Monday, May 31, 2021

"This abasement became a source of confirmation, this remoteness a means of reunion."

 
"He is God.


O ye who stand fast and firm in the Covenant! No sooner had the Most Great Luminary of the world risen above the horizon of Iraq and shed its radiance upon all regions from the Source of divine glory, than all the bats of darkness, with their pomp and pride, assailed it from every side, that they might conceal that manifest Light from the eyes of His favoured ones and soar to prominence under cover of darkness in the gloom of night. Since their arguments proved powerless against Him, they devised schemes for the departure of the Blessed Beauty. They resorted to innumerable machinations, so that the Day-Star of the world might sink below the horizon of Iraq and the Light of sanctity might be prevented from shining forth from the heights of Divine Unity. And so it came to pass that they conducted the Blessed Beauty from the East to the West.


But this exile and isolation became the means for the exaltation of the Word of God and led to the diffusion of the divine fragrances. The Eagle of His Cause soared unto the summits of grandeur, and the Day-Star of His Word shone forth from the horizon of might and power. This abasement became a source of confirmation, this remoteness a means of reunion. The vitality of God’s Faith was strengthened, and its fame was noised abroad. The Faith was already renowned in Persia, but this exile caused the whole earth to resound with its praise and its reputation to spread throughout the world."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #25)
www.bahai.org/r/121341818

Sunday, May 30, 2021

"This world became another world, and the realm of being acquired a new life."

 
"He is God.

O ye who yearn for the beauty of the compassionate Beloved! No sooner had He Who is the Beloved of the worlds, the Desire of the spiritually minded, the Object of the adoration of the heavenly souls, and the Promised One of the people of the Bayán been made manifest in Iraq than He stirred and quickened the earth, and shed His radiant light upon human conduct and character. The universe was set in motion, and the whole creation was filled with joy. The reality of each created thing acquired its heavenly significance, and every atom in existence attained unto the Divine Beloved. The East became the Dawning-Place of splendours, and the West was made the horizon of effulgent glory. The earth became heavenly, and darksome dust was made radiant. The glory of the Kingdom was revealed in the world of creation, and this nether realm was awakened to the Realm on high. This world became another world, and the realm of being acquired a new life.

 
With every passing day, these signs will be revealed and made more manifest, these lights will shine more resplendent; and with every passing moment, this musk-laden breeze will shed its perfume upon the world. But alas! The people of Persia remain wrapt in heedless slumber and, like the blind and the deaf, neither see the Light nor hear the Call. They are neither awakened nor mindful.


Strive then and exert a mighty effort, for Persia is the homeland of the compassionate Beloved, and Fárs the dawning-place of the resplendent Morn. Perchance, through the high endeavours of the friends, the inhabitants of that land may perceive the rays of that luminous Orb, and may receive their portion of manifold grace from the Lord of tokens and signs. The Glory of Glories rest upon you."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #24)
www.bahai.org/r/202965987

Saturday, May 29, 2021

"At that instant, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá understood what was expected of him."

 
" ‘Abdu’l-Bahá hath also been thy partner and associate in this regard. In Paris, while, on the one hand, each noble soul brought joy to our hearts, on the other, great difficulties arose as a result of attacks by small-minded individuals. In London some of the clergy hurled such assaults upon us as are impossible to describe. Wert thou to read the Churchman, thou wouldst know what things have come to pass.32 But ‘Abdu’l-Bahá payeth no heed whatsoever to any ordeal, difficulty, or adversity. Nay, rather, he regardeth adversity to be, at times, the same as bounty itself. For forty years the prison-city of ‘Akká was for him a heavenly paradise, and he saw the early days of that imprisonment, which were its most severe, as a garden of roses.


Thou too must be my companion, and abandon not the arena in the face of afflictions and calamities. Thou must not merely refrain from complaining, but must rather be thankful. One day in Baghdad, the Blessed Beauty—may my soul be offered up for His servants—addressing us, uttered this verse: 


Either speak no more of love, or content thyself with what hath been ordained; 

Thus hath it been decreed by My command, and such is My law and My way.33


At that instant, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá understood what was expected of him."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #22 part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/621473431

Friday, May 28, 2021

"I bear witness that he who hath known Thee hath known God, ..."

