In a Blue Haze: Smoking and Bahá’í Ethics

Udo Schaefer


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  1. Verband der Cigarettenindustrie
  2. quoted from Konträr. Das Meinungsmagazin, September 1988.
  3. "L'usage du tabac était avant tout d'ordre religieux. Les shamans s'en servaient pour établir des rapports avec leurs Esprits tutélaires pour 'écarter la maladie' d'un patient... Le tabac jouait un rôle important dans presque toutes les cérémonies, que ce soit un rite de puberté, des funérailles, des préparatifs pour une expédition guerrière, ou une fête célébrant la nouvelle année... Sur les Plaines et dans l'Est, le tabac était un élément culturel essentiel. Les 'ballots sacrés' contenaient presque toujours une pipe et du tabac. Chaque fois que le ballot était ouvert, la pipe était fumée" (Serge Bramly, Terre Wakan, p. 85).
  4. In Arabic the word shariba is used for drinking as well as for smoking.
  5. A cultural history of smoking is offered by Egon C. Corti, Geschichte des Rauchens. Die trockene Trunkenheit [A History of Smoking, the Dry Intoxicant], Frankfurt 1986 (Insel-Taschenbuch Nr. 904).
  6. Misocapnus sive de abusu Tobacci lusus regius, Londini 1603 [The Smoking Opponent or A Royal Treasure Piece on the Misuse of Tobacco].
  7. quoted from Corti, op. cit., p. 139.
  8. Johann Wolfgang v. Goethe, Briefe und Gespräche, Vol. 22 (Gespräche), p. 518-519.
  9. Institut für Präventive Pneumologie.
  10. Süddeutsche Zeitung, 3 March 1992.
  11. Prof. Dr. Ferdinand Schmidt, Weltgesundheitsbroschüre [World Health Brochure], 1988.
  12. The medical aspects of smoking are not presented here as the health hazards of smoking may be assumed to be common knowledge today. The relevant literature is vast and can only be briefly referred to here. Some sources for further information include: Preston, Samuel H., Older Male Mortality and Cigarette Smoking, Westport, Connecticut, Greenwood Publication Group Inc., 1976 (Repr. of 1970 ed.); Ward, Brian, Smoking and Health, Chicago: Watts, Franklin, Inc., 1986; World Health Organisation Staff (ed.), Legislative Responses to Tobacco Use, Hingham, Massachusetts: Kluwer Academic Books, 1991.
  13. On the resulting costs see Ferdinand Schmidt, "Folgekosten des Rauchens" [The Costs Resulting from Smoking], in: Deutsche Hauptstelle gegen Suchtgefahren (ed.), Jahrbuch zur Frage der Suchtgefahren 1983, Hamburg 1983.
  14. "Die Nichtraucher machen mobil" [The Non-smokers are Mobilising], "Den Rauchern bläst der Rauch ins Gesicht" [Smoke is Blowing in the Smokers' Face] were the titles of two German television programmes documenting the situation "on the smoking front".
  15. Press release of the German Federal Ministry for Youth, Family, Women, and Health of November 6, 1988.
  16. Medical Tribune, 25 September 1987.
  17. according to Süddeutsche Zeitung, 11 November 1994.
  18. Die Zeit, 19 September 1986.
  19. Konträr. Das Meinungsmagazin, September 1988.
  20. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings or 'Abdu'l-Bahá 129:9.
  21. The medical and ethical aspects of smoking were the topic of a German Bahá'í Summer School in 1989. The present manuscript was the author's lecture.
  22. cf. U. Schaefer, The Imperishable Dominion, pp. 1-24; 222-224; U. Schaefer, Beyond the Clash of Religions, pp. 27ff.
  23. The Will to Power, No. 320.
  24. cf. The Imperishable Dominion, pp. 37-42; 47-49.
  25. Josef Pieper, Das Viergespann, p. 11.
  26. The Analects XVII, 13.
  27. "Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be" (The Hidden Words, Arabic 27). "How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me" (The Hidden Words, Arabic 26). "The tongue I have designed for the mention of Me, defile it not with detraction. If the fire of self overcome you, remember your own faults and not the faults of My creatures, inasmuch as every one of you knoweth his own self better than he knoweth others" (The Hidden Words, Persian 66).
  28. Gleanings 145.
  29. Kitáb-i-Aqdas, 99, 148, 183.
  30. Lawh-i-Ahmad, Bahá'í Prayers, p. 210.
  31. Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets 9:3.
  32. Bahá'í Prayers, p. 174.
  33. "sine ira et studio", Tacitus, Annals I, 1.
  34. "He calls it reason, but he suits it to his ways, more brutish than the brutes" (Goethe, Faust I, Prologue in Heaven, Mephistopheles).
