Archive for June 2017

24 June —2 Rahmat   Leave a comment

Three great fields of service lie open before young Bahá’ís, in which they will simultaneously be remaking the character of human society and preparing ethemselves for the work they can undertake later in their lives….

IMG_9519

…The second field of service, which is linked intimately with the first, is teaching the Faith, particularly to their fellow youth, among whom are some of the most open and seeking minds in the world. Not yet having acquired all the responsibilities of a family or a long-established home and job, youth can the more easily choose where they will live and study or work. In the world at large young people travel hither and thither seeking amusement, education, and experiences. Bahá’í youth, bearing the incomparable treasure of the Word of God for this Day, can harness this mobility into service for mankind and can choose their places of residence, their areas of travel, and their types of work with the goal in mind of how they can best serve the Faith.

The Universal House of Justice

 

Wellspring of Guidance, Messages 1963-1968, pp: 94-95

MORNING:

How resplendent the luminaries of knowledge that shine in an atom, and how vast the oceans of wisdom that surge within a drop! To a supreme degree is this true of man, who, among all created things, hath been invested with the robe of such gifts, and hath been singled out for the glory of such distinction. For in him are potentially revealed all the attributes and names of God to a degree that no other created being hath excelled or surpassed. All these names and attributes are applicable to him. Even as He hath said: “Man is My mystery, and I am his mystery.” Manifold are the verses that have been repeatedly revealed in all the heavenly Books and the holy Scriptures, expressive of this most subtle and lofty theme. Even as He hath revealed: “We will surely show them Our signs in the world and within themselves.”* Again He saith: “And also in your own selves: will ye not then behold the signs of God?”** And yet again He revealeth: “And be ye not like those who forget God, and whom He hath therefore caused to forget their own selves.”*** In this connection, He Who is the eternal King — may the souls of all that dwell within the mystic Tabernacle be a sacrifice unto Him — hath spoken: “He hath known God who hath known himself.

    *Qur’án 41:53

  **Qur’án 51:21

***Qur’án 59:19

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 100

EVENING:

No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of true understanding except he be detached from all that is in heaven and on earth. Sanctify your souls, O ye peoples of the world, that haply ye may attain that station which God hath destined for you and enter thus the tabernacle which, according to the dispensations of Providence, hath been raised in the firmament of the Bayán.

The essence of these words is this: they that tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all that is earthly — their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain imaginings, their hearts from worldly affections, their eyes from that which perisheth. They should put their trust in God, and, holding fast unto Him, follow in His way. Then will they be made worthy of the effulgent glories of the sun of divine knowledge and understanding, and become the recipients of a grace that is infinite and unseen, inasmuch as man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious, can never quaff from the stream of divine knowledge and wisdom, can never enter the abode of immortality, nor partake of the cup of divine nearness and favour, unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 3-4

FROM THE MYSTERY OF GOD ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Thou didst ask whether, at the advent of the Kingdom of God, every soul was saved. The Sun of Truth hath shone forth in splendour over all the world, and its luminous rising is man’s salvation and his eternal life — but only he is of the saved who hath opened wide the eye of his discernment and beheld that glory.

Likewise didst thou ask whether, in this Bahá’í Dispensation, the spiritual will ultimately prevail. It is certain that spirituality will defeat materialism, that the heavenly will subdue the human, and that through divine education the masses of mankind generally will take great steps forward in all degrees of life — except for those who are blind and deaf and mute and dead. How can such as they understand the light? Though the sun’s rays illumine every darkest corner of the globe, still the blind can have no share in the glory, and though the rain of heavenly mercy come down in torrents over all the earth, no shrub or flower will bloom from a barren land.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 191-192

23 June ― FEAST OF RAḤMAT [MERCY]   Leave a comment

Three great fields of service lie open before young Bahá’ís, in which they will simultaneously be remaking the character of human society and preparing themselves for the work they can undertake later in their lives….

The third field of service is the preparation by youth for their later years. It is the obligation of a Bahá’í to educate his children; likewise it is the duty of the children to acquire knowledge of the arts and sciences and to learn a trade or a profession whereby they, in turn, can earn their living and support their families. This, for a Bahá’í youth, is in itself a service to God, a service, moreover, which can be combined with teaching the Faith and often with pioneering. The Bahá’í community will need men and women of many skills and qualifications; for, as it grows in size the sphere of its activities in the life of society will increase and diversify. Let Bahá’í youth, therefore, consider the best ways in which they can ug and develop their native abilities for the service of mankind and the Cause of God, whether this be as farmers, teachers, doctors, artisans, musicians, or any one of the multitude of livelihoods that are open to them.

