Friday, December 29, 2017

Shoghi Effendi's opinion about Islam

Strange, incredibly strange, must appear the position of this most powerful branch of the Islamic Faith (Sunni), with no outward and visible head to voice its sentiments and convictions, its unity irretrievably shattered, its radiance obscured, its law undermined, its institutions thrown into hopeless confusion. This institution that had challenged the inalienable, divinely appointed rights of the Imáms of the Faith of Muḥammad, had, after the revolution of thirteen centuries, vanished like a smoke, an institution which had dealt such merciless blows to a Faith Whose Herald was Himself a descendant of the Imáms, the lawful successors of the Apostle of God.

To what else could this remarkable prophecy, enshrined in the Lawḥ-i-Burhán, allude if not to the downfall of this crowned overlord of Sunní Muslims? “O concourse of Muslim Divines! Because of you the people were abased, and the banner of Islám was hauled down, and its mighty throne subverted.” What of the indubitably clear and amazing prophecy recorded in the Qayyúm-i-Asmá? “Erelong We will, in very truth, torment such as waged war against Ḥusayn [Imám Ḥusayn], in the Land of the Euphrates, with the most afflictive torment, and the direst and most exemplary punishment.” What other interpretation can this Muḥammadan tradition be given? “In the latter days a grievous calamity shall befall My people at the hands of their ruler, a calamity such as no man ever heard to surpass it.”

This was not all, however. The disappearance of the Caliph, the spiritual head of above two hundred million Muḥammadans, brought in its wake, in the land that had dealt Islám such a heavy blow, the annulment of the sharí’ah canonical Law, the disendowment of Sunní institutions, the promulgation of a civil Code, the suppression of religious orders, the abrogation of ceremonials and traditions inculcated by the religion of Muḥammad. The Shaykhu’l-Islám and his satellites, including muftís, qádís, hujáhs, shaykhs, súfís, ḥájís, mawlavís, dervishes, and others, vanished at a stroke more determined, more open, and drastic than the one dealt the Shí’ihs by the Sháh and his government. The mosques of the capital, the pride and glory of the Islamic world, were deserted, and the fairest and most famous of them all, the peerless St. Sophia, “the Second Firmament,” “the Vehicle of the Cherubim,” converted by the blatant creators of a secular regime into a museum. The Arabic tongue, the language of the Prophet of God, was banished from the land, its alphabet was superseded by Latin characters, and the Qur’án itself translated into Turkish for the few who still cared to read it. The constitution of the new Turkey not only proclaimed formally the disestablishment and disendowment of Islám, with all its attendant and, in the view of some, atheistic enactments, but also heralded various measures that aimed at its further humiliation and weakening. Even the city of Constantinople, “the Dome of Islám,” apostrophized in such condemnatory terms by Bahá’u’lláh, which, after the fall of Byzantium, had been hailed by the great Constantine as “the New Rome,” and exalted to the rank of the metropolis of both the Roman Empire and of Christendom, and subsequently revered as the seat of the Caliphs, was relegated to the position of a provincial city and stripped of all its pomp and glory, its soaring and slender minarets standing sentinel at the grave of so much vanished splendor and power.

“O Spot that art situate on the shores of the two seas!” Bahá’u’lláh has thus apostrophized the Imperial City, in terms that call to mind the prophetic words addressed by Jesus Christ to Jerusalem, “The throne of tyranny hath, verily, been stablished upon thee, and the flame of hatred hath been kindled within thy bosom, in such wise that the Concourse on high, and they who circle around the Exalted Throne, have wailed and lamented. We behold in thee the foolish ruling over the wise, and darkness vaunting itself against the light. Thou art indeed filled with manifest pride. Hath thine outward splendor made thee vainglorious? By Him Who is the Lord of mankind! It shall soon perish, and thy daughters, and thy widows, and all the kindreds that dwell within thee shall lament. Thus informeth thee the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”

Such was the fate that overtook both Shí’ih and Sunní Islám, in the two countries where they had planted their banners and reared their most powerful and far-famed institutions. Such was their fate in these two countries, in one of which Bahá’u’lláh died an exile, and in the other the Báb suffered a martyr’s death. Such was the fate of the self-styled Vicar of the Prophet of God, and of the favorite ministers of the still awaited Imám. “The people of the Qur’án,” Bahá’u’lláh testifies, “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…. Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, bewaileth, in the all-highest Paradise, their acts.” “A day shall be witnessed by My people,” their own traditions condemn them, “whereon there will have remained of Islám naught but a name, and of the Qur’án naught but a mere appearance. The doctors of that age shall be the most evil the world hath ever seen. Mischief hath proceeded from them, and on them it will recoil.” And again: “Most of His enemies will be the divines. His bidding they will not obey, but will protest saying: ‘This is contrary to that which hath been handed down unto us by the Imáms of the Faith.’” And still again: “At that hour His malediction shall descend upon you, and your curse shall afflict you, and your religion shall remain an empty word on your tongues. And when these signs appear amongst you, anticipate the day when the red-hot wind will have swept over you, or the day when ye will have been disfigured, or when stones will have rained upon you.”

- Shoghi Effendi

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/PDC/pdc-24.html

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Titles of Baha'u'llah

• the "Light and the Splendor of God"
• the "Lord of Lords"
• the "Most Great Name"
• the "Ancient Beauty"
• the "Pen of the Most High"
• the "Hidden Name"
• the "Preserved Treasure"
• "He Whom God will make manifest"
• the "Most Great Light"
• the "All-Highest Horizon"
• the "Most Great Ocean"
• the "Supreme Heaven"
• the "Pre-Existent Root"
• the "Self-Subsistent"
• the "Day-Star of the Universe"
• the "Speaker on Sinai"
• the "Sifter of Men"
• the "Lord of the Covenant"
• the "Tree beyond which there is no passing"
• the "Judge"
• the "Lawgiver"
• the "Redeemer of all mankind"

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The effect of Bahá’u’lláh’s 200th Birthday Celebrations are staggering!

The effect of this (Bahá’u’lláh’s 200th Birthday Celebrations) has been staggering. A conservative estimate indicates that across India almost 200,000 friends spoke about Bahá’u’lláh and taught the Faith to more than 400,000 others. In addition, proclamation was also done through radio coverage reaching out to a number of cities and the film ‘Light to the World’ was shown in over 150 localities which meant that tens of thousands more heard of Him. Creative activities to befittingly celebrate the bicentenary anniversary ranged from peace rallies, debates, puppet shows, tree plantations, poem recitations, traditional dance performances, book exhibitions, medical camps and even a ‘Wall of Kindness” activity! In one cluster, a number of friends each kept aside a pound of uncooked rice every day for three months and in the weeks leading up to 22nd October they visited 600 homes inviting families to the celebrations and cooking lunch for everyone. Enrollments were on the rise and more than one thousand individuals declared their Faith in Him in the short span of a few months. The upsurge in activities has also had an impact on the movement of clusters across India with 78 clusters having progressed to the next level of intensity.

Now the challenge for every individual, institution and agency will be to consolidate these hard-won victories and ensure that the gains achieved will be taken to higher levels. The Regional Bahá'í Council of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Uttarakhand has taken to heart the words of the Universal House of Justice in its message of 31st October 2017, urging the Bahá'í world “to see in each person who responded to your invitation a potential protagonist in the community-building process” and, with the full support and enthusiasm of the friends, organized eleven institutional gatherings where systematic plans were made to consolidate the teaching efforts during the bicentennial year and increase the number of core activities in the region by a further 11,500 before the end of April 2018.

THE NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHÁ'ÍS OF INDIA
30 December 2017

Whoso layeth claim to a Revelation direct from God, ere the expiration of a full thousand years...

The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh will last until the coming of the next Manifestation of God, Whose advent will not take place before at least “a full thousand years” will have elapsed. Bahá’u’lláh cautions against ascribing to “this verse” anything other than its “obvious meaning”, and in one of His Tablets, He specifies that “each year” of this thousand year period consists of “twelve months according to the Qur’án, and of nineteen months of nineteen days each, according to the Bayán”.

The intimation of His Revelation to Bahá’u’lláh in the Síyáh-Chál of Ṭihrán, in October 1852, marks the birth of His Prophetic Mission and hence the commencement of the one thousand years or more that must elapse before the appearance of the next Manifestation of God.

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/KA/ka-79.html

Your achievements during the Bicentenary amply proved the current potential for teaching. Go forward, then, with faith

In the United States, the Bicentenary events were attended by some 120,000 people, nearly two-thirds of them not members of the Faith. Impressive as this is, far more moving to us were stories we received from hundreds of individuals about their personal efforts to engage in meaningful conversations about the Blessed Beauty and His teachings. These testify to the devotion of the community, the receptivity of our fellow citizens, and the confirmations that descended upon all who arose to share the divine message.

