Archive for the ‘Shoghi Effendi’ Category

15 June ― 11 Núr   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Cast away all that is on earth, and attire the head of thy kingdom with the crown of the remembrance of thy Lord, the All-Glorious. He, in truth, hath come unto the world in His most great glory, and all that hath been mentioned in the Gospel hath been fulfilled. The land of Syria hath been honoured by the footsteps of its Lord, the Lord of all men, and North and South are both inebriated with the wine of His presence. Blessed is the man that inhaled the fragrance of the Most Merciful, and turned unto the Dawning-Place of His Beauty, in this resplendent Dawn. The Mosque of Aqsá vibrateth through the breezes of its Lord, the All-Glorious whilst Batha (Mecca) trembleth at the voice of God, the Exalted, the Most High. Whereupon every single stone of them celebrateth the praise of the Lord, through this Great Name.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, p. 33

Night view of Bahá’í Gardens on Mount Carmel, Haifa, Israel

EVENING:

Thou hast mentioned thine intention to stay in Damascus until spring, then to proceed to Mosul, should the means be forthcoming. This lowly servant entreateth God — exalted is His glory — to provide such means as is deemed expedient, and to aid thee. He is Potent and Powerful.

Although all the inhabitants of this region have been treated with the utmost kindness, yet no evidence of fellowship can be discerned from them. Thou shouldst observe much tact and wisdom, for they seek at all times to cavil at and deny the Cause. May the One true God grant them equity.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 175

FROM THE MYSTERY OF GOD ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

“Shall that which anyone hath of wealth endure unto him, or avail him tomorrow with him who holdeth his forelock? If any should look on those who sleep under slabs and keep company with the dust, can he distinguish the bones of the king’s skull from the knuckles of the slave? No, by the King of Kings! Or doth he know governors from herdsmen, or discern the wealthy and the rich from him who was without shoes or carpet? By God, distinction is removed, save for him who fulfilled righteousness and judged uprightly. Where are the doctors, the scholars, the nobles? Where is the keenness of their glances, the sharpness of their sight, the subtlety of their thoughts, the soundness of their understandings? Where are their hidden treasures and their apparent gauds, their bejeweled thrones and their ample couches? Alas! All have been laid waste, and the decree of God hath rendered them as scattered dust! Emptied is what they treasured up, and dissipated is what they collected, and dispersed is what they concealed: they have become [such that] thou seest naught but their empty places, their gaping roofs, their uprooted beams, their new things waxed old. As for the discerning man, verily wealth will not divert him from regarding the end; and for the prudent man, riches will not withhold him from turning toward [God] the Rich, the Exalted. Where is he who held dominion over all whereon the sun arose, and who spent lavishly and sought after curious things in the world and what is therein created? Where is the lord of the swarthy squadron and the yellow standard? Where is he who ruled Zawra [Baghdád], and where he who wrought injustice in [Damascus] the spacious? Where are they at whose bounty treasures were afraid, at whose openhandedness and generosity the ocean was dismayed? Where is he whose arm was stretched forth in rebelliousness, whose heart turned away from the Merciful One? Where is he who used to make choice of pleasures and cull the fruits of desires? Where are the dames of the bridal chambers, and the possessors of beauty? Where are their waving branches and their spreading boughs, their lofty palaces and trellised gardens? Where is the smoothness of the expanses thereof and the softness of their breezes, the rippling of their waters and the murmur of their winds, the cooing of their doves and the rustling of their trees? Where are their laughing hearts and their smiling teeth? Woe unto them! They have descended to the abyss and become companions to the pebbles; today no mention is heard of them nor any sound; nothing is known of them nor any hint. Will the people dispute it while they behold it? Will they deny it when they know it? I know not in what valley they wander erringly: do they not see that they depart and return not? How long will they be famous in the low countries and in the high, descend and ascend? ‘Is not the time yet come to those who believe for their hearts to become humble for the remembrance of God?’* Well is it with that one who hath said or shall say, ‘Yea, O Lord, the time is ripe and hath come,’ and who severeth himself from all that is. Alas! naught is reaped but what is sown, and naught is taken but what is laid up, save by the grace of God and His favor. Hath the earth conceived Him whom the veils of glory prevent not from ascending into the Kingdom of His Lord, the Mighty, the Supreme? Have We any good works whereby defects shall be removed or which shall bring Us near unto the Lord of causes? We ask God to deal with Us according to His grace, not His justice, and to make Us of those who turn toward Him and sever themselves from all beside Him.

