Friday, February 15, 2008

On Saint John the Baptist: Significant to Baha'is

Mention of a connection between John the Baptist and the Baha'i Faith is made here on flickr and in Baha'i commentary. -gw

Saint John the Baptist (also called John the Baptizer) was a 1st century Jewish preacher and ascetic regarded as a prophet by four religions: Christianity, Islam, Mandaeanism and the Bahá'í Faith. The title of prophet is asserted in the Synoptic Gospels, the Qur'an, the Bahá'í writings and the Book of Mormon. He is commonly referred to as John the Forerunner or Precursor by Christians who consider him the forerunner of Jesus Christ.
Photo uploaded on February 14, 2008 by boyneworleans on flickr.
The shí’ahs look for the Qá’im, who is to come in the fulness of time, and also for the return of the Imám Husayn. The sunnís await the appearance of the Mihdí and also “the return of Jesus Christ.” When, at the beginning of his Mission, the Báb, continuing the tradition of the shí’ahs, proclaimed His function under the double title of, first, the Qá’im and, second, the Gate, or Báb, some of the Muhammadans misunderstood the latter reference. They imagined His meaning to be that He was a fifth Gate In succession to Abu’l-Hasan-‘Alí. His true meaning, however, as He himself clearly announced, was very different. He was the Qá’im; but the Qá’im, though a High Prophet, stood in relation to a succeeding and greater Manifestation as did John the Baptist to the Christ. He was the Forerunner of One yet more mighty than Himself. He was to decrease; that Mighty One was to increase. And as John the Baptist had been the Herald or Gate of the Christ, so was the Báb the Herald or Gate of Bahá’u’lláh.

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