Archive for the ‘Qur’án’ Tag

5 June – 1 Núr THE FEAST OF NÚR   Leave a comment

5 June – 1 Núr  THE FEAST OF NÚR

MORNING:

And should he encounter One Who layeth claim to a Cause from God, and Who holdeth from His Lord a testimony beyond the power of men to produce, he must needs follow Him in all that He pleaseth to proclaim, command and ordain, even were He to decree the sea to be land, or to pronounce earth to be heaven, or that the former lieth above the latter or below it, or to ordain any change or transformation, for He, verily, is aware of the celestial mysteries, the unseen subtleties, and the ordinances of God.

Were the peoples of every nation to observe that which hath been mentioned, the matter would be made simple unto them, and such words and allusions would not withhold them from the Ocean of the names and attributes of God. And had the people known this truth, they would not have denied God’s favours, nor would they have risen against, contended with, and rejected His Prophets. Similar passages are also to be found in the Qur’án, should the matter be carefully examined.

Know, moreover, that it is through such words that God proveth His servants and sifteth them, separating the believer from the infidel, the detached from the worldly, the pious from the profligate, the doer of good from the worker of iniquity, and so forth. Thus hath the Dove of holiness proclaimed: “Do men think when they say ‘We believe’ they shall be let alone and not be put to proof?”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp. 24-25

EVENING:

Praised be God that following the firm decree of separation, the breeze of nearness and communion hath been stirred and the soil of the heart is refreshed with the waters of joy and gladness. We offer thanksgiving unto God in all circumstances and cherish the hope that He — exalted be His glory — may through His gracious providence guide all who dwell on earth towards that which is acceptable and pleasing unto Him.

Behold the disturbances which, for many a long year, have afflicted the earth, and the perturbation that hath seized its peoples. It hath either been ravaged by war, or tormented by sudden and unforeseen calamities. Though the world is encompassed with misery and distress, yet no man hath paused to reflect what the cause or source of that may be. Whenever the True Counsellor uttered a word in admonishment, lo, they all denounced Him as a mover of mischief and rejected His claim. How bewildering, how confusing is such behaviour! No two men can be found who may be said to be outwardly and inwardly united. The evidences of discord and malice are apparent everywhere, though all were made for harmony and union. The Great Being saith: O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. We cherish the hope that the light of justice may shine upon the world and sanctify it from tyranny.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá‘u’lláh, p. 163-164

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

O ye true friends! Your letter hath been received and it brought great joy. God be praised, ye had made ready an entertainment and established the feast which is to be held every nineteen days. Whatsoever gathering is arranged with the utmost love, and where those who attend are turning their faces toward the Kingdom of God, and where the discourse is of the Teachings of God, and the effect of which is to cause those present to advance — that gathering is the Lord’s, and that festive table hath come down from heaven. 

It is my hope that this feast will be given on one day out of every nineteen, for it bringeth you closer together; it is the very well-spring of unity and loving-kindness.

Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 89-90

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16 May – 19 Jamál   Leave a comment

 

MORNING:IMG_0024

We have caused thee to return to thy home as a token of Our mercy unto thy mother, inasmuch as We have found her overwhelmed with sorrow. We have enjoined you in the Book “to worship no one but God and to show kindness to your parents”.* Thus hath the one true God spoken and the decree hath been fulfilled by the Almighty, the All-Wise. Therefore We have caused thee to return unto her and unto thy sister, that your mother’s eyes may thereby be cheered, and she may be of the thankful.

* Qur’án 46:15

Say, O My people! Show honour to your parents and pay homage to them. This will cause blessings to descend upon you from the clouds of the bounty of your Lord, the Exalted, the Great.

When We learned of her sadness, We directed thee to return unto her, as a token of mercy unto thee from Our presence, and as an admonishment for others.

Beware lest ye commit that which would sadden the hearts of your fathers and mothers. Follow ye the path of Truth which indeed is a straight path. Should anyone give you a choice between the opportunity to render a service to Me and a service to them, choose ye to serve them, and let such service be a path leading you to Me. This is My exhortation and command unto thee. Observe therefore that which thy Lord, the Mighty, the Gracious, hath prescribed unto thee.

