Friday, November 30, 2012

‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the significance of His position

An attempt I strongly feel should now be made to clarify our minds regarding the station occupied by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and the significance of His position in this holy Dispensation. It would be indeed difficult for us, who stand so close to such a tremendous figure and are drawn by the mysterious power of so magnetic a personality, to obtain a clear and exact understanding of the rôle and character of One Who, not only in the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh but in the entire field of religious history, fulfills a unique function. 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.

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Distinguishing Features of Bahá’í World Order ...

 "For let every earnest upholder of the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh realize that the storms which this struggling Faith of God must needs encounter, as the process of the disintegration of society advances, shall be fiercer than any which it has already experienced. Let him be aware that so soon as the full measure of the stupendous claim of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh becomes to be recognized by those time-honoured and powerful strongholds of orthodoxy, whose deliberate aim is to maintain their stranglehold over the thoughts and consciences of men, that this infant Faith will have to contend with enemies more powerful and more insidious than the cruellest torture-mongers and the most fanatical clerics who have afflicted it in the past. What foes may not in the course of the convulsions that shall seize a dying civilization be brought into existence, who will reinforce the indignities which have already been heaped upon it!

Shoghi Effendi, "The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh"


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The phenomenal effects of His Covenant ...

With the setting of the Sun of Baha, the Moon of His Covenant rose in reflected glory, lifting the darkness of a night of despair, and lighting the path to the unity of all humankind. In the fullness of its radiance stands the magnetic Figure of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the beloved Son Whom Bahá’u'lláh designated as the Interpreter of His Word and Executive of His authority, and Whom He appointed the Centre of His Covenant, an office without parallel in all religious history. …
As a result of the phenomenal effects of His Covenant, a world community has been raised up on an “unassailable foundation”. The entire system of the Administrative Order originated by Bahá’u'lláh in His Most Holy Book has been erected. A vigorous network of local, national, continental and international institutions functions in exemplary harmony throughout the planet. Vitalized and nurtured by His stupendous Revelation, watered by the precious blood of countless martyrs, and tended by the loving care of unnumbered, devoted servants, the Tree of the Cause has, in these hundred years, grown mightily, has put forth its far-stretching branches and borne its first and plentiful fruit.

The Universal House of Justice, 1992 May 29, Centenary Tribute to Baha’u'llah

The Passing of 'Abdu'l-Bahá

The news of `Abdu'l-Bahá's passing on November 28, 1921, was received by the Bahá'í world and the citizens of Haifa with profound distress and grief. The Holy Land--a land all too frequently convulsed by religious conflict-- witnessed an unprecedented event of unity and collective emotion in the aftermath of `Abdu'l-Bahá's death. Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Druzes, of all persuasions and denominations; Arabs, Turks, Kurds, Armenians, and other ethnic groups were drawn together in mourning His passing and in sharing their common loss. 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."...


Shoghi Effendi, God Passes

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Station of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Referring to the Most Great Branch, Bahá’u’lláh in His Suriy-iGhusn which was revealed in Adrianople, has written: “Verily the Limb of the Law of God hath sprung forth from this Root which God hath firmly implanted in the Ground of His Will... Magnified be He, therefore, for this sublime, this blessed, this mighty, this exalted Handiwork... Render thanks unto God, O people, for His appearance, for verily He is the most great Favour unto you, the most perfect bounty upon you, and through Him every mouldering bone is quickened. Whoso turneth towards Him hath turned towards God, and whoso turneth away from Him hath turned away from My Beauty, hath repudiated my Proof, and transgressed against Me.”

The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Power of 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”


 ..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

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Spark That Set Aflame The World: 1912-1918

“WILL THE PRESENT WAR in the Balkans,” a New Yorker asked ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “terminate in the world war?’” “No,” he answered, “but within two years a spark will rise from the Balkans and set the whole world on fire.”
 One of the main reasons ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had come to the United States was to warn about an imminent European war, and to push Americans to rally to prevent it. “Just now Europe is a battlefield of ammunition ready to spark,” ‘Abdu’l-Bahá told a peace forum meeting in New York on May 12, “and one spark will set aflame the whole world.” After visiting Niagara Falls on September 10, the Buffalo Courier recorded him as saying, “The continent of Europe is one vast arsenal which only requires one spark at its foundations and the whole of Europe will become a wasted wilderness.” Throughout his journey ‘Abdu’l-Bahá had argued that America, because it had no empire to protect, was uniquely positioned to call other nations to peace.

