21 March 2022

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

Naw-Rúz 179

To the faithful and patient followers of
    Bahá’u’lláh in the sacred land of Iran

As we write these lines to those devoted followers of the Divine Beloved on the occasion of this auspicious day, the Festival of Naw-Rúz, to convey to you our love and affection, the followers of Bahá’u’lláh throughout the world are directing their energies towards reflecting deeply on the requirements of the new stage of their endeavours.  Together, and with like-minded individuals, and with large numbers of those who desire the betterment of the world and the well-being of its peoples, they are engaged in conversation and the exchange of insights, and are consulting about the manner of their participation in the process of spiritual transformation and the promotion of the welfare of their societies in accordance with the teachings of Him Who is the Lifegiver of the world.  Reports indicate the unprecedented response of the loved ones of God and their friends and co-workers who, rank upon rank, are participating in conferences convened in numerous parts of the world and in different settings, particularly at the local level.  This response is an indication both of the growing capacity of the Bahá’í community and of the ever-growing spiritual receptivity of the peoples of the world.  These friends are eager to attain a dynamic spiritual life and achieve a profound transformation of social relations that is founded on the principle of the oneness of humanity.

A complete century has now elapsed since the start of the Formative Age, which began with the Ascension of the peerless Person of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.  The extent of the growth of the Bahá’í community in the first century of this Age, the diffusion of the light of the Faith to the furthest corners of the world, the entry of individuals from every people and nation into its fold, the expansion of the circle of its endeavours, and the rise in the degree of vision and insight on the part of its followers with regard to their mission—all these, truly, astound the human mind.  One marvels at how, after the departure of their kind Master, His followers throughout the world—that handful of feeble ones devoted to their peerless Beloved, those lovers who were burning in the fire of separation from Him, mournful and anxious in His absence—succeeded through unshakeable determination and matchless sacrifice to carry out the admonitions of their far-sighted Master contained in His Tablets of the Divine Plan, and were enabled to establish the Cause of God upon so strong a foundation.  Assuredly, confirmations made the drops to become seas, and endowed the atoms with the splendour of the sun.

In this luminous, epic drama, the share of the lovers of the Abhá Beauty and valiant knights of the Lord in the sacred Cradle of the Cause of God is great indeed.  It is clear in the mirror of history, and reciting its countless evidences is obviously impossible within these few lines.  A river of ink is required and a mountain of paper needed.  The contribution of those dear friends to the protection and progress of the Cause of God at every juncture, to the very limits of their means and despite every obstacle and restriction, is worthy of admiration and of endless praise.  Future generations will undoubtedly recount it in detail.  At this moment in history, reflection upon the outcome of a whole century of effort and labour brings to mind the weighty and celebrated statement of the beloved Guardian, who, after enumerating the achievements of the Bahá’ís of the world, referred to the sacrifices of the oppressed and courageous believers in Iran and described with these perspicuous words a spiritual truth that is a mystery from the invisible Realm:  “These have come about solely from the powerful effect of the bitter cruelty tasted as if it were purest honey all these long years by those who are overwhelmed in tribulation at the hands of the malevolent in that sorely afflicted land.”

After a hundred years of endeavour—and of sacrifice, trial, and learning—all that the Bahá’ís of the world have attained, and which, in the past twenty-five years in particular, took a new form and acquired new systems and organization, has prepared them for the fulfilment of an exalted spiritual and moral mission.  Its principal purpose is to release that mighty and heavenly power that brings about the betterment of the world, a power latent in the reality and essence of the Cause of Bahá’u’lláh, so that it may, day by day, become increasingly manifest and conduce to the building of society.  The release of this power, briefly stated, implies a profound inner and outer transformation.  Its purpose is the appearance of a heavenly character, the emergence of conduct and manner befitting the station of a human being, and the manifestation of unity and harmony in the various strata of society.  This creative power promotes and brings about the spiritual, moral, and intellectual progress of peoples, so that they may concentrate on both material and spiritual education and may advance in knowledge and understanding; that the younger generation may become equipped, as rational and loyal citizens, with the requirements of service to humanity; that contending individuals, tribes, and peoples may become united; that thoughts and perspectives may harmonize around the axis of unity and oneness, in order that this foundational principle and other divine teachings may be manifested in practical ways in collective life; that through the strengthening of cooperation and goodwill, collaboration and solidarity, the pillars of society may be fortified and social cohesion may increase; that individuals may become as members of one family; that progressive and noble societies may emerge; that the culture of society may be affected by these developments, and both reflect and reinforce them; and that the three protagonists in this collective enterprise—the individual, the community, and the institutions—each in its own reality as well as in relation to one another, may make considerable advances.  The signs of the appearance of this power are present in even the most basic activities inspired by the Bahá’í teachings.  But in those places, whether villages in rural areas or neighbourhoods in cities, where the spiritual enterprise has advanced to higher levels and where large numbers of souls have joined their voices to the call of the Faith for the construction of a society based on divine principles, the release of this power has become an obvious reality and its effects plain to see.  The process of learning pursued by the Bahá’í world along this path and the coherence of the areas of endeavour of the community of the Greatest Name have been described in detail in our message of 30 December 2021, and you will have seen that this new stage in the labours of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh throughout the world will, for a quarter of a century, be directed towards learning more about the release of this power and its manifestation in diverse places in the world.