 

The Universal House of Justice

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Wellspring of Guidance, Messages 1963-1968, pp: 94-95

24 June ― FEAST OF RAḤMAT [MERCY]

MORNING:

These few have been endued with

the Divine Elixir that can, alone, transmute into purest

gold the dross of the world, and have been empowered

to administer the infallible remedy for all the ills that

afflict the children of men.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 183

EVENING:

If ye obey Me you will see that

which We have promised you, and I will make you the

friends of My Soul in the realm of My Greatness and

the Companions of My Beauty in the heaven of My

Might forever.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

God Passes By, p. x

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

In this day, the beloved of God must

not hesitate or delay an instant in teaching the

Cause . . . to the soul who is the cause of guidance to

another soul the recompense of a martyr in the way of

God will be assuredly recorded by the pen of the Cause

for his deed . . . Do according to what host been commanded

and do not be of those who tarry.

 

Baháí’News #254. p. 4

22 June ― 18 Núr   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_0662Every eye, in this Day, should seek what will best promote the Cause of God. He, Who is the Eternal Truth, beareth Me witness! Nothing whatsoever can, in this Day, inflict a greater harm upon this Cause than dissension and strife, contention, estrangement and apathy, among the loved ones of God. Flee them, through the power of God and His sovereign aid, and strive ye to knit together the hearts of men, in His Name, the Unifier, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

Beseech ye the one true God to grant that ye may taste the savor of such deeds as are performed in His path, and partake of the sweetness of such humility and submissiveness as are shown for His sake. Forget your own selves, and turn your eyes towards your neighbor. Bend your energies to whatever may foster the education of men. Nothing is, or can ever be, hidden from God. If ye follow in His way, His incalculable and imperishable blessings will be showered upon you. This is the luminous Tablet, whose verses have streamed from the moving Pen of Him Who is the Lord of all worlds. Ponder it in your hearts, and be ye of them that observe its precepts.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 8-9

 EVENING:

The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System — the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.

Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of this Cause — a Cause through which the potentialities of the might of God have been revealed, and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming with joy, hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it — verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, pp. 118-119

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

O ye beloved ones! It is the moment of the ecstasy of the soul and consciousness and the season of running in the arena of sacrifice! Show ye kindness to all; be ye engaged in the refinement of the souls. Become ye as ignited lamps and adorn ye the orchard of being! These days are swiftly passing and this mortal life will remain fruitless and without result. Therefore, while there is yet time and the arrow is in the bow, enter ye the chase and strike ye the game. This game is the good-pleasure of God, and this chase is the merciful Providence; that is, living accord with the divine instructions.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 573-574

21 June ― 17 Núr   Leave a comment

Three great fields of service lie open before young Bahá’ís, in which they will simultaneously be remaking the character of human society and preparing themselves for the work they can undertake later in their lives.

First, the foundation of all their other accomplishments, is their study of the teachings, the spiritualization of their lives, and the forming of their characters in accordance with the standards of Bahá’u’lláh. As the moral standards of the people around us collapse and decay, whether of the centuries civilizations of the East, the more recent cultures of Christendom and Islam, or of the rapidly changing tribal societies of the world, the Bahá’ís must increasingly stand out as pillars of righteousness and forbearance. The life of a Bahá’í will be characterized by truthfulness and decency; he will walk uprightly among his fellowmen, dependent upon none save God, yet linked by bonds of love and brotherhood with all mankind; he will be entirely detached from the loose standards, the decadent theories, the frenetic experimentation, the desperation of present-day society, will look upon his neighbors with a bright and friendly face, and be a beacon light and a haven for all those who would emulate his strength of character and assurance of soul.

