Bahai Charter uv Bahai-Faith uv Religion uv Omneeonizm

The Charter of the Baha'i Faith…

Kitab-i-Ahd

(THE BOOK OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT OF GOD)

1 Although the Most High Horizon is devoid of trivial possessions of the earth, we have nevertheless bequeathed unto our heirs a noble and peerless heritage within the treasure-house of trust and resignation.

2 We have left no treasure, nor have We added to man's pains.

3 By the life of God! In earthly riches fear is hidden and peril is concealed. Consider, then take warning by what the God of Mercy hath revealed in the Qur'an: "Woe unto those who malign and speak evil of their fellows; who hoard earthly goods and count their riches." [1]

4 Earthly possessions are unstable; wherefore whatsoever passeth or suffereth vicissitudes is unworthy of regard except to a limited measure.

5 In bearing hardships and tribulations and in revealing verses and expounding proofs, it has been the purpose of this oppressed One to extinguish the fire of hate and animosity, that, haply, the horizons of the hearts of mankind be illumined with the light of concord and attain real tranquillity.

6 The light of the following utterance shineth from the horizon of the Divine Tablet, which should be observed by all: Oh people of the world! I counsel you to act in a manner which shall tend to elevate your stations. Cling to divine virtue and obey the divine law. Truly I say, the tongue is for mentioning what is good; do not defile it by evil speech. "God hath forgiven your past ways." You must henceforth speak that which is worthy. Shun reviling, maligning, and whatsoever will offend your fellow men.

7 Man's station is great. Ere this, the following exalted words have flowed forth from the pen of Abha:

8 This is a Day great and blessed. Whatsoever is hidden in man is today being revealed. The station of man is great, were he to cling to truth and righteousness and be firm and steadfast in the Cause. Before the God of Mercy, a true man appears like unto heaven. The sun and moon of that heaven are his sight and hearing, and its stars are his shining attributes. His station is the highest and his signs are the educator of the world.

9 In this Day, every believer who discovered the fragrance of the garment and turned with a pure heart, unto the Elyon Nirvana is indeed recorded in the Crimson Tablet as of the people of the Baha.

10 Hold the chalice of My grace in My name. Then drain it in My mention, the El, the wonderful!

11 O people of the world! The religion of God is to create love and unity; do not make it the cause of enmity or discord. All that is regarded by men of insight and the people of the most lofty outlook as the means for safeguarding and effecting the peace and tranquillity of man, has flowed from the Supreme Pen. But the ignorant ones who are the victim of self and desire, are heedless of the consummate wisdom of the truly Wise One, and their words and deeds are the prompted by fancy and superstition.

12 O ye chosen of God and His trusted ones! Kings are the manifestors of God's power and the source of His majesty and affluence. Pray ye on their behalf. The government of the earth hath been vouchsafed unto them.But the hearts of men He decreed unto Himself. He forbade conflict and strife — a rigid prohibition in the Book. This is a Decree of God in this most great Manifestion; and God hath preserved it from annulment and it with the broidered garment of confirmation. Verily, He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise!

13 It is incumbent upon everyone to aid those daysprings of authority and sources of command who are adorned with the ornament of equity and justice. Blessed are the rulers and learned among the people of Baha. They are my trustees among My servants and the manifestations of My commandments amidst My people. Upon them rest my glory, My blessings and My grace which have pervaded the world of being. In this connection the utterances revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas are such that from the horizon of their words the light of divine grace shineth luminous and resplendant.

14 O My Branches! A mighty power and supreme potency is hidden and concealed in the world being. Focus your gaze upon it and upon the direction of its unity, not upon the differences which are apparent therein.

15 God's Will and Testament enjoins upon the branches, the twigs, and the kinsfolk, one and all, to gaze upon the most great Branch. Consider what We have revealed in My Book of Aqdas, to wit:

16 "When the sea of My Presence is exhausted and the Book of Origin hath reached its end, turn you unto him ('Abdu'l-Baha) who is desired by God — He Who is issued from this Ancient Root."

17 The purpose of this sacred verse is the most great Branch. Thus have We declared the matter as a favor on Our part, and We are the Gracious, the Beneficient!

18 God hath, verily, decreed the station of the great Branch to be beneath that of the most great Branch. Verily, He is the wise ordainer. We have chosen el-Akbar after the el'A'sam, as a command on the part of God, the All-Knowing, the Omniscient.

19 All must regard the other Branches with affection, but God hath not decreed unto them any right to the people's property.

20 Oh my Branches, my Twigs, and my kinsfolk! I counsel you to manifest divine virtue, and to act in accord with the Law and with whatsoever is befitting and will elevate your stations.

21 Truly I say, virtue is the greatest commander which leads the Cause of God to victory, and the legions which deserve this commander are pure, sanctified and praiseworthy deeds and attributes.

22 Say: O servants! Do not make the cause of order a cause of disorder, nor the means of unity a means for disunity. It is hoped that the people of Baha will observe the sacred verse: "Say, all are created by God." This lofty utterance is like unto water for quenching the fire of hate and hostility which is hidden and stored in mens hearts and minds. This single utterance will cause the various sects and creeds to attain the light of true unity. Verily He speaketh truth and guideth to the right path; and He is the Mighty, the Glorious, the Omnipotent.

23 For the honor of the Cause and the promotion of the Word — it is necessary that all shall respect and have regard for the Branches. This command has been recorded once and again in the divine Book. Blessed is he who obeys whatsoever hath been ordained on the part of God, the ancient ruler. All shall also have respect for the women-members of Our household and for the Afnan and the kinsfolk. We likewise counsel you to serve mankind and bring peace to the world.

24 All that leads to the quickening of the peoples and the salvation of the world hath been revealed from the kingdom of utterance by the Lord of mankind. hearken to the exhortations of the Supreme Pen with ideal ears. These are preferable unto you above all that is upon the earth. Whereunto beareth witness my Book, the Blessed the Glorious!

1. Qur'an 104:1-2

TABLET OF THE BRANCH

He is Eternal in His Abha Horizon!

Verily, the Cause of God hath come upon the clouds of utterances and the polytheists are in this day in great torment! Verily, the hosts of revelation have descended with banners of inspiration from the heaven of the Tablet in the name of God, the powerful, the mighty! At this time the monotheists all rejoice in the victory of God and His dominion, and the deniers will then be in manifest perplexity.

O ye people! Do ye flee from the mercy of God after it has encompassed the existent things created between the heavens and earths? Beware lest ye prefer your own selves before the mercy of God, and deprive not yourselves thereof! Verily, whosoever turneth away therefrom will be in great loss. Verily, mercy is like unto verses which have descended from the one heaven, and from them the monotheists drink the choice wine of life, whilst the polytheists drink from the fiery water; and when the verses of God are read to them, the fire of hatred is enkindled within their breasts. Thus have they preferred their own selves before the mercy of God, and are of those who are heedless.

Enter, O people, beneath the shelter of the Word! Then drink therefrom the choice wine of inner significances and utterances; for therein is hidden the kawther of the glorious One—and it hath appeared from the horizon of the Will of your Lord, the merciful, with wonderful lights.

Say: Verily, the ocean of pre-existence hath branched forth from this most great Ocean. Blessed, therefore, is he who abides upon Its shores, and is of those who are established thereon. Verily, this most sacred temple of Abhathe Branch of Holinesshath branched forth from the Sadratu'l-Muntaha. Blessed is whosoever sought shelter beneath it and is of those who rest therein.

Say: Verily, the branch of command hath sprung forth from this root which God hath firmly planted in the ground of the will, the limb of which has been elevated to a station which encompasses all existence. There, exalted be He for this creation, the lofty, the blessed, the inaccessible, the mighty!

O ye people! Draw nigh unto It, and taste the fruits of its knowledge and wisdom on the part of the mighty, the knowing One. Whosoever will not taste thereof shall be deprived of the bounty, even though he hath partaken of all that is in the earth—were ye of those who know.

Say: Verily a word hath gone forth in favor from the most great Tablet and God has adorned It with the mantle of Himself, and made it sovereign over all in the earth and a sign of His grandeur and omnipotence among the creatures; in order that, through it, the people shall praise their Lord, the mighty, the powerful, the wise; and that, through it, they shall glorify their creator and sanctify the self of God which standeth within all things. Verily, this is naught but a Revelation upon the part of the wise, the ancient One!

Say: O people, praise ye God, for its Manifestation, for verily it is the most great favor upon you and the most perfect blessing upon you; and through Him every moldering bone is quickened. Whosoever turns to Him hath surely turned unto God, and whosoever turneth away from Him hath turned away from My beauty, denied My proof and is of those who transgress. Verily, He is the remembrance of God amongst you and His trust within you, and His manifestation unto you and His appearance among the servants who are nigh. Thus have I been commanded to convey you the message of God, your Creator; and I have delivered to you that of which I was commanded. Whereupon, thereunto testifieth God, then His angels, then His messengers, and then His holy servants.

Inhale the fragrances of the Ridvan from His roses and be not of those who are deprived. Appreciate the bounty of God upon you and be not veiled therefrom—and, verily, We have sent Him forth in the temple of man. Thus praise ye the Lord, the Originator of whatsoever He willeth through His wise and inviolable Command!

Verily, those who withold themselves from the shelter of the Branch are indeed lost in the wilderness of perplexity; and are consumed by the heat of self-desire, and are of those who perish.

Hasten, O people, unto the shelter of God, in order that He may protect you from the heat of the Day whereon none shall find for himself any refuge or shelter except beneath the shelter of His Name, the clement, the forgiving! Clothe yourselves, O people, with the garment of assurance, in order that He may protect you from the dart of doubts and superstitions, and that ye may be of those who are assured in those days wherein none shall ever be assured and none shall be firmly established in the Cause, except by severing himself from all that is possessed by the people and turning unto the holy and radiant Outlook.

O ye people! Do ye take unto yourselves the Jebt as a helper other than God, and do ye seek the Taghoot as a Lord besides your Lord the almighty, the omnipotent? Forsake, O people, their mention, then hold the chalice of life in the Name of your Lord, the merciful. Verily, by God, the existent world is quickened through a drop thereof, were ye of those who know.

Say: In that Day there is no refuge for any one save the command of God, and no salvation for any soul but God. Verily, this is the truth and there is naught after truth but manifest error.

Verily, God hath made it incumbent upon every soul to deliver His Cause according to his ability. Thus hath the command been recorded by the finger of might and power upon the Tablet of majesty and greatness.

Whosoever quickens one soul in this Cause is like unto one quickening all the servants and the Lord shall bring him forth in the day of resurrection into the Ridvan of oneness, adorned with the Mantle of Himself, the protector, the mighty, the generous! Thus will ye assist your Lord, and naught else save this shall ever be mentioned in this day before God, your Lord and the Lord of your forefathers.

As to thee, O servant, hearken unto the admonition given unto thee in the Tablet; then seek the grace of they Lord at all times. Then spread the Tablet among those who believe in God and in His verses; so that they may follow that which is contained therein, and be of those who are praiseworthy.

