Category Archives: Teaching of Bahá’u’lláh

“Bahá’u’lláh – And The Baha’i World View ” Presentation Sunday July 30, 2017

Continuing with our efforts of raising awareness about the Bahá’í Faith and Bahá’u’lláh, Ajax Bahá’í community would like to welcome our neighbors to another event this time focusing on Bahá’u’lláh and the Baha’i World View . A presentation is planned as a public events on Sunday July 30,  from 2-4 PM, at the Ajax Main Library (Rotary room). The program includes a short presentation and viewing of very short documentaries and then an open floor discussion and sharing of thoughts about this theme.

Only a comprehensive vision of a global society, supported by universal values and principles, can inspire individuals to take responsibility for the long-term care and protection of the natural environment. Baha’i­s find such a world-embracing vision and system of values in the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh – teachings which herald an era of planetary justice, prosperity and unity

Bahá’u’lláh enjoins His followers to develop a sense of world citizenship and a commitment to stewardship of the earth. His writings are imbued with a deep respect for the natural world and for the interconnectedness of all things. They emphasize that the fruits of God’s love and obedience to His commandments are dignity, nobility and a sense of worth. From these attributes emerge the natural inclination to treat one another with love and compassion, and the willingness to sacrifice for the betterment of society. Bahá’u’lláh also teaches moderation, a commitment to justice, and detachment from the things of this world – spiritual disciplines which enable individuals to contribute to the establishment of a prosperous and united world civilization. The broad pattern for such a civilization and the principles on which it should be based are set forth in Bahá’u’lláh’s Revelation, a revelation which offers hope to a dispirited humanity and the promise that it is truly possible both to meet the needs of present and future generations and to build a sound foundation for social and economic development. The inspiration and the vision for this civilization are captured in Bahá’u’lláh’s words: “The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens.”

Among the principles guiding the Baha’i­ approach to conservation and sustainable development, the following are of particular importance

  • nature reflects the qualities and attributes of God and should, therefore, be greatly respected and cherished;
  • all things are interconnected and flourish according to the law of reciprocity; and
  • the oneness of humanity is the fundamental spiritual and social truth shaping our age.

Baha’i­ Scriptures describe nature as an emanation of God’s will.

“Nature in its essence is the embodiment of My Name, the Maker, the Creator. Its manifestations are diversified by varying causes, and in this diversity there are signs for men of discernment. Nature is God’s Will and is its expression in and through the contingent world. It is a dispensation of Providence ordained by the Ordainer, the All-Wise.”                                                                Bahá’u’lláh

Understanding nature as a reflection of the majesty and an expression of the purpose of God inspires a deep respect for the natural world

“(W)hatever I behold I readily discover that it maketh Thee known unto me, and it remindeth me of Thy signs, and of Thy tokens, and of Thy testimonies. By Thy glory! Every time I lift up mine eyes unto Thy heaven, I call to mind Thy highness and Thy loftiness, and Thine incomparable glory and greatness; and every time I turn my gaze to Thine earth, I am made to recognize the evidences of Thy power and the tokens of Thy bounty. And when I behold the sea, I find that it speaketh to me of Thy majesty, and of the potency of Thy might, and of Thy sovereignty and Thy grandeur. And at whatever time I contemplate the mountains, I am led to discover the ensigns of Thy victory and the standards of Thine Omnipotence.”    Bahá’u’lláh

This attitude of respect is further reinforced by copious metaphorical references to the natural world woven throughout the Baha’i­ Scriptures. However, while nature is greatly valued and respected, it is not to be worshipped or adored.

Rather it is to serve the purpose given by God to the human race: to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization. In this regard, the Baha’i­ Faith promotes a world view that is neither bio-centric nor, strictly speaking, anthropocentric, but rather theocentric, with the Revelations of God at its center. Humankind, as it strives to carry out the Divine Will in this, the physical realm, is thus the trustee or steward of nature.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the event.
From the Bahá’í International Community website. Read more at: https://www.bic.org

“Bahá’u’lláh – Promised One of All Ages” Presentation Sunday June 4, 2017

Bahá’u’lláh: The Promised One of All Ages

Continuing with our efforts of raising awareness about the Bahá’í Faith and Bahá’u’lláh, Ajax Bahá’í community would like to welcome our neighbors to another event this time focusing on the person of Bahá’u’lláh. A presentation is planned as a public events on Sunday June 4 from 2-4 PM, at the Ajax Main Library (Rotary room). The program includes a short presentation and viewing of very short documentaries and then an open floor discussion and sharing of thoughts about the person of Bahá’u’lláh (The Glory of God), Manifestation of God for our time.