 

The Universal House of Justice

Wellspring of Guidance, Messages 1963-1968, p. 94

 

MORNING:

 

 

The time is at hand when whatsoever lieth hid in the souls and hearts of men will be disclosed. This Day is the Day whereof Luqman spoke unto his son, the Day which the Lord of Glory announced and with which He acquainted Him Who was His Friend (Muḥammad) through these, His words — exalted be He: — “O my son! Verily, God will bring everything to light, though it were but the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and hidden in a rock or in the heavens or in the earth; for God is Subtile, informed of all.” This Day the deceitful of eye, and all that men’s breasts conceal, are made known and laid bare before the throne of His Revelation. Nothing whatsoever can escape His knowledge. He heareth and seeth, and He, in truth, is the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing. How very strange that they discern not between the trustworthy and the treacherous!

 

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 107

 

 

EVENING:

He that is unjust in his judgment is destitute of the characteristics that distinguish man’s station. He Who is the Eternal Truth knoweth well what the breasts of men conceal. His long forbearance hath emboldened His creatures, for not until the appointed time is come will He rend any veil asunder. His surpassing mercy hath restrained the fury of His wrath, and caused most people to imagine that the one true God is unaware of the things they have privily committed. By Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed! The mirror of His knowledge reflecteth, with complete distinctness, precision and fidelity, the doings of all men. Say: Praise be to Thee, O Concealer of the sins of the weak and helpless! Magnified be Thy name, O Thou that forgivest the heedless ones that trespass against Thee!

 

 

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 204

20 June — 16 Núr   Leave a comment

Gate to the Garden of Riḍván, Haifa, Israel

MORNING:

Who is there that hath cried after Thee, and whose prayer hath remained unanswered? Where is he to be found who hath reached forth towards Thee, and whom Thou hast failed to approach? Who is he that can claim to have fixed his gaze upon Thee, and toward whom the eye of Thy loving-kindness hath not been directed? I bear witness that Thou hadst turned toward Thy servants ere they had turned toward Thee, and hadst remembered them ere they had remembered Thee. All grace is Thine, O Thou in Whose hand is the kingdom of Divine gifts and the source of every irrevocable decree.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 253

EVENING:

Peruse My verses with joy and radiance. Verily they will attract you unto God and will enable you to detach yourselves from aught else save Him. Thus have ye been admonished in God’s Holy Writ and in this resplendent Tablet.

From a Tablet- translated from the Arabic

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 188

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

‘Abdu’l-Bahá walking in front of Helen Goodall’s home in Oakland, California, October 12, 1912

O thou spiritual friend! Thou hast asked about the wisdom of obligatory prayer. Know thou that such prayer is mandafftory and binding. Man under no pretext whatsoever is excused from observing the prayer unless he is incapable of performing it or some great obstacle interveneth. The wisdom of obligatory prayer is this: That it causeth a connection between the servant and the True One, because at that time man with all his heart and soul turneth his face towards the Almighty, seeking His association and desiring His love and companionship. For a lover, there is no greater pleasure than to converse with his beloved, and for a seeker, there is no greater bounty than intimacy with the object of his desire. It is the greatest longing of every soul who is attracted to the Kingdom of God to find time to turn with entire devotion to his Beloved, so as to seek His bounty and blessing and immerse himself in the ocean of communion, entreaty and supplication.

The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting, #VIIH

Posted June 20, 2017 by Once in 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh, Bahá’í Faith, God, The Báb

19 June — 15 Núr   Leave a comment

MORNING:a Baha

Yet it behoveth the people of truth that the signs of humility should shine upon their faces, that the light of sanctity should radiate from their countenances, that they should walk upon the earth as though they were in the presence of God and distinguish themselves in their deeds from all the dwellers of the earth. Such must be their state that their eyes should behold the evidences of His might, their tongues and hearts make mention of His name, their feet be set towards the lands of His nearness, and their hands take fast hold upon His precepts. And were they to pass through a valley of pure  gold and mines of precious silver, they should regard them as wholly unworthy of their attention.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp. 59-60

Photo: Mírẓá Músá loyal brother to Bahá’u’lláh in Adrionople Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 331

EVENING:

O son of man! If thine eyes be turned towards mercy, forsake the things that profit thee and cleave unto that which will profit mankind. And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself. Humility exalteth man to the heaven of glory and power, whilst pride abaseth him to the depths of wretchedness and degradation.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 64

FROM  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

All religions teach that we should love one another; that we should seek out our own shortcomings before we presume to condemn the faults of others, that we must not consider ourselves superior to our neighbours! We must be careful not to exalt ourselves lest we be humiliated.

