Mar 31, 2022

Bahá'u'lláh’s father had an amazing dream about his Son

Baha'u'llah's father
When Bahá'u'lláh was still a child, the Vazir, His father, dreamed a dream. Bahá'u'lláh appeared to him swimming in a vast, limitless ocean. His body shone upon the waters with a radiance that illumined the sea. Around His head, which could distinctly be seen above the waters, there radiated, in all directions, His long, jet-black locks, floating in great profusion above the waves. As he dreamed, a multitude of fishes gathered round Him, each holding fast to the extremity of one hair. Fascinated by the effulgence of His face, they followed Him in whatever direction He swam. Great as was their number, and however firmly they clung to His locks, not one single hair seemed to have been detached from His head, nor did the least injury affect His person. Free and unrestrained, He moved above the waters and they all followed Him.

The Vazir, greatly impressed by this dream, summoned a soothsayer, who had achieved fame in that region, and asked him to interpret it for him. This man, as if inspired by a premonition of the future glory of Bahá'u'lláh, declared: "The limitless ocean that you have seen in your dream, O Vazir, is none other than the world of being. Single-handed and alone, your son will achieve supreme ascendancy over it. Wherever He may please, He will proceed unhindered. No one will resist His march, no one will hinder His progress. The multitude of fishes signifies the turmoil which He will arouse amidst the peoples and kindreds of the earth. Around Him will they gather, and to Him will they cling. Assured of the unfailing protection of the Almighty, this tumult will never harm His person, nor will His loneliness upon the sea of life endanger His safety."

Mar 30, 2022

Jesus fulfilled Jewish prophecies

… Israel refused to apprehend the meaning of such words as have been revealed in the Bible concerning the signs of the coming Revelation. As she never grasped their true significance, and, to outward seeming, such events never came to pass, she, therefore, remained deprived of recognizing the beauty of Jesus and of beholding the face of God. And they still await His coming! From time immemorial even unto this day, all the kindreds and peoples of the earth have clung to such fanciful and unseemly thoughts, and thus have deprived themselves of the clear waters streaming from the springs of purity and holiness.

- Baha’u’llah  (The Book of Certitude)

And when the days of Moses were ended, and the light of Jesus, shining forth from the Day Spring of the Spirit, encompassed the world, all the people of Israel arose in protest against Him. They clamored that He Whose advent the Bible had foretold must needs promulgate and fulfil the laws of Moses, whereas this youthful Nazarene, who laid claim to the station of the divine Messiah, had annulled the laws of divorce and of the sabbath day -- the most weighty of all the laws of Moses. Moreover, what of the signs of the Manifestation yet to come? These people of Israel are even unto the present day still expecting that Manifestation which the Bible hath foretold! … And this for no other reason except that Israel refused to apprehend the meaning of such words as have been revealed in the Bible concerning the signs of the coming Revelation. As she never grasped their true significance, and, to outward seeming, such events never came to pass, she, therefore, remained deprived of recognizing the beauty of Jesus and of beholding the Face of God. And they still await His coming! From time immemorial even unto this day, all the kindreds and peoples of the earth have clung to such fanciful and unseemly thoughts, and thus have deprived themselves of the clear waters streaming from the springs of purity and holiness....

- Baha’u’llah  ('Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah')

… from the inception of the mission of Jesus—may peace be upon Him—till the day of His ascension was the Resurrection of Moses. For during that period the Revelation of God shone forth through the appearance of that divine Reality, Who rewarded by His Word everyone who believed in Moses, and punished by His Word everyone who did not believe; inasmuch as God’s Testimony for that Day was that which He had solemnly affirmed in the Gospel.

The Bab  ('Selections from the Writings of the Bab')

Mar 29, 2022

'Abdu'l-Baha

Thou knowest, O my God, that I desire for Him naught except that which Thou didst desire, and have chosen Him for no purpose save that which Thou hadst intended for Him. Render Him victorious, therefore, through Thy hosts of earth and heaven... Ordain, I beseech Thee, by the ardor of My love for Thee and My yearning to manifest Thy Cause, for Him, as well as for them that love Him, that which Thou hast destined for Thy Messengers and the Trustees of Thy Revelation. Verily, Thou art the Almighty, the All-Powerful. 

