Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What Is A Bahá’í House Of Worship?

Then ‘Abdu’l-Bahá walked under the large tent where three hundred people sat on chairs in concentric circles, between nine equally spaced aisles. He strode to the center and began to talk about this unique house of worship.
 “Thousands,” he said, “will be built in the East and in the West.” But they were more than just places to pray. They would become the central edifices in a complex of institutions devoted to social, humanitarian, educational, and scientific pursuits. Together, they would offer a new model of faith dedicated to the service of humankind.
They would become “one of the most vital institutions in the world.”... ‘Abdu’l-Bahá swung the axe high, then brought it down with purpose, piercing the earth with a thud... ‘Abdu’l-Bahá reached down, scooped up handfuls of earth, and presented them to members of the crowd. Then he pushed the limestone block into the waiting hole, packed soil around it, and pounded the dirt down hard.
 “The temple is already built,” he said.

O Son of Man!

O Son of Man! Thou dost wish for gold and I desire thy freedom from it. Thou thinkest thyself rich in its possession, and I recognize thy wealth in thy sanctity therefrom. By My life! This is My knowledge, and that is thy fancy; how can My way accord with thine?

The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh

"Not for a moment are ye alone. Not for a second are ye left to yourselves...The Glorious God is with you." #Bahai Abdu'l-Baha

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

O ye beloved of the Lord! In this sacred Dispensation conflict and contention are in no wise permitted. Every aggressor deprives himself of God’s grace. It is incumbent upon every one to show the utmost love, righteousness, straightforwardness and heartfelt kindliness unto all the peoples and kindreds of the world, be they friends or strangers. Nay, the spirit of affection and loving kindness must so prevail that the stranger may find himself a friend, the enemy a true companion, and every least trace of difference he removed. For universality is of God and all limitations earthly. Hence man must strive to show forth such virtues and perfections as may illumine all mankind. The light of the sun shineth upon all the world and the merciful showers of Providence fall upon all peoples. The life-giving breeze reviveth every soul and all living creatures obtain their share and portion at His heavenly board. In like manner the affections and loving kindness of the servants of the One True God must be bountifully and universally extended to all mankind. Regarding this, restrictions and limitations are in no wise permitted. 


Conversations In Transit

There had also been a company of Greek men heading east to fight in the Balkan War, and the next day, October 29, Mahmúd wrote that more than fifty Turkish men were heading in the same direction to face them on the battlefield. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke to the Turks about universal peace and the unity of mankind, Mahmúd wrote, after which he ordered them tea.
On the afternoon of October 30, a Sufi, who followed a mystical tradition in Islam, approached ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and asked if he could sit next to him and listen in. After listening for a brief period the Sufi declared: “All are from God,” a basic idea in Sufi theology. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá responded: “Yes, this is true, but one man is so exalted that others bow down before Him and He is adored by them like Christ or Moses, who called people to the oneness of divinity and who became the cause of the education of a nation, while another is so degraded that he bows down before dust and worships ants and serpents. Are these two one and the same? No, certainly not! Divine Manifestations are a different creation.”

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Realization of Universal Education

"The cause of universal education, which has already enlisted in its service an army of dedicated people from every faith and nation, deserves the utmost support that the governments of the world can lend it. For ignorance is indisputably the principal reason for the decline and fall of peoples and the perpetuation of prejudice. No nation can achieve success unless education is accorded all its citizens. Lack of resources limits the ability of many nations to fulfil this necessity, imposing a certain ordering of priorities. The decision-making agencies involved would do well to consider giving first priority to the education of women and girls, since it is through educated mothers that the benefits of knowledge can be most effectively and rapidly diffused throughout society. In keeping with the requirements of the times, consideration should also be given to teaching the concept of world citizenship as part of the 
standard education of every child."

The Universal House of Justice, in a 1985 statement on peace

همایش نیرنگ و اعتراف بهائی ستیزان در جمهوری اسلامی ایران

در ۱۷ مهر ماه ۱۳۹۱ نماینده ولی فقیه حجت‌الاسلام والمسلمین سیدمحمد شاهچراغی در استان سمنان و امام جمعۀ سمنان در همایش "محفل نیرنگ"(جریان شناسی فرقه ضاله بهائیت و انجمن منحرفه حجتیه) که به همّت اداره کل اطلاعات استان برگزار شد، همچون گذشته(۱) بار دیگر اعتراف و تصریح نمود «معامله با پیروان فرقه‌های ضاله باطل است». و آقای علیرضا خلخالی معاون سیاسی امنیتی استانداری سمنان نیز در همین همایش گفت: «متأسفانه در گذشته برخی از فعالان اقتصادی از روی ناآگاهی با پیروان فرقه های ضاله معامله می كردند اما امروزه با كمك مجمع امور صنفی مانع از این فعالیت ها شده ایم.» وی روشنگری، آموزش، كار فرهنگی و روش های نرم را در مقابله با فعالیت و تبلیغ بهائیت و دیگر فرقه های ضاله روشی مناسب عنوان کرد و گفت: «البته هر جا نیاز به روش و ابزار سخت نیز باشد،كوتاه نمی آییم.» امام جمعه سمنان همچنین با بیان این ‌كه «این فرقه‌های منحرف، خطرناك‌اند» افزود: باید با كار فرهنگی و از راه و مجرای قانونی با این فرق و به خصوص با فرقه ضاله بهائیت كه مراجع عظام تقلید آن‌ها را كافر می‌دانند مبارزه و آنها را منزوی كرد.»(۲)

