Tag Archives: Shoghi Effendi

Work is worship and mendicity and sloth are not permitted. Baha’i Writings.

I was thinking today about the possibility of just sitting back, relaxing and doing nothing and this is what came to mind! I had read about this and continue to read year after year and I thought I would share some insights of what I get from the Writings of the Bahá’í Faith.

Firstly, Bahá’u’lláh (Messenger of God, Founder of the Bahá’í Faith) continually stressed the importace of education for all. Back then, men and women were not considered equal and if preference was to be given to only one child in the home, it would be the male. He came and said that if it had to come down to making a decision between male or female, it should be the females since they are the first educators of the world! Furthermore, in His incredible generosity, God has allowed many different ways to worship Him, work being one of them. Here is a relevant quote by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá that includes these two points:

The education of each child is compulsory…. In addition to this wide-spread education each child must be taught a profession, art, or trade, so that every member of the community will be enabled to earn his own livelihood. Work done in the spirit of service is the highest form of worship….

In addition, Shoghi Effendi explained that “Bahá’u’lláh further states that mendicity should not only be discouraged but entirely wiped out from the face of society. It is the duty of those who are in charge of the organization of society to give every individual the opportunity of acquiring the necessary talent in some kind of profession, and also the means of utilizing such a talent, both for its own sake and for the sake of earning the means of his livelihood. Every individual, no matter how handicapped and limited he may be, is under the obligation of engaging in some work or profession, for work, especially when performed in the spirit of service, is according to Bahá’u’lláh, a form of worship. It has not only a utilitarian purpose, but has a value in itself, because it draws us nearer to God, and enables to better grasp His purpose for us in this world.”

This is my understanding: if we think about work done in “the spirit of service”, we cannot limit ourselves to think only about professions such as medicine and education. For example, an artisan is worshipping God as she makes a vase in the same way a surgeon is worshipping God as he performs surgery on a patient so long as those acts are done to the fullest of their capacity and with the intention of bringing forth the attributes of God such as beauty and might. We must use our work and our talents -whatever they may be- to serve humanity. To sit around and beg in this day and age is not acceptable.

It is enjoined upon every one of you to engage in some form of occupation, such as crafts, trades and the like. We have graciously exalted your engagement in such work to the rank of worship unto God, the True One. Ponder ye in your hearts the grace and the blessings of God and render thanks unto Him at eventide and at dawn. Waste not your time in idleness and sloth. Occupy yourselves with that which profiteth yourselves and others.

From the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh.

The importance of women – Baha’i Faith Quotes.

Happy mother’s day!
Too all of those who want to know what is the perspective of women in the Baha’i Faith, here are some quotes from the Writings that illustrate the subject. Most of them are from a Compilation on Women which is letters that Shoghi Effendi wrote to individual believers explaining the meaning of some of ‘Abdul’-Baha‘s explanations. Keep in mind the date when these wonderful words were spoken…over 150 years ago when the station of women was deplorable. Women were deprived of so many things that we take for granted today. It was not until the transforming Message that visible changes occurred in the world. A perfect example of this life-changing Message was the heroic Tahirih. Enjoy these beautiful Writings!

Shoghi Effendi wrote: “You are quite right in stating that men and women have basic and distinct qualities. The solution provided in the teachings of Baha’u’llah is not, as you correctly observe, for men to become women, and for women to become men. `Abdu’l-Baha gave us the key to the problem when He taught that the qualities and functions of men and women “complement” each other. He further elucidated this point when He said that the “new age” will be “an age in which the masculine and feminine elements of civilization will be more properly balanced.” (22 April 1981 to an individual believer”.

Concerning your questions about the equality of men and women, this, as `Abdu’l-Baha has often explained, is a fundamental principle of Baha’u’llah; therefore the Laws of the “Aqdas” should be studied in the light of it. Equality between men and women does not, indeed physiologically it cannot, mean identity of functions. In some things women excel men, for others men are better fitted than women, while in very many things the difference of sex is of no effect at all. The differences of function are most apparent in family life. The capacity for motherhood has many far-reaching implications which are recognized in Baha’i Law. For example, when it is not possible to educate all one’s children, daughters receive preference over sons, as mothers are the first educators of the next generation. Again, for physiological reasons, women are granted certain exemptions from fasting that are not applicable to men. (24 July 1975 to an individual believer)

In the Dispensation of Baha’u’llah, women are advancing side by side with men. There is no area or instance where they will lag behind: they have equal rights with men, and will enter, in the future, into all branches of the administration of society. Such will be their elevation that, in every area of endeavour, they will occupy the highest levels in the human world. Rest thou assured. Look not upon their present state. In future, the world of womankind will shine with lustrous brilliance, for such is the will and purpose of Baha’u’llah. At the time of elections the right to vote is the inalienable right of women, and the entrance of women into all human departments is an irrefutable and incontrovertible question. No soul can retard or prevent it. …

And another passage, it is Written: “And among the teachings of Baha’u’llah is the equality of women and men. The world of humanity has two wings–one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be. (“Selections from the Writings of `Abdu’l-Baha”, sec. 227, p. 302)

When all mankind shall receive the same opportunity of education and the equality of men and women be realized, the foundations of war will be utterly destroyed. Without equality this will be impossible because all differences and distinction are conducive to discord and strife. Equality between men and women is conducive to the abolition of warfare for the reason that women will never be willing to sanction it
…. (“The Promulgation of Universal Peace: Talks Delivered by `Abdu’l-Baha during His Visit to the United States and Canada in 1912”, p. 175)

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.