Archive for the ‘Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh’ Category

19 June — 15 Núr   Leave a comment

MORNING:a Baha

Yet it behoveth the people of truth that the signs of humility should shine upon their faces, that the light of sanctity should radiate from their countenances, that they should walk upon the earth as though they were in the presence of God and distinguish themselves in their deeds from all the dwellers of the earth. Such must be their state that their eyes should behold the evidences of His might, their tongues and hearts make mention of His name, their feet be set towards the lands of His nearness, and their hands take fast hold upon His precepts. And were they to pass through a valley of pure  gold and mines of precious silver, they should regard them as wholly unworthy of their attention.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp. 59-60

Photo: Mírẓá Músá loyal brother to Bahá’u’lláh in Adrionople Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah v 2, p. 331

EVENING:

O son of man! If thine eyes be turned towards mercy, forsake the things that profit thee and cleave unto that which will profit mankind. And if thine eyes be turned towards justice, choose thou for thy neighbour that which thou choosest for thyself. Humility exalteth man to the heaven of glory and power, whilst pride abaseth him to the depths of wretchedness and degradation.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 64

FROM  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

All religions teach that we should love one another; that we should seek out our own shortcomings before we presume to condemn the faults of others, that we must not consider ourselves superior to our neighbours! We must be careful not to exalt ourselves lest we be humiliated.

Who are we that we should judge? How shall we know who, in the sight of God, is the most upright man? God’s thoughts are not like our thoughts! How many men who have seemed saint-like to their friends have fallen into the greatest humiliation. Think of Judas Iscariot; he began well, but remember his end! On the other hand, Paul, the Apostle, was in his early life an enemy of Christ, whilst later he became His most faithful servant. How then can we flatter ourselves and despise others?

Let us therefore be humble, without prejudices, preferring others’ good to our own! Let us never say, ‘I am a believer but he is an infidel’, ‘I am near to God, whilst he is an outcast’. We can never know what will be the final judgment! Therefore let us help all who are in need of any kind of assistance.

Let us teach the ignorant, and take care of the young child until he grows to maturity. When we find a person fallen into the depths of misery or sin we must be kind to him, take him by the hand, help him to regain his footing, his strength; we must guide him with love and tenderness, treat him as a friend not as an enemy.

We have no right to look upon any of our fellow-mortals as evil.

Paris Talks, pp. 147-148

16 June ― 12 Núr   Leave a comment

The spirit of liberty which in recent decades has swept over the planet with such tempestuous force is a manifestation of the vibrancy of the Revelation brought by Bahá’u’lláh. His own words confirm it. “The Ancient Beauty,” He wrote in a soul-stirring commentary on His sufferings, “hath consented to be bound with chains that mankind may be released from its bondage, and hath accepted to be made a prisoner within this most mighty Stronghold that the whole earth may attain unto true liberty.”

Might it not be reasonably concluded, then, that “true liberty” is His gift of love to the human race? Consider what Bahá’u’lláh has done: He revealed laws and principles to guide the free, He established an Order to channel the actions of the free, He proclaimed a Covenant to guarantee the unity of the free.

Thus, we hold to this ultimate perspective: Bahá’u’lláh came to set humanity free. His Revelation is, indeed, an invitation to freedom — freedom from want, freedom from war, freedom to unite, freedom to progress, freedom in peace and joy.

You, who live in a land where freedom is so highly prized, have not, then, to dispense with its fruits, but you are challenged and do have the obligation to uphold and vindicate the distinction between the license that limits your possibilities for genuine progress and the moderation that ensures the enjoyment of true liberty. December 29,1988

The Universal House of Justice

The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, pp: 218-219

MORNING:

The word of God which the Supreme Pen hath recorded on the ninth leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is this: In all matters moderation is desirable. If a thing is carried to excess, it will prove a source of evil. Consider the civilization of the West, how it hath agitated and alarmed the peoples of the world. An infernal engine hath been devised, and hath proved so cruel a weapon of destruction that its like none hath ever witnessed or heard. The purging of such deeply-rooted and overwhelming corruptions cannot be effected unless the peoples of the world unite in pursuit of one common aim and embrace one universal faith. Incline your ears unto the Call of this Wronged One and adhere firmly to the Lesser Peace.

