Be Guarded in thy Speech

[This Compilation from Scripture, with minimal comment, is for those who desire Wisdom and beautiful Utterance, and who realize that maturity means gaining control over what comes out of their mouths, and yearn to be someone who gives appropriate counsel. One of the symptoms of the modern spiritual malaise is that reading out loud is avoided; wise utterance is decried as dull; rhetoric is often strung with cliches; but the art of insulting has been highly developed! To shout loudly, to curse, to blithely blabber blasphemy is considered hip. Scripture is rarely read or memorized. But others believe that a growing world community will require good communication skills and resources. The primal Word of God gives motive purpose and structure to Creation. This refreshing stream of Utterance is true; it is timely; and it is “suited to the capacity of those who hear it.” We can learn to make our own speech cogent and eloquent…or be silent, but either way, we should learn love. ~The Compiler]
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Corinthians 13:1 RSV)

Good Word In the beginning was the Word... (John 1:1) Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4) He revealeth what He pleaseth, through His words “Be and it is”. (Bahá’u’lláh, SH #276) This is the Word which the Son concealed, when to those around Him He said: ‘Ye cannot bear it now.’ And when the appointed time was fulfilled and the Hour had struck, the Word shone forth above the horizon of the Will of God. Beware, O followers of the Son, that ye cast it not behind your backs. Take ye fast hold of it. Better is this for you than all that ye possess. (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 11) All that hath been sent down hath and will come to pass, word for word, upon earth. No possibility is left for anyone either to turn aside or protest. As fairness, however, is disgraced and concealed, most men speak as prompted by their own idle fancies. (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle of the Son of the Wolf, 150-1) It was through the grace of God and with the aid of seemly words and praiseworthy deeds that the unsheathed swords of the Bábí community were returned to their scabbards. Indeed through the power of good words, the righteous have always succeeded in winning command over the meads of the hearts of men. (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 85) They would willingly lay down a myriad lives, rather than breathe the word desired by their enemies. They have clung to that which pleaseth God, and are wholly detached and freed from the things which pertain unto men. They have preferred to have their heads cut off rather than utter one unseemly word. (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 74) In the past the divines were perplexed over this question, a question which He Who is the Sovereign Truth hath, during the early years of His life, Himself heard them ask repeatedly: ‘What is that Word which the Qá’im will pronounce whereby the leaders of religion are put to flight?’ Say, that Word is now made manifest and ye have fled ere ye heard it uttered, although ye perceive it not. And that blessed, that hidden, that concealed and treasured Word is this: “‘HE” hath now appeared in the raiment of “I”. He Who was hidden from mortal eyes exclaimeth: Lo! I am the All-Manifest.’ This is the Word which hath caused the limbs of disbelievers to quake. Glorified be God! (TB, p. 258) One word is like unto springtime causing the tender saplings of the rose-garden of knowledge to become verdant and flourishing, while another word is even as a deadly poison. It behoveth a prudent man of wisdom to speak with utmost leniency and forbearance so that the sweetness of his words may induce everyone to attain that which befitteth man’s station. (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 173) 'The good word riseth up unto Him, and the righteous deed will cause it to be exalted before Him.'
(The Báb, quoted in The Dawn-Breakers, p. 93)

Profitless Talk Every one who hath turned aside from Me hath clung to his own idle words, and therewith voiced his objections to Him Who is the Truth. (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 111) It behoveth every man to blot out the trace of every idle word from the tablet of his heart, and to gaze, with an open and unbiased mind, on the signs of His Revelation, the proofs of His Mission, and the tokens of His glory. (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 10) Vain and profitless is the talk of their lips, and yet they understand not...Whoso hath known Him shall soar in the immensity of His love, and shall be detached from the world and all that is therein. Nothing on earth shall deflect him from his course, how much less they who, prompted by their vain imaginings, speak those things which God hath forbidden. (Bahá’u’lláh, GWB 205) They speak as prompted by their own caprices, and understand not. (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 117) This people have passed beyond the narrow straits of names, and pitched their tents upon the shores of the sea of renunciation. They would willingly lay down a myriad lives, rather than breathe the word desired by their enemies. They have clung to that which pleaseth God, and are wholly detached and freed from the things which pertain unto men. They have preferred to have their heads cut off rather than utter one unseemly word. Ponder this in thine heart. Methinks they have quaffed their fill of the ocean of renunciation. The life of the present world hath failed to withhold them from suffering martyrdom in the path of God. (Bahá’u’lláh, ESW, p. 73) A prudent man conceals his knowledge, but fools proclaim their folly. ~Proverbs 12:23 A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion. ~Proverbs 18:2 A fool’s lips bring strife, and his mouth invites a flogging. ~Proverbs 18:6 A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to himself. ~ Proverbs 18:7 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. Ephesians 4:29 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 5:7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 5:9 For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth; 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. (Ephesians) One of the principal reasons why people of other religions have shunned and failed to become converted to the Faith of God is fanaticism and unreasoning religious zeal. See for example the divine words that were addressed to Muhammad, the Ark of Salvation, the Luminous Countenance and Lord of Men, bidding Him to be gentle with the people and long-suffering: “Debate with them in the kindliest manner.”[Qur’án 16:126] That Blessed Tree Whose light was “neither of the East nor of the West” [Qur’án 24:35] and Who cast over all the peoples of the earth the sheltering shade of a measureless grace, showed forth infinite kindness and forbearance in His dealings with every one. In these words, likewise, were Moses and Aaron commanded to challenge Pharaoh, Lord of the Stakes: [*] “Speak ye to him with gentle speech.” [Qur’án 20:46] [* Dhu'l-Awtad is variously rendered by translators of the Qur’án as The Impaler, The Contriver of the Stakes, The Lord of a Strong Dominion, The One Surrounded by Ministers, etc. + Awtad means pegs or tent stakes. See Qur’án 38:11 and 89:9] (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 53) “Profitless discussions fatigue and weary a person. People who call on me almost every day carry on a stream of profitless, unspiritual talk and I must listen to them with patience. We are commanded to associate with all the people. Today three persons called and they talked for one hour without any definite result. Man’s speech is the revealer of his heart. In whatever world the heart travels, man’s conversation will revolve around that center. From his words you can understand in what world he is traveling, whether he is looking toward the realm of light or downward to the nether world, whether he is mindful or unaware, whether he is awake or asleep, whether he is alive or dead. For this reason His Holiness ‘Alí says: “Man is hidden behind his tongue. Out of the abundance of his heart does a man speak.” There are persons with whom you associate and converse whose utterances are life-imparting, joy-giving.

