dam

O ye individuals of humanity, find ye means for the stoppage of this wholesale murder and bloodshed. Now is the appointed time! Now is the opportune time! Arise ye, show ye an effort, put ye forward an extraordinary force, and unfurl ye the Flag of Universal Peace and dam the irresistible fury of this raging torrent which is wreaking havoc and ruin everywhere.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, “Star of the West”, vol. 18, no. 11 (February 1928), p. 345

band

If a small number of people gather lovingly together, with absolute purity and sanctity, with their hearts free of the world, experiencing the emotions of the Kingdom and the powerful magnetic forces of the Divine, and being at one in their happy fellowship, that gathering will exert its influence over all the earth. The nature of that band of people, the words they speak, the deeds they do, will unleash the bestowals of Heaven, and provide a foretaste of eternal bliss.

– ‘Abdul-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

sale

One of the wondrous events that has of late come to pass is this, that the edifice of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár [ref. the Bahá’í House of Worship near Chicago, IL] is being raised in the very heart of the American continent, and numerous souls from the surrounding regions are contributing for the erection of this holy Temple. Among these is a highly esteemed lady of the city of Manchester, who hath been moved to offer her share.

Having no portion of goods and earthly riches, she sheared off with her own hands the fine, long and precious tresses that adorned her head so gracefully, and offered them for sale, that the price thereof might promote the cause of the Mashriqu’l-Adhkár.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá

amble

Burn brightly even as a candle, be ablaze as the Fire that was kindled in the right side of the Vale, and illumine the whole world. Thus may the Caucasus become the nest of the immortal Phoenix and the people of Tiflis intimate companions of that cherished Bird; thus may the fowls of holiness sing and chant in its gardens of reality and the gazelles of unity amble and stroll in its fields and mountains. When that land is quickened by the breezes of the Self-Subsisting Lord, it will become even as the Abhá Paradise.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Additional Tablets, Extracts and Talks

suspend

Suspended in the air, she let fall a single lock of her hair from beneath her luminous veil—Rejoice! This is the Maid of Heaven, come with a wondrous spirit…

– Bahá’u’lláh, Days of Remembrance

edible

There are five outward material powers in man which are the means of perception—that is, five powers whereby man perceives material things. They are sight, which perceives sensible forms; hearing, which perceives audible sounds; smell, which perceives odours; taste, which perceives edible things; and touch, which is distributed throughout the body and which perceives tactile realities. These five powers perceive external objects.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions

parents

Likewise, parents endure the greatest toil and trouble for their children, and often, by the time the latter have reached the age of maturity, the former have hastened to the world beyond. Rarely do the mother and father enjoy in this world the rewards of all the pain and trouble they have endured for their children. The children must therefore, in return for this pain and trouble, make charitable contributions and perform good works in their name, and implore pardon and forgiveness for their souls.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions

garden

Hear ye the sotted lovers’ sighs, behold the garden blooming fair; Behold the bliss that from His presence in your midst is raining down.

Behold the radiant face of Há’, behold the beauteous robe of Bá’; Behold the Lordly grace that from Our Pen is raining down.

The vessel of the Advent this, the clouds of limpid waters these; The trill of songbirds this, from Our fleeting Wellspring raining down.

– Bahá’u’lláh, The Call of the Divine Beloved

See

How often do we see a man, poor, sick, miserably clad, and with no means of support, yet spiritually strong. Whatever his body has to suffer, his spirit is free and well! Again, how often do we see a rich man, physically strong and healthy, but with a soul sick unto death.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, #20

charm

O Son of Spirit!
The bird seeketh its nest; the nightingale the charm of the rose; whilst those birds, the hearts of men, content with transient dust, have strayed far from their eternal nest, and with eyes turned towards the slough of heedlessness are bereft of the glory of the divine presence. Alas! How strange and pitiful; for a mere cupful, they have turned away from the billowing seas of the Most High, and remained far from the most effulgent horizon.

