Saturday, May 30, 2009

About the Tablet of Ahmad

July 14, 2012: It gives me great joy to announce that a video of Richard Gurinsky speaking on the Tablet of Ahmad is now available online.
 
"These daily obligatory prayers, together with a few other specific ones, such as the Healing Prayer, the Tablet of Ahmad, have been invested by Baha'u'llah with a special potency and significance, and should therefore be accepted as such and be recited by the believers with unquestioned faith and confidence, that through them they may enter into a much closer communion with God, and identify themselves more fully with His Laws and precepts."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi,
Directives from the Guardian, p.60)


"The Tablet of Ahmad was revealed by Baha'u'llah to be read when one feels himself in exceptionally difficult circumstances. There is nothing obligatory about its use, and every person has to decide for himself whether he desires to learn it by heart or not..."

(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to the Baha'is of Kenosha, April 14, 1932)



"Glad Tidings of the Nearness of God"

Ahmad became the embodiment of his own Tablet. Such persistence, undaunted spirit, tenacity and steadfastness as his are hardly to be found in any annals of the Cause. When he found a contact, although he suffered afflictions and degradations, he would return again and again to finish that which had been left half discussed.

For example, when he was travelling throughout the Province of Khurasan, he went to the house of a very well known Bábí family, the head of which was no less a person than Furughi - one of the survivors of the Tabarsi upheaval. Ahmad went in and gradually opened the subject and in very frank, vigorous and emphatic terms explained that the One to be manifested by God was none other than Bahá'u'lláh whose light was then shining from the horizon of the "Remote Prison" - Adrianople.

Furughi, who has so audaciously fought in Tabarsi, started a fight here, too. The discussion became more intense as the hours went by. Furughi became very angry, attacked Ahmad, breaking one his teeth and threw him out of the house.

Ahmad left broken-hearted; but, undaunted, he later returned, knocked at the door and told them that he would not go until such time as the subject was fully discussed and some definite conclusions reached.

We must bear in mind that the Babis were in such great danger that even a piece of paper bearing the verses of the Báb found in any house was enough for the house to be demolished and the inhabitants to be sent to prison or even to the field of martyrdom.

Therefore many of the friends hid their books and writings in the walls of their houses. When Ahmad went to Furughi's house for the second time to resume the discussion, he said emphatically that the Greatest Name BAHA had very often been mentioned by the Báb in all His Writings. Furughi challenged the truth of this statement. To prove to Ahmad that he was wrong, he tore a part of the wall down and brought out a bundle containing the Writings of the Bab, and promised not to say a word against the explicit texts. Ahmad says, "The very first one we opened referred to the name of Baha." As promised, Furughi and all the members of his family accepted the Faith of Bahá'u'lláh and became zealous defenders and very outstanding in its propagation and protection.

    (Abu'l-Qasim Faizi, "A Flame of Fire")




Counsels and Exhortations in the Tablet of Ahmad

• Bear thou witness that verily He is God

• …be obedient to the ordinances of God

• …let him choose the path to his Lord

• Forget not My bounties

• Remember My days

• Remember…My distress and banishment

• …be thou so steadfast in My love that thy heart shall not waver

• Be thou as a flame of fire…and a river of life eternal

• …be not of those who doubt

• …be not thou troubled

• Rely upon God, thy God

• Be thou assured in thyself

• Learn well this Tablet

• Chant it during thy days and withhold not thyself therefrom

• …be of those who are grateful

• …read this Tablet with absolute sincerity





Baha'u'llah’s Call in the Tablet of Ahmad

"Another aspect of this story is Ahmad’s age and the very long distances he walked. Ahmad was not a young man when he decided to leave Baghdad and visit Baha'u'llah. Since Ahmad was born about 1805 and he received the Tablet in 1865 or thereabouts, we know that Ahmad was about 60 years old when Baha'u'llah sent the Tablet to him. Ahmad had just walked the entire distance from Baghdad to Constantinople – more than 1100 miles or 1700 kilometres – when he received this Tablet. Adrianople is another 160 miles, 260 kilometres, from Constantinople. However, Ahmad did not choose this easier path. Instead, he directed his steps to Persia. From Constantinople, Ahmad walked another 1400 miles, 2240 kilometres, to reach his destination. Such a feat is almost unimaginable today, although, of course, it was more common in the 19th century. Yet once he arrived in Persia, Ahmad did not rest. He continued walking around the country, teaching the Babis.

"Ahmad arose to teach the Babis because he responded to Baha'u'llah’s call to him in the Tablet of Ahmad. Baha'u'llah did not request that Ahmad visit Him so that he might give Ahmad His personal instructions. Ahmad knew that Baha'u'llah had a serious purpose in sending him such a weighty Tablet. That Baha'u'llah sent Ahmad this Tablet while he was traveling, rather than waiting for Ahmad to visit Him, suggests that Baha'u'llah may have also been communicating a sense of urgency.

"With this in mind, we may, like Ahmad, read the Tablet many times to find those phrases and words which indicate Baha'u'llah’s purpose. The more we do this, the clearer it becomes that much of the Tablet of Ahmad may be viewed as a call to teach and that one of its major themes, therefore, is teaching the Cause of God.

"We also see that it was Ahmad’s obedience to Baha'u'llah’s call to him in this Tablet that makes Ahmad’s life and his service to the Cause of God so memorable and noteworthy…"

(H. Richard Gurinsky
, Learn Well This Tablet - A Commentary On the Tablet of Ahmad, pp. 16-17)

      
In a talk he gave near the end of his life, Richard Gurinsky pointed out that in the first paragraph of the Tablet of Ahmad, Baha'u'llah uses four verbs regarding the Nightingale of Paradise that ‘singeth.’ Richard said, "If the Nightingale is ‘proclaiming,’ ‘calling,’ ‘informing,’ and ‘guiding,’ what is that? Right! Teaching!"

He offered the thought that the Tablet of Ahmad might be one of the Tablets intended by Baha'u'llah in the statement:

"To assist me is to teach my Cause. This is a theme with which whole Tablets are laden. This is the changeless commandment of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future."


        (Tablets of Baha’u’llah, p. 196)


Sources for Learning about the Tablet of Ahmad

• “A Flame of Fire, The Story of the Tablet of Ahmad,” by Hand of the Cause of God A.Q. Faizi

The Revelation of Baha'u'llah, Vol. 2, Adrianople 1863-68, by Adib Taherzadeh, pp. 107-136

The Ocean of His Words, A Reader’s Guide to the Art of Baha'u'llah, by John Hatcher, pp. 340-378

Learn Well This Tablet - A Commentary On the Tablet of Ahmad, by H. Richard Gurinsky

Four on an Island - by Bahiyyih Nakhjavani, p. 105, pp. 120-123




Wednesday, May 27, 2009


On the Occasion of the Centenary Commemoration at Bahji of the Ascension of Baha'u'llah

May 29, 1992


A Tribute by the Universal House of Justice

With soul-stirring emotion we gather in the hallowed environs of His resting place to honour the memory of the Supreme Manifestation of God, Baha'u'llah, on the solemn, historic occasion of the centenary of His ascension.

We lift our voices at the prompting of our hearts' desire to pay tribute to a life infinitely beyond compare. But how shall we realize such a wish when it is evident that no mind can attain the comprehension which would make possible the vocabulary worthy of His celestial court? In very truth, our tongues falter in their impotence to describe, let alone extol, the prodigies of a prophetic career which was framed in superlatives. For here at Bahji, one hundred years ago, was drawn the last breath on earth of the world's greatest Luminary, Founder of the Dispensation marking the culmination of the six-thousand-year-old Adamic Cycle, and Inaugurator of the five-thousand-century Baha'i Cycle. He, the Most Great Manifestation, appeared in the Most Great Name and endured the greatest suffering in authoring the Most Great Revelation, which is the wellspring of the Most Great Peace. In our attempt to appreciate these matchless bounties, we recite the gem-like names of the Adored One, picked out as pearls from the veritable ocean of His Revelation, bestrewing them throughout our testimonial that they may lend an acceptable gleam to our expression of His glory and majesty.

King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Supreme Mediator, Most Ancient Beauty: He is the Well-Beloved of all worlds. We hail Him as the long-awaited Promised One, the Object of the adoration of the world. And we exclaim: "Hallowed be the Lord in Whose hand is the source of dominion!"

How grievously Baha'u'llah suffered to regenerate the world! Wrongly accused, imprisoned, beaten, chained, banished from country to country, betrayed, poisoned, stripped of material possessions, and "at every moment tormented with a fresh torment": such was the cruel reception that greeted the Everlasting Father, Him Who is the Possessor of all Names and Attributes. For two score years, until the end of His earthly days, He remained a prisoner and exile -- persecuted unceasingly by the rulers of Persia and the Ottoman Empire, opposed relentlessly by a vicious and scheming clergy, neglected abjectly by other sovereigns to whom He addressed potent letters imparting to them that which, in His truth-bearing words, "is the cause of the well-being, the unity, the harmony, and the reconstruction of the world, and of the tranquillity of the nations". "My grief", He once lamented, "exceedeth all the woes to which Jacob gave vent, and all the afflictions of Job are but a part of My sorrows."



The voice halts for shame from continuing so deplorable a recitation, the heart is torn by mere thought of the Divine Target of such grief -- grief no ordinary mortal could endure. But lest we give way to feelings of gloom and distress, we take recourse in the tranquil calm He induces with such meaningful words as these: "We have borne it all with the utmost willingness and resignation, so that the souls of men may be edified, and the Word of God be exalted." Thus, the Wronged One, patient beyond measure, preserved a majestic composure, revealing His true Self as the Merciful, the Loving, the Incomparable Friend. Concentrating His energies on the pivotal purpose of His Revelation, He transmuted His tribulations into instruments of redemption and summoned all peoples to the banner of unity.

No worldly power could thwart the purpose of the Most Exalted Pen. Through the copiousness of His writings, He poured upon the planet the healing waters of the Word of God renewed. Descending upon Him like a spring rain, His Revelation comprises some one hundred volumes -- "volumes replete with unnumbered exhortations, revolutionizing principles, world-shaping laws and ordinances, dire warnings and portentous prophecies, with soul-uplifting prayers and meditations, illuminating commentaries and interpretations, impassioned discourses and homilies, all interspersed with either addresses or references to kings, to emperors and to ministers, of both the East and the West, to ecclesiastics of divers denominations, and to leaders in the intellectual, political, literary, mystical, commercial and humanitarian spheres of human activity." Foremost among His Books is His Kitab-i-Aqdas, the charter of the future world civilization in which He has announced the Laws of God for this age. Our hearts thrill to the prospect that during the course of this centennial year, the annotated English translation of this Mother Book of Baha'u'llah's Revelation is to be published. We acknowledge with astonished joy the prolific legacy of this divine outpouring. And we exclaim: "Praised be Thou, Who art the Desire of the world, and thanks be to Thee, O Well-Beloved of the hearts of such as are devoted to Thee!"

