Daily Reflection – 11 Bahá (Splendor)

-Courtesy UCL

“Regarding your questions concerning the Bahá’í attitude on various economic problems, such as the problem of ownership, control and distribution of capital, and of other means of production, the problem of trusts and monopolies, and such economic experiments as social cooperatives; the Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá do not provide specific and detailed solutions to all such economic questions which mostly pertain to the domain of technical economics, and as such do not concern directly the Cause.
True, there are certain guiding principles in Bahá’í Sacred Writings on the subject of economics, but these do by no means cover the whole field of theoretical and applied economics, and are mostly intended to guide further Bahá’í economic writers and technicians to evolve an economic system which would function in full conformity with the spirit and the exact provisions of the Cause on this and similar subjects. The International House of Justice will have, in consultation with economic experts, to assist in the formulation and evolution of the Bahá’í economic system of the future. One thing, however, is certain, that the Cause neither accepts the theories of the Capitalistic economics in full, nor can it agree with the Marxists and Communists in their repudiation of the principle of private ownership and of the vital sacred rights of the individual.”-(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, June 10, 1930: Ibid.)

 

“The Teachings of Bahá’u’lláh advocate voluntary sharing, and this is a greater thing than the equalization of wealth. For equalization must be imposed from without, while sharing is a matter of free choice.”-(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Peace More Than an End to War, Wilmette, p. 115)

Daily Reflection – 5 Bahá (Splendor)

“Every Prophet Whom the Almighty and Peerless Creator hath purposed to send to the peoples of the earth hath been entrusted with a Message, and charged to act in a manner that would best meet the requirements of the age in which He appeared.God’s purpose in sending His Prophets unto men is twofold. The first is to liberate the children of men from the darkness of ignorance, and guide them to the light of true understanding. The second is to ensure the peace and tranquility of mankind, and provide all the means by which they can be established.”
Baha’u’llah, Gleanings, pp. 79-80

Daily Reflection – 3 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

Image by wallscorner.com

Before one reads this passage of the “sun” and “moon”, I am reminded of the following:

“The spiritual world is like unto the phenomenal world. They are the exact counterpart of each other. Whatever objects appear in this world of existence are the outer pictures of the world of heaven.” – — Abdu’l-Baha Talk at Home of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Morten
141 East Twenty-first Street, New York (Notes by Esther Foster)

To think of what I read and understand in a deeper more big picture view is how I approach the Writings.  That for everything in this world there is a spiritual counterpart, that everything has been bestowed a sign of an Name or Attribute of God boggles my mind and fills it with great wonder.  And furthermore,  in man, all God’s Names and Attributes have been bestowed…amazing to ponder.  In the Tablet of the Universe, Abdu’l-Baha states:

“These are spiritual truths relating to the spiritual world. In like manner, from these spiritual realities infer truths about the material world. For physical things are signs and imprints of spiritual things;”…

So much to think about, to share, to explore.  Of course, the Manifestations have been likened to the sun as well and to springtime, and the imagery goes on and on.  I pray that you will reflect on such marvelous mysteries in the Writings and share your thoughts and feelings as well.  Enough of my rambling, now for today’s passage.

“Moreover, in the traditions the terms “sun” and “moon” have been applied to prayer and fasting, even as it is said: “Fasting is illumination, prayer is light.”One day, a well-known divine came to visit Us. While We were conversing with him, he referred to the above-quoted tradition. He said: “Inasmuch as fasting causeth the heat of the body to increase, it hath therefore been likened unto the light of the sun; and as the prayer of the night-season refresheth man, it hath been compared unto the radiance of the moon.” Thereupon We realized that that poor man had not been favoured with a single drop of the ocean of true understanding, and had strayed far from the burning Bush of divine wisdom. We then politely observed to him saying: “The interpretation your honour hath given to this tradition is the one current amongst the people. Could it not be interpreted differently?” He asked Us: “What could it be?” We made reply: “Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, and the most distinguished of God’s chosen Ones, hath likened the Dispensation of the Qur’an unto heaven, by reason of its loftiness, its paramount influence, its majesty, and the fact that it comprehendeth all religions. And as the sun and moon constitute the brightest and most prominent luminaries in the heavens, similarly in the heaven of the religion of God two shining orbs have been ordained — fasting and prayer. ‘Islam is heaven; fasting is its sun, prayer, its moon.'”

