Archive for the ‘Service’ Category

5 August ― 5 Kamál   Leave a comment

“Upon our efforts depends in very large measure the fate of humanity.”

The Universal House of Justice

 

Wellspring of Guidance, p. 120

 

MORNING:

 

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 Baháú’lláh

quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Advent of Divine Justice, pp. 65-66

 

 

EVENING:

 

 

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

His Holiness Baháú’lláh

quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 66

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

Ḥusayn-Áqáy-i-Tabrízí

This man who was close to the Divine Threshold was the respected son of ‘Alí-‘Askar-i-Tabrízí. Full of yearning love, he came with his father from Tabríz to Adrianople, and by his own wish, went on with joy and hope to the Most Great Prison. From the day of his arrival at the fortress of ‘Akká he took over the coffee service, and waited upon the friends. This accomplished man was so patient, so docile, that over a forty-year period, despite extreme difficulties (for day and night, friend and stranger alike thronged the doors), he attended upon each and every one who came, faithfully helping them all. During all that time Ḥusayn-Áqá never offended a soul, nor did anyone, where he was concerned, utter a single complaint. This was truly a miracle, and no one else could have established such a record of service. He was always smiling, attentive as to the tasks committed to his care, known as a man to trust. In the Cause of God he was staunch, proud and true; in times of calamity he was patient and long-suffering.

After the ascension of Bahá’u’lláh the fires of tests leaped up and a whirlwind of violation battered the edifice down. This believer, in spite of a close tie of kinship, remained loyal, showing such strength and firmness that he manifested the words: “In the Cause of God, the blame of the blamer shall he not fear.” Not for a moment did he hesitate, nor waver in his faith, but he stood firm as a mountain, proud as an impregnable citadel, and rooted deep.

The Covenant-breakers took his mother away to their own place, where her daughter lived. They did everything they could think of to unsettle her faith. To an extent beyond belief, they lavished favors upon her, and plied her with kindnesses, hiding the fact that they had broken the Covenant. Finally, however, that respected handmaid of Bahá’u’lláh detected the odor of violation, whereupon she instantly quit the Mansion of Bahjí and hurried back to ‘Akká. “I am the handmaid of the Blessed Beauty,” she said, “and loyal to His Covenant and Testament. Though my son-in-law were a prince of the realm, what would that profit me? I am not to be won over by kinship and displays of affection. I am not concerned with external tokens of friendliness from those who are the very embodiment of selfish desire. I stand by the Covenant, and I hold to the Testament.” She would not consent to meet with the Covenant-breakers again; she freed herself completely from them, and turned her face to God.

As for Ḥusayn-Áqá, never did he separate himself from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He had the utmost consideration for me and was my constant companion, and it followed that his passing was a formidable blow. Even now, whenever he comes to mind I grieve, and mourn his loss. But God be praised that this man of God, in the days of the Blessed Beauty, remained at all times in close proximity to His House, and was the object of His good pleasure. Time and again, Bahá’u’lláh was heard to comment that Ḥusayn-Áqá had been created to perform this service.

After forty years of serving, he forsook this swiftly passing world and soared away to the realms of God. Greetings and praise be unto him, and mercy from his bountiful Lord. May his grave be encircled with lights that stream from the exalted Companion. His resting-place is in Haifa.

 

†Qur’án 5:59

Memorials of the Faithful, pp: 158-161

Advertisements

19 April ― 11 Jalál   Leave a comment

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

Even this earth’s happiness does not depend upon wealth. You will find many of the wealthy exposed to dangers and troubled by difficulties, and in their last moments upon the bed of death there remains the regret that they must be separated from that to which their hearts are so attached. They come into this world naked, and they must go from it naked. All they possess they must leave behind and pass away solitary, alone. Often at the time of death their souls are filled with remorse; and worst of all, their hope in the mercy of God is less than ours. Praise be to God! Our hope is in the mercy of God, and there is no doubt that the divine compassion is bestowed upon the poor. Jesus Christ said so; Bahá’u’lláh said so. While Bahá’u’lláh was in Baghdad, still in possession of great wealth, He left all He had and went alone from the city, living two years among the poor. They were His comrades. He ate with them, slept with them and gloried in being one of them. He chose for one of His names the title of The Poor One and often in His Writings refers to Himself as Darvish, which in Persian means poor; and of this title He was very proud. He admonished all that we must be the servants of the poor, helpers of the poor, remember the sorrows of the poor, associate with them; for thereby we may inherit the Kingdom of heaven. God has not said that there are mansions prepared for us if we pass our time associating with the rich, but He has said there are many mansions prepared for the servants of the poor, for the poor are very dear to God. The mercies and bounties of God are with them. The rich are mostly negligent, inattentive, steeped in worldliness, depending upon their means, whereas the poor are dependent upon God, and their reliance is upon Him, not upon themselves. Therefore, the poor are nearer the threshold of God and His throne.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 32

