Archive for the ‘Wealth’ Category

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

15 January ―16 Sharaf   2 comments

MORNING:

66. O CHILDREN OF THE DIVINE AND INVISIBLE ESSENCE!

Ye shall be hindered from loving Me and souls shall be perturbed as they make mention of Me. For minds cannot grasp Me nor hearts contain Me.

67. O SON OF BEAUTY!

By My spirit and by My favor! By My mercy and by My beauty! All that I have revealed unto thee with the tongue of power, and have written for thee with the pen of might, hath been in accordance with thy capacity and understanding, not with My state and the melody of My voice.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words

 

 EVENING:

48. O SON OF MAN!

For everything there is a sign. The sign of love is fortitude under My decree and patience under My trials.

49. O SON OF MAN!

The true lover yearneth for tribulation even as doth the rebel for forgiveness and the sinful for mercy.

50. O SON OF MAN!

If adversity befall thee not in My path, how canst thou walk in the ways of them that are content with My pleasure? If trials afflict thee not in thy longing to meet Me, how wilt thou attain the light in thy love for My beauty?

51. O SON OF MAN!

My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it.

52. O SON OF MAN!

Should prosperity befall thee, rejoice not, and should abasement come upon thee, grieve not, for both shall pass away and be no more.

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53. O SON OF BEING!

If poverty overtake thee, be not sad; for in time the Lord of wealth shall visit thee. Fear not abasement, for glory shall one day rest on thee.

54. O SON OF BEING!

If thine heart be set upon this eternal, imperishable dominion, and this ancient, everlasting life, forsake this mortal and fleeting sovereignty.

55. O SON OF BEING!

Busy not thyself with this world, for with fire We test the gold, and with gold We test Our servants.

56. O SON OF MAN!

Thou dost wish for gold and I desire thy freedom from it. Thou thinkest thyself rich in its possession, and I recognize thy wealth in thy sanctity therefrom. By My life! This is My knowledge, and that is thy fancy; how can My way accord with thine?

57. O SON OF MAN!

Bestow My wealth upon My poor, that in heaven thou mayest draw from stores of unfading splendor and treasures of imperishable glory. But by My life! To offer up thy soul is a more glorious thing couldst thou but see with Mine eye.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Arabic Hidden Words

 

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

 

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O holy Lord! O Lord of loving-kindness! We stray about Thy dwelling, longing to behold Thy beauty, and loving all Thy ways. We are hapless, lowly, and of small account. We are paupers: show us mercy, give us bounty; look not upon our failings, hide Thou our endless sins. Whatever we are, still are we Thine, and what we speak and hear is praise of Thee, and it is Thy face we seek, Thy path we follow. Thou art the Lord of loving-kindness, we are sinners and astray and far from home. Wherefore, O Cloud of Mercy, grant us some drops of rain. O Flowering Bed of grace, send forth a fragrant breeze. O Sea of all bestowals, roll towards us a great wave. O Sun of Bounty, send down a shaft of light. Grant us pity, grant us grace. By Thy beauty, we come with no provision but our sins, with no good deeds to tell of, only hopes. Unless Thy concealing veil doth cover us, and Thy protection shield and cradle us, what power have these helpless souls to rise and serve Thee, what substance have these wretched ones to make a brave display? Thou Who art the Mighty, the All-Powerful, help us, favour us; withered as we are, revive us with showers from Thy clouds of grace; lowly as we are, illumine us with bright rays from the Day-Star of Thy oneness. Cast Thou these thirsty fish into the ocean of Thy mercy, guide Thou this lost caravan to the shelter of Thy singleness; to the wellspring of guidance lead Thou the ones who have wandered far astray, and grant to those who have missed the path a haven within the precincts of Thy might. Lift Thou to these parched lips the bounteous and soft-flowing waters of heaven, raise up these dead to everlasting life. Grant Thou to the blind eyes that will see. Make Thou the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak. Set Thou the dispirited ablaze, make Thou the heedless mindful, warn Thou the proud, awaken those who sleep.

