Archive for the ‘Quddús’ Category

24 September ― 17 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

 

MORNING:

Far, far from Thy glory be what mortal man can affirm of Thee, or attribute unto Thee, or the praise with which he can glorify Thee! Whatever duty Thou hast prescribed unto Thy servants of extolling to the utmost Thy majesty and glory is but a token of Thy grace unto them, that they may be enabled  to ascend unto the station conferred upon their own inmost being, the station of the knowledge of their own selves.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp:4-5

EVENING:

The beginning of all things is the knowledge of God, and the end of all things is strict observance of whatsoever hath been sent down from the empyrean of the Divine Will that pervadeth all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 3

FROM HAND OF THE CAUSE OF GOD Mr. WILLIAM SEARS:

“Let them be led through the streets of the city by this halter,” he commanded. “It will be an object lesson to the people of Shiráz. It will teach everyone who is thinking of embracing this Faith just what the punishment for such action will be!”

Mullá Sádiq was so advanced in age that he knew that he could not possibly survive this torture. Yet he was calm and self-possessed. He raised his eyes to heaven and offered a last prayer. “O Lord, our God! We have heard the voice of the One that called. He called us to His Faith, saying: ‘ Believe ye on the Lord your God!’ We have believed, O God. Forgive us then for our sins, and cause us to die with righteousness.”

An eye-witness to the torture of Mullá Sádiq has given the following testimony: “I was present when Mullá Sádiq was being scourged. I watched them stroke the lash to his bleeding shoulders until he became exhausted. No one watching believed he could outlasted fifty such savage strokes without dying. He was a very old man. We marveled at his courage. “Yet when the number of strokes already exceeded nine hundred, his face still retained its original serenity and calm.

“When he was later being expelled from the city, I approached him with great admiration and asked him how he had been able to withstand such punishment. ” He replied: ‘The first seven strokes were severely painful. To the rest I seemed to have grown indifferent. I was wondering whether the strokes that followed were actually being applied to my own body. A feeling of joy seized me. I was trying to repress my feelings and restrain my laughter.'” Mullá Sádiq looked at this eye-witness, as though trying to convey to him an important truth which he felt all men should know: that suffering, pain and persecution are only unbearable to those who had no purpose in life, no hope for the future; if they were withstood for the love of God, then the pain became pleasure in this world, and the sufferings became a means of being closer to God in the next. “I can now realize,” he told him, “how the Almighty is able, in the twinkling of an eye, to turn pain into ease and sorrow into gladness. Immensely exalted is His power above the weak imagining of His mortal creatures.”

Both Mullá Sádiq and Quddús withstood their torture with great fortitude. For Quddús, this was but the beginning of greater suffering to come. Exhausted and bleeding, they were driven out of Shiráz. They were warned at the city gates that if they ever returned, they would both be crucified. Mullá Sádiq and Quddús were among the first followers of the Báb to suffer persecution on Persian soil.

Release the Sun, pp: 28-29

9 June – 5 Nú,,,   Leave a comment

One of many gardens surrounding the Shrine of The Báb on Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel

MORNING:

IMG_2521By the righteousness of God! These are the days in which God hath proved the hearts of the entire company of His Messengers and Prophets, and beyond them those that stand guard over His sacred and inviolable Sanctuary, the inmates of the celestial Pavilion and dwellers of the Tabernacle of Glory. How severe, therefore, the test to which they who join partners with God must needs be subjected!

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’lláh, pp. 11-12)

EVENING:

The thing that must come hath come suddenly; behold how they flee from it! The inevitable hath come to pass; witness how they have cast it behind their backs! This is the Day whereon every man will fly from himself, how much more from his kindred, could ye but perceive it. Say: By God! The blast hath been blown on the trumpet, and lo, mankind hath swooned away before us! The Herald hath cried out, and the Summoner raised His voice saying: “The Kingdom is God’s, the Most Powerful, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.”