  35. Bundesministerium für Jugend, Familie und Gesundheit.
  36. Hauptstelle gegen Suchtgefahren.
  37. Evangelische Zentralstelle für Weltanschauungsfragen.
  38. Katholische Akademie in Bayern.
  39. Evangelische Akademie Baden.
  40. This reminds one of Deng Xiaoping's pragmatic motto: "Look for truth in the facts!"
  41. cf. Alfons Auer, Autonome Moral und christlicher Glaube [Autonomous Morals and Christian Faith], Tübingen 1977, pp. 12, 21, 28-30, 46-47; also Franz Böckle, Fundamentalmoral [Fundamental Morals], München 1977; idem, "Werte und Normbegründung" [Values and the Foundation of Norms], in: Franz Böckle (ed.), Christlicher Glaube in moderner Gesellschaft [Christian Faith in Modern Society], Vol. 12, Freiburg 1981, p. 37. According to Josef Pieper, systematic moral theology today largely corresponds to the "general moral conscience"; in both he sees expression of "a deeply rooted spiritual transition process" (Das Viergespann, p. 18). Cf. also: Udo Schaefer, The Imperishable Dominion, pp. 222-224; idem, Die Freiheit und ihre Schranken, p. 48. U. Schaefer/N. Towfigh/U. Gollmer, Desinformation als Methode, p. 311. This process has been the subject of harsh criticism by Pope John Paul II in his encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" in 1993 (cf. No. 13, 15, 84ff., 102 ff, 114ff.).
  42. "The episode of Sinai has been re-enacted in this Revelation... He hath admonished all men to observe that which is conducive to the exaltation of the Cause of God and will guide mankind unto His straight Path" (Tablets 17:60 [p. 248]).
  43. "When it is uncertain whether a thing should be declared as forbidden or as permitted, permission prevails for it is the root" (I. Goldziher, Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law, p. 56); cf. also Kemal Faruki, "Legal Implications for Today of al-Akhám al-Khamsa", in: Hovannisian, Ethics in Islam, p. 66.
  44. Persian Bayán IX, 7; Khasá'il-i-Sa'bih (cf. The Dawnbreakers, pp. 143-144).
  45. Namely until the coming of "Him whom God shall make manifest" which is Bahá'u'lláh and His Revelation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
  46. The logical legal principle lex posterior derogat legi priori (Dig. 1,4,4 Modestin [the latter law abrogates the former]) is also reflected in divine Law: the prophet Muhammad abrogated the law of the Torah with the Qur'ánic law, the Báb the sharí'a with the Bayán. However, the relationship between the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh to that of the Báb was a special one. The shortness of the mission of the Báb is one of the mysteries of the Bahá'í Faith: "That so brief a span should have separated this most mighty and wondrous Revelation from Mine own previous Manifestation, is a secret that no man can unravel and a mystery such as no mind can fathom." (Bahá'u'lláh, quoted in The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh, p.124).
  47. In the Tablet Ishráqát we read: "Our exalted Herald ... hath revealed certain laws. However, in the realm of His revelation these laws were made subject to Our sanction, hence this Wronged One hath put some of them into effect by embodying them in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas in different words. Others We set aside. He holdeth in His hand the authority. He doeth what He willeth and He ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth. He is the Almighty, the All-Praised. There are also ordinances newly revealed" (Tablets (8:71 [= p. 132]).
  48. cf. Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Vol. 3, p. 231 with reference to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, quoted by Fádl-i-Mázinderání (Amr va Khalq, Vol. I, 8).
  49. Haifa, Bahá'í World Centre 1978.
  50. see the note on p. 159 of Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh.
  51. from Arabic huqqa, an oriental pipe for smoking, here a metaphor for smoking.
  52. This is a reference to the injunction of the Báb prohibiting smoking (see footnote 44). As the early Bábs refused to smoke, they were readily recognised and persecuted.
  53. translated from the Persian, quoted from an unpublished compilation on smoking prepared by the Research Department of the Bahá'í World Centre.
  54. Taqíya: the disavowal of one's faith in case of danger (Qur'án 16:106) became of particular significance among the Sh'í'a (cf. Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, headword "Taqíya"). While the taqíya was permitted in the Báb Religion, and also during the ministry of Bahá'u'lláh, it is not a recognised principle in the Bahá'í Faith. For more details see U. Schaefer/ N. Towfigh/ U. Gollmer, Desinformation als Methode, pp. 265-273.
  55. Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Bahá 129:8.
  56. 'Abdu'l-Bahá has explained that smoking is a form of drinking (in Arabic, the verb shariba is used for "drinking" as well as for "smoking" [cf. Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Synopsis, p. 59, No. 16]).
  57. Ex. 20:13-16; Deut. 5:17-20.
  58. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 129:5-6.
  59. p. 47.
  60. Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Note 130.
  61. verse 121.
  62. cf. Tablets 15.
  63. cf. A. Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Vol. 4, p. 191ff.
  64. verses 37, 105.