The withered and faded are refreshed, the joyless become happy, the extinct become enkindled and the lifeless are quickened with the breaths of the Holy Spirit. The one drowned in the sea of hesitation and doubt is saved by the life-boat of certainty and assurance; the one attached to this material world becomes severed and the one steeped in blameworthy deeds is adorned with praiseworthy attributes. On the other hand there are some persons whose very respiration extinguishes the light of faith; whose conversation weakens firmness and steadfastness in the Cause of God; whose company diverts one’s attention from the kingdom of Abhá. The souls who are rejoiced with the glad tidings of God, attracted to the fragrances of holiness, severed from aught else save God, who are commemorating the name of God, are withdrawn from the world of darkness, their thought permeated through and through with spiritual vibrations and their messages consisting of divine advices and exhortations; such souls are the manifestors of God’s mercy, the educators of nations and the vivifiers of the world of humanity. They are guardian angels, the cause of human progress and the spiritual guides of the wondering children of men. Glory be unto them!” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá,
quoted in the Diary of Mírza Ahmad Sohrab, July 25, 1914, published in Star of the West vol. 5, p. 25)

O beloved of the Lord! If any soul speak ill of an absent one, the only result will clearly be this: he will dampen the zeal of the friends and tend to make them indifferent. For backbiting is divisive, it is the leading cause among the friends of a disposition to withdraw. If any individual should speak ill of one who is absent, it is incumbent on his hearers, in a spiritual and friendly manner, to stop him, and say in effect: would this detraction serve any useful purpose? Would it please the Blessed Beauty, contribute to the lasting honour of the friends, promote the holy Faith, support the Covenant, or be of any possible benefit to any soul? No, never! On the contrary, it would make the dust to settle so thickly on the heart that the ears would hear no more, and the eyes would no longer behold the light of truth. If, however, a person setteth about speaking well of another, opening his lips to praise another, he will touch an answering chord in his hearers and they will be stirred up by the breathings of God. Their hearts and souls will rejoice to know that, God be thanked, here is a soul in the Faith who is a focus of human perfections, a very embodiment of the bounties of the Lord, one whose tongue is eloquent, and whose face shineth, in whatever gathering he may be, one who hath victory upon his brow, and who is a being sustained by the sweet savours of God. Now which is the better way? I swear this by the beauty of the Lord: whensoever I hear good of the friends, my heart filleth up with joy; but whensoever I find even a hint that they are on bad terms one with another, I am overwhelmed by grief. Such is the condition of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Then judge from this where your duty lieth. (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 230) The children must be carefully trained to be most courteous and well-behaved... Let them not jest and trifle, but earnestly advance unto their goals, so that in every situation they will be found resolute and firm. (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 135) Only the keenest insight will detect the fact that if the hearts of these individuals were really impelled by righteousness and the fear of God, the fragrance of it would, like musk, be spreading everywhere. Nothing in the world can ever be supported by words alone. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 57) The individual should, prior to engaging in the study of any subject, ask himself what its uses are and what fruit and result will derive from it. If it is a useful branch of knowledge, that is, if society will gain important benefits from it, then he should certainly pursue it with all his heart. If not, if it consists in empty, profitless debates and in a vain concatenation of imaginings that lead to no result except acrimony, why devote one’s life to such useless hairsplittings and disputes. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 106 [We should also ask ourselves what activities “begin and end with words”: Soap operas? Talk shows? Could it include fantasy novels? Wedding vows? Political campaign speeches?] The Warning The immature wish to put out the light of God with their mouths and to extinguish by their acts the flame in the Burning Bush. Say, wretched indeed is your plight, O ye embodiments of delusion. Fear ye God and reject not the heavenly grace which hath shed radiance upon all regions. Say, He Who is the Exponent of the hidden Name hath appeared, did ye but know it. He Whose advent hath been foretold in the heavenly Scriptures is come, could ye but understand it. (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 243)

You shall not misuse the Name of Yahweh your God, for Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who misuses His Name...You shall not give false evidence against your neighbor. ~Exodus 20:7 & 16 [The New Jerusalem Bible] Yahweh, mount a guard over my mouth, a guard at the door of my lips. Check any impulse to speak evil, to share the foul deeds of evil-doers. (Psalms 141:3-4 NJB) Are they not aware that Allah knows what they conceal and what they talk about in secret? Are they not aware that Allah knows what is hidden? (Qur’án 9:78) Consider ye and call to mind that which the All-Merciful hath revealed in the Qur’án: (104:1-2) ‘Woe betide every slanderer and defamer...’ Verily I say, the tongue is for mentioning what is good, defile it not with unseemly talk. God hath forgiven what is past. Henceforward everyone should utter that which is meet and seemly, and should refrain from slander, abuse and whatever causeth sadness in men. (Bahá‘u’lláh, Kitáb-i-‘Ahd, TB 219-220) “He it is,” referring to Himself (Bahá’u’lláh) further proclaims, “Who in the Old Testament hath been named Jehovah, Who in the Gospel hath been designated as the Spirit of Truth, and in the Qur’án acclaimed as the Great Announcement.” (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 103) ...to His day Joel and Zephaniah had both referred as the “day of Jehovah,” (Shoghi Effendi, GPB, p. 95) Know thou of a certainty that whenever thou makest mention of Him Whom God shall make manifest, only then art thou making mention of God. (Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 80) Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. (Matthew 15:11) I tell you, on the Day of Judgment men will render account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:36) If thou blow the spark, it shall burn: if thou spit upon it, it shall be quenched: and both these come out of thy mouth. (Deuterocanonical Apocrypha, Sirach, 28:12) Say: O people! Fear ye God, and allow not your tongues to utter, in their deceitfulness, that which displeaseth Him. (Bahá’u’lláh, (Suriy-i-Haykal #52) The people living in the days of the Manifestations of God have, for the most part, uttered such unseemly sayings. These have been set down circumstantially in the revealed Books and Holy Scriptures. (GWB 189) They walk the edge of a treacherous bank and tread the brink of a fiery abyss. They partake not of the billows of this surging and treasure-laden Ocean, but disport themselves with their own idle words. (Bahá’u’lláh, Gems of Divine Mysteries, #66) Consider that the worst of qualities and most odious of attributes, which is the foundation of all evil, is lying. No worse or more blameworthy quality than this can be imagined to exist; it is the destroyer of all human perfections and the cause of innumerable vices. There is no worse characteristic than this; it is the foundation of all evils. Notwithstanding all this, if a doctor consoles a sick man by saying, “Thank God you are better, and there is hope of your recovery,” though these words are contrary to the truth, yet they may become the consolation of the patient and the turning point of the illness. This is not blameworthy. (‘Abdu’lBahá, SAQ 215) Truthfulness is the foundation of all the virtues of the world of humanity. Without truthfulness, progress and success in all of the worlds of God are impossible for a soul. When this holy attribute is established in man, all the divine qualities will also become realized. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Baha'i World Faith, p. 384) Withhold thy tongue from uttering that which might grieve thee and beseech God for mercy. (Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 162) Fear God, O people, and follow not the doubts of such as shout aloud, who have broken the Covenant of God and His Testament, and denied His mercy that hath preceded all that are in the heavens and all that are on the earth. (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf 147)

