Haifa Notes of Shoghi Effendi's Word:
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January, February, March.
One woman was always singled out in every religion.
The Greatest Holy Leaf's name will be added by Shoghi Effendi, The Virgin Mary (Maryan) did not recognize the full station of Christ till after His Crucifixion.
All things proceed from God. God is the origin of all things, including human characteristics.
Why did God allow evil to exist in the world? A satisfactory explanation has never, and can never be given. Surely God could have created some other scheme that would have allowed less evil. His motives, the way He works, are beyond us. It would cease to be a Revelation if Americans could resolve all these mysteries - it would be a product of the American mind.
The Protestant movement is a protest against the abuses of the Catholic Church and, being a protest, it is negative.
Social reform is of great value, but its area is very limited. It is the influence of religion on the individual that can bring about the results. Any philosophy that is based on materialism is fundamentally defective. This does not mean social reform has no value. Its value is restricted.
REVELATION has three aspects. God its Revealer, the Prophet, and then His successor appointed by Him.
Every religion has its mysteries - it must, because it is perfect from God and we are human, hence mysteries must exist for us because we cannot encompass religion, it not being man-made.
There are two Covenants; the Greater and the Lesser. The Greater Covenant of which God is the Author. The Manifestation the object, and the people of the world the ones covenanted with. The Lesser Covenant the Manifestation is the Author, His successor the object and the believers are the covenanted with group. Page 255, paragraph 527, of the Baha's Scriptures refers to the Greater Covenant.
Krishna was the Prophet of Hinduism; Buddha of Buddhaism. The religion of the Sabians exists but we do not know the name of its Prophet.
Confucius and Laotze were reformers, not Prophets. The remnants of Sabianism are the idolaters of Africa, it appeared in Mesopotamia. The religion of Abraham was revealed among the Sabians just as Jesus appeared among the Jews. All prophets have had followers; Hud, for instance, but the followers have ceased to exist.
There was a time when they not only existed but flourished. All these Prophets are within historic times. The followers of Hud lived in Petra, Transjordan. The religion of Abraham was revealed among the Sabians, whose original Prophet is unknown.
Buddha and Krishna were the Prophets of Buddhaism and Hinduism, but all their authentic teachings have been lost. In the case of Sabianism, we do not even have the name of the Prophet. Sabianism, Hinduism, Buddhaism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Muhammadanism, the Babi religion, and now the Bahá'ís. These are the nine great religions, whose followers still exist. This does not mean that there were not many other religions. These 9 great religions are one of the significances of 9. Another is the name of Baha', symbolic of the name of Bahá'u'lláh; the third meaning is that it symbolizes perfection. 9 is symbolic, as it symbolizes the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, which is the culmination of all religions, even as 9 is the culmination of all numbers.
The Prophets retain their identity and authority in the next world. The Letters of the Living retain their identity, their position, in the next world, but we cannot tell in what way or manner these function. (See page 141 of Iqan.) There are three worlds. God lives in a world of His Own, but who can picture, who can conceive of that world; then the world of the Prophets and the world of Creation. God is immeasurably exalted above the comprehension of all the Prophets and Messengers. Words he is translating on meditation of Bahá'u'lláh. We retain in the next world our identity and self-consciousness, but our self-consciousness is greatly increased.
Prophets, "endowed with constancy," means that They are the bearers of a new law and that, having revealed the Law of God, they can endure every persecution. They are determined to uphold the Revelation of God against every opposition.
Christ's Words; "Why has Thou forsaken Me?" Bahá'u'lláh says Jesus was overwhelmed and the human element in Him became impatient. Jesus has His moments of fear and agitation, and this sentence reveals it. The Prophets have their moments of fear and agitation; the human element is always there in the Prophet.
The body of the Manifestation and His Soul have a beginning - because this part of them is human. But the spark of God in them partakes of the pre-existence of God.
The human element in the Prophets is human, but the power working through their atoms is from God, is stronger than in other humans. The soul works through our bodies...the Spirit of God through Theirs. If the Prophets were apart from us entirely how could we know them? They have something in common with us, in other words, Their human bodies, which are subject to sickness, etc.
The soul will see the Prophets in the next world. They have always existed as themselves.
Any specified science, etc, is outside of the province of the Prophet in the sense that He does not wish to pronounce upon it. We must always disassociate the human part of the Manifestation from His Spirit. It is the rule that the powers of the Manifestation are stronger; His sense of beauty; his memory; His power of endurance and strength. It is the Spirit in Him that is more powerful. This does not mean that the body of the Manifestation is of a different stuff - no, keen is the word, everything in Him is keener. This is due to His unique Spirit, but does not mean His atoms are different. His body is not of a different order than that of human beings, they are all the same. Although the body is the same the soul is not the same.
It is not a more intense reality, it is of a different order, quite different. If the body shows a keener perception it is due to this soul. The Master, the Guardian, the Saints, all else apart from the Prophets belong to the human order.
BAHA'I DISPENSATION A. A The Bab B Bahá'u'lláh C `Abdul-Baha D Administrative Order ( I. Guardianship ( a. Hands of Cause BAHA'I ( b. Other Hands ( DISPENSATION ( II. Universal House of Justice ( a. National Houses. ( b. Local Houses. (As drawn by Shoghi Effendi.)
The Bab, Bahá'u'lláh, Abdul-Baha and the administrative order are the correct way of mentioning the Cause. The administration was conceived by Bahá'u'lláh, but matured in the womb of the Master's mind. Bahá'u'lláh is its Father, Abdu'l-Bahá, its Mother. The Guardian is the interpreter, the House of Justice the legislator. Formerly all other Faiths had one person as these two things; the Caliphate, the Primate and the Pope. Revelation has three aspects: God the Revealer, the Prophet, and His successor appointed by Him. The Guardian may be the heart, but the heart is part of the body, the Administrative Order is the body.
Also References To
Bahá'u'lláh, The Bab, The Master
And Their Lives.
The World Order was anticipated as announced by the Bab, conceived by Bahá'u'lláh and formulated by the Master, and is now being built by the Bahá'ís.
Bahá'u'lláh abrogates, modifies and augments the Bab's laws. The laws of the Bab went into effect for about 19 years. Bahá'u'lláh revealed His laws only after His arrival in Akka. The interval must be short between a fore-runner and a Manifestation. It happened the fore-runner was a Prophet - a law-giver. Years are not of much importance. God can cause the fruit to ripen very fast. The first intimation was in the dungeon in Tihran. 19 years after the Bab's declaration He declared Himself in Baghdad. The most stirring, the most fiery of Bahá'u'lláh's Tablets were revealed in Adrianople (not yet translated.)
Christianity advocated union, Bahá'u'lláh unity. The world is ready for unity today.
In 1844 the Bab released the forces which were destined to enable mankind to attain maturity. (See "Gleanings" page 77, where Bahá'u'lláh refers to year 60.)
The Bab prophecied that His religion would spread to the whole world. One of the chief causes why this will be possible is because schism has been made impossible in the Cause due to the appointment of a successor in the "Book of the Covenant" and "Will and Testament" therefore there will be no opposition to its spread, such as Protestantism and Catholicism, Shi'ih and Sunni.
Previous religions have been more for the individual than society, whereas this religion is primarily for society.
The "Golden Age" is the maturity of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh and it will start with the unification of the world; that marks its beginning. We have passed the period of infancy and are now in the formative period. As far as this planet is concerned, there is nothing beyond this Golden Age (i.e. unification of entire world.) Thence its endurance for five hundred thousand years, just as the individual States in the U.S.A. united to form one federal government, so the nations of the world will unite to form one federal international government, which is the highest thing for this planet. Every five hundred thousand years a Revelation equal to that of Bahá'u'lláh will appear. The Prophet who next comes has the right to abrogate the whole of the Aqdas if He wishes to, but all Prophets will be under the shadow of Bahá'u'lláh. It is the spiritual influence of Bahá'u'lláh that will over-shadow for five hundred thousand years.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "A. / See / B." -ed]
He strongly feels we must safeguard the integrity of the Cause, its purity, in presenting it to the public. Not to make compromises, not to dilute the teachings to please the public. When you compromise you undermine the integrity of the Cause. Everything is being compromised in these days. In teaching we must start with the spiritual principles of the Cause, as the Master did. The laws are not mild, they are hard bread, we must wait until they have teeth for it.
In the Aqdas the House of Bahá'u'lláh, and the House of the Bab in Shiraz are established as the pilgrimage - the friends can choose one or the other. This is a law, obligatory for men, optional for women; this is a rule in favour of women. The institution of pilgrimage is to these two Houses. We visit Haifa and the Shrines. The House of Bahá'u'lláh takes precedence over that of the Bab. The Qiblih and the pilgrimage are the same in Islam, but in the Cause they are separate.
