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TAGS: Afterlife; Soul
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Abstract:
This fleeting life; death as a portal of joy and grace; the nature of the next life and other worlds; actions in this life and recompense in the next; spiritual progress; sanctified souls. Includes some new provisional translations.
Notes:

A Portal of God's Grace:
Passages on Life after Death in the Baha'i Writings

compiled by William F. McCants.
2020
Contents
    This Fleeting Life
    Death Is A Portal Of Joy And Grace
    Death of Believers
    Nature Of The Next Life Can Only Be Known In This Life Through Metaphor
    Metaphor Of The Mineral
    Metaphor Of The Womb
    Other Worlds In The Next Life
    Actions In This Life And Recompense In The Next
    Spiritual Progress In The Next Life
    Progress Is Through God's Bounty, Intercessory Prayers, And Charity
    Progress From One Rank To Another Is Through God's Bounty
    Progress Through Charity Given On Behalf Of The Departed
    Progress Through Intercessory Prayers
    Parents Of Believers Can Advance Through Bounty of God And Intercessory Prayer
    Awareness In The Next Life
    Awareness Of Family
    Awareness Of Other Believers
    Higher And Lower Stations
    Sanctified Souls
    A Good End

This Fleeting Life

All know of a certainty that death is a phenomenon that taketh everyone, and there hath never been nor can there ever be a refuge from it.

(Bahá'u'lláh, AQA 5:131, provisional translation)

This fleeting life is sorrow and grief. Each day is the dashing of a hope, the torment of a loved one, or some bizarre accident. This is what life is. True life is eternal life.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, quoted in Bada'i` al-Athar, 2:10, provisional translation)

It is proven that the life of this world hath neither merit nor sweetness. The garden of bodily life is neither tender nor refined. Its honey is bitter and its sugar is repeated poison. Its life is death, and its happiness is snake venom.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Bisharat al-Nur, 473, provisional translation)

Death is ordained and predestined for everyone. When the time of death cometh, it shall not be delayed nor happen more than once.

(Bahá'u'lláh, AQA 7:238, provisional translation)

...it is an irrevocable, divine decree that every soul shall be taken.

(Bahá'u'lláh, AQA, 6:290, provisional translation)

...death, unheralded, shall come upon thee.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Hidden Words (Arabic), #31)

Every life endeth in death and everything that remaineth passeth away. This cup is a treasure for all, and each soul shall finally take a sip and hasten to the next world. Divine wisdom requireth this.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Bisharat al-Nur, 381-2, provisional translation)

Death Is A Portal Of Joy And Grace

In the hardships of death there is a preordained tranquility and in its torments there is a hidden, eternal bounty. Well is it with him who hath attained a tranquility the centuries cannot alter nor the ages change. This change of place is how the faithful reach the exalted paradise and is the cause of obtaining bounties that none but God can reckon.

(Bahá'u'lláh, quoted in Risalih-yi baqa-yi arwah, 17-8, provisional translation)

I have made death a messenger of joy to thee. Wherefore dost thou grieve? I made the light to shed on thee its splendor. Why dost thou veil thyself therefrom?

(Bahá'u'lláh, Hidden Words (Arabic), #32)

God hath made death a portal for His grace, but most people know it not.

(Bahá'u'lláh, AQA 5:231, provisional translation)

Praise be God Who hath made death a portal for meeting Him, a means of reuniting with Him, and a cause of life for His servants. Through it, He hath disclosed the secrets of His book and that which was hidden in His knowledge.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Lawh-i Jinab-i Samandar, quoted in Amr va Khalq 1:268, provisional translation)

O My handmaiden! Know that death is one of the portals of the mercy of your Lord that revealeth what is hidden from sight. Death is naught but the ascent of the spirit from its lowest station to the loftiest station. By its means, the carpet of exaltation is outspread and the decree of joy revealed.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Ma'idih-yi Asamani, 8:95-6, provisional translation)

Death of Believers

By my life! After the believer's ascension, he shall behold himself in everlasting repose and eternal rest. Verily, God is the Pardoner, the Generous, and He is the Forgiver, the Merciful.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Ma'idih-yi Asamani, 8:95-6, provisional translation)

Death proffereth unto every confident believer the cup that is life indeed. It bestoweth joy, and is the bearer of gladness. It conferreth the gift of everlasting life.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings, CLXV)

If death occureth in the name of the Friend whilst the soul is remembering Him and walking in His path, it will be of the utmost excellence, perfection, wonder, glory, and sweetness. Whoever hath drained this cup hath comprehended the words of this Servant and sweetened the taste of his soul.

(Bahá'u'lláh, AQA 7:238, provisional translation)

If this change, which they call death, happeneth for the sake of God, no bounty can rival it or station compare to it.

(Bahá'u'lláh, AQA, 6:290, provisional translation)

As to those that have tasted of the fruit of man's earthly existence, which is the recognition of the one true God, exalted be His glory, their life hereafter is such as We are unable to describe. The knowledge thereof is with God, alone, the Lord of all worlds.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings, CLXV)

Well is it with him who hath returned to his God and ascended to the Most Exalted Companion while the Concourse on High inhaleth from him the scent of love for the Beloved. None should grieve for such a soul. We bear witness that it hath soared to the Most Exalted Companion and attained the lights of its Lord, the Exalted, the Most High.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Amr va Khalq, 3:135, provisional translation)

Verily, in this Most Great Revelation death doth not overtake him who hath believed in God. I swear by God! He liveth forever in the kingdom of God, the Mighty, the Most Exalted. Blessed is he who hath ascended unto God and from whom the Concourse on High hath inhaled the sweet smell of this Raiment that hath shed its perfume upon the whole creation

(Bahá'u'lláh, Ma'idih-yi Asamani 8:21, provisional translation)

If all the world were a pen, the planets and earth a tablet, and the oceans ink, they could not explain the station of those who uphold the unity of God and the preordained bounties destined for them. Exalted be His glory and great are His bounties!