*Qu’rán 57:18

A Traveller’s Narrative, pp. 78-79

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF TH E CAUSE ,

SHOGHI EFFENDI:

The initiation in these days of extreme peril in the Holy Land of so great and holy an enterprise, founded by Bahá’u’lláh Himself whilst still a Prisoner in ‘Akká and commenced by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during the darkest and most perilous days of His ministry, recalls to our minds, furthermore, the construction of the superstructure of the Temple in Wilmette during one of the severest financial crises that has afflicted the United States of America, and the completion of its exterior ornamentation during the dark days of the last World War. Indeed, the tragic and moving story of the transfer of the Báb’s mutilated body from place to place ever since His Martyrdom in Tabríz, its fifty-year concealment in Persia; its perilous and secret journey by way of Tihran, Isfahan, Kirmanshan, Baghdád, Damascus, Beirut and ‘Akká to the Mountain of God, its ultimate resting place; its concealment for a further period of ten years in the Holy Land itself; the vexatious and long-drawn-out negotiations for the purchase of the site chosen by Bahá’u’lláh Himself for its entombment; the threats of ‘Abdu’l-Hamid, the Turkish tyrant, the accusations levelled against its Trustee, the plots devised, and the inspection made, by the scheming members of the notorious Turkish Commission of Inquiry; the perils to which the bloodthirsty Jamál Páshá exposed it; the machinations of the arch-breaker of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, of His brother and of His son, respectively, aiming at the frustration of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s design, at the prevention of the sale of land within the precincts of the Shrine itself, and the multiplication of the measures taken for the preservation and consolidation of the properties purchased in its vicinity and dedicated to it — all these are to be regarded as successive stages in the history of the almost hundred year long process destined to culminate in the consummation of Bahá’u’lláh’s irresistible purpose of erecting a lasting and befitting memorial to His Divine Herald and Co-Founder of His Faith.

Citadel of Faith, pp. 53-54

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

Riḍván 2011

To the Bahá’ís of the World

Dearly loved Friends,

At the opening of this glorious season our eyes are brightened as we behold the newly unveiled brilliance of the gilded dome that crowns the exalted Shrine of the Báb. Restored to the supernal lustre intended for it by Shoghi Effendi, that august edifice once again shines out to land, sea, and sky, by day and by night, attesting the majesty and holiness of Him Whose hallowed remains are embosomed within.

This moment of joy synchronizes with the close of an auspicious chapter in the unfoldment of the Divine Plan. Only a single decade remains of the first century of the Formative Age, the first hundred years to be spent beneath the benevolent shade of the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. The Five Year Plan now ending is succeeded by another, the features of which have already been made the object of intense study across the Bahá’í world. Indeed, we could not be more gratified by the response to our message to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors and to the Ridván message of twelve months ago. Not satisfied with a fragmentary grasp of their contents, the friends are returning to these messages again and again, singly and in groups, at formal meetings and spontaneous gatherings. Their understanding is enriched through active and informed participation in the programmes of growth being nurtured in their clusters. Consequently, the Bahá’í community worldwide has consciously absorbed in a few months what it needs to propel it into a confident start to the coming decade.

W

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

8 June – 4 Núr   Leave a comment

The Shrine of The Báb

MORNING:

Should it be Our wish, it is in Our power to compel, through the agency of but one letter of Our Revelation, the world and all that is therein to recognize, in less than the twinkling of an eye, the truth of Our Cause….

—His Holiness The Báby

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 67

EVENING:

The upper room of the House of The Báb in which He revealed His Revelation

Let not the deeds of those who reject the Truth shut you out as by a veil. Such people have warrant over your bodies only, and God hath not reposed in them power over your spirits, your souls and your hearts. Fear ye God that haply it may be well with you. All things have been created for your sakes, and for the sake of naught else hath your creation been ordained. Fear ye God and take heed lest forms and apparels debar you from recognizing Him. Render ye thanksgiving unto God that perchance He may deal mercifully with you.

This mortal life is sure to perish; its pleasures are bound to fade away and ere long ye shall return unto God, distressed with pangs of remorse, for presently ye shall be roused from your slumber, and ye shall soon find yourselves in the presence of God and will be asked of your doings.

