Archive for December, 2015

Baha’i Month: Sharaf/Honor 1, 172 B.E. (12/31/2015)

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

3 December 1912
TALK BY ABDU’L-BAHA’ TO MR. KINNEY’S BIBLE CLASS
780 WEST END AVENUE, NEW YORK

 

I have been informed that the purpose of your class meeting is to study the significances and mysteries of the Holy Scriptures and understand the meaning of the divine Testaments. It is a cause of great happiness to me that you are turning unto the Kingdom of God, that you desire to approach the presence of God and to become informed of the realities and precepts of God. It is my hope that you may put forth your most earnest endeavor to accomplish this end, that you may investigate and study the Holy Scriptures word by word so that you may attain knowledge of the mysteries hidden therein. Be not satisfied with words, but seek to understand the spiritual meanings hidden in the heart of the words. The Jews read the Old Testament night and day, memorizing its words and texts yet without comprehending a single meaning or inner significance, for had they understood the real meanings of the Old Testament, they would have become believers in Christ, inasmuch as the Old Testament was revealed to prepare His coming. As the Jewish doctors and rabbis did not believe in Christ, it is evident that they were ignorant of the real significance of the Old Testament. It is difficult to comprehend even the words of a philosopher; how much more difficult it is to understand the Words of God. The divine Words are not to be taken according to their outer sense. They are symbolical and contain realities of spiritual meaning. For instance, in the book of Solomon’s songs you will read about the bride and bridegroom. It is evident that the physical bride and bridegroom are not intended. Obviously, these are symbols conveying a hidden and inner significance. In the same way the Revelations of St. John are not to be taken literally, but spiritually. These are the mysteries of God. It is not the reading of the words that profits you; it is the understanding of their meanings. Therefore, pray God that you may be enabled to comprehend the mysteries of the divine Testaments.

 

Consider the symbolical meanings of the Words and teachings of Christ. He said, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” When the Jews heard this, they took it literally and failed to understand the significance of His meaning and teaching. The spiritual truth which Christ wished to convey to them was that the reality of Divinity within Him was like a blessing which had come down from heaven and that he who partook of this blessing should never die. That is to say, bread was the symbol of the perfections which had descended upon Him from God, and he who ate of this bread, or endowed himself with the perfections of Christ, would undoubtedly attain to everlasting life. The Jews did not understand Him, and taking the words literally, said, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Had they understood the real meaning of the Holy Book, they would have become believers in Christ.

 

All the texts and teachings of the holy Testaments have intrinsic spiritual meanings. They are not to be taken literally. I, therefore, pray in your behalf that you may be given the power of understanding these inner real meanings of the Holy Scriptures and may become informed of the mysteries deposited in the words of the Bible so that you may attain eternal life and that your hearts may be attracted to the Kingdom of God. May your souls be illumined by the light of the Words of God, and may you become repositories of the mysteries of God, for no comfort is greater and no happiness is sweeter than spiritual comprehension of the divine teachings. If a man understands the real meaning of a poet’s verses such as those of Shakespeare, he is pleased and rejoiced. How much greater his joy and pleasure when he perceives the reality of the Holy Scriptures and becomes informed of the mysteries of the Kingdom!

 

I pray that the divine blessings may descend upon you day by day, that your hearts may be opened to perceive the inner significances of the Word of God. There is no fruit in knowing the mere letters of the Book. Most of the Jews had memorized the texts of the Old Testament and repeated them night and day, but inasmuch as they were ignorant of the meanings, they were deprived of the bounties of Christ. I pray that you may be quickened by the breaths of the Holy Spirit and illumined by the rays of the Sun of Truth. May you be favored with heavenly blessings in the threshold of God and attain to eternal life. This is my prayer. May God bless and enlighten you.

 

Abdu’l-Baha’

Baha’i Sabbath: Masa’il 14, 172 B.E. (12/25/2015)

Friday, December 25th, 2015

Likewise, must we set aside prejudice in considering other divine Educators by investigating reality. For instance, let us take Christ. He achieved results greater than Moses. He educated the body politic, trained mighty nations. There is no doubt whatever that such Souls were Prophets, for the mission of Prophethood is education, and these wondrous Souls trained and educated mankind.

 
Christ was a unique Personage, without helper or assistant. Single and solitary He arose to train great and mighty nations; the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, Syrians, Chaldeans and Assyrians came under His influence. He was able to bind together many nations, melting them together, as it were, and pouring them into one mold, changing their enmity into love, war into peace. Under His influence satanic souls became veritable angels, tyrannical rulers became just, the human moral standard was raised. This proves that Christ was an Educator, a Teacher and Trainer of nations. If we deny this, it is nought but injustice.

 
Blessed souls—whether Moses, Jesus, Zoroaster, Krishna, Buddha, Confucius or Muḥammad—were the cause of the illumination of the world of humanity. How can we deny such irrefutable proof? How can we be blind to such light? How can we dispute the validity of Christ? This is injustice. This is a denial of reality. Man must be just. We must set aside bias and prejudice. We must abandon the imitations of ancestors and forefathers. We ourselves must investigate reality and be fair in judgment.

