Quotes from Baha'i sources:


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Redlands, California
"The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality between the sexes, is one of the most important though less acknowledged prerequisites of peace.

The denial of such equality perpetrates an injustice against one half of the world's population and promotes in men harmful attitudes and habits that are carried from the family to the workplace, to political life, and ultimately to international relations.

There are no grounds, moral, practical, or biological, upon which such denial can be justified. Only as women are welcomed into full partnership in all fields of human endeavor will the moral and psychological climate be created in which international peace can emerge."

The Universal House of Justice, The Promise of World Peace, pp. 11-12.
First European accounts of the Bab's revelation:

The first known account of any of the events relating to Bábí and Bahá'í history was the report sent by the British consul in Baghdad, Major Henry Rawlinson, to the British Foreign Office relating to the arrest and imprisonment of Mullá `Alí Bastámí in early 1845.

The first published account was that of proclamation by the Báb of his mission in Mecca and the arrest and punishment of four of the Báb's disciples in Shiraz, and the arrest of the Báb. This account appeared in The Times of London on 1 November 1845.

Other important early accounts include those of Lady Mary Sheil, the wife of the British Minister in Tehran, in her book, Life and Manners in Modern Persia (London, 1856, pp. 176-81, 273-82); Dr Jakob Polak in Persien.

Das Land und seine Bewohner (Leipzig, 1865, p. 350) as well as the reports sent by the foreign diplomatic representatives resident in Iran, Lt-Col. Justin Sheil, the British minister, Prince Dimitri Dolgorukov, the Russian minister, and Joseph Ferrier, the French agent. Most of these early accounts described the Bábís as violent revolutionaries and socialists--which no doubt reflected both the official Iranian government account of the movement and the prejudices of the writers.
It was the appearence of the book Les Religions et les Philosophies dans l'Asie Centrale (Paris, 1865) by Arthur, Comte de Gobineau (q.v.) which more than anything else served to bring the Bábí movement to the attention of the West. This book, together with Mirza Kazem-Beg's book, Bab i Babidui (St Petersburg, 1865), which also came out in French translation in the Journal Asiatique in 1866, gave rise to a large number of articles in many of the well-known magazines of Europe and North America (for a list of these, see BBR 23-26). So great was the coverage given to the new religion that, in 1871, the well-known writer and critic Matthew Arnold was able to say that Babism was a movement "of which most people in England have at least heard the name." (BBR 25)

From Moojan Momen

Early Western Accounts of Bahá'á' Faith
Regarding harmony between science and religion...

With regard to the harmony of science and religion, the Writings of the Central Figures and the commentaries of the Guardian make abundantly clear that the task of humanity, including the Baha'i community that serves as the "leaven" within it, is to create a global civilization which embodies both the spiritual and material dimensions of existence.

The nature and scope of such a civilization are still beyond anything the present generation can conceive. The prosecution of this vast enterprise will depend on a progressive interaction between the truths and principles of religion and the discoveries and insights of scientific inquiry. This entails living with ambiguities as a natural and inescapable feature of the process of exploring reality.

It also requires us not to limit science to any particular school of thought or methodological approach postulated in the course of its development. The challenge facing Baha'i thinkers is to provide responsible leadership in this endeavour, since it is they who have both the priceless insights of the Revelation and the advantages conferred by scientific investigation.

(19 May 1995, written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer)
Lesser Peace and the Most Great Peace -- The Little Job and the Big Job: Who works on Each?

Getting from "here to there," from "now to then" is the great challenge facing the human race. How are we to meet this challenge? In 1863, after announcing His mission to His followers, Baha'u'llah addressed the kings and rulers. He offered them the Most Great Peace "on a platter." All they had to do was accept. All ignored or refused His offer. He then told them to cling to the Lesser Peace -- a term never heard before Baha'u'llah spoke of it.

