Saturday, August 31, 2013

Whatever may befall this infant Faith of God in future ...

Whatever may befall this infant Faith of God in future decades or in succeeding centuries, whatever the sorrows, dangers and tribulations which the next stage in its world-wide development may engender, from whatever quarter the assaults to be launched by its present or future adversaries may be unleashed against it, however great the reverses and setbacks it may suffer, we, who have been privileged to apprehend, to the degree our finite minds can fathom, the significance of these marvelous phenomena associated with its rise and establishment, can harbor no doubt that what it has already achieved in the first hundred years of its life provides sufficient guarantee that it will continue to forge ahead, capturing loftier heights, tearing down every obstacle, opening up new horizons and winning still mightier victories until its glorious mission, stretching into the dim ranges of time that lie ahead, is totally fulfilled.

Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 412

Friday, August 30, 2013

MARCHING TOWARD THEIR GOAL

Pregnant indeed are the years looming ahead of us all. The twin processes of internal disintegration and external chaos are being accelerated and every day are inexorably moving towards a climax. The rumblings that must precede the eruption of those forces that must cause “the limbs of  humanity to quake” can already be heard. “The time of the end,” “the latter years,” as foretold in the Scriptures, are at long last upon us. The Pen of Bahá’u’lláh, the voice of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, have time and again, insistently and in terms unmistakable, warned an unheeding humanity of impending disaster. The Community of the Most Great Name, the leaven that must leaven the lump, the chosen remnant that must survive the rolling up of the old, discredited, tottering order, and assist in the unfoldment of a new one in its stead, is standing ready, alert, clear-visioned, and resolute. The American believers, standard-bearers of this world-wide community and torch-bearers of an as yet unborn civilization, have girt up their loins, unfurled their banners and stepped into the arena of service. Their Plan has been formulated. Their forces are mobilized. They are steadfastly marching towards their goal. The hosts of the Abhá Kingdom are rushing forth, as promised, to direct their steps and reinforce their power. Through their initial victories they have provided the impulse that must now surge and, with relentless force sweep over their sister-communities and eventually overpower the entire human race. The generality of mankind, blind and enslaved, is wholly unaware of the healing power with which this community has been endowed, nor can it as yet suspect the role which this same community is destined to play in its redemption. Fierce and manifold will be the assaults with which governments, races, classes and religions, jealous of its rising prestige and fearful of its consolidating strength, will seek to silence its voice and sap its foundations. Unmoved by the relative obscurity that surrounds it at the present time, and undaunted by the forces that will be arrayed against it in the future, this community, I cannot but feel confident, will, no matter how afflictive the agonies of a travailing age, pursue its destiny, undeflected in its course, undimmed in its serenity, unyielding in its resolve, unshaken in its convictions.


Shoghi Effendi: Messages to America

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Hatred and prejudice blind the inner eye ...

Hatred and prejudice blind the inner eye and impair judgement. The futile aim of the authorities in intensifying the persecutions is to demoralize the Bahá’ís and to quench the divinely kindled flame. They are, however, heedless of the fact that no matter how strong the storm of enmity, it will never extinguish the lamp lit by the Hand of Divine Power; on the contrary, the stronger the forces of opposition, the more they will stoke the fire of the love of God in receptive hearts. These uninformed oppressors, not obtaining the desired results from their wide-ranging attacks, now also resort to other means of exerting pressure and coercion. They join forces with the traditional enemies of the Faith, imagining that by sowing the seeds of doubt in the hearts of the friends, they can foment dissension and discord within the community. When they see that your discourse on community building attracts and influences your friends, acquaintances, and neighbours, they desperately resort to circulating distortions of the truth and spreading fallacious arguments, hoping that by stirring up false controversies over matters of religious doctrine, they will, as they did in the past, be able to replace constructive and purposeful discussions with disputation and contention.

The Universal House of Justice, message to the Baha’is in Iran, May 10th, 2013

Monday, August 26, 2013

Putting on the armor of His love, ...

