Archive for the ‘Promises of God’ Tag

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

20 August ― THE FEAST OF ASMÁ’ [Names]

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

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 33

 

MORNING:

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

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

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

His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 147

EVENING:

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

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

His Holiness The Báb

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

8 August ― 8 Kamál   Leave a comment

In His letter to Náṣiri’d-Dín Sháh, the ruler of Persia, which refrains from any rebuke concerning His imprisonment in the Síyáh-Chál and the other injustices He had experienced at the king’s hand, Bahá’u’lláh speaks of His own role in the Divine Plan:

I was but a man like others, asleep upon My couch, when lo, the breezes of the All-Glorious were wafted over Me, and taught Me the knowledge of all that hath been. This thing is not from Me, but from One Who is Almighty and All-Knowing. And He bade Me lift up My voice between earth and heaven, and for this there befell Me what hath caused the tears of every man of understanding to flow. The learning current amongst men I studied not; their schools I entered not. Ask of the city wherein I dwelt, that thou mayest be well assured that I am not of them who speak falsely. 1

The mission to which He had devoted His entire life, which had cost Him the life of a cherished younger son 2 , as well as all of His material , possessions which had undermined His health, and brought imprisonment, exile, and abuse, was not one that He had initiated. “Not of Mine own volition,” He said, had He entered on such a course:

Think ye, O people, that I hold within My grasp the control of God’s ultimate Will and Purpose?… Had the ultimate destiny of God’s Faith been in Mine hands, I would have never consented, even though for one moment, to manifest Myself unto you, nor would I have allowed one word to fall from My lips. Of this God Himself is, verily, a witness. 3  

Having surrendered unreservedly to God’s summons, He was equally in no doubt about the role which He had been called upon to play in human history. As the Manifestation of God to the age of fulfillment, He is the one promised in all the scriptures of the past, the “Desire of all nations,” the “King of Glory.” To Judaism He is “Lord of Hosts”; to Christianity, the Return of Christ in the glory of the Father; to Islam, the “Great Announcement”; to Buddhism, the Maitreya Buddha; to Hinduism, the new incarnation of Krishna; to Zoroastrianism, the advent of “Sháh-Bahrám.” 4

Like the Manifestations of God gone before Him, He is both the Voice of God and its human channel: “When I contemplate, O my God, the relationship that bindeth me to Thee, I am moved to proclaim to all created things ‘verily I am God!’; and when I consider my own self, lo, I find it coarser than clay!” 5

“Certain ones among you,” He declared, “have said: ‘He it is Who hath laid claim to be God.’ By God! This is a gross calumny. I am but a servant of God Who hath believed in Him and in His signs… My tongue, and My heart, and My inner and My outer being testify that there is no God but Him, that all others have been created by His behest, and been fashioned through the operation of His Will…. I am He that telleth abroad the favors with which God hath, through His bounty, favored Me. If this be My transgression, then I am truly the first of the transgressors….” 6

Bahá’u’lláh’s writings seize upon a host of metaphors in their attempt to express the paradox that lies at the heart of the phenomenon of God’s Revelation of His Will:

I am the royal Falcon on the arm of the Almighty. I unfold the drooping wings of every broken bird and start it on its flight. 7

This is but a leaf which the winds of the will of thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised, have stirred. Can it be still when the tempestuous winds are blowing? Nay, by Him Who is the Lord of all Names and Attributes! They move it as they list…. 8

Commissioned by

The Universal House of Justice

Bahá’í International Community

Statement on Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 25-26

 IMG_6909

1.

 Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 11. The phrase “Not of Mine own volition” appears in the same paragraph immediately above the excerpt cited.   

2.

Bahá’u’lláh’s son, Mírzá Mihdí, a youth of twenty-two, died in 1870 in an accidental fall resulting from the conditions in which the family was imprisoned.   

3.

 Gleanings from the Writings of  Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 91

4.

God Passes By, pp. 94–96

5.

World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 113

6.

Gleanings from the Writings of  Bahá’u’lláh, p. 228

7.

Tablets ofBahá’u’lláh , p. 169

8.