این اعترافات همه افشاکنندۀ طرحی است که حدود پنج سال پیش به صورت پایلوت و آزمایشی در سمنان به اجرا درآمد تا پس از دریافت بازخورد آن، در دیگر شهرهای ایران نیز علیه بهائیان به همان شکل صورت گیرد. توضیح آن که عملیات و حملات فوق علیه «بهائیان سمنان وقتی شعله گرفت که در آذر ماه سال ۱۳۸۷ (اواخر ۲۰۰۸ و ۲۰۰۹) یک مجموعه سمینار و گردهم‌آیی ضدّ بهائی در سطح وسیع برای عموم مردم در شهر سازمان‌دهی شد. پس از آن خانه‌های حدود ۲۰ بهائی مورد حملۀ مقامات قرار گرفت که مطالب مربوط به آئین بهائی، کامپیوتر‌ها و تلفن‌های همراه را توقیف کردند. ۹ بهائی که خانه‌های‌شان مورد یورش قرار گرفت، همه به اتهامات کاملاً دروغین و صرفاً در زمینۀ عمل به آئین بهائی دستگیر شدند.»(۶)

"ضدّیت با هر حقیقت الهی که جدیداً ظاهر می شود سنّت تاریخ است و در هر عصری تکرار می شود. واقعیّت دیگری که تاریخ با همان استمرار به آن شهادت داده آن است که هیچ عاملی نمی تواند مانع پیشرفت عقیده ای گردد که وقت و زمان آن فرا رسیده است. وقت آزادی عقیده، توافق علم و دین - خرد و ایمان - آزادی زنان، دوری و بیزاری از هر نوع تعصّب، احترام متقابل افراد و دول مختلف و در حقیقت عصر وحدت و اتّحاد تمامی نوع بشر فرا رسیده است. آمال و آرزوهای عمیق مردم ایران البتّه با مستلزمات و مقتضیات این اصول تحوّل انگیز جهانی حضرت بهاءالله مطابقت دارد."(۸)

 حامد صبوری

برگرفته از سایت ایران گلوبال:

"A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love." #Bahai Abdu'l-Baha #love

Sunday, October 28, 2012

... lest ye offend any heart,...

Beware lest ye offend any heart, lest ye speak against anyone in his absence, lest ye estrange yourselves from the servants of God. You must consider all His servants as your own family and relations. Direct your whole effort toward the happiness of those who are despondent, bestow food upon the hungry, clothe the needy, and glorify the humble. Be a helper to every helpless one, and manifest kindness to your fellow creatures in order that ye may attain the good pleasure of God. This is conducive to the illumination of the world of humanity and eternal felicity for yourselves. I seek from God everlasting glory in your behalf; therefore, this is my prayer and exhortation.

 `Abdu'l-Bahá The Promulgation of Universal Peace

To Fight For A Handful Of Dust

AS ‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ BOARDED THE TRAIN that would take him eastward from Sacramento to Salt Lake City and Denver, Ottoman troops in Europe retreated along a front that reached from Adrianople and Lozengrad, away from the Bulgarian border.The war had been going on for several weeks. Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, and Bulgaria had formed an alliance intent on reclaiming all European territories from the Ottoman Empire. 
‘Abdu’l-Bahá had traversed the terrain they fought on: as a young man he had accompanied his exiled father the 1,500 miles from Baghdad to Constantinople; and again, four months later and in the dead of winter, to Adrianople.
“God does not want war,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told the railway staff. “God is kind to all,” he said. “We, too, should be kind to one another.” He continued: “We should not fight for a handful of dust. The earth is our endless tomb. Is it worthy of us to wage war and shed blood for this tomb while God has destined that we win the cities of men’s hearts and bestowed upon us an eternal Kingdom?”

Friday, October 26, 2012

Attribute of perfection

The first attribute of perfection is learning and the cultural attainments of the mind... 
The second attribute of perfection is justice and impartiality... 
The third requirement of perfection is to arise with complete sincerity and purity of purpose to educate the masses: to exert the utmost effort to instruct them in the various branches of learning and useful sciences, to encourage the development of modern progress, to widen the scope of commerce, industry and the arts, to further such measures as will increase the people’s wealth. ...
Other attributes of perfection are to fear God, to love God by loving His servants, to exercise mildness and forbearance and calm, to be sincere, amenable, clement and compassionate; to have resolution and courage, trustworthiness and energy, to strive and struggle, to be generous, loyal, without malice, to have zeal and a sense of honor, to be high-minded and magnanimous, and to have regard for the rights of others. Whoever is lacking in these excellent human qualities is defective. If We were to explain the inner meanings of each one of these attributes, “the poem would take up seventy maunds* of paper.”

