Archive for the ‘The Universal House of Justice’ Tag

11 June ― 7 Núr   Leave a comment

Consumer culture, today’s inheritor by default of materialism’s gospel of human betterment, is unembarrassed by the ephemeral nature of the goals that inspire it. For the small minority of people who can afford them, the benefits it offers are immediate, and the rationale unapologetic. Emboldened by the breakdown of traditional morality, the advance of the new creed is essentially no more than the triumph of animal impulse, as instinctive and blind as appetite, released at long last from the restraints of supernatural sanctions. Its most obvious casualty has been language. Tendencies once universally castigated as moral failings mutate into necessities of social progress. Selfishness becomes a prized commercial resource; falsehood reinvents itself as public information; perversions of various kinds unabashedly claim the status of civil rights. Under appropriate euphemisms, greed, lust, indolence, pride―even violence―acquire not merely broad acceptance but social and economic value. Ironically, as words have been drained of meaning, so have the very material comforts and acquisitions for which truth has been casually sacrificed.

 

Commissioned by

The Universal House of Justice

One Common Faith

MORNING:

Among the faithless is he who rubbeth his eyes, and looketh to the right and to the left. Say: ‘Blinded art thou. No refuge hast thou to flee to.’ And among them is he who saith: ‘Have men been gathered together?’ Say: ‘Yea, by My Lord! whilst thou didst lie in the cradle of idle fancies.’ And among them is he who saith: ‘Hath the Book been sent down through the power of the true Faith?’ Say: ‘The true Faith itself is astounded.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 119

EVENING:

And among them is he who saith: ‘Have I been assembled with others, blind?’ Say: ‘Yea, by Him that rideth upon the clouds!’ Paradise is decked with mystic roses, and hell hath been made to blaze with the fire of the impious. Say: ‘The light hath shone forth from the horizon of Revelation, and the whole earth hath been illumined at the coming of Him Who is the Lord of the Day of the Covenant!’ The doubters have perished, whilst he that turned, guided by the light of assurance, unto the Dayspring of Certitude hath prospered. Blessed art thou, who hast fixed thy gaze upon Me, for this Tablet which hath been sent down for thee  — a Tablet which causeth the souls of men to soar. Commit it to memory, and recite it. By My life! It is a door to the mercy of thy Lord. Well is it with him that reciteth it at eventide and at dawn. We, verily, heard thy praise of this Cause, through which the mountain of knowledge was crushed, and men’s feet have slipped. My glory be upon thee and upon whomsoever hath turned unto the Almighty, the All-Bounteous. The Tablet is ended, but the theme is unexhausted. Be patient, for thy Lord is patient.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 119

FRM THE CENTER OF THE COVENANT ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

The outward miracles have no importance for the people of Reality. If a blind man receives sight, for example, he will finally again become sightless, for he will die and be deprived of all his senses and powers. Therefore, causing the blind man to see is comparatively of little importance, for this faculty of sight will at last disappear. If the body of a dead person be resuscitated, of what use is it since the body will die again? But it is important to give perception and eternal life — that is, the spiritual and divine life. For this physical life is not immortal, and its existence is equivalent to nonexistence. So it is that Christ said to one of His disciples: “Let the dead bury their dead;” for “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”*

*Matt. 8:22; John 3:6

Observe: those who in appearance were physically alive, Christ considered dead; for life is the eternal life, and existence is the real existence. Wherever in the Holy Books they speak of raising the dead, the meaning is that the dead were blessed by eternal life; where it is said that the blind received sight, the signification is that he obtained the true perception; where it is said a deaf man received hearing, the meaning is that he acquired spiritual and heavenly hearing. This is ascertained from the text of the Gospel where Christ said: “These are like those of whom Isaiah said, They have eyes and see not, they have ears and hear not; and I healed them.”*

*Cf. Matt. 13:14 and John 12:40-41

Some Answered Questions, pp: 101-102

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4 June ― 19 ‘Azamat   Leave a comment

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

 

The Universal House of Justice

Riḍván 1994

MORNING:

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

—Bahá’u’lláh quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Promised Day is Come, pp: 3-4

 

EVENING:

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

— The Báb quoted by Shoghi Effendi

The Promised Day is Come, p. 4

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

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

 

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

Foundations of World Unity, pp: 9-10

 

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN SHOGHI EFFENDI:

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

The Promised Day is Come, p. 3

24 May ― 8 ‘Azamat   Leave a comment

“If we allow prejudice of any kind to manifest itself in us, we shall be guilty before God of causing a setback to the progress and real growth of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. It is incumbent upon every believer to endeavour with a fierce determination to eliminate this defect from his thoughts and acts. The fundamental purpose of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh is the realization of the organic unity of the entire human race…”

 

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

From a letter to all National Assemblies, July 13, 1972

Lights of Guidance Part 6, p. 530

 

MORNING:

Entreat thou the one true God to sanctify the ears, and the eyes, and the hearts of mankind, and to protect them from the desires of a corrupt inclination. For malice is a grievous malady which depriveth man from recognizing the Great Being, and debarreth him from the splendors of the sun of certitude. We pray and hope that through the grace and mercy of God He may remove this mighty obstacle. He, verily, is the Potent, the All-Subduing, the Almighty.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 96

EVENING:

Enter thou My presence, that thou mayest behold what the eye of the universe hath never beheld, and hear that which the ear of the whole creation hath never heard, that haply thou mayest free thyself from the mire of vague fancies, and set thy face towards the Most Sublime Station, wherein this Wronged One calleth aloud: “The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the All-Praised!” We fain would hope that through thine exertions the wings of men may be sanctified from the mire of self and desire, and be made worthy to soar in the atmosphere of God’s love. Wings that are besmirched with mire can never soar. Unto this testify they who are the exponents of justice and equity, and yet the people are in evident doubt.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 96

FROM THE MYSTERY OF GOD  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

I wish this blessing to appear and become manifest in the faces and characteristics of the believers, so that they, too, may become a new people, and having found new life and been baptized with fire and spirit, may make the world a new world, to the end that the old earth may disappear and the new earth appear; old ideas depart and new thoughts come; old garments be cast aside and new garments put on; ancient politics whose foundation is war be discarded and modern politics founded on peace raise the standard of victory; the new star shine and gleam and the new sun illumine and radiate; new flowers bloom, the new spring become known; the new breeze blow; the new bounty descend; the new tree give forth new fruit; the new voice become raised and this new sound reach the ears, that the new will follow the new, and all the old furnishings and adornments be cast aside and new decorations put in their places.

I desire for you all that you will have this great assistance and partake of this great bounty, and that in spirit and heart you will strive and endeavor until the world of war become the world of peace; the world of darkness the world of light; satanic conduct be turned into heavenly behavior; the ruined places become built up; the sword be turned into the olive branch; the flash of hatred become the flame of the love of God and the noise of the gun the voice of the Kingdom; the soldiers of death the soldiers of life; all the nations of the world one nation; all races as one race; and all national anthems harmonized into one melody.

Then this material realm will be Paradise, the earth Heaven, and the world of Satan become the world of Angels.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Volume 1, pp: 39-40

FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN OF THE CAUSE OF GOD SHOGHI EFFENDI:

Does not ‘Abdu’l-Bahá wish us, as He looks down upon us with loving expectation from His glorious Station, to obliterate as much as possible all traces of censure, of conflicting discussions, of cooling remarks, of petty unnecessary observations that impede the onward march of the Cause, that damp the zeal of the firm believer and detract from the sublimity of the Bahá’í Cause in the eyes of the inquirer?

