Archive for the ‘Civilisation’ Category

15 May– 18 Jamál   Leave a comment

Bahá’í House of Worship in Kampala, Uganda

MORNING:

Whoso cleaveth to justice, can, under no circumstances, transgress the limits of moderation. He discerneth the truth in all things, through the guidance of Him Who is the All-Seeing. The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon men. Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing. If carried to excess, civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had been of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation. Meditate on this, O people, and be not of them that wander distraught in the wilderness of error. The day is approaching when its flame will devour the cities, when the Tongue of Grandeur will proclaim: “The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the All-Praised!”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 342-343

IMG_4729EVENING:

All other things are subject to this same principle of moderation. Render thanks unto thy Lord Who hath remembered thee in this wondrous Tablet. All-Praise be to God, the Lord of the glorious throne.

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 Bahá’u’lláh, p. 343

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

The third element of the utterance under discussion is, “opposes his passions.” How wonderful are the implications of this deceptively easy, all-inclusive phrase. This is the very foundation of every laudable human quality; indeed, these few words embody the light of the world, the impregnable basis of all the spiritual attributes of human beings. This is the balance wheel of all behavior, the means of keeping all man’s good qualities in equilibrium.

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.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 59

FROM DHAMMAPADA—SAYINGS OF THE BUDDHA [TRANSLATION: J. RICHARDS]:

Happy indeed we live who are free from hatred among those who still hate. In the midst of hate-filled men, we live free from hatred.
Happy indeed we live who are free from disease among those still diseased. In the midst of diseased men, we live free from disease.
Happy indeed we live who are free from worry among those who are still worried. In the midst of worried men, we live free from worry.
Happy indeed we live who have nothing of our own. We shall feed on joy, just like the radiant devas.
A victor only breeds hatred, while a defeated man lives in misery, but a man at peace within lives happily, abandoning up
ideas of victory and defeat.
There is no fire like desire. There is no weakness like anger. There is no suffering like the khandhas. There is no happiness greater than peace.
Hunger is the supreme disease. Mental activity is the supreme suffering. When one has grasped this as it really is, nirvana is the supreme happiness.
Health is the supreme possession. Contentment is the supreme wealth. A trustworthy friend is the supreme relation.
Nirvana is the supreme happiness.
After enjoying the taste of solitude and the taste of peace, one is freed from distress and evil, as one enjoys the taste of spiritual joy.
It is good to meet with the saints. Living with them is always sweet. By not meeting fools one can be happy all the time.
A man who keeps company with a fool, will suffer for it a long time. It is always painful to live with fools, like with an enemy, but a wise man is good to live with, like meeting up with relatives.
Therefore, if he is a man of understanding and penetration, learned and habitually moral, devout and noble, one should cultivate the company of that just and wise man, in the same way as the moon keeps to a path among the stars.

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7 June – 3 Núr   Leave a comment

 

The Bahá’í World Centre, Centre for the Study of the Texts

MORNING: 

My glory and My loving-kindness rest upon thee. How vast is the tabernacle of the Cause of God! It hath overshadowed all the peoples and kindreds of the earth, and will, ere long, gather together the whole of mankind beneath its shelter. Thy day of service is now come. Countless Tablets bear the testimony of the bounties vouchsafed unto thee. Arise for the triumph of My Cause, and, through the power of thine utterance, subdue the hearts of men. Thou must show forth that which will ensure the peace and the well-being of the miserable and the downtrodden. Gird up the loins of thine endeavour, that perchance thou mayest release the captive from his chains, and enable him to attain unto true liberty.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 84

The Bahá’í House of Worship in Langenhain, Germany, was completed in 1964.

EVENING:

 Make thou every effort to render service unto God, that from thee may appear that which will immortalize thy memory in His glorious and exalted heaven.

Say: Glorified art Thou, O my God! I implore Thee by the Dawning-Place of Thy signs and by the Revealer of Thy clear tokens to grant that I may, under all conditions, hold fast the cord of Thy loving providence and cling tenaciously to the hem of Thy generosity. Reckon me then with those whom the changes and chances of the world have failed to deter from serving Thee and from bearing allegiance unto Thee, whom the onslaught of the people hath been powerless to hinder from magnifying Thy Name and celebrating Thy praise. Graciously assist me, O my Lord, to do whatever Thou lovest and desirest. Enable me then to fulfil that which will exalt Thy Name and will set ablaze the fire of Thy love.

