In these days, which are the latter days of 1911 A.D. and the early days of
1330 A.H., I have seen a curious article which astonished me. What did I see? I
find that one of the missionaries of the Protestant sect, who accounts himself
among the learned men of the twentieth century, a helper of the pure religion
of Christ and one of the civilized and cultured occidentals, by name, Peter Z.
Easton, has been so provoked by jealousy at the universal spread of the
heavenly word of His Holiness 'Abdu'l-Bahá throughout the vast expanses
of Europe that he has trespassed the limit of courtesy and humanity and
published an article replete with execration and calumny in the magazine,
Yes, jealousy has caused many to fall from the high station and lofty summit
of courtesy and thrown them headlong into the low depths of vain words and the
writing of falsehood and slander. But the fire of jealousy has flamed in this
person with even greater violence for he has seen how that glorious man,
Archdeacon Wilberforce, as befitting the station of men of learning and of
eminence, has spoken of 'Abdu'l-Bahá as "Mas-ter" before a great
assemblage and introduced him with terms of glorification and commendation to a
Having considered the entire contents of the above article I found the
writer's sole aim to be an attempt to allay the fire of his jealousy by the
mention of evil words and execration; to count himself as victorious by
wielding the arms of calumny and falsehood which are usually the only sword and
sole weapon in the hand of a weak and ignorant opponent. The realization of
this caused even greater regret and remorse, for I had never supposed that such
traits and objectionable qualities could be manifested by souls who pretended
to civilization and moral culture.
Are there not enough revilers, calumniators and prevaricators in the other
parts of the world that such should also appear from Europe? Should one
accounting himself a teacher of good morals and a spreader of the superior
virtues of Christianity characterize himself with a quality which is the most
specific sign and attribute of Anti-Christ? No! by the Life of God! Manifestors
of such evil qualities exist in the world even as dawning-places of glorious
qualities are also visible and manifest, in order that the blessed words of
Christ, "Ye shall know the tree by its fruit," may be fulfilled, and
that those who are akin to His Holiness Christ upon whom be glory! may be
distinguished from those who are contrary to Him.
His Holiness 'Abdu'l-Bahá calls the people of Europe to the lofty
attributes of humanity, but Peter Z. Easton teaches them libels, execration,
falsehood and calumnies!
His Holiness 'Abdu'l-Bahá summons the dwel-lers in the world to unity
and harmony, but Peter Z. Easton invites men to division and disharmony!
His Holiness 'Abdu'l-Bahá lifts his blessed hands heavenward in the
assemblage of prayer and invokes blessing and mercy for the people of Europe
from the Court of the Almighty, but Peter Z. Easton attempts to prove in
learned magazines the remoteness of the people of the East from praiseworthy
Christian qualities, and desires that torment and punishment should fall upon
'Abdu'l-Bahá commands: "Speak evil of no one and wish evil for no one;"
but Peter Z. Easton says that no one should wish well for, or consider as
worthy of grace, a people whose number he himself estimates as three
I wonder therefore how we are to distinguish the good and evil fruits of the
tree of existence; and how shall we comprehend and interpret the blessed words
"Ye shall know the tree by its fruits?" To my mind there is no criterion but
this, and Peter Z. Easton cannot teach otherwise.
Consider the thirty-fourth verse of the twelfth chapter of the Gospel of St.
Matthew, where His Holiness the Christ says, "O ye generation of vipers, how
can ye, being evil, speak good things?"
Yes, if it were possible for the sugar-cane to yield a bitter fruit and for
the fragrant rose to exhale a foul odor, such signs as these ("Ye shall know
the tree by its fruits") would never have been revealed in the heavenly books
and such distinction would never have been appointed as the correct
Consequently that which emanates from His Holiness 'Abdu'l-Bahá
consists in calling men to the principles of faithfulness and accord, and
exhorting them to good morals and lofty attributes; while that which appears
from Peter Z. Easton consists of varying degrees of falsehood, calumny, libels,
execration and the like. The purpose of all this is that the nature of each of
the two persons may become manifest, that the fruits of the tree of existence
may be distinguished and men may find the true standard.
Briefly, as this servant carefully perused and weighed the above mentioned
article, it was found that Peter Z. Easton, in his own supposition, has clung
to "four proofs" in opposing the great Bahá'í Cause. We will
therefore mention these four points and clearly show the falsity of his
fanciful ideas in each instance.
First: Words of writers who in his opinion have made accusations against
Bahá'u'lláh, attributing objectionable qualities to Him.
Second: The declaration that the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh are
pantheistic and that pantheism is a false doctrine.
Third: The statement that the intention of the Bahá'í religion
is to reestablish despotic government, while despotism is the practice of
tyrannical and forsaken governments.
Fourth: That the Bahá'í religion is not able to show anything
better or superior to other religions; in a word, what new things has
Bahá'u'lláh brought which are not found in the Christian
religion; and what is the need of distinction?
Now therefore it is necessary for us to write an answer to the assertions made
under the four mentioned points so that we may distinguish truth from falsehood
and guidance from error.
As to the first point which is the testimony of the narrators, this missionary
Peter Z. Easton has relied upon the statements of certain persons who have
written against the Most Holy Beauty of Abhá. In criticism and
arraignment he says: "Why did not that esteemed man, Wilberforce, heed and pay
attention to the accounts of the Christian missionaries who have lived in
Persia and the vicinity of 'Akká, all of whom have written against
Bahá'u'lláh?" This is a summary of the proof advanced by the
revered missionary, but in the estimation of the people of knowledge such proof
is exceedingly weak and base.
In the first place, the writer of this article is truly and verily astounded
that a man such as Peter Z. Easton who considers himself among the scholars of
the twentieth century and accounts himself a judge competent to differentiate
truth from falsehood, that a man of his calibre should rely upon the testimony
of one side only. He should weigh the statements of at least twenty persons
affirmative and negative, friendly and hostile, good and evil; then ponder upon
the sayings of the two sides with justice, in order that he may arrive at a
truthful conclusion as to the question, and adjudge with fairness and equity.
For just as some have written unfavorably regarding the Most Holy Beauty of
Abhá [Bahá'u'lláh], other people of insight and
perception, both Eastern and Western historians have recorded the utmost praise
and eulogy in their books concerning the Most Holy Beauty of Abhá.
According to what rule shall conclusions be reached? Is man to be content with
the judgment of the enemy alone and to consider as valid all that the opponent
has written? Is it not true that everyone who has committed this mistake has
done so by listening to the statements of one side and paying no attention to
the testimony of others?
Furthermore, have not the people of Europe read history? Have they not heard
the famous aphorism "History repeats itself?" Did not the great Roman
philosopher and historian Tacitus at the beginning of the Christian era and the
commencement of the spread of Christianity write in the most unmistakable terms
that "the Christian religion is the enemy of humanity?" In another place he
wrote: "The Christian religion is among the destructive superstitions."
Suetonious who was another of the philosophers and a Roman historian pronounced
the pure Christian religion, "dishonesty, its acceptance contrary to
truthfulness and highmindedness and inimical to loyalty and good citizenship."
Refer to the histories of the Church in order that these statements may be
confirmed with your own eyes and that you may bear witness to the ignorance of
Peter Z. Easton regarding historical facts.
