October 2, 2016

To the Friends in the Orient

O friends of God! O spiritual companions!

The Lord of the peoples of the world declares in the beneficent Qur’an: "And there is for you in the Prophet of God a good example" That is to say, to follow His Holiness is a good example and to imitate that Real Leader is the means of acquiring success in both of the worlds. The followers of the Prophet were commanded to follow Him in all affairs and manners, and when some individuals, having recognized this safe path as the Straight Road, traveled therein, they became Kings in the Land of the Righteous and the Kingdom of the Elect. And those souls who tried to acquire comfort with ease, deprived themselves of all bounties and perished in the lowest ditch of despair. Their days came to an end and their happiness terminated Their bright morn became dark, and their transparent cup became full of dregs and rust. Their uprising star descended, and their bright luminary set.

But those pure souls who followed (in the footsteps of the Prophet) shone in the Highest Horizon as the Stars of Guidance and arose from the Dawning place of hopes with matchless brilliancy. They sat on the Throne of the Kingdom of Eternity and rested on the couch of Divine Success. Their traces are clear and their lights brilliant; their star is luminous and their attendants are the armies of angels of the Heavens of Immortality. Their palace is firm and their edifice is strong. Their light is illumining the world and their heat is confirming the world.

Now judge for yourselves: Those souls who followed in the wake of that Manifest Light acquired such bounties and stations! If we now follow in the footsteps of the Most Glorious Beauty (Baha’u’llah) and the most Exalted Majesty (the Bab) my life be a sacrifice for those who suffered martyrdom in their path -- what would be the result?

His Exalted Majesty (the Bab) from the beginning of the arising of His Beauty to the day of the Greatest Martyrdom, spent days and nights under severest trials, in the Path of God; He made His breast a target for thousands of arrows of calamities, and with a breast pierced and torn, hastened to the Most Glorious Kingdom.

The Eternal Beauty the Greatest Name (Baha’u’llah) tasted of the poison of every calamity, drank of the cup brimful of all kinds of trials, made His breast the target for every arrow, made His neck indebted to every sword. He was incarcerated in a prison and was bound in merciless chains. He was exposed to the derision of the crowds of enemies and became a butt for the stones of miscreants. He was subjected to chains and collars, and was tightly bound with ropes and fetters. He was exiled from His native land and was carried to the land of Bulgers and Serbs. In the Most Great Prison (Acca) He suffered inexorable calamities and His blessed days ended in this cruel prison and dark dungoon, while a prisoner of oppression and injustice and He ascended to His Kingdom.

Now, O faithful friends and companions of that Bright Countenance! Is it becoming that we should sit idle, even for one moment, practice delay, and seek ease and comfort so that we be exposed to temptation and indolence, be occupied with our own thoughts and lose our hearts to strangers and kindred? Nay, by God, we ought not to rest for one moment day nor night; we ought not to pollute our pure hearts with the attachment to this world; we must prepare Divine Assemblies, establish Feasts of Love, sing the melody of the Most Glorious Kingdom, accompanied with stringed instruments and with drums and flutes; hasten, dancing and laughing with joy, to the altar of martyrdom, and offer body and soul, head and trunk, as a sacrifice!

O friends, be loyal!
O beloved ones, be firm and steadfast!
O imploring ones, trust in God and rely upon Him!
O humble ones, be attached to God and cling to Him!

Let us encourage each other and set all in motion. Let us strive to diffuse the Fragrance of God and engage ourselves in exalting the Word of God!

Let us ever be alert through the influence of the gentle breeze wafted from the Garden of Favor, and enjoy the Sweet Fragrance of the Garden of Unity!

Let us put enthusiasm and commotion into the hearts of the righteous, and excitement and joy into the hearts of the free!

Praise be to God, that the hosts of the Most Glorious Kingdom are coming together in large numbers and the Stars of the Highest Horizon are in uprising and ascension! The Banner of Guidance is in motion, the Cloud of Bounty is descending in a shower, and the Luminary of the Horizon of Significance is shining! The Feast and the enjoyment of the Kingdom are in complete harmony, and the Dawn of Favor is breaking with the Light of Guidance! It is the Melody of the Kingdom of Abha which is descending from the Supreme Concourse, saying: 

O dead one, who art without heart and soul! Become alive! Become alive!
O sleeping one, in the water and clay! Be awake! Be awake!
O intoxicated one, who art witless and gone astray! Become sensible! Become sensible!

The horizons are full of fragrance! The eyes are full of light arid the East is pouring down fire! Get rid of body and soul!

The time of sacrifice has come; the Merciful Breath abounds and the Divine Secrets are disclosed!  Be a leader of lovers! Be a leader!

The sweet song of the melodious singing bird from the Branch of the Cypress Tree in the Garden is expounding the problems of spirituality! Be acquainted with the mysteries! Be acquainted with the mysteries!

‘Abdu’l-Baha Abbas
(Translated in 1909)
(Star of the West, vol. 4, no. 4, May 17, 1913)