Facilitating Spiritual Joy
A Biblical Introduction
To The Writings of Bahá'u'lláh
As our world becomes a global village, there is a striking need for a vision of
unity that transcends the barriers of nationalism, racism, sexism and other
forms of elitism. Human attempts to change society without personal spiritual
transformation are doomed to fail. The spiritual teaching of the sovereignty of
God and the brotherhood of man are essential to our eternal salvation and
improving the quality of life on our planet. Love, peace and unity must be
built from the bottom up, starting with personal transformation and then
radiating outward into family, community, nation and ultimately the entire
planet. (Romans 12:2)
The inspirational ideas presented here are by and large a compilation and
distillation of the thought of spiritual teachers who have appeared on earth
throughout human history. Our western heritage is Judeo-Christian, built on the
teachings of Moses and the Prophets, and centered in the person of Jesus
Christ, the Son of God. Accordingly, this course relies on the Bible, both the
Old and New Testaments along with Bahá'í Scripture for its
inspiration. In order to convey, as much as possible, the power of expression
of the words of the Prophets, this course contains numerous references, both
quotations from and paraphrases of the Holy Writings. The use of paraphrase is
a response to modern tastes for simple and concise language.
Bible quotations are from the New King James Version. (NKJV)
This Biblical introduction to the Bahá'í Faith, of course, can
only be, just that, an introduction. Spiritual growth is a life long process.
To all those who long after the Spirit, it is hoped that your search will be
successful. May you find peace, happiness and great joy.
These materials may, of course, be read individually, but they
are primarily intended to used be used for pair study. For larger classes,
divide the group up into small groups of two or three and assign several
sections to each group. They should read the paragraphs aloud and discuss the
underlined questions. It is generally best to finish a chapter before
discussing any additional questions that come to mind. If the group is so
inclined, they may opt to look up the cited Bible verses. Controversy should be
strictly avoided. A loving and warm spirit should be maintained during all such
The Search For Spiritual Joy
Let all those that put their trust in Thee rejoice. Let them ever shout for
joy... Let them who love Thy name be joyful in Thee.
-- Psalms 5:11
A wise man once said, "Life is bittersweet." Good times are the sweet ones,
filled with happiness, joy and peace. On the other hand, a measure of
bitterness, sadness, anxiety and difficulty have always been part of the human
experience. In recent years, life's problems seem to have multiplied. Many
people feel overwhelmed by the stresses and pace of modern life.
What do you think? How can real happiness be found?
Spirituality paves the path to peace and happiness. It helps us to be thankful
for the gift of life. It aids us to be at peace with ourselves, even under the
most stressful circumstances. It is an anchor for the soul. (Hebrews 6:19)
Without it we bob around like a toy boat on a stormy sea.
Have you ever felt like that?
The need is very great, everywhere in the world, for a true spiritual
education. Spiritual education assists us to deal calmly and lovingly with
economic, personal and family problems. But spirituality means more than being
calm in the midst of the hurry and scurry of daily activities. It means having
a good conscience; feeling good about ourselves with nothing to be ashamed of.
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus taught, "Blessed are those who hunger and
thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." (Matthew 5:6)
When a person responds to the blessings of God, the heart is happy, the spirit
is exhilarated. These are the spiritual responses which express themselves in
the deeds and actions when his heart is filled with gratitude. Spirituality
means appreciating the bounties of God and the beauties of nature; with its
lofty mountain tops, azure seas, starry night skies, deep green forests and
delightful animals. It means being filled with the delicious taste of being
What is your personal experience? Which of these things make you feel
closer to God? A calm attitude? Having a good conscience? Feeling thankful?
Being in nature?
Most importantly, spirituality ennobles the human spirit and develops
higher human capacities. Faith opens the door to eternal life and shows us the
way to live in joy and love.
Prayer and Communion with God
There is nothing sweeter in the world of existence than prayer.
Prayer is communion with God; a source of great joy and training for the heart.
Through devotional prayers and meditations the heart is strengthened in the
love God and gains capacity to deal compassionately with fellowmen. Millions of
people have found that taking a few moments each day for prayer helps to focus
their thoughts on the things of the Spirit and creates a tranquillity that
makes it easier to deal with the cares of the day.
Consider the following prayer for inner peace:
"O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers.
I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no
longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I
will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not
dwell on the unpleasant things of life. O God! Thou art more friend to me than
I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord." (Abdu'l-Bahá)
Over time, such prayers for joy and freedom from anxiety will transform your
soul. When combined with daily study of the Word of God, each of us can acquire
true wisdom. Such wisdom when put into practice in daily life builds a personal
foundation for a happy life.
