Ask A Baha’i: How Do Baha’is See The Quran?
Do you have a question about the Baha’i faith? Submit it online or fill out the form below.
By Daniel Pschaida and Pete Haug
- Do Bahá’ís believe that the Qur’an is a copy of the Torah (Old Testament), except for added directives to kill non-Muslims?
- Do Bahá’ís need to accept Islam to be a Bahá’í?
The Bahá’í Faith teaches that the various religions came from the same source, known in English as God, in Arabic as Allah. As human society has developed, God has sent humankind “Messengers” at various times and to various places. Bahá’ís consider these Messengers as “Manifestations” of God, human beings endowed with the authority to transmit God’s Will to humankind. Messages of the Manifestations differ because they are appropriate for the particular time and culture in which the Manifestations live.
For example, Christians believe that Christ was the Messiah promised in the Torah. Christ spoke of the “Comforter” or “Spirit of Truth” to come in the future. “When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…” (John 16:13) Other religions have similar promises of a future Manifestation who will guide humankind in the future.
Bahá’ís believe that Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’í Faith, was the latest of these Manifestations. He introduced the concept of “progressive revelation” described above. God’s revelation is like chapters in a book, with each Manifestation contributing a new chapter to the overall theme of loving and obeying a single God.
The Holy Books
For Bahá’ís, the following holy books are among those that are part of this progressive revelation: the Torah, the New Testament, the Qur’an, and the entire breadth and scope of Baha’u’llah’s revelation. This latest revelation validates and includes all the holy Scriptures that preceded it. So to answer the first question, Baha’is believe the Qur’an is not just a copy of the Torah, but rather a newer edition containing spiritual teachings and social laws for the world at the time of Muhammad.
Here are some beautiful quotes from the Qur’an that I especially appreciate:
- “If ye would count up the favours of Allah, never would ye be able to number them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Qur’an 16:18)
- “So patiently persevere: for verily the promise of Allah is true…” (Qur’an 30:60)
- “You who have faith! be upholders of justice, bearing witness for God alone, even against yourselves or your parents and relatives. Whether they are rich or poor, God is well able to look after them. Do not follow your own desires and deviate from what is right.” (Qur’an 4:135)
- “And hold you fast to God’s bond, together, and be not disunited; remember God’s favor upon you when you were enemies, and He brought your hearts together, so that by His blessing you became brothers.” (Qur’an 3:103)
To be a Bahá’í, one accepts the validity of all the earlier holy books because Bahá’í Scriptures validate them. Bahá’u’lláh’s writings explain many of the meanings hidden in those past scriptures. So, yes, Bahá’ís accept Islam as coming from God.
Daniel Pschaida hails from San Diego and married into the Spokane area where he has made his home since 2017. Passionate about Spokane’s interfaith movement, basketball, Harry Potter books and nature hikes with his wife Tiara, he also teaches comparative religion at Gonzaga University and history at Eastern Washington University. You can also sometimes find his shared, personal reflections on the Baha’i writings on his blog.
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