. Can you see what this
means? The '7-times' prophecy of Moses, the '2300 day/year' 'Abomination
of Desolation' prophecy of Daniel (referred to by Jesus) and the thirteen
'1260 day/year' prophecies all indicate the exact same year . . . the year
1844 AD. That's fifteen separate prophecies which pinpoint the exact same
The 'Abomination of Desolation' ended in 1844 when the Edict of Toleration
was signed by the Caliph of Islam allowing the Jews to return to Israel ending
the 'times of the gentiles.' And even more importantly . . . this was the
exact year when the Baha'i Faith began. On May 23rd, 1844 the young 'Bab'
(the forerunner of Baha'u'llah) announced to his first disciple that he was
the Promised One whose coming had been foretold in the prophecies. The Christ
presence had returned as a thief in the night with a 'new name' just as foretold
in the New Testament writings.
History tells us that from age to age God sends Prophets to the world.
From age to age the presence of God returns and is manifested to a chosen
One. Jesus identified himself with the Prophets who had appeared before his
time. So did all the other Prophets. Each and every one of these Prophets
were motivated by the same Spirit of the same One true God. Jesus clearly
identified himself as part of this process and he repeatedly announced that
there was still more to come.
In Matthew 24 the Apostles asked Jesus how to recognise the time of the
return of the 'presence'. Jesus warned that his will be a time when false
teachers will have led people away from the true path. And he warned that
when the presence again appears in human form... when God again sends another
Prophet, people will oppose him.
Once again, as it has so many times in the past, this cycle of 'return'
has repeated itself. It happened again in Israel, in the mid 1800s... right
at the exact time pinpointed in the number prophecies of the Bible.
This Promised One appeared just as promised by Jesus. He came both as
a thief in the night and as a bridegroom who came at an unexpected time and
in an unexpected way and found his bride misdirected, asleep and unprepared.
As Jesus promised, the Christ "presence" has once again returned with a "new
name". His new name is Baha'u'llah.
Baha'u'llah, the founder of the Baha'i Faith wrote:
The Revelation which, from time immemorial, hath been acclaimed as the
Purpose and Promise of all the Prophets of God, and the most cherished Desire
of His Messengers, hath now, by virtue of the pervasive Will of the Almighty
and at His irresistible bidding, been revealed unto men. The advent of such
a Revelation hath been heralded in all the sacred Scriptures. Behold how,
notwithstanding such an announcement, mankind hath strayed from its path
and shut out itself from its glory. Say: O ye lovers of the One true God!
Strive, that ye may truly recognise and know Him, and observe befittingly
His precepts. This is a Revelation, under which, if a man shed for its sake
one drop of blood, myriads of oceans will be his recompense. Take heed, O
friends, that ye forfeit not so inestimable a benefit, or disregard its
transcendent station. Consider the multitude of lives that have been, and
are still being, sacrificed in a world deluded by a mere phantom which the
vain imaginations of its peoples have conceived. Render thanks unto God,
inasmuch as ye have attained unto your heart's Desire, and been united to
Him Who is the Promise of all nations. Guard ye, with the aid of the one
true God - exalted be His glory - the integrity of the station which ye have
attained, and cleave to that which shall promote His Cause. He, verily, enjoineth
on you what is right and conducive to the exaltation of man's station. Glorified
be the All-Merciful, the Revealer of this wondrous Tablet. - Gleanings from
the Writings of Baha'u'llah, pages 5-6
Baha'i Commentary on the Oneness of the Prophets
The holy Manifestations Who have been the Sources or Founders of the
various religious systems were united and agreed in purpose and teaching.
Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, the Bab and Baha'u'llah
are one in spirit and reality. Moreover, each Prophet fulfilled the promise
of the One Who came before Him and, likewise, Each announced the One Who
Consider how Abraham foretold the coming of Moses, and Moses embodied
the Abrahamic statement. Moses prophesied the Messianic cycle, and Christ
fulfilled the law of Moses. It is evident, therefore, that the Holy
Manifestations Who founded the religious systems are united and agreed; there
is no differentiation possible in Their mission and teachings; all are reflectors
of reality, and all are promulgators of the religion of God. The divine religion
is reality, and reality is not multiple; it is one. Therefore, the foundations
of the religious systems are one because all proceed from the indivisible
reality; but the followers of these systems have disagreed; discord, strife
and warfare have arisen among them, for they have forsaken the foundation
and held to that which is but imitation and semblance. Inasmuch as imitations
differ, enmity and dissension have resulted. For example, Jesus Christ -
may my spirit be a sacrifice unto Him! - laid the foundation of eternal reality,
but after His departure many sects and divisions appeared in Christianity.