(Bahá'u'lláh, Risalih-yi baqa-yi arwah, 17-8, provisional translation)

Although afflictions from the Most Exalted Pen evoke sadness, those trials are really a mercy and a loving-kindness. Otherwise, every soul would attain the love of God and ascend to Him in the utmost joy. I swear by the Lote-Tree beyond which there is no passing that speaketh and beareth witness at all times! If the people of the earth become cognizant of the joy of one steadfast, transcendent soul, they would surely turn toward God.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Amr va Khalq, 3:133, provisional translation)

Thou hast, moreover, asked Me concerning the state of the soul after its separation from the body. Know thou, of a truth, that if the soul of man hath walked in the ways of God, it will, assuredly, return and be gathered to the glory of the Beloved. By the righteousness of God! It shall attain a station such as no pen can depict, or tongue describe. The soul that hath remained faithful to the Cause of God, and stood unwaveringly firm in His Path shall, after his ascension, be possessed of such power that all the worlds which the Almighty hath created can benefit through him. Such a soul provideth, at the bidding of the Ideal King and Divine Educator, the pure leaven that leaveneth the world of being, and furnisheth the power through which the arts and wonders of the world are made manifest. Consider how meal needeth leaven to be leavened with. Those souls that are the symbols of detachment are the leaven of the world. Meditate on this, and be of the thankful.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings LXXXII)

Nature Of The Next Life Can Only Be Known In This Life Through Metaphor

After the soul's ascent, it attaineth to that which neither ink nor pen can describe.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Darya-yi Danish, 69, provisional translation)

When spirits are delivered from the world of likenesses, they have another reality. It is a heavenly reality, which is sanctified and purified from earthly limitations.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, addressed to Nur Muhammad Khan, Amr va Khalq, 1:281, provisional translation)

...in the other world the human reality doth not assume a physical form, rather doth it take on a heavenly form, made up of elements of that heavenly realm.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 163)

Thou hast inquired about the world after death. That world cannot be seen or known through the imagination and words of this world.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Muntakhabati, 3:27, provisional translation)

The subject of the next life...can only be described by metaphor in this world.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, quoted in Risalih-yi Baqa-yi Arvah, 69, provisional translation)

...the human spirit doth not enter into a human form but is associated with this body. Death meaneth the severing of this association. It is like the sun. The sun doth not enter and exit the mirror, nor doth it dissolve. Rather, it hath an association with this mirror and is manifested in it. When the association is severed, the mirror is bereft of light, beauty, and illumination. Thus, saying the spirit left the body is a metaphorical expression, not reality. This association might be severed gradually or suddenly. (Abdu'l-Bahá, Amr va Khalq, 1:268-9, provisional translation)

Metaphor Of The Mineral

The people of this world, however, are unaware of that world, and are even as the mineral and the vegetable that know nothing of the world of the animal and the world of man.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections 163)

After the ascent of humans from the world of being to the placeless world, all blessed and hellish affairs are spiritual matters. Even though that world is separate from this world, it is not actually separate. The reality of its separation is like the separation of the human world from the mineral world. The mineral world knoweth nothing of the human world.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, addressed to Amat Allah Hajir in Tehran, Amr va Khalq, 1:281, provisional translation)

Thou hast inquired as to how we should conceive of life after death. We cannot conceive of the condition after death. But observe: It is clear that humans come from the world of minerals. When in the world of minerals, it is not possible to conceive of the world of plants. Thereafter, it passeth into the world of plants. In the world of plants it is impossible to conceive of the world of animals, and, until it passeth from the world of animals into the world of humans, it cannot conceive of the life of reason and human intelligence, meaning it is impossible to discern.

Now, this dust and these trees will never understand the world of animals and humans and cannot conceive of it. They completely repudiate it. As for the world of humans, it aideth the world of animals and assisteth the world of plants even though the world of plants is unaware of it. Likewise, the world of humans is unaware of the world of the Kingdom; indeed, it is ignorant of it. However, heavenly spirits can influence the world of humans. Observe the extent to which the issue hath been clarified, even though most of the learned and the wise of the world are ignorant of its meaning.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Makatib, 3:388-9, provisional translation)

Metaphor Of The Womb

The world beyond is as different from this world as this world is different from that of the child while still in the womb of its mother. When the soul attaineth the Presence of God, it will assume the form that best befitteth its immortality and is worthy of its celestial habitation.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings LXXI, Amr va Khalq 1:284-6)

Thou hast inquired about the world after death. That world cannot be seen or known through the imagination and words of this world. Briefly, this world is the stage of the womb relative to that world. It is impossible to express the magnificence of this external world in the world of the womb, just as it is impossible to explain the divine world with the words and expressions of this world.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Muntakhabati, 3:27, provisional translation)

Friends pass from this world to the other world like a child exiteth the narrow dwelling of its mother's womb into this lush and colorful world. It is like a bird in the cage that knoweth nothing of the flowers of the courtyard, the freshness of the meadow, the beauty of the garden, and the sweetness of the loved ones. When it hath winged its flight, it shall hear a song and a melody on all sides and join in harmony with the birds of the orchard. It shall hear the trilling of the rud and the oud and dwell in the shade of a blessed station where it shall befriend the birds of thanksgiving and say, "Oh, would that my people understood!"