Assist Thy Lord to the utmost of Thine ability, and pay no heed to the peoples of the world, for that which their mouths utter is like unto the droning of a gnat in an endless valley. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 10) Be constantly attached to and seek always the confirmations of Bahá’u’lláh for these turn the drop into a sea and convert the gnat into an eagle. (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 103) How very strange the imaginings of those who speak as prompted by their own caprices, and who wander distractedly in the wilderness of self and passion! Erelong shall they be called upon to account for their words, and on that day they shall find none to befriend or help them. (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablet to Násir’d-Dín Shah, SLH #196) Yet every claim requireth a proof, not mere words and displays of outward piety. (Bahá’u’lláh, Tablet to Násir’d-Dín Shah, SLH #223) Beware lest ye give ear to the words of those from whom the foul smell of malice and envy can be discerned; pay no heed to them, and stand ye for righteousness. (Súriy-i-Mulúk #35, SLH 200) Their eyes are drunken; they are indeed a blind people. Their proofs are the calumnies they uttered; condemned are their calumnies by God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. (GWB 41) O Son of Dust! Blind thine eyes, that thou mayest behold My beauty;* stop thine ears, that thou mayest hearken unto the sweet melody of My voice; empty thyself of all learning, that thou mayest partake of My knowledge; and sanctify thyself from riches, that thou mayest obtain a lasting share from the ocean of My eternal wealth. Blind thine eyes, that is, to all save My beauty; stop thine ears to all save My word; empty thyself of all learning save the knowledge of Me; that with a clear vision, a pure heart and an attentive ear thou mayest enter the court of My holiness. (Bahá’u’lláh, PHW #11) [*Like Jacob, for Joseph] Take heed, O people, lest ye be of them that give good counsel to others but forget to follow it themselves. The words of such as these, and beyond the words the realities of all things, and beyond these realities the angels that are nigh unto God bring against them the accusation of falsehood. Should such a man ever succeed in influencing any one, this success should be attributed not to him but rather to the influence of the words of God, as decreed by Him Who is the Almighty, the AllWise. In the sight of God he is regarded as a lamp that imparteth its light, and yet is all the while being consumed within itself. (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p, 277) Should your words, O people, be at variance with your deeds, what then shall distinguish you from those who profess their faith in the Lord, their God, and yet, when He came down to them overshadowed with clouds, rejected Him and waxed proud before God, the Incomparable, the Omniscient? (Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, paragraph 1.147) Thy might beareth me witness! Were it not to celebrate Thy praise, my tongue would be of no use to me, and were it not for the sake of rendering service to Thee, my existence would avail me not. (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 113) Pollute not your tongues by speaking evil of another...Do not complain of others. Refrain from reprimanding them, and if you wish to give admonition or advice, let it be offered in such a way that it will not burden the bearer. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 453) Have you seen the sort of man who rejects Our Signs, yet says: “I shall certainly be given wealth and children?” Has he penetrated to the Unseen, or –has he taken a promise with the Most Gracious? No! We shall record what he says, and We shall add and add to his punishment. To Us shall return all that he talks of, and he shall appear before Us bare and alone. (Qur’án 19: 77-80, Sura Maryam, Yusuf ‘Alí translation) ‘Not everything that a man knoweth can be disclosed, nor can everything that he can disclose be regarded as timely, nor can every timely utterance be considered as suited to the capacity of those who hear it.’ Such is the consummate wisdom to be observed in thy pursuits. Be not oblivious thereof, if thou wishest to be a man of action under all conditions. First diagnose the disease and identify the

malady, then prescribe the remedy, for such is the perfect method of the skilful physician. (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 268, also Gleanings, p.176] [The above passage implies that God, as the wisest Educator, reveals what is timely and considered suited to the capacity of the whole human race. He is aware of everything that man cannot compute or imagine. He knows when to be silent; and He knows when to be eloquent. Sometimes silence is the best eloquence. As Thumper recites in the movie Bambi: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.] Silence Be still and know that I am God.... I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalms 46:10) To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: ...a time to keep silence, and a time to speak... (Ecclesiastes 3:1-7b KJV) Take heed to carefully consider the words of every soul, then hold fast to the proofs which attest the truth. If ye fail to discover truth in a person’s words, make them not the object of contention, inasmuch as ye have been forbidden in the Bayan to enter into idle disputation and controversy, that perchance on the Day of Resurrection ye may not engage in argumentation, and dispute with Him Whom God shall make manifest. (Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 133)
O SON OF MAN! Breathe not the sins of others so long as thou art thyself a sinner. Shouldst thou transgress this command, accursed wouldst thou be, and to this I bear witness. (Bahá’u’lláh, Arabic Hidden Words, #27)

