Tuesday, August 31, 2021

“Where is the Great Catastrophe? Where is the Most Great Resurrection? Where are the darkening of the sun, the cleaving of the moon, the scattering of the stars, the heaving of the earth, and the rending of the heavens? ..."

 
..."It is obvious that the Primal Point—may my life be offered up for His blessed Dust—was well aware of the Day of the Revelation and the identity of the Promised Beauty, that hidden Mystery and well-guarded Secret. This explicit warning was for the sake of emphasis, lest any soul should protest that the rejection of this Most Great Revelation by a certain person is reason for doubt and misgivings.


And yet, behold to what vain imaginings the people of the Bayán are clinging.124 They cry out: “Where is the primary school of Him Whom God shall make manifest?125 Where are the kings of the Bayán? Where are its places of worship and its Witnesses?” However, by the same token, the followers of the Qur’án could also cry out and exclaim: “Where is the Great Catastrophe? Where is the Most Great Resurrection? Where are the darkening of the sun, the cleaving of the moon, the scattering of the stars, the heaving of the earth, and the rending of the heavens? Where are the levelling of the mountains, the gathering together of the beasts, and the boiling of the seas? Where are the Resurrection and the Judgement, the Bridge and the Balance? Where are the chastising angels, and where is the day that is reckoned as fifty thousand years in the sight of God? Where are Heaven and Hell? Where are the kindled fire, the paradise brought nigh, the river of life, the heavenly streams, the fountain of mercy, and the crystal waters? Where are the chastising angels and the guards of Hell? And where, and where, and where?”

The Exalted One—may my life be offered up for Him—hath said that on the day of His Revelation all these events came to pass swifter than the twinkling of an eye, and that “fifty thousand years” were traversed in a single hour.126 If all these momentous events took place in a single moment, would not the school of Him Whom God shall make manifest reach its culmination within fifty years? Behold to what extent they remain captive to idle fancies!

The statement “or that which hath been revealed in the Bayán” is indeed meant to caution the people of the Bayán not to say, “Where are the kings of the Bayán, and where is the school of Him Whom God shall make manifest?” Great God! These people condition that Most Great Revelation upon His being admitted, like a child, into a primary school and regard this as the proof of the validity of His Cause. “But what aileth these people that they come not close to understanding what is said unto them?”127


Gracious God! After the martyrdom of the Báb—may my soul be offered up for the dust ennobled by His footsteps—in what way did that individual arise, and what actions did he undertake?128 What eloquence did he evince and what wonders did he utter? All the loved ones of the Lord bear witness that, after the martyrdom of the Báb, this person vanished and went into hiding. He fled to the region of Núr, whence he scurried away—in the coarse guise of a dervish—to the regions of Mázindarán and Gílán until he finally reached Kirmánsháh.

When the Blessed Beauty was being exiled from Iran, despite the power of the king and the hatred and animosity of all its inhabitants, He arrived in Kirmánsháh in the utmost dignity. That individual did not have the courage to meet Him at that time. And when the Blessed Beauty reached Iraq, that person entered Baghdad secretly and in disguise, and took up residence in the Arab quarter, never daring to meet anyone. His sole accomplishment, his greatest feat, was to seek out a number of girls from here and there and marry them…." ...


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #72, part 5)
www.bahai.org/r/599197498

Monday, August 30, 2021

"O God, my God! I beseech Thee by Thy manifold bounties, through which Thou hast chosen the sincere amongst Thy creatures and favoured them over all that dwell on earth and heaven, to lift the veils from the eyes of men ..."

 
... "Thus it followed that Thou didst manifest Thine all-subduing power over all created things, whereupon the Dayspring of Thine effulgent light withstood the onslaught of all the peoples and nations of the earth from within this Great Prison, and raised high His Word from under the weight of chains and shackles in this inaccessible fortress. The signs of His dominion have been diffused throughout the world, and the fame of Thy Cause hath been noised abroad and reached the most far-flung regions of the earth. And this verily is a shining proof, a conclusive testimony to those endued with sight as well as insight.


O God, my God! I beseech Thee by Thy manifold bounties, through which Thou hast chosen the sincere amongst Thy creatures and favoured them over all that dwell on earth and heaven, to lift the veils from the eyes of men, to confer Thy bounty upon the righteous, to lead the heedless to the wellspring of guidance, and to cause them to tread this straight Path. Thou art in truth the All-Bountiful, the Almighty, and Thou art verily the Merciful, the Compassionate.