"Putting on the armor of His love, firmly buckling on the shield of His mighty Covenant, mounted on the steed of steadfastness, holding aloft the lance of the Word of the Lord of Hosts, and with unquestioning reliance on His promises as the best provision for their journey, let them set their faces towards those fields that still remain unexplored and direct their steps to those goals that are as yet unattained, assured that He Who has led them to achieve such triumphs, and to store up such prizes in His Kingdom, will continue to assist them in enriching their spiritual birthright to a degree that no finite mind can imagine or human heart perceive."

Shoghi Effendi: April 1956; Messages to the Bahá'í World

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Difference between that material civilization …

Divine civilization, however, so traineth every member of society that no one, with the exception of a negligible few, will undertake to commit a crime. There is thus a great 133 difference between the prevention of crime through measures that are violent and retaliatory, and so training the people, and enlightening them, and spiritualizing them, that without any fear of punishment or vengeance to come, they will shun all criminal acts. They will, indeed, look upon the very commission of a crime as a great disgrace and in itself the harshest of punishments. They will become enamoured of human perfections, and will consecrate their lives to whatever will bring light to the world and will further those qualities which are acceptable at the Holy Threshold of God.
See then how wide is the difference between material civilization and divine. With force and punishments, material civilization seeketh to restrain the people from mischief, from inflicting harm on society and committing crimes. But in a divine civilization, the individual is so conditioned that with no fear of punishment, he shunneth the perpetration of crimes, seeth the crime itself as the severest of torments, and with alacrity and joy, setteth himself to acquiring the virtues of humankind, to furthering human progress, and to spreading light across the world.

Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Saturday, August 24, 2013

To promote knowledge is thus ...

There are certain pillars which have been established as the unshakeable supports of the Faith of God. The mightiest of these is learning and the use of the mind, the expansion of consciousness, and insight into the realities of the universe and the hidden mysteries of Almighty God.
To promote knowledge is thus an inescapable duty imposed on every one of the friends of God. It is incumbent upon that Spiritual Assembly, that assemblage of God, to exert every effort to educate the children, so that from infancy they will be trained in Bahá’í conduct and the ways of God, and will, even as young plants, thrive and flourish in the soft-flowing waters that are the counsels and admonitions of the Blessed Beauty.

Selections From the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

Friday, August 23, 2013

Hear no evil, and see no evil, ...


O COMPANION OF MY THRONE!
Hear no evil, and see no evil, abase not thyself, neither sigh and weep. Speak no evil, that thou mayest not hear it spoken unto thee, and magnify not the faults of others that thine own faults may not appear great; and wish not the abasement of anyone, that thine own abasement be not exposed. Live then the days of thy life, that are less than a fleeting moment, with thy mind stainless, thy heart unsullied, thy thoughts pure, and thy nature sanctified, so that, free and content, thou mayest put away this mortal frame, and repair unto the mystic paradise and abide in the eternal kingdom for evermore.

Bahá'u'lláh: The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

114 Youth Conferences

Sapele Youth Conference 
Nigeria | 15-19 August 2013.
At the heart of the Niger Delta sits the Songhai agricultural research institute, a verdant landscape extending over 150 hectares of lush green gardens. It is here where 407 radiant young people from villages and cities gathered for the youth conference in Sapele, Nigeria, to explore the ways in which they can contribute to the material and spiritual progress of their surroundings.


Washington, D.C. Youth Conference 
United States | 16-18 August 2013.
In His travels to North America in 1912, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá visited Washington, D.C. three times. He spoke at dozens of gatherings to hundreds of people; met with statesmen, inventors and leaders of thought; rich and poor, black and white. And with each and all He shared his depth of love for humanity and demonstrated how to live a coherent life of service. He also proclaimed that the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh would enable the diverse peoples of the world to come together in unity and love.