In the closing years of the first century of the Formative Age, one of the most significant advances of the Bahá’í community in countless parts of the world has been that the dynamism of the youth and their activities has not been limited to their acquisition of perfections, their efforts to prepare themselves, and the service they render to society.  There has been a considerable expansion of their loving enthusiasm to be sources of encouragement and motivation, collaborators and companions, guides and supporters of other members of the community, to the degree that, in most countries of the world, younger generations now walk alongside others in the front ranks of the community and shoulder greater responsibilities than before.  Witnessing this groundswell of love and the appearance of this enhanced capacity prompted us to make possible their participation in Bahá’í elections at a younger age.  At a time when, more than ever before, materialism is inducing souls, whether in societies of the East or the West, to be occupied with the pursuit of beguiling and ephemeral aims and desires, the dazzling lustre shed by the Bahá’í youth in recent years is a reflection of this statement of the Blessed Beauty:  “Blessed is he who in the prime of his youth and the heyday of his life will arise to serve the Cause of the Lord of the beginning and of the end, and adorn his heart with His love.  The manifestation of such a grace is greater than the creation of the heavens and of the earth.”

In this context, when we view the Bahá’í youth in the hallowed land of Iran, we are filled with awe.  Their spirit of steadfastness and their commitment to their spiritual mission in the path of service to their sacred homeland and its people, in spite of the countless injustices and numberless wrongs they suffer, have made them models and examples to all the youth of the Bahá’í world, for they have sallied forth in the arena of love and fidelity to the Abhá Beauty, endeavouring to attain heavenly qualities and acquire knowledge and insight, while at the same time striving to fulfil their spiritual responsibilities.  The intrepid youth in the Cradle of the Faith must know that they are the pride of the Bahá’í world and should commit to heart and memory the lofty aim that ‘Abdu’l-Bahá has envisaged for them:  “‘Abdu’l-Bahá eagerly anticipates that each one of you may become even as a fearless lion moving in the pastures of human perfection and a musk-laden breeze wafting over the meads of virtue.”

Faithful and long-standing friends of the Abhá Beauty:  At a time when the world is in turmoil and its order shaken, when its peoples are in a state of fear and anxiety and exposed to dangers and difficulties, when the heart of every conscientious person burns with anguish, and when the global Bahá’í community, in response to the condition of the world and its peoples, has once again committed itself to discharge its spiritual and social mission and to propagate a culture of peace and unity, of tolerance and amity, throughout the world, we are certain that the friends of God in Iran, too, will gird up the loins of endeavour and, more than ever before, strive to walk the path of service and, in collaboration with other people of goodwill, determine to help society in their homeland; to open wide the circle of unity and extend the compass of oneness; to seek to put into practice the teachings of God for the betterment of the world and find suitable spaces in which to share with their well-intentioned compatriots the experience they have gained and continue to gain in this path; to participate in the constructive and diverse discourses of society; and inspired by the teachings and reliant on the community’s experience, to make evident the practicability of the different dimensions of the principles of peace and justice in this radiant age.  Through their conduct, let them become embodiments of the divine admonitions, and through their actions, let them become servants of the world of humanity.  Let them pay special attention to the culture of their own community so that the divine precepts may become ever more manifest in their individual and collective lives, and their capacities may increasingly blossom.  What evokes our admiration is that, despite numerous limitations, those friends are well aware of their spiritual obligations, and they endeavour, to the extent possible, to benefit from what their spiritual brothers and sisters throughout the world have learned and the experience they have acquired.