Say: O people, cause no corruption in the earth and dispute not with men; for, verily, this is not worthy of those who have chosen in the shelter of their Lord a station which shall indeed remain secure.

If ye find one athirst, give him to drink from the chalice of Kawtha and Tasneen; and if ye find one endowed with an attentive ear, read unto him the verses of God, the mighty, the merciful, the compassionate! Unloose the tongue with excellent utterance, then admonish the people if ye find them advancing unto the sanctuary of God; otherwise abandon them unto themselves and forsake them in the abyss of hell. Beware lest ye scatter the pearls of inner significance before every barren, dumb one. Verily, the blind are deprived of witnessing the lights and are unable to distinguish between the stone and the holy, precious pearl.

Verily, wert thou to read the most mighty, wonderful verses to the stone for a thousand years, will it understand, or will they take any effect therein? No! by thy Lord, the merciful, the clement! If thou readest all the verses of God unto the deaf, will he hear a single letter? No! Verily, by the beauty, the mighty, the ancient!

Thus have We delivered unto thee some of the jewels of wisdom and utterance, in order that thou mayest gaze unto the direction of thy Lord and be severed from all the creatures. May the spirit and glory rest upon thee, and upon those who dwell upon the plain of holiness and who remain in the Cause of their Lord in manifest steadfastness!

The Covenant of Abdu'l-Baha

ACAB2

ACAB3

ACAB4

ACAB5

The TESTAMENT of

'ABDU'L-BAHÁ

He Is the Witness, the All Sufficing

44. O my God! my Beloved, my heart's Desire! Thou knowest, Thou seest that which hath befallen this servant of Thine, that hath humbled himself at Thy Door, and Thou knowest the sins committed against him by the people of malice, they that have broken Thy Covenant and turned their backs on Thy Testament. In the day-time they afflicted me with the arrows of hate and in the night-season they privily conspired to hurt me. At dawn they committed that which the Celestial Concourse did lament and at eventide they unsheathed against me the sword of tyranny and hurled in the presence of the ungodly their darts of calumny upon me. Notwithstanding their misdeeds, this lowly servant of Thine was patient and did endure every affliction and trial at their hands, though by Thy power and might he could have destroyed their words, quenched their fire and stayed the flame of their rebelliousness.

45. Thou seest, O my God! how my long-suffering, my forbearance and silence have increased their cruelty, their arrogance and their pride. By Thy Glory, O Beloved One! They have misbelieved in Thee and rebelled against Thee in such wise that they left me not a moment of rest and quiet, that I might arise as it is meet and seemly, to exalt Thy Word amidst mankind, and might serve at Thy Threshold of Holiness with a heart that overfloweth with the joy of the dwellers of the Abhá Kingdom.

46. Lord! My cup of woe runneth over, and from all sides blows are fiercely raging upon me. The darts of affliction have compassed me round and the arrows of distress have rained upon me. Thus tribulation overwhelmed me and my strength, because of the onslaught of the foemen, became weakness within me, while I stood alone and forsaken in the midst of my woes. Lord! Have mercy upon me, lift me up unto Thyself and make me to drink from the Chalice of Martyrdom, for the wide world with all its vastness can no longer contain me.

47. Thou art, verily, the Merciful, the Compassionate, the Gracious, the All-Bountiful!

48. O ye the true, the sincere, the faithful friends of this wronged one! Everyone knoweth and believeth what calamities and afflictions have befallen this wronged one, this prisoner, at the hands of those who have broken the Covenant at the time when, after the setting of the Day-Star of the world, his heart was consumed with the flame of His bereavement.

49. When, in all parts of the earth, the enemies of God profiting by the passing of the Sun of Truth, suddenly and with all their might launched their attack; at such a time and in the midst of so great a calamity, the Covenant-breakers arose with the utmost cruelty, intent upon harm and the stirring up of the spirit of enmity. At every moment a misdeed they did commit and bestirred themselves to sow the seeds of grievous sedition, and to ruin the edifice of the Covenant. But this wronged one, this prisoner, did his utmost to hide and veil their doings, that haply they might regret and repent. His long-suffering and forbearance of these evil deeds, however, made the rebellious ones still more arrogant and daring; until, through leaflets written with their own hands, they sowed the seeds of doubt, printing these leaflets and scattering them broadcast throughout the world, believing that such foolish doings would bring to naught the Covenant and the Testament.

50. Thereupon the loved ones of the Lord arose, inspired with the greatest confidence and constancy and aided by the power of the Kingdom, by Divine Strength, by heavenly Grace, by the unfailing help and Celestial Bounty, they with stood the enemies of the Covenant in well-nigh three score and ten treatises and supported by conclusive proof, unmistakable evidences and clear texts from the Holy Writ, they refuted their scrolls of doubt and mischief-kindling leaflets. The Center of Sedition was thus confounded in his craftiness, afflicted by the wrath of God, sunk into a degradation and infamy that shall be lasting until the Day of Doom. Base and wretched is the plight of the people of evil deeds, they that are in grievous loss!

51. And as they lost their cause, grew hopeless in their efforts against the loved ones of God, saw the Standard of His Testament waving throughout all regions and witnessed the power of the Covenant of the Merciful One, the flame of envy so blazed within them as to be beyond recounting. With the utmost vigor, exertion, rancor and enmity, they followed another path, walked in another way, devised an other plan: that of kindling the flame of sedition in the heart of the very government itself, and thus caused this wronged one, this prisoner to appear as a mover of strife, inimical to the government and a hater and opponent of the crown. Perchance 'Abdu'l-Bahá may be put to death and his name be made to perish whereby an arena may be opened unto the enemies of the Covenant wherein they may advance and spur on their charger, inflict a grievous loss upon everyone and subvert the very foundations of the edifice of the Cause of God. For so grievous is the conduct and behavior of this false people that they are become even as an axe striking at the very root of the Blessed Tree. Should they be suffered to continue they would, in but a few days' time, exterminate the Cause of God, His word, and themselves.

52. Hence, the beloved of the Lord must entirely shun them, avoid them, foil their machinations and evil whisperings, guard the Law of God and His religion, engage one and all in diffusing widely the sweet savors of God and to the best of their endeavor proclaim His Teachings.

53. Whosoever and whatsoever meeting becometh a hindrance to the diffusion of the Light of Faith, let the loved ones give them counsel and say:"Of all the gifts of God the greatest is the gift of Teaching. It draweth unto us the Grace of God and is our first obligation. Of such a gift how can we deprive ourselves? Nay, our lives, our goods, our comforts, our rest, we offer them all as a sacrifice for the Abhá Beauty and teach the Cause of God." Caution and prudence, however, must be observed even as recorded in the Book. The veil must in no wise be suddenly rent asunder. The Glory of Glories rest upon you.

54. O ye the faithful loved ones of 'Abdu'l-Bahá! It is incumbent upon you to take the greatest care of Shoghi Effendi, the twig that hath branched from and the fruit given forth by the two hallowed and Divine Lote-Trees, that no dust of despondency and sorrow may stain his radiant nature, that day by day he may wax greater in happiness, in joy and spirituality, and may grow to become even as a fruitful tree.

55. For he is, after 'Abdu'l-Bahá, the guardian of the Cause of God, the Afnán, the Hands (pillars) of the Cause and the beloved of the Lord must obey him and turn unto him. He that obeyeth him not, hath not obeyed God; he that turneth away from him, hath turned away from God and he that denieth him, hath denied the True One. Beware lest anyone falsely interpret these words, and like unto them that have broken the Covenant after the Day of Ascension (of Bahá'u'lláh) advance a pretext, raise the standard of revolt, wax stubborn and open wide the door of false interpretation. To none is given the right to put forth his own opinion or express his particular convictions. All must seek guidance and turn unto the Center of the Cause and the House of Justice. And he that turneth unto whatsoever else is indeed in grievous error.