 

Commemorating the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh


(This Tablet is read at the Shrines of Bahá’u’lláh and the Báb. It is also frequently used in commemorating Their anniversaries.)


Magnolia © 2021 Chuck Egerton
"The praise which hath dawned from Thy most august Self, and the glory which hath shone forth from Thy most effulgent Beauty, rest upon Thee, O Thou Who art the Manifestation of Grandeur, and the King of Eternity, and the Lord of all who are in heaven and on earth! I testify that through Thee the sovereignty of God and His dominion, and the majesty of God and His grandeur, were revealed, and the Daystars of ancient splendor have shed their radiance in the heaven of Thine irrevocable decree, and the Beauty of the Unseen hath shone forth above the horizon of creation. I testify, moreover, that with but a movement of Thy Pen Thine injunction “Be Thou” hath been enforced, and God’s hidden Secret hath been divulged, and all created things have been called into being, and all the Revelations have been sent down.


I bear witness, moreover, that through Thy beauty the beauty of the Adored One hath been unveiled, and through Thy face the face of the Desired One hath shone forth, and that through a word from Thee Thou hast decided between all created things, causing them who are devoted to Thee to ascend unto the summit of glory, and the infidels to fall into the lowest abyss.


I bear witness that he who hath known Thee hath known God, and he who hath attained unto Thy presence hath attained unto the presence of God. Great, therefore, is the blessedness of him who hath believed in Thee, and in Thy signs, and hath humbled himself before Thy sovereignty, and hath been honored with meeting Thee, and hath attained the good pleasure of Thy will, and circled around Thee, and stood before Thy throne. Woe betide him that hath transgressed against Thee, and hath denied Thee, and repudiated Thy signs, and gainsaid Thy sovereignty, and risen up against Thee, and waxed proud before Thy face, and hath disputed Thy testimonies, and fled from Thy rule and Thy dominion, and been numbered with the infidels whose names have been inscribed by the fingers of Thy behest upon Thy holy Tablets. " ...


(Bahá’í Prayers, Tablet of Visitation of Bahá'u'lláh, excerpt)
www.bahai.org/r/433530712

" ... unravel before him Thy hidden mysteries, and preserve him from every affliction and sorrow, within the stronghold of Thine unfailing protection."

 

'Abdu'l-Bahá in Philadelphia 1912

"O Lord! Tribulations have encompassed all the peoples. There is none to dispel them besides Thee, and none to forgive our sins except Thyself. I beseech Thee to shield Thy loved ones and protect Thy chosen ones from the swirling dust that hath encompassed that land. I implore Thee, in particular, to shield this devoted servant of Thine, Ja‘far, who hath been praying fervently to Thee and supplicating in tears before Thy Face. He is destitute and hath placed his complete trust and confidence in Thee. O Lord! Relieve him of his ills, and let him not drown in the deepest abyss of tribulations or in the fathomless ocean of afflictions. Bestow upon him Thy manifold bounties, unravel before him Thy hidden mysteries, and preserve him from every affliction and sorrow, within the stronghold of Thine unfailing protection. O God! Open Thou the gates of joy and happiness for him in this marvellous age, so that the verities of Thy Cause may flow from him in torrents to every ardent and grateful soul. O Lord! Grant that his sole aim, his only goal, may be to diffuse Thy sweet savours amidst humankind and to spread Thy light throughout the world. O Thou my compassionate Lord! Thou art, in truth, the God of bounty, the Almighty, the All-Glorious, the Ever-Forgiving."

(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #22)

Thursday, May 27, 2021

"Suddenly, Qurratu’l-‘Ayn emerged from her garden and, roaring and crying out, she entered the tent and seated herself."

Tent of Bahá'u'lláh
 

"With regard to the episode of Badasht, though the account is accurate, it is not exhaustive. A fuller description would be that Qurratu’l-‘Ayn was in one garden and Quddús in another, whilst the Blessed Beauty resided in a tent. His tent was raised between the two gardens, beside a stream. The Blessed Beauty had previously said unto Quddús and Qurratu’l-‘Ayn that the Cause was to be fully proclaimed. The next day, He fell ill. Quddús entered and sat in the presence of the Blessed Beauty, with all the believers gathered round the tent. Suddenly, Qurratu’l-‘Ayn emerged from her garden and, roaring and crying out, she entered the tent and seated herself. “Read the Súrih of the Event”, the Blessed Beauty proclaimed, and it was read in His presence. The greatest commotion then came to pass: Some fled, others wept and cried aloud, and yet others were sorely perturbed. Mullá Ismá‘íl cut his own throat, and the gathering at Badasht was dispersed."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #17)
www.bahai.org/r/281415902

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

"Although that radiant Luminary was merciful, loving, and forgiving to all, the ignorant kindled such fires that they burned away all sense of decency and shame."

