‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Response to the Doctrine of the Unity of Existence
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How to Cite

Brown, K. “‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Response to the Doctrine of the Unity of Existence”. The Journal of Bahá’í Studies, vol. 11, no. 3-4, Sept. 2001, pp. 1-24, doi:10.31581/jbs-11.3-4.469(2001).


The specific doctrine of the “unity of existence” (wahdat al-wujúd) in Islam originated with the teachings of the Sufi master Ibn ‘Arabí, and it soon became widely accepted by other Sufis. Among the philosophers it had a notable influence on the ideas of Mullá Sadrá whose al-Asfár al-Arba‘a (The Four Journeys), remains at the center of traditional philosophical studies in Iran. The
doctrine holds that existence (wujúd) belongs only to God, while the essences of all other things are uncreated manifestations or self-determinations of God’s hidden being. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states that although the evidence for this viewpoint is complete and perfect from a certain perspective, relative to the station of the mystic, a higher stage exists wherein the mystic beholds only God while recognizing the essences of things as created and distinct from His Essence.

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