Archive for the ‘Center of the Covenant’ Category

26 June ― 3 Raḥmat   Leave a comment

 

Imperial Crown of Napoleon III of France

MORNING:

O King!* We heard the words thou didst utter in answer to the Czar of Russia, concerning the decision made regarding the war (Crimean War). Thy Lord, verily, knoweth, is informed of all. Thou didst say: ‘I lay asleep upon my couch, when the cry of the oppressed, who were drowned in the Black Sea, wakened me.’ This is what we heard thee say, and, verily, thy Lord is witness unto what I say. We testify that that which wakened thee was not their cry but the promptings of thine own passions, for We tested thee, and found thee wanting. Comprehend the meaning of My words, and be thou of the discerning. It is not Our wish to address thee words of condemnation, out of regard for the dignity We conferred upon thee in this mortal life. We, verily, have chosen courtesy, and made it the true mark of such as are nigh unto Him. Courtesy, is, in truth, a raiment which fitteth all men, whether young or old. Well is it with him that adorneth his temple therewith, and woe unto him who is deprived of this great bounty. Hadst thou been sincere in thy words, thou wouldst have not cast behind thy back the Book of God, when it was sent unto thee by Him Who is the Almighty, the All-Wise. We have proved thee through it, and found thee other than that which thou didst profess. Arise, and make amends for that which escaped thee. Ere long the world and all that thou possessest will perish, and the kingdom will remain unto God, thy Lord and the Lord of thy fathers of old. It behoveth thee not to conduct thine affairs according to the dictates of thy desires. Fear the sighs of this Wronged One, and shield Him from the darts of such as act unjustly.

 *Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte [20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873]

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 19-20

Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte 1808-1873

EVENING:

For what thou* hast done, thy kingdom shall be thrown into confusion, and thine empire shall pass from thine hands, as a punishment for that which thou hast wrought. Then wilt thou know how thou hast plainly erred. Commotions shall seize all the people in that land, unless thou arisest to help this Cause, and followest Him Who is the Spirit of God (Jesus Christ) in this, the Straight Path. Hath thy pomp made thee proud? By My Life! It shall not endure; nay, it shall soon pass away, unless thou holdest fast by this firm Cord. We see abasement hastening after thee, whilst thou art of the heedless. It behoveth thee when thou hearest His Voice calling from the seat of glory to cast away all that thou possessest, and cry out: ‘Here am I, O Lord of all that is in heaven and all that is on earth!’

 *Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte [20 April 1808 – 9 January 1873]

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 20-21

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

We must now highly resolve to arise and lay hold of all those instrumentalities that promote the peace and well-being and happiness, the knowledge, culture and industry, the dignity, value and station, of the entire human race. Thus, through the restoring waters of pure intention and unselfish effort, the earth of human potentialities will blossom with its own latent excellence and flower into praiseworthy qualities, and bear and flourish until it comes to rival that rosegarden of knowledge which belonged to our forefathers. Then will this holy land of Persia become in every sense the focal center of human perfections, reflecting as if in a mirror the full panoply of world civilization.

All praise and honor be to the Dayspring of Divine wisdom, the Dawning Point of Revelation (Muḥammad), and to the holy line of His descendants, since, by the widespread rays of His consummate wisdom, His universal knowledge, those savage denizens of Yathrib (Medina) and Bathá (Mecca), miraculously, and in so brief a time, were drawn out of the depths of their ignorance, rose up to the pinnacles of learning, and became centers of arts and sciences and human perfections, and stars of felicity and true civilization, shining across the horizons of the world.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 4-5

5 July ― 12 Raḥmat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Imagine thyself to be under the eye of God, O Minister! If thou seest Him not, He, in truth, clearly seeth thee. Observe, and judge fairly Our Cause. What is it that We have committed that could have induced thee to rise up against Us, and to slander Us to the people, if thou be of them who are just? We departed out of Tihran, at the bidding of the King, [Násiri’d-Dín Sháh] and, by his leave, transferred Our residence to ‘Iraq. If I had transgressed against him, why, then, did he release Me? And if I were innocent of guilt, wherefore did ye afflict Us with such tribulation as none among them that profess your faith hath suffered? Hath any of Mine acts, after Mine arrival in ‘Iraq, been such as to subvert the authority of the government? Who is it that can be said to have detected anything reprehensible in Our behaviour? Enquire for thyself of its people, that thou mayest be of them who have discerned the truth.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh,

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 228-229

EVENING:

Say: O people! We shall put to you a question in all truthfulness, taking God for a witness between you and Us. He, verily, is the Defender of the righteous. Appear, then, before His Throne of glory and make reply with justice and fair-mindedness. Is it God Who is potent to achieve His purpose, or is it ye who enjoy such authority?