Thou art, in truth, the Forgiving, the Bountiful.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 234

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ AT GREEN ACRE, MAINE, 1912

FROM THE EXEMPLAR ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

 Senses and faculties have been bestowed upon us, to be devoted to the service of the general good; so that we, distinguished above all other forms of life for perceptiveness and reason, should labor at all times and along all lines, whether the occasion be great or small, ordinary or extraordinary, until all mankind are safely gathered into the impregnable stronghold of knowledge. We should continually be establishing new bases for human happiness and creating and promoting new instrumentalities toward this end. How excellent, how honorable is man if he arises to fulfil his responsibilities; how wretched and contemptible, if he shuts his eyes to the welfare of society and wastes his precious life in pursuing his own selfish interests and personal advantages. Supreme happiness is man’s, and he beholds the signs of God in the world and in the human soul, if he urges on the steed of high endeavor in the arena of civilization and justice. “We will surely show them Our signs in the world and within themselves.”*

* Qur’án 41:53

And this is man’s uttermost wretchedness: that he should live inert, apathetic, dull, involved only with his own base appetites. When he is thus, he has his being in the deepest ignorance and savagery, sinking lower than the brute beasts. “They are like the brutes: Yea, they go more astray… For the vilest beasts in God’s sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who understand not.”*

* Qur’án 7:178; 8:22

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.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 3-4

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

The spiritual growth generated by individual devotions is reinforced by loving association among the friends in every locality, by worship as a

View of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice from the colonnade of the Centre for the Study of the Texts

community and by service to the Faith and to one’s fellowhuman beings. These communal aspects of the godly life relate to the law of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár which appears in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Although the time has not come for the building of local Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs, the holding of regular meetings for worship open to all and the involvement of Bahá’í communities in projects of humanitarian service are expressions of this element of Bahá’í life and a further step in the implementation of the Law of God. Bahá’u’lláh has written: “We have adorned the heaven of utterance with the stars of divine wisdom and holy ordinances as a bounty on Our part. Verily, We are the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous. O friends of God throughout the regions! Know ye the value of these days and cling unto whatsoever hath been sent down from God, the Most Great, the Most Exalted. Verily, He remembereth you in the Most Great Prison, and instructeth you in that which will cause you to draw nigh unto a station that delighteth the eyes of the pure in heart. Glory rest upon you and upon those who have attained unto that living fountain which floweth forth from My wondrous Pen.” It is our prayer at the Sacred Threshold that the greater attention to the spiritual heart of the Teachings which these laws express will enhance the devotion of the friends to the Source of all bounties and attract to the Cause the receptive souls among His spiritually famished children.

[SIGNED: THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE]

Laws and Ordinances : 1999 Dec 28 UHJ Obligatory Prayer and Fasting

26 May ― 10 ‘Aẓamat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

In these days the tabernacle of justice hath fallen into the clutches of tyranny and oppression. Beseech ye the One true God — exalted be His glory — not to deprive mankind of the ocean of true understanding, for were men but to take heed they would readily appreciate that whatever hath streamed from and is set down by the Pen of Glory is even as the sun for the whole world and that therein lie the welfare, security and true interests of all men; otherwise the earth will be tormented by a fresh calamity every day and unprecedented commotions will break out. God grant that the people of the world may be graciously aided to preserve the light of His loving counsels within the globe of wisdom. We cherish the hope that everyone may be adorned with the vesture of true wisdom, the basis of the government of the world.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 166

EVENING:

51. O SON OF MAN!
My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it.

52. O SON OF MAN!
Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more.

53. O SON OF BEING!
If poverty overtake thee, be not sad; for in time the Lord of wealth shall visit thee. Fear not abasement, for glory shall one day rest on thee.

54. O SON OF BEING!
If thine heart be set upon this eternal, imperishable dominion, and this ancient, everlasting life, forsake this mortal and fleeting sovereignty.

55. O SON OF BEING!
Busy not thyself with this world, for with fire We test the gold, and with gold We test Our servants.

56. O SON OF MAN!
Thou dost wish for gold and I desire thy freedom from it. Thou thinkest thyself rich in its possession, and I recognize thy wealth in thy sanctity therefrom. By My life! This is My knowledge, and that is thy fancy; how can My way accord with thine?