Who are we that we should judge? How shall we know who, in the sight of God, is the most upright man? God’s thoughts are not like our thoughts! How many men who have seemed saint-like to their friends have fallen into the greatest humiliation. Think of Judas Iscariot; he began well, but remember his end! On the other hand, Paul, the Apostle, was in his early life an enemy of Christ, whilst later he became His most faithful servant. How then can we flatter ourselves and despise others?

Let us therefore be humble, without prejudices, preferring others’ good to our own! Let us never say, ‘I am a believer but he is an infidel’, ‘I am near to God, whilst he is an outcast’. We can never know what will be the final judgment! Therefore let us help all who are in need of any kind of assistance.

Let us teach the ignorant, and take care of the young child until he grows to maturity. When we find a person fallen into the depths of misery or sin we must be kind to him, take him by the hand, help him to regain his footing, his strength; we must guide him with love and tenderness, treat him as a friend not as an enemy.

We have no right to look upon any of our fellow-mortals as evil.

Paris Talks, pp. 147-148

18 June ― 14 Núr   Leave a comment

There are some scholars… There are some scholars who claim to know all the mysteries of creation and all the truths of its genesis. But I do not know the number of the stars or how many grains of sand are in the sea. I have not learned the names of the created things on the moon, or counted how many souls are on Mars, nor do I ask why God did not give human beings wings or eyes in the back of their heads. I cannot fathom the wisdom that led Him to single out the dove for pleasant warbling and the crow for raucous cawing. I have no idea what mothers will be naming their daughters in the future or what fathers will call their sons.

Does the status of these matters as unknown mean that they so deserve to attract our attention that we should spend our lives trying to understand them while neglecting the divine promises whose time of fulfillment has arrived?

Mirzá Abu’l-Faḍl-i-Gulpayganí

[1844 – 1914]

Letters and Essays, 1886-1913, p. xv

 

MORNING:

The newly born babe of that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of this time, and the lowliest and most unlearned of that period shall surpass in understanding the most erudite and accomplished divines of this age….

—His Holinesss The Báb

The Dawn-Breakers: Nabíl’s Narrative of the Early Days of the Bahá’í Revelation, trans. and ed. Shoghi Effendi. (London: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1975), p. 65

 

EVENING:

Consider … the revelation of the light of the Name of God, the Educator. Behold, how in all things the evidences of such a revelation are manifest, how the betterment of all beings dependeth upon it. This education is of two kinds. The one is universal. Its influence pervadeth all things and sustaineth them. It is for this reason that God hath assumed the title, “Lord of all worlds”. The other is confined to them that have come under the shadow of this Name, and sought the shelter of this most mighty Revelation. They, however, that have failed to seek this shelter, have deprived themselves of this privilege, and are powerless to benefit from the spiritual sustenance that hath been sent down through the heavenly grace of this Most Great Name. How great the gulf fixed between the one and the other!…

 

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, Sec. 93, pp. 189–90

 

FROM THE MYSTERYOF GOD  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

 

O Company of God! To each created thing, the Ancient Sovereignty hath portioned out its own perfection, its particular virtue and special excellence, so that each in its degree may become a symbol denoting the sublimity of the true Educator of humankind, and that each, even as a crystalline mirror, may tell of the grace and splendour of the Sun of Truth.

And from amongst all creatures He hath singled out man, to grant him His most wondrous gift, and hath made him to attain the bounties of the Company on High. That most precious of gifts is attainment unto His unfailing guidance, that the inner reality of humankind should become as a niche to hold this lamp; and when the scattering splendours of this light do beat against the bright glass of the heart, the heart’s purity maketh the beams to blaze out even stronger than before, and to shine in glory on the minds and souls of men.

The attainment of the most great guidance is dependent upon knowledge and wisdom, and on being informed as to the mysteries of the Holy Words. Wherefore must the loved ones of God, be they young or old, be they men or women, each one according to his capabilities, strive to acquire the various branches of knowledge, and to increase his understanding of the mysteries of the Holy Books, and his skill in marshalling the divine proofs and evidences.

The eminent Sadru’s-Sudur, who hath verily attained a most exalted station in the Retreats of Bliss, inaugurated the teaching meeting. He was the first blessed soul to lay the foundation of this momentous institution. God be praised, during the course of his life he educated persons who today are strong and eloquent advocates of the Lord God, disciples who are indeed pure and spiritual descendants of him who was so close to the Holy Threshold. After his passing, certain blessed individuals took steps to perpetuate his teaching work, and when He learned of it, this Captive’s heart rejoiced.