We adorn the ending of this message with words of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the flame of Whose perfect example was at every moment during this past year aglow in the hearts, thoughts, and deeds of the people of Bahá.  A brief address which that luminous Being delivered to the believers in the final hours of His abundantly fruitful travels to America ended with the following words.  Consider with what eloquence the Centre of the Covenant describes the perpetual aims of Bahá’ís and sums up, even as distilled nectar, their abiding duties:

Turn all your thoughts toward bringing joy to hearts.  Beware!  Beware!  lest ye offend any heart.  Assist the world of humanity as much as possible.  Be the source of consolation to every sad one, assist every weak one, be helpful to every indigent one, care for every sick one, be the cause of glorification to every lowly one, and shelter those who are overshadowed by fear.

In brief, let each one of you be as a lamp shining forth with the light of the virtues of the world of humanity.  Be trustworthy, sincere, affectionate and replete with chastity.  Be illumined, be spiritual, be divine, be glorious, be quickened of God, be a Bahá’í.

Beloved friends:  We greet you and all the pure-hearted people of Iran at the start of the new year, and offer prayers in the Holy Shrines that struggles and conflicts may cease, the light of peace and reconciliation shine forth, and the tabernacle of unity be pitched in the midmost heart of the world.

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]

20 March 2021

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

Naw-Rúz 178

 

To the friends of God in the sacred land of Iran

At the threshold of the new year and the Festival of Naw-Rúz, we remember you in this luminous and sacred Spot and recall how from the beginning of the appearance of the Sun of Truth, you have, with love and certitude, and with inexhaustible constancy and steadfastness, shone like brilliant stars in the firmament of Iran, and how, in the face of oppression and injustice, you have acted with such sincerity and patience as to become a source of pride and glory for the company of the faithful and an example to all the peoples of the world.  Even in the midst of the current health crisis—with the many challenges to livelihoods it has created and the social problems it has caused, entangling the world and its peoples in numerous trials and afflictions—and despite the fact that the persecution and discrimination directed towards your community did not relent in the course of this past year or give you a moment’s respite, you continued with your service, never ceased your endeavours for the good of humanity, and remained a flame of hope and a source of love and friendship for all.  How fortunate you are to have added another golden page to the illustrious history of your community and to have won the good pleasure of God.

The Festival of Riḍván this year coincides with the end of the Five Year Plan and the conclusion of the twenty-five-year period during which the Bahá’í world was called upon to make a significant advance in the scope of its activities and human resources.  In response to the call to that spiritual enterprise, the followers of Bahá’u’lláh arose in an unprecedented and determined manner such that, notwithstanding natural and inevitable ebbs and flows, their endeavours ultimately resulted in countless advances, effected a profound transformation, brought forth new capacities, and propelled the Bahá’í community to a new stage.  To describe the nature of the victories and achievements of the community of the Greatest Name throughout the world in this historic period is beyond the scope of the present discussion, and we will attend to it at another time soon.  The focus of our thoughts at this time, however, is the devoted undertakings of the community of the valiant followers of the Ancient Beauty in His sacred homeland who, during the course of this same period and inspired by the framework for action of the Bahá’í world, likewise brought about a significant transformation in their community and who, notwithstanding countless limitations and unfavourable conditions, once again fulfilled the requirements of fidelity.  Despite myriad difficulties and problems, each one of which could reduce a mountain to a heap of dust, they raised aloft the banner of firmness and constancy and charged forth in the arena of servitude and built new capacities for service to the world of humanity.  The spirit of learning born of action, reflection, and consultation became the axis of endeavours.  Systematically and earnestly the younger generation was made the focus of special attention by the community.  Children learned virtues and spirituality, and junior youth developed spiritual and moral attributes and eagerness for service.  The youth, through the acquisition of a deep appreciation of their spiritual mission and a broad vision of the implications of the divine teachings for this new age, rushed to the fields of service and attained their rightful place in the vanguard of a vibrant and purposeful community.  The unity and solidarity of all the members of the community was, through the pulsating force of the Covenant and Testament, increased, and cooperation and mutual support reached a high level.  Through profound reflection on the Writings, attention to the guidance, and adherence to the foundational principle of consultation, perspectives became harmonized, the different endeavours of the community became coherent, and the various labours of the believers in the path of service yielded abundant fruit.  The outward-looking culture of the community was strengthened to a considerable degree and led to a level of participation, greater than ever before, by the believers in the constructive discourses of their society.  The valuable lessons acquired by those much-loved friends in the course of an entire century of determined endeavour in the path of building a dynamic community were with great sincerity shared selflessly with others.  The experience gained as a result of efforts to apply Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings in this radiant age for the achievement of the equality of women and men, social justice, the eradication of extremes of wealth and poverty, unity among different ethnicities, the empowerment of younger generations, and the refinement of character was offered to interested individuals without making any claims to perfection or superiority.  And the friends, to the extent possible, became involved in consulting and collaborating with their fellow citizens in order to address various social ills.  In sum, this significant transformation is worthy of profound admiration and represents a firm and secure foundation for future efforts.

