Jul 15, 2018

‘Little knowledge is dangerous’

It is also very important to hold study classes and go deep in the Teachings. A great harm is done by starting to teach without being firmly grounded in the literature. ‘Little knowledge is dangerous’ fully applies to the teaching work. The friends should read the Writings and be able to quote from the Tablets when discussing subjects pertaining to the Faith. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 9 May, 1932 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi; Baha’i News, no. 67, October 1932)

Jul 14, 2018

The Dawn-Breakers

Shoghi Effendi undertook the translation of The Dawn-Breakers only after being convinced that its publication will arouse the friends to greater self-sacrifice and a more determined way of teaching. Otherwise he would not have devoted so much time to it. Reading about the life and activities of those heroic souls is bound to influence our mode of living and the importance we attach to our services in the Cause. Shoghi Effendi therefore hopes that the friends will read, nay rather, study that book, and encourage their young people to do that as well. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 9 May, 1932 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi; Baha’i News, no. 67, October 1932)

Jul 13, 2018

Reading prayers on the radio

You have asked specifically about reading prayers on the radio. Of course this is permissible, but will be cautious concerning the setting of the prayers, i.e. what kind of materials may be presented before and after the prayers, so that they are assured of that dignity and reverence which they deserve. There may also be considerations of timing (the hours of the day best chosen, Sunday as the customary day of religious observance, etc.), in relation to the customs of the station, of the area, or other. Such recorded disc programs as 'Words for the World' include prayers, of course. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter to the National Spiritual Assembly of Ecuador, July 8, 1973; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

Jul 12, 2018

Death: “a gate-way to a realm immeasurably higher and nobler”

In His Tablets Bahá'u'lláh says that were we able to comprehend the felicities that await us in the world to come, death would lose its sting; nay rather we would welcome it as a gate-way to a realm immeasurably higher and nobler than this home of suffering we call our earth. You should therefore think of their blessings and comfort yourself for your momentary separation. In time all of us will join our departed ones and share their joys. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, dated January 13, 1932, in an unpublished compilation, "Life After Death," enclosed with a letter from the Universal House of Justice, dated September 6, 1973; compilation: Developing Distinctive Baha’i Communities, NSA of USA, 1998 edition)

Jul 11, 2018

Confession

On the subject of Confession the Guardian's secretary wrote on his behalf to an individual believer: 'We are forbidden to confess to any person, as do the Catholics to their priests, our sins and shortcomings, or to do so in public, as some religious sects do. However, if we spontaneously desire to acknowledge we have been wrong in something, or that we have some fault of character, and ask another person's forgiveness or pardon, we are quite free to do so. The Guardian wants to point out, however, that we are not obliged to do so. It rests entirely with the individual'. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter of the Universal House of Justice to the National Spiritual Assembly of Canada, March 19, 1973; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

Jul 10, 2018

The Báb’s sacrifice

…in the first book which He wrote in explanation of the Surih of Joseph, He [the Báb] addressed Himself in all passages to that Person unseen from Whom He received help and grace, sought for aid in the arrangement of His preliminaries, and craved the sacrifice of life in the way of His love. 
- ‘Abdu'l-Baha  (‘A Traveller's Narrative’)

Jul 9, 2018

“The state of prayer”

Praise be to God, thy heart is engaged in the commemoration of God, thy soul is gladdened by the glad tidings of God and thou art absorbed in prayer. The state of prayer is the best of conditions, for man is then associating with God. Prayer verily bestoweth life, particularly when offered in private and at times, such as midnight, when freed from daily cares. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha’; The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, The Importance of Prayer, Meditation and the Devotional Attitude) 

Jul 8, 2018

How we can each help “the world… become another world”

How often the beloved Master was heard to say. Should each one of the friends take upon himself to carry out, in all its integrity and implications, only one of the teachings of the Faith, with devotion, detachment, constancy and perseverance and exemplify it in all his deeds and pursuits of life, the world would become another world and the face of the earth would mirror forth the splendours of the Abha Paradise. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 12 January 1923 to the Bahá'ís of Persia - translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, Living the Life)

Jul 7, 2018

Role of women in Baha’u’llah’s dispensation

O handmaid of God! In this wondrous dispensation in which the Ancient Beauty and the Manifest Light -- may my spirit be sacrificed for His loved ones -- hath risen from the horizon of age-old hopes, women have assumed the attributes of men in showing forth steadfastness in the Cause of God, and revealing the heroism and might of fearless men. They invaded the arena of mystic knowledge and hoisted aloft the banner on the heights of certitude. Thou, too, must make a mighty effort and show forth supreme courage. Exert thyself and taste of the sweetness of a heavenly draught, for the sweet taste of the love of God will linger on to the end that hath no end. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, Women)

Jul 6, 2018

“the secret of right living”

