After some brief introductory comments, here are some URL links to white papers and PowerPoint presentations related to the interfaith dialogue (Islamic, Bahá’í and Christian).
You may first wish to review official statements on the Bahá’í position to other religions, found on web page: http://watsongregory.homestead.com/files/otherreligions.htm
The relationship between the Bahá’í Faith and Islam is very interesting, for both the casual observer and the serious student of comparative religion. On the one hand it can become quite complicated, and on the other it is straight forward. The basics are easy to understand.
"Knowledge is a single point, but the ignorant have multiplied it." (This utterance traditionally attributed to the Prophet Muhammad or to one of the holy Imams – also quoted by Baha'u'llah, in The Seven Valleys, p. 24)
Here is my understanding of the relationship between the Bahá’í Faith and Islam, from my limited study and point of view:
Christianity was born in Judea (ancient
Having expounded the fundamental tenets and ordinances of Islam, and given a detailed exposition of the Bahá'í teachings, supported by various quotations from the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, from the writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá and of Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, with special reference to certain Bahá'í laws, and demonstrated that the defendants had, in the light of these statements, actually abjured the Faith of Muhammad, his [the court’s] formal verdict declares in the most unequivocal terms: "The Bahá'í Faith is a new religion, entirely independent, with beliefs, principles and laws of its own, which differ from, and are utterly in conflict with, the beliefs, principles and laws of Islam. No Bahá'í, therefore, can be regarded a Muslim or vice-versa, even as no Buddhist, Brahmin, or Christian can be regarded a Muslim or vice-versa." (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 364 or http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/GPB/gpb-25.html )
It is ironic that while Muslims have often persecuted and denounced the Bahá’í Faith, the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, in deep contrast, revere and promote the truth of Islam. From a Bahá’í perspective, Islam is considered one of the true religions—a true revelation from God. Indeed, from the perspective of “progressive revelation” all the religions are to be considered as a series of successive unfoldments of one divine plan or purpose—that is, one continual revelation. Reportedly, 'Abdu'l-Bahá (one of the three Central Figures of the Bahá’í Faith) once said that “there is only one religion and all the Prophets of taught it.”
“It regards them in no other light except as different stages in the eternal history and constant evolution of one religion, Divine and indivisible, of which it itself forms but an integral part. It neither seeks to obscure their Divine origin, nor to dwarf the admitted magnitude of their colossal achievements. It can countenance no attempt that seeks to distort their features or to stultify the truths which they instill. Its teachings do not deviate a hairbreadth from the verities they enshrine, nor does the weight of its message detract one jot or one tittle from the influence they exert or the loyalty they inspire.” (Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha'u'llah, Page: 114 or http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/WOB/wob-37.html or http://watsongregory.homestead.com/files/otherreligions.htm )
Bahá’ís believe that the study of Islam is important for them, so that they can better understand the historical context of the birth of their own religion, and indeed to see the greater context of the influence of Islam upon the world—especially in the light of ancient and modern conflicts between the followers of Islam and Christianity.
URL links to white papers and PowerPoint presentations related to the interfaith dialogue (Islamic, Baha'i and Christian)..
(an intellectual view of "Unity in Diversity" from a Muslim
http://watsongregory.homestead.com/files/Jihad.htm (the original meaning of Jihad)
http://watsongregory.homestead.com/files/Crucifixion_Trinity.html ("Superstitious Praise" and "Foolish Interpretation" have injured Islam as much as Direct Opposition)
old, but still useful to see how Islamic Civilization helped bring European
Civilization -- so-called "Christian" civilization out of the Dark
http://dialogue.homestead.com/THE_CLASH_OF_CIVILIZATIONS.htm A look at Professor Samuel P. Huntington's seminal work, wherein he posits that civilizations are mostly divided along religious lines and that the "fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural."
The one-slide presentation has expanded to 23 -- The first slide is a graph,
charting the progress of civilization on a curve -- showing influence of last
three Revelations from God. Press your right arrow key to begin the
“show.” Left arrow will run the display backwards. The added slides
are Baha'i Writings that link the Major Plan of God
to "subjective faith" or unconscious obedience to the Will of God for
this age. ("Unwitting" obedience... "insensibly
shaping" our modern age.) Islamic civilization gave birth to the
http://watsongregory.homestead.com/files/Arabic.html (tribute to the Arabic language)
"Arabic is too rich to be mastered completely by anyone but a prophet." (Quote by German historian, Gustave E. Von Grunebaum)
“Between the middle of the eighth
and the beginning of the thirteenth centuries... the Arabic
speaking peoples were the main bearers of the torch of culture
and civilization throughout the world, the medium which ancient
science and philosophy were recovered, supplemented and transmitted to make
possible the renaissance of
Some thoughts on how to help resolve the occasional and disparate views between Muslims and Christians on the themes of Crucifixion and Trinity -- in an effort to promote unity between the Muslim and Christian views.
