Saturday, November 27, 2010

مقام حضرت عبدالبهاء

حضرت عبدالبهاء شخصیتی بی مثیل در تاریخ بشریّت اند و هیچ یک از ادیان گذشته از موهبت داشتن این چنین شخصیّتی برخوردار نبوده است. فضل و عنایت حضرت بهاءالله که جامعه بهائی را پس از صعود در ظلّ حمایت غصن اعظم، حضرت عبدالبهاء قرار داده ، قابل وصف نیست. حضرت بهاءالله نه تنها ظهور مبارک خود را به عالمیان ارزانی داشته اند؛ بلکه فرزند خود را نیز تقدیم نموده اند که با علم و حکمت وی عالم انسانی منوّر خواهد شد. مشکل بتوان حتّی ذرّه ای از عظمت این ظهور را بدون آگاهی از مقام فرید حضرت عبدالبهاء درک نمود.
اولاً: حضرت عبدالبهاء مرکز عهد و پیمان حضرت بهاءالله می باشند. قوّه میثاق جامعه بهائی را متّحد ساخته، از تعدّی دشمنان حفظ خواهد نمود. قوّه میثاق است که ضامن فتح و ظفر محتوم است. اساساً پیمانی که حضرت بهاءالله با پیروان خود بسته اند، لازمه اش این است که قلبهای خود را به مرکز عهد متوجّه ساخته و به آن وفادار باشیم. حضرت عبدالبهاء مرکز عهد الهی هستند و طبق الواح مبارکه وصایا بعد از آن حضرت شوقی افندی ولی امر و مرکزی هستند که باید به ایشان توجّه نماییم. الیوم مرکز عهد بیت العدل اعظم است که بنا به دستورات صریحه حضرت بهاءالله و تعلیمات واضحه عبدالبهاء و حضرت ولی امرالله تشکیل گشته است.
ثانیاً: حضرت عبدالبهاء مبیّن مصون از خطای حضرت بهاءالله می باشند. ظهور حضرت بهاءالله و آثار منزله چنان وسیع است و معانی مکنونه در هر یک از بیانات نازله چنان عمیق که حضرتشان لازم دانستند بعد از خود مُبیّنی جهت این آثار به جا گذارند و حضرتشان مُلهِمِ ایشان باشند و بدین ترتیب نسلهای آینده بشر می توانند تعالیم مبارکه حضرت بهاءالله را از طریق تبیینات حضرت عبدالبهاء در الواح و خطب عدیده ادراک نمایند و بعد از حضرت عبدالبهاء شوقی افندی مُبیّن آیات الله بوده و با صعودشان وظیفه تبیین تا ابد و تا انتهای دور بهائی خاتمه یافت. همچنین باید بدانیم که با تعیین مُبیّن آیات، حضرت بهاءالله فضل عظیمی شامل جامعه بهائی نمودند. در گذشته هر یک از ادیان به طُرُق متعدّد منقسم شدند؛ زیرا از داشت مرکزی که یاران بتوانند در حین اختلاف نظر درباره معانی کلمات مُنزِله در کتب مقدسه بدان مراجعه نمایند، محروم بودند. ولی در این ظهور چنانچه معنی و مفهوم بیانات حضرت بهاءالله برای یاران روشن نباشد به تبیینات حضرت عبدالبهاء و حضرت ولی امرالله مراجعه می نمایند و چنانچه مطلب واضح نگردد، به بیت العدل اعظم توجّه می کنند و بدین ترتیب فرصتی برای اختلاف در تعالیم مبارکه باقی نمی ماند و وحدت امر الهی محفوظ می گردد.
ثالثاً: حضرت عبدالبهاء مَثَلِ اعلای تعالیم مبارکه پدر بزرگوارشان می باشند. هر چند ما هیچگاه نمی توانیم به آن مرحله از کمال واصل شویم ولی باید همیشه آن حضرت را مَطمَحِ نظر داشته و سعی نماییم در اثر اقدام حضرتشان مشی نماییم. وقتی عشق و مهربانی را مشاهده می نمائیم، وقتی درباره تنزیه و تقدیس، عدالت و انصاف، راستی و صداقت، فرح و سرور، جود و سخاوت می خوانیم، به حضرتش توجّه نموده و در حیات مبارک این صفات را که به حدّ کمال در آن حضرت تجلّی نموده، خواهیم دید. امّا اساس حیات مبارک عبودیّت است... بیان ذیل از حضرت عبدالبهاء نشانه آرزوی مبارک به خدمت است:
« نام من عبدالبهاءست؛ صفت من عبدالبهاءست؛ حقیقت من عبدالبهاءست؛ نَعت من عبدالبهاءست؛ رقیّت به جمال قدم، اکلیل جلیل و تاج وَهّاج من است و خدمت به نوع انسان آئین قدیم من ... نه اسمی دارد نه لقبی؛ نه ذکری خواهد نه نَعتی جز عبدالبهاء. این است آرزوی من. این است اعظم آمال من. این است حیات ابدی من. این است عزّت سرمدی من.»

