Archive for October 2016

24 October ― 9 ‘Ilm   Leave a comment

For what can dark doubts do with the light of guidance, or clouds with the shining moon? Tests and trials only cause agitation to weak hearts. But the pure souls, a hundred thousand tests are but to them like mirage, imagination and shadow. The shadow cannot withstand the rays of the sun and pure fragrances of holiness will not be concealed through the doubts of the beetle. The headache of wavering will not affect those exhilarated with the wine of the love of God.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 250

MORNING:

O SON OF SPIRIT!

I created thee rich, why dost thou bring thyself down to poverty? Noble I made thee, wherewith dost thou abase thyself? Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone beside Me? Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words, #13

EVENING:

O YE SONS OF SPIRIT!

Ye are My treasury, for in you I have treasured the pearls of My mysteries and the gems of My knowledge. Guard them from the strangers amidst My servants and from the ungodly amongst My people.

O SON OF HIM THAT STOOD BY HIS OWN ENTITY IN THE KINGDOM OF HIS SELF!

Know thou, that I have wafted unto thee all the fragrances of holiness, have fully revealed to thee My word, have perfected through thee My bounty and have desired for thee that which I have desired for My Self. Be then content with My pleasure and thankful unto Me.

O SON OF MAN!

Write all that We have revealed unto thee with the ink of light upon the tablet of thy spirit. Should this not be in thy power, then make thine ink of the essence of thy heart. If this thou canst not do, then write with that crimson ink that hath been shed in My path. Sweeter indeed is this to Me than all else, that its light may endure for ever. 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words, #’s 69-71

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

In truth, I say unto thee that if a spark of the fire of the love of God should fall into a heart, its flame will increase gradually, as the breeze blows upon it, until the sparks of the flame reach the Supreme Kingdom, providing the necessary preparations are made to kindle that fire in thy heart, to shed the tears from thine eyes and to bring thy patience to an end for the purpose of being drawn into the Kingdom of El-Abhá.

In truth, I say unto thee, if thou hear this call, do not relax in mentioning God., nor grow weary of spreading the fragrances of God. And then rejoice at the good news of the gifts which shall shine as the sun in the highest culmination of America.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 330

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23 October ― 8 ‘Ilm   Leave a comment

MORNING:

We exhort mankind in these days when the countenance of Justice is soiled with dust, when the flames of unbelief are burning high and the robe of wisdom rent asunder, when tranquillity and faithfulness have ebbed away and trials and tribulations have waxed severe, when covenants are broken and ties are severed, when no man knoweth how to discern light and darkness or to distinguish guidance from error.

O peoples of the world! Forsake all evil, hold fast that which is good. Strive to be shining examples unto all mankind, and true reminders of the virtues of God amidst men. He that riseth to serve My Cause should manifest My wisdom, and bend every effort to banish ignorance from the earth. Be united in counsel, be one in thought. Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday. Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches. Take heed that your words be purged from idle fancies and worldly desires and your deeds be cleansed from craftiness and suspicion. Dissipate not the wealth of your precious lives in the pursuit of evil and corrupt affection, nor let your endeavours be spent in promoting your personal interest. Be generous in your days of plenty, and be patient in the hour of loss. Adversity is followed by success and rejoicings follow woe. Guard against idleness and sloth, and cling unto that which profiteth mankind, whether young or old, whether high or low. Beware lest ye sow tares of dissension among men or plant thorns of doubt in pure and radiant hearts.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 137-138

EVENING:

Man is like unto a tree. If he be adorned with fruit, he hath been and will ever be worthy of praise and commendation. Otherwise a fruitless tree is but fit for fire. The fruits of the human tree are exquisite, highly desired and dearly cherished. Among them are upright character, virtuous deeds and a goodly utterance. The springtime for earthly trees occurreth once every year, while the one for human trees appeareth in the Days of God — exalted be His glory. Were the trees of men’s lives to be adorned in this divine Springtime with the fruits that have been mentioned, the effulgence of the light of Justice would, of a certainty, illumine all the dwellers of the earth and everyone would abide in tranquillity and contentment beneath the sheltering shadow of Him Who is the Object of all mankind. The Water for these trees is the living water of the sacred Words uttered by the Beloved of the world. In one instant are such trees planted and in the next their branches shall, through the outpourings of the showers of divine mercy, have reached the skies. A dried-up tree, however, hath never been nor will be worthy of any mention.