Bahá’u’lláh announced in 1863 that He was God’s Messenger for this age. His teachings and sacred writings are the basis of the Bahá’í Faith. Bahá’u’lláh claimed that His Divine Mission is to bring about the spiritual rebirth and the unity of mankind. He promised that this would lead to the establishment of permanent world peace and to the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Bahá’u’lláh has attracted millions of adherents from every part of the globe; He has provided laws and teachings on how to realize His vision; and His followers are laboring everywhere to bring it about.

Shrine of Bahá'u'lláh, Outside Akka, Israel.
Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh, Outside Akka, Israel.

Each Messenger builds upon the Messages of Those gone before, leading us to new spiritual heights and bringing social teachings designed for that particular age,  Bahá’u’lláh said:

“For every age requireth a fresh measure of the light of God. Every Divine Revelation hath been sent down in a manner which befitted the circumstances of the age in which it hath appeared.”

“Every one of them is a mirror of God, reflecting naught else but His Self, His Beauty, His Might and Glory, if ye will understand.”

The Hindu scriptures describe it thus:

“Whenever there is a decay of righteousness, then I Myself come forth… for the sake of firmly establishing righteousness, I am born from age to age.”

All the Messengers in the past have promised that a great World Teacher would appear who would bring an age of peace to mankind. Sometimes they refer to this as the return of their own spirit, sometimes it sounds like another person, as in this from the Christian scriptures:

“I have many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit, when He the Spirit of truth is come, He will guide you unto all truth…”

Many smaller tribal religions also have prophecies of a great World Teacher.

To Bahá’í s it is the same spirit, the spirit of God, which animates them all. Bahá’ís believe that Bahá’u’lláh fulfilled all the promises and prophecies of the past when He arose in Persia in the last century and announced His Message to mankind. Bahá’í s believe that the same spirit which was in all the Messengers is in Bahá’u’lláh.

“The Revelation, which from time immemorial, hath been acclaimed as the Purpose and Promise of all the Prophets of God, and the most cherished desire of His Messengers, hath now, by virtue of the pervasive Will of the Almighty and at His irresistible bidding, been revealed unto men. The advent of such a Revelation hath been heralded in all the sacred Scriptures.”     Bahá’u’lláh

The Bahá’í writings explain the station of Bahá’u’lláh as follows:

“To Israel He was neither more nor less than the incarnation of the ‘Everlasting Father,’ the ‘Lord of Hosts’… to Christendom Christ returned ‘in the glory of the Father’, to Shi’ah Islam the return of the Imam Husayn; to Sunni Islam the descent of the “Spirit of God”; to the Zoroastrians the promised Shah-Bahram; to the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna; to the Buddhists the fifth Buddha (Maitreya, the Buddha of universal fellowship).”

Public Event June 4, 2017, at Ajax Main Library
Public Event June 4, 2017, at Ajax Main Library

 

The name Bahá’u’lláh means ‘the Glory of God’ or ‘Glory of the Lord’. This title is mentioned in many prophecies: “To Him Isaiah, the greatest of the Jewish prophets, had alluded as the ‘Glory of the Lord’, the ‘Everlasting Father’, the ‘Prince of Peace’, the ‘Wonderful’, the ‘Counsellor’.”

We are looking forward to seeing you at the event.

Festival of Ridván Declaration of Bahá’u’lláh; Promised One of All Ages

Festival of Ridván is the twelve day period commemorating Bahá’u’lláh’s announcement of his claim to prophethood and his departure from Baghdad in 1863, observed from  20 April  to 1 May.

