Archive for October 2016

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

17 October ― 2 ‘Ilm   Leave a comment

By the righteousness of the Almighty! Every hidden thing hath been manifested through the power of truth. All the favors of God have been sent down, as a token of His grace. The waters of everlasting life have, in their fullness, been proffered unto men. Every single cup hath been borne round by the hand of the Well-Beloved. Draw near, and tarry not, though it be for one short moment.Blessed are they that have soared on the wings of detachment and attained the station which, as ordained by God, overshadoweth the entire creation, whom neither the vain imaginations of the learned, nor the multitude of the hosts of the earth have succeeded in deflecting from His Cause. 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 33

MORNING:

This is the Day whereon the true servants of God partake of the life-giving waters of reunion, the Day whereon those that are nigh unto Him are able to drink of the soft-flowing river of immortality, and they who believe in His unity, the wine of His Presence, through their recognition of Him Who is the Highest and Last End of all, in Whom the Tongue of Majesty and Glory voiceth the call: “The Kingdom is Mine. I, Myself, am, of Mine own right, its Ruler.”

Attract the hearts of men, through the call of Him, the one alone Beloved. Say: This is the Voice of God, if ye do but hearken. This is the Day Spring of the Revelation of God, did ye but know it. This is the Dawning-Place of the Cause of God, were ye to recognize it. This is the Source of the commandment of God, did ye but judge it fairly. This is the manifest and hidden Secret; would that ye might perceive it. O peoples of the world! Cast away, in My name that transcendeth all other names, the things ye possess, and immerse yourselves in this Ocean in whose depths lay hidden the pearls of wisdom and of utterance, an ocean that surgeth in My name, the All-Merciful. Thus instructeth you He with Whom is the Mother Book.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 33

EVENING:

The Best-Beloved is come. In His right hand is the sealed Wine of His name. Happy is the man that turneth unto Him, and drinketh his fill, and exclaimeth: “Praise be to Thee, O Revealer of the signs of God!” By the righteousness of the Almighty! Every hidden thing hath been manifested through the power of truth. All the favors of God have been sent down, as a token of His grace. The waters of everlasting life have, in their fullness, been proffered unto men. Every single cup hath been borne round by the hand of the Well-Beloved. Draw near, and tarry not, though it be for one short moment.

Blessed are they that have soared on the wings of detachment and attained the station which, as ordained by God, overshadoweth the entire creation, whom neither the vain imaginations of the learned, nor the multitude of the hosts of the earth have succeeded in deflecting from His Cause. Who is there among you, O people, who will renounce the world, and draw nigh unto God, the Lord of all names? Where is he to be found who, through the power of My name that transcendeth all created things, will cast away the things that men possess, and cling, with all his might, to the things which God, the Knower of the unseen and of the seen, hath bidden him observe? Thus hath His bounty been sent down unto men, His testimony fulfilled, and His proof shone forth above the Horizon of mercy. Rich is the prize that shall be won by him who hath believed and exclaimed: “Lauded art Thou, O Beloved of all worlds! Magnified be Thy name, O Thou the Desire of every understanding heart!”

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 34-35

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

Blessed art thou, that thy heart is connected with the callings of the Kingdom of El-Abhá, so that thou hast dispensed with the telepathic wires of the world, because the terminal of the spiritual wire reached the center of thy heart and the other is placed in the Spiritual Center, vibrating information constantly through the power of the Spirit and successively conveying the great glad-tidings. This is the station of every maid-servant whose heart is filled with the love of God and attracted to the Beauty of El-Abhá…