Superstitious praise and foolish interpretation have injured Islam
as much as Opposition. An article by Professor Alan
Jones seems to contain a bias, or present statements made in ignorance, and may
even represent an attempt to discredit the divine authenticity of the Qur'an. Since Professor Jones has reportedly taught Arabic
and Islamic studies at
Literal interpretation of the Qur'an, by both Mulims and Christians alike, attempts to suggest that the Qur’an is saying that Jesus did not die on the cross (i.e., that someone else was substituted for Him), while the Qur'an—in its symbolic and figurative language—may simply be saying that the Holy Spirit which animated Jesus cannot be killed. Similarly, critics of Islam attempt to say that the Qur’an denies the divine origin of the Revelation of Christ because it negates, they say, the Trinity. However, Christians themselves are still divided on the meaning of the Trinity (<< see PowerPoint presentation), and the term "Trinity" is not even in the Bible. Christ said that He too spoke in figures to confound and test the hearts of the pure souls—those truly seeking truth rather than idle disputation.
‘Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them.’” (Holy Bible, Mark 4:11 and Luke 8:10)
Fortunately, He also promised that “The time cometh, when I shall no more speak to you in figures, but I shall show you plainly of the Father” (John 16:25). The time has come! …with the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh—Who has clearly elucidated the abstruse meanings of both the Qur’anic and Christian dispensations. (For example, consider the simple analogy in the ENDNOTES, shedding light on the Trinity reality.)
Here are some facts: The Qur’an and Muhammad affirm that God exists, that Jesus
lived and that "the Christ" (Jesus’s
station as the “Anointed One”) and the Holy Spirit exist. That is "the Father," the
"son" and the "Holy Spirit." What’s left?.... except to haggle over the mysterious relationship
among them, which the Bible itself declares a mystery (Ephesians 5).
Moreover, the Qur’an affirms the Virgin Birth of
Jesus, so what is the problem if an interpretation of the "Sonship" of Jesus means something greater – something
spiritual? The purpose of this verse could simply be to caution against
anthropomorphizing God. Understanding this is a matter of interpretation – by
which God tests the hearts of the sincere.
If you come to the dialogue believing that both the Qur'an and the Bible come from One and the Same God, then you must look for the interpretation that reconciles views or interpretations -- not those with inevitable conflict. This is the same exercise for the believer within his OWN holy book. For example the Christian must seek to reconcile the divergent statements of Christ ("He who hath seen Me hath seen the Father," and "No one hath seen God at any time"), and certainly those that would seem contradictory. Consider, for example, that John the Baptist said he was not Elias (John 1:19-21) whereas Jesus on the day of the transfiguration on Mount Tabor Christ said plainly that John, the son of Zacharias, was the promised Elias. Likewise, consider in direct contrast to John 14:9 ("He who hath seen Me hath seen the Father") and John 12:45 that you also have verses like these: “No man hath seen God at any time.” (1 John 4:12) and "And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His shape." (John 5:37. And please see John 5:30-36.) Also, you may wish to review Luke 18:19 and Mark 10:18.
These seemingly contradictory statements can easily be reconciled but not unless you seek for the truth that lives higher than the superficial level of the language. You first have to know that the higher truth MUST exist and then seek to discover it. This is the effort of reconciliation that must be done now, to help bring these two authentic religions from the one same God together. If they are both indeed from God, then we must know that these Divine teachings exist in essential harmony. That they seem to differ must be attributed to our own limited understanding -- which we must seek to improve if we want peace and harmony on earth.
Also, you may wish to take a look at: http://watsongregory.homestead.com/files/Qur_an_and_Science_by_Bucaille.html
Search Engine to help with the Study of Islam – cross-referenced to Baha’i Writings
http://www.bahaindex.com/documents/search_engines.html -- click on section for IMMERSE -- (this is most recent / UPDATED version)
NOTE: you can jump to a cross-referenced page in the Qur'an from the Baha'i text and vice versa with a simple mouse click.
http://bahai-library.com/start/search_engines.html#Immerse (older location, sometimes useful if the better site --above -- is down.)
Search engine & hypertext Qur'an can aid study. Immerse has fantastic footnote and reference features! (These are actually two different and separate functions.) One amazing aspect of this search engine is that the Qur'an and some of the Baha'i scriptures are cross-referenced!