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Mutakhabati, 3:26, provisional translation)

This body is even as the cage and the spirit is like the bird: We observe that this bird, unencumbered by its cage, soars freely in the world of sleep. Therefore, should the cage be broken, the bird would not only continue to exist but its senses would be heightened, its perception would be expanded, and its joy would grow more intense. In reality, it would be leaving a place of torment for a delightsome paradise; for there is no greater paradise for the grateful birds than to be freed from their cage. So it is that the martyrs hasten to the field of sacrifice with the utmost joy and elation.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, SAQ #61)

Human spiritual life after ascent from the physical world is like human physical life after birth from the world of the womb. Although it hath a life in the belly of the mother, that life is without joy and fruit. When it is born from the womb of its mother and entereth this world, it fulfilleth its physical life. Likewise, in this world humans have a spiritual life but their lives are like the life of a fetus. When they have hastened from this world to the world of the Kingdom and attained the divine world, their spiritual life is fulfilled.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Mutakhabati, 3:29, provisional translation)

Know then that the Lord God possesseth invisible realms which the human intellect can never hope to fathom nor the mind of man conceive. When once thou hast cleansed the channel of thy spiritual sense from the pollution of this worldly life, then wilt thou breathe in the sweet scents of holiness that blow from the blissful bowers of that heavenly land.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections, #156)

Every life endeth in death and everything that remaineth passeth away. This cup is a treasure for all, and each soul shall finally take a sip and hasten to the next world. Divine wisdom requireth this. In reality, it is the essence of loving kindness and the greatest gift, like disappearing from the world of the fetus and entering into this world is an everlasting blessing. In like manner, leaving this world and entering the world of paradise is the greatest gift of the All-Merciful and the utmost pinnacle of spirits. The purpose of life in this world is that humans obtain the eternal outpouring and are illumined with the light of faith. He is refreshed by the wellspring of certitude, attained admittance into the divine kingdom, acquired the virtues of the human world, and attained the good-pleasure of God.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Bisharat al-Nur, 381-2, provisional translation)

Other Worlds In The Next Life

As to thy question concerning the worlds of God. Know thou of a truth that the worlds of God are countless in their number, and infinite in their range….Verily I say, the creation of God embraceth worlds besides this world, and creatures apart from these creatures. In each of these worlds He hath ordained things which none can search except Himself, the All-Searching, the All-Wise. Do thou meditate on that which We have revealed unto thee, that thou mayest discover the purpose of God, thy Lord, and the Lord of all worlds. In these words the mysteries of Divine Wisdom have been treasured.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings, LXXIX)

As for souls that attain the good-pleasure of God and enter His Cause, they shall obtain the recompense for their works in the other abode after their spirits leave their bodies, for in this world they do not have the capacity for more. Even if all the divine worlds have circumambulated, and will continue to circumambulate, around this world, in each world there is an ordained and prescribed mission for each soul. Think not that what hath been mentioned in the book of God is a sham.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Amr va Khalq, 1:279-81, provisional translation)

Actions In This Life And Recompense In The Next

Bring thyself to account each day ere thou art summoned to a reckoning; for death, unheralded, shall come upon thee and thou shalt be called to give account for thy deeds.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Hidden Words (Arabic), #31)

For every act performed there shall be a recompense according to the estimate of God, and unto this the very ordinances and prohibitions prescribed by the Almighty amply bear witness. For surely if deeds were not rewarded and yielded no fruit, then the Cause of God—exalted is He—would prove futile. Immeasurably high is He exalted above such blasphemies! However, unto them that are rid of all attachments a deed is, verily, its own reward. Were We to enlarge upon this theme numerous Tablets would need to be written. (Bah'u'llah, Lawh Vafa, Athar-I Qalam-I A`la 4:414, translated in Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh; Amr va Khalq 1:276-7; Risalih-yi Baqa-yi Arvah, 17)

As for souls who attain the good pleasure of God and His Cause, they shall obtain recompense for their works in the world to come after their spirits leave their bodies. For in this world they do not have the capacity for more, even if all the divine worlds have ever, and will ever, circumambulate this world. In each world, however, there is an ordained and prescribed mission for each soul. Think not that what hath been mentioned in the book of God is a sham. Exalted is He above that!

I swear by the sun of the horizon of inner meanings that, in truth, none of the paradises are alike. Paradise in the first life is His good-pleasure and entering His Cause. After the ascent of the believers from this world, they attain the peerless paradises and are blessed with innumerable bounties. Those paradises are the fruits of the actions that were undertaken in this world.

Hast thou noticed that if one of His servants serveth another soul and beareth a hardship for its sake, he receiveth a recompense and compensation for what he did? How can the Bountiful One be free to issue commands for His servants to obey and later withhold the wonders of His mercy from them? Far, far be it from His glory and exalted, exalted is He above what His servants fancy about Him!

….Briefly, paradise and hell in this earthly life have been, and will ever be, recognition and opposition. After the ascent of the spirit, it shall reach the peerless paradises or arrive at the fire that hath no likeness, which are the fruits of the actions of those who have recognized or opposed. However, none but God can ever perceive these stations.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Amr va Khalq, 1:279-81; INBA 38:140-143; provisional translation)

It is clear and evident that all men shall, after their physical death, estimate the worth of their deeds, and realize all that their hands have wrought. I swear by the Daystar that shineth above the horizon of Divine power! They that are the followers of the one true God shall, the moment they depart out of this life, experience such joy and gladness as would be impossible to describe, while they that live in error shall be seized with such fear and trembling, and shall be filled with such consternation, as nothing can exceed. Well is it with him that hath quaffed the choice and incorruptible wine of faith through the gracious favor and the manifold bounties of Him Who is the Lord of all Faiths.…

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings, LXXXVI)

For just as the effects and the fruitage of the uterine life are not to be found in that dark and narrow place, and only when the child is transferred to this wide earth do the benefits and uses of growth and development in that previous world become revealed—so likewise reward and punishment, heaven and hell, requital and retribution for actions done in this present life, will stand revealed in that other world beyond. And just as, if human life in the womb were limited to that uterine world, existence there would be nonsensical, irrelevant—so too if the life of this world, the deeds here done and their fruitage, did not come forth in the world beyond, the whole process would be irrational and foolish.

