Compiled by Kate Lindsey
Â© 1999 Kate Lindsay
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity. Be worthy of the trust of thy neighbor, and look upon him with a bright and friendly face. Be a treasure to the poor, an admonisher to the rich, an answerer to the cry of the needy, a preserver of the sanctity of thy pledge. Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger, a balm to the suffering, a tower of strength for the fugitive. Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light unto the feet of the erring. Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility. We pray God to protect thee from the heat of jealousy and the cold of hatred. He verily is nigh, ready to answer.
(Baha'u'llah: Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, pages: 93-94)
Behold how the people, as a result of the verdict pronounced by the divines of His age, have cast Abraham, the Friend of God, into fire; how Moses, He Who held converse with the Almighty, was denounced as liar and slanderer. Reflect how Jesus, the Spirit of God, was, notwithstanding His extreme meekness and perfect tender-heartedness, treated by His enemies. So fierce was the opposition which He, the Essence of Being and Lord of the visible and invisible, had to face, that He had nowhere to lay His head. He wandered continually from place to place, deprived of a permanent abode. Ponder that which befell Muhammad, the Seal of the Prophets, may the life of all else be a sacrifice unto Him. How severe the afflictions which the leaders of the Jewish people and of the idol-worshipers caused to rain upon Him, Who is the sovereign Lord of all, in consequence of His proclamation of the unity of God and of the truth of His Message! By the righteousness of My Cause! My Pen groaneth, and all created things weep with a great weeping, as a result of the woes He suffered at the hands of them that have broken the Covenant of God, violated His Testament, rejected His proofs, and disputed His signs. Thus recount We unto thee the tale of that which happened in days past, haply thou mayest comprehend.
(Baha'u'llah: Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, pages: 56-57)
Behold, O Dhabih, the works which God, the Sovereign Truth, hath wrought. Say thou: How great, how very great, is the power of His might that encompasseth all worlds! Exalted, immeasurably exalted, is His detachment above the reach and ken of the entire creation! Glorified, glorified be His meeknessâa meekness that hath melted the hearts of them that have been brought nigh unto God!
(Baha'u'llah: Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, page: 242)
These things would take place before the reality of this Cause was revealed and all was made plain. For in those days no one knew that the Manifestation of the Bab would culminate in the Manifestation of the Blessed Beauty and that the law of retaliation would be done away with, and the foundation-principle of the Law of God would be this, that "It is better for you to be killed than to kill"; that discord and contention would cease, and the rule of war and butchery would fall away. In those days, that sort of thing would happen. But praised be God, with the advent of the Blessed Beauty such a splendor of harmony and peace shone forth, such a spirit of meekness and long-suffering, that when in Yazd men, women and children were made the targets of enemy fire or were put to the sword, when the leaders and the evil ulamas and their followers joined together and unitedly assaulted those defenseless victims and spilled out their bloodâhacking at and rending apart the bodies of chaste women, with their daggers slashing the throats of children they had orphaned, then setting the torn and mangled limbs on fireânot one of the friends of God lifted a hand against them. Indeed, among those martyrs, those real companions of the ones who died, long gone, at Karbilaâwas a man who, when he saw the drawn sword flashing over him, thrust sugar candy into his murderer's mouth and cried, "With a sweet taste on your lips, put me to deathâfor you bring me martyrdom, my dearest wish!"
('Abdu'l-Baha: Memorials of the Faithful, pages: 199-200)
This is the outward meaning of these verses of the Revelation of St. John; but they have another explanation and a symbolic sense, which is as follows: the Law of God is divided into two parts. One is the fundamental basis which comprises all spiritual thingsâthat is to say, it refers to the spiritual virtues and divine qualities; this does not change nor alter: it is the Holy of Holies, which is the essence of the Law of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Christ, Muhammad, the Bab, and Baha'u'llah, and which lasts and is established in all the prophetic cycles. It will never be abrogated, for it is spiritual and not material truth; it is faith, knowledge, certitude, justice, piety, righteousness, trustworthiness, love of God, benevolence, purity, detachment, humility, meekness, patience and constancy. It shows mercy to the poor, defends the oppressed, gives to the wretched and uplifts the fallen.Â
These divine qualities, these eternal commandments, will never be abolished; nay, they will last and remain established for ever and ever. These virtues of humanity will be renewed in each of the different cycles; for at the end of every cycle the spiritual Law of Godâthat is to say, the human virtuesâdisappears, and only the form subsists.
