Archive for the ‘beloved guardian’ Tag

4 June ― 19 ‘Azamat   Leave a comment

After the glorious events of the Heroic Age of the Faith, entry by troops of the peoples of the world into the Cause of God first occurred in Africa during the ministry of Shoghi Effendi, and then spread to other areas. Gradually, the Bahá’í communities of those regions are learning through experience and are evolving methods and programmes which aim to draw these large numbers of believers together in functioning communities and to establish strong bases for continuing growth. To assist them in their endeavours, to help the Bahá’ís in other countries to initiate and maintain this process, and to dispel the misconceptions which inevitably surround so challenging a concept, a compilation on “Promoting Entry by Troops” has been issued. Study and application of the principles and approaches described therein will undoubtedly assist every Bahá’í teacher and community, whether in an area where entry by troops has been a reality for many years, or in one where no sign of it has yet appeared. In respect to the latter, it will help to convince individual believers of the reality and validity of this process and will enable Bahá’í communities to prepare themselves spiritually and materially for this surge forward, to eagerly anticipate its occurrence, to take those steps which will foster its beginning, and to ensure the measures which will perpetuate its growth.

 

The Universal House of Justice

Riḍván 1994

MORNING:

“The time for the destruction of the world and its people,” Bahá’u’lláh’s prophetic pen has proclaimed, “hath arrived.” “The hour is approaching,” He specifically affirms, “when the most great convulsion will have appeared.” “The promised day is come, the day when tormenting trials will have surged above your heads, and beneath your feet, saying: ‘Taste ye what your hands have wrought!'” “Soon shall the blasts of His chastisement beat upon you, and the dust of hell enshroud you.” And again: “And when the appointed hour is come, there shall suddenly appear that which shall cause the limbs of mankind to quake.” “The day is approaching when its [civilization’s] flame will devour the cities, when the Tongue of Grandeur will proclaim: ‘The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the All-Praised!'” “The day will soon come,” He, referring to the foolish ones of the earth, has written, “whereon they will cry out for help and receive no answer.” “The day is approaching,” He moreover has prophesied, “when the wrathful anger of the Almighty will have taken hold of them. He, verily, is the Omnipotent, the All-Subduing, the Most Powerful. He shall cleanse the earth from the defilement of their corruption, and shall give it for an heritage unto such of His servants as are nigh unto Him.”

—Bahá’u’lláh quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Promised Day is Come, pp: 3-4

 

EVENING:

“As to those who deny Him Who is the Sublime Gate of God,” the Báb, for His part, has affirmed in the Qayyum-i-Asma’, “for them We have prepared, as justly decreed by God, a sore torment. And He, God, is the Mighty, the Wise.” And further, “O peoples of the earth! I swear by your Lord! Ye shall act as former generations have acted. Warn ye, then, yourselves of the terrible, the most grievous vengeance of God. For God is, verily, potent over all things.” And again: “By My glory! I will make the infidels to taste, with the hands of My power, retributions unknown of anyone except Me, and will waft over the faithful those musk-scented breaths which I have nursed in the midmost heart of My throne.”

— The Báb quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Promised Day is Come, p. 4

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

Similarly there are periods and stages in the life of the aggregate world of humanity which at one time was passing through its degree of childhood, at another its time of youth but now has entered its long presaged period of maturity, the evidences of which are everywhere visible and apparent. Therefore the requirements and conditions of former periods have changed and merged into exigencies which distinctly characterize the present age of the world of mankind. That which was applicable to human needs during the early history of the race could neither meet nor satisfy the demands of this day and period of newness and consummation. Humanity has emerged from its former degrees of limitation and preliminary training. Man must now become imbued with new virtues and powers, new moralities, new capacities. New bounties, bestowals and perfections are awaiting and already descending upon him. The gifts and graces of the period of youth although timely and sufficient during the adolescence of the world of mankind, are now incapable of meeting the requirements of its maturity. The playthings of childhood and infancy no longer satisfy or interest the adult mind.

 

From every standpoint the world of humanity is undergoing a re-formation. The laws of former governments and civilizations are in process of revision, scientific ideas and theories are developing and advancing to meet a new range of phenomena, invention and discovery are penetrating hitherto unknown fields revealing new wonders and hidden secrets of the material universe; industries have vastly wider scope and production; everywhere the world of mankind is in the throes of evolutionary activity indicating the passing of the old conditions and advent of the new age of re-formation. Old trees yield no fruitage; old ideas and methods are obsolete and worthless now. Old standards of ethics, moral codes and methods of living in the past will not suffice for the present age of advancement and progress.

Foundations of World Unity, pp: 9-10

 

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHOGHI EFFENDI:

A tempest, unprecedented in its violence, unpredictable in its course, catastrophic in its immediate effects, unimaginably glorious in its ultimate consequences, is at present sweeping the face of the earth. Its driving power is remorselessly gaining in range and momentum. Its cleansing force, however much undetected, is increasing with every passing day. Humanity, gripped in the clutches of its devastating power, is smitten by the evidences of its resistless fury. It can neither perceive its origin, nor probe its significance, nor discern its outcome. Bewildered, agonized and helpless, it watches this great and mighty wind of God invading the remotest and fairest regions of the earth, rocking its foundations, deranging its equilibrium, sundering its nations, disrupting the homes of its peoples, wasting its cities, driving into exile its kings, pulling down its bulwarks, uprooting its institutions, dimming its light, and harrowing up the souls of its inhabitants.

The Promised Day is Come, p. 3

29 April ― 2 Jamál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

29 April ― 2 Jamál THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN

 

To the Peoples of the World:

The Great Peace towards which people of good will throughout the centuries have inclined their hearts, of which seers and poets for countless generations have expressed their vision, and for which from age to age the sacred scriptures of mankind have constantly held the promise, is now at long last within the reach of the nations. For the first time in history it is possible for everyone to view the entire planet, with all its myriad diversified peoples, in one perspective. World peace is not only possible but inevitable. It is the next stage in the evolution of this planet—in the words of one great thinker, “the planetization of mankind”.

Whether peace is to be reached only after unimaginable horrors precipitated by humanity’s stubborn clinging to old patterns of behaviour, or is to be embraced now by an act of consultative will, is the choice before all who inhabit the earth. At this critical juncture when the intractable problems confronting nations have been fused into one common concern for the whole world, failure to stem the tide of conflict and disorder would be unconscionably irresponsible.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

THE PROMISE OF WORLD PEACE, ¶1-2

MORNING:

We cherish the hope that through the earnest endeavours of such as are the exponents of the power of God ― exalted be His glory ― the weapons of war throughout the world may be converted into instruments of reconstruction and that strife and conflict may be removed from the midst of men.

The sixth Glad-Tidings is the establishment of the Lesser Peace, details of which have formerly been revealed from Our Most Exalted Pen. Great is the blessedness of him who upholdeth it and observeth whatsoever hath been ordained by God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 23

 

EVENING:

Whilst in the Prison of ‘Akká, We revealed in the Crimson Book that which is conducive to the advancement of mankind and to the reconstruction of the world. The utterances set forth therein by the Pen of the Lord of creation include the following which constitute the fundamental principles for the administration of the affairs of men:

First: It is incumbent upon the ministers of the House of Justice to promote the Lesser Peace so that the people of the earth may be relieved from the burden of exorbitant expenditures. This matter is imperative and absolutely essential, inasmuch as hostilities and conflict lie at the root of affliction and calamity.

Second: Languages must be reduced to one common language to be taught in all the schools of the world.

Third: It behoveth man to adhere tenaciously unto that which will promote fellowship, kindliness and unity.

Fourth: Everyone, whether man or woman, should hand over to a trusted person a portion of what he or she earneth through trade, agriculture or other occupation, for the training and education of children, to be spent for this purpose with the knowledge of the Trustees of the House of Justice.

Fifth: Special regard must be paid to agriculture. Although it hath been mentioned in the fifth place, unquestionably it precedeth the others. Agriculture is highly developed in foreign lands, however in Persia it hath so far been grievously neglected. It is hoped that His Majesty the Shah — may God assist him by His grace — will turn his attention to this vital and important matter.

