Talk:Bahá'í Faith

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Featured article Bahá'í Faith is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
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The statement that "Bahá'u'lláh was exiled for his teachings from Persia to the Ottoman Empire" is patently false[edit]

The statement that "Bahá'u'lláh was exiled for his teachings from Persia to the Ottoman Empire" is patently false. Even the most polemic Bahá'í sources note that he was imprisoned and exiled due to his association with Bábism after the unsuccessful attempt by some Bábis to assassinate the Shah of Iran, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar. Regards, A35821361 (talk) 13:40, 13 December 2016 (UTC)

Precisely - he was exiled as a leading Babi teacher - patently true by your own word. --Soundofmusicals (talk)
Although actually - provided other editors are OK with the latest edit it is probably reasonably fair. Wikipedia has never been a "Baha'i" site - we aim for a fair and balanced treatment of controversial subjects, without ubdue POV either way. -Soundofmusicals (talk) 20:17, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
Final thought - although he was in practice under house arrest in latter period of his "imprisonment" - hence the emphasis on "officially" mention of the Mansion of Bahji in this context gives a pov impression of opulence. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 20:29, 13 December 2016 (UTC)
I'd think about tweaking the language more:

The Bahá'í Faith was founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia. Bahá'u'lláh was a Bábí and there was a fringe element in the Bábí community that sought revenge for the execution of the Báb. The government response to the attempted assassination the Shah of Iran, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, swept up Bábís en mass - some were killed outright and some were imprisoned, like Bahá'u'lláh, and then exiled from Persia to the Ottoman Empire. He was deeply moved while in prison, he later revealed, and set forth on the path of developing the Bahá'í Faith.

I believe this is factual and also structurally sound in that it leads back to the statement of founding the religion which then goes on to speak of Abdu'l-Baha's leaadership etc. Just add the various wikilinks. How's that? Smkolins (talk) 00:12, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

We have to remember that this is meant to be part of the 'lead" section, which is a general summary and is not actually supposed to go into great detail. That of course is the main point - otherwise we'd stick the whole article in one block and not have an "opening summary" section at all. My initial reaction to this topic is that it is plain nonsense. Of course Baha'u'llah WAS exiled for his beliefs - had he repudiated the Bab (as a number of the Bab's disciples did, of course) his troubles, at least in this connection, would have been over and he never would have had to suffer a forced exile. The attempt on the life of the Shah FOLLOWED the execution of the Bab himself, and the murder, judicial and otherwise, of large numbers of his followers. In these circumstances, mentioning one without the other is selective reporting to reinforce a POV (in this case one of opposition, or at least cynicism). The text as it stood before Mr. A35821361's edit was generally a fair summary - the point our friend DOES have was that it was not, of course, the Baha'i teachings as such that caused his exile, but the teachings of the Bab. As I already pointed out, the Bab's teachings were at this stage what Baha'u'llah was teaching himself - so this is nit picking, but if we remove any inaccuracy at all in the original in a neat succinct way, without going into questions that raise more questions that raise more questions... --Soundofmusicals (talk) 07:09, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
I completely agree it is a opening summary section and should not go in the detail that would be below. I believe the above suggestion only adds one line and boils down some 9 tense and dramatic years to one sentence that preserves the focus of Baha'u'llah as a Babi, the execution, the government response, and the core pivotal moment of initiating the path to the new religion which was mentioned two lines before. Smkolins (talk) 12:37, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
How about the current version - just cutting out the bit about the assassination attempt - which preceded the imprisonment and exile but was not necessarily its primary cause? Babism was of course already under heavy persecution (in fact it was this, especially the "judicial murder" of the Bab that precipitated the attempted assassination). The effect of the bit I have cut (whether intentional or not) is plainly to imply that Baha'u'llah was not exiled for religious reasons - which really IS "patently false", not to mention undue POV. The full background, as we all agree, I hope, does need to be part of the article, just not at this stage of the lead. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 23:22, 16 December 2016 (UTC)
Tweaked but ok.Smkolins (talk) 13:10, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

Baha'u'llah was actually released on the grounds that he was found not to have been connected with the assassination attempt - he was exiled quite simply as an apostate and a heretic. Further attempts to tease in a POV mention of the attempt on the Shah's life at this point is unfair - not to mention OR - since no reliable source makes the claim anyway. B. was also generally opposed, from the beginning, to other "rebelious" acts (according to Nabil, who on this point possibly IS biassed) these were acts of heroic self-defence). Anyway - this precise point is not where discussion of this (assuming it would be a good idea) belongs. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 21:12, 9 February 2017 (UTC)