O thou who art firm in the Covenant! In all the Sacred Scriptures and Tablets revealed by the Primal Point—may my life be offered up for His sake—the supreme proof is the revelation of divine verses. Throughout all chapters of the Bayán, the Báb hath heralded the advent of Him Whom God shall make manifest. He hath not laid down any conditions for the appearance of that Most Great Luminary, but hath concluded every matter by encouraging and urging all to recognize the Beauty of the All-Merciful. Peruse thou the Bayán: Every one of its chapters endeth by cautioning souls not to remain veiled in the Day of His Revelation or, God forbid, to denounce and reject Him on the basis of the Bayán itself. For example, He saith, “Beware, beware lest the Váḥid of the Bayán or that which hath been sent down in that Book shut thee out as by a veil from Him, inasmuch as it is but a creature in His sight.” By “the Váḥid of the Bayán” is meant His blessed Being together with the eighteen Letters of the Living.123 As to “that which hath been sent down in the Bayán”, consider in what explicit and emphatic terms He hath warned against being veiled by the Váḥid of the Bayán or by what hath been revealed in that Book." ...


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #72, part 4)
www.bahai.org/r/739360952

Sunday, August 29, 2021

"O God, my God! Thou hast verily revealed the path, established the proof, and guided all to Thy glorious kingdom."

 
"All praise be to Thee, therefore, for having guided us to the Focal Centre of glory, the Manifestation of beauty, the Source of all light, the Dawning-Place of signs, and the Repository of Thy Revelation amongst the righteous. All praise be to Thee for having delivered us from idle fancies and vain imaginings, and for having rescued us from the worship of idols conceived by human minds. Thanks be unto Thee for having unlocked the gates of understanding to them who are well assured, and for having sent down from the heaven of Thy gifts that pure water which causeth the vales of the heart to overflow with the outpourings of the grace of God and the torrents gushing forth from the Focal Centre of mysteries.


O God, my God! Thou hast verily revealed the path, established the proof, and guided all to Thy glorious kingdom. Thy signs and mysteries have verily been diffused far and wide, the realm of realities hath been made to tremble and the limbs to quake, the sun and stars have been darkened, and the planets have been dispersed and fallen from heaven. For Thy testimony hath been manifested, and the Sun of knowledge hath risen. Every obscure mystery in the realm of creation hath been laid bare, and now, in this Day of Revelation, Thy Beauty doth shed its radiance with all-subduing potency upon the whole earth, shining with its all-encompassing power over king and subject alike. Every hearing ear hath hearkened to Thy call, and all holy souls have been quickened by Thy sweet savours. The influence of Thy Word hath verily encompassed the righteous and the pious, and all tongues have testified to the majesty of Thy Revelation in this luminous age.


And yet, O my Lord, the company of deniers are veiled from this manifest Light, and they that are estranged from Thee have turned away from Thy radiant countenance. They, indeed, are those that have failed to believe in Thy most exalted Beauty, the Manifestation of Thine own Self, the Embodiment of Thine incalculable and imperishable grace. How numerous the verses that have been sent down, the words that have been perfected, and the Scriptures that have been recorded; and yet the heedless have remained unconvinced of this mighty sovereignty, and the foolish are not satisfied by this ancient power. These clear and manifest tokens profited them not, nor did any of these Scriptures and scrolls of all-encompassing words avail them."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #72, part 3)
www.bahai.org/r/214280496

Saturday, August 28, 2021

"All praise be to Thee for having delivered us from idle fancies and vain imaginings, and for having rescued us from the worship of idols conceived by human minds."


"All praise be to Thee, therefore, for having guided us to the Focal Centre of glory, the Manifestation of beauty, the Source of all light, the Dawning-Place of signs, and the Repository of Thy Revelation amongst the righteous. All praise be to Thee for having delivered us from idle fancies and vain imaginings, and for having rescued us from the worship of idols conceived by human minds. Thanks be unto Thee for having unlocked the gates of understanding to them who are well assured, and for having sent down from the heaven of Thy gifts that pure water which causeth the vales of the heart to overflow with the outpourings of the grace of God and the torrents gushing forth from the Focal Centre of mysteries.