Strange and astonishing things exist in the earth but they are hidden from the minds and the understanding of men. These things are capable of changing the whole atmosphere of the earth and their contamination would prove lethal. Great God! We have observed an amazing thing. Lightning or a force similar to it is controlled by an operator and moveth at his command. Immeasurably exalted is the Lord of Power Who hath laid bare that which He purposed through the potency of His weighty and invincible command.

O people of Bahá! Each one of the ordinances We have revealed is a mighty stronghold for the preservation of the world of being. Verily, this Wronged One desireth naught but your security and elevation.

We exhort the men of the House of Justice and command them to ensure the protection and safeguarding of men, women and children. It is incumbent upon them to have the utmost regard for the interests of the people at all times and under all conditions. Blessed is the ruler who succoureth the captive, and the rich one who careth for the poor, and the just one who secureth from the wrong doer the rights of the downtrodden, and happy the trustee who observeth that which the Ordainer, the Ancient of Days hath prescribed unto him….

…My counsels and admonitions have compassed the world. Yet, instead of imparting joy and gladness they have caused grief, because some of those who claim to love Me have waxed haughty and have inflicted upon Me such tribulations as neither the followers of former religions nor the divines of Persia did ever inflict.

We have said: ‘My imprisonment doeth Me no harm, nor do the things that have befallen Me at the hands of My enemies. That which harmeth Me is the conduct of my loved ones who, though they bear My name, yet commit that which maketh My heart and My pen to lament.’ Such utterances as these have again and again been revealed, yet the heedless have failed to profit thereby, since they are captive to their own evil passions and corrupt desires. Beseech thou the One true God that He may enable everyone to repent and return unto Him. So long as one’s nature yieldeth unto evil passions, crime and transgression will prevail. We cherish the hope that the hand of divine power and the outpouring of heavenly blessings may sustain all men, may attire them with the vesture of forgiveness and bounty and guard them against that which would harm His Cause among His servants. He is, in truth, the Potent, the All-Powerful, and He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Merciful.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 69-70

EVENING:

The word of God which the Supreme Pen hath recorded on the tenth leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is the following: O people of the earth! Living in seclusion or practising asceticism is not acceptable in the presence of God. It behoveth them that are endued with insight and understanding to observe that which will cause joy and radiance. Such practices as are sprung from the loins of idle fancy or are begotten of the womb of superstition ill beseem men of knowledge. In former times and more recently some people have been taking up their abodes in the caves of the mountains while others have repaired to graveyards at night. Say, give ear unto the counsels of this Wronged One. Abandon the things current amongst you and adopt that which the faithful Counsellor biddeth you. Deprive not yourselves of the bounties which have been created for your sake.

Charity is pleasing and praiseworthy in the sight of God and is regarded as a prince among goodly deeds. Consider ye and call to mind that which the All-Merciful hath revealed in the Qur’án: ‘They prefer them before themselves, though poverty be their own lot. And with such as are preserved from their own covetousness shall it be well.’† Viewed in this light, the blessed utterance above is, in truth, the day-star of utterances. Blessed is he who preferreth his brother before himself. Verily, such a man is reckoned, by virtue of the Will of God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise, with the people of Baha who dwell in the Crimson Ark.

† Qur’án 59:9

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 70-71

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

For desire is a flame that has reduced to ashes uncounted lifetime harvests of the learned, a devouring fire that even the vast sea of their accumulated knowledge could never quench. How often has it happened that an individual who was graced with every attribute of humanity and wore the jewel of true understanding, nevertheless followed after his passions until his excellent qualities passed beyond moderation and he was forced into excess. His pure intentions changed to evil ones, his attributes were no longer put to uses worthy of them, and the power of his desires turned him aside from righteousness and its rewards into ways that were dangerous and dark. A good character is in the sight of God and His chosen ones and the possessors of insight, the most excellent and praiseworthy of all things, but always on condition that its center of emanation should be reason and knowledge and its base should be true moderation. Were the implications of this subject to be developed as they deserve the work would grow too long and our main theme would be lost to view.

