1 December ― 9 Qawl   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_2719It is indeed in Our power to take up a handful of dust and to adorn it with the vesture of Our Names. This, however, would be but a sign of our favour, and not an indication of any merit it may have inherently possessed. Thus hath it been revealed in truth by Him Who is the Sovereign Revealer, the All-Knowing. Consider the Black Stone*, which God hath made a point whereunto all men turn in adoration. Hath this bounty been conferred upon it by virtue of its innate excellence? Nay, by Mine own Self! Or doth such distinction stem from its intrinsic worth? Nay, by Mine own Being, Whose Essence even the wisest and most discerning of men have failed to grasp!

*a small rock situated low in the eastern corner of the Kaaba

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súrih-i-Haykal, ¶ 90

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 48-49

EVENING:

IMG_2716Concerning the prerequisites of the learned, He saith: “Whoso among the learned guardeth his self, defendeth his faith, opposeth his desires, and obeyeth his Lord’s command, it is incumbent upon the generality of the people to pattern themselves after him….”* Should the King of the Age reflect upon this utterance which hath streamed from the tongue of Him Who is the Dayspring of the Revelation of the All-Merciful, he would perceive that those who have been adorned with the attributes enumerated in this holy Tradition are scarcer than the philosopher’s stone; wherefore not every man that layeth claim to knowledge deserveth to be believed.

*a Tradition ascribed to the eleventh Imám, Abú Muḥammad al-Hasan al-‘Askarí

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súrih-i-Haykal, ¶ 232

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 118

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_8094There are some who imagine that an innate sense of human dignity will prevent man from committing evil actions and insure his spiritual and material perfection. That is, that an individual who is characterized with natural intelligence, high resolve, and a driving zeal, will, without any consideration for the severe punishments consequent on evil acts, or for the great rewards of righteousness, instinctively refrain from inflicting harm on his fellow men and will hunger and thirst to do good. And yet, if we ponder the lessons of history it will become evident that this very sense of honor and dignity is itself one of the bounties deriving from the instructions of the Prophets of God. We also observe in infants the signs of aggression and lawlessness, and that if a child is deprived of a teacher’s instructions his undesirable qualities increase from one moment to the next. It is therefore clear that the emergence of this natural sense of human dignity and honor is the result of education. Secondly, even if we grant for the sake of the argument that instinctive intelligence and an innate moral quality would prevent wrongdoing, it is obvious that individuals so characterized are as rare as the philosopher’s stone. An assumption of this sort cannot be validated by mere words, it must be supported by the facts. Let us see what power in creation impels the masses toward righteous aims and deeds!

Aside from this, if that rare individual who does exemplify such a faculty should also become an embodiment of the fear of God, it is certain that his strivings toward righteousness would be strongly reinforced.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp: 97-98

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