Were men to strictly observe that which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed in the Crimson Book, they could then well afford to dispense with the regulations which prevail in the world. Certain exhortations have repeatedly streamed forth from the Pen of the Most High that perchance the manifestations of power and the dawning-places of might may, sometime, be enabled to enforce them. Indeed, were sincere seekers to be found, every emanation of God’s pervasive and irresistible Will would, for the sake of His love, be revealed. But where are to be found earnest seekers and inquiring minds? Whither are gone the equitable and the fair-minded? At present no day passeth without the fire of a fresh tyranny blazing fiercely, or the sword of a new aggression being unsheathed. Gracious God! The great and the noble in Persia glory in acts of such savagery that one is lost in amazement at the tales thereof.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

 

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 89-90

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

These are the commands of the Blessed Beauty, these are the counsels of the Greatest Name. O ye dear friends! The world is engaged in war and struggle, and mankind is in the utmost conflict and danger. The darkness of unfaithfulness has enshrouded the earth and the illumination of faithfulness has become concealed. All nations and tribes of the world have sharpened their claws and are warring and fighting with each other. The edifice of man is shattered. Thousands of families are wandering disconsolate. Thousands of souls are besmeared with dust and blood in the arena of battle and struggle every year, and the tent of happiness and life is overthrown. The prominent men become commanders and boast of bloodshed, and glory in destruction. One says: “I have severed with my sword the necks of a nation,” and one: “I have levelled a kingdom to the dust”; and another: “I have overthrown the foundation of a government.” This is the pivot around which the pride and glory of mankind are revolving. In all regions friendship and uprightness are denounced and reconciliation and regard for truth are despised. The herald of peace, reformation, love and reconciliation is the Religion of the Blessed Beauty which has pitched its tent on the apex of the world and proclaimed its summons to the people.

Then, O ye friends of God! Appreciate the value of this precious Revelation, move and act in accordance with it and walk in the straight path and the right way. Show it to the people. Raise the melody of the Kingdom and spread abroad the teachings and ordinances of the loving Lord so that the world may become another world, the darkened earth may become illumined and the dead body of the people may obtain new life. Every soul may seek everlasting life through the breath of the Merciful. Life in this mortal world will quickly come to an end, and this earthly glory, wealth, comfort and happiness will soon vanish and be no more. Summon ye the people to God and call the souls to the manners and conduct of the Supreme Concourse. To the orphans be ye kind fathers, and to the unfortunate a refuge and shelter. To the poor be a treasure of wealth, and to the sick a remedy and healing. Be a helper of every oppressed one, the protector of every destitute one, be ye ever mindful to serve any soul of mankind. Attach no importance to self-seeking, rejection, arrogance, oppression and enmity. Heed them not. Deal in the contrary way. Be kind in truth, not only in appearance and outwardly. Every soul of the friends of God must concentrate his mind on this, that he may manifest the mercy of God and the bounty of the Forgiving One. He must do good to every soul whom he encounters, and render benefit to him, becoming the cause of improving the morals and correcting the thoughts so that the light of guidance may shine forth and the bounty of His Holiness the Merciful One may encompass. Love is light in whatsoever house it may shine and enmity is darkness in whatsoever abode it dwell.

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 216-217

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHOGHI EFFENDI:

During this Formative Age of the Faith, and in the course of present and succeeding epochs, the last and crowning stage in the erection of the framework of the Administrative Order of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh — the election of the Universal House of Justice — will have been completed, the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the Mother-Book of His Revelation, will have been codified and its laws promulgated, the Lesser Peace will have been established, the unity of mankind will have been achieved and its maturity attained, the Plan conceived by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will have been executed, the emancipation of the Faith from the fetters of religious orthodoxy will have been effected, and its independent religious status will have been universally recognized, whilst in the course of the Golden Age, destined to consummate the Dispensation itself, the banner of the Most Great Peace, promised by its Author, will have been unfurled, the World Bahá’í Commonwealth will have emerged in the plenitude of its power and splendor, and the birth and efflorescence of a world civilization, the child of that Peace, will have conferred its inestimable blessings upon all mankind.

Citadel of Faith, p. 6

…concerning but two or three impressions of audiences with His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, there is the following:

…my conductor paused for a moment while I removed

my shoes. Then, with a quick movement of the hand, he

withdrew, and, as I passed, replaced the curtain; and I

found myself in a large apartment, along the upper end of

which ran a low divan, while on the side opposite to the door

were placed two or three chairs. Though I dimly suspected

whither I was going and whom I was to behold (for no

distinct intimation had been given to me), a second or two

elapsed ere, with a throb of wonder and awe, I became

definitely conscious that the room was not untenanted. In

the corner where the divan met the wall sat a wondrous and

venerable figure, crowned with a felt head-dress of the kind

called taj by dervishes (but of unusual height and make),

round the base of which was wound a small white turban.

The face of him on whom I gazed I can never forget, though

I cannot describe it. Those piercing eyes seemed to read

ones very soul; power and authority sat on that ample

brow; while the deep lines on the forehead and face implied

an age which the jet-black hair and beard flowing down in

indistinguishable luxuriance almost to the waist seemed to

belie. No need to ask in whose presence I stood, as I bowed

myself before one who is the object of a devotion and love

which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!

A mild dignified voice bade me be seated, and then

continued: ‘Praise be to God that thou hast attained!… Thou

hast come to see a prisoner and an exile… We desire but

the good of the world and the happiness of the nations;

yet they deem us a stirrer up of strife and sedition worthy of

bondage and banishment… That all nations should become

one in faith and all men as brothers; that the bonds of

affection and unity between the sons of men should be

strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and

differences of race be annulled — what harm is there in

this?… Yet so it shall be; these fruitless strifes, these

ruinous wars shall pass away, and the ‘Most Great Peace’

shall come… Do not you in Europe need this also? Is not

this that which Christ foretold?… Yet do we see your

kings and rulers lavishing their treasures more freely on

means for the destruction of the human race than on that

which would conduce to the happiness of mankind…

These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease,

and all men be as one kindred and one family… Let not a

man glory in this, that he loves his country; let him rather

glory in this, that he loves his kind…’

Such, as far as I can recall them, were the words which,

besides many others, I heard from Beha.† Let those who

read them consider well with themselves whether such

doctrines merit death and bonds, and whether the world is

more likely to gain or lose by their diffusion.

† Bahá’u’lláh. (A.T.)]God Passes By, p. 152

Adib Tahersadeh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, V.2

10 February ― 4 Mulk   Leave a comment

Beloved friends:  To every generation of young believers comes an opportunity to make a contribution to the fortunes of humanity, unique to their time of life.  For the present generation, the moment has come to reflect, to commit, to steel themselves for a life of service from which blessing will flow in abundance.  In our prayers at the Sacred Threshold, we entreat the Ancient Beauty that, from out a distracted and bewildered humanity, He may distil pure souls endowed with clear sight:  youth whose integrity and uprightness are not undermined by dwelling on the faults of others and who are not immobilized by any shortcomings of their own; youth who will look to the Master and “bring those who have been excluded into the circle of intimate friends”; youth whose consciousness of the failings of society impels them to work for its transformation, not to distance themselves from it; youth who, whatever the cost, will refuse to pass by inequity in its many incarnations and will labour, instead, that “the light of justice may shed its radiance upon the whole world.”