('Abdu'l-Baha: Some Answered Questions, page: 47)
Let God's beloved, each and every one, be the essence of purity, the very life of holiness, so that in every country they may become famed for their sanctity, independence of spirit, and meekness. Let them be cheered by draughts from the eternal cup of love for God, and make merry as they drink from the wine-vaults of Heaven. Let them behold the Blessed Beauty, and feel the flame and rapture of that meeting, and be struck dumb with awe and wonder. This is the station of the sincere; this is the way of the loyal; this is the brightness that shineth on the faces of those nigh unto God.
('Abdu'l-Baha: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, page: 203)
O ye loved ones of God! See how the Exalted One(1â) may the souls of all on earth be a ransom for Himâfor this high purpose made His blessed heart the target for affliction's spears; and because the real intent of the Ancient Beautyâfor Him may the souls of the Concourse on high be offered upâwas to win this same supernal goal, the Exalted One bared His holy breast for a target to a myriad bullets fired by the people of malice and hate, and with utter meekness died the martyr's death. On the dust of this pathway the holy blood of thousands upon thousands of sacred souls gushed out, and many a time the blessed body of a loyal lover of God was hanged to the gallows tree.
('Abdu'l-Baha: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, pages: 261-262)
And His reason for shouldering this heavy load and enduring all this anguish, which was even as an ocean that hurleth its waves to high heavenâHis reason for putting on the heavy iron chains and for becoming the very embodiment of utter resignation and meekness, was to lead every soul on earth to concord, to fellow-feeling, to oneness; to make known amongst all peoples the sign of the singleness of God, so that at last the primal oneness deposited at the heart of all created things would bear its destined fruit, and the splendour of 'No difference canst thou see in the creation of the God of Mercy,*1 would cast abroad its rays.
('Abdu'l-Baha: Selections from the Writings of 'Abdu'l-Baha, page: 263)
O my God! O my God! Glory be unto Thee for that Thou hast confirmed me to the confession of Thy oneness, attracted me unto the word of Thy singleness, enkindled me by the fire of Thy love, and occupied me with Thy mention and the service of Thy friends and maidservants.Â
O Lord, help me to be meek and lowly, and strengthen me in severing myself from all things and in holding to the hem of the garment of Thy glory, so that my heart may be filled with Thy love and leave no space for love of the world and attachment to its qualities.Â
O God! Sanctify me from all else save Thee, purge me from the dross of sins and transgressions, and cause me to possess a spiritual heart and conscience.Â
Verily, Thou art merciful and, verily, Thou art the Most Generous, Whose help is sought by all men. O my God! O my God!Â
('Abdu'l-Baha: Baha'i Prayers (US edition), pages: 152-153)
O my God! O my God! This, Thy servant, hath advanced towards Thee, is passionately wandering in the desert of Thy love, walking in the path of Thy service, anticipating Thy favors, hoping for Thy bounty, relying upon Thy kingdom, and intoxicated by the wine of Thy gift.Â
O my God! Increase the fervor of his affection for Thee, the constancy of his praise of Thee, and the ardor of his love for Thee. Verily, Thou art the Most Generous, the Lord of grace abounding. There is no other God but Thee, the Forgiving, the Merciful.
('Abdu'l-Baha: Baha'i Prayers (US edition), pages: 153-154)
For a long time he remained in and about the sacred city; he became the proverbial Habibu'llah the Merchant, and spent his days relying upon God, in supplication and prayer. He was a man meek, quiet, uncomplaining, steadfast; in all things pleasing, worthy of praise. He won the approval of all the friends and was accepted and welcome at the Holy Threshold. During his latter days, when he felt that a happy end was in store for him, he again presented himself at the holy city of the Most Great Prison. Upon arrival he fell ill, weakened, passed his hours in supplicating God. The breath of life ceased within him, the gates of flight to the supreme Kingdom were flung wide, he turned his eyes away from this world of dust and went onward to the Holy Place.
('Abdu'l-Baha: Memorials of the Faithful, pages: 61-62)