The Baha'i Faith & Religious Freedom of Conscience


I leave it up to the reader to judge the motives and veracity of Amir Butler, which may partly be those of a Muslim seeking to discredit Bahai. I present this post merely since it discusses taqiya, a seldom discussed concept in the bahai faith, and may perhaps offer some avenues for further study.

For anyone interested, the Wikipedia article on taqqiya (taqiyya or taqiya) cites an outstanding article by Ibrahim, Raymond. "How Taqiyya Alters Islam's Rules of War: Defeating Jihadist Terrorism". Middle East Forum. Winter 2010. Having read a number of articles on taqqiya over the years, I've highly recommend Raymon Ibrahim's piece. It is available online:

See hikmat & taqiyya MENU.

Subject:      Re: Martyrdom of the Bab, 9 July 1850
From: (Amir Butler)
Date:         1998/07/27
Message-ID:   <"AM_TVD.A.xUG._ALv1">
Newsgroups:   soc.religion.bahai
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Date sent:      Mon, 20 Jul 1998 22:14:22 +1000
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Bahais as is their wont make a lot of unsubstantiated claims, like ‘the
Bahai Faith is in perfect harmony with other Divine faiths like Islam,
Judaism, Christianity, etc.’, ‘....we have come to unite mankind on one
platform without any bias and prejudice’, ‘...we wish to establish unity,
peace and equality among the people’. These and such other statements
though apparently very noble are masked with deception. To make the
Bahais as well as non-Bahais aware of this deception was felt necessary.

This article was written with this very objective in mind. Mentioned
below are a series of incidents that will distinctly underline my
claims. Hopefully at the end, this article will leave the reader more

Bahais give credence to disguising their Faith from the common gullible
populace, disclosing it, only once they convert to Bahaism. This practice
is described as ‘Dissimulation’. As per principles of ‘Taqaiya’, Bahais
conceal their Faith (or are at least permitted to conceal their Faith),
if it serves their interests. (This practice was actually followed in
Indonesia quite successfully.  But when they had got too widespread and
the Government got wise they were driven out.)

Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani, one of Bahaism’s most renowned missionaries,
has written a book ‘Behjatus Sudoor’ (in Persian) in 1914 A.H. His
treatise is considered noteworthy among the Bahais. This book was written
by him under explicit instructions from Abbas Affandi.. Mirza Haider Ali
Isfahani is buried in Akka (the Bahai Mecca) near Bahaullah’s tomb.

In his book (Bombay edition) he states that ‘ ...when Bahaullah sent me
to Istanbul on Abdul Bahaa’s recommendation for preaching Bahaism there
he advised me “ should meet the masses with tact and your meeting
with me should be disclosed in a very nonchalant manner, so they are not
alarmed. And at all times bear in mind never to disclose your wealth,
your destination and your religion, and implement this till the last

Further in his book Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani has mentioned many meetings
with the populace where he has strictly abided by Bahaullah’s edict i.e.
concealing the faith. I have made an attempt below wherein such incidents
are mentioned that will make evident to my readers the objective behind
this dissumilation

Incident 1
Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani narrates ‘When I was condemned in Egypt and the
people said about me “az deene Islam kharij shudeh ast wa deene aaeene
jadeedee bid’at namudeh ast” “... this man has forsaken the religion of
Islam and accepted a new religion”, I wrote a letter to the police
officer saying “with selfishness and the malice which they bore towards
us have blamed us of following a new religion and a new book. But after a
thorough scrutiny of facts, the falsehood of these accusations will be
as evident for the king as the midday sun”’ (Pg. 107) But he himself
later mentions on pg. 184 ‘ was made apparent with clear proofs (to
one person) about the culmination of Islam and the advent of a new
religion’. The deceit in the two statements mentioned above is also as
evident as the midday sun , wherein, on one hand Mirza Haider Ali
Isfahani vociferously denies his (new) faith and on the other he makes
apparent to others this very (new) faith.

Incident 2
Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani narrates on pg. 86-88 of the same book that ...
after I had been appointed as a missionary by Bahaullah for preaching the
religion of Bahaism and I arrived in Egypt, the Iranians protested that
“you have abandoned your belief on the Finality of Prophethood (Khatame
Nabuwwat) and forsaken Islam and Muslims and you preach that Muhammad
(PBUH) is not the last Prophet.” Then I told them, “baraaye tabligh naya
aamdeheem wa khud ra qaabile eenkeh nisbat mo’mineen een amr badheem
namee daaneem ta cheh rasd bemuballageen” “....I have not come to preach
Bahaism, let alone being a Bahai, I do not consider myself equal to even
a simple Bahai’

