None of the previous Messengers claimed "Lordship" as directly, explicitly or extensively as Baha'u'llah (and to a lesser extent The Bab). The idea of the "Revelator of God's Command" appearing with the TITLE of "Lord", "God" or "Allah" and His mingling with humanity is not unique to either the Jewish or the Christian Scriptures. Such concepts have also been extensively discussed throughout the Qur'an and Hadith compilations.

Muslim Scriptures equate the Twin appearances of the Lord with two successive Days of Resurrection and they associate these twin appearances of the Lord with the coming of Imam Mahdi and the descent of Isaa bin Maryam (i.e. Return of Christ).

For example, please consider the following Hadith from Sahih Bukhari. Narrated Abu Huraira:

"The people said,

"O Allah's Apostle! Shall we see our Lord on the Day of Resurrection?" He replied, "Do you have any doubt in seeing the full moon on a clear (not cloudy) night?" They replied, "No, O Allah's Apostle!" He said, "Do you have any doubt in seeing the sun when there are no clouds?" They replied in the negative. He said, "You will see Allah (your Lord) in the same way. On the Day of Resurrection, people will be gathered and He will order the people to follow what they used to worship. So some of them will follow the sun, some will follow the moon, and some will follow other deities; and only this nation (Muslims) will be left with its hypocrites. Allah will come to them and say, 'I am Your Lord.' They will say, 'We shall stay in this place till our Lord comes to us and when our Lord will come, we will recognize Him. Then Allah will come to them again and say, 'I am your Lord.' They will say, 'You are our Lord.' Allah will call them, and As-Sirat (a bridge) will be laid across Hell and I (Muhammad) shall be the first amongst the Apostles to cross it with my followers. Nobody except the Apostles will then be able to speak and they will be saying then, 'O Allah! Save us. O Allah Save us.'"-Sahih Bukhari 1:770

As we consider this Hadith, we might ask:

As we begin to explore these questions, please consider that this Hadith of Abu Huraira [Sahih Bukhari 1:770] is also consistent with prophecies found in the Jewish Scriptures:
"Behold I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord,
whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple..." -Malachi 3:1

"Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord." -Malachi 4:5

Both The Bab and Baha'u'llah have revealed many Tablets in which They have explained the meanings of various Qur'anic terminologies such as "the appearance of the Lord", "the Day of God", "the Day of Resurrection" and "the Sirat" (bridge). These commentaries explain that such terms are merely alternative expressions of the twin appearances of "Allah" (God) prophecy, the coming of "the Lord" in the Day of Resurrection prophecy, the appearance of the Mahdi prophecies, Malachi's promise of the return of Elijah (or the return of John the Baptist) prophecy and to the return of Christ prophecies. In other words, these terms, these expressions and these prophecies are all referring to the future appearance of the same two events.

Concerning the meanings and implications of such references as the "Day of Resurrection", "Day of God", the day when the "earth shall shine with the light of her Lord", "Meeting with God" and the utterance; "I am your Lord", The Bab revealed in the Book of Persian Bayan:

"What is meant by the 'Meeting with God' in the Qur'an is meeting the Bab, for none can meet the Most Holy Essence." -Persian Bayan 2:7

Moreover He revealed:

"On that great day [the Day of Resurrection] the Tree of Truth [the Manifestation of God], whose speech is continually 'There is no God but Me' shall be manifest and all those who are veiled therefrom imagine him to be a soul like themselves... Therefore it is that the Day of Resurrection is called the Greatest Day, else it is but a day like all other days except that therein is the Manifestation of God manifest."-Persian Bayan 8:9

The explanation of the Day of resurrection offered by The Bab is totally consistent with various Ahadith and the verses of the Qur'an. The following examples demonstrate this issue. It is rather important to point out that various Ahadith refer to length of Mahdi's Rule. Abi Dawood in his book Sunan offers a Hadith narrated by Abu Sa'id Khudri which reads as follows:

The Messenger of God said: "Al-Mahdi is from Me [one of Muhammad's descendants]....[Comments about Mahdi's forehead and nose are excluded for the sake of brevity]...He will fill the earth with justice and He will rule for seven years."

In fact The Bab proclaimed His message in 1260 AH [i.e. May 22, 1844] at the age of 25, and was martyred in 28 of Sha'ban of 1266 AH [i.e. July 9, 1850] at age of 31. His Ministry did not exceed seven years.

Moreover, Hakim in Mustadrak offers a Hadith narrated by Abu Huraira. This Hadith starts by describing some of the physical characteristics of the Returned Christ, which I will not quote here for the sake of brevity, then the Messenger of God says:

"He [i.e. Maseeh] will break the cross and kill the pig and annuls jazzieh and invites people to Submission to the Will of God [i.e. Islam]. Maseeh will kill the Dajjal and peace and tranquillity will be established on earth to the extent that lion and camel, leopard and calf will mingle together, and wolf will not attack lamb and child will safely play with poisonous snake. Maseeh will remain in this world for forty years and Muslims offer their prayers to Him."

