Archive for January 2018

31 January ― 13 Sultan   Leave a comment

MORNING:

No breeze can compare with the breezes of Divine Revelation, whilst the Word which is uttered by God shineth and flasheth as the sun amidst the books of men. Happy the man that hath discovered it, and recognized it, and said: “Praised be Thou, Who art the Desire of the world, and thanks be to Thee, O Well-Beloved of the hearts of such as are devoted to Thee!”

Men have failed to perceive Our purpose in the references We have made to Divinity and Godhood. Were they to apprehend it, they would arise from their places, and cry out: “We, verily, ask pardon of God!” The Seal of the Prophets—may the souls of all else but Him be offered up for His sake—saith: “Manifold are Our relationships with God. At one time, We are He Himself, and He is We Ourself. At another He is that He is, and We are that We are.”

—Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,

US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988 pocket-size edition, pp: 42-43

EVENING:

By the righteousness of God! Idle fancies have debarred men from the Horizon of Certitude, and vain imaginings withheld them from the Choice Sealed Wine. In truth I say, and for the sake of God I declare: This Servant, this Wronged One, is abashed to claim for Himself any existence whatever, how much more those exalted grades of being! Every man of discernment, while walking upon the earth, feeleth indeed abashed, inasmuch as he is fully aware that the thing which is the source of his prosperity, his wealth, his might, his exaltation, his advancement and power is, as ordained by God, the very earth which is trodden beneath the feet of all men. There can be no doubt that whoever is cognizant of this truth, is cleansed and sanctified from all pride, arrogance, and vainglory. Whatever hath been said hath come from God. Unto this, He, verily, hath borne, and beareth now, witness, and He, in truth, is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

—Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,

US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1988 pocket-size edition, p. 44

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in the hall of Passmore Edwards Settlement London

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

A gentleman connected with the work of a Settlement then asked what was the best method of raising up and civilizing the very lowest and most degraded and ignorant of the people and would their education come about gradually through the enlightenment of the Spirit, or was there any special means we could adopt to further this end?

‘Abdu’l-Bahá replied that the best way was to give them spiritual teachings and enlightenment. He also remarked that the way to broaden the outlook of the very narrow-hearted and prejudiced, and to make them listen to a wider teaching, was by showing towards them the greatest kindness and love. The example of our lives was of more value than words.

BY PERMISSION of the Bahá’í International Community © Bahá’í International Community; their website is:

http://media.bahai.org

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London,

UK Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1982 reprint, p. 72

30 January ― 12 Sultán   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_4042Glorified is He besides Whom there is none other God. In His grasp He holdeth the source of authority, and verily God is powerful over all things. We have decreed that every long life shall in truth suffer decline* and that every hardship shall be followed by ease,** that perchance men may recognise the Gate of God as He Who is the eternal Truth, and verily God shall stand as witness unto those that have believed.

*cf. Qur’án 36:68

**cf. ibid. 65:7; 94:5

 His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp: 47-48

 

IMG_6552EVENING:

O Supreme Pen, We have heard Thy most sweet call in the eternal realm: Give Thou ear unto what the Tongue of Grandeur uttereth, O Wronged One of the worlds?

Were it not for the cold, how would the heat of Thy words prevail, O Expounder of the worlds?

Were it not for calamity, how would the sun of Thy patience shine, O Light of the worlds?

Lament not because of the wicked. Thou wert created to bear and endure, O Patience of the worlds.

How sweet was Thy dawning on the horizon of the Covenant among the stirrers of sedition, and Thy yearning after God, O Love of the worlds.

By Thee the banner of independence was planted on the highest peaks, and the sea of bounty surged, O Rapture of the worlds.

By Thine aloneness the Sun of Oneness shone, and by Thy banishment the land of Unity was adorned. Be patient, O Thou Exile of the worlds.

We have made abasement the garment of glory, and affliction the adornment of Thy temple, O Pride of the worlds.

Thou seest the hearts are filled with hate, and to overlook is Thine, O Thou Concealer of the sins of the worlds.

When the swords flash, go forward! When the shafts fly, press onward! O Thou Sacrifice of the worlds.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Fire Tablet

Bahá’í Prayers, pp: 217-218

 

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

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It is a cold and miserable day but as I was anxious to see you I came here. For a man who has love, effort is a rest. He will travel any distance to visit his friends.

