Jesus performed many miracles,—what about Bahá’u’lláh, did He do any miracles?
Updated: Jul 31, 2023
Baha'i Perspective on Miracles
Religious texts and traditions across the globe are brimming with tales of miracles attributed to their Divine Founders and other holy figures. From Krishna and Moses to Zoroaster, Buddha, and Muhammad, their lives are woven with extraordinary miracles. Yet, do these accounts truly convince you of their divine power?
Interestingly, the Bible suggests that miracles can sometimes lead to disbelief rather than faith. It narrates how Pharaoh, when confronted with miracles by Moses and Aaron, ordered his magicians to replicate each one, seemingly to prove he could match God's power. Even when his people could no longer mimic the divine miracles, Pharaoh remained steadfast in his defiance, continuing to resist God's Will. (Exodus 7:10ff)
Despite the Bible recounting miracles performed by sorcerers, magicians, demonic spirits, and false prophets, it's fascinating that Christians still place significant emphasis on these miraculous events.
The history of the Bahá’í Faith is rich with accounts of what might be considered miracles performed by Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb, the Founders of the Faith. However, Bahá’ís, following Bahá’u’lláh’s explicit request, do not emphasize these events or use them to propagate their spiritual Cause.
“We entreat Our loved ones not to besmirch the hem of Our raiment with the dust of falsehood, neither to allow references to what they have regarded as miracles and prodigies to debase Our rank and station, or to mar the purity and sanctity of Our name.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 33)
The reasoning is straightforward: Physical miracles performed by a Divine Teacher hold significance only for those who witness them firsthand. For others, these accounts can be dismissed as mere folklore or clever trickery, akin to the impressive acts performed by skilled illusionists on television and stage shows.
Bahá’u’lláh explains that God's Messengers, having God's knowledge and power, can perform physical miracles if they choose. However, most miracles in scriptures are symbolic, representing spiritual events. Bahá’u’lláh emphasizes that the most remarkable miracle of a Divine Teacher is their ability to transform human hearts - from negative to positive, from hatred to overflowing love, and from focusing on worldly matters to embracing spiritual growth.
Had Jesus only executed physical miracles without imparting His transformative spiritual teachings, one might question whether His arrival would have brought about any enduring, significant transformations in the world. Jesus underscored the importance of His spiritual teachings over physical miracles when He stated:
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63)
During their earthly existence, God's Messengers often appear to have minimal influence on the societies they inhabit. If not martyred, most Prophets conclude their lives in apparent modesty and humility. However, when we retrospectively examine the remarkable art, literature, music, and entire civilizations that have emerged inspired by these eminent Figures and Their Teachings, and consider the millions over centuries who have lived and died in reverence of Their Names, we are truly witnessing miracles!
The only force capable of such profound transformations in minds and hearts is the inherent Power in the Divine Words and Teachings of God's Manifestations. No other force - be it laws, punishment, bribery, or even physical miracles - can effect such extensive and impactful changes in individuals and societies.
‘Abdu’l-Baha speaks about this:
I do not wish to mention the miracles of Bahá’u’lláh, for it may perhaps be said that these are traditions, liable both to truth and to error, like the accounts of the miracles of Christ in the Gospel, which come to us from the apostles, and not from anyone else, and are denied by the Jews. Though if I wish to mention the supernatural acts of Bahá’u’lláh, they are numerous; they are acknowledged in the Orient, and even by some non-Bahá’ís. But these narratives are not decisive proofs and evidences to all; the hearer might perhaps say that this account may not be in accordance with what occurred, for it is known that other sects recount miracles performed by their founders. For instance, the followers of Brahmanism relate miracles. From what evidence may we know that those are false and that these are true? If these are fables, the others also are fables; if these are generally accepted, so also the others are generally accepted. Consequently, these accounts are not satisfactory proofs. Yes, miracles are proofs for the eyewitness only, and even he may regard them not as a miracle but as an enchantment. Extraordinary feats have also been related of some conjurors.
Briefly, my meaning is that many wonderful things were done by Bahá’u’lláh, but we do not recount them, as they do not constitute proofs and evidences for all the peoples of the earth, and they are not decisive proofs even for those who see them: they may think that they are merely enchantments.
Also, most of the miracles of the Prophets which are mentioned have an inner significance. For instance, in the Gospel it is written that at the martyrdom of Christ darkness prevailed, and the earth quaked, and the veil of the Temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the dead came forth from their graves. If these events had happened, they would indeed have been awesome, and would certainly have been recorded in the history of the times. They would have become the cause of much troublings of heart. Either the soldiers would have taken down Christ from the cross, or they would have fled. These events are not related in any history; therefore, it is evident they ought not to be taken literally, but as having an inner significance.
Our purpose is not to deny such miracles; our only meaning is that they do not constitute decisive proofs, and that they have an inner significance.
Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, pp. 37-38
Edited from "Responding" by Dale W Eng