Basic Bahá’í Principles

The Creation is Infinite in Range & Deathless in Duration The Purposes of God The Proclamation of the Day of God & the Kingdom of God The Oneness of God The Oneness of Religion The Oneness of Humanity Independent Investigation of Truth Elimination of All Prejudices Elimination of Gossip and Back-biting Elimination of Abuse Elimination of the Concept of Enemy Non-Interference of Religion with Politics Religion Must Be the Cause of Harmony Religion is in Harmony with Science Equality of Men and Women Universal Education Universal Peace Universal Auxiliary Language The Need for Devotional Prayer The Need for Silent Meditation The Need for Consultation Spiritual Solutions to the Eco-Crises Kindness to Animals Humanity is in Need of Collective Security Humanity is in Need of the Holy Spirit Humanity is in Need of Tests The Center of the Covenant Justice and Right Reciprocity Service and Action Preparation for the Hereafter This Panacea The End of the Seven Times of the Gentiles

Now, if thou wishest to know the true remedy which will heal man from all sickness and will give him the health of the divine kingdom, know that it is the precepts and teachings of God. Focus thine attention upon them.
~ Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 152

This teaching is of the Spirit, in it is no precept which is not of the Divine Spirit.
~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 85

I counsel you that you study earnestly the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, so that, God helping you, you may in deed and truth become Bahá’ís. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 95

The Creation is Infinite in Range and Deathless in Duration
Know assuredly that God’s creation hath existed from eternity, and will continue to exist forever. Its beginning hath had no beginning, and its end knoweth no end. His name, the Creator, presupposeth a creation, even as His title, the Lord of Men, must involve the existence of a servant. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 150 …Regard all else beside God as transient, and count all things save Him, Who is the Object of all adoration, as utter nothingness. ~Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 194 Every thing must needs have an origin and every building a builder. Verily, the Word of God is the Cause which hath preceded the contingent world -- a world which is adorned with the splendours of the Ancient of Days, yet is being renewed and regenerated at all times. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 141) …a creation which is infinite in its range and deathless in its duration. The wonders of His bounty can never cease, and the stream of His merciful grace can never be arrested. The process of His creation hath had no beginning, and can have no end. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 61 When we contemplate this vast machinery of omnipresent power, perceive this illimitable space and its innumerable worlds, it will become evident to us that the lifetime of this infinite creation is more than six thousand years; nay, it is very, very ancient. Notwithstanding this, we read in Genesis in the Old Testament that the lifetime of creation is but six thousand years. This has an inner meaning and significance; it is not to be taken literally. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 463 [Objects exist farther than 6000 LY] …life on this earth is very ancient. It is not one hundred thousand, or two hundred thousand, or one million or two million years old; it is very ancient, and the ancient records and traces are entirely obliterated. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 160) Man, in the beginning of his existence and in the womb of the earth, like the embryo in the womb of the mother, gradually grew and developed, and passed from one form to another, from one shape to another, until he appeared with this beauty and perfection, this force and this power. It is certain that in the beginning he had not this loveliness and grace and elegance, and that he only by degrees attained this shape, this form, this beauty and this grace... Thus it is evident and confirmed that the development and growth of man on this earth, until he reached his present perfection, resembled the growth and development of the embryo in the womb of the mother: by degrees it passed from condition to condition, from form to form, from one shape to another, for this is according to the requirement of the universal system and Divine Law. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 183

The Purposes of God
The purpose underlying all creation is the revelation of this most sublime, this most holy Day, the Day known as the Day of God, in His Books and Scriptures -- the Day which all the Prophets, and the Chosen Ones, and the holy ones, have wished to witness. ~Bahá’u’lláh, quoted in The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 77 Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him -- a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation.... ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 65 The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. ~Gleanings, p. 70 All men have been created to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. The Almighty beareth Me witness: To act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man. Those virtues that befit his dignity are forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all the peoples and kindreds of the earth. ~Gleanings, p. 214 ‘What is the purpose of our lives?’ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá said: –‘To acquire virtues. We come from the earth; why were we transferred from the mineral to the vegetable kingdom -- from the plant to the animal kingdom? So that we may attain perfection in each of these kingdoms, that we may possess the best qualities of the mineral, that we may acquire the power of growing as in the plant, that we may be adorned with the instincts of the animal and possess the faculties of sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste, until from the animal kingdom we step into the world of humanity and are gifted with reason, the power of invention, and the forces of the spirit’ ~Paris Talks, p. 177

The Proclamation of the Day of God & the Kingdom of God
Say: O concourse of the rulers and of the learned and 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. Thus biddeth you the One Who hath ever proclaimed, ‘Verily, no God is there but Me, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.’ ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p.
239

Say: O people! The Day, promised unto you in all the Scriptures, is now come. Fear ye God, and withhold not yourselves from recognizing the One Who is the Object of your creation. Hasten ye unto Him. Better is this for you than the world and all that is therein. Would that ye could perceive it! ~ Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p.314 The Day of the Promise is come, and He Who is the Promised One loudly proclaimeth before all who are in heaven and all who are on earth, ‘Verily there is none other God but He, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting!’ I swear by God! That which had been enshrined from eternity in the knowledge of God, the Knower of the seen and unseen, is revealed. Happy is the eye that seeth, and the face that turneth towards, the Countenance of God, the Lord of all being. ~Bahá’u’lláh, quoted in The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 78 This is the day to make mention of God, to celebrate His praise, and to serve Him; deprive not yourselves thereof. ~ Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 25 O My friends that dwell upon the dust! Haste forth unto your celestial habitation. Announce unto yourselves the joyful tidings: “He Who is the Best-Beloved is come! He hath crowned Himself with the glory of God’s Revelation, and hath unlocked to the face of men the doors of His ancient Paradise.” ~ Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p.319 O people of God! In this day everyone should fix his eyes upon the horizon of these blessed words: ‘Alone and unaided He doeth whatsoever He pleaseth.’ Whoso attaineth this station hath verily attained the light of the essential unity of God and is enlightened thereby, while all others are reckoned in the Book of God among the followers of idle fancy and vain imagination. Incline your ears to the Voice of this Wronged One and safeguard the integrity of your stations. It is highly necessary and imperative that everyone should observe this matter. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 95 Therefore do not be anxious saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we wear?”...But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. ~ Matthew 6:31-33 The Kingdom is Mine. I, Myself, am, of Mine own right, its Ruler. ~Bahá’u’lláh, GWB, p.33

The Oneness of God
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. ~Deuteronomy 6:4 / Mark 12:29 Praise be to God, the Eternal that perisheth not, the Everlasting that declineth not, the SelfSubsisting that altereth not. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p.1 Praise be unto God Who hath made the Most Great Infallibility the shield for the temple of His Cause in the realm of creation, and hath assigned unto no one a share of this lofty and sublime station -- a station which is a vesture which the fingers of transcendent power have woven for His august Self. It befitteth no one except Him Who is seated upon the mighty throne of ‘He doeth what He pleaseth’. Whoso accepteth and recognizeth that which is written down at this moment by the Pen of Glory is indeed reckoned in the Book of God, the Lord of the beginning and the end, among the exponents of divine unity, they that uphold the concept of the oneness of God. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 105 Verily, Christ is Our Word which We communicated unto Mary and let no one say what the Christians term as ‘the third of three’, (Qur’án 5:77) inasmuch as it would amount to slandering the Remembrance Who, as decreed in the Mother Book, is invested with supreme authority. Indeed God is but one God, and far be it from His glory that there should be aught else besides Him. All those who shall attain unto Him on the Day of Resurrection are but His servants, and God is, of a truth, a sufficient Protector. ~Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 60-61

The great and fundamental teachings of Bahá’u’lláh are the oneness of God and unity of mankind. This is the bond of union among Bahá’ís all over the world. They become united among themselves, then unite others. It is impossible to unite unless united. Christ said, “Ye are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted?” ~’Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 156 Say, He Whom God shall make manifest (Bahá’u’lláh) is indeed the Primal Veil of God. Above this Veil ye can find nothing other than God, while beneath it ye can discern all things emanating from God. He is the Unseen, the Inaccessible, the Most Exalted, the Best Beloved. If ye seek God, it behooveth you to seek Him Whom God shall make manifest...Verily then make your hearts the daysprings of His exalted Names as recorded in the Book, and ye shall, even as mirrors placed before the sun, be able to receive enlightenment. ~Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 131 The essence of belief in Divine unity consisteth in regarding Him Who is the Manifestation of God and Him Who is the invisible, the inaccessible, the unknowable Essence as one and the same. By this is meant that whatever pertaineth to the former, all His acts and doings, whatever He ordaineth or forbiddeth, should be considered, in all their aspects, and under all circumstances, and without any reservation, as identical with the Will of God Himself. This is the loftiest station to which a true believer in the unity of God can ever hope to attain. Blessed is the man that reacheth this station, and is of them that are steadfast in their belief. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 167 Know thou of a certainty that whenever thou makest mention of Him Whom God shall make manifest, (Bahá’u’lláh) only then art thou making mention of God. ~Selections from the Writings of the Báb, p. 80 Verily, verily, I am God, no God is there but Me, the Lord of all created things. In truth all others except Me are My creatures. O My creatures! Me alone do ye worship. ~ Bahá’u’lláh (speaking with the Voice of God) Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 53 Thy unity is inscrutable, O my God, to all except them that have recognized Him Who is the Manifestation of Thy singleness and the Day-Spring of Thy oneness. Whoso assigneth a rival unto Him hath assigned a rival unto Thee, and whoso hath set up a peer for Him hath set up a peer for Thyself. No, no none can withstand Thee in the whole of creation. Thou hast everlastingly been exalted far above all comparison and likeness. Thy oneness hath been demonstrated by the oneness of Him Who is the Dawning-Place of Thy Revelation. Whosoever denieth this, hath denied Thy unity and disputed with Thee about Thy sovereignty, and contended with Thee in Thy realm, and repudiated Thy commandments. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations, p. 57 We testify that He is One in His Essence, One in His Attributes. He hath none to equal Him in the whole universe, nor any partner in all creation. He hath sent forth His Messengers, and sent down His Books, that they may announce unto His creatures the Straight Path. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 98 And the knowledge of the King of everlasting days can in no wise be attained save by recognizing Him Who is the Bearer of the Most Great Name. He is, in truth, the Speaker on Sinai Who is now seated upon the throne of Revelation...Attainment unto the Divine Presence can be realized solely by attaining His presence...True belief in God and recognition of Him cannot be complete save by acceptance of that which He hath revealed and by observance of whatsoever hath been decreed by Him and set down in the Book by the Pen of Glory. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, Tajalliyat, p. 50 Unless one recognize God and love Him, his cry shall not be heard by God in this Day. This is of the essence of His Faith, did ye but know it. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 293