The time has come for a vast increase in the number and range of individual and collective teaching initiatives. Among them, devotional gatherings―where others are invited to join us in prayer and reflection on the sacred texts―can often open hearts to elevated conversations about the life and teachings of the Blessed Beauty. Continued screenings of Light to the World, coupled with discussions relating His unifying teachings to the current state of our society, will surely generate interest on the part of countless souls. A great increase in the number of firesides―where seekers have the opportunity to learn about the Faith in an atmosphere of warm hospitality—can in the aggregate serve to introduce many thousands to Bahá'u'lláh’s message. Regular home visits will strengthen bonds of loving friendship and will help us to better understand each other’s hopes and aspirations. Celebrations of coming Holy Days can have the same impact as those we just experienced. And there is no limit to the potential that resides in creative use of the arts as a means of attracting receptive souls. In all these and other efforts, let us introduce the universal message of Bahá'u'lláh, study His writings, and explore with our friends and contacts their implications for the reconstruction of the world. Let us see each as a portal to service, inviting those so inclined into other efforts in which we can together join hands in applying the Bahá’í teachings to the building of a new pattern of community life.

Dear friends! Your achievements during the Bicentenary amply proved the current potential for teaching. Go forward, then, with faith―faith that what you are striving to accomplish is God's will for the day in which we live. That it is His will for humanity to live as one family; that it is His will for every single human being to live up to his or her full potential; that it is His will for peace and justice to fill every land and for love to reign in every heart. Be certain of His assistance. He knows you, He watches over and protects you, and He brings you victory―because you are the soldiers in His Army of Light!

With assurance of our ardent prayers,

NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLY OF THE BAHA'IS OF THE UNITED STATES
December 8, 2017

Miracles

Did you know that there were more than ten assassination attempts on the life of Baha'u'llah in the course of close to fifty years (1844-92), but instead, God meant for this Manifestation of God to live His life and produce some one hundred volumes of Holy Words for posterity in spite of the most severe tortures, imprisonment, deprivations, and exiles?

The first attempt was actually an order to be shot to death by none other than Muhammad Shah, the weakling and corrupt Qajar King, but as fate had it, the man was dead at the age of 40 before his vile edict was carried out and the order was thus repealed.

Several additional attempts were made by Mirza Buzurg Khan, Persia's ambassador to Iraq as well as Sheikho'l-Araghin a vile and powerful mulla in Iraq and the accomplice they chose to carry out their vile intent, Reza Turk. Reza Turk could not carry this out the first time around when he faced Baha'u'llah face-to-face in the public bath. The second time around, Reza Turk came face-to-face with Baha'u'llah while He was walking in a street in the city of Baghdad with His brother, Kalim. But the soonest, Reza Turk came close to Baha'u'llah, he started trembling and the revolver fell off his hand. Baha'u'llah asked Agha Kalim to hand him the revolver and send him on his way!

The last attempt on His life was by a powerful mulla, Sheikh Mahmood, in Akka where Baha'u'llah was still a prisoner. When the guard came to Baha'u'llah and told Him that He has a visitor (the Sheikh), Baha'u'llah told the guard that he can come back to visit Me after he puts his revolver aside. So the Sheikh came a second time without a revolver believing that He can kill Baha'u'llah with His own bare hands. Baha'u'llah told the guard to tell the man to come back for a visit when he can purify his heart... Awhile later, Sheikh Mahmood had a dream remembering what he had intended in this regard. He then goes to visit Baha'u'llah with a pure heart ... and declares his faith in Baha'u'llah after the encounter!!!

Excerpts from "Baha'u'llah, the Promise of All Ages" by Dr. Hooshidar Motlagh, in Farsi, pp 115 -121

Friday, December 15, 2017

I am He Who hath raised up all creatures through a word of My mouth

I am He Who hath raised up all creatures through a word of My mouth, and My power is, in truth, equal to My purpose.

(Baha'u'llah, Suriy-i-Haykal, Surih of the Temple, 1:75, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts)

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/SLH/slh-4.html

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The day is approaching when We will have rolled up the world and all that is therein, and spread out a new order in its stead.

Baha'u'llah says :

By My Self! The day is approaching when We will have rolled up the world and all that is therein, and spread out a new order in its stead. He, verily, is powerful over all things.

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/GWB/gwb-143.html

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Were any of the Manifestations of God to declare: “I am God”, He, verily, speaketh the truth !

Baha'u'llah says :

Were any of the all-embracing Manifestations of God to declare: “I am God”, He, verily, speaketh the truth, and no doubt attacheth thereto. For it hath been repeatedly demonstrated that through their Revelation, their attributes and names, the Revelation of God, His names and His attributes, are made manifest in the world…

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/KA/ka-177.html

I am God and I am coarser than clay!

Baha'u'llah says :

When I contemplate, O my God, the relationship that bindeth me to Thee, I am moved to proclaim to all created things “verily I am God”; and when I consider my own self, lo, I find it coarser than clay!

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/b/KA/ka-177.html

I am He, Himself, and He is I, Myself...

By John Wiegley

When I see my wife each day, I see her physical form, hear her voice, and say, "Yes, you are my wife". But I've never seen the soul of my wife; even she has not seen it. Does this mean I've never seen or known my wife?

The relationship of the Manifestations of God to God is one of the great mysteries. I find it eloquently expressed in the tradition:

Manifold and mysterious is My relationship with God. I am He, Himself, and He is I, Myself, except that I am that I am, and He is that He is.

I read this as meaning that if we regard the Manifestation of God and say that He is equal to God, we both are right and err in the same breath, and must be cautious of making any distinctions, or of not making a distinction, depending on the plane to which we refer: the plane of unity, or the plane of differentiation. For He effectively is God, all that we will ever know of God, and the entirety of the meaning of "God" for human beings; but He is also not God, nor will anything ever represent God, such that the word "God" cannot even have meaning for human beings.

If you look at a perfect mirror, you see what it reflects as clearly as if were standing there itself. You see the sun in the mirror and say, "This is the sun", rather than "This is the mirror, shining brightly"; but you could also say, "That is the mirror", or "That is the sun, reflecting its image", and be just as correct.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Bible : Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing..

(15) Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

(16) By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?

(17) Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

(18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.

(19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

(20) Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.

(Matthew 7:15-20 NIV)

Shun any man in whom you perceive enmity for this Servant

Shun any man in whom you perceive enmity for this Servant, though he may appear in the garb of piety of the former and later people, or may arise to the worship of the two worlds.

(Abdu’l-Baha, Baha’i World Faith—Selected Writings of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha (Abdu’l-Baha’s Section Only), p. 431)

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Hossein Amanat is the brother of former Baha'i Abbas Amanat

Appointment of the Architect of the Seat of the Universal House of Justice 17 SEPTEMBER 1973

To all National Spiritual Assemblies

136.1 DELIGHTED ANNOUNCE APPOINTMENT HUSAYN AMANAT BRILLIANT YOUNG BAHA'I ARCHITECT CRADLE FAITH AS ARCHITECT OF BUILDING FOR UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE. THE UNIVERSAL HOUSE OF JUSTICE

Hossein Amanat is the brother of Abbas Amanat, Professor of History & International Studies at Yale University who is a former Bahá'í. The Seat of the Universal House of Justice was completed in 1982 during the second stage of building of the Arc, and occupied in 1983.

We encourage interested Baha'is to learn Esperanto

We feel that, within the framework of their efforts for the promotion of peace, the Bahá'ís of Europe would do well to increase their collaboration with the Esperanto Movement, and we encourage Bahá'ís who feel the urge to assist in this area, to learn Esperanto and take an active part in the activities of the Movement. As you know, although both 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi have made it clear that it is by no means certain that Esperanto will be chosen as the international auxiliary language of the world, 'Abdu'l-Bahá encouraged the friends in the east and the west to learn it as a practical step in the promotion of the concept of the adoption of an international auxiliary language to break down the barriers to understanding between peoples.

- Universal House of Justice 17 September 1986 letter to NSAs in Europe

http://bahai-library.com/books/lango/lang10.html

The Most Great Name or Ringstone Symbol Not Appropriate on Gravestones

"Normally the building of structures or headstones on graves should be left to the family of the deceased, and all expenses should be covered by them.

"The use of the Most Great Name or the ringstone symbol on gravestones is not appropriate. In a letter dated September 17, 1971 to an individual believer we wrote the following:

'Concerning the questions you ask in your postscript, there is no specific ruling regarding the type of headstone that may be used at a grave site. However, regarding the inscription on a headstone, the beloved Guardian asked the believers not to use any form of the Greatest Name but a nine-pointed star may be used. Or, you may wish to have an appropriate text from the Sacred Writings inscribed on the headstone. The position of the body in the grave should be with the feet pointing toward the Qiblih, which is Bahji in Akka'."

