Daily Reflection – 13 Alá (Loftiness) Fast

“O thou spiritual friend! Thou hast asked the wisdom of prayer. Know thou that prayer is indispensable and obligatory, and man under no pretext whatsoever is excused from performing the prayer unless he be mentally unsound, or an insurmountable obstacle prevent him.

“The wisdom of prayer is this: That it causeth a connection between the servant and the True One, because in that state man with all heart and soul turneth his face towards His Highness the Almighty, seeking His association and desiring His love and compassion. The greatest happiness for a lover is to converse with his beloved, and the greatest gift for a seeker is to become familiar with the object of his longing; that is why with every soul who is attracted to the Kingdom of God, his greatest hope is to find an opportunity to entreat and supplicate before his Beloved, appeal for His mercy and grace and be immersed in the ocean of His utterance, goodness and generosity.

“Besides all this, prayer and fasting is the cause of awakening and mindfulness and conducive to protection and preservation from tests….”

–‘Baha’i World Faith’, (Wilmette:  Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1956), p. 368 (TAB p. 683)

Daily Reflection – 5 Sultan (Sovereignty)

Morning:

“It is known and clear that today the unseen divine assistance encompasseth those who deliver the Message. And if the work of delivering the Message be neglected, the assistance shall be entirely cut off, for it is impossible that the friends of God could receive assistance unless they be engaged in delivering the Message. Under all conditions the Message must be delivered, but with wisdom. If it be not possible openly, it must be done quietly. The friends should be engaged in educating the souls and should become instruments in aiding the world of humanity to acquire spiritual joy and fragrance. For example: If every one of the friends (believers) were to establish relations of friendship and right dealings with one of the negligent souls, associate and live with him with perfect kindliness, and meanwhile through good conduct and moral behavior lead him to divine instruction, to heavenly advice and teachings, surely he would gradually arouse that negligent person and would change his ignorance into knowledge.

“Souls are liable to estrangement. Such methods should be adopted that the estrangement should be first removed, then the Word will have effect.

“If one of the believers be kind to one of the negligent ones and with perfect love should gradually make him understand the reality of the Cause of God in such a way that the latter should know in what manner the Religion of God hath been founded and what its object is, doubtless he will become changed; excepting abnormal souls who are reduced to the state of ashes and whose hearts are like stones, yea, even harder.

“If by this method every one of the friends of God were to try to lead one soul to the right path, the number of the believers would be doubled every year. But this should be carried out with perfect wisdom and in such a manner that no harm would ever result therefrom.”

(“Tablets of Abdul-Bahá Abbas”, vol. 2, p. 391)


Evening:

”If we acknowledge that there is a beginning for this world of creation, we acknowledge that the sovereignty of God is accidental—that is, we admit a time when the reality of Divinity has been without dominion (lit. “defeated”). The names and attributes of Divinity are requirements of this world. The names the Powerful, the Living, the Provider, the Creator require and necessitate the existence of creatures. If there were no creatures, Creator would be meaningless. If there were none to provide for, we could not think of the Provider. If there were no life, the Living would be beyond the power of conception. Therefore, all the names and attributes of God require the existence of objects or creatures upon which they have been bestowed and in which they have become manifest.”
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 218)

Daily Reflection – 3 Sharaf (Honour)

Morning:
“Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the glory of My Presence is withdrawn, and the ocean of My utterance is stilled. In my presence amongst you there is a wisdom, and in My absence there is yet another, inscrutable to all but God, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing.Verily, We behold you from Our realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favoured angels.”

(Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh, p. 138; Synopsis and Codification of the Laws and Ordinances of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 16) [Ed. – now translated in the Kitáb-i-Aqdas par 53.]


Evening:
“The first in Ṭihrán to hear of the circumstances attending that cruel martyrdom, after the Grand Vazír, was Mírzá Áqá Khán-i-Núrí, who had been banished to Káshán by Muḥammad Sháh when the Báb was passing through that city. He had assured Ḥájí Mírzá Jání, who had acquainted him with the precepts of the Faith, that if the love he bore for the new Revelation would cause him to regain his lost position, he would exert his utmost endeavour to secure the well-being and safety of the persecuted community. Ḥájí Mírzá Jání reported the matter to his Master, who charged him to assure the disgraced minister that ere long he would be summoned to Ṭihrán and would be invested, by his sovereign, with a position that would be second to none except that of the Sháh himself. He was warned not to forget his promise, and to strive to carry out his intention. He was delighted with that message, and renewed the assurance he had given.

“When the news of the Báb’s martyrdom reached him, he had already been promoted, had received the title of I’timádu’d-Dawlih, and was hoping to be raised to the position of Grand Vazír….

“His son, the Nizámu’l-Mulk, one day asked him whether he did not think that Bahá’u’lláh, who, of all the sons of the late Vazír, had shown Himself the most capable, had failed 523 to live up to the tradition of His father and had disappointed the hopes that had been reposed in Him. ‘My son,’ he replied, ‘do you really believe him to be an unworthy son of his father? All that either of us can hope to achieve is but a fleeting and precarious allegiance which will vanish as soon as our days are ended. Our mortal life can never be free from the vicissitudes that beset the path of earthly ambition. Should we even succeed in ensuring, in our lifetime, the honour of our name, who can tell whether, after our death, calumny may not stain our memory and undo the work we have achieved? Even those who, while we are still living, honour us with their lips would, in their hearts, condemn and vilify us were we, for but one moment, to fail to promote their interests. Not so, however, with Bahá’u’lláh. Unlike the great ones of the earth, whatever be their race or rank, he is the object of a love and devotion such as time cannot dim nor enemy destroy. His sovereignty the shadows of death can never obscure nor the tongue of the slanderer undermine. Such is the sway of his influence that no among his loves dare, in the stillness of night, evoke the memory of the faintest desire that could, even remotely, be construed as contrary to his wish. Such lovers will greatly increase in number. The love they bear him will never grow less, and will be transmitted from generation to generation until the world shall have been suffused with its glory.’”

(The Dawn-Breakers: Nabil’s Narrative of the Early Days of the Baha’i Revelation, Pages 500-527: 523)

Daily Reflection -15 Kalimát (Words)

Within the treasury of Our Wisdom there lieth unrevealed a knowledge, one word of which, if we chose to divulge it to mankind, would cause every human being to recognize the Manifestation of God and to acknowledge His omniscience, would enable every one to discover the secrets of all the sciences, and to attain so high a station as to find himself wholly independent of all past and future learning. Other knowledges We do as well possess, not a single letter of which We can disclose, nor do We find humanity able to hear even the barest reference to their meaning. Thus have We informed you of the knowledge of God, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise. Were We to find worthy vessels, We would deposit within them the treasures of hidden meanings and impart unto them a knowledge, one letter of which would encompass all created things.

(Baha’u’llah, The Summons of the Lord of Hosts, p. 35)

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