Today, we bear witness to the further abundance of a peerless heritage. With the setting of the Sun of Baha, the Moon of His Covenant rose in reflected glory, lifting the darkness of a night of despair, and lighting the path to the unity of all humankind. In the fullness of its radiance stands the magnetic Figure of Abdu'l-Baha, the beloved Son Whom Baha'u'llah designated as the Interpreter of His Word and Executive of His authority, and Whom He appointed the Centre of His Covenant, an office without parallel in all religious history.

We acknowledge the mysterious power of His wisdom, the illuminating potency of His words, the immortal example and unific character of His deeds. By His untiring exertions the fame of the infant Cause was spread abroad, the design of its Administrative Order was completed, the World Centre of the Faith emerged into clear visibility, and the splendours of the Mountain of God, as alluded to in Baha'u'llah's Tablet of Carmel, began to be manifested. With profound gratitude for such evident blessings we reaffirm our loyalty to the Covenant of Baha'u'llah. And we exclaim: "Glorified be the All-Merciful, the Lord of Grace abounding!"

As a result of the phenomenal effects of His Covenant, a world community has been raised up on an "unassailable foundation". The entire system of the Administrative Order originated by Baha'u'llah in His Most Holy Book has been erected. A vigorous network of local, national, continental and international institutions functions in exemplary harmony throughout the planet. Vitalized and nurtured by His stupendous Revelation, watered by the precious blood of countless martyrs, and tended by the loving care of unnumbered, devoted servants, the Tree of the Cause has, in these hundred years, grown mightily, has put forth its far-stretching branches and borne its first and plentiful fruit.

Baha'u'llah found the world in a "strange sleep". But what a disturbance His coming has unloosed! The peoples of the earth had been separated, many parts of the human race socially and spiritually isolated. But the world of humanity today bears little resemblance to that which Baha'u'llah left a century ago. Unbeknownst to the great majority, His influence permeates all living beings. Indeed, no domain of life remains unaffected. In the burgeoning energy, the magnified perspectives, the heightened global consciousness; in the social and political turbulence, the fall of kingdoms, the emancipation of nations, the intermixture of cultures, the clamour for development; in the agitation over the extremes of wealth and poverty, the acute concern over the abuse of the environment, the leap of consciousness regarding the rights of women; in the growing tendency towards ecumenism, the increasing call for a new world order; in the astounding advances in the realms of science, technology, literature and the arts -- in all this tumult, with its paradoxical manifestations of chaos and order, integration and disintegration, are the signs of His power as World Reformer, the proof of His claim as Divine Physician, the truth of His Word as the All-Knowing Counsellor.

Baha'u'llah wrote voluminously about the purpose of this mysterious force and its transformative effects, but the essence can be drawn from these few perspicuous words: "Through the movement of Our Pen of Glory We have, at the bidding of the Omnipotent Ordainer, breathed a new life into every human frame, and instilled into every word a fresh potency. All created things proclaim the evidences of this worldwide regeneration." And again: "A new life is, in this age, stirring within all the peoples of the earth; and yet none hath discovered its cause or perceived its motive." And yet again: "He Who is the Unconditioned is come, in the clouds of light, that He may quicken all created things with the breezes of His Name, the Most Merciful, and unify the world, and gather all men around this Table which hath been sent down from heaven."

Let the denizens of the earth wake from their slumber at the resonances of His Name and arise from their confused dreams to embrace the clarity of the new Day: For "This is the King of Days, the Day that hath seen the coming of the Best-beloved, Him Who through all eternity hath been acclaimed the Desire of the World."

Our thoughts turn back to the mourning time in 1892 when a vast number of residents from the surrounding area came to join His bereaved followers in lamenting the departure of the immortal Beloved. These were not adherents of His Cause and had no real understanding of His station, but the effect of His presence among them was such as to fill them with a grave sense of loss. Today, a century later, it is we, who identify ourselves with His community, who have come in multitudinous array from the far corners of the earth to pay homage to the King of Glory. With us in spirit are the millions of His lovers scattered among tens of thousands of villages, towns and cities, themselves observing in their own localities this solemn anniversary, their hearts focused on the Primal Spot here at Bahji.

And among us at this Point of Adoration are a number of the heroic souls from the celebrated company who earned the accolade Knight of Baha'u'llah conferred upon them by Shoghi Effendi, Guardian of the Cause -- this to signify their acts of daring and devotion as teachers of the Faith. It is they who were in the vanguard during the triumphant Ten Year World Crusade. Their exploits, built upon the dramatic feats of the Heroic Age and the sacrifices of countless martyrs and heroes of the past, and following the trail blazed by earlier teachers of the Faith, realized the actual establishment of the Cause of Baha'u'llah as a world religion.

Now, on this commemorative occasion, the Roll of Honour on which the names of the Knights have been inscribed is being deposited by Amatu'l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum at the entrance door of the Most Holy Shrine in the spot designated by our beloved Guardian. This is both a symbol and a promise -- a symbol registering the reality of a clear response, at a critical time, to the duty laid upon us by the Lord of Hosts to diffuse His teachings among all peoples; a promise that the commitment so dazzlingly displayed by these intrepid pioneers will be reaffirmed by generations of their successors, ensuring that the light of Baha'u'llah's Revelation, "shining in all its power and glory, will have suffused and enveloped the entire planet".

This is also a mark of recognition of the power of the Hand of Omnipotence to turn gnats into eagles. His bounties embolden us. Broken-winged birds are we; yet, with His assurances resounding in our souls, we soar to ever greater heights in His service. "I am the royal Falcon on the arm of the Almighty!" He declares, benevolently adding: "I unfold the drooping wings of every broken bird and start it on its flight." How then can we fail?

We here make this vow: With a stirring history of divine support behind us and a clear vision of unfolding destiny before us, we move onward, renewed, reconsecrated, resolute, until the consciousness of every human being has been touched by the knowledge of God's triumphant Faith. And, intoning the expectant words of His Martyr-Herald, we exclaim: "Exalted be His glory, and magnified be His might, and sanctified be His holiness, and glorified be His grandeur, and lauded be His ways!"


[Photos added. Top photo courtesy of corriegraphics.com.]

Readings from the 1992 Centenary Commemoration of the Ascension of Baha'u'llah

[1]
Praised be Thou, O my God! I beseech Thee by them who have circled round the throne of Thy will, and soared in the atmosphere of Thy good-pleasure, and turned with all their affections towards the Horizon of Thy Revelation and the Day-Spring of Thine inspiration, and the Dawning-Place of Thy names, to aid Thy servants to observe what Thou hast commanded them in Thy days -- commandments through which the sacredness of Thy Cause will be demonstrated unto Thy servants and the affairs of Thy creatures and of Thy realm will be set aright.

I testify, O my God, that this is the Day whereon Thy testimony hath been fulfilled, and Thy clear tokens have been manifested, and Thine utterances have been revealed, and Thy signs have been demonstrated, and the radiance of Thy countenance hath been diffused, and Thy proof hath been perfected, and Thine ascendancy hath been established, and Thy mercy hath overflowed, and the Day-Star of Thy grace hath shone forth with such brilliance that Thou didst manifest Him Who is the Revealer of Thyself and the Treasury of Thy wisdom and the Dawning-Place of Thy majesty and power. Thou didst establish His covenant with every one who hath been created in the kingdoms of earth and heaven and in the realms of revelation and of creation. Thou didst raise Him up to such heights that the wrongs inflicted by the oppressors have been powerless to deter Him from revealing Thy sovereignty, and the ascendancy of the wayward hath failed to prevent Him from demonstrating Thy power and from exalting Thy Cause.

So highly didst Thou exalt Him that He openly delivered unto the kings Thy messages and commandments, and hath never for one moment sought His own protection, but striven to protect Thy servants from whatever might withhold them from approaching the kingdom of Thy nearness, and from setting their faces towards the horizon of Thy good-pleasure. Thou seest, O my God, how, notwithstanding the swords that are drawn against Him, He calleth the nations unto Thee, and though Himself a prisoner summoneth them to turn in the direction of Thy gifts and bounties. With every fresh tribulation He manifested a fuller measure of Thy Cause, and exalted more highly Thy word.

I testify that through Him the Pen of the Most High was set in motion, and with His remembrance the Scriptures in the kingdom of names were embellished. Through Him Thy fragrances were wafted, and the sweet smell of Thy raiment was shed abroad amongst all the dwellers of the earth and the inmates of heaven. Thou seest and knowest full well, O my God, how He hath been made to dwell within the most desolate of cities, so that He may build up the hearts of Thy servants, and hath been willing to suffer the most grievous abasement, that Thy creatures may be exalted.

I pray Thee, O Thou Who causest the dawn to appear, by Thy Name through Which Thou hast subjected the winds, and sent down Thy Tablets, that Thou wilt grant that we may draw near unto what Thou didst destine for us by Thy favor and bounty, and to be far removed from whatsoever may be repugnant unto Thee. Give us, then, to drink from the hands of Thy grace every day and every moment of our lives of the waters that are life indeed, O Thou Who art the Most Merciful!...

(Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, XXXI, pp. 35-37)

*********

[2]
Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the glory of My Presence is withdrawn, and the ocean of My utterance is stilled. In My presence amongst you there is a wisdom, and in My absence there is yet another, inscrutable to all but God, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing. Verily, We behold you from Our realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favored angels.

O peoples of the earth! God, the Eternal Truth, is My witness that streams of fresh and soft-flowing waters have gushed from the rocks, through the sweetness of the words uttered by your Lord, the Unconstrained; and still ye slumber. Cast away that which ye possess, and, on the wings of detachment, soar beyond all created things. Thus biddeth you the Lord of creation, the movement of Whose Pen hath revolutionized the soul of mankind.

Know ye from what heights your Lord, the All-Glorious is calling? Think ye that ye have recognized the Pen wherewith your Lord, the Lord of all names, commandeth you? Nay, by My life! Did ye but know it, ye would renounce the world, and would hasten with your whole hearts to the presence of the Well-Beloved. Your spirits would be so transported by His Word as to throw into commotion the Greater World -- how much more this small and petty one! Thus have the showers of My bounty been poured down from the heaven of My loving-kindness, as a token of My grace; that ye may be of the thankful....