What was the cause of this? There is no doubt that they originated in dogmatic
imitations, for the foundations of Christ were reality itself, in which no
divergence exists. When imitations appeared, sects and denominations were
If Christians of all denominations and divisions should investigate reality,
the foundations of Christ will unite them. No enmity or hatred will remain,
for they will all be under the one guidance of reality itself. Likewise,
in the wider field if all the existing religious systems will turn away from
ancestral imitations and investigate reality, seeking the real meanings of
the Holy Books, they will unite and agree upon the same foundation, reality
itself. As long as they follow counterfeit doctrines or imitations instead
of reality, animosity and discord will exist and increase. Let me illustrate
this. Moses and the prophets of Israel announced the advent of the Messiah
but expressed it in the language of symbols. When Christ appeared, the Jews
rejected Him, although they were expecting His manifestation and in their
temples and synagogues were crying and lamenting, saying, O God, hasten the
coming of the Messiah! Why did they deny Him when He announced Himself? Because
they had followed ancestral forms and interpretations and were blind to the
reality of Christ. They had not perceived the inner significances of the
Holy Bible. They voiced their objections, saying, We are expecting Christ,
but His coming is conditioned upon certain fulfilments and prophetic
announcements. Among the signs of His appearance is one that He shall come
from an unknown place, whereas now this claimant of Messiahship has come
from Nazareth. We know his home, and we are acquainted with his mother.
Second, one of the signs or Messianic conditions is that His scepter
would be an iron rod, and this Christ has not even a wooden staff. Third,
He was to be seated upon the throne of David, whereas this Messianic king
is in the utmost state of poverty and has not even a mat. Fourth, He was
to conquer the East and the West. This person has not even conquered a village.
How can he be the Messiah? Fifth, He was to promulgate the laws of the Bible.
This one has not only failed to promulgate the laws of the Bible, but he
has broken the law of the Sabbath. Sixth, the Messiah was to gather together
all the Jews who were scattered in Palestine and restore them to honour and
prestige, but this one has degraded the Jews instead of uplifting them. Seventh,
during His sovereignty even the animals were to enjoy blessings and comfort,
for according to the prophetic texts, He should establish peace to such a
universal extent that the eagle and quail would live together, the lion and
deer would feed in the same meadow, the wolf and lamb would lie down in the
same pasture. In the human kingdom warfare was to cease entirely; spears
would be turned into pruning hooks and swords into plowshares. Now we see
in the day of this would-be Messiah such injustice prevails that even he
himself is sacrificed. How could he be the promised Christ? And so they spoke
infamous words regarding Him.
Now inasmuch as the Jews were submerged in the sea of ancestral imitations,
they could not comprehend the meaning of these prophecies. All the words
of the prophets were fulfilled, but because the Jews held tenaciously to
hereditary interpretations, they did not understand the inner meanings of
the Holy Bible; therefore, they denied Jesus Christ, the Messiah. The purpose
of the prophetic words was not the outward or literal meaning, but the inner
symbolical significance. For example, it was announced that the Messiah was
to come from an unknown place. This did not refer to the birthplace of the
physical body of Jesus. It has reference to the reality of the Christ - that
is to say, the Christ reality was to appear from the invisible realm - for
the divine reality of Christ is holy and sanctified above place.
His sword was to be a sword of iron. This signified His tongue which
should separate the true from the false and by which great sword of attack
He would conquer the kingdoms of hearts. He did not conquer by the physical
power of an iron rod; He conquered the East and the West by the sword of
He was seated upon the throne of David, but His sovereignty was neither
a Napoleonic sovereignty nor the vanishing dominion of a Pharaoh. The Christ
Kingdom was everlasting, eternal in the heaven of the divine Will.