 

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

Message dated 8 February 2013 to the

National Spiritual Assemblies of the world

MORNING:

“This is the day in which to speak. It is incumbent upon the people of Bahâ to strive, with the utmost patience and forbearance, to guide the peoples of the world to the Most Great Horizon. Every body calleth aloud for a soul. Heavenly souls must needs quicken, with the breath of the Word of God, the dead bodies with a fresh spirit. Within every word a new spirit is hidden. Happy is the man that attaineth thereunto, and hath arisen to teach the Cause of Him Who is the King of Eternity.” “Say: O servants! The triumph of this Cause hath depended, and will continue to depend, upon the appearance of holy souls, upon the showing forth of goodly deeds, and the revelation of words of consummate wisdom.” “Center your energies in the propagation of the Faith of God. Whoso is worthy of so high a calling, let him arise and promote it. Whoso is unable, it is his duty to appoint him who will, in his stead, proclaim this Revelation, whose power hath caused the foundations of the mightiest structures to quake, every mountain to be crushed into dust, and every soul to be dumbfounded.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Advent of Divine Justice, pp: 82-83

 IMG_0877

EVENING:

“O ye beloved of God! Repose not yourselves on your couches, nay, bestir yourselves as soon as ye recognize your Lord, the Creator, and hear of the things which have befallen Him, and hasten to His assistance. Unloose your tongues, and proclaim unceasingly His Cause. This shall be better for you than all the treasures of the past and of the future, if ye be of them that comprehend this truth.” “I swear by Him Who is the Truth! Erelong will God adorn the beginning of the Book of Existence with the mention of His loved ones who have suffered tribulation in His path, and journeyed through the countries in His name and for His praise. Whoso hath attained their presence will glory in their meeting, and all that dwell in every land will be illumined by their memory.” “Vie ye with each other in the service of God and of His Cause. This is indeed what profiteth you in this world, and in that which is to come. Your Lord, the God of Mercy, is the All-Informed, the All-Knowing. Grieve not at the things ye witness in this day. The day shall come whereon the tongues of the nations will proclaim: ‘The earth is God’s, the Almighty, the Single, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing!'” “Blessed is the spot, and the house, and the place, and the city, and the heart, and the mountain, and the refuge, and the cave, and the valley, and the land, and the sea, and the island, and the meadow where mention of God hath been made, and His praise glorified.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Advent of Divine Justice, pp: 83-84

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

IMG_5100

It is stated in the blessed Gospel: Travel ye toward the East and toward the West and enlighten the people with the light of the Most Great Guidance, so that they may take a portion and share of eternal life**…Because the ground is rich, the rain of the divine outpouring is descending. Now you must become heavenly farmers and scatter pure seeds in the prepared soil. The harvest of every other seed is limited, but the bounty and the blessing of the seed of the divine teachings is unlimited. Throughout the coming centuries and cycles many harvests will be gathered. Consider the work of former generations. During the lifetime of Jesus Christ the believing, firm souls were few and numbered, but the heavenly blessings descended so plentifully that in a number of years countless souls entered beneath the shadow of the Gospel. God has said in the Qur’án: “One grain will bring forth seven sheaves, and every sheaf shall contain one hundred grains.”**In other words, one grain will become seven hundred; and if God so wills He will double these also. It has often happened that one blessed soul has become the cause of the guidance of a nation. Now we must not consider our ability and capacity, nay, rather, we must fix our gaze upon the favors and bounties of God, in these days, Who has made of the drop a sea, and of the atom a sun.

*Cf. Mark 16:15

** Cf. Qur’án 2:26

Tablets of the Divine Plan, pp: 6-7

9 February ― 3 Mulk   Leave a comment

IMG_3179

Within communities of every size and strength, we are glad to see the processes of the Five Year Plan kindling the spirit of service and stimulating purposeful action.  Examples appear every day of how the act of reaching out to touch individual hearts, acquainting souls with the Word of God, and inviting them to contribute to the betterment of society can, in time, tend to the advancement of a people.  This collective movement becomes discernible when the Plan’s elements are combined into a well-coordinated cluster-wide effort, the dynamics of which are becoming increasingly familiar.  Such a cluster becomes the setting for experienced believers as much as those newly introduced to the Faith, whatever their age or background, to work side by side, accompanying one another in their service, enabling everyone to participate in the unfoldment of the Plan.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

Message the Bahá’í World 8 February 2013

MORNING:

Say: My army is My reliance on God; My people, the force of My confidence in Him. My love is My standard, and My companion the remembrance of God, the Sovereign Lord of all, the Most Powerful, the All-Glorious, the Unconditioned.

Arise, O wayfarer in the path of the Love of God, and aid thou His Cause. Say: Barter not away this Youth, O people, for the vanities of this world or the delights of heaven. By the righteousness of the one true God! One hair of Him excelleth all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. Beware, O men, lest ye be tempted to part with Him in exchange for the gold and silver ye possess. Let His love be a storehouse of treasure for your souls, on the Day when naught else but Him shall profit you, the Day when every pillar shall tremble, when the very skins of men shall creep, when all eyes shall stare up with terror. Say: O people! Fear ye God, and turn not away disdainfully from His Revelation. Fall prostrate on your faces before God, and celebrate His praise in the daytime and in the night season.

 

Let thy soul glow with the flame of this undying Fire that burneth in the midmost heart of the world, in such wise that the waters of the universe shall be powerless to cool down its ardor. Make, then, mention of thy Lord, that haply the heedless among Our servants may be admonished through thy words, and the hearts of the righteous be gladdened.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 37

IMG_5473EVENING:

O My servant, who hast sought the good-pleasure of God and clung to His love on the Day when all except a few who were endued with insight have broken away from Him! May God, through His grace, recompense thee with a generous, an incorruptible and everlasting reward, inasmuch as thou hast sought Him on the Day when eyes were blinded. Know thou that if We reveal to thee but a sprinkling of the showers which, through God’s decree, and at the hands of the envious and the malicious, have rained upon Us, thou wouldst weep with a great weeping, and wouldst bewail day and night Our plight. Oh, would that a discerning and fair-minded soul could be found who would recognize the wonders of this Revelation — wonders that proclaim the sovereignty of God and the greatness of its power. Would that such a man might arise and, wholly for the sake of God, admonish, privately and openly, the people, that haply they may bestir themselves and aid this wronged One Whom the workers of iniquity have so sorely afflicted.

Methinks that I hear the Voice of the Holy Spirit calling from behind Me saying: Vary Thou Thy theme, and alter Thy tone, lest the heart of him who hath fixed his gaze upon Thy face be saddened. Say: I have through the grace of God and His might besought the help of no one in the past, neither will I seek the help of any one in the future. He it is Who aided Me, through the power of truth, during the days of My banishment in Iraq. He it is Who overshadowed Me with His protection at a time when the kindreds of the earth were contending with Me. He it is Who enabled Me to depart out of the city, clothed with such majesty as none, except the denier and the malicious, can fail to admit.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 36-37

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

IMG_9263

As forgiveness is one of the attributes of the Merciful One, so also justice is one of the attributes of the Lord. The tent of existence is upheld upon the pillar of justice and not upon forgiveness. The continuance of mankind depends upon justice and not upon forgiveness. So if, at present, the law of pardon were practiced in all countries, in a short time the world would be disordered, and the foundations of human life would crumble. For example, if the governments of Europe had not withstood the notorious Attila, he would not have left a single living man.

Some people are like bloodthirsty wolves: if they see no punishment forthcoming, they will kill men merely for pleasure and diversion. One of the tyrants of Persia killed his tutor merely for the sake of making merry, for mere fun and sport. The famous Mutavakkil, the Abbasid, having summoned his ministers, councillors and functionaries to his presence, let loose a box full of scorpions in the assembly and forbade anyone to move. When the scorpions stung those present, he burst forth into boisterous laughter.

Some Answered Questions, p. 270

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE;  MESSAGE TO THE BAHÁ’Í WORLD 8 FEBRUARY 2013:

IMG_0389

From the panorama of the Baha’i world engaged in earnest activity, one phenomenon strikes us especially:  the decisive contribution made by youth on every continent.  In this phenomenon we see the vindication of the hopes the beloved Guardian invested in them “for the future progress and expansion of the Cause” and of the confidence with which he laid upon their shoulders “all the responsibility for the upkeep of the spirit of selfless service among their fellow-believers”.  We are struck, too, by the number of youth who, after only a brief association with the Baha’i community, commit themselves to meaningful acts of service and quickly discover their affinity with the Faith’s community-building endeavour.  Indeed, in contemplating both the Baha’i youth and their like-minded peers, we cannot but rejoice at their eagerness to take on a measure of responsibility to aid the spiritual and social development of those around them, especially ones younger than themselves.  In an age consumed by self-interest, in which even spiritual affiliation is weighed in the scales of reward and personal satisfaction, it is heartening to encounter individuals from their mid-teens to their twenties- -those upon whom the sights of an aggressive materialism are decidedly trained–who are galvanized by the vision of Baha’u’llah and are ready to put the needs of others before their own.  That such high-minded youth, by dint of their own exertions as well as the momentum they lend to the whole community, should be contributing so effectively to efforts everywhere under way bodes well for the anticipated acceleration of these efforts.