What do you think? What is the value of prayer and how can it contribute to
your spiritual growth? What has been your personal experience with
Love is the Purpose of Religion
Jesus Christ identified the two most important commandments. First is the love
of our Creator, who is our Heavenly Father and the source of our being. Second,
but absolutely essential, is love for our fellowmen, who are made in the image
of God. (Matthew 22:37-40)
Genuine spirituality is the only solution to the prejudice, hatreds and wars
that divide the human family. The Apostle John wrote: "Beloved, let us love one
another; for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows
God. He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love." (1 John 4:8) It
simply is not possible to love God and hate our neighbor.
Why is love for fellowman essential for spirituality? How does hating other
people interfere with our love for God?
What is the purpose of religion? Bahá'u'lláh, the Persian founder
of the Bahá'í Faith wrote: "The purpose of religion as revealed
from the heaven of God's Holy Will is to establish unity and concord amongst
the peoples of the world; make it not the cause of dissension and strife. The
religion of God and His divine law are the most potent instruments and the
surest of all means for the dawning of the light of unity amongst men."
(Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 129)
What do you think? What would the world be like if mankind recognized its
unity before God?
If the purpose of religion is unity, why does religion always seem to stir up
controversy? Why were the Prophets of God persecuted? Why was Moses exiled? Why
was Bahá'u'lláh imprisoned? Why was Jesus opposed and put to
death? Why do we sometimes experience opposition when we investigate religion?
The answer can strengthen the soul and teach the heart wisdom. Often opposers
are sincere and do not appreciate the spiritual value of God's Word. It takes
kindness and patience on our part to reassure them. For the believers, tests of
faith serve to refine the heart and to build up spiritual virtues. There is
great reward for sticking up for what is right despite opposition.
Have you seen people persecuted for their religion? Why does this
Jesus promised, "Blessed are you when they revile you and persecute you and say
all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly
glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets
who were before you." (Matthew 5:11-12) Similarly, Bahá'u'lláh
promised, "Blessed is he who hath lain down his life in My path and hath borne
manifold hardships for the sake of My name." (Tablet to the Christians, XXIV)
If our friends or family oppose the cause of unity, we can take comfort and
find joy in the knowledge of God's ultimate blessing.
What do you think? How is the heart trained by opposition? What are the
We Are Leaves of One Tree, Flowers of One Garden
'Abdu'l-Bahá, one of the central figures of the
Bahá'í Faith, often compared our spiritual training to the growth
of a garden. God is the gardener and humanity is the soil under divine
cultivation. He wrote: "Then will the garden of your hearts bring forth its
flowers of delightful fragrance to refresh the nostril of (God) the heavenly
Gardener. Let your hearts reflect the glories of the Sun of Truth in their many
colors to gladden the eye of (God) the divine Cultivator Who has nourished
them. Day by day become more closely attracted in order that the love of God
may illumine all those with whom you come in contact. Be as one spirit, one
soul, leaves of one tree, flowers of one garden, waves of one ocean." (The
Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 24)
In what ways is mankind like God's garden?
Educators of Mankind
"Thus saith the LORD...'I am the LORD thy God the one who teacheth thee to
benefit thyself so that thy peace may be as a river, and thy righteousness as
the waves of the sea.'" -- Isaiah 48:17-18
Nature teaches that the world is in need of an educator. If the earth is not
cultivated, it becomes a jungle where useless weeds grow; but if a cultivator
comes and tills the ground, it produces crops which nourish living creatures.
It is evident, therefore, that the soil needs the cultivation of the farmer.
If a man is left alone in the wilderness, he will take on the ways of the
animal. If he is educated, he can reach the greatest heights of accomplishment.
Were it not for educators, there would be no civilization.
What do you think? What is the value of education?
Divine education is of the Kingdom of God. It promotes honesty, righteousness,
justice, wisdom and love. It leads humanity to improvement of character. Since
mankind is made in the image of God, man has the potential to acquire godly
qualities, divine perfections. But in order to develop that potential, a
qualified teacher must show the way.
What do you think? Are people capable of educating themselves without divine
One such educator was Abraham. He was born into a society that worshipped
nature as the sun god, the storm god and so forth. Alone and without help
Abraham instructed the people in the worship of the True God.