  65. cf. Karl Engisch, Einführung in das juristische Denken, pp. 85ff.
  66. cf. "Exegese", Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, Vol. 3, pp. 1273.
  67. Shoghi Effendi explains that "at the very root of the Cause lies the principle of the undoubted right of the individual to self-expression", his freedom "to declare his conscience and set forth his views" (Bahá'í Administration, p. 63): "God has given man a rational power to be used and not killed" (Principles of Bahá'í Administration, p. 25). On the interpretation principles in Scripture cf. Seena Fazel and Khazeh Fananapazir, "Some Interpretative Principles in the Bahá'í Writings", in: The Bahá'í Studies Review. A Publication of the Association for Bahá'í Studies, English Speaking Europe, Vol. 2 No. 1, further Michael W. Sours, "Seeing with the Eye of God: Relationships between Theology and Interpretation". in: The Bahá'í Studies Review, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 31; Moojan Momen, "Relativism: A Basis for Bahá'í Metaphysics", in: Studies in Báb and Bahá'í Religions, Vol. 5, ed. Momen, Los Angeles: Kalimat Press 1988. On the whole subject see also U. Schaefer/ N. Towfigh/ U. Gollmer, Desinformation als Methode, pp. 144-154.
  68. For further elucidation I refer to my article "The New Morality: an outline", in: The Bahá'í Studies Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1995.
  69. for example, the twin duties of the Covenant. Cf. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 1.
  70. This classification of duties into those towards God, towards humanity, and towards ourselves corresponds to the systematics of duties in Jewish law (cf. M. Friedländer, The Jewish Religion, pp. 273, 292, 319) and in the Islamic sharí'a (cf. A. Mawdudi, Towards Understanding Islam, ch. VII, 1, The Rights to God), although there are noticeable differences in the respective contents.
  71. Tablets 7:15; cf. also Gleanings 139:8; Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, paragraph 50.
  72. insáf; cf. The Hidden Words, Arabic 2; Tablets 10:3; Gleanings 100:6.
  73. Tablets 6:20; 7:36; 10:12; Gleanings 146.
  74. Tablets 6:20; 6:38; 8:55; Gleanings 14:15.
  75. Tablets 6:20.
  76. According to a report in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (11 November 1994), half of all young children in Germany are exposed to tobacco smoke when at home with their parents.
  77. Medical Tribune No. 40, October 2, 1987.
  78. Bundesgesundheitsblatt [Federal Health Paper] 30 (1987) Nr. 9, pp. 307-318.
  79. According to a report by Prof. Dr. Schmidt of Mannheim, Germany, a member of the expert commission "Smoking and Health" at the WHO, in: Zentralmarkt [Central Market], Würzburg, No. 39, September 25, 1986. On the latest research findings on passive smoking see reports in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 8 January 1992 and 22 January 1993 as well as the periodical Cancer Epidemiology, Biomakers and Prevention, Vol. 1, pp. 35.
  80. Medical Tribune, 42/78, 1988.
  81. Deutsches Ärzteblatt of 25 October 1988.
  82. Süddeutsche Zeitung, 21 February 1994.
  83. "Der brave Mann denkt an sich selbst [bis] zuletzt" (William Tell I,1).
  84. cf. Tablets 4:3,34; The Hidden Words, Arabic 8, Persian 43, 69.
  85. The Hidden Words, Persian 38.
  86. Gleanings, 5:6.
  87. Gleanings 147:1; cf. also Gleanings 35:5; 82:1; 136:1; 43:3; The Hidden Words, Persian 32.
  88. Gleanings 43:3; cf. also 35:5; 82:1; 136:1; The Hidden Words, Persian 32.
  89. The main illnesses for habitual smokers are smoker's leg, cerebral apoplexy, heart attack, and most of all, numerous forms of cancer. Approximately 30% of deaths from cancer in the Federal Republic of Germany are caused by smoking (press release by the Federal Health Ministry, 29 April 1987).
  90. Tablets 11:13; Gleanings 117.
  91. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilisation, p. 96.
  92. op. cit., p. 103.
  93. Tablets 7:11; 9:4.
  94. Tablets 10:23.
  95. The Hidden Words, Arabic 2.
  96. Gleanings 100:6.
  97. Kitáb-i-Íqán 110 [= p. 102/103].
  98. The Hidden Words, Arabic 11, 13.
  99. Gleanings 27:2.
  100. Arabic 3.
  101. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 118:1.
  102. Kitáb-i-Íqán 108, 110 (pp. 100, 102); Some Answered Questions 55:5.
  103. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Paris Talks 3:7.