 
© 2021 Chuck Egerton
"In brief, let not the loved ones of God be grieved or distressed at these countless afflictions, for in bearing such trials they share in the sufferings of the Abhá Beauty. Although that radiant Luminary was merciful, loving, and forgiving to all, the ignorant kindled such fires that they burned away all sense of decency and shame. As a result, that focal Centre of beauty was subjected to chains and fetters; He endured the bastinado and was afflicted, day and night, with all manner of torture. He was made homeless and a wanderer in mountains and plains; He was banished, exiled, and imprisoned. He spent twenty-five long years in confinement and was insulted and tormented. Let the friends render thanks unto God, therefore, that they too have suffered pillage and plunder, that they too have been targeted by the darts of cruelty and malice."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #12)
www.bahai.org/r/262097108

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

" ... so that through divine guidance thou mayest enable the human souls to become even as the angels of Paradise, mayest promote universal peace in this distinguished Age and serve the oneness of the world of humanity ..."

 

© 2021 Chuck Egerton

"O thou sincere seeker! Strive thou with all thy might to summon the people to the heavenly Kingdom, so that through divine guidance thou mayest enable the human souls to become even as the angels of Paradise, mayest promote universal peace in this distinguished Age and serve the oneness of the world of humanity, and mayest attain unto everlasting life, follow the example of Christ, and become a companion of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in this path. Upon thee be greetings and praise."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #9)
www.bahai.org/r/167559139

Monday, May 24, 2021

"Whosoever ariseth to teach shall be graciously aided by the hosts of the celestial Concourse. Naught else will lead to any success whatsoever."

 
© 2021 Chuck Egerton
"Teaching the Cause in this day is the head cornerstone of the foundation itself. Whosoever ariseth to teach shall be graciously aided by the hosts of the celestial Concourse. Naught else will lead to any success whatsoever. Today is the day for laying the foundation, not the time for organization, repair, or restoration. One must first lay the foundation, and only then organize and arrange.


Laying the foundation consisteth solely in the propagation of the Faith of God, in the diffusion of the divine fragrances, and in detachment from all else but Him. Consider how a skilled builder first procureth the necessary materials for the edifice. He then prepareth the groundwork, layeth the foundation, and raiseth the pillars. Only afterwards doth he attend to its organization, arrangement, and adornment. Were we to concentrate on organization and arrangement at this time, the teaching of the Cause of God and the diffusion of the divine fragrances would be delayed."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #7, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/483372681

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Joyous Declaration of the Báb!

 Joyous Declaration of the Báb!



"God
, of a truth, revealed unto Me in the sacred house of the Ka‘bah, “Verily, I am God, no God is there but Me. I have singled Thee out for Myself and have chosen Thee as the Remembrance. Indeed, whosoever beareth allegiance unto Thee by walking in the way of the Báb, for him the recompense of the next world hath surely been prescribed.…” It is ordained in the Book that upon the realization of the Cause of the Remembrance, the Most Great Event will have come to pass according to the dispensation of Providence, and God, truly, is potent over all things. 

Chapter LXXIX.


O Qurratu’l-‘Ayn! Say: Verily I am the One Who is hailed in the Mother Book as the “Great Announcement.” Say: The people have grievously differed over Me, whereas in truth there is no difference between Me and the Báb; and God, the Eternal Truth, is sufficient witness. 

Chapter LXXVII.


I am the Mystic Fane which the Hand of Omnipotence hath reared. I am the Lamp which the Finger of God hath lit within its niche and caused to shine with deathless splendor. I am the Flame of that supernal Light that glowed upon Sinai in the gladsome Spot, and lay concealed in the midst of the Burning Bush. 

Chapter XCIV.