Moses freed the nation of Israel from the chains of slavery, brought them out
of Egypt and into the Holy Land. He taught them to worship the One God, reject
idols and obey the Ten Commandments. Throughout his life, Moses faced
opposition from Egyptians and fellow Israelites, but nothing could stop him. He
was guided by a supernatural power to educate the people for the challenges of
It is clear that human power cannot accomplish so great a mission. How could
one solitary man without help and without support overcome mighty nations and
teach with such marvelous wisdom? He must depend on the help of the spiritual
and divine power. One Holy Soul can change the world through the power of
What do you think? What did Abraham and Moses teach mankind?
Jesus Christ, the Son of God
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have
loved you, that ye also love one another." -- John 13:34
Jesus was surely a Divine Educator. He was born of Holy Spirit. He was the Son
of God. He came with lessons of love and forgiveness. He showed compassion for
the weak and the sick. He taught us a lesson in God's love by shedding His
blood on the cross in order to open the way to everlasting life. (John 3:16)
What do you think? What was the significance of the life of Jesus Christ?
His teachings? His crucifixion?
Jesus' teaching released new creative energies. New hopes and new spiritual
ideals were brought into being. As a result, the world was uplifted. He opened
the way to the Kingdom of God. Historians record that Christ did more to
advance human civilization than all the legislators and philosophers of past
What were some of the lessons that Jesus Christ brought?
The early Christians spread Jesus' message of love. They taught the sacredness
of life and the dignity of humanity. As soon as they could, they stopped the
human sacrifice and the violence of the gladiatorial games that were common in
the Roman Empire. Later they promoted education, built hospitals for the
treatment of the poor, established charitable institutions and introduced
juster laws into the Roman legal system. Such changes came about because of
Christ's law was written on their hearts.
A new Christian civilization arose, one that was the best and most enlightened
in the world at that time. Thus the transformative power of Jesus Christ as an
Educator of Mankind can be clearly seen. (See Christ and
Bahá'u'lláh, George Townshend, 21)
What effects do spiritual teachings effect have on society?
Jesus, like Abraham and Moses, had to deal with violent opposition. Eventually
Jesus' opposers succeeded in crucifying Him. But God raised Him from the dead
and His spirit is with us to this day. In life and in death, the Lord Jesus
Christ was the Greatest Teacher and set an example for us to follow.
What do you think? Why was Jesus persecuted? How did He treat His
When Bahá'u'lláh was on earth, He glorified Jesus in the
most poetic terms and encouraged the people to be awake to Christ's voice. The
Bahá'í Writings make clear the unsurpassed station of Jesus in
the unfolding of God's plan of salvation:
As to the position of Christianity, let it be stated without any hesitation
or equivocation that its divine origin is unconditionally acknowledged, that
the Sonship and Divinity of Jesus Christ are fearlessly asserted, that the
divine inspiration of the Gospel is fully recognized...
"Know thou," Bahá'u'lláh has moreover testified, "that when
the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a
great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused
into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the
earth, are now manifest before thee.
The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning
which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced,
the influence exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but manifestations of
the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive and
We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His
glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy
of perversity and ignorance. Through Him the unchaste and wayward were healed.
Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened and
the soul of the sinner sanctified.... He it is Who purified the world. Blessed
is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him." (The
Promised Day is Come, p. 109-110)
What do the Bahá'í Writings say about Christ?
Bahá'u'lláh, the Glory of God
"The wilderness... shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and
singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel
and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our
God." -- Isaiah 35:1-2
Bahá'u'lláh a spiritual teacher who lived about 150 years ago. He
was the Founder of the Bahá'í Faith. He brought the same message
as Jesus Christ and taught how it should be applied to modern times. He
proclaimed the nearness of an age of worldwide peace and brotherhood between
all peoples. As a result He was severely persecuted and spent His life in
prison and in exile.
His message emphasized three eternal truths. The Oneness of God, the Oneness of
Humanity and the Oneness of Religion. During the past two thousands years,
verbal battles have raged over religious differences. Often such conflicts lead
to bloody wars. Each sect and denomination claimed to be the only path to God.
Religious wars do not honor God but rather cause people to doubt the value of
religion. Bahá'u'lláh called upon the religious leaders of the
world to give up their claims to supremacy and to work together. By following
in the footsteps of the Divine Educators, they could glorify God and benefit of
all the people.
Are you familiar with the name of Bahá'u'lláh? What have you
heard about him?
Bahá'u'lláh was an extraordinary individual who radiated love and
warmth to all people. He spent His life teaching the love of God and His name
means the glory of God in Arabic.