Thou art the Mighty, Thou art the Bestower, Thou art the Loving. Verily Thou art the Beneficent, the Most Exalted.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 6-7

12 December ― Feast of Masá’il   Leave a comment

12 December ― Feast of Masá’il

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MORNING:

In regard to what thou hast written concerning his honour the learned Ṣáḥib, upon him be the grace of God, his state of mind and disposition are clear and evident, as is further attested by that which he hath sent. Now, as to his questions, it was not deemed advisable to refer and reply to each one individually, for the response would have run counter to wisdom and been incompatible with that which is current amongst men. Even so, in that which was revealed in his honour from the heaven of divine favour, answers were provided in a language of marvellous concision and clarity. But it appeareth that he hath failed to consider the matter closely, for otherwise he would have readily admitted that not a single point was omitted, and would have exclaimed: “This is naught but a clear and conclusive utterance!”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Responses to questions of Mánikchí Ṣáḥib from a Tablet to Mírzá Abu’l-Faḍl

The Tabernacle of Unity, p.15

EVENING:

Say, were He Whom God shall make manifest to pronounce a pious and truthful follower of the Bayán as false, it is incumbent upon you to submit to His decree, as this hath been affirmed by God in the Bayán; verily God is able to convert light into fire whenever He pleaseth; surely He is potent over all things. And were He to declare a person whom ye regard alien to the truth as being akin thereto, err not by questioning His decision in your fancies, for He Who is the Sovereign Truth createth things through the power of His behest. Verily God transmuteth fire into light as He willeth, and indeed potent is He over all things. Consider ye how the truth shone forth as truth in the First Day and how error became manifest as error; so likewise shall ye distinguish them from each other on the Day of Resurrection.

— His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 142

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

It is clear that whatever glory is gained outside the Cause of God turns to abasement at the end; and ease and comfort not met with on the path of God are finally but care and sorrow; and all such wealth is penury, and nothing more.

A sign of guidance, he† was, an emblem of the fear of God. For this Faith, he laid down his life, and in dying, triumphed. He passed by the world and its rewards; he closed his eyes to rank and wealth; he loosed himself from all such chains and fetters, and put every worldly thought aside. Of wide learning, at once a mujtahid, a philosopher, a mystic, and gifted with intuitive sight, he was also an accomplished man of letters and an orator without a peer. He had a great and universal mind.

† Nabíl-i-Akbar

Praise be to God, at the end he was made the recipient of heavenly grace. Upon him be the glory of God, the All-Glorious. May God shed the brightness of the Abhá Kingdom upon his resting-place. May God welcome him into the Paradise of reunion, and shelter him forever in the realm of the righteous, submerged in an ocean of lights.

Memorials of the Faithful, pp: 4-5

22 October – 7 ‘Ilm   Leave a comment

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MORNING:

The Pen of the Most High has recorded: “Fear of God is the greatest commander that can render the Cause of God victorious, and the hosts which best befit this commander have ever been and are an upright character and pure and goodly deeds.”*

*From the Kitáb-i-Ahd, published in Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed after the Kitáb-i-’Aqdas rev. ed. (Haifa: Bahá’í World Center, 1982), p. 222.

The people of Bahá should, then, lead their lives and conduct their affairs with the highest degree of sanctity and godliness, and uncompromisingly repudiate and dissociate themselves from the disreputable practices, the deplorable modes and customs prevalent among the people of the West. Piety and devotion should be the object of all who would be accounted lovers of this Cause, and the adornment of every righteous soul; otherwise, slowly but surely, the illumination conferred on the innermost reality of men’s hearts by the virtues of the human world will flicker and fade and die away, to be overwhelmed by the engulfing darkness of vice and depravity. Courtesy and dignity are what bring nobility and standing to a man; whereas frivolity and facetiousness, ribaldry and effrontery will lead to his abasement, degradation and humiliation. The Bahá’ís should, indeed must, seek to distinguish themselves in all things, for what difference else would there be between them and others? Any action, therefore, that is calculated to detract from the dignity of man’s station must be steadfastly avoided and shunned.

— Bahá’u’lláh quoted in a letter written on behalf of the Beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi

21 January 1928 – translated from the Persian

The Compilation of Compilations vol II, p. 350)

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EVENING:

By God! In earthly riches fear is hidden and peril is concealed. Consider ye and call to mind that which the All-Merciful hath revealed in the Qur’án: ‘Woe betide every slanderer and defamer, him that layeth up riches and counteth them.’* Fleeting are the riches of the world; all that perisheth and changeth is not, and hath never been, worthy of attention, except to a recognized measure.

* Qur’án 104:1-2

—Bahá’u’lláh

Kitáb-i-Ahd

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 217

29 June ― 6 Raḥmat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

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In this connection, He Who is the eternal King — may the souls of all that dwell within the mystic Tabernacle be a sacrifice unto Him — hath spoken: “He hath known God who hath known himself.”

