You are here: Home>Articles>Caught Red Handed: How Ahang Rabbani Exposed the Censoring and Information Control Method in Baha’i Publications

UPDATE: Ahang Rabbani had made a number of distortions in the translation of the current work to hide nasty things that Abdu'l-Baha had said. This has been documented here.

Dr. Ahang Rabbani, the celebrated and prominent Baha’i scholar and translator, passed away in 2013 leaving behind a wealth of Baha’i related works and translations. These works are mostly the memoirs of trusted Baha’i eyewitnesses who have narrated their memories and their observations during their stays with Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha.

Ahang Rabbani

(image source)

The ninth volume of his work titled: “A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí” (available on bahai-library.org) is the translation of a handwritten manuscript by Khalil Shahidi who Dr Rabbani describes as “a trusted resident believer of ‘Akká and a longtime custodian of the House of ‘Abbúd.”

What makes this translation special, is that unlike the other memoirs translated by Dr. Rabbani, the current work is the translation of a handwritten manuscript in its original form that was not modified by the Baha’i publishing committee. The translation exposes a number of shocking memories about the Baha’i creed. What is more important is that Dr. Rabbani has inadvertently exposed the Baha’i technique for information control and censoring of Baha’i texts.

Before any Baha’i book gets the green light for official publication, it must be approved by the Baha’i publication committee. The Baha’i publishing committee of Iran, had appointed an editor to the work and the editor had marked a number of sections of the memoirs for editing and separation, but the revised version of the work was never officially published. The sections marked for revision, amount to more than one third of the memoirs. This is what Dr. Rabbani writes in the Foreword of his translation of the book:

“In 1965, Badí‘ Mansúr, a nephew of the narrator, was asked to devote some time taking dictations as Shahídí spoke his recollections. It appears that this was not only requested by the family, but also eagerly encouraged by Iran’s Bahá’í Publishing Committee, which then took steps to prepare the manuscript for publication. The Committee appointed an editor (typically a learned member of its body) to edit and extract those passages suitable for immediate publication. The Persian original text seems to have been lightly edited and sections identified towards this objective. The editor notes (appended as page 257 of narrative): ‘The lines that have been drawn through these memoirs for division and correction were done so by Lajnih Mujaljalih Nashr Nafahat [The Committee for Diffusion of Divine Fragrances] and for this reason, this servant thought best that it remain intact, and a clean copy was not reproduced. This was written for [the reader’s] information. [Signature unreadable]” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 8)

The original Farsi manuscript had been marked to separate/remove/edit inappropriate sections. These sections were marked using lines (rough boxes). Fortunately, after an extensive search we found the original manuscript with the lines that were drawn to remove the problematic matters. In this article, we will present some of the subjects – which are in many cases disturbing – that were meant to be removed, edited, or censored in the publication of the work, but were inadvertently exposed and translated by Ahang Rabbani.

1- Abdu’l-Baha speaks with a deceased persons soul and invites him to lunch

This story is mentioned on page 7 of the Farsi manuscript:

Khalil Shahidi page 7

This is Dr Rabbani’s translation of the selected section:

“One day, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had invited the friends of God to lunch in the pilgrim house of Bahjí, situated next to the blessed Shrine [of Bahá’u’lláh]. When He was welcoming the friends to sit for the meal and serving each one, suddenly He said, “Ustád Abú’l-Qásim, Bismi’lláh. Welcome.” He then paused for a short while. It was certain that everything stood evident before His Holiness and He was beholding the spirits that were present and observant.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 15)

“Ustád Abú’l-Qásim” is the name of a deceased Baha’i who had passed away a few days earlier. “Bismi’lláh” is usually uttered when a meal is served to instruct the guests to start eating. Basically, what is happening here is Abdu’l-Baha speaking with the soul of a deceased Baha’i and then inviting him to eat lunch with them. This doesn’t conform to the Baha’i beliefs about the Spirit and the soul which are now residing in the Abha Kingdom which is purely spiritual and ‘eating’ makes no sense in.

