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

29 April ― 2 Jamál THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN

 

To the Peoples of the World:

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

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

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

THE PROMISE OF WORLD PEACE, ¶1-2

MORNING:

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

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

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 23

 

EVENING:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

 

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 89-90

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

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

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

Bahá’í World Faith, pp: 216-217

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHOGHI EFFENDI:

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

Citadel of Faith, p. 6

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

…my conductor paused for a moment while I removed

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

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

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

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

were placed two or three chairs. Though I dimly suspected

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

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

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

definitely conscious that the room was not untenanted. In

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

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

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

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

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

I cannot describe it. Those piercing eyes seemed to read

ones very soul; power and authority sat on that ample

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

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

indistinguishable luxuriance almost to the waist seemed to

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

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

which kings might envy and emperors sigh for in vain!

A mild dignified voice bade me be seated, and then

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

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

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

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

bondage and banishment… That all nations should become

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

affection and unity between the sons of men should be

strengthened; that diversity of religion should cease, and

differences of race be annulled — what harm is there in

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

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

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

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

kings and rulers lavishing their treasures more freely on

means for the destruction of the human race than on that

which would conduce to the happiness of mankind…

These strifes and this bloodshed and discord must cease,

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

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

glory in this, that he loves his kind…’

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

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

read them consider well with themselves whether such

doctrines merit death and bonds, and whether the world is

more likely to gain or lose by their diffusion.

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

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

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4 February ― 17 Sulṭán   Leave a comment

MORNING:

“This is the Súrih of the Temple which God hath ordained to be the Mirror of His Names between the heavens and the earth, and the Sign of His Remembrance amidst the peoples of the world.

He is the Most Wondrous, the All-Glorious!

Glorified is He Who hath revealed His verses to those who understand. Glorified is He Who sendeth down His verses to those who perceive. Glorified is He Who guideth whomsoever He pleaseth unto His path. Say: I, verily, am the Path of God unto all who are in the heavens and all who are on the earth; well is it with them that hasten thereunto!

Glorified is He Who sendeth down His verses to those who comprehend. Glorified is He Who speaketh forth from the Kingdom of His Revelation, and Who remaineth unknown to all save His honoured servants. Glorified is He Who quickeneth whomsoever He willeth by virtue of His word “Be”, and it is! Glorified is He Who causeth whomsoever He willeth to ascend unto the heaven of grace, and sendeth down therefrom whatsoever He desireth according to a prescribed measure.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple, ¶: 1-2

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 2

EVENING:

Blessed is He Who doeth as He willeth by a word of His command. He, verily, is the True One, the Knower of things unseen. Blessed is He Who inspireth whomsoever He willeth with whatsoever He desireth, through His irresistible and inscrutable command. Blessed is He Who aideth whomsoever He desireth with the hosts of the unseen. His might is, in truth, equal to His purpose, and He, verily, is the All-Glorious, the Self-Subsisting. Blessed is He Who exalteth whomsoever He willeth by the power of His sovereign might, and confirmeth whomsoever He chooseth in accordance with His good pleasure; well is it with them that understand!

Blessed is He Who, in a well-guarded Tablet, hath prescribed a fixed measure unto all things. Blessed is He Who hath revealed unto His Servant that which shall illumine the hearts and minds of men. Blessed is He Who hath sent down upon His Servant such tribulations as have melted the hearts of them that dwell within the Tabernacle of eternity and the souls of those who have drawn nigh unto their Lord. Blessed is He Who hath showered upon His Servant, from the clouds of His decree, the darts of affliction, and Who beholdeth Me enduring them with patience and fortitude. Blessed is He Who hath ordained for His Servant that which He hath destined for no other soul. He, verily, is the One, the Incomparable, the Self-Subsisting.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple, ¶: 3-4

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 4

 

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

Herein Follow the Tablets and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

ALL-PRAISE TO HIM Who, by the Shield of His Covenant, hath guarded the Temple of His Cause from the darts of doubtfulness, Who by the Hosts of His Testament hath preserved the Sanctuary of His most Beneficent Law and protected His Straight and Luminous Path, staying thereby the onslaught of the company of Covenant-breakers, that have threatened to subvert His Divine Edifice; Who hath watched over His Mighty Stronghold and All-Glorious Faith, through the aid of men whom the slander of the slanderer affect not, whom no earthly calling, glory and power can turn aside from the Covenant of God and His Testament, established firmly by His clear and manifest words, writ and revealed by His All-Glorious Pen and recorded in the Preserved Tablet.