All the peoples of Europe, notwithstanding their vaunted civilization, sink and drown in this terrifying sea of passion and desire, and this is why all the phenomena of their culture come to nothing. Let no one wonder at this statement or deplore it. The primary purpose, the basic objective, in laying down powerful laws and setting up great principles and institutions dealing with every aspect of civilization, is human happiness; and human happiness consists only in drawing closer to the Threshold of Almighty God, and in securing the peace and well-being of every individual member, high and low alike, of the human race; and the supreme agencies for accomplishing these two objectives are the excellent qualities with which humanity has been endowed.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp: 59-60

14 June ― 10 Núr   Leave a comment

IoiiMORNING:

The word of God which the Supreme Pen hath recorded on the fifth leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is this: Above all else, the greatest gift and the most wondrous blessing hath ever been and will continue to be Wisdom. It is man’s unfailing Protector. It aideth him and strengtheneth him. Wisdom is God’s Emissary and the Revealer of His Name the Omniscient. Through it the loftiness of man’s station is made manifest and evident. It is all-knowing and the foremost Teacher in the school of existence. It is the Guide and is invested with high distinction. Thanks to its educating influence earthly beings have become imbued with a gem-like spirit which outshineth the heavens. In the city of justice it is the unrivalled Speaker Who, in the year nine, illumined the world with the joyful tidings of this Revelation. And it was this peerless Source of wisdom that at the beginning of the foundation of the world ascended the stair of inner meaning and when enthroned upon the pulpit of utterance, through the operation of the divine Will, proclaimed two words. The first heralded the promise of reward, while the second voiced the ominous warning of punishment. The promise gave rise to hope and the warning begat fear. Thus the basis of world order hath been firmly established upon these twin principles. Exalted is the Lord of Wisdom, the Possessor of Great Bounty.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 66

EVENING:

The word of God which the Supreme Pen hath recorded on the sixth leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is the following: The light of men is Justice. Quench it not with the contrary winds of oppression and tyranny. The purpose of justice is the appearance of unity among men. The ocean of divine wisdom surgeth within this exalted word, while the books of the world cannot contain its inner significance. Were mankind to be adorned with this raiment, they would behold the day-star of the utterance, ‘On that day God will satisfy everyone out of His abundance,’† shining resplendent above the horizon of the world. Appreciate ye the value of this utterance; it is a noble fruit that the Tree of the Pen of Glory hath yielded. Happy is the man that giveth ear unto it and observeth its precepts. Verily I say, whatever is sent down from the heaven of the Will of God is the means for the establishment of order in the world and the instrument for promoting unity and fellowship among its peoples. Thus hath the Tongue of this Wronged One spoken from His Most Great Prison.

† cf. Qur’án 4:129

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 66-67

12 June ― 8 Núr   Leave a comment

QaThe observable acceleration, during the past decade, of the two processes described by our beloved Guardian, the disintegration of the old order and the progress and consolidation of the new World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, may well come to be regarded by future historians as one of the most remarkable features of this period. The recent increase in this very acceleration is even more remarkable. Both within and without the Cause of God, powerful forces are operating to bring to a climax the twin tendencies of this portentous century. Among the many evidences which reveal this process may be cited, on the one hand, the continual increase of lawlessness, terrorism, economic confusion, immorality and the growing danger from the proliferation of weapons of destruction, and on the other, the world-wide, divinely propelled expansion, consolidation and rapid emergence into the limelight of world affairs of the Cause itself, a process crowned by the wonderful efflorescence of Mount Carmel, the mountain of God, whose Divine springtime is now so magnificently burgeoning.

 IMG_9594

The Universal House of Justice

          The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 2

MORNING:

The word of God which the Abhá Pen hath revealed and inscribed on the first leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is this: Verily I say: The fear of God hath ever been a sure defence and a safe stronghold for all the peoples of the world. It is the chief cause of the protection of mankind, and the supreme instrument for its preservation. Indeed, there existeth in man a faculty which deterreth him from, and guardeth him against, whatever is unworthy and unseemly, and which is known as his sense of shame. This, however, is confined to but a few; all have not possessed and do not possess it.

 —His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 62

 

EVENING:

The word of God which the Supreme Pen hath recorded on the second leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is the following: The Pen of the Most High exhorteth, at this moment, the manifestations of authority and the sources of power, namely the kings, the sovereigns, the presidents, the rulers, the divines and the wise, and enjoineth them to uphold the cause of religion, and to cleave unto it. Religion is verily the chief instrument for the establishment of order in the world and of tranquillity amongst its peoples. The weakening of the pillars of religion hath strengthened the foolish and emboldened them and made them more arrogant. Verily I say: The greater the decline of religion, the more grievous the waywardness of the ungodly. This cannot but lead in the end to chaos and confusion. Hear Me, O men of insight, and be warned, ye who are endued with discernment!