This is a stage in the evolution of the Cause, being persecuted by the politicians. They are afraid of the Administration . The reason why the German Government does not oppose the Cause is because their numbers are negligible. He does not think the Cause in the West will reach the stage of sufficient numbers and importance to be opposed by the Government before the next war. The fall of Western Civilization is really the destruction of the whole fabric of civilization, East and West. There will be a mass reaction in favour of the Cause - entering the Cause in troops. The Cause is now being consolidated, but not yet proclaimed. It will be proclaimed after the next war. This teaching work and construction of the Administration is only the first step to enable the Spirit to function in the body; it is more than a new religion, it is a new type of civilization. He prefers Bahá'í Faith to Bahaism. It is all so simply expressed by Bahá'u'lláh and the Master, that the friends have failed to realize its greatness.
Bahá'u'lláh has come primarily to organize humanity and this cannot be done without Justice.
The Cause is impelled forward through crises. The spread of the Cause precipitates crises, and the crises gives the spread of the Cause a chance to overcome it, and the solution of the crisis through the operation of the Cause facilitates the spread of the Cause.
Growth, crisis, and the manifestation of the spirit of the Cause; and then it starts again, further growth, crisis, triumph, etc.
The Bab's Revelation released the forces required to bring about the maturity of the human race. When we enter the Golden Age of this Cause, then this maturity becomes a fact. The Golden Age is when it yields its fruit. The culmination of a process, the consummation of a cycle, is what is meant by "Knowledge was contained in 27 Letters, two of which have been revealed before the coming of the Bab." When the world is unified it marks the beginning of a development, which is world civilization. The coming of age of humanity marks the beginning of the unfoldment of world civilization. How could the whole world be unified by the coming of Jesus? - America was not yet discovered. It was too early - premature. In the prayers of Bahá'u'lláh there is reference to: "His Sovereignty" and "His Government." This passage refers to the last stage in the Bahá'í evolution, when all nations are unified as a Bahá'í Commonwealth. Evil will almost disappear. There is nothing in the Teachings to make us believe there will be a decline. In previous Revelations there was the rise and fall, previous Revelations were preliminary. The character of this Revelation being fundamentally different, its results must be different - there was corruption in other Revelations, there cannot be any in this one, owing to the Administrative Order. Evil will cease to be the force it is at present, it will become negligible.
This is the Law of God. The Prophet appears amongst the most backward of people, they become the greatest. A Tablet of Bahá'u'lláh states that the Government of His land will become the most honored. He feels Persians are quite wrong when they claim, some of them, if not all of them, that it was their capacity that made them worthy of having Bahá'u'lláh appear in their midst; quite the opposite. They should be proud because Bahá'u'lláh has brought about such a change. He has no sympathy with the attitude, in fact very much resents it, that they admire the Cause, love the Cause, because of what it will mean to Persia; in other words a nationalistic viewpoint. The Orthodox standpoint is the Cause first, be ready to sacrifice the interests of Persia to those of the Cause. Not Bahá'u'lláh for Persia, but Persia for Bahá'u'lláh. The national interests must be subordinated to the interests of the Cause.
There is a Bahá'í standard to which everyone must make sacrifices. It is not an American thing. It is God's Will that America should happen to be the first to build up this new civilization (Bahá'í), it is not that America happens to be superior. The prejudice and corruption prevailing in America is responsible for the initiation of the Bahá'í Civilization in that country first, as the Faith first dawned in the darkness of Persia. Although the Cause was born in the East its proclamation was in the West. There is a Tablet of the Master where He says the mysteries of the Cause will be made manifest in America, etc. What they are establishing is not American,
it is Bahá'í, and the Americans themselves must make concessions to it. Is it American that nine people should conduct things and not be responsible to anyone? This is anything but American.
The friends of Persia do not realize it was Persia who lead in the Heroic Age, and now it is America's turn to make its contribution in the formative period. In the Golden Age they will all be merged into a mysterious entity.
The Bab had His first intimation of His Revelation when He had the dream of drinking the drops of blood that fell from the severed head of the Imam Husayn. The Bab was a descendant of Fatimih through Imam Husayn.
The Bab and Bahá'u'lláh were constantly in communication by letter. The first chapters of the Qayyumu'l-Asma were those papers which the Bab sent to Bahá'u'lláh by Mulla Husayn.
In the Name of Bahá'u'lláh the name of Husayn has precedence over the name of Ali. This precedence establishes the greatness of Husayn. Husayn was the 3rd Imam; Ali the first.
It is the worse form of heresy to identify Bahá'u'lláh with God, and when we say He is God, we must be careful to explain the relationship.
Bahá'u'lláh has come primarily to organize humanity and this cannot be done without Justice.
Sinlessness is like the rays of the Sun, inherent. It can be compared to the light of the Sun. Sinlessness means free from error, which is infallibility. There are two kinds of infallibility, one derived, the other inherent. In the case of the Sun, the Manifestation, it is inherent; the other, derived, is like the Moon and its Satelites. The Satelites revolve around the Moon. (Moon is like the Master; the Satelites, the Guardian and International House of Justice) but they receive their light from the Sun. The Master's statement in His Will makes it clear that they are under the direct guidance of Bahá'u'lláh and the Bab. In this connection we must not think of the Bab as part of the Bahá'í dispensation, but the Bab's Dispensation. As They are both Manifestations the infallibility is derived from two independent Sources. Because infallibility is of two kinds it does not necessarily imply being a Manifestation. The Master is all-knowing, but not the Satelites, the Guardian and the International House of Justice, they are neither all-knowing nor perfect as the Master was. Perfection and omniscience are the attributes of the Master and these are not inherent but derived.
The Master is essentially human, the Prophet essentially divine. The Prophet must assume human form, the human shape in order to reach us. Divinity is not incarnation. Divinity means manifestation, revelation, the mirror. The Master is essentially human but had the attributes of the Prophet. This is the thing that makes Him a mystery.
How can you believe a human being is perfect and all-knowing, this is the paradox - when one starts by saying the Master is human not divine and has the attributes of the Prophet. This is a mystery. The Guardian and the International House of Justice are also human, no divinity should be associated with them. Although they are human, as the Master is, they cannot claim to have the attributes of divinity as He had. They are fundamentally different from the Master as He was from the Manifestation.
The Guardianship and the International House of Justice are the two pillars that support the edifice of the Administrative Order. It is not supported by the members (or their calibre) of the International House of Justice; it has nothing to do with their being representative of the believers, of the National Assemblies, etc., it is the fact that they have been given this derived infallibility. Each of these two pillars has its Satelites; the International House of Justice has its local and national Houses of Justice. The Hands of the Cause are a corporate body, an organized body, these are the Satelites of the Guardian.
All the Prophets following Bahá'u'lláh for 500,000 years are Prophets of constancy, but under the shadow of Bahá'u'lláh and derive their authority from Him, and this authority is so great that they can abrogate the laws of the Aqdas in part or in whole. Their authority is not inherent but derived. See "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh, Page 19, par., "Under the Shadow of the Ancient Beauty."
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "B / See /
Bahá'u'lláh is the greatest figure in this planet's past and future life because He is the supreme figure associated with the coming of age of the human race. They (future Prophets) are supreme over their generation and Bahá'u'lláh is supreme over them all.
The unique greatness of the Cause: that the Founder should have a forerunner who was a Prophet.
If the followers of Muhammad all repent, it will be the effect of the prayer in the Master's Will: the prayer was the means of forgiveness, the denouncing of the enemies to point them out for our protection. Purity of heart, of motive, is not sufficient. We must have faith, faith in God, be spiritually-minded, religiously-minded. One can have faith in God and not believe in the Administration and vice versa.
The influence of the believers is as mysterious as the mysterious way the Manifestations Themselves work. The nearer the believer is to the teachings, to the Manifestations, the more mysteriously he will work. The events taking place in the world react on the individual and help mature the seed of the Cause.
The leading Bahá'í countries are, first Palestine, the Qiblih, (point of prayer) of the Faith, the place of Ascension; second Irak (Baghdad) Center of Pilgrimage, the place of sojourn; third Persia, the
birthplace of the Faith. The Bab said the Manifestation, "He whom God will make manifest" should be the Qiblih, not the place He revealed Himself, not as in Islam, where Mecca is the Qiblih and not the resting place of Muhammad in Medina. These three countries are contiguous, geographically they touch each other.
The Cause of God has always been born in the East. The Administrative center has shifted to the West and then been reflected back into the East. The civilization begotten by the Faith was born in the West. Hence the Sun of Civilization appearing in the West: "O Beauty of God, unveil Thy Face that the Sun may arise from the West," says Bahá'u'lláh in one of His Odes. The unveiling took place in the East, but the Sun of the Civilization of the Faith arose in the West. There is a Muhammadan tradition that when the Promised One appears, the Sun will arise in the West.
Five hundred thousand years is an indication of the greatness of this Revelation.
Abraham Lincoln's vision for the United States is comparable to Bahá'u'lláh's vision for the whole world. Now it is possible for a man to conceive of a greater destiny for the United States, a destiny incorporating her in the Federation of World States, encompassing the whole world. This is comparable to that Prophet who may appear after 500,000 years, and who would do the same thing for the planets. Inter-planetary, which corresponds to the incorporation of the United States with other nations. A scientist says there can be beings, not human beings, outside this planet. The cosmos includes many universes, as these are infinite and space is infinite, so divine revelation is infinite. The Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh is the biggest thing for this planet, because it has united it and there is nothing beyond unity. Is there anything beyond world unity for this planet? That is the answer. That is why it marks the coming of age of humanity - world unity. If there were at least one more planet, if science had discovered it, gotten in close touch with it, then a greater Revelation than Bahá'u'lláh would be needed to create the unity of these two planets.