The Oneness of Religion
This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath refused to seek it -verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His creatures. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Kitab-i-Aqdas, #182 Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: “I am God,” He, verily, speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 54 In the Word of God there is still another unity, the oneness of the Manifestations of God, His Holiness Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ, Muhammad, the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh. This is unity divine, heavenly, radiant, merciful; the one reality appearing in its successive manifestations. For instance, the sun is one and the same but its points of dawning are various. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, BWF, p. 259 The vitality of men’s belief in God is dying out in every land; nothing short of His wholesome medicine can ever restore it. The corrosion of ungodliness is eating into the vitals of human society; what else but the Elixir of His potent Revelation can cleanse and revive it? ~Gleanings, p. 200 And of all men, the most accomplished, the most distinguished, and the most excellent are the Manifestations of the Sun of Truth. Nay, all else besides these Manifestations, live by the operation of Their Will, and move and have their being through the outpourings of Their grace. ~Gleanings, p. 178 If we claim that the sun is seen in the mirror, we do not mean that the sun itself has descended from the holy heights of his heaven and entered into the mirror! This is impossible. The Divine Nature is seen in the Manifestations and Its Light and Splendor are visible in extreme glory...All the Prophets and Messengers have come from One Holy Spirit and bear the Message of God, fitted to the age in which they appear. The One Light is in them and they are One with each other. But the Eternal does not become phenomenal; neither can the phenomenal become Eternal. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 24-25 The religion of God is one, but it must ever be renewed. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA, p. 52 If we deny One of the Manifestations of God, we deny all. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 208 There can be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source, and are the subjects of one God. The difference between the ordinances under which they abide should be attributed to the varying requirements and exigencies of the age in which they were revealed. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 217 That which the Lord hath ordained as the sovereign remedy and mightiest instrument for the healing of all the world is the union of all its peoples in one universal Cause, one common Faith. This can in no wise be achieved except through the power of a skilled, an all-powerful and inspired Physician. This, verily, is the truth, and all else naught but error. ~Gleanings, p. 255 How high the reward of him that not deprived himself of so great a bounty, nor failed to recognize the beauty of his Best-Beloved in this, His new attire. ~Gleanings, p. 94 The gift of God to this enlightened age is the knowledge of the oneness of mankind and of the fundamental oneness of religion. War shall cease between nations and by the will of God the Most Great Peace shall come; the world will be seen as a new world, and all men will live as brothers. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, quoted in The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 36 As Christians believe in Moses, so the Jews should believe in Jesus. As the Muhammadans believe in Christ and Moses, so likewise the Jews and the Christians should believe in Muhammad. Then all disputes would disappear, all then would be united. Bahá’u’lláh came for this purpose. He has made the three religions one. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 43 The different religions have one truth underlying them; therefore, their reality is one. ~Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 105 …and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. (John 10:16b KJV)

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The Oneness of Humanity
The incomparable Creator hath created all men from one same substance, and hath exalted their reality above the rest of His creatures. Success or failure, gain or loss, must, therefore depend upon man’s own exertions. ~ Gleanings grom the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 81 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. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 24 O well-beloved ones! The tabernacle of unity hath been raised; regard ye not one another as strangers. Ye are the fruits of one tree, and the leaves of one branch. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 164 The well-being of mankind, its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established. This unity can never be achieved so long as the counsels which the Pen of the Most High hath revealed are suffered to pass unheeded. Through the power of the words He hath uttered the whole of the human race can be illumined with the light of unity, and the remembrance of His Name is able to set on fire the hearts of all men, and burn away the veils that intervene between them and His glory. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, pp. 286-7 He Who is your Lord, the All-Merciful, cherisheth in His heart the desire of beholding the entire human race as one soul and one body. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 214 It beseemeth all men, in this Day, to take firm hold on the Most Great Name (Bahá’u’lláh), and to establish the unity of all mankind. There is no place to flee to, no refuge that anyone can seek, except Him. ~ Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 203 Verily, it is enjoined upon you to offer a feast, once in every (Bahá’í) month, though only water be served. God hath purposed to bind hearts together, albeit through both earthly and heavenly means. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Kitab-i-Aqdas, paragraph #57, p. 40 The primary question to be resolved is how the present world, with its entrenched pattern of conflict, can change to a world in which harmony and cooperation will prevail. World order can be founded only on an unshakable consciousness of the oneness of mankind, a spiritual truth which all the human sciences confirm... Universal acceptance of this spiritual principle is essential to any successful attempt to establish world peace. It should therefore be universally proclaimed, taught in school, and constantly asserted in every nation as preparation for the organic change in the structure of society which it implies. ~The Universal House of Justice, [from The Promise of World Peace, its first statement addressed to the peoples of the world, in 1985, on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the United Nations, for the International Year of Peace] The most urgent requisite of mankind is the declaration of the oneness of the world of humanity this is the great principle of Baha’o’llah. (Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 45) The Bahá’ís are commanded to establish the oneness of mankind; if they cannot unite around one point how will they be able to bring about the unity of mankind? ~ ‘Abdu’l-Baha, SWA, p. 208

Independent Investigation of Truth
...test the spirits to see whether they are of God. ~1 John 4:1 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, not can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. ~Jesus, quoted in Matthew 7:15-20 Another new principle revealed by Bahá’u’lláh is the injunction to investigate the truth -that is to say, no man should blindly follow his ancestors and forefathers. Nay, each must see with his own eyes,

hear with his own ears and investigate the truth himself in order that he may follow the truth instead of blind acquiescence and imitation of ancestral beliefs. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 454 I ask you, Is not fellowship and brotherhood preferable to enmity and hatred in society and community? The answer is self-evident. Love and fellowship are absolutely needful to win the goodpleasure of God which is the goal of all human attainment. We must be united. We must love each other. We must ever praise each other. We must bestow commendation upon all people, thus removing the discord and hatred which have caused alienation amongst men. Otherwise the conditions of the past will continue, praising ourselves and condemning others; religious wars will have no end and religious prejudice, the prime cause of this havoc and tribulation, will increase. This must be abandoned, and the way to do it is to investigate the reality which underlies all the religions. This underlying reality is the love of humanity. For God is one and humanity is one, and the only creed of the prophets is love and unity. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 99 Examine Our Cause, inquire into the things that have befallen Us, and decide justly between Us and Our enemies, and be ye of them that act equitably towards their neighbor. ~Bahá’u’lláh, GWB, p. 252 The essence of all that We have revealed for thee is Justice, is for man to free himself from idle fancy and imitation, discern with the eye of oneness His glorious handiwork, and look into all things with a searching eye. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 157 First, it is incumbent upon all mankind to investigate truth. If such investigation be made, all should agree and be united, for truth or reality is not multiple; it is not divisible. The different religions have one truth underlying them; therefore, their reality is one. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 105 Therefore, all souls should consider it incumbent upon them to investigate reality. Reality is one; and when found, it will unify all mankind. Reality is the love of God. Reality is the knowledge of God. Reality is justice. Reality is the oneness or solidarity of mankind. Reality is international peace. Reality is the knowledge of verities. Reality unifies humanity. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 372 So long as this aping of the past persisteth, just so long will the foundations of the social order be blown to the four winds, just so long will humanity be continually exposed to direst peril. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 247 From the beginning of the world until the present time each Manifestation sent from God has been opposed by an embodiment of the ‘Powers of Darkness.’ This dark power has always endeavored to extinguish the light. Tyranny has ever sought to overcome justice. Ignorance has persistently tried to trample knowledge underfoot...In the time of Moses, Pharaoh set himself to prevent the Mosaic Light being spread abroad. In the day of Christ, Annas and Caiaphas inflamed the Jewish people against Him and the learned doctors of Israel joined together to resist His Power...In the case of Muhammad also, the learned doctors of His day determined to extinguish the light of His influence. They tried by the power of the sword to prevent the spread of His teaching...Now, in our own day, history repeats itself. Those who would have men believe that religion is their own private property once more bring their efforts to bear against the Sun of Truth: they resist the Command of God; they invent calumnies, not having arguments against it, neither proofs. They attack with masked faces, not daring to come forth into the light of day. Our methods are different, we do not attack, neither calumniate; we do not wish to dispute with them; we bring forth proofs and arguments; we invite them to confute our statements. They cannot answer us, but instead, they write all they can think of against the Divine Messenger, Bahá’u’lláh. Do not let your hearts be troubled by these defamatory writings! Obey the words of Bahá’u’lláh and answer them not. Rejoice, rather, that even these falsehoods will result in the spread of the truth. When these slanders appear inquiries are made, and those who inquire are led into a knowledge of the Faith... Clouds may veil the sun, but, be they never so dense, his rays will penetrate! Nothing can prevent the radiance of the sun descending to warm and vivify the Divine Garden. Nothing can prevent the fall of the rain from Heaven. Nothing can prevent the fulfillment of the Word of God! ...And I say unto you that no calumny is able to prevail against the Light of God; it can only result in causing it to be more universally recognized. If a cause were of no significance, who would take the trouble to work against it! But always the greater the cause the more do enemies arise in larger and larger numbers to attempt its overthrow!

The brighter the light the darker the shadow! Our part it is to act in accordance with the teaching of Bahá’u’lláh in humility and firm steadfastness. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 101

Elimination of All Prejudices ☻
A new religious principle is that prejudice and fanaticism -- whether sectarian, denominational, patriotic or political -- are destructive to the foundation of human solidarity; therefore, man should release himself from such bonds in order that the oneness of the world of humanity may become manifest. ~‘Abdu'l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 454 One of the great reasons of separation is colour. Look how this prejudice has power in America, for instance. See how they hate one another! Animals do not quarrel because of their colour! Surely man who is so much higher in creation, should not be lower than the animals. Think over this. What ignorance exists! White doves do not quarrel with blue doves because of their colour, but white men fight with dark-coloured men. This racial prejudice is the worst of all. The Old Testament says that God created man like unto His own image; in the Qur’án it says: “There is no difference in the Creation of God!” Think well, God has created all, cares for all, and all are under His protection. The policy of God is better than our policy. We are not as wise as God! (‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 55) Close your eyes to racial differences, and welcome all with the light of oneness. ~Bahá’u’lláh, ADJ, p. 31 So intense must be the spirit of love and loving-kindness, that the stranger may find himself a friend, the enemy a true brother, no difference whatsoever existing between them. For universality is of God and all limitations earthly. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 445) If it be possible, gather these two races, black and white, into one assembly and put such love into their hearts that they shall not only unite but even intermarry. Be sure that the result of this will abolish differences and disputes between black and white. Moreover by the will of God, may it be so. This is a great service to the world of humanity. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 359 For the accomplishment of unity between the colored and the white will be an assurance of the world’s peace. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, quoted in The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 33 So long as the prejudices survive, there will be continuous and fearsome wars. ~ SWA, p. 249 [When mankind refuses this prescription of the Divine Physician, such ills persist.]

Elimination of Gossip and Back-biting
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. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 230

Elimination of Abuse
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. The hope is cherished that ye may obtain true education in the shelter of the tree of His tender mercies and act in accordance with that which God desireth. Ye are all the leaves of one tree and the drops of one ocean. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 27 Ye have been forbidden in the Book of God to engage in contention and conflict, to strike another, or to commit similar acts whereby hearts and souls may be saddened. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Kitab-i-Aqdas, #148 Domestic violence is a fact of life for many women throughout the world, regardless of race, class, or educational background. In many societies traditional beliefs that women are a burden make them easy targets of anger. In other situations, men’s frustration is vented on women and children when

economies shrink and collapse. In all parts of the world, violence against women persists because it goes unpunished. ~Bahá’í International Community, 1993 Jun 11, Women’s Rights Whensoever a mother seeth that her child hath done well, let her praise and applaud him and cheer his heart; and if the slightest undesirable trait should manifest itself, let her counsel the child and punish him, and use means based on reason, even a slight verbal chastisement should this be necessary. It is not, however, permissible to strike a child, or vilify him, for the child’s character will be totally perverted if he be subjected to blows or verbal abuse. ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA p. 125