…O maid-servant of God! It is incumbent upon thee to diffuse the fragrances, it is incumbent upon thee to promulgate the teachings of God and it is incumbent upon thee to breathe the spirit of life into the hearts of the people of those regions, so that thou be a lamp of guidance in the recess of Green Acre. Take the cup of the love of God in thy right hand and with thy left hand hoist the banner of universal peace, love and affection among the nations of the earth . Call out: “Hasten! Hasten unto the Great Bounty! Press! Press forward unto the Abundant Mercy! Speed! Speed unto the Manifest Light! Be urgent! Be urgent for the Great Attainment! Verily, by God the Truth, the doors of the Kingdom are opened, the lights of God have shown forth and illumined the horizon of the earth! The Lord of Hosts hath descended with the army of lights and angels of heaven and depressed the armies of darkness! He sent His angels to all directions, with a call of the trumpet of realities and meanings, instructions and teachings! Therefore, O people of the earth, appreciate the opportunity, in this new century, wherein the lights have been revealed by the Glorious Lord!”

In regard to the school which thou didst think of and its organization: I ask God that thou shouldst become confirmed in it with all order and command. But now it is necessary first to organize the Cause of God in those countries; then, order and preparation. Therefore arise, through a power from God, in organizing the Cause of God — that is, the diffusion of the fragrances of God, promotion of the Word of God and heralding unto the nations and peoples with a pre-existent power the appearance of the Most Great Sun.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 287-288

16 October ― THE FEAST OF ‘ILM [KNOWLEDGE]   Leave a comment

16 October ― THE FEAST OF ‘ILM [KNOWLEDGE]

Eyes are now open to the beauty of the oneness of humanity, of love and of brotherhood. The darkness of suppression will disappear and the light of unity will shine. We cannot bring love and unity to pass merely by talking of it. Knowledge is not enough. Wealth, science, education are good, we know: but we must also work and study to bring to maturity the fruit of knowledge.

Knowledge is the first step; resolve, the second step; action, its fulfillment, is the third step. To construct a building one must first of all make a plan, then one must have the power, then one can build. A society of Unity is formed, that is good — but meetings and discussions are not enough. In Egypt these meetings take place but there is only talk and no result. These meetings here in London are good, the knowledge and the intention are good, but how can there be a result without action? Today the force for Unity is the Holy Spirit of Bahá’u’lláh. He manifested this spirit of Unity. Bahá’u’lláh brings East and West together. Go back, search history, you will not find a precedent for this.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, pp: 54-55

MORNING:

From all eternity I have indeed recognized Thee and unto all eternity will ever do so through Thine Own Self and not through any one else besides Thee. Verily Thou art the Source of all knowledge, the Omniscient. From everlasting I have besought and unto everlasting will beseech forgiveness for my limited understanding of Thee, aware as I am that there is no God but Thee, the All-Glorious, the Almighty.

I beg of Thee, O my Best Beloved, to pardon me and those who earnestly seek to promote Thy Cause; Thou art indeed the One Who forgiveth the sins of all mankind. And in this second year of my Revelation — a Revelation which took place at Thy behest — I bear witness that Thou art the Most Manifest, the Omnipotent, the Ever-Abiding; that of all things that exist on earth and in the heavens nothing whatsoever can frustrate Thy purpose and that Thou art the Knower of all things and the Lord of might and majesty.

Verily, we have believed in Thee and in Thy signs ere the dawn of Thy Manifestation, and in Thee are we all well-assured. Verily, we have believed in Thee and in Thy signs after the fulfilment of Thy Manifestation, and in Thee do we all believe. Verily, we have believed in Thee and in Thy signs at the hour of Thy Manifestation and bear witness that through Thine injunction ‘Be Thou’ all things have been created.

Every Manifestation is but a revelation of Thine Own Self, with each of Whom we have truly appeared and we bow down in adoration before Thee. Thou hast been, O my Best Beloved, and shalt ever be my witness throughout bygone times and in the days to come. Verily, Thou art the All-Powerful, the Ever-Faithful, the Omnipotent.

