Sheikh `Atiyyah Saqr, former head of Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee, issued the following: “Historically speaking, the Baha’iyyah is a Shiite sect that was named after one of its leaders, Husayn Nuri. This faith emerged as a Shiite sect that was led by some Shiites who totally deviated from Islam. It first started at the hands of Ahmad Al-Ahsani or Al-Bahrini, who was notable among scholars in Karbila’, An-Najaf, and Iran. He has authored some books based on which he was accused of worshipping `Ali ibn Abi Talib. He was also accused of denying the resurrection of humans’ bodies, claiming that it would be merely a spiritual resurrection. His followers were called “Ash-Shaykhiyyah” and he died during the twenties of the ninetieth century.
Kazim Ar-Rashti became leader after Al-Ahsani, and after his death in 1843 CE, there came Mirza `Ali Muhammad Ash-Shirazi, who was defied by the Iranian Government. After many debates between the Iranian Government and the Baha’i adherents, the former executed their leader then, Al-Bab, in 1850 CE, in Tabriz, then his corpse was carried to `Akka where he was buried.
Husayn Nuri (Al-Baha’), the one who came after Al-Bab, was very active in spreading the Baha’i faith and he wrote several books, foremost among them is al-Kitab al-Aqdas (The Most Holy Book). He died in `Akka, 1892 CE, where he was buried at the foot of Mount Carmel. His son, `Abbas Afandi, succeeded him in leading the sect and he died during the 1920s. Since then, the sect was divided into sub-sects and they no longer have a leader from the progeny of the founders. Instead, their affairs are maintained by one of the centers they established themselves.
Some Baha’i principles and beliefs:
1. Incarnation: Al-Bab claimed that Allah was personified in him. Also, he claimed himself to be god after his claim to prophethood. The same was claimed by `Abbas Afandi.
2. Inseparability of Allah from the world as claimed by some ancient philosophers.
3. Denial of the Day of Judgment. They interpret Paradise as the spiritual life, and Fire as the spiritual death.
4. Denial of the Prophets’ miracles and interpreting them as immaterial things, though they admit the possibility of prophethood. This shows the contradiction in their ideas and beliefs.
5. Claiming that they receive Divine Revelation (wahy) and writing books they claim to be better than the Glorious Qur’an.
6. The prophets were not sealed or finalized by Prophet Muhammad; the seal, to them, means the best, as claimed by the Qadyanis.
7. Going so far in interpreting the Glorious Qur’an – which they do not completely adhere to, but still use – to propagate their beliefs and “innovations”. There are many of these deviant and odd interpretations in one of their propagators’ books (Abu Al-Fadl Al-Garfadqani), entitled Ad-Durar Al-Bahiyyah.
8. There are many branches of their belief, foremost among which are the following:
a- The divine nature of the number “19” which is a Jewish concept. To them, the year consists of 19 months, the month consists of 19 days.
b- Lastly, they tried to interpret the Glorious Qur’an in the light of that “Divine” number. To them, prayer consists of 9 rak`ahs (i.e. prayer units). Their qiblah (i.e. direction of prayer) is where the Baha’ is. To them, it is a must to denounce Hajj and moreover, they should demolish the Sacred House when they are able to.
Based on the above, we conclude that Baha’ism is a mixture of various religions, sects and philosophies. It is vague and has nothing to do with reform. Instead, it is a movement meant to defy all religions that had been manipulated by international colonialism. It is similar to masonry in that both of them are anti-religion by using deceiving slogans, such as the service to humanity, and achieving international brotherhood and justice. `Abbas declared that he wanted to unite the Muslims, Christians and Jews and bring them together on the principles and Law of Moses (Musa) in whom they all believe. (Quoted from `Abd Al-Baha’ wal-Baha’iyyah, p. 87-93)
The detailed critical refutation of such deviant beliefs cannot be given within the limited scope of a fatwa. Al-Azhar Fatwa Committee issued a Fatwa that whosoever converts from Islam to Baha’iyyah is an apostate; his/her marriage will be invalid, even if he is married to a Baha’i just like himself.
For further elaboration, read my books Dirasat Islamiyyah li ahamm al-Qadayah al-Mu`asirah (Islamic Studies of the Most Important Contemporary Issues), and Al-Babiyyya wa al-Baha’iyya: Tarikhan wa Madhhaban (Al-Babiyyya and al-Baha’iyya: History and Doctrine).”