Know then that the Lord God possesseth invisible realms which the human intellect can never hope to fathom nor the mind of man conceive. When once thou hast cleansed the channel of thy spiritual sense from the pollution of this worldly life, then wilt thou breathe in the sweet scents of holiness that blow from the blissful bowers of that heavenly land.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections, #156)

As for the body, it is the instrument of the spirit because moving, acting, acquiring, harming, and doing good are from the spirit, not the body. Guilt, transgression, goodness, and kindness arise from the soul and the spirit, not the incapable body. Therefore, even as torment, joy, grief, sadness, and ecstasy are feelings of the soul, reward, retribution, recompense, and punishment, which are the consequences of actions, redound to the spirit and not the body. No sword is blamed for killing an innocent and no arrow is punished for wounding a captive since they are instruments and not the actor, the commanded and not the commander, and the compelled and not the compeller.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Makatib, 1: 458-9, provisional translation)

Spiritual Progress In The Next Life

Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty. The movement of My Pen is stilled when it attempteth to befittingly describe the loftiness and glory of so exalted a station. The honor with which the Hand of Mercy will invest the soul is such as no tongue can adequately reveal, nor any other earthly agency describe.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings LXXXI)

And now concerning thy question regarding the soul of man and its survival after death. Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty. The movement of My Pen is stilled when it attempteth to befittingly describe the loftiness and glory of so exalted a station.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings LXXI)

I swear by the sun of the horizon of inner meanings that, in truth, none of the paradises are alike. Paradise in the first life is His good-pleasure and entering His Cause. After the ascent of the believers from this world, they attain the peerless paradises and are blessed with innumerable bounties. Those paradises are the fruits of the actions that were undertaken in this world. Hast thou noticed that if one of His servants serveth another soul and beareth a hardship for its sake, he receiveth a recompense and compensation for what he did? How can the Bountiful One be free to issue commands for His servants to obey and later withhold the wonders of His mercy from them? Far, far be it from His glory and exalted, exalted is He above what His servants fancy about Him.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Amr va Khalq, 1:279-81; INBA 38:140-143; provisional translation)

The progress of the spirit after ascension to the Kingdom is sanctified from time and place. Progress after ascension is progress in perfections, not place. It is like the progress of the child from the world of the fetus to the world of reason and intellect, from the world of ignorance to the world of knowledge, from the station of defect to the world of perfection. Since the divine perfections have no end, the progress of the spirit knows no limit.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Makatib, 3:188, provisional translation)

Progress Is Through God's Bounty, Intercessory Prayers, And Charity

The progress of the human spirit in the divine world, after its connection with the physical body has been severed, is either purely through the grace and bounty of the Lord, or through the intercession and prayers of other human souls, or through the significant contributions and charitable deeds which are offered in its name. (Abdu'l-Bahá, SAQ, #66)

As for what follows after ascent from this body, the means of development for spirits are the prayers of the friends and the supplications of the loved ones, as well as the grace and bounty of the All-Merciful.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Makatib, 3:440, provisional translation)

We must always remember that our existence and everything we have, or ever will have, is dependent upon the Mercy of God and His Bounty, and therefore He can accept into His Heaven, which is really nearness to Him, even the lowliest if He pleases. We always have the hope of receiving His Mercy if we reach out for Him.

Shoghi Effendi, "Lights of Guidance", page 705, page 210

Progress From One Rank To Another Is Through God's Bounty, Progress Within Rank Is Through Human Striving

As for progress in the world after death, know that after death is the divine world, and progress in that world is only possible through divine grace, not through human striving and endeavor. In other words, only by bounty is progress possible because progress in ranks dependeth on bounty and grace.

As for progress in perfections through human striving (in the next world), it is permitted. For example, the mineral reality progresseth from the rank of mineral to the world of the plant only by grace. Likewise, the plant reality transitioneth to the animal world only by grace, just as the animal reality transitioneth to the human world only by bounty and grace. Similarly, the human reality transitioneth to the world of the kingdom only by grace. The meaning of this is that transitions in rank are only through bounty, but the acquisition of perfections (within that rank) is possible through striving and human endeavor.

God, for example, created humans and brought them from the mineral world to this world. Through striving and endeavor, the human condition can acquire human perfections and increase in excellences and qualities. Thus, it hath become evident that transiting the ranks is solely by grace, and acquiring perfections (within those ranks) through striving and exertion is also possible.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Muntakhabati, 3:74-5, provisional translation)

Progress Through Charity Given On Behalf Of The Departed

Should a wealthy man choose to bequeath, upon his death, a portion of his wealth to the poor and needy, perchance this action will bring about divine pardon and forgiveness and result in his progress in the Kingdom of the All-Merciful. (Abdu'l-Bahá, SAQ, #62)

Charitable endeavors and donations on behalf of spirits will of course have an effect. (Abdu'l-Bahá in a talk, Amr va Khalq, 293, provisional translation)

As for charitable endeavors and donations, they shall certainly be the cause of ameliorating the misdeeds of the dead and increasing their good works because those souls benefit from charitable endeavors, which are like seeking forgiveness. Since the fruit of seeking forgiveness is its bestowal, charitable endeavors and donations are best and greatest.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Amr va Khalq, 1:302, provisional translation)

Progress Through Intercessory Prayers

Regarding seeking pardon and reciting prayers for souls that have hastened from this world to that world and the means of their guidance even though they neglected nothing in their love for the friends, thou hast asked whether asking forgiveness for them is permissible and hath an effect. In this spiritual cycle, supplicating, pleading for help, and interceding at the threshold of Divine Unity on behalf of every kind of human is permissible and hath an effect because this is the cycle of the Blessed Beauty and of mercy for all existence, seen and unseen.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Risalih-yi Baqa`-yi Arvah, 71, provisional translation)

As the spirit of man lives forever after casting off this elemental frame, it is, like all existing things, undoubtedly capable of progress, and thus one may pray for a departed soul to advance, to be forgiven, or to be made the recipient of divine favours, bounties, and grace. That is why, in the prayers of Bahá'u'lláh, the forgiveness and pardon of God are implored for those who have ascended to the next world. Moreover, just as people are in need of God in this world, so too are they in need of Him in the next. The creatures are ever in need, and God is ever completely independent of them, whether in this world or in the world to come.

The wealth of the next world consists in nearness to God. It is certain therefore that those who enjoy near access to the divine threshold are permitted to intercede, and that this intercession is approved in the sight of God. But intercession in the next world bears no resemblance to intercession in this world. It is an altogether different condition and reality, which cannot be expressed in words.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, SAQ, #62)

He is God!

