Are Superstitions Useful
A lady enquired whether some superstitions might not be good for ignorant
people, who, if they were without them might perhaps be without beliefs of
'Abdu'l-Baha replied that superstitions were of two kinds; those that were
harmful and dangerous, and those that were harmless and produced certain
For example, there were some poor people who believed that misfortunes and
punishments were caused by a Great Angel with a sword in his hand, who
struck down those who stole, and committed murder and crimes.
They thought the flashes of lightning were the weapons of this angel, and
that if they did wrong they would be struck by lightning. This belief
caused them to refrain from evil actions.
The Chinese held a superstition that if they burn certain pieces of paper
this will drive the devils away; they sometimes burnt these pieces of
paper on board ships when they were travelling in order to drive away
devils, and by so doing they set fire to the ships and destroyed many
lives. This was a type of dangerous and harmful superstition.
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