Why Bahaullah had three wives ??? ( An open Question to all Baha’is )Posted: July 14, 2014
To justify why Bahā’u’llāh had three wives, Baha’is usually put forth the argument that since Bahā’u’llāh was practicing Islam before he became a Baha’i, he was legally allowed to have three wives. In a letter from the Universal House of Justice dated 23/10/1995 to an individual believer it has been mentioned:
“Regarding the wives of Bahā’u’llāh, extracts from letters written on behalf of the beloved Guardian set this subject in context. They indicate that Bahā’u’llāh was “acting according to the laws of Islām, which had not yet been superseded”, and that He was following “the customs of the people of His own land”:
“. . . as regards Bahā’u’llāh’s marriage it should be noted that His three marriages were all contracted before He revealed His Book of Laws, and even before His declaration in Baghdād, at a time when Bahā’ī marriage laws had not yet been known, and the Revelation not yet disclosed (25 May 1938 to a National Spiritual Assembly).”
“Bahā’u’llāh had no concubine, He had three legal wives. As He married them before the “Aqdas” (His book of laws) was revealed, He was only acting according to the laws of Islām, which had not yet been superseded. He made plurality of wives conditional upon justice; ‘Abdu’l-Bahā interpreted this to mean that a man may not have more than one wife at a time, as it is impossible to be just to two or more women in marriage (11 February 1944 to an individual believer).”
. . . Bahā’u’llāh married the first and second wives while He was still in Tihrān [sic], and the third wife while He was in baghdād. At that time, the Laws of the “Aqdas” had not been revealed, and secondly, He was following the Laws of the previous Dispensation and the customs of the people of His own land (14 January 1953 to an individual believer).” Source: Wives of Baha’u’llah
All the above justifications are fundamentally flawed. We already showed the fallacy in `Abdu’l-Bahā’s justification. The second justification presented here simply states that since Bahā’u’llāh had married his three wives when he was still a Muslim it was perfectly legal for him to do so. This is a blatant lie:
The Bāb announced his new religion in 1844. The exact date that Bahā’u’llāh became a Bābī is unknown but it is definite that it occurred before 1848 when he attended the conference of Badasht—in which Islamic law was officially abrogated and superseded—and he took on the name Bahā. So by 1848 he was definitely a Bābī. Now let us review the years when Bahā’u’llāh married his wives: Bahā’u’llāh married his first wife Āsīyih in 1835 while he was still a Muslim. He married his second wife Fatimih in 1849 when he was no longer a Muslim but a Bābī! What was Shoghi thinking when he had uttered: “He was only acting according to the laws of Islām, which had not yet been superseded.”?
In Shoghi’s translation of Dawn Breakers it has been mentioned that Ṭāhirih, a great advocate of the Bāb had openly preached the Bāb’s ideas, one of which was monogamy:
“She began to correspond with the Bāb and soon espoused all his ideas. She did not content herself with a passive sympathy but confessed openly the faith of her Master. She denounced not only polygamy but the use of the veil and showed her face uncovered in public to the great amazement and scandal of her family and of all the sincere Mussulmans but to the applause of many other fellow citizens who shared her enthusiasm and whose numbers grew as a result of her preaching.”
Nabīl Zarandī, The Dawn-Breakers: Nabīl’s Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahā’ī Revelation, p. 270 (footnote).
Other Baha’i authors have also echoed this belief in their writings:
“The Bāb’s laws abolished polygamy except in the case of infertility.”
Robert H. Stockman, The Baha’i Faith: A Guide For the Perplexed (Bloomsbury Academic, 2012), chap. 6, section on the fortress of Maku.
Bahā’u’llāh was openly practicing bigamy while according to Shoghi it was not legal and Ṭāhirih was actively denouncing it in accordance with the Bab’s beliefs.
From this point onwards, matters become even more interesting. Bahā’u’llāh married his third wife Gawhar in 1862 when he was still a Bābī and this third marriage too was completely illegal according to what Shoghi claims are Bābī laws.
Source: Twelve Principles: A Comprehensive Investigation on the Baha’i Teachings, pp. 488-489
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