Baha'u'llah received His revelation in the Siyah Chal of Tehran in 1853, exactly 9 years after the Bab had received His revelation and from that time until He passed away in the prison city of Acca in 1892 there were 40 years of His Ministry, fulfilling the prophecy of the Hadith of Abu Huraira mentioned above.

The existance of such Ahadith is totally inconsistent with the literalist Muslim interpretation that the "Day of Resurrection" is going to be a fantastic event in which the physically dead will literally rise out of their graves to be judged by God. If such prophecies truly were intended to be interpreted literally and if they truly were referring to the end of the physical world, then why would there be any need for such references to the length of Mahdi's Rule, to the duration of Maseeh's Ministry or to the depiction of the condition of the world after They appear?

Referring to the "Bridge of Sirat" as mentioned in the Qur'an and in the Hadith, the Bab reveals in the Book of Bayan that He is that Bridge:

"Concerning the Bridge of Sirat, that it is true. What is meant by the Bridge of Sirat in all time is the Manifestation of God and his Command. "Whoever is steadfast is on the Sirat-Bridge of Truth. But otherwise not on the Sirat. And the like of the Sirat-Bridge is as the Nuqta-i-Bayan [The Point of Bayan... the Bab is referring to Himself.] who is more spacious than the Heavens and Earth - nay more glorious than the Heaven of such things as can be received or the Earth of capacity for receiving - to such as have believed in Him. Now they who pass over this Sirat-Bridge [to wit the verses of the Bayan] are of diverse degrees. Some on first hearing them, said 'Ye this is from God: there is no doubt about it: a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds'. Others believed without hearing the words, merely on beholding them, and these cross the Sirat and are nearer than Kaf to Nun [The Creative Word "Kun" meaning "Be" is comprised of two Arabic letters Kaf and Nun. See Qur'an 2:117; 3:47, 3:59; 6:73; 40:16; 19:35, etc... Here the Bab is commenting on just how quickly some individuals will be spiritually recreated when they attain the spirit of faith.]. Others again heard the verses and hesitated just so long as one might pause to apply the name of a thing to that thing, and these remain in confusion on the Sirat-Bridge... And whosoever hesitated longer, his sojourn on the Bridge will be more; and many will remain there until another Day of Resurrection, as the Letters of the Book of Alif [the Book of Alif is the Gospel and the Letters of the Book represent Christians.] remained on the Bridge of the Sirat of the Book of Qaf [Qur'an] until now [that is to say Christians remained on the bridge and could not pass to the Heaven of God's nearness], although the Resurrection thereof has passed. [the Day of resurrection ushered in by Muhammad.] And so this Bridge is described as 'finer than a hair and sharper than a sword' for these [who hesitate] but 'wider than Paradise' for the believer..."-Persian Bayan 2:12

NOTE: The Bridge of Sirat appears with different name in various religions. For examples Zoroasterians call this same bridge the "Bridge of Chinovaat".

I felt it was necessary to offer this quotation, from the Book of Bayan, about the Bridge of Sirat because in the Hadith 1:770 of Sahih Bukhari (quoted above), Prophet Muhammad said:

"...As-Sirat (a bridge) will be laid across Hell and I (Muhammad) shall be the first amongst the Apostles to cross it with my followers. Nobody except the Apostles will then be able to speak and they will be saying then, 'O Allah! Save us. O Allah Save us.'..." -Sahih Bukhari 1:770

This passage indicates that the Prophet Muhammad will be the first to believe in Mahdi and in His New Shari'ah and His New Book, and that Muhammad will also be the first to believe in Maseeh and in His New Shari'ah and His New Book. Moreover, this passage is saying that Muhammad's followers will be among the first group of people to cross the Bridge of Sirat ["recognize the Manifestation of God and his Command"] by accepting the Message of The Bab and Baha'u'llah.

The Bab offered an answer to the Sahih Ahadith and the verses of the Qur'an. Refuting on one hand the absurd Muslim beliefs about the meaning of these Mutashabihaat [allegorical] verses and on the other unsealing their true meanings for the Muslim community as one of the "Rasekhoon fil ilm" [one who is firmly rooted in knowledge]. Yet, these explanations have fallen upon deaf ears. Muslims leaders have chosen to busy themselves with the idols of their own imagination in regards to the meaning of Islam and the Qur'an and continue to spread calumnies about the Bab, Baha'u'llah and Their Claims.
-this article written by Kamran Hakim

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Kamran Hakim is a member of the Baha'i Faith. The opinions expressed in this article constitute his own personal understanding and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Baha'i Faith or its teachings.