The first, ninth and twelfth days of Ridván are major Bahá’í Holy days on which work should be suspended. Bahá’í administrative elections are normally held during Ridvan as well. The name derives from the Najibiyyih Garden in Baghdad where Bahá’u’lláh stayed during this period and to which he gave the name Ridván meaning  Paradise.

On the first day  small group of followers and Bahá’u’lláh made it across the Tigris River and settled at the “Najibiyyih” garden where Bahá’u’lláh stayed for twelve days accompanied by His closest followers and friends before He departed to Constantinople (Istanbul) where He was being further exiled by the Ottoman Empire.

The closest friends and followers wept after giving farewell; after all Bahá’u’lláh had spend almost two years in Baghdad where He had won the love and respect of the citizens of Baghdad for His wisdom, guidance and exemplary character.

These twelve days are known by Bahá’ís the “Festival of Ridván” and it is celebrated all over the world with the same joy and happiness as the early believers did during those 12 days.  It is during this period that Bahá’u’lláh revealed to His followers and the world that He was the promised one of God foretold in all the Holy scriptures of the past. Bahá’u’lláh states: “He Who is the Desire of all nations hath shed upon the kingdoms of the unseen and of the seen the splendor of the light of His most excellent names, and enveloped them with the radiance of the luminaries of His most gracious favors – favors which none can reckon except Him.”

This is the Day  Baha’u’llah said where all the attributes of God have been cast over the entire creation; meaning, every human being is capable by the grace of God to mold his character and manifest the most sublimes qualities and attributes such as  justice, love, compassion and generosity.

For Bahá’ís this is an special occasion to show hospitality and love to their neighbors, friends and acquaintances; as they try to follow the beautiful example and the will of their beloved Bahá’u’lláh (The Glory of God).

As we go about our daily lives we remember the words written by Bahá’u’lláh before His departure commanding all of those who have recognized Him to attract the hearts of men through the word of God.    For that reason, Bahá’ís everywhere, invite their friends and acquaintances to small gatherings where they can to explore the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh and together built communities that can progress spiritually and materially.

Four portals of community development are offered as we try to build a new civilization: children classes, the junior youth program, devotional gatherings and the study circles. These are community building programs that essentially empower individuals to affect change by actively participating in the social transformation of their communities.

About the individual Bahá’u’lláh states:  “Regard man as a mine rich in gems of inestimable value. Education can, alone, cause it to reveal its treasures, and enable mankind to benefit therefrom.” Hence man is this inestimable gem that only through polishing will reveal its beauty. As a protagonist he is aware of himself; as he molds his spiritual life, he shapes its surrounding environment, as both are affected one by the other, that is the meaning of “worship and service”  in the Bahá’í Faith.

We are here in this plane of existence to carry forward an ever advancing civilization that can progress materially and spiritually.  Increasing capacity at the individual and community level is a way to build an equitable and just society avoiding the pit falls of “us” and “them” or the notion of “advantage” and “disadvantage” groups or individuals.

Revealing about the greatness of this Day Bahá’u’lláh said: “Verily I say, this is the Day in which mankind can behold the Face, and hear the Voice, of the Promised One. The Call of God hath been raised, and the light of His countenance hath been lifted up upon men. It behoveth every man to blot out the trace of every idle word from the tablet of his heart, and to gaze, with an open and unbiased mind, on the signs of His Revelation, the proofs of His Mission, and the tokens of His glory”.

Festival of Ridván May 1, 2017.
Festival of Ridván May 1, 2017.

We will be celebrating this great Festival on May 1, 2017. We  invite you to join us. Please drop us a line and RSVP by April 20, 2017.

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“Bahá’u’lláh – Manifestation of God for Our Time” presentation Sunday May 21, 2017

Continuing with the same theme of raising awareness about the Bahá’í Faith and Bahá’u’lláh, Ajax Bahá’í community would like to welcome our neighbors to another event this time focusing on the person of Bahá’u’lláh. A presentation is planned as a public events on Sunday May 21 from 2-4 PM, at the Ajax Main Library (Rotary room). The program includes a short presentation and viewing of very short documentaries and then an open floor discussion and sharing of thoughts on this theme.

