March 17, 2016

Prayer - Assistance to serve and observe the Teachings

Glory be to Thee Who hast caused all the holy Ones to confess their helplessness before the manifold revelations of Thy might, and every Prophet to acknowledge His nothingness at the effulgence of Thine abiding glory. I beseech Thee, by Thy name that hath unlocked the gates of Heaven and filled with ecstasy the Concourse on high, to enable me to serve Thee, in this Day, and to strengthen me to observe that which Thou didst prescribe in Thy Book. Thou knowest, O my Lord, what is in me; but I know not what is in Thee. Thou art the All-Knowing, the All-Informed. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah’)

March 10, 2016

Mashriqu'l-Adhkár & the blessedness of the person who enters it

Blessed is he who, at the hour of dawn, centring his thoughts on God, occupied with His remembrance, and supplicating His forgiveness, directeth his steps to the Mashriqu'l-Adhkár and, entering therein, seateth himself in silence to listen to the verses of God, the Sovereign, the Mighty, the All-Praised. Say: The Mashriqu'l-Adhkár is each and every building which hath been erected in cities and villages for the celebration of My praise. Such is the name by which it hath been designated before the throne of glory, were ye of those who understand.
- Baha’u’llah  ('The Kitab-i-Aqdas')

March 3, 2016

The “four stations” embedded in the Islamic Tradition: "I was a Hidden Treasure and loved to be known. Therefore I created the Creation that I might be known."

Know, O bird of the flower-garden of Divine Unity and nightingale of the garden of detachment! that in order to comprehend this Tradition: "I was a Hidden Treasure and loved to be known Therefore I created the Creation that I might be known", it is necessary to understand four stations. This Tradition is upon the tongues of all people, be they of the generality or of special rank, and is written in all the books and treatises. As for understanding these four stations, the first is "the Hidden Treasure"; the second is the stages and stations of "Love"; the third is the station of "Creation" and similar matters; and the fourth is the station of "Knowledge". 

February 25, 2016

There are Three Versions of the Torah

“ …the Torah, held to be the most ancient of histories, existeth today in three separate versions: the Hebrew, considered authentic by the Jews and the Protestant clergy; the Greek Septuagint, which was used as authoritative in the Greek and other eastern churches; and the Samaritan Torah, the standard authority for that people. These three versions differ greatly, one from another, even with regard to the lifetimes of the celebrated figures.

In the Hebrew Torah, it is recorded that from Noah's flood until the birth of Abraham there was an interval of two hundred and ninety-two years. In the Greek, that time span is given as one thousand and seventy-two years, while the Samaritan, the recorded span is nine hundred and forty-two years. Refer to the commentary by Henry Westcott [the transliteration of this name is not certain] for tables are supplied therein which show the discrepancies among the three Torahs as to the birth date of a number of the descendants of Shem, and thou wilt see how greatly the versions differ from one another.

February 15, 2016

Bahá'u’lláh was born into an ancient and noble family

On 12 November 1817 a child named Mirzá Husayn-'Ali was born in Tihrán, the capital of Persia. His father was a nobleman and a favored minister of Fath-'Ali Sháh; his mother was Khadijih Khánum. His family's ancestral home was in the village of Tákur in the district of Núr (Light) in the northern province of Mázindarán, which lies along the shore of the Caspian Sea. Though Mirzá Husayn-'Ali received little formal education, He showed signs in childhood of innate knowledge and unusual nobility of character -- signs that foreshadowed the divinely ordained role He would later assume as Bahá'u’lláh, the Glory of God. His revelation would shake Persia to its depths, revolutionize the fortunes of the world, and usher in a new and glorious age in human history.
- Geoffry Marks  (‘Call to Remembrance’)

February 5, 2016

'Abdu'l-Baha: The "unerring Interpreter of His [Baha'u'llah's] Word"

“the unerring Interpreter of His Word” (Shoghi Effendi, from a letter dated 8 February 1934, published in "The World Order of Bahá'u'lláh - Selected Letters")

January 24, 2016

Dec. 29, 1922: Message from the Guardian to believers in Chicago

To the beloved of the Lord and the handmaids of the Merciful in Chicago, Ill. U.S.A. Care of the members of the Spiritual Assembly.

Beloved brethren and sisters in the Cause of God:

May I assure you in this short message of mine of my sincere admiration for and firm attachment to those old and tried believers who have been engaged ever since the earliest days of the Cause in that land in the noble pursuit of spreading far and wide the Universal Teachings of Baha'u'llah.