(From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Uganda, May 4, 1972)

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance.html&chapter=2#n656

Books written by enemies of the faith should be ignored entirely.

"In reply to your letter of September 20, 1975, the Universal House of Justice instructs us to say that the friends should be advised to ignore these books and any similar ones which might be written by enemies of the Faith. There should certainly be no attempt made to destroy or remove such books from libraries. On the other hand there is no need at all for the friends to acquire them and, indeed, the best plan is to ignore them entirely."

(Referring to books by Hermann Zimmer and William Miller. Letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Panama, October 2, 1975)

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance&chapter=2#n627

If people refuse to accept Baha'u'llah, they will bring upon themselves crisis and great affliction.

If men refuse absolutely to take the easier road of faith, of seeking out God's Manifestation for this age and accepting Him, then they will bring upon themselves a fresh crisis in human affairs and very great affliction.

- Shoghi Effendi

https://bahai-library.com/shoghieffendi_unfolding_destiny#451

Summary of rules of Baha'i translations

Arabic works cannot be translated into Persian.

Persian works cannot be translated into Arabic.

Persian and Arabic works can be translated "into Oriental languages such as Turkish and Urdu."

Persian and Arabic works can be translated into English.

Persian and Arabic works cannot be translated into non-English "European languages."

English works can be translated into non-English "European languages."

For further reading, please see "Persian, Arabic, and Provisional Translations", "Translation and provisional translations", "Unveiling the Hidden Words, by Diana Malouf: Commentary on "Translating the Hidden Words,' review by Franklin Lewis", a letter dated June 27, 1933 from Shoghi Effendi to Adelbert Mühlschlegel about Bahá'í orthography, a letter dated June 30, 1999 from the Universal House of Justice outlining its procedures for approving provisional as opposed to authorized translations, and a letter dated February 15, 1957 from Shoghi Effendi to French Bahá'ís.

Source : https://www.reddit.com/r/OnThisDateInBahai/comments/71avaj/september_20_on_this_date_in_1973_the_uhj_wrote/

"untimely and unwise" - "unpleasant and unworthy"

September 20. On this date in 1982, the UHJ wrote Kalimát Press about the publication of Ustad Salmani's My Memories of Bahá'u'lláh noting it "untimely and unwise" due to passages where believers refer to him as "You being God, Uncle" and other "unpleasant and unworthy" stories.

https://bahai-library.com/uhj_salmani_letters

Baha'is are the Leaven of God, the Chosen People of God

"...The Bahá'ís are the leaven of God, which must leaven the lump of their nation. In direct ratio to their success will be the protection vouchsafed, not only to them but to their country. These are the immutable laws of God, from which there is no escape: 'For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.'

"They cannot be the chosen people of God,--the ones who have received the bounty of accepting Him in His Day, the recipients of the Master's Divine Plan--and do nothing about it. The obligation to teach is the obligation of every Bahá'í, and particularly, the obligations of the American Bahá'ís towards humanity are great and inescapable. To the degree to which they discharge them will they be blessed and protected, happy and satisfied."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, September 21, 1957: Bahá'í News, November 1957)

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance&chapter=2#n454

He feels that a course on Covenant-breaking should be included in the Summer School curriculum

"...and your Assembly cannot be too careful or vigilant in watching over the Community seeking out the sources of corruption and protecting the friends. He feels that a course on Covenant-breaking should be included in the Summer School curriculum, so that the friends may understand the nature of this evil, and how it has affected our Faith for one hundred years, and other Faiths in the past. The American Bahá'ís, aside from the older ones, do not seem to have any concept whatsoever of what a Covenant-breaker is, and the place to educate them in these matters is in the Summer Schools and on other occasions when they meet in large numbers."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, September 21, 1957)

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance&chapter=2#n625

Committee of Vigilance to watch over the Faith and protect it from its internal enemies!

"He feels that your Assembly should redouble its vigilance, in fact he feels that the National Assembly should consider itself, aside from its other duties, as a Committee of Vigilance to watch over the Faith and protect it from its internal enemies, and from the constantly carried on and insidious activities...."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States, September 21, 1957)

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance&chapter=2#n619

Expropriating the property owned and controlled by the Covenant Breakers

...and the setting in motion, through the instrumentality of various departments of the Israeli government, of a long-drawn-out process, culminating in the expropriation by the state of the entire property, owned and controlled by the remnants of the breakers of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant, immediately surrounding His resting-place and the Mansion of Bahjí, the evacuation of this property by this ignoble band, and the final and definite purification, after the lapse of no less than six decades, of the Outer Sanctuary of the Most Holy Shrine of the Bahá’í world, of the defilement, which had caused so much sorrow and anxiety to the heart of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

http://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/shoghi-effendi/citadel-faith/#f=f7-611

'Abdu’l-Bahá visited the home of William Jennings who was not home at the time, as he was busy campaigning for Woodrow Wilson in whose administration he would serve as Secretary of State.

September 22. On this date in 1912, during his tour of North America, 'Abdu’l-Bahá visited the home of William Jennings Bryan in Lincoln, Nebraska. William Jennings Bryan was not home at the time, however, as he was busy campaigning for Woodrow Wilson in whose administration he would serve as Secretary of State. 'Abdu’l-Bahá met his wife and daughter instead. Reports of a Wilson-Bahá'í connection began to circulate among American Bahá'ís during Wilson's term as President from 1913 to 1921.
On May 5, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson sent a telegram to the US National Bahá'í Convention expressing his "gratitude to all concerned." Wilsonian principles were lauded by 'Abdu'l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi. An avowed foreign interventionist, imperialist, and Social Darwinist who spread racial segregation in the federal government, Wilson's legacy is still defended by the Bahá'í Administrative Order.
The White House, Washington, May 5, 1916. My dear Mr Hall, the telegram you sent me on behalf of Bahá'ís of America, assembled in annual convention, has given me the deepest gratification and I hope you will have an opportunity to express my gratitude to all concerned. Cordially and sincerely yours, /s/ Woodrow Wilson.
'Abdu’l-Bahá would later praise President Woodrow Wilson...
The President of the Republic, Dr. Wilson, is indeed serving the Kingdom of God for he is restless and strives day and night that the rights of all men may be preserved safe and secure, that even small nations, like greater ones, may dwell in peace and comfort, under the protection of Righteousness and Justice. This purpose is indeed a lofty one. I trust that the incomparable Providence will assist and confirm such souls under all conditions.
On December 25, 1938 Shoghi Effendi wrote a letter, later published as The Advent of Divine Justice addressed "to the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the United States and Canada," describing the role of America in establishing the Most Great Peace. The work is divided into five parts. The fifth section provides some concluding remarks. Shoghi Effendi states that American Bahá’í's faithfulness to the Bahá’í Faith has potentiated the United States to establish the Most Great Peace. Shoghi Effendi comments on contemporary events, lamenting America's move away from Wilsonianism, "The ideals that fired the imagination of America’s tragically unappreciated President, whose high endeavors, however much nullified by a visionless generation, 'Abdu’l-Bahá, through His own pen, acclaimed as signalizing the dawn of the Most Great Peace, though now lying in the dust, bitterly reproach a heedless generation for having so cruelly abandoned them."
Wilson's legacy is still defended by the Bahá'í Administrative Order.

Circumstances around Abdu'l Baha's knighthood (KBE)

On September 23, 1918, during World War I, General Allenby's British forces captured Haifa from the Ottomans, an event which Shoghi Effendi in 1936 would refer to as "the liberation of Palestine." In 1920 'Abdu’l-Bahá would be ceremonially knighted in "a most wonderful celebration."