From a Tablet – translated from the Arabic

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Compilation of Compilations vol. I Part 3, pp: 386-387

EVENING:IMG_0024

These blessed words were uttered by the Tongue of Grandeur in the Land of Mystery,* exalted and glorified is His utterance:

One of the distinguishing characteristics of this most great Dispensation is that the kin of such as have recognized and embraced the truth of this Revelation and have, in the glory of His name, the Sovereign Lord, quaffed the choice, sealed wine from the chalice of the love of the one true God, will, upon their death, if they are outwardly non-believers, be graciously invested with divine forgiveness and partake of the ocean of His Mercy.

This bounty, however, will be vouchsafed only to such souls as have inflicted no harm upon Him Who is the Sovereign Truth nor upon His loved ones. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Lord of the Throne on High and the Ruler of this world and of the world to come.

* Adrianople

From a Tablet – translated from the Persian

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Compilation of Compilations vol. I Part 3, p, 386

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

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“Among the greatest of all services that can possibly be rendered by man to Almighty God is the education and training of children…

“It is, however, very difficult to undertake this service, even harder to succeed in it. I hope that thou wilt acquit thyself well in this most important of tasks, and successfully carry the day, and become an ensign of God’s abounding grace; that these children, reared one and all in the holy Teachings, will develop natures like unto the sweet airs that blow across the gardens of the All-Glorious, and will waft their fragrance around the world.

“Ye should consider the question of goodly character as of the first importance. It is incumbent upon every father and mother to counsel their children over a long period, and guide them unto those things which lead to everlasting honour.

“Encourage ye the school children, from their earliest years, to deliver speeches of high quality, so that in their leisure time they will engage in giving cogent and effective talks, expressing themselves with clarity and eloquence.”

Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, pp. 133-134
Lights of Guidance, p. 149

“So long as the mother faileth to train her children, and start them on a proper way of life, the training which they receive later on will not take its full effect. It is incumbent upon the Spiritual Assemblies to provide the mothers with a well-planned programme for the education of children, showing how, from infancy, the child must be watched over and taught. These instructions must be given to every mother to serve her as a guide, so that each will train and nurture her children in accordance with the Teachings.”

Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 138

“It is extremely difficult to teach the individual and refine his character once puberty is passed. By then, as experience hath shown, even if every effort be exerted to modify some tendency of his, it all availeth nothing. He may, perhaps, improve somewhat today; but let a few days pass and he forgetteth, and turneth backward to his habitual condition and accustomed ways. Therefore it is in early childhood that a firm foundation must be laid. While the branch is green and tender it can easily be made straight.

“Our meaning is that qualities of the spirit are the basic and divine foundation, and adorn the true essence of man; and knowledge is the cause of human progress. The beloved of God must attach great importance to this matter, and carry it forward with enthusiasm and zeal.”

Bahá’í Education, pp. 24-25

14 May — 17 Jamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:IMG_1561

I beg Thee to forgive me, O my Lord, for every mention but the mention of Thee, and for every praise but the praise of Thee, and for every delight but delight in Thy nearness, and for every pleasure but the pleasure of communion with Thee, and for every joy but the joy of Thy love and of Thy good-pleasure, and for all things pertaining unto me which bear no relationship unto Thee, O Thou Who art the Lord of lords, He Who provideth the means and unlocketh the doors.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 182-183

EVENING:

Say, by reason of your remembering Him Whom God shall make manifest and by extolling His name, God will cause your hearts to be dilated with joy, and do ye not wish your hearts to be in such a blissful state? Indeed the hearts of them that truly believe in Him Whom God shall make manifest are vaster than the expanse of heaven and earth and whatever is between them. God hath left no hindrance in their hearts, were it but the size of a mustard seed. He will cheer their hearts, their spirits, their souls and their bodies and their days of prosperity or adversity, through the exaltation of the name of Him Who is the supreme Testimony of God and the promotion of the Word of Him Who is the Dayspring of the glory of their Creator.

