Respect Scriptures by Publishing Fewer of Them

Briefly, the greatest matter today is teaching the Cause of God and diffusing the divine fragrances. This is accomplished by elucidation and sparkling exposition, not by the publication of books and the dissemination of tablets; nay rather, publishing and making more tablets available dishonor God’s scriptures. Observe that once the Qur’an was printed, it was used to wrap medicine in perfume stores. Likewise, notice to what extent it hath been published and disseminated, becoming available to other religious communities and recited by them. Thou hast heard of no one who hath become a believer in His Holiness the Messenger (may my life be his sacrifice) by reciting the Qur’an, whether he be a Christian, a Jew, or from some other sect. People are guided by elucidation and exposition, not by the promulgation of a book, the dissemination of tablets, and the publication of scriptures. The divine scriptures should be respected and honored accordingly.

`Abdu’l-Baha, Muntakhabati 6:1.

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3 Responses to Respect Scriptures by Publishing Fewer of Them

  1. Steven says:

    or objectionable pictures of the Manifestation that get circulated for any purpose under the sun… (sigh)

  2. Peter Terry says:

    This is a very peculiar argument, which directly contradicts what ‘Abdu’l-Baha is known to have said in other contexts, as well as the standard position taken by the Bab and Baha’u’llah, in which they were reiterating the argument in Qur’an…the Book is the source and reading the Book is indispensable. It may well be that ‘Abdu’l-Baha makes this statement in response to a specific counter-argument, such as a Baha’i who blames the lack of new believers on inadequate dissemination of Baha’i literature. Is it possible to provide this specific context?

  3. Hasan says:

    I think the Master is saying that believers should not give Bahá’u’lláh’s books to non-believers when there is no interest in reading them. Also, believers should not buy these books indiscriminately if there is no interest in reading them. This generates an excess of printed books that, in the end, they serve to wrap bazar’s products.

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