  104. Mat. 5:48.
  105. The Hidden Words, Persian 14.
  106. The Hidden Words, Persian 19.
  107. The Hidden Words, Persian 39.
  108. The Hidden Words, Persian 40.
  109. The Hidden Words, Persian 41.
  110. The Seven Valleys, p. 11.
  111. The Seven Valleys, p. 34.
  112. The Seven Valleys, p. 35.
  113. Gleanings 128:2,3.
  114. Gleanings 128:4; cf. Qur'án 5:89; 2:163;168.
  115. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 54, 83, 178; Tablets 6:2,4; 8:33; 10:6,9; 12:4; The Hidden Words, Arabic 68; Persian 45; Gleanings 14:18; 29:2; 46:4; 60:3; 100:1; 149.
  116. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 64.
  117. Gleanings 137:3; Tablets 9:4.
  118. The Hidden Words, Persian 32, 34, 45, 65, 68; Tablets 4:25; 6:36; 7:59; 11:23.
  119. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 2.
  120. Gleanings 81.
  121. Persian, envoy.
  122. Gleanings 136:6.
  123. from Greek hedoné = lust, pleasure, the philosophical doctrine founded by Aristippos and Epicur that pleasure is the principle good and should be the aim of action. Hedonism denotes a pleasure-seeking life-style as well.
  124. Les Fleurs du Mal, XLIX, L'invitation au voyage.
  125. The Hidden Words, Persian 45.
  126. 45:22.
  127. Kitáb-Íqán, paragraph 251.
  128. Gleanings 153:1.
  129. Gleanings 153:4.
  130. Gleanings 136:6.
  131. Gleanings 135:6.
  132. The Hidden Words, Persian 45.
  133. Russel, M., "Cigarette smoking: Natural history of a dependence disorder", in: Br. J. Med. Psychol. 44 (1971), 1-16; Krasnogor, N. (ed.), "Cigarette smoking as a dependence process", in: NIDA Research Monograph, No. 23, Rockville, 1979; Opitz, K. and M. Horstmann, "Nicotin, Pharmakologie eines abhängig machenden Stoffes" [Nicotine, pharmacology of an dependence creating substance], in: Deutsches Ärzteblatt, 78 (1982), 1869-1873; Stumpfe, K. D., "Die Nikotinsucht" in: Suchtgefahren 30 (1984) pp. 76-81.
  134. Eisenburg, Josef, Süchtiges Verhalten als Krankheitsursache [Addictive Behaviour as a Cause of Illnesses], p. 47.
  135. Faust, V. and H. Mensen, "On the Epidemiology and Psychology of Smoking", in: V. Faust (ed.) Suchtgefahren in unserer Zeit [Addictive Dangers in our Time], Stuttgart 1983, pp. 33ff.
  136. Stumpfe, K. D., "Wie groß ist die Zahl der abhängigen Raucher?" [How great is the number of addicted smokers?], in: Suchtgefahren [Addictive Dangers]. Fachorgan der deutschen Gesellschaft für Suchtforschung und Suchttherapie, October 1987, Heft 5, pp. 230ff.
  137. The deprivation syndrome is indicated by subjective signs such as restlessness, numbness, headache, voracious appetite, sleeping disorders, shakiness, concentration debility, anxiety, sickness, and nausea. Objective conditions are alterations of electrophysiological conditions of the brain, a decreased heart rate, reduced blood pressure, and an almost obligatory increase in weight after interrupting the supply of nicotine (Eisenburg, op. cit., p. 52) An estimated 59% of smokers are addicted to nicotine (Stumpfe, op. cit., pp. 330, 335).
  138. According to the findings of Russian psychologists at the Bashkirian University, the consumption of loud rock music over a long period of time has a strong narcotic effect on listeners. It stimulates the production of morphine-like substances in the body. When rock fans are deprived of their regular dose of music for a number of days, they show the same deprivation symptoms as drug addicts; their irritability increases, their hands shake, and their pulse is irregular (Süddeutsche Zeitung, 9 June 1987).
  139. Höffe, Otfried, "Personale Bedingungen für ein sinnerfülltes Leben" [Personal Requirements for a Meaningful Life], in: Eisenburg, Josef, Sucht, p. 144.
  140. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Book III (1119b).
  141. cf. Gleanings 163:2,3; Tablets 6:31; 11:19; Kitáb-i-Aqdas 43.
  142. exemplified by the common California farewell: "Have fun!"
  143. As did the State Court of Lübeck, Germany in 1992 with its sensational judgement of 19 December 1991 (2 Ns/KI 167/90) to the German Federal Constitutional Court. With respect to the liability to punishment of the consumption and the sale of hashish, the criminal court saw an offence against article 2 of the German Constitution guaranteeing the basic right to individual liberty and self-determination and demanded legalisation of the consumption sale of hashish. It said, "Intoxication, just as eating, drinking, and sex, belongs to the fundamental needs of man. The more technical, fast, and functional a society is, the greater is the need to escape this embrace." The "right to intoxication" would be protected by the Constitution in the framework of the basic rights of a citizen (Neue Juristische Wochenschrift 1992, 1571-1577).
