Tag Archives: AbdulBaha

Bahiyyíh Khánum – Bahá’u’lláh’s daughter, also known as The Greatest Holy Leaf.

What a woman.

I have just finished reading a book about Bahiyyíh Khánum, the beloved heroine of the Baha’i Faith, daughter of Bahá’u’lláh and Asiyyíh Khánum (please note that the term khánum means a woman of rank or position especially in Turkey and Iran*1), and it was amazing.

When I was growing up, I would hear about this great personage and throughout my life, I have met a lot of women named after her. It seemed quite obvious that she was a special person in the Baha’i religion but it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the magnitude of her contributions to her Father’s Cause as well as her importance in the establishment of the Bahá’í Faith throughout the entire world. There is so much to be said about her and I will do my best to give a brief summary that conveys the love and admiration I feel for this incredible woman.

Young age portraitFrom a young age she suffered poverty, need, banishment, imprisonment and all the torments her Father and family were subjected to. There are lots of letters and writings of her own describing these sad and extremely difficult times. If one pays attention, she very rarely expresses her own feelings and her own sufferings. Even as a young child she was her mother’s helper, her brothers’ carer and her Father’s dedicated servant. If you have visited the Bahá’í Holy places in Israel, there are numerous relics belonging to Bahá’u’lláh that we are lucky to have thanks to His beloved daughter.

Here is an excerpt from a Tablet He wrote to her:

“Let these exalted words be thy love-song on the tree of Bahá, O thou most holy and resplendent Leaf: ‘God, besides Whom is none other God, the Lord of this world and the next!’ Verily, We have elevated thee to the rank of one of the most distinguished among thy sex, and granted thee, in My court, a station such as none other woman hath surpassed. Thus have We preferred thee and raised thee above the rest, as a sign of grace from Him Who is the Lord of the throne on high and earth below. We have created thine eyes to behold the light of My countenance, thine ears to hearken unto the melody of My words, thy body to pay homage before My throne. Do thou render thanks unto God, thy Lord, the Lord of all the world.”*2

Portrait

Servitude to her Father and His Faith was not limited and did not come to a halt after His passing. Once Bahá’u’lláh designated His eldest son ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as his successor, and the head of the Baha’is at the time, Bahiyyín Khánum dedicated all her efforts through loving support and great sacrifice to her brother. Both her Father and Brother loved and admired her dearly and held her in great esteem. Here are some quotes from letters of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá addressed to or in mention of His sister, the Greatest Holy Leaf:

“O my well-beloved, deeply spiritual sister! Day and night thou livest in my memory. Whenever I remember thee my heart swelleth with sadness and my regret groweth more intense. Grieve not, for I am thy true, thy unfailing comforter.”

“Dear sister, beloved of my heart and soul! The news of thy safe arrival and pleasant stay in the land of Egypt has reached me and filled my heart with exceeding gladness. I am thankful to Bahá’u’lláh for the good health thou dost enjoy and for the happiness He hath imparted to the hearts of the loved ones in that land.”

“To my honoured and distinguished sister do thou convey the expression of my heartfelt, my intense longing. Day and night she liveth in my remembrance. I dare make no mention of the feelings which separation from her has aroused in my heart, for whatever I should attempt to express in writing will assuredly be effaced by the tears which such sentiments must bring to my eyes.”*3

Aren’t these the most beautiful letters you have ever read a brother send to His sister? Their love trascended the limits of this world and family life. Their bond was completely spiritual, of mutual support and utmost love and respect.

Now, after the passing of their Father, things did not come easy especially from those individuals who stirred conflict and refused to recognize ‘Abdu’l-Bahá as the Center of the Covenant as it was explicitly written by Bahá’u’lláh in His will. Both Bahiyyíh Khánum and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá made great sacrifices that included cutting ties with members of their own family. As you can imagine, this took a great toll on The Greatest Holy Leaf’s loving heart, but she endured all calamities for the love of God. During ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s travels to Europe and North America, it was her, Bahiyyíh Khanúm who was left in charge of the affairs of the Faith in Israel. During this time she did not let the conventions of her gender or the criticism of the ill wishers to stop her from fulfilling this most great task. Amazing thing is that it was the first time in the history of religion that a woman had such a responsibility, – where she is publicly and openly given the same rank as her male counterparts. Equality of men and women at its best! And during that time and in that part of the world!! Isn’t that something?