Furthermore, Abdu’l-Baha is shown to have superhuman powers. In the Farsi manuscript, all sections that speak about Abdu’l-Baha performing miracles, having superhuman knowledge, and superhuman powers have been marked for modification. For instance pages 44-47 of the Farsi manuscript have suffered a similar fate:

Three stories have been mentioned here:

a- Abdu’l-Baha’s knowledge encompasses the universe

“When he found himself perplexed and remorseful in this situation, it became evident to him that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s knowledge was not bounded, nor specified [to certain matters], nay, it encompassed the whole of universe and creation and nothing remained concealed from Him, nor will it ever remain so.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, pp. 32-33)

b- Abdu’l-Baha had superhuman strength

“With the utmost compassion and mercy, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, that manifestation of kindness and grace, gently lifted him up, so that later, [the Shaykh] had reported, “Despite my large body, I was like a tender bird in His blessed hands!”” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 33)

c- Some sort of miracle performed by Abdu’l-Baha

“At one time, locust attack had enveloped the region to the point that not a shred of greenery could be found. Shaykh Mahmúd ‘Arrábí owned a large olive grove outside the city of ‘Akká. He came to the blessed presence [of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá] and stated, “I want to go and see the condition of the orchard.” [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] replied, “Your olive trees are safe from the locusts. There is no need to go.” However, after two or three days, as he was anxious [about the trees], he mounted his horse intending to inspect his grove. However, as he rode, he observed that a thick cloud of locust, like a resolute army, followed him. When he came close to the grove, he saw that the trees were verdant and green, but about to be attacked by the locusts and to be destroyed. He instantly grew repentant and remorseful of having acted contrary to His blessed advice and will, and quickly turned his steed around. As he turned back, the locusts also followed, and as such, his trees remained intact. This incident greatly increased his faith and certitude.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 33)

The life of Abdu’l-Baha and his actions clearly contradict these claims made by trustworthy Baha’is who had lived with him. In fact, Abdu’l-Baha’s knowledge was in many cases inferior to established sciences of his own days. The Universal House of Justice simply suppresses and censors these statements and contradictions in a bid to promote its own version of the affairs and hide these extraordinary claims from anyone trying to Independently Investigate the Truth.

Another similar story purported to show Abdu’l-Baha’s superhuman knowledge has been marked on page 48 of the Farsi manuscript:

This is the translation:

“He instructed the aforementioned Áqá Siyyid Abú’l-Qásim Khurásání to go wait on the road so that upon arrival he would invite [‘Arrábí] to His presence. Khalíl ‘Arrábí was deeply astonished that without being outwardly aware of his journey or plans, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had summoned him to His presence in this manner.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 34)

2- Abdu’l-Baha calls Jews an ugly sight:

Another marked incident is on pages 25-27 of the Farsi manuscript:

 

This is the translation of the sections marked with lines around them:

“One day in ‘Akká, he related for this servant: One of the eminent Jewish leaders [rabbis] had attained the sanctified presence of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Bahjí, and His blessed utterances were soaring in regard to the truth of Jesus and the Messenger of God [Muhammad]. Out of his intense prejudice, that religious leader recited a poem that he had in memory:

This with a bell peals out the chimes,

that lifts his voice from a towered height.

Each one proclaims his faith is true:

I wish I knew which one was right!

By “This with a bell peals out the chimes,” and “that lifts his voice from a towered height,” he meant the religions of Jesus and Muhammad. Through this poem, he wanted to convey that both were false [Prophets]. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá immediately responded back with the lines,

This faith is true, that a delight!

and yet the mob, an ugly sight,

Protested it with all their might!

I wish I knew which one was right!