The Will and Testament

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF TH E CAUSE OF GOD, SHOGHI EFFENDI:

IMG_0506“Never since the beginning of the world,” Bahá’u’lláh Himself affirms, “hath the Message been so openly proclaimed.” “Each one of them,” He, specifically referring to the Tablets addressed by Him to the sovereigns of the earth — Tablets acclaimed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as a “miracle” — has written, “hath been designated by a special name. The first hath been named ‘The Rumbling,’ the second ‘The Blow,’ the third ‘The Inevitable,’ the fourth ‘The Plain,’ the fifth ‘The Catastrophe,’ and the others ‘The Stunning Trumpet-Blast,’ ‘The Near Event,’ ‘The Great Terror,’ ‘The Trumpet,’ ‘The Bugle,’ and the like, so that all the peoples of the earth may know, of a certainty, and may witness, with outward and inner eyes, that He Who is the Lord of Names hath prevailed, and will continue to prevail, under all conditions, over all men.” The most important of these Tablets, together with the celebrated Súriy-i-Haykal (the Surih of the Temple), He, moreover, ordered to be written in the shape of a pentacle, symbolizing the temple of man, and which He identified, when addressing the followers of the Gospel in one of His Tablets, with the “Temple” mentioned by the Prophet Zechariah, and designated as “the resplendent dawning-place of the All-Merciful,” and which “the hands of the power of Him Who is the Causer of Causes” had built.

Unique and stupendous as was this Proclamation, it proved to be but a prelude to a still mightier revelation of the creative power of its Author, and to what may well rank as the most signal act of His ministry — the promulgation of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Alluded to in the Kitáb-i-Íqán; the principal repository of that Law which the Prophet Isaiah had anticipated, and which the writer of the Apocalypse had described as the “new heaven” and the “new earth,” as “the Tabernacle of God,” as the “Holy City,” as the “Bride,” the “New Jerusalem coming down from God,” this “Most Holy Book,” whose provisions must remain inviolate for no less than a thousand years, and whose system will embrace the entire planet, may well be regarded as the brightest emanation of the mind of Bahá’u’lláh, as the Mother Book of His Dispensation, and the Charter of His New World Order.

God Passes By, pp: 212-213

IMG_0466

2 January ― 3 Sharaf   Leave a comment

MORNING:

IMG_9821In this Day the secrets of the earth are laid bare before the eyes of men. The pages of swiftly-appearing newspapers are indeed the mirror of the world. They reflect the deeds and the pursuits of divers peoples and kindreds. They both reflect them and make them known. They are a mirror endowed with hearing, sight and speech. This is an amazing and potent phenomenon. However, it behoveth the writers thereof to be purged from the promptings of evil passions and desires and to be attired with the raiment of justice and equity. They should enquire into situations as much as possible and ascertain the facts, then set them down in writing.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 39-40

EVENING:

It is reported in the press that this Servant hath fled from the land of Ta (Tihran) and gone to Iraq. Gracious God! Not even for a single moment hath this Wronged One ever concealed Himself. Rather hath He at all times remained steadfast and conspicuous before the eyes of all men. Never have We retreated, nor shall We ever seek flight. In truth it is the foolish people who flee from Our presence. We left Our home country accompanied by two mounted escorts, representing the two honoured governments of Persia and Russia until We arrived in Iraq in the plenitude of glory and power. Praise be to God! The Cause whereof this Wronged One is the Bearer standeth as high as heaven and shineth resplendent as the sun. Concealment hath no access unto this station, nor is there any occasion for fear or silence.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p, 40

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

IMG_0281Day by day the majesty of Christ grew in splendor and effulgence. Therefore, my purpose is to warn and strengthen you against accusations, criticisms, revilings and derision in newspaper articles or other publications. Be not disturbed by them. They are the very confirmation of the Cause, the very source of upbuilding to the Movement. May God confirm the day when a score of ministers of the churches may arise and with bared heads cry at the top of their voices that the Bahá’ís are misguided. I would like to see that day, for that is the time when the Cause of God will spread. Bahá’u’lláh has pronounced such as these the couriers of the Cause. They will proclaim from pulpits that the Bahá’ís are fools, that they are a wicked and unrighteous people, but be ye steadfast and unwavering in the Cause of God. They will spread the message of Bahá’u’lláh.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp: 429-430

FROM LETTERS WRITTEN ON BEHALF OF THE BELOVED GUARDIAN, SHOGHI EFFENDI:

IMG_9337“… the very essence of the reason a person has accepted Bahá’u’lláh is that he has decided this way alone is the solution to the absolutely hopeless problems facing humanity. A Bahá’í must be wholly a Bahá’í, concentrate in the work of  the Cause, and put aside from his mind the distracting influence that scream at him from every newspaper these days. Naturally, this does not mean he must be insular, it means he must concentrate more consciously on doing the work of the Cause!”

