Chapter 6 Chapter 8
Marriage Under the World Order of Baháulláh: An Eternal Bond. The Wedding. The Need For Reformation Of Laws Pertaining To Divorce. The Laws Of Baháulláh. Four Kinds Of Love. The Children Of The New Day.
It is, therefore, evident that in the world of humanity the
greatest king and sovereign is love. If love were extinguished, the power of
attraction dispelled, the affinity of human hearts destroyed, the phenomena of
human life would disappear.
Abdu'l-Bahá, Promulgation of Universal Peace, p.
In tracing the development of the institution of marriage it is
interesting to note that the progressive steps, from the promiscuity of the
earliest history of mankind to the more or less monogamous ordinance now in
vogue in most civilized countries, have been in direct ratio to the ethical and
spiritual development of the race. Moreover this development has paralleled the
appearance and teachings of the great Prophets and Messengers of God to
What little is known of the matrimonial relations and customs of the various
peoples before the coming of Moses, Buddha, Jesus and Muhammad indicates much
looser and more unethical relations than obtained after their teaching.
One might reasonably expect, therefore, that the revelation of
Bahá'u'lláh and its exemplification by Abdu'l-Bahá, in
dealing with this subject, would lay down laws and prescribe regulations
founded upon eternal spiritual principles and adapted to the needs of a world
civilization far in advance of any hitherto practiced.
For the teachings of Bahá'u'lláh deal primarily with the Reality
of man, and his station as an immortal and eternal being in an infinite
universe governed and supported by immutable laws based upon righteousness and
Marriage, then, under the Bahá'í regime, is an eternal bond. It
allows for only one real marriage, and this union continues throughout all the
worlds of God.
This assumption makes necessary an entirely new regulation of both marriage and
divorce. For, since man is still in the age of immaturity, and is still
influenced by desire and passion, many mistakes will be made in the selection
of a mate, and these mistakes must be rectified as quickly and as simply as
For two souls to live together under an enforced union in which harmony,
cooperation, happiness and true eternal love have become impossible, is a
defiance of a basic law in the Bahá'í revelation, the Law of
Unity. It is not only desirable but allowable that such false union be
dissolved. This necessity will probably be extremely rare as the race comes
more and more under the influence of the whole range of the Divine Teachings.
For once man realizes the supreme joy of true physical and spiritual union he
will be content with nothing less. Moreover, Bahá'u'lláh has
framed such safeguarding laws, and Abdu'l-Bahá has explained them so
fully, that public opinion will tend more and more to enforce their obedience
as experience proves their efficacy in securing and perpetuating human
When Abdu'l-Bahá was in this country in 1912 He took occasion more than
once to emphasize the sacredness of the marriage bond, and to illustrate by
precept and example the attitude incumbent upon the Bahá'ís in
The most notable of these occasions was the wedding ceremony on July 17th 1912
in which Harlan Ober and Grace Robarts were united by Abdu'l-Bahá
Himself in accordance with the law of Bahá'u'lláh.
Abdu'l-Bahá suggested that I should assist Him by performing the
necessary legal ceremony in order: "That all should be done in accordance with
the law of the land."
It is not an easy task to present to minds obsessed with the conception of this
world and its affairs as complete in itself rather than as an anteroom to a
larger, freer life, a scene in which the dominant note was Eternity; the very
atmosphere charged with an expansive freedom and tranquility.
As my eyes took in that long, beautifully furnished room, speaking of all that
related to our modern culture, yet holding within its walls representatives of
Paris; Berlin; London; Tihrán and Ghom, Persia; Bombay, India;
Bákú, Russia; and Haifa, Palestine; quite a number of
representatives of the black race, and about one hundred of my own countrymen,
a conviction was borne in upon me that I was taking part in a truly
For here was, to all intents and purposes, a gathering of representatives of
the whole world, and of every degree of poverty and affluence; of culture and
its lack; of every range of spiritual capacity.
Here indeed the East and West were gathered together to witness a
prefigurement, a symbol, a prognosis of a fundamental detail of the coming
social order under the World Plan of Bahá'u'lláh, the Kingdom of
God upon earth.
Dominating the scene was the white-robed figure of the Master. From the age of
seven He has been addressed and spoken of by this title.
Bahá'u'lláh Himself indicated his wish that so He should be
His right to the title did not rest upon any assumption by Himself of authority
or precedence. His whole bearing was ever that of humility and gentle
deference. Yet in every home He entered He was the host, in every gathering the
center; in every discussion the arbiter; to every problem the answer.