However, while He was saying, “and yet the mob, an ugly sight,” He was pointing to him with His blessed hand, meaning, “You are that ugly sight who denies these two Dispensations.” Naturally, the man lost his composure and was irritated. However, once more [‘Abdu’l-Bahá] dealt with him softly and with kindness, until he recovered.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, pp. 23-24)

“You” in the sentence “You are that ugly sight” has been used in the plural form in the Farsi manuscript (shoma-hā) which means Abdu’l-Baha was referring to followers of Judaism as an “ugly sight” not only the Jew he was conversing with. It wouldn’t be very pleasant if people, especially the government of Israel, knew Abdu’l-Baha had called Jews an “ugly sight”, would it? There is another section where Abdu’l-Baha claims the Jews of Tiberius look like monkeys. Ahang Rababni has distorted the translation of this section and completely removed the word monkey. This subject amongst a number of other such distortions have been treated in another article here.

3- The name of a very prominent Baha’i who was excommunicated

Two instances both from page 30 of the Farsi manuscript:

This is the translation of both sections:

“I saw that Subhí was also sitting on the right side of the Master and a chair was empty on His left. [‘Abdu’l-Baha] said, “Sit.” So, I sat on the chair to His left.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 26)

“Then He turned His blessed Visage to Subhí and said” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 26)

So why would these two passages need to be modified? Because they refer to a certain person by the name of Subhí. What is problematic about this person? Dr Rabbani explains on footnote number 25:

“Faydu’lláh Muhtadí, known as Subhí, a son of Áqá Muhammad-Husayn, was related to Bahá’u’lláh’s third wife, Gawhar Khánum. He was a secretary of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for some ten years and later sided with ‘Abdu’l-Husayn Áyatí, known as Ávárih, and opposed Shoghi Effendi.”

Subhí was Abdu’l-Baha’s secretary for ten years but decided that the Baha’i beliefs were wrong and became a Shia Muslim and later wrote a number of books in which he exposed what he had witnessed through the years he was a Baha’i and a trusted scribe to Abdu’l-Baha. His case is similar to that of the other person that Ahang Referred to in the aforementioned quote: “‘Abdu’l-Husayn Áyatí, known as Ávárih.” Ávárih was a prominent Baha’i who was excommunicated for his oppositions to what he believed were not right. He too died a Shia Muslim.

Now why would Baha’is want to delete Subhí’s name from the memoirs? Because there seems to be a standard Baha’i practice to keep the adherents of this creed in the dark about those that have left Baha’ism. They delete their names from their books and remove any reference to them, apparently, in a bid to reduce further interest in those people and the reason they left the Baha’i creed (probably in conformance with the principle of ‘Independent Investigation of the Truth’!). They are mocked and taunted and greatly insulted by Baha’i leaders. Shoghi respectfully allows himself to call them “haters of the Light, sufferers from a spiritual leprosy.” Another instance of this inappropriate behavior can be found in Esslemont’s Baha’u’llah and the New Era in which all references to Ávárih have been removed:

“Another case of suppression involves John E. Esslemont's use of materials by the former Bahá'í historian Abdu'l-Husayn Ayati, named Avarih or Wanderer by Abdu'l-Bahá. Avarih was also a "Hand of the Cause" who was commissioned by Abdu'l-Bahá to write a history of the Bahá'í Faith in Persian, which was published in 1923 and 1924. After completing a missionary journey to Europe, Avarih lost faith in the Cause and was subsequently declared a Covenant-breaker by Shoghi Effendi. (48) Covenant-breakers are those who have accepted Bahá'u'lláh as a Manifestation of God, but have later apostatized and opposed Bahá'u'lláh, his successors, or Bahá'í institutions. Faithful members are instructed to shun entirely those who have rebelled against the Cause of God and, although not explicitly commanded, the reading of material written by Covenant-breakers is discouraged as well. (49) In the original edition of Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, Esslemont expressed his gratitude to Avarih for his assistance in the preparation of the book and referred to him as "the learned Persian historian of the Bahá'í movement." (50) In later editions, this acknowledgement has been removed from the preface without any notation. (51) Avarih was quoted five times in the original edition to shed additional light on certain events. Two of these quotations were dropped completely from the text of the 1980 edition, but the other three were retained entirely. However, in one note, Avarih's name has disappeared and there is no reference to any source. (52) In another he is quoted, but his name has been substituted by the words "On this point a historian remarks." (53) And finally, Esslemont included an account of the marriage of Abdu'l-Bahá which was "kindly supplied to the writer by Janab-i-Avarih," but the 1980 edition refers only to "a Persian historian of the Bahá'í Faith."” (Vance Salisbury, A Critical Examination of 20th-Century Baha'i Literature)

