Archive for the ‘Bahá’í Calligraphy’ Tag

22 August ―3 Asmá   Leave a comment

From the Universal House of Justice quoting the Beloved Guardian, Shoghi Effendi:

On page 25[1] of “The Advent of Divine Justice” the beloved Guardian is describing the requirements not only of chastity, but of “a chaste and holy life” — both the adjectives are important. One of the signs of a decadent society, a sign which is very evident in the world today, is an almost frenetic devotion to pleasure and diversion, an insatiable thirst for  54  amusement, a fanatical devotion to games and sport, a reluctance to treat any matter seriously, and a scornful, derisory attitude towards virtue and solid worth. Abandonment of “a frivolous conduct” does not imply that a Bahá’í must be sour-faced or perpetually solemn. Humour, happiness,joy are characteristics of a true Bahá’í life. Frivolity palls and eventually leads to boredom and emptiness, but true happiness and joy and humour that are parts of a balanced life that includes serious thought, compassion and humble servitude to God, are characteristics that enrich life and add to its radiance.

[1 On page 25 in the 1956 U.S. edition; on page 30 in the 1984 U.S. edition.]

Compilations, The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 53

MORNING:

The word of God which the Supreme Pen hath recorded on the eighth leaf of the Most Exalted Paradise is the following: Schools must first train the children in the principles of religion, so that the Promise and the Threat recorded in the Books of God may prevent them from the things forbidden and adorn them with the mantle of the commandments; but this in such a measure that it may not injure the children by resulting in ignorant fanaticism and bigotry.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 68

EVENING:

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. 65

FROM THE CENTRE OF THE CAUSE OF GOD ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

It has been shown conclusively therefore that the foundation of the religion of God remains permanent and unchanging. It is that fixed foundation which insures the progress and stability of the body politic and the illumination of humanity. It has ever been the cause of love and justice amongst men. It works for the true fellowship and unification of all mankind for it never changes and is not subject to supersedure. The accidental or non-essential laws which regulate the transactions of the social body and everyday affairs of life are changeable and subject to abrogation.

Let me ask what is the purpose of prophethood? Why has God sent the prophets? It is self-evident that the prophets are the educators of men and the teachers of the human race. They come to bestow universal education upon humanity, to give humanity training, to uplift the human race from the abyss of despair and desolation and enable man to attain the apogee of advancement and glory. The people are in darkness; the prophets bring them into the realm of light. They are in a state of utter imperfection; the prophets imbue them with perfections. The purpose of the prophetic mission is no other than the education and guidance of the people. Therefore we must regard and be on the lookout for the man who is thus qualified; that is to say any soul who proves to be the educator of mankind and the teacher of the human race is undoubtedly the prophet of his age.

Foundations of World Unity, p. 94

20 August ― THE FEAST OF ASMÁ’ [Names]   Leave a comment

20 August ― THE FEAST OF ASMÁ’ [Names]

 Praise and glory beseem the Lord of Names and the Creator of the heavens, He, the waves of Whose ocean of Revelation surge before the eyes of the peoples of the world. The Day-Star of His Cause shineth through every veil and His Word of affirmation standeth beyond the reach of negation. Neither the ascendancy of the oppressor nor the tyranny of the wicked hath been able to thwart His Purpose. How glorified is His sovereignty, how exalted His dominion!

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 33

 

MORNING:

Say, verily God hath caused all created things to enter beneath the shade of the tree of affirmation, except those who are endowed with the faculty of understanding. Theirs is the choice either to believe in God their Lord, and put their whole trust in Him, or to shut themselves out from Him and refuse to believe with certitude in His signs. These two groups sail upon two seas: the sea of affirmation and the sea of negation.

They that truly believe in God and in His signs, and who in every Dispensation faithfully obey that which hath been revealed in the Book — such are indeed the ones whom God hath created from the fruits of the Paradise of His good-pleasure, and who are of the blissful. But they who turn away from God and His signs in each Dispensation, those are the ones who sail upon the sea of negation.

God hath, through the potency of His behest, ordained for Himself the task of ensuring the ascendancy of the sea of affirmation and of bringing to naught the sea of negation through the power of His might. He is in truth potent over all things.