(See Page 163 of "Gleanings" reference to: "Fixed Star hath its Planets, and every planet its own creatures.") Revelation has had no beginning and will have no end. But divine revelation has had a beginning and will have an end on this earth. Isaiah prophesied 3,000 years ago the prophecy of the coming of age of humanity; the lamb and the lion will lie down together, the Kingdom of God on earth is nothing but the stage of maturity - the coming of age of humanity. It has also a political connotation and this will be fulfilled at the Coming of the Golden Age. This is for the German believers to realize (Isaiah being a Jewish Prophet.) Christ's prophecy of "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done, etc.," is a vague, hazy statement, compared to the prophecy of Isaiah. This does not mean Jesus did not make more definite prophecies, just that we did not have them. Justice is the hall-mark of the Kingdom. "Justice filleth the earth as
the waters cover the sea," can be a reference to the International House of Justice. World unity cannot be established unless it is founded on Justice. The lamb and the lion lying down together would require Justice. A strong nation might be a lion, and a weak one a lamb.
A man may be devoted to the Cause and not have a good character. A man may sacrifice his whole life to the Cause and yet have a despicable character. Character is different from faith, from devotion. Laxity in morals is as bad as thieving or lying or back-biting. A young Bahá'í may be devoted, sacrificing, but have moral laxity which is just as bad as stealing or lying. Not all the heroes of the heroic age led saintly lives. We must not confuse a hero with a saint. Hero primarily denotes the attitude of a person towards the Cause. We must not confuse loyalty to the Cause with character. A believer who is loyal, who will sacrifice for the Cause, is a tremendous asset and we must recognize it - but it is not enough. We must have character; a Saint who is a man of action becomes a hero too.
Bahá'u'lláh observed the Ramadan all His life and Abdul Baha for 25 years. The Master until the end of His life went to the Mosque and when He died the Muslims came and said the Muhammadan prayer for the dead for Him. But after His death they were forced to change their policy, because of the declaration of the Muhammadan religious court made in Egypt, that the Bahá'í Faith is independent; A Muslim is not a Bahá'í, a Bahá'í is not a Muslim. There was a difference of opinion among the Muslims as to the position of the Bahá'ís in relation to Islam, some contending we are a sect of Islam. In Egypt they proved we have laws that abrogate the laws of the Quran as their justification for our expulsion from Islam, they went too far. They consulted the Aqdas and then in their verdict quoted the laws of the Aqdas; pilgrimaged, Qiblih, fasting, etc. The Jews in their relation to us are neutral. We have sprung from Islam, it is the parent that opposes.
Bahá'u'lláh's Revelation synchronizes with inter-national unity.
Twenty-five people claimed to be the Promised One in Baghdad. This is the Master's statement. During the most troubled period when Bahá'u'lláh had left for Sulimaniyih, the Bab had appointed no successor. It was the most disturbed period in the history of the Cause. The Master was ten years old at that time. Nabil says he met the Master at this age, and the Master said; "I am a boy, but I feel old." Bahá'u'lláh sent Muhammad-Ali to India about 5 years before his passing, He knew what was going to happen. The Master was all alone with the Greatest Holy Leaf after the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh. All the brothers sided with Muhammad-Ali. They expelled the Master and His family from the Mansion. There were almost a hundred people in the Mansion. The Master had no son, his daughters were young. It was only when the first American pilgrims came that it was changed.
After the turmoil of the Covenant breakers came the triumph in America of the Cause, its spiritual consequence was the rise of the Cause in the West. Every crisis in the Cause has its spiritual benefit, spiritual consequence. A crisis suffered by the Master or by the Cause has its direct spiritual effect in the Cause. It was a very severe test to the believers when the whole family sided with Muhammad-Ali. The Master had no Sons, no man in His family to send messages by to the believers. His sense of mourning for Bahá'u'lláh was deepened by His family turning against Him. This was dispersed by the arrival of the first pilgrims from the West. The rise of the Armenians in Egypt against the Spiritual Assembly which they tried to undermine by establishing a "Scientific Society" and which they fought against is an example of this law. They sought to fight against the Spiritual Assembly and after this, as a direct spiritual consequence of it, came the first Bahá'í Convention in Egypt, the establishment of the N.S.A., and the pronouncement of the Muslim authorities, of the independence of the Faith. He believes all this was the direct consequence of the affair of the Armenians. Like Herrigal and Mrs. White in Germany; now Germany has been resurrected. But for this bitter experience, this agony, the Administration would not have been established. Khayru'llah led to the beginning of the establishment of the Administration in America. The turmoil is the cause, and the rise and consolidation of the movement, the effect. Crises, trials and tests are like spiritual food - they feed the body of the Cause - they do not subvert it, because there is a foundation, the tempest does not uproot the Cause it reinforces its roots. The Cause works in a mysterious way. It has its ups and downs, its ups and downs. The Cause is growing and as it grows it must show signs of disorder. If there is no disturbance in the Cause it is a sign of stagnation. The greater the growth of the Cause the greater will be the disturbances which the Cause itself originates. This does not mean that every one of the disturbances is God-sent; the lesser disturbances are due less to the attacks of its enemies than to the unwisdom of its friends. We must not lose heart, get discouraged. The completion of the Temple (in America) will arouse agitation in the Cause. The achievement of such a triumph of the Cause will itself arouse turmoil; it will arouse its watchful enemies. The Muhammadans are destined to oppose the Cause very fiercely in India, the Hindus in the distant future. The wailing and lamenting of China and India, which the Master referred to - (These allusions are in a Tablet of the Master addressed to the Great Afnan, the cousin of the Bab,) is this opposition of the Hindus and Buddhists to the Cause. Opposition is not yet even born in America. It will spread from America to England. The declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad, His banishment from Persia which preserved His life, were all the direct consequence of the martyrdom of the Bab. His Tablets to the kings and rulers were the result of His banishment to Constantinople and Adrianople just after He had declared Himself and things were better. The fulfillment of all biblical prophecies was again the result of His being exiled to Akka, where no one thought He would ever survive.
The violation of the Covenant of Bahá'u'lláh had as its first direct consequence, the establishment of the Cause in the West. As the Master was waiting for the ship to come and take Him away, He wrote the Tablet to the Great Afnan. (See: "World Order of Bahá'u'lláh," further considerations Page 5, "How Great, How Very Great, is the Cause!" etc.) He does not think the friends realize that the crisis begets the triumph, just as the coming war is the begetter of the Most Great Peace. Every crisis in God's plan is but the prelude to a triumph.
Luther could have never opposed the pope, nor Paul, Peter, if the terms of the Bible had been at all like this Dispensation. Peter was so simple he divided his food into seven portions and when he arrived at the last one he knew it was the day of rest. Forty days after the death of Muhammad the schism started in Islam. Sunni means democratic in Arabic: "Majority of the people," Shi'ih means "Upholding the family of the Prophet." Umar appealed to the democratic element, "He said the people have to elect the successor." We must become Shi'ih Muslims before becoming Bahá'ís. No Bahá'í in the West can be called a Bahá'í unless he is first Muslim (believer in Muhammad's revelation and teachings and the Imams) and a Sunni Muhammadan can never become a Bahá'í unless he becomes first a Shi'ih Muslim. The Sunnis were following a false line, they must recognize their error and accept the Shi'ih truth and then this Revelation. The fact that the Bab is a lineal descendant of Muhammad is sufficient proof for us that the line of the Imam Husayn (son of Ali, son-in-law of the Prophet) was the authentic one. Could the Bab have descended from a line of usurpers? In the light of Bahá'u'lláh's tribute to the Imam Husayn could we doubt it? So must the Jews first become Christians, then Shi'ih Muhammadans, then Bahá'ís. Paul usurped the right of Peter as the Caliphs usurped the right of Ali. The Bahá'ís must sympathize with Peter as they do with Ali, because both had their rights usurped.
In Christianity there are two weak points; There was no right of interpretation given definitely, and it was vague as far as the succession was concerned. Also no administrative Principles in the Gospels, no administrative order has been given. No statement that Peter is the sole successor and interpreter, thus giving a chance for Paul to say He is the co-successor; nor does the succession invest any successors after Him with the same authority. One of the reasons why we consider Islam an improvement on Christianity is because we have the laws, Pilgrimage, Fasting, Marriage, Inheritance; these were all in the Quran from the Founder and could not be corrupted by either Sunnis or Shi'ih. This was an improvement of Muhammadanism over Christianity, because of these administrative institutions and laws. There is not one reference in the Quran to succession, but traditions were enough to give the succession to Ali, but as no quotations could be found in the Quran to substantiate these, the Sunnis rebelled. Now comes the Bahá'í Revelation.