O God, my God! Thou hast verily revealed the path, established the proof, and guided all to Thy glorious kingdom. Thy signs and mysteries have verily been diffused far and wide, the realm of realities hath been made to tremble and the limbs to quake, the sun and stars have been darkened, and the planets have been dispersed and fallen from heaven. For Thy testimony hath been manifested, and the Sun of knowledge hath risen. Every obscure mystery in the realm of creation hath been laid bare, and now, in this Day of Revelation, Thy Beauty doth shed its radiance with all-subduing potency upon the whole earth, shining with its all-encompassing power over king and subject alike. Every hearing ear hath hearkened to Thy call, and all holy souls have been quickened by Thy sweet savours. The influence of Thy Word hath verily encompassed the righteous and the pious, and all tongues have testified to the majesty of Thy Revelation in this luminous age."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #72, part 3)
www.bahai.org/r/214280496 

Friday, August 27, 2021

"For, verily, Thine invisible and inaccessible Self can never be known; Thine unalloyed Essence can never be described. “The way is barred, and all seeking rejected.” "

 
... "O Lord! The innermost reality of understanding in this contingent realm is, in its essence, utterly powerless to grasp even a single one of the mysteries of the All-Merciful, inasmuch as all understanding encompasseth that reality in the realm of existence that is comprehensible. How, then, could that which is contingent comprehend the Ancient Mystery unless the Ancient be encompassed by the contingent world? And how could this be possible, given that the encompassing one is greater than that which is encompassed, and the knower thoroughly comprehendeth that which is the object of knowledge? This being the case, how then can there be a path to Thee; how can there be a way to the Kingdom of Thy sanctity? Naught are we but mere helplessness and poverty in the face of the mysteries of creation, let alone before the sublime Reality, which is inaccessible to the realm of idle fancies and thoughts!


Thou hast, nevertheless, through Thine inestimable grace and Thy resplendent bounty, and by virtue of Thy mercy that hath surpassed the whole of creation, fashioned a luminous Reality, a heavenly Being, a divine Essence—Whom Thou hast ordained to be a mirror, stainless and gleaming, that speaketh of the unseen world, that deriveth grace from that realm, and that shineth resplendently and copiously with the outpourings of those favours upon the entire creation. And this Thou hast done so as to deliver Thy sincere servants from the worship of idle fancies engraved even on the hearts of the mystic knowers. For verily, all Thy servants, O my Lord, except such as Thou hast chosen as Thine own, whilst communing with Thee, or bowing down in worship before Thee, conceive a fictitious reality comprehensible to their thoughts and minds. And thus do they worship it whilst immersed in the seas of idle fancies and vain imaginings. For, verily, Thine invisible and inaccessible Self can never be known; Thine unalloyed Essence can never be described. “The way is barred, and all seeking rejected.”122


To whatever heights the most brilliant mind may soar, it can grasp no more than a mere token of the mystery of creation, a token which Thou hast deposited within the reality of all things. This, indeed, is the highest summit of comprehension to which those who inhabit the visible realm may hope to ascend, and even the manifold aspects of that token far transcend all comprehension in the realm of ascent." ...


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #72, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/830593592

Thursday, August 26, 2021

"O Lord! Indeed, the inmost reality of all created things can never hope to fathom the secrets even of the world of existence."

  
"He is God.

Thou art He, O my God, Whose most beauteous names and most sublime likenesses are sanctified above the comprehension of such as pride themselves on their knowledge of the realities of things, inasmuch as the spiders of idle fancy can never weave the frail webs of their understanding upon the loftiest summits to which even the birds of human thought are powerless to ascend. How, then, can such as are endued with insight discern the mysteries of Thy Reality that is concealed from the world of being? O Lord! Indeed, the inmost reality of all created things can never hope to fathom the secrets even of the world of existence. How, then, O my God, can it apprehend the hidden Secret, the well-guarded Mystery, which is inscrutable to even the most luminous of realities in the realm of being within the invisible world?


O God, my God! The wings of human thought can never hope to ascend unto the Kingdom of Mysteries, and the minds of the righteous are sore perplexed in attempting to attain unto the gems that lie wrapt within the veils of concealment." ...


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #72, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/178401543

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

“Whatsoever is in the Torah, the Gospel, and other Scriptures is in the Qur’án, and whatsoever is in the Qur’án is in its Exordium, and whatsoever is in its Exordium is in the Basmalah, and whatsoever is in the Basmalah is in the Bá’.”

 
"He is God.


