The Use of Metaphors in the Kitáb-i-Iqán and Some Answered Questions

By Muhammad-Ghasem Bayat

First presented at the Irfan Colloquia Session #81
Bosch Bahá'í School: Santa Cruz, California, USA
May 29 – June 1, 2008
(see list of papers from #81)

    `Abdu'l-Bahá states that one must use sensible metaphors in describing abstract intellectual and spiritual concepts. This method has been used amply in most of the Bahá'í Writings, and especially in the Kitáb-i-Iqán and Some Answered Questions.

    The understanding of concepts such as life, birth and death, return, reunion, creation, the afterlife, the Lord's bounty, the manifestation of God's names and attributes, Hell, Heaven, the spirit, heart, water and fire, manifestations of God, the Holy Spirit, the eternal life of the spirit, spiritual stations, free will in relation to God's will, etc., in these books are enhanced by the use of ample metaphors.

    In this article a wide selection of such concepts from these two books are reviewed and the role of metaphors in obtaining a clearer understanding is demonstrated.

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