Say, how dare ye flagrantly deny the verses sent down from the heaven of justice, yet ye read the Books of God revealed in the past? How do ye repudiate the meeting with your Lord which was appointed with you aforetime, and fail in this Day to heed His warning? Indeed, by adhering to forms and by following the promptings of your selfish desires, ye have deprived yourselves of the good-pleasure of your Lord, except those whom their Lord hath endowed with knowledge and who in this Day render thanks unto Him for the bounty of being identified with the true Faith of God. Therefore announce ye the Message unto those who manifest virtue and teach them the ways of the One True God, that haply they may comprehend.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 161-162

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

IMG_4045This world is the empire of the spiritual sovereignty of the Abhá Beauty, and this realm is the seat where the mighty throne of the Kingdom of the Exalted One [the Báb] is established. Its effulgent sun, its shining moon never set, its brilliant stars never fade, its bright horizon is never overcast. Its oceans surge and its birds soar in the heights. Its streams are living waters, soft-flowing rivers of immortality. Its trees are saplings planted in the orchard of the Lord of Glory. Its dominion is the immensity of the realm of the placeless, and its territory the domain of the heart. Its abiding joy is attainment unto the presence of the ever-forgiving Lord. Its sustenance is the liberal bounty that His adored Beauty hath bestowed. Its chalice is the cup tempered at the Camphor Fountain, its designation, the Expanse of Eternal Life, a life that transcendeth the limitations of countless ages.

O my friends! This is the Call of the Covenant. This is the Dispensation of the Well-Beloved of all mankind. This is the gift that the Day-Star of the world hath graciously given. This is the revelation of His incorruptible grace, the manifestation of His perpetual assistance, the evidence of the power that is born of God and the potency of the bestowals proffered by the All-Merciful. What else do ye want? What else do ye expect? Which path do ye tread? Be quick, be quick! O companions! hurry, hurry! O ye loved ones! And upon ye be His glory!

Fire and Light, p. 22-23

FROM SHOGHI EFFENDI, GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD:

Now surely, if ever, is the time for us, the chosen ones of Bahá’u’lláh and the bearers of His Message to the world, to endeavour, by day and by night, to deepen, first and foremost, the Spirit of His Cause in our own individual lives, and then labour, and labour incessantly to exemplify in all our dealings with our fellow-men that noble Spirit of which His beloved Son, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, has been all the days of His life a true and unique exponent….

Let us, with a pure heart, with humility and earnestness, turn afresh to His counsels and exhortations, and seek from that Source of Celestial Potency all the guidance, the Spirit, the power which we shall need for the fulfilment of our mission in this life.

12 March 1923 to the Bahá’ís of America, Australasia, France, Germany, British Isles, Italy, Japan and Switzerland, published in Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932 [rev. ed.], (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980), p. 35

The Compilation of Compilations vol. I Part 2, p. 205

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

For insight into this work let every believer look to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the centenary of Whose “epoch-making journeys” to Egypt and the West is being marked at this time. Tirelessly, He expounded the teachings in every social space: in homes and mission halls, churches and synagogues, parks and public squares, railway carriages and ocean liners, clubs and societies, schools and universities. Uncompromising in defence of the truth, yet infinitely gentle in manner, He brought the universal divine principles to bear on the exigencies of the age. To all without distinction – officials, scientists, workers, children, parents, exiles, activists, clerics, sceptics – He imparted love, wisdom, comfort, whatever the particular need. While elevating their souls, He challenged their assumptions, reoriented their perspectives, expanded their consciousness, and focused their energies. He demonstrated by word and deed such compassion and generosity that hearts were utterly transformed. No one was turned away. Our great hope is that frequent recollection, during this centennial period, of the Master’s matchless record will inspire and fortify His sincere admirers. Set His example before your eyes and fix your gaze upon it; let it be your instinctive guide in your pursuit of the aim of the Plan.

 

Riḍván Messages : Riḍván 168 2011

1 June―16 ‘Azamat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

O servants! Pleasant is the utterance of the Friend: Where is the soul who will taste its sweetness, and where is the ear that will hearken unto it? Well is it with him who, in this day, communeth with the Friend and in His path renounceth and forsaketh all save Him, that he may behold a new world and gain admittance to the everlasting paradise.