Your city so far famed for its intimate association with the history of the rise of the Mashrequ’l-Azkar will, I trust, witness in the not distant future while this majestic Structure is being raised a swift regeneration in the spiritual lives of its inhabitants, that it may become truly the throbbing centre of Baha’i activities throughout the land.

We all look forward with eager hearts to the time when this noble Edifice, with all its various accessories completed, will become the focal centre of spiritual, humanitarian and intellectual achievements to which the friends of that city, the pioneers of such a glorious work, will have a distinct share to contribute.

May my prayers together with yours hasten the advent of such a crowning period in the history of the Cause in that land!

Your brother and coworker,

(Signed) Shoghi.
Haifa, Palestine,

December 29, 1922.

January 9, 2016

Fujita joined ‘Abdu’l-Baha’s entourage in Chicago

One who came with ‘Abdu’l-Baha from Chicago was Haritsu S. Fujita, a young Japanese who had received the Message while working as "school boy" in the home of Mrs. Kathryn Frankland in Fruitvale, California. Afterward he had gone to Chicago to study and was living with the family of Mrs. Corinne True. ‘Abdu’l-Baha, as He passed through Chicago, asked Fujita to join His retinue.
(Ella Cooper, unpublished manuscript)

December 28, 2015

A Tablet in Baha'u'llah's own hand after He was poisoned by His half-brother

The first page of the Suri-i-Amr in Baha'u'llah's own hand, revealed soon after the attempt on His life.

December 20, 2015

Education and training of children

Among the greatest of all services that can possibly be rendered by man to Almighty God is the education and training of children..."
-‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’; included in Ruhi Book 3)

December 13, 2015

Never have I seen anyone work as hard as Shoghi Effendi

Never have I seen anyone work as hard as Shoghi Effendi, and it must be very trying to him with his universal creative energy, his world horizon, his soaring ideals, to say nothing of the unfathomable depths of knowledge and wisdom which flow like undulated waves through his sacred entity at all times, it must be a cruel restraint that he has not a greater vehicle or channel through which to pour all this power throughout the world...
- May Maxwell  (From a letter to Katherine Baldwin, Honolulu. February 1939)

December 5, 2015

“The human soul is an essence spiritual in entity and material or physical in function.”

The human soul is an essence spiritual in entity and material or physical in function. It is defined as essence because it is independent in itself, while the body is accidental and dependent upon the soul.
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, quoted by Lua Getsinger in her talk in San Francisco on December 17, 1911)

November 28, 2015

There are fourteen Tablets of the Divine Plan

The Tablets of the Divine Plan are fourteen in number and were revealed at two separate times by 'Abdu'l-Baha: eight of them in 1916, and six in 1917.
- Hand of the Cause Balyuzi  (‘Abdu'l-Baha - The Centre of the Covenant’)

November 21, 2015

Nov. 1919 -- 'Abdu'l-Baha With Some Eastern and Western Baha'is

'Abdu'l-Baha with some Eastern and Western Baha'is assembled on Mt. Carmel in November 1919. Mrs. Corinne True and daughter Edna are standing in front row.

November 1, 2015

Unity of East & West, Future World, and the Role of America

16 April 1912
Talk at Hotel Ansonia to Bahá'í Friends of New Jersey
Broadway and Seventy-third Street, New York
Notes by Ahmad Sohrab

Souls from the East and West have been brought together here through the power of the Holy Spirit. Such a gathering as this would be impossible through material means. A meeting of this kind has never been established in New York, for here tonight we find people from remote regions of the earth, associated with the people of America in the utmost love and spiritual unity. This is only possible through the power of God. Christ appeared in this world nineteen hundred years ago to establish ties of unity and bonds of love between the various nations and different communities. He cemented together the sciences of Rome and the splendors of the civilization of Greece. He also accomplished affiliation between the Assyrian kingdom and the power of Egypt. The blending of these nations in unity, love and agreement had been impossible, but Christ through divine power established this condition among the children of men.
…Read more

October 25, 2015

Description of the “Meadow of Paradise”

This [Tablet] is the Meadow of Paradise wherein the melody of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting, hath been exalted. Therein hath Houris [Maidens] of Eternity been empowered whom none hath touched save God, the Almighty, the Sanctified. Therein doth the Nightingale of Eternal Subsistence warble upon the branches of the Lote-Tree of the Extremity with such a melody as hath bedazzled discerning souls. Therein is that through which the poor and needy are made to approach the shore of independent self-sufficiency and the people obtain guidance unto the Word of God. Such, indeed, is the certain Truth!
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Tablet of the Bell’)

October 18, 2015

A disciple of the Báb

Question: Which disciple of the Báb accompanied Him on His pilgrimage to Mecca in 1845?  -->Answer