Archive for the ‘Prejudice’ Category

24 May ― 8 ‘Azamat   Leave a comment

“If we allow prejudice of any kind to manifest itself in us, we shall be guilty before God of causing a setback to the progress and real growth of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. It is incumbent upon every believer to endeavour with a fierce determination to eliminate this defect from his thoughts and acts. The fundamental purpose of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh is the realization of the organic unity of the entire human race…”

 

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

From a letter to all National Assemblies, July 13, 1972

Lights of Guidance Part 6, p. 530

 

MORNING:

Entreat thou the one true God to sanctify the ears, and the eyes, and the hearts of mankind, and to protect them from the desires of a corrupt inclination. For malice is a grievous malady which depriveth man from recognizing the Great Being, and debarreth him from the splendors of the sun of certitude. We pray and hope that through the grace and mercy of God He may remove this mighty obstacle. He, verily, is the Potent, the All-Subduing, the Almighty.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 96

EVENING:

Enter thou My presence, that thou mayest behold what the eye of the universe hath never beheld, and hear that which the ear of the whole creation hath never heard, that haply thou mayest free thyself from the mire of vague fancies, and set thy face towards the Most Sublime Station, wherein this Wronged One calleth aloud: “The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the All-Praised!” We fain would hope that through thine exertions the wings of men may be sanctified from the mire of self and desire, and be made worthy to soar in the atmosphere of God’s love. Wings that are besmirched with mire can never soar. Unto this testify they who are the exponents of justice and equity, and yet the people are in evident doubt.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 96

FROM THE MYSTERY OF GOD  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

I wish this blessing to appear and become manifest in the faces and characteristics of the believers, so that they, too, may become a new people, and having found new life and been baptized with fire and spirit, may make the world a new world, to the end that the old earth may disappear and the new earth appear; old ideas depart and new thoughts come; old garments be cast aside and new garments put on; ancient politics whose foundation is war be discarded and modern politics founded on peace raise the standard of victory; the new star shine and gleam and the new sun illumine and radiate; new flowers bloom, the new spring become known; the new breeze blow; the new bounty descend; the new tree give forth new fruit; the new voice become raised and this new sound reach the ears, that the new will follow the new, and all the old furnishings and adornments be cast aside and new decorations put in their places.

I desire for you all that you will have this great assistance and partake of this great bounty, and that in spirit and heart you will strive and endeavor until the world of war become the world of peace; the world of darkness the world of light; satanic conduct be turned into heavenly behavior; the ruined places become built up; the sword be turned into the olive branch; the flash of hatred become the flame of the love of God and the noise of the gun the voice of the Kingdom; the soldiers of death the soldiers of life; all the nations of the world one nation; all races as one race; and all national anthems harmonized into one melody.

Then this material realm will be Paradise, the earth Heaven, and the world of Satan become the world of Angels.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Volume 1, pp: 39-40

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

Does not ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wish us, as He looks down upon us with loving expectation from His glorious Station, to obliterate as much as possible all traces of censure, of conflicting discussions, of cooling remarks, of petty unnecessary observations that impede the onward march of the Cause, that damp the zeal of the firm believer and detract from the sublimity of the Bahá’í Cause in the eyes of the inquirer?

Unfolding Destiny, p. 4

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11 February ― 5 Mulk   Leave a comment

The dark horizon faced by a world which has failed to recognize the Promised One, the Source of its salvation, acutely affects the outlook of the younger generations; their distressing lack of hope and their indulgence in desperate but futile and even dangerous solutions make a direct claim on the remedial attention of Bahá’í youth, who, through their knowledge of that Source and the bright vision with which they have thus been endowed, cannot hesitate to impart to their despairing fellow youth the restorative joy, the constructive hope, the radiant assurances of Bahá’u’lláh’s stupendous Revelation.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá’í youth of the world, May 8, 1985

Lights of Guidance, p.638

MORNING:

The field is indeed so immense, the period so critical, the Cause so great, the workers so few, the time so short, the privilege so priceless, that no follower of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh, worthy to bear His name, can afford a moment’s hesitation. That God-born Force, irresistible in its sweeping power, incalculable in its potency, unpredictable in its course, mysterious in its workings, and awe-inspiring in its manifestations — a Force which, as the Báb has written, “vibrates within the innermost being of all created things,” and which, according to Bahá’u’lláh, has through its “vibrating influence,” “upset the equilibrium of the world and revolutionized its ordered life” — such a Force, acting even as a two-edged sword, is, under our very eyes, sundering, on the one hand, the age-old ties which for centuries have held together the fabric of civilized society, and is unloosing, on the other, the bonds that still fetter the infant and as yet unemancipated Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. The undreamt-of opportunities offered through the operation of this Force — the American believers must now rise, and fully and courageously exploit them. “The holy realities of the Concourse on high,” writes ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “yearn, in this day, in the Most Exalted Paradise, to return unto this world, so that they may be aided to render some service to the threshold of the Abha Beauty, and arise to demonstrate their servitude to His sacred Threshold.”