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Ascension of Abdu'l-Baha

Abdul Baha
Each year Baha’is observe the anniversary of the death of Abdu'l-Baha, son of Baha'u'llah and His appointed succesor. He died at his home in Haifa, in what is now northern Israel, on Nov 28, 1921 at approximately 1:00 a.m., at age 77.

Abdu'l-Baha
Abdu’l-Baha, leader of the Baha'i Faith from 1892 to 1921, was known as an ambassador of peace, a champion of justice and the leading exponent of the new religion.

The funeral of `Abdu'l-Bahá, "a funeral the like of which Palestine had never seen," drew "no less than ten thousand people...representing every class, religion and race in that country." "A great throng," the British High Commissioner wrote, "had gathered together, sorrowing for His death, but rejoicing also for His life." The Governor of Jerusalem at the time also wrote in describing the funeral: "I have never known a more united expression of regret and respect than was called forth by the utter simplicity of the ceremony."1
`Abdu'l-Bahá's funeral, Haifa, Israel.
`Abdu'l-Bahá's funeral, Haifa, Israel.
"The coffin containing the remains of `Abdu'l-Bahá was borne to its last resting-place on the shoulders of His loved ones.... The long train of mourners, amid the sobs and moans of many a grief-stricken heart, wended its slow way up the slopes of Mt. Carmel to the Mausoleum of the Báb... Close to the eastern entrance of the Shrine, the sacred casket was placed upon a plain table, and, in the presence of that vast concourse, nine speakers, who represented the Muslim, the Jewish and Christian Faiths...delivered their several funeral orations. The coffin was then removed to one of the chambers of the Shrine, and there lowered, sadly and reverently, to its last resting-place in a vault adjoining that in which were laid the remains of the Báb."2

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Powers and blessings manifested through the Baha’i Covenant

It is indubitably clear, that the pivot of the oneness of mankind is nothing else but the power of the Covenant…. 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, cited in “God Passes By”, pp. 238-39

Today the pulsating power in the arteries of the body of the world is the spirit of the Covenant — the spirit which is the cause of life. Whosoever is vivified with this spirit, the freshness and beauty of life become manifest in him, he is baptized with the Holy Spirit, he is born again, is freed from oppression and tyranny, from heedlessness and harshness which deaden the spirit, and attains to everlasting life. Praise thou God that thou art firm in the Covenant and the Testament and art turning thy face to the Luminary of the world, His Highness Baha’u’llah.
’Abdu’l-Baha, cited in “Star of the West, vol. 14, No. 7 (October 1923), p. 225









Baha’i children at a Naw-Ruz (New Year) celebration in Equatorial Guinea. The diversity of Baha’i gatherings is a clear demonstration of the ability of the Covenant of Baha’u'llah to bind together the hearts of the peoples of the world.