From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, November 23, 1951: United States Supplement to Bahá’í News, No.82, p.5, December 1964

Lights of Guidance, pp: 69-70

 

WRITTEN BY COMMISSION OF THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE:

IMG_9499The crisis roused the Bahá’í world to extraordinary feats of achievement. National Spiritual Assemblies who had little or no experience in developing a working relationship with officials of their countries’ governments were called on to solicit government support for resolutions at various levels of the international human rights system, and did so with outstanding success. Year after year, for twenty uninterrupted years, the case of the Iranian Bahá’ís proceeded through the international human rights system, gathering support in successive resolutions, ensuring attention to Bahá’í grievances in the missions of rapporteurs appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Commission and consolidating these gains through decisions of the Third Committee of the United Nations General Assembly. Every attempt by the Iranian regime to escape international condemnation of its treatment of its Bahá’í citizens failed to shake the support the Bahá’í issue attracted from a persistent majority of sympathetic nations represented on the Commission. The achievement was all the more remarkable in the context of the Commission’s constantly changing membership and a demanding agenda that included human rights abuses in other countries that affected millions of victims.

At the same time as direct pressure was being exerted on the Iranian government, the case was attracting unprecedented publicity around the world in newspapers, magazines and the broadcast media. Newspapers such as The New York Times, Le Monde and Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, enjoying international readership, gave wide coverage to the persecution, and television networks in Australia, Canada, the United States and a number of European countries produced in-depth, magazine — format presentations. The abuses were denounced in often strong editorial comment. Apart from the support thus lent to the efforts to secure effective intervention at the Human Rights Commission, such publicity had the effect of introducing, usually for the first time and to an audience of tens of millions of people, accurate and appreciative information about Bahá’í teachings and belief. Both the publicity and the campaign being carried on through the United Nations’ system provided influential officials around the world with a sustained opportunity to judge for themselves both the teachings of the Cause and the character of the Bahá’í community.

Commissioned by The Universal House of Justice, Century of Light, pp: 119-120

20 September ― 13 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

 

8:31 …If God be for us, who can be against us?

 

King James Bible, Romans 8:31

 

MORNING:

The Prophets of God should be regarded as physicians whose task is to foster the well-being of the world and its peoples, that, through the spirit of oneness, they may heal the sickness of a divided humanity. To none is given the right to question their words or disparage their conduct, for they are the only ones who can claim to have understood the patient and to have correctly diagnosed its ailments. No man, however acute his perception, can ever hope to reach the heights which the wisdom and understanding of the Divine Physician have attained. Little wonder, then, if the treatment prescribed by the physician in this day should not be found to be identical with that which he prescribed before. How could it be otherwise when the ills affecting the sufferer necessitate at every stage of his sickness a special remedy? In like manner, every time the Prophets of God have illumined the world with the resplendent radiance of the Day Star of Divine knowledge, they have invariably summoned its peoples to embrace the light of God through such means as best befitted the exigencies of the age in which they appeared. They were thus able to scatter the darkness of ignorance, and to shed upon the world the glory of their own knowledge. It is towards the inmost essence of these Prophets, therefore, that the  81  eye of every man of discernment must be directed, inasmuch as their one and only purpose hath always been to guide the erring, and give peace to the afflicted…. These are not days of prosperity and triumph. The whole of mankind is in the grip of manifold ills. Strive, therefore, to save its life through the wholesome medicine which the almighty hand of the unerring Physician hath prepared.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp:80-81

EVENING:

The Great Being, wishing to reveal the prerequisites of the peace and tranquillity of the world and the advancement of its peoples, hath written: 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 tranquillity 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. This will ensure the peace and composure of every people, government and nation. We fain would hope that the kings and rulers of the earth, the mirrors of the gracious and almighty name of God, may attain unto this station, and shield mankind from the onslaught of tyranny. …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. These things are obligatory and absolutely essential. It is incumbent upon every man of insight and understanding to strive to translate that which hath been written into reality and action…. That one indeed is a man who, today, dedicateth himself to the service of the entire human race. The Great Being saith: Blessed and happy is he that ariseth to promote the best interests of the peoples and kindreds of the earth. In another passage He hath proclaimed: 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.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp:249-250

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

Blessed are ye, for that ye believed in the Lord of Hosts, advanced unto the Kingdom of God, with faces rejoicing with the glad-tidings of God, that ye were awakened by the breezes of God, revived by the Spirit of God, and attracted by the fragrances of God. May it be salutary to ye, the cup overflowing with the wine of the love of God!