Apia Youth Conference

Samoa | 16-18 August 2013.
The thunderous energy of the fa’ataupati, a dynamic dance requiring strength and agility that is used in the region to commemorate significant occasions, shook the stage. The seamless Polynesian-style harmonies of songs, inspired by the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith, reverberated through the air. And the Pacific breeze cooled the conference venue, constructed in the form of a fale—the traditional meeting space—with its oval shape, domed roof, and lack of walls. For three days, with intermittent periods of sunshine and rain, a joyful, energetic, and enthusiastic group of nearly 350 youth from Samoa and American Samoa electrified the atmosphere.

Monday, August 19, 2013

An open letter to the people of Egypt

Although this letter is over 2 years old, but one can only wonder about the violence in that country.
"At this juncture, then, we face the weighty question of what we seek to achieve with the opportunity we have acquired. What are the choices before us? Many models of collective living are on offer and being championed by various interested parties. Are we to move towards an individualistic, fragmented society, wherein all feel liberated to pursue their own interests, even at the expense of the common good? Will we be tempted by the lures of materialism and its beholden agent, consumerism? Will we opt for a system that feeds on religious fanaticism? Are we prepared to allow an elite to emerge that will be oblivious to our collective aspirations, and may even seek to manipulate our desire for change? Or, will the process of change be allowed to lose momentum, dissolve into factional squabbling, and crumble under the weight of institutional inertia? ..."
"Too often, change brought about by popular protest eventually results in disappointment. This is not because the movement that provided the catalyst for change lacks unity—indeed, its ability to foster unity among disparate peoples and interests is the essential feature that ensured its success—but rather because the realization quickly dawns that it is far easier to find common cause against the status quo than it is to agree upon what should replace it. That is why it is vital that we endeavour to achieve broad consensus on the operating principles that are to shape a new model for our society. Once agreement is reached, the policies that follow are far more likely to attract the support of the populations whom they affect...."

Read entire letter in English here....

In creation there is no evil,

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, p. 215

Sunday, August 18, 2013

22 “good deeds”

Did you know that there are 22 “good deeds” that the beloved Guardian summarized from the Kitab-i-Aqdas – deeds by which “one's self” should be distinguished?

They are:
 To be truthful; To be trustworthy;
To be faithful; To be righteous and fear God; To be just and fair;
To be tactful and wise; To be courteous; To be hospitable ; To be persevering; To be detached; To be absolutely submissive to the Will of God; Not to stir up mischief; Not to be hypocritical; Not to be proud; Not to be fanatical; Not to prefer one's self to one's neighbour; Not to contend with one's neighbour; Not to indulge one's passions; Not to lament in adversity; Not to contend with those in authority; Not to lose one's temper; and Not to anger one's neighbour.

Shoghi Effendi, Synopsis and Codification of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 49; also on p. 160 of the Kitab-i-Aqdas

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Crisis and Victory

In the conduct of this twofold crusade the valiant warriors struggling in the name and for the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh must, of necessity, encounter stiff resistance, and suffer many a setback. Their own instincts, no less than the fury of conservative forces, the opposition of vested interests, and the objections of a corrupt and pleasure-seeking generation, must be reckoned with, resolutely resisted, and completely overcome. As their defensive measures for the impending struggle are organized and extended, storms of abuse and ridicule, and campaigns of condemnation and misrepresentation, may be unloosed against them. Their Faith, they may soon find, has been assaulted, their motives misconstrued, their aims defamed, their aspirations derided, their institutions scorned, their influence belittled, their authority undermined, and their Cause, at times, deserted by a few who will either be incapable of appreciating the nature of their ideals, or unwilling to bear the brunt of the mounting criticisms which such a contest is sure to involve. "Because of `Abdu'l-Bahá," the beloved Master has prophesied, "many a test will be visited upon you. Troubles will befall you, and suffering afflict you."