At present, although traveling, the writer has with him four histories of the
Church representing Protestantism, Catholicism and Greek Orthodoxy. Among the
books written by the Greek, Roman and Alexandrian philosophers against the
Christian religion nay rather, against the very person of His Holiness
Christ upon Him be glory! is that of Celsus, one of the famous philosophers
of the second Christian century. He compiled a large book replete with terrible
libels and calumny against the pure and holy person of Christ.
Porphyry the Syrian who was among the greatest of Platonic philosophers wrote
a large book against Christianity, recording therein accusations and abusive
attack against His Holiness Christ and His disciples. The book was burned and
destroyed by the order of two Christian Emperors, Sydocius and Dovalantianus.
The historians of the Church state that he was an eminent philosopher and an
Ferento the eloquent master of rhetoric, a tutor of King Antonius, wrote
fifteen volumes against the Christian religion and the "ignoble manners" of
Christians. He (Antonius) himself, was one of the great emperors noted for
erudition and philosophy. European scholars speak of him as "the Caesar of
sublime wisdom," and have written lofty chapters detailing his virtues. James
Murdock, the American, in his translation of the History of the Church, says
with regard to the great university which was founded by Ammonius Saccas at
Alexandria, and which is in no need of introduction and praise on account of
its fame, "From this university graduated two erudite scholars of eminence; one
was the Emperor Marc Antony and the other was Epictetus."
In short, this great and wise emperor whose praises you have heard, spoke of
the Christian people in terms of "inimical pretenders," "imperfect minds,"
"bereft of virtues and praiseworthy qualities." This emperor considered it an
important duty to be hostile to Christians and exert himself in destroying
them. He says: "You should ask concerning Jesus of Nazareth from his own people
the Jews, and not from these poor Romans, none of whom have seen him, but whom
baseness and indolence have caused to follow him."
Emperor Julian who was likewise an eminent philosopher, but whom the
Christians designate Julian the Apostate, has written many books denouncing
Christianity and criticizing the manners of the Christian community. He called
them enemies of the world of humanity.
But what the Jews have written concerning His Holiness Jesus Christ is
beyond the power of the pen to portray. One point however is sufficient for the
man of intelligence and sagacity; namely, that 1900 years have passed since the
Manifestation of Christ and yet none of the Jews expresses a wish to
investigate His religion. This well shows what the Jewish learned men have
written concerning His Holiness and what evil qualities they have attributed to
Taking the above facts into consideration, we ask this astonishing writer
Peter Z. Easton whether it is worthy of any unprejudiced man of sense to judge
the character and qualities of Bahá'u'lláh by relying upon those
who have written against Him. If so, how can one be expected to disregard what
the above-mentioned hostile philosophers and eminent writers have stated
concerning Christ, and trust in the text of the Gospels written by His
disciples rather than the testimony of learned men engaged in investigating the
qualities and character of His Holiness? Is this not very astonishing?
But the writer of this article states that neither in these days nor in the
days of Christ should an intelligent man judge of a person by trusting in what
his enemies say of him. Nay, one should look at the deeds, actions and traces
of that person and reflect upon that which has emanated from Him, thus
recognizing as the right criterion Christ's own saying "Ye shall know the tree
by its fruit." For it is self-evident and proven thousands of times that every
great personage finds many enemies who are jealous of him, and when an enemy
feels himself impotent, he clings to slander and calumny and engages in libels
and execration. Hence it is said by wise men: "Evil speech is the weapon of the
In his translation of Church History, James Murdock, an American, writes that,
"although Roman rulers were mostly temperate and liberal towards their subjects
in religious freedom, yet for two reasons they interfered with the Christians
and endeavored to extinguish and eradicate them; first, because of love for
their own religion, wherefore they would not allow the Christians to interfere
therewith and cause a weakening and degrading thereof; second, because the
opponents of Christianity accused its followers of vile calumnies before the
rulers and characterized them with all kinds of vices and defects, such as
'lack of piety, abandonment of prayer and worship, desire for dominion and
power, and a wish for leadership and changing the government.' They accused
the Christians of immoral deeds and even of cannibalism, asserting that the
Chris-tians would kidnap the children of the Romans, kill them and prepare
their flesh for consumption at banquets and entertainments."
This is a brief account of the calumnies which the above author has related,
so that men may thereby differentiate truth from falsehood.
Were one to ponder over these facts, he would testify that dependence upon
such falsehoods and calumnies has always been the excuse of the enemies of God,
whereas such methods have never been conducive to attaining the knowledge of
God and separating truth from falsehood.
For instance, how can a man of perception trust in the words of
Bahá'u'lláh's enemies who have written that he God
forbid! intended to poison His brother? Were such sayings to be
considered a criterion, the truth of no one could be proven, for all among the
prophets have been the subject of similar reviling and accusations.
Moreover, jealousy and enmity entertained by Mírzá Yahyá,
[Subh-i] Azal, for Bahá'u'lláh, dates back to the time of
their residence in Baghdad. When in that city, Yahyá witnessed the
shining traces [i.e., the Tablets] of the Sacred Being
[Bahá'u'lláh] whereby He assisted the Cause of God, caused the
penetration of the Word of God, effected the gathering and union of the beloved
and resisted the schemes and deceitful activities of the enemy Azal himself,
fearing for his life (which tendency is the most specific quality of the people
of falsehood) did not dare to appear nor to associate with people. Then the
fire of jealousy and hatred (which is so aflame today in the heart of Mr.
Easton) became ablaze in his heart, and he repeatedly planned to murder
Again, he sought to poison Bahá'u'lláh in Adrianople, and
according to trustworthy authorities, attempted to do so twice, but failing to
accomplish his design, availed himself of a new scheme and cried out that
others had sought to poison him and take his life.
It is an evident point that a weak and defeated enemy always stoops to such
pretexts and seeks to resist his opponents through secret means and subtle
On the contrary, the victorious and powerful party has no need of employing
such means; for if Bahá'u'lláh had sought to destroy Azal, he was
not impotent and needed no such method for the execution of his plan.
Numerous historical and tangible evidences can be furnished to demonstrate and
prove that it was even the powerful and mighty pen of Bahá'u'lláh
which protected from death His own enemies, such as Subh-i Azal,
Nasíru'd-Dín Sháh, and certain great doctors and
Otherwise the Bábís would not have allowed a single one of these
people to have escaped alive. Yes, it was Bahá'u'lláh who,
through the effect of pure, heavenly utterances even more refreshing than the
zephyrs of the morn wafting from the rose garden and even more limpid than the
vernal rain which distills drop by drop from the fragrant rose petals trained
his friends so that people of the world were amazed and astonished. For these
possessors of hearts and souls, three hundred and thirteen of whom resisted in
battle thousands of the regular troops of the government during many months,
astonishing and bewildering the enemy as well as the warriors of other nations
by their valor, heroism, strength of heart, firmness and resolution in the
terrible battles of Nayríz, Zanján and Mazandarán, were so
trained in tenderness of heart and gentleness of disposition through the
glorious teachings of Bahá'u'lláh that during the long years from
the time of His arrival in Bagh-dad down to the present day, they have shown
forbearance and self-restraint throughout many great events and have not
committed that which would disturb any soul or be contrary to the law of any
government. They were killed, but they killed no one. They endured violent
calamities, but their lips were not opened in complaint.