Nor was it so because He wished or willed it so to be. On the contrary when He
was asked to act as honorary chairman of the New York Bahá'í
Assembly, (one of the 72 incipient Houses of Justice in this country which, in
the future will form the units of community government under the Plan of
Bahá'u'lláh), He calmly and decisively replied that "
Abdu'l-Bahá is a servant."
Nevertheless one could not be in His Presence more than a few moments without
realizing that His every act, tone, gesture, word was so imbued with wisdom,
courage, and tranquil certitude, combined with such humble consideration of His
interlocutor, that conclusive Truth was conveyed to every beholder and
listener. As Abdu'l-Bahá has said referring to Bahá'u'lláh
when confronting His deniers and opposers: "How can darkness assert itself in
the Presence of Light? Can a fly attack an eagle? Or the shadow defy the
And so, in this gathering of souls believing in a new era of human
consciousness; a new epoch in which that consciousness should merge into the
divine, we looked to Him as to the Master of our destinies, as the One Leader
who, in this time of ancient superstitions and modem follies, knew the way out
of the human labyrinth into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
I sat very near Him, and, naturally, my every faculty, eye, ear, mind and heart
were centered upon that radiant Personality. Nor was I alone in this. There was
but One worthy of attention when He was present; but One wholly satisfying.
After the simple wedding ceremony and the bride and groom had resumed their
seats, Abdu'l-Bahá rose. His cream-colored `aba fell in graceful folds
to His feet. Upon His head he wore a tarboosh, or fez, of the same color,
beneath which His long white hair fell almost to His shoulders. Most impressive
of all His impressive aspects were His eyes. Blue they were but so changing
with His mood! Now gentle and appealing, now commanding, now flashing with
hidden fires, now holding a deep, tranquil lambent repose as though gazing upon
scenes of glory far removed.
His brow above those wide-set eyes was like an ivory dome. His neatly clipped
beard, snowy white, touched His breast, but around His mouth no straggling
hairs obscured the mobile lips.
He spoke through an interpreter, as was His custom, not so much because He
could not use English, as that it was wise to guard against possible
misquotation. Every word He uttered while in America was transcribed as it fell
from His lips by a Persian secretary, in that language, and also by an American
stenographer as the interpreter followed. So that in future ages, when the
thousands of writings and addresses of Bahá'u'lláh and
Abdu'l-Bahá are translated and codified, there may never be any question
as to the actual words and their connotation.
He swept the room with a glance at once enfolding and abstracted. He raised His
hands, palm upwards, level with His waist. His eyes closed and He chanted a
prayer for the souls united by Him and by me. By Him that morning according to
the Laws of the New World Order in which the spirit of man is to be trained to
function harmoniously with its brief material environment; by me this evening
as the representative of the passing regime in which ancient superstitions and
outworn shibboleths often tinge the most sacred observances, yet which, being
customary, are to be observed "lest offense be given to any soul."
This prayer of Abdu'l-Bahá, chanted in tones to me unequalled in all
experience, mellifluous (honey-like), is the nearest descriptive word, but how
inadequate, is the keenest of all my memories of that evening.
In spite of the fact that the language was Persian, and so, of course,
unfamiliar to me, the impression I received was that of understanding.
So vivid was this that the interpreter's translation came as a shock. What need
to translate language addressed to the spirit? A flash of comprehension came to
me. Perhaps here was the explanation of the incident recorded of that far-off
Day of Pentecost when each listener to the words of the disciples heard his own
There is a story told of an illiterate miner who made a long journey on foot to
meet Abdu'l-Bahá when He was in San Francisco, which further illustrates
the same spiritual phenomenon. This man, though uneducated, had great spiritual
capacity. He attended a meeting at which Abdu'l-Bahá spoke. He seemed
enthralled as the measured, bell-like tones fell from the Master's lips. When
the interpreter took up the passage in English this miner started as if
awakening. "Why does that man interrupt?" He whispered. Then again
Abdu'l-Bahá spoke, and again the visitor was lost in attention. Again
the interpreter translated as the speaker paused. At this the miner's
indignation was aroused. "Why do they let that man interrupt? He should be put
"He is the official interpreter," one sitting beside him explained. "He
translates the Persian into English."