It behoveth every one in this Day of God to dedicate himself to the teaching of the Cause with utmost prudence and steadfastness. Should he discover a pure soil, let him sow the seed of the Word of God, otherwise it would be preferable to observe silence. (Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 242) If we are true Bahá’ís speech is not needed. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 80) Know that the life of the world is only play, and idle talk, and pageantry, and boasting among you, and rivalry in respect of wealth and children; as the likeness of vegetation after rain, whereof the growth is pleasing to the husbandman, but afterward it drieth up and thou seest it turning yellow, then it becometh straw. And in the Hereafter there is grievous punishment, and (also) forgiveness from Allah and His good pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but matter of illusion. (The Qur'an (Pickthall tr), 57:20 - The Iron) They would willingly lay down a myriad lives, rather than breathe the word desired by their enemies. They have clung to that which pleaseth God, and are wholly detached and freed from the things which pertain unto men. They have preferred to have their heads cut off rather than utter one unseemly word. Ponder this in thine heart. Methinks they have quaffed their fill of the ocean of renunciation. The life of the present world hath failed to withhold them from suffering martyrdom in the path of God. (Bahá’u’lláh, ESW, p. 74) Revile ye not one another. We, verily, have come to unite and weld together all that dwell on earth. Unto this beareth witness what the ocean of Mine utterance hath revealed amongst men, and yet most of the people have gone astray. If anyone revile you, or trouble touch you, in the path of God, be patient, and put your trust in Him Who heareth, Who seeth. He, in truth, witnesseth, and perceiveth, and doeth what He pleaseth, through the power of His sovereignty. He, verily, is the Lord of strength, and of might. In the Book of God, the Mighty, the Great, ye have been forbidden to engage in contention and conflict. Lay fast hold on whatever will profit you, and profit the peoples of the world. Thus commandeth you the King of Eternity, Who is manifest in His Most Great Name. He, verily, is

the Ordainer, the All-Wise. (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 24) Should anyone wax angry with you, respond to him with gentleness; and should anyone upbraid you, forbear to upbraid him in return, but leave him to himself and put your trust in God, the omnipotent Avenger, the Lord of might and justice. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, #153, p. 75) If some one commits an error and wrong toward you, you must instantly forgive him. Do not complain of others. Refrain from reprimanding them, and if you wish to give admonition or advice, let it be offered in such a way that it will not burden the bearer. Turn all your thoughts toward bringing joy to hearts. Beware! Beware! lest ye offend any heart. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 453) In this day the breeze of God is wafted, and His Spirit hath pervaded all things. Such is the outpouring of His grace that the pen is stilled and the tongue is speechless. (Bahá’u’lláh, Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 180) ...observe silence and refrain from idle talk. For the tongue is a smoldering fire, and excess of speech a deadly poison. Material fire consumeth the body, whereas the fire of the tongue devoureth both heart and soul. The force of the former lasteth but for a time, whilst the effects of the latter endureth a century. That seeker, should, also, regard backbiting as grievous error, and keep himself aloof from its dominion, in-asmuch as backbiting quencheth the light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul...At the dawn of every day he should commune with God, and, with all his soul, persevere in the quest of his be-loved. He should consume every wayward thought with the flame of His loving mention, and, with the swiftness of lightning, pass by all else save Him. (Kitab-i-Iqan, 193) Let those who meet you know, without your proclaiming the fact, that you are indeed a Bahá’í. Put into practice the Teaching of Bahá’u’lláh, that of kindness to all nations. Do not be content with showing friendship in words alone. Let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 15) There they shall hear no idle talk, no sinful speech, but only the greeting, ‘Peace! Peace!’ (Qur’án 16:24-5) Memorize Holy Verses [Bahá’u’lláh says that the Bahá’í Revelation is “the lodestone for all nations.” Elsewhere He specifies that the “holy Word” is the lodestone. This Word will transform the devoted so that their good deeds and character become “the lodestone of the hearts of men;” and, finally, that “a kindly tongue” is the lodestone of the hearts of men.] From the texts of the wondrous, heavenly Scriptures they should memorize phrases and passages bearing on various instances, so that in the course of their speech they may recite divine verses whenever the occasion demandeth it, inasmuch as these holy verses are the most potent elixer, the greatest and mightiest talisman. So potent is their influence that the hearer will have no cause for vacillation. I swear by My life! This Revelation is endowed with such power that it will act as the lodestone for all nations and kindreds of the earth. (Bahá’u’lláh, TB 200) In this Most Great Revelation goodly deeds and a praiseworthy character are regarded as the hosts of God, likewise is His blessed and holy Word. These hosts are the lodestone of the hearts of men and the effective means for unlocking the doors. Of all weapons in the world this is the keenest. (TB 256) A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding. (GWB 289) Moderate Speech [When we read quietly to ourselves, it employs only the faculties of sight and thought; but when we recite the divine Writings out loud, we add the faculties of utterance and hearing, and this aids memorization. What better way to occupy ourselves than in recitation and reflection of the Word?] Hearken unto that which the Merciful hath revealed in the Qur’án: ‘Say not to every one who meeteth you with a greeting, “Thou art not a believer.”’ (Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, 82) Most hateful is it to God that ye say that which ye do not. (Qur’án, Sura, Battle Array, 61:3) O SON OF BEING! Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee,

and say not that which thou doest not. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it. (AHW #29) True remembrance is to make mention of the Lord, the All-Praised, and forget aught else beside Him...The essence of understanding is to testify to one’s poverty, and submit to the Will of the Lord, the Sovereign, the Gracious, the All-Powerful. The source of courage and power is the promotion of the Word of God, and steadfastness in His Love. The essence of charity is for the servant to recount the blessings of his Lord, and to render thanks unto Him at all times and under all conditions. The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; he whose words exceed his deeds, know verily his death is better than his life. The essence of true safety is to observe silence, to look at the end of things and to renounce the world. (Words of Wisdom, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 155-6) 1:26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man’s religion is vain…3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. 3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. (James) In this day, to thank God for His bounties consisteth in possessing a radiant heart, and a soul open to the promptings of the spirit. This is the essence of thanksgiving. As for offering thanks by speaking out or writing, although this is indeed acceptable, yet when compared with that other thanksgiving, it is only a semblance and unreal; for the essential thing is these intimations of the spirit, these emanations from the deep recess of the heart. It is my hope that thou wilt be favoured therewith. (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 179) The denizens of this plane speak no words --but they gallop their chargers. They see but the inner reality of the Beloved. To them all words of sense are meaningless, and senseless words are full of meaning. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Four Valleys, p. 55) Speak thou no word of politics...Except to speak well of them, make thou no mention of the earth’s kings, and the worldly governments thereof. Rather confine thine utterance to spreading the blissful tidings of the Kingdom of God, and the holiness of the cause of God. Tell thou of abiding joy and spiritual delights, and godlike qualities, and of how the Sun of Truth hath risen above the earth’s horizons; tell of the blowing of the spirit of life into the body of the world. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA 92-3) The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the fountain of wisdom is a gushing stream. (Prov. 18:4) Then have done with falsehood and speak the truth to each other, for we belong to one another as parts of one body. ~Ephesians 4:25 A soft answer turneth away wrath... (Proverbs 15:1 But let thy pace be middling; and lower thy voice; for the least pleasing of voices is surely the voice of asses. (Qur’án, Surah Lokman, 31:18) Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. (GWB 285)
O EMIGRANTS! The tongue I have designed for the mention of Me, defile it not with detraction.

