An Introduction to Tablet of Mulla Baqir
I have written down in My mention of Him these gem-like words: “no allusion of Mine can allude unto Him, neither anything mentioned in the Bayán.” Yea, By His glory! Those words are, before God, far mightier than all the deeds of worship of all who dwell on earth, inasmuch as the essence of all those deeds returneth unto the import of those same words . 8 The New Method of awaiting for and recognizing the Promised One One of the most puzzling aspects of the early Baha’i history is the fact that in a few years after the declaration of Baha’u’llah vast majority of the followers of the previous religion, namely the Babis, accepted his claim and became Baha’is. Edward Browne estimates that around 1890, 96-97 percent of the Babis have accepted Baha’u’llah. 9 Such event by itself is extraordinary because even now after 14 centuries of Islam majority of Christians have not accepted Islam, and consequently the Christians vastly outnumber Muslims in the world. But this unique event becomes even more puzzling once we remember that the main leader of the Babi community, namely Mirza Yahya Azal, not only did not accept the claim of Baha’u’llah, he rather launched a total war against the new religion. The fact that the vast majority of the Babis ignored the words of their leader and turned towards Baha’u’llah does not seem to fit the conventional logic and it requires explanation. Tablet to Mulla Baqir provides one of the most important explanations for this spiritual and historical puzzle. Yet, what is emphasized in this tablet is the essence of all later writings of the Bab as well. Namely all the writings of the Bab brought about a new logic of messianic expectation and a new method of recognizing the Promised One. This method is categorically opposed to the method advocated by the leaders of past religions. Majority of the Babis followed this new method whereas the remaining Babis returned to the traditional logic. In Persian Bayan, for example, the Bab constantly reminds the Babis not to repeat the same methodological mistake that was made by the followers of past religions against his own revelation. Trusting and following their leaders, people reject the new manifestation of God by refusing to look at the new Revelation itself. Instead they renounce their own independence of mind, rely on the judgments of their leaders, demand fanciful miracles from the new Prophet as the evidence of his truth, and make their limited understanding of their holy books a standard and condition for recognizing the new messenger. According to the Bab, all these methods are fundamentally misguided and contradicts the truth of all religions. It was this same false logic and method that caused the rejection and persecution of the new Manifestation of God by those same people who were ardently weeping day and night for hastening of the revelation of their promised One. It was, however, the aim of the Bab that he educates the Babis so that they understand the falsity of that traditional logic and refuse to repeat the same mistake in their relation to the revelation of Him Whom God shall make manifest. According to the Bab, every human being should focus on the supreme Source of the Cause (mabda’i amr) or the essence of the Cause (Jawhari amr) to be able to recognize the Promised One. 10 This means that they all in a sense should become like the first believer of their own religion. When the first believer accepts the new Manifestation of God there is no other person who has already accepted him. Therefore, the first believer recognizes the new Manifestation independently and without any dependence on or imitation of any cleric, scholar, or leader of his past religion.
8 IBID. 9 Edward G. Browne, Babism, in Momen, Moojan (ed.) Selections from the Writings of E. G. Browne on the Babi
and Baha’i Religion. 1987. Oxford; George Ronald, p. 425. 10 For example, see Persian Bayan 3:12, 4:12, 5:2, 6:13, 8:19.
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