 
The old nation of Persia denied all these facts, harboring the utmost hatred and enmity toward other religious beliefs besides their own. We have investigated reality and found that these holy souls were all sent of God. All of them have sacrificed life, endured ordeals and tribulations in order that They might educate us. How can such love be forgotten? The light of Christ is evident. The candle of Buddha is shining. The star of Moses is sparkling. The flame ignited by Zoroaster is still burning. How can we deny Them? It is injustice. It is a denial of complete evidence. If we forsake imitations, all will become united, and no differences will remain to separate us.

 
We entertain no prejudice against Muḥammad. Outwardly the Arabian nation was instrumental in overthrowing the Pársí dominion, the sovereignty of Persia. Therefore, the old Pársí nation manifested the utmost contempt toward the Arabs. But we deal justly and will never abandon the standard of fairness. The Arabians were in the utmost state of degradation. They were bloodthirsty and barbarous, so savage and degraded that the Arabian father often buried his own daughter alive. Consider: Could any barbarism be lower than this? The nation consisted of warring, hostile tribal peoples inhabiting the vast Arabian peninsula, and their business consisted in fighting and pillaging each other, making captive women and children, killing each other. Muḥammad appeared among such a people. He educated and unified these barbarous tribes, put an end to their shedding of blood. Through His education they reached such a degree of civilization that they subdued and governed continents and nations. What a great civilization was established in Spain by the Muslims! What a marvelous civilization was founded in Morocco by the Moors! What a powerful caliphate or successorship was set up in Baghdád! How much Islám served and furthered the cause of science! Why then should we deny Muḥammad? If we deny Him, we awaken enmity and hatred. By our prejudice we become the cause of war and bloodshed, for prejudice was the cause of the tremendous storm which swept through human history for thirteen hundred years and still continues. Even now in the Balkans a commotion is apparent, reflecting it.

 
The Christian people number nearly three hundred millions and the Muslims about the same. It is no small task to do away with such numbers. And furthermore, why should they be obliterated? For these are all servants of the one God. Let us strive to establish peace between Christians and Muslims. Is it not better? What is the benefit of war? What is its fruitage? For thirteen hundred years there has been warfare and hostility. What good result has been forthcoming? Is it not folly? Is God pleased with it? Is Christ pleased? Is Muḥammad? It is evident that They are not. The Prophets have extolled each other to the utmost. Muḥammad declared Christ to be the Spirit of God. This is an explicit text of the Qur’án. He declared Christ to be the Word of God. He eulogized the disciples of Christ to the utmost. He bestowed upon Mary, the mother of Christ, the highest praise. Likewise, Christ extolled Moses. He spread broadcast the Old Testament, the Torah, and caused the name of Moses to reach unto the East and the West. The purpose is this: that the Prophets Themselves have manifested the utmost love toward each other, but the nations who believe and follow Them are hostile and antagonistic among themselves.

 
The world was in this condition of darkness when Bahá’u’lláh appeared upon the Persian horizon. He hoisted the banner of the oneness of the world of humanity. He proclaimed international peace. He admonished the Persian nation to investigate reality, announced that religion must be the cause of unity and love, that it must be the means of binding hearts together, the cause of life and illumination. If religion becomes the cause of enmity and bloodshed, then irreligion is to be preferred, for religion is the remedy for every ailment, and if a remedy should become the cause of ailment and difficulty, it is better to abandon it. Today in Persia you will see the Muslims, Christians, Zoroastrians, Buddhists assembled together in the same meeting, living in accordance with the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, manifesting utmost love and accord. Rancor, hatred, antagonism and violence have disappeared; they live together as one family.

 
And ye who are the people of the Orient—the Orient which has ever been the dawning point of lights from whence the Sun of Reality has ever shone forth, casting its effulgence upon the West—ye, therefore, must become the manifestations of lights. Ye must become brilliant lamps. Ye must shine as stars radiating the light of love toward all mankind. May you be the cause of love amongst the nations. Thus may the world become witness that the Orient has ever been the dawning point of illumination, the source of love and reconciliation. Make peace with all the world. Love everybody; serve everybody. All are the servants of God. God has created all. He provideth for all. He is kind to all. Therefore, must we be kind to all.

 
I am greatly pleased with this meeting. I am joyous and happy, for here in these western regions I find Orientals seeking education and who are free from prejudice. May God assist you!

 

exc. fr.: 7 October 1912
TALK BY ABDU’L-BAHA’ TO JAPANESE YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION
JAPANESE INDEPENDENT CHURCH, OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA

What Would Jesus Do?

Saturday, December 19th, 2015

What would Jesus do?

Christians often ask this question: “What would Jesus do?” It is a type of moral compass to do the right thing. An inventory to think about God before committing terrible mistakes, saying stupid things you can’t take back, or committing violent wrongs that cannot be undone.

I cannot imagine how painful the suffering of Jesus must have been on the cross. By all accounts this type of death seems cruel and unusual and excruciatingly torturous to say the least.

In this case however–of Jesus on the Cross–we do not have to wonder what Jesus would do. We have the gospel truth of EXACTLY what HE DID DO! He cried out to ALLAH the God of Muhammad in his dying final breaths!

“Ali Ali lama sabachthani” (Matthew 27:46) are of the last words of Jesus on the Cross when he calls out to HIS God. These are quoted from Psalms 22 verse 1 in Hebrew the words “My God! My God!” are spelled with three letters: the first letter of the alphabet Aleph that is our letter ‘A’ (not an ‘E’). Then the letter ‘L’ and finally the letter ‘Y’ (yod) meaning mine or my.

