Sunday, November 27, 2011

Inciting Hatred:

Analyzing more than 400 press and media items issued in Iran by state-controlled or pro-government media over a 16-month period from late 2009 to early 2011, this report documents a wide-ranging campaign by the Islamic Republic of Iran to incite hatred and violence towards the 300,000 member Bahá'í minority. Using false accusations, inflammatory terminology, and repugnant imagery, this campaign is shocking in its volume and vehemence – and entirely in violation of international human rights law. The links below go to the report itself, and an online only appendix that summarizes each of the 400-plus documents or articles that were collected by Bahá’í International Community during the main period of this survey, from 17 December 2009 to 16 May 2011.

Inciting Hatred: Iran's media campaign to demonize Baha'is (PDF)
Source. 

Friday, November 25, 2011

Iran's crisis ....

Iran's crisis of civilization will be resolved neither by blind imitation of an obviously defective Western culture nor by retreat into medieval ignorance. The answer to the dilemma was enunciated on the very threshold of the crisis, in the clearest and most compelling language, by a distinguished Son of Iran Who is today honoured in every continent of the world, but sadly not in the land of His birth. Persia's poetic genius captures the irony: "I searched the wide world over for my Beloved, while my Beloved was waiting for me in my own home." The world's appreciation of Bahá'u'lláh came perhaps most explicitly into focus on 29 May 1992, the centenary of His death, when the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies met in solemn session to pay tribute to Him, to His teachings and to the services rendered to humanity by the community He founded. On that occasion, the Speaker of the Chamber and spokespersons from every party rose, successively, to express their profound admiration of One who was described in their addresses as the Author of "the most colossal religious work written by the pen of a single Man", a message that "reaches out to humanity as a whole, without petty differences of nationality, race, limits or belief".

What has been the response in His native land to a Figure whose influence th has brought such honour to the name of Iran? From the middle years of the 19 century when He arose to champion the Cause of God, and despite the reputation His philanthropy and intellectual gifts had won, Bahá'u'lláh was made the object of a virulent campaign of persecution. In recognizing His mission, your forefathers had the imperishable glory of sharing in His sufferings. Throughout the ensuing decades, you who have remained faithful to His Cause, who have sacrificed for it and promoted its civilizing message to the most remote regions of the planet have known your own portion of abuse, bereavement and humiliation--each Bahá'í family in Iran.....

Day of the Covenant 26 November 2003:
To the Followers of Baha'u'llah in the Cradle of the Faith

by Universal House of Justice

What is the Covenant?

What is the Covenant? There have been volumes of books and compilations published on the topic, but this quote from the House of Justice sums it up beautifully:

A Covenant in the religious sense is a binding agreement between God and man, whereby God requires of man certain behaviour in return for which He guarantees certain blessings, or whereby He gives man certain bounties in return for which He takes from those who accept them an undertaking to behave in a certain way. There is, for example, the Greater Covenant which every Manifestation of God makes with His followers, promising that in the fulness of time a new Manifestation will be sent, and taking from them the undertaking to accept Him when this occurs. There is also the Lesser Covenant that a Manifestation of God makes with His followers that they will accept His appointed successor after Him. If they do so, the Faith can remain united and pure. If not, the Faith becomes divided and its force spent. It is a Covenant of this kind that Baha’u’llah made with His followers regarding ‘‘Abdu’l-Bahá and that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá perpetuated through the Administrative Order…

From a letter written by The Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, 23 March 1975

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh

Bahá'u'lláh declared, "So powerful is the light of unity, that it can illuminate the whole earth." We, verily," He further stated, "have come to unite and weld together all that dwell on earth." 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.
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.

From the seed of reality, ..

