April 27, 2014

Estimated extent of Baha’u’llah’s Writings

Although the documents identified as Baha'u'llah's primary works have been the focus of translation work so far, they represent only a small portion of His writings during His 40-year ministry. All totaled, He revealed thousands of tablets, which altogether would constitute a volume more than 70 times the size of the Qur'an and more than 15 times the size of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. 
(Baha’i World News Service, 22 September 2002)

April 6, 2014

Some spiritual principles to consider when participating in Baha’i elections

  • …to consider without the least trace of passion and prejudice, and irrespective of any material consideration, the names of only those who can best combine the necessary qualities of
    • unquestioned loyalty,
    • of selfless devotion,
    • of a well trained mind,
    • of recognized ability and
    • mature experience.
(Shoghi Effendi, from a letter dated 3 June 1925 to the delegates and visitors at the convention of the United States and Canada, published in "Bahá'í Administration: Selected Messages 1922-1932")
  • From among the pool of those whom the elector believes to be qualified to serve, selection should be made with due consideration given to such other factors as
    • age distribution,
    • diversity, and
    • gender.  
(The Universal House of Justice, from a message dated March 25, 2007, addressed to the Baha’is of the World)
  • …reference to personalities before the election would give rise to misunderstanding and differences.
(Shoghi Effendi, from a letter to a Spiritual Assembly, dated May 14, 1927; published in Principles of Bahá'í Administration; compilation: Lights of Guidance)
  • ... the elector... is called upon to vote for none but those whom prayer and reflection have inspired him to uphold.
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, May 27,1927; published in Bahá'í Administration; compilation: Lights of Guidance)
  • ... in the time of election, the friends should be in the mood of prayer, disinterestedness and detachment from worldly motives.
(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual believer, dated June 7, 1924; compilation: Lights of Guidance)

April 4, 2014

How to be detached and severed from all things and at the same time learn a trade or profession

Another friend asked, "In the Tablets it is stated that we must be severed and detached. In another place it is stated that we must learn a trade or profession. Do not these two statements contradict each other?"

‘Abdu'l-Bahá replied,

"In the Cause of Bahá'u'lláh, it is incumbent upon every soul to acquire a trade and an occupation. For example, I know how to weave or make a mat, and you know some other trade. This, in itself is an act of worship, provided that it is conducted on the basis of utmost honesty and faithfulness.

“And this is the cause of prosperity. Yet, in spite of being so occupied, if the heart is not chained and tied to this world, and is not troubled by current events, neither hindered by wealth from rendering service to mankind, nor grieved because of poverty, - then this is human perfection. Otherwise in a state of poverty, to manifest generosity and in a state of weakness to claim justice - this can easily be said, but it is not a proof of man's attainments and alertness." 
('Abdu'l-Bahá from an article written by Dr. Z. Baghdadi entitled "`Abdu'l-Bahá in America", published in "Star of the West", Vol. 19, No. 7, p. 219; The Compilation of Compilations, Vol. I, The Arts and Crafts)