 ..the Covenant of Bahá’u'lláh…is, indeed, the potent instrument by which individual belief in Him is translated into constructive deeds. The Covenant comprises divinely conceived arrangements necessary to preserve the organic unity of the Cause. It therefore engenders a motivating power which, as the beloved Master tells us, “like unto the artery, beats and pulsates in the body of the world”. “It is indubitably clear”, He asserts, “that the pivot of the oneness of mankind is nothing else but the power of the Covenant.” Through it the meaning of the Word, both in theory and practice, is made evident in the life and work of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the appointed Interpreter, the perfect Exemplar, the Centre of the Covenant. Through it the processes of the Administrative Order — “this unique, this wondrous System” — are made to operate.
The Universal House of Justice, 1988 Dec 29

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh

"So powerful is the light of unity," Bahá'u'lláh declared, "that it can illuminate the whole earth."1 "We, verily," He further stated, "have come to unite and weld together all that dwell on earth."2 Bahá'u'lláh made the oneness of humankind the central principle and goal of His Faith, an emphasis that implies the organic and spiritual unity of the whole body of nations and signalizes the "coming of age of the entire human race."3
Humanity's evolution has been marked by such progressive stages of social organization as family, tribe, city-state and nation. Bahá'u'lláh's express purpose was to usher in the next and ultimate stage, namely, world unity -- the harbinger of the Great Peace foretold in the world's religions. As the Word of God as revealed by Bahá'u'lláh is the source and impetus of the oneness of humankind, so the Covenant He has established is the organizing principle for its realization.
Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant guarantees both unity of understanding of His Faith's fundamental doctrines and actualization of that unity in the Bahá'í community's spiritual and social development. It is distinguished by its provision for authentic interpretation of the sacred texts and for an authorized system of administration, at the apex of which is an elected legislative body empowered to supplement the laws revealed by Bahá'u'lláh.
This Covenant is the most remarkable feature of His Revelation, for it is designed, unlike any religious system of the past, to preserve the unity of all humanity through the organic workings of a social order based on spiritual principles. "So firm and mighty" is this Covenant, Bahá'u'lláh's son `Abdu'l-Bahá has affirmed, "that from the beginning of time until the present day, no religious Dispensation hath produced its like."4
The Bahá'í Faith is thus the first religion in history that has survived its critical first century with its unity firmly established. "Were it not for the protecting power of the Covenant to guard the impregnable fort of the Cause of God," said `Abdu'l-Bahá, "there would arise among the Bahá'ís, in one day, a thousand different sects as was the case in former ages."5 But in this Revelation, Bahá'u'lláh's Covenant is the magnet that draws the hearts of its followers together.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baha’is to observe two significant holy days

http://www.bahai.us/two-holy-days
Baha’is will commemorate the Day of the Covenant on Nov. 26, and the Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha on Nov. 28.  The Day of the Covenant commemorates Baha’u’llah’s appointment of His eldest son, Abdu’l-Baha, as the protector of the Covenant of Baha’u’llah, which was established to ensure the unity of the Baha'i Faith. The Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha marks the anniversary of his death in 1921.

As protector of the Covenant, Abdu’l-Baha, (sometimes referred as the Center of the Covenant), was charged with safeguarding and protecting the Faith against differences and schisms, making it impossible for anyone to create a new sect or faction of belief.

The Covenant of Baha’u’llah is unique in religious history: No other world religion’s sacred scriptures provide such explicit instructions for the organization of the community of believers after the founder’s passing. The Baha'i Faith is thus the first religion in history that has survived its critical first century with its unity firmly established —and ultimately with a blueprint for a divinely ordered global civilization to bring unity to the world.

After the death of Baha’u’llah in 1892, Abdu’l-Baha carried forth his father’s mission until he died in 1921 at age 77. Abdu’l-Baha was known as an ambassador of peace, a champion of justice and the leading exponent of the new religion.

During visits to Europe in 1911 and more than 40 cities in the United States and Canada in 1912, he was greeted with respect and acclaim by believers and non-believers. In city after city, he was invited to speak at churches and synagogues, and before distinguished groups and organizations. The net effect was to establish the Baha'i Faith as a major new force for social reform and religious renewal.

Affirming that "Love is the most great law" and that the "supreme need of humanity is cooperation and reciprocity" among all its peoples, Abdu'l-Baha reached out to leaders and the public – indeed, to every soul who crossed his path.