 'Abdu'l-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization,

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Education under fire

«ضدّیت با هر حقیقت الهی که جدیداً ظاهر می شود سنّت تاریخ است و در هر عصری تکرار می شود. واقعیّت دیگری که تاریخ با همان استمرار به آن شهادت داده آن است که هیچ عاملی نمی تواند مانع پیشرفت عقیده ای گردد که وقت و زمان آن فرا رسیده است. وقت آزادی عقیده، توافق علم و دین - خرد و ایمان - آزادی زنان، دوری و بیزاری از هر نوع تعصّب، احترام متقابل افراد و دول مختلف و در حقیقت عصر وحدت و اتّحاد تمامی نوع بشر فرا رسیده است. آمال و آرزوهای عمیق مردم ایران البتّه با مستلزمات و مقتضیات این اصول تحوّل انگیز جهانی حضرت بهاءالله مطابقت دارد.« 
 از پیام بیت العدل اعظم الهی خطاب به دانشجویان بهائی ایران که از تحصیلات عالیه محروم شده اند تاریخ ۹ سپتامبر ۲۰۰۷

‘Abdu’l-Bahá Speaks To The Home Of Truth

“‘ABDU’L-BAHÁ HARDLY REQUIRES an introduction, as nearly all who are present have been looking forward to his coming to Sacramento.” The speaker was Christine Fraser from The Home of Truth, a branch of the New Thought movement gaining momentum in America at the turn of the twentieth century. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had left San Francisco that morning, on October 25, 1912, arriving in Sacramento by noon. At 8:30 p.m. that same evening, an audience gathered in the Assembly Hall of the Hotel Sacramento to hear him speak. 
 First, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá distinguished what he called “true religion” from the “dogmatic interpretations and imitations of ancestral forms of belief.” True religion caused unity, peace, and love, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá remarked, while religious imitations led to war and strife. Bahá’u’lláh wrote that all should investigate reality for themselves, for, as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá explained, “Reality is one; and when found, it will unify all mankind.”

The last principle ‘Abdu’l-Bahá spoke about was humanity’s need for both material and spiritual civilization. “Material civilization,” he explained, “concerns the world of matter or bodies, but divine civilization is the realm of ethics and moralities.” The Prophets of God, such as Christ, are the founders of divine civilization, without which, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “eternal happiness cannot be realized.”

Oneness of the world ...

"oneness of the world of humanity shall be realized, accepted & is the healing remedy for all human conditions." #Bahai

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

... no evil, all is good ...

In creation there is no evil, all is good. Certain qualities and natures innate in some men and apparently blameworthy are not so in reality. For example, from the beginning of his life you can see in a nursing child the signs of greed, of anger, and of temper. Then, it may be said, good and evil are innate in the reality of man, and this is contrary to the pure goodness of nature and creation. The answer to this is that greed, which is to ask for something more, is a praiseworthy quality provided that it is used suitably. So, if a man is greedy to acquire science and knowledge, or to become compassionate, generous, and just, it is most praiseworthy. If he exercises his anger and wrath against the bloodthirsty tyrants who are like ferocious beasts, it is very praiseworthy; but if he does not use these qualities in a right way, they are blameworthy.... It is the same with all the natural qualities of man, which constitute the capital of life; if they be used and displayed in an unlawful way, they become blameworthy. Therefore, it is clear that creation is purely good.

`Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions,

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Practical Days In San Francisco

On the evening of Thursday, October 24, 1912, as he said goodbye to friends at his rented house at 1815 California Street in Pacific Heights, he could look back to three of the most eventful weeks of his entire trip through America.
 At Stanford University on October 8, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had argued for a scientific basis for international peace. At Temple Emanu-El, San Francisco’s largest Reform Jewish congregation, he challenged his hearers to make interfaith unity a reality by accepting the founders of other religions. At a Japanese church in Oakland he stood up for the ingenuity and progress of the Japanese people, who would be tossed into internment camps less than thirty years later. “Any kind of prejudice is destructive to the body politic,” he told them.

As ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s train departed the bay area, chugging east on the morning of October 25, 1912, architects in San Francisco were already setting in motion the city’s next great enterprise. The Panama Canal would be completed in 1914, and San Franciscans planned to celebrate. Just nine years after the earthquake had toppled and burned the City by the Bay, it would announce to the world that it had risen again from the ashes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Valley of Unity

In like manner, colors become visible in every object according to the nature of that object. For instance, in a yellow globe, the rays shine yellow; in a white the rays are white; and in a red, the red rays are manifest. Then these variations are from the object, not from the shining light. And if a place be shut away from the light, as by walls or a roof, it will be entirely bereft of the splendor of the light, nor will the sun shine thereon.
Thus it is that certain invalid souls have confined the lands of knowledge within the wall of self and passion, and clouded them with ignorance and blindness, and have been veiled from the light of the mystic sun and the mysteries of the Eternal Beloved; they have strayed afar from the jewelled wisdom of the lucid Faith of the Lord of Messengers, have been shut out of the sanctuary of the All-Beauteous One, and banished from the Ka‘bih of splendor. Such is the worth of the people of this age!
And if a nightingale soar upward from the clay of self and dwell in the rose bower of the heart, and in Arabian melodies and sweet Íránian songs recount the mysteries of God—a single word of which quickeneth to fresh, new life the bodies of the dead, and bestoweth the Holy Spirit upon the moldering bones of this existence—thou wilt behold a thousand claws of envy, a myriad beaks of rancor hunting after Him and with all their power intent upon His death.