 

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh,

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 29

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

‘Abdu’l-Bahá talking to four students from India attending the university of California at Brekeley 1912

In brief, O ye believers of God! The text of the divine Book is this: If two souls quarrel and contend about a question of the divine questions, differing and disputing, both are wrong. The wisdom of this incontrovertible law of God is this: That between two souls from amongst the believers of God, no contention and dispute may arise; that they may speak with each other with infinite amity and love. Should there appear the least trace of controversy, they must remain silent, and both parties must continue their discussions no longer, but ask the reality of the question from the Interpreter. This is the irrefutable command!

Upon you be Bahá’u’l-Abhá!

Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 56

31 July ― 19 Kalimát   Leave a comment

MORNING:

What more shall We say? The universe, were it to gaze with the eye of justice, would be incapable of bearing the weight of this utterance! In the early days of Our arrival in this land, when We discerned the signs of impending events, We decided, ere they happened, to retire. We betook Ourselves to the wilderness, and there, separated and alone, led for two years a life of complete solitude. From Our eyes there rained tears of anguish, and in Our bleeding heart there surged an ocean of agonizing pain. Many a night We had no food for sustenance, and many a day Our body found no rest. By Him Who hath My being between His hands! notwithstanding these showers of afflictions and unceasing calamities, Our soul was wrapt in blissful joy, and Our whole being evinced an ineffable gladness. For in Our solitude We were unaware of the harm or benefit, the health or ailment, of any soul. Alone, We communed with Our spirit, oblivious of the world and all that is therein. We knew not, however, that the mesh of divine destiny exceedeth the vastest of mortal conceptions, and the dart of His decree transcendeth the boldest of human designs. None can escape the snares He setteth, and no soul can find release except through submission to His will. By the righteousness of God! Our withdrawal contemplated no return, and Our separation hoped for no reunion. The one object of Our retirement was to avoid becoming a subject of discord among the faithful, a source of disturbance unto Our companions, the means of injury to any soul, or the cause of sorrow to any heart. Beyond these, We cherished no other intention, and apart from them, We had no end in view. And yet, each person schemed after his own desire, and pursued his own idle fancy, until the hour when, from the Mystic Source, there came the summons bidding Us return whence We came. Surrendering Our will to His, We submitted to His injunction.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp: 250-251

EVENING:

…”These days are God’s days, a moment of which ages and centuries can never rival.”…

…”This Day a door is open wider than both heaven and earth. The eye of the mercy of Him Who is the Desire of the worlds is turned towards all men. An act, however infinitesimal, is, when viewed in the mirror of the knowledge of God, mightier than a mountain. Every drop proffered in His path is as the sea in that mirror. For this is the Day which the one true God, glorified be He, hath announced in all His Books unto His Prophets and His Messengers.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Advent of Divine Justice, pp. 65-66

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

IMG_8094Finally a time came when the friends turned inconsolable, and abandoned all hope. It was then the morning dawned, and flooded all with unending light. The towering clouds were scattered, the dismal shadows fled. In that instant the fetters fell away, the chains were lifted off the neck of this homeless one and hung round the neck of the foe. Those dire straits were changed to ease, and on the horizon of God’s bounties the sun of hope rose up. All this was out of God’s grace and His bestowals.

And yet, from one point of view, this wanderer was saddened and despondent. For what pain, in the time to come, could I seek comfort? At the news of what granted wish could I rejoice? There was no more tyranny, no more affliction, no tragical events, no tribulations. My only joy in this swiftly-passing world was to tread the stony path of God and to endure hard tests and all material griefs. For otherwise, this earthly life would prove barren and vain, and better would be death. The tree of being would produce no fruit; the sown field of this existence would yield no harvest. Thus it is my hope that once again some circumstance will make my cup of anguish to brim over, and that beauteous Love, that Slayer of souls, will dazzle the beholders again. Then will this heart be blissful, this soul be blessed.

“O Divine Providence! Lift to Thy lovers’ lips a cup brimful of anguish. To the yearners on Thy pathway, make sweetness but a sting, and poison honey-sweet. Set Thou our heads for ornaments on the points of spears. Make Thou our hearts the targets for pitiless arrows and darts. Raise Thou this withered soul to life on the martyr’s field, make Thou his faded heart to drink the draught of tyranny, and thus grow fresh and fair once more. Make him to be drunk with the wine of Thine Eternal Covenant, make him a reveller holding high his cup. Help him to fling away his life; grant that for Thy sake, he be offered up.