  144. Höffe, op. cit., in: Eisenburg, Josef, Sucht, p.153.
  145. I, 3, 1095 b.
  146. Mat. 5:48.
  147. The Hidden Words, Persian 40.
  148. Gleanings 153:6.
  149. cf. Gen. 25:34.
  150. The Hidden Words, Persian 14.
  151. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in: Bahá'í Prayers, p. 57.
  152. Prayers and Meditations 137:2.
  153. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í Prayers (English edition) 46:2.
  154. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 146:8.
  155. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 458.
  156. Tablets 5:14.
  157. Tablets 8:19.
  158. Islamic theological expression for man's relationship to God, the adoration of God (cf. Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, p. 525).
  159. Tablets 8:19; cf. Qur'án 2:254.
  160. Qur'án 21:23.
  161. "We speak one word, and by it we intend one and seventy meanings" (Kitáb-i-Íqán 284 [= p. 255]).
  162. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 65.
  163. cf. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 20: "When We heard the clamour of the children as yet unborn, We doubled their share."
  164. This concept of law largely corresponds to Islamic doctrine, cf. Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, keyword: "Sharí'a" (Number 2, p. 525). Also, the Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), who tried to find reasonable explanations for every law in the Torah, emphasises that, with few exceptions, the Torah withholds the purpose and objective of the precepts and that it is by no means always possible to expound the purpose of a commandment or prohibition (cf. M. Friedländer, The Jewish Religion, p. 243).
  165. Deut. 4:40; cf. M. Friedländer, The Jewish Religion, p. 242.
  166. The Secret of Divine Civilisation, p. 60; Gleanings 133:2.
  167. Gleanings 45.
  168. Gleanings 133:1.
  169. Gleanings 153:9.
  170. 155; cf. also "Notes" 169 to the Kitáb-i-Aqdas.
  171. According to the Qur'án 5:92 as prohibited as wine ("an abomination of Satan's work"), gambling possesses a high addictive potential even though it is not an actual substance. Obsessive gambling can diminish or utterly suspend legal responsibility and lead to the moral destruction of the personality. Therefore, gambling is also prohibited in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (155).
  172. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 119.
  173. As in the Qur'án (ar-Rahiq al-makhtúm: "choice sealed wine, the seal of musk" [83:25-26]) and as in Islamic mysticism, wine is a metaphor frequently used in the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh for the intoxicating effect of the revealed Word ("the wine of Mine utterance" (Tablets 4:7; 7:9); "My sealed Wine" (Tablets 14:4); "the choice, sealed wine" (17:129); "the wine of immortal life" (The Hidden Words, Persian 55); cf. also Kitáb-i-Aqdas 4, 5 and Note No. 2). Bahá'u'lláh revealed: "Drink ye, O handmaidens of God, the Mystic Wine from the cup of My words. Cast away, then, from you that which your minds abhor, for it hath been forbidden unto you in His Tablets and His Scriptures. Beware lest ye barter away the River that is life indeed for that which the souls of the pure-hearted detest. Become ye intoxicated with the wine of the love of God, and not with that which deadeneth your minds, O ye that adore Him! Verily, it hath been forbidden unto every believer, whether man or woman. Thus hath the sun of My commandment shone forth above the horizon of My utterance" (quoted from Prohibition of Intoxicating Drinks, No. 5). In another Tablet Bahá'u'lláh states, "Beware lest ye exchange the Wine of God for your own wine, for it will stupefy your minds, and turn your face away from the Countenance of God, the All-Glorious, the Peerless, the Inaccessible. Approach it not, for it hath been forbidden unto you by the behest of God, the Exalted, the Almighty" (Kitáb-i-Aqdas, Notes No. 144). 'Abdu'l-Bahá explains this prohibition as follows: "The drinking of wine is, according to the text of the Most Holy Book, forbidden; for it is the cause of chronic diseases, weakeneth the nerves, and consumeth the mind" (quoted from Prohibition of Intoxicating Drinks, No. 6).
  174. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 155.
  175. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 190.
  176. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 119. On "the wicked hashish" 'Abdu'l-Bahá says that it "extinguishes the mind, freezeth the spirit, petrifieth the soul, wasteth the body and leaveth man frustrated and lost" (quoted from Prohibition of Intoxicating Drinks, No. 40).
  177. cf. the report in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 5 June 1992 on a convention of public prosecutors and social workers in Hamburg.
  178. cf. reports in Süddeutsche Zeitung, 8 April, 2 and 5 June 1992.
  179. As for example Guido Nöcker, who ascribes a positive effect to drugs, recommending the "states of mind connected to intoxication and ecstasy as a means of gaining knowledge as well as a form of affective discharge" of that knowledge and seeing the "risks in the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and other illegal drugs" as "acceptable" because they "offer a way to act out and compensate for conflicts and stress which have no other solutions available or known, at least in our current conceptualisation of life" (Von der Drogen- und Suchtprävention, pp. 211, 150).