By His promulgating the laws of the Bible the reality of the law of Moses
was meant. The Sinaitic law is the foundation of the reality of Christianity.
Christ promulgated it and gave it higher, spiritual expression. He conquered
and subdued the East and West. His conquest was effected through the breaths
of the Holy Spirit, which eliminated all boundaries and shone from all
In His day, according to prophecy, the wolf and the lamb were to drink
from the same fountain. This was realised in Christ. The fountain referred
to was the Gospel, from which the water of life gushes forth. The wolf and
lamb are opposed and divergent races symbolised by these animals. Their meeting
and association were impossible, but having become believers in Jesus Christ
those who were formerly as wolves and lambs became united through the words
of the Gospel.
The purport is that all the meanings of the prophecies were fulfilled,
but because the Jews were captives of ancestral imitations and did not perceive
the reality of the meanings of these words, they denied Christ; nay, they
even went so far as to crucify Him. Consider how harmful is imitation. These
were interpretations handed down from fathers and ancestors, and because
the Jews held fast to them, they were deprived.
It is evident, then, that we must forsake all such imitations and beliefs
so that we may not commit this error. We must investigate reality, lay aside
selfish notions and banish hearsay from our minds. The Jews consider Christ
the enemy of Moses, whereas, on the contrary, Christ promoted the Word of
Moses. He spread the name of Moses throughout the Orient and Occident. He
promulgated the teachings of Moses. Had it not been for Christ, you would
not have heard the name of Moses; and unless the manifestation of Messiahship
had appeared in Christ, we would not have received the Old Testament.
The truth is that Christ fulfilled the Mosaic law and in every way upheld
Moses; but the Jews, blinded by imitations and prejudices, considered Him
the enemy of Moses.
Among the great religious systems of the world is Islam. About three
hundred million people acknowledge it. For more than a thousand years there
has been enmity and strife between Muslims and Christians, owing to
misunderstanding and spiritual blindness. If prejudices and imitations were
abandoned, there would be no enmity whatever between them, and these hundreds
of millions of antagonistic religionists would adorn the world of humanity
by their unity.
I wish now to call your attention to a most important point. All Islam
considers the Qur'an the Word of God. In this sacred Book there are explicit
texts which are not traditional, stating that Christ was the Word of God,
that He was the Spirit of God, that Jesus Christ came into this world through
the quickening breaths of the Holy Spirit and that Mary, His mother, was
holy and sanctified. In the Qur'an a whole chapter is devoted to the story
of Jesus. It records that in the time of His youth He worshipped God in the
temple at Jerusalem, that manna descended from heaven for His sustenance
and that He uttered words immediately after His birth. In brief, in the Qur'an
there is eulogy and commendation of Christ such as you do not find in the
Gospel. The Gospel does not record that the child Jesus spoke at birth or
that God caused sustenance to descend from heaven for Him, but in the Qur'an
it is repeatedly stated that God sent down manna day by day as food for Him.
Furthermore, it is significant and convincing that when Muhammad proclaimed
His work and mission, His first objection to His own followers was, Why have
you not believed on Jesus Christ? Why have you not accepted the Gospel? Why
have you not believed in Moses? Why have you not followed the precepts of
the Old Testament? Why have you not understood the prophets of Israel? Why
have you not believed in the disciples of Christ? The first duty incumbent
upon ye, O Arabians, is to accept and believe in these.
You must consider Moses as a Prophet. You must accept Jesus Christ as
the Word of God. You must know the Old and the New Testaments as the Word
of God. You must believe in Jesus Christ as the product of the Holy Spirit.
His people answered, O Muhammad! We will become believers although our fathers
and ancestors were not believers, and we are proud of them. Tell us what
is going to become of them? Muhammad replied, I declare unto you that they
occupy the lowest stratum of hell because they did not believe in Moses and
Christ and because they did not accept the Bible; and although they are my
own ancestors, yet they are in despair in hell. This is an explicit text
of the Qur'an; it is not a story or tradition but from the Qur'an itself,
which is in the hands of the people. Therefore, it is evident that ignorance
and misunderstanding have caused so much warfare and strife between Christians
and Muslims. If both should investigate the underlying truth of their religious
beliefs, the outcome would be unity and agreement; strife and bitterness
would pass away forever and the world of humanity find peace and composure.