 

At this time, likewise, I most urgently request the friends of God to make every effort, as much as lieth within their competence, along these lines. The harder they strive to widen the scope of their knowledge, the better and more gratifying will be the result. Let the loved ones of God, whether young or old, whether male or female, each according to his capabilities, bestir themselves and spare no efforts to acquire the various current branches of knowledge, both spiritual and secular, and of the arts. Whensoever they gather in their meetings let their conversation be confined to learned subjects and to information on the knowledge of the day.

If they do thus, they will flood the world with the Manifest Light, and change this dusty earth into gardens of the Realm of Glory.

From a Tablet – translated from the Arabic

 

A Compilation on Bahá’í Education

Compiled by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice, Bahá’í World Centre, August 1976, pp: 7-8

17 June — 13 Núr   Leave a comment

As trustees, or stewards, of the planet’s vast resources and biological diversity, humanity must learn to make use of the earth’s natural resources, both renewable and non-renewable, in a manner that ensures sustainability and equity into the distant reaches of time. This attitude of stewardship will require full consideration of the potential environmental consequences of all development activities. It will compel humanity to temper its actions with moderation and humility, realizing that the true value of nature cannot be expressed in economic terms. It will also require a deep understanding of the natural world and its role in humanity’s collective development — both material and spiritual. Therefore, sustainable environmental management must come to be seen not as a discretionary commitment mankind can weigh against other competing interests, but rather as a fundamental responsibility that must be shouldered — a pre-requisite for spiritual development as well as the individual’s physical survival.

Baha’i International Community,

1998 Feb 18, Valuing Spirituality in Development

MORNING:

The word of God which the Supreme Pen hath recorded on the eleventh leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is this: We enjoin upon them that are the emblems of His names and attributes to firmly adhere henceforth unto that which hath been set forth in this Most Great Revelation, not to allow themselves to become the cause of strife, and, until the end that knoweth no end, to keep their eyes directed towards the dayspring of these resplendent words which have been recorded in this Tablet. Strife leads to bloodshed and provokes commotion amongst people. Hearken ye unto the Voice of this Wronged One and deviate not therefrom.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 71

EVENING:

O people of Bahá! The source of crafts, sciences and arts is the power of reflection. Make ye every effort that out of this ideal mine there may gleam forth such pearls of wisdom and utterance as will promote the well-being and harmony of all the kindreds of the earth.

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.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 72-73

FROM THE HOLY BIBLE [King James Version, 1604-1611], THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS:

3:13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of My mouth.

3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.

3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Posted June 17, 2016 by Once in ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Arts, Bahá’u’lláh, Bahá’í Faith, Book of Revelations, Crafts, Iran, Persia, Reflection, Sciences, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh — Edit
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―Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 9
Know thou that neither the calumnies which men may utter, nor their denials, nor any cavils they may raise, can harm him that hath clung to the cord of the grace, and seized the hem of the mercy, of the Lord of creation. By God! He, the Glory of God, hath spoken not from mere impulse. He that hath given Him a voice is He that hath given a voice unto all things, that they may praise and glorify Him. There is none other God but Him, the One, the Incomparable, the Lord of strength, the Unconditioned.
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Posted June 17, 2017 by Once in Uncategorized

16 June ― 12 Núr   Leave a comment

The spirit of liberty which in recent decades has swept over the planet with such tempestuous force is a manifestation of the vibrancy of the Revelation brought by Bahá’u’lláh. His own words confirm it. “The Ancient Beauty,” He wrote in a soul-stirring commentary on His sufferings, “hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage, and hath accepted to be made a prisoner within this most mighty Stronghold that the whole earth may attain unto true liberty.”

Might it not be reasonably concluded, then, that “true liberty” is His gift of love to the human race? Consider what Bahá’u’lláh has done: He revealed laws and principles to guide the free, He established an Order to channel the actions of the free, He proclaimed a Covenant to guarantee the unity of the free.

Thus, we hold to this ultimate perspective: Bahá’u’lláh came to set humanity free. His Revelation is, indeed, an invitation to freedom — freedom from want, freedom from war, freedom to unite, freedom to progress, freedom in peace and joy.