Praised be God that the certain confirmations of the Concourse on high were vouchsafed and developments that at one time could scarcely be imagined came to pass.  The widespread and extensive support for the rights of the Bahá’ís of Iran provided by governments and international organizations on behalf of the peoples of the world—which in recent decades has been constantly expressed and which has now reached such a height that the officials of two governments have independently called for the recognition of the Faith in Iran—in the course of the same period, gradually and in different ways, also became apparent on the part of the noble people of that land and was increasingly evident day by day.  The veils were removed from the eyes, and through the efforts of scholars and others, and by the aid of new modes of communication, correct and accurate information became more widely available than at any other time.  And in the minds and thoughts of many enlightened and unprejudiced souls, the truth of this precious Cause replaced the baseless calumnies of the prejudiced.  The community’s rectitude of conduct, long established, gained new recognition, your honesty and truthfulness astounded the world, and your complete innocence, pure intent, and lofty ideals were confirmed and proven in the eyes of countless souls.  Such is the testimony of the Supreme Pen:  “Absolute meekness yieldeth many a result and beareth many a fruit.”  Appreciate, then, this bounty, and look to the future with the eyes of hope.

Dear friends, in our message to the Bahá’ís of the world on the Day of the Covenant we conveyed the glad tidings of the launching of a Nine Year Plan which will begin after the conclusion of the One Year Plan, and we referred to the importance of the year ahead.  As you are aware, this year is distinguished by the commemoration of the centenary of the Ascension of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, the Orb of the Covenant, the perfect Exemplar of the people of Bahá.  The spiritual inheritance bequeathed by that peerless and distinguished Being, Whose words transformed the hearts and Whose ways magnetized the souls, belongs, of course, to all humanity, yet it holds a special significance and implications for the people of Iran.  Although ‘Abdu’l-Bahá in childhood departed for exile in the company of His distinguished Father, He was never forgetful of His sacred and much-loved homeland.  Throughout His life, even in the course of His travels to the Western world, He was ever occupied with the thought and mention of His compatriots, that perchance, with the aid of the teachings of God for this new Day and through the promotion of those qualities that are worthy of this age, the essential relationships of society in that land might be transformed, justice and fairness be manifested, the power of the intellect shine forth, learning and education become the principal axis of all affairs and, through the fundamental transformation of morals, every kind of progress and advance be made possible and lead ultimately to the exaltation of Iran.  Therefore, through exposition of the divine teachings and encouragement to apply the insights they contain in order to remedy the problems and deficiencies of society, He addressed the people of that country generally, and the Bahá’ís specifically, counselling, advising, and urging them to sacrifice themselves in service to that sacred land, and repeatedly and emphatically assuring everyone of the bright future of Iran.

In one of His blessed Tablets, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá states, “The future of Iran is of the utmost greatness, majesty, and glory, for it is the native land of the Blessed Beauty.  All the nations of the earth will turn to and regard Iran with high esteem.  Know of a certainty that it will make such progress as to dazzle the eyes of the mighty and the learned throughout the world.”  And in another instance He writes, “‘This house of sorrows will become a rose-garden one day; grieve not!’  Exert the utmost effort and sincerity in service to Iran and its people, and sorrow no more.”

We greet every one of you on this blessed day and from the depths of our hearts ardently beseech, at the Threshold of Him Who is the Desire of the world, your health and well-being, your freedom and prosperity, and the descent of limitless confirmations upon you and all your compatriots.

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]

 

20 March 2020

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

Naw-Rúz 177

To the sorely tested and steadfast friends of the Divine Beloved in the sacred land of Iran

Every awakened heart is saddened and filled with great pain and anguish at beholding the condition of the world and the ills that afflict its inhabitants.  We feel it necessary, at this time and on the occasion of this blessed day, to share, besides the message we have today addressed to all the Bahá’ís of the world, the following words with you who are intimates of the Threshold of the All-Merciful.