Elimination of the Concept of Enemy
Let no man exalt himself above another; all are but bondslaves before the Lord, and all exemplify the truth that there is none other God but Him. He, verily, is the All-Wise, Whose wisdom encompasseth all things. ~Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 45 Blessed are such as hold fast to the cord of kindliness and tender mercy and are free from animosity and hatred. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 36 There is no hatred in Mine heart for thee nor for anyone. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 205 The brightness of the fire of your love will no doubt fuse and unify the contending peoples and kindreds of the earth, whilst the fierceness of the flame of enmity and hatred cannot but result in strife and ruin. We beseech God that He may shield His creatures from the evil designs of His enemies. He verily hath power over all things. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 88 Bahá’u’lláh has clearly said in His Tablets that if you have an enemy, consider him not as an enemy. Do not simply be long-suffering; nay, rather, love him. Your treatment of him should be that which is becoming to lovers. Do not even say that he is your enemy. Do not see any enemies. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 267 May God confirm the day when a score of ministers of the churches may arise and with bared heads cry at the top of their voices that the Bahá’ís are misguided. I would like to see that day, for that is the time when the Cause of God will spread. Bahá’u’lláh has pronounced such as these the couriers of the Cause. They will proclaim from pulpits that the Bahá'ís are fools, that they are a wicked and unrighteous people, but be ye steadfast and unwavering in the Cause of God. They will spread the message of Bahá’u’lláh. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 429 Verily, we wronged them not, but they have wronged themselves! ~‘Abdu’l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 9

Non-Interference of Religion with Politics
If the rulers and kings of the earth, the symbols of the power of God, exalted be His glory, arise and resolve to dedicate themselves to whatever will promote the highest interests of the whole of humanity, the reign of justice will assuredly be established amongst the children of men, and the effulgence of its light will envelop the whole earth.... Justice hath a mighty force at its command. It is none other than reward and punishment for the deeds of men. By the power of this force the tabernacle of order is established throughout the world, causing the wicked to restrain their natures for fear of punishment. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 164 The dissociation of the Bábí Faith from every form of political activity and from all secret associations and factions; the emphasis placed on the principle of non-violence; the necessity of strict obedience to established authority; the ban imposed on all forms of sedition, on back-biting, retaliation, and dispute; the stress laid on godliness, kindliness, humility and piety, on honesty and truthfulness, chastity and fidelity, on justice, toleration, sociability, amity and concord, on the acquisition of arts and sciences, on self-sacrifice and detachment, on patience, steadfastness and resignation to the will of God -- all these constitute the salient features of a code of ethical conduct to which the books, treatises and epistles, revealed during those years, by the indefatigable pen of Bahá’u’lláh, unmistakably bear witness. (Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 132) With political questions the clergy, however, have nothing to do! Religious matters should not be confused with politics in the present state of the world (for their interests are not identical). Religion concerns matters of the heart, of the spirit, and of morals. Politics are occupied with the material things of life. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 157


Religion Must Be the Cause of Harmony
Say: Oh servants! Do not make the Cause of order a cause for disorder, nor the means of unity a means for disunity. It is hoped that the people of Bahá will observe the sacred verse: “Say: all are created by God.” This lofty utterance is like unto water for quenching the fire of hate and hostility which is hidden and stored in men’s hearts and minds. This single utterance will cause the various sects and creeds to attain the light of true unity. Verily He speaketh the truth and guideth to the right path; and He is the Mighty, the Glorious, the Omnipotent. ~Bahá’u’lláh, BWF, p. 210, TB, p. 222 O people! Consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit of friendliness and fellowship. Thus hath the day-star of His sanction and authority shone forth above the horizon of the decree of God, the Lord of the worlds. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 22 Gird up the loins of your endeavor, O people of Bahá, that haply the tumult of religious dissension and strife that agitateth the peoples of the earth may be stilled, that every trace of it may be completely obliterated. For the love of God, and of them that serve Him, arise to aid this most sublime and momentous Revelation. Religious fanaticism and hatred are a world-devouring fire, whose violence none can quench. The Hand of Divine power can, alone, deliver mankind from this desolating affliction. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pp 13-14 & GWB, pp 288 Bahá’u’lláh says that religion must be conducive to love and unity. If it proves to be a source of hatred and enmity, its absence is preferable; for the will and law of God is love, and love is the bond between human hearts. Religion is the light of the world. If it is made the cause of darkness through human misunderstanding and ignorance, it would be better to do without it. Religion must conform to science and reason; otherwise, it is superstition...The harmony of belief with reason is a new vista which Bahá’u’lláh has opened for the soul of man. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, pp. 287 & 455 If religion becomes a cause of dislike, hatred and division, it were better to be without it, and to withdraw from such a religion would be a truly religious act...Any religion which is not the cause of love and unity is no religion. All the holy prophets were doctors of the soul; they gave prescription for the healing of mankind; thus any remedy that causes disease does not come from the great and supreme Physician. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 25 So long as religious discord and enmity continue among mankind, the world will neither find happiness, rest nor composure. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Glad Tidings, p. 25

Religion is in Harmony with Science
O SON OF MAN! Wert thou to speed through the immensity of space and traverse the expanse of heaven, yet thou wouldst find no rest save in submission to Our command and humbleness before Our face. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Arabic Hidden Words #40 For man two wings are necessary. One wing is physical power and material civilization; the other is spiritual power and divine civilization. With one wing only, flight is impossible. Two wings are essential. Therefore, no matter how much material civilization advances, it cannot attain to perfection except through the uplift of spiritual civilization. All the Prophets have come to promote divine bestowals, to found the spiritual civilization and teach the principles of morality. Therefore, we must strive with all our powers so that spiritual influences may gain the victory. For material forces have attacked mankind. The world of humanity is submerged in a sea of materialism...The penetrative power of the divine bounty is not fully manifest. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 12 When religion, shorn of its superstitions, traditions, and unintelligent dogmas, shows its conformity with science, then there will be a great unifying, cleansing force in the world which will sweep before it all wars, disagreements, discords and struggles -and then will mankind be united in the power of the love of God. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, pp. 141-146

Religion and Science are inter-twined with each other and cannot be separated. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 28)

Equality of Men and Women

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Women and men have been and will always be equal in the sight of god. ~Bahá’u’lláh, from a Tablet In this Day the Hand of divine grace hath removed all distinction. The servants of God and His handmaidens are regarded on the same plane. Blessed is the servant who hath attained unto that which God hath decreed, and likewise the leaf* moving in accordance with the breezes of His will. This favour is great and this station lofty. His bounties and bestowals are ever present and manifest. Who is able to offer befitting gratitude for His successive bestowals and continuous favours? ~Bahá’u’lláh, quoted in Adib Taherzadeh’s The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 4, p. 200 *The word ‘leaf’ is a designation used by Bahá'u'lláh to refer to a female believer. This is particular to the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, for all other religions have placed man above woman. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 455 [See 1 Cor.11 & 14:33-36, Qur’án 4:38] “You can kill me as soon as you like, but you cannot stop the emancipation of women.” ~Tahirih, quoted in God Passes By, p. 75 Verily, We have elevated thee to the rank of one of the most distinguished among thy sex, and granted thee, in My court, a station such as none other woman hath surpassed. ~Bahá’u’lláh (concerning His daughter), Bahíyyih Khanum, #1 Bahá’u’lláh declares that the education of woman to be of more importance than that of man. If the mother be ignorant, even if the father have great knowledge, the child’s education will be at fault, for education begins with the milk. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá on Divine Philosophy, 81-83 In some respects woman is superior to man. She is more tender-hearted, more receptive, her intuition more intense. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 161 The woman is indeed of the greater importance to the race. She has the greater burden and the greater work. Look at the vegetable and the animal worlds. The palm which carries the fruit is the tree most prized by the date grower. The Arab knows that for a long journey the mare has the longest wind. For her greater strength and fierceness, the lioness is more feared by the hunter than the lion. The woman has greater moral courage than the man; she has also special gifts which enable her to govern in moments of danger and crisis... ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, pp. 102 Among the miracles which distinguish this sacred Dispensation is this, that women have evinced a greater boldness than men when enlisted in the ranks of the Faith. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, quoted in The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 57 If we present a cannon to a woman and ask her to fire it and she should fail, is that an imperfection? At most we can say such is a compliment or praise to her, that in hardness of heart she is inferior to man! …But God forbid that women learn military tactics! May they never make up their minds to use the gun. Because that is not a glory. Home-making and joy-creating and comfort-bringing are truly glories of mankind. Man should not glory in this, that he can kill. Man should glory in this, that he can love. ~‘Abdu’-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 309 War and its ravages have blighted the world; the education of women will be a mighty step towards its abolition and ending, for she will refuse to give her sons for a sacrifice upon the field of battle. In truth, she will be the greatest factor in establishing universal peace and international arbitration. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 108 The world of humanity has two wings -one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 288 As long as women are prevented from attaining their highest possibilities, so long will men be unable to achieve the greatness which might be theirs. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 133 The world in the past has been ruled by force, and man has dominated over women by reason of his more forceful and aggressive qualities both of body and mind. But the balance is already shifting -force is losing its weight and mental alertness, intuition, and the spiritual qualities of love and service,

in which woman is strong, are gaining ascendancy. Hence the new age will be an age, less masculine, and more permeated with the feminine ideals -- or, to speak more exactly, will be an age in which the masculine and feminine elements of civilization will be more evenly balanced. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, quoted in Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, 1976 U.S. edition, p. 156

Universal Education
By the one true God! If learning be not a means of access to Him, the Most Manifest, it is nothing but evident loss. (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 109) Man is the supreme Talisman. Lack of a proper education hath, however, deprived him of that which he doth inherently possess. Through a word proceeding out of the mouth of God he was called into being; by one word more he was guided to recognize the Source of his education; by yet another word his station and destiny were safeguarded. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 161 If a man be left alone in a wilderness where he sees none of his own kind, he will undoubtedly become a mere brute; it is then clear that an educator is needed. But education is of three kinds: material, human and spiritual. Material education is concerned with the progress and development of the body, through gaining its sustenance, its material comfort and ease. This education is common to animals and man. Human education signifies civilization and progress -- that is to say, government, administration, charitable works, trades, arts and handicrafts, sciences, great inventions and discoveries and elaborate institutions, which are the activities essential to man as distinguished from the animal. Divine education is that of the Kingdom of God: it consists in acquiring divine perfections, and this is true education; for in this state man becomes the focus of divine blessings, the manifestation of the words, “Let Us make man in Our image, and after Our likeness.” [Gen. 1:26] This is the goal of the world of humanity. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 7 In a time to come, morals will degenerate to an extreme degree. It is essential that children be reared in the Bahá’í way, that they may find happiness both in this world and the next. If not, they shall be beset by sorrows and troubles, for human happiness is founded upon spiritual behaviour. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 127) Consider, for instance, the revelation of the light of the Name of God, the Educator...Behold, how in all things the evidences of such a revelation are manifest, how the betterment of all beings dependeth upon it. This education is of two kinds. The one is universal. Its influence pervadeth all things and sustaineth them. It is for this reason that God hath assumed the title, “Lord of the worlds.” The other is confined to them that have come under the shadow of this Name, and sought the shelter of this most mighty Revelation. They, however, that have failed to seek this shelter, have deprived themselves of this privilege, and are powerless to benefit from the spiritual sustenance that hath been sent down through the heavenly grace of this Most Great Name. ~ Bahá’u’lláh, GWB, pp 189-190 Schools must first train the children in the principles of religion, so that the Promise and the Threat recorded in the Books of God may prevent them from the things forbidden and adorn them with the mantle of the commandments; but this in such measure that it may not injure the children by resulting in ignorant fanaticism and bigotry. ~ Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 68 Training in morals and good conduct is far more important than book learning. A child that is cleanly, agreeable, of good character, well-behaved -even though he be ignorant -is preferable to a child that is rude, unwashed, ill-natured, and yet becoming deeply versed in all the sciences and arts. The reason for this is that the child who conducts himself well, even though he be ignorant, is of benefit to others, while the ill-natured, ill-behaved child is corrupted, and harmful to others, even though he be learned. If, however, the child be trained to be both learned and good, the result is light upon light. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp 135-6 The hope is cherished that ye may obtain true education in the shelter of the tree of His tender mercies and act in accordance with that which God desireth. Ye are all the leaves of one tree and the drops of one ocean. ~Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 91 Bahá’u’lláh declares that all mankind should attain knowledge and acquire and education. This is a necessary principle of religious belief and observance, characteristically new in this dispensation. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 455 Therefore, in this age of splendors, teachings once limited to a few are made available to all, that the mercy of the Lord may embrace both east and west, that the oneness of the world of humanity may

appear in its full beauty, and that the dazzling rays of reality may flood the realm of mind with light. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 59 For mothers are the first educators, the first mentors; and truly it is the mothers who determine the happiness, the future progress, the courteous ways and learning and judgment, the understanding and the faith of their little ones. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 126 So long as the mother faileth to train her children, and start them on a proper way of life, the training which they receive later on will not take its full effect. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA p. 138 Find the answer to your questions in your heart. Be as little children. Until the soil is prepared, it cannot receive the benefit of planting. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 213