Verily, these are souls who take delight in the remembrance of God, Who dilates their hearts through the effulgence of the light of knowledge and wisdom. They seek naught but God and are oft engaged in giving praise unto Him. They desire naught except whatever He desireth and stand ready to do His bidding. Their hearts are mirrors reflecting whatsoever He Whom God shall make manifest willeth. Thus God will cheer the hearts of those who truly believe in Him and in His signs and who are well assured of the life to come. Say, the life to come is none other than the days associated with the coming of Him Whom God will make manifest.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, pp. 145-146

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FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

‘Does the soul progress more through sorrow or through the joy in this world?’

‘Abdu’l-Bahá. — ‘The mind and spirit of man advance when he is tried by suffering. The more the ground is ploughed the better the seed will grow, the better the harvest will be. Just as the plough furrows the earth deeply, purifying it of weeds and thistles, so suffering and tribulation free man from the petty affairs of this worldly life until he arrives at a state of complete detachment. His attitude in this world will be that of divine happiness. ‘

‘He who through suffering has attained development, should he fear happiness?’

‘Abdu’l-Bahá. — ‘Through suffering he will attain to an eternal happiness which nothing can take from him. The apostles of Christ suffered: they attained eternal happiness.’

‘Then it is impossible to attain happiness without suffering?’

‘Abdu’l-Bahá. — ‘To attain eternal happiness one must suffer. He who has reached the state of self-sacrifice has true joy. Temporal joy will vanish.’

Paris Talks, pp: 178-179

FROM THE HOLY QUR’ÁN ENTITLED HÚD [SALES VERSION 1734]:

11:9 Verily, if We cause man to taste mercy from Us, and afterwards take
it away from him; he will surely become desperate, and ungrateful.
11:10 And if we cause him to taste favour, after an affliction hath
befallen him, he will surely say, the evils which I suffered are passed
from me; and he will become joyful and insolent:
11:11 Except those who persevere with patience, and do that which is
right; they shall receive pardon, and a great reward.

IMG_5875FROM THE HOLY BIBLE [KING JAMES VERSION 1604-1611], THE BOOK OF HABAKKUK:

3:17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

FROM SACRED TEXTS OF SIKHISM, SHRI GURU GRANTH SAHIB: SECTION 07 ― RAAG GAUREE―PART 001

The Fear of God is overpowering, and so very heavy, while the intellect is lightweight, as is the speech one speaks. So place the Fear of God upon your head, and bear that weight; by the Grace of the Merciful Lord,…

…Without the Fear of God, no one crosses over the world-ocean. This Fear of God adorns the Love of the Lord.  The fire of fear within the body is burnt away by the Fear of God.  Through this Fear of God, we are adorned with the Word of the Shabad.

12 May — 15 Jamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

Yea, inasmuch as the peoples of the world have failed to seek from the luminous and crystal Springs of divine knowledge the inner meaning of God’s holy words, they therefore have languished, stricken and sore athirst, in the vale of idle fancy and waywardness. They have strayed far from the fresh and thirst-subduing waters, and gathered round the salt that burneth bitterly. Concerning them, the Dove of Eternity hath spoken: “And if they see the path of righteousness, they will not take it for their path; but if they see the path of error, for their path will they take it. This, because they treated Our signs as lies, and were heedless of them.” *

* Qur’án 7:145

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, p. 104

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EVENING:

