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Compiled by Marlene Macke, St Marys, ON, Canada

 

Transition from the Babi Faith to the Baha’i Faith 

At a time when the Cause of the Bab seemed to be hovering on the brink of extinction, when the hopes and ambitions which animated it had, to all human seeming, been frustrated, when the colossal sacrifices of its unnumbered lovers appeared to have been made in vain, the Divine Promise enshrined within it was about to be suddenly redeemed, and its final perfection manifested.  The Babi Dispensation was being brought to its close (not prematurely but in its own appointed time), and was yielding its destined fruit and revealing its ultimate purpose – the birth of the Mission of Baha’u’llah.  –  Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 91

A brief overview of the life of Baha’u’llah 

Abdu’l-Baha said: I will speak to you today of Baha’u’llah…. [In Tihran] He was imprisoned in an underground dungeon, where the light of day was never seen.  A heavy chain was placed upon His neck by which He was chained to five other Babis; these fetters were locked together by strong, very heavy bolts…. His clothes were torn to pieces, also His fez.  In this terrible condition He was kept for four months…. After a time the Government liberated Him and exiled Him and His family to Baghdad, where He remained for eleven years….  At length the Turkish Governor exiled Him to Constantinople, whence He was sent to Adrianople; here He stayed for five years.  Eventually, He was sent to the far off prison fortress of St. Jean d’Acre [Akka].  Here He was imprisoned in the military portion of the fortress and kept under the strictest surveillance.  Words would fail me to tell you of the many trials He had to suffer, and all the misery He endured in that prison.  –  Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, pp. 75-79

When Baha’u’llah came to this prison in the Holy Land, the wise men realized that the glad-tidings which God gave through … the Prophets two or three thousand years before, were again manifested, and that God was faithful to His promise; for to some of the Prophets He had revealed … that ‘The Lord of Hosts should be manifested in the Holy Land.’  All these promises were fulfilled; and it is difficult to understand how Baha’u’llah could have been obliged to leave Persia, and to pitch His tent in this Holy Land, but for the persecution of His enemies, His banishment and exile….  –  Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 42

The First Stirrings of God’s Revelation 

O King! I was but a man like others, asleep upon My couch, when lo, the breezes of the All-Glorious were wafted over Me and taught Me the knowledge of all that hath been.  This thing is not from Me, but from One Who is Almighty and All-Knowing.  –  Baha’u’llah, cited in God Passes By, p. 102

‘One night in a dream’, He Himself, calling to mind, in the evening of His life, the first stirrings of God’s Revelation within His soul, has written, ‘these exalted words were heard on every side: “Verily, We shall render Thee victorious by Thyself and by Thy pen.  Grieve Thou not for that which hath befallen Thee, neither be Thou afraid, for Thou art in safety.  Ere long will God raise up the treasures of the earth – men who will aid Thee through Thyself and through Thy Name, wherewith God hath revived the hearts of such as have recognized Him.”’  –  Baha’u’llah, cited in God Passes By, p. 101

The Nature of Baha’u’llah’s Revelation 

The Revelation of which I am the bearer is adapted to humanity’s spiritual receptiveness and capacity…. Whatever I manifest is nothing more or less than the measure of the Divine glory which God has bidden me to reveal.  –  Baha’u’llah, cited in The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 60

Is not the object of every Revelation to effect a transformation in the whole character of mankind, a transformation that shall manifest itself, both outwardly and inwardly….?  –  Baha’u’llah, cited in The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 25

Purpose of Baha’u’llah’s Ministry 

The world’s equilibrium hath been upset through the vibrating influence of this most great, this new World Order.  –  Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 135

Soon will the present day Order be rolled up, and a new one spread out in its stead.  –  Baha’u’llah, cited in The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p.161

Far from aiming at the overthrow of the spiritual foundation of the world’s religious systems, its … purpose is to widen their basis, to restate their fundamentals, to reconcile their aims, to reinvigorate their life, to demonstrate their oneness, to restore the pristine purity of their teachings, … and to assist in the realization of their highest aspirations.  –  Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 114

The Revelation of Baha’u’llah, whose supreme mission is none other but the achievement of this organic and spiritual unity of the whole body of nations, should … be regarded as signalizing through its advent the ‘coming of age of the entire human race.’  It should be viewed not merely as yet another spiritual revival in the ever-changing fortunes of mankind, not only as a further stage in a chain of progressive Revelations, nor even as the culmination of one of a series of recurrent prophetic cycles, but rather as marking the last and highest stage in the stupendous evolution of man’s collective life on this planet.  –  Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 163

God’s purpose is none other than to usher in … the Golden Age of … humanity.  Its present state, indeed even its immediate future, is dark, distressingly dark.  Its distant future, however, is radiant, gloriously radiant – so radiant that no eye can visualize it.  –  Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 116

… two great processes are at work in the world: the great Plan of God, tumultuous in its progress, working through mankind as a whole, tearing down barriers to world unity and forging humankind into a unified body in the fires of suffering and experience.  This process will produce … the Lesser Peace, the political unification of the world.  Mankind at that time can be likened to a body that is unified but without life.  The second process, the task of breathing life into this unified body – of creating true unity and spirituality culminating in the Most Great Peace – is that of the Baha’is, who are labouring consciously, with detailed instructions and continuing Divine guidance, to erect … the Kingdom of God on earth….  –  The Universal House of Justice, Wellspring of Guidance, pp. 133-34

The Power of Baha’u’llah’s Revelation 

It is in Our power, should We wish it, to enable a speck of floating dust to generate, in less than the twinkling of an eye, suns of infinite, of unimaginable splendour, to cause a dewdrop to develop into vast and numberless oceans, to infuse into every letter such a force as to empower it to unfold all the knowledge of past and future ages.  –  Baha’u’llah, cited in The World Order of Baha’u’llah, p. 107

Praise be to God, today the splendour of the Word of God hath illumined every horizon, and from all sects, races, tribes, nations and communities souls have come together in the light of the Word, assembled, united and agreed in perfect harmony.  Oh! What a great number of meetings are held adorned with souls from various races and diverse sects! Anyone attending these will be struck with amazement, and might suppose that these souls are all of one land, one nationality, one community, one thought, one belief and one opinion; whereas, in fact, one is an American, the other an African, one cometh from Asia and another from Europe, one is a native of India, another is from Turkestan, one is an Arab, another is a Tajik, another a Persian and yet another a Greek.  Notwithstanding such diversity they associate in perfect harmony and unity…. Verily, this is from the penetrative power of the Word of God!  –  Abdu’l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu’l-Baha, p. 292

[Baha’u’llah’s] ministry … by virtue of its creative power, its cleansing force, its healing influences, and the irresistible operation of the world-directing, world-shaping forces it released, stands unparalleled in the religious annals of the entire human race….  –  Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 106

 

Recommended Reading: 

Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, Baha’u’llah

God Passes By, Shoghi Effendi

The Proofs of Baha’u’llah’s Mission, compiled by Paul Lample

Baha’u’llah, A Statement prepared by the Baha’i International Community

Baha’u’llah: The King of Glory, H.M. Balyuzi

Baha’u’llah, H.M. Balyuzi

Stories of Baha’u’llah, compiled by Ali-Akbar Furutan

The Revelation of Baha’u’llah, Vol 1-4, A. Tahrezedeh

New Heaven – New Earth: The Divine Order of Baha’u’llah, Heidi Lakshman