Holy Day: Centenary Of The Ascension Of Abdu’l-Baha’ Qawl 6, 178 B.E. (11/28/2021)

November 28th, 2021

Prayer Of The Covenant

My God! My God! I ask Thee to forgive everything save my servitude to Thy Supreme Threshold, and I declare myself innocent of any proclamation or praise, save my adoration for Thy Merciful Presence. I deprive myself of every adornment, save that of humiliation and contrition and evanescence before Thy Oneness. I flee from every station save that of arrival in the court of Thy Divine Eternity. By Thy Power, verily, the sweetness of servitude is the food of my spirit; with the fragrance of servitude my breast will be dilated, my being refreshed, my heart delighted, my eyes brightened, my nostrils perfumed, and in it is the healing of my disease, the allaying of my burning thirst, the soothing of my pain.

Immerse me, O my God, in this most bounteous, rolling Ocean; give me to drink of this sweet, abundant Water; cause me to enter this Gateway of Righteousness; ordain me for this praiseworthy Station; cause me to obtain this Cup which is overflowing with the living water; light in the crystal of my heart this Lamp which is giving forth its illuminating, brilliant radiance; and strengthen me for the service of Thy Cause, O my Lord, the Forgiver! Accept my servitude in the court of Thy Holy Oneness, O Thou, the Manifestor of Mount Sinai. Assist me to abide in its conditions, O Thou, the Authority of Manifestation. Aid me to assist Thy Cause in the eastern and western parts of the earth, O Thou the Possessor of the Day of Resurrection. I ask Thee, by Thy written Book, dispersed writings — by Thy Hidden Mystery, and Thy firm proclamations — to cause me to be steadfast in servitude to Thee, O my Lord, the Forgiver! Verily, Thou art the powerful over that which Thou wishest; and verily, Thou art the Merciful, the Compassionate.

Abdu’l-Baha’, The Crimson Book: The Book Of The Covenant

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O ye who are holding fast unto the Covenant and Testament! This day, from the realms of the All-Glorious, from the Kingdom of Holiness where hosannas of glorification and praise rise up, the Company on high direct their gaze upon you. Whensoever their gaze lighteth upon gatherings of those who are steadfast in the Covenant and Testament, then do they utter their cry, ‘Glad tidings! Glad tidings!’ Then, exulting, do they lift up their voices, and shout, ‘O ye spiritual communion! O ye gathering of God! Blessed are ye! Glad tidings be unto you! Bright be your faces, and be ye of good cheer, for ye cling to the Covenant of the Beloved of all the worlds, ye are on fire with the wine of His Testament. Ye have plighted your troth to the Ancient of Days, ye have drunk deep from the chalice of loyalty. Ye have guarded and defended the Cause of God; ye have not been a cause of dividing up His Word; ye have not brought His Faith low, but have striven to glorify His Holy Name; ye have not allowed the Blessed Cause to be exposed to the derision of the people. Ye have not permitted the Designated Station to be humbled, nor been willing to see the Centre of Authority discredited or exposed to mockery and persecution. Ye have striven to keep the Word whole and one. Ye have passed through the portals of mercy. Ye have not let the Blessed Beauty slip from your minds, to fade unremembered.’

The Glory rest upon you.

Abdu’l-Baha’ Selections #182

Holy Day: Day Of The Covenant, Qawl 4, 178 B.E. (11/26/2021)

November 26th, 2021

The time foreordained unto the peoples and kindreds of the earth is now come. The promises of God, as recorded in the holy Scriptures, have all been fulfilled. Out of Zion hath gone forth the Law of God, and Jerusalem, and the hills and land thereof, are filled with the glory of His Revelation. Happy is the man that pondereth in his heart that which hath been revealed in the Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Meditate upon this, O ye beloved of God, and let your ears be attentive unto His Word, so that ye may, by His grace and mercy, drink your fill from the crystal waters of constancy, and become as steadfast and immovable as the mountain in His Cause.