Let your light shine before the eyes of men. Such must be the purity of your character and the degree of your renunciation, that the people of the earth may through you recognize and be drawn closer to the heavenly Father who is the Source of purity and grace. For none has seen the Father who is in heaven. You who are His spiritual children must by your deeds exemplify His virtues, and witness to His glory. You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt have lost its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? Such must be the degree of your detachment, that into whatever city you enter to proclaim and teach the Cause of God, you should in no wise expect either meat or reward from its people. Nay, when you depart out of that city, you should shake the dust from off your feet. As you have entered it pure and undefiled, so must you depart from that city. For verily I say, the heavenly Father is ever with you and keeps watch over you. If you be faithful to Him, He will assuredly deliver into your hands all the treasures of the earth, and will exalt you above all the rulers and kings of the world.’ O My Letters! Verily I say, immensely exalted is this Day above the days of the Apostles of old. Nay, immeasurable is the difference! You are the witnesses of the Dawn of the promised Day of God. You are the partakers of the mystic chalice of His Revelation. Gird up the loins of endeavour, and be mindful of the words of God as revealed in His Book: ‘Lo, the Lord thy God is come, and with Him is the company of His angels arrayed before Him!’ Purge your hearts of worldly desires, and let angelic virtues be your adorning. Strive that by your deeds you may bear witness to the truth of these words of God, and beware lest, by ‘turning back,’ He may ‘change you for another people,’ who ‘shall not be your like,’ and who shall take from you the Kingdom of God. The days when idle worship was deemed sufficient are ended. The time is come when naught but the purest motive, supported by deeds of stainless purity, can ascend to the throne of the Most High and be acceptable unto Him. ‘The good word riseth up unto Him, and the righteous deed will cause it to be exalted before Him.’

—His Holiness The Christ quoted by His Holiness The Báb

Shoghi Effendi The Dawn-Breakers, p. 92

FROM  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

The assemblage in the world which today is thoughtful of God, the assemblage which is occupied with the thought of illumining the world of humanity, the assemblage which is occupied with the mentioning of the kingdom of God, the assemblage which has as its chief motive the good pleasure of the Lord of Hosts, is verily the assemblage of Bahá’ís, for they have no intention, aim, or purpose save the attainment of the good pleasure of God, and entrance into the Kingdom of God, and of being the promulgators of the religion of God. They are the spreaders of the fragrances of God. These are the desires of the assemblage of the Bahá’ís…

…I hope that many such assemblages may be founded in America, and that from all the centers of the world people may come to the Bahá’í assemblages and there manifest the oneness of the world of humanity.

The people in general are all asleep; they are all inadvertent; they are all slumbering, because their thoughts are confined to materialism; they are not at all thoughtful of God’s thoughts except you, who are thinking of God. Verily, you are the spirit of the world! You are the cause of the light of the world! You are the salt of the earth!

Do not look at your limited numbers now. Ere long you will see that the divine Radiance has flooded all regions. The believers in the various sects are decreasing in numbers, whereas the people of God are constantly increasing, growing stronger and greater, day by day becoming more effective.

Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 372-373

FROM THE CHRIST, THE HOLY BIBLE [KING JAMES VERSION 1604-1611], THE GOSPEL OF MARK:

9:33 And He came to Capernaum: and being in the house He asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? 9:34 But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.
9:35 And He sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
9:36 And He took a child, and set him in the midst of them: and when He had taken him in his arms, He said unto them, 9:37 Whosoever shall receive one of such children in My name, receiveth Me: and whosoever shall receive Me, receiveth not Me, but Him that sent Me.
9:38 And John answered Him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
9:39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in My name, that can lightly speak evil of Me.
9:40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
9:41 For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
9:42 And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in Me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
9:43 And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 9:44 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
9:45 And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched: 9:46 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
9:47 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: 9:48 Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.
9:49 For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.
9:50 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.

22 April ― 14 Jalál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

22 April ― 14 Jalál THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN

  In society at large, alas, the symptoms of an ever-deepening malaise of
the soul multiply and worsen. How striking that, as the peoples of the world
suffer for want of the true remedy and turn fitfully from one false hope to
another, you are collectedly refining an instrument that connects hearts with
the Word of God eternal. How striking that, amid the cacophony of fixed
opinions and opposing interests that grows everywhere more fierce, you are
focused on drawing people together to build communities that are havens of
unity. Far from disheartening you, let the world’s prejudices and hostilities
be reminders of how urgently souls all around you need the healing balm that
you alone can present to them.