Unfolding Destiny, p. 4

8 May — 11 Jamál   Leave a comment

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

One consecrated soul is preferable to a thousand other souls. If a small number of people gather lovingly together, with absolute purity and sanctity, with their hearts free of the world, experiencing the emotions of the Kingdom and the powerful magnetic forces of the Divine, and being at one in their happy fellowship, that gathering will exert its influence over all the earth. The nature of that band of people, the words they speak, the deeds they do, will unleash the bestowals of Heaven, and provide a foretaste of eternal bliss. The hosts of the Company on high will defend them, and the angels of the Abhá Paradise, in continuous succession, will come down to their aid.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá [rev. ed.], (Haifa: Bahá’í World Centre, 1982), sec. 39, p. 81

From The Universal House of Justice

Youth : 1985 May 8 UHJ Letter to Youth of the World

 

We applaud those youth who, in respect of this period, have already engaged in some activity within their national and local communities or in collaboration with their peers in other countries, and call upon them to persevere in their unyielding efforts to acquire spiritual qualities and useful qualifications. For if they do so, the influence of their high-minded motivations will exert itself upon world developments conducive to a productive, progressive and peaceful future… … The present requirements of a Faith whose responsibilities rapidly increase in relation to its rise from obscurity impose an inescapable duty on the youth to ensure that their lives reflect to a marked degree the transforming power of the new Revelation they have embraced. Otherwise, by what example are the claims of Bahá’u’lláh to be judged? How is His healing Message to be acknowledged by a skeptical humanity if it produces no noticeable effect upon the young, who are seen to be among the most energetic, the most pliable and promising elements in any society? The dark horizon faced by a world which has failed to recognize the Promised One, the Source of its salvation, acutely affects the outlook of the younger generations; their distressing lack of hope and their indulgence in desperate but futile and even dangerous solutions make a direct claim on the remedial attention of Bahá’í youth, who, through their knowledge of that Source and the bright vision with which they have thus been endowed, cannot hesitate to impart to their despairing fellow youth the restorative joy, the constructive hope, the radiant assurances of Bahá’u’lláh’s stupendous Revelation.

The words, the deeds, the attitudes, the lack of prejudice, the nobility of character, the high sense of service to others – in a word, those qualities and actions which distinguish a Bahá’í must unfailingly characterize their inner life and outer behaviour, and their interactions with friend or foe.

Rejecting the low sights of mediocrity, let them scale the ascending heights of excellence in all they aspire to do. May they resolve to elevate the very atmosphere in which they move, whether it be in the school rooms or halls of higher learning, in their work, their recreation, their Bahá’í activity or social service. Indeed, let them welcome with confidence the challenges awaiting them. Imbued with this excellence and a corresponding humility, with tenacity and a loving servitude, today’s youth must move towards the front ranks of the professions, trades, arts and crafts which are necessary to the further progress of humankind – this to ensure that the spirit of the Cause will cast its illumination on all these important areas of human endeavour. Moreover, while aiming at mastering the unifying concepts and swiftly advancing technologies of this era of communications, they can, indeed they must also guarantee the transmittal to the future of those skills which will preserve the marvelous, indispensable achievements of the past. The transformation which is to occur in the functioning of society will certainly depend to a great extent on the effectiveness of the preparations the youth make for the world they will inherit.

We commend these thoughts to your private contemplation and to the consultations you conduct about your future. And we offer the assurance of our prayerful remembrances of you, our trust and confidence.

MORNING:

The friends of God, one and all, are remembered by the Supreme Pen: The bounties of the Source of Bounty are at every moment visibly descending. It behoveth the friends in whatever land they be, to gather together in meetings, and therein to speak wisely and with eloquence, and to read the verses of God; for it is God’s Words that kindle love’s fire and set it ablaze.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

From an unpublished Tablet

Bahá’í Meetings by Bahá’u’lláh, Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi

Revised January 1989

From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, #1

 

EVENING:

By My life and My Cause! Round about whatever dwelling the friends of God may enter, and from which their cry shall rise as they praise and glorify the Lord, shall circle the souls of true believers and all the favoured angels. And should the door of the true eye be opened unto some, they shall witness the Supreme Concourse as it circleth and crieth: “Blessed art thou, O house, for God hath made thee a resting-place for those He favoureth, and a lodging for those He holdeth dear, and a home for those in whom He hath placed His trust. Unto thee be His praise and His glory and His endless grace.”