"Was He speaking in Persian?" was the naive answer, "Why anyone could
As for me: my heart was certainly moved far more by the chanting Voice and the
flowing, musical periods, than by the interpreter's version of the wedding
prayer, beautiful as it is.
"Glory be unto Thee, O my God! Verily this Thy servant and this Thy
maid-servant have gathered under the shadow of Thy Mercy and they are united
through Thy Favor and Generosity. O Lord! Assist them in this Thy world and Thy
Kingdom, and destine for them every good through Thy bounty and Grace.
Cause them to become the signs of harmony and unity until the end of time.
Verily Thou art the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent and the Almighty!"
As intimated (p. 93), marriage under the World Order of
Bahá'u'lláh is based upon a far nobler conception of Man's
destiny than ever before. This is because under the 1900 years of Christian
teaching the spiritual capacity of the race has developed to a point where such
conception of Man's station is at least comprehensible.
The object of the coming of the Manifestations of God is none other than the
raising of man's consciousness to a higher level. This is one of the meanings
of "Heaven" as used by the prophets of God. It is that state of consciousness to which the teachings
of the eternal Christ spirit, no matter under what name He rises upon the
horizon of history, exalts the spirit of the true believer.
It is essential, then, that under each new dispensation the eternal principles,
reiterated by each Messenger of God, should be so clarified and explained that
they will apply effectively to the problems of the new day. So when Jesus
appeared He abrogated the Mosaic Law regarding divorce, which, while perfectly
adapted to the nomadic life of the Hebrews and to their background of centuries
of slavery under Egypt, had become subject to such abuse under the changed
conditions of the Roman environment, and the sacerdotalism of the Pharisee and
priest, as to become a mockery.
It is plain that at this time the same observance of the letter of Christ's
teachings on this subject prevails, and total neglect of the spirit. In
America, supposedly a Christian social order, the marriage bond is regarded
with less sacredness than in any other country in the world. In 1930, the
latest census, there was one divorce to every six marriages. And who can number
the infringements of the wedding vow; the hatreds in the home; the broken
family circles, which never reached the divorce court? Plainly this is an
intolerable condition. If it were to continue unchecked it might well result in
a complete breaking down of family life and the utter destruction of the
institution of marriage. Indeed this social breakdown has already begun in
Russia, and is threatened in one or two other countries. And what is becoming
known as "free love" and "companionate marriage" is obtaining recognition in
some of our own educational institutions and actually taught as the only
solution of the spreading problem.
This problem is so momentous, its solution so fraught with danger or safety to
the destinies of the race, that this servant of the Glory of God has gathered
all the available information possible on the subject and presents the actual
wording of Bahá'u'lláh and Abdu'l-Bahá, in order that the
reader may judge for himself whether, if and when these Divine Laws become
operative, a happier social order would result.
In the first place it must constantly be borne in mind that
Bahá'u'lláh envisages a world unity; a world order.
It assumes, moreover, the close association of man with God, and presumes the
assistance of the Supreme World, the Holy Spirit, in the establishment of this
Thus, in the conception of the Kingdom of God on earth,
Bahá'u'lláh sees as accomplished the unity of all races and
peoples; the abolition of all prejudice; an inherent and passionate love for
Truth, no matter from what source it comes, and the spread of basic education
in these laws to all peoples.
Thus He has generalized broadly, encompassing the problems of East and West; of
North and South, leaving to the International House of Justice the application
of these principles as special and individual problems arise.
If the reader will bear this in mind, and make every effort to disabuse himself
of the very natural prejudices he may have entertained, it will be much easier
for him to appreciate the wisdom of Bahá'u'lláh's Plan for a New
This is not an easy task to set oneself, for man naturally tends to accept as
fixed the conventions and usages obtaining at that moment of History in which
he has happened to appear upon the planet. But to do this is to disregard all
the records of the past, which indicate most clearly the inevitable mutation or
abolition of all human institutions, and the general tendency, throughout the
ages, to simplify, purify and ennoble them. The destiny of the race is very
high, and even the Laws of Bahá'u'lláh are not proposed as final.
The next thousand or ten thousand years will witness still further advances by
mankind along the path to the divine perfection to which all the Prophets of
God have summoned him. "Ye must be perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is
At this stage in the development of the race the Laws promulgated by
Bahá'u'lláh assuredly seem to meet most adequately the needs of
men taken as a whole. To those who study the writings of
Bahá'u'lláh, paying due attention to the claim of majestic
authority involved, these sublime Words calling man to participate in a social
order far higher than that ever envisaged in the past, can hardly fail to
stimulate a dawning hope, revive a failing courage and again set ablaze the
fire of the love of God in cooling hearts.