In the course of the year now ending, in addition to bearing the numerous difficulties that the peoples of the world and your fellow citizens experienced, you, the wayfarers in the path of faith, whose principal purpose in life is to promote unity and concord and to ameliorate suffering in human society, were once again subject to discrimination, new machinations, and severe tests.  “…From time immemorial even unto eternity”, writes Bahá’u’lláh in the Kitáb-i-Íqán, “the Almighty hath tried, and will continue to try, His servants, so that light may be distinguished from darkness, truth from falsehood, right from wrong, guidance from error, happiness from misery, and roses from thorns.”  Praised be God that you, roses of the garden of the Ancient Beauty, His compatriots that have been reared by the hands of His bounty, in this year demonstrated yet again your true identity and character.  And your adherence to the principles of truthfulness and honesty—foundations of all human virtues—aroused once more the admiration of all.

O friends of the Abhá Beauty!  Although the horizon of the world appears dark, and uncertainty and chaos alarm and agitate its people, yet the arrival of the season of spring and of the inexhaustible bounties of God every new year is a reminder of the truth that the cold winds of winter, however severe, are ultimately stilled through the warmth of the vernal sun.  The gloom of night is followed by the brightness of day, and autumn dust is washed away by the showers of spring.  Therefore, through reliance on the boundless spiritual powers latent within you, strive to become the embodiment of reassurance and hope to family and friends, the essence of confidence to every heart, a healing balm to all who suffer, and a secure torch for the flame of the love of the true Friend.  We express our sympathy and fellow feeling for all the people of the world and the noble people of Iran and assure you, our loved ones, of our sincere and heartfelt prayers in the Holy Shrines for removal of the difficulties.  With these words of supplication from the pen of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, we beseech the Almighty for the health and well-being, tranquillity and freedom, of every soul:  “Open Thou the portals of hope, and from the bounties of heaven bestow upon them a share.  Turn this gloomy night into day, and cause the day of Naw-Rúz to become blessed.”

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]

24 October 2019

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

24 October 2019

To the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in the sacred land of Iran

The Bahá’í world is astir and the lovers of God are in a state of joy and excitement.  As we draw nearer to the commemoration of the Twin Birthdays of the Manifestations of God, the signs of the unprecedented flourishing of that blessed tree which those two Sacred Beings planted in the world become daily more evident, and the people of the world benefit more and more from its limitless fruits.  Hearts are being transformed, thoughts are being illumined, children are learning the lessons of unity and equality, adults are walking the path of service, morals are being refined, deeds are becoming purified, societies are progressing, material life is advancing under the influence of spiritual principles, souls are becoming a new creation, and the call of divine civilization resounds louder at every turn.

Although by now you will have read the message we recently addressed to all those throughout the world who have a share in the celebration of the bicentenary of the Birth of the Báb, we considered this an opportune moment to also address His compatriots and to remind you of the bounty that is yours, for that Sun of Truth dawned in the city of Shiraz, promising the world new illumination, and its morn first stirred up your land, preparing the world for the appearance of Bahá’u’lláh.

The light which the Manifestations of God in every age shed upon the material and spiritual life of humanity discloses truths, whose very conception is impossible before the appearance of those Manifestations.  Those Teachers illumine the essential relationships on which the progress of the world and its inhabitants depends and create the instruments for the attainment of that progress.  Their appearance makes manifest the treasures hidden in the world of being, and Their teachings bring with them the precious gift of a new stage of unity.  They encourage humankind once again to acquire spiritual qualities and to attain human perfections, so that through the confirmations of God and its own endeavours, it can lay the foundations of its own felicity.

The appearance of the Exalted One was an invitation to knowledge and rationality, to generosity and compassion, to truthfulness and social justice.  The concepts and ideas that He brought breathed a new spirit into the tired body of the world.  He fulfilled the prophecies of old and gave new form to the practices of the past.  He discarded superstition and nurtured reason.  He began a new stage in the progress and transformation of the world of humanity and, in the first instance, invited His own compatriots to participate in the process of renewal.  The gentleness of His Being and the heavenly power of His words instantly attracted those who associated with Him, and the truth of His utterances and the appeal of His teachings led, with miraculous speed, to the awakening and consciousness of the people.  In a short while, His Cause spread throughout Iran and the fire of the love of God was kindled within diverse strata of that society.  A great many souls from a variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds—men and women, young and old, rich and poor, merchants and traders, thinkers and writers, clerics and even royalty, in cities and in villages—joined the company of His followers and took to heart His call to build a society founded on justice and free from tyranny and oppression.  The number of sincere leaders of religion and divines who accepted His Cause and embraced His truth is astounding, and included Vaḥíd, who was among the most learned men of the country and the confidant and representative of the King commissioned to investigate the truth about the new Revelation.  According to the scholars and orientalists of the time, large multitudes among the people of Iran became the Báb’s followers and devotees and evinced matchless valour in their commitment to their newfound faith.

