Saturday, February 27, 2010

So powerful is the light of unity ....

The Purpose of the one true God, exalted be His glory, in revealing Himself unto men is to lay bare those gems that lie hidden within the mine of their true and inmost selves. That the divers communions of the earth, and the manifold systems of religious belief, should never be allowed to foster the feelings of animosity among men, is, in this Day, of the essence of the Faith of God and His Religion. These principles and laws, these firmly-established and mighty systems, have proceeded from one Source, and are the rays of one Light. That they differ one from another is to be attributed to the varying requirements of the ages in which they were promulgated.......
The utterance of God is a lamp, whose light is these words: Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. Deal ye one with another with the utmost love and harmony, with friendliness and fellowship. He Who is the Day Star of Truth beareth Me witness! So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The one true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words.
Exert yourselves that ye may attain this transcendent and most sublime station, the station that can ensure the protection and security of all mankind. This goal excelleth every other goal, and this aspiration is the monarch of all aspirations. So long, however, as the thick clouds of oppression, which obscure 289 the day star of justice, remain undispelled, it would be difficult for the glory of this station to be unveiled to men’s eyes….
Consort with all men, O people of Bahá, in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. If ye be aware of a certain truth, if ye possess a jewel, of which others are deprived, share it with them in a language of utmost kindliness and good-will. If it be accepted, if it fulfil its purpose, your object is attained. If any one should refuse it, leave him unto himself, and beseech God to guide him. Beware lest ye deal unkindly with him. A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding…. 
 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Ayyam-i-Ha a time of giving and hospitality

Baha'is in more than 200 countries and territories are celebrating a four-day festival involving hospitality, gift giving, charity and social gatherings.
The festival, which runs from the evening of 25 February until sunset on 1 March, serves as a spiritual preparation for a fast during the last month of the Baha'is calendar, which begins on March 2 and ends on March 20.
Celebrations of Ayyam-i-Ha, as the festival is called, are taking different forms in different locations. In Singapore, for example, Baha'is are observing Ayyam-i-Ha with a blood donation drive and a picnic for families in a beachside park.
In Hungary, Baha'is plan to celebrate the festival with a musical program and a costume party for children in the Hungarian Culture Foundation building in Budapest.
In Milford, New Hampshire, in the United States, the Baha'is have invited friends and neighbors to join them for devotions and then entertainment, which will include learning a local folk dance, watching jugglers, enjoying music, and gift-giving.
The Baha'i calendar was initiated by the Bab, the Forerunner of the Faith's Prophet-Founder, Baha'u'llah, who later confirmed it.
The calendar comprises 19 months of 19 days. The Ayyam-i-Ha festival falls on the four days (five in a leap year) needed to balance out the solar year of 365 days. The time of this festival is also known as "Intercalary Days".
Of this period Baha'u'llah writes: "It behoveth the people of Baha, throughout these days, to provide good cheer for themselves, their kindred and, beyond them, the poor and needy, and with joy and exultation to hail and glorify their Lord, to sing His praise and magnify His Name."
During the fast which follows, Baha'is abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset as a reminder of the need for individuals to control their material desires.
It is seen as a time of meditation and prayer during which Baha'is refresh and reinvigorate themselves spiritually.
There are exemptions from the fast for the young and elderly, and for those who are pregnant, ill or who are engaging in heavy work.
The fasting period ends with the joyous Naw Ruz (New Year) festival, which begins at sunset on March 20.

Monday, February 22, 2010

O Land of Ta (Ṭihran)

Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Ta (Ṭihran), for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind. He shall, if it be His will, bless thy throne with one who will rule with justice, who will gather together the flock of God which the wolves have scattered. Such a ruler will, with joy and gladness, turn his face towards, and extend his favors unto, the people of Baha. He indeed is accounted in the sight of God as a jewel among men. Upon him rest forever the glory of God, and the glory of all that dwell in the kingdom of His Revelation. Rejoice with great joy, for God hath made thee "the Day Spring of His light," inasmuch as within thee was born the Manifestation of His Glory. Be thou glad for this name that hath been conferred upon thee--a name through which the Day Star of Grace hath shed its splendor, through which both earth and heaven have been illumined. Ere long will the state of affairs within thee be changed, and the reins of power fall into the hands of the people.
Bahá’u’lláh 

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A prayer for Bahais of Iran

O God, my God! Thou seest Thy loved ones turning their hearts to Thee, and holding fast onto the cord of Thy ordinances and laws. I beseech thee by the waves of the sea of Thine utterance, and by Him through whom Thou didst adorn the heavens of Thy might, to graciously protect them by the aid of Thy hosts.
O God! Thou beholdest Thy lovers in Írán in the clutches of hate and enmity. I beg of Thee, by Thy mercy which hath preceded the contingent world, to raise up from the earth those who will be moved to aid and protect them, and to preserve their rights and the restitution due to them by those who broke Thy Covenant and Testament, and perpetrated such acts as made the inmates of the cities of Thy justice and equity to lament. Thou art, verily, the All-Powerful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.
~ Bahá’u'lláh

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bahá’u’lláh's summons to the world's kings and Rulers.