When the late Hájí Muhammad-Rida of Isfahan suffered martyrdom
in the city Ashkabad in 1882, the chief of police found the city in great
excitement and the Bahá'ís exposed to danger. He therefore
permitted the Bahá'ís to carry arms, but they did not do so,
considering death better than self-defense. The government then engaged in the
trial of those who conspired and murdered the martyr. After five months' trial
examining and hearing both sides, a high justice of the war department,
accompanied by an imposing body arrived at Ashkabad from St. Petersburg. An
open court, the account of whose proceedings would lead to prolixity, was held.
That court ordered two of the murderers to be hanged and the conspirators to be
imprisoned for life in Siberia and subjected to hard labor. As the governor of
the province had the right to lessen this penalty, in three days four of the
Bahá'ís appeared before him. This great man was Kamaroff, the
victor of Merv and the viceroy of the province. They interceded for the
condemned murderers. As the governor was greatly pleased with the excellent
conduct and good training of the Bahá'ís, he accepted their
intercession and exercised his authority by changing the verdict of hanging
into exile and reducing the punishment of the others from hard labor to simple
The incidents referred to are not based upon hearsay but are recorded in the
register of the government of Ashkabad and in other official papers.
Now, could such pure morality, kindness and gentleness, such training and
noble conduct be inculcated by the one who had attempted murder and who sought
to poison his own brother? What then becomes of the words of His Holiness
Christ: "Ye shall know the tree by its fruit"? And what becomes of the
criterion embodied in the words: "Thou makest righteous by Thy words and Thou
judgest by Thy sayings"?
Should hatred for the people of Bahá cause one to deny all reliable
criteria and rules of judgment? "It is for ye to judge."
As to the second point which is Peter Z. Easton's statement that the creed of
the Bahá'ís is pantheism; this likewise is a manifest calumny and
a false accusation, displaying his ignorance of the subject of pantheism. For
the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh in no manner resemble pantheism.
Pantheism is a philosophical question and to treat it is the work of scholars
and learned men. It has nothing to do with the function of revelation or the
station of the founders of religions. The writer of this article believes that
the teachings of pantheism have originated from the Platonic School of
Philosophy which is founded upon devotion, seclusion, rigid discipline and
shunning bodily enjoyments. The same philosophy is the source of celibacy in
Christianity and Sufism in Islam. It was transferred from the Brahmans of India
to the philosophers of Athens and to the Platonists of Alexandria who became
known as Neo-Platonists.
This late Platonic School held that the reality of the spirit which is an
active essence effective throughout the world is but one indivisible reality.
This indivisible reality, simple essence and ancient identity comprehends all
things, and the souls of all animate organisms are but rays descending from
that Ancient Reality. These Platonists in their own belief gathered from this
principle the theory that each human soul is a ray from the universal Divine
Reality and a drop from the Sea of the Ancient Holy Essence, which is confined
in the prison of the body and has thus been separated from that universal
simple Reality of realities. Thus they taught that a seeker of perfection must
devote himself to severe discipline such as vigils, successive prayers,
fasting, ab-staining from physical luxuries and denial of material bounties, in
order that he may release his soul from the bodily prison, cause it to unite
itself with the Ancient Reality of realities and reach the apex of eternal
Referring to this theory, Ibn Miskawayh cites in his work Tahdhib al-akhlaq
(Purification of morals) a quotation from the "Divine Plato," to wit: "Die by
thy will and you shall live by na-ture." This is a brief account of the
subject of pantheism, its source and origin. If the people of investigation
look with keen eyes upon the creation and formation of nations, they would find
the atoms of this strange doctrine scattered in the horizons of the Western
regions. They would also trace pantheism to the thoughts of Greek philosophers.
References thereto have come down to us through treatises and essays of
scholars, and descriptions thereof are to be found in various books and
writings. Were it not for the desire to avoid prolixity we would draw examples
from those writings in order that the real truth might be known to men of
insight, and the source and origin of pantheism, as well as Peter Z. Easton's
ignorance of it, become clear and manifest.
His Holiness 'Abdu'l-Bahá, in the book Some Answered Questions has
clearly shown the plane of those who believe in pantheism, for he has mentioned
the followers of pantheism as opposed all the Prophets and Messengers, and has
removed all causes for such superstitious beliefs. Reference to page 337 of
that book will thoroughly expose the shallowness of such false
As to the third point: This refers to Peter Z. Easton's statement that the
outcome of the Bahá'í religion is a return of despotic rule.
Overlooking the falsehood and sheer calumny of this statement, it is a proof of
his lack of information regarding the laws and ordinances of the
Bahá'í Faith. He is likewise ignorant of what has been explicitly
revealed in the Book of Laws (Kitáb-i- Aqdas) concerning the
organization of a House of Justice in every city of the world, the members of
which, according to the conditions stated in the book, shall be elected by the
people. Such members must hold their consultations in the utmost purity of
conscience and good will.
Moreover, in the Glad Tidings1 which is one of the well-known Tablets
of this Most Great Manifestation, the substance of the last paragraph is as
follows: "Although a republican form of government profits all the people of
the world, yet the majesty of kingship is one of the signs of God. If statesmen
combine the two into one form, their reward will be great before God."1
That is to say, hereditary sovereignty should be limited by a national
parliament and representative assembly. In this way national problems and
questions of citizenship will find solution through the cooperation of these
two bodies, so that the country and nation may attain perfection and the people
arrive at the highest pitch of welfare and prosperity. Inasmuch as the original
Tablet is not at hand, the substance thereof is mentioned. If reference be made
to the Tablet of the Glad Tidings, which should be considered from all
standpoints as to beauty of expression in heavenly utterances, surely the
reader will exclaim: "Blessed be God, the most excellent of Creators!"
In one of the long Tablets which is considered accessory to the Kitáb-i
Aqdas, He has illustrated the form of constitutional government and
representative assembly by the British government. The form of that
great government has therefore met with His approval and sanction. Consequently
the fear that despotism will be restored is caused by ignorance concerning the
commandments of this Most Great Manifestation and the outcome of reliance upon
the sayings of enemies regarding international discussions.
As to the fourth and greatest point, he says: "What new command is there in
the Bahá'í religion which is lacking in Christianity?"
Although this question is an abstruse one which cannot be fully comprehended
by a person unless he be well versed in the books of the two peoples, yet we
will expound it clearly in such a way as to be easily understood by every soul,
and we will explain the specific features of this great movement and prove the
necessity of this Most Holy Manifestation for the comfort and upbuilding of the
world. Thus may disinterested persons attain insight and every just one arise
in thanksgiving for this great bestowal of God, the All-Glorious.
It is evident to every perceiving soul that the world of humanity will attain
perfection, and that happiness and welfare, the desire of nations and goal of
all hearts, will be insured when religious differences and sectarianism, the
cause of alienation and estrangement of the people, are utterly removed from
the world, and all estrangements and schisms, such as racial, patriotic and
political divisions, etc., are dispelled from among men. Thus may men become as
brothers, loving and kind toward each other. These terrible wars, which are the
greatest catastrophes of humanity and civilization, will disappear. The vast
sums, the expenditure of which is undoubtedly the cause of impoverishing men
and destroying the world, will no longer be devoted to destructive pursuits and
infernal machinery. This question is so clear and lucid that the most deficient
mind can pass judgment upon it. Nevertheless, this condition has been confirmed
by the divine glad tidings and established by heavenly prophecies. For the Holy
Books contain explicit record that in the Great Day which has been exalted by
various names, such as "The Last Day," "the time of the end," "the latter day,"
"the day of the Lord," etc., the Glorious Lord will descend and will
unite all nations in the worship of the One God. He will so train all men in
lofty and spiritual qualities that warfare and conflict will be uprooted,
rancor and hatred will be replaced by sociability and peace, and implements of
war be changed into farming and trading tools. This is a brief statement of the
promises of the prophets concerning the "latter day."
