Bahá’í World Centre
Human society is by nature in need of binding rules and relationships,
for otherwise it would not experience peace and protection, nor enjoy happiness
and security. Without them, the sacred glory of the human condition would not be
unveiled and the desire of all hearts would remain unrealized. The country would
not prosper, and its cities and villages would not find order and arrangement.
The duty of the doctors and divines is, however, to attend to the
matters of the spirit and to promote the attributes of the All-Merciful.
Whenever the leaders of God’s glorious Religion and the pillars of His
mighty Law have intervened in political affairs, and designed schemes and
devised plans, it hath inevitably shattered the unity of the believers and
scattered the ranks of the faithful; the flame of sedition hath been kindled and
the fire of hostility hath consumed the world; the country hath been pillaged
and plundered; and the people have fallen into the hands of the mediocre.
Were ye to refer to history, ye would find countless similar
instances, each and all due to the interference of religious leaders in
political affairs. These souls are meant to issue the ordinances of God, not to
enforce them. That is, whenever the government inquireth of them, in matters of
greater or lesser consequence, concerning the exigencies of the law of God and
the true purport of His ordinances, they should set forth that which hath been
deduced from His laws and is consonant with His religion. Beyond this, what can
they know of political matters, of the protection of the subjects, the
management of important affairs, the welfare and prosperity of the nation, the
administration of the laws and statutes of the realm, and of internal and
Observe that both this blessed verse and explicit tradition are
absolute and universal in their purport, not conditional or confined to a
specific case. As to the true leaders of religion and the favoured servants of
the celestial Threshold, their rank and station is that of spiritual honour and
majesty, and their prerogative the vicegerency of the All-Merciful Lord. Their
crown of glory is the dust of the pathway of God, and their resplendent diadem
the light of the bestowals of the Almighty. Their throne of justice is
established upon the hearts, and their exalted and glorious honour is the seat
of truth in the realm of the Kingdom. They are the monarchs of the realms of
heart and soul, not of the world of water and clay, and the sovereign lords of
the lands of the placeless, not of the narrow straits of this contingent world.
And none can ever usurp or deny this sublime station and ancient glory.