57. O SON OF MAN!
Bestow My wealth upon My poor, that in heaven thou mayest draw from stores of unfading splendor and treasures of imperishable glory. But by My life! To offer up thy soul is a more glorious thing couldst thou but see with Mine eye.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words

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

Thou hast written concerning the tests that have come to thee. To the sincere ones, tests are as a gift from God, the Exalted, for a heroic person hasteneth, with the utmost joy and gladness, to the tests of a violent battlefield, but the coward is afraid and trembles and utters moaning and lamentation. Likewise, an expert student prepareth and memorizeth his lessons and exercises with the utmost effort, and in the day of examination he appeareth with infinite joy before the master. Likewise, the pure gold shineth radiantly in the fire of test. Consequently, it is make clear that for holy souls, trials are as the gift of God, the Exalted; but for weak souls they are an unexpected calamity. This test is just as thou hast written: it removeth the rust of egotism from the mirror of the heart until the Sun of Truth may shine therein. For, no veil is greater than egotism and no matter how thin that covering may be, yet it will finally veil man entirely and prevent him from receiving a portion from the eternal bounty.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 722-723

Mansion of Bahji from the South in ‘Akká, Israel, where Bahá’u’lláh spent the last days of His life.

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD SHOGHI EFFENDI:

Indeed this fresh ordeal that has, in pursuance of the mysterious dispensations of Providence, afflicted the Faith, at this unexpected hour, far from dealing a fatal blow to its institutions or existence, should be regarded as a blessing in disguise, not a “calamity” but a “providence” of God, not a devastating flood but a “gentle rain” on a “green pasture,” a “wick” and “oil” unto the “lamp” of His Faith, a “nurture” for His Cause, “water for that which has been planted in the hearts of men,” a “crown set on the head” of His Messenger for this Day.

Whatever its outcome, this sudden commotion that has seized the Bahá’í world, that has revived the hopes and emboldened the host of the adversaries of the Faith intent on quenching its light and obliterating it from the face of the earth, has served as a trumpet call in the sounding of which the press of the world, the cries of its vociferous enemies, the public remonstrances of both men of good will and those in authority have joined, proclaiming far and wide its existence, publicizing its history, defending its verities, unveiling its truths, demonstrating the character of its institutions and advertising its aims and purposes.

Citadel of Faith, p. 139

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

“To the Baha’is of the World” dated 23 May 2011

Beyond responding to the specific appeals for homefront and international pioneers that are issued from time to time by the institutions, the friends are of course welcome to arise at any time and from any place to settle in any area where they feel they can best contribute to the advancement of the Cause.  Even so, their endeavours would yield greater effect if, drawing on the advice of institutions, they were to direct their efforts to clusters–indeed, villages and neighbourhoods within clusters–that are the focus of systematic attention.  It is our ardent hope that the believers will arise rank upon rank, with a clarity of vision born of experience and with complete reliance on the confirmations of God, to offer His life-giving Message to every eager soul, to every receptive population.  Our prayers at the Sacred Threshold will accompany them as they strive to seize the abundant opportunities now opening before them.

27 July ― 15 Kalimát   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_1072

It is incumbent upon them who are in authority to exercise moderation in all things. Whatsoever passeth beyond the limits of moderation will cease to exert a beneficial influence. Consider for instance such things as liberty, civilization and the like. However much men of understanding may favourably regard them, they will, if carried to excess, exercise a pernicious influence upon men.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 169

EVENING:

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 Bahá’u’lláh, p. 343)

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

IMG_4377The scope of Universal Peace must be such that all the communities and religions may find their highest wish realized in it. At present the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh are such that all the communities of the world, whether religious, political or ethical, ancient or modern, find in the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh the expression of their highest wish.

For example, the people of religions find, in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, the establishment of Universal Religion — a religion that perfectly conforms with present conditions, which in reality effects the immediate cure of the incurable disease, which relieves every pain and bestows the infallible antidote for every deadly poison. For if we wish to arrange and organize the world of mankind in accordance with the present religious imitations and thereby to establish the felicity of mankind, it is impossible and impracticable: for example, the enforcement of the laws of the Old Testament and also of the other religions in accordance with present imitations. But the essential basis of all the divine religions which pertains to the virtues of the world of mankind and is the foundation of the welfare of the world of man, is found in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh in the most perfect presentation.

Similarly, with regard to the people who clamor for freedom: the moderate freedom which guarantees the welfare of the world of man, is found in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh.

