21 March 2019 Message

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

Naw-Rúz 2019

To the followers of Bahá’u’lláh in Iran

Springtime is here once again and the cycle of nature has taken another turn.  It is a new and wondrous season, whose essential qualities are the bright light of the sun and vernal showers and breezes, which enable the capacity latent in the earth to be released, the flowers to bloom, the birds to warble, the desert to become verdant, and a fresh spirit to be breathed into the contingent world.  This physical spring is reminiscent of the Mystic Spring that arrived once more with the rising of the Sun of Truth above the horizon of the sacred land of Iran, shedding illumination upon east and west.  The showers of mercy rained down, the heavenly breezes wafted, the hyacinths of inner meaning sprang forth, and the world of humanity was given life anew and freshness beyond measure.  Although this spiritual Springtide is still in the early stages of its effulgence, yet the initial signs of the influence, transformative power, and unifying force of the divine civilization that has been renewed in this wondrous cycle can already be glimpsed throughout the world, especially in those places where the spiritual enterprise has advanced in degrees of progress.

The year ahead of us is most auspicious and blessed, for it coincides with the Bicentenary of the Birth of that distinguished Son of Iran, the Primal Point, the Most Exalted Countenance, the Herald and Harbinger of this spiritual Springtime.  This occasion is a time of celebration for everyone throughout the world, but Iranians, who are honoured by being compatriots of the Twin Manifestations in this luminous age, have a special share in these festivities.  We greet each and every one of you and the other noble citizens of Iran, wish you joy on the occasion of Naw-Rúz, and offer heartfelt prayers in the Holy Shrines for your increasing success in the path of service to your country and countrymen and for the opening of the gate of justice and equity in that land.

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]

24 October 2018 Message

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

24 October 2018

To the Bahá’ís of Iran

The order of the world has been disrupted, and severe and numerous convulsions have shaken its foundation.  Conditions worsen daily, confusion and fear have gripped mankind, and the pain and difficulties experienced by the generality of peoples have greatly increased.  The destructive forces of materialism dominate both the East and the West and have brought about a quagmire of injustice and prejudice that has sullied and rendered powerless the wings of society, whilst the human spirit, which is created to ascend towards the divine realm, has been enslaved in the talons of greed and wilfulness and become deprived of the bounty of the light of true religion.  The problems of the world—which are clearly evident in the arenas of politics, economics, social conditions, and the environment—confront humanity’s future with inescapable dangers and yet its leaders remain unaware of their fundamental causes, are unable to remedy them, and are fearful of their consequences.  The situation of the world calls to mind the following statement of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá:  “Chaos and confusion are daily increasing in the world.  They will attain such intensity as to render the frame of mankind unable to bear them.  Then will men be awakened”.  The believers in Iran, who since the dawning of the Morn of Guidance in that land, have been robed in the vesture of Faith, are conscious of the admonitions and explicit warnings of the Ancient Beauty, have acquired the vision inspired by His Teachings, and are well aware of both the profound reasons for these crises and His guidance about them.

One of the most pressing challenges afflicting multitudes of people across the globe is the disturbed economic situation.  The lack of a necessary framework to ensure equity and justice in the distribution of wealth has led to an increase in unemployment and poverty to the extent that even providing life’s basic essentials has become extremely difficult for many strata of society.  The consequences of the vast divide between the rich and the poor, whether within or among the nations, are indescribable.  Amidst all this, you—the long-standing and faithful followers of the Blessed Beauty—not only suffer the impact and hardship of the present condition of the world, as all others suffer, but have been subject over many years to unrelenting persecution and numerous cruelties.  These persecutions and cruelties have been and are still being carried out in a systematic and planned way to weaken the Bahá’í community in Iran and to deplete its economic strength.