– Bahá’u’lláh, The Hidden Words

chair

At the city gate I called to the guard, privately gave him something and said: “A carriage is coming in and I think it is bringing one of our friends. When it reaches here, do not hold it up, and do not refer the matter to the Governor.” He put out a chair for me and I sat down.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, referring to Mírzá Muḥammad-‘Alí, the Afnán, in Memorials of the Faithful

rest

Wherefore, rest ye neither day nor night and seek no ease. Tell ye the secrets of servitude, follow the pathway of service, till ye attain the promised succor that cometh from the realms of God.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá

lush

The morning breeze bloweth over hill and dale in this wondrous Springtime, as a token of Thine inestimable favour, transforming these lands into a fine brocade of incomparable hues and a silken carpet begemmed with flowers and adorned with a vesture of verdant leaves that dazzle the eyes with their gleaming splendour. The breezes blow gently, the fresh streams flow softly, and the meads are adorned with bloom; the groves are lush, the clouds are rich with rain, and the stars are aglow through Thy gracious providence.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Light of the World

bright

The beloved of the Lord, with their musk-scented breath, burn like bright candles in every clime, and the friends of the All-Merciful, even as unfolding flowers, can be found in all regions. Not for a moment do they rest; they breathe not but in remembrance of Thee, and crave naught but to serve Thy Cause. In the meadows of truth they are as sweet-singing nightingales, and in the flower garden of guidance they are even as brightly colored blossoms. With mystic flowers they adorn the walks of the Garden of Reality; as swaying cypresses they line the riverbanks of the Divine Will. Above the horizon of being they shine as radiant stars; in the firmament of the world they gleam as resplendent orbs. Manifestations of celestial grace are they, and daysprings of the light of divine assistance.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá

ink

And if it be thy wish to give all created things to quaff from that crystal water that is life indeed, and whereof God hath made thee the Fountainhead, then let thine ink flow only in proportion to their capacity.

– Bahá’u’lláh, Days of Remembrance

flowering

The sight of the flowering plants in a springtime garden is delightful. The new-grown herbs shed abroad their pungent fragrances, each blossom charms the eye with its particular beauty, while the leaves and fruit are speedily burgeoning. And when people find their way into the garden and gaze on the beauty of the flowers, they inhale the perfume, their souls are exhilarated and their hearts are solaced. Therefore, O ye who are blossoms of heavenly twigs and the fruit on the tree of fellowship, grow rapidly in this rare springtime and, with radiant faces, turn your hearts to the court of the All-Hearing Lord…

—‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Bahá’í Prayers and Tablets for Children

safety

The essence of true safety is to observe silence, to look at the end of things and to renounce the world.

– Bahá’u’llahá, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

leaf

O My handmaiden, O My leaf! Render thou thanks unto the Best-Beloved of the world for having attained this boundless grace at a time when the world’s learned and most distinguished men have remained deprived thereof. We have designated thee “a leaf” that thou mayest, like unto leaves, be stirred by the gentle wind of the Will of God—exalted be His glory—even as the leaves of the trees are stirred by onrushing winds. Yield thou thanks unto thy Lord by virtue of this brilliant utterance. Wert thou to perceive the sweetness of the title “O My handmaiden” thou wouldst find thyself detached from all mankind, devoutly engaged day and night in communion with Him Who is the sole Desire of the world.

– Bahá’u’lláh, Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh

family

“…we are all inhabiting one globe of earth. In reality we are one family, and each one of us is a member of this family. We must all be in the greatest happiness and comfort, under a just rule and regulation which is according to the good pleasure of God, thus causing us to be happy, for this life is fleeting.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

meal

When the retinue of Bahá’u’lláh left Baghdad for Constantinople, [as they had been exiled,] He was accompanied by a great crowd of people. Along the way, they met with famine conditions. These two souls strode along on foot, ahead of the howdah in which Bahá’u’lláh was riding, and covered a distance of seven or eight farsakhs every day. Wayworn and faint, they would reach the halting-place; and yet, weary as they were, they would immediately set about preparing and cooking the food, and seeing to the comfort of the believers. The efforts they made were truly more than flesh can bear. There were times when they had not more than two or three hours sleep out of the twenty-four; because, once the friends had eaten their meal, these two would be busy collecting and washing up the dishes and cooking utensils; this would take them till midnight, and only then would they rest. At daybreak they would rise, pack everything, and set out again, in front of the howdah of Bahá’u’lláh. See what a vital service they were able to render, and for what bounty they were singled out: from the start of the journey, at Baghdad, to the arrival in Constantinople, they walked close beside Bahá’u’lláh; they made every one of the friends happy; they brought rest and comfort to all; they prepared whatever anyone asked.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Memorials of the Faithful