"Those who beheld Him were assured of His great happiness, for no trace of
sadness or sorrow was ever visible upon His face. Even in prison He was like a
king enthroned in majesty and greatness, and He ever bore Himself with supreme
confidence and dignity
." (The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 383)
Bahá'u'lláh was born in 1817, the son of a Persian nobleman. He
brought a divine message of love and righteousness to a nation that had lost
its way. The original teachings of Judaism, Christianity and Islam had been
abandoned over the centuries. Their governmental and religious institutions
were corrupted. All elements of society were at odds. Yet even at that low
point of history, a new age began. Bahá'u'lláh would instill life
into a spiritually dead people and bring them back to life. He writes:
"This is the Day in which God's most excellent favors have been poured out
upon men, the Day in which His most mighty grace hath been infused into all
created things. It is incumbent upon all the peoples of the world to reconcile
their differences, and, with perfect unity and peace, abide beneath the shadow
of the Tree of His care and loving-kindness...Soon will the present-day order
be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead. Verily, thy Lord speaketh
the truth, and is the Knower of things unseen.
(Gleanings from the Writings
of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 6-7)
What do you think? Has present day society lost sight of the spiritual
values? Are we in need of a modern day renewal? What sort of a renewal would
you like to see?
The Claims of Bahá'u'lláh
and Independent Investigation of Truth
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit
when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He
shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak.
He shall show you things to come.
When He was on the earth, Bahá'u'lláh made some extraordinary
claims. He said that came to fulfill Christ's promise about the coming of the
Spirit of Truth. He claimed to bring the divine teachings that the early
disciples could not bear to hear, namely that all the major religions of the
world have a divine origin. He claimed to have a new Revelation from God that
could unite all mankind.
How can you determine if these claims are true? How can you determine if
Bahá'u'lláh is the Divine Educator for this day?
The first principle of Bahá'u'lláh is independent investigation
of truth. It is up to each individual to examine the facts for themselves with
a prayerful heart and an open mind. Blind imitation of the past must be
replaced by a willingness to follow the teachings of God into a new way of
life. Only in this way can the divisions and hatreds of the past be overcome.
Only in this way can unity and love reign supreme among all peoples regardless
of race, religion or nationality.
How can you determine if Bahá'u'lláh's teachings are really from
God and if he is the divine messenger that he claimed to be? How can you decide
if His writings are the Word of God? One important step is to read His writings
and experience the love and beauty they contain. Jesus said that His sheep
would know his voice. In the spirit of love and devotion found in
Bahá'u'lláh's writings we can hear the voice of the Shepherd.
Another step that can be taken is to review the evidence that Jesus Christ
fulfilled the promises of the Old Testament. For a Jewish person, living at the
time of Christ, accustomed to the law of Moses, Temple worship and Jewish
festivals, it would have been an incredibly large change to accept Christ.
However, becoming a Christian did not mean abandoning Moses or giving up
Judaism. Rather it meant investigating the claims of Christ to be the promised
one that Moses foretold. Perhaps you were raised to believe in Christ, but what
if you had not been? How would you know if Jesus the Nazarene was the Messiah?
This same pattern applies to investigating Bahá'u'lláh's claims
to be the promised one that Christ foretold.
What promise did Jesus make? How is that promise similar to the one that
Moses made? If you had been alive at the time of Christ how could you have
determined if those claims were true. What claims did Bahá'u'lláh
make? How can we determine if those claims are true?
Proofs of Christ
"And (Jesus) said unto them...'All things must be fulfilled which were
written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning
me.'" -- Luke 24:44
1) The prophet Micah foretold that the future king would be born in Bethlehem.
2) The prophet Hosea foretold that God's son would be called out of Egypt.
3) The prophet Isaiah foretold that the Jesus would be rejected. Many would not
believe on him. Others would hate and persecute him. Finally, he would be put
to death as a sacrifice for the sins of the people. (Isaiah 53:1-12)
4) The prophet Malachi foretold that Elijah, who had been dead for many
centuries, would return before the day of the Lord. (Malachi 4: 5) Elijah
returned in a symbolic sense in the form of John the Baptist. (Matthew
5) The Prophet Daniel foretold the time that Messiah would appear and die as 70
weeks of years or 490 years after the word went out to restore the Jerusalem
Temple. (Daniel 9:25-27) The time count started with the edict of Artaxerxes in
457 BC and ended with Jesus' death in 33 AD.
Many more proof, in fact hundreds of proofs of this same sort, can be given
that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God and the Divine Educator for his day.
Now, let's turn our attention to the proofs of Bahá'u'lláh.
