April 17, 2016

To an individual believer

He is God!

O servant of the True One!

What thou hadst written was known.  It was a clear evidence of thy thoughtfulness and mindfulness in the Cause of the most Merciful One. I supplicate God that thou mayest at every moment advance in the grades of divine love and devotion, spiritual attraction and merciful sentiments; and be benevolent and a comfort to both friends and strangers.

It is mentioned in the Gospel that a man called His Holiness, Christ, "Good Master".  His Holiness said unto him, "Why callest thou Me good? None is good save One, that is God." So 'Abdu'l-Bahá wishes a sin covering eye and conceals the people's faults as far as possible; for he considers himself incapable and deficient in the Servitude of the Lord. Therefore, being engaged in his own short-comings, he does not care about the sins of others, but always asks remission and forgiveness for them, and seeks bounty and grace in their behalf.

If a fault is committed by someone and I treat him with kindness, this is not on account of my negligence; but as I acknowledge my own short-comings and am cognizant of my own state, I do not show any opposition to others.

It is recorded in the Gospel that an adulteress was brought to the presence of Jesus Christ and confessed her sin. Those present asked Him why He did not command her to be stoned. He said, he who does not deserve a legal punishment, that is to say, "he that is without sin", may get up and stone the adulteress. All of them looking upon themselves found themselves sinful, and "went out one by one".

Now it is this condition which must always be had under consideration, otherwise the matter will be difficult.  It is said in the Qur'án, "Hadst thou been severe and hard-hearted, they had surely separated themselves from about Thee." But the people must be just. If, notwithstanding their injustice, they receive favours, this will make them mindful and admonished. As to my short-comings in case of other persons who are firm, devoted and steadfast: I always acknowledge and confess my weakness and my failure and the beloved of God will certainly excuse. When a letter is received from them, I have done my best possible to send them an answer.  Moreover writing letters has nothing to do with that pure, spiritual and divine love.  Many persons in the blessed days (i.e., in the time of the Blessed Perfection) were recipients of favours, and had numerous long Tablets, but in this day wavered in such a manner that they did not hearken to or obey the divine commandments, and overlooked even the commands revealed in their own Tablets. Yet there are some other souls who have in this day not, been addressed in the Day of the Blessed Perfection. This is from the Bounty of God; He grants to whomsoever He willeth.  God is the possessor of Great Bounty.

The essential thing and the real nearness to God, is to be steadfast in the Religion of God, to serve His Cause and to be in Servitude at the Threshold of Unity. This is necessary.

Upon thee be greeting and praise!

(Signed) 'Abdu'l-Bahá Abbas
(Star of the West, vol. 2, no. 16, December 31, 1911)