You, who live in a land where freedom is so highly prized, have not, then, to dispense with its fruits, but you are challenged and do have the obligation to uphold and vindicate the distinction between the license that limits your possibilities for genuine progress and the moderation that ensures the enjoyment of true liberty. December 29,1988

The Universal House of Justice

The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, pp: 218-219

MORNING:

The word of God which the Supreme Pen hath recorded on the ninth leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is this: In all matters moderation is desirable. If a thing is carried to excess, it will prove a source of evil. Consider the civilization of the West, how it hath agitated and alarmed the peoples of the world. An infernal engine hath been devised, and hath proved so cruel a weapon of destruction that its like none hath ever witnessed or heard. The purging of such deeply-rooted and overwhelming corruptions cannot be effected unless the peoples of the world unite in pursuit of one common aim and embrace one universal faith. Incline your ears unto the Call of this Wronged One and adhere firmly to the Lesser Peace.

Strange and astonishing things exist in the earth but they are hidden from the minds and the understanding of men. These things are capable of changing the whole atmosphere of the earth and their contamination would prove lethal. Great God! We have observed an amazing thing. Lightning or a force similar to it is controlled by an operator and moveth at his command. Immeasurably exalted is the Lord of Power Who hath laid bare that which He purposed through the potency of His weighty and invincible command.

O people of Bahá! Each one of the ordinances We have revealed is a mighty stronghold for the preservation of the world of being. Verily, this Wronged One desireth naught but your security and elevation.

We exhort the men of the House of Justice and command them to ensure the protection and safeguarding of men, women and children. It is incumbent upon them to have the utmost regard for the interests of the people at all times and under all conditions. Blessed is the ruler who succoureth the captive, and the rich one who careth for the poor, and the just one who secureth from the wrong doer the rights of the downtrodden, and happy the trustee who observeth that which the Ordainer, the Ancient of Days hath prescribed unto him….

…My counsels and admonitions have compassed the world. Yet, instead of imparting joy and gladness they have caused grief, because some of those who claim to love Me have waxed haughty and have inflicted upon Me such tribulations as neither the followers of former religions nor the divines of Persia did ever inflict.

We have said: ‘My imprisonment doeth Me no harm, nor do the things that have befallen Me at the hands of My enemies. That which harmeth Me is the conduct of my loved ones who, though they bear My name, yet commit that which maketh My heart and My pen to lament.’ Such utterances as these have again and again been revealed, yet the heedless have failed to profit thereby, since they are captive to their own evil passions and corrupt desires. Beseech thou the One true God that He may enable everyone to repent and return unto Him. So long as one’s nature yieldeth unto evil passions, crime and transgression will prevail. We cherish the hope that the hand of divine power and the outpouring of heavenly blessings may sustain all men, may attire them with the vesture of forgiveness and bounty and guard them against that which would harm His Cause among His servants. He is, in truth, the Potent, the All-Powerful, and He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Merciful.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 69-70

EVENING:

The word of God which the Supreme Pen hath recorded on the tenth leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is the following: O people of the earth! Living in seclusion or practising asceticism is not acceptable in the presence of God. It behoveth them that are endued with insight and understanding to observe that which will cause joy and radiance. Such practices as are sprung from the loins of idle fancy or are begotten of the womb of superstition ill beseem men of knowledge. In former times and more recently some people have been taking up their abodes in the caves of the mountains while others have repaired to graveyards at night. Say, give ear unto the counsels of this Wronged One. Abandon the things current amongst you and adopt that which the faithful Counsellor biddeth you. Deprive not yourselves of the bounties which have been created for your sake.

Charity is pleasing and praiseworthy in the sight of God and is regarded as a prince among goodly deeds. Consider ye and call to mind that which the All-Merciful hath revealed in the Qur’án: ‘They prefer them before themselves, though poverty be their own lot. And with such as are preserved from their own covetousness shall it be well.’† Viewed in this light, the blessed utterance above is, in truth, the day-star of utterances. Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. Verily, such a man is reckoned, by virtue of the Will of God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise, with the people of Baha who dwell in the Crimson Ark.

