20 March 2020
[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION FROM PERSIAN]
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]