56. The Glory of Glories rest upon you!

The Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh

To the beloved of God and the handmaids of the Merciful throughout the West.
Fellow-laborers in the Divine Vineyard:
On the 23rd of May of this auspicious year the Bahá’í world will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. We, who at this hour find ourselves standing on the threshold of the last decade of the first century of the Bahá’í era, might well pause to reflect upon the mysterious dispensations of so august, so momentous a Revelation. How vast, how entrancing the panorama which the revolution of four score years and ten unrolls before our eyes! Its towering grandeur well-nigh overwhelms us. To merely contemplate this unique spectacle, to visualize, however dimly, the circumstances attending the birth and gradual unfoldment of this supreme Theophany, to recall even in their barest outline the woeful struggles that proclaimed its rise and accelerated its march, will suffice to convince every unbiased observer of those eternal truths that motivate its life and which must continue to impel it forward until it achieves its destined ascendancy.
Dominating the entire range of this fascinating spectacle towers the incomparable figure of Bahá’u’lláh, transcendental in His majesty, serene, awe-inspiring, unapproachably glorious. Allied, though subordinate in rank, and invested with the authority of presiding with Him over the destinies of this supreme Dispensation, there shines upon this mental picture the youthful glory of the Báb, infinite in His tenderness, irresistible in His charm, unsurpassed in His heroism, matchless in the dramatic circumstances of His short yet eventful life. And finally there emerges, though on a plane of its own and in a category entirely apart from the one occupied by the twin Figures that preceded Him, the vibrant, the magnetic personality of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, reflecting to a degree that no man, however exalted his station, can hope to rival, the glory and power with which They who are the Manifestations of God are alone endowed.
With ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s ascension, and more particularly with the passing of His well-beloved and illustrious sister the Most Exalted Leaf—the last survivor of a glorious and heroic age—there draws to a close the first and most moving chapter of Bahá’í history, marking the conclusion of the Primitive, the Apostolic Age of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh. It was ‘Abdu’l-Bahá Who, through the provisions of His weighty Will and Testament, has forged the vital link which must for ever connect the age that has just expired with the one we now live in—the Transitional and Formative period of the Faith—a stage that must in the fullness of time reach its blossom and yield its fruit in the exploits and triumphs that are to herald the Golden Age of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh.
Dearly-beloved friends! The onrushing forces so miraculously released through the agency of two independent and swiftly successive Manifestations are now under our very eyes and through the care of the chosen stewards of a far-flung Faith being gradually mustered and disciplined. They are slowly crystallizing into institutions that will come to be regarded as the hall-mark and glory of the age we are called upon to establish and by our deeds immortalize. For upon our present-day efforts, and above all upon the extent to which we strive to remodel our lives after the pattern of sublime heroism associated with those gone before us, must depend the efficacy of the instruments we now fashion—instruments that must erect the structure of that blissful Commonwealth which must signalize the Golden Age of our Faith.
It is not my purpose, as I look back upon these crowded years of heroic deeds, to attempt even a cursory review of the mighty events that have transpired since 1844 until the present day. Nor have I any intention to undertake an analysis of the forces that have precipitated them, or to evaluate their influence upon peoples and institutions in almost every continent of the globe. The authentic record of the lives of the first believers of the primitive period of our Faith, together with the assiduous research which competent Bahá’í historians will in the future undertake, will combine to transmit to posterity such masterly exposition of the history of that age as my own efforts can never hope to accomplish. My chief concern at this challenging period of Bahá’í history is rather to call the attention of those who are destined to be the champion-builders of the Administrative Order of Bahá’u’lláh to certain fundamental 99 verities the elucidation of which must tremendously assist them in the effective prosecution of their mighty enterprise.
The international status which the Religion of God has thus far achieved, moreover, imperatively demands that its root principles be now definitely clarified. The unprecedented impetus which the illustrious deeds of the American believers have lent to the onward march of the Faith; the intense interest which the first Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the West is fast awakening among divers races and nations; the rise and steady consolidation of Bahá’í institutions in no less than forty of the most advanced countries of the world; the dissemination of Bahá’í literature in no fewer than twenty-five of the most widely-spoken languages; the success that has recently attended the nation-wide efforts of the Persian believers in the preliminary steps they have taken for the establishment, in the outskirts of the capital-city of their native land, of the third Mashriqu’l-Adhkár of the Bahá’í world; the measures that are being taken for the immediate formation of their first National Spiritual Assembly representing the interests of the overwhelming majority of Bahá’í adherents; the projected erection of yet another pillar of the Universal House of Justice, the first of its kind, in the Southern Hemisphere; the testimonies, both verbal and written, that a struggling Faith has obtained from Royalty, from governmental institutions, international tribunals, and ecclesiastical dignitaries; the publicity it has received from the charges which unrelenting enemies, both new and old, have hurled against it; the formal enfranchisement of a section of its followers from the fetters of Muslim orthodoxy in a country that may be regarded as the most enlightened among Islamic nations—these afford ample proof of the growing momentum with which the invincible community of the Most Great Name is marching forward to ultimate victory.
Dearly-beloved friends! I feel it incumbent upon me, by virtue of the obligations and responsibilities which as Guardian of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh I am called upon to discharge, to lay special stress, at a time when the light of publicity is being increasingly focussed upon us, upon certain truths which lie at the basis of our Faith and the integrity of which it is our first duty to safeguard. These verities, if valiantly upheld and properly assimilated, will, I am convinced, powerfully reinforce the vigor of our spiritual life 100 and greatly assist in counteracting the machinations of an implacable and vigilant enemy.
To strive to obtain a more adequate understanding of the significance of Bahá’u’lláh’s stupendous Revelation must, it is my unalterable conviction, remain the first obligation and the object of the constant endeavor of each one of its loyal adherents. An exact and thorough comprehension of so vast a system, so sublime a revelation, so sacred a trust, is for obvious reasons beyond the reach and ken of our finite minds. We can, however, and it is our bounden duty to seek to derive fresh inspiration and added sustenance as we labor for the propagation of His Faith through a clearer apprehension of the truths it enshrines and the principles on which it is based.
In a communication addressed to the American believers I have in the course of my explanation of the station of the Báb made a passing reference to the incomparable greatness of the Revelation of which He considered Himself to be the humble Precursor. He Whom Bahá’u’lláh has acclaimed in the Kitáb-i-Íqán as that promised Qá’im Who has manifested no less than twenty-five out of the twenty-seven letters which all the Prophets were destined to reveal—so great a Revealer has Himself testified to the préeminence of that superior Revelation that was soon to supersede His own. “The germ,” the Báb asserts in the Persian Bayán, “that holds within itself the potentialities of the Revelation that is to come is endowed with a potency superior to the combined forces of all those who follow me.” “Of all the tributes,” He again affirms, “I have paid to Him Who is to come after Me, the greatest is this, My written confession, that no words of Mine can adequately describe Him, nor can any reference to Him in My Book, the Bayán, do justice to His Cause.” “The Bayán,” He in that same Book categorically declares, “and whosoever is therein revolve round the saying of ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest,’ even as the Alif (the Gospel) and whosoever was therein revolved round the saying of Muḥammad, the Apostle of God.” “A thousand perusals of the Bayán,” He further remarks, “cannot equal the perusal of a single verse to be revealed by ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest.’… Today the Bayán is in the stage of seed; at the beginning of the manifestation of ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest’ its ultimate perfection will become apparent…. The Bayán and such as are believers therein yearn more ardently after Him than the yearning of any lover after his beloved…. The Bayán deriveth all its glory from 101 ‘Him Whom God shall make manifest.’ All blessing be upon him who believeth in Him and woe betide him that rejecteth His truth.”
Addressing Siyyid Yaḥyáy-i-Darábí surnamed Vahíd, the most learned, the most eloquent and influential among His followers, the Báb utters this warning: “By the righteousness of Him Whose power causeth the seed to germinate and Who breatheth the spirit of life into all things, were I to be assured that in the day of His manifestation thou wilt deny Him, I would unhesitatingly disown thee and repudiate thy faith…. If, on the other hand, I be told that a Christian, who beareth no allegiance to My Faith, will believe in Him, the same will I regard as the apple of Mine Eye.”
In one of His prayers He thus communes with Bahá’u’lláh: “Exalted art Thou, O my Lord the Omnipotent! How puny and contemptible my word and all that pertaineth unto me appear unless they be related to Thy great glory. Grant that through the assistance of Thy grace whatsoever pertaineth unto me may be acceptable in Thy sight.”
In the Qayyúmu’l-Asmá—the Báb’s commentary on the Súrih of Joseph—characterized by the Author of the Íqán as “the first, the greatest and mightiest” of the books revealed by the Báb, we read the following references to Bahá’u’lláh: “Out of utter nothingness, O great and omnipotent Master, Thou hast, through the celestial potency of Thy might, brought me forth and raised me up to proclaim this Revelation. I have made none other but Thee my trust; I have clung to no will but Thy will… O Thou Remnant of God! I have sacrificed myself wholly for Thee: I have accepted curses for Thy sake, and have yearned for naught but martyrdom in the path of Thy love. Sufficient witness unto me is God, the Exalted, the Protector, the Ancient of Days.” “And when the appointed hour hath struck,” He again addresses Bahá’u’lláh in that same commentary, “do Thou, by the leave of God, the All-Wise, reveal from the heights of the Most Lofty and Mystic Mount a faint, an infinitesimal glimmer of Thy impenetrable Mystery, that they who have recognized the radiance of the Sinaic Splendor may faint away and die as they catch a lightening glimpse of the fierce and crimson Light that envelops Thy Revelation.”
As a further testimony to the greatness of the Revelation identified with Bahá’u’lláh may be cited the following extracts from a Tablet addressed by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá to an eminent Zoroastrian follower of the Faith: “Thou hadst written that in the sacred books of the followers of Zoroaster it is written that in the latter days, in 102 three separate Dispensations, the sun must needs be brought to a standstill. In the first Dispensation, it is predicted, the sun will remain motionless for ten days; in the second for twice that time; in the third for no less than one whole month. The interpretation of this prophecy is this: the first Dispensation to which it refers is the Muḥammadan Dispensation during which the Sun of Truth stood still for ten days. Each day is reckoned as one century. The Muḥammadan Dispensation must have, therefore, lasted no less than one thousand years, which is precisely the period that has elapsed from the setting of the Star of the Imamate to the advent of the Dispensation proclaimed by the Báb. The second Dispensation referred to in this prophecy is the one inaugurated by the Báb Himself, which began in the year 1260 A.H. and was brought to a close in the year 1280 A.H. As to the third Dispensation—the Revelation proclaimed by Bahá’u’lláh—inasmuch as the Sun of Truth when attaining that station shineth in the plenitude of its meridian splendor its duration hath been fixed for a period of one whole month, which is the maximum time taken by the sun to pass through a sign of the Zodiac. From this thou canst imagine the magnitude of the Bahá’í cycle—a cycle that must extend over a period of at least five hundred thousand years.”
From the text of this explicit and authoritative interpretation of so ancient a prophecy it is evident how necessary it is for every faithful follower of the Faith to accept the divine origin and uphold the independent status of the Muḥammadan Dispensation. The validity of the Imamate is, moreover, implicitly recognized in these same passages—that divinely-appointed institution of whose most distinguished member the Báb Himself was a lineal descendant, and which continued for a period of no less than two hundred and sixty years to be the chosen recipient of the guidance of the Almighty and the repository of one of the two most precious legacies of Islám.
This same prophecy, we must furthermore recognize, attests the independent character of the Bábí Dispensation and corroborates indirectly the truth that in accordance with the principle of progressive revelation every Manifestation of God must needs vouchsafe to the peoples of His day a measure of divine guidance ampler than any which a preceding and less receptive age could have received or appreciated. For this reason, and not for any superior merit which the Bahá’í Faith may be said to inherently possess, does this prophecy bear witness to the unrivaled power and glory with which the Dispensation of Bahá’u’lláh has been invested—a Dispensation the 103 potentialities of which we are but beginning to perceive and the full range of which we can never determine.
The Faith of Bahá’u’lláh should indeed be regarded, if we wish to be faithful to the tremendous implications of its message, as the culmination of a cycle, the final stage in a series of successive, of preliminary and progressive revelations. These, beginning with Adam and ending with the Báb, have paved the way and anticipated with an ever-increasing emphasis the advent of that Day of Days in which He Who is the Promise of All Ages should be made manifest.
To this truth the utterances of Bahá’u’lláh abundantly testify. A mere reference to the claims which, in vehement language and with compelling power, He Himself has repeatedly advanced cannot but fully demonstrate the character of the Revelation of which He was the chosen bearer. To the words that have streamed from His pen—the fountainhead of so impetuous a Revelation—we should, therefore, direct our attention if we wish to obtain a clearer understanding of its importance and meaning. Whether in His assertion of the unprecedented claim He has advanced, or in His allusions to the mysterious forces He has released, whether in such passages as extol the glories of His long-awaited Day, or magnify the station which they who have recognized its hidden virtues will attain, Bahá’u’lláh and, to an almost equal extent, the Báb and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, have bequeathed to posterity mines of such inestimable wealth as none of us who belong to this generation can befittingly estimate. Such testimonies bearing on this theme are impregnated with such power and reveal such beauty as only those who are versed in the languages in which they were originally revealed can claim to have sufficiently appreciated. So numerous are these testimonies that a whole volume would be required to be written in order to compile the most outstanding among them. All I can venture to attempt at present is to share with you only such passages as I have been able to glean from His voluminous writings.
“I testify before God,” proclaims Bahá’u’lláh, “to the greatness, the inconceivable greatness of this Revelation. Again and again have We in most of Our Tablets borne witness to this truth, that mankind may be roused from its heedlessness.” “In this most mighty Revelation,” He unequivocally announces, “all the Dispensations of the past have attained their highest, their final consummation.” “That which hath been made manifest in this préeminent, this most exalted Revelation, stands unparalleled in the annals of the past, nor 104 will future ages witness its like.” “He it is,” referring to Himself He further proclaims, “Who in the Old Testament hath been named Jehovah, Who in the Gospel hath been designated as the Spirit of Truth, and in the Qur’án acclaimed as the Great Announcement.” “But for Him no Divine Messenger would have been invested with the robe of prophethood, nor would any of the sacred scriptures have been revealed. To this bear witness all created things.” “The word which the one true God uttereth in this day, though that word be the most familiar and commonplace of terms, is invested with supreme, with unique distinction.” “The generality of mankind is still immature. Had it acquired sufficient capacity We would have bestowed upon it so great a measure of Our knowledge that all who dwell on earth and in heaven would have found themselves, by virtue of the grace streaming from Our pen, completely independent of all knowledge save the knowledge of God, and would have been securely established upon the throne of abiding tranquillity.” “The Pen of Holiness, I solemnly affirm before God, hath writ upon My snow-white brow and in characters of effulgent glory these glowing, these musk-scented and holy words: ‘Behold ye that dwell on earth, and ye denizens of heaven, bear witness, He in truth is your Well-Beloved. He it is Whose like the world of creation hath not seen, He Whose ravishing beauty hath delighted the eye of God, the Ordainer, the All-Powerful, the Incomparable!’”