Shoghi Effendi spoke very highly of this great aunt and he loved her dearly. As you may be aware, it was him who was appointed as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s successor after the latter’s passing. This time was one of great difficulty and several times he had to find strength in some absences from Haifa. Bahiyyíh Khánum was his support and companion in tests and difficulties, and in those moments of absence, it too was her who was left holding up the standard of the Faith and maintaining the unity of the Bahá’í world. Yes, the whole Baha’i world. Again, the individual who was temporarily holding it all together was a woman, a woman in a time and from a culture where women were not seen as equal to men; where little is known of their lives because they were spent in anonymity.

She was extraordinary. Not only did she dedicate her whole life to serve God; not only did she communicate extensively with institutions and individuals; not only did she build relationships to protect her Father, brother and great grandson; not only did she encourage the building of the Temple in Chicago, USA; not only did she manage the Holy household and hosted the pilgrims; above all, she was the archetype of every Baha’i believer.

To further show you the amount of love and admiration as well as Shoghi Effendi’s reliance on her, here is part of a letter to his great aunt:

Shoghi Effendi with Bahiyyiíh Khaánum

 

“O my sister in the spirit, and the companion of my heart!
God willing, the climate of Haifa hath proved favourable. I hope that out of the bounties of the Ancient Beauty thou wilt gain a measure of peace and health. I bring thee to mind both night and day. Just recently I had hoped to come to Haifa to visit thee, but various problems and the pressure of work have left me no time; for I want to see the travellers off, and every one of them presented a long list of names. God be thanked, I have written to them all.
Kiss the fresh flower of the garden of sweetness, Shoghi Effendi.”*4

 

After her passing, Shoghi Effendi really felt the loss. Her remains are buried on Mount Carmel, in the area called “The Arc” where Bahá’í administrative buildings exist today. Her resting place was established at the center of this significant mountain on purpose, and there is a beautiful meaning to the design of her monument. We might talk about that in another post 🙂

If you would like to know more about The Greatest Holy Leaf, you can read one of the many books written about her. The one I read is called “Prophet’s Daughter” by Janet A. Khan. There is also mention of her on Book 8 of the Ruhi Institute.

Whatever you study, I hope you enjoy, admire, thank and fall in love with her just like we did.

 

REFERENCES

*1 Definition on the Merriam-Webster dictionary

*2 Bahíyyih Khánum, the Greatest Holy Leaf: A Compilation from Bahá’í Sacred Texts and Writings of the Guardian of the Faith and Bahíyyih Khánum’s Own Letters, Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 edition, Page 231

*3 Bahíyyih Khánum, the Greatest Holy Leaf: A Compilation from Bahá’í Sacred Texts and Writings of the Guardian of the Faith and Bahíyyih Khánum’s Own Letters, Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 edition, Page 231

*4 Bahíyyih Khánum, the Greatest Holy Leaf: A Compilation from Bahá’í Sacred Texts and Writings of the Guardian of the Faith and Bahíyyih Khánum’s Own Letters, Bahá’í World Centre, 1982 edition, Page 231

 

Advertisements

This Christmas let’s think about His Holiness Jesus Christ.

He really was the essence of love and mercy. Jesus Christ was a Messenger of God that Bahá’ís believe in and recognize His station. Bahá’u’lláh as well as ‘Abdu’l-Bahá have spoke and wrote extensively about Jesus and His station and exalted personage. Here are just a few quotes from the Bahá’í Writings I would like to share.

When the Messianic star of Jesus Christ dawned, he declared he had come to gather together the lost tribes or scattered sheep of Moses. He not only shepherded the flock of Israel, but brought together people of Chaldea, Egypt, Syria, ancient Assyria and Phoenicia. These people were in a state of utmost hostility, thirsting for the blood of each other with the ferocity of animals; but His Holiness Jesus Christ brought them together, cemented and united them in his cause and established such a bond of love among them that enmity and warfare were abandoned. It is evident therefore that the divine teachings are intended to create a bond of unity in the human world and establish the foundations of love and fellowship among mankind. Divine religion is not a cause for discord and disagreement. If religion becomes the source of antagonism and strife, the absence of religion is to be preferred. Religion is meant to be the quickening life of the body politic; if it be the cause of death to humanity, its nonexistence would be a blessing and benefit to man. Therefore in this day the divine teachings must be sought, for they are the remedies for the present conditions of the world of humanity.      –  ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