Now somewhere down the line someone decided to translate the “Allah” of “Alohim” “Al” and “Ali” (my God) into English as “Elohim” “El” and “Eli”–in order to distance themselves and foolish naive readers of the Bible (THE UNSUSPECTING AND THE UNAWARES) from Allah. Why?

They did this on purpose to DIVIDE the Muslim peoples against the Christian peoples and to divide the Christian peoples against the Muslim and Jewish Peoples and to Divide the Jewish peoples against the Muslim & Christian peoples in order to continue this thousands of years of war and terror against ALL of God’s people.

This travesty will not end until the majority of the Christian people recognize that Muhammad is a legitimate prophet and Islam is a viable religion.

What would Jesus do? He already calls God “Allah” from the cross! He has already prophesied the coming of Muhammad immediately after him (when he goes away) in the Gospel of John, as the name “Muhammad”–who will come after him–means “comforter”, “counselor”, “advocate” or “praised one” in English. Jesus didn’t speak English but a Galilean dialect of Aramaic. He flatly said “Muhammad will come after me.”. Why do you think there are so many Muslims in the world?

There are so many Muslims in the world because when the Arabic Christian cavalry of Rome came out to meet the Islamic Arabs of Arabia in the first wars; the Muslims came out of the desert with the Bible in one hand and the Koran in the other and showed the Roman Arabic Christian armies where in the gospels Jesus said “Muhammad” and called God “ALLAH” on the Cross. Then they showed them where in the Koran Muhammad backed-up the infallibility of Jesus in the name of Allah (bismi-Allah ar rachman ar rahim) and the infallibility of the Bible (as opposed to the corruption of the texts by the false interpretation of preistcraft).

So something had to be done about this! There were mass conversions. The Vatican gathered up all of the original Aramaic Bibles that had Muhammad’s name in them as Mu-Ahmad (the praised one) and burned them all accept one. My friend saw that one, original, Aramaic Bible in the Vatican archive under lock and key as he was a curator of the archives.

Thereafter all Bibles have the ‘E’ and ‘Elohim’ instead of the ‘A’ of ‘Allah’ and the Greek ‘paracletos” instead of the Aramaic ‘Muhammad’. And the people are FOOLS to go along with this. What would Jesus do?

He has already done it! He has opened up his heart to the prophet Muhammad even as we should open up our hearts as we accept Moses, Noah and Abraham who came before Jesus, we should accept, Muhammad and the Bab and Baha’u’llah who come after Jesus as Jesus prophesied of them by their prophesied names. Their prophesied addresses, and prophesied dates, and prophesied missions are also given in the infallible Bible. Now you can fight against this all you want–but you will LOOSE THE WAR. No one wins a war fighting against God. No. They loose the war. They are “loo-hoo-hoosers” (Q 2:27; 58:19). They lose their souls. They lose their countries. They lose their votes. They lose their money. They lose their health, their self-respect, and lose their self-esteem. Eventually they lose their minds, their friends, and their physical lives–for all shall taste death. In the end they have nothing, as fruitless trees, Jesus said, are “fit for fire in the end to be burned” (Jn. 15: 1-8; Matt. 3:10).

Verily God has sent real prophets to all the people of the world both before and after Jesus. All of these love Jesus and have taken Jesus into their hearts even as Jesus loves them and has taken them into his heart. Jesus loves Muhammad and Buddha, Krishna, the Mayan prophets. Odin and Thor and all the rest–and they love him.

What would Jesus do? He already accepts them all into his heart–we should accept them all too. In fact they have all prophesied the return of Jesus himself (in their different names and different languages). In the Koran he is called “Isa” (Jesus) and he shall come again!

Therefore when Jesus returns–through the acceptance of those who came before Jesus like Moses, Noah and Abraham who prophesied and prepared the way for his first and second coming, and those who came after Jesus who backed up his first coming and who prophesied and prepared the way for his second coming, like Muhammad, the Bab and Baha’u’llah we can all be united in Jesus on his return.

Do Muslims have a different God than Christ’s God? Yes according to the lying liars (clergy of both false Islam and pseudo-Christianity who are killing our sons and daughters and profiting off this unending war) who lie to you as wolves in sheep’s clothing. Do Muslims have a different God than Christ’s God? NO! According to the written Gospel and the Holy Texts of the Bible, which remains infallible and uncorrupted to this day. It is the phony interpretations that are false that corrupt the “texts” not the purity of the texts themselves.

Who are YOU going to Believe? The wolves in sheep’s clothing–warmongers–a corrupted preistcraft, or the WORD?

Jesus called God ALLAH on the Holy Cross. That is the Gospel truth! Those who reject this have rejected themselves from the Kingdom in both this world and the next. Those who accept this understand not only “what would Jesus do?” but also in fact what he has already done.

Nothing can change this judgment by which the people judge themselves.

Jesus called God “Allah”.

Muhammad IS a legitimate prophet, and Islam IS a viable religion from God–the God of Abraham, Moses and Christ.

You can say that in any language you want. The words only point to the truth of inner reality that all living souls already know.

In the name of Moses, Krishna, Zoroaster, Buddha, Jesus, Muhammad, the Bab and Baha’u’llah, all from the family tree of Abraham through his three wives: http://www.bupc.org/genealogy/genealogy-of-christ.html, God has sent us World Reformers so that everyone should be saved. What would Jesus do? We already know the answer to that…

The real question is what will you do?