The Lord of the world saith: O servants! Forsake your own desires and seek that which I have desired for you. Walk ye not without one to guide youppEdit Post ‹ Bahá’í Writings for Morning and Evening — WordPress.com
https://wordpress.com/post/sadrat.wordpress.com/265Edit Post ‹ Bahá’í Writings for Morning and Evening — WordPress.com
https://wordpress.com/post/sadrat.wordpress.com/265Edit Post ‹ Bahá’í Writings for Morning and Evening — WordPress.com
https://wordpress.com/post/sadrat.wordpress.com/265 on the way, and accept ye not the words of every guide. How numerous the guides who have gone astray and failed to discover the straight Path! He alone is a guide who is free from the bondage of this world and whom nothing whatsoever can deter from speaking the truth.

O servants! Follow the path of truthfulness and turn not away from the needy. Make mention of Me before the great ones of the earth and fear not.

O servants! Be pure in your deeds, and conduct yourselves in accordance with the words of God. Such are the counsels of the incomparable Lord.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity,Section 4, THE BEGINNING OF ALL UTTERANCE IS THE PRAISE OF GOD, ¶:10-12

EVENING:

THE BEGINNING OF EVERY ACCOUNT IS THE NAME OF GOD

O friends of God! Incline your inner ears to the voice of the peerless and self-subsisting Lord, that He may deliver you from the bonds of entanglement and the depths of darkness and enable you to attain the eternal light. Ascent and descent, stillness and motion, have come into being through the will of the Lord of all that hath been and shall be. The cause of ascent is lightness, and the cause of lightness is heat. Thus hath it been decreed by God. The cause of stillness is weight and density, which in turn are caused by coldness. Thus hath it been decreed by God.

And since He hath ordained heat to be the source of motion and ascent and the cause of attainment to the desired goal, He hath therefore kindled with the mystic hand that Fire that dieth not and sent it forth into the world, that this divine Fire might, by the heat of the love of God, guide and attract all mankind to the abode of the incomparable Friend. This is the mystery enshrined in your Book that was sent down aforetime, a mystery which hath until now remained concealed from the eyes and hearts of men. That primal Fire hath in this Day appeared with a new radiance and with immeasurable heat. This divine Fire burneth of itself, with neither fuel nor fume, that it might draw away such excess moisture and cold as are the cause of torpor and weariness, of lethargy and despondency, and lead the entire creation to the court of the presence of the All-Merciful. Whoso hath approached this Fire hath been set aflame and attained the desired goal, and whoso hath removed himself therefrom hath remained deprived.

O servant of God! Turn thou away from the stranger, that thou mayest recognize the Friend. He indeed is a stranger who leadeth you away from the Friend. This is not the day whereon the high priests can command and exercise their authority. In your Book it is stated that the high priests will, on that day, lead men far astray, and will prevent them from drawing nigh unto Him. He indeed is a high priest who hath seen the light and hastened unto the way leading to the Beloved. Such a man is a benevolent priest and a source of illumination to the whole world.

O servant of God! Any priest who leadeth thee away from this Fire, which is the reality of the Light and the mystery of divine Revelation, is indeed thine enemy. Suffer not the words of the foe to hold thee back from the Friend or the insinuations of the enemy to cause thee to forsake the Beloved.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tabernacle of Unity,Section 5,

THE BEGINNING OF ALL UTTERANCE IS THE PRAISE OF GOD, ¶:1-4

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

I desire distinction for you. The Bahá’ís must be distinguished from others of humanity. But this distinction must not depend upon wealth — that they should become more affluent than other people. I do not desire for you financial distinction. It is not an ordinary distinction I desire; not scientific, commercial, industrial distinction. For you I desire spiritual distinction — that is, you must become eminent and distinguished in morals. In the love of God you must become distinguished from all else. You must become distinguished for loving humanity, for unity and accord, for love and justice. In brief, you must become distinguished in all the virtues of the human world — for faithfulness and sincerity, for justice and fidelity, for firmness and steadfastness, for philanthropic deeds and service to the human world, for love toward every human being, for unity and accord with all people, for removing prejudices and promoting international peace. Finally, you must become distinguished for heavenly illumination and for acquiring the bestowals of God. I desire this distinction for you. This must be the point of distinction among you.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace Part 1, p 190

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN 

SHOGHI EFFENDI:

Let every believer, desirous to witness the swift and healthy progress of the Cause of God, realize the twofold nature of his task. Let him first turn his eyes inwardly and search his own heart and satisfy himself that in his relations with his fellow-believers, irrespective of colour and class, he is proving himself increasingly loyal to the spirit of his beloved Faith. Assured and content that he is exerting his utmost in a conscious effort to approach nearer every day the lofty station to which his gracious Master summons him, let him turn to his second task, and, with befitting confidence and vigour, assail the devastating power of those forces which in his own heart he has already succeeded in subduing. Fully alive to the unfailing efficacy of the power of Bahá’u’lláh, and armed with the essential weapons of wise restraint and inflexible resolve, let him wage a constant fight against the inherited tendencies, the corruptive instincts, the fluctuating fashions, the false pretences of the society in which he lives and moves.