Bahá’u’lláh (1817-1892) taught that there is one God Who, through a series of divine teachers, has revealed His immeasurable love for humanity and His will for human spiritual progress. These teachings have been the chief civilizing force in history. While the bulk of humanity has seen these successive divine revelations as separate, irreconcilable religious systems, Bahá’u’lláh taught that, in fact, they have all served the common purpose of bringing the human race to spiritual and moral maturity. The central theme of Bahá’u’lláh‘s message is that humanity is one single race and that the day promised by all the world’s religions for its unification into one global family has come. 

 “There can be no doubt whatever that the peoples of the world, of whatever race or religion, derive their inspiration from one heavenly Source, and are the subjects of one God.”                                                                   Bahá’u’lláh

Bahá’u’lláh was born a Persian prince, heir to great wealth and a position in the court of the shah. Because of His teachings, He was stripped of his title, tortured, imprisoned, and exiled from his homeland. Tens of thousands of the earliest believers were tortured and killed for believing that God had sent a new messenger to help humanity progress to a new level of spiritual development.  

Bahá'u'lláh's Exile- From Persia to Baghdad to Akka
Bahá’u’lláh’s Exile- From Persia to Baghdad to Akka

 

The persecution and sacrifices of those thousands drew the attention of the world, invoking admiration and comment from such contemporary figures as Leo Tolstoy and Sarah Bernhardt. During the forty years of his exile and imprisonment Bahá’u’lláh wrote over 100 volumes. These works constitute the foundation of the Bahá’í scriptures and the bedrock of the Bahá’í belief system. Bahá’u’lláh was eventually imprisoned in Akka, in what is now Israel.  

“The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men.” Bahá’u’lláh

If we study the story of the “ascent of man” as recorded in the pages of history, it becomes evident that the leading factor in human progress is the advent, from time to time, of persons who pass beyond the accepted ideas of their day and become the discoverers and revealers of truths hitherto unknown among mankind. The inventor, the pioneer, the genius, the Prophet — these are the people on whom the transformation of world primarily depends.  

In the history of science, of art, of music, we see abundant illustrations of this truth, but in no domain is the supreme importance of the great person and his message more clearly evident than in that of religion. All down the ages, whenever the spiritual life of humanity has become degenerate and their morals corrupt, that most wonderful Prophet, makes His appearance. Alone against the world, without a single human being capable of teaching, of guiding, of fully understanding Him, or of sharing His responsibility, He arises, like a seer among blind men, to proclaim His gospel of righteousness and truth.  

Amongst the Prophets some stand out with special pre-eminence. Every few centuries a great Divine Revealer — a Krishna, a Zoroaster, a Moses, a Jesus, a Muhammad — appears in the East, like a spiritual Sun, to illumine the darkened minds of men and awaken their dormant souls. Whatever our views as to the relative greatness of these religion-founders we must admit that They have been the most potent factors in the education of mankind.  

With one accord these Prophets declare that the words They utter are not from “Themselves, but are a Revelation through Them, a Divine message of which They are the bearers. Their recorded utterances abound, too, in hints and promises of a great world teacher Who will appear “in the fullness of time” to carry on Their work and bring it to fruition, One Who will establish a reign of peace and justice upon earth, and bring into one family all races, religions, nations, and tribes, that “there may be one fold and one shepherd” and that all may know and love God “from the least even unto the greatest.”  

nature_waterfall

Surely the advent of this “Educator of Mankind,” in the latter days, when He appears, must be the greatest event in human history. And the Bahá’í Movement is proclaiming to the world the glad tidings that this Educator has in fact appeared, that His Revelation has been delivered and recorded and may be studied by every earnest seeker, that the “Day of the Lord” has already dawned and the “Sun or Righteousness” arisen. Some on the mountaintops have caught sight of the Glorious Orb, but already its rays are illumining heaven and earth, and erelong it will rise above the mountains and shine with full strength on the plains and valleys too, giving life and guidance to all. Invitation Public Event May 21 2017

For further reading please go to http://www.bahai.org/beliefs/god-his-creation/revelation/manifestations-god 

 We are looking forward to seeing you at the event.