Again, the doublespeak in Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani’s words is
unmistakable. He denies his Bahai inclination when he himself was
appointed by Bahaullah on the counsel of Abbas Affandi as a missionary.
(Pg. 83) Then why this contradiction ??? This hypocrisy is in stark
contrast with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who said “Lie is
the key to all evil”. No where does one find a single instance of Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH) or Prophet Jesus (PBUH) advising their disciples to lie
about their faith to the gullible so as to spread the message of Islam or
Christianity. In fact Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) used to say "Refrain from
lying even if it to your benefit, and always speak the truth even if it
to your detriment". But we find Bahaullah and his successor advocating
the philosophy of 'dissimulation' that totally contradicts the philosophy
of the divine 'abrogated' religions. An institution based on lies and
deceit can hardly be expected to survive for long, even though it may
seem beneficial in the short term. This is something the Bahais must
realise. Simply, increasing one’s numbers is a very short sighted

The Bahais must focus more on resolving the glaring discrepancies
inherent in their faith that I have mentioned in my earlier articles.
They should not be too concerned about numbers. People will come to the
Faith, provided the truth is with them.

Incident 3
Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani, was once called to meet the Shah of Iran,
Shujaaudaulah. The latter had got wind of Bahai activism . Mirza Haider
Ali Isfahani as was his wont, did not disclose his identity. However,
unable to conceal his enthusiasm, in the course of his meeting, he
extolled the virtues of Akka. Shujaaudaulah, a very perceptive
individual, remarked that “..unless a person is a Bahai, he will not
speak such. You are a Bahai, however you are loathe to disclose it”. But
Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani keeping Bahaullah’s admonition in mind tried to
deceive the Shah by saying “agar faanee mo’min wa mo’kin ast baayad
hazratash dar jameea jahaat etaa’at konam” “If I am a Bahai and have
(truely) accepted the Faith, then I must observe all the commands of
Hazrat Bahaullah” (Behjatoos Sudoor Pg. 196) However by concealing his
true identity (from the Shah) he has indeed observed one of the basic
tenets of dissumulation laid down by Bahaullah.

Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani’s words: “We have shattered the Muslims” ,
coupled with the Bahai deceit and dissimulation with the Muslims (and
others) bear ample testimony to his and Bahaullah’s intentions. Bahai
missionaries then as well today, propagate with this objective. These
words of Mirza Haider Ali Isfaani should serve as a warning for people
across all faiths especially the Muslims. Muslim Ulamas (scholars) should
take the initiative in this matter. They should study more about the
Bahai faith and launch an awareness campaign amongst the common gullible
Muslims. Protecting the faith (Imaan) of common Muslims in this era from
attacks of Bahai missionaries (like Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani) is

Incident 4
Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani recounts on pg. 206-7 of the same book ‘...I
alongwith two other Bahais, Ghulam Hussain and Muhammad Sadiq had
gathered at a place in Iran. In the morning, the Muslims had besieged the
place. I handed over all the important documents regarding Bahaism to my
companions and surrendered myself to the Muslims. They took me to a house
outside the city and warned me that if I do not give them all the
important documents to them they would cut me into pieces.
Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani deceived them by saying that “ midnight
yesterday, a man representing Shah Shujaauduallah had come, and I
surrendered everything to him.” Consequently I was spared and my two
companions meanwhile, also made good their escape with the documents.’

Incident 5
The Bahais to preach their Faith among the Muslims, even go to the extent
of praying ‘Namaaz’ with Muslims.

This is in stark violation of the Bahai tenet which strictly forbids a
Bahai from praying like the Muslims. Let alone ‘Namaaz’ they are not even
permitted even to perform their ablutions (Wuzu) like the Muslims. This
is quite evident, as Bahaullah claims to have abrogated Islam. However,
Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani states in ‘Behjatus Sudoor’ (Pg. 97) “ faanee
wa Mirza Hussain Shirazi wa Darvesh Hussain sab meeaad bakhaaneh concal
fateem wa nazde u wa aakhareen ham dar zaahir aadaabe Islam laahifz me
namud zilm wa lu yatee bekitaabe jadeed wa shorue jadeed ra ham bedaleel
aafakeeh wa anfaseeh saabit me kard” ‘One night I, Mirza Hussain Shirazi
and Darvesh Hussain met at the residence of the council as planned. I
used to prove the veracity of the new Book (Aqdas) and the new religion
(Bahaism) with hidden as well as apparent proofs as the religion of Islam
was abrogated. However we prayed ‘Namaaz’ at the residence of the council
in a manner similar to the other Muslims. And we always did this in front
of others (non-Muslims) as well’

Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani and his fellow missionaries went to the extent
of contravening the Bahai principle just to convert a few Muslims. They
performed an unlawful act (as per their Faith) only to get close to the
Muslims. Why did they resort to such deceitful ways to propagate ? Or did
they believe that so long as the ends justify the means, then everything
is permissible ?