Thank your Lord for making ye signs of guidance and standards of the Supreme Kingdom. Soon shall the earth shake in your name, the angels pray for you, the bells ring in your mentioning, the hearts overflow with your love and tongues speak in your praise; for as much as the doors of the Kingdom are being opened before your faces, and the paradise of eternal life is being prepared and decorated for your entrance; therefore enter ye, while believing, assured, rejoiced, attracted,  severed from the world and all therein. And be not sorrowful on account of the affliction of ‘Abdul-Bahá, for calamity is a light, whereby his face glistens among the Supreme Concourse; affliction is healing to his breast, joy of his heart, happiness to his soul; nay, rather, the most honored garment upon his temple and best robe upon his body, and the dearest crown upon his head. This is his utmost desire.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, pp: 406-407

 

FROM THE GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD SHOGHI EFFENDI:

 

The gross materialism that engulfs the entire nation at the present hour; the attachment to worldly things that enshrouds the souls of men; the fears and anxieties that distract their minds; the pleasure and dissipations that fill their time, the prejudices and animosities that darken their outlook, the apathy and lethargy that paralyze their spiritual faculties — these are among the formidable obstacles that stand in the path of every would-be warrior in the service of Bahá’u’lláh, obstacles which he must battle against and surmount in his crusade for the redemption of his own countrymen.

To the degree that the home front crusader is himself cleansed of these impurities, liberated from these petty preoccupations and gnawing anxieties, delivered from these prejudices and antagonisms, emptied of self, and filled by the healing and the sustaining power of God, will he be able to combat the forces arrayed against him, magnetize the souls of those whom he seeks to convert, and win their unreserved, their enthusiastic and enduring allegiance to the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh.

Delicate and strenuous though the task may be, however arduous and prolonged the effort required, whatsoever the nature of the perils and pitfalls that beset the path of whoever arises to revive the fortunes of a Faith struggling against the rising forces of materialism, nationalism, secularism, racialism, ecclesiasticism, the all-conquering potency of the grace of God, vouchsafed through the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, will, undoubtedly, mysteriously and surprisingly, enable whosoever arises to champion His Cause to win complete and total victory.

Citadel of Faith, p. 149

13 September ― 6 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

As this movement gains momentum, as it receives added impetus from the attitude and future action of the civil authorities in Persia, it will inevitably manifest its repercussions in the West and will rouse the leaders of the Church and finally the civil authorities to challenge the claims and eventually to recognize the independent status of the Religion of Bahá’u’lláh. Nothing whatever in the meantime should be said or done by any of us, whether in the political field or in our relations with ecclesiastical organizations, that would tend to confuse the issues with which our struggling Cause will sooner or later be confronted. We should accept no position, should avoid any affiliations or commitments that could in any way harm our future position or provide our potential enemies with weapons with which they can resist that complete emancipation of our Cause or retard its ultimate recognition and victory. Though our Cause unreservedly recognizes the Divine origin of all the religions that preceded it and upholds the spiritual truths which lie at their very core and are common to them all, its institutions, whether administrative, religious or humanitarian, must if their distinctive character is to be maintained and recognized, be increasingly divorced from the outworn creeds, the meaningless ceremonials and man-made institutions with which these religions are at present identified. Our adversaries in the East have initiated the struggle. Our future opponents in the West will, in their turn, arise and carry it a stage further. Ours is the duty, in anticipation of this inevitable contest, to uphold unequivocally and with undivided loyalty the integrity of our Faith and demonstrate the distinguishing features of its divinely appointed institutions.

 

 

The Beloved Guardian of the Cause of God Shoghi Effendi

Messages to America, pp: 4-5

 

 

 

MORNING:

…If he be kindled with the fire of His love, if he forgoeth all created things, the words he uttereth shall set on fire them that hear him.