  180. cf. Gleanings 81; 82; 83; 86.
  181. Gleanings 95:1; 83:1.
  182. Gleanings 80:1.
  183. Some Answered Questions 52:3.
  184. "There existeth in man a faculty which deterreth him from, and guardeth him against, whatever is unworthy and unseemly, and which is known as his sense of shame. This, however, is confined to but a few." (Tablets 6:18).
  185. cf. The Hidden Words, Arabic 58.
  186. "What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's" (I Cor. 6:19-20; cf. also I Cor. 6:15).
  187. According to Jewish and Christian tradition, the biblical prohibition against killing (Ex. 20:13) also applies to suicide (cf. also Rom. 14:7). The Qur'án contains an explicit prohibition of suicide (4:29). Also in the Bahá'í teachings, God is the sole Lord over life and death. Therefore individuals may not arbitrarily shorten the time given for their perfection. Individuals should "gratefully and patiently" accept "all difficulties and afflictions" that may be a means of self perfection ('Abdu'l-Bahá, quoted from Fádl-i-Mázinderání, Amr wa Khalq, Vol. 3, p. 14). The suicide of Haidar Alá who took his life out of his ardent desire to become a martyr during the time of Bahá'u'lláh was accepted "as a sign of Our mercy" by Bahá'u'lláh, but He prohibited such acts for all times: "However, this station has ended with him. Who, after him, commits such an act will not be mentioned before God. Such deeds never were and never will be our desire for you" (unauthorised translation, quoted from Amr wa Khalq, Vol. 3, p. 12/13).
  188. Martin Luther thought that an early death was best, "the sooner the better. For, as St. Cyprian says, nothing is more advantageous to a Christian than to die early. But we prefer to listen to the words of the pagan Juvenal when he says: 'Orandum est, ut sit mens sana in corpore sano'" (Luther, Werke [WA] I, 418, 3).
  189. V:12.
  190. Báb, Selections 3:23:1 (p. 95).
  191. From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, 17 July 1937, quoted from E. Zoohori, The Throne of the Inner Temple 54.
  192. 60–140 AD.
  193. Satirae X ("Orandum est, ut sit mens sana in corpore sano".
  194. Star of the West, Vol. VIII No. 18, p. 229/230.
  195. quoted from The Divine Art of Living, p. 58.
  196. The Arabic text is published in Majmu 'a-yi alwáh-i mubáraka (Cairo 1920), Reprint Wilmette/Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust 1981, pp. 222-226. The English text quoted above is taken from the provisional translation of Khazeh Fananapazir & Stephen Lambden, in: "The Tablet of Medicine (Lawh-i-Tibb) of Bahá'u'lláh. Introduction, translation and notes", in: Stephen Lambden (ed.), Bahá'í Studies Bulletin, Vol. 6:4-7:2, October 1992, pp. 18ff. The original text is on pp. 25ff. According to this provisional translation the versification of the verse quoted above is VII:5. This Tablet has been translated into Western languages only in extracts. A. Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, Vol. 3, pp. 358-360 gives a summary of key-points of this Tablet and of its recipient, Aqá Mírzá Muhammad-Ridá.
  197. op. cit. III:5. In an annotation (p. 39) the authors point out that "by 'harmful habits' (al-i 'áda al-mudirra) which should be avoided, the partaking... of addictive substances is probably intended; such 'substances' as can, from the Bahá'í and ethico-religious perspective, be viewed as calamitous for human beings".
  198. cf. pp. 16ff., 34ff.
  199. cf. pp. 19ff.
  200. published in Selections 129.
  201. The duties that are to be derived from the virtue of purity are also of the kind that we have towards ourselves.
  202. cf. Grimm, Deutsches Wörterbuch, key-word "Reinheit [purity]", Vol. 14, pp. 680-699.
  203. cf. Bollnow, O. T., Wesen und Wandel der Tugenden, p. 49.
  204. Lev. 15:19-23.
  205. Gen. 7:2; 8:20 and following. Impure animals were mostly beasts of prey, carrion-eating animals, animals living in the earth or in hostile environments, such as deserts or ruins. The consumption of these animals was dangerous.
  206. Jes. 1:10-17; Jer. 7:21 and following.
  207. "Wash you, make you clean" (Is. 1:16). Likewise Friedländer's The Jewish Religion (Part II "Our Duties", p. 237), also provides a detailed account only of ritual purity.
  208. Ps. 51:10; cf. Prayers and Meditations 155.
  209. Ps. 73:1.
  210. 1:16.
  211. Ez. 36:25.
  212. Rom. 3:23-24, 28; 10:4; Gal. 3:24-25; Acts 10:9-16.
  213. Mat. 5:8.
  214. Mat. 15:11.
  215. Mat. 15:18-20. A very similar statement is to be found in the Pálí Canon: "Not through water does man attain purity, how often he may bathe; he who lives a life of truth and virtue is pure" (Udáná I, 9).