Bahá'u'lláh The Seven Valleys

Abdu’l-Bahá Exalts The Role Of Mothers

“I AM DELIGHTED to speak before this gathering of revered ladies,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá began, “who have met for the purpose of investigating the realities of life.” On Tuesday, October 16, 1912, he addressed the Century Club of California, a private social club for women founded in 1888, which devoted its energies and financial resources to the advancement of women.
‘Abdu’l-Bahá made his position on gender equality unequivocal. “Some believe that man is the greater and preferable member of the body politic,” he told the women, “that he is created with certain superior virtues, and that woman, however great may be her attainment, can never reach man’s level, because she is not endowed with equal faculties.” He refuted this position, noting instead that in the eyes of growing majority, and surely in the eyes of God, “perfect equality already exists.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

High aims and pure motives, ...

High aims and pure motives, however laudable in themselves, will surely not suffice if unsupported by measures that are practicable and methods that are sound. Wealth of sentiment, abundance of goodwill and effort, will prove of little avail if we should fail to exercise discrimination and restraint and neglect to direct their flow along the most profitable channels. The unfettered freedom of the individual should be tempered with mutual consultation and sacrifice, and the spirit of initiative and enterprise should be reinforced by a deeper realization of the supreme necessity for concerted action and a fuller devotion to the common weal. 
 It would be impossible at this stage to ignore the indispensability or to overestimate the unique significance of the institution of the National Spiritual Assembly -- the pivot round which revolve the activities of the believers throughout the American continent. Supreme is their position, grave their responsibilities, manifold and arduous their duties. How great the privilege, how delicate the task of the assembled delegates whose function it is to elect such national representatives as would by their record of service ennoble and enrich the annals of the Cause! If we but turn our gaze to the high qualifications of the members of Bahá'í Assemblies, as enumerated in 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Tablets, we are filled with feelings of unworthiness and dismay, and would feel truly disheartened but for the comforting thought that if we rise to play nobly our part every deficiency in our lives will be more than compensated by the all-conquering spirit of His grace and power. Hence it is incumbent upon the chosen delegates to consider without the least trace of passion and prejudice, and irrespective of any material consideration, the names of only those who can best combine the necessary qualities of unquestioned loyalty, of selfless devotion, of a well-trained mind, of recognized ability and mature experience. May the incoming National Spiritual Assembly -- the privileged and chosen servants of the Cause -- immortalize their term of stewardship by deeds of loving service, deeds that will redound to the honour, the glory and the power of the Most Great Name.

 Shoghi Effendi 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

O concourse of divines!

O concourse of divines! It is not yours to boast if ye abstain from drinking wine and from similar transgressions which have been forbidden you in the Book, for should ye commit such deeds, the dignity of your station would then be tainted in the eyes of the people, your affairs would be disrupted, and your name disgraced and dishonoured. Nay, your true and abiding glory resideth in submission to the Word of Him Who is the Eternal Truth, and in your inward and outward detachment from aught else besides God, the All-Compelling, the Almighty. Great is the blessedness of that divine that hath not allowed knowledge to become a veil between him and the One Who is the Object of all knowledge, and who, when the Self-Subsisting appeared, hath turned with a beaming face towards Him. He, in truth, is numbered with the learned. The inmates of Paradise seek the blessing of his breath, and his lamp sheddeth its radiance over all who are in heaven and on earth. He, verily, is numbered with the inheritors of the Prophets. He that beholdeth him hath, verily, beheld the True One, and he that turneth towards him hath, verily, turned towards God, the Almighty, the All-Wise.

Baha'u'llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Báb

There can be no doubt that the claim to the twofold station ordained for the Báb by the Almighty, a claim which He Himself has so boldly advanced, which Bahá’u’lláh has repeatedly affirmed, and to which the Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has finally given the sanction of its testimony, constitutes the most distinctive feature of the Bahá’í Dispensation...
 The short duration of His Dispensation, the restricted range within which His laws and ordinances have been made to operate, supply no criterion whatever wherewith to judge its Divine origin and to evaluate the potency of its message. “That so brief a span,” Bahá’u’lláh Himself explains, “should have separated this most mighty and wondrous Revelation from Mine own previous Manifestation, is a secret that no man can unravel and a mystery such as no mind can fathom. Its duration had been foreordained, and no man shall ever discover its reason unless and until he be informed of the contents of My Hidden Book.”...
 And finally, in His Will and Testament, the repository of His last wishes and parting instructions, He in the following passage, specifically designed to set forth the guiding principles of Bahá’í belief, sets the seal of His testimony on the Báb’s dual and exalted station: “The foundation of the belief of the people of Bahá (may my life be offered up for them) is this: His holiness the exalted One (the Báb) is the Manifestation of the unity and oneness of God and the Forerunner of the Ancient Beauty (Bahá’u’lláh). His holiness, the Abhá Beauty (Bahá’u’lláh) (may my life be offered up as a sacrifice for His steadfast friends) is the supreme Manifestation of God and the Day-Spring of His most divine Essence.” “All others,” He significantly adds, “are servants unto Him and do His bidding.”