 

8 February ― 2 Mulk   Leave a comment

Over the same period, cumulative instances of political upheaval and economic turmoil on various continents have shaken governments and peoples. Societies have been brought to the brink of revolution, and in notable cases over the edge. Leaders are finding that neither arms nor riches guarantee security. Where the aspirations of the people have gone unfulfilled, a store of indignation has accrued.

IMG_9605

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

Riḍván Message 2011

MORNING:

Hasten, O people, unto the shelter of God, in order that He may protect you from the heat of the Day whereon none shall find for himself any refuge or shelter except beneath the shelter of His Name, the clement, the forgiving! Clothe yourselves, O people, with the garment of assurance, in order that He may protect you from the dart of doubts and superstitions, and that ye may be of those who are assured in those days wherein none shall ever be assured and none shall be firmly established in the Cause, except by severing himself from all that is possessed by the people and turning unto the holy and radiant Outlook….

…then hold the chalice of life in the Name of your Lord, the merciful. Verily, by God, the existent world is quickened through a drop thereof, were ye of those who know.

Say: In that Day there is no refuge for any one save the command of God, and no salvation for any soul but God. Verily, this is the truth and there is naught after truth but manifest error.

Verily, God hath made it incumbent upon every soul to deliver His Cause according to his ability. Thus hath the command been recorded by the finger of might and power upon the Tablet of majesty and greatness.

Whosoever quickens one soul in this Cause is like unto one quickening all the servants and the Lord shall bring him forth in the day of resurrection into the Riḍván of oneness, adorned with the Mantle of Himself, the protector, the mighty, the generous! Thus will ye assist your Lord, and naught else save this shall ever be mentioned in this day before God, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.

As to thee, O servant, hearken unto the admonition given unto thee in the Tablet; then seek the grace of thy Lord at all times. Then spread the Tablet among those who believe in God and in His verses; so that they may follow that which is contained therein, and be of those who are praiseworthy.

—His HolinessBahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Branch

Found in Bahá’í World Faith

EVENING:

Say: Verily a word hath gone forth in favor from the most great Tablet and God has adorned It with the mantle of Himself, and made it sovereign over all in the earth and a sign of His grandeur and omnipotence among the creatures; in order that, through it, the people shall praise their Lord, the mighty, the powerful, the wise; and that, through it, they shall glorify their creator and sanctify the self of God which standeth within all things. Verily, this is naught but a Revelation upon the part of the wise, the ancient One!

Say: O people, praise ye God, for its Manifestation, for verily it is the most great favor upon you and the most perfect blessing upon you; and through Him every moldering bone is quickened. Whosoever turns to Him hath surely turned unto God, and whosoever turneth away from Him hath turned away from My beauty, denied My proof and is of those who transgress. Verily, He is the remembrance of God amongst you and His trust within you, and His manifestation unto you and His appearance among the servants who are nigh. Thus have I been commanded to convey to you the message of God, your Creator; and I have delivered to you that of which I was commanded. Whereupon, thereunto testifieth God, then His angels, then His messengers, and then His holy servants.

Inhale the fragrances of the Riḍván from His roses and be not of those who are deprived. Appreciate the bounty of God upon you and be not veiled therefrom – and, verily, We have sent Him forth in the temple of man. Thus praise ye the Lord, the Originator of whatsoever He willeth through His wise and inviolable Command!

Verily, those who withhold themselves from the shelter of the Branch are indeed lost in the wilderness of perplexity; and are consumed by the heat of self-desire, and are of those who perish.

His HolinessBahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Branch

Found in Bahá’í World Faith

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

O my loving friends! After the passing away of this wronged one, it is incumbent upon the Aghsán (Branches), the Afnán (Twigs) of the Sacred Lote-Tree, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause of God and the loved ones of the Abhá Beauty to turn unto Shoghi Effendi ― the youthful branch branched from the two hallowed and sacred Lote-Trees and the fruit grown from the union of the two offshoots of the Tree of Holiness, ― as he is the sign of God, the chosen branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, he unto whom all the Aghsán, the Afnán, the Hands of the Cause of God and His loved ones must turn. He is the Interpreter of the Word of God and after him will succeed the first-born of his lineal descendants.

The sacred and youthful branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, as well as the Universal House of Justice to be universally elected and established, are both under the care and protection of the Abhá Beauty, under the shelter and unerring guidance of the Exalted One (may my life be offered up for them both). Whatsoever they decide is of God. Whoso obeyeth him not, neither obeyeth them, hath not obeyed God; whoso rebelleth against him and against them hath rebelled against God; whoso opposeth him hath opposed God; whoso contendeth with them hath contended with God; whoso disputeth with him hath disputed with God; whoso denieth him hath denied God; whoso disbelieveth in him hath disbelieved in God; whoso deviateth, separateth himself and turneth aside from him hath in truth deviated, separated himself and turned aside from God. May the wrath, the fierce indignation, the vengeance of God rest upon him! The mighty stronghold shall remain impregnable and safe through obedience to him who is the Guardian of the Cause of God. It is incumbent upon the members of the House of Justice, upon all the Aghsán, the Afnán, the Hands of the Cause of God to show their obedience, submissiveness and subordination unto the Guardian of the Cause of God, to turn unto him and be lowly before him. He that opposeth him hath opposed the True One, will make a breach in the Cause of God, will subvert His Word and will become a manifestation of the Center of Sedition.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá : The Will and Testament

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN

SHOGHI EFFENDI:

Moreover, the country of which it forms a part is passing through a crisis which, in its spiritual, moral, social and political aspects, is of extreme seriousness — a seriousness which to a superficial observer is liable to be dangerously underestimated.

The steady and alarming deterioration in the standard of morality [in North American life] as exemplified by the appalling increase of crime, by political corruption in ever widening and ever higher circles, by the loosening of the sacred ties of marriage, by the inordinate craving for pleasure and diversion, and by the marked and progressive slackening of parental control, is no doubt the most arresting and distressing aspect of the decline that has set in, and can be clearly perceived, in the fortunes of the entire nation.

Parallel with this, and pervading all departments of life — an evil which the nation, and indeed all those within the capitalist system, though to a lesser degree, share with that state and its satellites regarded as the sworn enemies of that system — is the crass materialism, which lays excessive and ever-increasing emphasis on material well-being, forgetful of those things of the spirit on which alone a sure and stable foundation can be laid for human society. It is this same cancerous materialism, born originally in Europe, carried to excess in the North American continent, contaminating the Asiatic peoples and nations, spreading its ominous tentacles to the borders of Africa, and now invading its very heart, which Bahá’u’lláh in unequivocal and emphatic language denounced in His Writings, comparing it to a devouring flame and regarding it as the chief factor in precipitating the dire ordeals and world-shaking crises that must necessarily involve the burning of cities and the spread of terror and consternation in the hearts of men. Indeed a foretaste of the devastation which this consuming fire will wreak upon the world, and with which it will lay waste the cities of the nations participating in this tragic world-engulfing contest, has been afforded by the last World War, marking the second stage in the global havoc which humanity, forgetful of its God and heedless of the clear warnings uttered by His appointed Messenger for this day, must, alas, inevitably experience. It is this same all-pervasive, pernicious materialism against which the voice of the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant was raised, with pathetic persistence, from platform and pulpit, in His addresses to the heedless multitudes, which, on the morrow of His fateful visit to both Europe and America, found themselves suddenly swept into the vortex of a tempest which in its range and severity was unsurpassed in the world’s history.

Citadel of Faith, pp: 124-125

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

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

Over the same period, cumulative instances of political upheaval and economic turmoil on various continents have shaken governments and peoples. Societies have been brought to the brink of revolution, and in notable cases over the edge. Leaders are finding that neither arms nor riches guarantee security. Where the aspirations of the people have gone unfulfilled, a store of indignation has accrued. We recall how pointedly Bahá’u’lláh admonished the rulers of the earth: “Your people are your treasures. Beware lest your rule violate the commandments of God, and ye deliver your wards to the hands of the robber.” A word of caution: No matter how captivating the spectacle of the people’s fervour for change, it must be remembered that there are interests which manipulate the course of events. And, so long as the remedy prescribed by the Divine Physician is not administered, the tribulations of this age will persist and deepen. An attentive observer of the times will readily recognize the accelerated disintegration, fitful but relentless, of a world order lamentably defective.

