Words of consolation and uplift to the Baha'i community two years after the passing of Abdu'l-Baha, on being not disturbed by the authorities of earthly affairs. Various English translations from a letter originally in Persian.
Extracts from the Guardian's Letter of December 19 1923 Addressed to the Baha'is of the East
Extract from the Guardian's letter of 19th December 1923 addressed to the Bahá'ís of the East
O heralds and chosen ones of the Beauty of the All-Glorious! O faithful followers of Abdu'l-Bahá! O my true brothers and spiritual sisters!
More than two years have elapsed since the Orb of the Covenant, that bright, that radiant and heavenly [---]r, our affectionate Father, our compassionate Master, Abdu'l-Bahá took His flight to the celestial concourse, [wit]h lightning speed He stepped behind the veil of concealment and vanished from the gaze of men. He plunged the people of Baha, His forsaken children, into abysmal depths of grief and abandoned them, amidst the darkness of this mortal world of dust, orphaned and disconsolate. The passionate admirers of His soul-refreshing beauty He forsook in this painful and oppressive world sorely afflicted by the fire of separation and bereavement. He left behind a scene of intense mourning and lamentation, and deprived forever our physical eyes from beholding His fair countenance. Such is the exigency of God's consummate Wisdom. Such is what His invincible will has ordained.
His holy spirit which for no less than eighty years was sorely oppressed and was burdened with incalculable hardships and manifold tribulations, is now jubilant and free, abiding in the loftiest mansions of paradise and is seated on the right hand of the Lord of the kingdom. He has turned His face toward these grief-stricken souls and has fixed His gaze upon us. From His most exalted retreat in the Realm above He is calling aloud, exhorting the people of Baha in the world below, saying:
O My beloved ones! Be not grieved nor dejected. Be not silent. Let not anything dismay or frustrate you. I am with you. I am shielding you within the stronghold of My protection, and sheltering you in the sanctuary of My care. I will, at all times, grant you fresh confirmation and assistance. Show ye fidelity to the cause of Bahá'u'lláh and, like unto this servant, strive assiduously, until the last breath of your lives, to serve the cause of God and to evince complete servitude to His holy Threshold. Be truly self-sacrificing and excel one another in this goal.
Be not remorseful on account of My departure and let not the things of this life, nor the changes and chances of these days disturb or alarm you. Take heed lest the trials and afflictions of this contingent world cause you to waver in the cause of God, inasmuch as ye are the hosts of the Almighty; ye are the concourse of the people of Baha, who will be raised up from amidst this fierce tempest of tribulation, and will become distinguished among the people of the world for your virtues of enduring meekness and of inflexible constancy, and will be adorned with the ornaments of noble character, of detachment and of upright conduct. Aid ye the cause of God, so that ye may gradually lead this gloomy, this harassed and agitated world to the summit of eternal glory, and may bring it under the shadow of the cause of God neath the sheltering shade of this Tabernacle of divine salvation.
O My beloved frlend! O ye who have arisen to aid Me! Beware lest after My ascension ye fail of [sic] fall short in the path of your duty. Let not this priceless opportunity slip from your grasp. Otherwise it will be but yourselves who would suffer grievous loss, would be filled with remorse, and would deprive yourselves of inestimable bounty, and a crown of eternal glory. Do ye imagine that the silence or inactivity of any of the friends would weaken the cause of God? Nay, by the righteousness of the Lord! Verily, such heroes as will carry off the prize in the arena of service will be raided up. Wherefore, bestir yourselves and redouble your high endeavors. I am with you and I will, from the court of the All-Glorious, in the presence of His Holiness the Exalted one (the Bab) and of the Abha Beauty, most powerfully assist you and guide you aright. It behooveth you, one and all, to arise unitedly and harmoniously, so that ye may attain this exalted and glorious station. Otherwise ye shall see Me no more, nor shall ye attain the Divine presence in the Realm Beyond.
O ye loved ones of Abdu'l-Bahá! Such are indeed the things that will bring joy and gladness to My soul in the Abha Kingdom.