His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 4

EVENING:

O thou the Supreme Word of God! Fear not, nor be Thou grieved, for indeed unto such as have responded to Thy Call, whether men or women, We have assured forgiveness of sins, as known in the presence of the Best Beloved and in conformity with what Thou desirest. Verily His knowledge embraceth all things. I adjure Thee by My life, set Thy face towards Me and be not apprehensive. Verily Thou art the Exalted One among the Celestial Concourse, and Thy hidden Mystery hath, of a truth, been recorded upon the Tablet of creation in the midst of the Burning Bush.

His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 55

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

The challenge to the individual Bahá’í in every field of service, but above all in teaching the Cause of God is never-ending. With every fresh affliction visited upon mankind our inescapable duty becomes more apparent, nor should we ever forget that if we neglect this duty, “others” in the words of Shoghi Effendi, “will be called upon to take up our task as ministers to the crying needs of this afflicted world”. Now, it seems, we may well be entering an era of the longed-for expansion of our beloved Faith. Mankind’s growing hunger for spiritual truth is our opportunity. While reaching forth to grasp it we would do well to ponder the following words of Bahá’u’lláh:

Your behaviour towards your neighbour should be such as to manifest clearly the signs of the one true God, for ye are the first among men to be re-created by His Spirit, the first to adore and bow the knee before Him, the first to circle round His throne of glory.

As humanity plunges deeper into that condition of which Bahá’u’lláh wrote, “to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly”, so must the believers increasingly stand out as assured, orientated and fundamentally happy beings, conforming to a standard which, in direct contrast to the ignoble and amoral attitudes of modern society, is the source of their honour, strength and maturity. It is this marked contrast between the vigour, unity and discipline of the Bahá’í community on the one hand, and the increasing confusion, despair and feverish tempo of a doomed society on the other, which, during the turbulent years ahead will draw the eyes of humanity to the sanctuary of Bahá’u’lláh’s world-redeeming Faith.

Riván 123, 1966, p. 4

15 October ― 19 Mashiyyat   Leave a comment

Our task is to build the Order of Bahá’u’lláh. Undeflected by the desperate expedients of those who seek to subdue the storm convulsing human life by political, economic, social or educational programs, let us, with single-minded devotion and concentrating all our efforts on our objective, raise His Divine System and sheltered within its impregnable stronghold, safe from the darts of doubtfulness, demonstrate the Bahá’í way of life. Wherever a Bahá’í community exists, whether large or small, let it be distinguished for its abiding sense of security and faith, its high standard of rectitude, its complete freedom from all forms of prejudice, the spirit of love among its members and for the closely knit fabric of its social life. The acute distinction between this and present day society will inevitably arouse the interest of the more enlightened, and as the world’s gloom deepens the light of Bahá’í life will shine brighter and brighter until its brilliance must eventually attract the disillusioned masses and cause them to enter the haven of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh, Who alone can bring them peace and Justice and an ordered life.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

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The Universal House of Justice, Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973, p. 12

MORNING:

IMG_2644O thou who hast set foot in the wilderness of knowledge and taken abode within the ark of wisdom! Not until thou hast grasped the mysteries concealed in that which We shall relate unto thee canst thou hope to attain to the stations of faith and certitude in the Cause of God and in those who are the Manifestations of His Cause, the Daysprings of His Command, the Treasuries of His revelation, and the Repositories of His knowledge. Shouldst thou fail in this, thou wouldst be numbered with them that have not striven for the Cause of God, nor inhaled the fragrance of faith from the raiment of certitude, nor scaled the heights of the divine unity, nor yet recognized the stations of divine singleness within the Embodiments of praise and the Essences of sanctity.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 5

EVENING:

IMG_2631For were they to reach the ultimate object of their quest for God and their attainment unto Him, they would have but reached that abode which hath been raised up within their own hearts. How then could they ever hope to ascend unto such realms as have not been ordained for them or created for their station? Nay, though they journey from everlasting to everlasting, they will never attain unto Him Who is the midmost Heart of existence and the Axis of the entire creation, He on Whose right hand flow the seas of grandeur, on Whose left stream the rivers of might, and Whose court none can ever hope to reach, how much les His very abode! For He dwelleth in the ark of fire, speedeth, in the sphere of fire, through the ocean of fire, and moveth within the atmosphere of fire. How can he who hath been fashioned of contrary elements ever enter or even approach this fire? Were he to do so, he would be instantly consumed.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp: 74-75