Happy is the faithful one who is attired with the vesture of high endeavour and hath arisen to serve this Cause. Such a soul hath truly attained the desired Goal and hath apprehended the Object for which it hath been created. But a myriad times alas for the wayward who are like unto dried-up leaves fallen upon the dust. Ere long mortal blasts shall carry them away to the place ordained for them. Ignorant did they arrive, ignorant did they linger and ignorant did they retire to their abodes.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 257-258

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

For any soul who walketh in the path of guidance, there is no doubt he shall endure hardships. Consider thou their Highness the Apostles; likewise the Assembly of Christians, who were sanctified souls; what calamities and persecutions hailed them in the Cause during the first and second century and even up to the third century!

Look thou around the world of existence: A little worldly transaction cannot be brought about except through surmounting many an obstacle. How much more important are the objects of the Supreme World! Certainly there existeth troubles, trials, afflictions, persecution, censure and contempt. When thou didst occupy thy time in the past to give out religious exhortations and advices, thou experienced some persecutions and trouble. But thou canst not realize in this present moment what great ordeals are in store and what unbearable calamities, affliction and adversity exist, and that to give up life is the easiest of all those calamities. But the end of all these is bliss, overflowing joy, everlasting exultation, happiness and supreme contentment. It is eternal life, never ending glory, a lordly gift and divine sovereignty!

In brief, thou hast asked concerning my desire for thee: I wish, if thou art worldly, to become heavenly; if thou art of the world of possession, become thou celestial; if thou art of the material sphere, become an inhabitant of the realm of Light; hasten from the world of darkness to the world of illumination and become the manifestor of the exhortations, advices and instructions of the Blessed Perfection. This is my greatest desire for thee.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 547

22 October – 7 ‘Ilm   Leave a comment

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MORNING:

The Pen of the Most High has recorded: “Fear of God is the greatest commander that can render the Cause of God victorious, and the hosts which best befit this commander have ever been and are an upright character and pure and goodly deeds.”*

*From the Kitáb-i-Ahd, published in Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-’Aqdas rev. ed. (Haifa: Bahá’í World Center, 1982), p. 222.

The people of Bahá should, then, lead their lives and conduct their affairs with the highest degree of sanctity and godliness, and uncompromisingly repudiate and dissociate themselves from the disreputable practices, the deplorable modes and customs prevalent among the people of the West. Piety and devotion should be the object of all who would be accounted lovers of this Cause, and the adornment of every righteous soul; otherwise, slowly but surely, the illumination conferred on the innermost reality of men’s hearts by the virtues of the human world will flicker and fade and die away, to be overwhelmed by the engulfing darkness of vice and depravity. Courtesy and dignity are what bring nobility and standing to a man; whereas frivolity and facetiousness, ribaldry and effrontery will lead to his abasement, degradation and humiliation. The Bahá’ís should, indeed must, seek to distinguish themselves in all things, for what difference else would there be between them and others? Any action, therefore, that is calculated to detract from the dignity of man’s station must be steadfastly avoided and shunned.

— Bahá’u’lláh quoted in a letter written on behalf of the Beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi

21 January 1928 – translated from the Persian

The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 350)

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EVENING:

By God! In earthly riches fear is hidden and peril is concealed. Consider ye and call to mind that which the All-Merciful hath revealed in the Qur’án: ‘Woe betide every slanderer and defamer, him that layeth up riches and counteth them.’* Fleeting are the riches of the world; all that perisheth and changeth is not, and hath never been, worthy of attention, except to a recognized measure.

* Qur’án 104:1-2

—Bahá’u’lláh

Kitáb-i-Ahd

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 217

21 October ― 6 ‘Ilm   Leave a comment

MORNING:

In former religions such ordinances as holy war, destruction of books, the ban on association and companionship with other peoples or on reading certain books had been laid down and affirmed according to the exigencies of the time; however, in this mighty Revelation, in this momentous Announcement, the manifold bestowals and favours of God have overshadowed all men, and from the horizon of the Will of the Ever-Abiding Lord, His infallible decree hath prescribed that which We have set forth above.

We yield praise unto God — hallowed and glorified be He — for whatsoever He hath graciously revealed in this blessed, this glorious and incomparable Day. Indeed if everyone on earth were endowed with a myriad tongues and were to continually praise God and magnify His Name to the end that knoweth no end, their thanksgiving would not prove adequate for even one of the gracious favours We have mentioned in this Tablet. Unto this beareth witness every man of wisdom and discernment, of understanding and knowledge. 

We earnestly beseech God — exalted be His glory — to aid the rulers and sovereigns, who are the exponents of power and the daysprings of glory, to enforce His laws and ordinances. He is in truth the Omnipotent, the All-Powerful, He Who is wont to answer the call of men.