Yet, discernible too is its counterpart, the constructive process that the Guardian associated with “the nascent Faith of Bahá’u’lláh” and described as “the harbinger of the New World Order that Faith must erelong establish.” Its indirect effects can be seen in the outpouring of feeling, especially from the young, that springs from a longing to contribute to societal development. It is a bounty accorded to the followers of the Ancient Beauty that this longing, which wells up inexorably from the human spirit in every land, is able to find such eloquent expression in the work the Bahá’í community is carrying out to build capacity for effective action amongst the diverse populations of the planet. Can any privilege compare with this?

Ridvan Messages : Ridvan 168 2011

28 December ― 17 Masá’il   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_8987Say: O people…. We have chosen you out of the world to know and recognize Our Self. We have caused you to draw nigh unto the right side of Paradise — the Spot out of which the undying Fire crieth in manifold accents: “There is none other God besides Me, the All-Powerful, the Most High!” Take heed lest ye allow yourselves to be shut out as by a veil from this Day Star that shineth above the dayspring of the Will of your Lord, the All-Merciful, and whose light hath encompassed both the small and the great. Purge your sight, that ye may perceive its glory with your own eyes, and depend not on the sight of any one except your self, for God hath never burdened any soul beyond its power. Thus hath it been sent down unto the Prophets and Messengers of old, and been recorded in all the Scriptures.

Strive, O people, to gain admittance into this vast Immensity for which God ordained neither beginning nor end, in which His voice hath been raised, and over which have been wafted the sweet savors of holiness and glory. Divest not yourselves of the Robe of grandeur, neither suffer your hearts to be deprived of remembering your Lord, nor your ears of hearkening unto the sweet melodies of His wondrous, His sublime, His all-compelling, His clear, and most eloquent voice.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 106-107

 

 EVENING:

IMG_9298O thou who hast fixed thy gaze upon the Dawning-Place of the Cause of God! Know thou for a certainty that the Will of God is not limited by the standards of the people, and God doth not tread in their ways. Rather is it incumbent upon everyone to firmly adhere to God’s straight Path. Were He to pronounce the right to be the left or the south to be the north, He speaketh the truth and there is no doubt of it. Verily He is to be praised in His acts and to be obeyed in His behests. He hath no associate in His judgement nor any helper in His sovereignty. He doeth whatsoever He willeth and ordaineth whatsoever He pleaseth. Know thou moreover that all else besides Him have been created through the potency of a word from His presence, while of themselves they have no motion nor stillness, except at His bidding and by His leave.

O thou who soarest in the atmosphere of love and fellowship and hast fixed thy gaze upon the light of the countenance of thy Lord, the King of creation! Render thanks unto God, inasmuch as He hath unravelled for thee that which was hidden and enshrined in His knowledge so that everyone may become aware that within His realm of supreme infallibility He hath not taken a partner nor a counsellor unto Himself. He is in truth the Dayspring of divine precepts and commandments and the Fountainhead of knowledge and wisdom, while all else besides Him are but His subjects and under His rule, and He is the supreme Ruler, the Ordainer, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 109-110

 

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

Today, directing mankind in the right path is the magnet which will attract to us the help of God. All those who consecrate themselves to this work are accompanied by divine protection. Thus, rely upon God and address thy supplications to the Most High. Then, after perfect renunciation, care for the souls of the undirected and negligent. I pray that thou mayest be aided and strengthened…

…O thou who art seeking for the Power of the Holy Spirit!

The reality of man is like unto a sea, and the Holy Power is like unto brilliant pearls. Not until the sea moveth in waves doth it throw a shell of pearls upon the shore. Therefore if thou wishest to become heavenly, cut thy attention from the earth; that is, cease to attach thy heart unto this world and seek connection with or attachment to the Kingdom and turn unto God. And when thou doest this, thou wilt become the mercy of God and a gift of the Almighty.

Tablets of `Abdu’l-Bahá, V2, p. 326

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN , SHOGHI EFFENDI:

IMG_7937From such clear and formally laid down statements, incompatible as they are with any assertion of a claim to Prophethood, we should not by any means infer that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is merely one of the servants of the Blessed Beauty, or at best one whose function is to be confined to that of an authorized interpreter of His Father’s teachings. Far be it from me to entertain such a notion or to wish to instill such sentiments. To regard Him in such a light is a manifest betrayal of the priceless heritage bequeathed by Bahá’u’lláh to mankind. Immeasurably exalted is the station conferred upon Him by the Supreme Pen above and beyond the implications of these, His own written statements. Whether in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas, the most weighty and sacred of all the works of Bahá’u’lláh, or in the Kitáb-i-‘Ahd, the Book of His Covenant, or in the Suriy-i-Ghusn (Tablet of the Branch), such references as have been recorded by the pen of Bahá’u’lláh — references which the Tablets of His Father addressed to Him mightily reinforce — invest ‘Abdu’l-Bahá with a power, and surround Him with a halo, which the present generation can never adequately appreciate.

He is, and should for all time be regarded, first and foremost, as the Center and Pivot of Bahá’u’lláh’s peerless and all-enfolding Covenant, His most exalted handiwork, the stainless Mirror of His light, the perfect Exemplar of His teachings, the unerring Interpreter of His Word, the embodiment of every Bahá’í ideal, the incarnation of every Bahá’í virtue, the Most Mighty Branch sprung from the Ancient Root, the Limb of the Law of God, the Being “round Whom all names revolve,” the Mainspring of the Oneness of Humanity, the Ensign of the Most Great Peace, the Moon of the Central Orb of this most holy Dispensation — styles and titles that are implicit and find their truest, their highest and fairest expression in the magic name ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He is, above and beyond these appellations, the “Mystery of God” — an expression by which Bahá’u’lláh Himself has chosen to designate Him, and which, while it does not by any means justify us to assign to Him the station of Prophethood, indicates how in the person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the incompatible characteristics of a human nature and superhuman knowledge and perfection have been blended and are completely harmonized.

The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 133-134

14 September ― 7 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

“There is no difference between countries,” is ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s testimony in one of those Tablets. “The future of the Dominion of Canada, however, is very great, and the events connected with it infinitely glorious. It shall become the object of the glance of Providence, and shall show forth the bounties of the All-Glorious.” “Again I repeat,” He, in that same Tablet affirms, “that the future of Canada is very great, whether from a material or a spiritual standpoint…. The clouds of the Kingdom will water the seeds of guidance which have been sown there.”

The Beloved Guardian of the Cause 

Shoghi Effendi

quoting Abdu’l-Bahá

Citidel of Faith, p. 13

MORNING:

The angels and the spirits, arrayed rank upon rank, descend, by the leave of God, upon this Gate 1 and circle round this Focal Point in a far-stretching line. Greet them with salutations, O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn, for the dawn hath indeed broken; then proclaim unto the concourse of the faithful: ‘Is not the rising of the Morn, foreshadowed in the Mother Book, to be near at hand? 2 …’

O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn! Turn Thou eagerly unto God in Thy Cause, for the peoples of the world have risen in iniquity, and but for the outpouring of the grace of God and Thy mercy unto them, no one could purge even a single soul for evermore. 3 O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn! The life to come is indeed far more advantageous unto Thee and unto such as follow Thy Cause than this earthly life and its pleasures. This is what hath been foreordained according to the dispensations of Providence…

O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn! Say: Verily I am the ‘Gate of God’ and I give you to drink, by the leave of God, the sovereign Truth, of the crystal-pure waters of His Revelation which are gushing out from the incorruptible Fountain situate upon the Holy Mount. And those who earnestly strive after the One True God, let them then strive to attain this Gate. 4 Verily God is potent over all things…

O peoples of the earth! Give ear unto God’s holy Voice proclaimed by this Arabian Youth Whom the Almighty hath graciously chosen for His Own Self. He is indeed none other than the True One, Whom God hath entrusted with this Mission from the midst of the Burning Bush. O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn! Unravel what Thou pleasest from the secrets of the All-Glorious, for the ocean is surging high 5 at the behest of the incomparable Lord.