Bearing all this in mind let us endeavor to approach the subject of marriage
relations, as taught by Bahá'u'lláh, with the thoughtful
consideration, if not reverence, due any teacher who, for the sake of the
Message which He was convinced He bore for men, suffering every indignity,
humiliation and torture which the ingenuity of two cruel rulers and their
peoples, the Shah of Persia and the Sultan of Turkey, could over a period of
forty years, inflict upon Him.
That the reader may receive an idea of the claim put forth by
Bahá'u'lláh regarding the Source of His authority and the
objectives towards which He urges humanity, the following paragraph is quoted
from His writings lately translated by His great-grandson, Shoghi Effendi, the
first Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith.
"The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him
Who is the Day-Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His Laws, Who
representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of
creation. . . . They whom God hath endued with insight will readily recognize
that the precepts laid down by God constitute the highest means for the
maintenance of order in the world and the security of its peoples. He that
turneth away from them is accounted among the abject and foolish. We verily
have commanded you to refuse the dictates of your evil passions and corrupt
desires, and not to transgress the bounds which the Pen of the Most High hath
fixed, for these are the breath of life unto all created beings. The seas of
Divine Wisdom and divine utterance have risen under the breath of the breeze of
the All-Merciful. Hasten to drink your fill, O men of understanding."
Regarding marriage the following is a summary of the ordinances
prescribed by the "Pen of the Most High" for the guidance of the race for the
coming thousand or thousands of years. Again the reader's attention should be
called to the fact that the Lawgiver envisages not one nation or religion or
group but the whole world.
Bahá'u'lláh enjoined marriage upon all and monogamy is assumed as
the only means of content and happiness. He condemned the attitude of certain
religious groups in various creedal systems which forbade marriage to their
priesthood. "It is My Command," He said, "that ye raise up children who will
mention Me among My servants."
He directed that marriage should depend first upon the consent of both parties
concerned and also upon the consent of the parents of both, as "He desires love
and affection and unity to exist between all the servants of God, and lest
hatred and detestation come between them."
A dowry is recommended paid by the man to the woman, and He designates the
amount, which is quite small. The object, evidently, being to avoid the sense
of absolute dependence of the wife upon the husband. This is especially
important in oriental countries.
In case of disagreement between man and wife, if any agitation or aversion
arise, he must not divorce her, but be patient one year, "perhaps the fragrance
of love may emanate from them." If, however, at the expiration of that time "no
fragrance of love be diffused," divorce is allowed.
Abdu'l-Bahá, in a Tablet to the Bahá'ís of America, wrote
"The friends (Bahá'ís) must strictly refrain from divorce
unless something arises which compels them to separate because of their
aversion for each other; in that case, with the knowledge of the Spiritual
Assembly, they may decide to separate. They must then be patient and wait one
complete year. If during this year harmony is not reestablished between them,
then their divorce may be realized. ... The foundation of the Kingdom of God is
based upon harmony and love, oneness, relationship and union, not upon
differences, especially between husband and wife. If one of these two become
the cause of divorce, that one will unquestionably fall into great
difficulties, will become the victim of formidable calamities and experience
Bahá'u'lláh exhorts men not to follow their material
self, for it is an instigator to transgression and foul actions, but rather to
follow the Ruler of all things Who commandeth them to practice virtue and
righteousness. It is such constant references to a Supreme Law, coupled with a
sympathetic consideration of human weakness, which makes the study of His
Writings so enthralling. One looks in vain into the statute books of past and
present for any such atmosphere of commingled authority and love. The Mosaic
Law conveys no hint of such. It is as if the Sermon on the Mount were reduced
to a code and laid upon men with gentle hands. In this fact lies the assurance
not only of its divine origin but of its ultimate acceptance by the world. For
when the heart of man is appealed to as well as his reason he is perforce
enlisted on the side of the Law proposed. As an illustration of this appeal
Bahá'u'lláh urges upon the husband, when undertaking an extended
absence from his wife, to acquaint her with particulars of his movements and an
appointed time for his return. "If he fulfills his promise he will be of those
who fulfill the commands of his Lord, and will be recorded by the Pen of
Command as being of those who do right." If a real excuse prevents his return
he must inform his wife and strive to return. If this is not done she must wait
nine months, at the expiration of which time she is free to choose another
husband. "But if she is patient it is better, for God loves those who are
If during those nine months of waiting news is received from the husband she
must adopt kindness and favor, for He wisheth peace to exist among His
servants. "Beware lest ye create obstinacy in your midst."