MORNING:

The light that is shed from the heaven of bounty, and the benediction that shineth from the dawning-place of the will of God, the Lord of the Kingdom of Names, rest upon Him Who is the Supreme Mediator, the Most Exalted Pen, Him Whom God hath made the Dawning-Place of His most excellent names and the Dayspring of His most exalted attributes. Through Him the light of unity hath shone forth above the horizon of the world, and the law of oneness hath been revealed amidst the nations, who, with radiant faces, have turned towards the Supreme Horizon, and acknowledged that which the Tongue of Utterance hath spoken in the kingdom of His knowledge: “Earth and heaven, glory and dominion, are God’s, the Omnipotent, the Almighty, the Lord of grace abounding!”

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp: 1-2

 

EVENING:

We have decreed, O people, that the highest and last end of all learning be the recognition of Him Who is the Object of all knowledge; and yet behold how ye have allowed your learning to shut you out, as by a veil, from Him Who is the Dayspring of this Light, through Whom every hidden thing hath been revealed. Say: This, verily, is the heaven in which the Mother Book is treasured, could ye but comprehend it. He it is Who hath caused the Rock to shout, and the Burning Bush to lift up its voice upon the Mount rising above the Holy Land, and proclaim: ‘The Kingdom is God’s, the sovereign Lord of all, the All-Powerful, the Loving!’ We have not entered any school, nor read any of your dissertations. Incline your ears to the words of this unlettered One, wherewith He summoneth you unto God, the Ever-Abiding. Better is this for you than all the treasures of the earth, could ye but comprehend it.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 128

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

18 December ― 7 Masá’il   Leave a comment

MORNING:

O SON OF DUST!

All that is in heaven and earth I have ordained for thee, except the human heart, which I have made the habitation of My beauty and glory; yet thou didst give My home and dwelling to another than Me; and whenever the manifestation of My holiness sought His own abode, a stranger found He there, and, homeless, hastened unto the sanctuary of the Beloved. Notwithstanding I have concealed thy secret and desired not thy shame.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Persian Hidden Words, #22

 EVENING:

O SON OF DESIRE!

The learned and the wise have for long years striven and failed to attain the presence of the All-Glorious; they have spent their lives in search of Him, yet did not behold the beauty of His countenance. Thou without the least effort didst attain thy goal, and without search hast obtained the object of thy quest. Yet, notwithstanding, thou didst remain so wrapt in the veil of self, that thine eyes beheld not the beauty of the Beloved, nor did thy hand touch the hem of His robe. Ye that have eyes, behold and wonder.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Persian Hidden Words, #22

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

O thou who art attracted by a breath that passed upon thee from the Holy Garden, the Blessed Spot — the paradise of El-Abhá!

I have read thy brilliant letter, which although short in words yet is loquacious, and shows thy firmness in the Covenant of God, thy steadfastness in the religion of God, thy adherence to the laws of God, and thine energy which thou hast shown towards the doctrines of God. Thou hast done well. Thou hast done well, O thou shining star in the Horizon of El-Abhá! Well done! Well done! O thou burning candle in the glass of that remote country!

It hath been reported by . . . that thou hast rendered valuable services to the vineyard of God and His beloved servants, that thou art encouraging the shaking hearts and making them more firm and solid, and about the facilitations thou hast made for the promotion of the utterances of God amongst the people. By the life of God! the angels of heaven magnify thee, the Supreme Concourse praise thee, the party of the Kingdom of El-Abhá announce to thee the glad-tidings and the hosts of the unseen assist thee and render thee victorious through the banners of Bahá’í….

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 239

 

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

When a person becomes a Bahá’í, actually what takes place is that the seed of the spirit starts to grow in the human soul. This seed must be watered by the outpourings of the Holy Spirit. These gifts of the spirit are received through prayer, meditation, study of the Holy Utterances and service to the Cause of God. The fact of the matter is that service in the Cause is like the plough which ploughs the physical soil when seeds are sown. It is necessary that the soil be ploughed up, so that it can be enriched, and thus cause a stronger growth of the seed. In exactly the same way the evolution of the spirit takes place through ploughing up the soil of the heart so that it is a constant reflection of the Holy Spirit. In this way the human spirit grows and develops by leaps and bounds.