The-spark-that-set-aflame-the-world-1912-1918/

LAWḤ-I-ARD-I-BÁ (Tablet of the Land of Bá)

PRAISE be to Him Who hath honoured the Land of Bá  through the presence of Him round Whom all names revolve. All the atoms of the earth have announced unto all created things that from behind the gate of the Prison-city there hath appeared and above its horizon there hath shone forth the Orb of the beauty of the great, the Most Mighty Branch of God—His ancient and immutable Mystery—proceeding on its way to another land. Sorrow, thereby, hath enveloped this Prison-city, whilst another land rejoiceth. Exalted, immeasurably exalted is our Lord, the Fashioner of the heavens and the Creator of all things, He through Whose sovereignty the doors of the prison were opened, thereby causing what was promised aforetime in the Tablets to be fulfilled. He is verily potent over what He willeth, and in His grasp is the dominion of the entire creation. He is the All-Powerful, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. Blessed, doubly blessed, is the ground which His footsteps have trodden, the eye that hath been cheered by the beauty of His countenance, the ear that hath been honoured by hearkening to His call, the heart that hath tasted the sweetness of His love, the breast that hath dilated through His remembrance, the pen that hath voiced His praise, the scroll that hath borne the testimony of His writings. We beseech God—blessed and exalted be He—that He may honour us with meeting Him soon. He is, in truth, the All-Hearing, the All-Powerful, He Who is ready to answer.

 This Tablet is ‘a letter dictated by Bahá’u’lláh and addressed by Mírzá Áqá Ján, His amanuensis, to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá while the latter was on a visit to Beirut.’

Friday, November 23, 2012

Following the ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá …

Following the ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to the Abhá Kingdom the only thing that can afford consolation to the heart of this grief-stricken and wronged maidservant is to see the lovers of that luminous Countenance happy, joyful and radiant and to behold the diffusion of the sweet savours of God, the exaltation of His Word, and the growth of His Faith. Nothing else matters. The duty of the concourse of the faithful in this day should be but one duty, their purpose but one purpose, their aim but one aim, and the object of their endeavour but one object, and this is none other than to foster the spirit of unity and harmony, to serve and teach His Cause and to promote His Word. Such is the meaning of true faithfulness; and in this lies the good-pleasure of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

Bahíyyih Khánum, the Greatest Holy Leaf

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Hold thou fast to the Covenant of thy Lord ...

Hold thou fast to the Covenant of thy Lord, and as the days go by, increase thy store of love for His beloved ones. Bend thou with tenderness over the servitors of the All-Merciful, that thou mayest hoist the sail of love upon the ark of peace that moveth across the seas of life. Let nothing grieve thee, and be thou angered at none. It behoveth thee to be content with the Will of God, and a true and loving and trusted friend to all the peoples of the earth, without any exceptions whatever. This is the quality of the sincere, the way of the saints, the emblem of those who believe in the unity of God, and the raiment of the people of Baha. 

Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha,

Child Education

Child Education: "that these children may be so trained & educated that they shall give life to the world of humanity" #Bahai Abdu'l-Baha http://twitter.com/Bahai_Quote/status/271012298972336128

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

THE UNIVERSAL LOVE

When you love a member of your family or a compatriot, let it be with a ray of the Infinite Love! Let it be in God, and for God! Wherever you find the attributes of God love that person, whether he be of your family or of another. Shed the light of a boundless love on every human being whom you meet, whether of your country, your race, your political party, or of any other nation, colour or shade of political opinion. Heaven will support you while you work in this in-gathering of the scattered peoples of the world beneath the shadow of the almighty tent of unity.

 'Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks,

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

... tabernacle of justice hath fallen into ...

It's great to be back after 3 weeks of being away.

In these days the tabernacle of justice hath fallen into the clutches of tyranny and oppression. Beseech ye the One true God—exalted be His glory—not to deprive mankind of the ocean of true understanding, for were men but to take heed they would readily appreciate that whatever hath streamed from and is set down by the Pen of Glory is even as the sun for the whole world and that therein lie the welfare, security and true interests of all men; otherwise the earth will be tormented by a fresh calamity every day and unprecedented commotions will break out. God grant that the people of the world may be graciously aided to preserve the light of His loving counsels within the globe of wisdom. We cherish the hope that everyone may be adorned with the vesture of true wisdom, the basis of the government of the world.

Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

Saturday, November 10, 2012

In the Day of the manifestation of that Incomparable Branch

One of the great events which is to occur in the Day of the manifestation of that Incomparable Branch (Bahá’u’lláh) is the hoisting of the Standard of God among all nations. By this is meant that all nations and kindreds will be gathered together under the shadow of this Divine Banner, which is no other than the Lordly Branch itself, and will become a single nation. Religious and sectarian antagonism, the hostility of races and peoples, and differences among nations, will be eliminated. All men will adhere to one religion, will have one common faith, will be blended into one race, and become a single people.
All will dwell in one common fatherland, which is the planet itself. Universal peace and concord will be realized between all the nations, and that Incomparable Branch will gather together all Israel, signifying that in this cycle Israel will be gathered in the Holy Land, and that the Jewish people who are scattered to the East and West, South and North, will be assembled together.