Thou art the Mighty, the Powerful. Thou art the Knower, the Seer, the Hearer.

Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 226-227

FROM SHOGHI EFFENDI,

BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD:

It was Bahá’u’lláh Who steadily, unerringly, yet unsuspectedly, steered the course of that memorable episode, and it was Bahá’u’lláh Who brought the meeting to its final and dramatic climax. One day in His presence, when illness had confined Him to bed, Táhirih, regarded as the fair and spotless emblem of chastity and the incarnation of the holy Fáṭimih, appeared suddenly, adorned yet unveiled, before the assembled companions, seated herself on the right-hand of the affrighted and infuriated Quddús, and, tearing through her fiery words the veils guarding the sanctity of the ordinances of Islam, sounded the clarion-call, and proclaimed the inauguration, of a new Dispensation. The effect was electric and instantaneous. She, of such stainless purity, so reverenced that even to gaze at her shadow was deemed an improper act, appeared for a moment, in the eyes of her scandalized beholders, to have defamed herself, shamed the Faith she had espoused, and sullied the immortal Countenance she symbolized. Fear, anger, bewilderment, swept their inmost souls, and stunned their faculties. Abdu’l-Khálíq-i-Iṣfáhání, aghast and deranged at such a sight, cut his throat with his own hands. Spattered with blood, and frantic with excitement, he fled away from her face. A few, abandoning their companions, renounced their Faith. Others stood mute and transfixed before her. Still others must have recalled with throbbing hearts the Islamic tradition foreshadowing the appearance of Fáṭimih herself unveiled while crossing the Bridge (Ṣirát) on the promised Day of Judgment. Quddús, mute with rage, seemed to be only waiting for the moment when he could strike her down with the sword he happened to be then holding in his hand.

IMG_9967Undeterred, unruffled, exultant with joy, Táhirih arose, and, without the least premeditation and in a language strikingly resembling that of the Qur’án, delivered a fervid and eloquent appeal to the remnant of the assembly, ending it with this bold assertion: “I am the Word which the Qá’im is to utter, the Word which shall put to flight the chiefs and nobles of the earth!” Thereupon, she invited them to embrace each other and celebrate so great an occasion.

On that memorable day the “Bugle” mentioned in the Qur’án was sounded, the “stunning trumpet-blast” was loudly raised, and the “Catastrophe” came to pass. The days immediately following so startling a departure from the time-honored traditions of Islam witnessed a veritable revolution in the outlook, habits, ceremonials and manner of worship of these hitherto zealous and devout upholders of the Muhammadan Law. Agitated as had been the Conference from first to last, deplorable as was the secession of the few who refused to countenance the annulment of the fundamental statutes of the Islamic Faith, its purpose had been fully and gloriously accomplished.

God Passes By, pp. 32-33

26 July ― 14 Kalimát   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9804

The fourth Taráz concerneth trustworthiness. Verily it is the door of security for all that dwell on earth and a token of glory on the part of the All-Merciful. He who partaketh thereof hath indeed partaken of the treasures of wealth and prosperity. Trustworthiness is the greatest portal leading unto the tranquillity and security of the people. In truth the stability of every affair hath depended and doth depend upon it. All the domains of power, of grandeur and of wealth are illumined by its light.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 37

EVENING:

TrustworthinessO people of God! Give ear unto that which, if heeded, will ensure the freedom, well-being, tranquillity, exaltation and advancement of all men. Certain laws and principles are necessary and indispensable for Persia. However, it is fitting that these measures should be adopted in conformity with the considered views of His Majesty — may God aid him through His grace — and of the learned divines and of the high-ranking rulers. Subject to their approval a place should be fixed where they would meet. There they should hold fast to the cord of consultation and adopt and enforce that which is conducive to the security, prosperity, wealth and tranquillity of the people. For were any measure other than this to be adopted, it could not but result in chaos and commotion.

According to the fundamental laws which We have formerly revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas and other Tablets, all affairs are committed to the care of just kings and presidents and of the Trustees of the House of Justice. Having pondered on that which We have enunciated, every man of equity and discernment will readily perceive, with his inner and outer eyes, the splendours of the day-star of justice which radiate therefrom.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 92-93

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

IMG_8004Yea, some of the intellectually cultured people in those countries exert themselves to reach the loftiest summits of prosperity in worldly affairs and most of them are desiring wealth and are making an effort to attain it somehow. But they are unmindful of the treasury of the Kingdom, the spiritual affluence and the wealth of mind; therefore, thou findest them subject to the rage of lusts and under the influence of egotistic and selfish desires, sinking into intemperance and engaged in drinking the cup of lust. Were they to become mindful of their heedlessness and awakened from the sleep of ignorance, they would become intoxicated by the cup of the love of God and exhilarated by the good cheer of the wine of the knowledge of God.