His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 147

EVENING:

 Verily it is incumbent upon you to recognize your Lord at the time of His manifestation, that haply ye may not enter into negation, and that, ere a prophet is raised by God, ye may find yourselves securely established upon the sea of affirmation. For if a prophet cometh to you from God and ye fail to walk in His Way, God will, thereupon, transform your light into fire. Take heed then that perchance ye may, through the grace of God and His signs, be enabled to redeem your souls…

Say, God shall of a truth cause your hearts to be given to perversity if ye fail to recognize Him Whom God shall make manifest; but if ye do recognize Him God shall banish perversity from your hearts…

His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 147-148

21 August – 2 Asmá’   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_8593These are they who, in truth, were not enjoined to prostrate themselves before Adam. They have never turned away from the countenance of Thy Lord, and partake at every moment of the gifts and delights of holiness. Thus hath the Pen of the All-Merciful set forth the secrets of all things, be they of the past or of the future. Would that the world might understand! Erelong shall God make manifest this people upon the earth, and through them shall exalt His name, diffuse His signs, uphold His words, and proclaim His verses, in spite of those that have repudiated His truth, gainsaid His sovereignty, and cavilled at His signs.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 14

EVENING:

IMG_2062O CHILDREN OF ADAM!

Holy words and pure and goodly deeds ascend unto the heaven of celestial glory. Strive that your deeds may be cleansed from the dust of self and hypocrisy and find favor at the court of glory; for ere long the assayers of mankind shall, in the holy presence of the Adored One, accept naught but absolute virtue and deeds of stainless purity. This is the daystar of wisdom and of divine mystery that hath shone above the horizon of the divine will. Blessed are they that turn thereunto.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Persian Hidden Words, #69

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

The supreme bestowal is the appearance of the heavenly messengers. How can we ever define or circumscribe this bestowal? If the scientists have proven that a molecule is an aggregate of myriads of atoms and the atom in turn is an aggregate of infinite electrons, how can the sun be comprehended? If the drop is infinite in its particles, how much more the sea! If the material world is infinite with regard to its manifestations of life, can the spiritual world be finite? The prophets of God have ever appeared in the ages of the past and will continue to appear throughout the ages of the future. Where was Adam when God was exercising his divinity? Where was this petty infinitesimal world of ours when God was bestowing his bounties upon this infinite universe? If we limit the number of his appearances through his prophets, it is equal to limiting God himself.

Man has ever longed for a direct means of communication with his Lord and has ever been in a state of anticipation for the unique advent on this earth of a divine being. The followers of all religions have been expecting the coming of a promised one and have longingly prayed for the dawn of the sun of truth. Alas! A thousand times alas! that when he appeared they remained of the heedless, nor turned their faces toward him. Pitiful indeed is their condition! In lamentation, during the darkness of night they prayed for the light of a new day; but when it dawned from the eastern horizon they cried clamorously: “Where is the sun? We do not see it!” They are of those who are bereft of sight.

Divine Philosophy, pp: 170-171

16 August ― 16 Kamál   Leave a comment

9:5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?

 

FROM THE HOLY BIBLE [KING JAMES VERSION, 1604-1611]

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT MATTHEW

 

MORNING:

 

He that riseth to serve My Cause should manifest My wisdom, and bend every effort to banish ignorance from the earth. Be united in counsel, be one in thought. Let each morn be better than its eve and each morrow richer than its yesterday. Man’s merit lieth in service and virtue and not in the pageantry of wealth and riches. Take heed that your words be purged from idle fancies and worldly desires and your deeds be cleansed from craftiness and suspicion.

 

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 138

 

 

 

EVENING:

 

 

Dissipate not the wealth of your precious lives in the pursuit of evil and corrupt affection, nor let your endeavours be spent in promoting your personal interest. Be generous in your days of plenty, and be patient in the hour of loss. Adversity is followed by success and rejoicings follow woe. Guard against idleness and sloth, and cling unto that which profiteth mankind, whether young or old, whether high or low. Beware lest ye sow tares of dissension among men or plant thorns of doubt in pure and radiant hearts.

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 138

 

 

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

“…Every day, in the morning when arising you should compare today with yesterday and see in what condition you are. If you see your belief is stronger and your heart more occupied with God and your love increased and your freedom from the world greater then thank God and ask for the increase of these qualities. You must begin to pray and repent for all that you have done which is wrong and you must implore and ask for help and assistance that you may become better than yesterday so that you may continue to make progress.