Consider that there are two hundred and fifty million Christians and three
hundred million Muslims. How much blood has flowed in their wars; how many
nations have been destroyed; how many children have been made fatherless;
how many fathers and mothers have mourned the loss of children and dear ones!
All this has been due to prejudice, misunderstanding and imitations of ancestral
beliefs without investigation of reality. If the Holy Books were rightly
understood, none of this discord and distress would have existed, but love
and fellowship would have prevailed instead. This is true with all the other
religions as well. The conditions I have named will apply equally to all.
The essential purpose of the religion of God is to establish unity among
mankind. The divine Manifestations were Founders of the means of fellowship
and love. They did not come to create discord, strife and hatred in the world.
The religion of God is the cause of love, but if it is made to be the source
of enmity and bloodshed, surely its absence is preferable to its existence;
for then it becomes satanic, detrimental and an obstacle to the human
In the Orient the various peoples and nations were in a state of antagonism
and strife, manifesting the utmost enmity and hatred toward each other. Darkness
encompassed the world of mankind. At such a time as this Baha'u'llah appeared.
He removed all the imitations and prejudices which had caused separation
and misunderstanding and laid the foundation of the one religion of God.
When this was accomplished, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Buddhists
all were united in actual fellowship and love. The souls who followed Baha'u'llah
from every nation have become as one family living in agreement and accord,
willing to sacrifice life for each other. The Muslim will give his life for
the Christian, the Christian for the Jew and all of them for the Zoroastrian.
They live together in love, fellowship and unity. They have attained to the
condition of rebirth in the Spirit of God. They have become revivified and
regenerated through the breaths of the Holy Spirit. Praise be to God! This
light has come forth from the East, and eventually there shall be no discord
or enmity in the Orient. Through the power of Baha'u'llah all will be united.
He upraised this standard of the oneness of humanity in prison. When subjected
to banishment by two kings, while a refugee from enemies of all nations and
during the days of His long imprisonment He wrote to the kings and rulers
of the world in words of wonderful eloquence, arraigning them severely and
summoning them to the divine standard of unity and justice. He exhorted them
to peace and international agreement, making it incumbent upon them to establish
a board of international arbitration - that from all nations and governments
of the world there should be delegates selected for a congress of nations
which should constitute a universal arbitral court of justice to settle
international disputes. He wrote to Victoria, Queen of Great Britain, the
Czar of Russia, the Emperor of Germany, Napoleon III of France and others,
inviting them to world unity and peace. Through a heavenly power He was enabled
to promulgate these ideals in the Orient. Kings could not withstand Him.
They endeavoured to extinguish His light but served only to increase its
intensity and illumination. While in prison He stood against the Shah of
Persia and Sultan of Turkey and promulgated His teachings until He firmly
established the banner of truth and the oneness of humankind. I was a prisoner
with Him for forty years until the Young Turks of the Committee of Union
and Progress overthrew the despotism of Abdu'l-Hamid, dethroned him and
proclaimed liberty. This committee set me free from tyranny and oppression;
otherwise, I should have been in prison until the days of my life were ended.
The purport is this: that Baha'u'llah in prison was able to proclaim and
establish the foundations of peace although two despotic kings were His enemies
and oppressors. The King of Persia, Nasiri'd-Din Shah, had killed twenty
thousand Baha'is, martyrs who in absolute severance and complete willingness
offered their lives joyfully for their faith. These two powerful and tyrannical
kings could not withstand a prisoner...
...this Prisoner upheld the standard of humanity and brought the people
of the Orient into agreement and unity. Today in the East, only those who
have not followed Baha'u'llah are in opposition and enmity. The people of
the nations who have accepted Him as the standard of divine guidance enjoy
a condition of actual fellowship and love. If you should attend a meeting
in the East, you could not distinguish between Christian and Muslim; you
would not know which was Jew, Zoroastrian or Buddhist, so completely have
they become fraternised and their religious differences been leveled. They
associate in the utmost love and spiritual fragrance as if they belonged
to one family, as if they were one people.
From: The Promulgation of Universal Peace by Abdu'l-Baha, pages 197-203
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