So with regard to political parties: that which is the greatest policy directing the world of mankind, nay, rather the divine policy, is found in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh.

Likewise with regard to the party of “equality” which seeks the solution of the economic problems: until now all proposed solutions have proved impracticable except the economic proposals in the teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, which are practicable and cause no distress to society.

So with the other parties: when ye look deeply into this matter, ye will discover that the highest aims of those parties are found in the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. These teachings constitute the all-inclusive power among all men, and are practicable….

Foundations of World Unity, pp. 31-32

6 June – 2 Núr   Leave a comment

Dome of the House of Worship in Sidney, Australia

MORNING:

The text of certain Muḥammadan traditions, the authenticity of which Muslims themselves recognize, and which have been extensively quoted by eminent Oriental Bahá’í scholars and authors, will serve to corroborate the argument and illuminate the theme I have attempted to expound: “In the latter days a grievous calamity shall befall My people at the hands of their ruler, a calamity such as no man ever heard to surpass it. So fierce will it be that none can find a shelter. God will then send down One of My descendants, One sprung from My family, Who will fill the earth with equity and justice, even as it hath been filled with injustice and tyranny.” And, again: “A day shall be witnessed by My people whereon there will have remained of Islam naught but a name, and of the Qur’án naught but a mere appearance. The doctors of that age shall be the most evil the world hath ever seen. Mischief hath proceeded from them, and on them will it recoil.” And, again: “At that hour His malediction shall descend upon you, and your curse shall afflict you, and your religion shall remain an empty word on your tongues. And when these signs appear amongst you, anticipate the day when the red-hot wind will have swept over you, or the day when ye will have been disfigured, or when stones will have rained upon you.”

“O people of the Qur’án,” Bahá’u’lláh, addressing the combined forces of Sunni and Shi’ih Islam, significantly affirms, “Verily, the Prophet of God, Muhammad, sheddeth tears at the sight of your cruelty. Ye have assuredly followed your evil and corrupt desires, and turned away your face from the light of guidance. Erelong will ye witness the result of your deeds; for the Lord, My God, lieth in wait and is watchful of your behavior… O concourse of Muslim divines! By your deeds the exalted station of the people hath been abased, the standard of Islam hath been reversed, and its mighty throne hath fallen.”

Bahá’u’lláh quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The World Order of Bahá‘u’lláh, pp:178-179

EVENING:

“The vitality of men’s belief in God,” Bahá’u’lláh has testified, “is dying out in every land; nothing short of His wholesome medicine can ever restore it. The corrosion of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society; what else but the Elixir of His potent Revelation can cleanse and revive it?” “The world is in travail,” He has further written, “and its agitation waxeth day by day. Its face is turned towards waywardness and unbelief. Such shall be its plight that to disclose it now would not be meet and seemly.”

This menace of secularism that has attacked Islam and is undermining its remaining institutions, that has invaded Persia, has penetrated into India, and raised its triumphant head in Turkey, has already manifested itself in both Europe and America, and is, in varying degrees, and under various forms and designations, challenging the basis of every established religion, and in particular the institutions and communities identified with the Faith of Jesus Christ. It would be no exaggeration to say that we are moving into a period which the future historian will regard as one of the most critical in the history of Christianity.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The World Order of Bahá‘u’lláh, p. 180

The Greatest Holy Leaf, Bahíyyih Khánum (1846 – July 15, 1932) was the second child and first daughter of Bahá’u’lláh and his wife Ásíyih Khánum. Known by the Persian freinds as “Ḥadrat-i-Varaqiyih-‘Ulyá” meaning Her Holiness the Greatest Holy Leaf. Beloved by the Bahá’ís, she is regarded as one of the greatest woman to have ever lived.

FROM  HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

O my well-beloved, deeply spiritual sister! Day and night thou livest in my memory. Whenever I remember thee my heart swelleth with sadness and my regret groweth more intense. Grieve not, for I am thy true, thy unfailing comforter. Let neither despondency nor despair becloud the serenity of thy life or restrain thy freedom. These days shall pass away. We will, please God, in the Abha Kingdom and beneath the sheltering shadow of the Blessed Beauty, forget all these our earthly cares and will find each one of these base calumnies amply compensated by His expressions of praise and favour. From the beginning of time sorrow and anxiety, regret and tribulation, have always been the lot of every loyal servant of God. Ponder this in thine heart and consider how very true it is. Wherefore, set thine heart on the tender mercies of the Ancient Beauty and be thou filled with abiding joy and intense gladness….