What do you think? What reasons were there to believe that Jesus was who He
said He was? Which do you think are the strongest proofs?
Proofs of Bahá'u'lláh
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith
the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher
than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." -- Isaiah 55:8-9
Several wonderful books have been written that go into great detail on the
subject of proofs of Bahá'u'lláh's mission. Christ and
Bahá'u'lláh by George Townshend and The Prophecies of Jesus by
Michael Sours contain a wealth of evidence. In order to confirm
Bahá'u'lláh's divine mission to your own satisfaction, you are
encouraged to prayerfully study all the available evidence and make a fully
informed decision. Only a few, brief examples of proofs of
Bahá'u'lláh's claims are given here.
1) Jeremiah foretold that God's throne would be established in the last days in
Elam, that is, in Persia. (Jeremiah 49:38, 39) Bahá'u'lláh was
born and began his ministry in Tehran, Persia. His kingdom was, like Christ's
kingdom, a kingdom over the hearts of men.
2) Ezekiel foretold that the glory of God would appear from the East, coming to
the house of God by way of the gate. (Ezekiel 43:4) Persia lies due east of
3) Isaiah prophesied that the glory of God would appear in the northern part of
Israel, around Mount Carmel (Isaiah 35:1-2). After a series of exiles,
Bahá'u'lláh was imprisoned in 'Akka, now part of Haifa, Israel in
the region of Carmel The Bahá'í World Center is located on Mount
The prophet Isaiah also foretold that God would raise up a conquering king from
the direction of the sunrise, the east. (Isaiah 41:2) The king would give his
enemies to the sword (the word of God). He would do no harm but would pursue
his enemies in peace. (41:3) Like Jesus, Bahá'u'lláh conquered
his enemies with the sword of the Word of God (John 16:33, Romans 12:21, Hebrew
4:12) and renounced the use of physical weapons. (Matthew 26:52)
Bahá'u'lláh's conquests have been great. Despite forty years of
persecution, imprisonment, exile and trials, he never showed any hatred to his
enemies. He kept conquering evil with good. As a result, many victories have
been won over the hearts of men. Now there are over 5 million followers of the
teachings of Bahá'u'lláh living in 300 nations, islands and
4) The returned king would have a new, strange name, one that God would give
him. (Revelation 3:12, Isaiah 62:2-3) The name of Bahá'u'lláh
certainly sounds strange to many people and this strangeness has been like a
cloud that blocks the vision of the beauty of the sun.
5) The Gospels speak of Bahá'u'lláh in a symbolic way. Because
Bahá'u'lláh was so Christ-like in his teaching and suffering, his
ministry could be called the return of the spirit of Christ. The Bible contains
many examples of symbolic returns of past prophets. For example, John the
Baptist was the return of Elijah. (Matthew 11:13-14) And Jesus was like the
return of Moses. (Deuteronomy 18:15) In a similar way, prophecies that speak of
the return of Christ find their fulfillment in Bahá'u'lláh.
6) The prophet Daniel foretold 2,300 years which would include defilement of
the "sanctuary." The 2,300 years would end with the victory of a spiritual
king, "the Prince of Princes" (Daniel 8:13-14, 25-26). Once again the sanctuary
is the congregation of believers who were "defiled" and in darkness by the lack
of divine education and the Prince is Bahá'u'lláh. The time
counted started in 457BC and ended in 1844.
The parallels between the life of Christ and the life of
Bahá'u'lláh are truly amazing. The fulfillment of so many details
of so many prophecies, of which we have mentioned only a few, provide sound
evidence that God was backing the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh. Perhaps
you are already convinced that Bahá'u'lláh is the Promised One of
God for this day. If so, you are a Bahá'í in your heart and are
invited to join the Bahá'í community for worship, study and
fellowship. If you still have questions or these things sound strange to you,
recall that Christianity sounded very strange when it was first preached. (Acts
17:19-10) You are invited to investigate further through personal reading and
discussion with local Bahá'ís. It is vital to study these things
for yourself that you too may be personally convinced of the glories of God's
latest messenger. The spiritual benefits and joys of doing so are well
expressed in Bahá'u'lláh's own words.
"Immerse yourselves in the ocean of My words, that ye may unravel its
secrets, and discover all the pearls of wisdom that lie hid in its depths. Take
heed that ye do not vacillate in your determination to embrace the truth of
this Cause--a Cause through which the potentialities of the might of God have
been revealed, and His sovereignty established. With faces beaming with joy,
hasten ye unto Him. This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past,
eternal in the future. Let him that seeketh, attain it; and as to him that hath
refused to seek it--verily, God is Self-Sufficient, above any need of His
creatures. (Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh, p.