Thank God I see you spiritual and at rest; I give you this message from God; that you must be turned toward Him. Praise God that you are near Him! The unworthy things of this world have not deterred you from seeking the world of Spirit. When in harmony with that world, you care not for the things that perish; your desire is for that which never dies and the Kingdom lies open before you. I hope that the teaching of God will spread throughout the world, and will cause all to be united.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 48

29 January ― 11 Sultán   Leave a comment

MORNING:

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Were any man to ponder in his heart that which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed and to taste of its sweetness, he would, of a certainty, find himself emptied and delivered from his own desires, and utterly subservient to the Will of the Almighty. Happy is the man that hath attained so high a station, and hath not deprived himself of so bountiful a grace.

In this Day, We can neither approve the conduct of the fearful that seeketh to dissemble his faith, nor sanction the behavior of the avowed believer that clamorously asserteth his allegiance to this Cause. Both should observe the dictates of wisdom, and strive diligently to serve the best interests of the Faith.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 343

 

EVENING:

We have enabled thee to hear the melodies of the Nightingale of Paradise, and unveiled to thine eyes the signs which God, by His all-compelling behest, hath sent down in the Most Great Prison, that thine eye might be cheered, and thy soul be well-assured. He, verily, is the All-Bounteous, the Generous. Arise thou through the power of His testimony to serve the Cause of God, thy Lord, the God of Mercy. If thy faith be fearful, seize thou My Tablet, and preserve it in the bosom of trust. And when thou enterest into the place of resurrection, and God asketh thee by what proof thou hast believed in this Revelation, draw forth the Tablet and say: “By this Book, the holy, the mighty, the incomparable.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 103

 

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

As to the most great characteristic of the revelation of Bahá’u’lláh — a specific teaching not given by any of the Prophets of the past — it is the ordination and appointment of the Center of the Covenant. By this appointment and provision He has safeguarded and protected the religion of God against differences and schisms, making it impossible for any one to create a new sect or faction of belief. To insure unity and agreement He has entered into a Covenant with all the people of the world including the Interpreter and Explainer of His teachings so that no one may interpret or explain the religion of God according to his own view or opinion and thus create a sect founded upon his individual understanding of the divine words. The Book of the Covenant or Testament of Bahá’u’lláh is the means of preventing such a possibility, for whosoever shall speak from the authority of himself alone shall be degraded. Be ye informed and cognizant of this.

Baha’i World Faith, p. 247

 

FROM THE HOLY BIBLE, THE BOOK OF REVELATIONS [KING JAMES VERSION, 1604-1611

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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 Bahá’u’lláh in His throne.

28 January ― 10 Sultán   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_1330Wherefore, a man should make ready his heart that it be worthy of the descent of heavenly grace, and that the bounteous Cup-Bearer may give him to drink of the wine of bestowal from the merciful vessel. “For the like of this let the travailers travail!”*

*Qur’án 37:59

 —His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, p. 53

 

EVENING:IMG_2110

IMG_229859. O SON OF BEING!

Thy heart is My home; sanctify it for My descent. Thy spirit is My place of revelation; cleanse it for My manifestation.

60. O SON OF MAN!

Put thy hand into My bosom, that I may rise above thee, radiant and resplendent.

61. O SON OF MAN!

Ascend unto My heaven, that thou mayest obtain the joy of reunion, and from the chalice of imperishable glory quaff the peerless wine.

62. O SON OF MAN!

Many a day hath passed over thee whilst thou hast busied thyself with thy fancies and idle imaginings. How long art thou to slumber on thy bed? Lift up thy head from slumber, for the Sun hath risen to the zenith, haply it may shine upon thee with the light of beauty.

 —His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words

27 January ― 9 Sultán   Leave a comment

He is God – Exalted be He, the Lord of Majesty and Power!