The tumult caused by the new Faith shook the pillars of the old order, aroused consternation and envy among the wielders of position and power, and led them to nurse the idle hope that by creating terror they would negate the Báb’s Word and extinguish His light, and so they mercilessly opposed Him.  Influential fanatics, one and all, raised aloft the standard of denial and urged the authorities and the populace to commit acts of cruelty on an unprecedented scale.  Truly, contemporary history has seldom witnessed the like of the bloodshed and pillage that, at the hands of the rulers or at their instigation, befell the Báb and His followers.  Yet, such atrocities, which were often carried out in public, in the street and in the marketplace, so as to become object lessons for others, would time and again, as a result of the steadfastness of those innocent souls, become the cause of the awakening of a new wave of pure-hearted people.  In a few instances, when surrounded by the forces of the malevolent and subjected to their ceaseless cruelty, those wronged ones defended themselves valiantly, but they ultimately fell victim to deception and were brutally massacred.  The antagonists then endeavoured to obliterate the traces of the new Faith and tried systematically to eradicate from the hearts and minds of Iranians the memory of the astonishing influence of the Báb’s appearance.  For a time they banned any mention of Him in the land of His birth, and when that approach proved ineffective, they loosed their tongues in curse and abuse, and began fabricating stories, falsifying history, and denying the truth.  The friend they called an enemy, and they depicted events in distorted fashion.  The sublime gift they called “the sedition of the Báb”, and they relegated the Exalted Beloved to the lowest depths of silent darkness, thus committing a great injustice against future generations.  But they were heedless of the fact that countless Iranian families were in some way related to His movement, and numberless spots in that vast country were reddened by the blood of His persecuted followers.  The traces of that spiritual renaissance will forever endure in that land, and its mystic effects will become evident at last.

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Cause of the Báb was the prominent role of the youth who in an astonishing way entered its vanguard, who demonstrated a profound understanding of the implications of the new era, and who taught everyone the lessons of courage and valour.  The Báb Himself was twenty-five when He declared His mission.  Quddús was twenty-two when he became adorned with the mantle of faith; Ṭáhirih was in her twenties when she accepted the Cause of her Lord; and Anís was a young man of tender age when he became a believer.  Recall the fearless Zaynab, who in the prime of youth became a legend, a heroine in both this world and the next.  The names of the Iranian heroes of this new movement are today immortalized throughout the world, and the courage of those deathless souls is an example for all.  The young standard-bearers of the community of the Greatest Name in every land serve humanity in memory of those courageous souls and make sacrificial efforts for the betterment of the world and the progress of society, endeavouring to acquire spiritual characteristics and engaging in the education of children and junior youth.  In Iran too, despite countless hardships, the apple of our eyes are, with pure hearts free from resentment or enmity, valiantly arising in the discharge of their spiritual obligations, acquiring knowledge and the sciences and arts, earning a livelihood, establishing families, laying the foundations of future society upon the strong pillars of faith, and placing service to humanity at the centre of their lives.

Briefly, after the setting of that resplendent Daystar, His prophecies were eventually fulfilled and the dawn of a new Sun became visible.  Bahá’u’lláh appeared and renewed the law of God.  He gathered together that scattered and oppressed company and prepared for them—and for all of humanity—the means of everlasting glory.  He taught them principles to elevate the government and uplift the people, He categorically forbade conflict and contention, and He raised a new creation throughout the world, drawn from every population and speaking in every tongue, that they might serve humanity with sincerity and love, strengthen the unity of the world, lay the foundations of fellowship, and through collaboration with others in their own society, propagate divine civilization.

Beloved friends:  At this moment in time, when the followers of the Greatest Name throughout the world are welcoming friends, acquaintances, neighbours, co-workers, and like-minded souls to the celebration of the Twin Birthdays and are inviting them to consider the meaning of the marvellous anniversary of the Herald and Summoner of this illumined cycle, you must know of a truth that for the people of Iran, the significance and auspiciousness of this occasion is two hundredfold.  Assure everyone that the time for the fulfilment of the unfailing promises of those Twin Lights shall come, the turmoil in the world will be eased, permanent peace and harmony among the peoples of the earth will appear, and the unity of humankind will be manifested.

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]

 

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