In fact the name of Subhi has been marked for modification wherever it has been mentioned in other sections of the book such as:

“This was only a sample of his deeds and behaviors. The rest can be ascertained by the same pattern. In short, in consideration that, like him, Subhí also secretly associated with the ill-wishing Covenant-breakers and carried out oppositions, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was deeply disappointed with him. He had even imitated His blessed signature [of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá]. At the time [lunch hour] when ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was severely rebuking him, he seemed dead, as if his soul had left his body.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 27)

“Some time later, he [Subhí] was dismissed and sent to Iran [by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá]. In Tehran he joined the enemies of the Cause, and his end was naught but manifest loss.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 28)

 

4-Abdu’l-Baha claiming a dead persons soul didn’t know where to go

Two sections on pages 32-33 of the Farsi manuscript:

 

The first part refers to the death of a covenant-breaker whose soul was wandering about for three days and nights:

“After his death, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá remarked, “For three days and nights, his soul was suspended between earth and heaven and did not know where to go.”” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 27)

This sentence simply defies logic for it is not up to the soul to decide where to go after death. The second section refers to Subhi (see no. 3) the prominent Baha’i who was excommunicated.

 

5- A fairly long section encompassing numerous subjects

It starts from the bottom of page 35 (bottom left corner of previous image) and continues to page 41. These are the images of the Farsi manuscript:

These are the subjects that have been marked:

a- Abdu’l-Baha claiming that a day will come when the people of Iran will all sleep one night and miraculously wake up the next day being transformed into Baha’is:

“One night there was a gathering in the blessed House of ‘Akká, and the friends of God were in the presence of Him round Whom all the names revolve [‘Abdu’l-Bahá]. He remarked, “A day will come when the people of Iran will go to bed as Muslims and wake in the morning all Bahá’ís!” His blessed purpose [of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá] was that Iran [unreadable] would enter beneath [the banner] of the Cause of God.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 29)

Unfulfilled prophecies that will never occur. Pretty obvious why this needs to be censored. The people of Iran will never all wake up in the morning some day transmuted into Baha’is although Baha’is will argue that this will definitely happen but the time has not come yet.

b- An unfulfilled prophecy about the world becoming the divine paradise and people entering the Baha’i creed in troops 100 years after the proclamation of Baha’u’llah

"During the days of the Guardian of the Cause of God, an [annual]gathering was organized in the shadow of the Shrine of the Exalted One to commemorate the ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, and many friends fromdifferent regions would be in attendance and beholding the blessed countenance [of the Guardian]. The blessed utterances [of Shoghi Effendi] were:

When a century that has passed from the Manifestation of the Primal Point [the Báb], the world will become spiritual,and people will embrace and associate with the divine religion. However, a century after the Appearance of Bahá’u’lláh, the world will become the divine paradise, and the promise in the sacred Qur’an, “Will enter the Cause of God by troops,” will stand fulfilled." (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 29)  

Baha’is wouldn’t want the world and their followers to know that major prophecies in their religion with exact dates turned out to be false.

c- Iran greatly advancing in the future

“One day a group of the friends of God was in the presence of the Guardian of the Cause of God in the pilgrim house of the Shrine of the Exalted One. He spoke words to this effect: “Iran, particularly Tehran, will also greatly advance from the point of view of economics, commerce, agriculture and industry.”” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, pp. 29-30)

