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9 September ― 2 ‘Izzat MORNING:   Leave a comment

The 105th Anniversary of the Visit of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to

Montréal, Québec, Canada

9 September 1912

Likewise, you must be engaged day and night, with all your soul and heart, in thanksgiving and in the glorification of His Highness the Desired One who hath created you in such a glorious period, made you the manifestors of guidance in the Day of the Lord, imparted to you the insight and enkindled your souls and spirits with the fire of love. Today the grandeur, the majesty, the splendor and the magnitude of this station is not clear and manifest because it is the time of seed-sowing and the beginning of the planting of trees in the orchard of the Merciful One. When that seed is grown and the tree reacheth the time of its fruition, then many harvests shall be gathered and all regions and kingdoms shall be adorned with its blossoms and fruits.

Ere long the Adored One of this providence will become the Beloved of the assemblages of the world and the rays of the Sun of Truth will illumine every house, every place and corner. At that time the greatness and superiority of the friends of God will become evident and demonstrated.

Consider ye! In the day of His Highness Christ, the grandeur and majesty of their Holiness the Apostles, was not known. After three-hundred years the loftiness of the station and the exaltation of their attainment became manifest. Ere long the result of the deeds in this cycle of Bahá’u’lláh will appear and every one of the friends and the maid-servants will be crowned with a diadem whose splendid gems will radiate brilliancy and effulgence throughout cycles and ages.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp: 531-532

 

MORNING:

How often have they expected His coming, how frequently have they prayed that the breeze of divine mercy might blow, and the promised Beauty step forth from behind the veil of concealment, and be made manifest to all the world. And whensoever the portals of grace did open, and the clouds of divine bounty did rain upon mankind, and the light of the Unseen did shine above the horizon of celestial might, they all denied Him, and turned away from His face — the face of God Himself. Refer ye, to verify this truth, to that which hath been recorded in every sacred Book.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Book of Certitude

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 4

EVENING:

The universe is pregnant with these manifold bounties, awaiting the hour when the effects of Its unseen gifts will be made manifest in this world, when the languishing and sore athirst will attain the living Kawthar of their Well-Beloved, and the erring wanderer, lost in the wilds of remoteness and nothingness, will enter the tabernacle of life, and attain reunion with his heart’s desire. In the soil of whose heart will these holy seeds germinate? From the garden of whose soul will the blossoms of the invisible realities spring forth? Verily, I say, so fierce is the blaze of the Bush of love, burning in the Sinai of the heart, that the streaming waters of holy utterance can never quench its flame. Oceans can never allay this Leviathan’s burning thirst, and this Phoenix of the undying fire can abide nowhere save in the glow of the countenance of the Well-Beloved. Therefore, O brother! kindle with the oil of wisdom the lamp of the spirit within the innermost chamber of thy heart, and guard it with the globe of understanding, that the breath of the infidel may extinguish not its flame nor dim its brightness. Thus have We illuminated the heavens of utterance with the splendours of the Sun of divine wisdom and understanding, that thy heart may find peace, that thou mayest be of those who, on the wings of certitude, have soared unto the heaven of the love of their Lord, the All-Merciful.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Book of Certitude

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp: 60-61

FROM THE BELOVED GARDIAN OF THE CAUSE, SHOGHI EFFENDI:

The youthful and eager workers for the Cause in Montreal occupy a warm place in my heart. I will remember their hopes, their plans, their activities in my hours of prayer at the Holy Shrine. I urge them to study profoundly the revealed utterances of Bahá’u’lláh and the discourses of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and not to rely unduly on the representation and interpretation of the Teachings given by Bahá’í speakers and teachers. May the Almighty sustain you and guide you in your work.

(In the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi, appended to a letter dated 20 March 1929 written on his behalf to an individual believer)

The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 206

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31August ― 12 Asmá’   Leave a comment

The 105th Anniversary of the Visit of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

to Montréal, Québec, Canada in 1912

O ye friends of ‘Abdu’l-Baha! †

While reading your names I opened my tongue in thanksgiving in the Threshold of Oneness, that he hath granted such favor and bestowed such providence. He guided the souls and pointed out to them the entrance to the Kingdom. Such confirmation deserveth thanks and praise, and such guidance is the most great bounty of His Highness the One.