The Lesser Peace involves the elimination of the excessive burden of taxation that governments place on their peoples to finance weapons of war. The Lesser Peace involves the elimination of war. These matters are the responsibility of governments. The Most Great Peace is "an inner thing." It has to do with the heart and soul -- an inner spiritual transformation of individuals. This is directly related to the efforts of the Baha'i community. This is the big job.

Baha'u'llah left the lesser job to governmental leaders. Regarding the Lesser and Most Great Peace, the passing of 'Abdu'l-Baha marks the beginning of the formative age (the age of transition from the old to the new world order) -- a time devoted to the publication and gradual enforcement of the Aqdas, the establishment of the Lesser Peace, and the release of the Faith of Baha'u'llah from the grip of religious orthodoxy (in places like Iran and Egypt) -- on the road to the Most Great Peace. The U.S. and the U.S. Baha'i community have a special role to play.

- Remarks by Glenford Mitchell
"...from every drop of blood shed by His chosen ones"

All praise be to God Who, from every drop of blood shed by His chosen ones, hath brought forth a vast creation whose number none but Himself can reckon.

He hath raised them to be the embodiments of His love and the manifestations of His tender affection. It is they who are the hands of His Cause amongst men.

It is they who have rendered aid unto God in every age and have arisen to promote that which He hath purposed in such wise that the majesty of the kings and their dreadful might have failed to affright them, nor have they been hindered from following the path of truth by the clash of arms and the furious clamour of battalions.

They have raised their triumphal cry amidst all that dwell in the heavens and on the earth, summoning everyone unto the Lord of all mankind, He Who is the Ruler of this world and of the next, the God of the throne on high and of the earth below.

He is God--Blessed and Exalted is He!

~ Baha'u''lah
Reflect how Jesus, the Spirit of God, was, notwithstanding His extreme meekness and perfect tender-heartedness, treated by His enemies. So fierce was the opposition which He, the Essence of Being and Lord of the visible and invisible, had to face, that He had nowhere to lay His head. He wandered continually from place to place, deprived of a permanent abode.

~ Baha'u'llah
Bind ye together with the hands of justice...

HEARKEN ye, O Rulers of America and the Presidents of the Republics therein, unto that which the Dove is warbling on the Branch of Eternity:

There is none other God but Me, the Ever-Abiding, the Forgiving, the All-Bountiful. Adorn ye the temple of dominion with the ornament of justice and of the fear of God, and its head with the crown of the remembrance of your Lord, the Creator of the heavens.

Thus counselleth you He Who is the Dayspring of Names, as bidden by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

The Promised One hath appeared in this glorified Station, whereat all beings, both seen and unseen, have rejoiced. Take ye advantage of the Day of God. Verily, to meet Him is better for you than all that whereon the sun shineth, could ye but know it.

O concourse of rulers! Give ear unto that which hath been raised from the Dayspring of Grandeur: Verily, there is none other God but Me, the Lord of Utterance, the All-Knowing.

Bind ye the broken with the hands of justice, and crush the oppressor who flourisheth with the rod of the commandments of your Lord, the Ordainer, the All-Wise.

~ Baha'u'llah
Reflect how Jesus, the Spirit of God, was, notwithstanding His extreme meekness and perfect tender-heartedness, treated by His enemies. So fierce was the opposition which He, the Essence of Being and Lord of the visible and invisible, had to face, that He had nowhere to lay His head. He wandered continually from place to place, deprived of a permanent abode.

~ Baha'u'llah

"Know thou that when the Son of Man yielded up His breath to God, the whole creation wept with a great weeping. By sacrificing Himself, however, a fresh capacity was infused into all created things. Its evidences, as witnessed in all the peoples of the earth, are now manifest before thee. The deepest wisdom which the sages have uttered, the profoundest learning which any mind hath unfolded, the arts which the ablest hands have produced, the influence exerted by the most potent of rulers, are but manifestations of the quickening power released by His transcendent, His all-pervasive, and resplendent Spirit.