Let not, however, the invincible army of Bahá'u'lláh, who in the West, and at one of its potential storm-centers is to fight, in His name and for His sake, one of its fiercest and most glorious battles, be afraid of any criticism that might be directed against it. Let it not be deterred by any condemnation with which the tongue of the slanderer may seek to debase its motives. Let it not recoil before the threatening advance of the forces of fanaticism, of orthodoxy, of corruption, and of prejudice that may be leagued against it. The voice of criticism is a voice that indirectly reinforces the proclamation of its Cause. Unpopularity but serves to throw into greater relief the contrast between it and its adversaries, while ostracism is itself the magnetic power that must eventually win over to its camp the most vociferous and inveterate amongst its foes....


Shoghi Effendi, "The Advent of Divine Justice", pp. 2-3; pp. 14-15; pp. 41-42

Friday, August 16, 2013

Tirana Youth Conference

“Our role is to build a new world,” said a participant from Kosovo at the start of the first session of the conference. “Our goal cannot be to criticize the bad state in which we find things, but rather to find solutions,” added another friend. With such high aspirations, some 160 youth from eleven countries in the Balkan peninsula––Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia––gathered over three consecutive days in the Harry Fultz School in Tirana, Albania, to discuss how they could contribute to building communities in which all work together to achieve material and spiritual progress...

Tirana Youth Conference

A heart-shaped red roses bouquet ...


A heart-shaped red roses bouquet (from the Yaran in Iran) at the interment of much loved Hushmand Fatheazam, where family, friends and colleagues gathered from around the world, bid him farewell and at the same time welcomed him to his new abode. Last of the 8 readings was the long prayer for the departed recited by Shafiqih khanum.

Passing of Hushmand Fatheazam

First Universal House of Justice elected in 1963.
Mr. Fathazam is 3rd from left.
We have learned, with profound sadness, of the passing of our dearly cherished, greatly esteemed former colleague Hushmand Fatheazam. Tenderness of spirit, profound knowledge, noble humility, and tireless endeavour characterized his highly valued services rendered over the course of many decades, whether as a member of the Universal House of Justice for forty years beginning in 1963, as Secretary of the National Spiritual Assembly of India, or as an enkindled pioneer, avid proponent of teaching among the masses, and inspired author. His wholehearted and resolute defence of the community of the Greatest Name was unwavering, and his determination in the face of adversity unyielding. Gifted with a unique eloquence in Persian prose and verse, he leaves a remarkable legacy of deploying the power of that language in service to the Cause. Beyond a distinguished record of consecrated exertion in the path of the Blessed Beauty, he will also be remembered for his manifold outstanding personal qualities, for his delightful humour, and for his kindly and radiant heart that exuded an all-embracing love.
 We extend our deep condolences to his dear wife, Shafiqih, and to his bereaved sons and other family members and assure them of our ardent supplications at the Sacred Threshold that his illumined soul may reap a rich reward in the Abhá Kingdom. The friends throughout the world are called upon to hold memorial meetings in his honour, including befitting commemorative gatherings in all Houses of Worship.

 The Universal House of Justice

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The immediate future must, ...

The immediate future must, as a result of this steady, this gradual, and inevitable absorption in the manifold perplexities and problems afflicting humanity, be dark and oppressive for that nation. The world-shaking ordeal which Bahá’u’lláh, as quoted in the foregoing pages, has so graphically prophesied, may find it swept, to an unprecedented degree, into its vortex. Out of it it will probably emerge, unlike its reactions to the last world conflict, consciously determined to seize its opportunity, to bring the full weight of its influence to bear upon the gigantic problems that such an ordeal must leave in its wake, and to exorcise forever, in conjunction with its sister nations of both the East and the West, the greatest curse which, from time immemorial, has afflicted and degraded the human race.
Then, and only then, will the American nation, molded and purified in the crucible of a common war, inured to its rigors, and disciplined by its lessons, be in a position to raise  its voice in the councils of the nations, itself lay the cornerstone of a universal and enduring peace, proclaim the solidarity, the unity, and maturity of mankind, and assist in the establishment of the promised reign of righteousness on earth. Then, and only then, will the American nation, while the community of the American believers within its heart is consummating its divinely appointed mission, be able to fulfill the unspeakably glorious destiny ordained for it by the Almighty, and immortally enshrined in the writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Then, and only then, will the American nation accomplish “that which will adorn the pages of history,” “become the envy of the world and be blest in both the East and the West.”