The prophecies state that one-third of mankind is to die in one hour of thermonuclear war with every American City of a population of 100,000 or more to be destroyed.

This travesty will not end until the majority of the Christian people recognize that Muhammad is a legitimate prophet and Islam is a viable religion.

What would Jesus do? We already know the answer to that…

The real question is what will you do?

Baha’i Sabbath: Masa’il 7, 172 B.E. (12/18/2015)

Friday, December 18th, 2015

I have spoken in the various Christian churches and in the synagogues, and in no assemblage has there been a dissenting voice. All have listened, and all have conceded that the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh are superlative in character, acknowledging that they constitute the very essence or spirit of this new age and that there is no better pathway to the attainment of its ideals. Not a single voice has been raised in objection. At most there have been some who have refused to acknowledge the mission of Bahá’u’lláh, although even these have admitted that He was a great teacher, a most powerful soul, a very great man. Some who could find no other pretext have said, “These teachings are not new; they are old and familiar; we have heard them before.” Therefore, I will speak to you upon the distinctive characteristics of the manifestation of Bahá’u’lláh and prove that from every standpoint His Cause is distinguished from all others. It is distinguished by its didactic character and method of exposition, by its practical effects and application to present world conditions, but especially distinguished from the standpoint of its spread and progress.

When Bahá’u’lláh appeared in Persia, all the contemporaneous religious sects and systems rose against Him. His enemies were kings. The enemies of Christ were the Jews, the Pharisees; but the enemies of Bahá’u’lláh were rulers who could command armies and bring hundreds of thousands of soldiers into the arena of operation. These kings represented some fifty million people, all of whom under their influence and domination were opposed to Bahá’u’lláh. Therefore, in effect Bahá’u’lláh, singly and alone, virtually withstood fifty million enemies. Yet these great numbers, instead of being able to dominate Him, could not withstand His wonderful personality and the power and influence of His heavenly Cause. Although they were determined upon extinguishing the light in that most brilliant lantern, they were ultimately defeated and overthrown, and day by day His splendor became more radiant. They made every effort to lessen His greatness, but His prestige and renown grew in proportion to their endeavors to diminish it. Surrounded by enemies who were seeking His life, He never sought to conceal Himself, did nothing to protect Himself; on the contrary, in His spiritual might and power He was at all times visible before the faces of men, easy of access, serenely withstanding the multitudes who were opposing Him. At last His banner was upraised.

If we study historical record and review the pages of Holy Writ, we will find that none of the Prophets of the past ever spread His teachings or promulgated His Cause from a prison. But Bahá’u’lláh upheld the banner of the Cause of God while He was in a dungeon, addressing the kings of the earth from His prison cell, severely arraigning them for their oppression of their subjects and their misuse of power. The letter He sent to the Sháh of Persia under such conditions may now be read by anyone. His Epistles to the Sulṭán of Turkey, Napoleon III, Emperor of France, and to the other rulers of the world including the President of the United States are, likewise, current and available. The book containing these Epistles to the kings was published in India about thirty years ago and is known as the Súratu’l-Haykal (“Discourse of the Temple”). Whatever is recorded in these Epistles has happened. Some of the prophecies contained in them came to pass after two years; others were fulfilled after five, ten and twenty years. The most important prophecies relative to events transpiring in the Balkans are being fulfilled at the present time though written long ago. For instance, in the Epistle which Bahá’u’lláh addressed to the Sulṭán of Turkey, the war and the occurrences of the present day were foretold by Him. These events were also prophesied in the Tablet He addressed to the city of Constantinople, even to the details of happenings now being witnessed in that city.

While addressing these powerful kings and rulers He was a prisoner in a Turkish dungeon. Consider how marvelous it was for a prisoner under the eye and control of the Turks to arraign so boldly and severely the very king who was responsible for His imprisonment. What power this is! What greatness! Nowhere in history can the record of such a happening be found. In spite of the iron rule and absolute dominion of these kings, His function was to withstand them; and so constant and firm was He that He caused their banners to come down and His own standard to be upraised. For today the flags of both the Persian and the Ottoman Empires are trailing in the dust, whereas the ensign of Bahá’u’lláh is being held aloft in the world both in the East and in the West. Consider what a mighty power this is! What a decisive argument! Although a prisoner in a fortress, He paid no heed to these kings, regarded not their power of life and death, but, on the contrary, addressed them in plain and fearless language, announcing explicitly that the time would come when their sovereignty would be brought low and His own dominion be established.

He said in substance, “Erelong you will find yourselves in manifest loss. Your sovereignties will be laid waste; your empires will become a wilderness and a heap of ruins; hosts from without will invade and subdue your lands; lamentation and mourning will rise from your homes. There will be no throne; there will be no crown; there will be no palace; there will be no armies. Nay, rather, all these will be brought low; but the standard of the Cause of God will be held aloft. Then will you see that hosts and hosts will enter the Cause of God and that this mighty revelation will be spread throughout the world.” Read the prophecies contained in the Súratu’l-Haykal and ponder carefully over them.

This is one of the characteristics of Bahá’u’lláh’s message and teachings. Can you find events and happenings of this kind in any other prophetic dispensation? If so, in what cycle have similar things taken place? Do you find such specific prophecies and explicit statements concerning the future in the Holy Books of the past? We will now compare the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh with the Holy Words which have descended in the former cycles.