We must be like the fountain or spring that is continually emptying itself of all that it has and is continually being refilled from an invisible source. To be continually giving out for the good of our fellows undeterred by fear of poverty and reliant on the unfailing bounty of the Source of all wealth and all good — this is the secret of right living. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (Cited in "Bahá'í News" 13, September 1926; The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. I, Baha’i Funds and Contributions)

Jul 5, 2018

“the fruits of this earthly life”

Wherefore, O ye illumined youth, strive by night and by day to unravel the mysteries of the mind and spirit, and to grasp the secrets of the Day of God. Inform yourselves of the evidences that the Most Great Name hath dawned. Open your lips in praise. Adduce convincing arguments and proofs. Lead those who thirst to the fountain of life; grant ye true health to the ailing. Be ye apprentices of God; be ye physicians directed by God, and heal ye the sick among humankind. Bring those who have been excluded into the circle of intimate friends. Make the despairing to be filled with hope. Waken them that slumber; make the heedless mindful.

Such are the fruits of this earthly life. Such is the station of resplendent glory. Upon you be Baha'u'l-Abha. 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. II, Youth)

Jul 4, 2018

Food for newborn infant

The child must, from the day of his birth, be provided with whatever is conducive to his health; and know ye this: so far as possible, the mother's milk is best for, more agreeable and better suited to the child, unless she should fall ill or her milk should run entirely dry.... 
- 'Abdu'l-Bahá  (The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. I, Health and Healing)

Jul 3, 2018

Two kinds of Knowledge

Know verily that Knowledge is of two kinds: Divine and Satanic. The one welleth out from the fountain of divine inspiration; the other is but a reflection of vain and obscure thoughts. The source of the former is God Himself; the motive-force of the latter the whisperings of selfish desire. The one is guided by the principle: “Fear ye God; God will teach you;” [Qur’án 2:282] the other is but a confirmation of the truth: “Knowledge is the most grievous veil between man and his Creator.” The former bringeth forth the fruit of patience, of longing desire, of true understanding, and love; whilst the latter can yield naught but arrogance, vainglory and conceit. 
- Baha'u'llah  (The Kitab-i-Iqan)

Jul 2, 2018

The Báb

…the gentle, the youthful and irresistible person of the Báb, matchless in His meekness, imperturbable in His serenity, magnetic in His utterance, unrivaled in the dramatic episodes of His swift and tragic ministry. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)

Jul 1, 2018

Memorizing Hidden Words

We should memorize the Hidden Words, follow the exhortations of the Incomparable Lord, and conduct ourselves in a manner which befitteth our servitude at the threshold of the One True God. 
- 'Abdu'l-Bahá  (From a newly translated Tablet of Abdu'l-Bahá, The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, The Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith)

Jun 30, 2018

Vain imaginings

O spiritual youth! Praise thou God that thou hast found thy way into the Kingdom of Splendours, and hast rent asunder the veil of vain imaginings, and that the core of the inner mystery hath been made known unto thee.
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (‘Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)

Jun 29, 2018

Soul and Body

Man—the true man—is soul, not body; though physically man belongs to the animal kingdom, yet his soul lifts him above the rest of creation. Behold how the light of the sun illuminates the world of matter: even so doth the Divine Light shed its rays in the kingdom of the soul. The soul it is which makes the human creature a celestial entity! 
- ‘Abdu’l-Baha  (From a talk, Nov. 9, 1911, ‘Paris Talks’)

Jun 28, 2018

“pride and self-aggrandisement are among the most deadly of sins”

Courtesy, reverence, dignity, respect for the rank and achievements of others are virtues which contribute to the harmony and well-being of every community, but pride and self-aggrandisement are among the most deadly of sins. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a letter to all National Spiritual Assemblies, March 27, 1978; compilation: Lights of Guidance)

Jun 27, 2018

The “bed-rock of God’s latest Revelation to mankind”; “the essential elements of that Divine polity”

It was in the course of these epoch-making journeys and before large and representative audiences, at times exceeding a thousand people, that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá expounded, with brilliant simplicity, with persuasiveness and force, and for the first time in His ministry, those basic and distinguishing principles of His Father’s Faith, which together with the laws and ordinances revealed in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas constitute the bed-rock of God’s latest Revelation to mankind. The independent search after truth, unfettered by superstition or tradition; the oneness of the entire human race, the pivotal principle and fundamental doctrine of the Faith; the basic unity of all religions; the condemnation of all forms of prejudice, whether religious, racial, class or national; the harmony which must exist between religion and science; the equality of men and women, the two wings on which the bird of human kind is able to soar; the introduction of compulsory education; the adoption of a universal auxiliary language; the abolition of the extremes of wealth and poverty; the institution of a world tribunal for the adjudication of disputes between nations; the exaltation of work, performed in the spirit of service, to the rank of worship; the glorification of justice as the ruling principle in human society, and of religion as a bulwark for the protection of all peoples and nations; and the establishment of a permanent and universal peace as the supreme goal of all mankind…
- Shoghi Effendi  (‘God Passes By’)