Shoghi EffendiThe World Order of Bahá’u’lláh

Friday, October 19, 2012

Birth of the Báb

This glorious Tablet hath been revealed on the Anniversary of the Birth [of the Bab] 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. 

Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 233

A heart full of love

"Know that nothing will benefit thee save...a heart full of love" #Bahai -Abdui-Baha

Thursday, October 18, 2012

In cycles gone by

In cycles gone by, each one of the Manifestations of God hath had His own rank in the world of existence, and each hath represented a stage in the development of humanity. But the Manifestation of the Most Great Name -- may my life be a sacrifice for His loved ones -- was an expression of the coming of age, the maturing of man's inmost reality in this world of being. For the sun is the source and well-spring of light and heat, the focal point of splendours, and it compriseth all the perfections that are made manifest by the other stars which have dawned upon the world. Make thou an effort that thou mayest take thy place under the sun and receive an abundant share of its dazzling light. In truth do I tell thee, once thou hast attained this station, thou shalt behold the saints bowing down their heads in all humility before Him. Haste thou to life before death cometh; haste thou to the spring season before autumn draweth in; and before illness striketh, haste thou to healing -- that thou mayest become a physician of the spirit who, with the breaths of the Holy Spirit, healeth all manner of sickness in this famed and glorious age.

 'Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Baha'is celebrate the birth of the Bab ...

On October 20th, Canadian Baha’is will gather with their neighbours and friends to celebrate the 193rd anniversary of the birth of the Bab — the first of the two divine teachers central to the founding of the Baha'i Faith. The central purpose of the Bab’s message was to prepare the people for the Messenger of God Who would succeed Him — One Who would usher in a new age of international peace and prosperity.
This Messenger is recognized by Baha’is as Baha’u’llah, the Promised One, who announced His station in 1863. Although the Bab’s life spanned little more than 30 years, His teachings caused a social and spiritual upheaval of the religious conservatism in 19th century Persia.

Read on at Canadian Baha'i News Service. 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A twofold obligation resteth ...

The ordinances of God have been sent down from the heaven of His most august Revelation. All must diligently observe them Man's supreme distinction, his real advancement, his final victory; have always depended, and will continue to depend, upon them Whoso keepeth the commandments of God shall attain everlasting felicity. A twofold obligation resteth upon him who hath recognized the Day Spring of the Unity of God, and acknowledged the truth of Him Who is the Manifestation of His oneness. The first is steadfastness in His love, such steadfastness that neither the clamor of the enemy nor the claims of the idle pretender can deter him from cleaving unto Him Who is the Eternal Truth, a steadfastness that taketh no account of them whatever. The second is strict observance of the laws He hath prescribed--laws which He hath always ordained, and will continue to ordain, unto men, and through which the truth may be distinguished and separated from falsehood.

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

Of all the Americans ‘Abdu’l-Bahá knew, none were closer to him than Thornton Chase.

... Thornton Chase had first heard about Bahá’u’lláh from the speech Dr. Henry Jessup had given at the World Parliament of Religions in 1893. By mid-1894 he was studying the new faith in Chicago. Three other Americans became Bahá’ís before Chase, but, of the four, only Chase had stuck. He was, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá later said, “the first Bahá’í in America.”
 When Phoebe Hearst planned her pilgrimage to ‘Akká in 1898, Chase’s work with the Union Mutual Life Insurance Company prevented him from accompanying them. “I am heart broken” he wrote to one of the party, “to learn that you are going and it is impossible for me to join you.” Instead, he sent along a letter to be hand-delivered to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, beginning a correspondence between the two men that would unfold over the next fourteen years. Of all the Americans ‘Abdu’l-Bahá knew, none were closer to him than Thornton Chase....
Thornton Chase died from complications just before 7 p.m. on Monday, September 30.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

'Abdu'l-Bahá on the Journey of the Soul

Therefore I say that man must travel in the way of God. Day by day he must endeavor to become better, his belief must increase and become firmer, his good qualities and his turning to God must be greater, the fire of his love must flame more brightly; then day by day he will make progress, for to stop advancing is the means of going back. The bird when he flies soars ever higher and higher, for as soon as he stops flying he will come down. Every day, in the morning when arising you should compare today with yesterday and see in what condition you are. If you see your belief is stronger and your heart more occupied with God and your love increased and your freedom from the world greater then thank God and ask for the increase of these qualities. You must begin to pray and repent for all that you have done that is wrong and you must implore and ask for help and assistance that you may become better than yesterday so that you may continue to make progress.

