The Instigator
Badi-Nontheist
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
projector
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

Baha'i Fulfills "Great News" of Islam

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
projector
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/2/2014 Category: Religion
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 905 times Debate No: 59859
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (2)

 

Badi-Nontheist

Pro

The Baha'i Faith Fulfills the Great Announcement of Islam mentioned in the Qur'an. The Quranic Verse in question is as follows.

In Quran's Chapter (Surat) The Tidings (An-Naba') - سورة النبإ it states:

"Concerning what are they disputing?
Concerning the Great News ( النبإ العظيم),
About which they cannot agree.
Verily, they shall soon (come to) know!
Verily, verily they shall soon (come to) know!"

Due to differences in translation style the Arabic term النبإ العظيم is translated as "Great News" in most English Qurans but is translated as "Great Announcement" in Baha'i writings.

Baha'u'llah claims that He fulfills this Great News of the Qur'an in the following verses, for example:

"Likewise, in the Qur""n He saith: "Of what ask they of one another? Of the Great Announcement." This (The Revelation of Baha'u'llah) is the Announcement, the greatness of which hath been mentioned in most of the Books of old and of more recent times."

"Fear ye God, then observe equity in your judgement of this Great Announcement before which, as soon as it shone forth, every momentous announcement bowed low in adoration."

"This (Baha'u'llah's revelation) is an Announcement whereat the hearts of the Prophets and Messengers have rejoiced."

"...that day (the birthday of Baha'u'llah) on which We raised up the One Who announced unto the people the glad tidings of this Great Announcement."

"O Jalil (An early Baha'i)! He hath made known unto you His straight Path and hath acquainted you with His Great Announcement."

"As a token of grace from God, the Revealer of this Most Great Announcement, We have removed from the Holy Scriptures and Tablets the law prescribing the destruction of books."

"Take heed lest the word "Prophet" withhold you from this Most Great Announcement..."

"The Almighty, however, in spite of them and those that have repudiated the truth of this "Great Announcement," hath transformed this Prison House into the Most Exalted Paradise, the Heaven of Heavens."
projector

Con

Baha'u'llah was a Shia Muslim before he became a Babi and then subsequently claimed to be a Prophet. According to Shia Islam commentaries of the Quran from the Shia Imams, that verse is speaking about the announcement of the Guardianship of the first Shia Imam, Imam Ali. When his guardianship was announced people differed greatly on the subject and that is how Islams two most important schools were formed: Shia Islam and Sunni Islam.

Abdullah ibn Kathir says I asked Imam al-Sadiq (sixth Imam) about the aforementioned verse. He said "the great news is about the Guardianship (of Ali)." al-Kafi, 1:418The author of Tafsir al-Burhan (Commentary of al-Burhan) mentions a number of similar narrations from the Shia Imams, that state the aforementioned verse refers to Imam Ali's Guardianship.

Baha'u'llah in contrary to these clear narrations made a claim that contradicted them without providing a shred of proof why we should accept his words.

So, no. Baha'u'llah didn't fulfill the "Great News" of Islam, it was fulfilled by Imam Ali and Baha'u'llah basically contradicted it.
Debate Round No. 1
Badi-Nontheist

Pro

It must first be noted that the Contender argues from the Shia Muslim persective who are a minority sect of Islam with only about 20% of the total Islamic population. His interpretation that the "Great News" of the Qur'an is the first Imam of Shia Islam, named Ali, is rejected by 80% of Muslims. But I will assume here that the Shia interpretation is correct for the sake argument here. I address each of his points in numbered form:

1. Baha'u'llah was a Shia Muslim before he became a Babi and then subsequently claimed to be a Prophet.

1. RESPONSE: This is correct, but this has no bearing on my initial argument and only serves as background information for the bulk of his con argument. Historically, Baha'u'llah's family is from Mazandaran which was the last Zoroastrian Perian region of Iran that withstood the Islamic Invasion of Iran over 1000 years ago. His ancestor come from the line of Persian Kings the last of whom was King Yazdigird the 3rd. Baha'u'llah's family was of the landowning governmental class associated with the kings of princes of Iran, not the religious class.

2. According to Shia Islam commentaries of the Quran from the Shia Imams, that verse is speaking about the announcement of the Guardianship of the first Shia Imam, Imam Ali. Abdullah ibn Kathir says I asked Imam al-Sadiq (sixth Imam) about the aforementioned verse. He said "the great news is about the Guardianship (of Ali)." al-Kafi, 1:418. The author of Tafsir al-Burhan (Commentary of al-Burhan) mentions a number of similar narrations from the Shia Imams, that state the aforementioned verse refers to Imam Ali's Guardianship.

