August 12, 2016

Message to Bahá'ís throughout the world -- A New Year's greeting

God, the Maker of the worlds, hath created the realm of humanity to be the Paradise of Eden (or the Garden of Paradise) if the edifice of Peace, Reconciliation, Love, and Faithfulness is founded on a solid and firm basis; nay, rather, He hath willed it to become the mirror, reflecting the Delectable Paradise.  Then, and not until then, will all the divine bounties become manifold; happiness and well-being infinite; the virtues of the world of humanity revealed and resplendent; and the rays of the Sun of Reality visible from every direction.

Consider that His holiness Adam and others were living in Paradise. But as soon as strife became known between him and Satan, every one was driven away from Eden, so that the children of humanity might learn a lesson and realize that quarrels and strife, even though with Satan, are conducive to deprivation.

Therefore, in this radiant century, according to the heavenly teachings, altercation and dispute are not allowable, even though assailed by Satan himself.

Astonishing is it, that notwithstanding the inculcation of this lesson, yet man has remained ignorant. From one end of the world to the other, the realm of humanity is engaged in hostilities and war. There is enmity between the religions. There is hatred between the classes. There is war between the fatherlands. There is contention between the diplomats. How delightful it would now be could these black clouds be dispersed from the horizon of the world, letting the light of Reality shine; the dust of slaughter and the crime of shedding blood be swept away; the breeze of providence from the Dawning-Place of Peace and Salvation be wafted; thus the world would become a new world, and the face of the earth receive new life from the rays of the divinely effulgent light of God.

Our hope is in the favours of the glorious Lord, trusting that His providence and protection will encircle us.  May the bitterness of struggle, warfare, and the cruelty of the blood-shedding sword be changed into the sweetness of friendship, reconciliation, righteousness, and justice!  May the tastes become sweetened, the nostrils perfumed, with the essence of the Rose.

May this New Year be made the occasion of the New Peace!  May this conference be assisted and aided to inaugurate an era of peace with justice, and to establish the basis of a fair treaty and agreement, so that their work may be blessed for ever and ever.
- 'Abdu'l-Baha  (From a Tablet, reprinted from ‘The Christian Commonwealth’; Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 1, March 21, 1913)