- Baha'u'llah  (Quoted by Shoghi Effendi in 'The World Order of Baha'u'llah')

Mar 28, 2022

The effect of “every breath breathed in the love of God”

By the Day-Star of ancient mysteries! The sweet-scented fragrance of every breath breathed in the love of God is wafted in the court of the presence of the Lord of Revelation. 

- Baha’u’llah  (From a Tablet, The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Women)

Mar 27, 2022

Creation reminds us of God’s attributes

… whatever I behold I readily discover that it maketh Thee known unto me, and it remindeth me of Thy signs, and of Thy tokens, and of Thy testimonies. By Thy glory! Every time I lift up mine eyes unto Thy heaven, I call to mind Thy highness and Thy loftiness, and Thine incomparable glory and greatness; and every time I turn my gaze to Thine earth, I am made to recognize the evidences of Thy power and the tokens of Thy bounty. And when I behold the sea, I find that it speaketh to me of Thy majesty, and of the potency of Thy might, and of Thy sovereignty and Thy grandeur. And at whatever time I contemplate the mountains, I am led to discover the ensigns of Thy victory and the standards of Thine omnipotence. 

- Baha’u’llah  (‘Prayers and Meditations by Baha’u’llah’; The Compilation of Compilations vol. I, Conservation of Earth’s Resources)

Mar 26, 2022

1910 USA: Supplications for future temple

Delegates and friends assembled at the geometrical center of the temple grounds and invoking the Greatest Name as their faces are turned towards Acca

Mar 25, 2022

Marriage of Baha'u'llah to Asiyih Khanum

Bahá'u'lláh married Asiyih Khanum in Tihran in 1251 AH (1835) when He was over 18 years of age. Asiyih Khanum, later surnamed Navvab by Bahá'u'lláh, was a daughter of a nobleman, Mirza Isma'il-i-Vazir. Her date of birth is not known. She was a most noble and faithful follower of Bahá'u'lláh who served her Lord until the end of her life in 1886. There were seven children of the marriage, four of whom died in childhood. The other three were 'Abbas, entitled the 'Most Great Branch', 'Abdu'l-Bahá; Fatimih, entitled Bahiyyih Khanum, the Greatest Holy Leaf; and Mihdi, entitled 'the Purest Branch'. 

Adib Taherzadeh  (‘The Child of the Covenant’)

Mar 23, 2022

How a meeting can attract divine bounties

… the affinity and love manifest in this meeting, the divine susceptibilities witnessed here are not of this world but of the world of the Kingdom. When the souls become separated and selfish, the divine bounties do not descend, and the lights of the Supreme Concourse are no longer reflected even though the bodies meet together. A mirror with its back turned to the sun has no power to reflect the sun's effulgence. 

- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk; ‘The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912’)

Mar 22, 2022

Albert Hall - President of Bahai Temple Unity and Chairman of Annual Convention of the Baha’is of the United States and Canada – 1910 to 1914

Albert Hall will ever be remembered for his services in the early development of the Bahai Temple Unity, the body entrusted with the building of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkar in America.

From 1910 to 1914, Albert H. Hall was selected each year as chairman of the Annual Convention; he was elected a member of the Baha’i Temple Unity during the same period, and was chosen as its president in 1911, which position he held up to and during the year 1914.

At the Convention of 1910, when Mr. Hall was unanimously chosen Chairman, he said: "God chooses the weak things to confound the mighty. You have made the choice of a weak instrument. I feel very weak and lowly, as nothing, and I would not bear the responsibility of this place were I not possessed with the sense of my own emptiness, seeking only the in pouring of His Spirit, strength and wisdom. This Convention but now called to order, has been in conscious, silent session for several hours. There is no need of any introduction. The opening of this Convention was sung in the heart of every one of you who turned his face to the East this morning, and if you did not then catch the message of love and unity in all its fullness, it has beautifully sounded in your ears as the inspiring Tablet has been read [refers to Tablet regarding Mashriqu’l-Adhkar received in March, 1910] There is no other word to be uttered. It is for us now to address ourselves directly to the work in hand. We are here representing the Baha’i Assemblies throughout America and Canada, to bring home the substantial offerings of our sacrifice, to encourage each other with the report of our work not to boast or overstate it. We must face His Truth just as it is. Do not let us delude ourselves. They are the worst deluded in the world who are self deluded. We are not afraid nor ashamed of the situation, but of ourselves that is all. Let us seek knowledge with the light of Truth and the Truth shall make us free." 

