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 any kind?
‘Abdu’l-Bahá replied that superstitions were of
two kinds; those that were harmful and
dangerous, and those that were harmless and
produced certain good effects.
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