Abdu’l-Baha’s funeral on Mt. Carmel was attended by 10,000 mourners from all persuasions and denominations. He is buried in a vault on the north side of the Shrine of the Bab

Life of the Prophet-Founder of the Baha'i Faith:


A short video presentation on the Life of the Prophet-Founder of the newest Independent World Religion: The Baha'i Faith. Baha'u'llah's appearance signals the prophetic fulfillment of the world's major religions as the Promised One of All Ages. Baha'u'llah's message continues to touch hearts around the world - and despite opposition from dogmatic religious institutions, the Baha'i Faith's progressive teachings are increasingly becoming recognised as a spiritual balm to the world's increasing socio-economic, political and moral afflictions.

Bahá'u'lláh: His Teachings

Baha'u'llah presents a vision of life that insists upon a fundamental redefinition of all human relationships--among human beings themselves, between human beings and the natural world, between the individual and society, and between the members of society and its institutions. Each of these relationships must be reassessed in light of humanity's evolving understanding of God's will and purpose. New laws and concepts are enunciated by Bahá'u'lláh so that human consciousness can be freed from patterns of response set by tradition, and the foundations of a global civilization can be erected. "A new life", Bahá'u'lláh declares, "is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth."1 Because the implications of Bahá'u'lláh's message are both social and spiritual, His teachings redefine the very concept of religion. He is not the Founder of a religion as religion is conventionally understood, but rather the Prophet of civilization and collective transformation--the "Originator of a new universal cycle" in human history.2 His message transcends all religious categories. His vision of the oneness of humankind involves not just the deepening of human solidarity, the safeguarding of human rights, or the establishment of an enduring peace, but rather "an organic change in the structure of present-day society, a change such as the world has not yet experienced."3 His prescriptions for the moral reformation of human nature are unique in their approach and universal in their applicability.

For more information, please visit
http://www.bahaullah.org/.
http://info.bahai.org/

Sunday, November 21, 2010

What is the station of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá?

He is, and should for all time be regarded, first and foremost, as the Center and Pivot of Bahá’u'lláh’s peerless and all-enfolding Covenant, His most exalted handiwork, the stainless Mirror of His light, the perfect Exemplar of His teachings, the unerring Interpreter of His Word, the embodiment of every Bahá’í ideal, the incarnation of every Bahá’í virtue, the Most Mighty Branch sprung from the Ancient Root, the Limb of the Law of God, the Being “round Whom all names revolve,” the Mainspring of the Oneness of Humanity, the Ensign of the Most Great Peace, the Moon of the Central Orb of this most holy Dispensation — styles and titles that are implicit and find their truest, their highest and fairest expression in the magic name ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. He is, above and beyond these appellations, the “Mystery of God” — an expression by which Bahá’u'lláh Himself has chosen to designate Him, and which, while it does not by any means justify us to assign to Him the station of Prophethood, indicates how in the person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá the incompatible characteristics of a human nature and superhuman knowledge and perfection have been blended and are completely harmonized.
Shoghi Effendi, The Dispensation of Bahá’u'lláh, paragraph 75

 Though moving in a sphere of His own and holding a rank radically different from that of the Author and the Forerunner of the Bahá’í Revelation, He, by virtue of the station ordained for Him through the Covenant of Bahá’u'lláh, forms together with them what may be termed the Three Central Figures of a Faith that stands unapproached in the world’s spiritual history. He towers, in conjunction with them, above the destinies of this infant Faith of God from a level to which no individual or body ministering to its needs after Him, and for no less a period than a full thousand years, can ever hope to rise. To degrade His lofty rank by identifying His station with or by regarding it as roughly equivalent to, the position of those on whom the mantle of His authority has fallen would be an act of impiety as grave as the no less heretical belief that inclines to exalt Him to a state of absolute equality with either the central Figure or Forerunner of our Faith. For wide as is the gulf that separates ‘Abdu’l-Bahá from Him Who is the Source of an independent Revelation, it can never be regarded as commensurate with the greater distance that stands between Him Who is the Center of the Covenant and His ministers who are to carry on His work, whatever be their name, their rank, their functions or their future achievements. Let those who have known ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, who through their contact with His magnetic personality have come to cherish for Him so fervent an admiration, reflect, in the light of this statement, on the greatness of One Who is so far above Him in station.
Shoghi Effendi, The Dispensation of Bahá’u'lláh, paragraph 69