 'Abdu'l-Bahá,in Star of the West 8,

Monday, October 15, 2012

... the love of God is essential ...

That divine world is manifestly a world of lights; therefore, man has need of illumination here. That is a world of love; the love of God is essential. It is a world of perfections; virtues, or perfections, must be acquired. That world is vivified by the breaths of the Holy Spirit; in this world we must seek them. That is the Kingdom of everlasting life; it must be attained during this vanishing existence. By what means can man acquire these things? How shall he obtain these merciful gifts and powers?
 First, through the knowledge of God. Second, through the love of God. Third, through faith. Fourth, through philanthropic deeds. Fifth, through self-sacrifice. Sixth, through severance from this world. Seventh, through sanctity and holiness. Unless he acquires these forces and attains to these requirements, he will surely be deprived of the life that is eternal. But if he possesses the knowledge of God, becomes ignited through the fire of the love of God, witnesses the great and mighty signs of the Kingdom, becomes the cause of love among mankind and lives in the utmost state of sanctity and holiness, he shall surely attain to second birth, be baptized by the Holy Spirit and enjoy everlasting existence. 

`Abdu'l-BaháThe Promulgation of Universal Peace

"No soul should be hated, none neglected; nay, rather, their very imperfections should demand greater kindness & tender compassion" #Bahai

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rabbi Martin A. Meyer Hosts ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Longest Address In America

“It is a privilege, and a very high privilege indeed,” Rabbi Meyer said, “to welcome in our midst this morning Abdul Baha, a great teacher of our age and generation. . . . Abdul Baha is the representative of one of the religious systems of life, and it appeals to us Jews, because we Jews feel that we have fathered that ideal throughout the centuries of men.” 

On Saturday, October 12, 1912, at Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Martin Abraham Meyer hosted ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s longest talk in America. He was far more interested in practice than theory, and so for the next eleven years, until his untimely death in 1923, Rabbi Meyer would work to heal the rifts in the Jewish community and build bridges with nearby Christian churches.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh

Few will fail to recognize that the Spirit breathed by Bahá'u'lláh upon the world, and which is manifesting itself with varying degrees of intensity through the efforts consciously displayed by His avowed supporters and indirectly through certain humanitarian organizations, can never permeate and exercise an abiding influence upon mankind unless and until it incarnates itself in a visible Order, which would bear His name, wholly identify itself with His principles, and function in conformity with His laws. That Bahá'u'lláh in His Book of Aqdas, and later 'Abdu'l-Bahá in His Will -- a document which confirms, supplements, and correlates the provisions of the Aqdas -- have set forth in their entirety those essential elements for the constitution of the world Bahá'í Commonwealth, no one who has read them will deny. According to these divinely-ordained administrative principles, the Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh -- the Ark of human salvation -- must needs be modeled. From them, all future blessings must flow, and upon them its inviolable authority must ultimately rest. 

Shoghi Effendi, March 21, 1930, ‘The World Order of Baha'u'llah’

Thursday, October 11, 2012

...truth has no division...

All these divisions we see on all sides, all these disputes and opposition, are caused because men cling to ritual and outward observances, and forget the simple underlying truth. It is the outward practices of religion that are so different, and it is they that cause disputes and enmity--while the reality is always the same and one. The Reality is the Truth and truth has no division. truth is God's guidance, it is the light of the world, it is love, it is mercy. These attributes of truth are also human virtues inspired by the Holy Spirit.

Abdul-Baha-Paris Talks

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

your subjects are God's trust amongst you...

"Know of a truth that your subjects are God's trust amongst you. Watch ye, therefore, over them as ye watch over your own selves. Beware that ye allow not wolves to become the shepherds of the fold, or pride and conceit to deter you from turning unto the poor and the desolate. Arise thou, in My name, above the horizon of renunciation, and set, then, thy face towards the Kingdom, at the bidding of thy Lord, the Lord of strength and of might."
And further We have said: "Adorn the body of Thy kingdom with the raiment of My name, and arise, then, to teach My Cause. Better is this for thee than that which thou possessest. God will, thereby, exalt thy name among all the kings. Potent is He over all things. Walk thou amongst men in the name of God, and by the power of His might, that thou mayest show forth His signs amidst the peoples of the earth."


animosity & contention...

"Strive...that animosity & contention may pass away from the hearts of that no racial, religious or political prejudice may remain"

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s Landmark Address At Stanford University

“THE HIGHEST PRAISE is due to men who devote their energies to science,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said, “and the noblest center is a center wherein the sciences and arts are taught and studied.” He wouldn't have heard many complaints from the audience he was addressing on the morning of Tuesday, October 8, 1912 — two thousand students and faculty of Stanford University.

 “We live upon this earth for a few days and then rest beneath it forever,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá declared, as his words rose to a climax. “Shall man fight for the tomb which devours him, for his eternal sepulcher? What ignorance could be greater than this? To fight over his grave, to kill another for his grave! What heedlessness! What a delusion!”

Sometime later, Dr. David Starr Jordan was later asked for his impressions of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. “He will surely unite the East and the West,” Jordan replied, “for he walks the mystic way with practical feet.”

