Archive for July, 2018

Baha’i Sabbath: Kalimat 8, 175 B.E. (7/20/2018)

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

The knowledge of all things is with God, the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

One day when this servant was in His presence, I was asked: “O servant in attendance! Wherewith art thou engaged?” “I am penning a reply”, I answered, “to his honour Mírzá Abu’l-Faḍl”. I was bidden: “Write to Mírzá Abu’l-Faḍl, may My glory be upon him, and say: ‘Matters have come to such a pass that the people of the world have grown accustomed to iniquity and flee from fair-mindedness. A divine Manifestation Who hath extolled and magnified the one true God, exalted be His glory, Who hath borne witness to His knowledge and confessed that His Essence is sanctified above all things and exalted beyond every comparison—such a Manifestation hath been called at various times a worshipper of the sun or a fire-worshipper. How numerous are those sublime Manifestations and Revealers of the Divine of Whose stations the people remain wholly unaware, of Whose grace they are utterly deprived, nay, God forbid, Whom they curse and revile!’

‘One of the great Prophets Whom the foolish ones of Persia in this day reject uttered these sublime words: “The sun is but a dense and spherical mass. It deserveth not to be called God or the Almighty. For the almighty Lord is He Whom no human comprehension can ever conceive, Whom no earthly knowledge can circumscribe, and Whose Essence none hath ever been or shall ever be able to fathom”. Consider how eloquently, how solemnly He hath affirmed the very truth that God is proclaiming in this day. And yet He is not even deemed a believer by these abject and foolish ones, let alone seen as possessed of a sublime station! In another connection He said: “All existence hath appeared from His existence, and were it not for God, no creature would have ever existed and been attired with the raiment of being”. May the Lord shield us all from the wickedness of such as have disputed the truth of God and of His loved ones and turned away from that Dayspring whereunto all the Books of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, have testified.’”

From that which hath been mentioned, it is clear that not every intellect can be the criterion of truth. The truly wise are, in the first place, the Chosen Ones of God, magnified be His glory—they Whom He hath singled out to be the Treasuries of His knowledge, the Repositories of His Revelation, the Daysprings of His authority and the Dawning-places of His wisdom, they Whom He hath made His representatives on earth and through Whom He revealeth that which He hath purposed. Whoso turneth unto them hath turned unto God, and whoso turneth away shall not be remembered in the presence of God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

The universal criterion is that which hath just been mentioned. Whosoever attaineth thereunto, that is, who recognizeth and acknowledgeth the Dawning-place of God’s Revelation, will be recorded in the Book of God among them that are endued with understanding. Otherwise he is naught but an ignorant soul, though he believe himself to be possessed of every wisdom. Now, were a person to see himself standing in the presence of God, were he to sanctify his soul from earthly attachments and evil intentions, and reflect upon that which hath been revealed in this most great Revelation from its inception to this day, he would readily testify that every detached soul, every perfect mind, sanctified being, attentive ear, penetrating eye, eloquent tongue, and joyous and radiant heart circleth round and boweth down, nay prostrateth itself in submission, before the mighty throne of God.

“The All-Knowing Physician hath His finger on the pulse of mankind”

“Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.”

That is, fix your gaze upon the commandments of God, for whatsoever He should ordain in this day and pronounce as lawful is indeed lawful and representeth the very truth.

Baha’u’llah, The Tabernacle Of Unity (excerpts from: Responses to Questions of Manikchi Sahib from a Tablet to Mirza Abu’l-Fadl)

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Whatsoever He Should Ordain In This Day

The Golden Rule

Baha’i Month: Kalimat/Words 1, 175 B.E. (7/13/2018)

Friday, July 13th, 2018

MEMBERS OF THE HUMAN RACE! Hold ye fast by the Cord which no man can sever. This will, indeed, profit you all the days of your life, for its strength is of God, the Lord of all worlds. Cleave ye to justice and fairness, and turn away from the whisperings of the foolish, them that are estranged from God, that have decked their heads with the ornament of the learned, and have condemned to death Him Who is the Fountain of wisdom. My name hath uplifted them to lofty grades, and yet, no sooner did I reveal Myself to their eyes than they, with manifest injustice, pronounced the sentence of My death. Thus hath Our Pen revealed the truth, and yet the people are sunk in heedlessness.