“Followers of the Gospel,” Bahá’u’lláh addressing the whole of Christendom exclaims, “behold the gates of heaven are flung open. He that had ascended unto it is now come. Give ear to His voice calling aloud over land and sea, announcing to all mankind the advent of this Revelation—a Revelation through the agency of which the Tongue of Grandeur is now proclaiming: ‘Lo, the sacred Pledge hath been fulfilled, for He, the Promised One, is come!’” “The voice of the Son of Man is calling aloud from the sacred vale: ‘Here am I, here am I, O God my God!’ … whilst from the Burning Bush breaketh forth the cry: ‘Lo, the Desire of the world is made manifest in His transcendent glory!’ The Father hath come. That which ye were promised in the Kingdom of God is fulfilled. This is the Word which the Son veiled when He said to those around Him that at that time they could not bear it… Verily the Spirit of Truth is come to guide you unto all truth… He is the One Who glorified the Son and exalted His Cause…” “The Comforter Whose advent all the scriptures have promised is now come that He 105 may reveal unto you all knowledge and wisdom. Seek Him over the entire surface of the earth, haply ye may find Him.”
“Call out to Zion, O Carmel,” writes Bahá’u’lláh, “and announce the joyful tidings: ‘He that was hidden from mortal eyes is come! His all-conquering sovereignty is manifest; His all-encompassing splendor is revealed… Hasten forth and circumambulate the City of God that hath descended from heaven—the celestial Kaaba round which have circled in adoration the favored of God, the pure in heart and the company of the most exalted angels.’” “I am the One,” He in another connection affirms, “Whom the tongue of Isaiah hath extolled, the One with Whose name both the Torah and the Evangel were adorned.” “The glory of Sinai hath hastened to circle round the Day-Spring of this Revelation, while from the heights of the Kingdom the voice of the Son of God is heard proclaiming: ‘Bestir yourselves, ye proud ones of the earth, and hasten ye towards Him.’ Carmel hath in this day hastened in longing adoration to attain His court, whilst from the heart of Zion there cometh the cry: ‘The promise of all ages is now fulfilled. That which had been announced in the holy writ of God, the Beloved, the Most High, is made manifest.’” “Ḥijáz is astir by the breeze announcing the tidings of joyous reunion. ‘Praise be to Thee,’ We hear her exclaim, ‘O my Lord, the Most High. I was dead through my separation from Thee; the breeze laden with the fragrance of Thy presence hath brought me back to life. Happy is he that turneth unto Thee, and woe betide the erring.’” “By the one true God, Elijah hath hastened unto My court and hath circumambulated in the day-time and in the night-season My throne of glory.” “Solomon in all his majesty circles in adoration around Me in this day, uttering this most exalted word: ‘I have turned my face towards Thy face, O Thou omnipotent Ruler of the world! I am wholly detached from all things pertaining unto me, and yearn for that which Thou dost possess.’” “Had Muḥammad, the Apostle of God, attained this Day,” Bahá’u’lláh writes in a Tablet revealed on the eve of His banishment to the penal colony of ‘Akká, “He would have exclaimed: ‘I have truly recognized Thee, O Thou the Desire of the Divine Messengers!’ Had Abraham attained it, He too, falling prostrate upon the ground, and in the utmost lowliness before the Lord thy God, would have cried: ‘Mine heart is filled with peace, O Thou Lord of all that is in heaven and on earth! I testify that Thou hast unveiled before mine eyes all the glory of Thy power and the full majesty of Thy law!’… Had Moses Himself attained it, He, likewise, would have raised His voice 106 saying: ‘All praise be to Thee for having lifted upon me the light of Thy countenance and enrolled me among them that have been privileged to behold Thy face!’” “North and South both vibrate to the call announcing the advent of our Revelation. We can hear the voice of Mecca acclaiming: ‘All praise be to Thee, O Lord my God, the All-Glorious, for having wafted over me the breath redolent with the fragrance of Thy presence!’ Jerusalem, likewise, is calling aloud: ‘Lauded and magnified art Thou, O Beloved of earth and heaven, for having turned the agony of my separation from Thee into the joy of a life-giving reunion!’”
“By the righteousness of God,” Bahá’u’lláh wishing to reveal the full potency of His invincible power asserts, “should a man, all alone, arise in the name of Bahá and put on the armor of His love, him will the Almighty cause to be victorious, though the forces of earth and heaven be arrayed against him.” “By God besides Whom is none other God! Should any one arise for the triumph of our Cause, him will God render victorious though tens of thousands of enemies be leagued against him. And if his love for Me wax stronger, God will establish his ascendancy over all the powers of earth and heaven. Thus have We breathed the spirit of power into all regions.”
“This is the King of Days,” He thus extols the age that has witnessed the advent of His Revelation, “the Day that hath seen the coming of the Best-beloved, Him Who through all eternity hath been acclaimed the Desire of the World.” “The world of being shineth in this Day with the resplendency of this Divine Revelation. All created things extol its saving grace and sing its praises. The universe is wrapt in an ecstasy of joy and gladness. The Scriptures of past Dispensations celebrate the great jubilee that must needs greet this most great Day of God. Well is it with him that hath lived to see this Day and hath recognized its station.” “Were mankind to give heed in a befitting manner to no more than one word of such a praise it would be so filled with delight as to be overpowered and lost in wonder. Entranced, it would then shine forth resplendent above the horizon of true understanding.”
“Be fair, ye peoples of the world;” He thus appeals to mankind, “is it meet and seemly for you to question the authority of one Whose presence ‘He Who conversed with God’ (Moses) hath longed to attain, the beauty of Whose countenance ‘God’s Well-beloved’ (Muḥammad) had yearned to behold, through the potency of Whose love the ‘Spirit of God’ (Jesus) ascended to heaven, for Whose sake 107 the ‘Primal Point’ (the Báb) offered up His life?” “Seize your chance,” He admonishes His followers, “inasmuch as a fleeting moment in this Day excelleth centuries of a bygone age… Neither sun nor moon hath witnessed a day such as this… It is evident that every age in which a Manifestation of God hath lived is divinely ordained and may, in a sense, be characterized as God’s appointed Day. This Day, however, is unique and is to be distinguished from those that have preceded it. The designation ‘Seal of the Prophets’ fully reveals and demonstrates its high station.”
Expatiating on the forces latent in His Revelation Bahá’u’lláh reveals the following: “Through the movement of Our Pen of glory We have, at the bidding of the omnipotent Ordainer, breathed a new life into every human frame and instilled into every word a fresh potency. All created things proclaim the evidences of this world-wide regeneration.” “This is,” He adds, “the most great, the most joyful tidings imparted by the pen of this wronged One to mankind.” “How great,” He in another passage exclaims, “is the Cause! How staggering the weight of its message! This is the Day of which it hath been said: ‘O my son! verily God will bring everything to light though it were but the weight of a grain of mustard seed, and hidden in a rock, or in the heavens or in the earth; for God is subtile, informed of all.’” “By the righteousness of the one true God! If one speck of a jewel be lost and buried beneath a mountain of stones, and lie hidden beyond the seven seas, the Hand of Omnipotence will assuredly reveal it in this day, pure and cleansed from dross.” “He that partaketh of the waters of My Revelation will taste all the incorruptible delights ordained by God from the beginning that hath no beginning to the end that hath no end.” “Every single letter proceeding from Our mouth is endowed with such regenerative power as to enable it to bring into existence a new creation—a creation the magnitude of which is inscrutable to all save God. He verily hath knowledge of all things.” “It is in Our power, should We wish it, to enable a speck of floating dust to generate, in less than the twinkling of an eye, suns of infinite, of unimaginable splendor, to cause a dewdrop to develop into vast and numberless oceans, to infuse into every letter such a force as to empower it to unfold all the knowledge of past and future ages.” “We are possessed of such power which, if brought to light, will transmute the most deadly of poisons into a panacea of unfailing efficacy.” 108
Estimating the station of the true believer He remarks: “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.” “If the veil be lifted,” He similarly affirms, “and the full glory of the station of those who have turned wholly towards God, and in their love for Him renounced the world, be made manifest, the entire creation would be dumbfounded.”
Stressing the superlative character of His Revelation as compared with the Dispensation preceding it, Bahá’u’lláh makes the following affirmation: “If all the peoples of the world be invested with the powers and attributes destined for the Letters of the Living, the Báb’s chosen disciples, whose station is ten thousand times more glorious than any which the apostles of old have attained, and if they, one and all, should, swift as the twinkling of an eye, hesitate to recognize the light of My Revelation, their faith shall be of no avail and they shall be accounted among the infidels.” “So tremendous is the outpouring of Divine grace in this Dispensation that if mortal hands could be swift enough to record them, within the space of a single day and night there would stream verses of such number as to be equivalent to the whole of the Persian Bayán.”
“Give heed to my warning, ye people of Persia,” He thus addresses His countrymen, “If I be slain at your hands, God will assuredly raise up one who will fill the seat made vacant through my death; for such is God’s method carried into effect of old, and no change can ye find in God’s mode of dealing.” “Should they attempt to conceal His light on the continent, He will assuredly rear His head in the midmost heart of the ocean and, raising His voice, proclaim: ‘I am the lifegiver of the world!’… And if they cast Him into a darksome pit, they will find Him seated on earth’s loftiest heights calling aloud to all mankind: ‘Lo, the Desire of the world is come in His majesty, His sovereignty, His transcendent dominion!’ And if He be buried beneath the depths of the earth, His Spirit soaring to the apex of heaven shall peal the summons: ‘Behold ye the coming of the Glory; witness ye the Kingdom of God, the most Holy, the Gracious, the All-Powerful!’” “Within the throat of this Youth,” is yet another astounding statement, “there lie 109 prisoned accents which, if revealed to mankind to an extent smaller than a needle’s eye, would suffice to cause every mountain to crumble, the leaves of the trees to be discolored and their fruits to fall; would compel every head to bow down in worship and every face to turn in adoration towards this omnipotent Ruler Who, at sundry times and in diverse manners, appeareth as a devouring flame, as a billowing ocean, as a radiant light, as the tree which, rooted in the soil of holiness, lifteth its branches and spreadeth out its limbs as far as and beyond the throne of deathless glory.”
Anticipating the System which the irresistible power of His Law was destined to unfold in a later age, He writes: “The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order. Mankind’s ordered life hath been revolutionized through the agency of this unique, this wondrous System—the like of which mortal eyes have never witnessed.” “The Hand of Omnipotence hath established His Revelation upon an unassailable, an enduring foundation. Storms of human strife are powerless to undermine its basis, nor will men’s fanciful theories succeed in damaging its structure.”
In the Súratu’l-Haykal, one of the most challenging works of Bahá’u’lláh, the following verses, each of which testifies to the resistless power infused into the Revelation proclaimed by its Author, have been recorded: “Naught is seen in My temple but the Temple of God, and in My beauty but His Beauty, and in My being but His Being, and in My self but His Self, and in My movement but His Movement, and in My acquiescence but His Acquiescence, and in My pen but His Pen, the Mighty, the All-Praised. There hath not been in My soul but the Truth, and in Myself naught could be seen but God.” “The Holy Spirit Itself hath been generated through the agency of a single letter revealed by this Most Great Spirit, if ye be of them that comprehend.”… “Within the treasury of Our Wisdom there lies 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.” “The day is approaching 110 when God will have, by an act of His Will, raised up a race of men the nature of which is inscrutable to all save God, the All-Powerful, the Self-Subsisting.” “He will, ere long, out of the Bosom of Power draw forth the Hands of Ascendancy and Might—Hands who will arise to win victory for this Youth and who will purge mankind from the defilement of the outcast and the ungodly. These Hands will gird up their loins to champion the Faith of God, and will, in My name the self-subsistent, the mighty, subdue the peoples and kindreds of the earth. They will enter the cities and will inspire with fear the hearts of all their inhabitants. Such are the evidences of the might of God; how fearful, how vehement is His might!”
Such is, dearly-beloved friends, Bahá’u’lláh’s own written testimony to the nature of His Revelation. To the affirmations of the Báb, each of which reinforces the strength, and confirms the truth, of these remarkable statements, I have already referred. What remains for me to consider in this connection are such passages in the writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the appointed Interpreter of these same utterances, as throw further light upon and amplify various features of this enthralling theme. The tone of His language is indeed as emphatic and His tribute no less glowing than that of either Bahá’u’lláh or the Báb.
“Centuries, nay ages, must pass away,” He affirms in one of His earliest Tablets, “ere the Day-Star of Truth shineth again in its mid-summer splendor, or appeareth once more in the radiance of its vernal glory… How thankful must we be for having been made in this Day the recipients of so overwhelming a favor! Would that we had ten thousand lives that we might lay them down in thanksgiving for so rare a privilege, so high an attainment, so priceless a bounty!” “The mere contemplation,” He adds, “of the Dispensation inaugurated by the Blessed Beauty would have sufficed to overwhelm the saints of bygone ages—saints who longed to partake for one moment of its great glory.” “The holy ones of past ages and centuries have, each and all, yearned with tearful eyes to live, though for one moment, in the Day of God. Their longings unsatisfied, they repaired to the Great Beyond. How great, therefore, is the bounty of the Abhá Beauty Who, notwithstanding our utter unworthiness, hath through His grace and mercy breathed into us in this divinely-illumined century the spirit of life, hath gathered us beneath the standard of the Beloved of the world, and chosen to confer upon us a bounty for which the mighty ones of bygone ages had craved in vain.” “The souls of the well-favored among the concourse 111 on high,” He likewise affirms, “the sacred dwellers of the most exalted Paradise, are in this day filled with burning desire to return unto this world, that they may render such service as lieth in their power to the threshold of the Abhá Beauty.”
“The effulgence of God’s splendrous mercy,” He, in a passage alluding to the growth and future development of the Faith, declares, “hath enveloped the peoples and kindreds of the earth, and the whole world is bathed in its shining glory… The day will soon come when the light of Divine unity will have so permeated the East and the West that no man dare any longer ignore it.” “Now in the world of being the Hand of divine power hath firmly laid the foundations of this all-highest bounty and this wondrous gift. Whatsoever is latent in the innermost of this holy cycle shall gradually appear and be made manifest, for now is but the beginning of its growth and the dayspring of the revelation of its signs. Ere the close of this century and of this age, it shall be made clear and evident how wondrous was that springtide and how heavenly was that gift!”
In confirmation of the exalted rank of the true believer, referred to by Bahá’u’lláh, He reveals the following: “The station which he who hath truly recognized this Revelation will attain is the same as the one ordained for such prophets of the house of Israel as are not regarded as Manifestations ‘endowed with constancy.’”
In connection with the Manifestations destined to follow the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá makes this definite and weighty declaration: “Concerning the Manifestations that will come down in the future ‘in the shadows of the clouds,’ know verily that in so far as their relation to the source of their inspiration is concerned they are under the shadow of the Ancient Beauty. In their relation, however, to the age in which they appear, each and every one of them ‘doeth whatsoever He willeth.’”
