May 25, 2017

self defense

 Shoghi Effendi feels that it should be explained that forbidding self defence by Bahá'u'lláh should not be taken too literally. To put it as bluntly as this, he fears that the question might be misunderstood. Bahá'u'lláh could surely have not meant that a Bahá'í should not attempt to defend his life against any irresponsible assailant who might attack him for any purpose whatever, whether religious or not. Every reasonable person would feel under such circumstances justified in protecting his life.... 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 30 November 1930, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi; printed in ‘The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community’)

May 24, 2017

“The present social and economic problems”

The present social and economic problems that are facing the… people are surely occupying their whole attention, but they should also operate as a reminder and draw them closer to spiritual matters. The people have to be made conscious of the fact that without a complete change in our outlook and a total reform of the guiding principles of our life, such as the Cause advocates, our social and economic problems cannot be solved nor our conditions ameliorated. Nothing short of the full message of Bahá’u’lláh can end the sufferings that are befalling humanity. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 7 November 1931, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi; printed in ‘The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community’)

May 23, 2017

“the only Westerner who has met the Báb”

Shoghi Effendi is enclosing an extremely interesting account given by a certain Dr. Cormick, an English physician long resident in Tabriz of his meeting with the Báb. He is apparently the only Westerner who has met the Bab and recorded his impressions... Shoghi Effendi thinks of adding it to his notes. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 30 November 1930, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi; printed in ‘The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community’)

May 22, 2017

The Baha’i Faith embraces the Faith of the Báb

Shoghi Effendi feels that the Unity of the Bahá'í revelation as one complete whole embracing the Faith of the Bab should be emphasised... The Faith of the Bab should not be divorced from that of Bahá'u'lláh. Though the teachings of the Bayan have been abrogated and superseded by the laws of Aqdas, yet due to the fact that the Bab considered Himself as the forerunner of Bahá'u'lláh we should regard His dispensation together with that of Bahá'u'lláh as forming one entity, the former being an introductory to the advent of the latter. Just as the advent of John the Baptist -- who according to various authorities was Himself the originator of laws which abrogated the teachings current among the Jews -- forms part of the Christian revelation, the advent of the Bab likewise forms an integral part of the Bahá'í Faith. That is why Shoghi Effendi feels justified to call Nabil's narrative a narrative of the early days of the Bahá'í revelation. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 30 November 1930, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi; printed in ‘The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community’)

May 21, 2017

‘The Dawn-Breakers’

He [Nabil] states in his narration that he met the maternal uncle of the Bab, Haji Mirza Siyyid Ali who had visited his nephew in the Castle of Chihriq and had recently returned to Tihran. He started writing his narrative in 1305 A.H. four years before the passing of Bahá'u'lláh. It took him about a year and half to write it. His chief informants were Mirza Ahmad the amanuensis of the Bab and Mirza Musa the brother of Bahá'u'lláh. Parts of his narrative were read in the presence of Bahá'u'lláh and approved by Him. 'Abdu'l-Bahá also went over sections of his narrative.... 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 30 November 1930, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi; printed in ‘The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community’)

May 20, 2017

Nabil, the author of the Dawn-Breakers

Regarding Nabil: He was born on the 18th day of the month of Safar of the year 1247 A. H. in the village of Zarand in Persia. He was thirteen years old when the Bab declared Himself. Though still young he himself was preparing to leave for Shaykh Tabarsi and join the companions of Mulla Husayn when the news of the treachery and massacre of the besieged companions reached him. He met Bahá'u'lláh in Kirmanshah and Tihran before the latter's banishment to Iraq. He was a close companion of the Báb's amanuensis Mirza Ahmad. He subsequently met Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad, Adrianople and 'Akká and was commissioned by Bahá'u'lláh to journey several times to Persia in order to promote the Cause and encourage the scattered and persecuted believers. He was present in 'Akká when Bahá'u'lláh passed away in 1892 and soon after was so overcome with grief that he drowned himself in the sea. His body was found along the shore and was buried in the cemetery of 'Akká. 'Abdu'l-Bahá is reported to have been struck with deep sorrow at the manner of his death. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 30 November 1930, written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi; ‘The Unfolding Destiny of the British Baha'i Community’)

May 19, 2017

Baha’i Ringtone

Upon the horizon of eternal Glory two luminous stars have arisen in brilliance: one to the right and one to the left ... this is the mystery of the appearance of the Beauty of Abha and of the Supreme Highness (the Báb). And though these two diagrams at the right and the left have form of stars, they also represent the body of man, with the head, the two arms and two legs, since this diagram has five points. 
- 'Abdu'l-Bahá  (Bahá'í Scriptures, p. 479, 1923 ed.; compilation; ‘Lights of Guidance’)

May 18, 2017

Fear of God

You ask him about the fear of God: perhaps the friends do not realize that the majority of human beings need the element of fear in order to discipline their conduct? Only a relatively very highly evolved soul would always be disciplined by love alone. Fear of punishment, fear of the anger of God if we do evil, are needed to keep people's feet on the right path. Of course we should love God -- but we must fear Him in the sense of a child fearing the righteous anger and chastisement of a parent; not cringe before Him as before a tyrant, but know His mercy exceeds His justice! 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 26 July 1946 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, Baha’i Education)