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Advent of Divine Justice, pp: 46-47

EVENING:

I entreat Thee, O Lord of the Kingdom of eternity, by the shrill voice of the Pen of Glory, and by the Burning Fire which calleth aloud from the verdant Tree, and by the Ark which Thou hast specially chosen for the people of Bahá, to grant that I may remain steadfast in my love for Thee, be well pleased with whatsoever Thou hast prescribed for me in Thy Book and may stand firm in Thy service and in the service of Thy loved ones. Graciously assist then Thy servants, O my God, to do that which will serve to exalt Thy Cause and will enable them to observe whatsoever Thou hast revealed in Thy Book.

Verily Thou art the Lord of Strength, Thou art potent to ordain whatsoever Thou willest and within Thy grasp Thou holdest the reins of all created things. No God is there but Thee, the All-Powerful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 116-117

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

… In the Bahá’í Cause arts, sciences and all crafts are (counted as) worship. The man who makes a piece of notepaper to the best of his ability, conscientiously, concentrating all his forces on perfecting it, is giving praise to God. Briefly, all effort and exertion put forth by man from the fullness of his heart is worship, if it is prompted by the highest motives and the will to do service to humanity. This is worship: to serve mankind and to minister to the needs of the people. Service is prayer. A physician ministering to the sick, gently, tenderly, free from prejudice and believing in the solidarity of the human race, he is giving praise.

Paris Talks, pp: 176-177

 FROM LETTERS WRITTEN ON BEHALF OF THE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHOGHI EFFENDI:

“…There is nothing that brings success in the Faith like service. Service is the magnet which draws the divine confirmations. Thus, when a person is active, they are blessed by the Holy Spirit. When they are inactive, the Holy Spirit cannot find a repository in their being, and thus they are deprived of its healing and quickening rays.”

From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, July 12, 1952

“…An individual must center his whole heart and mind on service to the Cause, in accordance with the high standards set by Bahá’u’lláh. When this is done, the hosts of the Supreme Concourse will come to the assistance of the individual, and every difficulty and trial will gradually be overcome.”

From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 6, 1954: Living the Life: pp: 18-19

Lights of Guidance, p. 118

 

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

“The present requirements of a Faith whose responsibilities rapidly increase in relation to its rise from obscurity impose an inescapable duty on the youth to ensure that their lives reflect to a marked degree the transforming power of the new Revelation they have embraced. Otherwise, by what example are the claims of Bahá’u’lláh to be judged? How is His healing Message to be acknowledged by a skeptical humanity if it produces no noticeable effect upon the young, who are seen to be among the most energetic, the most pliable and promising elements in any society?

“The dark horizon faced by a world which has failed to recognize the Promised One, the Source of its salvation, acutely affects the outlook of the younger generations; their distressing lack of hope and their indulgence in desperate but futile and even dangerous solutions make a direct claim on the remedial attention of Bahá’í youth, who, through their knowledge of that Source and the bright vision with which they have thus been endowed, cannot hesitate to impart to their despairing fellow youth the restorative joy, the constructive hope, the radiant assurances of Bahá’u’lláh’s stupendous Revelation.

“The words, the deeds, the attitudes, the lack of prejudice, the nobility of character, the high sense of service to others–in a word, those qualities and actions which distinguish a Bahá’í–must unfailingly characterize their inner life and outer behaviour, and their interactions with friend or foe.”

From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the Bahá’í youth of the world, May 8, 1985

Lights of Guidance, p.638

5 December ― 13 Qawl   Leave a comment

MORNING:

I am preparing you for the advent of a mighty Day. Exert your utmost endeavour that, in the world to come, I, who am now instructing you, may, before the mercy-seat of God, rejoice in your deeds and glory in your achievements. The secret of the Day that is to come is now concealed. It can neither be divulged nor estimated. The newly born babe of that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of this time, and the lowliest and most unlearned of that period shall surpass in understanding the most erudite and accomplished divines of this age. Scatter throughout the length and breadth of this land, and, with steadfast feet and sanctified hearts, prepare the way for His coming. Heed not your weaknesses and frailty; fix your gaze upon the invincible power of the Lord, your God, the Almighty.