Baha’u’llah, Gleanings X

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THE BAHA’l SACRED WRITINGS flow out from the Two Central Documents of the Baha’i Revelation, the Book of the Covenant of Baha’u’llah (entitled the Kitab-i-Ahd) and the sacred Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha’, which is “THE CHARTER” of the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven (see World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 144). All the other writings and teachings receive their life, their relevance, and their real inner spiritual force, meaning, and sustenance from out the wellspring of these two Most Mighty Documents, forming one single “scroll written (within) on the inside (the Kitab-i-Ahd) and (on the back) on the outside (the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha’), sealed with seven seals” (Rev. 5:1 ISV).
No person can, really in good faith, even consider themselves to be a Baha’i in truth unless they can be said to have first at least read and attempted to understand, let alone believed in and been obedient and faithful to the contents and provisions of these two Documents combined together as One single Scroll. This is something similar to what Jesus said, when he said that “to eat” is to come unto him (understanding the “bread” of the teachings) and that “to drink” (the wine of the Covenant that gives life to the teachings) is to believe! (see John 6:35 KJV).
Abdu’l-Baha’ wrote the Will and Testament in three different parts at three different times. He sealed each of these parts, making three seals. On the back of the envelope where it was stuck down Abdu’l-Baha’ placed three more seals, and then on the front, where it was addressed to “the chosen branch,” he placed the seventh seal. The seven seals are thus on the outside part of this scroll, the Will and Testament of Abdu’l-Baha’, which was found after his passing with the Kitab-i-Ahd, the Book of the Covenant of Baha’u’llah, rolled up within.
The Kitab-i-Ahd and the Will and Testament together comprise the prophesied continuation of the everlasting Covenant given in the Bible because in His Covenant, Baha’u’llah establishes the throne of King David as the Executive Branch of His Universal House of Justice. This everlasting Covenant was begun with Adam, passed down through Abraham and David, and promised by Jesus Christ to be established in the world today, 2000 years since his birth and first appearance. Baha’u’llah is a direct descendent of the exilarchs (the exiled monarchs of King David) who were taken into captivity into Babylon and Persia (‘Iraq and Iran) the land of the birth-place of Baha’u’llah. Through His son Abdu’l-Baha’, the throne-line of David continues down to this present Day.

The Crimson Book: The Book Of The Covenant (Preface)

 

Thou hast said, “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: ‘I will establish your descendants for ever, and build your throne for all generations.’” Selah

Psalm 89

THE Most Great Law is come, and the Ancient Beauty [Baha’u’llah] ruleth upon the throne of David. Thus hath My Pen spoken that which the histories of bygone ages have related. At this time, however, David crieth aloud and saith: ‘O my loving Lord! Do Thou number me with such as have stood steadfast in Thy Cause, O Thou through Whom the faces have been illumined, and the footsteps have slipped!’

Baha’u’llah, Proclamation, pg. 89

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Today, the most important affair is firmness in The Covenant, because firmness in The Covenant wards off differences.

In former cycles no distinct Covenant was made in writing by the Supreme Pen; no distinct personage was appointed to be the Standard differentiating falsehood from truth, so that whatsoever he said was to stand as truth and that which he repudiated was to be known as falsehood. At most, His Holiness Jesus Christ gave only an intimation, a symbol, and that was but an indication of the solidity of Peter’s faith. When he mentioned his faith, His Holiness said, Thou art Peter”—which means rock—’and upon this rock will I build my church.’ This was a sanction of Peter’s faith; it was not indicative of his (Peter) being the expounder of the Book, but was a confirmation of Peter’s faith.

But in this Dispensation of the Blessed Beauty (BAHA’U’LLAH) among its distinctions is that He did not leave people in perplexity. He entered into a Covenant and Testament with the people. He appointed a CENTER OF THE COVENANT. He wrote with His own pen and revealed it in the Kitab-I-Akdas, the Book of Laws, and Kitab-I-Ah’d, the Book of the Covenant, appointing him (Abdul-Baha) the Expounder of the Book. You must ask him (Abdul-Baha) regarding the meanings of the texts of the verses. Whatsoever he says is correct. Outside of this, in numerous Tablets He (BAHA’U’LLAH) has explicitly recorded it, with clear, sufficient, valid and forceful statements. In the Tablet of THE BRANCH He explicitly states: Whatsoever THE BRANCH says is right, or correct; and every person must obey THE BRANCH with his life, with his heart, with his tongue. Without his will, not a word shall anyone utter. This is an explicit text of the Blessed Beauty. So there is no excuse left for anybody. No soul shall, of himself, speak anything: Whatsoever his (Abdul-Baha’s) tongue utters, whatsoever his pen records, that is correct; according to the explicit text of BAHA’U’LLAH in the Tablet of THE BRANCH.

Abdu’l-Baha, Star of The West, Vol. 3, No. 14, Pg. 9

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So firm and mighty is this Covenant that from the beginning of time until the present day no religious Dispensation hath produced its like. It is indubitably clear that the pivot of the oneness of mankind is nothing else but the power of the Covenant. Know thou that the ‘Sure Handle’ mentioned from the foundation of the world in the Books, the Tablets and the Scriptures of old is naught else but the Covenant and the Testament. The lamp of the Covenant is the light of the world, and the words traced by the Pen of the Most High a limitless ocean. The Lord, the All-Glorified, hath, beneath the shade of the Tree of Anísá (Tree of Life), made a new Covenant and established a great Testament. Hath such a Covenant been established in any previous Dispensation, age, period or century? Hath such a Testament, set down by the Pen of the Most High, ever been witnessed? No, by God! The power of the Covenant is as the heat of the sun which quickeneth and promoteth the development of all created things on earth. The light of the Covenant, in like manner, is the educator of the minds, the spirits, the hearts and souls of men.