 —Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 28-39

EVENING:

Under all conditions, whether in adversity or at ease, whether honoured or afflicted, this Wronged One hath directed all men to show forth love, affection, compassion and harmony. And yet whenever there was any slight evidence of progress and advancement, those concealed behind the veils would sally forth and utter calumnies more wounding than the sword. They cling unto misleading and reprehensible words and suffer themselves to be deprived of the ocean of verses revealed by God.

If these obstructing veils had not intervened Persia would, in some two years, have been subdued through the power of utterance, the position of both the government and the people would have been raised and the Supreme Goal, unveiled and unconcealed, would have appeared in the plenitude of glory. In short, sometimes in explicit language, at other times by allusion, We said whatever had to be said. Thus, once Persia had been rehabilitated, the sweet savours of the Word of God would have wafted over all countries, inasmuch as that which hath streamed forth from the Most Exalted Pen is conducive to the glory, the advancement and education of all the peoples and kindreds of the earth. Indeed it is the sovereign remedy for every disease, could they but comprehend and perceive it.

—Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 72-73

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

Everything of importance in this world demands the close attention of its seeker. The one in pursuit of anything must undergo difficulties and hardships until the object in view is attained and the great success is obtained. This is the case of things pertaining to the world. How much higher is that which concerns the Supreme Concourse! That Cause involves every favor, glory and eternal bliss in the world of God. The seeker after the great guidance and eternal happiness necessarily will encounter difficulties. He must be patient under such circumstances. The chosen believers of the past quaffed the chalice of suffering and sank deep in the ocean of trials until they attained to that blessed station and sublime beatitude.

Verily, I pray to God to aid thy children in the service of the Word of God, the furtherance of His Covenant and the spread of His fragrances, for this is the great happiness of this life and that to come.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, pp: 265-266

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

Acceptance of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh carries with it the commitment

to strive for individual spiritual maturity and to participate in collective

efforts to build a thriving society and contribute to the common weal.  Science

and religion are the two inseparable, reciprocal systems of knowledge impelling

the advancement of civilization.  In the words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “The progress

of the world of humanity dependeth upon knowledge, and its decline is due to

ignorance.  When the human race gaineth in knowledge it becometh heavenly,

and when it acquireth learning it taketh on lordly attributes.”  To seek to acquire

knowledge and learning and to study useful sciences and crafts are among the

fundamental beliefs of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh.  Therefore, the long-term

solution you have chosen as a means of counteracting the difficulties imposed

upon you in the path of higher education is to engage in constructive

collaboration with other proponents of peace and reconciliation to build a

progressive and orderly society committed to the promotion of knowledge and

social justice.  You, the faithful lovers of the Blessed Beauty who have

remained immovable as a mountain in the tempest of trials and tribulations,

place your trust in His Word and consider every woe as a blessing and every

difficulty as a new opportunity to serve.  With dynamism, patience, and

fortitude, you are therefore determined to pursue the educational activities of

BIHE and have accepted that these recent attacks will naturally result in

temporary difficulties that may cause certain disruptions and require some

adjustments in the way its affairs are conducted.  You are well aware of the

importance of maintaining the unity and harmony of the community, which,

especially in these tumultuous days, is your shield and protection, and at all

times you place your hopes in the outpourings of God’s unfailing grace.

The enlightened people of Iran and other well-wishers around the world

stand with you.  We, too, are following the situation with close attention.

Rest assured that the valuable experience you have gained in providing higher

education to students who have been deprived thereof will be an effective

contribution to the advancement of learning among the youth of that nation–a

nation renowned for the promotion of knowledge.  Beyond them, countless

oppressed people around the world will also find inspiration in your

constructive and peaceful approach to opposing injustice and iniquity.

We supplicate on your behalf in the Sacred Shrines and fervently implore

God to unlock before your faces the portals of freedom and prosperity.

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

Letter: “To the Believers in the Cradle of the Faith,” 17 June 2011, p. 3

Posted October 21, 2016 by Once in Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh

20 October – 7 Ilm   Leave a comment

 

IMG_3138

MORNING:

Wert thou to come unto Us while divine revelation is descending upon Us, haply God will change thy fire into light. Verily He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous. Otherwise that which hath been revealed is decisive and final and will be faithfully upheld by all until the Day of Resurrection…

 

…We enjoin thee to save thyself and all the inhabitants of that land from the fire, then to enter the peerless and exalted Paradise of His good-pleasure. Otherwise the day is approaching when thou shalt perish and enter the fire, when thou shalt have neither patron nor helper from God. We have taken compassion on thee, as a sign of Our grace, inasmuch as thou hast related thyself unto Us. Verily We are aware of all things. We are cognizant of thy righteous deeds, though they shall avail thee nothing; for the whole object of such righteousness is but recognition of God, thy Lord, and undoubted faith in the Words revealed by Him.