From the seed of reality, religion has grown into a tree which has put forth leaves and branches, blossoms and fruit. After a time this tree has fallen into a condition of decay. The leaves and blossoms have withered and perished; the tree has become stricken and fruitless. It is not reasonable that man should hold to the old tree, claiming that its life forces are undiminished, its fruit unequalled, its existence eternal. The seed of reality must be sown again in human hearts in order that a new tree may grow therefrom and new divine fruits refresh the world. By this means the nations and peoples now divergent in religion will be brought into unity, imitations will be forsaken and a universal brotherhood in the reality itself will be established. Warfare and strife will cease among mankind; all will be reconciled as servants of God. For all are sheltered beneath the tree of His provindence and mercy. God is kind to all; He is the giver of bounty to all alike, even as His Holiness Jesus Christ has declared that God "sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust"; that is to say, the mercy of God is universal. All humanity is under the protection of His love and favor, and unto all He has pointed the way of guidance and progress.

 'Abdu'l-Baha,

If it be Our pleasure

If it be Our pleasure We shall render the Cause victorious through the power of a single word from Our presence. He is in truth the Omnipotent, the All-Compelling. Should it be God's intention, there would appear out of the forests of celestial might the lion of indomitable strength whose roaring is like unto the peals of thunder reverberating in the mountains.
However, since Our loving providence surpasseth all things, We have ordained that complete victory should be achieved through speech and utterance, that Our servants throughout the earth may thereby become the recipients of divine good. This is but a token of God's bounty vouchsafed unto them. Verily thy Lord is the All-Sufficing, the Most Exalted.

Baha'u'llah

Blessed the man who

Blessed the ear that hath heard and the tongue that hath borne witness and the eye that hath seen and recognized the Lord Himself, in His great glory and majesty, invested with grandeur and dominion. Blessed are they that have attained His presence. Blessed the man who hath sought enlightenment from the Day-Star of My Word. Blessed he who hath attired his head with the diadem of My love. Blessed is he who hath heard of My grief and hath arisen to aid Me among My people. Blessed is he who hath laid down his life in My path and hath borne manifold hardships for the sake of My Name.
Blessed the man who, assured of My Word, hath arisen from among the dead to celebrate My praise. Blessed is he that hath been enraptured by My wondrous melodies and hath rent the veils asunder through the potency of My might. Blessed is he who hath remained faithful to My Covenant, and whom the things of the world have not kept back from attaining My Court of holiness. Blessed is the man who hath detached himself from all else but Me, hath soared in the atmosphere of My love, hath gained admittance into My Kingdom, gazed upon My realms of glory, quaffed the living waters of My bounty, hath drunk his fill from the heavenly river of My loving providence, acquainted himself with My Cause, apprehended that which I concealed within the treasury of My Words, and hath shone forth from the horizon of divine knowledge engaged in My praise and glorification. Verily, he is of Me. Upon him rest My mercy, My loving-kindness, My bounty and My glory.

Baha'u'llah,

Monday, November 14, 2011

`Call out to Zion,.....

`Call out to Zion, O Carmel, and announce the joyful tidings: He that was hidden from mortal eyes is come! His all-conquering sovereignty is manifest; His all-encompassing splendour is revealed. Beware lest thou hesitate or halt. Hasten forth and circumambulate the City of God that hath descended from heaven, the celestial Kaaba round which have circled in adoration the favoured of God, the pure in heart, and the company of the most exalted angels. Oh, how I long to announce unto every spot on the surface of the earth, and to carry to each one of its cities, the glad-tidings of this Revelation--a Revelation to which the heart of Sinai hath been attracted, and in whose name the Burning Bush is calling: "Unto God, the Lord of Lords, belong the kingdoms of earth and heaven." Verily this is the Day in which both land and sea rejoice at this announcement, the Day for which have been laid up those things which God, through a bounty beyond the ken of mortal mind or heart, hath destined for revelation. Ere long will God sail His Ark upon thee, and will manifest the people of Bahá who have been mentioned in the Book of Names.'

Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Be content, O people,

Be content, O people, with that which God hath desired for you and predestined unto you....O my ill-wishers! The Day Star of eternal Guidance beareth me witness: Had it been in my power, I would have, under no circumstances, consented to distinguish myself amongst men, for the Name I bear utterly disdaineth to associate itself with this generation whose tongues are sullied and whose hearts are false. And whenever I chose to hold my peace and be still, lo, the voice of the Holy Ghost, standing on my right hand, aroused me, and the Supreme Spirit appeared before my face, and Gabriel overshadowed me, and the Spirit of Glory stirred within my bosom, bidding me arise and break my silence. If your hearing be purged and your ears be attentive, ye will assuredly perceive that every limb of my body, nay all the atoms of my being, proclaim and bear witness to this call: "God, besides Whom is none other God, and He, Whose beauty is now manifest, is the reflection of His glory unto all that are in heaven and on earth.

Bahá'u'lláh


Justice is, in this day,

Justice is, in this day, bewailing its plight, and Equity groaneth beneath the yoke of oppression. The thick clouds of tyranny have darkened the face of the earth, and enveloped its peoples. Through the movement of Our Pen of glory We have, at the bidding of the omnipotent Ordainer, breathed a new life into every human frame, and instilled into every word a fresh potency. 
All created things proclaim the evidences of this world-wide regeneration. This is the most great, the most joyful tidings imparted by the Pen of this wronged One to mankind. Wherefore fear ye, O My well-beloved ones, Who is it that can dismay you? A touch of moisture sufficeth to dissolve the hardened clay out of which this perverse generation is molded. The mere act of your gathering together is enough to scatter the forces of these vain and worthless people....

Bahá'u'lláh


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Who is Baha'u'llah?

The King of Glory: “Of Him David had sung in his Psalms, acclaiming Him as the ‘Lord of Hosts’ and the ‘King of Glory.’”
The Promised One: “To Israel He was neither more nor less than the incarnation of the ‘Everlasting Father,’ the ‘Lord of Hosts’ come down ‘with ten thousands of saints’; to Christendom Christ returned ‘in the glory of the Father,’ to Shi’ih Islam the return of the Imam Husayn; to Sunni Islam the descent of the ‘Spirit of God’; to the Zoroastrians the promised Shah-Bahram; to the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna; to the Buddhists the fifth Buddha.”
The Glory of God: “To Him the Author of the Apocalypse had alluded as the ‘Glory of God,’ as the ‘Alpha and Omega,’ ‘the Beginning and the End,’ ‘the First and the Last,’ … he, moreover, had extolled His Law as ‘a new heaven and a new earth,’ as the ‘Tabernacle of God,’ as the ‘Holy City,’ as the ‘New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.’
The Spirit of Truth: “To Him Jesus Christ referred as the ‘Prince of this world,’ as the ‘Comforter’ Who will ‘reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement,’ as the ‘Spirit of Truth,’ Who ‘will guide you into all truth,’ Who ‘shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak,’ as the ‘Lord of the Vineyard’ and as the ‘Son of Man’ Who ‘shall come in the glory of His Father’ ‘in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory,’ with ‘all the holy angels’ about Him, and ‘all nations’ gathered before His throne. ... To His Day Jesus Christ Himself had referred as ‘The regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory.’”
The Great Announcement: “To Him Muhammad, the Apostle of God, had alluded in His Book as the ‘Great Announcement,’ and declared His Day to be the Day whereon ‘God’ will ‘come down’ ‘overshadowed with clouds,’ the Day whereon ‘thy Lord shall come and the angels rank on rank,’ and ‘The Spirit shall arise and the angels shall be ranged in order.'"
The Everlasting Father: “To Him Isaiah, the greatest of the Jewish prophets, had alluded as ‘The Glory of the Lord,’ the ‘Everlasting Father,’ the ‘Prince of Peace,’ the ‘Wonderful,’ the Counsellor’. . .”
The Immaculate Manifestation of Krishna: “To Him the Bhagavad-Gita of the Hindus had referred as the ‘Most Great Spirit,’ the ‘Tenth Avatar,’ the ‘Immaculate Manifestation of Krishna.’”
The Buddha of Universal Fellowship: “He alone is meant by the prophecy attributed to Gautama Buddha Himself, that ‘a Buddha named Maitreye, the Buddha of universal fellowship’ should, in the fullness of time, arise and reveal ‘His boundless glory.’”

Shoghi Effendi