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Individual and Teaching – Raising the Divine Call, p. 4

EVENING:

Teach thou the Cause of God with an utterance which will cause the bushes to be enkindled, and the call ‘Verily, there is no God but Me, the All-Mighty, the Unconstrained’ to be raised therefrom.

“Moderation is indeed highly desirable. Every person who in some degree turneth towards the truth can himself later comprehend most of what he seeketh. However, if at the outset a word is uttered beyond his capacity, he will refuse to hear it and will arise in opposition.”

“Righteousness and detachment are like unto two most great lights for the heaven of teaching. Blessed is he who attaineth this high station…”

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Individual and Teaching – Raising the Divine Call, p. 3

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

O maid-servant of God, thou who hast given up thy life to the service of the Kingdom of God!

I have read the signs of thy thankfulness to God for guiding thee to the way of the Lord, to the path of salvation which leads to the Tent of the Testament behind the Tabernacle in the Capital of the Kingdom.

Know in the reality of assurance that every true woman who is attracted by the fragrances of holiness in this most glorious age will surpass even the most developed men of previous centuries.

It is incumbent upon thee to make thy greatest effort; to put forth thy full strength; to supplicate and to worship, and to be careful to put thy full trust in the Kingdom of the Lord Most High.

Make ready thy soul that thou mayest be like the light which shineth forth from the loftiest heights on the coast, by means of which guidance may be given to the timid ships amid the darkness of fog and the heaving of the sea.

 

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v2, p. 277

12 September ― 5 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

In contrast to these sorely tried countries on the European, the Asiatic and the African continents, unlike her sister republics in either Central or South America, the great republic of the West — the homeland of that mother community which, fostered through the tender care of an ever-solicitous Master, has already proved itself capable of rearing in its turn such splendid progeny among the divers communities of Latin America, which bids fair to multiply its daughter communities in a continent of mightier potentialities — such a republic has been, to a peculiar degree and over a long and uninterrupted period, relatively free from the chronic disorders, the political disturbances, the economic convulsions, the communal riots, the epidemics, the religious persecutions, the privations and loss of life which, during successive generations, have in one way or another afflicted so many peoples in almost every part of the globe.

Singled out by the Almighty for such a unique measure of favor, suffered to evolve, untrammelled and unperturbed, within the shell of its God-given Administrative Order, distinguished from its sister communities through the revelation of a Plan emanating directly from the mind and pen of its Founder, enriched already by so many trophies, each an eloquent testimony to its missionary zeal and valor in distant fields and amidst divers peoples, the Community of the Most Great Name in the North American continent must, sensible of the abounding grace vouchsafed to it by Bahá’u’lláh, resolve, as it has never resolved before, to carry out, however much it may be buffeted by future circumstances and the unforeseen ordeals which a heedless and chaotic world may still further experience, the mission confidently entrusted to its hands by an all-wise and loving Master.

 

 The Beloved Guardian of the Cause of God Shoghi Effendi

Citadel of Faith, pp: 40-41

 

 

 

MORNING:

To them that are endowed with understanding, it is clear and manifest that, when the fire of the love of Jesus consumed the veils of Jewish limitations, and His authority was made apparent and partially enforced, He, the Revealer of the unseen Beauty, addressing one day His disciples, referred unto His passing, and, kindling in their hearts the fire of bereavement, said unto them: “I go away and come again unto you.” And in another place He said: “I go and another will come, Who will tell you all that I have not told you, and will fulfil all that I have said.” Both these sayings have but one meaning, were ye to ponder upon the Manifestations of the Unity of God with Divine insight.

 Every discerning observer will recognize that in the Dispensation of the Qur’án both the Book and the Cause of Jesus were confirmed. As to the matter of names, Muḥammad, Himself, declared: “I am Jesus.” He recognized the truth of the signs, prophecies, and words of Jesus, and testified that they were all of God. In this sense, neither the person of Jesus nor His writings hath differed from that of Muhammad and of His holy Book, inasmuch as both have  championed the Cause of God, uttered His praise, and revealed His commandments. Thus it is that Jesus, Himself, declared: “I go away and come again unto you.” Consider the sun. Were it to say now, “I am the sun of yesterday,” it would speak the truth. And should it, bearing the sequence of time in mind, claim to be other than that sun, it still would speak the truth. In like manner, if it be said that all the days are but one and the same, it is correct and true. And if it be said, with respect to their particular names and designations, that they differ, that again is true. For though they are the same, yet one doth recognize in each a separate designation, a specific attribute, a particular character. Conceive accordingly the distinction, variation, and unity characteristic of the various Manifestations of holiness, that thou mayest comprehend the allusions made by the Creator of all names and attributes to the mysteries of distinction and unity, and discover the answer to thy question as to why that everlasting Beauty should have, at sundry times, called Himself by different names and titles….