O Lord my God! O Thou Forgiver of sins and Dispeller of fears! O Thou Healer of Job's maladies and Remover of calamities! Forgive Thy servant who hath hastened unto Thee, beseeching Thine aid, seeking shelter within the precincts of Thy mercy, imploring forgiveness for failing in his duty towards Thee, and begging Thy pardon.

O Lord! Have mercy upon him inasmuch as he hath turned unto Thee, recompense him inasmuch as he hath placed his complete trust in Thee, and pardon him inasmuch as he hath bowed down before Thee. Withhold him not from the breezes of forgiveness, save him from the depths of sin, cleanse him from the dust of rebellion, and shatter not his hopes for Thy favor, which hath no end.

Lord, dispel his sorrows and allay his anxieties! Grant him admission to the paradise of Thy loving-kindness, give him to drink of the cup of Thy bounty, let him abide forever in the Garden of Repose, and nourish him with Thy Presence. Verily, Thou art the Generous, the Merciful, the All-Bountiful, and verily, Thou art the Pardoner, the Forgiver, the Beneficent.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Bisharat al-Ruh, 50-1, provisional translation)

Parents Of Believers Can Advance Through Bounty of God And Intercessory Prayer

One of the unique bounties of this revelation is that the sun of divine loving-kindness will shine upon the parents of every soul that hath recognized the Cause even if they themselves had not accepted it. This is a token of His grace unto His loved ones, so render thanks unto Him and be of those who sing His praise.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Ma'idih-yi Asamani 4: 172, provisional translation)

One of the distinguishing characteristics of this most great Dispensation is that the kin of such as have recognized and embraced the truth of this Revelation and have, in the glory of His name, the Sovereign Lord, quaffed the choice, sealed wine from the chalice of the love of the one true God, will, upon their death, if they are outwardly non-believers, be graciously invested with divine forgiveness and partake of the ocean of His Mercy.

This bounty, however, will be vouchsafed only to such souls as have inflicted no harm upon Him Who is the Sovereign Truth nor upon His loved ones. Thus hath it been ordained by Him Who is the Lord of the Throne on High and the Ruler of this world and of the world to come.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Family Life, pp. 386)

Awareness In The Next Life

...the faculty for perceiving that world cannot pierce it in this world until that faculty perceiveth and understandeth the underlying reality.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Ma'idih-yi Asamani, 4:20; Amr va Khalq, 1:277-8, provisional translation)

Thou hast inquired about the spirit after its ascent and whether it is still aware of the physical worlds. Know that the spirit after its ascent is like one who hath awakened from slumber. It is aware of the conditions of all things, as the famous hadith sayeth, "The people are asleep. When they die, they are aware." Likewise in the Qur'an He sayeth, 'Thou wast heedless of this; therefore We have now removed from thee thy covering, and so thy sight today is piercing' (Q 50:22).

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Muntakhabati, 3:31, provisional translation)

Regarding your question about the next world and its connection with this lower realm, he asks us to write that it is impossible in this lower world for humans to conceive of the mode of the next world in any respect. After the ascent of the human spirit, however, it shall understand the condition of souls in this world. It will not forget and will continue to perceive, but the mode of that perception is unknown. The communication of spirits with one another is also realized.

(A letter on behalf of Shoghi Effendi, Ma'idih-yi Asamani 3:2, provisional translation)

Awareness Of Family

A believer liveth a life eternal and everlasting in the retreats of celestial glory upon the Sadrih of holy reunion where death cannot lay hold on him. He reflecteth on his affairs and is aware of his family. Of course, if he doth not behold goodness in those related to him, he shall loose the tongue of complaint in the Concourse on High. That complaint will have its effect and redound to his family.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Ma'idih-yi Asamani 8:188, provisional translation)

O mother, grieve not because of thy separation from thy son but be proud! This is a happy and joyful station, not a station of grief and sadness….If he seeth you rejoicing, he will rejoice. But if you are sad, he will be sad. Busy thyself with making mention of God, and with complete joy sing His praise. (Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet to Umm Ashraf, in Amr va Khalq, 286-7, provisional translation)

Awareness Of Other Believers

And now concerning thy question whether human souls continue to be conscious one of another after their separation from the body. Know thou that the souls of the people of Bahá, who have entered and been established within the Crimson Ark, shall associate and commune intimately one with another, and shall be so closely associated in their lives, their aspirations, their aims and strivings as to be even as one soul. They are indeed the ones who are well-informed, who are keen-sighted, and who are endued with understanding. Thus hath it been decreed by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

The people of Bahá, who are the inmates of the Ark of God, are, one and all, well aware of one another's state and condition, and are united in the bonds of intimacy and fellowship. Such a state, however, must depend upon their faith and their conduct. They that are of the same grade and station are fully aware of one another's capacity, character, accomplishments and merits. They that are of a lower grade, however, are incapable of comprehending adequately the station, or of estimating the merits, of those that rank above them. Each shall receive his share from thy Lord. Blessed is the man that hath turned his face towards God, and walked steadfastly in His love, until his soul hath winged its flight unto God, the Sovereign Lord of all, the Most Powerful, the Ever-Forgiving, the All-Merciful.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings LXXXVI)

I swear by Him Who hath caused Me to reveal whatever hath pleased Him! Ye are better known to the inmates of the Kingdom on high than ye are known to your own selves. Think ye these words to be vain and empty? Would that ye had the power to perceive the things your Lord, the All-Merciful, doth see—things that attest the excellence of your rank, that bear witness to the greatness of your worth, that proclaim the sublimity of your station! God grant that your desires and unmortified passions may not hinder you from that which hath been ordained for you.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings, CXLVII)

Thou hast asked about the world of the spirit and how the friends shall recognize one another after ascending from this realm to the realm of the unseen. O thou who art steadfast in the Covenant! Even though bodies are strangers in the physical world, the friends still recognize each other and are friends and companions. It follows that mutual recognition and spiritual affection are essential characteristics of the eternal realm, which is a world of divine unity and merciful oneness.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Muntakhabati, 3:25-6, provisional translation)