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 63-64

 

 

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

 

In the Name of God the Clement, the Merciful

Praise and thanksgiving be unto Providence that out of all the realities in existence He has chosen the reality of man and has honored it with intellect and wisdom, the two most luminous lights in either world. Through the agency of this great endowment, He has in every epoch cast on the mirror of creation new and wonderful configurations. If we look objectively upon the world of being, it will become apparent that from age to age, the temple of existence has continually been embellished with a fresh grace, and distinguished with an ever-varying splendor, deriving from wisdom and the power of thought.

This supreme emblem of God stands first in the order of creation and first in rank, taking precedence over all created things. Witness to it is the Holy Tradition, “Before all else, God created the mind.” From the dawn of creation, it was made to be revealed in the temple of man.

Sanctified is the Lord, Who with the dazzling rays of this strange, heavenly power has made our world of darkness the envy of the worlds of light: “And the earth shall shine with the light of her Lord.”† Holy and exalted is He, Who has caused the nature of man to be the dayspring of this boundless grace: “The God of mercy hath taught the Qur’án, hath created man, hath taught him articulate speech.”

† Qur’án 39:69

‡ Qur’án 55:1-3

 

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp:1-2

11 June ― 7 Núr   Leave a comment

Consumer culture, today’s inheritor by default of materialism’s gospel of human betterment, is unembarrassed by the ephemeral nature of the goals that inspire it. For the small minority of people who can afford them, the benefits it offers are immediate, and the rationale unapologetic. Emboldened by the breakdown of traditional morality, the advance of the new creed is essentially no more than the triumph of animal impulse, as instinctive and blind as appetite, released at long last from the restraints of supernatural sanctions. Its most obvious casualty has been language. Tendencies once universally castigated as moral failings mutate into necessities of social progress. Selfishness becomes a prized commercial resource; falsehood reinvents itself as public information; perversions of various kinds unabashedly claim the status of civil rights. Under appropriate euphemisms, greed, lust, indolence, pride―even violence―acquire not merely broad acceptance but social and economic value. Ironically, as words have been drained of meaning, so have the very material comforts and acquisitions for which truth has been casually sacrificed.

 

Commissioned by

The Universal House of Justice

One Common Faith

MORNING:

Among the faithless is he who rubbeth his eyes, and looketh to the right and to the left. Say: ‘Blinded art thou. No refuge hast thou to flee to.’ And among them is he who saith: ‘Have men been gathered together?’ Say: ‘Yea, by My Lord! whilst thou didst lie in the cradle of idle fancies.’ And among them is he who saith: ‘Hath the Book been sent down through the power of the true Faith?’ Say: ‘The true Faith itself is astounded.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 119

EVENING:

And among them is he who saith: ‘Have I been assembled with others, blind?’ Say: ‘Yea, by Him that rideth upon the clouds!’ Paradise is decked with mystic roses, and hell hath been made to blaze with the fire of the impious. Say: ‘The light hath shone forth from the horizon of Revelation, and the whole earth hath been illumined at the coming of Him Who is the Lord of the Day of the Covenant!’ The doubters have perished, whilst he that turned, guided by the light of assurance, unto the Dayspring of Certitude hath prospered. Blessed art thou, who hast fixed thy gaze upon Me, for this Tablet which hath been sent down for thee  — a Tablet which causeth the souls of men to soar. Commit it to memory, and recite it. By My life! It is a door to the mercy of thy Lord. Well is it with him that reciteth it at eventide and at dawn. We, verily, heard thy praise of this Cause, through which the mountain of knowledge was crushed, and men’s feet have slipped. My glory be upon thee and upon whomsoever hath turned unto the Almighty, the All-Bounteous. The Tablet is ended, but the theme is unexhausted. Be patient, for thy Lord is patient.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 119