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

From an unpublished Tablet

Bahá’í Meetings by Bahá’u’lláh, Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi

Revised January 1989

From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, #2

 

 

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

28 April ― 2 Jamál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN THE FEAST OF JAMÁL [BEAUTY]   Leave a comment

28 April ― 2 Jamál

Holy Day – The 9th Day of the Festival of RIḌVÁN


The Mashriqu’l-Adhkár, described by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as “one of the most vital institutions of the world”, weds two essential, inseparable aspects of Bahá’í life:  worship and service.  The union of these two is also reflected in the coherence that exists among the community-building features of the Plan, particularly the burgeoning of a devotional spirit that finds expression in gatherings for prayer and an educational process that builds capacity for service to humanity.  The correlation of worship and service is especially pronounced in those clusters around the world where Bahá’í communities have significantly grown in size and vitality, and where engagement in social action is apparent.  Some of these have been designated as sites for the dissemination of learning so as to nurture the friends’ ability to advance the junior youth programme in associated regions.  The capacity to sustain this programme, as we have recently indicated, also fuels the development of study circles and children’s classes.  Thus, beyond its primary purpose, the learning site fortifies the entire scheme of expansion and consolidation.  It is within these clusters that, in the coming years, the emergence of a local Mashriqu’l-Adhkár can be contemplated.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2012, ¶9

MORNING:

Glorified is He Who hath surrendered the embodiment of His Beauty to the clutches of the envious and the wicked — a fate unto which We are fully resigned, though none may perceive this save those who are endued with insight.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 4

 

EVENING:

Pointing with her finger unto My head, she addressed all who are in heaven and all who are on earth, saying: By God! This is the Best-Beloved of the worlds, and yet ye comprehend not. This is the Beauty of God amongst you, and the power of His sovereignty within you, could ye but understand. This is the Mystery of God and His Treasure, the Cause of God and His glory unto all who are in the kingdoms of Revelation and of creation, if ye be of them that perceive. This is He Whose Presence is the ardent desire of the denizens of the Realm of eternity, and of them that dwell within the Tabernacle of glory, and yet from His Beauty do ye turn aside.

— His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Súriy-i-Haykal

The Tablet of the Temple

The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 5

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

The Blessed Beauty saith: ‘Ye are all the fruits of one tree, the leaves of one branch.’ Thus hath He likened this world of being to a single tree, and all its peoples to the leaves thereof, and the blossoms and fruits. It is needful for the bough to blossom, and leaf and fruit to flourish, and upon the interconnection of all parts of the world-tree, dependeth the flourishing of leaf and blossom, and the sweetness of the fruit.

For this reason must all human beings powerfully sustain one another and seek for everlasting life; and for this reason must the lovers of God in this contingent world become the mercies and the blessings sent forth by that clement King of the seen and unseen realms. Let them purify their sight and behold all humankind as leaves and blossoms and fruits of the tree of being. Let them at all times concern themselves with doing a kindly thing for one of their fellows, offering to someone love, consideration, thoughtful help. Let them see no one as their enemy, or as wishing them ill, but think of all humankind as their friends; regarding the alien as an intimate, the stranger as a companion, staying free of prejudice, drawing no lines.

In this day, the one favoured at the Threshold of the Lord is he who handeth round the cup of faithfulness; who bestoweth, even upon his enemies, the jewel of bounty, and lendeth, even to his fallen oppressor, a helping hand; it is he who will, even to the fiercest of his foes, be a loving friend. These are the Teachings of the Blessed Beauty, these the counsels of the Most Great Name.

Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp: 1-2


 

24 April ― 16 Jalál ― THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN   Leave a comment

24 April ― 16 Jalál THE TWELVE DAYS OF RIḌVÁN


And what could be more fitting to offer the Blessed Beauty on the two hundredth anniversary of His Birth than the earnest striving of His loved ones to extend the reach of His Faith? The first of the two bicentenaries to be celebrated by the Baha’i world is thus an occasion with prospects most thrilling. Viewed aright, this year presents the single greatest worldwide opportunity there has ever been for connecting hearts to Baha’u’llah. In the months ahead, let all be mindful of this precious chance and alert to the possibilities that exist in every space for acquainting others with His life and sublime mission. For the teaching opportunity that is now before the Baha’i world to be seized to its fullest extent, creative thought needs to be given to the conversations that could unfold with every kind of person. In the course of such meaningful conversations, perception is heightened and hearts are opened—sometimes immediately. In this worthy occupation all find a calling, and of the joy that comes from being engaged in this work none should deprive themselves. We entreat the one Beloved that the whole of this bicentennial year may be filled with this joy that is purest and sweetest: telling another soul of the dawning of the Day of God.

THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

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RIḌVÁN MESSAGE 2017

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 FROM THE BELOVED GUARDIAN, SHOGHI EFFENDI

We can prove ourselves worthy of our Cause only if in our individual conduct and corporate life we sedulously imitate the example of our beloved Master, Whom the terrors of tyranny, the storms of incessant abuse, the oppressiveness of humiliation, never caused to deviate a hair’s breadth from the revealed Law of Bahá’u’lláh.

12 April 1927 to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, published in Bahá’í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932 p. 132; The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, p. 173

MORNING:

Canst thou discover any one but Me, O Pen, in this Day? What hath become of the creation and the manifestations thereof? What of the names and their kingdom? Whither are gone all created things, whether seen or unseen? What of the hidden secrets of the universe and its revelations? Lo, the entire creation hath passed away! Nothing remaineth except My Face, the Ever-Abiding, the Resplendent, the All-Glorious.

This is the Day whereon naught can be seen except the splendors of the Light that shineth from the face of Thy Lord, the Gracious, the Most Bountiful. Verily, We have caused every soul to expire by virtue of Our irresistible and all-subduing sovereignty. We have, then, called into being a new creation, as a token of Our grace unto men. I am, verily, the All-Bountiful, the Ancient of Days.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 29

 

IMG_1728EVENING:

I beseech Thee, O my God, by Thy hair which moveth across Thy face, even as Thy most exalted pen moveth across the pages of Thy Tablets, shedding the musk of hidden meanings over the kingdom of Thy creation, so to raise me up to serve Thy Cause that I shall not fall back, nor be hindered by the suggestions of them who have caviled at Thy signs and turned away from Thy face. Thou seest me, O my God, holding to Thy Name, the Most Holy, the Most Luminous, the Most Mighty, the Most Great, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorious, and clinging to the hem of the robe to which have clung all in this world and in the world to come…I beseech Thee, O my God, by Thy Beauty that shineth forth above the horizon of eternity, a Beauty before which as soon as it revealeth itself the kingdom of beauty boweth down in worship, magnifying it in ringing tones, to grant that I may die to all that I possess and live to whatsoever belongeth unto Thee. Thou seest me, O my God, holding to Thy Name, the Most Holy, the Most Luminous, the Most Mighty, the Most Great, the Most Exalted, the Most Glorious, and clinging to the hem of the robe to which have clung all in this world and in the world to come.

—His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh

Prayers and Meditations by Bahá’u’lláh, p. 289

 

IMG_8987FROM THE CENTRE OF THE COVENANT  ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ:

O thou who dost believe in the Unity of God!

Know verily nothing will benefit a person save the love of the Merciful One. Nothing illuminates a man’s heart save the radiance which shines forth from the Kingdom of God! Put away every thought and doubtful mentioning and keep thy thoughts entirely on that which uplifts man to the heaven of the gift of God and that which causes every bird that belongs to the Kingdom to soar unto the incomparable realms, the center of everlasting grandeur in this world.

Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v1, p. 52

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FROM HIS HOLINESS THE CHRIST, THE HOLY BIBLE, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT LUKE:

8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

8:16 No man, when he hath lighted a candle, covereth it with a vessel, or putteth it under a bed; but setteth it on a candlestick, that they which enter in may see the light.

8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have.

8:19 Then came to Him His mother and His brethren, and could not come at him for the press.

8:20 And it was told Him by certain which said, Thy mother and Thy brethren stand without, desiring to see Thee.

8:21 And He answered and said unto them, My mother and My brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.