 

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2016

MORNING:

Were I to recount all the verses that have been revealed in connection with this exalted theme, it would weary the reader and divert Us from Our purpose. The following verse shall therefore suffice Us; may thine eyes be solaced therewith, and mayest thou attain unto that which hath been treasured and concealed therein: “It is God who hath reared the heavens without pillars thou canst behold; then mounted His throne, and imposed laws on the sun and moon: each travelleth to its appointed goal. He ordereth all things. He maketh His signs clear, that ye may have firm faith in the presence of your Lord.”*

Ponder then, O My friend, the words “firm faith” that have been mentioned in this verse. It saith that the heavens and the earth, the throne, the sun and the moon, all have been created to the end that His servants may have unswerving faith in His presence in His days. By the righteousness of God! Contemplate, O My brother, the greatness of this station, and behold the condition of the people in these days, fleeing from the Countenance of God and His Beauty “as though they were affrighted asses”.* Wert thou to reflect upon that which We have revealed unto thee, thou wouldst undoubtedly grasp Our purpose in this utterance and discover that which We have desired to impart unto thee within this paradise. Perchance thine eyes may rejoice in beholding it, thine ears take delight in hearing that which is recited therein, thy soul be enthralled by recognizing it, thy heart illumined by comprehending it, and thy spirit gladdened by the fragrant breezes that waft therefrom. Haply thou mayest attain unto the pinnacle of divine grace and abide within the Riḍván of transcendent holiness.

*from The Holy Qur’án

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gems of Divine Mysteries, pp: 43-44

 

EVENING:

And after Noah the light of the countenance of Hud shone forth above the horizon of creation. For well-nigh seven hundred years, according to the sayings of men, He exhorted the people to turn their faces and draw nearer unto the Riḍván of the divine presence. What showers of afflictions rained upon Him, until at last His adjurations bore the fruit of increased rebelliousness, and His assiduous endeavours resulted in the willful blindness of His people. “And their unbelief shall only increase for the unbelievers their own perdition.”†

† Qur’án 35:39

And after Him there appeared from the Ridvan of the Eternal, the Invisible, the holy person of Salih, Who again summoned the people to the river of everlasting life. For over a hundred years He admonished them to hold fast unto the commandments of God and eschew that which is forbidden. His admonitions, however, yielded no fruit, and His pleading proved of no avail. Several times He retired and lived in seclusion. All this, although that eternal Beauty was summoning the people to no other than the city of God. Even as it is revealed: “And unto the tribe of Thamud We sent their brother Salih. ‘O my people,’ said He, ‘Worship God, ye have none other God beside Him….’ They made reply: ‘O Salih, our hopes were fixed on thee until now; forbiddest thou us to worship that which our fathers worshipped? Truly we misdoubt that whereunto thou callest us as suspicious.'”† All this proved fruitless, until at last there went up a great cry, and all fell into utter perdition.

†Qur’án 11:61

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp: 9-10

 

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

Among those who emigrated and were companions in the Most Great Prison was Aqa Abdu’s-Salih. This excellent soul, a child of early believers, came from Isfahan. His noble-hearted father died, and this child grew up an orphan. There was none to rear or care for him and he was the prey of anyone who chose to do him harm. At last he became adolescent, and older now, sought out his Well-Beloved. He emigrated to the Most Great Prison and here, at the Riḍván, achieved the honor of being appointed gardener. At this task he was second to none. In his faith, too, he was staunch, loyal, worthy of trust; as to his character, he was an embodiment of the sacred verse, “Of a noble nature art thou.”† That is how he won the distinction of being gardener at the Riḍván, and of thus receiving the greatest bounty of all: almost daily, he entered the presence of Bahá’u’lláh.

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† Qur’án 68:4

For the Most Great Name was held prisoner and confined nine years in the fortress-town of ‘Akká; and at all times, both in the barracks and afterward, from without the house, the police and farrashes had Him under constant guard. The Blessed Beauty lived in a very small house, and He never set foot outside that narrow lodging, because His oppressors kept continual watch at the door. When, however, nine years had elapsed, the fixed and predetermined length of days was over; and at that time, against the rancorous will of the tyrant, Abdu’l-Hamid, and all his minions, Bahá’u’lláh proceeded out of the fortress with authority and might, and in a kingly mansion beyond the city, made His home.