In a letter written by Shoghi Effendi, 12 April 1927 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada,

Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932 [rev. ed.], (Wilmette: Bahá’í Publishing Trust, 1980), p. 130

Posted June 1, 2017 by Once in 'Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'u'lláh, Shoghi Effendi

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31 May – 15 ‘Aẓamat   Leave a comment

IMG_6476

MORNING:

 Be thou steadfast in the Cause, and teach the people with consummate wisdom. Thus enjoineth thee the Ruler of earth and heaven. He is in truth the Almighty, the Most Generous. Ere long will God exalt thy remembrance and will inscribe with the Pen of Glory that which thou didst utter for the sake of His love. He is in truth the Protector of the doers of good.

―Bahá’u’lláh
Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 15

IMG_6477EVENING:

Men at all times and under all conditions stand in need of one to exhort them, guide them and to instruct and teach them. Therefore He hath sent forth His Messengers, His Prophets and chosen ones that they might acquaint the people with the divine purpose underlying the revelation of Books and the raising up of Messengers, and that everyone may become aware of the trust of God which is latent in the reality of every soul.

Man is the supreme Talisman. Lack of a proper education hath, however, deprived him of that which he doth inherently possess. Through a word proceeding out of the mouth of God he was called into being; by one word more he was guided to recognize the Source of his education; by yet another word his station and destiny were safeguarded. The Great Being saith: Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom. If any man were to meditate on that which the Scriptures, sent down from the heaven of God’s holy Will, have revealed, he would readily recognize that their purpose is that all men shall be regarded as one soul, so that the seal bearing the words ‘The Kingdom shall be God’s’ may be stamped on every heart, and the light of Divine bounty, of grace, and mercy may envelop all mankind. The One true God, exalted be His glory, hath wished nothing for Himself. The allegiance of mankind profiteth Him not, neither doth its perversity harm Him. The Bird of the Realm of Utterance voiceth continually this call: ‘All things have I willed for thee, and thee, too, for thine own sake.’ If the learned and worldly-wise men of this age were to allow mankind to inhale the fragrance of fellowship and love, every understanding heart would apprehend the meaning of true liberty, and discover the secret of undisturbed peace and absolute composure. Were the earth to attain this station and be illumined with its light it could then be truly said of it: ‘Thou shall see in it no hollows or rising hills.’*

* Qur’án 20:106

―Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 161-162

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

“Now is the time for the lovers of God to raise high the banners of unity, to intone, in the assemblages of the world, the verses of friendship and love and to demonstrate to all that the grace of God is one. Thus will the tabernacles of holiness be upraised on the summits of the earth, gathering all peoples into the protective shadow of the Word of Oneness. This great bounty will dawn over the world at the time when the lovers of God shall arise to carry out His Teachings, and to scatter far and wide the fresh, sweet scents of universal love.”

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 20

Quickeners of Mankind, p. 8

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE  SHOGHI EFFENDI:

IMG_9337“This flow (of pioneers), moreover, will presage and hasten the advent of the day which, as prophesied by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, will witness the entry by troops of peoples of divers nations and races into the Bahá’í world — a day which, viewed in its proper perspective, will be the prelude to that long-awaited hour when a mass conversion on the part of these same nations and races, and as a direct result of a chain of events, momentous and possibly catastrophic in nature, and which cannot as yet be even dimly visualized, will suddenly revolutionize the fortunes of the Faith, derange the equilibrium of the world, and reinforce a thousandfold the numerical strength as well as the material power and the spiritual authority of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.”