(Selections from the Writings of the Báb)
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"The point is that true repentance must be distinguished from false. Only then can it be accepted. Upon you be greetings and praise."

 
© 2021 Chuck Egerton
"Indeed, the very foundation of the Law of God is that His loved ones should consort with all the peoples and kindreds of the earth with the utmost kindliness, fellowship, and unity, and with truthfulness, sincerity, and faithfulness. On no account should they behave towards anyone in a manner contrary to this inviolable principle, save for one who is the embodiment of enmity and is intent upon destroying the Law of God. For such souls, there is no remedy whatsoever. No space should be given them to parade and advance. For otherwise they would bring to naught the glorious martyrdom of the Báb, the shedding of the pure blood of all the martyrs, and the trials, afflictions, and imprisonments suffered by the Luminous Beauty for well-nigh fifty years. They would utterly subvert the mighty foundation of the Cause of God.


Therefore, the company of these people should be shunned and none should associate with them, unless they repent unto God. My Lord is verily the Compassionate, the Forgiving. Such repentance, however, must be sincere and not merely in words. The repentance of the Centre of Sedition would consist in his rectifying all that he hath interpolated in the Text, confessing to that which he hath done, and imploring God’s pardon and forgiveness. For, one day, he came to see ‘Abdu’l-Bahá through the intercession of ‘Alí-Akbar. He shut the door, confessed his transgressions, and asked forgiveness for his trespasses. This servant did indeed forgive him, but after a few days it became clear and evident that this too had been but one of his deceitful designs. His true intention had been to meet certain persons in private and sow the seeds of doubt in their hearts, for the friends had been shunning his company. The point is that true repentance must be distinguished from false. Only then can it be accepted. Upon you be greetings and praise."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #6, part 7)
www.bahai.org/r/264406668

Friday, May 21, 2021

"O ye beloved of the Lord! Be united, stand ye together, and cleave tenaciously to the Sure Handle of the Covenant."

 
"In those days, a few influential notables were planning to procure ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s release from confinement. They were fully capable of doing so. But in reply, this servant said, “This citadel is the Prison of the Abhá Beauty. He spent well-nigh four and twenty years here; I have therefore no wish to be released from this prison, nor do I seek deliverance. Nay, rather, I seek renewed confinement and earnestly desire an even more severe incarceration.” Those souls were bewildered by my words. But my intent was that they should understand that, in the path of the Lord, prison for us is even as a royal palace, and the depths of the pit as the apex of heaven. This indeed is an unquestionable reality. This verily is the truth, and all else naught but manifest error.

The Centre of Sedition cherisheth the hope that once he hath caused the blood of this prisoner to be spilt, he may at last find an arena in which to spur on his charger. Woe unto such idle fancies, such vain imaginings! For lo, some imaginings are a grievous sin. Those who are inebriated with the wine of the Covenant are weary of the stirrers of sedition, and those who seek guidance from the light of Revelation eschew the movers of mischief. Even should the nightingale of faithfulness wing its flight to the garden of eternity, a mindful soul would never give ear unto the croaking of the raven or the cawing of the crow; and even should the comely countenance be concealed behind a veil, no wise person would cast a glance upon an unsightly face. None would ever do so except him who seeketh to stir up sedition or is bereft of reason and discernment. May the Lord shield and protect you from the malice of the ungodly and the mischief of such as have violated His Covenant.

O ye beloved of the Lord! Be united, stand ye together, and cleave tenaciously to the Sure Handle of the Covenant. Bend your energies towards exalting the Word of God, so that the light of Truth may envelop the whole of creation and the darkness of hatred and error may be utterly dispelled.


Were the harm inflicted by the Centre of Sedition directed merely at this servant, and his hatred confined to this wronged prisoner, I swear, by Him besides Whom there is none other God, that I would not have uttered a single word about his scrolls of doubt and his calumnies. But what choice is there? For he hath falsified the words of God, hath sought the ruin of the religion of God, and hath broken the Covenant of God. Had I not tried to awaken the friends by dissipating the doubts through a few words, the Faith of God would have been entirely effaced. I swear by Him besides Whom there is none other God! No choice is left to me but to write these brief words; otherwise, this servant would never have consented to utter a single word of disparagement, even against the fiercest of his foes.