Star of the West, vol 6, p.68

 

15 August ― 15 Kamál   Leave a comment

One day he said: “I know it is difficult to reconcile the teachings and instructions of the Master.

“In one case He exhorts us to be brave and courageous and on the other hand to be prudent.

“He commands us to exercise justice, on the other hand to be merciful. He wishes us to be frank and direct, at the same time to be discreet.

“How can we reconcile these things?

“It is very difficult, I realize that it is difficult, but as the believers grow in spiritual strength and maturity they will find the perfect balance of truth and justice, they will attain to wisdom.”

Shoghi Effendi discusses the affairs and conditions of the Cause with astonishing openness and frankness, he does not like secrecy and told us many times that this openness, frankness and truthfulness among the friends constitutes one of the great remedies for many of our difficulties, and he sets us the example of free and open consultation.

With a modesty and simplicity which one must see in order to appreciate, because it is foreign to our American temperament, he invites suggestion and consultation from the visiting friends and from those around him.

He listens to every suggestion with the utmost courtesy and seriousness and then brings to bear upon it the light of his wonderful lucid mind, his clear all-comprehensive thought, his powerful and penetrative judgment.

The spirit of criticism is abhorrent to Shoghi Effendi, he will not permit a breath of criticism of one believer of another and although he wants to hear the truth of every matter this must be based on sincerity of purpose. He instantly detects the least insincerity of motive or effort to influence him in any way.

He is never influenced or swayed in the divine authority with which God has vested him, but exercises a perfect protection and tender guardianship over every soul.

In speaking of a certain matter which was troubling him at the time he said, “You see I wish to know the motive behind these actions,” and then with his beautiful young face full of laughter, “I do not like to be put off and put off and have the matter delayed and when they are dealing with an impatient person like myself it becomes very difficult.”

He laughs at his own impatience for action, for the growth of the Cause, for the deep results of real unity and one of the highest terms of praise from his lips is – “He is active” – or – “She is an active Bahá’í.”

May Ellis Bolles Maxwell, Hand of the Cause of God


1870-1940 This…version is a verbatim transcription of the original copy,cluding spelling errors. Online version provided by Robert Stauffer, 1997. Proofread by Vaughn Sheline and Thellie Lovejoy, 199

From informal notes taken by Mrs. May Maxwell at Haifa in 1924,
and reproduced for the information of the Bahá’í friends
with the permission of the National Spiritual Assembly.

Conversations with Shoghi Effendi, pp: 3-4

MORNING:

This is the Day in which God’s most excellent favors have been poured out upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to reconcile their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide beneath the shadow of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness. It behoveth them to cleave to whatsoever will, in this Day, be conducive to the exaltation of their stations, and to the promotion of their best interests. Happy are those whom the all-glorious Pen was moved to remember, and blessed are those men whose names, by virtue of Our inscrutable decree, We have preferred to conceal.

 

Beseech ye the one true God to grant that all men may be graciously assisted to fulfil that which is acceptable in Our sight. Soon will the present-day order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead. Verily, thy Lord speaketh the truth, and is the Knower of things unseen.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 6-7

 

EVENING:

Great indeed is this Day! The allusions made to it in all the sacred Scriptures as the Day of God attest its greatness. The soul of every Prophet of God, of every Divine Messenger, hath thirsted for this wondrous Day. All the divers kindreds of the earth have, likewise, yearned to attain it. No sooner, however, had the Day Star of His Revelation manifested itself in the heaven of God’s Will, than all, except those whom the Almighty was pleased to guide, were found dumbfounded and heedless.

 

O thou that hast remembered Me! The most grievous veil hath shut out the peoples of the earth from His glory, and hindered them from hearkening to His call. God grant that the light of unity may envelop the whole earth, and that the seal, “the Kingdom is God’s”, may be stamped upon the brow of all its peoples.

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 11

13 August ― 13 Kamál   Leave a comment

Every form of separation or division, of classifying ourselves or one another, of having a group consciousness, or of thinking of the Bahá’ís in terms of duality, is a reflection of the material world of today, and not of that realm of truth and oneness which the Bahá’ís are destined by God to reflect and manifest.