In the Bahá'í Revelation we have the institutions and laws and succession. The Bab referred to it, but it was vague again. In the Gospel there is a reference to succession, but no administrative principles, institutions or order. In the Quran there is reference to administrative principles, laws, etc., but no reference to the succession. The Babi Revelation referred to both, but vaguely. The Bahá'í Revelation has administrative institutions established by Bahá'u'lláh and made clear in the Master's Will and Testament. The Master's Will appointed both the successor and interpreter.
No other Revelation has this. Forty days after the death of Muhammad the schism occurred, the Caliph rejected Ali. The split in Christianity was not Luther, but Paul versus Peter. Decline is an inevitable result of schism. There can be no schism in this Cause, hence no decline. Differences are inevitable, but schism is impossible in the Cause. One is inevitable, the other impossible. The Cause is like the body of a man, growing continuously, and crises occur which are a sign of growth. There will always be crises even in the Golden age. The Golden Age will witness no decline. It is a new phase - the Golden Age. The Bab says: "All the world will accept My Revelation."
After all Peter was the most stupid among the Apostles, and yet he was the successor to Jesus - that is what it amounts to. Umar had more experience, was more powerful, and yet Muhammad chose Ali. The Bahá'ís must believe in the primacy of Peter as in the primacy of Ali. Many of the traditions quoted by Bahá'u'lláh which He considers as binding in authority as that of Muhammad (though the station of the Imams is not the same) are from the Imams. Peter's position in relation to Christianity and Ali's in relation to Islam is represented by two institutions in the Cause: the Guardianship and the International House of Justice.
He considers the mission of the Bahá'ís in the West, more particularly the Americans, is to establish Islam in the West. Even if this Movement had not sprung from Islam, we should establish it, vindicate it, establish its divine origin because it is the later Revelation than Christianity, a step further in Divine Revelation. For its own sake we should do this. Not convert people to its institutions, but to the truth of the Muhammadan Faith, the Imams, etc. Now it happens that this fuller Revelation is the parent of the Bahá'í Revelation. A believer can never be considered a believer unless he recognizes the truth of Islam and accepts it as a fuller one than Christianity.
A Bahá'í must first become a Muslim before he becomes a Bahá'í, and how can he do this unless he studies and knows Islam? Not only become a Muhammadan but a Shi'ih Muhammadan. We must be wholly detached from our feelings and beliefs, discard them, throw them away. People can appreciate the Cause much better if they are familiar with Islam. Islam is a fuller revelation. It is blasphemy to believe that Islam was not meant to be a universal religion. There is a point of similarity between our Faith and Islam that does not exist with Christianity because every word is a word of God, divinely revealed, this is not true of the Gospels. The Gospel is so fragmentary, so unreliable, we can scarcely trust everything in it. We cannot be sure these are the exact words of Jesus. The Trinity, for example, each a God and all three Gods are One - they call it a mystery, it is nothing but supposition. The "Beloved" is a new word used by Bahá'u'lláh, it is confined to the Bahá'í teachings.
Secularization will increase in Irak to such an extent that maybe the Holy Tombs of the Imams may be desecrated.
Islam will greatly suffer. The Jews were punished for two thousand years. The Muslims - Sunnis and Shi'ihs - will suffer for a long time (because of persecuting the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh, opposing the Cause, etc.) It is their turn now to suffer, they will suffer in proportion to their crime. Then it will be the role of the Bahá'ís to vindicate the glory of the Imams, establish their spiritual position and significance. The important thing to remember about the 12th Imam is that he died - not disappeared - died.
We must teach Islam with courage and not mind criticism.
Mustapha Kemal, an avowed Muslim, overthrew the Caliphate. That is very significant. The Temple of Solomon was destroyed by a Roman, but a Muslim, calling himself one, has dealt such a blow to Islam! The Caliphate and the Sultanate were both overthrown by him. How humiliating this is to the Faith of Islam. Mustapha Kemal did it; he overthrew the Caliphate and Sultanate, the arch-enemy of this Faith. To re-establish Islam from a spiritual point of view, will be one of the tasks of the Bahá'ís in the Golden Age. To vindicate the spiritual position of the Imams, not to re-establish the machinery of Islam. It is these crises in the world than unfold to us the importance of these events.
EXPLANATION OF SACRED WRITINGS.
Meanings of, "He is God," the identity of God with God, of the Prophet with God, of Bahá'u'lláh with God, of the Bab with Bahá'u'lláh.
The Bab in Chapter III of the Bayan, uses the word "Order": "Happy is the man who fixeth his gaze upon the Order of Bahá'u'lláh and renders thanks unto his Lord."
The Qayyumu'l-Asma was regarded as the Qur'an of the Babis.
The correct term is Babi dispensation and Bahá'í dispensation.
The Shaking in the Qur'an: "The earth shall tell her news," refers to The Most Great Peace. The Daybreak, in the Qur'an; "When the earth is made to crumble to pieces," refers to the next war and be taken literally. Bombs, etc.
Surih of Joseph was the only work of the Bab in the possession of those who were martyred in Zanjan, Nayriz and Tarbarsi. Tahirih was the one who translated it into Persian.
Iqan was written by Bahá'u'lláh while He was a follower of the Bab, before His own Revelation. The title page of Nabil is Bahá'u'lláh's reference to the Bab from the Iqan.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "A. / See /
Page 16 of "Gleanings" - 'Ere long He will sail His Ark upon thee,' etc., Ark symbolizes the legislative body - the International House of Justice who will sit in Haifa.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "B / See /
Page 16 of "Gleanings" - 'Call out to Zion,' Zion is a hill near Jerusalem and here it means Jerusalem the Holy City.
Page 9 of "Gleanings" - `Except them whom God was pleased to guide.' Predestination and free will will always be a mystery, we can never draw a clear line between them. Like the origin of evil, we cannot get at the bottom of it. We have a certain amount of free will, if we don't use it we are deprived of the flow of these forces, (i.e. promises made in the teachings regarding progress, etc.)
"The lamb and the lion will lie down together;" One explanation is big and little nations; they will have equal rights and representation in a world government, like the States in U.S.A.
[In the margin of the next paragraph is the typed notation "C / See
Pages 15-16 of "Gleanings," the terms "His Throne," "City of God," and "Celestial Kaaba," all refer to the Holy Shrine either of the Bab, or perhaps in the future of Bahá'u'lláh.
Bahá'u'lláh refers to two wholesome things in "Gleanings," (Pages 216, 342, 3) civilization ends liberty ["civilization and liberty"? -ed] which, if carried to excess, will exercise a pernicious influence on man, and also civilization which if allowed to overleap its bounds will bring evil upon men. So even devotion to the Cause, if carried to excess leads to fanaticism. References to Civilization .. "when its flame will devour the Cities.."
is a prophecy referring to the bombing of the cities in the next war. Western civilization will commit suicide in the next war because by the very weapons it has created it will destroy itself.
Suratu'l-Haykal is the fulfillment of the prophecy in the Bible, "the Branch shall build the Temple of the Lord." Bahá'u'lláh stated this after He had revealed it.
The "Evil One" is the self, the corrupt nature within man, (See 'Bahá'í Administration.')
The divorce law is made very easy by Bahá'u'lláh and marriage very difficult; but the Master, because of the ease of the divorce law, discourages divorces extremely. There is in Bahá'í divorce absolute equality. According to Bahá'í law the husband must pay the wife's expenses for the year they are separated, then they come together and if they still wish for divorce it becomes immediately effective. They can remarry. Regarding marriage, the parents must be quite detached and uninfluenced by the wishes, the standards and the ideas of the marrying ones. But in divorce they need consult no one. "We have a wisdom in requiring the consent of the parents. Our purpose is to promote unity and not disunity," says Bahá'u'lláh. Marriage is not something that concerns two people, it is a social institution.
In Bahá'í marriage they must go to the Spiritual Assembly, not to an individual - this is priesthood.
"The Cord that none can sever," referred to in the "Gleanings:" Cord in general means His love.
The Visitation Tablet for the Tombs of the Bab and Bahá'u'lláh is in three parts: first part was revealed by Bahá'u'lláh to a believer who could not make the Pilgrimage. A few days after the Ascension of Bahá'u'lláh The Master asked Nabil to arrange selections to be chanted in the Tomb of Bahá'u'lláh. Of the Tablet of Visitation the first part is not addressed to God but to Bahá'u'lláh Himself. The second part is a prayer revealed by Bahá'u'lláh addressing God and the remaining paragraphs refer again to Bahá'u'lláh and not to God direct. It has been used ever since as the Visitation Tablet.
The laws of the Aqdas can never be touched or changed by any International House of Justice. (See "Confusion of Tongues," - interesting in this connection.)