 Abdu’l-Baha’, cf: God Passes By, pg. 238-239
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All praise and thanksgiving be unto the Blessed Beauty, for calling into action the armies of His Abhá Kingdom, and sending forth to us His never-interrupted aid, dependable as the rising stars. In every region of the earth hath He supported this single, lonely servant, at every moment hath He made known to me the signs and tokens of His love. He hath cast into a stupor all those who are clinging to their vain illusions, and made them infamous in the sight of high and low. He hath caused those who run after their fads and fancies to become objects of general reproach, and hath exposed the arrogant to public view; He hath made those of the friends who proved infirm of faith to serve as a warning to every beholder, and hath caused the leaders of those who waver to love but themselves and sink down in self-conceit. Meanwhile, by the power of His might, He hath made this broken-winged bird to rise up before all who dwell on earth. He hath shattered the serried ranks of the rebellious, and hath given the victory to the hosts of salvation, and breathed into the hearts of those who stand firm in the Covenant and Testament the breath of everlasting life.

Abdu’l-Baha, excerpted from Selections #195

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O ye whom God hath chosen from among those who are called!—know that “many are called but few are chosen”!—upon whom He caused the evident Light to descend; whom He guided into the right Path, and to whom He gave the Glad-tidings of the Great Success!

Ye must be sincere and faithful, ye must follow the ordinances which refer to the Covenant of God, who is the solid edifice.

O ye beloved of God, know that steadfastness and firmness in this new and wonderful Covenant is indeed the spirit that quickeneth the hearts which are overflowing with the love of the Glorious Lord; verily, it is the power which penetrates into the hearts of the people of the world! Your Lord hath assuredly promised His servants who are firm and steadfast to render them victorious at all times, to exalt their word, propagate their power, diffuse their lights, strengthen their hearts, elevate their banners, assist their hosts, brighten their stars, increase the abundance of the showers of mercy upon them, and enable the brave lions (teachers) to conquer.

Hasten, hasten, O ye firm believers! Hasten, hasten, O ye steadfast! Abandon the heedless, set aside every ignorant, take hold of the strong rope, be firm in this Great Cause, draw light from this Evident Light, be patient and be steadfast in this wise Religion! Ye shall see the hosts of inspiration descending successively from the Supreme World, the procession of attraction falling incessantly from the heights of heaven, the abundance of the Kingdom of El-Abha outpouring continually and the teachings of God penetrating with the utmost power, while the heedless are indeed in evident loss.

Abdu’l-Baha’, Tablets of, pp. 442-443

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Rest ye assured that if a soul arises in the utmost perseverance and raises the Call of the Kingdom and resolutely promulgates the Covenant—be he an insignificant ant—he shall be enabled to drive away the formidable elephant from the arena, and if he be a feeble moth he shall cut to pieces the plumage of the rapacious vulture.

Endeavor, therefore, that ye may scatter and disperse the army of doubt and of error with the power of the Holy Utterances. This is my will and this is my counsel. Do not quarrel with anybody, and shun every form of dispute. Utter the Word of God. If he accepts it the desired purpose is attained, and if he turns away leave him to himself and trust to God.

Such is the attribute of those who are firm in the Covenant.

Abdu’l-Baha’, Star Of The West, Vol. X pg. 265

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Through the power of the divine springtime, the downpour of the celestial clouds and the heat of the Sun of Reality, the tree of life is just beginning to grow. Before long, it will produce buds, bring forth leaves and fruits, and cast its shade over the East and the West. This Tree of Life is the Book of the Covenant.

Abdu’l-Baha’, Last Tablet To America

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Today, the Lord of Hosts is the defender of the Covenant, the forces of the Kingdom protect it, heavenly souls tender their services, and heavenly angels promulgate and spread it broadcast. If it is considered with insight, it will be seen that all the forces of the universe, in the last analysis serve the Covenant.

Abdu’-Baha’, Selections #192

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To direct and canalize these forces let loose by this Heaven-sent process, and to insure their harmonious and continuous operation after His ascension, an instrument divinely ordained, invested with indisputable authority, organically linked with the Author of the Revelation Himself, was clearly indispensable. That instrument Bahá’u’lláh had expressly provided through the institution of the Covenant, an institution which He had firmly established prior to His ascension. This same Covenant He had anticipated in His Kitáb-i-Aqdas, had alluded to it as He bade His last farewell to the members of His family, who had been summoned to His bed-side, in the days immediately preceding His ascension, and had incorporated it in a special document which He designated as “the Book of My Covenant,” and which He entrusted, during His last illness, to His eldest son ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

Written entirely in His own hand; unsealed, on the ninth day after His ascension in the presence of nine witnesses chosen from amongst His companions and members of His Family; read subsequently, on the afternoon of that same day, before a large company assembled in His Most Holy Tomb, including His sons, some of the Báb’s kinsmen, pilgrims and resident believers, this unique and epoch-making Document, designated by Bahá’u’lláh as His “Most Great Tablet,” and alluded to by Him as the “Crimson Book” in His “Epistle to the Son of the Wolf,” can find no parallel in the Scriptures of any previous Dispensation, not excluding that of the Báb Himself. For nowhere in the books pertaining to any of the world’s religious systems, not even among the writings of the Author of the Bábí Revelation, do we find any single document establishing a Covenant endowed with an authority comparable to the Covenant which Bahá’u’lláh had Himself instituted.

Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 237-238

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Baha’i Sabbath: Qudrat 16, 178 B.E. (11/19/2021)

November 19th, 2021

I consider the American people a highly civilized and intelligent nation, a nation investigating truth and reality. It is my hope that through the efforts of this noble nation the solidarity of humanity may be continually advanced, that the illumination of the human world may become widespread, that the banner of universal peace may be held aloft, the lamp of the oneness of the human world be ignited and the hearts of the East and West be conjoined. Then the reality of the divine religions shall become resplendent and refulgent, indicating that they were meant to be the cause of unity and love and that through them heavenly bestowals have ever been conferring light upon the human world.

From a talk given by Abdu’l-Baha at 575 Riverside Drive, NYC, NY on November 18th, 1912

 

Qudrat 12/November 15: The Baha’i Guardian’s Letter To The President Of Iran

November 15th, 2021

 

The Baha’i Guardian’s Letter to The President of Iran

 

Holy Day: Anniversary Of The Birth Of Baha’u’llah: Qudrat 9, 178 B.E. (Sunset 11/11/2021-Sunset 11/12/2021)

November 12th, 2021

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

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And BAHA’U’LLAH shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see Him together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. 

Isaiah 40:5 

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Arise, shine; for thy BAHA is come, and BAHA’U’LLAH is risen upon thee.

For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his BAHA shall be seen upon thee.

And the Gentiles shall come to thy BAHA, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Isaiah 60:1-3

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Baha’u’llah, The Glory of God was born on this date (11/12) on the Western (Christian) calendar in the year 1817.

His birth date on the Baha’i calendar is linked to the Lunar cycles and moves throughout the year.

His birth on the Baha’i calendar in this year 178 of the Baha’i Era came on Kamal 11, corresponding to August 11 of the Christian calendar and Muharram 2 of the Muslim calendar. 

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Lawh-i Haqqu’n-Nas

Tablet of the Right of the People

In the Name of God, the Beneficient, the Merciful!

Praise be to God Who fulfilled what He revealed to all His Prophets and Messengers and gave to all the tidings of His days. And of them is the Day which He promised us in His Mighty Book through His saying, exalted be His dominion: on that day “God will enrich everyone out of His abundance.” And this, truly, is our Day, when I behold Him enriching all who enter in His shadow from the abundance of His knowledge and command, inasmuch as on this Day He hath placed the reins of knowledge in the grasp of His lowliest servant and in the possession of His most insignificant subject who hath held fast to the cord of His Love in the days of His manifestation.

 And praise be to God who inspireth whom He wisheth with the hosts of His revelation and “casteth the light of His knowledge into the heart of whom He willeth.” There is no God but Him Who is manifest through the manifestation of His own Self, inasmuch as there remains no veil for Him but the light of His Beauty, and no cloud but the abundance of His manifestation. Blessing and peace be upon the noblest of His Chosen Ones, and the most distinguished of His creation, and upon His kindred, and upon His family, and upon His saints who stood firm in His Cause and continued steadfast in His love.

And then We convey that the letter of that loved one was perused and was the source of joy and cheer. God willing this divine confirmation may always be Our friend and this divine assistance continue, such that from time to time thou shouldst seek to become informed of, and have sympathy for, the wanderers of the wilderness of disappointment and obscurity. Thus may God reward thee with the best of rewards and graciously aid thee as He wisheth and pleaseth.

Thou hadst inquired as to how the settlement of one’s rights in the world after death and paying the rights of people due to them can be conceived and be made possible in the great Resurrection, which hath been referred to as the Day of Judgement? Since these vanities, possessions, and rights that are desired and wintnessed in this vain life have no existence in the worlds after death, and assuming their existence, they will be of no profit or benefit to those to whom those rights are due; how then, will the settlement of one’s rights be accomplished in those worlds? Inasmuch as it is current amongst people that God, the All-Merciful, at times forgoeth His own right and forgiveth, but He forgoeth not the rights of the people until their rights are settled.

O beloved of my heart, thou hast inquired of a subject which is extremely perplexing and abstruse. For understanding this subject is dependent upon understanding and comprehension of the days after death and the knowledge of the the Day of Resurrection. And the comprehension of these two subjects requireth a detached heart and necessitates a pure ear. Every ear is not worthy to hearken unto this call. The ear which doeth not hearken unto the roar of the trumpet and the bugle from the heaven of the Manifestation, how can it hear the whisperings of the birds?

But since I cannot but reply to the bidding of that honored friend, therefore, I will briefly state a compendium and express a few comparisons and examples that they may suffice. And there is no power or strength save in God, the One, the Subduer.