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 42-43

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

The affairs of this world are to be accounted as nothing compared to the joy and heavenly happiness of meeting the friends of God.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 7)

FROM SHOGHI EFFENDI, GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD:

IMG_1247We are stirred, moreover, by the scene of the arrival of Bahá’u’lláh at the Fort, and the indefinable joy it imparted to Mulla Husayn, the reverent reception accorded Him by His fellow-disciples, His inspection of the fortifications which they had hurriedly erected for their protection, and the advice He gave them, which resulted in the miraculous deliverance of Quddus, in his subsequent and close association with the defenders of that Fort, and in his effective participation in the exploits connected with its siege and eventual destruction. We are amazed at the serenity and sagacity of that same Quddus, the confidence he instilled on his arrival, the resourcefulness he displayed, the fervor and gladness with which the besieged listened, at morn and at even-tide, to the voice intoning the verses of his celebrated commentary on the Sad of Samad, to which he had already, while in Sari, devoted a treatise thrice as voluminous as the Qur’án itself, and which he was now, despite the tumultuary attacks of the enemy and the privations he and his companions were enduring, further elucidating by adding to that interpretation as many verses as he had previously written.

God Passes By, p. 40)

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

IMG_9605…the importance of the Bahá’í administration is its value in serving as a facilitator of the emergence and maintenance of community life in a wholly new mode, and in catering to the requirements of the spiritual relationships which flow from love and unity among the friends. This touches upon a distinguishing characteristic of Bahá’í life which such spiritual relationships foster, namely, the spirit of servitude to God, expressed in service to the Cause, to the friends and to humanity as a whole. The attitude of the individual as a servant, an attitude pre-eminently exemplified in the life and person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, is a dynamic that permeates the activities of the Faith; it acquires collective, transformative force in the normal functioning of a community. In this regard, the institutions of the Faith stand as channels for the promotion of this salient characteristic. It is in this framework that the concepts of rulership and leadership, authority and power are properly understood and actualized.

The appearance of a united, firmly based and self-sustaining community must be a major goal of a Spiritual Assembly. Composed of a membership reflecting a diversity of personalities, talents, abilities and interests, such a community requires a level of internal interaction between the Assembly and the body of the believers based on a commonly recognized commitment to service, and in which a sense of partnership based on appreciation of each other’s distinctive sphere of action is fully recognized and unfailingly upheld, and no semblance of a dichotomy between the two appears. In such a community leadership is that expression of service by which the Spiritual Assembly invites and encourages the use of the manifold talents and abilities with which the community is endowed, and stimulates and guides the diverse elements of the community towards goals and strategies by which the effects of a coherent force for progress can be realized.

Unlocking the Power of Action

2 August ― 2 Kamál   Leave a comment

May you all persevere in your individual efforts to teach the Faith, but with added zest, to study the Writings, but with greater earnestness. May you pursue your education and training for future service to mankind, offering as much of your free time as possible to activities on behalf of the Cause. May those of you already bent on your life’s work and who may have already founded families, strive toward becoming the living embodiments of Bahá’í ideals, both in the spiritual nurturing of your families and in your active involvement in the efforts on the home front or abroad in the pioneering field. May all respond to the current demands upon the Faith by displaying a fresh measure of dedication to the tasks at hand.

Further to these aspirations is the need for a mighty mobilization of teaching activities reflecting regularity in the patterns of service rendered by young Bahá’ís. The native urge of youth to move from place to place, combined with their abounding zeal, indicates that you can become more deliberately and numerously involved in these activities as traveling teachers. One pattern of this mobilization could be short-term projects, carried out at home or in other lands, dedicated to both teaching the Faith and improving the living conditions of people. Another could be that, while still young and unburdened by family responsibilities, you give attention to the idea of volunteering a set period, say, one or two years, to some Bahá’í service, on the home front or abroad, in the teaching or development field. It would accrue to the strength and stability of the community if such patterns could be followed by succeeding generations of youth. Regardless of the modes of service, however, youth must be understood to be fully engaged, at all times, in all climes and under all conditions. In your varied pursuits you may rest assured of the loving support and guidance of the Bahá’í institutions operating at every level.

Our ardent prayers, our unshakable confidence in your ability to succeed, our imperishable love surround you in all you endeavor to do in the path of service to the Blessed Perfection.

 

The Universal House of Justice

 

          The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, pp:16-17

 

MORNING:

IMG_9520No created thing shall ever attain its paradise unless it appeareth in its highest prescribed degree of perfection. For instance, this crystal representeth the paradise of the stone whereof its substance is composed. Likewise there are various stages in the paradise for the crystal itself… So long as it was stone it was worthless, but if it attaineth the excellence of ruby — a potentiality which is latent in it ― how much a carat will it be worth? Consider likewise every created thing.