His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp:  33-34

EVENING:

Thou art aware, O My God, that since the day Thou didst call Me into being out of the water of Thy love till I reached fifteen years of age I lived in the land which witnessed My birth [Shiráz]. Then Thou didst enable Me to go to the seaport [Bushihr] where for five years I was engaged in trading with the goodly gifts of Thy realm and was occupied in that with which Thou hast favoured Me through the wondrous essence of Thy loving-kindness. I proceeded therefrom to the Holy Land [Karbilá] where I sojourned for one year. Then I returned to the place of My birth. There I experienced the revelation of Thy sublime bestowals and the evidences of Thy boundless grace. I yield Thee praise for all Thy goodly gifts and I render Thee thanksgiving for all Thy bounties. Then at the age of twenty-five I proceeded to thy sacred House [Mecca], and by the time I returned to the place where I was born, a year had elapsed. There I tarried patiently in the path of Thy love and beheld the evidences of Thy manifold bounties and of Thy loving-kindness until Thou didst ordain for Me to set out in Thy direction and to migrate to Thy presence. Thus I departed therefrom by Thy leave, spending six months in the land of Sad [Isfahan] and seven months in the First Mountain [Maku], where Thou didst rain down upon Me that which beseemeth the glory of Thy heavenly blessings and befitteth the sublimity of Thy gracious gifts and favours. Now, in My thirtieth year, Thou beholdest Me, O My God, in this Grievous Mountain [Chihriq] where I have dwelt for one whole year.

Praise be unto Thee, O My Lord, for all times, heretofore and hereafter; and thanks be unto Thee, O My God, under all conditions, whether of the past or the future. The gifts Thou hast bestowed upon Me have reached their fullest measure and the blessings Thou hast vouchsafed unto Me have attained their consummation. Naught do I now witness but the manifold evidences of Thy grace and loving-kindness, Thy bounty and gracious favours, Thy generosity and loftiness, Thy sovereignty and might, Thy splendour and Thy glory, and that which befitteth the holy court of Thy transcendent dominion and majesty and beseemeth the glorious precincts of Thine eternity and exaltation.

His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp:  180-182

19 October ― 4 ‘Ilm   Leave a comment

A Calligraphy 080MORNING:

Great is the blessedness of that divine that hath not allowed knowledge to become a veil between him and the One Who is the Object of all knowledge, and who, when the Self-Subsisting appeared, hath turned with a beaming face towards Him. He, in truth, is numbered with the learned. The inmates of Paradise seek the blessing of his breath, and his lamp sheddeth its radiance over all who are in heaven and on earth. He, verily, is numbered with the inheritors of the Prophets. He that beholdeth him hath, verily, beheld the True One, and he that turneth towards him hath, verily, turned towards God, the Almighty, the All-Wise.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 79-80

 

EVENING:

O concourse of divines! Ye shall not henceforth behold yourselves possessed of any power, inasmuch as We have seized it from you, and destined it for such as have believed in God, the One, the All-Powerful, the Almighty, the Unconstrained.  

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p.80

18 October ― 3 ‘Ilm   Leave a comment

Indeed His three years of travel, first to Egypt, then to Europe and later to America, mark, if we would correctly appraise their historic importance, a turning point of the utmost significance in the history of the century. For the first time since the inception of the Faith, sixty-six years previously, its Head and supreme Representative burst asunder the shackles which had throughout the ministries of both the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh so grievously fettered its freedom. Though repressive measures still continued to circumscribe the activities of the vast majority of its adherents in the land of its birth, its recognized Leader was now vouchsafed a freedom of action which, with the exception of a brief interval in the course of the War of 1914-18, He was to continue to enjoy to the end of His life, and which has never since been withdrawn from its institutions at its world center.

So momentous a change in the fortunes of the Faith was the signal for such an outburst of activity on His part as to dumbfound His followers in East and West with admiration and wonder, and exercise an imperishable influence on the course of its future history. He Who, in His own words, had entered prison as a youth and left it an old man, Who never in His life had faced a public audience, had attended no school, had never moved in Western circles, and was unfamiliar with Western customs and language, had arisen not only to proclaim from pulpit and platform, in some of the chief capitals of Europe and in the leading cities of the North American continent, the distinctive verities enshrined in His Father’s Faith, but to demonstrate as well the Divine origin of the Prophets gone before Him, and to disclose the nature of the tie binding them to that Faith.