It is self-evident that all nations are awaiting and anticipating the advent
of such a Day and the coming of such a great Cause; nay, they pray and
supplicate God to hasten its arrival.
But the greatest obstacles among the nations are the signs and conditions
which shall appear with this praiseworthy Manifestation and promised Day; for
all the Manifestations of God and founders of religion who have formerly come
have mentioned the signs of this great event in their respective books and
emphasized and clearly recorded them in their utterances. But every prophet who
appeared recorded the self-same signs mentioned by his predecessor and repeated
the same words; yet without undertaking to explain the meaning of those signs
and conditions or make his object therein known. For instance, consider how for
a thousand years His Holiness Moses and the Israelite prophets spoke and
uttered glad tidings to the people of the coming of the Lord of Hosts who would
harmonize and unite all in the worship of One God. Among the signs of the day
of His coming announced by them are:
First: The rolling up of the heavens.
Second: The sun will be darkened.
Third: The moon shall not give her light.
Fourth: The stars shall fall from heaven.
Fifth: The dead shall arise from their tombs.
Sixth: Ferocious animals will make peace with grazing animals.
Seventh: They will share the same pasture and food.
Eight: The children will play with poisonous serpents.
Ninth: The people of Israel who in that day shall have become scattered and
humiliated throughout all the nations of the East and West will be again
assembled together by the Lord of Hosts, who will establish them in their
promised land and confer upon them eternal glory and everlasting dominion.
These are, in short, some of the prophecies which all the Israelite prophets
announced to their people and recorded in their books. They did not state
however that these promises were to be taken in a literal sense without
symbolism and interpretation, or that the symbolic texts were not subject to
Fifteen hundred years subsequent to the time of His Holiness Moses, the very
same promises and signs were revealed by His Holiness Christ upon whom be
glory! Consider verses 29-31 of the twenty-fourth chapter of St.
Matthew and the tenth and eleventh verses of the third chapter of the
Second Epistle of Peter the Apostle, so that you may witness the
mention of these promises and signs with the utmost clearness. Likewise His
Holiness Christ and His disciples confined themselves to the mere mentioning of
these signs, as was done by the Israelite Prophets, not undertaking to explain
their meaning. Consequently the Christian clergy disagreed in their
interpretation of those holy books. Some said that those promises were literal
statements and not subject to interpretation and must therefore be fulfilled
outwardly. Others among the commentators stated that those promises were
symbolic and that they were words requiring interpretation in order that their
real meaning might thereby become evident; i.e., that the Seal of the Book
might be opened in the latter day.
Six hundred years after His Holiness Christ, the "Seal of the
Prophets" announced His mission and the very same promises were again
revealed in the Qur'an. The same conditions and signs were identically
repeated. But again the Qur'an made no reference to the meaning intended by
those prophecies, nor did it state whether they were symbolic or subject to
interpretation. Consequently, were a man to consider what has been stated he
would most clearly find that the greatest obstacles against the unification of
nations have been those very prophecies, glad tidings, conditions and signs.
For the various peoples have been prevented from uniting with each other
because the meanings intended by those prophecies were not clear.
Although citing an illustration leads to prolixity, yet we will do so for the
purpose of enlightening and further elucidating the matter to the reader. For
example let us assume that a Christian missionary should say to a Jew: "Dear
friend, why are you sleeping and heedless? The promised Messiah, whose coming
was foretold by all the prophets, has appeared." Then imagine the Jew
answering: "How splendid! How splendid! What beautiful glad tidings and
joyous news! We Jews have made all our wishes dependent upon the coming of the
Messiah and daily supplicate by prayer for His advent! Now let us see this
promised Messiah whom you declare to have appeared." The Christian missionary
answers: "The promised Messiah was that wronged youth, Jesus of Nazareth, who
sacrificed His life for the liberation and salvation of the world." The Jew
would reply: "O esteemed teacher, clear signs are recorded in the Holy Books
regarding the appearance of the Messiah, none of which came to pass. We Jews
have not found our religion so easily that we can relinquish it carelessly. You
consider yourself a teacher of the Holy Books. See then in the Heavenly Books
the words that at the time of the coming of the promised Messiah the sun will
be darkened, the moon will turn into blood, the new heaven and the new earth
will become manifest, the stars will fall, the dead will arise. Where and when
did these prophecies become fulfilled during the day of the Nazarene and who
saw them? Furthermore, let me show you numerous passages wherein it has been
clearly revealed that when the promised Messiah appears He will gather together
all the Jews scattered throughout the world and he will save them from the
great humiliation, execration and tyranny which they suffer. Then He will
establish them in the Holy Land and confer upon them dominion and external
glory. Now tell me when did Jesus of Nazareth accomplish such a thing? Nay,
through His Manifestation the contrary came to pass, for we were established in
the Holy Land but we have become scattered through His coming. We were
esteemed; we have become humiliated. We were assembled; we became dispersed. We
were blessed; we became afflicted with curses. All this was contrary to the
promises given to the Jewish people So to accept Jesus would be to deny those
In brief, at this point in the conversation the Christian missionary would
fail to answer the Jew. For he himself does not understand the real meanings of
these glad tidings. How then could he explain them to the Jews and cause them
to be convinced and assured? Therefore during this long period the missionaries
of the Christian religion have attempted to discomfit and confound the Jews,
yet without traversing the pathway of true knowledge and real proof. Instead of
bringing them near the Gospels, they caused them to be annoyed and further
It is therefore recorded in church history that during this long period, that
is since the conversion of the Great Constantine down to our time, both in the
day of Charlemagne and during the crusades, they repeatedly attempted to force
the Jews to accept Christianity, but in the end they failed. Now had they known
the meanings of these glad tidings there would be no need of using force and
Similar to this is the attitude of the Muslim toward the Christian. When the
Muslim desires to prove the truth of the mission of the "Seal of the Prophets"
to a Christian, he refers the Christian to the signs recorded in the
twenty-fourth chapter of St. Matthew. Then that Muslim, not understanding the
meanings thereof, is forced to say that this Gospel in the hands of the
Christians is not the original Gospel which descended with Jesus upon whom be
peace! As you readily see, the Muslims will clearly prove in word and writing
that this Gospel has been interpolated by the Christian scholars and that it
has been attributed to His Holiness Christ. In this case the
Chris-tian, to whom the reality of the Gospel is evident and manifest, and the
love of this Holy Book firmly established in his heart, will be amazed at the
incorrect answer of the Muslim. Instead of fellowship and friendship with the
Muslim, the Christian becomes an enemy of the Islamic religion and an opponent
of the Muslim people.
In short, one of the great obstacles to the unity of the nations is this
difficulty which has been explained by the foregoing illustration. All these
abstruse problems are involved and explained in the statement that because the
Christian missionaries do not understand the real meanings of the books of
religions which have appeared prior to the manifestation of His Holiness
Christ upon whom be peace! therefore they cannot guide others to their own
religion. This has become evident and manifest.