  216. F. X. Wetzel, Das Goldene Katholikenbuch [The Golden Book of Catholics] ed. A. Fäh 1914.
  217. quoted from Maulana Muhammad 'Alí, A Manual of Hadíth IV:1.
  218. Muslim b. Al-Hajáj (817-875), the author of one of the six recognised collections of traditions (hadíth), the Sahih (cf. Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, p. 417; Goldziher, Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law, p. 39).
  219. quoted from Maulana Muhammad Alí, A Manual of Hadíth IV:2
  220. Qur'án 74:3-5.
  221. 2:222; 9:109.
  222. Maulana Muhammad 'Alí, op. cit., Introduction to ch. IV, p. 41.
  223. Maulana Muhammad 'Alí, op. cit., p. 41.
  224. Tahára, cf. also Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, p. 559. The state of ritual impurity (hadath) can, in the case of the so-called "Great" Impurity (janába) only be removed by the "Great Purification" (ghusl), i.e. the cleansing of the whole body, while "lesser" impurity requires only "lesser" purification (wudú'), which mainly consists cleansing the face, the hands, and the lower arms. In the state of hadath a Muslim must neither say the ritual prayers (salát), nor circumambulate the Ka'ba, nor touch a Qur'án (cf. also Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, pp. 87, 114, 115, 559, 635). Sexual intercourse, menstruation, and childbirth cause ritual impurity.
  225. A Manual of Hadíth IV:13 (p. 46).
  226. op. cit., IV:10 (p. 45).
  227. op. cit., IV:11 (p. 45).
  228. op. cit., IV:16 (p. 47).
  229. op. cit., IV:18 (p. 48).
  230. al-Bukhárí, Muhammad b. Isma'il (810-870), the author of one of the six recognised collections of traditions (hadíth), the al-Jám'i al-Sahih (cf. Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, p. 65; Goldziher, Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law, p. 39)
  231. A Manual of Hadíth IV:19 (p. 48).
  232. op. cit., IV:22 (p. 49).
  233. op. cit., IV:45 (p. 59).
  234. op. cit., IV:44 (p. 58).
  235. op. cit., IV:51, cf. also Qur'án 2:222.
  236. quoted from Ali Tabari, The Book of Religion and Empire, p. 27.
  237. 35:19.
  238. 20:78.
  239. 87:14.
  240. 79:18.
  241. Báb, Selections 3:5:1-2.
  242. op. cit. 3:27:1. Concerning personal cleanliness see also Persian Bayán 8:6 (cf. E. G. Browne, "A Summary of the Persian Bayan", in: M. Momen (ed.), Selections from the Writings of E. G. Browne, p. 397.
  243. cf. 182.
  244. najása.
  245. cf. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 9; Note 12.
  246. najis (see Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, pp. 431ff.). Whereas according to the Qur'án only the idolaters (mushrikún) are declared unclean ("only they who join Gods are unclean" [9:28]), Shí'ite law includes all non-Muslims, even the ahl al-Kitáb (cf. Qur'án 3:70; 3:71; 3:99), the "People of the Book", Jews and Christians: "It declares the bodily substance of an unbeliever to be ritually unclean, and lists the touching of an unbeliever among the ten things that produce najásá, ritual impurity" (I. Goldziher, Introduction to Islamic Theology and Law, p. 213). The personal physician of Násiri'd-Dín Sháh, Dr. J. E. Pollak, who lived many years in Persia wrote: "Should a European arrive at the beginning of a meal, a Persian is thrown into embarrassment. Good manners forbid sending the European away, but to invite him in is fraught with difficulty because food touched by an unbeliever is considered unclean" (Persien. Das Land und seine Bewohner, Vol. 1, p. 128). "Remnants of food from the table of Europeans are scorned by the servants and left to the dogs"... "A European must not fail to carry with him a drinking vessel. Nowhere will he be offered one, because according to Persian belief every vessel becomes unclean immediately an unbeliever has used it" (ibid., Vol. II, p. 55; cf. p. 356). "Shí'ite law regards food prepared by Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Bahá'ís as forbidden foods, and the meat slaughtered by them as forbidden meat" (I. Goldziher, ibid., p. 216. For more details on the Shí'ite legal positions towards other faiths see Goldziher, ibid., pp. 211-217).
  247. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 75; cf. "Notes" 106 and 107.
  248. Sundry excerpts concerning the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and its Laws, p. 14 (unpublished).