This quote is from a talk given by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: “You must be thankful to God that you are poor, for Jesus Christ has said, “Blessed are the poor.” He never said, “Blessed are the rich.” He said, too, that the Kingdom is for the poor and that it is easier for a camel to enter a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter God’s Kingdom. Therefore, you must be thankful to God that although in this world you are indigent, yet the treasures of God are within your reach; and although in the material realm you are poor, yet in the Kingdom of God you are precious. Jesus Himself was poor. He did not belong to the rich. He passed His time in the desert, traveling among the poor, and lived upon the herbs of the field. He had no place to lay His head, no home. He was exposed in the open to heat, cold and frost—to inclement weather of all kinds—yet He chose this rather than riches. If riches were considered a glory, the Prophet Moses would have chosen them; Jesus would have been a rich man. When Jesus Christ appeared, it was the poor who first accepted Him, not the rich. Therefore, you are the disciples of Jesus Christ; you are His comrades, for He outwardly was poor, not rich.”

In another talk, He said:

You must follow the example and footprints of Jesus Christ. Read the Gospels. Jesus Christ was mercy itself, was love itself. He even prayed in behalf of His executioners—for those who crucified Him—saying, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” If they knew what they were doing, they would not have done it. Consider how kind Jesus Christ was, that even upon the cross He prayed for His oppressors. We must follow His example. We must emulate the Prophets of God. We must follow Jesus Christ. We must free ourselves from all these imitations which are the source of darkness in the world.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá further explains that “His Holiness Jesus Christ was an educator of humanity. His teachings were altruistic; his bestowal universal. He taught mankind by the power of the Holy Spirit and not through human agency, for the human power is limited whereas the divine power is illimitable and infinite. The influence and accomplishment of Christ will attest this. Galen, the Greek physician and philosopher, who lived in the second century A.D., wrote a treatise upon the civilization of nations. He was not a Christian but he has borne testimony that religious beliefs exercise an extraordinary effect upon the problems of civilization. In substance he says, “There are certain people among us, followers of Jesus the Nazarene who was killed in Jerusalem. These people are truly imbued with moral principles which are the envy of philosophers. They believe in God and fear Him. They have hopes in His favors, therefore they shun all unworthy deeds and actions and incline to praiseworthy ethics and morals. Day and night they strive that their deeds may be commendable and that they may contribute to the welfare of humanity; therefore each one of them is virtually a philosopher, for these people have attained unto that which is the essence and purport of philosophy. These people have praiseworthy morals even though they may be illiterate.””

Let us think of Him and focus on the spiritual essence of Christmas during these holidays. The more you read bout Him and all of God’s Messengers, the more your love for Them will grow. Guaranteed.

All Manifestations of God -like the name suggest, come from God. They are one in essence and the same in spirit. We tried to make that evident in our Manifestations ring and our 9 Messengers of God necklace.

 


Pictures of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá

He was so beautiful, full of love and compassion. Sharing pictures of His beautiful and blessed face is a joy indeed. Enjoy!


Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá 28th of November

The Center of the Covenant, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá was the eldest son of the Messenger of God for Today (Bahá’u’lláh).

'Abdu'l-Bahá as a young man

‘Abdu’l-Bahá as a young man

A few weeks ago I had the privilege to attend a weekend dedicated to styuding the life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá; most specifically, His travels to the West (Europe and the United States) and realized how little I knew about Him and how much he did for humanity. His life was indeed a life dedicated to everyone around him and I don’t just mean the people He knew and were close to Him but also random strangers He never met before!

This was way over me. How can one person radiate and give so much love? Well, that is the mystery of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá!

He lived a life of tests alonsdige His Father, accompanying Him during His exiles and in prison. He was a prisoner for 40 years! Nothing kept Him from showering everyone with love and compassion. He was truly an angel on Earth.

He was born the 23rd of May 1844 and passed away the 28th of November 1921 after sickness.

“‘Abdu’l-Bahá passed away in 1921, having consolidated the foundations of the Bahá’í Faith and greatly expanded its reach. The northern rooms of the Shrine of the Báb, where He is interred, are a place of pilgrimage for Bahá’ís visiting the World Centre of their Faith.”

Overall, I strongly suggest you read about His life whether you are a Bahá’í and already love Him or if you are not and just want to read the life’s story of an outstanding man that did nothing but spread the love of God to everyone and everywhere He ever went. This is a good start: CLICK HERE.