Likewise, you must be engaged day and night, with all your soul and heart, in thanksgiving and in the glorification of His Highness the Desired One who hath created you in such a glorious period, made you the manifestors of guidance in the Day of the Lord, imparted to you the insight and enkindled your souls and spirits with the fire of love. Today the grandeur, the majesty, the splendor and the magnitude of this station is not clear and manifest because it is the time of seed-sowing and  the beginning of the planting of trees in the orchard of the Merciful One. When that seed is grown and the tree reacheth the time of its fruition, then many harvests shall be gathered and all regions and kingdoms shall be adorned with its blossoms and fruits.

Ere long the Adored One of this providence will become the Beloved of the assemblages of the world and the rays of the Sun of Truth will illumine every house, every place and corner. At that time the greatness and superiority of the friends of God will become evident and demonstrated.

Consider ye! In the day of His Highness Christ, the grandeur and majesty of their Holiness the Apostles, was not known. After three-hundred years the loftiness of the station and the exaltation of their attainment became manifest. Ere long the result of the deeds in this cycle of Bahá’u’lláh will appear and every one of the friends and the maid-servants will be crowned with a diadem whose splendid gems will radiate brilliancy and effulgence throughout cycles and ages.

Therefore, O ye servants of God and the maid-servants of the Merciful One, do ye not rest for one moment! Do ye not seek any composure! Do ye not wish for any rest and ease! endeavor and make ye an effort with all your heart and soul to spread the fragrances of Paradise, to raise the eternal melody of the Kingdom of Abhá, to establish the gathering of fellowship, to become assisted with the confirmations of the Holy Spirit; to clothe the temple of existence with a new garment; to bestow eternal life upon the reality of souls; to become a cause of the civilization of the human world; to characterize the bloodthirsty animals with the heavenly attributes and divine commemorations; to pacify the world with peace and salvation, and to adorn man with the favors of His Highness the Merciful One; that perchance ignorance, animosity and strangeness may be removed entirely from among the denizens of the world, and the Banner of Reconciliation, Freedom, Nobleness and Oneness be hoisted; for the chains of existence contain countless links, each connected with the other. This connection is the cause of the appearance of the invisible powers of the world of the visible.

O ye real friends! Make ye an effort that this universe may become another universe and this darkened world find a ray of the Sun of Truth and become luminous and refulgent.

I entreat God that this favor may be realized and this unending outpouring become manifest and apparent, and the friends of God be confirmed by every bounty.

† To the Montreal (Canada) assembly

His Holiness. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, pp: 531-533

 

‘Abdu’l-Bahá arrived in Montréal, Québec, Canada in 1912, one hundred and five years ago this evening.  He was greeted by the Friends at Windsor Station and went immediately to what was then the Maxwell Home and is now the only Bahá’í Shrine in the Western Hemisphere.

 

The Bahá’í Shrine in Montreal, Quebec

 

MORNING:

Say: Verily, the ocean of pre-existence hath branched forth from this most great Ocean. Blessed, therefore, is he who abides upon Its shores, and is of those who are established thereon. Verily, this most sacred temple of Abhá – the branch of Holiness† – hath branched forth from the Sadratu’l-Muntahá. Blessed is whosoever sought shelter beneath it and is of those who rest therein.

Say: Verily, the branch of command hath sprung forth from this root which God hath firmly planted in the ground of the will, the limb of which has been elevated to a station which encompasses all existence. Therefore, exalted be He for this creation, the lofty, the blessed, the inaccessible, the mighty!

†The Master, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Branch

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 204-205

‘Abdu’l-Bahá

EVENING:

Inhale the fragrances of the Ridván 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.

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.

†The Master, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Tablet of the Branch

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 205-206

 

9 August ― 9 Kamál   Leave a comment

“We pray that, out of His bounty – exalted be He – He may release, through this imprisonment, the necks of men from chains and fetters, and cause them to turn, with sincere face towards His Face, Who is the Mighty, the Bounteous. Ready is He to answer whosoever calleth upon Him, and nigh is He unto such as commune with Him.”

[from a Tablet of Bahá’u’lláh to Násiri’d-Dín Sháh This Letter, vibrant with power and endued with authority, which the indomitable Badi’ had brought and which he had stoutly refused to designate as a mere petition, was certainly disturbing to the capricious tyrant, who had banished Bahá’u’lláh from His native land and envisaged His further exile to far-off Rumelia. He was thus prompted to order the destruction of the fearless messenger. Yet, at least, he had the desire to have an answer sent to Bahá’u’lláh. But the spiritual mentor on whom Násiri’d-Dín Sháh relied – Haji Mulla ‘Aliy-i-Kani and his peers and associates – lacked the grace to acknowledge the challenge And theirs were not those qualities of mind and spirit which would enable them to meet it. In the end theirs was the great loss and everlasting infamy, whilst the memory of the heroism and the sacrifice of that seventeen-year-old youth shines with fadeless splendour across the centuries, not to be obscured by the passage of time.