 Shoghi Effendi

God Passes By, p. 280-281

 

MORNING:

And still again in another connection: “The Sun of Divine Utterance can never set, neither can its radiance be extinguished. These sublime words have, in this day, been heard from the Lote-Tree beyond which there is no passing: ‘I belong to him that loveth Me, that holdeth fast My commandments, and casteth away the things forbidden him in My Book.'”

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 24

 

EVENING:

“This is the day to make mention of God, to celebrate His praise, and to serve Him; deprive not yourselves thereof. Ye are the letters of the words, and the words of the Book. Ye are the saplings which the hand of Loving-kindness hath planted in the soil of mercy, and which the showers of bounty have made to flourish. He hath protected you from the mighty winds of misbelief, and the tempestuous gales of impiety, and nurtured you with the hands of His loving providence. Now is the time for you to put forth your leaves, and yield your fruit. The fruits of the tree of man have ever been and are goodly deeds and a praiseworthy character. Withhold not these fruits from the heedless. If they be accepted, your end is attained, and the purpose of life achieved. If not, leave them in their pastime of vain disputes. Strive, O people of God, that haply the hearts of the divers kindreds of the earth may, through the waters of your forbearance and loving-kindness, be cleansed and sanctified from animosity and hatred, and be made worthy and befitting recipients of the splendors of the Sun of Truth.”

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp: 25-26

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

 

 Be ye not seated and silent! Diffuse the glad-tidings of the Kingdom far and wide to the ears, promulgate the Word of God, and put into practice the advices and covenants of God; that is, arise ye with such qualities and attributes that ye may continually bestow life to the body of the world, and nurse the infants of the universe up to the station of maturity and perfection. Enkindle with all your might in every meeting the light of the love of God, gladden and cheer every heart with the utmost loving-kindness, show forth your love to strangers just as you show forth to your relations. If a soul is seeking to quarrel, ask ye for reconciliation; if he blame ye, praise [him]; if he give you a deadly poison, bestow ye an all-healing antidote; if he createth death, administer ye eternal life; if he  504  becometh a thorn, change ye into roses and hyacinths. Perchance, through such deeds and words, this darkened world will become illuminated, this terrestrial universe will become transformed into a heavenly realm, and this satanic prison become a divine court; warfare and bloodshed be annihilated, and love and faithfulness hoist the tent of unity upon the apex of the world.

 

These are the results of the divine advices and exhortations, and the epitome of the teachings of the Bahá’í Cycle

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp: 503-504

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

¶2  How swift indeed has been the current change in the tide of world conditions! In the resultant conflict, involving so conspicuously the countries in which the earliest history of the Cause took shape, we see a fresh reminder of Bahá’u’lláh’s warning that the “world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order”. That the events of this crisis directly affect a territory with as rich a Bahá’í legacy as Iraq is particularly noteworthy.

 

¶3  The disruptions caused by this and other situations in the world have, in one instance, suggested the opening of a new chapter in the history of the highly prized but woefully oppressed Bahá’í community of a land in which the Manifestation of God for this Day resided for a whole decade. In another, they have dashed the preparations for the Ninth International Convention at the World Centre of our Faith. But, however disappointing, this calls for no dismay. When the Major Plan of God interferes with His Minor Plan, there should be no doubt that in due course a way will providentially be opened to an opportunity of stellar possibilities for advancing the interests of His glorious Cause.

 

¶4  The sorrows, fears and perplexities evoked by this latest conflict in the unfoldment of the Lesser Peace have intensified the feelings of grievance and outrage at the recurrent crises agitating the planet. The anxieties of people across the globe are even now being played out publicly in angry demonstrations too overwhelming to be ignored. The issues they protest and the emotions they arouse often add to the chaos and confusion they hope by such public displays to resolve. For the friends of God, there is an unambiguous explanation for what is occurring; they have only to recall the vision and principles offered by the Faith if they are to respond effectively to the challenges posed by the spread of distress and dismay. Let them strive to understand more deeply the Teachings that are relevant by reviewing letters of Shoghi Effendi which have been published in The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, particularly those entitled “The Goal of a New World Order”, “America and the Most Great Peace”, and “The Unfoldment of World Civilization”.

¶5 While the world continues on its tumultuous course, the Five Year Plan has reached the operational capacity to enable our community to make giant strides towards its major aim of advancing the process of entry by troops.

Riḍván Message 160, 2003