Whoso cleaveth to justice, can, under no circumstances, transgress the limits of moderation. He discerneth the truth in all things, through the guidance of Him Who is the All-Seeing. The civilization, so often vaunted by the learned exponents of arts and sciences, will, if allowed to overleap the bounds of moderation, bring great evil upon men. Thus warneth you He Who is the All-Knowing. If carried to excess, civilization will prove as prolific a source of evil as it had been of goodness when kept within the restraints of moderation. Meditate on this, O people, and be not of them that wander distraught in the wilderness of error. The day is approaching when its flame will devour the cities, when the Tongue of Grandeur will proclaim: “The Kingdom is God’s, the Almighty, the All-Praised!”

All other things are subject to this same principle of moderation. Render thanks unto thy Lord Who hath remembered thee in this wondrous Tablet. All-Praise be to God, the Lord of the glorious throne.

Were any man to ponder in his heart that which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed and to taste of its sweetness, he would, of a certainty, find himself emptied and delivered from his own desires, and utterly subservient to the Will of the Almighty. Happy is the man that hath attained so high a station, and hath not deprived himself of so bountiful a grace.

In this Day, We can neither approve the conduct of the fearful that seeketh to dissemble his faith, nor sanction the behavior of the avowed believer that clamorously asserteth his allegiance to this Cause. Both should observe the dictates of wisdom, and strive diligently to serve the best interests of the Faith.

Let every man observe and meditate on the conduct of this wronged One. We have, ever since the dawn of this Revelation until the present time, refused either to hide Ourself from Our enemies, or to withdraw from the companionship of Our friends. Though encompassed with a myriad griefs and afflictions, We have, with mighty confidence, summoned the peoples of the earth to the Dayspring of Glory. The Pen of the Most High is disinclined to recount, in this connection, the woes it hath suffered. To reveal them would, no doubt, plunge into sorrow the favored among the faithful, they that truly uphold the unity of God and are wholly devoted to His Cause. He, verily, speaketh the truth, and is the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. Our life hath, for the most part, been spent in the midst of Our enemies. Witness how We are, at present, living in a nest of serpents.

This Holy Land hath been mentioned and extolled in all the sacred Scriptures. In it have appeared the Prophets of God and His chosen Ones. This is the wilderness in which all the Messengers of God have wandered, from which their cry, “Here am I, here am I, O my God” was raised. This is the promised Land in which He Who is the Revelation of God was destined to be made manifest. This is the Vale of God’s unsearchable decree, the snow-white Spot, the Land of unfading splendor. Whatever hath come to pass in this Day hath been foretold in the Scriptures of old. These same Scriptures, however, unanimously condemn the people that inhabit this land. They have, at one time, been stigmatized as the “generation of vipers.” Behold how this wronged One is now, whilst surrounded by a “generation of vipers,” calling aloud and summoning all men to Him Who is the world’s Ultimate Desire, the Summit and Dayspring of Glory. Happy is the man that hath hearkened to the voice of Him Who is the Lord of the Kingdom of Utterance, and woe betide the heedless, they that have strayed far from His truth.

Baha’u’llah, Gleanings #CLXIV

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The Moderating Principles Of Divine Civilization

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The Golden Rule

Holy Day: The Martyrdom Of The Bab. Rahmat 16, 175 B.E. (7/9/2018)

Monday, July 9th, 2018

This treatise was written in reply to a seeker who had asked how the promised Mihdí could have become transformed into ‘Alí-Muḥammad (the Báb). The opportunity provided by this question was seized to elaborate on a number of subjects, all of which are of use and benefit both to them that seek and to those who have attained, could ye perceive with the eye of divine virtue.

Baha’u’llah, Preface to Gems of Divine Mysteries

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I heard, with Mine own ears, one of their divines proclaim: “Should all these signs come to pass and the long-awaited Qá’im appear, and should He ordain, with respect to even our secondary laws, aught beyond that which hath been revealed in the Qur’án, we would assuredly charge Him with imposture, put Him to death, and refuse forever to acknowledge Him”, and other statements such as these deniers make. And all this, when the Day of Resurrection hath been ushered in, and the Trumpet hath been sounded, and all the denizens of earth and heaven have been gathered together, and the Balance hath been appointed, and the Bridge hath been laid, and the Verses have been sent down, and the Sun hath shone forth, and the stars have been blotted out, and the souls have been raised to life, and the breath of the Spirit hath blown, and the angels have been arrayed in ranks, and Paradise hath been brought nigh, and Hell made to blaze! These things have all come to pass, and yet to this day not a single one of these people hath recognized them! They all lie as dead within their own shrouds, save those who have believed and repaired unto God, who rejoice in this day in His celestial paradise, and who tread the path of His good-pleasure.