Man’s highest station, however, is attained through faith in God in every Dispensation and by acceptance of what hath been revealed by Him, and not through learning; inasmuch as in every nation there are learned men who are versed in divers sciences. Nor is it attainable through wealth; for it is similarly evident that among the various classes in every nation there are those possessed of riches. Likewise are other transitory things.

— His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 88

 

 

EVENING:

True knowledge, therefore, is the knowledge of God, and this is none other than the recognition of His Manifestation in each Dispensation. Nor is there any wealth save in poverty in all save God and sanctity from aught else but Him — a state that can be realized only when demonstrated towards Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation. This doth not mean, however, that one ought not to yield praise unto former Revelations. On no account is this acceptable, inasmuch as it behooveth man, upon reaching the age of nineteen, to render thanksgiving for the day of his conception as an embryo. For had the embryo not existed, how could he have reached his present state? Likewise had the religion taught by Adam not existed, this Faith would not have attained its present stage. Thus consider thou the development of God’s Faith until the end that hath no end.

 IMG_8790

Twelve hundred and seventy years have elapsed since the declaration of Muhammad, and each year unnumbered people have circumambulated the House of God. In the concluding year of this period He Who is Himself the Founder of the House went on pilgrimage. Great God! There was a vast concourse of pilgrims from every sect. Yet not one recognized Him, though He recognized every one of them — souls tightly held in the grasp of His former commandment. The only person who recognized Him and performed pilgrimage with Him is the one round whom revolve eight Vahids, in whom God hath gloried before the Concourse on high by virtue of his absolute detachment and for his being wholly devoted to the Will of God. This doth not mean that he was made the object of a special favour, nay, this is a favour which God hath vouchsafed unto all men, yet they have suffered themselves to be veiled from it. The Commentary on the Súrih of Joseph had, in the first year of this Revelation, been widely distributed. Nevertheless, when the people realized that fellow supporters were not forthcoming they hesitated to accept it; while it never occurred to them that the very Qur’án whereunto unnumbered souls bear fealty today, was revealed in the midmost heart of the Arab world, yet to outward seeming for no less than seven years no one acknowledged its truth except the Commander of the Faithful§ — may the peace of God rest upon him — who, in response to the conclusive proofs advanced by God’s supreme Testimony, recognized the Truth and did not fix his eyes on others. Thus on the Day of Resurrection God will ask everyone of his understanding and not of his following in the footsteps of others. How often a person, having inclined his ears to the holy verses, would bow down in humility and would embrace the Truth, while his leader would not do so. Thus every individual must bear his own responsibility, rather than someone else bearing it for him. At the time of the appearance of Him Whom God will make manifest the most distinguished among the learned and the lowliest of men shall both be judged alike. How often the most insignificant of men have acknowledged the truth, while the most learned have remained wrapt in veils. Thus in every Dispensation a number of souls enter the fire by reason of their following in the footsteps of others.

†Mecca

‡ Imám ‘Alí

§This is a reference to Quddús, ‘whom the Persian Bayán extolled as that fellow-pilgrim round whom mirrors to the number of eight Vahíds revolve’.

God Passes By, p. 49

— His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp: 88-91

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

O thou who art resigned to His irrevocable Decree!

Render thanks unto God for having attained so sublime a station. Thou art treading the path of His good-pleasure; thou hast surrendered thyself unreservedly to that which is ordained and destined by Him; thou hast placed thy whole trust in Him and manifested unswerving constancy and fortitude in the face of this grievous calamity. Thus indeed doth it beseem the loved ones of God to conduct themselves, so that when they are beset by hardships or hemmed in by dire affliction they may be able to comfort others and impart consolation unto them, their faces may glow with the light of radiant acquiescence and they may deliver to the flames the veil of moaning, sighing and lamentation, inasmuch as resort to sadness and grief in the midst of tribulation is but an indication of lack of assurance and certitude.

In truth were man to attain the stage of certitude in his spiritual development, no affliction could ever depress his spirits, though he would undoubtedly be influenced by reason of his human susceptibilities. Nevertheless, man’s inner being will be so revived by the breeze of divinely-ordained woes and trials that the dust of wailing and lamentation will entirely subside and the light of submissive resignation unto His Will shall shine forth like unto a radiant morn.

And upon thee be greetings and praise.

Fire and Light, pp: 24-25

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