I swear by God, O esteemed and honoured friend! Shouldst thou ponder these words in thine heart, thou wilt of a certainty find the doors of divine wisdom and infinite knowledge flung open before thy face.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp. 101-102

Call thou to mind that which hath been revealed unto Mihdi, Our servant, in the first year of Our banishment to the Land of Mystery (Adrianople). Unto him have We predicted that which must befall Our House (Baghdad House), in the days to come, lest he grieve over the acts of robbery and violence already perpetrated against it. Verily, the Lord, thy God, knoweth all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth.

To him We have written: This is not the first humiliation inflicted upon My House. In days gone by the hand of the oppressor hath heaped indignities upon it. Verily, it shall be so abased in the days to come as to cause tears to flow from every discerning eye. Thus have We unfolded to thee things hidden beyond the veil, inscrutable to all save God, the Almighty, the All-Praised. In the fullness of time, the Lord shall, by the power of truth, exalt it in the eyes of all men. He shall cause it to become the Standard of His Kingdom, the Shrine round which will circle the concourse of the faithful. Thus hath spoken the Lord, thy God, ere the day of lamentation arriveth. This revelation have We given thee in Our holy Tablet, lest thou sorrow for what hath befallen Our House through the assaults of the enemy. All praise be to God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 114-115

EVENING:

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…man should know his own self, and know those things which lead to loftiness or to baseness, to shame or to honor, to affluence or to poverty. After man has realized his own being and become mature, then for him wealth is needed. If this wealth is acquired through a craft and profession, it is approvable and worthy of praise to men of wisdom, especially to those servants who arise to train the world and beautify the souls of nations. These are the cup-bearers of the kawther of knowledge and the guides to the ideal path. They direct the people of the whole world unto the right path, and instruct them in that which is conducive to the elevation and progress of being The right path is a path which leads man to the day spring of perception and dawning-place of knowledge and directs him to that which is the cause of honor and glory and greatness. We hope that, by the providence of the wise Physician, the dust will be removed from his eyes and the clearness of his sight will increase; so that he may discover that for which he has been created. In this day that which will decrease blindness and increase sight is worthy of attention. To the possessors of wisdom this spiritual sight is the minister and guide of knowledge. The apprehension of knowledge is due to the power of insight. The people of Bahá must, in all cases, act and advise people in that which is worthy.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Bahá’í World Faith, pp. 167-168

16 November ― 13 Qudrat   Leave a comment

MORNING:

How numerous those who expend all their wealth in the path of God, and whom We find, at the hour of His Revelation, to be of the rebellious and the froward! How many those who keep the fast in the daytime, only to protest against the One by Whose very command the ordinance of the fast was first established! Such men are, in truth, of the ignorant. And how many those who subsist on the coarsest bread, who take for their only seat the grass of the field, and who undergo every manner of hardship, merely to maintain their superiority in the eyes of men! Thus do We expose their deeds, that this may serve as a warning unto others. These are the ones who subject themselves to all manner of austerities before the gaze of others in the hope of perpetuating their names, whilst in reality no mention shall remain of them save in the curses and imprecations of the dwellers of earth and heaven.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 45

EVENING:

Say: Would it profit you in the least if, as ye fondly imagine, your names were to endure? Nay, by the Lord of all worlds! Was the idol ‘Uzza made any greater by this, that its name lived on amidst the worshippers of names? Nay, by Him Who is the Self of God, the All-Glorious, the All-Compelling! Should your names fade from every mortal mind, and yet God be well pleased with you, ye will indeed be numbered among the treasures of His name, the Most Hidden. Thus have We sent down Our verses that they may attract you unto the Source of all Lights, and acquaint you with the purpose of your Lord, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. Abstain, then, from all that hath been forbidden unto you in the Book, and eat of the lawful things which God hath provided for your sustenance. Deprive not yourselves of His goodly bestowals, for He, verily, is the Most Generous, the Lord of grace abounding. Subject not yourselves to excessive hardships, but follow the way We have made plain unto you through Our luminous verses and perspicuous proofs, and be not of the negligent.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 46-47

FROM THE EXEMPLAR OF THE FAITH ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

In reality thou art spiritually hungry and athirst for the Water of Life. Therefore I send to thee spiritual food and bestow upon thee the Water of Life Eternal. That food is the divine advices and exhortations revealed in the Tablets and the spiritual outpourings of the breath of the Holy Spirit. I hope ere long it will reach thee and thou wilt behold what an exhilaration and beatitude it produceth and what cheerfulness and serenity and what heavenly emotions it createth.

