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The Bahá’í view concerning miracles is that the Manifestations of God derive their power and authority from Almighty God. They are the embodiments of His attributes and the manifestations of His glory in this world. They are therefore able to do what they will, even to change the laws of nature and perform miracles. For it is obvious that God, having established the laws of nature, is Himself able to change them if He so wishes. To entertain doubt that He can do this is tantamount to attributing impotence to Him. The followers of Bahá’u’lláh therefore do not deny the possibility of the performance of miracles by the Prophets and Messengers of God. However, such miracles, even when they have been performed, are valid as proof only for the few who have witnessed them. They cannot be regarded as a conclusive testimony to the authenticity of the message of the Prophet. For no one can prove that a certain miracle attributed to a Prophet has actually been performed. On the other hand, some of the miracles mentioned in the Holy Books such as the raising of the dead, the curing of lepers, or the ascending to heaven have spiritual significance. Bahá’u’lláh has revealed these meanings in many of His Writings and especially in the Kitáb-i-Íqán. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 3, p. 38-39)

The true miracle is not what is outwardly seen, but what is inwardly felt:

In the Gospel of St. John, chapter 6, verse 26, it is written: “Ye seek Me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.” (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 97)

Bahá’ís have witnessed many miracles in the course of the Faith, which might not be seen as miraculous as we normally understand it. The most notable include:

1. Bahá’u’lláh’s appearance as a human being whose every actions were a miracle:

Once a Muslim clergyman from Isfahan requested Haji Mirza Haydar-‘Ali to recount his impressions of Bahá’u’lláh. He did not, he said, wish to enter into discussion concerning proofs of the authenticity of His claims, but rather was interested in hearing about some of the things Haji Mirza Haydar-‘Ali had witnessed with his own eyes. Haji Mirza Haydar-‘Ali writes about his conversation with the clergyman:

“Much as I tried to explain to him [the clergyman] that contrary to all physical phenomena, which are possible of explanation, one cannot describe a spiritual experience, he was not able to understand. So I said, ‘Before attaining His presence, I was hopeful of seeing many miracles — physical, intellectual and spiritual. Also I had stored up several questions in my mind and wished them answered. But when I beheld the light of His beauteous Countenance, I was transported into such a state that all the miracles I had hoped to see and all the physical and spiritual mysteries I had longed to understand, paled into insignificance. They all appeared to me as a mirage to which the thirsty hasten, not the pure water which quenches the thirst and gives life.’ He [the clergyman] asked me, ‘What did you see that enabled you to acquire such a state of mind and heart?’… I said, ‘His blessed person appeared in the form of a human being, but His very movements, His manners, His way of sitting or standing, eating or drinking, even His sleep or wakefulness, were each a miracle to me. Because His perfections, His exalted character, His beauty, His glory, His most excellent titles and most august attributes revealed to me that He was peerless and without parallel. He was matchless with no one to join partners with Him, unique with no peer or equal, the One and Single without a deputy, the Ever-Abiding God, the Incomparable Being. He who “begetteth not, neither is He begotten and there is not anyone like unto Him”‘ (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 194)

2. Bahá’u’lláh’s Unique and Incomparable Reality and the Persuasiveness of His Proofs:

Haji Siyyid Muhammad, the uncle of the Báb … came for a visit to Isfahan and brought with him the Kitáb-i-Íqán, revealed in answer to his own questions. As a result of reading the Kitáb-i-Íqán, I became a thousand times more enchanted with the blessed utterances of the Ancient Beauty. I used to mention quite openly that I regarded Bahá’u’lláh’s magnanimity, His unique and incomparable reality, the power of His utterance, the sway of His pen and the persuasiveness of His proofs to be supernatural and the greatest and foremost miracle of all. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Covenant of Baha’u’llah, p. 75)

3. Nothing Is Impossible To Achieve If The Will Of God Is The Motivating Influence

This is not surprising to the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, for they believe that every major development that takes place in this Dispensation is guided by His Will. Nothing is impossible of achievement if the Will of God becomes the motivating influence. It is the Will of God which enables nature to create life and to bring about an abundance of miracles — the miracle of a tiny seed turning into a mighty tree, producing branches, leaves, blossoms and fruits; the miracle of a single cell in the womb of a mother, multiplying in an orderly fashion, becoming at the end a perfect human being; the miracles of the atom, of the universe and of every other created thing. All these happen through the Will of God. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 4, p. 324)

4. The Power in the Creative Word of God:

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. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 1, p. 106-107)

5. The Influence of the Words of the Manifestations:

The greatest miracle of the Manifestation of God is that He changes the hearts of people and creates a new civilization merely through the influence of His word. Every word that He utters is creative and endowed with such potency that all the powers of the world will not be able to resist the world-vivifying forces that are released through it. Like the animating energies of the spring season which are let loose in abundance and penetrate to the core of all living things, the creative Word of the Manifestation of God revolutionizes human society and by its resistless force breaks down man-made barriers of opposition, creating a new race of men and a new civilization. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 3, p. 44)