“O my friend!” He thus addresses in one of His Tablets a man of recognized authority and standing, “The undying Fire which the Lord of the Kingdom hath kindled in the midst of the holy Tree is burning fiercely in the midmost heart of the world. The conflagration it will provoke will envelop the whole earth. Its blazing flames will illuminate its peoples and kindreds. All the signs have been revealed; every prophetic allusion hath been manifested. Whatever hath been enshrined in all the Scriptures of the past hath been made evident. To doubt or hesitate is no more possible… Time is pressing. The Divine Charger is impatient, and can tarry no longer. 112 Ours is the duty to rush forward and, ere it is too late, win the victory.” And finally, is this most stirring passage which He, in one of His moments of exultation, was moved to address to one of His most trusted and eminent followers in the earliest days of His ministry: “What more shall I say? What else can my pen recount? So loud is the call that reverberates from the Abhá Kingdom that mortal ears are well-nigh deafened with its vibrations. The whole creation, methinks, is being disrupted and is bursting asunder through the shattering influence of the Divine summons issued from the throne of glory. More than this I cannot write.”
Dearly-beloved friends! Enough has been said, and the quoted excerpts from the writings of the Báb, of Bahá’u’lláh and of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá are sufficiently numerous and varied, to convince the conscientious reader of the sublimity of this unique cycle in the world’s religious history. It would be utterly impossible to over-exaggerate its significance or to overrate the influence it has exerted and which it must increasingly exert as its great system unfolds itself amidst the welter of a collapsing civilization.
To whoever may read these pages a word of warning seems, however, advisable before I proceed further with the development of my argument. Let no one meditating, in the light of the afore-quoted passages, on the nature of the Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh, mistake its character or misconstrue the intent of its Author. The divinity attributed to so great a Being and the complete incarnation of the names and attributes of God in so exalted a Person should, under no circumstances, be misconceived or misinterpreted. The human temple that has been made the vehicle of so overpowering a Revelation must, if we be faithful to the tenets of our Faith, ever remain entirely distinguished from that “innermost Spirit of Spirits” and “eternal Essence of Essences”—that invisible yet rational God Who, however much we extol the divinity of His Manifestations on earth, can in no wise incarnate His infinite, His unknowable, His incorruptible and all-embracing Reality in the concrete and limited frame of a mortal being. Indeed, the God Who could so incarnate His own reality would, in the light of the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, cease immediately to be God. So crude and fantastic a theory of Divine incarnation is as removed from, and incompatible with, the essentials of Bahá’í belief as are the no less inadmissible pantheistic and anthropomorphic conceptions of God—113 both of which the utterances of Bahá’u’lláh emphatically repudiate and the fallacy of which they expose.
He Who in unnumbered passages claimed His utterance to be the “Voice of Divinity, the Call of God Himself” thus solemnly affirms in the Kitáb-i-Íqán: “To every discerning and illumined heart it is evident that God, the unknowable Essence, the Divine Being, is immeasurably exalted beyond every human attribute such as corporeal existence, ascent and descent, egress and regress… He is, and hath ever been, veiled in the ancient eternity of His Essence, and will remain in His Reality everlastingly hidden from the sight of men… He standeth exalted beyond and above all separation and union, all proximity and remoteness… ‘God was alone; there was none else beside Him’ is a sure testimony of this truth.”
“From time immemorial,” Bahá’u’lláh, speaking of God, explains, “He, the Divine Being, hath been veiled in the ineffable sanctity of His exalted Self, and will everlasting continue to be wrapt in the impenetrable mystery of His unknowable Essence… Ten thousand Prophets, each a Moses, are thunderstruck upon the Sinai of their search at God’s forbidding voice, ‘Thou shalt never behold Me!’; whilst a myriad Messengers, each as great as Jesus, stand dismayed upon their heavenly thrones by the interdiction ‘Mine Essence thou shalt never apprehend!’” “How bewildering to me, insignificant as I am,” Bahá’u’lláh in His communion with God affirms, “is the attempt to fathom the sacred depths of Thy knowledge! How futile my efforts to visualize the magnitude of the power inherent in Thine handiwork—the revelation of Thy creative power!” “When I contemplate, O my God, the relationship that bindeth me to Thee,” He, in yet another prayer revealed in His own handwriting, testifies, “I am moved to proclaim to all created things ‘verily I am God!’; and when I consider my own self, lo, I find it coarser than clay!”
“The door of the knowledge of the Ancient of Days,” Bahá’u’lláh further states in the Kitáb-i-Íqán, “being thus closed in the face of all beings, He, the Source of infinite grace … hath caused those luminous Gems of Holiness to appear out of the realm of the spirit, in the noble form of the human temple, and be made manifest unto all men, that they may impart unto the world the mysteries of the unchangeable Being and tell of the subtleties of His imperishable Essence… All the Prophets of God, His well-favored, His holy and chosen Messengers are, without exception, the bearers of 114 His names and the embodiments of His attributes… These Tabernacles of Holiness, these primal Mirrors which reflect the Light of unfading glory, are but expressions of Him Who is the Invisible of the Invisibles.”
That Bahá’u’lláh should, notwithstanding the overwhelming intensity of His Revelation, be regarded as essentially one of these Manifestations of God, never to be identified with that invisible Reality, the Essence of Divinity itself, is one of the major beliefs of our Faith—a belief which should never be obscured and the integrity of which no one of its followers should allow to be compromised.
Nor does the Bahá’í Revelation, claiming as it does to be the culmination of a prophetic cycle and the fulfillment of the promise of all ages, attempt, under any circumstances, to invalidate those first and everlasting principles that animate and underlie the religions that have preceded it. The God-given authority, vested in each one of them, it admits and establishes as its firmest and ultimate basis. It regards them in no other light except as different stages in the eternal history and constant evolution of one religion, Divine and indivisible, of which it itself forms but an integral part. It neither seeks to obscure their Divine origin, nor to dwarf the admitted magnitude of their colossal achievements. It can countenance no attempt that seeks to distort their features or to stultify the truths which they instill. Its teachings do not deviate a hairbreadth from the verities they enshrine, nor does the weight of its message detract one jot or one tittle from the influence they exert or the loyalty they inspire. Far from aiming at the overthrow of the spiritual foundation of the world’s religious systems, its avowed, its unalterable purpose is to widen their basis, to restate their fundamentals, to reconcile their aims, to reinvigorate their life, to demonstrate their oneness, to restore the pristine purity of their teachings, to cöordinate their functions and to assist in the realization of their highest aspirations. These divinely-revealed religions, as a close observer has graphically expressed it, “are doomed not to die, but to be reborn… ‘Does not the child succumb in the youth and the youth in the man; yet neither child nor youth perishes?’”
“They Who are the Luminaries of Truth and the Mirrors reflecting the light of Divine Unity,” Bahá’u’lláh explains in the Kitáb-i-Íqán, “in whatever age and cycle they are sent down from their invisible habitations of ancient glory unto this world to educate the souls of men and endue with grace all created things, are invariably 115 endowed with an all-compelling power and invested with invincible sovereignty… These sanctified Mirrors, these Day-Springs of ancient glory are one and all the exponents on earth of Him Who is the central Orb of the universe, its essence and ultimate purpose. From Him proceed their knowledge and power; from Him is derived their sovereignty. The beauty of their countenance is but a reflection of His image, and their revelation a sign of His deathless glory… Through them is transmitted a grace that is infinite, and by them is revealed the light that can never fade… Human tongue can never befittingly sing their praise, and human speech can never unfold their mystery.” “Inasmuch as these Birds of the celestial Throne,” He adds, “are all sent down from the heaven of the Will of God, and as they all arise to proclaim His irresistible Faith, they therefore are regarded as one soul and the same person… They all abide in the same tabernacle, soar in the same heaven, are seated upon the same throne, utter the same speech, and proclaim the same Faith… They only differ in the intensity of their revelation and the comparative potency of their light… That a certain attribute of God hath not been outwardly manifested by these Essences of Detachment doth in no wise imply that they Who are the Day-Springs of God’s attributes and the Treasuries of His holy names did not actually possess it.”
It should also be borne in mind that, great as is the power manifested by this Revelation and however vast the range of the Dispensation its Author has inaugurated, it emphatically repudiates the claim to be regarded as the final revelation of God’s will and purpose for mankind. To hold such a conception of its character and functions would be tantamount to a betrayal of its cause and a denial of its truth. It must necessarily conflict with the fundamental principle which constitutes the bedrock of Bahá’í belief, the principle that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is orderly, continuous and progressive and not spasmodic or final. Indeed, the categorical rejection by the followers of the Faith of Bahá’u’lláh of the claim to finality which any religious system inaugurated by the Prophets of the past may advance is as clear and emphatic as their own refusal to claim that same finality for the Revelation with which they stand identified. “To believe that all revelation is ended, that the portals of Divine mercy are closed, that from the daysprings of eternal holiness no sun shall rise again, that the ocean of everlasting bounty is forever stilled, and that out of the tabernacle of ancient glory the Messengers of God 116 have ceased to be made manifest” must constitute in the eyes of every follower of the Faith a grave, an inexcusable departure from one of its most cherished and fundamental principles.
A reference to some of the already quoted utterances of Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá will surely suffice to establish, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the truth of this cardinal principle. Might not the following passage of the Hidden Words be, likewise, construed as an allegorical allusion to the progressiveness of Divine Revelation and an admission by its Author that the Message with which He has been entrusted is not the final and ultimate expression of the will and guidance of the Almighty? “O Son of Justice! In the night-season the beauty of the immortal Being hath repaired from the emerald height of fidelity unto the Sadratu’l-Muntahá, and wept with such a weeping that the concourse on high and the dwellers of the realms above wailed at His lamenting. Whereupon there was asked, Why the wailing and weeping? He made reply: As bidden I waited expectant upon the hill of faithfulness, yet inhaled not from them that dwell on earth the fragrance of fidelity. Then summoned to return I beheld, and lo! certain doves of holiness were sore tried within the claws of the dogs of earth. Thereupon the Maid of heaven hastened forth unveiled and resplendent from Her mystic mansion, and asked of their names, and all were told but one. And when urged, the first letter thereof was uttered, whereupon the dwellers of the celestial chambers rushed forth out of their habitation of glory. And whilst the second letter was pronounced they fell down, one and all, upon the dust. At that moment a voice was heard from the inmost shrine: ‘Thus far and no farther.’ Verily We bear witness to that which they have done and now are doing.”
In a more explicit language Bahá’u’lláh testifies to this truth in one of His Tablets revealed in Adrianople: “Know verily that the veil hiding Our countenance hath not been completely lifted. We have revealed Our Self to a degree corresponding to the capacity of the people of Our age. Should the Ancient Beauty be unveiled in the fullness of His glory mortal eyes would be blinded by the dazzling intensity of His revelation.”
In the Súriy-i-Ṣabr, revealed as far back as the year 1863, on the very first day of His arrival in the garden of Riḍván, He thus affirms: “God hath sent down His Messengers to succeed to Moses and Jesus, and He will continue to do so till ‘the end that hath no end’; so that His grace may, from the heaven of Divine bounty, be continually vouchsafed to mankind.” 117
“I am not apprehensive for My own self,” Bahá’u’lláh still more explicitly declares, “My fears are for Him Who will be sent down unto you after Me—Him Who will be invested with great sovereignty and mighty dominion.” And again He writes in the Súratu’l-Haykal: “By those words which I have revealed, Myself is not intended, but rather He Who will come after Me. To it is witness God, the All-Knowing.” “Deal not with Him,” He adds, “as ye have dealt with Me.”
In a more circumstantial passage the Báb upholds the same truth in His writings. “It is clear and evident,” He writes in the Persian Bayán, “that the object of all preceding Dispensations hath been to pave the way for the advent of Muḥammad, the Apostle of God. These, including the Muḥammadan Dispensation, have had, in their turn, as their objective the Revelation proclaimed by the Qá’im. The purpose underlying this Revelation, as well as those that preceded it, has, in like manner, been to announce the advent of the Faith of Him Whom God will make manifest. And this Faith—the Faith of Him Whom God will make manifest—in its turn, together with all the Revelations gone before it, have as their object the Manifestation destined to succeed it. And the latter, no less than all the Revelations preceding it, prepare the way for the Revelation which is yet to follow. The process of the rise and setting of the Sun of Truth will thus indefinitely continue—a process that hath had no beginning and will have no end.”
“Know of a certainty,” Bahá’u’lláh explains in this connection, “that in every Dispensation the light of Divine Revelation hath been vouchsafed to men in direct proportion to their spiritual capacity. Consider the sun. How feeble its rays the moment it appeareth above the horizon. How gradually its warmth and potency increase as it approacheth its zenith, enabling meanwhile all created things to adapt themselves to the growing intensity of its light. How steadily it declineth until it reacheth its setting point. Were it all of a sudden to manifest the energies latent within it, it would no doubt cause injury to all created things… In like manner, if the Sun of Truth were suddenly to reveal, at the earliest stages of its manifestation, the full measure of the potencies which the providence of the Almighty hath bestowed upon it, the earth of human understanding would waste away and be consumed; for men’s hearts would neither sustain the intensity of its revelation, nor be able to mirror forth the radiance of its light. Dismayed and overpowered, they would cease to exist.” 118
In the light of these clear and conclusive statements it is our clear duty to make it indubitably evident to every seeker after truth that from “the beginning that hath no beginning” the Prophets of the one, the unknowable God, including Bahá’u’lláh Himself, have all, as the channels of God’s grace, as the exponents of His unity, as the mirrors of His light and the revealers of His purpose, been commissioned to unfold to mankind an ever-increasing measure of His truth, of His inscrutable will and Divine guidance, and will continue to “the end that hath no end” to vouchsafe still fuller and mightier revelations of His limitless power and glory.
We might well ponder in our hearts the following passages from a prayer revealed by Bahá’u’lláh which strikingly affirm, and are a further evidence of, the reality of the great and essential truth lying at the very core of His Message to mankind: “Praise be to Thee, O Lord my God, for the wondrous revelations of Thine inscrutable decree and the manifold woes and trials Thou hast destined for myself. At one time Thou didst deliver me into the hands of Nimrod; at another Thou hast allowed Pharaoh’s rod to persecute me. Thou alone canst estimate, through Thine all-encompassing knowledge and the operation of Thy Will, the incalculable afflictions I have suffered at their hands. Again Thou didst cast me into the prison-cell of the ungodly for no reason except that I was moved to whisper into the ears of the well-favored denizens of Thy kingdom an intimation of the vision with which Thou hadst, through Thy knowledge, inspired me and revealed to me its meaning through the potency of Thy might. And again Thou didst decree that I be beheaded by the sword of the infidel. Again I was crucified for having unveiled to men’s eyes the hidden gems of Thy glorious unity, for having revealed to them the wondrous signs of Thy sovereign and everlasting power. How bitter the humiliations heaped upon me, in a subsequent age, on the plain of Karbilá! How lonely did I feel amidst Thy people; to what state of helplessness I was reduced in that land! Unsatisfied with such indignities, my persecutors decapitated me and carrying aloft my head from land to land paraded it before the gaze of the unbelieving multitude and deposited it on the seats of the perverse and faithless. In a later age I was suspended and my breast was made a target to the darts of the malicious cruelty of my foes. My limbs were riddled with bullets and my body was torn asunder. Finally, behold how in this day my treacherous enemies have leagued themselves against me, and are continually plotting to instill the venom of hate and malice into the 119 souls of Thy servants. With all their might they are scheming to accomplish their purpose… Grievous as is my plight, O God, my Well-beloved, I render thanks unto Thee, and my spirit is grateful for whatsoever hath befallen me in the path of Thy good-pleasure. I am well pleased with that which Thou didst ordain for me, and welcome, however calamitous, the pains and sorrows I am made to suffer.”