Hand of the Cause of God H.M. Balyuzi

Hand of the Cause of God H. M. Balyuzi

Bahâu’lláh – The King of Glory, p. 310

 

MORNING:

 

We beseech God to extend wide His shadow, that the true believers may hasten thereunto and that His sincere lovers may seek shelter therein. May He bestow upon men blossoms from the bowers of His grace and stars from the horizon of His providence. We pray God, moreover, to graciously aid the King to do His will and pleasure, and to confirm him in that which shall draw him nigh unto the Dayspring of God’s most excellent names, so that he may not give countenance to the injustice he witnesseth, may look  upon his subjects with the eye of loving-kindness, and shield them from oppression. We further beseech God, exalted be He, to gather all mankind around the Gulf of the Most Great Ocean, an ocean every drop of which proclaimeth that He is the Harbinger of joy unto the world and the Quickener of all its peoples. Praise be to God, the Lord of the Day of Reckoning!

And finally We beseech God, exalted be His glory, to enable thee to aid His Faith and turn towards His justice, that thou mayest judge between the people even as thou wouldst judge between thine own kindred, and mayest choose for them that which thou choosest for thine own self. He, verily, is the All-Powerful, the Most Exalted, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting

— His Holiness Baháú’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple, ¶¶: 274-275

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp: 136-137

 

EVENING:

Thus have We built the Temple with the hands of power and might, could ye but know it. This is the Temple promised unto you in the Book. Draw ye nigh unto it. This is that which profiteth you, could ye but comprehend it. Be fair, O peoples of the earth! Which is preferable, this, or a temple which is built of clay? Set your faces towards it. Thus have ye been commanded by God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Follow ye His bidding, and praise ye God, your Lord, for that which He hath bestowed upon you. He, verily, is the Truth. No God is there but He. He revealeth what He pleaseth, through His words “Be and it is”.

— His Holiness Baháú’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple, ¶276

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 137

 

7 June – 3 Núr   Leave a comment

 

The Bahá’í World Centre, Centre for the Study of the Texts

MORNING: 

My glory and My loving-kindness rest upon thee. How vast is the tabernacle of the Cause of God! It hath overshadowed all the peoples and kindreds of the earth, and will, ere long, gather together the whole of mankind beneath its shelter. Thy day of service is now come. Countless Tablets bear the testimony of the bounties vouchsafed unto thee. Arise for the triumph of My Cause, and, through the power of thine utterance, subdue the hearts of men. Thou must show forth that which will ensure the peace and the well-being of the miserable and the downtrodden. Gird up the loins of thine endeavour, that perchance thou mayest release the captive from his chains, and enable him to attain unto true liberty.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 84

The Bahá’í House of Worship in Langenhain, Germany, was completed in 1964.

EVENING:

 Make thou every effort to render service unto God, that from thee may appear that which will immortalize thy memory in His glorious and exalted heaven.

Say: Glorified art Thou, O my God! I implore Thee by the Dawning-Place of Thy signs and by the Revealer of Thy clear tokens to grant that I may, under all conditions, hold fast the cord of Thy loving providence and cling tenaciously to the hem of Thy generosity. Reckon me then with those whom the changes and chances of the world have failed to deter from serving Thee and from bearing allegiance unto Thee, whom the onslaught of the people hath been powerless to hinder from magnifying Thy Name and celebrating Thy praise. Graciously assist me, O my Lord, to do whatever Thou lovest and desirest. Enable me then to fulfil that which will exalt Thy Name and will set ablaze the fire of Thy love.