(Star of the West, vol. 11)

Mar 21, 2022

The “equinox is the symbol of the divine messenger”

This sacred day [Naw-Ruz] when the sun illumines equally the whole earth is called the equinox and the equinox is the symbol of the divine messenger. The sun of truth rises on the horizon of divine mercy and sends forth its rays on all. This is the beginning of the spring. When the sun appears at the equinox it causes a movement in all living things. The mineral world is set in motion, plants begin to sprout, the desert is changed into a prairie, trees bud and every living thing responds, including the bodies of animals and men.

The rising of the sun at the equinox is the symbol of life and the human reality is revivified; our thoughts are transformed and our intelligence is quickened. The sun of truth bestows eternal life, just as the solar sun is the cause of terrestrial life. - - 'Abdu'l-Baha  (From a talk; ‘Divine Philosophy’)

Mar 20, 2022

The station of the Báb – the Báb explains

I am one of the sustaining pillars of the Primal Word of God. Whosoever hath recognized Me hath known all that is true and right and hath attained all that is good and seemly, and whosoever hath failed to recognize Me hath turned away from all that is true and right and hath succumbed to everything evil and unseemly. 

- The Báb  (‘Selections from the Writings of the Báb)

Mar 19, 2022

Various kinds of “unity” – “The first kind of unity is unity in religion.”

Thou hast asked about unity. The first kind of unity is unity in religion. This unity has always been the cause of the victory of the Faith of God in every age and century. Togetherness is the mystic sword of God. 

For example, should a government see that most of the people of the country have rent asunder the veils and are turning towards the horizon of Divine revelation, it should remain silent and should listen to what is said. Each person who is attentive attains to the knowledge of God, except those who are utterly distant from the Mercy of God. They indeed are fully deserving of anger and vehement opposition. Such persons are, in any case, forbidden and barred. 

- Baha’u’llah  (‘The Tablet of Unity’, a provisional translation)

Mar 18, 2022

Being “chosen”, and “elected”

Praise be unto Thee, O my God! Thanks be unto Thee O my Beloved! Glory be unto Thee, O my Lord! for that which Thou hast bestowed, favored, conferred and granted. For Thou hast chosen sincere servants from among Thy people to serve Thy Religion. Thou hast elected them to draw inspiration from Thy Manifest Light, attraction from Thy Luminous Beauty and to walk in Thy straight path. O my Lord! Verily the souls are heedless of Thy mentioning and hearts deprived of Thy love, the eyes veiled from beholding the Kingdom of Thy Beauty and the intellects wandering away from the Centre of Thy Glory, except those who are firm in Thy Covenant, free from dissension, attracting the rays of the Sun of Truth, detaching themselves from inharmony, arising in the service of Thy Cause amongst Thy people and exhilarated from the pure wine of Thy Kingdom. Bestow upon them unlimited blessing and creative good from the never-ending Bounty, and pour upon them with great abundance, from the Cloud of Thy Majesty, the rain of Thy Grace, the water of Thy Generosity and the Universal Favor. 

- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a Tablet; Star of the West, Vol. 1, no. 3, April 28, 1910)

Mar 17, 2022

Payment of Huququ’llah & contributions to the Funds – explanation by the Universal House of Justice

The payment of the Huququ’llah is one of the essential spiritual obligations that   the wondrous Pen of Baha'u'llah has laid down in the Most Holy Book.

It would be preferable and more fitting if these two accounts, namely contributions to the Funds and payments of the Huququ’llah were to be kept separate. This means that in the first instance you should pay your Huququ’llah, and then you may offer your devoted contributions at your own discretion to the International Fund which is now being used for achieving the goals of the Nine-Year Plan.

- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter dated August 18, 1965 to an individual believer, translated from the Persian, The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Huququ’llah)

Mar 16, 2022

The Message -- a poem by Louis G. Gregory

The Báb

O Herald of the King of Kings

From Whom creation's power springs

The mission thine to blaze the way

Which leads to realms of endless day;

To be thyself the mystic sign

Of perfect love and power divine;

To resurrect the souls of men

And wealth devise beyond our ken.

Thy shining form was sometimes sad

Yet still thou mad'st creation glad;

Through martyrdom did'st plant the seeds

Which fructified in wondrous deeds.

Grant all, through deeds without desire

To witness thy celestial fire.

Mar 15, 2022

Remembering those “whose lifeblood flowed so copiously in the course of the opening decade of the first Bahá'í century”

…the memory of the glorious Báb, the immortal Quddus, the lion-hearted Mulla Husayn, the erudite Vahid, the audacious Hujjat, the illustrious seven martyrs of Tihran and a host of unnumbered heroes whose lifeblood flowed so copiously in the course of the opening decade of the first Bahá'í century… 

- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated March 16, 1949; ‘Citadel of Faith’)

Mar 14, 2022

'Abdu'l-Baha had 13 grandchildren

To catch even a glimpse of what must have transpired in 'Abdu'l-Bahá's heart when this first grandson (Shoghi Effendi) was born to Him at the age of fifty-three, one must remember that He had already lost more than one son, the dearest and most perfect of them, Husayn, a beautiful and very dignified little boy, having passed away when only a few years old. Of the four surviving daughters of 'Abdu'l-Bahá three were to bear Him thirteen grandchildren, but it was this oldest one who bore witness to the saying "the child is the secret essence of its sire", not to be taken to mean in this case the heritage of his own father, but rather that he was sired by the Prophets of God and inherited the nobility of this grandfather 'Abdu'l-Bahá. 

- Ruhiyyih Khanum  (‘The Priceless Pearl’)

Mar 12, 2022

From letters written on behalf of the Guardian

Shoghi Effendi feels that the real purpose of these Summer Schools is to deepen the knowledge of the friends. Lectures are very essential for they give a wonderful picture of the subject-matter. But it is not sufficient to have a picture; the friends should deepen their knowledge and this can be achieved if together with the lectures there are study classes and seminar work carried on by the same lecturer.

The world is undoubtedly facing a great crisis and the social, economic and political conditions are becoming daily more complex. Should the friends desire to take the lead in reforming the world, they should start by educating themselves and understand what the troubles and problems really are which baffle the mind of man. It is in these Summer Schools that this training should be provided for the friends. 

- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 27 January 1932 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, published in ‘Bahá'í News’ 63, June 1932; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. 1, Centers of Baha’i Learning)

Mar 11, 2022

Prayer for individual: - Assistance to serve and observe the Teachings

Glory be to Thee Who hast caused all the holy Ones to confess their helplessness before the manifold revelations of Thy might, and every Prophet to acknowledge His nothingness at the effulgence of Thine abiding glory. I beseech Thee, by Thy name that hath unlocked the gates of Heaven and filled with ecstasy the Concourse on high, to enable me to serve Thee, in this Day, and to strengthen me to observe that which Thou didst prescribe in Thy Book. Thou knowest, O my Lord, what is in me; but I know not what is in Thee. Thou art the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

- Baha’u’llah  (‘Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah’)

Mar 9, 2022

To what degree we should be ablaze with “the fire of the love of God”

O Friends! You must all be so ablaze in this day with the fire of the love of God that the heat thereof may be manifest in all your veins, your limbs and members of your body, and the peoples of the world may be ignited by this heat and turn to the horizon of the Beloved. 