When the human spirit hasteneth to the divine realm, it is a world of lights. The nature of lights is to reveal effects and rend veils asunder. The cloak falleth away and the reality is laid bare. In accordance with the nature of that spiritual realm, the souls of the believers shall see the loved-ones of God forever and obtain everlasting reunion.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, quoted in Risalih-yi Baqa-yi Arvah, 116, provisional translation)

Higher And Lower Stations

As for the ascent to the next world of the human spirit that hath victory upon its brow, it shall comprehend the physical world because each higher rank comprehendeth the rank beneath it. However, the lower rank doth not comprehend the rank above it. For example, humans come from the world of dust to the world of humanity, and the human world comprehendeth the world of dust. Likewise, humans completely comprehend the world of plants and the world of animals. However, the world of dust knoweth nothing of the pure world of humans. Charitable endeavors and donations on behalf of spirits will of course have an effect. (Abdu'l-Bahá in a talk, Amr va Khalq, 293; Risalih-yi Baqa-yi Arvah, 83, provisional translation)

As to thy question regarding discoveries made by the soul after it hath put off its human form: certainly, that world is a world of perceptions and discoveries, for the interposed veil will be lifted away and the human spirit will gaze upon souls that are above, below, and on a par with itself. It is similar to the condition of a human being in the womb, where his eyes are veiled, and all things are hidden away from him. Once he is born out of the uterine world and entereth this life, he findeth it, with relation to that of the womb, to be a place of perceptions and discoveries, and he observeth all things through his outer eye. In the same way, once he hath departed this life, he will behold in that world whatsoever was hidden from him here: but there he will look upon and comprehend all things with his inner eye. There will he gaze on his fellows and his peers, and those in the ranks above him, and those below. As for what is meant by the equality of souls in the all-highest realm, it is this: the souls of the believers, at the time when they first become manifest in the world of the body, are equal, and each is sanctified and pure. In this world, however, they will begin to differ one from another, some achieving the highest station, some a middle one, others remaining at the lowest stage of being. Their equal status is at the beginning of their existence; the differentiation followeth their passing away.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Muntakhabati, 1:170, provisional translation)

Thou hast written that thou hast heard from the loved ones that if humans do not progress, they are destroyed and cease to exist. This does not mean complete nonexistence, but rather that the existence of someone unaware is as nothing compared to a perfect person, like a mineral compared to a human is nothing even though it exists in the mineral world. In short, all souls exist but the existence of an unaware person is nothingness compared to the existence of someone with perfect knowledge.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Mutakhabati, 4:29, provisional translation)

All realities and spirits are eternal, even the spirits of unbelievers and defective souls. However, compared to holy spirits and sanctified souls, they have no status or standing. Like this wood, they exist but have no status compared to human existence.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Risalih-yi Arvah, 80, provisional translation)

Thou hast asked whether the spirits of humans are eternal and not annihilated. They are eternal, but the spirits of divine souls have eternal life, meaning they are in the highest degree of perfection. As for the spirits of unaware souls, they are eternal but in the world of defect, veiled and ignorant. This is a brief reply. Consider and ponder it deeply until thou comprehendest the reality of its secrets in detail. Each mineral exists and is alive. But relative to humans, it is sheer nothingness and not alive, for when a human transitioneth from life to death, it becometh a mineral existence. In this form, mineral life is human death. (Abdu'l-Bahá, Muntakhabati, 4:100, provisional translation)

It follows clearly from these explanations that man is immortal and everlasting. Those who believe in God, who cherish His love, and who have attained certitude, enjoy that blessed life which we call life eternal; but those who are veiled from God, though they be endowed with life, yet they live in darkness and their life, in comparison with that of the believers, is non-existence.

Thus, the eye is alive and so too is the fingernail, but the life of the fingernail in relation to that of the eye is non-existence. The stone and the man both exist, but in relation to man the stone has no existence or being. For when man dies and his body is disintegrated and destroyed, it becomes like the stone, the earth, and the mineral. It is therefore clear that even though the mineral exists, it is non-existent in relation to man.

Likewise, those souls who are veiled from God, although they exist both in this world and in the world to come, are non-existent and forgotten in relation to the sanctified existence of the children of the divine Kingdom.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, SAQ 67)

Sanctified Souls

Blessed is the soul which, at the hour of its separation from the body, is sanctified from the vain imaginings of the peoples of the world. Such a soul liveth and moveth in accordance with the Will of its Creator, and entereth the all-highest Paradise. The Maids of Heaven, inmates of the loftiest mansions, will circle around it, and the Prophets of God and His chosen ones will seek its companionship. With them that soul will freely converse, and will recount unto them that which it hath been made to endure in the path of God, the Lord of all worlds. If any man be told that which hath been ordained for such a soul in the worlds of God, the Lord of the throne on high and of earth below, his whole being will instantly blaze out in his great longing to attain that most exalted, that sanctified and resplendent station.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings LXXXI)

The prophets and messengers have concealed the knowledge of this station to protect the world….This much, however, hath been mentioned: sanctified spirits that are detached from this world at the moment of death and purified from the doubts of the nations shall soar. By God! The lights and effulgences of those spirits are the cause and reason for the appearance of the sciences, wisdom, and crafts and the leaven of all creation. Those spirits perish not and their understanding, comprehension, power, and ability are above the ken of reason and perception. The lights of those spirits illumine the world and the nations. If this station were completely revealed, every spirit would desire to ascend and the world would be thrown into complete turmoil.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Ma'idih-yi Asamani, 4:20; Amr va Khalq, 1:277-8, provisional translation)

Steadfast, purified spirits that are sanctified from earthly affairs have always illumined the world. By God! After their ascent, they are forever transcendent and all-encompassing. This station is hidden and sealed as a divine protection and preserved in the treasury of infallibility. Sanctified spirits who have ascended from this world through the light of detachment are the major cause of the world's education and the appearance of the crafts and wisdom.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Amr va Khalq, 1:279, provisional translation)

I bear witness by the sun of the horizon of divine mysteries to that which the Most Exalted Pen hath written and revealed about souls that have ascended to the most glorious horizon. Those purified souls immediately receive power and likewise increase in sovereignty, exaltation, bounty, and tranquility. The inscrutable wisdom of these stations hath been concealed. (Bahá'u'lláh, Amr va Khalq, 1:279; provisional translation)