… the core of religious faith is ...

… the core of religious faith is that mystic feeling that unites man with God. This state of spiritual communion can be brought about and maintained by means of meditation and prayer. And this is the reason why Bahá'u'lláh has so much stressed the importance of worship. It is not sufficient for a believer to merely accept and observe the teachings. He should, in addition, cultivate the sense of spirituality, which he can acquire chiefly by the means of prayer. The Bahá'í Faith, like all other Divine religions, is thus fundamentally mystic in character. Its chief goal is the development of the individual and society, through the acquisition of spiritual virtues and powers. It is the soul of man that has first to be fed. And this spiritual nourishment prayer can best provide. Laws and institutions, as viewed by Bahá'u'lláh, can become really effective only when our inner spiritual life has been perfected and transformed. Otherwise religion will degenerate into a mere organization, and become a dead thing.

Shoghi Effendi

Monday, October 8, 2012

"Mohsen Makhmalbaf's latest film "The Gardener" at Busan & Beirut International film festival" 'The Gardener', Mohsen Makhmalbaf's most recent creation, was filmed in Israel in the cities of Haifa and Jerusalem. 'The Gardener' will premiere at the 17th Busan International Film Festival, to be held October 4 - 13, 2012. Following Busan the film goes on screen in Beirut Film Festival on the 9th of October 2012 in Lebanon. The film illustrates the clash between two Iranian generations regarding their perspectives on the positive and negative effects of religion on society. Makhmalbaf and his son, Maysam, represent each of these generations. 'The Gardener' is also an exploration of the principles and beliefs of the Baha'i Faith, a religion that originated around 170 years ago in Iran and counts today with millions of followers throughout the world. "Many of us Iranians," says Makhmalbaf, "know more about religions and schools of thought from Indian, Chinese, or Japanese origin than religions that have grown out of Iran. Maybe this has been willed by censorship. 'The Gardener' is an attempt to break this censorship."

A Most Extraordinary Day

The large auditorium was filled to capacity with 1,800 students and 180 faculty and staff. Jordan mounted the stage with ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and began his words of introduction.
“It is our portion to have with us . . . one of the great religious teachers of the world, one of the natural successors of the old Hebrew prophets,” Jordan began. “He is said sometimes to be the founder of a new religion. . . . It is not exactly a new religion, however. The religion of brotherhood, or goodwill, of friendship between men and nations — that is as old as good thinking and good living may be. It may be said in some sense to be the oldest of religions.”
Then ‘Abdu’l-Bahá began. “Inasmuch as the fundamental principle of the teaching of Bahá’u’lláh is the oneness of the world of humanity,” he stated, “I will speak to you upon the intrinsic oneness of all phenomena.” It was a theme he had presented many times in America, but at Stanford, he would approach it from a scientific perspective....

Sunday, October 7, 2012

... as the Movement grows ...

We cannot believe that as the Movement grows in strength, in authority and in influence, the perplexities and the sufferings it has had to contend with in the past will correspondingly decrease and vanish. Nay, as it grows from strength to strength, the fanatical defendants of the strongholds of Orthodoxy, whatever be their denomination, realizing the penetrating influence of this growing Faith, will arise and strain every nerve to extinguish its light and discredit its name. For has not our beloved 'Abdu'l-Bahá sent forth His glowing prophecy from behind the prison walls of the citadel of 'Akká -- words so significant in their forecast of the coming world turmoil, yet so rich in their promise of eventual victory... 

Shoghi Effendi,

... during meditation ...

"The spirit of man is itself informed and strengthened during meditation; through it affairs of which man knew nothing are unfolded before his view. Through it he receives Divine inspiration, through it he receives heavenly food. Meditation is the key for opening the doors of mysteries. In that state man abstracts himself: in that state man withdraws himself from all outside objects; in that subjective mood he is immersed in the ocean of spiritual life and can unfold the secrets of things-in-themselves. To illustrate this, think of man as endowed with two kinds of sight; when the power of insight is being used the outward power of vision does not see. This faculty of meditation frees man from the animal nature, discerns the reality of things, puts man in touch with God. This faculty brings forth from the invisible plane the sciences and arts. Through the meditative faculty inventions are made possible, colossal undertakings are carried out; through it governments can run smoothly. Through this faculty man enters into the very Kingdom of God. "


Saturday, October 6, 2012

Commemoration of 'Abdu'l-Bahá's visit to Stanford

"The greatest attainment in the world of humanity has ever been scientific in nature. It is the discovery of the realities of things. Inasmuch as I find myself in the home of science — for this is one of the great universities of the country and well known abroad — I feel a keen sense of joy."(excerpt from ‘Abdu’l-Bahá's speech at Stanford)
We are honored to invite you all to celebrate ‘Abdu’l-Bahá's visit to Stanford University which took place 100 years ago on October 8, 1912. Please join us in commemorating this joyous visit with various musical performances, devotions, and talks regarding the background of this historical event.