Universal Peace
It is Our purpose, through the loving providence of God -exalted be His glory and His surpassing mercy, to abolish, through the force of Our utterance, all disputes, war, and bloodshed, from the face of the earth. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 34 We beseech God to assist the kings of the earth to establish peace on earth. ~Bahá’u’lláh, GWB p. 253 In this period of its evolution the world of humanity is in danger. Every war is against the good pleasure of the Lord of mankind, for man is the edifice of God and war destroys the divine edifice. If an active, actual peace is brought about, the human world will attain to the utmost serenity and composure; wolves will be transformed into lambs, devils into angels, and terrors into divine splendors in less than the twinkling of an eye. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 85 God created one earth and one mankind to people it. Man has no other habitation, but man himself has come forth and proclaimed imaginary boundary lines and territorial restrictions, naming them Germany, France, Russia, etc. And torrents of precious blood are spilled in defense of these imaginary divisions of our one human habitation, under the delusion of a fancied and limited patriotism…We live upon this earth for a few days and then rest beneath it forever. So it is our graveyard eternally. Shall man fight for the tomb which devours him, for his eternal sepulcher? What ignorance could be greater than this? To fight over his grave, to kill another for his grave! What heedlessness! What a delusion! ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 354) World peace is not only possible but inevitable. It is the next stage in the evolution of this planet --in the words of one great thinker, “the planetization of mankind.” ~UHJ, 1985, The Promise of World Peace, p. 1 Today the most pressing of all tasks is the purification of character, the reforming of morals, the rectification of conduct...Unless the divine bestowals be revealed from the inner self of humankind, the bounty of the Manifestation will prove barren, and the dazzling rays of the Sun of Truth will have no effect whatever... Christ Jesus summoned all mankind to amity and peace. Unto Peter He said: ‘Put up thy sword into the sheath.’[John 18:11] Such was the bidding and counsel of the Lord Christ; and yet today the Christians one and all have drawn their swords from out the scabbard. How wide is the discrepancy between such acts and the clear Gospel text! ...the establishment of peace is unachievable save through the power of the Word of God. When a conference is convened, representative of all nations and working under the influence of the Word of God, then universal peace will be established but otherwise it is impossible…There is not one soul whose conscience does not testify that in this day there is no more important matter than that of Universal Peace. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, pp 10-11, 247, 296-7 In the new age Bahá’u’lláh has prohibited war. The need of this century is universal peace Bahá’u’lláh has instituted it. The most urgent requisite of mankind is the declaration of the oneness of the world of humanity - this is the great principle of Bahá’u’lláh. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 45) Therefore, it will be impossible for war to continue...A man who kills another man is punished by execution, but a military genius who kills one hundred thousand of his fellow creatures is immortalized as a hero...How darkened and savage are the instincts of humanity! ...At such a time Bahá’u’lláh dawned from the eastern horizon like the glory of the sun.

…Peace shall prevail among the nations, governments and peoples, among religions, races and all conditions of mankind. This is one of the special characteristics of the Word of God revealed in this Manifestation. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, pp 288, 446 & 455 All nations must agree to disarm simultaneously...the nations will be forced to come to peace and to agree to the abolition of war. The awful burdens of taxation for war purposes will get beyond endurance...In this and no other way can peace be established upon the earth. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Canada, pp 50-51 Universal peace will raise its tent in the center of the earth, and the blessed Tree of Life will grow and spread to such an extent that it will overshadow the East and the West. Strong and weak, rich and poor, antagonistic sects and hostile nations -- which are like the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and kid, the lion and the calf -- will act toward each other with the most complete love, friendship, justice and equity. ~‘Abdu'l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 64

Universal Auxiliary Language
The day is approaching when all the peoples of the world will have adopted one universal language and one common script. When this is achieved, to whatever city a man may journey, it shall be as if he were entering his own home. These things are obligatory and absolutely essential. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp 165-166 Unless the unity of language is realized, the Most Great Peace and the oneness of the human world cannot be effectively organized and established...Through this means international education and training becomes possible...Therefore, the very first service to the world of man is to establish this auxiliary international means of communication. It will become the cause of the tranquility of the human commonwealth. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, pp 60-61

The Need for Devotional Prayer
They who recite the verses of the All-Merciful in the most melodious of tones will perceive in them that with which the sovereignty of earth and heaven can never be compared. From them they will inhale the divine fragrance of My worlds -- worlds which today none can discern save those who have been endowed with vision through this sublime, this beauteous Revelation. Say: These verses draw hearts that are pure unto those spiritual worlds that can neither be expressed in words nor intimated by allusion. Blessed be those who hearken. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Kitab-i-Aqdas, #116, p. 61 …Learn well this Tablet, O Ahmad. Chant it during thy days and withhold not thyself therefrom. For verily, God hath ordained for the one who chants it, the reward of a hundred martyrs and a service in both worlds. These favors have We bestowed upon thee as a bounty on Our part and a mercy from Our presence, that thou mayest be of those who are grateful. By God! Should one who is in affliction or grief read this Tablet with absolute sincerity, God will dispel his sadness, solve his difficulties and remove his afflictions. Verily, He is the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to God, the Lord of all the worlds. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Tablet of Ahmad So long as the thoughts of an individual are scattered he will achieve no results, but if his thinking be concentrated on a single point wonderful will be the fruits thereof. One cannot obtain the full force of the sunlight when it is cast on a flat mirror, but once the sun shineth upon a concave mirror, or on a lens that is convex, all its heat will be concentrated on a single point, and that one point will burn the hottest. Thus is it necessary to focus one’s thinking on a single point so that it will become an effective force. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 110)

The Need for Silent Meditation
The first thing to do is to acquire a thirst for Spirituality, then Live the Life! Live the Life! Live the Life! The way to acquire this thirst is to meditate upon the future life. Study the Holy Words, read your Bible, read the Holy Books, especially study the Holy Utterances of Bahá’u’lláh; Prayer and Meditation, take much time for these two. Then will you know this Great Thirst, and then only can you begin to Live the Life! ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “Star of the West” Vol. 19, No. 3, p. 69 Meditate diligently upon the Cause of thy Lord. Strive to know Him through His own Self and not through others. For no one else besides Him can ever profit thee. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Gleaning, p. 148

This Wronged One speaketh wholly for the sake of God; thou too shouldst, likewise, for the sake of God, meditate upon those things that have been sent down and manifested, that haply thou mayest, on this blessed Day, take thy portion of the liberal effusions of Him Who is truly the All-Bountiful, and mayest not remain deprived thereof. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 18 Bahá’u’lláh says there is a sign (from God) in every phenomenon: the sign of the intellect is contemplation and the sign of contemplation is silence, because it is impossible for a man to do two things at one time -he cannot both speak and meditate. It is an axiomatic fact that while you meditate you are speaking with your own spirit...You cannot apply the name ‘man’ to any being void of this faculty of meditation; without it he would be a mere animal, lower than the beasts. Through the faculty of meditation man attains to eternal life; through it he receives the breath of the Holy Spirit -the bestowal of the Spirit is given in reflection and meditation. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 174 I charge you all that each one of you concentrate all the thoughts of your heart on love and unity. When a thought of war comes, oppose it by a stronger thought of peace. A thought of hatred must be destroyed by a more powerful thought of love. Thoughts of war bring destruction to all harmony, well-being, restfulness and content. Thoughts of love are constructive of brotherhood, peace, friendship, and happiness. When soldiers of the world draw their swords to kill, soldiers of God clasp each other's hands! So may all the savagery of man disappear by the Mercy of God, working through the pure in heart and the sincere of soul. Do not think the peace of the world an ideal impossible to attain! ~‘Abdu'l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 29 Although the sole and fundamental purpose of all learning, and the toil and labour thereof, is attainment unto, and the recognition of, this station, yet they are all immersed in the pursuit of their material studies. They deny themselves every moment of leisure, and utterly ignore Him, Who is the Essence of all learning, and the one Object of their quest! ~Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 144 So long as the thoughts of an individual are scattered he will achieve no results, but if his thinking be concentrated on a single point wonderful will be the fruits thereof. One cannot obtain the full force of the sunlight when it is cast on a flat mirror, but once the sun shineth upon a concave mirror, or on a lens that is convex, all its heat will be concentrated on a single point, and that one point will burn the hottest. Thus is it necessary to focus one’s thinking on a single point so that it will become an effective force. (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 110) Center your thoughts in the Well-Beloved, rather than in your own selves. Bahá’u’lláh, GWB, p.168 Great is the Cause, and great the Announcement! Patiently and calmly ponder thou upon the resplendent signs and the sublime words, and all that hath been revealed in these days, that haply thou mayest fathom the mysteries that are hid in the Books, and mayest strive to guide His servants. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 143

The Need for Consultation
Bahá’u’lláh has established consultation as one of the fundamental principles of His Faith and has exhorted the believers to “take counsel together in all matters”. He describes consultation as "the lamp of guidance which leadeth the way" and as “the bestower of understanding”. Shoghi Effendi states that the “principle of consultation... constitutes one of the basic laws” of the Bahá’í Administrative Order. ~Notes to The Kitab-i-Aqdas, #52, p. 190 Man should weigh his opinions with the utmost serenity, calmness and composure. Before expressing his own views he should carefully consider the views already advanced by others. If he finds that a previously expressed opinion is more true and worthy, he should accept it immediately and not willfully hold to an opinion of his own. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 72 Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and center your deliber-ations on its exigencies and requirements. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 213 Settle all things, both great and small, by consultation. Without prior consultation, take no important step in your own personal affairs. Concern yourselves with one another. Help along one another's projects and plans. Grieve over one another. Let none in the whole country go in need. Befriend one another until ye become as a single body, one and all ... (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Lights of Guidance, p. 178)

Whether peace is to be reached only after unimaginable horrors precipitated by humanity's stubborn clinging to old patterns of behaviour, or is to be embraced now by an act of consultative will, is the choice before all who inhabit the earth. ~From The Promise of World Peace, by The Universal House of Justice, 1985

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Spiritual Solutions to the Eco-Crises