The nature of the soul after death can never be described, nor is it meet and permissible to reveal its whole character to the eyes of men. The Prophets and Messengers of God have been sent down for the sole purpose of guiding mankind to the straight Path of Truth. The purpose underlying Their revelation hath been to educate all men, that they may, at the hour of death, ascend, in the utmost purity and sanctity and with absolute detachment, to the throne of the Most High. The light which these souls radiate is responsible for the progress of the world and the advancement of its peoples. They are like unto leaven which leaveneth the world of being, and constitute the animating force through which the arts and wonders of the world are made manifest. Through them the clouds rain their bounty upon men, and the earth bringeth forth its fruits. All things must needs have a cause, a motive power, an animating principle. These souls and symbols of detachment have provided, and will continue to provide, the supreme moving impulse in the world of being. The world beyond is as different from this world as this world is different from that of the child while still in the womb of its mother. When the soul attaineth the Presence of God, it will assume the form that best befitteth its immortality and is worthy of its celestial habitation.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Gleanings, LXXXI)

Sanctified spirits that ascend with the utmost holiness and detachment have always been the reason and cause for the appearance of wonders and marvels. If this Servant desired, He could mention the effects of those souls on the inner and outer world, but it would take a long time to explain this station in detail. I swear by God! If the eye is open and perceiveth this station, it will renounce the entire world even though it is a part of it, how much less these weak, incapable souls and these ephemeral riches. However, serving the Cause today means teaching those souls takes precedence for all, as witnessed in the blessed Tablets.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Ma'idih-yi Asamani, 8:144-5, provisional translation)

By the sorrows which afflict the beauty of the All-Glorious! Such is the station ordained for the true believer that if to an extent smaller than a needle's eye the glory of that station were to be unveiled to mankind, every beholder would be consumed away in his longing to attain it. For this reason it hath been decreed that in this earthly life the full measure of the glory of his own station should remain concealed from the eyes of such a believer.

(Bahá'u'lláh, translated in Advent of Divine Justice, 76-7)

Know that when the soul ascendeth to Him Who is the most exalted Companion, it attaineth the presence of God, the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting. The honor with which the Hand of Mercy and Bounty will invest the soul is such as none are aware save those who say at all times, "There is no god but God, the Single, the One, the Mighty, the Loving." Blessed is the soul which, at the hour of its separation from the body, is sanctified from the vain imaginings of the peoples of the world. By God! Such a soul liveth and moveth in accordance with the Will of its Creator, and entereth the paradise of "Whatsoever He willeth." The maids of heaven will serve it at eventide and dawn, and the Prophets of God and His chosen ones will seek its companionship. With them that soul will freely converse, and will recount unto them that which appeared in the days of God, the Powerful, the Forgiving. Were We to remove the veil from the face of what We have mentioned, thou wouldst see people from every direction hastening unto God, Who layeth low the necks of men.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Amr va Khalq, 1:283-4, provisional translation, portions paralleled in Gleanings LXXXI)

O mother, grieve not because of thy separation from thy son but be proud! This is a happy and joyful station, not a station of grief and sadness. I swear by the Sun of the Morn of Reality that he occupies a station that the pen cannot describe or fully explain! Its place is in the most exalted horizon, its lamps are the sanctified and purified spirits, and its food is the hidden eternal bounty. If that most holy, most glorious station were disclosed to an extent of a needle's eye to all those on earth, they would perish from joy and exaltation. He hath repaired to the kingdom of eternity to abide as long as God abides. It is a place of thanks, not complaints. If he sees you rejoicing, he will rejoice. But if you are sad, he will be sad. Busy thyself with making mention of God, and with complete joy sing His praise. (Bahá'u'lláh, Tablet to Umm Ashraf, in Amr va Khalq, 286-7, provisional translation)

Those souls who are pure and unsullied, upon the dissolution of their elemental frames, hasten away to the world of God, and that world is within this world. The people of this world, however, are unaware of that world, and are even as the mineral and the vegetable that know nothing of the world of the animal and the world of man.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Selections, 195)

A Good End

[Bahá'u'lláh writes in the Iqan that "none knoweth what his own end shall be." The Persian phrase translated by the Guardian is husn-i khatimih majhul ast, literally "the goodness of the end is unknown". Most of the passages below contain the same phrase or variations thereof. - WM]

He should forgive the sinful, and never despise his low estate, for none knoweth what his own end shall be. How often hath a sinner, at the hour of death, attained to the essence of faith, and, quaffing the immortal draught, hath taken his flight unto the celestial Concourse. And how often hath a devout believer, at the hour of his soul's ascension, been so changed as to fall into the nethermost fire. Our purpose in revealing these convincing and weighty utterances is to impress upon the seeker that he should regard all else beside God as transient, and count all things save Him, Who is the Object of all adoration, as utter nothingness.

(Bahá'u'lláh, Iqan, 194-5)

As for the means of attaining a good end (to one's life), one should avoid pride and arrogance, abhor egotism, and at all times be abashed. One must be free from the carnal desires and vain imaginings of the self, avoid the people of apathy and vanity, and remain firm in the Covenant and Testament.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, a tablet to the believers in Yazd, Ma'idih-yi Asamani 5:271, provisional translation)

...a good end is the greatest gift of the All-Merciful...