Citadel of Faith, p. 117
Quickeners of Mankind, p. 8)

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:  “To the Baha’is of the World” dated 23 May 2011

 Our message dated 28 December 2010 to the Conference of the Continental Boards of Counsellors briefly described the process of growth which begins to unfold in a cluster, frequently as the result of a single homefront pioneer entering into meaningful conversation with local residents.  We also indicated that more advanced clusters, in which the pattern of action associated with an intensive programme of growth has been firmly established, will often serve as reservoirs of pioneers who can be dispatched to other clusters, especially on the home front–in some to initiate a systematic approach to sharing Baha’u’llah’s teachings and in others to strengthen the processes of expansion and consolidation that have already been established.  There is no doubt that the movement of pioneers remains an indispensable feature of the spiritual enterprise in which the community of the Most Great Name is engaged.

During the Five Year Plan recently concluded, over 3,500 international pioneers entered the arena of service to reinforce the work of the Faith in myriad ways across the globe.  At the same time, we were most pleased to see a surge in the movement of homefront pioneers, their numbers matching those who arose to serve in the international field and their sacrificial efforts making a distinctive contribution to the early attainment of the goal of the Plan.  In the next five years, the successful prosecution of the Plan will require the services of several thousand consecrated souls who, spurred on by their love for the Blessed Beauty, will forsake their homes to settle in villages, towns and cities in order to raise to 5,000 the number of clusters with programmes of growth.

29 May – The Anniversary of the Ascension of Bahá’u’lláh   Leave a comment

The Anniversary of the Ascension of 

“We’ve Been to the Mountain”

We’ve been to the mountain; we’ve seen the other side.
Elephants, no matter how little time apart,
Greet loudly one another, trumpeters in the lordly arts
Of proper nouns, like Persians in their Naw-Rúz pride
And passion in the ancient annual Spring-tide’s
Boasts amongst the pronouns, the years’ arrests in arrears,
With all the false and withered premises, weird
And natural bond together, yes! The ides of zodiacs abide
With such amazing grace, their verbs will override
The wholes of months that each, their seasons call
To order, seize opportunities where none exist at all.
Who is’t gazes into mirrors on these walls? “’Tis I”
Say all! Who then answers whom as they leave these rooms
And who beys at whom as they stand before their moons?

From here to there—no, not at this time. Nor when
Some “this,” and “that,” elements in the present, lend
Such superlative promises to so very much; to what end, then?
Let me guess; let it be a gathering, a fortune, royal means to an end,
Merely. No, not the seasons nor the times, not now
My friend, not within this life, never ever
Do we choose but accident….Yet, e’n so, we cannot sever
All receipt of vision as useless usages allow:
Does the blind one know the sun save by the day’s skin’s
Warmth and sundry rumour of hourly clouds’ majesties?
Yet, behold the great disk’s daily yawning spies!
Boredom’s boon is bondage to eternity again,
And me, ever again and again, a tragedies
That only hint at sense and further meaning’s keys.

Bahá’u’lláh

The Mansion of Bahji from which Bahá’u’lláh ascended…

MORNING:

The aim of this Wronged One in sustaining woes and tribulations, in revealing the Holy Verses and in demonstrating proofs hath been naught but to quench the flame of hate and enmity, that the horizon of the hearts of men may be illumined with the light of concord and attain real peace and tranquillity. From the dawning-place of the divine Tablet the day-star of this utterance shineth resplendent, and it behoveth everyone to fix his gaze upon it: We exhort you, O peoples of the world, to observe that which will elevate your station. Hold fast to the fear of God and firmly adhere to what is right. Verily I say, the tongue is for mentioning what is good, defile it not with unseemly talk. God hath forgiven what is past. Henceforward everyone should utter that which is meet and seemly, and should refrain from slander, abuse and whatever causeth sadness in men. Lofty is the station of man! Not long ago this exalted Word streamed forth from the treasury of Our Pen of Glory: Great and blessed is this Day — the Day in which all that lay latent in man hath been and will be made manifest. Lofty is the station of man, were he to hold fast to righteousness and truth and to remain firm and steadfast in the Cause. In the eyes of the All-Merciful a true man appeareth even as a firmament; its sun and moon are his sight and hearing, and his shining and resplendent character its stars. His is the loftiest station, and his influence educateth the world of being.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Kitáb-i-Ahd [The Will and Testament of Bahá’u’lláh]

Tablets of Baha’u’llah revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, pp: 119-120

EVENING:

O ye My Branches! A mighty force, a consummate power lieth concealed in the world of being. Fix your gaze upon it and upon its unifying influence, and not upon the differences which appear from it.