Thus I express to thee that what thou hast seen and heard in this mortal world of limitations, by any name and character and by any form or descriptive attribute, in every one of divine worlds is manifested and witnessed in a manner suitable and proper to each world, which shineth forth and revealeth itself by another name, character, form and descriptive attribute.

This death that thou hast heard of in the world, referreth to the outward appearance and the garment, and not to the truth and the inner essence. Certainly the realities of things, through different appearances and various manifestations, truth after truth, shine forth and reveal themselves in every world. The sages of mature wisdom who have drunk from the mystic choice wine – God requite them – have believed in the embodiment of deeds.

The All-Glorious saith: “God will reward them for their attributions !”. The Dawning-Place of revelation, the All-Merciful, hath said that people are recompensed according to their deeds; reward for good and punishment for evil.

Thus it becometh evident that a deed will remain and every attribute will exist until recompense is given according to the deed and attribute itself.Therefore, any deed and any attribute that appeareth from any person hath a form in every world and unveileth itself “that God may reward every soul what he hath earned; verily, God is swift in reckoning.”

And every time We wish, in making this subject understandable, to explain the nature of the manifestations of things in the innumerable worlds by mentioning and setting forth an example which is nearer to understanding and comprehension, I consider none better to mention than the world of sleep. It is said that sleep is the brother of death, that thou may know the brother by the likeness of the brother. Thus observe that in the world of dreams thou dost witness some things, and after awaking thou dost interpret and explain them in this world by another name, form and description. And then as days go by they are witnessed in a like manner as they were interpreted and explained.

Thus O brother, every moment hath itself been from the dream, and in the world of dreams thou hast seen such a thing which, had another name and descriptive attribute in the dream, and hath another name and descriptive attribute in this world. Therefore, acknowledge thou likewise, the different forms in the world after death and know thou of a certainty that the truth, essence, oneness, form, and descriptive attributes are different. And in the event that thou hast not seen this same station with thine own eyes, thou shouldst refer to the interpretation of dream interpreters who possess knowledge and have interpreted every action and word, and have explained every thing.

The Most Truthful of Speakers hath given utterance in mentioning Joseph’s dream (peace be upon the Lord of our age and upon Him) and hath mentioned Joseph’s explanations and interpretations of the two persons mentioned in the Book.

Ponder now, what a world is this wherein father and mother are seen as the sun and the moon, and brother viewed as a star? And what a world is this which is seen conversely, inasmuch as the sun and the moon are witnessed as the father and mother, and the star is observed as the brother?

He saith, glorified be His dominion: “Lo! I saw eleven stars and the sun and the moon – I saw them prostrating themselves unto me.” And the interpretation of this dream became evident when Joseph sat upon the throne and Jacob, peace be upon Him, with the eleven brothers fell at Joseph’s feet.

Thus, after this question is definitely proven, the settlement of every right in every world is in a manner that accords with that world. And, of course, if it were otherwise then the right is not settled. I give thee another example that perchance through manifold examples that which hath been expressed should be closer to understanding and the subject be acknowledged.

Consider thou that should a person usurp a grain or a seed from another person and he should plant it in his own garden in the spring season, till it becometh green and flourishing until it finally bears fruit and becomes a tree in the summer season. Then, in this summer season, a just king desireth to restore the rights of the one who was wronged. How would the king accomplish this? Would he, in exchange, seize a grain or seed? Or would he seize the tree itself with all its fruit, to surrender it to the one who was wronged? Surely thou willt say the tree. However, the tree in this form is different from the previous form, and its name and description is different from the name and description in the spring season, because that grain or seed, as thou wouldst claim, doth not exist. And assuming that it doth exist and the same kind be given back, it would give no fruit and be of no consequence to the owner inasmuch as the spring season, which was the season of planting, hath ended and the grain or the seed will be an idle object. To outward view it is possible to say that the grain or the seed doth not exist and giveth no fruit. Nevertheless, in truth and reality this grain and seed doth exist and is witnessed as a tree and fruit, which is better and more valuable.

Many a time the settlement of rights hath taken place in this same world, without thy being aware of it. Even as it doth happen at times that the riches and possessions are the garment of fate and afflictions, and affliction and fate are revealed as riches. Thus at times it doth occur that the loss of possessions redounds to the removal of affliction, and in this instance it maketh no difference whether this loss of possessions be due to heavenly means or to the tyranny committed by the person who stealeth thy possessions. In this case, whoever usurps and takes such possessions, that person hath removed the affliction and fate from thee and hath taken them unto himself. Could a better settlement of rights than this one be conceived? Nay, by the Lord of the worlds!

And were I to unveil and elaborate upon the manifestation of deeds, actions, and words, as they reveal themselves in various unlimited forms in the worlds of God, it is feared that on the one hand the sanctified souls would abandon their bodies and ascend toward the seats of grandeur of the All- Merciful, and the ungodly and tyrannical souls would die for fear of what they have done in this vain life.