 

 

(Material referenced from various Baha’i sources)

Community Building Concept – A Baha’i Perspective Presentation April 2, 2017

All across Canada, individuals are engaged in a process to advance their spiritual, social and intellectual development and to contribute to the development of their communities.

The activities at the heart of this process are meetings that

Public Event April 2 2017, at Ajax Main Library
Public Event April 2 2017, at Ajax Main Library

strengthen the devotional character of the community, classes that nurture the tender hearts of children, groups that assist junior youth to navigate through a crucial stage of their lives, and study circles that foster the understanding and application of the Baha’i teachings to individual and collective life.

These activities are offered by Bahá’í communities around the world and they involve people of all ages and backgrounds, regardless of religion, who share a common purpose: to promote the welfare and wellbeing of the whole

“The Path Home” is a documentary film commissioned by the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Canada to honour all those who have helped the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in meeting its noble purpose over the past six years.

 

"The Path Home documentary"
“The Path Home documentary”

 

The reflections in the film touch on spiritual insights that we offer with humility as a small contribution to furthering the processes of truth and reconciliation currently underway in Canada.

(Content from Building community website of Baha’i community of Canada)

“Bahá’í Vision of Society – Oneness of Humanity” Presentation March 18, 2017

This is one more in series of public events that our community is offering this year to our neighbors in Ajax.  The event is on Saturday March 18  from 2-4 PM, at the Ajax Main Library (Rotary room). The program includes a short presentation and viewing of very short documentaries and then an open floor discussion and sharing of thoughts on such a profound subject.

A fundamental teaching of Bahá’u’lláh is the oneness of the world of humanity. Addressing mankind He says: “Ye are all leaves of one tree and the fruits of one branch.”

“..In the eyes of the Creator all His children are equal; His goodness is poured forth on all. He does not favor this nation nor that nation, all alike are His creatures. This being so, why should we make divisions, separating one race from another? Why should we create barriers of superstition and tradition bringing discord and hatred among the people?

The only difference between members of the human family is that of degree. Some are like children who are ignorant, and must be educated until they arrive at maturity. Some are like the sick and must be treated with tenderness and care. None are bad or evil! We must not be repelled by these poor children. We must treat them with great kindness, teaching the ignorant and tenderly nursing the sick.

Public Event March 18 2017 at Ajax Main Library
Public Event March 18 2017 at Ajax Main Library

Consider: Unity is necessary to existence. Love is the very cause of life; on the other hand, separation brings death. In the world of material creation, for instance, all things owe their actual life to unity. The elements which compose wood, mineral, or stone, are held together by the law of attraction. If this law should cease for one moment to operate these elements would not hold together, they would fall apart, and the object would in that particular form cease to exist. The law of attraction has brought together certain elements in the form of this beautiful flower, but when that attraction is withdrawn from this centre the flower will decompose, and, as a flower, cease to exist.

So it is with the great body of humanity. The wonderful Law of Attraction, Harmony and Unity, holds together this marvelous Creation.

As with the whole, so with the parts; whether a flower or a human body, when the attracting principle is withdrawn from it, the flower or the man dies. It is therefore clear that attraction, harmony, unity and Love, are the cause of life, whereas repulsion, discord, hatred and separation bring death.

We have seen that whatever brings division into the world of existence causes death. Likewise in the world of the spirit does the same law operate.

Therefore should every servant of the One God be obedient to the law of love, avoiding all hatred, discord, and strife. We find when we observe nature, that the gentler animals group themselves together into flocks and herds, whereas the savage, ferocious creatures, such as the lion, the tiger, and the wolf, live in wild forests, apart from civilization. Two wolves, or two lions, may live amicably together; but a thousand lambs may share the same fold and a large number of deer can form one herd. Two eagles can dwell in the same place, but a thousand doves can gather into one habitation.

Man should, at least, be numbered among the gentler animals; but when he becomes ferocious he is more cruel and malicious than the most savage of the animal creation!

Now Bahá’u’lláh has proclaimed the ‘Unity of the World of Mankind’. All peoples and nations are of one family, the children of one Father, and should be to one another as brothers and sisters! I hope that you will endeavour in your lives to show forth and spread this teaching.

