Since the early days of the Baha'i Faith in Persia, the Baha'i-Muslim dialogue has generated tremendous interest on both sides. From the Baha'i camp, significant attempts have been made towards demonstrating the truth of the Baha'i Faith, based on Islamic texts and theology. Meanwhile, Baha'i apologists had to stay consistent within the Baha'i theological framework. To date, there has been no serious attempt to study the development of the Baha'i-Muslim debate. This study concerns itself with a narrow spectrum of this debate. It will focus on two of the most plausible and effective arguments developed by Baha'i scholars, namely, the proof based on establishment (dalil-i-taqrir) and the proof based on verses (hujjiyyat-i-ayat). The historical and theological aspects of these apologetic developments will be given special attention. The proof based on verses may be said to be an extension of the quranic challenge, upon which Baha'i scholars capitalized. The proof based on establishment was then a further apologetic development of the proof based on verses. These apologetic arguments were grounded in the writings of the central figures of the Baha'i Faith. Most of the material for this study comes from the works of Mirza Abu'l-Fadl, who has made the most sgnificant contrbution to this field. The Baha'i-Muslim dialogue has continued into our time, but under the towering shadow of Abu'l-Fadl. Islamic polemicists have also made serious attempts at countering these arguments, and some of their salient arguments will be critiqued in this article. From the setting of a Baha'i-Muslim dialogue, this study will endeavor to introduce the proof based on establishment (dalil-i-taqrir) into the Baha'i-Christian dialogue, from which it has been conspicuously absent in the West.
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Copyright © 1997 Kavian Sadeghzade Milani, Leila Rassekh Milani