O what longing for the spiritual characteristics, goodly deeds, truthful and beneficial words and what manifests from them from the lofty heavens, to the vast earth: shining suns, resplendent moons, radiant stars, clear springs, flowing streams, pure air, sublime palaces, lofty trees, wondrous fruits, clusters of fruit that are near, warbling birds, reddened leaves, fragrant roses!

Whereas I say, “Shelter! Shelter! O my Lord, the All-Merciful, from sinful characteristics, ungodly actions, unseemly deeds, lying and harmful words and that which appears from them: which manifests on earth as hellish fire, hell, the tree of Zaqqu’m, the bitter thorn fruit and in the form of all the wickedness, deceptions, sicknesses, sorrows, Simúm, swords, arrows, spears.

Great God! revealing of the mysteries, any further, is not permitted! And I say: greatness, and again greatness and grandeur belongeth to God, the One, the Subduer.

I give thee another example from the world of divine law, which corresponds to the world of being, and I will conclude the examples with the divine laws, that perchance thou mayest, to the extent that thou art familiar with the worlds of God, know and comprehend the similitude of the world, and extrapolate it, as much as thou art able, to the endless worlds. I give thee an example of the divine law of Islam and the divine law before it which thou art familiar with and cannot but accept:

If a jug of wine or a measure of swine meat was lawfully owed to a Christian by another Christian, should both of them accept Islam, and the magistrates of the religious court were to rule on the payment of this debt to the creditor, how would the magistrates accomplish this and take give is due to the creditor? Notwithstanding that in Islamic law wine and swine meat are useless, have no value, and are of no benefit to the claimant, thou hast no recourse except to say either that the debtor must give restitution from whatever is lawful in Islam, or say that the defendant must pay its price according to what is fixed and specified among those to whom it is lawful. Similar cases are mentioned and written in the books of the doctors of religion. And if I wish to give thee one hundred thousand examples, mystical or vernacular, by God’s power and strength I am not unable to do so. However, I fear that this might become lengthy and tedious for thee, and thou mayest become perplexed by what was said.

Thus We end Our argument and say:

Praise be to God Who guided us unto the knowledge of His Most Great Name and made Us know what the whole world hath not known.

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Baha’i Sabbath: Qudrat/Power 2, 178 B.E. (11/5/2021)

November 5th, 2021

TODAY the weather is gloomy and dull! In the East there is continual sunshine, the stars are never veiled, and there are very few clouds. Light always rises in the East and sends forth its radiance into the West.

There are two kinds of light. There is the visible light of the sun, by whose aid we can discern the beauties of the world around us—without this we could see nothing.

Nevertheless, though it is the function of this light to make things visible to us, it cannot give us the power to see them or to understand what their various charms may be, for this light has no intelligence, no consciousness. It is the light of the intellect which gives us knowledge and understanding, and without this light the physical eyes would be useless.

This light of the intellect is the highest light that exists, for it is born of the Light Divine.

The light of the intellect enables us to understand and realize all that exists, but it is only the Divine Light that can give us sight for the invisible things, and which enables us to see truths that will only be visible to the world thousands of years hence.

It was the Divine Light which enabled the prophets to see two thousand years in advance what was going to take place and today we see the realization of their vision. Thus it is this Light which we must strive to seek, for it is greater than any other.

It was by this Light that Moses was enabled to see and comprehend the Divine Appearance, and to hear the Heavenly Voice which spoke to Him from the Burning Bush.1

It is of this Light Muḥammad is speaking when He says, “Alláh is the light of the Heavens, and of the Earth.”

Seek with all your hearts this Heavenly Light, so that you may be enabled to understand the realities, that you may know the secret things of God, that the hidden ways may be made plain before your eyes.

This light may be likened unto a mirror, and as a mirror reflects all that is before it, so this Light shows to the eyes of our spirits all that exists in God’s Kingdom and causes the realities of things to be made visible. By the help of this effulgent Light all the spiritual interpretation of the Holy Writings has been made plain, the hidden things of God’s Universe have become manifest, and we have been enabled to comprehend the Divine purposes for man.

I pray that God in His mercy may illumine your hearts and souls with His glorious Light, then shall each one of you shine as a radiant star in the dark places of the world.

Abdu’l-Baha’-Paris Talks, November 5th, 1911

Baha’i Month: Qudrat/Power 1, 178 B.E. (11/4/2021)

November 4th, 2021

ALL over Europe today one hears of meetings and assemblies, and societies of all kinds are formed. There are those interested in commerce, science, and politics, and many others. All these are for material service, their desire being for the progress and enlightenment of the world of matter. But rarely does a breath from the spirit world breathe upon them. They seem unconscious of the Divine Voice, careless concerning the things of God. But this meeting in Paris is a truly spiritual one. The Divine Breath is poured forth in your midst, the light of the Kingdom is shining in all hearts. The Divine love of God is a power among you, and with souls athirst, ye receive the glad tidings of great joy.

You are all met here with one accord, heart drawn to heart, souls overflowing with Divine love, working and longing for the unity of the world.