He says we must entirely banish from our thoughts all such limited concepts and realize that absolute oneness is the Bahá’í consciousness. It is not necessary that all Bahá’ís should think and feel exactly alike, but that all should unite in obeying the divine instructions, and in active co-operative service to the Cause of God.

We must never speak or think for a moment of these limited ideas, but create in ourselves and in each other a oneness and solidarity of thought and action, which shall constitute a mighty spiritual power subduing unto itself all the limited, narrow and negative concepts and conditions of the world.

It is this Bahá’í attitude, this closely knit and united Bahá’í body in America, rather than any organized plan of action which will profoundly affect the people and constitute a magnet drawing to itself all those who are seeking spiritual happiness and tranquility for themselves and for mankind.

Thus the standard of life and conduct of Shoghi Effendi for the believers is very high, and his family told us that he is not satisfied with anything short of perfection.

From informal notes taken by Mrs. May Maxwell at Haifa in 1924,
and reproduced for the information of the Bahá’í friends
with the permission of the National Spiritual assembly.

[This …version is a verbatim transcription of the original copy, including spelling errors. Online version provided by Robert Stauffer, 1997. Proofread by Vaughn Sheline and Thellie Lovejoy, 1998.]

CONVERSATIONS WITH SHOGHI EFFENDI, p. 1


 

 

MORNING:

Every man of insight will, in this day, readily admit that the counsels which the Pen of this wronged One hath revealed constitute the supreme animating power for the advancement of the world and the exaltation of its peoples. Arise, O people, and, by the power of God’s might, resolve to gain the victory over your own selves, that haply the whole earth may be freed and sanctified from its servitude to the gods of its idle fancies — gods that have inflicted such loss upon, and are responsible for the misery of, their wretched worshipers. These idols form the obstacle that impedeth man in his efforts to advance in the path of perfection. We cherish the hope that the Hand of Divine power may lend its assistance to mankind, and deliver it from its state of grievous abasement.

In one of the Tablets these words have been revealed: O people of God! Do not busy yourselves in your own concerns; let your thoughts be fixed upon that which will rehabilitate the fortunes of mankind and sanctify the hearts and souls of men. This can best be achieved through pure and holy deeds, through a virtuous life and a goodly behavior. Valiant acts will ensure the triumph of this Cause, and a saintly character will reinforce its power. Cleave unto righteousness, O people of Bahá! This, verily, is the commandment which this wronged One hath given unto you, and the first choice of His unrestrained Will for every one of you.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 93-94

EVENING:

…O thou who hast surrendered thy will to God! By self-surrender and perpetual union with God is meant that men should merge their will wholly in the Will of God, and regard their desires as utter nothingness beside His Purpose. Whatsoever the Creator commandeth His creatures to observe, the same must they diligently, and with the utmost joy and eagerness, arise and fulfil. They should in no wise allow their fancy to obscure their judgment, neither should they regard their own imaginings as the voice of the Eternal. In the Prayer of Fasting We have revealed: “Should Thy Will decree that out of Thy mouth these words proceed and be addressed unto them, ‘Observe, for My Beauty’s sake, the fast, O people, and set no limit to its duration,’ I swear by the majesty of Thy glory, that every one of them will faithfully observe it, will abstain from whatsoever will violate Thy law, and will continue to do so until they yield up their souls unto Thee.” In this consisteth the complete surrender of one’s will to the Will of God. Meditate on this, that thou mayest drink in the waters of everlasting life which flow through the words of the Lord of all mankind, and mayest testify that the one true God hath ever been immeasurably exalted above His creatures. He, verily, is the Incomparable, the Ever-Abiding, the Omniscient, the All-Wise. The station of absolute self-surrender transcendeth, and will ever remain exalted above, every other station.

It behoveth thee to consecrate thyself to the Will of God. Whatsoever hath been revealed in His Tablets is but a reflection of His Will. So complete must be thy consecration, that every trace of worldly desire will be washed from thine heart. This is the meaning of true unity.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 337-338

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Although the mineral, vegetable, animal and man himself are actual beings, the difference between their kingdoms prevents members of the lower degree from comprehending the essence and nature of those of the superior degree. This being so, how can the temporal and phenomenal comprehend the Lord of Hosts?

It is clear that this is impossible!