Formation of First International Baha'i Council

Proclaim National Assemblies of East and West weighty epoch-making decision of formation of first International Baha'i Council, forerunner of supreme administrative institution destined to emerge in fullness of time within precincts beneath shadow of World Spiritual Center of Faith already established in twin cities of Akka and Haifa. Fulfillment of prophecies uttered by Founder of Faith and Center of His Covenant culminating in establishment of Jewish State, signalizing birth after lapse of two thousand years of an independent nation in the Holy Land, the swift unfoldment of historic undertaking associated with construction of superstructure of the Bab's Sepulcher on Mount Carmel, the present adequate maturity of nine vigorously functioning national administrative institutions throughout Baha'i World, combine to induce me to arrive at this historic decision marking most significant milestone in evolution of Administrative Order of the Faith of Baha'u'llah in course of last thirty years. Nascent Institution now created is invested with threefold function: first, to forge link with authorities of newly emerged State; second, to assist me to discharge responsibilities involved in erection of mighty superstructure of the Bab's Holy Shrine; third, to conduct negotiations related to matters of personal status with civil authorities. To these will be added further functions in course of evolution of this first embryonic International Institution, marking its development into officially recognized Baha'i Court, its transformation into duly elected body, its efflorescence into Universal House of Justice, and its final fruition through erection of manifold auxiliary institutions constituting the World Administrative Center destined to arise and function and remain permanently established in close neighborhood of Twin Holy Shrines. Hail with thankful, joyous heart at long last the constitution of International Council which history will acclaim as the greatest event shedding luster upon second epoch of Formative Age of Baha'i Dispensation potentially unsurpassed by any enterprise undertaken since inception of Administrative Order of Faith on morrow of Abdu'l-Baha's Ascension, ranking second only to glorious immortal events associated with Ministries of the Three Central Figures of Faith in course of First Age of most glorious Dispensation of the five thousand century Baha'i Cycle. Advise publicize announcement through Public Relations Committee.