 

.

1.

cf. Qur’án 78:38

2.

cf. Qur’án 11:83

3.

cf. Qur’án 24:21

4.

cf. Qur’án 83:25–26

5.

Qur’án 52:6

His Holiness The Báb

Qayyúmu’l-Asmá, Chapter XXIV

Selections From the Writings of the Báb, Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 lightweight edition, pp: 50-51

EVENING:

O QURRATU’L-‘AYN! Stretch not Thy hands wide open in the Cause, inasmuch as the people would find themselves in a state of stupor by reason of the Mystery, and I swear by the true, Almighty God that there is yet for Thee another turn after this Dispensation.

And when the appointed hour hath struck, do Thou, by the leave of God, the All-Wise, reveal from the heights of the Most Lofty and Mystic Mount a faint, an infinitesimal glimmer of Thy impenetrable Mystery, that they who have recognized the radiance of the Sinaic Splendour may faint away and die as they catch a lightning glimpse of the fierce and crimson Light that envelops Thy Revelation. And God is, in very truth, Thine unfailing Protector.

His Holiness The Báb

Qayyúmu’l-Asmá, Chapter XXVIII

Selections From the Writings of the Báb, Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 lightweight edition, pp: 50-51

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

It is known and clear that today the unseen divine assistance encompasseth those who deliver the Message. And if the work of delivering the Message be neglected, the assistance shall be entirely cut off, for it is impossible that the friends of God could receive assistance unless they be engaged in delivering the Message. Under all conditions the Message must be delivered, but with wisdom. If it be not possible openly, it must be done quietly. The friends should be engaged in educating the souls and should become instruments in aiding the world of humanity to acquire spiritual joy and fragrance. For example: If every one of the friends were to establish relations of friendship and right dealings with one of the negligent souls, associate and live with him with perfect kindliness, and meanwhile through good conduct and moral behavior lead him to divine instruction, to heavenly advice and teachings, surely he would gradually arouse that negligent person and would change his ignorance into knowledge. 

 

Souls are liable to estrangement. Such methods should be adopted that the estrangement should be first removed, then the Word will have effect.

 

If one of the believers be kind to one of the negligent ones and with perfect love should gradually make him understand the reality of the Cause of God in such a way that the latter should know in what manner the Religion of God hath been founded and what its object is, doubtless he will become changed; excepting abnormal souls who are reduced to the state of ashes and whose hearts are like stones, yea, even harder.

 

If by this method every one of the friends of God were to try to lead one soul to the right path, the number of the believers would be doubled every year. But this should be carried out with perfect wisdom and in such a manner that no harm would ever result therefrom.

 

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 385-386

11 September ― 4 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

There can be no doubt whatever that with every turn of the wheel, as a result of the operation of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Plan, and with every extension in the range of its evolution, a responsibility of still greater gravity and of wider import will have to be shouldered by its divinely chosen executors wherever its ramifications may extend and however oppressive the state of the countries and continents in which they may have to labor. They must strive, ceaselessly strive, ready for any emergency, steeled to meet any degree of opposition, unsatisfied with any measure of progress as yet achieved, prepared to make sacrifices far exceeding any they have already willingly made, and confident that such striving, such readiness, such resolution, such high-mindedness, such sacrifice will earn them the palm of a victory still more soul-satisfying and resounding in its magnificence than any as yet won since the inception of their mission.

 

The Beloved Guardian of the Cause of God Shoghi Effendi

Citadel of Faith, pp: 62-63

 

 

 

MORNING:

The Third Valley

If the loving seekers wish to live within the precincts of the Attracting One (Majdhúb),1 no soul may dwell on this Kingly Throne save the beauty of love. This realm is not to be pictured in words.

 

Love shunneth this world and that world too,
In him are lunacies seventy-and-two.
The minstrel of love harpeth this lay:
Servitude enslaveth, kingship doth betray.2

 

This plane requireth pure affection and the bright stream of fellowship. In telling of these companions of the Cave He saith: “They speak not till He hath spoken; and they do His bidding.”3

 

On this plane, neither the reign of reason is sufficient nor the authority of self. Hence, one of the Prophets of God hath asked: “O my Lord, how shall we reach unto Thee?” And the answer came, “Leave thyself behind, and then approach Me.”

 

 

These are a people who deem the lowest place to be one with the throne of glory, and to them beauty’s bower differeth not from the field of a battle fought in the cause of the Beloved.

 

 

The denizens of this plane speak no words—but they gallop their chargers. They see but the inner reality of the Beloved. To them all words of sense are meaningless, and senseless words are full of meaning. They cannot tell one limb from another, one part from another. To them the mirage is the real river; to them going away is returning. Wherefore hath it been said:

 

The story of Thy beauty reached the hermit’s dell;
Crazed, he sought the Tavern where the wine they buy and sell.
The love of Thee hath leveled down the fort of patience,
The pain of Thee hath firmly barred the gate of hope as well.4

 

In this realm, instruction is assuredly of no avail.

The lover’s teacher is the Loved One’s beauty,
His face their lesson and their only book.
Learning of wonderment, of longing love their duty,
Not on learned chapters and dull themes they look.
The chain that binds them is His musky hair,
The Cyclic Scheme,5 to them, is but to Him a stair.6

 

Here followeth a supplication to God, the Exalted, the Glorified:

 

 

O Lord! O Thou Whose bounty granteth wishes!
I stand before Thee, all save Thee forgetting.
Grant that the mote of knowledge in my spirit
Escape desire and the lowly clay;
Grant that Thine ancient gift, this drop of wisdom,
Merge with Thy mighty sea.7

 

Thus do I say: There is no power or might save in God, the Protector, the Self-Subsistent.8

 

 

1.

That attribute of God which draws all creatures to Him

2.

The Mathnaví

3.

Qur’án 21:27

4.

Sa’dí

5.

The Cyclic Theory of Abú-‘Alí Síná (Avicenna—980–1037) as expressed by him in the quatrain:

Every semblance, every shape that perisheth today
In the treasure-house of Time is safely stored away.
When the world revolveth to its former place,
Out of the Invisible He draweth forth its face.

See also Some Answered Questions, p. 284

6.

The Mathnaví

7.

Ibid

8.

From Qur’án 18:37

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 55-59

 

EVENING:

   
The Fourth Valley   
If the mystic knowers be of those who have reached to the beauty of the Beloved One (Mahbúb), this station is the apex of consciousness and the secret of divine guidance. This is the center of the mystery: “He doth what He willeth, ordaineth what He pleaseth.” 1   
Were all the denizens of earth and heaven to unravel this shining allusion, this darksome riddle, until the Day when the Trumpet soundeth, yet would they fail to comprehend even a letter thereof, for this is the station of God’s immutable decree, His foreordained mystery. Hence, when searchers inquired of this, He made reply, “This is a bottomless sea which none shall ever fathom.” 2 And they asked again, and He answered, “It is the blackest of nights through which none can find his way.”    
Whoso knoweth this secret will assuredly hide it, and were he to reveal but its faintest trace they would nail him to the cross. Yet, by the Living God, were there any true seeker, I would divulge it to him; for they have said: “Love is a light that never dwelleth in a heart possessed by fear.”    
Verily, the wayfarer who journeyeth unto God, unto the Crimson Pillar in the snow-white path, will never reach unto his heavenly goal unless he abandoneth all that men possess: “And if he feareth not God, God will make him to fear all things; whereas all things fear him who feareth God.” 3   
Speak in the Persian tongue, though the Arab please thee more;
A lover hath many a tongue at his command. 4 
 
How sweet is this couplet which revealeth such a truth:    
See, our hearts come open like shells, when He raineth grace like pearls,
And our lives are ready targets, when agony’s arrows He hurls.  
 