September 23. On this date in 1918, during World War I, General Allenby's British forces captured Haifa from the Ottomans, an event which Shoghi Effendi in 1936 would refer to as "the liberation of Palestine." Two years after General Allenby's conquest, 'Abdu’l-Bahá "was created by King George V a K.B.E. for valuable services rendered to the British Government in the early days of the Occupation" was ceremonially knighted, an event which the "Star of the West" reported as "a most wonderful celebration."
According to Harry Charles Luke, an official in the British Colonial Office who served as assistant Governor of Jerusalem,
Sir 'Abbas Effendi 'Abdu'l Baha had travelled extensively in Europe and America to expound his doctrines, and on the 4th December, 1919, was created by King George V a K.B.E. for valuable services rendered to the British Government in the early days of the Occupation.
On April 27, 1920, 'Abdu’l-Bahá was ceremonially knighted, an event which was prominently reported in the Bahá'í periodical Star of the West.
THE following beautiful description of this event was written by Dr. Zia M. Bagdadi who was at that time in Haifa: "Among the kings and governments of the world who have become convinced that Abdul Bahá was the well-wisher and the lover of mankind are King George and his government. The King sent a medal to Abdul Bahá with the title, "Sir", thus making him a member of his household. On the 27th of April, 1920, the Governor and high officials of Haifa, Palestine presented in a beautiful garden a most wonderful celebration for the knighting of Abdul Baha. Bahai pilgrims from Persia, America and all parts of the world were present. Mohammedan, Christian, Jewish leaders, clergymen, notables and local officials from Haifa, Acca and other towns attended. A tent was pitched in the center of the garden. English troops stood on both sides, from the gate of the garden to the center where Abdul Bahá was seated. The military music added wonderful melody to the rustling leaves of the beautiful trees. The breezes of the spring on that sunny afternoon imparted a remarkable vigor to the physical body just as the presence of Abdul Baha strengthened the souls. The Governor stood behind Abdul Bahá and, after a short speech, interpreted by Mr. Wadie Bistani, presented the medal. Then Abdul Baha, rising from his seat, gave a brief talk and a prayer for the British government.
There have been many people who, for various reasons, have refused British honours. Included among them are scientists like Francis Crick and Michael Faraday, musicians like David Bowie, and even devout British imperialists like T.E. Lawrence and Rudyard Kipling.
Benjamin Zephaniah refused his honour, stating "I get angry when I hear the word 'empire'; it reminds me of slavery, it reminds me of thousands of years of brutality, it reminds me of how my foremothers were raped and my forefathers brutalised."
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, was offered a knighthood in 1925, but replied, "I prefer to be plain Mr. Jinnah."
Kenneth Williams bluntly put it in these terms: "When offered something which obviously isn't worth the price ... we still have the right to say 'No thanks.'"
Nitin Sawhney refused for ethical reasons, saying "I wouldn't like anything with the word 'empire' after my name."
'Abdu'l-Bahá held none of these objections and accepted his knighthood with great pomp and ceremony, in "a most wonderful celebration"
The Chosen Highway chronicles in some detail how 'Abdu'l-Bahá aided the British against the Ottomans during World War I. For example...
We learned that when the British marched into Haifa there was some difficulty about the commissariat. The officer in command went to consult the Master.
"I have corn," was the reply.
"But for the army?" said the astonished soldier.
"I have corn for the British Army," said 'Abdu'l-Bahá.
He truly walked the Mystic way with practical feet. [footnote: Lady Blomfield often recounted how the corn pits proved a safe hiding-place for the corn, during the occupation of the Turkish army. -Ed.]
and [later...}
The British Government, with its usual gesture of appreciating a heroic act, conferred a knighthood upon 'Abdu'l-Bahá 'Abbas, Who accepted this honour as a courteous gift "from a just king."
The dignitaries of the British crown from Jerusalem were gathered in Haifa, eager to do honour to the Master, Whom every one had come to love and reverence for His life of unselfish service. An imposing motor-car had been sent to bring 'Abdu'l-Bahá to the ceremony. The Master, however, could not be found. People were sent in every direction to look for Him, when suddenly from an unexpected side He appeared, alone, walking His kingly walk, with that simplicity of greatness which always enfolded Him.
The faithful servant, Isfandiyar, whose joy it had been for many years to drive the Master on errands of mercy, stood sadly looking on at the elegant motor-car which awaited the honoured guest.
"No longer am I needed."
At a sign from Him, Who knew the sorrow, old Isfandiyar rushed off to harness the horse, and brought the carriage out at the lower gate, whence 'Abdu'l-Bahá was driven to a side entrance of the garden of the Governorate of Phoenicia.
So Isfandiyar was needed and happy.
Further collaboration is documented in Chapter V: Danger to 'Abdu'l-Bahá, His Family and Friends, and How it was Averted
On March 11, 1936, Shoghi Effendi wrote a letter later published as The Unfolding of World Civilization, a document included in the book titled World Order of Bahá'u'lláh
Within the The Unfolding of World Civilization are sections, such as one entitled Collapse of Islam, in which Shoghi Effendi summarizes late Ottoman and early Turkish Republican history in these terms...
The murder of that arrogant despot in the year 1876; the Russo-Turkish conflict that soon followed in its wake; the wars of liberation which succeeded it; the rise of the Young Turk movement; the Turkish Revolution of 1909 that precipitated the downfall of ‘Abdu’l-Ḥamíd; the Balkan wars with their calamitous consequences; the liberation of Palestine enshrining within its bosom the cities of ‘Akká and Haifa, the world center of an emancipated Faith; the further dismemberment decreed by the Treaty of Versailles; the abolition of the Sultanate and the downfall of the House of Uthmán; the extinction of the Caliphate; the disestablishment of the State Religion; the annulment of the Sharí’ah Law and the promulgation of a universal Civil Code; the suppression of various orders, beliefs, traditions and ceremonials believed to be inextricably interwoven with the fabric of the Muslim Faith—these followed with an ease and swiftness that no man had dared envisage. In these devastating blows, administered by friend and foe alike, by Christian nations and professing Muslims, every follower of the persecuted Faith of Bahá’u’lláh recognized evidences of the directing Hand of the departed Founder of his religion, Who, from the invisible Realm, was unloosing a flood of well-deserved calamities upon a rebellious religion and nation. World Order of Bahá’u’lláh, page 175
Three thoughts from this passage:
1) Shoghi Effendi considers the British seizure of Palestine a "liberation." By the time World Order of Bahá’u’lláh was published in 1938, the British had permitted the immigration of hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers to Palestine, and in 1937 the Peel Commission proposed a partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab sectors. The proposal was rejected by both the Arab and Jewish leadership. It is not mere conspiratorial inklings that lead detractors to consider the Bahá'í Faith to have ties to Zionism or British and Russian Imperialism.
2) Shoghi Effendi refers to "the further dismemberment decreed by the Treaty of Versailles" of the Ottoman Empire. The Treaty of Versailles was signed between Germany and some of the Allied nations, and it did not pertain to the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire would cease hostilities with Allies through the Armistice of Mudros, and Treaty of Sevres that was signed at the end of World War I was never ratified by the Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul. The nascent Republic of Turkey would later sign the Treaty of Lausanne with the Allies.
3) Shoghi Effendi describes the suffering of Ottoman subjects in World War I to have been "well-deserved calamities" unloosed by the "directing Hand" of Bahá'u'lláh. One wonders how anyone can equate Bahá'u'lláh's exile, where he was still allowed to lead his religious community and publicly declare himself Him whom God shall make manifest, with the suffering of World War I