Beware lest the desires of the flesh and of a corrupt inclination provoke divisions among you. Be ye as the fingers of one hand, the members of one body. Thus counselleth you the Pen of Revelation, if ye be of them that believe. Consider the mercy of God and His gifts. He enjoineth upon you that which shall profit you, though He Himself can well dispense with all creatures. Your evil doings can never harm Us, neither can your good works profit Us. We summon you wholly for the sake of God. To this every man of understanding and insight will testify.

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, pp. 139-140)


*********

[3]
He Who in such dramatic circumstances was made to sustain the overpowering weight of so glorious a Mission was none other than the One Whom posterity will acclaim, and Whom innumerable followers already recognize, as the Judge, the Lawgiver and Redeemer of all mankind, as the Organizer of the entire planet, as the Unifier of the children of men, as the Inaugurator of the long-awaited millennium, as the Originator of a new "Universal Cycle," as the Establisher of the Most Great Peace, as the Fountain of the Most Great Justice, as the Proclaimer of the coming of age of the entire human race, as the Creator of a new World Order, and as the Inspirer and Founder of a world civilization.

To Israel He was neither more nor less than the incarnation of the "Everlasting Father," the "Lord of Hosts" come down "with ten thousands of saints"; 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" (Jesus Christ); to the Zoroastrians the promised Shah-Bahram; to the Hindus the reincarnation of Krishna; to the Buddhists the fifth Buddha.

In the name He bore He combined those of the Imam Husayn, the most illustrious of the successors of the Apostle of God -- the brightest "star" shining in the "crown" mentioned in the Revelation of St. John -- and of the Imam Ali, the Commander of the Faithful, the second of the two "witnesses" extolled in that same Book. He was formally designated Bahá'u'lláh, an appellation specifically recorded in the Persian Bayan, signifying at once the glory, the light and the splendor of God, and was styled the "Lord of Lords," the "Most Great Name," the "Ancient Beauty," the "Pen of the Most High," the "Hidden Name," the "Preserved Treasure," "He Whom God will make manifest," the "Most Great Light," the "All-Highest Horizon," the "Most Great Ocean," the "Supreme Heaven," the "Pre-Existent Root," the "Self-Subsistent," the "Day-Star of the Universe," the "Great Announcement," the "Speaker on Sinai," the "Sifter of Men," the "Wronged One of the World," the "Desire of the Nations," the "Lord of the Covenant," the "Tree beyond which there is no passing." He derived His descent, on the one hand, from Abraham (the Father of the Faithful) through his wife Katurah, and on the other from Zoroaster, as well as from Yazdigird, the last king of the Sasaniyan dynasty. He was moreover a descendant of Jesse, and belonged, through His father, Mirza Abbas, better known as Mirza Buzurg -- a nobleman closely associated with the ministerial circles of the Court of Fath-Ali Shah -- to one of the most ancient and renowned families of Mazindaran.

***

"He around Whom the Point of the Bayan (Bab) hath revolved is come" is Baha'u'llah's confirmatory testimony to the inconceivable greatness and preeminent character of His own Revelation. "If all who are in heaven and on earth," He moreover affirms, "be invested in this day with the powers and attributes destined for the Letters of the Bayan, whose station is ten thousand times more glorious than that of the Letters of the Qur'anic Dispensation, and if they one and all should, swift as the twinkling of an eye, hesitate to recognize My Revelation, they shall be accounted, in the sight of God, of those that have gone astray, and regarded as 'Letters of Negation.'" "Powerful is He, the King of Divine might," He, alluding to Himself in the Kitab-i-Iqan, asserts, "to extinguish with one letter of His wondrous words, the breath of life in the whole of the Bayan and the people thereof, and with one letter bestow upon them a new and everlasting life, and cause them to arise and speed out of the sepulchers of their vain and selfish desires." "This," He furthermore declares, "is the king of days," the "Day of God Himself," the "Day which shall never be followed by night," the "Springtime which autumn will never overtake," "the eye to past ages and centuries," for which "the soul of every Prophet of God, of every Divine Messenger, hath thirsted," for which "all the divers kindreds of the earth have yearned," through which "God hath proved the hearts of the entire company of His Messengers and Prophets, and beyond them those that stand guard over His sacred and inviolable Sanctuary, the inmates of the Celestial Pavilion and dwellers of the Tabernacle of Glory." "In this most mighty Revelation," He moreover, states, "all the Dispensations of the past have attained their highest, their final consummation." And again: "None among the Manifestations of old, except to a prescribed degree, hath ever completely apprehended the nature of this Revelation." Referring to His own station He declares: "But for Him no Divine Messenger would have been invested with the Robe of Prophethood, nor would any of the sacred Scriptures have been revealed."

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, pp. 93-94 and 98-99)

*********

[4]
The world's great Light, once resplendent upon all mankind, hath set, to shine everlastingly from the Abha Horizon, His Kingdom of fadeless glory, shedding splendour upon His loved ones from on high and breathing into their hearts and souls the breath of eternal life.

Ponder in your hearts that which He hath foretold in His Tablet of the Divine Vision that hath been spread throughout the world. Therein He saith: "Thereupon she wailed and exclaimed: 'May the world and all that is therein be a ransom for Thy woes. O Sovereign of heaven and earth! Wherefore hast Thou left Thyself in the hands of the dwellers of this prison-city of Akka? Hasten Thou to other dominions, to Thy retreats above, whereon the eyes of the people of names have never fallen.' We smiled and spake not. Reflect upon these most exalted words, and comprehend the purpose of this hidden and sacred mystery."

O ye beloved of the Lord! Beware, beware lest ye hesitate and waver. Let not fear fall upon you, neither be troubled nor dismayed. Take ye good heed lest this calamitous day slacken the flames of your ardour, and quench your tender hopes. Today is the day for steadfastness and constancy. Blessed are they that stand firm and immovable as the rock and brave the storm and stress of this tempestuous hour. They, verily, shall be the recipients of God's grace; they, verily, shall receive His divine assistance, and shall be truly victorious. They shall shine amidst mankind with a radiance which the dwellers of the Pavilion of Glory laud and magnify. To them is proclaimed this celestial call, revealed in His Most Holy Book: 'Let not your hearts be perturbed, O people, when the glory of My Presence is withdrawn, and the ocean of My utterance is stilled. In My presence amongst you there is a wisdom, and in My absence there is yet another, inscrutable to all but God, the Incomparable, the All-Knowing. Verily, We behold you from Our realm of glory, and shall aid whosoever will arise for the triumph of Our Cause with the hosts of the Concourse on high and a company of Our favoured angels.'

The Sun of Truth, that Most Great Light, hath set upon the horizon of the world to rise with deathless splendour over the Realm of the Limitless. In His Most Holy Book He calleth the firm and steadfast of His friends: 'Be not dismayed, O peoples of the world, when the day-star of My beauty is set, and the heaven of My tabernacle is concealed from your eyes. Arise to further My Cause, and to exalt My Word amongst men.'

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, pp. 17-18)

*********

[5]
KITAB-I-AHD (Book of the Covenant)

Although the Realm of Glory hath none of the vanities of the world, yet within the treasury of trust and resignation We have bequeathed to Our heirs an excellent and priceless heritage. Earthly treasures We have not bequeathed, nor have We added such cares as they entail. By God! In earthly riches fear is hidden and peril is concealed. Consider ye and call to mind that which the All-Merciful hath revealed in the Qur'an: 'Woe betide every slanderer and defamer, him that layeth up riches and counteth them.'[1] Fleeting are the riches of the world; all that perisheth and changeth is not, and hath never been, worthy of attention, except to a recognized measure.
[1 Qur'an 104:1-2.]

The aim of this Wronged One in sustaining woes and tribulations, in revealing the Holy Verses and in demonstrating proofs hath been naught but to quench the flame of hate and enmity, that the horizon of the hearts of men may be illumined with the light of concord and attain real peace and tranquillity. From the dawning-place of the divine Tablet the day-star of this utterance shineth resplendent, and it behoveth everyone to fix his gaze upon it: We exhort you, O peoples of the world, to observe that which will elevate your station. Hold fast to the fear of God and firmly adhere to what is right. Verily I say, the tongue is for mentioning what is good, defile it not with unseemly talk. God hath forgiven what is past. Henceforward everyone should utter that which is meet and seemly, and should refrain from slander, abuse and whatever causeth sadness in men. Lofty is the station of man! Not long ago this exalted Word streamed forth from the treasury of Our Pen of Glory: Great and blessed is this Day -- the Day in which all that lay latent in man hath been and will be made manifest. Lofty is the station of man, were he to hold fast to righteousness and truth and to remain firm and steadfast in the Cause. In the eyes of the All-Merciful a true man appeareth even as a firmament; its sun and moon are his sight and hearing, and his shining and resplendent character its stars. His is the loftiest station, and his influence educateth the world of being.

Every receptive soul who hath in this Day inhaled the fragrance of His garment and hath, with a pure heart, set his face towards the all-glorious Horizon is reckoned among the people of Baha in the Crimson Book. Grasp ye, in My Name, the chalice of My loving-kindness, drink then your fill in My glorious and wondrous remembrance.

O ye that dwell on earth! The religion of God is for love and unity; make it not the cause of enmity or dissension. In the eyes of men of insight and the beholders of the Most Sublime Vision, whatsoever are the effective means for safeguarding and promoting the happiness and welfare of the children of men have already been revealed by the Pen of Glory. But the foolish ones of the earth, being nurtured in evil passions and desires, have remained heedless of the consummate wisdom of Him Who is, in truth, the All-Wise, while their words and deeds are prompted by idle fancies and vain imaginings.

O ye the loved ones and the trustees of God! Kings are the manifestations of the power, and the daysprings of the might and riches, of God. Pray ye on their behalf. He hath invested them with the rulership of the earth and hath singled out the hearts of men as His Own domain.

Conflict and contention are categorically forbidden in His Book. This is a decree of God in this Most Great Revelation. It is divinely preserved from annulment and is invested by Him with the splendour of His confirmation. Verily He is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

(From the Kitab-i-Ahd, published in Tablets of Baha'u'llah Revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas, pp. 219-221)

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[6]
It is incumbent upon everyone to aid those daysprings of authority and sources of command who are adorned with the ornament of equity and justice. Blessed are the rulers and the learned among the people of Baha. They are My trustees among My servants and the manifestations of My commandments amidst My people. Upon them rest My glory, My blessings and My grace which have pervaded the world of being. In this connection the utterances revealed in the Kitab-i-Aqdas are such that from the horizon of their words the light of divine grace shineth luminous and resplendent.