And were it not contrary to the Law of the Book, I would verily bequeath a part of My possessions to the one who would put Me to death, and I would name him My heir; yea, I would bestow upon him a portion, would render him thanks, would seek to refresh Mine eyes with the touch of his hand. But what can I do? I have no possessions, no power, and this is what God hath ordained. 5   
Methinks at this moment, I catch the fragrance of His garment 6 blowing from the Egypt of Bahá; 7 verily He seemeth near at hand, though men may think Him far away. 8 My soul doth smell the perfume shed by the Beloved One; My sense is filled with the fragrance of My dear Companion.  

The duty of long years of love obey
And tell the tale of happy days gone by,
That land and sky may laugh aloud today,
And it may gladden mind and heart and eye. 9

 

 
This is the realm of full awareness, of utter self-effacement. Even love is no pathway to this region, and longing hath no dwelling here; wherefore is it said, “Love is a veil betwixt the lover and the beloved.” Here love becometh an obstruction and a barrier, and all else save Him is but a curtain. The wise Saná’í hath written:   
Never the covetous heart shall come to the stealer of hearts,
Never the shrouded soul unite with beauty’s rose.  
 
For this is the realm of Absolute Command and is free of all the attributes of earth.    
The exalted dwellers in this mansion do wield divine authority in the court of rapture, with utter gladness, and they do bear a kingly sceptre. On the high seats of justice, they issue their commands, and they send down gifts according to each man’s deserving. Those who drink of this cup abide in the high bowers of splendor above the Throne of the Ancient of Days, and they sit in the Empyrean of Might within the Lofty Pavilion: “Naught shall they know of sun or piercing cold.” 10    
Herein the high heavens are in no conflict with the lowly earth, nor do they seek to excel it, for this is the land of mercy, not the realm of distinction. Albeit at every moment these souls appear in a new office, yet their condition is ever the same. Wherefore of this realm it is written, “No work withholdeth Him from another.” 11 And of another state it is said: “Every day doth some new work employ Him.” 12 This is the food whose savor changeth not, whose color altereth not. If thou eatest thereof, thou shalt verily chant this verse: “I turn my face to Him Who hath created the Heavens and the earth … I am not one of those who add gods to God.” 13 “And thus did we show Abraham the Kingdom of the Heavens and of the Earth, that He might be established in knowledge.” 14 Wherefore, put thy hand into thy bosom, then stretch it forth with power, and behold, thou shalt find it a light unto all the world.” 15   
How crystal this cool water that the Cup-Bearer bringeth! How bright this pure wine in the hands of the Beloved! How delicate this draught from the Heavenly Cup! May it do them good, whoso drink thereof, and taste of its sweetness and attain to its knowledge.    

It is not fitting that I tell thee more,
For the stream’s bed cannot hold the sea. 16

 

 

 
For the mystery of this utterance is hid within the storehouse of the Great Infallibility 17 and laid up in the treasuries of power. It is sanctified above the jewels of explanation; it is beyond what the most subtle of tongues can tell.   
Astonishment here is highly prized, and utter poverty essential. Wherefore hath it been said, “Poverty is My pride.” 18 And again: “God hath a people beneath the dome of glory, whom He hideth in the clothing of radiant poverty.” 19 These are they who see with His eyes, hear with His ears, as it is written in the well-known tradition.  
Concerning this realm, there is many a tradition and many a verse, of broad or special relevancy, but two of these will suffice to serve as a light for men of mind and heart. 
The first is His statement: “O My Servant! Obey Me and I shall make thee like unto Myself. I say ‘Be,’ and it is, and thou shalt say ‘Be,’ and it shall be.”  
And the second: “O Son of Adam! Seek fellowship with none until thou hast found Me, and whenever thou shalt long for Me, thou shalt find Me close to thee.”   
Whatever high proofs and wondrous allusions are recounted herein, concern but a single Letter, a single Point. “Such hath been the way of God … and no change canst thou find in the way of God.” 20

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 60-69

 
 

1.

Qur’án 2:254; 5:1, etc

 
 

2.

Statement attributed to ‘Alí

 
 

3.

This quotation is in Arabic

 
 

4.

The Mathnaví

 
 

5.

This was revealed before the Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh. The lines following refer to the imminence of His Manifestation

 
 

6.

Literally, the garment of Ha’, which is the letter “H” and here represents Bahá.

 
 

7.

This reference is to the story of Joseph in the Qur’án and the Bible.

 
 

8.

This refers to those who did not expect the imminent advent of Him Whom God Shall Manifest.

 
 

9.

The Mathnaví

 
 

10.

Qur’án 76:13

 
 

11.

This quotation is from one of the commentators on Qur’án 55:29. Cf. the dictionary Lisánu’l-‘Arab

 
 

12.

Qur’án 55:29

 
 

13.

Qur’án 6:79

 
 

14.

Qur’án 6:75

 
 

15.

Cf. Qur’án 7:105 etc., and Hadíth

 
 

16.

The Mathnaví

 
 

17.

Ismat-i-Kubrá, the invariable attribute of the Divine Manifestation

 
 

18.

Muḥammad

 
 

19.

Hadíth

 
 

20.

Qur’án 33:62; 48:23.  

 
           

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 57-64

30 April ― 3 Jamál ― THE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

30 April ― 3 Jamál THE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN

 


How glad we are to see that this endeavour is being vigorously advanced
across the far-flung regions of the globe, and in a diversity of circumstances
and settings, in clusters already numbering some three thousand. Many clusters
are at a point where momentum is being generated through the implementation
of a few simple lines of action. In others, after successive cycles of activity,
the number of individuals taking initiative within the framework of the Plan
has increased and the pitch of activity intensified; as the quality of the
process of spiritual education is enhanced through experience, souls are more
readily attracted to participate in it. From time to time, there may be a lull
in activity or an obstacle to the way forward; searching consultation on the
reasons for the impasse, combined with patience, courage, and perseverance,
enables momentum to be regained. In more and more clusters, the programme
of growth is increasing in scope and complexity, commensurate with the rising
capacity of the Plan’s three protagonists–the individual, the community, and
the institutions of the Faith–to create a mutually supportive environment.
And we are delighted that, as anticipated, there are a growing number of
clusters where a hundred or more individuals are now facilitating the
engagement of a thousand or more in weaving a pattern of life, spiritual,
dynamic, transformative. Underlying the process even from the start is, of
course, a collective movement towards the vision of material and spiritual
prosperity set forth by Him Who is the Lifegiver of the World. But when such
large numbers are involved, the movement of an entire population becomes
discernible.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2014

MORNING:

O people of the earth! By the righteousness of the One true God, I am the Maid of Heaven begotten by the Spirit of Bahá, abiding within the Mansion hewn out of a mass of ruby, tender and vibrant; and in this mighty Paradise naught have I ever witnessed save that which proclaimeth the Remembrance of God by extolling the virtues of this Arabian Youth. Verily there is none other God but your Lord, the All-Merciful. Magnify ye, then, His station, for behold, He is poised in the midmost heart of the All-Highest Paradise as the embodiment of the praise of God in the Tabernacle wherein His glorification is intoned.

At one time I hear His Voice as He acclaimeth Him Who is the Ever-Living, the Ancient of Days, and at another time as He speaketh of the mystery of His most august Name. And when He intoneth the anthems of the greatness of God all Paradise waileth in its longing to gaze on His Beauty, and when He chanteth words of praise and glorification of God all Paradise becomes motionless like unto ice locked in the heart of a frost-bound mountain. Methinks I visioned Him moving along a straight middle path wherein every paradise was His Own paradise, every heaven His Own heaven, while the whole earth and all that is therein appeared but as a ring upon the finger of His servants. Glorified be God, His Creator, the Lord of everlasting sovereignty. Verily He is none other but the servant of God, the Gate of the Remnant of God your Lord, the Sovereign Truth.