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The soul of man is the sun by which his body is illumined, and from which it draweth its sustenance... ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 155 The country is the world of the soul, the city is the world of the bodies. (Balyuzí’s Bahá’u’lláh, p. 59) Regard ye the world as a man’s body, which is afflicted with divers ailments, and the recovery of which dependeth upon the harmonizing of all its component elements…He Who is your Lord, the All-Merciful, cherisheth in His heart the desire of beholding the entire human race as one soul and one body. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Summons of the Lord of Hosts, pp. 79-81 Just as the human spirit of life is the cause of coordination among the various parts of the human organism, the Holy Spirit is the controlling cause of the unity and coordination of mankind. That is to say, the bond or oneness of humanity cannot be effectively established save through the power of the Holy Spirit, for the world of humanity is a composite body, and the Holy Spirit is the animating principle of its life. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 321 All praise be unto God, Who hath revealed the law of obligatory prayer as a reminder to His servants, and enjoined on them the Fast that those possessed of means may become apprised of the woes and sufferings of the destitute. ~Baha’u’llah, The Importance of Obligatory Prayer and Fasting
O CHILDREN OF DUST! Tell the rich of the midnight sighing of the poor, lest heedlessness lead them

into the path of destruction, and deprive them of the Tree of Wealth. To give and be generous are attributes of Mine; well is it with him that adorneth himself with My virtues. ~Bahá’u’lláh, PHW #20 O MY SERVANTS! Ye are the trees of My garden; ye must give forth goodly and wondrous fruits, that ye yourselves and others may profit therefrom. Thus it is incumbent on every one to engage in crafts and professions, for therein lies the secret of wealth, O men of understanding! For results depend upon means, and the grace of God shall be all-sufficient unto you. Trees that yield no fruit have been and will ever be for the fire. ~Bahá’u’lláh, The Persian Hidden Words, #80 Bahá’u’lláh taught that hearts must receive the Bounty of the Holy Spirit, so that Spiritual civilization may be established. For material civilization is not adequate for the needs of mankind and cannot be the cause of its happiness. Material civilization is like the body and spiritual civilization is like the soul. Body without soul cannot live. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 30 The teachings of His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh, like unto the spirit, shall penetrate the dead body of the world and like unto an artery shall beat through the heart of the five continents. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Divine Philosophy, p. 38 Without the presence of the Holy Spirit he is lifeless. Although physically and mentally alive, he is spiritually dead. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP 288 [See Kitab-i-Iqan pp 118-121] …man should know his own self and recognize that which leadeth unto loftiness or lowliness, glory or abasement, wealth or poverty. Having attained the stage of fulfilment and reached his maturity, man standeth in need of wealth, and such wealth as he acquireth through crafts or professions is commendable and praiseworthy in the estimation of men of wisdom, and especially in the eyes of servants who dedicate themselves to the education of the world and to the edification of its peoples. ~Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 34 Trust in God and engage in your work and practice economy; the confirmations of God shall descend and you will be enabled to pay off your debts. Be ye occupied always with the mention of Bahá’u’lláh and seek ye no other hope and desire save Him. ~‘Abdu’l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith, p. 375 It is enjoined upon every one of you to engage in some form of occupation, such as crafts, trades and the like. We have graciously exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship unto God, the True One. Ponder in your hearts the grace and the blessings of God and render thanks unto Him

at eventide and at dawn. Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and others. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 260 Resort ye, in times of sickness, to competent physicians; We have not set aside the use of material means, rather have We confirmed it through this Pen, which God hath made to be the Dawning-place of His shining and glorious Cause. ~Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, #113, p. 60 The Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh advocate voluntary sharing, and this is a greater thing than the equalization of wealth. For equalization must be imposed from without, while sharing is a matter of free choice. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 115 O my people! Give measure and weight fairly, and defraud not men of their things; and wreak not wrong in the earth, corrupting it. (The Qur’án (E.H. Palmer tr), Sura 11 - Hud) Show what love is, what kindness is, what true severance is and generosity. This is the important thing for you to do. Act in accordance with the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. All His Books will be translated. Now is the time for you to live in accordance with His words. Let your deeds be the real translation of their meaning. Economic questions will not attract the hearts. The love of God alone will attract them. Economic questions are most interesting; but the power which moves, controls and attracts the hearts of men is the love of God. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 239 Wash ye every soiled thing with water that hath undergone no alteration in any one of the three respects; take heed not to use water that hath been altered through exposure to the air or to some other agent. ~ Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 46 [The “three respects” referred to in this verse are changes in the color, taste or smell of the water. ~KA, Notes #105]
O YE SEEMING FAIR YET INWARDLY FOUL! Ye are like clear but bitter water, which to outward

seeming is crystal pure but of which, when tested by the divine Assayer, not a drop is accepted. Yea, the sun beam falls alike upon the dust and the mirror, yet differ they in reflection even as doth the star from the earth: nay, immeasurable is the difference! ~Bahá’u’lláh, Persian Hidden Words, #25 Beseech ye the one true God to enable His loved ones to offer that which is the Right of God, (Huqúqu’lláh) inasmuch as the observance of this injunction would cause one’s possessions to be purified and protected and would become the means of attracting goodly gifts and heavenly blessings. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Huqúqu’lláh, #46 They should conduct themselves in such manner that the earth upon which they tread may never be allowed to address to them such words as these: “I am to be preferred above you. For witness, how patient I am in bearing the burden which the husbandman layeth upon me. I am the instrument that continually imparteth unto all beings the blessings with which He Who is the Source of all grace hath entrusted me. Notwithstanding the honor conferred upon me, and the unnumbered evidences of my wealth -a wealth that supplieth the needs of all creation -behold the measure of my humility, and witness with what absolute submissiveness I allow myself to be trodden beneath the feet of men...” ~GWB, p 7-8 The day is approaching when the wrathful anger of the Almighty will have taken hold of them. He, verily, is the Omnipotent, the All-Subduing, the Most Powerful. He shall cleanse the earth from the defilement of their corruption, and shall give it for an heritage unto such of His servants as are nigh unto Him. ~Bahá’u’lláh, quoted in The Promised Day is Come, p. 3

Kindness to Animals
Take heed, however, that ye hunt not to excess. Tread ye the path of justice and equity in all things… Burden not an animal with more than it can bear. We, truly, have prohibited such treatment through a most binding interdiction in the Book. Be ye the embodiments of justice and fairness amidst all creation. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Kitab-i-Aqdas #60 & #187 [Some resources are threatened by over-exploitation.] The feelings are one and the same, whether ye inflict pain on man or on beast. There is no difference here whatever. And indeed ye do worse to harm an animal, for man hath a language, he can lodge a

complaint, he can cry out and moan; if injured he can have recourse to the authorities and these will protect him from his aggressor. But the hapless beast is mute, able neither to express its hurt nor take its case to the authorities… Therefore, compassion shown to wild and ravening beasts is cruelty to the peaceful ones -- and so the harmful must be dealt with. But to blessed animals the utmost kindness must be shown, the more the better. Tenderness and loving-kindness are basic principles of God’s heavenly Kingdom. (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 159)

Humanity is in Need of Collective Security
Unification of the whole of mankind is the hall-mark of the stage which human society is now approaching. Unity of family, of tribe, of city-state, and nation have been successively attempted and fully established. World unity is the goal towards which a harassed humanity is striving. Nationbuilding has come to an end. The anarchy inherent in state sovereignty is moving towards a climax. A world, growing to maturity, must abandon this fetish, recognize the oneness and wholeness of human relationships, and establish once for all the machinery that can best incarnate this fundamental principle of its life… The unity of the human race, as envisaged by Bahá’u’lláh, implies the establishment of a world commonwealth in which all nations, races, creeds and classes are closely and permanently united, and in which the autonomy of its state members and the personal freedom and initiative of the individuals that compose them are definitely and completely safeguarded. (Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 202-3) The time must come when the imperative necessity for the holding of a vast, an all-embracing assemblage of men will be universally realized. The rulers and kings of the earth must needs attend it, and, participating in its deliberations, must consider such ways and means as will lay the foundations of the worlds Great Peace amongst men. Such a peace demandeth that the Great Powers should resolve, for the sake of the tranquillity of the peoples of the earth, to be fully reconciled among themselves. Should any king take up arms against another, all should unitedly arise and prevent him. If this be done, the nations of the world will no longer require any armaments, except for the purpose of preserving the security of their realms and of maintaining internal order within their territories. This will ensure the peace and composure of every people, government and nation. ~Gleanings, p. 249 So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. The One true God, He Who knoweth all things, Himself testifieth to the truth of these words. Exert yourselves that ye may attain this transcendent and most sublime station, the station that can insure the protection and security of all mankind. This goal excelleth every other goal, and this aspiration is the monarch of all aspirations. So long, however, as the thick clouds of oppression, which obscure the daystar of justice, remain undispelled, it would be difficult for the glory of this station to be unveiled to men's eyes. These thick clouds are the exponents of idle fancies and vain imaginings, who are none other but the divines of Persia… By “divines” in the passage cited above is meant those men who outwardly attire themselves with the raiment of knowledge, but who inwardly are deprived therefrom. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 14 On the societal level, the principle of collective security enunciated by Bahá’u’lláh and elaborated by Shoghi Effendi does not presuppose the abolition of the use of force, but prescribes “a system in which Force is made the servant of Justice”, and which provides for the existence of an international peace-keeping force that “will safeguard the organic unity of the whole commonwealth”. ~The Kitabi-Aqdas, Notes #173, p. 241

Humanity is in Need of Tests
O SON OF MAN! My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is

light and mercy. Hasten thereunto that thou mayest become an eternal light and an immortal spirit. This is My command unto thee, do thou observe it. ~Bahá’u’lláh, The Arabic Hidden Words, #51 Nothing save that which profiteth them can befall My loved ones. ~ Bahá’u’lláh, ADJ, p. 69 As to trials (tests in the path of God), verily they are necessary …Is it then possible to be saved from the trials of God? No, verily. There is a great wisdom therein of which no one is aware save the wise and knowing. Were it not for tests, genuine gold could not be distinguished from the counterfeit.

Were it not for tests, the courageous could not be known from the coward. Were it not for tests, the people of faithfulness could not be known from the people of selfishness… ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, DAL, p. 91 Ours then is the duty and privilege to labour, by day, by night, amidst the storm and stress of these troublous days, that we may quicken the zeal of our fellow-man, rekindle their hopes, stimulate their interests, open their eyes to the true Faith of God and enlist their active support in the carrying out of our common task for the peace and regeneration of the world.” ~From a letter by Shoghi Effendi to the believers in Australia and New Zealand, 1923-1957

Humanity is in Need of the Holy Spirit
O SON OF MY HANDMAID! Wouldst thou seek the grace of the Holy Spirit, enter into fellowship with

the righteous, for he hath drunk of the cup of eternal life at the hands of the immortal Cup-bearer and even as the true morn doth quicken and illumine the hearts of the dead. ~Bahá’u’lláh, PHW #58 In the teaching of Bahá’u’lláh, it is written: ‘By the Power of the Holy Spirit alone is man able to progress, for the power of man is limited and the Divine Power is boundless.’ ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PT 163 The people of the Qur’án have risen against Us, and tormented Us with such a torment that the Holy Spirit lamented, and the thunder roared out, and the clouds wept over Us. Among the faithless is he who hath imagined that calamities can deter Bahá from fulfilling that which God, the Creator of all things, hath purposed. Say: Nay, by Him Who causeth the rain to fall! Nothing whatsoever can withhold Him from the remembrance of His Lord. ~Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 59 The God Who gave to the world formerly will do so now and in the future. God Who breathed the breath of the Holy Spirit upon His servants will breathe it upon them now and hereafter. There is no cessation to His bounty. The Divine Spirit is penetrating from eternity to eternity, for it is the bounty of God, and the bounty of God is eternal. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP 159 In this age His Holiness Bahá’u’lláh hath breathed the Holy Spirit into the dead body of the world, consequently every weak soul is strengthened by these fresh Divine out-breathings --every poor man will become rich, every darkened soul will become illumined, every ignorant one will become wise, because the confirmations of the Holy Spirit are descending in torrents. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SW, vol.5, p. 1 The only true Explainer of the Book of God is the Holy Spirit, for no two minds are alike, no two can comprehend alike, no two can speak alike. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 212 Know that...there are five divisions of the spirit. First the vegetable spirit...and the animal...the spirit of man has two aspects: one divine, one satanic -that is to say, it is capable of the utmost perfection, or it is capable of the utmost imperfection. If it acquires virtues, it is the most noble of the existing beings; and if it acquires vices, it becomes the most degraded existence. The fourth degree of spirit is the heavenly spirit; it is the spirit of faith and the bounty of God; it comes from the breath of the Holy Spirit, and by the divine power it becomes the cause of eternal life... The fifth spirit is the Holy Spirit. This Holy Spirit is the mediator between God and His creatures. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ, p 143-5 We understand that the Holy Spirit is the energizing factor in the life of man. Whosoever receives this power is able to influence all with whom he comes into contact. The greatest philosophers without this Spirit are powerless, their souls lifeless, their hearts dead! Unless the Holy Spirit breathes into their souls, they can do no good work. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 165 So long as one’s nature yieldeth unto evil passions, crime and transgression will prevail. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 70 Man cannot free himself from the rage of carnal passions except by the help of the Holy Spirit. That is why He says baptism with the spirit, with water and with fire is necessary (Matt. 3:11-12), -that is to say, the spirit of divine bounty, the water of knowledge and life, and the fire of the love of God...Otherwise, what is the use of baptizing with material water? No, this baptism with water was a symbol of repentance, and of seeking forgiveness of sins. But in the cycle of Bahá’u’lláh there is no longer need of this symbol; for its reality, which is to be baptized with the spirit and love of God, is understood and established. ~’Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions, p. 92