O ye My Branches! A mighty force, a consummate power lieth concealed in the world of being. Fix your gaze upon it and upon its unifying influence, and not upon the differences which appear from it.

The Will of the divine Testator is this: It is incumbent upon the Aghsan, the Afnan and My Kindred to turn, one and all, their faces towards the Most Mighty Branch. Consider that which We have revealed in Our Most Holy Book: 'When the ocean of My presence hath ebbed and the Book of My Revelation is ended, turn your faces toward Him Whom God hath purposed, Who hath branched from this Ancient Root.' The object of this sacred verse is none other except the Most Mighty Branch [Abdu'l-Baha]. Thus have We graciously revealed unto you Our potent Will, and I am verily the Gracious, the All-Powerful. Verily God hath ordained the station of the Greater Branch [Muhammad Ali] to be beneath that of the Most Great Branch [Abdu'l-Baha]. He is in truth the Ordainer, the All-Wise. We have chosen 'the Greater' after 'the Most Great', as decreed by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Informed.

It is enjoined upon everyone to manifest love towards the Aghsan, but God hath not granted them any right to the property of others.

O ye My Aghsan, My Afnan and My Kindred! We exhort you to fear God, to perform praiseworthy deeds and to do that which is meet and seemly and serveth to exalt your station. Verily I say, fear of God is the greatest commander that can render the Cause of God victorious, and the hosts which best befit this commander have ever been and are an upright character and pure and goodly deeds.

Say: O servants! Let not the means of order be made the cause of confusion and the instrument of union an occasion for discord. We fain would hope that the people of Baha may be guided by the blessed words: 'Say: all things are of God.' This exalted utterance is like unto water for quenching the fire of hate and enmity which smouldereth within the hearts and breasts of men. By this single utterance contending peoples and kindreds will attain the light of true unity. Verily He speaketh the truth and leadeth the way. He is the All-Powerful, the Exalted, the Gracious.

It is incumbent upon everyone to show courtesy to, and have regard for the Aghsan, that thereby the Cause of God may be glorified and His Word exalted. This injunction hath time and again been mentioned and recorded in the Holy Writ. Well is it with him who is enabled to achieve that which the Ordainer, the Ancient of Days hath prescribed for him. Ye are bidden moreover to respect the members of the Holy Household, the Afnan and the kindred. We further admonish you to serve all nations and to strive for the betterment of the world.

That which is conducive to the regeneration of the world and the salvation of the peoples and kindreds of the earth hath been sent down from the heaven of the utterance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. Give ye a hearing ear to the counsels of the Pen of Glory. Better is this for you than all that is on the earth. Unto this beareth witness My glorious and wondrous Book.

(From the Kitab-i-Ahd, published in Tablets of Baha'u'llah Revealed after the Kitab-i-Aqdas, pp. 221-223)

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[7]
The Abha Beauty Himself -- may the spirit of all existence be offered up for His loved ones -- bore all manner of ordeals, and willingly accepted for Himself intense afflictions. No torment was there left that His sacred form was not subjected to, no suffering that did not descend upon Him. How many a night, when He was chained, did He go sleepless because of the weight of His iron collar; how many a day the burning pain of the stocks and fetters gave Him no moment's peace. From Niyavaran to Tihran they made Him run -- He, that embodied spirit, He Who had been accustomed to repose against cushions of ornamented silk -- chained, shoeless, His head bared; and down under the earth, in the thick darkness of that narrow dungeon, they shut Him up with murderers, rebels and thieves. Ever and again they assailed Him with a new torment, and all were certain that from one moment to the next He would suffer a martyr's death. After some time they banished Him from His native land, and sent Him to countries alien and far away. During many a year in Iraq, no moment passed but the arrow of a new anguish struck His holy heart; with every breath a sword came down upon that sacred body, and He could hope for no moment of security and rest. From every side His enemies mounted their attack with unrelenting hate; and singly and alone He withstood them all. After all these tribulations, these body blows, they flung Him out of Iraq in the continent of Asia, to the continent of Europe, and in that place of bitter exile, of wretched hardships, to the wrongs that were heaped upon Him by the people of the Qur'an were now added the virulent persecutions, the powerful attacks, the plottings, the slanders, the continual hostilities, the hate and malice, of the people of the Bayan. My pen is powerless to tell it all; but ye have surely been informed of it. Then, after twenty-four years in this, the Most Great Prison, in agony and sore affliction, His days drew to a close.

To sum it up, the Ancient Beauty was ever, during His sojourn in this transitory world, either a captive bound with chains, or living under a sword, or subjected to extreme suffering and torment, or held in the Most Great Prison. Because of His physical weakness, brought on by His afflictions, His blessed body was worn away to a breath; it was light as a cobweb from long grieving. And His reason for shouldering this heavy load and enduring all this anguish, which was even as an ocean that hurleth its waves to high heaven -- His reason for putting on the heavy iron chains and for becoming the very embodiment of utter resignation and meekness, was to lead every soul on earth to concord, to fellow-feeling, to oneness; to make known amongst all peoples the sign of the singleness of God, so that at last the primal oneness deposited at the heart of all created things would bear its destined fruit, and the splendour of 'No difference canst thou see in the creation of the God of Mercy,'[1] would cast abroad its rays.
[1 Qur'án 67:3]

Now is the time, O ye beloved of the Lord, for ardent endeavour. Struggle ye, and strive. And since the Ancient Beauty was exposed by day and night on the field of martyrdom, let us in our turn labour hard, and hear and ponder the counsels of God; let us fling away our lives, and renounce our brief and numbered days. Let us turn our eyes away from empty fantasies of this world's divergent forms, and serve instead this pre-eminent purpose, this grand design.

(Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, pp. 262-263)

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[8]
CHAPTER XIII
Ascension of Baha'u'llah

Well nigh half a century had passed since the inception of the Faith. Cradled in adversity, deprived in its infancy of its Herald and Leader, it had been raised from the dust, in which a hostile despot had thrown it, by its second and greatest Luminary Who, despite successive banishments, had, in less than half a century, succeeded in rehabilitating its fortunes, in proclaiming its Message, in enacting its laws and ordinances, in formulating its principles and in ordaining its institutions, and it had just begun to enjoy the sunshine of a prosperity never previously experienced, when suddenly it was robbed of its Author by the Hand of Destiny, its followers were plunged into sorrow and consternation, its repudiators found their declining hopes revive, and its adversaries, political as well as ecclesiastical, began to take heart again.

Already nine months before His ascension Baha'u'llah, as attested by Abdu'l-Baha, had voiced His desire to depart from this world. From that time onward it became increasingly evident, from the tone of His remarks to those who attained His presence, that the close of His earthly life was approaching, though He refrained from mentioning it openly to any one. On the night preceding the eleventh of Shavval 1309 A.H. (May 8, 1892) He contracted a slight fever which, though it mounted the following day, soon after subsided. He continued to grant interviews to certain of the friends and pilgrims, but it soon became evident that He was not well. His fever returned in a more acute form than before, His general condition grew steadily worse, complications ensued which at last culminated in His ascension, at the hour of dawn, on the 2nd of Dhi'l-Qa'dih 1309 A.H. (May 29, 1892), eight hours after sunset, in the 75th year of His age. His spirit, at long last released from the toils of a life crowded with tribulations, had winged its flight to His "other dominions," dominions "whereon the eyes of the people of names have never fallen," and to which the "Luminous Maid," "clad in white," had bidden Him hasten, as described by Himself in the Lawh-i-Ru'ya (Tablet of the Vision), revealed nineteen years previously, on the anniversary of the birth of His Forerunner.

***

With the ascension of Baha'u'llah draws to a close a period which, in many ways, is unparalleled in the world's religious history. The first century of the Baha'i Era had by now run half its course. An epoch, unsurpassed in its sublimity, its fecundity and duration by any previous Dispensation, and characterized, except for a short interval of three years, by half a century of continuous and progressive Revelation, had terminated. The Message proclaimed by the Bab had yielded its golden fruit. The most momentous, though not the most spectacular phase of the Heroic Age had ended. The Sun of Truth, the world's greatest Luminary, had risen in the Siyah-Chal of Tihran, had broken through the clouds which enveloped it in Baghdad, had suffered a momentary eclipse whilst mounting to its zenith in Adrianople and had set finally in 'Akka, never to reappear ere the lapse of a full millenium. God's newborn Faith, the cynosure of all past Dispensations, had been fully and unreservedly proclaimed. The prophecies announcing its advent had been remarkably fulfilled. Its fundamental laws and cardinal principles, the warp and woof of the fabric of its future World Order, had been clearly enunciated. Its organic relation to, and its attitude towards, the religious systems which preceded it had been unmistakably defined. The primary institutions, within which an embryonic World Order was destined to mature, had been unassailably established. The Covenant designed to safeguard the unity and integrity of its world-embracing system had been irrevocably bequeathed to posterity. The promise of the unification of the whole human race, of the inauguration of the Most Great Peace, of the unfoldment of a world civilization, had been incontestably given…

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 221-24)

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[9]
TABLET OF VISITATION

The praise which hath dawned from Thy most august Self, and the glory which hath shone forth from Thy most effulgent Beauty, rest upon Thee, O Thou Who art the Manifestation of Grandeur, and the King of Eternity, and the Lord of all who are in heaven and on earth! I testify that through Thee the sovereignty of God and His dominion, and the majesty of God and His grandeur, were revealed, and the Daystars of ancient splendor have shed their radiance in the heaven of Thine irrevocable decree, and the Beauty of the Unseen hath shone forth above the horizon of creation. I testify, moreover, that with but a movement of Thy Pen Thine injunction "Be Thou" hath been enforced, and God's hidden Secret hath been divulged, and all created things have been called into being, and all the Revelations have been sent down.

I bear witness, moreover, that through Thy beauty the beauty of the Adored One hath been unveiled, and through Thy face the face of the Desired One hath shone forth, and that through a word from Thee Thou hast decided between all created things, caused them who are devoted to Thee to ascend unto the summit of glory, and the infidels to fall into the lowest abyss.

I bear witness that he who hath known Thee hath known God, and he who hath attained unto Thy presence hath attained unto the presence of God. Great, therefore, is the blessedness of him who hath believed in Thee, and in Thy signs, and hath humbled himself before Thy sovereignty, and hath been honored with meeting Thee, and hath attained the good pleasure of Thy will, and circled around Thee, and stood before Thy throne. Woe betide him that hath transgressed against Thee, and hath denied Thee, and repudiated Thy signs, and gainsaid Thy sovereignty, and risen up against Thee, and waxed proud before Thy face, and hath disputed Thy testimonies, and fled from Thy rule and Thy dominion, and been numbered with the infidels whose names have been inscribed by the fingers of Thy behest upon Thy holy Tablets.