The Valley of the Indus in India is the cradle of the Arian race, says Bahá'u'lláh. (Pe ( Persian ( Indian ( Indo ( Teutonic ( European ( Anglo-Saxon ( ( Latin ( ( ( ( Jews CAUCASIAN ( Semetic ( Arabs WHITE ( ( Assyrians ( ( Babylonians ( Hamitic ( Egyptians BLACK ( Turks ( Japanese YELLOW MONGOLIAN ( Chinese ( Finns ( Laps ( Hungarian RED (From Chart indicated by Guardian)
Referring to the promises made in the "Son of the Wolf" in the last pages (he who says Allah-u-Abha and counts forty names [waves? -ed] on the shore of Akka, etc., etc.,) those promises are true forever, not only for Bahá'u'lláh's lifetime.
The confusion of tongues referred to in the "Gleanings" is true historically. Once there was one race, one tongue, in Northern India, which migrated and became parent race to Persia, parts of Europe, etc., but not of the whole world at once. The Prophet is not a scientist or a sociologist, he is however authoritative in whatever He states, but does not elaborate. (See chart attached)
Page 12. Epistle to the Son of the Wolf: Book of Fatimih referred to was a book which the daughter of the Prophet, Fatimih, saw revealed to her in a dream by Gabriel. She was overcome by grief after the death of her husband, Ali, the martyrdom of the 3rd Imam Husayn, and the death of the 2nd Imam Hasan, both of whom were her sons, as well as the death of her father the Prophet. The Angel Gabriel revealed words of consolation to her which, however, were never known; and also promised her that from her issue the Promised One would appear. Shi'ih tradition believed that the Promised One would bring these words again. When Bahá'u'lláh revealed the Hidden Words, He called them the "Book of Fatimih." They were revealed before His declaration. Later they became known as the "Hidden Words" because they were hidden all the centuries between Fatimih's vision of them and the appearance of the Promised One.
The prayer for the dead is the only congregational prayer in the Cause - (not yet translated.)
What the friends consider to be the Star Tablet is not the Star Tablet to which the Master refers. The Bab revealed many Tablets in the star shape, but the original Tablet with the 300 odd derivations of Baha is lost.
Quddus's station is higher than any other Letter of the Living.
The Bab's taking Quddus to Mekka with Him apparently invested him with that peculiar authority he later manifested.
The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf: Page 37; "He will stand by you and your Empire shall extend over all the lands lighted by the Sun." This is to be taken literally. If Napoleon the III had accepted the Cause his material empire would have extended over the whole earth. He (i.e. Manifestation) gives men the means to use what God has given them. Men are not born equal; that is a fundamental principle of the Cause.
The power of the Greatest Name can either mean power in the name of Bahá'u'lláh and His Attributes, or in the repetition of the Greatest Name, Ya-Baha'u'l-Abha.
"Hidden Words:" "Myriads of hidden mysteries are made vocal in a single speech, etc," refers to the manifold meanings of Bahá'u'lláh's utterance.
In the Christian dispensation that ray that proceeds from God is called the Holy Ghost. In the Quran, the Muslim dispensation, it was the Angel Gabriel. The trinity in Christianity was the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost was in the form of a dove. In the Muhammadan dispensation it was Allah, the Apostle and the Angel Gabriel who were the trinity. In the Bahá'í dispensation the Most Great Spirit is the Holy Ghost or ray. On page 17 of the "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh" it says: "The Holy Spirit itself hath been generated through the agency of a single letter revealed by this Most Great Spirit, (D. See E.) - "if ye be of them that comprehend..." This only means the superiority of the Bahá'í Revelation and is not to be taken literally. In the Bahá'í Revelation it is not symbolized as in the dove, in the Christian and the form of the Angel Gabriel in the Muhammadan dispensations. The term "Most Great" means the consummation of a cycle but not finality, finality is different from consummation and culmination of a cycle. Most Great in the sense of consummation and not finality.
We believe in the trinity; in God, the Prophet and the Holy Spirit, but not as the Christians do. To us it is heresy because we believe that the sun, the ray and the mirror always remain each themselves. The mirror never becomes the sun, or the ray the mirror, or the sun the ray. So God, the Holy Spirit and the Prophet are each distinct and Their relation that of the Sun, the ray and the mirror.
In the "Epistle to the Son of the Wolf," there is a reference to a hidden language and a hidden script. Shoghi Effendi himself asked the Master regarding this, and He said that no one ever asked Bahá'u'lláh regarding this, so it remained hidden in the stores of His knowledge.
"The shrill of the Supreme Pen," is Bahá'u'lláh's reference to the reed pen with which He wrote.
When the Aqdas is translated the Bahá'ís will realize to what extent Bahá'u'lláh has abrogated the laws of previous dispensations.
The spiritual significance of the resurrection we believe in absolutely on the authority of Bahá'u'lláh. It often happens that Bahá'u'lláh's quotations differ from that of the text of the Gospel. We must of course accept His words as the Gospels themselves do not agree and were written down many years later. The Gospel must not be taken literally. The text is not authoritative in the sense that the Qur'an is. The proof is that Bahá'u'lláh, when quoting Christ, quotes Him in a way that is different from the Gospels.
In the "Will and Testament" where it says, "Under the shelter and
guidance of His Holiness, the Exalted One," refers to the Bab. The Exalted One is always the Bab.
The friends in the West are familiar with the principles. There are two pillars of the Faith; principles and laws, they are the warp and woof of the fabric.
The principles are either spiritual or administrative; the spiritual ones are in the addresses of the Master, etc. The Administrative ones are in His Will. They are embodied in the Administrative Order. The friends in America, in the West, have faith. They are well grounded in both of these principles, but they are only just beginning to know the laws which are in the Aqdas, these are a greater challenge. The Cause is growing within the Administration. The VI volume of "Bahá'í World" will have the original reproductions of those portions of the Aqdas prepared by the Egyptian N.S.A. for presentation to their Government. This is a beginning, eventually it will lead to the publishing of the Aqdas. The laws are from Bahá'u'lláh's Ordinances, secondary laws are from the International House of Justice.
We must not be afraid to say we have doctrine; all that is in the "Dispensation" is doctrine. We have doctrine, but no dogmas; we have mysteries, but no superstition.
"Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era," "Some Answered Questions," and the "Iqan" are essential books in teaching.
All titles of the chapters of the Qur'an were given by those that compiled it and have nothing to do with Muhammad. He never divided them. They put the latter part of His Revelation at the beginning; those passages regarding the Promised One, those that announced the coming of the Day of God, which were revealed at the beginning of His Revelation they put at the end, just as the Bab, in the Qayyumu'l-Asma, His first book, was His most powerful one and is comparable to those Surihs of Muhammad at the end of the Qur'an.
The friends should read and study the "Will and Testament." We are too near to it to see it in its proper light. It is like a huge edifice, we cannot yet see it in perspective. This and the Aqdas are the two chief depositories of the truths enshrined in the World Order of Bahá'u'lláh. There are gaps in the Aqdas which the Will fills in as if the Master and Bahá'u'lláh had arranged it. An example of this complimentariness between the Will and the Aqdas is the Huquq. Huquq is referred to in the Aqdas, also endowments, fees, fines, enheritance, etc. Bahá'u'lláh specifies in the Aqdas that fines, fees, inheritance, if the heirs are dead the endowments are all payable to the House of Justice. He establishes the House of Justice and fixes its revenues. Regarding Huquq, He does not say in the Aqdas to whom it is to be paid, neither in the Aqdas text on questions and answers. Bahá'u'lláh says what Huquq is, emphasizes its importance, but does not say to whom it shall be given and does
not say that it goes to the House of Justice. In the Will the Master makes it clear. The ordinance of Huquq is established by Bahá'u'lláh in the Aqdas, but He never said whom it was to be payable to, so He left a gap which the Master, in His Will, fills. He anticipates an Institution but does not refer to what it may be anywhere. Were it not for the Will, this would be very perplexing.
`Will of Abdu'l-Bahá,' part I, page 8: by a "Just King," "Just Government," the Master means an established, legitimate form of Government; that we must give our allegiance to. Any established form of Government.
"Will," part I, page 13: referring to the Hands; they must report the delinquent member to the Guardian, he puts them out. Three elements in the Will: the Guardian is the Interpreter, the International House of Justice the Legislator; the Hands propagate and teach the Cause, through research work and the example of their lives and conduct. The Administrative Order would be paralyzed if one of these institutions should cease to function.
The friends do not realize that some of the passages in the "Gleanings" were written by Bahá'u'lláh as a Babi, before He declared Himself. "Gleanings," page 73, refers to Himself who will be manifest. When He says "We," He means we Babis; "As well as those who shall come after Him till the end that hath no end..." refers to the Prophets who will come after Him, once He has declared Himself.
In the "Gleanings," top paragraph, page 212, is an excellent quotation in relation to politics.
"The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf," is the last book revealed by Bahá'u'lláh. No doubt part at least of it was revealed in Akka.
Compare "Gleanings," page 285 with "The Epistle to the Son of the Wolf," page 75.
Jesus abrogated two laws of Moses, Sabbath and prohibited divorce. The Master explains - Tablet to Miss Rosenberg - that monogamy was not taught by Jesus. The Gospel prohibits divorce but says nothing about monogamy. The Fathers of the Church made it a law, but Christ never did. There was polygamy in His days, and it was not prohibited among the early Christians. Then they not only established monogamy, but said that celibacy should be the rule. When Jesus had not even enjoined monogamy, and had tolerated polygamy, the Church Fathers went so far as to establish celibacy.