 

Memorials of the Faithful, pp: 26-27

13 May — 16 Jamál   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9520Consider how at the time of the appearance of every Revelation, those who open their hearts to the Author of that Revelation recognize the Truth, while the hearts of those who fail to apprehend the Truth are straitened by reason of their shutting themselves out from Him. However, openness of heart is bestowed by God upon both parties alike. God desireth not to straiten the heart of anyone, be it even an ant, how much less the heart of a superior creature, except when he suffereth himself to be wrapt in veils, for God is the Creator of all things.

Wert thou to open the heart of a single soul by helping him to embrace the Cause of Him Whom God shall make manifest, thine inmost being would be filled with the inspirations of that august Name. It devolveth upon you, therefore, to perform this task in the Days of Resurrection, inasmuch as most people are helpless, and wert thou to open their hearts and dispel their doubts, they would gain admittance into the Faith of God. Therefore, manifest thou this attribute to the utmost of thine ability in the days of Him Whom God shall make manifest. For indeed if thou dost open the heart of a person for His sake, better will it be for thee than every virtuous deed; since deeds are secondary to faith in Him and certitude in His Reality.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 133

EVENING:

O ye who are invested with the Bayán! Regard not yourselves as being like unto the people to whom the Qur’án or the Gospel or other Scriptures of old were given, since at the time of His manifestation ye shall stray farther from God than did they. If ye happen to shut yourselves out it would never cross your minds that ye were shut out from Him. It behooveth you to consider how the people unto whom the Qur’án was given were debarred from the Truth, for indeed ye will act in a like manner, thinking that ye are doers of good. If ye perceive the degree of your deprivation of God, ye will wish to have perished from the face of the earth and to have sunk into oblivion. The day will come when ye will earnestly desire to know that which would meet with the good-pleasure of God but, alas, ye shall find no path unto Him. Ye, even as camels that wander aimlessly, will not find a pasture wherein ye may gather and unite upon a Cause in which ye can assuredly believe. At that time God shall cause the Sun of Truth to shine forth and the oceans of His bounty and grace to surge, while ye will have chosen droplets of water as the object of your desire, and will have deprived yourselves of the plenteous waters in His oceans.

If ye entertain any doubts in this matter consider the people unto whom the Gospel was given. Having no access to the apostles of Jesus, they sought the pleasure of the Lord in their churches, hoping to learn that which would be acceptable unto God, but they found therein no path unto Him. Then when God manifested Muḥammad as His Messenger and as the Repository of His good-pleasure, they neglected to quicken their souls from the Fountain of living waters which streamed forth from the presence of their Lord and continued to rove distraught upon the earth seeking a mere droplet of water and believing that they were doing righteous deeds. They behaved as the people unto whom the Qur’án was given are now behaving.

O ye who are invested with the Bayán! Ye can act similarly. Take ye heed, therefore, lest ye deprive yourselves of attaining the presence of Him Who is the Manifestation of God, notwithstanding that ye have been day and night praying to behold His countenance; and be ye careful lest ye be deterred from attaining unto the ocean of His good-pleasure, when perplexed and to no avail ye roam the earth in search of a drop of water.

—His Holiness The Báb

Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 136-137

FROM HIS HOLINESS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

Bahá’í Shrine in Montréal, Québec, Canada, former home of three of the Hands of the Cause of God, Sutherland and May Maxwell, the first Bahá’ís in Canada, and their daughter, Amatu’l-Bahá Rúḥíyyih Khánum, who became the wife of Shoghi Effendi

O ye friends of Abdu’l-Bahá!

† To the Montreal (Canada) assembly

IMG_1866His honor Mr. . . . .. wrote a letter and in that letter he mentioned your names, asking divine favor on your behalf. 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.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, V. III, pp: 531-533

31 March ― 11 Bahá   Leave a comment

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

He is God!