I plead my grief and sorrow unto God, the Lord of all humankind. The affairs of men have been shaken, the nations have become perturbed and Islám has been weakened thereby. The enemies have afflicted it from all sides and it remains encompassed by them. Thus it behooveth the people of God to invoke Him in the morning and the night-season, to beseech Him to graciously aid the Muslims, one and all, to do that which is pleasing and seemly, to exalt them by His Command and through the power of His Sovereign Might, to make them aware of that which will exalt their stations, to change their abasement into might, their poverty into wealth, their destruction into advancement, their distress into peace of mind and their fear into security and tranquility.

Verily, He is the All-Merciful. There is none other God but Him, the Compassionate, All-Bountiful.

[Provisional translation of a prayer revealed by Bahá’u’lláh. The original Arabic of this prayer was published by the Baha’i International Community in a short compilation of Bahá’í Writings on the station of the Prophet Muhammad. This compilation is available for download at the following site: http://reference.bahai.org/download/mra-ar-pdf.zip. The prayer is found on pp. 8-9.]

MORNING:

IMG_8897

One day when this servant was in His presence, I was asked: “O servant in attendance! Wherewith art thou engaged?” “I am penning a reply”, I answered, “to his honour Mírzá Abu’l-Faḍl”. I was bidden: “Write to Mírzá Abu’l-Faḍl, may My glory be upon him, and say: ’Matters have come to such a pass that the people of the world have grown accustomed to iniquity and flee from fair-mindedness.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablet to Mírzá Abu’l-Faḍl

The Tabernacle of Unity, p. 32

 

IMG_8897EVENING:

From that which hath been mentioned, it is clear that not every intellect can be the criterion of truth. The truly wise are, in the first place, the Chosen Ones of God, magnified be His glory—they Whom He hath singled out to be the Treasuries of His knowledge, the Repositories of His Revelation, the Daysprings of His authority and the Dawning-places of His wisdom, they Whom He hath made His representatives on earth and through Whom He revealeth that which He hath purposed. Whoso turneth unto them hath turned unto God, and whoso turneth away shall not be remembered in the presence of God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

The universal criterion is that which hath just been mentioned. Whosoever attaineth thereunto, that is, who recognizeth and acknowledgeth the Dawning-place of God’s Revelation, will be recorded in the Book of God among them that are endued with understanding. Otherwise he is naught but an ignorant soul, though he believe himself to be possessed of every wisdom. Now, were a person to see himself standing in the presence of God, were he to sanctify his soul from earthly attachments and evil intentions, and reflect upon that which hath been revealed in this most great Revelation from its inception to this day, he would readily testify that every detached soul, every perfect mind, sanctified being, attentive ear, penetrating eye, eloquent tongue, and joyous and radiant heart circleth round and boweth down, nay prostrateth itself in submission, before the mighty throne of God.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablet to Mírzá Abu’l-Faḍl

The Tabernacle of Unity, p. 34

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

IMG_0525

…so the materially-minded man has no knowledge of other worlds of consciousness.

But some there are who have found divine intelligence and have obtained spiritual understanding. They have the real sight. They know of the other worlds. That is why the prophets of God forfeited this world, renounced everything material and gave their hearts to the heavenly world. Were there nothing after death, Christ would not have accepted the cross; the prophets of all time would not have sacrificed their lives. They were in touch with the celestial world and they overlooked this transitory life. This is the fruit of the tree of creation – to be freed from the darkness of the planet in order to enter the worlds of light. This is the object of existence; this is the fruit of the tree of humanity.

If not for this fruition, what is the purpose of the tree? For this world is like unto a tree, and the fruits thereof are the divine worlds; assuredly the tree of creation is adorned with luscious fruits. Were it not for the existence of the divine worlds, the kingdom of being would be fruitless. Were it not for the inspiration of the breath of the Holy Spirit, this life would be a farce.

May the radiant sea of reality become clear and unveiled of its clouds; may people become freed from the quagmires of the world of matter and soar upward to the city of light.

The test of existence is motion. An object which has in itself the power of motion lives. If motion is withheld growth ceases. That is mortality.

Divine Philosophy, pp: 123-124

26 January ― 8 Sultán   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_8994

O SON OF BEING!

Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, #5

 

 

IMG_3428EVENING:

O SON OF MY HANDMAID!