If the fire of self overcome you, remember your own faults and not the faults of My creatures, inasmuch as every one of you knoweth his own self better than he knoweth others. (PHW #66) “In one of His Tablets ‘Abdu’l-Bahá says that the worst thing we can say about someone is to say nothing.” (Ushidar Motlagh, Teaching, The Crown of Immortal Glory, p. 184)

Deeds It behoveth the people of Bahá to render the Lord victorious through the power of their utterance and to admonish the people by their goodly deeds and character, inasmuch as deeds exert greater influence than words...Say: Honesty, virtue, wisdom and a saintly character redound to the exaltation of man, while dishonesty, imposture, ignorance and hypocrisy lead to his abasement. By My life! Man’s distinction lieth not in ornaments or wealth, but rather in virtuous behavior and true understanding. (Kalimát-i-Firdawsíyyih (Words of Paradise), Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 57) “Say, O brethren! Let deeds, not words, be your adorning.” (Bahá’u’lláh, Persian Hidden Words, #5) "Be thankful to God for having enabled you to recognize His Cause. Whoever has received this blessing must, prior to his acceptance, have performed some deed which, though he himself was unaware of its character, was ordained by God as a means whereby he has been guided to find and embrace the Truth. As to those who have remained deprived of such a blessing, their acts alone have hindered them from recognising the truth of this Revelation. We cherish the hope that you, who have attained to this light, will exert your utmost to banish the darkness of superstition and unbelief from the midst of the people. May your deeds proclaim your faith and enable you to lead the erring into the paths of eternal salvation. The memory of this night will never be forgotten. May it never be effaced by the passage of time, and may its mention linger for ever on the lips of men." (Bahá’u’lláh, quoted in The Dawn-Breakers, p. 586) If we are true Bahá’ís speech is not needed. Our actions will help on the world, will spread civilization, will help the progress of science, and cause the arts to develop. Without action nothing in the material world can be accomplished, neither can words unaided advance a man in the spiritual Kingdom. It is not through lip-service only that the elect of God have attained to holiness, but by patient lives of active service they have brought light into the world. Therefore strive that your actions day by day may be beautiful prayers. Turn towards God, and seek always to do that which is right and noble. Enrich the poor, raise the fallen, comfort the sorrowful, bring healing to the sick, reassure the fearful, rescue the oppressed, bring hope to the hopeless, shelter the destitute! This is the work of a true Bahá’í, and this is what is expected of him. If we strive to do all this, then are we true Bahá’ís, but if we neglect it, we are not followers of the Light, and we have no right to the name. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 80) All that are on earth shall pass away, while good deeds alone shall endure; to the truth of My words God doth Himself bear witness. (Bahá’u’lláh, Kitab-i-Aqdas, #70) Love ye all religions and all races with a love that is true and sincere and show that love through deeds and not through the tongue; for the latter hath no importance, as the majority of men are, in speech, well-wishers, while action is best. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA 69) The three conditions of teaching the Cause of God are the science of sociability, purity of deeds and sweetness of speech. I hope each one of you may become confirmed with these three attributes. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, vol. XII, no. 11, p.177) The wrong in the world continues to exist just because people talk only of their ideals, and do not strive to put them into practice. If actions took the place of words, the world's misery would very soon be changed into comfort. A man who does great good, and talks not of it, is on the way to perfection. The man who has accomplished a small good and magnifies it in his speech is worth very little. If I love you, I need not continually speak of my love -- you will know without any words. On the other hand if I love you not, that also will you know -- and you would not believe me, were I to tell you in a thousand words, that I loved you. People make much profession of goodness, multiplying fine words because they wish to be thought greater and better than their fellows, seeking fame in the eyes of the world. Those who do most good use fewest words concerning their actions. The children of God do the works without boasting, obeying His laws. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PT, p. 16) Therefore, abandon silence and seclusion and solitary nooks and go forth into the arena of explanation. Convey the Message of thy Lord with clearest speech and most complete elucidation. This is better for thee than solitude. (Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá v3, p. 520)

Now let us beseech God -praised be His glory- to graciously guide aright the followers of the Shí’ih sect and purge them of unseemly conduct. From the lips of the members of this sect foul imprecations fall unceasingly, while they invoke the word ‘Mal‘ún’ (accursed) -uttered with a guttural sound of the letter ‘ayn -as their daily relish. ~Bahá’u’lláh, (Lawh-i-Dunya, TB 92) O people of Bahá! Ye are the dawning-places of the love of God and the daysprings of His lovingkindness. Defile not your tongues with the cursing and reviling of any soul, and guard your eyes against that which is not seemly. Set forth that which ye possess. If it be favourably received, your end is attained; if not, to protest is vain. Leave that soul to himself and turn unto the Lord, the Protector, the Self-Subsisting. Be not the cause of grief, much less of discord and strife. (TB, p. 27) Mirza ‘Abu’l-Fadl never encouraged any talk which might lead to inharmony. Once, a friend came to him and said that another believer was doing harm to the Faith. Mirza listened carefully. Then he told me to translate his answer word for word: ‘Do you believe that Bahá’u’lláh is the promised Lord of Hosts?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Well, if He is that Lord, these are the Hosts. What right have we to speak ill of the Hosts?’ Bahá’í Glossolalia Wise souls who have mastered and studied perfectly the Iranian, Arabic and foreign languages, or know one of the foreign languages -must commence translating the Tablets and books containing the proofs of this Revelation, and publishing those books, circulate them throughout the five continents of the globe. ...in all the meetings, whether public or private, nothing should be discussed save that which is under consideration, and all the articles be centered around the Cause of God. Promiscuous talks must not be dragged in and contention is absolutely forbidden. The teachers traveling in different directions must know the language of the country in which they will enter. For example, a person being proficient in the Japanese language may travel in Japan, or a person knowing the Chinese language may hasten to China, and so forth. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, BWF, p. 428) Prayer Praise be unto Thee, O my God! Thou seest how He Who is Thy Light hath been shut up in the fortress-town of ‘Akká, and been sore oppressed by reason of what the hands of the wicked doers have wrought, whose corrupt desires have kept them back from turning towards Thee, O Thou Who art the King of all names! (Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations, p. 218) I beseech Thee, O Thou Who art the Lord of all names, to guard Thy loved ones against Thine enemies, and to strengthen them in their love for Thee and in fulfilling Thy pleasure. Do Thou protect them, that their footsteps may slip not, that their hearts may not be shut out as by a veil from Thee, and that their eyes may be restrained from beholding anything that is not of Thee. Cause them to be so enraptured by the sweetness of Thy divine melodies that they will rid themselves of all attachment to any one except Thee, and will turn wholly towards Thee, and extol Thee under all conditions, saying: “Praised be Thou, O Lord our God, inasmuch as Thou hast enabled us to recognize Thy most exalted and all-glorious Self. We will, by Thy mercy, cleave to Thee, and will detach ourselves from any one but Thee. We have realized that Thou art the Beloved of the worlds and the Creator of earth and heaven!” Glorified be God, the Lord of all creation! (PM, p. 98) Proclaim! 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 1:7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. (Jeremiah KJV) Lord, open my lips and my mouth will speak out your praise. (Psalm 51:15 NJB) Speak ye to him with gentle speech. (Qur’án 20:46) Assuredly we are today living in the Days of God. These are the glorious days on the like of which the sun hath never risen in the past. These are the days which the people in bygone times eagerly expected. What hath then befallen you that ye are fast asleep? These are the days wherein God hath caused the Day-Star of Truth to shine resplendent. What hath then caused you to keep your silence? These are the appointed days which ye have been yearningly awaiting in the past -- the days of the advent of divine