Baha'is acquiring properties in Israel

September 24. On this date in 1951, a cablegram sent by Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assemblies announced that after "prolonged, delicate negotiations involving Ministries of Finance and Religious Affairs and Haifa Municipality have culminated in agreement in principle to purchase approximately twenty-two thousand meter area, estimated value hundred eighteen thousand dollars, situated on slope of Mount Carmel."
Acquisition of Area on Mount Carmel
Announce to National Assemblies of Bahá'í world that prolonged, delicate negotiations involving Ministries of Finance and Religious Affairs and Haifa Municipality have culminated in agreement in principle to purchase approximately twenty-two thousand meter area, estimated value hundred eighteen thousand dollars, situated on slope of Mount Carmel overlooking resting-place of Greatest Holy Leaf and eastern approaches to Báb's Sepulcher.
Acquisition of area extending from heart to ridge of mountain safeguards precincts of sacred Mausoleum now in process of erection, broadens basis of administrative structure of rising World Center of Faith in Holy Land, may induce civil authorities to abandon project construction of arterial road crossing diagonally Bahá'í international endowments, and facilitates extension of terraces ultimately stretching from foot to crown of God's Holy Mountain.
Contemplating transfer part of title deeds of land in question to Israel branches of American, Indian National Assemblies, reserving remainder for future transfer to other National Assemblies following upon incorporation of their respective branches on soil of Holy Land.
--Shoghi
[Cablegram, September 24, 1951]
On December 16, 1950, a little over a year after the international recognition of the State of Israel, the mansion at Mazra'a was leased from the Israeli government by the Bahá'í Administrative Order. Bahá'u'lláh lived there from 1877 until 1879, before moving to the Mansion at Bahjí.
The transaction is described in Baha'i News, no. 244, June 1951, p. 4
Masra'ih is a Moslem religious endowment, and it is consequently impossible, under existing laws in this country, for it to be sold. However, as the friends are aware, the Ministry of Religions, due to the direct intervention of the Minister himself, Rabbi Maimon, consented, in the face of considerable opposition, to deliver Masra'ih to the Baha'is as a Holy Place to be visited by Baha'i pilgrims. This means that we rent it from the Department of Moslem and Druze affairs in the Ministry of Religions. The head of this Department is also a Rabbi, Dr. Hirschberg. Recently he, his wife and party, visited all the Baha'i properties in Haifa and 'Akka, following upon a very pleasant tea party in the Western Pilgrim House with the members of the International Baha'i Council.
The mansion at Mazra'a would later be purchased by the Bahá'í Administrative Order from the Israeli government as reported in Messages from the Universal House of Justice 1968-1973, published 1976; Ridván Message 1973, p. 119
The Mansion of Mazra'ih, often referred to by the beloved Guardian as one of the "twin mansions" in which the Blessed Beauty resided after nine years within the walled prison-city of 'Akká, and dear to the hearts of the believers by reason of its associations with their Lord, has at last been purchased together with 24,000 square meters of land extending into the plain on its eastward side.
On January 21, 1949, Shoghi Effendi met with David Ben Gurion. In the chapter titled The Heart and Nerve Centre in her book The Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, Amatu'l-Bahá Rúhíyyih Khánum describes this meeting...
In January 1949 Mr. Ben Gurion, the Prime Minister of the Provisional Government, came to Haifa on his first official visit and the Mayor naturally invited Shoghi Effendi to attend the reception being given in his honour by the Municipality. The dilemma was acute, for if the Guardian did not go, it would, with every reason, be taken as an affront to the new Government, and if he did go he would inevitably be submerged in a sea of people where any pretence at protocol would be swept away (this was indeed the case, as my father, Shoghi Effendi's representative, reported after he returned from this reception). The Guardian therefore decided that as he would not be attending, but was more than willing to show courtesy to the Prime Minister of the new State, he would call upon him in person. With great difficulty this was arranged through the good offices of the Mayor of Haifa, Shabatay Levy, as Mr. Ben Gurion's time in Haifa was very short and it was only two days before the first general election in the new State.
The interview took place on Friday evening, January 21st, in the private home the Prime Minister was staying in on Mt. Carmel and lasted about fifteen minutes. Ben Gurion enquired about the Faith and Shoghi Effendi's relation to it and asked if there was a book he could read; Shoghi Effendi answered his questions and assured him he would send him a copy of his own book God Passes By — which he later did, and which was acknowledged with thanks. Typical of the whole history of the Cause and the constant problems that beset it was a long article which appeared in the leading English-language newspaper on December 20, 1948, in which, in the most favourable terms, its teachings were set forth and the station of Shoghi Effendi as its World Head mentioned. On January 28, 1949, there appeared in the letter column of this paper a short and extraordinary statement, signed "Bahai U.N. Observer", which flatly refuted the article and asserted, "Mr. Rabbani is not the Guardian of the Bahai faith, nor its World Leader" and gave the New History Society in New York as a source of further information
As there was no such thing as a "Bahai U.N. Observer" this move was plainly inspired by the once-more hopeful band of old Covenant-breakers, who sought, at the outset of a new regime, to blacken Shoghi Effendi's reputation and divert attention from his station by referring to Ahmad Sohrab's rootless group in America. At a later date, when in 1952 the Covenant-breakers in Bahji brought their case in the local courts against Shoghi Effendi for the demolition of an old building near the Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh, Sohrab sought, unsuccessfully, to bring pressure on the Minister of Religious Affairs to discredit the Bahá'í claims. It was with attacks such as this, both open and covert, that the Guardian, on the threshold of a new phase in the development of the affairs of the Faith at its World Centre, once more had to content.
It had long been the desire of Shoghi Effendi to obtain control of the Mansion at Mazra'ih, where Bahá'u'lláh had first lived when He quitted once-for-all the walls of the prison-city of 'Akka. This property was a Muslim religious endowment and had now fallen vacant. It was planned by the government to turn it into a rest home for officials. All efforts, through the departments concerned, to procure this property were unavailing until Shoghi Effendi appealed directly to [Ben Gurion]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ben-Gurion), explaining its significance to the Bahá'ís and his desire to have it visited by pilgrims as a place so closely associated with Bahá'u'lláh. The Prime Minister himself then intervened in the matter and it was leased to the Bahá'ís as an historic site. Shoghi Effendi proudly informed the Bahá'í world, on December 16, 1950, that its keys had been delivered to us, by the Israeli authorities, after the lapse of more than fifty years.
The affairs of the Bahá'í Community, in matters concerning its day-to-day dealings with the government in connection with the work at the World Centre, had been placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and was at first handled by the head of the Department that dealt with Muslim affairs. This Shoghi Effendi violently objected to as it implied the Faith was in some way identified with Islam. After much negotiation a letter was received from the Minister of Religious Affairs, dated December 13, 1953, addressed to "His Eminence, Shoghi Effendi Rabbani, World Head of the Bahá'í Faith" in which he said:
"...I am pleased to inform you of my decision to establish in our Ministry a separate Department for the Bahá'í Faith. I hope that this department will be of assistance to you in matters concerning the Bahá'í Centre in our State.
In the name of the Ministry of Religious Affairs of the State of Israel, I wish to assure Your Eminence that full protection will be given to the Holy Places as well as to the World Centre of the Bahá'í Faith."
The victory was all the more welcome, following as it did the previously mentioned court case against Shoghi Effendi brought on a technicality by the Covenant-breakers in connection with the demolition of a house adjoining the Shrine and Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh in Bahji. Never tired of seeking to publicly humiliate and discredit the Head of the Faith, be it 'Abdu'l-Bahá or the Guardian, they had had the temerity to summon Shoghi Effendi to appear in court as a witness. Once more, greatly concerned for the honour of the Cause at its World Centre, Shoghi Effendi appealed direct to the Prime Minister, sending as his representatives the President, Secretary-General and Member-at-Large of the International Bahá'í Council (whom he had summoned from Italy for this purpose) to Jerusalem on more than one visit to press the strategy he himself had devised. These representations were successful and on the grounds of its being a purely religious issue it was removed by Government from the jurisdiction of the civil courts. As soon as the plaintiffs found their plan to humiliate Shoghi Effendi had been forestalled, they were willing to settle the case by negotiation. That the authorities and the Bahá'í Community were equally pleased by this conclusion of the matter is shown in these letters written to the Guardian by members of the Prime Minister's staff — two men to whom the Faith owed much for their sympathetic efforts on its behalf at that time:
PRIME MINISTER'S OFFICE Jerusalem, 19th May, 1952. His Eminence Shoghi Rabbani, World Head of the Bahá'í Faith, Haifa. Your Eminence, I am instructed to acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 16th May addressed to the Prime Minister. As you are no doubt aware, the dispute between yourself as the World head of the Bahá'í Faith and members of the family of the founder of the Faith has found its solution and there is no need, therefore, to take any administrative action in order to solve the problem. May I express to you our gratitude for your wise and benevolent attitude taken in the dispute which enabled us to impose a just and, as we hope, a lasting solution on the dissident group? The Prime Minister assures you of his personal esteem and sends you his best wishes.
Yours sincerely, S. Eynath Legal Adviser
It is significant to note that they address Shoghi Effendi as "His Eminence", a title which, though still far below what his position merited, was the one that had been introduced in the earliest days of his ministry, but never really used by any officials until the formation of the Jewish State.
The cordial nature of the relations established between the Guardian and the officials of the State of Israel encouraged Shoghi Effendi to ascertain if the President would care to visit the Bahá'í Shrine in Haifa; when word was received that he would accept such an invitation, Shoghi Effendi formally invited him to do so and arrangements were made for the morning of April 26, 1954, at which time, the Director of the President's Office wrote to Shoghi Effendi, the President would "be pleased to pay you an official visit". Accordingly the President and his wife arrived at the home of the Master, attended by two officials, partook of light refreshment and were presented by the Guardian with a Persian album, painted with miniatures and bound in silver, containing some photographs of the Shrines, as a memento of their visit. The Presidential party, with Shoghi Effendi and those who accompanied him, then proceeded to the gardens on Mt. Carmel. It was the first time in the history of the Cause that the Head of an independent nation had ever made an official visit of this kind and it constituted another milestone in the development of the World Centre of the Faith. The President and his companions showed the greatest respect to the Shrine of the Bab, removing their shoes as we did, before entering it, the men keeping their hats on out of reverence as Jews for a holy place; it was a very moving moment to see President Ben Zvi standing beside Shoghi Effendi, the former with his European hat, the latter with his simple black fez, before the threshold. After a few words of explanation from Shoghi Effendi we all withdrew and walked about he gardens for a few minutes before saying good-bye in front of the Oriental Pilgrim House where the President's car was awaiting him.
On April 29th the President wrote personally to the Guardian: "I should like to express my thanks for your kind hospitality and for the interesting time I spent with you visiting the beautiful Gardens and remarkable Shrine... I do appreciate the friendship which the Bahá'í Community has for Israel and it is my sincere hope that we may all live to see the strengthening of amity between all peoples on earth." On May 5th the Guardian replied to this letter in equally warm terms: "...It was a great pleasure to meet Your Excellency and Mrs. Ben Zvi, and be able to show you one of our places of Bahá'í pilgrimage in Israel... If it suits your convenience, Mrs. Rabbani and I, accompanied by Mr. Ioas, would like to call upon Your Excellency and Mrs. Ben Zvi in Jerusalem..." The time for this return call was set for the afternoon of May 26th and we had tea and a pleasant conversation with the President and his wife, in her own way as much a personality as her husband and equally nice. In the interim between these two visits Shoghi Effendi had sent to the President some Bahá'í books which he had promised him and these had been acknowledged with the thanks of the President and the assurance that he would read them with great interest. Ever meticulous in all matters, Shoghi Effendi wrote on June 3rd to the President: "I wish to thank you and Mrs. Ben Zvi for your kind hospitality. Mrs. Rabbani and I enjoyed our visit with you very much, and I feel sure that this opportunity we have had of visiting with you our Bahá'í Holy Places and calling upon you in the capital of Israel has served to reinforce the bonds of affection and esteem which unite the Bahá'ís to the people and Government of Israel. With kind regards to you and Mrs. Ben Zvi..." Thus ended another memorable chapter in the process of winning recognition for the Faith at its World Centre.