— Baha’u’llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, pp. 39 – 41 

Daily Reflection – 2 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

Photo by Marco Abrar

Exaggerated fasting destroys the divine forces. God has created man in a way that cannot be surpassed; we must not try to change his creation. Strive to attain nearness to reality through the acquisition of strength of character, through morality, through good works and helping the poor, through being consumed with the fire of the love of God and in discovering each day new spiritual mysteries. This is the path of intimate approach.

— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Divine Philosophy, p. 99

By God, the True One, verily, the gifts of God are in such profusion as to rush like a torrent, overflow as a sea, and shower as rain. Gird up thy loins, strengthen thy back, make firm thy feet, and exert thyself in quickening souls, dilating breasts, illumining insights, giving hearing to ears, and attracting hearts. Unseal the jars of the choice wine of the love of God, and give the craving ones to drink from this cup which is overflowing with the knowledge of God.

— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 163 

Daily Reflection – 1 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

Photo by Marco Abrar

O ye [1] Cohorts of God!

A letter which was signed by you in general was received. Its content was of the utmost beauty, sweetness, eloquence and perfection. While reading it the utmost happiness was produced. It spoke of fasting during the month of the Fast. Happy is your condition for you have executed the divine command; and have arisen to fast in these blessed days. For this physical fasting is a symbol of the spiritual fasting, that is, abstaining from all carnal desires, becoming characterized with the attributes of the spiritual ones, attracted to the heavenly fragrances and enkindled with the fire of the love of God.

— ‘Abdu’l-Baha, Tablets of ‘Abdu’l-Baha v1, p. 40    

[1]Revealed in response to a supplication signed by 489 believers in America during the period of the 19-day fast in 1906.

3 AYYÁM-I-HÁ

Image by Glenn Franco Simmons

Here is a historical account of how Baha’u’llah and some of the early believers celebrated Ayyam-i-Ha:

On the first day of the Ayyam-i-Ha [Intercalary days] one of the pilgrims had invited Baha’u’llah and all the believers in Akka to lunch. I too went to Mazra‘ih. Early in the morning a large tent was pitched in front of the entrance to the garden on a delightful open space. That morning all the believers, numbering almost two hundred, consisting of those who were living in the Holy Land and the pilgrims, came to Mazra‘ih.

Around the time of noon, the Blessed Beauty came down from the Mansion and majestically entered the tent. All the believers were standing in front of the tent. Then Mirza Aqa Jan, standing in the presence of Baha’u’llah chanted a dawn prayer for fasting which had been revealed on that day. When the prayer was finished the Blessed Beauty instructed all to be seated. Every person sat down in the place where he was standing. His blessed Person spoke to us and after His utterances were ended He asked, ‘What happened to the Feast, is it really going to happen?’ Thereupon a few friends hurried away and soon lunch was brought in. They placed a low table in the middle of the tent. His blessed person and all the Aghsan [The male descendants of Baha’u’llah] sat around the table and since there was more room, He called some by name to join Him. Among these my name was called; He said, Aqa Tahir, come and sit.’ So I went in and sat at the table in His presence.

At some point Baha’u’llah said, ‘We have become tired of eating. Those who have had enough may leave.’ I immediately arose and His blessed Person left. At first the food which was left over on His plate was divided among the friends, and then group after group entered the tent and had their meal. Everyone at this feast partook of both physical and spiritual food.

–(Adib Taherzadeh, The Revelation of Baha’u’llah, vol. 4, p.8)

 

 

 

 

 

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On Instagram