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

The outward miracles have no importance for the people of Reality. If a blind man receives sight, for example, he will finally again become sightless, for he will die and be deprived of all his senses and powers. Therefore, causing the blind man to see is comparatively of little importance, for this faculty of sight will at last disappear. If the body of a dead person be resuscitated, of what use is it since the body will die again? But it is important to give perception and eternal life — that is, the spiritual and divine life. For this physical life is not immortal, and its existence is equivalent to nonexistence. So it is that Christ said to one of His disciples: “Let the dead bury their dead;” for “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”*

*Matt. 8:22; John 3:6

Observe: those who in appearance were physically alive, Christ considered dead; for life is the eternal life, and existence is the real existence. Wherever in the Holy Books they speak of raising the dead, the meaning is that the dead were blessed by eternal life; where it is said that the blind received sight, the signification is that he obtained the true perception; where it is said a deaf man received hearing, the meaning is that he acquired spiritual and heavenly hearing. This is ascertained from the text of the Gospel where Christ said: “These are like those of whom Isaiah said, They have eyes and see not, they have ears and hear not; and I healed them.”*

*Cf. Matt. 13:14 and John 12:40-41

Some Answered Questions, pp: 101-102

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

21 May – 5 ‘Aẓamat   Leave a comment

IMG_9576MORNING:

The seventh Glad-Tidings The choice of clothing and the cut of the beard and its dressing are left to the discretion of men. But beware, O people, lest ye make yourselves the playthings of the ignorant.

 

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 23

IMG_9591EVENING:

The ninth Glad-Tidings When the sinner findeth himself wholly detached and freed from all save God, he should beg forgiveness and pardon from Him. Confession of sins and transgressions before human beings is not permissible, as it hath never been nor will ever be conducive to divine forgiveness. Moreover such confession before people results in one’s humiliation and abasement, and God — exalted be His glory — wisheth not the humiliation of His servants. Verily He is the Compassionate, the Merciful. The sinner should, between himself and God, implore mercy from the Ocean of mercy, beg forgiveness from the Heaven of generosity

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 23

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

In these times thanksgiving for the bounty of the Merciful One consists in the illumination of the heart and the feeling of the soul. This is the reality of thanksgiving. But, although offering thanks through speech or writings is approvable, yet, in comparison with that, it is but unreal, for the foundation is spiritual feelings and merciful sentiments. I hope that you may be flavoured therewith. But the lack of capacity and merit in the Day of Judgment does not prevent one from bounty and generosity, for it is the day of grace and not justice, and to give every one his due is justice. Consequently, do not look upon thy capacity, nay, rather, look upon the infinite grace of the Bounty of Abhá.
Baha’i World Faith, pp. 360-161