"We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him, the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened, and the soul of the sinner sanctified.

"Leprosy may be interpreted as any veil that interveneth between man and the recognition of the Lord, his God. Whoso alloweth himself to be shut out from Him is indeed a leper, who shall not be remembered in the Kingdom of God, the Mighty, the All-Praised. We bear witness that through the power of the Word of God every leper was cleansed, every sickness was healed, every human infirmity was banished. He it is Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him." -Baha'u'llah
The Phoenix of the Realms above...

The Pen of Revelation exclaimeth:

“On this Day the Kingdom is God’s!”

The Tongue of Power is calling:

“On this Day all sovereignty is, in very deed, with God!”

The Phoenix of the realms above crieth out from the immortal Branch: “The glory of all greatness belongeth to God, the Incomparable, the 36 All-Compelling!”

The Mystic Dove proclaimeth from its blissful bower, in the everlasting Paradise: “The source of all bounty is derived, in this Day, from God, the One, the Forgiving!”

The Bird of the Throne warbleth its melody in its retreats of holiness: “Supreme ascendancy is to be attributed, this Day, to none except God, Him Who hath no peer nor equal, Who is the Most Powerful, the All-Subduing!”

~ "Baha'u'llah in Gleanings"
Throughout history...

Throughout history, the primary agents of spiritual development have been the great religions. For the majority of the earth’s people, the scriptures of each of these systems of belief have served, in Bahá’u’lláh’s words, as “the City of God”, 1 a source of a knowledge that totally embraces consciousness, one so compelling as to endow the sincere with “a new eye, a new ear, a new heart, and a new mind”. 2 A vast literature, to which all religious cultures have contributed, records the experience of transcendence reported by generations of seekers.

Down the millennia, the lives of those who responded to intimations of the Divine have inspired breathtaking achievements in music, architecture, and the other arts, endlessly replicating the soul’s experience for millions of their fellow believers. No other force in existence has been able to elicit from people comparable qualities of heroism, self-sacrifice and self-discipline. At the social level, the resulting moral principles have repeatedly translated themselves into universal codes of law, regulating and elevating human relationships. Viewed in perspective, the major religions emerge as the primary driving forces of the civilizing process. To argue otherwise is surely to ignore the evidence of history.

~ The Universal House of Justice in "One Common Faith"
Prayer for Protection:

[FONT=Geneva,Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,Sans-Serif]In the Name of God, the Lord of overpowering majesty, the All-Compelling. [/FONT]
[FONT=Geneva,Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,Sans-Serif]Hallowed be the Lord in Whose hand is the source of dominion. He createth whatsoever He willeth by His Word of command “Be,” and it is. His hath been the power of authority heretofore, and it shall remain His hereafter. He maketh victorious whomsoever He pleaseth, through the potency of His behest. He is in truth the Powerful, the Almighty. Unto Him pertaineth all glory and majesty in the kingdoms of Revelation and Creation and whatever lieth between them. Verily, He[/FONT][FONT=Geneva,Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,Sans-Serif] is the Potent, the All-Glorious. From everlasting He hath been the Source of indomitable strength and shall remain so unto everlasting. He is indeed the Lord of might and power. All the kingdoms of heaven and earth and whatever is between them are God’s, and His power is supreme over all things. All the treasures of earth and heaven and everything between them are His, and His protection extendeth over all things. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth and whatever lieth between them, and He truly is a witness over all things. He is the Lord of Reckoning for all that dwell in the heavens and on earth and whatever lieth between them, and truly God is swift to reckon. He setteth the measure assigned to all who are in the heavens and the earth and whatever is between them. Verily, He is the Supreme Protector. He holdeth in His grasp the keys of heaven and earth and of everything between them. At His Own pleasure doth He bestow gifts, through the power of His command. Indeed His grace encompasseth all, and He is the All-Knowing. [/FONT]
[FONT=Geneva,Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,Sans-Serif]Say: God sufficeth unto me; He is the One Who holdeth in His grasp the kingdom of all things. [/FONT][FONT=Geneva,Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,Sans-Serif] Through the power of His hosts of heaven and earth and whatever lieth between them, He protecteth whomsoever among His servants He willeth. God, in truth, keepeth watch over all things. [/FONT]
[FONT=Geneva,Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,Sans-Serif]Immeasurably exalted art Thou, O Lord! [/FONT]
[FONT=Geneva,Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,Sans-Serif]Protect us from what lieth in front of us and behind us, above our heads, on our right, on our left, below our feet and every other side to which we are exposed. [/FONT]
[FONT=Geneva,Verdana,Arial,Helvetica,Sans-Serif]Verily, Thy protection over all things is unfailing.[/FONT]