Nothing unpredictable about this prophecy, because sooner or later most countries will experience such changes. But if Abdu’l-Baha was referring to a time in the near future, well Iran is still far behind many countries in the topics Abdu’l-Baha claims that Iran will ‘greatly advance’ in, and this prophecy has also failed miserably.

d- Islam will be abased, the Muslims will be humiliated, the Jews will be exalted, and then the Muslims will quickly become Baha’is and be freed from humiliation

“In consideration that the Jews who had come from abroad to the Holy Land, and who would come with the utmost courtesy, reverence, cleanliness and refinement on a visit to the Shrines of Bahá’u’lláh and the Exalted One, the Guardian of the Cause of God would remark on such occasions: “They are very luminous, even though we have not spoken with them [about the Faith]. If we were to discuss the Cause, there would be upheaval between the two factions of the Jews and the Arabs. However, the time for it will come. They are presently engaged in organizing their affairs. Later they will arise in service to the Cause. Now is the beginning of exaltation of the Jews and the beginning of the abasement of Islam. ‘Truly thy Lord will decide between them on the day of resurrection concerning that in which they differed.’” His blessed purpose in quoting this sacred verse that has been revealed in the Qur’an was to explain that the abasement of the Jews was decreed to last until the Day of Resurrection, namely, until the Day of the Manifestation of the promised Qá’ím. Therefore, that abasement had now ended. He would add, “The Muslims will be humiliated far more than the Jews. But their punishment is quick and then their abasement will turn into glory.” His blessed point was that, unlike the Jews, their disgrace would not last long as they will quickly enter the Cause of God so they would be freed from humiliation.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 30)

This section needs no further explanations and it is pretty obvious why it has been marked for modification.

e- Abdu’l-Baha humorously telling a Christian priest that he would be circumcised and the narrator claiming that Abdu’l-Baha’s jests are serious

“There was a Christian priest in ‘Akká who regularly attained the presence of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. One day other Christians asked him, “What benefit have you gained from visiting ‘Abbás Effendi so frequently?” He replied, “Soon I will baptize ‘Abbás Effendi!” When this news reached His [‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s] blessed ears, He replied, “Very well. We will see whether he baptizes us or we circumcise him.” It was not long thereafter <p.40> that the priest fell ill. No matter what the doctors tried, it had no effect, and indeed he grew worse. Eventually it was decided that a team of doctors would consult on his condition. Those doctors decided to examine him and consulted on his situation and when they completed their examination, they prescribed that no remedy except circumcision would cure him. After they decided conclusively on this, they carried out the surgery. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá – may my life be a sacrifice unto His will – would smile and say, “I made that comment in humor.” Subsequently, whenever that priest would come before Him, he was most embarrassed and would keep his head low. It became clear from this incident that the Manifestations of Truth do not jest with anyone, since their humor is also serious.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, pp. 30-31)

So why is such an incident censored? Because Abdu’l-Baha had been posing as a Muslim for years in Haifa (this can be inferred from Abdu’l-Baha’s statement about telling the priest that he would be circumcised –which is a Muslim ritual- when the priest claims he would Baptize Abdu’l-Baha-i.e. convert him to Christianity). This is a fact that is usually hidden by Baha’is. Furthermore, many of Abdu’l-Baha’s problematic statements are simply dismissed by Baha’is on the basis of being jests and humor. These arguments are nullified by a close companion of Abdu’l-Baha claiming: “the Manifestations of Truth do not jest with anyone, since their humor is also serious.”

