Selections from the Writings of His Holiness ‘Abdu'l-Bahá'
by Abdu'l-Bahátranslated by Khazah Fananapazir.
originally written as "Muntakhabát Makátib-i-Hadrat-i-‘Abdu'l-Bahá' al Mujallad ath-Thání volume 2" in Persian.
On the Two Loves
‘Ishq-i-Majázi wa ‘Ishq-i-Haqíqí
O ye lovers of the Abhá Beauty! When the thoughts of those attached to the contingent world become attracted to the colours and physical beauty in this world of dust they become so enamoured of it that they are ready to give their life for it. They forget themselves and will billow forth like unto
the ocean. They seek neither a settled life, nor comfort nor rest. Every
eventide they are tearful in love and every dawn they burn with longing.
Consider if this is the condition of those in love with contingent and
ephemeral things what then must be the state of those who are lovers of the
True Beloved and what cries of ardour and love must ascend from their
hearts. If the love of the world of dust can cause such ardour and ecstasy
then it is should be obvious what the love of the Spirit of sanctity will
achieve. This day is the day that the lovers of the Abhá Beauty must needs
show self-sacrifice and haste to the field of martyrdom in His love. They
must vouchsafe the spirit of life and kindle the lamp of the Merciful One.
They must sing the accents of ‘Iráq and the melodies of Hijáz so that hearts may be moved and souls may be quickened and all spirits may be animated by spiritual vitality. Thereby will a divine celebration be set up and the
banquet of the love of God be in full swing so that the melodies of that
joyous assembly and the chants and songs of those peerless gatherings may
reach the heights of the divine empyrean and the denizens of the Concourse
on high may become joyful and exhilarated.
On the Radiance of the Innermost Reality of Man
Núrániyyat-i-Haqíqat Insániyyah O ye friends of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’!Although some time is gone since, with pen and ink, I have corresponded with you, yet, in the world of spirit and the heart, at all times I am in communion with those friends of the Abhá Beauty. I have not forgotten them for a moment and I have not rested for the duration of a single breath. With the utmost supplication and imploring, I have prayed that those friends of the All Merciful God may be protected from the ailment of body and soul in all conditions and circumstances, and that they may be confirmed to demonstrate by their deeds and words that these wronged ones are enamoured of the Abhá Beauty and attracted to the fragrances of holiness wafting from the Concourse on High, proving thereby that their utterance, their expositions, their characteristics and conduct, their virtues and perfections are all emanations of the Light of Immortality and the effulgences of the Most Great Name. My point is that the inner reality of man must, like unto a mirror, radiate light shone upon it by the rays of the Sun of Truth. Otherwise, the human reality is as a black stone and is darkness upon darkness. Now the rays of the Sun of Truth are divine recognition, belief, certitude, assurance, attraction, attraction, enkindlement, and persistence in spreading the divine fragrances.
O ye servants of God! These days will fast elapse. Sovereigns and vassals both will be forgotten. There will be no trace, no sign, no leaf, and no result remaining of them. All will be the manifestations of the blessed verse, &38220;Hath there not been over Man a long period of Time when he was nothing — (not even) mentioned?” except for those servants who were utterly wary of self and desire and became the dawning place of the lights of guidance, the focal point of the divine mysteries, and the leading lights of the righteous ones. These are resplendent like a brilliant star shining over the horizon of truth until eternity. Strive ye therefore that ye may drink of the wine of utmost constancy and with great strength may withstand the heedless ones and if all the peoples of the world should unite against you be not afraid or weak and rely on the hosts of the Kingdom of God. Do not seek the comfort of a few transient days; rather look at the end of all things. Consider in whose deeds and conduct resides praiseworthy consequences? This meditation will teach us lessons and lead us to the truth of the matter.
O my God! O my God! These souls are thy servants, humble before Thy gate, indigent in thy presence, feeble before Thy face; ordain for them all good and protect them from all harm. Enable them to become the protectors of thy impregnable stronghold and shepherds of thy flock in those regions and capable of hurling the darts of thy authority against the breakers of thy covenant with the power of thy sovereignty and clear proofs so that they may rise with the utmost strength to raise Thy word in that far distant country. O my Lord! These souls are like unto weak birds; make them to become eagles, soaring in the heights of Thy bounty, and falcons of grace and integrity and protect them from the oppressor. Thou art verily the Omnipotent, the Bounteous One. Verily, Thou art the Mighty, the Help in peril, the Exalted!
On Purification and the Attributes of the Mirrors
Sifát wa Tasfiyah-yi-Maráya
O daughter of the Kingdom! Thy letter was received its contents were
appreciated. It was evidence of thy supplication and prayers and proof of
thy attraction and ardour in the cause of God. How great is thy blessedness
that thou hast attained this station and this steadfastness!
Dar Ma’níy-i-‘Ubudiyyat O thou that dost serve at the divine Threshold! This service of thine is higher than the sovereignty of the world. This servitude thou dost offer is better than if thou didst rule over all. For earthly power is as vapour in deserted wildernesses, nay worse: it is as deadly venom. But the service thou dost render gives thee lasting sway; it is the rule of high heaven. Well hath it been said:
These are slaves but kings shall be their thralls,Know thou, that this garment of servitude is a robe of everlasting glory on thy shoulders and this dust is a diadem worthy of princes in the Realm of eternity.
It is for this same reason that the treasured crown of this lowly one is to be a servant at the threshold of the Abhá Beauty and my greatest glory is to attain this station of thraldom. O my God! Strengthen me in this purpose and enable me to realise this hope. Thou art verily the Confirmer, the All-Powerful.