This mode of propagation of Bahaism is indeed strange. Never did Prophet
Muhammad (PBUH) advice the missionaries to pretend to pray along with the
Jews (of his time), although the Jews were Islam’s sworn enemies. He
always used words of kindness and compassion with the people and
attracted them towards Islam with his excellent morals. Quran says “We
have created the Prophet as an excellent examplar for you” To the extent
that even the bloodthirsty infidels used to call Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
him ‘Sadiq’ (Truthful) and ‘Amin’ (Trustworthy). Now compare this, with
Bahaullah, his character, his morals and the means he has employed to
propagate Bahaism. Can anyone ever call him ‘Sadiq’ (Truthful) and
‘Amin’ (Trustworthy)?

And to think Bahaism has come to abrogate Islam! Why are the Bahais so
insidious in their approach ? If Bahaism is such a ‘beautiful’ religion
then why use such means ? Why don’t they attract the people with this so
called beauty ? What is the need to resort to such guile ? Never in the
history of the Divine religions (Islam, Judaism, Christianity) was such a
mode of propagation permitted. On the contrary Prophet Muhammad (PBUH),
and Prophet Jesus (PBUH) and Prophet Moses (PBUH), etc. always adopted
sincerity in their approach and never cared to simply enhance the
strength of their followers. In fact certain prophets had only a handful
of followers, inspite of preaching for hundreds of years. Adam (PBUH) had
preached for 930 years and managed to gather a negligible number of
followers. As it is widely known even Prophet Noah (PBUH) at the time of
the deluge had only eighty companions on his ark. Noah (PBUH) had
preached for 950 years. Even Prophet Abraham (PBUH) after years of
preaching could muster, but a few disciples. Even Prophet Jesus (PBUH)
after all his exhortations and appeals had only twelve close disciples.
Yet he never adopted deception to counter the Pharisees, who were
thirsty for his blood. As a matter of fact a close study of past prophets
will tell us that most, if not all, had only a paltry number of
followers. However none of the Prophets took recourse to such populist
measures even in the face of severe persecution.

Incident 6
Besides praying ‘Namaaz’ along with the Muslims, the Bahai missionaries
also employed other means such as becoming disciples/followers of
renowned Muslim sages.

Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani mentions on pg. 27 of the same book “az Yazd be
Kaashshaan wa Tehran raft wa dar Tehran bejahat satr wa hifz wa ameed wa
iqbaale izhaar iradat bejanaab ustad Ghulam Rezaae Shishe gar mar shud
mashur muslim namud” ‘During my journey to Iran, I traveled from Yazd to
Kaashaan and from there to Tehran. In Tehran, I visited a prominent
Muslim sage/soothsayer, Ghulam Reza Shishah, and entered his fold. By
doing this I hoped on one hand, to conceal my identity and on the other,
to convert that sage/soothsayer.’ Mirza Haider Ali Isfahani was indeed a
very intelligent missionary. He realised that if he was successful in
converting a prominent Muslim sage, it would only be matter of time
before all the other followers/disciples followed suit. Another example
of Bahai guile. This is where the Muslim Ulamas (scholars) have to be
careful. Because if even one Aalim (scholar) falls prey to such Bahai
cunning, their students/companions are most likely to emulate them. More
incidents of a similar nature can be found on pg. 50

Incident 7
Mulla Ali Akbar was among students of Mulla Muhammad Sadiq. He was the
leader (Imam-e-Jam’aat) of the mosque in Shiraz. And from the pulpit he
used to announce the claim of ‘Mahdi’ of Mirza Ali Muhammad Shirazi (
Hazrat Aala). This was done with utmost discretion. Indeed what can be of
greater danger to the Muslims that Bahaai propoganda is carried from
their places of worship. The consummation of this dissumulation is very
aptly described by Abbas Affandi in his book “Al Kaukabe Durriyah” (pg.
452) “peyusteh een taaefeh dar har dastgaahraah dashtand wa az kaar har
keesi agaah budeh chandaan keh az harm saraae sultaanee har raaz nahaaee
betawassit bahaaiyyaan keh dar pardeh een mastur daair medaad amur bedabd
baraae ishaan makshuf meegasht”

“the result was that the Bahaais had spread their tentacles everywhere.
And they were aware of everyone’s activities. To the extent that the
discreet affairs of the women in the king’s harem were known to them
through the Bahaais who were employed with in the palaces” This then was
the extent of espionage among the Bahais at that time. And it is shocking
to say the least.