 

6- Abdu’l-Baha uttering some words then falsely claiming they are verses from the Quran to silence a critic

Bottom left section of page 41 of the Farsi manuscript (see previous image):

“This time, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá added, “O Shaykh Mahmúd, have you not read the Qur’an, ‘Honor thy guests though they be infidels’?” As soon as the Shaykh heard this verse, his anger subsided.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, pp. 31-32)

Abdu’l-Baha uttered a sentence then attributed it to the Quran to silence that Shaykh. No, the Baha’i authorities do not want you to know that Abdu’l-Baha had a habit of forging verses and then claiming they existed in the Quran (other instances in his writings and letters have been documented elsewhere). This is a habit that he inherited from his father Baha’u’llah who distorted and forged verses of the Quran and Shia Muslim narrations in the Book of Iqan to persuade people to become Baha’is (Babis).

 

7- Abdu’l-Baha smoking cigarettes

The first three paragraphs of the section titled ‘Tobacco’ where it is stated that Baha’u’llah had forbidden the use of Tobacco in the first section and in the second section it is mentioned that Abdu’l-Baha would smoke cigarettes that were given to him by pilgrims (to please them!) has also been marked:

“According to what this servant has heard from those that beheld the Countenance of the Lord [i.e. Bahá’u’lláh], one day during the time of the Blessed Perfection – may His mention be supreme – a group of the believers in God gathered in the Ridván Garden. Suddenly, they learned of the arrival of the Blessed Beauty. At that time, one of them was smoking a waterpipe. Immediately, he concealed it in the tall and thick bushes. Upon arrival, the Temple of the Truth –  that all-knower of hidden and visible – had proceeded directly to the spot where the waterpipe was hidden, <p.215> and stated, “This is why God has forbidden its use.”

“During the blessed days of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, when different visitors would arrived in His sanctified presence, some would present Him with cigarettes. In order to please them, the blessed Temple would accept them. One day, He remarked to the Greatest Holy Leaf, “Khánum, they insist on giving cigarettes to us. My chest has developed aches. I am in pain.”” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 112)

These sections can be found on pages 214-215 of the Farsi manuscript:

 

Since there are too many sections that have been marked for modification, we will only mention the most important sections from the remainder of the book along with the page number in Ahang Rabbani’s translation:

8- All incidents that speak about Abdu’l-Baha slapping people he had problems with in the face

These actions have previously been documented in an article here and have all been marked for editing/modification.

 

9- Abdu’l-Baha’s attorney praising Abdu’l-Baha’s authority as being higher than those of the great prophets of the past:

““Not Moses, not Christ and not Muhammad!” He meant that none of these Manifestations wielded the scepter of authority as His blessed Person did!” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 37)

10- Nearly all references to Abdu’l-Baha’s half-brother, Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí, and other covenant breakers

Abdu’l-Baha’s half-brother, Mírzá Muhammad-‘Alí, was appointed by Baha’u’llah to succeed him after Abdu’l-Baha but was labeled a covenant breaker by Abdu’l-Baha and named ‘the arch-Covenant-breaker.’ Most sections in the memoirs that refer to him and other covenant breakers, were marked for modification/deletion but on the contrary sections that speak about covenant-breakers repenting and embracing Baha’ism again have not been marked, e.g:

“The Covenant-breakers who sincerely would return [to the Faith], and attain the sanctified presence of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, prostrate themselves at His feet, kissing them, and cry and beg for forgiveness and pardon, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would say to them, “The past is past,” and envelop them in His kindness and mercy.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 53)

 

11- Sections that state Abdu’l-Baha had been posing as a Muslim and would publicly practice Islam in Akka have also been marked for editing/separation

On pages 41-43 of the translation there are sections that clearly state Abdu’l-Baha had been posing as a Muslim in Akka and had been publicly practicing Islam and Islamic forms of worship. There is another section that states Shoghi had taught about Baha’ism in the holy land (a grave sin in Baha’ism)! Another section on diets in which two problematic statements are uttered by Abdu’l-Baha have also been marked:

“One time ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “A person does not become corpulent because of excessive eating.””

“His Holiness the Exalted One has said that if a person spends two-thirds of his money on sweets, he has not spent excessively.” From this statement it can be understood that man needs sweets more than humectants or other food items.””