I beg of God to shine forth unto you with the lights of His sanctity and send to you divine souls, that they may fully reveal to you the divine teachings.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp. 648-649

22 July ― 10 Kalimát   Leave a comment

MORNING:IMG_0717

O spiritual brethren! Although the horizons of that country [Iran] are dark, and manifold hardships and tribulations are continuous and unremitting; although the foundations of that realm are sorely shaken, and the minds of its people in a state of confusion; although there is no peace or protection for the righteous, and the unbelievers are relentless in their hatred and animosity, this anguish and distress, this abasement and ignorance will not endure, nor will this cruelty, captivity, agitation and disturbance persist. The day is fast approaching when God will have manifested from this horizon such light and power as will cause the sun to be darkened, will obliterate every trace of them that have turned away disdainfully from God, and will illumine the faces of the sincere.

IMG_3076

It well beseems you to direct your eager gaze to the glad-tidings that have been revealed by the Pen of the Most High and to let the shining prophecies that are contained in His Most Holy Book and in other Tablets illumine your expectant eyes. Can one imagine a pronouncement sweeter, an utterance and promise more perfect, more appropriate, and more glorious than these conclusive verses that have streamed forth from the repository of the Abha Pen? Exalted is His Word: Let nothing grieve thee. O land of Ta [Tehran], for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind. He shall, if it be His will . . . gather together the flock of God which the wolves have scattered . . . The eye of His loving-kindness shall everlastingly be directed towards thee. The day is approaching when thy agitation will have been transmuted into peace and quiet calm. Moreover, the following significant and soul-stirring words have been set down by the Pen of the Centre of the Covenant: Ere long will it be witnessed that the government of the native land of the Blessed Perfection will become the most honoured government of the world, and Iran will become the most prosperous of all lands. This indeed is a token of God’s bountiful favour, and verily in this is there a lesson unto every beholder.

Such God-Given promises and sublime glad-tidings that the Pen of the Most High and the divinely-aided and inspired fingers of the Centre of the Covenant have inscribed will, according to the following blessed verse, be unquestionably fulfilled. How enthralling is His Word. Whatsoever hath streamed forth from the Pen of the Most Hath either already occurred or shall assuredly come to pass. Not a single letter thereof will remain unrealized, for verily the fair-minded shall behold it established upon the throne of fulfilment.

However, the essential thing is patience, fortitude, courage and audacity. The day is approaching when that country will have turned into a blissful paradise, when the wronged ones of Persia will have become the pride of the world and the leaders of mankind. And this is a promise that will not be belied.

—Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá quoted by Shoghi Effendi

Fire and Light, p. 33

EVENING:

He, verily, rewardeth beyond measure them that endure with patience. Inhale then the sweet savours of the spirit from the garment of hidden meanings, and say: “O ye that are immersed in the ocean of selflessness! Hasten to enter the City of Immortality, if ye seek to ascend its heights.” And We exclaim: “Verily we are God’s, and to Him shall we return.”

From this most august and exalted station, and from this most sublime and glorious plane, the seeker entereth the City of Immortality, therein to abide forever. In this station he beholdeth himself established upon the throne of independence and the seat of exaltation. Then will he comprehend the meaning of that which hath been revealed of old concerning the day “whereon God shall enrich all through His abundance”.Well is it with them that have attained unto this station and drunk their fill from this snow-white chalice before this Crimson Pillar.

 

Having, in this journey, immersed himself in the ocean of immortality, rid his heart from attachment to aught save Him, and attained unto the loftiest heights of everlasting life, the seeker will see no annihilation either for himself or for any other soul. He will quaff from the cup of immortality, tread in its land, soar in its atmosphere, consort with them that are its embodiments, partake of the imperishable and incorruptible fruits of the tree of eternity, and be forever accounted, in the lofty heights of immortality, amongst the denizens of the everlasting realm.

All that existeth in this city shall indeed endure and will never perish.