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

Observe the influence on material situations of that training which is inculcated by the true Educator. Here were tribes so benighted and untamed that during the period of the Jáhiliyyíh they would bury their seven-year-old daughters alive ― an act which even an animal, let alone a human being, would hate and shrink from but which they in their extreme degradation considered the ultimate expression of honor and devotion to principle ― and this darkened people, thanks to the manifest teachings of that great Personage, advanced to such a degree that after they conquered Egypt, Syria and its capital Damascus, Chaldea, Mesopotamia and Iran, they came to administer single-handedly whatever matters were of major importance in four main regions of the globe.

The Arabs then excelled all the peoples of the world in science and the arts, in industry and invention, in philosophy, government and moral character. And truly, the rise of this brutish and despicable element, in such a short interval, to the supreme heights of human perfection, is the greatest demonstration of the rightfulness of the Lord Muḥammad’s Prophethood.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp: 88-89

 

14 October ― 18 Mashíyyat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

O SON OF SPIRIT!

The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words, #2

EVENING:

O SON OF JUSTICE!

Whither can a lover go but to the land of his beloved? and what seeker findeth rest away from his heart’s desire? To the true lover reunion is life, and separation is death. His breast is void of patience and his heart hath no peace. A myriad lives he would forsake to hasten to the abode of his beloved.

O SON OF DUST!

Verily I say unto thee: Of all men the most negligent is he that disputeth idly and seeketh to advance himself over his brother. Say, O brethren! Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.

O SON OF EARTH!

Know, verily, the heart wherein the least remnant of envy yet lingers, shall never attain My everlasting dominion, nor inhale the sweet savors of holiness breathing from My kingdom of sanctity.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Persian Hidden Words, #4-6

13 October ― 17 Mashíyyat   Leave a comment

Gird up the loins of your endeavor, O people of Bahá, that haply the tumult of religious dissension and strife that agitateth the peoples of the earth may be stilled, that every trace of it may be completely obliterated. For the love of God, and them that serve Him, arise to aid this sublime and momentous Revelation. Religious fanaticism and hatred are a world-devouring fire, whose violence none can quench. The Hand of Divine power can, alone, deliver mankind from this desolating affliction. Consider the war that hath involved the two Nations, how both sides have renounced their possessions and their lives. How many the villages that were completely wiped out!

The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Daystar of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The One true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.

 His Holiness Baha’u’llah

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp: 13-14

 

MORNING:

Now is the moment in which to cleanse thyself with the waters of detachment that have flowed out from the Supreme Pen, and to ponder, wholly for the sake of God, those things which, time and again, have been sent down or manifested, and then to strive, as much as lieth in thee, to quench, through the power of wisdom and the force of thy utterance, the fire of enmity and hatred which smouldereth in the hearts of the peoples of the world. The Divine Messengers have been sent down, and their Books were revealed, for the purpose of promoting the knowledge of God, and of furthering unity and fellowship amongst men. But now behold, how they have made the Law of God a cause and pretext for perversity and hatred. How pitiful, how regrettable, that most men are cleaving fast to, and have busied themselves with, the things they possess, and are unaware of, and shut out as by a veil from, the things God possesseth!

Say: “O God, my God! Attire mine head with the crown of justice, and my temple with the ornament of equity. Thou, verily, art the Possessor of all gifts and bounties.”

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp: 12-13

EVENING:

Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.

These words have streamed from the pen of this Wronged One in one of His Tablets: “The purpose of the one true God, exalted be His glory, hath been to bring forth the Mystic Gems out of the mine of man — they Who are the Dawning-Places of His Cause and the Repositories of the pearls of His knowledge; for, God Himself, glorified be He, is the Unseen, the One concealed and hidden from the eyes of men. Consider what the Merciful hath revealed in the Qur’án: No vision taketh in Him, but He taketh in all vision, and He is the Subtile, the All-Informed!”