~ The Bab
In need of resurrection...

The world of humanity cannot advance through mere physical powers and intellectual attainments; nay, rather, the Holy Spirit is essential. The divine Father must assist the human world to attain maturity. The body of man is in need of physical and mental energy but his spirit requires the life and fortification of the Holy Spirit. Without its protection and quickening the human world would be extinguished. His Holiness Jesus Christ declared, “Let the dead bury their dead.” He also said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit.” It is evident therefore according to His Holiness that the human spirit which is not fortified by the presence of the Holy Spirit is dead and in need of resurrection by that divine power; otherwise though materially advanced to high degrees man cannot attain full and complete progress.

~ Abdul-Baha
Praise be to Thee, O Lord my God!

I swear by Thy might! Successive afflictions have withheld the pen of the Most High from laying bare that which is hidden from the eyes of Thy creatures, and incessant trials have hindered the tongue of the Divine Ordainer from proclaiming the wonders of Thy glorification and praise.

With a stammering tongue, therefore, I call upon Thee, O my God, and with this my afflicted pen I occupy myself in remembrance of Thy name.
Is there any man of insight, O my God, that can behold Thee with Thine own eye, and where is the thirsty one who can direct his face towards the living waters of Thy love?

I am the one, O my God, who hath blotted out from his heart the remembrance of all except Thee, and hath graven upon it the mysteries of Thy love. Thine own might beareth me witness!

But for tribulations, how could the assured be distinguished from the doubters among Thy servants?

They who have been inebriated with the wine of Thy knowledge, these, verily, hasten to meet every manner of adversity in their longing to pass into Thy presence.

I implore Thee, O Beloved of my heart and the Object of my soul’s adoration, to shield them that love me from the faintest trace of evil and corrupt desires. Supply them, then, with the good of this world and of the next.
Thou art, verily, He Whose grace hath guided them aright, He Who hath declared Himself to be the All-Merciful. No God is there but Thee, the All-Glorious, the Supreme Helper.

From: "Prayers and Meditations" by Bahá’u’lláh
If ye make an effort...

O ye friends of God!

Be kind to all peoples and nations, have love for all of them, exert yourselves to purify the hearts as much as you can, and bestow abundant effort in rejoicing the souls.

Be ye a sprinkling of rain to every meadow and a water of life to every tree.

Be ye as fragrant musk to every nostril and a soul-refreshing breeze to every invalid.

Be ye salutary water to every thirsty one, a wise guide to every one led astray, an affectionate father or mother to every orphan, and, in the utmost joy and fragrance, a son or daughter to every one bent with age.

Be ye a rich treasure to every indigent one;

consider love and union as a delectable paradise, and count annoyance and hostility as the torment of hell-fire.

Exert with your soul;

seek no rest in body;

supplicate and beseech with your heart and search for divine assistance and favor, in order that ye may make this world the Paradise of Abhá and this terrestrial globe the arena of the Supreme Kingdom.

If ye make an effort, it is certain that these lights will shine, this cloud of mercy shall rain, this soul-nourishing breeze shall waft, and the scent of this most fragrant musk be diffused.