Naturally there will be periods of distress and difficulty, and even severe tests; but if that person turns firmly toward the divine Manifestation, studies carefully His spiritual teachings and receives the blessings of the Holy Spirit, he will find that in reality these tests and difficulties have been the gifts of God to enable him to grow and develop. Thus you might look upon your own difficulties in the path of service. They are the means of your spirit growing and developing. You will suddenly find that you have conquered many of the problems which upset you, and then you will wonder why they should have troubled you at all. 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 dated 6 October 1954 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer

Living the Life, Item #1334

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

“…Contributing to the Fund is a service that every believer can render, be he poor or wealthy; for this is a spiritual responsibility in which the amount given is not important. It is the degree of the sacrifice of the giver, the love with which he makes his gift, and the unity of all the friends in this service which bring spiritual confirmations….

“Much of the present rapid expansion of the Faith is taking place in areas of great poverty where the believers, however much they sacrifice, cannot produce sufficient funds to sustain the work. It is these very areas which are the most fruitful in teaching, and a sum of money spent here will produce ten times–even a hundred times–the results obtainable in other parts of the world. Yet in the past months the Universal House of Justice has had to refuse a number of appeals for assistance from such areas because there just was not enough money in the International Fund.

“It should therefore be the aim of every local and national community to become not only self-supporting, but to expend its funds with such wisdom and economy as to be able to contribute substantially to the Bahá’í International Fund, thus enabling the House of Justice to aid the work in fruitful but impoverished areas, to assist new National Assemblies to start their work, to contribute to major international undertakings….”

From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to Bahá’ís of the East and West, December 18, 1963: Wellspring of Guidance, pp. 19-20

Lights of Guidance Part 4, pp:250-251

9 August ― 9 Kamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

O thou who art the fruit of My Tree and the leaf thereof! On thee be My glory and My mercy. Let not thine heart grieve over what hath befallen thee. Wert thou to scan the pages of the Book of Life, thou wouldst, most certainly, discover that which would dissipate thy sorrows and dissolve thine anguish.

Know thou, O fruit of My Tree, that the decrees of the Sovereign Ordainer, as related to fate and predestination, are of two kinds. Both are to be obeyed and accepted. The one is irrevocable, the other is, as termed by men, impending. To the former all must unreservedly submit, inasmuch as it is fixed and settled. God, however, is able to alter or repeal it. As the harm that must result from such a change will be greater than if the decree had remained unaltered, all, therefore, should willingly acquiesce in what God hath willed and confidently abide by the saIMG_1208me.

The decree that is impending, however, is such that prayer and entreaty can succeed in averting it.

God grant that thou who art the fruit of My Tree, and they that are associated with thee, may be shielded from its evil consequences.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 132-133

IMG_1712

EVENING:

I magnify Thy Name, O my God, and offer thanksgiving unto Thee, O my Desire, inasmuch as Thou hast enabled me to clearly perceive Thy straight Path, hast unveiled Thy Great Announcement before mine eyes and hast aided me to set my face towards the Dayspring of Thy Revelation and the Fountainhead of Thy Cause, whilst Thy servants and Thy people turned away from Thee. 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.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 116-117

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

The hidden secrets of the future were revealed to the Prophets, and They thus became acquainted with the future events which They announced. This knowledge and these prophecies were not the cause of the occurrences. For example, tonight everyone knows that after seven hours the sun will rise, but this general foreknowledge does not cause the rising and appearance of the sun.

Therefore, the knowledge of God in the realm of contingency does not produce the forms of the things. On the contrary, it is purified from the past, present and future. It is identical with the reality of the things; it is not the cause of their occurrence.

In the same way, the record and the mention of a thing in the Book does not become the cause of its existence. The Prophets, through the divine inspiration, knew what would come to pass. For instance, through the divine inspiration

They knew that Christ would be martyred, and They announced it. Now, was Their knowledge and information the cause of the martyrdom of Christ? No; this knowledge is a perfection of the Prophets and did not cause the martyrdom.

The mathematicians by astronomical calculations know that at a certain time an eclipse of the moon or the sun will occur. Surely this discovery does not cause the eclipse to take place. This is, of course, only an analogy and not an exact image.