—Bahá’u’lláh   Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp. 70-72

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

By heavenly armies those souls are intended who are entirely freed from the human world, transformed into celestial spirits and have become divine angels. Such souls are the rays of the Sun of Reality who will illumine all the continents. Each one is holding in his hand a trumpet, blowing the breath of life over all the regions. They are delivered from human qualities and the defects of the world of nature, are characterized with the characteristics of God, and are attracted with the fragrances of the Merciful. Like unto the apostles of Christ, who were filled with Him, these souls also have become filled with His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, i.e., the love of Bahá’u’lláh has so mastered every organ, part and limb of their bodies, as to leave no effect by the promptings of the human world.

These souls are the armies of God and the conquerors of the East and the West. Should one of them turn his face toward some direction and summon the people to the Kingdom of God, all the ideal forces and lordly confirmations will rush to his support and reinforcement. He will behold all the doors open and all the strong fortifications and impregnable castles razed to the ground. Singly and alone he will attack the armies of the world, defeat the right and left wings of the hosts of all the countries, break through the lines of the legions of all the nations and carry his attack to the very center of the powers of the earth. This is the meaning of the Hosts of God.

Bahá’í World Faith, p. 424

19 July ― 7 Kalimát   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Say: What! Cleave ye to your own devices, and cast behind your backs the precepts of God? Ye, indeed, have wronged your own selves and others. Would that ye could perceive it! Say: If your rules and principles be founded on justice, why is it, then, that ye follow those which accord with your corrupt inclinations and reject such as conflict with your desires? By what right claim ye, then, to judge fairly between men? Are your rules and principles such as to justify your persecution of Him Who, at your bidding, hath presented Himself before you, your rejection of Him, and your infliction on Him every day of grievous injury? Hath He ever, though it be for one short moment, disobeyed you? All the inhabitants of Iraq, and beyond them every discerning observer, will bear witness to the truth of My words.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 123

EVENING:

As to the words — “Immediately after the oppression of those days” — they refer to the time when men shall become oppressed and afflicted, the time when the lingering traces of the Sun of Truth and the fruit of the Tree of knowledge and wisdom will have vanished from the midst of men, when the reins of mankind will have fallen into the grasp of the foolish and ignorant, when the portals of divine unity and understanding — the essential and highest purpose in creation — will have been closed, when certain knowledge will have given way to idle fancy, and corruption will have usurped the station of righteousness. Such a condition as this is witnessed in this day when the reins of every community have fallen into the grasp of foolish leaders, who lead after their own whims and desire. On their tongue the mention of God hath become an empty name; in their midst His holy Word a dead letter. Such is the sway of their desires, that the lamp of conscience and reason hath been quenched in their hearts, and this although the fingers of divine power have unlocked the portals of the knowledge of God, and the light of divine knowledge and heavenly grace hath illumined and inspired the essence of all created things, in such wise that in each and every thing a door of knowledge hath been opened, and within every atom traces of the sun hath been made manifest. And yet, in spite of all these manifold revelations of divine knowledge, which have encompassed the world, they still vainly imagine the door of knowledge to be closed, and the showers of mercy to be stilled.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 29-30

FROM ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ,

CENTRE OF THE COVENANT :

I desire to make manifest among the friends in America a new light that they may become a new people, that a new foundation may be established and complete harmony be realized; for the foundation of Bahá’u’lláh is love…. you must have infinite love for each other, each preferring the other before himself. The people must be so attracted to you that they will exclaim, “What happiness exists among you!” and will see in your faces the lights of the Kingdom; then in wonderment they will turn to you and seek the cause of your happiness. You must give the message through action and deed, not alone by word. Word must be conjoined with deed. You must love your friend better than yourself; yes, be willing to sacrifice yourself. The Cause of Bahá’u’lláh has not yet appeared in this country. I desire that you be ready to sacrifice everything for each other, even life itself; then I will know that the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh has been established. I will pray for you that you may become the cause of upraising the lights of God. May everyone point to you and ask, “Why are these people so happy?”