First among the great principles revealed by Him is that of the investigation of reality. The meaning is that every individual member of humankind is exhorted and commanded to set aside superstitious beliefs, traditions and blind imitation of ancestral forms in religion and investigate reality for himself. Inasmuch as the fundamental reality is one, all religions and nations of the world will become one through investigation of reality. The announcement of this principle is not found in any of the sacred Books of the past.

A second characteristic principle of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh is that which commands recognition of the oneness of the world of humanity. Addressing all mankind, He says, “Ye are all the leaves of one tree.” There are no differences or distinctions of race among you in the sight of God. Nay, rather, all are the servants of God, and all are submerged in the ocean of His oneness. Not a single soul is bereft. On the contrary, all are the recipients of the bounties of God. Every human creature has a portion of His bestowals and a share of the effulgence of His reality. God is kind to all. Mankind are His sheep, and He is their real Shepherd. No other scriptures contain such breadth and universality of statement; no other teachings proclaim this unequivocal principle of the solidarity of humanity. As regards any possible distinctions, the utmost that Bahá’u’lláh says is that conditions among men vary, that some, for instance, are defective. Therefore, such souls must be educated in order that they may be brought to the degree of perfection. Some are sick and ailing; they must be treated and cared for until they are healed. Some are asleep; they need to be awakened. Some are immature as children; they should be helped to attain maturity. But all must be loved and cherished. The child must not be disliked simply because it is a child. Nay, rather, it should be patiently educated. The sick one must not be avoided nor slighted merely because he is ailing. Nay, rather, he must be regarded with sympathy and affection and treated until he is healed. The soul that is asleep must not be looked upon with contempt but awakened and led into the light.

Bahá’u’lláh teaches that religion must be in conformity with science and reason. If belief and teaching are opposed to the analysis of reason and principles of science, they are not worthy of acceptance. This principle has not been revealed in any of the former Books of divine teaching.

Another fundamental announcement made by Bahá’u’lláh is that religion must be the source of unity and fellowship in the world. If it is productive of enmity, hatred and bigotry, the absence of religion would be preferable. This is a new principle of revelation found only in the utterances of Bahá’u’lláh.

Again, Bahá’u’lláh declares that all forms of prejudice among mankind must be abandoned and that until existing prejudices are entirely removed, the world of humanity will not and cannot attain peace, prosperity and composure. This principle cannot be found in any other sacred volume than the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh.

Another teaching is that there shall be perfect equality between men and women. Why should man create a distinction which God does not recognize? In the kingdoms below man sex exists, but the distinction between male and female is neither repressive nor restrictive. The mare, for instance, is as strong and often more speedy than the horse. Throughout the animal and vegetable kingdoms there is perfect equality between the sexes. In the kingdom of mankind this equality must likewise exist, and the one whose heart is purest, whose life and character are highest and nearest to the divine standard is most worthy and excellent in the sight of God. This is the only true and real distinction, be that one man or woman.

Bahá’u’lláh has announced the necessity for a universal language which shall serve as a means of international communication and thus remove misunderstandings and difficulties. This teaching is set forth in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas (“Most Holy Book”) published fifty [Now 153] years ago.

He has also proclaimed the principle that all mankind shall be educated and that no illiteracy be allowed to remain. This practical remedy for the need of the world cannot be found in the text of any other sacred Books.

He teaches that it is incumbent upon all mankind to become fitted for some useful trade, craft or profession by which subsistence may be assured, and this efficiency is to be considered as an act of worship.

The teachings of Bahá’u’lláh are boundless and without end in their far-reaching benefit to mankind. The point and purpose of our statement today is that they are new and that they are not found in any of the religious Books of the past. This is in answer to the question, “What has Bahá’u’lláh brought that we have not heard before?” Therefore, it is conclusive and evident that the Manifestation of God in this day is distinguished from all former appearances and revelations by His majesty, His power and the efficacy and application of His Word.

All the Prophets of God were scorned and persecuted. Consider Moses. The people called Him a murderer. They said, “You killed a man and fled from punishment and retribution. Is it possible after your former deeds that you could become a Prophet?”

Many similar experiences are recorded concerning the holy, divine Messengers. How bitter and severe was the persecution to which They were subjected! Consider how they endeavored to efface and belittle Christ. They placed upon His head a crown of thorns and paraded Him through the streets and bazaars in mockery crying, “Peace be upon thee, thou king of the Jews!” Some would bow to Him backward, saying in scornful tones, “Thou king of the Jews!” or “Lord of lords, peace be upon thee!” Still others would spit upon His blessed countenance. In brief, the persecutions which Christ suffered during the time of His manifestation are mentioned in the books of the old cycle, Jewish, Roman or Greek. No praises were bestowed upon Him. The only recognition and acceptance offered Him was from His believers and followers. Peter, for instance, was one who praised Him; and the other disciples spoke in His behalf. Numerous books were written against Him. In the history of the Church you will find record of the hatred and antagonism manifested by the Roman, Greek and Egyptian philosophers, attributing calumnies and ascribing imperfection to Him.