He was released under pressure from the Russian legation and exiled with an escort of Russian horsemen to Baghdad.[1][2] It was external political pressure that led to his deportation in lieu of being executed. There were plenty of Babis who were not arrested, executed or exiled subsequent to the assassination attempt and preceding uprisings. Baha'u'llah happens not to be one of them.
  1. ^ Effendi, Shoghi (1944). God Passes By. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. p. 106. ISBN 0-87743-020-9. 
  2. ^ Goodall, Helen S.; Cooper, Ella Goodall (1979). "Exile of Bahá'u'lláh". Daily Lessons Received at Akka: January 1908. Wilmette, Illinois: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. p. 51. ISBN 978-0877431350. 


This article should never have been promoted FA. This article fails by one major criteria and that is it does not represents a universal view of that Faith in any way but only the point of view of Baha'is themselves. See Jesus article to see what is a good FA article which meets all FA criteria. SSZ (talk) 11:03, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia just relies on reliable sources, and overall of the notability of the subject. It was not only nominated, it was awarded the status. Smkolins (talk) 11:21, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
You still haven't responded to my point (namely this article does NOT convey a UNIVERSAL view of this Faith/cult). Smoklins, please do not take it personal. I have said it at BWC talk page and I repeat it here: You have done a good job overall and you get A+ for your volunteer work (assuming you don't get paid for that), as I would give A+ to ANY volunteer who gives his/her time to Wikipedia for free. There are many resources (I suppose) in *Iran and elsewhere on this topic. WHY are they not mentioned in this article? (*I am not a Muslim, but I know Iran to be the birthplace of this Faith/Cult.)
Actually my point of relying on reliable sources is exactly the requirement of wikipedia. Don't take this personally or along some preconcieved idea of what Baha'is do or don't do. And please don't hint at what might or might not be my reasons for doing things. I've never been paid for this, nothing I've done has ever been screened by Baha'i institutions nor have they asked for or sponsored me to any activity in wikipedia. I'm entirely beholden to the standards of wikipedia as are you. In my view most of the issues with Iran are not the mainstay of this article because, despite it being the homeland of much of the earliest development of the religion, those formative years of certain parts of the history are now, and have been for some time, a minority of the situation of the world wide development of the religion which now has far more members outside Iran, and distinct from Iranian lineage, than of it, and that whatever sources in English are available, vs those in Arabic or Persian or other Middle Eastern languages, which wikipedia needs, are somewhat limited and more properly in their own articles such as BIHE, and such aims and wishes also has to be taken into account with the individuals actually doing the work and what they, we, see fit to work on. I've particularly contributed to making some 100 of the more than 200 countries of the world in which there is some knowledge of Baha'is being present - and that took years of effort which is a good reflection, to me, of the substance of history being statistical quips like "second most widespread religion". Yet I lament that among the piles of work in wikipedia and beyond, the other hundred remain undone. Perhaps I will have that work return to the top of my pile some day.Smkolins (talk) 13:08, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
This article did not receive as much scrutiny as it should have, in 2007, during its nomination. Notably, as the WP encyclopedia matures and more editors get engaged, this tends to become less likely. I could just wait for the improvement requested to come to fruition. Also I was thinking may be it will "self-heal" over time; but going through the talk page archives, I think the problem is much deeper. Even if you had the sources available and assuming you would make the change, it would require a MAJOR revamp from the ground up. (talk) 13:10, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
Your statements undermine the reviews and efforts at the time. Be that as it may the work to make the article better is ever ongoing, especially and particularly as reliable sources continue to appear. Several articles had long languished needing sources and work has proceeded in a high diversity of pages to advance the articles as reliable sources have been identified and people have undertaken the actual work to get things done. Smkolins (talk) 13:08, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Judaism and Christianity alike, among other "mainstream" religions, refute the claim of Baha'u'llah being a Messenger of God. Why is this important fact not mentioned in this article? SSZ (talk)
With all due respect, the place for discussion of Christian and Jewish beliefs/non-beliefs (not to mention those of other religions) is the article/s for the religion/s concerned. Claims made by religious leaders are commonly disputed (or "refuted") by people other than said leaders' own followers. Isn't this on the self-evident side? If not then perhaps it's not just this article that needs rewriting? For the record, this article (whether or not it would be considered an "FA" by today's standards) tries very hard to be scrupulously fair - the claims of Baha'u'llah are (for example) reported as claims, not as fact. Difficult topics and contradictions (real or supposed) are not avoided, and there is even an article (with extensive links to specific topics) listing various objections to the Faith. What exactly is it you would do differently? --Soundofmusicals (talk) 02:05, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
For one, I would mention that Jews and Christians do not recognize this Faith as legitimate (Like most Jews do not recognize Jesus Christ as their Messiah). (talk) 12:07, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Just need reliable sources rather than OR. There are sources discussing Jesus from a Judaic perspective so there is a section and its own article. Smkolins (talk) 12:24, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
I think that falls under the obvious category. By definition, Christians don't accept any claims of Jesus' return, otherwise they wouldn't be Christians. Cuñado ☼ - Talk 18:51, 14 March 2017 (UTC)
I am not editing this article. So the onus is on you to bring it to par with FA. (talk)