justice. Render ye thanks unto God, O ye concourse of believers. (SWB, p. 161) If things such as these are to be denied, what shall, then, be deemed worthy of credence? Set forth the truth, for the sake of God, and be not of them that hold their peace. (Bahá’u’lláh, ESW, p. 73) Bestir thyself, and magnify, before the entire creation, the name of God, and celebrate His praise, in such wise that all created things may be regenerated and made new. Speak, and hold not thy peace. (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 27) Do not unloose your tongues save for conveying the Message! (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Star of the West, V, #1) 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.”...Blessed art thou, O Javád, inasmuch as thou hast attained unto that which no man before thee hath attained...The people, however, are utterly heedless. Were We to reveal thy station, the hearts of men would be so sorely agitated, their footsteps would slip, the embodiments of vain-glory would be dumb-founded, would fall down upon the ground, and would thrust the fingers of heedlessness into their ears, for fear of hearing... (GWB 208) [This is the shout of the Lord and the Archangel on Judgment Day, promised in 1 Thess. 4:16 KJV] O concourse of the rulers and of the learned and of the wise! The Promised Day is come and the Lord of Hosts hath appeared. Rejoice ye with great joy by reason of this supreme felicity. Aid Him then through the power of wisdom and utterance. (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 239) O Concourse of divines! Can any one of you race with the Divine Youth in the arena of wisdom and utterance...? (Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 76) Be righteous, O servants, in your actions! Turn not away from the helpless; make mention of Me amidst the great, and have no fear. (Bahá’u’lláh, Prominent People, 267:2)
O SON OF BEING! Make mention of Me on My earth, that in My heaven I may remember thee,

thus shall Mine eyes and thine be solaced. (Bahá’u’lláh, Arabic Hidden Words #43) Make thou mention of this Day and magnify that which hath appeared therein. It will in truth suffice all mankind...It behoveth thee to speak forth in such wise as to set the hearts of true believers ablaze and cause their bodies to soar. (Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 142) Be thou as a throbbing artery, pulsating in the body of the entire creation, that through the heat generated by this motion there may appear that which will quicken the hearts of those who hesitate... (Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 142) Teach thou the Cause of God with an utterance which will cause the bushes to be enkindled, and the call ‘Verily, there is no God but Me, the Almighty, the Unconstrained’ to be raised therefrom... (Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p.143) Nothing on earth shall deflect him from his course, how much less they who, prompted by their vain imaginations, speak those things which God hath forbidden. (GWB, p. 205) Say: Human utterance is an essence which aspireth to exert its influence and needeth moderation. As to its influence, this is conditional upon refinement which in turn is dependent upon hearts which are detached and pure. As to its moderation, this hath to be combined with tact and wisdom as prescribed in the Holy Scriptures and Tablets. ~Bahá’u’lláh, (Lawh-i-Hikmat, TB 142-3) If in this day a soul shall act according to the precepts and the counsels of God, he will serve as a divine physician to mankind, and like the trump of Israfíl,* he will call the dead of this contingent world to life; for the confirmations of the Abhá Realm are never interrupted, and such a virtuous soul hath, to befriend him, the unfailing help of the Company on high. Thus shall a sorry gnat become an eagle in the fullness of his strength, and a feeble sparrow change to a royal falcon in the heights of ancient glory. (SWA, p. 23) [*Believed to be the angel appointed to sound the trumpet on the Day of Resurrection to raise the dead at the bidding of the Lord.] Rise up to champion this Cause; open your lips and teach... Expend your every breath of life in this