Please note that even though it is written that His passing was on the 28th of November, with the introduction of the Badí calendar, this date now varies. This year (2016) is celebrated on the early morning of the 27th of November.


The Baha’i Faith – ‘Abdu’l-Bahá: the Center of the Covenant 28th of November His Ascension

The following was copied from this website: http://info.bahai.org/abdulbaha-center-of-covenant.html and is posted here to commemorate the ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.
——————–
In a letter to His followers in America ‘Abdul-Bahá wrote:

My name is `Abdu’l-Bahá [literally, Servant of Bahá]. My qualification is `Abdu’l-Bahá. My reality is `Abdu’l-Bahá. My praise is `Abdu’l-Bahá. Thraldom to the Blessed Perfection [Bahá’u’lláh] is my glorious and refulgent diadem, and servitude to all the human race my perpetual religion… No name, no title, no mention, no commendation have I, nor will ever have, except `Abdu’l-Bahá. This is my longing. This is my greatest yearning. This is my eternal life. This is my everlasting glory.

On November 29, 1921, ten thousand people–Jews, Christians, and Muslims from all persuasions and denominations–gathered on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land to mourn the passing of One who was eulogized as the essence of “Virtue and Wisdom, of Knowledge and Generosity.”1 On that occasion, `Abdu’l-Bahá–Bahá’u’lláh’s Son and chosen successor–was described by a Jewish leader as a “living example of self-sacrifice,” by a Christian orator as One who led humanity to the “Way of Truth,” and by a prominent Muslim leader as a “pillar of peace” and the embodiment of “glory and greatness.”2 His funeral, according to a Western observer, brought together a great throng “sorrowing for His death, but rejoicing also for His life.”

Throughout the Occident and the Orient, `Abdu’l-Bahá was known as an ambassador of peace, a champion of justice, and the leading exponent of a new Faith. Through a series of epoch-making travels across North America and Europe, `Abdu’l-Bahá–by word and example–proclaimed with persuasiveness and force the essential principles of His Father’s religion. Affirming that “Love is the most great law” that is the foundation of “true civilization,” and that the “supreme need of humanity is cooperation and reciprocity” among all its peoples, `Abdu’l-Bahá reached out to leaders and the meek alike, to every soul who crossed His path.

An American commentator wrote:

He found a large and sympathetic audience waiting to greet Him personally and to receive from His own lips His loving and spiritual message…. Beyond the words spoken there was something indescribable in His personality that impressed profoundly all who came into His presence. The dome-like head, the patriarchal beard, the eyes that seemed to have looked beyond the reach of time and sense, the soft yet clearly penetrating voice, the translucent humility, the never failing love,–but above all, the sense of power mingled with gentleness that invested His whole being with a rare majesty of spiritual exaltation that both set Him apart, and yet brought Him near to the lowliest soul,–it was all this, and much more that can never be defined, that have left with His many … friends, memories that are ineffaceable and unspeakably precious.

Yet, however magnetic His personality or penetrating His insights into the human condition, such characteristics cannot adequately capture `Abdu’l-Bahá’s unique station in religious history. In the words of Bahá’u’lláh Himself, `Abdu’l-Bahá was the “Trust of God,” “a shelter for all mankind,” “the most great Favor,” and God’s “ancient and immutable Mystery.”7 The Bahá’í writings further affirm that “in the person of `Abdu’l-Bahá the incompatible characteristics of a human nature and superhuman knowledge and perfection have been blended and are completely harmonized.”

The question of religious succession has been crucial to all faiths. Failure to resolve this question has inevitably led to acrimony and division. The ambiguity surrounding the true successors of Jesus and Muhammad, for example, led to differing interpretations of sacred scripture and deep discord within both Christianity and Islam. However, Bahá’u’lláh prevented schism and established an unassailable foundation for His Faith through the provision of His will and testament, entitled The Book of My Covenant. He wrote: “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 hast branched from this Ancient Root. The object of this sacred verse is none other except the Most Mighty Branch [`Abdu’l-Bahá].”
Bahá’u’lláh’s appointment of `Abdu’l-Bahá as His successor was the means for diffusing His message of hope and universal peace to all corners of the world, for realizing the essential unity of all peoples. In referring to `Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’u’lláh wrote: “The glory of God rest upon Thee, and upon whosoever serveth Thee and circleth around Thee. Woe, great woe, betide him that opposeth and injureth Thee. Well is it with him that sweareth fealty to Thee.”10 `Abdu’l-Bahá was, in short, the Center of Bahá’u’lláh’s Covenant –the instrument for ensuring the unity of the Bahá’í community and preserving the integrity of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings.