O spiritual friends and loved ones of the All-Merciful! In every Age believers are many but the tested are few. Render ye praise unto God that ye are tested believers, that ye have been subjected to every kind of trial and ordeal in the path of the supreme Lord. In the fire of ordeals your faces have flushed aglow like unto pure gold, and amidst the flames of cruelty and oppression which the wicked had kindled, ye suffered yourselves to be consumed while remaining all the time patient. Thus ye have initiated every believer into the ways of steadfastness and fortitude. You showed them the meaning of forbearance, of constancy, and of sacrifice, and what leadeth to dismay and distress. This indeed is a token of the gracious providence of God and a sign of the infinite favours vouchsafed by the Abhá Beauty Who hath singled out the friends of that region to bear grievous sufferings in the path of His love. Outwardly they are fire, but inwardly light and an evidence of His glory. Ye have been examples of the verse: ‘Let them that are men of action follow in their footsteps.’ ‘And to this let those aspire who aspire unto bliss.’

In short, the day is approaching when the gay trappings of this earthly life will have been rolled up and the sorry plight and adversity of the people of iniquity will have waxed more grievous than those experienced by the oppressed. The inmates of palaces will have been subjected to the confinement of graves. and such as occupy the seats of honour will have fallen upon the dust of misery and abasement.

However, those who have offered up their lives as martyrs will shine resplendent even as a candle, and the effulgent glory of the friends of God will shed its radiance from the horizon of eternity like unto a brilliant star. Behold how wondrous is the bounty whereunto ye have attained. Ye have followed the example set by Him Whom the world hath wronged. Like unto the Day-Star of the world ye have outwardly suffered an eclipse by reason of the injustice the people of malice have wrought. However, far from an eclipse, this is naught but splendour; far from concealment, this is naught but the defeat of the legions. Ere long ye shall behold the shining light of the one true God shedding its radiance upon the whole world, while the heedless ones find themselves in the darkness of extinction.

In the estimation of the loved ones of God abasement is exaltation itself, and affliction leadeth to faithfulness. Earthly glory and comfort are but a mirage of illusion, while in the realm of the spirit heavenly gifts are everlasting and imperishable. The lights in the nether world may be bright, but they are put out at the break of dawn. whereas the stars that shine in the heaven of the love of God will sparkle continually throughout ages and centuries. Such is everlasting glory; such is infinite bounty; such is life eternal; and such is boundless grace. And upon you rest salutation and praise.

Fire and Light, pp: 29-30

MORNING:

For instance, a certain man,† reputed for his learning and attainments, and accounting himself as one of the pre-eminent leaders of his people, hath in his book denounced and vilified all the exponents of true learning. This is made abundantly clear by his explicit statements as well as by his allusions throughout his book. As We had frequently heard about him, We purposed to read  some of his works. Although We never felt disposed to peruse other peoples’ writings, yet as some had questioned Us concerning him, We felt it necessary to refer to his books, in order that We might answer Our questioners with knowledge and understanding. His works, in the Arabic tongue, were, however, not available, until one day a certain man informed Us that one of his compositions, entitled Irshadu’l-‘Avam,‡ could be found in this city. >From this title We perceived the odour of conceit and vainglory, inasmuch as he hath imagined himself a learned man and regarded the rest of the people ignorant. His worth was in fact made known by the very title he had chosen for his book. It became evident that its author was following the path of self and desire, and was lost in the wilderness of ignorance and folly. Methinks, he had forgotten the well-known tradition which sayeth: “Knowledge is all that is knowable; and might and power, all creation.” Notwithstanding, We sent for the book, and kept it with Us a few days. It was probably referred to twice. The second time, We accidentally came upon the story of the “Mi’raj”§ of Muhammad, of Whom was spoken: “But for Thee, I would not have created the spheres.” We noticed that he had enumerated some twenty or more sciences, the knowledge of which he considered to be essential for the comprehension of the mystery of the “Mi’raj”. We gathered from his statements that unless a man be deeply versed in them all, he can never attain to a proper understanding of this transcendent and exalted theme. Among the specified sciences were the science of metaphysical abstractions, of alchemy, and natural magic. Such vain and discarded learnings, this man hath regarded as the pre-requisites of the understanding of the sacred and abiding mysteries of divine Knowledge.