Old religions are decaying before the eyes of their disillusioned adherents...

UHJ states :

Events of the most profound significance are taking place in the world. The river of human history is flowing at a bewildering speed. Age-old institutions are collapsing. Traditional ways are being forgotten, and newly born ideologies which were fondly expected to take their place, are withering and decaying before the eyes of their disillusioned adherents. Amidst this decay and disruption, assailed from every side by the turmoil of the age, the Order of Bahá’u’lláh, unshakably founded on the Word of God, protected by the shield of the Covenant and assisted by the hosts of the Concourse on High, is rising in every part of the world.

http://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19801103_001/19801103_001.pdf

What the Cause needs is such ardent and self-sacrificing servants and not lukewarm followers who are ready to reap the fruit...

"What the Cause needs is such ardent and self-sacrificing servants and not lukewarm followers who are ready to reap the fruit but unwilling to take a part in winning that victory. Shoghi Effendi, therefore, hopes that you will endeavour to make of your spiritual children of the type Bahá'u'lláh sought to have and create not passive admirers but active servants of the new world order."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, November 6, 1932)

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance&chapter=2#n384

Heedless non-Baha'is are Ignorants and they are indeed in evident loss.

"Hasten, hasten, O ye firm believers! Hasten, hasten, O ye steadfast! Abandon the heedless, set aside every ignorant, take hold of the strong rope, be firm in this Great Cause, draw light from this Evident Light, be patient and be steadfast in this wise Religion!

Ye shall see the hosts of inspiration descending successively from the Supreme World, the procession of attraction falling incessantly from the heights of heaven, the abundance of the Kingdom of El-Abhá outpouring continually and the teachings of God penetrating with the utmost power, while the heedless are indeed in evident loss."

('Abdu'l-Bahá, Baha'i World Faith, p. 357)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

One thousand years should not be taken literally.

"...as to the meaning of the passage in the 'Íqán' in which Bahá'u'lláh refers to the renewal of the 'City of God' once in about a thousand years: this, as the word about implies, is simply an approximate date, and should not therefore be taken literally."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, October 29, 1938: Dawn of a New Day, p. 202 & Lights of Guidance, p. 482)

Teach that person carefully until he becomes a Baha'i.

Never must they let a day pass, without teaching some soul, hoping that Bahá’u’lláh will cause each seed to grow. The Friends should seek pure souls, gain their confidence and then teach that person carefully until he becomes a Bahá’í — and then nurture him until he becomes a firm and active supporter of the Faith.

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/se/MC/mc-251.html

UHJ appeals Baha'is to convert more people.

We especially appeal to our fellow Bahá’ís everywhere to mount a mightier effort than ever before in offering the Message of Bahá’u’lláh to increasing numbers of their compatriots, and in inviting them to investigate and embrace His Cause.

- The Universal House of Justice

https://bahai-library.com/uhj_28_november_2004

Meat-eating in the writings of Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha

By Sen McGlinn

There is quite a lot on meat-eating in the writings of Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha, beginning with the Aqdas:

"If ye should hunt with beasts or birds of prey, invoke ye the Name of God when ye send them to pursue their quarry; for then whatever they catch shall be lawful unto you, even should ye find it to have died."

This is expanded in Questions and Answers no. 24:

Other means, such as bows and arrows, guns, and similar equipment employed in hunting, are also included. If, however, traps or snares are used, and the game dieth before it can be reached, it is unlawful for consumption.

So the basic rule is, one should recite the name of God over the animal before slaughtering it, and the meat is then halal. The first exception is that reciting the name of God before releasing the hawk or firing the gun is also acceptable: the meat is halal. The exception to the exception is that meat taken from fatal forms of traps and snares is not halal, even if one recited the name of God over the trap. Because furs are not haram for Bahais, traps could still be used to catch animals for fur - but in my opinion the kind that trap one foot of the animal (gin traps) should be banned as dangerous to children and cruel to animals. But cruelty to animals is another topic.

Before you start wondering whether there is a Jewish or halal butcher in your neighbourhood, note that this is among the laws not at present binding on the Bahais in the West.

Baha'u'llah also writes:

O concourse of priests and monks! Eat ye of that which God hath made lawful unto you and do not shun meat. God hath, as a token of His grace, granted you leave to partake thereof save during a brief period.

(Summons of the Lord of Hosts 154; Athar-e Qalam-e 'a`ali, volume 1 p. 50 from line 6. )

"A brief period" is an interpretive translation - it says "certain days" which might refer to Fridays just as well as Lent. There are similar tablets of Abdu'l-Baha in Amr wa Khalq, saying not to abstain from eating meat and there is this section in Tablets of Abdu'l- Baha:

Reflect upon the inner realities of the universe, the secret wisdoms involved, the enigmas, the inter-relationships, the rules that govern all. For every part of the universe is connected with every other part by ties that are very powerful and admit of no imbalance, nor any slackening whatever. In the physical realm of creation, all things are eaters and eaten: the plant drinketh in the mineral, the animal doth crop and swallow down the plant, man doth feed upon the animal, and the mineral devoureth the body of man. Physical bodies are transferred past one barrier after another, from one life to another, and all things are subject to transformation and change, save only the essence of existence itself -- since it is constant and immutable, and upon it is founded the life of every species and kind, of every contingent reality throughout the whole of creation.

Whensoever thou dost examine, through a microscope, the water man drinketh, the air he doth breathe, thou wilt see that with every breath of air, man taketh in an abundance of animal life, and with every draught of water, he also swalloweth down a great variety of animals. How could it ever be possible to put a stop to this process? For all creatures are eaters and eaten, and the very fabric of life is reared upon this fact. Were it not so, the ties that interlace all created things within the universe would be unravelled.


(Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 157)

On the other hand, there's a report from Abdu'l-Baha (not my translation, I suspect it might be by Ahang Rabbani) that says:

Regarding the eating of animal flesh and abstinence therefrom, know thou of a certainty that, in the beginning of creation, God determined the food of every living being, and to eat contrary to that determination is not approved. For instance, beasts of prey, such as wolf, lion and leopard, are endowed with ferocious, tearing instruments, such as hooked talons and claws. From this it is evident that the food of such beasts is meat. If they were to attempt to graze, their teeth would not cut the grass, neither could they chew the cud, for they do not have molars. Likewise, God hath given to the four-footed grazing animals such teeth as reap the grass like a sickle, and from this we understand that the food of these species of animal is vegetable. They cannot chase and hunt down other animals. The falcon hath a hooked beak and sharp talons; the hooked beak prevents him from grazing, therefore his food also is meat. 
But now coming to man, we see he hath neither hooked teeth or sharp nails or claws, or teeth like iron sickles. From this it becomes evident and manifest that the food of man is cereals and fruit. Some of the teeth of man are like millstones to grind the grain, and some are sharp to cut the fruit. Therefore he is not in need of meat, nor is he obliged to eat it. Even without eating meat he would live with the utmost vigor and energy. For example, the community of the Brahmins in India does not eat meat; notwithstanding this they are not inferior to other nations in strength, power, vigor, outward senses or intellectual virtues. Truly, the killing of animals and the eating of their meat is somewhat contrary to pity and compassion, and if one can content oneself with cereals, fruit, oil and nuts, such as pistachios, almonds and so on, it would undoubtedly be better and more pleasing.