“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. …

“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. ”

Friday, February 19, 2010

ASL-I-KULLU’L-KHAYR (Words of Wisdom)

In the Name of God, the Exalted, the Most High
THE source of all good is trust in God, submission unto His command, and contentment with His holy will and pleasure.
The essence of wisdom is the fear of God, the dread of His scourge and punishment, and the apprehension of His justice and decree.
The essence of religion is to testify unto that which the Lord hath revealed, and follow that which He hath ordained in His mighty Book.
The source of all glory is acceptance of whatsoever the Lord hath bestowed, and contentment with that which God hath ordained.
The essence of love is for man to turn his heart to the Beloved One, and sever himself from all else but Him, and desire naught save that which is the desire of his Lord.
True remembrance is to make mention of the Lord, the All-Praised, and forget aught else beside Him.
True reliance is for the servant to pursue his profession and calling in this world, to hold fast unto the Lord, to seek naught but His grace, inasmuch as in His Hands is the destiny of all His servants.
The essence of detachment is for man to turn his face towards the courts of the Lord, to enter His Presence, behold His Countenance, and stand as witness before Him.
The essence of understanding is to testify to one’s poverty, and submit to the Will of the Lord, the Sovereign, the Gracious, the All-Powerful.
The source of courage and power is the promotion of the Word of God, and steadfastness in His Love.
The essence of charity is for the servant to recount the blessings of his Lord, and to render thanks unto Him at all times and under all conditions.
The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; he whose words exceed his deeds, know verily his death is better than his life.
The essence of true safety is to observe silence, to look at the end of things and to renounce the world.
The beginning of magnanimity is when man expendeth his wealth on himself, on his family and on the poor among his brethren in his Faith.
The essence of wealth is love for Me; whoso loveth Me is the possessor of all things, and he that loveth Me not is indeed of the poor and needy. This is that which the Finger of Glory and Splendour hath revealed.
The source of all evil is for man to turn away from his Lord and set his heart on things ungodly.
The most burning fire is to question the signs of God, to dispute idly that which He hath revealed, to deny Him and carry one’s self proudly before Him.
The source of all learning is the knowledge of God, exalted be His Glory, and this cannot be attained save through the knowledge of His Divine Manifestation.
The essence of abasement is to pass out from under the shadow of the Merciful and seek the shelter of the Evil One.
The source of error is to disbelieve in the One true God, rely upon aught else but Him, and flee from His Decree.
True loss is for him whose days have been spent in utter ignorance of his self. 
The essence of all that We have revealed for thee is Justice, is for man to free himself from idle fancy and imitation, discern with the eye of oneness His glorious handiwork, and look into all things with a searching eye.
Thus have We instructed thee, manifested unto thee Words of Wisdom, that thou mayest be thankful unto the Lord, thy God, and glory therein amidst all peoples.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Be generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity.


Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face.

Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge.

Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech.

Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men.

Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression.

Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts.

Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive.

Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring.

Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Flowers of One Garden


"Though differing in kind, color, form and shape, yet, inasmuch as they are refreshed by the waters of one spring, revived by the breath of one wind, invigorated by the rays of one sun, this diversity increaseth their charm and addeth unto their beauty.

"How unpleasing to the eye if all the flowers and plants, the leaves and blossoms, the fruit, the branches and the trees of that garden were all of the same shape and color! Diversity of hues, form and shape enricheth and adorneth the garden, and heighteneth the effect thereof.

"In like manner, when divers shades of thought, temperament and character, are brought together under the power and influence of one central agency, the beauty and glory of human perfection will be revealed and made manifest.

"Naught but the celestial potency of the Word of God, which ruleth and transcendeth the realities of all things, is capable of harmonizing the divergent thoughts, sentiments, ideas and convictions of the children of men."

-- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá,

Monday, February 15, 2010

View Manifestations As One Soul




“… If thou be of the inmates of this city within the ocean of divine unity, thou wilt view all the Prophets and Messengers of God as one soul and one body, as one light and one spirit, in such wise that the first among them would be last and the last would be first.

“For they have all arisen to proclaim His Cause and have established the laws of divine wisdom. They are, one and all, the Manifestations of His Self, the Repositories of His might, the Treasuries of His Revelation, the Dawning-Places of His splendour, and the Daysprings of His light.

“Through them are manifested the signs of sanctity in the realities of all things and the tokens of oneness in the essences of all beings. Through them are revealed the elements of glorification in the heavenly realities and the exponents of praise in the eternal essences.

“From them hath all creation proceeded and unto them shall return all that hath been mentioned.

“And since in their inmost Beings they are the same Luminaries and the self-same Mysteries, thou shouldst view their outward conditions in the same light, that thou mayest recognize them all as one Being, nay, find them united in their words, speech, and utterance.

“Wert thou to consider in this station the last of them to be the first, or conversely, thou wouldst indeed be speaking the truth, as hath been ordained by Him Who is the Wellspring of Divinity and the Source of Lordship: “Say: Call upon God or call upon the All-Merciful: by whichsoever name ye will, invoke him, for He hath most excellent names.”*

“For they are all the Manifestations of the name of God, the Dawning-Places of His attributes, the Repositories of His might, and the Focal Points of His sovereignty, whilst God—magnified be His might and glory—is in His Essence sanctified above all names and exalted beyond even the loftiest attributes.

“Consider likewise the evidences of divine omnipotence both in their Souls and in their human Temples, that thine heart may be assured and that thou mayest be of them that speed through the realms of His nearness. …”

Saturday, February 6, 2010

True civilization


True civilization will unfurl its banner in the mid-most heart of the world whenever a certain number of its distinguished and high-minded sovereigns – the shining exemplars of devotion and determination – shall, for the good and happiness of all mankind, arise, with firm resolve and clear vision, to establish the Cause of Universal Peace.

~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Friday, February 5, 2010


God grant that the light of unity may envelop the whole earth, and that the seal, ‘the Kingdom is God’s,’ may be stamped upon the brow of all its peoples.

~ Bahá’u’lláh