† Qur’án 59:9

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 70-71

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

For desire is a flame that has reduced to ashes uncounted lifetime harvests of the learned, a devouring fire that even the vast sea of their accumulated knowledge could never quench. How often has it happened that an individual who was graced with every attribute of humanity and wore the jewel of true understanding, nevertheless followed after his passions until his excellent qualities passed beyond moderation and he was forced into excess. His pure intentions changed to evil ones, his attributes were no longer put to uses worthy of them, and the power of his desires turned him aside from righteousness and its rewards into ways that were dangerous and dark. A good character is in the sight of God and His chosen ones and the possessors of insight, the most excellent and praiseworthy of all things, but always on condition that its center of emanation should be reason and knowledge and its base should be true moderation. Were the implications of this subject to be developed as they deserve the work would grow too long and our main theme would be lost to view.

All the peoples of Europe, notwithstanding their vaunted civilization, sink and drown in this terrifying sea of passion and desire, and this is why all the phenomena of their culture come to nothing. Let no one wonder at this statement or deplore it. The primary purpose, the basic objective, in laying down powerful laws and setting up great principles and institutions dealing with every aspect of civilization, is human happiness; and human happiness consists only in drawing closer to the Threshold of Almighty God, and in securing the peace and well-being of every individual member, high and low alike, of the human race; and the supreme agencies for accomplishing these two objectives are the excellent qualities with which humanity has been endowed.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp: 59-60

15 June ― 11 Núr   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Cast away all that is on earth, and attire the head of thy kingdom with the crown of the remembrance of thy Lord, the All-Glorious. He, in truth, hath come unto the world in His most great glory, and all that hath been mentioned in the Gospel hath been fulfilled. The land of Syria hath been honoured by the footsteps of its Lord, the Lord of all men, and North and South are both inebriated with the wine of His presence. Blessed is the man that inhaled the fragrance of the Most Merciful, and turned unto the Dawning-Place of His Beauty, in this resplendent Dawn. The Mosque of Aqsá vibrateth through the breezes of its Lord, the All-Glorious whilst Batha (Mecca) trembleth at the voice of God, the Exalted, the Most High. Whereupon every single stone of them celebrateth the praise of the Lord, through this Great Name.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, p. 33

Night view of Bahá’í Gardens on Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel

EVENING:

Thou hast mentioned thine intention to stay in Damascus until spring, then to proceed to Mosul, should the means be forthcoming. This lowly servant entreateth God — exalted is His glory — to provide such means as is deemed expedient, and to aid thee. He is Potent and Powerful.

Although all the inhabitants of this region have been treated with the utmost kindness, yet no evidence of fellowship can be discerned from them. Thou shouldst observe much tact and wisdom, for they seek at all times to cavil at and deny the Cause. May the One true God grant them equity.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 175

FROM THE MYSTERY OF GOD ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

“Shall that which anyone hath of wealth endure unto him, or avail him tomorrow with him who holdeth his forelock? If any should look on those who sleep under slabs and keep company with the dust, can he distinguish the bones of the king’s skull from the knuckles of the slave? No, by the King of Kings! Or doth he know governors from herdsmen, or discern the wealthy and the rich from him who was without shoes or carpet? By God, distinction is removed, save for him who fulfilled righteousness and judged uprightly. Where are the doctors, the scholars, the nobles? Where is the keenness of their glances, the sharpness of their sight, the subtlety of their thoughts, the soundness of their understandings? Where are their hidden treasures and their apparent gauds, their bejeweled thrones and their ample couches? Alas! All have been laid waste, and the decree of God hath rendered them as scattered dust! Emptied is what they treasured up, and dissipated is what they collected, and dispersed is what they concealed: they have become [such that] thou seest naught but their empty places, their gaping roofs, their uprooted beams, their new things waxed old. As for the discerning man, verily wealth will not divert him from regarding the end; and for the prudent man, riches will not withhold him from turning toward [God] the Rich, the Exalted. Where is he who held dominion over all whereon the sun arose, and who spent lavishly and sought after curious things in the world and what is therein created? Where is the lord of the swarthy squadron and the yellow standard? Where is he who ruled Zawra [Baghdád], and where he who wrought injustice in [Damascus] the spacious? Where are they at whose bounty treasures were afraid, at whose openhandedness and generosity the ocean was dismayed? Where is he whose arm was stretched forth in rebelliousness, whose heart turned away from the Merciful One? Where is he who used to make choice of pleasures and cull the fruits of desires? Where are the dames of the bridal chambers, and the possessors of beauty? Where are their waving branches and their spreading boughs, their lofty palaces and trellised gardens? Where is the smoothness of the expanses thereof and the softness of their breezes, the rippling of their waters and the murmur of their winds, the cooing of their doves and the rustling of their trees? Where are their laughing hearts and their smiling teeth? Woe unto them! They have descended to the abyss and become companions to the pebbles; today no mention is heard of them nor any sound; nothing is known of them nor any hint. Will the people dispute it while they behold it? Will they deny it when they know it? I know not in what valley they wander erringly: do they not see that they depart and return not? How long will they be famous in the low countries and in the high, descend and ascend? ‘Is not the time yet come to those who believe for their hearts to become humble for the remembrance of God?’* Well is it with that one who hath said or shall say, ‘Yea, O Lord, the time is ripe and hath come,’ and who severeth himself from all that is. Alas! naught is reaped but what is sown, and naught is taken but what is laid up, save by the grace of God and His favor. Hath the earth conceived Him whom the veils of glory prevent not from ascending into the Kingdom of His Lord, the Mighty, the Supreme? Have We any good works whereby defects shall be removed or which shall bring Us near unto the Lord of causes? We ask God to deal with Us according to His grace, not His justice, and to make Us of those who turn toward Him and sever themselves from all beside Him.