Imagine, you are reading the Iqan and you come to a footnote on the Qur'an. A small "F" appears at the end of the quote and you put your cursor over it. A window pops up telling you were the quote is from. (e.g., Qur'an: ) A small "J" appears after the reference and if you click on it, you will "JUMP" to the Qur'an and see the page of the Qur'an where this quote is from. You can "cut and paste" the entire Qur'an quote (with its own reference) to your clipboard right on the spot. An "R" will also be in the Qur'an on after the quote, which if move your cursor over it, will tell you that this quote is being referred to the Iqan. (Also, as another example, a "R" on page 11 of Epistle to the Son of the Wolf tells you that the 1992 Ridván Message makes a reference to this page!) So, if you wanted just to scroll through one of the texts to see what other texts make reference to it, there is considerable information in this regard. Imagine you could simply go to the Qur'an and scroll it and see how many of the verses are referred to in the Iqan... and see where they are in their actual context. Moreover, you can double click on the Iqan reference box after it pops up and it will take you to that page in the Iqan! This last feature might not be obvious at first because there is no Jump icon ("J") after the Iqan reference, but you can just double click on it and there it goes. Amazing! Wonderful! The downside is that you still have to type in the footnote reference into the text if you are cutting and pasting the first document source into your wordprocessor, unless you JUMP ("J") to the secondary reference and also "cut and paste" it. (That would make it a two step process, but it is EXTREMELY fast because it is fully indexed.)
Some supplementary materials:
Three translations of the Qur'an come with OCEAN (Palmer, Rodwell and Pickthall). There are also several other miscellaneous sources on Islam that come with OCEAN. Reportedly, the most widely-accepted English translation among Muslims is Yusuf Ali's (1934-37). It may also be available in OCEAN now. Not sure. You can put it into OCEAN yourself by downloading it from the web from a number of sources. You must simply be sure that you locate it in the proper folder on your computer so Ocean will find it there, and it must be in standard ASCII format (TXT). (It's best to have each Surah in a separate TXT file.) http://www.bahai-education.org/ocean/
Holy Qur'an Viewer and search engine http://www.al-nasir.com/DivineIslam/Software/QuranViewer2/quranviewer2.shtml
There is a very interesting page that comes with this software that presents the history of the various translations of the Qur'an.
http://watsongregory.homestead.com/files/YOU_ARE_INVITED.html (sample flyer for hosting Interfaith Dialogue)
Can also be purchased for $22.95 http://www.iranianmovies.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=IranMall&Product_Code=251
The full-length feature film --"The Message"
(Anthony Quinn, Irene Papas and Michael Ansara -- was
originally called "Mohammed, Messenger of God" when it came out in
the theaters). The film does not show the person of Mohammad, it says,
"because it would offend against the spirituality
of His message." A claim at the beginning states: "The scholars and
historians of Islam -- the
* You can order the full length feature film -- "The Message" -- in various video formats online at http://www.iranianmovies.com/reviews/message.html (scroll down) or at Amazon.com, or the DVD at http://www.emory.com/dvd/821.htm (<< may not be there any longer). A very good review of the DVD (which includes a 20-minute documentary "The Making of an Epic" that is almost as fascinating as the movie itself) can be found at http://www.lightviews.com/message.htm The review includes tidbits about the film such as these: (1) shooting the same film with two different casts (one in Arabic with an all Arabic cast!). (2) The extras in the battle scenes were trained by the Libyan Army.
Best price is from Iranianmovies.com: $22.95 You must first create a LOGIN before you can get to the checkout basket. If the link below doesn't work and if you can't read Arabic, just click on Movies (then Award Winners) http://www.iranianmovies.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=IranMall&Category_Code=Awardwinner and keep scrolling down until you see the photo below (you will have to click NEXT once). Click on it and you will get the info below.
The reason nothing was in your basket is because you have to create a login first.
The Message (Story of Islam) (VHS/DVD)
in Basket: 1
The Message (Story of Islam)
A great film for all Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Digitally Mastered / Color / English Dubbed / 1800 Minutes (2 VHS tapes or 2 DVD)
The Message also known as "Mohammad Messenger of God", is an epic in the true sense of the word, it took six years to prepare and 1 year to film. To capture the story of Prophet Mohammad and the riotous, violent period with its idol worshipping demagoguery, producer-director Moustapha Akkad assembled an international cast and crew - Anthony Quinn - [The English version comes on both VHS and DVD, but the Farsi and Arabic version come on VHS only, no DVD]
"A Remarkable Film" ~
"A Breathtaking Spectacle" ~ Bob Lape, ABC Eyewitness News ~
"Spectacularly Done" ~ LA Times ~
To order this film: Click "Add to Basket", then continue shopping or click on "Checkout" button at the top to exit