6. Material Progress And Spiritual Discoveries:

This century is, verily, the spring season. The world of mind and kingdom of soul have become fresh and verdant by its bestowals. It has resuscitated the whole realm of existence. On one hand, the lights of reality are shining; on the other, the clouds of divine mercy are pouring down the fullness of heavenly bounty. Wonderful material progress is evident, and great spiritual discoveries are being made. Truly, this can be called the miracle of centuries, for it is replete with manifestations of the miraculous. (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 153)

7. The Changes In Civilization:

Reflect upon the miracles of accomplishment which have already characterized it, the discoveries in every realm of human research, inventions, scientific knowledge, ethical reforms and regulations established for the welfare of humanity, mysteries of nature explored, invisible forces brought into visibility and subjection, a veritable wonder-world of new phenomena and conditions heretofore unknown to man now open to his uses and further investigation. The east and west can communicate instantly. A human being can soar in the skies or speed in submarine depths. The power of steam has linked the continents. Trains cross the deserts and pierce the barriers of mountains; ships find unerring pathways upon the trackless oceans. Day by day discoveries are increasing. What a wonderful century this is! (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith, p. 228)

8. Inventions (electricity, the internet, MP3’s):

For example, electricity was once a hidden, or latent, natural force. It would have remained hidden if the human intellect had not discovered it. Man has broken the law of its concealment, taken this energy out of the invisible treasury of the universe and brought it into visibility. Is it not an extraordinary accomplishment that this little creature, man, has imprisoned an irresistible cosmic force in an incandescent lamp? It is beyond the vision and power of nature itself to do this. The East can communicate with the West in a few minutes. This is a miracle transcending nature’s control. Man takes the human voice and stores it in a phonograph. The voice naturally should be free and transient according to the law and phenomenon of sound, but man arrests its vibrations and puts it in a box in defiance of nature’s laws. All human discoveries were once secrets and mysteries sealed and stored up in the bosom of the material universe until the mind of man, which is the greatest of divine effulgences, penetrated them and made them subservient to his will and purpose. In this sense man has broken the laws of nature and is constantly taking out of nature’s laboratory new and wonderful things. (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 351-352)

9. Enemies of the Faith were laid low; their lives snuffed out at the very instant they had anticipated victory:

We Bahá’ís have witnessed many miracles in the course of the one hundred and fifteen years which have elapsed since the inception of this supreme Dispensation. As the spread of the Cause of God gathered momentum the ever-increasing protection vouchsafed it from on High has been unfailing; over and over again its enemies have been laid low, their plans completely frustrated, their lives and their hopes snuffed out at the very instant when they had anticipated victory — the latest demonstration of this invariable spiritual law being the death a few days ago of Ahmad Sohrab at a moment when he must have felt his machinations held some promise of fruition. (Ministry of the Custodians, p. 96)

10. Many Bahá’ís Are Saved Amidst The Fire Of Oppression And Tyranny:

Throughout these years of disturbance and commotion when the world of humanity was physically and spiritually afflicted, the friends of God passed the day in rest, ease and comfort. In the western countries only a few shared in the hardship and affliction of other souls while the mass of the friends and the maid-servants of the Merciful … have been living quietly and peacefully. In the Orient every nation became distracted and every gathering dispersed save the friends of God who remained all protected and sheltered from every trouble and calamity in the Fort of Bahá’u’lláh’s protection. Verily this is a divine miracle — that we helpless, friendless, unprotected, unsupported wanderers in these regions should be saved amidst the fire of oppression and tyranny. This is God’s miracle. (Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith, p. 386-387)

11. People With Only A Little Faith Have Moved Mountains:

Stories of the heroism demonstrated by Bahá’u’lláh’s disciples and companions fill the pages of the Faith’s history. Though outwardly weak and helpless, they received such power from on high that their extraordinary courage and spirit made them appear as giants and they were enabled to overcome insurmountable obstacles. Indeed, they performed the miracles of which Christ speaks: ‘…If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.’ (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 1, p. 119-120)

12. Victories Are Won By Dedicated Souls Who Are Neither Rich, Famous Or Well Educated:

They must remember the glorious history of the Cause, which . . . was established by dedicated souls who, for the most part, were neither rich, famous, nor well educated, but whose devotion, zeal, and self-sacrifice overcame every obstacle and won miraculous victories for the Faith of God. (Shoghi Effendi, Victory Promises, p. 32)

13. The appearance of such a woman as Tahireh:

The appearance of such a woman as Qurratu’l-‘Ayn is in any country and any age a rare phenomenon, but in such a country as Persia it is a prodigy — nay, almost a miracle. Alike in virtue of her marvelous beauty, her rare intellectual gifts, her fervid eloquence, her fearless devotion and her glorious martyrdom, she stands forth incomparable and immortal amidst her country-women. Had the Bábí religion no other claim to greatness, this were sufficient — that it produced a heroine like Qurratu’l-‘Ayn. (Misc Baha’i, Appreciations of the Baha’i Faith, p. 16)