submerged

The majority of people are captives in the matrix of nature, submerged in the sea of materiality. We must pray that they may be reborn, that they may attain insight and spiritual hearing, that they may receive the gift of another heart, a new transcendent power, and in the eternal world the unending bestowal of divine bounties.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

season

When the season of spring appears in the arena of existence, the whole world is rejuvenated and finds new life. The soul-refreshing breeze is wafted from every direction; the soul-quickening bounty is everywhere; the cloud of mercy showers down its rain, and the sun shines upon everything. Day by day we perceive that the signs of vegetation are all about us.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

sugar

Were believers and non-believers to occupy the same station, were the worlds of God to be confined to this ephemeral plane, never would My previous Manifestation have surrendered Himself into the hands of His foes or laid down His life as a sacrifice. I swear by the dawning-light of this Cause that were the people to grasp the barest intimation of the fervour and longing which overcame that sovereign Beauty when His celestial Temple was suspended in the air, all would, in the intensity of their own yearning, offer up their souls in the path of this Manifestation of supernal glory. Indeed, sugar is the portion of the parrot, while dung is the share of the beetle; the crow hath no part in the warbling of the nightingale, and the bat fleeth the rays of the sun.

– Bahá’u’lláh, Days of Remembrance

forth

The excellence, adornment, and perfection of the earth consist in this, that through the outpourings of the vernal showers it should become green and verdant; that plants should spring forth; that flowers and herbs should grow; that blossom-filled trees should produce an abundant yield and bring forth fresh and succulent fruit; that gardens should be arrayed; that meadows should be adorned; that plains and mountains should don an emerald robe; and that fields and bowers, villages and cities should be decked forth.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions

flood

The whole duty of man in this Day is to attain that share of the flood of grace which God poureth forth for him. Let none, therefore, consider the largeness or smallness of the receptacle. The portion of some might lie in the palm of a man’s hand, the portion of others might fill a cup, and of others even a gallon-measure.

– Bahá’u’lláh

harmony

I pray that you be with one another in utmost harmony and love and strive to enable each other to live in comfort.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Promulgation of Universal Peace

employment

The employment that the Bahá’ís accept, the tasks and duties that they perform, should be of a kind whose benefits accrue to the nation as a whole and not such as are a means of profit to a small circle of high officials and a few select individuals.

– Shoghi Effendi, Trustworthiness: A Cardinal Bahá’í Virtue

wondrous


The hallowed Beauty shone resplendent from behind the veil. How wondrous a thing, how wondrous indeed!

And, lo, the flame of rapture caused all souls to swoon away. How wondrous is this, how wondrous indeed!

Rising up, they soared unto the blest pavilion ’neath the throne of heaven’s canopy. How wondrous a mystery, how wondrous indeed!

– Bahá’u’lláh, Days of Remembrance

honor

“…supreme honor and real happiness lie in self-respect, in high resolves and noble purposes, in integrity and moral quality, in immaculacy of mind.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization

petals

As to the differences of character arising from education, they are great indeed, for education exerts an enormous influence. Through education the ignorant become learned, the cowardly become courageous, the crooked branch becomes straight, the acrid and bitter fruit of the mountains and woods becomes sweet and succulent, and the five-petalled flower puts forth a hundred petals. Through education barbarous nations become civilized and even animals take on human-like manners. Education must be accorded the greatest importance; for just as diseases are highly communicable in the world of bodies, so is character highly communicable in the realm of hearts and spirits. The differences caused by education are enormous and exert a major influence.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Some Answered Questions

springtime

O My servants! It behooveth you to refresh and revive your souls through the gracious favors which, in this Divine, this soul-stirring Springtime, are being showered upon you. The Daystar of His great glory hath shed its radiance upon you, and the clouds of His limitless grace have overshadowed you. How high the reward of him that hath not deprived himself of so great a bounty, nor failed to recognize the beauty of his Best-Beloved in this, His new attire.

– Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

conversing

Show forbearance and benevolence and love to one another. Should anyone among you be incapable of grasping a certain truth, or be striving to comprehend it, show forth, when conversing with him, a spirit of extreme kindliness and goodwill. Help him to see and recognize the truth, without esteeming yourself to be, in the least, superior to him, or to be possessed of greater endowments.

– Bahá’u’lláh, Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh

drama

Make use of drama and singing in the teaching and deepening work and in Bahá’í gatherings, where advisable.

– Universal House of Justice, 25 February 1986 – To all National Spiritual Assemblies

junior youth

The rapid spread of the programme for the spiritual empowerment of junior youth is yet another expression of cultural advance in the Bahá’í community. While global trends project an image of this age group as problematic, lost in the throes of tumultuous physical and emotional change, unresponsive and self-consumed, the Bahá’í community—in the language it employs and the approaches it adopts—is moving decidedly in the opposite direction, seeing in junior youth instead altruism, an acute sense of justice, eagerness to learn about the universe and a desire to contribute to the construction of a better world.

– Universal House of Justice,Riḍván 2010 – To the Bahá’ís of the World

fishing

Peter, the chief of the apostles, used to divide the proceeds of his fishing into seven parts, and when, having taken one part for each day’s use, he arrived at the seventh portion, he knew it was the Sabbath day. Consider this! and then think of his future position; to what glory he attained because the Holy Spirit wrought great works through him.

We understand that the Holy Spirit is the energizing factor in the life of man. Whosoever receives this power is able to influence all with whom he comes into contact.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks

atop

On the outspread tablet of this world, ye are the verses of His singleness; and atop lofty palace towers, ye are the banners of the Lord. In His bowers are ye the blossoms and sweet-smelling herbs, in the rose garden of the spirit the nightingales that utter plaintive cries. Ye are the birds that soar upward into the firmament of knowledge, the royal falcons on the wrist of God.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá

burst

O Thou pure God! Let these saplings which have sprouted by the stream of Thy guidance become fresh and verdant through the outpourings of the clouds of Thy tender mercy; cause them to be stirred by the gentle winds wafting from the meads of Thy oneness and suffer them to be revived through the rays of the Sun of Reality, that they may continually grow and flourish, and burst into blossoms and fruit.

O Lord God! Bestow upon each one understanding; give them power and strength and cause them to mirror forth Thy divine aid and confirmation, so that they may become highly distinguished among the people.

Thou art the Mighty and the Powerful.

—‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Additional Prayers Revealed by ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá

unfurl

True civilization will unfurl its banner in the midmost heart of the world whenever a certain number of its distinguished and high-minded sovereigns—the shining exemplars of devotion and determination—shall, for the good and happiness of all mankind, arise, with firm resolve and clear vision, to establish the Cause of Universal Peace. They must make the Cause of Peace the object of general consultation, and seek by every means in their power to establish a Union of the nations of the world. They must conclude a binding treaty and establish a covenant, the provisions of which shall be sound, inviolable and definite. They must proclaim it to all the world and obtain for it the sanction of all the human race. This supreme and noble undertaking—the real source of the peace and well-being of all the world—should be regarded as sacred by all that dwell on earth.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization

imaginings

The individual should, prior to engaging in the study of any subject, ask himself what its uses are and what fruit and result will derive from it. If it is a useful branch of knowledge, that is, if society will gain important benefits from it, then he should certainly pursue it with all his heart. If not, if it consists in empty, profitless debates and in a vain concatenation of imaginings that lead to no result except acrimony, why devote one’s life to such useless hairsplittings and disputes.

– ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, The Secret of Divine Civilization

poison

Anguish and torment, when suffered on the pathway of the Lord, Him of manifest signs, is only favor and grace; affliction is but mercy, and grief a gift from God. Poison is sugar on the tongue, and wrath is kindness, nourishing the soul. Then praise thou Him, the loving Provider, for having ordained this dire affliction, which is but bounty unalloyed.

If I, like Abraham, through flames must go, 
Or yet like John a bloodstained road must run; 
If, Joseph-like, Thou’d cast me in a well, 
Or shut me up within a prison cell— 
Or make me e’en as poor as Mary’s Son— 
I will not go from Thee, 
But ever stand 
My soul and body bowed to Thy command.

– ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá, Selections from the Writings of ‘Abdu’l‑Bahá