October 31, 2013

October 29, 2013

No need to stand and face the Qiblih when the Tablets of Visitation are recited

Nothing has been found in the Bahá'í Writings requiring the friends to stand and face the Qiblih whenever the Tablets of Visitation are recited. No issue should be made of this matter when a Holy Day observance is being held. However, when one is actually in, or within the precincts of one of the Holy Shrines, it is an act of simple reverence to stand and face that Shrine when the Tablet of Visitation is recited. (From a letter dated 19 August 1992 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)

October 27, 2013

The “worst human quality and the most great sin”

... the worst human quality and the most great sin is backbiting; more especially when it emanates from the tongues of the believers of God. If some means were devised so that the doors of backbiting could be shut eternally and each one of the believers of God unsealed his tongue in the praise of the other, then the teachings of His Holiness Baha'u'llah would be spread, the hearts illuminated, the spirits glorified and the human world would attain to everlasting felicity.

I hope that the believers of God will shun completely backbiting, each one praising the other cordially and believe that backbiting is the cause of Divine wrath, to such an extent that if a person backbites to the extent of one word, he may become dishonored among all the people, because the most hateful characteristic of man is fault-finding. One must expose the praiseworthy qualities of the souls and not their evil attributes. The friends must overlook their shortcomings and faults and speak only of their virtues and not their defects.

October 20, 2013

What is Consolidation? – The House of Justice explains

Consolidation is as vital a part of the teaching work as expansion. It is that aspect of teaching which assists the believers to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Teachings, and fans the flame of their devotion to Baha'u'llah and His Cause, so that they will, of their own volition, continue the process of their spiritual development, promote the teaching work, and strengthen the functioning of their administrative institutions. Proper consolidation is essential to the preservation of the spiritual health of the community, to the protection of its interests, to the upholding of its good name, and ultimately to the continuation of the work of expansion itself. (17 April 1981, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies; Compilation ‘Entry By Troops’, prepared by the Research Department of the Universal House of Justice) 

October 15, 2013

Prayer for Protection by Bahá'u'lláh -- originally written as "Du’á-yi Hifz"

(The following prayer of protection for the bearer has recently (July/August 1996) been translated into English from Arabic at the Bahá'í World Centre)

In His Name, the Exalted, the All-Highest, the Most Sublime!

Glorified art Thou, O Lord my God! O Thou Who art my God, and my Master, and my Lord, and my Support, and my Hope, and my Refuge, and my Light. I ask of Thee, by Thine Hidden and Treasured Name, that none knoweth save Thine own Self, to protect the bearer of this Tablet from every calamity and pestilence, and from every wicked man and woman; from the evil of the evil-doers, and from the scheming of the unbelievers. Preserve him, moreover, O my God, from every pain and vexation, O Thou Who holdest in Thy hand the empire of all things. Thou, truly, art powerful over all things. Thou doest as Thou willest, and ordainest as Thou pleasest.

O Thou King of Kings! O Thou kind Lord! O Thou Source of ancient bounty, of grace, of generosity and bestowal! O Thou Healer of sicknesses! O Thou Sufficer of needs! O Thou Light of Light! O Thou Light above all Lights! O Thou Revealer of every Manifestation! O Thou the Compassionate! O Thou the Merciful! Do Thou have mercy upon the bearer of this Tablet, through Thy most great mercy and Thine abundant grace, O Thou the Gracious, Thou the Bounteous. Guard him, moreover, through Thy protection, from whatsoever his heart and mind may find repugnant. Of those endued with power, Thou, verily, art the most powerful. 

The Glory of God rest upon thee, O thou rising sun! Do thou testify unto that which God hath testified of His own Self, that there is none other God besides Him, the Almighty, the Best-Beloved. (Bahá'u'lláh; included in a letter dated 12 August 1996 written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)

Background information contained in the 12 August 1996 letter:

October 10, 2013

Attributes of the sincere and truthful – ‘Abdu’l-Baha explains

Wherefore, O my loving friends! Consort with all the peoples, kindreds and religions of the world with the utmost truthfulness, uprightness, faithfulness, kindliness, good-will and friendliness, that all the world of being may be filled with the holy ecstasy of the grace of Bahá, that ignorance, enmity, hate and rancor may vanish from the world and the darkness of estrangement amidst the peoples and kindreds of the world may give way to the Light of Unity. Should other peoples and nations be unfaithful to you show your fidelity unto them, should they be unjust toward you show justice towards them, should they keep aloof from you attract them to yourselves, should they show their enmity be friendly towards them, should they poison your lives, sweeten their souls, should they inflict a wound upon you, be a salve to their sores. Such are the attributes of the sincere! Such are the attributes of the truthful. (‘Abdu’l-Baha, ‘The Will and Testament of ‘Abdu’l-Baha’)