Returning to the initial objection to this article by the editor who started the thread - Jesus has had over two thousand years to become a universal figure - He is accepted as a divine person, part of the very Godhead by many Christians, while other Christians (especially those with Unitarian leanings) have subtly or widely differing views of His exact status. And that is without considering the non-Christian religions (including the Bahá'í Faith) that either formally proclaim Him a prophet or messenger sent directly by God himself, or give Him a less formal or explicit recognition as a great spiritual teacher. Even many atheists and agnostics have great respect for Him. Baha'u'llah, on the other hand was born just two hundred years ago. Recognition of His claimed status is effectively limited to the relative handful of his followers. Members of other religions in fact very seldom specifically refute His claims because they have no apparent cause to do so - the whole matter, as one very nice Catholic priest once expressed it to me, is that "this does not impinge on my consciousness". In view of this difference it seem more than a little silly to suggest that this article could possibly be rewritten to mirror the "universal" approach of the article on Jesus. Wouldn't the result strike everyone as pretentious and unnecessary? --Soundofmusicals (talk) 02:34, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
You have a double standard. Baha'is mention their point of view on Jesus Christ in its article and for other religions as well (even though Baha'is are a (tiny) group with only ~6 million followers according to cited sources). The fact it took two centuries or more for Jesus to have his message spread over the world is irrelevant as far as content of WP is concerned (and the same holds true for Baha'ullah or anyone else). Jews, as a community, reject most of the claims of Christianity from the get-go to this day. This is very disingenuous IMO not to mention other religions' point of views of the main tenets of the Baha'i faith while Baha'is' point of view has been pasted all over WP. (talk) 12:07, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
Where there are reliable sources and balance of them the standards are followed and the relevance is established. Smkolins (talk) 12:24, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
LOL (talk) 12:28, 16 January 2017 (UTC)
The attitude of the vast majority of Christians to Baha'u'llah is very (very understandably), the most profound and complete ignorance and apathy. Other individual Christians who have heard of Baha'u'llah have recorded profound respect for Him and His teachings - without for a moment accepting his specific claims or abandoning their own religion. I know of some who have in fact resumed, or even commenced, practice of their own faith as result of contact with Baha'is. Others may well be disturbed or antipathetic - but since when did this kind of thing become something relevant to a general encyclopedia? Further, if and when the "Christian attitude to the status of Baha'u'llah" assumed much greater importance, to the extent of becoming a relevant and notable subject, or even something about which one could, in any context, make a meaningful statement at all - it would very plainly be a Christian Topic rather than a Baha'i one. As it is, For the moment, indeed, this is utterly laughable. But until it is a relevant and notable topic in Christianity - how can it be part of even the most scrupulously fair article about the Baha'i Faith? Talking about LOL and "double standards - I think that is the real point here. The question of the current "FA" status of this article is quite another matter. Personally I think there are so many really good Wikipedia articles that deserve this status and do not even have a "C" or "B" rating. But get back to the topic rather than this kind of POV nonsense. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 09:54, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
And hang on - is it really an approach consistent with the principles under which Wikipedia operates to consider a religion "illegitimate" because one does not agree with its tenets? The assumption that ALL religions not originating from a "legitimate" source and conforming to a "correct theology" should be suitably "refuted" smacks more of the Spanish Inquisition than the ideals of Wikipedia. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 10:05, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
You talk as a Baha'i. This review is not about the Baha'i teachings being right or wrong. Again, it is about having a UNIVERSAL view of the faith/cult. You MUST know (WITHOUT any research in books) that MOST Christians, Muslims or Jews refute the teaching of Baha'u'llah (or they would have CONVERTED already and they might or not convert sometime in the future). Simple as that. Respectfully, (talk) 04:14, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
No I don't- especially not here - I talk as a Wikipedia editor - the vast majority of articles on my watchlist (most of them far "busier" than this one too!) are actually on non-religious topics (aeroplanes and such, as it happens) - just have a look. If I wanted to READ an article on a Baha'i subject (for information, rather than to "see what they say") I would go to a Baha'i website, to be frank. There are also several "anti-Baha'i" sites for that matter, if you're that way inclined. Have a look at one if you like and tell us if you found it "balanced"! But all this is irrelevant. Wikipedia talk pages are not forums (fora?) where getting to know each other is the main point. We are (supposed to be) concerned with nothing but improving Wikipedia articles. Ad hominem remarks are not only offensive, and officially discouraged (you can get kicked off for them) but usually way off target anyway.
The point is that each Wikipedia article we might want to improve (many of them need it, as you've noticed, I'm sure) is on a particular topic. The article on Jesus is about Jesus, not Baha'u'llah, Muhammad, or Moses. Because of the "balance" thing, and because Jesus is important (in different ways) to the various "brands" of Christianity, and also to other religions (and even non-religions) the topic needs to have a very varied, "universal" approach. I have tried to point this out before, but an article that tried to give a this kind of coverage to Baha'ullah would be pretentious and silly, and you would be the first to object to it. I've said all this three of four time now - if it hasb't registered then repeating myself yet again is pretty pointless. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 08:50, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