Shoghi Effendi: The Advent of Divine Justice

Mr. H. Fathazam


With heavy heart In the last hour, beloved Mr. Fatheazam's shining soul took his eternal flight to the Abha Kingdom. A scholar, writer, poet, speaker and most of all a heavenly soul who dedicated his whole life to serving humanity and educating the youth, with absolute distinction. His gentle being, his kind face, beautiful smile, uplifting sense of humor and that deep and velvet voice will never be forgotten. May his loving soul be immersed in the eternal light and love of God always. I will miss him dearly!

هوشمند فتح اعظم، شاعر، نویسنده و مترجم آثار تولستوی، کارل چاپک و آناتول فرانس در سن 89 سالگی در گذشت. او که در اوایل دهۀ 1330 شمسی همکار نشریۀ یغما بود پس از مهاجرت به هندوستان به تدریس زبان و ادبیات فارسی در دانشگاه پنجاب در دهلی نو و مدیریت موسسۀ مطبوعات بهائی هندوستان پرداخت. پس از یک دهه اقامت در آن کشور در سال 1963 در نخستین انتخابات کانونشن بین المللی بهائی به عضویت بیت العدل اعظم انتخاب شد. در مجموع، در هشت دورۀ متوالی به عضویت این شورای جهانی برگزیده شد و تا سال 2003 مقیم مرکز جهانی بهائی در حیفا بود. در دهۀ پایانی عمر پس از مهاجرت به کانادا به دنیای نشر بازگشت و از او چندین دفتر شعر، مجموعه مقاله و سخنرانی و ترجمه (از جمله اعتراف اثر تولستوی) انتشار یافت.. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

“May this American Democracy be ...

 Among some of the most momentous and thought-provoking pronouncements ever made by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, in the course of His epoch-making travels in the North American continent, are the following: “May this American Democracy be the first nation to establish the foundation of international agreement. May it be the first nation to proclaim the unity of mankind. May it be the first to unfurl the Standard of the Most Great Peace.” And again: “The American people are indeed worthy of being the first to build the Tabernacle of the Great Peace, and proclaim the oneness of mankind…. For America hath developed powers and capacities greater and more wonderful than other nations…."

The creative energies, mysteriously generated by the first stirrings of the embryonic World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, have, as soon as released within a nation destined to become its cradle and champion, endowed that nation with the worthiness, and invested it with the powers and capacities, and equipped it spiritually, to play the part foreshadowed in these prophetic words. The potencies which this God-given mission has infused into its people are, on the one hand, beginning to be manifested through the conscious efforts and the nationwide accomplishments, in both the teaching and administrative spheres of Bahá’í activity, of the organized community of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the North American continent. These same potencies, apart from, yet collateral with these efforts and accomplishments, are, on the other hand, insensibly shaping, under the impact of the world political and economic forces, the destiny of that nation, and are influencing the lives and actions of both its government and its people.

Shoghi Effendi: The Advent of Divine Justice

The Secret of Divine Civilization

God is Our witness that We have no ulterior motive in developing this theme. We seek neither to curry favor with any one nor to attract any one to Ourselves nor to derive any material benefit therefrom. We speak only as one earnestly desiring the good pleasure of God, for We have turned Our gaze away from the world and its peoples and have sought refuge in the sheltering care of the Lord. “No pay do I ask of you for this… My reward is of God alone.”
 Those who maintain that these modern concepts apply only to other countries and are irrelevant in Írán, that they do not satisfy her requirements or suit her way of life, disregard the fact that other nations were once as we are now. Did not these new systems and procedures, these progressive enterprises, contribute to the advancement of those countries? Were the people of Europe harmed by the adoption of such measures? Or did they rather by these means reach the highest degree of material development? Is it not true that for centuries, the people of Persia have lived as we see them living today, carrying out the pattern of the past? Have any discernible benefits resulted, has any progress been made? If these things had not been tested by experience, some in whose minds the light of native intelligence is clouded, might idly question them. On the contrary, however, every aspect of these prerequisites to progress have in other countries been time and again put to the test, and their benefits demonstrated so plainly that even the dullest mind can grasp them.