- Shoghi [Cablegram, January 9, 1951]

Spiritual and Administrative World Center

Announce to friends of East and West the following: furnishing Mazra'ih, completion of restoration of historic house of Baha'u'llah in Acre,(1) scene of prolonged afflictions sustained by Founder of Faith, as well as supreme crisis suffered by Abdu'l-Baha at hands of Covenantbreakers. Greatly enhanced international endowments in Holy Land in twin cities of Acre and Haifa, now include twin Holy Shrines situated on plain of Acre and slope of Mount Carmel; twin Mansions of Bahji and Mazra'ih, twin historic Houses inhabited by Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha; twin International Archives adjoining the Bab's Sepulcher and the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf; twin Pilgrim Houses, constructed for Oriental and Occidental pilgrims; twin Gardens of Ridvan and Firdaws, associated with the memory of the Author of the Baha'i Dispensation.

Greatly welcome assistance of the newly-formed International Council, particularly its President, Mason Remey, and its Vice-President, Amelia Collins, through contact with authorities designed to spread the fame, consolidate the foundations and widen the scope of influence emanating from the twin spiritual, administrative World Centers permanently fixed in the Holy Land constituting the midmost heart of the entire planet.

- Shoghi [Cablegram, March 2, 1951]

RESOLUTION OF THE HANDS OF THE CAUSE OF GOD

Mansion of Bahá'u'lláh
Bahji, 'Akka, Israel
November 25, 1957

We the undersigned Hands of the Cause hereby record the following action taken in unanimous agreement:
1. That the body of nine Hands of the Cause already constituted shall exercise these functions, namely, to correspond with the National Spiritual Assemblies on matters related to the prosecution of the Guardian's Ten Year Plan; to assist the National Assemblies in the solution of administrative problems by citing passages in Bahá'í literature which clarify the nature of these problems; to act for the protection of the Faith whenever its teachings or institutions or properties are assailed by enemies from within the Bahá'í Community or outside its ranks;
2. That the Council shall represent the Faith in all matters related to the Israeli Government and its courts;
3. The nine Hands to reinforce the membership of the International Bahá'í Council through the addition of the five Hands among the nine Hands not already members of the Council;
4. That the entire body of the Hands of the Cause, meeting annually or whenever convened by the nine Hands, shall determine when and how the International Bahá'í Council shall pass through the successive stages outlined by Shoghi Effendi culminating in the election of the Universal House of Justice;
5. That the nine Hands serving at the Bahá'í World Centre shall maintain correspondence with the Hands stationed in the several continents on all matters related to their work of propagating the Faith and defending it from attack, coordinating and encouraging their efforts;
6. That the authority to expel violators from the Faith shall be vested in the body of nine Hands, acting on reports and recommendations submitted by Hands from their respective continents.
7. The Hands of the Cause in the Holy Land may, if necessary, call upon any of the Hands to fill a vacancy temporarily.
[Signed as follows]
Ruhiyyih Rabbani Zikrullah Khadem
Mason Remey A. Q. Faizi
Amelia E. Collins Ugo Giachery
Leroy C. Ioas Dr. Adelbert Muhlschlegel
Hasan M. Balyuzi Djalal Khazeh
Horace Holley Hermann Grossmann

M.B. [Musa Banani] John Robarts
A. Furutan Enoch Olinga
Dr. R. Mohajer Ali Mohammad Varqa
Sh. Alai H. Collis Featherstone
John Ferraby William Sears
T. Samandari Paul Haney
Agnes B. Alexander Clara Dunn
[Corinne True by affidavit]

In 1966 Mason-Remey wrote to Joel Marangella in Glad Tidings

"The time has come for all contests between the friends under the guardianship to ceaseTO STOP. At this time the friends should arise to teach the faith. As I myself have teaching to do here in Italy I am turning over the affairs of the Faith over to you as the President of the second Baha'i International Council to handle this for meyou having the other members of the International Council to assist you.

"You are conversant with the teachings of the Faith so from now on I will leave you free to conduct the affairs of the Faith, I making suggestions when necessary."

Charles Mason Remey's Last Will and Testament

Dott. Proc. Giuseppe Pedone

Notaio in Milano

20121

- via Broletto, 37

Florence, Italy

29 August 1963 A.D.

I- I, Charles Mason Remey, U.S. citizen of Washington, D.C., born in Burlington, Iowa, on May 15th, 1874, being of sound physical and mental health do hereby declare this to be my last Will and Testament hereby revoking any previous Will and Testament heretofore made by me.

II- I direct that in case of my death, Joseph Pepe, Jr., U.S. citizen of Newark, New Jersey, born February 13, 1922 at Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A. be the executor of my estate.

Charles Mason Remey

III- I bequeath to Joseph (Giuseppe) Pepe, Jr. everything tangible [Orthodox Baha'i Administrative Order] and intangible [Guardianship] that I possess and may be entitled to.

IV- As for the burial of my remains, I leave this entirely in the hands of Joseph Pepe Jr.

V- Any rights, outlined in the agreement between myself and the Pohick Church at Pohick, Fairfax, Virginia, U.S.A. which shall continue on after my death, I [transfer] onto Joseph Pepe Jr., whom I am adopting as my legal son and heir. I authorize Joseph Pepe Jr. to act in my behalf in the upkeep, arrangement or transfer of remains from the "Remeum" to any other place he may deem necessary for their safety.

Charles Mason Remey

In the Most Holy Name

of

El Baha,

I the Second Guardian

of the Baha'i Faith hereby

appoint Donald Harvey

at my death to be my

Successor the Third

Guardian of the Faith.

Mason Remey

May 23rd 1967

Florence, Italy.

P.S.

May the Spirit of El Abha

ever protect this line of

Spiritual descent from Abdu'l Baha

the Center of the Covenant

of El Baha.

C.M.R.

5 rue Lavoisier

75008 Paris, France

Dr. Leland Jensen

4117 Colonial Lane

Missoula, Montana 59801

U. S. A.

14th April 1975

My Dear Leland :

First of all I want to acknowledge with thanks your enclosure of literature, namely:

A copy of your statement of introduction

An Open Epistle to Governor Thomas L. Judge,

(Governor of the State of Montana)

The Beast.

It will take a long time for me to study them thoroughly. What I can say right now is that each individual believer in the Cause of Baha'u'llah takes the actions he deems most appropriate in his region in function of the prevailing conditions there. It would hardly be possible for anyone having any authority to wield, to tell well-meaning Friends what they ought to do and ought not to do.

In a real sense, all of humanity is in a prison, a self-imposed prison.xxx His Holiness Baha'u'llah revealed to all the means to fre one's self, by abiding and putting into action in his or her own life the laws and principles as we believers should all know at all times and under all circumstances. This should be known by each and every member of humanity, and it shall be in due time. Meanwhile there is a general intoxication free and rampant due to the fact peoples neglect God and His Manifestation, Thus opening themselves to all sorts of human theories seeking control of masses by the few eith the hope of political and economic rewards. Even before Shoghi Effendi died, the Baha'i Communities then were increasingly beset by worldly influences. It is ironical for the Baha'is, individually speaking,should have influenced the rest of the peoples in the opposite way, i.e. to God and Baha'u'llah and everything the Blessed Perfection wished each of us to have, both spiritually and physically for us to use principally in our Service to Him and to His Cause: instead many registered believers allowed themselves to be the object of these pernicious influences stemming right from society as it was then manipulated by powers of materialism and opportunism. Thus is described the victory of darkness over Light at a time there was great hopes for believers to approach the required conditions making a possibility for each of them to enflame the rest of humanity to the Cause and Spirit of Baha'u'llah as they were meant to be upon Earth.

This darkness seems to have stilled the responsive capabilities endowed by God in each human being, by fostering to yet incredible limits the greed and self-ishness which remain continuous despite the efforts of churches and other dedicated groups who alas keep on ignoring the Glory of this age and the Light brought by Baha'u'llah, coming as we should all know to reconcile all the peoples whatever their beliefs and allegiance to a former Manifestation Who foresaw The Glory of God in His own time, like all Others.

We know from 'Abdu'l-Baha that each individual human being must constantly choose between two opposite directions : Looking up to the Divine Educator, the Manifestation of God, for sporitual and material progress; baring that, man is the prey to the idea that he is but an animal : in fact such an individual looks down upon lower kingdoms of creation as the animal, the vegetable and the mineral, but especially upon the animal, seeking it as an example to follow. Thus unwittingly such an individual is subject for domination over his fellow beings, the survival of the fittest and the stamping out of feeble beings who are very often contributors on the spiritual plane and enlightening others. 'Abdu'l-Baha demonstrated that man cannot reconcile both directions each opposing the other, and he must make for himself and for all to witness, a clear cut choice as to the conduct and goal he is to adopt. It could be believed that masses of peoples have adopted the direction away from the Manifestation and towards stark materialism as impelled by would-be leaders. I am confident a Light in each one of us and in each of these peoples is standing by, and is to come out at the right time. Certainly most peoples allowed themselves, so it seems, to be misled. We can be sure however that they will come out for Baha'u'llah, and shake off the shackles imposed upon them.

Search for truth and therefore Light is continuous and should be unremitting on the part of each and every individual. What will save the Cause upon the Earth will be the individual unhampered dedication of each and every individual man & woman to His Holiness Baha'u'llah, rather than boisterous claims and public statements meant to catapult individuals into proeminent positions. After all, there must be individuals of quality possessing divine attributes acquired from the Manifestation. The resulting Light will in due course spread out in all Communities, and make any Administrative Structure revitalized. We were witness to the folly of establishing in the early mid-fifties Spiritual Assemblies all spread too thinly with well-meaning persons who were insuffic-iently ground to the Laws, Principles and Spirit of Baha'u'llah. Therefore each individual should acquaint or reacquaint himself to Baha'u'llah, and to everything He stands for, before thinking of establishing Institutions.