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp. 11–12

 


MORNING:

Resort ye, in times of sickness, to competent physicians; We have not set aside the use of material means, rather have We confirmed it through this Pen, which God hath made to be the Dawning-place of His shining and glorious Cause.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶113

EVENING:

Blessed is he who, at the hour of dawn, centring his thoughts on God, occupied with His remembrance, and supplicating His forgiveness, directeth his steps to the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár and, entering therein, seateth himself in silence to listen to the verses of God, the Sovereign, the Mighty, the All-Praised. Say: The Mashriqu’l-Adhkár is each and every building which hath been erected in cities and villages for the celebration of My praise. Such is the name by which it hath been designated before the throne of glory, were ye of those who understand.

They who recite the verses of the All-Merciful in the most melodious of tones will perceive in them that with which the sovereignty of earth and heaven can never be compared. From them they will inhale the divine fragrance of My worlds—worlds which today none can discern save those who have been endowed with vision through this sublime, this beauteous Revelation. Say: These verses draw hearts that are pure unto those spiritual worlds that can neither be expressed in words nor intimated by allusion. Blessed be those who hearken.

Assist ye, O My people, My chosen servants who have arisen to make mention of Me among My creatures and to exalt My Word throughout My realm. These, truly, are the stars of the heaven of My loving providence and the lamps of My guidance unto all mankind. But he whose words conflict with that which hath been sent down in My Holy Tablets is not of Me. Beware lest ye follow any impious pretender. These Tablets are embellished with the seal of Him Who causeth the dawn to appear, Who lifteth up His voice between the heavens and the earth. Lay hold on this Sure Handle and on the Cord of My mighty and unassailable Cause.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶¶: 115-117

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

In 1266 A.H. 1 the trusted messenger, Shaykh Salmán, first heard the summons of God, and his heart leapt for joy. He was then in Hindíyán. Irresistibly attracted, he walked all the way to Ṭihrán, where with ardent love he secretly joined the believers. On a certain day he was passing through the bázár with Áqá Muḥammad Taqíy-i-Káshání, and the farráshes followed him and discovered where he lived. The next day, police and farráshes came looking for him and took him to the chief of police.

“Who are you?” the chief asked.

“I am from Hindíyán,” replied Salmán. “I have come to Ṭihrán and am on my way to Khurásán, for a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Imám Riḍá.”

“What were you doing yesterday,” the chief asked, “with that man in the white robe?”

Salmán answered, “I had sold him an ‘abá the day before, and yesterday he was to pay me.”

“You are a stranger here,” the chief said. “How could you trust him?”

“A money-changer guaranteed the payment,” Salmán replied. He had in mind the respected believer, Áqá Muḥammad-i-Sarraf (money-changer).

The chief turned to one of his farráshes and said, “Take him to the money-changer’s and look into it.”

When they reached there the farrásh went on ahead. “What was all this,” he said, “about the sale of an ‘abá and your vouching for the payment? Explain yourself.”

“I know nothing about it,” the money-changer replied. “Come along,” said the farrásh to Salmán. “All is clear at last. You are a Bábí.”

It happened that the turban which Salmán had on his head was similar to those worn in Shúshtar. As they were passing a crossroads, a man from Shúshtar came out of his shop. He embraced Salmán and cried: “Where have you been, Khájih Muḥammad-‘Alí? When did you arrive? Welcome!”

Salmán replied, “I came here a few days ago and now the police have arrested me.”

“What do you want with him?” the merchant asked the farrásh. “What are you after?”

“He is a Bábí,” was the answer. “God forbid!” cried the man from Shúshtar. “I know him well. Khájih Muḥammad-‘Alí is a God-fearing Muslim, a Shí’ih, a devout follower of the Imám ‘Alí.” With this he gave the farrásh a sum of money and Salmán was freed.

They went into the shop and the merchant began to ask Salmán how he was faring. Salmán told him: “I am not Khájih Muḥammad-‘Alí.”

The man from Shúshtar was dumbfounded. “You look exactly like him!” he exclaimed. “You two are identical. However, since you are not he, give me back the money I paid the farrásh.”

Salmán immediately handed him the money, left, went out through the city gate and made for Hindíyán.

