5 October ― 9 Mashíyyat   Leave a comment

 

MORNING:

And it came to pass that on a certain day a number of the opponents of that peerless Beauty, those that had strayed far from God’s imperishable Sanctuary, scornfully spoke these words unto Muḥammad: “Verily, God hath entered into a covenant with us that we are not to credit an apostle until he present us a sacrifice which fire out of heaven shall devour.”1  The purport of this verse is that God hath covenanted with them that they should not believe in any messenger unless he work the miracle of Abel and Cain, that is, offer a sacrifice, and the fire from heaven consume it; even as they had heard it recounted in the story of Abel, which story is recorded in the scriptures. To this, Muḥammad, answering, said: “Already have Apostles before me come to you with sure testimonies, and with that of which ye speak. Wherefore slew ye them? Tell me, if ye are men of truth.”2 And now, be fair; How could those people living in the days of Muḥammad have existed, thousands of years before, in the age of Adam or other Prophets? Why should Muḥammad, that Essence of truthfulness, have charged the people of His day with the murder of Abel or other Prophets? Thou hast none other alternative except to regard Muḥammad as an impostor or a fool — which God forbid! — or to maintain that those people of wickedness were the self-same people who in every age opposed and caviled at the Prophets and Messengers of God, till they finally caused them all to suffer martyrdom.

1 Qur’án 3:183

2 Qur’án 3:182

Ponder this in thine heart, that the sweet gales of divine knowledge, blowing from the meads of mercy, may waft upon thee the fragrance of the Beloved’s utterance, and cause thy soul to attain the Ridvan of understanding. As the wayward of every age have failed to fathom the deeper import of these weighty and pregnant utterances, and imagined the answer of the Prophets of God to be irrelevant to the questions they asked them, they therefore have attributed ignorance and folly to those Essences of knowledge and understanding.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp: 148-149

EVENING:

In yet another passage He saith: “And when he becometh acquainted with any of Our verses he turneth them to ridicule. There is a shameful punishment for them!”1  The people derisively observed saying: “Work thou another miracle, and give us another sign!” One would say: “Make now a part of the heaven to fall down upon us”;2  and another: “If this be the very truth from before Thee, rain down stones upon us from heaven.”3  Even as the people of Israel, in the time of Moses, bartered away the bread of heaven for the sordid things of the earth, these people, likewise, sought to exchange the divinely-revealed verses for their foul, their vile, and idle desires. In like manner, thou beholdest in this day that although spiritual sustenance hath descended from the heaven of divine mercy, and been showered from the clouds of His loving kindness, and although the seas of life, at the behest of the Lord of all being, are surging within the Riḍván of the heart, yet these people, ravenous as the dogs, have gathered around carrion, and contented themselves with the stagnant waters of a briny lake. Gracious God! how strange the way of this people! They clamour for guidance, although the standards of Him Who guideth all things are already hoisted. They cleave to the obscure intricacies of knowledge, when He, Who is the Object of all knowledge, shineth as the sun. They see the sun with their own eyes, and yet question that brilliant Orb as to the proof of its light. They behold the vernal showers descending upon them, and yet seek an evidence of that bounty. The proof of the sun is the light thereof, which shineth and envelopeth all things. The evidence of the shower is the bounty thereof, which reneweth and investeth the world with the mantle of life. Yea, the blind can perceive naught from the sun except its heat, and the arid soil hath no share of the showers of mercy. “Marvel not if in the Qur’án the unbeliever perceiveth naught but the trace of letters, for in the sun, the blind findeth naught but heat.”

 

1 Qur’án 45:8

2 Qur’án 26:187

3 Qur’án 8:32

 

In another passage He saith: “And when Our clear verses are recited to them, their only argument is to say, ‘Bring back our fathers, if ye speak the truth!'”1  Behold, what foolish evidences they sought from these Embodiments of an all-encompassing mercy! They scoffed at the verses, a single letter of which is greater than the creation of heavens and earth, and which quickeneth the dead of the valley of self and desire with the spirit of faith; and clamoured saying: “Cause our fathers to speed out of their sepulchres.” Such was the perversity and pride of that people. Each one of these verses is unto all the peoples of the world an unfailing testimony and a glorious proof of His truth. Each of them verily sufficeth all mankind, wert thou to meditate upon the verses of God. In the above-mentioned verse itself pearls of mysteries lie hidden. Whatever be the ailment, the remedy it offereth can never fail.

1 Qur’án 45:24

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp: 207-210

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

When the prophets of God appear upon this earth, their validity is established by means of certain proofs. One of the proofs is through the fulfillment of former prophecies, the second proofs are their creative words and phrases which salute the hearts of humanity, the third are their deeds and the fourth are their teachings.