 

— His Holiness The Báb

Qayyúmu’l-Asmá, Chapter XXIX

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 54-55

 

EVENING:

Have ye denied the One in Whose path He Who came with the truth, bearing the announcement of your Lord, the Exalted, the Great, suffered martyrdom? Say: This is an Announcement whereat the hearts of the Prophets and Messengers have rejoiced. This is the One Whom the heart of the world remembereth and is promised in the Books of God, the Mighty, the All-Wise. The hands of the Messengers were, in their desire to meet Me, upraised towards God, the Mighty, the Glorified…. Some lamented in their separation from Me, others endured hardships in My path, and still others laid down their lives for the sake of My Beauty, could ye but know it. Say: I, verily, have not sought to extol Mine Own Self, but rather God Himself were ye to judge fairly. Naught can be seen in Me except God and His Cause, could ye but perceive it. I am the One Whom the tongue of Isaiah hath extolled, the One with Whose name both the Torah and the Evangel were adorned…. Blessed be the king whose sovereignty hath withheld him not from his Sovereign, and who hath turned unto God with his heart. He, verily, is accounted of those that have attained unto that which God, the Mighty, the All-Wise hath willed. Ere long will such a one find himself numbered with the monarchs of the realms of the Kingdom. Thy Lord is, in truth, potent over all things. He giveth what He willeth to whomsoever He willeth, and withholdeth what He pleaseth from whomsoever He willeth. He, verily, is the All-Powerful, the Almighty.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Proclamation of Baha’u’llah, p. 29-30

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHOGHI EFFENDI:

 

Of the exact circumstances attending that epoch-making Declaration we, alas, are but scantily informed. The words Bahá’u’lláh actually uttered on that occasion, the manner of His Declaration, the reaction it produced, its impact on Mirza Yahya, the identity of those who were privileged to hear Him, are shrouded in an obscurity which future historians will find it difficult to penetrate. The fragmentary description left to posterity by His chronicler Nabil is one of the very few authentic records we possess of the memorable days He spent in that garden. “Every day,” Nabil has related, “ere the hour of dawn, the gardeners would pick the roses which lined the four avenues of the garden, and would pile them in the center of the floor of His blessed tent. So great would be the heap that when His companions gathered to drink their morning tea in His presence, they would be unable to see each other across it. All these roses Bahá’u’lláh would, with His own hands, entrust to those whom He dismissed from His presence every morning to be delivered, on His behalf, to His Arab and Persian friends in the city.” “One night,” he continues, “the ninth night of the waxing moon, I happened to be one of those who watched beside His blessed tent. As the hour of midnight approached, I saw Him issue from His tent, pass by the places where some of His companions were sleeping, and begin to pace up and down the moonlit, flower-bordered avenues of the garden. So loud was the singing of the nightingales on every side that only those who were near Him could hear distinctly His voice. He continued to walk until, pausing in the midst of one of these avenues, He observed: ‘Consider these nightingales. So great is their love for these roses, that sleepless from dusk till dawn, they warble their melodies and commune with burning passion with the object of their adoration. How then can those who claim to be afire with the rose-like beauty of the Beloved choose to sleep?’ For three successive nights I watched and circled round His blessed tent. Every time I passed by the couch whereon He lay, I would find Him wakeful, and every day, from morn till eventide, I would see Him ceaselessly engaged in conversing with the stream of visitors who kept flowing in from Baghdad. Not once could I discover in the words He spoke any trace of dissimulation.”

God Passes By, p. 152

21 April ― 13 Jalál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

O Aḥmad! Forget not My bounties while I am absent. Remember My days during thy days, and My distress and banishment in this remote prison. And be thou so steadfast in My love that thy heart shall not waver, even if the swords of the enemies rain blows upon thee and all the heavens and the earth arise against thee.

Be thou as a flame of fire to My enemies and a river of life eternal to My loved ones, and be not of those who doubt.

And if thou art overtaken by affliction in My path, or degradation for My sake, be not thou troubled thereby.

Rely upon God, thy God and the Lord of thy fathers. For the people are wandering in the paths of delusion, bereft of discernment to see God with their own eyes, or hear His Melody with their own ears. Thus have We found them, as thou also dost witness.

Thus have their superstitions become veils between them and their own hearts and kept them from the path of God, the Exalted, the Great.

Be thou assured in thyself that verily, he who turns away from this Beauty hath also turned away from the Messengers of the past and showeth pride towards God from all eternity to all eternity.

Learn well this Tablet, O Aḥmad. Chant it during thy days and withhold not thyself therefrom. For verily, God hath ordained for the one who chants it, the reward of a hundred martyrs and a service in both worlds. These favors have We bestowed upon thee as a bounty on Our part and a mercy from Our presence, that thou mayest be of those who are grateful.

By God! Should one who is in affliction or grief read this Tablet with absolute sincerity, God will dispel his sadness, solve his difficulties and remove his afflictions.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of Aḥmad

 

EVENING:

13. O SON OF SPIRIT!

I created thee rich, why dost thou bring thyself down to poverty? Noble I made thee, wherewith dost thou abase thyself? Out of the essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from anyone beside Me? Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy thyself with another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.

14. O SON OF MAN!

Thou art My dominion and My dominion perisheth not; wherefore fearest thou thy perishing? Thou art My light and My light shall never be extinguished; why dost thou dread extinction? Thou art My glory and My glory fadeth not; thou art My robe and My robe shall never be outworn. Abide then in thy love for Me, that thou mayest find Me in the realm of glory.

15. O SON OF UTTERANCE!

Turn thy face unto Mine and renounce all save Me; for My sovereignty endureth and My dominion perisheth not. If thou seekest another than Me, yea, if thou searchest the universe for evermore, thy quest will be in vain.

16. O SON OF LIGHT!

Forget all save Me and commune with My spirit. This is of the essence of My command, therefore turn unto it.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

 

The Arabic Hidden Words

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

Question: How shall we determine the truth or error of certain biblical interpretation, as, for instance, the higher criticism and other present-day Christian teachings?

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Your question is an abstruse and important one. Complete answer to it would require a long time. I will reply to it briefly. The only true Explainer of the Book of God is the Holy Spirit, for no two minds are alike, no two can comprehend alike, no two can speak alike. That is to say, from the mere human standpoint of interpretation there could be neither truth nor agreement.

Question: Do you approve of the new thought in which the control of mind over matter is the central principle?

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Philosophy develops the mind. Christ and the Word of God are revealed through the Spirit. Plato says, “The mental conclusions are so and so.” Christ says, “Be led of the Spirit.”

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp: 212-213

 

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE BAHÁ’Í FAITH,

SHOGHI EFFENDI:

Dynamics of Prayer.

While in Haifa, the beloved Guardian of the Cause gave to the writer (Mrs Ruth Moffat), the most concise, complete, and effective formula she has ever seen, for the Dynamics of Prayer. After saying to stress the need of more prayers and meditation among the friends, he said to use these five steps if we had a problem of any kind for which we desired a solution or wished help.

First Step. – Pray and meditate about it. Use the prayers of the

Manifestations as they have the greatest power. Then remain in the silence of

contemplation for a few minutes.

Second Step. – Arrive at a decision and hold this. This decision

is usually born during the contemplation. It may seem almost

impossible of accomplishment but if it seems to be as answer to a prayer or

a way of solving the problem, then immediately take the next step.

Third Step. – Have determination to carry the decision through.

Many fail here. The decision, budding into determination, is blighted

and instead becomes a wish or a vague longing. When determination is

born, immediately take the next step. 

Fourth Step. – Have faith and confidence that the power will

flow through you, the right way will appear, the door will open, the

right thought, the right message, the right principle or the right

book will be given you. Have confidence, and the right thing will

come to your need. Then, as you rise from prayer, take at once the

fifth step.

Fifth Step. – Then, he said, lastly, ACT; Act as though it had

all been answered. Then act with tireless, ceaseless energy. And as

you act, you, yourself, will become a magnet, which will attract

more power to your being, until you become an unobstructed channel

for the Divine power to flow through you. Many pray but do not

remain for the last half of the first step. Some who meditate arrive at

a decision, but fail to hold it. Few have the determination to

carry the decision through, still fewer have the confidence that the

right thing will come to their need. But how many remember to act as

though it had all been answered? How true are those words – “Greater

than the prayer is the spirit in which it is uttered” and greater

than the way it is uttered is the spirit in which it is carried out.

 

The above statement belongs properly to the class of statement known as “pilgrim’s notes” and as such as no authority but, since it seems to be particularly helpful and clear, it was felt that believers should not be deprived of it.

Principles of Bahá’í Administration, pp: 90-91