As to the religions which have appeared after His Holiness Christ, inasmuch as
retrogression and reversal are opposed to natural motion and contrary to the
progress and advancement which are evident and manifest in world movements,
therefore the Christian cannot turn development backward and cause other people
to descend the ladder of progress in order to unite them to themselves. The
great man Lord Curzon has partly understood this point when he writes: "The
conversion of Asiatics to the Christian religion is without effect and
Now that this subject has been clearly elucidated, we will submit that the
present state of progress in the world necessitates the Most Great
Manifestation. While His Holiness Bahá'u'lláh resided in Baghdad
the first book revealed by Him was Kitáb-i Íqán which is
the key to unlock the seals of the Heavenly Books. It comprehends the realities
revealed in Holy Writ. By it the doors of the understanding of prophetic words
were opened to the faces of the people of Bahá, the real meaning of the
divine glad tidings were revealed and the original purposes of such terms as
were latent and unknown became manifested. These terms are "Death," "Life,"
"Heaven," "Earth," "Sun," "Moon," "Stars," "Resurrection," etc. Thus
the means of unity became facilitated and the hindrances to international
misunderstandings were removed. The signs and emblems of accord and agreement
among inimical and opposing people became manifest and apparent.
For you observe that while now is but the commencement of the
Bahá'í religion, yet difficult questions and doctrines have
become so clearly explained and so easily accepted by various peoples that
numerous souls among Zoroastrians, Jews, Nuseyrites, et al., who have never
believed in His Holiness Christ nor would listen to a single verse of the
Gospel, have now become acknowledged believers in Bahá'u'lláh
through the effect of His Blessed Utterances. Moreover, they consider His
Holiness Christ the Promised Lord and His Heavenly Book the Divine Holy Word.
They associate and consort with Christians in their feasts and gatherings with
the utmost kindness and fellowship.
In the spirit of utmost friendship, a question is propounded to this esteemed
missionary Peter Z. Easton who without understanding in the least the
significance of the Kingdom of Christ, eulogizes it: Do these evident signs
cause the Kingdom of Christ to be at hand, or do anathema, execration, unseemly
words and the writing of debasing articles in magazines, wherein libel and
calumny are attributed to pure and holy souls?
It is most astonishing! We do not know what Mr. Easton and his allies
understand the Kingdom of Christ to be and to signify. Is the Kingdom of Christ
for the ratification and execution of His word or to prove the opposite of the
word of Christ and promulgate the attributes of His enemies?
His Holiness Christ clearly states: "Bless them that curse you,"
whereas Mr. Easton and his peers carry out the meaning of "Curse them that
bless you." The soul who seeks benediction and mercy they characterize with
most unseemly words and desire for him evil and perdition.
Bahá'u'lláh proves to the unbelieving nations that His Holiness
Christ was the Son of God and the Word of God, whereas Mr. Easton and his peers
pronounce Him [Bahá'u'lláh] the Anti-Christ.
Strange! John the Evangelist, the beloved of Christ, in his first epistle
says: "He who doeth righteousness is righteous" but these (opponents)
say: "He who doeth a righteous deed, verily he is a murderer and an impostor."
Likewise in this epistle he says: "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the
Son of God, God abideth in him and he is in God;" but they say that
one who, according to their own admission, has convinced three millions souls
and made them believe that Jesus was the Son of God and the Word of God, is
deprived of the knowledge of God and has no portion of the fragrance of God. Is
it not always clearly shown and positively proven that in this day we should
understand by the words: "Ye shall know the tree by its fruit," in the sermon
on the Mount, that the purpose of His Holiness Christ was that we should not
pay heed to false accusations or listen to that which the people of prejudice
spread among men? Nay, we should consider the deeds of every person the correct
criterion, and through this balance differentiate between truth and
In short, let us return to the original matter, which refers to Peter Z.
Easton's question: "What has Bahá'u'lláh brought which is not
found in the Christian religion?" Although the great function of the Revelation
of Bahá'u'lláh in solving the intricacies of the Heavenly Books,
facilitating the removal of differences from among nations and establishing
unity and harmony among the sections of the human world is sufficient proof of
the greatness and thoroughness of the Bahá'í religion,
nevertheless we will now consider the laws and ordinances of this religion,
explain their specific virtues, their benefits and good results.
First, a command which is particularly a feature of the
Bahá'í religion and is not found in the other religions is
"abstaining from crediting verbal traditions." It is well known to men of
learning that it was verbal tradition which divided the Jews into two great
sects. Such traditions are the basis of the book of Talmud, and caused the
division of that one nation. One of the two schisms called the Rabbinim looks
upon the teachings of the Talmud as the law which needs to be followed and
considers it the greatest means for the preservation and permanence of the
Jewish people. But the other sect, Gharraim looks upon the Talmud as sheer
heresy and conducive to perdition. Thus these two sects cannot possibly be
harmonized or cease mutual opposition.
Similarly in the Christian religion the main cause of schism and division were
these verbal traditions which were termed "authoritative." Each one of the
Christian churches, such as the Catholic, the Orthodox, the Jacobite, the
Nestorian, and others consider it obligatory to follow these traditions
inherited from and handed down by the fathers of their Churches, as the very
text of the Holy Book.
Thus when in any of the great Councils the question of the unification of the
Christian people would be at issue, they would avail themselves of these
inherited traditions which were opposed to union and harmony. Likewise in the
religion of Islam, claiming these verbal traditions which were related of the
Founder of that religion, subsequent to His death, was the cause of the
division and separation into the various principal sects, such as the
Sunní, the Shí'í and the Kharajite, or into the secondary
schools of Hanofite, Malakite, Shafiite, Haubilite, etc.
Each of these hold to a set of traditions considered as authentic by their own
But Bahá'u'lláh closed to the people of the world this door
which is the greatest means for sedition; for He has clearly announced that "in
the religion of God all recorded matters are referable to the Book and all
unrecorded matters are dependent upon the decision of the House of Justice."
Thus all narrations, relations and verbal traditions have been discredited
among the Bahá'í people and the door of dissension, which is the
greatest among the doors of hell, has been closed and locked.
Second: One of the laws and ordinances peculiar to the
Bahá'í religion is the law prohibiting the interpreting of the
Word of God, for interpretation of the Words and exposition of personal opinion
has been one of the greatest means of dissension in the former religions, the
cause of darkening of the horizon of faith and concealing the real meaning of
the Book of God.
It is an evident fact that learned men differ in their minds, and the natural
gifts of sagacity and intelligence or the lack of understanding and
comprehension vary in degrees among them. Thus when the door of interpretation
and perverting of the Words from their outward meaning is opened, strange
opinions and curious contradictory interpretation will result and different
sects will arise among the one people and one religious community.
Consequently, Bahá'u'lláh has explicitly commanded His followers
to wholly abandon the door of interpretation and follow the Words revealed in
the Tablets according to their outward meaning, so that the events which have
transpired among the past nations should not recur among the
Bahá'í people, and the unwelcome happenings which appeared among
the various sects due to difference in mentality and viewpoint should not
become manifest in this new auspicious day, which is the day of the glorious
Thus one of the explicit commands of this great Manifestation is the ordinance
abrogating differences which separate men. It is because one of the occasions
of dissension is difference of scholars with regard to the station of the
Manifestation of the Cause. In former religions, even as testified by history,
it has become evident that when in a question of this kind a difference has
arisen between two doctors of religion, both parties were firm in their
standpoints and held tenaciously to their sides, while the laity, according to
their usage, would adhere some to one and some to the other, thus closing the
doors to agreement and unity to such an extent that religious fraternity was
changed into deep and bitter enmity, scientific dissension terminating in
bloody strife and warfare. This is illustrated by differences which arose
between Arius the priest and Alexander the Bishop of Constantinople, regarding
the Trinity, in the fourth century, a.d.; also the Nestorian differences which
took place in the fifth century between Nestorius the Bishop of Constantinople
and the other bishops, which caused terrible wars and the shedding of precious
blood. The effect of these sad dissensions has lasted until the present day.