Notwithstanding all that hath passed, I still fervently pray and implore God that he may, perchance, leave aside these childish games, turn away from iniquity and rebellion, and repent and enter beneath the shadow of the Covenant. I swear by Him besides Whom there is none other God! I would then show him the utmost love and kindness, would utter not a word about bygone days, and would lay no obligation on him save that he rectify that which he hath falsified in the Sacred Text."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #6, part 6)
www.bahai.org/r/896508724

Thursday, May 20, 2021

"Whatever events should come to pass, whether great or small, accuse ye not a single soul."

 
"O ye loved ones of God! ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is in grave danger by reason of the mischief of the enemies and the discord fomented by the Centre of Sedition.19 Whatever events should come to pass, whether great or small, accuse ye not a single soul. All such events are due to the revolt and dissension of the Centre of Sedition. I implore God to enable him to repent and to return to the Covenant and the Testament, for otherwise he will, erelong, find himself in manifest loss. At present, he is considering how to secure a means of escape, and to flee from the Holy Land, so that he may engage in further mischief and that, by his escape, he may cause greater afflictions and troubles for this servant and for the loved ones of God. He stopped at nothing and, with all that lay in his power, stirred up malice, created dissension, spread falsehoods, and disseminated slander and calumny. All that remaineth for him is to flee, which, to his disgrace, he is now intent on doing, thus causing grievous shame and dire turmoil. Should he find an opportunity, he would not delay his escape even for a single moment, but it is difficult for him to accomplish this plan. However, should this come to pass, the loved ones of God must be ever watchful and aware, and must everywhere remain vigilant lest he create a breach in the Cause of God and spread abroad the foul odours of enmity. From the Ascension of the Blessed Beauty until the present day, he hath committed every act that could harm the Cause of God. Now he is planning this abhorrent and reprehensible act as well."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #6, part 5)
www.bahai.org/r/876948459

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

" ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rejoiceth in these supreme glad-tidings ..."

 
"Wherefore, O ye loved ones of God, it behoveth you all to be filled with such ecstasy and joy on this blessed Festival as to stir the kingdom of existence into motion. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá rejoiceth in these supreme glad-tidings, and supplicateth with the utmost lowliness and fervour at the Threshold of the Abhá Beauty that He may bring gladness to each one of the friends and bestow delight and happiness upon them. 


It is our hope that, in the year to come, the friends of the All-Merciful who live in free lands will, in a spirit of joy and radiance, lay the foundations of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár and arise to clearly and openly praise and glorify the Beauty of the Unconstrained and recite the obligatory prayer; for in the realm of worship, fasting and obligatory prayer constitute the two mightiest pillars of God’s holy Law. Neglecting them is in no wise permitted, and falling short in their performance is certainly unseemly. In the Tablet of Visitation He saith: “I beseech God, by Thee and by them whose faces have been illumined with the splendours of the light of Thy countenance, and who, for love of Thee, have observed all whereunto they were bidden.” He declareth that observance of the commandments of God emanateth from love for the beauty of the Best-Beloved. The seeker, when immersed in the ocean of the love of God, will be moved by intense longing and will arise to carry out the laws of God. Thus, it is impossible for a heart to contain the fragrance of God’s love and yet fail to worship the True One, except under conditions when such an action would agitate the enemies and stir up dissension and mischief. Otherwise, a lover of the Abhá Beauty will no doubt continually demonstrate perseverance in the worship of the Lord."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #6, part 4)
www.bahai.org/r/977450104

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

"It is the season to rejoice and be happy in heart and soul, the time for music and song, for the melody of harp and lute."

 
"O Lord! Make of Thy loved ones celestial angels who inhabit Thine earth, and enable Thy chosen ones to become heavenly people who reside in Thy realm. This, indeed, is the highest aspiration of Thy servant who hath humbled himself before Thy sovereignty, bowed down in adoration before Thy door, prostrated himself before Thy glory, and fallen upon the dust before the power of Thy sovereign might. Thou art the Bestower, the Compassionate, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful.