Educate and train thou that dear child with the utmost perseverance.

O thou yearning one!

Be thou a physician to every sick one and teach thou every ignorant one; that is, show thou to others the way of the Kingdom and guide them to life eternal.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 524

4 November ― Feast of Qudrat [Power]   Leave a comment

4 November ― Feast of Qudrat [Power]

MORNING:

IMG_3236They who are the beloved of God, in whatever place they gather and whomsoever they may meet, must evince, in their attitude towards God, and in the manner of their celebration of His praise and glory, such humility and submissiveness that every atom of the dust beneath their feet may attest the depth of their devotion. The conversation carried by these holy souls should be informed with such power that these same atoms of dust will be thrilled by its influence. They should conduct themselves in such manner that the earth upon which they tread may never be allowed to address to them such words as these: “I am to be preferred above you. For witness, how patient I am in bearing the burden which the husbandman layeth upon me. I am the instrument that continually imparteth unto all beings the blessings with which He Who is the Source of all grace hath entrusted me. Notwithstanding the honor conferred upon me, and the unnumbered evidences of my wealth — a wealth that supplieth the needs of all creation — behold the measure of my humility, witness with what absolute submissiveness I allow myself to be trodden beneath the feet of men….”

Show forbearance and benevolence and love to one another. Should any one among you be incapable of grasping a certain truth, or be striving to comprehend it, show forth, when conversing with him, a spirit of extreme kindliness and good-will. Help him to see and recognize the truth, without esteeming yourself to be, in the least, superior to him, or to be possessed of greater endowments.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 7-8

EVENING:

IMG_0358The whole duty of man in this Day is to attain that share of the flood of grace which God poureth forth for him. Let none, therefore, consider the largeness or smallness of the receptacle. The portion of some might lie in the palm of a man’s hand, the portion of others might fill a cup, and of others even a gallon-measure.

Every eye, in this Day, should seek what will best promote the Cause of God. He, Who is the Eternal Truth, beareth Me witness! Nothing whatsoever can, in this Day, inflict a greater harm upon this Cause than dissension and strife, contention, estrangement and apathy, among the loved ones of God. Flee them, through the power of God and His sovereign aid, and strive ye to knit together the hearts of men, in His Name, the Unifier, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

Beseech ye the one true God to grant that ye may taste the savor of such deeds as are performed in His path, and partake of the sweetness of such humility and submissiveness as are shown for His sake. Forget your own selves, and turn your eyes towards your neighbor. Bend your energies to whatever may foster the education of men. Nothing is, or can ever be, hidden from God. If ye follow in His way, His incalculable and imperishable blessings will be showered upon you. This is the luminous Tablet, whose verses have streamed from the moving Pen of Him Who is the Lord of all worlds. Ponder it in your hearts, and be ye of them that observe its precepts.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 7-8

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

IMG_8094The reality of man is his thought, not his material body. The thought force and the animal force are partners. Although man is part of the animal creation, he possesses a power of thought superior to all other created beings.

If a man’s thought is constantly aspiring towards heavenly subjects then does he become saintly; if on the other hand his thought does not soar, but is directed downwards to centre itself upon the things of this world, he grows more and more material until he arrives at a state little better than that of a mere animal.

Thoughts may be divided into two classes:

(1st) Thought that belongs to the world of thought alone.

(2nd) Thought that expresses itself in action.

Some men and women glory in their exalted thoughts, but if these thoughts never reach the plane of action they remain useless: the power of thought is dependent on its manifestation in deeds. A philosopher’s thought may, however, in the world of progress and evolution, translate itself into the actions of other people, even when they themselves are unable or unwilling to show forth their grand ideals in their own lives. To this class the majority of philosophers belong, their teachings being high above their actions. This is the difference between philosophers who are Spiritual Teachers, and those who are mere philosophers: the Spiritual Teacher is the first to follow His own teaching; He brings down into the world of action His spiritual conceptions and ideals. His Divine thoughts are made manifest to the world. His thought is Himself, from which He is inseparable. When we find a philosopher emphasizing the importance and grandeur of justice, and then encouraging a rapacious monarch in his oppression and tyranny, we quickly realize that he belongs to the first class: for he thinks heavenly thoughts and does not practise the corresponding heavenly virtues. 

This state is impossible with Spiritual Philosophers, for they ever express their high and noble thoughts in actions.

Paris Talks, pp: 17-19