14. Woman’s Boldness When Enlisted in the Faith:

Abdu’l-Bahá has pointed out that ‘Among the miracles which distinguish this sacred Dispensation is this, that women have evinced a greater boldness than men when enlisted in the ranks of the Faith. (Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 617)

15. Unity Between East And West:

This is a very joyous evening, an evidence in itself of the possibility of uniting the East and the West — an eastern man appearing before an assemblage of reverent western people. The East and West, the Orient and Occident, shall be united. If we search history, we shall not find the record of such an occasion where one has traveled from the far East to the far West to address a meeting of this universal character. This is a miracle of the twentieth century which proves that the seemingly impossible may become real and possible in the kingdom of man. (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 101)

16. The Unity of Mankind:

Truly, this can be called the miracle of centuries, for it is replete with manifestations of the miraculous. The time has come when all mankind shall be united, when all races shall be loyal to one fatherland, all religions become one religion, and racial and religious bias pass away. It is a day in which the oneness of humankind shall uplift its standard and international peace, like the true morning, flood the world with its light. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 168)

17. The Birth of Jesus Christ:

First regarding the birth of Jesus Christ. In the light of what Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá have stated concerning this subject it is evident that Jesus came into this world through the direct intervention of the Holy Spirit, and that consequently His birth was quite miraculous. This is an established fact. (Shoghi Effendi, Lights of Guidance, p. 489)

18. The Manifestations Of God Are All Superior To Others:

But in the day of the Manifestation the people with insight see that all the conditions of the Manifestation are miracles, for They are superior to all others, and this alone is an absolute miracle. Recollect that Christ, solitary and alone, without a helper or protector, without armies and legions, and under the greatest oppression, uplifted the standard of God before all the people of the world, and withstood them, and finally conquered all, although outwardly He was crucified. Now this is a veritable miracle which can never be denied. There is no need of any other proof of the truth of Christ. (Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 100)

19. Bahá’u’lláh’s Tablets to the Kings and Rulers:

Referring to these Tablets addressed to the sovereigns of the earth, and which ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has acclaimed as a “miracle . . . (Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 46)

20. The Growth in the Number of Spiritual Assemblies:

Though the members of this community are still restricted in number, though its resources are as yet meagre, though its recent victories are as yet unconsolidated, though it has hardly recuperated from its recent labours, undertaken during a period of great national exhaustion and severe austerity, the mere act of launching upon so glorious, so fateful an enterprise, will, of necessity, create at this propitious hour the receptivity which will enable a swiftly marching, stout-hearted, virile community, now standing on the threshold of its mission beyond the seas, to attract a fresh measure of celestial potency adequate to its growing needs and its ever expanding responsibilities. The miracle its members have performed over so vast a territory, in so short a time, and under such adverse circumstances, cannot but augur well for the initial success of an enterprise infinitely more meritorious, of far greater promise, and endowed with vastly superior spiritual potentialities. (Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha’i Community, p. 251)

Undoubtedly the most important task facing the British community at the present time, is to increase its membership. It has performed miracles during the past ten years, through shifting around devoted volunteers from one centre to another, in order to maintain or to create Spiritual Assemblies. (Shoghi Effendi, The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha’i Community, p. 351)

21. The Flourishing of Religion:

The miracle of religions is no less remarkable. A religion comes into being as a seemingly insignificant movement at first, but through the power of God and His Will it flourishes and creates a civilization of its own. It is the miracle of the ascendancy of the Will of God which enables the Founders of all religions to triumph over their adversaries, and causes Their word to become creative. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 4, p. 324)

22. Earth-Blinded Eyes Open To The World Of Reality

Truly a miracle of miracles it is that earth-blinded eyes ever open to the World of Reality. (Howard Colby Ives, Portals to Freedom, p. 118)

23. The Conversion Of Jews And Zoroastrians To The Faith:

It will be readily seen that the conversion of Jews and Zoroastrians to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh which to all outward appearances was the extension of Islam, whose literature was in the Arabic language and whose followers were exclusively from Muslim background, was one of the miracles of the time. It also demonstrates the creative power of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh which, in spite of so many barriers, exerted a tremendous influence upon these people, vivified their souls, granted them a new vision, enrolled them under the banner of His Cause and enabled them to render meritorious services in spreading His message, first among their own communities and later the whole nation. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 3, p. 262-263)

24. All of Creation:

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. (Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 1, p. 106)

Even Bahá’u’lláh’s enemies recognized His greatness, calling Him the miracle of humanity, even though they didn’t believe in Him:

Even His enemies acknowledge the greatness of Bahá’u’lláh, saying He was the miracle of humanity. This was their confession although they did not believe in Him. (Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 155)

How does this change the way you view miracles?  Post your comments below!