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 218

17 July ― 5 Kalimát   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9757Say: It is in Our power, should We wish it, to cause all created things to expire in an instant, and, with the next, to endue them again with life. The knowledge thereof, however, is with God alone, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. It is in Our power, should We wish it, to enable a speck of floating dust to generate, in less than the twinkling of an eye, suns of infinite, of unimaginable splendour, to cause a dewdrop to develop into vast and numberless oceans, to infuse into every letter such a force as to empower it to unfold all the knowledge of past and future ages. This, in truth, is a matter simple of accomplishment. Such have been the evidences of My power from the beginning that hath no beginning until the end that hath no end. My creatures, however, have been oblivious of My power, have repudiated My sovereignty, and contended with Mine own Self, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 39-40

EVENING:

IMG_0270Say: Of all that lieth between heaven and earth, naught can stir except by My leave, and unto My Kingdom none can ascend save at My behest. My creatures, however, have remained veiled from My might and My sovereignty, and are numbered with the heedless. Say: Naught is seen in My revelation but the Revelation of God, and in My might but His Might, could ye but know it. Say: My creatures are even as the leaves of a tree. They proceed from the tree, and depend upon it for their existence, yet remain oblivious of their root and origin. We draw such similitudes for the sake of Our discerning servants that perchance they may transcend a mere plant-like level of existence and attain unto true maturity in this resistless and immovable Cause. Say: My creatures are even as the fish of the deep. Their life dependeth upon the water, and yet they remain unaware of that which, by the grace of an omniscient and omnipotent Lord, sustaineth their very existence. Indeed, their heedlessness is such that were they asked concerning the water and its properties, they would prove entirely ignorant. Thus do We set forth comparisons and similitudes, that perchance the people may turn unto Him Who is the Object of the adoration of the entire creation.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 40

FROM ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ,

CENTRE OF THE COVENANT :

IMG_1089Now this is beyond the power of man, that he should be able by interference or objection to change the heart and conscience, or meddle with the convictions of anyone. For in the realm of conscience naught but the ray of God’s light can command, and on the throne of the heart none but the pervading power of the King of Kings should rule. Thus it is that one can arrest and suspend [the action of] every faculty except thought and reflection; for a man cannot even by his own volition withhold himself from reflection or thought, nor keep back his musings and imaginings.

A Traveller’s Narrative, p. 39

12 July ― 19 Raḥmat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

One of the chains placed around Bahá’u’lláh’s neck in the Síyáh-Chál

Wert thou to cleanse the mirror of thy heart from the dust of malice, thou wouldst apprehend the meaning of the symbolic terms revealed by the all-embracing Word of God made manifest in every Dispensation, and wouldst discover the mysteries of divine knowledge. Not, however, until thou consumest with the flame of utter detachment those veils of idle learning, that are current amongst men, canst thou behold the resplendent morn of true knowledge.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 68-69

EVENING:

Drawing of the Prison of the Síyáh-Chál

42. O MY SERVANT!

Purge thy heart from malice and, innocent of envy, enter the divine court of holiness.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Persian Hidden Words

IMG_6411FROM ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ,

CENTRE OF THE COVENANT:

Wherefore must the loved ones of God associate in affectionate fellowship with stranger and friend alike, showing forth to all the utmost loving-kindness, disregarding the degree of their capacity, never asking whether they deserve to be loved. In every instance let the friends be considerate and infinitely kind. Let them never be defeated by the malice of the people, by their aggression and their hate, no matter how intense. If others hurl their darts against you, offer them milk and honey in return; if they poison your lives, sweeten their souls; if they injure you, teach them how to be comforted; if they inflict a wound upon you, be a balm to their sores; if they sting you, hold to their lips a refreshing cup.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 24

 FROM SHOGHI EFFENDI,

GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD:

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To the trustees of the House of Justice He assigns the duty of legislating on matters not expressly provided in His writings, and promises that God will “inspire them with whatsoever He willeth.” The establishment of a constitutional form of government, in which the ideals of republicanism and the majesty of kingship, characterized by Him as “one of the signs of God,” are combined, He recommends as a meritorious achievement; urges that special regard be paid to the interests of agriculture; and makes specific reference to “the swiftly appearing newspapers,” describes them as “the mirror of the world” and as “an amazing and potent phenomenon,” and prescribes to all who are responsible for their production the duty to be sanctified from malice, passion and prejudice, to be just and fair-minded, to be painstaking in their inquiries, and ascertain all the facts in every situation.

`Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi on the Steps of the House of the Master, Haifa, Israel, Circa 1919

The doctrine of the Most Great Infallibility He further elaborates; the obligation laid on His followers to “behave towards the government of the country in which they reside with loyalty, honesty and truthfulness,” He reaffirms; the ban imposed upon the waging of holy war and the destruction of books He reemphasizes; and He singles out for special praise men of learning and wisdom, whom He extols as “eyes” to the body of mankind, and as the “greatest gifts” conferred upon the world.