Man, then, is in extreme need of the Power by which he is able to receive help from the Divine Reality, that Power alone bringing him into contact with the Source of all life. An intermediary is needed to bring two extremes into relation with each other...without an intermediary power there could be no relation between these pairs of opposites...and this is none other than the Holy Spirit, which brings the created earth into relation with the ‘Unthinkable One’, the Divine Reality. ~‘Abdu’lBahá, Paris Talks, p. 58 Should the work of teaching lapse, these confirmations would be entirely cut off, since it is impossible for the loved ones of God to receive assistance unless they teach. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA 264-5 Bahá’u’lláh has announced that no matter how far the world of humanity may advance in material civilization, it is nevertheless in need of spiritual virtues and the bounties of God. The spirit of man is not illumined and quickened through material sources. It is not resuscitated by investigating phenomena of the world of matter. The spirit of man is in need of the protection of the Holy Spirit. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 288 The power of the Holy Spirit healeth both physical and spiritual ailments. ~SWA, 162 The healing that is by the power of the Holy Spirit needs no special concentration or contact. It is through the wish or desire and the prayer of the holy person. The one who is sick may be in the East and the healer in the West, and they may not have been acquainted with each other, but as soon as that holy person turns his heart to God and begins to pray, the sick one is healed. This gift belongeth to the Holy Manifestations and those who are in the highest station. ~Health and Healing, p. 475 A disaster to the body, when spiritual health is present, is of no importance. That is the main thing. ~from a Tablet of Wisdom, Questions and Answers, by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The power of the Holy Spirit, enlightening man’s intelligence, has enabled him to discover means of bending many natural laws to his will. He flies through the air, floats on the sea, and even moves under the waters...The Holy Spirit will give to man greater powers than these, if only he will strive after the things of the spirit and endeavor to attune his heart to the Divine infinite love. ~PT, p. 37-38 If thou art seeking after spiritual tranquility, turn thy face at all times toward the Kingdom of Abhá. If thou art desiring divine joy, free thyself from the bands of attachment. If thou art wishing for the confirmation of the Holy Spirit, become thou engaged in teaching the Cause of God. ~Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, v3, p. 557 Say: We have ordained that our Cause be taught through the power of utterance. Beware lest ye dispute idly with anyone. Whoso ariseth wholly for the sake of his Lord to teach His Cause, the Holy Spirit shall strengthen him and inspire him with that which will illumine the heart of the world, how much more the hearts of those who seek Him. O people of Baha! Subdue the citadels of men’s hearts with the swords of wisdom and of utterance. They that dispute, as prompted by their desires, are indeed wrapped in a palpable veil. Say: The sword of wisdom is hotter than summer heat, and sharper than blades of steel, if ye do but understand. Draw it forth in My name and through the power of My might, and conquer then with it the cities of the hearts of them that have secluded themselves in the stronghold of their corrupt desires. Thus biddeth you the Pen of the All-Glorious, whilst seated beneath the swords of the wayward. ~Bahá’u’lláh, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 77) The Holy Spirit Itself hath been generated through the agency of a single letter revealed by this Most Great Spirit, if ye be of them that comprehend. ~Bahá’u’lláh, quoted in WOB, p. 109 Just as the earth attracts everything to the centre of gravity, and every object thrown upward into space will come down, so also material ideas and worldly thoughts attract man to the center of self. Anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, covetousness, jealousy and suspicion prevent man from ascending to the realms of holiness, imprisoning him in the claws of self and the cage of egotism. The physical man, unassisted by the divine power, trying to escape from one of these invisible enemies, will unconsciously fall into the hands of another. No sooner does he attempt to soar upward than the density of the love of self, like the power of gravity, draws him to the center of the earth. The only power that is capable of delivering man from this captivity is the power of the breaths of the Holy Spirit. The attraction of the Holy Spirit is so effective that it keeps man ever on the path of upward ascension. The malevolent forces of no enemy will touch these sanctified souls who have made this

universal power their guide. With tranquil heart and assured spirit they are flying upwards day and night, journeying through the illimitable space of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í Scriptures, p. 241 When human brotherhood is founded upon the Holy Spirit, it is eternal, changeless, unlimited. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Foundations of World Unity, p. 80 If a soul remains far from the Manifestation, he may yet be awakened; for he did not recognize the Manifestation of the Divine perfections. But if he loathe the Divine perfections themselves -in other words, the Holy Spirit -it is evident that he is like a bat which hates the light. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ 127-8 [Paul had persecuted the Christians before his conversion by the Spirit of Christ. See Matt. 12:31-32] Today the force for Unity is the Holy Spirit of Bahá’u’lláh. He manifested this spirit of Unity. Bahá’u’lláh brings East and West together. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá in London, p. 54 To establish these great principles a propelling power is needed. It is self-evident that the unity of the human world and the Most Great Peace cannot be accomplished through material means...The very nature of racial differences and patriotic prejudices prevents the realization of this unity and agreement. Therefore, it is evident that the promotion of the oneness of the kingdom of humanity, which is the essence of the teachings of all the Manifestations of God, is impossible except through the divine power and breaths of the Holy Spirit. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 12 Until all nations and peoples become united by the bonds of the Holy Spirit in this real fraternity, until national and international prejudices are effaced in the reality of this spiritual brotherhood, true progress, prosperity and lasting happiness will not be attained by man. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP 142

The Center of the Covenant
Consider that which We have revealed in Our Most Holy Book: ‘When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces towards Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root.’ The object of this sacred verse is none other except the Most Great Branch. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’u’lláh’s eldest son) Thus have We graciously revealed unto you Our potent Will, and I am verily the Gracious, the All-Powerful. ~Bahá’u’lláh, TB 221 Render thanks unto God, O people, for His (‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s) appearance; for verily He is the most great Favor unto you, the most perfect Bounty upon you; and through Him every moldering bone is quickened. Whoso turneth towards Him hath turned towards God, and whoso turneth away from Him hath turned away from My Beauty, hath repudiated My Proof, and transgressed against Me. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Tablet of the Branch, quoted in The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 135 Behold the man whose name is the Branch: for He shall grow up in His place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord. ~Zechariah 6:12 [See also God Passes By, 212-213] Every stone of that building (The Shrine of the Báb), every stone of the road leading to it, I have with infinite tears and at tremendous cost, raised and placed in position. Balyuzí’s ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 126 As to the most great characteristic of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, a special teaching not given by any of the Prophets of the past: It is the ordination and appointment of the Center of the Covenant. By this...He has safeguarded and protected the religion of God against differences and schisms, making it impossible for anyone to create a new sect or faction of belief... The Book of the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh is the means or preventing such a possibility, for whosoever shall speak from the authority of himself alone shall be degraded. Be ye informed and cognizant of this...Praise be to God! Bahá’u’lláh left nothing unsaid. He explained everything. He left no room for anything further to be said. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 456 O my loving friends! After the passing away of this wronged one, it is incumbent upon ...the loved ones of the Abhá Beauty (Bahá’u’lláh) to turn unto Shoghi Effendi --the youthful branch branched from the two hallowed and sacred Lote-Trees... --as he is the sign of God, the chosen branch, the Guardian of the Cause of God, he unto whom all...His loved ones must turn. He is the Interpreter of the Word of God... ~Abdu’l-Bahá, The Will and Testament, p. 11

He is, and should for all time be regarded, first and foremost, as the Center and Pivot of Bahá’u’lláh’s peerless and all-enfolding Covenant, His most exalted handiwork, the stainless Mirror of His light, the Perfect Exemplar of His teachings, the unerring Interpreter of His Word, the embodiment of every Bahá’í ideal, the incarnation of every Bahá’í virtue, the Most Mighty Branch sprung from the Ancient Root, the Limb of the Law of God, the Being “round Whom all names revolve,” the Mainspring of the Oneness of Humanity, the Ensign of the Most Great Peace, the Moon of the Central Orb of this most holy Dispensation -styles and titles that are implicit and find their truest, their highest and fairest expression in the magic name ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. ~Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 134

Justice and Right
And among the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh are justice and right. Until these are realized on the plane of existence, all things shall be in disorder and remain imperfect. The world of mankind is a world of oppression and cruelty, and a realm of aggression and error. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA, p. 304 He has ordained and established the House of Justice, which is endowed with a political, as well as a religious function, the consummate union and blending of church and state. This institution is under the protecting power of Bahá’u’lláh Himself. A universal, or international House of Justice shall also be organized. All must consider themselves to be of the order of subjects, submissive and obedient to the commandments of God and the laws of the House of Justice. Should any deviate by so much as a needle’s point from the decrees of the Universal House of Justice, or falter in his compliance therewith, then is he of the outcast and rejected. (Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 68) The men of God’s House of Justice have been charged with the affairs of the people. They, in truth, are the Trustees of God among His servants and the daysprings of authority in His countries. O people of God! That which traineth the world is Justice, for it is upheld by two pillars, reward and punishment. These two pillars are the sources of life to the world. Inasmuch as for each day there is a new problem and for every problem an expedient solution, such affairs should be referred to the Ministers of the House of Justice that they may act according to the needs and requirements of the time. They that, for the sake of God, arise to serve His Cause, are the recipients of divine inspiration from the unseen Kingdom. It is incumbent upon all to be obedient unto them. All matters of State should be referred to the House of Justice, but acts of worship must be observed according to that which God hath revealed in His Book. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, pp 26-27 Its rulings shall be in accordance with the commands and teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and that which this Universal House of Justice ordains shall be obeyed by all mankind. This International House of Justice shall be appointed and organized from the Houses of Justice of the whole world, and all the world shall come under its administration. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 455 {First elected in 1963} Let it not be imagined that the House of Justice will take any decision according to its own concepts and opinions. God forbid! The Supreme House of Justice will take decisions and establish laws through the inspiration and confirmation of the Holy Spirit, because it is in the safekeeping and under the shelter and protection of the Ancient Beauty, and obedience to its decisions is a bounden and essential duty and an absolute obligation, and there is no escape for anyone. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Establishment of Universal House of Justice, 323 In a world writhing with pain and declining into chaos this community -the vanguard of the liberating forces of Bahá’u’lláh -succeeded in the years following ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s passing in raising high above the institutions established by its sister communities in East and West what may well constitute the chief pillar of that future House -a House which posterity will regard as the last refuge of a tottering civilization. ~Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, 89 [Written in 1933] The progress of the Cause of God gathers increasing momentum and we may with confidence look forward to the day when this Community, in God’s good time, shall have traversed the stages predicated for it by its Guardian, and shall have raised on this tormented planet the fair mansions of God’s Own Kingdom wherein humanity may find surcease from its self-induced confusion and chaos

and ruin, and the hatreds and violence of this time shall be transmuted into an abiding sense of world brotherhood and peace. All this shall be accomplished within the Covenant of the Everlasting Father, the Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh. ~The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1973 [First elected in 1963] It is evident that the axis of the oneness of the world of humanity is the power of the Covenant and nothing else. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Tablets of the Divine Plan, p. 51