*Qu’rán 57:18

A Traveller’s Narrative, pp. 78-79

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF TH E CAUSE ,

SHOGHI EFFENDI:

The initiation in these days of extreme peril in the Holy Land of so great and holy an enterprise, founded by Bahá’u’lláh Himself whilst still a Prisoner in ‘Akká and commenced by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during the darkest and most perilous days of His ministry, recalls to our minds, furthermore, the construction of the superstructure of the Temple in Wilmette during one of the severest financial crises that has afflicted the United States of America, and the completion of its exterior ornamentation during the dark days of the last World War. Indeed, the tragic and moving story of the transfer of the Báb’s mutilated body from place to place ever since His Martyrdom in Tabríz, its fifty-year concealment in Persia; its perilous and secret journey by way of Tihran, Isfahan, Kirmanshan, Baghdád, Damascus, Beirut and ‘Akká to the Mountain of God, its ultimate resting place; its concealment for a further period of ten years in the Holy Land itself; the vexatious and long-drawn-out negotiations for the purchase of the site chosen by Bahá’u’lláh Himself for its entombment; the threats of ‘Abdu’l-Hamid, the Turkish tyrant, the accusations levelled against its Trustee, the plots devised, and the inspection made, by the scheming members of the notorious Turkish Commission of Inquiry; the perils to which the bloodthirsty Jamál Páshá exposed it; the machinations of the arch-breaker of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, of His brother and of His son, respectively, aiming at the frustration of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s design, at the prevention of the sale of land within the precincts of the Shrine itself, and the multiplication of the measures taken for the preservation and consolidation of the properties purchased in its vicinity and dedicated to it — all these are to be regarded as successive stages in the history of the almost hundred year long process destined to culminate in the consummation of Bahá’u’lláh’s irresistible purpose of erecting a lasting and befitting memorial to His Divine Herald and Co-Founder of His Faith.

Citadel of Faith, pp. 53-54

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

Riḍván 2011

To the Bahá’ís of the World

Dearly loved Friends,

At the opening of this glorious season our eyes are brightened as we behold the newly unveiled brilliance of the gilded dome that crowns the exalted Shrine of the Báb. Restored to the supernal lustre intended for it by Shoghi Effendi, that august edifice once again shines out to land, sea, and sky, by day and by night, attesting the majesty and holiness of Him Whose hallowed remains are embosomed within.

This moment of joy synchronizes with the close of an auspicious chapter in the unfoldment of the Divine Plan. Only a single decade remains of the first century of the Formative Age, the first hundred years to be spent beneath the benevolent shade of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The Five Year Plan now ending is succeeded by another, the features of which have already been made the object of intense study across the Bahá’í world. Indeed, we could not be more gratified by the response to our message to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors and to the Ridván message of twelve months ago. Not satisfied with a fragmentary grasp of their contents, the friends are returning to these messages again and again, singly and in groups, at formal meetings and spontaneous gatherings. Their understanding is enriched through active and informed participation in the programmes of growth being nurtured in their clusters. Consequently, the Bahá’í community worldwide has consciously absorbed in a few months what it needs to propel it into a confident start to the coming decade.

W