2. RESPONSE: The Sunni counter-argument to this Shia position is that the "Great News" is the news of the Great Resurrection or the Hereafter when people die. These are two different things by the way. The Great Resurrection is the belief that mankind will be Resurrected from the graves and Jesus will come from heaven, and all the prophets and people will be raised and will pray behind the Prophet Muhammad. The Hereafter is the death of the bodies and their encounter with God in the afterlife. It is clear from the writings of Shia Islam that they do not equate the appearance of Imam Ali with neither the appearance of the Great Resurrection nor of the encounter in the hereafter. Baha'u'llah, on the other hand, clearly claims that his appearance was the appearance of this Great Resurrection, something Imam Ali nor Imam Husayn claimed. Therefore, if we are to assume that there are different levels of meaning here, we can even agree that on one level it is a reference to Imam Ali, without contradicting the claim of Baha'u'llah. The meanings of this verse have different levels, in this order: First, Meeting with God; Second, Resurrection of Mankind; Third, Baha'u'llah; Fourth, The Bab; Fifth: Quddus; Sixth: Imam Husayn; Seventh: Imam Ali.

3. When his guardianship was announced people differed greatly on the subject and that is how Islams two most important schools were formed: Shia Islam and Sunni Islam.

3. RESPONSE: The difference spoken of here is the difference among the good and evil, those going to heaven and those going to hell, or those resurrected to pray and those who are sent to hell. A subsequent meaning after this may be the difference between Shia and Sunni, but just as above, this is a sixth-level meaning, not a first-level meaning.

4. Baha'u'llah in contrary to these clear narrations made a claim that contradicted them without providing a shred of proof why we should accept his words.

4. RESPONSE: Why anyone could accept his claims is irrelevant. The same argument can be made about Ali and the other Imam, even about Muhammad, Moses, and Jesus, and Abraham. Why should anyone accept any of their words?

5. So, no. Baha'u'llah didn't fulfill the "Great News" of Islam, it was fulfilled by Imam Ali and Baha'u'llah basically contradicted.

5. RESPONSE: I just demonstrated that there is no contradiction.
projector

Con

1-Your response to the first point was not a response. You simply re-affirmed what I had already stated with some more explanation.

2-Your response to the second point was that Sunni's bring forward the counter argument that the verse refers to "the Great Resurrection or the Hereafter when people die."
So basically the Shias state it refers to the announcement of Imam Ali's Guardianship, the Sunnis state it refers to when people die and are again resurrected, and Baha'u'llah comes along claiming you've got it wrong, and this verse refers to ME! Yet he fails to provide a shred of evidence as why it refers to him. You followed the same path and claimed the verse has seven levels of meanings and you too fail any evidence to back up your claims about these meanings.

3-Your third response is based on your unproven claims in 2.

4-When someone bases their claims on the scripture of a previous religion, his claims must conform to it. Baha'u'llah's claims do not conform to the teachings of Islam (Shia and Sunni) in that verse. That is why no one accepts it from him unless he bring conclusive proof instead of a simple inconclusive claim that "I am what that verse spoke about."

5. You just demonstrated that neither Shia and nor Sunni teachings about the verse conform to Baha'u'llah's claims.
Debate Round No. 2
Badi-Nontheist

Pro

You stated: "So basically the Shias state it refers to the announcement of Imam Ali's Guardianship, the Sunnis state it refers to when people die and are again resurrected, and Baha'u'llah comes along claiming you've got it wrong, and this verse refers to ME! Yet he fails to provide a shred of evidence as why it refers to him. "

RESPONSE: Actually the Shias also believe that this verse has multiple levels of meaning, just as I stated anove. As you pointed out the Shia Imam Sadiq says this verse is about Imam Ali while this is stated on a Shia website:

"To gather the contents of these narrations and the commentary of the verse, in the same sense as 'Resurrection', which was previously mentioned, is possible in two ways: (1) The phrase /naba'-in-'azim/ has a broad meaning which includes all of the meanings previously given, though when these verses were revealed the Qur'an insisted on 'Resurrection' more than anything else. Still, this does not hinder us from finding more interpretations, of the verse, other than the above and (Tafsir-i-Borhan, vol.4, p.419, Tradition 3.) as we know and as it has been mentioned repeatedly, the Qur'an has various meanings; that is, a verse may have several meanings, in different dimensions, among which only one is obvious by the apparent words and the other meanings are hidden, but they can be found with the help of other explanations and are not clear to anyone except 'the distinguished ones'."

So, since there are different levels of meaning agreed by both Shia and Sunni Muslims of the different verses of the Quran, such as the verse in question here, the Baha'i position is in conformity with this view of all Muslims.

So the question whether this verse has multiple meanings has been resolved, and it is likely that Baha'u'llah is correct that this Chapter of the Quran about al-naba al-azim refers to him.

Here are some reason why Baha'u'llah fulfills this verse:

1. Azim is from the same Arabic root word as Azam. Azam is a superlative form of Azim. Azim is Great, Azam is Greater or Greatest. Baha'u'llah's titles include Ism-i-Azam (Greatest Name), and his revelation is known as Zuhur-i-Azam (Greatest Revelation).
2. As I posted earlier, the phrase Naba Azim is claimed by Baha'u'llah in his writings to refer to him.
3. Elsewhere in his writings (I have not posted them here) he refers to the other signs associated with the events in this chapter of the Quran to all have been fulfilled through the Bahai revelation.