Waft, then, unto me, O my God and my Beloved, from the right hand of Thy mercy and Thy loving-kindness, the holy breaths of Thy favors, that they may draw me away from myself and from the world unto the courts of Thy nearness and Thy presence. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. Thou, truly, hast been supreme over all things.

The remembrance of God and His praise, and the glory of God and His splendor, rest upon Thee, O Thou Who art His Beauty! I bear witness that the eye of creation hath never gazed upon one wronged like Thee. Thou wast immersed all the days of Thy life beneath an ocean of tribulations. At one time Thou wast in chains and fetters; at another Thou wast threatened by the sword of Thine enemies. Yet despite all this, Thou didst enjoin upon all men to observe what had been prescribed unto Thee by Him Who is the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.

May my spirit be a sacrifice to the wrongs Thou didst suffer, and my soul be a ransom for the adversities Thou didst sustain. I beseech God, by Thee and by them whose faces have been illumined with the splendors of the light of Thy countenance, and who, for love of Thee, have observed all whereunto they were bidden, to remove the veils that have come in between Thee and Thy creatures, and to supply me with the good of this world and the world to come. Thou art, in truth, the Almighty, the Most Exalted, the All-Glorious, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Compassionate.

Bless Thou, O Lord my Lord, the Divine Lote-Tree and its leaves, and its boughs, and its branches, and its stems, and its offshoots, as long as Thy most excellent titles will endure and Thy most august attributes will last. Protect it, then, from the mischief of the aggressor and the hosts of tyranny. Thou art, in truth, the Almighty, the Most Powerful. Bless Thou, also, O Lord my God, Thy servants and Thy handmaidens who have attained unto Thee, Thou, truly, art the All-Bountiful, Whose grace is infinite. No God is there save Thee, the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Generous.

(Baha'u'llah, Baha'i Prayers, Wilmette: Baha'i Publishing Trust, 1985, pp. 229-232)


Friday, May 22, 2009

The Twin Manifestations and twin manifestations




"I remember the time I was in the presence of Shoghi Effendi when he spoke about the significance of twin things in the Cause. In fact, he sent a cable about this to the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the British Isles. In this cable, he told us about the significance of twin occurrences in this Cause. He told the Assembly that we have twin cities—holy cities—Akka and Haifa; twin houses—the House of Shiraz and the House of Baghdad; twin Manifestations—the Manifestation of the Bab and that of Baha’u’llah. He continued, telling us everything is twin: twin festivals—the birthday of the Bab and that of Baha’u’llah; twin monuments—of the brother and mother of Abdu’l-Baha. During this time I was in his presence, the beloved Guardian was so exhilarated and happy. It gave me the courage to mention to him that we have two gardens: the garden of Ridvan and the garden of Firdaws. Then, the beloved Shoghi Effendi smiled and said, “You’ve noted that, but you have forgotten to say twin vistas: the view of the sea and the view of the mountain.” After explaining these things, he paused and looked at me deeply and said, “In the Cause of God everything is twin.”’

(Hand of the Cause of God Dhikru’llah Khadem, The Vision of Shoghi Effendi, Proceedings of the Association for Baha’i Studies Ninth Annual Conference November 2-4, 1984, Ottawa, Canada, pp. 117-18)

Below is the cable message referred to above. Emphasis added in this passage and all the citations that follow.

“Greatly enhanced international endowments in Holy Land in twin cities of Acre and Haifa, now include twin Holy Shrines situated on plain of Acre and slope of Mount Carmel; twin Mansions of Bahji and Mazra'ih, twin historic Houses inhabited by Baha'u'llah and Abdu'l-Baha; twin International Archives adjoining the Bab's Sepulcher and the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf; twin Pilgrim Houses, constructed for Oriental and Occidental pilgrims; twin Gardens of Ridvan and Firdaws, associated with the memory of the Author of the Bahá'í Dispensation.”

(Shoghi Effendi, From Cablegram of 2 March 1951, Messages to the Baha'i World -1950-1957, p. 8)


The concept of ‘twin’ is a recurrent thread in scriptural and textual designations throughout authoritative Baha’i works, and the word is used in creative ways. For instance, the Bab and Baha’u’llah are variously referred to as the “twin Founders,” “Twin Holy Trees,” “twin surging seas,” “twin Luminaries,” and the “Twin Manifestations.”
 
Shaykh Ahmad and Siyyid Kazim are termed “twin resplendent lights,” “twin great lights,” “Twin Luminous Lights,” and “twin luminaries.” Identical or similar expressions are sometimes used in referring to uniquely different sets of people or things; for instance the martyred brothers in Isfahan—the King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs—are called the “twin shining lights,” a name much like the names cited for the twin heralds just mentioned.

 
Another example is the image “twin pillars” which is used to refer to fasting and prayer; reward and punishment; the Covenants of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha; the mother and paternal uncle of the Greatest Holy Leaf; the institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House; the (at that time) National Spiritual Assembly of Central America and the National Spiritual Assembly of South America; and even the Sultanate and the Caliphate of Sunni Islam, the toppled twin pillars which had persecuted the Central Figures of the Baha’i Faith.

 
Care must be used in referencing “twin processes”—there are some twenty distinct occurrences of this expression in major Baha’i sources, (discounting many repetitions of the same quotes), referring to no less than five different sets of twin processes. The following is a scattered sampling from the hundreds of references to ‘twin’ in the writings of the Baha’i Faith. The headings in bold and the italics are not part of the original texts and have been added for this compilation.


Twin Duties (Recognition and Obedience)

“The first duty prescribed by God for His servants is the recognition of Him Who is the Day Spring of His Revelation and the Fountain of His laws, Who representeth the Godhead in both the Kingdom of His Cause and the world of creation. Whoso achieveth this duty hath attained unto all good; and whoso is deprived thereof, hath gone astray, though he be the author of every righteous deed. It behoveth every one who reacheth this most sublime station, this summit of transcendent glory, to observe every ordinance of Him Who is the Desire of the world. These twin duties are inseparable. Neither is acceptable without the other.”

(Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, CLV, pp. 330-31)

Twin Pillars (Of Reward and Punishment)

“The structure of world stability and order hath been reared upon, and will continue to be sustained by, the twin pillars of reward and punishment.”

(Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah, p. 164)

Twin Guardians that Watch Over Men (Justice and Equity)

“Justice and equity are twin Guardians that watch over men. From them are revealed such blessed and perspicuous words as are the cause of the well-being of the world and the protection of the nations.”

(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 12)

Twin Qualities (Trustworthiness and Piety)
"Say: O bearer of My Name! Upon thee be My glory and My loving-kindness. Thou hast ever been adorned with the fair robe of trustworthiness and piety. These twin qualities are as two companions for thee in whom thou mayest find solace. They are as two sentinels who shall stand watch over thee, and two guardians that shall, by God's leave, keep thee from harm.

(Baha’u’llah, Trustworthiness: A Cardinal Baha’i Virtue, Compilation of Compilations, Volume II, p. 331)

Twin Hallowed Spots (The ‘Most Great House’ of Baha’u’llah in Baghdad and the House of the Bab in Shiraz)
“Raise up and exalt the two Houses in the Twin Hallowed Spots, and the other sites wherein the throne of your Lord, the All-Merciful, hath been established.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 66)

Twin Days (The Birthdays of the Bab and Baha’u’llah)
“QUESTION: Concerning the Festival of the Twin Birthdays.

ANSWER: The Birth of the Abha Beauty was at the hour of dawn on the second day of the month of Muharram, [First month of the Islamic lunar calendar] the first day of which marketh the Birth of His Herald. These two days are accounted as one in the sight of God.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 105)

“All Feasts have attained their consummation in the two Most Great Festivals, and in the two other Festivals that fall on the twin days.”

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 224)

Twin Streams (In the Garden of Ridvan, Near Akka)
‘On the morning of the blessed Friday we proceeded from the Mansion and entered the Garden. Every tree uttered a word, and every leaf sang a melody. The trees proclaimed: “Behold the evidences of God's Mercy” and the twin streams recited in the eloquent tongue the sacred verse “From us all things were made alive”. Glorified be God! Mysteries were voiced by them, which provoked wonderment. Methought: in which school were they educated, and from whose presence had they acquired their learning? Yea! This Wronged One knoweth and He saith: “From God, the All-Encompassing, the Self-Subsistent.”’

(Baha’u’llah, The Revelation of Baha'u'llah, Volume 4, p. 14)

Twin Ornaments of a King (Justice and Devotion to Baha’u’llah’s Faith)
‘In the Kitab-i-Aqdas He [Baha’u’llah] visualizes in these words the elevation to the throne of His native city, "the Mother of the World" and "the Dayspring of Light," of a king who will be adorned with the twin ornaments of justice and of devotion to His Faith: "Let nothing grieve thee, O Land of Ta, for God hath chosen thee to be the source of the joy of all mankind. He shall, if it be His will, bless thy throne with one who will rule with justice, who will gather together the flock of God which the wolves have scattered. Such a ruler will, with joy and gladness, turn his face towards and extend his favors unto, the people of Baha. He indeed is accounted in the sight of God as a jewel among men. Upon him rest forever the glory of God, and the glory of all that dwell in the kingdom of His Revelation."’

(Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 74)

Twin Resplendent Lights (Heralds)
“Likewise, there appeared on earth Ahmad and Kazim, [Shaykh Ahmad-i-Ahsa'i and Siyyid Kazim-i-Rashti] those twin resplendent lights—may God sanctify their resting-place!”

(Baha'u'llah, The Kitab-i-Iqan, p. 65)

Twin Shining Lights (The King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs)
“The twin shining lights, Hasan and Husayn (The King of Martyrs and the Beloved of Martyrs) offered up spontaneously their lives in that city [Isfahan]. Neither fortune, nor wealth, nor glory, could deter them! God knoweth the things which befell them…”

(Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf, p. 72)

Twin Holy Trees/ Twin Surging Seas (The Bab and Baha’u’llah) in Shoghi Effendi’s Lineage
“Salutation and praise, blessing and glory rest upon that primal branch of the Divine and Sacred Lote-Tree, grown out, blest, tender, verdant and flourishing from the Twin Holy Trees; the most wondrous, unique and priceless pearl that doth gleam from out the Twin surging seas…”(Abdu'l-Baha, The Will and Testament, p. 3)

Brothers Like Twins In Faith (Mashhadi Fattah and Haji Ali-Askar)
“Mashhadi Fattah was personified spirit. He was devotion itself. Brother to Haji Ali-'Askar—of the same pure lineage—through the latter he came into the Faith. Like the twins, Castor and Pollux, the two kept together in one spot, and both were illumined with the light of belief.