In our message dated 11 June 2009 addressed to the Bahá’ís in Iran, about a year after the arrest and imprisonment of the members of the former Yárán, we reminded the friends that taking care of individuals and families who, despite their noble efforts, nevertheless stand in need of financial assistance, is among the sacred and indispensable duties of the people of Bahá, and we requested them to assist and collaborate with one another on this path.  The actions that in the ensuing years the Bahá’í community of Iran has undertaken in response to this call are truly astonishing.  Despite the absence of Bahá’í institutions and notwithstanding the countless injustices and limited resources, individuals and the community were able to arise with tenacity, sacrifice, abiding love, and matchless creativity to respond to critical needs and to assist one another.  Through adherence to the command of consultation, which paves the way for humanity and resolves countless problems, and through reflection upon its diverse applications, you—the followers of the Threshold of the Almighty—have striven to strengthen the culture of mutual support and have arisen, to the extent possible, to address the challenges of obtaining employment, taking care of the elderly, and attending to the poor, and for the youth are facilitating apprenticeship, providing jobs, assisting those who wish to marry, and, of course, continuing with efforts to offer them higher education.  What has caused even greater joy and won our still greater admiration for you is that, even under these trying conditions, you have not limited yourselves to the affairs of your own community but in numerous instances and through various means, you have, with great endeavour, unsullied hearts, and pure intent, also striven to the extent possible to assist your neighbours and other fellow citizens who are in need.  By your actions, you have become the embodiments of the exhortation of Bahá’u’lláh in the Tablet of Wisdom where He admonishes His followers not to let their endeavours be spent in promoting their personal interests.  It is undoubtedly difficult, and at times beyond the limits of endurance, to bear the trials and tribulations heaped upon you.  Yet, among the shining achievements of the Bahá’í community in Iran in these years are the deepening solidarity of the followers of Bahá’u’lláh, their accompanying one another, the emergence of new dimensions of social collaboration, and the efflorescence of personal initiative.  We are confident that future generations will look back with wonder and admiration upon your efforts and experiences during these times.

Beloved friends:  The sacred mission that the Abhá Beauty has laid upon the shoulders of the members of your sorely tried community is certainly not limited to solidarity within your community or to economic assistance and collaboration.  At this time, when despair and fear have gripped humanity from every direction and led to hopelessness, especially among the young generations, praised be God that you are the embodiments of encouragement and assurance for the peoples of the world and are like unto radiant lamps in the circles of your compatriots and acquaintances; you are as signs of love and amity and in every assemblage, as symbols of forbearance and goodly intent.  Inspired by the teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, you participate in the constructive discourses of society and assist your fellow citizens to develop a vision that transcends the current difficulties, so that they can dedicate themselves to developing the capacities and talents necessary for the material and spiritual advancement of their communities and go forward with confidence and hope in building a vibrant and progressive society.

Of course, the discharge of such a mission is not possible save through the power of the love of God and a firm belief in the fulfilment of Divine Purpose regarding the brilliant future of Iran and its people.  A feeble candle is extinguished by a mere breeze, while the flame of love and faith that is ablaze in the hearts of His loved ones grows in intensity, light, and heat through the storms of persecution.  Praised be God that you have been confirmed in service to His Sacred Threshold and are following in the footsteps of your heroic forbears.  Consider, however, that many of those souls in the early years of the Cause did not live to see with their outer eyes the effects and results of their own sacrifices, while today, you witness with your very eyes the collective transformation taking place in your country and the removal of historic misunderstandings and suspicion about the Cause of God among many of your compatriots.

Therefore, O loved ones of God, in these days of tests and trials, commit to the tablet of the heart this statement of the beloved Master:  “Whosoever entereth the Kingdom of God is under the protection of Bahá’u’lláh.  The changes and chances of the material world, whether good or bad, are like the waves of the sea, which pass away and are no more.  They are not worthy of attention.…  The denizens of the Kingdom derive their joy from the bounties of God and set their hopes on His infinite grace.  They exult in the outpourings of divine bounty and are gladdened by the favours of the Lord of Hosts.  In the fire of tribulations they remain fresh and verdant, and in the tempest of trials and afflictions tranquil and at peace, for they rest their backs against a mighty mountain and take refuge in a ship wrought of steel.”

On every occasion when we present ourselves at the Sacred Threshold, we pray for those distinguished champions of the arenas of fidelity and steadfastness and ardently beseech God that His confirmations and assistance may be extended to every one of you, so that you may succeed in every aspect of your lives and in the fulfilment of your spiritual goals.

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]