Thou art, in truth, the Forgiving, the Bountiful.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 234

‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ AT GREEN ACRE, MAINE, 1912

FROM THE EXEMPLAR ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

 Senses and faculties have been bestowed upon us, to be devoted to the service of the general good; so that we, distinguished above all other forms of life for perceptiveness and reason, should labor at all times and along all lines, whether the occasion be great or small, ordinary or extraordinary, until all mankind are safely gathered into the impregnable stronghold of knowledge. We should continually be establishing new bases for human happiness and creating and promoting new instrumentalities toward this end. How excellent, how honorable is man if he arises to fulfil his responsibilities; how wretched and contemptible, if he shuts his eyes to the welfare of society and wastes his precious life in pursuing his own selfish interests and personal advantages. Supreme happiness is man’s, and he beholds the signs of God in the world and in the human soul, if he urges on the steed of high endeavor in the arena of civilization and justice. “We will surely show them Our signs in the world and within themselves.”*

* Qur’án 41:53

And this is man’s uttermost wretchedness: that he should live inert, apathetic, dull, involved only with his own base appetites. When he is thus, he has his being in the deepest ignorance and savagery, sinking lower than the brute beasts. “They are like the brutes: Yea, they go more astray… For the vilest beasts in God’s sight, are the deaf, the dumb, who understand not.”*

* Qur’án 7:178; 8:22

We must now highly resolve to arise and lay hold of all those instrumentalities that promote the peace and well-being and happiness, the knowledge, culture and industry, the dignity, value and station, of the entire human race.

The Secret of Divine Civilization, pp. 3-4

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

The spiritual growth generated by individual devotions is reinforced by loving association among the friends in every locality, by worship as a

View of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice from the colonnade of the Centre for the Study of the Texts

community and by service to the Faith and to one’s fellowhuman beings. These communal aspects of the godly life relate to the law of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár which appears in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Although the time has not come for the building of local Mashriqu’l-Adhkárs, the holding of regular meetings for worship open to all and the involvement of Bahá’í communities in projects of humanitarian service are expressions of this element of Bahá’í life and a further step in the implementation of the Law of God. Bahá’u’lláh has written: “We have adorned the heaven of utterance with the stars of divine wisdom and holy ordinances as a bounty on Our part. Verily, We are the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous. O friends of God throughout the regions! Know ye the value of these days and cling unto whatsoever hath been sent down from God, the Most Great, the Most Exalted. Verily, He remembereth you in the Most Great Prison, and instructeth you in that which will cause you to draw nigh unto a station that delighteth the eyes of the pure in heart. Glory rest upon you and upon those who have attained unto that living fountain which floweth forth from My wondrous Pen.” It is our prayer at the Sacred Threshold that the greater attention to the spiritual heart of the Teachings which these laws express will enhance the devotion of the friends to the Source of all bounties and attract to the Cause the receptive souls among His spiritually famished children.

[SIGNED: THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE]

Laws and Ordinances : 1999 Dec 28 UHJ Obligatory Prayer and Fasting

21 May – 5 ‘Aẓamat   Leave a comment

IMG_9576MORNING:

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

 

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 23

IMG_9591EVENING:

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

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 23

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

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

Seat of The Universal House of Justice, Haifa, Israel

FROM THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

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

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

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

1 May ― 4 Jamál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

1 May ― 4 Jamál THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN

 

However, important as is the law of Ḥuqúqu’lláh, the devoted followers of Bahá’u’lláh have, even without it, every opportunity to contribute regularly and sacrificially to the work of the Cause. It is to a greater realization of the privilege and responsibility of supporting the multiple activities of our beloved Faith that we call you all at this critical time in world history, and remind you that to support the Bahá’í funds is an integral part of the Bahá’í way of life. The need is not only now, but throughout the years to come, until our exertions, reinforced by confirmations from on high, will have overcome the great perils now facing mankind and have made this world another world — a world whose splendor and grace will surpass our highest hopes and greatest dreams.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, pp: 30-31

House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdad, IraqMORNING:

My blood, at all times, addresseth me saying: “O Thou Who art the Image of the Most Merciful! How long will it be ere Thou riddest me of the captivity of this world, and deliverest me from the bondage of this life? Didst Thou not promise me that Thou shalt dye the earth with me, and sprinkle me on the faces of the inmates of Thy Paradise?” To this I make reply: “Be thou patient and quiet thyself. The things thou desirest can last but an hour. As to me, however, I quaff continually in the path of God the cup of His decree, and wish not that the ruling of His will should cease to operate, or that the woes I suffer for the sake of my Lord, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, should be ended. Seek thou my wish and forsake thine own. Thy bondage is not for my protection, but to enable me to sustain successive tribulations, and to prepare me for the trials that must needs repeatedly assail me. Perish that lover who discerneth between the pleasant and the poisonous in his love for his beloved! Be thou satisfied with what God hath destined for thee. He, verily, ruleth over thee as He willeth and pleaseth. No God is there but Him, the Inaccessible, the Most High.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 23

 House of Bahá’u’lláh in Baghdad, Iraq

The Bahá’í House of Worship in Ashkabad, Central Asia, demolished in 1962.