The Qur'an prohibited polygamy, but the commentators misinterpreted the text. The text says polygamy is conditioned upon Justice, in another passage Muhammad says Justice in these circumstances (i.e. polygamy) is impossible. So we see that Islam is a step in advance of Christianity. The mission of the Bahá'ís in proving Islam is a further step in Revelation than Christianity, must cite this evidence.
These things should be taught in the summer schools in relation to comparative religion and Islam.
We have to consider the Aqdas in the light of the authorized interpreter, the Master. Bahá'u'lláh in a passage says marriage with two wives is conditioned upon Justice. The Master says in a Tablet to Miss Rosenberg, that Justice is impossible, (to be just to two wives). It is just like the Qur'an. Both the Qur'an and the Bahá'í teachings are a step further than the Gospels. The missionaries, the enemies of the Cause will quote the Aqdas and claim we do not advocate monogamy. Then we must quote the Master's Tablet. Bahá'u'lláh says in the Aqdas, "Refer ye to what is not in the Aqdas to the Most Great Branch;" and in the "Tablet of the Covenant, (Kitab-i-Ahd) He quotes this passage of His and says the Master is that Branch. The Church Fathers had no right to prohibit what Christ had not prohibited, and yet they went a step further and established celibacy.
Hidden words, Persian, verse 63; corresponds to the Words of Bahá'u'lláh; as to the Great Calamity; it is a punishment from God for their negligence and indifference to His Revelation. It is retribution. "Unforseen" agrees with "all of a sudden."
The text of the Qur'an does not agree with the Ptolemaic system and the commentators of the Qur'an misinterpreted the text in order to agree with the Ptolemaic system. Galilee ["Galileo" -ed] 1000 years later supported Qur'an's text.
We must not be afraid in stating truths in spite of the fact that they may run against what the biologist, the astronomer, the physicist, etc., say. His point is that we should not impose it on the scientist, but we should have the courage to make these statements and not be afraid of stating them and saying we have no proof. We must admit that we have no proof, but state these are our teachings and express the hope science will prove them. These statements are divine Revelation and we believe in them. We should not do what the Muslim and Christian leaders have done and compromise. It is a very subtle form of corruption that the Muslim leaders have introduced into the Qur'an (regarding marriage, astronomy, etc.,). If science discovers a fact contrary to the text of the teachings, the Bahá'ís must adhere to the text of the teachings, even if it takes a thousand years to prove it as it did with the text of the Qur'an, (Surih 36) and (Answered Questions page 28).
Tablet of Ishraqat, where it says, "God will inspire them," corresponds to the Will and Testament.
The Guardian and the House of Justice are under unerring guidance and protection. Experts, non-Bahá'ís, will have to examine the Aqdas so that it may be published with many notes and commentaries of a clear, explanatory nature. In the Aqdas there is modification, abrogation and addition to religious law. Fasting, Pilgrimage and Obligatory Prayer are modified. The Bahá'ís will not be prepared for the Aqdas with its wealth of technical notes, unless they study
Islam, its history and teachings. The summer schools are doing this now.
Bahá'u'lláh alludes to the Aqdas in the Iqan, where He enumerates the books of laws of the different Faiths, and then mentions the book of "Him Whom God will make Manifest."
The "Holy Book" is the Gospel, the "Most Holy Book" is the Aqdas. The "Holy Spirit" is in the Bible, the "Most Great Spirit" (E see D) in the Bahá'í Revelation. Always the superlative "Most." This Revelation cannot be surpassed, all future Prophets being under His shadow for five hundred thousand years.
We can increase our faith and strengthen it through observation, meditation, prayer and activity.
It is better not to change the personal pronouns in saying the prayers, (from me to us, my to her, etc.,) but leave them exactly as revealed. However before we say the prayer we can address a few words to God saying the prayer is on behalf of such a person or such a group, and then read or say it as it is in the text.
(In connection with translations of the teachings being misleading, confused, inaccurate.) Due to insufficient understanding of the Master's statements, inability to express it on the part of the translator and also whether the person it is translated to has understood it.
"Gleanings," page 114: "Spread thy skirt, oh Jerusalem," means a fuller revelation, His Revelation. (See also under Palestine.)
"The Kingdom is God's" alludes to that Kingdom which the Christians have been praying for and Christ announced. This is the Kingdom of Bahá'u'lláh which will be raised on the ruins of western civilization. It is referred to by Christ as the "Kingdom of God;" by the Jews as the "Reign of Righteousness;" and by Muhammad as the "Day of God."
The story of Joseph and his brothers is paralleled by the treatment by Suhb-i-Azal of Bahá'u'lláh, and His troubles. The Bab's commentary on the Qayyumu'l-Asma is about Joseph and his brothers, and was a prophecy of the treatment Bahá'u'lláh would receive from His brothers. It is the most significant, the most eloquent work revealed by the Bab. It is very intimate too, as He refers to His mother and His wife in it.
Baha's Scriptures, page 255, paragraph 527, "Verily the Tongue of the Ancient gives Glad Tidings to those who are in the world concerning the appearance of the Greatest Name, and who takes His Covenant among the nations." The "Who" in "Who takes His Covenant..." refers to the Tongue of the Ancient, i.e.: God. This is the Greater Covenant that God takes with all the people of the world regarding His Manifestation; in this case, Bahá'u'lláh. "Verily, He is myself, the
Shining-Place of My Identity; the East of My Cause," etc. All this part is God speaking; i.e. the Tongue of the Ancient, referring to Bahá'u'lláh and testifying to Bahá'u'lláh as God's Covenant. It has nothing to do with the Master.
"Some Answered Questions," page 42, chapter XII: "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:" The words "rod" and "Branch" are one and the same thing in this sentence, it is a repetition of the same thing and refers to only one thing and this is Bahá'u'lláh. There are Tablets revealed by Bahá'u'lláh, (not yet translated,) in which He refers to Himself as the Branch, but He means by this the Branch of the Tree of Divinity. This chapter in Isaiah does not refer to the Master at all but to Bahá'u'lláh. The Manifestations are all branches that grow out of the Tree of Divinity, as They are all the Rays of the Sun. When Bahá'u'lláh refers to Himself as a Tree, then the Master is the Branch of that Tree, (see "Bahá'í Scriptures," page 256, paragraph 529;) "Verily the Branch of Command hath sprung from this Root." On page 76, in Chapter XII of "Some Answered Questions," the Master says: "Universal peace and concord will be realized between all the nations, and that incomparable Branch will gather..." etc. Surely the friends must see that He, Abdu'l-Bahá, could not refer to Himself as "that incomparable Branch." Mr Kinney knows more than anyone else the tone of the Master and that He would never refer to Himself as the "incomparable Branch." The term "Lordly Branch" refers to Bahá'u'lláh, (also page 76.) This means the Branch of Divinity, Abdu'l-Bahá is the Branch of the Manifestation. The friends read the writings but they do not ponder them enough.
In "Some Answered Questions," Chapter XII, page 73, we find that the Master shows that the prophecy of Isaiah, Chapter II, verses 1-10, not only proves that the "Branch" from the stem of Jesse did not refer to Christ but to Bahá'u'lláh, but also states the immaculate conception: "This rod out of the stem of Jesse might be correctly applied to Christ, for Joseph was one of the descendants of Jesse, the Father of David: but as Christ found existence through the Spirit of God, He called Himself the Son of God. If He had not done so, this description would refer to Him. " Moreover, the prophecies were not fulfilled at that time. Universal peace did not come into existence at the time of Christ. In the word "but" the Master makes the immaculate conception quite clear. In a Tablet that has not yet been translated from the original Persian, the Master says the conception of Christ was extraordinary, against the natural law. He defines the natural law and says it was not according to this law. The Bahá'ís must accept the immaculate conception. Every religion has its mysteries. The Virgin Mary's perplexity was not due to shame, but because she could not explain her condition. The Iqan, where Bahá'u'lláh refers to Mary as "that mild and immortal countenance", if she were not blameless, how could He refer to her in such terms?" "Mild" here means the essence of chastity. But even if Bahá'u'lláh and the Master had not said these things about the immaculate conception, to a Bahá'í the mention of it in the Qur'an
would be quite sufficient proof.
