Islam and the Baha'i Faith Paperback – 31 Dec 2000
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From the Author
This book is an attempt to present the Baha'i Faith to Muslims. Since the inception of the Bab' and Baha'i Faiths in Iran in 1844, the followers of these religions have been persecuted in many Muslim countries. Consequently there has been little opportunity for the teachings of the Baha'i Faith to be presented to Muslims in these places in a fair and unbiased manner. Most Muslims either know nothing about he Baha'i Faith at all or else know only what they have learned from prejudiced and biased accounts. Most of what Muslims think they know about the Baha'i Faith is in fact misinformation and exaggerations that have been propagated in newspapers, magazines and books in Muslim countries. The Baha'is themselves have been prevented from publishing their own works on the Baha'i Faith in these countries and they have not even been able to publish refutations of errors.
Top Customer Reviews
The book draws respectfully on the Qur'an and the teachings of Islam to show their compatibility with Baha'ii beliefs. It makes the case in terms a Muslim could understand that the role of Muhammad is not in any way demeaned, rather it shows fow his faith, like those of other manifestations of God, can find its fulfilment and highest expression.
There are interesting discussions of such subjects as community, law, and spirituality, and an excellent and very helpful review of the vexed question of Muhammad as the "Seal of the Prophets" and what the term means.
The hostility which Muslims can show towards Baha'is and their faith is usually based on ignorance, or on misinformation about its Central Figures, history, and teachings which is often gross and even, to Western eyes, comically unbelievable. This is worsened by a belief that Baha'is, claiming a revelation after Muhammad, are apostates and heretics. Baha'is who have contact with Muslims and may discuss religious matters must be aware of this background. They know to be especially careful to avoid saying anything that implies disrespect for Muhammad or Islam. They know that - contrary to the popular image - dialogue and understanding are possible.
The primary purpose of this book is to enlighten Muslims about the Baha'i faith which began in 1844. Because of religious prejudice in Iran and the Middle Eastern countries, there has been little opportunity for study of the Baha'i faith in an unbiased way. This book presents Muslims living in the West with the chance to find out the truth about the Baha'i faith since any information they may have gleaned to date is generally as a result of misinformation propagated by newspapers and magazines in Muslim countries and so may be inaccurate.
It is an enlightening book for the general reader, or Baha'i reader, as the opportunity presents itself to learn and to understand and to compare the ethics and teachings of Islam and the Baha'i faith.
There is an interesting section about prophecy and how Christian expectations have been fulfilled with the coming of the Prophets of Islam and the Baha'i faith. The concept of 'Return' is discussed as it relates to the return of the holy spirit and the return of the attributes and characteristics of one individual or group of people in another individual or group of people living at a later time.
The book is fair-minded and provides an illuminating account of Baha'i spirituality, of Baha'i law and of the faith's social and religious teachings besides also providing a brief history of the Baha'i faith.
It is easy to read and should be a useful addition to interfaith dialogue amongst followers of the world's major religions.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Moojan Momen is a distinguisshed Baha'i scholar of Iranian background and in this book he sets out to try to brdige the gap, to expalin each rleigion to the other, and in particular to show to Muslims the respect that Baha'i accords their faith and Prophet.
The emphasis is on the common ground, what brings people together (or should do) rather than pushing them apart. And Momen - learned and sympathetic - does a good job.
With all that being said, the author has given me a good overview of the faith, and I appreciate his efforts. For anyone wanting an overview of the Baha'i faith that has no background in it, it is an excellent book to read. The sections are very well and simply laid out, with the author keeping the book very interesting to read. Highly recommended for getting a Baha'i perspective.
However, as I have come from an Islamic background, I realise there are many inaccuracies in the book about the Muslim faith, and some things that are just out right disrespectful (many things are misconstrued as being correct but are not at all what I have been taught growing up as a Muslim).The readers of this book should know that although I'm sure it represents the Baha'i faith very well, and it reads well for an overview, it is not a book to get information about Islam. The book central to the Muslim faith and has remained miraculously agreed upon and unchanged for 1400 years is the Qur'an. A book followed by 1.6 billion, and recognised by many non Muslims to be inimitable. Order a free copy at [...].
Readers need to understand that Momen writes as a Baha'i. His object is to present Islam as supportive of the Baha'i faith. As Momen notes, the primary founder of the Baha'i faith, Mirza Husayn 'Ali Nuri aka Baha'u'llah wrote his own thesis to explain how prior religions, such as Christianity and Islam in their scriptures anticipate his revelation.
Life allowing, or inshallah, I may be inspired and able to write more comments once I complete the book