""Oh, and look up "refute" in a dictionary or something. You can't "refute" something you've never heard of - nor do you need to refute something to not accept it. Most Christians have never heard of Baha'u'llah - and if they have they are mostly simply not interested enough to need to "refute" it. Baha'is are, as you remark, a very very small subset of religious people - Christians who have an opinion about Baha'i one way or the other are an even tinier subset. So how can the "Christian attitude to Baha'u'llah" be a topic, or even a sub-topic - and even if it was - what would it have to do with the Faith itself - surely it would be a Christian topic, if anything. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 09:16, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

I don't see any personal attacks. I see you evading to answer my question, again. Look at the Jesus article. Jews'POV is mentioned right in the lead. Cheers. (talk) 16:34, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Based on the fact there are sections discussing other views of Jesus in that article, and those based on reliable sources, then there would be such a discussion in the article and lead - and a whole separate article. You suggest "There are many resources (I suppose) in *Iran and elsewhere on this topic. WHY are they not mentioned in this article?" and I said "whatever sources in English are available, vs those in Arabic or Persian or other Middle Eastern languages, which wikipedia needs, are somewhat limited and more properly in their own articles such as BIHE". Soundofmusicals pointed out "there is even an article (with extensive links to specific topics) listing various objections to the Faith", which has a direct analog for Christianity but who's content is not directly what you are asking for - coverage of refutations of the Baha'i Faith. You say "For one, I would mention that Jews and Christians do not recognize this Faith as legitimate." Well that would be OR - I've never seen the like. The closest I can come are various comments about how small and obscure the Baha'i population is (somewhat referred to in Growth of religion albeit from the line of thought of the basis of the article.) In fact, contrary to your point, to the extent there is commentary in the wider society of the religion, there is a respect for the religion as legitimate (see Abrahamic religions.) As Soundofmusicals said, "You can't "refute" something you've never heard of". But instead of recognizing these comments discussing the merits of the situation instead you descend to the level of personal attack. Of Soundofmusicals you say "You have a double standard" and "You talk as a Baha'i." Those are personal attacks. Please stop it. Smkolins (talk) 20:29, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
No it is not "personal attack to say people talk as representative of the Baha'i Cult unless you think it is by itself an insult to be part of that Faith/Cult. (talk)
We are all just editors first and foremost. "Talks as a Baha'i" implies bias and the accusation is itself a personal attack in the sense that your tone is endlessly accusatory and conspirationalist.Smkolins (talk) 00:06, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
That's your opinion. "Conspirationalist"? I know you are not the enemy mostly because you don't have (nor anybody else or even most nations) the wherewithal to do what has been done to us, verifiably. (talk) 03:10, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Secondly, You can't dispute facts. People who know this Faith and who control the press, western media and world judiciary have de facto OPPOSED it with ~5 trillion dollars everyday for 5 years almost daily to hinder its propagation and progress, verifiably (statistically/scientifically), indisputably (and not disputed in US court by the FBI itself). (talk)
I can with great emphasis just say "huh"? There's a jewish conspiracy against the religion? Wow. (sputter, sputter, I'm nearly speechless.) Smkolins (talk) 00:06, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Not Jewish conspiracy but CRIMINAL conspiracy! (unless Jews - or whoever else are involved - want to take responsibility as a religion for this PROVEN (in US Federal Court) CRIME - which I doubt they ever will - nor will anyone else as a religion IMO). A CRIME against me, the Baha'is, THE UNITED STATES CITIZENS AT LARGE thru their pension funds valuations. NOT to speak about "OPPORTUNITY COSTS" in terms of HUMAN LIVES lost in FAKE WARS (as explained in detail in PR - documents entitled "FAQ"). (talk) 02:48, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Soundofmusicals has been report to WP admin for his strange behavior and personal attacks towards other editor JesseRafe recently; so you try to reverse as "best defense is to attack"? And please stop your non-sense unverified accusation towards me here or I might have to report you on this page as well, including for your past non-sense talk page discussion with me and other WP editors (see archives for references and verification). (talk) 16:39, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
I hope that the truth wins out. I'd wish that is why you bring this unrelated matter to this page.Smkolins (talk) 00:06, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
No, it just come out because of the flow of our conversation above (Please read again - with time stamps). Thanks for your wishes. You might also want to read this (now you are in the know, as has been the "Universal House of Justice" for 10 years without any action on their behalf but only censorship)... For info, I am a current US pilot among other things and have edited, like you, WP for 10 YEARS already for free without any major glitch. PEACE OUT!. (talk) 02:30, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
And the result for Soundofmusicals? "(Result: no violation)". But instead the angst there and here.Smkolins (talk) 00:19, 26 January 2017 (UTC)
And no (before you ask) I DO NOT WANT TO BECOME THE CHIEF OF the Baha'i cult. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 03:51, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Fortunately there's no chance of that.