"In all things, the two were united as a pair; they shared the same certitude and faith, the same conscience, and made their way out of Adhirbayjan to Adrianople, emigrating at the same time. In every circumstance of their life, they lived as one individual; their disposition, their aims, their religion, character, behavior, faith, certitude, knowledge—all were one. Even in the Most Great Prison, they were constantly together.”

(Abdu'l-Baha, Memorials of the Faithful, p. 48)

Twin Pillars of Loyalty (Navvab and Aqay-i-Kalim)
“Her [Bahiyyih Khanum’s] venerated mother, [Navvab, the ‘Most Exalted Leaf’] as well as her distinguished paternal uncle, Aqay-i-Kalim—the twin pillars who, all throughout the various stages of Baha'u'llah's exile from the Land of His Birth to the final place of His confinement, had demonstrated, unlike most of the members of His Family, the tenacity of their loyalty—had already passed behind the Veil.”

(Shoghi Effendi, Bahiyyih Khanum, p. 36)

Twin Repositories (The Kitab-i-Aqdas and the Will & Testament of Abdu’l-Baha)
“I consider it my duty to warn every beginner in the faith that the promised glories of the Sovereignty which the Baha'i teachings foreshadow, can be revealed only in the fulness of time, that the implications of the Aqdas and the Will of Abdu'l-Baha, as the twin repositories of the constituent elements of that Sovereignty, are too for-reaching for this generation to grasp and fully appreciate.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 16)

Twin Pillars that Sustain the Law of God (Prayer and Fasting)
“For as Abdu'l-Baha says in His Writings—prayer and fasting are the twin pillars that sustain the Law of God.”(From a letter written on behalf of Shoghi Effendi to an individual, April 25, 1937)

Twin Processes at Work in the World (Internal Disintegration and External Chaos)

"...Pregnant indeed are the years looming ahead of us all. The twin processes of internal disintegration and external chaos are being accelerated and every day are inexorably moving towards a climax.”

(From a letter of Shoghi Effendi to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States and Canada, July 5, 1938: Messages to America, 1932-1946, pp. 13-14)

Twin Processes (Dispersion and Enrolment of New Believers)

“This uninterrupted expansion, brought about by the twin processes of dispersion and enrolment of new believers, has brought the number of such centres in the Goal Countries of Europe to more than a hundred and forty; in Germany and Austria, to a hundred and forty-eight; in the British Isles to a hundred and fifty-one; in Australasia and in the Dominion of Canada, respectively, to nearly a hundred and sixty; in the Indian subcontinent to a hundred and eighty; in Latin America to nearly three hundred and forty; in the Pacific area to over five hundred; in Persia to more than one thousand and seventy; in the African continent to eleven hundred and forty; and in the United States of America to nearly fifteen hundred and seventy.”

(Custodians, Ridvan 1960, Ministry of the Custodians, p. 185)
Twin Processes (Expansion and Consolidation)
“Expansion and consolidation are twin processes that must go hand in hand.”

(The Universal House of Justice, 13 July 1964, Wellspring of Guidance, Messages 1963-1968, p. 33)

Twin Processes (Administrative Consolidation and Widespread Expansion)
“During the thirty-six years of his Guardianship, Shoghi Effendi fixed the pattern and laid the foundations of the Administrative Order of Baha'u'llah, set in motion the implementation of the Divine Plan of Abdu'l-Baha for the spread of the Faith throughout the world, and, as these twin processes of administrative consolidation and widespread expansion progressed, started to apply and enforce, gradually and according to the progress of the Cause, those laws of the Kitab-i-Aqdas that in his estimation it was timely and practicable to apply and which were not in direct conflict with the civil law.”

(Universal House of Justice, Synopsis and Codification of the Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 5)

Twin Processes at Work in the World (Growth of the Faith and Disintegration of Society)

“Without minimizing the serious situation facing a world heedless of Baha'u'llah's admonitions, it must be remembered that He also refers to the Golden Age of civilization to come. The House of Justice hopes that Baha'i teachers and parents will do their utmost to encourage the children to study the explanations of the beloved Guardian about the twin processes at work in the world—the steady growth of the Faith, and the devastating forces of disintegration assailing the outworn institutions of present-day society.”

(From a letter written on behalf of the Universal House of Justice to an individual believer, December 29, 1981)

Twin Processes (Increasing Maturity of Administrative Institutions and the Faith’s Emergence from Protective Obscurity)

“The administrative institutions of this growing Cause of God had already begun to show signs of an increasing maturity, while at the same time emerging from the protective obscurity of their early days into the larger arena of public notice. These twin processes were signalized by a development of far-reaching consequence to the internal life of the Baha'i community and by an outward activity of a magnitude unprecedented in its entire history.”

(Ridvan 1987, The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 45)

Twin Institutions (The Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice)

"...They [the Bab and Baha’u’llah] have ... in unequivocal and emphatic language, appointed those twin institutions of the House of Justice and of the Guardianship as their chosen Successors, destined to apply the principles, promulgate the laws, protect the institutions, adapt loyally and intelligently the Faith to the requirements of progressive society, and consummate the incorruptible inheritance which the Founders of the Faith have bequeathed to the world."

(Shoghi Effendi: World Order of Baha'u'llah, pp. 19-20)


“Both in the administrative provisions of the Baha'i Dispensation, and in the matter of succession, as embodied in the twin institutions of the House of Justice and of the Guardianship, the followers of Baha'u'llah can summon to their aid such irrefutable evidences of Divine Guidance that none can resist, that none can belittle or ignore.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, pp. 21-22)


“It should be stated, at the very outset, in clear and unambiguous language, that these twin institutions of the Administrative Order of Baha'u'llah should be regarded as divine in origin, essential in their functions and complementary in their aim and purpose. Their common, their fundamental object is to insure the continuity of that divinely-appointed authority which flows from the Source of our Faith, to safeguard the unity of its followers and to maintain the integrity and flexibility of its teachings.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 147)


“…those world-shaking, world-embracing, world-directing administrative institutions, ordained by Baha'u'llah and anticipated by Abdu'l-Baha, and which are to function in consonance with the principles that govern the twin institutions of the Guardianship and the Universal House of Justice.”

(Shoghi Effendi, Messages to America, p. 32)

Twin Inseparable Aspects to Teaching (Expansion and Consolidation)

“Time and again the beloved Guardian emphasized that expansion and consolidation are twin and inseparable aspects to teaching that must proceed simultaneously yet one still hears believers discussing the virtues of one as against the other.”

(Letter from the Universal House of Justice to all National Spiritual Assemblies, 25 May 1975)

Twin Covenants (Of Baha’u’llah and Abdu’l-Baha)
“...the paramount duty of deepening the spiritual life of these newly fledged, these precious and highly esteemed co-workers, and of enlightening their minds regarding the essential verities enshrined in their Faith and its fundamental institutions, its history and genesis—the twin Covenants of Baha'u'llah and of 'Abdu'l-Baha, the present Administrative Order, the Future World Order, the Laws of the Most Holy Book, the inseparable Institutions of the Guardianship and of the Universal House of Justice, the salient events of the Heroic and Formative Ages of the Faith, and its relationship with the Dispensations that have preceded it, its attitude towards the social and political organizations by which it is surrounded—must continue to constitute the most vital aspect of the great spiritual Crusade launched by the champions of the Faith from the shores of their native land among the peoples of their sister Republics in the South.”

(In the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi, August 18, 1949, appended to a letter written on his behalf to the National Spiritual Assembly of the United States. The Compilation of Compilations Volume I, pp. 209-10)

Twin Institutions (National Spiritual Assembly and National Fund)
“I am personally instructing the... Assembly, whose past services, moral as well as financial, to the Cause of Baha'u'llah in India and elsewhere are graven upon my heart, to concentrate their energies upon, and uphold with their resources the twin institutions of the National Spiritual Assembly and the National Fund. I trust that these may soon be enabled to shoulder the burden that is now weighing upon the self-sacrificing friends of...”

(Shoghi Effendi, from a letter dated 25 March 1925 to the National Spiritual Assembly of India and Burma)

“...I have urged them to support consistently and whole-heartedly the very essential and vital institutions of the National Fund and the National Assembly. It must be made clear to them all that continuous support to these twin institutions is the corner-stone of all future achievements, the mainspring from which all future blessings will flow.”

(In the handwriting of Shoghi Effendi, appended to the above letter)

Twin Centenaries (Of the Birth and Declaration of Baha’u’llah’s Mission)
“The immensely fruitful period of world-wide expansion which has taken place between the twin Centenaries [1953 and 1963] of the Cause of God has witnessed not only the rise of its Administrative Order in Ceylon but the beginning of that rapid expansion in the field of teaching which our beloved Guardian so ardently hoped would characterize the latter half of his world-encircling Ten Year Plan.”

(Custodians, April 13, 1962, Ministry of the Custodians, p. 336)

Twin Festivals (According to the Lunar Calendar, the Declaration of the Bab and Birthday of Abdu’l-Baha)
“On the 22nd of November, 1925, that memorable and sacred day in which the Bahá'ís of the Orient celebrated the twin Festivals of the Declaration of the Bab and the birthday of Abdu'l-Baha, Dr. John E. Esslemont passed on to the Abha Kingdom.”

(Shoghi Effendi, Baha'i Administration, p. 97)

Twin Baha’i Educational Institutions (One for boys and one for girls, in Tihran, Persia)
American Teachers in Tihran
“The situation as I see it calls for the devoted efforts of one or two capable workers who, untrammelled and with independent means, can quietly, tenaciously and tactfully, pursue over a considerable length of time the meritorious work of fostering the cause of Baha'i education, for both boys and girls, in the swiftly changing capital of a promising country. It should be their primary duty to extend the scope and enhance the prestige of these twin Baha'i educational institutions, and to initiate by sound and well-considered methods such measures as will consolidate the work already achieved.”

(Shoghi Effendi, November 14, 1926, Baha'i Administration, p. 118)

Twin Pillars (National Assemblies in Latin America)
“To consolidate the victories won, and reinforce the foundations of the unnumbered institutions so diligently established, in the North American continent; to rear the twin pillars of the Universal House of Justice in Latin America, [at that time, the National Spiritual Assembly of Central America and the National Spiritual Assembly of South America] with their concomitant administrative agencies functioning in no less than twenty republics of Central and South America…”

(Shoghi Effendi, July 5, 1950, Citadel of Faith, p. 86)
Twin Evidences (A Teaching Crusade in Africa and the Birth of the First International Baha’i Council at the World Center)
“Acclaim simultaneous inauguration of crusade linking administrative machinery of four national assemblies of East and West within four continents and birth of first International Council at World Center of Faith, twin evidences of resistless unfoldment of embryonic, divinely appointed World Order of Baha'u'llah.”