—His Holiness The Báb

Quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Dawn-Breakers, pp:. 93-94

EVENING:

The river Jordan is joined to the Most Great Ocean, and the Son, in the holy vale, crieth out: ‘Here am I, here am I O Lord, my God!’, whilst Sinai circleth round the House, and the Burning Bush calleth aloud: ‘He Who is the Desired One is come in His transcendent majesty.’ Say, Lo! The Father is come, and that which ye were promised in the Kingdom is fulfilled! This is the Word which the Son concealed, when to those around Him He said: ‘Ye cannot bear it now.’ And when the appointed time was fulfilled and the Hour had struck, the Word shone forth above the horizon of the Will of God. Beware, O followers of the Son, that ye cast it not behind your backs. Take ye fast hold of it. Better is this for you than all that ye possess. Verily He is nigh unto them that do good. The Hour which We had concealed from the knowledge of the peoples of the earth and of the favoured angels hath come to pass. Say, verily, He hath testified of Me, and I do testify of Him. Indeed, He hath purposed no one other than Me. Unto this beareth witness every fair-minded and understanding soul.

 —His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 10

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

1 September 1912
Talk at Church of the Messiah
Montreal, Canada  From Stenographic Notes

God has created His servants in order that they may love and associate with each other. He has revealed the glorious splendor of His sun of love in the world of humanity. The cause of the creation of the phenomenal world is love. All the Prophets have promulgated the law of love. Man has opposed the will of God and acted in opposition to the plan of God. Therefore, from the beginning of history to the present time the world of humanity has had no lasting rest; warfare and strife have continuously prevailed, and hearts have manifested hatred toward each other. The cause of bloodshed and battle, strife and hatred throughout the past has been either religious, racial, patriotic or political prejudice. Therefore, the world of humanity has ever been in torment. These prejudices are more pronounced in the Orient, where freedom is restricted. In the nineteenth century the nations of the East were restless and in a state of inner commotion. The darkness of imitations and forms had enveloped religious belief. The people of religions were in constant warfare, filled with enmity, hatred and bitterness. In the midst of these conditions Bahá’u’lláh appeared. He proclaimed the oneness of the world of humanity and announced that all are the servants of God. He taught that all the religions are beneath the shadow and protection of the Almighty, that God is compassionate and loving to all, that the revelations of all the Prophets of the past have been in perfect unity and agreement, that the heavenly Books have confirmed each other; therefore, why should contention and strife exist among the people?

As all mankind have been created by the one God, we are sheep under the care and protection of one Shepherd. Therefore, as His sheep we must associate in accord and agreement. If one single lamb becomes separated from the flock, the thoughts and efforts of all the others must be to bring it back again. Consequently, Bahá’u’lláh proclaimed that, inasmuch as God is the one heavenly Shepherd and all mankind are the sheep of His fold, the religion or guidance of God must be the means of love and fellowship in the world. If religion proves to be the source of hatred, enmity and contention, if it becomes the cause of warfare and strife and influences men to kill each other, its absence is preferable. For that which is productive of hatred amongst the people is rejected by God, and that which establishes fellowship is beloved and sanctioned by Him. Religion and divine teachings are like unto a remedy. A remedy must produce the condition of health. If it occasions sickness, it is wiser and better to have no remedy whatever. This is the significance of the statement that if religion becomes the cause of warfare and bloodshed, irreligion and the absence of religion are preferable among mankind.

Bahá’u’lláh has declared that religion must be in accord with science and reason. If it does not correspond with scientific principles and the processes of reason, it is superstition. For God has endowed us with faculties by which we may comprehend the realities of things, contemplate reality itself. If religion is opposed to reason and science, faith is impossible; and when faith and confidence in the divine religion are not manifest in the heart, there can be no spiritual attainment.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp: 297-299

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF TH E CAUSE OF GOD, SHOGHI EFFENDI:

Then will the coming of age of the entire human race be proclaimed and celebrated by all the peoples and nations of the earth. Then will the banner of the Most Great Peace be hoisted. Then will the worldwide sovereignty of Bahá’u’lláh—the Establisher of the Kingdom of the Father foretold by the Son, and anticipated by the Prophets of God before Him and after Him—be recognized, acclaimed, and firmly established. Then will a world civilization be born, flourish, and perpetuate itself, a civilization with a fullness of life such as the world has never seen nor can as yet conceive. Then will the Everlasting Covenant be fulfilled in its completeness. Then will the promise enshrined in all the Books of God be redeemed, and all the prophecies uttered by the Prophets of old come to pass, and the vision of seers and poets be realized. Then will the planet, galvanized through the universal belief of its dwellers in one God, and their allegiance to one common Revelation, mirror, within the limitations imposed upon it, the effulgent glories of the sovereignty of Bahá’u’lláh, shining in the plenitude of its splendor in the Abhá Paradise, and be made the footstool of His Throne on high, and acclaimed as the earthly heaven, capable of fulfilling that ineffable destiny fixed for it, from time immemorial, by the love and wisdom of its Creator.