12- The first paragraph on the section titled ‘The Sea of the Cause’ (p.44) where it is stated Baha’ism will refuse to accept any filth when it starts surging forth is also marked.

 

13- Everything from the beginning of page 46 to the end of the first section on pages 52 that speak about:

The Greatest Holy Leaf performing miracles and predicting the sex of children inside the womb, Abdu’l-Baha miraculously curing sick people including an instance where he uses his saliva to cure a man’s eye, Abdu’l-Baha ridiculing and making fun of Mirza Yahya Subhi-i Azal and calling him a hairy bear. Sections about Mishkin Qalam, Baha’u’llah’s scribe narrating how he incited people to destroy Mirza Yahya’s private writings from inside his house. Another two wrong problematic sentences in which Abdu’l-Baha claims natural life is 120 years:

“‘Abdu’l-Bahá would say, “Natural life is one-hundred twenty years. It can be longer, but not shorter.”

The late Áqá Mírzá Áqá Khán Qá’im-Maqámí – upon him rest God’s mercy and His paradise – used to say that when he was in the presence of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, He had remarked, “A person may live for one-hundred and fifty-five years, but not for one hour longer.”

And finally some strange guidelines on eating tea and sugar cubes.

14- Abdu’l-Baha using his influence on the government to force villagers to pay back their debts with interest

On pp. 53-54 there is a section titled “‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Influence” where he uses a government agent to force villagers to pay back debts with interest to a Baha’i and another section where he threatens a Baha’i woman that he would arrange for his husband to acquire another wife if she doesn’t change her attitude towards the husband.

15- Another section on p. 54 whose purpose is to show Abdu’l-Baha had superhuman knowledge

“I mentioned my father’s name. His Holiness then named my grandfather, my great grandfather and generation after generation before them with such details and exposition that I was most astonished and astounded.”

16- Abdu’l-Baha ridiculing and making fun of the son of one of the covenant breakers for sucking a goats penis:

“This egotistical man had two dimwitted and unintelligent sons: Husayn and Hasan. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá used to relate to this effect, “When speaking with Me, Siyyid Mihdí would greatly extol and praise Hasan’s astuteness, saying that the lad was most intelligent. There was a herd of goats at Bahjí. [While playing,] each of the Bahá’í kids was holding the udder of one of the goats, imbibing their milk. However, he [Hasan] was holding a male goat, imbibing it, and saying, ‘This is salty.’” When telling this story He would laugh heartily.” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 72)

Apparently, Abdu’l-Baha had a pretty un-nice sense of humor. The original Farsi word that Ahang has translated to “imbibe” is “mi makid” which means “was/were sucking” (what a sight: A group of Baha’i children sucking goats udders!) Narrating and heartily laughing at such inappropriate incidences (that is if the incidence really happened and was not something made up by Abdu’l-Baha to degrade the covenant breakers) is in no way appropriate for someone with the rank that Baha’is claim Abdu’l-Baha had.

17- People with twisted moustaches are sullen

Sections from pages from the second section of page 78 to the first section on p. 81 including the section where Abdu’l-Baha refers to people with twisted moustaches as sullen: ““Whoever twists his mustache is sullen” and another instance of the not-so-nice humor of Abdu’l-Baha regarding a Christian man’s sexual relations with his ugly wife: “‘Abdu’l-Bahá used to say, “I asked him, ‘What do you do with her?’ And he responded, ‘I turn off the light.’” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would then smile.”

18- The worst of the Baha’is are better than the best non-Baha’is

Another instance of the “Oneness of Humanity” in the Baha’i belief system:

“‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “The least of the friends is better than the fairest of the nonbelievers.” Moreover, He used to say, “The worst of the friends is better than the best of the nonbelievers.”” (Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Reminiscences of Khalíl Shahídí, p. 81)

19- Abdu’l-Baha laughing when he hears about a Baha’i telling a Christian to worship a donkey instead of the Cross

This story is on page 86 where a Baha’i tries to teach Baha’ism to a priest in the Holy Land (a grave sin in Baha’ism) and then tells the priest to worship a donkey instead of the cross. Abdu’l-Baha laughs when he hears this and tells the Baha’i not to say these things again.