The Will of the divine Testator is this: It is incumbent upon the Aghsán, the Afnán and My Kindred to turn, one and all, their faces towards the Most Mighty Branch. Consider that which We have revealed in Our Most Holy Book: ‘When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root.’ The object of this sacred verse is none other except the Most Mighty Branch [Abdu’l-Bahá]. Thus have We graciously revealed unto you Our potent Will, and I am verily the Gracious, the All-Powerful. Verily God hath ordained the station of the Greater Branch [Muḥammad Alí] to be beneath that of the Most Great Branch [Abdu’l-Bahá]. He is in truth the Ordainer, the All-Wise. We have chosen ‘the Greater’ after ‘the Most Great’, as decreed by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

Abdu’l-Bahá

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Kitáb-i-Ahd [The Will and Testament of Bahá’u’lláh]

Tablets of Baha’u’llah revealed after the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, pp: 221-222

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

Hippolyte Dreyfus and his wife Laura behind Abdu’l-Bahá, seated to the right of future Guardian, Shoghi Effendi.

O ye the faithful loved ones of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá! It is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi, the twig that hath branched from and the fruit given forth by the two hallowed and Divine Lote-Trees, that no dust of despondency and sorrow may stain his radiant nature, that day by day he may wax greater in happiness, in joy and spirituality, and may grow to become even as a fruitful tree.

For he is, after ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Guardian of the Cause of God, the Afnán, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause and the beloved of the Lord must obey him and turn unto him. He that obeyeth him not, hath not obeyed God; he that turneth away from him, hath turned away from God and he that denieth him, hath denied the True One. Beware lest anyone falsely interpret these words, and like unto them that have broken the Covenant after the Day of Ascension (of Bahá’u’lláh) advance a pretext, raise the standard of revolt, wax stubborn and open wide the door of false interpretation. To none is given the right to put forth his own opinion or express his particular conviction. All must seek guidance and turn unto the Center of the Cause and the House of Justice. And he that turneth unto whatsoever else is indeed in grievous error.

The Glory of Glories rest upon you!

The Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 25-26

FROM SHOGHI EFFENDI, GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD:

Already nine months before His ascension Bahá’u’lláh, as attested by Abdu’l-Bahá, had voiced His desire to depart from this world. From that time onward it became increasingly evident, from the tone of His remarks to those who attained His presence, that the close of His earthly life was approaching, though He refrained from mentioning it openly to any one. On the night preceding the eleventh of Shavval 1309 A.H. (May 8, 1892) He contracted a slight fever which, though it mounted the following day, soon after subsided. He continued to grant interviews to certain of the friends and pilgrims, but it soon became evident that He was not well. His fever returned in a more acute form than before, His general condition grew steadily worse, complications ensued which at last culminated in His ascension, at the hour of dawn, on the 2nd of Dhi’l-Qa’dih 1309 A.H. (May 29, 1892), eight hours after sunset, in the 75th year of His age. His spirit, at long last released from the toils of a life crowded with tribulations, had winged its flight to His “other dominions,” dominions “whereon the eyes of the people of names have never fallen,” and to which the “Luminous Maid,” “clad in white,” had bidden Him hasten, as described by Himself in the Lawh-i-Ru’yá (Tablet of the Vision), revealed nineteen years previously, on the anniversary of the birth of His Forerunner.

Six days before He passed away He summoned to His presence, as He lay in bed leaning against one of His sons, the entire company of believers, including several pilgrims, who had assembled in the Mansion, for what proved to be their last audience with Him. “I am well pleased with you all,” He gently and affectionately addressed the weeping crowd that gathered about Him. “Ye have rendered many services, and been very assiduous in your labors. Ye have come here every morning and every evening. May God assist you to remain united. May He aid you to exalt the Cause of the Lord of being.” To the women, including members of His own family, gathered at His bedside, He addressed similar words of encouragement, definitely assuring them that in a document entrusted by Him to the Most Great Branch He had commended them all to His care.

The news of His ascension was instantly communicated to Sultán Abdu’l-Hamid in a telegram which began with the words “the Sun of Bahá has set” and in which the monarch was advised of the intention of interring the sacred remains within the precincts of the Mansion, an arrangement to which he readily assented. Bahá’u’lláh was accordingly laid to rest in the northernmost room of the house which served as a dwelling-place for His son-in-law, the most northerly of the three houses lying to the west of, and adjacent to, the Mansion. His interment took place shortly after sunset, on the very day of His ascension.