But during the manifestation of Bahá’u’lláh, from the day of His appearance to the time of His departure, the people of all nations acknowledged His greatness, and even those who were His most bitter enemies have said of Him, “This man was truly great; his influence was mighty and wonderful. This personage was glorious; his power was tremendous, his speech most eloquent; but, alas, he was a misleader of the people.” This was the essence of their praise, eulogy and denial. It is evident that the authors of such statements, although His enemies, were profoundly impressed by His greatness and majesty. Some of His enemies have even written poems about Him, which though intended for satire and sarcastic allusion, have in reality been praise. For instance, a certain poet opposed to His Cause has said, “Beware! Beware! lest ye approach this person, for he is possessed of such power and of such an eloquent tongue that he is a sorcerer. He charms men, he drugs them; he is a hypnotizer. Beware! Beware! lest you read his book follow his example and associate with his companions because they are the possessors of tremendous power and they are misleaders.” That is to say, this poet used such characterizations, believing them to be terms of belittlement and disparagement, unaware that they were in reality praises, because a wise man, after reading such a warning, would say, “The power of this man must unquestionably be very great if even his enemies acknowledge it. Undoubtedly, such a power is heavenly in its nature.” This was one of the reasons why so many were moved to investigate. The more His enemies wrote against Him, the more the people were attracted and the greater the number who came to inquire about the truth. They would say, “This is remarkable. This is a great man, and we must investigate. We must look into this cause to find out what it all means, to discover its purpose, examine its proofs and learn for ourselves what it signifies.” In this way the malign and sinister statements of His enemies caused the people to become friendly and approach the Cause. In Persia the mullás went so far as to proclaim from the pulpits against the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh casting their turbans upon the ground—a sign of great agitation—and crying out, “O people! This Bahá’u’lláh is a sorcerer who is seeking to mesmerize you; he is alienating you from your own religion and making you his own followers. Beware! lest you read his book. Beware! lest you associate with his friends.”

Bahá’u’lláh, speaking of these very ones who were attacking and decrying Him, said, “They are My heralds; they are the ones who are proclaiming My message and spreading My Word. Pray that they may be multiplied, pray that their number may increase and that they may cry out more loudly. The more they abuse Me by their words and the greater their agitation, the more potent and mighty will be the efficacy of the Cause of God, the more luminous the light of the Word and the greater the radiance of the divine Sun. And eventually the gloomy darkness of the outer world will disappear, and the light of reality will shine until the whole earth will be effulgent with its glory.”

TALK GIVEN BY ABDU’L-BAHA’ ON NOVEMBER 15, 1912 AT THE HOME OF MISS JULIET THOMPSON, 48 WEST TENTH STREET, NEW YORK, NY

Baha’i Month: Masa’il/Questions 1, 172 B.E. (12/12/2015)

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

O thou seeker of the True One!

 
In the day of Christ all nations were expecting that His Holiness Christ should come from heaven, and He came from heaven, though outwardly He came from the womb of Mary. Hence, He hath said in the Gospels: “No one shall ascend to heaven except the one who hath come from heaven.” Now all the people expect Him to come from heaven.

 
If thou wishest to find the truth, compare the days of the Manifestation of the Beauty of Abha with the days of Christ; consider this is identically like that and the same doubts and oppositions are put forth (by the people).

 
As to the proofs and arguments of the Beauty of Abha, these are manifest like the sun. If thou wishest a discerning eye and seekest for a hearing ear, set thou aside that which thou hast heard from fathers and ancestors, for such things are imitation—and then seek for the truth with the utmost attention until the divine confirmation may reach thee and the matter may be properly disclosed unto thee.

Abdu’l-Baha’, Tablets, pp. 409-410

 

A few words concerning the Qur’án and the Muslims: When Muḥammad appeared, He spoke of Moses as the great Man of God. In the Qur’án He refers to the sayings of Moses in seven different places, proclaims Him a Prophet and the possessor of a Book, the Founder of the law and the Spirit of God. He said, “Whosoever believes in Him is acceptable in the estimation of God, and whosoever shuns Him or any of the prophets is rejected of God.” Even in conclusion He calls upon His own relatives, saying, “Why have ye shunned and not believed in Moses? Why have ye not acknowledged the Torah? Why have ye not believed in the Jewish prophets?” In a certain súrih of the Qur’án He mentions the names of twenty-eight of the prophets of Israel, praising each and all of them. To this great extent He has ratified and commended the prophets and religion of Israel. The purport is this: that Muḥammad praised and glorified Moses and confirmed Judaism. He declared that whosoever denies Moses is contaminated and even if he repents, his repentance will not be accepted. He pronounced His own relatives infidels and impure because they had denied the prophets. He said, “Because you have not believed in Christ, because you have not believed in Moses, because you have not believed in the Gospels, you are infidels and contaminated.” In this way Muḥammad has praised the Torah, Moses, Christ and the prophets of the past. He appeared amongst the Arabs, who were a people nomadic and illiterate, barbarous in nature and bloodthirsty. He guided and trained them until they attained a high degree of development. Through His education and discipline they rose from the lowest levels of ignorance to the heights of knowledge, becoming masters of erudition and philosophy. We see, therefore that the proofs applicable to one Prophet are equally applicable to another.

 
In conclusion, since the Prophets themselves, the Founders, have loved, praised and testified of each other, why should we disagree and be alienated? God is one. He is the Shepherd of all. We are His sheep and, therefore, should live together in love and unity. We should manifest the spirit of justness and goodwill toward each other. Shall we do this, or shall we censure and pronounce anathema, praising ourselves and condemning all others? What possible good can come from such attitude and action? On the contrary, nothing but enmity and hatred, injustice and inhumanity can possibly result. Has not this been the greatest cause of bloodshed, woe and tribulation in the past?