As the authorized interpreter of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings, `Abdu’l-Bahá became the “living mouth of the Book, the expounder of the Word.”11 Without `Abdu’l-Bahá, the enormous creative power of Bahá’u’lláh’s revelation could not have been transmitted to humanity, nor its import fully comprehended. He elucidated the teachings of His Father’s Faith, amplified its doctrines, and delineated the central features of its administrative institutions. He was the unerring guide and architect of a rapidly expanding Bahá’í community. In addition, Bahá’u’lláh vested in `Abdu’l-Bahá “the virtues of perfection in personal and social behavior, that humanity may have an enduring model to emulate.”12 As the perfect Exemplar of Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings and the Pivot of His Covenant, `Abdu’l-Bahá became “the incorruptible medium for applying the Word to practical measures for the raising up of a new civilization.”

In retrospect, it became clear that Bahá’u’lláh had carefully prepared `Abdu’l-Bahá to succeed Him. He was born on May 23, 1844, the very night that the Báb had declared the beginning of a new religious cycle in history. As a child, He suffered along with His Father during the persecutions against the Bábis. `Abdu’l-Bahá was eight years old when Bahá’u’lláh was first imprisoned for His role as a leading exponent and defender of the Bábi Faith. He accompanied Bahá’u’lláh throughout His long exile from Persia to the capital of the Ottoman empire, and ultimately, to Palestine. As He grew older, `Abdu’l-Bahá became His Father’s closest companion and emerged as His deputy, shield, and principal representative to the political and religious leaders of the day. `Abdu’l-Bahá’s extraordinary demonstration of leadership, knowledge, and service brought great prestige to the exiled Bahá’í community. He assumed His role as the Head of the Bahá’í Faith following Bahá’u’lláh’s passing in May 1892.

In 1911, after more than four decades of imprisonment and suffering, `Abdu’l-Bahá journeyed to the West and presented with brilliant simplicity, to high and low alike, Bahá’u’lláh’s prescription for the moral and spiritual renewal of society. This “Call of God,” `Abdu’l-Bahá stated, “…breathed a new life into the body of mankind, and infused a new spirit into the whole creation. It is for this reason that the world hath been moved to its depths, and the hearts and consciences of men been quickened. Erelong the evidences of this regeneration will be revealed, and the fast asleep will be awakened.”14

Among the vital truths that `Abdu’l-Bahá tirelessly proclaimed to leaders of thought as well as countless groups and masses at large were: “The independent search after truth, unfettered by superstition or tradition; the oneness of the entire human race, the pivotal principle and fundamental doctrine of the Faith; the basic unity of all religions; the condemnation of all forms of prejudice, whether religious, racial, class or national; the harmony which must exist between religion and science; the equality of men and women, the two wings on which the bird of humankind is able to soar; the introduction of compulsory education; the adoption of a universal auxiliary language; the abolition of the extremes of wealth and poverty; the institution of a world tribunal for the adjudication of disputes between nations; the exaltation of work, performed in the spirit of service, to the rank of worship; the glorification of justice as the ruling principle in human society, and of religion as a bulwark for the protection of all peoples and nations; and the establishment of a permanent and universal peace as the supreme goal of all mankind.”


El Dia de la Alianza de Dios – La Fe Baha’i: Bahá’u’lláh, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Shoghi Effendi & La Casa Universal de Justicia

Hoy 26 de Noviembre los Bahá’ís de todo el mundo celebran lo que llamamos el “Dia de la Alianza”. Como tuve el placer de asistir a una de las reuniones en una comunidad Bahá’í, voy a tratar de escribir lo que recuerdo de la fabulosa presentación que hubo.