May 17, 2017

Memorizing & quoting the Writings

To deepen in the Cause means to read the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh and the Master so thoroughly as to be able to give it to others in its pure form. There are many who have some superficial idea of what the Cause stands for. They, therefore, present it together with all sorts of ideas that are their own. As the Cause is still in its early days we must be most careful lest we fall under this error and injure the Movement we so much adore. There is no limit to the study of the Cause. The more we read the Writings, the more Truths we can find in Them, the more we will see that our previous notions were erroneous. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 25 April 1926 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. I, The Importance of Deepening Our Knowledge and Understanding of the Faith)

May 16, 2017

Fostering the growth of the Baha’i Community

The fifth Glad-Tidings: In every country where any of this people reside, they must behave towards the government of that country with loyalty, honesty and truthfulness. This is that which hath been revealed at the behest of Him Who is the Ordainer, the Ancient of Days. 
- Baha’u’llah  (‘Tablets of Baha’u’llah revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas’)

May 15, 2017

“connecting hearts to Bahá’u’lláh”

Viewed aright, this year presents the single greatest worldwide opportunity there has ever been for connecting hearts to Bahá’u’lláh. In the months ahead, let all be mindful of this precious chance and alert to the possibilities that exist in every space for acquainting others with His life and sublime mission. 
- The Universal House of justice  (Ridvan 2017)

May 14, 2017

To repeat ninety-five times each day: ‘Alláh-u-Abhá’

We have… decided that it is timely for Bahá’ís in every land to take to their hearts the words of the Kitáb-i-Aqdas: “It hath been ordained that every believer in God, the Lord of Judgment, shall, each day, having washed his hands and then his face, seat himself and, turning unto God, repeat ‘Alláh-u-Abhá’ ninety-five times. Such was the decree of the Maker of the Heavens when, with majesty and power, He established Himself upon the thrones of His Names.” Let all experience the spiritual enrichment brought to their souls by this simple act of worshipful meditation. 
- The Universal House of Justice  (From a message dated 28 December 1999, addressed to the Baha’is of the World)

May 13, 2017

A “difference between character and faith”

There is a difference between character and faith; it is often very hard to accept this fact and put up with it, but the fact remains that a person may believe in and love the Cause - even to being ready to die for it - and yet not have a good personal character, or possess traits at variance with the teachings. We should try to change, to let the Power of God help recreate us and make us true Baha'is in deed as well as in belief. But sometimes the process is slow, sometimes it never happens because the individual does not try hard enough. But these things cause us suffering and are a test to us… 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 17 October 1944 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer)

May 12, 2017

To “be very patient and loving with each other”

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. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 17 October 1944 written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Living the Life)

May 11, 2017

Perfecting one’s own life and character

... Each of us is responsible for one life only, and that is our own. Each of us is immeasurably far from being 'perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect' and the task of perfecting our own life and character is one that requires all our attention, our willpower and energy. If we allow our attention and energy to be taken up in efforts to keep others right and remedy their faults, we are wasting precious time. We are like ploughmen each of whom has his team to manage and his plough to direct, and in order to keep his furrow straight he must keep his eye on his goal and concentrate on his own task. If he looks to this side and that to see how Tom and Harry are getting on and to criticise their ploughing, then his own furrow will assuredly become crooked." 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, May 12, 1925: compilation: ‘Living the Life’; compilation: ‘Lights of Guidance’)

May 10, 2017

Effects of “genuine love, truthfulness and purity of motives”

One can hardly imagine what a great influence genuine love, truthfulness and purity of motives exert on the souls of men. But these traits cannot be acquired by any believer unless he makes a daily effort to gain them.... 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the East- translated from the Persian) The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Guidelines for Teaching)

May 9, 2017

Our dependence on “divine bestowals and confirmation”

…the friends must observe the specific times for the remembrance of God, meditation, devotion and prayer, as it is highly unlikely, nay impossible, for any enterprise to prosper and develop when deprived of divine bestowals and confirmation. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the East- translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Guidelines for Teaching)

May 8, 2017

“to purge one’s heart and motives”

First and foremost, one should use every possible means to purge one's heart and motives, otherwise, engaging in any form of enterprise would be futile. It is also essential to abstain from hypocrisy and blind imitation, inasmuch as their foul odour is soon detected by every man of understanding and wisdom. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the East- translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Guidelines for Teaching)

May 7, 2017

“potency of noble deeds and character”

It is primarily through the potency of noble deeds and character, rather than by the power of exposition and proofs, that the friends of God should demonstrate to the world that what has been promised by God is bound to happen, that it is already taking place and that the divine glad-tidings are clear, evident and complete. For unless some illustrious souls step forth into the arena of service and shine out resplendent in the assemblage of men, the task of vindicating the truth of this Cause before the eyes of enlightened people would be formidable indeed. However, if the friends become embodiments of virtue and good character, words and arguments will be superfluous. Their very deeds will well serve as eloquent testimony, and their noble conduct will ensure the preservation, integrity and glory of the Cause of God. 
- Shoghi Effendi  (From a letter dated 19 December 1923 written by Shoghi Effendi to the Bahá'ís of the East - translated from the Persian; The Compilation of Compilations, vol. II, Living the Life)