The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof, hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine inspiration. They whom God hath endued with insight will readily recognize that the precepts laid down by God constitute the highest means for the maintenance of order in the world and the security of its peoples. 

Gleanings From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah

 "Dominating the entire range of this fascinating spectacle towers the incomparable figure of Bahá'u'lláh, transcendental in His majesty, serene, awe-inspiring, unapproachably glorious. Allied, though subordinate in rank, and invested with the authority of presiding with Him over the destinies of this supreme Dispensation, there shines upon this mental picture the youthful glory of the Báb, infinite in His tenderness, irresistible in His charm, unsurpassed in His heroism, matchless in the dramatic circumstances of His short yet eventful life. And finally there emerges, though on a plane of its own and in a category entirely apart from the one occupied by the twin Figures that preceded Him, the vibrant, the magnetic personality of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, reflecting to a degree that no man, however exalted his station, can hope to rival, the glory and power with which They who are the Manifestations of God are alone endowed. "

Shoghi Effendi, The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah

Cyrus the Great said:

Just for you Farzin / Frank.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Our future opponents in the West ...

 "Though our Cause unreservedly recognizes the Divine origin of all the religions that preceded it and upholds the spiritual truths which lie at their very core and are common to them all, its institutions, whether administrative, religious or humanitarian, must if their distinctive character is to be maintained and recognized, be increasingly divorced from the outworn creeds, the meaningless ceremonials and man-made institutions with which these religions are at present identified. Our adversaries in the East have initiated the struggle. Our future opponents in the West will, in their turn, arise and carry it a stage further. Ours is the duty, in anticipation of this inevitable contest, to uphold unequivocally and with undivided loyalty the integrity of our Faith and demonstrate the distinguishing features of its divinely appointed institutions." 

Shoghi Effendi, 

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Abdu'l-Bahá's Will and Testament should thus be ...

 "‘Abdu'l-Bahá, Who incarnates an institution for which we can find no parallel whatsoever in any of the world's recognized religious systems, may be said to have closed the Age to which He Himself belonged and opened the one in which we are now laboring. His Will and Testament should thus be regarded as the perpetual, the indissoluble link which the mind of Him Who is the Mystery of God has conceived in order to insure the continuity of the three ages that constitute the component parts of the Bahá'í Dispensation. The period in which the seed of the Faith had been slowly germinating is thus intertwined both with the one which must witness its efflorescence and the subsequent age in which that seed will have finally yielded its golden fruit."

Shoghi Effendi, The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah

"never be defeated by the malice of the people, by their aggression & their hate...if they poison your lives, sweeten their souls" #Bahai

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Consort with all the peoples ...

Wherefore, O my loving friends! Consort with all the peoples, kindreds and religions of the world with the utmost truthfulness, uprightness, faithfulness, kindliness, good-will and friendliness, that all the world of being may be filled with the holy ecstasy of the grace of Bahá, that ignorance, enmity, hate and rancor may vanish from the world and the darkness of estrangement amidst the peoples and kindreds of the world may give way to the Light of Unity. Should other peoples and nations be unfaithful to you show your fidelity unto them, should they be unjust toward you show justice towards them, should they keep aloof from you attract them to yourselves, should they show their enmity be friendly towards them, should they poison your lives, sweeten their souls, should they inflict a wound upon you, be a salve to their sores. Such are the attributes of the sincere! Such are the attributes of the truthful.


The sword of wisdom is hotter ...

And further We have said: "Deal not treacherously with the substance of your neighbor. Be ye trustworthy on earth, and withhold not from the poor the things given unto you by God through His grace. He, verily, will bestow upon you the double of what ye possess. He, in truth, is the All-Bounteous, the Most Generous. O people of Baha! Subdue the citadels of men's hearts with the swords of wisdom and of utterance. They that dispute, as prompted by their desires, are indeed wrapped in a palpable veil. 
Say: The sword of wisdom is hotter than summer heat, and sharper than blades of steel, if ye do but understand. Draw it forth in My name and through the power of My might, and conquer, then, with it the cities of the hearts of them that have secluded themselves in the stronghold of their corrupt desires. Thus biddeth you the Pen of the All-Glorious, whilst seated beneath the swords of the wayward. If ye become aware of a sin committed by another, conceal it, that God may conceal your own sin. He, verily, is the Concealer, the Lord of grace abounding. O ye rich ones on earth! If ye encounter one who is poor, treat him not disdainfully. Reflect upon that whereof ye were created. Every one of you was created of a sorry germ."

Epistle to the Son of the Wolf

Monday, October 1, 2012

... truthfulness and honesty ...

"Beautify your tongues, O people, with truthfulness, and adorn your souls with the ornament of honesty. Beware, O people, that ye deal not treacherously with anyone. Be ye the trustees of God amongst His creatures, and the emblems of His generosity amidst His people. They that follow their lusts and corrupt inclinations, have erred and dissipated their efforts. They, indeed, are of the lost...."


To whom it may concern.

Do I need to say anymore?

"Wars—religious, racial or political—have arisen from human ignorance, misunderstanding & lack of education." #Bahai Abdu'l-Baha