What do you think? How similar are the proofs of Christ with the proofs of
Bahá'u'lláh? Which do you feel are the strongest proofs? What
books can you read to further investigate Bahá'u'lláh?
The Bahá'í Writings
"By their fruits you will know them." -- Matthew 7:20
The best evidence for the new Divine Educator can be seen by the fruits of His
teachings. Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that every good tree
produces good fruit and every bad tree produces worthless fruit. A rotten tree
cannot produce good fruit. (Matthew 7:15-20) This is the true scriptural test
of the divine origin of the writings of Bahá'u'lláh.
The beauty and spiritual wisdom of Bahá'u'lláh's Writings make
them a joy to read. By studying them and observing the effects they have on
ourselves and other readers, the fruits of righteousness can clearly be seen.
Bahá'u'lláh wrote tens of thousands of books and letters. Two
good books to begin with are the Hidden Words of Bahá'u'lláh and
the Book of Certitude. You can obtain these either at the public library or
from the local Bahá'is.
Below find short selections from these and other Bahá'í works
that will give you a taste of their inspirational style and ethical content.
You may like to use these quotations to create your own mini worship service."
Set a reverent mood, by lighting a candle or playing background music. Then
read the Words of Bahá'u'lláh aloud..
"O Son of Spirit! I created thee rich, why dost thou bring thyself down to
poverty? Noble I made thee, wherewith dost thou abase thyself? Out of the
essence of knowledge I gave thee being, why seekest thou enlightenment from
anyone beside Me? Out of the clay of love I molded thee, how dost thou busy
thyself with another? Turn thy sight unto thyself, that thou mayest find Me
standing within thee, mighty, powerful and self-subsisting.
Words of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 7)
"But, O my brother, when a true seeker determineth to take the step of
search in the path leading to the knowledge of the Ancient of Days, he must,
before all else, cleanse and purify his heart, which is the seat of the
revelation of the inner mysteries of God, from the obscuring dust of all
acquired knowledge, and the allusions of the embodiments of satanic fancy. He
must purge his breast, which is the sanctuary of the abiding love of the
Beloved, of every defilement, and sanctify his soul from all that pertaineth to
water and clay, from all shadowy and ephemeral attachments."
Certitude, p. 192)
"Religion, moreover, is not a series of beliefs, a set of customs; religion
is the teachings of the Lord God, teachings which constitute the very life of
humankind, which urge high thoughts upon the mind, refine the character, and
lay the groundwork for man's everlasting honour.
"Note thou: could these fevers in the world of the mind, these fires of war
and hate, of resentment and malice among the nations, this aggression of
peoples against peoples, which have destroyed the tranquillity of the whole
world ever be made to abate, except through the living waters of the teachings
of God? No, never!
"And this is clear: a power above and beyond the powers of nature must needs
be brought to bear, to change this black darkness into light, and these hatreds
and resentments, grudges and spites, these endless wrangles and wars, into
fellowship and love amongst all the peoples of the earth. This power is none
other than the breathings of the Holy Spirit and the mighty inflow of the Word
(Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Bahá, p. 53)
"Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the
trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a
treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer of the cry of the
needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and
guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men.
Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for
the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim
of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a
home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the
fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the
erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of
fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body
of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of
virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge,
a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light
in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.
(Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh CXXX)
"Release yourselves, O nightingales of God, from the thorns and brambles of
wretchedness and misery, and wing your flight to the rose-garden of unfading
splendor. O My friends that dwell upon the dust! Haste forth unto your
celestial habitation. Announce unto yourselves the joyful tidings: "He Who is
the Best-Beloved is come! He hath crowned Himself with the glory of God's
Revelation, and hath unlocked to the face of men the doors of His ancient
Paradise." Let all eyes rejoice, and let every ear be gladdened, for now is the
time to gaze on His beauty, now is the fit time to hearken to His voice.
Proclaim unto every longing lover: "Behold, your Well-Beloved hath come among
men!" and to the messengers of the Monarch of love impart the tidings: "Lo, the
Adored One hath appeared arrayed in the fullness of His glory!" O lovers of His
beauty! Turn the anguish of your separation from Him into the joy of an
everlasting reunion, and let the sweetness of His presence dissolve the
bitterness of your remoteness from His court.
(Gleanings from the Writings
of Bahá'u'lláh, p. 319-320)