These are the backup files for the RBFF which is otherwise no longer online, retired June 25, 2015.
Perhaps someday it can be reactivated.
Scroll down for the PDF files.
Reform Bahai Faith Forum created for Bahais of all persuasions on August 21, 2011.
"The shining spark of truth cometh forth only after the clash of differing opinions." —Abdul-Baha
"The conscience of man is sacred and to be respected." —Abdul-Baha
Welcome to the Reform Bahai Faith Forum!
« on: August 21, 2011, 06:45:16 PM »
The Reform Bahai Faith affirms the universal spiritual and moral principles taught in all of the great religious traditions. Similar to Mahayana Buddhism and the Buddha's Example of compassion, Reform Bahais believe the Example set by Abdul-Baha during his travels to Europe and the United States in the early 20th century, an Example of universal love and brotherhood, was perhaps his greatest Teaching. As Abdul-Baha often suggested, far from having the exclusive truth and the fanaticism to which that notion has so often led, Reform Bahais look to what is universal in the world's religious experience, and include prayers and meditations from other religions in their private and community worship, listen to and learn from God's other religions.
The Reform Bahai Faith, known during Abdul-Baha's time as the Bahai Movement or Cause, is not an organization, but a way of life.
The Reform Bahai Faith is an independent denomination that reforms Baha'u'llah's Dispensation and offers humanity His Teachings in the universal Interpretation of Abdul-Baha. Reform Bahais follow Abdul-Baha's 1912 Authentic Covenant: https://reformbahai.org/Covenant.html
This Bahai discussion forum is for members of the Reform Bahai Faith and people of *goodwill* interested in exploring Reform Bahai or just curious. The Reform Bahai Faith Forum is closed to members of the Wilmette-Haifan Baha'i Faith. Members of other Baha'i denominations are welcome. Acceptance of this Registration Agreement constitutes that you are not a member of the Baha'i denomination located in Haifa, Israel.
Disrespecting and denouncing other Bahais as "covenant breakers," essentially the Islamic and Shiite practice of "takfir," violates the civil rights of the individual as well as the teachings of Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha. It will not be allowed or tolerated in this Forum.
A new page has been added to the Baha'i Censorship site of quotations from Professor Juan Cole, of the University of Michigan, regarding the Baha'i Haifan use of Shiite Takfir, denouncing and declaring people as infidels, apostates, and non-believers, hiding behind the more innocuous Western term of "shunning." Always good to recall why Baha'u'llah and Abdul-Baha rejected the fanaticism of Shia Islam and set a path toward universality. Here are a few excerpts:
"The present so-called Universal House of Justice, in contrast, declared our Alison "not a Baha'i." They issued a fatwa of takfir against her, declaring her an infidel, i.e., a non-believer. They broke Baha'i law in so doing."
"Hushmand Fatheazam, a UHJ member, told me that in future when Baha'is control the government, they would just jail dissidents."
"Although `Abdul-Baha forbade the practice of takfir or declaring a Baha'i to be not a Baha'i, the UHJ did this to Michael McKenny. They just summarily removed him from the Canadian rolls. Apparently they did not like the things he was saying on email, in particular his argument that women should be able to serve on the House of Justice. They did the same thing, even more arbitrarily, to Alison Marshall in 2000."
"In `Abdul-Baha's Tablet of a Thousand Verses* He explicitly abrogates the custom of takfir. He says it does not exist in the Baha'i faith. Baha'is are not to declare other persons, who claim to be Baha'is, "not Baha'is."
"Here's something I've written on the Tablet, with a provisional translation of the key sentence and the citation to the original text. There is no official translation.
"In the religion of God," `Abdul-Baha asserted, "there is no practice of declaring believers to be morally corrupt (tasfiq) or of declaring them not believers (takfir), nor is debasing or showing contempt for others permitted."* In Islam, the ulama declared suspect Muslims to have departed from the faith for reasons of moral lapses or incorrect doctrine. In medieval legal theory, Muslims found to be actually infidels were open to having their lives and property taken by others without fear of legal reprisal. This practice was distasteful to Baha'is for many reasons. For one, they were often victims of it at the hands of the Muslim clergy. For another, it offended against the ideals of unity, tolerance and freedom of conscience for which many Baha'is felt their religion stood."
*Abdul-Baha, Majmu`ih-'i Makatib, INBA Private Printing Volume 59 (Tehran: National Baha'i Archives, 1978; digitally reprinted, East Lansing, Mi.: H-Bahai, 2000), pp. 340."
Juan Cole on Baha'i Takfir