These are clear proofs and evidences for the point at issue.
Time does not allow us to make mention of the numerous sects and divisions of
the Gnostics and others, of which the church historians have counted more than
thirty, and incorporated them under the term: "Born of philosophy." All
seekers of full accounts are referred to authoritative books on the subject, in
order that they may clearly realize that all these divisions and sects came
from the disagreements of the doctors as to the degree and station of His
Holiness Christ, and their persistence in their respective opinions.
Third: The subject of disagreement by doctors as to the station of the Manifestation
of God has been one of those abstruse and difficult questions to solve which
proved beyond the power of great minds and baffled a mighty king like
Constantine the Great. For notwithstanding the assistance and cooperation of
the great bishops of the East and West, he could not reconcile the various
parties to the Arian controversy.
Nay, during this long time the power of local councils, the sword of European
powers and the verdicts of the Inquisitorial Boards failed to remove divisions
and schisms caused by metaphysical discussions. But the removal of this
indissoluble knot and incurable disease by the easiest of means has been
announced in the holy Bahá'í literature, for
Bahá'u'lláh in one of His holy Tablets has clearly revealed the
following: "Since men differ in their degree of knowledge, if two persons
should be found to possess different viewpoints as regards the degree and
station of the Manifestation of God, both are acceptable before God, for, in
accord with the blessed verse: 'Verily, we have created souls different in
degrees,' God has created men different in understanding and diverse in
manners. But if those having two points of view engage in conflict and strife
while expressing their views, both of them are rejected. For by knowing the
Manifestation of God it is intended to unify the hearts, cultivate souls and to
teach the truth of God, whereas conflict and strife of two persons with two
different points of view would do harm to the Cause of God. Consequently both
of them are referred to the fire." This was the purport of the
blessed Tablet in brief. Accordingly in this Holy Cause no one has power to
create disharmony, and because of fear of falling, no one dares to persist in
his own opinion at the expense of harmony.
Fourth: Among the specific laws clearly laid down in the Cause of
Bahá'u'lláh is the law prohibiting slavery. No mention
of this is made in other religions. As none of the former Heavenly Books has
forbidden this traffic, all the humanitarian instincts which actuated the Great
Powers to abolish and destroy it could not withhold the common people from this
abominable practice which has cost the governments and nations great trouble
and expense. For instance, the freeing of the slaves constitutes one of the
important responsibilities of the Egyptian government. This necessitates a
heavy drain upon the state treasury. Furthermore, the trial and indictment of
those guilty of this nefarious traffic bring great affliction and often ruin
upon many noted families.
Fifth: Among the laws peculiar to this Great Cause is the law making it
"obligatory upon all to engage in allowable professions as a means of support,
and obedience to this law is accepted as an act of worship." Were a
man of insight to consider this strong command, he would testify to the great
benefit it contributes towards regulating the affairs of civilization and
removing impediments and calamities from human society. For it is evident how
in this present day innumerable souls designated as monks, anchorites, hermits,
religious devotees, dignitaries and others, although sound in body and limb,
abstain from occupation and trade, passing their time in indolence and idleness
and living upon the proceeds of other men's labor. In reality such men are as
atrophied limbs upon the body of humanity and a heavy burden to the men of
industry and agriculture. When by a law of religion these innumerable souls
abandon idleness and indolence and engage in useful occupations, one can well
realize how much this will contribute to the common wealth, and remove the
difficulties of the body-politic.
Sixth: The law making the education of children of both sexes
compulsory. This law is also one of the commands explicitly revealed
in this Most Great Cause, and concerning which no mention is made in any of the
other religions. For in the other religions the education of the masses is made
dependent upon the law of the government. If in former times a government would
fail to issue a decree providing for compulsory education, and this failure
would result in the decadence of learning and knowledge, the nation would take
no thought of it, nor would the people consider themselves and the government
responsible. For no law concerning this subject has been revealed in the
Heavenly Books. But where a law is laid down in the Heavenly Book of a nation,
every individual member will consider himself bound to execute it, and no one
will fail to heed that law, for they will not be dependent upon the government
to carry it out.
Seventh: The command prohibiting cursing and execration and making it
obligatory upon all to abstain from uttering that which may offend
men. For, as is evident in moral science, cursing, reviling and
speaking in harsh words and offensive phrases is one of the greatest causes of
alienating hearts, filling minds with rancor, creating hatred and animosity
among the peoples and igniting the fire of calamitous warfare among men. Thus
it is said by wise men: "Verily, war begins in words"; and the poet Firdousi
has said: "A mere word is the cause of warfare." Another verse illustrating
this point at issue is "The wound inflicted by the tongue is deeper than that
inflicted by the sword."
Were one to ponder over the differences and schisms already spoken of which
arose among the Christian peoples, creating different sects and schools, such
as the Aryans, Nestorians, Gnostics, et al., kindling the fire of terrible
battlefields and violent calamities, he would clearly find from the testimony
of authentic history that the principal and initial cause of such divisions and
disasters was the difference of opinion between two religious doctors, which
would result in discussion and controversy. In order to overcome his opponent
and demonstrate the correctness of his own view, or because of believing his
own opinion correct, each would so persist in his attitude that it would
finally lead to harshness towards the other. This harshness would gradually
lead to insinuating remarks and annoying statements which in time would
culminate in reviling, execrating, fighting and even bloodshed. Now the harmful
outcome of these religious fights and their evil effect upon human society
needs no mentioning here. For the calamities caused by these differences during
the past ages are recorded in the historical books of every nation, and the
hardships which have continued down to our time as the painful result of those
dissensions are evident to men of understanding.
Perhaps someone may advance an objection saying that ordinances prohibiting
anathema and execration are found in the other Heavenly Books, as for instance,
the commands of His Holiness Christ, well-known as the Sermon on the Mount,
wherein He most lucidly states, "Whosoever calleth another a fool is in danger
of hell-fire." In the Qur'an it is stated: "Curse not those who claim
(spiritual mission) without the permission of God, thus without knowledge
cursing God as an enemy." The answer to this objection is evident to
the people of insight, for such ordinances and prohibitions are considered as
educational commands in the estimation of the learned and not as laws and
enactments of religion. Consider this command of the Sermon on the Mount,
wherein He states: "Whosoever is angry with his brother falsely is subject to
the law." Again He says: "Store not for yourselves treasures;" and again: "Be
not concerned with the morrow." Also: "Whosoever smiteth thee on the right
cheek turn to him the other also;" and "Whosever desireth thy garment give him
also thy cloak." Then later on He says: "Whosoever asks of thee, give unto
him, and whosoever would borrow of thee, prevent him not."