Dios ha existido por siempre y así seguirá existiendo infinitamente. El desde el comienzo de la creación envió a Sus Mensajeros o Profetas a Revelarse ante la humanidad para hacernos saber cual era Su Guía y Voluntad. Entre estos Mensajeros de Dios se encuentran Buda, Moisés, Jesucristo, Muhammad, El Báb y Bahá’u’lláh
(el mas reciente). Dios siempre ha cumplido con Su Promesa de enviarnos guía. Aunque los nombres de estas almas santas, estos Mensajeros de Dios es diferente, el Espíritu Santo, la Verdad es la misma. Ellos vienen de tiempo en tiempo para hacernos saber la guía necesaria para progresar como civilización de acuerdo a las necesidades de nuestra época y a nuestra capacidad de entendimiento. Por ejemplo, Ellos pueden compararse con los días de la semana, los cuales a pesar de poseer nombres diferentes (lunes, miércoles, sábado) son iniciados por la luz del MISMO sol.
Ahora, el ultimo de estos Mensajeros fue Bahá’u’lláh Quien aparte de Sus Enseñanzas y 100 volúmenes de Escritos ha urgido a Sus seguidores (los Bahá’ís) a que obedezcan a Su Alianza. Aquí es donde vamos a ver de que trata eso.

Una “alianza” es un convenio, un pacto entre dos o mas partes, verdad? Ahora, la Alianza, lo que celebramos los Bahá’ís todos los años en esta fecha es el acuerdo entre Dios y la humanidad que ha existido desde el comienzo de la creación. En esta Alianza Dios promete no dejar a la humanidad sin guía y a enviar a Sus Mensajeros para comunicarnos lo que El desee. Dios siempre ha cumplido con su parte en esta Alianza. Los que hemos fallado somos nosotros. Nuestra parte en este pacto es reconocer y obedecer a la Manifestación de Dios para nuestra época. Claramente en la historia de la humanidad hemos fallado en hacerlo.

Bahá’u’lláh nos urge a cumplir nuestra parte de esa Alianza y ha hecho -como signo de Su maravillosa Bondad- una Alianza menor con Sus seguidores. Esta Alianza implica que después del reconocimiento de Su Santidad Bahá’u’lláh, reconocemos a Su Hijo Mayor, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá como Su Sucesor. Asimismo, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá urgió al mundo Baha’i que después de Su muerte debíamos volvernos a su nieto Shoghi Effendi quien fue el único Guardián de la Fe Bahá’í. Después de Shoghi Effendi, los Baha’is nos volvemos a la Casa Universal de Justicia, quien es el cuerpo administrativo de la Fe Bahá’í a nivel mundial. A nivel nacional esta la Asamblea Espiritual Nacional Bahá’í y a nivel local están las Asambleas Espirituales Locales.

El propósito de la Alianza de Dios es la UNIDAD de la HUMANIDAD.
La Alianza de Bahá’u’lláh es la UNIDAD entre los Baha’is de todo el mundo.
Esto es tan claro como el agua, de modo que no queda espacio para la mal-interpretación o desviación.


Love for humanity, love for our family, love for God. What Baha’is have to say about love.

As an abstract concept, love is indeed something extremely hard for me to explain or try to understand. Recently I found myself in a situation in which my love and detachment had to be consciously put under control. Now, I will try to explain what I mean along the lines of what I have learned from the Baha’i Writings.

There are different kinds of love. The love for ourselves as creatures of God, the love for each other, and the love for and from God from and to us. The only love that is unconditional is the love of God for each one His creatures. Now, lets look at the love between two people. Once we have love for someone, it is very difficult not to mention the name of that person. All we want to do is to be with them, talk to them and serve them. If our love for another imperfect human being can be this strong and rule our actions with such power then shouldn’t our love for God -who is undoubtedly Perfect- be like a burning fire that consumes all desire of any other but Him?

This may seem like a contradictory theory, however, I have come to one conclusion: our love for others is guided and protected but our love for God. If we are united by and for the love of God then that love transcends all the boundaries of this earthly world. In other words, (and this was my latest discovery) our love must be detached from our hopes and desires. We love and give others the freedom to love us if they choose to. How often have we experienced disappointment after giving others as much love as we considered ourselves capable of giving and receiving nothing in return? To me, the key for happiness is in submissiveness to the Will of God. I have been reassured of this so many times in my life! Once we do all we can to show love to others, it is up to them to decide what they want to do with our love. Once we have put it out there, if it serves its purpose, then great! if it doesn’t, do not panic. Leave things to God and put your whole trust in Him. After all, He knows it all and knows what is best for us.

God has been telling humanity for thousands of years to love our neighbour for our love to Him, and today, this is clearly evident. For example: we are all affected when notified of the suffering of others in remote parts of the globe. Even though it may seem as it does not affect us in the least, it does. This reaction has to come from our love to God and therefore for His creation. In giving love, we cannot get picky. ‘Abdu’l-Baha said:

Do not be content with showing friendship in words alone, let your heart burn with loving kindness for all who may cross your path.