`Abdu'l-Bahá: The Secret of Divine Civilization

Saturday, August 10, 2013

O people of Persia!

O people of Persia! Look into those blossoming pages that tell of another day, a time long past. Read them and wonder; see the great sight. Írán in that day was as the heart of the world; she was the bright torch flaming in the assemblage of mankind. Her power and glory shone out like the morning above the world’s horizons, and the splendor of her learning cast its rays over East and West. Word of the widespread empire of those who wore her crown reached even to the dwellers in the arctic circle, and the fame of the awesome presence of her King of Kings humbled the rulers of Greece and Rome. The greatest of the world’s philosophers marveled at the wisdom of her government, and her political system became the model for all the kings of the four continents then known. She was distinguished among all peoples for the scope of her dominion, she was honored by all for her praiseworthy culture and civilization. She was as the pivot of the world, she was the source and center of sciences and arts, the wellspring of great inventions and discoveries, the rich mine of human virtues and perfections....
O people of Persia! Awake from your drunken sleep! Rise up from your lethargy! Be fair in your judgment: will the dictates of honor permit this holy land, once the wellspring of world civilization, the source of glory and joy for all mankind, the envy of East and West, to remain an object of pity, deplored by all nations? She was once the noblest of peoples: will you let contemporary history register for the ages her now degenerate state? Will you complacently accept her present wretchedness, when she was once the land of all mankind’s desire? Must she now, for this contemptible sloth, this failure to struggle, this utter ignorance, be accounted the most backward of nations?

`Abdu'l-BaháThe Secret of Divine Civilization

Friday, August 9, 2013

Canada’s third youth conference concludes in Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia, 8 August 2013 (CBNS) — Over the British Columbia Day long weekend, from 3 to 5 August, the varsity gymnasium at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, was taken over by more than 750 youth from Yukon, British Columbia, Alaska and Alberta, who were participating in a conference aimed at increasing the momentum of a community-building process under way in localities across their regions.
http://www.bahainews.ca/en/node/857


“Every single human being can contribute,” said one youth from Vancouver, “and the next weeks and months will give us the chance to invite them to do so as we continue our efforts.”

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Living Organism

Dear friends! Feeble though our Faith may now appear in the eyes of men, who either denounce it as an offshoot of Islám, or contemptuously ignore it as one more of those obscure sects that abound in the West, this priceless gem of Divine Revelation, now still in its embryonic state, shall evolve within the shell of His law, and shall forge ahead, undivided and unimpaired, till it embraces the whole of mankind. Only those who have already recognized the supreme station of Bahá’u’lláh, only those whose hearts have been touched by His love, and have become familiar with the potency of His spirit, can adequately appreciate the value of this Divine Economy—His inestimable gift to mankind.

How pressing and sacred the responsibility that now weighs upon those who are already acquainted with these teachings! How glorious the task of those who are called upon to vindicate their truth, and demonstrate their practicability to an unbelieving world! Nothing short of an immovable conviction in their divine origin, and their uniqueness in the annals of religion; nothing short of an unwavering purpose to execute and apply them to the administrative machinery of the Cause, can be sufficient to establish their reality, and insure their success. How vast is the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh! How great the magnitude of His blessings showered upon humanity in this day! And yet, how poor, how inadequate our conception of their significance and glory! This generation stands too close to so colossal a Revelation to appreciate, in their full measure, the infinite possibilities of His Faith, the unprecedented character of His Cause, and the mysterious dispensations of His Providence.