~ Abdul-Baha
Teaching the Cause..

As long as a soul is not perfected how can he efface the defects of others? Unless he is detached from aught else save God how can he teach severance to others.

Teaching the cause of God is not only through the tongue; it is through deeds, a good disposition, happiness of nature, kindness, sympathy, good fellowship, trustworthiness, holiness, virtue, purity of ideals and, lastly, speech."

"The greatest bestowal of God is love.

That is the origin of all the bestowals of God. Until love takes possession of the heart no other great or divine bounty can be revealed in it."

~ Abdul-Baha

- SW, Vol. 14, p. 60
"Is it not astonishing..."

Is it not astonishing that although man has been created for the knowledge and love of God, for the virtues of the human world, for spirituality, heavenly illumination and life eternal, nevertheless he continues ignorant and negligent of all this? Consider how he seeks knowledge of everything except knowledge of God. For instance, his utmost desire is to penetrate the mysteries of the lowest strata of the earth. Day by day he strives to know what can be found ten metres below the surface, what he can discover within the stone, what he can learn by archaeological research in the dust. He puts forth arduous labors to fathom terrestrial mysteries but is not at all concerned about knowing the mysteries of the Kingdom, traversing the illimitable fields of the eternal world, becoming informed of the divine realities, discovering the secrets of God, attaining the knowledge of God, witnessing the splendors of the Sun of Truth and realizing the glories of everlasting life. He is unmindful and thoughtless of these. How much he is attracted to the mysteries of matter and how completely unaware he is of the mysteries of divinity!

- Abdul-Baha

From "Foundatiosn of World Unity"
I don't have the Writings on this computer, so I might have some words wrong.... "Having created the world and all the liveth and moveth therein, He hath, through the..." I messed up... "He hath chosen to confer upon man the (unique?) capacity to know Him and to love Him, a capacity that must needs be regarded as the ..... primary purpose underlying the whole of creation." Maybe I shouldn't put quotes around that because I'm just going by memory.
"Having created the world and all that liveth and moveth therein, He, through the direct operation of His unconstrained and sovereign Will, chose to confer upon man the unique distinction and capacity to know Him and to love Him—a capacity that must needs be regarded as the generating impulse and the primary purpose underlying the whole of creation…. Upon the inmost reality of each and every created thing He hath shed the light of one of His names, and made it a recipient of the glory of one of His attributes. Upon the reality of man, however, He hath focused the radiance of all of His names and attributes, and made it a mirror of His own Self. Alone of all created things man hath been singled out for so great a favor, so enduring a bounty." -Baha'u'llah, Gleanings From the Writings of Baha'u'llah

I used the online Baha'i Reference Library.
"The fundamental principle...

The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá'u'lláh, the followers of His Faith firmly believe, is that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is a continuous and progressive process, that all the great religions of the world are divine in origin, that their basic principles are in complete harmony, that their aims and purposes are one and the same, that their teachings are but facets of one truth, that their functions are complementary, that they differ only in the nonessential aspects of their doctrines, and that their missions represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society.3

- Shoghi Effendi
Re: "The fundamental principle...

The fundamental principle enunciated by Bahá'u'lláh, the followers of His Faith firmly believe, is that religious truth is not absolute but relative, that Divine Revelation is a continuous and progressive process, that all the great religions of the world are divine in origin, that their basic principles are in complete harmony, that their aims and purposes are one and the same, that their teachings are but facets of one truth, that their functions are complementary, that they differ only in the nonessential aspects of their doctrines, and that their missions represent successive stages in the spiritual evolution of human society.3

- Shoghi Effendi​

Unity! Unity! The more I read the Writings of Baha'u'llah, the longer I've been a Baha'i, the more I see unity as attainable and necessary, desirable and essential. The longer I'm a Baha'i, the more I wonder why people argue over religion. Here is the remedy, people, love and unity :)