On Election Day - Abdu'l-Baha's Prayer for America

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On Election Day - Abdu'l-Baha's Prayer for America
by alborz
04-Nov-2008
 

This past Saturday, the Stanford University Baha’i Association commemorated the visit of Abdu’l-Baha to Stanford on October 8th, 1912.  This visit was part of an 8 month journey across North American that provided many opportunities for Him to meet with early believers, give talks on a range of topics, and introduce to many people, from all walks of life, the message of Baha’u’llah.

Abdu’l-Baha revealed a prayer for America, which on this election day provides a context on how this election has captured the attention of not only the citizens of these united states, but also a world that looks to America as a standard bearer.  Indeed the outcome of this election may impact the lives of billions of people.

O Thou kind Lord! This gathering is turning to Thee. These hearts are radiant with Thy Love. These minds and spirits are exhilarated by the message of Thy glad-tidings. O God! Let this American democracy become glorious in spiritual degrees even as it has aspired to material degrees, and render this just government victorious.

Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world.

O God! This American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy. Make it precious and near to thee through Thy bounty and bestowal.                                                                            Abdu’l-Baha 

 

Alborz

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Bahai or NOT

by nemah (not verified) on

Dear Alborz

I do take your criticism for my harsh language for responding to my comrade “Iranian 1” in heart and I want to make it very clear that my personal opinion toward Quran does not in any way represent the Bahai views. When I see my countrymen’s arrogance toward the most beautiful part of my Persian culture; i.e., the Bahai Faith, I can’t stop the jerk knee reaction. For better or worse I didn’t know any thing about the Bahai Faith when I grew up, nor had any body in my family who knew any thing about it, so I did not have the privilege of knowing about the Faith early on in life. I learned about Bahai Faith in college and since then I fell in love with all its principals, it’s global perspective, it’s love for global humanity rather than a single race or religion, lack of prejudice, equality of man and woman, etc..… you get the drift.
I never read the Quran and do not know about its teaching, neither do I want to know any thing about it, I can see how it is been applied to a peace loving society like my own home land today and how Iranian people suffer in the hands of Islamic prosecutors.
My respond to you comment seems more like an apology for implying that my opinion about Islam is a Bahai one to the larger community, well it is not.

I have read Baha’u’llah had requested from all Baha’is to shield the sword away, and teach instead of fighting, well that’s for you my friend, but I do get very frustrated by my own countrymen who knowingly and arrogantly attack the fabric of a very humane and vibrant Faith I have learn to love and prefer to serve the mullahs. While you teach these ignorant souls who unknowingly attack their own beloved, I keep the sword sharp defending what I love the most. Hope I do not cause more harm than good to people like you.


alborz

Anonymous iran...

by alborz on

...  you need only read my response and see the link to those sources which you were challenged to find.

Alborz


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Anonymous I. Give us

by intaghieh (not verified) on

Anonymous I.
Give us something miraculous about Ghoran. None of the stuff in the news, something more original.


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Mr. Anonymous nm

by Seagull (not verified) on

What part of what Alborz has stated here is FANATICISM to you?
Are you sure about the defenition of fanticism?
Your act of condemnation without justification can be characterized as fanatism.
Also you should speak your heart but not on behalf of many. After all its your opinion and its imposition by you on many would be fanatical.
And who said you have to be a pro mollah to be a fanatic moslem!


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"Do Bahais believe in Quran

by Seagull (not verified) on

"Do Bahais believe in Quran or they they just believe in verses that suits them."

The answer to the above question is NO, only what is left relevant from Quran is of course still relevant to Bahais or non-Bahais.
And that relevancy only applies to the spiritual truth. The book and its provisions have been abrogated, the laws are made impractical by passage of time and progress, they are static and in contradiction with any relevant code of conduct which applies to the whole humanity today.
Just think sharii-aa and you will readily realize the impossibility of its application.
That should demonstrate in a simple yet concrete way that something is not making sense.