Shoghi Effendi: The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh 2

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 comes to be recognized by those time-honored and powerful strongholds of orthodoxy, whose deliberate aim is to maintain their stranglehold over the thoughts and consciences of men, 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

The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh 1

I consider it my duty to warn every beginner in the Faith that the promised glories of the Sovereignty which the Bahá’í teachings foreshadow, can be revealed only in the fullness of time, that the implications of the Aqdas and the Will of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, as the twin repositories of the constituent elements of that Sovereignty, are too far-reaching for this generation to grasp and fully appreciate. I cannot refrain from appealing to them who stand identified with the Faith to disregard the prevailing notions and the fleeting fashions of the day, and to realize as never before that the exploded theories and the tottering institutions of present-day civilization must needs appear in sharp contrast with those God-given institutions which are destined to arise upon their ruin. I pray that they may realize with all their heart and soul the ineffable glory of their calling, the overwhelming responsibility of their mission, and the astounding immensity of their task.

Shoghi Effendi: The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh

Saturday, August 3, 2013

... life of the community ...

It is not sufficient to number the souls that embrace the Cause to know the progress that it is making. The more important consequences of your activities are the spirit that is diffused into the life of the community, and the extent to which the teachings we proclaim become part of the consciousness and belief of the people that hear them. For it is only when the spirit has thoroughly permeated the world that the people will begin to enter the Faith in large numbers. At the beginning of the spring only the few, exceptionally favoured seeds will sprout, but when the season gets in its full sway, and the atmosphere gets permeated with the warmth of true springtime, then masses of flowers will begin to appear, and a whole hillside suddenly blooms. We are still in the state when only isolated souls are awakened, but soon we shall have the full swing of the season and the quickening of whole groups and nations into the spiritual life breathed by Bahá'u'lláh."

Letter 18 February 1932, on behalf of Shoghi Effendi

... essential foundations of the divine religions are ....

In Persia today through the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh you will find people of various religious beliefs and denominations living together in the utmost peace and agreement. The former enmities and hatred have passed away and they exercise the utmost love toward all mankind for they realize and know that all are the creatures and servants of one God. This is directly due to the divine teachings. At most it is simply this; that the ignorant must be educated, the ailing must be healed, those who are as children in the scale of development must be helped to reach the age of maturity. We must not be unfriendly to any one because of ignorance, neither must we reject the immature or turn away from the sick but administer the remedy for each human need until all are united in the providence of God. Therefore it is evident that the essential foundations of the divine religions are unity and love. If religion be productive of discord among mankind it is a destroyer and not divine for religion implies unity and binding together and not separation. Mere knowledge of principles is not sufficient. We all know and admit that justice is good but there is need of volition and action to carry out and manifest it.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Foundations of World Unity

Thursday, August 1, 2013

This is the illumination of man,...

If love and agreement are manifest in a single family, that family will advance, become illumined and spiritual; but if enmity and hatred exist within it destruction and dispersion are inevitable. This is likewise true of a city. If those who dwell within it manifest a spirit of accord and fellowship it will progress steadily and human conditions become brighter whereas through enmity and strife it will be degraded and its inhabitants scattered. In the same way the people of a nation develop and advance toward civilization and enlightenment through love and accord, and are disintegrated by war and strife. Finally, this is true of humanity itself in the aggregate. When love is realized and the ideal spiritual bonds unite the hearts of men, the whole human race will be uplifted, the world will continually grow more spiritual and radiant and the happiness and tranquillity of mankind be immeasurably increased. Warfare and strife will be uprooted, disagreement and dissension pass away and universal peace unite the nations and peoples of the world. All mankind will dwell together as one family, blend as the waves of one sea, shine as stars of one firmament and appear as fruits of the same tree. This is the happiness and felicity of humankind.
This is the illumination of man, the glory eternal and life everlasting; this is the divine bestowal. I desire this station for you and I pray God that the people of America may achieve this great end in order that the virtue of this democracy may be insured and their names be glorified eternally.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Foundations of World Unity