Veiled as they remain within their own selves, the generality of the people have failed to perceive the sweet accents of holiness, inhale the fragrance of mercy, or seek guidance, as bidden by God, from those who are the custodians of the Scriptures. He proclaimeth, and His word, verily, is the truth: “Ask ye, therefore, of them that have the custody of the Scriptures, if ye know it not.” Nay rather, they have turned aside from them and followed instead the Sámirí of their own idle fancies. Thus have they strayed far from the mercy of their Lord and failed to attain unto His Beauty in the day of His presence. For no sooner had He come unto them with a sign and a testimony from God than the same people who had eagerly awaited the day of His Revelation, who had called upon Him in the daytime and in the night season, who had implored Him to gather them together in His presence and to grant that they may lay down their lives in His path, be led aright by His guidance and illumined by His light—this very people condemned and reviled Him, and inflicted upon Him such cruelties as transcend both My capacity to tell and thine ability to hear them. My very pen crieth out at this moment and the ink weepeth sore and groaneth. By God! Wert thou to hearken with thine inner ear, thou wouldst in truth hear the lamentations of the denizens of heaven; and wert thou to remove the veil from before thine eyes, thou wouldst behold the Maids of Heaven overcome and the holy souls overwhelmed, beating upon their faces and fallen upon the dust.

Alas, alas, for that which befell Him Who was the Manifestation of the Self of God, and for that which He and His loved ones were made to suffer! The people inflicted upon them what no soul hath ever inflicted upon another, and what no infidel hath wrought against a believer or suffered at his hand. Alas, alas! That immortal Being sat upon the darksome dust, the Holy Spirit lamented in the retreats of glory, the pillars of the Throne crumbled in the exalted dominion, the joy of the world was changed into sorrow in the crimson land, and the voice of the Nightingale was silenced in the golden realm. Woe betide them for what their hands have wrought and for what they have committed!

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But as to Him Who appeared in the year sixty, He standeth in need of neither transformation nor interpretation, for His name was Muḥammad, and He was a descendent of the Imáms of the Faith. Thus it can be truly said of Him that He was the son of Ḥasan, as is undoubtedly clear and evident unto thine eminence. Nay, He it is Who fashioned that name and created it for Himself, were ye to observe with the eye of God.

Baha’u’llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries (excerpts)

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Now the Siyyid Báb had disposed all His affairs before setting out from Chihríq towards Tabríz, had placed His writings and even His ring and pen-case in a specially prepared box, put the key of the box in an envelope, and sent it by means of Mullá Báqir, who was one of His first associates, to Mullá ‘Abdu’l-Karím of Qazvín. This trust Mullá Báqir delivered over to Mullá ‘Abdu’l-Karím at Qum in presence of a numerous company. At the solicitations of those present he opened the lid of the box and said, “I am commanded to convey this trust to Bahá’u’lláh: more than this ask not of me, for I cannot tell you.” Importuned by the company, he produced a long epistle in blue, penned in the most graceful manner with the utmost delicacy and firmness in a beautiful minute shikastih hand, written in the shape of a man so closely that it would have been imagined that it was a single wash of ink on the paper. When they had read this epistle [they perceived that] He had produced three hundred and sixty derivatives from the word Bahá. Then Mullá ‘Abdu’l-Karím conveyed the trust to its destination.

Well, we must return to our original narrative. The Prime Minister issued a second order to his brother Mírzá Ḥasan Khán, the gist of which order was this: “Obtain a formal and explicit sentence from the learned doctors of Tabríz who are the firm support of the Church of Ja’far (upon him be peace) and the impregnable stronghold of the Shí‘ite faith; summon the Christian regiment of Urúmíyyih; suspend the Báb before all the people; and give orders for the regiment to fire a volley.”