Some Answered Questions, pp: 138-139

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

21 May ― 5 ‘Azamat   Leave a comment

The grassroots effort of the Bahá’ís should prepare the ground for the transition from the present system of national sovereignty to a system of world government. This it can do by concentrating on wide and continual dissemination of the Peace Statement whose contents should be known by the generality of humanity, on engaging people from all walks of life in discussions on peace, and on instilling and encouraging a sense of personal commitment to the prerequisites of peace. In a word, what is needed now is a world-wide consciousness of not only the requirements but also the possibility, and inevitability, of peace. Therefore, our immediate and inescapable task as Bahá’ís is to imbue the populations with such hope.

 

Written on behalf of

The Universal House of Justice

The Bahá’í World Centre

Department of the Secretariat

17 June 1987

 

MORNING:

We have enjoined upon all mankind to establish the Most Great Peace — the surest of all means for the protection of humanity. The sovereigns of the world should, with one accord, hold fast thereunto, for this is the supreme instrument that can ensure the security and welfare of all peoples and nations. They, verily, are the manifestations of the power of God and the daysprings of His authority. We beseech the Almighty that He may graciously assist them in that which is conducive to the well-being of their subjects.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 125

EVENING:

The purpose of religion as revealed from the heaven of God’s holy Will is to establish unity and concord amongst the peoples of the world; make it not the cause of dissension and strife. The religion of God and His divine law are the most potent instruments and the surest of all means for the dawning of the light of unity amongst men. The progress of the world, the development of nations, the tranquillity of peoples, and the peace of all who dwell on earth are among the principles and ordinances of God. Religion bestoweth upon man the most precious of all gifts, offereth the cup of prosperity, imparteth eternal life, and showereth imperishable benefits upon mankind. It behoveth the chiefs and rulers of the world, and in particular the Trustees of God’s House of Justice, to endeavour to the utmost of their power to safeguard its position, promote its interests and exalt its station in the eyes of the world. In like manner it is incumbent upon them to enquire into the conditions of their subjects and to acquaint themselves with the affairs and activities of the divers communities in their dominions. We call upon the manifestations of the power of God — the sovereigns and rulers on earth — to bestir themselves and do all in their power that haply they may banish discord from this world and illumine it with the light of concord.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp:129-130

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

Jinab-i-Mírzá Muḥammad-Quli

Jinab-i-Mírzá Muḥammad-Quli § was a loyal brother of the Blessed Beauty. This great man was known even from his childhood for nobility of soul. He was newly born when his distinguished father passed away, and thus it came about that from the beginning to the end of his days, he spent his life in the sheltering arms of Bahá’u’lláh. He was detached from every selfish thought, averse to every mention except to whatever concerned the Holy Cause. He was reared in Persia under the care of Bahá’u’lláh, and in Iraq as well, especially favored by Him. In the presence of Bahá’u’lláh, it was he who would pass around the tea; and he waited upon his Brother at all times, by day and night. He was always silent. He always held fast to the Covenant of “Am I not your Lord?” He was encompassed by loving-kindness and bounty; day and night he had access to the presence of Bahá’u’lláh; he was invariably patient and forbearing, until in the end he reached the very heights of Divine favor and acceptance.

§ Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 108

He kept always to his own way of being. He traveled in the company of Bahá’u’lláh; from Iraq to Constantinople he was with the convoy and at the halting-places it was his task to pitch the tents. He served with the greatest diligence, and did not know the meaning of lethargy or fatigue. In Constantinople as well, and later in the Land of Mystery, Adrianople, he continued on, in one and the same invariable condition.

With his peerless Lord, he then was exiled to the ‘Akká fortress, condemned by order of the Sultan to be imprisoned forever.§ But he accepted in the same spirit all that came his way — comfort and torment, hardship and respite, sickness and health; eloquently, he would return thanks to the Blessed Beauty for His bounties, uttering praise with a free heart and a face that shone like the sun. Each morning and evening he waited upon Bahá’u’lláh, delighting in and sustained by His presence; and mostly, he kept silent.

§Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 186; 193; 196

When the Beloved of all mankind ascended to the Kingdom of Splendors, Mírzá Muḥammad-Quli remained firm in the Covenant, shunning the craft, the malice and hypocrisy which then appeared, devoting himself entirely to God, supplicating and praying. To those who would listen he gave wise advice; and he called to mind the days of the Blessed Beauty and grieved over the fact that he himself lived on. After the departure of Bahá’u’lláh, he did not draw an easeful breath; he kept company with no one, but stayed by himself most of the time, alone in his small refuge, burning with the fires of separation. Day by day he grew feebler, more helpless, until at the last he soared away to the world of God. Upon him be peace; upon him be praise and mercy, in the gardens of Heaven. His luminous grave is in Naqib, by Tiberias.

Memorials of the Faithful, pp: 71–72