13 May 2018 Message

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

13 May 2018

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

The magnificent gathering in the Holy Land of delegates from 166 countries, for the purpose of participating in the Twelfth International Bahá’í Convention and electing the members of the Universal House of Justice, was concluded with the celebration of the Twelfth Day of the Festival of Riḍván in the precincts of Bahá’u’lláh’s exalted Shrine.  More than fifteen hundred delegates participated in the election.  Among the distinct features of this Convention, which not only added to its beauty and charm but also generated an ineffable degree of joy and enthusiasm among all participants, were the presence of a record number of National Spiritual Assemblies and delegates and the participation of some National Assemblies for the first time, including one of the oldest Assemblies in the Bahá’í world.  At the opening session of the Convention, in language brimming with affection and love, the Chairperson acknowledged the absence of the representatives of the sorely tested friends in the Cradle of the Faith and, having expressed the gratitude of Bahá’ís throughout the globe for your sacrifices, which for many years have been a source of inspiration for the followers of the Blessed Beauty throughout the planet, recalled the vital contributions you have made to the advancement of the Cause of God.  During another session, in the name of the patient believers in Iran, representatives of the nations of the Pacific region, joined by all those present, chanted in stirring tones these blessed words of Bahá’u’lláh:  “Should they attempt to conceal His light on the continent, He will assuredly rear His head in the midmost heart of the ocean and, raising His voice, proclaim:  ‘I am the lifegiver of the world!’”  They thus reinforced the bonds of affection and solidarity between the friends assembled at the Convention and the believers in Iran.  The spiritual and jubilant atmosphere, the richness of experiences, and the palpable unity of thought that characterized the consultations were signs of the growing capacity of Bahá’í communities throughout the world to contribute to the establishment of the civilization envisioned by Bahá’u’lláh.  The beauty and grandeur of the concept of unity in diversity illumined the eyes and captured the hearts.  The opening verses of a poem by Varqá, the martyr, chanted during the commemoration of the Ninth Day of Riḍván held in the Ḥaram-i-Aqdas, were expressive of the feeling shared by all participants: 

      How wondrous the banquet of reunion in this snow-white Spot!  Would that all were here!‎
      What joy, what ecstasy in this banquet, our lot!  Would that all were here!‎

The reason that the Bahá’ís of Iran were deprived from participating in this spiritual Convention is well known to the people of the world.  The dissemination of bigotry, calumny, and mistrust by certain authorities as a means of advancing their own malicious designs has entangled the people of Iran, you among them, in countless problems.  Even though six of the seven former members of the Yárán, after enduring ten years of cruel imprisonment, have, with heads held high, returned to their families and to the constructive environment of the Bahá’í community, and have rejoined their loyal fellow citizens who have set their hopes on the future glory of Iran, yet the continued tyrannical incarceration of other wronged believers is a clear indication of an ongoing animosity that is both one-sided and unfounded.  These friends, purely because of their spiritual beliefs, languish behind the bars of enmity and hatred.  Of course, all Bahá’ís in Iran, young and old, schoolchildren and students, athletes and artists, manufacturers and farmers, shopkeepers and labourers, have always been and are still affected by various forms of oppression and injustice.  However, praised be God that you are adorned with the mantle of faith and firmness in the Covenant; possess a broad vision, according to which service to one’s country and fellow beings is the source of true happiness and eternal progress; and are well aware that the spiritual transformation of the world and the spiritual growth of humanity require time and self-sacrifice.  Render thanks then to God that, as clearly demonstrated in the documentary film, A Widening Embrace, the fruit of the seed of your faithfulness is now apparent in every region of the world.

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]

21 March 2018 Message

English

[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]

Naw-Rúz 2018

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

We extend to you our heartfelt greetings on the joyous occasion of Naw-Rúz and the arrival of spring.  Most assuredly, you have partaken abundantly of the spiritual bounties of the blessed days of the Fast and are now celebrating the new year with your families, friends, and neighbours.  Yours is the honour of living in a country about which the beloved Guardian stated:  “The people of Bahá, whether inside or outside Iran, venerate the birthplace of the Blessed Beauty and sacrifice their own interests and comfort, nay their very lives and substance, for the revival, glory, progress, and furtherance of the true welfare of that land.”  This is why striving for the advancement of that revered country is particularly dear to you and to Bahá’ís the world over, and why—with complete confidence in the great and glorious future of Iran—you are ever ready to render sincere and valuable services in this path, labouring shoulder-to-shoulder with your well-intentioned and eager compatriots.

Dearly loved friends!  The Bahá’í world is still astir with the blessings of the bicentenary celebrations of the Birth of Bahá’u’lláh.  News of the progress of the spiritual enterprise of building dynamic and vibrant communities in collaboration with others continues to flow to the Holy Land from five continents.  Praised be God that, despite unrelenting persecutions, you too are contributing your valued share to the fulfilment of the lofty aims of the Ancient Beauty and the spiritual goals of this Most Great Cause.  Your purpose in life is to draw ever closer to God, and your thoughts are centred upon advancing the common weal.  You observe the chaos and the turbulence of the world and see in them the dawn of the unfoldment of a new Order in human society.  You give thanks to the Sacred Threshold for having been honoured with the bounty of service, and your joy is redoubled at the knowledge that this Day shall not be followed by night and this light shall never be extinguished.  During these joyful days, consort with your fellow citizens and inspire hope in the hearts of the despondent.  For our part, conscious of the impact of the spiritual forces released through your consecrated acts of sacrifice for the advancement of the Cause, we raise our hands in gratitude and offer prayers in the Holy Shrines for you and all the noble people of Iran.

[signed:  The Universal House of Justice]
 

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