O thou binder of books! Shouldst thou refer to the heavenly Books and Sacred Scriptures, and ponder the meanings enshrined therein, thou wouldst see that all their tidings and signs herald the advent of the Light of Truth and the Centre of Divinity. Forget not the tradition that saith: “Whatsoever is in the Torah, the Gospel, and other Scriptures is in the Qur’án, and whatsoever is in the Qur’án is in its Exordium, and whatsoever is in its Exordium is in the Basmalah, and whatsoever is in the Basmalah is in the Bá’.”121 But alas, for the eyes of the people are blind, and their ears are deaf. How well hath it been said: To speak of the subtleties of Saná’í before the foolish and the weak of mindIs like plucking the lute for the deaf or holding a mirror to the blind.


Gracious God! How strange, how very strange! The people of the Book have withdrawn behind the veils, whilst the common people comprehend the mysteries of the Word. This is but a token of the bounteous favour of my Lord, the Almighty, the All-Bountiful. Upon thee be greetings and praise."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #71)
www.bahai.org/r/372142377

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

"Render thou thanks unto God that thou hast been among the buyers who seek that Divine Beauty, and among those who are enamoured by the Mystic Beloved."

 
"He is the All-Glorious.


O thou servant of the Ancient Beauty! When Joseph—peace be upon him—unveiled his bright countenance in the Egypt of beauty, he set ablaze the souls of a myriad buyers. Now the Joseph of the celestial Canaan, the ruler of the Egypt of the spirit, with a face radiant as the sun and a beauty far above the praise and description of such as are endued with understanding, hath rent asunder the veils and emerged resplendent in the midmost heart of the world. But alas, all the buyers have busied themselves with the world of water and clay, have pursued their selfish desires, and have hence been deprived of beholding His Countenance and attaining His presence. Render thou thanks unto God that thou hast been among the buyers who seek that Divine Beauty, and among those who are enamoured by the Mystic Beloved. The glory of God rest upon thee and upon all those who have been enraptured by His Beauty."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #70)
www.bahai.org/r/310506683

Monday, August 23, 2021

"The Blessed Beauty is established upon the Throne of Lordship, and we are all novices in the ranks of servitude and are linked together in thraldom to His Holy Threshold. "

 
"O honourable Majdhúb! That leader of the righteous is most dear to ‘Abdu’l-Bahá. Whenever I find a moment, my thoughts turn again towards thee and I engage in prayer and remembrance on thy behalf. Supplications were likewise offered at the Divine Threshold, that God may bestow His unfailing grace upon His loved ones.


The Blessed Beauty is established upon the Throne of Lordship, and we are all novices in the ranks of servitude and are linked together in thraldom to His Holy Threshold. Nothing greater can be imagined for the friends than to join ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in servitude to the Sacred Threshold. Since in His commentary on the Súrih of Joseph, the Báb—may my life be offered up for His sake—hath identified Joseph as the Manifest Beauty, the true Joseph, and hath referred to Him as “our great and omnipotent Master”, then whenever thou readest it, thou wilt but weep and grieve for the wrongs suffered by the Blessed Beauty. This commentary is not currently at hand for me to send to thee."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #69, part 3)
www.bahai.org/r/828594881

Sunday, August 22, 2021

"O Lord! Glorify the abode of This newly arrived guest."

 
"The oppressors were assured that there was no mischief, no wrongdoing or rebellion, and no secrets hidden and veiled from others, and yet they kept him confined to prison. Upon his release, he travelled to Qum, wherein rule the divines, they that are in grievous loss. There, once again, he was thrown into a fortified prison, in whose depths he languished for a long time, until at last God delivered him through the just intervention of a noble-minded man.


He never faltered or slackened in chanting the verses of Him Who is Thy Remembrance and the Source of wisdom. Nay, rather, he hastened to the gathering of the evil-minded divines and set forth clear and manifest proofs. Hence the clamour of the clergy rose high, and they assailed him with grievous injustice. They cast him again into prison, subjected him to chains and fetters, and afflicted him with fresh torment. His weak and feeble frame, unable to sustain such dire hardships, yielded its life in this Path, and he reached Thy presence detached from all else but Thee, a guest at Thy Holy Threshold.

O Lord! Glorify the abode of This newly arrived guest. Grant him an exalted station within the precincts of Thy transcendent mercy in the presence of the glorious Companion; confer upon him a dwelling in that immeasurable and boundless immensity, the vast kingdom of Thy pardon and forgiveness, which none can comprehend save those whom the Omnipotent Lord hath inspired.