O ye spiritual friends of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá! At this moment, when the Star of the Riḍván Festival gleameth bright above the horizon of creation and the whole world is wrapt in an ecstasy of joy and fervour, it is the time for rapture and bliss, for exultation and delight, and for the revelation of this celebrated Day. It is the season to rejoice and be happy in heart and soul, the time for music and song, for the melody of harp and lute. The signs of gladness are manifest from every side, and the light of rapture shineth in all directions. The loved ones of the Lord are in perfect joy, and His chosen ones beam with delight, for this is the Day whereon the Most Great Name set out from the City of God in Iraq and entered the luminous Garden. On that resplendent Day, the Beloved evinced such ineffable bliss that the radiance of His joy suffused the kingdom of existence. On that glorious Day, the Word of God was exalted amidst all creation."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #6, part 3)
www.bahai.org/r/148572073

Monday, May 17, 2021

"O Lord my God! Make them radiant stars, resplendent lamps, brilliant orbs, and blazing meteors, so that they may arise to serve Thee amongst Thy creatures ..."

 
Gordon Parks
"Thus have the hearts of Thy loved ones overflowed with joy and rapture and been carried away in happiness and bliss by Thy sweet savours. They have arisen with yearning and longing to praise Thee, “and drink of a pure beverage shall their Lord give them”.18 Praise be to Thee, O my God, for all that Thou hast graciously granted us. Thanks be to Thee, O my Hope, for the bounties Thou hast conferred upon us. Blessings be upon Thee, O my Best-Beloved, for the favours Thou hast chosen to bestow upon us.


O God, my God! O Thou Who art the Goal of my desire! Unlock before the faces of Thy loved ones the portals of Thy favours on this perspicuous day. Hoist the sails of guidance above their heads in the Crimson Ark. Cause them to be gathered beneath the standard of Thy bounty and generosity, and send down upon them the sign of Thy grace in the midmost heart of creation. O Lord my God! Make them radiant stars, resplendent lamps, brilliant orbs, and blazing meteors, so that they may arise to serve Thee amongst Thy creatures, kindle the fire of Thy love in the hearts of Thy people, scatter abroad Thy signs throughout Thy realms, and edify the souls of all that dwell on earth. Then shall Thy heavenly repast be outspread throughout the world, this contingent plane become the Abhá Paradise by the power of Thy might, and this nether dust be made the envy of the high heavens through the outpourings of Thy wisdom."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #6, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/809631080

Sunday, May 16, 2021

"Riḍván hath pitched its tent with dazzling splendour in the midmost heart of the world, and led its hosts and sent forth its troops far and wide to the uttermost corners of Paradise."

 
© 2021 Chuck Egerton
"He is God.


O Lord, my God, my Best-Beloved, my Aim, my heart’s Desire! This, verily, is the first of the days of Riḍván. It is come with joy and delight, exultation and rapture. The winds are wafting, the clouds are raining down, and the sun is shining forth through Thy bountiful grace. The morning breeze bloweth over hill and dale in this wondrous Springtime, as a token of Thine inestimable favour, transforming these lands into a fine brocade of incomparable hues and a silken carpet begemmed with flowers and adorned with a vesture of verdant leaves that dazzle the eyes with their gleaming splendour. The breezes blow gently, the fresh streams flow softly, and the meads are adorned with bloom; the groves are lush, the clouds are rich with rain, and the stars are aglow through Thy gracious providence. This dust-heap of a mortal world hath been made green and lustrous by Thy bounty, and the earth hath become an eternal paradise‎ through Thy mercy, O my God, inasmuch as Thy day of Riḍván hath arrived, girded with majesty and invested with sovereignty, flooding creation with beams of light like unto a star, and accompanied by a procession of fervour and joy. Riḍván hath pitched its tent with dazzling splendour in the midmost heart of the world, and led its hosts and sent forth its troops far and wide to the uttermost corners of Paradise."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #6, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/381027946

Saturday, May 15, 2021

"Nay, by the righteousness of the Lord! Erelong thou shalt hear the sound of this Bugle and the blasts of this Trumpet coming from the Concourse on high."

  
"Consider how the burning meteor of the Covenant hath pierced the heart of the world. Witness the rays that stream forth from the unseen Kingdom upon the lands of the Slavs and the Turks. 


Shed splendours on the Orient,

And perfumes scatter in the West, 

Carry light unto the Slav,

And the Turk with life invest.