`Abdu'l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions

Thursday, November 8, 2012

...the religion of God is the promoter of truth, the founder of science and knowledge, it is full of goodwill for learned men; it is the civilizer of mankind, the discoverer of the secrets of nature, and the enlightener of the horizons of the world. Consequently, how can it be said to oppose knowledge? God forbid! Nay, for God, knowledge is the most glorious gift of man and the most noble of human perfections. To oppose knowledge is ignorant, and he who detests knowledge and science is not a man, but rather an animal without intelligence. For knowledge is light, life, felicity, perfection, beauty and the means of approaching the Threshold of Unity. It is the honour and glory of the world of humanity, and the greatest bounty of God. Knowledge is identical with guidance, and ignorance is real error. 

 ‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘Some Answered Questions’

Monday, November 5, 2012

... to polish the mirrors of hearts ...

The most important thing is to polish the mirrors of hearts in order that they may become illumined and receptive of the divine light. One heart may possess the capacity of the polished mirror; another be covered and obscured by the dust and dross of this world. Although the same Sun is shining upon both, in the mirror which is polished, pure and sanctified you may behold the Sun in all its fullness, glory and power revealing its majesty and effulgence, but in the mirror which is rusted and obscured there is no capacity for reflection although so far as the Sun itself is concerned it is shining thereon and is neither lessened nor deprived. Therefore our duty lies in seeking to polish the mirrors of our hearts in order that we shall become reflectors of that light and recipients of the divine bounties which may be fully revealed through them.

'Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Trustworthy

If a man were to perform every good work, yet fail in the least scruple to be entirely trustworthy and honest, his good works would become as dry tinder and his failure as a soul-consuming fire. If, on the other hand, he should fall short in all his affairs, yet act with trustworthiness and honesty, all his defects would ultimately be righted, all injuries remedied, and all infirmities healed. Our meaning is that, in the sight of God, trustworthiness is the bedrock of His Faith and the foundation of all virtues and perfections. A man deprived of this quality is destitute of everything. What shall faith and piety avail if trustworthiness be lacking? Of what consequence can they be? What benefit or advantage can they confer? Wherefore 'Abdu'l-Bahá counselleth the friends -- nay, rather, fervently imploreth them -- so vigilantly to guard the sanctity of the Cause of God and preserve their own dignity as individuals that all nations shall come to know and honour them for their trustworthiness and integrity. 

‘Abdu’l-Baha,

Friday, November 2, 2012

Madison Baha'i woman testifies at International Tribunal for Iran at The Hague

One thing that can be said for Iranian courts in the early 1980s: They were efficient.
That was part of the message that Ruhi Jahanpour, a Montessori teacher who lives in Madison, took to the International Tribunal for Iran.
The tribunal convened an international people’s court held in The Hague in the Netherlands October 25 through 27, 2012.
Jahanpour was one of 17 witnesses, and the only Baha’i, invited to testify before the tribunal at The Hague. The court had also heard testimony in June in London from 70 people. The court was organized by families of the victims and a panel of renowned jurists and human rights lawyers from several countries to document the human rights abuses of the revolutionary Islamist government of Iran in the decade after the 1979 revolution.
 An Iranian man now living in Europe who had traveled to witness the hearings stopped Jahanpour in the hallway of the courtroom after her testimony. He took her hand and, with tears in his eyes, begged her forgiveness.
Ruhi 4.jpg “They lied to us about Baha’is,” the man said, adding that he had been a member of the Hojjatiyeh, an Islamist religious group that is the most visible enemy of Baha’is in Iran. “For four years, I did everything I could to destroy your community. Please forgive me. I was wrong.” “That truly touched my heart,” Jahanpour said. “These people know they had been deceived all these years.”

Ruhi Jahanpour of Madison, Ala., stands with Payam Akhavan, professor of international law at McGill University, co-founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre, and chief prosecutor for the International Tribunal for Iran, outside the court complex used by the tribunal during its recent hearings held in The Hague in the Netherlands. (Courtesy of Ruhi Jahanpour)

http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2012/10/tribunal_for_iran_testimony.html
I desire distinction for you. The Bahá’ís must be distinguished from others of humanity. But this distinction must not depend upon wealth—that they should become more affluent than other people. I do not desire for you financial distinction. It is not an ordinary distinction I desire; not scientific, commercial, industrial distinction. For you I desire spiritual distinction—that is, you must become eminent and distinguished in morals. In the love of God you must become distinguished from all else. You must become distinguished for loving humanity, for unity and accord, for love and justice. In brief, you must become distinguished in all the virtues of the human world—for faithfulness and sincerity, for justice and fidelity, for firmness and steadfastness, for philanthropic deeds and service to the human world, for love toward every human being, for unity and accord with all people, for removing prejudices and promoting international peace. Finally, you must become distinguished for heavenly illumination and for acquiring the bestowals of God. I desire this distinction for you. This must be the point of distinction among you.


`Abdu'l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

Thursday, November 1, 2012

cycle of human power

This is a new cycle of human power. All the horizons of the world are luminous, and the world will become indeed as a garden and a paradise. It is the hour of unity of the sons of men and of the drawing together of all races and all classes. You are loosed from ancient superstitions which have kept men ignorant, destroying the foundation of true humanity.

Abdu'l-Baha in London, Pages: 19-20