 
Praise be to God! You are living in a land of freedom. You are blessed with men of learning, men who are well versed in the comparative study of religions. You realize the need of unity and know the great harm which comes from prejudice and superstition. I ask you, is not fellowship and brotherhood preferable to enmity and hatred in society and community? The answer is self-evident. Love and fellowship are absolutely needful to win the good pleasure of God, which is the goal of all human attainment. We must be united. We must love each other. We must ever praise each other. We must bestow commendation upon all people, thus removing the discord and hatred which have caused alienation amongst men. Otherwise, the conditions of the past will continue, praising ourselves and condemning others; religious wars will have no end, and religious prejudice, the prime cause of this havoc and tribulation, will increase. This must be abandoned, and the way to do it is to investigate the reality which underlies all the religions. This underlying reality is the love of humanity. For God is one and humanity is one, and the only creed of the Prophets is love and unity.

Abdu’l-Baha’, The Promulgation Of Universal Peace, pp. 409-410

Baha’i Sabbath: Qawl 19, 172 B.E. (12/11/2015)

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Consider the past, so that thou mayest become informed of the mysteries which shall be disclosed in the future. When the disciples were calling in the name of Christ, the Jews scoffed, scorned and laughed at them. They were saying, “They (i.e., the disciples) are taken with madness, and madness is made an art.” They even beat them with whips, threw stones at them, prevented the people from approaching them, and were saying, “This man (Christ) is naught but a sorcerer, blasphemeth God and is possess of a devil.”
Then observe how that persecution and scorn were changed to glory, honor and reverence. Ultimately, they (the Jews) honored their sublime stations and acknowledged their loftiness, which was exalted, promoted and glorified in the center of the horizons until it reached the degree of exaggeration in deeds. They made for them likenesses and pictures, decorated with jewels shining in the eyes; they placed these likenesses or pictures in the temples, churches and monasteries built on the tops of the mountains, and worshipped them with respect, glory, majesty and reverence. This is the condition of the neglectful ones who are deprived of the Truth (the Manifestations of God) at the day of their existence among them. After the ascension of their (the prophets’) spirits unto the Center of Purity and Piety, then the negligent ones repent and return, making likenesses and pictures according to their own ideas, which do not bear resemblance, and worship the same. This is the station of the ignorant ones who are as animals, following every croaker and shaken by every wind. “Forsake them to play in their shallow waters.”

Abdu’l-Baha’, Tablets, pp. 175-176

 

Thou hast written that thou lovest the Bible. Undoubtedly, the friends and the maid-servants of the Merciful should know the value of the Bible, for they are the ones who have discovered its real significances and have become cognizant of the hidden mystery of the Holy Book.

Abdu’l-Baha’, Tablets, pg. 218

 

O thou who hast confessed and believed in the Words of God!
Thank God, for He hath uncovered the veil from before thine eye, and that thou hast witnessed the great signs of the greatest glad-tidings which have been revealed in the Gospel, Bible and the Psalms; and wert confirmed that verily those glad-tidings have been allusions to the appearance of the Kingdom of God during this time, and that the horizons shall brighten through the light of the effulgence in this age, which is the age of the lights and the century of thy God, the Powerful, the Almighty!

Abdu’l-Baha’, Tablets, pg. 475

 

Consider attentively and with assiduity in the New Testament, as well as the Bible, and thou shalt find new significances, very clear of this great Manifestation.
I declare by the just God that thou wilt see therein a revelation of the Holy Spirit which will aid thee in the good understanding of the Truth and the mysteries and significances of the Books of God, the All-powerful and the Eternal.
Then as to what thou hast asked me for pious people who died before they heard the Voice of this Manifestation. Listen: Those who have mounted to God before hearing the Voice, if they followed the rules of conduct as laid down by Jesus and always walked in the straight path, they have obtained this Dazzling Light after their rising to the Kingdom of God. I pray God to lift the veil for thee and to corroborate by the spirit of experience, so that all may be evident to thee, by the Holy Spirit of God.

Abdu’l-Baha’, Tablets, pp. 477-478

 

As to the manifestation of the Greatest Name (Baha’o’llah): This was the Divine Manifestation which appeared upon the earthly world. This is He whom God promised in all His Books and Scriptures, such as the Bible, the gospels and the Koran. All of these Books indicate this fact, and the least doubt cannot possibly occur to the minds concerning this clear fact, as is recorded in detail in the heavenly Books, especially in the brilliant and holy Tablets. But notwithstanding this fact, if there is anyone who hesitates therein, do not dispute with him, nay rather prove this to him with all joy and fragrance, lest he may be obstinately compelled to rebellion.

Abdu’l-Baha’, Tablets, pp. 613-614

 

Verily, the people are veiled from comprehending the meanings of the Gospel, the Bible and the Koran and know not the interpretation of the scriptures of God, except those whose eyes are opened by the outpouring of the Spirit of God. Thou shalt behold men-servants and maid-servants of Baha’ in those far-distant lands and wide countries, speaking the secrets of the Gospel and the mysteries of the Bible and the allusions of the Koran and the explanation of the Words of the Merciful One. Those are the servants to whomsoever God hath assigned His mercy which overfloweth the existence.