- Bahá’u’lláh  (The Compilation of Compilations, vol.2, The Individual and Teaching: Raising the Divine Call)

Mar 8, 2022

The two processes at work in the world today - excerpt from a talk by Peter Khan former member of the Universal House of Justice, 3 July 2009

It is, I think, generally accepted by the mass of the people of the world that there are, to a certain extent, two processes at work in the world today, a process of decline in the quality of life, and a growth in positive elements including the emancipation of deprived minorities, a global perspective through internationalism, and the use of technology for beneficial ends. This recognition of the existence of two processes is not something which has been characteristic of the mass of humanity over many years. If we survey the history of the 20th century there have been periods of great euphoria, associated generally with either the election of a charismatic political leader or with an event which seemed to hold unlimited promise such as the demolition of the Berlin wall, in 1989. But over the last 20 years it appears to me that the mass of humanity have come generally to recognize that things are not going extremely well, with the emergence of some very pressing and portentous problems.

And I think if you talk to the casual observer of the world scene he or she will say “there are two things happening at the same time, decline and growth.”

Obviously we have our Bahá’í teachings on this subject but that’s not the point at the moment. The conventional reaction to this process of decline becoming increasingly apparent in the world today takes a number of forms. Most people anticipate and hope that it will only be temporary: “Things are not so good at the moment, financially with the crisis, political volatility, in Africa or Asia, or Central or South America, or in other countries, but with a bit of luck it’ll get better and we’ll go back to the way it was before, with a calm settled society.”

So there is a general anticipation of the temporary nature of that decline. Almost universally its extent is underestimated and its ultimate severity is not accepted. There is a universal ignorance about its fundamental cause; rather people are inclined to ascribe its cause to what we would describe as symptoms: political changes, the rise of education, the intemperance of certain minorities, the emancipation of women and so on. And most people expect, and indeed hope, that some panacea will arise which will solve it, which will remove all the clouds, and humanity will proceed in a peaceful and harmonious manner toward its future.

It is necessary for us to look at these perceptions in the light of the authoritative statements in the Bahá’í Writings. I do this because I think the challenge we face as Bahá’ís is a challenge to avoid unconsciously absorbing the attitudes of the larger society, but rather to form our attitudes from the authoritative texts of the Faith. These authoritative writings are in many ways dramatically different from the prevailing view in our society. ...read the entire talk

Mar 7, 2022

One’s Conduct & Faith

One's conduct must be like the conduct of Paul, and one's faith similar to that of Peter. 

- Abdu'l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha’)

Mar 6, 2022

A quote to memorize: Education and training of children

Among the greatest of all services that can possibly be rendered by man to Almighty God is the education and training of children..."

‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

Mar 5, 2022

Government of one's self and soul

Moral life consists in the government of one's self. Immortality is government of a human soul by the Divine Will. 

- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (Utterances of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, recorded by Julia Grundy during her pilgrimage; ‘Ten Days in the Light of Acca’)

Mar 4, 2022

Baha’u’llah describes the “Meadow of Paradise”

This is the Meadow of Paradise wherein the melody of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, hath been exalted. Therein hath Houris [Maidens] of Eternity been empowered whom none hath touched save God, the Almighty, the Sanctified. Therein doth the Nightingale of Eternal Subsistence warble upon the branches of the Lote-Tree of the Extremity with such a melody as hath bedazzled discerning souls. Therein is that through which the poor and needy are made to approach the shore of independent self-sufficiency and the people obtain guidance unto the Word of God. Such, indeed, is the certain Truth! 

- Baha’u’llah  (From ‘Tablet of the Bell’; a provisional translation)

Mar 2, 2022

Being in the presence of Baha’u’llah at the time of revelation

It was during one of his visits to 'Akká that Haji Mirza Haydar-'Ali was allowed to enter the presence of Bahá'u'lláh at the time of revelation. He has left to posterity the following brief account of that memorable occasion:

...When permission was granted and the curtain was withdrawn, I entered the room where the King of kings and the Ruler of this world and the next, nay rather the Ruler of all the worlds of God, was with great authority seated on His couch. The verses of God were being revealed and the words streamed forth as in a copious rain. Methought the door, the wall, the carpet, the ceiling, the floor and the air were all perfumed and illumined. They all had been transformed, each and every one, into ears and were filled with a spirit of joy and ecstasy. Each object had become refreshed and was pulsating with life... To which worlds I was transported and in what state I was, no one who has not experienced such as this can ever know. 

- Adib Taherzadeh  (‘The Revelation of Baha'u'llah vol. 1)