Abdulbaha's hair length

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Abdulbaha's hair length

Postby Arman.KB » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:27 am

allahu abha dear friends.

I was searching through the discussions and I realized that so many friends are curious about the hair length matter, and why Abdulbaha's hair was longer than permitted in the kitab-i-Aqdas.

some of the friends were hoping that the universal house of justice would later legislate on this matter and somehow let us grow our hair long. like always put it in the back of our heads as a pony tale, and etc.
through the studies I have had, and through the understandings that I have obtained, the UHJ never allow themselves to legislate over the "apparent form" of the laws. as it is forbidden in the kitab-i-Aqdas, no one is not allowed to change the form of the words of the laws. it does not mean that we should not search for deeper meanings, it just means that the "gateway" to understand the meanings of a law, is its pure "apparent form". the apparent form and meaning that any regular person would understand from that law.

so if practical aspect of a law can never be changed or redefined, how should we understand Abdulbaha's hair length, and yet believe in the kitab-i-Adas too. I searched, and I realized that no letter has ever been sent to the UHJ on this matter; as far as I know.
from this point on, whatever I right is my personal ideas, that can be totally wrong, or not. we can go forward through consulting each other.
I thought to myself, that Abddulbaha would never let himself to not to obey a law, unless it was written in a specific way.
I opened the book, and I opened the page regarding the growing of the hair. what I found was this:
"Notwithstanding, it is not seemly to let the hair pass beyond the limit of the ears"
as far as I understood, the words are really important for this book. they are like hard blocks of a much harder building. I came across this word "seemly". that it is not seemly for a person to grow his hair long beyond the lobe of ears.
what I personally think is that this law applies to anyone that can become "not seemly". and as far as I know, Abdulbaha -aside from Bahaullah himself- is the only person in the faith who could not ever cease to be seemly. you might think of Shoqi, but he was gifted of this in the middle of his life, not born with it, like Abdulbaha. I would still call it a gift for Abdulbaha, but an "innate" one.

so I think that we might be able to resolve the problem by carefully analyzing the words of the book. and what I think based on those word is, that this law applies to everyone except Abdulbaha, and ofcourse Bahaullah himself.
ofcourse other people in the discussions thought of this, but I thought it would be better if we could directly connect this understanding to the text.

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Re: Abdulbaha's hair length

Postby Fadl » Mon Sep 30, 2019 8:13 pm

It seems that you are of the opinion that "Abdu'l-Baha was either ignorant of the this passage of the Aqdas, was disobedient to it, or determined it was not applicable to at least himself.

Let me offer another alternative for your consideration. Perhaps you have not understood the meaning of the verse, and by looking at 'Abdu'l-Baha as the perfect exemplar of the teachings one might perhaps understand how to read it correctly. After all, I am a native speaker of English, and I can also read the Arabic and I admit that when I first read this years ago, it raised all sorts of questions in my mind about what it meant because it seemed to me there were a number of ways to understand it. But if 'Abdu'l-Baha is our exemplar, then we must be able to see in his action clues as to how we can understand it, assuming that he had not merely exempted himself for some reason. You may have noticed, that 'Abdu'l-Baha had the fashion of not covering up his ears. Perhaps that is the meaning of the verse. Furthermore, the pictures of him in his youth, showed his hair was longer, but certainly this predated the Aqdas. In the pictures of him during his older years, you see just as many pictures where the back of his hair is shorter in back and not longer than the ear lobes, while in a few, the hair does seem a bit longer than the lobes, but perhaps he merely needed a haircut! There is no mention of a penalty for being late in having your hair cut to keep in conformity, and so perhaps in 'Abdu'l-Baha's example, we see the correct spirit in action: Do it, but don't make a huge deal about it, its a fashion, and a guideline for the desired grooming. As for Baha'u'llah, he is a Manifestation of God and it makes no more sense to me that the laws he revealed are applicable to him than it would that a physician should need to also take the medicine he prescribed to his patient.

I don't think that I have answered your question. However, I hope I have given you some alternative ways of looking at it.

"Thus doth the Nightingale utter His call unto you from this prison. He hath but to deliver this clear message. Whosoever desireth, let him turn aside from this counsel and whosoever desireth let him choose the path to his Lord." - Baha'u'llah

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