  249. As to the term "dogma": This view obviously goes back to the eminent Swiss psychiatrist, professor Auguste Forel, who in his will professed himself to be a Bahá'í and pronounced: "This is the real religion of 'Social Welfare' without dogmas or priests" (quoted from Shoghi Effendi, God passes by, p. 375). Also Jack McLean writes in his excellent contribution "Prolegomena to a Bahá'í Theology" (The Journal of Bahá'í Studies, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 25 ff.): "The Bahá'í Faith eschews dogma" (p. 34), however, he made clear that he used the notion "dogma" in its narrower sense of "a final and dully perceived infallible doctrine imposed upon the believers by the institution of a religion" (op. cit.). In this sense, the Bahá'í Faith has no "dogmas", no body of doctrines formerly and authoritatively defined and affirmed, as the Church has. However, the Bahá'í Faith has revealed teachings, as do all religions, which are authoritative and binding for all believers. The teachings of the Báb, Bahá'u'lláh and 'Abdu'l-Bahá are, as McLean aptly points out, "perceived objectively by the community of believers as being statements of truth and as such carry binding authority, harking back to one of the original meanings of "dogma", that is, a revealed doctrine" (op. cit., p. 34). In this broader sense the Bahá'í Faith has "dogmas". It is worth stressing that if it were true that the Bahá'í Faith was a faith without dogma, it would not be a religion at all. Shoghi Effendi spoke of the "tenets and purposes" of the faith (The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 41). For more details on this subject see my doctoral thesis Die Grundlagen der Bahá'í-Verwaltungsordnung, pp. 133ff.).
  250. On this subject I refer to Jack McLean's article quoted in the preceding footnote.
  251. salát.
  252. cf. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 18.
  253. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 10. This represents a change from the Qur'ánic ordinance of tayammum (cf. Shorter Encyclopaedia of Islam, p. 588), using sand for the ablution instead of water.
  254. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 76.
  255. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 74.
  256. These concepts were, as Bahá'u'lláh explicitly notes, not ordained by God but rather made up by the 'ulamá' (Kitáb-i-Aqdas 9).
  257. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 9.
  258. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 75.
  259. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 144.
  260. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 46.
  261. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 74.
  262. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 74.
  263. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 106.
  264. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 106.
  265. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 106.
  266. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 152.
  267. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 106.
  268. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 46.
  269. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 151.
  270. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 106.
  271. Kitáb-i-Aqdas 76. This advice "that everyone who has attained to puberty should use ... scent if he can find it" had already been given by the prophet Muhammad (cf. Maulana Muhammad 'Alí, A Manual of Hadíth IV:44).
  272. All things "are subject to this same principle of moderation" (Gleanings 163:3), comparable to the ancient motto:
       "Est modus in rebus, sunt certi denique fines
       quos ultra citraque nequit consistere rectum
    "
    (Horace, Satires I,1,106). ("There is a measure in all things. There are fixed bounds, beyond and short of which right can find no place").
  273. Mat. 5:8.
  274. para 3.
  275. para 214 (= p. 192).
  276. "When will this world-afflicting craftiness be transformed into sincerity?" (Tablets 17:104).
  277. "Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Mat. 18:3).
  278. quoted from Huqúqu'lláh No. 40.
  279. Tablets 10:13.
  280. Gleanings 141:4.
  281. cf. Gleanings 5:3; 128:7.
  282. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, para 40.
  283. Gleanings 60:3.
  284. The Hidden Words, Arabic 59.
  285. The Hidden Words, Arabic 58.
  286. Lawh-i-Dukhán.
  287. Which not only includes all its derivatives, such as heroin in particular, but also all addictive drugs (cf. Prohibition of Intoxicating Drinks, pp. 39-40).
  288. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 129:1-2.
  289. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 129:4-5.
  290. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 129:6.
  291. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 129:7.
  292. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 129:9.
  293. From a Tablet to an individual believer, translated from the Persian, taken from an unpublished compilation on smoking. These reasons which 'Abdu'l-Bahá cites against smoking coincide for the most part with those given by Goethe pp. 13ff.
  294. az-Zaqqúm: "A tree growing in the midst of hell" (Qur'án 37:62,64; 17:60; 44:43; 56:52). In the Persian Bayán (9:7) the Báb refers to tobacco as a leaf of this infernal tree (cf. M. Momen, Selections from the Writings of E G. Browne, p. 405).
  295. From a Tablet translated from the Persian, taken from an unpublished compilation on smoking.
  296. To use Immanuel Kant's terminology, a matter of "morality" not of "legality".
  297. Shoghi Effendi, 14 March 1939.
  298. Shoghi Effendi, 26 February 1947; 22 July 1951.
  299. Letter of 28 March 1973.
  300. Letter of 7 August 1950.
  301. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 129:14.
  302. Gleanings 139:8.
  303. cf. Gleanings 128:3.
  304. The Hidden Words, Arabic 28.
  305. Vol. 3, pp. 437/438. As the source, Taherzadeh gives: Mehrábkhání, Sharhi-Ahvái-Mírzá 'Abu'l-Fadl-i-Gulpáygáni, pp. 16-17.
  306. 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 129:12.

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