Reciprocity
O SON OF BEING! Love Me, that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant. ~Bahá’u’lláh, The Arabic Hidden Words, #5 Wisdom is God’s Emissary and the Revealer of His Name the Omniscient. …And it was this peerless Source of wisdom that at the beginning of the foundation of the world ascended the stair of inner meaning and when enthroned upon the pulpit of utterance, through the operation of the divine Will, proclaimed two words. The first heralded the promise of reward, while the second voiced the ominous warning of punishment. The promise gave rise to hope and the warning begat fear. Thus the basis of world order hath been firmly established upon these twin principles. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 65 God will verily do unto them that which they themselves are doing, and will forget them even as they have ignored His Presence in His day. Such is His decree unto those that have denied Him, and such will it be unto them that have rejected His signs. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 256 He who doeth good unto Me, it is as if he doeth good unto God, His angels and the entire company of His loved ones. He who doeth evil unto Me, it is as if he doeth evil unto God and His chosen ones. Whatever reacheth Me is ordained to reach Me; and that which hath come unto Me, to him who giveth will it revert. By the One in Whose hand is My soul, he hath cast no one but himself into prison. ~Selections from the Writings of the Báb, 15 [Extract from an Epistle to Muhammad Shah] “...Because these teachings were contrary to the interests and the despotism of the Sháh of Persia and the Sultán of Turkey, they arose in opposition and oppression. With all their power they girded their loins to uproot and efface the Cause of God. But the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh was victorious and the fame of His Revelation spread worldwide. Every opponent was overthrown and humiliated because this Cause was supported by the All-Powerful and because His teachings answer the need of the age to promote human happiness and provide supreme guidance.” ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Mahmúd‘s Diary, p. 417 Render ye victorious this Wronged One, Who hath been sore-tried in the hands of the workers of iniquity. He, verily, will aid everyone that aideth Him, and will remember everyone that remembereth Him. To this beareth witness this Tablet that hath shed the splendor of the lovingkindness of your Lord, the All-Glorious, the All-Compelling. ~Bahá’u’lláh, cited in ADJ, p. 76 He who dealeth faithlessly with God shall in justice meet with faithlessness himself; he, however, who acteth in accordance with God’s bidding shall receive a blessing from the heaven of the bounty of his Lord, the Gracious, the Bestower, the Generous, the Ancient of Days. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Kitab-i-Aqdas, # 97

Service and Action
All humanity must obtain a livelihood by sweat of the brow and bodily exertion, at the same time seeking to lift the burden of others, striving to be the source of comfort to souls and facilitating the means of living. This in itself is devotion to God. Bahá’u’lláh has thereby encouraged action and stimulated service. But the energies of the heart must not be attached to these things; the soul must not be completely occupied with them. Though the mind is busy, the heart must be attracted toward the Kingdom of God in order that the virtues of humanity may be attained from every direction and source. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 187 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 James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. We should all visit the sick. When they are in sorrow and suffering, it is a real help and benefit to have a friend come. Happiness is a great healer to those who are ill. In the East it is the custom to call upon the patient often and meet him individually. The people in the East show the utmost kindness and compassion to the sick and suffering. This has greater effect than the remedy itself. You must always have this thought of love and affection when you visit the ailing and afflicted. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 204 The attainment of any object is conditioned upon knowledge, volition and action. Unless these three conditions are forthcoming, there is no execution or accomplishment. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 157 For service in love for mankind is unity with God. He who serves has already entered the Kingdom and is seated at the right hand of his Lord. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 185

Preparation for the Hereafter
The Prophets and Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth. The purpose underlying Their revelation hath been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death, ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and with absolute detachment, to the Throne of the Most High. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 156 All have issued forth from abodes of dust, and unto dust shall they return, while the one true God, alone and single, is established upon His Throne, a Throne which is beyond the reaches of time and space, is sanctified above all utterance or expression, How vast the number of the loved and chosen ones of God who have lamented and moaned by day and by night that haply a sweet and fragrant breeze might blow from the court of His good-pleasure and dispel altogether the loathsome and foulsmelling odours from the world. However, this ultimate goal could not be attained, and men were deprived thereof by virtue of their evil deeds, which brought upon them the retribution of God, in accordance with the basic principles of His divine rule. Ours is the duty to remain patient in these circumstances until relief be forthcoming from God, the Forgiving, the Bountiful. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 177 With all his heart he should avoid fellowship with evil-doers, and pray for the remission of their sins. He should forgive the sinful, and never despise his low estate, for none knoweth what his own end shall be. How often hath a sinner attained, at the hour of death, to the essence of faith, and, quaffing the immortal draught, hath taken his flight unto the Concourse on high! And how often hath a devout believer, at the hour of his soul's ascension, been so changed as to fall into the nethermost fire! ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 265 The soul that hath remained faithful to the Cause of God, and stood unwaveringly firm in His Path shall, after his ascension, be possessed of such power that all the worlds which the Almighty hath created can benefit through him. Such a soul provideth, at the bidding of the Ideal King and Divine Educator, the pure leaven that leaveneth the world of being, and furnisheth the power through which the arts and wonders of the world are made manifest. Consider how meal needeth leaven to be leavened with. Those souls that are the symbols of detachment are the leaven of the world. Meditate on this, and be of the thankful. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 161 Fire and paradise both bow down and prostrate themselves before God. That which is worthy of His Essence is to worship Him for His sake, without fear of fire, or hope of paradise. ~The Báb, SWB p. 77

This Panacea
The healer of all thine ills is remembrance of Me, forget it not… ~Bahá’u’lláh, Persian Hidden Words, #32 The Faith of the Blessed Beauty is summoning mankind to safety and love, to amity and peace; it hath raised up its tabernacle on the heights of the earth, and directeth its call to all nations. Wherefore, O ye who are God’s lovers, know ye the value of this precious Faith, obey its teachings, walk in this road that is drawn straight, and show ye this way to the people. Lift up your voices and sing out the song of the Kingdom. Spread far and wide the precepts and counsels of the loving Lord, so that this world will change into another world, and this darksome earth will be flooded with light, and the dead body of mankind will arise and live; so that every soul will ask for immortality, through the holy breaths of God. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 2 Then He showed me...the Tree of Life, with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month; and the leaves of the Tree were for the healing of the nations. ~Rev. 22:2 [See Genesis 2:9 & 3:24] Verily, He is the Tree of Life that bringeth forth the fruits of God. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Tablet of Ahmad The Tree of Life, of which mention is made in the Bible, is Bahá’u’lláh. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA, p. 57 This is the first age, and the early beginnings of the dispensation of the Most Great Light, wherefore, within this century, virtues must be acquired, goodly qualities must be perfected within this span of time. In these very days the Abhá Paradise must pitch its pavilions on the plains of the world. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu‘l-Bahá, p. 232 “…at the present day Bahá’u’lláh has educated thousands of souls who, while under the menace of the sword, raised to the highest heaven the cry of ‘Ya Bahá’ul-Abhá! (O Thou Glory of the All-Glorious!): and in the fire of tests, their faces became illuminated like gold. Then reflect what will take place in the future…” ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SAQ, p. 35 When these principles were established in the hearts... they so acted in all lands that they became celebrated amongst statesmen for gentleness of spirit, steadfastness of heart, right intent, good deeds, and excellence of conduct. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, A Traveller’s Narrative, p. 39 “…if ye will follow earnestly the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, ye shall indeed become the light of the world, the soul for the body of the world, the comfort and help for humanity, and the source of salvation for the whole universe…” ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, pp. 113-14 Unless these Teachings are effectively spread among the people, until the old ways, the old concepts, are gone and forgotten, this world of being will find no peace, nor will it reflect the perfections of the Heavenly Kingdom. ~ Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 253) Not by the force of numbers, not by the mere exposition of a set of new and noble principles, not by an organized campaign of teaching -no matter how worldwide and elaborate in its character -not even by the staunchness of our faith or the exaltation of our enthusiasm, can we ultimately hope to vindicate in the eyes of a critical and skeptical age the supreme claim of the Abhá Revelation. 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, Bahá’í Administration, p. 66) ...these heavenly teachings are the remedy for a sick and suffering world, and a healing balm for the sores on the body of mankind. They are the spirit of life, the ark of salvation, the magnet to draw down eternal glory, the dynamic power to motivate the inner self of man. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, SWA 61 Say: This Youth hath come to quicken the world and unite all its peoples. The day is approaching when that which God hath purposed will have prevailed and thou shalt behold the earth transformed into the Abhá (All-Glorious) paradise. Thus hath it been inscribed by the Pen of Revelation upon this weighty Tablet. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Suriy-i-Ra’ís #8 [Read by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in Washington, DC. PUP 398-9]

Indeed if everyone on earth were endowed with a myriad tongues and were to continually praise God and magnify His Name to the end that knoweth no end, their thanksgiving would not prove adequate for even one of the gracious favors We have mentioned in this Tablet. Unto this beareth witness every man of wisdom and discernment, of understanding and knowledge. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 28 Those teachings that are scattered throughout the Epistles and Tablets are the cause of the illumination and the life of the world of humanity. Whoever promulgateth them will verily be assisted by the Kingdom of God. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 109 Such is the outpouring of His grace that the pen is stilled and the tongue is speechless. ~Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 180 From the heaven of God’s Will, and for the purpose of ennobling the world of being and of elevating the minds and souls of men, hath been sent down that which is the most effective instrument for the education of the whole human race. The highest essence and most perfect expression of whatsoever the peoples of old have either said or written hath, through this most potent Revelation, been sent down from the heaven of the Will of the All-Possessing, the Ever-Abiding God. ~Bahá’u’lláh, TB, p. 87 Man is like unto a tree. If he be adorned with fruit, he hath been and will ever be worthy of praise and commendation. Otherwise a fruitless tree is but fit for fire. The fruits of the human tree are exquisite, highly desired and dearly cherished. Among them are upright character, virtuous deeds and a goodly utterance. The springtime for earthly trees occureth once every year, while the one for human trees appeareth in the Days of God -exalted by His glory. Were the trees of men’s lives to be adorned in this divine Springtime with the fruits that have been mentioned, the effulgence of the light of Justice would, of a certainty, illumine all the dwellers of the earth and everyone would abide in tranquility and contentment beneath the sheltering shadow of Him Who is the Object of all mankind. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 257 The Water for these trees is the living water of the sacred Words uttered by the Beloved of the world. In one instant are such trees planted and in the next their branches shall, through the outpourings of the showers of divine mercy, have reached the skies. A dried-up tree, however, hath never been not will be worthy of any mention. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 257 This people are assiduously occupied in enlightening the souls of men and in rehabilitating their condition. Unto this testifieth that which hath been sent down by the Most Sublime Pen in this lucid Tablet. How often have things been simple and easy of accomplishment, and yet most men have been heedless, and busied themselves with that which wasteth their time! ~Bahá’u’lláh, ESW p. 137 Every verse which this Pen hath revealed is a bright and shining portal that discloseth the glories of a saintly and pious life, of pure and stainless deeds. The summons and the message which We gave were never intended to reach or to benefit one land or one people only. Mankind in its entirety must firmly adhere to whatsoever hath been revealed and vouchsafed unto it. Then and only then will it attain unto true liberty. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 96 Consider the days of Christ, when none but a small band followed Him; then observe what a mighty tree that seed became; behold ye its fruitage. And now shall come to pass even greater things than these, for this is the summons of the Lord of Hosts, this is the trumpet-call of the living Lord, this is the anthem of world peace, this is the standard of righteousness and trust and understanding raised up among all the of God Himself. This most powerful of dispensations will encompass all the earth, and beneath its banner will all peoples gather and be sheltered together. Know then the vital import of this tiny seed that the true Husbandman hath, with the hands of His mercy, sown in the ploughed fields of the Lord, and watered with the rain of bestowals and bounties and is now nurturing in the heat and light of the Day-Star of Truth. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 82-83 If, in this momentous task, a mighty effort be exerted, the world of humanity will shine out with other adornings, and shed the fairest light. Then will this darksome place grow luminous, and this abode of earth turn into Heaven. The very demons will change to angels then, and wolves to shepherds of the flock, and the wild-dog pack to gazelles that pasture on the plains of oneness, and

