Do Baha'is Believe Miracles are real?
What does Baha'u'llah say about Miracles?
Among the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh revealed in Baghdád is the Sahífiy-i-Shattíyyih (Book of the River). This Tablet is mainly in Persian. In it Bahá'u'lláh speaks about the irresistible power of the Cause of God and its sovereignty. Alluding to the Tigris which runs through Baghdád, He likens the onward march of the Faith to the flow of that river. Just as no obstacle, whether a fortified building or a mighty wall, can withstand the onrushing force of the water, or hold back its progress, so none of the enemies of the Cause, however fierce their onslaught or determined their opposition, can halt the advance of this resistless Faith of God. It will, in spite of all opposition, press onward, tear down every obstacle and ultimately establish its ascendancy over its adversaries. Similarly, the Cause of God will break up old and time-honoured institutions and will not allow any man, regardless of his rank or position, to stand in its way.
A cursory review of the history of the Faith will demonstrate the irresistible power of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. From the time of its inception this Faith had been oppressed by the civil and ecclesiastical authorities in the land of its birth. Its youthful Herald, the Báb, Who ushered in the dawn of a New Day and gave the glad-tidings of the coming of 'Him Whom God shall make manifest' (Bahá'u'lláh), was publicly martyred. Its Founder, Bahá'u'lláh, was imprisoned and exiled to far-off lands. For almost half a century He and His family were subjected to inhuman cruelties and hardships. No less than twenty thousand of its heroes were put to death in tragic circumstances and the remainder of its followers were persecuted all their lives.
Yet, the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh, supported by the unseen hosts of the Kingdom, triumphed over its adversaries and penetrated into every part of the world. Today its light has been diffused to every corner of the earth, its healing Message has reached almost every stratum of human society and people are responding to it in ever increasing numbers. Its adherents, enrolled from all the nations of the world, representing every race, colour and class, are actively engaged in the erection of the framework of Bahá'u'lláh's New World Order for mankind. Such achievements bear ample testimony to the fulfilment of the words of Bahá'u'lláh revealed in this Tablet over a century ago.
Bahá'u'lláh has also used the analogy of the river to demonstrate another point. He mentions that the outpourings of God's bounty are vouchsafed to all creation equally, but that every created thing receives them in accordance with its capacity.
Bahá'u'lláh also speaks in this Tablet about miracles which are attributed to the Prophets. He states that one should not deny the performance of miracles by these Holy Souls, but emphasizes that miracles are not a conclusive proof of the authenticity of Their Messages. The greatest and the most evident sign of Prophethood has always been the Revelation of the Word of God. Everything created in this world is a miracle in itself if we look at it with the eye of discernment. For example, the outpouring of energy from the sun is a miracle indeed, for the mind of man could never have believed in such a phenomenon if he had not actually seen the radiance of the sun with his own eyes.
In the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh there are many references to miracles. In all of these the Word revealed by the Prophet is regarded as the most potent force in the world. The creativeness of the Word is a miracle which is everlasting and cannot be obliterated by the passage of time. Other miracles, if performed, convince only those who witness them and are not accepted as conclusive proof by those who have not.
The followers of all religions have attributed many miracles to their Prophets, miracles which traditionally are passed on from generation to generation although their inner significances have not been fully understood. Upon these miracles have been built, over the centuries, many doctrines and dogmas which have become mighty barriers between God and man.
In the East, at the time of Bahá'u'lláh, when the light of religion was still burning brightly within the hearts of men, the followers of these religions adhered strictly, indeed often fanatically, to their beliefs. Bahá'í teachers had to lead them from blind belief in miracles to a rational recognition of the divine qualities and spiritual powers possessed by the Manifestations of God. Their principal task was to demonstrate to the followers of each religion the reality and truth of their own Prophet before explaining to them the station of Bahá'u'lláh and the validity of His claim. Once the seeker could understand the spiritual attributes of his own Prophet, he had no difficulty in recognizing Bahá'u'lláh. Christ confirmed this when He said to the Jews, 'For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me...' (John v. 46).
To the recipient of this Tablet Bahá'u'lláh offers one counsel, namely to 'possess a pure, kindly and radiant heart, that thine may be a sovereignty ancient, imperishable and everlasting'.* He affirms that He could find no better counsel than this for his spiritual growth and the attainment of eternal life.
Excerpt from The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, by Adib Taherzadeh