great Cause and dedicate all your days to the service of Bahá... (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA 270) Raise ye a clamour like unto a roaring sea; like a prodigal cloud, rain down the grace of heaven. Lift up your voices and sing out the songs of the Abhá Realm...Know ye the value of this time. Strive ye with all your hearts, raise up your voices and shout, until this dark world be filled with light, and this narrow place of shadows be widened out, and this dust heap of a fleeting moment be changed into a mirror for the eternal gardens of heaven, and this globe of earth receive its portion of celestial grace. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, (SWA 36) Unloose your tongues, and proclaim unceasingly His Cause. This shall be better for you than all the treasures of the past and of the future, if ye be of them that comprehend this truth...Vie ye with each other in the service of God and of His Cause. This is indeed what profiteth you in this world, and in that which is to come. (Bahá’u’lláh, quoted in The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 70) Rest assured that the breathings of the Holy Spirit will loosen thy tongue. Speak, therefore; speak out with great courage at every meeting. When thou art about to begin thine address, turn first to Bahá’u’lláh, and ask for the confirmations of the Holy Spirit, then open thy lips and say whatever is suggested to thy heart; this, however, with the utmost courage, dignity and conviction. In short, with a resounding voice, with miraculous power, and with the magnetism of the Love of God, teach thou the Cause of God and rest assured that the Holy Spirit shall confirm thee. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #216, SWA, p. 269) If ye find one athirst, give him to drink from the chalice of Kawtha and Tasneen; and if ye find one endowed with an attentive ear, read unto him the verses of God, the mighty, the merciful, the compassionate! Unloose the tongue with excellent utterance, then admonish the people if ye find them advancing unto the sanctuary of God; otherwise abandon them unto themselves and forsake them in the abyss of hell. Beware lest ye scatter the pearls of inner significance before every barren, dumb one. Verily, the blind are deprived of witnessing the lights and are unable to distinguish between the stone and the holy, precious pearl. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Tablet of the Branch, BWF) Open your mouth for the dumb, for the rights of all who are left desolate. Open your mouth, judge righteously, maintain the rights of the poor and needy. (Proverbs 31:8 & 9) One thing and only one thing will unfailingly and alone secure the undoubted triumph of this sacred Cause, namely, the extent to which our own inner life and private character mirror forth in their manifold aspects the splendor of those eternal principles proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh. (Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i Administration, p. 66) O Lord…I beg of Thee to make me detached from all else save Thee, in such wise that I may move not but in conformity with the good-pleasure of Thy Will, and speak not except at the bidding of Thy Purpose, and hear naught save the words of Thy praise and Thy glorification. (Ishraqat [Splendors], Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 115) …O Lord! I am weak, strengthen me with Thy power and potency. My tongue falters, suffer me to utter Thy commemoration and praise. (Abdu'l-Baha, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 81) …Loose my tongue to laud Thy name amidst Thy people, that my voice may be raised in great assemblies and from my lips may stream the flood of Thy praise. Thou art, in all truth, the Gracious, the Glorified, the Mighty, the Omnipotent. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers, p. 30) Thorough Fairness in Journalism
O SON OF BEING! Ascribe not to any soul that which thou wouldst not have ascribed to thee,

and say not that which thou doest not. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Arabic Hidden Words, #29) In this Day the secrets of the earth are laid bare before the eyes of men. The pages of swiftlyappearing newspapers are indeed the mirror of the world. They reflect the deeds and the pursuits of divers peoples and kindreds. They both reflect them and make them known. They are a mirror endowed with hearing, sight and speech. This is an amazing and potent phenomenon. However, it

behoveth the writers thereof to be purged from the promptings of evil passions and desires and to be attired with the raiment of justice and equity. They should enquire into situations as much as possible and ascertain the facts, then set them down in writing. Concerning this Wronged One, most of the things reported in the newspapers are devoid of truth. Fair speech and truthfulness, by reason of their lofty rank and position, are regarded as a sun shining above the horizon of knowledge. The waves rising from this Ocean are apparent before the eyes of the peoples of the world and the effusions of the Pen of wisdom and utterance are manifest everywhere. It is reported in the press that this Servant hath fled from the land of Tá (Tihran) and gone to Iraq. Gracious God! Not even for a single moment hath this Wronged One ever concealed Himself. Rather hath He at all times remained steadfast and conspicuous before the eyes of all men. Never have We retreated, nor shall We ever seek flight. In truth it is the foolish people who flee from Our presence. We left Our home country accompanied by two mounted escorts, representing the two honored governments of Persia and Russia until We arrived in Iraq in the plenitude of glory and power. Praise be to God! The Cause whereof this Wronged One is the Bearer standeth as high as heaven and shineth resplendent as the sun. Concealment hath no access unto this station, nor is there any occasion for fear or silence. (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 39) [Yahya secretly moved about, and did not defend the Cause.] As to thine action against the journal which hath libeled thee: It is not at all best to bring action against them, because there is no profit in doing that; nay, it will lead to more sayings of a similar nature. Under these circumstances silence is best. Thou must not be disappointed, sorry or grieved thereat; God will remove all these difficulties. If thou wilt employ thyself in the service (of the Cause of God) the past losses will be recovered and all the troubles will be settled. This is the manifest truth. (Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v1, p. 158) They should champion their One True God, exalted be He, through the hosts of forbearance, of submission, of an upright character, of goodly deeds, and of the choicest and most refined words. (Bahá’u’lláh, Compilations, Fire and Light, p. 10) In these days, to deliver the glad-tidings is the best of all. Open then thy tongue to the guidance of the human race on any occasion that presents itself. (Tablets of Abdu'l-Baha v2, p. 321) O beloved of the Lord! If any soul speak ill of an absent one, the only result will clearly be this: he will dampen the zeal of the friends and tend to make them indifferent. For backbiting is divisive, it is the leading cause among the friends of a disposition to withdraw. If any individual should speak ill of one who is absent, it is incumbent on his hearers, in a spiritual and friendly manner, to stop him, and say in effect: would this detraction serve any useful purpose? Would it please the Blessed Beauty, contribute to the lasting honour of the friends, promote the holy Faith, support the Covenant, or be of any possible benefit to any soul? No, never! On the contrary, it would make the dust to settle so thickly on the heart that the ears would hear no more, and the eyes would no longer behold the light of truth. If, however, a person setteth about speaking well of another, opening his lips to praise another, he will touch an answering chord in his hearers and they will be stirred up by the breathings of God. Their hearts and souls will rejoice to know that, God be thanked, here is a soul in the Faith who is a focus of human perfections, a very embodiment of the bounties of the Lord, one whose tongue is eloquent, and whose face shineth, in whatever gathering he may be, one who hath victory upon his brow, and who is a being sustained by the sweet savours of God. Now which is the better way? I swear this by the beauty of the Lord: whensoever I hear good of the friends, my heart filleth up with joy; but whensoever I find even a hint that they are on bad terms one with another, I am overwhelmed by grief. Such is the condition of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Then judge from this where your duty lieth. (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, p. 230) Conclusion Verily I say, the tongue is for mentioning what is good, defile it not with unseemly talk. God hath forgiven what is past. Henceforward everyone should utter that which is meet and seemly, and should refrain from slander, abuse and whatever causeth sadness in men. (TB, p. 219) ‘The good word riseth up unto Him, and the righteous deed will cause it to be exalted before Him.’