These celestial songs of the Nightingale of the rose-garden of servitude continually reach the ears of [those] that yearn to behold His countenance. The occasion demands that we who are enraptured by His beauty which [shi]nes resplendent even as the moon, should wholeheartedly and with fresh endeavour, abounding energy, renewed dedication, astounding enthusiasm, invincible vigour, pure intention and with hearts freed from all attachments, truly respond to the call of this Herald of the Unseen, and proclaim the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh among mankind with so mighty a cry of Ya Baha'u'l-abha that the dwellers of the earth would be lost in bewilderment; so that when the remaining days of our lives come to an end, we may, even as He has affirmed, cheer our eyes by gazing upon His eternal beauty, attain the Court of reunion with Him and gather round Him for evermore...
[full letter published in Tawqíʻát-i-Mubárakih; this excerpt pp. 158–60]
Do not allow yourselves to be disturbed by the authorities of earthly affairs. Were we to truly act in accordance with the divine laws and teachings, and render service both to all humanity and to our own native land, the truth would ultimately become evident, to the extent that those authorities would themselves become aware of it and accept it. Let them not think, however, that the Baháʼís have no attachment to their homeland [Persia]. On the contrary, they must know of a certainty that the Baháʼís are more firmly devoted than any other people to the revival of Persia and the upliftment of the Persians. To this end do they strive through the truest of means, well assured that Persia will, in the end, be made mighty and powerful. (from Tawqíʻát-i-Mubárakih (1922–1926), pp. 166-67)
[full letter published in Tawqíʻát-i-Mubárakih; this excerpt pp. 166–67]
1267. The wish of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, that which attracts His good pleasure and, indeed, His binding command, is that Bahá'ís, in all matters, even in small daily transactions and dealings with others, should act in accordance with the divine Teachings. He has commanded us not to be content with lowliness, humility and meekness, but rather to become manifestations of selflessness and utter nothingness. Of old, all have been exhorted to loyalty and fidelity, compassion and love; in this supreme Dispensation, the people of Bahá are called upon to sacrifice their very lives. Notice the extent to which the friends have been required in the Sacred Epistles and Tablets, as well as in our Beloved's Testament, to be righteous, well-wishing, forbearing, sanctified, pure, detached from all else save God, severed from the trappings of this world and adorned with the mantle of a goodly character and godly attributes.
First and foremost, one should use every possible means to purge one's heart and motives, otherwise, engaging in any form of enterprise would be futile. It is also essential to abstain from hypocrisy and blind imitation, inasmuch as their foul odour is soon detected by every man of understanding and wisdom. Moreover, the friends must observe the specific times for the remembrance of God, meditation, devotion and prayer, as it is highly unlikely, nay impossible, for any enterprise to prosper and develop when deprived of divine bestowals and confirmation. One can hardly imagine what a great influence genuine love, truthfulness and purity of motives exert on the souls of men. But these traits cannot be acquired by any believer unless he makes a daily effort to gain them... It is primarily through the potency of noble deeds and character, rather than by the power of exposition and proofs, that the friends of God should demonstrate to the world that what has been promised by God is bound to happen, that it is already taking place and that the divine glad-tidings are clear, evident and complete. For unless some illustrious souls step forth into the arena of service and shine out resplendent in the assemblage of men, the task of vindicating the truth of this Cause before the eyes of enlightened people would be formidable indeed. However, if the friends become embodiments of virtue and good character, words and arguments will be superfluous. Their very deeds will well serve as eloquent testimony, and their noble conduct will ensure the preservation, integrity and glory of the Cause of God.
[full letter published in Tawqíʻát-i-Mubárakih; this excerpt pp. 168–70]
As to the order and the management of the spiritual affairs of the friends, that which is very important now is the consolidation of the Spiritual Assemblies in every centre, because on these fortified and unshakeable foundations, God's Supreme House of Justice shall be erected and firmly established in the days to come. When this most great Edifice shall be reared on such an immovable foundation, God's purpose, wisdom, universal truths, mysteries and realities of the Kingdom, which the mystic revelation of Bahá’u’lláh has deposited within the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Bahá, shall gradually be revealed and made manifest. (translated from the Persian)
[full letter published in Tawqíʻát-i-Mubárakih; this excerpt pp. 170–71]
6. Original letter published in Tawqíʻát-i-Mubárakih (1922–1926), pp. 158-179