Abdu’l-Baha’, Tablets, pg. 685

 

O thou seeker after Truth!
The question of the Trinity, since the time of His Holiness Christ until now, is the belief of the Christians, and to the present time all the learned among them are perplexed and confounded. All have confessed that the question is beyond the grasp of reason, for three cannot become one, nor one three. To unite these is impossible; it is either one or three. If we say the Essence of Divinity is divided, even in some aspects, division is one of the necessities of the contingent world and of generation, but the Ancient is holy (i.e., whole and indivisible). If we say that the Trinity was originally one and was later divided, change and transformation will be necessarily applied to the Essence of Oneness, and change and transformation are necessities of the contingent world and not of the Essence of Divinity. If we say this number is Ancient, three Ancients become necessary, and among the three some are distinguished which are also Ancients. In this wise five Ancients are the result, and among the five are those who are distinguished and thus nine Ancients become necessary, and so on ad infinitium.
Thus considered, Trinity is made a necessity, although the falsity of Trinity is evident. Furthermore, the signs of oneness are evident and plain in all existence. If thou shouldst gather all existent beings, thou wouldst be unable to find two alike in all states and qualities; of necessity there is a difference. Thus the signs of oneness are manifest and evident in all things. How much more is the Creator of all things!
But there are, in the Gospels, clear expressions indicative of Trinity; among them: “The Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father.” As Christians did not understand the meaning of this expression, their thoughts were scattered.
The reality of this question is as follows: Divine Oneness is proven and He revealeth Himself in the Holy Essences. The sun is one sun but manifesteth itself in different mirrors. If thou lookest into the mirror and seest the manifestation of the sun, thou wilt say, the sun is in the mirror and this sun manifest in the mirror is the same sun of the heavens; although two suns, yet in reality they are one. The sun hath not descended from its high and lofty station, it hath not taken up its abode in this mirror, but hath manifested itself therein.
The Christ reality was like unto a pure mirror and the Sun of Reality shone upon it from the Holy Horizon. Therefore, it became evident that the sun is one with regard to reality but manifesting itself in all mirrors.
This question was explained in full for Miss …, who translated it upon paper. Thou wilt soon learn thereof. This difficult question in its entirety was elucidated, explained and proven. 1.

1. Incorporated in the book entitled “Some Answered Questions,” compiled by Miss L. C. Barney and published in 1908, and available here: THE ORIGINAL PRESERVED TEXT IN ENGLISH Some Answered Questions

Baha’i Sabbath: Qawl 12, 172 B.E. (12/4/2015)

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

GOD hath, through His tongue that uttereth the truth, testified in all His Tablets to these words: “I am He that liveth in the Abhá Realm of Glory.”
By the righteousness of God! He, from the heights of this sublime, this holy, this mighty, and transcendent station, seeth all things, heareth all things, and is, at this hour, proclaiming: Blessed art thou, O Javád, inasmuch as thou hast attained unto that which no man before thee hath attained. I swear by Him Who is the Eternal Truth! Through thee the eyes of the inmates of the Exalted Paradise have been gladdened. The people, however, are utterly heedless. Were We to reveal thy station, the hearts of men would be sorely agitated, their footsteps would slip, the embodiments of vainglory would be dumbfounded, would fall down upon the ground, and would thrust the fingers of heedlessness into their ears, for fear of hearing.
Grieve thou not over those that have busied themselves with the things of this world, and have forgotten the remembrance of God, the Most Great. By Him Who is the Eternal Truth! The day is approaching when the wrathful anger of the Almighty will have taken hold of them. He, verily, is the Omnipotent, the All-Subduing, the Most Powerful. He shall cleanse the earth from the defilement of their corruption, and shall give it for an heritage unto such of His servants as are nigh unto Him.
Say: O people! Dust fill your mouths, and ashes blind your eyes, for having bartered away the Divine Joseph for the most paltry of prices. Oh, the misery that resteth upon you, ye that are far astray! Have ye imagined in your hearts that ye possess the power to outstrip Him and His Cause? Far from it! To this He, Himself, the All-Powerful, the Most Exalted, the Most Great, doth testify.
Soon shall the blasts of His chastisement beat upon you, and the dust of hell enshroud you. Those men who, having amassed the vanities and ornaments of the earth, have turned away disdainfully from God—these have lost both this world and the world to come. Erelong, will God, with the Hand of Power, strip them of their possessions, and divest them of the robe of His bounty. To this they themselves shall soon witness. Thou, too, shalt testify.
Say: O people! Let not this life and its deceits deceive you, for the world and all that is therein is held firmly in the grasp of His Will. He bestoweth His favor on whom He willeth, and from whom He willeth He taketh it away. He doth whatsoever He chooseth. Had the world been of any worth in His sight, He surely would never have allowed His enemies to possess it, even to the extent of a grain of mustard seed. He hath, however, caused you to be entangled with its affairs, in return for what your hands have wrought in His Cause. This, indeed, is a chastisement which ye, of your own will, have inflicted upon yourselves, could ye but perceive it. Are ye rejoicing in the things which, according to the estimate of God, are contemptible and worthless, things wherewith He proveth the hearts of the doubtful?

Baha’u’llah, Gleanings #CIII

 

O YE peoples of the world! Know, verily, that an unforeseen calamity is following you, and that grievous retribution awaiteth you. Think not the deeds ye have committed have been blotted from My sight. By My beauty! All your doings hath My Pen graven with open characters upon tablets of chrysolite.

Baha’u’llah, Gleanings #CIV