Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Be Truthful

Nice story from Abdu'l-Baha:
“There was once a disciple of Muhammad who asked of another disciple, ‘What shall I do to please God?’ And the other disciple replied: ‘Do not kill. Do not steal. Do not covet,’ etc., etc., etc. A great many ‘do not's’” then “He asked still another, ‘What shall I do to become nearer to God?’ And this one said: ‘You must supplicate and pray. You must be generous. You must be courageous,’ etc., etc., etc. Then the disciple went to ‘Ali. ‘What do you say I should do in order to please God and to become nearer to Him?’ ‘One thing only: be truthful.’” Abdul-Baha said “if you are truthful, you cannot commit murder. You would have to confess it! Neither can you steal. You would have to confess it. So, if one is truthful, he possesses all the virtues.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Women and Men are equal

 إن تحرير المرأة هو مطلب مهمّ من مُتطلبات السلام، ولن يستقرّ المناخ الخلقيّ والنفسيّ الذي سوف يتسنى للسلام العالمي أن ينمو فيه، إلا عندما تدخل المرأة بكلّ ترحاب سائر ميادين النشاط الإنساني   شريكة كاملة للرجل   الجامعة البهائية العالمية
The Bahá’í writings state:
  • Girls should be given preference over boys when educational opportunities and resources are limited.
  • In Bahá’í marriage, neither the husband nor the wife has a dominant voice.
  • Any apparent inequality between the capacities of women and men is due solely to the lack of educational opportunities so far open to women.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The foundation-principle of a school

What is the ideal school:

"These schools for academic studies must at the same time be training centers in behaviour and conduct, and they must favour character and conduct above the sciences and arts. Good behavior and high moral character must come first, for unless the character be trained, acquiring knowledge will only prove injurious. Knowledge is praiseworthy when it is coupled with ethical conduct and virtuous character; otherwise it is a deadly poison, a frightful danger. A physician of evil character, and who betrayeth his trust, can bring on death, and become the source of numerous infirmities and diseases.

Devote ye the utmost attention to this matter, for the basic, the foundation-principle of a school is first and foremost moral training, character and the rectification of conduct." Abd'l-Baha

Monday, July 2, 2012

Character of the Religious Person

For every thing, however, God has created a sign and symbol, and established standards and tests by which it may be known. The spiritually learned must be characterized by both inward and outward perfections; they    must possess a good character, an enlightened nature, a pure intent, as well as intellectual power, brilliance and discernment, intuition, discretion and foresight, temperance, reverence, and a heartfelt fear of God. For an unlit candle, however great in diameter and tall, is no better than a barren palm tree or a pile of dead wood.  (Abdu'l-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 33)

From "Egyptian Baha'i Letter to all Egyptians"

Thus, if no existing model proves to be satisfactory, we might well consider charting a different course, and perhaps demonstrate to the community of nations that a new, truly progressive approach to the organization of society is possible.

Egypt’s stature in the international order—its intellectual tradition, its history, its location—means that an enlightened choice on its part could influence the course of human development in the entire region, and impact even the world.......

That is why it is vital that we endeavor to achieve broad consensus on the operating principles that are to shape a new model for our society. Once agreement is reached, the policies that follow are far more likely to attract the support of the populations whom they affect.


Abdu'l Baha explained to the people of Iran in early 1900 the secret of Divine Civilization:

"....O people of Persia! How long will you wander? How long must your confusion last? How long will it go on, this conflict of opinions, this useless antagonism, this ignorance, this refusal to think? Others are alert, and we sleep our dreamless sleep. Other nations are  making every effort to improve their condition; we are trapped in our desires and self-indulgences, and at every step we stumble into a new snare. 

God is Our witness that We have no ulterior motive in developing this theme. We seek neither to curry favor with any one nor to attract any one to Ourselves nor to derive any material benefit therefrom. We speak only as one earnestly desiring the good pleasure of God, for We have turned Our gaze away from the world and its peoples and have sought refuge in the sheltering care of the Lord. "No pay do I ask of you for this... My reward is of God alone."[1] 
[1 Qur'án 6:90; 11:31.]  
Abdu'l-Baha, The Secret of Divine Civilization, p. 12)