Verily this assembly is a spiritual one! It is like unto a beautiful perfumed garden! On it the Heavenly Sun sheds the golden rays, and the warmth thereof penetrates and gladdens each waiting heart. The love of Christ, which passeth all knowledge, is among you, the Holy Spirit is your help.

Day by day this meeting will grow and become more powerful until gradually its spirit will conquer the whole world!

Try with all your hearts to be willing channels for God’s Bounty. For I say unto you that He has chosen you to be His messengers of love throughout the world, to be His bearers of spiritual gifts to man, to be the means of spreading unity and concord on the earth. Thank God with all your hearts that such a privilege has been given unto you. For a life devoted to praise is not too long in which to thank God for such a favor.

Lift up your hearts above the present and look with eyes of faith into the future! Today the seed is sown, the grain falls upon the earth, but behold the day will come when it shall rise a glorious tree and the branches thereof shall be laden with fruit. Rejoice and be glad that this day has dawned, try to realize its power, for it is indeed wonderful! God has crowned you with honor and in your hearts has He set a radiant star; verily the light thereof shall brighten the whole world!

Abdul-Baha’-Paris Talks, November 4, 1911

Baha’i Sabbath: Ilm 14, 178 B.E. (10/29/2021)

October 29th, 2021

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Beauty and Harmony in Diversity

October 28, 1911

THE Creator of all is One God.

From this same God all creation sprang into existence, and He is the one goal, towards which everything in nature yearns. This conception was embodied in the words of Christ, when He said, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.” Man is the sum of Creation, and the Perfect Man is the expression of the complete thought of the Creator—the Word of God.

Consider the world of created beings, how varied and diverse they are in species, yet with one sole origin. All the differences that appear are those of outward form and color. This diversity of type is apparent throughout the whole of nature.

Behold a beautiful garden full of flowers, shrubs, and trees. Each flower has a different charm, a peculiar beauty, its own delicious perfume and beautiful color. The trees too, how varied are they in size, in growth, in foliage—and what different fruits they bear! Yet all these flowers, shrubs and trees spring from the self-same earth, the same sun shines upon them and the same clouds give them rain.

So it is with humanity. It is made up of many races, and its peoples are of different color, white, black, yellow, brown and red—but they all come from the same God, and all are servants to Him. This diversity among the children of men has unhappily not the same effect as it has among the vegetable creation, where the spirit shown is more harmonious. Among men exists the diversity of animosity, and it is this that causes war and hatred among the different nations of the world.

Differences which are only those of blood also cause them to destroy and kill one another. Alas! that this should still be so. Let us look rather at the beauty in diversity, the beauty of harmony, and learn a lesson from the vegetable creation. If you beheld a garden in which all the plants were the same as to form, color and perfume, it would not seem beautiful to you at all, but, rather, monotonous and dull. The garden which is pleasing to the eye and which makes the heart glad, is the garden in which are growing side by side flowers of every hue, form and perfume, and the joyous contrast of color is what makes for charm and beauty. So is it with trees. An orchard full of fruit trees is a delight; so is a plantation planted with many species of shrubs. It is just the diversity and variety that constitutes its charm; each flower, each tree, each fruit, beside being beautiful in itself, brings out by contrast the qualities of the others, and shows to advantage the special loveliness of each and all.

Thus should it be among the children of men! The diversity in the human family should be the cause of love and harmony, as it is in music where many different notes blend together in the making of a perfect chord. If you meet those of different race and color from yourself, do not mistrust them and withdraw yourself into your shell of conventionality, but rather be glad and show them kindness. Think of them as different colored roses growing in the beautiful garden of humanity, and rejoice to be among them.

Likewise, when you meet those whose opinions differ from your own, do not turn away your face from them. All are seeking truth, and there are many roads leading thereto. Truth has many aspects, but it remains always and forever one.

Do not allow difference of opinion, or diversity of thought to separate you from your fellowmen, or to be the cause of dispute, hatred and strife in your hearts.

Rather, search diligently for the truth and make all men your friends.

Every edifice is made of many different stones, yet each depends on the other to such an extent that if one were displaced the whole building would suffer; if one is faulty the structure is imperfect.

Bahá’u’lláh has drawn the circle of unity, He has made a design for the uniting of all the peoples, and for the gathering of them all under the shelter of the tent of universal unity. This is the work of the Divine Bounty, and we must all strive with heart and soul until we have the reality of unity in our midst, and as we work, so will strength be given unto us. Leave all thought of self, and strive only to be obedient and submissive to the Will of God. In this way only shall we become citizens of the Kingdom of God, and attain unto life everlasting.