God Passes By, pp: 218-219

10 July ― 17 Raḥmat   Leave a comment

The Anniversary of the Martyrdom

of the Blessèd Báb 10 July 1850

 

MORNING:

Out of utter nothingness, O great and omnipotent Master, Thou hast, through the celestial potency of Thy might, brought me forth and raised me up to proclaim this Revelation. I have made none other but Thee my trust; I have clung to no will but Thy Will. Thou art, in truth, the All-Sufficing and behind Thee standeth the true God, He Who overshadoweth all things. Indeed sufficient unto Me is God, the Exalted, the Powerful, the Sustainer.

O Thou Remnant of God! I have sacrificed myself wholly for Thee; I have accepted curses for Thy sake, and have yearned for naught but martyrdom in the path of Thy love. Sufficient witness unto me is God, the Exalted, the Protector, the Ancient of Days.

O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn! The words Thou hast uttered in this momentous Call have grieved Me bitterly. However, the irrevocable decision resteth with none but God and the decree proceedeth from none save Him alone. By My life, Thou art the Well-Beloved in the sight of God and His creation. Verily, there is no power except in God, and sufficient witness unto Me is your Lord, Who is, in very truth, the Omnipotent Avenger.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 59

 

EVENING:

I beg Thee to forgive me, O my Lord, for every mention but the mention of Thee, and for every praise but the praise of Thee, and for every delight but delight in Thy nearness, and for every pleasure but the pleasure of communion with Thee, and for every joy but the joy of Thy love and of Thy good-pleasure, and for all things pertaining unto me which bear no relationship unto Thee, O Thou Who art the Lord of lords, He Who provideth the means and unlocketh the doors.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 182-183

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

And the same hour there was a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand.”*

*Rev. 11:13

This earthquake occurred in Shiraz after the martyrdom of the Báb. The city was in a turmoil, and many people were destroyed. Great agitation also took place through diseases, cholera, dearth, scarcity, famine and afflictions, the like of which had never been known.

“And the remnant was affrighted and gave glory to the God of heaven.”*

*Rev. 11:13.]

When the earthquake took place in Fars, all the remnant lamented and cried day and night, and were occupied in glorifying and praying to God. They were so troubled and affrighted that they had no sleep nor rest at night.

“The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.”* The first woe is the appearance of the Prophet, Muhammad, the son of Abdu’llah — peace be upon Him! The second woe is that of the Báb — to Him be glory and praise! The third woe is the great day of the manifestation of the Lord of Hosts and the radiance of the Beauty of the Promised One. The explanation of this subject, woe, is mentioned in the thirtieth chapter of Ezekiel, where it is said: “The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy and say, Thus saith the Lord God; Howl ye, Woe worth the day! For the day is near, even the day of the Lord is near.”**

 * Rev. 11:14

**Ez. 30:1-3

Therefore, it is certain that the day of woe is the day of the Lord; for in that day woe is for the neglectful, woe is for the sinners, woe is for the ignorant. That is why it is said, “The second woe is past; behold the third woe cometh quickly!” This third woe is the day of the manifestation of Bahá’u’lláh, the day of God; and it is near to the day of the appearance of the Báb.

Some Answered Questions, pp. 55-56

 FROM SHOGHI EFFENDI,

GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD:

The people among whom He appeared were the most decadent race in the civilized world, grossly ignorant, savage, cruel, steeped in prejudice, servile in their submission to an almost deified hierarchy, recalling in their abjectness the Israelites of Egypt in the days of Moses, in their fanaticism the Jews in the days of Jesus, and in their perversity the idolators of Arabia in the days of Muhammad. The arch-enemy who repudiated His claim, challenged His authority, persecuted His Cause, succeeded in almost quenching His light, and who eventually became disintegrated under the impact of His Revelation was the Shí’ah priesthood. Fiercely fanatic, unspeakably corrupt, enjoying unlimited ascendancy over the masses, jealous of their position, and irreconcilably opposed to all liberal ideas, the members of this caste had for one thousand years invoked the name of the Hidden Imam, their breasts had glowed with the expectation of His advent, their pulpits had rung with the praises of His world-embracing dominion, their lips were still devoutly and perpetually murmuring prayers for the hastening of His coming. The willing tools who prostituted their high office for the accomplishment of the enemy’s designs were no less than the sovereigns of the Qajar dynasty, first, the bigoted, the sickly, the vacillating Muhammad Shah, who at the last moment cancelled the Báb’s imminent visit to the capital, and, second, the youthful and inexperienced Násiri’d-Dín Sháh, who gave his ready assent to the sentence of his Captive’s death. The arch villains who joined hands with the prime movers of so wicked a conspiracy were the two grand vizirs, Haji Mirza Aqasi, the idolized tutor of Muhammad Shah, a vulgar, false-hearted and fickle-minded schemer, and the arbitrary, bloodthirsty, reckless Amir-Nizam, Mirza Taqi Khan, the first of whom exiled the Báb to the mountain fastnesses of Adhirbayjan, and the latter decreed His death in Tabriz. Their accomplice in these and other heinous crimes was a government bolstered up by a flock of idle, parasitical princelings and governors, corrupt, incompetent, tenaciously holding to their ill-gotten privileges, and utterly subservient to a notoriously degraded clerical order. The heroes whose deeds shine upon the record of this fierce spiritual contest, involving at once people, clergy, monarch and government, were the Báb’s chosen disciples, the Letters of the Living, and their companions, the trail-breakers of the New Day, who to so much intrigue, ignorance, depravity, cruelty, superstition and cowardice opposed a spirit exalted, unquenchable and awe-inspiring, a knowledge surprisingly profound, an eloquence sweeping in its force, a piety unexcelled in fervor, a courage leonine in its fierceness, a self-abnegation saintly in its purity, a resolve granite-like in its firmness, a vision stupendous in its range, a veneration for the Prophet and His Imams disconcerting to their adversaries, a power of persuasion alarming to their antagonists, a standard of faith and a code of conduct that challenged and revolutionized the lives of their countrymen.