When Bahá’u’lláh arrived in ‘Iráq, the first messenger to reach His holy presence was Salmán, who then returned with Tablets addressed to the friends in Hindíyán. Once each year, this blessed individual would set out on foot to see his Well-Beloved, after which he would retrace his steps, carrying Tablets to many cities, Iṣfahán, Shíráz, Káshán, Ṭihrán, and the rest.

†1849-1850

Memorials to the Faithful, pp: 13-15

7 August ― 7 Kamál   Leave a comment

This day is the day of purification, the day of sanctification, the day of turning toward God, the day of severance from all else save God, the day of lowliness and humiliation, the day of serving the beloved ones of God, the day of becoming utterly destitute of and free from egotism and desire and the day of purity and sacrifice in the path of God. This is incumbent upon thee, so that thou mayest be accepted in the court of the Almighty and praised in His lofty Threshold of Holiness.

His Holiness ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 636

MORNING:

What armour hath not been pierced by the arrow of destruction, and what regal brow not divested by the hand of Fate? What fortress hath withstood the approach of the Messenger of Death? What throne hath not been shattered to pieces, what palace not reduced to rubble? Could the people but taste that choice Wine of the mercy of their Lord, the Almighty, the All-Knowing, which lieth in store for them in the world beyond, they would assuredly cease their censure, and seek only to win the good pleasure of this Youth. For now, however, they have hidden Me behind a veil of darkness, whose fabric they have woven with the hands of idle fancy and vain imagination. Erelong shall the snow-white hand of God rend an opening through the darkness of this night and unlock a mighty portal unto His City. On that Day shall the people enter therein by troops, uttering what the blamers aforetime exclaimed, that there shall be made manifest in the end that which appeared in the beginning.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp; 134-135

EVENING:

Is it their wish to tarry here when already they have one foot in the stirrup? Look they to return, once they are gone? Nay, by Him Who is the Lord of Lords! save on the Day of JudgemIent, the Day whereon the people shall arise from their graves and be asked of their legacy. Well is it with him who shall not be weighted down with his burdens on that Day, the Day whereon the mountains shall pass away and all shall gather to be questioned in the presence of God, the Most Exalted.

We beseech God to purge the hearts of certain divines from rancour and enmity, that they may look upon matters with an eye unbeclouded by contempt. May He raise them up unto so lofty a station that neither the attractions of the world, nor the allurements of authority, may deflect them from gazing upon the Supreme Horizon, and that neither worldly benefits nor carnal desires shall prevent them from attaining that Day whereon the mountains shall be reduced to dust. Though they now rejoice in the adversity that hath befallen Us, soon shall come a day whereon they shall lament and weep. By My Lord! Were I given the choice between, on the one hand, the wealth and opulence, the ease and comfort, the honour and glory which they enjoy, and, on the other, the adversities and trials which are Mine, I would unhesitatingly choose My present condition and would refuse to barter a single atom of these hardships for all that hath been created in the world of being.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp; 135-136

6 August – 6 Kamal   Leave a comment

MORNING:

He should not hesitate to offer up his life for his Beloved, nor allow the censure of the people to turn him away from the Truth. He should not wish for others that which he doth not wish for himself, nor promise that which he doth not fulfil. With all his heart he should avoid fellowship with evil-doers, and pray for the remission of their sins. He should forgive the sinful, and never despise his low estate, for none knoweth what his own end shall be. How often hath a sinner attained, at the hour of death, to the essence of faith, and, quaffing the immortal draught, hath taken his flight unto the Concourse on high! And how often hath a devout believer, at the hour of his soul’s ascension, been so changed as to fall into the nethermost fire!