ravening beasts to peaceful herds, and birds of prey, with talons sharp as knives, to songsters warbling their sweet native notes. ~Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 130 Incline your hearts, O people of God, unto the counsels of your true, your incomparable Friend. The Word of God may be likened unto a sapling, whose roots have been implanted in the hearts of men. It is incumbent upon you to foster its growth through the living waters of wisdom, and of sanctified and holy words, so that its root may become firmly fixed and its branches may spread out as high as the heavens and beyond. ~Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 93-94 These are the days of seed sowing. These are the days of tree planting. The bountiful bestowals of God are successive. He who sows a seed in this day will behold his reward in the fruits and harvest of the heavenly Kingdom. This timely seed, when planted in the hearts of the beloved of God, will be watered by showers of divine mercy and warmed by the sunshine of divine love. Its fruitage and flower shall be the solidarity of mankind, the perfection of justice and the praiseworthy attributes of heaven manifest in humanity. All who sow such a seed and plant such a tree according to the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh shall surely witness this divine outcome in the degrees of its perfection and will attain unto the good pleasure of the Merciful One. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, PUP, p. 8. Should one of the friends take upon himself to carry out, in all its integrity and implications, only one of the teachings of the Faith, with devotion, detachment, constancy and perseverance and exemplify it in all his deeds and pursuits of life, the world would become another world and the face of the earth would mirror forth the splendors of the Abhá Paradise. ~‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Living the Life, p. 7 Most men have until now failed to discover the purpose of this Wronged One, nor have they known the reason for which He hath been willing to endure countless afflictions. Meanwhile, the voice of Mine heart crieth out these words: “O that My people knew!” This Wronged One, rid of attachment unto all things, uttereth these exalted words: “Waves have encompassed the Ark of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. Fear not the tempestuous gales, O Mariner! He Who causeth the dawn to appear is, verily, with Thee in this darkness that hath struck terror into the hearts of all men, except such as God, the Almighty, the Unconstrained, hath been pleased to spare.” ~Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 36 Advance, O people, with snow-white faces and radiant hearts, unto the blest and crimson Spot, wherein the Tree beyond which there is no passing is calling: ‘Verily, there is none other God beside Me, the Omnipotent Protector, the Self-Subsisting!’ ~Bahá’u’lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 128 I pray Thee, O my Lord, by Thy hidden, Thy treasured Name, that calleth aloud in the kingdom of creation, and summoneth all peoples to the Tree beyond which there is no passing, the seat of transcendent glory, to rain down upon us, and upon Thy servants, the overflowing rain of Thy mercy, that it may cleanse us from the remembrance of all else but Thee, and draw us nigh unto the shores of the ocean of Thy grace. ~Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 300 These, indeed, are the days when heroism is needed on the part of the believers. Self-sacrifice, courage, indomitable hope and confidence are the characteristics they should show forth, because these very attributes cannot but fix the attention of the public and lead them to enquire what, in a world so hopelessly chaotic and bewildered, leads these people to be so assured, so confident, so full of devotion? Increasingly, as time goes by, the characteristics of the Bahá’ís will be that which captures the attention of their fellow- citizens. They must show their aloofness from the hatreds and recriminations which are tearing at the heart of humanity, and demonstrate by deed and word their profound belief in the future peaceful unification of the entire human race. Letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, dated October 26, 1941, to an individual believer, in Lights of Guidance, par. 1348 There is no other aggregation of human beings who can claim to have raised up a system with the demonstrated capacity to unite all of God’s children in one world embracing Order. ~The Universal House of Justice, Ridván Message, 155 B.E.

Whoso ariseth among you to teach the Cause of his Lord, let him, before all else, teach his own self, that his speech may attract the hearts of them that hear him. Unless he teacheth his own self, the words of his mouth will not influence the heart of the seeker. Take heed, O people, lest ye be of them that give good counsel to others but forget to follow it themselves. ~Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings, p. 277


The End of the Seven Times of the Gentiles
The Báb appeared in the year 1260 of the Hejira of Muhammad, which is the beginning of the universal era reckoning of all Islám. There are no clearer proofs than this in the Holy Books for any Manifestation. For him who is just, the agreement of the times indicated by the tongues of the Great Ones is the most conclusive proof. There is no other possible explanation of these prophecies. Blessed are the just souls who seek the truth. But failing justice, the people attack, dispute and openly deny the evidence, like the Pharisees who, at the manifestation of Christ, denied with the greatest obstinacy the explanations of Christ and of His disciples. (‘Abdu’-Baha, Some Answered Questions 66)_________ Moses warned the Israelites that God would punish them if they reverted to idolatry: “I will chastise you seven times...” (Leviticus 26:28) Gentiles would conquer the Jews. “Let seven times pass over him.” Daniel 4:23 refers to this prophecy, while interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, who ruled from 605 to 562 BCE. When asked about His return in Luke 21:5-7, 24 Jesus answers His followers: “Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.” Gentiles, or foreign rulers, would continue to fight over Israel throughout the Seven “Times.” 1 “time” = 1 Biblical “year” = 12 months with 30 days each = 360 “days” or actual years This is established by the following verses: ‘I have appointed thee each day for a year.’ [Ezekiel 4:6] ‘Even forty days, each day for a year.’ [Numbers 14:34][See also Thief in the Night, p.15] 360 x 7 “times” = 2520 years Half of 2520 = 1260 = The latter half of the Seven “Times” = Muslim Dispensation 1260 “days” = 3½ “times” = 42 “months” (Ref. 1 Kings 18:1, Dan. 7:25, 12:7, Luke 4:25, James 5:17, Rev. 11:2, 3, 9 & 11, 12:6 & 14, 13:5) 676 BC [First Captivity in Babylon] 676 + 2520 solar years = 1844 C.E. (See Dan. 4:23 & 32) 602 BC Nebuchadnezzar defeats Pharaoh Necho at Carchemish for control of Israel & Judah etc. 602 B.C.E. + 2520 lunar years = 1844 C.E. (See Jeremiah 46:1) 587 BC Nebuchadnezzar given divine power in Jeremiah 25 & 27 to destroy Jerusalem and First Temple, after rebellion of Zedekiah, whose children are killed before him, and then his eyes put out. 457 BC The 70 year exile of Jews in Babylon was ended by “annointed” Cyrus. (Isaiah 45:1) [Cyrus, or Bahman, son of Isfandiyar, divided known world into 360 divisions. See SDC 7] After conquest of Babylon, Cyrus’ successor, Artaxerxes ordered Jerusalem re-built. (See Ezra 7). Daniel 8:13/Matthew 24:15 foreshadow an “abomination of desolation” lasting 2300 “days” [Daniel 9:24-6 also predicts “7 weeks” or 490 years. 490 - 457 = 33 CE, Jesus was “cut off”] 456 + 2300 solar years = 1844 C.E. (“desolating sacrilege completed” Dan. 8:14 , Matthew 24:15) 33 C.E. Christ, “an annointed one shall be cut off” (Daniel 9:24-26)[See Gleanings, p. 85-6] 70 C.E. [Titus destroyed Second Temple during Jewish rebellion. The Jewish Diaspora followed.] 622 Migration of Muhammad and ‘Alí (The Two Witnesses, Rev.11) to Medina. (1rst Woe, Rev. 9:12) [622 + 1260 lunar years = 1844 CE. The last half of the Times of the Gentiles commenced.] 666 The Umayyad Caliphate “Beast” gained political control of Islám, by killing the rightly guided Hashemite Imams, descended from Muhammad, and controlling Jerusalem from Damascus. 874 Death of 11th Imam. 874=260 A.H. [260 + 1000 lunar millennium = 1260 A.H./1844 C.E.] [For the first 69 years of this period, four báb‘s acted as intermediaries to the 12th Imam] 1844 The Declaration of The Báb, May 23, [1260 A.H./1 B.E.] First Trumpet blast, (2nd Woe, Rev. 11:14) “Return” of 12th Imam, His Mission, Apostolic Order and Execution paralleled that of Jesus Christ. The Qa’im, “He Who Ariseth.” on Ayyam’ul-Qiyyamat “The Day of Resurrection” (Two Witnesses “stand up again” in the Báb and His Apostle Quddus. Rev. 11:11) (Year 1 of the Bahá’í Era began March 21, 1844) in Persia, ancient “Elam” [See Jer. 49:39] The “Return” of Elijah, His Shrine is on Mt. Carmel (1 Kings 18:19, Malachi 4:5, Isaiah 35:2).

Exactly 2300 years elapsed from the decree of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:12) on 1 Nisan, 456 BC to 1 Nisan, (March 21) 1844 CE. Ezekiel 36:33 says “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt.” Jews increased; the Caliphate collapsed in 1924, Israel attained Statehood in 1948, with consent of the UN. The fact Zionists have been re-gathered by alíyah means the Promised One must be in the world. 1863 The Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh, April 21 (3rd Woe “cometh quickly” Rev. 11:14) “Thus have We built the Temple with the hands of power and might, could ye but know it. This is the Temple promised unto you in the Book. Draw ye nigh unto it. This is that which profiteth you, could ye but comprehend it. Be fair, O peoples of the earth! Which is preferable, this, or a temple which is built of clay?” ~Bahá’u’lláh, (Súrih of the Temple) [See John 2:19] “We have sounded the Trumpet for the second time”. (Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh, 131) “...all created things were immersed in the sea of purification... on that first day of Ridván” (KA) They whom God hath endued with insight will readily recognize that the precepts laid down by God constitute the highest means for the maintenance of order in the world and the security of its peoples. He that turneth away from them, is accounted among the abject and foolish. (Bahá’u’lláh, GWB p. 331) It is the ardent desire of the Bahá’ís to put these teachings into common practice: and they will strive with soul and heart to give up their lives for this purpose, until the heavenly light brightens the whole world of humanity. ~ ‘Abdu’l-Bahá O Thou kind God! In the utmost state of humility and submission do we entreat and supplicate at Thy threshold, seeking Thine endless confirmations and illimitable assistance. O Thou Lord! Regenerate these souls, and confer upon them a new life. Animate the spirits, inform the hearts, open the eyes, and make the ears attentive. From Thine ancient treasury confer a new being and animus, and from Thy preexistent abode assist them to attain to new confirmations. O God! Verily, the world is in need of reformation. Bestow upon it a new existence. Give it newness of thoughts, and reveal unto it heavenly sciences. Breathe into it a fresh spirit, and grant unto it a holier and higher purpose. O God! Verily, Thou hast made this century radiant, and in it Thou hast manifested Thy merciful effulgence. Thou hast effaced the darkness of superstitions and permitted the light of assurance to shine. O God! Grant that these servants may be acceptable at Thy threshold. Reveal a new heaven, and spread out a new earth for habitation. Let a new Jerusalem descend from on high. Bestow new thoughts, new life upon mankind. Endow souls with new perceptions, and confer upon them new virtues. Verily, Thou art the Almighty, the Powerful. Thou art the Giver, the Generous. (‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 276)

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