That the divers communions of the earth, and the manifold systems of religious belief, should never be allowed to foster the feelings of animosity among men, is, in this Day, of the essence of the Faith of God and His Religion. These principles and laws, these firmly-established and mighty systems, have proceeded from one Source, and are rays of one Light. That they differ one from another is to be attributed to the varying requirements of the ages in which they were promulgated.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 13

12 October ― 16 Mashíyyat   Leave a comment

The wish of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, that which attracts His good pleasure and, indeed, His binding command, is that Bahá’ís, in all matters, even in small daily transactions and dealings with others, should act in accordance with the divine Teachings. He has commanded us not to be content with lowliness, humility and meekness, but rather to become manifestations of selflessness and utter nothingness.

Shoghi Effendi

From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá’ís of the East – translated from the Persian

The Compilation of Compilations, Volume II, p.1

 

MORNING:

This is not a Cause which may be made a plaything for your idle fancies, nor is it a field for the foolish and faint of heart. By God, this is the arena of insight and detachment, of vision and upliftment, where none may spur on their chargers save the valiant horsemen of the Merciful, who have severed all attachment to the world of being. These, truly, are they that render God victorious on earth, and are the dawning-places of His sovereign might amidst mankind.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶178

EVENING:

This servant appealeth to every diligent and enterprising soul to exert his utmost endeavour and arise to rehabilitate the conditions in all regions and to quicken the dead with the living waters of wisdom and utterance, by virtue of the love he cherisheth for God, the One, the Peerless, the Almighty, the Beneficent.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988), p. 172

FROM THE GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE SHOGHI EFFENDI:

The wish of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, that which attracts His good pleasure and, indeed, His binding command, is that Bahá’ís, in all matters, even in small daily transactions and dealings with others, should act in accordance with the divine Teachings. He has commanded us not to be content with lowliness, humility and meekness, but rather to become manifestations of selflessness and utter nothingness. Of old, all have been exhorted to loyalty and fidelity, compassion and love; in this supreme Dispensation, the people of Bahá are called upon to sacrifice their very lives. Notice the extent to which the friends have been required in the Sacred Epistles and Tablets, as well as in our Beloved’s Testament, to be righteous, well-wishing, forbearing, sanctified, pure, detached from all else save God, severed from the trappings of this world and adorned with the mantle of a goodly character and godly attributes.

First and foremost, one should use every possible means to purge one’s heart and motives, otherwise, engaging in any form of enterprise would be futile. It is also essential to abstain from hypocrisy and blind imitation, inasmuch as their foul odour is soon detected by every man of understanding and wisdom. Moreover, the friends must observe the specific times for the remembrance of God, meditation, devotion and prayer, as it is highly unlikely, nay impossible, for any enterprise to prosper and develop when deprived of divine bestowals and confirmation. One can hardly imagine what a great influence genuine love, truthfulness and purity of motives exert on the souls of men. But these traits cannot be acquired by any believer unless he makes a daily effort to gain them…

It is primarily through the potency of noble deeds and character, rather than by the power of exposition and proofs, that the friends of God should demonstrate to the world that what has been promised by God is bound to happen, that it is already taking place and that the divine glad-tidings are clear, evident and complete. For unless some illustrious souls step forth into the arena of service and shine out resplendent in the assemblage of men, the task of vindicating the truth of this Cause before the eyes of enlightened people would be formidable indeed. However, if the friends become embodiments of virtue and good character, words and arguments will be superfluous. Their very deeds will well serve as eloquent testimony, and their noble conduct will ensure the preservation, integrity and glory of the Cause of God.

From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá’ís of the East – translated from the Persian

The Compilation of Compilations, Volume II, pp: 1-2