But the Essence of Divinity, the Sun of Truth, shines forth upon all horizons and is spreading its rays upon all things. Each creature is the recipient of some portion of that power, and man, who contains the perfection of the mineral, the vegetable and animal, as well as his own distinctive qualities, has become the noblest of created beings. It stands written that he is made in the Image of God. Mysteries that were hidden he discovers; and secrets that were concealed he brings into the light. By Science and by Art he brings hidden powers into the region of the visible world. Man perceives the hidden law in created things and co-operates with it.

Lastly the perfect man, the Prophet, is one who is transfigured, one who has the purity and clearness of a perfect mirror — one who reflects the Sun of Truth. Of such a one — of such a Prophet and Messenger — we can say that the Light of Divinity with the heavenly Perfections dwells in him.

If we claim that the sun is seen in the mirror, we do not mean that the sun itself has descended from the holy heights of his heaven and entered into the mirror! This is impossible. The Divine Nature is seen in the Manifestations and its Light and Splendor are visible in extreme glory

Therefore, men have always been taught and led by the Prophets of God. The Prophets of God are the Mediators of God. All the Prophets and Messengers have come from One Holy Spirit and bear the Message of God, fitted to the age in which they appear. The One Light is in them and they are One with each other. But the Eternal does not become phenomenal; neither can the phenomenal become Eternal.

Abdu’l-Bahá in London, pp: 23-24

12 August ― 12 Kamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Ponder then in thine heart: Matters being such as thou dost witness, and as We also witness, where canst thou flee, and with whom shalt thou take refuge? Unto whom wilt thou turn thy gaze? In what land shalt thou dwell and upon what seat shalt thou abide? In what path shalt thou tread and at what hour wilt thou find repose? What shall become of thee in the end? Where shalt thou secure the cord of thy faith and fasten the tie of thine obedience? By Him Who revealeth Himself in His oneness and Whose own Self beareth witness to His unity!

Should there be ignited in thy heart the burning brand of the love of God, thou wouldst seek neither rest nor composure, neither laughter nor repose, but wouldst hasten to scale the highest summits in the realms of divine nearness, sanctity, and beauty. Thou wouldst lament as a soul bereaved and weep as a heart filled with longing. Nor wouldst thou repair to thy home and abode unless God would lay bare before thee His Cause.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, p. 13

EVENING:

Yea, the seeker reacheth a station wherein that which hath been ordained for him knoweth no bounds. The fire of love so blazeth in his heart that it seizeth the reins of constraint from his grasp. At every moment his love for his Lord increaseth and draweth him nearer unto his Creator, in such wise that if his Lord be in the east of nearness, and he dwell in the west of remoteness and possess all that earth and heaven contain of rubies and gold, he would forsake it all and rush forth to the land of the Desired One. And shouldst thou find him to be otherwise, know assuredly that such a man is a lying impostor. We, verily, all belong unto Him Whom God shall make manifest in the latter Resurrection, and through Him shall we be raised again to life.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp. 75-76

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

There is not one soul whose conscience does not testify that in this day there is no more important matter in the world than that of Universal Peace. Every just one bears witness to this and adores that esteemed Assembly because its aim is that this darkness may be changed into light, this bloodthirstiness into kindness, this torment into bliss, this hardship into ease and this enmity and hatred into fellowship and love. Therefore, the effort of those esteemed souls is worthy of praise and commendation.

But the wise souls who are aware of the essential relationships emanating from the realities of things consider that one single matter cannot, by itself, influence the human reality as it ought and should, for until the minds of men become united, no important matter can be accomplished. At present Universal Peace is a matter of great importance, but unity of conscience is essential, so that the foundation of this matter may become secure, its establishment firm and its edifice strong.

Therefore His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, fifty years ago, expounded this question of Universal Peace at a time when he was confined in the fortress of ‘Akká and was wronged and imprisoned. He wrote about this important matter of Universal Peace to all the great sovereigns of the world, and established it among his friends in the Orient. The horizon of the East was in utter darkness, nations displayed the utmost hatred and enmity towards each other, religions thirsted for each other’s blood, and it was darkness upon darkness. At such a time His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh shone forth like the sun from the horizon of the East and illumined Persia with the lights of these teachings.

Tablet to the Hague, pp: 3-4

IMG_6844