There are many references to the coming of Muhammad, in both the Old and New Testament, Deuteronomy, Chapter 33, verse 2; "And He said, the Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto them; He shined forth from Mount Paran, and He came with ten thousands of Saints: from His right hand went a fiery law for them." "The Lord coming from Sinai" refers to the Mosaic dispensation. "Rose up from Seir unto them," refers to a mountain in Gallilee and means the Christian dispensation. "Shined forth from Mount Paran" refers to the Muhammadan dispensation; "and He came with ten thousands of Saints" is the Bahá'í dispensation. All references to Mount Paran refers to Muhammad. Paran is a mountain in Arabia. The word "Paraclete" also refers to Muhammad. Paraclete means "the Praiser" in Greek, and Muhammad means "the Praiser" in Arabic. Further references to Muhammad in the "Answered Questions," page 78, etc. Genesis, Chapter 21, verse 21: "And He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran" refers to Muhammad. The Arabs are descendants of Ishmael, Numbers, Chapter 12, verse 16, "And afterwards the people removed from Hazeroth and pitched in the Wilderness of Paran," again in Numbers, Chapter 13, verse 3, the word Paran occurs. The wilderness of Paran is in Trans-Jordan. David could easily get to it. The reference in Deuteronomy is the most important reference, (Chapter 33, verse 2.) Genesis, Chapter 17, verse 20, "And as for Ishmael ... and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, etc." The twelve princes are the twelve Imams. Also in Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, verse 18, "I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren." This refers to their cousins, the Arabs, brethren meaning cousin here in relationship, and the prophet is Muhammad. If it had meant Christ it would have said, "seed" and not "brethren."
The twenty four elders who will stand before the Throne of God refers to the 19 Letters of the Living and 5 others who will be made known, said Abdu'l-Bahá.
In Arabic there are two words:
The Master says death is when the mirror ceases to face the sun. The sun is the soul, the body is the mirror. The soul is the prime mover of the dream. The body reacts on the soul and the soul on the body. Dreams are due to various influences; fatigue, fear, etc., of the body reacting on the soul, also when the soul comes under an influence and reveals itself in a dream, is another; and the Holy Spirit influencing the soul, prophetic visions, an intimation from God to man in a dream. Three types of dreams: first the body influencing the soul; second the soul manifesting itself; third the Holy Spirit influencing the soul. But then we must be very careful, most of our dreams are the body influencing the soul. The soul starts when the embryo is formed. The soul has a beginning but no end. Man has a beginning but no end. God alone has no end and no beginning. The body of the Manifestation and His soul have a beginning too because this part of them is human, but the spark from God in them partakes of the pre-existence of God. Pre-existence is the sole prerogative of God. But man is immortal. Conception is the beginning of the soul. We cannot understand the nature of the world of the Manifestation because it is above us, as the mineral cannot understand the vegetables' state, etc.
The way we use our capacity in this world helps it to develop for the next world. If we misuse or neglect it, the progress of the soul in the next world will suffer.
We lose a great opportunity if we do not use the body in a way that will prepare the soul for the next life. The importance of the body lies in that it is an instrument for the preparation of the soul for the next world. The soul will enter the next world in an immature state if it does not use its opportunities in this world. To wish death is not a wholesome inclination. Discipline, struggle, suffering disappointments, these are the things that train the soul. Mental, physical, struggle is an exercise for the soul. If we fail we must not be disappointed, because if we fail we must exert our will to pull ourselves out of it. Think about what you have to do today, and not speculate about the past and future. Forget the past, don't brood over it, it paralyzes us.
The soul is in the center, the spirit is a Manifestation of the soul, so is the mind. The soul is the image of God. Embryonic evolution is the history of mankind.
There are certain limitations of the human mind that no science can transgress, otherwise we would not be human.
The soul has developed ever since the embryo; the embryonic world, this life and the future life are its three stages; hence there is no re-incarnation. God reveals Himself but never enters into anything. We retain in the next world our identity and self-consciousness, but our self-consciousness is greatly increased.
Imperfection is a mixture of good and evil. It manifests itself
differently in this world to its manifestations in the world beyond, because evil always exists: ego; because God alone and His Manifestations are perfect. We may have set-backs in the next world too.
There are mysteries in all the worlds of God. Ever deepening mysteries as we advance. God's mercy over-shadows all, even covenant breakers. His mercy and forgiveness are infinite. We must not dogmatize about these matters or set any limit on God.
What is imperfection? A mixture of good and evil. We are never perfect, but always becoming perfected. God works in a mysterious way not only in this world but in the next one. The more we understand the greater the mysteries are. In the next world as in this one there can be set-backs, they can be blessings in disguise as they are here.
The circumstances of the next war will produce the great peace-builders of the epoch to come. The change will come 100 years after Bahá'u'lláh's declaration. We can only try to localize the war which will be swift and destructive in its scope.
Japan is similar to Germany; youth, virility and not yet mature. The Japanese will have to suffer. The coming war is a providence to the whole world. The coming conflict will be sudden, swift, short.
What is now being done in the Cause is infinitesimal compared to what will come after the world conflict. They will come in by troops, create a new race of men. We must fear God's justice and love His mercy - these are the days of dread and fear, after will arise His mercy. First the punishment, then endless peace.
After the war Lord Lemington went to Persia, (he was much inspired by the Cause there.) He wrote and asked the Master about the future. The Master said the distant future is very bright. He meant the near future will be very dark.
They (nations of Europe) will be fused in this crucible of war. One year after the Armistice the Master foretold the next war. There will be no line between combatants and non-combatants in the next war.
Does not think the Cause will in the West reach stage of sufficient numbers and importance to be opposed by the governments before the next war. The fall of Western civilization is really the destruction of the whole fabric of civilization, East and West. There will be a mass reaction in favour of the Cause - people entering the Cause in troops. The Cause is now being consolidated but not yet proclaimed. It will be proclaimed after the next war.
All these cults, etc., are a natural outcome of the deterioration of society, giving rise to them. Cults, these fancies, these fashions, superstitions. All this is but the beginning of the decline. We are only just entering the fringe of darkness. People are drifting, perilously drifting. Society has lost its anchor, institutions are all drifting, drifting, drifting. The explosion is the next war. There is a slow process of destruction along with decay - what remains the explosion will destroy. There is a reason for this: explosion being a violent thing, it will produce a violent reaction. The forces of religion will be revived, released. It is what is left of the human race, the remnant, a powerful minority will arise to spread the Cause. We can only imagine the bare outlines of what will take place, but the result we know. One thing is certain, it will be very violent, very sudden. The last war was but a drop compared with it. The great war was but a prelude to the "Greater War," which will be the war to end war. America will suffer between two great storm centers, Europe and the far East. Compare the state of the early Christians and their institutions before
the fall of the Rome, and the Bahá'í institutions now, before the coming war.
Who knows, maybe the race prejudice will become worse. We are now only on the fringe of the darkest period in human history. The Cause is progressing in spite of these weaknesses of the Bahá'ís, but what would have been their progress if they had overcome these things? Their concentration on the administration has blinded them to their weaknesses. They think that because they are building it, that is enough.
First is national civilization, such as England and France have and Germany is developing. Then comes European and pan-American civilization and then comes world civilization, world unification. Prior to the conversion of nations, first the nations will establish, as non-Bahá'ís, the Lesser Peace. Then as great groups come into the Cause, gradually nations will become Bahá'í and then consciously develop the Most Great Peace. The Most Great Peace implies the political association of the United States with Europe.
The stage of mass conversion will come after the next war. Accepting the Cause in the days of the Manifestation when its glory is not yet manifest is one stage, and then conversion in the Golden Age which is very easy. Three stages, the heroic age, the days of the Bab, Bahá'u'lláh and the Master; next is the formative stage, consolidation of the administration; (now) and then the Golden Age and mass conversion.
Strange, the process of disintegration outside the Cause and integration inside it. These are the days of dread and fear, after will arise His Mercy. First the punishment, then endless peace. Morally people will become worse than ancient Rome and this is a result of irreligion. Irreligion will bring in its wake moral laxity and this will increase until the next war, the "unforseen calamity." There will be a tremendous protest, a reaction, after the next war.
China with Russia, Japan against Russia, Europe against China and Russia. Africa will revolt when she sees the decline of European civilization. The whole world will be involved, South America, - the whole world. Bahá'u'lláh says all of a sudden it will appear. In a sense it is correct to say this is a calamity that will visit the world because it failed to appreciate Bahá'u'lláh, as Rome failed to appreciate Christ. The present League of Nations is the outcome of the last war. Agony begets something, and as the last war was not war to end war, the next war will beget a true League of Nations, it will precipitate it. A result of the coming war will be to inaugurate peace, the true League of Nations. Just as the last war was a prelude to the coming war, the last League, begotten by the war, was the prelude to the future League of Nations. The Lesser Peace will be established by the nations not yet Bahá'í, and gradually develop into the Bahá'í World Order. The present League of Nations is the dawn of Universal Peace, but the sun is the future
League of Nations.