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 21-22

 

EVENING:

O kings of Christendom! Heard ye not the saying of Jesus, the Spirit of God, “I go away, and come again unto you”? Wherefore, then, did ye fail, when He did come again unto you in the clouds of heaven, to draw nigh unto Him, that ye might behold His face, and be of them that attained His Presence? In another passage He saith: “When He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth.” And yet, behold how, when He did bring the truth, ye refused to turn your faces towards Him, and persisted in disporting yourselves with your pastimes and fancies. Ye welcomed Him not, neither did ye seek His Presence, that ye might hear the verses of God from His own mouth, and partake of the manifold wisdom of the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the All-Wise. Ye have, by reason of your failure, hindered the breath of God from being wafted over you, and have withheld from your souls the sweetness of its fragrance. Ye continue roving with delight in the valley of your corrupt desires. Ye, and all ye possess, shall pass away. Ye shall, most certainly, return to God, and shall be called to account for your doings in the presence of Him Who shall gather together the entire creation…

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp: 246-2247

 

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

When we consider the phenomenal sun, we see that its heat and light are continuous. There is no cessation to the solar bounty. If the sun at any time were without light or heat, it would not be the sun. How do we recognize the sun? Through its heat and effulgence. If it be deprived of its rays and heat, it is no longer a sun; it is merely a dark globe or sphere in the heavens. The bounties of the sun must be perpetual in order that it may be qualified as a solar center of energy, illumination and attraction.

 

Likewise, the divine bounties of the Sun of Reality are perpetual. Its light is forever shining. Its love is forever radiating. Its bounty never ceases. It could not be said that the power and effulgence of God was ever subject to cessation. It could not be claimed that the divinity of the Almighty One had come to an end. For the divinity of God is eternal. Therefore, the divine bounties — whether phenomenal and accidental or spiritual and ideal — are perpetual. But the people of religion are of two kinds: Some worship the sun, and some adore the dawning points from which the sun rises. For instance, the Jews adore the Mosaic point of dawning, the Zoroastrians that of Zoroaster. The people of Abraham turned to the point of rising in Abraham. When the Sun of Reality transferred its illumination from the Abrahamic to the Mosaïc point of dawning, the people of Abraham denied its appearance because they were turning toward the point and not to the Sun of Reality itself. When that Sun of Reality with its divine bestowal, its heavenly glow and effulgence transferred to the Messianic point of rising, the Jews denied its appearance in Jesus, for they were not worshipers of the Sun itself but adored its rising in Moses. Had they been worshipers of the Sun of Reality, they would have turned to Christ instead of denying Him as the Messiah.

The Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp: 272-273

11 September ― 4 ‘Izzat   Leave a comment

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

 

The Beloved Guardian of the Cause of God Shoghi Effendi

Citadel of Faith, pp: 62-63

 

 

 

MORNING:

The Third Valley

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

In this realm, instruction is assuredly of no avail.

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

 

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

 

 

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

 

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

 

 

1.

That attribute of God which draws all creatures to Him

2.

The Mathnaví

3.

Qur’án 21:27

4.

Sa’dí

5.

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

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

See also Some Answered Questions, p. 284

6.

The Mathnaví

7.

Ibid

8.

From Qur’án 18:37

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 55-59

 

EVENING:

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 60-69

 
 

1.

Qur’án 2:254; 5:1, etc

 
 

2.

Statement attributed to ‘Alí

 
 

3.

This quotation is in Arabic

 
 

4.

The Mathnaví

 
 

5.

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

 
 

6.

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

 
 

7.

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

 
 

8.

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

 
 

9.

The Mathnaví

 
 

10.

Qur’án 76:13

 
 

11.

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

 
 

12.

Qur’án 55:29

 
 

13.

Qur’án 6:79

 
 

14.

Qur’án 6:75

 
 

15.

Cf. Qur’án 7:105 etc., and Hadíth

 
 

16.

The Mathnaví

 
 

17.

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

 
 

18.

Muḥammad

 
 

19.

Hadíth

 
 

20.

Qur’án 33:62; 48:23.  

 
           

 

His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

The Four Valleys, pp: 57-64