Now to your question about proofs that this is fulfilled?

The proofs that this has been fulfilled are as follows:

1. Scientific advances exploded around the same time Baha'u'llah lived in the mid 1800s.
2. Islamic nations of Iranian and the Ottoman Empires both began to decline during this time period. The Ottoman split up entirely into the countries of the Middle East today, and Iran lost a lot of land and wealth and prestige after this time period as well.
3. Globalization of people really because established around this time with telephone, automobile, press, airplane, ships, etc.
4. Communication explosion like internet and space travel all came about around and after the lifetime of Bahaullah.
5. Prophecies of historic events.
6. The concept of the Sun as its own proof: the writings of Baha'u'llah are vast and mindboggling.
7. Survival of the Bahai Faith in spite of exile, imprisonment and persecution.
8. No other claimants made the same extraordinary claims as Baha'u'llah did. Oft-cited contemporary claimants did not make similar claims: Joseph Smith of Mormonism is still considered to be Christian, and Qulam Ahmad of Ahmadiyyah is still considered to be Muslim, and Sai Baba is still considered to Hindu. Only Baha'u'llah founded an independent religion. This is important in that Islam is distinct from Christianity, and Christianity is distinct from Judaism, so Baha'i is distinct from Islam.
projector

Con

Your new argument is that since a verse can have multiple meanings, Baha'u'llah can claim it is referring to him without providing a shred of evidence as why it refers to him and we have to accept it at face value! That was his exact attitude in the quotes you provided in the first post. I don't find that convincing at all. My grandma can make such a claim as well but she's got to prove it before I accpet it.

As for the multiple new topics that you have put forward, I don't have the slightest idea how most of them can be used to prove Baha'u'llah is the fulfillment of the verse. The rest are as yet merely your claims, nothing more. You are supposed to prove he is what the verse is referring to, not jump to multiple secondary issues and give lectures on them. If all these new secondary issues are needed to prove what Baha'u'llah said, then why start this debate in the first place?
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
That's fine. I don't mind. We can maybe find a different approach to debate.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
You could have private messaged me. Now you have challenged me to a debate, so I'm not particularly inclined to point out the problems with the argument--though, as I commented in the debate challenge, the implication in C that there is a separate truth for those who believe in him is not acceptable. Truth is, by nature, independent of belief.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
Bladerunner, thanks for helping me sharpen my sword and battle axe.

How is this construct:

P1. There is no proof that god exists.
P2. Bahaullah claims that reference to god was always a reference to him, not to some imaginary being.
P3. Proof exists that Baha'u'llah existed, including photographs and hair samples and his grave site is apparent and obvious.
P4. Many people believe in Bahaullah.

C. Baha'u'llah's claims is true (at least for those who believe him) in so far as there is evidence that he existed, while there is a lack of evidence that god exists.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
No. That's not true at all.

Your first statement is a nonsequitur. Paring off the unnecessary words, we get:

P1: "there is not proof that a "god" exists.
C: Bahaullah in claiming that reference to God is reference to Him is a true statement."

The Conclusion (C) *does not follow* from the premise (P1). That there is no proof whether or not "god" exists is not relevant to his claim that references to God are references to him.

Your second statement:

"In asking for "proof" you are assuming God exists. You cannot make such an assumption without proof."

Is equally nonsense. First, I'm asking for proof that this prophecy was intended to or does reference Bahai. This does not in any way, shape, or form, require the assumption that God actually exists. Indeed, as an atheist, I *wouldn't* make such an assumption.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
In asking for "proof" you are assuming God exists. You cannot make such an assumption without proof.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
Of course His claim is true, because there is not proof that a "god" exists. So Bahaullah in claiming that reference to God is reference to Him is a true statement.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
Badi, your resolution wasn't that they claim it, but that it DID fulfilll--and you have to support such a claim to win the debate.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
Blade runner,

Thanks for the vote. You missed my point though. I will try again later. But my point was that Bahaullah clearly claims to fulfill the even after the Last Prophet Muhammad which is called Day of Judgment or Last Day when Allah appears riding on clouds and with angels.
Posted by Badi-Nontheist 2 years ago
Badi-Nontheist
Chosen Wolf,

Hi, yes I am a Bahai. But not a Bahai convert, I am an atheist Bahai, a sixth generation Bahai.

You are deist? Atheism is more reasonable than deism I think.
Posted by ChosenWolff 2 years ago
ChosenWolff
Another Ba'hai joining our community
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
Badi-NontheistprojectorTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: pro didn't really provide any sources that suggested Baha'i said any of it
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
Badi-NontheistprojectorTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro had the BoP here to show that the verse referred to Baha'i. He did not do so--he asserted it, but never gave any kind of sufficient, unrebutted justification for the verse to be "fulfilled" by Baha'i. As such, arguments to Con. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.