Bahíyyih Khanúm, p. 4

FROM THE HER HOLINESS THE GREATEST HOLY LEAF:

“May the Light of Union radiate with greater clearness and brilliancy day by day among the people in your great country — for to this country God has given much and much is expected from it. But without harmony and love existing among those who call themselves Baha’is, nothing will be seen from it whatsoever, for verily the Believers are the pivots upon which the fate of nations hang; and a difference among two believers is quite sufficient to consume and destroy a whole country. The one who works for harmony and union among the hearts of the people in these days will receive the greatest blessings and the most abundant bounties. There is no greater work for one to do upon this earth than to try and unite the hearts of the people — and especially those who are calling upon the Holy Name of God.”

Bahiyyih Khanum – The Greatest Holy Leaf,  104;(translated by a committee of the Research Department at the Baha’i World Centre – 1982

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE BAHÁ’Í FAITH, SHOGHI EFFENDI:

Shoghi Effendi, Beloved Guardian of the Cause of God

A parallel might almost be drawn between these confused and confusing systems of thought that are the direct outcome of the helplessness and confusion afflicting the Christian Faith and the great variety of popular cults, of fashionable and evasive philosophies which flourished in the opening centuries of the Christian Era, and which attempted to absorb and pervert the state religion of that Roman people. The pagan worshipers who constituted, at that time, the bulk of the population of the Western Roman Empire, found themselves surrounded, and in certain instances menaced, by the prevailing sect of the Neo-Platonists, by the followers of nature religions, by Gnostic philosophers, by Philonism, Mithraism, the adherents of the Alexandrian cult, and a multitude of kindred sects and beliefs, in much the same way as the defenders of the Christian Faith, the preponderating religion of the western world, are realizing, in the first century of the Bahá’í Era, how their influence is being undermined by a flood of conflicting beliefs, practices and tendencies which their own bankruptcy had helped to create. It was, however, this same Christian Religion, which has now fallen into such a state of impotence, that eventually proved itself capable of sweeping away the institutions of paganism and of swamping and suppressing the cults that had flourished in that age.

Such institutions as have strayed far from the spirit and teachings of Jesus Christ must of necessity, as the embryonic World Order of Bahá’u’lláh takes shape and unfolds, recede into the background, and make way for the progress of the divinely-ordained institutions that stand inextricably interwoven with His teachings. The indwelling Spirit of God which, in the Apostolic Age of the Church, animated its members, the pristine purity of its teachings, the primitive brilliancy of its light, will, no doubt, be reborn and revived as the inevitable consequence of this redefinition of its fundamental verities, and the clarification of its original purpose.

For the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh — if we would faithfully appraise it — can never, and in no aspect of its teachings, be at variance, much less conflict, with the purpose animating, or the authority invested in, the Faith of Jesus Christ. This glowing tribute which Bahá’u’lláh Himself has been moved to pay to the Author of the Christian Religion stands as sufficient testimony to the truth of this central principle of Bahá’í belief: — “Know thou that when the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced, the influence exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but manifestations of the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive and resplendent Spirit. We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened, and the soul of the sinner sanctified… He it is Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him.”

The World Order of Bahá‘u’lláh, p. 184-186

FROM A WORK COMMISSIONED BY THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

Seat of The Universal House of Justice on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel

Over time, theology succeeded in constructing in the heart of each one of the great faiths an authority parallel with, and even inimical in spirit to, the revealed teachings on which the tradition was based. Jesus’ familiar parable of the landowner who sowed seed in his field addresses both the issue and its implications for the present time: “But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.” When his servants proposed to uproot them, the landowner replied, “Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” Throughout its pages, the Qur’án reserves its severest condemnation for the spiritual harm caused by this competing hegemony: “Say: The things that my Lord hath indeed forbidden are: shameful deeds, whether open or secret; sins and trespasses against truth or reason; assigning of partners to God, for which he hath given no authority; and saying things about God of which ye have no knowledge.” To the modern mind it is the greatest of ironies that generations of theologians, whose impositions on religion embody precisely the betrayal so strongly denounced in these texts, should seek to use the warning itself as a weapon in suppressing protest against their usurpation of Divine authority.

One Common Faith