(Shoghi Effendi, January 17, 1951, Citadel of Faith, p. 90)

Twin Holy Shrines,Twin Houses,Twin Archives,Twin Pilgrim Houses








“The recognition of the sacred nature of the twin holy Shrines, situated in the plain of Akka and on the slopes of Mount Carmel; the exemption from state and civic taxes, granted to the mansion of Bahji adjoining the Most Holy Shrine, to the twin houses, that of Baha'u'llah in Akka, and Abdu'l-Baha in Haifa, to the twin archives, adjoining the Shrine of the Bab and the resting-place of the Greatest Holy Leaf, and the twin pilgrim houses constructed in the neighborhood of that Shrine…these establish, beyond the shadow of a doubt, the high status enjoyed by the international institutions of a world Faith, in the eyes of this newborn state.”

(Shoghi Effendi, March 29, 1951, Citadel of Faith, p. 93)

Twin Purposes

Cable Message to 1951 State Conventions
“Advise assembled friends to focus attention on vital, pressing, paramount needs of National Fund at this critical juncture. Hour is ripe to recall unnumbered tribulations, sacrifices heroically endured by the dawn-breakers, culminating in Baha'u'llah's afflictive imprisonment in Siyah Chal, Centennial of which is now approaching. Urge deepening realization of sacredness, preeminent importance of twin purposes which individual resolves serve. Appeal for immediate, unanimous, sustained, decisive response, safeguard thereby American Community's share in tribute to memory of Founder of Faith on occasion of forthcoming Jubilee of Birth of glorious Mission. Praying for befitting answer to heartfelt plea.”

(Shoghi Effendi, November 4, 1951, Citadel of Faith, p. 98)

Twin Historic Tasks

“Community believers Indian subcontinent Burma lovingly remembered historic occasion glorious centenary Bab's martyrdom may poignant memories His supreme sacrifice galvanize enable them rededicate themselves twin historic tasks within confines homeland adjacent territories win signal unprecedented victories – SHOGHI”

(Shoghi Effendi, Dawn of a New Day, p. 221)

Twin Opposers (Sacerdotal Orders of Shi’ih and Sunni Islam)

“…a corresponding aggravation of hostility, represented by the united attacks launched by the Shah of Persia and the Sultan of Turkey, the two admittedly most powerful potentates of the East, as well as by the opposition of the twin sacerdotal orders of Shi’ih and Sunni Islam.”

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. xiv)

Twin Luminaries (The Bab and Baha’u’llah)

“I have in the preceding chapters endeavored to trace the rise and progress of the Faith associated with the Bab and Baha'u'llah during the first fifty years of its existence. If I have dwelt too long on the events connected with the life and mission of these twin Luminaries of the Baha'i Revelation, if I have at times indulged in too circumstantial a narrative of certain episodes related to their ministries, it is solely because these happenings proclaim the birth, and signalize the establishment, of an epoch which future historians will acclaim as the most heroic, the most tragic and the most momentous period in the Apostolic Age of the Baha'i Dispensation.”

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 237)

Twin Founders
(The Bab and Baha’u’llah)
“Humanity itself, perverse and utterly heedless, had refused to lend a hearing ear to the insistent appeals and warnings sounded by the twin Founders of the Faith, and later voiced by the Center of the Covenant in His public discourses in the West. It had plunged into two desolating wars of unprecedented magnitude…”

(Shoghi Effendi, God Passes By, p. 408)


“I would be failing to do justice to my theme were I to ignore, or even to dismiss briefly, those audacious, fate-laden apostrophes to individual monarchs who, whether as kings or emperors, have either viewed with cold indifference the tribulations, or rejected with contempt the warnings, of the twin Founders of our Faith.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 28)

Twin Crusades (In Latin America and Europe)
“Already the Baha'i community in the Great Republic of the West, the vanguard of the irresistibly marching army of Baha'u'llah, has launched its twin crusades in Latin America and the continent of Europe.”

(Shoghi Effendi, June 28, 1950, Letters from the Guardian to Australia and New Zealand, p. 86)

Twin Directing Principles (Worship of God & Service to One’s Fellow-Men)
“…the model Baha'i community—a community divinely ordained, organically united, clear-visioned, vibrant with life, and whose very purpose is regulated by the twin directing principles of the worship of God and of service to one's fellow-men.”

(Shoghi Effendi, July 4 1939, Messages to America, p. 24)

Twin Major Tasks
“I hail with particular satisfaction the consummation of the twin major tasks spontaneously undertaken and brilliantly discharged by the same community in both the administrative and missionary fields, constituting the greatest contribution ever made to the progress of the Faith by any corporate body at any time, in any continent, since the inception of the administrative order.”

(Shoghi Effendi, December 3, 1946, Messages to America, pp. 108-09)

Twin
Baha'i National Communities in North America (Canada and the USA)
“The eyes of its twin-sister community in the North American continent, which assisted it in achieving its independence, are fixed upon it, eager to behold, and ready to aid it in its march to glory.”

(Shoghi Effendi, November 4, 1948, Messages to Canada, p. 10)


“The eyes of the Baha'i World are expectantly turned towards this newly erected pillar, designed to sustain in conjunction with other National Assemblies the weight of the Supreme Legislative Body of the World Order of Baha'u'llah. Sister communities in both the East and the West, less privileged than it and deprived of the primacy with which the twin Baha'i national communities labouring in the North American continent have been invested by the unerring Pen of the Centre of Baha'u'llah's Covenant, yet able to achieve, under circumstances no less challenging, a success wholly out of proportion to their numbers, are eagerly awaiting the outcome of this initial crusade embarked upon by this blessed, this envied community in conformity with the Mandate issued by Abdu'l-Baha in His immortal Tablets.”

(Shoghi Effendi, October 30, 1951, Messages to Canada, p. 25)

Twin Cities of Akka and Haifa
“Proclaim National Assemblies of East and West weighty epoch-making decision of formation of first International Baha'i Council, forerunner of supreme administrative institution destined to emerge in fullness of time within precincts beneath shadow of World Spiritual Center of Faith already established in twin cities of Akka and Haifa.”

(Shoghi Effendi, January 9, 1951, Messages to the Baha'i World—1950-1957, p. 7)

Twin Celebrations (In 1953, of the Dedication of the Temple in the USA and the Centenary of the Birth of Baha’u’llah’s Mission)
“The interior ornamentation of the Mother Temple of the West is virtually completed, paving the way for the provision of accessories and landscaping in preparation of its public dedication destined to coincide with the twin celebrations of the consummation of the fifty year old enterprise and the Birth of Baha'u'llah's prophetic mission.”

(Shoghi Effendi, April 25, 1951, Messages to the Baha'i World—1950-1957, p. 11)

Twin Historic Assemblages (In Luxemburg and Florence)
“The process of multiplication of Baha'i local Assemblies in the ten goal countries of Europe, and particularly in Italy and Switzerland, and the preparatory measures required to ensure the success of the twin historic assemblages destined to commemorate the last year of the Seven Year enterprise launched in the European continent—the European Teaching Conference in Luxemburg and the Italo-Swiss Convention in Florence—must be pushed forward with extreme care, vigilance and vigor.”

(Shoghi Effendi, June 30,1952, Messages to the Baha'i World—1950-1957, p. 32)

Twin Joyful Tidings (Of Progress On Mount Carmel)
Twofold Victory in Holy Land
“On occasion of Naw-Ruz of Holy Year convey twin joyful tidings to National Assemblies of the Baha'i world. Building operations of the final unit of the Bab's Sepulcher commenced…[and] International endowments surrounding the tomb of the Prophet-Herald of the Faith on the bosom of God's Holy Mountain are considerably extended through the acquisition, after thirty years' effort, of a wooded area of over twenty-three thousand square meters… Heart filled with humble gratitude at the double victory of the Faith…”

(Shoghi Effendi, March 23, 1953, Messages to the Baha'i World—1950-1957, p. 47)

Twin Charters (For National Spiritual Assembly and Local Spiritual Assembly)
'What other community can to its eternal credit claim to have been the first to frame its national and local constitutions, thereby laying down the fundamental lines of the twin charters ["Declaration of Trust and By-Laws of the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of the United States” and “By-Laws of a Local Spiritual Assembly”] designed to regulate the activities, define the functions, and safeguard the rights, of its institutions?'

(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 9)

Twin and Sorely Needed Principles (Divine Justice and Order)
“Theirs will be the duty and privilege, in their capacity first as the establishers of one of the most powerful pillars sustaining the edifice of the Universal House of Justice, and then as the champion-builders of that New World Order of which that House is to be the nucleus and forerunner, to inculcate, demonstrate, and apply those twin and sorely needed principles of Divine justice and order—principles to which the political corruption and the moral license, increasingly staining the society to which they belong, offer so sad and striking a contrast.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Advent of Divine Justice, p. 19)

Twin Revelations
“How often has that venerable soul, Shaykh Ahmad, recited those verses of the Qur'an already referred to! What stress he laid upon their significance as foreshadowing the advent of those twin Revelations which are to follow each other in rapid succession, and each of which is destined to suffuse the world with all its glory!”

(Siyyid Kazim, quoted in The Dawn-Breakers, p. 42)

Twin Great Lights (Quddus and Tahirih)
“In the easternmost province of Persia, the Almighty had, through the hand of Quddus, lit a fire that glowed with the hottest flame in the breasts of the people of Khurasan. And in Karbila, beyond the western confines of that land, He had kindled the light of Tahirih, a light that was destined to shed its radiance upon the whole of Persia. From the east and from the west of that country, the voice of the Unseen summoned those twin great lights to hasten to the land of Ta, the day-spring of glory, the home of Baha'u'llah. He bade them each seek the presence, and revolve round the person of that Day-Star of Truth, to seek His advice, to reinforce His efforts, and to prepare the way for His coming Revelation.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 268-69)

Twin Immortals (Mulla Husayn and Quddus)
“With the advent of Muharram in the year 1266 A.H.,[1] the Bab again resumed the work He had been compelled to interrupt. The first page He wrote was dedicated to the memory of Mulla Husayn. In the visiting Tablet revealed in his honour, He extolled, in moving terms, the unswerving fidelity with which he served Quddus throughout the siege of the fort of Tabarsi. He lavished His eulogies on his magnanimous conduct, recounted his exploits, and asserted his undoubted reunion in the world beyond with the leader whom he had so nobly served. He too, He wrote, would soon join those twin immortals, each of whom had, by his life and death, shed imperishable lustre on the Faith of God. For one whole week the Bab continued to write His praises of Quddus, of Mulla Husayn, and of His other companions who had gained the crown of martyrdom at Tabarsi.”
[1] November 17-December 17, 1849 A.D.