Didst thou behold immortal sovereignty, thou wouldst strive to pass from this fleeting world. But to conceal the one from thee and to reveal the other is a mystery which none but the pure in heart can comprehend.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Persian Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh, #41

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

IMG_3388O ye who are the chosen ones of the Abhá Kingdom! Praise ye the Lord of Hosts for He, riding upon the clouds, hath come down to this world out of the heaven of the invisible realm, so that East and West were lit by the glory of the Sun of Truth, and the call of the Kingdom was raised, and the heralds of the realm above, with melodies of the Concourse on high, sang out the glad tidings of the Coming. Then the whole world of being did quiver for joy, and still the people, even as the Messiah saith, slept on: for the day of the Manifestation, when the Lord of Hosts descended, found them wrapped in the slumber of unknowing. As He saith in the Gospel, My coming is even as when the thief is in the house, and the goodman of the house watcheth not.

From amongst all mankind hath He chosen you, and your eyes have been opened to the light of guidance and your ears attuned to the music of the Company above; and blessed by abounding grace, your hearts and souls have been born into new life. Thank ye and praise ye God that the hand of infinite bestowals hath set upon your heads this gem-studded crown, this crown whose lustrous jewels will forever flash and sparkle down all the reaches of time.

To thank Him for this, make ye a mighty effort, and choose for yourselves a noble goal. Through the power of faith, obey ye the teachings of God, and let all your actions conform to His laws. Read ye The Hidden Words, ponder the inner meanings thereof, act in accord therewith.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 35

24 January ― 6 Sharaf   2 comments

MORNING:

IMG_0590Now that the discourse hath reached this exalted and intractable theme and touched upon this sublime and impenetrable mystery, know that the Christian and Jewish peoples have not grasped the intent of the words of God and the promises He hath made to them in His Book, and have therefore denied His Cause, turned aside from His Prophets, and rejected His proofs. Had they but fixed their gaze upon the testimony of God itself, had they refused to follow in the footsteps of the abject and foolish among their leaders and divines, they would doubtless have attained to the repository of guidance and the treasury of virtue, and quaffed from the crystal waters of life eternal in the city of the All-Merciful, in the garden of the All-Glorious, and within the inner reality of His paradise. But as they have refused to see with the eyes wherewith God hath endowed them, and desired things other than that which He in His mercy had desired for them, they have strayed far from the retreats of nearness, have been deprived of the living waters of reunion and the wellspring of His grace, and have lain as dead within the shrouds of their own selves.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp: 6-7

 

 EVENING:

IMG_0590Had these souls but clung steadfastly to the Handle of God manifested in the Person of Muhammad, had they turned wholly unto God and cast aside all that they had learned from their divines, He would assuredly have guided them through His grace and acquainted them with the sacred truths that are enshrined within His imperishable utterances. For far be it from His greatness and His glory that He should turn away a seeker at His door, cast aside from His Threshold one who hath set his hopes on Him, reject one who hath sought the shelter of His shade, deprive one who hath held fast to the hem of His mercy, or condemn to remoteness the poor one who hath found the river of His riches. But as these people failed to turn wholly unto God, and to hold fast to the hem of His all-pervading mercy at the appearance of the Daystar of Truth, they passed out from under the shadow of guidance and entered the city of error. Thus did they become corrupt and corrupt the people. Thus did they err and lead the people into error. And thus were they recorded among the oppressors in the books of heaven.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp: 40-41

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

 

IMG_6302The call of the Kingdom has been sounded, and the annunciation of the world’s need for Universal Peace has enlightened the world’s conscience.

My hope is that through the zeal and ardour of the pure of heart, the darkness of hatred and difference will be entirely abolished, and the light of love and unity shall shine; this world shall become a new world; things material shall become the mirror of the divine; human hearts shall meet and embrace each other; the whole world become as a man’s native country and the different races be counted as one race.

Then disputes and differences will vanish, and the Divine Beloved be revealed on this earth.

As the East and the West are illumined by one sun, so all races, nations, and creeds shall be seen as the servants of the One God. The whole earth is one home, and all peoples, did they but know it, are bathed in the oneness of God’s mercy. God created all. He gives sustenance to all. He guides and trains all under the shadow of his bounty. We must follow the example God Himself gives us, and do away with all disputations and quarrels.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 37