 "Khatirat-i Habib" p. 297

http://bahaiforums.com/general-discussion/13309-abdul-baha-contradictions.html

The world is but one country and mankind its citizens.

This statement is the plagiarized version of a line of poetry from the 13th century Persian Poet called Saadi:

Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.

Baha’u’llah the founder of Baha’ism simply repeated this statement using other words and attributed it to himself.

The statement is simply “stating the obvious”, yes the world is like a big country and yes we are its citizens.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Abdul Baha went to the baths with the entire party.

On September 27, 1912, during his tour of North America, Mahmud's Diary relates that 'Abdu’l-Bahá availed himself of the resort amenities in Glenwood Springs, Colorado where he "strolled in the spacious garden and boulevard adjacent to the hotel until He reached the river where there were bath houses and hot springs...the Master went to the baths with the entire party.

You should go to Spiritual Assemblies as a child would to its parents.

"...These bodies have the sacred obligation to help, advise, protect and guide the believers in every way within their power when appealed to--indeed they were established just for the purpose of keeping order and unity and obedience to the law of God amongst the believers.

"You should go to them as a child would to its parents...."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, September 28, 1941: The Local Spiritual Assembly, compiled by the Universal House of Justice)

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance&chapter=1#n9

The Tablets of the Divine Plan, by Abdu'l-Bahá are the Charter for the teaching of the Faith.

"As you are no doubt aware, the Tablets of the Divine Plan, which were revealed by Abdu'l-Bahá during the First World War, are the Charter for the teaching of the Faith. All the teaching plans launched by the beloved Guardian, as well as those subsequently directed by the Universal House of Justice, are stages in the implementation of this master plan conceived by the Centre of the Covenant for the diffusion of the Message of Bahá'u'lláh."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, September 29, 1977)

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance_2.html&chapter=4#n1628

Your generation must provide the saints, heroes, martyrs and administrators of future years.

On October 2, 1951, Shoghi Effendi urged Bahá'í Youth

"to make up your minds to do great, great deeds for the Faith; the condition of the world is steadily growing worse, and your generation must provide the saints, heroes, martyrs and administrators of future years."

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance_2.html&chapter=5#n2128

Queen Marie's daughter : It is quite incorrect to say that my mother was a member of the Baha'i Faith.


'Abdu'l-Baha goes aboard the warship HMS Marlborough.

On October 4, 1919, on the invitation of Major Williamson, the acting Military Governor of Haifa, 'Abdu'l-Bahá goes aboard the warship HMS Marlborough.

Why Baha'is are 'persecuted' in Iran?

...technically speaking, the Islamic Republic of Iran, while it does not constitutionally recognize or accord legitimacy to Bahaism as a creed, has no state sponsored policy of persecuting Bahaism either. Baha’is as Iranian citizens are legally accorded full citizenship rights under the law in Iran. It is their creed (together with its organization and activities) which is not recognized, or granted legal privileges, and not their rights as citizens per se. This fact is consistently misrepresented, confused or totally glossed over in silence in the West. Nevertheless, besides the fact that at all stages of its history Bahaism has been consistently sponsored and supported by the forces of Anglo-European imperialism and colonialism against the interests and security of Iran; the issues the Islamic Republic of Iran currently has with the activities of Bahaism have to do primarily with the reality that the Haifan Baha’i organization and its leadership have consistently enjoyed a tightly knit relationship with the state of Israel, its establishment and state apparatus. The Israeli establishment, quite literally, has gone out of its way to protect the Baha’is since 1948 and in turn the Baha’is themselves have been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the Zionist state. The reader is invited to Google pictures of their Baha’i World Centre in Haifa to see for themselves the kind of allowances the Israeli state has made to this organization in the construction of their megalomaniacal Hanging Gardens of Babylon on Mt Carmel. Independent Israeli filmmaker Naama Pyritz even confessed during her 2004 interview of Frederick Glaysher what she believed to be the Haifan Baha’i organization’s inordinately ‘special relationship’ with the Israeli state (as well as with the United States and Great Britain): a special relationship which no other community or organization in Israel presently enjoys.

As such, given the history here, together with the central, overriding fact that its very world headquarters is located in Israel, the activities of the Haifan Baha’i organization demonstrably pose a serious national security threat to the Islamic Republic of Iran in a similar fashion as various radical Islamist terrorist groups or violent irredentists (such as the Basque separatists and similar) would theoretically pose national security threats to Western governments and their internal national security interests. It should be noted as well that France banned Scientology and proscribes its activities by law, and to some extent Germany as well; and so, the situation of the Haifan Baha’i organization in Iran is legally similar to the situation of Scientology or, say, the Jehovah’s Witnesses in France and Germany. In Germany, for instance, they are not even registered as a religious organization but as an NGO.

The Western media often likes to blow the Baha’i issue in Iran beyond all reasonable proportions while conveniently remaining silent or otherwise downplaying similar parallels existing in Western countries. Almost nothing is mentioned by them about Baha’isms sordid history or eyebrow raising linkages and connections presently. This is precisely because these Western establishments are engaging in carefully orchestrated neo-colonial perception management, consensus building and so information war against Iran due to the fact that the Haifan Baha’is have in fact been their dependable comprador lackeys and trojan horse in the region – and so, native informers — for the good part of one-hundred and sixty-six years.

- Wahid Azal

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/25/behind-the-politics-of-a-current-brouhaha-in-iran-an-ex-president-ayatollahs-daughter-and-the-bahais/

Baha'is believe all non-Baha'is are astray.


"The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Dayspring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the Source of Divine inspiration."

(Baha'u'llah, Kitab-i Aqdas, verse 1)
Baha'u'llah also states:

"whoso turneth away from this Beauty hath also turned away from the Messengers of the past” (Baha'u'llah, Tablet of Ahmad)

Dr Sa'eed Khan about Baha'is

Dr Sa'eed Khan [was] a highly-respected physician...who had as a doctor treated the second widow of the Bab, and had for a lifetime known intimately both Babis [i.e. Bayanis] and Baha'is in Tehran and Hamadan. He says:

"...There is no conscience with them [ i.e. the Baha'is], they keep to no principle, they tell you what is untrue, ignoring or denying undoubted historical facts, and this is the character of both the leader and the led...As to morality and honesty, the whole system has proved disappointing...I have been in contact with many Baha'is, and have had dealings with many and have tested many, and unfortunately I have met not a single one who could be called honest or faithful in the full sense of these words..."

From Mission Problems in New Persia, 1926, p. 83, 87 and 89 quoted by William McElwee Miller in The Baha'i Faith: It's History and Teachings, 1973, p. 289.

There is no way to appoint.. a second Guardian to succeed Shoghi Effendi.

On October 6, 1963, the UHJ sent a message to all NSAs stating that "the Universal House of Justice finds that there is no way to appoint or to legislate to make it possible to appoint a second Guardian to succeed Shoghi Effendi."

http://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19631006_001/19631006_001.pdf

The implementation of Bayan and non-implementation of Aqdas !?

The Bayan advocates death, violence, and war against non-Babis and since it was meant to be implemented that is exactly what the followers of the Bab did and created havoc and mayhem in Iran. If the laws of the Bayan were not meant to be implemented then there would be no need for Babis to cast aside their previous beliefs (mostly Islamic) and perform Babi rituals. Which human in his sane mind would bring a new religion with new laws then ask that these laws and rituals are not be acted upon. Even Baha'u'llah was practicing Babi law until he created Baha'ism.

On the other hand, the Aqdas has numerous laws that no one even cares about and every Baha'i that I have argued with claims the laws are non-binding. Just take a look at these easily implementable laws that have been cast aside by the UHJ: http://bahai-library.com/uhj_laws_not_binding or have been replaced "by the civil laws of each country".

Out of all the laws in the link that are not yet binding, one of the exceptions is the law of paying Huququ'llah to the UHJ: "The law of Huququ'llah is not yet applied to the western friends. [It became universally applicable at Ridvan 1992.]" Seems like the UHJ is some sort of cash hungry entity instead of being a spiritual center making sure the laws of Baha'ism are followed and implemented by Baha'is.

UHJ gives guidance on how to Pray and Meditate !

On October 11, 1978, the Universal House of Justice sent a letter to Bahá’í Friend regarding his "appeal for guidance" telling him to "Pray and meditate about it. Use the prayers of the Manifestations, as they have the greatest power. Learn to remain in the silence of contemplation for a few moments. During this deepest communion take the next step.