Dictatorship is an instrument that is hastening the next war. The dictators release forces which they cannot control. The masses are so organized, so controlled, that even the dictator cannot control them, he becomes a tool in their hands when they become out of control. If the next war is not fiercer than the last it will not stir the people enough. It must be much worse. He thinks the war will break out internationally and then there will be a series of civil wars. Probably the whole world will be involved in the next war. The Master said that when the women will arise for peace there will be peace. Then the true League of Nations will be born. There will be such a universal reaction in favour of peace that both small and big powers will work together to establish a real League. They will be converted through suffering, not the rulers but the masses, and the masses will force the rulers. Patriotism has been the ruling force in the past. Then there will be mass conversion to the Cause. The present mentality is un-Bahá'í; nationalism is the fashion at present and hence the Cause is extremely unpopular; when the masses, as the result of intense suffering, realize nationalism is not enough, then they will be ready for the Faith. Another thing that will attract them to the Cause is when they realize all this has been prophecied by Bahá'u'lláh. Suffering will purge and refine them, the new race of men will be raised up. It will be more than a new generation - a new race of men; not only with a new mentality, but with a new spiritual power, a new capacity. They must establish this peace through their hearts as well as their minds. The prophecy of one hundred years after the declaration of Bahá'u'lláh, 1953, (see Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era)* does not mean that the Bahá'ís will then become the world government, but that then will be the beginning of the Lesser Peace, that of the nations of the world without necessarily becoming Bahá'í. Gradually afterwards, the nations will become Bahá'ís. There will be a tremendous reaction in favour of the Cause, Bahá'í Government will be formed and then they will, conscious of the Revelation of Bahá'u'lláh, establish as Bahá'ís the Most Great Peace. The Lesser Peace will mark the coming of age of humanity and the inception of the Golden Age. The Most Great Peace is like the age of maturity which comes later, as in man. This new world civilization will supercede the Christian civilization, on the ruins of western civilization the world civilization will arise. It will be totally unlike all former civilizations; this is world civilization. From the dawn of history it was quite impossible to establish a world civilization because the whole world was not discovered. To the Romans it was not even discovered. Napoleon could have conquered it perhaps, but never have unified it because the physical means were not yet perfected. The world above the nations and not any particular nation first. Assuming the interest of a nation to be required to sacrifice itself for the good of the whole, it should be ready to do so. The peoples of the world must have such a love for this entity which is humanity, that they will be willing to sacrifice themselves for this entity. What will induce such love? Such a sense of human solidarity? The next war. Teaching campaigns, the Temple, committees,
* [Editor's Note: This date appears to be a typo for the year 1963. The reference is to page 250 of Bahá'u'lláh and the New Era, where Esslemont quotes 'Abdu'l-Bahá as follows:
" 'Abdu'l-Bahá's Tablets make it clear that this prophecy refers to the one hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Bahá'u'lláh in Baghdad, or the year 1963:---T. Lovejoy and V. Sheline]
"Now concerning the verse in Daniel, the interpretation whereof thou didst ask, namely, 'Blessed is he who cometh unto the thousand, three hundred and thirty-five days.' These days must be reckoned as solar and not lunar years. For according to this calculation a century will have elapsed from the dawn of the Sun of Truth, then will the teachings of God be firmly established upon the earth, and the divine light shall flood the world from the East even unto the West. Then, on this day, will the faithful rejoice!"
will not be enough. It must suffer; humanity is like an unruly, tempestuous youth who must go to school, be trained. What will do this except the school of adversity, this is the next war.
The coming of age of the human race is the core of the Bahá'í teachings. Every Bahá'í teacher should stress this, the significance of the stage which the world is approaching: its highest stage. If the people say they don't see it, we must tell them after the next war they will see it clearly. He believes that after federal unity was achieved in the United States it marked the birth of American civilization. It would have been impossible without federal unity. The present League of Nations is a fore-runner only, not a nucleus. The League that which will be formed after the next war will be a nucleus, as it develops it will become a pattern. Western civilization will commit suicide in the next war, because by the very weapons it has created it destroys itself. He should not be surprised if this League of Nations will entirely disappear from Geneva, but will resurrect after the last war. (next one). The League will never die, it will evolve after the next war, it will establish the Lesser Peace and later the Most Great Peace. The world will be prepared after the next war for a still more Bahá'í League than than conceived by Wilson. The coming war is a providence to the whole world. The coming conflict will be sudden, quick, short. A federal international state can be established, a unitary state, as in Germany, is impossible for the whole world. The new world is so young and tender that one can hardly recognize it, but it was born after the world war.
There is a tremendous fight before the Cause. The friends do not realize it. It will spread as far as China. China and India will be the last to fall. "The wailing of China and India will be raised," said Abdu'l-Bahá; this refers to the religious leaders' opposition to the spread of the Cause. Who knows, perhaps Mussolini's conquest of Abyssinia will facilitate the spread of the Cause. First the Mullas of Islam arose against the Cause. Now the Protestant missionaries are beginning to oppose - this opposition will spread to the Anglican Church in England, and, if there is anything left, the Lutheran Church in Germany. Catholicism will be the last of all. The Pope, their head, will oppose and this will precipitate its downfall. After Catholicism Christianity is done. Then it will spread to the far East; two hundred million Hindus, then to China, the four million Buddhists. When we compare this great upheaval, when the Catholic Church will be aroused, to the scratchings of the New History Society, Fareed, etc! It is a twofold process, decline within the Church and opposition to the Cause. The Muhammadans are destined to oppose the Cause very fiercely in India, also the Hindus in the distant future. The wailing and lamenting of India and China which the Master referred to, is the opposition of the Hindus and Buddhists to the Cause.
After the lapse of a thousand years there will be a new prophet to give new laws. After five hundred thousand years, it may sound
preposterous but what he would describe as inter-planetary unity may be possible - it is even probable that in three or four thousand years there may begin inter-planetary communications with beings, not human beings.
Future generations will appreciate what is taking place now in the formative period of the Cause, even as we appreciate the Heroic Age. There is no doubt that all these cults that are springing up the world over, is because the foundations of religions are tottering. Europe must suffer something equivalent to the Civil War in the United States before they can be united; (its nations) they will be fused in this crucible of war.
In Will and Testament of Abdul-Baha the words "irremovable and expounder" are found (irremovable Head of International House of Justice and expounder of teachings). The Huquq is a fixed revenue for the Guardian payed direct, and has nothing to do with the administrative funds, local, National or International.
The Guardians are the equivalent in the Bahá'í Revelation to the Imams in the Muhammadan Revelation.
It is the Guardian's responsibility to prevent the International House of Justice from abrogating any of the laws of the Aqdas.
The Master shares with the Prophet His perfection, Shoghi Effendi shares with the Master the right of interpretation.
In a very vital issue the Guardian could know the true fact of a matter even if not told - or mis-informed. If it is essential for the Guardian's protection or the protection of the Cause, he will be guided.
The English King reigns, but the Guardian is active as the hereditary element in the Universal House of Justice. The aristocratic element exists in that the elect rule, not the people, not a dictator.
Referring to Will and Testament of Abdul-Baha to: "That Tree which overshadoweth all mankind." Through the influence of the Cause the Guardian overshadows all mankind. Infallibility is either inherent or derived. The Guardians and the International House of Justice's infallibility is acquired. The power that overshadows all mankind is nothing in the Guardian as himself. The integrity, the purity of the teachings is the most important thing.
Bahá'u'lláh purposely left a gap in the Aqdas which was filled by the Master's Will and Testament with the Guardianship. (Huquq)
There was a danger that the friends might misunderstand the Master's Will and so the "Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh" was written, his (Shoghi Effendi's) spiritual testament in detail. He has fixed it in the relations of things to each other. We cannot go beyond what he has defined, however the second Guardian can interpret the "Dispensation" itself, he has the same promise to be the inspired interpreter. The Guardian is the interpreter, expounder of the Cause and the protector of the Cause.
The Guardian can over-rule a decision of the International House of Justice if he conscientiously feels it is not in accord with the teachings. This is the interpretive right. The second part of his work is participation in the legislative body. All endowments, international and local are to be deferred to the International House of Justice. The Guardian has no right what-so-ever in these matters. He has the Huquq. Fines specified in the Aqdas and inheritance, go to the International House.
Huquq is 19% of one's capital and 19% of
one's [surplus -ed.] income. The individual is free to decide what his expenditures are to be, if he expends his total income he does not need to pay Huquq, but if he does not, then on the surplus of income over expenditure he must pay 19% Huquq. It remains entirely with the individual, once he has paid the Huquq on his capital.
It is the duty of every Bahá'í that remembers statements of the Master that are confusing, to write to him about it, because that is his business, (Guardians) his chief work, to elucidate these things. Anything that confuses any believer, they must write to him so he can help them. The Master has not contradicted Himself, there is no duality in the teachings.
He does not mind if the friends think of him, concentrate on him, as long as they have the right concept of him. He is linked to the Administrative Order. He is not an independent entity, he is a part of a unit, not an entity as the Master was. (See "Dispensation.") He agrees that the institution of the Guardianship takes precedence over the International House of Justice.
The "Beloved" is a new word used by Bahá'u'lláh. It is confined to the Bahá'í teachings.
The will of the Master is like a huge edifice, we must recede from it to properly grasp its import. "Even if I had time I could not do it," said Shoghi Effendi regarding elaborating on it. It must recede from us. The lapse of time and unfoldment of the Revelation will enable us to fully appreciate it. The words of the Guardian are as binding, have the same authority, as the words of the Bab, Bahá'u'lláh and the Master, but the stations are different. He considers he has written his testament, his statement, in "The Dispensation of Bahá'u'lláh." What he says about the Guardianship is binding on future Guardians. The Will of the Master is a third kind of convenant. Bahá'u'lláh's Will is the lesser covenant - (See under "Religion.")
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