The prophecies deal with dates and symbols which proclaim the end of each dispensation. In former books the conditions are explained concerning subsequent manifestors of the divine plan. But those who do not follow closely these things will not be convinced by proofs such as these. This then is not a final proof.

 

Miracles are likewise convincing to a limited number only. For instance, a Buddhist would not be convinced by the miracles of Moses which are proofs only so far as the orthodox Jews are concerned, because they love Moses. On the other hand the miracles attributed to Jesus Christ are refuted by the Jews as a whole, saying “No one lives today who has seen these miracles performed, therefore, who can bear testimony to them?”

A clear proof of validity lies in the achievements and here we are confronted by certain irrefutable facts. The prophets have come from the lowliest and most humiliated of the nations and in each age the prophet has raised his downtrodden nation to the highest zenith of prosperity and success among the nations of the earth. For instance, His Holiness Christ was quite alone. He was a Jew from among the Jews. He came at a time when the Israelites were under the yoke of the Romans. He revivified the people till they were transferred from one state of existence into a higher state of existence.

At a time when the East was enshrouded with superstition and hatred, Bahá’u’lláh flooded these regions with his glorious light. Under the chains he unfurled the flag of the oneness of the world of humanity; in the prisons he spread the principles of universal peace and brotherhood; from behind the barracks he wrote his famous epistles to the kings and rulers of the world, arraigning the oppressors of the earth and calling upon them in the name of God the exalted not to place their sovereignty above that of His Highness the Almighty. He admonished them on the part of the wronged ones to listen to the call of the new day else their kingdoms would pass out of their hands and would fall into the hands of others. “Know that brotherhood hath been proclaimed – even so hath this matter been recorded upon a mighty tablet with the strong pen of God.”

Divine Philosophy, pp: 43-45

FROM:  Daily Lessons Received at Akka: January 1908 by Helen S. Goodall and Ella Goodall Cooper

Wilmette, IL: Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1979

One evening Haji Mirza Haydar-Ali gave us this little lesson in his inimitably sweet and humorous way.

“If we ask for miracles as proof of the truth of this Revelation, we produce many veils. We should first be sure that the One we believe in has said, ‘I am sent by God.’ Then if we ask Him for a miracle, for example, to turn this glass cup into gold, He will answer, ‘I am sent by God; therefore, I am not against God. God has created this cup out of glass; if I turn it into gold, I am against God.’ And not only this; if He perform one miracle to satisfy one person, He will be obliged to perform thousands to satisfy all. Or supposes He should do this for the people who live in His time, what would He have to do to convince those who came after Him? How could He do this? He would have to live forever. Or He would have to divide Himself up and wander all over the earth, knocking at every door and saying, ‘I am the Manifestation; what kind of miracles would you like to see?’

“No. Let us see if He comes to improve the condition of the people, to develop their minds and hearts and give them the knowledge of God. If He did turn the cup into gold, what benefit is there in this–what profit or help to the people? Rather He would cloud the intellect and the reason by doing such strange things.

“So we see that the Manifestations cannot follow the desire of the people. He must bring to the world something which all the people can understand, in order that they may recognize that His cause is from God. Now what shall this something be? It is to make the people understand. We may say to a man, ‘Close your eyes that you may not see,’ and he will close them; or ‘close your ears that you may not hear,’ and he will close them; but when we say ‘close your mind that you may not understand,’ then that is impossible.

“For example, I may say that I am sure I can wrestle with and overthrow a certain man; the people may declare that I cannot do it; but I am so sure–because I know–that the more they say I cannot, the more positive I become. When a person has learned something like a parrot, as soon as he meets with real opposition he will deny what he has learned; but if in his own mind he understands the matter, then the more he is opposed, the more sure he becomes. If all the people of the world came and told us that two and two make less than four, would we be disturbed? No, because we understand this matter. When we understand Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation as well as this, then we can stand firm and say to all the world, ‘You are wrong, for we are sure.’ This kind of understanding only flourishes by opposition.

“When the people asked Christ for a miracle, He declared, ‘An evil and adulterous generation seekth after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas; for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly, so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’ The spiritual meaning of these words must be clear. If Christ had performed physical miracles, He would have referred to them instead of giving such an answer; so we must conclude that the miracles were spiritual.

“By saying that He would be three days in the heart of the earth, He meant that He would be resurrected, or reappear in the third cycle of third heaven. Counting His own Dispensation as one, and the Muhammad cycle as two, He has reappeared in this, the third Dispensation, the Day of Bahá’u’lláh.”

pp: 48-50

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