 

And yet these deniers, even as the bats of darkness, have crawled into their caves of apathy and deny the existence of the sun. How well hath it been said: 

Granted that this morn be called a darksome night, Are seeing eyes also blinded by the light?17


Nay, by the righteousness of the Lord! Erelong thou shalt hear the sound of this Bugle and the blasts of this Trumpet coming from the Concourse on high. Glory be to my Lord, the All-Glorious! Upon thee be greetings and praise."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #5, part 5)
www.bahai.org/r/204339593

Friday, May 14, 2021

" ... how the divine Call, bearing the joyful tidings of the Spirit, hath quickened and revitalized the world of humanity ..."

 
Steichen
"Consider more recent events. When these exiles were under the threat of the sword, the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs—may my life be offered up for them both—as well as other martyrs, attained the station of supreme sacrifice. The martyrs in Yazd were ripped to pieces, and those in Khurásán were burnt to death, their dust and ashes scattered to the winds. So too it was in Shíráz and other parts of the country. At that same time, the leader of these wayward people expressly repudiated the Báb from the pulpits of Iṣfahán and Ṭihrán.15 Can this also be denied, though it had become the talk of both towns?


Now that he is witnessing how the praises of the Cause of God have set the East and the West in motion, how the fame of the Most Great Name hath encompassed the North and the South, how the potency of the Word of God hath shaken the powers of the world, and how the divine Call, bearing the joyful tidings of the Spirit, hath quickened and revitalized the world of humanity—he hath once again emerged from his pit of obscurity. He hath raised an uproar and asserted his existence, declaring: “We are the people of the Bayán, and the cornerstone of this edifice.”


Far, far be it from the truth! Where were these people a few years ago? Who amongst them hath ever quaffed from the cup of tribulation or exerted the least effort in the pathway of the Exalted One? Naught have they ever manifested but denial and repudiation; nothing have they ever shown save indecency and vice. By God, besides Whom there is none other! Should there now be any test or trial, ye would immediately witness them ascending the pulpit and raising the cry of “We are wholly quit of them!”16 Nay, they would curse and revile the Cause of God…."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #5, part 4)
www.bahai.org/r/209580782

Thursday, May 13, 2021

"But the Báb—may my life be offered up for Him—left no soul any room for hesitation. He removed the veils completely."

 
"In brief, on the day of the Revelation of the divine Light, the peoples of the world invariably cleaved unto the outward meanings of the verses of the Book, and thus deprived themselves of the grace of the Almighty. Worse still, most of the divines used their interpretation of the Holy Books to decree the death of these sovereign Lords of all existence, these Luminaries of the visible and invisible realms. Yet, there is little cause for wonder that those peoples were veiled from the Lord of creation, for their Holy Books and Scriptures did not contain such clear and explicit counsels and such conclusive admonitions as are found in the Bayán. 


But the Báb—may my life be offered up for Him—left no soul any room for hesitation. He removed the veils completely. Throughout the Bayán, He openly and unambiguously declared that the object of all the Scriptures and sacred Books was none other than the Most Great Light. He warned the people to beware lest they be veiled from the Day-Star of the world by the text of the Book or by their own interpretations of the verses and utterances. Were counsels and admonitions such as these ever revealed in the Torah, the Gospel, or the Holy Qur’án? Nay, by the righteousness of God! This is unique to this Most Great Dispensation, in which the Morn of divine guidance, the Most Exalted Beauty—may my life be offered up for Him—hath rent asunder the concealing veils and made the path of guidance plain and clear.


Moreover, following the martyrdom of that Mystery of existence, that glorious Being, where were these perverse people to be found? Each had crept into the corner of everlasting abasement, turned away from friend and stranger alike, and, seized with fear and trepidation, remained hidden from everyone until such time as the Ancient Beauty, the Most Great Name—may my life be offered up for His loved ones—exalted the Cause of God. Then it was that these creeping things crawled out of their hiding places and flaunted themselves. In no time at all, they stirred up mischief, raised the banner of hatred, and thus cast themselves into the abyss of woeful torment. No mention dost thou hear from them now, nor the faintest murmur."14


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #5, part 3)

www.bahai.org/r/667868996


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

“What aileth these people that they come not close to understanding what is said unto them?”