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 430)

Twin Martyrs (Haji Mirza Siyyid Ali and Mirza Qurban-'Ali)
‘Conducted to the block and waiting for the moment of his execution, he [Haji Mulla Isma'il-i-Qumi] turned his gaze towards those twin martyrs [Haji Mirza Siyyid Ali and Mirza Qurban-'Ali] who had preceded him and who still lay entwined in each other's embrace. "Well done, beloved companions!" he cried, as he fixed his gaze upon their gory heads. "You have turned Tihran into a paradise! Would that I had preceded you!"’

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 454)

Twin Emblems of the Bab’s Lineage
“Deprived of His turban and sash, the twin emblems of His noble lineage, the Bab, together with Siyyid Husayn, His amanuensis, was driven to yet another confinement which He well knew was but a step further on the way leading Him to the goal He had set Himself to attain.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 507)

Twin Oppressors of the Faith of Baha’u’llah (The Sultanate and Caliphate)
“Never would he [Nabil-i-Azam] have believed that the highest institutions of Sunni Islam, the Sultanate and the Caliphate, those twin oppressors of the Faith of Baha'u'llah, would have been swept away so ruthlessly by the very hands of the professing adherents of the Faith of Islam.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Dawn-Breakers, p. 666-67)


“How inspiring the conduct of those Muslim followers of Baha'u'llah who view, not with regret or apathy, but with feelings of unconcealed satisfaction, the deserved chastisement which the Almighty has inflicted upon those twin institutions of the Sultanate and the Caliphate, those engines of despotism and sworn enemies of the Cause of God!”


(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 57)

Twin Imperial Persecutors (Shah of Persia and Sultan of Turkey)
“Neither the perils which were fast closing in upon Him, nor the formidable power with which the doctrine of absolute sovereignty invested, at that time, the emperors of the West and the potentates of the East, could restrain the Exile and Prisoner of Adrianople from communicating the full blast of His Message to His twin imperial persecutors as well as to the rest of their fellow-sovereigns.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Promised Day is Come, p. 44)

Twin Communities (Germany and Austria)
“By virtue of the important position they occupy in the heart of the European continent; singled out for special favours by the Centre of Baha'u'llah's Covenant among their sister communities in that same continent; distinguished through the appointment to two Hands of the Cause from among their members; entrusted the first Baha'i House of Worship on European soil; displaying, on the morrow of the ordeals which have for so long and so cruelly afflicted them, a virility, a courage, a fidelity worthy of emulation by their sister communities not only in neighbouring lands but throughout the Baha'i world, these twin communities, destined through their common language, racial characteristics and traditions to play a notable and distinct part in the world-wide progress of the Faith in both the European and Asiatic continents, must continue to forge ahead, with inflexible resolve, unshakable faith, undimmed vision, and unabated vigour, along the road leading them to the fulfilment of their high destiny.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The Light of Divine Guidance, Volume I, p. 236)

Twin Repositories (The Aqdas and the Will of Abdu’l-Baha)
“I consider it my duty to warn every beginner in the Faith that the promised glories of the Sovereignty which the Bahá'í teachings foreshadow, can be revealed only in the fullness of time, that the implications of the Aqdas and the Will of Abdu'l-Baha, as the twin repositories of the constituent elements of that Sovereignty, are too far-reaching for this generation to grasp and fully appreciate.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 16)

Twin Figures (The Bab and Baha’u’llah)
“And finally there emerges, though on a plane of its own and in a category entirely apart from the one occupied by the twin Figures that preceded Him, the vibrant, the magnetic personality of Abdu'l-Baha, reflecting to a degree that no man, however exalted his station, can hope to rival, the glory and power with which They who are the Manifestations of God are alone endowed.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, pp. 97-98)

Twin Pillars of the Administrative Structure
“An attempt, I feel, should at the present juncture be made to explain the character and functions of the twin pillars that support this mighty Administrative Structure—the institutions of the Guardianship and of the Universal House of Justice.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 147)


“The pillars that sustain its [the Administrative Order’s] authority and buttress its structure are the twin institutions of the Guardianship and of the Universal House of Justice.”

(Shoghi Effendi, The World Order of Baha'u'llah, p. 156)

Twin Tendencies (Disintegration of the Old Order and Consolidation of the New World Order of Baha’u’llah)
“The observable acceleration, during the past decade, of the two processes described by our beloved Guardian, the disintegration of the old order and the progress and consolidation of the new World Order of Baha'u'llah, may well come to be regarded by future historians as one of the most remarkable features of this period. The recent increase in this very acceleration is even more remarkable. Both within and without the Cause of God, powerful forces are operating to bring to a climax the twin tendencies of this portentous century.”

(Ridvan 140 B. E. [1983] The Universal House of Justice, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 3)

Twin Arms (The Rulers and the Learned – National Spiritual Assemblies and the Counselors)
“Paralleling these outstanding events has been a remarkable unfoldment of organic growth in the maturity of the institutions of the Cause. The development of capacity and responsibility on their part and the devolution upon them of continually greater autonomy have been fostered by the encouragement of ever closer co-operation between the twin arms of the Administrative Order. This process now takes a large stride forward as the National Spiritual Assemblies and Counselors consult together to formulate, for the first time, the national goals of an international teaching plan. Together they must carry them out; together they must implement the world objectives of the Six Year Plan as they apply in each country.”

(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1986, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 43-44)

Twin Functions (Of Protection and Propagation)
On 4 June 1957, some six years after the appointment of the first contingent of Hands of the Cause, and but four months before his passing, the Guardian referred to the "TWIN FUNCTIONS PROTECTING PROPAGATING FAITH BAHA'U'LLAH" invested in the Institution of the Hands of the Cause by "VIRTUE AUTHORITY CONFERRED TESTAMENT CENTRE COVENANT", and stated: "TO ITS NEWLY ASSUMED RESPONSIBILITY ASSIST NATIONAL SPIRITUAL ASSEMBLIES BAHÁ'Í WORLD SPECIFIC PURPOSE EFFECTIVELY PROSECUTING WORLD SPIRITUAL CRUSADE PRIMARY OBLIGATION WATCH OVER ENSURE PROTECTION BAHA'I WORLD COMMUNITY IN CLOSE COLLABORATION THESE SAME NATIONAL ASSEMBLIES NOW ADDED."

(The Universal House of Justice, 4 June 1997, "Covenant-Breaking and the Hands")


“The International Teaching Centre will be the seat of that institution which is specifically invested with the twin functions of the protection and propagation of the Cause of God.”

(The Universal House of Justice, August 31, 1987, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 51-52)

Twin Anniversaries (Of the 1992 Centenary)
“The friends everywhere must now orient themselves to the significances of these twin anniversaries [the 1992 centenary of Baha’u’llah’s passing and the inauguration of His Covenant]. They must be spiritually prepared through prayer and study of the Teachings to obtain a deeper appreciation of the station and purpose of Bahá'u'lláh and of the basic meaning of His mighty Covenant.”

(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 1990, A Wider Horizon, Selected Letters 1983-1992, p. 77)

Twin Foci (A Campaign of Teaching and Training and the Completion of the Construction Projects on Mount Carmel)
“Even though the establishment of the Lesser Peace is not dependent on any Baha'i plan or action, and although it will not represent the ultimate goal humanity is destined to reach in the Golden Age, our community has a responsibility to lend spiritual impetus to the processes towards that peace. The need at this exact time is to so intensify our efforts in building the Baha'i System that we will attract the confirmations of Baha'u'llah and thus invoke a spiritual atmosphere that will accrue to the quickening of these processes. Two main challenges face us: one is to mount a campaign of teaching in which the broad membership of our community is enthusiastically, systematically and personally engaged, and in which the activation of an extensive training programme will ensure the development of a mass of human resources; the other is to complete the construction projects on Mount Carmel towards which every sacrifice must be made to provide a liberal outpouring of material means. These twin foci, if resolutely pursued, will foster conditions towards the release of pent-up forces that will forge a change in the direction of human affairs throughout the planet.”

(The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan 153, 1996)

Twin Objectives of the Nine Year Plan (Expansion and Universal Participation)
"Expansion and universal participation are the twin objectives of this initial phase of the second epoch of the Divine Plan, and all the goals assigned to the sixty-nine national communities are contributory to them.”

(April 1964, Launching of the Nine Year Plan, The Universal House of Justice, Wellspring of Guidance, Messages 1963-1968, p. 25)


“We announce with joyful and thankful hearts the completion in overwhelming victory of the world-encircling Nine Year Plan. The Army of Light has won its second global campaign; it has surpassed the goals set for expansion and has achieved a truly impressive degree of universal participation, the twin objectives of the Plan.”

(Ridvan 1973, The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 236)

Twin Conferences (In 1970 In Bolivia and Mauritius)
"Our hearts turn with eager expectancy to the twin Conferences now in session in the southern hemisphere. Their convocation so shortly after the world-wide commemoration of the Centenary of the Martyrdom of the Purest Branch, calls to mind that the promotion and establishment of the Faith of God have always been through sacrifice and dedicated service."

(The Universal House of Justice, Messages 1963 to 1986, p. 170)

Twin Marble Monuments (For the Sepulchers of Navvab and Mirza Mihdi)

“It had long been the desire of the Greatest Holy Leaf to lie near her mother, who was buried in Akka, as was her brother, Midhi. But when Bahiyyih Khanum passed away in 1932 she had been befittingly interred on Mt. Carmel near the Shrine of the Bab. Shoghi Effendi conceived the idea of transferring the remains of her mother and brother, so unsuitably buried in Akka, to the vicinity of her resting-place and in 1939 he ordered in Italy twin marble monuments, similar in style to the one he had erected over her own grave.”
(Ruhiyyih Khanum, The Guardian of the Baha'i Faith, p. 116)

Twin Goals (Of Disarmament and Development)

"The unity of the human race needs to be understood, promoted, explained and dramatized so that our interdependence will be seen as a necessary first step in the pursuit of the twin goals of disarmament and development."
(Baha'i International Community, 24 August 1987, "Relationship Between Disarmament and Development")