(Dawnbreakers, p. 92-94) Leave this people unto themselves, and repair unto the Tabernacle of majesty and glory, wherein Thou shalt encounter a people whose faces shine as brightly as the sun in its noontide splendour, and who praise and extol their Lord in this Name that hath arisen, in the plenitude of might and power, to assume the throne of independent sovereignty. From their lips Thou shalt hear naught but the strains of My glorification and praise; unto this Thy Lord beareth Me witness. The existence of these people, however, hath remained concealed from the eyes of all who, from everlasting, have been created through the Word of God. (Bahá’u’lláh, SLH, #1.23) May they all, throughout the reaches of the spirit, learn well of the hidden mysteries; so well that in the Kingdom of the All-Glorious, each one of them, even as a nightingale endowed with speech, will cry out the secrets of the Heavenly Realm, and like unto a longing lover pour forth his sore need and utter want of the Beloved. (Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 134) Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. ~Psalms 19:14 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! ~Psalms 150:6 Thou knowest, O My God, that in all Mine affairs I have sought only to obey Thy bidding, that in Mine every utterance I have wished only to extol Thy praise, and that in whatsoever hath proceeded from My Pen I have purposed only to win Thy good pleasure and to reveal that which Thou hast enjoined upon Me through Thy sovereignty. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 104) Should your words, O people, be at variance with your deeds, what then shall distinguish you from those who profess their faith in the Lord, their God, and yet, when He came down to them overshadowed with clouds, rejected Him and waxed proud before God, the Incomparable, the Omniscient? (Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 76) I beg of Thee by the Most Great Infallibility which Thou hast chosen to be the dayspring of Thy Revelation, and by Thy most sublime Word through whose potency Thou didst call the creation into being and didst reveal Thy Cause, and by this Name which hath caused all other names to groan aloud and the limbs of the sages to quake, I beg of Thee to make me detached from all else save Thee, in such wise that I may move not but in conformity with the good-pleasure of Thy Will, and speak not except at the bidding of Thy Purpose, and hear naught save the words of Thy praise and Thy glorification. (Ishraqat [Splendors], Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh)

SUMMARY “Contention is absolutely forbidden.” “Be still, and know that I am God” “Be... guarded in thy speech.” “...the foundation of all evil is lying.” “Breathe not the sins of others...” “Do not complain of others.” “...say not that which thou doest not.” “Let them not jest and trifle...” “...lower thy voice” “...observe silence and refrain from idle talk.” “Speak thou no word of politics... “Except to speak well of them, make thou no mention of the earth’s kings.” “...utter that which is meet and seemly.” “...utter only Thy praise” “...memorize and recite divine verses.” “...open your lips and teach.” “...make mention of the Lord.” (that is, Bahá’u’lláh)

“…repeat “Alláh-u-Abhá” ninety-five times” “...cry out the secrets of the Heavenly Realm” “...with a resounding voice” “...call the dead of this contingent world to life” “...strive that your actions day by day may be beautiful prayers.” “The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds.” “…a cut tongue is better than lying or calumny.” (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ, p. 264) God hath forgiven what is past. Henceforward everyone should utter that which is meet and seemly, and should refrain from slander, abuse and whatever causeth sadness in men. (Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 182)
O God, Please permit me to be guarded in my speech today. Grant me humility and sincerity; and prevent me from gossip and taboo words. I want to use your gift of utterance with a patient, pleasant, and polite voice. Empower me to entone your wisdom, with both caution and determination, in both this world and hereafter. Thou art the Eloquent, the Truthful, the Wise. [a prayer by the compiler, Mark Townsend, 11/17/06] “Seest thou not to what God likeneth a good word? To a good tree; its root firmly fixed, and its branches reaching unto heaven: yielding its fruit in all seasons.” (Qur’án 14:24, quoted by Bahá’u’lláh in The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 23) Sanctify your ears from the idle talk of them that are the symbols of denial and the exponents of violence and anger. The hour is approaching when ye will witness the power of the one true God triumphing over all created things and the signs of His sovereignty encompassing all creation. On that day ye will discover how all else besides Him will have been forgotten and come to be regarded as utter nothingness. (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 72) Follow your heart, but be quiet for a while first. Ask questions, then feel the answer. Learn to trust your heart. ~Source, Unknown 5:2 Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few… 7:5 It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools… 7:9 Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools… 7:21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee: 7:22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others… 8:2 I counsel thee to keep the king's commandment, and that in regard of the oath of God. 8:3 Be not hasty to go out of his sight: stand not in an evil thing; for he doeth whatsoever pleaseth him… 9:17 The words of wise men are heard in quiet more than the cry of him that ruleth among fools… 10:12 The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious; but the lips of a fool will swallow up himself. 10:13 The beginning of the words of his mouth is foolishness: and the end of his talk is mischievous madness. 10:14 A fool also is full of words: a man cannot tell what shall be; and what shall be after him, who can tell him? … 10:20 Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry thy voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter… 12:11 The words of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the masters of assemblies, which are given from one shepherd. (King James Bible, Ecclesiastes) “He later gave up the ministry in the conviction that he could reach thousands with his beguiling pen and only hundreds with his hortatory voice.” -- Carl Van Doren, The American Novel, 1789-1939 hortatory \HOR-tuh-tor-ee\, adjective: Strong urging; to encourage or incite; as, "a hortatory

speech." Hortatory is from Latin hortatorius, from hortari, "to exhort, to incite, to encourage." animadversion \an-uh-mad-VUHR-zhuhn\, noun: 1. Harsh criticism or disapproval. 2. Remarks by way of criticism and usually of censure dour \DOO-uhr; DOW-uhr\, adjective: 1. Harsh; stern. 2. Unyielding; inflexible; obstinate. 3. Marked by ill humor; gloomy; sullen. One day the great Siyyid Yahya, surnamed Vahid, was present there. As he sat without, Tahirih listened to him from behind the veil. I was then a child, and was sitting on her lap. With eloquence and fervor, Vahid was discoursing on the signs and verses that bore witness to the advent of the new Manifestation. She suddenly interrupted him and, raising her voice, vehemently declared: "O Yahya! Let deeds, not words, testify to thy faith, if thou art a man of true learning. Cease idly repeating the traditions of the past, for the day of service, of steadfast action, is come. Now is the time to show forth the true signs of God, to rend asunder the veils of idle fancy, to promote the Word of God, and to sacrifice ourselves in His path. Let deeds, not words, be our adorning!" (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 201) Make, then, mention of thy Lord, that haply the heedless among Our servants may be admonished through thy words, and the hearts of the righteous be gladdened. (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 38)