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Bisharat al-Nur, 381-2, provisional translation)

We should not prefer ourselves but rather think others are better, even souls who are not believers, because none knoweth what his own end shall be. How many souls who are not believers will one day attain to faith and become the source of great services, and how many souls who now believe will become ignorant of the Truth at the end of life! We should prefer each soul over ourselves and see them as greater, nobler, and more perfect. As soon as we see ourselves as better than others, we stray from the path of salvation and felicity.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, a talk given in Haifa on 9 Shawwal 1332 [August 31, 1914], Ma'idih-yi Asamani 5:136, provisional translation)

First, consider the people of religions: if the people of religions follow God and obey the divine teachings, the divine teachings command never being fanatical. For the divine teachings clearly state that the human species should interact lovingly with one another, humans should see each flaw in themselves and not in others, and they should never give themselves preference over others, for the goodness of one's end is unknown. One does not know how many humans had pure souls in the beginning and then went astray, such as Judas Iscariot. In the beginning he was very good and in the end he became very bad. And how many who are very bad in the beginning are very good in the end? For example, the Apostle Paul who was an enemy of Christ in the beginning and was the greatest servant of Christ in the end. Thus, the final condition of a human is unknown. Therefore, how can anyone prefer himself over another? Thus, there should never be fanaticism among humans. Do not say, 'I am a believer and so-and-so is an unbeliever. I am close to the portal and he is outcast.' For the goodness of one's end is unknown. Second, one must try to make the ignorant wise.

(Abdu'l-Bahá talk in a home in Paris on November 13, 1911. Khitabat 1:159-60, provisional translation)

Janab-i Shaykh Abu al-Qasim was, in reality, one of the foremost loved ones. For years he was in the shade of the loving-kindness of the Blessed Beauty. He served the Cause all of his days and had a good end. His end was good like musk.

It is very difficult in these days. These days are days of tests. Everyone who wants to attain to a good end should know that this is the greatest divine blessing. In the human world, there is no greater bounty than a good end. We must always pray, fearfully and anxiously supplicating and beseeching the Abha Kingdom, that we may have a good end. Praise be to God, Shaykh Abu al-Qasim had such an end.

There was a certain Mulla Muhammad Taqi [Harawi] who was a believer in the days of His Exalted Holiness [the Bab]. He was one of the most perfect believers and wrote treatises establishing the truth of His Exalted Holiness. Judged from the outside, he was a truly excellent personage, famous, well-known, learned, and distinguished. However, the wretch suffered a bad end. He had come to Najaf before the ulama. The ulama said this person [the Bab] is an apostate, and his repentance would not be accepted. How grievous the impossible charges that he leveled at His Exalted Holiness, so many slanders. Nevertheless, everywhere he went, they brought a hookah pipe for him to smoke.

Aqa Muhammad Naqshi was a one of the very best people in Isfahan and later returned (to Islam). He returned to such an extent that he went to Najaf [a center of Islamic scholarship]. There, a group of his esteemed relatives came and he taught them (the Faith). He said, 'Since I taught them, I have to revert (to being a Bahá'í).' He prayed the night prayers and fasted the next time. The Blessed Beauty said, 'I forgave him because he was trying at one time, and he was teaching.'

Now, this good end is the greatest divine bounty. Every soul that attains a good end will be the manifestation of divine favors. Such a person should be greatly respected. Praise be to God, Shaykh Abu al-Qasim attained a good end."

(Abdu'l-Bahá, a talk given in Haifa on 18 Safar 1332 [January 15, 1914], quoted in Ma'idih-yi Asamani 5:178-80, provisional translation)

Ḥaydar-'Alı́ and Abú-Ṭálib would often exchange jokes with one another in Haifa, to the delight of all of the friends. These two veteran soldiers in the twilight of their lives were still so lively that they could make everyone laugh.

When Haydar-'Alí became ill and bedridden, the beloved Master would go to his room and inquire about his health and well-being. One day He asked him, "How do you sleep at night?"

"Not very well," the Hájí replied.

Mulla Abu-Tálib immediately interrupted and said, "He is wrong. He snores all night long!" And the Master and the friends laughed most heartily.

'Abdu'l-Bahá commanded that two of the believers should help Hájí Mírzá Haydar-'Alí walk in the sunshine every morning. Once his cousin, Vakíl, took him by the arm to help him walk. He asked the Hájí, "What else do you desire? The beloved Master comes to see you every day and grants you the strength to carry the burden of life."

Haydar-'Alí smiled and said, "If you really love me, pray that I will die steadfast in the Covenant and ..."

Before he finished his sentence, his cousin interrupted and exclaimed, "What do you mean, dear cousin! You are almost ninety years old, and so much loved and respected by the Master!"

"Yes, that is true," was the reply. "But you cannot imagine how very cunning and insidious the self can be. It accompanies a man to the edge of the grave. The only thing that protects us from its deadly grasp is the divine assistance which is granted through prayer."

The next day, when the Master visited the Hájí, He assured Haydar-'Alí, saying, "You will sleep well. You will sleep well."

(A.Q. Faizi, Stories from the Delight of Hearts, Epilogue)

Grant, O Lord my God, and my Refuge, that in my last hour, my end may even as musk shed its fragrance of glory! Is there a bounty greater than this? Nay, by Thy Glory!

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Will and Testament)

O God! Thou seest this oppressed servant in the claws of wolves and predators. O Divine Providence! Aid me so that I may quaff in the path of Thy love the chalice filled with the wine of fidelity and overflowing with grace, so much so that my garment will be stained with my blood and I fall lifeless to the ground. Martyrdom is my utmost wish and the cause of my honor and exaltation. O God! Grant that I may leave this world with a good end. I swear by Thy might! There is no greater gift than a good end. Thou seest that every day I drink from the chalice of tribulation. There is no day that the covenant breakers have not stirred up mischief, created dissension, and torn the veil of Thy sanctity. O Divine Providence! Protect Thy luminous religion and Thy beautiful faith from the attacks of the covenant breakers. Thou art God, the Strong, the Mighty, the Omnipotent, and the All-Powerful.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Nafahat-i Fadl, 42-3, provisional translation)

He is God!

O Lord! It is a favor and a gift, a protection and a shelter, a kindness and a care that the end of one's days is better than their beginning and the closing of one's life is the opening of grace. Each moment a fresh bounty and loving-kindness arrives, and each soul receives forgiveness and mercy until at last I return beneath the outstretched shadow beneath the banner unfurled in the praiseworthy Kingdom. Thou art kind and loving, and Thou art the Lord of grace and bounty.

(Abdu'l-Bahá, Majmu`-i Munajat-i Hazrat-i Abdu'l-Bahá, 506, provisional translation)

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