Verily, Thou dost bounteously favour whomsoever Thou willest, dost forgive whomsoever Thou willest, and dost pardon whomsoever Thou willest. There is no God but Thee, the Subtile, the Tender, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #69, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/665409014

Saturday, August 21, 2021

"O Lord! O Thou Who graciously aidest whomsoever Thou willest, with whatsoever Thou willest, unto whatsoever Thou willest."

"He is God.

O Lord! O Thou Who graciously aidest whomsoever Thou willest, with whatsoever Thou willest, unto whatsoever Thou willest. Verily, that treasury of resignation, that wellspring of fidelity and fountainhead of purity—the honoured Riḍá120 —fell prey to the cruel tyranny of the people of hatred and malice. He was, O Lord, sore-tried by the gravest hardships and the fiercest oppression of the perverse. He was held fast, time and again, in the claws of ravening wolves and ferocious lions, until he fell into the clutches of a savage hound who tormented him with countless afflictions and weighed him down with galling chains. All the while, he raised his voice amongst the people, openly proclaiming Thy Name. Undaunted and undismayed, he never wavered in teaching Thy Cause. He feared not the scourge of the oppressors, nor was he frightened by the tribulations meted out by the vicious, the ignoble, the wicked, and the vengeful. He spoke with the utmost eloquence and presented the most wondrous proofs with manifest authority.


The hearts of those present were astonished by this dignified man. They exclaimed, “He is indeed sincere and trustworthy, and speaketh the truth. He testifieth with absolute honesty and harboureth no secrets, for his account is but manifest truth without the least trace of dissimulation, false interpretation, or unsound commentary; it is indeed clear discourse concerning this great Cause.”


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #69, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/655166318

Friday, August 20, 2021

"The first seven letters correspond to “‘Alí-Muḥammad”, and the second seven to “Ḥusayn-Alí”."

 
"Thou hast sought permission for a visit. In these days, the Holy Land is in turmoil by reason of the calumnies spread by the slandering liars. For certain strangers from amongst the non-believers have published some books, filled them with countless calumnies, and distributed them in these regions. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá is therefore in dire peril due to attacks from within and from without. Such are the enemies of the Faith on the outside, and such the violators of the Covenant on the inside. It is thus evident what commotion hath arisen. Yet, praise be to God, through the unfailing grace of the Blessed Beauty, I have remained firm in my position, have bared my breast to the darts of malice hurled by every oppressor, and am awaiting the onslaught of tribulations from every side, that, wholly detached, I may hasten to the shelter of His transcendent mercy.


Thou hast asked about the blessed Quranic verse “We have given thee the twice-repeated seven.”117 The Muslim divines have interpreted the term “twice-repeated seven” to refer either to the seven chapters of the Qur’án that begin with the disconnected letters Ḥá’ and Mím or to the opening chapter of the Qur’án. They say it is “twice repeated” because the opening chapter, consisting of seven verses, was revealed twice—once in Mecca and again in Medina—and, as such, it is twice repeated. Furthermore, they say that as this opening chapter is recited twice in the daily prayer, it is thus described as the “twice-repeated seven”.

But the true meaning is the mystery of Divine Unity and the outpourings of heavenly grace, and that is the glad-tidings of the advent of the subsequent Revelation, in which the Bearer of the seven letters hath appeared twice. The first seven letters correspond to “‘Alí-Muḥammad”, and the second seven to “Ḥusayn-Alí”.118This is the meaning of the “twice-repeated seven”. Yet another meaning is that Muḥammad, the universal Manifestation of the Quranic Dispensation, together with thirteen distinguished souls, make fourteen, which is seven twice repeated.119 There is no time for further elaboration. This is a brief but beneficial explanation."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #68, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/035253047

Thursday, August 19, 2021

"Make them, O Lord, the signs of Thy Divine Unity amidst all people, and the emblems of Thy Oneness in Thy most exalted Realm."

 
"O thou who art steadfast in the Covenant! That which was written by thy musk-laden pen brought great joy to our hearts. It imparted the glad-tidings of the cheer and exultation of the believers and the joyful news of the spirit of fellowship among the friends. God be praised that each one hath become even as a fruitful tree in the divine orchard, and doth stand as a swaying cypress upon the riverbanks of love and knowledge.


None had imagined that, despite the intensity of tests, those souls would remain happy and beaming with joy! This can be attributed to naught but the great bounty of God in these days— that in the depths of sacrifice, His loved ones stand firm and immovable and are constant and steadfast in the Covenant and Testament.