20- The sections about the cure for diarrhea and the other guidelines on disease on p. 92.

21- Sections on p. 94 where Abdu’l-Baha states that he believes in witchcraft.

22- Most of the section titled “warning against claims” on page 99 including the section where Charles Mason Remy is labeled as ‘crazy’.

23- All the section titled ‘The Hands of the Cause’ that starts on page 101 in which some extraordinary claims are made about these people.

24- P. 109 in which the greatest Holy Leaf is mentioned speaking with dead spirits

“At the time of her ascension, she was looking heavenwards saying, “Very well. Wait, I am coming.” It was evident that from the world above that the spirits of the Concourse on High, impatiently and with great fervor, were anticipating the arrival of the pure and sanctified soul of that remnant of God and trust of Bahá, which propelled her to speak such words of assurance to them.”

 

25- Footnote 131 in which Dr. Rabbani says “A small paragraph pertaining to the private life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is left untranslated.”

The Farsi section speaks about Abdu’l-Baha consuming castor oil for his constipations.

26- Section on page 120 titled ‘dreams’ and ‘benefit of grapes’ have also been marked.

27- All the section titled ‘A Contemporary Violator of the Covenant’ starting on page 121 is marked

This section speaks about a splinter sect in Baha’ism. This has probably been marked for modification/removal since it speaks about sects that have been created in Baha’ism. Baha’is usually deny such sects exist or shrug them off and claim that this is one of the positive points of the Baha’i creed. Contrary to these claims, many splinter factions and sects exist and have existed in the Baha’i history.

28- Ruhiyyih Khánum is compared to the Virgin Mary!

The last paragraph on p. 123 where Ruhiyyih is compared with the Virgin Mary: “In beauty, splendor, perfection and dignity, Ruhiyyih Khánum was like the Virgin Mary.”

 

So far this is the only manuscript of Baha’i memoirs that we have obtained that has been distributed in its uncensored form. Only God knows what Baha’is have deleted from the multiple volumes of memoirs printed after they were approved by the Baha’i publishing committee. No wonder the descriptions of non-Baha’i sources about Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha vastly differ with how Baha’is portray them. Who knows what else Baha’is have removed from the works they have published since their original scripture is kept locked up in the Baha’i Archives in Israel (there are other known sections that Baha’is have removed from their published books such as the ‘Tablet of the Maiden’ (Lauh Houri) where Baha’u’llah states he exposed one of the breasts of the Holy spirit that he saw in the form of a Maiden after he was attracted to her; and also multiple documents here: https://bahaidistortion.wordpress.com ).

This Baha’i attitude of distortion and deletion, is an old method used since the days most Baha’is were still Babis and were in the transition phase of establishing Baha’ism. As Professor E. G. Browne correctly observed: “the more the Bahá'í doctrine spreads, especially outside of Persia, and most of all in Europe and America, the more the true history and nature of the original Babi movement is obscured and distorted”!

 

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+1 # Siyyid Yusuf 2016-11-25 21:27
Do you mind sharing how and where you accessed the primary source i.e. the Farsi transcript with the markings and boxes. I was under the impression that this was in the private collection of Dr Ahang.
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0 # Administrator 2016-12-06 19:46
Dear Siyyid Yusuf,

The Farsi book used to be on Ahang Rabbani's website before he passed away. Currently it is accessible from the bottom of this webpage:

http://bahai-library.com/rabbani_reminiscences_khalil_shahidi

through this link:

http://bahai-library.com/pdf/r/rabbani_reminiscences_khalil_shahidi_persian.pdf
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