Also Mohammad PBUH packed much of old testament into Quran then he went into war with the Jews, that does not make any sense if one looks at it from your perspective or any perspective for that matter!

Just as the whites in this country finally yielded to the racial justice even if symbolic to you, you in turn will have to find a way to do away with religious hate and bigotry.
The fact is that Islam belongs to the past, whether you as a moslem agree with any other faith or not is never going to change that.
Just look at how many religions and prophets now exist only in the books and nowhere else. It is a law you may fight but can not change.

If you want to make what is left look good, learn without prejudice then respect and tolerate. Teach us something about Islam that we already dont know.


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Aghdas and Ighan

by Anonymous iran (not verified) on

When I goggled Aghdas I find out that it is a woman's name and for Ighan I found out just by looking at few sentences that there is nothing miraculous about it and it has borrowed references from different faiths and religions and anybody could have written it,


alborz

Anonymous nm ...

by alborz on

... from your driveby comment it is clear that you neither know the meaning of "lethargy" nor that of "fanaticism".

Alborz

PS - While you are at it, look up "driveby" also!


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Mr. Alborzi

by Anonymous nm (not verified) on

You you seem to dream in a group of lethargic mollahs. I am sure many Bahais do not share your fanaticism as many muslims are not pro mollahs.


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Praying for good government

by Sen McGlinn (not verified) on

I don't think this business of praying for one's government has anything to do with being 'for' a particular nation, or a government's policies.

Majlisi the Younger said that the faithful were obliged to pray for the success of their king, if he was just, or for the improvement of his character if he was oppressive. (Arjomand, Shadow of God 176.) There you have the 2 meanings (in socio-political terms) of such prayer. On the one hand, it means that the religious community acknowledges the legitimacy of civil government. A religious group that prays for its government is not one that's about to establish a theocracy. And when the preachers start leaving out that prayer and denounce the government, watch out: pretty soon they will be trying to supplant it.

On the other hand, to pray that the government be just is also to hold up a mirror to it. "We pray that your character may improve" is not the message a ruler wants to hear, and not one a government can easily censor.

Baha’u’llah also has a prayer for Sultan AbulAziz, with a sting in its tail:

Have I, O King, ever disobeyed thee? ... Not for one short moment did We rebel against thee, or against any of thy ministers. Never, God willing, shall We revolt against thee ... In the day time and in the night season ... We pray to God on thy behalf, that He may graciously aid thee to be obedient unto Him and to observe His commandment ... ( Letter to Sultan Abdulaziz, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, CXIV 240.)

The implication is, the Sultan is busy breaking every law of God and man -- but first Baha'u'llah says that he is not about to lead a revolt. Given later experience with religiously-inspired revolutions, I think he was wise.

There's another passage that makes the link between praying for government, and a religious recognition that civil government has a right to exist. It's from Baha'u'llah again:

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
(nizaa` wa jidaal) are categorically forbidden in His Book. This is a decree of God in this Most Great Revelation. It is divinely preserved from annulment ... 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. (In Tablets of Baha’u’llah 220-221, cf. Majmu`ih az alwah-ye Jamal-e Aqdas-e Abha 135-6 (para. 5-7))

On the one hand, praying for the government is clearly linked to recognising the separation of Church and State. But once again, this message to the world's civil governments comes with a sting in its tail: the faithful should aid those who are adorned with justice.

Clearly, praying for the government is a religious response to government: it would not be effective as a strategy for a political party faced with bad government. That is precisely the point: the separation of church and state which it acknowledges is not just a legal provision, it also means that what a religious community as such can do, in political terms, is limited and has to take a religious form and be judged by religious norms; what political groups can and should do is to be judged in terms of political effect. It's not just that church and state are 2 different institutions; doing religion and doing politics are two different spheres of each person's life, each with its own rules and logic. As a (Bahai) believer, I pray for the government. As a voter, I try to send certain scoundrels back where they belong and (with less optimism) maybe to get someone half-decent in public office.