And what is even more shocking is that Abdul Bahaa himself is the one
admitting it. And he does seem to confess it without any regret or
remorse. As if he was proud of the Bahaai network functioning at that

Dissimulation in the Sayings of Abbas Affandi (Abdul Bahaa)

1) In Bahaism preaching discreetly has been emphasised to the extent that
Abdul Bahaa has mentioned in his book ‘Makaatab’ vol. 3, pg. 327 ‘Hiding
your faith has been made obligatory upon you’. Also the author of
‘Nuktatul Qaaf’, Mirza Jaani writes on pg. 211 of the same book ‘The
father was concealing his faith from the son and the son from his father
and the people of his house.’

2)Abbas Affandi writes in a letter to Shaykh Farjullah Zaki who was sent
to Egypt for preaching ‘Bahaullah has made haraam (forbidden) the
preaching of Islam in Egypt. It is required that Bahai friends keep low
for a while. And even if someone questions about the Faith, they should
pretend to be unaware of it.’ This letter was written on October 22, 1921

3)This decree on preaching in a concealed manner has been expressed
further in no uncertain terms by Abdul Bahaa in his “Makaatab” vol. 3 pg.
496 to Shaikh Mohiddeen Kardi, “masaaile hakeemeh ra asaas tazkereh
karaar dheed na aqaaed ra” ‘..while trying to incline the thoughts
(towards Bahaism), priority must be given to skills, rather than
fundamentals (of the Faith).’

What can be more unsettling than a decree like this one issued by none
other than the successor of Bahaullah??? Again this fashion of
propagation is alien to the divine faiths, where all the past prophets
had emphasised strictly on fundamentals of the religion. At no point of
time did the prophets ever make any concessions on the principles. They
were prepared to sacrifice their lives but unprepared to comprise on the
foundation of religion. Again we see that the Bahai philosophy is the
exact antithesis of the Sunnah of the earlier prophets.

This, then, was the mode employed by the Bahais to spread the Faith. And
it is very much in vogue till date in certain countries, like Indonesia.
And that is very disturbing. It is a cause for concern for all Muslims.
As it is said an hidden enemy is more dangerous than a thousand open
enemies. The objective of this article was to make evident this hidden
enemy, as it is also said ‘forewarned is forearmed’.

In article <>, says...
> "When the smoke and dust cleared away after the [first] volley, Bab was
> not to be seen, and the populace proclaimed that he had ascended to the
> skies -- The balls had broken the ropes by which he was bound, but he
> was dragged from the recess where after some search, he was discovered,
> and shot."
> (From a correspondence F.O. 60/152 [in the Foreign Office] sent by Lt.
> Col. Sheil to Lord Palmerston, the British Foreign Secretary, on July
> 22, 1850 as quoted in H.M. Balyuzi's, _THE BAB: THE HERALD OF THE DAY OF
> DAYS_, [George Ronald, Oxford, 1973], p. 202)
> At midday on 9 July 1850, Siyyid Ali Muhammad, known as the Bab ("Gate
> [of Faith]") was martyred by a firing squad in Tabriz, Iran.  Aside from
> its religious significance to Baha'is (who observed the anniversary of
> the Martyrdom of the Bab last Thursday), this event has interesting
> historical aspects, one of which is that it was actually the second
> firing squad charged with His execution that accomplished the deed --
> the Bab having survived the first one.
> A brief account of the Bab's Martyrdom is given in Esselmont's
> _BAHA'U'LLAH AND THE NEW ERA_ begins on p. 17 (scroll down or "Find"
> martyr twice) at:
> The account of the event in Shoghi Effendi's _GOD PASSES BY_ can be read
> at (one may begin at the paragraph numbered 4):
> https://SunSITE.UNC.Edu/Bahai/Texts/English/GPB/GPB-5.html#Page_51
> The account in Nabil-i-Zarandi (aka Nabil-i-Azam)'s _THE DAWNBREAKERS_
> (including photographs of some of the key people and places in the
> drama) is at:
> Baha'is believe that the Bab, who announced on 23 May 1844 His mission
> as the Herald of another Manifestation of God, Baha'u'llah, was Himself
> also a Messenger of God.  More information can be read at:
> (or if this doesn't work, go to , "enter," and
> then search "Bab").
> Hope this is of interest...
>     Don Osborn          osborndo [at]
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> "The rise and fall of images of the future precedes or accompanies
> the rise and fall of cultures."  Frederick Polak
> "A superficial culture, unsupported by a cultivated morality, is
> as `a confused medley of dreams.'"  `Abdul-Baha