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 265-266

EVENING:

The glory of Thy might, O my God, beareth me witness! Every time I attempt to remember Thee, I find myself overpowered by the sublimity of Thy station and the immensity of Thy might; and every time I hold my peace, lo, I am impelled by my love for Thee and by the potency of Thy will, to unloose my tongue and mention Thee. He who is poor and needy, O my God, is calling for his Lord, the All-Possessing; and he who is destitute of all strength remembereth his Master, the All-Powerful. If He deign to accept His servant’s supplication, He is, verily, of unsurpassed bounteousness; and if He cast him out, He is of those who judge equitably the best. He indeed is acceptable, O my God, who hath set his face towards Thee, and he is truly deprived who hath been careless of the remembrance of Thee in Thy days. Blessed is he that hath tasted of the sweetness of Thy remembrance and praise. Nothing, not even the arising of all the peoples of the whole world to assail him, can hinder such a man from directing his steps towards the paths of Thy pleasure and the ways of Thy Cause.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 204-205

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

This day is the day of purification, the day of sanctification, the day of turning toward God, the day of severance from all else save God, the day of lowliness and humiliation, the day of serving the beloved ones of God, the day of becoming utterly destitute of and free from egotism and desire and the day of purity and sacrifice in the path of God. This is incumbent upon thee, so that thou mayest be accepted in the court of the Almighty and praised in His lofty Threshold of Holiness.

Tablets of Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 636

30 July ― 18 Kalimát   Leave a comment

 

In the light of subsequent events, the warnings and appeals of Bahá’u’lláh’s writings during this period take on a terrible poignancy:

O ye the elected representatives of the people in every land!… Regard the world as the human body which, though at its creation whole and perfect, hath been afflicted, through various causes, with grave disorders and maladies. Not for one day did it gain ease, nay its sickness waxed more severe, as it fell under the treatment of ignorant physicians, who gave full rein to their personal desires…

We behold it, in this day, at the mercy of rulers so drunk with pride that they cannot discern clearly their own best advantage, much less recognize a Revelation so bewildering and challenging as this….1

This is the Day whereon the earth shall tell out her tidings. The workers of iniquity are her burdens, could ye but perceive it…. 2

All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. The Almighty beareth Me witness: To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man. Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth…. 3

A new life is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth; and yet none hath discovered its cause or perceived its motive. Consider the peoples of the West. Witness how, in their pursuit of that which is vain and trivial, they have sacrificed, and are still sacrificing, countless lives for the sake of its establishment and promotion…. 4

In all matters moderation is desirable. If a thing is carried to excess, it will prove a source of evil…. Strange and astonishing things exist in the earth but they are hidden from the minds and the understanding of men. These things are capable of changing the whole atmosphere of the earth and their contamination would prove lethal…. 5

In later writings, including those addressed to humanity collectively, Bahá’u’lláh urged the adoption of steps toward what He called the “Great Peace.” These, He said, would mitigate the sufferings and dislocation which He saw lying ahead of the human race until the world’s peoples embrace the Revelation of God and through it bring about the Most Great Peace:

The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the world’s Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquility of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories…. The day is approaching when all the peoples of the world will have adopted one universal language and one common script. When this is achieved, to whatsoever city a man may journey, it shall be as if he were entering his own home…. That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race…. It is not for him to pride himself who loveth his own country, but rather for him who loveth the whole world. The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens. 6

1.

Gleanings from the Writings ofBahá’u’lláh, pp. 254–55

2.

 Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 40

3.

 Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 215

4.

 Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 196

5.

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 69

6.

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh , pp. 165–67

 

International Bahá’í Community as commissioned by

The Universal House of Justice

Statement on Bahá’u’lláh, pp:24-25

 

 

MORNING:

True reliance is for the servant to pursue his profession and calling in this world, to hold fast unto the Lord, to seek naught but His grace, inasmuch as in His Hands is the destiny of all His servants.

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

ASL-I-KULLU’L-KHAYR

Words of Wisdom

 Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 155

EVENING:

The essence of true safety is to observe silence, to look at the end of things and to renounce the world.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

ASL-I-KULLU’L-KHAYR

Words of Wisdom

 Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 155

29 July ― 17 Kalimát   Leave a comment

O my well-beloved, deeply spiritual sister [Bahíyyih Khánum, the Greatest Holy Leaf] ! Day and night thou livest in my memory. Whenever I remember thee my heart swelleth with sadness and my regret groweth more intense. Grieve not, for I am thy true, thy unfailing comforter. Let neither despondency nor despair becloud the serenity of thy life or restrain thy freedom. These days shall pass away. We will, please God, in the Abhá Kingdom and beneath the sheltering shadow of the Blessed Beauty, forget all these our earthly cares and will find each one of these base calumnies amply compensated by His expressions of praise and favour. From the beginning of time sorrow and anxiety, regret and tribulation, have always been the lot of every loyal servant of God. Ponder this in thine heart and consider how very true it is. Wherefore, set thine heart on the tender mercies of the Ancient Beauty and be thou filled with abiding joy and intense gladness….

HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ

The Bahá’í World, vol. V, pp. 171–172

MORNING:

Let these exalted words be thy love-song on the tree of Bahá, O thou most holy and resplendent Leaf: ‘God, besides Whom is none other God, the Lord of this world and the next!’ Verily, We have elevated thee to the rank of one of the most distinguished among thy sex, and granted thee, in My court, a station such as none other woman hath surpassed. Thus have We preferred thee and raised thee above the rest, as a sign of grace from Him Who is the Lord of the throne on high and earth below. We have created thine eyes to behold the light of My countenance, thine ears to hearken unto the melody of My words, thy body to pay homage before My throne. Do thou render thanks unto God, thy Lord, the Lord of all the world.

How high is the testimony of the Sadratu’l-Muntahá for its leaf; how exalted the witness of the Tree of Life unto its fruit! Through My remembrance of her a fragrance laden with the perfume of musk hath been diffused; well is it with him that hath inhaled it and exclaimed: ‘All praise be to Thee, O God, my Lord the most glorious!’ How sweet thy presence before Me; how sweet to gaze upon thy face, to bestow upon thee My loving-kindness, to favour thee with My tender care, to make mention of thee in this, My Tablet—a Tablet which I have ordained as a token of My hidden and manifest grace unto thee.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Bahíyyih Khánum, the Greatest Holy Leaf: A Compilation from Bahá’í Sacred Texts and Writings of the Guardian of the Faith and Bahíyyih Khánum’s Own Letters, Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 edition, pp:3-4

EVENING:

O My Leaf! Hearken thou unto My Voice: Verily there is none other God but Me, the Almighty, the All-Wise. I can well inhale from thee the fragrance of My love and the sweet-smelling savour wafting from the raiment of My Name, the Most Holy, the Most Luminous. Be astir upon God’s Tree in conformity with thy pleasure and unloose thy tongue in praise of thy Lord amidst all mankind. Let not the things of the world grieve thee. Cling fast unto this divine Lote-Tree from which God hath graciously caused thee to spring forth. I swear by My life! It behoveth the lover to be closely joined to the loved one, and here indeed is the Best-Beloved of the world.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Bahíyyih Khánum, the Greatest Holy Leaf: A Compilation from Bahá’í Sacred Texts and Writings of the Guardian of the Faith and Bahíyyih Khánum’s Own Letters, Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 edition, p. 5

20 July ― 8 Kalimát   Leave a comment

The primary question to be resolved is how the present world, with its entrenched pattern of conflict, can change to a world in which harmony and co-operation will prevail.

World order can be founded only on an unshakeable consciousness of the oneness of mankind, a spiritual truth which all the human sciences confirm. Anthropology, physiology, psychology, recognize only one human species, albeit infinitely varied in the secondary aspects of life. Recognition of this truth requires abandonment of prejudice—prejudice of every kind—race, class, colour, creed, nation, sex, degree of material civilization, everything which enables people to consider themselves superior to others.

Acceptance of the oneness of mankind is the first fundamental prerequisite for reorganization and administration of the world as one country, the home of humankind. Universal acceptance of this spiritual principle is essential to any successful attempt to establish world peace. It should therefore be universally proclaimed, taught in schools, and constantly asserted in every nation as preparation for the organic change in the structure of society which it implies.

 

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

The Promise of World Peace, p. 10

 

MORNING:

Say: God hath made My hidden love the key to the Treasure; would that ye might perceive it! But for the key, the Treasure would to all eternity have remained concealed; would that ye might believe it! Say: This is the Source of Revelation, the Dawning-place of Splendour, Whose brightness hath illumined the horizons of the world. Would that ye might understand! This is, verily, that fixed Decree through which every irrevocable decree hath been established.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶ 15

EVENING:

Ye have been forbidden to commit murder or adultery, or to engage in backbiting or calumny; shun ye, then, what hath been prohibited in the holy Books and Tablets.

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ¶ 19