Mírzá Ḥasan Khán summoned his chief of the farráshes, and gave him his instructions. They removed the Báb’s turban and sash which were the signs of His Siyyid-hood, brought Him with four of His followers to the barrack square of Tabríz, confined Him in a cell, and appointed forty of the Christian soldiers of Tabríz to guard Him.

Next day the chief of the farráshes delivered over the Báb and a young man named Áqá Muḥammad-‘Alí who was of a noble family of Tabríz to Sám Khán, colonel of the Christian regiment of Urúmíyyih, at the sentences of the learned divine Mullá Muḥammad of Mamaqán, of the second ecclesiastical authority Mullá Mírzá Báqir, and of the third ecclesiastical authority Mullá Murtadá-Qulí and others. An iron nail was hammered into the middle of the staircase of the very cell wherein they were imprisoned, and two ropes were hung down. By one rope the Báb was suspended and by the other rope Áqá Muḥammad-‘Alí, both being firmly bound in such wise that the head of that young man was on the Báb’s breast. The surrounding housetops billowed with teeming crowds. A regiment of soldiers ranged itself in three files. The first file fired; then the second file, and then the third file discharged volleys. From the fire of these volleys a mighty smoke was produced. When the smoke cleared away they saw that young man standing and the Báb seated by the side of His amanuensis Áqá Siyyid Ḥusayn in the very cell from the staircase of which they had suspended them. To neither one of them had the slightest injury resulted.

Sám Khán the Christian asked to be excused; the turn of service came to another regiment, and the chief of the farráshes withheld his hand. Áqá Ján Big of Khamsíh, colonel of the bodyguard, advanced; and they again bound the Báb together with that young man to the same nail. The Báb uttered certain words which those few who knew Persian understood, while the rest heard but the sound of His voice.

The colonel of the regiment appeared in person: and it was before noon on the twenty-eighth day of Sha’bán in the year [A.H.] one thousand two hundred and sixty-six. Suddenly he gave orders to fire. At this volley the bullets produced such an effect that the breasts [of the victims] were riddled, and their limbs were completely dissected, except their faces, which were but little marred.

Then they removed those two bodies from the square to the edge of the moat outside the city, and that night they remained by the edge of the moat. Next day the Russian consul came with an artist and took a picture of those two bodies in the posture wherein they had fallen at the edge of the moat.

On the second night at midnight the Bábís carried away the two bodies.

On the third day the people did not find the bodies, and some supposed that the wild beasts had devoured them, so that the doctors proclaimed from the summits of their pulpits saying, “The holy body of the immaculate Imám and that of the true Shí‘ite are preserved from the encroachments of beasts of prey and creeping things and wounds, but the body of this person have the wild beasts torn in pieces.” But after the fullest investigation and inquiry it hath been proved that when the Báb had dispersed all His writings and personal properties and it had become clear and evident from various signs that these events would shortly take place, therefore, on the second day of these events, Sulaymán Khán the son of Yaḥyá Khán, one of the nobles of Ádhirbáyján devoted to the Báb, arrived, and proceeded straightway to the house of the mayor of Tabríz. And since the mayor was an old friend, associate, and confidant of his; since, moreover, he was of the mystic temperament and did not entertain aversion or dislike for any sect, Sulaymán Khán divulged this secret to him saying, “Tonight I, with several others, will endeavor by every means and artifice to rescue the body. Even though it be not possible, come what may we will make an attack, and either attain our object or pour out our lives freely in this way.” “Such troubles,” answered the mayor, “are in no wise necessary.” He then sent one of his private servants named Ḥájí Alláh-Yár, who, by whatever means and proceedings it was, obtained the body without trouble or difficulty and handed it over to Ḥájí Sulaymán Khán. And when it was morning the sentinels, to excuse themselves, said that the wild beasts had devoured it. That night they sheltered the body in the workshop of a Bábí of Milán: next day they manufactured a box, placed it in the box, and left it as a trust. Afterwards, in accordance with instructions which arrived from Ṭihrán, they sent it away from Ádhirbáyján. And this transaction remained absolutely secret.

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Abdu’l-Baha’

Exc. from: A Traveler’s Narrative-Written to Illustrate the Episode of the Bab

The Shrine of the Bab, wherein His body was interred.

The view from the Shrine of the Bab.

The Principles Of The Faith For Which The Bab Sacrificed His Life