Note about "Arabic text" at top of this article[edit]

This reads:

This article contains Arabic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols.

Plainly, this refers to the Arabic alphabet - and the way it shows on your computer screen. Equally plainly, it does NOT refer to nationalism in any respect - nor to a specific language normally written using the Arabic alphabet. It is true that languages using "Arabic" script use marginally different forms of the basic alphabet to represent the different sounds of the languages concerned - as do languages using Latin script. In fact the differences between "Persian" and "Arabic" script are paralleled by those between the "German" and "French" alphabets (different diacritics, and even different letters - like the German "double S" (not on my keyboard). BUT not at all what this note is about. --Soundofmusicals (talk) 10:37, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

And I didn't write that either.Smkolins (talk) 11:18, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
There is Persian written in the article, hence the reason why I initially added the template. I'm not trying to turn this into a nationalism issue, I'm neither Persian or Arab. (Smkolins (talk) 11:16, 7 February 2017 (UTC)) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:37, 6 February 2017 (UTC)
Hey. I didn't write that. Smkolins (talk) 11:17, 7 February 2017 (UTC)
Searchtool-80%.png Response to third opinion request :
The purpose of the message is to let readers know that they may not see some characters. I think the current warning gets the point across. No need to add multiple of them. Gamebuster19901 (TalkContributions) 14:21, 8 February 2017 (UTC) Gamebuster19901 (TalkContributions) 14:25, 8 February 2017 (UTC)

"Womankind" vs "humankind"[edit]

"Mankind" still crops up now and then - mostly from the pens or keyboards of people who firmly exclude one sex from the concept. For the rest of us it has been getting more and more old-fashioned for at least the last forty years. I must admit that "humankind" struck me as a little odd the first time I heard it, but that was long before most Wiki editors were born! It occurs once in this article (in a direct quote). And anyone who can use the term "political correctness" - which once had a fairly neutral meaning but is nowadays firmly associated with a very definite POV - and then claim they are being neutral has obvious real problems with reality. (If that's not becoming a loaded word itself...) --Soundofmusicals (talk) 08:38, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

The current view of someone declining to comment here seems to be that "humankind" is too politically loaded" for wikipedis, and has suggested "humanity". Or do we want something like "the various races, nationalities and other groups of humanity around the Earth". Oh dear... --Soundofmusicals (talk) 03:08, 5 March 2017 (UTC)
I prefer to keep the language mankind though have used humanity. I feel that people who want to advance language usage have an agenda whereas the reality matters more to wikipedia, and, for that matter, Baha'is. See Bahá'í Faith and gender equality. Smkolins (talk) 15:20, 5 March 2017 (UTC)

Bahai population in South Carolina, USA?[edit]

Saw a recent article discussing data from teh Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies which shows that Bahai is the second largest religious tradition in South Carolina (after Christianity). [1]

That seems noteworthy. -- Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:55, 4 March 2017 (UTC)

It's already noted at - Growth_of_religion and curiously was disavowed as significant at [2].Smkolins (talk) 15:18, 5 March 2017 (UTC)