Sen McGlinn
(and yes, Matilda, we do have a Book)


alborz

Iranian 1....Bahai Writings...

by alborz on

Your question is reasonable but the manner in which you have asked it implies an intent to discredit.  I will simply answer your question and ignore that intent. 

Bahai Writing have no parallel in religious tradition or history.  The Kitab-i Aqdas, which translates into The Most Holy Book, is part of an expansive revelation of Sacred Writings to which Baha'is turn to for guidance, meditation and deepening.  These include mystical writings, laws, prayers and meditations, tablets addressed to individuals and world rulers and leaders, expositions on a range of subjects of relevance to humankind and an ever advancing civilization.

The online Baha'i Reference Library contains much of these Sacred Writings and more. It is readily available to those who seek to investigate in earnest and you.

http://reference.bahai.org/en/

Alborz


alborz

Yes Ali P....

by alborz on

... I was able to locate online much of the original in Persian for you.  Should I be able to find it in its entirety online, I will provide you with the link.

You will find the start 4 lines from the bottom of the page on this link and then you can advance to the next page.

http://reference.bahai.org/fa/t/se/ADJ/adj-175.html

The book in which this reference is found, Advent of Divine Justic (Zohoor Adl Elaahi) is by Abdu'l Baha's grandson, Shoghi Effendi, The Guardian of the Baha'i Faith.  He provided the authoritative translations into English of the Sacred Writings of the Baha'i.  From his translations, these Writings have been translated into many of the world languages.  Today, Baha'is from every corner of the world have ready access to the original Sacred Writings of their faith and study and contemplate them without reliance or dependence on clergy, priest or intermediary of any sort.  Just as you, they engage in independent investigation and seek answers to questions without the influences of others.

Happy readings,

Alborz


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Holy book Iranian 1

by nemah (not verified) on

Dear Iranian 1
What do you mean by believing in verses that suits them, where is your humility asking a sensitive question to begin with. You need to read a bit more about Bahai Faith to educate yourself first.

Bahais have a holy book, Aghdas and a second holy book you particularly should read called Iqhan. It covers all previous religions including Islam.
Give them a try, you should be pleasantly surprised to find out about the shortcomings of Quran if you are a just and open minded individual who truly seeks the truth.
Rule #1, Equality of man and woman. There are many more.... read for yourself.


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Do Bahais have a holy book?

by Iranian 1 (not verified) on

Do Bahais believe in Quran or they they just believe in verses that suits them.


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on the election eve..... we need a prayer for humanity

by nemah (not verified) on

Dear Alborz
Thanks for your thoughtfulness to share with us on the eve of a monumental election the wisdom of a Persian philosopher, son of a Persian Prophet and an instructor of new area of humanity. Your prayer is well timed as tonight we all pray for humanity, peace and prosperity and those who don’t share you vision; love may never reach them.
Please don't be disappointed by arrogance and ignorance, share with us the wisdom of the old world we need the most today.
With love


Ali P.

Translation?

by Ali P. on

He didn't speak any English, did he?

Can the Persian text be found anywhere?

 

Yours,

Ali P.


alborz

LOL - Selective memory...

by alborz on

...always leads to rash conclusions and in this case your verdict on America.

The prayer speaks to the potentialities of this nation.  Read it again, it uses words like "become" and "deserving" to emphasize the potential it has for enormous good for the people of the world.

You may think that the world should not turn to America, but the world has already decided to do so and it has for very good reasons. I hope that you find these reasons for yourself, as you are here and you better know why!

Alborz


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LOL

by LOL (not verified) on

LOL!

Oh yah I am sure the prophet of God cares so much about America. I mean who cares if US breaks every rule from the day of its creation to this day. Like killing the native, enslaving the blacks, nuking the Japanese, starting illegal wars around the world.