God Passes By, pp. 4-5

2 July ― 9 Raḥmat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

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, p. 73

EVENING:

It is incumbent upon thee to summon the people, under all conditions, to whatever will cause them to show forth spiritual characteristics and goodly deeds, so that all may become aware of that which is the cause of human upliftment, and may, with the utmost endeavor, direct themselves towards the most sublime Station and the Pinnacle of Glory. The fear of God hath ever been the prime factor in the education of His creatures. Well is it with them that have attained thereunto!

The first word which the Abhá Pen hath revealed and inscribed on the first leaf of Paradise is this: “Verily I say: The fear of God hath ever been a sure defence and a safe stronghold for all the peoples of the world. It is the chief cause of the protection of mankind, and the supreme instrument for its preservation. Indeed, there existeth in man a faculty which deterreth him from, and guardeth him against, whatever is unworthy and unseemly, and which is known as his sense of shame. This, however, is confined to but a few; all have not possessed, and do not possess, it. It is incumbent upon the kings and the spiritual leaders of the world to lay fast hold on religion, inasmuch as through it the fear of God is instilled in all else but Him.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 27-28

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

‘Abdu’l-Bahá at Bahji

When we look upon the kingdoms of creation below man, we find three forms or planes of existence which await education and development. For instance, the function of a gardener is to till the soil of the mineral kingdom and plant a tree which under his training and cultivation will attain perfection of growth. If it be wild and fruitless, it may be made fruitful and prolific by grafting. If small and unsightly, it will become lofty, beautiful and verdant under the gardener’s training, whereas a tree bereft of his cultivation retrogresses daily, its fruit grows acrid and bitter as the trees of the jungle, or it may become entirely barren and bereft of its fruitage. Likewise, we observe that animals which have undergone training in their sphere of limitation will progress and advance unmistakably, become more beautiful in appearance and increase in intelligence. For instance, how intelligent and knowing the Arabian horse has become through training, even how polite this horse has become through education. As to the human world: It is more in need of guidance and education than the lower creatures.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 77

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

“As lawlessness spreads in the world, as governments rise and fall, as rival groups and feuding peoples struggle, each for its own advantage, the plight of the oppressed and the deprived wrings the heart of every true Bahá’í, tempting him to cry out in protest or to arise in wrath at the perpetrators of injustice. For this is a time of testing which calls to mind Bahá’u’lláh’s words ‘O concourse of the heedless! I swear by God! The promised day is come, the day when tormenting trials will have surged above your heads, and beneath your feet, saying: “Taste ye what your hands have wrought!”‘

 

“Now is the time when every follower of Bahá’u’lláh must cling fast to the Covenant of God, resist every temptation to become embroiled in the conflicts of the world, and remember that he is the holder of a precious trust, the Message of God which, alone, can banish injustice from the world and cure the ills afflicting the body and spirit of man. We are the bearers of the Word of God in this day and, however dark the immediate horizons, we must go forward rejoicing in the knowledge that the work we are privileged to perform is God’s work and will bring to birth a world whose splendor will outshine our brightest visions and surpass our highest hopes.”

Naw-Rúz, 1979, to the Bahá’ís of the World

Quickeners of Mankind, p. 8