Bahá’u’lláh said that we should love even our enemies and be to them as friends. If all men were obedient to this principle, the greatest unity and understanding would be established in the hearts of mankind.”

(‘Abdu’l-Bahá: Paris Talks, Pages: 138-140)

 

Showing of Documentary film:“The Bahá’ís”

As part of an on going effort to introduce who Baha’i’s are? how do they contribute to the betterment of their society? and how do they put Baha’ullah’s teaching in to practice  in their daily lives through community building activities?, the Baha’i’s community of Ajax has planned a series of ongoing monthly public events at the Ajax Main Library (Rotary room).

The event on Saturday Jan 28 from 2-4 PM,  is a short one hour documentary that asks viewers to consider a different perspective on religion than the one portrayed in the mainstream media. The film follows an intriguing set of individuals as they help to build peaceful, just and unified communities.

Religion is often portrayed in mainstream discourse as having little relevance to the modern world. It is considered naïve, divisive, even dangerous. At best, it’s something to be kept private.

Public event on Saturday Jan 28, 2017 at Ajax Main Library
Public event on Saturday Jan 28, 2017 at Ajax Main Library

However, in villages and cities, on farms and in indigenous populations across the globe, a small but growing number of people are putting into practice spiritual teachings that they believe are not only relevant to the future of our world, but absolutely vital if we are to overcome historic divisions of gender, race, religion and politics.

“The Bahá’ís” is produced in association with Vision TV.

The event is open to all and admission is free.

Exile of Bahá’u’lláh

Exile
Map showing route of Bahá'u'lláh' s forced exile from His home
Map showing route of Bahá’u’lláh’ s forced exile from His home

Eventually, still without trial or recourse, Bahá’u’lláh was released from prison and immediately banished from His native land, His wealth and properties arbitrarily confiscated. The Russian diplomatic representative, who knew Him personally and who had followed the Bábí persecutions with growing distress, offered Him his protection and refuge in lands under the control of his government. In the prevailing political climate, acceptance of such help would almost certainly have been misrepresented by others as having political implications. Perhaps for this reason, Bahá’u’lláh chose to accept banishment to the neighboring territory of Iraq, then under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. This expulsion was the beginning of forty years of exile, imprisonment, and bitter persecution.

Baghdad-Tigris River
Baghdad-Tigris River
In the years which immediately followed His departure from Persia, Bahá’u’lláh gave priority to the needs of the Bábí community which had gathered in Baghdad, a task which had devolved on Him as the only effective Bábí leader to have survived the massacres. The death of the Báb and the almost simultaneous loss of most of the young faith’s teachers and guides had left the body of the believers scattered and demoralized. When His efforts to rally those who had fled to Iraq aroused jealousy and dissension, mountains-bahaullah_282He followed the path that had been taken by all of the Messengers of God gone before Him, and withdrew to the wilderness, choosing for the purpose the mountain region of Kurdistan. His withdrawal, as He later said, had “contemplated no return.” Its reason “was to avoid becoming a subject of discord among the faithful, a source of disturbance unto Our companions.” Although the two years spent in Kurdistan were a period of intense privation and physical hardship, Bahá’u’lláh describes them as a time of profound happiness during which He reflected deeply on the message entrusted to Him: “Alone, We communed with Our spirit, oblivious of the world and all that is therein.”

Only with great reluctance, believing it His responsibility to the cause of the Báb, did He eventually accede to urgent messages from the remnant of the desperate group of exiles in Baghdad who had discovered His whereabouts and appealed to Him to return and assume the leadership of their community.