O God, my God! Assist Thou Thy servants who have found “at the fire a guide”,116 and have caught the light of the immortal flame kindled in the Tree of Sinai. Make them, O Lord, the signs of Thy Divine Unity amidst all people, and the emblems of Thy Oneness in Thy most exalted Realm. Give them to quaff from the wellspring of Thy mercy and from the clear waters flowing from Thy blissful paradise, that they may become inebriated with the wine of Thy love in the verdant meadows and vast gardens of Thy holiness. Assist them, O Lord, with the cohorts of the Supreme Horizon and the hosts of the Concourse on high. Thou, verily, art the Generous, the Compassionate, the Lord of grace and bounty unto Thy feeble servants! Thou, verily, art the Clement, the Merciful…."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #68, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/114264723

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

“Whoever hath Me as his Master, hath ‘Alí as his Master.”

 
"Forget then all these matters and, with the utmost resolve, firmness, and steadfastness in the Covenant of God, and with faithful adherence unto His Testament, strive to exalt His Word. Neither give ear to commendation and praise, nor be saddened or heartbroken by censure and humiliation. Arise amidst the peoples of the world and, wholly detached and sanctified from all save God and stirred by His Covenant and Testament, strive to awaken the heedless; for, in this day, most people are unaware and oblivious of the power of God’s Covenant and Testament.


Although no explicit Covenant was established in any previous age or Dispensation, yet the followers of the Qur’án say that the Apostle of God—may the life of the worlds be offered up for His sake—stated at Ghadír-i-Khumm: “Whoever hath Me as his Master, hath ‘Alí as his Master.”111  Likewise, the Christians say that the One Who is the Spirit—may the soul of all existence be sacrificed for Him—addressed Simon, known as Peter, with these words: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church.”112 Now, in this Most Great Dispensation, the Covenant hath been conclusively established in clear terms and unmistakable language, leaving room for no interpretation whatever, in the Most Holy Book—a Book that abrogateth all the Sacred Scriptures of the past, and whose laws have annulled whatever laws in other Tablets that are not in conformity with it. Furthermore, in the book of the divine Covenant and Testament, revealed by the Pen of Glory and named “The Book of the Covenant”, Bahá’u’lláh entered into a Covenant with all created things. In all His Tablets and prayers, He hath made firm adherence to the divine Covenant and Testament to be the surest means of receiving heavenly bestowals, that all may apprehend the majesty and grandeur of that Covenant and Testament. 


Now, some are conscious of the power of this Covenant, and are firm and steadfast in the straight path, whilst others are not yet as aware of its significance as they should be. The sincere friends of the Blessed Beauty must strive to awaken the people. As this mighty, this impregnable stronghold shall remain inviolate and safe, let not thy heart grieve. All other matters are secondary and can be easily resolved with a word or two. Rest thou assured and hopeful, and remain firm and steadfast. The glory of God rest upon thee, and upon the beloved of the Lord.


Thou hast asked for permission to write of certain matters. “Let thy sorrowful heart recount all that it desireth”,113  for my ears are attuned to thee."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #67, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/064079088

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

" Acceptance or denial, approval or rejection, all depend upon him whom God hath raised to serve His Cause and to exalt His Word amidst humankind."

 
"He is the All-Glorious.

O thou dove of the rose-garden of faithfulness! O nightingale of the groves of praise to the Abhá Beauty! May the glory of God, His mercy, His bounty, and His praise rest upon thee.


That which thou hadst written with the pen of grief upon the page of woes was read and perused with the utmost attention. From its contents, brimming with bitter lamentation, the savour of profound sorrow and anguish was perceived. On the one hand, I was saddened; on the other, surprised and amazed. My sorrow was due to the intensity of thy sighs, whilst my surprise stemmed from the fact that this servant hath already written a number of letters to thee, dear friend, in all of which I expressed the utmost measure of love and affection. They were written in such wise that I imagined that such bliss and ecstasy would fill thy soul upon their perusal as to cause thee to rend asunder the raiment of the material world.


How is it that through a single word thou hast become so dispirited and dejected, so heartbroken and despondent? And yet, in this day, neither is praise the measure of honour, nor censure the sign of abasement and disgrace. Acceptance or denial, approval or rejection, all depend upon him whom God hath raised to serve His Cause and to exalt His Word amidst humankind. Know thou that all matters pertaining to the Cause revert to this servant. To none is given the right to reject or accept before hearing what this humble servant hath pronounced."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #66, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/424726840

Monday, August 16, 2021

"O loved ones of God! Be wakeful, be ever wakeful! Be mindful, be ever mindful! For tests and trials are most severe, and the waverers are exceedingly subtle and destructive in their schemes."