Arrive at a decision and hold to this. This decision is usually born in a flash at the close or during the contemplation. It may seem almost impossible of accomplishment, but if it seems to be an answer to prayer or a way of solving the problem, then immediately take the next step. Have determination to carry the decision through. Many fail here. The decision, budding into determination, is blighted and instead becomes a wish or a vague longing. When determination is born, immediately take the next step."

http://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19781011_001/19781011_001.pdf

Perhaps Shoghi Effendi writes about himself...

So many misunderstandings arise from the passionate attachment of the friends to the Faith and also their immaturity. We must therefore be very patient and loving with each other and try to establish unity in the Bahá'í family. The differences ... which you describe in your letter he feels are caused by the above and not by enmity to the Faith or insincerity.

(From a letter dated 17 October 1944 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)

http://bahai-library.com/compilation_living_the_life#n1301

World Religion Day.. was not meant primarily to provide a platform for all religions...

On October 22, 1968, the UHJ wrote, "World Religion Day, which is a celebration of the need for and the coming of a world religion for mankind, the Bahá'í Faith itself...the Day was not meant primarily to provide a platform for all religions and their emergent ecumenical ideas."

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance_2.html&chapter=4#n1710

Shoghi Effendi suggests Baha'i pilgrims to record their notes

"It is very important that the Bahá'ís should accurately record their experiences with the Master and events in the Cause's progress for these things form data for future histories of the Cause. They have not, however, the authority of the revealed Word of the Tablets,..."

(From a letter written on behalf of the Guardian to an individual believer, October 23, 1949: Bahá'í News, No. 228, February 1950, p. 4)

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance_2.html&chapter=4#n1617

Membership on the Universal House of Justice is confined to men.

On October 27, 1986, the UHJ stated that "it is an incontrovertible fact that all Manifestations of God known to us have been men. Moreover, it is a clear provision in Bahá’í administration that the Guardians were to be men and that membership on the Universal House of Justice is confined to men."

http://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19861027_001/19861027_001.pdf

Materials about the Faith authored by Baha’is must be reviewed by Baha’i institutions before publication.

On October 28, 1991, the Universal House of Justice addressed a letter to an individual believer, an academic, regarding the "requirement that materials about the Faith authored by Bahá’ís must be reviewed by Bahá’í institutions before publication."

http://www.bahai.org/library/authoritative-texts/the-universal-house-of-justice/messages/19911028_001/19911028_001.pdf

Personal relations with Covenant-breakers... is strictly forbidden.

"Personal relations with Covenant-breakers, however, such as personal contact or entering into correspondence with one is strictly forbidden."

http://bahai-library.com/hornby_lights_guidance&chapter=2#n611

About Bab


Bab's books

"whole sections of the Bab's later books don't in fact mean anything very much, but are elaborate exercises in interesting things you can do with Arabic roots."

- Denis MacEoin


Baha'u'llah's source of knowledge

"We purposed to read some of his works. Although We never felt disposed to peruse other peoples’ writings, yet as some had questioned Us concerning him, We felt it necessary to refer to his books, in order that We might answer Our questioners with knowledge and understanding. His works, in the Arabic tongue, were, however, not available . . . We sent for the book, and kept it with Us a few days. It was probably referred to twice,”

(Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, pp. 184–186.)

Love thy enemies - contradiction !

Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 320.
"O ye beloved of the Lord! The Kingdom of God is founded upon equity and justice, and also upon mercy, compassion, and kindness to every living soul. Strive ye then with all your heart to treat compassionately all humankind—except for those who have some selfish, private motive, or some disease of the soul. Kindness cannot be shown the tyrant, the deceiver, or the thief, because, far from awakening them to the error of their ways, it maketh them to continue in their perversity as before. No matter how much kindliness ye may expend upon the liar, he will but lie the more, for he believeth you to be deceived, while ye understand him but too well, and only remain silent out of your extreme compassion." Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 320.
Baha'i scripture is so full of contradictions and hypocrisy. Compare the above with:
“Apply ointment to the wounds of tyrants and heal the pain of oppressors,” Asad-Allāh Fāḍil Māzandarānī, Amr wa khalq, vol. 3,p. 228.
and
" The meaning of this is that ye must show forth tenderness and love to every human being, even to your enemies, and welcome them all with unalloyed friendship, good cheer, and loving-kindness. When ye meet with cruelty and persecution at another’s hands, keep faith with him; when malevolence is directed your way, respond with a friendly heart. To the spears and arrows rained upon you, expose your breasts for a target mirror-bright; and in return for curses, taunts and wounding words, show forth abounding love." (http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/ab/SAB/sab-8.html)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Baha'u'llah and Polytheists

“O group of polytheists (deniers of Baha’ism), if you take pride in your name remaining amongst the animals or being mentioned amongst the livestock, then take pride in that for you are worthy of it.” (Baha’u’llah, Athar-i Qalam-i A`la, vol. 2, no. 81, p. 452)

“From this day, any individual that mentions as human [or humanness] a single person from those who deny me—whether that [denier] has a high or low stature—they will be excluded from all of (God’s) Merciful Graces, let alone trying to prove [those deniers] have dignity or stature.” (Baha’u’llah, Kitab-i badi`, p. 140)

“Whoever denies this apparent exalted luminous grace (meaning Baha’ism), it is worthy that he asks his state from his mother and he will soon be returned to the bottom of hell,” Ishraq Khavari, Ma’idiy-i asimani, vol. 4, p. 355; (citing Baha’u’llah)

“Whoever has the enmity of this servant (meaning Baha’u’llah) in his heart, certainly Satan has entered their mother’s bed,” Ishraq Khavari, Ganj-i shaygan, p. 79. (citing Baha’u’llah)

“It is incumbent on ever soul to keep away from the wicked breath of the polytheists (deniers of Baha’ism),” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiy-i āsimānī, vol. 8, p. 39 (citing Baha’u’llah)

“Know that God has forbidden his friends from meeting with the polytheists (deniers of Baha’ism) and hypocrites,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiy-i āsimānī, vol. 4, p. 280 (citing Baha’u’llah)

“It is not permitted to interact, speak, or meet with those individuals that have turned away and made their objections apparent. This is an order revealed from the heavens of an Ancient Commander,” `Abd al-Ḥamīd Ishrāq Khāwarī, Mā’idiy-i āsimānī, vol. 8, p. 74; (citing Baha’u’llah)

“Run away from he who you do not find my love in his heart, keep away from him, and keep a great distance between you.,” Bahā’u’llāh, Āthār-i Qalam-i A`lā, vol. 2, p. 345 (sūrat al-aṣḥāb); (citing Baha’u’llah)

“Cleanse your eyes from [seeing] the deniers and the polytheists (meaning non-Baha’is) and turn away from them,” Bahā’u’llāh, Āthār-i Qalam-i A`lā, vol. 2, no. 81, p. 477 (citing Baha’u’llah)


Note : In Baha’i terminology the word ‘polytheist’ is used to refer to any person who denies Baha’u’llah.

Baha'i Faith and Dissimulation

"In Istanbul, every day at noon Bahá'u'lláh would go to the Mosque of Sultán Muhammad and there recite the prayer in the manner of Islam"

(Ustád Muhammad-`Alíy-i Salmání, MY MEMORIES OF BAHÁ'U'LLÁH, pp. 38-39)

"Thereupon, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá sought water to perform His ablution. With the utmost deliberation, He completed His ablution and then commenced to perform the long obligatory prayer of the Muslims."

(Khalil Shahidi, Translated by Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with Abdu'l-Baha, p. 116)

"At the beginning, when wisdom in certain matters was most necessary and essential, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá would fast during Ramadan."

(Khalil Shahidi, Translated by Ahang Rabbani, A Lifetime with Abdu'l-Baha, p. 42)

"Abdu’l-Bahá’s manifold activities continued with little abatement despite increasing bodily weakness and weariness up till the last day or two of His life. On Friday, November 25, 1921, He attended the noonday prayer at the Mosque in Haifa"

(Esslemont, Baha'u'llah and the New Era, p. 65)

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Be thou as a flame of fire to My enemies

Be thou as a flame of fire to My enemies and a river of life eternal to My loved ones...

http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/c/BP/bp-173.html

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Waging a war for righteous purpose can be a praiseworthy thing!


Abdul Baha says :

“A conquest can be a praiseworthy thing, and there are times when war becomes the powerful basis of peace, and ruin the very means of reconstruction. If, for example, a high-minded sovereign marshals his troops to block the onset of the insurgent and the aggressor, or again, if he takes the field and distinguishes himself in a struggle to unify a divided state and people, if, in brief, he is waging war for a righteous purpose, then this seeming wrath is mercy itself, and this apparent tyranny the very substance of justice and this warfare the cornerstone of peace,”

J. E. Esslemont, Bahā’u’llāh and the New Era, p. 172
http://reference.bahai.org/en/t/o/BNE/bne-140.html

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