EVENING:

Every thing must needs have an origin and every building a builder. Verily, the Word of God is the Cause which hath preceded the contingent world — a world which is adorned with the splendours of the Ancient of Days, yet is being renewed and regenerated at all times. Immeasurably exalted is the God of Wisdom Who hath raised this sublime structure.

 

Look at the world and ponder a while upon it. It unveileth the book of its own self before thine eyes and revealeth that which the Pen of thy Lord, the Fashioner, the All-Informed, hath inscribed therein. It will acquaint thee with that which is within it and upon it and will give thee such clear explanations as to make thee independent of every eloquent expounder.

 

Say: Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise. Were anyone to affirm that it is the Will of God as manifested in the world of being, no one should question this assertion. It is endowed with a power whose reality men of learning fail to grasp. Indeed a man of insight can perceive naught therein save the effulgent splendour of Our Name, the Creator. Say: This is an existence which knoweth no decay, and Nature itself is lost in bewilderment before its revelations, its compelling evidences and its effulgent glory which have encompassed the universe.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

 

Tablets of Baha’u’llah, pp: 141-142

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

 

From the beginning to the end of his life man passes through certain periods or stages each of which is marked by certain conditions peculiar to itself. For instance during the period of childhood his conditions and requirements are characteristic of that degree of intelligence and capacity. After a time he enters the period of youth in which his former conditions and needs are superseded by new requirements applicable to the advance in his degree. His faculties of observation are broadened and deepened, his intelligent capacities are trained and awakened, the limitations and environment of childhood no longer restrict his energies and accomplishments. At last he passes out of the period of youth and enters the stage or station of maturity which necessitates another transformation and corresponding advance in his sphere of life-activity. New powers and perceptions clothe him, teaching and training commensurate with his progression occupy his mind, special bounties and bestowals descend in proportion to his increased capacities and his former period of youth and its conditions will no longer satisfy his matured view and vision.

 

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.

Foundations of World Unity, pp: 9-10

30 September ― 4 Mashíyyat   Leave a comment

Prison City of ‘Akka

MORNING:

By God! Though weariness lay Me low, and hunger consume Me, and the bare rock be My bed, and My fellows the beasts of the field, I will not complain, but will endure patiently as those endued with constancy and firmness have endured patiently, through the power of God, the Eternal King and Creator of the nations, and will render thanks unto God under all conditions. We pray that, out of His bounty — exalted be He — He may release, through this imprisonment, the necks of men from chains and fetters, and cause them to turn, with sincere faces, towards His face, Who is the Mighty, the Bounteous. Ready is He to answer whosoever calleth upon Him, and nigh is He unto such as commune with Him. We further beseech Him to make of this darksome tribulation a shield for the Temple of His Cause, and to protect it from the assault of sharpened swords and pointed daggers. Adversity hath ever given rise to the exaltation of His Cause and the glorification of His Name. Such hath been God’s method carried into effect in centuries and ages past. That which the people now fail to apprehend they shall erelong discover, on that day when their steeds shall stumble and their finery be folded up, their blades blunted and their feet made to falter.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 133-134

EVENING:

Maku, Prison in which The Báb was held.

IMG_2227I swear by the Most Great Lord! Wert thou to be told in what place I dwell, the first person to have mercy on Me would be thyself. In the heart of a mountain is a fortress*… the inmates of which are confined to two guards and four dogs. Picture, then, My plight… I swear by the truth of God! Were he who hath been willing to treat Me in such a manner to know Who it is Whom he hath so treated, he, verily, would never in his life be happy. Nay — I, verily, acquaint thee with the truth of the matter — it is as if he hath imprisoned all the Prophets, and all the men of truth and all the chosen ones…

 *Maku

— His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 14

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

O thou who art firm in the Covenant, thy letter was received. Thou hast exerted a great effort for that prisoner, perchance it may prove to be fruitful. Tell him, however: ‘The denizens of the world are confined in the prison of nature — a prison that is continuous and eternal. If thou art at present restrained within the limits of a temporary prison, be not grieved at this; my hope is that thou mayest be emancipated from the prison of nature and may attain unto the court of everlasting life. Pray to God day and night and beg forgiveness and pardon. The omnipotence of God shall solve every difficulty.’

Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 116