Not ours, puny mortals that we are, to attempt, at so critical a stage in the long and checkered history of mankind, to arrive at a precise and satisfactory understanding of the steps which must successively lead a bleeding humanity, wretchedly oblivious of its God, and careless of Bahá’u’lláh, from its calvary to its ultimate resurrection. Not ours, the living witnesses of the all-subduing potency of His Faith, to question, for a moment, and however dark the misery that enshrouds the world, the ability of Bahá’u’lláh to forge, with the hammer of His Will, and through the fire of tribulation, upon the anvil of this travailing age, and in the particular shape His mind has envisioned, these scattered and mutually destructive fragments into which a perverse world has fallen, into one single unit, solid and indivisible, able to execute His design for the children of men.

Ours rather the duty, however confused the scene, however dismal the present outlook, however circumscribed the resources we dispose of, to labor serenely, confidently, and unremittingly to lend our share of assistance, in whichever way circumstances may enable us, to the operation of the forces which, as marshaled and directed by Bahá’u’lláh, are leading humanity out of the valley of misery and shame to the loftiest summits of power and glory.

Shoghi

To the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.
Haifa, Palestine
March 28, 1941

The Promised Day Is Come

US Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980 revised edition, pp: 123-124

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

In contemplating the supreme importance of the task now challenging the entire world, we bow our heads in humility before the awesome majesty of the divine Creator, Who out of His infinite love has created all humanity from the same stock; exalted the gem-like reality of man; honoured it with intellect and wisdom, nobility and immortality; and conferred upon man the “unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him”, a capacity that “must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation.”

We hold firmly the conviction that all human beings have been created “to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization”; that “to act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man”; that the virtues that befit human dignity are trustworthiness, forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all peoples. We reaffirm the belief that the “potentialities inherent in the station of man, the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality, must all be manifested in this promised Day of God.” These are the motivations for our unshakeable faith that unity and peace are the attainable goal towards which humanity is striving.

At this writing, the expectant voices of Bahá’ís can be heard despite the persecution they still endure in the land in which their Faith was born. By their example of steadfast hope, they bear witness to the belief that the imminent realization of this age-old dream of peace is now, by virtue of the transforming effects of Bahá’u’lláh’s revelation, invested with the force of divine authority. Thus we convey to you not only a vision in words: we summon the power of deeds of faith and sacrifice; we convey the anxious plea of our co-religionists everywhere for peace and unity. We join with all who are the victims of aggression, all who yearn for an end to conflict and contention, all whose devotion to principles of peace and world order promotes the ennobling purposes for which humanity was called into being by an all-loving Creator.

In the earnestness of our desire to impart to you the fervour of our hope and the depth of our confidence, we cite the emphatic promise of Bahá’u’lláh: “These fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away, and the ‘Most Great Peace’ shall come.”

 The Promise of World Peace, pp:14-15

Edward Granville Brown in Easter dress

FROM EDWARD GRANVILLE BROWN* [1862 – 1926]:

…Bahá’u’lláh received at Bahji one of the few Westerners to meet Him, and the only one to leave a written account of the experience. The visitor was Edward Granville Browne, a rising young orientalist from Cambridge University, whose attention had originally been attracted by the dramatic history of the Báb and His heroic band of followers. Of his meeting with Bahá’u’lláh, Browne wrote:

     Though I dimly suspected whither I was going and whom I was to behold

     (for no distinct intimation had been given to me), a second or two elapsed

     ere, with a throb of wonder and awe, I became definitely conscious that

     the room was not untenanted.  In the corner where the divan met the wall

     sat a wondrous and venerable figure…  The face of him on whom I gazed

     I can never forget, though I cannot describe it.  Those piercing eyes

     seemed to read one’s very soul; power and authority sat on that ample

     brow…  No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed myself

     before one who is the object of a devotion and love which kings might

     envy and emperors sigh for in vain!  A mild dignified voice bade me be

     seated, and then continued: — “Praise be to God that thou hast

     attained!…Thou hast come to see a prisoner and an exile…We desire

     but the good of the world and the happiness of the nations; yet they

     deem us a stirrer up of strife and sedition worthy of bondage and

     banishment…That all nations should become one in faith and all men

     as brothers; that the bonds of affection and unity between the sons of

     men should be strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and

     differences of race be annulled — what harm is there in this?…Yet so

     it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these ruinous wars shall pass away,

     and the ‘Most great Peace’ shall come…”

* Edward G. Browne, A Traveller’s Narrative (New York:  Baha’i

      Publishing Committee, 1930), pp. xxxix-xl

Room in which Browne was received by the Blessed Perfection