"The Báb Himself saith: “Beware lest the Váḥid of the Bayán and that which hath been revealed in the Bayán shut thee out as by a veil from Him.” And yet, notwithstanding this, these foolish ones have seized upon the outer meaning of the verses as a pretext to cavil against that peerless Beauty in Whose praise the whole of the Bayán hath been revealed. “What aileth these people that they come not close to understanding what is said unto them?”10 He hath also said: “Were He to appear at this very moment, I would be the first to adore Him.” And again: “In the year nine ye shall attain unto all good.” And so on.


First, consider the basis on which they pronounced the death sentence against the Most Exalted One, the Báb—may my life be a sacrifice unto Him! Mullá Muḥammad-i-Mamaqání cried out, “O people! In the Qur’án God saith: ‘No doubt is there about this Book: It is a guidance unto the God-fearing’;11 that is, it guideth aright all humanity. It is also clearly stated: ‘But He is the Apostle of God and the Seal of the Prophets.’12 How can we regard such an explicit statement as the source of error, while it is guidance itself? This person who claimeth to be a descendant of the Prophet hath indeed destroyed the foundation laid down by Him!” He then mentioned, one by one, some of the laws revealed in the Bayán—laws that were later abrogated in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Thereupon, he ordered the emblem of the Báb’s noble lineage to be removed from His head,13 and issued, without hesitation and with the utmost malice, the sentence of His death.


Say: Unto what did the Jewish people cleave except the outer meanings of the verses of the Torah when they adorned the cross with the body of the Beloved, thus depriving themselves of the grace of the Messiah? They clung unto the literal text of the Torah while remaining veiled from Him Who was its Revealer. The Pharisees, who ranked among the most learned of that age and cycle, called Christ not Messiah [Masíḥ] but a monster [Masíkh]. They regarded His comely and beauteous Countenance as vile and unsightly. Such are the ways of the people at the hour of the dawning of the Day-Star of the world.


Likewise, when the breezes of the Revelation of Muḥammad perfumed the regions of Mecca and Medina, and the reviving breaths of the divine Teachings made the Arabian Peninsula the scene of the celestial springtide, the Christian divines also clung unto the literal interpretation of God’s perspicuous Book, and remained deprived of the splendours of the Day-Star of the realms above. For according to the outward meaning of the text of the Holy Gospel, there will be no other advent after Christ. The priests and clerics held fast unto these words and remained veiled from the light of certitude that shone forth from the luminous Horizon."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #5, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/440592986


Note: 10, Qur’án 4:78.
Note: 11, Qur’án 2:2.
Note: 12, Qur’án 33:40.
Note: 13, His turban.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

“The Day of Resurrection is from the time of the dawning of the Sun of Bahá until its setting.”

 
"O servant of the one true God! When the Morn of divine guidance dawned above the Most Exalted Horizon, its rays brought tidings of great joy and heralded the advent of the Abhá Beauty, as is openly and unequivocally stated in the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá’.


In the whole of the Bayán, all things find their consummation in these wondrous and sublime words: “The Day of Resurrection is from the time of the dawning of the Sun of Bahá until its setting.”6 “Beware, beware, lest the Váḥid of the Bayán shut thee out as by a veil from Him. And beware, beware, that what hath been sent down in the Bayán shut thee not out as by a veil from Him.”7 The Báb Himself is among the Váḥid of the Bayán: There are the eighteen Letters of the Living, and He Himself is the nineteenth. One of the Letters of the Living is Quddús, of whom He hath said that Mirrors to the number of thirteen Váḥids abide beneath his shadow. 8


Therefore, say unto them that are veiled: “The Exalted One hath warned you to beware, beware, lest by turning unto Him or unto that which hath been revealed in the Bayán ye be shut out as by a veil from the Beauty of the Lord. Yet ye foolish ones are raising a clamour on every side. One saith, ‘Where is the advent of Him Whom God shall make manifest?’ while another exclaimeth, ‘Where are His palaces?’ One asketh, ‘Where is the primary school of Him Whom God shall make manifest?’9 and yet another demandeth, ‘Where is the cradle of His resurrection?’”


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #5, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/983727199


Note: 6, The Arabic Bayán 1:7.
Note: 7, The Báb’s Tablet to Mullá Báqir-i-Tabrízí.
Note: 8, “Mirror” was a title bestowed by the Báb on several of His followers.

Note: 9, See Kitáb-i-Aqdas, ⁋175 and note 185.