 
..." In this Most Great Dispensation, the Ancient Beauty—may my soul be offered up for His loved ones—hath vouchsafed unto all the believers a sure testimony, a surpassing mercy and abundant favour, an infallible proof and clear evidence. In the Most Holy Book, which abrogateth all the Books and Scriptures of the past and standeth amongst them all transcendent and supreme, He hath, in clear, explicit, and unequivocal terms, revealed the path and marked out the road to salvation. For five and twenty years did He nurture everyone and fed them from the breast of holiness. In all His Tablets, Books, Epistles, and Scriptures, He made mention of the Covenant and Testament, praising the steadfast and extolling those who cleave tenaciously unto it, while condemning and rebuking those who waver, and even forewarning them of divine punishment and the threat of everlasting chastisement.


And then the Tablet of the Year of Stress, which is the year of Bahá’u’lláh’s ascension, was revealed and distributed in all regions.110 In it He clearly and unequivocally stated the severity of the tests and the profusion of the trials. Some time thereafter, the Book of the Covenant and Preserved Tablet of the Testament was revealed by the Supreme Pen, wherein all were bidden, by His clear and explicit behest, to turn unto it and to observe, obey, and follow it, so that when the ocean of the tests and trials of the Year of Stress came to surge, no soul would be perplexed, dismayed, or confused; so that the straight path, the undeviating way, and the manifest light would become evident and clearly known; so that no room would be left for evil whisperings, no differences would arise, and the unity of the Word of God would be safeguarded.


Now a few capricious souls have appeared and begun to engage in secret whisperings, and as soon as they feel sure of their target, they even openly voice their intentions. One of them saith: “The Blessed Beauty hath made us independent of aught else, and hath left no need unmet.” The secret intent of such a statement is that there is no need for an appointed Centre. Another exclaimeth: “Infallibility belonged to the Blessed Beauty alone; no other person is infallible.” His inner motive is to assert that the “the one whom God hath purposed” is liable to error. Furthermore, they say that one who was regarded with favour, who was a believer or the recipient of a Tablet during the days of the Blessed Beauty, cannot possibly be cast out. Their true objective is to hint that were such a person to arise in opposition, or be so bold as to show enmity, no harm would result. They spread talk of this sort both openly and privily. The whole purpose of these words is to violate the Covenant and Testament. This is that same clamour which the Beloved of the worlds hath foretold in all His Tablets.


O loved ones of God! Be wakeful, be ever wakeful! Be mindful, be ever mindful! For tests and trials are most severe, and the waverers are exceedingly subtle and destructive in their schemes. Outwardly they proclaim that they are the first to adhere to the Covenant, while secretly they strike an axe at the very root of the Tree of the Covenant and Testament."


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #65, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/308620089

Sunday, August 15, 2021

"Every assemblage in the world is adorned with the mention of the Most Great Name, and every gathering of the kindreds and peoples of the earth is cognizant of the tidings of the advent of the Most Wondrous Luminary."

 
He is God.


O ye beloved of God! How great is this Dispensation! How bright the effulgence of this Age, the Age of the All-Glorious Lord! All creation hath been set in motion, and the universe vibrateth with tidings of joy and ecstasy. The realities of all things are filled with blissful rapture, and every atom in existence is ecstatic with delight. Souls are attaining unto prosperity and advancement, and the friends are achieving success and progress. The light of Revelation is shining bright, and its signs are shedding light on all regions. The whole earth resoundeth with the praises of the greatness of the Ancient Beauty, and the Day-Star of His majesty shineth resplendent.


Every assemblage in the world is adorned with the mention of the Most Great Name, and every gathering of the kindreds and peoples of the earth is cognizant of the tidings of the advent of the Most Wondrous Luminary. The East is illumined by His light, and the West perfumed with His sweet savours. This dusty earth hath become a rose-garden through the outpourings of His bounteous favour, and the vast and lofty heavens are filled with delight through the splendours of His sun. The realities of all things have been quickened and revived, and the essences of all beings enraptured and enthralled. Goodly trees are growing and flourishing on every side, yielding sweet and luscious fruits. The banner of the Covenant is hoisted in every region, and the ocean of the Testament is surging with such endless billows and raging tempests as to cause every limb to quake." ...