Pen-of-Bahá’u’lláh
Pen-of-Bahá’u’lláh

Two of the most important volumes of Bahá’u’lláh’s writings date from this first period of exile, preceding the declaration of His mission in 1863. The first of these is a small book which He named The Hidden Words. Written in the form of a compilation of moral aphorisms, the volume represents the ethical heart of Bahá’u’lláh’s message. hidden-wordsIn verses which Bahá’u’lláh describes as a distillation of the spiritual guidance of all the Revelations of the past, the voice of God speaks directly to the human soul:

“O Son of Spirit!  The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes. “
 
“O Son of Being!  Love Me that I may love thee. If thou lovest Me not, My love can in no wise reach thee. Know this, O servant. “
 
O Son of Man!  Sorrow not save that thou art far from Us. Rejoice not save that thou art drawing near and returning unto Us.…
 
“O Son of Being! With the hands of power I made thee and with the fingers of strength I created thee; and within thee have I placed the essence of My light. Be thou content with it and seek naught else, for My work is perfect and My command is binding. Question it not, nor have a doubt thereof.” 

The second of the two major works composed by Bahá’u’lláh during this period is The Book of Certitude, book-of-certitudea comprehensive exposition of the nature and purpose of religion. In passages that draw not only on the Qur’án, but with equal facility and insight on the Old and New Testaments, the Messengers of God are depicted as agents of a single, unbroken process, the awakening of the human race to its spiritual and moral potentialities. A humanity which has come of age can respond to a directness of teaching that goes beyond the language of parable and allegory; faith is a matter not of blind belief, but of conscious knowledge. Nor is the guidance of an ecclesiastical elite any longer required: the gift of reason confers on each individual in this new age of enlightenment and education the capacity to respond to Divine guidance. The test is that of sincerity:

“No man shall attain the shores of the ocean of true understanding except he be detached from all that is in heaven and on earth.… The essence of these words is this: they that tread the path of faith, they that thirst for the wine of certitude, must cleanse themselves of all that is earthly—their ears from idle talk, their minds from vain imaginings, their hearts from worldly affections, their eyes from that which perisheth. They should put their trust in God, and, holding fast unto Him, follow in His way. Then will they be made worthy of the effulgent glories of the sun of divine knowledge and understanding, … inasmuch as man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious … unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets. Consider the past. How many, both high and low, have, at all times, yearningly awaited the advent of the Manifestations of God in the sanctified persons of His chosen Ones.… And whensoever the portals of grace did open, and the clouds of divine bounty did rain upon mankind, and the light of the Unseen did shine above the horizon of celestial might, they all denied Him, and turned away from His face—the face of God Himself.… Only when the lamp of search, of earnest striving, of longing desire, of passionate devotion, of fervid love, of rapture, and ecstasy, is kindled within the seeker’s heart, and the breeze of His lovingkindness is wafted upon his soul, will the darkness of error be dispelled, the mists of doubts and misgivings be dissipated, and the lights of knowledge and certitude envelop his being.… Then will the manifold favors and outpouring grace of the holy and everlasting Spirit confer such new life upon the seeker that he will find himself endowed with a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a new mind.… Gazing with the eye of God, he will perceive within every atom a door that leadeth him to the stations of absolute certitude. He will discover in all things the … evidences of an everlasting Manifestation. …When the channel of the human soul is cleansed of all worldly and impeding attachments, it will unfailingly perceive the breath of the Beloved across immeasurable distances, and will, led by its perfume, attain and enter the City of Certitude.… …That city is none other than the Word of God revealed in every age and dispensation.… All the guidance, the blessings, the learning, the understanding, the faith, and certitude, conferred upon all that is in heaven and on earth, are hidden and treasured within these Cities”

Though living in very straitened material circumstances, the exiles were galvanized by this vision. One of their company, a man called Nabíl, who was later to leave a detailed history of both the ministries of the Báb and Bahá’u’lláh, has described the spiritual intensity of those days:Many a night no less than ten persons subsisted on no more than a pennyworth of dates. No one knew to whom actually belonged the shoes, the cloaks, or the robes that were to be found in their houses. Whoever went to the bazaar could claim that the shoes upon his feet were his own, and each one who entered the presence of Bahá’u’lláh could affirm that the cloak and robe he then wore belonged to him.… O, for the joy of those days, and the gladness and wonder of those hours!

To the dismay of the Persian consular authorities who had believed the Bábí “episode” to have run its course, the community of exiles gradually became a respected and influential element in Iraq’s provincial capital and the neighboring towns.

(Ref: part of statement prepared by the Bahá’í International Community Office of Public Information)