Seat of The Universal House of Justice, Haifa, Israel

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

Because the Most Great Peace is the object of our longing, a primary effort of the Bahá’í community is to reduce the incidence of conflict and contention, which are categorically forbidden in the Most Holy Book. Does this mean that one may not express critical thought? Absolutely not. How can there be the candour called for in consultation if there is no critical thought? How is the individual to exercise his responsibilities to the Cause, if he is not allowed the freedom to express his views? Has Shoghi Effendi not stated that “at the very root of the Cause lies the principle of the undoubted right of the individual to self-expression, his freedom to declare his conscience and set forth his views”? The Administrative Order provides channels for expression of criticism, acknowledging, as a matter of principle, that “it is not only the right, but the vital responsibility of every loyal and intelligent member of the community to offer fully and frankly, but with due respect and consideration to the authority of the Assembly, any suggestion, recommendation or criticism he conscientiously feels he should in order to improve and remedy certain existing conditions or trends in his local community”. Correspondingly, the Assembly has the duty “to give careful consideration to any such views submitted to them”. Apart from the direct access which one has to an Assembly, local or national, or to a Counsellor or Auxiliary Board member, there are specific occasions for the airing of one’s views in the community. The most frequent of these occasions for any Bahá’í is the Nineteen Day Feast which, “besides its social and spiritual aspects, fulfils various administrative needs and requirements of the community, chief among them being the need for open and constructive criticism and deliberation regarding the state of affairs within the local Bahá’í community”. At the same time, Shoghi Effendi’s advice, as conveyed by his secretary, goes on to stress the point that “all criticisms and discussions of a negative character which may result in undermining the authority of the Assembly as a body should be strictly avoided. For otherwise the order of the Cause itself will be endangered, and confusion and discord will reign in the community.” Clearly, then, there is more to be considered than the critic’s right to self-expression; the unifying spirit of the Cause of God must also be preserved, the authority of its laws and ordinances safeguarded, authority being an indispensable aspect of freedom. Motive, manner, mode, become relevant; but there is also the matter of love: love for one’s fellows, love for one’s community, love for one’s institutions. The responsibility resting on the individual to conduct himself in such a way as to ensure the stability of society takes on elemental importance in this context. For vital as it is to the progress of society, criticism is a two-edged sword: it is all too often the harbinger of conflict and contention. The balanced processes of the Administrative Order are meant to prevent this essential activity from degenerating to any form of dissent that breeds opposition and its dreadful schismatic consequences. How incalculable have been the negative results of ill-directed criticism: in the catastrophic divergences it has created in religion, in the equally contentious factions it has spawned in political systems, which have dignified conflict by institutionalising such concepts as the “loyal opposition” which attach to one or another of the various categories of political opinion — conservative, liberal, progressive, reactionary, and so forth. If Bahá’í individuals deliberately ignore the principles embedded in the Order which Bahá’u’lláh Himself has established to remedy divisiveness in the human family, the Cause for which so much has been sacrificed will surely be set back in its mission to rescue world society from complete disintegration. May not the existence of the Covenant be invoked again and again, so that such repetition may preserve the needed perspective? For, in this age, the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh has been protected against the baneful effects of the misuse of the process of criticism; this has been done by the institution of the Covenant and by the provision of a universal administrative system which incorporates within itself the mechanisms for drawing out the constructive ideas of individuals and using them for the benefit of the entire system. Admonishing the people to uphold the unifying purpose of the Cause, Bahá’u’lláh, in the Book of His Covenant, addresses these poignant words to them: “Let not the means of order be made the cause of confusion and the instrument of union an occasion for discord.” Such assertions emphasise a crucial point; it is this: In terms of the Covenant, dissidence is a moral and intellectual contradiction of the main objective animating the Bahá’í community, namely, the establishment of the unity of mankind.

We return to the phenomenal characteristics of speech. Content, volume, style, tact, wisdom, timeliness are among the critical factors in determining the effects of speech for good or evil. Consequently, the friends need ever to be conscious of the significance of this activity which so distinguishes human beings from other forms of life, and they must exercise it judiciously. Their efforts at such discipline will give birth to an etiquette of expression worthy of the approaching maturity of the human race. Just as this discipline applies to the spoken word, it applies equally to the written word; and it profoundly affects the operation of the press. The significance and role of the press in a new world system are conspicuous in the emphasis which the Order of Bahá’u’lláh places on accessibility to information at all levels of society. Shoghi Effendi tells us that Bahá’u’lláh makes “specific reference to ‘the swiftly appearing newspapers’, describes them as ‘the mirror of the world’ and as ‘an amazing and potent phenomenon’, and prescribes to all who are responsible for their production the duty to be sanctified from malice, passion and prejudice, to be just and fair-minded, to be painstaking in their enquiries, and ascertain all the facts in every situation”. In His social treatise, “The Secret of Divine Civilisation”, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá offers insight as to the indispensability of the press in future society. He says it is “urgent that beneficial articles and books be written, clearly and definitely establishing what the present-day requirements of the people are, and what will conduce to the happiness and advancement of society”. Further, He writes of the “publication of high thoughts” as the “dynamic power in the arteries of life”, “the very soul of the world”. Moreover, He states that “Public opinion must be directed toward whatever is worthy of this day, and this is impossible except through the use of adequate arguments and the adducing of clear, comprehensive and conclusive proofs.” As to manner and style, Bahá’u’lláh has exhorted “authors among the friends” to “write in such a way as would be acceptable to fair-minded souls, and not lead to cavilling by the people”. And He issues a reminder: “We have said in the past that one word hath the influence of spring and causeth hearts to become fresh and verdant, while another is like unto blight which causeth the blossoms and flowers to wither.” In the light of all this, the code of conduct of the press must embrace the principles and objectives of consultation as revealed by Bahá’u’lláh. Only in this way will the press be able to make its full contribution to the preservation of the rights of the people and become a powerful instrument in the consultative processes of society, and hence for the unity of the human race.

Social Response External Concerns : 1988 Dec 29 UHJ Letter to US Baha’is Rights and Freedom, pp: 8-10