Picture the courts of the future where such an atmosphere obtains. If the
reader is inclined to doubt that such should ever be possible far be it from me
to cast aspersions. None could possibly be a greater doubter than I. Yet I have
come to see in the Divine Words of Bahá'u'lláh not only beauty
and wisdom but an indwelling potency to sway the human heart and will. The fact
that several millions of the world's peoples have already subscribed to His
Teachings and Laws, often at the cost of property and life, may be accounted
as, at least, some slight reason to hope that at some not far distant day an
influential minority of sane men will accept and put in practice these divine
Regarding the provision concerning the consent of the parents of both parties
to the marriage, Abdu'l-Bahá once wrote to an inquirer that this consent
was to be obtained after a mutual satisfactory arrangement had been
arrived at by the contracting parties. Before that the parents had no right of
interference. This abrogates the practice usual in the Orient by which the
parents arrange the marriage, often without the consent or wish of the persons
most interested. He further says that as a result of these provisions the
strained relations between relatives-in-law which have become proverbial in
Christian and Muhammadan countries, are almost unknown among the
Bahá'ís, and divorce is also a rare occurrence.
Many have been the utterances and writings of Abdu'l-Bahá on this
subject. Following are some of the most important:
"In this most Merciful Age the ignorant prejudices are entirely removed. The
Bahá'í engagement is the perfect communication and the entire
consent of both parties. However, they must show forth the utmost attention and
become informed of one another's character, and the firm covenant between them
must become an eternal bond, and their intention must be everlasting affinity,
friendship, unity and life. The bridegroom must, before the bridesmen and few
others, say: `Verily, we are content with the Will of God.' And the bride must
rejoin: `Verily, we are satisfied with the desire of God.' This is
Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 325
"Regarding the question of matrimony: know that the command of marriage is
eternal. It will never be changed or altered. This is a Divine Creation and
there is not the slightest possibility that change or alteration shall affect
this Divine Creation (marriage).
Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 474
"Among the majority of the people of the world marriage consists of physical
relationship, and the union and relationship is but temporary, for at the end
physical separation is destined and ordained. But the marriage of the people of
Bahá must consist of both physical and spiritual relationship, for both
of them are quickened by the wine of one cup, arc attracted by One Peerless
Countenance, vivified by one life and illumined by one Light. This is the
spiritual relationship and everlasting union.
Likewise in the physical world they are bound together with strong and
unbreakable ties. When relationship, union and concord exist between the two
from a physical and spiritual standpoint, that is a real union and is,
therefore, everlasting. But if the union is merely from a physical point of
view it is unquestionably temporary, and in the end separation is
Consequently when the people of Bahá desire to enter the sacred union
of matrimony, eternal connection, ideal relationship, spiritual and physical
association of thoughts and conceptions of life must exist between them, so
that in all the grades of existence, and in all the worlds of God this union
may continue forever and ever. For this Union is a splendor of the Light of
the Love of God.
Likewise if the souls become real believers in God they will find themselves
ushered into this exalted state of relationship, become manifestoes of the Love
of the Merciful, and exhilarated by the cup of the Love of God. Undoubtedly
that union and relationship is eternal.
The souls who sacrifice self, become detached from the imperfections of the
realm of man, and free from the bondage of this ephemeral world, assuredly the
splendors of the rays of Divine Union shall shine in their hearts, and they
shall find ideal relationship and happiness in the Eternal Paradise."
(Signed) Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas
In the first two of the above selections it will be noted that the emphasis is
upon the eternality of the true marriage union. In the third quotation a
careful reading will disclose the three ways in which this unending union may
be achieved, (a) When two souls on the altars of whose hearts bums the fire of
the love of God, find that light reflected in each other and that flame,
commingled, becomes one fire. (b) When two souls having become united in
physical union afterwards become illumined by the Eternal Love, that union also
becomes eternal. Abdu'l-Bahá once wrote concerning a believer who had
married a non-believer, or was about to marry: "This marriage is permissible,
but Miss----must exert herself day and night so that she may guide her husband.