Abdu’l-Baha’-Paris Talks

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Baha’i Sabbath: Ilm 7, 178 B.E. (10/22/2021)

October 22nd, 2021

‘Abdu’l-Bahá said:
In the past, as in the present, the Spiritual Sun of Truth has always shone from the horizon of the East.
Abraham appeared in the East. In the East Moses arose to lead and teach the people. On the Eastern horizon arose the Lord Christ. Muḥammad was sent to an Eastern nation. The Báb arose in the Eastern land of Persia. Bahá’u’lláh lived and taught in the East. All the great Spiritual Teachers arose in the Eastern world. But although the Sun of Christ dawned in the East the radiance thereof was apparent in the West, where the effulgence of its glory was more clearly seen. The divine light of His Teaching shone with a greater force in the Western world, where it has made a more rapid headway than in the land of its birth.
In these days the East is in need of material progress and the West is in want of a spiritual idea. It would be well for the West to turn to the East for illumination, and to give in exchange its scientific knowledge. There must be this interchange of gifts.
The East and the West must unite to give to each other what is lacking. This union will bring about a true civilization, where the spiritual is expressed and carried out in the material.
Receiving thus the one from the other the greatest harmony will prevail, all people will be united, a state of great perfection will be attained, there will be a firm cementing, and this world will become a shining mirror for the reflection of the attributes of God.
We all, the Eastern with the Western nations, must strive day and night with heart and soul to achieve this high ideal, to cement the unity between all the nations of the earth. Every heart will then be refreshed, all eyes will be opened, the most wonderful power will be given, the happiness of humanity will be assured.
We must pray that by the Bounty of God, Persia will be enabled to receive the material and mental civilization of the West, and by Divine Grace to give in return her spiritual light. The devoted energetic work of the united peoples, occidentals and orientals, will succeed in establishing this result, for the force of the Holy Spirit will aid them.
The principles of the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh should be carefully studied, one by one, until they are realized and understood by mind and heart—so will you become strong followers of the light, truly spiritual, heavenly soldiers of God, acquiring and spreading the true civilization in Persia, in Europe, and in the whole world.
This will be the paradise which is to come on earth, when all mankind will be gathered together under the tent of unity in the Kingdom of Glory.

Abdu’l-Baha’-Paris Talks, Friday, October 2o, 1911

Holy Day: Anniversary of the Birth of The Bab by Solar Calendar Reckoning-10/20/2021 (Ilm 5, 176 B.E.)

October 20th, 2021

The Bab was the Forerunner of Baha’u’llah (in the same manner that John the Baptist was the Forerunner to Jesus Christ). Prophet and founder of the Babi Faith. Reformer of Islam. The word/title “Bab” is a Persian, Arabic and Aramaic word which means “Gate” or “Door”. The Bab closed the door to the Age of Prophecy (about the coming of the kingdom of God on Earth) and He opened the door to the Age of Fulfillment (which we are now in the infant stage of).

The Bab was born on this date (10/20) on the Western (Christian) calendar in the year 1819.

His birth date on the Baha’i calendar is linked to the Lunar cycles and moves throughout the year.

His birth on the Baha’i calendar in this year 178 of the Baha’i Era came on Kamal 9, 178 B.E.

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ALL praise be to Thee, O my God, inasmuch as Thou hast adorned the world with the splendour of the dawn following the night wherein was born the One Who heralded the Manifestation of Thy transcendent sovereignty, the Dayspring of Thy divine Essence and the Revelation of Thy supreme Lordship. I beseech Thee, O Creator of the heavens and Fashioner of names, to graciously aid those who have sheltered beneath the shadow of Thine abounding mercy and have raised their voices amidst the peoples of the world for the glorification of Thy Name.

O my God! Thou beholdest the Lord of all mankind confined in His Most Great Prison, calling aloud Thy Name, gazing upon Thy face, proclaiming that which hath enraptured the denizens of Thy kingdoms of revelation and of creation. O my God! I behold Mine own Self captive in the hands of Thy servants, yet the light of Thy sovereignty and the revelations of Thine invincible power shine resplendent from His face, enabling all to know of a certainty that Thou art God, and that there is none other God but Thee. Neither can the power of the powerful frustrate Thee, nor the ascendancy of the rulers prevail against Thee. Thou doest whatsoever Thou willest by virtue of Thy sovereignty which encompasseth all created things, and ordainest that which Thou pleasest through the potency of Thy behest which pervadeth the entire creation.

I implore Thee by the glory of Thy Manifestation and by the power of Thy might, Thy sovereignty and Thine exaltation to render victorious those who have arisen to serve Thee, who have aided Thy Cause and humbled themselves before the splendour of the light of Thy face. Make them then, O my God, triumphant over Thine enemies and cause them to be steadfast in Thy service, that through them the evidences of Thy dominion may be established throughout Thy realms and the tokens of Thine indomitable power be manifested in Thy lands. Verily Thou art potent to do what Thou willest; no God is there but Thee, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.

This glorious Tablet hath been revealed on the Anniversary of the Birth [of the Báb] that thou mayest recite it in a spirit of humility and supplication and give thanks unto thy Lord, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. Make thou every effort to render service unto God, that from thee may appear that which will immortalize thy memory in His glorious and exalted heaven.

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

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

Baha’u’lah, Tablets, Ch. 17: Excerpts From Other Tablets

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