Monday, July 13, 2009

July 13th in Baha'i History

Feast of Kalimat Words July 13

1912 – Abdul-Baha was in [New York -- West Englewood]

Today was a very happy day. The Master had been invited to speak at the Unitarian Church of New York. The pastor of the church [Rev Leon A. Harvey] advertised the talk in the newspapers and also posted announcements outside the church to the effect that the `Great Persian Prophet will speak at 11:00 a.m. on July 13, 1912 [sic]' A large multitude assembled. `Abdu'l-Bahá was welcomed by the pastor, who escorted Him into his office. When the music and singing began, the Master came out. The pastor gave a short and interesting account of the history of the Cause and spoke of `Abdu'l-Bahá's incarceration in the Most Great Prison in `Akká, after which he introduced the Master to the audience.

`Abdu'l-Bahá stood and spoke on the oneness of the world of humanity and the principles of divine religion. His talk gave everyone fresh insight, opened new vistas before every eye and engendered a new spirit in every heart. At the end of His talk He chanted a prayer in a melodious voice, which stirred the souls and made everyone long to offer their prayers and supplications to the Kingdom of God. Not wishing to greet the audience one by one owing to the excessive heat and the strain of His exertions, the Master went into the pastor's office and waited. The pastor told `Abdu'l-Bahá that people from the audience were waiting outside to shake hands with Him and to thank Him so the Master came out and stood on the platform. In great humility and reverence the people came one by one in a file from one side, shook His hand and left from the other side. Those who had not known of His presence in America asked for His address so they could visit Him. (Mahmud’s Diary)

1964 – UHJ Message on Teaching the Masses

God's standards are different from those of men. According to men's standards, the acceptance of any cause by people of distinction, of recognized fame and status, determines the value and greatness of that cause. But, in the words of Bahá'u'lláh: "The summons and the message which We gave were never intended to reach or to benefit one land or one people only. Mankind in its entirety must firmly adhere to whatsoever hath been revealed and vouchsafed unto it." Or again, "He hath endowed every soul with the capacity to recognize the signs of God. How could He, otherwise, have fulfilled His testimony unto men, if ye be of them that ponder His Cause in their hearts." In countries where teaching the masses has succeeded, the Bahá'ís have poured out their time and effort in village areas to the same extent as they had formerly done in cities and towns. The results indicate how unwise it is to solely concentrate on one section of the population. Each National Assembly therefore should so balance its resources and harmonize its efforts that the Faith of God is taught not only to those who are readily accessible but to all sections of society, however remote they may be.

(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 38)

1972 – UHJ Exhortation to Blot Out Every Last Trace of Prejudice

Bahá'u'lláh tells us that prejudice in its various forms destroys the edifice of humanity. We are adjured by the Divine Messenger to eliminate all forms of prejudice from our lives. Our outer lives must show forth our beliefs. The world must see that, regardless of each passing whim or current fashion of the generality of mankind, the Bahá'í lives his life according to the tenets of his Faith. We must not allow the fear of rejection by our friends and neighbours to deter us from our goal: to live the Bahá'í life. Let us strive to blot out from our lives every last trace of prejudice -- racial, religious, political, economic, national, tribal, class, cultural, and that which is based on differences of education or age. We shall be distinguished from our non-Bahá'í associates if our lives are adorned with this principle.

If we allow prejudice of any kind to manifest itself in us, we shall be guilty before God of causing a setback to the progress and real growth of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh. It is incumbent upon every believer to endeavour with a fierce determination to eliminate this defect from his thoughts and acts. It is the duty of the institutions of the Faith to inculcate this principle in the hearts of the friends through every means at their disposal including summer schools, conferences, institutes and study classes.

The fundamental purpose of the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh is the realization of the organic unity of the entire human race. Bearing this glorious destiny in mind, and with entire reliance on the promises of the Blessed Beauty, we should follow His exhortation:
We love to see you at all times consorting in amity and concord within the paradise of My good-pleasure, and to inhale from your acts the fragrance of friendliness and unity, of loving-kindness and fellowship. ...
With loving Bahá'í greetings,
The Universal House of Justice


Barmak Kusha said...

Hey Jack, love this history blog!

Jack Bush said...

Barmak, thank you for your kind words. I truly enjoy doing this. Please spread the word.