Time will come when each and everyone of us will be judged. The Cause of Baha'u'llah is destined to all peoples without exception, for everyone will be called to judgement. This goes for the peoples who believe or have been led to believe [that] there is no longer the Guardianship. There will come a time when they will realize their grevous error. In the meantime each and everyone of us should consider each individual thus misled as in reality a believer searching for truth. Baha'u'llah has always and will be forevermore the real Guardian of His Cause. Of course by virtue of the Will and Testament, Baha'u'llah protects and guides the one man named as Guardian among men. On the other hand, each and every believer is called upon to guard himself His Faith. In these various aspects of the whole humanity, we have all the peoples and their variable compliance to Baha'u'llah. It is the responsibility of each to do his best to know and to comply to Him rather that to men purporting to speak in His Name. The only spiritual assignment to be made in these present times is for each and everyone to better himself or herself. Until then no one or hardly anyone will pay any attention to the Cause of Baha'u'llah.

You should understand that, as far as the Faith of Baha'u'llah is concerned, each one is free to undertake or not undertake any projects according to what is felt as needed in a particular area. What matters to the utmost, is personal betterment according to the standards set by Baha'u'llah and 'Abdu'l-Baha. This has been the dearest wish expressed by Charles Mason Remey, our Second Guardian of the Faith of God, and such a wish should be pursued undauntingly by each and everyone of us. It seems to be that should there be insistence for groups to build Communities before individual spiritual regeneration, there is grave risk of such communities tarnishing the Name of Baha'u'llah with the result that the great Day of days will be further delayed.

As ever, sincerely yours in El Baha,

[signed: Donald]

Donald

To All Believers, Servants and Handmaids of the Universal Faith and Revelation

of Baha'u'llah, The Splendor of God : By this writ in my own handwriting

I, Mr. Doanald Alphonse Harvey presently residing at 5, rue Lavoisier

75008 Paris, France, and presently being the Third Guardian of the

Universal Faith and Revelation of Baha'u'llah until my seat is called

from this Earth, do appoint and designate Mr. Jacques SOGHOMONIAN,

presently residing at _ _ __ __ _ __ __ __ _ _ as

his successor as Fourth Guardian of the Universal Faith and Revelation of

Baha'u'llah. This writ is thus being made by virtue of the Explicit Text

of the Will and Testament of 'Abdu'l-Baha, in compliance with all

prescriptions found in it.

Rougemont, near Montana, Cole d'ev, in France, this day of

Saturday ,November 19, Year 1984 AD,

[Signed Donald A. Harvey.]

- Third Guardian.

April 9, 1992

I wish to make known that it is important that the sincere and faithful friends of the Testament of ‘Abdu’l Baha, Center of the Covenant of Baha’u’llah, go deeply into these texts which are the Testament of ‘Abdu’l Baha, “The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah” by Shoghi Effendi, as well as the booklet, “The Covenant”.

It is especially important to know well the text of the two telegrams of Shoghi Effendi, dated January 9, 1951, and March 2, 1951(last paragraph).

All these documents constitute the true unfolding of the Worldwide Charter of ‘Abdu’l Baha.

It is also necessary to read carefully the book of Shoghi Effendi, “God Passes By”. Baha’u’llah suffered infinitely and gave himself completely to the Cause of God, in order to realize the prophesies of the Bible for every human being.

By his total self renunciation, Baha’u’llah lightened the suffering of other believers for at least a thousand years.

Baha’u’llah is the Father promised and waited for by all the religions of the past: Jewish, Christian, Islamic…etc. of which the traces and vestiges remain today and are followed by millions of people who ought to know of this immense promise which was fulfilled by his Coming, over one hundred years ago.

The complete cycle of one hundred years, allowed by Baha’u’llah to accept this Cause of God which he manifested, which began with his ascension on May 29, 1992, will be completed on May 28, 1993.

Each believer in Baha’u’llah and in his Faith, who follows the hereditary principle of Guardianship as it is written in the Testament of ‘Abdu’l Baha, as it was expressed by the life of Shoghi Effendi, has the duty to pray as the Bab, Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l Baha taught us to do every day. It is the right thing to have on his lips (make mention) the Greatest Name, and to repeat it 19 times or 95 times. The second Guardian, Charles Mason Remey, whose suffering was unbearable, had already prescribed it during his own ministry which lasted for us from 1960 to 1974.

It is absolutely necessary that each believer in Baha’u’llah and his Covenant be, or become:

a light projecting the true spiritual life

not limit himself to satisfying his intellect

Every human being on Earth is destined to reflect fully the reality of this Spirit.

Today, the believer in Baha’u’llah and his Covenant is a pioneer of what human beings will be in the future. This present believer wherever he may be, whatever he may be, will never hesitate to constantly solicit Baha’u’llah in order to strengthen his Faith in him, in his Cause and in all his “Proofs”.

The Three Personalities (Bab, Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l Baha) are for the true believer that we should be, more than simple men.

This revelation is the Source of the Truth.

By his total devotion to the Bab and to Baha’u’llah; ‘Abdu’l Baha has the same perfection s as the Manifestation of God, without having the title or station.

This shows that every human being can and must also acquire this perfection, no doubt to a lesser degree than ‘Abdu’l Baha. Nevertheless, if necessary, he must totally leave his present condition and be a source of encouragement and example.

Here is what is required of a believing friend today, to be a perfect example in his life, his acts, his communication, by speech or other means of _expression, of his faith in Baha’u’llah. Without a shadow of a doubt, the administrative order, as it comes from the Testament, and which was begun by Shoghi Effendi following the Charter which he left us, is “par excellence”, the supreme _expression of the Covenant; its goal is to attract all the peoples of the earth to accept God, Baha’u’llah, Center of the Covenant; and the Guardian of his Cause, the Guardian who is visible among the people of the Kingdom of God on earth. It is by the acceptance of all this that a human being, all human beings, all the people of the earth will receive the necessary spiritual force. It is the individual who must know how to solicit these spiritual forces and use them himself, with more and more other individuals who are similarly doing their research and studies about this divine Revelation. It is the only way to eradicate the cancer of extreme materialism of our epoch, and all the diseases that it causes.

It is good, and would be good for everyone, to know and make known the books about the faith of Baha’u’llah which were the Baha’I Faith until November 1957, the day after the death of Shoghi Effendi.

Because the Baha’I Faith of today, and since 1960 in no way represents the true Cause of Baha’u’llah with his inseparable Covenant, and the true Administrative Order has yet to be established by and for all the people. It is of the highest importance to make known to every person (and almost simultaneously) to the general public the contents of these books of which the most indispensable are “The Testament of ‘Abdu’l Baha”, and the books of Shoghi Effendi: “God Passes By” and “The Dispensation of Baha’u’llah”.

The Cause of God is growing around the world by mysterious forces. The ways of God are not at first understood by men who’s conception is limited. Bu these ways of God will be created by everyone, and understood as well because it is not men who determine events, it is the Creator Himself.

The great mistake of the Baha’I friends is to let themselves be led into error by “leaders” who are not leaders. These leaders themselves are mistaken. May they admit it as quickly as possible. These “leaders” must admit their fault in public. This institution called “Universal House of Justice”, which is not the Universal House of Justice of the Covenant, expressed by ‘Abdu’l Baha in his Testament, must dissolve itself before all the people of the earth. They will reclaim the return of the Guardian in the Holy Land to build the Baha’I Court of Justice at Mount Carmel.

One can discern that the true plan of God, and of Baha’u’llah, is developing by using as he does the effects of the installation of the aforementioned “Universal House of Justice” in 1963.

Little by little, the attention of the people is turned to the true Cause of Baha’u’llah. Let each and every one of us act usefully.

“Too often, man thinks he is fooling God who, nonetheless, is waiting at the next corner.”

Everyone is preparing to play an historic role without precedent. This is why it is so important that each one who professes to follow this blessed Cause not make any error. The only way to avoid all errors is to know well these books: those of Baha’u’llah, ‘Abdu’l Baha and Shoghi Effendi, and of no other person, unless Baha’u’llah, ‘Abdu’l Baha and Shoghi Effendi are correctly cited.

These books are very clear. They can and should be read and understood directly by everyone.

The Guardian in no way interferes with this independent and personal search for the Truth which every believer conducts for himself or herself. Once they know these books very well, as well as more and more of the general public, the Guardian will set objectives to accomplish, always conforming to the Cause and the Covenant.

Whatever happens, the Cause of Baha’u’llah will be usefully established in our hearts and acts. Even if all human beings gave up the sacred task, God has an infinite number of means to teach the human race what is true and what is false.

History has demonstrated it. None will ever know where he is, except God with Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l Baha.

“God does what he wishes, when he wished and where he wishes.”

With my profound sentiments in the Faith of Baha’u’llah.

With my love,

Faithfully in El Abha,

Your brother,

[Signed] Jacques Soghomonian

O Son of Utterance,

“Thou art My stronghold, enter therein that thou mayest abide in safety. My love is in thee, know it, that thou mayest find me near thee.” (Hidden Words of Baha’u’llah)

To all the believers, faithful to the Will and the Covenant of
Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha
On this day, February the tenth 2005, after thinking a lot for the good Cause of the aha’i Faith, I have taken the following decisions:

According to the powers I was confirmed on as the Fourth Guardian and faithful to the Covenant of Baha’u’llah and ‘Abdu’l-Baha, on account of my health problem, I had nominated Kamran Taimouri as my successor as far as the carrying on of the Guardianship was concerned. That was done on November 25th 2003. Today February 10th 2005, I definitely nominate Kamran Taimouri as the Hands of the Cause of God to comfort the structure of the Faith in the USA. I do hope Kamran Taimouri will accept my decision…*

Mrs. Jean Miller [is appointed] as the coordinator for carrying on [the progress] and growth of the Faith [in USA].

In faithfulness to the Covenant in its spirit and its letters, do not forget the obedience to the Covenant and the truth that goes with it. This obedience is the main rule for all the Faithful and it will give you Baha’u’llah’s assistance.

Last but not least with my intense prayer, here is my supreme and final willingness: I indisputably name as my successor Mr. Enayatollah Sarvestani YAZDANI [living at] 2c Hampden Road Pennant Hill, NSW,Australia. He will be the 5th Guardian after my death.

As the number of the believers is increasing all over the world, we must set up the Guardianship Funds in accordance with the Covenant. More information will be given in the following letters.

With all my affection and my prayers to all of you,

Faithfully in Al-Abha

Sincerely yours

Signed**

Jacques Soghomonian

*Mr. Kamran Taimouri has accepted the decision of the Guardian and he has confirmed it in his letter of February 28, 2005 in which original certified copy was sent to E.S. Yazdani and the same was published in “ The Friends” of March 2005 edition.

**Mr. Jacques Soghomonian has signed the original text of his will in which it was written, in French, entirely in his own hand writing and the translated of the same text in English. The signature of Mr. Jacques Soghomonian on both documents was certified/witnessed/sealed at Me GERAUDIE, notaire associe a Marseille (2○) 3, Rue de la Republique. The French text consists of two pages in Mr. J. Soghomonian hand writing. The English translation of the same text was translated and written by L. S. The English text consists of two pages as well. The original texts were received by E.S. Yazdani on January5, 2007