She must not rest until she makes him her spiritual as well as physical partner
(c) The last paragraph relates to those souls who never in this world find
their true spiritual mate, and remain deprived throughout this transitory life
of that great joy. To such He says: "If you become detached from this ephemeral
world and the imperfections of the realms of man, assuredly the splendors of
Divine Union will shine in your heart and you find ideal relationship and
happiness in the Eternal Paradise."
Speaking of the reality of love Abdu'l-Bahá said:
"There are but four kinds of Love:
(a) The love of God for His Creation, the reflection of Himself in the
mirror of creation. Through one ray of this Love all other love exists.
(b) The Love of God for His children. His servants. Through this love man is
endowed with physical existence, until through the Breaths of the Holy
Spirit--this same Love--he receives eternal life and becomes the image of the
Living God. This love is the origin of all the love in the world of
(c) "The love of man for God. This is attraction to the Divine World,
entrance into the Kingdom of God, receiving the Bounties of God, illumination
with the Lights of the Kingdom. This love is the origin of all philanthropy;
this love causes the heart of man to reflect the rays of the Sun of
(d) "The love of man for man. The love which exists between the believers in
God is prompted by the ideal of the unity of spirits. This love is attained
through the knowledge of God, so that men see the Divine Love reflected in the
heart. Each sees in the other the Beauty of God reflected in the soul, and,
finding this point of similarity, they are attracted to one another in love.
This love will make all men the waves of one sea, the stars of one heaven, the
fruits of one tree.
"But the love which sometimes exists between friends is not true love,
because it is subject to transmutation. As the breeze blows the slender trees
yield. If the wind is in the East the tree leans toward the West, and if the
wind turns to the West the tree leans towards the East. This kind of love is
originated by the accidental conditions of life. This is not love, it is merely
acquaintanceship: it is subject to change...."
It seems impossible to read these divine Words without an inner conviction
growing in the heart that Man, in this dispensation, is being ushered into a
new and hitherto unrealized world: the world of Reality; the world of the
Spirit. No imagination can compass the world of man, the coming social Order,
when it becomes impregnated with this Spirit, when it becomes illumined, as it
surely will, by this supreme Sun.
And when we have seen in the very life of Abdu'l-Bahá this Light
manifested, when before our eyes we have witnessed the power and beauty of such
ideals fully expressed, and are told in Words of matchless beauty and wisdom
that such a life may be approximated by all who submit themselves to the Rays
of the Supreme Love, how the heart is stirred to realize this experience, and
the will summoned to assist, to one's fullest capacity, in bringing about this
Kingdom of Love upon the earth!
Abdu'l-Bahá's many references to the children of the New Day
invites the mind to a most enthralling consideration. His allusions to such
children, especially when born of such heavenly union as already described, are
many and beautiful. Taken in connection with the foregoing excerpts on
marriage, and its eternal bond, they give a faint indication of what human
society may be when the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh is
established. Space can be given to only two or three citations.
These children are neither Oriental nor Occidental, neither Asiatic nor
American, neither European nor African, but they are of the Kingdom; their
native home is heaven and their resort is the Kingdom of Abhá.
Abdu'l-Bahá, Tablets of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 648
"The newly born babe of that Day excels the wisest and most venerable men of
this time, and the lowliest and most unlearned of that period shall surpass in
understanding the most erudite and accomplished divines of this age."
The Báb to His disciples
The Dawn-Breakers, p. 94
"It is incumbent upon thee to nurture thy children from the breast of the
Love of God, to urge them towards spiritual matters, to turn unto God and
acquire good manners, best characteristics and praiseworthy virtues and
qualities in the world of humanity; and to study sciences with the utmost
diligence; so that they may become spiritual, heavenly and attracted to the
fragrances of sanctity from childhood and be reared in a religious, spiritual
and heavenly training."
A CHILD'S PRAYER
O My Lord! O my Lord!
I am a child of tender years. Nourish me from the breast of Thy mercy, train
me in the bosom of Thy love, educate me in the school of Thy guidance and
develop me under the shadow of Thy bounty. Deliver me from darkness, make me a
brilliant light; free me from unhappiness, make me a flower of the rose garden;
suffer me to become a servant of Thy threshold and confer upon me the
disposition and nature of the righteous; make me a cause of bounty to the human
world, and crown my head with the diadem of eternal life.
Verily, Thou art the Powerful, the Mighty, the Seer, the Hearer.
Abdu'l-Bahá, Bahá'í Prayers
Chapter 6 Chapter 8