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #65, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/147117879

Saturday, August 14, 2021

“Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.”

 
St. Peter in Tears by Greco
"Were one to consider the events of the previous cycles, the attempts to break the Covenant in this Dispensation are of no importance whatsoever. Sometime after Christ, Arius, the Patriarch of Alexandria, founded a new sect. He was an orator, articulate of speech and a very audacious and powerful person who succeeded in bringing one and a half million people under his influence. He even secured the allegiance of the Emperor Constantine. But since he deviated from the Covenant of Christ, at the end he faded away and perished. This Covenant was based on the words addressed to Peter, “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church.”105 And though these words attributed to Christ are based only on the report of some of His disciples, nevertheless Christian unity was preserved for eight hundred years through this implicit Covenant.


Now there existeth an explicit Covenant. It is not a mere verbal report. It hath been revealed by the Supreme Pen, Who openly addresseth the Covenant-breakers at its outset. He hath called it “The Book of the Covenant”, a title written by His own Pen at the head of the Tablet. Then of what significance are the behaviour and conduct, the insinuations and whisperings, the interpretation and corruption of the Text by those who sow the seeds of doubt? At most it is this: They have only deprived themselves, and will continue to do so, and will fall into the darksome pit of “losing both this world and the world to come”.106 Every billowing ocean must needs produce foam. and all gold that is purified in fire leaveth behind some dross. Hast thou ever seen a surging ocean without froth, or pure gold that leaveth no dross behind in the consuming flame of fire?


The Qur’án hath explicitly stated this. He saith, and verily He speaketh the truth: “We have sent down the rain from Heaven; then flow the torrents in their due measure, and the flood beareth along a swelling foam … And from the metals (that is to say, pure gold) that is molten in the fire, a like froth ariseth…. As to the foam, it is quickly gone: and as to what is useful to man, it remaineth on the earth.”107 
Consider how explicitly this hath been stated. The ocean of the Covenant shall eternally endure, and this is that which profiteth mankind. With but a single wave of it, this foam shall pass away like dross, leaving no trace behind. “Leave them to entertain themselves with their cavillings.”108

The Lord be praised that thou art my cherished beloved, my uniquely true and loyal friend. Thou must shield the Covenant and protect the souls lest they slip or waver. The Glory of Glories rest upon thee….


Examine carefully the commentary on the verse “In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful”.109 Some of the meanings that thou seekest are implicitly contained therein, and it was praised by the Supreme Pen during His blessed days. Let then the masters of knowledge produce its like!"


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #64, part 2)
www.bahai.org/r/851862270

Friday, August 13, 2021

"Enable them to be steadfast in the Covenant according to the explicit divine Text, which is a conclusive evidence of the Truth, so that Bahá’í unity may be preserved."

 
"O friend! It is a long time since any news hath been received from thee. Although, earlier, a letter arrived in which thou hadst asked a question, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá hath been so deeply immersed in a sea of correspondence from every side that even if five scribes were at hand, the work could not be managed. All communication hath been severed for the past four or five years, and there hath thus been a slight wavering among some of the friends, some lapse in the diffusion of the divine fragrances, and certain idle thoughts in the minds of some. Therefore, continual communication must now be maintained with every region for some time, to make amends for the past interruption. And since thy question required a lengthy answer, the reply hath been delayed. Rest thou assured that, as soon as there is an opportunity, it will be written at once. Yet since I am drowned in an ocean of letters these days, and it is imperative that I reply to the essential ones first, thou must wait until an opportunity doth arise. Thou art very dear to me, and I wish to respond to thy request….


Thou must be exceedingly alert, and shield the souls from veiled suggestions and secret whisperings. Enable them to be steadfast in the Covenant according to the explicit divine Text, which is a conclusive evidence of the Truth, so that Bahá’í unity may be preserved. Otherwise, a new sect would emerge each day, utter division would result, and the Cause of God would be destroyed—nay, exterminated. Were there any other power that could safeguard Bahá’í unity, I would have summoned everyone unto it. But ponder and reflect: Is it possible for the unity of the Faith to be protected by any other power than that of the Covenant? This is why I admonish everyone to cleave unto the Covenant—purely to safeguard Bahá’í unity." ...


(Light of the World: Selected Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, #64, part 1)
www.bahai.org/r/105500030