The inconsolable Nabíl, who had had the privilege of a private audience with Bahá’u’lláh during the days of His illness; whom Abdu’l-Bahá had chosen to select those passages which constitute the text of the Tablet of Visitation now recited in the Most Holy Tomb; and who, in his uncontrollable grief, drowned himself in the sea shortly after the passing of his Beloved, thus describes the agony of those days: “Methinks, the spiritual commotion set up in the world of dust had caused all the worlds of God to tremble…. My inner and outer tongue are powerless to portray the condition we were in…. In the midst of the prevailing confusion a multitude of the inhabitants of ‘Akká and of the neighboring villages, that had thronged the fields surrounding the Mansion, could be seen weeping, beating upon their heads, and crying aloud their grief.”

For a full week a vast number of mourners, rich and poor alike, tarried to grieve with the bereaved family, partaking day and night of the food that was lavishly dispensed by its members. Notables, among whom were numbered Shi’ahs, Sunnis, Christians, Jews and Druzes, as well as poets, ulamás and government officials, all joined in lamenting the loss, and in magnifying the virtues and greatness of Bahá’u’lláh, many of them paying to Him their written tributes, in verse and in prose, in both Arabic and Turkish. From cities as far afield as Damascus, Aleppo, Beirut and Cairo similar tributes were received. These glowing testimonials were, without exception, submitted to Abdu’l-Bahá, Who now represented the Cause of the departed Leader, and Whose praises were often mingled in these eulogies with the homage paid to His Father.

God Passes By Part 2, pp: 219-223

25 May ― 9‘Azamat   Leave a comment

Writing about the Universal House of Justice, Bahá’u’lláh explained that, “Inasmuch as for each day there is a new problem and for every problem an expedient solution, such affairs should be referred to the Ministers of the House of Justice that they may act according to the needs and requirements of the time. … It is incumbent upon all to be obedient unto them.” Moreover,  xxviii  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá asserts in His Will and Testament that “Unto the Most Holy Book every one must turn, and all that is not expressly recorded therein must be referred to the Universal House of Justice. That which this body, whether unanimously or by a majority doth carry, that is verily the Truth and the Purpose of God Himself.” Thus the fundamental purpose of the Universal House of Justice is to ensure the continuity of the divine guidance that flows from the Source of the Faith, to safeguard the unity of its followers, and to maintain the integrity and flexibility of its teachings. Its origin, its authority, its duties, and its sphere of action are all derived from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. His Writings, along with those of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and of Shoghi Effendi constitute its bedrock foundation and its binding terms of reference.

 

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. xxvii

MORNING:

Thou seest, O my God, how my spirit hath been stirred up within my limbs and members, in its longing to worship Thee, and in its yearning to remember Thee and extol Thee; how it testifieth to that whereunto the Tongue of Thy Commandment hath testified in the kingdom of Thine utterance and the heaven of Thy knowledge. I love, in this state, O my Lord, to beg of Thee all that is with Thee, that I may demonstrate my poverty, and magnify Thy bounty and Thy riches, and may declare my powerlessness, and manifest Thy power and Thy might.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah, p. 318

EVENING:

Greater is God than every great one!

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 319

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

It has been mentioned that the members and parts of man affect and influence one another. For example, the eye sees; the heart is affected. The ear hears; and the spirit is influenced. The heart is at rest; the thoughts become serene, and for all the members of man’s body a pleasant condition is realized. What a connection and what an agreement is this! Since this connection, this spiritual effect and this influence, exists between the members of the body of man, who is only one of many finite beings, certainly between these universal and infinite beings there will also be a spiritual and material connection. Although by existing rules and actual science these connections cannot be discovered, nevertheless, their existence between all beings is certain and absolute.

To conclude: the beings, whether great or small, are connected with one another by the perfect wisdom of God, and affect and influence one another. If it were not so, in the universal system and the general arrangement of existence, there would be disorder and imperfection. But as beings are connected one with another with the greatest strength, they are in order in their places and perfect.

This subject is worthy of examination.

Some Answered Questions, pp: 246-247

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE  SHOGHI EFFENDI:

We can prove ourselves worthy of our Cause only if in our individual conduct and corporate life we sedulously imitate the example of our beloved Master, Whom the terrors of tyranny, the storms of incessant abuse, the oppressiveness of humiliation, never caused to deviate a hair’s breadth from the revealed Law of Bahá’u’lláh.

In a letter written by Shoghi Effendi, 12 April 1927 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada

Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932, p. 132