† Hají Mirza Karim Khan

‡”Guidance unto the ignorant”

§ Ascent

Gracious God! Such is the measure of his understanding. And yet, behold what cavils and calumnies he hath heaped upon those Embodiments of God’s infinite knowledge! How well and true is the saying: “Flingest thou thy calumnies unto the face of Them Whom the one true God hath made the Trustees of the treasures of His seventh sphere?” Not one understanding heart or mind, not one among the wise and learned, hath taken notice of these preposterous statements. And yet, how clear and evident it is to every discerning heart that this so-called learning is and hath ever been, rejected by Him Who is the one true God. How can the knowledge of these sciences, which are so contemptible in the eyes of the truly learned, be regarded as essential to the apprehension of the mysteries of the “Mi’raj,” whilst the Lord of the “Mi’raj” Himself was never burdened with a single letter of these limited and obscure learnings, and never defiled His radiant heart with any of these fanciful illusions? How truly hath he said: “All human attainment moveth upon a lame ass, whilst Truth, riding upon the wind, darteth across space.” By the righteousness of God! Whoso desireth to fathom the mystery of this “Mi’raj,” and craveth a drop from this ocean, if the mirror of his heart be already obscured by the dust of these learnings, he must needs cleanse and purify it ere the light of this mystery can be reflected therein.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Kitáb-i-Íqán, pp: 184-187

 

EVENING:

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.†

† Sa’di

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,† to them, is but to Him a stair.

† The Cyclic Theory of Abu-‘Alí’ Sina (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. 326.

The Mathnavi

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 54-56

MORNING:

Thou art He Who from everlasting was, through the potency of His might, supreme over all things, and, through the operation of His will, was able to ordain all things. Nothing whatsoever, whether in Thy heaven or on Thy earth, can frustrate Thy purpose. Have mercy, then, upon me, O my Lord, through Thy gracious providence and generosity, and incline mine ear to the sweet melodies of the birds that warble their praise of Thee, amidst the branches of the tree of Thy oneness.

Thou art the Great Giver, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate.

–His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 4-5

 

EVENING:

Thou art He Who changeth through His bidding abasement into glory, and weakness into strength, and powerlessness into might, and fear into calm, and doubt into certainty. No God is there but Thee, the Mighty, the Beneficent.

 

 

Thou disappointest no one who hath sought Thee, nor dost Thou keep back from Thee any one who hath desired Thee. Ordain Thou for me what becometh the heaven of Thy generosity, and the ocean of Thy bounty. Thou art, verily, the Almighty, the Most Powerful.

–His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 249-250

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

IMG_2088

There is another and more significant aspect to this religious impulse and impetus. The children of Israel were in bondage and captivity in the land of Egypt four hundred years. They were in an extreme state of degradation and slavery under the tyranny and oppression of the Egyptians. While they were in the condition of abject poverty, in the lowest degree of abasement, ignorance and servility His Holiness Moses suddenly appeared among them. Although He was but a shepherd, such majesty, grandeur and efficiency became manifest in Him through the power of religion, that His influence continues to this day. His prophethood was established throughout the land and the law of His Word became the foundation of the laws of the nations. This unique personage, single and alone, rescued the children of Israel from bondage through the power of religious training and discipline. He led them to the Holy Land and founded there a great civilization which has become permanent and renowned and under which these people attained the highest degree of honor and glory. He freed them from bondage and captivity. He imbued them with qualities of progressiveness and capability. They proved to be a civilizing people with instincts toward education and scholastic attainment. Their philosophy became renowned; their industries were celebrated throughout the nations. In all lines of advancement which characterize a progressive people they achieved distinction. In the splendor of the reign of Solomon their sciences and arts advanced to such a degree that even the Greek philosophers journeyed to Jerusalem to sit at the feet of the Hebrew sages and acquire the basis of Israelitish law. According to eastern history this is an established fact. Even Socrates visited the Jewish doctors in the Holy Land, consorting with them and discussing the principles and basis of their religious belief. After his return to Greece he formulated his philosophical teaching of divine unity and advanced his belief in the immortality of the spirit beyond the dissolution of the body. Without doubt Socrates absorbed these verities from the wise men of the Jews with whom he came in contact. Hippocrates and other philosophers of the Greeks likewise visited Palestine and acquired wisdom from the Jewish prophets, studying the basis of ethics and morality, returning to their country with contributions which have made Greece famous.

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 271-272