It is fully evident that the learned men and doctors of the Christian and
Muslim religions have not considered these ordinances as imperative. Men of
intelligence versed in law and jurisprudence have not deemed those who
disobeyed these laws deserving of punishment and trial. Nay, as already
mentioned, they have unanimously accounted them educational laws. Moreover some
of those laws are such that the doctors have not considered those slighting
them as transgressors or evil-doers before God. For instance, "If anyone smites
you upon the one cheek, turn to him the other," "He who begs of you, give to
him," "He who seeks to borrow from you, do not refuse him." The above
statement will clearly show why such commands and ordinances were not
considered by the leaders of the Christian peoples as imperative and obligatory
and why they could not remove cursing and execration from among the
But in the Bahá'í religion the commands prohibiting cursing,
reviling, swearing and blasphemy have been revealed as imperative and
obligatory laws. The responsibility attaching to the violators has been
revealed in various Tablets. Emphatic commands have been issued in regard to
the purity of pen and tongue, prohibiting the writing or speaking of that which
will offend men. For example, although in various Tablets such as the
Ishráqát and others, the law prohibiting cursing and execration
has been explicitly laid down, nevertheless Bahá'u'lláh, during
His latter days, in the Blessed Book of the Covenant fortified and emphasized
the above law by addressing the following command to the people of the
"O ye people of the world! I exhort ye towards that which is the cause of the
elevation of your station! Hold fast to the fear of God and adhere to the hem
of kindliness! Verily I say unto you, the tongue is for the mention of good;
defile it not with unseemly words. Verily God has forgiven the past. Hereafter
all must utter that which is seemly. Shun anathema, execration and that whereby
man is perturbed. The station of man is great. Some time ago this lofty word
was revealed from the treasury of the Pen of Abhá: 'Today is a great,
blessed Day! That which was latent in man is today revealed and become
manifest. The station of man is great, should he adhere to veracity and truth
and remain firm and steadfast in the Cause.'"
Every intelligent soul who reflects upon this utterance: "Verily, God has
forgiven the past; hereafter all must utter that which is seemly," "Shun
anathema, execration and that whereby man is perturbed," will clearly see how
emphatic an ordinance has been given forth ratifying the prohibition of
anathema and execration. Because according to the law current among the people
of knowledge the purport of this blessed utterance is an explicit prohibition
concerning anathema and execration.
The intended purpose thereof is the unpardonable position of the one who
violates this mighty command and decisive blessed ordinance.
In this case, to the people of insight it is evident, manifest and firmly
established that the prohibition as regards anathema and execration is an
especialized ordinance and one of the particular commandments of this greatest
Dispensation. Thus, through the favor of God the Most High, from the traces of
the Supreme Pen, this unseemly action and the ordeals resulting therefrom may
disappear from among the people of the world and the glad tidings recorded in
the third verse of the 22nd chapter of the Revelation of St. John concerning
the events of the day of Manifestation namely: "Hereafter there shall be no
more cursing," shall be realized.
Eighth: Relative to the carrying of arms except in time of
necessity. This ordinance is not to be found in other religions, but
in the Bahá'í religion it is considered as one of the imperative
and essential commands. The great utility of this law is most evident and
manifest. How many souls who are not able to control excessive anger have given
vent to it by the use of arms ready at hand? If the murderer had not been
armed, often after one hour the violence of his anger would have subsided and
no crime would have resulted. These are the minor evil results of carrying
arms. There are other greater evils continually manifested by people who carry
arms; which are productive of great revolutions and excessive losses for the
government and nations. The details of this are not in keeping with brevity and
are conducive to prolongation, nevertheless the afflictions of the nations and
the ordeals of the people are evident to men of perception.
Ninth: The question relative to the necessity of the creation of the
House of Justice and institution of the National Assemblies [i.e., parliaments]
and Constitutional Governments. This command is likewise specialized
to this evident religion and is not mentioned in the others. For under other
religions it is possible for despotic governments to be restored and founded,
because the love of the permanence, establishment and endurance of religious
ordinances and the fear of going contrary to them is so deeply rooted in human
souls, by reason of the fear of God, that they would not pass away in a
thousand years and would not be superseded except through the renewal of the
religion and the reform of laws.
In short, these are some of the special commands of the Bahá'í
religion which the writer of these lines has submitted in accordance with this
opportune occasion. The consideration of brevity has made it necessary to omit
the mentioning of other special commandments in this Most Great
Among them are ethics and conditions requisite for a wife's knowledge of her
traveling or absent husband. Another concerns the prohibition of haughtiness
and egoism. Another is a command as to purity of all things, with
recommendation and encouragement to observe sanitary measures and cleanliness,
and to shun utterly all that tends to filth and uncleanness. Among them is a
command directing the agreement of nations in the abolition of warfare and
battles, and the conservation of conditions of security and peace. Many such
commands exist, the word of amplification and detail of which are beyond the
limits of this occasion. For justice to this most important subject would
necessitate the compilation of a large volume and not a short article. But
although the article may assume more lengthy proportion I am forced,
nevertheless, to remind the people of knowledge of one distinguishing feature
of the many in the Bahá'í religion. Perchance the radiant sight
may attain to the great bestowal of this most supreme Cause, and the pure
tongue may utter thanksgiving and praise to God, the Blessed, the Sublime.
It is this: One of the abstruse problems of social philosophy is the
prevention of monopoly and wealth control by certain individuals. This subject
has been discussed by the philosophers of the world for many years. The wise
men of Europe and America, especially the Socialists, in endeavoring to solve
this abstruse problem have entered into minute discussion and deep analyses.
The governments of Europe and America have given the subject exhaustive
attention; nevertheless they have not yet agreed upon any opinion and have not
reached a consensus of remedy for the solution of this seemingly insurmountable
question. But if a soul should ponder and reflect upon the divine institution
concerning the question of inheritance and the modus operandi of the
distribution of legacies among heirs according to the laws of this
Dispensation, he will see that this all-important problem has been solved in
the simplest manner. The distribution of wealth among the nations has been
established according to the best method.
Inasmuch as the matter of death among mankind is an unavoidable event, if the
distribution of the estate left by those who ascend to God should be effected
according to this divine recommendation, it will be impossible for wealth to be
accumulated by the few or for any particular family to exercise a monopoly,
leaving others de-prived and afflicted by poverty and want. For the Mighty
Lawgiver has dealt with this important affair in this manner: He has divided
the heirs of the deceased into seven classes, including teachers, who are the
spiritual fathers of enlightened individuals in the world of humanity. The
heri-tage is divided according to the number 2520, which is the lowest number
comprising the integral fractions of nine. Under this division the seven
classes eligible to legacies are as follows: First: Offspring. Second: Wives.
Third: Fathers. Fourth: Mothers. Fifth: Brothers. Sixth: Sisters. Seventh:
Teachers. The nearest relatives are arranged the closest. Each class receives
its due according to the number sixty, which runs down through all. He has
decreed that these seven classes mentioned will come equally into possession of
their legitimate rights, each receiving his share from this division.
When the people of insight reflect upon that which has been recorded they will
see that with this command in operation, wealth will never be monopolized by a
limited few and no individual through sheer forceful skill will come into
possession of another's wealth. Wealth will always be in circulation among all.
All mankind will inherit from one another and all will be benefited from this
capital. Yes, when a person reflects upon the distribution effected in the Book
of Bayán by the Báb, he will conclude that such a division
mentioned therein may affect the interest of the offspring, but the manner in
which it is provided for in the Book of Aqdas, through the Supreme Pen, wherein
the heritage of the children is multiplied, dispels this fear. To all
people of insight it is evident that in this Most Great Cause all the means of
comfort for the nation have been provided and a plan of readjustment for the
affairs of the people of the world from all standpoints has been established.
