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28 April ― 2 Jamál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN THE FEAST OF JAMÁL [BEAUTY]   Leave a comment

28 April ― 2 Jamál

Holy Day – The 9th Day of the Festival of RIḌVÁN


The Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, described by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as “one of the most vital institutions of the world”, weds two essential, inseparable aspects of Bahá’í life:  worship and service.  The union of these two is also reflected in the coherence that exists among the community-building features of the Plan, particularly the burgeoning of a devotional spirit that finds expression in gatherings for prayer and an educational process that builds capacity for service to humanity.  The correlation of worship and service is especially pronounced in those clusters around the world where Bahá’í communities have significantly grown in size and vitality, and where engagement in social action is apparent.  Some of these have been designated as sites for the dissemination of learning so as to nurture the friends’ ability to advance the junior youth programme in associated regions.  The capacity to sustain this programme, as we have recently indicated, also fuels the development of study circles and children’s classes.  Thus, beyond its primary purpose, the learning site fortifies the entire scheme of expansion and consolidation.  It is within these clusters that, in the coming years, the emergence of a local Mashriqu’l-Adhkár can be contemplated.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2012, ¶9

MORNING:

Glorified is He Who hath surrendered the embodiment of His Beauty to the clutches of the envious and the wicked — a fate unto which We are fully resigned, though none may perceive this save those who are endued with insight.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 4

 

EVENING:

Pointing with her finger unto My head, she addressed all who are in heaven and all who are on earth, saying: By God! This is the Best-Beloved of the worlds, and yet ye comprehend not. This is the Beauty of God amongst you, and the power of His sovereignty within you, could ye but understand. This is the Mystery of God and His Treasure, the Cause of God and His glory unto all who are in the kingdoms of Revelation and of creation, if ye be of them that perceive. This is He Whose Presence is the ardent desire of the denizens of the Realm of eternity, and of them that dwell within the Tabernacle of glory, and yet from His Beauty do ye turn aside.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 5

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

The Blessed Beauty saith: ‘Ye are all the fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch.’ Thus hath He likened this world of being to a single tree, and all its peoples to the leaves thereof, and the blossoms and fruits. It is needful for the bough to blossom, and leaf and fruit to flourish, and upon the interconnection of all parts of the world-tree, dependeth the flourishing of leaf and blossom, and the sweetness of the fruit.

For this reason must all human beings powerfully sustain one another and seek for everlasting life; and for this reason must the lovers of God in this contingent world become the mercies and the blessings sent forth by that clement King of the seen and unseen realms. Let them purify their sight and behold all humankind as leaves and blossoms and fruits of the tree of being. Let them at all times concern themselves with doing a kindly thing for one of their fellows, offering to someone love, consideration, thoughtful help. Let them see no one as their enemy, or as wishing them ill, but think of all humankind as their friends; regarding the alien as an intimate, the stranger as a companion, staying free of prejudice, drawing no lines.

In this day, the one favoured at the Threshold of the Lord is he who handeth round the cup of faithfulness; who bestoweth, even upon his enemies, the jewel of bounty, and lendeth, even to his fallen oppressor, a helping hand; it is he who will, even to the fiercest of his foes, be a loving friend. These are the Teachings of the Blessed Beauty, these the counsels of the Most Great Name.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 1-2


 

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1 June – 16 ‘Aẓamat   Leave a comment

IMG_8590MORNING:

Those who have deprived themselves of this Resurrection by reason of their mutual hatreds or by regarding themselves to be in the right and others in the wrong, were chastised on the Day of Resurrection by reason of such hatreds evinced during their night.1 Thus they deprived themselves of beholding the countenance of God, and this for no other reason than mutual denunciations.

O ye that are invested with the Bayán! Ye should perform such deeds as would please God, your Lord, earning thereby the good-pleasure of Him Whom God shall make manifest. Turn not your religion into a means of material* gain, spending your life on vanities, and inheriting thereby on the Day of Resurrection that which would displease Him Whom God shall make manifest, while ye deem that what ye do is right. If, however, ye observe piety in your Faith, God will surely nourish you from the treasuries of His heavenly grace.

*By ‘night’ is meant the period between two divine Revelations when the Sun of Truth is not manifest among men. In the Persian Bayan, II, 7, the Báb says, ‘O people of the Bayán! Act not as the people of the Qur’án have acted, for if you do so the fruits of your night will come to naught’.

Be ye sincere in your allegiance to Him Whom God shall make manifest, for the sake of God, your Lord, that perchance ye may, through devotion to His Faith, be redeemed on the Day of Resurrection. Beware lest ye suffer one another to be wrapt in veils by reason of the disputes which may, during your night, arise among you as a result of the problems ye encounter or in consideration of such matters as your loftiness or lowliness, your nearness or remoteness.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 129-130

IMG_4445EVENING:

Know thou of a certainty that whenever thou makest mention of Him Whom God shall make manifest, only then art thou making mention of God. In like manner shouldst thou hearken unto the verses of the Bayan and  acknowledge its truth, only then would the revealed verses of God profit thee. Otherwise what benefit canst thou derive therefrom? For wert thou to prostrate thyself in adoration from the beginning of life till the end and to spend thy days for the sake of God’s remembrance, but disbelieve in the Exponent of His Revelation for the age, dost thou imagine that thy deeds would confer any benefit upon thee? On the other hand, if thou believest in Him and dost recognize Him with true understanding, and He saith: ‘I have accepted thine entire life spent in My adoration’, then assuredly hast thou been worshipping Him most ardently. Thy purpose in performing thy deeds is that God may graciously accept them; and divine acceptance can in no wise be achieved except through the acceptance of Him Who is the Exponent of His Revelation. For instance, if the Apostle of God — may divine blessings rest upon Him — accepted a certain deed, in truth God accepted it; otherwise it hath remained within the selfish desires of the person who wrought it, and did not reach the presence of God. Likewise, any act which is accepted by the Point of the Bayán is accepted by God, inasmuch as the contingent world hath no other access unto the presence of the Ancient of Days. Whatever is sent down cometh through the Exponent of His Revelation, and whatever ascendeth, ascendeth unto the Exponent of His Revelation.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 80-81

7 August ― 7 Kamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_5121O Living Temple! We, verily, have made Thee a mirror unto the kingdom of names, that Thou mayest be, amidst all mankind, a sign of My sovereignty, a herald unto My presence, a summoner unto My beauty, and a guide unto My straight and perspicuous Path. We have exalted Thy Name among Our servants as a bounty from Our presence. I, verily, am the All-Bountiful, the Ancient of Days. We have, moreover, adorned Thee with the ornament of Our own Self, and have imparted unto Thee Our Word, that Thou mayest ordain in this contingent world whatsoever Thou willest and accomplish whatsoever Thou pleasest. We have destined for Thee all the good of the heavens and of the earth, and decreed that none may attain unto a portion thereof unless he entereth beneath Thy shadow, as bidden by Thy Lord, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. We have conferred upon Thee the Staff of authority and the Writ of judgement, that Thou mayest test the wisdom of every command. We have caused the oceans of inner meaning and explanation to surge from Thy heart in remembrance of Thy Lord, the God of mercy, that Thou mayest render thanks and praise unto Him and be of those who are truly thankful. We have singled Thee out from amongst all Our creatures, and have appointed Thee as the Manifestation of Our own Self unto all who are in the heavens and on the earth.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 43-44

EVENING:

IMG_7574Beware lest human learning debar thee from Him Who is the Supreme Object of all knowledge, or lest the world deter thee from the One Who created it and set it upon its course. Arise in the name of thy Lord, the God of Mercy, amidst the peoples of the earth, and seize thou the Cup of Life with the hands of confidence. First drink thou therefrom, and proffer it then to such as turn towards it amongst the peoples of all faiths. Thus hath the Moon of Utterance risen above the horizon of wisdom and understanding.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 55

FROM THE EXEMPLAR, ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

It is true that there are foolish individuals who have never properly examined the fundamentals of the Divine religions, who have taken as their criterion the behavior of a few religious hypocrites and measured all religious persons by that yardstick, and have on this account concluded that religions are an obstacle to progress, a divisive factor and a cause of malevolence and enmity among peoples. They have not even observed this much, that the principles of the Divine religions can hardly be evaluated by the acts of those who only claim to follow them. For every excellent thing, peerless though it may be, can still be diverted to the wrong ends. A lighted lamp in the hands of an ignorant child or of the blind will not dispel the surrounding darkness nor light up the house — it will set both the bearer and the house on fire. Can we, in such an instance, blame the lamp? No, by the Lord God! To the seeing, a lamp is a guide and will show him his path; but it is a disaster to the blind.

François-Marie Arouet (Voltaire) [1694 – 30 May 1778

Among those who have repudiated religious faith was the Frenchman, Voltaire, who wrote a great number of books attacking the religions, works which are no better than children’s playthings. This individual, taking as his criterion the omissions and commissions of the Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic religion, and the intrigues and quarrels of the spiritual leaders of Christendom, opened his mouth and caviled at the Spirit of God (Jesus). In the unsoundness of his reasoning, he failed to grasp the true significance of the sacred Scriptures, took exception to certain portions of the revealed Texts and dwelt on the difficulties involved. “And We send down of the Qur’án that which is a healing and a mercy to the faithful: But it shall only add to the ruin of the wicked.”*

* Qur’án 17:84

The Sage of Ghazna* told the mystic story

To his veiled hearers, in an allegory:

If those who err see naught in the Qur’án

But only words, it’s not to wonder on;

Of all the sun’s fire, lighting up the sky

Only the warmth can reach a blind man’s eye.**

* The poet Sana’i

** Rumi, The Mathnavi, III, 4229-4231

“Many will He mislead by such parables and many guide: but none will He mislead thereby except the wicked…”*

* Qur’án 2:24

It is certain that the greatest of instrumentalities for achieving the advancement and the glory of man, the supreme agency for the enlightenment and the redemption of the world, is love and fellowship and unity among all the members of the human race. Nothing can be effected in the world, not even conceivably, without unity and agreement, and the perfect means for engendering fellowship and union is true religion. “Hadst Thou spent all the riches of the earth, Thou couldst not have united their hearts; but God hath united them…“*

* Qur’án 8:64

With the advent of the Prophets of God, their power of creating a real union, one which is both external and of the heart, draws together malevolent peoples who have been thirsting for one another’s blood, into the one shelter of the Word of God. Then a hundred thousand souls become as one soul, and unnumbered individuals emerge as one body.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 71-74