That which has been stated here will suffice to answer in brief the objections
of Mr. Easton and those like him.
Now, in regard to the question of features distinguishing this great Cause
from other laws and religions of the people of the world in all centuries and
ages: If fair-minded and intelligent men of knowledge should ponder and
reflect upon the judicious laws of the Lord of mankind, they will no doubt bear
witness to the perfection of Divine Providence in the laws thus instituted. For
instance, these three firm and irrefutable ordinances, namely, first, the
question of inheritance by which monopoly of wealth will be removed and the
question of socialism solved; second, the question of universal peace and
international agreements regarding disarmament and conserving expenditure now
devoted to the implements of war; third, the question of all being commanded to
acquire a profession, art or trade whereby they may earn a living, thus
lightening the burden of expense to those upon whom it falls, such as farmers,
laborers, et al. This expense is created by the idlers and unemployed members
of the human family.
These fair-minded and intelligent men will also testify that the readjustment
of the world and the salvation of mankind from great dangers is conditioned
upon following the commands of this Most Great Manifestation. Thus will they
utter the blessed words: "Blessed is God, the Possessor of the Dominion and the
Now at this point we bring our words to an end, and at the closing of this
statement we beseech God the Blessed, the Supreme, to bestow upon Mr. Easton
and other deniers, through His Infinite Mercy, the light of insight and
knowledge in order that they may glance at that which has been submitted in an
impartial and disinterested spirit. Thus may they become informed of the
Reality of the Divine Cause and be guided to that which is the source of
salvation, life, glory and prosperity. And this is not difficult by the Favor
Written December 28, 1911, in Syria, by the pen of Mírzá
See appendix to this volume.
This is a reference to a passage from the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus
warns against false prophets and declares that the true prophets will be
distinguished from the false by their fruits: "Beware of false prophets, who
came to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will
know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from
thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil
fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good
fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into
the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. (Matt. 7:15-20. Revised
"You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil." (Matt.
12:34. Revised Standard Version.)
Here Mízá [sic] Abu'l-Fadl is referring to some Jewish
scholars and theologians.
Cf. Myron H. Phelps, The Master in `Akká (Los Angeles:
Kalimát Press, 1985) pp. 57-61; Edward G. Browne, A Traveller's
Narrative (Cambridge University Press, 1891) pp. 358-59.
Subh-i Azal, Mírzá Yahyá, the half-brother of
Bahá'u'lláh. See Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By (Wilmette,
Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1944) pp. 163-82.
Cf. Muhammad-'Alíy-Salmání, My Memories of
Bahá'u'lláh (Los Angeles: Kalimát Press, 1982) pp.
Concerning the pacification of the Bábís, see
Bahá'u'lláh, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf (Wilmette,
Ill.: Bahá'í Publishing Trust, 1941) pp. 122-25.
Cf. Ibid., pp. 76-78; Anthony A. Lee, "The Rise of the Bahá'í
Community of `Ishqábád" Bahá'í
Studies, Vol. 5 (January 1979) pp. 1-13.
Cf. Matt. 12:37.
Qur'an 10:35, 37:154; 68:36.
For this passage in current editions of the book, see `Abdu'l-Bahá,
Some Answered Questions, 1981 (Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í
Publishing Trust, 1981) pp. 290-96.
Cf. Bishárát (Glad Tidings) in Tablets of
Bahá'u'lláh (Haifa: Bahá'í World Centre, 1978)
In the current authorized translation, Bahá'u'lláh states:
"Although a republican form of government profiteth all the peoples of the
world, yet the majesty of kingship is one of the signs of God. We do not wish
that the countries of the world should remain deprived thereof. If the
sagacious combine the two forms into one, great will be their reward in the
presence of God." (Ibid., p. 28)
"The system of government which the British people have adopted in London
appears to be good, for it is adorned with the light of both kingship and of
the consultation of the people." Bahá'u'lláh, Lawh-i
Dunyá, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 93.
16 Isa. 2:2; John 11:24; Dan. 12:4, 9; Job 19:25; Joel 2:31; Zeph.
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened,
and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and
the powers of the heavens will be shaken; then will appear the sign of the Son
of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they
will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great
glory; and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will
gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
"But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will
pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and
the earth and the works that are upon it will be burned up. Since all these
things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives
of holiness and godliness . . ." 2 Pet. 3:10-11.
Muslim clerics teach that the original Gospel taught by Jesus Christ has
been lost and that the scriptures used by Christians today have been changed
and corrupted. Bahá'u'lláh rejects this teaching in the
Kitáb-i Íqán. See Bahá'u'lláh,
Kitáb-i Íqán (Wilmette, Ill.: Bahá'í
Publishing Trust, 1931) pp. 88-90, 199.
Cf. Ibid., pp. 28-83.
Matt. 5:44, Luke 6:28.
1 John 3:7.
1 John 4:15.
This refers to Bahá'u'lláh's Tablet to Jamál-i
Burújirdí. See Khazeh Fananapazir, "A Tablet of
Mírzá Husayn `Alí Bahá'u'lláh to
Jamál-i Burújirdí: A Full Provisional Translation,"
Bahá'í Studies Bulletin, vol. 5, no. 1-2 (January
Cf. Kitáb-i-Aqdas, K72, p. 45.
The current authorized translation reads: "We have enjoined upon all to
become engaged in some trade or profession, and have accounted such occupation
to be an act of worship." Bahá'u'lláh, Trustworthiness: A
Compilation of Extracts from the Bahá'í Writings, comp. by
the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice (Haifa:
Bahá'í World Centre, 1987) #34.
Cf. Bahá'u'lláh, Ishráqát, Tablets of
Bahá'u'lláh (Haifa: Bahá'í World Centre, 1978)
Cf. Bahá'u'lláh, Bishárát, Tablets of
Bahá'u'lláh, pp. 27.
The Sermon on the Mount, Matt. 5:22-42.
The current authorized translation reads: "We exhort you, O peoples of the
world, to observe that which will elevate your station. Hold fast to the fear
of God and firmly adhere to what is right. Verily I say, the tongue is for
mentioning what is good, defile it not with unseemly talk. God hath forgiven
what is past. Henceforward everyone should utter that which is meet and
seemly, and should refrain from slander, abuse and whatever causeth sadness in
men. Lofty is the station of man! Not long ago this exalted Word streamed
forth from the treasury of Our Pen of Glory: Great and blessed is this Day-the
Day in which all that lay latent in man hath been and will be made manifest.
Lofty is the station of man, were he to hold fast to righteousness and truth
and to remain firm and steadfast in the Cause." Bahá'u'lláh,
Kitáb-i `Ahd, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, pp.
"There shall no more be anything accursed . . . " Rev. 22:3.
Kitáb-i-Aqdas, K159, p. 76.
Cf. Bahá'u'lláh, Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh,
Here Mírzá Abu'l-Fadl refers to the Bahá'í laws
of inheritance which apply in cases of intestacy. Cf.
Kitáb-i-Aqdas, K20-29, pp. 26-28.
Bahá'u'lláh's inheritance laws are based upon those of the
Báb, as revealed in the Bayán, but Bahá'u'lláh
doubles the portion allotted to the children of the deceased.